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23 Suffering in the Seven Churches

Updated: Oct 14, 2021

With this episode we begin a series on the Book of Revelation. We begin by discovering the common thread of Suffering in the Seven Churches. 

23 Suffering in the Seven Churches
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Revelation’s major sequences of Sevens

Seven Churches

Seven Seals Seven Trumpets

Seven Battle Scenes

Seven Plagues

NOT to be taken as timelines as in Daniel

Revelation’s major sequences of Sevens Continuation of Jesus’ revelation as to the cause of suffering: the devil or satan or the dragon/serpent. O.T. writers attributed all supernatural events, good or bad, to God. Shattan was not evil but served to bring out the truth (Job 1&2, 1 Chr 21:1 cp. 2 Sam 24:1, Zech 3) Jesus’ explanation of the cause of suffering was new to Israel and to many Christians who still think that God was causing the suffering in the O.T.

Revelation’s major sequences of Sevens

Here are some of the insights Jesus gave about the devil: Matthew 8:44 Liar and murderer from the beginning Luke 10:18 Fell from heaven like lightening John 10:10 Thief steals (faith), kills (hope) & destroys (joy) Matthew 13:25 Enemy sowed the weeds Revelation is a continuation of Jesus’ revealing. (cp 12:9)

Revelation demonstrates the suffering Satan has caused. Seven Churches—Satan has destroyed the unity Jesus prayed for in John 17 Seven Seals—Age old Suffering inflicted by Satan Seven Trumpets—Suffering caused by Satan is restrained by Jesus and his angels. Seven Battle Scenes—Satan’s war with God & the Woman Seven Plagues—Universal catastrophic suffering, caused by Satan, destroys all life. Only those taken to heaven at Second Coming survive.

Seven Churches

First congregations outside home churches Jesus cares for his body with: Promises, Counsel, Encouragement, Satan worked to destroy & he succeeded! None exist today! Monotheistic religions demonstrate disunity Jesus prayed for unity for all believers

The Devil’s harassment of the 7 Churches Ephesus: Patiently suffered under the Devil and hated the evil of the Nicolaitans (2:3, 6) . Smyrna: I know the Devil caused you suffering and oppression through the Synagogue of Satan (2:9-10). Pergamum: Loyal even though you live in Satan’s city (2:13).

Thyatira: Some have not followed the depths of Satan (2:24).

Sardis: Some have not soiled their clothes with evil (3:4).

Philadelphia: Satan’s synagogue will bow at your feet (3:9).

Laodicea: Nothing recorded.

The Church, the body of Christ Today

The Seven Churches in Asia Minor no longer exist. Christianity is decimated around the Mediterranean Sea. The Body of Christ is divided into thousands of parts. Satan has successfully fragmented the Body of Christ.

Divisions in Christianity Eastern, Western split 1000 CE East: National divisions West: Roman, Anglican, Protestant Protestant: Thousands of Divisions

Bewildering Division Secular people see a bewildering array of religions & denominations. Each one claiming they are right! The body of Christ is fragmented and feeble. Satan has apparently succeeded. Jesus prayer for unity seems to be unanswered (John 17:23).

John 17:23 NLT I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.

John 13:35 NLT Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

Seven Churches Satan attacks Jesus’ body– the church Seven Seals Age old Suffering caused by Satan Seven Trumpets Devil’s attacks & Jesus protects 2/3 earth Seven Battle Scenes Dragon attacks in Heaven & on earth Seven Plagues Devil destroys the planet. Saints delivered.

Seven Churches

Seven Seals Interlude between 6th & 7th) Seven Trumpets Interlude between 6th & 7th) Seven Battle Scenes Interlude between 6th & 7th) Seven Plagues Interlude between 6th & 7th)

Interludes call for Repentance:

1. Seven Churches 2. Seven Seals Repentant 144,000 are sealed 3. Seven Trumpets repentance 4. Seven Battle Scenes blameless 5. Seven Plagues Two witnesses call for Repentant 144,000 Repent and stay awake

Revelation has two clear messages

The repentant, followers of the Lamb triumph with Him The stubborn, followers of the Dragon die with him

Divisions in Monotheistic Religions

Judaism Christianity Islam

Divisions in Judaism Orthodox Conservative Reformed Secular 2 m 4.5 m 3.75 m 4.5 m Secular dominate in Israel Most Jews do not observe the law Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist

Divisions in Islam Islam: Sunni, Shi’ah, Kawarij Sunni mystics and hundreds more.

Seven Seals

The book of Daniel was sealed to the end time. Horses are the 4 OT consequences of disobedience: Anti-Christs, war, famine, plague Jesus has triumphed over all these

Seven Trumpets

Trumpets warned of disaster (Jericho/Atonement) Trumpets are all associated with something hurled or thrown down. Satan was hurled down to earth Seven stories of his siege of the earth

Seven Battle Scenes

The great controversy in seven parts The Dragon and the Beast oppose Christ and the pure Woman

Seven Plagues

Plagues on Egypt prepared the Israelites to leave Egypt The 7 plagues prepare the Saints to leave earth

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