JUST WHAT DO YOU MEAN CHURCH ERAS?
The book of Revelations chapters two and three speaks of God’s judgment and council to the seven churches which existed in Asia Minor at the time when Jesus gave this revelation to the Apostle John. Why was God so concerned with these local churches and yet he doesn’t seem to talk of all the other churches of God down through history? Or does he? The truth of the matter is: God does give an overview of the works of his only true church down through history.
The book of Revelation is the book that is talked about in Revelation Chapter five as being closed and sealed with seven seals. No man was found worthy to open the book and read it. But The LAMB, Jesus Christ was found worthy, and God the Father gave it to him to show HIS SERVANTS things that would shortly come to pass. (Rev.1:1) Note that, This book of Prophecy is for Jesus’ servants, not for the world as a whole. If we want to understand the words of God, then we must DO his commandments (Ps.111:10). Then in chapter six of Revelation, Jesus proceeds to open the seals and reveal what is in this book; but still, only to those who are willing to obey all of God’s Commandments. This world’s religions have read the words of this book, but they can’t understand the message which God was sending to his true servants, because they are deceived into believing that Jesus came and did away with God’s Commandments, “nailing them to the cross.” Nothing could be farther from the truth!
My purpose here in this booklet is not to argue the truth to a deceived world, but to make the truth plain to those that have been called, or are being called by God. The rest of the world will have to wait until God sets his hand to humble them, and get their attention, and make them willing to obey him. Then as they yield to God in obedience their understanding will increase also. The true Church of God is written about in Revelation Chapter 12, verse 17 as a people who keep the commandments of God (the Father) and having the testimony of Jesus Christ, (which is the spirit of prophecy, Rev. 19:10). Also in Revelation 14:12 true Christians are written about as keeping the commandments of God, and having the faith of Jesus Christ. This also includes keeping the fourth commandment: The one about keeping God’s Sabbath Holy, and that is the seventh day, not the first day of the week.
So who can understand Gods’ truth about the seven churches in Revelation, or for that matter any of Gods’ hidden true teachings? Only those who have been called by God, and then surrendered their lives to obey God’s commands can come to understand. There was a man whom God chose to be his servant in this end time to proclaim his true Gospel of the Kingdom of God to this world shortly before Jesus Christ returns to this world, in Supreme Power and Glory to take over and rule this whole earth with righteousness and strength. This Man, Herbert W. Armstrong was willing to obey God, and God gave him much understanding of the Holy Bible. Among the truths that God revealed to him was the truth about these seven churches in Revelation Chapters Two and Three. Mr. Armstrong spoke of this truth in many of his books, booklets, and sermons. His last book before he died, titled “MYSTERY OF THE AGES” is one that will explain that these seven churches in Asia Minor were, in fact, seven local churches of the one true Church of God, But their works were typical of the seven successive church “ERAS” of the true church which Jesus Christ founded in 31 AD and continued down through history to the second coming of Christ.
Mr. Armstrong taught that he was the Messenger to the sixth era, The Philadelphia Era of the true Church of God. God said of that era that he would set before him an open door and no man could shut it. He also said that when he shut that door, no man could open it. Mr. Armstrong understood and taught that the door opened to him was like the doors that were opened unto the Apostle Paul to preach the true gospel to this world. (I Cor. 16:9, II Cor. 2:12, Col. 4:3) God did use Mr. Armstrong to take the true gospel to this world, which had not gone to the world since the days of the original apostles. In Mathew chapter twenty-four, and verses three, and fourteen Jesus said this was a sign that the end of mans’ world is near. This is not the end of the earth, but rather the end of man ruling himself under the influence of Satan the devil. Christ will shortly come back and establish his world: The Kingdom of God here on this earth. Many did try to close that door that God had opened before him, but they couldn’t! And since Mr. Armstrong’s death, some have tried to open that door and they can’t! Only God can open that door again, and he will in due season. (Rev. 14: 6) The true Gospel is an everlasting Gospel.
The Philadelphia Church Era or age has ended, and now we are living in the Laodicea ERA. The works of the church make it obvious, even if there were no other proof. But there is other proof in the Bible that reveals when a church era begins and ends. This will be explained later, but for now, let us look at some symbolic language that refers to the church. One point that we need to understand is that the Bible speaks of many things in symbolic language, which God has chosen to conceal the true understanding from this world, and yet reveal the truth to his true servants whom he has called. Contrary to what man’s religions have been teaching, God is not out trying to get this whole world saved in this lifetime. He does have a purpose that he will call all people to the truth, and open their minds to know God, but in his time order. Not all people can be real Christians at this time; only the ones whom God has predestined from the foundation of the world to be called in this lifetime can become Christians in this age (Romans 8: 29, 30), (Eph. 1: 5, 11). That will probably shock most of you when you first hear this truth, but it is true.
