Revelation (Ch 3-4)

The Churches must be real; and that their spiritual state is literally in danger of decays; but they must have reference to the state of the Church in later stages of its history, each with their flaws pointed out. God knows all their strengths and flaws. The messenger, or the angel could well be giving the Churches certain warnings pertaining to each and era of the Churces so as to address and correct those issues concern.

It must be emphesized that the only sign God has given mankind being classified as his true Church is the Sabbaths; it is a sign between God and man (Exodus 31:13) that keepers of the Sabbaths are his elect:

“Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, ‘Verily My Sabbaths ye shall keep; for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that ye may know that I am the Lord who doth sanctify you,” Exodus 31:13.

“To santify” means to make holy; Sabbath-keepers are to be made holy before God! Hence all Sunday-keeping churches without exception disqualify themselves as being God’s church! Going through the same ritual every Sunday, they are not worthy of mention, but at best, they are just pretenders, or could be better known biblically as of the Synagogue of Satan!

Revelation 3

In Chapter 2, we went through the Ephesian era, the Smyrnian era, the Pergamenian era, and the Thyatira Era; here the last three Church eras continue . . .

(5) The Sardis Era

1 “And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘These things saith He that hath the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: I know thy works, and that thou hast a name that thou livest, but thou art dead. — here were seven Spirits of God, and since the Spirit is inherently Holy, there would be seven Holy Spirits; yes, seven Holy Spirits!

— and we would add Jesus the Son and God the Father, resulting in Nine Personage. Nine in the Godhead; we should have a Polygon or a Nonagon; it might be more realistic to believe in the Polyty or a Nonaty, but certainly wouldn’t be a Trinity;

2 Be watchful and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found thy works perfect before God.

— “ready to die” one of the characteristics of this church, namely the Church of God, Seventh Day, is that they believe there is no new truth; which means there no nothing more to be revealed; nothing else to be learned, and therefore it is deemed “ready to die” a dead church: “that thou hast a name that thou livest, but thou art dead, (verse1).”

The Church of God, Seventh Day, represents a line of Sabbatarian Adventists that rejected the visions and teachings of Ellen G White before the formation of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in 1863. Robert Coulter, ex-president and official historian of the General Conference of the Church of God, Seventh Day, in his book The Journey:

A History of the Church of God (Seventh Day) (2014) credits Gilbert Cranmer of Michigan as being the founder of the church. Cranmer was a Christian Connection minister and a biblical Unitarian. He was introduced to Sabbath keeping in 1852 by Joseph Bates, known as the founder and developer of Sabbatarian Adventism.

In 1858, five years before the founding of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, a group led by Cranmer separated from the Adventists who supported James Springer White and Ellen G White. Another independent Sabbatarian Adventist body formed in Iowa in 1860, and joined with the Church of God, Seventh Day, in 1863.

3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard; and hold fast and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

4 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. — Christology has been a long debated issue in the Churches of God (7th Day); a position paper written by the Jerusalem Conference states the following:

“The Amen, the faithful and the true witness is no one else but Jesus Christ and speaking of himself he said, he is “the beginning of the creation of God” that is, the very first manifested act of YHWH was the creation of his son Yehoshua (Jesus).

Do other scriptures support this? Col 1:15 “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature.” A creature is life which has been created, whether terrestrial or celestial: Colossians supports Revelation, it says of Christ he is “the firstborn of every creature:”

5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life, but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.

— more on “but thou art dead” ~ the Church of God, Seventh Day, or CoG7 has a good name; showing “that thou livest” but it is a dead church actually. It is like a behemoth being swept up upon a beach at night and all who came into contact with it in the morning wonders whether it is dead or still alive. To revive or overcometh been dead for such a behemoth would require some herculean effords if it still has any chance of revival.

Besides the Thyatira church one condition lies in the Sardis exist side by side with the Philadelphian and the Laodicean eras at the “end time” groups that may or may not be accounted worthy to escape the tribulation;

They were refusing to repent and allow the spirit to work through them to establish the truth that was ready to perish!

6 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches!’

