Rev 2:14-15              A Church Lacking in Discipline                          4/3/2005         ßà   

  • Letter to the Church at Pergamos (Rev 2:12-17, 1John 5:19)

 

 

 

 

#1.       I Know Thy Works (Rev 2:13, 19:13, 18:4)

 

 

 

 

  • In the World, Though Not Of the World (Matt 5:14-16, 1Cor 10:13, Rev 2:13)

 

 

 

 

#2.       I Have a Few Things Against Thee (Rev 2:14-15, Num 22-24, Ex 20:7, 2Cor 6:14-18)

 

 

 

 

  • The Sentinel of Discipline (Rev 2:15-16, Matt 24:36, Deut 18:21-22)

 

 

 

 

#3.       The Hidden Manna (Rev 2:17, John 6:32-33, 1Cor 2:14)

 

 

 

 

  • A White Stone and a New Name (Rev 2:17, Acts 26:10)

 

 

 

Please open your Bibles to the Prophecy of the Revelation of Jesus Christ; Rev 2:12 (2X). As you very well know, this is the third letter of the Lord Jesus Christ to the seven churches of Asia Minor. The previous two churches were the church at Ephesus and the church at Smyrna. And here is the:

  • Letter to the Church at Pergamos (Rev 2:12-17, 1John 5:19)

The church at Pergamos was not in grave danger of losing her candlestick, like the church at Ephesus. Some cleansing took place in the church at Pergamos when they were persecuted in the past, whereas the church at Smyrna was being persecuted in the present, and the church at Ephesus was not yet persecuted. But at present the church at Pergamos is bearing with evil men, and therefore this is the church that is growing lax in discipline. That is why the title of this sermon is, A Church Lacking in Discipline (2X). The Lord Jesus Christ says to the whole church at Pergamos:

Re 2:12 ¶  And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;

Re 2:13  I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.

Re 2:14  But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.

Re 2:15  So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.

Re 2:16  Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

Re 2:17  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

Although in verse 12 this letter was addressed to the angel of the church in Pergamos, we can see from verse 17 that it really was addressed to all the churches in the world, because the Word of God was written to all people so that all may hear what God’s message is unto salvation. The name Pergamos means “exalted, or lofty, or elevated”. Pergamos was not a small city. Pergamos was the largest city of the kingdom of Mysia, and it became the capital city of the Roman province of Asia Minor. This was a city bustling with industry, and commerce, and science, and art. In Pergamos parchment was invented, to compete with Egypt’s jealous ban on the export of papyrus. In Pergamos was a library that rivaled the library of Alexandria, in Egypt. From history we know that this was a city where particularly three forms of idolatry were practiced. First of all, there in Pergamos was a temple dedicated to Aesculapius, which was a god represented by a serpent. But a serpent is also the symbol of the Devil. Relate this to the words of the Lord Jesus when He said in verse 13, “Where Satan’s seat is”, and “Where Satan dwelleth”. The special power attributed to this god of the snake was that he could save people from disease and sicknesses of all kinds. Therefore this god was also known as “Soter”, which means “Savior”. Undoubtedly, the symbol of two snakes that physicians use today is derived from this god Aesculapius. Can you see the striking parallel between the people of Pergamos worshipping a serpent as their “Savior”, and near the end time the people of the world worshipping Antichrist as the Savior of men? Of course, the Antichrist is Satan. Secondly, the first temple of the Caesar-cult was erected at Pergamos in 29 BC. This was a temple dedicated to Rome and to Augustus. Pergamos became the center of emperor worship. And later more shrines were dedicated to other emperors of Rome, and all people were expected to offer incense to the image of the emperor, and say, “Caesar is lord”. You can see that this easily led to the persecution of Christians who refused to do so? Look again at the striking similarity with the church near the end of time, where the Antichrist, Satan, is worshipped as the savior of men, and Caesar, a man, is worshipped as lord of the world. Thirdly, Pergamos was also the city where the great altar of Zeus could be found. As you know, Zeus was the chief of the Greek gods. In addition, many other pagan altars to pagan gods could be found in Pergamos. And so, we can see that this city is called the throne of Satan, and the very dwelling-place of the Devil. This city was dominated by Satan, the prince of darkness, and by his power to oppose the church which Christ had built in this city. In general we can say that the world has always been under the dominion of the Devil. Toward the end of the first century God wrote by the hand of the Apostle John, in 1John 5:19, “the whole world lieth in wickedness”. But it is also true that the evidence of Satan’s power is in some places more greater than at other places. For example, in large cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles sin comes to a higher and bolder form of development than in smaller towns. This is why the Lord Jesus said,

#1.       I Know Thy Works (Rev 2:13, 19:13, 18:4)

Re 2:13  I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.

