I cannot help but continue to give a good deal of thought - with tears in my eyes - as to why so many of those who have come to the ranch have "failed" and returned to the United States breathing hate and invective against us - and not so much on ideological or theological grounds, but on a personal basis. It's not as if they weren't given generous hospitality - they were; it's not as if they had to pay their own way here - they did not. No one was ever asked for money while they were up here. It isn't as if they were forced to work on the ranch - they were not. And it isn't as if they were treated roughly or harshly - they never were. NEVER!
What happened, I think, is that they expected to find "angels" up here, and we didn't turn out to be angels. We turned out to be "normal" human beings - just like them. What a disappointment! We didn't "measure up" to their expectations, and because we didn't "measure up," the criticism began - just a little at the beginning, but as others were drawn in, the criticism increased and eventually turned into a cascade of CONDEMNATION and CENSURE.
THE RANCH AS A PLACE OF "QUIET SERENITY"
Then, of course, there were those who came to the ranch to "visit" us. I suspect what they thought they would find is a peaceful "retreat" where quiet contemplation and a measure of monastic serenity could be had; a place where the staff (meaning those of us at the ranch) would rise an hour before dawn, have a cold bath in the frigid spring outdoors; then "morning watch," a simple breakfast of dry bread and watery gruel, and then out into the "fields" to "work the ranch" during the day while the guests remained behind breakfasting on bacon, eggs and fried potatoes, and planning a day of spiritual contemplation while walking in the woods.
In the evening, it was supposed, we would gather for more prayer and a short Bible study. Then the "guests" could retire for the evening while the staff labored on into the night maintaining the website, doing research, and producing "magically" [kind of like "Balaam's ass" (Numbers 22:28)] the articles that had drawn them to the ministry in the first place.
I think that what they thought they would find at the ranch was a place where, in quiet prayer, they could "find God" and then return home refreshed - ready to do "battle" back on the job and in the grind of their daily lives. Instead they found us - and what a spiritual setback that must have been; the frustration that must have engendered! We didn't "measure up" - and so the faultfinding began; first, that we had too many cats on the property (6 of them), and progressing from there to the fact that work on the many buildings on the ranch was not progressing fast enough, and ending finally with a crescendo of other allegations, all of which stemmed from the zealous imaginations of our accusers. After all, when one wants to see demons, he eventually does, if only in his own fevered dream world.
BABYLON: CLINGING TO AMERICAN
The very real fact of the matter is, more than two-thirds of our support now comes from outside the United States from places like India, Korea, South Africa, Israel, Portugal, England, the Bahamas, etc. It's not that these dear saints outside the United States have more money than those in the U.S. (they don't, indeed, many of them have much less); it's simply that most in America are "TAKERS" and not "GIVERS."
I also rather suspect that this dear lady and her husband were somewhat delighted that these charges were leveled against us; it gives them an excuse to "write the ministry off," and grants them "leave" to stay in their comfortable home. They, of course, would deny all this, and insist that they are still going to leave the U.S. (eventually, someday). But I doubt it. They won't go - they're "WAITING FOR GODET" (for those of you who know what I mean here). And even if they do go, they'll end up bringing Babylon with them, and infecting all those with whom they come in contact with this horrible disease; IT'S BETTER THAT THEY STAY HOME.
Nonetheless, whether they go or stay, I can absolutely assure you that they will - while continuing to "piously pray" about their relationship with us (after all, the saints in the United States are nothing if they're not "pious") - keep on reading the articles on our website. Everyone who "reassesses" their "support" for us continues to religiously read the articles on our site, if only because they can't find material like it anywhere else.
But still, I wonder why they continue to read our articles. Don't they understand that a "corrupt tree" cannot bring forth "good fruit," and if we are so PERSONALLY corrupt, why do they continue to come to "our tree" (as it were) to "gather fruit." The Bible says:
"Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
"Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
"A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, NEITHER CAN A CORRUPT TREE BRING FORTH GOOD FRUIT.
"Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
"Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." (Matthew 7:16-20)
If this is so - AND IT SURELY IS - and we are as personally corrupt as our detractors say we are, the best thing for them to do is NOT read our material anymore. They should unsubscribe themselves from the website, and NEVER visit it again - after all, as Jesus said, "Can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit?" (Matthew 7:19) The Bible says NO! [Contrawise, can good fruit be gathered from a corrupt tree? Again, the answer is NO! So it is impossible to say, as many of our detractors do, that the "fruit" (i.e., the articles and insights) we produce is "good," but those of us who produce this fruit (i.e., these articles and insights) are evil. It's NOT biblical.]