Turn in your bible and read what Jesus said in Matthew chapter 13. When the multitudes were gathered together before Christ he spoke to them in parables about the Kingdom of God. And the multitudes didn’t understand, just like Isaiah the Prophet had written of them. (Isaiah 6:9-10) Also notice that after the parable of the “sower and the seed” Jesus said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” The point is not all people have “ears to hear.” Yes, most people have physical ears on the sides of their heads, but Jesus is referring to the ones God had been calling to understanding, that they may be a part of the true Church of God. Jesus’ disciples later came to Christ and ask him why he had spoken to the multitudes in parables. Read Jesus’ answer to them in Matthew 13:11. “He answered and said unto them because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them, it is not given”. Also read what Jesus said in (John 6: 44); “no man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him…” How plain! This world has been cut off from being able to have access to the Holy Spirit of God ever since the Garden of Eden, and therefore they can’t truly have a spiritual relationship with God, and the only ones who do have access to the Spirit of God in this age are the ones that God himself predestined, and calls (Acts 2: 39). Without having been called by God and given the Holy Spirit, people can know of God, but they can’t truly get to know God.
The majority of mankind will have their only opportunity at salvation and eternal life at the end of the 1000 yr. rule of Jesus Christ here on this earth. Then the Books of the Bible will be opened to their understanding. (Rev.20:12) They will then be judged in like manner as the true church is being judged today, according to their works, and what is written in the Holy Bible, which is the written Word of God. How marvelous are the wonderful ways of God! His Mercy truly does endure forever! How much better are the ways of God than the false teachings of this worlds’ false Satan made doctrine of claiming that God will just cast all of these ignorant and deceived people who are not converted in this age into an ever-burning Hell Fire where they will be tortured and tormented forever with no chance of escape.
I have only touched on this subject very briefly here to give some background knowledge to the reader. You should read Mr. Armstrong’s book, “Mystery of The Ages”, In this book, God led Mr. Armstrong to make known this and many more mysteries that have been hidden from this world. The Church organization that God used Mr. Armstrong to raise, THE WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD, has now rejected the real truth, so you can’t get this or any of his books or booklets from them. You may be able to get a copy from the Local Library, or if you contact the next era of the church that calls its self “The Philadelphia Church of God”, they might send you a copy. They now have purchased the copyrights of many of Mr. Armstrong’s written works. You can find them on the internet. The Library of Congress has also preserved much of the literature and videos, as well as audio messages of Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong. You can access it all for free on the internet.
Now back to these symbols that represent the true Church of God: Open your own Bible and read in Revelation chapter one and verses 12 through 20. Jesus is pictured as being amid seven candlesticks. These candlesticks could also properly be referred to as Lamps, or Lampstands. Now notice verse 20, the candlesticks are interpreted as being the seven churches. The seven stars in Christ’s right hand in verse 16 are interpreted in verse 20 as being the seven angels, or messengers of the seven churches. Originally they were the Pastors of the seven churches in Asia Minor. Mr. Armstrong taught that the seven churches were typical of the seven successive ages of the Church of God through the history of the Church; and the angels of the churches are typical of the human messengers to each specific era of the church, as well as possibly a real spirit angel who is assigned by God to that particular church era.
Mr. Armstrong understood that the seven churches in Asia Minor represented all seven successive ages of the only true church that Jesus Christ built down through history, but when does a church age or era as he chose to call them begin and end? At what time does a church era cease to be that era, and a new era begins? Is it when the human messenger dies? No, it can’t be, if that were the case then the seven eras would have ended long ago, for seven men couldn’t live that long. The first era of the church, called in Revelations chapter two “The Church of Ephesus” was led first of all by the Apostle Peter. And Peter didn’t turn from his “first love” as is recorded of the works of the Ephesian church. History reveals that Peter was a faithful martyr. So some other bishop or bishops, after Peters’s death were the ones who were leading the church off track and away from the true teachings, and faith of Jesus Christ. This problem in the church continued to the point that God did do what he had warned them of in Revelation 2 verse 5. Jesus Christ, the real head of the church did remove their candlestick, or church and began a new era of the church which is called the “Church in Smyrna”. The old organization of the church did continue on and eventually became what is known in history as the Catholic Church. That church grew and after Constantine, Emperor of the Roman Empire was supposedly converted to their faith; that church gained favor in the government, and continued to grow in size and power. It became the Universal (Catholic) Church that came to force its will on the rest of the world. Constantine made it a Roman Church. As a result of its fornication with the Roman Empire and the kings of this world, it grew in power and wealth and ruled over the kingdoms of this earth as it is pictured in the 17th chapter of Revelations. This Church didn’t wait to be married to Christ as the true Church of God will; she fornicated with the kings of this earth that she might rule now in this world. Out of this Catholic Church eventually came many daughter churches in protest against their mother, The Great Whore. These daughter churches claimed to be puritans who sought the truth, but in fact, they continued in much of the false doctrines of their mother. God calls them all what they are: “MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.”(Rev. 17:5) This church was not and is not God’s Church, it was, and is Satan’s Church, or as it is referred to in Revelations chapter 2, and verse 9: the synagogue of Satan. God calls things what they are. But what about the faithful few who would not accept their false pagan doctrines, but continued in the truth that Jesus Christ established in his church? THEY WERE THE TRUE CHURCH! They were the ones who are the candlestick! And they were moved by being driven out, disfellowshiped, called heretics, and some may have just left to escape the false teachings. But they were not outside the Church of God; they were the ones who were the real true Church of God. They were persecuted, scattered and martyred, but God used them to make up the next Era of God’s true Church.