Within this Church of God, Seventh Day, or CoG7, an ambitious man grew among the brethren; and not long after his ordination in 1931, and when certain leading ministers demanded that no more new truth be preached to the brethren, he broke off and started his own branch; he was Herbert W Armstrong;

(6) The Philadelphia Era

Most of the congregations of the CoG7 succumbed to spiritual growth; dying, but the age of this Sardis continues, limping along. Elsewhere, the era of Philadelphia had began.

Paul was chosen, who was highly train in Judiasm, for spreading the gospel to the Gentiles. He later raised up Peter Waldo, a successful businessman, to keep His truth alive during the Middle Ages. In later days when the Gospel must go around the world, a man trained in advertising was tasked to shoulder the mission, Herbert Armstrong;

7 “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: ‘These things saith He that is holy, He that is true, He that hath the key of David, He that openeth and no man shutteth, and shutteth and no man openeth:

8 I know thy works. Behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it. For thou hast a little strength, and hast kept My Word, and hast not denied My name. — here is a church with little strength, few in numbers, but which has kept the word of God; here is a church which would preach the gospel with power before it an open door;

Paul was struck down; in like manner Herbert Armstrong’s business went bankrupt in order that he might come to understand the truth;

Shortly before this event, God had opened the mind of Mrs Armstrong to understand the Sabbath truth from an elderly Church of God woman. After six months of study, unsupervised, in a persistent effort to prove Sabbath-keeping unscriptural, Armstrong accepted the Sabbath.

9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but do lie — behold, I will make them to come and worship at thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

10 Because thou hast kept the word of My patience, I will also keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world to try them that dwell upon the earth.

11 Behold, I come quickly; hold fast that which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. — from this moment forward, Mr and Mrs Armstrong came to understand further truths. The brethren with whom they associated became interested that Herbert soon found himself speaking at their insistence; then preaching to small groups in Oregon!

12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more; 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.

13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches!’

During Herbert Armstrong’s reign, the church grew rapidly, claimed of up to 30 percent year on year for some 30 years. But as the organization grew in wealth, so did its membership; pride went into his head and claiming his is the one and only true Church, Herbert became a tyrant like any other tyrants one could be found in the African continent.

And when enriching himself for self importance, he flew in a corporate Grumman Gulfstream II, pursuing a political agenda while meeting with dictators from many countries, including the Middle East (Egypt, Jordan and Israel), India, the Philippines, Thailand and Japan; and his apostate treasures of plates and cutleries would of no less eminence than that of the Czars.

A few unauthorised biographies could give more details:

(a) Herbert Armstrong’s Tangled Web, An Insider’s View of the Worldwide Church of God, by David Robinson, 1980

(b) The Truth Shall Make You Free, Herbert Armstrong’s Empire Exposed, by John Tuit, 1981

When Herbert Armstrong died in 1986 January, the mantle passed on to Joseph W Tkach (Sr), but the same dictatorial and totalitarian structure managed under the Armstrong regime continued. By 1991 some members were able to detect changes within the organization. For the most part, little change, if any, spilled over to the membership until 1993.

At that time, a new recruiting and marketing strategy was launched in an effort to train members to recruit through evangelism techniques. The World Tomorrow television program did not result in new recruiting and the Plain Truth lost renewals and subscribers and the church went into rapid decline. And then it collapsed and suddenly disappeared.

In him covering up feelings of inferiority with an inflated ego was the next era started, the Laodicean:

(7) The Laodicean Era

But spiritually Herbert Armstrong and the church become blind, stiffnecked, unable to see that Passover is a composite festival celebrated from the fourteenth to the twenty-first of Nisan:

“In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, ye shall have the Passover, a feast of seven days. Unleavened bread shall be eaten,” (Ezekiel 45:21); and Pentecost, he followed the Samaritan version of always having it on a Sunday.

14 “And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write: ‘These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God:

15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot; I would thou wert cold or hot.

16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of My mouth.

The Targum is another source of the Bible, much like the Masoretic Text and the Septuagint; and to dismiss it as another testimony for spiritual inspiration and understanding, as virtually all the endtime Churches do, is an absolute disgrace.

The Targum was started by Ezra for those returning from the Babylon exile and for these returnees they could only understand the Scriptures in Aramaic. That is, the Targum is as if Ezra is speaking to us today from the Hebrew Bible quoted.

