March 2, 2012— updated 15.9.2016
An Essay of Definition in Seven Parts
The Language of Redemption
Out of the North Country
Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. (Heb 9:22)
For the past two, almost three centuries, the Apostle Paul’s words that “those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, in order that He [Jesus] might be the firstborn among many brothers” (Rom 8:29) were neglected; were orphaned as if they were calves whose mothers had been sent to the slaughterhouse. Despite the earlier ministry of John Calvin, the concept of predestination did not fit into either post-Calvin Reform Christendom’s or Catholic Christendom’s or Anabaptist perceptions of what Christian ministry was about. For if a Christian was predestined to be glorified, then ministry [ministering] to this person was unnecessary. And if a person were not predestined to be saved—in 16th-Century understanding of Holy Writ—the person was condemned to hell.
As a doctrine, the concept of predestination placed the “predestined” in a New Covenant relationship with God, Father and Son, through having the laws of God put into the minds and hearts of the predestined: “they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, Know the Lord, for they shall all know me [the Lord], from the least of them to the greatest” (Heb 8:11 — cited from Jer 31:31–34). And if there was no need to teach the predestined to know the Lord, who would Christian pastors teach, those persons not predestined to be saved?
If a person, a Christian, is foreknown by God the Father, the person—through being foreknown and therefore drawn from this world (John 6:44) and delivered to Christ Jesus (v. 65) to call, justify, and glorify—will be a person who hears the word [ton logon, objective case] of Jesus and believes the Father (who sent Jesus into this world) and has received indwelling eternal life, passing from death to life without coming under judgment (John 5:24). This person has inwardly been glorified; for this person was, through being foreknown by God the Father, predestined to be glorified while still alive in a fleshly body. And that is what “predestination” means: the predestined person will pass from inner death to possessing inner eternal life without coming under judgment. And why would a person foreknown by God the Father be predestined to be glorified while the person lives physically? Usually because the Father has a work, a task for the person to do as the Apostle Paul was tasked with taking knowledge of Christ to Gentiles. … My argument has been that since January 2002, I was tasked with rereading prophecy, a commission for which I needed basic knowledge of God before being given this task. Therefore, thirty years earlier I was “drafted”—yes, drafted—into the Body of Christ formed individually or collectively (1 Cor 12:27) by those persons who have been foreknown and predestined, called, justified, and glorified, all in past tense.
Now the question that greater Christendom hasn’t been able to answer: does “preaching” to this foreknown and predestined “Christian” benefit the person? And I can only answer from my experience … no, not usually. For with being born of spirit, this Christian has the Law written on his or her heart. This Christian “desires” to keep the Law through the indwelling of Christ Jesus in the person. So what benefit is there to this Christian to sit on a hard pew or on a folding chair for a couple of hours on Sabbath morning? Very little.
What perhaps benefitted me the most was a chance remark in the middle of an all evening conversation on a winter night in 1974. Bob Clucas, the winter watchman for the cannery at Ninilchik, said he could tell when a minister went from preaching Scripture to preaching opinion. I was still naïve enough to believe what came from pulpits was inspired by God so his comment took me aback, but I said nothing in response. However, I thought about what he said, and within a few minutes, I realized that so could I tell when a minister began preaching opinion. And from that point on, I listened to what was said in Sabbath services, but I didn’t necessarily believe everything. I was much more willing to mentally challenge what was said, all the while keeping my opinions to myself; for I hadn’t then been called to either teach or preach—and I especially didn’t want the responsibility of giving a person bad information.
No Christian truly born of God would long appear before the Lord in Sunday services, except when a High Sabbath occurs on the day after the Sabbath as the Feast of Weeks always does. For with the indwelling of Christ Jesus, the Christian truly born of God will desire to walk in this world as Jesus, an observant Jew, walked.
