Baptismal Praxis in the Book of Revelation
Charles A. Gieschen
Concordia Theological Seminary (Fort Wayne, IN)
One of the reasons that interpreters often overlook evidence of baptismal praxis in the book of Revelation is because they do not connect two important actions in early baptismal rites with depictions of similar actions in Revelation. These two actions are the marking of the Divine Name on the baptismal iniciate and the placing of a white robe on the newly baptized. The crucial methodological question is this: Did mention of marking and giving of names as well as the wearing of white robes in Revelation become the source of this baptismal praxis in the early church or do these depictions reflect already existing first century baptismal praxis? There are two solid reasons to see these depictions as reflecting already existing baptismal rites. First, these rites are not new rituals, but an adapted continuation of the priestly ordination rites of ancient Israel. Second, these visions communicate to Christians more readily if the imagery is grounded in actual experience.

Revelation 7:1-8 depicts a scene in which the elect of God are "sealed" before destructive activities are carried out. It is evident from other texts in Revelation that this seal is YHWH, the sacred four letter Divine Name of the Hebrew Bible (3.12; 14.1; 22.4). This paper will demonstrate that Revelation evinces early Christian baptismal praxis wherein the iniciate received a mark that was the bestowal of the Divine Name as a seal. Furthermore, it will be argued from the text of Revelation that this reception of the Divine Name, washing, and clothing in white was understood to be the foundational priestly preparation for early Christian mystical experience of the presence of God, especially in the Eucharist.

I. The Seal with the Divine Name

Revelation shows a great interest in the marking or receiving of a name or names. There are three key texts in Revelation that speak about this:

[Rev 3.12; Christ says] He who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God; never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem which comes down form my God out of heaven, and my own new name.

[Rev 14.1] Then I [John] looked, and low, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him a hundred and forty-four thousand who had his name and his Fatheris name written on their foreheads.

[Rev 22.4] There shall no more be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and his servants shall worship him; they shall see his face, and his name shall be on their foreheads.

Two foundational questions arise from these texts: How many names do the followers of the Lamb receive and what are those names? Rev 3.12 speaks of having the name of God, the name of the New Jerusalem, and the new name of Christ written on those who are faithful. Rev 14.1 states that the saints had the name of the Lamb and the Fatheris name written on their foreheads. Rev 22.4 testifies that the saints have the name of God on their foreheads. The fact that these texts exist alongside each other in the same document supports the conclusion that they each are speaking of a singular name that is shared by God, the Lamb who is Christ, and the Church, who is the visible manifestation of the Holy Spirit. What, then, is this name?

The place to start in solving this puzzle is Rev 19.12-13, which gives insight into the mysterious or hidden name of the Son:

[Rev 19.12-13] His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows, but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood and his name is the Word of God.

There is solid evidence to support the conclusion that the unknown or hidden name of Christ is YHWH, the personal name of God in the Hebrew Bible. Furthermore, this conclusion is supported by the fact that the name by which Christ is known according to this text is "the Word of God" (19.13). The identification of Christ as the Word is founded upon the identification of Christ with the Angel of YHWH who is present in several theophanies in the Pentateuch, Joshua, and Judges. Exodus 23.20-22 states that this angel has the Divine Name "in him":

[Exod 23.20-21] Behold, I [YHWH] send an angel in front of you, to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared. Be attentive to him and listen to his voice; do not rebel against him, for he will not pardon your transgression; for my Name is in him.

Since this "angel" has the name YHWH in him, he is not from among the myraids of created angels; he is YHWH in a visible form.

It is not surprising that Israelites and Jews, long before and during the first century C.E., referred to this angel who possessed the most important word of the world as "the Word of YHWH", "the Word of God", or simply "the Word". Note the following texts from Genesis, Ezekiel the Tragedian, Wisdom of Solomon, and Philo that evince this phenomenon:

[Gen 15.1-3] After these things the Word of YHWH came to Abram in a vision, "Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great." But Abram said, "O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?" And Abram said, "Behold, you have given me no offspring; and a slave born in my house will be my heir." And behold, the Word of YHWH came to him, "This man shall not be your heir; your own son shall be your heir."

