I'm not a Bible scholar, nor do I know the entire Bible from cover-to-end, but I do however like to think I know the Bible pretty well. However, when it comes to the seven churches in Revelation (chapters 2 and 3), I am totally lost. I have no clue who or what the seven churches are.
I realize the seven churches were seven real churches that existed in Asia Minor during the early New Testament era. But do they still hold a message for us, today? Do they represent seven types of churches that can be found today? Or do they represent seven different ages of God's true church that can be tracked through history books?
I am lead to believe they represent seven different church ages. Ephesus is the first era, because Simon Peter tested Simon Pater (Simon Magus from Acts 8:9-24) and found the apostle to be a liar. This fulfills Ephesus prophecy. Many mistake Simon Peter as the first pope, but it was actually Simon Pater who was the first pope.
I learned the above information from David C. Pack, the pastor over the Restored Church of God. Mr. Pack teaches the church he pastors is the seventh and final church era of God's one true church. Could this be true?
The Restored Church of God is a splinter church from the Worldwide Church of God, whom Herbert W. Armstrong was pastor over. Armstrong's influence on Christian forums is phenomenal! Anytime you see someone say things like, "The Plain Truth about,..." or "The Real Truth about,..." you can bet they have been reading Mr. Armstrong's books.
Not being judgmental to this site, (maybe I am wrong) but I see lots of Mr. Armstrong's influences creeping onto the forums. "When is someone born again? What is the true gospel? Who is the true Jesus? Should we keep the Sabbath? Do the saved go to heaven? God's holy days or pagan holidays?" - all these things were preached by Mr. Armstrong, and they are still continuing to be taught online through pastors like David C. Pack. Again, not saying everyone who believes these ideas got them from the Church of God splinter churches, but I am willing to guess some people at least did. (As I know I have certainly learned a lot from pastors like Mr. Pack.)
But anyways, back to the the seven churches. Can someone tell me who they are? I am considering joining the Restored Church of God, as Mr. Pack's argument for who the seven churches are is quite good. (You can go the Restored Church of God's main website to read his book, "Where is the True Church?" for free online.)
The reason I really need to know, is because joining a church like the Restored Church of God would completely change my life. God has given me two complete chapters on the seven churches, and sadly I have no clue who the churches are. I really need to know! Can anyone please help me out?
Thank you for taking the time read all of this!
God bless you all!~