November 8, 2003 © Homer Kizer
Commentary — From the
In August of this year, I left Little Egypt, literally and figuratively –
Southern Illinois was dubbed Little Egypt more than a century ago when northern farmers went to the southern part of the state to supply their early summer need for feed grains. The farms of southern Illinois had mid-West fertility while bringing crops to market a month or more before the same crops ripened in central and northern portions of the state. Before wide spread cold storage of apples was possible, southern Illinois supplied the market with fresh apples (Yellow Transparents) in late May. The area is the northern limit for Southern Magnolias and Cyprus trees. And it celebrates its "Little Egypt" reputation by having named many towns and businesses after Egyptian landmarks.
The ancient prophet Hosea recorded, "When Israel was a child, I loved him, / and out of Egypt I called my son" (Hos 11:1). Matthew writes that second clause of this sentence pertains to Christ Jesus (Matt 2:15), but it first pertained to the descendants of the patriarch Jacob: ‘"Then you [Moses] shall say to Pharaoh, "Thus says the Lord, ‘Israel is my firstborn son, and I [the Lord] say to you, "Let my son go that he may serve me.’ If you refuse to let him go, behold, I will kill your firstborn son""’" (Exod 4:22-23). And in this second clause, we see the layering of shadows that unlocks understanding the endtime story of Israel. Jesus is the reality that Israel foreshadows and shadows as the holy nation of God.
Hosea further records:
[I, the Lord, will destroy] you, O Israel, for you are against me, against your helper…I gave you a king in my anger, and I took him away in my wrath. The iniquity of Ephraim is bound up; his sin is kept in store. The pangs of childbirth come for him, but he is an unwise son, for at the right time he does not present himself at the opening of the womb. Shall I [the Lord] ransom them from the power of Sheol? Shall I redeem them from Death? O Death, where are you plagues? O Sheol, where is your sting? Compassion is hidden from my eyes. (Hos 13:9-14)
When the kingdom of the world becomes the kingdom of the Most High and of His Messiah (Rev 11:15) – when the Holy Spirit is poured out on all humanity (Joel 2:28), and when Satan is cast from heaven (Rev 12:9 -- all three events occur on the same day) – all of humanity becomes the holy nation of Israel, the single nation promised to Abraham (Gen 12:2). The harvest of the earth will have ripened and will be ready for reaping (Rev 14:15).
The woman clothed with the sun with the moon under her feet and with a crown of twelve stars who gives birth to the man child that will rule all nations, and whose children keep the commandments of God and hold the testimony of Jesus (Rev chptr 12) is Israel, first the physical nation from which Christ came (v. 5), then the spiritual nation (v. 17). Same woman, same nation – physical Israel became the holy nation of God (Exod 19:5-6) when the spoken laws of God entered hearts and minds through the hearing of their ears (Job 42:5). Spiritual Israel became the holy nation of God (1 Pet 2:9) when hearts and minds rather than penises were circumcised, when the laws of God were written on hearts and minds (Jer 31:33; Heb 8:10 & 10:16) through receipt of the Holy Spirit -- Israel actually saw God with the nation’s eyes.
With God, there is no male or female (Gal 3:28). So the woman of Revelation chapter 12 is also the firstborn son of God: Israel. And it is Israel that God first calls out of physical Egypt, and finally out of spiritual and physical Egypt/Babylon when God calls, ‘"Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues’" (Rev 18:4) shortly before Christ returns to physically and spiritually reign over all of humanity during the Millennium.
But there is a gap between physical circumcision, and being both physically and spiritually circumcised during Christ’s Millennium reign (Ezek 44:7, 9). The promise of the second covenant mediated by Moses (Deu 29:1) was spiritual circumcision (Deu 30:6) following obedience to the laws of God. The better promise added to this second covenant (made with uncircumcised Israelites – Jos 5:2-7) is spiritual circumcision prior to obedience – receipt of the Holy Spirit causes the laws of God to be written on hearts and minds. This is spiritual circumcision. So the gap is spiritually circumcised Israel, who, like the uncircumcised Israelites with whom the second covenant was initially made, lives like Judeans (Gal 2:14 – read the passage in its Greek original) with the laws of God written on their consciences.
