The Messages to the 7 Ecclesias

                      THEN and NOW


        The messages to the   7 ecclesias in Asia are

                contained in Revelation 2 and 3...

        they were  primarily directed to those ecc-

        lesias in  approximately  the year AD96 by

        the Lord Jesus Christ via     the apostle John

                           -see Revelation 1v1-

        link to'Fellowship and the Seven Ecclesias'                    


        However the principles evoked in these 7

        messages contain lessons for all time, and

        each message points, in order, to a future

        period,  or  periods, which  reveal   similar

        circumstances,  doctrinally  and  morally.

        Three  distinct  future applications of the

        messages have been identified.      The most

        important for us today is  the application

             to "the last days" of Gentile times...

            these applications are set out below.







                BOTH ARE SIMILAR, ENDORSING THE PARALLEL.           


        One  aspect   we  would  like  to  emphasize.

        The pattern of the 7 messages     is not new in

        the Apocalypse (Revelation).       This same pa-

        ttern is  revealed  from   the beginning at the

        time of Creation. It is indeed a vast subject,

             encompassing the whole of scripture...

               for more details link to 'structure'.       

        There is     a connection  between  the  Book of

        Proverbs and the 7 messages. We are cover-

        ing this subject,  as God wills,   & when time

        is hereunder -     

    'Proverbs and Parables in the New Testament'.


                                APPLICATION 1: AD96-324 

                    & to the return  of  Christ 


    NOTE– dates given are as accurate as possible -

    and the author acknowledges that this application

    was first set out with almost the same epochs by

    John Thomas in 'Eureka an Exposition of the

    Apocalypse' Vol.1 pages 419-454 ('Logos' edition).


     1 Ephesus: AD96-185 ch.2v1-7

      Paul wrote to this ecclesia in Ephesians 2v4-6 that God had

      through Christ  "raised  us  up together,   and made us sit to-

      gether in heavenly places in Christ Jesus".       Now Christ in-

      forms them that they had "left  their  first  love.  Remember

      therefore from whence thou art    fallen,  and  repent,    and do

      the first works".  The period   shows  that although  they   had

      "tried them  which  say  they are     apostles, and are not,   and

      hast found them liars",   thus    obeying the inspired advice of

      John  himself  in  his  1st  epistle   ch.4v1-6,         the original   "love

      of (their) espousals"- Jeremiah 2v2 was becoming lost.


      2 Smyrna: AD185-217 ch.2v8-11

      This period marked a further decline.    We see that a formal

      division   creating  two parties had  occurred-        the faithful

      were contending against " the synagogue of   (Greek= "the")

      satan".   These were  false  professors of  the Truth- link to

      'satan'. There was persecution from the   pagan        authorities-

      "the devil shall cast some of you  into prison, that ye may be

      tried".  'Devil' simply means 'false accuser'- link to 'devil'.

      This enemy had caused tribulation previously-    cp 1st Peter

      5v8, but would later "be taken out of the way"-     2nd Thess-

      alonians 2v7-   which duly happened in AD312-324,    cp Rev-

      elation 12v9-11-link to 'departure'.


      3 Pergamos: AD217-248 ch.2v12-17

      The Truth in Christ  had now been  fatally      compromised       by

      a mixture with  pagan  philosophy.     It became  common for

      so-called  'Christians'  to  mix  with  the  world on   its  terms

      ("the doctrine of Balaam")  and to adopt  the  philosophical

      teachings  of  the  corrupters  of  that  age       ("the doctrine of

      the  Nicolaitanes"- sig.'the conquerors  of    the people'). And

      so those   who  adopted these heresies became    absorbed into

      the society in which they lived,   instead of being  a separate

      people, dedicated to God through His Son Jesus Christ.One

      of the perverters wrote thus-        "the notions which I derive

      out of the writings   of  the  Gentiles serve first  to   water and

      soften the  earthy  parts  of  the soul,   that the spiritual seed

      may be the better cast in,    and take vital root in the heart of

      men".    With  "friends"  like  this,   the Truth needed no ene-

      mies, and the slide into disaster became irreversible.


      4 Thyatira: AD248-273 ch.2v18-29

      This period of time  sealed  the  fate  of nominal "Christian-

      ity".   It seems to have been  noteworthy mainly for the pur-

      suits of  pleasure and  present possessions.     The stark con-

      trast between the call of  the Truth and  worldly  evils seems

      to have been largely lost-       and there remained only a few

      who  stedfastly  set  their gaze upon the new world    to come.

