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Seven Churches of Asia

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Title: Seven Churches of Asia


1
Seven Churches of Asia
2
LESSON FROM THE SEVEN LAMPSTANDS
  • Seven Principles
  • Christ knows every Christian
  • Christ wants churches to guard their teaching
  • Christ wants Christians to grow in service
  • Christ wants Christians to live in purity

3
LESSON FROM THE SEVEN LAMPSTANDS
  • Seven Principles
  • Christ wants Christians to be ready for
    persecution
  • Christ wants Christians to know they can be lost
  • Christ will richly reward Christians who overcome

4
LESSON FROM THE SEVEN LAMPSTANDS
  • Guard the Teaching
  • Ephesus - tried those claiming to be apostles
    found them to be false
  • Pergamum - allowed teaching to eat meat offered
    to idols and acts of immorality
  • Thyatira - allowed prophetess Jezebel and
    teaching to eat meat offered to idols and acts of
    immorality

5
LESSON FROM THE SEVEN LAMPSTANDS
  • Guard the Teaching
  • Sardis - remember what they had received and keep
    it
  • Philadelphia - praised for keeping Christs word

6
LESSON FROM THE SEVEN LAMPSTANDS
  • Grow in Service
  • Ephesus - Left first love (24)
  • Thyatira - Last more than first (219)
  • Sardis - dead, nothing finished (31)
  • Philadelphia - door opened (38)
  • Laodicea - lukewarm (315)

7
LESSON FROM THE SEVEN LAMPSTANDS
  • Can Be Lost
  • Ephesus - Repent and do deeds (24)
  • Smyrna - Faithful unto death (210)
  • Pergamum - Repent or else (216)
  • Thyatira - Repent of her deeds (222)
  • Sardis - repent, not erase from book of life
    (33)
  • Philadelphia - Hold fast (311)
  • Laodicea - Spew out of mouth (316)

8
7 CHURCHES OF ASIAEphesus (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

9
CITY OF EPHESUS
10
7 CHURCHES OF ASIAEphesus (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

11
TEMPLE OF ARTIMIS
12
STATUE OF ARTIMIS
13
7 CHURCHES OF ASIAEphesus (21-7)
  • City of Ephesus
  • New Testament background
  • Paul visited on 3rd 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)

14
7 CHURCHES OF ASIAEphesus (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

15
7 CHURCHES OF ASIAEphesus 21-7
  • Ephesus church good works (2-3, 6)
  • Know Christ has complete knowledge of their
    situation
  • Deeds
  • Toils
  • Perseverance

16
7 CHURCHES OF ASIAEphesus (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

17
7 CHURCHES OF ASIAEphesus (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

18
7 CHURCHES OF ASIAEphesus (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

19
7 CHURCHES OF ASIAEphesus (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 - Return to following Christ
  • Repeat - Do the deeds they first did
  • Remove - Lampstand removed by Christ if they do
    not repent

20
7 CHURCHES OF ASIAEphesus (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

21
7 CHURCHES OF ASIASmyrna (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

22
7 CHURCHES OF ASIASmyrna (28-11)
  • City of Smyrna - Religiously
  • Temples to the gods lined paved roads
  • Temple of Cybele
  • Temple of Asclepius goddess Aphrodite
  • Emperor worship

23
7 CHURCHES OF ASIASmyrna (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

24
7 CHURCHES OF ASIASmyrna (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

25
7 CHURCHES OF ASIASmyrna (28-11)
  • Jewish support for persecution
  • Informed on Christians to the Romans
  • Polycarp (Bishop of Smyrna) was martyred

26
7 CHURCHES OF ASIASmyrna (28-11)
  • New Testament background
  • Not mention elsewhere
  • Description of speaker (8)
  • Description gives hope under persecution
  • Was dead has come to life

27
7 CHURCHES OF ASIASmyrna (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

28
7 CHURCHES OF ASIASmyrna (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.

29
7 CHURCHES OF ASIASmyrna (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

30
7 CHURCHES OF ASIASmyrna (28-11)
  • Problems of Smyrna
  • None pointed out by Christ
  • Only one other church where no problems are
    mention - Philadelphia

31
7 CHURCHES OF ASIASmyrna (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

32
7 CHURCHES OF ASIASmyrna (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

33
7 CHURCHES OF ASIASmyrna (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

34
7 CHURCHES OF ASIAPergumum (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
  • 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.

35
7 CHURCHES OF ASIAPergumum (212-17)
  • City of Pergamum - Religion
  • 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, Dionysius, Athena

36
7 CHURCHES OF ASIAPergumum (212-17)
  • City of Pergamum
  • New Testament background
  • Only place mentioned
  • Description of speaker (12)
  • One who has the sharp two edged sword
  • Word

37
7 CHURCHES OF ASIAPergumum (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.

38
7 CHURCHES OF ASIAPergumum (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 power influence of Satan
  • Worst of all the cities
  • Caesar worship was very strong

39
7 CHURCHES OF ASIAPergumum (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 (see 1 Cor.
    1018-22)
  • Usually means participation in pagan worship
  • Immorality usually a part of pagan worship
  • Some who follow the teaching of the Nicolaitans.
  • Compromise with the world a big problem then and
    now.

