Subtitle: In Revelation, Jesus personally addresses 7 churches in the Middle East, commending most and condemning all but the Church of Philadelphia. Jesus had no word of condemnation for Philadelphia. When you look closely at why He was so pleased, you realize He was pleased because of their faithful Fundamentalism ! And of their being overcomers !
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"Fundamentalism -- Belief in the Bible as factual historic record and incontrovertible prophecy, including such doctrines as the Creation, Virgin Birth, and the Second Coming; A movement among Protestants adhering to this belief; unswerving belief in a set of basic and unalterable principles of a religious or philosophical nature." [Ibid.]
This dictionary definition pretty well captures the essence of the Christian Fundamentalist today, and I find it very interesting that this definition comes from a secular source! In today's religious world, all over the world, Fundamentalism is under attack like never before. In fact, as the Roman Catholic Church is vigorously fulfilling her mandate from the New World Order Plan to unite all the religions of the world into a new, synthesis system, [Read NEWS1052 for full details] she is opening her arms to all religions and types of religions in the world, except for one group. This group which Rome is attacking because of our refusal to follow them toward their new global religion is the Fundamental Christian . In fact, if you read the literature coming from Liberal Protestant organizations, you will discover that they universally detest the Fundamental Protestant churches. In fact, Liberal Protestants attack us for "dividing the brethren", and not having "Love". Some of their writing against us Fundamentalists is so very strong you would think it was coming from the pen of an American propagandist writing against Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan during World War II! They write as though they truly hate us, which I think they do. As I read their writings, I can see Satan as the Master Marionette, pulling the strings attached to these poor, deluded "Christian" leaders. They cannot see that they are opening the door to Antichrist by cooperating with the Church of Rome, and by extension, with Buddhists, Taoists, and all other pagan false religions of the world today. [2 Thessalonians 2:1-12, but especially verse 3, which reveals that Antichrist can only arise after the true Christian Church goes into deep apostasy]
Tragically, too many Fundamentalist pastors and leaders worry too much about this vitriolic, scathing, and caustic attack from these false Liberal "Christian" leaders. We spend far too much time caring about these attacks. We need to focus solely on whether Jesus Christ is pleased with our stand on the issues and with our relationship with Him. Let us now examine this most important Scripture to see why He so commended the Church of Philadelphia and then did not issue a condemnation against them, the only church He did not condemn for something.
"And to the angel (messengers) of the assembly (church) in Philadelphia write: these are the words of the Holy One, the True One, He Who has the key of David, Who opens and no one shall shut, Who who shuts and no one shall open: I know of your record of works and what you are doing. See! I have set before you a door wide open which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept My Word and guarded My message, and have not renounced or denied My name."
"Take note! I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say they are Jews and are not, but lie -- behold I will make them come and bow down before your feet and learn and acknowledge that I have loved you. Because you have guarded and kept My word of patient endurance [have held fast the lesson of My patience with the expectant endurance that I give you.] I will also keep you [safe] from the hour of trial [testing] which is coming on the whole world to try those who dwell upon the earth." [This is the Rapture]
"I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one may rob you and deprive you of your crown. He who overcomes [is victorious] I will make him a pillar in the sanctuary of My God; he shall never write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which descends from My God out of heaven and My own new name." [Revelation 3:7-12; Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible Commentary]
Please, oh please, note carefully what our Lord Jesus Christ is commending the Church of Philadelphia for doing, i.e., He was commending them for "guarding" His "message" and "keeping His Word"! This is the essence of the Fundamental Churches today, and the reason we are so detested by the Liberal Protestant "Christian" churches of today. We are being detested by the supporters of the coming New World Order Religion for the very reason the Lord Jesus commended the Philadelphians! Maybe the time has come for us to decide by whom it is we want to be ultimately commended, Jesus Christ or the Liberal Protestants busily building the Church of Antichrist.
