and Their Infiltration of the Seven Churches of Revelation
by John Daniel
Philologos Religious Online Books
Secret Societies and
Their Infiltration of the Seven Churches of Revelation
Transcription of seven 1-hour audio cassette messages
by John Daniel, author of "Scarlet and the Beast"
The Secret Society at the Church of Philadelphia
Tape 5 | Introduction | Tape 7
Hello, I'm John Kreigel, President of JKI Publishing. Before we begin this series of seven messages on the seven churches of Revelation, I want to give you a brief overview of God's plan for mankind as recorded in Scripture. This will help you better understand the purpose behind these seven messages.
There is a battle between God and Satan. It's not an eternal battle for Scripture prophesies the end of Satan. God is the victor over evil in the past, the present and the future. The devil knows this, but he continues the war against God anyway in hopes of putting off the inevitable. His mode of operation is to form secret societies to conspire against God and man.
Satan was once Lucifer, the mighty archangel. Scripture tells us that he first conspired with 1/3 of the angels to dethrone God. As a result, there was war in heaven and God cast Lucifer and his angels out of heaven onto the earth where Lucifer became Satan, the Adversary. On earth, the Adversary's battle continued for the souls of mankind. God warned Adam and Eve in advance not to join Satan's rebellion or they would die. Satan deceived Eve with the promise of godhood; Eve recruited Adam and together they joined Satan's rebellion. Because of their disobedience, God could no longer fellowship with Adam and Eve, hence the human race was doomed to both a physical and spiritual death unless God intervened.
In love of, and infinite mercy for His creation, God set in motion a redemption plan. In Genesis 3:15 God announced His plan to Satan; God would destroy Satan through a Redeemer born of the seed of a woman which is interpreted to mean, born of a virgin. The development of the seed plot is recorded throughout the entire Old Testament. The Redeemer would be of Hebrew race, born of the tribe of Judah, through the kingly line of David. To the Jews of the Old Testament, he was known as the Holy One of Israel, the Messiah. The New Testament records the culmination of God's plan. By the power of the Holy Spirit, God's seed was miraculously placed in the womb of a virgin, her name was Mary, of the lineage of King David.
When the Messiah ("Christ" in Greek) was born, Mary named him Jesus which means "Savior." Jesus Christ, the Savior Messiah of the human race was both deity and man, God incarnate. In this form, God would pay the penalty for mankind's sin of rebellion by His own death. Christ's ministry on earth, His life, His death, burial and resurrection, completed the redemption plan for mankind.
However, the redemption plan is not a blanket amnesty for mankind. Every person must choose to accept or reject the plan. Only those who accept the plan are redeemed to eternal life. To carry the good news of this redemption plan throughout earth, Jesus Christ founded the Church. The Church is not a building, it's not a corporation. It is a body of believers in Christ who have been given the task to spread the good news that the human race is no longer doomed to eternal separation from God, that if they repent of their rebellion against the Almighty and accept Jesus Christ as their Savior, they will have eternal life. The finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary defeated Satan.
Satan's ultimate doom, however, is prophesied not to occur until after the end of the Church Age. Therefore, to prolong his life, the Adversary fights to extend the Church Age. With those who rejected the redemption plan, Satan conspired to form secret societies to infiltrate the Church for the express purpose of slowing the progress of evangelism. The record of this conspiracy is recorded in the book of Revelation chapters 2 and 3.
John Daniel, author of the best-selling trilogy "Scarlet and the Beast" is both author and narrator of these series of seven audiocassette messages entitled "Secret Societies and Their Infiltration of the Seven Churches of Revelation."
Now, here is John Daniel.
Turn in your Bible to Revelation chapter 3 verse 7-13. I'll be reading from the old King James version.
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. 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. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
Philadelphia means "brotherly love." In the year 189 BC, King Eumenes II of Pergamos completed building the city of Philadelphia in honor of his loyal brother Philadelphus who he deeply loved. King Eumenes selected the location of the city for its strategic position of being a natural crossroads and planned for Philadelphia to be a gateway to the ancient world for spreading Greek culture throughout Asian provinces. During the time of the apostles, the strategic position of Philadelphia enabled the local church to evangelize the known world and those from distant lands traveling through the city came into contact with the Philadelphia evangelicals. Some were saved, discipled and commissioned to take the gospel back to their homeland and establish new churches.
When we apply the evangelism of the local church at Philadelphia to the broader Philadelphia church period, we recognize a time in church history beginning in 1730 when great revivals broke out in England and the American colonies. Following these revivals, numerous missionary movements sprang up in both England and the newly formed United States of America which spread the gospel of Christ around the globe during the next two centuries. And like Philadelphia of old, England during those days was the center of world travel. America has held that position since shortly after our civil war. Hence, the Philadelphia church period is characterized by the evangelical and missionary thrust that began to grow in 1730 as a result of the revivals in both England and America. This period of church history came to a close at the end of WWII after which the church became lukewarm and materialistic.
In ancient Philadelphia the pagans worshiped Asklepios, the serpent god, and Dionysus, the vile Greek god of revelry and licentious orgies. The Christians, however, took no part in the festivals of these pagan gods for there was no idolatry in the Philadelphia church. Because of their faithfulness in spreading the gospel, Philadelphia Christians were divinely protected through that period of martyrdom under the Roman Emperors. Even as late as the Middle Ages when the Moslem hoard swept Asia Minor, Philadelphia is known to have successfully resisted Moslem influence. In fact, while other surrounding cities fell to the Moslems, Philadelphia remained Christian until the 14th century.
This brings us to Christ's characteristic for this church period which is found in the first part of Revelation 3:7 "he that is holy, he that is true." This description of our Savior as being holy and true means that he is completely right in whatever he does. He was right when he died for us, he IS right in giving us eternal life when we accept his as Savior and he will be right in sending unbelievers to an eternal hell because they have rejected him as Savior. While the phrase holy and true describes the character of Christ as being right, the words taken separately give us more insight into his character. "True" in Greek means "truthful as in not concealing anything." We have witnessed how Christ's promises and warnings during the last five church periods were not concealed, that they occurred just as he said they would and when he said they would.
Christ's character is not only true it's also holy. In Greek the word "holy" as used in this verse means "blameless." When Christ punished the Smyrna Christians with martyrdom for abandoning evangelism during the Ephesus church period, he was blameless because he had warned them in advance. Martyred souls throughout the church age recognize this blameless character in Jesus Christ. In Revelation 6:9-10 when the fifth seal is broken just before the middle of the seven year tribulation, the martyrs unanimously call our Lord holy and true. I quote their prayer of recognition: "How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?" Christ's answer also confirms his character of being right in his punishment of the wicked. Martyrs are told to wait a while longer until the death of all martyrs be fulfilled, then God's judgment will fall on the wicked. That period of awful testing is referred to as the Great Tribulation in Matthew 24:21 and as the Wrath of God in Revelation 15 and 16. Since Christ's holy and true character is blameless while chastising Christians who don't evangelize, we can rely on his unchanging character in protecting those who do evangelize. For example, when Christ says he will keep the Philadelphia church period from that awful time of tribulation, evangelicals and missionaries can count on his holy and true character of doing just that.
The second characteristic of Christ is found in the latter half of verse 7 "he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth." This characteristic confirms that our Savior is in complete control of when and where we are to spread the gospel. He opens and closes doors to evangelism with the key of David. What is the key of David?
