Death spreads suddenly outward from the Euphrates, overrunning even the news of it occurring. In an hour, thousands, no millions, a billion, more, human beings die for no apparent reason. It is as if they have been scared to death as the culmination of weeks of mental terror.
The Church has been left behind, all of it. There was no Rapture. All that remains is doubtÖ
And so it will be the morning following the second Passover. Worldwide mayhem. The loss of industrial leaders, political icons, Presidents, Prime Ministers by the scores. Every household affected, every nation mourning. The nation of China buries more than two of every three citizens. No one is left to run the infrastructure of this former giant.
Someone is to blame; someone has to be responsible for such widespread carnage. And that someone is now the most hated man the world has ever known. That someone is Jesus Christ Ė and His followers are everywhere.
Christian leaders assure the Church that the Rapture is certain, that it will come. They stake their reputations on it occurring throughout the day as hatred builds against Christians, hatred that erupts into widespread violenceÖ
But no rapture comes that day or the next. Christians are persecuted. They are hunted as animals Ė until they start shooting back. Rallying around the Cross, they fight, winning battle after battle, offering mercy to those who will accept the Cross, killing those who wonít.
No rapture occurs for seven years, long after the leaders who staked their reputation on it occurring have been martyred and their churches burned and their deaths avenged.
Israel is the woman clothed by the sun, with the moon at her feet. She wears a crown of twelve stars. She began as the twelve sons of the second son of the second son of the patriarch Abraham, to whom the Lord said, "I will make of you a great nationÖand in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed" (Gen 12:2-3). That great nation would eventually include all the families of the earth. All of humanity will be grafted into one holy nation, Israel, before this age concludes.
The Lord told Moses, "Consecrate to me all the firstborn. Whatever is the first to open the womb among the people of Israel, both of man and of beast, is mine" (Exod 13:1). And Moses told Israel, "You shall set apart to the Lord all that first opens the womb" (v. 12) because "when Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let [Israel] go, the Lord killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man and the firstborn of animals" (v. 15).
As Creator, the Logos had a prior claim to all life that opened a womb; He could do with that life as He wished. And that claim was visibly demonstrated in Egypt, with acknowledgment of that claim being mandated within Israel through the consecration of firstborns. And that claim serves as the shadow of God the Father's claim to the firstborn of all life, both in the spiritual and in the physical realms. He will slay all firstborns not covered by the blood of the Lamb when He liberates Israel from bondage to sin. And yes, this includes both physically and spiritually firstborn Christians who do not take the Passover.
Death in the supernal realm is permanent Ė this is the second death, the lake of fire. And disciples who die because they did not cover their sins with the blood of the Lamb will be resurrected to condemnation. They will go into the lake of fire, for they died out of covenant. They died because they chose not to cover their sins with the blood of Christ; thus, the second death awaits them. Literally, they committed spiritual suicide just as much as the followers of Jim Jones chose to drink Kool-Aid.
Certainly the majority of these firstborn Christians who die because they didnít take the Passover were mistaught. They didnít comprehend the significance of the Passover; they truly didnít know. But God was never far from them Ė they chose to believe a man rather than Christ. Why? They put their spiritual lives in the hands of men who proved to be murderers. That doesnít seem reasonable when Bibles are available to nearly everyone. It is not logical. Yet three billion Christians [an approximate number] are liberated from mental bondage at the second Passover. If this second Passover were to occur the spring of, say, 2005, few of these three billions Christians will have covered their sins with the blood of the Lamb of God Ė unless a major awakening begins now.
Humanity, today, operates on a short clock. The second Passover isnít decades in the future. It precedes the Tribulation, but probably precipitates these seven years of Israel living sin-free by faith. And it occurs shortly after seventy are sent out by Christ to everywhere He goes.
Jesusí earthly ministry forms the visible shadow of His invisible spiritual ministry just before the second Passover occurs. He first calls disciples, then spiritually teaches them just as He did visibly in His Sermon on the Mount. This is where we are today in His spiritual ministry: He is still teaching His disciples.
Immediately after the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus sent twelve disciples to the cities of the lost sheep of the house of Israel. This is what occurs next spiritually, with the cities of the spiritually lost sheep being the denominations of the Christianity of the Cross. And these twelve will not be well received (Matt chptr 10). Until liberated from bondage, these lost sheep donít believe they are lost. Rather, they believe Christís disciples are legalists teaching Paulís doubly accursed gospel. These lost sheep, though, read Scripture so poorly that they are clueless as to what Paul cursed.
"Christ" has been taken to the world, but not the Christ of Jesus of Nazareth. The good news proclaimed to all the world as a witness hasnít been that all who endure to the end will be saved (Matt 24:13), but that Christ died on the Cross.
The Cross has been the focus of Christianity for sixteen centuries. It will be the focus of too many Christians after their liberation from bondage to the king of Babylon.
During the hours following the second Passover, a separation will be made between false and genuine disciples: Christians whose minds are set on earthly things will spoil Babylon physically, but spiritually minded disciples will mentally spoil Babylon, taking with them the empireís spiritual wealth. The Christianity of the Cross will prosper even though disciples who keep the commandments of God and hold the testimony of Jesus will have become the most hated people on earth. Christians of the Cross will be quick to point out that their firstborns also died, that it was those old covenant Christians (the Sabbath keepers) who are responsible for the wholesale slaughter of firstborns.
If you, as a Christian, are not being persecuted following the second Passover, you need to reread what Jesus uttered just prior to being taken and sacrificed. Perhaps you really arenít living as His disciple, for the disciple is not greater than his master You will have been mentally liberated. You can know spiritual truths; you have understanding available to you which you never before had. And you need to run as far as you can from historical exegesis.
Trying to cozy up to the grieving world the morning after will only get you killed. A separation will have been made, a separation that will cease to exist in three and a half years when all of humanity receives the Holy Spirit. Until then, though, you will not be like your non-Christian neighbors. You cannot be like them and still live. You must live differently than they do. You must celebrate this difference with festivals, new moons and Sabbaths that are shadows of Christís rest into which you will enter when glorified. You must live as a spiritual Judean, as a spiritual Israelite, not as a spiritual Gentile.
The second Passover is a wake-up call of worldwide proportions. It forever marks the liberation of spiritual Israel from mental bondage to Satan. The game rules will seem to have suddenly changed, but that is not the case at all. Israel has merely been brought into the game, the object of which is to harvest as much of the earth as possible. On the day before the second Passover, there were only a few of us playing spiritual hardball.
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© 2003 by Homer Kizer, and Homer Kizer Ministries. All rights reserved.
"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."