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The Timeless Church
The apostle John was given to write the Book of Revelation (which means revealing) while he was being held as a prisoner at a military concentration camp that the Romans established on the island of Patmos (see also The Old Man's Letter).
"1:9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ." (Revelation 1:9 KJV)
Jesus Christ gave John the content of the letter to the "seven churches which are in Asia" (i.e. on the nearby mainland of Turkey - see the map).
"1:11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea." (Revelation 1:11 KJV)
"As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent"
Some self-worshipping people have interpreted the seven churches to mean successive "church eras" that occurred from the first century until the present i.e. those who believe in that idea almost always self-righteously claim themselves to be the "Philadelphia" church which they say is the righteous one. But the letter was written to seven groups of Christians of the one and only true Church of God that existed at the same time. They were separated by short distances (see the map), not time. As well, the personalities that are described in each of the seven groups could hardly be character strengths and weaknesses that existed only one after another over the past 2,000 years. Those characteristics have always existed together.
Consider the timeless righteousness and sinfulness found in each of those seven groups of the Church of God - that all can be found in the Church of God of any time:
"2:2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil ... 2:4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. 2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent." (Revelation 2:2,4-5 KJV)
"2:9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, but thou art rich ... 2:10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer" (Revelation 2:9,10 KJV)
"2:13 I know thy works and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith ... 2:14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication." (Revelation 2:13,14 KJV)
"2:19 I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first. 2:20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols" (Revelation 2:19,20 KJV)
"3:4 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy ... 3:2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God." (Revelation 3:4,2 KJV)
"3:8 I know thy works ... thou hast a little strength" (Revelation 3:8 KJV)
"3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten ... 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne." (Revelation 3:19,21 KJV)
Fact Finder: How is it that Christ will come "soon" to everyone, regardless of when they lived through time?