This is the problem with American Christians - they are forever faultfinding on a personal level, forever backbiting; they are so very prone to see demons in other people, and when they "discover" them (if only in their own fevered brains), they relentlessly pursue those demons, even to the gates of hell. THIS IS THE KIND OF PERVERTED "MINDSET" THAT BABYLON PRODUCES IN HER CHILDREN, and it cannot help but rip apart the church of God, and destroy God's testimony on the earth. And this is what those who have been condemning us on such a WICKED and PERSONAL level have been doing! I tell you the truth when I say that almost ALL those who call themselves "Christians" in the United States are infected by this horrid malaise of the soul: They see demons in other people. They have UTTERLY forgotten the word of the Lord when He said:
"Why beholdest thou the mote [speck] that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
"Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
"Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye. (Matthew 7:3-5)
It's as if American Christians have taken a black "magic marker" and blackened out all such verses in the Bible - though this is a concept that is repeated over and over again in the New Testament. It's pretty hard to miss. But miss it, people do - and in doing so, they have made the American church into an instrument of judgment and denunciation; an instrument of hell - and so much so that the Bible pictures the church as a woman riding a beast in the "end of days" - a WHORE who has prostituted herself out to hell.
The fact is, Christianity in the United States has become nothing more than a religion of CONDEMNATION and CENSURE; an INQUISITORIAL INSTITUTION that is CONSTANTLY and RELENTLESSLY on the lookout for those whom it can destroy on an ad homonym or personal basis because they "don't measure up" - and this is true not only insofar as "outsiders" are concerned, but "insiders" as well. The truth is, no one in the church can ever be sure that in the darkness of night the self-appointed "WATCHERS" the church utilizes in its ceaseless work of "cleansing" itself will not appear at his door armed with a warrant giving them "leave" to ASSASSINATE his character.
Where "insiders" are concerned, the church's preferred method of attack is by innuendo, insinuations, indirect suggestions, derogatory hints and all manner of "backbiting," and though the assault is indirect and oblique, it is carried on with a savage ferocity that leaves onlookers gasping and gives them reason to believe that they are in the presence of a wild monster.
And where "outsiders" are concerned, the church's method of attack is DIRECT and very, very BRUTAL, leaving them to conclude that the church is seeking to exterminate them "root and branch." This is certainly how the gay and lesbian community views the church; how growing numbers of women see the church as the church begins to revert back to its medieval ways of treating them - women who desperately want to be free of a religion that consigns them to the status of being mere possessions of their male counterparts. This is surely how the poor must feel who are condemned as "moral failures" by the church simply because they are poor; how even the most modest "free-thinker" must feel who does not want to be consigned to the "amen chorus" of some strutting peacock of a pastor who thinks he is God's "man of the hour;" how Muslims must feel as they see the gathering clouds of a new Crusade that is being directed against them; ad naseum, ad infinitum.
The sad fact of the matter is, as the American church spreads its tentacles across the world, and - through its wretched theories about what the "righteousness of God" should look like - produces a picture of the church that would delight Torquemada and the other leaders of the Spanish Inquisition, it cannot help but HORRIFY those communities and individuals it labels as "abhorrent" to its system of "right-thinking." And, tragically, it cannot help but obliterated in these communities and among these individuals any hope that Christ has any relevance to them - all in DIRECT contravention to John 3:17:
"For God sent NOT his Son into the world to condemn the world [i.e. the people in the world]; but that the world [i.e., the people in the world] through him might be saved." (John 3:17)
To the self-appointed "WATCHERS" that stand guard over the church's (and now the nation's) morality, sin has nothing at all to do with corporate and national ethics, or how the poor are being BRUTALIZED by the rich, or how the church has sided with the American military to rob the people of the Middle East and Central Asia of their God-given patrimony, or how the government (in partnership with the church) is stripping the nation of its liberties, or any other such thing.
Instead, sin is - as Gore Vidal cynically (but correctly) puts it - nothing but "SEX, SEX, SEX." Vidal continues:
"We are assured that all the nation's problems can be traced to sex education and the fact that condom machines have been placed in the lavatories of some of our high schools."
