November 9, 2010 ©Homer Kizer
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Commentary — From the Margins
In a Moment of Time
And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit [pneumatos hagion— breath holy], returned from the Jordan and was led by the spirit [pneumati] in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And He ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, He was hungry. The devil said to Him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’” And the devil took Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to Him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, / ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, / and Him only shall you serve.’” / And he took Him to Jerusalem and set Him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to Him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written, / ‘He will command his angels concerning you, /to guard you,’ / and / ‘On their hands they will bear you up, / lest you strike your foot against a stone.’” / And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time. (Luke 4:1–13 emphasis added)
When the devil said to Jesus, To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will, the Adversary did not lie; for indeed, since Adam was driven from the Garden of Eden before he could eat from the Tree of Life, the kingdoms of this world have been the Adversary’s to give to whom he will, with the Most High God ruling the kingdom of men by setting over these kingdom’s the basest of men (Dan 4:17), not a contradiction when the person realizes that the Adversary continues as a servant of the Most High God, appearing before the Most High when angelic sons of God are required to appear (Job 1:6; 2:1). As King Nebuchadnezzar was a servant of the Lord (Jer 25:9), an instrument used by the Lord to raze Jerusalem and to place the House of Judah into national slavery, the Adversary remains a servant of the Most High, an instrument of the Most High used for the destruction of the flesh of disciples so that the spirit [heavenly life] of Christians might be saved when judgments are revealed. The Apostle Paul was not inventing a new thing when he commanded the saints at Corinth to deliver the man who was with his father’s wife to Satan for the destruction of the man’s flesh (1 Cor 5:5). Rather, what Paul commanded the saints to do is what the Most High will do when the Son of Man is revealed [disrobed] (Luke 17:30); for Daniel was told in vision,
As for me, Daniel, my spirit within me was anxious, and the visions of my head alarmed me. I approached one of those who stood there and asked him the truth concerning all this. So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of the things. “These four great beasts are four kings who shall arise out of the earth. But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, forever and ever.” / Then I desired to know the truth about the fourth beast, which was different from all the rest, exceedingly terrifying, with its teeth of iron and claws of bronze, and which devoured and broke in pieces and stamped what was left with its feet, and about the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn that came up and before which three of them fell, the horn that had eyes and a mouth that spoke great things, and that seemed greater than its companions. As I looked, this horn made war with the saints and prevailed over them, until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given for the saints of the Most High, and the time came when the saints possessed the kingdom.
Thus he said: “As for the fourth beast,
there shall be a fourth kingdom on earth,
which shall be different from all the kingdoms,
and it shall devour the whole earth,
and trample it down, and break it to pieces.
As for the ten horns,
out of this kingdom ten kings shall arise,
and another shall arise after them;
he shall be different from the former ones,
and shall put down three kings.
He shall speak words against the Most High,
and shall wear out the saints of the Most High,
and shall think to change the times and the law;
and they shall be given into his hand
for a time, times, and half a time.
But the court shall sit in judgment,
and his dominion shall be taken away,
to be consumed and destroyed to the end.
And the kingdom and the dominion
and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven
shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High;
their kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom,
and all dominions shall serve and obey them.” (Dan 7:15–27 emphasis added)
The little horn is different from the ten horns already on the head of the fourth king when the little horn appears, and this little horn, in the presence of the Ancient of Days, speaks mighty words against the Ancient of Days, Lord of the Host of heaven … no human being can stand in the presence of the Lord of Hosts and speak to Him, for flesh and blood cannot enter heaven (1 Cor 15:50). The mass of a person’s flesh prevents the flesh (or anything possessing mass) from entering the supra-dimension known as heaven; for it wasn’t heaven that was created by the Logos [Ò Logos] who spoke everything that has been created into existence. It was the universe; i.e., those things that come from the four known forces in the four unfurled dimensions. Thus, those things that have mass and produce gravitational attraction have a beginning for those things are subject to time and the passage of time, which can be written as a mathematical function of gravity. The Ancient of Days and His court are without beginning or end: they are outside of time. They are unaffected by the passage of time. And the entity that stands in the presence of the Ancient of Days will also be outside of time, or said in other words, the little horn appears before the Ancient of Days in heaven and is not a human being but is the Adversary who will be cast into time (space-time) when the kingdom of this world is given to the Son of Man (Dan 7:13–14; Rev 11:15–18).
