And He said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men. (Matt 4:19)"
February 3, 2011 ©Homer Kizer
Called to Testify
And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: "These things says the holy one, the true one, the one having the key of David, the one opening and no one will shut, and shutting and no one opens. / I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie--behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet and they will learn that I have loved you. Because you have kept [the word of the Endurance of me], I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown. The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." (Rev 3:7-13)
Because Philadelphia, one of seven churches on a Roman [an Edomite] mail route, kept/keeps -- the word of the Endurance of Christ Jesus -- He, Christ, will keep Philadelphia from the hour of trial, which isn't the Affliction or the Endurance, but is the second woe during which a third of humankind will be randomly slain. Philadelphians need no additional supernatural protection beyond taking the Passover sacraments of bread and wine on the dark portion of the 14th of Aviv to escape death when the Second Passover liberation of Israel occurs; every circumcised-of-heart Israelite who takes the sacraments after the example Jesus left with His disciples will escape death at the Second Passover when uncovered firstborns are globally slain. So to be kept from the hour of trial is to be kept from a different trial, a different testing of faith, of belief, one from which that the other six churches are not kept.
To keep Jesus' word about the Endurance requires realizing that the Endurance is a real period of time--requires realizing that after the kingdom of this world is given to the Son of Man (Dan 7:9-14; Rev 11:15), Christ Jesus does not return as the Messiah for another 1260 days; requires realizing that the one who comes claiming to be the Messiah at the end of the Affliction is the Adversary, who has been cast from heaven; requires realizing that the Adversary comes disguised as an angel of light and comes requiring that every person be a Christian and take the tattoo of the cross on his or her hand before the person can engage in commerce, either buying or selling. To keep Jesus' word about the Endurance requires realizing that the cross is the image of Death, the fourth horseman, the beast whose body was taken and burned when the kingdom was given to the Son of Man. And with the tattoo of the cross being the infamous mark of the beast (from Rev 13:18), those holy ones who keep Jesus' word about the Endurance separate themselves from the remainder of Christendom as John was physically separated from the inhabited when he was exiled to Patmos where he allegedly lived in a cave, in a world not worthy of him or of Christ Jesus.
John, in vision on the Lord's day (Rev 1:10), the day when the kingdom of this world is given to the Son of Man (Dan 7:9-14), a onetime occurrence that will never need to be repeated, reaches across centuries and generations as the brother and partner of endtime holy ones in the Affliction and Kingdom and Endurance (Rev 1:9), with this reaching across time being a figurative handing off of the message he carried as if it were a baton in a relay race. When John reached out to endtime holy ones, John was separated from the inhabited being exiled to the island called Patmos, a rocky isle of some thirteen square miles. The endtime holy ones are similarly separated from the world, and even from Christendom itself, by the figurative waters of the Jordan that represent the border between Sabbath observance and Sunday observance: the holy ones are exiled in God's rest and further exiled in heavenly Jerusalem, where they were to remain until "'clothed with power from on high'" (Luke 24:49). Until filled-with and empowered by spirit [pneuma], the holy ones are not to go to the nations, beginning from Jerusalem (v. 47), but rather they are to wait, and wait patiently for the reality foreshadowed by "a sound like a mighty rushing wind" (Acts 2:2) filling the house in which the first disciples had gathered on that day of Pentecost following Calvary.
When clothed with power from on high, Christians will work miracles--
The Christian today who is not clothed with power from on high as the Apostles Peter and John were so clothed when they took the man lame from birth by the right hand and the man began to walk; the Christian today who is not clothed with power from on high as Paul was clothed when even handkerchiefs or aprons he touched healed diseases and cast out evil spirits (Acts 19:11-12)--the Christian who is not so clothed with power from on high is to remain in Jerusalem, and is not to go forth bearing witness to events he or she did not see or personally witness.
What event or thing has an endtime Christian seen? If the Christian has truly been born of God, then the Christian can testify about what happened to the person; about how the person changed, going from being hostile to God (Rom 8:7) and unwilling to keep the commandments of God to being eager to keep the commandments. For every person who has been truly born of God eagerly strives to keep the commandments of God and to walk as Jesus walked. No exceptions. The person who refuses to keep the commandments remains a son of disobedience, which every Christian was at one time (Eph 2:2-3) -- which every Christian was before being born of God.
To testify as a witness about events that the person has by faith accepted as true, is not good testimony but is legal hearsay and is not testimony that can be accepted. And the difference between hearsay and deliberate false testimony is not discernable by the ones to whom the testimony is being given. For example, if a Christian teaches a convert to attempt entering into God's rest on Sunday, the Christian teaches falsely and is a false witness about Christ Jesus. This person is worthy of death in the lake of fire; for the person is a liar … yet this person, while guilty of speaking falsely, probably does so in innocence, offering hearsay as evidence, for the Christian will have no direct knowledge of what happened centuries before he or she was born. It would be much better for this person to remain quiet and not testify about those things of which the person has no knowledge or understanding. Then, perhaps, the person's guilt will be assigned to the one who taught the person to believe lies about the things of God.
If the Christian truly believed God and not a lying man, the Christian would live as an inwardly-circumcised, observant Israelite.
Hence, let every Christian testify only about what the Christian sees with his or her own eyes; about the things that the Christian experiences when filled-with and empowered by the divine breath of God [pneuma theou] at the Second Passover liberation of Israel; about what the Christian hears when a third of humankind, all biological or legal firstborns, die suddenly, die in a day, die for no observable physical reasons, and die on the day of the second Passover as the firstborns of man and beast died suddenly in Egypt on the day of the first Passover. Then, when the Christian is clothed with power from on high, the Christian will be a witness to the fulfilling of the Torah, the Prophets, the Psalms, with this fulfilling coming as the first Passover came to Israel in Egypt when there was no Scripture for those Israelites to study and they had to believe the man Moses and the miracles wrought in the ten plagues.
