The 7 Churches of Revelation
The 7 Kingdom Parables of Matthew 13

The letters to 7 churches in Revelation 2 and 3 are generally recognized to be symbolic of the chronological  history of the Christian church from the time of the apostles to the second coming. This study outline proposes that the kingdom parables of Matthew 13 are also chronological in sequence, and are directly related to the 7 churches in Revelation, giving further insight. Note that when a symbol is defined in a parable, that definition applies consistently and universally to the other parables. It is also proposed that Paul's letters to churches likely apply to the 7 churches as well.

1. Ephesus ("desirable"), Rev 2:1-7 The Apostolic church of the 1st century.
False Apostles teaching error (lies) enter the church Rev. 2:2
         - Paul warns the elders of Ephesus in Acts 20:17, 29-30.}
         - Liar (errors of the false Apostles) defined:
               1 John 2:4 - Lawlessness (lasciviousness).
               1 John 2:22 - Antichrist, deny Jesus is Christ (deny He came in the flesh, 1 John 4:1-3).
               1 John 4:20 - Persecutes (1 John 3:12).
         - Nicolaitanes (Rev 2:6, 9 Smyrna, 14-15 Pergamos) victory over the people, Nike (G3529) Laos (G2992).
               Jude 4 - Lawlessness (lasciviousness), denying Jesus Christ.
               Jude 11 - way of Cain (persecution), error of Balaam, usurpation/rebellion of Core (Korah - Num 16:1-3).
               Jude 16-19 - speak blasphemy, ungodly lusts, lacking the Spirit.

    Parable of the sower Matt 13:3-23.  Mark 4:3-8, 14-20.  Luke 8:5-15.
         Fowls/birds defined as Satan (Matt.13:4, 19 - Mark 4:4, 15 - Luke 8:5, 12).
    Paul's epistle to the Ephesians.

2. Smyrna ("myrrh" or "sweet smelling"), Rev 2:8-11 Persecuted by Ancient Pagan Rome. No criticism.
Apostasy, Synagogue of Satan - Say they are Jews but are not, blaspheme (Rev 2:9, 3:9 Philadelphia).

    Parable of the wheat and the tares Matt 13:24-30, 36-43.
         Field defined as the world (v. 38).
         Tares are the wicked (v. 38) Seeds are the saved (v. 38).
         Reapers are angels (v. 39).
    ● Paul's epistle to the Philippians (joy through suffering).

3. Pergamos ("elevated by marriage"), Rev 2:12-17 pergos G4444 tower, gamos G1062 marriage
Satan's seat / Nicolaitanes / Apostasy / church-state union (4th-5th century).

    Parable of the mustard seed Matt 13:31-32, Mark 4:30-32, Luke 13:19.
         Birds defined as Satan (Matt.13:4, 19 - Mark 4:4, 15 - Luke 8:5, 12)  See Rev 18:2, 19:17, 21.
    Paul's epistles to the Corinthians (married to the world).

4. Thyatira ("perpetual sacrifice"), Rev 2:18-29 The church of the middle ages (6th-16th century).
The word Thyatira comes from the Greek "thuo" sacrifice G2380, and "ateires" unweary.

Jezebel - Rev 2:20, 1 Ki 21:1-26 (represents the Inquisition, Ahab = State, Jezebel = Church).
Rev 2:21 (space to repent), Elijah in the wilderness 1260 days (3 1/2 years) Luke 4:25, James 5:17, Rev 11:2-3, 12:6,14 (538-1798 A.D.) Apostate satanic doctrine in the church (Rev 2:24).

    Parable of the leaven Matt 13:33,  Luke 13:21-30.
         Leaven is corrupt doctrine (Matt. 16:11-12).
         Leaven is hypocrisy (Luke 12:1).
         Leaven is malice and wickedness (1 Cor 5:8).
         Unleavened bread is sincerity and truth (1 Cor 5:8).
    ● Paul's epistle to the Galatians (call out of religious externalism) See Gal 5:9.

5. Sardis
("red ones", from the sardius stone), Rev 3:1-6 The Reformation era. No praise.
A dead church, but a faithful few remain.

    Parable of the treasure of the field Matt 13:44.
         Field defined as the world (v. 38).
    Paul's epistle to the Romans or Hebrews (salvation by faith).

6. Philadelphia ("brotherly love"), Rev 3:7-13 The early 19th century to 1844. No criticism.
Church of the door opened by the Key of House of David - The Adventist movement proclaiming the 3 angel's messages of Revelation 14.

    Parable of the pearl of great price Matt 13:45.
        Oysters are unclean, the pearl only has value when separated from the unclean oyster (Rev 18:1-5).
    Paul's epistles to the Thessalonians (second coming not imminent).

7. Laodicea ("a people judged"), Rev 3:14-19 From 1844 to the second coming. No praise.

    ● Parable of the net Matt 13:47-50.
    ● Paul's epistle to the Colossians (told to exchange letters with Laodicea).

    ● Summary: Parable of the scribe Matt 13:52.