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Seven Churches of Asia

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Title: Seven Churches of Asia


1
Seven Churches of Asia
2
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Ephesus (21-7)
  • City of Ephesus
  • Political and economic background
  • Foremost city in Asia Minor
  • Approximately 250,000 in population
  • Large trading center three main roads brought
    trade
  • Free city
  • Panionian games

3
CITY OF EPHESUS
4
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Ephesus (21-7)
  • City of Ephesus
  • Religiously
  • Temple of Diana (Artemis)
  • One of the seven wonders of the world
  • Larger than Pantheon
  • About 360 feet long
  • Stood during Johns time

5
TEMPLE OF ARTIMIS
6
STATUE OF ARTIMIS
7
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Ephesus (21-7)
  • City of Ephesus
  • New Testament background
  • Paul visited on 2nd missionary journey
  • Left Aquila and Priscilla in Ephesus
  • They taught Apollos
  • Paul stayed two years
  • Gospel spread throughout Asia Minor (Acts 1910)
  • Paul had a close relationship with Christian
    leaders their (2017-38)

8
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Ephesus (21-7)
  • Description of speaker (1)
  • Refers back to Son of Man in 112-16)
  • Seven stars seven angels of the churches
  • Churches futures are under Christs control

9
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Ephesus (21-7)
  • Ephesus church good works (2-3, 6)
  • Know Christ has complete knowledge of their
    situation
  • Deeds
  • Toils
  • Perseverance

10
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Ephesus (21-7)
  • Ephesus church good works (2-3, 6)
  • Cannot endure evil men
  • Test those who call themselves apostles and are
    not
  • Perseverance patient endurance
  • Accepting hardships but continuing
  • Endured for Christs sake
  • Not grown weary

11
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Ephesus (21-7)
  • Ephesus church good works (2-3, 6)
  • Hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans (26)
  • Nicolaitans nikos and laos meaning conqueror of
    the people

12
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Ephesus (21-7)
  • Several opinions Nicolaitans
  • Followers of Nicolas of Antioch
  • One of the original deacons of Acts 65
  • Jewish proselyte who fell into apostasy
  • A sect that lived a life of immorality based on
    misinterpretation of statements by Nicolas
  • Gnostic group
  • Christians who identified with the emperor by
    burning incense to him

13
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Ephesus (21-7)
  • Ephesus church problems (4-5)
  • Left their first love
  • Love of God
  • Love for one another
  • Love for the lost
  • Four R for the Ephesians
  • Remember - Where they had fallen from
  • Repent
  • Repeat - Do the deeds they first did
  • Remove - Lampstand removed by Christ if they do
    not repent

14
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Ephesus (21-7)
  • Encouragement (7)
  • Encouragement for people to listen
  • Broader than just Ephesus
  • From the Spirit
  • The one who overcome
  • Granted to eat of the tree of life
  • In the Paradise of God

15
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Smyrna (28-11)
  • City of Smyrna
  • Political and economic background
  • About 40 miles north of Ephesus, western side of
    Aegean Sea, population of about 200,000
  • Very good harbor with trade up the valley of the
    Hermus River large paved streets
  • Largest public theater
  • Third largest library after Alexandria and
    Pergumum birth place of Poet Homer

16
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Smyrna (28-11)
  • City of Smyrna - Religiously
  • Temples to the gods lined paved roads
  • Temple of Cybele
  • Temple of Asclepius goddess Aphrodite
  • Emperor worship

17
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Smyrna (28-11)
  • Emperor worship
  • Used to unify the conquered people
  • Dea Roma goddess of Rome
  • Caesar came to represent Rome
  • Prior to Caligula emperors were deified after
    death only
  • Caligula was the first to declare himself as god
  • Domitian continued the tradition by claiming to
    be god in the flesh

18
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Smyrna (28-11)
  • Requirements of emperor worship
  • Every citizen was required to put incense on the
    altar and declare Caesar is Lord.
  • Receive a token to evidence their participation
    in the ceremony
  • Christians would often refuse to participate
  • Some Christians began to use mental reservation
    as an excuse for offering incense

19
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Smyrna (28-11)
  • Jewish support for persecution
  • Informed on Christians to the Romans
  • Polycarp (Bishop of Smyrna) was martyred

20
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Smyrna (28-11)
  • New Testament background
  • Not mention elsewhere
  • Description of speaker (8)
  • Description gives hope under persecution
  • Was dead has come to life

21
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Smyrna (28-11)
  • Tribulation as Christians (9)
  • Tribulation (thlipsis) pressure brought to bear
    upon someone from without
  • Used in a variety of ways
  • Calamities of war
  • Distress of a woman in childbirth
  • Persecution of Christians
  • Problems for non-Christians

22
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Smyrna (28-11)
  • Poor but rich
  • Poor
  • Penia person who could not afford beyond the
    necessities
  • Ptoches person who could not afford even the
    necessities, John uses ptoches here
  • Rich
  • In Christ, will receive a crown (10)
  • Reason for poverty
  • Blacklisted if they did not have the token for
    offering incense to Caesar.

