The Church Ages - The 6th age, Philadelphia
The missionary age. This age is well spoken of.
Philadelphia means Brotherly love. This represents the love of the evangelists and missionaries who were prepared to suffer and die in order to spread the Gospel to the unsaved heathen who were all over the world. But sadly, in the political realm, there was also the greed and violence of the colonial era. Both God and Satan were moving. The Tree of Life (the Spirit of Christ) and the tree of knowledge of good and evil (the inspiration of the Devil) continued their struggle for the minds of men on the world-wide stage.
Various sources, including the "Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change", use the year 1750 as a baseline year for the start of the Industrial Revolution which began in England.
The Industrial Revolution was a period from 1750 to 1850 where changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times. It began in the United Kingdom, then subsequently spread throughout Western Europe, North America, Japan, and eventually the rest of the world.The Industrial Revolution marks a major turning point in history; almost every aspect of daily life was influenced in some way. (www.freeman-pedia.com/industrial-revolution)
In 1750 Portugal stripped the Inquisition of its power. This limited the ruthless persecution of Protestants and Jews by the Roman Catholic church in Portugal. This created a better atmosphere in which evangelism could proceed.
In 1750 the king of Dahomey, a country in west Africa next to Nigeria (today called southern Benin), earned 250 000 pounds from overseas sales of slaves. This was a disgusting abuse. William Wilberforce in England became born again in 1785 and worked tirelessly to get the Slave Trade Act passed in 1807. Slavery was abolished in 1833 in the British Empire.
Around this time the Seven Years War was a global military war between 1756 and 1763, involving most of the great powers of the time, and affected Europe, North America, Central America, the West African coast, India, and the Philippines. England defeated France. This opened the door for England to take over India.
Then came an irony of success. England also beat France in Canada, and the English took over Canada. The 13 American colonies were then free from the threat of the French. They no longer needed English protection and rebelled against England in 1776, declaring their independence.
The North Americans then pushed inland and cruelly conquered the American Indians (which was a stain on the American flag), and yet they were being prepared to become the champions of the Gospel in the last church age as they were free from Popes and Kings. They also developed an incredible intensity, and will to fight for what they considered to be a good cause.
The Civil War from 1860 - 1865 revealed that if they thought fighting was necessary and just, then they had a will to fight for their cause that equalled or surpassed any other people. Almost 700 000 soldiers were killed. No nation in Europe could even have put an army of 700 000 men into a war. Some historians doubt if all of western Europe could have combined to produce an army of 700 000 men. The great battle of Waterloo was "repeated" in the Civil War more than twenty times. So the Americans were learning to fight on a massive scale. North and South fought for four years with bravery, persistence, and brilliance.
Americans would use those qualities as they push the Pentecostal revival against the opposition of the established churches in the seventh church age. America, in the last church age, produce more full time Gospel preachers than all the rest of the world combined. American money sponsors Gospel outreach all over the world. America, in the last church age, supports Gospel outreach on a massive worldwide scale. The intensity of natural fighting in the civil war was manifest in the intensity with which they pushed the spiritual battle in the Pentecostal era. Then William Branham, with his lack of education, would need those same qualities to push his incredible insight into the written mysteries of Scripture against the fierce opposition of the highly qualified denominational church preachers. They had their theological doctorates, but he had the most amazing supernatural ministry. His insight into Scripture was unrivaled.
Gold was discovered in 1848 in California. Millions of settlers rushed to this frontier in a wild race for riches. But in just 20 years 80% of California's Native Americans were dead. An estimated 100 000 Native Americans died during the first two years of the gold rush. Many died from new diseases. California became a state in 1850. A state policy of genocide saw about 16000 Native Americans murdered in cold blood as the state rewarded the killers. Tens of thousands were turned into slaves, many of whom were worked to death. This was the ugly face of America.
But God chose the Californian city of Los Angeles for the great outpouring of the Holy Spirit at 312 Azusa Street. This was the start of God's great supernatural move in the last church age.
So there is a confusing mixture of good and evil interacting in the same place.
Let us look at the background to the events between 1750 and 1906, which represent the sixth church age of Philadelphia -- brotherly love.
REVELATION 6:5 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.
:6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.
The antichrist spirit was riding on a dark outpouring of demonology that involved money. The horrific abuse of slavery, as well as a torrent of stolen and blood-soaked wealth, enabled the rise of capitalism. A dark shadow of corrupt capitalistic colonialism swept the world in those days. Money from the awful slave trade helped to build up the economies of England and Europe.
Spain and Portugal looted tons of gold and silver from South America and Mexico. This was the dismal start which saw Europe hacking out overseas colonies. Smallpox and other European diseases, taken over to the Americas by the Spanish, killed 90% of the indigenous inhabitants in America who had no immunity to these European diseases.
Then England looted India, Britain’s richest colony, for 190 years at the point of British bayonets, which helped England establish and take the lead in the new industrial revolution that started around 1750. Industrialization required much violence, huge waste, and lots of other people’s money. India, unwillingly, was forced to pay by means of so-called taxes so that England could develop the steam engine during the 1760’s and 1770’s, and build up her industrial power. These steam engines were used for mining, industrial scale manufacture, and rapid transport by steamboat and steam train. Industrial factory labour meant millions in England were forced into repetitive, grindingly hard work under the petty tyranny found in bleak factories and cramped unsanitary accommodation. They were poor people, standing on their feet for 12 hours a day, with shocking air pollution from the burning coal that made steam. The British navy just captured men who were walking around coastal towns and press-ganged them by forcing them to become sailors. Thus they built up the world's strongest navy.