The Christian who is not clothed with power from on high and who has not been specifically called to a task as the first apostles were called, and as Paul was called, is to remain in heavenly Jerusalem and is to remain silent, learning from the Christian's Head, Christ Jesus, as the woman is to learn from her husband (1 Tim 2:11-12) … Christians individually and collectively form the Body of Christ (1 Cor 12:27), and the Body is to learn from its Head. The Body has no mouth with which to speak; the Head does. So the Body is to remain silent, learning from its Head and not competing with its Head for either disciples or wisdom. For the Body will be saved in childbirth, in bring forth a spiritual Esau and a spiritual Jacob, the twin sons of promise born to Isaac.
In the Affliction, the first 1260 days of the seven endtime years, Christians will believe or not believe the two witnesses who will be to them as Moses and Aaron were to Israel in Egypt. One of these two witnesses will function as the spokesperson for the other witness as Aaron spoke the words of Moses, and as the man Jesus spoke only the words of God the Father. Allegorically, the two witnesses will represent the twin sons of promise born to Isaac, Esau and Jacob, with the older of the two witnesses being a man of the fields and the younger being a quiet man. Both will be of Caesar [Edom], but the older will not have valued that birthright while the younger will have used the birthright to acquire respect in this world that figuratively belongs to Caesar. Thus, the younger will be respected by the world and by those who value the things of the world whereas the older will appear to the world as a wild man. And because the younger will be respected by the world, the younger will speak the words of the older in a mirror image of Aaron, the elder, speaking the words of Moses, the younger of the two brothers.
The true and faithful testimony of endtime Christians will be about what they experience[d] in the Affliction, again, the first 1260 days of the seven endtime years, and their testimony will be given to the third part of humankind in the Endurance, the last 1260 days of the seven endtime years. But only a remnant of endtime Christians--all ones who keep the Commandments and have the spirit of prophecy--will testify to the third part of humankind that forms the bulk of the global harvest of firstfruits, of which Christ Jesus is First. The remainder of greater Christendom will have rebelled against God, thus returning to being slaves to sin, or will have been sacrificed as the Body of the paschal Lamb of God for the redemption of the third part of humankind.
In the allegory of the two witnesses representing Esau and Jacob, Esau is hated before birth and must be plucked as a brand out from the lake of fire. His filthy clothing is taken from him, and he is given pure vestments and a clean turban and is solemnly charged, "'Thus says the Lord of hosts: If you will walk in my ways and keep my charge, then you shall rule my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you the right of access among those who are standing here'" (Zech 3:7) … to be plucked as a brand, an already burning length of wood, from the fire means that Esau being hated from before birth is a spiritually fatal state unless the Lord rescues the Christian, calling the Christian to a specific task while charging the Christian to walk only in His ways, and in no other way.
In an expanded form, the older of the two witnesses represents all of Christendom: Esau represents every Christian in this present era, with every Christian being hated before birth because of greater Christendom's lawlessness; with every Christian being figuratively plucked as a brand from the lake of fire when liberated from indwelling sin and death at the Second Passover. Every Christian will be charged with walking only in the way of the Lord; i.e., walking as Jesus, an observant Jew, walked. If the Christian, in the Affliction, will not walk as an inwardly circumcised, observant Judean, the Christian will be returned to the lake of fire to be burned to ashes.
Greater Christendom, in this era, represents the last Eve, the Woman who will give birth to a spiritual Cain and Abel at the Second Passover liberation of Israel, with her birth pains following [not preceding] the birth of Cain and Abel … Cain will slay Abel, and the Woman will give birth to a third son, a spiritual Seth that will be to Christendom as the children of Israel were to Israel. This spiritual Seth is the third part of humankind (from Zech 13:9), that portion that is not today Christian and that is not inclined to accept the tattoo of the cross.
The majority of the harvest of firstfruits comes from the third part of humankind that receives spiritual birth when the kingdom of this world is given to the Son of Man and the Holy Spirit is poured out on all flesh (Joel 2:28). Much of this third part is, today, Moslem and therefore psychologically unwilling to be marked by the tattoo of the cross. However, Islam is a theological cover crop that will be plowed under during the Affliction; for only by professing that Jesus is Lord and believing that the Father--whom no one in Islam knows--raised Jesus from the dead will anyone enter the kingdom of God. Hence, the Remnant (from Rev 12:17) in the Endurance has a great amount of work that though started by the two witnesses in the Affliction, will need to be finished before Christ Jesus returns.
There will be much about which the Remnant can testify in the Endurance. Until then, it would behoove those holy ones who will compose the Remnant to remain silent and learn, a difficult thing to do when it is the Christian's desire to share with others all that the Christian knows, or believes he or she knows. But again, hearsay testimony is not good testimony. Unless the Christian has firsthand knowledge of Christ Jesus, the Christian is to remain silent.
Paul's testimony was that the Church was the Body of Christ; that the Church was the temple of God (1 Cor 3:16-17; 2 Cor 6:16); that Christ Jesus was the Head of the Church … Christ Jesus is also the paschal Lamb of God. Therefore, by extension, the Church is the Body of the paschal Lamb of God. And as the Head was sacrificed, the Body must necessarily be sacrificed; for the head of a paschal lamb is not to be cut off and separated from its body.
Christ as the paschal Lamb of God paid the redemption price for all of Israel, but the sacrifice of Christ is not complete until the Body of Christ is also sacrificed. But the paschal lamb must be without blemish: Jesus was without blemish. But the Church was "blemished" from its beginning, the reason it needed the garment of Christ Jesus' righteousness as its covering … a man doesn't marry his body, for he is already one with his body. A man marries his bride, and these two become one flesh. Therefore, a separation has to occur that will have greater Christendom going from being the Body of Christ to the Bride of Christ. This separation comes when the Son of Man is revealed, and the garment of grace is stripped away from the Church; for Christ Jesus' righteousness will not be needed as a covering for Christians when every Christian is filled-with and empowered by the spirit of God.
When Isaac [from Gal 4:21-31] gives birth to Esau, every Christian will be without blemish. Every Christian will have been plucked as a brand from the fire and will have been given clean attire and will be charged to walk only in the way of God. Every Christian will be as righteous Abel was. But the majority of Christendom will rebel against God and will slay its righteous brother … righteous Abel will be slain in one of two ways, either through the individual Christian returning to sin and becoming part of Cain, or by the individual Christian (still without blemish) being martyred by his lawless brother.
