I hear many comments about ERAs in God’s church today. One of them that always confused me is that the Philadelphian ERA and the Laodicean ERA of God’s church exist side by side. That they can and do coexist with each other as active ERAs of the Church of God. Is that correct?
Can some of us be in the Philadelphian ERA and some be in the Laodicean ERA?
If that were true consider the implications. Philadelphia was to be saved out of the Great Tribulation yet Laodicea was to be thrust into it. That would seem to indicate that some of us will have an opportunity to escape what is coming while others will not. And indeed several of the major groupings of God’s people do indeed indicate that they represent the Philadelphian ERA and so are guaranteed and opportunity to escape while ALL those (for the most part at least, we will give them the benefit of the doubt here) outside their group are Laodician and will not be given that opportunity of escape.
WOW, what a tremendous drawing card that is. But is it accurate does it have any real substance or truth to it. That is the question.
I was listening to a sermon by Mr. Armstrong called Apostacy dated 1/31/1976. In it he referred to the ERAs of God’s Church as being successive ERAs. You can hear the sermon at this link if you would like: http://cogcw.org/HWA-Library/audio/336Apostacy760131.mp
Webster gives this definition of the word successive; Following in order or uninterrupted course, as a series of persons or things, and either in time or place; as the successive revolutions of years or ages(ERAs); the successive kings of Egypt. The author holds this strain of declamation through seven successive pages or chapters.
The root word succession is even more to the point: A following of things in order; consecutive; series of things following one another, either in time or place.
So you see ERAs follow each other they do not exist side by side.
Mr. Armstrong also referred to the ERAs as the passing of a baton(which represents the active participant of a race) from one ERA to the next ERA. When the baton so to speak was passed from Sardis to Philadelphia, The Philadelphian ERA became the Active church age. There were of course many people who were part of the Sardis ERA and shared the attitudes and works of Sardis yet even they were then in the Philadelphian AGE or ERA of the Church. Christ then began His work of opening the doors to Philadelphia. The work phase or the time of the works of the Philadelphian ERA of the church had begun NO MATTER where you were in affiliation. The same is true of this Laodicean ERA of the Church. You are in the Laodicean ERA no matter WHO or WHAT group you are affiliated with.
This is why Christ’s work in this ERA is with the Individuals rather than the church groups as a whole. We are coming up on the Great Tribulation. Mr. Armstrong said at the end of his life that his work was finished and the church should now begin to prepare the church for the return of Christ. He directed a change of emphasis or work phase of the church. Philadelphia took the Gospel to the world now Laodicea should be preparing the people for Christ’s return as the primary work of the church during this age. I’m not saying that we should not be taking the Gospel to the world but the great witness work of Philadelphia is over. All of the references to the people of God related to those who were in fact at the end time were about watching and getting ready.
Notice the work that Christ is doing now in Laodicea:
Rev 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
Rev 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
Rev 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
He is working with the individuals to get them ready. He wants to save as many out of the Great Tribulation as is possible because it appears that fully half of those who have to go through that time of horrible punishment will not make it spiritually. The Knock Work that Christ is doing is in fact a safety net to protect as many of His people as possible.
He did say that we were to “Pray always” Luk_21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
But we have to understand that we need to be expressing that brotherly love of Philadelphia to be counted worthy to escape. A way of escape was “PROMISED” to Philadelphian Christians(Rev. 3:10). It is now and always has been an individual blessing having nothing to do with where you attend church. If someone says you are still in the Philadelphian Age of the Church because you are attending with them and thus have access to the place of safety they are lying. Mr. Armstrong said many times that there were many people in the church of those days who had a Laodicean mindset. And that they were in danger of not being taken to that place of safety because of it.
Just so if we have a true love of our brethren and the word of God, then we have a mindset that was representative of Philadelphia and have the opportunity to be counted worthy to escape. But we have to let our brothers and sisters know about it as well. They have to see the eye salve that Christ says that Laodicea needs so that they can see and realize their need to repent and become zealous again.
This website is all about spreading the word about Christ and His work in this ERA of the Church and providing as much eye salve as possible to our people to wake them up and give them the time to get ready so that When Christ calls us to a place of safety He won’t find us sleeping and unable to respond in time and thus not be accounted worthy to escape.(AS the 5 virgins of Matthew 25)
It is serious brethren, there needs to be a sense of Urgency/Zealousness about what we are doing. We have no time left to “play church” if we hope that Christ will find us worthy to escape what is coming.