It is an angelic being, the Adversary, that makes war against the saints and into whose hand the saints are delivered … but who is able to deliver the saints into the hand of the Adversary?
The prophet Zechariah records,
“Awake, O sword, against my shepherd,
against the man who stands next to me,”
declares the Lord of hosts.
“Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered;
I will turn my hand against the little ones.
In the whole land, declares the Lord,
two thirds shall be cut off and perish,
and one third shall be left alive.
And I will put this third into the fire,
and refine them as one refines silver,
and test them as gold is tested.
They will call upon my name,
and I will answer them.
I will say, ‘They are my people’;
and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’” (13:7–9 emphasis added)
Jesus identified Himself as the man who stood next to the Lord of Hosts, the Shepherd who would be struck: “Then Jesus said to them, ‘You will all fall away because of me this night. For it is written, “I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered”’” (Matt 26:31) —
If Jesus is the Shepherd who will be struck, and if two parts of the little ones are sheep to be cut off and perish, and if the Lord of Hosts is the one who commands the sword to strike the Shepherd and who cuts off the two parts, then it is the Lord of Hosts who delivers the saints into the hand of the little horn during the time, times, and half a time (Dan 7:25) immediately prior to when dominion is taken away from the little horn and from the four beasts that are four kings (vv. 11–12, 26). It is the Most High who, not visibly here on earth, does what Paul, not then in Corinth, commanded the saints at Corinth to do with the Christian disciple who was actively committing sin (see 1 Cor 5:5).
Sin is unbelief that will always manifest itself in transgressions of the commandments, or simple lawlessness. Born of spirit Christians cover their lawlessness with the garment of Christ Jesus’ righteousness; i.e., grace. As if playing dress-up in their parents’ clothing, Christians wear Christ Jesus’ righteousness as they practice walking as Jesus walked; Christians practice doing those things that are of God as they imitate Jesus, or imitate Paul as Paul imitated Jesus. And if Christians do not practice imitating Jesus before the Second Passover liberation of Israel, they will not walk as Jesus walked after the Son of Man has been revealed (Luke 17:30) by the garment of grace being stripped away … the man is the head of the woman [his wife] as Christ Jesus is the Head of the man and as God is the Head of Christ (1 Cor 11:3). The inner man or self is the head of the outer man or fleshly body as the man is the head of the woman; hence, the born-of-God inner selves of disciples are individually and collectively the Body of Christ (1 Cor 12:27) that will become the Bride of Christ when these inner selves receive glorified bodies. But a man doesn’t marry his body: they are already one in number. A man marries a woman, and these two become one flesh (Gen 2:24) in a manner analogous to the inner self and the outer fleshly body in which the inner self dwells. It is for this reason that human procreation is designed as it is, with the head of the man entering into the woman to produce one flesh. For circumcision makes the head of the man naked before God; circumcision uncovers the head of the man, thereby placing the man in the position of being the uncovered head of the covered body in a manner typified by Christ Jesus being the uncovered Head of the covered [by grace] Body of Christ.