So again I now ask; what constitutes the beginning and the end of an Era? When Peter was martyred, that didn’t end the Ephesian Era. When the bishops in power began teaching false doctrines, they didn’t begin another era. They merrily changed that “ORGANIZATION”, or “GOVERNMENT”, and those that went along with it into “THE SYNAGOGUE OF SATAN”. Those that were loyal to Jesus Christ followed Christ, and not men, or false churches. They were spiritual virgins and were loyal to their head and future husband, Jesus Christ. They “followed the Lamb whithersoever he goeth.” (Rev. 14: 4) Jesus Christ moved his faithful candlestick to a different location and formed a new government or organization. You can read of the works of this new government of Jesus’ Church in Rev. Chapter two, beginning in verse 8 through verse 11. So now we finally come to the truth about what signals the end of an era and the beginning of another. Jesus Christ established his church with the government in it, starting with The Apostle Peter; (Matt. 16:17-19) and Peter had ministers, or bishops as they were called then which he would turn over the leadership of the church to when he was martyred, and so on down the line. As long as these ministers would yield themselves in humble obedience to God and Christ there was no need to establish a new church organization, or government, But when the human leadership turns away from following Christ, then Christ will just move his candlestick, or church and establish a new government, with a new human leader; A NEW ERA OF THE CHURCH.
THE SEVEN HORNS OF THE LAMB
Is it biblical to call the seven eras of the true Church of God organizations or governments? It most certainly is. Turn in your Bible to Revelation chapter five. The one who was found worthy to loose the seven seals and open the book of Revelation to the true servants of Christ is none other than Christ himself. He is described in Revelation chapter five, verse six as The Lamb that had been slain, but was now standing, having seven horns, and seven eyes which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. Even though it has been recorded in the Holy Bible for nearly two thousand years, you don’t hear much about Jesus as having HORNS. The church of God and even this world talks about Satan having horns, but most people in this world don’t know what these horns represent. They are familiar with Satan having horns. This world’s false religion has “demonized” horns, because they are ignorant of the symbolic meaning of the word horn in the bible, yet they see that horns are associated with the Beast and Satan. The word horn has been so demonized by this world that it seems almost blasphemous to consider that Jesus also has horns! Yet it is true. So we need to understand what the word horn symbolizes in the Bible.
What does the word horn mean in the bible when it is used as a symbol to represent something else? In the book of Daniel chapter seven, God gave Daniel dreams that prophesied of all the world-ruling Gentile kingdoms that would exist on this earth, beginning with ancient Babylon and continue through history down to the second coming of Jesus Christ, when he would subdue all kingdoms and rule this whole earth. His saints or true prophets, apostles, and those called out of this world’s ways, later known as Christians will rule with Him as kings and priests of God (Rev. 1:6, Rev. 5:10, Rev. 20:6). For the sake of time and, and to stay focused on the particular subject of this booklet I will not go into detail about who all these kingdoms were and are, but you need to know. If at all possible try to get a copy of Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong’s booklet; “WHO IS THE BEAST”. This booklet will give you the ability to prove from your own Bible, who all these Prophesied kingdoms were, and one that is yet to be. This booklet will prove from the Bible and secular history, just who the Prophesied Beast is. Again, you can’t get this booklet from the organization of the church that God used Mr. Armstrong to raise, because, after His death, that church rejected the truth and turned to Satan’s Church, to follow in their doctrines, thus turning the true church organization into a Synagogue of Satan, just like the first era of the church. You may be able to get this booklet from the seventh and last era of the Church of God, which calls its self “THE PHILADELPHIA CHURCH OF GOD”, but are the Laodicean Church. You can find them on the internet.
