||Day of Atonement
| Lamb || Church
|| Seals || Sealing
|| Judgment || Remnant
|| Legal Case
|| High Priest
| Lamb of God (Seed)
|| Holy Spirit (Water) Comes
|| Children of God named
| Barley Harvest
||Wheat and Grape Harvest
|| Fruit Harvest
||Seven Last Plagues
Revelation is written in the order of the feasts. These are the sequence of significant actions of God in our salvation.
This section of Revelation introduces God as the Passover Lamb who died for His church.
The symbols used involve the church of priests receiving the blessings of the Most Holy Place.
These seven churches existed in Asia minor, which is currently in western Turkey.
Historicist. Verse 19 supports the historicist view that prophecy continues throughout history. John is told to write certain things.
- Past. The persecution of the child in Revelation 12. The ordination of the High Priest in chapters 4 and 5.
- Present. The first church, first seal and persecution of the woman in Revelation 12.
- Future. Most of the book.
He Is Coming
Look, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him;
and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen.
(Revelation 1: 7)
We can see that this a combination of all the righteous who ever lived, some people from the time of the crucifixion, and the wicked who are alive at the Second Coming.
All of those could be there and it does not alter the statement. But let us look at the text as a list that includes all the people of God who will be present at the Second Coming.
- Every Eye. All the people who are living and all the righteous from all time. Even the eyes of the wicked will see Him at the Third Coming.
- Those Who Pierced Him. Zechariah 12: 10 is a prophecy about the conversion of physical Israel in the last days after
God pours out His Spirit. The text says that they will "look upon Me whom they have pierced" and mourn for Him.
The ones who pierced Him could be the promised converted Israel who return to the Messiah in the last days.
We will learn that the wicked will be resurrected after the millennium.
Therefore, this may also be a prophecy about the special resurrection of some of the wicked who were at the crucifixion.
They will see the triumphant return of the one they mocked and ridiculed.
If this is a broad statement about His two comings then this might also be accomplished at the Third Coming when He resurrects all the wicked after He comes with the city.
- All the Tribes Mourn. This imagery also comes from Zechariah 12: 10.
There it is a positive picture of repentance. God saves Israel and fights for them when the nations of the world try to kill them.
This group will also mourn over the firstborn Son that they rejected and the lost 2000 years.
Jesus Our High Priest And Intercessor
As their shepherd, Jesus appears to each church in a form that they need.
He also rewards them with what they have been denied.
We can use two scriptures to show us the duty of a true shepherd.
Then we will show how Jesus performs those duties with each of the seven churches.
Psalm 23 shows us the behavior of a good shepherd.
Ezekiel 34 shows us the behavior of a bad shepherd and wicked sheep.
|Duty ||Psalm 23 ||Ezekiel 34 ||John 10 ||Church ||Month ||Jesus ||Rebuke ||Reward |
|The Good Shepherd ||The Church (The Sheep) |
|Food ||The Lord is my Shepherd || Feed the flock || The Good Shepherd ||Ephesus ||Nisan: Kings ||Seven lamps and stars |
|Lost first love ||Eat from the tree of life|
|I shall not want ||Gives His life |
|Rest, Water ||Rest in green pastures || Strengthen, rest || Finds pasture ||Smyrna ||Ziv: Exodus, oasis in the desert ||Was dead, is alive |
|None ||No second death|
|Calm waters || Life || Eternal life |
|Heal, Teach||Restores the soul ||Heal sick, Bandage the Broken ||Saves, calls sheep by name ||Pergamos||Sivan: Holy Spirit ||Sword |
|Teachings of Balaam. Eat idols food ||White stone, new name, hidden manna|
|Guide ||Paths of righteousness ||Leads, seeks lost || Seeks lost ||Thyatira||Tammuz: Idolatry ||Eyes of flame. |
Searches minds and hearts.
|Jezebel leads astray |
|No Fear in the valley of death. No Fear of evil || Wild beasts || Wolf, thief, stranger, hired hand||Authority over nations. Rod of Iron|
|Rod and Staff comfort || Reassure, Not dominate |
|Bless ||Table prepared || Fruit harvest || Abundant life ||Sardis||Av: Heat, grape harvest, temple destroyed ||Seven Spirits, seven stars |
Table of Shewbread
|Asleep ||White garments. |
Book of Life
|Cup runs over. Anoint with oil || Showers of blessing |
|Goodness, mercy || Covenant || Incense altar|
|Home ||Live in the House of God forever || They are my people || The Door. calls sheep by name ||Philadelphia||Elul: Animal tithe brought to house of God ||Key of David. Door, open and shut. Holy, true |
|None ||Pillar in the temple, never leaves. Name of God, city, Jesus|
| Gather scattered || Other sheep, one flock |
|Judge ||Amen ||Fat sheep are judged ||Doorkeeper. Voice of Shepherd ||Laodicea||Tishrei: Judgment ||Amen, faithful and true witness. Beginning of the creation. |
|Wretched, poor, miserable, blind, naked ||Sit on His Throne|
|Destructive, selfish, greedy sheep |
The duty of the shepherd is to keep the sheep from the ravages of the curse and to carry out the covenant of God.
We also find a division in the emphasis to the churches.
The first four churches emphasize the duties of the shepherd.
The last three emphasize the promise to the sheep.
|The Divisions of the Seven for Judgment|
|# ||Church ||Seal ||Trumpet ||Plagues ||Empires |
|1-4 ||Shepherd ||Horsemen ||Judgment ||People ||First four |
|5-7 ||Sheep ||Wrath ||3 Woes ||Leaders ||Last three |
|4 Empires: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Pagan Rome
3 Empires: Papacy, Papacy fallen, Papacy revived
We find this same artificial division in the seven seals, the seven trumpets, the seven plagues and even the seven heads of the beast empire.
In all these systems, the events follow the pattern of creation.
The first four involve empire building. The last three involves filling the empire.
- Famine. The good shepherd feeds the sheep and gives them fresh water.
- Rest. He gives them peace and safety and rest.
- Heal. He provides for their medical needs.
- Guide. He guides them out of danger and comforts them. He protects them from wild beasts.
From the Psalm we learn that to rule with a rod is a comforting act. It is not an act of punishment, fear and domination.
- Covenant. He provides the blessings of the covenant. Abundance, the Holy Spirit and forgiveness.
- Home. He finds the lost and gathers the scattered into the fold. He finds a permanent home for them.
- Judge. He settles disputes and judges between one sheep and another or between a sheep and a goat.
The Seven Churches
|Ordination||1 ||2 || 3 ||4 ||5 ||6 ||7|
|Ephesus ||Smyrna ||Pergamos ||Thyatira ||Sardis ||Philadelphia ||Laodicea |
|Judah ||Issachar ||Zebulun ||Reuben ||Simeon ||Gad ||Dan /Joseph|
|Judah ||Reuben ||Ephraim ||Manasseh ||Naphtali ||Asher ||Dan|
|Nisan ||Ziv ||Sivan ||Tammuz ||Av ||Elul ||Tishrei
|White Horse ||Red Horse ||Black Horse ||Pale Horse ||Martyrs ||Signs ||Silence
Dark Day (1780)
Stars fall (1833)
|1844 || Judgment ||Second |
|Ezekiel's Vision of Israel|
|Judgment of the King of the North |
|Babylon Judged |
History of the Seven Churches
(The Falling Away)
|Dan||Church Comes out of Babylon |
|The Man of Sin Restrained ||Temple ||The Man of Sin Revealed |
|Five Other Tribes|
|First Coming||-||Second Coming|
The Angels Of The Seven Churches
As for the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands:
The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.
(Revelation 1: 20)
The word angel means "messenger".
They are the trumpets that announce the coming of the church at the beginning of the month.
They are the stars that guide the church in the darkness, even when there is no moon.
Therefore, the seven stars are probably the major prophets assigned to each church.
We will look at history to guess who these people might have been.
They must be brave souls who fearlessly spread the word of God.
The stars are the prophets and the lamps are people in the church and the moon is the church.
The Vision Of Ezekiel
We also find an amazing similarity between the seven tribes that are north of the temple in the land distribution of Ezekiel's vision.
The names of the sons, the blessings of Israel and the blessings of Moses all point to certain characteristics of different phases of the church and they also prophesy about the different phases of the final week in the life of Jesus.
The lesson on the twelve tribes explains these prophecies.
The vision of Ezekiel is about the temple that exists after the crucifixion until the Second Coming. It prophesies about Christ's interaction with the church as their High Priest from His inauguration after the resurrection until He comes back again.
They represent a contrast between what the churches are supposed to be and what they have become.
The churches begin with a tribe that is closest to the sanctuary and as they move north and further away from the sanctuary they become more corrupted until they reach the territory of Babylon, the king of the north who will be judged for corrupting the church.
The Legal Marching Order Of The Tribes
The marching order of the tribes in Numbers 10 shows how the tribes should leave on their exodus and how the sanctuary and its furnishings should be handled during the exodus.
