PDA

View Full Version : Question about the book of Revelation.



chad
Apr 22nd 2010, 03:56 AM
When John was on the Island of Patmos and recieved his revelation from Jesus,
how many churches were in existence?

RockSolid
Apr 22nd 2010, 04:31 AM
Well we know Paul wrote to Rome, Corinth, Galatia, Ephesus, Philippi, the Collosians, and the Thessalonians. He also started the Antioch church. Possibly one more? That's 9 for sure in Paul's day. Add the six other churches from Revelation, that's 15. Paul healed that crippled guy in Lystra, he was stoned but returned later to strengthen disciples there, so I'm sure he had one there. He got some believers in Iconium and Berea, I'm sure they started one. I'm sure he went back to his hometown of Tarsus to preach, might have started one there. He raised the young man from the dead in Troas, I would assume a church was there because they were meeting in a room. I would guess 20-30... could be more.

markedward
Apr 22nd 2010, 06:58 AM
Assuming that Paul and his companions preached the gospel (and thus "planted" a church) in every city mentioned in Acts and beyond...


Jerusalem
Damascus
Caesarea Maritima
Tarsus
Antioch (Syria)
Seleucia Pieria
Salamis
Paphos
Perga
Antioch (Pisidia)
Iconium
Lystra
Derbe
Attalia
(Alexandria) Troas
Neapolis
Philippi
Thyatira
Thessalonica
Berea
Athens
Corinth
Cenchreae
Ephesus
Assos
Mitylene
Chios
Samos
Miletus
Cos
Rhodes
Patara
Tyre
Ptolemais
Illyria Graeca
Rome
Smyrna
Pergamum
Sardis
Philadelphia
Laodicea


To this count: About 40, via Paul, his immediate companions, or John.

Don't forget that, in the first third of the book of Acts, a great number of Christians (apparently not including the Twelve apostles) left Jerusalem at the same time, dispersing into Judea and Samaria. Then, after Peter's experience with the Gentiles, and Paul's missionary efforts, the Twelve apostles (not including Peter, John and James) began to spread out from Jerusalem as well. There are also other missionaries named in Scripture, such as Barnabas, John Mark, Timothy, Silas, and Apollos. The above listing is limited to what Acts tells us about Paul's missionary efforts, and a few supplemental churches in Asia that are mentioned in the Revelation.

The actual number of cities with church plants would have been in the hundreds by 65 AD, around the time John wrote the Revelation.

chad
Apr 22nd 2010, 08:25 AM
OK, what I was getting to was that, there were more than 7 churches in existence when John received his revelation.

So why did Jesus only mention 7 of the churches in the province of Asia in the book of Revelation to John?


Is it that these churches in particular had problems that needed sorting? or was it that John had the revelation, when only 7 of the churches existed?

(Rev 1:19 NIV) "Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later.

(Rev 1:20 NIV) The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.


Do we have angels assigned over our church from the Lord Jesus Christ now days?

markedward
Apr 22nd 2010, 09:04 AM
The seven churches from the Revelation are all from a tight region in what is now Asia Minor.

These seven churches are on a major route of the Roman Empire, shaped in a semi-circle (the seven churches are named in clock-wise order, beginning with Ephesus, which was closest to the island of Patmos).

http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk145/smartmarke/internet/sevenchurches.png

This route was a central point for spreading messages throughout the rest of the world. By sending the Revelation to these seven churches, the book was guaranteed to spread throughout the rest of the word (and thus to all of the other churches) far more quickly than if it was sent all the way to one end or another of the Roman Empire first before being copied and sent out to other regions.

The above is the practical reasoning for why Christ had the Revelation sent to those seven churches.

In addition, the seven churches represented various spiritual conditions a congregation could be in, from being loveless, truthless, faithless, wavering, prideful, faithful, etc. In other words, these seven churches were chosen because, together, they represented the entirety of the worldwide Church.

Lastly, the specific issues each church was dealing with thematically parallel to the four overarching sections of the Revelation:

False Teachers = Ephesus (see 2.2, Christ commends the church for resisting false apostles), Sardis (see 3.3, repenting of false teachings), and Revelation 2-3 (these chapters emphasis on false teachers).
Apostate Israel = Smyrna (see 2.9, Christ rebukes false Jews), Philadelphia (see 3.9, Christ again rebukes false Jews), and Revelation 4-7 (apostate Israel, whom God is pouring out his judgment upon, is contrasted with true Israel, which is the Church).
Wicked King/False Prophet = Pergamum (see 2.14, symbolized by the wicked king Balak and his false prophet Balaam), Philadelphia (see 3.9, the reversal of roles, with wicked rulers being forced to submit to the righteous followers of Christ), and Revelation 8-14 (the ruling Beast, and his False Prophet, are described throughout these chapters).
Royal Harlot = Thyatira (see 2.20, symbolized by the harlot-queen Jezebel), Laodicea (see 3.17-18, analogized to being cast down like a harlot), and Revelation 15-22 (where the sinful harlot Babylon, representing apostate Israel, is contrasted with the righteous bride Jerusalem, representing true Israel).



