September 6, 2016 ©Homer Kizer
“A Long Time Coming”
Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book, but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name. (John 20:30–31)
The disciples expected Jesus to return shortly after He ascended into heaven. Apparently they were thoroughly convinced that He would return, but they truly didn’t expect a delay of decades; they couldn’t have imagined a delay of centuries that have become nearly two millennia. So the question arises: are the signs, miracles recorded in John’s Gospel sufficient to cause an increasingly skeptical, increasingly secular world population to believe that Jesus is the Son of God? And that question cannot yet be answered although the typology undergirding the question will not have Christ Jesus returning until the midnight hour of the one long spiritual night that began at Calvary—until humankind can get no farther from God and must turn toward God, toward the Light. And humanity has been on a very long journey away from God.
Decades ago, I thought that humankind could get no farther from God only to become aware that, yes, humankind could. In 1972, when drafted into the Body of Christ, I couldn’t imagine gays being able to legally marry, or that homosexuality would gain wide public acceptance. While I could, in the 1970s, imagine young couples openly living together without the benefit of marriage, I really couldn’t imagine grandparents not bothering to marry. I’m now a grandparent, and my middle-aged children keep details of their relationships from me—they know I wouldn’t approve even if I said nothing, and I wouldn’t approve for parents and grandparents know more than younger generations suspect.
In a French foodways book, I read that in 12th-Century France tax collectors collecting tariffs on wagonloads of goods entering Paris didn’t inventory the goods, but took the word of the wagon master as to what he was bringing into the city; for it was unimaginable that the anyone would lie to a tax collector. Honesty was the mark of the man. However, now honesty is equated with being gullible. The “smart” person gets over whatever he can on “the man” [the government representative]. Cheating the government is standard procedure. Stealing is acceptable as long as the person isn’t caught—and so it was in ancient Sparta.
The moral decline in America in the past fifty years was—fifty years ago—unimaginable, but so too were personal computers, cell phones, and I-pads. Even the shape and scope of the Internet couldn’t have been imagined when I entered college as a math major in 1963 … Willamette University had a computer, but only faculty or upper division math students could use it.
I was working in Georgia Pacific’s pulp and paper mill at Toledo, Oregon, when a leather company, Tandy Leather—I had one of their wallet kits that had been tooled by a fellow employee’s mother—offered stock in a new company it was forming: Radio Shack. A number of us discussed whether we should buy the initial public offering. Only one of us bought. And everyone who bought did well; for it wasn’t long before Radio Shack’s walkie-talkies became personal computers that didn’t do much, but for which simple programs could be written … the future is never what is expected; for I certainly didn’t expect a leather company to become, for a while, an electronics giant.
I have heard it said that the Christian Church is for sinners, not the righteous. But that is, at best, only partially true; for Paul tell the saints at Corinth,
It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you. … But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. Purge the evil person from among you. (1 Cor 5:1–2, 11–13)
For what have I to do with judging outsiders—the Church has the authority to judge and govern itself, and ought not judge those who do not profess to be members of the Church. Therefore, the Church’s authority to govern itself exceeds the authority of civil governments to govern what goes on inside fellowships. But to exercise this authority, the Church cannot be an agent of the civil government, or be beholden to civil authorities, meaning that the Church should not take advantage of tax exemption clauses in civil tax codes.
In Europe, in China, citizens cannot freely assemble together without permission from civil governments; therefore, any assembly larger than a family get-together needs permitting. And the need for a permit brings the civil government inside the Church—once inside, this “bear” will impose its values upon worshipers, meaning the authority to exclude the sexually immoral will be lost. So perhaps it is for this reason that only a few read the rather radical pieces I write. Only a few read in Norway, with one of these few writing to me years ago, saying that if I am correct in what I claim, then the remainder of the world has to be wrong—and he just couldn’t go there. Yet, he continued to read, joined now by quite a few scattered across the densely populated portion of the nation.
This Norwegian was correct: if what I write is true (I wouldn’t write what I do if I didn’t think it was), then the remainder of the world is wrong. If I, one person, now joined by a few others, am correct in what I say about Scripture; about God, Father and Son; about greater Christendom; about a Second Passover liberation of all Christians from indwelling Sin and Death, then the Adversary’s deception of the whole world is greater than any Christian has ever imagined. And humanity is not far from the midnight hour of the long spiritual night that began at Calvary.
If what I write represents a turn towards God, a turn towards the Light, then the midnight hour is at hand. And with every person who begins to read and believe, the more certain is humanity’s arrival at the midnight hour of the night that began when the Passover Lamb of God was sacrificed.