We will compare this legal marching order to the one that might have occurred after Christ. Essentially, the church went astray from the order. Only Christ seems to have followed the order and He had to rebuke the church that went astray.
||Ark of the Covenant
|| Sons of Levi
|| Holy Objects |
|Angel ||Jesus ||Ephesus ||Sanctuary Destroyed ||Thyatira ||Sanctuary Restored ||Laodicea |
In the lesson below we will use the following symbols.
This symbol represents the path they were supposed to follow by law as illustrated above.
This symbol represents the detour path that they actually walked according to Ezekiel.
This symbol represents what happened to the message of the covenant (sanctuary, law and priests).
The words mean "head of the month".
In ancient times, Rosh Chodesh was a significant festival day. At that time, the new months were determined by observation. Each month began when the first sliver of moon became visible after the dark of the moon. Observers would watch the sky at night for any sign of the moon.
If they saw the moon, they would report their sightings to the Sanhedrin, which would interrogate at least two witnesses to make sure that they were not mistaken.
The day after the moon appeared was a festival, announced with the sounding of the shofar
Source: Judaism 101 - Rosh Chodesh
Rosh Chodesh: The Seven New Moons
While the stars represent the prophets, the moon represents the church.
There are seven new moons between Nisan and Tishri, the first and the seventh month.
They represent the seven last churches from Passover to the month of Tabernacles or the time of First Coming to the Second Coming.
Since the length of a month is variable, the new moon was determined by observation, not the passage of time.
So it is with the fulfillment of the prophecy. We know that a new phase of the church has begun after a period of great darkness and the first sign of light from the church appears.
But we do not know how long that phase of the church will exist.
The Phases of the Moon.
The Moon represents the church which shines by reflecting the light of God, the Sun.
So we will also look at the phases of the moon to determine what the church is doing and how it is spreading the light of God to the world that is darkened by sin.
|New Moon||Crescent Moon ||First Quarter ||Full Moon ||Last Quarter
- The Trumpet.
The law requires the celebration of the new moon by blowing the shofar (trumpet) on the first day.
This validates the Adventist interpretation that the prophecy of the seven trumpets parallel the prophecy of the seven churches.
- New Moon ("Molad"). The church is obscured in darkness, either by apostasy or persecution.
This is also the only time when a solar eclipse can occur when the Sun is blocked by the Moon. This is a state of complete darkness. The church does exist but the light from God is blocked by the church itself. So in effect there is no functioning church in existence.
- Crescent Moon. The day after the new moon, the first sliver of light appears. This is when the Jewish month begins. The church is beginning to shed light in the dark world.
- First Quarter. More light from the church shines.
- Full Moon. This is the time when the church is giving the full light of the gospel to the world.
This is also the only time when a lunar eclipse can occur. So while the Holy Spirit is shining brightly in the church, the efforts can be eclipsed by the shadow of persecution and sin in the earth.
- Last Quarter. The church is losing its light.
Originally, the months were numbered, but after the Babylonian captivity they were named.
Names have significant meaning in the Bible, however we cannot be certain that these heathen names were meaningful.
But we will look at important events that occurred in each month and the phases of the moon to determine what was occurring in the church.
|Nisan ||Ziv (Iyar)
||Av ||Elul ||Tishrei
|Passover ||Census, Flood||Pentecost
||Law broken||Temple destroyed ||Animal Tithe
||Rosh Hashanah ||Yom Kippur ||Tabernacles
|Grain Harvest||Grape Harvest||Olive Harvest|
The Church: Jews and Gentiles. It is also our position that it was the will of God that the Jewish and Gentile church separate for a while, but that both are His church.
So the message to the churches must include the Jews of each era.
1. Ephesus (False Apostles)
The Church of Ephesus represents the early Apostolic Church. 31 AD to the second century.
- Jesus The Good Shepherd Feeds Us.
The one who holds the seven stars in His right hand, the one who walks among the seven golden lampstands ...
(Revelation 2: 1)
Jesus became our High Priest after His ascension.
He immediately comes to His church as the shepherd who walks among them.
He sends messengers and helpers, but they abandon their duties and do not feed the sheep.
The Lord is My Shepherd, I shall not want.
(Psalm 23: 1)
I will feed them in a good pasture, and their grazing ground will be on the mountain heights of Israel.
There, they will lie down on good grazing ground and feed in rich pasture on the mountains of Israel.
"I will feed My flock and I will lead them to rest", says the Lord.
(Ezekiel 34: 14-15)
The offerings to God were used as food for the priests.
- The Symbols.
As to the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands; the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.
(Revelation 1: 20)
The seven lamps are the churches and the seven stars are the angels or messengers.
Although Daniel 10: 12-14 shows that real angels are messengers. They probably communicate to the prophets who are the messengers who actually communicate to the churches.
We see that this church tests its messengers because there are some who are trying to deceive them.
The threat of false apostolic authority at Ephesus is identified as the
works of the Nicolaitans. (Revelation 2: 6)
|Jesus: The Lamp and the Stars|
This church would be a light to the world.
Jesus appears with light from heaven and earth.
The Nicolaitans are those like Balaam who "plot" to "deceive" and overthrow the early Christian Church by the deception of false apostolic authority.
- The Nicolaitans are identified with Balaam in the church of Pergamum, (Revelation 2: 14)
- Balaam was an ancient prophet who lured God's people into paganism. (Numbers 25)
- The word Nicolaitan is found in the ancient Aramaic Translation Onkelos in Numbers 25: 18 of the Balaam story.
Speaking of Balaam:
for they harassed you with their schemes (NIKLAHON in the Aramaic) by which they seduced you in the matter of Peor and in the matter of Cozbi, the daughter of a leader of Midian, their sister, who was killed in the day of the plague because of Peor. (Numbers 25: 18)
The Aramaic Niklahon, the source of the Greek word Nicolaitan, comes from the Hebrew word Nakal.
Nakal means to "deceive," "to plot," or to be "crafty." (Brown Driver Brigs Hebrew Lexicon., page 647. )
» The Marcionite Heresy.
Marcion was a rich man who lived around 140-144 during the time of the Bar Kohkbah revolution when the Christian and Jewish churches split.
He hated the Jews and their scriptures and he hated the God of the Old Testament teaching that this was a tyrant who was different from Jesus.
He believed that the gospels should be stripped of all Judaism.
He discarded all the New Testament except ten chapters of Luke and some of Paul's letters.
He even paid a church to help him rewrite Luke but they threw him out and he set out to write his own scriptures.
Many false scriptures began to appear after this.
The Marcionite beliefs are a direct precurser to the Gnostics.
- The Church. The church after Pentecost was filled with the Holy Spirit.
- The Angel (Messenger). This was probably Paul. He was the principal messenger to the Gentiles.
- The Rebuke. They lost their first love. The faithful, betrothed wife is becoming a harlot and goes whoring after strangers. The sheep no longer hear the shepherd and they are following the voice of strangers.
They will also lose their lamp if they do not repent.
So we find that by the time of the third church and the third seal, the church is in darkness.
The black horse rides. Why? The third church lost their lamp because they fell into the apostasy that the first church avoided.
They adopted the teachings of the Nicolaitans.
When the church left its first love, a part of this must be separation from Judaism and the reproach placed on the God in the Old Testament.
Judah ("Praise the Lord").
Judah is the tribe closest to the sanctuary and closest to the truth.
This represents Christ, who is the good Shepherd from the tribe of Judah, coming to Jerusalem on His final mission. The people loved Him and praised Him and wanted to make Him king.
Ephesus lost their first love, just as the Jews quickly lost their love of Jesus and crucified Him five days after they hailed Him as their king.
Judah. This was the only tribe that followed the exodus plan.
- The Praise. The early church is still zealous and they test their leaders.
- The Reward. The Shepherd feeds them from the Tree of Life.
- The Punishment. Their lamp will be removed.
- The Seals. This is the conquering church on the white horse.
- Month 1: Nisan (History and Meaning).
This is the month for counting the reign of kings, Passover, exodus and bringing in the barley harvest.
This is the month that the church began under the reign of Christ.
The symbols are best represented in this prophecy. The church of Ephesus is the moon depicted in this prophecy about the woman that gives birth to Jesus and was ruled by the twelve disciples.
"And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.
(Revelation 12: 1)
- Passover. Jesus died as the Passover Lamb of God.
- Barley harvest Begins. This is the resurrection of the firstfruits from the dead earth.
- Reign of a New King.
Nissan 1 is the new year for the purpose of counting the reign of kings and months on the calendar.
Jesus is the King of Kings who came to Jerusalem on a donkey. He was praised and accepted as the King of the Jews.
He also died with this title above His head and was resurrected with the first fruits.
Then He went to heaven to be inaugurated as High Priest and King during Nisan.
- Early Rain. The Holy Spirit was sent to the church at Pentecost.
|Roman Occupation||Birth||Youth ||3½ Year Ministry ||Crucifixion||3½ Year Ministry ||Disciples Martyred
- The Trumpet.
