May 28, 2009 ©Homer Kizer
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Commentary — From the Margins
The Endurance Part Eight
Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and seated on the cloud one like a son of man, with a golden crown on his head, and a sharp sickle in his hand. And another angel came out of the temple, calling with a loud voice to him who sat on the cloud, “Put in your sickle, and reap, for the hour to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is fully ripe.” So he who sat on the cloud swung his sickle across the earth, and the earth was reaped.
Then another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, the angel who has authority over the fire, and he called with a loud voice to the one who had the sharp sickle, “Put in your sickle and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, for its grapes are ripe.” So the angel swung his sickle across the earth and gathered the grape harvest of the earth and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and blood flowed from the winepress, as high as a horse's bridle, for 1,600 stadia. (Rev 14:14–20)
There is a misunderstanding about what Revelation says that goes back to at least the 4th-Century and probably to the 2nd-Century: the kingdom of this world does not now belong to Christ Jesus, and will not become the kingdom of the Father and His Christ until three and a half years into the seven endtime years of tribulation (Rev 11:15); will not become the kingdom of the Father and Son until after endtime saints have been martyred as their 1st-Century brothers were killed; will not become the kingdom of the Father and Son until after the sixth Seal is opened and humankind experiences the wrath of the Lamb (Rev 6:15–17). And humankind is not now in the Tribulation, and has not been in the Tribulation up to this point in history; so the same “‘ruler of this world’” that Jesus said would be cast out (John 12:31) still reigns, for Calvary did not result in the single kingdom of this world being given to the Son of Man in the 1st-Century, and nothing has changed in the intervening centuries.
If the kingdom of this world does not now belong to the Father and His Christ, who does reign over humankind? Or does any entity reign over living creatures? Have living creatures simply evolved? Does the ultimate expression of democracy have living creatures existing without a creator but having life by the robustness of left handed molecules self-organized into hierarchies? Is this world and life in it the product of biological anarchy?
The testimony of Paul is that God consigned humankind to disobedience (Rom 11:32). The application of this consignment to disobedience has God literally delivering humankind to the Adversary for him to reign over now spiritually lifeless men; for the descendants of Adam form a shadow and type of rebelling angels in heaven (the garden of God — from Ezek 28:13) after iniquity was found in an anointed cherub … the preceding declaration is of greater importance than most readers will realize when first read: theologians of many flavors have used Ezekiel 28:13 [“‘You were in Eden, the garden of God; / every precious stone was your covering’”] to bolster arguments that this king of Tyre is the old serpent, Satan the devil, and that Satan’s rebellion occurred after the creation of the universe, their claimed based on the assumption that there is only one Eden, only one garden of God. These theologians then necessarily found a gap (lacunae) between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2, a gap deep enough to bury 13.7 billion years of evolutionary history and still not be filled—and that is truly a bottomless pit—but what these theologians failed to grasp is that the visible things of this earth reveal the hidden, invisible things of God (Rom 1:20). The Garden of Eden into which the first Adam was placed (Gen 2:8) was a type of the temple at Jerusalem into which the last Adam (cf. 1 Cor 15:45; Rom 5:14) entered as the selected Passover Lamb of God on the 10th day of Abib in the Hebrew year 3791 (cf. Matt 21:10–17; John 12:1, 12; 19:31, 42). But the Garden of Eden into which the first Adam was placed is also the chiral image of the garden of God in Eden on the heavenly mountain of God. And it is this understanding that permits disciples to realize that the stone temple in earthly Jerusalem is the shadow and type of the body/Body of Christ that Jesus said He would rebuild in three days (John 2:13–22), with His body/Body forming heavenly Jerusalem (Rev 21:2, 9–10), the temple of God grown large, the temple constructed from disciples being living stones (1 Pet 2:4–5), the temple formed by His disciples (1 Cor 3:16–17; 2 Cor 6:16), with the garden of God in Eden now being a representation of the governing structure of heaven.
Too much too fast? Let’s slow this down.
Eden is a pre-Flood geographical land (Gen 2:10) as well as a “location” in heaven on the holy mountain of God, with a heavenly location representing what equates to a human ideology. Thus, earthly Eden and heavenly Eden are enantiomorphs as the left hand is a non-symmetrical mirror image of the right hand. And taking the above a step farther, when YHWH Elohim said, “‘Behold the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—’ therefore YHWH Elohim sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man” (vv. 22–24), the Lord did to men what the Most High had previously done to rebelling angels.