And it's not just SEX that the "WATCHERS" fixate on - though character assassination by means of sexual innuendo is by far their most preferred method of attack - but they also fixate on any other personal failings one might be guilty of (e.g., not keeping one's house properly cleaned, one's lawn properly mowed, one's bills properly paid, not being "neat" and "tidy" in one's personal habits, failing to get a good education or a good job, etc.).
"Good character" - as determined by the "WATCHERS," of course - good personal hygiene, being a "neat-freak," having a good job and a good education, not being poor, etc. - these are the standards that the "WATCHERS" use in determining the quality of one's Christianity, and if you don't "measure up," then you have no place in the American church. This is the "gospel" that the American church and its worldwide system of subsidiaries proclaims to the world under the appellation of "PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY" and "SELF-RELIANCE." But this is no gospel at all. It's "another gospel" (2 Cor. 11:4 & Gal. 1:6). The great Bible expositor, C.I. Scofield writes:
"Any so-called gospel which is not PURE, UNADULTERATED grace is 'another gospel'. If it proposes under whatever specious guise to win favor of God by ... GOODNESS OF CHARACTER ... it is spurious. But it is more than spurious, IT IS ACCURSED, or rather the PREACHERS of it are accursed. (Galatians 1:8-9) It is not man who says that, but the Spirit of God who says it by his apostle. THIS IS UNSPEAKABLY SOLEMN. Not even the denial of the Gospel is so awfully serious as to PERVERT the Gospel [in such a way]."
What's that say, then, about the leaders of the American church? Plainly, it says that they are ACCURSED - as are ALL those who in any way support (even passively) such a perversion of the gospel. And how are such people to be discerned? Scofield explains:
"If a preacher is cultured, gentle, earnest [pious and of good character], the sheep of God run after him. He, of course, speaks beautifully about Christ, and uses the old terms - redemption, the cross, sacrifice, and atonement - but what is his gospel? That is the crucial question. Is salvation perfect and entire ... THE WORK OF CHRIST ALONE, and the free gift of God to faith alone? OR DOES HE CLAIM THAT CHARACTER IS SALVATION, even though he may add that Christ helps to form character?"
That is the religion that Babylon proclaims to the world under the name of "Christianity," and so deeply is it embedded in the minds of most American Christians, that most of them - upon reading the words of this article - will scratch their heads and say, "What's wrong with that?"
Is that what YOU believe? - that Christianity is a kind of mixture of GRACE and the observance of certain OUTWARD STANDARDS OF CONDUCT - conduct that you think approximates the righteousness of God. And do YOU think it is YOUR duty to stand guard over the church's morality? To make sure that your brothers and sisters in Christ - or anyone for that matter - "measure up?" Very obviously, that's what most of those who have come to the ranch over the last two years believe! - that they have been appointed as "WATCHERS" over the "good character" of all of us at the ranch.
Is that what you believe as well? - that you have been appointed as a "WATCHER" over the "good character" of those in the church? (or even those in the world?) If so, then I tell you that you are involved NOT in the ministration of life, but in the MINISTRATION OF DEATH, and you will be ACCURSED for it. In the Book of Galatians, the apostle Paul writes:
"I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the GRACE of Christ unto another gospel:
"Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
"But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, LET HIM BE ACCURSED.
"As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, LET HIM BE ACCURSED. (Galatians 1:6-9)
Now you must understand what the word "accursed" means here! - it means to be ANATHEMATIZED (or damned to hell)! That's heavy! When you hold your brothers to some external measure of what you suppose the "righteousness of God" should look like, when you judge their Christianity by some external standard, when you involve yourself in CHARACTER ASSASSINATION for whatever reason, you have involved yourself in the MINISTRATION OF DEATH (2 Cor. 3:7), and you have put yourself in danger of being ANATHEMATIZED by God. And this is true not only of your brothers and sisters in Christ, but of unbelievers as well. You must remember here that "God sent NOT his Son into the world to condemn the world ..." (John 3:17) - and if He has chosen in this age (the Age of Grace) not to condemn the people of this world, than who are you to do so?
