A Look at the Seven Churches

Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.  (13)  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. Revelation 3:12-13

“…These seven churches should be understood as representing seven conditions of the Christian church, in seven periods of time, covering the ground of the entire Christian age…” {James White “The Seven Churches” ARSH Vol 8, October 16, 1856 PP 188.2}

Ephesus – The First church

“Ephesus signifies, “desirable, chief.” This was true of the first age of the church, in the apostles’ days. They had received the doctrine of Christ pure from the mouth of the great Teacher, and the Holy Spirit was poured out, and rested upon them…” {James White “The Seven Churches” ARSH Vol 8, October 16, 1856 PP 188.8}

The Timeline of Ephesus

“The time covered by the first church may be considered the period from the resurrection of Christ to the close of the first century, or to the death of the last apostles. {Uriah Smith, Daniel and Revelation (1897 Edition) pg. 351.4}

Smyrna – The Second Church

“In these times of pagan persecution… The Roman law was: “No man shall have for himself particular gods of his own; no man shall worship by himself any new or foreign gods, unless they are recognized by the public laws.“{International Sabbath-School Quarterly of SDA, 1904, 2nd Quarter, pg. 9}

The Timeline of Smyrna

“Smyrna signifies myrh, fit appellation for the church of God while passing through the fiery furnace of persecution, and proving herself a “sweet-smelling savor” unto him. But we soon reach the days of Constantine, when the church presents a new phase, rendering a far different name and another message applicable to her history.” {Uriah Smith, D&R 1897, pg. 354.2}

“According to the forgoing application, the date of the Smyrnian church would be A.D. 100-323.” {Uriah Smith, D&R 1897, pg. 354.3}

Pergamos – The Third Church

“The doctrines complained of Pergamos were of course similar in their tendency, leading to spiritual idolatry, and an unlawful connection between the church and the world. Out of this spirit was finally produced the union of civil and ecclesiastical powers, which culminated in the formation of the papacy.” {Uriah Smith, D&R 1897, pg. 356.1-2}

The Doctrines of Pergamos, Set Up by Constantine

“Unquestionably the first law, either ecclesiastical or civil, by which the Sabbatical observance of that Day is known to have been ordained, is the edict of Constantine, 321 A.D.” {Chamber’s Encyclopedia}

“The doctrine of the Trinity which was established in the church by the council of Nice, A. D. 325. This doctrine destroys the personality of God, and his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. The infamous, measures by which it was forced upon the church which appear upon the pages of ecclesiastical history might well cause every believer in that doctrine to blush.” {J. N. Andrews, March 6, 1855, Review & Herald, vol. 6, no. 24, page 185}

One Particular Doctrine Becomes Central to Catholicism

“The mystery of the trinity is the central doctrine of the Catholic faith. Upon it are based all the other teachings of the church.” {Handbook for Today’s Catholic, p. 11}

These Pagan Doctrines are Still Prevalent Today

“Where Satan’s seat is.” It was following the supposed conversion of Constantine that the flood-gates of error were opened, and every form of false doctrine was brought in. Constantine was nothing but a heathen to the day of his death. His so-called conversion was wholly an affair of political policy. Nearly every false doctrine in the Roman Church today, and very many still retained in Protestant churches, came direct from paganism, and were brought into, the church at that time. Truly it was where Satan’s seat was.” {SS Quarterly of SDA, 1904, 2nd Quarter, pg. 11}

The Timeline of Pergamos

“Pergamos signifies “very earthy, elevated.” This period reached from Constantine, about 313, down to the rise of anti-christ, about 538.” {James White, “The Seven Churches” ARSH Vol 8, October 16, 1856 PP 188.13}

Thyatira – The Fourth Church

“If the period by the Pergamos church has been correctly located, terminating with the setting up of the papacy, A.D. 538, the most natural division to be assigned to the church of Thyatira would be the time of the continuance of this blasphemous power, through the 1260 years of its supremacy, or from A.D. 538 to A.D. 1798.” {Uriah Smith, D&R 1897, pg. 358.4}

What Was So Significant About 538 A.D.?