Undoubtedly, during the first three centuries AD Rome, with all its emperors, and with evil citizens who with great amusement watched as Christians were fed to the lions and as Christians were burnt at the stake, could also be called the place where Satan dwells. Then when we move about 1200 years forward to the time of the Reformation, we have again a period in history where hundreds of  thousands of Christians were burnt at the stake. There we can recognize the Roman Catholic Church, with its worship of saints and its worship of popes like the emperors of Rome were worshipped, and with its Inquisition, and indulgences, and crusades, could also be designated as the place where Satan dwells. But all those persecutions had only the effect of making the true Gospel grow more and more. And when finally the Reformation was going full bore, it became evident that the little church of Protestantism dwelled where Satan had his abode. And today, again the little church of the true Gospel is under severe attack. But today we should not make the mistake of continuing to point at the Church of Rome as the culprit. It would make us blind to the tremendous movements of Modernism and Humanism, and Man-worship that is sweeping through the protestant churches these days. They are in churches that should know the truth, because their Pastors have Bibles, and they have studied their Bibles. But now we recognize that they have shifted their focus away from Christ, and from the free grace of God through Christ crucified, and instead they have fixed their gaze on Man-worship, and on “do it yourself” plans of salvation. Today respectable churches and denominations are practicing “church growth” as a science, using methods and techniques that were developed in the business world, and they are finding the most efficient ways of gathering more people into their churches through shows, or through the Charismatic movement, or through the Purpose Driven Church, or by handing out Gnostic Bibles, and many other gimmicks. Now we realize that Satan is no longer persecuting the church from the outside, but Satan has infiltrated the church and is bringing his satanic gospels from within the churches. Those churches are not guided by faithful undershepherds, but are led by hirelings, who were trained in seminaries where Christ is humanized, and man is deified, where the theory of evolution and the worship of humanity is preached, and where the blood of Christ is trampled under foot. Many protestant churches have transformed this way into places where Satan’s seat is. And what does the Lord Jesus Christ have to say about all this?

The Lord Jesus says to each of the little churches that have not given in to the pressures of modern times, “I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith”. The commendation of the Lord is our highest reward. We do not try to please men, but to do those things that are pleasing in His sight. That little church at Pergamos was faithful, because the Lord Jesus said, “thou holdest fast My Name”, and He said, “thou hast not denied My Faith”. “My Name and My Faith”: Are these two different things? No! These two things cannot be separated. The faith of the Gospel has Christ for its center. The faith of the Gospel is the system of beliefs that we hold, and that all taken together is the Good News of Christ Crucified for our sins, and that we have come to believe this by a free gift of the grace of God. The Name of Christ indicates His Person, His character, His work, and His teachings, and all that taken together is the Good News of Christ Crucified for our sins, and that we have come to believe this by a free gift of the grace of God. And so, the faith of the Gospel and the Name of Christ are the same thing. We read often in the Bible about the Name of Christ as if there was a magical ring to the name Jesus. But that is not the meaning of it. The Name of Christ means far more than just the sounding of the name Jesus. According to Rev 19:13, “His Name is called The Word of God”. And so, to believe in His Name means that we have come to believe all the doctrines in the Word of God, and that is really the faith of the Gospel. The great doctrines of the Gospel are all intimately connected in the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. We never hold the faith of Christ, except as we hold Jesus Christ Himself as the object and the center of that faith. Election is God’s choosing us in Christ before the foundation of the world. Redemption is God purchasing His elect out of the hands of His own Law by the crucifixion of Christ. Regeneration is God giving dead sinners life in Christ, and Christ living in us. Forgiveness is God pardoning our sins through the blood of Christ. Justification is God clothing us with and imputing to us the righteousness of Christ. Sanctification is God shaping us more and more like Christ. Resurrection is God raising us up by the power of Christ. Glorification is God conforming us to the image of Christ, to which end we were predestined in the eternal purpose of God. Christ is the author and finisher of our faith. Christ is the alpha and the omega of the faith of the Gospel. When we hold fast the Name of Christ we have not denied the faith.