Do we have angels assigned over our church from the Lord Jesus Christ now days?In the Greek, the word translated as "angel" is angelos. This Greek word simply means "messenger", and is often-times used in Scripture to refer to human messengers. I believe that the seven "angels" (i.e. messengers) of the seven churches were just their human leaders ("pastors" we might call them now).

chad
Apr 22nd 2010, 10:35 AM
Hi Markedward,

Do you know when the book of revelation was written. According to wiki...

Early tradition says that John was banished to Patmos by the Roman authorities. This tradition is credible because banishment was a common punishment used during the Imperial period for a number of offenses. Among such offenses were the practices of magic and astrology.

Prophecy was viewed by the Romans as belonging to the same category, whether Pagan, Jewish, or Christian. Prophecy with political implications, like that expressed by John in the book of Revelation, would have been perceived as a threat to Roman political power and order. Three of the islands in the Sporades were places where political offenders were banished (Pliny Natural History 4.69-70; Tacitus Annals 4.30).[5]

According to early tradition, this book was composed near the end of Domitian's reign, around the year 95 AD. Domatian's reign was from 14 sept 81-18 sept 96 according to wiki?



Assuming that Paul and his companions preached the gospel (and thus "planted" a church) in every city mentioned in Acts and beyond...

The actual number of cities with church plants would have been in the hundreds by 65 AD, around the time John wrote the Revelation.

David Taylor
Apr 22nd 2010, 02:41 PM
Assuming that Paul and his companions preached the gospel (and thus "planted" a church) in every city mentioned in Acts and beyond...


Antioch (Pisidia)
Antioch (Syria)
Assos
Athens
Attalia
Berea
Caesarea Maritima
Cenchreae
Chios
Corinth
Cos
Damascus
Derbe
Ephesus
Iconium
Illyria Graeca
Jerusalem
Laodicea
Lystra
Miletus
Mitylene
Neapolis
Paphos
Patara
Perga
Pergamum
Philadelphia
Philippi
Ptolemais
Rhodes
Rome
Salamis
Samos
Sardis
Seleucia Pieria
Smyrna
Tarsus
Thessalonica
Thyatira
Troas (Alexandria)
Tyre



Adding to this list from Acts, we find mention in the N.T. epistles of these additional churches being in existence during the 1st century A.D.


42. Achaia
43. Babylon
44. Colosse
45. Galatia
46. Italia
47. Macedonia

David Taylor
Apr 22nd 2010, 02:43 PM
Hi Markedward,

Do you know when the book of revelation was written. According to wiki...



Chad, there are two debatable viewpoints on the date of Revelation. One places it in the time of Domitian circa 95 AD, the other places it in the 60s, circa Nero. There is evidence for both, and it is a hotly and actively debated topic. If you do a query search, you can find several older threads discussing this, and providing to you much, much more evidence involving the debate than something wikipedia will provide. Check it out in those other threads, so we don't derail this one.

thedee
Apr 22nd 2010, 02:58 PM
OK, what I was getting to was that, there were more than 7 churches in existence when John received his revelation.

So why did Jesus only mention 7 of the churches in the province of Asia in the book of Revelation to John?

I believe the 7 Church are a prophetic history of the Churches.
Ephesus - Apostolic Church - AD30-100
Smyrna - Persecuted Church - AD100-313
Pergamos - State Church - AD313-590
Thyatira - Medieval Church - AD590--1517
Sardis - Reformed Church - 1517-1790
Philadelphia - Missionary Church - 1730-1900
Laodiceans - Apostate Church - 1900-????

So I believe there is a reason for the mentioning only 7 Churches. The number 7 refers to completeness. So again, these 7 churches gives us a prophetic history of the Church state. An example would be the last church of Laodicea... I believe this church to be the chief characteristic of the church today.

