THE TRIBULATION:
ACQUIRING A
"KINGDOM PERSPECTIVE"

March 12, 2000
by: S.R. Shearer

"And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.

"These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. (Revelation 11:3-4)

INTRODUCTION

It is not without reason that over the last few months we have taken the time to cover the matter of the TRIBULATION. [If you have not already done so, we URGE you to read our two articles on this subject, "The End of Days: Becoming a 'Player' Rather Than A 'Member Of The Audience'," and "The Two Witnesses of God,". Indeed, before you go any further in this article, stop and read these two articles first.] The fact is, it is not an exaggeration to say that understanding what the Tribulation is all about is THE key to understanding prophecy; it's what makes prophecy come alive; it's what takes prophecy out of the realm of academia and books - as well as the inane speculations and endless, fruitless debates of groups like the "Prophecy Club" - and breathes it into our hearts as something living, real, vibrant, and THRILLING! - and something that makes a DEMAND on our lives.

The first thing to note about this momentous era - as we indicated in the two above articles - is that the Tribulation is about JUDGMENT, but judgment which revolves around a very precise and specific issue: the issue of the KINGDOM. It will coerce everyone - those who claim to be Christians as well as those who do not - to confront the question as to which kingdom he or she really belongs: the "Kingdom of this World" (this kosmos)? Or the "Kingdom of Heaven?" - which kingdom? That's the issue! That's the question each and everyone on earth will be forced to face during the Tribulation period, whether they want to or not.

Now this is very important for us to grasp! The question of the "Kingdom" is not primarily one that deals with our own personal righteousness - and those who think so are making a terrible mistake, because if that's what one thinks, then the principle concern of one's life becomes "self-righteousness" - the pursuit of personal piety and "inner perfection" - a pursuit which inevitably leads into the "Grail Quest,"1 endless self-examination, and a destructive introspection.

This is not to say that personal righteousness counts for nothing. By no means! But I say again, it is not - in the first instance - the issue around which the Tribulation will revolve. The events of the Tribulation will evolve and unfold in such a way as to juxtapose the Kingdom of Heaven against the Kingdom of this World and force people to choose between the two - and to this end, a new Gospel will be preached: the "GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM" - a gospel which has been fashioned to present mankind the realities of these two kingdoms in stark and absolute terms so that there will be no question at some later date as to one's ultimate decision or claim to "citizenship" - whether to this world or to the Kingdom of Heaven. No nuances permitted here; no gray areas. Black and white only!

How do we know this? The Bible says so! - and in very plain language; specifically, in a discourse Jesus had with His disciples shortly before His death. The Bible says:

"As he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, WHEN SHALL THESE THINGS BE? AND WHAT SHALL BE THE SIGN OF THY COMING, AND OF THE END OF THE WORLD?
"And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
"For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
"And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
"For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
"All these are the beginning of sorrows.
"Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.
"And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
"And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
"And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
"But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
"AND THIS GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM SHALL BE PREACHED IN ALL THE WORLD FOR A WITNESS UNTO ALL NATIONS; AND THEN SHALL THE END COME. (Matt. 24:3-14)

THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM:
IT WILL COST YOU YOUR LIFE

The "Gospel of the Kingdom" (i.e., the "Good News" of the Kingdom) shall be preached for a witness to all the nations, and then the end shall come! That's what Matthew 24:14 says! Now, be clear! We are not talking here about the Gospel of Salvation! - we are talking about something else, a "gospel" which has a very special relationship to the "END OF THE WORLD" - the Gospel of the Kingdom (Matt. 24:14)!

[The Gospel of Salvation (i.e., the "Good News" of Salvation) has no special relationship to the "end of the age," - IT IS FOR ALL AGES!! - i.e., the Good News that Jesus came to save all of us, "... of whom," Paul says, "I am the chief." (I Tim. 1:15)]

It is for the sake of THIS Gospel - i.e., the "Gospel of the Kingdom" (not necessarily the Gospel of Salvation) - that Jesus says they "... shall deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake." (Matt 24:9)

This isn't to say, of course, that people have not been persecuted and killed for the Gospel of Salvation. They have! And they will continue to be killed for this Gospel all the way to the end. Nonetheless, throughout the ages there have been countless numbers of people who have preached the Gospel of Salvation and who have never been persecuted: Billy Graham, Billy Sunday, Donald Barnhouse, Dwight Moody, etc. To say otherwise is not factual. But the Gospel of the Kingdom is something else all together, and has been fashioned in such a way as to elicit a rage so terrible in those who hear it and refuse to accede to it, that they will kill those who preach it on a scale never before witnessed by man!