As pertaining to salvation there are three keys mentioned in scripture. First is the key of knowledge found in Luke 11:52. In this verse Christ rebukes the scribes and Pharisees for taking away the key of knowledge, meaning the law of Moses and the prophets, the whole of the Old Testament. In its place, the Pharisees added cumbersome man-made laws. This key of knowledge is not the key of David. The second key is plural and is found in Matthew 16:19; they are keys to the kingdom of heaven which Christ gives to the church. Notice that these are not keys to heaven but keys to the kingdom of heaven. Bible commentator E. Skyler English writes that these keys are not the keys to the Old Testament knowledge but rather are keys which refer to the means of making the truth about Christ known. These keys unlock the truths found in the New Testament, truths about the mystery of the gospel of salvation. The keys to the kingdom of heaven are not the key of David.
The key of David is mentioned only in one other scripture, Isaiah 22:20-25. Eliakim, a steward over at King Hezekiah's household, was given the key of David and with it the authority to open and close the door of the King's treasure house. Dr. English writes that Isaiah looked beyond Eliakim and saw the Lord Jesus Christ who holds the key of David that unlocks the door to the treasure house of God. What do you suppose is God's most valuable treasure? The answer is given in John 3:16, there the apostle informs us that "God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son" to die for the redemption of our souls. God's most valuable treasures then are the souls of mankind. All parables about the kingdom of heaven speak to this. In Matthew 13 when Christ says the kingdom of heaven is like a man who does this or that, our Savior is referring to himself as a man. For example, the kingdom of heaven is like a man, Jesus Christ, who sows good seed. The kingdom of heaven is like a man, Jesus Christ, who takes a grain of mustard seed. And the kingdom of heaven is like a man, Jesus Christ, who seeks goodly pearls and sells all he has meaning he gave up his glory in heaven, came to earth and laid down his life to buy a pearl of great price, a lost soul. All these parables refer to our Savior laying down his life to purchase the souls of mankind for the kingdom of heaven. Souls are God's most valuable treasure. To Christ, God gave the key of David to open the doors to his treasure house of souls.
According to most authors on this subject, the key of David opens doors to nations. To the church, God has given the keys to the kingdom of heaven which unlocks the truths of salvation in the New Testament. When Christ unlocks the doors of nations, the Philadelphia church has been faithful to walk through those doors and preach the gospel of redemption to lost souls. As a child I grew up in a home mission setting. My father pastured a church 12 months out of the year and during the summer months he directed a children's Bible camp. Our family lived on campus and there I matured with five brothers and three sisters. Our heroes were missionaries who dined at our table year round. Each week of camp a different missionary would tell of his or her ventures in spreading the gospel to all corners of the earth. All had stories of victory and defeat, all would encourage us to commit our lives to missionary work. The most memorable part of this experience was a missionary's open door and closed door clichés. As a small child my eyes would open wide with wonder as the missionaries would say "The Lord has opened the door to this nation" or "The Lord has closed the door to that nation." I would look at the kitchen door and wonder how big the door to a nation was. I could visualize an enormous Jesus opening a mighty big door and at his feet were thousands of tiny missionaries rushing through. Yes, Christ holds the key of David and it's through his authority alone that doors of nations are opened and closed to the gospel. Christians need only to be ready to walk through those open doors to preach the gospel of purchased salvation to lost souls.
We recently witnessed this miraculous phenomenon as the Soviet Union fell. Almost overnight all doors to those former Communist nations opened wide to the gospel of Christ. Philadelphia missionaries from almost every denomination and independent missionary society faithfully rushed through those doors. How long the doors will remain open in Russia, is the decision of the one who holds the key of David.
This brings us to Christ's commendation found in Revelation 3:8 "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." During the Sardis church period the word of God had died and with that death many preachers and laymen joined secret societies and renounced Christ's name. This left the church weakened, with little strength; it needed resurrection and God miraculously did that for them. For "little strength" in Greek means "a small number were given miraculous power." After Christ gave them miraculous power, he then opened the door to local communities and local churches for revival before missionary activity could begin. In Greek the word "openeth" means "to first open locally, severally and repetitiously." History reveals that the first half of the Philadelphia church period is characterized by great revivals that swept both England and the Americas in the 18th and 19th centuries.
In England it began with the Wesley brothers. John Wesley was born June, 1703 in Epworth, England. His father was a preacher and his remarkable mother a woman of deep Christian convictions, raised her children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. Consequently, when young John Wesley attended Oxford, he was already a spiritual leader and during the latter part of his education, was one of the founders of the Holy Club, an organization of serious minded students who vowed to live righteous lives before God and man. Some years after college, John Wesley studied Luther's writings which inspired him to preach. In 1730, he and his brother Charles were sent by the British Society for the propagation of the gospel to the colony of Georgia in the Americas. There the brothers developed their preaching skills. Upon their return to England, John Wesley became an associate of George Whitefield and became a popular evangelist. Wesley was known for his persistent, laborious love for men's souls. For the next 50 years he rose at four o'clock every morning and began preaching at five o'clock. He preached twice a day and sometimes three and four times, then traveled to the next town. Most of his travel was on horseback accumulating 4,500 miles annually. At a time when the church of England had lost sight of Christ as Redeemer, Wesley preached the renewing of the soul through belief in Jesus Christ. As a result, tens of thousands of the humbler class of English people who before were exceedingly ignorant and full of evil habits, responded to the gospel message and after salvation became earnest, faithful Christians. Following each revival, Wesley ordained preachers to disciple the converts, then he traveled to the next town to preach another revival.
The small churches which were left in his wake throughout the British Empire became known as Wesley Fellowships. In 1744, Wesley established an annual conference for his Fellowships. Throughout the year he disseminated useful knowledge to them, he planned for the psychological culture for his traveling preachers and local exhorters. He also planned the curriculum for his schools of instruction for future teachers of the Fellowship. He organized and then published his best sermons and various theological works so that his successful method of preaching and teaching would be transferred to future generations. As a result of the ingenious methods he developed for the Fellowships and the way he enforced them almost with military precision, the name Methodist became attached to the Fellowships.
After his death, Wesley Fellowships became known as the Methodist Church. When John Wesley died in 1791 at the age of 88, his preaching had brought sinners to repentance throughout the reign of three British Monarchs. England was now prepared to send missionaries around the world through foreign mission boards founded by Wesley.
The American colonies needed revival as well, which broke out between 1740 and 1750 and is known as the Great Awakening. These revivals remarkably increased the growth of Congregational, Presbyterian, Methodist and Baptist churches. Following are a few of the revivalists and evangelists who faithfully walked through this open door in the Americas.
Beginning in 1739, George Whitefield became a popular preacher in both England and the American colonies. With the Wesley brothers, he worked for revival in the church. His preaching tours in American helped kindle the Great Awakening. During that same time Jonathan Edwards, a Congregational minister, became one of the most influential theologians and evangelists in American history. One of his best known sermons was "Sinners in the hands of an angry God." His preaching was an important factor in the Great Awakening in New England. As the most learned scholar of his generation, Edwards became president of a Christian college known today as Princeton University.
So powerful were these revivals that by the time our Constitution was written and passed by Congress in 1787, 2/3 of the three million citizens in the USA were professing Christians. Revival didn't stop with this first generation but was passed to the second generation and the revival fires kept burning. Men like Francis Asbury, the first bishop of the Methodist church in America, and Peter Cartwright, Timothy Dwight and Lyman Beecher led the way to the second Great Awakening. In 1824, Charles G. Finney inherited the leadership bringing great revival to the Eastern United States. His meetings were characterized by deep and open mourning over sin. During the latter half of the 19th century, Dwight L. Moody held great crusades throughout America and England. He was the forerunner to Billy Sunday and Billy Graham of the 20th century. Dwight L. Moody founded Moody Bible Institute in Chicago.
While the 18th and 19th century Philadelphia church period was being revived from its Sardis death by the two Great Awakenings, the entire 19th and 20th centuries became one great big missionary movement. And this was Christ's doing for he said "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." As stated earlier, "little strength" in Greek means "small in number with miraculous power." The Philadelphia church was like a person coming back to life who was still weak. Here again we see Christ's awesome power and faithfulness in sustaining the obedient missionaries who with little strength, with little financing, with little preparation rushed through the open door to do a mighty work in a hostile land that offered no medical facilities nor psychiatric counseling to counter cultural shock. It was indeed a miracle.