Jesus also promised His beloved Fundamental Philadelphian Church that, because they were rigidly holding fast to His Bible [Word] and obeying the advice given by the Apostle James to prove their faith by their works, He had opened a door which no man can shut! We Fundamentalists may be outnumbered badly but we have the power of Almighty Jesus Christ to keep that door to minister to the wicked world open! No man can shut that door, by any means or any persuasion, or any persecution! We Fundamentalists need to stop worrying about what is being said and written about us, and keep on spreading the Word of God in our neighborhoods and around the world.
Similarly, we need to make sure that we are keeping true to the Name of Jesus Christ in everything we do and say. We need to depend daily upon Jesus' power, since we, also, have but "little power". In the book of the Acts, we see the apostles performing great miracles "in the name of Jesus". This is precisely what we must be doing, right here and now, and until Jesus Christ takes us out in the Rapture. Then, the One Who will be judging the living and the dead will say to us as He greets us in the air, "Well done, good and faithful servant ... enter thou into the joy of thy lord." [Matthew 25:23]
But, now we need to take note of the very next thing Jesus said to the Church of Philadelphia. They were being attacked by Jews whom the Lord considered not to be true Jews, just as we are being attacked by false Liberal teachers and preachers who say they are "Christian" but whose denial of Scripture and fraternization with those who are, make them not the Christians they think they are. I am sure the Lord Jesus would say this to us today: "I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say they are Christians and are not, but lie ..." The Lord Jesus Christ knows who are His own and will soon take those people out of this wicked world in the Rapture; on the Sunday after the Rapture, the only preachers and teachers in any church will be those Liberal, Modernist "Christians" who have been criticizing us Fundamentalists for being so "hateful" and "divisive". When they realize that the Lord Jesus took us Fundamentalists but not them, will they hang their heads in shame, realizing they have been so wrong, and fall to their knees in forgiveness? to be sure, some will, but I suspect these non-Christian "Christian" leaders will fall under the deadly influence God has caused to fall upon all them who worked for Antichrist [2 Thessalonians 2:9-12]. I am sure the vast majority of them will stand up in their Liberal pulpits and shout glee that these hated Fundamentalists were snapped out of this dimension. They will undoubtedly parrot the lie that the New Age has already spread amongst its followers about the Rapture, and their poor deluded parishioners will swallow this lie hook, line, and sinker.
Finally, we need to take special note of the encouragement Jesus gave to His Philadelphia Church in verses 11-12. Jesus said several things by which He meant to encourage these Fundamentalist believers:
1) Jesus warned His followers in Philadelphia to take special care "that no man take thy crown." [Rev 3:11] While no one who is truly saved can lose their salvation, our unfaithfulness can lose us reward. Jesus is saying to us here, "you have come so far now in serving Me courageously; do not now falter and let someone rob you of the reward you have earned". In other words, Fundamentalist Christians who are discouraged over a variety of issues, thinking they are not making any difference in their communities, Jesus is encouraging you to just hold on, knowing that He Whom you truly serve is noticing, from Heaven, what you are doing, even if it seems like just a little thing to you! And, Jesus will be faithful to reward you for your faithfulness. Remember, God forewarned His prophet, Isaiah, that he would not convince anyone even though he was to faithfully preach the Truth of God to the very wicked Israelites.
2) In Revelation 3:12, Jesus said, "Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name." This word, "overcometh" is such an interesting word, because it is used only in the Book of Revelation! Therefore, it must have special meaning to the Christian living near the time of the appearance of Antichrist, since the Church of Philadelphia parishioners are promised to be taken in the Rapture before Antichrist arises! Jesus understood that the time immediately preceding the appearance of Antichrist would be difficult for the true Christian to take; therefore, He gave us this great and wonderful promise if we will just persevere!
