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Seven Deadly Spirits

The Message of Revelation’s Letters for Today’s Church

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"A fascinating look at Revelation's seven churches. In the process, Daniels provides us with a unique look at our own church today. A challenging and helpful book." --William H. Willimon, bishop, North Alabama Conference, The United Methodist Church

In Seven Deadly Spirits, T. Scott Daniels contends that corporate bodies like churches form an individual spiritual personality of sorts, incarnating an angelic spirit that is the essence of a congregation. Cultural influences can impact the collective spirit or attitude of a congregation, either hindering it from becoming all God intends it to be or setting it free to glorify God.

Building on the work of Hendrikus Berkhof, Walter Wink, and Nancey Murphy, this engaging study provides a lens through which to understand the nature and function of the seven "angels" of the churches addressed in the book of Revelation. These seven angels, or deadly spirits, represent key areas of struggle that were destructive in the early church and continue to damage contemporary congregations. Seven Deadly Spirits renarrates into a contemporary context the seven angels that hinder the church, providing a rich category for analysis through which to discern the influences that can affect congregations. The book encourages professors and students in pastoral ministry, theology, and church growth courses as well as working pastors and lay leaders to consider a systems approach to church leadership--one that takes seriously the "powers" at work within local congregations--and offers suggestions for transformation.


"Scott Daniels has given us a fascinating look at Revelation's seven churches. In the process, he provides us with a unique look at our own church today. A challenging and helpful book." --William H. Willimon, bishop, North Alabama Conference, The United Methodist Church

"Drawing on pastoral wisdom, Daniels helps us see the life of the church through John's letters to the seven churches in the book of Revelation. This is not a task easily done, but with great insight he helps us see ourselves as we are, not as we would like to be. We need all the help we can get and this book certainly helps."--Stanley Hauerwas, Gilbert T. Rowe Professor of Theological Ethics, Duke University

"As we seek renewal in the North American church, we need more than cultural analysis or theological critique. We must address the consumerism, social arrogance, and other 'deadly spirits' taking over our churches by clearly proclaiming the Word of God concerning these issues. In Seven Deadly Spirits, Scott Daniels offers such a message drawn from the seven letters of Revelation. With compelling clarity and incisive scholarship, Daniels unfurls the meaning of these letters for the missional church today. Under Daniels's scholarly guidance, the letters to the churches in Revelation become a prime scriptural resource for conforming the church more faithfully to the mission of God."--David Fitch, B. R. Lindner Chair of Evangelical Theology, Northern Seminary; author of The Great Giveaway

The Author

  1. T. Scott Daniels

    T. Scott Daniels

    T. Scott Daniels (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is lead pastor at College Church of the Nazarene in Nampa, Idaho. He previously served as dean of the School of Theology at Azusa Pacific University and pastored First Church of the Nazarene in Pasadena.

    Continue reading about T. Scott Daniels


"If you're looking for a great preaching series for the coming year, I recommend you have a look at Scott Daniels' Seven Deadly Spirits. . . . The seven churches have long provided preachers with excellent fodder for a concise seven-sermon series. Daniels provides the kind of fresh and reliable thinking that could help such a series come to life. . . . Daniels' book offers solid exegetical content in a concise format that never fails to challenge. I found myself amazed at the profound contemporary relevance of these ancient church descriptions. . . . Throughout the book, Daniels offers current examples and descriptions that will inspire your own reflections upon the context of your church and ministry. . . . This is one of the freshest exegetical treatments of Scripture that I have read."--Kent Anderson,

"In order to correctly name the powers that be, Daniels must first exegete the letters and place them in their proper historical contexts. Seldom have I seen descriptions of the ancient cities of Asia Minor simultaneously so succinct and accurate. The author never belabors the point, but presents the pertinent information in profound and accurate ways. The historical picture painted is not without proper documentation either, making this book succinct, readable, and credible. Students of Revelation will find Daniels' blend of historical exegesis and modern application exciting and uplifting. Because of its readability, the current volume is a text suited best for the undergraduate course on Revelation, a Sunday School class, or small group study. Small group leaders frustrated with studies that lean more toward application than credible exegesis will find this book (and the corresponding study questions) extremely helpful. I have already included this book as required reading in my upcoming course on Revelation. Its accurate presentation of city life in these Asian cities, coupled with its ease of readability, fills a textbook niche I have longed to fill for several years."--Les Hardin, Stone-Campbell Journal