Peter Nathan on Thyatira and Sardis, but what about Laodicea?

Laodicea has many ineffective structures


Peter Nathan, until recently part of COGaIC, wrote the following which is posted at the website:

The Lesson from Sardis
by Peter Nathan

The church that was asleep!

One of my greatest concerns for the church has been that we are asleep. In the late 1980’s and early 90’s we experienced a Thyatiaran experience in the Church of God. The church was taken over by “Jezebel,” a reference to the wife of Ahab, King of Israel who introduced or solidified the worship of Baal in the northern Kingdom of Israel. Apostasy reigned in the church just as it controlled the northern kingdom.

In Revelation 3, the message to the church which followed that to Thyatira was Sardis, a church that is characterized as being asleep or even dead. Have we considered the impact of that evaluation on ourselves? Burn out and weariness can be a feature if protecting what we believe.

Sleep can be useful for the body, but if we use it to escape the problems we face, hence it can be deadly. That was the warning given to us through the message to the church at Sardis (Revelation 2:1-7).

Let me state here that I too believe that what happened to the old Worldwide Church of God (WCG) in the 1990s was, for various ones, a type of Thyatiran experience.  And that is discussed in the article, The Thyatira Church Era.  However, Laodiceanism is what first hit, and almost all groups that have come out of WCG are or have become Laodicean (there are actually some Sardis groups that came out as well, in my view). I also agree that various ones have slumbered and slept for too long (Matthew 25:1-13).

In the same article, Peter Nathan also wrote:

Cast you mind back almost 30 years to the period before the death of Herbert Armstrong. What motivated you then? Was it a desire to see the gospel preached in all the world so that the Kingdom could be established? Do your offspring have any idea of that sense of urgency that existed them? Do they even understand what the Gospel really is and why it must be preached?

Of recent date, we have seen an assault on our understanding of the role and identity of Israel in the end times as set out in prophecy. Doing some more research on this subject has reignited in me an apprecation of just how central this idea is to the role of the church in today’s world.

Now, what should be noted is that neither the United Church of God (UCG, which Peter Nathan was part of for three years) nor COGaIC (which Peter Nathan was part of for over 15 years) officially taught the idea of ‘church eras’ as Herbert Armstrong did, and I believe that is part of why so many have become Laodicean now (there are also other causes, including for groups who teach church eras but have other Laodicean issues).

I have prayed for Peter Nathan over the years.  I also believe I met him at the Feast of Tabernacles in New Zealand in 1987.  It is my hope and prayer that he and others part of non-Philadelphian groups will now anoint their eyes and realize that there is a group with the same priorities as the old WCG had and that has demonstrated that through its verifiable actions.

It remains my hope and prayer that any that are or were in COGaIC will carefully and prayerfully consider what has been happening. It is my prayer that any who may be Philadelphian will decide to uphold Philadelphia-era standards on doctrine, prophecy, governance, love, and public proclamation.

If those who were once part of COGaIC form a new group (which many seem to be doing) or remain part of COGaIC (as others seem to be doing), there is no way that they will have the proper form of church governance nor proper priority when it comes to gospel proclamation.

How many years will people put up with Laodicean groups that cannot possibly hold the Philadelphia mantle?

Sadly, for most once part of the old WCG, apparently for decades.

Remember Jesus’ words:

14 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,

‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God:  15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot.  16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.  17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’ — and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked —   18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.  19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.  20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.  21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

22 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”‘”  (Revelation 3:14-22)

Now is the time for those once part of COGaIC to truly make the bold and proper move to the Continuing Church of God.  It is likely that few will, but those associated with that should ask themselves if they truly want to support the COG that is leading the final phase of the work or be satisfied with a lot less.  It is decision time, again for those part or once part of COGaIC.  Can they not see that if they keep going the way that they have that it will fail as well?

At this moment, I do not believe that the possible new group will have the correct priorities unless they decide to support the Continuing Church of God (CCOG). This would not seem immediately likely, but it is always possible that one or more leaders will realize that CCOG is leading the final phase of the work.

