February 25, 2023
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Remember that it was Stephen, as he was about to be stoned to death, who declared Israel to be the church in the wilderness: “This is he [Moses], that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the Mount Sina, and with our Fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us” (Acts 7:38). So, Israel was called out of the nations on Pentecost and given the law of God, and the Holy Spirit of Yahweh was given to the Ekklesia, who was called out from the house of Israel (Gentiles) and the House of Judah (Judahites) on Pentecost as well.

Is there only one called-out assembly as mentioned above? Or are there two as is taught today, with the church being the called-out assembly of God?

It is interesting to note that the children of Israel have gone through a physical wilderness, while the Ekklesia is going through a spiritual wilderness right now.

Dr. Chuck Missler stated:

Epistemology is the study of knowledge, its scope, and its limits. We discover that if we   know one’s hermeneutics (theory of interpretation), we will be able to predict the eschatology that will result. If one is willing to allegorize the Biblical text (Amillennialism), he will tend towards the left side (liberal) and if one tends to take the   text literally (Premillennialism), he will tend towards the right side (conservative).  Furthermore, one’s eschatology will also sharpen one’s ecclesiology (The Church in its mystical sense). It is interesting to also note that one’s ecclesiology will, of course, also impact one’s hermeneutics—thus, closing a loop which tends to drive the diligent toward an increasingly literal view as one gains perception into the linguistics.[1]

In other words, your ecclesiology will determine your eschatology; and to a certain extent, he is correct. But what if you are more fundamental than the most conservative evangelical Christian today? What if you only follow the rules of etymology with regard to the original languages of the Bible? Every translation in the world today that is not in the original language has its problems, especially any of the English translations. That is why it is especially frustrating in this age of Laodicea that most Christians just rely on the wolf in sheep’s clothing posing as a pastor/shepherd, or they attend a Bible study where they use the “Not Inspired Version” and spew forth their own opinions with regard to what the passage means to them instead of what the passage originally means by YAHWEH. Anyway, I am ranting.

So, what is this thing today called the church? It sure looks like Babylon to me. In Revelation 18:4, a voice from Heaven shouts, Come out of her, my people. But I am getting ahead of myself.

Who are these so-called bishops, pastors, elders, deacons, and so on who are mentioned in the Bible? Is there supposed to be a hierarchy in the Ekklesia? Has not Jesus stated quite plainly in Matthew 20:25–28:

Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles [nations] exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of Man came not be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His Life a ransom for many.

According to what Jesus has stated in Matthew 20:25–28, this is an open-and-shut case—there is not to be any hierarchy among the brethren. So, what we must have today is Babylon the Great. Satan likes to separate and organize the brethren and pit them against each other. Oh, by the way, have you noticed the last phrase in verse 28 above? Rather interesting, isn’t it? I think that narrows the gateway to salvation per Matthew 7:13–14, resulting in Jesus stating, “I never knew you,” in verses 21–23.

With regard to the church, one needs to define the following words:

  1. Church
  2. Pastor
  3. Bishop
  4. Elder
  5. Deacon

So, what exactly is the church? The term church is the Greek word Ekklesia, Strong’s no. G1577, and is defined as

[a] calling out, i.e. a popular meeting, especially a religious congregation, i.e., Jewish synagogue, or Christian community of members on earth or saints in heaven or both; an assembly, church.[2]

That is the conventional definition of today’s church. The proper definition is as follows:

A called-out assembly of believers in YAHSHUAH from the Houses of Israel and Judah.

            YAHSHUAH has personally used the term Ekklesia twice in Matthew and seven times in Revelation, and it is further used seventy times by the New Testament writers.[3] The term churches is also the Greek word Ekklesia and is personally used by YAHSHUAH twelve times in Revelation and twenty-four times by the New Testament writers.[4]

According to Ben William’s Anti-Thought Control Dictionary:

            The Controlled Meaning of Church is a building or organization for Christians to meet regularly for singing, praying, and worshiping.[5]

The True Meaning of the word, Church, comes from the Scottish word, Kirk, and the German word, Kirche, all originate from the Greek word, KURIOKOS, which means, THE LORD’S. A Church is anything belonging to a lord (any lord). The word origin and meaning has no logical connection to its modern-day usage among churchgoers. Its popular usage hails back to the 4th Century when the Roman Emperor Constantine created the state-sanctioned institution of The Church to bring certain religious sects under state control.[6]

The modern religious use of this word is enigmatic and defies all logic. The English Bible translators substituted the word, Church, for the actual Bible word, EKKLESIA.  A Christian Ekklesia is A CALLED OUT CIVIL BODY. In Scripture, it refers to the civil body of called-out followers of Yahshuah. The term is meaningful and should not be ignored or replaced by another word. The word, Church, does not actually appear in the Bible. When it appears in English translations (versions), it is a mistranslation.   KURIOKOS (CHURCH) is NOT EKKLESIA! The words are different; the institutions are different. Nowhere in the Bible do we find a Kuriokos. There is only the called-out elect Ekklesia, which unfortunately was mistranslated into Church, changing it in English to a form of state-sanctioned paganism. In the New Testament, Ekklesia, signifying   convocation, is the only single word used (translated) for Church. It was the name given to the governmental assembly of the citizens of Athens duly convoked (called-out) by proper officers, and possessing all political power, including even juridical functions.—  Encyclopedia Britannica, Ninth Edition (1889)[7]

 With regard to the term church fathers, Ben Williams has this to say:

The Controlled Meaning of Church Fathers is the great Bishops and defenders of Christianity during its first seven Centuries. Holy men who preserved, taught, and made application of the word of God from the time of the Apostles to the time that it was canonized and secured by the church.[8]

The Actual Meaning of the so-called Church Fathers, with the possible exception of one or two of every earliest, were Romanized change agents who, during the first few Centuries after Christ’s ascension, facilitated the replacement of the faith delivered to the saints over to a Babylonian/Judean paganism via the Church of Rome. They served the Church System, which usurped the original Ekklesia of Christ. The title, Church Fathers, is ignominious on its face, for it indicates a body of men, who bred and birthed a beast offspring. They Fathered the Church System, which conspired with Central Government to confuse and rule the Western world.[9]

These Fathers are responsible for perverting the Word of God, turning It from Truth to paganized fairy tales; from a Godly schematic of how to live a blessed life under the Reign of Christ and the Ekklesia, to a convoluted and confusing collection of disconnected and meaningless nonsense called Church Doctrine. Thus, they disabled and dispossessed the World of God, leaving government, law, and social order to the exclusive purview of evil men. The Church Fathers (including Constantine) put into place the Church System, with its perverted agenda that still holds sway over the minds and lives of most professing Christians. Most so-called Christians today learn church doctrine, rather than Bible doctrine. Most people, who claim to be Christians, are actually Churchites. They know the way of the Church, but they know little or nothing of the Way of Christ.[10]

This is confirmed by Arnold E. Kennedy in his book The Exclusiveness of Israel, wherein he states the following:

The word (Church) originates from the Greek word, kuriakos, which means, Belonging to the Lord. From this word, has developed the German kirche, the Dutch kerke, the Scottish kirk, and the English church. The word is first found in The Great Bible of 1570. In no   way does the word originate from Ekklesia, even if tradition would like to say that it does.[11]

Mr. Kennedy goes on to state:

The Old Testament equivalent is the Hebrew word, cahal (or qahal), which means to call or to assemble together, but there is not one place where it is rendered Church. Cahal is used seventy times and is mostly translated as congregation, this being The Congregation of Israel. An interesting feature is that this word is used for those called out of Israel to assemble before the Tabernacle and Temple, and it denies or excludes the mixed multitude (edahwhich is also translated as congregation), which comprised of those from other races, who had joined themselves to Israel. In the New Testament, there was a parallel situation of there being a mixed multitude in the Judean nation.[12]

In The Book of Revelation by R. K. and R.N. Philips (1992):

The term, Ekklesia, is the combination of two Greek words, ek—out of or from and kleis—to call. Ekklesia simply means an assembly, any assembly of people who are called out from other peoples and from which all aliens and slaves have been excluded (see Ellicott’s comments on Matthew 16:18). Hence, it is used of the whole nation of Israel, as distinct from other nations. For those who claim that trying to limit Ekklesia to Israel is a biased view, please read Dr. E.W. Bullinger’s The Apocalypse of the Day of the Lord from which these notes are summarized.[13]

This is also confirmed by Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary, wherein when one looks up the word, church, it states “see ASSEMBLY and CONGREGATION.”[14] As one can see, the word, church, means “belonging to the Lord (Yahweh),” not what history and culture have superimposed on the definition.

