IT'S HUMAN TO BELIEVE THAT
EVERYTHING WILL BE ALRIGHT RATHER
THAN TO ADMIT THAT THINGS MIGHT
NOT WORK OUT; BUT IT'S ALSO DANGEROUS

[Doing Away with Illusions and
Steeling Ourselves for Self-Sacrifice]

By: S.R. Shearer
January 22, 2009

"In the beginning of the REVOLT those against whom we directed our effort thought that we would eventually acquiesce to their idea of 'self-restraint'. But those unseen forces, which have ever saved the Jewish people from total obliteration, demolished that idea. Vladimir Jabotinsky appeared, educating a whole generation to resist, to be ready for sacrifice, for revolt and for bitter confrontation with those who sought to destroy us or who thought to compromise our 'fighting spirit'."

- Menachem Begin
Prime Minister of Israel

NOTE: Jabotinsky was the founder of the Irgun, and for that matter, even the Stern Group, since Abraham Stern was himself a disciple of Jabotinsky. Jabotinsky died in New York in 1940, just a few short years before the underground revolt for which he had so long prepared began; these two groups (i.e., the Irgun and the Stern Group) formed the nexus of Israel's underground army in the Jewish people's fight for nationhood.

INTRODUCTION

In 1946, Menachem Begin, then Commander of the Irgun (the Jewish underground army as opposed to the Haganah, the Jewish "mainline defense organization"), made this statement to the Jewish people on the eve of the final battle to drive the British out of Palestine, establish a "Jewish state" and combat five Arab armies that were massing on its borders:

"It is human to believe that 'everything will be alright', rather than to face the facts with open eyes; [but in believing that 'everything will be alright'] there is a danger that our hands will be palsied, and that when decisive events overtake us we shall be unprepared, morally and in organization ... to meet them.

"IT IS THEREFORE ESSENTIAL TO SHATTER THESE ILLUSIONS [essentially, the illusion that 'everything will be alright']. It is critical that the people be called upon to prepare themselves for war and not for repose, for battles and for sacrifices and not for processions and festivities."

Begin made this statement to the Jewish people because the "mainline Jewish Institutions" maintained a belief that the partition of Palestine, if it was accepted by a two-thirds majority in the U.N. General Assembly, would be implemented by peaceful means (it was not); that if war broke out in Palestine between the Arabs and the Jews, the U.N. would soon put a stop to it (it did not); and finally, that if the U.N. representatives in Jerusalem failed in their mission as "angels of peace," the Security Council would intervene, issue a command, and stop the war with a wave of its hand (this did not occur).

Still, the leaders of the Jewish Agency and the Haganah wanted to believe that "things would work out" - so they steadfastly refused to make preparations for the possibility that they might not, fearing that if they did make such preparations they would offend the U.N., the British and the Arabs.

Begin and the Irgun (along with the Stern Group), however, refused to "go silently into that good night" that the British and the Arabs were preparing for them, and they urged the Jewish population to make preparations for a bloody struggle as well. Eventually, Begin succeeded in convincing the Jewish people to prepare for this struggle - AND HE DID SO BY DOING EVERYTHING HE COULD TO SHATTER THE ILLUSION OF THE "MAINLINERS" THAT THINGS WOULD OF THEIR OWN VOLITION WORK OUT, and that the best thing for them to do was to sit on their hands and do nothing so as not to upset anyone.

THE SLURS & LIBELS OF THOSE
WHO PRETEND TO BE FRIENDS

IT WASN'T EASY, HOWEVER: In order to do so they (the Irgun) had to endure the calumny and ridicule of not only the world, but the "mainliners" in their own midst. SO ALSO WITH ANTIPAS TODAY - the "false histories" that are written about us by those who pose as our allies (for example, the false histories about Antipas promulgated by Hymenaeus and Alexander (as well as many others) who say that they differ with us not in ideas, but only in methodologies); the accusations that we are "unloving" largely because we refuse to link ourselves to others who wish to mitigate our message; that we are "elitist;" that we are altogether too rash and irresponsible in the actions we take; and that we demand too much of "ordinary people." [Not much difference between us and the Irgun on these points.]

PART 1: Facing up to the Reality of Our
Fundamentally Altered Economic Situation

BEGIN WAS RIGHT ...