The churches produced dedicated evangelists and missionaries who blew open the pagan world as the Gospel spread. But many churches got into the money-making racket by selling corrupted Bible truths as if they were the Bread of Life. Denominations were built around the oppressive conformity to the traditions and commandments of men. God was presented as a Trinity of three Persons who were each God, but yet there was only one God. This mental muddle dumbed down Christians and made them incapable of thinking for themselves. God lost His name as three People cannot have one name. Being subjected to this belief they rejected the water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ by saying that Peter had made a mistake.
ACTS 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Christians thus were forced to accept that there were mistakes in the Bible. Today there are very few Christians who believe that the Bible is infallible.
Saint Paul, when he came to Ephesus, confirmed the name of Jesus in baptism.
ACTS 19:5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
The "name" of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit somehow became the name of God. Intelligent people were led to believe that three titles were suddenly a name. This is spiritual blindness, which is a form of mental gymnastics where words lose their meaning.
Then it was a small step to accept the unscriptural Christmas and its pagan, decorated tree.
Nowhere in the Bible were we asked to celebrate the birth of the Lord.
JEREMIAH 10:2 Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen,
:3 For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.
:4 They deck it with silver and with gold;Yet the tree is the central decoration of the christmas festival.
Putting the name of Christ onto a pagan tree does not make it truth.
Nicolaitanism flourished as a priest or pastor became head of each church. Darkness was replacing Light, but "Christianity" became a profitable business.
The Roman Catholic church had decided on selling indulgences to pay for their huge Saint Peter’s church in the Vatican in Rome. An indulgence meant you could buy forgiveness for your sins, without having to bother to repent of your sins. You could even buy forgiveness for family members who had died. The Pope had invented the doctrine of purgatory whereby you went there to suffer for your sins after death. If money was paid, you got out of purgatory and went into Heaven. This way the Pope was able to make money even out of the dead. Good business, but rotten religion.
God protected the oil of the Holy Spirit and the wine of the stimulation of revelation in a holiness revival sparked by John Wesley in England. This eventually matured into the great missionary movement that was started by William Carey going to India in 1792. The beauty of the missionary movement was that they were far away from the European churches and their unscriptural errors. Dealing with the pagans, they had to put the emphasis on a personal salvation experience with Jesus Christ. This kept the missionary movement, as it kept spreading, much closer to the truth of Scripture.
God had become a Man. The fullness of the Godhead dwelled in Jesus and thus God had taken on a human Name, Lord Jesus Christ. This is the only Name that can save us. That was the salvation experience in the missionary world.
COLOSSIANS 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
Back in Europe the Trinity ruled, which did not help people find the name of God.
God the Father, if He was a separate Person to Jesus, never died and was buried. Nor was He resurrected. So God the Father played no role in what is represented by the water baptism, which is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.
"God the Father" is never mentioned in the Old Testament. "God the Son" is never mentioned in the Bible, nor is the expression "One God in three Persons". But this idea that the "name" of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost was actually the name of God was taking over the official denominations and their unscriptural Bible schools that they were setting up. The church world was splitting up into more and more denominations.
REVELATION 3:7 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;
The sixth church age began around 1750 AD. It was a time of change as James Watt in Scotland finally developed an effective steam engine in 1776. Steam engines would go on to power boats to take missionaries overseas, and would be used for steam trains to take missionaries inland. God allowed England to rule about one quarter of the world so that the English could spread the Gospel. In addition English could become an international language for the spreading of the King James Version of the Bible.
This Bible had been translated by 47 scholars and was printed in 1611. Then it was thoroughly checked and corrected for 158 years before being finally printed in 1769. The third of the four beasts around the throne of God in Revelation Chapter 4 was a Man. This age followed the second beast, the Ox age of slaughter during the Dark Ages. God gifted human wisdom with great artists like Michelangelo, great musicians like Beethoven, and great writers like Shakespeare. In this gifted age of human inspiration, God poured out onto those scholars the deep understanding of how to translate the original Hebrew and Greek texts.
Thus the King James Bible emerged as the most accurate Bible, which would be taken around the British Empire as English began to spread around the globe. It was not just accurate in terms of technical translations, but more importantly in terms of conveying the thoughts of God.
The preaching of John Wesley and George Whitefield took evangelism out of the church pews and into the streets and open fields. This laid the foundation for the great missionary movement that was to follow. Wesley emphasized holiness as a doctrine. His own life was a testimony to the holiness of Christ.
Wesley taught people that truth was in the Bible, not in politics. By getting the people to ignore politics and focus on Scripture, Wesley played a major role in saving England from the horrors of the French Revolution.
