How are seven churches in Revelation divided into two groups?


“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will…” (Revelation 2:7, 11, 17)

“He who overcomes will… He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Revelation 2:26-29, 3:5-6, 12-13, 21-22)

Among all seven churches in Revelation chapters 2 and 3, every one of them has a promise from God in the end for those who have overcome.

However, these promises are patterned together differently among two groups of churches.

For churches of Ephesus, Smyrna and Pergamum, the pattern is this: the phrase “what the Spirit says to the churches” goes the first; the promises for those who have overcome are made the last.

For churches of Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea, however, the patten is completely reversed: the promises to overcomers are made the first; “what the Spirit says to the churches” comes after.

These two completely reversed patterns indicate that the first three churches are tied up with the entire course of the Millennial Jubilee while the latter four churches correspond to the End Stage, which is what we are in right now – the stage when Satan has been released to deceive all nations.

As to when the Millennial Jubilee is finished and when the End Stage starts, it seems God does not require us to know exactly. However, we should always be alert so that we do not fall into spiritual darkness so deep that we are not even aware that we have entered the End Stage.

Moreover, based on what the Lord said to the latter four churches, we need to carefully consider the characteristics of the current times. Do you not see the Holy Spirit is using the above two different patterns to warn us, the believers living in the End Stage: are we still struggling to be the first “overcomer” and yet putting what the Holy Spirit is saying to us the second place?

This daily devotional message is taken from Taichuan Tongs new book “The Sword for the End Times (I): Dividing Truths in Daniel & Revelation”

Download English translation of this book22
Download original Chinese version of this book

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