Let us quickly do a study on the usage of the word, "overcometh", as it has great significance in our study in this article. This word is used just 11 times in the entire Bible, with 9 of those times in the Book of Revelation. Furthermore, 8 of the times Jesus uses this word, He is addressing His beloved in the various churches in Revelation 2 and 3! Once Antichrist arises, to a world that is now void of Fundamental Christians-- because we have all been Raptured -- the word, "overcometh" is not used, not even once! The last time we hear this word, "overcometh" is in Revelation 21:7, when the Antichrist and False Prophet are seized, defeated, and cast into the Lake of Fire. Let us quickly examine each of these instances where Jesus told His beloved in each of the churches to stand fast and "overcome".
As we study Jesus' usage of the word, "overcometh", you need to keep one thing in mind. While each of these churches to whom Jesus spoke in Chapters 2 and 3 were actual physical churches that had the very conditions within them of which Jesus spoke, scholars also believe that each of these type of churches held predominate sway during specific periods of time. Further, scholars believe that the type of believer which comprised the majority of each of these churches will exist in each age, and in every church. For example, in each age, you will have Philadelphia believers in Laodocia churches, and vice versa. In the final analysis, Jesus was speaking to each of these churches and the believers which comprised them, as though they all exist in the time period immediately preceding the beginning of the Tribulation Period, beginning in Heaven in Revelation, chapter 4.
1) "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God." [Revelation 2:7] Jesus was speaking here to the Apostolic Church, the predominate type of church from A.D. 30-66 (Ephesus ). He promised them that, if they overcome their opposition, they would be given access to eat of the "tree of life", which we last saw in the Garden of Eden before Adam and Eve sinned.
2) "And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write ... He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death." [Revelation 2:8-11] Smyrna was known as the Persecuted Church, predominate from approximately A.D. 67-312. Similar to other promises to the persecuted Christians later in the Book of Revelation, Jesus promised them that they would not be hurt by the Second Death. Of course, this is the death of the unbeliever spoken of in Revelation 20:6, "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years." The people who are not hurt by the second death are the saved ones who are raised in the First Resurrection, i..e., Rapture.
3) "And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write ... He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it." [Revelation 2:12-17] Jesus mentioned some very specific things over which the people of the Church of Pergamos had to overcome: a) Martyrdom at the edge of the sword, wielded by the forces of Satan; b) Fighting against the doctrine of Baalam; c) Eating meat sacrificed to idols; d) Committing fornication. Indeed, some members of the Pergamos church had already succumbed to some of these sins. Jesus urged them to repent or else He would bring judgment. But, to those who overcome this sin, and this martyrdom, Jesus gave this wonderful promise, above.
The Church of Pergamos is known by Bible scholars as the Indulged Church -- 312-606 A.D. -- this was the transition between the true persecuted Church of Smyrna to a Counterfeit Christian Church that even though it still looks true, has departed from the faith because it has accepted the leadership of the counterfeit Constantine. This Church began to incorporate pagan practices into their church -- Beginning of Roman Catholic Church practices. Indeed, this is the error of Baalam, the incorporating of forbidden practices into the daily life of the people. Right on schedule with this prophecy, the Church of Pergamos began to incorporated deadly pagan practices into the Church.
Some of these practices are listed below:
* 300 A.D. Prayers For The Dead (Necromancy)
* 300 A.D. Making Sign Of The Cross (Egyptian Tao Sign)
* 375 A.D. Worship Of Saints And Angels (Violation of Exodus 20:4)
* In addition, toward the end of this period this church began to venerate Mary more and more, thus setting the stage when she would become sinless and omnipotent Deity.
* Church began Anti-Semitism, blaming Jews for killing Jesus Christ.
4) "And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write ... And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. [Revelation 2:18-27] To the true believers of this Church, Jesus promised that they shall rule with him during the Millennial Reign, when He shall rule with a rod of iron.
