THE SEVEN CHURCHES mentioned in the beginning of the book of Revelation were physical churches founded upon Paul’s teachings. But they also pertain to the religions or religious beliefs that grew out of those teachings, which were formed between the middle of the first century up until the twenty-first century. The number seven pertains to the spiritual, the spiritual aspect of each church being the angel, which is a messenger. We are to hear the spiritual message of each church. To hear is to believe, and to believe is to obey; to put action to the works, as Jesus said, “believe the works.”
” Unto the angel of the church of EPHESUS write… I know thy works, and thy labor, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars… and for my name’s sake hast labored… Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou has left thy first love… repent and do the first works…” The message of the first church is to begin the works of tearing down the false religious image or belief, which begins with identifying the lies in its doctrine, which is to labor for my name’s sake; for the sake of truth, the first love we left when we unwittingly bought into the religious lie. Now we must repent, which is to think differently about the Word of God, and do the first works, which is to seek the spiritual truth of God’s Word, through which we overcome the religious iniquity. Ephesus is the first church, representing mainstream Christianity, which is made up of three main religions: Catholic, Trinity, and Pentecost, which takes us from the middle of the first century to the beginning of the twentieth century, the Pentecostal theology dating back to 1905. All three mainstream Christian religions have been built upon Paul’s false doctrine– a foundation of sand.
“And unto the angel of the church in SMYRNA write… I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews but are not, but are of the synagogue of Satan. Fear none of those things which thou shall suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that you may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life… He that overcometh shall not be hurt by the second death.” The works are the labor they have put into seeking spiritual truth. The tribulation of the one seeking truth might be in part, the rejection he feels from those religious brothers he once considered friends. “And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends” Zechariah 13:6. Those who have discovered the lies or iniquity in the doctrines of religion and who are now seeking spiritual truth, were poor, but are [becoming] rich through the truth that is being revealed to them. Those “which say they are Jews but are not” (in the spiritual sense) are those which say they believe but do not because to believe is to put action to the spiritual works conveyed through these churches. The devil symbolizes the religious iniquity, which through their sincere desire to overcome, will cast some of them into prison, which is a good thing! For it is in this solitary quiet “silence in heaven” place that we come in contact with the spirit and word of God, as Joseph came into contact with the baker and the butler during his time in prison. The ten days is not about a literal period of time, but about what occurs during this time, which is a change in the way we think about God’s Word. Repentance. Those that stay faithful by completing the spiritual works of the first six churches, which leads to a spiritual death in the good sense, “the second death,” receive a crown of life; spiritual life (Revelation 3:11). Those “which say they are Jews but are not” (in the literal sense) are the Messianic Jews. They “are of the synagogue of Satan” because the carnal traditions they observe are now, in this final “era of Jacob,” counted as iniquity, which Satan symbolizes (Isaiah 1:13). Messianic Judaism emerged in the 1960s, which combines Christianity with elements of Judaism and Jewish tradition. Jesus said, “salvation is of the Jews.” However, both the Jews of Jesus’ time and the Messianic Jews of our time have rejected the salvation that comes through obedience to Messiah’s spiritual teachings. The Jews that receive salvation are true Jews; those who have become spiritual Jews through a spiritual circumcision. These Messianic Jews “blasphemy” by calling themselves Jews before they have experienced the spiritual circumcision that would mark them as true spiritual Jews. The tribulation is the time of trouble the prophet Daniel spoke of, which is already in progress. It’s purpose? To bring on the spiritual birth.
Written by Sandra L. Butler © 2020