The missionary age, by emphasizing the basics to the heathens overseas, actually presented Jesus to them as being Almighty God. Thus the Door to understanding the Godhead was opening. The theologians back in Europe would keep emphasizing the Trinity, but many people were beginning to see Jesus as the Son, the human Man that the fullness of God’s Spirit dwelt in. Instead of Jesus and God being two separate People, the idea was slowly developing that the Spirit of God dwelt inside the Body of Jesus. Once the Door began to open to the revelation that God was the Spirit in Jesus, then nobody could completely close that Door again. The revelation of the Godhead would continue to develop despite intense opposition from the Trinitarian churches who were the vast majority.
REVELATION 3:8 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.
This is a lovely symbol of the magnificent missionary age. William Carey, a shoemaker and gifted linguist, went to India in 1792. Thousands of missionaries were to follow him. This was the golden age of outreach. The famous missionary Hudson Taylor went to China in 1853. David Livingstone went to Africa in 1841. The missionaries were generally poor but dedicated, endlessly hammered but incredibly tough. They fixed their vision on the far off heathens, and blazed a selfless and determined trail that remains incredibly inspirational.
They had little strength because the power of Pentecost would only start to be poured out in 1906 at the Azusa Street revival in 1906.
Held back by the accepted doctrine of Trinity, they did not yet have enough spiritual strength to restore back the water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ.
Yet what they did achieve was staggering as the Gospel spread around the world.
REVELATION 3:9 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.
On Judgement Day the people who were wrong will have to bow low before the feet of those who were right and who will be doing the judging.
I CORINTHIANS 6:2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world?
The synagogue of Satan is a negative. Aptly describing this age, where the amazing feats of inspired missionaries were accompanied by the greed and brutality of the colonial powers who felt that they were Christian nations. In addition the denominational church systems were gaining strength as they bound people into submission to human leaders and unscriptural beliefs.
The term synagogue is of Greek origin (synagein, "to bring together") and means "a place of assembly."
The synagogue did not play a major role in Jewish worship in the Old Testament. There is only one reference to synagogue in the Old Testament.
PSALM 74:8 They said in their hearts, Let us destroy them together: they have burned up all the synagogues of God in the land.
The central venue for worship was the Temple and the priesthood.
The words Rabbi, Pharisee, and Sadducee do not appear in the Old Testament.
The Jews were captured by the Babylonians around 600 BC and then they began to modify the Old Testament to suit their circumstances.
In the four Gospels and the Book of Acts, synagogues are mentioned about 65 times. So synagogues had somehow, secretly and insidiously since the Babylonian captivity, grown to play a significant role in Jewish worship.
Error spreads. As synagogues became central to Jewish faith, so man-made positions also sprouted up like poisonous weeds. Rabbis, Pharisees (businessmen religious leaders), and Sadducees (aristocratic religious leaders) appeared on the scene. In an unscriptural structure there is plenty of room for ambitious men to take the lead. Ambition and money are closely bound together. Jewish religion focused on big business. Jesus chased the money-makers out of the Temple. Judas betrayed Jesus for money.
The Jews did not stay with the Old Testament. They had modified it by boosting up the importance of synagogues and that opened the door to new types of ambitious religious leaders.
The New Testament church made a similar mistake. They took the word "pastor" which is only mentioned once in the New Testament (and condemned prophetically six times in the Old Testament in Jeremiah) and elevated that man up to be the head or ruler of each church.
JEREMIAH 23:2 Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD.
People have to agree with the pastor who unscripturally claims to be the head of the church. Disagree with him and you are told to leave "his" church. Thus the dissenters are scattered, and any hope of reforming the church dies. The Catholic church threw out their best monk, Martin Luther. The Anglicans got rid of their best preacher, John Wesley. By refusing to embrace newly revealed Bible truths, the denominational churches were condemned to spiritually stagnate.
Pastors thus hold power by force. They force people who disagree to leave. They are then left with the people who know too little to argue, or who are too scared to stand up for truth. So churches become populated by people who show little interest in learning the deeper truths of Scripture. Eventually they know so little about the Bible that they cannot recognize deeper patterns of a revelation.
Let us consider an example: Christians marvel at the Lord Jesus for feeding the 5000 and the 4000 but they can see no deeper meaning in these miracles. When Jesus questioned the disciples about these events He put the emphasis on them understanding how many baskets of rejected scraps they had taken up. We ignore that issue. Who cares about the left over scraps? So what we dismiss as unimportant, Jesus regarded as the focus of the whole miracle.
MATTHEW 16:9 Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?
:10 Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?There were 12 baskets and seven baskets. What did it mean?
He expected the disciples to think in Bible patterns.
The Tabernacle of Moses had a seven branched candlestick as well as a table of shewbread that had twelve loaves.
The seven-branched candlestick, in the holy place in the Tabernacle, represented the seven church ages, which would light up the world with the Word of God during the 2000 years of church history.
In the Tabernacle there was also the twelve loaves of shewbread that had to be eaten inside the holy place. This represented the 144 000 who will be saved from the 12 tribes of Israel during the Tribulation. These Jews have to be back in the promised land of Israel, their holy land, which is the only place where they will meet Messiah.
So the Tabernacle was representing the two groups, the church and the 144 000, that would receive the Gospel that the Jews were going to reject when they killed Jesus.
Let us return to the 12 baskets and seven baskets of scraps that were left over. This referred to God’s great salvation plan. The Jews would reject the Gospel at Calvary. This symbolized the rejected scraps of bread that they did not want to eat. Bread is a symbol of the Word. Bread is thus a symbol of Jesus.
