January 1, 2004
An Open Letter to All Who Are of Philadelphia
Greetings to those who have been chosen to go and bear fruit in the spiritual city of Philadelphia. This letter is written so that your fruit might remain, that it might not perish when tested by fire, that it prevails as the labors of disciples worthy of Christ Jesus (Matt 10:37-38). And your fruit will be tested, as will you be. Philadelphia will deliver the endtime gospel about patient endurance (Rev 3:10), the good news that all who endure to the end shall be saved (Matt 24:13). This is the gospel that must be proclaimed to the world as a witness to all nations before the age concludes (v. 14) and the harvest of the earth is reaped (Rev 14:15). And for delivery of this gospel, nothing more will be asked of you except to continue in well doing, hearing the words of Jesus and believing the One who raised Him from the dead. Your crown will be established through your willingness to fight to win a kingdom for your elder brother.
I write this letter to you, the saints of Philadelphia, as a brother. To other saints I will write other letters as one sent forth to the world, the mantle I wear without apology. But this letter is to encourage those who wonder about being out of step with even the remnant of Israel that left spiritual Babylon to rebuild the temple. I write to encourage those who worry about what it means to fight for Christ, those who wander from fellowship to fellowship, searching for the city of brotherly love. This letter is to assure you that we will not fail to deliver the endtime gospel about patient endurance. Despite our lack of strength, we will succeed because Christ opens the doors through which we stumble.
Lewis and Clark stumbled out of the Bitterroot Mountains to find a people who did not need discovered, and who were not sure what to do with these uninvited visitors. The Corps of Discovery's westward trek has been called the last great journey into the unknown. But an elderly Nez Perce woman sent the war council deciding what to do with Lewis and Clark the message that they were not to harm them, for when she, as an escaped slave, was among the Americans, they had treated her well. Without acclaim, and with only resourcefulness, this woman had made the same trek up the river to the headwaters of the Missouri and over the mountains. Hers wasn't a voyage of discovery, but a returning home. She knew where she was going - she only had to find the way.
The saints of Philadelphia know where to go - they only have to find the way. Philadelphia's voyage across dimensions will make paddling to the headwaters of the Missouri, then crossing the mountains in the snow seem rather ordinary. We have been given a message to deliver, and we have been prophetically told that we delivered it. All that remains is the actual delivery, without acclaim and with only resourcefulness.
We receive slick magazines warning of a united Europe as an endtime revival of the Holy Roman Empire -- magazines declaring that the correct endtime gospel is a message about Christ's millennial reign. Many of us supported the work of God's essential endtime man, as he has been called since his death nearly a generation ago. His work gave birth to these slick magazines, and the marketing techniques driving their distribution. The writers and editors of these magazines mimic his writing style, with a message that also mimics his. But how many times can one cry, Wolf, wolf, before disbelief growls from the encroaching darkness? This essential endtime man cried, Don't believe me, believe your Bible, so many times that he is believed, not the Bible. And he would have saints in the city of Philadelphia sitting out the Tribulation in a place of physical safety instead of fighting to win a kingdom for their elder brother.
Disciples are not called for salvation - salvation is a gift, received when disciples are drawn from the world. Salvation comes with receipt of the Breath of God, just as physical life came to the first Adam with receipt of the breath of life (Gen 2:7). Christ as the last Adam is a life-giving spirit (1 Cor 15:45). He created the Church, the second Eve, when He breathed on ten of His disciples and said, Receive the Holy Spirit (John 20:22), or Breath Holy [Pneuma 'Alion].
Disciples are called to do a work. They are called out of season; i.e., before the harvest of the earth has ripened. Although angels will do the actual reaping, disciples do the work of preparing the harvest for reaping. They are as that Nez Perce woman was. She was taken captive, dragged across Montana and the Dakotas, escaped somewhere along the upper reaches of the Mississippi, then wandered downstream from fort to fort before returning west, to the drainage of the Columbia, where she waited in place to do the work of protecting a new people, a great people, a people who would spread across the face of the land as sticky clay tracked across the heavens.
