Who were the seven
churches of Revelation?
Q. The Book of Revelation talks about fellowships located in several cities. Who are they? Why were they warned about the Nicolaitans? What are we to learn from them?
(Submitted by: S. H.)
A. The churches referred to are those the apostles traveled to and visited when they were in the area of Asia Minor.
The characteristics described in chapters 2 and 3 would also exist in God's church from the first century and down through the ages in one form or another. What we learn from them is that there are certain attitudes and behaviors we should emulate and others we should avoid. The messages tell us, right from God and Jesus, what they approve and disapprove of.
Consider the following character attributes NOT to emulate based upon what Jesus said:
"Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place - unless you repent." (Rev. 2:4-5, NKJV throughout unless stated)
"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. Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans , which thing I hate." (Rev. 2:14-15)
"Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because 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. And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation , unless they repent of their deeds." (Rev. 2:20-22)
" . . . I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God. Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. . . ." (Rev. 3:1-3)
"I know your works, that 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. " (Rev. 3:15-17)
Consider the integrity of those who overcome, which is mentioned 7 times in chapters 2 and 3:
"But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans , which I also hate. . . To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life , which is in the midst of the Paradise of God." (Rev. 2:6-7)
". . . He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death. " (Rev. 2:11)
". . . 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." (Rev. 2:17)
"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." (Rev. 2:26-28)
"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 . " (Rev. 3:5)
"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. " (Rev. 3:12)
"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. " (Rev. 3:21)
The attitude that exists the most today is that of Laodicea, especially among those who consider themselves to be part of professing Christianity. They are the most lukewarm of all!
But, you can avoid these Laodicean attitudes by putting God FIRST in your life each day. Trust Him and obey what He instructs you to do, from His word in the Bible as opposed to following men. Do this daily by reading and studying the Bible and making it part of who you are. Let God talk to you this way. You will have the peace that Jesus Christ talked about:
"Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you. " (Psalm 9:10, NIV)
"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)
"Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoever finds me finds life, and obtains favor from the Lord;" (Proverbs 8:34-35)
Written by: Rick / Eileen Beltz