The next words will be easy to define. If there were not supposed to be any institutionalized churches per se, then there should not be any institutionalized leaders/positions, such as pastors, bishops, elders, and deacons. What do these words/titles actually mean?

According to Spiros Zodhiates’s The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament, the following words mean:

Pastor:            Poimen,[15] #G4166

                        Shepherd, one who generally cares for flocks.

Jesus Christ as the Great Shepherd, who watches over and provides for the welfare of the Ekklesia, His flock.

(Matthew 26:31; Mark 14:27 quoted from Zechariah 13:7; John 10:2, 11, 12, 14, 16; Hebrews 13:20; 1 Peter 2:25)

Deriv: archipoimen[16] (#G750), chief shepherd;

                                    poimaino[17] (#G4165) to tend, take general care of the flock;

                                    poimne[18] (#G4167) and poimnion (4168), flock.

                        Syn:    hegemon[19] (#G2232), a leader;

                                    archegos[20] (#G747), leader;

                                    presbuteros[21] (#G4245), elder, spiritual leader i.e. old man;

                                    didaskalos[22] (#G1320), teacher;

episkopos[23] (#G1985), overseer, superintendent.

Deacon:          Diakonos,[24] #G1249 (diakonos)

                        A technical term side by side with episkopos or overseer
(1 Timothy 3:8, 12; Philippians 1:1)

As one can see, all these positions are associated with shepherding a flock of sheep. YAHSHUAH is our great Shepherd who watches over Israel (His flock) all the time and has died for them (the many), so that is why all Israel is saved per Isaiah 45:17, 25 and Romans 11:26. All these so-called Churchianity positions do not exist; they are part and parcel of Babylon the Great. All these terms, if biblically defined, are older people teaching younger people the truth of God’s Word and making sure that true biblical doctrine is being administered in each Ekklesia. That is why Yahshuah asks the question in Luke 18:8, When the Son of Man cometh, shall He find (the) faith (belief) on the earth?

Next, when did the Ekklesia start?

YAHSHUAH stated in Matthew 16:18:

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock [YAHSHUAH] I will build My Ekklesia; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Paul went on to state in Colossians 1:18:

And He [YAHSHUAH] is the head of the body, the Ekklesia: who is the beginning, the first born from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence.

Biblically, YAHSHUAH was the Head Shepherd of His Ekklesia; and as such, He called out its first members in Matthew 10:2–4:

Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James, the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who    also betrayed Him.

According to Matthew 10:6–42, our Head Shepherd, Yahshuah, admonished His Ekklesia (the disciples) while He was on the earth:

But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. Provide neither gold nor silver, nor brass in your purses, nor script for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat. And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence. And when ye come into an house, salute it. And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. And whosever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city. Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. But beware of men for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; and ye shall be brought before governors and kings for My sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of Man be come. The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household? Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear that preach ye upon the housetops. And fear not them which kill the body but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. Whosoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in Heaven. But whosoever shall deny Me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which in Heaven. Think not that I am come to send peace on Earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother-in-law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he that taketh not his cross and followeth after Me, is not worthy of Me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for My sake shall find it. He that receiveth you receiveth Me, and he that receiveth Me receiveth him that sent Me. He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.

However, after His resurrection and before His ascension into Heaven, our Head Shepherd admonished His Ekklesia (the disciples and us today) in Matthew 28:18–20, saying:

All power is given unto Me in Heaven and in Earth.

  1. Go ye therefore, and
  2. Teach all nations (Israelites),
  3. Baptizing them in the name of:
  4. The Father, and of
  5. The Son, and of
  6. The Holy Ghost:
  7. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and
  8. Lo, I AM with you always, even unto the end of the world (age).

Please note that YAHSHUAH set the precedence as Paul reiterated in Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Judahite first, and also to the Greek.” YAHSHUAH was all about saving His own people (the Judahites) and even admonished the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the scribes, and the Essenes (the religious entities of His day) in Matthew 16:2–3, saying:

When it is evening, ye say, it will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the   morning, it will be foul weather today: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?

All the religious entities of His day knew that YAHSHUAH was the Messiah with the miracles that He performed that only YAHWEH could do:

  1. Raise the dead (Matthew 9:23–26).
  2. Heal the blind (Matthew 20:29–34).
  3. Heal the deaf (Mark 7:31–37).
  4. Heal the paralytic (Matthew 9:1–8).
  5. Heal the leper (Matthew 8:1–4).
  6. Cast out demons (Matthew 12:22–23).
  7. Cast out a legion of demons (Matthew 8:28–34).
  8. Calm a stormy sea (Matthew 8:23–27).
  9. Feed four thousand people (Matthew 15:32–39).
  10. Feed five thousand people (Matthew 14:15–21).

And remember also that YAHSHUAH stated that He could only do that which He had seen His Father did as stated in John 5:19–20:

Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth Him all things that Himself doeth: and He will shew Him greater works than these, that ye may       marvel.

Why? Because I and the Father are one (John 10:30). Does the Ekklesia really know what time it is?

As a side note, according to Lt. Col. F. Roberts, it would be interesting to note that there were 153 special people who received direct blessings/healing from our Lord YASHUAH.[25] This list did not include Zacharias, Elizabeth, John the Baptist, Joseph, Simeon, or Anna as these people were blessed before the birth or just after the birth of our Lord and Savior, YAHSHUAH.

  1. The leper (Matthew 8:2) (1)
  2. The centurion and his servant (Matthew 8:5) (2)
  3. The mother of Peter’s wife (Matthew 8:14) (1)
  4. The two possessed with demons (Matthew 8:18) (2)
  5. The palsied man and his bearers (Matthew 9:2, Mark 2:3) (5)
  6. Jairus and his daughter (Matthew 9:18) (2)
  7. The woman with the issue of blood (Matthew 9:21) (1)
  8. The blind men (Matthew 9:27) (2)
  9. The dumb man (Matthew 9:32) (1)
  10. The eleven apostles (Matthew 10:2) (11)
  11. The man with the withered hand (Matthew 12:10) (1)
  12. The blind and dumb with the devil (Matthew 12:22) (1)
  13. The brethren of the Lord (Matthew 13:55) (4)
  14. The Syrophoenician woman and daughter (Matthew 15:22) (2)
  15. The lunatic child and father (Matthew 17:14) (2)
  16. The blind men leaving Jericho, Bartimeus being one of them (Mark 10:46) (2)
  17. Simon the leper (Matthew 26:6) (1)
  18. Mary, the sister of Lazarus (Matthew 26:7) (1)
  19. The centurion (Matthew 27:54) (1)
  20. Salome, mother of Zebedee’s children (Matthew 27:56) (1)
  21. Mary, mother of James and wife of Cleopas (Matthew 27:56) (1)
  22. Mary Magdalene (Matthew 27:56) (1)
  23. Joseph of Arimathea (Matthew 27:57) (1)
  24. The man with the unclean spirit (Mark 1:23) (1)
  25. The deaf and dumb man (Mark 7:32) (1)
  26. The blind man (Mark 8:22) (1)
  27. The son of the widow of Nain (Luke 7:12) (1)
  28. A woman, a sinner (Luke 7:37) (1)
  29. Joanna and Susanna (Luke 8:3) (2)
  30. A disciple—“follow Me” (Luke 9:59) (1)
  31. The seventy disciples (Luke 10:1) (70)
  32. Martha, sister of Lazarus (Luke 10:38) (1)
  33. The woman with an infirmity (Luke 13:11) (1)
  34. The man with dropsy (Luke 14:2) (1)
  35. The ten lepers (Luke 17:12) (10)
  36. The blind man approaching Jericho (Luke 18:35) (1)
  37. Zaccheus (Luke 19:2) (1)
  38. Malchus (Luke 22:51) (1)
  39. The penitent thief (Luke 23:43) (1)
  40. The two disciples at Emmaus (Luke 24:13) (2)
  41. Nicodemus (John 3:1) (1)
  42. The woman of Samaria (John 4:4) (1)
  43. The nobleman and his sick son (John 4:46) (2)
  44. The impotent man at Bethesda (John 5:1) (1)
  45. The woman taken in adultery (John 8:11) (1)
  46. The man born blind (John 9) (1)
  47. Lazarus (John 11) (1)
  48. Mary, the mother of Jesus (John 19:25) (1)

TOTAL = 153[26]        

How many fish did Simon Peter draw from the net in John 21:11? It was 153. E. W. Bullinger stated that “this is the lesson of the 153 great fishes.”[27]

So, to recount, our only Shepherd was YAHSHUAH; the first Ekklesia was made up of the twelve apostles, who were admonished to preach to the house of Judah first and then to the house of Israel; and the religious entities of His time did not know, acknowledge, or want to acknowledge the times in which they lived (i.e., they did not want to lose the power in which they had because of their special deal with the Roman Empire).