John the Baptist was "the voice crying in the wilderness" announcing the Messiah.
- New Moon ("Molad"). The world was under Roman occupation at the time of Tiberias Caesar and the Jews were being governed by Herod. It was a time of great moral darkness.
- Crescent Moon. This is the world in which Jesus was born. His early years are shrouded in mystery but we know that He slowly became a light to the nation.
- First Quarter. This was the three and a half year ministry of Christ to the Jews.
- Full Moon. This is the crucifixion. Christ was the one faithful Jew or human on the face of the earth.
Even in His death, He was the light shining in the darkness.
- Last Quarter. This was the three and a half year ministry of the disciples to the Jews which began with Pentecost.
Afterwards the Gospel went to the Gentiles and their influence faded as the disciples died. Then heretics like Marcion came and split the church and tried to destroy its Hebrew roots.
| The Resurrected Jesus|
This church would suffer martyrdom.
Jesus appears as the one who conquered death.
2. Smyrna (Persecution And Apostasy From Without)
The church of Smyrna represents the church under the pagan Roman persecutions around the time of Diocletian.
The third to fourth century.
- Jesus The Good Shepherd Gives Rest And Water.
The first and the last, who was dead and has come to life.
(Revelation 2: 8)
He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside quiet waters.
(Psalm 23: 2)
I am the door, if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.
(John 10: 9)
Thieves and Robbers.
This church existed during the red horse of persecution.
During this period the false leaders started to compromise with the government to avoid persecution.
For the church that is under the penalty of death, Jesus comes as one who has conquered death and will resurrect them and will give them eternal life.
The laver provided clean water, to symbolize the Holy Spirit who gives us rest from sin by cleansing us.
- The Symbols.
The symbols involve conquering the sleep of death.
Jesus is the Living One, the first and the last and the alpha and the omega. He is the one who was dead and is alive.
The one who is, who was and is to come. He is the Firstborn of the dead who has the keys of death and Hades.
The shepherd gives rest to the sheep in the pasture. Yet, he also brings life to those who rest in the sleep of death.
This is why he rules life and death.
While turbulent waters represent the wicked living, dew and calm waters represent the life of the righteous.
Dew and baptism also represent resurrection to life.
The Good Shepherd gives rest and life.
And He can resurrect from the sleep of death.
- The Church. This church was under attack from outside forces. These were the Roman government and the thieves and robbers who were already at work in the church.
- The Angel (Messenger).
There were many martyrs and people who were tortured in this period.
- Sebastian. A fearless man who stood up to the emperor and was martyred twice!
- Origen. Some martyrs were even teachers of false doctrine like Origen, the bishop of Alexandria.
So it is difficult to find one who spread the pure word of God.
At one point even the disciples were misguided. So perhaps the messenger of God was one who encouraged the people to remain faithful.
- Pamphilus . He was one who promoted the teachings of Origen and established a library, but he also corrected false copies of the Old Testament.
(Fox's book of martyrs. Chapter 2)
- Tertullian (162-224). A bishop of Carthage who accepted the teachings of the Montanists. They seemed to be a revival movement that have been labeled as heretics.
- Christians of Phrygia.
A great massacre of Christians started in the year 302 in the city of Phrygia. Their church was burned to the ground killing everyone.
- The Rebuke. There was no rebuke, only a warning that there were some who were pretending to be from God but were working for Satan.
The infiltration of the church had begun and by the time of the next church they would begin to destroy the church from within.
Reuben ("Afflicted, Turbulent Waters, Lost Preeminence"). This represents the first born Jewish church that lost preeminence in favor of the Gentiles when they rejected Christ.
Jesus recognizes their affliction and poverty and addresses them as having Jews among them who could not be true Jews because they do not behave like Abraham. He would not have rejected Christ.
Reuben can soothe his turbulent waters by receiving rest by the quiet waters of the Good Shepherd.
» The First and the Last. Reuben was the first who lost preeminence and became the last.
Issachar (Burden Bearer). They were suppossed to gladly bear the burden imposed by the Roman yoke.
- The Praise.
Christ offers eternal life to those who are faithful under persecution even to Death. (Revelation 2: 10)
- The Reward. Although they are hurt by the first death in persecution, they will not be hurt by the second death because He has conquered both the first and second death and has the keys to death and Hades (the second death). Satan is not in control of hell.
- The Punishment. None. The Jews are also not punished because God will try to appeal to them in the last days.
- The Seals. This is the red horse of persecution.
- Month 2: Ziv (History and Meaning).
The barley harvest ends in this month, but the wheat harvest is ripening.
This is the month that Moses took the first census in the second year of the exodus. The ark was closed on the tenth and the flood began on the seventeenth.
It is the month of sadness and waiting during the 49 days of counting the omer until God reveals Himself on Sinai, but they find an oasis in the desert.
The initial evidence and triumphs of the church are no longer recognized.
|Gnostics||Mishnah||Mishnah ||Monatists ||Christian Martyrs||Diocletian Persecution ||Paganism
- The Trumpet.
It is difficult to find one shining star in this period. One possible person was Monatus who is consistently labeled as a heretic and the vast majority of information is from their critics.
However, unlike other "heretics", the negative labels that are used did not address the fundamental question of what they taught about God.
They were an orthodox prophetic movement who claimed direct revelation from God, spoke in tongues, the bible only, abstained from certain foods, had high standards of behavior, some were vegetarian, did not drink wine and had female prophetesses, Prisca (Pricilla) and Maximilla.
They believed in preparing for the coming Judgment, return of Christ and the millennial age by fasting.
That sounded like the followers of Christ.
He probably has some errors in his beliefs, but so did the disciples while Jesus was still among them!
So, looking at the general things the movement taught, they concentrated on the prophecy of Revelation, repentance and the coming kingdom of God.
They encouraged the people to live simply like the disciples and their movement spread over a great area.
Centered in Phrygia it spread to Rome, Asia, Constantinople and North Africa. They influence continued until the sixth century.
- New Moon ("Molad"). The Gnostic heresy.
- Crescent Moon. To preserve Judaism, Rabbi Judah wrote their oral traditions in the Mishnah. The Christians were also preserving the letters of the apostles.
- First Quarter. The Monatist movement spreads, and Tertullian became a convert.
- Full Moon. The Monatists attempted to bring the church back to its state of primitive godliness. They were persecuted and outlawed as heretics.
- Last Quarter. The church started to separate itself from all things Jewish and accept Pagan customs.
- The Fulfillment (Ten Years of Persecution).
Emperor Diocetian consulted with the oracle of the sun god Apollo at Miletus in Asia Minor before beginning the persecution.
The Church of Smyrna experienced intense persecution for "ten days".
(Revelation 2: 10)
Using the Year for a Day principle, this corresponds to the ten years of Roman persecution
under Diocetian in 303 and ended with "the Edict of Milan in 313 AD" under the leadership of Constantine the Great.
(Averil Cameron, The Later Roman Empire, page 45.)
Speaking of the Great Persecution of 303 to 313 AD:
"... in the words of Tertullian, the "blood of Christians is seed." [Infuriated by a period of brief tolerance in which the church prospered, anger arose from pagans] "such as Plotinus's pupil Porphyry, whose work against the Christians attacked them with unprecedented ferocity. And Porphyry's friends were among the instigators of the Great Persecution that followed in 303 AD. It was launched by Diocletian ... the aim of these arch-regimenters was the total extermination of Christianity. It was the struggle to the death between one faith and the other, the older and the new."
Speaking of a massacre at Phrygia, the historian Gibbon Writes:
"The first of Diocletian's edicts forbade all assemblies of Christians for purposes of worship and ordered the destruction of their churches and sacred books. Then further edicts in the eastern provinces commanded that the clergy, unless they sacrificed to the gods of the state, should be placed under arrest. Next, a fourth proclamation extended the requirement to every member of the Christian church (304)"
(Michael Grant, History of Rome, pages 404-405.)
"On their [the Roman's] approach the citizens threw themselves into the church, with the resolution of defending...that sacred edifice or of perishing in its ruins. They ... rejected the notice and the permission that was given them to retire, till the soldiers, provoked ... set fire to the buildings on all sides, and consumed, by this extraordinary kind of martyrdom, a great number of Phrygians, with their wives and children.
(Edward Gibbon, Fall and Decline of the Roman Empire,
Chapter 16, Volume 1, page 229.)
3. Pergamum (Persecution And Apostasy From Within)
The church of Pergamum represents the church of the apostasy around the time of Constantine the Great.
The fourth to fifth centuries.
| Jesus has a Two-Edged Sword|
This church would fall into apostasy and neglect the word of God.
Jesus appears as the one with the word of God in the form of a sharp double edged sword.
- Jesus The Good Shepherd Heals And Teaches.
... The one who has the sharp two-edged sword ...
(Revelation 2: 12)
He restores my soul. He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.
(Psalm 23: 3)
Jesus also takes care of our spiritual health. He restores our soul.
The priest is the shepherd who can enter into the sanctuary.