Peter writes, “For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell [tartaroō — tartarosas, the outer regions of the Greek underworld] and committed them to chains [pits] of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment” (2 Pet 2:4). Hence, tartarus equates to the fields that Adam would till, thereby making this world and tartarus enantiomorphs, which theologically explains why God would deliver lawless human beings into the hand of the Adversary, who reigns in the bottomless pit, in darkness; who reigns here over this earth. John wrote, concerning the Logos [Ò Logos], “In him was life, and the life was the light of men” (1:4). “Light” in this world and “life” in the heavenly realm are synonymous referents, but light in this world is not life in this world, let alone in heaven, although through photosynthesis energy is transferred from light into life-sustaining sugars. So “light” in this world and “life” in the heavenly realm are also enantiomorphs, as are death [lifelessness] in the heavenly realm and darkness in this earthly realm.
What is apparent but not as clearly seen is Scripture’s bottomless pit (Rev 20:1) was formed by a rent in the fabric of heaven as a fissure in the earth's crust opened up to swallow Korah and his rebelling friends (Num 16:31–33), thereby making Korah and his expression of democratic ideals a shadow and type of the Adversary and the argument or reasoning he used to foster rebellion in the heavenly realm. This abyss or bottom pit into which the devil will be chained (Rev 20:1) is close to each of us, for the prophet Isaiah records,
When the Lord has given you [Israel] rest from your pain and turmoil and the hard service with which you were made to serve, you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon: …
But you are brought down to Sheol,
to the far reaches of the pit.
Those who see you will stare at you
and ponder over you:
‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble,
who shook kingdoms,
who made the world like a desert
and overthrew its cities,
who did not let his prisoners go home?’
All the kings of the nations lie in glory,
each in his own tomb;
but you are cast out, away from your grave,
like a loathed branch,
clothed with the slain, those pierced by the sword,
who go down to the stones of the pit,
like a dead body trampled underfoot.
You will not be joined with them in burial,
because you have destroyed your land,
you have slain your people. (14:4, 15–20)
When the Lord gives Israel rest, Israel will have entered into the Lord’s presence, meaning that Israel will be glorified. And as the Bride and Body of Christ, Israel will be the kings and lords over whom Christ Jesus will reign as King of kings and Lord of lords, meaning that while Christ reigns over the single kingdom of this world (over the mental typography of living creatures), those who reign with him will be able to see the Adversary where he is bound in the bottomless pit. The Adversary will not yet have had fire come out from his belly (he will not yet have been cast into the lake of fire — cf. Rev 20:10; Ezek 28:18–19). Thus, the setting for when glorified Israel sees the Adversary in the pit is Christ’s millennial reign, when the saints will not be far from the cities and people over whom they reign.
Therefore, today, in this era that is quickly coming to an end, the prince of this world still rules over spiritually lifeless humankind, but he rules at the discretion of the Ancient of Days; so what Paul wrote about “there is no authority except from God” (Rom 13:1) must be understood in the context that God has given to the Adversary authority over all who are lawless, for rebellion is from him so he has to reign over a realm of rebels. And the reality of Scripture is that human kings and rulers reign through powers granted them by the Adversary with exceptions made as in the case of Nebuchadnezzar, who was to serve as the chiral image of the spiritual king of Babylon, the fallen Day Star, and who was an instrument used by God to punish Israel.
Now, if those who rule in this world are agents of the Adversary even though the Lord has placed them in their position and given them their authority, it is logical that these men (and a few women) would be the lowest (basest) of humankind (Dan 4:17), not exactly what they will want to hear.
The theological justification for the American Revolution was thoroughly debated at the time, with Paul’s statement that “rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad” (Rom 13:3) serving as basis for the rebellion, for King George III was deemed a terror to good conduct … no rebellion of any kind, including a democratic ousting of a ruler by voters, can be supported or condoned if when Paul wrote “whoever resists authorities resists what God has appointed” (v. 2), Paul meant that God not only permitted Pol Pot (Saloth Sar) or Adolph Hitler to rule over men but supported their reigns by having placed these men in their offices. That would make God a terror to good works, and that is not the case! So if God is not a terror to good works, He will not appoint an authority figure who is a terror to good works, a claim that needs to be held in tension with the reality of human rulers truly being the basest of men.