The last phrase of verse 8 is significant in understanding the transition from the Sardis church period to the Philadelphia church period for it counters the problem inherent in the Sardis church: thou "hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name." "Kept my word" in Greek means "they guarded the divine expression from loss or injury." If we keep God's word, we will not deny Christ's name. The few who did not apostatize during the Sardis church period preserved God's word and opened the Philadelphia church period with great revivals. What followed was a world wide missionary movement. When there is complete obedience to Christ's first and only commandment to the church, we find no condemnation of that church period.
While Christ revived the hearts of men and women to prepare them for missionary work in foreign fields, he simultaneously prepared the world wide political and commercial presence of England and America to make a way to send out the missionaries. Ancient Philadelphia is the prototype. From this city of crossroads, missionaries were sent to every kingdom and empire in the known world. Likewise, England as the center of world travel during the first half of the Philadelphia church period, shipped missionaries to all parts of the world. God engineered two historic events which permitted this to happen the result of which opened the doors of Eastern and Western countries to the gospel.
First, Great Britain spread her Empire around the globe through colonization. Second, colonization was made possible by Great Britain's mighty merchant marines. From the year 1603 to the year 1873, the British East India Company, the world's largest merchant marine co-op, was the sole responsible entity that carried the British flag around the world. England's primary trade was in fabrics. Cotton from her southern plantations in American was shipped to England where it was manufactured into fabric. From there, it was shipped to the Orient and traded for silk. As silk and spices were shipped back from the Orient to Europe and to the Americas, the merchant ships stopped by the coast of Africa to pick up slaves and the cycle began again. With these rugged merchant marines, sailed missionaries from the British Isles and to the Americas to destinations both East and West. In 1873 when the British East India Company went out of business, the USA became the center of world travel and from our land the missionary movement continued to mushroom.
Although world travel was made available from England as earlier as 1603 by the creation of the British East India Company, we know from the history of the Sardis church period that Protestant churches of the 17th and 18th century were slow to undertake missions outside of Europe. However, following the first great revivals that swept England and the Americas in the late 18th century and the early 19th century, interest in missions exploded, not in churches but among individuals and small groups. And through them, several voluntary missions were organized before churches got involved. For example, in 1793 the world's first modern missionary, an English shoe cobbler named William Cary (ph), sailed from London to India and found there an open door. He is known as the father of modern missions. One of his legacies is the development of mission societies or voluntary societies that send missionaries out to evangelize in the far corners of the earth. As a gifted linguist, Cary was personally involved in translating the Bible into 36 languages of South Asia.
American foreign missions began in 1806 with Samuel J. Mills, a student at Williams College. Mills gathered about himself four fellow students who felt a burden for the heathen world. One day while weathering a thunderstorm in the shelter of a haystack, they passed the time in prayer for the salvation of the world and resolved to be missionaries. Later, these young men went to Andover Theological Seminary where Adoniram Judson joined them. On June 29, 1810 they sent a petition to the Massachusetts Congregational Association at Bradford offering themselves as missionaries and asking whether they might expect financial support from a missionary society in American or should they apply to a British missionary society. In response to this appeal, the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions was formed. But there was still a touch of Sardis in the Mission Board, for the missionaries were required to submit to the Board's mode of Baptism by sprinkling else they wouldn't support them.
By February, 1812, sufficient money was raised and the first missionaries of the American Boards sailed for the Orient. On the long voyage, however, Dr. Judson, his wife and a Mr. Rice were led to revise their convictions about the proper mode of baptism and were thus convinced that immersion was the only valid way. On their arrival to Calcutta, they were rebaptized by William Cary. This act severed their relationship with the Society that had sent them forth and left them destitute of support. Mr. Rice returned to America to raise support from the Baptist brethren. The Baptist's looked at this as an act of God and eagerly agreed to support them. As a result, the Baptist Missionary Union was formed. Consequently, two great missionary societies were formed from this small group of missionaries.
Following are specific dates of the beginning of the great missionary movement in England and the USA:
1800 William Cary's first convert was baptized.
1804 British and Foreign Bible Society was organized.
1805 Henry Martin sailed for India.
1807 Robert Morrison sailed for China.
1808 Haystack meeting held near Williams College.
1810 American Board of Missions was organized.
1811 Wesleyans founded Sierra Leone Mission.
1812 First American Board of Missionaries sailed to India.
1816 Robert Moffett sails for South Africa and that same year the American Bible Society was organized.
1818 London Missionary Society enters Madagascar.
1819 American Board opens Sandwich Islands Mission; in that same year Dr. Adoniram Judson baptized his first Burmese convert.
Following the second Great Awakening, the world wide missionary movement continued. J. Hudson Taylor was the first missionary to inland China, founding in 1865 the China Inland Mission. Prior to his courageous venture into the heartland of this vast Oriental Empire, missionaries to China ministered only in seaport cities. Hudson Taylor was the founder of Faith Missions, that is missions that require their missionaries to raise their own support, thus relying on the Holy Spirit to touch the hearts of individual contributors. China Inland Mission is now called Overseas Missionary Fellowship or OMF, not to be confused with OMS, Overseas Missionary Society. Ten years after Hudson Taylor began evangelizing inland China, a vivid expression of Philadelphia brotherly love flowed over the churches in America. Today that period of American church history is called the Niagara Bible Conference era.
These annual conferences which dominated the last quarter of the 19th century, began in 1875 and were first frequented by a few pastors and evangelists from a mix of denominations who met privately at Niagara for a quiet week of Bible study and prayer. Over the next two years, other pastors and theologians attended. In 1878, it became an annual publicly scheduled event which continued through 1909. From this healthy mix of Christian persuasion came a spirit filled and guided discussion of end-time Bible prophecy which developed into the now popularized premillennial doctrine of the return of Christ. Largely holding to a dispensational view of the Bible, the Niagara Bible Conference did not, however, exclude the historist viewpoint. Nor was the conference's doctrinal statement specifically dispensational leaving room for a healthy discussion of all premillennial rapture viewpoints, that is, pre, mid, post and partial rapture persuasions. All of these viewpoints were debated in brotherly love. The conference ended in 1909 with the revived focus of North America churches looking for the premillennial return of Christ. As you recall from our study of the Pergamos church period which began in 312 AD, the amillennial doctrine, that is the belief that Christ will return after the church purifies the world, had been the dominant viewpoint of the church since the time of Augustine. The Niagara Bible Conference broke that tradition in America.
Following is a mix of those who faithfully attended the Niagara Bible Conferences: Dwight L. Moody, evangelist and founder of Moody Bible Institute; B. B. Leecock (ph), Reformed Episcopalian Minister; A. J. Gordon, Boston Baptist Minister and Editor of the Watchword; Robert Cameron, Canadian Baptist Pastor and successor to Gordon as Editor of the Watchword; Nathaniel West, Presbyterian theologian; George N. H. Peters, Ohio Lutheran Minister; W. J. Eerdman, Presbyterian minister and Editor of "The Truth"; C. I. Scofield, Congregational pastor and author of the Scofield Reference Bible; William G. Moorehead, President of the Presbyterian Seminary of Zenia, Ohio; Arno C. Gaberlan (ph), Editor of "Our Hope"; James S. Brooks, St. Louis pastor and President of the Conference and many more Philadelphians.
