Discussions Relating to Universal Reconciliation > Book of Revelation

letters to 7 churches correspond to 7 seals, 7 trumpets, and 7 bowls in # order

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martincisneros:
Hi reFORMer,

Thanks for the link!  What I've seen so far makes sense as far as "how" to read the book of Revelation, but I haven't "seen enough" of why God's chosen the particular punishments that He's chosen in the Book of Revelation -- whether by definition with all of the things that it says that the masses won't repent of, if those are the most medicinal and most direct way of reaching the ultimate repentance that He's after, OR, if there's a certain amount of gratuitous retribution with the choice in punishments.

I'm aware of the fact that "wrath" in the Greek (orge') means an explosive expulsion of the substance of the One that's exploding.  So that in the instance of God being the Personification of nothing but "love," we're talking about the love of God reaching the boiling point to where it's ravishing.  It's the same Greek word where we get the English words "orgy" and "orgasm."  But how that exactly translates between spirits seems to leave room for a lot of interpretation based on all of the available details.  At least for the time being 'cause I didn't grow up with the Universal Restoration message and have been playing "catch up" for 7 years ever since I had my Damascus Road experience while reading Jan Bonda's book, "The One Purpose of God."  I still remember the very line that made me a heretic forever that he built towards for 108 pages.  On pages 108 and 109 he asks the devastating question, after all he'd said up until then:

"If a king conquered death and he is appointed to rule over the dead, what else can this mean for those dead than their salvation?  What purpose would his victory over death have if he would not use it to free his subjects from the archenemy who keeps them prisoners?  What other reason could there be why he was resurrected by God?  His kingship brings salvation for all who have died, for it does not apply only to some of the dead, while the rest remain subject to the old ruler.  That ruler has lost his power (2Tim. 1:10)!  Therefore 1Corinthians 15:22 tells us that all who die in Adam will be brought back to life in Christ."

I spent the first 5 years that I was a Universalist secretly trying to find out why it was too good to be true, why this had to be wrong, where the exegesis strayed from reality, and every book; every word study; every explanation in church history for why this wasn't mainstream just repeatedly pierced my heart in no less tangible of a way than the spear that went into the side of Jesus.  I was writing from a UR perspective from the very first year that I started seeing this message.  I had somewhat of a grasp on the message by Holy Week of 2001 between Jan Bonda's book, Jukes's "Restitution of all things," and the J.W. Hanson and Louis Abbott materials on Tentmaker, but I had absolutely no rest for 5 years because of the level of animosity against this message -- even by otherwise Spirit-filled believers.

Some of the animosity made sense because with too many UR websites it's a package deal where it seems as though you've got to not only buy into UR, but into anti-tithe, preterism, and other things that are definitely the diametric opposite of the mainstream.  That's too much change, too much of a temperature difference, and too full of a plate for the average person bumping into UR for the first time.

But when you'd bring up the true meaning of "aion" and it's Old Testament equivalents, the usage of aion and of aiona ton aiona in the Septuignt, which was the Bible for the earliest Christians, and dozens of Scriptures that required no translational help, and you'd still nearly get chased out of town, tarred and feathered, etc.  That didn't set too well with me.  I was looking for where the misunderstanding was going on on my part, so that although this was making sense, perhaps I was taking things out of context because I wasn't a Greek scholar back then.  I'd just earned my first Th.D. at the time, and with the particular program of Biblical studies and my choice in dissertation topics, I never ran into much New Testament Greek either when getting my M.A. or my Th.D.  I've (of course) played catch up along the way since then -- mainly because of this ongoing crisis of faith where I had to know that I knew that I knew if I was going to pursue one of the most rejected historic messages of Christianity.

After the first 5 years of reading UR books from the 1700s to the present, noticing the SLOPPPPY GARBAGE posing for scholarship in W.E. Vine's Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament words, how the newer editions of Strong's Concordance "react" to the perceived heresy by narrowing their definitions along long cherished Augustinian doctrinal lines, and other shell games that I was noticing on the part of the elders at the gate of tranditional Christendom, I came to realize that it wasn't paranoia on the part of Gary Amirault and others, but some people in positions of Christian academia are deliberately, systematically resisting the truth by absolute diabolical misleading ways.

