There are many traps of deception laid in the path of the spiritual growth of any given Believer in YHWH, The Father and His Son, Yeshua, The Messiah. The walk toward reconciliation back to Him, as Paul writes about in his second epistle to the brethren in Corinth, is loaded with pitfalls, stumbling blocks, and outright evil obstacles that The Enemy has set before us at any given point.
It has been said, and rightfully so, Believers have to overcome the three S’s. Satan, Society, and Self. There are many messages given concerning this overcoming process within all of Christendom down through the ages. Books have been written, sermons given, and vast amounts of discussions in recent times on various internet forums and chat rooms, as knowledge has increased at this end time.
That said, there is yet another entity that must be overcome that the churches will never, ever tell you about. That entity is….. the church itself.
This is the lesson told within the letters to the seven churches. I encourage everyone reading this to take the time to simply read these two chapters of The Revelation of Yeshua the Messiah, Chapters 2 and 3. The mere fact these letters are placed at the very outset of this end-time book should cause The Believer to pause and consider their implication for this very time in history.
What you need to know concerning these seven messages is that there is a typology of time woven within these seven churches encompassing the very history of the true church from The Apostles until today. So you might be asking, what constitutes the “true” church? I’ll answer that question but I ask you, the reader, if you disagree with my answer, please just put it on the shelf and come back to it later after completing the article because the overall message is the main point. So allow for a quick digression for just a moment.
There are two doctrines that distinguished the true church established by Yeshua from all other counterfeit organizations over the past two thousand years of time…. of which there are many. Those two doctrines are:
1 — The Proper Baptism of The Believer, which includes the laying on of the set apart hands of the true Eldership, one who teaches and observes Covenant Law and is in an unbroken chain of that Eldership from Christ until now.
2 — The recognition and obedience of a 14th Passover. History recognizes such a one as a Quartrodecim. Quartro = 4. Decimin = 10. 4+10=14.
Thus there is a history of these seven churches down through time that looks like this:
Ephesus — The period between The Apostles of the first century to the close of the first century.
Smyrna — The period of the second century into the middle of the fourth century, when Rome began to rise again, for one last hurrah, taking matters of Christendom into their own hand, via a massive wave of persecution then later the deception of joining Christians, as we see via the Council of Nicea when Emperor Constantin amalgamated pagan Rome with Christianity, basically establishing the next church era…
Pergamun — The period from the middle of the fourth century forward 1260 years until the first establishment of the New World of America. This period saw the vast persecution of the true Church by the Catholic Church, also known as the dark ages.
Thyatira —The period of time between the Puritans established the New World of America until today. This church is still alive and well. It is known as The Seventh Day Adventist Church, with all of its watered-down dogma of today. It was a doctrinally strong church in the beginning. The woman to which all SDAs know was the beginning of such a wellspring of idolatry causing this church to fall into the mixing of pagan tradition and truth.
Sardis — The period well after America was established around the 1850s until today. These people are known by two dying organizational names. The Church of God, Seventh Day, and The Seventh-day Baptist.
Philadephia —The period of time from 1934 until 1991. The Worldwide Church of God, raised by Herbert Armstrong spent a total of three Metonic cycles, rising, peaking, and finally falling to its death.
Laodicea — In the period between 1972 and Today, the Laodicean brethren are the split-offs from each of the prior three Churches, Thyatira, Sardis, and Philadelphia. Brethren have come out of those organizations because of doctrinal errors. Also included in this group are those whom YHWH has continued to call, even out of the Mother Whore and/or Her Protestant Daughters, into the light of truth in this end time.
Each period of time saw an ordained Eldership in tact believing and practicing proper baptism and a 14th Passover as their core theology, within these organizations.
So, after you have read and considered the words of Christ concerning these seven churches, along with his admonishment to repent and overcome the faults of each church accordingly, the critical thinker might ask the question, what is there to overcome in the two churches that Yeshua seemingly didn’t have anything against…. Smyrna and Philadelphia.
I get this question all the time. Smyrna is quite easy to figure out. The one lesson Smyrna needed to learn is to not fear anyone or anything except YHWH.
“And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: ‘The words of the first and the last, who died and came to life.
“‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. DO NOT FEAR what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.’ Revelation 2:8–11
Philadelphia is just ever so slightly a little more difficult to ascertain its shortcoming. However, when you see it, and you fully understand the depths of this major sin, you will know it is by far the greatest of all admonishments against any of the seven churches. It is the worst of all of them.
“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: ‘The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens.
“‘I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, that 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. Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who says that they are Jews and are not, but lie — behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet, and they will learn that I HAVE LOVED YOU. Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. I am coming soon. Hold fast to what you have, so that no one may seize your crown. The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my Mighty One. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my Mighty One, and the name of the city of my Mighty One, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my Mighty One out of heaven, and my own new name. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’ Revelation 3:7–13
Read the text several times…. Do you see anything that would warrant the condemnation to which I have assigned to it from the paragraph above? It looks pretty good, doesn’t it? I mean if you asked yourself, which of the seven churches you would most want to be included in, without a doubt, Philadelphia wins the day, right?
I’ve asked that very question to literally hundreds if not thousands of Believers over the nearly two decades of my ordained ministry and without exception, no one has ever answered anything other than Philadelphia.
Now, this may seem like a digression from the title, but I assure you, there is a major point to this article that will double back to edify the opening words accordingly. For now, allow just a couple more digressions throughout scripture to make my point concerning Philadelphia.
The Apostle Peter, who had by the time of his old age, written his two Epistles to the diaspora of The House of Israel (the true church), conveyed some of the richest teachings of all scripture concerning the process of salvation and character development unto perfection.
