March 19, 2003 © Homer Kizer
An Open Letter to Readers
The Problem With Prophecy
When Ezekiel prophesied about the pending destruction coming to Israel, the priests and assorted religious leaders in Jerusalem dismissed the relevance of his prophetic utterances. These leaders said Ezekiel's words were for the future. Two and one-half millennia later, Herbert Armstrong said they were for the endtime descendants of the house of Israel and not for Jerusalem in Ezekiel's day, that they were for the United States and Britain. Yet, YHWH, through Ezekiel, said they were for then, that the leaders in Jerusalem would see their fulfillment (Ezk chptr 12).
Throughout the ages, men and a few women have claimed to speak for the Creator of the universe. In recent e-mail correspondence, a Brigham Young University professor assured me that Joseph Smith was a prophet. The Seventh Day Adventists regard Ellen G. White as a prophetess. Plus, a rainbow of gurus claiming to have been sent by god, or having seen visions of god have gathered for themselves disciples. With few exceptions, these gurus eventually proved to be weeds in the garden of God, the teachings of each now the mold of history.
The BYU professor reminded me that the test of a work is whether anything comes of it. His admonishment contains within itself truth, but Mohammed claimed to be a prophet, and much has come from his work. More came from his work faster than has even come from Joseph Smith's; yet Christians and Buddhists do not recognize the validity of Mohammed’s writings, of his prophetic utterances, of the work he started. So is the professor's admonition valid? Is the test of a work whether something comes of it?
Much has come from the Roman Church, yet the L.D.S. Church regards the Roman Church as an apostate organization. The Pope, likewise, doesn’t recognize the claims of the L.D.S. Church.
Whether humanity wishes to admit it, the concept of "deity" divides peoples. Why do so many people clutch the concept of supernatural powers influencing the course of human affairs? Is it only because as self-aware creatures we cannot face the termination of life without an escape clause? Or is it that humanity really isn't alone in our self-awareness?
I didn't set out to be religious. In a story I have told many times, I was actually drafted into a belief paradigm on the margins of philosophical thought. However, before receiving my induction notice I thought anyone seriously believing in a supernatural deity had a character defect. I could comprehend intelligent life from other galaxies visiting Earth and leaving evidence of such visits, but I couldn't imagine what wasn't physical, what wasn't of this universe. My reality was shaped by the scientific explanations of the late 1950s and early 1960s: for all of us, "reality" is a construction. We accept as real what our faith allows, nothing more. I could not, in the 1960s, comprehend the existence of a dimension in which our universe with all of its vastness is a created entity. John Milton had to use a Ptolemaic universe to locate heaven and hell outside of the creation even though he was familiar with helio-centered astronomy. Today, it's likely that more people believe the reality constructed in Star Trek than the reality that has the God of Abraham being born as Jesus of Nazareth, the claim of the gospel of John.
Today, I face the dilemma of Milton. Real war is occurring in the spiritual realm, that dimension occupied by angels and by the Ancient of Days. Events in our world (i.e., the physical creation) are being influenced by the ebb and flow of this war. But how do I explain occurrences not confirmable by others, especially when so many have come before me with equally unbelievable claims?
Christendom is awash with prophecy experts, each claiming that the two legs of the image Nebuchadnezzar saw in vision are the two divisions of the Roman Empire. This claim alone makes the image's bronze belly and thighs the ancient Greek kingdom of Alexander the Great, and the image of which Nebuchadnezzar was head of the record of the secular empires that have ruled the world. However, neither Babylon, nor the Medes or the Persians, nor the Greeks, nor the Romans ruled China. So either China didn't count as far as YHWH was concerned, or Daniel's interpretation was amiss, or the image never was the record of secular empires. You choose which. Or tell me if I have omitted a possibility, such as the image only concerned empires reigning over Jerusalem.
Babylon was a theocracy, as evidenced by the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. The Media Persia reign was a theocracy, as evidenced by what caused Daniel to get thrown into the lions' den. Alexander's mother claimed he was the son of god. Rome was a theocracy. Emperor worship was replaced by Christianity, which became the state religion. And when the empire ceased to exist, the Roman Church continued to exercise power over secular kingdoms.
Back up for a moment, and consider that previous sentence: ecclesiastical power reigned over secular authority. Was that also true of Alexander? It was. Alexander's deity was the unifying authority behind his ascension to his father's throne. While scholars can debate over exactly how important were Alexander's claims of deity, the claims themselves provided the moral justification for world conquest. And with every victory, the validity of those claims was confirmed.