- The Symbols. Jesus has a sharp two-edged sword coming out of His mouth which is set in a face shining as bright as the sun.
The symbol is the sword of the spirit which is the Word of God and the light of God.
During this dark period, the church would be under spiritual danger.
It would be attacked from within by apostasy. The Gospel would be their only light.
The altar of Zeus, the chief god, was located in Pergamum, making this city a symbol of the false god.
Satan's throne is now Rome. During this time the synagogue of Satan had received a throne.
Constantine was beginning to give civil power to the church and they would later get the entire city.
The meaning of the name Antipas.
"ANTI" - means "against."
"PAS" - Greek root for "Father."
The Latin equivalent is "PAPAS."
The English is "Pope".
ANTIPAS means "Against the Pope", "Against the fathers" or "Against the Papacy".
Apostasy among Leaders.
Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come unless the rebellion comes first and the lawless one is revealed, the one destined for destruction. He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, declaring himself to be God. Do you not remember that I told you these things when I was still with you? And you know what is now restraining him, so that he may be revealed when his time comes. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work, but only until the one who now restrains it is removed. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will destroy with the breath of his mouth, annihilating him by the manifestation of his coming.
(2 Thessalonians 2: 3-8)
He tried to curse Israel and lure them into paganism and idolatry.
- The Church. This is the church that formally went into apostasy and immorality by joining the state.
- The Angel (Messenger). There may have been a real person named Antipas who stood up as God's witness. (Revelation 2: 13)
- The Rebuke. The Nicolaitans have won. The first church was warned about their doctrines.
Their lamp would be removed if they accepted those teachings.
Apostasy has extinguished the light of the Word of God.
Manasseh ("Make Me Forget").
The church of Pergamum forgets the laws of God and falls into apostasy.
Zebulun (Gift). They had the gift of the Holy Spirit as the sword of God to assist them in this time of false teachings.
The sanctuary was disassembled after this church.
- The Praise. He praises the courageous who are faithful during open apostasy.
- The Reward. Hidden manna, white stone with a new name. They would eat from the bread of life and be identified with God through their righteous name.
There are two hidden manna in the Jewish tradition, both represent a source of eternal life hidden under the Shekinah glory of God.
Once we take the word of God and pierce the veil of light, we will find what is hidden.
This reverses what seems to have occurred at the gates of Eden. The angel with the sword seems to stand in our way to prevent entry into the Garden of Eden and the Tree of Life (Genesis 3: 24).
- Jar of Manna. This is the sample of the manna from the exodus that was hidden in the Ark of the covenant.
- Broken Bread (Afikoman). This is the hidden portion of the broken bread that is eaten with the fourth cup of Passover.
It represents the divinity of Christ.
- The Punishment. He will make war with the sword of His mouth.
- The Seals. This is the black horse of apostasy that extinguishes the light of God and dulls the sword.
- Month 3: Sivan (History and Meaning).
Pentecost occured in this month and the wheat harvest first fruit began.
The Torah was given on mount Sinai as God sat on His throne. The flood rains ended on day 27.
The Holy Spirit is the one with the sword. He was given during this month.
|Barbarians||Rome converts||Freedom of Religion ||Christianity Spread ||Church-State Union ||Paganism
- The Trumpet.
Since this is the age of apostasy, the best we can prove is the light that was allowed to shine. Rome converted to Christianity.
However, this triumph of Christianity would be disastrous for the next church because the gains the church made in this era was at the cost of the purity of the religion.
We conquered by being conquered when we adopted Paganism.
- New Moon ("Molad"). Roman persecution of the church and Barbarian incursions against the empire.
- Crescent Moon. Rome accepts Christianity after Emperor Constantine Converts.
- First Quarter. After Constantine accepted Christianity, the church had the freedom to operate.
- Full Moon. The church had greater influence over the state.
- Last Quarter. The state began to merge with the church and corrupted it and filled it with violence.
- The Fulfillment. Christianity merged with Paganism under Constantine.
It is an eerie model of the sequence of efforts we see today to unite church and state or have the state support the church.
Christ is One of Several Gods (New Age Fusion and Political Correctness). For him Christ may have rated as a god along with other gods, and the professors of Christ's religion along with the servants of the pagan deities. We shall not deny the possibility that Constantine developed a kind of superstition in favor of Christ, and that he may even have brought that name into some kind of confused relationship with the sun-god."
Persecution to enforce the state religion was the natural outcome of these events.
(Jacob, Burckhardt, The Age of Constantine, page 295.)
Supported Both Religions (Faith Based Initiatives and School Vouchers). A great inconsistency in Constantine's outward bearing persists; he accepts the monogram of Christ as the emblem of his army and has the name of Jupiter on his triumphal arch erased, but at the same time he retains the old gods on his coins, and especially the sun-god as his unconquerable companion, and on important occasions his outward conduct is entirely pagan....he wished to give direct guarantees to both religions, and he was powerful enough to maintain a twofold position."
(Jacob, Burckhardt, The Age of Constantine, page 296.)
Common Day of Worship For Pagans and Christians (Sunday Laws and Blasphemy Laws). At times he tried to find basically neutral expressions for religious practices which Christians and pagans alike should observe. Of this character is the common Sunday and the common Pater Noster. He taught all armies zealously to honor the Lord's Day, which is also called the day of light and of the sun....the pagans too were required to go forth into an open field on Sunday, and together to raise their hands, and recite a prayer by heart to God as giver of all victory:"
(Jacob, Burckhardt, The Age of Constantine, page 298.)
Constructed Temples For Both Religions (The Tabernacle of Idolatry). It is precisely in the last decade of his life that Constantine gives certain very plain indication of un-Christian, even of directly pagan, sympathies. While he and his mother were ornamenting Palestine and the large cities of the Empire with magnificent churches, he was also building pagan temples in the new Constantinople...At the consecration of the city certain occult pagan practices were demonstrably celebrated; the solemnities involved superstitions of all sorts, which later writers vainly seek to identify with Christian worship.
(Jacob, Burckhardt, The Age of Constantine, page 302.)
Church and State Unite (Babylon the Great). Constantine found the clergy already so suitably organized for power ... he therefore gave the clergy every possible guarantee of favor, even as far as a sort of participation in rule, and in return the clergy were the most devoted agents for spreading his power, and completely ignored the fact that he still stood with one foot in paganism and that his hands were over and again stained with blood."
(Jacob, Burckhardt, The Age of Constantine, page 306.)
Corruption (The Abomination of Desolation). About this time the organization of the Church already showed the beginnings of a regular hierarchy. To be sure, the choice of spiritual leaders ... came more and more to be distinguished from the laity as clergy. Distinctions arose among the bishops according to the position of the their cities and with particular consideration for the apostolic foundation of certain congregations. The synods, which were convened for many various reasons, served to unite the bishops as a higher rank. Among the bishops themselves serious degeneration becomes apparent as early as the third century. We find many of them sunk in worldly pomp, as Roman officials, as merchants, even as usurers.
(Jacob, Burckhardt, The Age of Constantine, pages 126-127.)
4. Thyatira (The Church During The 1260 Years)
The Church of Thyatira represents the apostate Roman Catholic Church of the Middle Ages from 538 to 1798.
This church suffered from a lack of guidance and sunk into deeper apostasy.
| King Jesus is the Fire|
This church would suffer martyrdom and severe persecution.
Jesus appears as the one in charge of fire. He has burnished feet and eyes like flame.
This reminds the church that would be burned alive in the flames of the inquisition that
God is fire and He cannot be burned up. And, He will be a consuming fire to those who are persecuting his church.
Jesus also rewards them with the throne of kings. They would rule nations.
These are the powerless people who suffered under the iron-fisted rule of kings, nobles and priests.
- Jesus The Good Shepherd Is Our Guide.
... He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil for you are with me. Your rod and your staff they comfort me.
(Psalm 23: 3-4)
Jesus is the guide, who walks the paths with hard bronze feet and lights the way with eyes of flame and the morning star.
He not only searches the land for the scattered and lost, He searches the hearts and minds to find the good and remove the bad.
Jezebel is luring the church from the paths of righteousness into immorality and idolatry.
... Look, I Myself will search for my sheep and seek them out.
As a shepherd cares for his herd in the day when he is among his scattered sheep, so will I care for My sheep and will deliver them from all
the places to which they were scattered on a cloudy and gloomy day.
(Ezekiel 34: 11-12)
This cloudy and gloomy day was the days of the pale horse of apostasy.
The Menorah is a symbol of light from the word of God which guides us through the darkness of sin.
- The Symbols. The symbols used for this church demonstrate this link between the shepherd and the church.
Jesus is the shepherd that guides the church through perilous times. His eyes are like flames.
They light the way and allow Him to see clearly. He has the morning star as a reward, giving them more light to guide them.
He also has feet of bronze. He can travel the winding paths with his tough feet to search for the scattered and the lost.
His shepherd's rod and staff become a rod of iron to rule the nations.
- The Church. The church of Thyatira is the church that lost their way under the guidance of Jezebel.
