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the Seven Churches of Revelation


YAGEV  Local Administrations Project Research

Development Education Foundation

Local Governments Project Research, Development and Education Foundation (YAGEV) was established in 1995 in Ankara to develop local projects in accordance with the needs of the new age and to implement these projects in order to strengthen local democracy and development by considering the local and public interest in urban life. The foundation, which has its headquarters in Ankara, has a branch in Istanbul. The organizational structure of YAGEV has been formed in the form of the board of founders, the board of directors, the general directorate of the foundation and the supervisory board.



21-29 Sep. 8 NIGHTS 9 DAYS

18-27 Oct. 8 NIGHTS 9 DAYS

22 Nov. 1. Dec. 8 NIGHTS 9 DAYS



PERGAMOS: THE COMPROMISING CHURCH Pergamos was the capital city of Asia Minor, home to imposing temples dedicated to Zeus, Apollo, Athena, Asclepius (the healing cult) and Caesar. Its citizens were sophisticated and literate. The church at Pergamos is admonished for permitting false teachers to put "stumbling blocks" in the way of believers (Revelation 2:14). While people may not initially believe false teachings, tolerating the spread of deceptive ideas will eventually lead many to stumble spiritually and compromise the doctrines of true Apostolic Christianity. The Bible reveals that not only can false teachers cause people to stumble; so also can trials, tribulations, persecutions (Matthew 13:21) and poor examples (1 Corinthians 8:9). Some will even stumble over the Word of God and the teachings of Jesus Christ (Malachi 2:8; 1 Corinthians 1:23). The Pergamos era appears to extend from about 500–1000ad. It was during this time—the Dark Ages when the Roman Church dominated Europe—that Easter, Christmas, Halloween and the philosophical ideas of the Trinity and the immortal soul were absorbed from paganism into the dominant church. Intellectual sophistication, human reason and the desire to be "progressive" often leads to abandoning fundamental biblical truth The lesson of Pergamos is pointed: Do not tolerate false teachings or those who promote them—compromise causes people to stumble; Christians must stand for the Truth. This advice is particularly appropriate for the Church today!


SMYRNA: FAITHFUL IN TRIAL The church at Smyrna offers another powerful and timeless lesson. Smyrna was a prosperous, bustling, beautifully planned port city, but Christians there faced considerable persecution. The Smyrna era appears to cover the third and fourth centuries ad, a period of intense Roman persecution of the Church. While the Smyrna era is commended for its works and being rich in faith (Revelation 2:9), it is urged to be "faithful until death" in order to receive a reward (Revelation 2:10). The church at Smyrna illustrates the vital importance of endurance—of holding on to your beliefs during difficult times. Jesus said that "he who endures to the end shall be saved" (Matthew 24:13). The Apostle Paul wrote that only those who finish the race will be given a prize (1 Corinthians 9:24–27). Elders are admonished that they must be found "holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught" (Titus 1:9). If your foundation is solid (Matthew 7:24–29), and you take time to "prove" what the Truth is (1 Thessalonians 5:21, KJV), you will be prepared to endure when the going becomes rough. Historical sources reveal that Christians of the Smyrna era believed in the Millennium—the thousand-year reign of Christ and the saints on earth. They would have nothing to do with the Roman Saturnalia and Brumalia (sources of modern Christmas customs). They tithed and did not believe in an immortal soul. They kept the Sabbath and the Holy Days, and followed the dietary laws of Scripture (see Edward Gibbon's The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, chapter 15). It is no wonder they were persecuted; they did not follow prevailing social and religious customs. Smyrna is one of only two churches to receive no correction. The lesson of the Smyrna era is simple, but vital and timeless: Remain faithful in trials—endure to the end and do not give up! It is a lesson we cannot afford to forget!


EPHESUS: LOST ITS FIRST LOVE Ephesus was the leading city of Asia Minor—but it was in a state of decline. The Ephesian church is symbolic of the Apostolic era of the first and second centuries ad. This church is commended for its works—the preaching, enduring and serving by the early disciples (Revelation 2:1–3). Even they had to discern between false teachers and true Christian ministers. However, like the fading glory of Ephesus, the Church at the end of the first century was told that "you have left your first love" (Revelation 2:4). God warned that, unless they repented, He would cease to use them for His purpose (Revelation 2:5). John equates "love" with walking in the truth and keeping the commandments (2 John 6). Concerning the effect of false teachers, he warns, "Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for," including our reward (2 John 7–8). In 3 John, he urges the Church to serve the brethren and to "become fellow workers for the truth" (vv. 4–8). Though Jesus emphasized humility (Matthew 5:5) and love for neighbor (John 15:12), the Church at the end of the first century contained individuals who loved preeminence over others—an attitude the Bible calls evil (3 John 9–11). The church at Ephesus had lost its love—for God, for the Truth, for doing the Work and for the brethren. In place of these key fundamentals, people were listening to deceptive doctrines (see Revelation 2:6). For some, holding on to a position was more important than holding on to the Truth. Even today, some are more concerned with holding a position—perhaps serving as an elder or deacon, passing out songbooks or leading a choir—than with doing the Work of God. The lesson of the Ephesian era is clear: Get back on track—do the Work. Preach the Gospel with zeal, love the Truth and love each other. The New Testament Church, which began in the 30s, was beginning to fragment in the 90s, when John wrote his epistles and the book of Revelation. The Apostle Paul indicates that this diversity of opinion had been present for some time (1 Corinthians 1:10–13), and was causing people to fall away (2 Timothy 1:15). In just over 60 years, the Church founded by Jesus Christ was already rife with division and doctrinal strife. This should be a sobering lesson for us today!
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