[WisSol 18.14-16] For while gentle silence enveloped all things, and night in its swift course was now half gone, your all-powerful Word leaped from heaven, form the royal throne, into the midst of the land that was doomed, a stern warrior carrying the sharp sword of your authentic command, and stood and filled all things with death, and touched heaven while standing on earth.

[Ezekiel the Tragedian, Exagoge, 96-99] "Stay, Moses, best of men, do not come near until you have loosed the bindings from your feet; the place on which you stand is holy ground, and from this bush Godis Word shines forth to you."

[Philo, Conf 146] But if there be any as yet unfit to be called a son of God, let him press to take his place under Godis Firstborn, the Word, who holds eldership among the angels, an archangel as it were. And many names are his for he is called: the Beginning, the Name of God, His Word, the Man after His Image, and "He that sees", namely Israel.

The identification of the hidden name of Christ as YHWH may appear to go against the clear testimony of Rev 19.12: "He has a Name written on him that no one but he himself knows." This assertion, however, does not means that Christ cannot or has not revealed his hidden name. Rev 19.12 is evidence that an important aspect of early Christian teaching, probably pre-baptismal instruction, was the revelation of the true name of Christ, as can be seen already in the foundational Christian creed: Jesus is Lord (Phil 2.11). The significance of this revelation of Jesusi hidden name as the Divine Name is also visible in the so-called High Priestly Prayer in John:

[John 17.11b] Holy Father, protect them in your Name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them in your Name that you have given me [. . . ]. [26] I made your Name known to them and will continue to make it known.

The understanding that the Son and the Holy Spirit share the Divine Name is also evident in the baptismal formula in Matthew 28.19: individuals are to be baptized in the (singular Divine) Name shared by the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The revelation of Jesusi hidden name is also a significant topic in some Gnostic texts.

Therefore, the three references in Revelation to the Name on the forehead speak about the Divine Name and appear to be linked to baptism. Although 3.12 speaks about the writing of the Name as a future reality ("He who conquers . . . I will write on him the Name of my God"), both 14.1 and 22.4 imply that the Name was written on the people of God before the eschatological events and certainly before these people entered heaven. This Name gave them identity and protection during earthly tribulations as well as assured them of their heavenly inheritance. Note the relationship between the Name and being faithful to Christ in these two texts from the seven letters to the churches:

[Rev 2.3] I know you have fortitude even to endure on account of my Name.

[Rev 3.8] I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my Name.

This language and imagery is grounded in the fact that the Divine Name is written, spoken, and imparted in baptism.

The primary text that supports connecting this language of the writing of the Name on the forehead with baptism is the reference to the sealing of the saints in Rev 7.2-3:

[Rev 7.2-3] Then I saw another angel ascend from the rising of the sun, with the seal of the living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm earth and sea, saying, "Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God upon their foreheads."

The historical background of this sealing imagery in Revelation is Ezekiel 9, where the prophet sees "the Glory", who is the visible YHWH, command a man in white linen and his six associates to mark the faithful of Jerusalem and then carry out a Passover-style purge of all the unfaithful who do not bear YHWHis mark:

[Ezek 9.4-6] And the LORD said to him, "Go through the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark upon the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over the abominations that are committed in it." And to the others he said in my hearing, "Pass through the city after him, and kill; your eye shall not spare, and you shall show no pity; slay old men outright, young men and maidens, little children and women, but touch no one upon whom is the mark."

The Hebrew word translated "mark" here is taw, which also signifies the specific mark made for the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Therefore, the mark to be placed upon the faithful remnant is probably the Hebrew letter taw. It was placed upon the forehead for visibility. As the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet, it functioned as a mark of YHWHis ownership because it was considered shorthand for his Name, much like the Greek letter Omega does in early Christian symbolism, including Revelation where both God and Christ are known as the Alpha and Omega (Rev 1.8; 22.13). Like the blood on the Israelite doorposts during the night of the tenth plague, this mark was a protecting sign or seal that shielded its bearer from the purge of the unrighteous that YHWH ordered in the vision of Ezekiel 9. Furthermore, it is not insignificant that in ancient Hebrew script and even in the first century CE a Hebrew taw looked like two equal lines crossed, either erect like + or at an angle like X.