Elhanan Winchester's book "Universal Restoration" was a tremendous help during that time since it's 4 chapters of absolutely nothing but questions and criticisms from the perspective of the eternal torment paradigm and straight talking Biblical answers that weren't evasions or emotional banter against the criticisms, but actual Biblical verse-by-verse answers from a mind as sharp as St. Paul's.

All throughout this time period, it's been becoming increasingly clear that we really need to tighten up our interpretation on the book of Revelation.  If preterism or partial preterism is the interpretation, then bless God, be able to explain the thing verse by verse by verse with no loopholes.  But if it's futurist or historicist (i.e. contemporary) prophecy, then it's time to start having answers that are second to none for those that ask us a reason for the hope that is within us, as St. Peter advises.

I look forward to reading David Ebaugh's interpretation of the book of Revelation.  Hopefully it'll either let me finally lay the book of Revelation to rest, or if I disagree with anything he says, maybe it'll be just the trigger for more clearly manifesting and solidifying my own interpretation.  Revelation 5:13 alone makes the book of Revelation totally worth knowing how to present it, knowing what to believe about the whole book as a whole, how to interpret it alongside of Paul's Gospel, etc. 

I'm far enough along to where I know that I know that I know that premillenialism ISN'T the right interpretation of prophecy.  I was on that boat the first 31 years of my life and finally realized it was the biggest part of the sinking Titanic of pagan nonsense that I had to dump.  My appologies if this is the least bit sharp for anyone that still views prophecy through the premillenialist lense, but in the fall of 2006 I was getting corrected through my own preaching before I had ever heard of Postmillenialism and before I'd ever seen any careful exegesis of it.  "Behold, now is the tabernacle of God with men" (Revelation 21)  Now, that's your "Second Coming" and not Revelation 19. 

See the article that I've got in my "other authors" section at martincisneros.com if you've been married to the interpretation of Revelation 19 being the Second Coming.  I've got an article from someone that specifically deals with the spiritual vision of the Cosmic Rambo scenario, which would contradict Acts chapter 1, as well as all of the passages regarding His Melchezedec priesthood, if it were the Second Coming 'cause that's DEFINITELY NOT the way that He left.  They're not a UR author, but Postmillenialism is emphatically one or two steps away (3 at the most) from UR to where I'm astonished that Calvinists that believe in Postmillenialism don't slip into the well of infinite grace just simply from that side of the well that they're dancing on, if nothing else.  Many Calvinists are Premillenialists, so this isn't an automatic appologetics tool for dealing with them.  Some of them long for the sword swallowing Christ to come and massacre all of these heathen devils.

I've since removed the article mentioned in the last paragraph from my website, however I've this evening added a link to it on a new thread at this Book of Revelation board.  It's the thread on Revelation 19.

The book of Revelation -- whatever the truest view of prophecy ever winds up being -- is one of the very first things that mainstream Christians throw in your face if you come to them with UR.  It's in the interests of all of us to tighten up our interpretation of the whole book, and not just rely on being able to explain "ages of ages" from the Septuignt as a limited duration, and a good interpretation of "brimstone" doesn't suffice for too many Christians because of the overall sense of the rest of the book of Revelation to their carnal mind.  But, with the last 7 bowls is COMPLETED the outpouring of the wrath of God.  He'll have poured it all out!  All of it!!  So, whatever your interpretation of "wrath" from passage to passage, if in your view some of the passages allow for absolute retribution, it says that by that time period He's going to pour absolutely all of it out once and for all.  And Paul gives us the interpretation in 1Corinthians 15 of how all of those seeds of God's wrath have to come to harvest 100 fold.  What's corruptible must put on incorruption, and what's mortal must put on immortality, because all that died in Adam will be made alive in Christ. 

Absolutely all of the promises of destruction and restoration must be fulfilled in their entirety.  This is all that any Universalist contends for.

Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell among them. (Psalm 68:18)

For we must needs die, and are as water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again; neither doth God respect any person: yet doth he devise means, that his banished be not expelled from him. (2Samuel 14:14)

His name shall endure for ever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed. (Psalm 72:17)

The earth, O LORD, is full of thy mercy: teach me thy statutes. (Psalm 119:64)

The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works. (Psalm 145:9)

Man's goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way? (Proverbs 20:24)

And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.  (Isaiah 25:7-8)

With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness. (Isaiah 26:9)

And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. (Isaiah 40:5)

He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. (Isaiah 53:11, remembering from Romans 5 that the One + the many = ALL.)

Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me? (Jeremiah 32:27)

The Scriptures are clear about all of these things.  There's probably about 800 passages of Scripture that all say the same thing along these lines.  But we've got to get the book of Revelation out of the way, as far as it's usage as a stumbling block among mainstream Christians to keep them from embracing the Universal Restoration as foundational to the character, provision, and wisdom of God, as well as the extent of His might, faithfulness, wealth, and harvest from the Cross of Christ.  Fundamentalists that find our comments on Romans unanswerable always hide behind the book of Revelation.  And it's not just aion, fire, and brimstone passages.  The King James book of Revelation and the book of Revelation of other translations that by their own admission "continue in the traditions of the King James Bible" paints a bleak picture of God.  Some of that is the fault of the chapter number and verse number designations, that many people take to be "Gospel."  Numbering for chapters was begun in the 13th century, while numbering for verses was begun in the 16th century.

It would be too big of a pain in the butt to try to get Christians on an international scale to consent to revisiting the subject of how the chapter numbers and verse numbers are laid out.  And some are too ignorant to not be offended by the thought of such a project, as if we would somehow be mutilating the autographas of the Scriptures or whatever. "If those chapter number and verse number designations were good enough for Moses, David, Isaiah, Jesus, and Paul, then they're good enough for me, bless God!!"  It's not worth either having to, or feeling the need to slap so many people over such a historical sacred cow.

We've got to start thinking generationally, that if we don't press into the Holy Spirit for more accurate interpretations of the book of Revelation and of other "hard sayings" of the Scriptures, then the boogey men that chased us under our bed sheets will still be there for our grandchildren and great grandchildren.  With the internet and study resources available today, as well as more time available for such meditations, prayers and fasting in the Holy Spirit, giving and believing God for a harvest of righteousness, and our ability to "document" outpourings of the Holy Spirit for posterity, we have it within our power to have a Reformation within 25 to 50 years that would be more significant than the Reformation of 500 years ago.

martincisneros:
I'd love to share more along the lines of this perspective.  Not sure that I know of any more to share, but I'll lean on the Holy Spirit for some type of typing utterance 'cause I've already shared all that's thus far occured to me along these lines.  Both due to this computer having some graphics issues when it comes to working with the Adobe program, and because for too many years I never did my own studying but read everybody else's books to know what I believed  :icon_jokercolor: the Lord won't let me have a look at the link that was posted on this thread for an interpretation that's already been given by a former NASA staff member on the whole perspective that this thread was started with.  The Lord will probably let me look at it later, but for a few days/weeks/months the Lord's wanting me to study to show myself approved.  He's been having me fly solo on the whole Hosea 2:18 Animal Gospel as well, so, that's sorta nothing new with the Lord wanting me to study the Scriptures for myself on a topic.

Right now, I'd love to know if the book of Revelation was written in the way that it was to keep prying eyes out of it's message 'cause [if this is the way to interpret it] to the undecerning eye it would appear to be just gibberish or the ramblings of a crazy man when read from start to finish, from chapter 1 to chapter 22.

(Joseph Prince claims it's division into 22 chapters isn't accidental, but is Providential.  He claims that each chapter corresponds to each of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet and the imagery associated with each of those letters.  But I don't have a copy of his teaching along those lines.  And I [genuinely] don't know if he makes it available in the US.  Anybody reading this that would like a peak for themselves at teaching along those lines can try contacting his ministry at www.josephprince.org to see if they make any book of Revelation teaching available in the U.S.  He's also briefly teased on his television program, while talking about other things, that the 7 seals of the book of Revelation relate to the 7 types of spirits that you're freed from when you come to Christ.  That's mean, his having teased like that and not having given more details on that occasion, right?  :icon_jokercolor:  But he did allude to having already taught that and having it on either CD or DVD.) 

I think that the first chapter of Revelation points to this being the way to read it when Jesus passes along the message through His angel that He's wanting those 7 churches written to.  (i.e. what we've been talking about with the letters to the 7 churches corresponding with the 7 seals, 7 trumpets, and 7 bowls in numerical order)  If this isn't the way to read it, then minimally these patterns were put into the book to show it's divine inspiration and that it's not just a collection of myths, visions, and dreams that grew over a couple of centuries -- as is always the criticism with everything related to Christianity to start with in higher academia.  At least in the United States.

