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End Times Church Approved by Jesus, By Teryl Hebert

Posted: July 26, 2013

End Times Church Approved by Jesus

Revelation 11:3-13, And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.” These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth. And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. And if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this manner. These have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire.When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three-and-a-half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves. 10 And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.11 Now after the three-and-a-half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. 12 And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” And they ascended to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them. 13 In the same hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. In the earthquake seven thousand people were killed, and the rest were afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven.”

Two Witnesses

In the last days church Jesus is going to empower two witnesses. I do not believe that this is referring to two literal men but rather to two churches. I conclude this because Jesus goes on to describe these witnesses as “Two Olive Trees” and He also calls them “Two Lampstands.”

The English word “witness” is derived from the Greek word “martoos” which refers to those who after Christ’s example have proved the strength and genuineness of their faith in Him by undergoing extreme persecution or a violent death.

Jesus said in Revelation 1:20, “20 The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches.

Jesus Himself interpreted the symbol of the “lampstand” to mean a literal church. So the two witnesses and lampstands are two types of churches that will display great power in the end times.

I want to point out one more thing about the “witnesses” before describing the characteristics of these end times churches.

Jesus’ parting words to His disciples before He left this earth are found in the Book of Acts 1:4-8, And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

The Holy Spirit is given to the church to empower us to be witnesses. When the church loses its heart for carrying the gospel to the end of the earth it will also lose the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit. We have no need for the power of the Spirit to sit in plush cathedrals while being entertained by professional musicians and preachers! God will withdraw His Spirit from those who withdraw from the work of mission!!!

The Olive Tree produces olives, olives produce olive oil, and olive oil is symbolic for the Holy Spirit. The End Times churches that Jesus approves of are those who have a continuing supply of the anointing of the Holy Spirit that empowers its members to be witnesses in all the earth. We don’t need the symbol of the Spirit “olive oil” we need the actual Spirit Himself to give us the power to withstand persecution while continuing to carry the gospel to the nations.

Seven Satanic Attacks Against the Church

In my last article entitled “Seven Satanic Attacks Against the Church” I pointed out three false doctrines and four references to Satan’s presence in the false churches. This present article is to show that there is an end times church that Jesus approves of which infers that there are end times churches that He disapproves of. In the seven letters to the seven churches of Asia that are found in Revelation chapters two through three. Jesus commanded five of those seven churches to repent, meaning that He disapproved of some of the things that they were believing and doing.

False doctrine is an open door for Satan’s presence. The three false doctrines are the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, named for the followers of Nicolas, taught that their heart and soul was right with God but their bodies continued to sin. The modern term for this is called Antinomian, or against law, lawless. This doctrine despised and attempt by anyone to say that the church has to keep the commandments of God because that would be works and not grace (sound familiar?).

The second false doctrine built on the first, it was called the doctrine of Balaam. Balaam’s doctrine taught the people to mingle with the world (all in the name of spreading the gospel) but because they also held to Nicolas’ doctrine they began to commit fornication with those they were supposed to be witnessing to (sound familiar?). When Jesus went to the world’s parties He was there to call the sinners to repentance not to indulge in their sin!

The third false doctrine blends in with the first two, it’s the doctrine of Jezebel the prophetess. This doctrine in addition to Nicolas and Balaam brings in a spiritual twist to carnal living. Talking in tongues, and prophesying while living in sin, (sound familiar?).

These three false doctrines brought a Satanic presence right into the church. Jesus warns of Satan’s synagogue, a local church that is filled with Satan. Satan’s dwelling, in other words, a church that Satan lives in. Satan’s seat, you really should go read my article about Satan’s seat, because it’s the heart of deceived people who because of the three false doctrines they think that they are Christian. Finally, Jesus warned of Satan’s depths, a nautical reference that implies the depths of the sea. The “sea” is  symbolic of multitudes of people, which means that these false churches are going to have MANY MANY MANY followers!!!

Each one of the false churches was warned to repent or lose their souls. But only two were approved.

Seven Church Ages

Only two of the seven churches of Asia were approved by Jesus, the church of Smyrna and the church of Philadelphia.

As I also taught in my previous article, I believe that the seven churches of Asia not only represent seven literal churches, but also represent seven church ages. In other words, seven periods of history that correlates with the characteristics of each of those seven churches.

The church of Ephesus or the apostolic age, represents the first church age of the original twelve apostles of the Lamb. It ended when the twelve passed away somewhere shortly after 100 A.D.

The second church age, Smyrna was the age persecution. This overlapped some with the first church age beginning in Acts 8 with the persecution against the church that began at Jerusalem and it ended in 313 A.D. with Constantine’s edict of tolerance that made Christianity legal for the first time.

The third church age, Pergamos was the Imperial Age where the Roman kings and the church began to blend together, a marriage of church and state. This age ran from 313 A.D. and ended in 450 A.D.

The fourth church age, Thyatira was the Papal Age where the Popes ruled the church. It coincides with the period of history known as the dark ages. It ran from 450 A.D. to 1517 A.D.