This imagery from Ezekiel 9 is the pattern used in both depicting and recording the vision of the sealing of the righteous in Revelation 7. The "angel" who ascends "from the rising of the sun, with the seal of the living God" in Rev 7:2, therefore, appears to be a depiction of the angelomorphic Glory, since the Glory was to return from the East (Ezek 43:1-2) and he bears seal, which is the Divine Name (Exod 23:21; cf. 28.36). The identification of the Son of Man/Glory as the Risen Christ in Chapter 1 makes a Christolological identification of this angel possible. This sealing in Revelation does not necessarily imply that the name was actually written , but was probably sealing with a mark, possibly a Hebrew taw, that represented the Divine Name. This is also apparent from the contrasting mark of the Beast represents nothing other than the name of the Beast: "so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name" (Rev 13.17).

Some have argued against understanding the sealing in Revelation 7 as baptism since it is depicting this group as already Christians who then are sealed before the eschatological tribulations. It must be remembered, however, that John is given a vision that encompasses the lengthy period of time. There had already been a few generations of Christians who had been reborn in baptism, had experienced the chaos of this world as described in Johnis visions, and then had died in the faith. John is not given multiple individual visions of these Christians, but one encompassing vision that depicts the sealing of the church of various generations with the Divine Name in baptism. In other words, it is precisely in the individual baptismal sealings throughout history that this eschatological sealing dramatized in Revelation 7 is taking place.

Another Christian apocalypse, the second century Shepherd of Hermas, provides abundant support this understanding of sealing with the Divine Name in Holy Baptism. Notice what the following texts says about the building of the church:

[Hermas Vis. III.3.5] Hear, then why the tower has been built upon the water: because your life was saved and shall be saved through water, and the tower has been founded by the utterance of the almighty and glorious Name, and is maintained by the unseen power of the Master.

This text is vivid testimony that the church, which is the tower, is built by baptism, which is depicted as water and the utterance of the Divine Name. Hermas also specifically speaks of baptism with water and the Name as the seal:

[Hermas Sim. IX.16.3-4] "So these also who had fallen asleep received the seal of the Son of God and entered into the kingdom of God. For before," said he, "a man bears the Name of the Son of God, he is dead. But when he receives the seal he puts away mortality and receives life. The seal, then, is the water."

There are also several hymns in the Jewish Christian Odes of Solomon, dated between the late first to the third century, that understand the sealing as the marking of the Divine Name with oil in Baptism. Although it cannot be determined that the author of Odes actually knew the Book of Revelation, the eighth ode is an especially fine commentary on the scene in Revelation 7:

[OdesSol 8.13] And before they existed, I [Christ] recognized them and imprinted a seal on their faces [. . .]. [19] And my righteousness goes before them; and they will not be deprived of my Name; for its is with them. [20] Seek and increase, and abide in the love of the Lord. [21] You who are loved in the Beloved, you who are kept in him who lives, you who are saved in him who was saved, [22] you shall be found uncorrupted in all ages, on account of the Name of your Father. Hallelujah.

Although Ezekiel 9 with its roots in the Passover is the primary text shedding light on the vision depicted in Revelation 7, some of the background for the significance of the Divine Name as a protecting agent has its origin in the High Priest traditions of ancient Israel. The High Priest, who entered the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur, bore the Divine Name on his turban (Exod 28:36-38). This Name was understood as an important element of what protected the High Priest as he came into the presence of YHWH. The protection of the priestly garb, including the Divine Name, from the punishing presence of YHWH is especially vivid in Wisdom of Solomonis description of Aaronis intervention on behalf of Israel (cf. Numbers 16.41-50):

[WisSol 18.22-25] He conquered the wrath not by strength of body, and not by force of arms, but by his word he subdued the Punisher, appealing to the oaths and covenants given to our fathers. For when the dead had already fallen on one another in heaps, he intervened and held back the wrath, and cut off its way to the living. For upon his long robe the whole world was depicted, and the glories of the fathers were engraved on the four rows of stones, and thy majesty [i.e., the Divine Name] on the diadem upon his head. To these the Destroyer yielded, these he feared; for merely to test the wrath was enough.