I'd noticed in Daniel chapter 2 that with that vision of the 4 world empires, that it's a situation where all 4 of those are concurrently a problem when Christ would grind them to powder.  At least, that's how the NASB is indicating.  I'm not too sure how this fits in with my Postmillenialism, since Christ commenced His reign 2000 years ago.  But perhaps this goes into the category on the difference between the time frame of "Church militant" and "Church triumphant" when we plow right into the millenial reign of the saints.

Has anybody besides me noticed that we've been dealing with Babylon in the middle east with this "war on terrorism" and now the prince of persia is wanting to raise hell?  Next is something Greek.  What, I couldn't possibly tell you apart from the Holy Spirit manifesting with a Word of Wisdom.  And then something Roman, which some are telling us is the "revived roman empire" with the E.U.  It's in the days of these 4 issues on the world scene that Christ annihilates the competition for world dominance.  The supposed fulfillment from what? 2500 years ago or so, until 1800 years ago wasn't a situation where all 4 were concurrently competing for world dominance.  If all of this were going to go down right now, then we've got basically 4 spheres of existance right now that everything else fits under the category of with the religious, the cultural, the economic, and the political.  Daniel's vision is repeated twice with the same bottomline message.  One is the different parts of a statue that are made of different things that are supposed to represent these 4 world forces, while the other is 4 different animals at work, if I remember right.  Daniel chapter 2 and Daniel chapter 7 seem to essentially have the same message.  One of the creatures in Daniel 7 is a leopard.  And we have a leopard appearing on the scene in Revelation 13:2, according to my CLNT and my NASB.  I don't have a copy of the Concordant translation on the book of Daniel, so, I'm not sure if they'd concur in the translation of a leopard for Daniel's vision.  But, all of the big Bible commentaries will try to claim that this leopard was Alexander the Great.  But what's he doing over here in the book of Revelation around the middle of the book?  We could try to argue for the preexistence of Christ for the earlier chapters of Revelation, but that would make it all hopelessly confused on why He's already opening the seals, releasing the trumpets, and the bowls in the behalf of mankind if He hadn't even died yet.

Whatever anybody thinks about the nature of these judgments from the first chapter of Revelation to it's last chapter, it's noteworthy that the Apostle of Love wept when he thought that nobody was going to open the scroll with the 7 seals.  Which in our study here would translate into his weeping over the trumpets not getting blown and the bowls not being poured out, if they're all different ways of looking at the same thing or follow up info on the status of what's going on over time with the same things released by the letters and the seals, whether we're talking about over a period of months, years, or generations from the first to the last of the seals, trumpets, and bowls.  John wept at the thought that nobody would unleash all of that.

I'm sure that a lot of us as little kids, after hearing the contents of the book of Revelation for the first time, were wondering why Jesus even bothered with opening the seals if it was all going to turn out SOOOO BADLY!!  :laughing7:

So, this would take you back to the definition that I'd given on "wrath" a post or two ago in this thread.  The Apostle of Love thought that something would be amiss if those seals weren't opened.  With the 7th trumpet being blown, we find a leopard being unleashed on the scene in Revelation 13:2.  If I'm reading it correctly, then it says in Revelation 13 that this leopard only has dominion for 42 months, or three and a half years.  But it conquers the saints with it's blasphemy against those dwelling in heaven, which according to Ephesians is us.  This has to be read with Daniel 'cause I believe it's in Daniel chapter 7 where it says that the saints are apparently overcome UNTIL the judgment is rendered by the Most High in the behalf of the saints.  And comparing Daniel with Revelation on these points, it's obvious that the millenium begins around this time, or rather shortly thereafter.  This would agree with the millenium being a part of the judgment of the 7th bowl 'cause we live and reign with Christ (going forth conquering and to conquer) for a thousand years and disciple the nations.  After the leopard falls before the saints, there's still evil going on on the earth and perhaps for a considerable amount of time afterwards, but we've regathered our barings and are riding with Christ conquering and overcoming the nations at this point with the proclamation of the Gospel.

