April 27, 2009 ©Homer
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Commentary — From the Margins
John to the seven churches that are in Asia:
Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth.
To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen. (Rev 1:4–7)
I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus—this is how John begins his account of the vision he received while on the island of Patmos. And he says that he is our partner in (1) the tribulation, in (2) the kingdom, and in (3) the patient endurance, thereby giving to “endurance—hupomonē” qualities suggestive of a specific period of time … if the tribulation or affliction is for a specific length of time, and if the kingdom is for a thousand years [before Satan is released from the bottomless pit], then it is reasonable to assume that the endurance or patient endurance is for a length of time like that of the tribulation.
In the letter to the angel of the church at Philadelphia, the Holy One [Christ Jesus] wrote, “Because you kept the word [logos] of the endurance [hupomonē] of me, I also you will keep from the hour of the trial” (Rev 3:10). … “The word of the endurance” is probably better rendered, The message of (about) the Endurance, making a quid pro quo relationship that has Philadelphia keeping or proclaiming the message about the Endurance corresponding to the Lord keeping Philadelphia from the hour (short while) of trial that will come upon all the inhabitants of this world. Although this verse has been used to support an alleged Philadelphia church going to a place of physical safety to bodily escape the trials that will come upon the earth during the seven endtime years, that application of the verse is false! And it is especially false considering that this alleged Philadelphia doesn't proclaim a message about, and doesn't even understand the Endurance.
The passage in Revelation 1:9 that has John stating he is a partner with endtime saints in the Tribulation, in the Kingdom, and in the Endurance is thin evidence to establish the existence of a previously unidentified period of time within the vision he receives while on Patmos, but when the passage is coupled with what has been taught by Philadelphia (the genuine assembly) since 2002, a period that has previously been identified as “the second half of the tribulation” assumes the identifying icon [signifier] that Christ Jesus and that John uses for this three and a half year period.
The structure or organizational pattern for the book of Revelation, beginning with chapter four, is as follows:
1. The Tribulation, a time period of 1260 days that begins with the second Passover and the beginning of the two witnesses’ ministry and extends to the end of the second woe, completed with the sixth Trumpet Plague.
2. The Kingdom, or the delivery of the kingdom of this world to the Most High and to His Christ, with the fall of Babylon and the delivery of the kingdom to the Son of Man occurring on the doubled day 1260.
3. The Endurance, the period following the world being baptized in spirit, thereby giving a second breath of life to all of humankind … the kingdom of this world will have been given to Christ, but the glorified Jesus will not return as the all powerful Messiah for another 1260 days. Thus, all of humankind that endures to the end shall be saved (Matt 24:13), for it will take endurance to bodily live in this world, knowing that it belongs to Christ but also knowing it is the Adversary that runs around proclaiming himself the christos, thereby making mischief for the saints.
Although the Adversary is an archangel and is far more powerful than any human being, when this spiritual king of Babylon is cast into time, he will be given the mind of a man as the human king of Babylon was given the mind of a beast for seven years [the Adversary’s seven years will be the Endurance and the short while after the thousand years]. The saints will, when the spirit of God is poured out on all flesh, have the mind of Christ Jesus. Thus, the saints cannot physically prevail against the Adversary, but they can mentally prevail by patiently enduring to the end; hence these forty-two months are called the Endurance.
It has recently come to my attention that there are Sabbatarians disciples, some of them from that alleged Philadelphia church, overly concerned about what happens to the saints during the trumpet plagues, all of which occur during the first 1260 days of the seven endtime years, or during the Tribulation … the disciple who does not cover the inner firstborn son of God (that dwells within the disciple’s tent of flesh) by drinking from the cup [taking the Passover sacraments of bread and wine] on the night that Jesus was betrayed need not worry about the trumpet plagues or about anything else. The inner new self that is a firstborn son of God will be condemned to irrevocable death on the night of the second Passover if this son of God is not covered by the disciple drinking from the cup on the night that Jesus was betrayed — on the night that Jesus was betrayed will become a mantra intended to beat this point home. Bread and wine on every other night of the year are Cain’s offering, the fruit of the ground. On one night only is blessed bread and blessed wine the symbolical body and blood of the Lamb of God, and that night is the night that Jesus was betrayed, the dark portion of the 14th of Abib, with the month of Abib beginning with the first sighted new moon crescent following the spring equinox.
If a disciple will not drink from the cup on the night that Jesus was betrayed, there will be nothing the disciple can do to keep from becoming part of the great falling away (2 Thess 2:3) because the disciple did not believe the truth … there is nothing more simple or more black & white in Scripture than eating the Passover on the night that Jesus was betrayed. If a disciple will not do this, then truly the disciple does not believe the truth and hence, will be destroyed because of unbelief as the nation that left Egypt perished in the wilderness because of unbelief—and as Israel in the wilderness did not die in a day but over forty years, those disciples who are of the great falling away will not necessarily die in a day but will perish over seven years, with the sure thing being that none of them will enter into God’s rest.