David Taylor
Apr 22nd 2010, 03:05 PM
However, eisogetically applying the attributes of each church to time-periods doesn't really work, since almost all attributes used to describe each of the 7 churches can still be found and applied in today's churches.

To fit with a time-period application, requires ending of specific attributes given to specific prior-era churches....there has been no endings though.

thedee
Apr 22nd 2010, 03:11 PM
However, eisogetically applying the attributes of each church to time-periods doesn't really work, since almost all attributes used to describe each of the 7 churches can still be found and applied in today's churches.

To fit with a time-period application, requires ending of specific attributes given to specific prior-era churches....there has been no endings though.

Like my post said.... it is the chief characteristic of that church period. Today we live in an Apostate period... it does not mean that all Churches are apostate but that it is the Chief characteristic of the state of the Church.

Radagast
Apr 22nd 2010, 03:37 PM
OK, what I was getting to was that, there were more than 7 churches in existence when John received his revelation.

So why did Jesus only mention 7 of the churches in the province of Asia in the book of Revelation to John?

There are two answers:

1) the 7 churches are symbolic of all churches, since 7 is symbolic of completion

2) John had a particular guiding role among the churches of Asia Minor

RogerW
Apr 22nd 2010, 04:42 PM
OK, what I was getting to was that, there were more than 7 churches in existence when John received his revelation.

So why did Jesus only mention 7 of the churches in the province of Asia in the book of Revelation to John?

Is it that these churches in particular had problems that needed sorting? or was it that John had the revelation, when only 7 of the churches existed?

(Rev 1:19 NIV) "Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later.

(Rev 1:20 NIV) The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

Do we have angels assigned over our church from the Lord Jesus Christ now days?

Hi Chad,

The letters describe conditions that occur not in one particular age of church history, but throughout the ages in time.

Blessings,
RW

markedward
Apr 22nd 2010, 05:01 PM
42. Achaia
43. Babylon
44. Colosse
45. Galatia
46. Italia
47. Macedonia
Hm, Babylon maybe. The rest were provinces of the Roman Empire, not specific cities. The "church of Galatia" would have included several individual churches. This is why the whole of my list consists of cities, rather than regions.

markedward
Apr 22nd 2010, 05:12 PM
Like my post said.... it is the chief characteristic of that church period. Today we live in an Apostate period... it does not mean that all Churches are apostate but that it is the Chief characteristic of the state of the Church.With regards to the information I gave above, it's either hard historical facts (the location of the churches on a major messenger-route), or verifiable, testable ideas (the application of the seven letters' themes to the four over-arching sections of the book itself). The claim that the seven churches represent seven eras of Church history is totally speculative and distorting of the facts.

First, it requires dismissing the historical application of these seven letters to the seven actual churches John was told to write to. In some of the letters Christ promises to "come soon", either in judgment or in rescue. This makes a lot of sense in light of the persecution those churches were enduring at that time, but these promises are impossible to pin down to the alleged "seven church periods".

Second, the process of drawing parallels between each of the seven churches and seven eras of Christian history is totally subjective. Sure, Smyrna is described as being persecuted, but so are Ephesus, Pergamum, Thyatira, and Philadelphia. Or, Why does you consider 1790-1900 AD to be the "missionary church"? Have not missionaries existed since the time of the apostles? Are there not missionaries existing even now? It is simply unhistorical to claim that the "missionary church" is the defining characteristic from 1790-1900, when essentially the entire Church in the first-century AD consisted of missionaries. And why is 590-1517 considered the "papal church", when the papacy existed before that and continues to exist even now? And why is 1517-1790 considered the "reformed church" when Reformationist denominations still exist and are still making reforms in relation to the Catholic church and to each other?

The correlation between the seven churches and Christian history is nothing short of hit-and-miss guesswork. Even more so, it's incredibly Eurocentric. It is wholly focused upon Christian history as it moved from Jerusalem out into Europe and over to the Americas. It completely ignores Christian history of Asia, Africa, and later, Australia. It's speculative, it's unhistorical, and worst of all, it has absolutely no Scriptural basis for its claim.

On the other hand, I do believe the seven churches are symbolically described with imagery from seven eras of Old Testament history... and, as with the information I gave in my post earlier, this information is testable and verifiable. (It doesn't require skipping over portions of history, or ignoring history from two-thirds of the world). I wrote a blog post on it here (http://bibleforums.org/entry.php?1988-Do-the-seven-churches-of-the-Revelation-represent-seven-eras-of-history).

thedee
Apr 22nd 2010, 05:29 PM
With regards to the information I gave above, it's either hard historical facts (the location of the churches on a major messenger-route), or verifiable, testable ideas (the application of the seven letters' themes to the four over-arching sections of the book itself). The claim that the seven churches represent seven eras of Church history is totally speculative and distorting of the facts.

