Bible Truth FAQs
THE IDENTITY OF THE SEVEN CHURCHES
The Apostle John, while in exile on the isle of Patmos, heard a great voice behind him instructing him to write in a book the things he was about to see and to send it unto the seven churches of Asia. These were named as the churches at Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea (Rev. 1:11). We have the geographic locations, but what churches were they?
The seven churches were represented by seven golden candlesticks (verse 12), confirmed by the voice of Christ (verse 20). This tells us that the churches were identical except for location. 'They were all golden candlesticks, made of the same material figuratively.
At the time John wrote (first century), there were no churches except the one Christ promised to build (Matt. 16:18), and the only other identification was, by location. Catholicism did not become full-fledged until the first Pope was selected in the year 606 A.D. Denominationalism was not born until the Reformation some twelve centuries later. The seven churches of Asia were churches of Christ (Rom. 16:16), the New Testament church.
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