Hence, for ignoring the Targum as an authority for Understanding and Truth, the endtime Churches of God is being discribed as wretches, blind and naked; and would be thus justifiably destined to be spewed out of God’s mouth!

17 Because thou sayest, “I am rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing,” and knowest not that thou art wretched and miserable, and poor and blind and naked,

After Herbert Armstrong’s death in 1986, many splinters broke off; made up of individuals who are spiritually lukewarm! each saying to the other: “I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing.”

His college, Ambassador College, was built on sand, loose sands, and within a few years of his death, students enrolment collapsed, faulty dismissed or sacked and the land and properties of the college sold.

18 I counsel thee to buy from Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich, and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed and that the shame of thy nakedness may not appear, and anoint thine eyes with eye salve, that thou mayest see.

19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

Gradually, the assets (airplanes, land, convention centers, Pasadena headquarters, etc) of the Worldwide Church of God organization were sold. Some holdings were transferred to the “extension” churches. In March 2003 they sold the copyrights of Herbert Armstrong’s literature to an offshoot, Philadelphia Church of God, for $3 million in July 2004 auctioned off many valuable items which PCG purchased.

The multimillion-dollar empire has simultaneously downsized its lucrative holdings, creating factions within the membership. The WCG offered no accountability for its financial dealings. They claimed it was audited by a reputable firm, but refuses to publish financial reports openly.

Splinter groups resulted; the Philadelphia Church of God (founded by Gerald Flurry); the United Church of God (founded by David Hulme); Living Church of God (founded by Roderick Meredith); the Restored Church of God (founded by David Pack); and many others; all “wretched and miserable, and poor and blind and naked.”

20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man hear My voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.

21 To him that overcometh, will I grant to sit with Me on My throne, even as I also overcame and am set down with My Father on His throne. — instead of overcoming, some of these smaller splinters subcumbed to the whimps of the devil; without any evidence, they charge a man of God, Ezra, (one who “had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord,” Ezra 7:10), of tempering the Scriptures, making it a forgery:

Wolves among Sheep: One visible in the picture, others are hidden!

“Whatever I command you, observe to do it. Thou shalt not add thereto nor diminish from it (Deuteronomy 12:32). Vandalising the Bible is a serious charge, risking eternal life; as warned in Revelation:

“For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book: If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book.And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the Book of Life and out of the Holy City, and from the things which are written in this book,” Revelation 22:18-19.

But on the other hand, if Ezra isn’t guilty of vandalising, then his accusers would be in danger of death.

Fred R Coulter, in his book, “The Christian Passover,” says:

Although Deuteronomy 16 contains instructions for the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the two other holy days seasons, the fact that the word “Passover” appears in Verse 1 has caused great confusion in the minds of many Bible students and scholars. They are not aware that these verses were edited by Ezra long after the book of Deuteronomy was originally written, and that in Ezra’s time the entire eight-day observance of the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread was called “Passover.” When we understand that the term “Passover” was used for the Feast of Unleavened bread, the seeming discrepancy between Deuteronomy 16 and other Scriptural passages is eliminated. (Passover, pg 165)

Fred Coulter’s charge isn’t alone. He has two other comrades who share his view; namely Frank Nelte and John Ritenbaugh.

From Frank W Nelte, referring to Deuteronomy 16:1, 2, 4, 5, 6

These verses, he wrote, claiming of a forgery by Ezra, give the impression that the Passover is being spoken about. But the word “Passover” was deviously inserted into these verses by some dishonest scribe. The motivation for these devious changes was to justify the Jewish custom of referring to the Seven Days of Unleavened Bread as “Passover.”

The evidence for the fraudulent changes in this section of Scripture is not found in preserved manuscripts but in the pages of the Bible itself. We are dealing with a passage that is absolutely vital to upholding a Jewish belief, which belief is clearly unbiblical according to all the other Scriptures in the entire Old Testament. And these fraudulent changes have been accepted in every preserved manuscript, because they endorse a specific Jewish custom.

In addition, there is also a mistranslation in verse 6.

