7 Revelation Churches = 7 Time Periods?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by imported_J.R. Graves, Aug 14, 2004.

  1. imported_J.R. Graves

    imported_J.R. Graves
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    Do you believe the seven churches of Revelation refer to seven different time periods in christian history? Why or why not?
     
  2. GODzThunder

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    yes I do because of the exactness of prophecy that fits each major event or era of the Church age Starting with the ages of the apostles up to the rapture of the Church. I also believe there is a parallel application of these scriptures in that the last three churches represent the types of Churches in existence today. The sucessful but spiritually cold sardis church, the may be large or small but on fire for God philidelphia Church and the average typical wishy washy say they are on fire for God but their works are dead church of Laodicea.
     
  3. natters

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    J.R. Graves said "Do you believe the seven churches of Revelation refer to seven different time periods in christian history? Why or why not?"

    I do not. Such an interpretaion turns scripture into allegory. The Church at any point in history could find application from any of the letters to the seven churchs in Rev 1-3.
     
  4. Dr. Bob

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    There is only one correct interpretation of any Bible passage, but may be many applications.

    Think EVERYONE would agree that the correct view here is that these are 7 letters to 7 actual churches that John knew and wrote to (under inspiration of the Spirit).

    That is the literal, historical, grammatical view.

    Now application (say of a message to a church then to us today) goes without saying.

    The application to "seven church ages" is fanciful and allegorical, sucked out of somebody's thumb and popularized in the Scofield Reference Bible. I was taught such, but find it so inexact and arbitrary that it is not for me.
     
  5. StefanM

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    Seven churches, one time period (A.D. 1st century) ;) .
     
  6. DHK

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    What if history would continue for another 2,000 years? Who knows what events would transpire? Someone would have to reconfigure all the time periods that the churches represent.
    DHK
     
  7. Charles Meadows

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    The seven churches = seven church ages scheme is not preferred. This approach has fallen out of favor, with good reason!
     
  8. Craigbythesea

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    No. Seven specific churches are spoken of and described.
     
  9. Repent_and_Believe

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    I agree with "natters".
     
  10. askM

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    I do think that it was written for the churches in that particular age. However, application can definitely be made. I believe we fit into the category of the Laodicean church.
     
  11. danrusdad

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    All 7 churches existed at the same time; therefore, the letters are applicable to all of the church.
     
  12. natters

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    Great, now there's so much agreement on this thread that most dispensationalists who believe this will not want to respond. ;)
     
  13. Optamill

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    An odd thing about this view is that it originated in Historicist interpretation and was adopted by some dispensationalists (including Scofield). Dispensationalism depends on Futurism (the belief that most of Revelation concerns the end of this age) and a key doctrine of Dispensationalism is that the Rapture could happen at any moment. The imminent Rapture doctrine cannot be true if seven church ages must pass beforehand. Only the final (Laodicean) church would then live with an imminent Rapture at hand.
     
  14. Dr. Bob

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    Absolutely, opta. As a historic dispensationalist, I find the allegorical interpretation (of 7 ages) to be oddly incongruous with true dispensationalism.

    Hey, opta - where in the Rockies is home? I'm proud of where I live!! [​IMG]
     
  15. Optamill

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    Dr. Bob,

    I live in Colorado. I like it, but don't feel much pride since I had nothing to do with making it as beautiful as it is.
     
  16. dean198

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    Well, just to break the agreement party up here, I do believe that the seven churches represent seven periods of church history!!!! And I am historicist, not dispensationalist.

    Dean
     
  17. PastorGreg

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    Just a case of reading into Scripture after the fact. There is no Biblical basis for the churches equaling church ages. Great point, too about the second coming.
     
  18. Stratiotes

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    I think Dr. Bob is right when he says the application could view the 7 that way. I can also see a lot of the reasons I would agree with the historicist view that it is an overview of all of the church age. I think everything in scripture is significant and the fact that there are 7 churches is indeed significant (as in the historicist argument that the number of completeness implies all of history) - I'm just not sure I can say I know for certain what that significance is ;) .

    I have leaned toward the historicist position off and on. It certainly is interesting and well worth the study to dig out some great applications from Revelation that we might have missed otherwise but I think I'm back in the camp of not being certain. I think I would lean toward it being one possible view. I think my only real heartburn of the view is what it implies about the church in the reformation age - with which I would disagree.

    I think all the views have something to offer in application and they're all worth study and comparison. I tend to think God intended it to be that way to make us think. So, in that respect, there is no *right* way.

    A great commentary:
    _Revelation: Four Views, A Parallel Commentary_ editted by Steve Gregg
     
  19. GODzThunder

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    I think these Churches are great comparisons to measure your Church up aginst to see where you need improvment.

    Does your Church lean towards Sardis, very active in ministry but cold at heart...

    or is it like Laodicea, not on fire but not as cold hearted as Sardis, people just come, worship & leave...

    Or is it like Philadelphia, every proclaiming the gospel and loving one another like family!
     
  20. dean198

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    I am not full blown historicist yet either....I think that there are some amazing 'fits' - and other stuff which doesn't seem to fit as well. With regards to the Reformation....that is usually identified with Sardis - which had a name to live by, but was dead. Many of the Protestants were Protestant in politics only....the earl of dudley, elizabeth I, the German princes, Henry VIII. There were those in Sardis that had not defiled themselves with the world...ie the anabaptists. The Protestant were not found perfect....and Luther admitted that his people lived worse lives of sin after the Reformation than before.

    Dean
     

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