Now back to Daniels dream, chapter seven verse seven: “After this, I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns.” Now over in verse 23, God explains who this fourth beast is and that the ten horns are ten kings or kingdoms that would arise out of the Beast and continue successively down to the time when Christ takes over all kingdoms on the earth and sets up his kingdom, which shall last forever. The word king and kingdom are synonymous with each other in the book of Daniel.
Even the bible scholars of this world can recognize that this fourth kingdom was the Roman Empire. And out of the Roman Empire, were ten kingdoms that would continue successively down to the second coming of Christ. You really should read the booklet “WHO IS THE BEAST”, to gain a good understanding of this, but the point I am making here in this booklet is that a “horn” is a kingdom or government. Over in Revelation chapter 17; it speaks of a Beast having seven heads and ten horns also. These seven heads are the last seven of the ten horns or kingdoms of Daniel chapter seven. They are the ones which the Catholic Church rules over, the seven successive governments of the so-called Holy Roman Empire, and the last of these seven heads has ten horns on it. These are ten contemporary kings that will give their kingdoms over to the empire that is forming in Europe now and will fight against Christ at his coming. These kingdoms are also described in Daniel chapter two as the ten toes on the statue which was in King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, which God used to reveal these world-ruling empires through Daniel to him. Even the Papacy is spoken of as a “little horn” in Daniel chapter seven, and verse 8.
Now look over in Revelation chapter 13, and verse 11: Here we see the Great Whore, Mystery Babylon, the Catholic Church, and its Leaders, or Popes spoken of as “another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two “horns” like a lamb, and he spoke as a dragon.” Those people who have been taught the truth know that this is referring to the Catholic Church and its two divisions, in the east and the west. Each division, or organization, or government is pictured by a horn. Mr. Armstrong also considered that the two governments may be referring to both the civil government of the Vatican State as well as the Catholic Church government. Jesus Christ is pictured in the Bible in symbolic language as a lamb, having seven horns, but Satan’s Church is pictured to look like a lamb, but speak like Satan the dragon, and it only has two horns, because that is all of the governments or organizations that the Catholic Church has ever had. Just like the Roman Empire was symbolized by the Iron legs in the vision of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon; the eastern and the western division, so also was the Universal Church that ruled over the last seven governments of this Empire: one horn for each government or organization of the church.
You also should read Psalm 75. Here God talks about how the horns of the wicked will be cut off, but the horns of the righteous will be exalted. This verse shows us that the word horn is used to represent kings or governments of the righteous as well as kings or governments of the wicked. The Lamb of God’s seven horns, are representative of Jesus Christ’s seven Church governments that existed one after another down through the history of the church.
CHURCH ERAS ARE JESUS CHRISTS HORNS
Yes, it may seem shocking to some people when you understand the full ramifications of it, but the horns that come out of the symbolic slain lamb of Revelation chapter five, are the same as the seven candlesticks, and the seven churches in Revelation one, two, and three. Let us turn and read Revelation, chapter five, and verse six. “And I beheld, and, lo, amid the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns, and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.” (Rev. 5: 6) Now we know that “horn” is speaking of an organization of government, but what are the seven eyes of the Lamb? Verse six tells you, they are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. Now let us examine these seven Spirits a little more closely. They are Spirits of God. Is God divided up into seven individuals? No. The scriptures reveal that God consists of two beings: the Father, and the Word, or Son, Jesus. As true Christians know, God is not a trinity, but a family that presently consists of two beings; not three, nor seven. Eventually, true Christians will be born into that family by a resurrection from the dead or by being instantly changed into a Spirit Being when we rise to meet Christ in the air at his second coming, (I Thes. 4: 13-17) (I Cor. 15: all) (Rom. 8: all).
The Holy Spirit is not a third person in the Godhead as this world’s religion teaches, but it is the power of God to be omnipresent. The Holy Spirit is the power of God to beget us, humans, as his children. The Holy Spirit imparts to us who are begotten by God the very character and mind of God. We must grow in the Spirit of God, though, if we expect to eventually be born into Gods family: Because when we are first begotten after being called, coming to repent of our ways and surrendering to let Christ be our Lord and Master, then after we are baptized we are only given a very small measure of the Spirit of God (II Cor. 1: 22). Then we must grow in God’s grace (II Peter 3: 18). Ephesians chapter four makes this very clear. Turn and read in your Bible: Ephesians 4: 4-13. Verse four tells us that there is one body, (whether they can assemble or not) and one Spirit, (it is the same Spirit that was in Jesus) and one hope of our calling. Ephesians 4: 6 tells us that there is one God and Father of all and in you all. God and Christ do dwell in his true servants by the Holy Spirit (John 14: 9-23). Ephesians 4: 7 tells us that we Christians are given this Holy Spirit according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Verse 13 tells us that we are expected to eventually have grown in the Spirit of God until we are of the measure of the stature of Christ. God gives each one of us a small portion of his Spirit and we must let Gods’ Spirit lead us into obedience and character development until we are finally ready to be born again at Christ’s second coming. Even though God gives us his Holy Spirit, Jesus reveals in the parable of the talents that not all will overcome to the same level of perfection: So our reward, or office and power in the kingdom will be decided based on what we have done with what we have to do with.
