The 'Church Age' Model. Based on The 7 Churches of Asia Province.

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Lucy-Pevensie

Senior Member
Dec 20, 2017
6,347
4,627
113
#1
The Chronological Church Age Model based on the seven churches of Asia Province.
That the seven churches of Revelation 2-3 represent seven consecutive ages of church history.


  1. Ephesus
  2. Smyrna
  3. Pergamos
  4. Thyatira
  5. Sardis
  6. Philadelphia
  7. Laodicea

It's an idea with some logic to it but it is also flawed. I've heard this model taught but had no idea where it originated.
A little research reveals it's a Scofield commetary idea that goes along with dispensational doctrine.


I have no doubt that the seven letters to the West Anatolian churches have important messages for us today.
But are they representative of seven ages of church history with our present time being the "Laodicean Age"
I remain skeptical but am curious what other Christians think about this model.
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
17,307
5,829
113
#2
wasnt it Darby who first propogated it
I thought it was a weird reading of Revelation. Its commonly taught alternative doctrine floating around especially for those enamoured with doomsday predictions and date setting.
 
Aug 20, 2021
1,863
309
83
#3
The Chronological Church Age Model based on the seven churches of Asia Province.
That the seven churches of Revelation 2-3 represent seven consecutive ages of church history.


  1. Ephesus
  2. Smyrna
  3. Pergamos
  4. Thyatira
  5. Sardis
  6. Philadelphia
  7. Laodicea

It's an idea with some logic to it but it is also flawed. I've heard this model taught but had no idea where it originated.
A little research reveals it's a Scofield commetary idea that goes along with dispensational doctrine.


I have no doubt that the seven letters to the West Anatolian churches have important messages for us today.
But are they representative of seven ages of church history with our present time being the "Laodicean Age"
I remain skeptical but am curious what other Christians think about this model.
I seem it as the whole world slice into 7 portions.
seven continents

There are seven continents: Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe, and Australia (listed from largest to smallest in size). Sometimes Europe and Asia are considered one continent called Eurasia. Continents loosely correlate with the positions of tectonic plates.Thus 7 churches
 

Nehemiah6

Senior Member
Jul 18, 2017
18,543
9,461
113
#4
Its commonly taught alternative doctrine floating around especially for those enamoured with doomsday predictions and date setting.
How did you connect "doomsday predictions and date setting" with the letters to the seven churches of Asia Minor? These are totally unrelated.

While many postulate that they represent church ages, that is not necessarily the reason for those letters. The messages to those churches must serve all churches in all ages, and would apply when the conditions presently resemble what existed at that time in those churches.

At the same time a case can be made for applying those letters to church ages. The meanings of names of those cities are taken from Strong's Concordance and appear to relate to those future periods:

30 AD - 54 AD Ephesus (Permitted) -- Evangelism

54 AD - 312 AD Smyrna (Myrrh or Bitter) -- Persecution

312 AD - 607 AD Pergamos (Elevation) -- Marriage of Church and State

607 AD - 1520 AD Thyatira (Affliction) -- The Dark Ages

1520 AD - 1750AD Sardis (Red Ones) -- The Reformation

1750 AD - 1900 AD Philadelphia (Brotherly Love) -- Revivals and Missionary Movements

1900 AD - the Present Laodicea (Justice of the People) -- Apostasy

Rather than looking for specifics we should look at the overall condition of each church to see the correlation.
 

Pilgrimshope

Well-known member
Sep 2, 2020
6,563
2,263
113
#5
The Chronological Church Age Model based on the seven churches of Asia Province.
That the seven churches of Revelation 2-3 represent seven consecutive ages of church history.


  1. Ephesus
  2. Smyrna
  3. Pergamos
  4. Thyatira
  5. Sardis
  6. Philadelphia
  7. Laodicea

It's an idea with some logic to it but it is also flawed. I've heard this model taught but had no idea where it originated.
A little research reveals it's a Scofield commetary idea that goes along with dispensational doctrine.


