May 27, 2009 ©Homer Kizer
For Greek and Hebrew characters in Printable/viewable PDF format
Commentary — From the Margins
The Endurance Part Seven
When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer, and he was given much incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar before the throne, and the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel. Then the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it on the earth, and there were peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake. (Rev 8:1–5)
Fifty years ago this year, I became acquainted with Seventh Day Adventist dogma when trying to prove a newly acquired step-father wrong about Sabbath observance—and what I proved to myself was that under the New Covenant the Law moved from outside the person (written on two tablets of stone) to inside the person, written on the heart and placed in the mind. But I also became convinced that the Adventist explanation of prophecy was without logic; that if flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor 15:50) and if Jesus was going to prepare a place so that when He came again here to earth the saints would be where He was (John 14:2–3), no one was going to go to heaven for a thousand years then return to earth. But the Adventists’ most fanciful explication of prophecy was of Revelation 8:1 … the silence in heaven for about half an hour was so that God could sweep the place clean as if heaven were a parlor soon to receive guests.
For the past thirty years, whenever I think of the nonsensical notion of sweeping heaven clean one image comes to mind, that of a woman living on Mush Bay (west side of Kodiak Island) coming home, beaching her skiff, and finding a sow brown bear and three first year cubs on her front porch: she grabbed a broom and charged the sow, yelling and swinging her broom—and the sow and her cubs bailed off the porch and ran for the brush as fast a they could. They knew they were trespassing, and they weren’t sticking around.
Is that how God is going to sweep heaven clean? Or is He going to chase dust bunnies from under the furniture.
Well, the figurative expression, for about half an hour, has nothing to do with sweeping heaven clean, but is a unit of time about half as long as the hour of trial that will come upon all men (Rev 3:10).
The hour of trial is a short period of trial as an hour is less that a day and the hour of trial less than the great day of their [the Father’s and the Son’s] wrath (Rev 6:17). About half an hour is a unit of time seen from God’s perspective, but heaven is timeless; for time can be written as a mathematical function of gravity, which is dependent upon mass. Thus, time was created when the universe was created. Heaven, now, is outside of this universe; hence, heaven is without time. There is only the present, no past, no future. As a result, there is no decay, for one moment doesn’t decay into the next moment. Plus, everything that is in heaven will have life, for “life” is required for movement. Everything in heaven functions together in a dance of oneness as if all things were one thing; otherwise nothing would be able to move. And what’s seen is that if an entity is not one with the Father as Jesus is and was one with the Father, then the entity will cause gridlock that brings everything to a halt.
When iniquity was found in an anointed cherub (Ezek 28:14–15), this iniquity or lawlessness would have threatened heaven itself and had to be removed immediately … the wages of sin or iniquity is death, but in a state of timelessness all things must coexist as one thing, and the presence of life and the absence of life cannot simultaneously exist within an entity. Thus, there is no death in the heavenly realm. The anointed cherub and his rebelling angels cannot die as long as they remain in heaven; therefore, their rebellion was a very serious problem that required a radical solution for the iniquity found in an anointed cherub brought rebellion into a realm where all things must be one.
The amount of difficulty caused by the discovery of iniquity in an anointed cherub cannot be truly appreciated from within time, where “change” is not only possible but mandated. A solution as innovative as iniquity itself was mandated right now, and that solution was the creation of the universe with its four unfurled dimensions in the bottomless pit, formed from a rent in the fabric of heaven.
The universe was created in darkness [lifelessness]. Its “light” came/comes from stars that function as living entities in the heavenly realm; thus, angels are called both stars and sons of God.