Greater Christendom has had so little understanding of the Elect [the chosen ones] being foreknown and predestined that what has been said about predestination was spoken from ignorance; was what Christians not born of God as sons thought. However, even within the Sabbatarian Churches of God in the 19th and 20th Centuries, predestination was ignored in the same manner as these Sabbatarian Christians denied spiritual birth occurring prior to the Second Advent. Predestination was ignored because it wasn’t understood—and again, what benefit is it to a Christian ministry to “preach” to those persons already glorified?
If a blind, cave crayfish [crawdad] can find food and a mate in total or near total darkness, it would seem like a spiritually blind Christian could find God in near total spiritual darkness. But this hasn’t been the case …
Jesus told the crowd that followed Him, “‘The Light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the Light, less darkness over take you. The one who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the Light, believe in the Light, that you may become sons of Light’” (John 12:35–36 emphasis added). Why? Because even in the light that is God, Israel could not see who was among them or where the people were going. Christians today cannot see where they are going, or from where greater Christendom has come; for greater Christendom left Christ Jesus shortly after the Light was taken from humanity.
Although Sabbatarian Christians were not, are not hesitant to identify themselves as the Elect, they were—still are—judiciously taught that they were, are merely begotten and not born of God. And in reality, most Sabbatarian Christians, including the majority of the Churches of God’s ministry, are not, were not born of God. But the Elect are foreknown by the Father. They have been predestined to be glorified by the Father while they still live physically. They have been called by Christ Jesus, justified by Christ dying for them while they were still sinners, and glorified by the indwelling of the spirit of Christ [pneuma Christou] (v. 30) in this present era as Paul’s verb tenses disclose.
The Elect know that they have been born of spirit. Perhaps not initially when first drawn from this world and delivered to Christ to call and justify, but when they are glorified they are as children happy to be alive … they are fruit borne out of season; borne when it isn’t the season for fruit. So while they may lack the sweetness of in-season fruit, or even the color of in-season fruit, they are the only fresh fruit that is of God available in this present era.
Therefore, the Christian who has been predestined to be called, justified, and glorified in this present era has been recovered from the North Country, Death …
As the land of Egypt symbolically represents Sin, the domain of the demonic King of the South, the North Country of Assyria symbolically represents Death, the domain of the demonic King of the North, the fourth horseman of the Apocalypse and the fourth king of Daniel chapter seven. Thus, to leave the North Country is to leave death; is to be resurrected to life; is to be born again as a son of light, one of the already glorified Elect that continues to dwell in a fleshly body.
Remember, the fleshly body will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor 15:50). It isn’t the fleshly body that is glorified in this present era, but the inner self, buried in baptism into Christ Jesus’ death and united with Jesus in a resurrection like His when the spirit of God [pneuma Theou] descended upon Him and entered into [eis — from Mark 1:10] Him. It is the inner self that is neither male nor female, Jew nor Greek, free nor slave (Gal 3:28) that is brought to life; for the fleshly body, after baptism, remains as it was: male or female, circumcised or uncircumcised.
How difficult is that to understand? The Apostle Paul wrote,
For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith [belief of God]. For as many of you were baptized into Christ have put on Christ [as if putting on a garment]. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring [seed], heirs according to promise. (Gal 3:26–29)
To escape from the North Country is to escape from death when the inner self is dead through being consigned to disobedience (Rom 11:32) … death entered the world via one man and reigned over all men from Adam to Moses (Rom 5:14), not from Adam to Christ Jesus. For Moses entered into the presence of the Lord, seeing His glory (Ex 33:14, 18–23), and Moses had the Lord’s glory remain with Moses for the remainder of Moses’ physical life.
Note again, Paul does not write that death reigned over humankind from Adam to Christ Jesus, but from Adam to Moses. For the imagery of Israel surrounding the base of Mount Sinai and Moses climbing to its summit where he enters into the cloud where the Lord is, discloses the relationship of angels to God; discloses the relationship between greater Christendom to the Elect who are the great nation that is of Moses, the great nation the Lord told Moses that He would build from him, Moses. For by having indwelling eternal life, this “life” can enter into the presence of God as Moses entered into the presence of the Lord.