As a whole, the Niagara Bible Conference era was an outpouring of brotherly love expressed between theologians from a variety of denominations. As faithful churchmen, these men differed with denominational doctrine and policy only in particulars of little consequence. As a direct result of the Niagara Bible Conference era, a great upsurge of Protestant mission activity developed and many more missionary agencies and boards were formed. Although these were voluntary and unofficial, Protestant denominations began to establish official mission organizations. Various regional and international conferences were held which culminated in the organization of the International Missionary Council in 1921.
With the Communist Revolution in Russia following WWI, missionary activity within the Russian Orthodox Church ceased. Following WWII, England and Europe's missionary efforts had been modest at best. According to a statistic published in 1975 by the Christian Missionary Alliance Mission Board, 95% of the world's missionaries over the past two centuries have either come from or have been supported by Christians in the USA. Therefore, I locate the headquarters of the Philadelphia church period in the USA of which land Isaiah prophesied that the Holy Spirit would set up a standard against the enemy of the Lord in the West. I date the beginning of the Philadelphia church period at 1730 with the Wesley brothers' revival in America and in England. Finally, I date the end of this church period with the termination of WWII when churches in America had sufficiently changed their character from missionary-minded to Wall Street-minded.
So we see that the crowning glory of the seven church periods is the Philadelphia church, the only church of the seven faithfully to follow Christ's one command to evangelize the world and with little strength it did just that. For the past two centuries there hasn't been a nation on earth whose doors haven't been opened to the gospel, albeit some temporarily. This brings us to Christ's promise to the Philadelphia church for its faithfulness which promise is twofold.
Found in Revelation 3:9 the first promise reads "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." The second promise is found in verse 10 and reads "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." In all previous church periods, secret societies have infiltrated the churches to hinder evangelism, but not so at Philadelphia. There appears to be a deliberate cooperation from the synagogue of Satan in spreading the gospel because it knew Christ loved the church. Such a revelation to pagans can only be God sent, causing the synagogue of Satan, those who say they are Jews and are not, to cooperate in the work of evangelism.
What secret society of the past two centuries can be identified as the synagogue of Satan? To answer this question we must look at the most powerful secret society on earth today. The Scottish Rite of Freemasonry is the governing body of all contemporary secret societies. We can document from Masonic authority that rituals in the Scottish Rite from the 4th to the 33rd degree were all acquired from the Jewish Kabbalah. Albert Pike, the most renowned 33rd degree Mason of the 19th century, confirms this in his book "Morals and Dogma":
All truly dogmatic religions have issued from the Kabbalah and returned to it. Everything scientific and grand in the religious dreams of all the Illuminati is borrowed from the Kabbalah. All the Masonic associations owe to it their secrets and their symbols. In that ancient and little understood philosophy the initiate will find the source of many doctrines and may in time come to understand the hermetic philosophers, the alchemists and all the anti-papal thinkers of the Middle Ages. Thus, with the Kabbalah was a second Bible born unknown to, or rather, uncomprehended by the Christians.
Because rituals in the Scottish Rite have come from the Jewish Kabbalah, the Scottish Rite is known as the Jewish Rite of Freemasonry, however, it is not dominated or controlled by Jews although a small percent of its membership is Jewish. The Scottish Rite is a Gentile controlled order made up of those who say they are Jews and are not. Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry confirms this: "Each lodge is and must be a symbol of the Jewish Temple, each Master in the chair representing the Jewish King and every Freemason a personation of the Jewish workman." Gentile initiates who make up the bulk of membership in the Scottish Rite Freemasonry are declared Jews upon completion of their initiation.
But is this proof that Freemasonry is the synagogue of Satan during the Philadelphia church period? Many researchers answer yes. I shall mention four: (1) In 1738 Pope Clement XII declared Freemasonry the synagogue of Satan. The date is significant for Clement's statement was made just as the Sardis church period had come to a close and the Philadelphia church period had begun. (2) The Roman Curia, which is the supreme government of the Vatican, published a book in 1961 entitled "The Plot Against the Church." The Plot was a warning to Catholics that their church had been infiltrated by Freemasonry and in that book the Roman Curia referred to the Scottish Rite as the synagogue of Satan. (3) Masons who renounce Freemasonry claim the same. For example, Dr. Jonathan Blanchard, a former 33rd degree Scottish Rite Mason, confirms in his two-volume work entitled "Scottish Rite Masonry Illustrated," that every lodge is a synagogue of Satan and its ritual is sorcery. Dr. Blanchard was a companion of Charles G. Finney during the second Great Awakening and in the mid 1800s Blanchard was President of Wheaton College. (4) The fourth and final example comes from French Freemasonry itself, the founder of the Scottish Rite. French Freemasonry teaches its own initiates that the lodges is indeed the synagogue of Satan. This is found in the instructions for the 30-33rd degree of French Freemasonry as recited to the recipient of the last degree by the President and the Orator of the lodge:
The initiate of the 30th degree is sanctified and declared kadosh (ph) meaning holy, he burns incense to Lucifer and is admitted to the rank of the grand sacrificers of the angel of light. The initiate of the 31st degree mounts the mystic ladder and concludes a pact with Satan which he seals with a drop of his own blood. The initiate of the 32nd degree is made prince of the Luciferian Secret and joins the army which marches to avenge Lucifer and conquer paradise lost. The initiated of the 33rd degree becomes sovereign pontiff of the synagogue of Satan.
The Scottish Rite was founded at Paris, France around the time of the first Great Awakening in America. By 1755 it had acquired 32 degrees. Its 33rd and final degree, known as the Supreme Council or Ruling Degree of Universal Freemasonry, was inaugurated at Charleston, SC in 1801. That year when Charleston became headquarters of Universal Freemasonry, Satan moved his headquarters from Western Europe to America. Isaiah 59:19 prophesied that before Satan set up headquarters in America, the Holy Spirit would set up a standard against the enemy in the West. The Hebrew word for "standard" means "to put to flight." "West" means "in the region of the setting sun." The standard that God set up in the region of the setting sun is the Philadelphia church. The enemy that Philadelphia evangelicals put to flight is Scottish Rite Freemasonry. Christ says it this way, "I will cause the synagogue of Satan to come and worship at thy feet."
Historically, this first occurred in England and then America in three ways all of which are prophesied in one Greek word "worship." (1) "Worship" can be translated "worship along side of"; (2) "due reverence to or adore"; (3) "to prostrate oneself in homage." Let's take each of these translations separately and apply them to three historic events where Freemasonry has made contact with the Philadelphia church in England and the Americas.
Beginning in 1793 with William Cary, the world's first modern missionary, Masons have worshiped alongside of evangelicals. During those years England was the center of world travel and the mighty British East India Company, the world's largest merchant marine co-op, was responsible for carrying the British flag around the world. Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry confirms that Masonic lodges were established in the Americas, India, China and Australia by those merchant marines suggesting that the British sailors were Masons. In my book "Scarlet and the Beast," I document that one of the requirements for bringing a ship into the co-op was that the ship's owner and his entire crew be Masons. Among these rugged merchant marines sailed missionaries from the British Isles and the Americas. While on the high seas, these missionaries never missed a worship service. Worshiping alongside of them was the ship's Masonic crew just as Christ had prophesied.
Another example of how Christ calls the synagogue of Satan to worship alongside of evangelicals is found in the history of revolutions. Prior to each revolution there was recruitment of those who were willing to revolt against the crown and Catholic church. Where better to find Christians willing to throw off the yoke of religious and political tyranny than in Protestant churches? History bares record that prior to every revolution, leaders of those revolutions attended Protestant churches to recruit and as a result, worshiped alongside of evangelicals just as Christ had prophesied. This was especially true during the American Revolution when 67% of the population at that time were Christians. The Revolutionaries needed the majority to revolt and Christians were the majority, yet the few leaders of the Revolution who founded our Republic were Masons. For example, George Washington while Grand Master of the Alexandria Lodge #22 in Virginia, recruited Masons to lead his army. According to the 1951 Mason Edition of the Holy Bible, all 24 of George Washington's major generals were Masons as well as 30 of his 33 brigadier generals and of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence, 53 were Master Masons. Before the Revolution, most of these Masons including George Washington, are on record of having been regular church attenders.