The endtime gospel (good news) that must be delivered to all the world as a witness to all nations before the end comes is that all who endure to the end shall be saved … I have been about delivering this gospel for fourteen years—and apparently in delivering this gospel comes the turn towards God, the Light, needed to denote the midnight hour of the long spiritual night that began at Calvary.
The work I began to do forms The Philadelphia Church, an assembly of individuals who share the same reading strategy; the same theological exegesis. Philadelphia is not organized by any structure recognizable by civil governments; hence, it is not and can never be a “Church” recognized by the French national government although an argument can be made for its antiquity, this argument based on Ebonite Christians and their scriptural canon … Philadelphia hasn’t ripped off the first two chapters of Matthew’s Gospel, but acknowledges that these two chapters are not factually true.
And we’re back to how much farther can humanity get from God, from Light, before the Second Passover liberation of a second Israel occurs: if humanity has collectively turned its back on God, Father and Son, and worships demons only (a real possibility), then does humanity have to move farther away from God? If you say, yes, would one step be far enough? Two steps? Three steps? Seven billion people times three steps is quite a distance. Or would a kilometer be enough? Would a mile be enough? Would any distance satisfy you? No, you say. And that is probably true; for you don’t want God to intervene in the affairs of humanity. Especially if you are sexually immoral, or a thief, or a swindler, or a politician who honestly believes that given enough time and good people, humanity can solve the problems besetting every civil government …
If Christian pastors put out of their congregations every person engaged in sexual immorality, there would not only be empty pews and collection plates, but there would also be empty pulpits.
There has to be an outer limit to how far humanity can get away from God, the Light of this world. There has to be a place where not only society breaks down because of general lawlessness, but individuals within society also breakdown because they can take no more lawlessness. I don’t know where this upper limit is: humankind’s ability to wallow in sin and identify what they do as pleasing to God actually defies logic.
The prophet Ezekiel records words of the Lord when Jerusalem and the house of Judah were in Babylonian captivity:
And I said to their children in the wilderness, Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers, nor keep their rules, nor defile yourselves with their idols. I am the Lord your God, walk in my statutes, and be careful to obey my rules, and keep my Sabbaths holy that they may be a sign between me and you, that you may know that I am the Lord your God. But the children rebelled against me. They did not walk in my statutes and were not careful to obey my rules, by which, if a person does them, he shall live; they profaned my Sabbaths. Then I said I would pour out my wrath upon them and spend my anger against them in the wilderness. But I withheld my hand and acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I had brought them out. Moreover, I swore to them in the wilderness that I would scatter them among the nations and disperse them through the countries, because they had not obeyed my rules, but had rejected my statutes and profaned my Sabbaths, and their eyes were set on their fathers’ idols. Moreover, I gave them statutes that were not good and rules by which they could not have life, and I defiled them through their very gifts in their offering up all their firstborn, that I might devastate them. I did it that they might know that I am the Lord. (Ezek 20:18–26)
The Lord’s patience isn’t indefinite: when the children of Israel in the wilderness continued in the idolatry of their parents, the Lord did the unthinkable—He gave to the children of Israel the command to sacrifice their firstborns. Yes, that is what He did; for all firstborn belong to Him (Ex 13:1) to do with as He pleases. And because they belong to Him, and because parents were committed idolaters, the most effective way for the Lord to “protect” the innocence of firstborns that were His was to have their parents kill them before they, too, could become idolaters.
With God, death of the flesh lacks finality.
In Matthew’s Gospel, Matthew’s Jesus tells Sadducees,
You know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God: ‘I am the God [Theos] of Abraham, and the God [Theos] of Isaac, and the God [Theos] of Jacob’? He is not God [Theos] of the dead, but of the living. (Matt 22:29–32)
God the Father [ton Theon — from John 1:1] is the God of dead ones. Yah, or the Logos [’o Logos — also from John 1:1] was the God [Theos] of living ones; was the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob while they lived physically. And this is the reality that has been concealed from Christianity by the heresy of the Trinity.
The Father resurrects the dead; for the “dead” belong to Him, both the physically dead as well as the spiritually dead. And about this John’s Jesus tells those Jews seeking His life,
Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of His own accord, but only what He sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son and shows Him all that He Himself is doing. And greater works than these will He show Him, so that you may marvel. For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom He will. The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. Truly, truly, I say to you whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life, John 5:19–24)
The Father judges no one; yet the Father raises the dead, and raises them without judging them. Thus, if the Father gives to a person “life,” the person receives this life—eternal life—without being judged. But this only pertains to the person whom the Father foreknows and predestines to be glorified as fruit borne out of season.