How is it that Jesus is the Head Shepherd of His Ekklesia? According to Acts 2:47b, “And the Lord added to the Ekklesia daily such as should be saved.” Well, to add to something, it has to already be in existence, correct? So that makes the ministry of Jesus the beginning of the Ekklesia.

So, who is Jesus truly addressing in His parables? Reread the parables from the perspective that Jesus is addressing the house of Judah and the lost sheep of the house of Israel and that the kingdom of God is on this earth. For example, The Lord God states in Isaiah 6:9–10:

And He [the Lord God] said: Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, reiterates this in Matthew 13:13–17:

Therefore, I speak to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

So why will there be people that Yahweh and Yahshuah will not want to be saved? Remember the potter and the clay? The tares and the wheat?

Finally, how long will the Ekklesia be on the earth, and how and when does the Ekklesia age end? As previously discussed, the Ekklesia has started with Jesus Christ at the beginning of His ministry, which has started on Tishri 10 (the Day of Atonement), AD 29. And it is also our Lord and Savior who

  1. is in the midst of the Ekklesia age (Revelation 1:12–16),
  2. has outlined the Ekklesia age (Revelation 2–3), and
  3. has stated that He will come back for us in the event known as the harpazo (Strong’s no. G726, which means “to seize (in various applications); to catch (away, up), pluck, pull, take (by force)”).[28]

So Yahshuah, the Head of the Ekklesia, has created the Ekklesia, is in the midst of His Ekklesia, has outlined its history in advance, and will come back for us. But before getting into the harpazo, one has to define/discuss the Ekklesia age (known in secular history circles as the church age).

According to Tim LaHaye:

The seven periods of the Church Age are as follows:

  1. Ephesus: The Apostolic Church             (30–100)
  2. Smyrna: The Persecuted Church         (100–313)
  3. Pergamos: The State Church               (313–590)
  4. Thyatira: The Papal Church                 (590–1517)
  5. Sardis: The Reformed Church            (1517–1730)
  6. Philadelphia: The Missionary Church  (1730–1900)
  7. Laodicea: The Apostate Church         (1900–PRESENT)[29]

According to Jacob Prasch:

These seven churches, which actually existed in the first century (things which you have seen,) also represent seven broad types of churches that can exist at any time in history (things which are,) and seven generally overlapping periods of church history (things which will take place). These seven letters to the seven churches of Asia can be applied in four main ways:

  1. They existed literally and historically at the end of the 1st Century A.D.
  2. They are seven types of churches, which exist at any time throughout history.
  3. They represent seven types of churches that will exist at the end of the age.
  4. They correspond quite well to the seven periods of church history.[30]

But to understand the Ekklesia age, who stands in the midst of it? In Revelation 1:19, John has been told by YAHSHUAH to

  1. write the things which thou hast seen, and
  2. the things which are, and
  3. the things which shall be hereafter.

According to Clarence Larkin:

The things which thou hast seen, refers to the vision of the Son of Man in the midst of the Lampstands (Revelation 1:10–20), The things which are, refers to the messages to  the Seven Churches (Revelation 2:1–3:22), the things which shall be hereafter, refers to those events after the Church Period ends (Revelation 4:1–22:21).[31]

Larkin further divides the book of Revelation into “Seven Sevens”:[32]

  1. The Seven Churches
  2. The Seven Seals
  3. The Seven Trumpets
  4. The Seven Personages
  5. The Seven Vials
  6. The Seven Doom
  7. The Seven New Things

Larkin’s classical dispensational viewpoint is the standard used to interpret the book of Revelation today, whether it is by Mark Hitchcock, Tim LaHaye, Chuck Missler, or John Walvoord.

The King James Version translates Revelation 1:12 as

And I [John] turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks.

However, the International Standard Version translates it as

Then I (John) turned to see who was talking to me, and when I turned, I saw seven gold lamp stands.[33]

Larkin states:

A candlestick requires a light such as a candle, which is self-consuming, while a   “lampstand” is for the support of a lamp whose wick instead of burning away is fed from the oil within. In the Scriptures, oil is emblematic of the Holy Spirit, and as Jesus Himself interprets the “lampstands” as meaning the Seven Churches to whom He was about to send messages, we see that Jesus looks upon the churches as not the LIGHT, but simply the “LIGHT HOLDER.”[34]

John Walvoord, as well as the International Standard Version 2.0, states:

It should be translated as seven golden lampstands, and that there are seven separate lampstands each made of gold and arranged in a circle.[35]

This, of course, is a reference to the seven churches, of which John has seen in Revelation 1:13–16:

And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and His hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and His eyes were as a flame of fire; And His feet like unto fine brass, as if They burned in a furnace; and His voice as the sound of    many waters. And He had in His right hand seven stars: and out of His mouth went a   sharp two-edged sword: and His countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.

So, John sees the glorified Yahshuah. David Hamblin states:

The vision not only conveys aspects of Jesus’ character and majesty, but also flavors each of the church’s letters by giving insights into the church’s favor or disfavor, depending on which detail is used.[36]

Mr. Hamblin further states the following:

  1. The garment down to the foot and girt about the paps with a golden girdle shows Christ as humanity’s high priest (Hebrews 3:1; 6:20).
  2. His head and His hairs were white like wool, as white as snow, portray Christ as a Man full of wisdom of the ages (Leviticus 19:32).
  3. His eyes were as a flame of fire, indicates that Christ constantly seeks the truth and executes judgment (I Peter 3:12; Isaiah 10:17).
  4. His feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace, demonstrate how Christ destroys Satan and sin, while simultaneously protecting the righteous from the furnaces of persecution (John 3:14; Exodus 38:3; Number 21:9; Matthew 27:46; Daniel 3:20–23).
  5. His voice as the sound of many waters suggests that He is the source of the water of life (John 3:14; Revelation 21:6).
  6. Out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword is the Word of God (Hebrews 4:12; Luke 4:4; Deuteronomy 10:16).
  7. His countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength shows Christ’s close fellowship with His Father (Exodus 24:29–35; Matthew 17:1–2).
  8. Finally, the seven golden candle lamp stands portray Christ as the church’s close friend and protector.[37]

Mr. Hamblin further postulates the following in his book:

  1. Jesus Christ was a prince in Chapter 1.
  2. Satan and his angels rebelled at the idea of Christ becoming the King of Kings and are subsequently thrown out of heaven in Chapter 12.
  3. Jesus Christ is crowned as the King of Kings in Chapter 19.[38]

Regardless of how one interprets the Ekklesia or the Ekklesia age, the seven lampstands definitely represent the seven Ekklesias, and Jesus Christ is definitely standing in the midst of them. Yahshuah is the light of the world (John 8:12), and it is the task of the Ekklesia to hold Him forth before the world, and the Ekklesia is to proclaim this light of Yahshuah to the world (Matthew 18:18–20). Therefore, the Ekklesias receive their light from Yahshuah. Unless Yahshuah stands in the midst of the Ekklesia, it will have no light. The Ekklesia must see to it that Yahshuah is in its midst, as well as proclaim His light to the world. However, we live in the age of Babylonian churchianity, and the Laodicean Babylonian church is neither hot nor cold; it is lukewarm. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

YAHSHUAH has warned His Ekklesia in John 16:33:

These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world, ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer: I have overcome the world.

The word tribulation is the Hebrew word tsarah[39] (Strong’s no. H6869, which means “adversity, affliction, anguish, distress, tribulation, trouble”) and is the Greek word thlipsis[40] (Strong’s no. G2347, which means “[a]fflicted, anguish, burdened, persecution, tribulation, trouble,”), which is used by both Paul and John all throughout the New Testament.[41] Could Yahshuah be referring to the ten days of awe, which fall between the Feast of Trumpets (Tishri 1/2) and the Day of Atonement (Tishri 10)?

