Here we will briefly list the names of each age along with a few explanatory notes. Through the images below we will access a more in-depth study of each individual Age. Here in this section we will also review some thoughts expressed by God's servant and prophet, William Branham, concerning the series he preach on "An Exposition Of The Seven Church Ages".
"Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter; The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.
The Messages to the Seven Churches have a fourfold application: 1. Local, to the churches actually addressed. 2. Admonition, to all churches in all time to discern their true spiritual state in the sight of God, in light of what God said to these individual churches - that we be not guilty of the same mistakes and errors. 3. Personal, in that the exhortatins are to "him", "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the spirit saith unto the churches." And the promises are "To him that overcometh". 4. Prophetic, in that the Seven Messages reveal Seven phases of the "spiritual" history of the church from about A.D. 96 to the end. These messages by their very terms go beyond the local assemblies mentioned. Most conclusively of all, these Messages present an exact forview of the "spiritual" history of the church, and in the precise order in which they are given.
Ephesus: The FIRST Age
Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; Revelation 2:1
The Church in Ephesus represented the FIRST Age of the Gentile Christian Church. In the eyes of our Lord Jesus the conditions which existed in that church were prophetic of what would transpire throughout that first Age. The Message to Ephesus gives the general state of the church in that Age, indicating it's strengths and it's weaknesses. Without doubt, Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles was also the Messenger to the entire Ephesian Church Age.
It was through Paul that the complete revelation from God came to
the Gentiles. His revelation was actually more abundant than that received by Peter and the other apostles relative to the Gentiles (Galatians 2:6b-8). Paul was also the Pastor to the Church at Ephesus for he both founded it and cared for it. This Age did not last too long for the power of God had abated through unbelief even in the early years. This Age was commanded to "repent". Judging by the actual wane of power this age was not longer than about 170 A.D. Bear in mind that the Ages "over-lap" each other - phasing in and phasing out.
Smyrna: The SECOND Age
"And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;"
This Age lasted from 200 to 300 A.D. The Message found the Church in this Age going through a period of great persecution. The Messenger was Iraneus, for no man defended the Truth more ably or believed God more firmly and thus manifested the Spirit of God more abundantly than this man of God. He was well qualified to be the Messenger to that Age.
Pergamos: The THIRD Age
"And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;"
In the Age of Pergamos, though a few hold on to "The faith" the Church in general begins to "settle down" and relax in the world. The anti-Christ spirit of error found in the first Age is found to be more powerful in this next Age - Pergamos. The Message to this Age clearly speaks of the "seat" of the anit-Christ - "where Satan's seat is".
In this Age Satan's own religion (ancient Babylonian religion) came out to the forefront. This religion that goes against the Word of God from the time of Cain, now, after the Nicean council (A.D. 325), invades the nominal church and introduces pagan ritual and holidays, etc. This Age lasts from 312 to 606. The invasion of the Christian Church by this Bablonian spirit usuhers in a "Dark Ages" for the Church. This Age like the first Age is also commanded to "repent". The Messenger to this Age was Martin - a man with the power of God on his life and in his ministry.
Thyatira: The FOURTH Age
"And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet [are] like fine brass; "Revelation 2:18
Here is the Age that knew the depth of Satan (vs 24). The darkest of all the Ages to this date - little Word - little power. Man had usurped the position and authority of God. The greed of Rome had dammed countless souls and in the Name of God they blasphemed the very Name and Word of God. The Babylonish spirit which invaded the church in the previous Age has now produced "the Papacy", Balaamism (forfeiting Holy Spirit holiness for worldliness), and Nicolaitanism (priestly assumption) - the laity is conquered and man-made leadership is substituted for Holy Spirit leadership. As Jezebel brought idolatry into Israel so Romanism weds Christian doctrine to pagan ceremonies.
This age lasted from about the turn of the sixth century to the middle of the sixteenth. Again, in this Age the Lord calls for those in error to "repent". The Messenger was pronounced to be Columba , for he showed forth in his life that which most closely resembled the power and glory of God in the first century Believers - That is always the Standard.