Again, a man doesn’t marry his body, but marries his bride, and these two—the man and his bride—become one flesh. Therefore, a separation must occur between the inner self and the outer self, between the head and the body, with this separation seen in type in death, where the fleshly body dies. This separation is seen in the three days and three nights that Christ Jesus was dead in the heart of the earth … just as Jesus, who was without sin, had to be baptized unto repentance to fulfill all righteousness (Matt 3:15), Jesus, who was one with the Father (John 17:20–23), had to be separated from the Father to fulfill all righteousness. This separation formed the type and shadow [the left hand enantiomer] of the separation of the living inner self that is a son of God from the tent of flesh in which the inner self dwelt. This separation also formed the shadow and type of the separation of the Body of Christ from its head, the glorified Christ Jesus; for Christians are individuals and collectively the Body of Christ. What happens individually will also happen collectively. Hence, as the earthly body of Jesus was crucified and died from loss of breath [psuche], the spiritual Body of Christ was crucified with Christ (Rom 6:6) and died from loss of the breath of God [pneuma Theon]. As the gates of Hades could not prevail over the earthly body of Jesus who was resurrected from death after the third day, the gates of Hades cannot prevail over the spiritual Body of Christ which will be resurrected from death after the third day of the Genesis chapter one creation account: the greater light and the lesser light created on the fourth day is the abstract for the resurrection of firstfruits, about whom Jesus said, “‘Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven’” (Matt 5:19). By extension, the greater light that rules the day [the light] will be the glorified disciples who kept the commandments and taught others to keep the commandments; whereas the lesser light that rules the night [the twisting away] will be the glorified disciples who did not break the commandments but relaxed them and taught others to do the same.
The Second Passover liberation of Israel will see the collective Body of Christ raised from death, its present state, and liberated from indwelling sin through being filled-with and empowered by the breath of God. But this resurrection from death occurs at the beginning of seven endtime years of tribulation: the birth pains of the last Eve [Zion] come after, not before, the Church gives birth to a nation in a day (Isa 66:7–8), a nation representing righteous Abel.
Christendom’s rebellion against God [the Apostasy — 2 Thess 2:3] on day 220 of the Affliction, the first 1260 days of the seven endtime years, will see the birth of a nation representing Cain. This great falling away that is sure to occur will see the little horn of Daniel chapter seven possessing a human being to jointly form the man of perdition, the lawless one, and this rebellion of day 220 marks the opening of the fifth seal (Rev 6:9–11), when Cain sets his hand to slay his righteous brother.
The man of perdition will be a human being possessed by the Adversary in a manner similar to how the Adversary entered into Judas Iscariot at a specific time: when Jesus gave Judas the sop (John 13:26–27). The Adversary will enter the man of perdition on day 220, and the issue that causes this human being to suppress his inner self that has been made alive at the Second Passover will be Christmas observance. Thus, the Adversary will become the head of the man of perdition, and this man of perdition will be a king who understands riddles (Dan 8:23). This man of perdition is known and would here be named if there was not a chance that he could repent … Jesus knew who would betray Him from the beginning of His earthly ministry (John 6:64); yet Jesus did not reveal His knowledge about which disciples believed Him and about who would betray Him. He allowed what He knew would happen to occur without intervention.
It is this aspect of Christ Jesus that is most hard for endtime disciples who have been born of God out of season to wrap their minds around: there is a quality of love that would have those with knowledge to want to share that knowledge and thereby save the world, which isn’t realistically possible. Thus, those who have knowledge inevitably want to save friends and family by sharing what they know. But this is not an attribute of Christ Jesus, who had knowledge and said nothing and even forbade His disciples from speaking (see Matt 16:20). … It is immaturity that causes a person with knowledge to share what he or she knows with friends and family—
In July 1969, I journeyed from coastal Oregon to northeastern Indiana to visit my dad’s siblings, my aunts and uncles. I traveled by car, and with me were my wife and sixteen-month-old daughter. After driving for thirty-eight straight hours and about thirty miles before I arrived at Aunt Pearl’s house, my destination, Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon—I was listening to the broadcast of events on the car radio. When I arrived at my aunt’s house, everyone was up watching the television broadcast: her son Rusty and two-year old grandson were there. Others were present. I don’t remember who exactly was there. But Rusty’s boy latched onto my daughter and took her around the house showing her all the things that were a No-No. It was his way, a two-year-old’s way, of showing off the knowledge he had. And it didn’t take him long to go through his grandmother’s house pointing out those things he was not to touch, and by extension, that my daughter wasn’t to touch.