Moses did not want the Lord to build from him a great nation, but wanted Israel to be the nation that was of the Lord. But as Ezekiel records,
Certain of the elders of Israel came to inquire of the Lord, and sat before me. And the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man [Adam], speak to the elders of Israel, and say to them, … Is it to inquire of me that you come? As I live, declares the Lord God, I will not be inquired of by you. Will you judge them, son of [Adam], will you judge them? Let them know the abominations of their fathers, and say to them, … On the day when I chose Israel, I swore to the offspring of the house of Jacob, making myself known to them in the land of Egypt; I swore to them, saying, I am the Lord your God. On that day I swore to them that I would bring them out of the land of Egypt into a land that I had searched out for them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the most glorious of all lands. And I said to them, Cast away the detestable things your eyes feast on, every one of you, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt. … But they rebelled against me and were not willing to listen to me. None of them cast away the detestable things their eyes feasted on, nor did they foresake the idols of Egypt. (Ezek 20:1–8 emphasis added)
Israel never abandoned the idols and abominable things of Egypt … even though the children of Israel crossed the Jordan behind Joshua [in Gr: ’Iesou, Jesus] on the 10th day of the first month (Josh 4:19) as a Passover Lamb of God, these children of Israel were a blemished “lamb” that was an unacceptable sacrifice.
Israel initially, and the children of Israel later appeared before the Lord as “one” unit, a single collective, not as individual persons. Thus, the Lord’s judgment of Israel—the son of Adam’s judgment of Israel—pertained to all Israelites, not to just a few rotten eggs, with the first appearance of separation of a few from the collective coming in Korah’s rebellion against Moses and Aaron, which followed the people rebelling against Moses when the twelve spies returned from the Promised Land.
And all the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The whole congregation said to them, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! Why is the Lord bringing us into this land to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become a prey. Would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?” And they said to one another, “Let us choose a leader and go back to Egypt.” (Num 14:2–4)
The congregation of Israel was ready to stone Moses and Aaron, Joshua and Caleb: “Then all the congregation said to stone them with stones” (Num 14:10). But the Lord rescued Moses by putting in an appearance, and collectively condemning the men numbered in the census of the second year—with the exception of Joshua and Caleb—to death in the wilderness. None of these men were able to enter the Promised Land where the Lord intended to take a reluctant nation of Israel. Rather, it was their little ones, grown into men numbered in the census of the 40th year (Num chap 26) that crossed the Jordan.
However, within a week or so of Israel’s rebellion against Moses when the spies returned from the Promised Land, Korah and 250 chiefs of the congregation, “chosen from the assembly, well-known men” (Num 16:2) assembled against Moses and Aaron and said to them, “You have gone too far! For all in the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the Lord?” (v. 3).
Korah’s statement is as close to a democratic ideal being expressed in Scripture as a Christian will find—and the Lord wasn’t pleased; for apparently He had heard a similar thing said about Him and God the Father by the Adversary and his rebelling angels. So Korah and the men with him “experienced” the physical application of what happened to the Adversary and his rebelling angels: the ground opened up and swallowed Korah and his household alive, as a rent in the fabric of heaven opened, forming the Abyss into which the Adversary and his angels were flushed … in timelessness, all living entities must function as one entity in a dance of oneness. The dynamics of a paradox do not allow two or more things to occupy the same time and space. Therefore, to do something as simple as sit in a chair, the entity previously sitting has to leave the chair before the other can sit. And when there is no passage of time, the “leaving” and “sitting” have to occupy in the same moment; have to simultaneously occur. Thus, if even one entity rebels—breaks this dance of oneness—the entire system experiences unbreakable gridlock, with the only way [best way] to end this gridlock being to remove the non-cooperating entity. Just get rebelling angels out from heaven so something can happen.