23
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Smyrna (28-11)
  • Blasphemy of the synagogue of Satan
  • In N. T. there are examples of Jews speaking
    against the early Christians
  • Various types are noted in history
  • Cannibalism
  • Immorality
  • Breaking up of homes
  • Atheism
  • Political disloyalty
  • Incendiarism

24
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Smyrna (28-11)
  • Problems of Smyrna
  • None pointed out by Christ
  • Only one other church where no problems are
    mention - Philadelphia

25
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Smyrna (28-11)
  • Encouragement through suffering (10-11)
  • More suffering to come
  • Satan to cast them into prison (leads to
    execution for faithful)
  • Be tested
  • Tribulation for 10 days
  • Symbolic
  • Short time
  • Human completeness doubled
  • Means will difficult but for a short time

26
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Smyrna (28-11)
  • Encouraged to be faithful unto death
  • Be faithful which will lead to death
  • Given a crown of life
  • Diadema crown of royalty
  • Stephanos Victory crown at competitions (used
    here)
  • Festival crown at weddings and other feasts
  • Laural crowns for faithful civic duty

27
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Smyrna (28-11)
  • Encouraged to be faithful unto death
  • The one who overcomes
  • Not hurt by the second death
  • Second death Rev. 206 death Hades thrown
    into lake of fire

28
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Pergumum (212-17)
  • City of Pergamum
  • Political and economic background
  • Forty miles north of Ephesus, 15 miles inland to
    Caicus valley
  • Commercially, not as great as Ephesus or Smyrna
  • Historically important
  • Bequeathed to the Roman Empire in 133 B. C.
  • Second largest library in the Ancient world after
    Alexandria (200,000 volumes).
  • Center for intellectual pursuits.

29
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Pergamum (212-17)
  • City of Pergamum - Religiously
  • Site of the first temple erected to Caesar,
    Augustus in 29 B. C.
  • Trajan later had a temple built here.
  • Temples to Asklepios god of healing
  • Serpent was the symbol of Asklepios
  • Coins from that period have the symbol
  • Show the connection between politics and religion
    in that era
  • Called the savior Zeus, Dionysus, Athena

30
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Pergamum (212-17)
  • City of Pergamum
  • New Testament background
  • Only place mentioned

31
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Pergamum (212-17)
  • Description of speaker (12)
  • One who has the sharp two edged sword
  • Word

32
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Pergamum (212-17)
  • Good works of Pergamum (13)
  • Hold fast Christs name
  • Did not deny the faith in the days of Antipas
  • Unknown person
  • Called Christs witness and faithful one
  • Could have been a time of persecution they had
    gone through earlier.
  • Tradition says Antipas was roasted alive inside a
    brazen bull.

33
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Pergamum (212-17)
  • Good works of Pergamum (13)
  • Hold fast Christs name
  • Satans throne
  • Imply position of power
  • Several views of the meaning
  • Alter of Zeus that sat on the acropolis
  • Temple of Askelepios
  • Home of satanic spirits of persecution
  • Figurative for the power and influence of Satan
  • Worst of all the cities
  • Caesar worship was very strong in Pergamum

34
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Pergamum (212-17)
  • Problems of Pergamum (14-15)
  • Balaam (see Nu. 22-25)
  • Balak would arrange to lead the Israelites into
    immorality after failing to have them cursed.
  • Eating things offered to idol
  • Usually means participation in pagan worship
  • Immorality usually a part of pagan worship
  • Note 1 Cor. 1018-22
  • Some who follow the teaching of the Nicolaitans.
  • Compromise with the world a big problem then and
    now.