The only evidence for these alterations consists of exposing incompatible, contradictory and illogical statements in the changed text, when compared to other biblical passages. The person who altered this text overlooked some things which expose his fraudulent tampering.

Here are the changes that were made:

In these verses some scribe REMOVED the expression “the Feast of Unleavened Bread” from verse 1, and then REPLACED IT with the word “Passover.” In addition, this scribe also simply INSERTED the word “Passover” into the text of verses 2, 5 and 6. (SOME SCRIBES CHANGE THE TEXT OF DEUTERONOMY 16:1-6).

From John W Ritenbaugh:

In the context of Deuteronomy 16, the word “Passover” is beginning to look clearly out of place. As we continue to look further, we are going to see that verses 1-8 have nothing to do at all with instructions for the Passover lamb, but rather for Unleavened Bread, and specifically the Night To Be Much Observed, which is of course the first night after the Passover, not the same night as the Passover.

How did the name “Passover” get in there? God certainly did not inspire it to be in there. It had to have been edited into Deuteronomy 16 at a much later time (when the entire eight days of the spring festival were commonly called Passover) than from when it was originally written. You will see this very clearly in the New Testament that the entire spring feast was commonly called Passover by the Jews. Somebody, in copying, must have deliberately removed the name “Unleavened Bread” and placed the name “Passover” into Deuteronomy 16 in order to give support to a 15th Passover—to a Temple-centered 15th Passover (Passover transcript, Part 9). 

“Who would have the authority to make such a change from Unleavened Bread to Passover in Deuteronomy 16? The finger of history points to someone during or after the time of Ezra. Ezra came along in the period roughly between 530 BC and about 515 BC. When Ezra came on the scene, the Jews, who had just come out of captivity, were again starting down the same path that originally took them into captivity” (Passover transcript, Part 10).

Tampering and forging God’s Word are serious charges, whose penalty is death (Revelation 22:18-19):

“For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book: If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book.

“And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the Book of Life and out of the Holy City, and from the things which are written in this book,” Revelation 22:18-19.

And to conclude this, maybe this need to be repeated: “if Ezra isn’t guilty of vandalising, or forging a forgery; then his accusers would be in danger of death,” all three of them, each guilty of his own account of such a hideous crime in making such a ghastly accusation!

22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches!’” — now notice the warning to the last era, at the close of this age, the Laodicea: “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot:… I will spew you out of my mouth (Revelation 3:15-16);

— at the time of the end when prophecies hidden for ages are being revealed, knowledge increased; truth restored, but knowledge brings responsibility; it becomes dangerous if not handled rightly;

— notice Jesus’ admonition for today in Luke 21:36. “Watch ye therefore and Pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape ALL these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

There seems to be a parallel warning from the Book of Ezekiel:

Ezekiel 9:

4 and the Lord said unto him, “Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men who sigh and who cry because of all the abominations that are done in the midst thereof.”
5 And to the others He said in mine hearing, “Go ye after him through the city and smite. Let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity.
6 Slay utterly old and young, both maids and little children and women; but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary.” Then they began with the elder men who were before the house. Ezekiel 9:4-6

A Slaughting is to begin at “My sanctuary” and of course, even in God’s Churches; the message and warning from Ezekiel were primarily aimed at the house of Israel, sometimes call the house of Ephraim; and his churches, even the Churches of God that bear his name!

And broadly, in the NT time, God’s people are collectively known as the Churches of God (1Corinthians 11:16, 1Thessalonians 2:14, IIThessalonians 1:4), their strengths and problems are named and spelt out with some amazing details in Revelation 2-3; whereas Satan’s collections are generally known as of the Synagogue of Satan.

Finally, a Question for all Sunday keepers: with all the Scriptures and other resources available in your hand, and if you couldn’t be trusted in figuring out a simple issue as to when the Sabbath is, how could you be raised as kings, who need to judge far more complex issues; or as a priests, who would be teaching others during the Millennium what the Sabbaths laws are among others?

Revelation 4

1 After this I looked, and behold, a door was opened in heaven; and the first voice which I heard was, as it were, of a trumpet talking with me, which said, “Come up hither, and I will show thee things which must be hereafter.”

