Hold That Fast Which Thou Hast

I was once asked (because I held my view of there being just the one angel and not seven) as to what mechanism enabled the angel to have moved from overcoming in Ephesus to ending up in Smyrna. I immediately assumed that the gifts were a given one church at a time and the angel could start in Smyrna having eaten from the tree of life (The K4 form of Christ) Jesus being the same "resurrection and the life". This seemed obvious to me, I didn't then answer the question, I now do so below. (15 years too late?)

I misunderstood - the angel only overcomes at the end of his sevenfold circuit, so how are the gifts (horns of the lamb) granted him before his circuit is complete?

But then, if that be the case, what does it mean if the angel moves from church to church and only overcomes once at the very end of the circuit; with whatever little the churches have to offer in doctrine, but more so that offered of Christ and for the very end of his circuit?

Then there is plausibly no "singular angel" but a contradiction as to how one can be raised from the dead without the reward for overcoming Ephesus, being able to eat of said tree, that resurrection in Christ alone. Perplexing it seems, but this actually shows a lack of understanding of the mechanisms of the gospel itself; and that same mechanism of the predestination of grace (by which the surety of election of a believer allows the believer to reign over himself as if with the strength of the throne of God as directing one's own steps from all eternity to ensure that same salvation for eternity awaits), to which I may in Christ justify my answer...

Now, this is conjecture, but what if the angel (the least in the kingdom over whom God has next to no influence) must not only (simply) overcome - but overcome not seven times but only the once? Whether he overcomes seven times or just once, it is plainly clear that Satan would (as his last ditch attempt) keep up his accusing of him so that he must finally (in Philadelphia) overcome all ten such falsehoods of doctrine (else there is no "complete victory" in the least's circuit). Those ten false doctrines of the dragon in the Church must be totally (completely, perfectly cf. letter to Sardis) overcome at the very end of the angel's circuit: I may safely assume that the least is adequately prepared for this, but if he is yet still "as if in prison" as only having that doctrine given him in the church and does not recall the exact nature of his tenfold victory (as accumulated so far) then there should be granted Satan such a test upon the least so there would remain no impasse; for Christ has set an open door for his angel and His angel finds approval outside of the institution that persists only in false doctrine, falling away.

So, four doctrines fail immediately for the lack of Nicolaitanism and as such the least has never defiled himself with the image system (easy to repent of, to leave through the open door.) That leaves six sets of false doctrine remaining, which the angel is free to overcome by the very nature of that same "prison" - i.e. either he is forgetful, and can't remember them, or God ministers and "nourishes" as in the wilderness, and the angel's sound doctrine may expand with knowledge.

Yet if the angel has no such nourishment, then perhaps the axiom of sovereignty will last him out (See chapter 5.2 of the book) - as keeping no doctrine but that which He can rationally hold firm to as that which is correct. (Not that which "seems" right in accordance with scripture rather than as to the Holy Spirit, but that which rationally is correct.)

Having exited the Church there is no-one to teach him any of that false doctrine any longer; "forgetfulness" may actually last him as well as the knowledge of the sound doctrine he holds true to within "Philadelphia".

So, even if the angel has no true record of overcoming at all ("as yet") those same gifts set in store for his overcoming are available to the angel to rule over himself with every bit of the same grace permitted to all disciples from God and His throne (a thousand years is as one day etc) that very same reign that is freely offered - divine grace is permitted every believer in God's kingdom. There is "no special treatment" for the angel in the sense that the actual predestination of the angel is also to obedience as any other, and his salvation, is also to be reigning over himself upon the throne of God's grace as for a thousand years every day.

So, whilst the angel is given no special treatment of extra grace, his standing and crown is restored him for accounting (reckoning) for his overcoming, and the angel in prayer may "reckon" to himself his overcoming in prayer before the time of his deliverance when the dragon is stood ready to devour him.

Then there is only one end permitted Satan, that of withstanding the same one gospel (though with any necessary requirements for the angel to tread the winepress also) in the rewards of the angel applied (backwards in time) to the least's circuit before overcoming (the angel will then certainly overcome) : there is no difference to the gospel other than these rewards are for "he who overcomes" and "he" is the least, the right hand of God alone - and no-one else in the Church has either the need for these spiritual gifts or the right to them (as no believer in any church likewise overcomes as at the very last, as the least) - no one has reckoned fully (or is required to) as the angel has so reckoned: and no one else receives the same test, not being the least (or being the right hand of Jesus Christ and His Father) and the angel's reward is unique and due only himself, for which all other believers are told:

2Co 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (KJV)

Then, due to Satan and his continuing accusations, the angel is properly set up in place at the right hand of Christ, and only He alone in that position. (He safely holds fast "that which he has". Then grace is perfected in the case of the least upon whom God is "weak" or "omnipotent". (Grace is made perfect in weakness.)