God is light, but “God” is the name of the “house” [oikia — from John 14:2] of the Father and the Son, and angels are servants in this house as gloried disciples will be sons in this house. The problem of language both conceals and reveals that God [Theos] is one, but within this one God dwells the Father and the Son as the Son dwells within the disciple (ei Christos en humin —if and Christ [is] in you — Rom 8:10), with the body of the disciple being a house (hēmōn epigeios oikia skēnos —the earthly our house of the tabernacle — 2 Cor 5:1) that is the chiral image of the house of the Father (Gen 1:26), with the hierarchal structure of the God being the fractal of the Father … because of the limitations of language, the above will be hard to understand: in his vision, King Nebuchadnezzar saw a human-appearing image (Dan chap 2) that represents the governing structure of the Adversary, the present prince of this world, with this humanoid image taking its name and its appearance from its head, the king of Babylon that Israel will taunt in the Millennium (Isa 14:4). When Babylon falls, the governance of this world will be given to Christ, the Son of Man (Dan 7:9–14), with Christ Jesus being the Head and with the Church being the Body of Christ. Therefore, the entire governing hierarchy is “Christ,” with every entity in Christ being a fractal image of the Head, so that in one glorified disciple is seen the Head and the entirety of Christ. Likewise, the Father is the “Head” of God, and every member of His household will look like Him as a fractal of “God”; thus, God is one but consists of many, all looking like the Head so that in seeing “the many” individually or collectively, the person sees the same image, a concept that was too difficult for lawless Christians in the 3rd through 5th Century CE to grasp; thus, the emergence of the dogma of the trinity to give an earthly explanation for the relatively simple concept (simple from the perspective of the 21st-Century) of fractals.
No matter how many sons the Father has, every son will individually look like the Father (or won’t be in heaven) and will collectively look like the Father; so that in seeing God, the person sees the Father and sees the Son that looks like the Father (John 14:9) and sees every disciple that will be glorified and sees the angels that did not rebel. Faithful angels are not the Father. Nor is Christ Jesus the Father. Nor will glorified disciples be the Father. But they will all look like the Father as one triangle in a Sierpinski Triangle looks like every other triangle and looks like the whole. Thus, all will be of the one house that human beings identify as God, with angels being servants in this house and glorified disciples being sons and heirs, with the Father being the Head, and with the size of the house unrestricted, for it will look the same whether large or small or very large.
With the unfurling of dimensions came the creation of mass and time—and with the creation of time came death, for the presence of life one moment can become the absence of life the next moment as time passes in a parade of moments. Hence, when Satan and his angels are cast to earth, they are cast into time from which there is no escape except in death, the absence of life.
From God’s perspective, one long spiritual night began at Calvary, when light was no longer with men (John 12:35–36 et al), with this night forming the right hand enantiomer of the long night in Egypt when Israel roasted the paschal lamb with fire, with their feet shod, loins girded, and staffs in hand. This one long spiritual night extends from Calvary to its midnight hour when death angels again pass over all the land. It then extends forward to dawn when the kingdom of this world is given to the Son of Man halfway through the seven endtime years of tribulation. Thus, the first six hours of this one long night is two millennia long, and the last six hours is three and a half years long—actually, disciples will receive glory at the hour of the Wave Sheaf Offering, the hour when Jesus ascended to the Father where He was “waved” and accepted. Thus dawn comes when Babylon falls and the kingdom of this world is given to the Son of Man on the doubled day 1260, with the 1260 days of the Endurance equating to the three or so hours between dawn and the waving of the firstfruits, meaning that the three and a half years of the Endurance equates to three hours from the perspective of heaven.
From the perspective of heaven, an earth year seems to equate to an hour, but this principle of a year equaling a heavenly hour cannot be applied proscriptively: it is a descriptive expression of what’s seen through chirality; for again, from the perspective of the saints, the seven endtime years of tribulation are represented by the seven days of Unleavened Bread. Thus, “the great day” of the Father’s and the Son’s wrath (Rev 6:17) is seen from the perspective of men, which suggests that this day is a year long. And Scripture is sure to disappoint the disciple who demands greater precision in figuring what will happen … a time, times, and half a time is an expression for a length of time three and a half years in length from God’s perspective; it is also the expression used for a period three and a half millennia in length (from the first Passover to the second Passover). Forty-two months (from Rev 13:5) is an expression for three and a half years from the perspective of angels, and 1260 days is an expression for the same three and a half years from the perspective of human beings. So the expression used to name a three and a half year period discloses the perspective of the speaker, and conveys to the auditor additional information that is not otherwise revealed.
The principle of a day for a year has been applied proscriptively to Scripture when a day really means a day in most passages. Obviously the principle of a day for a year causes day to serve as a metaphor for year, and the course of history allows a 2520 year (as opposed to day) timeline to place “Israel” in the Six Day War, about when Herbert Armstrong taught that Israel would be entering its final seven years before the coming of Christ. But Armstrong’s Worldwide Church of God did not go to Petra in 1972, nor did the end of the age come in 1975 as he apparently then believed. So dates were shuffled as if they were playing cards, and one scenario of men replaced an earlier scenario, with all of the concepts/scenarios (as well as the principle itself) being that of men in trying to pry understanding from Daniel’s then still sealed and kept secret visions.