The priests of Israel were also anointed with oil as part of their ordination rite (Exod 29.7). A relationship between priestly rites and early baptismal practices involving the baptismal formula is explicitly expressed in some second and third century texts concerning baptismal praxis:

[Hippolytus, Apostolic Tradition XXII.2-3] After this pouring the consecrated oil and laying of his hand on the head, he shall say: "I anoint thee will holy oil in God the Father Almighty and Christ Jesus and the Holy Ghost." And sealing him on the forehead, he shall give him the kiss of peace [. . .].

[Tertullian, De Baptismo c.7] Then having come up form the font we are thoroughly anointed with a blessed unction, in accordance with the ancient discipline whereby, since the time when Aaron was anointed by Moses, men were anointed unto the priesthood with oil from a horn.

[Didascalia Apostolorum 16] But where there is a woman, and especially a deaconess, it is not fitting that women should be seen by men, but with the imposition or of the hand do thou anoint the head only. As of old the priests and kings were anointed in Israel, do thou in like manner, with the imposition of the hand, anoint the head of those who receive baptism, whether of men or women.

In summary, these texts support the understanding that the texts from Revelation which speak of sealing or writing the Name on the forehead are depicting the baptismal rite and resulting baptismal reality. Jean Danielou has even argued that early Jewish Christians placed the taw upon the forehead of the baptismal iniciate with oil as the seal of the Divine Name spoken when the water was poured. It was the sign of ownership, protection, and enlistment into the church. Christians then bore the Name, had the power of the Name, called upon the Name, and willingly suffered on account of the Name. The Divine Name was also a significance element in later Jewish mystical experience of the Divine Presence. Neither was this seal a mere symbolic abstraction for early Christians; the outer mark was a tangible reminder that Christ, the incarnation of YHWH, tabernacles in the Christian even as the Name dwelt in the tabernacle and temple of ancient Israel. This understanding of the Name as the personal reality of Christ dwelling in the believer is evident in the post-communion prayer found in the Didache: "We give you thanks, Holy Father, for your holy Name, whom you have caused to dwell in our hearts" (10.1). Therefore, the focus on the marking with the Divine Name in Revelation probably is reflecting extant first century baptismal praxis.

II. The Wearing of White Garments

In addition to this focus on the Divine Name, a second aspect of Revelationis testimony to early baptismal praxis is evident in the repeated imagery of white "garments" (3.4-5, 18; 4.4; 16.15; 19.13, 16) or "robes" (6.11; 7.9,13-14; 22.14). Because of the frequency of depictions of saints and angels in heaven clothed in white, it could be argued that the white clothing is simply a symbol of glorification. Revelation, however, appears to make a distinction between the white "garment" (himation) worn by the followers of the Lamb and the Warrior Lamb on earth and the white "robe" (stol) worn by saints and angels in heaven. Several texts testify that the white garment is already a possession of Christians on earth, long before their glorification in heaven:

[Rev 3.4-5] Yet you still have a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white, for they are worthy. He who conquers shall be clad thus in white garments, and I will not blot his name out of the book of life [. . .].

[Rev 3.18] Therefore, I counsel you to buy from me [. . .] white garments to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nakedness from being seen.

[Rev 16.15] "Lo, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is he who is awake, keeping his garments that he may not go naked and be seen exposed!"

There is clear testimony from the third century forward that the baptismal iniciate was stripped naked, washed, and then clothed in a white garment. Anointing with oil was also part of the baptismal rite in some locales. These two texts from very significant church fathers are representative evidence of this baptismal praxis:

[Ambrose, De mysteriis 34 ] After Baptism, you have received white garments, that they may be a sign that you have taken off the clothing of sin and that you have been clad in the pure garments of innocence.

