The seven churches in Asia (modern-day Turkey)
NOW WE get to the prophetic stuff! The Book of Revelation was written by John, either in the mid-60s A.D. or around 95 A.D. Most scholars believe it was the later date, during the reign of Domitian, although some believe it was thirty years earlier, during the reign of Nero.
Either way, Revelation is a deep and fascinating prophecy given to John by Jesus himself. This week, we discuss the introduction to the book and the messages from Jesus to the seven churches of Asia. All seven are in modern-day Turkey, which may have significance for the last days. We briefly explain how the seven churches represent the ages of church history (see the chart below) and various heresies that had entered the church before the end of the first century A.D.
THE EARLY church had to deal with a number of heretical teachings. The idea that Jesus was not fully God and fully man was one of them.
The apostle John addressed this in his first epistle. In his gentle style, John counseled believers to love one another, to recognize false teachings, and to test the spirits, because not everything that manifests from the supernatural realm is from God.
THE EARLY church grows by leaps and bounds in the days after Pentecost. But things weren’t perfect because (surprise!) the apostles were human, too.
We discuss the dispute between Greek and Jewish believers over the care of widows and the deception of Ananias and Sapphira. We also cover the sort-of conversion of Simon Magus, the conversion of the Ethiopian eunuch, and the stoning of Stephen — our introduction to Saul of Tarsus, who would arguably become the greatest of all the apostles.