Again, what's that say about the way the American church ceaselessly condemns the gay and lesbian communities, liberals, atheists, the poor, the welfare moms, the jobless, etc.? Do YOU do that as well? - if so, you should bear in mind that -
"With what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete [out to others], it shall be measured to you again." (Matthew 7:2)
Are you able to bear that? - I don't think so! OR have you imbibed so deeply of the springs of American Christianity that you think you could bear such a judgment against yourself? -that you can DEFY God's solemn warning in Matthew 7:2 (above). This is what the scribes and Pharisees thought - that they were able to keep the Law, and therefore they were qualified to impose the Law on others. But Jesus called them HYPOCRITES - "whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness (Matthew 23:27), and He went on to say of them -
"They bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their [little] fingers." (Matthew 23:4)
And He continued angrily against them:
"Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers [i.e., poisonous snakes], HOW CAN YE ESCAPE THE DAMNATION OF HELL?" (Matthew 23:33)
These people - all of them - are posers, pretending to be righteous and better than other people, as if somehow through their own strength they are now able to "measure up." They are those about whom Jesus said:
"All their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,
"And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,
"And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi." (Matthew 23:5-7)
These are PRECISELY the kind of people that Paul condemned as "Having begun in Grace, they now think they can be made perfect through the flesh." (Gal.3:3) That's surely what many of those who have come to the ranch to pass judgement on us think - and who now believe that it is their "God-given vocation" to launch a campaign of PERSONAL vilification against us because, in their estimation, we do not "measure up."
This constant "measuring of the saints," this relentless inquisition into their PERSONAL lives, is a fiendishly-devised ministration designed to "wear out the saints of the most High" (Daniel 7:25), which - I must confess - has been wearing all of us out here at the ranch. This is the true religion of Babylon which its adherents pass off to the world as "Christianity." It is a "Christianity" without love, without compassion, without grace of any kind - and a "Christianity" (so-called) that is perfectly suited for subjecting the peoples of the world to the hateful lusts of Babylon's elites.
This is the kind of Christianity to which those who came to the ranch wanted us to submit. THEY CAME OUT OF BABYLON, BUT BABYLON DID NOT COME OUT OF THEM! They dragged Babylon up here to the ranch and attempted to bring us into bondage to it. And when they failed in this "ministration" of hate, they all returned from whence they came: to Babylon -
"... according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire." (2 Peter 2:22)
In doing so, they revealed their true lineage: that they were in fact - and all along - sons and daughters of Babylon! They had left Babylon, but Babylon had not left them.
The gospel according to the American church - specifically, the gospel of "PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY" and "SELF-RELIANCE" (so-called) - was far too embedded in their brains for them to break free of it. These sons and daughters of Babylon had become ministers of death, and they brought death to the ranch, just as surely as Babylon's many other sons and daughters are bringing death to the rest of the world through the guns of the American military: to Iraq, to Afghanistan, to Central America, to Africa, etc. What these sons and daughters of Babylon are doing physically through the barrel of a gun, those who came up to the ranch attempted to do spiritually through the gospel (so-called) that they proclaimed. There is a symbiosis here; a partnership in the ministration of death.
A minister of death! - that's what one is eventually turned into when he establishes "standards of righteousness" (a false righteousness, to be sure), sets himself up as an "enforcer" of those standards, and compels others to live up to them as well. That's what America is doing economically and militarily to the rest of the world, and that's what one becomes to his family and friends when he enforces standards of conduct on them: A minister of death! No longer is one a simple husband or wife; no longer a simple mother or father; no longer "just" a friend - one has become a "WATCHER," an "ENFORCER," a modern-day Torquemada dedicated to enforcing righteousness in one's family and among one's loved-ones, and "cleansing sin from the church."
Of course, in this kind of world - a world of suspicion and mistrust - one inevitably has "WATCHERS" scrutinizing what he is doing; people one calls "friends" and "peers" - waiting for him to make a mistake. So one has to be constantly vigilant - even to the point of living a "double-life" - in order to "cover-up" his own occasional "screw-ups." These "WATCHERS" are always there - constantly evaluating him, assessing him and judging him; and not just him alone, but he is being "graded" on how well his family and loved-ones perform as well. His reputation is at stake here, and if he wants to maintain his reputation, he must make sure to rigorously enforce these standards on those he loves and those he keeps company with. In the end, how well he "measures up" depends to a large extent on how well they "measure up." Rigor, severity and harshness are all necessary here. No room for softness and compassion in this world. And God help him if he is ever caught "covering up" the sin of a loved-one. No! - better for him to deliver such a "failure" over to the "requisite authorities" in the church.