Most biblical and some secular historians have pointed to these ten days of tribulation, as stated by our Lord and Savior in Revelation 2:10 (ye shall have tribulation ten days), as having been fulfilled via the persecutions of the true Ekklesia by the ten Roman emperors, that is,

  1. Nero,
  2. Domitian,
  3. Trajan,
  4. Marcus Aurelius,
  5. Severus,
  6. Maximus,
  7. Decius,
  8. Valerian,
  9. Aurelian, and
  10. Diocletian.[42]

Throughout the church age, the true Ekklesia has been persecuted by the Jews and the Roman emperors but especially by the Roman popes during the Dark Ages. According to Dr. Wallace, “The Dark Ages would last for about eleven and a half Centuries, from the middle of the 5th Century to the beginning of the 16th Century.”[43] Dr. Wallace then goes on to quote J. M. Carroll from his book The Trail of Blood:

I again call your attention to those upon whom the hard hand of persecution fell. If fifty million died of persecution during the 1,200 years of persecution during the “Dark Ages” as history seems positively to teach—then they died faster than an average of four million every one hundred years. That seems almost beyond the limit of human conception. As before mention, this iron hand, dripping with martyr blood, fell upon Paulicians, Arnoldists, Henreicians, Petro Brussians, Albigenses, Waldenses, and Ana-Baptists—of course much harder upon some than others.[44]

This period of Babylonian church history is addressed by YAHSHUAH in His letters to Pergamos (the state church: 313–590) and Thyatira (the papal church: 590–1517).

From a secular historical perspective, the world was in upheaval with two major events:

  1. By AD 476, the Western Roman Empire was invaded by Barbarians and, as a result, was broken up into ten kingdoms. Sir Isaac Newton argued that these ten kingdoms were the ten horns of Daniel 8 and consisted of:
  2. the kingdom of the Vandals and Alans in Spain and Africa,
  3. the kingdom of the Suevians in Spain,
  4. the kingdom of the Visigoths,
  5. the kingdom of the Alans in Gallia,
  6. the kingdom of the Burgundians,
  7. the kingdom of the Franks,
  8. the kingdom of the Britains,
  9. the kingdom of the Hunns,
  10. the kingdom of the Lombards, and
  11. the kingdom of Ravenna.[45]

Sir Isaac went on to state that the pope, representing the little horn (i.e., the Antichrist), uprooted three horns:

  1. The exarchate of Ravenna
  2. The kingdom of the Lombards
  3. The senate and dukedom of Rome

This was whereby the pope “acquired Peter’s Patrimony out of their dominions; and thereby rose up as a temporal Prince or King, or horn of the Fourth Beast.”[46]

So, Sir Isaac Newton believed that the pope/papacy was the eleventh horn, thus representing the Antichrist; and obviously, Satan had had “an Antichrist” waiting in the wings throughout history for Jesus Christ’s return. These kingdoms were later reformed and eventually reorganized into a new “Holy Roman Empire.” It is interesting to note that until the 1500s, the Ekklesia historically recognized that the pope/papacy was the Antichrist system. What had happened since? How did the pope go from being the Antichrist in the sixteenth century to being a brother in Christ in the twenty-first century?

  1.  In AD 623, a man by the name of Muhammad came on the scene in Arabia and began to push his new political religious ideology, Islam (which meant submission), a culmination of Jewish, Christian, and ancient Arab pagan beliefs. At first, this ideology was not accepted; but eventually, because of massive proselytizing through violence and threat of death, Islam eventually spread and conquered the lands of Arabia, the Middle East, and northern Africa. Before 1924, Islam was spread through “violent jihad.” Today, Islam would spread through “cultural jihad,” wherein Muslims would:
  2. immigrate to Western nations;
  3. infiltrate those same Western governments, which would eventually lead to the establishment of a caliphate;
  4. implement Sharia law.

Would the world see a neo-Ottoman Empire soon that had nuclear weapons?

From an Ekklesiastical historical perspective, the rise of the paganized Babylonian church took place during this same time-period, wherein “the Church became more Roman and less Christian in its practices”:[47]

220:     Origen introduced infant baptism.

300:     There were prayers for the dead.

The sign of the cross was made.

312:     Constantine adopted Christianity.

320:     Wax candles were introduced.

325:     Edict of toleration: the state endorsed religion.

375:     Dead saints and angels were venerated (worshipped).

380:     House churches were outlawed.

Bishops Theodosius and Gratian ordered that there should be only one state-recognized Orthodox church.

Every Roman citizen was forced to be a member and should be made to believe lex fidei, the law of faith.

394:     Mass, as a daily celebration, was first instituted.

416:     Infant baptism became compulsory in the Western world.

431:     The Council of Ephesus: Mary was worshipped as the “Mother of God.”

440:     Leo the Great became the “bishop of Rome.”

445:     Valentian was confirmed as “spiritual leader of the Western Empire.”

500:     Common priestly dress code was introduced.

526:     Extreme unction was introduced.

565:     Justinian made a state-ordained church.

593:     The doctrine of purgatory was introduced.

600:     Worship services were conducted in Latin.

Prayers were directed to Mary.

607:     Boniface III became the first pope of the Catholic Church.

709:     Kissing of the pope’s feet began.

750:     Pepin gave the city of Rome and its surrounding territory to the pope.

Temporal power of the popes began.

786:     Worship of the cross, images, and relics was authorized.

850:     Use of “holy water” began.

890:     Veneration of Saint Joseph began.

965:     Canonization of dead saints began.

998:     Fasting on Fridays and during Lent was introduced.

1079:   Celibacy of the priesthood was instituted.

1090:   The rosary (prayer beads) was adopted from paganism.

1184:   The inquisition of heretics began and would last until 1826.

1215:   Transubstantiation of the water and wine was introduced.

Confession of sin to a priest at least once a year was instituted.

1220:   Adoration of the wafer (Host) began.

1229:   Reading of the Bible was forbidden to laypeople.

1254:   Pope Innocence IV officially established the sale of indulgences.

1414:   The communion cup was forbidden to laypeople.

1439:   The doctrine of purgatory was decreed.

The doctrine of seven sacraments was affirmed.

1508:   The Ave Maria was approved.

1534:   The Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) was founded.

1545:   The Council of Trent: Tradition was granted equal authority with the Bible.

1546:   Apocryphal books were put into the Bible.

1560:   The Creed of Pope Pius IV was imposed as the official creed.

1854:   The immaculate conception of Mary was instituted.

1864:   The Syllabus of Errors was proclaimed.

1870:   The infallibility of the pope was declared.

1930:   Public schools were condemned.

1950:   The assumption of the Virgin Mary was declared.

1965:   Mary was proclaimed as the Mother of the church.[48]­–­­[49]

With the above list, which is not all-inclusive, it is no wonder why Dave Hunt argues that the Roman Catholic Church is the woman who rides the beast in Revelation 17, wherein he states:

The leaders of the Reformation were certain that she [the woman] represented the Roman Catholic Church in general and the Pope in particular . . . and that the vision of The Woman riding the Beast provides insights into occurrences which have shaped world history in the past and which will profoundly determine human destiny in the future. She sits, in fact, not only astride the Beast, but upon the culmination of centuries of relation Bible prophecy.[50]

With regard to this same period, Frank Viola and George Barna have written a book entitled Pagan Christianity: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices, wherein they quote G.W. F. Hegel, who states, “What history teaches us is that men have never learned anything from it.”[51] The following summary is neither complete nor detailed. Note that “all of the practices are postbiblical, postapostolic, and mostly influenced by pagan culture”:[52]

The Church Building:

The Church Building:

First constructed under Constantine around 327. The earliest church buildings were patterned after the Roman basilicas, which were modeled after Greek temples.

The Sacred Space:

Christians borrowed this idea from the pagans in the 2nd and 3rd Centuries. The burial places of the martyrs were regarded as “sacred.” In the 4th Century, church buildings were erected on these burial places, thus creating “sacred” buildings.

The Pastor’s Chair:

Derived from the cathedral, which was the bishop’s chair or throne. This chair replaced the seat of the judge in the Roman basilica.

Tax-Exempt Status for Churches and Christian Clergy:

Emperor Constantine gave churches tax-exempt status in 323. He made clergy exempt  from paying taxes in 313, a privilege that pagan priests enjoyed.

Stained-Glass Windows:

First introduced by Gregory of Tours and brought to perfection by Sugar (1081–1151), abbot of St. Denis.

Gothic Cathedrals:               

12th Century. These edifices were built according to the pagan philosophy of Plato (on ley lines).

The Steeple:                          

Rooted in ancient Babylonian and Egyptian architecture and philosophy, the steeple was a medieval invention that was popularized and modernized by Sir Christopher Wren in London around 1666. The Steeple is an ancient phallic symbol, i.e. an obelisk.

