Welcome to Thus Say the Prophets!
Several direct biblical prophecies have already been fulfilled, some in the distant past some in the recent past. This gives us faith that the remaining ones (and there are a great many) will come to pass as well. This entry is part of a series of studies on fulfilled prophecies. They are also being posted on my main blog and can be accessed using the tag: prophecy fulfilled. This will be an ongoing project. I will add links to my Thus Say The Prophets and Noahide Nazarene homepages as the studies are written.
There are those who teach that the Seven Churches of Revelation 2 and 3 were literal churches and nothing more. They were literal churches in the cities referenced, however these prophecies are about much more than seven local congregations.
Note in the verse above that the Prophet says: the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter just prior to presenting his first church note. From beginning to end the Book of Revelation is a book of divine revelation, of prophecy. Contextually it makes no sense that John would append pastoral letters to local congregations in this book of revealed prophecy, especially at its beginning. When we examine these notes however we find something fascinating! Taken as written these messages to the Seven Churches present an accurate -- and prophetic -- description of Church future history. This then is the topic of this study on fulfilled prophecy.
The Book of Revelation is the Master's prophecy through John about the future and how HaShem will, in the end, establish the Kingdom. Through its pages Master Y'shua explains that the Church would pass through seven distinct periods of time before finally embracing the role of Babylon the Great and being rejected by God and man. We are currently living in the seventh and final of these Church ages. What follows is a list of the Seven Church Ages and their approximate dates. These dates are given only as markers. The distinguishing traits of each period bleed over into the others throughout the continuous flow of time. There is today as there has always been sincere and devout followers of Master Y'shua who are fully committed to the God of Israel and who stand again the evil one. This list should not therefore be taken as giving exact dates for the periods they reference.
These letters are meant to encourage all who stand. I discuss the details of the Seven Churches elsewhere in more detail. Here we are focusing on the fulfillment of John's prophecies concerning these events.
The Seven Ages of the Church
The Church of Ephesus:
70 CE - 170 CE: As the Jews, including the still mostly Jewish followers of Master Y'shua, were expelled from Zion by the Romans as the Master and Prophet Daniel had foretold, the Nazarenes (the followers of Y'shua of Nazareth who called their movement "the Way") began to lose faith in the Way. Certain of the followers began embracing various non-Abrahamic doctrines (especially virulent at the time was Gnosticism). Having lost their homes, many of their loved ones, and being dispersed throughout the world many of the Way began compromising their beliefs and embracing doctrines never taught by the Master, his disciples nor the Jewish Scriptures (there was no New Testament yet -- although some letters were being circulated that would later be included in it). During this same period Judaism, purified by HaShem through the experiences as Daniel foretold, was busy redefining its beliefs and passing from the Temple based religion of the Scribes and Pharisees to what we today know as Rabbinical Judaism. In this study we are focusing on what became of the Way in light of these prophecies.
This is the message to the followers of the Way at this chaotic time:
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.
At this time there were still many devout Nazarenes and they were struggling to maintain the true faith of the Master and his reformed Jewish teachings. Others however were claiming to be apostles of the Master when in truth they were introducing false doctrines and leading the followers of the Way astray. Among these heretics were the "Nicolaitanes" (Nicolaitans or Nicolaites). While neither the texts we have today in the Bible nor external information positively identifies this sect, we do have clear evidence of what they taught.
We are told that this sect (in verse 14) held to the error of Balaam as we will see below. The error of Balaam was the merging of God's truth with other beliefs (especially for financial and worldly gain), thus leading the people of HaShem astray from the God of Israel as revealed. While God is the God of the whole world He maintains a special covenant with Israel and that relationship was being undermined by the Nicolaitane heresies as they begin bringing in Pagan doctrines for political gain. Master Y'shua taught that there were other -- i.e non-Jewish -- "sheep," however he had come solely for the House of Israel (Matt 15:24). The resurrected Y'shua however ministers to all people and promises that, Whoever comes to me I will not reject.' These Nicolaitane heresies, this adding of non-Jewish beliefs and practices, were leading the mainly Jewish (at this point) followers of the Master away from Judaism into a Pagan synthesis that was the hallmark of Roman religion. In short, the Way was gradually being transformed into a Roman Pagan sect at this time.