Now this is all very important; you need to stop for a moment and ponder carefully what the Bible is saying here. Matthew 24:14 clearly and unambiguously links the "End of the World" to the "Gospel of the Kingdom," and Matthew 24:9 just as clearly and just as unambiguously links the preaching of this specific gospel (i.e., the "Gospel of the Kingdom") to an hitherto unheard of persecution which will entail excommunication (from the "professing church"), prison, and death [i.e., the "Beginning of Sorrows" (Matt. 24:8)] - which will then finally culminate in the "Great Tribulation:"

"For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be." (Matt. 24:21)

[Please see Chapter 5 of the Antipas Papers, "Understanding the Book of Revelation"]

This is what Luke 21:12-17 says also:

"But before all these [i.e., earthquakes, famines, pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs (Luke 21:11), they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the ... (leaders of the Apostate Church), and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake.
"And it shall turn to you for a testimony.
"Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer:
"For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.
"And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death.
"And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake. (Luke 21:12-17)

Once more we have the "end of days," persecution, betrayal, and the matter of witnessing, etc. -- these are all the same things we see in Matthew 24. And again, what is all this about? - i.e., the persecution, the hatred, the excommunications, the prisons, the testimony? - THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM.

THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM

In the light of all this, then, it's only fair to ask, What is there about the "Gospel of the Kingdom" that could elicit such a reaction from the "rulers of this world?" - and not just them, but all those who call this world their home? It's simply this: the Kingdom of Heaven (about which the "Gospel of the Kingdom" is all about) and the "kingdom of this world" are at war with one another; as a result, their is hatred and mutual revulsion between the two. Hatred between the two kingdoms! - that's what this enmity is all about! Of course, there has always been malice between them, but in the "Latter Days," it will reach an unprecedented crescendo.

So serious a matter is the enmity between the kingdom of this world and the Kingdom of Heaven, that Jesus makes the startling and even astonishing statement:

"... know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the ENEMY of God. (James 4:4)

That's serious! That's really serious!! No equivocation there! No wiggle room in that statement: the warning is to "WHOSOEVER." That's guilt by association, and Christ makes no apologies for it. To Christ, you are either on one side or the other, and mere association places you on the other side so far as Jesus is concerned!! One side or the other! There's no middle ground!

Jesus elaborates:

"If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you." (John 15:19)

And again, He says,

"I have given them (i.e., His disciples) thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world." (John 17:14)

And still again, He says,

"They (again, His disciples) are not of the world, even as I am not of the world." (John 17:16)

To God, it's all very simple: there are two sides here: there's the world, and there is the Kingdom of Heaven - and they are in ABSOLUTE and UTTER contrast to one another, and so much so that just by being on one side is cause enough for the other side to view you as an enemy (James 4:4) - and the only consolation that Jesus offers His followers for this state of affairs is the knowledge that -

"If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you." (John 15:18)


THE QUESTION YOU MUST CONFRONT

The question you must answer, then, is this: to which Kingdom do you belong? and this question will be answered not by what you say, but by what you do during the Tribulation period. You may say that you are a Christian; you may say that you are "born again." But does your conduct really bear witness to what you are saying? The Bible says:

"What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
"Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
"Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works." (James 2:14, 17-18)

What the Bible is saying here is, if one's faith is real, it will have an outcome in the way one conducts his life - and there is a fearful and dreadful warning to those who deign to challenge God on this point; The Bible says:

"Thou believest that there is one God (in other words, you say you have faith); thou doest well: (but) the devils also believe, and tremble." (James 2:19)

THE KINGDOM OF THIS WORLD

Think about it again! - "Whosoever ...will be a friend of the world is the ENEMY of God. (James 4:4). So what is meant by the term "world?" - we would do well to study this matter very carefully, our futures may well depend on it!!