But why did the church not migrate out of that wicked city, where the Devil had his throne and dwelling-place? Would that not have been a smart move? The answer is: NO! If an individual Christian would be in an apostate church where he is subjected to all kinds of false teaching, then we are commanded to leave that congregation. God says in Rev 18:4, “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues”. But to a church as a whole God does not say that. The principal message to a church could be stated like this:

  • In the World, Though Not Of the World (Matt 5:14-16, 1Cor 10:13, Rev 2:13)

Please turn in your Bibles to the Gospel according to Matthew 5:14 (2X). We must be in the world, but we must not be of the world. This is not a verse in the Bible, but this is what the Bible says to those who seek to remove themselves out of their church environment. God does not approve of people moving themselves out of the world and into a monastery, or moving the church out of sin city and moving her into a quite neighborhood out there in the country. We are called to be lights in this world of sin, to bring the light of the Gospel to those who have never heard such a thing. God says in

Matt 5:14  Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

Matt 5:15-16  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.     Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

This is not a gentle advice. This is a command from God. That we are surrounded by sin and might be tempted into sin is an integral part of God’s plan for us. We run the risk of contamination by the world and our language will reveal the influence of the world, and our driving habits may become affected by the driving habits of the world, and so on. But what the Lord Jesus said to Paul He said also to us, “My grace is sufficient for you”. We must experience the power of the grace of God in our lives. God says in 1Cor 10:13, “God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape”. We must not be afraid to do battle with the Satan. We must run away from sin, but that is the victory of doing battle with the Devil.

Please turn again to Rev 2:13 (2X). And therefore, the church of Pergamos is not commanded to leave its wicked and devilish environment, but rather to be faithful to the Name of her King and Savior. And this they did. They confessed the Name of Jesus Christ publicly. They kept the faith. For the Lord Jesus testified, “thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith”. As a result, in the past one of the members of the church at Pergamos named Antipas was killed for his testimony of Jesus. Today such killings do not occur any more. Instead Satan has moved into the churches and congregations, and therefore the church is in much greater danger of losing the battle against Satan, because physical persecution has ceased. So far we have seen that the church at Pergamos was almost an ideal church. It was a church that was flourishing spiritually, because it was a church in the midst of tribulation, in a world that was hostile to everything that bears the name of Christ, but the church as a whole remained faithful to the faith of the Gospel. And yet, the Lord Jesus said,

#2.       I Have a Few Things Against Thee (Rev 2:14-15, Num 22-24, Ex 20:7, 2Cor 6:14-18)

Re 2:14  But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.

Re 2:15  So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.

The Lord refers to the days of Antipas as belonging to the past. Evidently, the first wave of fury had passed. Now it was a time of relief for the church at Pergamos. And history shows that this is a dangerous time for the church. Now the people in the church were not on their toes concerning their doctrines. They became lax in the discipline of their own members, while there were many occasions to call for more strictness in the conduct of the members. Discipline is the Christ-ordained guard in the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the sentinel, standing watch by the purity of doctrine according to the Word of God and by the holiness of the sacraments, as well as by the walk of the believers. Where the sentinel is not on duty, the church is exposed to the evil of false doctrines, as well as to the degenerating influence of the world upon the life of the individual members of the church. In Pergamos that sentinel was fast asleep. There were those who held the doctrine of Balaam and those who held the doctrine of the Nicolaitans. There were evil men in that church at Pergamos; men who did not belong in the church of Jesus Christ; and they were allowed in the midst of that congregation. It seems inconceivable that the church was not aware of their existence in the midst of them. But the leaders of that church were lax in disciplining these men. We do not know why. Perhaps the excuse was given that “The church must save and not reject”. That is an excuse we also hear in our time. They say, “Who knows if these evil men will not come to repentance. They must continue to hear the Gospel preached in our church”. And so, men who hold a false doctrine are tolerated, and the church which does not exercise discipline over them is excused. They say, “True faith is after all not a matter of doctrine, but of the heart, and it would be cruel and indicative of a “holier than thou” spirit of intolerance if such men would be excommunicated from the church of Christ. We have all heard such flimsy arguments before. Today most churches will not practice discipline, because that is unpopular in the eyes of most. But the Lord Jesus will not have it so. We see that clearly here in this letter to the church at Pergamos.

