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Introduction into Seven Churches of Revelation
We can see the number seven so many times in Holy Bible such as Seven lampstands, seven stars, seven torches, seven seals, seven angels holding seven trumpets, seven hills, seven angels finally, and maybe the most importantly Seven Churches.
According to popular belief, the book of Revelation was written for the Seven churches of Asia Minor. It is written not only on the seven churches that existed in the Aegean at the time of Saint John but also for all the churches that lived and will live between the first coming and the second coming of Jesus. In other words, the book of Revelation was written for the church of the past, today and tomorrow. As the book of Revelation applied to the Ephesians or Philadelphians, it is equally true of the church today.
I especially named this article ”Introduction into Seven Churches of Revelation” because there are and will be many more articles detailing the subject of Seven Churches in Asia Minor. Please enjoy the article below and more on my website.
Faith has been a strong motivator throughout history. Anatolia has hosted many civilizations from the past to the present day. So many nations have left not just historical and cultural monuments in Anatolia but also their culture and religion. Religious structures, rituals, festivals, and ceremonial events have a serious diversity in Anatolia even today. The existence of many early Christian era monuments and churches is strong proof of Anatolia’s tolerance for new religions.
Asia Minor and Christianity
Today’s Turkey, which is called Anatolia and surrounded by the Black Sea, the Aegean, and the Mediterranean, is home to a considerable cultural diversity, history, and nature. The chapter of Revelation, which is thought to be written by Saint John, tells us about extraordinary descriptions of concepts such as the end of the world, the apocalypse, the Day of Judgment. There are seven churches mentioned in this book, to which messages were sent. These seven churches are accepted as the first churches of Christianity and all seven of them are located in the west of Anatolia.
Anatolia is unique geography with both Judaism synagogues and Christian churches. Although Christianity has billions of believers all over the world today and was born in today’s Israel, here in Anatolia, Christianity grew and developed. Many establishments in Turkey carrying names mentioned in the Bible can be visited. Probably the most important of these holy sites are the Seven Churches in Revelation which are mentioned in the last chapter of the Holy Bible. The revelation section relates to the apocalypse. This section describes the end of the world with depictions, symbols, and definitions.
Seven Churches in the Revelation are located in the Aegean Region of Turkey today. These churches are popular Biblical touring magnets in Turkey today. Lots of believers come to Turkey exclusively to visit the Seven Churches of Apocalypse. Also, guests who take tours of holy Jerusalem make an additional stop in Turkey on their way back to their homes and visit the Seven Churches of Apocalypse. Probably the most popular Biblical touring route is Seven Churches of Revelation in Turkey combined with Biblical sites in Israel and Egypt. As a tour guide, I am proud to take hundreds of Christians on Seven Churches tours every year.
Who Did Write the Letters to Seven Churches of Apocalypse?
On the third day after Jesus was crucified, he rose from death, appeared to the apostles, and asked them to spread his message to all nations. Then he was raised to the sky next to his father. Saint John the Evangelist was commissioned for the Asian Province for the evangelical works and his story leading to the Seven Churches started. Aegean Region of Turkey today was referred to by the name ‘’Asia Minor’’.
Saint John was one of the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ. The Bible mentions him as the writer, the Divine, the Theologian. Jesus has tasked him with spreading his words among the people. It is believed that he created the book of revelations while he was exiled on the island of Patmos. There are many prophecies in this book declaring believers of Christ will triumph over those who deny the faith and God will overcome evil in the world. Jesus will embrace all humanity in the Apocalypse. There are many more future predictions about the thing to happen at the end of the times in this book.
Works and Life of Saint John in Asia Minor
Saint John worked as a missionary in Anatolia and became one of the holy leaders of the early Christian years for the Ephesus Church. After being imprisoned in Ephesus for a while due to his missionary activities, he was first sent to Rome then exiled to Patmos which is one of the Greek Islands today. Saint John the Evangelist wrote 7 letters of revelation to Anatolian churches during his time in exile. Actually, St. John was an intermediary who sent the revelations of Jesus himself to the seven metropolises in Anatolia. With the appearance of Jesus, Saint John wrote the messages from Jesus Christ as seven letters.
These important cities in Anatolia and of course were the most developed cities with the wealthiest population during the Roman period in Asia Minor. These were the cities where the early Christians lived under pagan pressure discreetly and tried to worship Christ. Christians who cannot protect their secrecy were definitely killed when they got caught.
Locations and State of Seven Churches of Asia Minor Today
|Name of the Church||Where is the Church today?||Do we know the exact location of the Church?||Is it Open?||Restoration and excavation status of the church|
|Ephesus||Selcuk town in Izmir city today||Yes||Yes||Restorations and excavations still go on|
|Smyrna||Izmir city center||No||Yes||Excavations still go on|
|Pergamon||Bergama town in Izmir city today||Yes||Yes||Restorations and excavations still go on|
|Sardes||Salihli town of Manisa city today||Yes||Yes||Restorations and excavations still go on|
|Philadelphia||Alaşehir town of Manisa city today||Yes||Yes||Restorations and excavations stopped|
|Laodicea||Pamukkale town Denizli city today||Yes||Yes||Restorations and excavations still go on|
|Thyateira||Alaşehir town of Manisa city today||No||Yes||Excavations still go on|
The first chapters of the Book of Revelation consist of letters written to the Seven Churches. These letters refer to the first Seven communities who lived in the Asian Province during the Roman Period and embraced the Christian religion and teachings. Each letter dealt with a different subject and made warnings to people of that period, sometimes at counsel, sometimes in warnings.
What did they mean in the Letters to the Seven Churches of Revelation?
You should understand that these abstract explanations, which are difficult to understand today, are a style of expression that can be understood by the devotees of Christianity during biblical times. Let’s have a look at these seven letters in terms of what was the accusation against the church, what was the church praised for, and finally what was promised to the church.
|Name of the Church||Accusation||Praise||Promise to the Church|
|Ephesus||Abandoned devotion for Christ and his Teachings||Rejection of false apostles||Tree of life|
|Smyrna||None||Remaining faithful even to the point of death||Crown of Life, Resurrection|
|Pergamon||Following false teachings||Sustaining faith despite Pergamon’s strong pagan influence||A pure and new beginning with a new identity in heaven|
|Thyatira||Idolism and corruption||Good works in faith and service||Triumph over death and dominion over nations|
|Sardis||Looking alive but being spiritually dead||A few are not corrupted||Acknowledging their names before God and his angels|
|Philadelphia||Limited strength||Remaining steadfast in the face of difficulties||Protection in the hour of trial|
|Laodicea||Being lukewarm faith||None||Right to sit with Jesus on his throne and share his heavenly banquet|
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I will be sharing my expertise and knowledge on the Seven Churches of Revelation in the upcoming articles. If you wish to learn more about Seven Churches, you can write to me. Also if you need to book a licensed tour guide for the Seven Churches of Revelation in Asia Minor tour you can always contact me too. See you soon, Hasan Gülday.