September 11, 2016 ©Homer Kizer
“The Lesson of the Fig Tree”
From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and put out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things [the sun darken and stars fall], you know that He [Christ] is near, at the very gates. Truly, I say to you, this generation [the generation that sees the sun darken and the moon not give off light] will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. (Matt 24:32–35)
When dominion over the single kingdom of this world is taken from the Adversary (that is, from the little horn of Daniel chapters seven and eight) and given to the Son of Man, Christ Jesus, the glorified Jesus will baptize the world in the spirit of God [pneuma Theou], what Joel prophesied:
And it shall come to pass afterward,
that I will pour out my spirit on all flesh;
your sons and daughters shall prophesy,
your old men shall dream dreams,
and your young men shall see visions.
Even on the male and female servants
in those days I will pour out my spirit. (Joel 2:28–29)
indented lines are spiritual portions of couplets
Most Christians do not believe that in the days of Noah, the world—all of the world, not just a few river valleys in the Near East—was submerged [baptized] in water, and unto death; that the human population of the world was reduced to eight people. Christians are unwilling to accept the reality that the Creator of all that is physical would destroy His creation, except for the smallest of remnants. Where’s the logic in drowning people who were not involved with Him? No Christian Church would baptize people who have no knowledge of Christ. Peter says that baptism corresponds to the Flood (1 Pet 3:20–21). So unless the whole world knew the Lord, would He not have acted presumptuously in baptizing humanity based upon intentions and thoughts of hearts (Gen 6:5)?
Christian baptism is believed to be a good thing, and not thought-of as a solution to evil thoughts. Yet Peter says that baptism is an “appeal to God for a good conscious, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Pet 3:21). So Peter saw baptism as a solution to evil thoughts. And if water baptism can remove not “dirt from the body” but is intended to remove evil desires, then what can baptism in spirit do? What can baptism unto life do?
The prophet Joel went on to declare:
And I [the Lord] will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls. (Joel 2:30–32 emphasis added)
Baptism unto life “saves” everyone who then [not before then] calls on the name of the Lord … “saves” from what? Not necessarily from the death of the flesh, but from spiritual death; never living spiritually.
It is from Joel that Paul gets, “For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved’” (Rom 10:13) … this is a passage around which greater Christendom has parked its wagons and as if peddlers sharpening scissors, have sheared spiritual lambs. For by ignoring the context in which Moses spoke about righteousness based on faith (Rom 10:6–8, compare with Deut 30:11–14), and the context for what Joel declared, that of all flesh being baptized in spirit, greater Christendom is able, has been able for centuries to scripturally “support” its do-nothing theology:
Because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in Him will not be put to shame.” For there no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing His riches on all who call on Him. For [again] “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” But how are they to call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in Him of whom they have never heard? (Rom 10:9–14)
Greater Christendom has certainly heard of Christ Jesus, but Christians apparently haven’t heard that Jesus lived as an Observant Jew; that, according to John, “Whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked” (1 John 2:6).
Christians of all faiths claim to abide in Christ; so are all Christians walking as Jesus walked?
Again, Jesus did not walk in this world as a Gentile. He didn’t live as a person of the nations. He also didn’t live as a Pharisee or even a Sadducee. He didn’t honor the theological hedge Jewish leaders had constructed around the Torah; for apparently He was of a similar mindset as John the Baptist, in that He was an apocalyptic teacher, His teachings [parables] often set at the end of this present age …
Jesus’ disciples were focused on the apocalyptic end of this age, but the end of this present age has been delayed for far longer than Jesus’ disciples expected.
Nineteen centuries after the last of Jesus’ first disciples died physically, I was called to reread prophecy, and I began writing as an apocalyptic teacher, rereading prophecies, most of which are about the end of the age.
But cultural interest in the end of the age waxes and wanes: of course Christians pray for Christ’s Kingdom to come, but they pray to a cross, either empty or with a corpse draped over it, hoping that nothing happens until they are near death; that they are able to have children, give them away in marriage, and then play with grandchildren. So they pray for the Kingdom to come as if they were children promising parents they will look both ways before they run across streets. They pray, then hope their prayers are not answered; they pray for the kingdom to come, but not before they get to see Deadliest Catch next season. They pray for the kingdom to come, but they don’t make any survival plans for when they cannot buy or sell without taking the mark of the beast. They pray for the kingdom to come, but not during football season, especially not before the Super Bowl is played, or before the Final Four is decided. Yes, Christians pray for the kingdom to come, just not right now.