This is called "TOUGH LOVE" (so-called) - and we are told that that's what is necessary to bring such slackers and laggards into compliance with "the standards of the church" and the American New World Order System. This is the religion of Babylon: "TOUGH LOVE;" and Americans apply this "TOUGH LOVE" to the rest of the world economically, militarily, and spiritually. But God help us if Christ were to ever apply such "TOUGH LOVE" to us; we wouldn't last a second in His presence.
And if, per chance, one's rigor and discipline should "pay-off," and one manages to turn his wife or children or loved-ones into the same kind of MONSTER that he has become, then he thinks that he can rest in the assurance that he has "done service for God."
But that's not so at all. What he has done is produce another Torquemada just like himself. These are those about whom Jesus said:
"Woe unto you ... HYPOCRITES! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, YE MAKE HIM TWOFOLD MORE THE CHILD OF HELL THAN YOURSELVES." (Matthew 23:15)
Are YOU one of these Torquemadas - those who "bind heavy burdens" - "grievous to be borne on [other] men's shoulders?" (Matthew 23:4) Is this what you are doing with your children? God forbid! - because if you are doing so, you will eventually drive them away from Christ. And, oh, how I tell you, I cannot count the number of mothers and fathers who have done this to their children! - some of whom I have known very well. Now their children are gone, driven away from Christ as a result of their severity. AND ISN'T THIS EXACTLY WHAT THE AMERICAN CHURCH IS DOING INSOFAR AS ITS SO-CALLED "ENEMIES" ARE CONCERNED? Of course it is!
There is a micro-level and a macro-level to all of this, and while many of our subscribers recognize what's occurring on the macro-level - i.e., that the church, as it is presently constituted, is driving the world away from itself - this is EXACTLY what many Christians are doing on a micro-level: driving their families and loved-ones away from Christ, all in the name of what they euphemistically call "PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY" and "SELF-RELIANCE."
Brothers and sisters, listen to me here: If you are involved in this uniquely American gospel - the gospel of "PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY" and "SELF-RELIANCE" (so-called) - then you are involved in the "MINISTRATION OF DEATH (i.e., of the LAW)." It has NOTHING to do with the "MINISTRATION OF LIFE."
"Law is God prohibiting and requiring (Ex. 20:1, 17); grace is God beseeching and bestowing (2 Cor. 5:18, 21). Law is a ministry of condemnation (Rom. 3:19); grace of forgiveness (Eph. 1:7). Law curses (Gal. 3:10); grace redeems from that curse (Gal. 3:1). Law kills (Rom. 7:9, 11); grace makes alive (John 10:10). Law shuts every mouth before God; grace opens every mouth to praise him. Law puts a great and guilty distance between man and God (Ex. 20:18-19); grace makes guilty man nigh to God (Eph. 2:13). Law says, 'An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth' (Ex. 21:24); grace says, 'Resist not evil; but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also' (Matt. 5:39). Law says, 'Hate thine enemy'; grace, 'Love your enemy, bless them that despitefully use you'. Law says, do and live (Luke 10:26, 28); grace, believe and live (John 5:24). Law never had a missionary; grace is to be preached to every creature. Law utterly condemns the best man (Phil. 3:4, 9); grace freely justifies the worst (Luke 23:24; Rom. 5:5; 1 Tim. 1:15; 1 Cor, 6:9, 11). Law is a system of probation; grace, of favor. Law stones an adulteress (Deut. 22:21); grace says, 'Neither do I condemn thee' (John 8:1, 11). Under the law the sheep dies for the shepherd; under grace the shepherd dies for the sheep (John 10:11)."
Grace means unmerited, unrecompensed favor; add even the slightest effort on the part of man, and grace is no more grace. (Rom. 11:6) Scofield writes:
"So absolutely is this true, that grace cannot even begin with us until the law has reduced us to speechless guilt [and impotence so far as its requirements are concerned] (Rom. 3:19) So long as there is even the slightest question as to our UTTER guilt before God, our UTTER helplessness before Him, there is no place for grace ..."
"Into grace Paul (the apostle) had called the Galatians. What was his controversy with them? (Gal.1:6). Just this: they were removed from the grace of Christ to 'another gospel'. (Gal. 1:7) But there could not be another gospel. Change, modify the grace of Christ by the smallest degree, and you no longer have a gospel."