JOHN 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life:
The rejected bread would be picked up by the disciples and written into the New Testament. The seven baskets of rejected scraps symbolized the seven church ages where the Bride could receive the bread for their age from the hands of the disciples who had written the New Testament.
Then there would be 12 baskets left over to go to the 12 tribes of Israel as the 144 000 get pulled out by the two prophets in the Tribulation.
We have since moved on from the Man-missionary age to the prophetic-Eagle age where we have been given a deeper insight into Scripture.
The Bible never set up a pastor or a priest as the human head of the church. Jesus Christ alone is the Head of the church.
EPHESIANS 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
The church is the body of Christ. Only Christ is the Saviour of the church. No pastor, nor any other man, can save the church.
In our natural bodies, the head is connected to the body by the vertebrae in the backbone.
We need backbone to stand up for Bible truth. The head is attached to the body by the backbone.
The first 7 vertebrae form the neck. The next 12 vertebrae hold the ribs.
The Bride in the seven church ages, and the 12 tribes that emerge from the Tribulation as the 144 000, are what attach Christ to His Body.
But Satan wants to connect the church to a different head. The Roman Catholics claim that the priest is the head of the church. The Protestants claim that the pastor is the head of the church.
Any human claiming to be the head of the church is just totally wrong.
The elevation of a holy man above the congregation is called Nicolaitanism. God hates that.
REVELATION 2:6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
Error begins as a deed that sneaks in and gets copied by others until it is accepted as a doctrine because everybody does it.
Having a man as the head of a church is very efficient in terms of building up an organization or denomination. But God never wanted the church to go that route.
REVELATION 2:15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, 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.If we promote a man to be the head of the church, then God requires us to repent. From His mouth comes the sword of the Word. No Scripture places a pastor or priest in charge of a church. That is a false doctrine.
God hates a church having a human head because Jesus is the Head of the church. The Bible never says that a man is the head of the church. No body can have two heads.
You must choose. Either a pastor is head or Jesus is Head, but not both.
EPHESIANS 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
Pastors desperately justify their unscriptural position as head of the church. The word Nicolaitan (one-man-boss-of-the-church) "doctrine" is accompanied by the boast of prophetic illumination. A false doctrine, in the name of a prophet, is used to justify religious deception, illustrated by the white horse rider where human quotes replace Scripture. Then human domination and dictatorship rises ambitiously to rule the church. This is represented by the red horse rider who destroys any opposition and dissent and loves political involvement that boosts his importance. Finally the demonology unleashed by the love of worldly wealth corrupts Christianity with big business ambitions. "The tithes all belong to the pastor", is what modern churches claim. But there is no such Scripture.
So the pastor collects all the tithes from the people (which is not his money) and then he pays himself and only pays any other preachers who agree with him. In order to get paid, the other preachers soon learn to agree with the pastor. So a system of one-man-control is effectively set up. The man who pays is always accepted as boss. The people who get paid by him have a motto: "Whose bread I eat, his song I sing".
Any dissenters soon realize that they are not wanted. This is a sad but very effective system for binding people into error.
Let us go back to the missionary age that grew between 1792 and 1906.
God allowed Britain to develop the most powerful navy in the world so that later they could help take missionaries around the world in the missionary age. The British began the industrial revolution by developing the steam engine in Scotland, so that they could make steam boats to sail more efficiently on the seas and railway engines to open up the countries for rapid movement inland. The secret or hidden purpose of this technical revolution was to enable missionaries to move around the world to take the Gospel to other countries.
But the industrial revolution also enabled Britain to conquer other countries because of the superior weapons of war that Britain had. Britain then thought in terms of her own authority and gain, not the welfare of the colonies.
As Gospel ministers mistakenly set themselves up to rule the church, so Britain set herself up to rule the colonies.
This nicolaitan doctrine of elevating a "better" person to rule the subjected congregation was first invented by the Roman Catholic church. This policy spread to politics, and became the way that Europe dominated the suppressed colonies. Then the Protestants copied the Catholic model of running a church by elevating a pastor to rule the congregation that had to conform to his beliefs.
The European nations elevated themselves and thought that they were much "better" and far "superior" to the local people in the colonies. The only purpose of the colonial people was for them to be subjected to the rule of the colonial masters. Europe thought that they were the superior nations because of their technical and scientific advances. They regarded any colony as an inferior nation and this sowed the poisonous roots of racism.
A mentality of "a superior pastor who knows-all-that-is-needed as he is the head of the church and thus he will see the people through", sowed the seeds of denominationalism that would spawn 45000 different kinds of denominational and non-denominational churches by the year 2000. The church world has simply become a swamp with no solution in sight. Every denomination insists that they are right. Yet all are different. So something is very wrong.
Racialism and unscriptural denominational doctrines are problems that would never be resolved. They haunt us to this day. The hatreds that were sown by degrading the people of the colonies into second class citizens in their own countries have left a legacy of bitter fruit that we are still reaping today. Shakespeare wrote in the play Macbeth, " To win us to our harm, the instruments of darkness tell us truths".