First, it requires dismissing the historical application of these seven letters to the seven actual churches John was told to write to. In some of the letters Christ promises to "come soon", either in judgment or in rescue. This makes a lot of sense in light of the persecution those churches were enduring at that time, but these promises are impossible to pin down to the alleged "seven church periods".

Second, the process of drawing parallels between each of the seven churches and seven eras of Christian history is totally subjective. Sure, Smyrna is described as being persecuted, but so are Ephesus, Pergamum, Thyatira, and Philadelphia. Or, Why does you consider 1790-1900 AD to be the "missionary church"? Have not missionaries existed since the time of the apostles? Are there not missionaries existing even now? It is simply unhistorical to claim that the "missionary church" is the defining characteristic from 1790-1900, when essentially the entire Church in the first-century AD consisted of missionaries. And why is 590-1517 considered the "papal church", when the papacy existed before that and continues to exist even now? And why is 1517-1790 considered the "reformed church" when Reformationist denominations still exist and are still making reforms in relation to the Catholic church and to each other?

The correlation between the seven churches and Christian history is nothing short of hit-and-miss guesswork. Even more so, it's incredibly Eurocentric. It is wholly focused upon Christian history as it moved from Jerusalem out into Europe and over to the Americas. It completely ignores Christian history of Asia, Africa, and later, Australia. It's speculative, it's unhistorical, and worst of all, it has absolutely no Scriptural basis for its claim.

On the other hand, I do believe the seven churches are symbolically described with imagery from seven eras of Old Testament history... and, as with the information I gave in my post earlier, this information is testable and verifiable. (It doesn't require skipping over portions of history, or ignoring history from two-thirds of the world). I wrote a blog post on it here (http://bibleforums.org/entry.php?1988-Do-the-seven-churches-of-the-Revelation-represent-seven-eras-of-history).

I am not going to argue about this. I will instead point to where you can read about this:
http://www.biblecentre.org/commentaries/rkc_70_prophetic_history_of_christendom.htm

Rick Schworer
Apr 22nd 2010, 05:47 PM
I think that the 7 churches also represent 7 time periods up to the rapture, they are prophetic. Clarence Larkin teaches this.

markedward
Apr 22nd 2010, 05:49 PM
I am not going to argue about this. I will instead point to where you can read about this:
http://www.biblecentre.org/commentaries/rkc_70_prophetic_history_of_christendom.htm
If others want to read the link, that's fine. But since you aimed it specifically at me, I'll give my thoughts: I've read numerous arguments and essays on the topic. I simply don't find it Scripturally or historically credible that the seven churches of Revelation represent seven eras of Christian history. As such, I don't intend to spend any time studying it more than I already have, when I've already read anything that can be said on the subject.


I think that the 7 churches also represent 7 time periods up to the rapture, they are prophetic. Clarence Larkin teaches this.If you have never heard of the alternate view, see this post above (http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php?209105-Question-about-the-book-of-Revelation.&p=2393436#post2393436) and/or this blog post (http://bibleforums.org/entry.php?1988-Do-the-seven-churches-of-the-Revelation-represent-seven-eras-of-history).

Rick Schworer
Apr 22nd 2010, 07:02 PM
I skimmed that blog post, it looks pretty interesting, I'll check it out when I have more time! :-) Did you come up with that or where did you hear about it from?

John146
Apr 22nd 2010, 08:29 PM
I think that the 7 churches also represent 7 time periods up to the rapture, they are prophetic. Clarence Larkin teaches this.Where is the evidence in the text itself that suggests such a thing? It would seem that this idea could only be possible if the letters weren't addressed to seven actual existing churches in the province of Asia in the first century. Do you not believe the seven churches were actual churches that existed in the province of Asia in the first century? If you do then what basis is there for thinking they each represent different time periods? Can you show me anything in the text itself that indicates that they are meant to be seen that way?

thedee
Apr 22nd 2010, 08:35 PM
Where is the evidence in the text itself that suggests such a thing? It would seem that this idea could only be possible if the letters weren't addressed to seven actual existing churches in the province of Asia in the first century. Do you not believe the seven churches were actual churches that existed in the province of Asia in the first century? If you do then what basis is there for thinking they each represent different time periods? Can you show me anything in the text itself that indicates that they are meant to be seen that way?