And why is that? - because man cannot even in the tiniest degree fulfill the righteousness of God. Lay even the smallest requirement of the Law on man, and he will fail - and those who think otherwise are fools. (Psalm 14:1)
What does this mean? - it means that THERE IS UTTERLY NO WAY THAT THE SELF-RIGHTEOUS MAN CAN APPROPRIATE THE GRACE OF GOD. It is beyond his reach, even if he calls himself a Christian. As Scofield has said, "Grace cannot even begin with us until the law has reduced us to speechless guilt." Nor can it continue with us if we in any way entertain the idea that, "Having begun in grace, we can now be made perfect by the flesh," which is, of course, the contention of most of our detractors.
If you don't see what we are talking about here, then you are not a Christian! And more than that, if you in any way think that you are better than other people insofar as the favor of God is concerned, you are not a Christian. You cannot possibly be one. And why is that? - because a true Christian recognizes his helplessness before the righteousness requirements of God. He realizes that whatever there is that is good in him comes from Christ. He has no trouble acknowledging the fact that -
"All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags." (Isaiah 64:6)
A real Christian understands that if he has any righteousness at all, it comes as a free GIFT from Christ, and not because of anything he has done or is capable of doing. There is no "pride of accomplishment" here - AND THERE IS NO ROOM FOR HIM TO STAND IN JUDGMENT OVER HIS PEERS. Moreover, he is fully cognizant of the fact that having begun in grace, he must continue on in grace; and he understands that if he is to grow in grace, the only way he can do so is in humble relationship with Him by means of the Holy Spirit who is now resident in his spirit. This is what the Bible means when it says -
"We all, with open face beholding as in a glass [a mirror] the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from [one degree of] glory to [another degree of] glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." (2 Cor. 3:18)
There is no effort required here; we need but to "behold and reflect" the Lord in our spirit, and as we do so, we will be changed by degrees into His likeness. The Bible calls this "growing up in Him in all things." (Eph 4:15) Now that's important for us to grasp; we do not change overnight; we change by degrees - by the GROWTH of life - His life in us. The Bible says:
"The kingdom of God, is as if a man should cast seed into the ground;
"And should sleep, and rise night and day, and THE SEED SHOULD SPRING UP AND GROW, HE KNOWETH NOT HOW.
"For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.
"But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come. (Mark 4:26-29)
The kingdom of God - i.e., the rule of Christ in your individual life - is like a seed in you that is growing - "and you know not how." (Mark 4:27) It is a mystery. But it has been planted in you, AND IT WILL GROW! - "first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear." (Mark 4:28). And it grows by the power of life that is in the seed, and not by any power that is in you. It is not dependent on anything you do; the Bible says that as you "sleep, and rise night and day" (Mark 4:27) that seed just keeps on growing - and as you "behold and reflect" (2 Cor. 3:18) that life, you "are changed into the same image" (2 Cor 3:18) and "you know not how." (Mark 4:27).
Brothers and sisters, I tell you the truth: It is IMPOSSIBLE for this life to fail in you. THIS IS WHAT CHRISTIANITY IS ALL ABOUT! - this is the "gospel" (or "good news") of the Kingdom of God.
"Behold and reflect" the Lord - that's what we are called to do as Christians, and EVERYTHING will follow from that! You object: That's too simple! Certainly there has to be some effort here. But that's not what the Bible says; that's not what the "good news" of the gospel is all about. The Bible says:
"Now it came to pass, as they [Christ and His disciples] went, that he [Christ] entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.
"And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word.
"But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.
"And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
"BUT ONE THING IS NEEDFUL: AND MARY HATH CHOSEN THAT GOOD PART, which shall not be taken away from her." (Luke 10:38-41)
And what exactly was Mary doing? - NOTHING! She was simple sitting at the Master's feet and "beholding and reflecting" Him. This is what Jesus said was the "NEEDFUL THING." This is the "NEEDFUL THING" when you accept Christ into your heart, and the is the "NEEDFUL THING" as you "grow up in Him in all things." (Eph 4:15) THAT IS THE "GOOD NEWS" OF THE GOSPEL.
