God’s chosen people Israel went through these stages historically in the Old Testament:
Ephesus – Adam and Eve fell from their intimate personal love relationship with God by choosing Satan’s way and were expelled from the Garden of Eden.
Smyrna – the time of the patriarchs : Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, up to Moses. They suffered rejection and persecution from the world but even more often at the hand of family!
Pergamum – the Israelites spent time in the wilderness when they desired the worldly pleasures of Egypt and refused to walk in faith in God.
Thyatira – This is Israel’s time of the kings. Most of them backslid when they were drawn away by wealth, power, women, pride, and popularity. They tolerated Jezebel in their midst.
Sardis – Israel allows pagan worship to mix in their faith and life. The Sun god they worship scorches them….they are taken captive to Babylon.
Philadelphia – a remnant remains faithful to God…..remember Daniel and the 3 Hebrews who are saved in the fiery furnace? The Israelites return to Jerusalem led by Ezra and Nehemiah.
Laodicea – These are the last days of the Old Testament until Jesus comes. The prophets try to wake up and stir the people to faith, but the religious systems rule. Jesus tells the ruling religious Pharisees and Sadducees that they are white washed tombs full of dead men’s bones.