An apocalyptic preacher or prophet talks about the end of this present age, not what is happening in Cairo today or in Tel Aviv, or about the Donald and Hillary show. An apocalyptic teacher doesn’t need to read four or more morning newspapers before beginning to write what needs said that day … but then, does anything need to be said? It has all been said before. Just very few were listening—very few are listening today. So why should God, Father and Son, bother to address what will happen? Because a proof of deity is the ability to seal and keep secret a prophecy until shortly before the prophecy is to occur, then unseal and declare what will happen prior to the thing happening.
Why keep endtime prophecies sealed and secret until the end of the age? Because rioting masses react to the television camera: if the end of the matter were declared from its beginning, the participants in the demonstration would alter their behavior, thereby producing a differing ending to the demonstration, and as such, negate the prophecy. Only by the prophecy not being understood will the prophecy stand—and this assumes that God wants a certain “end” to the present ongoing demonstration in which all of humanity participates. And if God wants a certain end, has He stacked the deck to get this end? The Adversary would say that He has, if the end of this demonstration has humanity poised to destroy all life on earth (Matt 24:22).
As a person called to reread prophecy 40 years to the day and hour of when Garner Ted Armstrong, speaking with the authority of his father but without the knowledge of his father, said that there would be no new revelation; that all was known—as a person called to reread the vision of John 1900 years after John died (if what Justin Martyr wrote is true), I find myself being the inverse of a prophet, assigning differing sets of linguistic objects to familiar linguistic icons, setting straight what has been mistaught or falsely taught for centuries. And the Christian who will not learn from me needs to return to Paul’s treatise to the Romans: “And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they have been sent” (Rom 10:14–15).
There is a story about a Texas Ranger arriving at a town during a riot. The city fathers wanted to know where the rest of the Rangers were. And the Ranger asked, How many riots do you have? … One Ranger was enough for one riot. One apocalyptic teacher is enough for one Apocalypse. God will send whatever help is needed to finish what has been started, and no, He is not accepting job applications.
Since being called to reread prophecy, I have done little else.
If Christ Jesus’ words will not pass away but will be fulfilled, the heavenly signs about which He spoke are sure to happen … as the world was baptized [submersed] in water and baptized unto death in the days of Noah, the world will twice more be baptized, the next time in spirit and unto life, and the last time, in fire and unto a new world, one not composed of base elements; a world that is not physical. But why baptize this world in spirit and unto life when humanity is, collectively, about as far as it can get from God? And yes, humanity has to have completely turned away from the Light before the midnight hour of the long spiritual night that began at Calvary is upon the world.
The Lord promised Noah that He would not again baptize the world in water and unto death—He doesn’t need-to, for the pattern has been established. The Ark Noah constructed of wood forms the shadow and type of the Ark of the Covenant. And as the Ark carried Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and his sons, sons of righteousness, and their wives through the waters that represented death for the remainder of humanity, the Ark of the Covenant “carried” [used loosely] Israel through the wilderness of Sin and into the Promised Land, a type and shadow of the Millennium.
With God, arks are vessels by which a remnant population crosses from one age into the next age. Therefore, the physical Ark of the Covenant when placed in the temple Solomon built did not have in it the jar of manna, nor Aaron’s budded staff, but only had in it the two tablets that Moses put there at Horeb [Mt. Sinai] (2 Chron 5:10); for in crossing from this present age into either the Millennium as an earthly type of heaven, or into heaven, Christ Jesus as the true bread of life will be either King of kings and Lord of lords, or will be in the person. And Aaron will no longer be the chosen one to serve God the Father. But every person who either enters the Millennium or enters heaven will have the Law written on hearts and placed in minds; hence, every person will be the reality foreshadowed by the Ark of the Covenant as well as by Noah’s Ark.
Baptism by spirit unto life transforms the person into a reasonable facsimile of the Ark of the Covenant when Solomon’s temple was dedicated …
The first three kings of Israel—Saul, David, and Solomon—represent in type the reigning entities over a second nation of Israel in the Affliction, Endurance, and Millennium, with King Saul having an evil spirit forming the type of the man of perdition, an Arian Christian possessed by the Adversary, in the Affliction. King David will now form the type of the glorified Jesus as the Son of Man reigning over the single kingdom of this world in the Endurance of Jesus. Then Solomon will form the shadow and type of the Christ, reigning as King of kings and Lord of lords in the Millennium … if Solomon were not to form the shadow and type of the Christ in the Millennium, then Solomon would have grievously sinned in offering sacrifices to the Lord when the temple was dedicated; for Solomon was not of the Levitical priesthood.
Christians tend to ignore details, little things, like Solomon offering sacrifices a bunch when the temple was dedicated; like what happened to the jar of manna that was in the Ark of the Covenant. But Christians also tend to ignore major principles, such as Jesus telling Jews seeking His life, “‘Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope’” (John 5:45). And where does Moses testify against Israel (accuse Israel) and a second nation of Israel? In the book placed beside the Ark (Deut 31:26), this book being Deuteronomy, the explication of Paul’s righteousness based on faith (Rom 10:6).