The Pulpit:                            

Used in the Christian church as early as 250. It came from the Greek ambo, which was a   pulpit used by both Greeks and Jews for delivering monologues.

The Pew:                               

Evolved from the 13th through the 18th Centuries England.

The Order of Worship:

The Sunday Morning Order of Worship: 

Evolved from Gregory’s Mass in the 6th Century and the revisions made by Luther, Calvin, the Puritans, the Free Church tradition, the Methodists, the Frontier-Revivalists, and the Pentecostals.

The Centrality of the Pulpit in the Order of Worship:

Martin Luther in 1523.

Two Candles Placed on Top of the “Communion Table” and Incense Burning:

Candles were used in the ceremonial court of Roman Emperors in the 4th Century. The Communion table was introduced by Ulrich Zwingli in the 16th Century.

Taking the Lord’s Supper:

Ulrich Zwingli in the 16th Century.

The Congregation Standing and Singing When the Clergy Enters:

Borrowed from the ceremonial court of Roman Emperors in the 4th Century. Brought into the Protestant liturgy by John Calvin.

Coming to Church with a Somber/Reverent Attitude:

Based on the medieval view of piety. Brought into the Protestant service by John Calvin and Martin Bucer.

Condemnation and Guilt over Missing a Sunday Service:

17th Century New England Puritans.

The Long “Pastoral Prayer” Preceding the Sermon:

17th Century Puritans.

The Pastoral Prayer Uttered in Elizabethan English:

18th Century Methodists.

The Goal of All Preaching to Win Individual Souls:

18th Century Frontier-Revivalists

The Altar Call:

Instituted by 17th Century Methodists and popularized by Charles Finney.

The Church Bulletin (Written Liturgy):

Originated in 1884 with Albert Blake Dick’s stencil duplicating machine.

The “Solo” Salvation Hymn, Door-to-Door Witnessing, and Evangelistic Advertising/Campaigning:

  1. L. Moody.

The Decision Card:

Invented by Absalom B. Earle (1812–1895) and popularized by D. L. Moody.

Bowing Heads with Eyes Closed and Raising the Hand in Response to a Salvation Message:

Billy Graham in the 20th Century.

“The Evangelization of the World in One Generation” Slogan:

John Mott around 1888.

Solo or Choral Music Played during the Offering:

20th Century Pentecostals.

The Sermon:

The Contemporary Sermon:

Borrowed from the Greek sophists, who were masters at oratory and rhetoric. John Chrysostom and Augustine popularized the Greco-Roman homily (sermon) and made it a central part of the Christian faith.

The One-Hour Sermon, Sermon Crib Notes, and the Four-Part Sermon Outline:

17th Century Puritans.

The Pastor:

The Single Bishop (Predecessor of the Contemporary Pastor):

Ignatius of Antioch in the early 2nd Century. Ignatius’ model of one-bishop rule did not prevail in the churches until the 3rd Century.

The “Covering” Doctrine:

Cyprian of Carthage, a former pagan orator. Revived under Juan Carlos Ortiz from Argentina and the “Fort Lauderdale Five” from the United States, creating the so-called “Shepherding-Discipleship Movement” in the 1970’s.

Hierarchal Leadership:

Brought into the church by Constantine in the 4th Century. This was the leadership style of the Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, and Romans.

Clergy and Laity:

The word laity first appears in the writings of Clement of Rome (d. 100). Clergy first appears in Tertullian. By the 3rd Century, Christian leaders were universally called clergy.

Contemporary Ordination:

Evolved from the 2nd Century to the 4th Century. It was taken from the Roman custom of appointing men to civil office. The idea of the ordained minister as the “holy man of   God” can be traced to Augustine, Gregory of Nazianzus, and Chrysostom.

The Title “Pastor”:

Catholic priests who became Protestant ministers were not universally called pastors until the 18th Century under the influence of Lutheran Pietists.

Sunday Morning Costumes:

Christians Wearing Their “Sunday Best” for Church:

Began in the late 18th Century with the Industrial Revolution and became widespread in    the mid-19th Century. The practice is rooted in the emerging middle-class effort to become like their wealthy aristocrat contemporaries.

Clergy Attire:

Began in 330 when Christian clergy started wearing the garb of Roman officials. By the 12th Century, the clergy began wearing everyday street clothes that distinguished them from the people.

The Evangelical Pastor’s Suit:

A descendant of the black scholar’s gown worn by Reformation ministers; the black lounge suit of the 20th Century became the typical costume of the contemporary pastor.

The Clerical (Backwards) Collar:

Invented by Rev. Dr. Donald McLeod of Glasgow in 1865.

Ministers of Music:

The Choir:

Provoked by Constantine’s desire to mimic professional music in Roman imperial ceremonies. In the 4th Century, the Christians borrowed the choir idea from the choirs used in Greek dramas and Greek temples.

The Boys Choir:

Began in the 4th Century, borrowed from the boys’ choirs used by the pagans.

Funeral Processions and Orations:

Borrowed from Greco-Roman paganism in the 3rd Century.

The Worship Team:

Calvary Chapel in 1965, patterned after secular rock concerts.

Tithing and Clergy Salaries:


Did not become a widespread Christian practice until the 8th Century. The tithe was taken from the 10 percent rent charge used in the Roman Empire and later justified using the Old Testament.

Clergy Salaries:

Instituted by Constantine in the 4th Century.

The Collection Plate:

The alms dish appeared in the 14th Century. Passing a collection plate began in 1662.

The Usher:

Began with Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603). The predecessor of the usher is the church porter, a position that can be traced back to the 3rd Century.

Baptism and The Lord’s Supper:

Infant Baptism:

Rooted in the superstitious beliefs that pervaded the Greco-Roman culture, it was brought into the Christian faith in the late 2nd Century. By the 5th Century, it replaced adult baptism.

Sprinkling Replacing Immersion:

Began in the late Middle Ages in the Western churches.

Baptism Separated from Conversion:

Began in the early 2nd Century as a result of the legalistic view that baptism was the only medium for the forgiveness of sins.

The “Sinner’s Prayer”:

Originated with D. L. Moody and made popular in the 1950s through Billy Graham’s Peace with God tract and later with Campus Crusade for Christ’s Four Spiritual Laws.

Use of the Term “Personal Savior”:

Spawned in the mid-1800s by the Frontier-Revivalist influence and popularized by Charles Fuller (1887–1968).

The Lord’s Supper Condensed from a Full “Agape” Meal to Only the Cup and the Bread:

The late 2nd Century as a result of pagan ritual influences.

Christian Education:

The Catholic Seminary:

The first seminary began as a result of the Council of Trent (1545–1563). The curriculum was based on the teachings of Thomas Aquinas, which was a blending of Aristotle’s    philosophy, Neoplatonic philosophy, and Christian doctrine.

The Protestant Seminary:

Began in Andover, Massachusetts, in 1808. Its curriculum, too, was built on the teachings of Thomas Aquinas.

The Bible College:

Influenced by the revivalism of D. L. Moody, the first two Bible colleges were the Missionary Training Institute (Nyack College, New York) in 1882 and Moody Bible Institute (Chicago) in 1886.

The Sunday School:

Created by Robert Raikes from Britain in 1780. Raikes did not found the Sunday school for the purpose of religious instruction. He founded it to teach poor children the basics of education.

The Youth Pastor:

Developed in urban churches in the late 1930s and 1940s as a result of seeking to meet the needs of a new sociological class called “teenagers.”

Re-Approaching the New Testament:

Paul’s Letters Combined into a Canon and Arranged according to Descending Length:

Early 2nd Century.

Chapter Numbers Placed in the New Testament:

University of Paris professor Stephen Langton in 1227.

Verses Added to New Testament Chapters:

Printer Robert Stephanus in 1551.[53]

As a result of the paganism that is free flowing in today’s Laodicean Babylonian church, Frank Viola and George Barna suggest the following:[54]

  1. A new approach to worship
  2. A new approach to spiritual growth
  3. A new approach to managing resources
  4. A new look at your identity

Eric Jon Phelps goes one step further and accuses the papacy of creating Islam in AD 622 to persecute and murder the true Christ-believing Christians since the seventh century, as well as accusing the Jesuits of having its tentacles into every world government and corporation since the sixteenth century.[55] In other words, any Christians or infidels that Islam could not persecute or kill, the Jesuits will have the other world governments and corporations finish the job.