As is well known, whenever Rome conquered a people their gods were merged into the Roman pantheon. The Nicolaitanes were seeking to merge the God of Israel into the Roman pantheon and thereby submit both God and Judaism to Sol Invictus, the Sun god worshiped by Constantine until the day he died. Globalism is nothing new! It goes back to the Tower of Babel and even before! This Church period precedes the creation of the Roman Papacy and Universal Church but in the Nicolaitanes we see the trend the Church would follow and the System that would later emerge.
The Church of Smyrna:
170 CE - 312 CE: As the followers of Master Y'shua -- now including many Gentiles -- and other Jews held firm to their devotion to the God of Israel they experienced severe persecution. During this period there was little time to debate doctrine and philosophy! The follower of the Way were struggling to survive among hostiles who hated all things Jewish. It was during this period that the Maranatha fish was developed as a secret identifier by which the followers could identify each other.
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.
Here the Nicolaitanes are more clearly identified. Those who promoted these heresies claimed "to be Jews" but they were not. They were teaching 'a different gospel'.Galatians 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel.
Master Y'shua is Jewish and he taught a reformed system of Judaism that was broad enough to include the world and bring everyone to the God of Israel. ALL of his disciples were Jewish. As Gentiles embraced his Way they considered themselves converts to Judaism. The difficulty was of course that the Jewish hierarchy did not accept the ministry of Prophet Y'shua and hence rejected the conversions of his Gentile followers. This situation is described in painful detail in the Book of the Acts of the Apostles. The final decision of the Way Elders was that those who wished to enter into the growing Nazarene Community would not be required to formally convert into Judaism (via circumcision, the acceptance of the Jewish authorities etc). This controversy is what eventually led to the followers of the Way considering the Way a religion distinct from Judaism. As time passed they grew more and more distinct.
At this point, circa 170-312 CE, the true followers of Master Y'shua -- Jews and Noahides (Gentiles) alike -- still considered themselves to be Jews or Jewish converts as this verse makes clear. The Nicolaitanes however were clearly abandoning the precepts of Judaism espoused by Master Y'shua and establishing something significantly different: Nicene Christianity. This abandonment of Judaism by the followers of the Way was a development, "which I also hate" (vs.6). As the world approached the 300's the Nicolaite heresy was gaining popularity and "Judaizers" were more and more frequently being targeted for persecution both from Rome and from Nicolaitane Christians. This was partly because those who embraced Roman rule and interpretation faced less persecution and people sought to prove their loyalty by opposing the Jews. It was also partly due to the growing, even rampant, antisemitism of the day. The Jews were being depicted as vile monster and to side with them was to invite the wrath of "polite society."
Unlike the growing numbers of the increasingly apostate Way religion now being called Catholic Christianity, the Jews who had not embraced Master Y'shua (and those who had left the New Religion and returned to/converted into Judaism) were adamant in their rejection of Rome and its Universal ("catholic") religion. History had taught the Jews that discretion is often the better part of valor and they weathered the storm as best they could! The Jews were seeking ways to return to their God-given Land or to find a place of safety within the Diaspora. Oy! Now they had to contend not only with overt Pagans but also with zealous neo-Pagans who claimed to be the true Jews! Who claimed the God of Israel had rejected His people in favor of heathens and their solar deity Sol Invictus! These were dark times both for the Jews and for those who maintained faith in Master Y'shua and his teachings.
As the Nazarenes gradually embraced Roman Universalism and established their own power based upon the diverse Pagan See at Rome, persecution against them subsided. For Jews and Noahide Nazarenes however it was business as usual. They worshiped the God of Israel in hiding, faced persecution and death at every turn.
The Church of Pergamos: From Constantine to Pope Boniface III
312 CE - 600 CE: The "Doctrine of Balaam" won the day and the Nicolaites established their absolute authority when Emperor Constantine feigned conversion and declared the creation of a new religion known as Roman Universalism (ie Roman Catholicism). The Roman Papacy declared itself the inheritor of all authority given to Peter as first Pope (a concept not taught in the Bible but essential to Vatican claims).
Here's the source of this essential Roman Catholic dogma:
"And I [Master Y'shua] say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
What was the Master saying to Peter here? As usual, we need only read the context to learn the truth. Was the Master saying that Peter was the rock (foundation) upon which he would build a new Gentile religion (something never even hinted at in the Master's teachings) or something else?
