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gathered there with the purpose of fighting those who are from the Lord's new church that is called the New Jerusalem.

"At that spot they have been discussing the church and religion, although they have no church, because they have no spiritual truth, and they have no religion, because they have no spiritual goodness. They have been discussing the church and religion with their mouths and lips, but only with the purpose of using the church and religion to dominate [others].

[2] "In early adulthood they learned to sanction faith alone and learned something about God. When they were promoted to higher-ranking positions in the church, they held on to what they had learned for a while. Then they gradually ceased thinking about God or heaven, and instead began thinking about themselves and the world. They did not think about blessedness or happiness in eternity; they thought about prominence and wealth in time. They moved the teachings they had been attracted to in early adulthood out of the inner realms of their rational mind—realms that communicate with heaven and are in heaven's light. They drove them instead into the outer realms of their rational mind— realms that communicate with the world and are in the world's light. In the final stage they pushed those teachings down to the realm of their physical senses. For them the teachings of the church became the exclusive property of their lips; those teachings were no longer part of their thinking on the basis of reason, let alone part of their feelings of love. As a result, they do not now let in any divine truth that is part of the church or any genuine goodness that is part of religion.

"The inner realms of their mind have become like beakers full of iron filings mixed with powdered sulfur. If water is poured in the beakers, first there is increasing heat and then there is fire, which breaks the beakers.284 Likewise, when they hear living water, which is the genuine truth in the Word, and it goes into their ears, they burst violently into flames and expel it as something that is about to break their heads.

[3] "These are the people who looked to you like monkeys riding backward on red horses and black horses with the reins around their own necks. Those who have no love for the truth or the goodness from the Word that belong to the church want to see the back, not the front, of a horse. A horse means one's understanding of the Word. A red horse means an understanding of the Word that has lost its goodness. A black horse means an understanding of the Word that has lost its truth. Those people were uttering battle cries against riders on white horses because a white horse means an understanding of the Word's truth and goodness. They appeared to drag their horses backward by the neck because they themselves were afraid to fight, fearing that the truth of the Word would reach many people and would come to light that way. This is the interpretation."

[4] The angels went on to say, "We are from the community in heaven that is called Michael. The Lord commanded us to come down to the place called Armageddon where the cavalry you saw was on the attack. To us in heaven Armageddon means the mindset that fights, using falsified truths285 as weapons—a mindset that originates in a love for dominating and being superior to all. We sense your desire to know about that battle, so we will tell you something about it.

"After we came down from heaven we went to the place called Armageddon. We saw as many as several thousand who had gathered there, but we did not go into the crowd. Off to the south side of that area there were some houses where there were children and teachers. We went there, and they kindly took us in. We enjoyed their company. Their faces were all good-looking as a result of their lively eyes and their impassioned way of speaking. What made their eyes lively was their awareness of what is true, and what made their talk impassioned was their passion for what is good. So we presented a gift to them of hats whose rims were decorated with bands made of golden threads with pearls woven in, as well as clothing of white and blue.

"We asked them whether they had looked at the neighboring area called Armageddon. They said they had looked out a window just under the roof of the house. They had seen a gathering there, but those gathering changed shapes, at one point looking like nobility, at another not even seeming to be human; they looked like statues and carved idols with a crowd around them on their knees. We too had seen that group in different forms. Some looked like people, some like leopards, some like goats. The goats had horns that curved downward; they were digging up the ground with them. We explained those metamorphoses—whom they portrayed and what they meant.

[5] "But back to the main point. When the people who had gathered heard that we had gone into those houses, they said to each other, 'What do they want with those children? We should send some from our crowd over there to throw them out.' And so they did.

"When their envoys arrived they said to us, 'Why did you go into those houses? Where are you from? With full authority we order you to leave.'

"We replied, 'That is not an order you can give with any authority. Admittedly, in your own eyes you are like the Anakim, and the people who are here are like dwarves. But nonetheless you have no power or jurisdiction here except by fraud, and that is not valid. Tell your people that we have been sent here from heaven to assess whether religion exists among you or not. If it doesn't, you will be thrown out of the place. Propose the following to your people, therefore—a point in which lies the essence of the church and religion. How do they understand the following words in the Lord's prayer: "Our Father, you who are in the heavens, your name must be kept holy; your kingdom must come" [Matthew 6:9—10]?'

"When the others heard this, at first they said, 'What is this?' But then they said they would propose it. They left and conveyed this proposition to their people.

"Their people replied, 'What kind of a proposition is that?' But they understood the hidden agenda. They thought, 'They want to know whether these words support the orientation of our faith to God the Father.' So they said, 'The words are clear that we must pray to God the Father, and because Christ is our Mediator, we must pray to God the Father for the Son's sake.'

"Soon in their indignation they decided to come over to us in person and tell us this. In fact, they said that they were going to twist our ears. They left that place and came to a stand of trees that was near the houses where the children and their teachers were. In the middle of the trees there was a raised level area like a natural stage. They went onto that stage hand in hand. We were there waiting for them. There were piles of sod on the ground there. They sat on these piles, because they had said to each other, 'We are not going to stand up in front of them; we'll sit down.'

"One of them who was able to make himself appear to be an angel of light had been ordered by the rest to speak to us. He said, 'You have proposed to us that we reveal our opinions on the first words of the Lord's prayer and how we understand them. Therefore I am telling you that we understand those words to mean that we have to pray to God the Father. Because Christ is our Mediator and we are saved by his merit, we have to pray to God the Father with a belief in Christ's merit.'

