The Seven Churches of Revelation

Church

Time Period

Meaning

1. Ephesus Exact dates uncertain: from end of persecution of Nero to death of St. John. “Not Lasting”; historically, the shortest time. Spiritually, it had lost its “first love”.
2. Smyrna Death of St. John, to Edict of Milan, 313 AD. “Bitter Sweetness”; The Church persecuted under the Roman Emperors. One of the best.
3. Pergamum Edict of Milan, until the reign of Charlemagne, 800 AD (or Battle of Tours, 732 AD) “Divorce”; The Church as the state religion of, and spiritually married to, Rome.
4. Thyatira Reign of Charlemagne, (or Battle of Tours) until end of the Crusades, 1290 AD. “Constant Labor” and/or “Guarding the Door”; The early Holy Roman Empire.
5. Sardis End of the Crusades, until Martin Luther, 1517 AD. “Of the Flesh”; The Roman Catholic Church of the Renaissance. One of the worst.
6. Philadelphia Martin Luther’s 95 Theses, until the American Revolution, 1776 AD. “Brotherly Love”; The Protestant Church of the Reformation. One of the best.
7. Laodicea American Revolution, until the beginning of the Great Tribulation. “People’s Opinions” and “People Judged”; The present lukewarm Church. One of the worst.

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