The story of Nebuchadnezzar spending seven years out in the pasture as the royal lawnmower has a direct moral: the Most High God gives to men the power to reign. YHWH didn't try to correct the religion of Babylon, didn't try to make Babylonians keep His laws and statutes, didn't require that Babylonians worship Him. Why not? He could have. A Texas evangelist would certainly have tried to convert those Babylonian overlords, but the Most High did not. He allowed these Gentiles to remain gentiles. He allowed idolatry. He allowed pagan religious practices. Even today, He allows theological error to predominate. If He didn't, then there would only be one religious paradigm.
A certain Texas evangelist consigns everyone who doesn't worship the Most High exactly as he does to an afterlife in a rotisserie. He assures his television audience that there is an everburning hell, but he has never been there and doesn't plan on going. Yet he knows as much about its flames as Plato did, the concept Greek to its smoldering core.
If the Most High God gave to Nebuchadnezzar the power to reign over circumcised Israel, then He at least tacitly gave to Nebuchadnezzar the right to retain Babylon's theology. Plus, Cyrus, king of Persia, declared, "The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah" (Ezra 1:2). Cyrus wasn't becoming an Israelite; he wasn't converting; he had no intention of being circumcised. Rather, the entire concept of kingdom in the ancient world incorporated the determination of theological "truth," a fact that modern American scholars tend to overlook.
The construction of reality for 19th, 20th, or 21st Century Protestant scholars has them perceiving the kingdoms of the ancient world as secular reigns. This is especially true concerning American scholars nurtured on the separation clause of our First Amendment. Yes, they know that secular and ecclesiastical authority in the ancient world were commingled, but they fail to grasp the preeminence of theology. Since theoretical Marxism has offered viable explanations of the rise and fall of these empires, even biblical scholars haven't needed to focus on pagan practices, which were, formerly, an acceptable form of sexual titillation. (In a claim supported by anecdotal evidence, studying fertility rites featuring temple prostitutes in scholarly publications was, for academicians half a century ago, akin to teenage boys of the same period scanning back issues of National Geographic magazine for its pictures of aboriginal peoples.) However, times and mores change. Reality, itself, changes. The lure of paganism today isn't its sexual practices, but the "truth" contained in its constructions of humanity as part of the natural world.
For the past two centuries, biblical scholars have focused on the physical or secular fulfillment of endtime prophecies. As such, they never came close to understanding visions that were supernaturally sealed and kept secret until the time of the end.
Either we believe God that Daniel's endtime vision of what would become of Israel was sealed and would remain secret until that generic period identified as the time of the end began, or we don't. If we don't, then the Most High God has a credibility problem which nothing recorded in Scripture will resolve. If we do, then why will we accept prophetic readings of any earlier period as valid? Because the time of the end began at some previous moment in history? Oh, which one? The first great awakening? Or the second? Or when Christ might have had a near miss with earth? Or when humanity entered the atomic age? How about when Joseph Smith met with Moroni?
The time of the end begins when the visions of Daniel can be understood. In true Catch-22 fashion, the visions of Daniel can be understood when the time of the time begins. But how will anyone know when either occurs? This is the first problem with prophecy.
There is a second problem: endtime prophecies are mostly about phenomena that occur in the spiritual realm. The image Nebuchadnezzar saw in vision was of the spiritual aspects of the succession of earthly kingdoms representing the time of the Gentiles. It wasn't of the secular aspects, such as size of armies or territories conquered.
According to Daniel's interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's vision, the image with Babylon as its head and which takes its identity from its head exists until Christ smashes it. Daniel assures the king that his interpretation of the king's vision is trustworthy; thus, that image is here with us today. Parts of that image weren't missing, so there has been no period between Nebuchadnezzar and today when that image hasn't reigned. Either that, or Daniel's interpretation wasn't trustworthy. And if that image has reigned continuously, then the two legs cannot be the Roman Empire, or the Holy Roman Empire, or any revival of the Holy Roman Empire. No Roman variant rules the secular world today. The Roman Church doesn't rule. If it did, we wouldn't have experienced Islamic fundamentalists turning passenger airliners into cruise missiles. So based on the strength of the physical evidence, we can preclude Rome, or the Roman Empire, or the Roman Church from being the two legs of the image Nebuchadnezzar saw.