First we need to understand that Master Y'shua did not come to start a Gentile religion! He was very clear about this:
"But he [Master Y'shua] answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
Y'shua came to restore and reform Judaism. So what was he talking about here? Read the context:
Matthew 16:13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
20 Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.
The English translation is a bit misleading here. Verse 16 actually says, "And Simon Peter answered and said, You are anointed, a man devoted to the living God."
In other words, the Master asked, "Who am I?"
Peter's reply was that there existed debate on this question. Some believed the Master to be John the Baptist in some sort of dual reincarnation, others believed he was the reincarnation of Prophet Isaiah, Jeremiah or some other major Tanach prophet.
"But who do you say I am Peter?" he asked. And Peter replied, I know you to be a man anointed by God and I intend to follow you as such. To this the Master replied, upon the rock or foundation of this truth, i.e. my devotion to and anointing by the God of Israel, those who accept this truth will gather together in fellowship and assist in my work of reforming Judaism. I discuss this topic in detail elsewhere. Master Y'shua never left Judaism, never sought to convert Gentiles, nor did he ever encourage others to do so. This verse therefore was not intended to established "the Throne of Peter" nor the establishment of a Gentile religion distinct from its Jewish roots.
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 stumblingblock 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.
By this point the new Christian religion was based in Rome, "where Satan's seat is," i.e. the seat of the Roman Empire.
The "Word" is the Written Torah (and Tanach), i.e. the Hebrew Scriptures. These were the Scriptures used by Master Y'shua and his followers. The Nicolaitanes were teaching heresies directly condemned by the Torah and the Christians were accepting them. The Master here warns those who remain committed to his teachings not to embrace these heresies. He praises those who are standing firm as Nazarene Jews (or Noahide Nazarenes). It is note worthy that the Master also praises them for remaining true to his name. "Name" is Onoma and literally means his personal name, i.e. not his teachings etc. It was during this period that the Roman Papacy replaced the name of our master Y'shua (or Yeshua/Joshua) with the name "Jesus." I discuss the origin of the name "Jesus" Here. At this point Roman Catholics were beginning to use the new name for the Master.
Despite the continuing loyalty of the Noahide Nazarenes, Master Y'shua warns that it is their job as faithful Sheep to stand against the rising heresies and maintain the reformed inclusive Judaism he had taught through his apostles. Stand! he orders, or God may reveal the heresies of this new religion by removing His blessings from you! By this point it had become generally, erroneously, accepted that Roman Catholicism was the true Way of the Master.
The Church of Thyatira: Boniface III - Gregory VII (Hilderbrand) to the Reformation
600 CE - 1520 CE: the Roman Papacy now ruled much of the world and the religion of the Nicolaitanes reigned supreme as Prophet John had foretold. As a direct result of this spiritual abandonment the Spirit of the God of Israel was partly removed and Europa was plunged into the Dark Ages by Divine Wrath. The Gentile Church now stood guilty before HaShem for violating their New Covenant obligations just as surely as the kingdom of Israel had before!
Without the Spirit of HaShem the Church became increasingly legalistic, corrupt and harsh. The "Holy Inquisitors" were commissioned by the Vatican to destroy all traces of Judaism and non-compliant Paganism. This led to the persecution and murder of untold numbers of Jews, Noahides and Noahide Nazarenes. One popular charge that led thousands to their death was Arianism (not to be confused with Aryan). Arianism is the theological teaching of Arius, a significant Way preacher (ca. AD 250â€“336). Arius maintained God's absolute Oneness and rejected the developing belief that the Master had been God Incarnate and part of a Trinity. For this teaching Arius was ruled a heretic at the First Council of Nicea in 325, later exonerated at the Council of Jerusalem of 335 as Way members sought to restore the Way, and then again pronounced a heretic after his death as the Papacy consolidated its power. For several years Noahide Nazarenes waged honorable campaigns to save the faith and maintain the teachings of Master Y'shua. Among these were Roman Emperors Constantius II (337-361) and Valens (364-378). In end however the Vatican quelled opposition, outlawed private Bible reading, and established its often anti-biblical doctrines as required dogma. Those who resisted were put to death as Judaizers. The Church of Y'shua had become a harsh and hypocritical dictatorship abuser of human rights. And so HaShem allowed the Black Death and many sought God.