      Jesus Christ warned that "Jezebel" (representing apostacy)

      had been tolerated, bringing in with her, as in ancient times,

      all manner of pagan influences and consequent idolatry.   He

      prophesied that  "great  tribulation" would  fall  upon those

      who continued in an such evil way of life.   Such false teach-

      ings  as  "immortal  souls"  were   becoming common-place

      within nominal "Christianity".     The Lord also warned that

      "great tribulation" would be visited upon the apostates.

      The number '4' represents Divine authority & organization-

      rebels suffer judgment- link to 'the Lord's day'-4th Vision.


      5 Sardis: AD273-303 ch3v1-6

      We learn  from  contemporary  writings     that    various  false

      doctrines soon  became  embedded in  what    was     no    longer an

      ecclesia but was in effect a "church". This was clearly iden-

      tified in the affirmation by 66 "leaders" re "immortal souls"

      and its consequent associated error "infant sprinkling".

      (Was the number significant?   Here is a false representation

      of  the  66  books  in  the  Bible-re '6' link to 'structure').

      Later a supreme apostate qualified as '666' cp ch.13v18.   

      Other pagan teachings such as   a pre-existent Christ and   "a

      force of evil" were  likewise   undermining   and replacing the

      purity of the Faith. Jesus Christ condemned them thus-

      "thou hast a name that thou livest, and (but )(thou) art dead"

      -for although  outwardly there was  growth of numbers, this

      only equated  inwardly to spiritual death.      The birth of the

      "man child" was about to occur,    when "the church" would

      finally abrogate any claim  to being    separate from the world

      by integrating into the armies of Constantine in   a      'grab for

      power'.    After  one  prophetic  "hour"    (=thirty years,  link

      to Bible - p.2 and 'the Lord's day'-6th Vision)  this judgment

      would come upon them– see message 6 below.


      6 Philadelphia: AD 303-313 ch.3v7-13

      The crisis  foretold above had now arrived,     and the Roman

      emperors unleashed  a  fierce  persecution     against     all those

      called "Christians"-         this occurred during ten-day years of     

      "birth-pangs"  resulting    in    the  birth  of    the    "man child"

      Constantine- link to 'departure' -      especially 'as it happened'

      for further details re this epoch.    Some  living  at  the  time

      realized that  this persecution  was the judgment of God be-

      cause of declension ..Eusebius writes-    "the dreadful perse-

      cution  of  Diocletian was    then  inflicted on  the church   (AD

      303-313) as a just punishment,and as the most proper chas-

      tisement for their iniquities".     Those who remained faithful

      to the Truth  had "an open door"* of   escape, through which

      they fled to  the  extremities  of  the  Empire -      for once the

      Catholic apostacy   gained   power   under Constantine,   they

      took upon themselves the role of persecutors-      thus fulfilling

      the prophecy of 1260 day-   years of ch.11v3;12v6,14..1day in

      prophecy represents 1 year- Numbers 14v33,34;Ezek.4v4-6. 

                                        * also see below


      7 Laodicea: AD313-324 & to Christ's return ch.3v14-22

      The  "church" had by now been revealed     in all  her iniquity,

      having taken up arms in the service of Constantine,  the new

      ruler of the Roman Empire.       This patron of the apostacy

      thus became  the  first  in  a  long line of worldly rulers with

      whom   the  Roman  harlot-woman  has  "committed  (spirit-

      ual) fornication"-  Revelation 17v1,2.                  John Thomas, to

      whom we owe  so         much  under  the  hand  of  God    for  our

      understanding of the Apocalypse,    wrote in 1861 in his expo-

      sition 'Eureka'-   "The characteristics of this   (original Lao-

      dicean  eldership)    are  equally  those  of  Laodiceans   from

      Constantine  to  the  manifestation  of  the  presence  of      the

      Christ -  "miserable,   pitiable,   poor,   blind,  and  naked".

      The  Spirit,   in   the   present   advocacy   of    the  gospel  of

      the kingdom, counsels them to buy of him         "gold tried in

      the fire,   that (they)  may  be rich;    and white raiment,  that

      (they) may be clothed,   and that  the   shame of (their) naked-

      ness do not appear;      and  (to)  anoint  (their)  eyes  with eye-

      salve, that (they) may see".        Thus  He "stand(s) at the door,

      and knock(s)" and ready to come as a thief-Rev.16v15.

      But for the most part they pay no heed.          Yet, if any will

      open,    He will  enter in and sup with him.      Who then will

              hearken to what the Spirit saith to the ecclesias?".    

      * a gracious invitation was also held out to those in this

         Laodicean epoch of compromise, when the door was shut-

         "if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come

         in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me" -

         this promise involves the restoration of fellowship-see p.3.

         link to 'foundation' for further explanation.                            


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