From the pulpits, separation from England was preached along with the salvation message. This fulfills Christ's prophesy that he would cause the synagogue of Satan to worship alongside of Christians. The same occurred prior to the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia. Vladimir Lenin, a Scottish Rite Freemason and half Jewish, frequented many Protestant churches in Southern Russia to solicit recruits to fight against the dominant Russian Orthodox Church and its power over the tsars. Lenin sat in the Protestant congregations, listened to their preaching, participated in their communion and from time to time was given the pulpit to present his message of freedom. Lenin, who was responsible for slaughtering three million Russians in the two years following the Bolshevik Revolution, worshiped alongside of Christians just as Christ had prophesied.
Another way Freemasonry bowed down to the Philadelphia church was through constitutional government for the new emerging nations. Written by Masons and approved of by Masons, these constitutions guaranteed freedom of religion. Consequently, doors of most democratic nations were opened wide to missionaries. So we see that the synagogue of Satan, while its Masonic revolutions and constitutions guaranteed freedom of worship, it assisted the Philadelphia church in spreading the gospel just as Christ had prophesied.
The final example of how Christ calls Masons to worship alongside of evangelicals is the most profound. In 1926, the Scottish Rite published an article in its January "New Age" magazine that Masons were to join Christian churches. The article was an order coming directly from the Southern jurisdiction of Scottish Rite Freemasonry, the supreme headquarters of all Masonic lodges. Written by W. B. Zimmerman, the article entitled "Let Their Be Light" stated that every Mason "should cast his lot with the church to help vitalize it, liberalize it, modernize it and render it aggressive and efficient. To do less is treason to your country, to your creator, to the obligation you have promised to obey." A Mason's Masonic obligation is more powerful than any law of the land. Under oath, Masons obligate themselves to carry out all orders given them by the Masonic hierarchy. Consequently following the publishing of this article in 1926, Masons throughout the US flocked to join Protestant churches. In time, these Masons worked their way into church leadership and in time they turned the evangelical churches lukewarm.
One example will suffice. Today almost half the Masons in the USA are members of the Southern Baptist Convention. The exact figures as published by both the SBC and the Scottish Rite are as follows: out of three million registered, card-carrying Masons in the USA, 1.3 million are members of the Southern Baptist Convention. Furthermore, the SBC reports that approximately 6,000 of its pastors are Masons and about 666,000 of its deacons are members of the Lodge. I suggest that the parable of the wheat and the tares in Matthew 13 is a prophecy of secret society infiltration into the church. In this parable, the field into which the good seed is sown is the world; Christ sows the good seed, they are the children of the kingdom of God which on earth is the body of Christ, the church. The tares are not the unsaved who wander into church nor those who have been invited to church, the tares are the children of Satan. At night, while people sleep, Satan sows his corrupt seed among the good seed which suggests secret infiltration of the church. The adversary's purpose is to weaken the yield of the crop, meaning to hinder evangelism. The 1926 Masonic order to all American Masons to join their local churches was, in effect, Satan's corrupt seed being sown among the wheat. Masons who read the article knew exactly what it meant; they were to render the churches aggressive and efficient for Masonic use thus weakening the church by turning evangelical churches into lukewarm churches.
What should churches do about this today? Should Masons be disfellowshiped? Christ gives the answer in verse 29, "Nay, lest while ye gather up the tares ye root up also the wheat with them." The duty of the church is not to root up tares but rather to preach the gospel. If Masons are disfellowshiped they won't hear the gospel, moreover, if we root them up, the wheat surrounding them will also be rooted up and this wheat could be their family members who love the Lord Jesus Christ. The church is to permit Masons to sit in pews but not hold office for it fulfills Christ's prophecy to the Philadelphia church "I will make them to come and worship before thy feet."
The second Greek definition of how Christ makes the synagogue of Satan come and worship before the feet of evangelicals is "to do reverence to or adore." I have four examples: (1) Masons reverence and adore the King James version of the Bible because King James I was a Scottish Templar Masons, the forerunner of the Scottish Rite. Consequently, the King James Bible is the only Bible that sits on the altar of every lodge in so-called Christian nations.
(2) The second example of how Masons do reverence to or adore evangelicals is their disproportionate membership in the Gideon's. Gideon's are noted for free Bible distribution worldwide, therefore, Masons knowingly assist in spreading the gospel just as Christ had prophesied. (3)The third example of how Masons do reverence to or adore evangelicals is found in the lives of two Jewish Masons, William Randolph Hearst and Armand Hammer. Hearst was a millionaire newspaper baron during the first half of the 20th century. He was also a member of the B'nai Brith which is an exclusive Jewish Masonic Lodge certified by the Scottish Rite in 1843. In 1949 when this newspaper baron first heard Billy Graham preach, he immediately sent word to his chain of newspapers to puff Billy Graham and overnight the evangelist became a nationally known figure. The news media across the land picked up the Hearst story and has followed Billy Graham ever since. Should we condemn Billy Graham for taking gratuitous publicity from an unbelieving Masonic Jew? No, this is Christ's doing for Christ said he would cause the synagogue of Satan to do reverence to and adore evangelicals.
Armand Hammer Jr., a billionaire oil baron and 33rd degree Freemason, also assisted Billy Graham. To find out how, we must return to the Russian roots of the Hammer family. At the turn of the 20th century, Hammer Sr. brought his family to America as immigrants. As a card-carrying Communist, he was personally acquainted with Soviet dictator and Jewish Freemason Vladimir Lenin. In America, young Armand Hammer studied medicine and became a medical doctor. Meanwhile, the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia had brought famine to the Ukraine, starving 20 million peasants. In 1920, Lenin invited young Dr. Hammer to Russia to discuss the famine. Hammer returned to America and organized a relief program that shipped massive amounts of food to the Ukraine. One year later, the famine lifted. Because of Hammer's humanitarian effort which netted him his first million dollars, he has since been intimate with all Soviet leaders from Lenin to Gorbachev. In fact, Hammer was so well respected by the Soviets that he was the only person in the world permitted to cross Soviet borders in his own private jet and from there be escorted to Moscow by Soviet MIGs to dine with the Soviet leaders. How did this enable Freemason Armand Hammer to assist in spreading the gospel? Simply this, with one telephone call to Russia, Hammer used his powerful influence over Kremlin leaders to open the Eastern Block nations to the Billy Graham evangelistic crusades. In the early 1990s during a television documentary following the fall of the Soviet Empire, Freemason Dan Rather of CBS News credited the Billy Graham Crusades as the root cause for dismantling the Soviet Union. Should Billy Graham have turned down this invitation simply because an unbelieving Jewish Mason made a phone call? No, this was Christ's doing who said he would cause the synagogue of Satan to do reverence to evangelicals. We know by the reading of Revelation 3:7 that Christ is the one who opens doors to nations and no man opens those doors. Therefore, we can be assured that Christ is the one who placed in the heart of Armand Hammer the desire to make a phone call to the Soviet Union.
