From the First Century Church to the Third Century you had deviation from the early Apostle’s doctrine of Grace. Ephesus, who left their first love. AD 100 Likewise men deviated from a consciousness to the Holy Spirit’s work and presence as taught in the Epistles. Water Baptism in all modes was rampant for centuries and still is today. The teachings of Sanctification through the Spirit dwindled as “dead works” prevailed. Regardless of the doctrines of men the Body of Christ still existed through these Ages. Smyrna… that Age ranged from 100-312
You had Roman Governments ruled by Caesars for 212 years, Jewish insurrections, and Political ties to the Religious world. On the Gentile side you had Philosophies and Pagan religious worship that crept in. Jewish Law and Gentile Philosophy mixed with Grace instead of Grace alone in the Body of Christ. Papal supremacy which began at Constantine ruled for centuries. The Church still existed through this Age. Pergamum means joined in marriage …that Age ranged from 312-590
You had the origin of Priestly worship called the “Nicolatians”. You had plain religion and a Jezebel spirit that seduced men into religion and politics rather the Grace of God through Christ alone. The Body of Christ still existed through this Age.
The Word of God was written and preserved in Latin. Priestly worship, Politics, and religion permitted crusades, wars, and dominance throughout Europe and that side of the earth for centuries. This continued through the Dark Ages as the Body of Christ still existed through that Age. Thyatira allowed Jezebel to seduce …That Age ranged from 590-1517
Then you had a Reformation where men began to protest the Roman Church and its religious teachings. There you had English translations of the Word of God. The Protestant reformation existed for years where the King James Version of the Bible in English was introduced. The Body of Christ still existed in this Church Age of Sardis …That Age ranged from 1517-1750
After the Reformation you had an Awakening that swept the world for three centuries. During this awakening God used mighty men of God to preach revival throughout Europe and continents all the way to the United States where revival likewise swept the U.S. with the power and presence of the Holy Ghost. That was the Azuza Street Revival that became a great testimony for Christ in the 1900’s. Philadelphia in John’s Revelation was the only perfect Church …That Age ranged from 1750-1925
The Seven Churches of John were actual Churches at that time however; those seven Churches also “revealed” the religious and political conditions that existed through the Ages until now. We are presently in the seventh Age, which is the Church of Laodicia. 1925-to present. Unfortunately this Church Age is neither hot nor cold it’s “lukewarm”. This lukewarm state is obvious for anyone who knows Christ to see; “Just look around”. This self-sufficient lukewarm religious condition in 2011 makes God sick enough to vomit.
• Rev 3:16-17…So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
The Revelation of Christ in chapters 1-3 deals with miniature pictures of conditions that took place in the Seven Church Ages. In Chapter Four of Revelation the Spirit of God took John up to Heaven, away from future catastrophic conditions and revealed to John what it will be like, hereafter. Hereafter what? …The closing of this Laodician Age where the entire body of Christ is caught up to meet with Christ in the air. The Hindering work of the Holy Spirit steps aside and the Wrath and Judgment seat from an Almighty God begins. Our present Church age is moving toward this closing where the Rapture of the Church will be a believer’s only escape from Christ’s future Wrath and Judgment where the Anti-Christ steps in. The closing of this Age is described in the following verse when John says, “After this”.
• Rev 4:1…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.
First words…after this (present conditions of the lukewarm Laodician Age).
Secondly…come up hither (dead in Christ and those alive being caught up in the Rapture).
Third…I will show you things hereafter (Hereafter what?)…The Rapture. What takes place on Earth after the Church is removed. Mercy is gone. The Omnipresence of the Holy Spirit as we know it in the Church …is gone. Then come’s the seals, vials, trumps, and the woes through the Wrath of the Lamb and the Judgment seat of Christ.
The Revelation of Christ in the Rapture shows how God is going to deliver His Church the Bride from a predicted devastation, Wrath, and Judgment. That deliverance is only a glimpse of God calling out His saints in the Rapture and taking them to refuge in Heaven before the Anti-Christ and works of Satan begin on the earth. Revelation thus describes Tribulation, Wrath, and Judgment on the Earth BUT!!! All this takes place “after” the Rapture of the Church.