The Sign of the Two End Times Churches

09/27/2010 20:50

Most prophecy teachers hold to the teaching that the seven churches of Revelation 2 and 3 are descriptive of the church age, with each church sequentially reflecting the characteristics of a certain time during the church age. They then say the last days are characterized by the final two churches mentioned in Revelation—Laodicea and Philadelphia. Let’s look at the description of these two churches.

The Message to the Church in Philadelphia

   “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Philadelphia.

   This is the message from the one who is holy and true,
      the one who has the key of David.
   What he opens, no one can close;
      and what he closes, no one can open:

   “I know all the things you do, and I have opened a door for you that no one can close. You have little strength, yet you obeyed my word and did not deny me.  Look, I will force those who belong to Satan’s synagogue—those liars who say they are Jews but are not—to come and bow down at your feet. They will acknowledge that you are the ones I love.
    “Because you have obeyed my command to persevere, I will protect you from the great time of testing that will come upon the whole world to test those who belong to this world.  I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take away your crown.  All who are victorious will become pillars in the Temple of my God, and they will never have to leave it. And I will write on them the name of my God, and they will be citizens in the city of my God—the new Jerusalem that comes down from heaven from my God. And I will also write on them my new name.
  “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.

The Message to the Church in Laodicea

  “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Laodicea. This is the message from the one who is the Amen—the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s new creation:

  “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other!  But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!  You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.  So I advise you to buy gold from me—gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. Also buy white garments from me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see.  I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference.
  “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.  Those who are victorious will sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne.
  “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.”

It seems that everything connected with mankind is polarizing in these last days. We see it in politics, we see it in lifestyle choices, we see it in religion, and sadly, we see it in Christianity. Where in the past, people were committed to strong values and focused paths based on Biblical principles, now there is a group who have polarized toward a completely opposite belief system, and even a hatred toward the things of God.

Caught in the middle of this is the church. There is a seeker-friendly message that promises an easy transition into the church world where people aren’t challenged to commit to Godly living, but where an acceptance of worldly things are promoted simply because its’ important to get people in church at whatever the cost. Seeker-friendly churches are often mega-churches.

Jesus said, “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged,” and He also said in Luke 6:44 that a tree is known by the fruit it produces. It’s not our place to judge a person’s ultimate destination, but we can examine fruit or behaviors and match them to the Bible. Productive trees are growing and developing and increasing in fruit, and the carful orchard manager will work hard to ensure a productive crop. Sometimes that means pruning away unproductive dead wood. Anyway, you know where this is going. Christians, the true productive Philadelphian church, are always growing, developing and they are productive.

The church of Laodicea didn’t grow or develop, and just didn’t have enough hot or cold to clearly distinguish it from the true church or from the world. This upset the Lord.

It’s clear to me there are two churches in the world today. One is tolerant and accepting of the sinful human condition. They say it’s too hard to expect much because “we’re human.”  Those human desires have clouded people’s minds and shrouded them from the power of God. Many who follow this church have never experienced true salvation, conversion of the human spirit from death to life.

It’s so sad to hear when a Christian leader with a great following fails. The media uses these opportunities to parade all the past failed ministers before us. Comedians latch onto the opportunity to poke fun at Christianity. They know that the principles of Christianity are stricter than the world, so when someone fails who is supposed to set the example for the path along the high road, it makes them feel good to be able to pull them down to their level  sort of saying, “See, everyone does it.” “It” may be any sin the accuser is presently engaged in from gambling, sexual indiscretion, to misuse of church or ministry funds.

I want to be numbered among those who are part of the Church of Philadelphia. What I like best about being a member of this church is the fact that the Lord makes it clear that this church will not see the tribulation, “Because you have obeyed my command to persevere, I will protect you from the great time of testing that will come upon the whole world to test those who belong to this world.” I’m here to declare that I’m not part of this world, but I’m a citizen of heaven. I’m just a simple immigrant in the world. I don’t belong here, my home is heaven and I’m just passing through.

The enemy of our souls, Satan, is working day and night to destroy the church of Philadelphia, and at the same time, he is strengthening the church of Laodicea. He knows that a weak, tolerant, accepting church is ineffective. The pews of these churches are loading up, and deception is rampant. Under the tab “signs” at, there is a menu item “A Form of Godliness” there you will find examples from all over the world of the Laodicean church.

We have to pray for our pastors and leaders right now, and hold them up in fervent prayer. The enemy is attacking and working hard to create downfalls, failures, and to create opportunities for people to leave the faith. It’s important for these leaders to work hard to protect themselves, to keep themselves focused and directed by God’s Word and in constant prayer. They can often get caught up in the work of the ministry and forfeit the precious time they need with God in communion with His presence.

We are in the last days. We have two churches existing right now. One will be caught up in the catching away and avoid the wrath that is to come. The other will have to enter it. Here is where we are right now:

 Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons.  These people are hypocrites and liars, and their consciences are dead.

  They will say it is wrong to be married and wrong to eat certain foods. But God created those foods to be eaten with thanks by faithful people who know the truth. 1 Timothy 4:1-3

Two churches show that we are in the last days. It’s up to you to decide in which church you will belong.  

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