The Footsteps of Paul Blog

A Walk Through the 7 Churches (#2)

Posted By: Chris Posted In: Blog, The Seven Churches Date Posted: May 8th, 2012 Comments: 1

Photo (Chris D.) Communion at Ephesus

Issue #15 – The Mystery Takes us Beyond the Literal

It is important to grasp the fact that to each of the seven churches John was NOT instructed to address them, “To the Secretary or the Pastor of the church in …. ”, as one would expect, but rather, “To the angel of the church in ….”

What or who were these angels? Were they guardian angels? Does every congregation have a guardian angel? Maybe. It certainly adds “mystery” to our study that will take us beyond a simply literal application and interpretation.

Prior to his instructions to start writing, John, who was in exile on the Island of Patmos at the time, had a powerful vision of Jesus, while “…in the Spirit” on the Lord’s day (Rev. 1:10). In that vision he saw Jesus “among” seven golden lampstands and in his right hand he held 7 stars. The explanation is that,

“The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.” (Rev. 1:20)

I would venture to say that these letters were not only inspired messages from Bishop John to his congregations in South West Asia Minor. That accounts only for a literal interpretation. More importantly, these words of commendation and warning from God are of serious significance to His church throughout the church age, until the return of Christ. This is confirmed by the providential inclusion of these messages in the Canon of scripture, which ensures that they will always be read and studied by those who acknowledge that the Bible has been, is now and always will be the authoritative “Manufacturers Handbook” for humankind.

Early Christian engraving – Ephesus Museum

(Chris D. photo)

Some Bible commentators are also of the opinion, as am I to a certain degree, that each of the churches was not only one of Bishop John’s congregations, but that each one represents a certain church age. E.g. Ephesus represents the early (primitive) church, Smyrna represents the church under Roman persecution, Pergamum represents the hierarchical church, Thyatira the Marion church, Sardis the nominal church, Philadelphia the healthy church and Laodicea the worldly church.

As we study each of the messages to each of the angels of each of the seven churches, we discover a number of interpretations. Like an onion, each “layer” or “skin” has another underneath it, waiting to be discovered. Together we will discover a vital set of keys that open to us the divine knowledge that, if applied, enables the Body of Christ to remain healthy, strong and growing.

Each of these letters will help us identify the key factors that oppose the kingdom of God and are destructive to the health of the church. At the same time we discover in the exhortations of the One who walks among the 7 golden lampstands, the effective weapons for gaining victory and continuing to grow and multiply across the face of the earth, reaching into every “tribe, people, language and nation” (Rev. 13: 7, 5:9, 7:9) with the power of the risen Christ to deliver, forgive and heal.

Wall mural – Via Dolorosa, Jerusalem – Take up your cross and follow Him

(Chris D. photo)

I recently saw this great slogan on a friends blog:


« « A Walk Through the 7 Churches of Revelation (#1)

A Walk Through the 7 Churches – Ephesus » »

let the discussion begin!

  • John - 16 May, 2012 at 4:52 am - Reply

    Dear Chris,
    Interesting enough, I asked the Lord about this issue some weeks ago. I asked does each ministry have an angel that overseas the ministry. The answer was yes. The testimony of a seer was that when he atended a major conference where many ministries participated in, he would see the angel in charge of overseeeing each ministry. When one minister would finish and leave the platform he would see the minister’s angel leave and a different angle come in and stand in the midst of the congregation in the balcony overlooking everything. Each minister had a different looking angel.

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