As a student of the Bible, you will either accept on faith that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, or you are fooling yourself. If Scripture is inspired, and if Scripture nowhere mentions Rome, and if the physical evidence of history excludes Rome from fulfilling biblical prophecy, then why would you try to tell me that the two legs of Nebuchadnezzar's image is the Roman Empire, especially when the division occurs in the bronze portion of the image?
God is a spirit. He reigns through a spiritual kingdom. He created dung beetles as well as humanity from the same elements of the earth. But He didn't create dung beetles in His image. They have their own kingdom. As far as we can determine, they are not interested in prophecy, or in the rights of kings, or in the rights of man. The only thing about humanity that interests them is our excrement.
Too much of humanity has traditionally been more interested in what it can get from God than in becoming godlike. These are the dung beetles of humanity, and not all of them have been pagan. I recently purchased a used computer to replace the ancient machine on which I wrote ten books; my decision to purchase was partially based upon the software on the harddrive. The machine I purchased had a very large and very expensive Bible program on its drive, but buried under this program were many files labeled Danish Hardcore. I didn't open those files, but deleted them as I found them. God and Christ for the former owner of this machine was a source of acquisition, not the image of the person this machine's former owner saw in the mirror of Scripture.
I will here assert that God's interest in humanity is for our spiritual potential. His interest in our kingdoms is their spiritual aspect. He has given prophecies so the endtime Elect will know what happens spiritually. It has been a while since Christ ate a last breakfast with His disciples. Much has changed, including our perception of reality. His credibility is somewhat tarnished. He has become a good person, an inspirational icon, the most influential man the world has ever known, but no longer is He the Son of Man for too many Christians. However, two and a half millennia ago, the means to rectify this credibility problem were put into place. Prophecies about endtime events in the spiritual realm were given, and they were sealed so that neither men nor angels could understand them. They would then be opened at a specific time in the future by God and Christ. That time was a year ago. The time of the end has begun, for the visions of Daniel can be read without leaving inspired Scripture.
While wouldbe scholars wrestle with whether I have produced an inspired reading of endtime prophecies, I am faced with an additional problem to which I alluded earlier. War in the spiritual realm is being fought as I write this, but this war has few definitive frontlines in the secular realm. It's global warfare, but the only place where real bullets will be fired by uniformed combatants will be in Iraq. How do I, how does humanity grasp the nature of this warfare, which will be the model for what happens throughout the first half of the Tribulation? Jerusalem will replace Susa as the secular focal point, but again, the warfare will be worldwide. Spiritual Babylon has a king, Satan himself. But it has been ruled by a coalition of entities, two of which are presently at war.
Concerning our grasping the nature of how spiritual war plays out in the physical world, we see ideological frontlines that cross national boundaries. While some French farmers and businessmen support the United States' position concerning Iraq, the national government will not. Likewise, antiwar protesters in this country seem to be in league with French officials. Even the Arab world is somewhat divided over whom to support. Therefore, I can say with some certainty that the future conflicts will have a geographical focal point, but the global war is fought through ideologies. And the next battle we'll witness being actively fought will be between Trinitarian and Arian Christianity, with Arian Christianity prevailing.
It is always a trap to take a prophecy beyond what is revealed. Today, the Roman, Orthodox and Evangelical Churches are Trinitarians. The Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses are Arians. Adventists used to be Arians, and the Sacred Names churches are mostly Arians. With an application of secular logic, it seems likely that the Mormons will soon become the predominant Church in America. Unless there is another Arian church about which I do not know, the Mormons will probably have that same type of success throughout the Western world and Russia. Regardless, the combined Arian and Trinitarian churches will evangelize the world, and more than half of the world's population will profess to be Christians within the next few years.
Again, there will be warfare between the spiritual powers backing Arian and Trinitarian Christianity. In addition, there will be warfare between the spiritual entity backing the theology of the Cross and the entity supporting Islam: Allah will fight against the man of perdition, with both smashed by Christ halfway through seven years of tribulation. People will die. More than a third of humanity will die. So these wars will have real casualties. But the battle will be between ideologies. The theoretical Marxists will assign economic causes to each of these resource conflicts, but these Marxists are themselves participants in these clashes of ideologies that will not have clearly delineated geographical frontlines. The endtime descendants of the two houses of Israel have achieved national sovereignty in several areas of the world. The house of Judah reigns sovereign in modern Israel. The house of Israel reigns sovereign in the United States, in Britain and in its Commonwealth allies, and in the nations of northern Europe. When Ezekiel in prophecy uses the identifier "Israel," he uses it for the people of Jerusalem, or for the Israelites of the house of Judah, or for the Israelites of the house of Israel. Plus, the identifier also applies to spiritual Israelites as the reality of the shadow that physical Israel cast. So endtime prophecies that pertain to Israel are not necessarily about the modern nation of Israel. Again, the dung beetle approach to prophecy is to say that whenever Israel is mentioned, the prophecy refers to the Israelis.
