May 3, 2009 ©Homer Kizer
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Commentary — From the Margins
The Endurance Part Four
To review the third section of this work, John the Revelator dates his vision to the Lord’s day, or the day of the Lord, a specific period in the generic time of the end, the day when the kingdom of this world is given to the Son of Man. Thus, of the narrative divisions of his vision—the Tribulation or Affliction, the Kingdom, and the Endurance—it is from the perspective of being in the Kingdom that John relates his vision (both in the third heaven as well as in the narrative Kingdom). Unlike Paul who didn’t know if he was in the spirit or still in the body when he entered the third heaven (2 Cor 12:3), John asserts that he was in the spirit when he entered into the third heaven on the Lord’s day (Rev 1:10).
Dominion is taken from the four kings of Daniel chapter 7 only once, and their dominion over the kingdom of this world is only once given to the Son of Man; thus what’s seen when the angel blows the seventh trumpet (the third woe) and the kingdom of this world becomes the kingdom of the Most High and of His Christ is the same scene that Daniel sees when the Ancient of days sits in judgment (7:9–14).
The four kings of Daniel chapter 7 are not the four metal kings or kingdoms of chapter 2, but are the four horns that sprout from around the base of the broken first horn of the king of Greece—and the first horn is broken because he is an uncovered firstborn at the second Passover; thus he is broken on the 14th day of Lyyar when the angels of the Lord pass over heaven (i.e., the inter-dimensional portion of the heavenly realm) and earth to slay uncovered firstborns. Disciples are empowered by or filled with spirit on the 15th day of Lyyar, according to the pattern seen in Israel leaving Egypt on the night of the 15th of Abib three and a half millennia ago. The four kings receive the dominion of the first horn, and the little horn emerges from the head of the north horn on or before the 17th day of Lyyar, the day when the foundations of the deep opened to baptized the world into death (Gen 7:11).
The four kings of Daniel chapter 7 are the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, with the first king or horseman being the false prophet; the second king or horseman being the king of the bottomless pit (i.e., of the inter-dimension portion of the heavenly realm), the demon named Abaddon in Hebrew; the third king or horseman being Sin, into whose hand all of humanity has been consigned; the fourth king or horsemen being Death, the former companion of Sin … Sin and Death are separated when still-mortal disciples are liberated from indwelling sin by being filled with spirit. Sin and Death are the reality of Daniel’s kings of the South and of the North, with the separation of Death from Sin seen in Daniel 11:5; thus removal of the first four seals from the Scroll (Rev 6:1–8) occurs in the third heaven at a narrative perspective equating to the daylight portion of the 14th day of Lyyar.
The second Passover liberation of Israel begins the 1260 day ministry of the two witnesses, with these 1260 days being the length of the Tribulation—and with the Tribulation ending when the kingdom of this world is given to the Son of Man on or about the 15th day of the seventh month of the fourth year of the seven endtime years. It is on this “day” when Satan and his angels are cast from heaven and the world is baptized in spirit, thereby causing all of humankind to be born of spirit and born filled with spirit.
The empowerment of disciples by filling these disciples with spirit is seen in Scripture as Zion giving birth to a nation in a moment (Isa 66:7–8), with birth preceding the coming of her hard labor pains … the last Eve gives birth to a “son” like righteous Abel at the second Passover, then 220 days later when the rebellion occurs, those disciples of the great falling away are born as a spiritual Cain that slays his righteous brother, with the slaying of Abel by Cain being seen in the opening of the fifth seal (Rev 6:9–11), and God’s wrath on this world for the slaying of Abel is seen in the opening of the sixth seal (vv. 12–17). Therefore the “after some years” of Daniel 11:6 will have these some years equating to the 220 days between the second Passover and when the Rebellion occurs. The prophesied warring between the kings of the South and of the North—the warring that was manifested in this world by the military campaigns, victories and defeats of the Ptolemaic and Seleucid Empires—reveals what will happen in the heavenly realm during the Tribulation, with the abomination of desolation that Jesus references (Matt 24:15) appearing in Daniel’s long vision (11:31) near the end of the vision and at the time of the woes of John’s vision (Rev 8:13).
Because genuine disciples are filled with spirit and are without indwelling sin, they are “light” and as such they do not cast shadows and are invisible in Scripture. How many genuine disciples remain bodily alive after Cain seeks to kill Abel cannot be ascertained, but a remnant of the Woman’s offspring (Rev 12:17) will remain bodily alive—and a “remnant” is the cloth left on a fabric bolt that is too small to be used for a garment. A remnant of Sabbatarian disciples that have the spirit of prophecy (Rev 12:17 coupled with 19:10) will not be able to “cover” the third part of humankind (from Zech 13:7–9), but will be witnesses to this third part in the Endurance as the two witnesses were witnesses to Israel in the Tribulation.
If a person in this era has been able to follow the seemingly disjointed narrative of the first three sections of this extended work, the person should have a lingering question: what happens to today’s (pre second Passover) Christians that claim to be born of spirit and to be filled with spirit?