[6] "We said to them, 'We are from the community in heaven called Michael. We have been sent to assess and investigate whether you who have gathered in that place have any religion or not. The idea of God permeates every aspect of religion. Through that idea a partnership [with

God] is forged, and through that partnership comes salvation. In heaven we recite the Lord's prayer every day just as people on earth do. When we do so we don't think of God the Father, because he cannot be seen. We think of him in his divine-human manifestation, because in that he can be seen.286 In that human manifestation he is called Christ by you, but the Lord by us. To us the Lord is our Father in the heavens.

"'The Lord taught that he and the Father are one, that the Father is in him and he is in the Father, and that those who see him see the Father. He also taught that no one comes to the Father except through him, and that the will of the Father is that people should believe in the Son. Those who do not believe in the Son do not see life; in fact, God's anger remains on them. From these teachings it is clear that access to the Father is gained through the Lord and in him. Because that is true, the Lord also taught that all power in heaven and on earth was given to him.

"'In the prayer it says, "Your name must be kept holy; your kingdom must come." We have demonstrated from the Word that his divine-human manifestation is the name of the Father; and that the Father's kingdom exists when the Lord is directly approached, but does not exist at all when God the Father is directly approached. That is why the Lord commanded the disciples to preach the kingdom of God. This is the kingdom of God.'

[7] "When they heard that, our opponents said, 'You are citing many passages from the Word. We may have read things like that there, but we don't remember. Open the Word before us and read those things from it, especially that point about the kingdom of the Father coming when the Lord's kingdom comes.'

"Then they said to the children, 'Bring the Word,' so the children brought it.

"From it we read the following: 'As he preached the gospel of the kingdom, John287 said, "The time has been completed. The kingdom of God has come near" (Mark 1:14, 15; Matthew 3:2). Jesus himself preached the gospel of the kingdom and that the kingdom of God was coming near (Matthew 4:17, 23; 9:35). Jesus commanded his disciples to preach and evangelize the kingdom of God (Mark 16:15; Luke 8:1; 9:60); he gave a similar command to the seventy he sent out (Luke 10:9, 11).' We also read passages such as Matthew 11:5; 16:27, 28; Mark 8:35; 9:1, 47; 10:29, 30; 11:10; and Luke 1:19; 2:10, 11; 4:43; 7:22; 21:30, 31; 22:18.

"We said, 'The following passages make clear that the kingdom of God that was evangelized was the Lord's kingdom and at the same time the Father's kingdom:

The Father has given all things into the hand of the Son. (John 3:35)

The Father has given the Son power over all flesh. (John 17:2)

All things have been handed to me by the Father. (Matthew 11:27)

All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. (Matthew 28:18)

And also these passages:

Jehovah Sabaoth is his name, and he will be called the Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, God of all the earth. (Isaiah 54:5)

I saw and behold, there was someone like the Son of Humankind. He was given dominion, glory, and a kingdom. All people and nations will worship him. His dominion is a dominion of an age that will not pass, and his kingdom is one that will not perish. (Daniel 7:13, 14)

When the seventh angel sounded, great voices rang out in the heavens saying, "The kingdoms of the world have become kingdoms of our Lord and his Christ, and he will reign forever and ever." (Revelation 11:15; 12:10)

[8] "We also used the Word to teach them that the Lord came into the world not only to redeem angels and people but also to unite them to God the Father through himself and in himself. He taught that if people believe in him, he is in them and they are in him (John 6:56; 14:20; 15:4, 5).

"Upon hearing that they asked, 'Then how can your Lord be called Father?'

"We said, 'That is based on the passages we already read to you, and also on the following passages: "A Child is born to us, a Son is given to us, whose name is God, Hero, Father of Eternity" (Isaiah 9:6). "You are our Father. Abraham did not know us and Israel did not acknowledge us. You, Jehovah, are our Father; our Redeemer from everlasting is your name" (Isaiah 63:16). When Philip wanted to see the Father, Jesus said, "Have you not known me, Philip? Those who see me see the Father" (John 14:9; 12:45). Who else then is the Father except the One whom Philip was seeing with his eyes?

"'And let's add this as well. Throughout the whole Christian world there is a saying that those who are part of the church form the body of Christ and are in his body. How then can people who belong to the church go to God the Father without going through the One whose body they are in? Otherwise they would have to go completely outside that body to go to the Father.'

"Finally, we informed them, 'Today the Lord is establishing the new church meant by the New Jerusalem in the Book of Revelation [Revelation 3:12; 21:2, 10]. In it there will be worship of the Lord alone, as there is in heaven. This is fulfilling everything contained in the Lord's prayer from beginning to end.'

"To support all these points we used the Word in the Gospels and in the Prophets, and we quoted so much from the Book of Revelation, which from beginning to end is about this church, that they became tired of hearing it.

[9] "Annoyed at all this, those Armageddonites wanted to interrupt our diatribe now and then. Finally they broke in and shouted, 'You have spoken against the doctrine of our church, which teaches us to go directly to God the Father and believe in him. You have made yourselves guilty of violating our faith. Therefore go away from here. If you don't, you will be thrown out.'

"Their minds became inflamed with their own threats and soon turned toward action, but then by a power given to us we struck them with a blindness. Because they couldn't see us, as they went on the attack they ran off in the wrong direction. Some fell down into the great pit mentioned in Revelation 9:2, which is now on the eastern side of the southern region. The spirits there support a belief in justification by faith alone. The people there who are using the Word to support that belief are now being sent into a desert in which they are taken all the way to the farthest edge of the Christian world. There they are being integrated among pagans."

It is known in the church that the Lord has two roles, a priestly one and a royal one. Few know, however, what each role consists of; therefore they will be described. In his priestly role the Lord is called Jesus; in his

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