Will groups of people decide to remain Laodicean?  Perhaps some individuals will realize the truth, check out the facts, and decide that they should return and support the leading remnant of the Philadelphia era of the Church of God, which is currently the Continuing Church of God.

Jesus warned against remaining Laodicean.  What will you do?

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Church of God, an International Community (COG aic) This is the group led by David Hulme. It seems to minimize parts of biblical prophecy.
The Final Phase of the Work What is the final phase of the work? Who will lead it? Do you have the courage to support it? Here is a related YouTube video titled The Final Phase of the Work. The written article has been translated into Spanish La Fase Final de la Obra.
Leading the Final Phase of the Work Matthew 24:14 teaches “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come ” will be fulfilled and RCG is not the group doing this. Who is leading the final phase of the work? What did Herbert Armstrong and the old WCG teach about that and about prophets? Does Bob Thiel meet the criteria that the Bible and the old WCG set? What is the proof? What has the Continuing Church of God been doing?  This is a sermonette length video.
Why Be Concerned About False and Heretical Leaders? There have been many false leaders–here is some of why you should be concerned about them.
How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God There are many false prophets. How can Christians determine who is a true prophet? There is also a sermon-length video titled How to determine if someone is a true prophet of God. Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Cómo determinar si alguien es un verdadero profeta de Dios?
The Bible, Peter, Paul, John, Polycarp, Herbert W. Armstrong, Roderick C. Meredith, and Bob Thiel on Church Government What form of governance did the early church have? Was it hierarchical? Which form of governance would one expect to have in the Philadelphia remnant? The people decide and/or committee forms, odd dictatorships, or the same type that the Philadelphia era itself had? What are some of the scriptural limits on ecclesiastical authority? Do some commit organizational idolatry? Here is a Spanish language version La Biblia, Policarpo, Herbert W. Armstrong, y Roderick C. Meredith sobre el gobierno de la Iglesia.
Unity: Which COG for You? Why so many groups? Why is there lack of unity in the Churches of God? Has it always been this way? What can/should be done about it?
Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert W. Armstrong Change that Priority for the Work? Some say the Church should mainly feed the flock now as that is what Herbert W. Armstrong reportedly said. Is that what he said? Is that what the Bible says? What did Paul and Herbert W. Armstrong expect from evangelists?
Why Bob Thiel Left the Living Church of God Several have speculated reasons, but here is the truth. (En el idioma español: ¿Por qué Bob Thiel dejó la Iglesia del Dios Viviente?)
The Churches of Revelation 2 & 3 from 31 A.D. to present: information on all of the seven churches of Revelation 2 & 3. There is also a YouTube video: The Seven Church Eras of Revelation. There is also a version in the Spanish language: Las Siete Iglesias de Apocalipsis 2 & 3.
1. The Ephesus Church Era was predominant from 31 A.D. to circa 135 A.D. The Church of James, Peter, Paul, and John, etc.
2. The Smyrna Church Era was predominant circa 135 A.D. to circa 450 A.D. The Church led by Polycarp, Melito, Polycrates, etc.
3. The Pergamos Church Era was predominant circa 450 A.D. to circa 1050 A.D. An especially persecuted Church.
4. The Thyatira Church Era was predominant circa 1050 A.D. to circa 1600 A.D. The Church during the Inquisition.
5. The Sardis Church Era was predominant circa 1600 A.D. to circa 1933 A.D. Discusses early history of the Seventh Day Baptists, Seventh-day Adventists, and COG-7th Day.
6. The Philadelphia Church Era was predominant circa 1933 A.D. to 1986 A.D. The old Radio Church of God and old Worldwide Church of God, now basically the most faithful in the Church of God, like who hold to the beliefs and practices of the Continuing Church of God.
7. The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. These are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG.
Are the Laodiceans the Modern Sadducees and Pharisees? Discusses similarities of the Sadducees and Pharisees to various COGs in this end-time.

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