By Diane Howard, Ph.D.
The new movie “The 7 Churches of Revelation: Times of Fire” is scheduled for theaters as a Fathom Event for a Special Two-Night Only Engagement on Monday Oct. 11 and Tuesday Oct. 12, 2021 (7 p.m. local times) as A Cinematic Exploration into the Letters from Christ to the Churches in the Book of Revelation. The creators of the outstanding “Patterns of Evidence” and “Pilgrim’s Progress” movies have joined forces to present this first film in a new documentary series.
Documentaries exploring the mysteries of the Bible have consistently fascinated and engaged audiences, as well as creating and facilitating compelling conversations in faith circles. Based on onsite archaeological and scholarly evidence and research, Thinking Man Films, RevelationMedia, and Fathom Events have collaborated to release “The 7 Churches of Revelation: Times of Fire.” Like other Patterns of Evidence movies, this film has beautiful cinematography of incredible landscapes and historic sites from the region investigated. After the movie, the event features an exclusive panel discussion with leading apologetics experts, enhancing this relevant topic of the Bible’s message to both churches and individuals today.
In the tradition of Patterns of Evidence movies, Producer/Director, Timothy Mahoney welcomes the viewer to the Thinking Man Films family a new investigative filmmaking partner, Christophe Hanauer, a French Christian Producer, and the founder of Millennium Productions.
This feature-length documentary follows Christophe and acclaimed global scholars as they examine the mysterious letters written to seven churches, the roots of persecution in the 1st-century church, and how these messages connect to our everyday lives.
The first in a three-part series, Times of Fire begins in Patmos, where Revelation was written, and then moves to the first three churches: Ephesus, Smyrna, and Pergamon. (The seven churches of the Revelation are the following: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.)
“For centuries, there has been a profound mystery surrounding the meaning of the Book of Revelation,” shares Timothy. “We are honored to share Christophe’s film with an English-speaking audience, so Americans can experience these scriptures from a historic, educational perspective, breaking down the messages given by Christ to each of the churches referenced and seeing how it applies to our lives today.” At a time when we are living with much uncertainty, this film asks one of the greatest questions of all, “Are you ready?”
In the first century A.D., Asia Minor experienced a strong ideological revolution. Christianity was spreading like wildfire across the Roman Empire and was challenging ancient pagan worship and the order established by imperial Rome. It was during this historic time that Saint John wrote his book of Revelation, which is one of the most complex and mysterious books of the Bible. The text addresses seven churches located in what is now modern-day Turkey, each of which received a personal letter from the risen Christ.
The October release of “The 7 Churches of Revelation: Times of Fire” examines the first three churches, and the following two films in the series are scheduled for release in 2022 and 2023 respectively.
Timothy Mahoney is the award-winning director of four feature films: “Patterns of Evidence: The Red Sea Miracle I & II,” “Patterns of Evidence: The Moses Controversy,” and “Patterns of Evidence: The Exodus.” Tim is the founder of Thinking Man Films and Media, a Minneapolis-based international documentary and publishing company.
Tim has spent almost 20 years exploring some of the biggest questions of the Bible and what they mean for our world today. His insatiable curiosity has led him on a journey across the world interviewing some of the world’s leading Bible scholars, archaeologists, and historians to seek answers. What he’s uncovered are amazing patterns of evidence that match the events recorded in the Bible.
Here’s my exclusive interview with Tim Mahoney:
DH: How does this movie inform our understanding of the Book of Revelation?
TM: Few Revelation scholars have seen the actual locations referenced in this great book of the Bible. This movie enables viewers to see the locations and to understand more about the history of the time. References in each letter to each church are grounded in real events, people, practices of the time. During the period of the first three churches referred to in Revelation, it was difficult for those who did not worship Caesar to have occupations. It was easy for them to become scapegoats, blamed for problems of the time. Each city had theaters and the stories of the time were woven into their cultures. The Christians of this time were brave and courageous. There were strong reactions to Paul as he challenged the beliefs of this time.
DH: How does this movie inform our understanding of our Times and today’s world events?
TM: In the Book of Revelation there are warnings to each of the churches. All of the churches of the time received each letter. These warnings were relevant to each church at that time and to each church since. These were difficult times for Christians and the churches, but they were encouraged not to be deceived or to be fearful but bold and to speak with authority. Christ’s love and His Spirit would cast out fear. They and all Christians and churches since are to be witnesses wherever He calls us to testify. As He prepared them for what was ahead and was always with them, He does the same for all of us.
DH: How does this movie inform our understanding of God’s perspective about what is important?