Let us get back to the seven Spirits of God. What are they? Is God somehow divided into seven Spirit beings walking around on this earth somewhere? No! God is presently composed of two beings, But the Holy Spirit, which is also a part of God, for that is how God and Christ dwell in us, and that Spirit has been sent forth in the earth to beget, lead, and guide us who have been called. Each era of the Church of God has been given a portion of God’s Spirit. Or you could say each horn of Christ has been given a portion of God’s Spirit. That is why there are seven instead of two. As we all know in God’s Church, not all of the human messengers or not all of the individual members have applied and yielded themselves to the lead of the Holy Spirit in the same degree. Therefore many of the eras or organizations of God’s true Church did not do so well in their works. Just because Jesus Christ uses a man to start, and lead a church organization does not mean that he accepts or approves of their stewardship. If the people are not careful to stay close to Christ on an individual basis and prove all things before they accept them as fact, then they will likely just become like their human leader, if he is going off course. That is how Satan has been able, time after time, to “derail” the Church of God.
Those Christians who will be counted worthy to help Jesus rule the world to come will have to “follow the Lamb whithersoever he goes,” as is said of them in Revelation chapter 14 and verse 4. Our focus should be on Christ and God, not on a man. Believe what you can prove, not just what some minister has told you. Many of the church eras had ministers who were doing, allowing, and teaching things that were not right! Christ said that he held that against them. It is the individual Christian’s responsibility to prove what is right and good. If you are just following your human leader, what makes you think you are qualified to teach in the Kingdom of God? We must KNOW what we believe. This world’s education system expects students to just accept and memorize what they are taught. To be a part of the elite family that will reeducate the earth’s people, we must prove and KNOW what we accept: And that must be based on solid truth from God’s Word, not men’s opinions or interpretations.
The seven horns and the seven eyes that are written about in Revelation chapter five, verse six are also written about in different words, but the same meaning in Revelations chapter four and verse five. Compare the two verses. “…and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.” These scriptures give us understanding about what the candlestick and its seven lamps of fire that was in the Holy Place in the Old Testament tabernacle were to represent! THE SEVEN ORGANIZATIONS OF THE TRUE CHURCH OF GOD, NOW HAVING ACCESS TO THE VERY THRONE OF GOD! The Vail or curtain between the Holy place and the Holy of Holies where God’s throne is was opened up by the death of our Lord and Savior (Mark 15: 38) (Heb. 9: all) (Heb. 10: 1-20). The seven lamps, the seven horns, the seven candlesticks, and the seven churches are all the same thing, and the seven eyes are the seven portions of the One Spirit of God that is sent forth in all of the earth, wherever the true Church of God dwells. How marvelous is this wonderful truth!
You should also look in the book of Zechariah, chapter 3, verse 9, and chapter 4, verses 2, and 10, where the seven church eras or horns are pictured as the seven branches that come out of the one golden candlestick, and each one with a lamp on top which are described as the seven eyes which run to and fro through the whole earth. Each ERA or government of the Church of God has been given a measure of the Spirit of God, and they were expected to put it to use in rooting out all unrighteousness, and to lead the church as a whole as well as individuals to obey and follow God and Christ, that they might come to know and love God and Christ, and have the mind and character of God formed in them, that we may be made of such Holy Character that God can trust us with eternal life and power as Gods very children. Then we can be born again as Spirit born children at Christ’s second coming.
God will never give eternal life to anyone until he is sure that he or she has let Christ be formed in them to the point where they would never follow any man or church away from Christ. God did have a problem with this very thing, when one-third of the angels followed their leader, Lucifer, away from God. And they already had eternal life! After this Lucifer became the adversary of God and the angels also became demons. Their dissent from truth and righteousness became a never-ending fall because that is the nature of sin. Sin doesn’t just stay the same; it gets worse and worse continually, thus the bottomless pit. God in his love and mercy determined that after Satan had repented of good and turned to evil, that man must be made of flesh and blood; mortal, so that he could be given death if he chose to rebel against God’s way.
