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THE HISTORY OF THE TRUE CHURCH
Jesus started his church July 17, 31A.D. On the Day of Pentecost (which was a Sunday. It falls on Sunday every year). This is recorded in the book of Acts chapter 2. For further information see Tongues or God's Holy Days.
A description of the Church's struggles through history is recorded in Revelations beginning in chapter 2.
Ephesus Era July 17, 31AD (The Day of Pentecost) Early decades of 2nd century
Revelation 2:1 ¶Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
During this time... AD64 Nero; Roman Emperor, blamed the burning of Rome on the " Christians" and persecuted them savagely. Thousand suffered martyrdom. The Jews of Palestine rebelled against Roman authority and were destroyed in AD70. Few escaped to Pella. Lost from worldview this century many TRUE doctrines changed. (Jude 3, II John 10, etc.)
Smyrna Era Early decades of 2nd century Dark Ages
Revelation 2:8 ¶And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;
9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.
10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
Persecution continued under the Romans until the 4th century when Constantine recognized the Catholic Church as the religion of the empire.
The Catholic Church claimed to be God's church but held different doctrines; essentially "THE BABYLONIAN MYSTERY RELIGION" Now being called Christianity instead of Judism (The birth of the word Christianity). In AD 365 the Council of Laodicea wrote in one of it's most famous canons "Christians must not Judaize by resting on the Sabbath, But must work on that day. Rather honouring the Lord's Day. But if any shall be found to be Judaizers, let them be anathema from Christ." (A sentence to the most severe inhumane torture and feath that your mind hasn't even conceived!)Rev.13:15
Pergamos Era The Dark Ages
Revelation 2:12 ¶And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;
13 I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.
14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.
15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.
16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.
The people holding to the true doctrines were constantly running from persecution deeper and deeper into the wilderness. Very few remained faithful to the true doctrines because of persecutions.
Thyatira Era 1031AD 17th century
Revelation 2:18 ¶And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;
19 I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.
20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.
23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.
24 But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.
25 But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.
26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
27 And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.
28 And I will give him the morning star.
29 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
Followers of the true doctrine preached repentance throughout the Alpine Valleys of southern France and northern Italy. Many heard and were converted. Leaders of the True Church were arrested and martyred, and the True Church went through a temporary decline until Peter Waldo. During the 12th century these waldensians flourished in the Alpine Valleys. Persecution again started and many began adopting man made traditions of the worldly churchs. The church again fled to England.
Sardis Era Early 17th century until 1931
Revelation 3:1 ¶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, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.
2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.
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 which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.
5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
6 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
Protestant England became increasingly intolerant of the true church and their Sabbaths. In 1664 Stephen Mumford a member of the Sabbath keeping church in London left England for Newport, Rhode Island. Rhode Island was the first place in the world that had freedom of religion (founded by Roger Williams; a Baptist fleeing persecution of Massachusetts). Stephen Mumford and his wife started fellowship with the Baptist because they couldn't find anyone keeping the true Sabbath at that time. He did not join but quietly maintained his own beliefs. When he realized his fault for fellowshipping with them he and several others left to form the first Sabbath keeping congregation in America. At first they met in private homes. Their records are kept in the museum at Newport. Early in the 18th century they built a simple, but elegant meeting hall. A second congregation was established in Hopkinton. Several hundred joined the congregation. Several thousand were baptized on the banks of the Pawcatuck River. Between 1831-1849 William Miller raised up a vigorous new Sabbath keeping congregation. In 1860 at Battle Creek Michigan many thousand were persuaded to follow Ellen G. White of the Seventh Day Adventist, and left the true church. Those who remained moved to Marion, Iowa and then to Stanberry, Missouri. Small congregations sprang up across America. In the 19th century the True Church Of God was established in Willamette Valley in Oregon holding to the true Sabbath, but much truth had fallen by the way through the years of persecution.
Philadelphia Era 1931 - 1986
Revelation 3:7 ¶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.
9 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.
10 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.
11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
Exactly 1900 years; a century of time cycles from the day Jesus started his church. The curse and the Famine of hearing the word was lifted Amos 8:11 ¶Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD). Herbert W. Armstrong started preaching the truth (Restored all things) in every nation until the he died (kept from the hour of temptation) and the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION SPOKEN OF BY DANIEL stepped in.
Laodicean Era 1986 2003
Revelation 3:14 ¶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 spue thee out of my 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:
18 I counsel thee to buy of 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 do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
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 in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches
God determines the leaders of his Church... It's not a building as some people want to believe... It is the people... The congregation... The baton was passed to me after Armstrong's death and the Abomination that maketh Desolate set up... We are scattered waiting for Jesus to return to gather his flock...
And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished. Daniel 12:7