Yes! - Begin was right when he said, "It is human to believe that 'everything will be alright', rather than to face the facts with open eyes ..." And he was also right when he said that these illusions provide a powerful reason to ignore reality, and in our case, not only reality but the Prophetic Scriptures.

In this day and age there are a number of such "Illusions" to which Christians have fallen prey; in this article I want to discuss one of these "Illusions;" the "Illusion" that many have - even many associated with Antipas - that they will be able to "ride out" the economic storm that has descended on the world in recent months - a storm that the well-known Canadian economist Michel Chossudovsky says is,

"... FAR MORE SERIOUS THAN THE GREAT DEPRESSION."

NOTE: Michel Chossudovsky is Professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa and Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), which hosts the critically acclaimed website www.globalresearch.ca . He is a contributor to the Encyclopedia Britannica. His writings have been translated into more than 20 languages.

PAUL KRUGMAN: WHAT'S HAPPENING TODAY BEARS
AN EERIE RESEMBLANCE TO THE GREAT DEPRESSION

In early 1999, American economist Paul Krugman - sensing the first hints of what Chossudovsky says is today an economic crisis "far worse that the Great Depression" - wrote:

"Most economists, to the extent that they think about the subject at all, regard the Great Depression of the 1930s as a gratuitous, unnecessary tragedy. If only Herbert Hoover hadn't tried to balance the budget in the face of an economic slump; if only the Federal Reserve hadn't defended the gold standard at the expense of the domestic economy; if only officials had rushed cash to threatened banks, and thus calmed the bank panic that developed in 1930-31; then the stock market crash of 1929 would have led only to a garden-variety recession, soon forgotten. And since economists and policymakers have learned their lesson - no modern treasury secretary would echo Andrew Mellon's famous advice to 'liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate the farmers, liquidate real estate ... purge the rottenness out of the system' - nothing like the Great Depression can ever happen again. OR CAN IT?"

Krugman, pointing to the financial crisis that enveloped Asia at the end of the 1990s (the time he was writing this tract), continues:

"Over the course of the last two years seven economies - economies that still produce about a quarter of the world's output and that are home to two-thirds of a billion people - have experienced an economic slump THAT BEARS AN EERIE RESEMBLANCE TO THE GREAT DEPRESSION. Now as then the crisis [i.e., the Asian Crisis] struck out of a clear blue sky, with most pundits predicting a continuing boom even as the slump gathered momentum ..."

Krugman went on to elaborate what the Asian crisis could portend for the future:

"Think of it [i.e., the Asian Crisis of the late 1990s] this way: it is as if bacteria that used to cause deadly plagues, but that have long been considered conquered by modern medicine, were to reemerge in a form resistant to all the standard antibiotics. So far only a limited number of people have actually fallen prey to the newly incurable strain; but who knows what will happen in the next few years?"

Who knows, indeed? - The disease has now metastasized and spread - and so much so that it is threatening to bring down the entire world economy and throw millions and millions of people into a state of abject poverty, not only in the so-called "Developing World" (including China and India), but in Europe, Japan and North America as well.

MICHEL CHOSSUDOVSKY: THIS IS THE MOST
SERIOUS ECONOMIC CRISIS IN WORLD HISTORY

Chossudovsky, describing the present economic crisis (2009) goes on to say:

"The real economy is in crisis. The resulting increase in unemployment has created a dramatic decline in consumer spending which in turn has backlashed on the levels of production of goods and services ... Business enterprises cannot sell their products, because workers have been laid off. Consumers, namely working people, have been deprived of the purchasing power required to fuel economic growth. With their meager earnings, they cannot afford to acquire the goods produced."

Chossudovsky continues:

"Inventories of unsold goods are piling up. Production is collapsing; the supply of commodities is declining through the closing down of production facilities, including manufacturing assembly plants. In the process of plant closure, more workers are becoming unemployed. Thousands of bankrupt firms are being driven off the economic landscape ... Mass poverty ... [is on the horizon] ... Bankruptcies are occurring in all major sectors of activity: Manufacturing, telecoms, consumer retail outlets, shopping malls, airlines, hotels and tourism, not to mention real estate and the construction industry, are all becoming victims of the subprime mortgage meltdown and the crisis on Wall Street ..."