It is interesting to note, based on YouTube videos, that Mr. Phelps further believes that the Vatican (i.e., Pope Francis specifically)

  1. will celebrate the five-hundredth anniversary of the Reformation by bringing all religions (religious leaders) together to sign a concordat wherein all religious believers are brothers in Christ and
  2. will create a Sunni Islamic caliphate.

In other words, Mr. Phelps believes that Pope Francis is on his way to creating a one world religion and a new world order. Sound familiar? By the way, Shi’ite Islam was never meant to have existed.

Avi Lipkin has stated that former President Barack Obama has three agendas:

  1. Change the United States from a Christian nation to an Islamic nation
  2. Destroy the Shi’ite regime in Iran and replace it with a Sunni regime
  3. Destroy Israel[56]

As a result, Mr. Lipkin has believed that former President Obama has signed the agreement with Iran to paint Israel into a corner, whereby Israel will unilaterally attack Iran, thus bringing an Iranian nuclear response. Hence, both nations will be destroyed, thus bringing about a Sunni caliphate (i.e., the neo-Ottoman Empire).[57]

It is interesting to note that ISIS is doing what past Islamists have always done (i.e., killing Christians in the Middle East and the world), yet they have not touched Israel. Rather interesting, don’t you think? As of January 2020, the United States under President Donald Trump and Iran have exchanged barrages of missiles but not yet declaring war. All the while, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey is waiting in the wings to become the new caliph of the neo-Ottoman Empire. So, will a neo-Ottoman Empire rise from the ashes of history? Or will it be the twelfth imam, the Mahdi of Shi’ite lore?[58]

However, with all that being said, Dr. J. P. Moreland claims that there were

[t]wo major developments which emerged in the late 19th Century that contributed to the loss of the Christian mind in America:

  1. The legacy of the Pilgrims and Puritans waned; and
  2. New movements emerged from which the evangelical church has never fully recovered: the emergence of anti-intellectualism and evangelical withdrawal.[59]

The spirit of Antichrist.

Was this the beginning of the age of Laodicea? Well, according to Dr. Moreland, the church went from intellectualism (most pastors pre-1900 were the most intellectual in town, that is, heads of universities) to emotionalism, that is, the Great Awakening brought in emotions (the feelings in the heart, that is, altar calls with soft music). The Great Awakening also brought about burned-over districts, wherein areas of the country had been burned over by revivals and emotionalism; and as a result, Christian Science, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormonism, and other cults in general grew in these areas.

As a result of the thousands that were saved to Yahshuah, the church developed an uneducated clergy, among all the Christian denominations. In other words, if a person felt called to preach, then that person could be ordained and given a church to pastor (i.e., one could be dumb as a goose and not be educated in the original biblical languages and still pastor a church). Sounds familiar? Academically, if one were going to teach history or science, one would have to be educated in that discipline. However, if one were going to pastor a church, all one had to do was to be sincere and feel called.

The Great Awakening accomplished only half the Great Commission by bringing people to salvation; however, it did not continue with discipleship, which led us to how the church worked today. To note, this author was not disparaging that fact that thousands, perhaps millions, were saved to Yahshuah during this period. However, this author was stating that of those saved, those who were called to be pastors were not educated in the original languages of the Bible and therefore could not teach in context but taught from the heart. Dr. J. P. Moreland quoted historian George Marsden, who said it best: “Anti-intellectualism was a feature of American revivalism.”[60]

As a result, in 1859, the church in America was attacked by Darwinism. From 1900 to 1920, the liberals attacked the north, and the Scopes Trial (Darwinism) attacked the south. Ultimately, the pastorate in America caved to Darwinism, and the church started its decline as God was replaced by this pseudoscience that required far more faith than that of creationism.[61] As a result of this decline, the degradation of morality came in the United States. In retrospect, briefly:

1930:   John Dewey, the father of modern secular humanism, instituted the modern U.S. educational framework.[62]

1948:   In McCollum v. Board of Education, the practice of having religious instructors from different denominations to enter public schools to offer religious lessons during the school day was invalidated.[63]

1962:   In Engle v. Vitale, school-sponsored prayer was outlawed in U.S. schools.[64]

1963:   In Abington School District v. Schempp, daily reading of the Bible was outlawed in U.S. schools.[65]

1968:   In Epperson v. Arkansas, the statute prohibiting the teaching of evolution was overturned.[66]

1973:   Roe v. Wade declared that abortion was the law of the land and had been exported to all nations who did business with the United States. (Remember, Israel sacrificed its young to Moloch.)[67]

1980:   The names of the Lord God and Jesus Christ were outlawed at all formal military functions. (Is it any wonder why America has not won any wars?)

1987:   In Edwards v. Aguilar, required teaching of both evolution and creationism was overturned, concluding that the law impermissibly promoted a particular religious belief (i.e., the Creator’s name was outlawed in U.S. school science classes).[68]

From 1990 to 2016, U.S. Presidents, Bush Sr., Clinton, Bush Jr., and Obama had believed that to have peace in the Middle East, Israel must return to its 1967 borders and apportion it out to Israel’s enemies (i.e., the Muslims). With each attempt to divide the land of Israel, a natural catastrophe had happened to the United States within minutes/hours of the attempt.[69]

However, from 2016 to 2020, U.S. President Donald J. Trump had done the following for Israel:

  1. In 2018, he moved the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, thus recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
  2. In 2019, he gave the Golan Heights to Israel.
  3. In 2019, he “cut off” aid to the Palestinians to bring them to the “peace table.”
  4. In 2019, he was moving toward a major war with Iran.
  5. In January 2020, he used a Reaper drone to take out Iran’s no. 2 man, General Soleimani.
  6. In January 2020, both the United States and Iran had traded barrages of missiles between them in Iraq and Iran.

Sound familiar to anyone? Additionally, during this period, each of the above-mentioned U.S. administrations (with the exception of President Trump) had further kicked God out of the American culture.

1992:   In Lee v. Weisman, school-sponsored prayer delivered by invited clergy at a school commencement was prohibited. In other words, the name of the Lord God was outlawed at graduation ceremonies in U.S. schools.[70]

2000:   In Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe, student-recited prayers were prohibited at high school football games.[71]

2000:   In Baker v. State of Vermont, Vermont began offering civil unions after a ruling by the state’s supreme court.[72]

2002:   In Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow, the Pledge of Allegiance with the phrase under God in it was outlawed in U.S. schools.[73]

2003:   In Goodridge et al. v. Dept. of Public Health, Massachusetts’s highest court ruled that the state constitution guaranteed same-sex couples the right to marry.[74]

2005:   Connecticut governor M. Jodi Rell signed into law a measure allowing same-sex couples to enter into civil unions and became the first state to approve civil unions without being forced by the courts.

From 2009 to 2016, former U.S. President Barack Obama attacked the following:

  1. Religious freedom
  2. Sanctity of life
  3. Sanctity of marriage
  4. Sanctity of the family[75]

2015:   In Obergefell v. Hodges, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex unions were legal in all fifty states[76] (just as in the days of Lot).

Additionally, Pastor Doug Shearer had tracked seven interrelated trends and their impact on the church:

  1. Interest in Bible prophecy
  2. Out-front Gospel
  3. Hatred of Israel
  4. Anti-Semitism
  5. Immorality
  6. Hostility against Christians
  7. Emergent church values[77]

Pastor Shearer stated:

From 1960 to the early 1980’s, people were out front with the Gospel and were interested in Bible Prophecy. However, they have declined exponentially since then. With these declinations, came the rise in:

  1. The Hatred of Israel;
  2. Anti-Semitism;
  3. Immorality;
  4. Hostility against Christians; and since 1980,
  5. The Birth and Rise of the Emergent Church Movement.[78]

Pastor Shearer further stated that since the beginning of the 1960s, the evangelical church had evolved through five distinct eras, each of which had been formed largely by the play between the previously mentioned seven interrelated trends that characterized both the lead-up to the tribulation (Matthew 24:7–8) and the tribulation itself:

1950s–mid-1960s:       Lethargy/routine

1970s:                          Revival

1980s:                          Demise

1990s:                          Withdrawal into a defensive posture

2000–present:              Growing irrelevance[79]

Because of these trends, Pastor Shearer believed:

With the little willingness on the part of Church leaders to acknowledge the deleterious impact of those changes, the result has been quite predictable: The Evangelical Church has continued to lose both its vitality and its relevance.[80]

So, the church today is

  1. not being biblically educated,
  2. wholly relying on emotions to bring people to Jesus Christ,
  3. not following biblical prophecy,
  4. going out of our culture, and ultimately
  5. not following what the original languages truly mean (see no. 1).