Any person that is called of God to be given his opportunity to qualify for life in this or any other age will most certainly have to prove to God that he or she is so in love with God and Christ that they would never allow their self to be led away from Christ, and his truth. Just sticking with an organization or a man doesn’t please God, but spiritually following the Lamb wherever he goes is the key to life. (Rev. 14:4) Everyone will be tested and tried, and only the ones who prove that following Christ is more important than anything else will be given real life. Jesus said that many would be called, but only a few of them would be chosen. (Matt. 22:14) Only a few will be chosen because not all who were called were willing to let Christ cloth them in the necessary wedding garments of clean and white which is the righteousness of the saints. (Rev. 19:8) You can’t do as the leader of the Laodicean Church says; just follow the man that God chose to raise a church era or government. You must prove all things and hold on to, and believe, and live by what you can prove to be the Word of God. Read and see for your self, that most of the messengers to the true Churches of God were not of altogether good works, and some had some very bad works. God says the Laodicean leader and his followers are spiritually blind and naked. They are in danger of losing out on eternal life because they are just blindly following the man instead of following the true Word of God.
We are living during an era of the church when the faithful saints of God must overcome their human church leaders, as well as overcoming their faults and sinful human nature. This is a tall order, but it is possible if we dedicate ourselves to God and Christ in humble, honest, and sincere prayer, and study of the Word of God. Don’t let man interpret the word, but let the Holy Bible interpret its’ self. The true Saints of God must feed themselves, and their own families. We can’t rely on the church organization or ministers. We are receiving right now some of that “final training” that Mr. Armstrong used to talk about. This training is like an internship as kings and priests which we will soon be. The ministers of this church age are blind and naked, and can’t be trusted. If you want to eat the true Word of God, then it is up to you to feed yourself and family. We are living in a time when the Church of God has been so misled, that as it says in Isaiah 28 all of the tables are full of vomit! Read Isaiah chapter twenty-eight; it will show you that we must be “weaned from the breast” of our mother the church organization. The leaders of the Laodicean Church are not rightly dividing the scriptures.
The man that God used to start the seventh era of his church has done like king Saul and become big and important in his own eyes, and has sought to exalt himself, rather than humbly lead and guide the faithful brethren that trusted in him. A lot of these brethren are asleep spiritually, but some are beginning to wake up, and are leaving the church organization, but not necessarily leaving the church. Many of us have been cast out because of the truth we hold to. We are a scattered flock, and brethren we will remain a scattered flock until Jesus Christ comes and gathers his faithful saints. There is no more church ERAS or horns to be formed. Any organization that men would try and form to build another horn of Christ would not be Christ’s horn! Unless the leadership of the Laodicean Church repents and humbles themselves before God and the brethren, and turns back to the truth, then those who will be faithful to God and Christ will be scattered, and feeding themselves the Word of God. Brethren this is not so bad to be isolated and feeding ourselves the truth, because I know that God and Christ are with us, and we are receiving training which we will be glad for when we are assigned to be the priest of a city or more in the world tomorrow. Our God is so wonderful; he takes evil and makes it work out for our best interest!
The Laodicean Horn
When did the Philadelphia Era end and the Laodicean Era begin? The Philadelphia Era did not end when Mr. Armstrong died. The Philadelphia ERA or Horn continued until the Tkach leadership had perverted the teachings on doctrines so bad that a minister in Edmond, Oklahoma: Gerald Flurry was in inspired to write a book to warn the church leaders that they were turning away from God and his truth and suggest that they repent and turn back to the truth. Those men were so under Satins’ influence that they rejected the correction, and fired Mr. Flurry. God then used Mr. Flurry to form another organization, the final and seventh Horn of Christ to continue with God’s work. He didn’t realize at that time that it was the Laodicean Horn or Era, so he called it the Philadelphia Church of God. He taught that they were the remnant of the Philadelphia Era, and that was true, but they were also the beginning of the Laodicean Era. God did in this transition as he has done in the past Eras. God used the faithful of the former era to begin the next era. The Philadelphia Era ceased to exist, and the organization of the Philadelphia Church was now ruled by Satan the Devil. That organization became a synagogue of Satan, just like what happened to the Ephesus Era, which God removed his lamp or Candlestick from, and it became Satan’s Church, which is the mother of all false Christian Churches. Today it is known by this world as the Catholic Church. The Tkach leadership of the organization that was once the Philadelphia Horn or Era went to Satan’s Churches to get their doctrines put in his church thus making it also another of Satan’s Churches.
