The Seven Churches of Revelation, also known as The Seven Churches of the Apocalypse and The Seven Churches of Asia (referring to the Roman province of Asia, not the entire continent), are seven major churches of Early Christianity, as mentioned in the New Testament Book of Revelation and written to by Ignatius of Antioch. All seven sites are in modern-day Turkey and no longer have significant Christian populations since they were emptied of Christians under the Treaty of Lausanne.
In Revelation, on the Greek island of Patmos, Jesus Christ instructs his servant John to: "Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, and to Smyrna, and to Pergamos, and to Thyatira, and to Sardis, and to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea."
"Churches" in this context refers to the community of Christians living in each city, and not merely to the building or buildings in which they gathered for worship.
Revelation 1:9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ,
was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Revelation 1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
Revelation 1:11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the
seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and
unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.
Revelation 1:12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;
Revelation 1:13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot,
and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.
Revelation 1:14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;
Revelation 1:15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.
Revelation 1:16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his
countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.
Revelation 1:17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am
the first and the last:
"The isle that is called Patmos"
And so it was that John, the "apostle that Jesus loved," (John 21:20), who was given the responsibility of caring for Mary the
mother of Jesus Christ for the rest of her life after the Jesus' Crucifixion (John 19:26-27), and who wrote the Gospel of John
(John 21:24), found himself exiled on Patmos. There, he had one more important job to do.
The island of Patmos is today part of Greece. It is located among the Sporades group of islands in The Aegean Sea near the west
coast of Turkey. It is a relatively small member of the group, measuring only about 6 by 10 miles / 10 by 16 kilometers, with a very
The island of Patmos is seldom mentioned by the ancient authors in their books. It is supposed that its prehistoric inhabitants
were the Cariens. The name Patmos, it is generally believed, derives from the word Latmos, which is the name of a mountain of
Caria, a country situated across the island in Asia Minor where the goddess Diane (Artemis), was particularly adored.
Patmos was at times colonized by the Doriens and thereafter followed the Ionians. It is said that the mythology hero Oreste
pursued by the Erinnyes (the Furies), because he killed his mother Clytemnestra, took shelter in Patmos, coming with the Argiens.
In ancient ages, the goddess Diane was particularly adored in Patmos. She was considered as the Patroness of the island. Under
the domination of the Romans, the island fell into decline. It was abandoned and was subsequently used as a place of exile.
The History of John the Apostle on Patmos
While on Patmos, the apostle John was given to write the Apocalypse.
Somewhere between 81 A.D. and 96 AD, the Apostle John was banished in Patmos by the emperor Domitian for preaching the
Gospel at Ephesus. The Gospel declares that Jesus is Lord and God, but Domitian required to be called Dominus et Deus "Lord
and God." Something had to give!! To shut him up, Domitian had John thrown into a cauldron of boiling oil before the Porta Latina
at Rome but John suffered no injury! The only way that Domitian could get rid of him was the same way he got rid of his wife -
It was here on this island that Apostole John wrote Revelation (Apokalypsis.) John, during his exile in Patmos lodged into a grotto
of which today's name is "Apokalypsis". At the Emperor Domitian's death in 97 AD John returned to Ephesus where he lived to a
ripe old age.
The Apostle John was exiled to Patmos because of his stand for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. That is
the character of apostolic ministry. At its center is the unrelenting, authoritative heralding of God's word. It is the type of preaching
and teaching which, cuts to the core of one's inner being; it exposes all that an individual is in character, substance and nature.
No wonder Emperor Domitian hated John and had him exiled!
Patmos therefore is a type of satanic trump card. It is played by the kingdom of darkness in an attempt to silence an apostle's
bold, Holy Spirit anointed preaching of the word of God (Acts 4:13, 29, Acts 9:27, Revelation 1:9). In like fashion, Patmos is an
assault against unashamed, aggressive, and effective testimonies for the Lord Jesus that are frequently generated by apostolic
ministry (Acts 4:30-31, Revelation 1:9, Revelation 12:11).
Obviously, if isolated from the public domain and segregated from the rest of the body of Christ, apostolic preaching and
testimonies can have little, if any impact. That may provide some insight into the frequent jailing of the apostles (Acts 5:17-18) and
why four of the Apostle Paul's epistles were penned while he was in jail (those books are Philemon, Colossians, Ephesians, and
At Patmos, Jesus speaks. With thunderous authority. Jesus trumpets that He is Lord, that He lives, rules, and reigns, and has the
last word on all things! At Patmos, the apostolic ministry and thereby the church is reinvigorated, inspired and driven by a
God-given, fresh and greater revelation of the Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. We are confident that that is one boomerang that
Satan can't handle!
No wonder Satan hates the book Revelation!
Click A Church For A Study
Click A Chapter Link For An Audio Studio By Dr. J. Vernon McGee
The PERSON of Jesus Christ — Christ in glory, Chapter 1
The POSSESSION of Jesus Christ — the church in the world, Chapters 2, 3
The PROGRAM of Jesus Christ — the scene in heaven, Chapters 4 — 22
The church in heaven with Christ, Chapters 4, 5
The Great Tribulation in the world, Chapters 6 — 18
Blowing of the seven trumpets, Chapters 8:2 — 11:19
Seven performers during the Great Tribulation, Chapters 12, 13
Looking to the end of the Great Tribulation, Chapter 14
seven mixing bowls of wrath, Chapters 15, 16
The two Babylons judged, Chapters 17, 18
Marriage of the Lamb and return of Christ in judgment, Chapter 19
Millennium, Chapter 20
Entrance into eternity; eternity unveiled, Chapters 21, 22