First, we know that it is the place where Satan has dominion. How do we know this? Because the Bible calls him the "Prince of this World" (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11) - and from that knowledge alone, we should appreciate how dangerous a place the world is - at least to those who call themselves "Christian." But there is more: the word "world" is the translation of the Greek word "kosmos," which means an harmonious order or arrangement, and it is used in three ways in the New Testament:

  1. First, it means the MATERIAL UNIVERSE (Acts 17:14; Matt. 13:35; John 1:10; Mark 16:15).
  2. Second, it means -
    1. THE INHABITANTS OF THE WORLD as a whole (John 1:10; 3:16; 12:19; 17:21);
    2. THE WHOLE RACE OF MAN ALIENATED FROM GOD AND HOSTILE TO THE CAUSE OF CHRIST (Heb. 11:38; John 14:17; 14:27; 15:18).
  3. Third, it means the whole circle of WORLDLY goods, endowments, riches, advantages, pleasures, which though hollow and fleeting, stir our desires and seduce us from God, so that they are obstacles to the cause of Christ (I John 3:17; Matt. 16:26; I Cor 2:12; 3:19, 7:31; Titus 2:12; II Peter 1:4; 2:20; I John 2:15-17; James 1:27). It is the world of our split level homes, two cars, good careers, good educations, bank accounts, vacations, etc. It is when these pleasures and even so-called necessities of life "possess our hearts" and crowd out our commitment to the Lord and to His people that they have in reality become part of the kosmos.

Moreover, the word kosmos, taken in conjunction with the three meanings described above, implies that behind all this there is a mind - the Prince of this World - which gives order and arrangement to it all. John says:

"The whole KOSMOS [as described above] lieth in the evil one." (John 5:19)

The WHOLE kosmos; not just part of it - ALL OF IT. There are no exceptions here. There's no exception here for America; there's no exception for "Western Civilization;" there is no exception for the "capitalist system;" there is no exception for those Christian groups which are striving so mightily to reform this country! THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS! The Bible says, the WHOLE world is controlled by Satan.

He is the KOSMOKRATER or world-ruler - a word which, however, appears only once, and is used in the plural of his lieutenants: "the WORLD RULERS OF THIS DARKNESS" (Eph. 6:12).

Politics, education, literature, science, art, law, commerce, music, our homes, careers, etc. - together they constitute the "kosmos." Subtract them, and the world as a coherent system ceases to exist. It is the development of these things that constitutes history. The world [kosmos] is Satan's grand creation and he has directed all his strength and ingenuity into causing it to flourish. To what end? To capture man's allegiance and draw man to himself. He has one object - to establish his own dominion in human hearts worldwide!

TO BE A FRIEND OF THIS WORLD
IS TO BE AN ENEMY OF GOD

It is precisely this world against which the Kingdom of Heaven stands in unalterable juxtaposition, and - again - so much so that the Bible says,

"... whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the ENEMY of God. (James 4:4)

Now, stop and contemplate this for a minute, especially as it pertains to item #3 above: are we comfortable in this world? (which is what the Bible means here when it uses the term "friend") - i.e., the world of our nice clothes, cozy parties, good friends, comfortable life-style, etc.). All these things, of course, are good things - but do they "possess our hearts" and crowd out our commitment to the Lord? If they do, then our allegiance is to this world, and not to the Kingdom of Heaven.

You say, Well, for now, that may be the case. I may, indeed, be too friendly with the world - but when the time comes, I'll choose the Lord. Oh, really? A very dear and wonderful friend of mine once told me, if you can't say "no" now, you won't be able to say "no" then. She said that it's like a married man who meets a pretty woman at the coffee machine at work. His conscience whispers, Be careful. But he thinks, What's wrong with talking to her? - no harm there. The relationship progresses to lunches, and, once again, he thinks he can stop whenever he wants; then to dinners - and, again - he persists in believing he is still in control of the situation; finally - after several weeks - it progresses to a hotel room - and now he thinks he'll be able to stop? If he couldn't stop at the coffee machine; if he couldn't stop at the lunches; if he couldn't stop at the dinners, what makes him think that he can stop now as he is lying in bed naked with her? The thought is ludicrous!! Yet, this is exactly the kind of fire Christians are playing with when they defy the Scriptures on this point!

