Extract and comments from Revelation Chapter 2:2a
I know thy works and labour, and patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil, and thou hast tried them which (a)say they are apostles, and are not and hast found them liars:
(a)"Say they are apostles", many examples in the Acts, which indicates that the characteristics of this future time to be similar to the Acts period (Jews are again "first priority", and probably again "Ammi", Hos. 1:10-1 & 2:1).
At the present time, many people say they are Christians, but are not! These people are easily discerned, they do not like to study the Bible, and tend to devalue it "as only one of the Churches founding documents". They cannot use the name of Christ in conversation without embarrassment, and tend to refer to "God" frequently, when The Lord's name should be used. When asked to express their faith, they usually express anger, or they will use the noun "Jesus", but cannot say "my Lord and Saviour Jesus The Christ”. Their "Jesus" is one of the impostors, as Jesus Barabbas, and they will undoubtedly be in the category described in Matt.7:22-23. They are also often very active in the Ecumenical Movement: Ecumenical (The) Movement and the Bible: which is powered by Rome, which teaches, "we must all live together, not concentrate on our differences, and there are many ways to God, and pray for world peace". This of course chimes well with the world's politicians, who are afraid of religious conflict becoming uncontrollable. In short, many of the world's established Churches are now little more than social clubs, with music, and many other activities taking the place of true evangelising. The Acts 4:12 principle is now forbidden, "so as not to offend people". The insights of Martin Luther and the other worthy reformers are ignored and devalued in the inexorable march towards "Ecumenical peace". This false "peace" will arrive, first for Israel, and then the world, under Anti-Christ! At that stage the ref. in Zech. 1:11, and Rev. 6:4 will apply.
In the Old Testament Jewish context, the false leaders and bad Shepherds were not challenged, and the damage and evil that followed are evident up to the present day. The false and corrupt Shepherds of Israel are destined for special judgement (Jer. 25:34-36 & Ezk. 34). It is certain that the false Shepherds of today, and their helpers in the congregations will meet a similar fate. This subject has been laboured because throughout the Ages The Lie (Rev. 14:5); propagated by Satan in many guises has held sway. It holds sway now. The truth of Acts 4:12 is denied worldwide.
In the example above, Jews are saying they are Jews, but are not! Here men claim Apostleship: (one who is a special messenger, App. 189 Comp. Bible), for purpose of false teaching causing dispute and dissent. The same in Rev. 3:9. The punishment for these and all liars is shown in Rev. 21:27, and 22:15. The purpose in this case is to cause weakness of resolve, and to work against "the angel". The object is to engender failure of the "Ephesus Church", and failure as the anti-thesis. This also indicates an early event, and a "filling full" in the yet future!
In these 7 Churches, with the special focus of Christ, all Satan's wiles are to be resisted, hence the many references to Old Testament situations and characters. They are showing to be the "anti-thesis", with Christ's help to Israel's failure and perversion, when in their "Ammi" state, prior to Christ's first Advent. "Christ's help" here means access to Holy Spirit empowerment, as was the case for Jewish and some Gentile believers up to Acts 28:28!