According to Chossudovsky, the unemployment rate is expected to reach as high as 10 percent in late 2009 (which means - if unemployment figures were reported honestly - the REAL unemployment rate may reach as high as 20 percent - and this according to no less a "mainline" media source as CNBC; the ratio they suggest between what the official unemployment figures show and what the REAL figure should be is 6.5:12.8). Chossudovsky goes on to say:

"NO DOUBT, THIS IS THE MOST SERIOUS ECONOMIC CRISIS IN WORLD HISTORY."

That's saying a lot!

WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS

There are some, of course, who would like to "write-off" economists like Chossudovsky (and even Krugman) as "alarmists" in exactly the same fashion that the Jewish Agency and the Haganah tried to "write-off" Begin and the Irgun - as purveyors of hysteria and panic; but, again, as Begin said in his address to the Jewish people:

"... there is a danger that [in doing so] hands will be palsied, and that when decisive events overtake us we shall be unprepared, morally and in organization ... to meet them. It is therefore essential to shatter these illusions."

In our attempt to "disabuse" you of the thought that things might work out okay for you - especially if you pray hard enough - let me turn to the Scriptures. First, I want to "disabuse" you of the thought that just because you pray hard, this crisis won't overtake you; that God will spare you from the tribulation that is coming; but there is no such assurance in the Bible; God's people have always suffered tribulation. Indeed, the Bible says that -

"... we must through MUCH tribulation enter into the kingdom of God." (Acts 14:22)

IT'S HOW WE ACQUIT
OURSELVES IN TRIBULATION ...

It's how we acquit ourselves in tribulation that separates (or should separate) us from unbelievers. Jesus said:

"... In the world ye shall have tribulation: but BE OF GOOD CHEER; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)

And the Bible goes on to say"

"... we GLORY in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;

"And patience, experience; and experience, hope:

"And hope maketh not ashamed; BECAUSE THE LOVE OF GOD IS SHED ABROAD IN OUR HEARTS by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." (Romans 5:3-5)

IT IS (OR SHOULD BE) THE PRESENCE OF CHRIST IN THE MIDST OF TRIBULATION - THAT GETS US THROUGH, and if that's not your attitude, you have reason to question just how genuine your Christianity is. [Please see Chapter VIII, "Tribulation and Judgment" in the New Antipas Papers.]

REVELATION 6:5-6

And make no mistake about it! - Economic catastrophe is coming; the Bible does not leave us in the dark with regard to this matter. Revelation 6:5-6 reads:

"And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.

"And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine." (Revelation 6:5-6)

NOTE: The Third Seal [The Black Horse (and horseman) of the Apocalypse]: And in the hand of this terrible personage is a pair of balances; and there is a "lyric" that issues forth from the mouth of this horseman: "A measure of wheat for a penny [literally - denarius, a Greek coin which represented a WHOLE DAY'S wages], and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine." The meaning of this lyric is that the condition of man in the "End of Days" will be reduced to such that he will have to labor a whole day simply to buy a loaf of bread or three measures of barley. But the second part of the saying ["... and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine ..."] means that the economic catastrophe in these days will not extend to what might be called a "global elite of worthies" who have evidently allied themselves to the anti-Christ's policy of conquest - only the rich in the ancient world could afford oil and wine. [Please see Part 3 of Chapter IX, "The Seven Seals;" indeed, we URGE you to read the entire chapter - i.e. Chapter IX, "The Course and Character of the Seventieth Week."]

What a peculiar little lyric! Queer? - Yes! But one full of meaning. What the lyric portends is that in the "End of Days" an economic process will be let loose on the earth which will divide the earth into a world of "haves" and "have nots." It will be a relentless, almost pathological process that will reduce the great portion of mankind into a kind of abject penury where, as the lyric indicates, one will have to labor a WHOLE day to just put one loaf of bread on his table; but it will also be a process that will produce - as we suggested in the "note" above - a "global elite of worthies" whose wealth will stagger the imagination.

AN UNDERGROUND PROCESS THAT HAS BEEN EXTANT
FOR SOME TIME & HAS NOW BROKEN OUT INTO THE OPEN

This is, of course, not a new pathology! It's been going on for some time now - slowly, silently on the fringes of our society and in places that are little reported on in the so-called "mainline" press. But, be clear! - It has been going on. For example, while there have never been so many millionaires in the country as there are today (5 million all told), and despite the fact that the United States now boasts over 300 billionaires, and despite the fact that nine million individuals now boast annual paychecks exceeding $100,000 a year, the ranks of the working poor have never been as great as they are today. The truth is, over the last several years the United States has been evolving into a two-tiered (i.e., rich and poor) society.