The fifth church, Sardis was the Reformation age ended the dark ages and began a quest to correct theology but failed to correct the churches structure it ran from 1517 A.D. through 1700 A.D.

The sixth church, Philadelphia was the missionary age that ran from 1700 A.D beginning with the evangelistic spirit of the Moravian Brethern, John Wesley, and George Whitfield and many others. This age ended in 2000 A.D.

The seventh and final church age, Laodicea the lethargic age began January 1, 2001 and I believe we are in it now.

Please notice that only Smyrna and Philadelphia were not commanded to repent. I believe that the characteristics of these two churches are vital for us to understand if we are going to win the approval of Christ in these end times and escape the powerful drawing of the demonic spirit of lethargy in this Laodicean church age.

Smyrna

Revelation 2:8-11, “And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write, ‘These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life: “I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.”’

The revelation of Jesus to the church of Smyrna was “‘These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life” In other words, Jesus is emphasizing that it all starts and ends with Me. I was dead but I came back to life, and He was encouraging those in Smyrna to remain obedient even if it kills you because as I rose from the dead, so will you!

The church of Smyrna (the name means bitterness or bitter persecution) was a church that was alive with good works but they were suffering extreme persecution from the Jewish people on two fronts.

First, the unbelieving Jews who felt threatened by the rapid expansion of Christianity were persecuting the early church to try to stop its advancements.

Second, the believing Jews were persecuting the church by saying that you have to be circumcised to be a true Christian, thus co-mingling the Old Testament and the New Testament. This early onslaught of false doctrine was opposed vehemently by the Apostle Paul and was given a large portion of his attention in his epistles. Sorting out the true and the false believers always has and always will be sticky business because the “you can’t judge” demon is sure to rear its head and accuse the true church while defending the false one. Jesus warned them of the synagogue or local assembly of Satan. But if we try to make that assertion brace yourself because all hell will attack you!

After encouraging Smyrna to remain faithful to death He assures them that they will receive a crown of life. If you read all seven letters to all seven churches the most outstanding feature of this church is not what Jesus said to them but what He did not say to them, He never told this church to repent! Jesus absolutely approves of those who are faithful to Him when the whole world is persecuting you for it. No need to repent of that.

Philadelphia

Revelation 3:7-13, “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, ‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens”: “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie—indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. 10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. 11 Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. 12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name. 13 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’

The word Philadelphia means brotherly love. This is a relational church that understands Jesus’ great commandment in John 13:34-35,” 34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” Their first witness to the world was their extraordinary love that they displayed for one another.

Jesus reveals Himself in three ways to the Philadelphian church. First, He is holy, to point this out means that they were competing with a worldly church that was not holy that lived out the doctrines of Nicolas, Balaam, and Jezebel. Second, He is true, which also indicates that there was a false church that they were up against. Much like John 15, Jesus says, “I am the True Vine, “ which implies that there is a false one.  The third way that Jesus manifests Himself to the church of Philadelphia is that He has the key to the house of David that opens and shuts the doors to carry the gospel to the ends of the earth. Remember that the church age that Philadelphia represents is the Missionary Age, this is why I believe that He says that they have, “a little strength.” When you carry the Word of God and the gospel message and keep going even under intense persecution Jesus approves of this!!!

Philadelphia, like Smyrna, also is contending with the false church or the synagogue of Satan, as Jesus calls it. In every generation there are true and false expressions of the church, it is imperative that true stands against the false or the false will take our crown!!!

The “Key of the House of David” was first mentioned in the book of Isaiah 22:22, 22 The key of the house of David I will lay on his shoulder;
So he shall open, and no one shall shut; And he shall shut, and no one shall open.

This is a Messianic verse that points to the fact that Messiah would carry the key of David’s house upon His shoulder, the key is the cross of Christ. Those who take up the cross to carry it to the nations will find that God will open and close doors to ensure that this gospel is preached in all of the world throughout every generation.

As with Smyrna, so it is with Philadelphia, Christ saw no reason to command them to repent. If you will carefully read all of the letters to the other churches, they were churches that would appear to be alive and much approved of by men but rejected by God Himself! We should take great care that we do not allow the three false doctrines of the disapproved churches to open the doors to Satan in our own lives.

The Two Churches Approved By Jesus

In the last days the two witnesses or two lampstands or better yet the two churches that meet the approval of Jesus will be those who endure bitter persecution while continuing to carry the cross to the nations. I believe that as in marriage these two agree in one and actually become one.

The last days church will co-exist with and contend with a huge false satanic church. The last days church will walk in great power commanding fire and the elements of nature. The last days church will walk in the power and strength of the resurrection. The last days church will be bold going against the grain of conventional wisdom and namby pamby humanistic tolerance that is found in the false churches. The last days church will be a relational church that will most likely be all in house churches.

So I encourage you today to repent of the false doctrines of the satanic synagogues and adhere closely to the Word of God, and the Spirit of God, and begin once again to carry this gospel to the nations. This will begin a great reformation, revival, and harvest that will usher in the end of days. God Speed…

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