Seven Churches In Asia

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...What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.
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.
Revelation 1:11b, 20

Contents

Seven Church Ages?

Ages.

Its a small word. It seems harmless enough. But it's extra.

Revelation 1:11 is addressed from the "Alpha and Omega" to "the seven churches which are in Asia."

The problem with William Branham's doctrine on the Church Ages is that:

  • Only two of the Church Age Messengers set foot in Asia.
  • Revelation 22:18 says, "If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book." The word "Ages" is extra. Its not found at all in Revelation 1:11. So Ages may be a small word, but it's scary. Go there at your own risk.
  • He copied this doctrine from Clarence Larkin.

Where is Asia?

City in Asia
Ephesus
Smyrna
Pergamos
Thyatira
Sardis
Philadelphia
Laodicea


Asia Minor is located in the country of Turkey.

  • Paul grew up in Asia Minor, and established the church in Ephesus.
  • Irenaeus was born in Smyrna, then moved to France.
  • Martin was born in Hungary, then moved to France.
  • Columba was born in Ireland, then moved to Scotland.
  • Martin Luther lived in Germany.
  • John Wesley lived in England.
  • William Branham lived in the United States.

Other than Irenaeus and Paul, none of these individuals set foot in Asia.

Messengers Outside Their Ages, Messengers Confronting Heresies

Preacher
Paul
Irenaeus
Martin
Columba
Martin Luther
John Wesley
William Branham


John was told to write to each churches. William Branham said that each church represented an age, and that each age had a messenger. So, you would expect that each messenger would have lived within the correct church age...but this is not the case.

Paul

  • Paul was martyred in approx. 73AD.
  • John wrote the Book of Revelation from the Isle of Patmos around 95AD.

If William Branham was correct, then Paul had been dead for over 20 years when John sent him the letter. I guess he never got the memo.

Irenaeus

Message Believers cringe when people speak against William Branham's doctrines. A common complaint is, "don't Judge". What they do not realize is that Irenaeus taught against the Serpent's Seed doctrine. He labeled it a heresy. And William Branham said you had to believe the Messenger for your Age in order to be saved.

Columba

  • William Branham said the Thyatira Age started in 606 AD.
  • William Branham named Columba as the messenger to the Thyatira Age.
  • Columba died in 597 A.D., 9 years before the Age was supposed to start.

John Wesley

John Wesley labeled William Branham's undestanding on the Godhead as "…Blasphemy, joined with consummate nonsense."[1] We know this because William Branham's doctrine on the Godhead was very close to Emmanuel Swedenborg's doctrine on the Godhead, and John Wesley also concluded the following about Swedenborg's doctrine:

"O my brethren, let none of you that fear God recommend such a writer any more; much less labor to make the deadly poison palatable, by sweetening it with all care! All his folly and nonsense we may excuse; but not his making God a liar; not his contradicting, in so open and flagrant a manner, the whole oracles of God! True, his tales are often exceeding lively, and as entertaining as the tales of...the fairies! But I dare not give up my Bible for them; and I must give up one or the other. If the preceding extracts are from God, then the Bible is only a fable! But if all Scriptures are given by inspiration of God, then let these dreams sink into the pit from whence they came." [2]

The Value of History

Church History
Early Heretics
Popes Through History
Ethiopian Christianity
Non-Catholic Christians
Individual Christians
Persecuting Christians
The Date of Easter


If there are no Church Ages as William Branham talked about, is there any value to learning about Paul, Irenaeus, Martin, Columba, Luther, or Wesley? Yes! There is great value in knowing the history of the Christian Church! When you approach their lives to learn, you will find much to gain from their wisdom and experiences.

However, we have found that most Message Believers and Message Ministers have not studied the lives of their "Messengers" outside of William Branham's sermons. This means that great books like:

Sit collecting dust on Message shelves...if they even get there in the first place. We challenge you to take a step and learn what these men had to say for yourself.

Who is Clarence Larkin?

William Branham took his teaching on the church ages directly from Clarence Larkin, who wrote a book about the Book of Revelation. To see exactly what William Branham plagiarized from Clarence Larkin, please click on this link.

Plagiarism in the Church Ages

NOTE: William Branham's book "An Exposition of the Seven Church Ages" (which is commonly referred to as the "Church Age Book" or the CAB) contains all of the plagiarism noted in his sermon series on the Seven Church Ages which were delivered in December, 1960. Most of the references in this article relating to the church ages are primarily to the actual sermons and not to the CAB. While the CAB contains all of the plagiarized text referred to here, some have said that the plagiarism in the CAB was the direct result of the involvement of Lee Vayle and, therefore, cannot be attributed to William Branham himself. The quotes contained below, however, clearly show that William Branham was the one that plagiarized Clarence Larkin's works.

What William Branham Said What Clarence Larkin Said
Now, the first church age started about A.D. 53, when Paul established the church in--in Ephesus... and the church age lapped over to 170.

THE EPHESIAN CHURCH AGE 60-1205

The character of the Church at Ephesus is a fair outline of the Church Period from A. D. 70 to A. D. 170.

Clarence Larkin, Dispensational Truth, or “God’s Plan and Purpose in the Ages“, 128 (Philadelphia, PA: Clarence Larkin, 1918).

...the very name "Ephesus" means "let go, relax, backslidden," called by God, "The backslidden church."

THE EPHESIAN CHURCH AGE 60-1205

Its character is seen in its very name, for Ephesus means to “let go,” “to relax.” It had become a Backslidden Church.

Clarence Larkin, The Book of Revelation: A Study of the Last Prophetic Book of Holy Scripture, 20 (Philadelphia, PA: Rev. Clarence Larkin Estate, 1919).

