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Letters to the Seven Churches of Asia

The Letters to the Seven Churches of Asia

Addressed to: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Philadelphia and Laodicea.

Purpose of Letters: To reveal characteristics which are representative of all churches at any time in history and characteristics which represent most churches during various ages of church history. These characteristics included commendation, condemnation, counsel and a challenge.

Note: You may click on the Scripture verse to link on an on-line Bible.

Ephesus (Rev. 2:1-7)

Meaning: Desirable

Represents: The Apostolic Church, A.D. 30-100

Commendation: “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary…. But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate”.

Condemnation: “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love”.

Counsel: “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works”.

Challenge: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God”.

Smyrna (Rev. 2:8-11)

Meaning: Myrrh (Symbol of Death)

Represents: The Persecuted Church, A.D. 100-312

Commendation: “I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich)”.

Condemnation: No condemnation.

Counsel: “Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer…. Be faithful until death.”

Challenge: “He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.”

Pergamos (Rev. 2:12-17)

Meaning: Has two meaning – Marriage and Elevation

Represents: The indulged Church, A.D. 312-606

Commendation: “I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.”

Condemnation: “But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. 15 Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.”

Counsel: “Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.”

Challenge: “To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.”

Thyatira (Rev. 2:18-29)

Meaning: Continual sacrifices.

Represents: The Pagan Church, A.D. 606-1520 (some say to the tribulation).

Commendation: “I know your works, love, service, faith,[b] and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first.”

Condemnation: “You allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce. My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.”

Counsel: “I will put on you no other burden. But hold fast what you have till I come.”

Challenge: “And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations— ‘ He shall rule them with a rod of iron; they shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’ — as I also have received from My Father; and I will give him the morning star.”

Sardis (Rev. 3:1-6)


Meaning: A Remnant

Represents: The Dead Church, A.D. 1520-1750 (some say to the tribulation).

Commendation: ” I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive.”

Condemnation: ” You are dead… I have not found your works perfect before God.”

Counsel: “Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die…..Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.”

Challenge: “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.”

Philadelphia (Rev. 3:7-13)

Meaning: Brotherly Love

Represents: The Church Christ Loved. A.D. 1750-1900 (some say to the rapture)

Commendation: ” I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.”

Condemnation: No condemnation.

Counsel: “Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.”

Challenge: ” He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.”

Laodicea (Rev. 3:14-22)

Meaning: The rights of people

Represents: The Apostate Church, A.D. 1900 to the tribulation.

Commendation: No Commendation

Condemnation: “You are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.”

Counsel: “I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.”

Challenge: “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.”

For more of a discussion of the above click on: He that Overcomes, The Historical Church or Pagan Practices Introduced into the Church