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Identifying the 7 Churches

Concerning the 7 Church's let us read it in a continuous and historic way.

Revelation 1:3
"Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand."

For each time in history there is a "time at hand" or a current point at which history is taking place. From this we can determine that point in time something has, is, or will take place.

Revelation 1:10
"I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,"

Before I continue in the above verse we can see something important. We notice this entire book is written for and by one person at the center of it all, Jesus as lord. It is important for my readers to understand this because he is at the center of it all as I will show you. Take notice of the table below. Notice who is the center of the entire book it is the "I AM" because he is at the center of it all.
Old Testament New Testament Exact Word Correlation
Isaiah 55:4 Revelation 1:5 Witness
Daniel 7:13 Revelation 1:7 Coming with clouds
Zechariah 12:10-14 Revelation 1:7 Pierced and wail
Isaiah 44:6 Revelation 1:7 I AM
Isaiah 44:6 Revelation 1:11 I AM
Zechariah 4:2 Revelation 1:12 Candlesticks
Daniel 7:9,13,22 Revelation 1:13-15 Priest
Isaiah 49:2 Revelation 1:16 Sharp sword

An ‘Epanados’ is used it is a figure of speech in which the parts of a sentence or clause are repeated but in inverse order. This form of speech or ideas is very common and knowledge of this will help us especially in our understanding of prophecy. It also adds to the eloquence and well planned thought in which the Bible was written. The Old Testament perfectly correlates to the New Testament in Epanados form meaning both books were meant to complement the other. I cannot say it any better than the Roman writer Quintilian as he described figures of speech as being like jewels. We place them within our speaking so that important ideas will catch the ear as fine gems catch the eye. Look again at the table above. Do you notice who it is at the center. It is the "I AM". It is Jesus, God himself at the center of history and his words are a witness to it.

Here in this table we see another kind of relationship looking chronologically from beginning to end.
Genesis and Sin Revelation and grace
Lost tree of life (Genesis 3:22) Restores Life (Revelation 2:7)
Death (Genesis 2:17) Victory over death (Revelation 2:11)
Earn bread (Genesis 3:19) Hidden manna (Revelation 2:17)
Lost dominion (Genesis 3:24) Dominion restored (Revelation 2:26)
Naked (Genesis 3:7) Clothed in white (Revelation 3:5)
Driven from God (Genesis 3:23) No more separation (Revelation 3:12)

Revelation 1:4
"John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;"

Revelation 1:11-13
11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.
12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;
13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.

We will see that each one of these Church's has a very particular meaning describing it. This description of them has a meaning for them at that time and is also used in a future application to foreshadow seven different periods in the history of the Church. I suppose they could of course be a description of a situation of any given church at any period. These were Church's at the time it was written but it would also represent a Church age in time historically that would identify the time period. The 7 Churches are also listed in chronological order of the old postal route between these cities located in Turkey or Asia minor. The 7 spirits correspond to the Old Testament book of Isaiah.
The 7 candles of the Menorah are lit in order they represented the 7 churches. In Old Testament times they lit the menorah but did not understand the real purpose but now we can look back in time and get a clearer picture.

Revelation 1:20
"The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches."

Church postal order Nature of Corresponding description

Revelation 1-3 7 Spirits Isaiah 11:1-2
1 Ephesus Love Lord
2 Smyrna Preservation Might
3 Pergamum Remembrance Counsel
4 Thyatira Revelation Understanding
5 Sardis Perfection Wisdom
6 Philadelphia Publishing Knowledge
7 Laodicea Restoration Fear of the Lord

Church Corresponding description
1 Ephesus (Revelation 2:1-7) The church that had forsaken its first love (Revelation 2:4).
2 Smyrna (Revelation 2:8-11) The church that would suffer persecution (Revelation 2:10).
3 Pergamum (Revelation 2:12-17) The church that needed to repent (Revelation 2:16).
4 Thyatira (Revelation 2:18-29) The church that had a false prophetess (Revelation 2:20).
5 Sardis (Revelation 3:1-6) The church that had fallen asleep (Revelation 3:2).
6 Philadelphia (Revelation 3:7-13) The church that had endured patiently (Revelation 3:10).
7 Laodicea (Revelation 3:14-22) The church with the lukewarm faith (Revelation 3:16).