[Cyril of Jerusalem, Mystagogic Cathecheses] Now that you have taken off your old garments and been clad in white garments, you must also in spirit remain clothed in white. I do not mean to say that you must always wear white garments, but that you must always be covered with those that are truly white and shining, so that you may say with the prophet Isaiah: "He has clothed me with the garment of salvation, and he has covered me with the vestment of joy."

It has been already demonstrated that early baptismal practice of anointing is rooted in the priestly ordination rites of ancient Israel. It is very probable that the clothing with white also has its roots in priestly clothing. According to Exodus 29, YHWH commanded Moses that Aaron and his sons be washed with water, anointed, and clothed at the door to the tent of meeting:

[Exod 29.4-9] You shall bring Aaron and his sons to the door of the tent of meeting, and wash them with water. And you shall take the paraments, and put on Aaron the coat and the robe of the ephod, and the ephod, and the breatplate, and gird him with the skilfully woven band of the ephod; and the breastpiece, and gird him with the skilfully woven band of the ephod; and you shall set the turban on his head, and put the holy crown upon the turban. And you shall take the anointing oil, and pour it on his head and anoint him. Then you shall bring his sons, and put coats on them, and you shall gird them with girdles and bind caps on them; and the priesthood shall be theirs by a perpetual statute. Thus you shall ordain Aaron and his sons.

These ordination rites clearly informed early Christian baptismal practice and theology. The many divine theophanies of the Hebrew Bible as well as the careful priestly rituals all testify concerning the difficulties involved with sinners coming into the presence of a holy God. Like the faithful of ancient Israel, Jewish Christians had a healthy understanding and respect for the holiness of God. Baptism in Revelation, therefore, can be understood as the salvific event that purifies sinners to be "a kingdom and priests to our God who reign on earth" (Rev 5.10). This evidence supports the conclusion that later baptismal praxis in the church is not rooted primarily in the visions of Revelation, but is a continuation of extant baptismal praxis that is reflected in Revelation and was influenced by the ancient ordination practices of the Israelite priesthood. The priestly nature of baptism in cleansing and clothing us to enter and serve in Godis Presence is also visible in this text from the Epistle to the Hebrews:

[Heb 10.19-22] Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the [heavenly] sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great high priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clear from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

This priesthood of the baptized, according to Revelation, is lived out in mystically gathering around the heavenly throne to sing the unceasing liturgy with the angels and saints, and then going into the chaotic world to be a faithful and uncompromising witnesses like Jesus, the faithful and true martyr.

In addition to this priestly background, the white garment imagery in Revelation also reflects how Holy Baptism was understood as a wedding ceremony in which a person is cleansed, clothed as a bride, and joined with the Bridegroom, Jesus Christ. The Church as Christis bride is the prominent image of the closing chapters of Revelation (19.7-9; 21.2, 9). Although Rev 19.8 states that the fine linen of the Bride is "the righteous deeds of the saints", this should not be viewed as distinct and disparate from the understanding of the white garments elsewhere as baptismal. This, rather, reinforces one of the themes of Revelation that the baptized saints indeed bear the fruit of their life in Christ. The white garment of baptism, therefore, shows forth the individual foretaste of the corporate experience of the eschatological wedding between Christ and the Church. A similar understanding of baptism is the foundation for Paulis discussion of marriage in Ephesians:

[Eph 5.25-27] Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her, in order that he sanctify here, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word [i.e., the Divine Name], that he present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she be holy and without blemish.

Therefore, the white garment imagery of Revelation probably reflects both baptismal praxis and theology. The white garment depicts the purity from sin and the priestly vocation that Christians receive in Holy Baptism. It is a reminder that this baptismal purity allows Christians to serve in the presence of God now and is the basis for their future service before the throne in eternity.