For 1260 years they have been scattered and lost in the wilderness. During this time they were hunted by wild beasts as the church convinced the state and its people to persecute them.
- The Angel (Messenger). There were so many reformers, and Martin Luther stands out as a role model.
But John Wycliffe did more because he translated the bible into English. He was called "the morning star of the reformation".
His body was dug up and burned as a heretic 41 years after his death (1324-1384).
The Lollards were followers of Wycliffe and many went on to start reformation movements and also became martyrs.
- The Rebuke. While Jesus guides the sheep in the right path, Jezebel is a false prophetess who misleads them into apostasy.
"But I have this against you: you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet and is teaching and beguiling my servants to practice fornication and to eat food sacrificed to idols"
(Revelation 2: 20)
In ancient Israel, Jezebel was the queen who killed the prophets and lured the nation into idolatry.
"And as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, he took as his wife Jezebel daughter of King Ethbaal of the Sidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshipped him."
(1 Kings 16: 31)
Dan ("Serpent"). The persecuting church is Jezebel. Like Dan, they will not be saved.
When the command to "prophesy again" is being carried out, this church surfaces again.
This is a promise to the church that is being slaughtered during the persecution that they will be fruitful in numbers and in the character of God.
Sanctuary Destroyed/Disassembled. The roof and sanctuary were taken down and moved by Gershon and Merari before the fourth tribe.
This is a perfect description of what happened to the church in this time. Knowledge of God was lost during this church and they were scattered and oppressed by persecution.
Reuben (Life! Not Death!). For this Church Jesus appears as the son who lost preeminence and was dead but is now alive and the blessing of God is that "Reuben would live and not die".
- Gershon (Ceiling). The "little horn" first removed the stars and the place of God was torn down.
- Merari (Building). Then it cast down the church on earth.
- The Praise. The love and faith and service of the church who did not submit to Satan were praised.
- The Reward. They receive authority over the nations, over the wild beasts that once pursued them.
They receive the morning star, a light to guide them.
Like the shepherd with a rod, they will rule the nations with a rod of iron.
- The Punishment. They received the curse of disease and tribulation.
This is the same punishment giving during the fourth seal.
During this period, the plague killed one third of Europe and the region was constantly at war.
- The Seals. This corresponds to the time of the fourth seal from 538 to 1798. The pale horse of apostasy.
During the fourth seal, the people were killed with the sword, famine, disease and wild beasts.
This vulnerability to wild beasts is a result of no guidance.
... surely because my flock has become a prey, My flock has become food for all the beasts of the field for lack of a shepherd
and My shepherds did not search for My flock, but the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock.
(Ezekiel 34: 8)
Savage Wolves Lead the Church.
And now I know that none of you, among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom, will ever see my face again. Therefore I declare to you this day that I am not responsible for the blood of any of you, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God. Keep watch over yourselves and over all the flock, of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God that he obtained with the blood of his own Son. I know that after I have gone, savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Some even from your own group will come distorting the truth in order to entice the disciples to follow them. Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to warn everyone with tears.
(Acts 20: 25-31)
- Month 4: Tammuz (History and Meaning).
The month was named after an abomination because the events of the month were an abomination. Tammuz was the Babylonian God of life and death and was a kind of Antichrist, copying the attributes of Christ. This is a symbol of their idolatry.
Moses returned with the first set of commandments on day 17 and found them worshipping a golden calf. He broke the commandments.
After the siege of Nebuchadnezzar, he breached the walls of Jerusalem on this day.
This is the crime of this church. They broke the covenant and the ten commandments. They committed idolatry and brought the Antichrist to power.
|Papacy||John Wyclif||Renaissance ||Reformers ||Protestants||Counter-Reformation ||French Revolution
- The Trumpet.
The period began with legalized apostasy with the Code of Justinian defining the leadership of the church in 529.
The true church was probably hidden. The only positive development was the completion of the Babylonian Talmud.
- New Moon ("Molad"). The world was filled with superstition, fear, violence, wars, disasters, disease and ignorance about God. Under Papal rule, the people did not study the word of God as required by the SHEMA.
Islam killed the eastern part of the church, while Rome martyred the west.
- Crescent Moon. John Wyclif and others started spreading the Gospel.
- First Quarter. The Renaissance brought new ways of thinking in religion and science as knowledge increased.
- Full Moon. The period was very bloody and dark with apostasy and idolatry (spiritual adultery with Jezebel). So this time can only be described as an eclipsed moon or a blood moon. Lunar eclipses only occur during a full moon. The church gave its life through millions of martyrs
- Last Quarter. The counter-reformation efforts of the church helped to hinder the progress of the Reformation.
The cruelty also led to the French Revolution which brought about a permanent wave of atheism and secularism and finally communism.
- The Fulfillment. This is the 1260 year period of the domination of the Roman church (538-1798).
| Seven Spirits and Seven Stars|
This church would start a reformation and then fall asleep.
Jesus appears as the one who has the light of the gospel and the life giving Spirit to
wake up the church.
5. Sardis (The Post Reformation Church)
The church of Sardis represents the sleeping church after the Reformation period from
the sixteenth century to the end.
- Jesus The Good Shepherd Keeps The Covenant.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You have anointed my head with oil, my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life ...
(Psalm 23: 5-6)
At the table of shewbread is the meal of God and at the altar of incense we find mercy because God hears us.
- The Symbols. The Seven Spirits of God is the Holy Spirit sent to the seven churches. It is not seven separate spirits. He is modeled after the menorah which was made of one continuous piece of gold molded into seven branches. Just as the spirit of God gives life to every living creature, the one Spirit gives life to each church as it emerges.
The Holy Spirit is represented as coming as a flow of water as a gift from Christ at His death.
This is why the seven Spirits are also represented as the seven eyes of the Lamb.
These eyes are both a well of flowing tears and flames of fire in a lamp (the eyes). Fire and water represent the Holy Spirit.
And I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth.
(Revelation 5: 6)
Out from the throne came flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder. And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.
(Revelation 4: 5)
- The Church. This is the sleeping church. They believe that they are alive but they are dead.
This is the death of sleep. Like the five foolish virgins they fell asleep and made no preparation for the coming of the Bridegroom.
If they remain asleep, He will catch them unprepared just like a thief.
- The Angel (Messenger). Martin Luther and his message, "The Just shall live by faith!"
- The Rebuke. Sardis has a reputation of being alive, but she is dead. Her works are unfinished before God.
Sardis's works are not perfect before God.
Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is on the point of death, for I have not found your works perfect in the sight of my God.
(Revelation 3: 2)
Naphtali ("Loose Doe"). This represents the resurrection of Christ.
This church is supposed to be alive because they have been resurrected and set free from error, but they are actually dead.
The church of the reformation was hated like Simeon. He did not receive a blessing at the end of the exodus.
His dead and sleeping state may have attributed to this.
- The Praise.
A few in Sardis have not soiled their garments. Some have the truth and understand that righteousness by faith is our white robe..
(Revelation 3: 4)
- The Reward (Sealing). It is centered around the rituals of Yom Kippur.
We will have white garments and our names will not be erased from the Book of Life and Jesus confesses our name before the Father.
This references the time of Judgment and sealing after 1844 when God is erasing names from this Book.
- The Punishment. He will come like a thief and catch them unprepared.
From this, and the warning in the sixth seal, we know that those with the characteristics of Sardis will be alive until the end of time.
- The Seals. Here we have a contrast of opposites when we compare the fifth seal and the fifth church.
The martyrs who are in the sleep of the first death want to wake up.
But the church who should be awake is asleep.
God sends the signs of the sixth seal to wake up the church.
- Month 5: Av (Ab) (History and Meaning).
The destruction of both temples occurred on the ninth of Av. It is a time of mourning.
This was the time of the grape harvest and summer heat.
More martyrs were killed in this period than any other because of the efforts to stop the reformation.
The heat and the grape harvest are symbols of the persecution and the blood of the martyrs.
In this period the false temple of the Antichrist would fall because of the French Revolution which gave a deadly wound to the church.
|Inquisition||Luther||Knowledge Increases ||First Great Awakening ||New lands ||Secularism
- The Trumpet. Martin Luther, Zwingli, John Knox and John Calvin were the major reformers.
- New Moon ("Molad"). The world was engulfed in darkness under the iron hand of the Roman church and the governments it controlled.
The church launched the inquisition as a method to fight the doctrines of the emerging churches.
- Crescent Moon. Bibles began to be translated and printed and people read the sacred scriptures.
- First Quarter. Religious and scientific knowledge was increasing at a fast pace.
- Full Moon.
The first Great Awakening occurred as many churches split off from the Roman church when great leaders began to study the Bible.
The great signs in the sky occurred during this period as the church was emerging from the darkness with its new found freedoms.
God opened a way outside the cesspool of Europe with new lands where the church could practice religious freedom.
- Last Quarter. America opened up to absorb many who were fleeing persecution. The church scattered all over the world.