Apparently the damage the Adversary and his angels did to heaven, which seems more like a living organism as the earth is actually a living organism, was so extensive that “repair” of the preexisting heaven may not be possible; hence the language used in John’s vision suggests a new construction of Heaven.
Regardless, with Korah and the men with him, the Lord did a new thing here on earth:
Moses said, “Hereby you shall know that the Lord has sent me to do all these works, and that it has not been of my own accord. If these men die as all men die, or if they are visited by the fate of all mankind, then the Lord has not sent me. But if the Lord creates something new, and the ground opens its mouth and swallows them up with all that belongs to them, and they go down alive into Sheol, then you shall know that these men have despised the Lord.” And as soon as he finished speaking all these words, the ground under them split apart. And the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all the people who belonged to Korah and all their goods. (Num 16:28–32)
Instead of killing all of the congregation, which the Lord had just condemned to death in the wilderness, the Lord got rid of the congregation’s vocal leaders—and all of these things were, according to Paul, written for our instruction, upon whom the end of the age has come (1 Cor 10:11).
Moses was tasked with a job, that of liberating Israel from slavery—and apparently knew from early on that he was born for this job, his reason for killing the Egyptian. But he got ahead of the Lord by forty years; so he spent what should have been his most productive years herding sheep for his father-in-law on the backside of the mountain of the Lord. Only when old was he—incapable of then leading an armed rebellion against Pharaoh—allowed to do that for which he knew he had been called. And when old, he apparently didn’t believe that he could get the job done.
As a child, Moses was given no choice as to whether he would be circumcised or whether he would be set adrift in the Nile or whether he would be reared in Pharaoh’s household as a son. These things were done to him as being born of spirit in this present era is done to a son of God. And because of what happened to Moses as an infant, there was a separation made between Moses and his people: he was not a slave, but was educated in the house of Pharaoh. As a result, Moses never thought like a slave, with physical slavery in Egypt metaphorically representing a living person consigned to disobedience and as such being the slave of the Adversary … the Christian who is foreknown is as Moses was as an infant. This Christian is predestined to be glorified as Moses was predestined to enter into the presence of the Lord, whether only when approaching the burning bush or when he climbed Mount Sinai: Moses didn’t ask to climb Mount Sinai, but was called into the cloud (Ex 24:15–18).
There is nothing that the foreknown and predestined Christian does or can do to effect or cause this person to be selected as Moses was selected from among his people to live in Pharaoh’s house as a son. And at some point in the foreknown and predestined Christian’s life, he or she will identify with Christendom as Moses identified himself with his people when he slew the Egyptian. But as Moses could no longer remain in Egypt once he identified himself with his people, the predestined Christian cannot remain within historic Christianity, but must begin to keep the commandments, especially the Sabbath commandment, while having love for neighbor and brother. The predestined Christian has no more choice about what he or she does and will do than Moses had. The illusion of choice might be present, but no real choice is. The predestined Christian will escape from sin through keeping the commandments.
The foreknown and predestined Christian believes the writings of Moses, and this predestined Christian adds to his or her belief of Moses what the Christian hears in the words of Jesus, in the word of Jesus that He left with His disciples, in what the Parakletos discloses to the Christian—and this predestined Christian will find him or herself as far from historic Christendom as Moses was from Israel while he tended the sheep of his father-in-law in the remote regions of Midian. Nevertheless, as Moses didn’t want-to but went anyway (because he had no choice) back to his people to deliver them from slavery, the foreknown and predestined Christian will return to historic Christendom not to become a part of it but to deliver this enslaved people to freedom even though Christians do not and will not want to leave enslavement to sin and death.
Pause and permit the preceding to develop into a thought: Christians in the greater Church today do not want to leave Sin and Death. If they wanted to escape from Sin, they wouldn’t keep attending worship services on the day after the Sabbath. They would actually think about what they do, and they would—to the best of their abilities—keep the Commandments of God.