Of the six million Jews that perished in the Holocaust, most went to their death submitting to the authority they believed God had placed over them; yes, they did. If these Jews had not chosen to submit, the killing would have “cost” Hitler too many lives to be continued. It was only by the submission of natural Israel to “authorities” placed over them as Paul said Christians were to do that prevented one bloodbath from becoming two within the Reich—and this is written not to suggest that natural Jews should not have submitted to the authorities that were over them, but to remind Christians of the cost of submission, a cost that Jesus Himself chose to pay (John 19:11); for the mid 20th-Century Holocaust serves as a visible reminder of what will happen to Sabbath-keepers of all denominations in the Tribulation, and actually serves as a fatalistic model for Christian submission to wobbling authorities (soon to be toppled authorities) that have been placed over them by God (cf. Dan 7:25; Zech 13:7–8) in the Tribulation … waiting for the wrath of the Lamb upon the great and the small of humankind (Rev 6:15–17) will be the proper response to the murderous authorities into whose hand God has delivered the Church, but this will not be easy. It will seem far more logical to resist those who would martyr the saints, to take a life for a life, or a thousand lives for a hundred, but that is the mindset of the Adversary, the mindset of Peter when he lopped off the high priest’s servant’s ear, the mindset of Peter when he denied Christ three times, the mindset of the first thief to speak (Luke 23:39). It is “natural” to want to save a person’s physical life, but in temporarily saving the person’s life, the person loses salvation.
In what he writes in Romans 13:1, Paul adds a qualifier that is easily lost in translation: — the but existing ones by the God having been appointed are. According to Paul, the then existing authorities were appointed by God; the Roman Emperor at the time that Paul wrote his treatise to the Romans had been appointed by God. But should what Paul wrote be taken to mean that every authority since mid 1st-Century CE has been appointed by God? To assume that is what Paul meant is an assumption that cannot be supported by the heinous conduct of many despots; so what Paul wrote must be read with the qualifier Paul included: existing ones, existing authorities, the then reigning Roman Emperor and prelates over Judea and Asia.
The question must now be asked, who appointed those human beings that reign over other human beings if God has not appointed them? And the answer is found in realizing that God’s present concern is spiritual Israel, the Church that will soon be restored to life. While it cannot be said that God has no concern for those who are not Israel, it can be said that as God doesn’t bind marriages made between unbelievers He doesn’t set rulers over unbelievers unless there are extenuating circumstances. He doesn’t micro-manage the affairs of the prince of this world: He intervenes in the affairs of Israel, not in the affairs of Buddhists or of Muslims or of atheists. Their time will come, for right now they are proving (by demonstration) that Satan’s way will not work. And when realizing that the Church “died” by having lost its breath of life (the spirit of God, pneuma Theon) by the time John dies (approximately 100 CE), God’s intervention in the affairs of Israel after the end of the 1st-Century is limited to getting the corpse buried at a particular moment in human history so that restoration of the Church will also occur at its proper time.
Despite prayers to God made by Russian mothers, German mothers, French mothers, English, Canadian, Indian, Italian, Australian, American mothers during WWII; despite prayers made by Jewish families, Slavic families, and many others, God had no born-of-spirit nation of Israel involved in the war. He knew whom He would draw from this world as His firstborn sons; He protected those individuals whom He would draw as well as the future fathers and mothers of those whom He would draw. He was not asleep during the war, unable to hear prayers made by warring soldiers. He heard, and He remembers, but for the Lord, the loss of human life is not really the loss of life, at least not in the way a person thinks of death.
Only one problem remains, Nero reigned as Roman Emperor during much of Paul’s ministry, and if Nero could reign as one appointed by God, then could Hitler also reign as one appointed by God? And we return to the logic for the American Revolution: was Nero a terror to good works? Dio Chrysostom (ca. 40–120 CE), Greek philosopher and historian, wrote that the common people, especially in the eastern portion of the empire, were happy with Nero and wished that he ruled indefinitely, but that is not the Nero Christians know. For Christians, Nero was not a servant to those who did good (Rom 13:4); so what justification was there for God appointing him to reign over Christians other than he formed a shadow and type of the man of perdition in the Tribulation, and we have arrived at why he would be appointed by God. In the days of Israel’s exodus from Egypt, Pharaoh had to have his heart supernaturally hardened so that he could serve as a shadow and type of the Adversary at the second Passover, and so it was with Nero, the existing ruler that was appointed by God for the martyrdom of saints who were killed in the 1st-Century as their brothers will be killed in the 21st-Century. Endtime saints will be martyred in appalling numbers, but it will be by a Cain killing his righteous brother; it will be “Christians” killing Judaizers and thinking they do God a favor—and these “Christians” who are of Cain will not find the man of perdition a terror to good conduct, but will accuse God of being a terror.
