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1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Ephesus Smyrna Pergamos Thyatira Sardis Philadelphia Laodicea
"First, Desirable" "Bitter Affliction" "Earthly Heighth" "Sacrifice of Labor" "Prince of Joy" "Love of A Brother" "Just People"
33-70 AD 70-313 313-1157 1157-1367 1367-1517 1517-1874 1874-?
35-64 AD
7 Golden Candlesticks First & Last, Dead and Alive Sharp 2-Edged Sword Eyes like Fire, Feet like Brass Livest and Art Dead Key of David Amen, Faithful & True 
Beginning of Creation
Left 1st Love Synagogue of Satan Antipas Jezebel Come as Thief Hast Little Strength Lukewarm
Nicolaitanes Tribulation 10 Days Balaam & Balac, Nicolaitanes Depths of Satan Defiled Garments Keep from Hour of Temptation,
Hold Fast Crown
Gold Tried, White Raiment Eyesalve, Knock at Door, Sup with Him
Tree of Life Crown of Life, Not Hurt of 2nd Death Hidden Manna White Stone, New Name Rod of Iron, Potter's Vessel Morning Star White Raiment, Confess Name to Father Pillar in Temple, Name of God, New Jerusalem, and New Name Sit in Christ's Throne

For more detail, click on individual Church name.

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Church of Philadelphia
Revelation 3:7-12

Roughly CE 1517-18 to 1878.


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The Seven Churches

"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;

"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.

"Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

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

"Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown."  Revelation 3:7-11

Martin Luther, 1483-1546, was in all probability the messenger of the Church of Philadelphia.

The Lord promised that the door of Reformation could not be "closed."

No matter what the papal powers tried they still could not stop the reforms. The "door" was stuck open.

We need not conclude that only brotherly love characterized this era. It is filled with violence and struggle.

However, this period is without blame from God and indicates the faithful of this period were responding in ways pleasing to the Lord.

The Reformation, though assailed from many quarters, could not be contained.

The One with the "key" of David (the Beloved), opened the door.  It could not be shut.

For the papacy he shut some doors they could not "open."

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Around noon October 31, 1517, Luther nailed the 95 Theses to the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg.

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   A study of this period shows how wonderfully the Lord overruled affairs so that light could not be extinguished. There was favorable response to the light shining in the reforms that occurred. One must contrast this period with the reign of terror of previous periods, wherein papacy crushed and destroyed so many hapless victims.

It must be remembered that the Reformation was religious in many ways.

But it was also a civil revolt against the excesses of the papacy and emperors who ruthlessly conspired against any reform.

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Martin Luther at the Diet of Worms

    The powers of darkness did indeed try to "shut" the door of the Reformation, but could not. The reform movement had only a "little strength" and a desire to keep God’s "Word." It was only the power of God that kept it from floundering.
    Jesus reminded the religious leaders that they would see "the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven" (Matthew 26:64). Here the faithful are promised that their persecutors would "come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee" (Revelation 3:9). What a wonderful promise!
    The church of "Philadelphia" was promised a blessing. They were to be "kept from the hour of temptation."
    What was this "hour of temptation"? It was to be a time when many voices would be calling. A time when truth would be available, but when a thousand voices would be calling in all directions.

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Luther Burning Papal Bull

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Luther Preaching at Wartburg

    Knowledge, true and false, would explode everywhere. Only those who knew the voice of the "true Shepherd" would not be fooled into following the myriad of false shepherds. The early days of the Reformation provided the privilege for people in general to follow the Reformers. People were simply marching behind leaders, without a great deal of knowledge or understanding.
    However, when the Bible Societies began publishing Bibles in 1804 and onward, the world was filled with Bibles. Compulsory education enabled people to finally enter the "open door" of true Bible knowledge.

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Bible Societies

    The last days of "Philadelphia" were a marvelous period. The response to the Bible was beautiful. Christians began to blossom like watered flowers. Those labeled laity became awake to the message of the "priesthood of all believers." However, this period would witness a massive distribution of error to dilute the Reformation truths.
   We believe that the seals, the trumpets and the churches are contemporaneous. Consequently, we read of the sixth trumpet in Revelation 9:15:
    "And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour [the hour of the harvest under Bro. Russell’s ministry], and a day [day is not in the  Sinaitic, but should it be? It might refer to Mr. Barbour from 1876-1877 in his "Herald of the Morning" and "The Three Worlds"], and a month [probably William Miller, from 1844 to 1874], and a year [Martin Luther, from 1517-18 to 1878], to slay the third part of men [separate the faithful right-hearted from the anti-Christ spirit]."
    The year represents 360 years, the month 30 years, a total of 390. We believe this period covers from CE 1528 to 1918. Ezekiel 4:1-6 shows a similar siege against Israel (nominal spiritual Israel, particularly papacy) for the same 390 year period, but also shows that 40 years of siege were to be laid to Judah (Protestantism) which probably occurred from 1878 to 1918.

"And the angel [our Lord] which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven,

"And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time [chronos, 360 years] no longer." Revelation 10:5,6

    The 360 years of the Philadelphian church from 1517-18 ended in 1878. The time for the consummation of the age and the "harvest," which is to be the end of the age then came. In Revelation 10:7 we read: "But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished." Hence, it is in the following Laodicean period that the climax of the Gospel age is reached.


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       00GoldSquare.jpg (705 bytes)   For more information on history of Papacy.

Topical Studies on:
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Ephesus - Smyrna - Pergamos - Thyatira - Sardis - Philadelphia - Laodicea

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