For the saints of Philadelphia, the cost-per-response for glossy magazines make these publications ineffective vehicles for delivering Christ's words about patient endurance. The cost for minutes of satellite television transmission exceeds the combined gross incomes for many fellowships in the spiritual city of Philadelphia. So we are left with two means for delivering the endtime gospel: word-of-mouth, and the Internet.
Word of mouth delivery is doing spiritually what the Nez Perce woman did physically -- the purpose of the ministry is to train you for the ministry. Receipt of the Holy Spirit is ordination enough for you to deliver the good news about patient endurance.
The message of the Bible is in the texture of the narrative. This message is simple to teach: with receipt of the Breath of God, a disciple has the laws of God written on his or her heart and mind; the disciple knows God; and the disciple has his or her sins forgiven. The disciple has only to hear the words of Jesus and believe the One who raised Him from the dead. The words of Jesus are the words of the Father. The disciple knows what is right and what is wrong by having internalized the laws of God. Thus, the disciple only has to listen to Jesus and to act upon what he or she hears. If the disciple is ruled by the internalized laws of God, the disciple will do what is right, meaning that the disciple will outwardly keep the commandments of God. To do otherwise is hypocrisy - and no hypocrite will enter the kingdom of heaven. Grace covers disciples' failures through weakness, or lack of knowledge, but not from willful disobedience.
The visible reveals the invisible (Rom 1:20), and the physical precedes the spiritual (1 Cor 15:46). So the recorded narratives of the Bible are the visible, physical shadows of invisible, spiritual phenomena. Therefore, typology works like prophecy to reveal Israel's visible future, as well as this holy nation's invisible past in the spiritual realm
A disciple doesn't need 12 or 57 or any other number of lessons of a correspondence course to teach another born-from-above disciple to hear the words of Jesus and to believe the Father. This will be especially true after the Passover liberation of spiritual Israel from bondage to sin. So the amount of paper necessary for a saint of Philadelphia to teach newly liberated Israelites to live within the laws of God while enduring to the end is not great. The amount truly doesn't exceed the message that Nez Perce woman sent to the war council arguing the fate of the Corps of Discovery. Do what is right - this is all an Israelite will need to hear.
But our delivery of the good news of patient endurance is against a spirit of lawlessness.
A mystery of God that the publishers of the slick magazines do not understand is that spiritual Israel is all of greater Christianity, not just a few thousand Sabbath-keeping saints. Spiritual Israel is today as physical Israel was in Egypt. Christ works today (as Moses did with Pharaoh) to get Satan, the king of Babylon, to release His firstborn son (Exod 4:22). And the Father will intervene as YHWH did when death angels were sent throughout all the land to kill firstborns not covered by the blood of a paschal lamb.
The importance of getting spiritual Israelites to cover their sins by taking the Passover as Jesus established the example, and as Paul instructed the saints at Corinth cannot be overly emphasized. But for all our shrillness, we will not be heard. Jesus told Pharisees that if they would not believe Moses, they would not believe even one raised from the dead. And His words aptly describe the endtime state of spiritual Israel: if this holy nation will not believe Jesus about how and when to take the Passover, they will not believe His disciples. Therefore, Philadelphia will warn greater Israel to take the Passover as Jesus set the example, but until a third of this holy nation is slaughtered due to disbelief, it will not heed our warnings.
But our warning of Israel to take the Passover as Jesus set the example will provide, after Israel's liberation from sin, the creditability required for this holy nation to temporarily hear the words of Jesus and believe the Father. A grieving nation will set out from Babylon with every intention of obeying Christ - and then, as Pharaoh did, Satan will come after his former slaves to return them to captivity.
The rebellion of Israel (more commonly called the great falling away) cannot occur until Israel has returned to living within the laws of God. And one of today's unknowns is what does liberation from bondage to sin really mean. Does liberation mean that within Israel, there will no longer be any hurt as in how Isaiah describes the Millennium? Does it mean that human nature within Israel will change as human nature will when Satan is cast from heaven? Or will liberation be less dramatic, something akin to how the remnant of Israel that left Babylon to rebuild the temple in spiritual Jerusalem presently keeps the commandments?