(4) The final example of how Masons do reverence to or adore evangelicals is found in the life of 33rd degree Freemason General Douglas MacArthur. As are all Masons, MacArthur was a King James only Bible fan. After WWII when MacArthur arrived in Japan as the military occupation governor, he sent word to the American Bible Society to ship 1,000 King James Bibles to this war-torn nation. He also called for the churches in America to send 10,000 missionaries to Japan. America's churches responded with fewer than 100 missionaries. What prompted MacArthur to call for Bibles and missionaries is what he saw when he arrived in Japan. In all Eastern religions there's a belief in many gods. When one nation conquers another it is believed that the god of the conquering nation is more powerful than the god of the defeated nation. Consequently, the defeated nation honors the god of the conquering nation by placing its image above their own pantheon of gods. Japan was defeated by a Christian nation. When General MacArthur arrived as occupational governor he observed atop the totem pole of their pagan gods the Christian cross. Recognizing that this meant submission of Japan to the Christian god, General MacArthur called for Bibles and missionaries. However, his real motive was control. The story is told in a book entitled "Pearl Harbor: Final Judgment" authored by 33rd degree Freemason Henry C. Clausen (ph) who after WWII was destined to become Sovereign Grand Commander of the Southern Jurisdiction of Scottish Rite Freemasonry. Before the end of the war, Clausen visited the Philippines on a government intelligence mission shortly after General MacArthur took back the islands from the Japanese. Clausen writes that while in the Philippines, General MacArthur entered his office to sign some affidavits and began talking Masonry. MacArthur spoke of how he intended to expand the moral principles of Freemasonry in the Far East. He named the dictators in history that tried to put Masons out of business because Masons love freedom. He condemned Hitler for poisoning the minds of the Japanese against the Masonic order saying that the Japanese had inserted a provision in their constitution forbidding anyone from joining Freemasonry. MacArthur promised Clausen that if and when he got to Japan, he was going to make sure that that provision was eliminated from any future constitution. When MacArthur finally arrived in Japan he set out to accomplish just that but what he saw atop the totem pole set him back. If he forced Freemasonry on Japanese without first recognizing the Christian god, it would cause instability. Therefore, the five-star general's first order was to call for American churches to send missionaries and Bibles. This would appease the Japanese. His second order was to reopen Masonic lodges everywhere. When the King James Bibles arrived, they were not distributed among the Japanese but rather were placed on the altars of the reopened Masonic lodges. This deceived the Japanese into believing Freemasonry was a Christian institution. General MacArthur then informed 33rd degree Freemason George M. Saunders, Imperial Recorder of the Shrine in North America, that his occupational government would be molded on the precepts of Freemasonry, not Christianity. As MacArthur built his occupation staff, the only requirement of his hand-picked generals and many of his lesser ranked men was that they be Masons. MacArthur's aide, Major General Rivastow (ph) was made First Grand Master of the Tokyo Lodge by the Masonic Supreme Council at Charleston. Henry Clausen confirmed that all except one successor to General MacArthur were active Masons and members of the Scottish Rite. The Japanese have since concluded that Freemasonry had much to do with the success of the occupation. When General MacArthur called on the churches in America to send 1,000 Bibles and 10,000 missionaries to Japan, it was not for love of the gospel. So what are we to conclude when the churches sent fewer than 100 missionaries? Did the churches in America fail our Savior? Not at all, for Christ gave no indication that the Philadelphia church let him down. We can only conclude by the holy and true character of Christ that it was he alone who shut the door of Japan. No man, not even General Douglas MacArthur, could open the doors of that nation to missionaries. Furthermore, we can conclude that Christ knew the intent of General MacArthur's heart whose motive was to further the cause of Freemasonry, not Christianity. Finally, we can conclude that the Holy Spirit constrained the church from going East as he had done with Paul and his small band of missionaries in Acts 16.
This brings us to the third and final definition of how Christ causes Masons to come and worship before the feet of evangelicals, that is, to prostrate oneself in homage. Submission to the Philadelphia church by Freemasonry began in 1826 shortly after the Masonic murder of former Freemason Captain William Morgan. When Captain Morgan became a Christian he was compelled to publish an expose on Freemasonry. His book unveiled among other things, a verbatim description of the first three degrees of Masonic initiation. This was a great offence to the Lodge and put Morgan at risk for according to Masonic oath, every Mason agrees on penalty of death never to divulge any Masonic secrets. Consequently, Captain William Morgan was murdered by Freemasons at the bidding of the Masonic hierarchy. Revivalist and former Freemason, Charles G. Finney tells the story in his 1869 book entitled "The Character, Claims and Practical Workings of Freemasonry." I quote Rev. Finney on the murder of Capt. Morgan:
William Morgan, then residing in Batavia, NY being a Freemason after much reflection, made up his mind that it was his duty to publish Freemasonry to the world. He regarded it as highly injurious to the cause of Christ and as imminently dangerous to the government of our country. Morgan was also aware that nearly all the civil offices in our country were in the hands of Freemasons and that the press was completely under their control. Moreover, Masons at that time boasted that all the civil offices in the country were in fact in their hands. A publisher by the name of Miller agreed to publish what Mr. Morgan would write. This coming to be known to Freemasons, led them to conspire for Morgan's destruction. By their oaths they were bound to seek his destruction and to execute upon him the penalty of those oaths. They kidnapped Morgan and for a time concealed him in a magazine at Fort Niagara, at the mouth of the Niagara River where it empties into Lake Ontario. They kept him there until they could arrange to dispatch him. In the meantime, the greatest efforts were made to discover his whereabouts and what the Masons had done with him. Strong suspicions came finally to be entertained that he was confined in that Fort and the Masons, finding that those suspicions were abroad, hastened his death. Two or three have since, upon their deathbed, confessed their part in the transaction. They drowned Morgan in the Niagara River.
In the summer of 1848 the deathbed confession of one of the Masonic assassins, Henry L. Valance, was taken down by his doctor, John L. Emery of Racine County, Wisconsin. Dr. Emery publicly published the confession the following year after Mr. Valance died. His confession reads as follows:
My last hour is approaching and as the things of this world fade from my mental sight I feel the necessity of making, as far as my power lies, that atonement which every violator of the great law of right owes to his fellow man. I allude to the abduction and murder of the ill-fated William Morgan. After committing that hard deed, I was an unhappy man by day and by night. I was much like Cain, a fugitive and a vagabond go where I would or do what I would. It was impossible for me to throw off the consciousness of my crime. If the mark of Cain was not upon me, the curse of the first murderer was. The blood stain was upon my hands and could not be washed out. I was one of eight Masons who planned the murder of Morgan. Many plans were proposed and discussed and rejected at length. Being driven to the necessity of doing something immediately for fear of being exposed, it was resolved that Morgan must be consigned to a confinement from which there was no possibility of escape, the grave. Eight pieces of paper were procured, five of which were to remain blank while the letter "D" was written on the others. These pieces of paper were placed in a large box from which each man was to draw one at the same time. After drawing, we were all to separate without looking at the paper each held in his hand. So soon as we had arrived at a certain distance from the place of the rendezvous, the tickets were to be examined and those who held the blanks were to return instantly to their homes and those who should hold marked tickets were to proceed to the Fort at midnight and there put Morgan to death in such a manner as should seem most fitting. I was one of the three who drew the ballots on which was the single letter. I returned to the Fort where I was joined by my two companions who had also drawn the death tickets. Arrangements were made immediately for executing the sentence passed upon our prisoner which was to sink Morgan in the river with weights in hopes that he and our crime alike would thus be buried beneath the waves. My part was to proceed to the magazine where Morgan was confined and announce to him his fate; theirs was to procure a boat and weights with which to sink him. On being informed of our proceedings against him, Morgan demanded by what authority they had condemned him and who were his judges. He commenced wringing his hands and talking of his wife and children, the recollections of whom in that awful hour terribly affected him. His wife, he said, was young and inexperienced and his children were but infants. What would become of them were he cut off, and they even ignorant of his fate. My comrades returned and informed me that they had procured the boats and weights and that all things were in readiness on their part. We told Morgan that all his remonstrances were idle, that die he must and that soon even before the morning light. We gave him one half hour to prepare for his inevitable fate. How Morgan passed that time I cannot tell, but everything was quiet as a tomb within. At the expiration of the allotted time, we entered the magazine, laid hold of our victim, bound his hands behind him and placed a gag in his mouth. A short time brought us to the boat. I placed Morgan in the bow with myself alongside of him. My comrades took the oars and the boat was rapidly forced out into the river. The night was pitch dark. We could scarcely see a yard before us and, therefore, was the time admirably adapted for our hellish purpose. Having reached a proper distance from the shore, the oarsmen ceased their labors, the weights were all secured together by a strong cord and another cord of equal strength and of several yards in length proceeded from that. This cord I took in my hand and fastened it around the body of Morgan just above his hips using all my skill to make it fast so that it would hold. Then in a whisper I bade the unhappy man to stand up and after a momentary hesitation he complied with my order. He stood close to the head of the boat and there was just length enough of rope from his person to the weights to prevent any strain while he was standing. I then requested one of my associates to assist me in lifting the weights from the bottom of the side of the boat while the other steadied her from the stern. This was done and as Morgan was standing with his back toward me, I approached him and gave him a strong push with both of my hands which were placed on the middle of his back. He fell forward carrying the weights with him and the waters closed over the mass. We remained silent for two or three minutes. When my companions, without saying a word, resumed their places and rowed the boat to the place from which they had taken it.