To which kingdom do you belong? - it's your actions, not what you say, that counts here. And there is no fooling God in this matter. The only person we are deceiving when we play around with this kind of fire is ourselves, and maybe the people who surround us. Remember the warning of Scripture:

"Thou believest that there is one God (in other words, you say you have faith); thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
"But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?" (James 2:19-20)


CHRISTIAN POLITICAL ACTIVITY BETRAYS
THE HEART OF TODAY'S APOSTATE CHURCH

The Bible says:

"Do not love the world, or ANYTHING in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
"For EVERYTHING in the world ... comes NOT from the Father ..." (1 John 2:15-16)

As God's children, we have been called OUT OF the world for there is NOTHING that we can do to make it any better. It does NOT belong to Christ; it belongs to Satan! The church is a calling OUT FROM the world (John 15:19; 17:14-16; Gal. 6:14; James 4:4) - she is called out to witness that she is not of this world, but of heaven; that she is united to a glorified Christ in heaven (Eph. 1:18-23; Eph 2:6), and not of this world, even as He is not of this world (John 18:36).

The WHOLE world - including, as a simple extension of logic, the United States - is like some great passenger ship which has struck an iceberg; it is sinking; the damage is of such a nature that the ship is beyond repair and doomed. As Christians, we have not been called to busy ourselves in the hopeless effort of repairing the damage, but instead we have been called to get as many people off the ship as is possible before it sinks. The ship itself is doomed! Yet today, this is precisely what thousands and thousands of Christians throughout the country are trying to do: they have become involved in Christian political activity aimed at "turning the country back to Christ and the church." But this country and this world never did belong to "Christ and the church;" it is always been possessed by Satan. The ONLY country God has ever covenanted with is Israel - and the United States in not Israel - not even close! [Please see Chapter 3 of the Antipas Papers, "The Distinction Between Israel and the Church.".]

When the Bible tells Christians that this world (and the United States) is not our home - and not to fight for it (John 18:36), it means it! It's not toying with us. [We urge all those who think that America can be recovered for "Christ and the church" to thoughtfully consider our article, "The American Empire And the U.S. System of Client States"; we also urge you to study a second article on this subject, "In Search Of Babylon! What Does The Bible Say?".]

Jesus said, "My kingdom comes not from hence (i.e., it has nothing to do with this world) ..." (John 18:36); "...everything in the world ... comes not from the Father ..." (1 John 2:15-16); "... The whole world lieth in the evil one" (1 John 5:19); "... Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God" (James 4:4). The Bible isn't fooling around here; it's not exaggerating; it's not embellishing; it's not elaborating; it's not overstating to make a point, it means it. And the attempt of your friends, the 700 Club, Pat Robertson, Tim LaHaye, James Kennedy, James Dobson, etc. - to say otherwise is foolish in the extreme. They are heaping up reproach and dishonor to themselves by doing so; and the trouble is, they're involving you in their foolishness - a thoughtlessness which clearly contravenes the Word of God; and when the reckoning finally comes - and it will - you'll have to face it alone. They won't be there to help you. Moreover, on THAT DAY, your efforts to say, "The 700 Club told me it was OK" won't wash! This is serious stuff! Eternity is in the balance here!

REMAINING A PART OF TODAY'S EVANGELICAL CHURCH

Unfortunately, however, this is the direction the American evangelical church has chosen to take - i.e., "to take back the country for Christ and the church." And let me tell you something here - THERE IS VERY LITTLE YOU CAN DO BY REMAINING A PART OF IT TO STOP IT!! You need to come out of it!! It's not without reason that the Bible says:

"And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." (Rev. 18:4)

The clear implication here is that if you do not come out, you will eventually contaminate yourself beyond remedy. The truth is, trying to fight the misdirection and even heresy in today's evangelical church while remaining a part of it will prove an impossible task for anyone who tries. It isn't that there are not countless numbers of godly men and women who are part of this church and who fervently love the Lord and who are honestly seeking to do His will; it's just that they are a part of an institution that is, SADLY, going in the wrong direction, and there is nothing you can do - other than tampering with odds and ends on the periphery - to change that. It's like someone who is walking west towards New York on a ship which is sailing east towards London and who thinks that by doing so he can with much effort at last reach New York. It's impossible!