— Come up hither, and I will show thee things which must be hereafter; here is a case of John the Apostle who were called up into heaven, to be around the throne, and to witness what is, and what is to come;

— and later (in chapter 7:14), the 144,000 of the 12 tribes of Israel; these were redeemed and “that came out of great tribulation” from the earth.

2 And immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was set in Heaven, and One sat on the throne.

3 And He that sat thereon was to look upon like a jasper and a sardius stone; and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in appearance like unto an emerald.

4 And round about the throne were four and twenty seats; and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment, and they had on their heads crowns of gold. — who are the 24 elders; are they angels or humans? (more at the end)

5 And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices. And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God; — again, if the Spirit is a Being or an independent Personage; there would be seven Holy Spirits;

— and with these we would add Jesus Christ the Son, and God the Father, then there would be nine Personage; we should have a Polygon or a Nonagon; so surely the Godhead would be a Polyty or a Nonaty; nine heads, that would be more like an Indian goddess more than a Trinity?

6 and before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four living beings full of eyes in front and behind.

7 And the first being was like a lion, and the second being like a calf, and the third being had the face of a man, and the fourth being was like a flying eagle.

— this is very similar to what Ezekiel saw in his vision (Ezekiel 1); the Cherub had four faces; the face of a MAN (REUBEN) on the South; of a LION (JUDAH) on the East; the face of an OX (EPHRAIM) on the West and an EAGLE (DAN) on the North.

8 And each of the four living beings had six wings about him, and they were full of eyes within; and they rested not day and night, saying, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come!”

— in Ezekiel 1 the four cherubim each has four wings; same as in Ezekiel 10; but here they each has 6 wings. Why the difference? Are they different sets of cherubim?

9 And when those living beings give glory and honor and thanks to Him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,

10 the four and twenty elders fall down before Him that sits on the throne, and worship Him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

11 “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are, and were created.”


Who are the 24 Elders in Revelation?

Who are the Twenty four Elders in Revelation? Whenever I heard conversation on this topic, my heart jumps onto my throat.

Revelation 4:

1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

3 And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.

4 And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.

Q. Who are these Twenty four Elders set around a throne in heaven? Would they be:

(a) Angelic beings, not humans. Jesus said only He had down from heaven John 3:13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, so the twenty four elders could not be humans as identified in Revelation 4:4. During the first resurrection, when Christ return, the saints will rise first, Satan bound (Revelation 20:1-4).

They will meet Christ in the air, and when Christ set his feet in Jerusalem, the saints will be with Christ forever (1 Thess 4:16-17). Further, among the restored 18 vital truths to the True Church since 1933 (Mystery of the Ages, Dodd & Mead, 1985, p251), Herbert W Armstrong came in the spirit of Elijah (Malachi 4:5), to establish the foundation of the True Church, and to restore all things (Matt 17:11, Mark 9:12, Acts 3:21).

“Rain” and soon a storm appeared; “Drought” and the land suffered three and a half years of constipation! When you look at the preceding two or three verses in Acts 3:19-20, this restitution of all things by Elijah is in the context of Christ returning back to this earth. Hence these truths are solidified and sealed.

(b) Saints, not angelic beings. First, search the Scriptures, the word or title “elder” is nowhere applied to angels, but only to humans, or once humans. Second, in Rev 5:9, these 24 elders were redeemed by the Lamb’s blood.

The exact phase “and hast redeemed us (Strong’s 2248: hémas; our, us, we).” Only humans, not angels, were to be redeemed to God by Christ’s blood out of every kindred, tongue and nation. And in Rev 5:10 And hast made us (2248) unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth (Those versions that translated as them for us and they for we are erroneous).

Again, only humans were promised to be kings and priests to reign on earth, not angels. Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? 1 Corinthians 6:2. Finally, only members of God’s family, or members of Elohim (not angelic beings) are given crowns in heaven (Satan might have a crown too but he’s restricted on this earth).

The Greek word for crown in Rev 4:4 (Strong’s 4735 as in Rev 2:10) is stephanos which is a garland wreath as awarded to overcomers or winners as in Greek games.

So are these 24 elders saints or angelic beings?

~ by Joel Huan on January 4, 2023.

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