Satan as the prince of the power of the air (Eph 2:2) has deceived all of humanity (Rev 12:9). He is the true king of Babylon (Isa 14:4-21), into whose hand the children of men were given wherever they dwelt (Dan 2:37-38). Nebuchadnezzar served as the physical type of Satan, with the seven years the king lived as a beast representing Satan being cast to earth, where he will live as a man for 1260 days prior to Christ’s return, then will be released for a short while after a thousand years (Christ’s reign technically never ends, but physical humanity does when the new heaven and the new earth come), that short while probably being another 1260 days.
Returning to what Hosea prophesied: the Lord will destroy Israel for His holy nation has turned against Him – and this is what we see in the parable of the pounds (Luke 19:11-27). Seven of the ten servants or slaves to whom the young nobleman gave a pound apparently joined with the citizens of the country to send a delegation after the nobleman saying that they would not be ruled by him. These seven do not appear before the nobleman to give an accounting of the business they did with the pound they received. And the nobleman orders that his enemies be brought before him and slaughtered. The seven were counted among the nobleman’s enemies.
The Lord destroying Israel is also what the prophet Zechariah records: ‘"Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered; I [the Lord] 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"’ (13:7-8). Christ identifies Himself as this shepherd (Matt 26:31). So the one third of the little ones that remain are Christians, about whom Zechariah writes, ""And I [the Lord] 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"’" (Zech 13:9).
Seven-of-ten and two-thirds represent comparable percentages. So a large number of holy ones will perish before Christ returns as the Messiah – and they perish because they will not be ruled by Him, because they are actually against Him.
Halfway through seven years of Tribulation, all of humanity will become the holy nation of God – but let us return to the example of physical Israel becoming the holy nation of God. When Israel was in physical bondage to the Pharaoh, YHWH appeared to Moses in a burning bush, and Moses returned to Egypt with a commission. Then before Moses ever met with Pharaoh, YHWH identified Israel as His firstborn son. But Israel doesn’t become the holy nation of God until the third month after the nation’s Passover liberation.
Christ is today Israel’s paschal Lamb. He was penned in Jerusalem on the 10th of Abib, determined by counting backwards five days from when He was crucified on the Preparation Day for the High Sabbath. the 14th (John 12:1, 12 & 19:31). He was killed close to the time when Israel killed its paschal lambs. And He entered the tomb when Israel gathered to eat the paschal lamb. It is His body, His sacrifice, that spiritual Israel is to eat. Today, taking the Passover service as He gave an example and as Paul instructed the saints at Corinth to observe represents eating His body as Israel’s true paschal Lamb.
Christ was slain for the sins of humanity from the foundation of the earth. The six hours between when Moses instructed Israel to slay the paschal lamb and when the death angel passed through all of Egypt slaying firstborns not covered by the blood of a paschal lamb represents the six thousand years between the foundation of the earth and the beginning of the Lord’s Day, with one day being as a thousand years. God rested on the seventh day of creation week – and it is into His rest that disciples are to enter as glorified saints upon Christ’s return. Thus, the Genesis account of the creation of humankind, beginning in verse 27, bears a similar relationship to Hosea’s prophecy of God calling Israel out of Egypt as the resurrection of saints has to Jesus being called out of Egypt as the Father’s firstborn Son. Expressed in other words, the creation account of humanity being created male and female (Gen 1:27-31) typologically represents endtime Israel being called out of Egypt/Babylon and into the promised land; i.e., glorified sons of God.
Now, allow me to combine the unraveled prophecies. Shortly before all of humanity becomes the holy nation Israel by the kingdom of the world becoming the kingdom of the Most High and of His Messiah – in relatively the same length of time as between when the death angel passed through Egypt and when circumcised Israel became the holy nation of YHWH – the four angels bound at the river Euphrates will be released to kill a third of humanity (Rev 9:13-19). YHWH identified Israel as His firstborn son before that nation was liberated from physical bondage to Pharaoh, a type of the king of Babylon. That identification preceded the slaughter of all firstborns not covered by the blood of the paschal lamb. Moses delivered the warning to Pharaoh to let Israel go, or his firstborns would be killed. But since all of humanity is already Israel prior to its liberation from Satan, the true king of Babylon, these four angels kill all firstborns not covered by the blood of Christ.
But after the four death angels kill a third of humanity, "The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols" (Rev 9:20). After the death angel passed through Egypt, Israel was liberated, but Israel did not "cast away the detestable things their eyes feasted on, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt" (Ezek 20:8). And after the Passover slaughter of firstborns that occurs when spiritual Israel is liberated from mental bondage to the king of Babylon, spiritual Israel will also not forsake worshiping demons and idols.
