By Ellery Burgess
In “The Knock” portion of this Web Site we have seen that we are living in the Laodicean era or age of the seven distinct periods of time that God’s Church will inhabit until Jesus Christ comes to dwell on this earth the second time. When He came the first time it was to qualify to set on the throne over all of the earth and to pay the ransom price for all of humanity. That has been done. He did indeed qualify to set on the throne over all the earth but has not yet been inducted into office. That will happen at His second coming. Satan will be bound and put into the bottomless pit and a seal set on that pit so Satan cannot deceive the nations for a 1000 years.
The people of God’s Church who are alive today are living in that final period of time that the Bible calls Laodicea. This is the period of time that will lead right into the second coming of Jesus Christ. Christ is doing a work in this era, the Laodicean era of His Church. Just as He did a distinct work in each of the 6 eras before, so He is doing a distinct work in this final era or age. Most recognize what the work was that Christ did in the 6th era but few recognize the work that He is doing in this 7th era, even though that work is clearly stated in Rev. 3:19 – 22.
In Rev.3:19, Christ calls upon each of us to repent. If we are willing to do that, to repent, He will come into our lives and feed us. Repent of what ? Of shutting Him out, for He is shut out or else He would not have to knock and ask to be let in. Upon entering the Laodicean age that we all lived over into, the people of God began to do their own thing. Ministers and lay members alike began to make their own judgments, their own rules and make their own decisions. When Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong died, we had the government of God, we had the great body of restored truths. Those who came into power at headquarters began to replace those truths with false doctrines. The true children of God, those who possess the Holy spirit of God and were actively led by that spirit had to flee that organization. The ministers went out and each started their own group and called it the Church of God. They said “hey, Christ is over here, come here and place yourselves under my rule and you have Christ”. Some of the members of God’s true Church followed them. This has happened time after time and is still going on today. Some members refused to follow those men. They formed their own church, calling it the Church of God, some just went home and held Sabbath services in their homes, using sermons by Mr. Armstrong. Some went into the various Sunday keeping churches of this world. Some just went home and quit, period.
From the time that God’s people began to judge, rule, and decide for their self what is right and what is wrong, and to do their own works, they shut Jesus Christ out. And so it has gone since 1986, when Mr. Armstrong died and the Philadelphian era ended, until now. We are now near the end of this final period of time just before Christ returns. It is near the end that Christ states that He is now knocking and calling on us to repent. If we are willing to recognize what we have been doing and truly repent, turn from having our own way and begin to allow Christ to come into our life and guide us, feed us the food that will nurture us and help us grow into mature Christians who are following Christ and, with zeal, living as he would have us live, and do the true work of God by supporting Christ, as He is the one doing the work of God.
Another element of becoming zealous and repenting is stated in Rev. 3:21, first four words “To him that overcometh”. What does Christ mean by overcome? He means to overcome the ways of this world, to come out of this society. This society was founded by the first great despot, Nimrod. Nimrod is called “a mighty hunter before the LORD” or in front of, ahead of, in place of God. Nimrod set himself as God. He set about building a tower so high that another flood like the one that had just happened, called ’Noah’s flood”, could not reach him and his followers. In order to stop construction on this great tower, God confounded (confused) the language. God names that place Babel which means confusion. There, Nimrod built Babylon. He and his mother – wife, for he married his own mother, started the first false religion. Nimrod became the savior and his mother the queen of heaven. Their religion is based on a complex system of mysteries and is known as the Babylon mystery religion. This whole society is based on this false, idol worshipping religion which Satan has palmed off on this world as “Christianity”.
In Acts 8 we are introduced to a person named Simon Magus. Philip went to a city in Samaria and preached Christ unto them. Many believed and were baptized. Among those baptized was this Simon. The apostles Peter and John came there and prayed for them and they received the Holy Spirit. When Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostle’s hands the Holy Spirit was given, he approached Peter and offered Peter money to give him this power. Peter was not fooled by this Simon and told him that he was “in the gall of bitterness, and the bond of iniquity”. This Simon Magus used the fact that he had been baptized to gain a foothold among the true worshipers of God and began to spread his poison.