But, tell me if you can, what is the best way to keep a slave from escaping? The best way is to convince the slave that he or she is free, already has liberty, and does not need to be liberated, that liberation is enslavement. This slave will produce for his or her master in a way that the person who knows he or she is a slave will not. And this is the story of historic Christendom, even of Islam—and this illusion of Christians already being free is what the endtime Moses must address if presently uncovered firstborns are to cover themselves with the blood of Christ before the Second Passover liberation of Israel.
To leave Egypt is to leave sin; is to escape being consigned to disobedience (Rom 11:32) as a son of disobedience (Eph 2:2–3).
To leave the North Country represented by Assyria is to escape from death through being saved, that magical sounding word that simply means that the Christian has received a second breath of life, the breath of God in the breath of Christ. This person is a holy one, a saint, a Christian who keeps the commandments of God and has the faith of Jesus (Rev 14:12) through having the indwelling of Christ Jesus in the form of His breath, His glory.
Paul, in quoting from what he calls “the righteousness based on faith” (Rom 10:6) places the holy ones in the Moab covenant (Deut chaps 29–32) which will have Israel, when in a far land, turning to the Lord with heart and mind and keeping all that is written in the Book of Deuteronomy (Deut 30:1–2, 10) and thereby receiving a circumcised heart (v. 6). It is this Israelite, the one who by faith turned to the Lord when Israel was far from the Promised Land, and who has professed with his or her mouth that Jesus is Lord and who believes in the Israelite’s heart that God raised Jesus from death that will be saved (Rom 10:9). And when there is no distinction between Jew or Greek (v. 12), the Christian who confesses that Jesus is Lord and believes that the Father raised Jesus from death and who by faith begins to keep the commandments and all that is written in Deuteronomy stands on the same theological ground as does the Jew who by culture keeps all that is written in Deuteronomy and now has professed that Jesus is Lord, thereby acknowledging a second deity, a God of the dead ones as well as a God of the living ones.
For "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." [from Joel 2:32] 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? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? (Rom 10:13–15)
The question Paul asks is central to why rabbinical Judaism cannot forget the Exodus of Moses’ day. How can Judaism be saved when it has not called upon Christ Jesus because it really has never heard His words preached to this people that is still loved by the God of the living for the sake of their ancestors? How can greater Christendom be saved when it, too, has not heard the words of Jesus because no one has preached to greater Christendom the good news that Jesus delivered to His first disciples for transmission to their endtime brothers and partners? How can the Elect understand what is going on within themselves, or why they cannot believe the swill preached from the pulpits of historic Christianity, or why they have no one with whom to fellowship on the Sabbath when no one has preached to them the good news that foreknown and predestined Christians have already been glorified through receiving indwelling eternal life that cannot be lost—it would not have been given to them if it could be lost.
How will Judaism be saved? In the same way that Israel was liberated from slavery to Pharaoh: it will be done to them despite their best efforts to remain scattered across the North Country, the land representing death.
The prophet Jeremiah foresaw the time when his people, the House of Judah, would forget the Exodus, but this, too, will not happen prior to the Second Passover liberation of a second Israel. However, following the Second Passover, Israel will be recovered from the North Country, with this recovery from symbolic Assyria of so much greater significance than liberation from physical slavery to a human king that the Exodus of Moses’ day will be forgotten …
Tens of thousands of Jews leaving northern Europe following the defeat of Nazi Germany certainly hasn’t caused Judaism to forget the Exodus. A few more thousand Jews leaving Russia since the formation and independence of the modern State of Israel hasn’t been of enough significance for Judaism to forget the Exodus. If anything, the return of scattered Jews to Israel is compared to the Exodus, with the storied trek to the Promised Land not being diminished by the passing of centuries and now the passing of three and a half millennia. Thus, for Jeremiah’s words to be true—
Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when it shall no longer be said, “As the Lord lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt,” but “As the Lord lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the north country and out of all the countries where He had driven them.” For I will bring them back to their own land that I gave to their fathers. (Jer 16:14–15)
Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when they shall no longer say, “As the Lord lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt,” but “As the Lord lives who brought up and led the offspring of the house of Israel out of the north country and out of all the countries where He had driven them.” Then they shall dwell in their own land. (Jer 23:7–8)
—there must be another recovery of the people of Israel; there must be a second time when the Lord “will extend His hand … to recover the remnant that remains of His people” (Isa 11:11): “And there will be a highway from Assyria for the remnant that remains of His people, as there was for Israel when they came up from the land of Egypt” (v. 16).