TM: Like these churches, we must not lose our first love. We must be knowledgeable and ready. As the title of the movie alludes, Fire is a key element inside and outside of our lives. We may have the fire of persecution but will also have the fire of God’s Spirit within. The Fire of God will also purify the dross inside and out of our lives.
DH: How does this movie counter misinterpretations of the Book of Revelation?
TM: This movie grounds the Book of Revelation in real history, time and place.
DH: How does this movie show the importance of historical, cultural, and geographical contexts when understanding the scriptures?
TM: In order to understand the Book of Revelation, we need historical, cultural, and historic knowledge to inform our theology. The churches in Revelation were real churches in real time and places. We also need to understand the Old and New Testaments because there are threads that go throughout the Bible with allusions to past, present, and future. We can also see the Book of Revelation as a legal document and can be assured that God will have justice.
About Fathom Events
Fathom is a recognized leader in the entertainment industry as one of the top distributors of content to movie theaters in North America. Owned by AMC Entertainment Inc. (NYSE: AMC); Cinemark Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CNK); and Regal Cinemas, a subsidiary of the Cineworld Group (LSE: CINE.L)., Fathom operates the largest cinema distribution network, delivering a wide variety of programming and experiences to cinema audiences in all the top U.S. markets and to more than 45 countries. For more information, visit www.FathomEvents.com
About Thinking Man Films:
Thinking Man Films is a U.S. based production company owned by Timothy P. Mahoney. The company’s first film was “Patterns of Evidence: The Exodus” and led to the internationally successful “Patterns of Evidence” film series. They seek to produce balanced, high-quality films and media that encourage all to be thinking men and women. www.thinkingmanfilms.com
RevelationMedia’s mission is to produce and license culturally relevant and engaging media that lead people into a relationship with their Creator, to translate the media into the top languages of the world alongside global ministry partners, and distribute the media, making it freely available to missionaries worldwide. https://www.revelationmedia.com/
About Christophe Hanauer:
Christophe Hanauer is an author, scriptwriter, producer and founder of Millennium Production, a Swiss audiovisual production company producing, distributing cinematographic projects, documentaries or films. His work is created in a search for excellence, both in content and in form. His company seeks to produce balanced, beautiful, high-quality films and media that are inviting, thought-provoking, and inviting to discovery. Christophe is a technology entrepreneur and a project manager engineer in the energy and high-tech industries in Switzerland.
About Steve Cleary
For over 30 years, Steve has worked extensively among hostile and restricted nations on the frontline of missions. He founded RevelationMedia in 2018 to share timeless stories that help spread the Gospel, to both entertain and encourage western audiences. and to be a media resource for missionaries around the world. Steve has served as Executive Producer of the Voice of the Martyr’s film “Tortured for Christ,” and the RevelationMedia animated film version of the classic story “The Pilgrim’s Progress,” which has been designated #1 Fathom Event for 2019. “The Pilgrim’s Progress” has currently been re-voiced into 29 different languages, with dozens of additional languages launching in the coming years. Currently, Steve and the team at RevelationMedia are focused on completing iBIBLE, a visual and interactive presentation of the entire Bible.
“The 7 Churches of Revelation: Times of Fire” is part travelogue, part history lesson, and part culture study. It is unique in that it unites Christians in their views of Revelation. This cinematic experience follows investigative French filmmaker Christophe Hanauer and a group of global scholars as they examine the mysterious letters written to 7 churches in the book of Revelation, the roots of persecution in the 1st Century Church, and connections to our modern day lives.
Investigative filmmaker, Christophe Hanauer, travels to present-day Turkey, where the seven Churches were located, to uncover the secrets of these prophetic letters. He finds many clues to the daily hardships of these First Century churches. His discoveries from the archaeological sites reveal that Christianity had spread like wildfire across the Roman Empire challenging ancient pagan worship and the order established by Imperial Rome. The emperor Cesar had been intent on stopping it, punishing anyone who rejected his claim to deity.
With a circle of scholars and theologians to provide historic and cultural insights, we begin to see connections to our modern world. Within these mysterious letters, we find keys to the heart of God for His Bride, the Church. Are our hearts prepared for his return? Is today’s Church ready for these times of fire?
See more on the following
- Book of Revelation- https://biblehub.com/revelation/
- Film site: 7Churches.com
- 2 Minute intro to the series from filmmaker Christophe Hanauer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTx4ke0Fuhc
- Theater lists and tickets: https://www.fathomevents.com/events/the-7-churches-of-revelation-times-of-fire
- Tim Mahoney and Thinking Man Films: https://thinkingmanfilms.com/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/timesoffirefilm
- Thinking Man Films Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGK13Rjws6OZlYoqxPt5EoA
- View the trailer and purchase tickets