Christians, when first born of God, do not think that their witnessing to others is showing off the knowledge they have. They witness to others out of love for those to whom they witness. But when moving from physical [the carnal] to spiritual, the immature showing off of knowledge—being a know it all—of the natural mind becomes the spiritually immature and untimely revealing of the mysteries of God to sons of disobedience.
Jesus knew who would betray Him from the beginning yet He said nothing for three and a half years. He said nothing when He washed Judas Iscariot’s feet a very short while before He gave Judas the sop … can we, as endtime disciples, resist revealing all we know? Or should we resist revealing what we know?
Today, a week after the midterm elections of 2010 and months before the Second Passover liberation of Israel, the single kingdom of this world remains under the control of the Adversary, the same prince of this world whom Jesus defeated but has not yet replaced. All authority to rule in this world comes from the Lord of Hosts, but comes through the Adversary, His servant for the destruction of the flesh. And Christians are so enamored with the Adversary as their prince that the effort needed to bring greater Christendom into fellowship with God hardly seems worth the expenditure of time and energy—
Yet there is no love in allowing these bastard sons of God to perish in their lawlessness.
Christians today are not the one sheep that is lost, but the ninety-nine sheep slated to be slaughtered by the Adversary. They have already been penned in disobedience, fed a diet of lawlessness, and shorn of any righteousness they might have possessed if left wandering in dry arroyos. Sad to say, the one sheep that is lost has the better chance of surviving; for Christians are as the nation of circumcised Israel was in Egypt—and about that nation, the Lord said,
On the day when I chose Israel, I swore to the offspring of the house of Jacob, making myself known to them in the land of Egypt; I swore to them, saying, I am the Lord your God. On that day I swore to them that I would bring them out of the land of Egypt into a land that I had searched out for them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the most glorious of all lands. And I said to them, Cast away the detestable things your eyes feast on, every one of you, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt; I am the Lord your God. But they rebelled against me and were not willing to listen to me. None of them cast away the detestable things their eyes feasted on, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt. / Then I said I would pour out my wrath upon them and spend my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt. (Ezek 20:5–8)
Before the Passover, before the plagues, Israel in Egypt had rebelled against the Lord: Israel would not forsake the idols of Egypt. And Israel in Egypt forms the shadow and type [the left hand enantiomer] of the collective Christian Church in this endtime era.
But as the Lord did not forsake rebellious Israel in Egypt even though He wanted to destroy the nation, the Lord of Hosts will not forsake Christians today. He will, however, turn His hand against two parts of them so that the third part might be saved.
It is this ratio of two parts lost and one part saved that manifests itself in the rebellion of day 220, with the one part that will then be saved of today’s Christians forming the shadow and type of the third part of humankind that will be saved by enduring to the end in the Endurance, the last 1260 days of the seven endtime years. This one part of today’s Christians, with the exception of the Remnant (from Rev 12:17), will, however, die physically in the Affliction, again the first 1260 days of the seven endtime years.
When a person believes that he or she is “right” in what the person does, getting the person to change is nigh impossible. When the person is a Christian who sincerely believes the theological swill that he or she has swallowed for decades, what it takes to cause repentance and an abhorring of past ways will be nothing short of the Affliction … when I was initially called to reread prophecy in January 2002, I envisioned taking the knowledge coming by revelation to first America, then the world. But that urge to share knowledge coming by revelation came from spiritual immaturity: the knowledge need only be out there as a witness against Christendom prior to the Second Passover liberation of Israel. It doesn’t have to be preached from mountain tops. It need only be posted so it can be found after the fact in a manner analogous to how Jesus didn’t tell His disciples that He must be crucified on the 14th of Aviv as the Passover Lamb of God until a few days beforehand, and then He still hadn’t directly told them when He was taken—if He had told them, Peter would not have lopped off the servant of the High Priest’s ear.