Do you have some "besetting sin" in your life? - Behold and reflect Him, and by degrees it will fall away. Do you have problems of character in your life? - Behold and reflect and your character will by degrees and the growth in life be changed - and "you know not how." (Mark 4:27). There is no need to keep the law here; CHRIST IS THE LAW, and if you "behold and reflect Him" you will fulfill the Law - not all at once, but by degrees and by the growth in life. KEEP YOUR EYES ON JESUS! Remember what happened to Peter:
"And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.
"But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.
"And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
"And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.
"But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.
"And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
"And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
"But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
"And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
"And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. (Mark 14:23-32)
Peter took his eyes off Jesus, and he began to sink. And this is what will happen to ALL of us when we take our eyes off the Lord: We will sink! But, again, there is "GOOD NEWS" when we sink. The Bible says:
"My little children ... if any man sin, we have an ADVOCATE with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
"And he is the propitiation [or reparation] for our sins ..." . (1 John 2:1-2a)
The Bible says:
"If we confess our sins, HE IS FAITHFUL AND JUST TO FORGIVE US OUR SINS, AND TO CLEANSE US FROM ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS. (1 John 1:9)
That's ALL unrighteousness; He will cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness!
And when the Bible says that Christ is the "propitiation [or reparation] for our sins," it means not only our sins, but the sins of the WHOLE world:
"... and not for our [sins] only, but also for the sins of the WHOLE world. (1 John 2:1-2)
And if that's the case, then who are we to judge ANYONE? - even the worst sinner.
The Bible says:
"For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them." (Romans 10:5)
In other words, if you can't live by the law yourself, then you have no right to force that law down anyone else's throat. Insofar as the Law is concerned, the Bible says:
"... there is none that doeth good, no, not one." (Romans 3:12)
Listen to me, brothers and sisters: Grace is not looking for men of "good character" that it can approve, but it is looking for men who are "down and out," men who are helpless, men who are addicted to sin, whom it can save through faith, then sanctify and glorify. The Bible says: "Where is there any room for us to boast? - boasting is EXCLUDED." (Romans 3:27) In other words, if God has done ALL the work insofar as our salvation is concerned, and if He does ALL the work insofar as our walk with Him is concerned, then where is there any reason for self-righteousness on our part? Specifically, the Bible says:
"THEREFORE BY THE DEEDS OF THE LAW THERE SHALL NO FLESH BE JUSTIFIED IN HIS SIGHT: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
"But now the righteousness of God WITHOUT THE LAW is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
"Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
"Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
"Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
"To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
"WHERE IS BOASTING THEN? IT IS EXCLUDED. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
"Therefore we conclude that a MAN IS JUSTIFIED BY FAITH WITHOUT THE DEEDS OF THE LAW." (Romans 3:20-28)
Now, if there is no room for anyone to boast, then there is no room for anyone to feel better than his peers. Where is there, for example, any room for us to feel the way the Pharisees felt toward the publican in the Temple? -
"And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
"Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
"The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
"I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. (Luke 18:9-12)
This kind of thinking is an ABOMINATION to God and an attack against the grace of God, and whereas Christ forgave the woman caught in the act of adultery, He never forgave the Pharisees for the sin of self-righteousness. Instead He said of them:
"Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers [i.e., poisonous snakes], HOW CAN YE ESCAPE THE DAMNATION OF HELL?" (Matthew 23:33)
Self-righteousness breeds contempt of others - believers and unbelievers alike. Indeed, it leads us to DESPISE them (Luke 18:9); to say as the Pharisees said, "God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers ..." (Luke 18:10). It engenders in us the feeling that we have the right to snoop into their affairs; to look for Playboy Magazines under their mattresses (as it were); to turn the church - and, indeed, the world - into the subject of a vast inquisitorial machine, the very same world about which the Bible says:
"God sent NOT his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved." (John 3:17)
"Despise!" - that's the word the Bible uses to portray the attitude of the self-righteous to their peers - and that's certainly the attitude that our accusers have with regard to us up here at the ranch. This kind of attitude leads inevitably to the feeling that one has the right to use PHYSICAL force against one's opponents: the right to bomb abortion clinics, to beat up gays, to use physical violence against wives and children; to bomb the hell our of the citizens of Iraq, ad naseum, ad infinitum.