So much of greater Christendom rebels against God during the Affliction that there are not enough faithful Christians--when the Remnant is excluded--to be slain to redeem the third part of humankind; therefore, when half of humanity has been killed [the third part that were all firstborns at the Second Passover, and the fourth part given to Death, the fourth horseman] and humankind doesn't think that things can get worse, a second third part of humankind [one third of the remaining half], all randomly selected, will be slain when the four angels are loosed from where they have been bound at the Euphrates (Rev 9:14), leaving alive only a third of all human beings who were alive the day before the Second Passover liberation of Israel. This last third part will cross into the Kingdom and the Endurance and will there be filled-with and empowered by the spirit of God when the spirit is poured out on all flesh.
The two witnesses wear mourning garb for cause, for they know in advance just how many will perish and how few will believe God.
Since the beginning of the fossil fuel age, the world's population has increased from about a billion and a half to seven billion, a number that is unsustainable without cheap energy and the agricultural production that has come from cheap energy. Thus, there are many so-called prophets of doom predicting economic, social, and population crashes--the end of the world as we know it. These are intelligent men and women who see with their eyes what has happened and is happening, then project trend lines, and realize that without sudden and dramatic changes in human culture, the end of humanity could be at hand. They testify about what they know and see, about those things of which they are witnesses.
But greater Christendom and all of Islam testify about things of which neither have firsthand knowledge, but through faith have accepted as true. They testify as convincing witnesses about events that occurred centuries ago, but they testify as hearsay witnesses. And they are false witnesses. They offer as evidence inscribed texts, the Bible and the Qur'an, with most Christians not believing what is written in the Bible and with the Qur'an itself being hearsay testimony. Yet because Christians and Moslems have convinced themselves through social and emotional entanglements that what their ancestors believed is true, both go forth into the world to testify about things which they do not understand. They take their hearsay testimony to a world that intuitively knows the end of the age is at hand, and they offer alternatives to the fatalism of the many prophets of doom. To a generation without employment, without resources, and with fewer opportunities than its parents had; to a generation weaned on social networking, greater Christendom and Islam make promises that will not be kept. This generation functions as useful idiots for Marxists and for Islamic fundamentalists, but some of this generation will be filled with spirit and will take judgment upon themselves and will form the largest portion of the endtime harvest of firstfruits.
All firstborn human beings not covered by the blood of the paschal Lamb of God, taken as the Passover sacraments on the dark portion of the 14th of Aviv, will be suddenly and unexpectedly slain at the Second Passover liberation of Israel, the nation now [and then] circumcised of heart. This includes biological and legal firstborns, with the angelic first king of the federated King of Greece being the legal firstborn of the Adversary in the Abyss--this legal firstborn will be suddenly broken, slain without warning, at the Second Passover; for he will be the spiritual equivalent to the firstborn of Pharaoh at the first Passover.
Scripture is the shadow and copy of the heavenly Book of Life. The holy ones prior to the coming of light on Day One, with this light being "the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (2 Cor 4:6), were not born of spirit but were righteous through demonstrated obedience disclosing their belief of God. But with the giving of the spirit when Jesus breathed on ten of His disciples and said, "'Receive the Holy Spirit [pneuma hagion - breath holy]'" (John 20:22), all who are born of spirit are the holy ones, with the Elect now being those holy ones who demonstrate righteousness by their belief of God.
What greater Christendom has not understood and with which it has had no experience is being born of God. Christians who have not experienced receipt of a second breath of life cannot truthfully testify about what it means to be born of God. At best they can offer only hearsay testimony. For receipt of a second breath of life, the breath of God [pneuma theou], causes the Christian to want to keep the law of God; i.e., to keep the commandments. The Christian is no longer hostile to God (again, Rom 8:7). Before receipt of a second breath of life, the Christian was a son of disobedience (again, Eph 2:2-3). However, with receipt of indwelling eternal life in this present era, all hostility to God is gone: the Christian who has truly been born of God earnestly desires to walk as Jesus, an observant Jew, walked, with some of these Christians even going so far as to unintentionally mock Judaism by their use of bastardized Hebrew for the names of the things of God. But in mocking Judaism, they also mock Christ Jesus and actually deny Christ, who has promised to deny them before the Father if they deny Him … no Christian can openly mock Judaism without mocking Christ Jesus, a Jew. But without mocking, but it behooves Christians to call upon Judaism to repent, to rethink how it worships the Lord, to reconsider its ways, thus turning stony hearts into hearts of flesh upon which the Torah can be written.
Unless a firstborn Jew covers his or her sins by taking the sacraments on the dark portion of the 14th of Aviv, the firstborn will also perish in a day, the day of the Second Passover. If Jews do not cover their sins with the blood of the selected and chosen paschal Lamb of God, all of their firstborn will perish, along with the firstborns of other unbelievers--
Moses stands as a witness against Israel, outwardly circumcised and circumcised of heart (Deut 31:26; John 5:45-47), and Moses when writing about the prophet whom the Lord would raise up, the prophet like himself (Deut 18:15) who was as God (Ex 4:16) to Aaron and by extension to Israel, wrote about Christ Jesus, whom rabbinical Judaism denies. Therefore, from the 1st-Century to the 21st-Century, the Lord has denied Judaism as a collective; i.e., as an assembly, the assembly of the Lord. And evidence of this denial is inscribed in the historical record of the past two millennia.
Only someone who has truly been born of God can truthfully testify about being born of God, and this person will always aspire to keep the commandments. Therefore, the most cursory glance across greater Christendom reveals that many self-identified Christians have obviously not been born of God through their failure to keep the Sabbath: the testimony of any Christian who regularly worships on Sunday about being born of God is without exception false testimony.
