7 CONGREGATIONS OF CHRIST
TIME-FRAME OF THE CHURCH AGE
A Topographical Study on the Testimonies to Jesus
by Luis B. Vega
for PostScripts News (PSN) | www.PostScripts.org
‘John, To the 7 Churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace to you from Him who is and -was and is to come, and from the 7-fold Spirit before His Throne, and from Jesus Christ, the Faithful Witness, the Firstborn from the dead, and the Ruler of the kings of the Earth. To Him who loves us and has released us from our sins by His blood.’ – Revelation 1: 4-5
The purpose of this study is to depict the topographical locations of the 7 Churches of Asia as inferenced in the last book of the Bible, Revelation. The study will strongly suggest that the layout of the 7 Churches has a geometric correlation to a circle and thus to ‘time’, ‘prophetic time’ and takes on an ‘end and a beginning’, a ‘beginning and an end nexus. In essence, the entire layout of the 7 local Testimonies in Asia Minor, is a reflection of Jesus Himself, the Head of the Church Body on Earth, the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, etc. The 7 Churches of Asia were the local Assemblies or Congregations of Followers of Jesus. Most were primarily Gentile or specifically Greek in this case. These Congregations were planted by the work, primarily done by the Apostles Paul and John.
Consider that at this point and time, the Followers of the ‘Way’, were considered criminals, disloyal to Caesar Worship and the State, etc. To have meet publicly and out in the open would have been a sure death sentence. Most of the 7 Churches of Asia, if not all did not have a ‘church building’ or the entire Bible at that time as one would think of a ‘church’, Bible and ‘congregation’ in the modern era, etc. In most cases, the Body of Believers met locally in homes, as in ‘House Churches’ and perhaps were rather small, maybe 50-120 in average numbers. Consider that this is still the way a significant number of Followers of Jesus still meet presently, especially the in the developing world. It was at this time that the ‘Letters’ of the Apostles that walked with Jesus starting to be passed from one Congregation to the next and copied.
The ‘Letters’ or Epistles were address to such Congregations by John and/or Paul, thus the ‘Letters to the Galatians, to the Colossians, to the Corinthians’, etc. It was only later on as the numbers grew, that Followers of the Way met in larger halls. Also consider that according to history, most of the initial Believers and Followers of Jesus were of the under-class, from the slaves, servants and working poor on average. Thus, such could not afford a ‘super mega-church’ for example and with pluming no less. The ‘church buildings’ that are now in ruins were constructed about 200-300 years later. This occurred especially as ‘Christianity’ became legal under the Roman Emperor Constantine and as the ‘Church’ became ‘ecclesiastical’, which is one of the issues Jesus had and has to address of His 7 Churches.
The Spirit of Prophecy
The ‘Revelation’ of and to Jesus Christ occurred on the island of Patmos off the coast of Anatolia, which is modern-day Turkey, and is Islamic now. It speaks of the contention there is against the Testimony of and to Jesus and of the Revelation of who He really is, the ‘Beginning and the End’ as a ‘circle’, and a type of ‘Orion’ astronomically. It is there that the risen Jesus Christ appeared to this last living Disciple as all the rest were martyred to include the Apostle Paul. In the revelation, the 1st section assumes the divinity of Jesus as GOD the Son, which the book of Revelation also ends with.
It was given to John in particular to emphasis this attribute of the Christ as in the last of the Synoptic Gospels and in his Epistles. Jesus’ main attribute revealed in Revelation is that He is the ‘Beginning and the End’. This is a ‘signature’ of the Creator that most observant Jews would know of in the Torah. To reiterate, in the book of Revelation, the 7 Churches there in Asia Minor were directly associated with John, the Beloved. He is thus called the Revelator as he was given the ‘Revelation of Jesus Christ’ to give to the Bishops or ‘Stars’ of each of the 7 Churches named by Jesus. The following are the GPS coordinates off of Google Earth for Patmos and the 7 Congregations.