Revelation 1:19-20
19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;
20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.

    So the 7 Churches are the 7 candlesticks and the historical medium by which Christ disseminates the truth. These Churches are representative of 7 time periods in Church history.
    We will see that in each of the 7 Churches are given;
  • The Meaning of the name
  • The Character
  • A Commendation
  • A Reproof
  • Some Counsel
  • A Promise

This is all very important because it gives us a clue as to the time period of each Church. Let us examine each of these in their chronological and historical order. We know these Churches are historical in nature because of Revelation 19; has seen, those things which are now and those things which are to come.

Ephesus 100 AD to 800 AD:

Revelation 2:1-7
1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate.
7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

Ephesus means desirable. It was in the time period of (AD 100) Located in the Seat of Diana and she was called the Mother of the gods. In this city was the Temple of Diana built in 480 BC. The Temple of Diana was originally built in the 8th century BC as a temple dedicated to Artemis, the Greek goddess. By the 1st century AD, however, Romans ruled Ephesus and substituted their goddess Diana for the Greeks' Artemis. The substitution of Diana appears to have been okay with Ephesus' silversmiths as long as they could continue to peddle miniature copies of the Temple of Diana / Artemis. Their profit margin appears to have been squeezed, however, when the Apostle Paul came to Ephesus and preached against idolatry. Paul had a big argument in this city about this very issue because certain craftsmen were worried their idol trade would suffer because of his teachings (Acts 19:23-31). It was at the Council of Ephesus (AD 451) when Mary was substituted for Diana. It was now Mary who was called "Mother of God" and the miniature idol trade continued. Concerning this issue a rebuke was given because they had subtly moved the emphasis away from Christ toward Mary and grown complacent. A commendation was also given because they had discernment concerning good and evil. The Nicolaitanes were gnostic Poseidon worshipers within the Church they still held on to some pagan beliefs and had moral problems. They had a belief that since man was both spirit and flesh those things done in the flesh would not carry over to the spiritual side. So anything was allowable in the flesh to the Nicolaitane and they were immoral. Poseidon's birthday was celebrated on December 25. It is from this early time period we still get a mingling from the Nicolaitanes. The St. Nicholas celebration on December 25 comes from this early era. In fact all the chief pagan gods share this same birthday (Zeus, Osiris, Poseidon, Apollo ...). (Zeus rode through the sky in a chariot pulled by goats on December 25 in ancient mythology) They seemed to have lost their initial passion, zeal and love for Christ became complacent and are rebuked for this. They were still considered a good church; however their lampstand was removed and went on to the next church period.

Ephesus ( 100 AD to 800 AD )
    Ephesus means desirable ( 100 AD to 800 AD )
  • The church that had forsaken its first love (Rev. 2:4).
  • 5 ... I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place
  • Seat of Diana (Mother of the gods)
  • Temple of Diana built 480 BC
  • Council of Ephesus (AD 451) Title "Mother of God" given to Mary

Note: Notice something here about removing their candlestick. This will actually apply to all the Church's when they no longer live up to the light they were given. They are removed and the next candle stick is now lit in church history.

Smyrna 800 AD to 313 AD:

Revelation 2:8-11
8 And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;
9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.
10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

Smyrna means sweet smelling it has the word myrrh within it. In this city they had a shrine to the goddess Nemesis. A man named Polycarp was their minister and he was martyred. So they were a pretty good church and they were being persecuted at this time. In a historical perspective we see this period of Church history will have Ten days of persecution = 10 prophetic years and this would be the Diocletian persecution from AD 303-313. At times of persecution the dross is separated and those who are known for their form of religion will fall away because it becomes too painful to hold onto the form and they give it up. So these who remained were the truly faithful.
It was also at this time period Constantine would proclaim Christianity the official religion of Rome. So he put the robes of Christianity over his pagan body and Rome was officially declared Christian.