While we admit that leaving one's "church home" is easy to suggest, but difficult to do - still, it's not, as we suggested in the Antipas Papers, an impossible task, at least not yet. What it probably will mean, however, is ostracism from your circle of friends, and maybe even your families. But the fact is, if you can't face that, then you have no right to call yourself a "Christian." Jesus said,

"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it." (Matt. 10:34-39)


AGAIN - THE "GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM"
PREACHING IT "IN SEASON AND OUT OF SEASON"

You say that leaving your church home will mean a life of loneliness. But that is not necessarily so at all. The fact is, there are many others just like you. You say, How will I ever find them? Well, I'll tell you how - by opening your mouth and speaking forth the truth that God is showing you on this website. When you begin doing so, you will become a beacon to whom others of like-mind can draw nigh. But unless you begin opening your mouth and speaking, how will they ever find you?

You must open your mouth and speak! And by doing so, you will become a WITNESS!! - a witness of the Gospel of the Kingdom. This is what the "Last Days" are all about. This is what the "Two Witnesses" are all about! [More about Israel as one of the "Two Witnesses" in upcoming issues.] Open your mouth and become a witness - a witness for the Kingdom. Preach this gospel "... in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering (that means, keep it up, be persistent) and doctrine." (2 Tim. 4:2)

Some of you, no doubt, hesitate to do so - those are such harsh words: "rebuke," "reprove," "exhort" - and the fact is, if all we were talking about were minor differences and nuances in doctrine, one would certainly be well advised to use moderation. But, the fact is, as we have shown you over and over again, the teachings of the leaders of today's apostate evangelical church have by now become so outrageous that it is no longer a matter of splitting hairs. Jesus, when confronting the errors of the leaders of the religious establishment of His day, certainly was harsh:

"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous,
"And say, 'If we had been {living} in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in {shedding} the blood of the prophets.'
"Consequently you bear witness against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets.
"Fill up then the measure {of the guilt} of your fathers.
"You serpents, you brood of vipers, how shall you escape the sentence of hell?
"Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city,
"That upon you may fall {the guilt of} all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. [Matt. 23:29-35 (NASB)]

And these words apply with as much force to the religious establishment of our day as they did when they were first uttered by Christ against the religious establishment of His day almost 2,000 years ago. Things haven't changed all that much! If there is any hope - and there is - that hope rests not in our establishment leaders, but the "average people" - people like you! After all, who were Peter, John, James, Andrew, etc. - if not "average people" of their day? None of them were a part of the religious establishment - not one of them! Indeed, the establishment figures of that day were astonished by them, perceiving that they were uneducated men of no consequence:

"Now when they (i.e., the religious leaders of the day) saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled ..." (Acts 4:13)

The hope of the church now rests with people like you - and, as a result, there is now a call on your life to take action! God has placed a DEMAND on your life! The fact is, you can't pretend that you don't know what's happening - you do know! - and the Bible says, "... to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." (James 4:17) Indeed, until you decide to do something with regard to what you have heard (and read) here, this knowledge will hang like some kind of biblical sword of Damocles over your head. To do nothing is to invite it to fall on you. The Bible says:

"Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman:
"If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people;
"Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head.
"He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.
"But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand." (Ezek. 33:2-6)

I say again, become a witness! Open your mouth!! Speak!! I don't care whether you are a banker; I don't care whether you are a doctor; I don't care if you are a housewife; I don't care if you are a professor or a teacher! I don't care if you are a plumber, an electrician, a truck driver, a carpenter! I don't care if you are unemployed - OPEN YOUR MOUTH AND SPEAK. Begin preaching this Gospel of the Kingdom - begin urging your friends and loved ones to get out of the "Organized Church" - and do so quickly, before they become subverted. Remember - "A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump." (Gal. 5:9); if they stay, they will eventually be subverted! - and then what will you do? It will be too late. Take heed to yourselves! Do not fall victim to Ezekiel 33:2-6. God help those of you who fall victim to those verses! - remember, they were not written for nothing!!

God bless you!

S.R. Shearer
Antipas Ministries

FOOTNOTES

  1. According to L'Enchanteur by French author Rene Barjavel the Grail was originally a cup made by Eve to receive the blood flowing from Adam's side; after the Fall, an angel broke the Grail, which was later repaired and became the cup of the Last Supper and the vessel used by Mary to catch Christ's blood when his side was pierced by the "Lance of Longenius" (which is today housed in the Hofburg in Vienna); this, supposedly, was the vessel carried by Joseph of Arimathea to England and which later became the object of the "Grail Quest" in Tristan and Isolde, Parsifal, and the Excaliber legends.