A new concept? Another Passover slaughter of firstborns? The prophecy of Zechariah uses an idiom that is more inclusive than is its English counterpart: what is translated as two-thirds is literally "parts two," or two parts. The implication is that this represents two of three parts. But before making this assignment of meaning, we should return to Hosea’s prophecy: "‘I [the Lord] gave you a king in my anger, and I took him away in my wrath’" (13:11). Indeed, YHWH gave circumcised Israel Saul to be king when He said to Samuel, ‘"Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. According to all the deeds that they have done, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are also doing to you’" (1 Sam 8:7-8). But physical Israel becomes spiritual Israel when Jesus becomes the firstborn Son called out of Egypt. And as circumcised Israel rejected YHWH, causing the Lord to give His holy physical nation a human king, spiritual Israel rejected the Father, spurning the laws of God He wrote on their hearts and minds when He gave them His Holy Spirit, thereby causing the Lord to give His holy spiritual nation a spiritual king. And the Lord will take away this spiritual king in wrath.
Certainly spiritual Israel spurned the laws of God that the Father wrote on the hearts and minds of this holy nation – how does the fourth commandment read in your Bible? Or the third if you have a Catholic printing? Circumcised Israel profaned YHWH’s Sabbaths (Ezek 20:12-13, 16, 19-21, 24; et al). So has spiritual Israel.
Israel goes from being the physical nation to being the spiritual nation to being all of humanity. The transition between Israel being a physical nation and a spiritual nation occurred during the three and a half year earthly ministry of the man Jesus of Nazareth. The transition between Israel being the spiritual nation and all of humanity occurs during the time, times and half a time (Dan 7:25) when the saints are given into the hand of the little horn of Daniel 7, or during the 1260 days preceding the kingdom of the world becoming the kingdom of the Most High and of His Messiah. Two three and a half year transition periods – the second of three transitions will also be three and a half years long. And this is the transition about which the least is written in Scripture. This transition occurs immediately prior to the second Passover liberation of spiritual Israel.
The Shepherd will turn His hand against two parts of the holy ones – better, the Shepherd will twice turn His hand against the holy ones, the first time because, ‘"The pangs of childbirth come for him, but he is an unwise son, for at the right time he does not present himself at the opening of the womb’" (Hos 13:13). The right time for Israel to present himself is at the Passover of the Lamb of God. All firstborns of Israel, like the firstborns of spiritual Egypt, will be slain if not covered by the blood of the Lamb when the Lord, in His wrath, takes away the spiritual king He, in His anger, placed over Israel for its good.
I have previously written that Israel is today in bondage to Satan – and this is true. I have also written that the spiritual kings of the North and of the South, as subservient kings to the king of Greece, himself subservient to Satan, were placed over the spiritual house of Israel [Arian Christianity] and the spiritual house of Judah [Trinitarian Christianity] – and this is true. But it was into the hand of the first horn, or great horn of the spiritual king of Greece that the Lord delivered Israel in His anger when the holy nation rejected Him. And it is this king that the Lord will, in wrath, remove from being over Israel when He liberates the Church from mental bondage to demons.
The story of Christianity from the 4th-Century to the present time reflects the compromises made in the supernal realm by the great horn of the king of Greece to keep peace between the cross-shaped king of the North and four-headed king of the South. But in wrath – because of this great horn murdering the sons of God by teaching them to commit spiritual suicide just as Pharaoh was killing the sons of Israel when Moses was born – the Lord will liberate Israel from this king, slaying both the king and all of his firstborns. The firstborns of man and beast slain in Egypt are moved up one level to spiritual and physical firstborns of God and man.
All of humanity will become born again Christians when the Holy Spirit is poured out on all flesh. Today, though, born again Christians number only a third of humanity, with that percentage moving towards half. When physical Israel was liberated, Pharaoh told Moses there were more Israelites than Egyptians (Exod 5:5). When spiritual Israel is liberated from bondage to its spiritual king, there will be more born again Christians than spiritual Egyptians. So the liberation of spiritual Israel can be platted through the growth of the greater Christian Church, with 50% of humanity pointing directly at the following second Passover. This could be between 2005 and 2007, which isn’t a setting of dates but an acknowledging of Christianity’s remarkable growth, especially in the 10-40 window. The season of liberation is only a short while ahead of us, not another millennium away.