In His youthful zeal, Jesus respectfully showed off the knowledge He had when He was twelve:
Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom. And when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, but supposing him to be in the group they went a day's journey, but then they began to search for him among their relatives and acquaintances, and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, searching for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. And when his parents saw him, they were astonished. And his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been searching for you in great distress.” And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?” And they did not understand the saying that he spoke to them. And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart. (Luke 2:41–50 emphasis added)
When it was time for Jesus to begin His ministry, He went to the synagogue on the Sabbath as was His custom (Luke 4:16), and He read from Isaiah, then rolled up the Scroll and said simply, “‘Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing’” (v. 21). If those in the synagogue had said nothing, neither would have Jesus. But because those of the synagogue at Nazareth said that they had heard what He had done at Capernaum, that they too wanted Him to heal their infirm (v. 23), Jesus said,
Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown. But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens were shut up three years and six months, and a great famine came over all the land, and Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian. (Luke 4:24–27)
Jesus didn’t disclose all He knew when He read from Isaiah: He withheld knowledge by not reading the remainder of Isaiah’s thought-couplet—“to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor, / and the day of vengeance of our God; /to comfort all who mourn” (Isa 61:2 emphasis added)—for the year of the Lord’s favor would precede the day of God’s vengeance by two millennia. This was also knowledge that He withheld from His disciples, even from the Apostle Paul, who wrote,
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. (1 Thess 4:13–17 emphasis added)
Paul believed he would still be physically alive when Christ Jesus returned: Jesus did not, when with His disciples before Calvary or afterwards, reveal to His disciples how much time would pass before He would come again. He withheld what He knew; He didn’t tell everything He knew.
But Christians in this era seem absolutely unable to withhold their extremely limited understanding of the mysteries of God from everyone they encounter: they speak without realizing how little they know. They want to share what they don’t truly understand. And this is to be expected, for they are spiritual babes. This is not something to be condemned, but it is something to be overcome.
And the foremost lump of knowledge that I wanted to share in 2002 and 2003 was the death of biological and spiritual firstborns at the Second Passover liberation of Israel, on a second Passover near in time … how could I not warn everyone I could about what was sure to happen? I wanted to place billboards along freeways, I-70 in particular; I wanted to take out newspaper advertisements. But the money was never there to do more than I have been doing, that is posting what has been revealed on the web in a series of essays, commentaries, and Sabbath readings that go around the world as a witness to all nations, not as a loud, blaring message but as a quiet (as if whispered) voice that can be easily ignored and equally easily overlooked. But the web is a door that no man can shut, and it is the door that has been opened to post what will not be ignored following the Second Passover liberation of Christians from indwelling sin and death. It simply isn’t time for men to turn to God and be saved.
In a moment of time—the course of world history can be seen, all nations can be seen, even events in the heavenly realm can be seen. And what’s seen is life coming from death, more death than humanly comprehendible.
Firstborns are to die without being warned of what is sure to happen. They wouldn’t believe the warning even if it was loudly proclaimed. So all that such a warning would do is cause anxiety in firstborns not now called by God; in firstborns whom God doesn’t intend to call in this era; in firstborns that already belong to Him.
Returning now to what I wrote earlier in this commentary: Christians are so enamored with the Adversary as their prince that the effort needed to bring greater Christendom into fellowship with God hardly seems worth the expenditure of time and energy—
What Jesus knew and understood was that Pharisees and Sadducees would not believe Him, nor believe the works that He did; yet Jesus did those works not for the ones who saw and experienced them, but as a witness for future generations … the present generation of Christians cannot be saved—certainly some within greater Christendom will live, but most will perish in the lake of fire for their habit is to live as Gentiles in open rebellion to God.
What it would take to bring greater Christendom to God when these Christians already believe they possess the truth? Nothing short of the death of all uncovered firstborns—and even then, that will not be enough to keep them in obedience to God.