There was also strong and notable opposition to the New Universal religion by Pagans who -- like the followers of Master Y'shua -- in some cases boldly refused to bow the knee to the Papacy and its Universal Pagan religion. The Vatican replied harshly and all unapproved spiritualities were crushed by the One Holy and Apostolic Roman Church. During this period it is estimated that over that six million European Pagans were slaughtered in what came to be known as the Burning Times. Bloodshed, disease, ignorance, starvation and darkness of all sorts descended across the lands controlled by the New Church as HaShem poured His wrath out upon Rome even as John foretold.
With the rebellion of the Gentiles against HaShem Lucifer was empowered to advance his own religion and certain occult bodies were coming into their own and establishing Occult Brotherhoods that continued until our own time and will, within our generation, bring forth the World Ruler known as Rex Mundi, Antichrist, Dijal and Little Horn. Alex Jones managed to sneak into one of these occult lodges and film their rites:
Meanwhile Islam was advancing and threatening to destroy the Church entire.
Still however HaShem did not turn completely away from the Church, in part because within the Church there have always existed sincere Believers and in part because HaShem is still working out the Great Prophecy (the establishment of God's Kingdom by the coming Moshiach).
Even though many of the neo-Pagan Church leaders now engaged in Luciferian occult practices and embraced the Nicolatian heresies with zeal, others were devout and sincere Christians of faith and heart. Many of these priests and lay people lead or joined the Protestant Reformation. Others knew something was seriously wrong with the Church but believing it the rightful heir of Peter remained within Catholicism as loyal opposition. Countless devout Catholics have worked hard to move the Catholic Church godward and many many Catholics have shown themselves to be true followers of the Master according to the Light they had. This needs to be stated clearly. MANY Catholics are devout Christians. The issue is more with the Vatican than with the deceived laity. Alas however both the Reformers and the Loyal Opposition failed to restore the Church to its roots because by this point the Roman Papacy had so thoroughly altered, destroyed and hidden the original teachings of the Master that the reformers didn't know what the Way had been before it was lost. While many of the reforms within and without the Catholic Church were improvements, this move toward restoration mainly led to the creation of countless sects, denominations, orders... and ever more confusion.
To these the prophet says:
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.
Here we see a foreshadowing of the Whore of Babylon: "that woman Jezebel."
The Church of Sardis: The Reformation to the Peace of Westphalia and beyond.
1520 CE - 1750 CE: The Church was divided on several fronts. The Eastern and Roman Church had long since split, the Anglicans (Church of England) and the Protestants had left the Church, but nothing essential changed. The Pagan additions to the church had become so entrenched that the Reformers didn't know what Master Y'shua had even taught and rejected much of they found. For instance they maintained Sunday as the day of worship day rather than returning to the biblical Sabbath. Most Christians remained woefully ignorant of the Bible, in part because the Church had declared reading it illegal! Now the Church had become fragmented into competing camps and the chaos of infighting was everywhere present. This period of the Church is described as being all but dead. The main issues the Protestants had with the Church are contained in Martin Luther's Ninety Five Thesis of Reformation (Click Here and scroll down for this list). What is woefully absent from this list is the need to return to the Jewish roots of the Master's teachings. The Reformers didn't even know what had been lost!
Despite this sad state of affairs, there were still sincere and devoted people within the Roman, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican and Protestant Churches and HaShem remained limitedly active within them all.
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.
Here the Master clearly tells us that much has now been lost but that some remains.
The Church of Philadelphia: The Church in revival
1750 CE - 1914 CE: There occurred that period of time known as the Great Awakening. This spiritual awakening produced several ministers and ministries seeking to restore spirituality to the Christian faith. During this period one heard people talking about restoring the First Century Church... but it didn't happen. There were however sincere Christians ministering in all segments of the Church sparking the fires of revival.
