"Seven Church Ages" doctrine is false!

Discussion in 'Fundamental Baptist Forum' started by robycop3, Jul 28, 2009.

  1. robycop3

    robycop3
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    Mosta you have hearda the "seven church ages" doctrine derived from the first part of revelation where JESUS gives John some messages he is to send to seven churches existing at that time. There is a doctrine that Christ's Church as a whole has gone thru successive ages for each of these churches. This doctrine was developed by john darby in England and spread in the USA by the charlatan teleminister William Marrion Branham & furthered by such as Clarence Larkin & Dr. Peter S. Ruckman. Here are the IDs & descriptions of each of those churches as given by JESUS:
    (1) Ephesus (2:1-7)
    This type of church does worship God and has all its doctrines in accordance with God's word. Added to this, they are well aware of the heresies that are invading the church, but somewhere along the way they have lost sight of Christ. It seems that they love their church and their ability to stand in the faith, but like many denominations they have left their first love - a sincere love for Christ.
    (2) Smyrna (2:8-11)
    Here is a church that has not got great resources nor are they particularly sought after. Instead they are ridiculed and persecuted for their faith in Christ. They could overcome this by following the standards of those who are successful by compromising the Gospel, but instead they have chosen to be overcomers by being faithful to the Lord. They have chosen the riches of Christ rather the riches and fame of this world.

    (3) Pergamos (2:12-17)
    The Pergamos type of church holds to the fundamentals of the faith. They are faithful to God and His word, but they have compromised with false prophets and teachers. Because of this compromise unbiblical practices have become part of their worship and daily living. We could say that this type of church is ecumenical.

    (4) Thyatira (2:18-29)
    This is basically a good church but it has allowed itself to slip into a "works gospel" mode instead of one that serve the Lord Jesus Christ and stands by faith alone. They now think that they please God through their good deeds. We would also call this church 'Charismatic' for it no longer questions the prophecies given in the church. It is both charismatic and ecumenical, for through these false prophecies they are being led into false religion. There are some who stay in the church in the hope that it will recover itself.

    (5) Sardis (3:1-6)
    Here is a congregation that is spiritually dead even though they go through the outward motions of being alive. It reality it is simply ritualism. They have a great respectability in society. They are accepted and acceptable to everyone. The Lord has a few faithful souls even here who are determined to rid their church of ritualism and spiritual death. Usually they are lone voices in such places.

    (6) Philadelphia (3:7-13)
    The "Philadelphian" church is faithful to the Lord. Out of all the churches they have their priorities in the correct order. They love the Lord and His word, and they work for the furtherance of the Gospel. They take a strong stand against all trends that arise to undermine faith in Christ. This type of church will never be popular in the world or amongst so-called Christians, but it is effective in preaching the truth in a depraved world.

    (7) Laodicea (3:14-22)
    This is a church that has completely lost its way. It has compromised on every possible level so as to be acceptable to the world and false religion. It has great wealth and claims to be open minded. For some reason they think that by adding God's name to all they do that it pleases God. This church has rejected the Bible for popular religion.

    And here are Dr. Ruckman's dating for these "church ages":

    (1) Ephesus Age:
    This is otherwise known as the Apostolic Age (33-200 AD). As the Apostolic Age began to die out the Church became more and more religious. It was a time when clerical rulership began to arise, but nevertheless this Age saw the word of God spreading throughout the Roman Empire.

    (2) Smyrna Age:
    This period in church history (200-325 AD) sees Christians being persecuted throughout the Roman Empire. Some see the "tribulation ten days" (Revelation 2:10) as ten actual periods of persecution from Nero to Diocletion.

    (3) Pergamos Age:
    During this time (325-500 AD) paganism enters the Church. To a great extent this is because of Constantine's so-called conversion to Christianity. The church compromised with Constantine's paganism and idolatry and adopted all kinds of unscriptural teachings and practices. It is here that we see the foundation of what would become the Roman Catholic Church.

    (4) Thyatira Age:
    The Dark Ages (500-1000 AD). Paganism in the form of the Papacy now controls Europe; the Roman Catholic Church being the only official religion. The Roman Catholic Church systematically persecutes those who thought differently about her regarding the things of God.

    (5) Sardis Age:
    The Reformation (1000-1500 AD). This age sees the rise of the great Reformers such as Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, and Tyndale. Through these men the light of the Gospel opened the eyes of Europe to the spiritual darkness it was in. Through them the Bible began to be placed into the hands of ordinary people instead of it being under the control of the priests. The Roman Catholic Church is guilty of millions of deaths through various persecutions, inquisitions, and massacres.

    (6) Philadelphia Age:
    Evangelical Christianity (1500-1900 AD). Throughout these years we see the Gospel reaching the ends of the earth through the great evangelists and missionaries. For the first time in world history it looks like every man and woman on earth would hear the good news about the saving power of God through Christ. This age also saw 'Great Awakenings' around the world. Basically the age saw one of a spirit of revival under such men as Jonathan Edwards, John Wesley, George Whitefield, D.L. Moody, and Charles Finney.

