Posted in art, church, ephesus, laodicea, philadelphia, revelation, sardis, smyrna, thyatira

A pictorial representation of the churches of Revelation

This is a creative, artistic rendering of my view of the 7 churches in Revelation. The original photo, which I took, is of an abandoned church in the area in which I live. Photographic manipulation and imagination did the rest.

In the first century, there were 7 churches Jesus caused John to write messages for. These were actual churches with actual congregations, doing and saying actual things. Jesus told apostle John, exiled at Patmos, what to write to these congregations. Jesus spoke commendations, criticisms, and instructions. Not all 7 churches were commended. Not all 7 churches were criticized. All had an instruction, though.

The church at Smyrna and the church at Philadelphia were not criticized. The church at Laodicea was not commended. The rest had both.

The churches were: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea.

Can you imagine being assembled on Sunday, hearing a knock on the church door, a messenger arriving and handing a scroll to your pastor, and the pastor reads a letter from the head of the Church, Jesus Christ Himself? Jesus is very much alive and in charge of His global body of worshipers, AKA His bride. He was directly involved then, and He is directly involved now.

Each of the seven churches was not only an actual church but is also a type of church dealing with a problem mentioned in the letters. The problem is not unique to that church for that time. There are always the same kind of systemic problems many churches deal with and have been recurring throughout the centuries. Always, there is a church somewhere that is busy but not alive. Always, somewhere, is a church that is indifferent and lukewarm. On this earth, there is a collection of churches gracefully enduring suffering, or being persecuted. And so on.

Please read Revelation 1-3, it is not hard. Those chapters offer the reader plain language and it’s not heavily symbolic. Meanwhile here are my renderings of the churches in Revelation with their pictorial representation of the problem (or commendation) they had. Below the photo essay is a short artist’s statement of how the interpretation came about.



Artist statement:

Ephesus: I was struck by the fact they had abandoned their fervent love for Jesus. I imagined how hearing this, John might have felt like he had ashes in his mouth and ears. “Nothing cold as ashes, after the fire is gone.” (Loretta Lynn). The photo is as if ashes were smeared on it.

Smyrna: No criticism. Only light, the crown of life in heaven, and joy. The bubbles are angels surrounding the church Jesus commends in love and encouragement.

Pergamos: Compromise was their problem. Anyone who ever had a house built knows that if the contractor compromises on the concrete foundation, cracks appear at the first frost-freeze-thaw cycle. Nothing cracks a structure or an organization faster than compromise. Hence, the cracked door and walls.

Thyatira: This church had a problem with a seductress teaching sexual immorality and the people tolerated it. It is a harlot church, literally. Hence the lipstick on the walls and the hearts and fireworks and pink.

Sardis: Revelation has a change in tone here. Sardis is dead. I used tombstone engraving font for the verse.

Philadelphia: No criticism. This church is loved eternally from above. Its door will never close. Hence the sunburst coming out, the eternal stars above to indicate they will be taken before the wrath, and the font in script like a love letter. This church is beloved in heaven.

Laodicea: Indifferent. Jesus hates that worst of all. He excoriates it with a lengthy invective no other church received in their message. He will vomit this church from His mouth. Hence the bilious green splat from heaven.

(I never said I was THAT imaginative.)

Posted in end of days. prophecy, end time, mysterious boom, philadelphia

Mysterious loud boom in Philly causes panic

I’ve been reporting on a mysterious event that is happening in various US states at various times lately. It seems that a huge boom would occur that sounded like an explosion or an earthquake, but no explosion nor earthquake had happened. In some places it was proposed that a meteor had fallen but no meteor was in sight. Physical effects of these mystery booms are felt or seen, the ground briefly shakes, pictures swing on hooks, windows rattle. But there is no physical cause to attribute to the effects that are clearly seen and heard. Just a huge “BOOM”. You can go to this link for a round up of news excerpts that report on previous booms in the last two months or so.

Another one happened in Philly last night and this one was loud. It caused panic. It was clearly seen and heard, so much so that a multitude of rescue and first responder vehicles arrived at the scene. But there was no scene.

Mystery Boom Causes Panic in Northeast Philadelphia – Video
One witness: ‘It sounded like something above you, fell down.’
A mystery ‘boom’ that ‘may not have been explosion’ caused panic in northeast Philadelphia and Lower Bucks County at approximately 9:30 PM, May 27, 2011, according to a local NBC report, with multiple fire trucks, EMS, and power companies racing to the ‘scene’. After reaching the area, no one could locate the source of an explosion. Also reported, house’s shook which led to speculation it may have been an earthquake. According to NBC 7 the USGS was unable to confirm the boom was an earthquake. Other speculation, a sonic boom which was heard in only northeast Philadelphia and Lower Bucks County.
NBC 10 Philadelphia video news report:

‘Calls and emails flooded NBC 10 News after reports of several loud bangs. This is in northeast Philadelphia and Lower Bucks County. Fire and emergency units raced to the scene but it is still not clear what has happened here.’

The local NBC reporter:

‘This is a very strange situation out here you can see behind me there are multiple crews from the fire department and the police department as well as crews from PICO and PGW. This is the area of 9th and Fairdale Rd. in Northeast Philadelphia. Here’s what we know, at about 9:30 tonight the fire department started getting multiple calls of what some people described as a possible explosion. Some people I’ve been talking to at the scene said that it actually felt like a minor earthquake. Whatever it was at this point investigators have not been able to determine what that explosion was or if it even was an explosion but people said it lasted only a few seconds.’

One witness: ‘It sounded like something above you, fell down.’ Another witness: ‘It sounded like something hit the building, like a car. It was just a shake and that’s when the cops and everything were here. And someone said a house blew up and everyone came running out and no one knows what it is.’—end of report—

As the witness said, ‘it sounded like something above you, fell down.’ Is it the voice of the LORD, warning us? Making His presence known? I don’t know but increasingly I am believing that it is. When one boom happens it is non-news, just a minor mystery upon which we shrug and go our way. When two happen in various places I go ‘oh well, that’s interesting.’ I begin to perk up at three, because in my mind, it is a pattern now. When 20 or 30 happen now THAT is something we all should pay attention to. That all 30 (or so) have no visible cause, and when the event is investigated by officials from all scientific disciplines and no cause is found, it makes for a good case that it is supernatural. The US Geological survey explicitly stated each time none were quakes. Police, gas line men, drilling experts, all say that in their sphere the boom was not man-made from their particular activity. Military bases were contacted and no hot military exercises were ongoing in that location nor were there sonic booms the sounds could be related to.

Is God calling attention to Himself? It could be. When all man-made and earthly causes have been excluded, you look up. The presence of God in the earth is real. “The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars; the LORD breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.” (Psalm 29:5). His voice breaketh the cedars, He certainly can utter a sound again as He has done in the past and make Himself known. Prophetically, the end of the end time and certainly the Tribulation are a period when He has promised to make Himself known on earth to greater and greater degrees. It is a time when science and analytical rationality fly out the window as He supersedes these man made constructs and He demonstrates His power over both. As the witness said, if I may change one word in his observations, ”it sounded like something above you, came down.”