Sardis: The FIFTH Age
"And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead."
The Age of Sardis is the Protestant Reformation, whose works were not "fulfilled". This age is also counseled to "repent". The key herein is found in verse two. "Be watchful, strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die." Still a little "Light" springs forth to challenge the darkness of the "Dark Ages". There was no strength in the Dark Ages. Except for a tiny flock, and that widely scattered, there was no strong evidence of True Christianity.
But now in this Fifth Age (Sardis), Martin Luther appears and successfully nurtures the doctrine of Justification and the Light begins to glow again, pushing back the darkness. The first show of strength in hundreds of years appears, showing definitely that this is the Age of the Reformation of which Luther was the fearless Messenger without a doubt. It was said of him in Sauer's history, "Dr. Martin Luther was a prophet, evangelist, speaker in tongues, interpreter, in one person. endowed with all the gifts of the Spirit." This Age is well known to have existed from about 1550 to around 1750.
Philadelphia: The SIXTH Age
"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;"
In the face of cold formal religion, abundant in this Philadelphian Age, the true Sons and Daughters of God bear clear testimony to the Word and Name of the Lord. Along with Luther's Message of "The Just shall live by Faith", John Wesley brought the church forward on it's journey with the doctrine of "Sanctification, by Faith in Jesus Christ".
The Messenger to this golden age of brotherly love was no doubt John Wesley. This was the Age of the open door, missions, great teachers, tremenduous revivals. the Holy Spirit was even more manifested herein than in the Fifth Age. God was truly giving Light, Life and Blessing. This Age lasted from about 1750 to the turn of the twentieth century.
Laodicea: The SEVENTH Age
"And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; "Revelation 3:14
This finally brings us to the Age that we have reserved for the last because it is, indeed, the last. This is the age of "self-satisifed, form of godliness, religious profession", denying the Power of the Word to change lives. This Age also brings us a Messenger, as set forth in the Scripture. That we are now in the Laodicean Age is indisputable. The "spiritual" conditions of the church as outlined in the Message to the Laodiceans perfectly fit this Age. Among other things the Message to Laodicea reveals "Christ outside the Church", knocking on the door, looking for His children. The command here is for "zealous repentance".
This Age witnesses the spiritual decline and fall of the "organized" Christian Church, the gathering of the Bride for the Rapture, and the restoration of Israel as a Nation - no longer trodden down of the Gentiles. This is the Laodicean Age and according to the Word of God, this Age has received a vindicated Messenger and Message, forerunning the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ - Praise the Lord!
No doubt every generation of Christian Believers from the time of the apostles has attempted to apply to itself the words of Jesus in Matthew 24:32, "This generation shall not pass away until all these things be fulfilled." This blessed hope of the Second Coming of Christ has been in the heart of every generation; but the actual physical Second Coming of Jesus could come only to the last, or end-time generation. The majority of Christians believe that this end-time generation is now living. Considering the conditions of the Age and prophecy fulfilled in this age, we can honestly say that there is actually no major prophectic event that is now in progress or that must yet come, to hearld His return.
No major event in the plan of God has been without a witness to that impending event. In the days of the flood, the Ark was a testimony to the eye while Noah, preached the Word. In the time of the Exodus God sent Moses with signs and wonders and the Word. In the days of the First Coming of Jesus, there appeared John The Baptist, a mighty prophet with the Word. In
these last days we are promised (in Scripture) a forerunner to the event of the Second Coming of Christ. Through this Home Page we want to acquaint you with the Messenger-Prophet to the "last Church Age" who fore-runs the return of the Lord Jesus for His Gentile Bride.
According to Scripture (Luke 18:8) ONLY A FEW people will be aware of the witness God has already given to us and established as proof of His Coming. But it is hoped that every reader of this article will think awhile on the contents and ask God for guidance in this critical time. In this Laodicean Age have you heard the Lord Jesus, knocking on the door of the Church, trying to get your attention - wanting to sup with you and fellowship with you around His Word?