When Daniel’s visions were unsealed in 2002, a day became a day—and 2520 days became the period from the second Passover liberation of Israel on the 15th of Lyyar forward seven years to the 10th of Abib, when the Body of the Lamb of God is selected as Jesus was selected, entering Jerusalem on the 10th of Abib (cf. John 12:1, 12; 19:31), and as the children of Israel were selected when they entered into God’s rest behind Joshua on the 10th of Abib (Josh 4:19).
If the one long spiritual night that began at Calvary on year 3791 doesn’t arrive at its midnight hour (when humankind is as far from God/light as humanity can get) until, say, for the sake of argument only, the second Passover of 5770, then metaphorical “dawn” would come about Sukkoth of the 5773 and disciples would be accepted by God as Jesus was accepted Passover 5777. Thus, the six hours between midnight and dawn of this one long night represent three and a half years, making an “hour” seven months long, an interesting number.
If one hour of this long spiritual night is a time of trial that tests all men (Rev 3:10), then this hour of trial is likely to be seven months long … if the first woe (the fifth Trumpet Plague) is five months long, and if there is a second woe before the third woe that will see Babylon fall and the kingdom of this world given to the Son of Man, then both the first and the second woe would fit into a seven month long hour of trial; for the sixth Trumpet Plague is a shadow and copy of death angels passing over all the land on the night of the second Passover. The sixth Trumpet Plague will not take significantly longer to occur than the time between the 15th and 17th of Lyyar.
A seven month window gives adequate time for humankind to be tormented for five months, then a third of humankind slain thirty days later, and thirty days for the lawless one to proclaim himself God and have his armies surround Jerusalem … if an hour is seven months long, then a half hour would be three and a half months long, another time, times, and half a time. And if there is a three and a half month reprieve between the end of the wrath of the Lamb that came with the removal of the sixth Seal, then from the opening of the seventh Seal to the fall of Babylon there is about ten and a half months, an interesting number; for after Satan is cast from heaven at the beginning of the Endurance (the last 1260 days of the seven endtime years) there is about ten and half months until the 1290 days are complete, with the counting of these days beginning with the Rebellion of day 220 … in a rough calculation, from Christmas of the first year of the Tribulation, project forward three years seven months and the disciple comes to late July of the year after Satan has been cast from heaven, or about ten and a half months after Satan is cast to earth, making the last 315 or so days of the Tribulation a type of the first 315 days of the Endurance. This now gives significance to the 45 days between 1335 days and 1290 days (Dan 12:11–12); for these 45 days will take the disciple to about the 10th day of the seventh month, Yom Kipporim, assuming that the kingdom of this world was given to the Son of Man on the high Sabbath day of Sukkoth as many prophecy pundits presently believe will happen (their error is in assuming that the Messiah comes at this time when Christ Jesus won’t return for another time, times, and half a time — Rev 12:14).
There are no truly hard time markers between the Rebellion of the saints on day 220 of the Tribulation, the day when the man of perdition is revealed, and the fall of Babylon on the doubled day 1260, but because the Tribulation and the Endurance are enantiomorphs, and because the prophet Daniel gives to the great multitude the date when they will be blessed (cf. Dan 12:12; Rev 14:13), a reasonably reliable date for the opening of the seventh Seal can be assigned to day 945 of the Tribulation.
If, now, the day of the wrath of the Lamb is a year long, then the opening of the sixth Seal occurs on or about day 585 of the Tribulation.
Are the above two dates hard? No, they are suggestive and probably correct and certainly reliable enough to use as the beginning point for future discussions—and they are interesting for from the hard date for the Rebellion (day 220), one full year (365 days) passes until the sixth Seal is opened. In this year, the fifth Seal is opened, and faithful saints are martyred as their fellow saints were in the 1st-Century, a suggestion that since the Church remained alive for 70 years (from 3791 to 3861), the martyrdom of saints that begins with the opening of the fifth Seal doesn’t begin immediately after the Rebellion, but three and a half months (a heavenly half hour) later.
Therefore, the Tribulation’s timeline now looks as follows:
1. The second Passover liberation of Israel from indwelling sin (see Rom 7:15–25) occurs on the 15th day of Lyyar, day 1 of the Tribulation.
2. The first four seals of the Scroll are opened between the 15th and 17th of Lyyar (part of the justification for the 17th comes from Gen 7:11, coupled with Matt 24:37).