“In 538 A.D, the Arian believers were completely wiped out by the Catholic Church, leaving the Papacy as the sole “Corrector of heretics.” Anyone opposing the Catholic teaching of the Trinity was exterminated, for “the Mystery of the Trinity is the central doctrine of the Catholic Faith.” {Handbook for Today’s Catholic, p. 11}

God’s People Are Never Truly Wiped Out

“Individuals, who recognized the leadings of the Spirit, gathered in little companies, hidden away in the caves, mountain fortresses, and dens, like the prophets of God in the days of Jezebel. In these secluded spots were thousands who did not bow the knee to Baal… “But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine (of Jezebel) ), and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.” {Stephen N. Haskell, The Story of the Seer of Patmos, pg. 66}

Thyatira Begins Giving Birth to (Sardis) Protestantism

“…The age was not ripe for the fullness of truth. But as watchmen of the night hail the dawn when the morning star arises, so the early Reformers, from Wycliffe to Luther and his contemporaries, opened the Scriptures, and the first rays of light brought joy and gladness to those who sat in darkness. {Stephen N. Haskell, The Story of the Seer of Patmos, pg. 67-68}

James White on the Reformers

“The greatest fault we can find in the Reformation is, the Reformers stopped reforming. Had they gone on, and onward, till they had left the last vestige of Papacy behind, such as natural immorality, sprinkling, the trinity, and Sunday-keeping, the church would now be free from her unscriptural errors.” {James S. White, February 7, 1856, Review and Herald, Vol. 7. No. 19, page 148, par 26}

The SDA Pioneers Were Non-Trinitarian

“That most of the leading SDA pioneers were non-Trinitarian in their theology has become accepted Adventist history… either the pioneers were wrong and the present church is right, or the pioneers were right and the present Seventh-day Adventist Church has apostatized from biblical truth.” {Jerry Moon, John Reeve, Woodrow Whidden II ~ The Trinity, p. 190}

Harsh Words to Thyatira and Her Daughters

Thyatira is Babylon itself, and the churches spoken of elsewhere as “daughters of Babylon,” will meet with the fate of the mother, Thyatira; for when the history of all churches is over, Babylon and her daughters will be destroyed in the lake of fire.” {Stephen N. Haskell, The Story of the Seer of Patmos, pg. 66}

Thyatira Goes Until the Coming of Christ

“…This is the first church which is pointed forward to the second coming of Christ.” {Stephen N. Haskell, The Story of the Seer of Patmos, pg. 69}

Sardis – The Fifth Church

“The message to Sardis is addressed to Protestantism. The period covered by Thyatira was the era of papal persecution.” {Stephen N. Haskell, The Story of the Seer of Patmos, pg. 70}

God’s People Begin to Come Out of the Nominal Church (Protestantism/Sardis) to Finish the Reformation

“Fifth state; Sardis, signifies ” that which remains, that are ready to die.” Rev. iii, 2… This, we understand to be the present nominal church, the Babylon, which God’s people came out from under the second angel’s message, which closed up at the tenth day of the seventh month, 1844. They were then ” about to die,” and are now spiritually DEAD.” {Joseph Bates, Adventist Review and Sabbath Herald, Nov. 1850, pg. 8.1-2}

The Call of the Second Angel to the Nominal Church

And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. Revelation 14:8

What had fallen? Babylon, the great mystery…

(5) And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon The Great, The Mother Of Harlots And Abominations Of The Earth. (6) And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus…   Revelation 17:5-6 (KJV)

What is the mystery?   “The mystery of the trinity is the central doctrine of the Catholic faith. Upon it are based all the other teachings of the church.” {Handbook for Today’s Catholic, p. 11}

Ellen White on the Calling of God’s People Out of the Nominal

“Today, as in the days of Elijah, the line of demarcation between God’s commandment-keeping people and the worshipers of false gods is clearly drawn. “How long halt ye between two opinions?” Elijah cried; “if the Lord be God, follow Him: but if Baal, then follow him.” 1 Kings 18:21. And the message for today is: “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen…. Come out of her, My people…” {EGW, RH Nov. 20, 1913, par. 13}