Finally, I have arrived at where I wish to begin: during the last 1260 days prior to Christ’s return as the Messiah, all of humanity will be born again Christians, but many will take the mark of the beast; i.e., the tattoo [stigma] of the Xx, or Christ’s cross [Chi xi]. They will worship the dragon [Satan] and the beast [the fourth beast of Daniel 7], saying ‘"Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?’" (Rev 13:4); they will, literally, continue to worship demons and idols while believing that they worship Christ.
When the dragon is cast from heaven, all dominion is taken from him and from the four beasts (one of whom has been dealt a deadly wound – from Dan 7:9-14) that form the king of Greece, the first beast of Revelation chapter 13. Yet the dragon gives his great authority to this king of Greece – what authority? He no longer has any legitimate authority. The only authority he possesses is what he steals from Christ, to whom the Ancient of Days has given the kingdom of the world so that the ripened harvest of the earth (Rev 14:15) can be gathered. Yes, Satan comes as the antiChrist, stealing authority that belongs to Christ by posing as the messiah. And he makes born again humanity worship the image of the beast who was dealt a deadly wound and whose body has been given over to be burned – the image of this beast is the same as its mark, Xx. That image is of the empty Cross, which has become an idol of gold, silver, stone and wood for the greater Christian Church.
If during these last 1260 days of this age a person doesn’t take the mark of the beast, the person cannot buy and sell; the person is excluded from the world’s economic system. Thus, the time-linked shadow of the fallen Satan as the antiChrist is Satan as the little horn of Daniel 7 possessing a human being and coming as the man of perdition – and the liberated Church as the shadow of liberated humanity will be excluded from buying and selling if it doesn’t go along with the little horn changing ‘"times and the law’" (Dan 7:25). In other words, the shadow of the mark of the beast is the change of times and the law. Once the Church is liberated, Christ will reveal the need to keep the Sabbaths of God, just as physical Israel received the Sabbath immediately following the day that would become the second Passover. Allow me to explain: when Israel left Egypt, they took enough food with them to last a month. They were liberated on the 15th of the first month. On the 15th of the second month (the second Passover, or when the Passover is taken by Israelites who were unclean), Israel came into the wilderness of Sin – and the nation grumbled against Moses for bringing them into the wilderness without any food. Israel said to Moses and Aaron, ‘"Would that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger’" (Exod 16:3). YHWH answered with manna, thereby revealing the weekly Sabbath to the nation.
Again, spiritual Israel when liberated from mental bondage to the king of Babylon at the second Passover is the shadow of liberated humanity once Satan is cast from heaven. The mark of the beast is the shadow of changed times and the law. Genuine saints will not take the mark of the beast; genuine saints will not go along with the changed times and law. The Sabbath will be revealed to Israel. Genuine Israelites will become Sabbath-keepers as they live within the laws of God. Therefore, since the man of perdition will use the changed times and law to exclude saints from the economic system, the change is of the Sabbath –
Sunday observance will become mandatory after the liberation of spiritual Israel. Even though all of Israel will then know to keep the Sabbath – no Christian will, any longer, be deceived – the majority of Israel will go along with the man of perdition. The greater Christian Church, against what it knows is right, will support the Christianity of the Cross, leaving genuine disciples to economically fend for themselves as they are prohibited from buying and selling because of them keeping the Sabbath. No hypocrite will enter the kingdom of God. The righteousness of saints must exceed that of the Pharisees (Matt 5:20). And once liberated from bondage to sin, every Israelite who returns to keeping Sunday as the Sabbath will be a hypocrite! Is that shrill enough? You will either live by faith, trusting God to supply your needs just as YHWH delivered manna every day to physical Israelites in the wilderness of Sin, or you will go into the lake of fire. Your choice. And it is a simple choice.
The Shepherd that is Christ will turn His hand against two parts of Israel. The first time is at the second Passover when firstborns not covered by His blood will be slain. The second time is when the four angels bound at the river Euphrates are released to kill a third of humanity. Israel goes from being half of humanity to being all of humanity. When Israel becomes the Father’s firstborn son [Christ is the First of the firstfruits], the uncovered firstborns slain are a third of humanity – we can expect that same percent of Israel to be uncovered at the second Passover. So in addition to the firstborns of the world that die when Israel is released from bondage to sin, a third of Israel (or a sixth of humanity) will also die…the second Passover isn’t a small event occurring in relative isolation. It rocks the world, and it will cause today’s prophecy pundits to identify it as the second woe. BUT IT ISN’T ANY OF THE WOES! THE TRIBULATION HASN’T YET ARRIVED.