The Masons also kidnapped Mr. Miller, the publisher of Morgan's book but the citizens of Batavia found out and pursued the kidnappers finally rescuing him. According to Charles G. Finney, the courts of justice found it impossible to make any headway against the widespread conspiracy that was formed among the Masons to stop the investigation of the murders. None of them were ever arrested.
Charles G. Finney became an outspoken critic of Freemasonry. Freemasonry itself in a 1960 Masonic book entitled "Ten Thousand Famous Freemasons" informs us of the content of Finney's messages: "Finney wrote and preached anti-Masonry wherever he was and with Jonathan Blanchard, a Presbyterian minister and President of Wheaton College, published an anti-Masonic newspaper called 'The Christian Sinecure.'" According to the Chicago publisher of the Sinecure, Freemasonry had such a hold on the delivery of mail, that this publication was constantly intercepted on its way to subscribers. Finney writes that before the publication of Finney's book, the Baptist denomination had been greatly carried away by Freemasonry. A large proportion of its eldership and membership were Freemasons. A considerable number of ministers and members of other branches of Christian churches had also fallen into the snare. The murder of William Morgan and the publication of Masonry broke upon the churches like a clap of thunder from a clear sky. The facts were such, the revelations were so clear that the Baptist denomination backed down and took the lead in renouncing and denouncing the institution. It is worthy of all consideration and remembrance that God set the seal of his approval upon the action taken of these churches at that time by pouring out his Spirit upon them. Revivals immediately followed. In 1830 the greatest revival spread over this land that had ever been known in this or any other country. Masons repented everywhere and 2,000 lodges were suspended. In the Northern states so ashamed were the Masons of the institution that Freemasonry was almost universally renounced. And of the 50,000 Masons throughout the US at that time, 40,000 turned their backs on the Lodge never to walk through its doors again. Great conventions were called by thousands of repentant Masons who made public confessions of their relation to the institution and openly renounced Freemasonry. The proceedings of their conventions were published everywhere and the Masons attending them returned home and made public their Masonic oaths.
Wherever Charles G. Finney and other preachers and evangelists preached, Masons by the thousands rushed to the altars, repented and bowed before the feet of evangels and worshiped God. This is in fulfillment of Christ's prophecy in Revelation 3:9 "Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan to make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee." This concludes the first portion of the two part promise given to the Philadelphia church period.
The second portion of the promise is found in Revelation 3:10 "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." The faithfulness of the Philadelphia church goes beyond preaching the gospel to all nations. The phrase "thou hast kept the word of my patience" reveals the depth of that faithfulness, even in times of adversity. The Greek word for "kept" means "to watch over, to guard from loss or injury, to keep an eye on." "Word" in Greek means "to communicate the doctrine of divine expression." "Patience" means "to remain, bear trials, to tarry behind cheerfully and hopefully." The entire phrase "keep the word of my patience" can be translated "in times of trials, the missionaries cheerfully and hopefully tarried behind to watch over and guard from loss or injury the doctrine of the divine expression of Christ."
History records that over the past 200 years missionaries stayed in these foreign nations for life, even in times of revolutionary upheaval and two world wars. I have time only to relate one story. In 1947 Bob and Muriel Showbloom (ph) under the Christian and Missionary Alliance Mission Board, sailed to China to be missionaries to the city of Woochong (ph) in the central province of Hubay (ph). That same year, the Chinese Communists from the North had already begun their push South. The American Consulate strongly advised all American women and children in Central China to move South, men had the option to stay behind. Bob Showbloom chose to stay. Muriel had a vital part in Bob's decision to remain with the work. She didn't beg Bob to leave with her and their six-month old daughter. Yes, there were tears, but never once did she question his decision. Bob took Muriel and their baby to the train station and bid them goodbye. Muriel arrived in Canton and for the next three years faithfully prayed for her husband and his ministry in Central China. When I interviewed Mr. Showbloom, I asked why he stayed behind. He answered:
I felt that the church needed me. I met with the Chinese leaders of the Central China Mission Board and told them I felt God wanted me to stay. This encouraged them and they, too, decided not to flee South but to remain in Central China and continue the work at the Bible school with about 30 students enrolled. Daily I taught English Bible classes at the Bible school. I, myself, attended language school to learn Mandarin Chinese. Occasionally I visited friends at the Episcopal Hospital and at the University and at other mission groups to both encourage them and be encourage by them. They, too, had elected to stay at their posts as long as possible. Even when the Communist's overran Hubay Province in May, 1949 I stayed on. I told our church leaders that I would leave only when they felt my presence was endangering them. I had comparative freedom under the Communists to move about the city. Finally in 1951, after 15 months of Christian ministry under Communism, our Chinese leaders suggested that they felt it was best for them that I leave. I obtained my exit permit, boarded the train South to rejoin my family who had been moved to Hong Kong just before the Communist overran Canton.
What effect did the faithfulness of Bob and Muriel Showbloom have on the church at Woochong Province? Did the church survive? In 1994, Bob and Muriel had the privilege to return to Woochong. There they found a thriving church and reacquainted themselves with old Christian friends. Bob and Muriel's story can be multiplied countless times during the Philadelphia church period. Therefore, Christ praises them with these words "Thou hast kept the word of my patience" which in Greek means "in times of trials you cheerfully and hopefully tarried behind to watch over and guard from loss or injury the doctrine of the divine expression of Christ."
Because Philadelphia Christians faithfully spread the gospel of Christ to all nations, our Savior makes this promise to the Philadelphia church period "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." What is "the hour of temptation"? The Greek word for "hour" means "a short season of time." The Greek word for "temptation" means "the experience of evil." Christ promises to keep the Philadelphia church period from a short season of time in which the world will experience evil. The same Greek word for "hour" is translated "time" in 1 John 2:18. Here the apostle writes "It is the last time." Therefore, the hour of temptation that Christ will keep the Philadelphia church period from is the end-time tribulation which shall come upon all the world to try them that dwell upon the earth. Whether or not we accept this as a proof text for the pretribulation rapture of the church is not the focus of this study. What we do know and what we have observed throughout the study of the seven church periods is that the promise of Christ for each church was specific and inclusive for that period. Therefore, when Christ promises the evangelical church that he would keep them from the end-time tribulation, that promise is strictly for the Philadelphia church period. I, therefore, suggest that the promise has already been fulfilled for this period of church history ended in 1945 after which the church became Laodicean, that is, lukewarm and materialistic.
