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INTRODUCTION

What is the purpose of this "letter to Laodicea"?

The history of God's true Church is foretold in seven successive stages, or eras, in the final book of the Bible, the book of Revelation. As a myriad of details show, we are at this time in history at the very end of the last of those seven eras. All seven stages take the name of a town in ancient Asia Minor, where Church congregations had been raised up in the first century. The final era of the Church takes its name from the town of Laodicea. This is Christ's message to it, as dictated to John the apostle:

14 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’ and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked, 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. 22 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches”.

It is the failure of the Sabbath keeping Churches of God to apply this message from Christ to themselves that the writings of this website seek to address.

 

To make sense of what is written in these pages, readers will probably need to have a background in the Church of God. That would mean having at least some knowledge of the teachings of Herbert W Armstrong, or those that preceded him as Sabbath keeping Christians.

In discussing the meaning of the Laodicean era message, one of my main aims is to counteract one of the most prevalent views held by true Christians of this time, i.e. that their salvation is linked to their allegiance to specific former or current Church leaders and their teachings.

Already in the early days of the Church, the desire among brethren to have a human figurehead was emerging. Christians said, "I am of Paul" or "I am of Apollos", but Paul refuted this attitude as carnal (I Cor 3:3-4). Additionally, men who in the name of Christ wanted to elevate themselves, "claiming to be someone great", also did not get a good report (Acts 8:9-23).

The Scriptural rebuke of "Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence" (III John 9) should be a warning to all who would follow in his footsteps.

It should also be a warning to all Christians who would follow such people.

Unfortunately it hasn't been. Many Christians seem to think that if they are called by God through a certain person or organisation, God expects them to be loyal to that person or organisation. God however says, "Cursed is the man who trusts in man" (Jer 17:5). That includes trusting ministers, preachers and Church leaders.

Men, and women, have made big claims about themselves. Some have claimed to be apostles or prophets. Some have claimed to be a fulfilment of specific prophecies, professing to be "the spirit of prophecy", "the end time Elijah" or "that prophet".

Regrettably, the lesson that "everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted" (Luke 18:14) has not been taken to heart.

How can it be that those who are supposedly prophets have presided over an entire Church era that Christ states is "blind"?

This refers to the failure to see that many long term Biblical prophecies were fulfilled in the last hundred or so years. The evidence of these fulfilments are overwhelming and are discussed at length on this website as proof of this blindness.

 

Amongst His many attributes, God is the master Mathematician. In His Word He has laid out His plan for mankind right from the beginning, in Genesis 1 and 2. The seven days of Creation are what I call "the seven day blueprint", where a day pictures one thousand years of God's work with men.

Within this 7000 year plan, God has given us in Scripture a multitude of numbers and time-related prophecies. The study of these numbers is called Bible chronology.

It is impossible to understand Bible prophecy without a thorough understanding of Bible chronology, for our Creator does things in an orderly fashion within His foreordained framework of time.

As He Himself states in Isa 46:9-10: "For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done". In verse 11 He adds "Indeed I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it".

Although crucial to understanding, Bible chronology rarely gets a mention in the end time Churches of God. As a result, we are largely in the dark regarding prophecy.

Embarrassingly, the Laodicean era of God's Church proclaims great events to come which have long since been fulfilled.

A thorough reading of the writings contained here will prove that point to any open minded reader.

Introduction to the chart

The chart on the homepage is not just an overview of Biblical history, it contains many examples of time spans that fulfil Biblical prophecies. The 2520 years of Israel and Judah's punishments, the 2300 years of Jerusalem's defilement, and the 490 years of the Seventy Week Prophecy can all be found here, alongside a number of other time related prophecies. To start with, the column to the very left contains the outline of the seven consecutive thousand year periods, which are figuratively foretold in Gen 1 and 2. The chart also contains the identity of the four "Beast" powers of Dan 7, i.e. the Gentile powers that conquered and occupied Jerusalem for 2520 years, including the usually overlooked Islamic powers that ruled the city of God for almost as long as all other Gentile powers combined. The "ten horns" of the fourth Beast are all listed, as well as the three times that the "little horn" of Dan 7:8 overthrew one of the ten horns.

Of course, the chart also shows the year we are in today. Remember that Biblical years and Roman years differ in that the former start on Abib or Nisan 1 (in March or April), whereas the latter start on January 1. By my reckoning, the Roman year 2024 aligns, on Abib/Nisan 1, with the beginning of the year 5993AM, i.e. the 5993rd year since Creation. Counting years from Creation is termed by chronologists "Anno Mundi" (year of the world).

You are welcome to download the chart, print it, or just study it in full on your own computer. I'm more than happy to answer any questions it may raise. If you do print it, I recommend using 140GSM, or thicker, paper, otherwise lines may not print properly. Also, print the chart no smaller than A3 size, for the sake of legibility.

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