III The Mystical Experience of the Divine Presence in the Eucharist

What, finally, is the relationship between this baptismal praxis in Revelation and mystical experience of the Divine Presence? If one accepts the relationship between baptism and priestly ordination rites proposed above, then the marking with the Divine Name, washing, and clothing of baptism prepares for the experience of the Divine Presence. Revelation gives significant focus to the experience of the Divine Presence in Johnis mystical ascent through the "open door" of heaven (4.1), especially his experience of the heavenly throne room in Revelation 4-5. Was John, however, the only Christian on earth whom Revelation expects to mystically experience the Divine Presence?

Some scholars have drawn attention to how the reading of Revelation allows the hearers to have an experience that parallels Johnis. There is validity for this assertion in terms of experiencing all the scenes of Revelation. The experience of the Divine Presence, however, does not appear to solely result from the reading of Revelation. It is not insignificant that John had this experience on the Lordis Day, the typical day for Christians to gather for worship that included the Eucharist. The understanding that other faithful Christians could pass through the "open door" of heaven in the context of Lordis Day worship appears to be the basis for two invitations of Christ in the seven letters:

[Rev 3.8] "Behold, I set before you an open door which no one is able to shut."

[Rev 3.20] "Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him and he with me.

A typical interpretation of the second text emphasizes that Jesus is standing at the door of hearts and calling people to repentance; people must only open their hearts to him so that he can enter. Such an interpretation ignores the context and also the meal imagery. If this text is interpreted in its immediate context, however, there is a door and a voice described only two verses later: the door to heaven and the voice of the Spirit who calls John to come into the Divine Presence. This text, moreover, echoes Song of Songs 5.2 ("the voice of my beloved, he knocks at the door: Open to me, my beloved"), a document that had significant use in Jewish mystical tradition. Given the context and meal imagery, there are grounds for understanding both of these texts to be allusions to the experience of the Divine Presence in the context of the Eucharist. In the Eucharist Christians are invited to have their own mystical experience of the Divine Presence: the door to heaven is open as Christ, the paschal lamb, comes to eat with them by giving them his own flesh and blood for a blessed feast. The liturgy of Divine Presence found in Revelation 4-5, especially the use of the song of the seraphim from Isaiah 6, may have already been used by Christians for the eucharistic liturgy and would have helped hearers see the relationship between Johnis Lordis Day experience of heaven and their experience of heaven in the Eucharist each Lordis Day.

Therefore, Revelation 4-5 and the other scenes of worship that follow are visual depictions of the hidden-to-the-naked-eye heavenly worship that the church participates in each Lord's Day as the church on earth. These chapters are not only depicting a past or future reality, they are showing forth a present reality for John and the church of his day. As such, they serve as a vivid commentary on what is happening in worship, especially in the Eucharist, where the Paschal Lamb who shed his blood and gave his body is present sharing his victory through this meal. It is no coincidence that Christ as the having-been-slaughtered-and-now-standing lamb is the focus of worship in heaven according to Revelation, not Christ as the glorified "one like a son of man" who is seen other settings. A congregation who listened to this apocalypse from start to finish is reminded that heaven is neither a distant "up there" reality nor a future reality "far down the road" of time: it is an accessible and present reality that the baptized on earth enter and mystically experience now in worship, especially in the celebration of the Eucharist.
This access of the baptized who dwell on earth to the heavenly sanctuary is also discussed in Hebrews 10:19-22 as quoted above. The author later goes on to discuss the experience within this heavenly sanctuary:

[Heb 12.22-24] But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the Firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to a judge who is God of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks more graciously than the blood of Abel.

Although the "sprinkled blood" here certainly alludes to the Day of Atonement sacrifice offered by Christ himself (Heb 10.12-14), yet it probably is primarily pointing to the presence of this atoning sacrifice in Christis eucharistic blood offered in worship. A priest in the temple of ancient Israel would, no doubt, get blood from the sacrifices on his linen garments. It is possible that Revelation understands the Eucharistic blood as the source for the regular cleansing of the Christianis white baptismal garment: "they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb" (Rev 7.14). Therefore, Revelation depicts baptism and the Eucharist as sacred rites that facilitate the temporal experience of the Divine Presence for Christians on earth and are the foundation for the Christianis eternal experience of God at the end of time.
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