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.
Inhalt / Content
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 epistle begins to the church at 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).
From the announcement point of view, it is actually about current events and also announcements of events in the future. From today’s perspective, it may be possible to verify what has been described. What is “phenomenal” is that the order of the communities addressed forms a timeline of the announcements that have already taken place and how they actually came about.
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 following time information is not a time change according to “predetermined beat”, but only describes “cornerstones” within flowing transitions or temporal areas.
The order of the 7 parishes written corresponds to the historical events in the same order. Praise, blame, and circumstance for the church describe the history that actually happened.
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. Ephesus marked the beginning of “first Christianity”. They already had to struggle with false teachings and false prophets. “I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars.
The city of Smyrna meant something like “Sweet Scent”, based on the typical scent of myrrh. For early 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 ebbed away in 311. Christianity could not be destroyed. In 313, Christianity was officially recognized. This was announced in the missive: “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.”
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 the times of the Babylonians, the title of the highest Babylonian priest originated there: In Latin “Pontifex Maximus”, the “supreme bridge builder” for bridging heaven and earth. Its external features included a key and miter. The last king of Pergamum, Attalus III, inherited in 133 BC. the title “supreme bridge builder” to the then Roman tribune. The Romans ultimately called this title “Pontifex Maximus”.
After Emperor Gratian acquired this title in 378 AD. refused, this passed to the Bishop of Rome. The epistle to Pergamon puts it clearly: “I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.” Incidentally, in Berlin, Germany, there is the well-known Pergamon Museum, built between 1897 and 1899 and opened by Emporer Wilhelm 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.
With Thyatira, “the sweet fragrance of works”, “Satan’s teachings” and “sacrifice 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 the year 538 AD. Emperor Justinian declared the bishop of Rome to be the “corrector of heretics”. In this way, the Catholic Church determined who believed what. Deviations were penalized accordingly. The focus of Catholic dogmas is still the Eucharist. “Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.”
The residents of Sardis once described their city as impregnable. Nevertheless, it was taken by Cyrus and then by Antiochius without much resistance. Sardis means “renewal” and in chronological order clearly stands for the beginning of the Reformation. However, this was never consistent and ceased to exist in 2017 at the latest. Also described in Revelation 3:1: “I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.” The Reformation was a “good start” but not perfect. “Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.”
With the sixth epistle written to Philadelphia (“Brotherly Love”), great upheavals began. Although the French Revolution even aimed at the complete eradication of Christianity (including burning the Bible), the Pope was removed from St. Peter’s Basilica and state power was withdrawn, the Gospel soon began to spread like never before. The United States, which was originally founded in Protestantism, played a key role in the spread of the Bible. The door was open.“I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.”
The last church Laodicea marks the time up to the present. The city was established by Antiochius and named after his wife Laodice. The place was considered a health resort with long-distance water connection and a hot spring as the origin. The healing eye ointment made in Laozidea was particularly well known. A wealthy city founded in 60 AD. destroyed by an earthquake and rebuilt with funds from residents. The letter to this church does not contain any positive words, only rebuke. Above all, what is lamented is the “thread” in (true) faith. “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:”
Today’s last church of God is actually as “polated” in parts as the early church of Laodicea was once blamed for. In addition, the octopuses of modern Babylon creep into the supposed self-confidence in the form of erroneous, contemporary teachings. The affected people should therefore use “eye ointment” so that they can recognize their error and desist from it.
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!