0. Patmos 37°19'16.30"N 26°32'25.82"E
1. Ephesus 37°56'24.16"N 27°20'26.21"E
2. Smyrna 38°24'56.94"N 27° 08'38.72"E
3. Pergamon 39° 07'51.14"N 27°11'02.24"E
4. Thyatira 38°55'12.07"N 27°50'10.59"E
5. Sardis 38°28'43.69"N 28° 01'54.48"E
6. Philadelphia 38°20'57.17"N 28°31'02.79"E
7. Laodicea 37°50'10.50"N 29° 06'34.81"E
The imagery of the Revelation does take on an astronomical aspect that is spectacular as Jesus personifies ‘Orion’ and the 7 Churches, that of the ‘Pleiades’, the 7 Star Cluster. Pleiades means ‘The Congregation of the Judge’. In other studies, this notion will be brought out to further inference the astronomical correlations to these ‘Stars’. The imagery is rich and abounds with the linkage to Orion, Taurus and the Pleiades. Suffice to know that in this topographical layout of the 7 Churches of Asia is no coincidence or anomaly. The 7 Churches can be connected by a line starting with Ephesus, peaking with Pergamon and then descending with Laodicea. In other studies, this has been inferred to compose a ‘pyramid’ type of motif and perhaps encrypted.
For example, there is an amazing correlation that others have also noticed in that where the 7 Churches of Asia are situated, in Anatolia, has a resemblance topographically of a ‘Bull’ motif and the constellation Taurus in particular from a top view and reversed direction. However, when connecting the 7 Churches by line, it does take on a likeness of the Hyades of the ‘V-shaped’ horns of Taurus. What is intriguing to also observe is that it is in this place where the Taurus Mountains are found. Amazing, it correlates to where the Pleiades are situated astronomically in Taurus. Is it a mere coincidence? This attribute will come to light in the very geometry of the layout of the 7 Churches. Why are all these astronomical nuances suggested and/or noted or have to do with Jesus? Everything. Foremost. Because Jesus discloses Himself with such imagery and motifs.
The Circumference of Christ
The Followers of Jesus should realize a deeper appreciation of the majesty and mystery the Creator envelopes Himself and the Church with and seeks to reveal yet other layers and attributes of His Nature by such means and motifs. As to the 7 Churches of Asia, in the Revelation of Jesus Christ, the Apostle John is given the blueprint of what the Church Age was going to be like and how there was an ‘evaluation’ or prognoses by the Great Physician. The 7 Churches of Asia represent the Menorah of 7 Lights that the High Priest attended to and gave light in the House of YHVH. This is indicative of how the ‘Light’ that the witness or ‘testimony’ of the local assembly is to have. Like in the details for the Daily Temple Service, it had and has to be attended to or else the ‘Light’ and Testimony to Jesus will be ‘snuffed-out’. Jesus, as the High Priest examined and is examining and prescribed and is prescribing the remedies for the ‘ailments’ that affected and affect each of the 7 ‘Lights’ of a Menorah, then and now.
Then Jesus lays-out the design and template for what is to take place after the Rapture of the ‘Pleiades’ Maiden on Earth. As many over the millennia have espoused, YHVH works in Dispensations and Ages. Thus, the book of Revelation is a start of a ‘prophetic clock’ that the Church Age then is and represents. Thus, the 7 Churches of Asia represented this prophetically for all the Church Age. What many believe that this ‘Church Time’ began with Pentecost when GOD the Holy Spirit came down to infuse and indwell the Followers of Jesus, sealed eternally the salvation of the soul. Now as to losing-out on rewards and position? Disciples of Christ have fallen, do and will fall away and/or lose Faith; that is for another study. This post-salvation condition is not to be confused with losing one’s Eternal Security found and promised only in Christ Jesus.
Nonetheless, the Church Age is all-encompassed in a time-frame, a prophetic one in that this ‘Age’ of the ‘Pleiades’ or Pentecostal Intermission is measured-out and is time-certain. This is seen in the repeating coefficient of the number 7 that Jesus Himself starts and ends the book of with. For example, there are the 7 Church Testimonies, the 7 Seals, the 7 Trumpets, the 7 Bows, the 7 Raptures, etc. As the number 7 also speaks of a completion of a work, a work-week and/or ‘time’, YHVH being the Great Watchman as in a clock or timepiece, has delineated the present time by this 7 fold Church Age ‘Time’. And is it about to conclude or run out of time or run its course. Is there any evidence to support this? Yes.