I have no doubt that the seven letters to the West Anatolian churches have important messages for us today.
But are they representative of seven ages of church history with our present time being the "Laodicean Age"
I remain skeptical but am curious what other Christians think about this model.
I’ve heard the idea also but find the flaws in it hard to overcome. I believe the seven churches means “ all the churches of the world from the gospel to the end of the world “ and applies in many various ways to situations we face even today.

Love of Money and trust in the material, allowing the spirit of fornications both physical And spiritual , also the churches facing persecutions ongoing since the early church are addressed.

I believe the seven letters like scripture always does is conveying a message of warning and exhortations , comfort and encouragement and applies to all generations given The circumstances or struggles or even persecutions they are correctly in. They really In my view are addressed to “Anyone with ears to hear what the spirit says “

and by design God knew we would
Be reading the same scriptures even until now days. The Bible is always teaching us what we seemingly by nature don’t want to accept and know. Always consistently reminding us of the importance of repenting and watching our selves always an exhortation to wake up and walk right before it’s too late.

I find that same message in the seven letters along with encouragement , promises and much hope for the overcomers . Assurance and comfort as well but a lot of repentance and rebuke and exhortation is found in those letters

I don’t know if the theory of church age holds up I seem to be about where you are with it it doesn’t make sense in so many points
 

DavidTree

Well-known member
Aug 2, 2021
6,628
1,846
113
#6
The Chronological Church Age Model based on the seven churches of Asia Province.
That the seven churches of Revelation 2-3 represent seven consecutive ages of church history.


  1. Ephesus
  2. Smyrna
  3. Pergamos
  4. Thyatira
  5. Sardis
  6. Philadelphia
  7. Laodicea

It's an idea with some logic to it but it is also flawed. I've heard this model taught but had no idea where it originated.
A little research reveals it's a Scofield commetary idea that goes along with dispensational doctrine.


I have no doubt that the seven letters to the West Anatolian churches have important messages for us today.
But are they representative of seven ages of church history with our present time being the "Laodicean Age"
I remain skeptical but am curious what other Christians think about this model.
The Lord chose Seven churches to give a Complete message, that will and does apply, to all Saints from the moment it was given to His Coming.

The message begins before He addresses the churches - "The Revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave Him to show His servants."

#1 - His servants are those washed in His Blood and made us kings and priests unto God. 1:5
#2 - He is coming, as foretold in the Gospels and Acts 1, with clouds and every eye shall see Him 1:7
#3 - He is the Alpha and Omega - Revelation is Complete from beginning to end. 1:8
#4 - Do not be afraid - Christ is alive forevermore 1:17-18
#5 - ALL Seven churches are told this - "to him who overcomes"

This statement by our Lord is the KEY to understanding the His Revelation = "he who overcomes"

This is why the word 'church' no longer appears after chapter 3.

Our lord is not coming back for 'churches' - He is coming back for His Saints who are the Overcomers.

It is the Overcomer who inherits all things, crowns, white robes, white stone, new name, pillars, power, hidden manna, name protected in the Book of Life, sit with Christ on His Throne.

There is only One Body which are His Saints/Overcomers/Brethren/His Elect/His Bride

"And they overcame him by the Blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death."
 

Pilgrimshope

Well-known member
Sep 2, 2020
6,563
2,263
113
#7
The Lord chose Seven churches to give a Complete message, that will and does apply, to all Saints from the moment it was given to His Coming.

The message begins before He addresses the churches - "The Revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave Him to show His servants."

#1 - His servants are those washed in His Blood and made us kings and priests unto God. 1:5
#2 - He is coming, as foretold in the Gospels and Acts 1, with clouds and every eye shall see Him 1:7
#3 - He is the Alpha and Omega - Revelation is Complete from beginning to end. 1:8
#4 - Do not be afraid - Christ is alive forevermore 1:17-18
#5 - ALL Seven churches are told this - "to him who overcomes"

This statement by our Lord is the KEY to understanding the His Revelation = "he who overcomes"

This is why the word 'church' no longer appears after chapter 3.