Smyrna (100 AD to 313 AD )
    Smyrna means sweet smelling (100 AD to 313 AD )
  • The church that would suffer persecution (Rev. 2:10).
  • Shrine to the goddess Nemesis
  • Polycarp their minister was martyred
  • Ten days - Diocletian persecution from AD 303-313
  • Christianity the official religion of Rome
  • Accommodation but no rebuke given

Pergamum 313 AD to 538 AD:

Revelation 2:12-17
12 And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;
13 I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.
14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.
15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate.
16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

This was the Capitol of the Roman province of Asia. Pergamum means elevation or to lift up. There is a play on words here as to lift up oneself over the divine. Finding strength in your own self instead of God is the notion here and this is considered idolatry.
When Babylon had been conquered by Medo-Persia the Persians took over the Babylonian religion however the priests in Babylon revolted. They were driven out and established themselves in Pergamum since ancient times. The Babylonian priesthood wore palladium stone vestments, used cross keys to represent having the keys to Heaven and Hell. They also wore the MITRE and used a title as being the bridge between heaven and earth. This much can be traced back all the way to Babylon. This Babylonian priesthood and Asclepius is probably why the seat of Satan is mentioned.
Here they had a temple to both Zeus and Asclepius. Asclepius was the pagan serpent god who instructs man. He was also called the healing serpent and was represented as a serpent wrapped around a pole, the same symbol used in modern medicine today. The proconsul here had a double edged sword this is why God responds that HE is the one with a double edged sword (The word of God). It gives the idea that the proconsul was ruling in areas that only God should be able or rather he had taken the place of God. It is interesting to note the name "Antipas or Anti - pas" comes from two words: anti = against and pas = papa = pope. This is about the time when the Eastern Orthodox Church divided from the Roman church over this very issue about having a Pope.
The title Pontifex Maximus which means the bridge between Heaven and Earth was used for their minister. He carried with him 2 keys and a MITRE hat or "Pope Hat" originally used to represent the fish god Dagon the same Dagon worshipped in ancient Nineveh. The last Pontiff King of Pergamum was Attalus III (133 BC). This title was bequeathed to Rome when in AD 378 the Christian emperor Gratian refused the title it lay vacant and it later went to Damascus who was the bishop of Rome. It is from this period that the Popes received the name Pontifex Maximus given the "Keys of Peter", the vestments and the MITRE hat.
In the time period of this Church age 313 AD to 538 AD compromise came in. Constantine wanted to marry paganism with Christianity but he had a problem with the words of God because they cut like a sword. He had to change the words so he got his Bishop named Eusebius to change the word of God. He had produced an ecumenical document so it would allow some compromise with pagan tradition.
Again Pergamum means to lift up so there was a doctrine present of finding strength in your own self instead of looking to God for strength. This would be the kind of self-esteem thinking that Robert Schuller promotes. It elevates man over God. Here are some of the most astounding heretical quotes from Schuller in his book "Self-Esteem".

"The cross sanctifies the ego trip. For the cross protected our lords’ perfect Self-Esteem from turning into sinful pride."
Source: Robert Schuller Self-Esteem, p. 75

"Christ is the Ideal One, for He was Self-Esteem incarnate."
Source: Robert Schuller Self-Esteem, p. 135

"It is time for Protestants to go to the shepherd (the Pope) and say, `What do we have to do to come home?'"
Source: Robert Schuller Los Angeles Herald Examiner, Sept. 19, 1987

It seems Pergamum also had such false doctrines back then as we have still today.

Pergamum ( 313 AD to 538 AD )
    Pergamum means elevation or to lift up ( 313 AD to 538 AD )
  • The church that needed to repent (Rev. 2:16).
  • 16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly,
  • Title Pontifex Maximus was first used here
  • Original Babylonian priesthood - vestments, cross keys, MITRE hat
  • The time when compromise came in
  • Rebuked about some having doctrine of Balaam and the Nicolaitane doctrine

Thyatira 538 AD to 1517:

Revelation 2:18-29
18 And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;
19 I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.
20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.
23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.
24 But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.
25 But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.
26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
27 And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.
28 And I will give him the morning star.
29 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

In this ancient city there was a textile industry where they made purple and crimson dyes from the Madder root. It was also the colors of the church of the middle ages. So we can kind of pinpoint at which time in church history this will represent. Purple is the color of royalty and crimson is the color of sacrifice. So we can see this church will assume the position of royalty and sacrifice which should accrue to only Jesus Christ. They have taken his place and now they are the ones who forgive sins and have royalty. They are the ones who now say “Come confess to me and I will give you absolution."
In 538 AD the Justinian decree appoints the "Bishop of Rome" as corrector of heretics. So no longer was the Word of God used but a man had now been put in place as the corrector. So a man became the standard for everyone else and tradition would now rule over the word of God.