The 7 Churches were 7 literal Churches. I also believe they represent 7 time periods in Church history. The scriptures do not specifically state this but when you look at the Church history you will see a resembelence. For a detailed article about this go here:
http://www.biblecentre.org/commentaries/rkc_70_prophetic_history_of_christendom.htm

David Taylor
Apr 22nd 2010, 08:44 PM
I think that the 7 churches also represent 7 time periods up to the rapture, they are prophetic. Clarence Larkin teaches this.

Since Larkin is an early Pretribulationalist, based on the dees list earlier that TheDee provided......


Philadelphia - Missionary Church - 1730-1900

The rapture has already happened....because both Darby (who originated the 7 churches = 7-ages theory, and Larkin) believed the Rapture occurs to the church of Philidelphia per:

"Rev 3:7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write...Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly"

Most folks, including Larkin, don't believe the rapture occured in the 17-1800s during the supposed Philidelphian age.

That's the problem you get in putting too much stock in these types of specific supposed applications...they normally don't really fit when experts are coming up with the externally from the scriptures; instead of simply reading them out of the scriptures.

markedward
Apr 22nd 2010, 08:44 PM
The "resemblance" between the seven churches and seven eras of post-Christ history is entirely subjective guess work and relies wholly upon an intentional distortion of the Church's history in the Middle East, Europe and America (let alone ignorance of the Church's history in Africa, Asia and Australia). If a position has to intentionally recreate history (or ignore other parts of world history) to find a basis (still outside of Scripture) it should be rejected.

There is nothing in Scripture to lend credibility to such an interpretation.
On a Scriptural, anti-eisegetical basis, there is no reason to accept this interpretation.

Rick Schworer
Apr 22nd 2010, 08:46 PM
Where is the evidence in the text itself that suggests such a thing?

There's a few things that lean that way. It's not a hard and fast doctrine by any means, but I think there's something to it. A couple of examples off the top of my head would be Pergamos, meaning "much marriage", was the time period in which the church married the world. You know, council of Nicea and all that Catholic stuff.

Then there's Smyrna, which went through 10 days of tribulation and corresponds to the 10 years of suffering under Diocletian.

Philadelphia was the church that "kept the word of God", and that corresponds to the time period in which the King James Version of the Bible was published, a time period in which more people have gotten saved, discipled, and lived for God than any other time period.

Laodicea, who God really doesn't have anything good to say about how they're acting, would correspond to our time period. A time in which Christ and Bible doctrine take a back seat to the modern day pop psychology with a thin veneer of Christianity that's coming over the pulpits.



It would seem that this idea could only be possible if the letters weren't addressed to seven actual existing churches in the province of Asia in the first century. Do you not believe the seven churches were actual churches that existed in the province of Asia in the first century?

Absolutely they were seven literal churches at the time John wrote Revelation. All I'm saying is that the seven churches, in the order that John writes to them, also prophetically refer to the seven periods of time throughout church history. The Bible is an amazing book and God is very capable of multi-tasking. :)

David Taylor
Apr 22nd 2010, 08:47 PM
But we're all digressing pretty far from the OP....

Let's get it back on track with what churches were in existence during the time of John's exile to Patmos.

That's what the OP is querying about....not era/age applications, which get into trib-timing theories.

John146
Apr 22nd 2010, 09:05 PM
The 7 Churches were 7 literal Churches. I also believe they represent 7 time periods in Church history. The scriptures do not specifically state this but when you look at the Church history you will see a resembelence. For a detailed article about this go here:
http://www.biblecentre.org/commentaries/rkc_70_prophetic_history_of_christendom.htmI completely disagree. You could find churches that resemble all seven of those churches throughout church history. If they were meant to be seen that way then there would be something in the text to indicate as such, but there is not.

markedward
Apr 22nd 2010, 09:07 PM
A couple of examples off the top of my head would be Pergamos, meaning "much marriage", was the time period in which the church married the world. You know, council of Nicea and all that Catholic stuff.The Church, by definition, cannot marry the world; it was reserved for marriage to Christ and Christ alone. If the Church has married the world, then it has committed adultery and has forfeited the New Covenant entirely.


Then there's Smyrna, which went through 10 days of tribulation and corresponds to the 10 years of suffering under Diocletian.It's false history to claim the persecution lasted exactly 10 years... There was first a stint in 299 AD. Following a gap of four years, they "officially" began in 303 AD (Diocletian retired in 305 AD), then they "officially" ended in 311 AD (the year Diocletian died). (That's only 8 consecutive years.) However, despite the "official" end of the persecution, it continued onward until about 324 AD, with a few gaps in-between.