40
7 CHURCHES OF ASIAPergumum (212-17)
  • Encouragement of Pergamum (16-17)
  • Repent - Tolerated sin in their midst (Balaam)
  • The one who overcomes receives
  • Hidden manna (Spiritual food/strength)
  • White stone
  • Symbolized innocence
  • Given to someone acquitted of a crime
  • Given to a slave granted freedom
  • Victor in a race or triumphant soldier
  • Admission to a banquet

41
7 CHURCHES OF ASIAPergumum (212-17)
  • Encouragement of Pergamum (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

42
7 CHURCHES OF ASIAThyatira (218-29)
  • Political economic background
  • Forty miles southeast of Pergamum
  • Well know for manufacturing of cloth
  • Weaving
  • Dyeing
  • Making garments
  • Center for trade guilds

43
7 CHURCHES OF ASIAThyatira (218-29)
  • Religious Background
  • 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.

44
7 CHURCHES OF ASIAThyatira (218-29)
  • New Testament background
  • Lydia the seller of purple at Philippi (Acts
    1614).
  • Description of speaker (18)
  • Son of God
  • Direct identification is made
  • Eyes like a flame
  • Feet of burnished bronze
  • Strength and splendor

45
7 CHURCHES OF ASIAThyatira (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

46
7 CHURCHES OF ASIAThyatira (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

47
7 CHURCHES OF ASIAThyatira (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

48
7 CHURCHES OF ASIAThyatira (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

49
7 CHURCHES OF ASIAThyatira (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)

50
7 CHURCHES OF ASIASardis (31-6)
  • Political economic background
  • Had been ancient capital of Lydia
  • Declining during this time period
  • Center of a thriving woolen industry
  • Known for its decadence and luxury
  • Religiously
  • Major religion - goddess Cybele (Artimis)
  • Fourth largest building in ancient times
  • Large Jewish synagogue (A. D. 200)
  • New Testament background
  • Not mentioned elsewhere in N.T.

51
7 CHURCHES OF ASIASardis (31-6)
  • New Testament background
  • Not mentioned elsewhere in N.T.
  • Description of speaker (1a)
  • Has seven spirits
  • Has seven stars

52
7 CHURCHES OF ASIASardis (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

53
7 CHURCHES OF ASIASardis (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

54
7 CHURCHES OF ASIASardis (31-6)
  • Encouragement
  • Those who have not soiled their garments
  • Few had remained faithful
  • Walk with Jesus in white as worthy
  • Those who overcome
  • Clothed in white garments (white purity)
  • White garment worn by victorious contestants -
    seven times in Revelation (Rev. 36, 18 44
    611 79, 13 1914)

55
7 CHURCHES OF ASIASardis (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

56
7 CHURCHES OF ASIAPhiladelphia (37-13)
  • Political and economic background
  • City of brotherly love
  • Known as the gateway to the east
  • Founded 150 years before Christ
  • Volcanic plains, fertile land for vineyards
  • Prosperous city
  • Rebuilt after destroyed by earthquake in AD17
  • Springs for medicinal water
  • Religiously
  • History of a strong Jewish opposition
  • Ignatius mentions Jews in letter to the church

57
7 CHURCHES OF ASIAPhiladelphia (37-13)
  • New Testament background
  • Not mentioned elsewhere in the N. T.
  • Description of speaker
  • Only one not associated with Son of Man in
    chapter 1
  • Holy True
  • Two words for true
  • Alethes true as opposed to false
  • Alethinos genuine compared to counterfeit
  • Alethinos here meaning Jesus is genuine
  • Has the keys of David
  • see Isa. 2222 Eliakim had keys to palace
  • Jesus gives access to heaven (see Jn 146)

58
7 CHURCHES OF ASIAPhiladelphia (37-13)
  • Encouragement to Philadelphia
  • Opposition from the synagogue of Satan
  • Those of synagogue will bow down
  • Kept from hour of testing due to faithfulness
  • Hold fast to what they have
  • Those who overcome
  • Pillars in the temple of God
  • Permanent resident
  • Write on him the name of God
  • Write the name of the city of God
  • Write my new name (belong to God)

59
7 CHURCHES OF ASIALaodicea (314-22)
  • Political and economic background
  • Two other cities in Lycus valley (Hierapolis and
    Colossae)
  • Founded in 3rd century B.C. by Antiochus II and
    named after his wife Laodice
  • Famous as a resort of medicinal springs
  • Famous for it Phrygian eye salve
  • Large black wool industry
  • Banking center
  • Very wealthy and proud of it
  • Earthquake in A. D. 60 rebuilt without help
  • Reason for Revelation not written during Nero

60
7 CHURCHES OF ASIALaodicea (314-22)
  • Religious background
  • Zeus was the patron deity
  • Other temples included
  • Apollo
  • Asclepius
  • Hades
  • Hera
  • Athena
  • Serapis
  • New Testament background
  • Mention by Paul in Colossian letter
  • Colossians told to read letter to Laodiceans

61
7 CHURCHES OF ASIALaodicea (314-22)
  • Description of speaker
  • The amen - meaning absolutely true
  • Faithful and true witness
  • The beginning (source or origin) of the creation
    of God.
  • Problems at Laodicea
  • No words of praise
  • Christ knows their deeds
  • Neither hot nor cold
  • Say they are rich and need nothing but really
    they are wretched and poor

62
7 CHURCHES OF ASIALaodicea (314-22)
  • Encouragement
  • Look to Christ for true riches
  • Fine white robes (compared to black wool)
  • Spiritual eye salve
  • Gods love means he corrects disciplines
  • Phileo
  • Called to repent
  • Christ is at the door waiting
  • Calls for them to open the doors of their hearts
  • The one who repents will sit down with Jesus at
    his throne (see also 2 Timothy 211-12)
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