In the ancient city of Thyatira they had a male god Baal and a female god named Ashtoreth. You could worship either one of them and each had its own priesthood. The Church of the middle ages was much the same only the Virgin Mary had now replaced Ashtoreth and she also has her own priesthood. Nicolaus and Balaam are in the same category as Jezebel. Look at 1Kings:18:4 and 2Kings 9:22 to learn more about her. The doctrine of Balaam, Nicolaus, and the Jezebel church thought that being Christians freed them from the moral law. They believed that idolatry and fleshly things would not be held against them, because they had been set free by Christ. Some of the things we see in the churches today stem from this very belief. Their beliefs were being compromised concerning sin. It was leading people astray such that they were starting to serve the pagan gods. In the days of Jezebel who was married to King Ahab. She had brought in pagan gods that could be worshipped in either its male (Sun) or female (Moon) form. They were represented as round wafers that were said to be their literal bodies. It was an ancient Sun/Moon god fertility cult. A religious system based of good works can also be seen to be a problem here because God says he will give them according to their works and those works do not seem to be so good. They were the church that needed to repent because they had been led astray.

23 "And I will kill her children with death." We notice that this church system will in the future produce children who are equally as apostate. Who are these children churches? These are the protestant churches formed during the reformation (Lutherans, Calvinists, Presbyterian, Methodist…...). We will see this in the next church period of Sardis.

In verse 24 "the depths of Satan" is used. So some of them, but not all in this system were initiates in the mystery religion of Satan and had the deep occult knowledge of the mystics. In the Middle Ages obelisk pillars from Egypt were brought to Rome. The most notable was the obelisk of Tut Moses III who was most likely the true pharaoh of the exodus.

Thyatira ( 538 AD to 1517 )
    Thyatira means sweet savor of labor ( 538 AD to 1517 )
  • The church that had a false prophetess (Revelation 2:20).
  • The church that needed to repent (Rev. 2:16).
  • 25 hold fast till I come.
  • Church of the middle ages or dark ages
  • 538 AD Justinian decree appoints the "Bishop of Rome" as corrector of heretics
  • Temple of Apollo Sun god w/ alter to female goddess
  • Textile industry w/ purple and crimson
  • Jezebel - led ancient Israel into Baal worship 1Kings:18:4 and 2Kings 9:22
  • Rebuke given concerning being led astray

Sardis 1517 - 1798:

Revelation 3:1-6
1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.
2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.
3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.
4 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.
5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
6 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

This ancient city was impregnable however it was taken twice without resistance. It was taken by Cyrus the Persian and then Antiochus the king of the Greeks. The name of this city means "Renewal” and “that which remains" because it was impregnable. In a historical view this would be the church of the reformation. The protestant church's formed during the reformation (Lutherans, Calvinists, Presbyterian, Methodist…...) these are what are referred to as the children of the Church of Rome. So here is where the children were produced.
During the reformation a big debate with Rome was "Sola Scriptura" or using just the Bible alone as corrector instead of the traditions of men. Rome said no and wanted traditions and scripture. Rome's traditions always seemed to rule over the scriptures. You cannot have both of them ruling as corrector. So the church in Rome went with tradition and the reformers went with what was written in scripture alone. This has implications on how a person is saved. Is it by "Grace alone" or "Grace plus works"? Saved by grace alone by believing is the only way found by using just scripture alone. The Reformation had brought much wisdom back to the people.
However a rebuke is given to this church for I have not found thy works perfect before God. So some things were not complete and were left undone. Between December 13, 1545, and December 4, 1563 in twenty-five sessions for three periods the Reformers argued for reforms at what is referred to as the council of Trent. The reformers lost the debate according to Rome on using the Bible alone or "Sola Scriptura" because it was pointed out by the Catholics that the Reformers also kept tradition. Questioning them as to why the Reformers also keep some of the pagan traditions and discarded others. It was reasoned by Rome the Reformers request was not valid because they also kept many pagan traditions.
Not keeping the Sabbath or Saturday (One of the 10 commandments) but keeping instead Sunday (1st Day of week) instituted by Rome. Sunday worship a pagan tradition would be the biggest example of this and used by Rome to win the debate at the council of Trent. Actually it is a good idea at this time of writing to review the 10 Commandments so we can measure ourselves against the standard of God.