There was never a straight 10-year persecution of Christians under Diocletian.


Philadelphia was the church that "kept the word of God", and that corresponds to the time period in which the King James Version of the Bible was published, a time period in which more people have gotten saved, discipled, and lived for God than any other time period.It's also the time period in which the world population began to rise exponentially, so it's not a surprise that more people have been saved than in any other time period... it's because there was more people in the whole world than in any other time period.


Laodicea, who God really doesn't have anything good to say about how they're acting, would correspond to our time period. A time in which Christ and the Bible doctrine take a back seat to the modern day pop psychology with a thin veneer of Christianity that's coming over the pulpits.Remember what I said about ignoring Church history in Africa, Asia and Australia? Picking-and-choosing.


All I'm saying is that the seven churches, in the order that John writes to them, also prophetically refers to the seven periods of time throughout church history.What Scripture lends credibility to this idea?

// Edit: Nevermind. David Taylor has reminded us to get back on track to the OP.

thedee
Apr 23rd 2010, 01:25 AM
I completely disagree. You could find churches that resemble all seven of those churches throughout church history. If they were meant to be seen that way then there would be something in the text to indicate as such, but there is not.

I am talking about it as being the chief characterstic of the Chruch of that period. Let me ask you a question... What is the chief characteristic of the Church today?

newinchrist4now
Apr 23rd 2010, 06:28 AM
I am talking about it as being the chief characterstic of the Chruch of that period. Let me ask you a question... What is the chief characteristic of the Church today?

May I chime in - Confusion. Everyone uses Scripture as they see fit.

Radagast
Apr 23rd 2010, 07:28 AM
... the time period in which the church married the world. You know, council of Nicea and all that Catholic stuff.

Sorry, announcing that Jesus was God was "marrying the world" in what way, exactly?

Radagast
Apr 23rd 2010, 07:30 AM
I am talking about it as being the chief characterstic of the Chruch of that period. Let me ask you a question... What is the chief characteristic of the Church today?

The chief characteristic of the Church today is that most of it's in Africa, Asia, and South America.

chad
Apr 23rd 2010, 08:11 AM
I did a google search on the 7 churches of revelation and found this webpage.

http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs019/1100535186463/archive/1103262411322.html

I just wanted to know what others (who have studied REvelation and have a knowledge of it) thought about this webpage?

The bit I am reading about at the moment is the section on the problem with Preterism. But I would like to hear opinion on the other sections as well.


Thanks

Chad.

Radagast
Apr 23rd 2010, 09:37 AM
I did a google search on the 7 churches of revelation and found this webpage.

http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs019/1100535186463/archive/1103262411322.html

Looks like complete nonsense to me.

markedward
Apr 23rd 2010, 05:52 PM
The bit I am reading about at the moment is the section on the problem with Preterism. But I would like to hear opinion on the other sections as well.As was stated several times earlier, he has no Scriptural basis for interpreting the seven churches as representing seven eras of post-Christ history. Not once does he use Scripture to support such an interpretation. The only thing he tries to do is assign the idea to Isaac Newton... but in that case, it means God hid the meaning of the Revelation for 17 centuries... God hiding the meaning of the Revelation is a flatout oxymoron... you can't "hide" a "revealing". If anything, that alone is reason enough to reject the teaching, because (aside from the lack of Scriptural support) it contradicts itself with its very premise.

Likewise with the alleged parallels between the seven churches and the seven feasts of Israel. There is no correlation, and there is nothing in Scripture that suggests there is. Once more, it's completely un-Scriptural. His rating of the seven churches from 1-10 is subjective, pointless, and, again, un-Scriptural. Also, one shouldn't need a "historicist handbook". If parallels between the Revelation and history can be found, it shouldn't require a "Dummy's Guide" to figure it out. All one should need is Scripture and knowledge of history itself.

Finally, his "problems with Preterism" page contains misleading information, and some of it is downright false. Not all of the men he lists supported the 95 AD authorship of the Revelation. Also, there was no such persecution of Christians under Domitian. It never happened, let alone throughout the entire Roman Empire. Domitian was paranoid of his political enemies, and he persecuted them... not any religious group. Lastly, there is incredible evidence within the Revelation that it was written around 65 AD, not 95 AD. And, while internal evidence should be the only thing that counts, there is also a good deal of external evidence that the Revelation was written around 65 AD.