The reality is, of the ten job categories that are growing the fastest in the United States in absolute numbers, seven pay average wages less than $11 an hour. Now, stop for a moment and think about that - $11 an hour: that translates into a weekly pay check of $440 a week, or about $1,700 a month. Take out a minimum of 20 percent for social security, FICA, state and local taxes, government fees, etc.), and that means that seven of the most plentiful jobs available today for most Americans produce net paychecks of about $1,400 a month. AND NOW EVEN THESE JOBS ARE DISAPPEARING!

Think about that: $1,400 a month!! Do the math: rent on an average house in a lower-middle class neighborhood runs about $750 a month; another $350 for utilities; gas, insurance and upkeep on an old clunker, about $300.00 a month - and there goes the family income, and we haven't even talked about food, clothing, entertainment, etc. yet.

Obviously, the wife has to work - and not because she is pursuing some kind of wondrous and exotic career that's been ballyhooed on the pages of Vogue or Cosmopolitan, but only because she has to do it to make ends meet for the family. This usually means a part-time job paying less than $8.00 an hour; and for that, the family must purchase a second clunker, pay for gas, insurance and upkeep on that, and in addition - now that she isn't home to take care of the children - childcare must be thrown into the new equation. She's lucky if she is able to net out one-third of the paycheck she earns. This is what is happening everywhere today in about one-third of American households!! AND NOW WITH THE ONSET OF WHAT PROFESSOR CHOSSUDOVSKY CALLS THE "WORST DEPRESSION IN WORLD HISTORY," THIS PROCESS HAS GREATLY ACCELERATED AND IS ENVELOPING A MUCH GREATER SWATH OF THE AMERICAN POPULATION.

OBAMA AND THE ECONOMIC COLLAPSE

There are many who think that Obama will be able to stem the collapse of the economy - and Obama and the Democrats have been "playing" into that hope. Indeed, a few days before the November election, Obama assured the American people that -

"Tomorrow, you can turn the page on policies that put the greed and irresponsibility of Wall Street before the hard work and sacrifice of men and women all across Main Street. Tomorrow you can choose policies that invest in our middle class and create new jobs and grow this economy so that everybody has a chance to succeed, from the CEO to the secretary and the janitor, from the factory owner to the men and women who work on the factory floor."

Obama believes that he can "re-institute" the "make-work" policies that FDR used in the 1930s to put people back to work, and - over time - "re-right" the economy. BUT THE WORLD WE LIVE IN TODAY IS A FAR DIFFERENT WORLD THAN THE ONE FDR LIVED IN EIGHTY YEARS AGO, and it is highly doubtful that Obama will be able to stamp out this new VIRUS that has been let loose on the world during the last few months - again, the kind of economic malady that Paul Krugman talked about ten years ago (see above); the one he compared to a deadly illness that most people thought had been eradicated, but which has now "reemerged in a form resistant to all the standard antibiotics." [More about this in upcoming articles.]

NOTE: We use the phrase, "a virus that has been let loose on the world" very purposefully; and the reason is: There are many well-known economists that believe that what's transpired is not some happen-chance occurrence; indeed, Chossudovsky calls it a STRATEGY designed to enrich the "already rich" (which is exactly what the lyric in Revelation 6:5-6 augurs for; what Chossudovsky says is a -

"... hidden agenda calculated to establish a unipolar international monetary system, DOMINATED BY U.S. FINANCIAL POWER, WHICH IN TURN WOULD BE PROTECTED AND SECURED BY U.S. MILITARY POWER."

Now, bear in mind here; these are not the ramblings of some "wacko" on the Left or the Right; these are the conclusions of Canada's most respected economist. [Again, more about all this in upcoming articles.]

WE BEGAN THIS ARTICLE ...

We began this article with Menachem Begin's address to the Jewish people on the eve of the final battle to drive the British out of Palestine, establish a "Jewish state" and combat five Arab armies that were massing on its borders. Once again, the purpose of Begin's address was to destroy any ILLUSION in the Jewish people that everything would turn out okay if they just sat on their hands and did nothing. As we indicated, Begin demurred; he said:

"It is human to believe that 'everything will be alright', rather than to face the facts with open eyes; [but in believing that 'everything will be alright'] there is a danger that our hands will be palsied, and that when decisive events overtake us we shall be unprepared, morally and in organization ... to meet them.