Now, as to "predestination" as a mechanism of the grace given by the gospel, I perhaps should expand somewhat so I may not be misunderstood.

2Pe 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (KJV)

So, lets examine a situation requiring grace. Say you were a compulsive liar, and live a life where you are outwardly Christian and accepted as such, but in reality you have lost the faith you began with as it had not enabled you to overcome the elements of the darker side of your personality. Perhaps you regularly commit some sin you would best hope remain secret: though you know that the Lord knows it all.

Predestination is obviously not at work in such a one. (We shall know them by their fruits.) So, how should it work?

Well, first assume you actually are saved (That your faith on Jesus Christ is active in clothing you with His own righteousness before God.) Then, at some point in the future (bar some miracle), you are going to die and face God's judgement. Scary? Maybe so if you have not got that faith on Christ.

Predestination works by giving you the same authority in the heavens that you will have after you are judged and accepted. Then if any sin of yours may be overcome within a grace period of indeterminate length (1000 years?), then you may even rule as one elder of 24 as over your own self as if you were sat on the throne of God Himself: I.e. To determine your own obedience (your willing obedience, as if absolutely controlled under your own free will, exercised later). Of course, in the heavenlies, why wait 1000 years? Sit on the throne today and make the decision to repent with all that deterministic authority that is to be due you! Within 24 hours, you will have made 1000 years progress.

If you pray to God, then pray for that!

Note God often will not so intervene without genuine prayer from the saved and already justified. It is your own free will to sit enthroned and rule (reign) over yourself. God, in order not to be overbearing will allow you that; for are you a born again believer or not? (Put your soul to the test in other words.) If the kingdom of God is certainly here, and you are saved - you will shortly be born again afterwards!

Greater is He whose kingdom is here than one gone from the world. (Such a God is more perfect, or else is merely a lie - He will uphold His kingdom, to those that are in it!)

So, if you have God's grace, that 1000 years grace is always in place for you today, and today you are also under that grace (the 1000 years and the patience of God). Are you now "with the Lord"? (Waiting 1000 years is the same as multiplying the Lord's patience to or in 1000 more people/cases, they are then also saved, just as the 144,000 in Revelation are sealed likewise as if the twenty four elders. (6 x 24 = 144).)

Of course, if it takes you more than 1000 years to realise this simple choice comes with God's strength of Spirit, you will never repent - and also, if you do realise it but can not repent then you have some more prayer to do, as you are not saved yet.

So if you repent today, you have exercised 1000 years of God's patience to eventually put that sin behind you, and that 1000 years of patience ensuring predestination is available today, this very day right now. Who would choose otherwise if they love Christ?

Predestination is then the process where if you are saved you will approach complete obedience and "perfection" by it as if your own behaviour were even to become as Christ's righteousness; You absolutely must get there... predestination will give you 1000 years of progress (God's patience) to overcome each sin that you stumble upon, one after the other - but that grace to overcome in God's strength is yours today.

Remember that a new 1000 years of grace also awaits you tomorrow too! 1000 years does not stop because you have not repented completely, 1000 years of grace stops if you haven't repented at all.

Finally then, if you find being given just one day to repent too hard; then if you have the knowledge that this power of God to save is repeated every day - (but not to end until a thousand years "has expired") and it is instead a "comfortable" period: claim that free grace of God for today (right now) and I am certain that when you honestly approach God on His terms (outside of corporate religion) you too will be another one who will be happy to rest as upon the following.

1Co 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
1Co 15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

Now, the exact mechanism we have been given is not unknown to us, for toward us is His tutelage and comfort - and our hearts desire to be accepted before God is present with us in the Holy Spirit. Spiritual gifts are all well and good, but "party tricks" come a slow last compared to the good that is done the believer in predestination under His own guidance and training.

Prayer for others and the laying on of hands is and will be always needed - for although faith "comes by hearing", it is not so with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit comes by fellowship in Christ (even if it be only with Christ) and whilst He is also found with the desire of those "greater gifts" (prophecy etc.), it is not always so; for the fruits of the Spirit are the fruits of repentance, not found of admiration of others, or of their "easily found" obedience, but the conviction to repent is personal and the offer of the Holy Spirit's guidance (predestination) will not last forever - not for those that trample the offer of God's patience and grace underfoot because they haven't yet tasted of those same fruits themselves for lack of said predestination.

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