Looking back to these seven distinct prophecies we see more interesting and valuable details. A global overview uncovers a pattern used to convey additional prophetic information. Every church is told two important things: “To him that overcometh” and “he that hath an ear”

Let’s examine these verses. Try and see if you can spot what is going on.

1. He that hath an ear,
To him that overcometh
(Rev 2:7 KJV)

2. He that hath an ear,
He that overcometh
(Rev 2:11 KJV)

3. He that hath an ear,
To him that overcometh
(Rev 2:17 KJV)

4. And he that overcometh,
He that hath an ear (Rev 2:26-29 KJV)

5. He that overcometh,
He that hath an ear
(Rev 3:5-6 KJV)

6. Him that overcometh
He that hath an ear
(Rev 3:12-13 KJV)

7. To him that overcometh
He that hath an ear
(Rev 3:21-22 KJV)

Walking the Churches

This prophecy was given to John, who died on the island of Patmos in 95AD. If we lay these phrases like tiles on the floor as in the figure above, and position ourselves at the end of the third church set, as John the prophet was positioned in his day, we note the following.

1.- Looking backward the sequence of the statements is reversed. The first tile behind saysHe that hath an ear

2.- Looking forward they are in proper order. The first tile we see ahead of the individual says,To him that overcometh

This may be a coincidence, but it is not. The prophecies are quite orderly and every means is used to convey information for the reader. The prophet is positioned at the junction of the third and fourth churches. This reversal of statements helps the reader to get an orientation of where the junction of history and prophecy is. But this is not the only place where this information is conveyed. In choosing the geographical location for each church the same idea is presented again. Please study the following chart.

Map of the Seven Churches

As you can see, the first 3 churches are on the northern path and the next four churches are on the southern path. These are good suggestions that a message is presented here, and that the choices are not haphazard. Yet, one may still doubt this conclusion. Knowing that this may not be enough for some, God has supplied even more information to convey that He is well aware of the span of these seven periods of time. Within the seven messages only two mention the attribute of "patience". God commends these churches for their patience as if their periods were the longest periods, requiring patience and endurance. One of these is the church of Ephesus and the other is Thyatira. Let’s read their recognition.

And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. (Rev 2:3 KJV)
I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first. (Rev 2:19 KJV)

Timeline of the Seven Church Periods

Studying our history chart we may note that the duration of the periods of these two churches are the longest of all. These are strong suggestions that God is well aware of what is going on. After all, He is the one who decides how long these periods should extend.

When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. (Acts 1:6-7 KJV)

God is not a psychic. In His own power He has decided ahead of time how long each church period will extend. Prophecies are God’s agenda given to His servants to learn and know what to expect and see His majestic outworking. God knew that the issues of the 1st and 4th church period would take a long time. He decided on the length of these periods. In this prophecy He helps the reader to get a grasp on the subject.

But it does not stop here. The shortest church period is discussed as well. The remnant, as we may all know, is never the longest piece. It is very likely that it is the shortest piece of all and in the majority of cases it is. As the name Sardis implies, the 5th church period is the shortest of all periods. It spans from 1844 to the near coming of the Savior. This idea is reiterated in the prophecy of the seven seals, as expected in the 5th seal. Let’s read it.

And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:
10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled. Revelation 6:9-11

The seven seals, like the seven churches speak of the same periods of time. The fifth period is described, as we may expect, as a "Little season". The subject of the seven seals is covered in another pamphlet named "The Seven Seals."

All these details speak with a united voice. They tell us that the church periods do span the entire period of time of the Great Controversy. A key verse, which speaks to that effect, says,

And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. (Rev 5:6 KJV)

The difficulty here is that it may not be clear what the "eyes" represent. A careful study, however, reveals the "eye" metaphor.

For the LORD’S portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance. He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye. (Deu 32:9-10 KJV)
For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye. (Zec 2:8 KJV

As we have read, the seven eyes or horns are sent into all the earth, not just a part of it. In prophetic context, the word "all" often encompasses time rather than location. This would be similar to saying, "all eyes shall see Him." The seven spirits sent into all the earth are God’s chosen people or the seven churches.

For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth. (Zec 4:10 KJV)

Indeed, the seven churches of Asia were used to represent the seven periods, which span all time rather than location.



Many questions may arise on this topic, yet we need to keep in mind that many more questions have been answered with this view than with former views. Much time has elapsed since our pioneers discussed these ideas. They were not privy to see history as well as we see it today. If they could see it, they would most likely rejoice over these discoveries. Truth speaks for itself. It calls to the seeker and the sincere at heart can see it.

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