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  • Writer's pictureKaren Divya Shekar

The 7 Churches in Revelations

Many people think churches are pristine, holy, and spotless places, with nary a blemish or fault.

How far is that from the truth!

Churches can be quite the opposite. They are institutions, made after all by people and are only as good as the spirits that flock there.

It is on this premise that I’ll begin. I’m going to take a look at the various churches in the Book of Revelation and identify, with my limited knowledge, the places where Satan has infiltrated the church and how he can sway a congregation to his bidding.

I am no biblical scholar. But I can share with you the little that I have read and understood.

People believe churches to be holy places where evil spirits cannot enter. I believe this is untrue. It is not that the devil cannot stand in God’s presence, he frequently does, as witnessed in the Book of Job, but that he hates the presence of God and consequently avoids it.

I say this because I have seen with my own eyes people possessed of spirits that have the evil spirit driven out while in church. So, how could a spirit enter a church? It should technically wait outside politely until the person had finished with church and then re-possess them.

So, I assume evil spirits enter churches via the people they possess. This is also consistent with the fact that a person’s body is the temple rather than any building or place.

I shall start with the first of the 7 churches in the book of Revelations, the church at Ephesus.

1. The Church at Ephesus

Ephesus has plenty of things going for it. The church regularly tests apostles to check if their preaching lines up with the Word. It is a church that is patiently enduring trials and tribulations. They do not tolerate evil men. And waiting for the Lord’s return has not made the church grow weary.

Christ seems pleased.

However, there is a problem. This church has ‘abandoned the love they had at first’. And that’s a massive heartache to Jesus.

I’ll explain what this means. As every born-again Christian knows, the first time you accept Jesus as a Personal Saviour, you are filled with joy, excitement and relief. I have felt this first hand. At that moment, I was ready to do anything God asked of me. I would have walked to the ends of the earth if he had so deemed fit!

However, as time goes on, some of that first flush of love begins to fade and a reasonable, healthy doubt sets in.

Is this real? Is what I have experienced true? Is my spiritual change not a whim or a product of my imagination? Have I really experienced the love of Christ?

The Ephesus church took things a step further. They abandoned the love they first had, and the Spirit seems to miss it.

One of the most upsetting things in the world is to see a lack of love, where love used to be. The Righteous Brothers sang about this moment. “There’s no welcome look in your eyes…” and you can almost feel God pine for that first flush of love.

The first thrill of love has vanished in Ephesus, and the church although commended otherwise is warned that tender love is a very crucial element of the relationship we share with Christ.

However, Satan has not yet made an entry into this church. He has been forced to stand outside.

2. The Church at Smyrna

The devil at Smyrna is planning on doing the exact same thing he once did to Job.

He is on a testing spree.

See, occasionally, this Diabolical Busy-Body goes to God demanding certain persons that he may “test” them.

To read full accounts of these tests applied to Job, Jesus and Peter, read the books of Job, Matthew’s account of the Temptation and the Gospels.

For some unexplainable reason, God acquiesces to these tests.

So, Jesus warns this particular church that the devil is about to throw some of them into prison as a test. Therefore, they are to hold firm and stay faithful.

The devil is at Smyrna with a very simple agenda. He isn’t there to make false prophets or sway the people into idolatry. He is there to play a mentally manipulative game in the hope of getting certain people to deny Christ.

Although I don’t know why this is such a big deal to him. Peter denied Christ not once but thrice and was still reinstated into a position God through grace set apart for him.

I am yet to understand what Satan achieves through his testing. A little undermining of God? A little confusion and doubt? A little guilt? What is he aiming for? I suppose he wants to push people to an extent where they give up or reject God. If this is his aim he has succeeded with Job’s wife, Judas and a few other churches as we shall see.

However, Satan is persecuting this church because he cannot infiltrate it. This is a secondary tactic. To stand at the door and harass those because there is no room in the church for him.

3. The Church at Pergamum

This is the first church of the seven, that has a blemish which can turn into a potential pitfall. They tolerate some of the grace-abusers the Nicolaitans and they eat food offered to idols.

Christ cannot abide this in the least.

There was a time when I was fascinated by other Gods. I studied Greek and Roman mythology fervently. I was also interested in the Hindu Gods and Goddesses. I loved to hear of their stories and exploits and I found nothing very different in the Bible. All this led to me once going to visit a pandal during the Durga Puja with my nanny.

I was fascinated by these lifeless dolls decked up in brilliant costumes and revered by the masses. At that time, I did not take idolatry seriously. To me idolatry meant not worshipping idols. Yet the word has a deeper meaning. If there exists anything that you value more than God, you have made for yourself an idol.

I fell ill after my trip to the pandal. I had even gone to visit a ashram once in the South. I fell ill after that visit too. While not trying to attach to much meaning to it, I realised that idolatry has its consequences and should be avoided.

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