    (7) Laodicea Age:
    Corrupt Christianity (1900-? AD). The turn of the century saw great changes taking place both in the world and in the church. Not only were there new bibles, new religions, but the Church began to compromise with paganism again. An ecumenical spirit has invaded the church so that many desire to reunite with Rome. Biblical standards fall as worldliness also corrupts the minds of believers. Faith is undermined through Higher Criticism coming from German Theologians, eventually coming to the "God is Dead" teaching of the 1960's. The word of God is replaced with a powerless gospel in many church, who now rely upon gimmicks rather than the Living Word. This age also sees the rise of the World Council of Churches, Ecumenism, and Interfaith organizations. The Laodicean age is one of spiritual lukewarmness and Christless Christianity.


    First, nowhere in Scripture is the idea of "church ages" even hinted at. In JESUS' messages to John, it's plain that all those churches existed at the same time, and it's plain that types of all seven exist today. there was never a time when one "type" was predominant. And most of the dating of these 'periods' is wrong. For example, the "Philadelphian" age, 1500-1900, saw apostasy, debauchery, wars, epidemics, mass evil, & the rise of pseudo/quasi-christian cults reach new highs.

    This whole mess was made by ADDING to God's word, started by a misguided dispensationalist, propagated by a charlatan, spread by professional booksellers who were already fulla other false doctrines which held the door open for this one.

    THE 'SEVEN CHURCH AGES' DOCTRINE IS MAN-MADE AND FALSE!
     
  2. Revmitchell

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    While I do not hold to these church ages they also are not in the least bit dangerous and there is certainly room for disagreement. I am interested in the accusation of him being a "charlatan" it is the first I have heard of it.
     
  3. robycop3

    robycop3
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    RevMitchell, I don't wanna get too far off-topic writing about branham , rather than the false doctrine, but Branham...

    ...did NOT believe in the Holy Trinity. He was a MODALIST/Oneness Pentecostal.

    ...held the apostate "serpent seed" doctrine now preached by Arnold Murray of "Shepherd's Chapel".

    ...claimed there were errors in Scripture, & that HE had received the "CORRECT" doctrines from God.

    ...he said he was Elijah the prophet.

    ...he taught salvation by worx.

    ...he taught "biblical meanings" the Great Pyramid of Egypt, & that it was significant to hei ministry. He is buried with a Masonic pyramid tombstone.

    ...he believed in UFOs; perhapsthat's where Ruckman got his UFO ideas in his book, Mark Of The Beast.

    ...he was a leading hawk of the heretical "Latter Rain, Manifest Sons of God" false doctrine started in 1907. After his 1965 death, several latter rain believers tried to resurrect him thru prayer. Obviously, God turned them down. But this heresy lives on in many "Charismatic" movements of today.

    You can read this for yourself, and more, by Googling his name. I am old enuff to remembersome of his broadcasts, & can vouch for some of his stuff such as "seprent seed" from direct experience.
     
  4. pocadots1990

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    I believe the seven churches are representing today's churches in different parts of the world.
     
  5. Amy.G

    Amy.G
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    HERE is a good article on the 7 churches by John MacArthur.


    From the article.
     
  6. robycop3

    robycop3
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    A point I want to make is just how-easily more than one person falls for a MAN-MADE doctrine of worship As an IFB, I hold the SCRIPTURES to be the final written authority in all matters of worship, to be taken literally as possible, while I reject ALL man-made docs of worship.

    I realize that JESUS told John to write to the ANGEL of eacha those churches, but plainly the message is meant for the CONGREGATIONS of each. And there's not one scintilla of SCRIPTURE suggesting that Christ's Church in general would go thru a succession of periods where the characteristics of eacha those Asian churches in turn would be assumed by the various churches in general. this is just another example of a FALSE, MAN-MADE DOCTRINE that should be rejected by ALL true Christians, especially IFBs.
     
  7. sag38

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    I agree. It is quite a stretch to assign church ages using the seven churches. All over the world, today, there are churches that may closely resemble one of the seven churches or a combination of several. But, to assign them to eras of church existence is false in my opinion.
     
  8. stgeorge

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    7 churches in Revelation

    These were literal churches that is what is clear. Inferring that these were representing various "church ages" is not anywhere in scripture. I agree with that. As a recovering dispensationalist, it took me years to realize that dispensationalists hold to literal interpretations only when it suits predetermined positions, and they revert to historic redefintions and word redefinitions to fit a pre-trib, pre-M belief crafted by 19th century Jewish Zionists who sought to obtain support from Christian communities to foster political support to set up a new state called Israel. It took them several decades through the Jewish presses of propagating Scofield References Bibles. C.I. Scofied was a lawyer who was hired by Eastern Jews to develop a legal position not a biblical position to that end. Most dispensationalists accept what is in Scofield margins as being co-equal to scripture. I have some very loving dispensational brothers. I simply encourage them to develop a consistent means of interpreting scripture and apply those principles. I encourage the brethren to read the Apocalyptic Code as a starter. It deals with each of us learning to apply proven principles when studying the Bible.
    Ma God Bless All!
     
  9. robycop3

    robycop3
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    That's why I remind everyone, including myself, to "test the spirits", that is, every doctrine of worship, to see if it's found in SCRIPTURE. If it's not, it's man-made & false, simple as THAT!

    Many new doctrines are made from MAN'S PRIVATE INTERPS of some Scriptures. These are more subtle and dangerous than those simply invented outta thin air. The best defense against being taken in by such a false doc is to KNOW THE SCRIPTURES WELL.

    Resist the devil, & he shall flee from you. But remember, "HE'LL BE BACK!"
     

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