Our lord is not coming back for 'churches' - He is coming back for His Saints who are the Overcomers.

It is the Overcomer who inherits all things, crowns, white robes, white stone, new name, pillars, power, hidden manna, name protected in the Book of Life, sit with Christ on His Throne.

There is only One Body which are His Saints/Overcomers/Brethren/His Elect/His Bride

"And they overcame him by the Blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death."
Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.

By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

…And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.”
‭‭1 John‬ ‭5:1-5, 20‬ ‭KJV‬‬
 

DavidTree

Well-known member
Aug 2, 2021
6,628
1,846
113
#8
Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.

By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

…And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.”
‭‭1 John‬ ‭5:1-5, 20‬ ‭KJV‬‬
AMEN - we share the same Spirit and Witness within us. There is one consistent message throughout - no confusion.
 

montana123

Active member
Oct 9, 2021
273
101
43
#9
The Chronological Church Age Model based on the seven churches of Asia Province.
That the seven churches of Revelation 2-3 represent seven consecutive ages of church history.


  1. Ephesus
  2. Smyrna
  3. Pergamos
  4. Thyatira
  5. Sardis
  6. Philadelphia
  7. Laodicea

It's an idea with some logic to it but it is also flawed. I've heard this model taught but had no idea where it originated.
A little research reveals it's a Scofield commetary idea that goes along with dispensational doctrine.


I have no doubt that the seven letters to the West Anatolian churches have important messages for us today.
But are they representative of seven ages of church history with our present time being the "Laodicean Age"
I remain skeptical but am curious what other Christians think about this model.
I believe the 7 Churches is a prophetic statement to how the Church age will go in popular influence among the people, and if any faults God always has people in the truth.

We are at the last Church age where many saints will heap money and material things to themselves which can only happen at the time of technology because it caused money to flow greatly and people can reach out to a larger area and more people to make money for they are not limited area wise like in the past.

Pro 30:11 There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother.
Pro 30:12 There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.
Pro 30:13 There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up.
Pro 30:14 There is a generation, whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men.

The last generation which because of technology they can heap more money to themselves and many people claiming Christ are doing the same although many not to the same extreme because they have some kind of love for people.

We are at the Laodicean Church age where the popular influence among the saints is the prosperity Gospel and God blesses with money and material things.
 

Dino246

Senior Member
Jun 30, 2015
20,969
11,479
113
#10
The Lord chose Seven churches to give a Complete message, that will and does apply, to all Saints from the moment it was given to His Coming.

The message begins before He addresses the churches - "The Revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave Him to show His servants."
I find it difficult to take seriously any interpretation that begins by excluding words from the text... "what must soon take place."

There is nothing in the text to suggest that these seven letters were "a complete message that will and does apply to all saints from the moment it was given to His coming". In fact, there are reasons to conclude that it was not such, for Jesus did not say to all the churches, "Repent therefore". He had nothing critical to say to the church in Pergamum, and nothing complimentary to say to the church in Laodicea.
 

DavidTree

Well-known member
Aug 2, 2021
6,628
1,846
113
#11
I find it difficult to take seriously any interpretation that begins by excluding words from the text... "what must soon take place."

There is nothing in the text to suggest that these seven letters were "a complete message that will and does apply to all saints from the moment it was given to His coming". In fact, there are reasons to conclude that it was not such, for Jesus did not say to all the churches, "Repent therefore". He had nothing critical to say to the church in Pergamum, and nothing complimentary to say to the church in Laodicea.
7 means complete = on the seventh day God rested / numbers have meaning in Scripture

There were more then these seven churches during this writing - the Lord used these seven to give a complete message for all His Saints. That is why, in each church addressed He said "to him who overcomes".
This was said 7 times = completed, it is verified and there will be no change to what the Lord has said and determined.

