Philadelphia, The Spirit of 1776?

Is there a link between the church at Philadelphia named in Revelation 3 and the United States of America?

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA at historic Independence Hall during autumn season.


In His messages to the seven churches in Asia Minor, recorded by the Apostle John in 96 A.D., many, myself included, believe that the Lord was prophetically outlining the history of the Church as it struggled with decline and apostacy over the centuries from its birth at the Feast of Pentecost culminating in the resurrection of the dead in Christ and the departure of a living Godly remnant in the Rapture. Can I get an Amen?!

The parallels between His messages in Revelation 2 &3, and the events which saw Christians martyred in the arena, the rise of the ecclesiastic monster that became the Roman Catholic Church, the fire of the Reformation and finally Laodicea; the Christless church, are striking and undeniable.

In reading a commentary illuminating the Church Age by Clarence Larkin, I came across this intriguing passage:

“the promise is that the “Philadelphia Church” shall not pass through the Tribulation, is not this additional proof that the Church shall be “caught out” before the Tribulation? The “Philadelphia Period” covers the time between A. D. 1750 and A. D. 1900.” Larkin, Clarence. Clarence Larkin Collection – 6 Complete Larkin Books [illustrated] . Kindle Edition.

What’s this? In this exposition of Church history, Clarence Larkin pegs the era of the Philadelphian Church to span the years 1750 A.D. to 1900 A.D. Does the year 1776 ring a bell? The Church at Philadelphia was singled out for blessing and not judgement and promised protection from the coming tribulation.

As a former lukewarm member of the Church at Laodicea, I believe that the righteous remnant who truly served the Lord all through the Church Age are included as part of the Church at Philadelphia. Can there have been a link between that church and the nation that many believe was raised up by God during the “Philadelphia Period’?

July 4,1776 marked a moment on this continent when a humble group of people, acknowledging and blessed by God, launched a new nation; flawed, but filled with idealistic dreams and a respect for the Creator. Is it merely coincidence that the most-free and most-blest nation of modern times was birthed at the beginning of the Philadelphia period, and began to decline at its end?

And look at the name. Again: Is it mere coincidence that this same nation was birthed in the city of Philadelphia? Can it be that on the natural realm, God created a haven of freedom and protection for those whom were persecuted for His name sake?

How many came here, driven across the seas by religious persecution? The Pilgrims, obviously, and how many others? Famine and poverty were also powerful scourges that uprooted the poor of the Earth and led them here.

The initial ‘discovery’ of the continent by Europeans in 1492 corresponded closely with the beginning of the Spanish Inquisition and few people are aware that Christopher Columbus was a Jew who had publicly converted to Christianity.

The Spanish Inquisition targeted Jews, forcing them to convert to Catholicism or emigrate somewhere else. Many were tortured and killed. Most of the European nations had similarly closed their doors to Jews. But God always makes a way for His people.

No creation of man can long withstand the inroads of Satan and the over two centuries since America’s birth have seen the death of idealism, a major erosion of its freedoms, and the growth of a malignant culture that calls evil good and good evil. The people have turned away from God. The glory has departed, and the absence of God’s divine protection and blessing was manifested in the destruction of the World Trade Center in New York City. But!…

Was the establishment of America a door that God opened to provide shelter for His people and accomplish His purposes during the Philadelphia Period?  Was the America of that era a foretaste of the freedom and bounty that God offers to those abandoning their old lives and embracing His promises?

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Photo Credits

  • Adapted from #91237724/Jankovoy-adobe
  • #197013850/SeanPavonePhoto-adobe
  • Don’t Mess With Israel by Greg Lauer