The missionaries preached truth in far-away lands, but the politicians and businessmen took control of those lands because they had better weapons of war and then ruthlessly looted these colonies. The colonial people were caught between two opposites. The missionaries who selflessly preached salvation through the sacrifice of Jesus for our sins set a great example. But the people in the colonies suffered from the organized robbing of the wealth of the colonies which made Britain very wealthy. This loot, especially when stolen from the richest colony which was India, financed the expenses of the industrial revolution. Wealthy empires are built up on slave labour or robbing colonies. The colonized nations became second class citizens in their own countries. This led many people in these countries to hate the Bible as it was the Handbook of the hated colonizing nation. Thus darkness spread.
The black horse of money-making demonology saw about 35 million Indians starve to death during the 190 years of British rule in India from 1757 to 1947. Greedy of gain, and with brutal hypocrisy, they exported most of India’s food to England which caused many famines in India, and millions starved. But Britain grew rich and built up her industrial capacity on this wealth. The missionaries brought in Bibles which was good, but the British colonizers had moved in with bayonets and brandy. That was bad as they used barbarity to pacify the local people. So the colonial era left a bitter legacy for the local people.
Some historians record many of the horrors of the British colonization of Africa, and the monstrosity of the slave trade. The opium wars in China, where the Chinese were forced to buy opium, saw about 100 million Chinese die an early death due to this awful drug addiction. Bribing, murdering, stealing, and plundering became the way of life for many European colonists. Such were the depths of depravity that the demons of money drove those colonial powers to.
We can also try to imagine what influence this demonic money-lust had on the churches.
Dedicated missionaries were trying to free people from being in subjection to sin on one hand. On the other hand the depraved colonial money makers were subjecting the people to a ruthless life of inferiority. The official churches were setting up rigid organizational structures that were based on the hierarchy of the elevated Roman Catholic clergy. A priesthood of a fivefold ministry was lifted up between the people and God. They forgot that all Christians are priests. The only Person who is above a priest is the High Priest, Jesus Christ.
I PETER 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood,
As a born again Christian you are thus a priest. As a priest there is only one person above you, Jesus the High Priest.
Unscriptural man-made beliefs became the regular diet of the church-goers, who slowly and insidiously slipped further and further away from being able to prove their beliefs just by following verses through the Bible.
The Bible illiteracy of the Roman Catholic church-goers slowly spread through the Protestant churches.
It became regular practice for Protestant preachers to say. "This is a mistake in the King James Bible, it should be …". Thus the King James Version of the Bible ceased to be the Absolute Word of God to the Protestants.
The Roman Catholics had never believed that the Bible was supreme. They regarded the Bible as merely equal to the decisions of their councils and church synods.
Today Protestants regard the Bible as merely equal to the opinions of the pastor. And if the pastor and the Bible disagree, then Protestant church-goers regard the opinion of the pastor as greater than that of Scripture.
Westcott and Hort in 1881 produced a New Testament translation based on a document found in the Vatican and one found in a Sinai monastery. Hort did not believe that any Bible was infallible, but he was a great admirer of Darwin’s theory of evolution. He agreed with the Catholic idea that infant baptism was the salvation of a person. Westcott did not believe that the first three chapters of Genesis should be taken literally. But Westcott and Hort have been so elevated as Greek scholars that their translations have replaced the King James Bible. Some translators have even claimed that there were 40,000 mistakes in the King James Bible. This opened the door to new translations, and now there are over 100 different English translations. Plus they have to keep revising some of the new translations. So church-goers no longer believe in an absolute truth of Scripture. There are so many confusing versions of the Bible that these new translations have become a swampland.
Christians were also being forced into submission to denominational traditions.
Christians began by accepting Jesus as Saviour and Head of the church, and having a personal relationship with Him. But then they were fooled into accepting the pastor as head of the church and adopted a follow-my-leader approach. They relied on conforming to church doctrines and expectations. A church experience replaced their initial Jesus experience. They sought approval from the church members in a group consensus. We easily put up a church-façade to be accepted, and we do not dare to drop the pose.
A culture of religion and conformity to a church leader became the new normal for the so-called Christian experience.
REVELATION 3:10 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.
Patience -- Travelling to a strange land and then having to learn the language. Missionaries being killed by violent heathen tribes, as well as by all kinds of tropical diseases. It was a long, slow process.
But God, as reward for their sacrificial lives, promised to spare their age from a huge problem area that will haunt the last church age. Our last age is the impatient age of rush and stress, and instant "cut and paste" knowledge from our social media and news media bombardment that is skin deep and full of fake news. So many preachers express so many opinions that all these flashing lights on the stage create a confusion. The original Dark Ages could not see because they suffered from a lack of light. Our age is battered by too many conflicting lights, which effectively blind people so that they cannot see either. Our age is a paradox, we are in the dark about what truth is because there are too many lights.
This last age is the uniting of all the spirits of evil in the last church age, which is creating an iceberg of misinformation out of their doctrinal fabrications that will deceive all the churches. Meanwhile their motives of deception lie out of sight under the surface.
The infiltration of evil into the good has proceeded so far, until it is almost impossible to find Bible truth. The endless variations of the Bible that have been produced, make it almost impossible to regard the King James Bible as the Absolute truth. The quotes of the end time prophet have replaced Scripture. The sign post has become the way and the destination.
The unifying of all evil makes the last church age an age with problems that are impossible to solve.
One huge problem area is the failure of success.