The Lord did not appoint Pol Pot to any office: the killing fields are entirely a work of the Adversary. And human rulers, including Roman Emperors after the death of the Apostle John, have been agents of the Adversary; for once the Body of Christ died from loss of the spirit (breath) of God, the Lord’s intervention in the course of history, even the history of the Church, has been with individuals. Not until the second Passover liberation of Israel will the Lord intervene en masse.
Emperor Constantine is excluded from Paul’s then existing authorities, and it is difficult to see how he serves as a prophetic shadow or copy of a demon. It might well be that Constantine was in the 4th-Century as Chairman Mao was in the 20th-Century, a man of this world who by skill and intrigue succeeded in obtaining an elevated position in this world. But who at the Council of Nicea (ca 325 CE) would have told Constantine, who had paid their travel expenses to the resort city and was paying living expenses there, that he was not a representative of God, but an agent of the devil? Would any of them have even entertained the thought that Constantine was a henchman of the Adversary? No, not likely. Perhaps one of the bishops who had not come (five times as many didn’t go as went) might have harshly condemned the Emperor, but even that is not likely; for by the 4th-Century the Christian Church was a spiritually dead corpse, and at the Council of Nicea, God delivered this corpse to the prince of this world for burial—the Sabbatarian sect of the Nazarenes was not seen again for 1,200 years, and then it did not “breathe” on its own and would not breathe on its own for nearly another five centuries.
Endtime disciples’ notion of God doesn’t permit them to see Him as a deity that would use a Nero as a type of the man of perdition, and the martyrdom of 1st-Century saints as a type of the martyrdom of spirit-filled (liberated) disciples during the Tribulation, but that is the heart of what Paul writes about being subject to the rulers placed over disciples: Paul’s testimony was that Nero had been placed over the Church as a servant for “good” so Nero’s abuses of civil authority, let alone his claims of deity, somehow serve good, which would suggest that 21st-Century martyrdom is for a disciple’s good, cutting short the time that the saint must endure persecution and ensuring that the saint receives honors in the kingdom of heaven.
Nero’s relationship with Christianity carries suggestions that 1st-Century disciples recognized him as the Antichrist or a type of the Antichrist, especially after his suicide in 68 CE, when rumor held that he was not dead but in Parthia gathering an army and that he would somehow return, this rumor becoming known as the Nero Redivivus Legend that retained popularity as late as the 5th-Century and became the basis for at least three pretenders posing as Nero leading rebellions … the legend in its many variations played on the hope and fear of Nero returning, especially among Christians who saw Nero as the murderer of Peter and Paul, and the persecutor of Christians everywhere.
The 2nd-Century apocryphal Ascension of Isaiah suggested that Nero killed one of the twelve apostles, and the historian Tacitus describes Nero persecuting and killing Christians after the 64 CE fire that burned much of Rome; likewise Suetonius praised Nero’s persecution of Christians but didn’t use the fire as cause for the persecution. And Tertullian (ca. 155–230) called Nero the first persecutor of Christians. So the early Church’s association of Nero with the Antichrist had some basis in fact even though the early Church did not comprehend that it formed the shadow and copy of empowered disciples in the Tribulation and that Nero functioned as a type of the man of perdition, a human being possessed by Satan … the true Antichrist is Satan, when cast from heaven (Rev 12:7–10), coming to earth claiming to be the Messiah. The man of perdition in the Tribulation is the chiral image of Satan, who will be given the mind of a man when cast from heaven. Thus, in both the Tribulation and in the Endurance, disciples will be persecuted by an antichrist/Antichrist claiming to be the Messiah.