3. The Rebellion occurs on day 220, about Christmas of the first year.
4. The fifth Seal is opened on or about day 330.
5. The sixth Seal is opened on or about day 585.
6. The seventh Seal is opened on or about day 945.
7. The fifth Trumpet Plague will begin on or about day 1055, and the sixth Trumpet Plague on or about day 1230, with a plus or minus error of five days.
8. The two witnesses are killed on day 1256/1257.
9. Babylon falls on day 1260: the two witnesses are resurrected; the split Mount of Olives swallows the armies of the man of perdition; Satan and his angels are cast from heaven; and the kingdom of this world is given to the Son of Man, with the world being baptized in spirit.
The above certainly seems like hard dating the Tribulation when there isn’t much to work with, but the Tribulation forms the time-linked left hand enantiomer of the Endurance, which has two dates in it that can be used to bring its mirror image into focus.
The Remnant of the offspring of the Woman [Israel] will keep the commandments and have the spirit of prophecy (from Rev 12:17 with Rev 19:10), meaning that they will know what Satan will do when cast into time. They will be able to take what happened in the Tribulation—they will have lived through these events—and they will be able to apply what happens in the Endurance through chirality. As the right hand is not the left hand, wisdom will be required, but the pattern will be before them.
What disciples alive today need to be concerned about is the Rebellion that gives rise to the birth of a spiritual Cain: it will be easy to return to sin when there is no covering for sin but the person’s obedience. All the person has to do is drop his or her guard for a moment and return to former ways if those ways have not been striving to walk uprightly before God as Jesus walked. And frankly, how many disciples break the speed limit, or fudge a little on taxes, or harvest an extra deer when the opportunity presents itself. Nothing that seems all that wrong in this world, but each evidence that sin still dwells in the fleshly members of the disciple—and after the liberation of Israel, each a cause for death … to look like the Father, to look like Christ Jesus, the disciple will not fudge numbers or cut corners or do any of those things that seem “normal” in this present world. And it is by the little things that the Remnant separates itself from those disciples that will die physically during the Tribulation.
Did that sail over heads? Once disciples are liberated from indwelling sin and death following the second Passover, the disciple is still mortal but will not die from an inner cause but only by an outer cause: martyrdom. The Remnant do not die during the Tribulation—all of the Remnant are alive or made alive on day 1 of the Tribulation, and what separates the Remnant from those disciples who die in faith after the fifth Seal is opened is that they never make a misstep and inadvertently take “a little sin” back inside themselves.
It would be easy to say that time and chance determines who is of the Remnant and who isn’t, but when a disciple understands that the Remnant in the Endurance—the Remnant functions as witnesses for the great multitude in the Endurance—is a shadow and type of the two witnesses in the Tribulation, then the testimony of the Remnant to the great multitude will be that obedience to God is doable and not a thing too difficult for a person born of spirit. The evidence that obedience is possible will be the fact that the Remnant has been obedient. Thus, it isn’t time and chance that separates the Remnant from other disciples that desire to truly serve God, but (1) that the Remnant has the spirit of prophecy, and (2) that since the liberation of Israel, the Remnant has been without sin. Its obedience has been like that of Jesus Himself.
Is the above timeline plausible? The second Passover liberation of Israel occurs on the second Passover of a year soon to come (on the 14th of Lyyar at even). By the night (dark portion) of the 15th of Lyyar, the Christian Church is restored to life by “Christians” being filled with spirit, analogous to Israel leaving Egypt on the night of the 15th of Abib—Christians will leave sin as Israel left Egypt, thereby giving to sin the quality of a geographical location. And for seven years (as opposed to forty), Christians will “journey” through the wilderness to arrive in God’s presence, with “God’s rest” being a euphemistic expression for entering into God’s presence (see Ex 33:14).
The first horn of the king of Greece is broken on the night of the second Passover because he was “first,” and the four horns emerge from around that horn’s stump before the 17th of Lyyar, when the little horn unsuccessfully goes after the saints. The Church is as righteous Abel was, in that the Church is without indwelling sin and death, and as such, is an acceptable sacrifice to the Lord. And disciples need to remember that Jesus said on several occasions, “‘A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household’” (Matt 10:24–25).
It is enough for a disciple in the Tribulation to die as Jesus died; it is enough for salvation. But the Remnant doesn’t die but lives to see their change.
The Endurance continues in Part Eight.
* * *
"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."