Concerning what it took to cause ancient Jerusalem to change, the prophet Ezekiel records the words of the Lord:
And the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, when a land sins against me by acting faithlessly, and I stretch out my hand against it and break its supply of bread and send famine upon it, and cut off from it man and beast, even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver but their own lives by their righteousness, declares the Lord God. / If I cause wild beasts to pass through the land, and they ravage it, and it be made desolate, so that no one may pass through because of the beasts, even if these three men were in it, as I live, declares the Lord God, they would deliver neither sons nor daughters. They alone would be delivered, but the land would be desolate. / Or if I bring a sword upon that land and say, Let a sword pass through the land, and I cut off from it man and beast, though these three men were in it, as I live, declares the Lord God, they would deliver neither sons nor daughters, but they alone would be delivered. / Or if I send a pestilence into that land and pour out my wrath upon it with blood, to cut off from it man and beast, even if Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live, declares the Lord God, they would deliver neither son nor daughter. They would deliver but their own lives by their righteousness. / For thus says the Lord God: How much more when I send upon Jerusalem my four disastrous acts of judgment, sword, famine, wild beasts, and pestilence, to cut off from it man and beast! But behold, some survivors will be left in it, sons and daughters who will be brought out; behold, when they come out to you, and you see their ways and their deeds, you will be consoled for the disaster that I have brought upon Jerusalem, for all that I have brought upon it. They will console you, when you see their ways and their deeds, and you shall know that I have not done without cause all that I have done in it, declares the Lord God.” (14:12–23 emphasis added)
The righteous will be consoled by the fruit of the calamities that the Lord brings not merely upon earthly Jerusalem, but upon heavenly or spiritual Jerusalem, the mother of Christians and Christendom (see Gal 4:26). … The post midterm election narrative that is developing should frighten Christians: America’s debt is unsustainable, and America doesn’t make but one thing that the world truly needs, food. Certainly the nuclear umbrella the United States of America has extended over Japan and Western Europe made the nation indispensable during the Cold War era, but a new enemy has emerged, militant Islam, an enemy that is just as great a threat to Russia as it is to Western Europe and the United States. And a nuclear umbrella affords no protection against an ideology that can best be likened to a malignant tumor that is of God … the tumor won’t be “saved,” but as Nebuchadnezzar was a servant of the Lord, a servant used to destroy wickedness in Israel and in the surrounding nations, militant Islam functions in much the same way. For Christians today will not forsake early Christendom’s theological borrowings from Greek and Persian paganism; thus, the Lord of Hosts will spiritually and physically do to the greater Christian Church what the Lord did to ancient Jerusalem when He brought Nebuchadnezzar and his armies against the city.
Ask yourself and answer realistically: does it make God happy when a cross hangs from the pulpit of a Christian fellowship? Or does that cross remind the Father and the Son of how Jesus was killed … if Jesus would have been suffocated with a pillow—the cross kills by shock and suffocation—would pillows be hung from pulpits? Probably not. But the cross is the shape and image of Death, the fourth horseman of the Apocalypse. The tattoo of the cross [chi xi stigma] is the mark of the beast (Rev 13:18). So by hanging a cross on the pulpit, the Christian pastor identifies him or herself with Death, and in particular, with the death of Jesus. The pastor speaks as a representative of Death. And that particular king (the prophetic King of the North, Death) isn’t interested in the welfare of human beings but in their demise.
Consider the logic of the cross: if the Lord of Hosts intends to cut off and kill two parts of humankind as the Lord brought four disastrous acts of judgment against earthly Jerusalem—the sword, famine, wild beasts, and pestilence—how best could the Lord “mark” those whom He intends to destroy? Would not marking those human beings slated for destruction seem reasonable? Would not allowing those slated for destruction to mark themselves seem just? … God marks those who believe and serve Him through Sabbath observance, and He permits those who chose to rebel against Him to mark themselves with outward signs of the cross.