In Revelation 11 with the blowing of the 7th trumpet, there's an earthquake, lightnings, thunders, and great hail, which might agree with Hal Lindsey and others if all of this comes out of some type of nuclear blast with war in the middle east.  That's not the only possible reason for the earthquake, but because of the nature of it and the way it's described in Revelation 11, as I've just said, then that's why I'm inclined to think that something really nasty just happened in the Mediterranean region around the time of the blowing of the 7th trumpet.  Perhaps that's how the leopard comes to power in Revelation 13:2, in whatever form that winds up being, whether political, religious, economic, or cultural with television or whatever.  With the pouring out of the 7th bowl -- remembering the parallels that we'd been talking about thus far, and that we've just talked about the 7th trumpet -- with the pouring of the 7th bowl, we have lightings, voices, and thunders yet again in Revelation 16, like we did in Revelation 11's closing.  And because of the magnitude of the earthquake that's indicated in this instance in Revelation 16, then that's why I'm inclined to believe that we're dealing with something nuclear or perhaps with meteorites 'cause of the lightnings, which could be either spiritual or natural phenomenon.  The lightnings in Revelation aren't as carefully spelled out as the candlesticks being Churches or the city of 7 hills which is either Rome, Italy, or Bath, England, or any number of other places with 7 hills that might be involved if this is future prophecy.  Allowing for just a moment that this might be a nuclear catastrophe that's just happened, in the 17th and 18th chapters of Revelation we have the burning of the spirit of prostitution, and of perhaps a literal city, whether Rome, a republic of Babylon, or whatever.

reFORMer:

--- Quote from: martincisneros on April 03, 2008, 06:21:41 AM ---. . . which could be either spiritual or natural phenomenon.  The lightnings in Revelation aren't as carefully spelled out as the candlesticks being Churches or the city of 7 hills which is either Rome, Italy, or Bath, England, or any number of other places with 7 hills that might be involved if this is future prophecy.  Allowing for just a moment that this might be a nuclear catastrophe that's just happened, in the 17th and 18th chapters of Revelation we have the burning of the spirit of prostitution, and of perhaps a literal city, whether Rome, a republic of Babylon, or whatever.

--- End quote ---
(Old) Jerusalem sits on 7 hills.  She's the Mother of . . .

martincisneros:
I definitely want to restudy everything in the light of Old Jerusalem being on 7 hills.  That's very interesting.  Fits certain parts of Revelation 18 and not other parts.  If it's a future prophecy, then there's still time on the details making sense.  Until I finally started pursuing looking into Revelation as a series of 7s that were interconnected in sequential order throughout the book, I was starting to relegate the whole thing to just being spiritual warfare rather than physical events 'cause I was having a different interpretation every single time that I'd read through the book.  And often my next interpretation would completely contradict all of the others.  I was mentally playing with preterism, but I wasn't liking how dependent that that would make me upon Josephus for interpreting a book of the Bible if I pursued being able to fully explain it that way.  For preterists, Josephus and other historians wind up being the 67th+ books of the Bible.

The 7s interpretation that the majority of this thread has been about is the first consistent interpretation that I've ever come to where it would be possible for me to hang on to it without being tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine regarding the book.

Obviously, this creates some additional questions for me.  Why am I not able to fit the 1st, 4th, 5th, 21st, and 22nd chapters of Revelation into this interpretation??  But on the other hand, being able to explain the 17 more significant chapters, or at least being able to come to some kind of elementary coherent understanding of them, is a more restful place for me to be.  I didn't like feeling like I had a grasp of the first 26 books of the New Testament and would draw a blank on the last book of the New Testament.  This creates the additional question in my mind as to whether or not there's this kind of pattern/coding/whatever with Zechariah and a couple of other Old Testament books that otherwise and likewise seem to be disjointed mysteries that you have to cookie-cut from for any type of doctrine from them.  This interpretation at least gives me the sense of prayerfully being able to discern the times.  Although I've never read it, it used to bug me around 2003/2004/2005 that Elhanan Winchester had written a 4 volumn set called "lectures on the prophecies that remain to be fulfilled" and not only was I not able to afford them since every copy that I've ever seen has commanded over a thousand dollars, but it made me wonder if I'd ever be able to fully grasp Bible prophecy for myself at all.  Having a copy of Scarlett's New Testament, I have a feeling that I know what are some highlights of what he taught, because of some of the footnotes that probably came from William Vidler, who was a disciple of Winchester's.  They were of the opinion back then that the 17th and 18th chapters were being fulfilled in their day.  A bit of a historicist interpretation, it appears to be, that might be the content of Winchester's Lectures.  Whether he was teaching Anglo-Israelism or something approximating it, I can't be sure, because I've never read his lectures on the prophecies that remained to be fulfilled.  But I don't see how he could have taught anything approximating that they were in the 17th and 18th chapters in their day, if that's ever anything that he ever taught, without going there.  Because otherwise, the book is reasonably clear that it covers many middle eastern events.