    Richard Wagner used the Holy Grail as the central pivot around which flowed the whole history of Western Civilization. Grail Christianity (as opposed to Biblical Christianity) teaches that divinity is transcendent: that man has the potential to become divine - to be joined in intrinsic oneness to his Creator. ["Grail" means "step-by-step" or "by degrees" - i.e., to achieve divinity by achieving "inner perfection" by degrees and by the work of man; to ascend by steps up a pyramid or a mountain towards "godhood" or "holiness."]

    According to Grail Christianity, the Old Testament holds that God had concluded a Covenant (and consequently, a relationship) with a certain people (i.e., the Jews). None other enjoyed this privilege; it was unique. As a result, a relationship to God was possible only through membership in this group.

    In the New Testament the church comes to replace Israel as the vessel through which man may be joined to divinity - and only through baptism (spiritual birth) into membership in Christ's church is it possible for man to attain this divinity [i.e., only through social identification with the church (extra ecclesiam nulla salus)].

    But the church has now been splintered into a thousand pieces (just as the Grail Cup was splintered after Adam's fall) and is, thus, no longer able to fulfill its divine mission. As a result, it awaits someone [or some super, magical, spiritual group of "Grail Seekers" (i.e., the Templars, the "bondage breakers" of "Latter-Rain," the "Apostles & Prophets," etc.)] to piece it back together - just as the angels pieced the cup together after the Fall. Only when this has been accomplished can man resume is ascension towards the divine.

    The problem, then, is for this magical, mystical group of "bondage-breakers" to rise up and piece the church back together; but this can only occur when enough men (no women need apply) achieve the necessary "inner perfection" required for a "Vision of the Grail" - which vision alone brings true spirituality; spirituality, then, leads to the "magic" necessary to piece the church back together. Once the church is pieced back together, the world will be united and peace achieved.

    Wagner portrayed this dilemma in Parzival through the medium of the "Grail King:" the Grail King, Anforta, had been appointed to his sacred office as a mere boy - having done nothing to achieve it. Wolfram von Eschenback explains" He reached the years when his beard began to grow, the age when Love turns her malice upon youth ..." She (i.e., Love) then urges the king to turn aside from his divinely appointed duties to pursue female companionship, and "... in riding in quest of adventure (i.e., sexual fulfillment) ... he is pierced, wounded in a joust, by a poisoned spear through his testicles, so severely he could not be healed." As a result, the kingdom is thrown into confusion and desolation - becoming a wasteland. The desolation can only be ended (and the Grail King's wound healed) when someone brings to the king a vision of the Grail, thereby bringing the king the "inner perfection" which he had heretofore lacked.

    Note carefully here: (1) the emphasis on making "church unity" the necessary precusor to "Christ's Coming" and the "healing of the world;" (2) the necessity of a "super brotherhood" of "bondage-breakers;" (3) the fear (hatred) of women - i.e., the reason for the king's fall was his pursuit of a woman (i.e., sexual fulfillment); and (4) the emphasis on "inner perfection" - i.e., the reason that the king had been tempted in the first place was that he had achieved his kingship before he had achieved "inner perfection." These concepts are unalterably opposed to Biblical Christianity, but they go a long way in explaining the emphasis in "Latter Rain" and charismatic circles on church unity, the necessity of the appearance of a "mystical, magical" brotherhood of "Apostles and Prophets," the fear (hatred) of women, and the extra-Biblical stress in these groups on "inner perfection" - a stress which leads to an unbiblical "Other-Worldliness."

We need your help to spread the word concerning Antipas Ministries and the eschatological viewpoint it represents; WE NEED YOUR HELP BECAUSE WE DO NOT "LINK" WITH OTHER SO-CALLED "CHRISTIAN" WEBSITES which are, for the most part, "in the tank" insofar as their loyalty to the United States is concerned - a loyalty that has made them partners in the BLOODY trail the American military has left in its TERROR-RIDDEN rampage throughout the world, as well as making them partners in the abject poverty that American corporations have imposed on the peoples and nations the American military machine has ravaged - A BLOODY, TERROR-RIDDEN RAMPAGE THAT HAS TO A LARGE DEGREE BEEN CARRIED OUT IN THE NAME OF THE "PRINCE OF PEACE." [Please see our articles, "The Third World as a Model for the New World Order," Inside the American New World Order System" and "The American Empire: The Corporate / Pentagon / CIA / Missionary Archipelago."]

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