Table of Contents- September/October 2021


Volume 103, Number 5

Journey to Freedom

In the Beginning

That is the blessing accorded to seven Christian communities in Asia Minor in the closing years of the first century of the Christian era. John the Apostle was the channel of these messages, sent to a pastoral leader of each area.

Imagine, as a courier arrived with a lengthy letter, sent by the last remaining apostle. But unlike the Gospel of John or an epistle from John, this letter was from the Master himself, Jesus Christ. Upon examination, within this letter was a message written expressly for the saints in your own area. read more…

Ephesus, The First Church -Works, Labor, and Patience

“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” (Revelation 2:1). Ephesus, the first church, represents the first 40 years of the Gospel Age when the apostles were actively on the scene. This spans from Pentecost in 33 AD until the fall of Masada in 73 AD, which ended the Jewish revolt. This included the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD and the scattering of the Jews to other nations. read more…


 The Church of Smyrna- Period Two

“And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: The words of the first and the last, who
died and came to life” (Revelation 2:8. Texts are from the Revised Standard Version).
The name Smyrna signifies “myrrh,” which was an aromatic resin from a thorny tree species in the northeast African and Arabia areas. Myrrh is mentioned in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and John. The word is derived from the Arabic marra, meaning “to be bitter.” The similar Hebrew word Marah was used to describe the location where Israel found only bitter water after looking for three days in the wilderness of Shur (Exodus 15:22-25). God directed Moses to take a tree and throw it into the water, giving them life-giving sweet water. This period of the church was bitter due to various persecutions of early Christians. read more…


Pergamos- Church Three

“And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write …” (Revelation 2:12 NASB). The church in Pergamum (“earthly elevation”) is the third and longest period of the seven stages of the development of the Christian Church, from 313 until 1157. It could be considered the midnight of the Dark Ages, when the church had come out of enormous and severe persecution, first by Jews, and later by pagan Rome. Pergamum went down into the deep darkness of nominal orthodoxy, and the Gospel light was nearly snuffed out. The nominal church gained social acceptance, popularity, and was immensely exalted in earthly status. read more…


The Trials of Thyatira -Church Four

Thyatira was a bleak period of church history, from 1157 to 1517. It was not bleak in warm Christian discipleship but bleak with burdens and trials of faith upon the followers of Jesus. This was the period of greatest dominance by the papacy, represented by Jezebel, the wicked queen who brought Baal worship into Israel and persecuted the prophets of Jehovah. read more…


News and Views – Current Events

A recent Gallup poll showed, for the first time, the majority of Americans are not members of a house of worship. Thirty-five percent of Gen Z students are atheists, agnostic, or have no religious belief. — Religion News Service, 6/3/2021 (Editor’s note: Members of Gen Z are those born between 1997 and 2015. This puts the age group for Gen Z in the range of 6-24 years old in 2021) read more…

News and Views

Today in Prophecy – Civil Disorder and Civil Disobedience

In the United States, some groups are pressing the Biden administration to restore the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which protects faith-based exemptions from some health care, funding and nondiscrimination laws. From 2007 to 2017, government restrictions on religion — laws, policies, and actions by State officials that restrict religious beliefs and practices — increased markedly around the world. Social hostilities against certain religious groups has increased since 2007, the year Pew Research Center began tracking the issue. read more…

Civil Disorder and Civil Disobedience

Justification by Faith – Church Five, Sardis

The message to the fifth church of the Gospel Age, represented by Sardis, deals with the time papacy was to be upset by the Reformation. Martin Luther, whom this author considers the messenger to Sardis, led the Reformation beginning in 1517. He accelerated the downfall of Papal control with astounding speed. read more…


 William Penn, the Cross and Crown Messenger to the Church in Philadelphia (1667-1874)

A freshly printed “blasphemous book” titled The Sandy Foundation Shaken reached the hands of the Bishop of London. It was a direct attack on the Trinity, asserting, “that the Father, Son, and Spirit, are not one Eternal Substance, and if the divine nature be in three distinct so as that one is not the other, it must follow that there would be three distinct gods … [For] what can any man of sense conclude but that here be three distinct infinities.” In brief, the trinity was “heathenish philosophy.” read more…

William Penn – Philadelphia

Laodicean Liabilities Church Seven

We prefer to drink cool water or a hot tea, but not either when lukewarm. What is more refreshing than a cold drink on a hot day? Many hot teas are healing. We should be both refreshing and healing. If we are faithful, then on a grander scale in the thousand-year kingdom of Christ we will provide the world with the “water of life” and provide the leaves of the tree [cross of Christ] … for the healing of the nations” (Revelation 22:1-2). But if we fail now to encourage and refresh others, and we do not do our best to comfort all that mourn (Isaiah 61:2), then others will take our place and do so. read more…

Laodicean Liabilities

Overview Seven Periods

The view is widely held among our fellowship that the seven churches of Revelation chapters 1-3 have prophetic meaning to seven successive periods of time during the Gospel Age. Not that this is the only meaning. For there were congregations in each of these cities, literally, to whom John was instructed to write the messages given by Jesus, communicated through an angel. “What thou seest, write in a book, and send it to the seven churches: unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea” (Revelation 1:11 ASV). read more...

Overview Seven Periods

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