THE SEVEN CHURCHES

Seven ChurchesWho bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those which things that are written therein: for the time is at hand. John (apostle) to the seven churches which are in Asia (Turkey today): Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; (in the Hebrew that would be the Aleph and the Tav. In the Greek that is the Alpha and the Omega, the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet) and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood. And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen (Revelation 1:2-7).

Personally, I am “pan-Tribulation”; in other words, however it pans out. Nonetheless, the Word of God teaches in the seventh verse that the rapture actually happens at the end of the current  The Scripture says, “Behold he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen” (Revelation 1:7). This sounds like His second return. He is not going to sneak in here during the middle of the night and snatch everybody up without anyone seeing him; such a belief is a fantasy.

I am Alpha (the beginning letter of the Greek alphabet) and Omega (the end letter of the Greek alphabet), the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos (he was in prison there), for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day … (Revelation 1:8-10).

Being “in the Spirit” means praying. John was in prayer “on the Lord’s day,” which was probably Sunday (despite that the Hebrew Roots people deny it and say it was most likely on Saturday). The early church had an attentive deliberation to meet on the first day of the week and that was codified in 325 with Constantine; it did not actually begin with him.

… and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea. And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; and his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars (which could possibly represent these seven churches): and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword … (Revelation 1:10-16).

Assuredly, this has to be some form of allegorical-apocalyptic writing; it is written in a magnificent manner and serves to engage our emotions. For clarity, a two-edged sword is not really going to come out of his mouth, neither is he going to hold seven stars in his hand.

… and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore. Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter; The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches (Revelation 1:16-20).

Clearly, this book contains apocalyptic literature because it has writings of things that occurred while John is at the isle of Patmos plus those which will happen later; it includes the present and the future.

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