The Church of Thyatira is known by Bible scholars as the Pagan Church -- A.D. 606-End of Tribulation. This Church is also known as the Roman Catholic Church. It was at this time that many, many pagan practices were brought into the Church, "Christianized", and then called Christian and Biblical. If you read the verses 19-26, you will see that Jesus is calling this church a whore, a prostitute, and He says that He shall throw her into her bed and kill her and her children! In NEWS1052, we report that the New World Order Plan has succumbed to the pressure of the Vatican and has agreed to name the Roman Catholic Pope as the new global leader of the coming One-World Church of Antichrist. This act has irrevocably labeled the Roman Catholic Pope as the False Prophet of Revelation 13, whom the Bible does call a great whore. When a person, or a church, adopts pagan practices into their practice of the true religion of God, God then calls that person or organization a whore, a religious whore; while married to God, they went to another religion to incorporate their practices. God called it religious whoredom in the time of the Old Testament when the Israelites incorporated false pagan practices into the religion of Jehovah God, and God calls it whoredom today. In the past 1,200 years, the Roman Catholic Church has incorporated dozens of pagan practices into her worship, giving them Christian names, and then claiming these practices were legitimate from the start of Jesus' ministry. We have listed 20 of them for your study, below:
* 600 A.D. -- Worship In Latin Language (Even if worshippers cannot understand)
* 600 A.D. -- Prayers Directed To Mary (Inferred Omnipotence)
* 754 A.D. -- Pope achieved Secular, Political Power
* 788 A.D. -- Worship of Mary and the Saints
* 788 A.D. -- Worship of the Cross, Images, and Relics (Worshipping material things, especially relics, is one of greatest commonalities of all pagan religions)
* 998 A.D. -- Fasting on Fridays and during Lent Practice of Lent dates back to Babylonian Satanic Mysteries Religion
* 1000 A.d. -- Fabrication of "Holy Water"
* 1090 A.D. -- Praying Rosary Beads
* 1123 A.D. -- Enforced Celibacy of Priests -- Fulfillment of Paul's warning to avoid "Doctrines That Demons Teach", 1 Tim 4:1-3, "Now the Spirit distinctly declares that in latter times some will turn away from the faith, giving attention to deluding and seducing spirits and doctrines that demons teach, Through the hypocrisy and pretensions of liars whose consciences are seared, Who forbid people to marry..."
* 1184 A.D. -- The Inquisition -- Forced killing of "heretics", logical extension of Non- Chrisitian Pope who wielded both extreme Religious and Political power. Fulfillment of Jesus' prophecy that "...an hour is coming when whoever kills you will think and claim that he has offered service to God". (John 16:2)
* 1190 A.D. -- Sale of Indulgences One of the most important, and eternally tragic, is that this Church stopped teaching of Salvation by Faith in Jesus Christ alone and His Grace and Mercy, substituting the doctrine of Works Salvation At this point, believers can no longer be saved within this church.
* 1215 A.D. -- Transubstantiation of the Wafer transformed the blessed Communion which was commanded by Jesus into symbolic Cannabilism, an abomination to God and loved by hard core Satanists
* 1215 A.D. -- Confession of sin to priests This teaching substitutes a human as our Intercessor before God, throwing out Jesus Christ. See Hebrews 2:14-3:3; 4:14-16; 5:1-9; 6:4-6, 19-20; 7:11-28; 8:1-6; 9:8-15, especially verse 15; 9:22-28; 1 Timothy 2:5-6, "Only one mediator between God and man, Christ Jesus".
* 1438 A.D. -- Purgatory proclaimed This is another common point of most pagan religions This doctrine falsely assures people that all mankind will ultimately get to Heaven, some earlier and some later. Encourages sin.
* 1545 A.D. -- Declared that Church Traditions were equal to Bible in authority. Also formalized the heresy that Justification (Salvation) was by works, not by faith only, and added Apocryphal books to the Bible.
* 1600 A.D. -- Invention of scapulars, medals, teaching that one's salvation could be enhanced and assured by the purchase and use of these silly pagan devices. * 1854 A.D. -- Church declared Mary to be Immaculate (without sin), another step to declaring Her to be equal to God and Jesus Christ.