If there will be a second time that the Lord extends His hand to recover His people, and if this second time will cause people to cease speaking of the Exodus when Israel left Egypt, then this second recovery of a remnant of Israel has not yet occurred. And if there is a second recovery of Israel, there will be a second Moses and Aaron, with the two witnesses that stand on either side of the glorified Christ Jesus being foreshadowed by Moses and Aaron.
The prophet Ezekiel records,
As I live, declares the Lord God, surely with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out I will be king over you. I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you are scattered, with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will enter into judgment with you face to face. As I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will enter into judgment with you, declares the Lord God. I will make you pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant. I will purge out the rebels from among you, and those who transgress against me. I will bring them out of the land where they sojourn, but they shall not enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord. (Ezek 20:33–38)
Therefore, say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came. And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them. And the nations will know that I am the Lord, declares the Lord God, when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes. I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. (Ezek 36:22–27)
The heart of a person is a euphemistic expression for the person’s inner self, consigned to disobedience (Rom 11:32) and to condemnation because Adam, in the Garden of Eden—when he could have eaten the fruit of the Tree of Life—chose to eat the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, thereby revealing his unbelief that is sin and thus introducing death into the world (Rom 5:12). Therefore, to give a person a new heart is to have mercy upon the son of disobedience (from Eph 2:2–3).
Putting the spirit of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of the living (Matt 22:32) into the house of Israel will cause the people to walk in the statutes of the Lord and to be careful to obey His rules, and comes through filling Israel with the spirit/breath of Christ [pneuma Christou] via baptizing Israel in holy spirit [pneuma ’agion] (Matt 3:11), with this baptism [emersion or submersion] in spirit to occur at a specific moment in time:
And it shall come to pass afterward,
that I will pour out my spirit on all flesh;
your sons and your 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.
indented lines are spiritual portions of couplets
And I 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 2:28–32)
The spirit is poured out on all flesh when dominion over the single kingdom of this world is taken from the Adversary and given to the Son of Man, halfway through seven endtime years of tribulation … the seventh trumpet of the Seventh Seal (Rev 11:15) heralds the kingdom of this world being taken from the remaining hierarchy of spiritual Babylon and given to the Son of Man (Dan 7:9–14; Rev 12:7–12).
When the Lamb of God opened the Seventh Seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour (Rev 8:1), with the six hours that occur between midnight [the hour of the Second Passover liberation of a second Israel] and dawn bringing to light a new day representing 1260 days or 42 months, thus making each hour about seven months long, with a half hour now being three and a half months long. And after this half hour [105 days] of silence, the first angel blew his trumpet:
The first angel blew his trumpet, and there followed hail and fire, mixed with blood, and these were thrown upon the earth. And a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up. The second angel blew his trumpet, and something like a great mountain, burning with fire, was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. A third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed. The third angel blew his trumpet, and a great star fell from heaven, blazing like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many people died from the water, because it had been made bitter. The fourth angel blew his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, and a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of their light might be darkened, and a third of the day might be kept from shining, and likewise a third of the night. (Rev 8:7–12)
There will not be many times in the course of human history when hail and fire, mixed with blood are thrown upon the earth while the sun turns dark and the moon turns red as in a total solar eclipse. There will be one time, with this one time occurring after the half hour of silence in heaven and before the three woes begin, with the first woe being five months long (Rev 9:5) and with the second woe being about thirty days long—
Said otherwise, hail, fire and blood will be thrown upon the people of the earth about six months before the kingdom of this world is given to the Son of Man and the present prince of the power of the air, that old dragon Satan the devil, is cast to earth (again, Rev 12:7–10). It will be in this narrow time frame of an hour when another third of humanity will perish and the holy spirit is poured out on all flesh, causing many to prophesy and see visions. It will be from this “‘hour of trial that is coming on the whole world to try those who dwell on earth’” (Rev 3:10) that the Church at Philadelphia will be kept through having kept the word [ton logon] of the endurance of Jesus and not denying Jesus’ name (vv. 8, 10).