When Mr. Flurry first began this new ERA of the church, He seemed to be a humble man and was holding on to the basic doctrines of God. He became very busy trying to warn the brethren that was still in the Synagogue of Satan; of which he called the Laodicean Church. Many of us came out, and were cast out of the Synagogue of Satan and came to the new organization, which is called the “Philadelphia Church of God,” which is, in reality, the Laodicean Horn, or Era. Mr. Flurry was wrong about some things he taught, especially in trying to make it appear that much of the Bible is referring to this situation that we were experiencing in the church transition. He was too hasty to interpret bible scriptures without getting all the facts together. But, this was God’s Church, it was obvious that no other church organization on earth was as close to the truth as this one was, because it still held to the doctrines that we had learned to be God’s doctrines from Mr. Armstrong and our personal bible study. For a few years, this Laodicean Church grew as more and more brethren became disgusted with all the false satanic doctrines being pushed off on them in the Synagogue of Satan.
There was natural anger in Mr. Flurry toward the evangelists and ministers who didn’t love the truth enough to stand up against the Satan influenced men who were teaching lies and all manner of false doctrines to the church. Mr. Flurry praised the people who did come into the new Church organization. And those who didn’t were condemned and called Laodiceans. This attitude came to be a general attitude among the people. There was not as much, true Christian character development being taught in church services as there was; condemning the “Laodiceans”, of which that organization was not Laodicean at all, but was now a Synagogue of Satan. (I do believe that some of the people who still had God’s Spirit in them were still staying in that organization for quite some time; many were asleep spiritually, and some didn’t know where to go.) This attitude of “condemning the Laodiceans” led to a serious self-righteous attitude in the Laodicean Church which claimed to be the Philadelphia Church. This Church thought they were spiritually “rich and increased with goods”.
Not long before I was disfellowshiped from that Church Mr. Flurry began proclaiming his self to be a prophet. I didn’t see the fruits of a prophet of God, but I wasn’t too worried about that, but this was only the beginning of a great effort to exalt himself to be some great one. After I was cast out because of a doctrine that was being taught in the church, which God led me to prove was wrong, things in the Laodicean Church grew farther, and farther away from the truth and more and more exalting of self. He began applying many scriptures to himself, which applies to Christ and God the Father. Other Scriptures that he applied to himself apply to the real Prophets.
Obviously Satan is standing at his right hand, guiding him and the Church into much deception. Even the idea that that is the Philadelphia Church is a GREAT DECEPTION, but many of the brethren are so blind that they can’t see it. Mr. Flurry thinks he is a prophet or “seer”, but God warns that they need some “eye salve” that they may see. (Rev. 3:18)
It is sad what is happening in the church, but it is all a part of our character development and testing that God may show us what is really in our hearts. When Mr. Armstrong was alive; on many occasions, he told the church: “BRETHREN I DON’T THINK YOU ARE GETTING IT”, and he was right, but they couldn’t believe that until God let Satan into the Church to test it. Some of us can now realize that most of that church wasn’t getting it then, even though they tried to assure him that they were behind him “110 percent”. Likewise, the same is true in the Laodicean Church. They are just blindly following the man and not the Word of God.
I am saddened to see the need to write such things about people of God’s church, but someone needs to, for their good. So my final word in this booklet to the Laodicean Church, which calls its self the Philadelphia Church of God, is: PLEASE REMEMBER, WE HAVE ALL HAD TO HUMBLE OUR SELVES AND ADMIT THAT WE WERE WRONG. WE STILL ALL HAVE TO HUMBLE OUR SELVES AND ADMIT THAT WE ARE WRONG FROM TIME TO TIME. REPENTING OF WRONG IN OUR SELVES IS WHAT IS NECESSARY FOR US, TO ALLOW GOD TO FILL US WITH HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS.
Things could yet work out very good for the Laodicean brethren, if they can humble themselves, and repent of blindly following a man, and repent of that self-righteous attitude of comparing themselves with others whom they condemn, and thus feeling pretty good about their selves. We should be comparing ourselves with our Lord, Jesus Christ and his example. If we will do this, and honestly with God’s help look deep into our hearts and intents of heart, we will see that we all need to continually repent and grow in God’s grace.
If the Laodicean Church can repent and humble their selves before God; then God is merciful to forgive them and will yet help them to overcome and qualify to sit with Christ on his throne, helping him rule in the world to come! (Rev. 3: 21) This also applies to the Leader of the church, Mr. Flurry. If we repent of our sins God is more than willing to help us get back to the straight and narrow path of righteousness. But if we are too proud to admit that we are wrong, then we don’t have anything to look forward to but God’s punishment to humble us. God says he chastens every son that he loves. I’d rather humble myself before my God quickly and avoid chastisement.
I am not trying to start another church organization, for I know that is not God’s will. There are only seven church horns or eras, but I would be glad to help anyone to learn the truth to the best of my ability. If the Laodicean Leaders can repent I also would be glad to return to the church organization and help them go back to the place where they started going astray and return to the truth. It could happen if they will consider what is at stake here! I don’t expect God will allow this condition to continue in the church much longer. I believe that Christ will come back soon, but as you know, there is much evil yet to take place on this earth first.