For as long as Christians park their brains with their cars in church parking lots, the Adversary has an easy time deceiving greater Christendom, a significant, third part of the world’s population—and a third part that should be the firstborn of the Lord … if the argument is made that taking the Passover sacraments of Bread and the Cup on the Passover annually “redeems” the firstborn of the Lord in a manner foreshadowed by the Lord telling Moses at the time of the Passover, “‘Consecrate to me all the firstborn. Whatever is the first to open the womb among the people of Israel, both of man and of beast, is mine’” (Ex 13:2), and Moses then telling the people,
Remember this day in which you came out from Egypt, out of the house of slavery, for by the strength of the hand the Lord brought you out from this place. … When the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites, as He swore to you and your fathers, and shall give it to you, you shall set apart to the Lord all that first opens the womb. All the firstborn of your animals that are males shall be the Lord’s. Every firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb, of if you will not redeem it you shall break its neck. Every first of men among your sons you shall redeem. And when in time to come your son asks you, “What does this mean,” you shall say to him, “By strength of hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt, from the house of slavery. For when Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the Lord killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man and the firstborn of animals. Therefore, I sacrifice to the Lord all the males that first open the womb, but all the firstborn of my sons I redeem.” It shall be as a mark on your hand or frontlet between your eyes, for by a strong hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt. (Ex 13:3, 11–16)
Redeeming firstborns pertains to the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread, and let it here be said in unambiguous terms, the Christian who will not take the Passover sacraments on the Passover is, functionally, an unredeemed firstborn son of God, not unredeemed because this son of God’s parents could not or would not pay the redemption price—the redemption price was paid at Calvary—but unredeemed because the son hid himself and wouldn’t present himself to his parents when it came time to redeem. Passover is when redemption occurs. Therefore, because this Christian as a son of God remains as an unredeemed infant year after year, this Christian following the Second Passover will be delivered to the Adversary for the destruction of his or her fleshly body in a manner analogous to Paul commanding the saints at Corinth to deliver the man who was with his father’s wife to the Adversary for the destruction of the flesh (1 Cor 5:5).
God is merciful. Whereas functionally unredeemed sons of God are today bondservants [slaves] of the Adversary—
Matthew’s Jesus in instituting the symbols representing His body and His blood as the sacrificial Lamb of God, “took a cup, and when He had given thanks He gave to them [His disciples], saying, ‘Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins’” (Matt 26:27–28) … if a Christian will not take the Passover sacraments of broken unleavened bread and drink from the blessed cup, the Christian’s sins are retained. There is no forgiveness of sin; for the Christian is to God as an Egyptian was to the Lord in the days of Moses. The Christian is unredeemed through willfully not eating the Father’s Lamb on the Passover.
Functionally unredeemed sons of God are today slaves of the Adversary as Israel in Egypt was a nation of slaves to Pharaoh. So while the Lord through Moses brought nine plagues on the Egyptians before He told Moses to prepare Israel to eat the Passover, the mirror-image symbolism present today will have these nine plagues follow the tenth plague in reverse order. And with the paschal Lamb already sacrificed—Jesus as the Passover Lamb of God was sacrificed at Calvary—greater Christendom finds itself in the six hours of darkness between when Passover lambs were sacrificed and when death angels passed over all the land, slaying uncovered (by the blood of a paschal lamb) firstborns. Greater Christendom finds that it is near midnight, and they still haven’t covered their sins with the blood of Christ. And again, if Christians do not cover their sins, they will be as unredeemed jack asses, whose necks are to be broken.
But again, God is merciful; for before figuratively breaking the necks of Christians, He will liberate them from indwelling Sin and Death. Of course, these liberated Christians can be killed from outside forces [martyred], but of greater importance is that they can take Sin back inside themselves … being liberated at the Second Passover from indwelling Sin and Death doesn’t prevent the Christian from returning to his or her former lawless ways.
However, once having freed Christians from indwelling Sin and Death, God will—because of greater Christendom’s utter disregard-of and apparent disdain for being holy as God is holy—deliver Christians back to the Adversary for him to destroy the fleshly bodies of Christians. And during the Affliction (the first 1260 days following the Second Passover) Christians within greater Christendom will prove to be of either spiritual Cain or of spiritual Abel, with most Christians proving to be of Cain, whose seed perished in baptism in the days of Noah.
What’s so difficult about taking the Passover sacraments on the Passover? Why is this even an issue within the greater Church? But it is an issue, and one that will cause tremendous grief to Christians I know, including my own brothers.
I will pause here because of length and begin a Part Two.
"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."
* * *