Editor: Here is an excellent article about some of the problems we have experienced in this ERA of God’s Church and a unique perspective as to why this may be happening.
Understanding of church eras as described in Revelation 2 and 3 is crucial in comprehending where we are in prophecy. Predominate characteristics of each era are provided, as well as prophetic revelations for those that love the truth. Revelation 3:9 is one such prophecy that has huge implications reaching into the last era of the Church of God—the era that God’s people find themselves in today.
There is a rising level of frustration among the people of God, as they continue to be scattered about the earth. Why has the living Christ allowed this to occur? How did it happen, that such a large corporate body seemingly unified in purpose and doctrine, could be broken up into such a large number of confused and disoriented assemblies?
Some ministers bemoan the “lack of respect for the ministry” compared to what they experienced in the 1960’s—as if this in itself were the root of the problem. They seem to hold to the view that if God’s people would just shut up and follow, unity would return to the Church of God, and the discontent among God’s people would quickly disappear.
It is true that each individual Christian is responsible for his or her own actions and spiritual state as admonished in Philippians 2:12 “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”. Most of God’s people have WELCOMED heresy and cozying up to the world’s civilization as it descends further into moral turpitude: “Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, PROPHESY DECEITS”. (Isaiah 30:10)
While the majority of the people of God will be WITHOUT EXCUSE when they are VOMITTED OUT into the great tribulation JUST AHEAD (Rev. 3:16), it is the ministry at large that is held MOST ACCOUNTABLE! It is the ministry—and particularly the ministry that was ordained during the Philadelphian era—that will be soon facing a very stern judge that is returning to RULE THE EARTH!
You will see below—as the questions poised at the beginning of this article are answered—that most of these men will receive their judgment at the Great White Throne (Rev 20:11-13), while the most unfortunate could meet their fate in either the Great Tribulation, or the Lake of Fire!
From the Top Down
Open your Bible and review Matthew 13, focusing on versus 24 through 30, known as the “Parable of the Wheat and Tares”. While applicable to every age, Christ is also revealing in this parable a piece to the puzzle explaining the Laodicean age. He describes people placed in the body by the evil one—the being that OPPOSES GOD, “while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.” (Matthew 13 25)
Note here that men were SLEEPING when this occurred! Recall that a characteristic of most of God’s people at the end of the age is a drowsy spiritual state. Matthew 25, known as “The Parable of the Ten Virgins” portrays the end time Laodicean church of God: “While the bridegroom tarried, they ALL slumbered and slept”. (Matthew 25:5)
It has been long understood that the five unwise virgins LOSE THEIR ETERNAL SALVATION and meet their end in the Lake of Fire (Rev. 19:20), while the wise virgins retain only some of the Spirit of God—while sleeping—and awake in the Great Tribulation. It is these sleeping brethren that allow tares to infiltrate the leadership of the Church of God.
How do they allow it, one might ask? They allow this to occur by not loving the truth more than they love the world and their lives IN IT. There is a time to stand up and dispute lies and heresy, but most of God’s people have fallen asleep, believing they are “rich” spiritually, and “in need of nothing”. (Rev. 3:17)
Matthew 13 describes what occurred to the Worldwide Church of God prior to the death of Herbert Armstrong. MOST of the members—including the leadership—were NEVER CONVERTED AT ALL! Satan—the enemy of the true Christ and the impersonator called Jesus today by professing false Christians—placed HIS ministers and his laity among the Body of true believers!
Then, when the 20th century apostle died, the leadership that assumed corporate authority took the organization toward false Christianity as fast as they could run with it. True believers were amazed at the solidarity among those in both the laity and leadership that so quickly departed from what they had professed to believe only a few short years before.
“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;” (2 Thes 2:3)
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