A spiritual Jerusalem exists as well as the physical city. Spiritual Jerusalem has theological coordinates, not geographical. When Christ returns as the all powerful Messiah, He comes to physical Jerusalem only after He visits all of spiritual Jerusalem, the logic of why every eye will see Him before He does a lot of slaughtering on the plains of Sharon.
The concept of battling ideologies being the physical manifestation of spiritual warfare seems open to too much speculation to be valid. Yet, I cannot say this too strongly: today, in one of the greatest spiritual battles fought during the past two and a half millennia, we see President Bush debating with himself about whether he needed United Nations support for what he knows he must do. We see the French foreign minister and President make themselves irrelevant internationally. We see the United Nations, itself, become a debating club. We see the establishment of a new world order that has within itself the seeds of its own destruction. We see the establishment of an American hegemony that doesn't seek long-term occupation of foreign soil, but the permanent insertion of American ideals and values into the conquered peoples. Our occupation of Iraq, and soon Syria, Iran, and Saudi Arabia, won't be physical but mental. We will replace one mental paradigm with another. We will insert the values of Athenian Greece into the long term domain of the king of the South. And here is where bringing what will occur in the spiritual realm into the physical becomes tricky: the spiritual king of Greece is himself a coalition of spiritual powers. He is the first beast of Revelation 13, but when seen in Revelation, he has already been defeated, the reason the one head has been dealt a mortal wound, and why the dragon has to give the beast his power and authority. What we don't see in Revelation is the breaking of his first horn, which occurs the Passover when spiritual and physical firstborns are killed. We see that breaking in Daniel 8, and in Daniel 11. In both chapters, we see the emergence of the four beasts that have seven heads that are the first beast of Revelation 13. We see this seven-headed beast defeated in Daniel 7:11-12, and in Revelation 11:15. And we see spirit beings directly engage our physical world throughout the second half of the Tribulation (after they have been cast from heaven). So the tricky part is understanding the merging of the spiritual and physical creations that will be completed when the demonic king of the North possesses a human being to become the man of perdition, who will be destroyed halfway through the Tribulation, and who is the head that received the mortal wound that heals. The true antiChrist is Satan who will come as a spirit being, not as a human, and who will claim to be the messiah, here to establish his millennium reign on earth. This is the second beast of Revelation 13. All of humanity had been in bondage to him, but were liberated when he was cast from heaven on day 1260. Now, for him to return his liberated slaves to bondage, he will require that they accept his slave mark, the mark of the beast, Chi xi stigma, or the tattoo of the Cross of Calvary.
The above statement might be hard to accept, but remember, the man of perdition comes out of the spiritual king of Greece's coalition. He will be an Arian Christian though not of the same flavor as the Arian Christians supported by the first horn. As such, former Trinitarian Christians both inside and outside of spiritual Jerusalem will be able to identify him as the man of perdition. He will need to use force to compel compliance to his demands, and his heavy handed use of force is referenced in the Olivet prophecy in the passage except these days be shortened, no flesh would be saved alive. That passage doesn't pertain to the end of the Tribulation, but to the middle. And Christ does come to fight as on a day of battle when armies surround Jerusalem. Christ shortens those days.
The symbol of Arian Christianity is the same as that of Trinitarian Christianity: the Cross of Calvary. The man of perdition has rallied the armies of a ten-nation coalition to fight radical Islam through the Cross. When the earth swallows the armies of the man of perdition, the demon is dealt a deadly blow. The nations, however, that sent their armies are still intact as seen by the crowns in the first beast's head, but only for a little while. Satan as the little horn of Daniel 7 will overturn three of those ten nations, and Satan as the antiChrist will operate under the banner of the Cross, since he comes declaring himself the messiah. This is why the mark of the beast is used as Satan's slave mark. Christ will turn His hand against two of every three Christians. With more than half the world's population having self-identified themselves as Christian, this turning of His hand will be against a third of the world's population. But the other third of those who identify themselves as Christian will be in covenant with Him, suggesting that there will be a billion genuine Christians available to harvest the other half of humanity. This means that a lot of work remains to be done during this time of the end.