What Paul wrote in Romans 13:1–5 pertains to born-of-spirit Israel, but does not necessarily pertain to other peoples or nations with whom God does not today have a relationship; for God is Israel’s protector and avenger. If a ruler over Israel becomes a terror to good conduct, he (or she) will be removed by God, with this removal coming however God chooses to work, from simply stopping the person’s heart to a military coup to a successful invasion by a foreign enemy. Hitler was a terror to everyone, but he terrorized most those of the house of Israel that were not circumcised of heart (Jer 9:15–26), and he terrorized least those who were circumcised of heart—but no one escaped being terrorized by Hitler so he was removed at a high cost to a lawless world. However, disciples in the United States who did not participate in the affairs of this world did not serve in the Armed Forces but in C.O. (Conscientious Objector) camps and in medical facilities where their societal obligation for compulsory service was fulfilled. Elsewhere disciples were not as fortunate, but the apolitical lives led by those who ideologically descend from the Radical Reformers of the 16th-Century did spare many mothers the grief of losing children.
God will not forever tolerate lawlessness, but will eventually reject the lawless as the Lord rejected the nation that He had brought out from Egypt (Num chap 14). He will simply deliver a people that will not repent into the hand of the Adversary for the destruction of the flesh … so there is no mistake, Paul commanded the saints at Corinth to deliver the man who was with his father’s wife to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, but in doing so, Paul did not forge a new principle for how to handle lawlessness. The Lord delivered Israel (the southern kingdom of Judah, all that remained of Israel) into the hand of the king of Babylon (Jer 25:8–11) as a shadow and type of the Lord delivering the Church into the hand of the spiritual king of Babylon (Isa 14:4) in the Tribulation (Dan 7:25). Thus, delivering lawless Israel into the hand of the Adversary, the present ruler of this world and the spiritual king of Babylon, for the destruction of the flesh, or in the case of the Christian Church in the 4th-Century, for burial of the corpse of the Body of Christ was and is the Father’s and the Son’s M.O. (modus operandi); this is how God addresses repeated lawlessness, for lawlessness is unbelief. And because God has delivered the Church into death so that after the third day the Body of Christ would be resurrected to life without seeing corruption as Jesus’ physical body was resurrected after the third day, the remainder of what Paul writes doubly applies to the Church: “You are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord” (1 Cor 5:5 emphasis added). God will deliver the restored Church into Satan’s hand so that the spiritual lives of Christians may be saved, not that they will be saved, but that they might be saved if they love God more than they love their physical lives. And this especially applies to the restored Christian Church in the Tribulation, and applies to the third part of humankind (Zech 13:9) in the Endurance.
The Father and the Son retained the prerogative to intervene in the affairs of humankind when they consigned humankind to disobedience, but they gave the kingdom of this world to its present prince when Adam was driven from God’s presence to till cursed ground, eating the plants of the field and becoming what he ate until he returned to dust from which he was taken (Gen 3:18–19). Although Jesus qualified to replace the prince of this world two millennia ago, the kingdom has not yet been given to Him, and will not be given to Him until halfway through the seven endtime years of tribulation. And when the kingdom is given to the Son of Man, the spirit (breath) of God [pneuma Theon] will be poured out on all flesh (Joel 2:28): Jesus will baptize the world (Matt 3:11) into life as the world was baptized into death in the days of Noah. Mental attitudes will change. People will receive the mind of Christ, and the third part of humankind that was not before born of spirit will become the people of God.
Israel is the firstborn son of God (Ex 4:22), but not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel (Rom 9:6), thereby making “Israel” not a biological nation but a spiritual nation consisting of all who are circumcised of heart, with this circumcision coming to hearts that have been cleaned by faith from the corruption (crud) of this world. Moses tells the children of Israel,
And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord, which I am commanding you today for your good? Behold, to the Lord your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth with all that is in it. Yet the Lord set his heart in love on your fathers and chose their offspring after them, you above all peoples, as you are this day. Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no longer stubborn. (Deut 10:12–16 emphasis added)
In the eternal second covenant, Moses tells these same children of Israel,
And when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the Lord your God has driven you, and return to the Lord your God, you and your children, and obey his voice in all that I command you today, with all your heart and with all your soul, then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you, and he will gather you again from all the peoples where the Lord your God has scattered you. … And the Lord your God will bring you into the land that your fathers possessed, that you may possess it. And he will make you more prosperous and numerous than your fathers. And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live. (Deut 30:1–6 emphasis added)
Elsewhere the prophet Jeremiah records (cited earlier), .
Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will punish all those who are circumcised merely in the flesh—Egypt, Judah, Edom, the sons of Ammon, Moab, and all who dwell in the desert who cut the corners of their hair, for all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in heart. (9:25–26 emphasis added)
The circumcision of the flesh of the natural descendants of the patriarch Jacob forms the chiral image of the circumcision of the heart of the spiritual descendants of the Promised Seed, Christ Jesus, thereby making “Israel” no longer a physical nation but a nation that (1) has been born of spirit and (2) has cleansed hearts by a journey of faith comparable mentally to the patriarch Abraham’s physical journey of faith (Rom 4:11–12) … circumcision of the heart follows cleansing the heart by faith, which comes by turning to God when in a far land (i.e., when mentally far from God), beginning to love God with heart and mind, which will result in the person keeping His commandments and all that the Lord commands Israel in the book of Deuteronomy (Deut 30:10).
Circumcision of the heart is the antidote to stubbornness, suggesting the reason a person will not serve the Lord and keep His commandments and statutes is ultimately a stubborn refusal to submit to God, with this refusal resulting in the death of the person, a juxtaposition that makes no sense. But for centuries, Israel remained uncircumcised of heart—and as the Lord promised to punish all those merely circumcised in the flesh, a promise He has kept and will keep in the Tribulation, He will punish all who are not circumcised of heart in the Endurance, meaning that once the third part of humankind is born of spirit, this third part must still make a journey of faith at a time when the Antichrist demands that all who will buy and sell bear the mark of death [Χ ξ ς — chi xi stigma, or the tattoo of the cross]. It is this journey of faith that hardens the barley, the firstfruits of this earth.
In the growth of barley lays the pattern for the spiritual maturation of firstfruits, with barley’s growth habit described in Zadoks numbers [the first digit represents the grain’s stage of development and the second digit represents how far along in the stage the grain is]. Thus, 00 represents the dry seed and 92 represents a kernel ready to be harvested. In between, 11 represents the first leaf through the coleophtile, 21 represents tillering on the main shoot only, 51 represents first spikelet of head visible, 61 represents the beginning of flowering, 75 represents medium milk development in the kernel, 85 represents soft dough development in the kernel, and 91 representing the kernel ripe but still soft enough to divide with the thumbnail … the desired harvest of firstfruits isn’t of physical bodies, just as the desired harvest of barley isn’t of stems and leaves (unless on Alaska’ Kenai Peninsula where barley is grown for hay). Rather, it is the seed (kernel) ground into fine flour and baked with leaven (yeast representing sin — the baking kills the yeast) that is waved before God on the Feast of Weeks (Levi 23:16–17). … It isn’t the physical bodies of disciples that are accepted by God, but the inner new selves born of spirit as sons of God that are accepted, and these inner new selves need to look like Christ Jesus, the grain that fell to the ground at Calvary so that it would not remain alone (John 12:24), as the harvested kernels of the seed head look like the kernel planted going into the winter.
The barley (or wheat) plant is analogous to the human body; thus, Zadoks numbering of 49 (when the first awns are visible) and lower pertains to the developing of the body [soma] into which a son of God will be born when the person receives a second breath of life, the breath of the Father [pneuma Theon] … as barley grows from a single kernel and has no kernel present until it begins to head and flower, a human being has no indwelling spiritual or immortal life until after the person receives a second breath of life, the wind-blown pollen that impregnates the flower.
There is both winter barley and spring barley (it is spring barley that is cut on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula in September for hay), with winter barley needing to be exposed to cold to initiate or accelerate the flowering process; thus winter barley is usually planted in the fall, with this fall planting ripening earlier in the spring than spring barley—and in these two barley types are seen Israel (the nation that left Egypt) and the children of Israel (the nation that entered into God’s rest) as types of Christians in the Tribulation and the great multitude in the Endurance.
So there is no misunderstanding, the first covenant was made with the nation that left Egypt, the nation that rebelled against the Lord in the wilderness (Num chap 14), with only Joshua and Caleb of all who were numbered in the census of the second year entering into God’s rest (from Ps 95:10–11). And it is this nation that perished in the wilderness that is the chiral image of the Christian Church in the Tribulation.
Because the nation that left Egypt accused the Lord of bringing them to a land that would devour their wives and the little ones (Num 14:2–3), it was the little ones, the children of the nation that left Egypt, that entered into the Promised Land. The nation that left Egypt perished in its unbelief (Heb 3:19; Num 14:11) as the restored Christian Church will perish in its unbelief when it returns to sin on day 220 of the tribulation. It will be the great multitude, Zechariah’s third of humankind (13:9), that enters into salvation when born of spirit at the beginning of the Endurance. And this third part of humankind will be the majority of the harvest of this earth, but they will not be “ripe” when they are first born of spirit.