I go through this wealth of information in the 27th chapter of my book called “The Book Of The Covenant, A Witness Against America”, which is free online at Medium.com…. Here is a link to that chapter:
The Process Of Salvation
Chapter 27 of “The Book Of The Covenant”, A Witness Against America
I’ll just lend a brief description of Peter’s message to the called-out of Israel from the opening of his second epistle.
“But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your FAITH, VIRTUE, add to VIRTUE, KNOWLEDGE, add to KNOWLEDGE, SELF CONTROL, add to SELF CONTROL, PATIENTS, add to PATIENTS, GODLINESS, add to Godliness, BROTHERLY KINDNESS, and to BROTHERLY (PHILEO) KINDNESS, add (AGAPE) LOVE. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Savior Yeshua, The Christ. 2Peter 1:5–8
What you are reading in the text above is nothing short of the spiritual ladder of success. The starting place is our foundation of faith, which is a very basic understanding of God and His Son, void of very much knowledge whatsoever and the goal is 100% AGAPE Love. The various levels in between define our walk and the status of our character accordingly.
It also must be noted, as The Believer reaches a higher level, like going from faith to virtue, or from virtue to knowledge, the levels below become stronger and stronger. Thus each level you add to your walk, your faith becomes stronger and stronger. As you get higher and higher up on this list of character development, your virtue becomes strong. Your knowledge increases, etc…….. Until, finally, when you have perfected Agape Love, every single aspect of character development is also perfected and YHWH knows He has a 100% loyal Believer that He can move forward with into His coming Government here on this earth.
Now consider this. You’re a coach. You’ve invested many seasons developing this one specific lad, training him to one day accomplish his goal to become a professional baseball player. You’ve worked with him from little league, until his glory days in high school and even into college. He’s right on the cusp of being drafted into the Pros when suddenly he weighs his options and stops working hard at the training process. He becomes spoiled believing he’s good enough to make it in the pros without continuing to practice the things that made him great….. the things you taught him that he must do every single day if he was to become successful. He stopped growing. He was cut and now he works at Walmart stocking groceries.
That baseball player is Philadelphia, committing the greatest of all sins against Yeshua, The Coach of our Spiritual character development.
You see, the sin of Philadelphia is found in their name…. PHILAdelphia.
Phileo love (Brotherly Kindness) is one step short of the goal of perfection, Agape Love. One step short, after all the time and love YHWH spent and invested in them. Consider this story told to Peter, much earlier in His life, long before he formulated his two epistles…. And keep in mind, just days earlier, he had denied Yeshua, three times in the space of about two hours in his darkest moment before His crucifixion. The scene takes place after the resurrection of Christ over breakfast on the beach. Note the Greek words that are translated simply as “love”, AGAPE, AND PHILEO in the various bible versions.
“So when they had eaten breakfast, Yeshua said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you AGAPE Me more than these?”
He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I PHILEO You.”
He said to him, “Feed My lambs.”
He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you PHILEO Me?”
He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I PHILEO You.”
He said to him, “Tend My sheep.”
He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you Phileo Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you PHILEO Me?”
And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I PHILEO You.”
Yeshua said to him, “Feed My sheep. Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish.” This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify YHWH. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, “Follow Me.” John 21:15–19
A very young, still very much immature Peter, a typology of The Philadelphia church of Revelation 3, could not bring himself to the place where he could say, I Agape Love you, to Yeshua. Maybe he knew he just wasn’t there. Maybe he didn’t get the difference. Maybe he was ashamed of his actions the night Yeshua was betrayed. Either way, I believe the story has been preserved to go hand in hand with Peter’s lesson, many years later for our edification and learning.
The point being….. All seven churches held great sins that must be overcome. No matter what church leaders will tell you, about how their main goal is to save souls, or preach the gospel of Christ, or bring in the Kingdom of God, or any other such nonsense…. And that’s what it is, nonsense, they all, without exception, desire to play the game of religion.
Religion is all about what you, as the Believer can get out of the equation. If it’s tied to the gospel of Christ, then it's all about what you get out of believing the gospel of Christ. It’s the carrot before the horse mentality. It’s “look what I have done”. “Look how many souls I have won.” “Look how much I know”.
Have you ever asked yourself why was I called? What purpose do I have as a Believer? Is there a reason YHWH has invested so much time in me as a Believer?
You see, the gospel (good news) of Christ is less and less about you obtaining some sort of personal salvation unto Eternal Life. That aspect of the gospel is way down on the list of importance in YHWH’s eyes. Way down on that list indeed. The top of that list answers the questions each Believer should be asking themselves of why they were called to begin with. And the answer to all those questions is:
To train and be ready to step into the role of governance within the office YHWH has prepared for you TO SERVE in.
You see, it's NOT what you can GET out of the equation, such as personal salvation…. It’s all about what you can be trained to GIVE.
The Gospel of Christ is all about Government. Christ Himself defined the Gospel in the first place the word gospel appears in scripture.
“Now after John was arrested, Yeshua came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of YHWH, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the KINGDOM of YHWH is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:14–15
The keyword in that text is KINGDOM. A Kingdom is defined as having four parts.
1 — A King
2 — A Territory
3 — A People
4 — A Set of Laws
Think critically about what those four things convey. The closest direct synonym of the word KINGDOM would be GOVERNMENT. So, if you’ll add that knowledge to your scriptural database in the womb of your mind, it will make clear just how filled with crap the churches are concerning your calling…… All of them, without exception.
Take my advice…. Get the religion of the churches out of your theology. Then you can further advance the true gospel of YHWH's coming government here on this earth and be prepared for what He has in store for you to do after he has made you a Spirit Being to serve in that capacity.