Olli Dürr

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Letters to 7 Churches – Prophetic Announcements



The last book of the Bible, Revelation, begins with the account of the missives to 7 churches. In addition to notes and warnings, these also contain praise and criticism. However, anyone who “reads over” the supposedly irrelevant letters will perhaps only recognize topics and matters in them, the concerns of which belong to a bygone era. But the entire book of Revelation is a whole series of prophecies and these begin with the first letter to the church in Ephesus.

Order of the missives – No coincidence

Letters to communities described the future at that time

There are different variants or spellings for the cities of the churches mentioned in Revelation.
All in Revelation Chapter 2 and Chapter 3 are located in what is now western Turkey, on the Aegean Sea. The first letter went to the church in Ephesus (now ruins at Selcuk), followed by Smyrna (now Izmir), Pergamos (now Bergama), Thyatira (now Akhisar), Sardis (now ruins at Salihli), Philadelphia (now Alasehir), and final Laodicea (now ruins near Denizli).

The contents of the missives addressed the local communities at the time. They contain praise and also criticism of community life and the faith practiced. From today’s perspective, the circumstances described at that time can definitely be seen to have a prophetic aspect. The descriptions of the behavior and circumstances of the communities, as well as the order of the communities addressed, can today be linked to the written history. Each community corresponds to a historical period from the first community to the present.

The order of the written 7 churches:

1. Epistle to Ephesus (Rev. 2:1-7)
2. Epistle to Smyrna (Rev. 2:8-11)
3. Epistle to Pergamos (Rev. 2, 12-17)
4. Epistle to Thyatira (Rev. 2:18-29)
5. Epistle to Sardis (Rev. 3, 1-6)
6. Epistle to Philadelphia (Rev. 3:7-13)
7. Epistle to Laodicea (Rev. 3:14-22)

The chronological classification of the 7 communities:

The following time information is not a change in time after the “gong hit”, but merely describes “cornerstones” within flowing transitions or temporal areas within the past history.

  • Ephesus first century AD
  • Smyrna 100-313 AD
  • Pergamus 313-538 AD
  • Thyatira 538-1517 AD
  • Sardis 1517-1798 AD
  • Philadelphia 1798-1844 AD
  • Laodicea 1844 AD. – Present

The prophetic view of the 7 churches

The order of the 7 communities written corresponds to the historical events in the same sequence. Praise, blame and circumstances for the community describe the history that actually happened from today’s perspective.

Church of Ephesus

Ephesus was considered the seat of their goddess “Diana” in Roman times and she was considered the goddess of hunting and childbirth, among other things. At the (Catholic) Council of Ephesus in 451 AD. This city received the title “Mother of God”, based on Mary. The beginning of “primal Christianity” was recorded with Ephesus. They had already struggled with heresies and false prophets. “I know your works, and you have persevered, and you have labored for my name’s sake, and have not grown weary.” However, the apostasy or weakening of the faith spread very quickly within this community right from the start. “But what I have against you is that you left your first love.”.

Church of Smyrna

The city Smyrna meant something like “sweet fragrance”, based on the typical scent of myrrh. For the first Christians, the reign of Emperor Diocletian meant another long-term persecution. This is considered the last but also the most brutal persecution of Christians under a Roman emperor. This began in February 303 AD. and subsided in 311. Christianity could not be destroyed. In 313, Christianity was officially recognized. This was announced in the epistle: “Do not fear what you will suffer! Behold, the devil will throw some of you into prison to try you, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, I will give you the crown of life!”

Church of Pergamum

Pergamon was the capital of the Roman province of Asia in ancient times and was previously considered by the Greeks to be the seat of Zeus. In Babylonian times, the title of the highest Babylonian priest arose there: “Pontifex Maximus”, the “supreme bridge builder” to bridge heaven and earth. Its external features included a key and a miter. The last king of Pergamon, Attalus III, bequeathed the title of “supreme bridge builder” to the then Roman tribune in 133 BC. The Romans ultimately called this title “Pontifex Maximus.”

After Emperor Gratian denied this title in 378 AD, it passed to the Bishop of Rome. The Epistle to Pergamum puts it clearly:“I know your works and where you have been, where the throne of Satan is, and that you hold fast to my name and have denied faith in me, breath in the days in which Antipas was my faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan lives.”In Berlin, by the way, there is the well-known Pergamon Museum, built between 1897 and 1899 and opened by Kaiser William II.

In 382, ​​the then Pope Damasus commissioned the revision of the Gospels translated into Latin. The result is well known as the “Vulgate” and was declared binding by the Catholic Church at the Council of Trent in 1546.

Church of Thyatira

With “the sweet fragrance of works”, “Satan’s teachings” and “victim of repentance”, it was the temple city dedicated to the Roman god Apollo (sun god). This city was known, among other things, for the production of purple fabrics. In 538 AD. Emperor Justinian declared the Bishop of Rome the “corrector of heretics.” In this way, the Catholic Church decided who had to believe what. Deviations were punished accordingly. To this day, the focus of Catholic dogma is the Eucharist. “But I have a few things against you, because you allow the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce my servants to commit sexual immorality and to eat things sacrificed to idols.”

Church of Sardis

The residents of Sardi once described their city as impregnable. Nevertheless, it was taken by Cyrus and then by Antiochius without much resistance. Sardis means “renewal” and in the chronological sequence clearly represents the beginning of the Reformation. However, this was never consistent and ceased to exist in 2017 at the latest anyway. This is also described in Revelation 3:1: “I know your works; for your name is that you are alive, and you are dead.” The Reformation was a “good approach”, but still not perfect . “Wake up and strengthen the rest that is about to die; for I have not found your works perfect in the sight of God.”

Church of Philadelphia

Major upheavals began with the sixth congregation in Philadelphia (“Brotherly Love”). Although the French Revolution had the aim of completely eradicating Christianity (including Bible burnings), the Pope was removed from St. Peter’s Basilica and state power was withdrawn, the Gospel soon began to spread like never before. The USA, which was originally founded in Protestantism, played a key role in the spread of the Bible. The door was open. “Behold, I have set before you a door that is open, and no one can shut it; for you have a little power, and you have kept my word and have not denied my name.”

Church of Laodicea

The last church Laodicea marks the time up to the present. The city was built by Antiochius and given the name of his wife Laodice. The place was considered a health resort with a long-distance water connection and a hot spring as its origin. The healing eye ointment produced in Laozidea was particularly well known. A rich city founded in 60 AD. was destroyed by an earthquake and rebuilt using the residents’ funds. The letter to this community contains no positive words, only criticism. Above all, what is complained about is the “flimsy” nature of the (true) faith. “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. Oh, that you were cold or hot! But because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth. For you speak “I am rich and have plenty, and I lack nothing! – and you do not realize that you are wretched and miserable, poor, blind and exposed.”

Today’s last church of God is actually as “polated” in parts as the early church of Laodicea was once blamed for. In the supposed self-confidence, the octopuses of modern Babylon creep in, in the form of erroneous, contemporary teachings. The affected people should therefore use “eye ointment” so that they can recognize their mistake and stop it.

The process will end with Laodicea

The developments in society speak for themselves. There has been a veritable explosion of “alternative religions” in the form of occultism, New Age, and new gospel interpretations since the mid-19th century. Today the Evangelical churches are only Protestant on the label, but follow the “guidelines” of the Catholic catechism, the Catholic social teaching and the “infallibility” of the “Pontifex Maximus”. Protestantism was officially buried on October 31, 2017.

The series of epistles ends with the church in Laodicea. The future of that time has long since become the present. It is high time for the essentials!

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