In moving from shadow to the reality that casts the shadow, a human being without indwelling eternal life serves as the shadow and copy of the human being who has been born of spirit, and the human being born of spirit serves as the shadow and copy of the human being who has been filled-with and empowered by spirit, and the human being filled with spirit as Peter, John, and Paul were serves as the shadow and copy of glorified human beings:
On the next day their rulers and elders and scribes gathered together in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. And when they had set them in the midst, they inquired, "By what power or by what name did you do this?" Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, "Rulers of the people and elders, if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead--by him this man is standing before you well. This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:5-12 emphasis added)
Peter's testimony, when filled with spirit, was that the lame man was healed by Jesus, not by Peter or John that served as the shadow and copy of the glorified Jesus.
John the Baptist, a man not born of spirit (Matt 11:11) and who did no miracles (John 10:41) but who was nevertheless filled with spirit (Luke 1:15), served as the shadow and copy of an endtime messenger, born of God, who prepares the way to the Lord through the preaching of repentance, not from physical theft but spiritual theft:
He said therefore to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire." / And the crowds asked him, "What then shall we do?" And he answered them, "Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise." Tax collectors also came to be baptized and said to him, "Teacher, what shall we do?" And he said to them, "Collect no more than you are authorized to do." Soldiers also asked him, "And we, what shall we do?" And he said to them, "Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages." (Luke 3:7-14 emphasis added)
The tax collector who collected more than he should was a thief. The soldier who extorted money was a thief. And the Christian pastor who asks for tithes and offerings is a thief. But perhaps the greatest thief is the Christian who steals salvation from infant sons of God by convincing them that they can continue to willfully sin and still enter heaven.
In Egypt, the spiritually lifeless nation of Israel was enslaved to a human king and made to do the will of this human king, making bricks and building monuments, towers to human wisdom and intellect. In spiritual Babylon--the present kingdom of the world--born of spirit Israel is enslaved to a spiritual king and made to do those things that the inner self hates, not doing the good that the Christian wants to do but doing instead the evil that the Christian does not want to do (see Rom 7:15-25). But as the outwardly circumcised nation of Israel was liberated from servitude to Pharaoh at the first Passover, the inwardly circumcised nation of Israel will be liberated from servitude to indwelling sin and death and to the spiritual king of Babylon at the Second Passover. The movement from shadow to reality (from physical to spiritual) is a vertical movement, not a horizontal movement: the shadow exists in this world whereas the reality is in heaven, or better, in the portion of heaven that is in the Abyss.
The testimonies of Israelites in Egypt were not preserved; for if any such testimonies ever existed, they were without understanding. For in the days of Moses, Israelites in Egypt had turned away from the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and had cast their eyes upon the detestable things of the Egyptians and had defiled themselves with the idols of Egypt (Ezek 20:7). Israel had rebelled against the Lord and was not willing to listen to Him (v. 8). And these Israelites in Egypt form the shadow and copy--at one level lower--of greater Christendom in this era immediately preceding the Second Passover liberation of Israel.
About Israel in Egypt, the Lord said,
I would pour out my wrath upon them and spend my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt. But I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations among whom they lived, in whose sight I made myself known to them in bringing them out of the land of Egypt. So I led them out of the land of Egypt and brought them into the wilderness. (Ezek 20:8-10)
The Lord did not utterly slay the Hebrews in Egypt although He wanted-to, but for the sake of His name in the sight of the nations, the Lord brought Israel out from Egypt … today, greater Christendom, as the firstborn son of promise--as spiritual Isaac--will give birth to two sons of promise at the Second Passover liberation of Israel, one hated before birth (a spiritual Esau) and one deceitful but loved by the Lord (a spiritual Jacob). Again, these twin sons of promise can be allegorically represented by the two witnesses, but the allegory is not simple: at the Second Passover, the last Eve (greater Christendom) will give birth to a spiritual Cain and a spiritual Abel, both firstborn sons of God and both of spiritual Esau. This spiritual Cain will slay his righteous brother; whereas Esau wanted-to but could not slay Jacob.
Again, all Christians born of God and born filled-with and empowered by the spirit of God at the Second Passover will be of Esau: both Cain, and Abel (and later Seth, the third part of humankind) will be of Esau. The 144,000 (12,000 from 12 tribes, with Dan excluded) represent spiritual Jacob, the second of the twin sons of promise, with the second of the two witnesses being represented in the 144,000 that will follow Christ Jesus wherever He leads in the Endurance. The 144,000 will be to the Lamb of God as Aaron was to Moses and as the third part of humankind is to the Remnant in the Endurance. And the deceitfulness of Jacob forms the shadow and copy of the deceitfulness of rabbinical Judaism today and of Aaron at Sinai--and as Jacob had to wrestle all night with the Lord, rabbinical Judaism will have to wrestle with the Lord throughout the Affliction before the 144,000 prevail with God as Jacob, maimed just before dawn, prevailed with the Lord.
The cost to Judaism for its deceitful presentation of the way to the Lord will be another Holocaust--
The two witnesses have many reasons for wearing mourning garb, not the least of which is the death of Christians in the Affliction. The mass death of Jews will be equally grievous. And in type, the death of Christendom in the Affliction and the death of most of Judaism in the Affliction are represented by the death of the two witnesses three and a half days before the kingdom of this world is given to the Son of Man.
The fall of spiritual Babylon will bring humanity to the edge of species extinction, with that edge sloughing away as humanity stands on it. And what do most "Christians" today testify about? Do they not testify about the warm, cozy feeling they have in their hearts when they have invited Jesus in? Let them bite their tongues and hold their words; for their tongues defile them as the idols of Egypt defiled Israel in Egypt before the first Passover. Those things about which Christians will testify in the Affliction will be their changed mindsets that cause them to want to keep the commandments; those things about which Christians will testify in the Endurance will be that all who hang on until the end, enduring in faith, not taking upon themselves the tattoo of the cross, will be saved, with the end known--with the specific day of Christ Jesus' return known, and known to the Remnant since the Second Passover liberation of Israel.
When Holocaust threatens the modern nation state of Israel, a nuclear armed nation, worldwide nuclear war will be inevitable unless these days are cut short by the Lord coming to stand atop the split Mount of Olives and to destroy the armies of the man of perdition, a human being possessed by the Adversary, with this human being not today realizing what he will do once possessed. There will not be any twelfth Imam. Chaos will not bring about a global caliphate, but will bring about the direct intervention of the Lord in world affairs, with the kingdom then being taken from the four demonic kings and the little horn and given to the Son of Man (Dan 7:9-14; Rev 11:15-18).