Indeed, it was PRECISELY this kind of attitude that led some of our detractors to contemplate the use of PHYSICAL violence to expel us here at the ranch; to "take back the ranch for the ministry" - and this despite the fact that the ranch is owned by my wife and another dear brother and sister in Santa Cruz. They also imagined to appropriate the articles on the website as their own - as if they had had anything to do with writing them. This is IDIOCY; sheer IDIOCY! - but it is precisely this kind of IDIOCY that a self-righteous attitude engenders. It's the same kind of wackiness that leads right-wingers to appropriate the music of Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie while despising Dylan and Guthrie themselves.
The sad fact of the matter is, Christians in the United States are NOTHING more than self-righteous TWITS; there is NOTHING that can be done to satisfy them or get them off their butts to do anything. They have been far too infected with the self-righteousness that Babylon engenders; indeed, they have been ruined by it. They have no real comprehension of what salvation is all about, or what "walking in the spirit" is all about - and because of that, there have no real comprehension of their HORRID condition before God. They are like -
"... children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive." (Eph. 4:14)
"... like children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept.
"For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil.
"The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners!
"But wisdom is justified of all her children. (Matthew 11:32-35)
There is NOTHING that you can do to get them off their fat asses to do anything - and still they believe they have the right to judge those of us who are trying to do something - like people who stand at the edge of a trench in slacks, a white shirt and a narrow tie telling those who are down in the trench doing the actual digging what they're doing wrong. They are forever faultfinding, forever backbiting; so quick to "correct" those who are doing all the work.
As we said previously, they are so very prone to see demons in other people, and when they "discover" them (if only in their own fevered brains), they relentlessly pursue those demons, even to the gates of hell. THIS IS THE KIND OF PERVERTED "MINDSET" THAT BABYLON PRODUCES IN HER CHILDREN, and it cannot help but rip apart the church of God, and destroy God's testimony on the earth.
No! - as I told that dear lady that I referred to earlier in this article, IT IS BETTER FOR THEM TO REMAIN IN BABYLON THEN TO LEAVE BABYLON AND BRING WITH THEM THE HORRIBLE MALISE OF THE SOUL THAT HAS INFECTED THEM! They are UTTERLY unable to coalesce with other brothers and sisters; unable to work with them and forebear their faults and short-comings. And that kind of spirit is exactly the kind of spirit that will hinder the work of God outside the United States.
Some people, of course, will say: Steve, you are being too harsh with them. I'm being too harsh? - not half as harsh as what the Bibles labels them to be - ACCURSED! (Galatians 1:8-9). Again, people say, But Steve, you will end up driving them all away. And I say, Let them go. I don't say this about the many, many secularists that visit or subscribe to our website, nor do I say it too the many "lefties" who read the articles on this site and pass them around to others; nor do I say it to the many, many liberals who visit the website, nor do I say this about anyone who has been faithfully supporting us in the United States or anyone of our readers OUTSIDE the United States.
No! - the people I say this to are those IN THE UNITED STATES who have appropriated unto themselves the appellation of "Evangelical" and who claim to believe in the "inerrancy" of the Word of God; to those who claim to be "supporters" of the ministry, but do NOTHING to support the ministry - to help get the message of this ministry out to the world. I say to them, Why do you subscribe to our website anyway? What's your purpose? Do you think that by subscribing to, or visiting our website from time to time you are "supporting" the ministry? - after all, IF YOU CAN'T GET OUT OF THE UNITED STATES YOURSELF, YOU CAN AT LEAST SEND MONEY SO WE CAN HELP OTHERS GET OUT. You can at least do that. If you can't do that, then just please go your own way. Go to some other website and get your "jollies" there. Don't bother us anymore - you're just wasting our time.
THIS IS, AFTER ALL, NOT A GAME! THIS IS FOR REAL, AND IF YOU DON'T WANT TO GET REAL, YOU NEED TO GO YOUR OWN INDEPENDENT WAY - AND TAKE WITH YOU ALL OF YOUR FAULT-FINDING AND BACKBITING.
But if you are serious insofar as the "end of days" are concerned, if you really want to support us, if you really are serious about getting out of the U.S. in answer to God's call in Revelation 18:4, then stay! BY ALL MEANS, STAY!
God bless you all,
P.S. We ask you to remember the word of Scripture which says -
"If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal (material) things?" (1Cor. 9:11)
If you have benefited from this ministry, then we ask that you return the favor by ministering to us of your material things. We need your continued financial support for this ministry - which is moment by moment under very heavy spiritual and physical attack - if we are to go forward.
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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