35
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Pergamum (212-17)
  • Encouragement (16-17)
  • Repent - Tolerated sin in their midst (Balaam)
  • The one who overcomes

36
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Pergamum (212-17)
  • Encouragement (16-17)
  • The one who overcomes receives
  • Hidden manna
  • Spiritual food
  • Spiritual strength
  • White stone
  • Symbolized innocence
  • Might be given to someone acquitted of a crime
  • Given to a slave granted freedom
  • Victor in a race
  • Triumphant soldier
  • Admission to a banquet

37
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Pergamum (212-17)
  • Encouragement (16-17)
  • The one who overcomes receives
  • New name
  • One who receives it will be the only one who
    knows it
  • Various views
  • Christ, as the most powerful that people refuse
    to recognize now
  • Believers new name or changed character
  • Victorious Christ himself

38
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Thyatira (218-29)
  • Political and economic background
  • Forty miles southeast of Pergamum
  • Well know for manufacturing of cloth
  • Weaving
  • Dyeing
  • Making garments
  • Center for trade guilds

39
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Thyatira (218-29)
  • Religiously
  • Religion associated with trade guilds
  • Each guild had its own god
  • To be a part of a guild could often include pagan
    worship
  • Cup of wine poured out in honor of the god.
  • Meal eaten from what was offered to the god.
  • Sexual rituals for fertility
  • Not participating would hinder people from making
    a living.

40
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Thyatira (218-29)
  • New Testament background
  • Lydia the seller of purple at Philippi (Acts
    1614).

41
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Thyatira (218-29)
  • Description of speaker (18)
  • Son of God
  • Direct identification is made
  • Eyes like a flame
  • Feet of burnished bronze
  • Strength and splendor

42
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Thyatira (218-29)
  • Good works of Thyatira (19)
  • Know your deeds
  • Greater than the first
  • Deeds of love
  • Deeds of faith
  • Deeds of service
  • Deeds of perseverance

43
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Thyatira (218-29)
  • Problems of Thyatira (20-23)
  • Tolerate the woman Jezebel
  • Background found in 1 Kg. 1629-34 181-6 2
    Kg. 91-8
  • Calls herself a prophetess
  • Teaches and leads Christs bond-servants astray
  • Commit acts of immorality
  • Eat things sacrificed to idols

44
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Thyatira (218-29)
  • Problems of Thyatira (20-23)
  • Views of Jezebel
  • Not a particular women but a tendency of some of
    the members in the church to compromise their
    faith and participate in pagan activities.
  • Actual women considered to be a prophetess by
    some and leading some of the members astray with
    false teaching

45
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Thyatira (218-29)
  • Problems of Thyatira (20-23)
  • Fate of Jezebel and her followers
  • Great tribulation if they do not repent
  • Bed of sickness
  • For those who commit adultery with her
  • Her children killed with pestilence

46
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Thyatira (218-29)
  • Encouragement (24-29)
  • Those who do not hold to the teachings of Jezebel
  • Those who do not know the deep things of Satan
    hold fast until Jesus comes
  • The ones who overcome
  • Keeps Jesus deeds until He comes
  • Receives authority over the nations rule with
    an iron rod
  • Receive authority as Christ did from God
  • Receive the morning star, Christ (Rev. 2216)

47
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Sardis (31-6)
  • City of Sardis - Political economic background
  • Had been ancient capital of Lydia
  • Declining during this time period
  • Center of a thriving woolen industry
  • It was know for its decadence and luxury

48
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Sardis (31-6)
  • Religiously
  • Major religion was the goddess Cybele (Artimis)
  • Fourth largest building in ancient times
  • Large Jewish synagogue (A. D. 200)
  • New Testament background
  • Not mentioned elsewhere in N.T.

49
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Sardis (31-6)
  • Description of speaker (1a)
  • Has seven spirits
  • Has seven stars

50
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Sardis (31-6)
  • Problems of Sardis (1b-2)
  • Name they are alive but are dead
  • Reputation of being alive possibly well known
    church
  • Possibly known for her wealth
  • Materialistic outlook
  • Strengthen the things that remain
  • Told to wake up because there were things
    remaining to make their faith stronger
  • Deeds not completed
  • In Gods sight

51
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Sardis (31-6)
  • Encouragement (3-6)
  • Remember
  • What they have received and heard
  • Keep what they have received
  • Repent
  • Return
  • Christ will come like a thief
  • Some times used for second coming (1 Thess. 52
    2 Pet. 310)
  • Judgement is in mind here

52
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Sardis (31-6)
  • Encouragement
  • Those who have not soiled their garments
  • Few had remained faithful
  • Walk with Jesus in white
  • They are worthy

53
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Sardis (31-6)
  • Encouragement
  • Those who overcome
  • Clothed in white garments
  • White purity
  • White garment worn by victorious contestants
  • Seven time in Revelation
  • Rev. 36 Rev. 79
  • Rev. 318 Rev. 713
  • Rev. 44 Rev. 1914
  • Rev. 611

54
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Sardis (31-6)
  • Encouragement
  • Those who overcome
  • Name not erased from the book of life
  • Christ will confess his name before his Father
    and His angels
  • See Mt. 1032

55
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Philadelphia (37-)
  • Philadelphia - Political/economic background
  • City of brotherly love
  • Known as the gateway to the east
  • Greek cultured passed through her to the east
  • Founded only 150 years before Christ
  • Got its name from Attalus II who had great
    loyalty to his brother.
  • Founded on a great volcanic plain that was very
    fertile and was world famous for its wines.
  • It was a prosperous city because of trade and a
    lot of springs that were thought to have a lot of
    medicinal waters

56
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Philadelphia (37-)
  • Philadelphia - Religiously
  • History of strong Jewish opposition
  • Ignatius mentions the Jews in his letter to the
    church at Philadelphia
  • New Testament background
  • No other mention in N. T.