The period ended with the fruit of the French Revolution destroying the church. Communism, atheism and secularism grew more.
- The Fulfillment.
By the time of the sixth plague Jesus has a warning to this church.
Look, I am coming as a thief, blessed is the one who stays awake ... (Revelation 16: 15)
Sardis did not complete the reformation. Instead they are being lulled to sleep
by the Ecumenical Movement.
They are warned to wake up and strengthen their beliefs.
6. Philadelphia (The Loving Church With The Open Door)
The name Philadelphia in Greek means "brotherly love."
The church of Philadelphia represents the loving Christians of the Adventist movement, that depend upon Christ
from 1844 to the End.
- Jesus The Good Shepherd Is The Door To The House Of God.
... And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
(Psalm 23: 6)
The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
(John 10: 10)
The torn veil is the way open to the kingdom of God. The body of Christ was torn to open the doors of heaven for us.
- The Symbols. The Open Door and a key.
» The Door. Jesus is the door.
He who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep.
... Truly, truly I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.
(John 10: 2, 7)
This door was opened at His death and His torn body was the veil or door to the Most Holy Place.
The veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. And the earth shook and the rocks were split.
(Matthew 27: 51).
The open door for the Philadelphians is the door to the Most Holy Place in heaven that Jesus went into at the Judgment in 1844.
They are the church that recognizes the significance of the Most Holy Place.
"I know your works. Look, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name".
(Revelation 3: 8)
"The nations raged, but your wrath has come, and the time for judging the dead, for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints and all who fear your name, both small and great, and for destroying those who destroy the earth. Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple; and there were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail."
(Revelation 11: 18,19)
| The Holy One with a Key and a Door|
This church would have a difficult task and they would be tested.
Jesus appears as the one with the key to a door.
Opening this door caused disappointment and ridicule.
They are not rebuked. Instead, their reward will be that those who ridiculed them will know that
God has loved them and called them to this task.
Since the work was to introduce the sanctuary to the world, God makes them permanent structures in the
heavenly sanctuary. They are pillars in this house and have the name of God and the city.
» The Key Of David. This means that He has access to the House of David.
That is because He inherited the house of David as the only faithful Son.
There is one prophecy that points to the house of David leading the house of Judah like the angel of God in the last exodus.
During the latter rain, the land of physical Israel will experience a great reformation.
The church of Philadelphia will lead them because Laodicea is incapable.
» The Jews Submit.
I believe that the revelation by God of over 700+ new Messianic prophecies and the science evidence from the Mishkan of quantum physics and the Periodic Table of chemistry and DNA replication in the Torah will cause the Jews to listen to us.
» The Synagogue of Satan (The Antichrist).
The Antichrist sits on his throne as god. Satan takes over the church and plants himself in Jerusalem.
There were two churches that had no rebuke, Philadelphia and Smyrna. Both had to deal with this satanic infiltration. It eventually overpowered the next church but not these two.
We first saw these false Jews in the church of Smyrna. Their influence would cause the darkness of apostasy in the next phase of the church. Here we see that this tactic is resurrected.
- The Church. This is the church that shows the love of Jesus that God looks for as a fulfillment of the goals of the Holy Spirit.
"A new commandment I give to you, That you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another."
(John 13: 34-35)
- The Angel (Messenger). William Miller woke up the church with his message. Ellen White helped to guide a church that is the prophetic movement at the end time.
- The Rebuke. None.
Asher ("Fat Bread"). This represents the death of Christ. Although He was dead, God did not allow Him to decay but preserved Him until the resurrection.
Philadelphia is supposed to be dead, yet their works say that they are alive and faithful.
So they are being preserved from the hour of temptation by resting in their graves. But they have an open door before them because God will resurrect this faithful church with the keys of death and hell that He inherited when He was in the grave.
Gad (Fortunate). He has an open door and he is not rebuked.
. The holy objects were moved by Kohath after the sixth tribe.
The righteous holy ones began to be moved or separated from the wcked as the judgment of the righteous began.
Sanctuary Restored/Reassembled. The sanctuary was set up before Kohath and the seventh tribe arrived.
This is an excellent description of what began with the church in 1844. They began to restore the sanctuary message as God was restoring the sanctuary from heaven.
This message would be ready for the final church.
- The Praise. They have kept his word and refuse to deny his name even though they are weak.
(Revelation 3: 8)
- The Reward. They become permanent structures in the house of God and they will never leave it.
Therefore, they will "dwell in the house of the Lord forever".
They will have the name of God and the city.
YHWH Shammah. "The circumference of the city shall be eighteen thousand cubits. And the name of the city from that time on shall be, The Lord is There."
(Ezekiel 48: 35)
They will also be saved from the time of testing.
This either means that they will live through it as securely as ancient Israel lived through the plagues of Egypt or
they will die before the great tribulation starts.
However, Sardis and Laodicea must go through the testing because the work of the Holy Spirit is not complete in them.
Sardis is disobedient. Laodicea thinks that she is perfect.
- The Punishment. None.
- The Seals. During the sixth seal the door in heaven will split when the sky opens.
- Month 6: Elul (History and Meaning). This is the new year for bringing animal tithes.
On Elul 1, Moses went up the mountain for another forty days to get the second set of ten commandments.
This is a period of more fruit harvest such as grapes, figs, date, pomegranate, etrog and the new olive oil first fruit.
» Forty Days of Repentance. For the Jews, the period from Elul 1 to Yom Kippur was a period of repentance as they waited for the final day of judgment.
They would gather each night for the morning watch and pray until daylight for forty days. The last ten days were more intense. It was the "Ten Days of Awe" when they were literally on trial before they were sealed on Yom Kippur and their names were kept in the Book of Life.
|Secularism ||William Miller ||Great Awakening ||Advent Movement ||Disappointment ||Atheism, Evolution
- The Trumpet. William Miller and several evangelists gathered people for the Second Coming.
- New Moon ("Molad"). The world had just rejected religion and the papacy in favor of new ideas and philosophies. Science without God, that ridiculed the Bible, would be the theory that would gather the most converts at the end of time.
- Crescent Moon. On many continents, William Miller and several men independently and simultaneously began to believe that the Second Coming was near and began to preach about it.
- First Quarter. The movement sparked what was known as "The Second Great Awakening". A spirit of revival and repentance spread around the globe. It led to the abolition of slavery.
Simultaneously, Satan began several counterfeit movements.
- Full Moon. The church with the open door is symbolically gathered at the door of the house of God like the animals to be given to the Lord. They enter the sheep gate during Elul and are gathered at the sanctuary.
They also saw the open door like the animals before the flood and gave up everything and walked to the ark to wait for the destruction of the earth and their rescue at the Second Coming.
The gathering of the animals at the exodus was a sign of the end of the world for the antediluvians and this event was meant to be a sign for our generation.
For the Millerites waiting for the Second Coming on 22 October 1844, this was their call to the exodus. They responded.
The Messianic Judaism movement began in 1850. The Jews were finally responding as a group.
- Last Quarter. But Christ did not come. It was known as "the Great Disappointment". Some left, some stayed and started a new movement.
They were certain that they were not wrong about the meaning of the symbols. And they were not.
But they had fulfilled the signs that marked the period. The animals that belonged to God had gathered at His temple and it would be a bitter feeling as Revelation 10: 10-11 prophesied. And from the time of their gathering to the last gathering of the righteous, it would be the global Elul on the great time table of the Plan of Salvation as a generation of people kept waiting for the Second Coming and warning the world to go on an exodus to the safety of the ark before the doors were closed.
Noah preached for 120 years as he built the ark. The Advent movement began building an ark and preaching in 1844, soon construction will be over.
» Disappointment (Blessings Robbed). This disappointment is the equivalent of being cheated out of their blessings as prophesied by the tribes in the west.
- Joseph (Reproach). They were ridiculed by the people, the churches and the newspapers.
- Manasseh (Badly Treated By Brothers). Some were thrown out of churches. Some hid in shame.
- Benoi (Son Of Sorrow). There was great sorrow among the waiting group because their hopes were dashed and they suffered the indignity of seeing their enemies triumph in glee over their misfortune.
» Prophesy Again (Blessings Restored). The church must prophecy again, just as Moses must go back up the mountain to receive the ten commandments again after his great disappointment with the people.
- Joseph (Reproach Removed). The church is greatly respected because their awesome God is respected worldwide.
- Manasseh (Forgets Mistreatment). The church is unified in love. Jews and Gentiles display the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
- Benjamin (Son Of The Right Hand). As trusted messengers, we will prepare the world to see the coming of the Son of The Right Hand.
- The Fulfillment.
This church would go through the Great Disappointment of 1844, when God seemed to have rejected them.
As a result God will turn back their shame when He makes people know that He loved them.
Look, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie -
I will make them come and bow down at your feet, and make them know that I have loved you.
(Revelation 3: 9)
To this group Jesus' promise is certain.
Someday He is going to let the world know that they were loved.
