The seven churches

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by ByGracethroughFaith, Aug 19, 2007.

  1. ByGracethroughFaith

    ByGracethroughFaith
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    The seven churches are summarized relatively simply but effectively below. Christ has something good to say about all but the last, and a rebuke of some sort for all. Those who are actually Christ's need to examine which 'church' best fits their mentality (not necessarily their place of attendance) and heed the admonishment. I don't believe that anyone would like to hear Christ rebuke them personally, so it is best for us all to heed our own rebukes and address them now while we still can.

    Ephesus- Represented by the Independent Fundamental churches- Can find error well, but have little or lost their love for Christ.

    Smyrna- Represented by the church in Communist and other like Countries- Persecuted unto death, need to hold fast the faith unto death

    Pergamos-Represented by the Pentecostal/Charismatic churches- Bold, but not discerning and generally relish error

    Thyatira-Represented by Episcopal type churches (United, Anglican, Methodist Etc.)-Good human works, but not for Christ and friendly with Rome (Note: I don't consider Rome to be part of this church, Rome is Jezebel, not Thyatira)

    Sardis- Represented by the Reformed churches-Have the truth, but pride in the having of it keeps it from their hearts and most are yet dead

    Philidelphia- Represented by brethren wherever they may be-Well done, but need to hold fast the faith

    Laodicea- Represented by the New Evangelical (EG Purpose Driven et al) type churches-Nothing good to say about it, the lukewarmness is putrid to Christ.

    Each of them has Christ surrounded, but none of them have a lock on the 100% pure doctrine of Christ. Some of the bride can be found in each one, but there will not be many in any of them.

    Mentally speaking, I have spent at least a little bit of time in each of them, and heed each of the rebukes while examining myself for the fruit of what is commended.



    BGTF
     
  2. DHK

    DHK
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    The Bible ends with a prayer by John:
    "Even so come Lord Jesus" John (as well as the other Apostles) were expecting the coming of the Lord Jesus. To them His coming was imminent. To say that Sardis represents Reformed Theology, for example, when that wouldn't exist for 16 centuries later totally defeats this theology. They were seven historical churches that existed at that time. They were not prophetically representative of any period of time or of any particular demonination.
    Besides that, what if Christ should delay his coming another 2,000 years? They yoiur theory would have to be revamped all over again depending upon what the popular movements develop within the next two thousand years.
     
  3. Ulsterman

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    Agreed. There is a rich vein of truth that be be drawn out of the letters to the seven churches which may be applied to any any local church.
     
  4. Chemnitz

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    The common problem with interpretting prophecy, everybody wants to read to much into them. The letters to the seven churches are prophetic in that they do charge the church with sin and make a call to repentance. The letters are not prophetic in the sense of future predictions.
     
  5. ByGracethroughFaith

    ByGracethroughFaith
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    There is at least a 3-fold meaning to the 7 churches:
    1) Rev 2-3 were addressed to 7 specific churches in Asia.
    2) They represent 7 specific periods of church history that will take place before the Lord's return.
    3) They represent 7 generalized church types that have existed in each period of time, though the majority visible church in each time is characterized by the particular period. (IE Smyrna still exists today in places like North Korea, but we are in the latter part of the Laodicean period).

    I didn't invent the idea, there are others long before me who know this as well.

    Read the introduction to this book, the whole book gives all of the details (it is long though)
    http://www.stempublishing.com/history/

    A shorter summary
    http://www.themoorings.org/prophecy/evidence/apostasy/apos7.html

    He won't wait 2000 years, the 7th thousand of years is to be the millennial reign of Christ on earth. Since we are approx 6013 years (+/-25 years) since creation, the only question is when exactly is the reign of Christ going to start? That will be after the Great Tribulation, which will be after the rapture of the saints.

    FYI: This site shows where the calculation is derived from God's word.
    http://www.independencebaptist.org/6,000 Year Old Earth/6,000_year_old_earth.htm


    BGTF
     
  6. DHK

    DHK
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    I skimmed through your material. Do you follow the teachings of one man? That is a dangerous position to take. He says that the world is 6,000 years old, and quite dogmatically so. It is a remote possibility, but it is more likely to be as old as 10,000 years. There are factors that he has not taken into consideration like missing genealogies.
    He relies on allegory. I have just discussed this on another thread concerning another doctrine. the allegorical method of interpretation of the Bible was introduced into Biblical history by a heretic known as Origen, and popularized by a Catholic (saint) known as Augustine, another one who held to many heresies. In fact both were heretics. His method of hermeneutics, then stands of very shaky grounds, doesn't it?
    Anyone, and I mean anyone, who says that they can calculate the coming of Christ is a way off in left field and ought to be shunned. Even Christ, when he was he was on this earth said that he did not know the coming of the son of man. What makes this man think that he could know more than the son of man? How arrogant! Jesus said no man (and he meant no man) knows the season, the time or the hour of his coming. Your man is wrong--dead wrong. Don't listen to him. He is a false prophet or teacher if he is predicting the time of the coming of Christ.
     
