Saturday, September 10, 2011

Overview of the letters to the Seven Churches

The letters to the congregations are contained in chapters 2 and 3 of Revelation.  Within this short section of scripture, we find many nuggets of truth!  These are the last quoted words of Yeshua in scripture.  The letters were sent to the visible congregations - all seven of them were physical congregations in Asia Minor that existed at the time (proven by archaeology).  Within each congregation is the spiritual church - the congregations include both believers and unbelievers, just like today.  These letters had application then, and they have application today.  They are written both to congregations and to individuals.

The seven letters actually line up with church history, following the book of Acts and continuing on through today.  I also find it fascinating that the very name of each congregation actually relates to what is going on with them.

Let's take a look at what each letter contains:
  • Destination (which congregation) and who it is from (the Messiah)
  • The good reports
  • The bad reports
  • The exhortation - telling them what to do
  • The warnings to those with ears to hear (addressing individuals instead of congregations)
  • A promise (again addressing individuals)
Revelation 1:19 tells us that the churches are the seven lampstands - they are bearers of the light.    In 2:1, we see that Yeshua (who IS the light) walks among the congregations. The oil in the lampstands represents the presence of the Holy Spirit. What an encouragement, to know that He walks among us!

My next post will be up close and personal with the congregation at Ephesus.

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