The Letters to the 7 Churches, Part 2
Hey, what’s up everybody? Welcome to another episode of Todd’s take and I just wanted to talk a little bit more about, uh, the seven letters to the seven churches in the book of revelation. Again, this is one of the areas people tend to overlook our speed pass to get to the action scenes or the tribulation in a fee, uh, in revelation six through 20. But I really want to talk about the seven churches because as I mentioned before, there’s, uh, there was a direct literal application to those seven churches at the time. But there’s also other applications including kind of a personal evaluation or a corporate evaluation if you’re going to use those kind of the commendations and the recommendations that Jesus gave to those churches, you can use those to evaluate. But also what I want to talk about today is the prophetic application of it and what theologians and students of Bible prophecy and eschatology have found is that the seven letter letters now that we can look back over church history line up perfectly with seven distinct periods of church history.
Uh, and again, this is something you’re probably not going to fully embrace unless you study it for yourself. That’s exactly what, what my take was. I heard it. I was like, yeah, it sounds kind of compelling, but, uh, sounds a little hokey to me until I went in and studied church history and the s and the seven churches, the details of the letters to the seven churches, and believe me, it lines up perfectly. Um, and in my book a, the nonprofits guide to the book of revelation. There’s a, there’s a nice chart there that unpacks all of that. And um, so it goes through all seven of them. And I’ll just mention briefly just a couple of things about them. Uh, the Church of Ephesus, which is the first one, that name means the desirable one, and that corresponds with the Apostolic Church period. When you study the specifics about what Jesus said to them, that that definitely lines up with the epistolic period and which ended when the apostles died.
And then the second one is Smyrna, which means murder or death or suffering. And that lines up perfectly when you look at the details with the early persecuted church, when Rome after the apostle started the church, Rome heavily persecuted the church and uh, and lines up perfectly with that. So that’s about, that’s from the period of about 95 to about 312. Uh, and, uh, and what’s interesting is of the seven churches, those are the only two that don’t mention anything about the Lord’s return. Like in other words, if we’re looking at those as church periods, those are the only two churches that would end like no, no aspect of those churches would continue all the way till the Lord returns. And that’s exactly what we say because the apostles died. And during that period and then that heavy period of early church history, martyrdom was over.
Um, not that, not that Christians haven’t been martyred since then. And actually right now as we get towards the end times, Christians are more heavily persecuted and martyred now than they ever had been before. So that’s, and that’s a fulfillment of Bible prophecy itself. But in terms of looking at historical church history that kind of characterize that, that a second period, then the third period is Pergamum, which means marriage. And that’s when a Constantine embraced, you know, made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire. Like he embraced it, uh, whether he was a Christian or whether it was just, um, you know, good for him politically because so many people were becoming Christians, uh, people debate. But it seems that he probably wasn’t a believer because he also allowed all kinds of occultic things to be, to get introduced. And, um, but anyway, it was a marriage of the state and the church and it was a kind of integrated pagan practices.
And that was from the period of about three 12 to about five 90 a d then the, uh, fourth church period is thigh. It’s higher up and it means perpetual sacrifice. And, and it corresponds to the period of time between five 90 and 15, 17 when the Protestant reformation ended it. And during that period, that’s the dark ages. That’s when, um, all kinds of crazy stuff happened. That’s when the, the papacy kind of emerged. And also when you look at church history during that time period, it did integrate many, many occult practices into, um, the Christian Church at the time. Uh, believers weren’t allowed to study the word for themselves. You know, it got to the point where only priests could interpret scripture and that bibles were literally chained to pulpits and people couldn’t have any dissenting views or anything like that. And like I said, a lot of a cult, uh, influences and practices were also merged into the church during the dark ages.
Uh, then the next one is, uh, the Church of Sardis. And that means remnant. Uh, and this is kind of the period, you know, post reformation during the denominational, you know, when the different denominations started popping up, you know, Lutherans and all that kind of stuff. Um, and that really corresponds with that. When you look at the details, it clearly correspond to that time period when there’s kind of a fresh, uh, newness with the word of God, but still they’re kind of like, they’re still making mistakes and still trying to figure things out. Then, uh, the last two, in my opinion, are the most compelling. Again, when you study church history, all those line up, the details and everything. Then the second to last one is the church at Philadelphia, which means brotherly love. If you’ve seen rocky, you, you’re probably familiar with that. But, uh, and that is the Evangelical Missionary Church.
You know, that’s the period of time between 1750 to around 1925 ish is when missions exploded. Before that time, you know, there weren’t, you know, in the early church history with Paul and when his missionary journeys there was missions, but then there was a long period of time when people didn’t intentionally go to other lands to bring the Gospel. But during the period of the Philadelphia Church, that’s what happened. William Carey and a bunch of other, uh, missionaries that followed his lead started, you know, just God gave them a compelling urge to go reach unreached people with the gospel of Christ. Uh, so that, that kind of was kind of the golden era era of Christianity, so to speak. In recent times, in recent times, um, you know, Christianity exploded when everywhere missionary, the whole missionary movement got started pulling on yards. Then last but not least, and this I believe is the current church period that we’re in.
It’s the Laodicea church, the church at Laodicea. And it means people rule or laity rule. And when you read verses about the end times, there’s a falling away where people kind of pressure, uh, preachers and stuff into only giving them what they want to hear. You know, the, the people demand their rights. You know, that’s another term that’s infused in that the lady role, it’s, it’s the, the Church of the rights. Like people want their ears tickled, they want to hear the good stuff, they don’t want to hear the tough stuff. And it’s also a time of great falling away. And that lines up with scripture. Um, but like I said, all but the first two, there are remnants of those churches coming through. So in other words, today, there still are Philadelphia in churches. You know, the church attitude, loves the Gospel, loves preaching, loves going on missions, love sharing the gospel with people and seeing lives changed and meeting real needs and that kind of thing.
In my opinion, that’s still, that’s a church of brother brotherly love that still has that missional mindset. But when you look at the grand scope of things, especially in the West where the church has, you know, historically been solid, you know, starting with Europe and now even in America, every study shows a great decline in, in, in Christianity, especially Evangelical, missional type of Christianity. So that lines up with the time period that we’re in and that, that started around 1925 and that’s when you’re like postmodern thought really came in and skeptics started trying to criticize the Bible and trying to push for the Bible to read and be removed from schools and out of culture and all that kind of stuff, which obviously look at where our culture is now. That’s a direct result of us pushing God out of different areas of culture. Um, but anyway, I just wanted to share that with you because it is very compelling and I, and, and if, and don’t take my word for it, I really want you to study it.
I would like you to dig in and do some research. See if you don’t find the same thing. I’m also a couple of pages back in that book. I have a whole chart, you know, that goes in even more detail, breaking down the different descriptions, commendations, the reproves, the instruction and the rewards that Jesus Mentions to those churches, you know, if they would do what he’s calling them to do. Um, so those two charts and that whole chapter actually really unpacks that concept, uh, in much more detail than what I just did. So that’s a possible resource. You might want to grab a if you want to dig in deeper to that. Uh, but anyway, I just wanted to share that with you just wanted to highlight those seven churches. It’s the section that’s the most overlooked section of revelation. But for us, where we are today, it has some of the most compelling facts and things that we can learn from. So this has been Todd’s take, I hope you enjoyed it.