* 1870 A.D. -- Pope declared to be Infallible (Now Pope is equal to Jesus Christ) * 1956 A.D. --Assumption of Mary. This means that Mary never died (as mere mortals do) but was "Assumed" directly into Heaven as Jesus Christ was lifted through the clouds into Heaven. Again, Mary declared to be equal with Jesus. * 1184 A.D. -circa 1850 A.D. -- Roman Catholic Church martyred more Christians than did the Roman Government from 33-312 A.D. Some estimates range as high as 8 million born again Christians martyred by the Roman Catholic Church. Truly, Jesus Christ must have had this church in mind when He said, "You shall know them by their fruits". [Matthew 7:16-20] The key words of Jesus in describing the blood of Protestant martyrs on the hands of the Vatican are, "a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit."
Truly, therefore, the Roman Catholic Church is the Pagan Church of Thyatira, who allowed the wicked prophetess, Jezebel, to teach them paganism, idolatry, and compromise with false religious teachers. It is no accident that Jesus used the woman Jezebel in His narrative here, because pagan religions throughout the world and down through history have been led by a woman. In fact, New Age mystics now recognize the Roman Catholic Mary as the newest form of the Mother Earth Goddess, absolutely identical to the myriad of Goddesses worshipped by pagans throughout the world today.
5) "And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write ... He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels." [Revelation 3:1-6]. This Church of Sardis was the Spiritually Dead Church -- A.D. 1520-Tribulation.
This Church looks and acts spiritually alive, and is considered to be such by the people but in Jesus' sight, it is dead. Sardis means, "escaping ones" or those who "come out", an apt description of the Protestant Churches of the Reformation. The Protestant Reformation occurred because its leaders, such as Martin Luther, desperately wanted to correct the paganism of the Roman Catholic Church and to set up the principle that Salvation is by faith alone. While these churches accomplished much good and millions became born again because of their testimony, they became dead rather quickly. They sought state secular government approval and they held to too many Catholic rituals and observances. Jesus counseled them:
* "Be watchful", which means to live watchfully according to the teachings and admonitions of Scripture, keeping ourselves pure until the end. Implication is that this church did not possess mature Scriptural knowledge; they were retarded spiritually.
* "Strenghten the things that remain", "Hold fast" , preserve the truth they still retain, preventing any further deterioration.
* "Repent" of the sin they had committed because of their spiritual immaturity and their continued love of Catholic ritual and doctrine.
The churches in view here are the Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians -- the very Liberal Churches today that are leading the drive to "Modernize" Christian doctrine, and to join with the Roman Catholic Church in creating the One-World Church of Antichrist.
6) "And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write ... Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name." We have already spoken of the Church of Philadelphia so we will not spend any more time on it here, except to remind you that this most Fundamental of the seven churches is the church that is Raptured. Also, any individual who is truly Fundamental within any of these other 6 churches will also be Raptured, although I cannot, for the life of me, understand why a true Fundamentalist would remain a part of a church which falls into one of the other 6 categories.
7) "And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write ... 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." [Revelation 3:14-22] The Lukewarm, Counterfeit Church -- Laodicea A.D. 1900-Tribulation. In other words, this is the church that will be predominate in Christian circles just before the Antichrist appears, at the very end of the Church Age.
Jesus offers not one word of commendation!! He could not find one thing for which this church could be complemented. In other words, they were doing nothing right.
They were lukewarm, and as such they were as disgusting to Jesus as lukewarm drink is disgusting to us. Jesus can do nothing with a lukewarm person, because that person thinks they are saved, even though they do not show the normal fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-25), nor do they participate wholeheartedly in any fundamental, Bible-believing local church, nor do they tithe, nor do they regularly read their Bible, nor do they pray a prayer-list prayer regularly, and they certainly choose which commandments they want to obey and which they do not want to obey. Jesus is so disgusted with these people He spits them out of His mouth. This is Jesus' perspective!! You know Jesus, your final Judge.
