This is an important question for God’s Church living in the end-times. Has this era already begun or is it still yet to occur at the start of Great Tribulation?
The dominant thought concerning the Laodicean era is it will begin in conjunction with the start of Great Tribulation. This is understandable because Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong taught this is when it would begin.
"The Laodicean Church are those who are going to come, they are going to find... someone is going to lead them, and the Church will not rise up, and will not be actually formed until after we've gone into a place of protection, and after our work is finished, and our time is over. It's not going to be contemporaneous with us. It will come after us.
Now, I've never said that before. We have never had this straight before. We have never understood it. And I have never come out with a definite doctrine on it before, because we've never understood it before. But God is revealing it to me now."
Source: Herbert W. Armstrong Bible Study, Galatians 5 and 6, December 12, 1980
Nearly 29 years after his death, and the fulfillment of Matthew 24:14, a commission given only to Mr. Armstrong during the Philadelphian era, one has to ask was his timing correct?
If we listen closely to what Mr. Armstrong said, he taught one of his key responsibilities, taking the gospel to the world as a witness, would be finished before the Laodicean era began. However, recent history proves God’s Church did not go directly into a place of protection, after his death but fractured and fragmented into a number of different groups. For a more detailed explanation of these events please view Matthew24Signs’ video, ‘The Sign.’
After God’s Church went completely off the doctrinal track, following Mr. Armstrong’s death, various groups formed, claiming to be following in his footsteps. Their main focus was to re-establish the work God had done through Mr. Armstrong.
In an attempt to re-take the gospel to the world, some have created their own magazines to resemble “The Plain Truth” and “Good News”. They produce their own media programs to emulate “The World Tomorrow” telecast. Some have established their own educational institutions modeled after “Ambassador College.” They use the Internet has a major part of their efforts, yet their efforts are divided.
Once part of the same Church, these groups have proven they cannot join together to carry out what God did through Mr. Armstrong [I Cor. 1:10]. Today, God’s Church is in the same spiritual mess Paul encountered at Corinth [I Cor. 1:11-13].
Mr. Armstrong made it clear in his book, “Mystery of the Ages”, pg. 291, that the gospel had gone to the world, thus fulfilling Matthew 24:14.
“These prophecies have now definitely been fulfilled. The true gospel has been restored and has now gone in power into every nation on the face of the earth.”
At the time of his death, Mr. Armstrong didn’t understand the scope of what God wanted in the fulfillment of Matthew 24:14.
It is clear now the era of Philadelphia ended and the era of Laodicea began at Mr. Armstrong’s death.
The Bible does not describe Philadelphia as an era [Rev. 3:7-13], with all the division and errant teachings being promoted within God’s Church today [Rev. 3:14-22].
Laodicea is a time of final testing for God’s Church. It is a time for God to find out who is willing to uphold His truth when the vast majority of His Church will not. During this time God will determine who is worthy to escape Great Tribulation [Luke 21:36] and who will not [Rev. 3:18]. These decisions could not be made until after the fulfillment of Matthew 24:14.
God’s Church is now deep in the Laodicean era and closer to the start of Great Tribulation than most realize [Rev. 3:17a].
If you as a member of God’s Church are concerned about your spiritual and physical welfare, you need to wake-up and realize the times you are living in before it is too late! [Rev. 3:19]