Sardis, as does the Churches of Philadelphia and Laodicea, go Until the End of Time

“The messages to Sardis and Philadelphia separately cover a period extending to the second coming of Christ; but in addition to the experiences portrayed in the fifth and sixth messages, that which is directed to Laodicea is also applicable…” {Stephen Haskell, Story of the Seer of Patmos, pp. 86, 87}

Philadelphia – The Sixth Church

And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write;…  I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and
hast kept my word,
and hast not denied my name. Revelation 3:7-8 (KJV)

The First Angels Message…

Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. Revelation 14:7 (KJV)

The First and Second Angels Messages are Given in 1843-1844

“The first and second messages were given in 1843 and 1844, and we are now under the proclamation of the thirdThere cannot be a third without the first and second. These messages we are to give to the world… showing in the line of prophetic history the things that have been, and the things that will be.”  {Ellen White, Manuscript 32, 1896. [CW 26.2]}

The Church of Philadelphia is in a Happy, Holy State

“The word Philadelphia signifies brotherly love, and expresses the position and spirit of those who received the Advent message up to the autumn of 1844. As they came out of the sectarian churches… the Spirit of God was with every true believer, and his praise upon every tongue. Those who were in that movement are aware that language would fail to describe that holy, happy state.” {Uriah Smith, DAR pgs. 395,396 [1897 Edition]}

Many Leave Philadelphia Returning to Sardis and the Golden Calf

The time of test for those who were looking for their Lord, came in the autumn of 1844But many who had only professed to believe in the advent, changed when the time passed and He did not come, and now scoffed at those who still clung to the message, Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come.” The heavenly door opened, but those who turned back to the world were left in darkness… When the door in heaven opened, the doors of the Protestant churches closed…” {S.N. Haskell, The Story of the Seer of Patmos, pg. 83,84}

Others Return to the Flesh Pots, Becoming Laodicea

“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” All are now being tested and proved. Many to whom precious light has been given desire to return to the fleshpots of Egypt.” {EGW, PUR October 9, 1902, Art. B, par. 8}

Philadelphia Passes Through Laodicea

“Believers who came in during the Philadelphian experience, such as live to the coming of the Lord, pass through the Laodicean period… The time of the Laodicean message is one of drowsiness and peril, and the burden of the message is to escape from the Laodicean condition.” {International Sabbath-School Quarterly, 2nd Quarter, pg. 18}

The Message to the Final Two Periods of the Church is One of Preparation for the End

It is evident that the last two periods of the church— Philadelphia and Laodicea—cover one and the same generation. The rise of the Advent movement and the special message of preparation for the end was a signal that the opening years of the closing generation had been reached, to whom was due God’s, final warning.” {International Sabbath-School Quarterly, 2nd Quarter, pg. 18}

Laodicea – The Seventh Church

“Laodicea signifies a “judging of the people.” From 1844 to the close of probation is the hour of God’s judgment…” {International Sabbath-School Quarterly, 1904, 2nd Quarter, pg. 17}

To the church of Laodicea Write…

(14) And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write;… (15) I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. (16) So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Revelation 3:14-16 (KJV)

Laodiceans are Professed Followers of the Father and Son

The Laodicean message applies to the people of God who profess to believe present truth… The term “lukewarm” is applicable to this class. They profess to love the truth, yet are deficient in Christian fervor and devotion…” {EGW, 4T 87.1}

It will be observed that no fault is found with the Laodiceans on account of the doctrines they hold. They are not accused of harboring any Jezebel in their midst… So far as we can learn from the address to them, their belief is correct, and their theory sound. The inference therefore is that having a correct theory, therewith they are content. They are satisfied with a correct form of doctrine without its power…” {Uriah Smith, Daniel and Revelation (1897 Edition) pg. 377,378}

Laodiceans are professed Followers of God, Yet They Deny Him by Their Works

“The Scriptures speak of the large class of professors who are not doers. Many who claim to believe in God deny Him by their works” {Ellen White, Ms50-1901.5}