    King James Version - The 10 Commandments
    And God spoke all these words, saying, I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
  1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
  2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
  3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that takes his name in vain.
  4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.
  5. Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God gives thee.
  6. Thou shalt not kill.
  7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
  8. Thou shalt not steal.
  9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
  10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house; thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his ass, or anything that is thy neighbor’s.

I mention the Sabbath issue (the 4th commandment) in particular because it was the main reason the reformation lost the debate. They themselves also held many other traditions of men and were viewed by Rome as just a rebellion. There were different groups and leaders starting various churches’ (Children of Rome) and they varied as to which leftover paganism from Rome they carried with them. At the council of Trent the reformers had a great chance at "Sola Scriptura" but they lost because they were found to also be keeping traditions of men. So this church was not found to be perfect before God. They did not complete everything given to them and their lampstand was eventually removed.
4 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.
We can see here that the reformation did many things right also. The Reformers stood for what was truth. They preached salvation is by grace alone. There are many notables of this time period Martin Luther, John Huss, John Calvin, and John Knox.

Sardis ( 1517 to 1798 )
    Sardis means "Renewal of that which remains" or Reformation ( 1517 to 1798 )
  • The church that had fallen asleep (Revelation 3:2).
  • 3 I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.
  • Church of the Reformation
  • Council of Trent "Sola Scriptura" "Grace alone"
  • The rebuke given was this Church was not found to be perfect before God.

Philadelphia 1798 - 1844:

Revelation 2:7-13
7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;
8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.
9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.
10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Philadelphia means brotherly love. In ancient times Attalus II King of Pergamum built it because he loved his brother Eumenes. The ancient city formed a gateway through the mountains. It was an open door of passage.

I will spend some more time explaining this period in history because some important things happen here that lead into the next church period of Laodicea.

I picked 1844-1846 as the end of this period for the Philadelphia church period. There were 2 reasons which I will explain and both have to do with changing the words of the Bible.

We have now discovered who the beast from both the Sea and Earth is. So we can now look at these 2 beasts (governments) and pick a city of the same name for this period. We can find some astounding connections between the ancient city of Philadelphia and the one by the same name that resides within the belly of the Beast from the Earth in the United States.
We can choose a year for this change based on rather serious Bible changes that happened during this period. There was a big effort by Rome around this time to replace the Real Bible verses (found in the King James) with the Catholic Bible Douai version (Alexandrian library occult version- NIV, NASB ...) and this all started in 1844 in the city of Philadelphia. I pick this as an end date to this period because it was the beginning of the end for recognizing the Roman Catholic system as the very Antichrist the reformers had always taught. I believe this to be the great delusion referred to in 2nd Thessalonians chapter 2. It was after this year the Antichrist power began to be forgotten.

Reason #1
It is interesting to note the American city of Philadelphia had something called "The Bible Riots of 1844". These were a series of riots that took place between May 6 and 8 and July 6 and 7 of 1844.
During the 1840s, students in Philadelphia schools began the day with reading the Protestant King James version of the Bible. On November 10, 1842, Philadelphia's Roman Catholic Bishop, Francis Kenrick, wrote a letter to the Board of Controllers of public schools, asking that Catholic children be allowed to read the Douai version of the Bible, used by Roman Catholics. He also asked that they be excused from other religious teaching while at school. It was this pressure to change to the Catholic version of the Bible that eventually led to riots. The riots had gained national attention and condemnation. The riots were used as an issue in the 1844 U.S. Presidential election.
The first Catholic school established in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia was at St. Mary Parish in Philadelphia during the late eighteenth century. During the nineteenth century, Bishop Kenrick encouraged the establishment of Catholic schools. So the Antichrist system first comes to America at the city of Philadelphia.