The Apostle John writes,
Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he [Jesus] 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)
The Christian who practices lawlessness or makes a practice of sinning (Rom 6:16) has not been born of spirit, regardless of protestations to the contrary—and this means, simply, that the Christian Church today, because it transgresses the Sabbath commandment, is composed of disciples not born of spirit … Paul writes, “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the spirit set their minds on the things of the spirit. To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed it cannot” (Rom 8:5–7).
Coupling what John writes with what Paul writes, the Christian who does not submit to God’s law, who does not keep the commandments is a child of the devil, is now spiritually dead, and fills pews every Sunday morning around the world. Because these Christians are not now born of spirit, they have no conception of what it means to be so born. They cannot, today, imagine the change that will occur in their willingness to keep the law when they have been born of God, but willingness to keep the law and actually keeping the law by faith are different things … whereas lawless Christians now want to label born of God disciples as Judaizers and heretics, they will feel great shame (as Paul felt shame for consenting to the stoning of Stephen) the morning after the second Passover. They will want to get right with God, but when the “horns” on the head of Death, the fourth king of Daniel chapter 7—each of these horns a “Christian” leader—finally recover from the second Passover enough to regain control of their means of deception, that willingness by newly born of God disciples to keep the commandments will become a desire to return the Christianity of the interregnum, with Christmas observance the lever used to move disciples into rebellion.
The above sentences mean what they seem to say: Zion will give birth to a “son” when disciples are liberated from indwelling sin and death. The son, a righteous Abel, does not “breathe” on his own prior to the second Passover; this son has no indwelling spiritual breath of life until the Son of Man is revealed. Rather, this son has been, and is presently being sustained by the “breath” of the last Eve—and it is not Eve that raises the dead, but the Father (John 5:21). So Eve has never been able to give a second breath of life to Christians—and the Christian Church, consisting primarily of disciples not drawn by the Father from this world, will therefore be made alive (i.e., given a second breath of life — pneuma Theon) when liberated from sin by being filled with spirit at the second Passover.
Because these Christians are not today spiritually alive and don’t know that they are not alive, which is the heinousness of teaching that human beings are born with immortal souls, there are no (said with acknowledged exceptions) indwelling sons of God within visible Christendom that must be covered by drinking from the cup on the night that Jesus was betrayed … the irony of what will happen is that today’s lawless Christians will be born fully empowered by spirit at the second Passover so that they are well able to keep the commandments; whereas most disciples who are now drawn from this world to do work for the Father and the Son will not cover the inner firstborn son of God by drinking from the cup on the night that Jesus was betrayed if the second Passover occurs on a year like 2010. Thus, the “saved” shall be condemned and the “condemned” shall be saved, but that is not how it has to be: both those who are now born of spirit and those who will be born of spirit can join together as two witnesses to testify that all who practice righteousness are righteous and will be saved. Unfortunately, the testimony of Scripture is that most Christians will rebel against the Father and the Son when the man of perdition (i.e., the lawless one — 2 Thess 2:3) is revealed—and the “saved” that rebel will be condemned because they did not love the Truth.
For the past seven years, those disciples who are of Philadelphia have wondered about whether the Father would accept the mishmash of customs concerning taking the sacraments of bread and wine that have developed over the past two millennia. The testimony of Scripture is that He would not! Thus, a primary concern of Philadelphia has been getting lawless Christians to drink from the cup on the night that Jesus was betrayed … if a person has truly been born of spirit, the person had better drink from the cup on the dark portion of the 14th of Abib, with Abib beginning with the first observed new moon crescent following the spring equinox. But for the person who professes Christ but who has not been drawn from this world—this person having no indwelling firstborn son of God—whenever and however the person takes or does not take the Lord’s supper doesn’t matter. The person is spiritually lifeless, and will not receive a second breath of life until after death angels again pass over all the land, slaying uncovered firstborns as the firstborns of Egypt were slain so long ago. Therefore, taking the Passover sacraments on the night that Jesus was betrayed is only of concern for those disciples who have truly been born of spirit in this era of spiritual darkness.
What, now, is the benefit of having been drawn from this world prior to the second Passover liberation of Israel? The benefits are many, for we have practiced walking uprightly before God under the cover (mantle or garment) of grace so that when the Son of Man is revealed and disciples are filled with spirit, we can easily walk in righteousness before the Father and the Son. We have had opportunity to store up treasure in heaven, and we stand as pillars on the foundation that Paul laid in heavenly Jerusalem. The mysteries of God have been committed to us; so in many ways we benefit from having been drawn from this world prior to life being returned to the Christian Church.
We are to bear fruit in the darkness of this world so that when the glorified Christ Jesus looks for fruit He will find that which He seeks … fruit borne in darkness lacks sweetness, and so it is with those of us who explicate the mysteries of God. We don’t deliver a message that is sweet in the stomach, but a message that is bitter; for the message is that as the fathers of Israel that left Egypt perished in the wilderness because of their unbelief, today’s Christian Church will perish in the Tribulation because of unbelief. And as, in a virtual man for man replacement, the children of Israel replaced their fathers and entered into God’s rest behind Joshua [in Greek, Iēsous — from Acts 7:45], the third part of humanity (Zech 13:9) will replace the Christian Church and enter into salvation as they follow Jesus [in Greek, Iēsous — from Acts 4:10] across dimensions.