If Noah, Daniel, and Job could (if the three were present) only save themselves by their righteousness in a time when the Lord brought judgment upon Jerusalem, then it logically follows that the saints, those Christians who keep the commandments (Rev 14:12) could only save themselves by their righteousness when the Lord brings judgment upon Christendom and upon the whole world. Therefore, Christians who do not keep the commandments are as the inhabitants of earthly Jerusalem were when Nebuchadnezzar besieged the city. They are doomed. Their only chance to live is to surrender to the king of Babylon, meaning spiritually, the greater Christian Church can temporarily save the physical lives of Christians by returning to sin, but to save their spiritual lives, they must die. They are without another option. For again, a man doesn’t marry his body: Christ Jesus will not marry His Body, but marries His Bride so a separation has to occur that transforms His Body into His Bride.
Neither Noah, nor Job could have entered the temple Solomon built: they lived before the temple was constructed. But Daniel also could not have entered; for Nebuchadnezzar had the habit of castrating the young men of captive peoples who served him, and, “‘No one whose testicles are crushed or whose male organ is cut off shall enter the assembly of the Lord”’ (Deut 23:1). In the 6th and 7th Centuries BCE, castration meant the loss of everything that made a man male. So in the Lord citing these three men—Noah, Daniel, and Job—the Lord chose three that were righteous, but that were never in the temple Solomon built, revealing His displeasure with the temple He would destroy through His servant Nebuchadnezzar, a type and shadow of the spiritual king of Babylon (see Isa 14:4). … Christians are today the temple of God (1 Cor 3;16–17; 2 Cor 6:16), the temple that the spiritual king of Babylon will raze when the Lord of Hosts turns His hand against the little ones; for the spiritual king of Babylon is the Adversary, the one who will possess the man of perdition.
Christians do not usually think in terms of the Lord of Hosts destroying the Church Christ built: the thought is too alien to be seriously entertained. But would a priest in Jerusalem during the siege have believed that the Lord supported Nebuchadnezzar’s campaign against the earthly city? Wasn’t prophesying that the city would fall to Nebuchadnezzar what caused Jeremiah to be imprisoned and almost killed? Was not Jerusalem the city of David, and the site of the temple? Would the Lord destroy the temple dedicated to Him?
Thus the Lord, the God of Israel, said to me: “Take from my hand this cup of the wine of wrath, and make all the nations to whom I send you drink it. They shall drink and stagger and be crazed because of the sword that I am sending among them.” / So I took the cup from the Lord's hand, and made all the nations to whom the Lord sent me drink it: Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, its kings and officials, to make them a desolation and a waste, a hissing and a curse, as at this day; Pharaoh king of Egypt, his servants, his officials, all his people, and all the mixed tribes among them; all the kings of the land of Uz and all the kings of the land of the Philistines (Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, and the remnant of Ashdod); Edom, Moab, and the sons of Ammon; all the kings of Tyre, all the kings of Sidon, and the kings of the coastland across the sea; Dedan, Tema, Buz, and all who cut the corners of their hair; all the kings of Arabia and all the kings of the mixed tribes who dwell in the desert; all the kings of Zimri, all the kings of Elam, and all the kings of Media; all the kings of the north, far and near, one after another, and all the kingdoms of the world that are on the face of the earth. And after them the king of Babylon shall drink.
“Then you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Drink, be drunk and vomit, fall and rise no more, because of the sword that I am sending among you.’ / And if they refuse to accept the cup from your hand to drink, then you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: You must drink! For behold, I begin to work disaster at the city that is called by my name, and shall you go unpunished? You shall not go unpunished, for I am summoning a sword against all the inhabitants of the earth, declares the Lord of hosts.’
“You, therefore, shall prophesy against them all these words, and say to them:
“‘The Lord will roar from on high,
and from his holy habitation utter his voice;
he will roar mightily against his fold,
and shout, like those who tread grapes,
against all the inhabitants of the earth.
The clamor will resound to the ends of the earth,
for the Lord has an indictment against the nations;
he is entering into judgment with all flesh,
and the wicked he will put to the sword,
declares the Lord.’
“Thus says the Lord of hosts:
Behold, disaster is going forth
from nation to nation,
and a great tempest is stirring
from the farthest parts of the earth!
“And those pierced by the Lord on that day shall extend from one end of the earth to the other. They shall not be lamented, or gathered, or buried; they shall be dung on the surface of the ground.