It is sad to realize that of today’s Christian Church, very few will be saved even though all will be born filled with spirit at the second Passover liberation of Israel. They will be like winter barley that is not protected by snow cover but experiences extreme temperatures. The plants die. And the darkness and cold of winter equates to the lawlessness this world and of a spiritual Cain, born on day 220.
Because so much of the harvest of this world dies in unbelief during the Tribulation, the fields are replanted with spring barley, with this planting occurring during the Tribulation … employing the dating of Part Seven, by day 585 of the Tribulation, the damage to the winter barley planting has been done and the fields are prepared for another planting during the wrath of the Lamb when men, great and small, hide among the stones of the field.
The fields are replanted when the world is baptized in spirit … blossoms are pollinated and seed heads develop rapidly—develop in about as long as it takes for spring barley to grow. By late July of the fifth year of the seven endtime years, the great multitude is a Zodaks number 87, the kernel in the hard dough stage and the head losing its green color … Daniel’s 1290 days (the count for the 1290 days begins with the Rebellion of day 220 of the Tribulation) will be completed in June, and completed 220 days after Satan is cast into time—as Christians rebel again God 220 days into the Tribulation, the third part of humankind rebels against Satan 220 days into the Endurance. Thus, 45 days later (by Daniel’s day 1335), the spring barley will be a 91 or so.
It is about Daniel’s day 1335 that John writes, “‘And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!” (Rev 14:13).
The above now relates to the parable of the tares:
He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’” (Matt 13:24–30)
The parable of the tares explained:
Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.” He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed is the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the close of the age, and the reapers are angels. Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the close of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear. (Matt 13:36–43)
The weeds or tares [— zizania] is probably darnel (Lolium temulentum), a ryegrass (not the grain, rye) often called cockle and referred to as false wheat. Whereas the weight of seed borne (the number of kernels in a seed head) by wheat or barley will cause the entire plant to droop downward, the ears (seed head) of darnel are light and the plants stands up straight. Wheat or barley appear brown when ripe, darnel black—and when eaten, darnel makes the one eating feel drunk and can cause death. And the Christianity of today, pre second Passover, is that of a field planted with darnel … with very few exceptions, Christians are spiritual lightweights, hardly worthy of hoeing out. They are sons of the devil as the Apostle John defines them:
Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he 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 emphasis added)
When did not keeping the Sabbath cease being sin? And when did the churches of God in 1st-Century Judea cease keeping the Sabbath? They didn’t. So when Paul writes to the Thessalonians, “For you, brothers, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea” (1 Thess 2:14), and writes, “And you became imitators of us and of the Lord” (1 Thess 1:6), and writes, “I urge you, then, be imitators of me” (1 Cor 4:16), and writes, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (1 Cor 11:1), and writes, “Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us” (Phil 3:17), and declares, “‘Neither against the law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor against Caesar have I committed any offense’” (Acts 25:8), can any argument be made for worshiping on Sunday instead of observing the Sabbath, especially in light of Paul testifying, “‘And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, well spoken of by all the Jews who lived there [Damascus]’” (Acts 22:12) and John writing,
My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. (1 John 2:1–6 emphasis added).
If a person walks as Jesus walked, the person will keep the commandments and will not practice lawlessness, whereas the Christian Church today is a lawless assembly, divided into many splinters, and is not worthy to bear the name of Christ. It is no wonder that the Father will deliver the Church into the hand of the Adversary for the destruction of the flesh following the second Passover restoration of life; it is a wonder that He has not utterly destroyed all who practice lawlessness while bearing the name of Christ. If He were human, He would have, but luckily for human beings, His ways are not today our ways … our ways will become His ways once the world has been baptized in spirit. And it is only then that firstfruits can be harvested.
In the parable of the sower, Jesus said,
A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear. (Matt 13:3–9)
There is a pun in the English translation of this parable, for a seed head is an “ear” of grain. So it is the one who bears fruits who has “ears” to hear the words of Jesus—and it is the one who hears the words of Jesus and believes the one who sent him that passes from death to life without coming under judgment (John 5:24).
The ripening process of the great multitude is analogous to the ripening of barley, in that the milk will be in the seed head when they are born of spirit. The seed, though, has to harden before it is ready to be harvested. Thus, the first year after Satan has been cast to earth is about “ripening” the harvest of spring-planted barley.
The Endurance concludes in Part Nine.
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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."