7. Laodicea (The Church That Is Judged)
The Church of Laodicea represents a group of people at the end of time during the time of the judgment.
They are in danger because they believe that they are righteous and filled with the blessings of God.
In reality, they are in danger of losing their souls.
| The True Witness and |
The Beginning Of Creation
This church would carry the message of the first angel. This is the eternal gospel and the knowledge of the creator.
This church would be the last who would spread the eternal gospel as a witness to all nations.
Jesus appears as the one who is the true witness and the one who would begin the new creation.
They would also experience the Second Coming. Jesus warns them to have the robe of righteousness because for a short time there would be no intercessor.
- Jesus The Good Shepherd Is Our Judge.
... And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Amen
(Psalm 23: 6)
While Philadelphia has access to the key and door of the house, Laodicea is actually the church that will move into the house at the Second Coming if they pass the judgment.
The last word in the Psalm is "Amen". Jesus comes to this church as the end of the Psalm.
He has done His duty as a shepherd, now He comes to judge between the sheep and the goat.
I will seek the lost, bring back the scattered, bind up the broken and strengthen the sick; but the fat and the strong I will destroy.
I will feed them with judgment.
As for you My Flock, so says the Lord God, "Look, I will judge between one sheep and another, between the rams and the male goats".
Therefore, so says the Lord God to them, Look I even I will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep.
Therefore, I will deliver My flock, and they will no longer be a prey; and I will judge between one sheep and another.
(Ezekiel 34: 16, 17 20, 22)
The ark of the covenant is the throne of God which will live among us.
- The Symbols. The symbols are one that describe judgment.
Jesus is the faithful and true witness and the beginning of creation.
During the time of this church the judgment of the church would begin. Jesus is judging between the sheep and the goats.
Jesus is also the end and the beginning. During the time of this church the end of the world would come and a new beginning would start.
» The Beginning Of Creation. I believe this prophesies about our evidence of fundamental science in the Bible, pointing to God as the creator. Jugdgment probably begins with the living on the basis of this information and the church is recreated in the image of God.
» The Door. While the church of Philadelphia has an open door that Jesus can shut and open, this church has a door that Jesus cannot open. He must be invited inside.
By closing their door, Laodicea has not gone through the other Door that leads to Heaven.
By closing their door, they have locked out Jesus.
» An Invitation to a Meal.
Look, I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.
(Revelation 3: 20)
Jesus wants to have a meal with us at this time. This is because this meal celebrates the fact that we have been sealed.
We have been sealed and given a name because we are the place where God chooses to be identified.
You shall eat in the presence of the Lord your God at the place where He chooses to establish His name.
(Deuteronomy 14: 23)
The Cup of Elijah.
This is a direct reference to the third cup of the Passover Seder and the coming of Elijah to lead the Jews to the Messiah before the wrath and a final exodus .
They open the door hoping that he will come and join them for the last significant Passover seder on earth.
This is the time when the Jews are sealed. This is when they open the door to the Messiah and accept Him as prophesied in Zechariah 12.
The Hidden Afikoman.
In this phase, they not only open the door to Jesus Christ they must also search for the hidden Afikoman and pay a king's ransom. This is the gold, tried with fire that we must buy from Jesus.
Moses Promises The Final Generation.
But from there you will seek the Lord your G-d, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul.
(Deuteronomy 4: 29)
- The Church. Laodicea means "judging the people". If the Antichrist establishes his throne during the sixth church, then the maturation of Laodicea begins with the judgment of the living.
- The Angel (Messenger). A prophet will come. This is the age of the latter rain. The prophets may be the messages of Moses, Elijah and Daniel who would "stand in his lot" at the end of time.
But as for you, go your way to the end, then you will enter into rest and rise again for your allotted portion at the end of the age.
(Daniel 12: 13)
- The Rebuke. Just like the fat sheep, the church is rich and fat with wealth. They believe that they need nothing.
But they are judged as being poor, blind, miserable and naked.
Lukewarm. They are lukewarm and unenthusiastic about the Lord. They have lost their first love. They are not committed to Christ.
They think that they are waiting for the Second Coming, but they do not really believe it. They certainly do not act like it. They have other priorities like the acquisition of wealth, marriage and children.
Have you ever heard Christians say that they do not want Jesus to come until they get married first? They really do not believe that heaven offers us something better on every level than this world offers.
They love the world and its things more than Christ.
Speaking about the day of the Lord, Zechariah mentions a wealthy group who seems to be Laodicea. They are visited by God who is carrying a lamp.
It will come about at that time that I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and I will punish the men who are stagnant in spirit, who say in their hearts,
"The LORD will not do good or evil!"
Moreover, their wealth will become plunder and their houses desolate. Yes, they will build houses but not inhabit them, and plant vineyards but not drink their wine."
(Zephaniah 1: 12-13)
At ease in their wealth, their lukewarm attitude denies the Second Coming and the destruction of the world.
Vomited out of His Mouth.
Even in this rebuke there is a little hope.
The lamb regurgitates or vomits up the seed. This is a picture of the resurrection.
God has to bring us back from the dead to wake us up.
We wake up just in time to save our own necks, but not in time to do the work of God. This church is not praised.
- The Advice. This church can remedy their situation with this advice from Jesus.
I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see.
(Revelation 3: 18)
Dan ("Judged a Serpent").
Dan is the son that was judged and Laodicea is the church that is judged.
Dan was judged a serpent and the wrath of God fell on him. Laodicea is warned that she is in danger of being rejected as the final wrath of God is approaching. When God separates the righteous and wicked, Dan will be lost.
- Gold Tried in Fire. They are rich in the useless currency of the world but poor in the values of heaven. They must go through the persecution and show the characters that are worthy of eternal life. Their love of God is tested.
» The Remnant Church Buys Gold.
Salvation is free. We cannot purchase it or do any works to earn it. So why do we have a picture of the remnant purchasing items necessary for salvation?
This picture goes back to a puzzling law of redemption.
Salvation is pictured as a substitution and as a purchase.
After every firstborn Levite is substituted for a firstborn of the other tribes, then any excess in the other tribes must each be ransomed with five shekels gold (Numbers 3).
On the cross Jesus paid a ransom to Satan as He suffered the equivalent of the seven last plagues.
Laodicea is the church that will suffer the plagues like their Lord and they are also pictured as being in the fire, paying a ransom.
Since we are the church that will suffer the greatest attack by Satan just as He did. We must learn from His example how to survive this onslaught.
So we cannot be blind and naked and wretched.
- Eyeslave to See. They are judged as blind. They can neither discern the state of their own lives nor the signs of the times. They are blissfully comfortable and at home in a world that is about to be destroyed.
- White Clothes. They must obtain the righteousness of Christ because they are naked.
Joseph ("Reproach Removed").
An examination of the law of the marching order of the tribes shows that the intention of God was that the seventh church would be modeled after Joseph (Numbers 2: 34 and Numbers 10: 13-28).
Instead, Laodicea went astray and followed the path of destruction led by Dan.
The advice for this church is to look at the experience of Joseph. Be a son who deserves to rule on the throne of God by learning from the fiery trials of adversity.
- The Praise. This church is unique. It is the only church that is not praised. Jesus has nothing good to say about it.
- The Reward. They will sit on the throne of God and reign with Him as kings because He is the ruler of the kings of the earth.
- The Punishment.
They are so detestable that Jesus wants to vomit them out of His mouth.
- The Seals. The seventh seal is the coming of the Lord. It will occur during this church.
- Month 7: Tishrei (History and Meaning).
The beginning of the judgment and tabernacles. The ark landed on Mount Ararat on day 17 and Moses returns with the second set of commandments on the first day.
This is an important month in the Plan of Salvation. It is when rest comes to the righteous.
Jesus will return during this month to rescue the righteous.
|Evolution||Advent Movement ||3 Angel's Message ||Latter Rain||Persecution ||Seven Last Plagues
|Judging The Dead ||Bible Science||Judging The Living||Judgment Sealed
- The Trumpet. Ellen White was the prophet in the early stages. Although she did not teach doctrine, she magnified Christ and explained God's actions and so fulfilled Isaiah 8: 20. The early pioneers hammered out doctrine through persistent Bible study and seeking for truth.
- New Moon ("Molad"). The great disappointment. Christ did not come as the church expected. The theory of evolution emerges. The world is embracing secularism as the increase in scientific knowledge brings new hope of medical, industrial and consumer products advances.
- Crescent Moon. The early Advent movement that was resurrected from the disappointment.
- First Quarter. The period of the three angel's message which peaks at the full moon when the angel with great light comes to the earth (Revelation 18: 1). Since 2008 God revealed science in the Bible.
- Full Moon. The latter rain and the great final harvest with evidence of miracles and science in the Bible.
- Last Quarter. Persecution sends the church in hiding and the period ends with the darkness of the millennium.
- The Fulfillment.
This is the church after 1844 when the judgment began.
In the sixth plague God also sends a warning to Laodicea and to Sardis. Wake up Sardis. Put on your clothes Laodicea.