Early in this period, in fledgling America the First Great Awakening occurred. This Awakening began in the Dutch Reformed Churches of New Jersey circa 1726. It soon spread to the Presbyterian and Congregationalist churches. This Great Awakening finally reached its zenith in New England in the 1740's. It produced thinkers such as Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758), John Locke (1632-1704), John Wesley (1703-1791) and George Whitfield (1714-1770), people who opposed the high level of emotionalism that was typical of the Enlightenment. Itinerant preachers such as the Reverends Gilbert Tennent, Samuel Davies, Eleazar Wheelock, Samuel Finley etc. traveled throughout the thirteen colonies expounding emotionally charged "American Protestantism," a new bread of religion that was born of American experiences from within the First Great Awakening. The Awakening fires spread to Virginia and elsewhere in the 1750's, but soon ended, being replaced by humanist certainty and the growing embracing of Science and Darwinism. The impact of this Awakening was essential for the colonies as it created a bond between them (e pluribus unum) and established a sense of identity and national destiny as a distinct people. Protestant Americans began to hail the United States as the New Zion, a virtual Protestant Promised Land. Jonathan Edwards considered the Awakening to be a "surprising work of God." He boldly proclaimed that Jesus had "flung the door of mercy open so that all could enter." During this period, the fatherhood aspect of the Christian God was emphasized, and the Colonists regarded themselves as His special children. These children of God fully expected that God would lead them and punish them for sins they allowed. As a result, "submission of the stubborn human will" became an important concept and the religious life of the day reflected this. Holiness in all things came to typify this Puritan revival.
According to E.S. Gaustad, "the founding of the Separates and the Separate Baptists was the most conspicuous institutional effect of the [first] Great Awakening in New England." It was by no means the only one however. By 1755, there were over 125 Separate (or Strict Congregationalist) churches in New England. By 1776 over 70 Separate Baptist Churches existed. Later came the Universalists, the Unitarians, Free Will Baptists, Shakers and Quakers, the New Light Theologies (later organized as Edwardsianism, Hopkinsianism, and Consistent Calvinism), etc. The general-consensus of these movements was fundamentally Calvinistic, but this view was gradually changing.
John Calvin was one of the primary 16th Century Reformers and a gifted debater and theologian. His teachings had a profound influence on the Reformed Christian Movement. The distinctive teaching of Calvinism is the doctrine of predestination. This belief holds that before the foundations of the heavens were set in place, God had already chosen those people who would be saved. The teaching is not that God, in His foreknowledge knew which people would choose to accept Him, but rather that God chose who He would saved. Those He did not choose were damned to suffer eternal torment in Hell no matter what they might do or desire to the contrary, even before entering their mother's womb! This doctrine is not as popular as it once was, but many Christians still believe it. Most Christians do not really understand the Christian doctrine of predestination or its dark implications.
The First Great Awakening sparked the notion that God was willing to save anyone who truly repented. This was a harsh blow to then popular Calvinism! To do otherwise, it was argued, would be un-American. The ministers of the Awakening viewed America as a potential tool for the establishment of the millennial reign of Christ and themselves as his veritable ministers.
This period transformed into the Second Great Awakening that abruptly ended with the onset of World War One in 1914, as Master Y'shua had foretold (Matt 24:6).
I discuss these awakening and share a lot of information about the Third Great Awaking in particular Here. During this Awakening the modern religious landscape was established including the belief in the Rapture that has prompted so much apathy within the then emerging Laodecian Church. Then came the first major signs that the End of the Church Age was dawning.
Dan. 12: 4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.
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.
The Church of the Laodiceans:
1914 CE - Present: Following the onset of World War One (the War to End All Wars) everything changed. The world after World War One was a very different place than the world preceding it. The reasons for this are many. One could cite the Balfour Declaration that hinted to the beginning of the Last Days for those who knew the prophecies regarding Israel. One might reference the establishment of the Federal Reserve that prophecy watchers recognized as a sign of the coming world government of Antichrist. One can point to the League of Nations and subsequent United Nations... but the world fundamentally changed in 1914. And not for the better in many ways.
Then following World War Two faith in God and observance of religious principles as matters of personal morality was waning. The world gradually embraced Secular Humanism and openly debated even the existence of God. While most people still claimed to believe in God it was becoming clear that 'the faith of the many has grown cold' as the prophets had foretold. God had little if any meaning in the lives of most people in the West. While the people still spoke of the U.S. as a Christian nation, as "one nation under God," it was apparent that for the nation as a whole that was becoming less and less true.
As we move ever closer to the end of the Church Age and the revelation of the Beast the warnings of Master Y'shua to the End Times Church becomes both more relevant and more ignored by the majority.
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 eyesalve, 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.
The Prophet Paul shares this same dire information in this way:
II Thess 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
The Falling Away is now well under way. Soon the man of sin will be revealed, the son of perdition.
Are you ready to stand?
And here this study ends.
Several prophecies fulfilled.
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