To add to all this, there was an ecumenical retreat for both men and women called Tres Dias; for teens, it was called Vida Nueva. This author was invited on such a retreat through a local church in Pyeongtaek, South Korea. Its number just so happened to be the Sixty-Sixth Men’s Tres Dias Retreat (May 18–21, 2017) with the theme “Put on the Full Armor of God.” It was a four-day/three-night retreat (Thursday night, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) without a watch or cell phone and no access to the outside world. I wanted to see for myself just what this was all about.

I drove to the church parking lot, where I left my SUV, and boarded the church bus with my bag for the weekend with another gentleman who was waiting. We still had our watches and cell phones at this point, so no worries. The retreat was about an hour away. As we drove up, there were men with bright-colored leys around their neck, some with guitars, singing a welcome song, which of course made me somewhat discombobulated. I was totally unsettled and unable to get a hold of my surroundings at first. There were other gentlemen there as well looking on in amazement as I did, so we grouped together and started chatting.

After the singing, the men who greeted us with song and open arms took our luggage to our rooms. All weekend long, we were served and waited on. We were never to do anything for ourselves, even get our own food. It was quite an unreal experience. Anyway, we were taken to eat dinner, where we were served, and there was a proctor/leader at each table to make sure that the conversation flowed and that everyone got to know each other, at least seven or eight men maximum. And of course, it was all you could eat.

Then we were escorted to the main room, the Royal Room, where all weekend (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) activities would take place. The men in charge of this Tres Dias weekend introduced themselves, and then we introduced ourselves. It was at this time that our watches and cell phones were collected for the weekend. Surprise, surprise. Access to the outside world had been cut off so that you could “focus on your walk with God.” I was mentally prepared for this as I had been forewarned. If one was forewarned of any situation, one can prepare mentally for it and survive it to the end.

Once they collected our possessions, we were escorted to our rooms for “quiet time,” absolutely no talking with our roommate, but we could read our Bible and talk with God. Then we would go to bed. They would wake us up.

Day 2 started out with them singing “De Colores” in the hallway and bringing coffee and juice to our rooms. Fortunately, when the sun came up, my eyes opened as well, so I took a quick shower and waited on the bed for the next event to unfold, and it did. Once that occurred, we had fifteen minutes to make headway to the Royal Room for a short devotion on the three faces of Jesus Christ. We then broke for breakfast (all you can eat) and sat at different tables to get to know other men. By the way, we had to learn to sing “De Colores” loudly before each meal to gain access to the chow hall. This was nerve racking to say the least.

Then after breakfast, we were escorted to the Royal Room, where our name cards had been placed on round tables in groups of six. We named our table Benaiah, who trusted God to make the impossible possible. There were six tables in total—nice numbers.

We spent most of the day bonding, doing various artistic activities that required groupthink and competition among the six groups. All the men in the six groups got along quite well, which surprised the men in charge of the event. They made sure that we had plenty of food and our own special drink (no alcohol), such as iced tea and coffee, on hand for the whole weekend. This event was specially catered to each of us and our desires/wants/needs.

Additionally, over the three days, we had fifteen rollos (topics) presented by rollistos (clergy), as well as emotionally charged testimonies that would induce oneself to become emotional:

  1. Ideals
  2. Grace
  3. The church
  4. The Holy Spirit
  5. Piety
  6. Study
  7. Sacraments
  8. Action
  9. Obstacles
  10. Leadership
  11. Environments
  12. Life in grace
  13. Christian community in growth
  14. Reunion groups
  15. The fourth day

Day 2, Friday evening, did not pass with little fanfare but was used as the lead-in to an emotional, mental “breakdown” on Saturday. For the grand finale, after “De Colores” and dinner, we were escorted into a candlelit dark chapel where low, cathedral-like, dark music was played for what they called “the reconciliation.” Our chairs were arranged such that we faced one another. There was a heart-shaped piece of paper, a pencil, and rose under each of the chairs. After much banter from one end of the darkly lit chapel to the other, we were told to pray and write down our sins on our paper. Then a figure appeared in white carrying a cross, and we were told to follow him outside. He placed the cross upright against the wall, and we were instructed to nail our sins to the cross and to hold onto our roses. The Christ figure then took our sins off the cross and burned them. Then we held candles, sang a hymn, and walked away in silence. That was an interesting way to end day 2.

Day 3 started the same way as day 2. However, Saturday afternoon was spent as a therapy session with our leader, where I watched each man break down emotionally over his sins. To be honest, I almost lost it, but I kept my composure. We were then given communion by a “priest.” Then afterward, to push the envelope even further, they gave each of us Tres Dias bags filled with letters from our loved ones, along with ecumenical books to read, such as Rick Warren’s The Purpose-Driven Life, as well as some trinkets. I still had mine sitting on my shelf. Of course, that was used as an emotional tug on the heart. Then they brought in different speakers, who gave their testimonies and, of course, broke down emotionally about how Tres Dias changed their lives.

By Sunday morning, day 4, I was on a countdown to go home. I had had enough of the emotional/mental pressure to conform to the group or to break down in front of the others. I played nice and listened as instructed. Of course, they used the “Not Inspired Version” of the Bible, the most ecumenical Bible version one could use without offending anyone. Sunday morning opened up with chapel and the giving of flower bouquets to everyone, which I gave to my wife when I got home at 5:00 p.m. The afternoon passed by with “De Colores” and lunch and other activities and then wrapped up by four with pictures, goodbyes, and so on. Our watches and cell phones were returned to us, and I rode home with the friend of mine who sponsored me for the weekend. Wow, what a mind trip that was—Disorientation 101 and then mind control for the weekend.

In retrospect, the whole weekend was used to recruit us to serve in other Tres Dias weekends, as well as to start ecumenical Bible studies. We were to set aside all doctrines and join together as “brothers in Christ,” no matter what our religious background was, including Catholic. Well, that was too much to ask as far as I was concerned. This was just another way of destroying the Ekklesia of Jesus Christ.

When I got home, I ordered and read a couple of books on the subject of Tres Dias: Brian V. Janssen’s Cursillo: Little Courses in Catharsis and Kristy Nabhan-Warren’s The Cursillo Movement in America: Catholics, Protestants, and Fourth-Day Spirituality. I highly recommend that one read these books before entertaining the thought of going to one of these weekend retreats. Mrs. Nabhan-Warren’s book was more of a history of the movement in America, whereas Pastor Janssen’s book was an eyewitness account.

According to Brian V. Janssen:

Cursillo is really “Little Courses in Catharsis.” Or stated more fully, these weekend high experiences are largely dependent on universally applicable, manipulative, somewhat   deceptive and not uniquely Christian psychological and physiological techniques designed to wear down resistance and produce an emotional high/cathartic experience, which is then interpreted as a religious experience. While the short-term effects may be pleasant and desirable, the long-term consequences are mostly negative. And since these weekends have no Biblical warrant, they should be avoided.[81]

Pastor Janssen continued:

What is Cursillo? Why is it so secretive and controversial? If it really does produce all the purported benefits, why has the whole church not embraced it?[82]

The ultimate fruit of the weekend renewal experience lifestyle, the quest for “it,” for emotional experience: a disappointing letdown that initiates a futile guest for more and more experience; a spoiling of the participant’s expectations so that “real life,” and especially the local church, pale by comparison; the production of an elitist “community” existing secretively in the midst of the churches; a regression to spiritual           and emotional immaturity that makes one ill-equipped for the hard life of genuine discipleship; and, at the end of the road, a despairing dead end. Obviously, these are serious concerns.[83]

Pastor Janssen concluded his book with one final plea:

And so, let me offer one final appeal to those who lead and sponsor these morally indefensible, spiritually distracting, perhaps even destructive weekends. Please go back to your local church, with all its flaws and failings, and rejoin the rest of us in serving Jesus Christ who is head of the Church. Please give up these shamefully manipulative practices and regain integrity in Christian ministry which focuses on the ministry of the word of God and not deceptive tricks. Take to heart the Apostle Paul’s personal testimony of an honorable and upright service to Christ as according to I Thessalonians    2:3–4 and II Corinthians 4:2.[84]

In case, one is not completely convinced that we are in the age of Laodicea, here is a transcript of an interview of Dr. Billy Graham by Dr. Robert Schuller Sr. on April 21, 2007:

Dr. Schuller: Tell me, what is the future of Christianity?