Look, I am coming as a thief, blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his clothes so that he will not walk about naked and men will not see his shame. (Revelation 16: 15)
The last three churches emphasize the promise to the sheep. They will be found, healed and judged.
From the sixth plague we assume that these churches exist simultaneously.
|1844||Elul (Exodus) ||Tishrei (Judgment) |
||22 October 1844
||Rosh Hashannah ||Ten Days Of Awe ||Yom Kippur ||Door Closed ||Plagues
|Gathering the Sheep (The Final Exodus) ||Righteous Enter The Ark (Booths) ||Wicked Outside ||Rest|
- Exodus Evangelism ("The Gathering"). There will be a final year of great evangelism when all the sheep of God will hear His voice and come into the fold.
- Rosh Hashannah. The people are called to prepare for the judgment and go to war against Satan.
- Yom Kippur. The righteous are sealed and kept in the Book of Life.
- Tabernacles. The righteous live with God in temporary shelters until they reach the Promised Land.
- Early Rain. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
- Olive Harvest. The harvest of people filled with the Holy Spirit (oil).
- Ploughing. Jesus digs up the earth to resurrect the righteous.
- Sabbatical Year. All people are free and the land gets rest.
- Jubilee. All property and inheritance is restored and all debts are cancelled.
- New Year. This is the new year for years when they start counting a new year. This is our new beginning without sin.
- Final Judgment ("The Census"). On the last Rosh Hashannah, these people will intensify their repentance for ten days as the righteous are being judged and the sheep pass under the rod of the Shepherd and are counted. Then on Yom Kippur all the righteous are sealed and probation closes. The gates of heaven are shut.
» Judgment of the Wicked. Then, the wicked are judged as the seven last plagues are poured out for one year.
» The Ark Lands on Tisheri 17. The ark rested on mount Ararat and the righteous will land on mount Zion.
Benjamin (The Baby Church)
In the lessons on the twelve tribes we show that the final church is modeled after Benjamin, the last child of Israel whose mother died in childbirth.
Just as Christ is pictured as the lamb, the priest, the altar, the veil and each piece of the sanctuary, so is the church represented by different symbols which describe a different aspect of their experience.
The church is a woman who gives birth. The church is the innocent child who is born again.
- New Birth.
Laodicea is that woman who gives birth to Benjamin during the persecution. She dies and the child is born who will see the Second Coming and enter the kingdom of God.
Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God."
(John 3: 3)
- Children. The only way that the church can enter heaven is to be born again and become a child. Laodicea is saved by being born again and being converted and becoming like a little child named Benjamin.
... "Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
(Matthew 18: 3)
- Homosexuality And Violence. The tribe committed a grave sin and it caused a war with the other tribes. This is a prediction of the social conditions in Sodom and Gomorrah existing at the end of time.
- Revived From The Twelve Tribes.
After the wicked men were punished, the tribe was so few that they had to use the women from the other tribes as wives to reconstitute Benjamin.
The Reward Of The Victorious Sheep
And He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father.
(Revelation 1: 6)
||Turban and crown with words "Holiness to the Lord"
||Crown of life||Mark of the name of the beast on their forehead
|Breastplate had jewels with the name of each tribe||Name of God, Christ and Jerusalem||Name of the beast|
|72 bells and 72 pomegranates ||144,000 sealed||666|
|White robe ||White robe||Naked|
|Ark of the Covenant||Contents||Reward|
||Manna ||Bread of life|
|Aaron's Rod ||Resurrection|
|Commandments ||Book of life|
|River of life ||Flows from the throne|
|Tree of life ||Grows by the throne|
The objective of Christ in giving the rewards is to make His church priests of God and kings and to give us eternal life. (Revelation 20: 6).
So in each reward, He gives them eternal life and dresses His church in the clothes of the priest and He makes them permanent structures of the Most Holy Place in the temple.
- Only priests can enter the sanctuary.
- Only the High priest can enter the Most Holy Place. But, since the crucifixion, Christ has opened the door so
that all priests can enter.
So they become priests who receive the name of God and the blessings of the covenant and the rewards that are contained in the ark of the covenant (the throne of God).
Let us take a look at the reward for each church.
- Tree of Life. Eats from the tree of life.
- Turban and Crown of Life. Crown of Life. They will not be hurt by the Second death. This is eternal life.
- Bread of Life. White Stone with a new name. Gets the hidden manna (the bread of life), white stone with a new name.
- Glory of God. Authority over the nations and the morning star.
- Robe of the Priest. Clothed in white garments and their name will be in the book of life.
- Name of God written on them. They will be a pillar in the temple of God. They will have the name of God, Jesus and the New Jerusalem written on them.
- Ark of the Covenant. Sits on the throne.
In contrast, the wicked, who have the name of the beast, receive curses in the form of the seven last plagues (Revelation 16).
They are made unfit to enter the temple and to participate in the worship.
Another look at the seven churches shows the restoration of the covenant in His church despite their apostasy.
This is more clearly seen in the church of Philadelphia whose message restored the sanctuary of God rather than destroy it.
While the seals chronicle the application of the curses, the church shows the reverse.
|# ||Name ||Seals ||# ||Covenant Curse||Covenant Restored|
| 1 ||Ephesus|| White horse|| Covenant renewal|| The church in which the blessings were applied|
| 2 ||Smyrna|| Red horse|| 1 || War, no peace, sudden terror || The gift of martyrdom was given to those who become the victims of terror|
| 3 ||Pergamos|| Black horse|| 2 || No produce, no rain || The Holy Spirit was available to the church that fell into apostasy|
| 4 ||Thyatira|| Grey horse|| 3 || Wild animals, no children, |
| During the long persecution a church was fed in the wilderness|
| 5 ||Sardis|| Martyrs ask for vengeance|| 4 || Famine, disease, sword, covenant vengeance || The Bible only. The sword of God was used by this church for the reformation. There was no longer famine for the word of God|
| 6 ||Philadelphia|| Signs in Heaven|| 5 || Sanctuary destroyed || The doctrine of the heavenly sanctuary is restored by this church|
| 7 ||Laodicea|| God || Exile || This is the people that will go to exile. The wicked to the grave and the righteous to Heaven.|
Summary -The Seven Churches
|| Key Feature
|| 31 AD - Second Century
|| The early Apostolic Church
|| Evangelism. Lost First Love. False Apostles.
|| Persevered. Opposed false apostles and the Nicolaitans.
|| In their zeal they have lost their first love - evangelism
|| Seven stars and seven lamps (light)
|| Eats from the tree of life
|| third - fourth Century
|| Pagan Roman persecutions - around time of Diocletian.
|| Martyrs. Persecution and Apostasy from without.
|| Rich in faith. Martyrs, faithful until death.
|| Resurrected. Was dead and alive
|| Eternal life
|| fourth - fifth Century
|| Church of the Apostasy around the time of Constantine the Great
|| Apostasy. Persecution and Apostasy from within.
|| Praises those who are faithful during apostasy.
|| Nicolaitan apostasy. Many fell into immorality and idolatry.
|| Sharp two-edged sword of the word of God
|| Hidden manna, white stone with a new name
|| 538 - 1798 AD
|| Apostate Roman Church of the Middle Ages
|| Apostasy and Persecution. Church During The 1260 Years
|| The good works, faith and love and endurance
|| Jezebel. Refuses to repent and tolerates paganism
|| Eyes like fire and feet burnished
|| Authority over the nations. Morning star.
|| sixteenth Century to the End
|| Sleeping Church of the Post-Reformation
|| Reformation. The Post Reformation Church -that does not continue into full light- full maturity
|| A few in Sardis have not soiled their garments - have remained righteous
|| Has the name of being alive - but is dead. Her works are unfinished
|| Seven spirits, seven stars. (Light and the Holy Spirit of truth)
|| White clothes, name in the book of life, Christ represents them by name before God and angels
|| 1844 - End
|| The Christians of the Advent movement - that depend upon Christ
|| Revelation (Open Door). The Loving Church - open door to the Heavenly Sanctuary
|| Have kept Christ's Word and refuse to deny His name
|| Holy, true, key of David, opens and shuts
|| Permanent pillar in the temple. Has the name of God and the New Jerusalem written on them.
|| 1844 - End
|| Self Righteous church who no longer walk in submission to Jesus
|| Judgement, Witnesses. Means "judging the people"
|| Believe they are strong and rich, but they are lukewarm and poor.
|| True witness, beginning of creation and the Amen. Knocks on the door
|| Sits on God's throne
Study to show yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.
2 Timothy 2: 15
||Time: 100 minutes
Print: 19 pages
Updated : June 2009
Author: Laverna Patterson. Editor: Patterson (January 2008)
1. See our reference page for "Nicolaitans word study".
(2/19/2005) The Holy Spirit told me to rewrite this from the perspective of the Good Shepherd.
July 2007. The vision of Ezekiel and the seven churches.
September 2007. The phases of the moon and the seven churches.
Fox's Book of Martyrs. Chapter 2. The Roman Persecutions.