Reason #2
These changes to the Bible started to occur in 1844 due to using the Codex Sinaiticus instead of the reformation standard ‘Textus Receptus’. The Codex Sinaiticus was found by Constantine Tischendorf who was in a search for ancient pagan manuscripts, so he appreciated the age and value of it. It comes from the Monastery of St. Catherine in the Sinai desert, where Tischendorf recognized it’s so called "significance" in 1844. In 1881 AD the Westcott and Hort Greek text was introduced. This text departed from the Textus Receptus and follows the Vatican and Sinatic corruptions. The Westcott and Hort changes did the most damage by changing the words of the Bible to be in line with Roman Catholic doctrine. All other versions NIV, NASB, ASV… are essentially the corrupt occulted Catholic version. The only Bible left that uses the original text passed down by the reformers is the King James Version. Tyndale used the Received Text or “Textus Receptus" in his Bible and said to the Pope. "If God spare my life, before many years I will cause a boy that driveth a plough to know more of the Scriptures than thou doest." The argument is not a King James Version versus other Versions; it is rather the original Received Text versus other mostly occult manuscripts that were used in Alexandria. The Jesuits have long wanted to change it to be in line with the occult writing's.

Jesuit View of the Bible:
"Then the Bible, that serpent which with head erect and eyes flashing threatens us with its venom while it trails along the ground, shall be changed into a rod as soon as we are able to seize it …. For three centuries past this cruel asp has left us no repose. You well know with what folds it entwines us and with what fangs it gnaws us."
Source: The Jesuits in History, Hector Macpherson (Springfield, Missouri: Ozark Book Publishers, 1997; originally published in 1900) Appendix I.

Many books have already been written on this Bible issue so I will only briefly mention it here.

From a Church history (1798 - 1844) viewpoint it was a time when the great Bible societies and missions were formed. Missionaries were sent all over the world at this time. They failed in certain areas of reform the main issue being not keeping the 10 commandments and the observance of the 7th day Sabbath and keeping some of the Old Catholic ideas.

Through these and other organizations the word of God now opened and spread to the entire world.

Great Bible societies and missions
Cary India Missions 1793
Morrison China Missions 1807
Moffet Africa Missions 1817
Britain British Bible Society 1804
America American Bible Society 1816

Philadelphia ( 1798 to 1844 )
    Philadelphia means brotherly love ( 1798 to 1844 )
  • The church that had endured patiently (Revelation 3:10).
  • 11 Behold, I come quickly ... He is on his way!
  • Church that opened the door to spreading the gospel
  • Great Bible societies and missions started
  • No Rebuke given

Laodicea 1844 - Current:

Revelation 2:14-22
14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye salve, that thou mayest see.
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Laodicea means (laity dominates or the people rule) and also means Nation of Judgment. Antiochus built it and named it after his wife Laodicea. Laodicea was a wealthy, industrious city in the province of Phrygia in the Lycos Valley. It had a health resort, great wealth and produced an eye-salve called ‘collyrium’. It was destroyed in 60 AD by an earthquake, but rebuilt using its own funds using no state funds. They had hot springs outside of this city and built a piping system to bring it in. When this water reached Laodicea it was no longer hot but warm. Warm water is not pleasant to drink. You can drink cold water or you can drink it hot like a coffee or tea. However no one chooses to drink it lukewarm. So this is a lukewarm church there works are not dead but they are not really so hot either and are rebuked. Notice the rebuke is not I will come and take your candlestick and give it to someone else. The rebuke is I will spit you out! This is the last Church on Earth because there are no more candlesticks and the Menorah has been completely lit! Remember the Menorah a seven-branched lampstand used in the ancient Tabernacle in the desert and Temple in Jerusalem, a symbol of Judaism since ancient times and the emblem of the modern state of Israel. This is representative of these seven churches and Laodicea is the last candle.

Spitting out is a harsh rebuke given to this Church. So this Church is pathetic. They have Biblical knowledge but they sit on it and start "playing Church"
17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:


Laodicea (1844 to Present)
    Laodicea means Nation of Judgment (1844 to Present)
  • The church with the lukewarm faith (Rev. 3:16).
  • 11 Behold, I stand at the door, ... He is Here!
  • Church of the Apostasy
  • Given no accommodation and thrown out

In modern theology there has been a shift from God-centered religion to man-centered religion, from salvation by faith and trust in the atonement, to a social gospel.
To get some examples of "Playing Church" just look at the mega preachers, and many others going with their philosophies in replacement of Biblical Doctrines. They will take a single Bible verse take it out of context then put some false philosophical meaning to it. God want's this or that in your life kind of words. Almost all of these kinds of people are also heavily into the New Age and Ecumenical movements to follow once again Rome the very Antichrist!

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