Churches of Revelation: What’s in a Name?

“A rose by any other name…” goes the famous quote.  But, does it matter?

Well, in the Bible, we see where Adam named the animals, thus showing dominion over them.  Adam named Eve, as he was the head of the household.  God renamed a few individuals Himself.  He renamed Abram to Abraham and Jacob to Israel.

We see in the Bible that God calls things as they are or as they are going to be (and, in His case, there isn’t that much of a difference compared to our limited abilities).

“Don’t read too much into the names of the churches of Revelation,” I’ve been told.  Oh?  Why?  Why were those seven churches chosen out the many that existed?  What are we supposed to learn from them?

For example, does it make sense to call yourself or your organization “Philadelphian” if you do not exhibit the traits that “philos”+”adelphos” represent?  No, it doesn’t.  In fact, it is interesting that some will trip over themselves to proclaim they exhibit brotherly love while ignoring what the other six churches’ names mean.

I’d like to suggest that the names do have meaning, just like the renaming of Abraham did.

To be continued.


  1. Is the Living Church of God the 'Sardis' church of Revelation – You have a 'name' that you are alive – but you are dead?

    And is the Philadelphia Church of God the 'Ephesus' church – You have forsaken your first love?

  2. John, I hope that you consider the biginning and the end and the order they are given as well, because it all ties into why these were the seven chosen. It is not JUST the name, as there are other contributing factors. But I will let you figure that one out, if you haven't already.
    I know you have pooh pooh-ed the idea of eras, so I will say no more for now–don't want to ruin your train of thought.

    Anony Jon

  3. John D Carmack

    I will take them in order, but the emphasis is not on eras or the lack thereof. The emphasis is not on identifying them, either.

    Jesus addressed each church, and Jesus tailored a message to each about where they fell short and where they did not. He basically was examining them because they were not examining themselves in most cases.

    As we approach Passover, will we be the same or will we listen to the messages and examine ourselves?