...then started in the Smyrna Church Age which lasted from A.D. 170 until A.D. 312. THE EPHESIAN CHURCH AGE 60-1205 ...the Smyrna Church...extended from A. D. 170 to Constantine A. D. 312.

Clarence Larkin, Dispensational Truth, or “God’s Plan and Purpose in the Ages“, 128 (Philadelphia, PA: Clarence Larkin, 1918).

Then come in the Pergamos Church Age, and the Pergamos Church Age begin at 312 and lasted till A.D. 606. THE EPHESIAN CHURCH AGE 60-1205 ...Pergamos...extends from the accession of Constantine, A. D. 312 to A. D. 606, when Boniface III was crowned “Universal Bishop.”

Clarence Larkin, Dispensational Truth, or “God’s Plan and Purpose in the Ages“, 129 (Philadelphia, PA: Clarence Larkin, 1918).

Then come in the Thyatira Church Age, and the church age of Thyatira begin at 606 and went to 1520, the dark ages. THE EPHESIAN CHURCH AGE 60-1205 The Message to the Church at Thyatira. This Period extended from A. D. 606 to the Reformation A. D. 1520.

Clarence Larkin, Dispensational Truth, or “God’s Plan and Purpose in the Ages“, 130 (Philadelphia, PA: Clarence Larkin, 1918).

And then the Sardis Church Age begin at 1520 and lasted till 1750, the Lutheran age. THE EPHESIAN CHURCH AGE 60-1205 The “Sardis Period” extended from A. D. 1520 to about A. D. 1750.

Clarence Larkin, Dispensational Truth, or “God’s Plan and Purpose in the Ages“, 130 (Philadelphia, PA: Clarence Larkin, 1918).

Then from 1750, the next age come in was the Philadelphian, Wesley age; that begin at 1750 and lasted till 1906. THE EPHESIAN CHURCH AGE 60-1205 The “Philadelphia Period” covers the time between A. D. 1750 and A. D. 1900.

Clarence Larkin, Dispensational Truth, or “God’s Plan and Purpose in the Ages“, 131 (Philadelphia, PA: Clarence Larkin, 1918).

And at 1906 the Laodicean church age set in, and I don't know when it'll end, but I predict it'll be done by 1977. I predict, not the Lord told me, but I predict it according to a vision that was showed me some years ago... THE EPHESIAN CHURCH AGE 60-1205 The character of the Church today is Laodicean, and as the Laodicean Period is to continue until the Church of the “New-Born” is taken out, we cannot hope for any great change until the Lord comes back.

Clarence Larkin, Dispensational Truth, or “God’s Plan and Purpose in the Ages“, 133 (Philadelphia, PA: Clarence Larkin, 1918).

Plagiarism in the Breach Between the Seals and the Church Ages

What William Branham Said What Clarence Larkin Said
Now, now, we're going to turn to the 5th chapter. Now, this is not the Seven Seals. It is the "Breach Between the Church Ages and the Seven Seals." Now, there is also a 6th chapter of... and there was a 4th chapter, rather, of Revelation, and in that it kind of revealed something that would take place after the Church going up: that the Church goes up on the 3rd chapter of Revelations and does not return until the 19th chapter of Revelations. See? Therefore, the Church misses the tribulation. I know that's contrary to--to pretty near every teacher I ever talked to, but I--I don't mean to be dis--disagreeable. I--I mean to be your brother, but I--I must teach just as I can see it. If I don't, I can't put it together. You see? And now, whether it goes up before the tribulation or after the tribulation, I want to go up with it. That's the main thing. THE.BREACH.BETWEEN.THE.SEVEN.CHURCH.AGES.AND.THE.SEVEN.SEALS_ JEFF.IN SUNDAY_ 63-0317E


Do you realize that the first three chapters of Revelation deals with the church in the church age? That's the tribulation period, not the church age; the church raptures and goes up at the 4th chapter of Revelation, never comes again till the 19th chapter when it comes with Jesus. That's right. That's in the tribulation period, not nothing to do with the church at all. QUESTIONS.AND.ANSWERS_ JEFF.IN COD SUNDAY_ 62-0527

John caught up in the 4th chapter to see things which was, which is, and which is to come. But the Church finishes at the 4th chapter, and Christ takes up the Church, caught up in the air to meet Him, and does not appear again until the 19th chapter when He comes back with--as King of king and Lord of lords with the Church. THE.FIRST.SEAL JEFF.IN 63-0318

And at the same time the Church is gone, and these things don't even happen in the church age at all. That's right. They're--they're away from the church age. The Church absolutely is raptured at this time. The Church goes up in the 4th chapter of Revelation, and does not return until it comes back with its King in the 19th chapter. But these Seals here are revealing what has been, what is, and what will be. See? And now, what was to be for the church age was revealed by these Seals, and now, watch what takes it. THE.FIFTH.SEAL_ JEFF.IN 63-0322

The word “hereafter” permits a “time space,” while the words “after these things” refer to the things that shall immediately follow the completion of the “Church Age,” as prefigured in the Messages to the Seven Churches. The Church disappears from view with the close of the third chapter and is not heard of again until the nineteenth chapter, where her marriage to the Lamb is announced. Rev. 19:7–9.

Clarence Larkin, The Book of Revelation: A Study of the Last Prophetic Book of Holy Scripture, 32 (Philadelphia, PA: Rev. Clarence Larkin Estate, 1919).


Footnotes

  1. ~ Thoughts on the writings of Baron Swedenborg, by John Wesley, Wakefield, May 8, 1782.
  2. ~ Thoughts on the writings of Baron Swedenborg, by John Wesley, Wakefield, May 8, 1782.


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