57
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Philadelphia (37-13)
  • Description of speaker (7)
  • Only description not related to the description
    of the Son of Man in Chapter 1
  • Holy
  • True - the genuine compared to the counterfeit
  • Has the key of David
  • Access to the place of the king (Isa. 2222)
  • Problems
  • None pointed out

58
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Philadelphia (37-13)
  • Encouragement
  • Open door before them
  • Because they have little power (Small church?)
  • Open door to evangelize
  • Gateway to the east to spread Christianity
  • Have kept his word (not denied his name)

59
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Philadelphia (37-13)
  • Encouragement
  • Opposition from the synagogue of Satan
  • Christ will bring them to bow down before them
  • Because of their faithfulness he will keeping
    them from the hour of testing
  • The hour that is coming on the whole world
  • This probably means God will see them through the
    trials
  • Philadelphia was a Christian presence into the
    15th century after the Muslims took Turkey

60
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Philadelphia (37-13)
  • Encouragement
  • Hold fast to what they have
  • Christ is coming quickly - Judgement
  • No one will take their crown - Victors crown
  • These Christians were already reigning (Rev.
    15-6)

61
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Philadelphia (37-13)
  • Encouragement
  • The one who overcomes
  • Pillar in the temple of God
  • Will write on him the name of God
  • Write the name of the city of God, New Jerusalem
  • Write my new name

62
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Laodicea (314-22)
  • Laodicea - Political/economic background
  • One of three cities in the Lycus valley
  • Founded in the third century B. C. by Antiochus
    II and name for his wife, Laodice.
  • Famous health resort
  • Famous banking center
  • Very wealthy and proud of her wealth

63
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Laodicea (314-22)
  • Laodicea - Religiously
  • Zeus was the cities patron deity
  • Other temples included Apollo, Asclepius, Hades,
    Hera, Athena, Serapis, and Dionysus

64
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Laodicea (314-22)
  • Laodicea - New Testament background
  • Mentioned by Paul in his letter to Colossae
  • Told the Colossians to read the letter to
    Laodicea and they were to read the letter to the
    Colossians

65
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Laodicea (314-22)
  • Laodicea - Description of speaker (14)
  • The amen
  • Faithful and true witness
  • The beginning (source or origin) of the creation
    of God

66
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Laodicea (314-22)
  • Laodicea - Problems of Laodicea (15-17)
  • Christ knows their deeds
  • Neither hot nor cold
  • Say they are rich and need nothing
  • Christ tells them they are really wretched and
    poor

67
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Laodicea (314-22)
  • Laodicea - Encouragement (18-22)
  • Look to Christ for riches
  • Buy their Gold from Christ to be spiritually
    rich
  • Buy their white garments from him not to shamed
    by their nakedness
  • White in contrast to the black wool industry of
    Laodicea which gave them their physical wealth
  • Buy their eye ointment from him - Spiritual
    blindness healed by Christ
  • The eye salve of Laodicea could not help them

68
SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
  • Laodicea (314-22)
  • Laodicea - Encouragement (18-22)
  • Gods love means (Phileo) He reproves and
    disciplines, corrects, and Trains
  • Called to repent
  • He is at the door waiting to be let in
  • Calls for them to open the door of their heart
  • One who repents will sit with him on his throne
  • As he sat down with his father on his throne (see
    2 Tim. 211-12)

69
Behold a Door Open in Heaven
70
THRONE OF GODChapter 4
  • God rules as creator
  • Twenty-four elders before the throne
  • Representative of the redeemed-overcomers
  • Those who overcome in heaven (see 321)
  • Sit on thrones (321)
  • Dressed in white (35)
  • Have gold crowns (210)
  • Four living creatures before the throne
  • All recognize Gods sovereignty

71
WORTHY IS THE LAMBChapter 5
  • Worthy is the Lamb for redeeming people
  • Breaking the seals represents the execution of
    Gods plan
  • Sacrificial Lamb worthy
  • Divinely sealed
  • Divinely opened
  • Worthy means moral standing
  • Lion of Judah Abrahams offspring
  • The root of Jesse line of David
  • Has overcome so opens the book
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