What exactly was that doctrine of Balaam? Balaam was a sorcerer in the land of Mesopotamia, who had the reputation of being very successful in placing people under an evil curse. Of course, Balaam was an agent of the Devil. You read about this man in the scroll of Numbers, chapters 22-24. Balaam was asked by the king of Moab, by the name of Balak, to come to the shores of the Jordan River to curse the children of Israel. Balaam was warned by God that it was against the will of God that he would curse the children of Israel. But Balaam was attracted by the huge sums of money from Balak, and because he persisted in asking God for permission, God permitted him to go to the land of Moab, provided he spoke only the words that God the Holy Spirit would place in his mouth. As a result we read in Num 23-24 some of the most beautiful blessings on Israel spoken by this agent of the Devil. Balaam could not curse whom Jehovah would bless. Both Balaam and Balak did not achieve what they set out to do. What now does this debased instrument of Satan do? He gave the king some practical advice how he may shrewdly bring destruction upon the people of God. Through his counsel the men of Israel began to commit fornication with the daughters of Moab and with the daughters of Midian, and the children of Israel began to bring sacrifices to the idols of Moab. The advice of Balaam, or the doctrine of Balaam, was to erase the distinctive character of the children of Israel by mingling them with the people of Moab and of Midian. The result will be the wrath of God upon the children of Israel. How well this sorcerer understood that our God is a jealous God. His wrath would not be on Moab, but on Israel, because they call themselves by His Name. And “if they bear the Name of the Lord their God in vain, then the Lord will not hold them guiltless that bear His Name in vain” (Ex 20:7). This was the doctrine of Balaam that these people held in the church of Pergamos. They were antinomians. Anti = against, and Nomos = the law. Antinomians. They taught the people that it mattered not how the Christian lives here on earth since Christ fulfilled the Law, and the old Adam was doomed for destruction anyway. And so, they would feast with the heathen and eat of their sacrifices. Please turn in your Bibles to 2Cor 6:14 (2X). They were a class of people that threatened by their doctrine and lifestyle to erase the distinction between the church and the world in Pergamos. Just like the counsel of Balaam was a shrewd calculation to wipe out the difference between Israelites and Moabites, so in like manner the church at Pergamos was in grave danger of losing their distinctive character as a church of Christ. The Word of God sounds the warning in 2Cor 6:14-18, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?  And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?   And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.   Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,  And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. God commands us to be separate from the world. We must be in the world, but not of the world. Please turn again to Rev 2:15 (2X). And now we can recognize the work of the Devil in our days. He is bent on erasing the distinction between the church and the world. Have we not heard that it matters not what form of doctrine we hold, as long as we love Jesus? We will all be brothers in Christ. Is the Devil not very busy socializing and secularizing the church of Christ? And on the other hand, is not the church in general growing more and more lax in practicing disciplinary action? And is not the church weaker every year in upholding the truth of the Word of God? And so we see that the church of Pergamos is really portraying a remnant of the church of today. I say a remnant, because the majority of the church has already fallen away and can no longer be considered the church of Christ. Addressing this remnant the Lord Jesus Christ warns us to put in place:

  • The Sentinel of Discipline (Rev 2:15-16, Matt 24:36, Deut 18:21-22)

You know what a sentinel is. It is a lone soldier standing guard. For a church the sentinel is the council of Pastor and Elders and Deacons who must be on their guard for new teachings that are introduced into the church. The Lord Jesus said to the church at Pergamos in verse 15,

Rev 2:15-16, So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

What was meant here by the doctrine of the Nicolaitans? Verse 15 starts with the word “So”, and the Greek word that has been translated “So” means “in this manner”, or “on this wise”, and usually refers to what has preceded. Therefore, this is also the doctrine that the Nicolaitans hold. Although the Nicolaitans were a different group of people, this doctrine: “that it mattered not how the Christian lives here on earth since Christ fulfilled the Law, and the old Adam was doomed for destruction anyway, and so they would feast with the heathen and eat of their sacrifices”, this was one of the basic doctrines of the Nicolaitans also. Furthermore, we know from history that in the third century AD a sect of the Nicolaitans was found among the Gnostics. And thus the Nicolaitans had also Gnostic tendencies. It is no surprise then that Christ hates their doctrine. And then Christ says, “Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth”. “Quickly” does not mean that Christ would wait until the Last Day to punish these false teachers. Christ says to the church: “Repent”. These words are not primarily intended for the false teachers, but for the church, and for the Pastor of the church. The church as a whole is guilty of being lax in discipline. The church as a whole is called to exercise discipline and expel those who hold the doctrine of Balaam and the doctrine of the Nicolaitans. And if they do not quickly repent, and remove these evil members, then the Lord will come and make war with them. It means that the Lord will visit the church with temporal judgment in order to chastise them for their laxity in discipline, and to cut out the evil men from their midst. The church at Pergamos was not threatened with removal of their candlestick, like in the case of the church at Ephesus. The question is: Should we in this church practice discipline to members who teach a false doctrine? The answer is: absolutely yes, of course. But we had no opportunity to excommunicate those who held other doctrines. Those who should have been removed for teaching a false doctrine have already removed themselves out of our church. They have taken the words of Christ, that “no man knoweth the day or the hour” (Matt 24:36) in a legalistic sense, and they hold the doctrine that they can know the month and the year of the return of Christ.  But they have already departed out of this church, because their cult-leader has commanded them to leave any organization that is called “church”. We have already seen that they are following a false teaching, for God gave us Deut 18:21-22, and God said explicitly, “Thou shalt not be afraid of him”. Therefore, to our church and to the church at Pergamos the Lord Jesus has some words of comfort. He said in verse 14, “he that hath an ear”, referring to all those who are able to hear the spiritual message of this letter to the church at Pergamos, and He promises them:

#3.       The Hidden Manna (Rev 2:17, John 6:32-33, 1Cor 2:14)

Re 2:17  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

To him that overcometh” means to every one who has become saved. No one who has become saved can lose his or her salvation. And thus, all true believers are “overcomers”. Al true believers have been promised to eat of the hidden manna. Now we know that the manna refers to the “bread from heaven”. The Lord Jesus said in John 6:32-33, “Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.   For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.” Christ is the true “Bread from Heaven”. The manna that the children of Israel ate for 40 years in the wilderness was only a shadow of Christ. But Christ is the substance. All the grace the believers in the church at Pergamos need to be delivered from the power of sin and death, and to appear finally before the Father in heaven, is only in Christ Jesus their Lord. He is the hidden Manna. We can easily see that Christ is the Bread of Life, because He said so, but why hidden? Christ is the Word of God, and He is also in the Word of God, the Bible. But to see Christ in the Bible requires that your eyes and your ears be opened by God the Holy Spirit. But the natural man without the Spirit of God cannot understand what the Bible says, according to 1Cor 2:14. To the natural man Christ remains hidden. But to the faithful in Pergamos, and to all the faithful here in this church, the Lord promises a full supply of the hidden Manna, which will strengthen us in our battle against Satan, and which will finally lead us to the blessed state of perfection on the Last Day when Christ returns to take us home. But because of our mystical union with Christ as His Bride, who walketh in the midst of the golden candlesticks, we shall be fed forever with the hidden Manna, and our souls shall be satisfied for all eternity with Him. But what about the White Stone? And what about the New Name?

  • A White Stone and a New Name (Rev 2:17, Acts 26:10)

The stone that is mentioned here is a smooth stone, a small pebble, worn smooth as by water. The Greek word for this stone is totally different from almost every other stone found in the Bible. The only other place where we find this word is in Acts 26:10, where the Apostle Paul told to governor Festus and king Agrippa about his earlier life when he persecuted the Christians. We read in Acts 26:10, “Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them”. Literally he said, “I gave my vote against them”, and the word “vote” is the same word as that little stone. What actually took place was that the judges cast their vote with a little white stone or a black stone. A white stone meant “Not guilty”. A black stone meant “Guilty”. The black stone then was a symbol of guilt and condemnation, and the white stone was a symbol of innocence and justification. By promising the faithful in Pergamos a white stone, Christ assures them of their final justification on the Last Day. They need not be alarmed by the two-edged sword, because Christ shall present them to the Father without blemish, without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, as a glorious church, shining forth in the perfection of their new being. But then the New Name; what is the “new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it”? Perhaps you remember the name of God. Well, God does not have a name to distinguish Him from other gods, because there are no other gods. Every name of God describes who God is, or what He does, or what His character is, and so on. It is in this sense that God will give us a new name in the life hereafter, because we will be genuinely sons of God. What name will each of us receive? That peculiar character of each person that causes him to differ from his fellow human being is his name. The difference between one individual and another shall not be erased in the NH&NE. Just the opposite. There shall be an infinitely rich variety of individuals. Yes, each of us shall have their own personality in heaven. And individual character shall be even emphasized to perfection. That is why the Lord says that only he who receives the name shall know it. Is this not wonderful? God is giving us here a glimpse into the affairs of our life in eternity. God shall be glorified in the new humanity, in which the image of God shall shine forth in all its divine fullness and beauty, radiating as it were, from the Lord Jesus Christ into all the members of His body, and reaching its full realization and manifestation not in each individual saint, but rather in the harmony of the whole. Each particular child of God shall then manifest his own peculiar shade of God’s image. And together with the new creation they shall all reveal in one grand and most beautiful harmony the wonders of God’s image. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith. AMEN.