“Wail, you shepherds, and cry out,
and roll in ashes, you lords of the flock,
for the days of your slaughter and dispersion have come,
and you shall fall like a choice vessel.
No refuge will remain for the shepherds,
nor escape for the lords of the flock.
A voice—the cry of the shepherds,
and the wail of the lords of the flock!
For the Lord is laying waste their pasture,
and the peaceful folds are devastated
because of the fierce anger of the Lord.
Like a lion he has left his lair,
for their land has become a waste
because of the sword of the oppressor,
and because of his fierce anger.” (25:15–38 emphasis added)
There are two cities named Jerusalem, one the earthly city, the city of David when he was a man after the Lord’s heart, and the other the heavenly city that is the Bride of Christ … the man of perdition is an Arian Christian who will believe, when possessed, that the angel inside him is Christ Jesus; thus, this man of perdition will, in good conscience, declare himself god (2 Thess 2:4). He will not believe that he unjustifiably exalts himself when he declares himself god.
The nation of Israel that left Egypt—the nation that would not cast away the detestable idols of Egypt; the nation liberated at the first Passover—didn’t go far before the nation’s rebellion manifested itself ten times, with the tenth occasion in the wilderness of Paran when the ten spies [witnesses] would have had Israel return to Egypt … the nation of Israel numbered in the census of the second year (Num chap 1) forms the shadow and type [the left hand enantiomer] of today’s greater Christendom Church after the Second Passover liberation of Israel.
Again, Jesus washed the feet of Judas Iscariot while knowing that in a few minutes Judas Iscariot would betray Him … what was going through Jesus’ mind when He came to Judas Iscariot and bent over to wash his feet? What goes through our minds—my mind—as we write as watchmen called to warn Christians to turn from institutionalized lawlessness and turn back to God and walk as Jesus walked, keeping the commandments by faith? Do we not think about the futility of what we do? Or do we warn because we are called to warn, not thinking about how the message will be received or about whether anyone will listen, but only thinking about how to say again, how to make new and fresh, what has been said before?
Writers are told to consider their audience … are we to consider the audience, a Christian Church that will not repent nor live to enter into God’s rest? Are our hearts hard enough to warn Christians to repent when it is the warning that will condemn them to the lake of fire; for if they were not warned, they would die but their blood would not be on their heads. But by being warned, they are condemned. So when is audience not a consideration?
In a moment of time, Jesus saw the kingdoms of this world, kingdoms to which He could have brought the gospel [the good news of God], and He chose God over Satan; He chose God over delivering to the nations of this world the gospel. He would die for the sins of Israel. In that moment of time, He knew His death was inescapable. Satan could not long deliver Him from Death. So Jesus was without any real choice, what Satan apparently didn’t realize. And today, we are—I am—also without any real choice: we have been called to warn Israel (i.e., the greater Christian Church) to turn from lawlessness and turn to the Father and the Son, whom they have never known.
Christendom will not collectively turn to the Father and the Son and begin to keep the commandments by faith as the outward manifestation of inner belief. However, a Christian here and one there will turn to the Father and the Son … it is these little ones, lost in the flocks of Christ, that might be saved when judgments are revealed. It is hope for these little ones that drives this work.
Years pass without calling attention to themselves. Harvest season runs into winter plantings. And nothing much seems to happen. Oh, fellowships are added in Asia and in Africa; members are added in America; but when pitted against the rising human population, so few people are added as harvesters they can be statistically ignored. We can be easily ignored. After all, what great work are we visibly doing?
In a moment of time, I wonder about how much to say, how much of what has been revealed should be written, how much of what has been written should be repeated or amplified. If the resources were available, I would say too much to too many for how can we not warn Christendom to repent of its present lawlessness? But in maturity, I know that if they will not believe the writings of Moses; if they will not hear the words of Jesus, they will not believe anything I say. So the warning isn’t for them, but given as a witness against them—as an endtime witness against them.
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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."