Vaccination and medicine have conquered many diseases. Chemicals in the form of pills (tablets) have extended our average life spans from 60 years to 80 years. Most old people take pills of one form or another. Vaccinations have removed the curse of a high infant death rate. These advances have been a great blessing and a huge success of the medical world. But the consequence of this good news is that the world is rapidly getting overpopulated. Fewer people die, and more live to old age.
When the industrial revolution started at the start of the sixth church age in 1750, there were one billion people on earth. From the Flood of Noah which was before the year 2000 BC up to 1750 AD, is 3750 years. So it took 3750 years to produce the first billion people.
Today the world is producing a billion new people in about 15 years.
So the population of the world has increased seven and a half times since 1750, and is 7.6 billion in 2018.
To feed everyone and provide accommodation, clean water, medical help, work, clothes, transport, and other essentials is becoming a problem that has no end in sight. Slums grow endlessly around our cities. The poor and unemployed are vulnerable recruits for religious and political extremism.
Another problem area that the missionary age was spared was the rapid growth of China in numbers and in wealth. China has suddenly became a huge threat in the East. Pollution in China is incredible. Their industrial centre is a square that is about 1400 kilometers long and 1400 kilometers wide. The amount of raw materials that they consume is incredible as they are now the manufacturing centre for the world.
The greatest environmental disaster in the world today is air pollution. It is killing 4,400 people every day in China alone. Similar deaths are happening in India.
There is no obvious solution to that problem.
The rapid advances in Science have created many blessings, but that successful progress has spawned huge pollution problems. Plastics that refuse to biodegrade, poisons, contaminated water, polluted air that claims millions of lives of people with lung ailments, climate change with the ongoing droughts, floods, heat waves and devastating fires -- all these warn us that we are starting to pay a huge price for the benefits of science. Pollution is a failure of science.
Science is a false savior. It enables us to solve an immediate problem, but in the process it creates a bigger long term problem. Our reliance on science as a crutch to enable our future success appears to be more of a shimmering mirage in the long term.
The paradox of progress is that much money is produced, but is grossly imbalanced in the way it is distributed. The poor get poorer, and a tiny minority of the very rich get much richer. The wealth imbalance grows. Yet there is a middle class that is better off than before, but despite that they suffer much from stress and unhappiness. Crisis and complaint affects so many people. Better standards of living have not stopped people suffering from depression.
The biggest problem of the last age is the uniting of the white horse of religious deception, that makes us believe things that are not written in the Bible, with the red horse of political power, which represents our inability to govern ourselves successfully. Then the demonology of money power rides in on the black horse. These three spirits make a toxic mixture.
There are only three horses, and one antichrist rider. The three horses, white, red, and black, unite and merge in the last church age to produce a single pale horse that represents such a confusion of error and unbelief in the church world that it produces Death. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil produces its final fruits of human wisdom that have a satanic inspiration.
"Good" fools us with bits of Scripture, and we notice not the "evil" that is unscriptural.
All mixed up together into a pale, corpse-coloured horse. A dead horse walking.
"Pale" comes from the word "chloros" which can also mean "green". A corpse goes pale at first as the blood flows away from the skin. (Pale in art means adding white.) Then the blood darkens as there is no oxygen being breathed in to make it red. (Dark is what happens when you add black.) Then the dark red colour (which unites white, red, and black) goes green as the corpse begins to stink and rot. So Death rides on a dead and rotten combined church system that stinks in the nostrils of God. This is the awful Tribulation.
This is the shocking state of the end time church that lulls and entices church-goers to their deaths in the Tribulation.
But God spared the missionary age from this awful predicament. It would not happen in their age.
Charles Darwin started his evolution theory in 1859, but it would really bear its evil fruit in the last church age as it turned scientists into atheists, and caused many Christians to doubt the opening chapters of Genesis. Thus they lost their faith in the written Scripture.
Karl Marx wrote his Communist Manifesto in 1848, but it would only produce its real horror in the last church age when Stalin starved 20 million Russians to death, and Mao Zedong starved about 60 million Chinese to death, in order to establish these two powerful Communist countries. Mercifully, the missionary age was spared this inhuman demonic outpouring of a communistic death cult.
Death riding a pale corpse coloured horse is a relevant symbol for the end time.
I TIMOTHY 6:20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:
Scientists call evolution a brilliant theory. Paul calls it useless babblings.
MATTHEW 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
If we do not remain strictly with the written Scripture, we will be fooled by quotes and interpretations of quotes.
We will be fooled if we try to be clever and accept scientific theories like evolution and the Big Bang. These theories contradict the Bible and thus they cannot be true. So do not be fooled by them.
MATTHEW 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Take the ideas from the quotes and then prove those ideas by running them through Scripture. Eventually you must only use the Bible to establish your revelation.
This method is difficult because it means you have to know what is in the Bible.
Few will choose this method.
LUKE 12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
At the end there will not be many who stay with Scripture.
REVELATION 3:11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
The danger to this age was their focus on good works. Good works are crucial, but do not save anyone.
But they began to think that salvation was by faith as well as depending on good works.
The biggest trap for Christians is to have a personal salvation experience with Jesus, and then to begin to rely on a church experience. They think "I am saved thanks to my regular church attendance and the fact that I never dare disagree with the pastor". "Group think" is deadly as it stops you thinking for yourself.