Did I scream that loud enough to be heard? The Tribulation begins when the second Passover liberation of Israel occurs. Humanity isn’t halfway through the Tribulation as the many false prophets will claim. There aren’t 1260 days of tribulation ahead of the Church, but 2520 days.
The Church will not be raptured prior to the Tribulation. That is a false doctrine doing, today, great harm to Israel. It will be a faith-killing doctrine the morning after the liberation of Israel. Satan has already had the Church swallow the poisoned pill that causes, and will continue to cause saints to commit spiritual suicide. The antidote is in Scripture, is in understanding that in all things the physical precedes the spiritual, that the visible reveals the invisible.
The man of perdition rides a white horse carrying a bow. He comes conquering and to conquer. But he has already been defeated. Outside of time, those whom the Father foreknew, He predestined, justified, and glorified (Rom 8:30) – and they sit with Christ as His many brothers watching, as if a rerun, them working out their salvation. They are only there if they succeeded. And because they are there, we know that we have the victory over Satan; we can resist the man of perdition and the antiChrist and win. We can live by faith for the little while necessary to obtain this victory.
Victory will not be easy. Obtaining it will be the most difficult thing most of us have ever done, but the fight is for the greatest prize ever offered: salvation. And all we have to do is endure to the end. That’s all. We don’t have to do anything but endure by faith.
If enduring were easy, it wouldn’t be enduring.
The genuine ministers of Christ will either prepare the saints Christ has given them to endure to the end, or these ministers will not even be recognized by Christ when resurrected to condemnation. I didn’t write error. That is what I said: the shepherds who hear Christ’s voice will prepare a people to endure to the end, to endure being excluded from the world’s economic system, to endure being persecuted, to endure being imprisoned and martyred. They will prepare a people to annually take the Passover as Christ left disciples an example. The great works of casting out demons and healing the physically sick mean nothing if these shepherds teach their sheep to commit spiritual suicide by erasing the laws of God written on hearts and minds through receipt of the Holy Spirit. Christ will call them workers of lawlessness and order them away from Him (Matt 7:21-23).
I was spiritually called out of Egypt decades ago, but I was only recently physically called out of Egypt, or Little Egypt. I am, today, a shadow of all saints who do not take the mark of the beast. There are other shadows, and there will be two primary shadows, the two witnesses. Christ is the reality that casts these shadows, so all who are excluded from the world can be of Christ. Those who are of the world can never be.
The good news that all who endure to the end will be saved must be proclaimed to the world as a witness to all nations (Matt 24:13-14) before the end of the age comes. The reason why this good news must be proclaimed is in Israel being called out of Egypt/Babylon. Humanity needs to know that it will receive the Holy Spirit and will become Israel for the last 1260 of this age. Its liberation from bondage will be such a great event that circumcised Israel’s liberation from Pharaoh won’t even be remembered (Jer 16:14-15) during the Millennium. But 600,000 circumcised male Israelites crossed the Red Sea, and only 40,000 male uncircumcised Israelites crossed the Jordan – a one in fifteen ratio. Today, much work needs to be done before even one in fifteen spiritual Israelites will leave Egypt and live by faith within the laws of God. Their teachers have taught them that to live as uncircumcised Judeans is legalistic – both God the Father and His Son are covenant keeping deities, which makes them legalists that would have Israel live within the laws of God. It is the spiritual king of Israel who, today, would have Israel break covenant with God, thereby causing the holy nation to commit spiritual suicide.
The choice is yours. Under the second covenant, you have your judgment in your hands. The Lord has given you instructions: choose life and good (Deu 30:15). The book of Revelation adds a final note to coming out of Egypt: the angel tells John, ‘"Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy’" (Rev 22:11). Doing requires works, good works or bad. The implication is that saints who do evil and are unclean will not leave Egypt, that God will let them be. At some point, He won’t waste any more effort on them. Yes, He will have them cast into the lake of fire – but that was their choice. He did everything but die a second time for them, and they would not give up their leeks and garlic, their BMWs and beachfront condos. They will curse God, all the while believing that they are worshiping Him through the empty Cross.
* * * * *
"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."