Brethren we should pray for all of our spiritual brethren, that God will strengthen our faith, and love for one another; Satan is trying very hard to divide God’s people against each other. Many false ministers from the Synagogue of Satan have pulled away brethren after their selves, and are using God’s children to fund their carnal empires. Brethren we may be scattered physically, but we should love all of God’s people, and especially those whose fruits show that they love the true God and Christ and their commandments. There may be some differences of opinions about certain prophecies, or even some minor church doctrines, such as makeup, or using doctors and medicine, but if they truly believe the true Gospel and all that it involves, and if they keep the Commandments of God then they should not be rejected just because of some lack of knowledge or understanding. Pray for them, that in God’s own time he will help them as well as ourselves to understand the real truth; and consider that we who judge another are also judged by God. Do we fully measure up? Do we know everything? Do we fully understand everything? Are we perfect? Did all saints of past ages understand and know everything that we know and understand? How will they fit into the body of Christ if they didn’t understand all that we do? Though we should be studying to gain more knowledge about God and his plan, purpose, and what he expects of us; yet God doesn’t judge others by how much you understand and know. God judges us based on what we do with what we are given from God, and whether we truly set our hearts on the truth that he reveals to our understanding, not someone else’s understanding, and by our conscience toward God, not someone else’s conscience. We also should all take heed that we don’t reject what God has made us able to understand. We should be a forgiving and loving people if we truly are being led by the Holy Spirit. Jesus said that by this shall all men know that we are his disciples if we love one another. If we don’t love our brethren who do believe and love the true Gospel and keep the Commandments of God, then we are certainly not keeping the Commandments of God our self. Like the Apostle Paul said, knowledge tends to cause us to get puffed up (1 Cor. 8: 1,2) We can have all knowledge, understand all prophecy, know all mystery’s, and still be nothing if we don’t have brotherly love for one another (1 Cor. 13: 1-10). If you know something and you can’t get a brother in Christ to know that you are right; then pray for him and yourself, and be patient; God will reveal it to him in due time, if you truly are right. Consider this also: Do you have the love of truth enough to admit that you are wrong about some belief of yours; if God reveals it to you that you are wrong? Mr. Armstrong and all true saints have thought they knew something, only to find out later that they were wrong. It will be easy for God to reveal knowledge to us if we truly do want the truth, and not just our own opinions; but loving, holy righteous character being formed in us is of utmost importance to God, so that his family can all dwell together in peace. Following the lead of the Holy Spirit, even when it causes us to have to go contrary to our carnal, selfish, unloving nature we still have in us to some degree, is what is harder to do; and that is what we need most of all.
Now back to the main subject of this booklet: I believe that the next major work of God is going to be the work of the two witnesses of Revelation chapter eleven. We will not have to worry about who they are. God will give them power that will prove to the whole world that they are God’s servants. These men will be given power like Elijah and Moses had to withhold rain for three and one-half years, and to send plagues on this earth to get Israel’s attention and to get this whole world’s attention. These men will be used to show Israel and the Gentiles who is the true God, and who his servants are; that they may learn of them to repent and be prepared to start the new world as a physical nation of Israel and to also have a great multitude of Gentiles from all nations who will also repent and be led by Gods Holy Spirit to start the Gentile nations in the world tomorrow. These people will not be part of the first-fruits that will be born again as Spirit born children of God at Christ’s second coming. God will already have his 144000 first fruits sealed at that time anyway; but they will be led by Christ and his servants “unto fountains of Living waters”, as is said in Revelation Chapter seven; and God will wipe away all their tears for he will teach them a way of life that works. The way of peace, happiness, joy, hope, and this time they will have God’s Holy Spirit in them helping them to live that way. It is our sins that have caused all of our tears, and sorrows in this world. God has awesome things in store for his children who love him! I don’t have many brethren’s address’s, so I plan to put my literature on the Internet, and anyone who desires to, can copy and publish these booklets, but only if they are published in their entirety, and don’t add to them anything, and don’t take away anything from them. This truth should not be distorted or destroyed. I pray that God will protect this truth from wicked men. I Gary Stowers have written this booklet with my own hands-on my computer, for our edification and as is necessary for correction, but out of love for all of us that truly are God’s people in this Laodicean Age. Time is short; let us yield to God as never before I Gary Stowers claim all copyrights to this booklet, as well as all of my literature; but only for the sake of making sure that some evil person doesn’t try and prevent anyone from having access to this truth. I desire that no person or persons can hinder in any way the publications of these booklets, by anyone who desires to publish these booklets, in their entirety, and with no additions to them.
A true friend and witness of God and Christ,