Bible Study – The Seven Churches

The Book of Revelation, Chapters 1-3

January 30 – February 5, 2022

Key Verse

“What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia.” Revelation 1:11

Study Help: The Acts of the Apostles, 585–592; God’s Amazing Grace, 95


“The Revelation was written to the seven churches in Asia, which represented the people of God throughout the world.” The Signs of the Times, January 28, 1903



1.a. What do the stars that John saw in the hands of Jesus represent? Revelation 1:16, 20. Who are to preach the messages to the seven churches?

Note: “God’s ministers are symbolized by the seven stars, which He who is the First and the Last has under His special care and protection. The sweet influences that are to be abundant in the church are bound up with these ministers of God, who are to represent the love of Christ. … They are but instruments in His hands, and all the good they accomplish is done through His power.” Gospel Workers, 13, 14

1.b. What counsel is given to ministers so that they may faithfully fulfill their duties? 1 Corinthians 4:1, 2; 2 Corinthians 6:3–7. What are the results of unfaithful ministry?

Note: “The people will seldom rise higher than their minister. A world-loving spirit in him has a tremendous influence upon others. The people make his deficiencies an excuse to cover their world-loving spirit.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 645, 646



2.a. What is the significance of Jesus walking among the candlesticks as found in Revelation 1:20?

Note: “ ‘These things saith He that holdeth the seven stars in His right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks, I know thy works.’ This figure illustrates the eternal vigilance of our Saviour. Christ is in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks, walking from church to church, from congregation to congregation, from heart to heart. He who keeps Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps. If the candlesticks were left to the care of human beings, how often they would flicker and go out. But God has not given His church into the hands of men. Christ, One who gave His life for the life of the world, is the Watchman of the house. He is the Warder, faithful and true, of the temple courts of the Lord.” The Signs of the Times, February 12, 1902

“Christ knew just where to find John; and there, on the lonely island, He gave him a view of the closing scenes of this earth’s history. … John was shown the slain Lamb of God, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Conqueror, standing in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks, which are the seven churches.” The Review and Herald, May 16, 1899

2.b. In the sermon given by Jesus on the mountain, what did He say about the light of the world? Matthew 5:14–16

Note: “Although there are evils existing in the church, and will be until the end of the world, the church in these last days is to be the light of the world that is polluted and demoralized by sin.” The Review and Herald, September 5, 1893

“No candlestick, no church, shines of itself. From Christ emanates all its light” The Faith I Live By, 280

“As we walk in the commandments of God, we follow on in the way cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in. The faithful of all ages have walked in this path, and they have shone as lights in the world. In this age the light transmitted from them has been shining with increased brightness upon the path of those who are walking in darkness.” The Review and Herald, April 25, 1893



3.a. What assurance does the Lord give that He always cares for His church? Psalm 121:3, 4

Note: “ ‘Who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks.’ Revelation 2:1. This scripture shows Christ’s relation to the churches. He walks in the midst of His churches throughout the length and breadth of the earth. He watches them with intense interest to see whether they are in such a condition spiritually that they can advance His kingdom. Christ is present in every assembly of the church. He is acquainted with everyone connected with His service. He knows those whose hearts He can fill with the holy oil, that they may impart it to others. Those who faithfully carry forward the work of Christ in our world, representing in word and works the character of God, fulfilling the Lord’s purpose for them, are in His sight very precious.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 418, 419

3.b. To what is the true church of God compared, and how was it made up throughout the ages? 1 Timothy 3:15

Note: “The church is God’s fortress, His city of refuge, which He holds in a revolted world. Any betrayal of the church is treachery to Him who has bought mankind with the blood of His only-begotten Son. From the beginning, faithful souls have constituted the church on earth. In every age the Lord has had His watchmen, who have borne a faithful testimony to the generation in which they lived. These sentinels gave the message of warning; and when they were called to lay off their armor, others took up the work.” The Acts of the Apostles, 11

“The church is the repository of the riches of the grace of Christ; and through the church will eventually be made manifest, even to ‘the principalities and powers in heavenly places,’ the final and full display of the love of God. … The church is God’s fortress, His city of refuge, which He holds in a revolted world. … It is the theater of His grace, in which He delights to reveal His power to transform hearts.” Sons and Daughters of God, 13



4.a. What do we understand from the fact that the churches of the seven cities in Asia Minor were selected by Christ to represent the Christian church? Revelation 1:11

Note: “It was Christ who bade the apostle record that which was to be opened before him. ‘What thou seest, write in a book,’ He commanded, ‘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.’ ‘I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore. … Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter; the mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in My right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks.’ Revelation 1:11, 18–20.

“The names of the seven churches are symbolic of the church in different periods of the Christian Era. The number 7 indicates completeness, and is symbolic of the fact that the messages extend to the end of time, while the symbols used reveal the condition of the church at different periods in the history of the world. Christ is spoken of as walking in the midst of the golden candlesticks. Thus is symbolized His relation to the churches.” The Acts of the Apostles, 585, 586

“The Lord Jesus sent a mighty angel to make plain to John, by the use of symbols, the things that were to come to pass until the coming of Christ. He was bidden to write the instruction in a book for the benefit of the seven churches. This writing we now have preserved in the book of Revelation, but this book is understood by only a very few. It contains the message for the last days, and we are to dwell much upon these prophecies.” The Review and Herald, February 14, 1907

4.b. To whom is the book of Revelation addressed? Revelation 1:9–11; 22:16

Note: “The Christ of Patmos had in His right hand seven stars. This assures us that no church faithful to their trust need fear of coming to naught; for not a star that has the protection of Omnipotence can be plucked from the hand of Christ. If a star separates itself from God, and falls from its setting, another will take its place. There will never be less than seven, this number being God’s symbol of completeness.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 3, 359



5.a. How does the Lord consider His people which are His church? Deuteronomy 32:9, 10; Zechariah 2:8

Note: “Through centuries of persecution, conflict, and darkness, God has sustained His church. Not one cloud has fallen upon it that He has not prepared for; not one opposing force has risen to counterwork His work, that He has not foreseen.” The Acts of the Apostles, 11, 12

“To God, the dearest object on earth is His church. ‘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.’ ” The Signs of the Times, July 13, 1904

5.b. What will be the ultimate condition of God’s remnant church? Ephesians 5:25–27

Note: “I saw that Christ will have a church without spot or wrinkle or any such thing to present to His Father, and as He leads us through the pearly gates of the New Jerusalem, or the golden city, Jesus will look upon His redeemed children and see of the travail of His soul and be satisfied.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 8, 225

“What does God’s word mean when it declares that Christ will present to Himself a church without spot or wrinkle or any such thing? It means that God’s people can and must reach the standard of Christian perfection.” Ibid., vol. 14, 351



1    What qualities will the faithful steward possess?

2    What role does the church play in the closing work?

3    How has God’s church been protected?

4    Which cities were chosen to represent the church?

5    What is the final condition of the remnant church?

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