I have been drafted to read these prophecies. I have been given understanding that I didn't have before, but I haven't been given additional visions or prophecies. Rather, everything humanity needs to understand the mysteries of God was given when Revelation was written. My task is not to add to what has been given while explaining as best I can the prophecies that were sealed for two and a half millennia. My understanding is better today than it was a year ago when the visions of Daniel were first unsealed. But my task actually seemed simpler then than now, for with the additional understanding has come knowledge that former friends such as the BYU professor will temporarily become hostile.
I wasn't seeking disciples when I began this work for which I was drafted. Some will level this accusation against me, but if I desired disciples, I wouldn't go about acquiring them this way. My writings are confrontational. I am, perhaps, less so in person, but I have been given a hard head to do this job of confronting both the spiritual house ofJudah and the spiritual house of Israel. Christ would have all spiritual Israelites under His blood this future Passover night when firstborns are again slain. They won't be there, though, if someone doesn't get into their face and challenge them to prove what they believe.
But who am I to challenge all of Christendom? What are my credentials?
God the Father has loaned me a little of His credibility by using me to unseal these endtime prophecies. If you see that what I write is the inspired understanding of these endtime prophecies, then believe me about getting back into the covenant in which you were placed when drawn. If you don't yet see what I write is inspired, remember its essence for one day you will be liberated from spiritual bondage. If you want to be a part of the first resurrection, do not accept the mark of the beast; do not accept a tattoo of the Cross. Trust God to supply your needs. If you love your life more than you love God, you won't be a part of the kingdom of heaven. End of subject.
The problem I face today is how to make war in the spirit realm real to individuals who have heard that our going into Iraq is about oil, or about the son finishing the business of the father. Sure, oil is involved. Sure, the President would like to correct a mistake his father made. But these are side issues to the real reason we will remove Saddam from power: Saddam has to go because Greek ideology will replace Persian. Whereas the king of Greece has been a member of the spiritual coalition reigning under the cover of Babylon, he is now taking over. He is determined to establish a new world order; he will. And his Greek reign will have a break when the first horn is broken, but will continue to reign through surrogates until Christ destroys it with a cut stone, the split Mount of Olives. Babylon is a spiritual kingdom and a physical city. As a spiritual kingdom, Babylon incorporates all of the world; the dragon deceives the whole world. As a physical city, no name is given, but when Babylon's attributes are juxtaposed on the world's major cities, every city is ruled out except New York City.
There is no nation today called Babylon although Saddam would like to claim that identifier. But Saddam had to use poisoned gas on the Kurds to rule his little sandbox. Iraq is not a world-ruling kingdom. So "Babylon" is physically a metaphorical title given to this world's system of governance, controlled largely from one city. However, in the spiritual realm, it is a real kingdom, with a real king.
What does all of the above mean: wouldbe biblical experts who find Rome or the Roman Empire in the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation are all false prophets. No exceptions. And I do not apologize for labeling them false. They are deceiving those who trust them. If a person trusts one of these false prophets concerning a doctrine such as the rapture, don't. They lied to you about Rome, and they will lie to you about a preTrib rapture.
Equally false are all wouldbe biblical experts who say that prophetic references to Israel are only for the modern nation of Israel. Likewise, the watchmen who have the United States and Britain returning to physical captivity are false (endtime prophecies are spiritual in application). Who else can I start a fight with in the next few sentences? Both Arian Christianity and Trinitarian Christianity are in spiritual bondage from which they will be liberated on that Passover night when firstborns are again slain. Open salvation begins on day 1260 when the kingdom of the world becomes the kingdom of the Father and His Messiah (Rev 11:15); all of humanity is then called in the famous passage, Come out of her [Babylon], My people (Rev 18:4). And if what I write makes sense to you today, you have probably been drawn by the Father, and you need to, within covenant, grow in grace and knowledge. Part of that growth is reading the fine print of what has been written on your heart and mind.
Spiritual diplomacy died before Christ, as the second Adam, named the animals (Hypocrites, Vipers, etc.). As with the first Adam, the names He called them will be their names forever. So the harshness with which I write is probably of God. Now that's a thought which will take a little contemplation.
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