Dr. Graham: Well, Christianity and being a true believer, you know, I think there’s the body of Christ which comes from all the Christian groups around the world, or outside the Christian groups. I think that everybody   that loves Christ or knows Christ, whether they’re conscious of it or not, they’re members of the body of Christ. And I don’t think that  we’re going to see a great sweeping revival that will turn the whole world to Christ at any time.

Dr. Schuller: What I hear you saying is that it’s possible for Jesus Christ to come into a human heart and soul and life even if they’ve been born in darkness and have never had exposure to the Bible. Is that a correct interpretation of what you’re saying?

Dr. Graham: Yes, it is because I believe that. I’ve met people in various parts of the world in tribal situations that they have never seen a Bible or heard about a Bible, have never heard of Jesus, but they’ve believed in their hearts that there is a God and they tried to live a life that was quite apart from the surrounding community in which they lived.

Dr. Schuller: This is fantastic. I’m so thrilled to hear you say that. There’s a wideness in God’s mercy.

Dr. Graham: There is. There definitely is.

Obviously, both of these gentlemen are in agreement with ecumenism, which is currently sweeping our planet.

This is the final result: the Babylonian church of Laodicea—the “church” of people’s opinions. This is the end of the so-called church age. A second dark age has set in, only this time it is voluntary. We have the technology and resources to truly find out for ourselves what the Bible truly says, yet we use these same resources for personal gratification. Satan’s intended purpose is to keep us occupied with ourselves, hence the iPhone, the iPad, the iWatch, and so on. Please remember the times in which we live.

Second Timothy 3:1–5 states:

This know also, that in the last days, perilous times shall come. For men shall be

  1. lovers of their own selves,
  2. covetous,
  3. boasters,
  4. proud,
  5. blasphemers,
  6. disobedient to parents,
  7. unthankful,
  8. unholy,
  9. without natural affection,
  10. truce breakers,
  11. false accusers,
  12. incontinent,
  13. fierce,
  14. despisers of those who are good,
  15. traitors,
  16. heady,
  17. high-minded,
  18. lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God,
  19. having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof:

From such turn away!

Does the true Ekklesia of Jesus Christ really know what time it is? What will happen to this so-called Babylonian church? Will it actually be “raptured,” or will the wicked (the tares) be taken and the righteous left behind? Who was destroyed during the Flood of Noah? Who was saved? Who was destroyed during Sodom and Gomorrah? Who was saved? Who was considered righteous? Who was not?

One must remember 1 Corinthians 10:11:

Now all these things happened unto them [Israelites] for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

That means we better pay attention to the Old Testament because of the ramifications on the New Testament. Patterns . . . patterns everywhere. There is always a pattern to see.


[1] Chuck Missler, “The Seven Myths of Eschatology,” Koinonia House, 2012, accessed July 17, 2015,

[2] Strong, The New Strong’s Exhaustive, G197.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Williams, The Anti-Thought Control Dictionary, 8–9.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Ibid., 9.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Arnold E. Kennedy, The Exclusiveness of Israel (Queensland, Australia: Self-Published), 127.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Ibid., 128.

[14] W. E. Vine et al., Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1984), 102.

[15] Strong, The New Strong’s Exhaustive, G73.

[16] Ibid., G13.

[17] Ibid., G73.

[18] Ibid.

[19] Ibid., G39.

[20] Ibid., G13.

[21] Ibid., G74.

[22] Ibid., G23.

[23] Ibid., G35.

[24] Ibid., G22.

[25] E. W. Bullinger, Number in Scripture: Its Supernatural Design and Spiritual Significance (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Classics, 1967), 276–78.

[26] Ibid.

[27] Ibid., 276.

[28] Strong, The New Strong’s Exhaustive, G13.

[29] Tim LaHaye, Revelation Unveiled (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1999), 36.

[30] James Jacob Prasch, The Dilemma of Laodicea (Pittsburgh, PA: Moriel Ministries, 2010), Kindle Location 169.

[31] Clarence Larkin, The Book of Revelation—A Study of the Last Prophetic Book of Holy Scripture (Philadelphia, PA: Edwin W. Moyer, 1919), 22.

[32] Ibid.

[33] Welty et al., The Holy Bible, 3189.

[34] Larkin, The Book of Revelation, 17.

[35] John Walvoord, The Revelation of Jesus Christ (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1989), 43.

[36] Hamblin, Unveiling the Mysteries, 85.

[37] Ibid.

[38] Ibid.

[39] Strong, The New Strong’s Exhaustive, H122–23.

[40] Strong, The New Strong’s Exhaustive, G41.

[41] Ibid., 1119.

[42] Roy Wallace, Baptist Church History (Shreveport, LA: LinWel, 1999), 35–39.

[43] Ibid.

[44] Ibid., 78.

[45] Isaac Newton, Observations upon the Prophecies of Daniel and the Apocalypse of St. John (San Bernardino, CA: Feather Trail Press, 2009), Kindle Location 644.

[46] Ibid., Kindle Location 919.

[47] LaHaye, Revelation Unveiled, 59.

[48] Ibid., 59, 66.

[49] Noe, An Exegetical Basis, 78–79.

[50] Dave Hunt, A Woman Rides the Beast: The Roman Catholic Church and the Last Days (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publications, 1994), 14–15.

[51] Frank Viola and George Barna, Pagan Christianity: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices (n.p.: Tyndale House Publishers, 2012), 271.

[52] Ibid.

[53] Ibid., 271–75.

[54] Ibid., 254–59.

[55] Eric Jon Phelps, Vatican Assassins Volumes I–IV (Newmanstown, PA: Lowvehm, 2009).

[56] Avi Lipkin, Islamic Rivalry (Jerusalem, Israel: Victor Mordecai, 2015), Kindle Edition.

[57] Ibid.

[58] V. S. Marlowe, The Last Messiah (New York, NY: Sinbad Books, 2012).

[59] J. P. Moreland, Love Your God with All Your Mind (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2012), Kindle Location 134.

[60] Ibid.

[61] Henry Morris III et al., Creation Basics and Beyond: An In-Depth Look at Science, Origins, and Evolution (Dallas, TX: Institute for Creation Research, 2013).

[62] Matthew D. Staver, Eternal Vigilance: Knowing and Protecting Your Religious Freedom (n.p.: PDF, 2005), chapter 4.

[63] 333 U.S. 203 (1948).

[64] 370 U.S. 421 (1962), 82 S. Ct. 1261, 8 L. Ed. 2d 601, 1962 U.S. LEXIS 847.

[65] 374 U.S. 203 (1963), 83 S. Ct. 1560, 10 L. Ed. 2d 844, 1963 U.S. LEXIS 2611.

[66] 393 U.S. 97 (1968), 89 S. Ct. 266, 21 L. Ed. 2d 228, 1968 U.S. LEXIS 328.

[67] 410 U.S. 113 (1973), 93 S. Ct. 705, 35 L. Ed. 2d 147, 1973 U.S. LEXIS 159.

[68] 482 U.S. 578 (1987), 107 S. Ct. 2573, 96 L. Ed. 2d 510, 1987 U.S. LEXIS 2729.

[69] William Koenig, Eye to Eye: Facing the Consequences of Dividing Israel (McLean, VA: About Him Publishing, 2008), 39–208.

[70] 505 U.S. 577 (1992), 112 S. Ct. 2649, 120 L. Ed. 2d 467, 1990 U.S. LEXIS 4364.

[71] 530 U.S. 290 (2000), 120 S. Ct. 2266, 147 L. Ed. 295.

[72] Supreme Court of Vermont: Baker v. Vermont (98-302), December 20, 1999.

[73] 542 U.S. 1 (2004), 124 S. Ct. 2301, 159 L. Ed. 2d 98, 2004 U.S. LEXIS 4178.

[74] 440 Mass. 309, 798 N.E. 2d 941 (Mass. 2003).

[75] Alliance Defending Freedom for Faith and for Justice, The Obama Administration’s Attacks on Religious Freedom, Sanctity of Life, Marriage, and the Family (n.p.: PDF, 2015).

[76] 576 U.S. _____ (2015), 135 S. Ct. 2584, 192 L. Ed. 2nd 609, 2015 U.S. LEXIS 4250.

[77] Douglas Shearer, Facing the Storm: A Commentary on Matthew 24 and 25 (Sacramento, CA: TribNet Publications, 2015), 144.

[78] Ibid.

[79] Ibid.

[80] Ibid., 152.

[81] Brian V. Janssen, Cursillo: Little Courses in Catharsis (Eugene, OR: Resource Publications, 2010), 7.

[82] Ibid.

[83] Ibid., 208.

[84] Ibid., 211.