But the end of the long vision of Daniel (the end of chapter 11) still leaves the entirety of the Endurance ahead of a battered and beaten humanity: for another 1260 days, the holy ones will have to endure in faith, unable to buy or sell, having the mind of Christ but the power of helpless men, pitting themselves against the true Antichrist, the Adversary who has been given the mind of man but who still retains the power of an archangel. Only by being as wise as serpents but as innocent as doves (from Matt 10:16) will the holy ones survive the Endurance; however, 250 days into the Endurance, the third part of humankind will rebel against the Antichrist, and another 45 days after that, the holy ones who are martyred will be blessed, for they will rest from their labors and their deeds will follow them (Rev 14:13). The Lord will pull Satan's fangs. Anyone who keeps the commandments and the person's faith in Jesus (from v. 12) will enter the kingdom: it will do Satan no good to kill the person. Only by letting the person live without being able to buy or sell will Satan have any chance of keeping the person out of the kingdom. … From 295 days onward into the Endurance, to the chagrin of the Antichrist, the holy ones' figurative life insurance policy will be keeping the commandments. Again, it will do the Adversary no good to kill saints; for from that point onward, the Lord will glorify the saint who is of the third part of humankind and who is martyred. The Adversary will be caught in his own lawless trap.
In the Endurance, all who live by faith, not taking upon themselves the tattoo of the cross so that they can buy and sell, shall be saved when Christ Jesus returns three and a half days before the beginning of the sacred new year, with the first month of this new year beginning with the sighted new moon crescent following the vernal equinox. The return of Christ Jesus comes 2520 days after the Second Passover liberation of Israel.
Of all Christendom, only Philadelphia keeps Jesus' message about the Endurance, the 1260 days that follow the death of two thirds of humankind and the Adversary being cast into time, coming as the self-declared Messiah. Only Philadelphia works today, before the Second Passover liberation of Israel, to deliver the endtime good news that "'the one who endures to the end will be saved'" (Matt 24:13), with this good news being proclaimed throughout the inhabited world as a testimony to all nations (v. 14). But of all Christendom, only Philadelphia has been specifically called to deliver this gospel of the kingdom. Thus, to be of Philadelphia is a privilege of almost unimaginable significance; for no one in Philadelphia set out to be of this one endtime assembly that holds the testimony of Jesus about the Endurance.
Heavenly Jerusalem is the mother of every Christian, and every Christian is to remain in Jerusalem until clothed with power from on high, with the power from on high coming at the Second Passover liberation of Israel from bondage to indwelling sin and death. Therefore, until the Second Passover, no Christian is to leave heavenly Jerusalem but is to testify in Jerusalem [inside the Christian Church] about those things of which the Christian has direct and immediate knowledge. And for most Christians, those things do not include the things about which Paul testified.
When Paul was arrested and detained in Jerusalem, Paul asked the tribune for permission to speak to the people who were clamoring to kill him:
Brothers and fathers, hear the defense that I now make before you. … / As I was on my way and drew near to Damascus, about noon a great light from heaven suddenly shone around me. And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?" And I answered, "Who are you, Lord?" And he said to me, "I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting." Now those who were with me saw the light but did not understand the voice of the one who was speaking to me. And I said, "What shall I do, Lord?" And the Lord said to me, "Rise, and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all that is appointed for you to do." And since I could not see because of the brightness of that light, I was led by the hand by those who were with me, and came into Damascus. / And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, well spoken of by all the Jews who lived there, came to me, and standing by me said to me, "Brother Saul, receive your sight." And at that very hour I received my sight and saw him. And he said, "The God of our fathers appointed you to know his will, to see the Righteous One and to hear a voice from his mouth; for you will be a witness for him to everyone of what you have seen and heard. And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name." / When I had returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, I fell into a trance and saw him saying to me, "Make haste and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about me." And I said, "Lord, they themselves know that in one synagogue after another I imprisoned and beat those who believed in you. And when the blood of Stephen your witness was being shed, I myself was standing by and approving and watching over the garments of those who killed him." And he said to me, "Go, for I will send you far away to the Gentiles." (Acts 22:1, 6-21 emphasis added)
Paul was called by the Lord for three specific things: (1) to know God's will, (2) to see the Righteous One, and (3) to hear the voice of God. Paul was then to testify about these three things, being a witness to everyone of what Paul saw and heard. Paul wasn't to testify as a witness about those things known to him through hearsay, but about those things of which he had immediate and specific knowledge.
If Christians follow Paul as he followed Christ Jesus, no Christian will testify about those things known to the Christian through hearsay evidence. This means that Paul's testimony stands as Paul's testimony. To twist the wisdom given Paul into support for spurning the commandments is the error of lawless people (2 Pet 3:16-17), the ignorant and unstable Christian who is fated for destruction in the lake of fire (who is, in fact, already on fire).
My testimony stands as Paul's does--
The following is from A Philadelphia Apologetic -- 2011, chapter 2 (paragraphs numbered),
1. Paul began his argument to the Galatians by saying that "the gospel that was preached by me is not man's gospel. For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. For you have heard of my former life in Judaism" (1:11-13) … to begin an argument based on revelation coming through realization, a biographical sketch seems in order, for most likely you have not heard of my former life, or of why I say what I do.
2. On Thursday of the second full week in January 2002 (the 17th), about 10:12 CST, as I was pulling into the parking lot of Southeastern Illinois College, Harrisburg, where I was to teach back-to-back English Composition classes, I heard the words, "It's time to reread prophecy," as clearly as if the words were loudly spoken by a person next to me. But there was no one in the vehicle with me. I was alone, and these words formed sound that seemed to be heard through my ears, but sound that was a thought not like human utterance but with substance, a thought like the one experienced when I was initially drafted into the Body of Christ thirty years earlier, a thought that was heard as if the thought were spoken aloud by someone else but more than a thought, a thing. The words seemed to be things within my mind that wouldn't go away, that paralyzed movement.