  7. ByGracethroughFaith

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    Whoa, hold your accusations there friend. I am not sure where exactly you read a calculation for the date of the coming of Christ. That site merely had it documented in one place of how/where the Bible tells how old the earth is. It does not even pretend to calculate the date when Christ is coming, but merely how old the earth is.

    From the signs given to us, it is obvious that Christ's coming is near, it will happen just shortly after the last kernel of wheat is found. I'm not sure when that day will be but from everything else in scripture, we can know that it is very near, even knocking at the door.


    BGTF
     
  8. DHK

    DHK
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    That is what the Apostle John thought.
    That is what the Apostle Paul thought.
    I have read a commentary that was sure that Mussuloni was the antichrist.
    I read another commentary that was sure Hitler was the antichrist.
    I read somewhere else that John Paul II was the antichrist.

    All these have come and gone.
    We see signs and interpret in the light of our own society.
    Certainly if you had lived through WWII you would have thought that Christ was coming then.
    If you had been in a nation (other than America) but very involved in the Persian Gulf War, you probably would have thought that Christ was going to come at that time. Many did.

    Just because we see "signs" now and interpret them in our own finite knowledge does not mean that Christ is going to come in our lifetime or even within 100 or 200 years of our lifetime. One cannot be a date-setter. And that goes the same for the book of Revelation.
     
  9. ByGracethroughFaith

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    I am not sure you intended it, but your argument sounds too much like this...

    2 Peter 3:3-4
    3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,

    4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.


    Just look up and make sure you are ready because all indications are that 'the coming of the Lord draweth nigh'.


    BGTF
     
  10. DHK

    DHK
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    Yes, I am ready. I believe his coming could be at any time, and even pray to that extent. But that doesn't mean that Christ couldn't delay his coming a few hundred years yet. What I am saying is if Christ does delay his coming (and you don't know if he will), then your interpretation of Rev.2 and 3 is all faulty.
     
  11. rbell

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    Presumptuous, IMO, to make blanket judgements of churches, taking the Revelations passage further than it takes itself.

    So...all "new evangelical" churches have nothing good going on...all are putrid and lukewarm? How are you qualifying a church as a "purpose driven" church....worship style? Rick Warren books in the library? Structuring their ministries, etc. according to the "five purposes?"

    I am not IFB...but how did you determine that they have "left their first love?"

    In my opinion, this approach generalizes way too much, and takes Scripture further than it goes on its own. I'm also hesitant to place judgement on entire blocks of churches. There are churches within each sub-group "getting it done," and others failing big-time.
     
  12. ByGracethroughFaith

    ByGracethroughFaith
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    Again, what I have stated is not new, it has been around for a long time.
    Read the introduction of this book, which is further developed throughout the whole book, and was written in the mid 1800's.

    http://www.stempublishing.com/history/

    Or the same teaching more simplistically spelled out here.
    http://www.themoorings.org/prophecy/evidence/apostasy/apos7.html


    BGTF
     
  13. rbell

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    Whether or not the teaching is new or old does not change my opinion that it is presumptuous and goes further than Scripture does.

    I did read more of the second link; the author has some pre-judged biases that figure into his interpretation of the text, IMO.
     
  14. ByGracethroughFaith

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    Since there are 6.6 billion people and only seven churches to fit them in, things may seem over-simplified, but there are also many shades an mixtures of each color, and yet really only three of them.

    The generalizations are applied based on the susceptibility of each group to a particular sin through an inherent weakness. Not every IFB can't or doesn't love, but if you ask them to speak honestly about their weakness towards sin, the major majority will espouse the greatest weakness towards truly loving both Christ and others. Likewise with the Pentecostal types at Pergamos, love comes much easier to them, but they tend to fall in to every type of heresy there is. The denomination a person attends does not necessarily coincide with where their mindset is. I know of several who attend a Baptist church and hold a Laodicean mindset, while I know of an elder in a Pentecostal church that holds a Reformed type of perspective. He says he stays there because the Pentecostals tend more towards life in the Spirit and help him to stay alive in Spirit AND in truth.

    The idea is for each of us to take the teaching and examine ourselves by it before Christ does the examination for us.

    1 Cor 11:31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.


    BGTF
     
  15. DHK

    DHK
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    Fundamentalism among Baptists arose in the late 1800s and early 1900s in the fight against modernism as liberalism began to spread in many churches. It was a fight to defend “the fundamentals of the faith.” More recently, in the last 30 or so years IFB churches have defined themselves, not only by the fundamentals of the faith, but also by other issues: the use of the KJV, anti-Charismatic, views on CCM, abortion, alcohol, dress standards, etc. Not all IFB churches have the same set of standards. They all vary. That is the reason they are called “independent.”
    The man mostly responsible for the philosophy behind Communism is Karl Marx. Marx lived 1818-1883.
    The Pentecostal movement began in 1901.
    The Charismatic movement began in the 1970s.
     