The Lord moves on to reveal to John things in Heaven and what will take place up to His Coming, including
when He comes and the First Resurrection and and continues forward to the Final Completion of God's Will.

It is GOOD when the LORD does not say repent = COMPLETE
 

Dino246

Senior Member
Jun 30, 2015
20,969
11,479
113
#12
7 means complete = on the seventh day God rested / numbers have meaning in Scripture
Where in Scripture does it say that seven means complete?

There were more then these seven churches during this writing - the Lord used these seven to give a complete message for all His Saints. That is why, in each church addressed He said "to him who overcomes".
That's a non sequitur.

This was said 7 times = completed, it is verified and there will be no change to what the Lord has said and determined.
Again, where in Scripture does it say that seven means complete?

It is GOOD when the LORD does not say repent = COMPLETE
Another non sequitur.

Respectfully, you're going in circles. You have said nothing of substance, because your claims are not founded in Scripture.
 

DavidTree

Well-known member
Aug 2, 2021
6,628
1,846
113
#13
Where in Scripture does it say that seven means complete?


That's a non sequitur.


Again, where in Scripture does it say that seven means complete?


Another non sequitur.

Respectfully, you're going in circles. You have said nothing of substance, because your claims are not founded in Scripture.
Remain as you are
 

Dino246

Senior Member
Jun 30, 2015
20,969
11,479
113
#14
Your dismissal is a clear indication that you cannot answer my questions. ;)

I would strongly encourage you to build your interpretations of Scripture on what Scripture actually says, not on inferences about what it says.
 

Nehemiah6

Senior Member
Jul 18, 2017
18,543
9,461
113
#15
Where in Scripture does it say that seven means complete?
There are dozens of Scripture which indicate that the spiritual meaning of the number seven (or its multiples) is "divine completion". The book of Revelation is replete with sevens. And Christ said that perfect forgiveness would be 70 x 7. Then we have the 70 weeks of Daniel (70 x 7 = 490 years), as well as the 70 years of Babylonian captivity. And the list could go on. So do you really want a textbook statement after all this?
 

Dino246

Senior Member
Jun 30, 2015
20,969
11,479
113
#16
There are dozens of Scripture which indicate that the spiritual meaning of the number seven (or its multiples) is "divine completion". The book of Revelation is replete with sevens. And Christ said that perfect forgiveness would be 70 x 7. Then we have the 70 weeks of Daniel (70 x 7 = 490 years), as well as the 70 years of Babylonian captivity. And the list could go on. So do you really want a textbook statement after all this?
The idea that seven means completion is an inference, not an assertion of Scripture itself. Therefore, it should be held lightly and not used as the basis for any doctrinal statement or major interpretation, which is what DavidTree has done.

Christ did not say that perfect forgiveness would be 70 x 7. He said nothing about perfection in that passage.
 

jb

Senior Member
Feb 27, 2010
4,594
444
83
#17
How did you connect "doomsday predictions and date setting" with the letters to the seven churches of Asia Minor? These are totally unrelated.

While many postulate that they represent church ages, that is not necessarily the reason for those letters. The messages to those churches must serve all churches in all ages, and would apply when the conditions presently resemble what existed at that time in those churches.

At the same time a case can be made for applying those letters to church ages. The meanings of names of those cities are taken from Strong's Concordance and appear to relate to those future periods:

