Seven Church ages.
Seven Church ages.
Brother Branham brought a series of important sermons in 1960 entitled “The Seven Church Ages” based on Revelation, chapters 2 and 3. The sermons have foundation in the fact that each of the seven Asian churches mentioned in these chapters can be likened to an age in the history of the church. A detailed discussion of the important revelations brought by Brother Branham in these sermons would be too lengthy to present here; however, the hard bound volume entitled “The Revelation of Jesus Christ” contains the transcript of the Seven Church Ages sermons and may be obtained from;
[BNL website page: Seven church ages]
In brief, in Revelation, chapters 2 and 3, each message to each church begins with: “Unto the angel of the church in (Ephesus) (Smyrna) (Pergamos) (Thyatira) (Sardis) (Philadelphia) (Laodicea) write;...” When Brother Branham, under the inspiration of God, brought the revelation of the mystery of these seven church ages, by the leadership of the Holy Spirit and divine vision, he determined the boundaries of these ages in history. The word “angel” was revealed to mean “messenger” in this application. God also revealed to him the name of each messenger to each age. For example, Paul was the first messenger to the first church age. That age began about 53 A.D. and lasted till about 170 A.D., the time when the power of God in His church began to taper off. The conditions in the corresponding Asian church of Ephesus, revealed by the Spirit to John the Revelator, as given in Revelation, chapters 2, verses 1 through 7, fit perfectly with the spiritual conditions of the church, the unbelievers present, and the antichrist at that time in church history.
The second messenger taught the same doctrine and held to the same truths that Paul taught. This age lasted from about the year 170 to the year 312. The messenger to this age was unquestionably Irenaeus.
The third church age was Pergamos, beginning just before the council of Nicea, in 325, and lasting until the beginning of the Dark Ages in the year 606. The messenger was a man named Martin.
Then came the Thyatira Age, during the Dark Ages until 1520, whose messenger was Columba. He was truly a man of God, holding a message at the end of that age, endevouring to bring some truth and some light to a spiritually darkened world.
The Sardis age spanned the years 1520 (time of the reformation) until 1750. The messenger was Martin Luther. Revelation chapter 3, verse 2, speaks of a lack of life in the church. Martin Luther bought just what was needed - life into that which was dead, dark, and dismal. There was no light during the Dark Ages. The antichrist had gained such a hold that the church dispensed everything for money, including salvation to the people, when Martin Luther came forth with the first light for that day, crying, “The just shall live by faith.”
Then the Golden Age, the Philadelphian Age, the age of brotherly love, came in from about 1750 to the turn of the twentieth century, when the Holy Spirit first fell, in 1906 in Azusa Street, on America’s west coast. No doubt that John Wesley, with his message of sanctification, was a man sent from God to bring to pass and fulfil Scripture that John the Revelator wrote on the Isle of Patmos for this age.
The seventh age is the Loadicean Age.This is our day. I might not be able to prove conclusively the first six ages, but certainly we should be able to look at the conditions of the church today and see that it fits the church of Laodicea. The Laodicean Age, the age that means “people’s rights”, where, if the people don’t like what the preacher is preaching, they just get themselves another preacher. John wrote of the Laodicean Age in Revelation chapter 3, verses 14 through 22:
14 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;
15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
What comes from the mouth of God? “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” If people today that call themselves Christians would accept the Word of God as the Word of God, them they would no longer be lukewarm; they would be hot. There are those though who have just enough truth to barely know that Jesus Christ is the Saviour of the world, but yet they have changed the Gospel. Just look at the condition of the church today. (Remember these are not my teachings; they are the teachings of Brother Branham). Brother Branham said that the church today is rich; it is increased with goods; it says it has need of nothing, but at the same time, according to Revelation chapter 3, verse 17: “...and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked,” and most pitiful of all is that it “knoweth it not.” Brother Branham further expounds on the conditions of this age in his sermon entitled “And knoweth it Not” preached in Jeffersonville, in August, 1965.
Never before has the church - that is organised Christianity - been so rich, so increased with goods. Some own apartment complexes, shopping centres, even factories. In Italy one of the large businesses was not even able to elect officers until the Roman Church sent in it’s proxy of votes, so great was the block of stock owned by that church. What are most preachers today, if not promoters? The most successful are those who can promote, organise, and present a program with such entertainment from the pulpit that the crowds increase - as do the offerings and the buildings. They have become entertainers of their congregations. TV and radio carry their messages of entertainment. They even pay their singers. Where is the leadership of the Holy Ghost? These were the things that Brother Branham cried out against in this generation. Certainly the world didn’t believe him; they didn’t accept him.
John continues in Revelation 3:18,
18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
Remember the Pharisees claimed to have light, therefore they were blind. I beseech you, as did Brother Branham, to obtain eye salve, to look again closely at what God has done so that you too might have eye salve applied and believe that God has visited this generation, that He has sent a prophet, yea, more than a prophet - the messenger to the Laodicean Church Age, a man by the name of William Branham, with the spirit of Elijah upon him.
Look at the final condition of this church age. According to the Scriptures, Jesus Himself said, “Behold. I stand at the door and knock...” This Scripture has been used wrongly for years by well-meaning ministers, saying that Jesus is knocking at the door of the heart; but a closer look reveals that it is Jesus Christ Himself put out of His own church in the last church age. It has become Christless. They don’t need God anymore: they have money, programs, systems. Billy Graham himself says that if the Holy Spirit was withdrawn from the earth, ninety percent of the activities of the church would go right on, meaning that only ten percent is directed by the Holy Ghost. The other ninety percent is man-made program. They don’t need Christ This is the day when Jesus is standing at the door of His own church, saying, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”
I have brought these church ages in brief in this chapter. But, I would tell you of this event in Brother Branham’s life: when he finished preaching this series of messages, brought to you briefly in this chapter, this Pillar of Fire which I have often mentioned in previous chapters came down into the congregation of approximately six hundred people, and the reflection of this Pillar of Fire drew these seven church ages on the wall, just as Brother Branham had drawn them on a blackboard. There were many who saw it and believed it. Others did not accept it, even then.
Extracts From "The Acts of the Prophet." Chapter 10
by Pearry Green
Read the full account in "The Acts of the Prophet"
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Pillar of Fire
Acts of the Prophet
More than a Prophet
How the Angel came
to me. (PDF)