  16. ByGracethroughFaith

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    I remember you telling me that you believed these were 7 specific churches that existed at the time of the apostles. They would be the first of all of these.

    I merely supplied the modern names so people might understand, but Churches throughout history believed these things and yet had different names for them. For example, I am sure you have heard of the Montanists in the second century, they were the second 'Pentecostals' if you will, the first were in 'Pergamos'. Likewise, I am sure you have heard of Antinomians (I realise it is a term coined by Luther), they would be the Nicolaitans whom Ephesus despised back in the first century. The antinomians are the forerunner of the New Evangelicals and birthed out of Laodicea. These days Smyrna is persecuted by Communists and Muslims et al, early on they were killed by Nero and friends, etc. etc.


    Perhaps a study of the names of them may convince you

    Ephesus-First, Desirable, chief or only---------Independent
    Smyrna-Myrrh-Embalming for the Dead--------Martyrs
    Pergamos-Marriage to the world---------------Syncretism
    Thyatira-Continual Sacrifice-------------------Works based salvation
    Sardis-Remnant-------------------------------Few actually alive
    Philadelphia-Brotherly Love--------------------Loving Brethren
    Laodicea-Voice of the people------------------Compromise/Majority rule

    All this is not meant to be the point here though :)

    The point is to look for any of these errors in ourselves, so we can get dealing with them now.


    BGTF
     
    #16 ByGracethroughFaith, Aug 21, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 21, 2007
  17. J. Jump

    J. Jump
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    This has been an interesting read. The problem with the above statement is that this is a generation of people that either one don't believe they will be held accountable and so there is no need to "deal" with anything in their lives or two they believe they will be held accountable, but the only thing that will happen is that their slice of paradise pie will be smaller than the rest of the people and since it is paradise the smallest piece of that pie is incomparable to what has been had in the past.

    So in either view there is really no need to throw away the cake when you can plate it and eat it too :). :(
     
  18. ByGracethroughFaith

    ByGracethroughFaith
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    Both of those views as you have expressed them are leaning a little too much towards antinomian viewpoint, and yet we have to be careful not to overcorrect into a legalistic point of view. A genuine Christian knows that Christ bore their sin, and because they love Him they do everything within their means not to heap any more on Him, not because of fear of retribution, but because of genuine love for the Saviour.

    I like Spurgeon's take on the matter paraphrased here:
    'Both a pig and a cat can find themselves in the mud, take them both out, and the cat does what he can to clean it off, whereas the pig wants back in'

    'Both a non-Christian and a Christian can find themselves in sin, take them both out of it, and the Christian tries desperately to stay out, whereas the non-Christian wants back in'


    BGTF
     
  19. J. Jump

    J. Jump
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    You just need to read this board for a views days to see evidence that your statement is not true. It should be true, but it's not. There are all kinds of folks on this board that "claim" they love God and Jesus and "claim" they are being obedient, because of that love towards Him, but the facts are they aren't being obedient at all.

    We "should" be obedient out of love, but obedience out of love is something that comes with time. I had this discussion in another thread. For some reason people today think that once a person is saved they are immediately "mature" and act out of maturation, but exactly the opposite is true.

    When we are first saved we are babes not mature people. How can you expect a "babe" to act out of obedience? If you have had kids or if you currently have little kids do you expect them to obey you because they love you?

    I have a one-year-old and a four-year-old and neither of them obey me out of love. They obey me so they don't get their bottom smacked. Hopefully one of these days they will learn to obey me because they love me, but to expect that out of them right now would simply expecting the impossible.

    We are to grow into love. It's not something that is perfect from the beginning.
     
  20. ByGracethroughFaith

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    That statement has been true for many centuries. In case of discrepancy, the problem lies not with the statement, but with the "claims".

    I remember what it was like being a newborn, much desire against sin for sin's sake, with just a little power over it. As a person grows in Christ, these things don't change in kind, what changes is that these things which have been planted new, GROW.

    It is much easier for the carnal man to hate the sin in another man, than it is for the man to hate the sin in himself. Once one fixes their eyes on the Lord Jesus Christ to see perfection, a look away unto the imperfection in ourselves should be extremely humbling. Those who justify themselves in any action have never really looked at Christ. Having experienced the sting of sin, I can tell you much about the evils of sin, about how I look for it's early rising in myself, fight it and slay it daily. I have seen a lot of things on this board this week, and could have easily jumped into the mud in many of the discussions. However, I am not here to jump into the mud, like the cat I very much hate it; I am here to show that there is life outside the mud, and beckon others in that direction.

    As an itinerant gospel preacher, I can tell someone they are wrong all day and it will only cause them to fortify themselves in their error, or I can tell someone Who/what is right all day, that they may compare that to what they believe. The finishing tounch on the gospel message though is not what the preacher tells the people, but what the preacher demonstrates for them. Even the heathen respond to that.

    1 Cor 16:22 If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.

    Eph 6:24 Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.


    BGTF
     

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