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CHURCH ERAS


 

Itís quite amazing how we human beings reason around scriptures to make them agree with what we want to believe. Everyone in the Worldwide Church of God was quite happy to go along with being in the Philadelphia era of Godís church. This era has a tremendous reward, and has no faults connected with it. Look at the reward, just for holding fast to what we learned; also, this era is kept from the troubles to come on the world. No one questioned the eras of the church while Mr. Armstrong was alive, because the Philadelphia era offered an easy ride to Godís kingdom; or seemed to!

 

Rev 3:10  Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.

Rev 3:11  Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.

Rev 3:12  He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.

 

The troubles began in earnest after the death of Mr. Armstrong, with everyone picking and choosing which breakaway group they wanted to be in. Very few held fast to the teaching of the Philadelphia church. Mr. Armstrong, and the teaching that God put into that era have both been maligned and derided. Church eras are scoffed at, because if we are fair dinkum we have to admit that we are now in the last era of Godís church, which has a lot of faults and trials.

 

Rev 3:15  "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot.

Rev 3:16  So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.

 

Ask any former member of Worldwide and they will tell you that some other group is the Laodicean era. No one will admit being in the last era. Most people will just deny the church eras. There are, of course, faithful Philadelphian members who have held fast to what they learned. These people will not see the end time troubles. They will almost certainly be kept from end time trouble by death, or perhaps safety.

 

Each church era has a different reward for different knowledge. This knowledge is given by God, and is bound in heaven during the time of the individual era. This knowledge is then loosed in heaven, as new knowledge is given for the next era.

 

Mat 16:19  And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."

 

Not only did the eras exist in time sequence, but there is a bit of the 7 eras in each era.

 

Letís notice some interesting points on the church eras. Christ explains that the lampstands are the churches and the stars are the angels or this could mean the ministers, possibly the heads of the church at that time, like Mr. Armstrong was the head of the Philadelphian era, therefore he could be the star of the church of Philadelphia.

 

Rev 1:20  The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches.

 

Each church era has a different description of Christ at the heading, He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, He has the leaders of each era in His hand, He walks in the midst of the churches, they are His churches He is the head of the church.

 

Rev 2:1  "To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, 'These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands:

 

It is interesting how Christ describes himself to each era, no doubt each era had this knowledge about Him. Here we see the knowledge of the resurrection and raising of Christ.

 

Rev 2:8  "And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write, 'These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life:

 

The scripture says the word of God is sharper than any two edged sword, so Godís word penetrates and is a discerner of thoughts and intentions, we cannot hide our thoughts from God.

 

Rev 2:12  "And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write, 'These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword:

 

Here we see this era had the knowledge of the Son of God and His appearance today.

 

Rev 2:18  "And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write, 'These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass:

 

This era had the knowledge of the Spirits of God and the seven stars or leaders of each era.

 

Rev 3:1  "And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, 'These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: "I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.

 

The next two eras of Godís church, the Philadelphian era and the Laodicean era, do not have the matching description of them at the start of their introduction as do the other eras.

 

This era had Mr. Armstrong as its star and they knew the identity of modern day Israel, also God opened the doors for Mr. Armstrong to go to the leaders of nations with his message about the kingdom of God. After his death no one could go to the leaders any more.

 

Mr. Armstrong is mentioned in Isaiah Chap 22 v 20-25.

 

Isa 22:20  'Then it shall be in that day, That I will call My servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah;

 

Rev 3:7  "And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, 'These things says He who is holy, He who is true, "HE WHO HAS THE KEY OF DAVID, HE WHO OPENS AND NO ONE SHUTS, AND SHUTS AND NO ONE OPENS":

 

The last era of Godís church, with the knowledge of eternal life, Christ being the first born of all creation.

 

Rev 3:14  "And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, 'These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God:

 

Each era of Godís church has different knowledge which is revealed to them during the course of that particular era.

 

We know first hand the history of what Mr. Armstrong has told us regarding the transition from the Sardis era to the Philadelphia era. Remember that the Sardis era refused to accept the new knowledge Mr. Armstrong had to give them.

 

In order to keep the new knowledge, Mr. Armstrong started the Philadelphia era.

 

Now we are in the Laodicean era of Godís church. Again we have new knowledge for this era. The big question remains to be answered. WILL THE MEMBERS ACCEPT THE NEW KNOWLEDGE?

 

We have fabulous new knowledge for the Laodicean era, but this knowledge is only learned as God reveals it, there is no other way.

 

Jesus knows what He is doing, after all this is His church.

 

One argument against church eras, is that God the Father is only talking about the seven churches in Asia.

 

Rev 1:11  saying, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last," and, "What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea."

 

Bible understanding comes with comparing all scriptures on the subject. Can you imagine the argumentative discontent that would have occurred if each era of the Philadelphian church were offered different rewards for different knowledge? The following scripture would have been a great joke, and we all would have looked for the best reward, and then claimed that church as our own.

 

1Co 1:10  Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

 

Each era had to speak the same thing, and members had to be faithful to that knowledge to receive the reward of their particular era.

 

The Philadelphia era of Godís church is gone with the death of Mr. Armstrong. The church was dismantled speedily by the new leadership of Mr.Tkach. This is in accordance with Godís plan. Many belonging to spiritual Israel have done just what physical Israel has always done. They followed their whims and fancies without any fear of God.

 

Jdg 17:6  In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

 

Deu 5:29  Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever!

 

God is a figurehead only to some, as each person follows their own belief: scripture will not change their ideas; how well my wife and I know that. God wanted members to hold fast to Mr. Armstrongís teaching until death, or to come into the Laodicean church with its different knowledge. Most members have gone their own way.

 

Christ is building the Laodicean church, and has been since the year 2000 when my wife and I were given a good understanding of the knowledge of God and Christ; also Passover was made clear. We chose to obey God on these issues and were forbidden to mention them in church, we chose God and were asked to leave. Since that time we have been given new knowledge on creation, the sons of God, and a lot of other subjects. We have obeyed God every time. We have the keys of the kingdom. Christ is building His church on the rock. The rock being that Jesus Christ is the Morning Star, the son of God from the beginning [not eternity.]

 

Mat 16:15  He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"

Mat 16:16  Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

Mat 16:17  Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.

Mat 16:18  And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

Mat 16:19  And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."

 

The Laodicean church has far and away the best reward for overcomers, but is worded differently to other eras so no one wants to be a Laodicean. My wife and I love the knowledge that God is giving us, and we are ready and willing to do whatever God wants and when He wants it. We will not try to start a church, we will keep studying and growing in knowledge and, hopefully grace also. God and Christ will make it clear when the church membership grows. We want to be a part of that church.

The Laodicean era will be the last era of Godís church. It will see the time of Jacobís trouble, the Day of the Lord, and the return of Christ and God the Father.

 

We do not have any animosity towards the Church for what has happened to us. It is our belief that they have simply not been shown this new knowledge and understanding as God has not opened their eyes to these things at this time.

However we have every confidence that God will open the eyes and ears of His end time church, at the appointed time.

May God speed that time, and inspire the reader to understand this wonderful knowledge that only God can reveal.