Historical Period of Ephesus

Revelation 2:1‑7  •  1 min. read  •  grade level: 11
The period indicated must also be considered. It seems well established that John must have written the book of Revelation about the close of the first century, the year 95 or 96 A.D. being generally determined. It was therefore at the close of what may be termed “the apostolic period.” But the nature of these communications must also be remembered. This letter was sent to the angel of an actually existent assembly—an assembly, moreover, typical of the state of the whole church immediately following upon the days of the apostles, and perhaps also prophetic of certain phases of the life of the churches down to the end. It is quite true that only the last four of these seven churches go on to the close, and that the first three are successional, and represent successive states; still, it is never to be forgotten that every one of these letters contain instruction for all time—first for the church, and then in principle for the individual. “The Word of the Lord endureth forever” (1 Peter 1:2525But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you. (1 Peter 1:25)); and we are justified therefore in insisting on this threefold application; that is to the state of the assembly at Ephesus; to the state of the whole church as set forth by that local assembly; and lastly, to any assembly or individual at any period whose state might correspond with that which is here depicted. At the same time the angel of Ephesus undoubtedly represents the condition into which the church fell immediately after the departure of the apostles.