All judgment is given to the Son, Christ Jesus, who through judgment of the person to whom the Father has given the earnest of eternal life, will also give “life” to the person if that is the will and judgment of the Son … the Son adds a caveat that pertains to the Elect: whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life.
There is, here, a touchy narrative balance in play: when the Father draws a person from this world (John 6:44) and delivers the person to Christ Jesus to call, justify, and glorify, the person will have received the earnest [as in “earnest money”] of the spirit even before being called and justified. Receipt of this earnest of the spirit represents the indwelling of real spiritual life, but not spiritual birth—and it is here in this period analogous to when spermatozoa have entered the woman’s body and are making their way up fallopian tubes but have not yet penetrated the ovum that spiritual life can be and unfortunately often is lost, the justification for Matthew’s Jesus saying, “‘Many are called, but few are chosen’” (Matt 22:14).
Unless the Father also predestines to glory the person whom He draws from this world—as is and has been the case with the Elect—the Christian might well believe that he or she has been born of spirit, but almost always, the Christian really hasn’t been drawn from this world by the Father. The Christian actually awaits receipt of the spirit until the Second Passover liberation of a second Israel … Again, Matthew’s Jesus in the parable of the Wedding Feast concludes the parable by saying, “‘For many are called, but few are chosen’” (Matt 22:14), with this true just before and at the time of the heavenly Wedding Supper. This will not be true, however, until after the Second Passover; for today, Jesus doesn’t call anyone until after the Father draws the person from this world—and then He calls only those predestined to be glorified.
Again, in this present era, the Father doesn’t draw anyone from this world who is not predestined to be glorified; so the parable of the Wedding Feast can be dated to when there is a general calling of disciples not predestined to be glorified, but subject to judgment, hence resulting in few of the many called being glorified. In other words, the parable of the Wedding Feast pertains to the Affliction. However, with being filled with spirit and thereby liberated from indwelling Sin and Death at the Second Passover, all Christians will be called to the wedding feast, but most will be too busy coping with the new reality that follows the death of uncovered firstborns to pay much attention to God, Father and Son. They will be as unsuccessful spermatozoa, dying in the womb that is this world, with their resurrection from death benefitting neither them nor God.
The narrative balance between Paul writing, “For those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, in order that He might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom He predestined He also called, and those whom He called He also justified, and those whom He justified He also glorified” (Rom 8:29–30) and Matthew’s Jesus saying, “‘For many are called, but few are chosen’” (Matt 22:14) pivots on when the many or the few are called, with this pivot being the Second Passover. Before the Second Passover, few are called—very few. Only enough to get a work done. And then barely enough to support the work of delivering the endtime good news that all who endure to the end shall be saved. And of these few, all will be foreknown by the Father. That is correct, the few who have been called and who participate in the delivery of the endtime good news that all who endure to the end shall be saved come under the linguistic identifier of the Elect.
And returning to a concept introduced earlier. The Elect in participating in the delivery of the endtime gospel form islands of “light” as if they were candles or oil lamps—they inwardly generate “light” from the indwelling of Christ, not simply reflect “light” as the moon does. These spots of “light” suggest humanity’s turn towards the light, the only determiner that will reliably denote the midnight hour of the long spiritual night that began at Calvary.
After the Second Passover liberation of a second Israel, every person who professes that he or she is a “Christian” will be called … truly “many will be called.” And Christian affiliation will not matter. However, in being filled with spirit that garment of grace will be stripped from Christians; for no Christian will need grace. Every Christian can, if he or she chooses, live without sin; without transgressing the Law. Live as the man Jesus lived. And every Christian who will be chosen will live without sin even if doing so costs the Christian his or her physical life.
The reality of Revelation 6:9–11 [the opening of the fifth seal] is that those Christians who are chosen will lose their physical lives during the 1260 days of the Affliction. Those who will be chosen constitute a spiritual, righteous Abel. Those Christians who betray or killed their brothers in Christ will form spiritual Cain.
The Elect, few in actual number, will already be born of spirit before the Second Passover and as such will already be “chosen.” And apparently some of the Elect will remain physically alive throughout the Affliction, or what Matthew’s Jesus says would make no sense: “‘And if those days had not been cut short [note the verb tense], no human being [no flesh] would be saved [alive]. But for the sake of the Elect [the chosen ones] those days will be cut short’” (Matt 24:22).
When the Second Passover liberation of Israel occurs, the best thing the Elect can do is to keep their heads down and remain quiet … their time to do a work is now, before the Second Passover. If they are not willing to “work” now, it won’t matter to them whether the Second Passover occurs in 2017, or in 2024, or later. It will matter, however, to those of us who are actively engaged in proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, that all who endure to the end shall be saved.
"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."
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