Shidaanikei Publishers Incorporated is proud to announce the publication of Jesus & The Seven Churches of Revelation (2019) (ISBN: 978-1-9992257-1- 1)by Rev. Dr. Charles B. Mantey. Revelation was written by John who was one of the disciples of Jesus. Because of his faith as a Christian, he was banished the Roman Emperor to the Patmos Island. Jesus came to him in a vision and gave him messages to be given to the seven churches. These messages highlights some of the hidden things going on among the Christians in those churches. These secrets plus other accounts in the book, aptly describe the name of the book – as “Revelation” (apokalypsis) which means, to expose in full view what was formerly hidden or veiled.
The seven churches who were recipients of the messages from Jesus were; Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea. The common theme that runs through the messages to these seven churches was their suffering in the face of persecution. During this time, Emperor worship was at its height in all places under Roman authority. Anyone who refused to pay homage to Caesar by burning a pinch of incense and say, “Caesar is Lord” is persecuted.
Apart from the Emperor worship, some of the churches were also involved in idol worship; which was abominable before God. For example; Ephesus was the centre for the worship of the fertility goddess known in Greek as “Artemis.” In the Pergamum church, Jesus vehemently denied the teachings of Baalam and the Nicolaitans – false teachings that have taken root within the church. Israel was lured into immorality and paganism when they drifted from God and worshipped Baal (Numbers 25:1-3). In the Thyatira church, the Christians had tolerated the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads them into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols.
In all the seven churches, Jesus rebuked them for tolerating false teachers and other abominable sins. He therefore asked the Christians to repent of their evil ways and come back to God. He also encouraged them to persevere in serving God; knowing that, if they continued to be faithful, this will pay off when they receive their crowns. He also promised them of his continuous protection and care in their struggles.
In conclusion, Jesus told the seven churches the following two important things; a) “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne” (Revelation 3:21 NIV). b) Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God (Revelation 2:7 NIV).