"It is therefore essential to shatter these illusions [essentially, the illusion that 'everything will be alright']. It is critical that the people be called upon to prepare themselves for war and not for repose, for battles and for sacrifices and not for processions and festivities."

This advice, when applied to the economic crisis we face today, is particularly cogent - ESPECIALLY AS THAT CRISIS GROWS AND GATHERS STRENGTH. Eventually, dear brothers and sisters in Christ, IT WILL CATCH UP WITH YOU in one way or another.

There are, of course, many very sad stories of people who "sat on their hands and did nothing in the face of a gathering catastrophe. Perhaps the saddest example is the one of Pastor Martin Niemoller of Germany who refused to take any MEANINGFUL action in the face of the Nazi Party's onslaught against those who opposed them. After the war, a chastened Niemoller wrote the following noteworthy words:

Martin Niemoller

GERMAN

Als die Nazis die Kommunisten holten, habe ich geschwiegen; ich war ja kein Kommunist.

Als sie die Sozialdemokraten einsperrten, habe ich geschwiegen; ich war ja kein Sozialdemokrat.

Als sie die Gewerkschafter holten, habe ich nicht protestiert; ich war ja kein Gewerkschafter.

Als sie die Juden holten, habe ich geschwiegen; ich war ja kein Jude.

Als sie mich holten, gab es keinen mehr, der protestieren konnte.

ENGLISH

When the Nazis came for the communists, I remained silent; I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats, I remained silent; I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists, I did not speak out; I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews, I remained silent; I was not a Jew.

When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out.

TAKING MEANINGFUL ACTION IN THE FACE OF THE
ECONOMIC CATASTROPHE THAT CONFRONTS US

As we look out today and begin to see more and more of our Christian brethren engulfed in the horror of financial ruin, we can either take action to help them by forming what I referred to in my latest book as "BASIC CHURCH COMMUNITIES," or we can ignore what's happening to them, hunker down, and protect ourselves - hoping against hope that the catastrophe will pass us by. If we do that, however, we may find ourselves someday echoing the words of Martin Niemoller - words to the effect that when we at last get into trouble financially (and all of us eventually will as the economic catastrophe grows and intensifies), there will be no one left to help us. [Please see Chapter IV in my new book, WHAT TO DO AS THE END APPROACHES, "Building Basic Church Communities."]

And believe me - there is a certain wisdom here that even the world recognizes as prudent and sensible; a kind of "worldly" wisdom that the Lord actually commends to His followers; concerning this matter, Jesus said to His disciples:

"There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods.

"And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward.

"Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do? for my lord taketh away from me the stewardship: I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed.

"I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.

"So he called every one of his lord's debtors unto him, and said unto the first, How much owest thou unto my lord?

"And he said, An hundred measures of oil. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty.

"Then said he to another, And how much owest thou? And he said, An hundred measures of wheat. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and write fourscore.

"And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: FOR THE CHILDREN OF THIS WORLD ARE IN THEIR GENERATION WISER THAN THE CHILDREN OF LIGHT." (Luke 16:1-8)

THAT THE WORLD MAY BELIEVE
THAT THOU HAST SENT ME

The lesson here is obvious: Help others while you have the chance! There may come a time when you need their help. Naturally enough, the reason that we help our Christian brethren should go much further than that: Specifically, that in helping our brethren, we are DEMONSTRATING the love of God to unbelievers. Jesus prayed -

"That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: THAT THE WORLD MAY BELIEVE THAT THOU HAS SENT ME.

"And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

"I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; AND THAT THE WORLD MAY KNOW THAT THOU HAS SENT ME, AND HAST LOVED THEM, AS THOU HAST LOVED ME." (John 17:21-23)

How does the world know that Christ was sent by God to save us, and that He loves us just as He loves the Savior? - because we have oneness with each other - AND DEMONSTRATING THIS FACT TO THE WORLD IS WHAT "BASIC CHURCH COMMUNITIES" ARE ALL ABOUT!