With the book of Revelation essentially being about the ultimate triumph of Jerusalem over it's enemies, I'm a bit convicted that I've never interceded long enough to know a general Apocalypse in relation to the future of Fort Worth, Texas where I'm living.  If God will reveal the future of one city, then why wouldn't He reveal the future of other cities??  Particularly if it would be in your best interests -- and perhaps in the interests of His purposes for your life -- for you to move because of approaching plagues, natural disasters, or greener pastures elsewhere for your life, ministry, and lifestyle.  So, aside from any other lessons that we might draw from the book of Revelation, I'm partially challenged about seeking the Wisdom of God regarding where I live and the cities that immediately connect with where I live, or that might have spiritual, economic, cultural, political, or other baring on it.

martincisneros:
This letter illustrates perfectly the inherent negativity of modern exegesis.  Most Christians would recognize this as the letter to the Church that's going straight to Hell where they'll be bathed in the blasphemies, the brimstone, the devil's pitchfork, etc., etc., etc. in the ever-increasing Kingdom of Satan's Lake of Fire that'll ever be filled with each of those worlds whose unrepentant inhabitants the new Hitler...uh...er...I mean Christ will be tossing in there to writhe and to scream, moan, sob, and shriek as God heaps greater and greater suffering upon them throughout the endlessness of eternity as God uses all of His magnificent power in a perpetual miracle and outworking of His faith to increase their torments in proportion with each new level of acclimation that the inhabitants of the habitation of the damned reach as their sin increases, expands, and abounds to the glory of Satan, the Almighty Free-will of mankind, etc., etc.

Sorry, I was starting to get a bit carried away as I beheld the beast that sits upon many waters, but you get my point without my further elaboration...

This Laodicean Church is actually the zealous Church that repents, opens the door, and dines with Christ continually while seated on His Father's Throne until they [together with Christ] deliver up the Kingdom to the Father in 1Corinthians 15:28.

This 7th letter corresponds with the 7th seal, the 7th trumpet, and the 7th bowl of Revelation.  These aren't just the 11th hour repenters, these are the repenters at 11:59:59:59 for whom the heavens are hushed for half an hour with the opening of the 7th seal.  This is the Church that lives to see the Kingdoms of this world having become the Kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ in Revelation 11:15 with the blowing of the 7th Trumpet which is one of the triumphant crowning acheivements of the preaching of the Gospel.  They are the woman in the wilderness in Revelation 12 whose "seed" is caught up to the Throne of God while they themselves are nourished in the wilderness in Revelation 12:6 on the wedding dinner of the Lambkin that's spread before them in the process of time in Revelation 19 after the pouring out of the 7th bowl.

It's the very Church that's going forth conquering and to conquer whose robes are dipped in Blood and who've inherited the Name "Word of God."  What they've bound on earth is bound in heaven and what they've loosed on earth is loosed in heaven as we see in Revelation 19 with Christ going forth with the armies of heaven in His High Priestly ministry in the beautiful vision that is given to us of what's going on as the Church on earth has moved from the militant phase to the occupational phase because the devil has been bound for a thousand years.  Revelation 19 shows Christ in heaven as the New Testament "Abraham," while the Church -- His "Isaac" -- is on the earth enjoying the hundredfold.

Not only is the 7th letter; the letter to the Laodicean Church the picture of those whose gold is refined in the fire and whose garments have been made white in the Blood of the Lamb, but they've wiped lukewarmness from God's Creation.  They're a type and shadow of us, and at the same time they're historically a Church that many theologians and pastors will be repenting to with much weeping for all of their misrepresentations of their overcoming character in the 1st century.

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