Information                    Inspiration                      Insight                        Restoration                        Healing

 Home   Donate   About Us   Contact Us  Resources  Media    Articles on Relationships Articles on Gender Equality

Videos  

CFR

Our Family Album

  Prepare/Enrich

 Seminars

Group Therapy Room

 

 

Revelation 2 & 3

Looking at the seven churches in Revelation with a unique twist.

Compiled and created by Barrington H. Brennen (1999)

Revised 2013, 2015

Printer-friendly PDF Format

 

 

Seven Historical Churches    Seven Prophetic Churches    Seven Ecclesiastical Traits    Seven Personality Traits

 

Why All This Talk About Laodicea?

It is my belief that although we are living in the prophetic time period called Laodicea (meaning lukewarm), all of the seven churches in Revelation still have meaning for us today.  More importantly, Christ is not coming for Laodicean people. 

People of Laodicea may give the impression that they are spiritually hot but they are actually indifferent.   They display enough piety to fool the on-looker but with close examination there is spiritual apathy.  This is the church known for its compromising spirit and its superficiality. The church easily attracts and welcomes new members but soon after the new members realize their indifference and lack of warmth, they get discourage and leave.

Note that after examining each of the churches we also can find in today's world churches and persons who display the characteristic of each of the churches in Revelation.  Most excitingly, the church at Smyrna, the one that had no fault, I believe represents the church or kind of people Christ is coming for. Smyrna is the spiritually hot church.  This is the model church. This is the church known for its deep loyal, faithfulness, trustworthiness, and teachable spirit. This is the kind of church that a pastor would dread to lead. It is know for its deep spiritual relationship with Jesus and genuineness, rather than the few unfortunate problems that normally weaken other churches. Itís an active church in nurture, outreach and community ministries. 

The church at Sardis is the worse church.  This is the frozen church.  Many of its members are amoral. They have no knowledge of the evil they are doing and wish not to know. They are indifferent, stubborn, full of self-pride. However, there are a few righteous member who decides to remain among them because they believe it is their ultimate mission to the church.  The church at Pergamum is the traditional, conservative church.  This church is known for its self-centeredness, sophistication, pride and legalism.  See the charts below

We need to study all the churches, not just Laodicea, to avoid the same problems they had at that time.  It is my view that there is too much emphasis on Laodicea prophetic period to the neglect of the preaching that Jesus is coming for--Smyrna, the really hot church.  Jesus is not coming for Laodicea, so why put so much emphasis on it?  Yes, we must understand the times in which we live but more importantly, we must know the kind of people we must become.

The psychological truth is what we emphasize the most that is what becomes most attractive to us. So talk and preach more about the Smyrna church and perhaps understand more about the other churches.  It is my view that all of the Revelation churches are spiritually existing today.  Hence, you may note carefully my seven Ecclesiastical and Church Traits ©   See what kind of church you are attending or what kind of personality you have.  Barrington H. Brennen

 

The Biblical Map of the Seven Churches

 

 

The Seven Historical Churches

The seven churches were literal churches in Asia raised by the Apostles.

They were in deep spiritual trouble and needed some revelation and encouragement.

 

CHURCH

MEANING OF NAME

EXPLANATION

Ephesus

"Desirable"

The church that was active in evangelism. Hard workers. Some left their fist love for Jesus. It was a spiritually warm church.

Smyrna

"Munron" The name of a aromatic gum

This church was being persecuted. This was a faithful church with no faults. This was the spiritually hot church.

Pergamum

"Citadel"

This church was becoming cold. There were some faithful members who did not worship satanic gods. However, many began to indulge into idol worship and sexual immorality.

Thyatira

"Sweet savor"

This church was even colder spirituality. Paganism had come into the church. There was immorality and idolatry.

Sardis

"Something new"

This is the spiritually dead church. The member were totally indifferent to Christian teachings. There was only a few members who remained faithful.

Philadelphia

"Brotherly love"

"This was a warm, lovable church. However, this church was struggling to remain faithful.

Laodicea

"Lukewarm"

This was the spiritually lukewarm church. It was a church of considerable wealth and talent. Most of the members were proud of their accomplishments. These members lack sincerity.

 

The Seven Prophetic Church Periods

Seventh-day Adventists believe that prophetically these seven church

represent seven consecutive periods of church history.

Here they are:

 

CHURCH

PERIOD

EXPLANATION

Ephesus

AD 33 to AD 100

This is the Apostolic period. The church in the first century. The church that was active in evangelism

Smyrna

AD 100 to AD 313

This was the strong and alive church described for its deep spirituality, loyalty, and faithfulness. It was the time when the church was being persecuted for its faith in Jesus

Pergamum

AD 313 to AD 538

This was the time that the papacy won religious, and to some extent, political leadership of Western Europe. The papacy was a skillful blend of paganism with Christianity. It was when Constantine joined church and state and ended persecution.

Thyatira

AD 538 to AD 1517

This is the period of papal supremacy. This period is the dark ages in church history. The 1200 years in Bible prophecy.