"That no man take thy crown": God has a special purpose in your life.
When you let the church expectations tell you what to do or when you follow the church leader, you cease to be yourself. You become an artificial "other" person, made in the image of those other persons around you. So you lose your crown because you ceased to be what God wanted you to be. We follow the herd and the herd instinct controls our decisions. God has no real say in our lives anymore.
Christians grow lazy and instead of searching through the Bible for themselves, they just rely on what the church leaders say.
A pastor who emphasizes quotes produces church members who emphasize quotes. Meanwhile we are supposed to be restored to the early church. Those from Berea searched the Scriptures daily.
ACTS 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
They were taught by Paul himself, that great apostle and messenger to his age.
Yet they checked what he said with the Scriptures.
We must leave nothing to chance.
II CORINTHIANS 13:1... In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.
A quote must be proven by running the idea through the Scriptures.
That is the minimum of two witnesses that is required for a revelation to be correct.
Being comfortable and complacent in a church group appeals to us. We prefer to be popular and accepted. The last thing we want to do is rock the boat by disagreeing. We think that God is impressed with our man-made worship and beliefs. Searching out the deeper mysteries that are written in the Bible involves too much effort.
When Christians are unable to answer a question in the Bible, they soon learn to cover their ignorance by saying, "It does not affect my salvation". But if you are genuinely saved by having repented and accepted Jesus as your Saviour, then nothing can take that experience away from you. As such, nothing can affect your salvation. So that is no excuse for Bible ignorance.
The foolish virgins say, "Must I know?", but the wise virgins say, "I must know". It is all about attitude.
The Word is Jesus and your lack of interest in portions of the Word simply indicate a lack of interest in the Lord Jesus.
That is not something to be proud of.
We should always be keen to know as much about Him and His plans as what we can.
REVELATION 3:12 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.
A pillar connects the foundation to the roof.
A pillar is someone who is firmly connected to the Bible foundation that was written by the Old Testament prophets and the New Testament apostles.
EPHESIANS 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
:21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
:22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.By stressing Christ as the focus of evangelism and outreach, the missionaries were building on a sure foundation.
A pillar stands alone.
You have to overcome the peer pressure in the church where there is a strong desire to exalt the church leader.
Being people, we have a human need to belong to a group which causes us to stop thinking for ourselves and to stop questioning the church doctrines and traditions.
Christianity, once we are involved with a church, easily becomes a pretense and becomes churchianity.
We wear a mask that the other people expect us to wear.
Other people, not the Bible, tell us what to do and believe.
In the process we become "second-hand" Christians.
- We would never dare ask where the date 25 December comes from. It is not in the Bible.
- We would never dare ask where the word "Christmas" comes from. It is not in the Bible.
- We would never dare mention that nowhere in the Bible are we asked to celebrate the Lord’s birth. That only two murderers, Pharaoh and Herod, ever celebrated a birthday in the Bible.
- We would never dare mention that the wise men went into a house, not a stable, and saw a young child, not a baby. Only Mary was present. No Joseph. No shepherds. It was two years after His birth. Thus there were no presents in the stable when He was born.
We would not dare mention that Jeremiah 10 condemns the Christmas tree as a heathen custom. It actually dates all the way back to Babylonian customs.
But you see, if we mentioned these things, we would not be popular. Just like John the Baptist mentioned to Herod that he could not marry his brother’s wife. So Herod killed him. On his birthday.
MATTHEW 14:3 For Herod had laid hold on John, and bound him, and put him in prison for Herodias' sake, his brother Philip's wife.
:4 For John said unto him, It is not lawful for thee to have her.John was very unpopular for telling Herod that it was sinful to marry his brother’s wife.
So John was killed on Herod’s birthday. The Bible obviously does not make birthdays important.
MATTHEW 14:6 But when Herod's birthday was kept, the daughter of Herodias danced before them, and pleased Herod.
:7 Whereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatsoever she would ask.
:8 And she, being before instructed of her mother, said, Give me here John Baptist's head in a charger.An evil man killed the great fore-runner of the first Coming of Jesus, John the Baptist, on his birthday.
So do you really think God is impressed with birthdays?
We humans have decided to put great stress on a birthday. Then we think that God is impressed with our ideas. Then to make it worse, we impose our ideas on God. Then we select a date for the birthday of Jesus. But the date we chose is the birthday of the sun god.
The Roman emperor Aurelian chose this date of 25 December. But he was also a vicious killer of Christians. His nickname was "manu ad ferrum" or "hand to sword". He solved problems by simply killing dissenters. So even 25 December is soaked in Christian blood.
Plus this date is in midwinter when Israel is freezing cold.
Jesus warned the Jews against fleeing in winter as they would freeze to death.
MATTHEW 24:20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:
But when Jesus was born there were shepherds out with their sheep at night.
LUKE 2:8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
:9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.Thus it could not have been mid winter.
Caesar Augustus was not so stupid as to send people far away to their home towns to pay taxes in mid winter.
So the fact that we believe all this obvious error is just proof that we have been dumbed down by church priests and pastors.
We now believe that we can make up any nonsense, and make it acceptable to God as worship.
