When Preaching is a Crime. . .
Vol: 23 Issue: 26 Friday, May 26, 2017
“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.” (Revelation 3:7-8)
Of course, the ‘Church at Philadelphia’ of which Jesus speaks is not a church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Biblical Philadelphia was located about twenty-eight miles southeast of Sardis.
The city was founded in 189 B.C. by Attalus Philadeiphus, for whom it was named. Some believe it was so named because of the love and loyalty existing between Philadeiphus and his brother, the king of Lydia, hence the nickname, “The City of Brotherly Love”.
Philadelphia was also known as Decapolis, because it was one of the ten cities of the plain.
Philadelphia has been given a number of new names. It was sometimes called Little Athens because of the magnificence of its public buildings. Its modern Turkish name is Ala Shehr, which means “The City of God” or “The Exalted City.”
The modern US city of Philadelphia took its name directly from the Book of the Revelation. The name was chosen for its meaning, “The City of Brotherly Love” — and its commendation from Christ. It was a Church that had “not denied My Name” (Revelation 3:8)
The Philadelphian Church Age corresponded to the release of the common Bible issued by King James in 1611 through to the end of the missionary age, sometime around 1900.
The “New Thought” movement that swept Europe and eventually made its way to the shores of the United States ushered in the Laodicean Church Age — the “last days” Church.
That isn’t to say there are no Philadelphians left and that we are ALL members of the lukewarm Church of Laodicea. But it is the Laodicean Church that best fits the overall Church in these last days.
A historian wrote of the contrasts of Philadelphia and Laodicea. He said Philadelphia as a missionary center was successful because it was more interested in the message than the money.
On the other hand, Laodicea was a great failure as a missionary center because it was more interested in the profit than the message.
Turn on a little ‘Christian’ TV and you will immediately see the difference. Check out Christian websites and you will see the same phenomenon.
How many lost people do you think will watch a televised 55 minute pitch for money followed by a five minute altar call?
The only people who watch such stuff are Christians — nobody gets saved by promises that sending $1000 to a televangelist will return you a profit of $9000.
That kind of for-profit ‘prophet’ merely confirms to the lost that all this ‘God-talk’ is designed to separate an idiot from his money. It edifys no one.
Five minutes into it, a lost person will change the channel. Those TV ‘preachers’ aren’t reaching out to the lost, they are pandering to the saved. They are Laodicean preachers.
A Laodicean preacher realizes that an appeal to the highest level of spirituality doesn’t pay off as well as an appeal to our base nature of greed. So, if you send money to them, God will reward you with a ten-fold increase.
(I always wondered — if that works, why don’t they send the money to each other? The resulting ten-fold increases back and forth between them would make an appeal for money unnecessary.)
A Philadelphian preacher puts the message first. A Philadelphian trusts the Lord. He would ask Jesus to speak to their hearts as to what should be given. It is from this obedience people are willing to give everything the Lord wishes of them.
There aren’t many Philadelphian preachers that ever get their own TV shows. I don’t know any Philadelphian preachers that have their own private jets. (Hal is an exception — and when he flys, its commerical coach)
The same applies to Christian websites. If a website follows the Laodicean model, it is filled with flowery phrases, speaks ‘Christianese’, and talks more about the expense of maintaining a website than it does about fulfilling the Great Commission.
Read through some of them and ask yourself if YOU would have even understood what they were talking about before you were saved and you will see who their target audience is.
If they are more interested in checks than they are salvation testimonials, they are of the Church of Laodicea. A Laodicean preacher will preach what is politically correct in a social context, avoiding topics like Islam, homosexuality and false doctrines.
They pepper their messages with admonitions of what Christians ought NOT to do, but spend almost no time telling the lost what they NEED to do to be saved.
They aren’t talking to the lost. There’s no profit in it.
“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; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth.” (Revelation 3:14-16)
Ironically, the best example of the Laodicean Church Age model comes from the City of Philadelphia. Not the one in Asia, but the one in Pennsylvania.