3. The distinct sentence, It's time to reread prophecy, was not in a vision or accompanied by a flash of light or by falling to the ground although I sat in the pickup for some minutes afterwards, troubled by how to assign meaning to what I heard. I sat, seemingly without energy enough to get out of the truck. There was no discernable context for the words. I had turned off the pickup's radio about Carrier Mills, about fifteen minutes earlier. Although I had felt some indefinable tension as I drove through the edge of Harrisburg and toward the college, the day and the setting were otherwise no different from any other trip to the campus--until I heard, It's time to reread prophecy. What I didn't then know was that forty years to the day and to the hour, the most visible administration of the Sabbatarian churches of God, a movement that had descended through the 16th-Century Radical Reformers, had rejected additional revelation; had said it possessed all prophetic understanding. And no one within the administration challenged what was said.
4. I didn't set out to be part of the Body of Christ; I grew up believing church attendance disclosed a serious character defect. But as if being drafted into military service, I was drafted into the Body in 1972, the story of which I have told in earlier editions of A Philadelphia Apologetic (APA).
5. It's time to reread prophecy--those words and their accompanying thought really obscured all other thoughts, including ones of getting out of the pickup and getting to class. I sat in the truck in unbelief: no one can doubt more what I heard than I doubted even while still hearing the words in my mind. But I knew what I heard; I just didn't know why I had heard what I did.
6. Within Christendom, prophecy is a suspect discipline. Prophecies either were fulfilled, or they cannot be well understood. They are vague, and often interspersed in narrative accounts about real events. Thus, long ago and for cause, they became the domain of the cultic fringe, with mostly unknown sects proclaiming the fulfillment of some prophecy with every newscast. A natural disaster here and one there, and this sect or that one proclaims the end of the age has come upon humanity, the practice beginning more than two millennia ago (beginning before Christ). But the essence of the Christian message is that the creator of humanity came as the man Jesus, died and was raised from the dead, and will return as the promised Messiah who will put an end to the world as it is today. Even sects and denominations that teach a realized eschatology having the kingdom of heaven being here on earth today teach that a new heaven and a new earth are to arrive at the end of this age. So the assurance of Christianity is that life as human beings presently know it will end at a specific moment in the future.
7. As I sat in the pickup, unbelieving of what had occurred, I suspected, It's time to reread prophecy, meant that it was time for me to begin writing about prophecy. The Sabbatarian churches of God were not powerfully delivering the two-house warning of a generation earlier--my prophetic understanding was within the mainstream of the churches of God, so I suspected the command I received was to make a better case for the two-house warning than the case that had been publicly made for decades in one of the most poorly crafted books ever published, a book that was the plagiarized work of another.
8. Forty years earlier, spring semester 1962 began with promise at Pasadena's Ambassador College, then the educational arm of the most visible administration in North America of the Sabbatarian churches of God. After a lunar time cycle (a significant unit of time for Ambassador College) of prophetic events not occurring as radio evangelist Herbert Armstrong had proclaimed to the nation, and for nine years, to the world, Armstrong suspected he had prophecy wrong, the admission of a now mature Christian. But having prophecy wrong was not something that an international evangelistic work based upon a particular prophetic understanding wanted to admit. Hence, Armstrong scheduled an Advanced Prophecy seminar for that spring semester, a seminar all senior men in Pasadena were required to attend.
9. During the first session of the Advanced Prophecy seminar, Herbert Armstrong told the senior men, each a so-called evangelist, that everything was not known, that there was much the Church didn't understand about prophecy, that it was important the Church gets prophecy "right." He encouraged these senior men to explore possibilities and ideas that might come to each of them, for the Church (i.e., the Radio Church of God) didn't have prophecy right, his admission. But that was the only seminar session taught by the senior Armstrong, whose prophetic track record was, indeed, as poor as he had come to realize.
10. Herbert Armstrong's son, Garner Ted Armstrong, taught the second and subsequent sessions. And at the beginning of the second session, Garner Ted said all was known, that nothing new would be revealed, that his father was merely having doubts about what had been revealed to him, that the Church would go to a place of physical safety in 1971/72.
11. Why the senior Armstrong didn't teach more sessions, why he left teaching the class to his son will not be known prior to the resurrection. The so-called evangelists who heard both that the Church didn't understand prophecy and that all was known quietly sat through subsequent sessions without saying anything, or so Ray Dick told me after reading the initial draft of A Philadelphia Apologetic, completed in March 2002. Ray Dick was then (1962) in fourth year Bible, taught by Al Portune, one of the senior men in the Advanced Prophecy seminar. Ray gave me the names of the men in the Advanced Prophecy seminar. Although most of the men are now dead, I sought confirmation of what I was told from Garner Ted Armstrong and from Roderick Meredith, senior evangelist for the Living Church of God. Garner Ted in three most gracious letters written during the summer and fall of 2002 neither denied, nor confirmed the story. Roderick Meredith, however, seemed to confirm the entirety of the story.
12. There is a little more to the story of Garner Ted, on behalf of the Church, rejecting revelation during that spring 1962 semester. On a Friday morning near the end of semester, Al Portune presented to the fourth year Bible class information coming from the Advance Prophecy seminar. Ray Dick was certain what had been said was wrong, so over the weekend he gathered Scripture passages that he presented to Al Portune at eight o'clock Monday morning. Fourth year Bible was at eleven. Al Portune was late coming to class. When he arrived, he had additional Scriptures supporting the position Ray Dick had presented to him that morning, the position being, I believe, that the armies surrounding Jerusalem when the Mount of Olives splits in two occurs three and half years earlier than when Armageddon happens. But when Garner Ted on Thursday of that week learned what Al Portune and Ray Dick were discussing, Garner Ted pulled Ray out of class. With his entourage and a cowered Al Portune in tow, Garner Ted threatened Ray with expulsion from Ambassador College a couple of weeks before Ray graduated if Ray didn't recant. I don't believe Ray ever forgave himself for knuckling under.
13. Ray Dick kept his prophetic understanding to himself for decades. However, his understanding appeared in an article published by Dixon Cartwright's The Journal in 2001.