The Works Denied

True faith, which relies wholly upon Christ, will be manifested by obedience to all the requirements of God. From Adam’s day to the present time the great controversy has been concerning obedience to God’s law… But the Scriptures declare that by works is “faith made perfect;” and that, without the works of obedience, faith “is dead.” James 2:22, 17. He that professes to know God, “and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” 1 John 2:4. {Ellen White, PP 73.2}

Laodiceans Believe in the Spirit of Christ, But Will Not Allow it to Convict

“The office of the Holy Spirit is distinctly specified in the words of Christ: “When He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” John 16:8. It is the Holy Spirit that convicts of sin. If the sinner responds to the quickening influence of the Spirit, he will be brought to repentance and aroused to the importance of obeying the divine requirements.” {Ellen White, AA 52.2}

Laodiceans Lay off the Armor of God

“When efforts are made to set things in order, and bring the people up to the position God would have them occupy, a class will be affected by the labor, and will make earnest efforts to press through the darkness to the light. But many do not persevere in their efforts long enough to realize the sanctifying influence of the truth upon their hearts and lives. The cares of the world engross the mind to that degree that self examination and secret prayer are neglected. The armor is laid off, and Satan has free access to them, benumbing their sensibilities, and causing them to be unsuspicious of his wiles.” {EGW, RH August 10, 1886, par. 3}

The Third Angels Message Enters the Biblical Timeline to Address Laodicea

And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God… Revelation 14:9-10 (KJV)

The Image We are to Have

“The very image of God is to be reproduced in humanity. The honor of God, the honor of Christ, is involved in the perfection of the character of His people.” {DA 671.3}

Ellen White on Image and the Third Angel

“In a view given June 27, 1850, my accompanying  angel said, “Time is almost finished. Do you reflect the lovely image of Jesus as you should?” Then I was pointed to the earth and saw that there would have to be a getting ready among those who have of late embraced the third angel’s message. Said the angel, “Get ready, get ready, get ready. Ye will have to die a greater death to the world than ye have ever yet died.” I saw that there was a great work to do for them and but little time in which to do it.” {EW 64.1}

Ellen White on the Message to the Laodicean

“Young and old, God is now testing you. You are deciding your own eternal destiny. Your pride, your love to follow the fashions of the world, your vain and empty conversation, your selfishness, are all put in the scale… [refers to our image] Many, I saw, were flattering themselves that they were good Christians, who have not a single ray of light from Jesus. They know not what it is to be renewed by the grace of God. They have no living experience for themselves in the things of God. And I saw that the Lord was whetting his sword in heaven to cut them down. O that every cold, lukewarm professor could realize the clean work that God is about to make among his professed people. Dear friends, do not deceive yourselves concerning your condition. You cannot deceive God. Says the True Witness, I know thy works.” The third angel is leading up a people, step by step, higher and higher. At every step they will be tested.” {EGW, 2SG 229.1}

So What About the Corporate SDA Church (Nominal Church)

“The result of their murmuring and unbelief was that Aaron made them a golden calf to represent God. He proclaimed this idol to be God, and a great deal of enthusiasm was created over this false god.” (EGW, The Review and Herald, September 6, 1906)

The Corporate SDA Church (Nominal Church) Drink of the wine of Babylon

“If we turn from the testimony of God’s word, and accept false doctrines because our fathers taught them, we fall under the condemnation pronounced upon Babylon; we are drinking of the wine of her abominations.” {E.W., 4SP 357.1}

The Corporate SDA Church (Nominal Church) Returns to Sardis as a Sister to the Daughters of Babylon

“We must as a people arouse and cleanse the camp of Israel… We are in danger of becoming a sister to fallen Babylon, of allowing our churches to become corrupted, and filled with every foul spirit, a cage for every unclean and hateful bird…” {Ellen White, Lt51-1886.7}

Who Qualifies as Babylon?