30 AD - 54 AD Ephesus (Permitted) -- Evangelism

54 AD - 312 AD Smyrna (Myrrh or Bitter) -- Persecution

312 AD - 607 AD Pergamos (Elevation) -- Marriage of Church and State

607 AD - 1520 AD Thyatira (Affliction) -- The Dark Ages

1520 AD - 1750AD Sardis (Red Ones) -- The Reformation

1750 AD - 1900 AD Philadelphia (Brotherly Love) -- Revivals and Missionary Movements

1900 AD - the Present Laodicea (Justice of the People) -- Apostasy

Rather than looking for specifics we should look at the overall condition of each church to see the correlation.
The letters to the seven churches are NOT prophecies of different periods of Church history, they are messages to each named individual church. However, each letter to the churches has lessons for all of Christ's Church in all ages. We need to take note of the warnings, and rejoice in the promises, that Jesus gives to these churches. There have been many different kinds of churches in every period of Church history. The word of God is the eternal voice of God to His people. The Holy Spirit meets the particular and local needs of each church through His gifts. There is a framework common to each letter:

The letters are all addressed to the angels of the seven churches.

Each letter describes some attribute of Christ particularly applicable to each church.

There is a description of the condition of each church.

Jesus reveals the people and means by which Satan attacks the churches.

There is a precious promise to those who are overcomers.

The spiritual qualities that make up the character of the overcomer.

The saints are exhorted to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit.

 

Gideon300

Well-known member
Mar 18, 2021
3,026
1,858
113
#18
The Chronological Church Age Model based on the seven churches of Asia Province.
That the seven churches of Revelation 2-3 represent seven consecutive ages of church history.


  1. Ephesus
  2. Smyrna
  3. Pergamos
  4. Thyatira
  5. Sardis
  6. Philadelphia
  7. Laodicea

It's an idea with some logic to it but it is also flawed. I've heard this model taught but had no idea where it originated.
A little research reveals it's a Scofield commetary idea that goes along with dispensational doctrine.


I have no doubt that the seven letters to the West Anatolian churches have important messages for us today.
But are they representative of seven ages of church history with our present time being the "Laodicean Age"
I remain skeptical but am curious what other Christians think about this model.
There is quite a bit of backing for this view. However, it is a little more complex. Don't fall for the trap that the only Church that matters is in the West.

The Western church falls into a number categories. There are those that have sound teaching, well organised meetings, good structures and yet are as cold as ice. They have left their first love.

Some are full of themselves, boasting of their massive numbers, TV programs, big budgets and how they appeal to everyone. They fear offending anyone because they literally cannot afford to. People are complacent and proud, yet have little idea of what the Christian life is about. Such places fit the Laodicean description.

Others are just dying. They've stuck with tradition, but are just a shell. They used to be alive, but not anymore. They just go through the motions. The congregations dwindle as people age and pass away.

Some Christians are separated from the fallen church, spiritually, physically or both. Some go from church to church, seeking a semblance of reality somewhere. Others quit entirely and form small and independent groups.

There are countries where it costs to be a Christian. In Egypt, Christians are second class citizens, "dhimmi" in Muslim terms. They are taxed to be able to live and they can do only menial tasks. Some nations imprison or kill anyone who declares Christ openly. Muslim nations have the death penalty for anyone who renounces Islam. China is cracking down on Christians again. North Korea permits no religion apart from Kim worship. Christians in those nations are for real because they become Christians despite the risks.

I'm not a prophet, but I would not be at all surprised that the last days victorious church will be predominantly from the persecuted nations. We are seeing the demise of what calls itself Christian in the West. I hope I'm wrong. The Church must prevail, and it will, because Lord Jesus is building His church. Nothing can stop Him. Who in the West will be among the victorious?
 
E

eternally-gratefull

Guest
#19
While these 7 churches are 7 literal churches in Johns day.

its hard to ignore the fact that if you look at church histroy, it resembles the church age and its progression literally. Up until today.

Now was it written to do that? We will have to ask John when we see him.

But it is still hard to overlook. especially written in a book which speaks of things happening from Johns day until the end of time.
 
Jul 23, 2018
12,199
2,773
113
#20
Your dismissal is a clear indication that you cannot answer my questions. ;)

I would strongly encourage you to build your interpretations of Scripture on what Scripture actually says, not on inferences about what it says.
i have yet to see him back up anything he "believes."

As he responded to you is the same snarky overgeneralization i have experienced with the man.