The seven churches of Revelation have intrigued students for centuries. Where they simply seven churches in Asia, or do they have more relevance today?
Historically, the modern church of God has believed that the seven churches are types of seven eras from apostolic times to Christ's return. Is this a valid belief?
The letter to Smyrna contains a rarity among the seven churches—no criticism! What's so good about the Smyrnans?
What do Christ's messages to the seven churches of Revelation 2 and 3 describe? Are they church eras, or dominant attitudes within the church?
The church of the Laodiceans is today's prevalent attitude. Is there hope? Can a Laodicean be in God's Kingdom?
Revelation 10 contains the seven thunders and the little book. It serves as an inset, not following a linear time sequence of the book of Revelation.
Christ's first letter to the churches focuses on the Ephesians, a people who succeeded in trying the spirits, but in the interim left [their] first love.
The Philadelphia church is often considered the best of the seven. Is it? Does it have any faults? Are we biased in our judgment?
Thyatira, the middle of the seven churches, receives a litany of praise and rebuke from our Savior. He particularly focuses on idolatry, which is spiritual fornication.
We must keep the spiritual lessons of the letters, not just figure out prophecies. There are several ways to view them, but the most important is personally.
Christ severely criticizes the church of Pergamos for the doctrine of Baalam and idolatry. Nevertheless, to those who overcome, He will grant eternal life.
The sixth church, Sardis, is dead for the most part. What is the problem? What do they need to do to come alive again?
In the Day of the Lord, Christ stands in the midst of all seven churches. We are to learn from the lessons from all seven, not get sidetracked by eras.
The church has Christ as the Chief Cornerstone. As long as there is a church, there will also be at least one living stone upon another.
The notion of church eras in Revelation 2-3 is based on some fundamental errors. Jesus expects that all of us learn from all seven letters.
Skipping the first chapter of Revelation deprives us of vital information necessary for understanding the rest of the book.
Many 'church of God' organizations claim to be part of—or even the only—church of God. The Bible reveals specific characteristics of God's church.
The letters in Revelation 2 and 3 are for the end times, shortly before Christ's return. Each emphasizes repentance, overcoming, and judgment according to works.
God's hand was definitely involved in the scattering of the church. We should respond by growing and preparing ourselves for His Kingdom.
God's true church cannot be found without revelation nor can one join the organization; God calls and places each member in its appropriate place in the Body.
John Ritenbaugh warns that the sheer variety of choices (distractions) available to us today (with their potential accompanying temptations and enervating time-wasting diversions) is extremely stressful because it automatically increases sin and lawlessness, automatically decreasing love, zeal, and affection. Like our society, …
Many have misunderstood the 'open door' reference in the letter to Philadelphia. It refers to Isaiah 22:15-25, which describes the role of Eliakim the steward.
God, following a pattern, routinely calls the lowly and weak to guard against pride. God will transform the weak of this world through His Holy Spirit.
A man with myopic judgment will take the good times he has as evidence of God's pleasure, and conclude that the bad times must be caused by Satan's persecution.
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that neglecting to feed the flock has been detrimental to preaching the gospel to the world. Because of this unwitting neglect, many members succumbed to the "lost in the crowd" syndrome, feeling insignificant, meaningless, and useless. The vine and branches analogy (John 15:1-6) and the body …
Austin Del Castillo expresses alarm that the moral fabric of our society is rapidly unravelling, with all institutions yielding to corruption and immorality. Like society, the Church of God has splintered into a diverse assortment of groups, some blinded by their pompous self-righteousness, others absorbing the values of the …
God promises certain Christians that He will keep them from the Tribulation—the "hour of trial." Here are the characteristics of those whom God will protect.
John Ritenbaugh, cautioning against the danger of presumption, warns against assigning biblical types (like Joshua and Zerubbabel) to any contemporary ministers, pointing out that, except for a few superficial similarities, there are not enough parallels or grounds of comparison to make such an inferential leap. Two major …
David Grabbe, cuing in on Ecclesiastes 3:1-3, reminds us that God has designed sequential seasons in which various events occur as a part of a long-term plan. God plans the season; we only get to choose whether and how to respond. There is a time to gather and a time to throw away; there is a time to embrace and a time to …
The biblical city of Smyrna may be one that many know the least about. The city's name reveals the themes that the Head of the church wants us to understand.
David Grabbe, reminding us that a major focus of John the Baptist's ministry was a call to repentance and turning to righteousness, a focus that Jesus Christ and the Apostle Paul reinforced and magnified. Curiously, in main-stream Protestantism, repentance has fallen out of favor and has been replaced by cheap 'grace.' The Law …
God's truth may bring about sadness, astonishment, anger, and bitterness to the one delivering the message. James and John were types of the Two Witnesses.
Elijah fell into a dilemma of either fearing God or fearing man, and ended up fearing Jezebel rather than God, thinking he was alone in his zeal for God.