“Babylon is said to be “the mother of harlots.” By her daughters must be symbolized churches that cling to her doctrines and traditions, and follow her example of sacrificing the truth and the approval of God, in order to form an unlawful alliance with the world…  therefore it cannot refer to the Roman Church alone, for that church has been in a fallen condition for many centuries…” {EGW, GC 382.3}

The Fourth Angels Message Goes Out to the Nominal Church and to All Who Are in Babylon

Revelation 18:1,2,4  (KJV)
1.   And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.
2.   And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.
4.  And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people

The Fourth Angels Message is a Repeat of the Second

“This is the same message that was given by the second angel. Babylon is fallen, “because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” What is that wine?—Her false doctrines.” {1888 1078.6}

Ellen White and the Adventist Pioneers Would Not be Allowed to Join the Corporate SDA Church of Today

Most of the founders of Seventh-Day Adventism would not be able to join the church today if they had to subscribe to the denominations Fundamental Beliefs. More specifically, most would not be able to agree to belief number 2, which deals with the doctrine of the Trinity.” {George Knight, Ministry Magazine, October 1993}

God Calls to the Sister to the Daughters of Babylon to Come Out of Her. Then Calls Them to Stand in Philadelphia

1.Sardis (nominal church)
2.Laodicea (nominal Adventists)
3.Philadelphia (one true church of God)

Laodiceans Shaken Out

Many will be reproved for the sins mentioned in the Laodicean message, and such reproofs, unheeded, will cause those to be shaken out who are unwilling to receive the reproof of the Spirit.” {Stephen N. Haskell, The Story of the Seer of Patmos, pg. 90}

The Strait Truth to the Laodicean Brings About the Shaking

“I asked the meaning of the shaking I had seen, and was shown that it would be caused by the straight testimony called forth by the counsel of the True Witness to the Laodiceans… Some will not bear this straight testimony. They will rise up against it, and this will cause a shaking among God’s people.” {EGW, Testimonies For The Church 1:181, 1857. (LDE 175.3)}

The Third Angels Message Must do its Work

“The third angel’s message must do its work of separating from the churches a people who will take their stand on the platform of eternal truth.” {EGW, Ms19-1900.18}

“There are to be but two classes upon the earth, the obedient children of God and the disobedient… and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: and He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.” {EGW, FW 44.1}

Where Are Those in Laodicea to Flee to?

’’Jesus still loves some that are in the Laodicean church, and calls on them to repent. If they were deceived by false teachers, they must leave them as soon as possible, and be “zealous” and “repent;” for every one that is found in that state when Jesus leaves the Sanctuary, and ceases to plead for the honest ones among them, will be destroyed. They must get back into the open door in the Philadelphia church that no man can shut, where they came from; for that is the only true church, or place of safety”… {Joseph Bates, ARSH November 1850, p. 8.14}

To Which Class of Professor Do We Honestly Stand?

There have ever been two classes among those who profess to be followers of Christ. While one class study the Saviour’s life and earnestly seek to correct their defects and conform to the Pattern, the other class shun the plain, practical truths which expose their errors.” {Ellen White, GC 43.2}

At Last We All Must Stand in One Church or the Other

“We are living in an age when the law of God is made void. Deceptive errors prevail to an alarming degree. Multitudes, forgetting that “sin is the transgression of the law,” are following the lead of that great law-breaker, the man of sin. But genuine faith has not become extinct. There are two parties… At the last we must all stand in one party or the other; and in which company do we wish to be found when Jesus shall come in the clouds of heaven?” {EGW. RH January 13, 1885, par. 6}

To Which Church Will we be Found When Christ Comes?

Revelation 3:12-13 (KJV)
12   Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
13   He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.


Video Time Stamps

03:17 Ephesus – The First Church
03:52 Smyrna – The Second Church
04:51 Pergamos – The Third Church
08:22 Thyatira – The Fourth Church
14:17 Sardis – The Fifth Church
18:53 Philadelphia – The Sixth Church
27:28 Laodicea – The Seventh Church


Audio download (mp3): https://phm.org/who-are-really-the-ones-in-laodicea-mike-casey/
File size: 25.2 mb
Duration: 55:09 min