Heaven help us for believing such pitifully wrong ideas and heaven help the priests and pastors who blinded us sufficiently so that we can believe such unscriptural error.
Instead of teaching us what is in the Bible, the Roman Catholic church trod the truth under as they grabbed hold of pagan customs. Then they fed this junk food to their Protestant daughters.
JEREMIAH 12:10 Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my portion under foot, they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness.
Now, if you try to tell the Bible truth about this Christmas hoax, then you are not wanted in the church. They prefer the desolate wilderness of heathen traditions. Then they stick on the name of Jesus and call it Christianity’s major festival. What a farce.
But Christmas became more and more popular in the 1800s.
So accepting church traditions, and being popular with the group, is more important to us than truth.
But God is looking for pillars that can stand up for themselves.
But those pillars have to be able to overcome the hostile reaction to the truth.
The same way that the missionaries had to be able to overcome the hostile reaction of the heathens who often wanted to kill them. And who often did kill them.
Jesus has a new Name. New Jerusalem is our future dwelling place.
One day all will be new.
So we need to let go of pagan error and denominational unbelief.
We need to make a new start and strive to be Scriptural.
Keeping in with pagan ideas will doom us to miss God's revealed truths.
REVELATION 3:13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
The ear is the secret to success. Can we hear the Word of God and follow it. Can we stand up against the errors of the church.
JOHN 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth:
God’s Spirit does not come to make us popular.
It comes to tell us what is in the Bible.
Bible truth alone can save us from the great Tribulation.
"The name of my God": It was slowly dawning on the people that Jesus Christ is the human name of God.
His new city that comes from Heaven. That is where our reward is.
The missionaries gave up the ambitions of their lives in this world and served God amidst hardship, sacrifice, and danger. In this life they lost much, especially when they had to struggle against tropical sicknesses with inadequate medicines.
But their focus was on the future. Their reward will be a mansion in that new city. That made all their sufferings more than worth it.
The strength of Christianity is to suffer and maybe lose in the present in order to gain in the future.
JOHN 14:2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
Nothing that we can build for ourselves on earth can in any way compare to what Jesus is preparing for us in the future.
He said there are many mansions in His Father’s house.
To us, that sounds back to front. We always think that a mansion is a big house.
That just proves that we have no idea what Heaven is like.
We cannot visualize Heaven in terms of what we know on earth.
Actually, we do not even know what an atom looks like so there is no chance that we will know what Heaven looks like.
I CORINTHIANS 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
So Heaven will be totally different to anything that we can imagine. All our ideas of Heaven will be turned upside down.
It will be wonderful beyond our imagination and very different, even contradictory, to how we think now. Because our sinful human minds are just totally incapable of understanding God’s great plan for us.
Jesus has a new name.
REVELATION 19:12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
No man will know this name in advance.
It will be revealed at His second Coming when we are changed into new immortal bodies.
I THESSALONIANS 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.But before we are caught up to meet the Lord, the dead saints from the past church ages will be resurrected in their new bodies. Then the many heroes of this magnificent missionary age will shine as bright stars forever.
DANIEL 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.We can only salute them with deepest respect.
They played their role in the drama of life with incredible commitment and bravery.
The more we learn of them, the more we marvel at their dedication.
"and I will write upon him my new name": The Bride takes on the name of her Husband on her wedding day.
The saints from this missionary age will wear the new name of Jesus with pride. They certainly occupy a special place in His Body when we think how they lived in poverty and spread the Light of truth. Meanwhile their fellow countrymen were conquering and looting the colonies.
The denominational churches back at home were binding the people into oppressive systems that stifled human thinking.
The Roman Catholic church kept developing more and more unscriptural beliefs.
The Pope was wearing a triple crown.
REVELATION 6: 2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.
"He went forth conquering": The overseas empires of Spain and Portugal and France spread Roman Catholicism worldwide.
Light and darkness were spreading.
The spirit of antichrist on a white horse of religious deception.
The spirit became incarnate in a man who could wear a crown.
John describes an outpouring of demonology that looks like a plague of destructive locusts.
REVELATION 9:11 And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.
These demons have a king over them. His name means Angel of Death in Hebrew and Destroyer in Greek.
Religious demons are controlled by a crowned church leader, the Pope. He is the angel or messenger of the bottomless pit. He has no sure foundation of Scripture. He just builds up his unscriptural beliefs from any ideas that he can pull out of the bottomless pit.
Then this flood of demons take any unscriptural beliefs that are not written, like Trinity, evolution, and seven Thunders, to all the preachers who are the heads of their churches.
The pit of hell is being open and deception that is not written in the Bible is pouring out.
REVELATION 9:10 And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails:
A "tail" in the vision means a "tale" or story that they tell.
The sting in the tail is that unscriptural beliefs will take us into the Tribulation. We are living in the preview of that time. Wait till the real event actually happens.
The Holocaust when six million Jews died was a preview of the Tribulation.
Church goers building up their beliefs on unscriptural ideas is the preview of what the Tribulation will be like when Death takes his ride.
Abandoning the Scripture at the end. Satan's final deception.
"Abaddon" sounds close to "Abandon". Satan driving and forcing us to let go of Scripture as we build up our beliefs.
But the greater the darkness, the more the light shines out.
If you have backbone to stand up for the truth of the written Word.