Eleven Christians were arrested in that city after preaching to a crowd of homosexuals at the pro-homosexual “Outfest” event in early October 2005.
Four of them have been bound over for trial on felony charges that carry a maximum penalty of 47 years in prison.
William Devlin is founder of the Urban Family Council of Philadelphia. In an interview with the Chalcedon Report, Devlin lays blame at the feet of local church leaders and politicos.
“The real story here is the silence of the city’s clergy,” Devlin says. “Over the last ten years, I’ve been to pastor after pastor in this city, trying to get them to put pressure on the elected officials who’ve been pushing the homosexual agenda. They’re all afraid to speak up. There is a collective spirit of fear hanging over this city. Right now, the gays own Philadelphia.”
Here’s the background. The Christians, led by Repent America founder Michael Marcavage, were surrounded by the Pink Angels, a group of homosexuals who held up Styrofoam signs, blocking the group.
Police arrested only the Christians.
After viewing a videotape of the incident at the December 14 hearing, Municipal Court Judge William Austin Meehan dropped charges against six other defendants, including a 72-year-old grandmother, because they were not seen quoting Scripture on the videotape.
A juvenile defendant awaits separate court action.
The four adult defendants, who face a total of 47 years in prison if convicted of the three felonies and five misdemeanors, pled not guilty.
Their crime was to cite Bible verses, which a prosecutor called ‘hateful,’ and to urge homosexuals, like other sinners, to repent. They were charged with felony ‘hate crimes’.
In all, eight charges were filed: criminal conspiracy, possession of instruments of crime,[signs with Bible verses on them] reckless endangerment of another person, ethnic intimidation, riot, failure to disperse, disorderly conduct and obstructing highways.
None of the ‘Pink Angels’ were ticketed, arrested or charged.
The ‘ethnic intimidation’ charge stems from the inclusion of sexual orientation into the state’s hate crimes laws.
The reaction from the Christian community was immediate and predictable. Furious at the arrests, they mounted a legal challenge on the basis of their First Amendment rights.
(“Laodicea” is a compound Greek word meaning, in essence, the “People’s Rights”)
The Christian community is correct — politically. The 1st Amendment guarantees freedom of assembly and freedom of worship.
But Christian persecution has become something of a sport in America.
There are idiots like Michael Newdow, who wants “In God We Trust” removed from US money and “Under God” removed from the Pledge of Allegiance. Because he doesn’t believe in God, he wants the court to legislate that nobody else can believe in Him, either.
Because the Supreme Court didn’t hear his case the last time around, he is getting another bite at the apple.
The real question is, how did it ever get this far?
This is a direct consequence of the influence of the Laodicean Church in this generation. In the Philadelphian Age, (when the city in Pennsylvania was founded) the message from the Church was salvation, and the target of the Church was lost sinners.
In the Laodicean Age, the message from the Church is ‘send us money and we’ll tell you what you want to hear in order to get it’. There are homosexual bishops in mainstream Protestant churches — and there are even entire churches catering to the homosexual lifestyle.
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (2nd Timothy 4:3-4)
Jesus’ letter to the Church at Laodicea was the last of seven letters to the seven church (ages) and it ends with the admonition;
“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” (Revelation 3:22)
The VERY next verses, Revelation 4:1-2 say:
“After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, COME UP HITHER, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. And IMMEDIATELY I was in the spirit . . .”
Compare that with 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 and it gives you a sense of where we are on God’s timetable.
“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
America is the last bastion of Christianity left in the world. We are at war with Islam because of the perception that America is a Christian country.
All the polls say that the vast majority of Americans consider themselves to be Christians. But preaching Jesus at a homosexual rally can get you forty-seven years in prison — in Laodicean America.
“He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”(Revelation 22:20)
Featured Commentary: Modern Israel as Proof of God’s Existence ~Alf Cengia