Certainly hail and fire, mixed with blood falling from the sky will impress people, as will five months of painful affliction followed by the slaying of a random third of remaining humanity … these things will tend to make Israel forget about the Exodus of Moses’ day in a way that a few thousand Jews flying out of Moscow in jetliners has not. Plus, the prophet Isaiah records,
But now thus says the Lord,
He who created you, O Jacob,
He who formed you, O Israel:
Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I give Egypt as your ransom,
Cush and Seba in exchange for you.
Because you are precious in my eyes,
and honored, and I love you,
I give men in return for you,
peoples in exchange for your life. (Isa 43:1–4)
indented lines are spiritual portions of couplets
As the Lord gave the firstborn of Egypt [of man and beasts] as the ransom price for Israel, His firstborn son (Ex 4:22), in the days of Moses, the Lord will again give the lives of men as the ransom price for firstborn sons, with the lives of men not given once as a blood ransom but again for the third part of the little ones (from Zech 13:9), thus leaving men few in number when there had been many, approximately seven billion prior to the Second Passover liberation of a second Israel.
Returning to the prophet Isaiah:
Behold, the Lord will empty the earth and make it desolate,
and He will twist its surface and scatter its inhabitants. …
The earth shall be utterly empty and utterly plundered;
for the Lord has spoken this word.
The earth mourns and withers;
the world languishes and withers;
the highest people of the earth languish.
The earth lies defiled
under its inhabitants;
for they have transgressed the laws,
violated the statutes,
broken the everlasting covenant.
Therefore, a curse devours the earth,
and its inhabitants suffer for their guilt;
therefore, the inhabitants of the earth are scorched,
and few men are left. …
Terror and the pit and the snare
are upon you, O inhabitant of the earth!
He who flees at the sound of the terror
shall fall into the pit,
and he who climbs out of the pit
shall be caught in the snare.
For the windows of heaven are opened,
and the foundations of the earth tremble.
The earth is utterly broken,
the earth is split apart,
the earth is violently shaken.
The earth staggers like a drunken man;
it sways like a hut;
its transgression lies heavy upon it,
and it falls, and will not rise again.
On that day the Lord will punish
the host of heaven, in heaven,
and the kings of the earth, on the earth.
They will be gathered together
as prisoners in a pit;
they will be shut up in a prison,
and after many days they will be punished.
Then the moon will be confounded
and the sun ashamed,
for the Lord of hosts reigns on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem,
and His glory will be before His elders. (Isa 24:1, 3–6, 17–23)
indented lines are spiritual portions of couplets
When Isaiah recorded the preceding words of the Lord, the world’s inhabitants may have been a few million people, considering that China was already a well populated land. But by modern standards, people were few; the earth was empty. Yet the word of the Lord came to Isaiah that because Israel had broken the everlasting covenant, the earth itself would suffer; would stagger as a drunk; would be violently shaken, with the Lord punishing both the host of heaven in heaven and the kings of this earth on earth. Therefore, when the earth reels and the sun is ashamed and doesn’t give off its light, Israel must necessarily be a far more important people than the House of Judah was in the 8th-Century BCE when it was a backwater kingdom wedged between the Egyptian and Assyrian Empires. And it is here where reconciliation of endtime prophecies about Israel begins.
Here is also where I will break this Part Five into two pieces, thereby giving readers time to think about the earth itself suffering because of Israel’s lawlessness and idolatry.
[To be continued in the Addendum to Part Five]
"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."