14. I can't say what I would have done if I had been in that Advanced Prophecy class forty years earlier. I don't know if I would've been like Joshua and Caleb, or if I would've sat on my hands, deferring to the authority of the instructor. The decision, however, wasn't mine to then make. I was a high school junior, who knew to keep the Sabbath but was unwilling to do so.
15. The senior Armstrong's record as a teacher of prophecy who got it right is dismal at best. Since his death, his work has been tried by fire and found wanting. He is presently ridiculed for his opulence, but it isn't this generation that will define him. Rather, he will be defined within the historic perspective of those who left spiritual Babylon to rebuild the temple in the Jerusalem above (Gal 4:26). Whether he is one who left off rebuilding the temple to build homes for themselves will be revealed upon Christ's return, for he will be included among those who left spiritual Babylon.
16. Daniel's prophecies were sealed until the time of the end. They could not be understood earlier than the generic period identified in Scripture as "the time of the end." Ellen G. White and Herbert Armstrong and any number of other pundits didn't live in that generic period so it's foolishness to look to these pundits for understanding of endtime prophecies, even when one of them uses a name like Spirit of Prophecy. And it is equally foolish to listen to the prophetic understanding of anyone now, myself included, if it is not the time of the end. If, however, humanity in the ebb of time has arrived at the generic endtime period, then the Elijah to come (the glorified Christ Jesus) will restore all things, including revealing prophetic events, for a sealed prophecy is worthless unless it is unsealed. A proof of the Most High's sovereignty is fulfilled prophecy. An even greater proof is His ability to seal a prophecy so that the revelation cannot be understood, then to unseal the revelation shortly before the event occurs. Faith now enters the domain of prophecy. The unsealing will come through the generation of an additional text, a deuterocanonical text, and the validity of that text becomes a matter of faith, with the sheep hearing the voice of the true Shepherd. The wild sheep listen to no voice but their own. And the goats betray the sheep that follow them.
17. Some disciples in every generation since Calvary have expected Christ Jesus' return to occur within their lifetimes, as is appropriate. One single long night of watching began at Calvary. The shadow or type of this long night of watching occurred in Egypt, where the physically circumcised nation awaited its liberation from physical bondage while roasting and eating its paschal lambs. With feet shod, loins girded, Israel ate with staffs in hand, ready to go at a moment's notice. Likewise, the spiritually circumcised nation will eat the Passover sacraments year by year [Paul's "as often as you eat this bread" -- 1 Cor 11:26] as the physical nation ate the lamb bite by bite, with the spiritual nation expecting liberation from sin and decay as the physical nation expected liberation from slavery. And liberation came/comes with the passing of the death angel throughout the land.
18. The additional text needed to unseal long sealed and secret prophecies is not another testament of Christ, such as the Book of Mormon claims to be. Nor is it a book like Ellen G. White's The Great Controversy, or Herbert Armstrong's Mystery of the Ages. Really, it is not this book. Rather, the book that unseals biblical prophecies is a hypertext produced fully within the minds of born of God disciples, a book that uses the same written text that is Scripture to produce another set of meanings in the manner of how biblical intertextuality links the first Adam to Christ Jesus as the last Adam (cf. Rom 5:14; 1 Co 15:46).
19. Was it coincidence that forty years from when Garner Ted Armstrong told senior evangelists there would be no new revelation, his dad had it right--forty years to the hour and probably to the minute, for it would have taken about twelve minutes for him to say what he did--that I was called to reread prophecy? The defense of my claim to being called in a manner less spectacular than how Paul was called is first in what I write, but secondly in that I write. Asserting the validity of the claim means nothing of itself. A disciple either will or won't "hear" in my explication of Scripture another voice, that of the True Shepherd, Christ Jesus. If the voice of Christ is not heard, the disciple should go about his or her affairs without concern that death angels will again pass over all the land in a manner foreshadowed by the death angel passing over Egypt, slaying all firstborns of man and beast not covered by the blood of a paschal lamb.
20. Understand: apparently the Portuguese crown did not bankroll Columbus' voyage of exploration because Columbus' calculation of how many miles were in a degree of latitude was off by twenty-five percent. The riches Spain received came about because Portuguese admirals had a little knowledge, just enough to reject Columbus as a pretender. And there will be disciples who reject what I write because somewhere in a past explication of a point, I made a mistake I have since corrected, or I now have made an assumed mistake that I haven't corrected or won't correct. Thus, the disciple who doesn't hear any voice but my own in what I write should not be overly concerned that a Second Passover liberation of Israel, now a spiritually circumcised nation, will occur in a manner foreshadowed by physically circumcised Israel's liberation from physical bondage to a human king in a land representing sin. No disciple should ever take the sacraments of bread and wine on the night that Jesus was betrayed in a vain attempt to save his or her live just in case I am right about a Second Passover liberation of Israel occurring. The life will not be saved. So the disciple who doesn't hear Christ's voice in mine should keep on doing whatever he or she is presently doing; for at the end of this present evil age, the words of prophecy are not sealed and secret for the time is near. Hence, the angel tells John, "'Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy [the acts and state of those who commit blasphemy against the Holy Spirit], and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy'" (Rev 22:11) … to commit blasphemy against the spirit isn't to be deny personhood to the glory of God as Trinitarians falsely imagine, but to take sin back inside the person after the person has been filled-with and empowered by the breath [glory] of God at the Second Passover.
21. If it isn't coincidence that I was drafted to reread prophecy exactly forty years after revelation was rejected, then the work of Herbert Armstrong was as he claimed, the restored work of God, albeit the work of an imperfect messenger. But then, what human being born of woman since Jesus of Nazareth is not an imperfect messenger?
22. The first Elijah restored the life of the widow of Zarephath's son when "there was no breath left in him" (1 Kings 17:17), but the return of breath to her son did not happen all at once. The first Elijah stretched himself over the son three times before life was revived (vv. 21-22). When Elijah presented the young man to his mother, the woman said to Elijah, "'Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth'" (v. 24).
23. The restoration of life to the spiritual Body of Christ by the last Elijah will serve the same purpose, and will also take three attempts with Armstrong's work ending the second attempt.