This brings us to Christ's pep rally as he cheers on the evangelicals during the last stretch of the race. Found in Revelation 3:11 it reads "Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown." This is not a warning but a cheer. The race is almost won but it appears that the evangelicals are getting weary in the heat of the race and need encouragement. The lukewarm and wealthy Laodicean church period is emerging and the Philadelphians are getting discouraged, the rich Laodiceans are not parting with their wealth to fund missions. Missionary societies today are finding it increasingly difficult to survive; many are cutting back in sending missionaries overseas. Christ encourages them with this paraphrased cheer "behold my return is imminent, the race is almost won. Don't slow down, hold fast your pace. You are about to win a crown. If you give up now, someone else will take that crown." Losing this crown has nothing to do with losing salvation but has to do with losing a reward. The crown of evangelicals and missionaries is the crown of joy found in Philippians 4:1. It's also called the crown of rejoicing in 1 Thessalonians 2:19 and is given to those who win precious souls for Christ. Christ is telling the Philadelphia church period that missionary work is for life, not short-term; there are souls still to be saved. If you give up now, you will lose your crown of joy.
Christ is likewise cheering on financial supporters and prayer partners of missionaries. We know this by Paul's letter to the church at Philippi. In Philippians 4:15-17 the apostle writes that financial givers and prayer partners of missionaries are given credit for souls won to Christ by the missionaries they support. Therefore, if you are a financial supporter or a prayer partner of missionaries, don't stop your support and prayers because the race is not yet won; your commitment is for life, not short-term. If you give up now, you will lose your portion of the crown of joy.
Let's apply the characteristics of the Philadelphia church period to your church today. If your church has been spiritually revived, it has passed the first test of being a Philadelphia church. If your church can fellowship with any and all church denominations that proclaim the deity of Christ yet have minor doctrinal differences, your church has passed the second test of being a brotherly love church. If your pastor's favorite message is evangelical, your church has passed the third test of being a Philadelphia church. If your church members bring the unsaved to church to hear the gospel of salvation preached, it has passed the fourth test. If your church members are being trained on how to witness the saving power of Jesus Christ to their neighbors and how to lead the unsaved to a saving knowledge of our Savior, it has passed the fifth test. If your church sends witness teams into the community, jails, county fairs, etc., it has passed the sixth text. If your church ministers to the youth in the local community with the express purpose of leading them to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, it has passed the seventh test. If your church sends out missionaries and/or financially supports missionaries, it has passed the eighth test. If your church opens its doors to Christian missionaries on deputation whether or not they are of your own denomination, it has passed the ninth test. If your church has an organized missionary prayer fellowship that meets regularly to pray for specific missions and missionaries, it has passed the tenth test. If your church is growing in numbers because of its evangelical outreach, your church has passed the final test of being a Philadelphia church. If your church or parachurch organization fits any or all these characteristics, then Christ's commendations will apply to your church or parachurch organization and with it comes no condemnation.
Now let's apply these same characteristics to you as an individual Christian. If you have been revived and are on fire with the gospel message of Christ, you have passed the first test of being a Philadelphia Christian. If you are a missionary or an evangelist, you have passed the second text of being a Philadelphia Christian. If you are able to work with other evangelical Christians and missionaries who proclaim the deity of Christ yet have minor doctrinal differences, you have passed the third test of being a brotherly love Christian. If you endlessly hand out tracts with salvation messages as means for Christ to open the door of someone's heart, you have passed the fourth test. If you are involved in witnessing to prisoners or homeless, you have passed the fifth test. If you are involved in a youth ministry that teaches the salvation message of Christ or that encourages Christian youth to witness to their peers, you have passed the sixth test. If you go from house to house knocking on doors to witness Jesus Christ, you have passed the seventh test. If you continually bring unsaved to church to hear the salvation message from your evangelical pastor, you have passed the eighth test. If you financially support missions and/or missionaries as stated in Philippians 4:15-17, you have passed the ninth test. If you open your home to missionaries and evangelists and encourage them and faithfully pray for them, you have passed the tenth test. If you attend a missionary prayer fellowship which fervently prays for missions and missionaries, you have passed the final test of being a Philadelphia Christian. If you fit any or all of these characteristics, then all of Christ's commendations, blessings and promises will apply to you and with them comes no condemnation.
This brings us to the eternal occupation of the Philadelphia overcomer. Found in Revelation 3:12 it reads "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." Have you ever heard the expression "He's the pillar of the church"? In Greek "pillar" means "an upright and active position." Therefore, when we say "He's the pillar of the church" we mean that this person has an upright and active position in the church. The Philadelphia overcomer will be a pillar in the New Jerusalem meaning he will have an upright and active position in that eternal city. In addition, he will have three names engraved upon him. The Greek word for "name" when used in this context carries the idea of having authority. The first name engraved upon him is the name of God, meaning he will have authority under God. The second name will be New Jerusalem meaning that his authority under God is in the city foursquare. Finally, on him will be engraved the new name of Jesus Christ. What will be Christ's new name? Revelation 19:12 makes mention of it "His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself." Scripture gives no indication what Christ's new name will be but whatever it is, our Savior will engrave his new name on the Philadelphia overcomer. Undoubtedly, the function of that unknown new name is connected with the other two names. Therefore, when we tie the meaning of all three names together with the overcomer's position as pillar, we discover that the Philadelphia overcomer has an upright and active position with authority under God and Christ in the New Jerusalem.
Such a position compares with that of a high priest in Old Testament times for the Jewish high priest carried the authority of God in the Temple at Jerusalem and under him were various levels and duties of the entire Levitical priesthood. Some were caretakers of the Temple grounds and Temple utensils, others performed animal sacrifices; there were musician priests as well as priests who wrote, protected and taught the law. All fell under the authority of the high priest. Hebrews 6:20 confirms that Jesus Christ is our High Priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. Genesis 14:18 informs us that Melchizedek was both king of Jerusalem and priest of the Most High God. Like Melchizedek, Christ as king of the New Jerusalem, is king of Kings and lord of Lords and High Priest of the Most High God. I suggest that the Philadelphia overcomer will be the High Priest in the New Jerusalem under the authority of God and under the authority of Christ, the High Priest and King of all his creation. Revelation 1:6 and 5:10 states that Christians as a corporate body will reign with Christ as kings and priests. This means that some Christians will be kings while others will be priests. For example, we know that the Thyatira overcomers will be kings over the nations on earth. Ephesus overcomers will be caretaker priests in the heavenly paradise. Smyrna overcomers will be Temple caretaker priests in the New Jerusalem. The white raiment Sardis overcomers will be constant companions of Christ suggesting they are the bride of Christ living in the New Jerusalem and Philadelphia overcomers function as High Priests in that city foursquare. Revelation 21:24 informs us that the kings of the earth who are Thyatira overcomers will visit the New Jerusalem. When they arrive, no doubt the Smyrna overcomers, who are caretaker/priests of the New Jerusalem, will meet the physical needs of those kings. No doubt, these kings will have an audience with the bride of Christ who are the Sardis overcomers and no doubt, their spiritual needs will be met by the Philadelphia overcomers, the pillars of that glorious and eternal society.
This concludes our study of the Philadelphia church period. In our next study we shall learn the eternal occupation of the Laodicean overcomers. May God bless you as your read ahead of this study.
We trust you have been blessed by the study presented by John Daniel. Mr. Daniel is also the author of another work, a trilogy of books entitled "Scarlet and the Beast." If you are interested in ordering "Scarlet and the Beast: A History of the War between English and French Freemasonry" write to us at JKI Publishing, PO Box 131480, Tyler, Texas 75713 or call toll free 1-800-333-5344 for an order form and a free chapter-by-chapter review.
Tape 5 | Introduction | Tape 7
Philologos | Bible Prophecy Research | The BPR Reference Guide | Jewish Calendar | About Us