The evidence is topographical. In considering the topographical layout of the 7 Churches of Asia, the following observations are made that tied the 7 Churches to a mirror of Christ, as it is befitting that He is the Head and the Body, etc. Using Google Earth from a top view, if one superimposes the locales of each of the 7 Churches of Asia, what would the distance be? How long of a distance would it be if one started walking from Ephesus, that is the 1st Church addressed by the risen Christ, to that of the last one, Laodicea be? Astonishing, it is exactly 300 miles. Then from Ephesus with the extension to Patmos is 60 miles. Thus, this 360 numerical coefficient can be likened to a circle as that is how much a circle has in in terms of degrees. Furthermore, here lies the prophetic application perhaps. How is the ‘circle’ correlated to Jesus? A circle has no end and no beginning, just like Jesus, GOD the Son.
The Testimony to Jesus
What does that mean or will mean? One can see that Jesus Christ was and is very mathematical in terms of a ‘clocks-man’. What would be the prophetic significance then? In one possible interpretation, it could mean that the entire Church Age is indeed like a ‘clock’ that is ticking and it has a ‘prophetic 24 hours’ duration, and that of 7 days, prophetically , 1 day for each of the 7 Churches of Asia typology. In terms of the entire ground length being exactly 300 miles, the following is the listing of the 6 segments in miles from each Congregation starting with Laodicea and working one’s way to Ephesus. The center points were chosen that where based upon the ruins of either the churches, or the city center as best as possibly determined. Also, the route took the existing roads that most likely existed and where used as the terrain is very rugged and there are few alternative for alternate routes or ‘short-cuts’. The following is the delineation of each of the 6 miles sections plus the extension to Patmos.
1. Laodicea to Philadelphia.....52 miles
2. Philadelphia to Sardis..........30 miles
3. Sardis to Thyatira..................53 miles
4. Thyatira to Pergamon..........50 miles
5. Pergamon to Smyrna..........69 miles
6. Smyrna to Ephesus.............46 miles
300 miles total
7. Ephesus to Patmos 65 miles
365 miles total
Moreover, if one divides the 300 mile distance by the 6 segments of miles, then the resulting factor is 50. This would be 300/6 = 50, which is the ‘signature of Pentecost as it would be most appropriate to be inference and perhaps encrypted within that Sacred Mathematics, Jesus Christ marked the extent of time to which the Church Age is to last. Now as to the specifics when this Last Hour, this Last Day will be? That is for the subsequent studies and observation, time permitting. This would be in keeping though with YHVH’s sense of ‘Time’ as in the Creation Week template, for example. Amazing, the very Apostle John referenced the ‘1 Hour’ left in admonishing the Congregations. He wrote in 1 John 2:17, ‘The world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of GOD remains forever. Children, it is the Last Hour; and just as you have heard that the AntiChrist is coming, so now many AntiChrists have appeared. This is how we know that it is the Last Hour’.
Thus, the entire Church Age from Ephesus to Laodicea can be seen as being ‘1 long Hour’ prophetically. This notion can then further be extrapolated into coefficients of 60 as in 60 seconds to a minute and 60 minutes to an hour. Then there are 24 hours in a day. If one adds all these up, the resulting factor is 144. How is this number relevant to today or the end of the Church Age? Consider that 144 is seen in measuring-out the 4th Temple of Ezekiel and speaks of that which is involved in building the House and/or Testimony of and to Jesus. It speaks of a completed work, an assigned task given and completed. This for sure has overtones to the coming of the anointed 144,000 Jewish Evangelists that will take on the ‘baton’, Biblically speaking in dispensing the Testimony to Jesus during the Time of Jacob’s Trouble.
The other possible factor of time could be that the Church Age is like and will last for ‘1 Prophetic Year’ as each mile would equal then 1 day of the year, etc. To further embellish this hypothesis, one can then further divide the time of the day and night and then have the ‘4 Watches of the ‘Night. One thing is for sure, the Church Age will 1 day end, no pun intended. This culmination of the time where the Gospel of Salvation is to go out to the Gentiles has nearly lasted now for 2000 years. As the Church Age began with a supernatural event, will it likewise terminate with a similar supernatural event? The Rapture. Given YHVH’s symmetry, Sacred Geometry and templates, most likely. But is it time certain? Most likely. This is why the doctrine of the ‘imminent’ timing of the Rapture is not correct. However, with each passing, hour, day and year, many who are watching the ‘prophetic clock’ are sensing that the present time is the last ‘Watch’, the Last Hour in which the Apostle John warned of the impending advent of the coming of the AntiChrist. Has this Hour finally come? The Laodicea period, the last of the 7 fold Church of Asia ‘Time’ is about to end -as it began. ‘Time is Up’.
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