Is it not bitterness to look across the greater Christian Church, steeped in lawlessness but also manifesting a certain goodness in an utterly corrupt world, and know in advance that with very few exceptions (a Joshua and a Caleb), all of the Church will perish in the lake of fire? Doesn’t looking at friends and family members who will this coming Sunday be in the services of a Christian Church and knowing that they will, most likely, rebel against God when truly born of spirit produce great bitterness in the stomach? Eating this message about salvation coming to us is sweet in the mouth, but in the stomach, there is bitterness when we realize just how many seemingly good people will be condemned to the lake of fire because of their unwillingness to believe the truth.
Those Sabbatarian disciples who are today overly concerned about what happens to the saints during the trumpet plagues, all of which occur after the seventh seal is removed, really need not worry about what happens if they do not have the spirit of prophecy; for they will be bodily dead, resting in their graves, waiting for the resurrection of their bodies when judgments are revealed. Thus, those disciples who do not today take the Passover sacraments at all, or who (as Latter Day Saints do) substitute taking weekly 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—not because they did not cover a non-existent inner new self, but because they have not practiced walking uprightly before God and will quickly take sin back inside themselves, thereby committing blasphemy against the spirit. These disciples do not presently believe the truth; they will not believe next year; and most of them will not believe even after they have been filled with spirit. Hence they will eagerly rebel even when they know they should keep the commandments. For them, keeping the commandments will not seem important.
To repeat the above, for Sabbatarian disciples who are today truly born of spirit, covering the inner firstborn son of God by drinking from the cup on the night that Jesus was betrayed is absolutely essential; for if these scattered disciples do not drink from the cup on one particular day of the year (the dark portion of the 14th of Abib) of the year of the second Passover, those inner firstborn sons of God will be condemned and will perish. But Sabbatarian disciples are only a minute fraction of those disciples who will be filled with spirit following death angels again passing over all the land—and since few if any of these disciples will be born of God, the failure of these disciples to drink from the cup on the night that Jesus was betrayed doesn’t cost them their salvation as it will for Sabbatarian disciples, for these lawless disciples are today the children of Satan and they have their lawlessness “covered” by being consigned to disobedience.
How far afield the Father and Son will go when filling disciples with spirit is not now known, and might not be knowable until after the fact; for love has few boundaries. Thus, the question remains, will every person who claims to be a Christian be filled with spirit? Or will only those who take some form of the sacraments be filled? Assuming the smaller number is accurate (i.e., only those who eat the Lord’s Supper will be filled with spirit), approximately a billion Christians will suddenly be liberated from bondage to sin … now what? Two-plus billion firstborns will be dead. Governmental leaders will be dead. The nation of China will be devastated; Europe will be devastated. Only the local church will have any credibility, and local fellowships will be divided, Arians against Trinitarians, with these fellowships making war against one another until the end of the Tribulation (i.e., the first 1260 days of the seven endtime years) … it will not take long for rebellion against God to occur.
The “birth” of a spiritual Cain occurs when the lawless one is revealed (2 Thess 2:3), and at the time of or immediately following the birth of Cain, the fifth seal of the Scroll is removed (Rev 6:9–11), with Cain now slaying his righteous brother.
Of those approximately one billion newly born Christians, almost all of them will rebel and will seek to kill those Sabbatarian disciples who had extended the hand of fellowship to them only weeks earlier. But some (a fellowship or two from each denomination) will join with those Sabbatarians who have been, for decades, keeping the precepts of the law and having their uncircumcision counted as circumcision (Rom 2:26). And again, because none of the disciples who remain unstained by this world will cast shadows, they are not seen in Scripture so exactly what happens to them is only suggested by what the lawless do and by what Christ Jesus does—and following removal of the fifth seal the sixth seal is removed from the Scroll, and the world, great and small, perceives the sixth seal to be the wrath of the Lord (Rev 6:15–17) … why would His wrath suddenly be poured out with fury if newly born sons of God are not being slain wholesale by Christians who have rebelled against God?
Is the above plain enough? In the lacunae between the opening of the sixth and seventh seals, pre-Tribulation saints as well as faithful newly born saints, except for the remnant, disappear from Scripture for they are sealed in death. And what sets the remnant apart from other saints is that they hold the testimony of Jesus, which is the spirit of prophecy. They know what will happen during the remainder of the Tribulation and throughout the Endurance; thus, they will be witnesses to the third part of humankind during the Endurance as the two witnesses are witnesses to Israel during the Tribulation.
The lacunae between the opening of the sixth and seventh seals denotes a beginning over again, with the grafting of natural Israel to the Root of Righteousness and the sealing of the 144,000 occurring on the far side of the gap.
A fifth section of this piece continues.
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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."