Over time, Satan managed to begin injecting his pagan mystery religion into the Churches. This system called Babylon (confusion) grew in the Church. As it gained influence and power, it began to replace the true teachings with counterfeit doctrines. It replaced Christ with a false Christ who was a long haired rebel against His Father’s law. Satan replaced the gospel which Jesus preached, the Kingdom of God, with a sweet syrupy doctrine about the person of Christ. He replaced the Holy days with pagan holidays. He replaced the seventh day Sabbath with Sunday. Virtually every true doctrine was counterfeited and replaced with a substitute.
This whole world’s society is based on this Babylonian system. God’s way of life is that of giving. It is the way of love. Love first to God and also to your fellowman. It is the way of giving, serving others, caring for others as for yourself. The devil’s way is the way of get. It is based on selfishness, competition, greed. Take care of number one no matter how much it hurts the other person. In II Cor.4:4 it calls Satan the god of this world and so he is. This world, this society is Satan’s. Its governments, its education system, its money system (banking), its religions are all founded on this great false Babylonian way.
This is the world that we were born into. As Christians, we were called out of this world. God has given us His Holy spirit to make us able to overcome the world. But, it is a process; it is not done all at once. God has given us the power of free choice. He will empower us to be able to overcome but the choice is ours. The Laodicean era is pictured as having one foot in this world and the other in God’s way; neither hot nor cold. Christ will reject that kind of worship. “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” The challenge before us now is to accept Christ’s rebuke and chastening. When we do that we are opening the door and allowing Him in and He starts feeding us. We have to overcome in order to rule with Him when He returns to establish the Kingdom of God .
In Rev.11:1 John writes “ And there was given to me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood saying, Rise and measure the temple of God, and the alter, and them that worship therein.” We, the members of God’s true Church, ARE THAT TEMPLE. We are being measured and it is Jesus Christ who is doing the measuring, not any man, and not any group. In that measuring, no one is left out. Notice it says “and the alter”. Who serves at the alter? The ministry! “and them that worship therein”. That is the members of the body of Christ! All is included in that measuring. No part of Christ’s body is exempt! And that measuring is going on right now. “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God; and if it begin at us …” (1 Peter 4:17.)
“And be not conformed to this world: But be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” Romans 12;2.
When Paul said “conformed to this world” he was speaking of this entire society, the whole society, all of civilization. The book of Revelation calls it ’Babylon”. In Rev. 17, John is shown the judgment of the great whore. That is in verse 1, then in verse 4 John see this woman sitting upon a scarlet colored beast. Verse 5 says “and upon her forehead was a name written, “MYSTERY, BABYLON, THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” Notice the words “OF THE EARTH” – that is the whole of civilization’s society that Satan has authored.
Rev.18:2-5 “And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.” Notice verse 4 says “Come out of her MY people”. That is said directly to us!
When Jesus Christ returns to the earth, do you know what He is going to change? He is going to change everything, EVERY THING! The paper that I am using to write this article is made of wood and chemicals. The ink used is made of chemicals; chemicals that pollute the earth. Christ is going to throw it all out. He will change everything. So if we are clinging to anything of this world, we must learn to let it go. If you have heard the knock and are willing to let Christ come in to you and start feeding you, then, now is the time to begin. “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: (Laodicea is described as slumbering and sleeping) for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: (that has never been truer than it is right now) let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lust thereof” Romans 13:11-14.
That is what we are to do after hearing Christ’s knock. It can only be done by prayer and supplication, with meditation and fasting. Speaking often to one another also helps to strengthen us. Then, in the end, He will grant us sit on His throne with Him. He that has an ear to hear, let him hear, not what I say but, what the spirit says unto the Church.