Liberation will certainly mean that all seventy Sabbaths will again be widely observed. Likewise, liberation will mean an end to "common" behavior and eating "common" foods. The nation will be holy, and for a change, will actually behave like it is holy.
But circumcised Israel's behavior in the wilderness of Sin is the visible, physical shadow of how spiritual Israel will behave following its liberation - the great falling away isn't a one time happenstance, but Israel acting out on its desire to return to Babylon. For three and a half years, Israel will be a torment to the two witnesses, who attempt to lead a rebellious people into the promised land. Circumcised Israel's lusting for the leeks and garlic of Egypt translates to spiritual Israel's desire to return to the theology of the Cross. Manna translates as the words of Christ Jesus. And circumcised Israel despised manna, calling it a worthless food (Num 21:5). Spiritual Israel today despises the words of Jesus - after liberation, after a period of obedience, spiritual Israel will again come to despise the bread that came down from heaven. And this loathing begins with the revealing of the man of perdition, who would have Christianity return to the orthodoxy of historical exegesis.
The two witnesses will lead spiritual Israel as Moses and Aaron led the circumcised nation. And in the supernal realm, these two witnesses will, as human beings, fight against the four kings that emerge after the great horn of the spiritual king of Greece is broken during the Passover slaughter of firstborns. They will prevail, with their last victory being over Death, the fourth horseman of the Apocalypse, that victory given to them when they are resurrected with all the world watching. As saints, your mission, if you choose to accept it, will be to prepare a people to endure to the end when the majority of Christianity seeks to return to Babylon. Your mission will be to support the two witnesses as Aaron and Hur upheld the hands of Moses when Amalek fought against Israel at Rephidim. Again, Moses is a type of the Messiah. Your mission will be to fight to win a kingdom for your elder brother.
Brotherly love means actually fighting for Christ Jesus as David fought Goliath. The ancient Asia Minor city named Philadelphia, now named Alesehir, Arabic for "City of God," was named in honor of Attalus II, the younger brother of Eumenes II, king of Lydia. The city wasn't named to honor this king for him accommodating the enemies of his elder brother, but for him successfully fighting against those enemies, then unselfishly giving his victory to his brother.
Love for all of greater Israel will have saints in Philadelphia warning the Church to take the Passover; for it will be the slaughter of uncovered firstborns that plunges the world into seven years of tribulation. On the morning after, the NBA playoffs will no longer be important, and the many false teachers of spiritual Israel will be telephoning each other, asking what happened. As the magnitude of the calamity becomes realized, these teachers will mistakenly identify this Passover liberation of Israel as the sixth trumpet plague. They will be three and a half years off in their location of the Church in the plan of God.
We have a great work ahead of us, a work that we cannot possibly accomplish. The work is really Christ's. But out of love for us, He has given us a significant role in bringing many sons of God to glory. Again, He has given us a job, and He has told us that we did it. How is up to us as we develop the resourcefulness of Christ, Himself, the Creator of all we see, and of all we know. We wouldn't need to develop this resourcefulness if He also gave us the resources to do the job in an ordinary manner. Instead, out of love for us, He has withheld those resources so there would be nothing "ordinary" about what we do in the spiritual realm.
Philadelphia will use typology to see into the spiritual realm as a submarine commander uses a periscope to see the surface. But more about this comparison in the articles and essays that will sleep in the ether of the Internet until called forth by search-engine spiders. It is these articles and essays, many of which are archived on undiscovered sites, that will carry Philadelphia's fight against the four horsemen of the Apocalypse deep into the heart of Babylon. They are presently cloaked by their anonymity. They are each like a handcrafted robot, waiting to be awakened by another robot. And they will each do a day or more of work before they are discovered and shut down.
Unfortunately, these stealth sites cannot be mass-produced as had been hoped. But then, with God, neither can be His sons. We are each unique, thankfully. And we who have been in Philadelphia for the past few decades need each of you newly-arrived pilgrims to pick up a pocket full of stones. There are beasts to be killed, and walls to be built.
I write to say that I'm pleased that you have come. Now, get to work. Pillars in the temple of God aren't made by you waiting for someone else to do what you know needs done.
Respectfully, Homer Kizer
"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."