But in their eyes, they are just fine spiritually. Jesus foretold that these people of this Last Days church would feel this way about their spiritual condition: 1) They felt they were rich and prosperous; 2) They felt they were in need of nothing But Jesus knew far different. He said they had no idea of their true spiritual condition, which was: 1) They were [spiritually] blind, pitiable, wretched, and ----------- 2) Naked -- This is the most serious charge yet, because it means these people were not saved !! Throughout Scripture, God depicts people as either wearing filthy garments (the sinful) or wearing clean white garments given by Jesus which will allow them to enter Heaven. See Zechariah 3:1-10; Rev 3:5; but esp Matt 22:1-14, esp 11-14.
Churches involved in the global Ecumenical Movement and World/National Council of Churches, fall into this category, plus Unitarians, New Age oriented churches, all fall into this category. Finally, those Mainline Protestant Churches formed in the time of the Reformation, called the Dead Church of Sardis, have now come full cycle in their spiritual condition having joined the blind, naked church of Laodicia, the last church before the opening of the Church of AntiChrist.
At this point, we wish to reiterate our unique place in the history of the Church Age! We are the Fundamentalist believers of the Church of Philadelphia, the Church whom Jesus loved, and the one whom He promised to Rapture before the appearance of Antichrist. Even though it appears we are losing every battle on the local, state, Federal, and global scene, hold fast to what you have -- your unshakable faith in Jesus Christ -- knowing that nothing we do will go to waste. Listen, what is that which I hear coming quickly and now very near? It is the footsteps of the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse, the soon appearance of Antichrist. The events of Revelation 6 are very close.
But, faint and further away, I hear other footsteps, those of Jesus Christ and His Raptured saints, ready to ride out of Heaven to seize the Antichrist and his False Religious Prophet after allowing them to rule and reign over the earth for only 7 short years.
However, my ears are tuned to the melodious sound of Jesus' voice about to be sent forth to call His people into the air for the Rapture of the Church. At the Last Trumpet of God, all Christians shall be gloriously and wondrously changed into immortal, sinfree bodies, and shall join the saints of the ages to meet Jesus Christ in the air, to begin our eternity! [1 Cor 15:51-58 and 1 Thess 4:13-17] Hold fast, dear Fundamentalist, our fight is almost over!
The End of the Age is upon us. Are you spiritually ready? Is your family? Are you adequately protecting your loved ones? This is the reason for this ministry, to enable you to first understand the peril facing you, and then help you develop strategies to warn and protect your loved ones. Once you have been thoroughly trained, you can also use your knowledge as a means to open the door of discussion with an unsaved person. I have been able to use it many times, and have seen people come to Jesus Christ as a result. These perilous times are also a time when we can reach many souls for Jesus Christ, making an eternal difference.
If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, but have been very lukewarm in your spiritual walk with Him, you need to immediately ask Him for forgiveness and for renewal. He will instantly forgive you, and fill your heart with the joy of the Holy Spirit. Then, you need to begin a daily walk of prayer and personal Bible Study.
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as Savior, but have come to realize His reality and the approaching End of the Age, and want to accept His FREE Gift of Eternal Life, you can also do so now, in the privacy of your home. Once you accept Him as Savior, you are spiritually Born Again, and are as assured of Heaven as if you were already there. Then, you can rest assured that the Kingdom of Antichrist will not touch you spiritually.
If you would like to become Born Again, turn to our Salvation Page now. We hope you have been blessed by this ministry, which seeks to educate and warn people, so that they can see the coming New World Order -- Kingdom of Antichrist -- in their daily news.
Finally, we would love to hear from you. You can write us at:
Cutting Edge Ministries 11 Robert Toner Blvd., Ste 5-393 North Attleboro, MA 02763-1156 You can also E-Mail us.