As Paul was called to know God's will and to be a witness testifying of those things of God that were revealed to him, I was called to reread prophecy and to testify of those things revealed, with the Second Passover liberation of Israel from servitude to indwelling sin and death being foremost of those things revealed. And as Paul, in his epistles, testified of those things he received through a revelation of Jesus Christ (Gal 1:12), in my writings and in the writings of Philadelphia, I testify of those things that have been received through revelation by realization. And as Paul left Jerusalem quickly because the city would not accept his testimony (because Jerusalem would not accept his testimony, he was sent instead to the Gentiles, to the nations), I now go to greater Christendom, spiritual Gentiles to whom the outer court of the temple of God has been given (Rev 11:2): I go to greater Christendom not because any will believe, but as a witness against them.
When the people of Israel set out from Hazeroth and camped in the wilderness of Paran, where Ishmael dwelt (Gen 21:21) -- with Paul allegorically identifying the natural descendants of Jacob as Ishmael (Gal 4:22-25) -- the Lord spoke to Moses concerning sending out spies. And from the wilderness of Paran, Moses sent forth twelve "spies":
The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, "Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the people of Israel. From each tribe of their fathers you shall send a man, every one a chief among them." So Moses sent them from the wilderness of Paran, according to the command of the Lord, all of them men who were heads of the people of Israel. … Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan and said to them, "Go up into the Negeb and go up into the hill country, and see what the land is, and whether the people who dwell in it are strong or weak, whether they are few or many, and whether the land that they dwell in is good or bad, and whether the cities that they dwell in are camps or strongholds, and whether the land is rich or poor, and whether there are trees in it or not. Be of good courage and bring some of the fruit of the land." Now the time was the season of the first ripe grapes. (Num 13:1-3, 17-20 emphasis added)
The basis for Paul making his tour-de-force allegory is in the men of Israel being sent forth from the wilderness of Paran, the land of Ishmael, with ten of the men who went forth to spy out the land and to testify as witnesses to what they found bringing back an evil report of the land:
Then the men who had gone up with him [Caleb] said, "We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we are." So they brought to the people of Israel a bad report of the land that they had spied out, saying, "The land, through which we have gone to spy it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people that we saw in it are of great height. And there we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak, who come from the Nephilim), and we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them." (Num 13:31-33 emphasis added)
For lack of faith, lack of belief, ten of the spies brought evil testimonies to the people of Israel and convinced the people of Israel that they could not go forth and possess the Promise Land of God's rest. The lack of faith by the ten and by the people provided the theological basis for Paul's allegory--and provides the theological basis for a second allegory: the majority of greater Christendom is of Ishmael.
As the now dead Body of Christ, greater Christendom does not dwell in heavenly Jerusalem, but dwells in spiritual Babylon and dwells in Babylon as the serfs of the spiritual king of Babylon. However, when the Second Passover liberation of Israel occurs, all who identify themselves as Christians will be forcibly removed from spiritual Babylon through being filled-with and empowered by the spirit of God. Christians will not be given the choice of staying or going, but will be expelled from Babylon as Israel was expelled from Egypt:
At midnight the Lord struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of the livestock. And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he and all his servants and all the Egyptians. And there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where someone was not dead. Then he summoned Moses and Aaron by night and said, "Up, go out from among my people, both you and the people of Israel; and go, serve the Lord, as you have said. Take your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and be gone, and bless me also!" (Ex 12:29-32 emphasis added)
When the Second Passover occurs, every Christian will find him or herself in heavenly Jerusalem, but not necessarily in the temple of God: measuring the temple is about determining who does and who doesn't believe God when the Torah has been written on hearts and placed in minds. And what will be found is that the majority of Christendom doesn't believe God, but rather, believes the evil report--the false testimony--of ten leading theologians, all of whom tell the people that the commandments cannot be kept, that keeping the commandments is Judaizing, that Christians are under no obligation to keep the commandments. The two witnesses testify otherwise, with Caleb being of Esau and only adopted into the tribe of Judah.
The ten witnesses emerge from the head of Death, the fourth horseman, the fourth beast, the spiritual king of the North--and their testimony will cause the people to rebel against God and to attempt to enter into God's rest on the following day, one day after the promise of entering stood, one day after the Sabbath. This rebellion is the Apostasy, the great falling away about which Paul writes (2 Thess 2:3), and this rebellion will come through mingling the sacred [Christ] with the profane [the day of the invincible sun; the birthday of the invincible sun].
Because I was called to reread prophecy, my testimony is given in advance of when the Second Passover occurs, in advance of when the Apostasy occurs: greater Christendom, with few exceptions will rebel against God 220 days after the Second Passover liberation of Israel, and will rebel through mingling the sacred with the profane, thereby eating for themselves the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and becoming what they eat, seedlings of the Tree of Knowledge, rooted in the Garden of God but not grafted to the Root of Righteousness. Knowing good and evil, these Christians are like God, but no longer are of God. They trample the holy city for 42 months (1260 days, the duration of the two witnesses' ministry), and then--
Much of Christendom will try to repent of their unbelief, but repentance will not be granted to them: "because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness" (2 Thess 2:10-12).
Of all Israel numbered in the census of the second year, only Joshua [in Greek, -- Jesus, from Acts 7:45] and Caleb enter into God's rest. Of all of Christendom filled-with and empowered by spirit at the Second Passover, only Joshua, representing Christ, and Caleb enter into God's rest, with Caleb serving as the representation of that portion of Esau that had about them a different spirit.
In an allegory in which greater Christendom is represented by Isaac, Caleb and Joshua are generational representatives coming from Esau, with the indwelling of Christ [the breath of Christ -- ] being the different spirit that is in Caleb. The remainder of Christendom is to them as Ishmael was to Isaac. And with the breath of Christ being inside those Christians who are of Caleb, has any separation really occurred? No, none has. Even though the garment of grace--Christ Jesus' righteousness--was stripped away, because the Christian walks as Jesus walked, there is no separation: being filled-with and empowered by the spirit of God still requires that the spirit of God be held in the vessel that is the spirit of Christ. Thus, in the Affliction, every faithful Christ is the representation of both Joshua and Caleb.
"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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