Sardis

AD 1517 to AD 1798

This is the time of the protestant reformation. Martin Luther, Huss, Jerome, etc., blazed the trail of reform. It was a time when papal supremacy ended

Philadelphia

AD 1798 to AD 1844

This is the period of the great advent awakening. William Miller blazed the trail of the Adventist Movement

Laodicea

AD 1844 ONWARD

This is the church in the last daysĖour time. The time of the investigative judgement.

 

 

 

The Brennen Seven Revelation Ecclesiastical Traits ©

The Seven Revelation Ecclesiastical Traits were written by Barrington Brennen.

It is his view that the characteristics of the seven churches can be used to describe that state and traits of church "personalities" today. Using his psychological training he developed these traits.

You can decide which is your church.

 

CHURCH TRAIT

DESCRIPTION

Ephesian Church Trait

This is the church that loves evangelism. There are key members who are zealous, dependable, and creative in developing ministries for church growth. However, there are many who are cold and have lost their first love. Nurture is not its strength This is the evangelistic church.

Philadelphian Church Trait

This is the church known for its fellowship, warmth, family spirit. It enjoys nurturing its members. Its membership grows through in-reach ministries. However, some of its member can be easily side tracked in to erroneous doctrine because of lack of deep Bible study. This is the family life church

Pergamanian Church Trait

This church is known for its self-centeredness, sophistication, pride and legalism. It is from this church that most like off-shoot movements will spring. There are some members however, who are faithful and hold on to Biblical teachings. This is the traditional, conservative church

Thyatira Church Trait

This is the church that perseveres through difficult and unfortunate times. However, many of its members are immoral spiritually and socially. It is a spiritually cold and critical church and a very difficult church for pastors to lead. Many of its members boldly defy the teachings of the church and make public disgrace of the congregation. This is the compromising church.

Sardisan Church Trait

This is the frozen church. This is the church that the conference may disband as a regular Adventist Church. Many of its members are amoral. They have no knowledge of the evil they are doing and wish not to know. They are indifferent, stubborn, full of self-pride. However, there are a few righteous member who decides to remain among them because they believe it is their ultimate mission to the church. This is the spiritually dead church.

Laocician Church Trait

This is the church that is known for its compromising spirit and its superficiality. This church easily attracts and welcomes new members but soon after the new members realize their indifference and lack of warmth, they get discourage and leave. This is the confused church.

SMYRNAN Church Trait

This is the model church. This is the church is known for its deep loyal, faithfulness, trustworthiness, and teachable spirit. This is the kind of church that a pastor would dream to lead. It is know for its deep spiritual relationship with Jesus and genuineness, rather than the few unfortunate problems that normally weaken other churches. Itís an active church in nurture, outreach and community ministries. This is the church God will be returning for at the second coming.

 

The Brennen Seven Revelation Personality Traits ©

The Seven Revelation Personality Traits were written by Barrington Brennen. It is his view that the characteristics of the seven churches can be used to describe seven traits in people. Using his psychological training he developed these traits. You can decide which is your trait.

PERSONALITY TRAIT

DESCRIPTION

Ephesian Personality Trait

This individual is a zealous self starter. She the leader of the group. However, she can get discouraged and sometimes easily misled.

Philadelphian Personality Trait

This is the warm affectionate individual. This is the type of person around who you would feel comfortable. Unfortunately, he is not always loyal and genuine.

Pergamanian Personality Trait

This is the person who is not easily discouraged, but lacks compassion. Although this person is a strong leader and motivator of others, she tends to be the cruel, blunt and critical person, sometimes unforgiving and revengeful. Unfortunately this individual may be known by her self-centeredness and pride.

Thyatira Personality Trait

This is the adventurous person. He is most likely to become immoral and distant. He is emotionally unpredictable and lacks self-control. On the other had, this person never worries about the future or frets about he past. The words "almost anything goes" can best describe this person.

Sardisan Personality Trait

This is the cold, indifferent and perhaps, amoral person. She is a person easily persuaded to accept erroneous doctrines. This person takes advantage of people and is full of self. There are no issues of right and wrong. For this person "anything goes."

Laodician Personality Trait

This is the dishonest, superficial person. You might not know it at first glance. Although he makes friends easily, most likely after enjoying them he will soon ignore them. He is weak-willed and has little conviction. This person usually will do just enough to get by but makes great demands on others. This person can easily be a traitor.

SMYRNAN Personality Trait

This is the completely loyal, faithful, trustworthy, honest and teachable person. She will remain friendly even in the face of adversity. This is the person whom everyone will agree is a saint. She is humble and quickly repents of any wrong doing. She never seeks to do harm to anyone. This is the type of person that will be translated.

 

 

 

 

 
Guidelines For Sharing the Information On This Site
Permission is granted to print these pages and to make the necessary copies for your  personal use, friends,  seminar, or meeting handout.  You must not sell for personal gain, only to cover the cost to make copies if necessary.    Written permission (email) is needed to publish or reprint articles and materials in any other form. Or you call at 242-327 1980.  Copyright © 1999 Sounds of Encouragement. All rights reserved.   Articles written by Barrington H. Brennen, Counseling Psychologist, Marriage & Family Therapist.  P.O. Box CB-13019,  Nassau, The Bahamas.     question@soencouragement.org