Those disciples who do not today take the Passover sacraments at all, or who substitute the weekly taking of white bread and water for the annual taking of unleavened bread and wine on the night Jesus was betrayed, or who quarterly take crackers and grape juice in a celebration of the Lord’s Supper will form the core of the great falling away. These disciples do not presently believe the truth; they never have believed the truth. Luckily, most of them are not born of spirit; for most of them will not believe the truth next year or the year after. So whenever the second Passover occurs, Christendom will be caught out of covenant—and despite my desire to deliver a strong enough message to cause more of Christendom to wake up spiritually, the assurance of Scripture is that if they won’t believe Jesus, they won’t believe His disciples. They will believe another man who teaches them to be lawless; they will believe demons; but they will not believe Christ Jesus, which makes no sense at all.
For decades the Sabbatarian Churches of God believed that they would never be a part of the great falling away, a rebellion against God, but that no longer seems the case … John set two criteria by which the seed of the devil could be identified:
Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he [Christ] appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. (1 John 3:4–10)
First criterion for recognizing the children of the devil is that the devil’s seed does not keep the Law but practices sinning. The second criterion is that the devil’s seed does not love his (or her) brethren—and it is this second criterion that will claim Sabbatarian disciples, for disciples in this fellowship try to poach disciples from that fellowship while insisting that all who will be saved be baptized in their water and while denying that anyone in Churchianity is of God. These loveless disciples choke (as a parent can choke a newly born son or daughter with solid food) infant sons of God by demanding that these infants spiritually eat from a board [table] of false teachings and misapplied truths. They demand that infant sons of God accept them as teachers when they, themselves, need to be taught the rudiments of Christianity. Nevertheless, in the zeal to be teachers they drive these infant sons of God far from God and back into the waiting arms of the Adversary. They are truly baby-killers, and many of them can be named by their legal names for they are known by Philadelphia.
Today, the baby-killers are under grace, with no sin counted to them, but these baby-killers use rabbinical Judaism’s calendar rather than a calendar based upon the only 1st-Century model seen in Scripture. Thus, if the second Passover were to occur in a year like 2010, when rabbinical Judaism’s calendar begins a month earlier than calendars based upon Scripture, these baby-killers will not drink of the cup on the night that Jesus was betrayed, and will not even drink of the cup in the Hebrew year 5770 as God reckons the year. They will drink from the cup on the 13th month of the previous year, and not drink at all on the following year. Therefore, if the liberation of Israel (the nation circumcised of heart) occurs on a year like 2010, these baby-killers will not have “covered” the firstborn son of God dwelling within them, and these firstfruits of God will perish because of unbelief as ancient Israel in the wilderness of Paran perished (Num chap 14).
It is covering (by drinking from the cup on the night that Jesus was betrayed) the firstborn son of God dwelling within a tent of flesh that is central to not being part of the great falling away that occurs 220 days after the second Passover liberation; for this great falling away is more than simple unbelief that is seen within Christendom every Sunday morning … as a linguistic icon, “great” can be assigned the meaning of “many” as in a large number, but “great” can also be assigned the meaning of “elevated” as in the disciple who keeps the commandments and teaches them to others will be called “great” in the kingdom of the heavens (Matt 5:19). Therefore, when Paul speaks of “the rebellion—apostasia” (2 Thess 2:3), he speaks of an elevated or spiritual rebellion; hence, a great falling away.
Therefore, to have an elevated or great rebellion, the rebellion is of the inner sons of God condemned to death because of these sons’ of God unbelief. The usual assignment of “many” as the meaning for the signifier “great” is based upon traditional understandings, but this assignment doesn’t adequately address loveless Sabbatarian disciples who do not drink from the cup on the night that Jesus was betrayed for these Sabbatarians will not seem to have fallen away from the truth when in reality they are spiritually condemned. Of course they will deny that they are condemned; they will insist that they possess the “truth.” They will say things reminiscent of what Korah said about Moses taking too much upon himself (Num chap 16). But they will be hunted down as animals by Trinitarian and Arian Christians. None will be left bodily alive before the 1260 days of the Tribulation are completed.
Can loveless Sabbatarians repent? Can lawless Christians repent? Paul writes, “Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thess 2:11–12) … if Israel’s repentance in the wilderness of Paran was not accepted (Num 14:40–41), and if Israel (circumcised of heart) believing what is false will condemn the nation with a condemnation from which there is no repentance, then yes, loveless and/or lawless disciples can repent but that repentance will not be accepted for these disciples will still believe what is false, such is the delusion that will be sent over them.
Believing the truth is simple: the disciple only has to believe the words of Jesus, especially Matthew 5:17–20 and John 5:19–29.
The above is the first section of a long work explicating the Tribulation, the Kingdom, and the Endurance--it continues in Part 2.
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"Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."