Ironically, the looming economic catastrophe gives us a wonderful chance to exhibit this in a world of hatred and broken relationships - where it seems impossible for people to live happily together over an extended period of time; a community where genuine peace and love can be found is something that cannot help but draw attention to itself. It's in this way that we can say that the establishment of such a community is central to God's plan for drawing men to Himself in these "last days." (cf. John 17:22-23).

BASIC CHURCH COMMUNITIES

The Bible says that the world will know that God sent Christ because believers possess (1) "community" with each other, and (2) "community" with God! THAT'S WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS! All this brings us back to that remarkable passage of Scripture in Eph. 3:3-21 where Paul reveals to his followers how he was made a minister of the "MYSTERY OF GOD:"

"For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,

"If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:

"How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,

"Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)

"Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;

"That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:

"Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.

"Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;

"And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

"To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

"According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:

"In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.

"Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.

"For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

"Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,

"That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;

"That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,

"May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;

"And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

"Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

"Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen." (Eph. 3:1-21)

Consider the phrases that are used in this passage: "Gather together in one;" "fellowship;" "with all saints," "through the church," etc. What are all these phrases speaking about? "Community!" - "Community" with God, and "community" with man! Where? - IN THE CHURCH!

WHAT DOES COMMUNITY MEAN

Now it's important in this connection to understand what the word "community" means. The word "community" is taken from the word "commune," which means to "communicate intimately with," or to "be intimate with." The word implies "closeness," "affection," "familiarity," "friendship" - and is the word from which we derive the word "communal," meaning "BELONGING TO," as, for example, in the way it is used in Mark 9:41:

"For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward." (Mark 9:41)

We belong to Christ, and it's for this reason that those who help us help Christ; and in doing so, Christ incurs an obligation to them (i.e., He becomes indebted to them) - hence, His obligation to reward (or pay) them.

Now be clear what's happening here. It's not Christ per se who was helped; it was those who belong to Christ who were helped; but because we belong to Christ, the debts we incur as a result of our testimony are ipso facto incurred by Christ. Our debts become Christ's debts. He is obligated to pay them.

This is the sense that "BELONGING TO" implied in the Ancient World. Therefore, when one "BELONGED TO" a community, his debts too "BELONGED TO" that community; his obligations became the community's obligations. Thus, "community" in the Ancient World meant "to hold things in common" in the sense that we today attach to the word "communal" or "commune."

CHRISTIANS AS "COMMUNITARIANS"

Pretty heavy, isn't it! The church, then, is something much more than a place we go to on Sundays; THE CHURCH IS THE "COMMUNITY OF GOD" MADE UP BY "COMMUNITARIANS" WHO ARE MEMBERS OF A COLLECTIVIST OR COOPERATIVE SOCIETY.  This is precisely what Acts 4:32 describes the church to be:

"And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common." (Acts 4:32)

Pretty heavy, isn't it? A community of believers who were so united that the Bible could speak of the people possessing "one heart" and "one soul;" a community where the members cared for each other not only spiritually and psychologically, but physically as well - and so much so that the Bible could say that they "had all things in common," and where the Bible could go on to say:

"For neither was there among them any that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,

"And laid them at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto each, according as any one had need." (Acts 4:34-35)

Eee gads! - What would Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity have to say about that: "And distribution was made unto each, according as any one had need." They would cry "SOCIALISM" at the top of their lungs, and condemn these "Basic Church Communities" as instruments of the devil.

NOTE: Of course, this is not to say that members of a church are required to "sell all they have" and to "have all things in common." There is no such requirement laid upon the saints of God. What the disciples did in the church in Jerusalem, they did of a willing spirit and because of the exigencies of the time. This is made plain in the account of Ananias and Sapphira:

"But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,

"And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it, at the apostles' feet.

"But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?

"Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. (Acts 5:1-4)

What's important to note here is that the Scriptures recognized the prior claim of Ananias and Sapphira on their property and money. It was theirs. They could dispose of it as they wished. The church as such had no claim on it. What Ananias and Sapphira did that was wrong was not refusing to join in what appeared to be a "general rush" of some to sell their property and give it to the church, but was, instead, pretending to join that "rush" and lying to the church about it. Lying to the church was the sin they committed.

And it occurred in this way: some of the disciples had very evidently been led of the Lord to sell their property and give it to the church. For example, "Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus ..." (Acts 4:36) And, of course, there were many more who had likewise been led of the Lord out of a willing heart to do so (Acts 4:34) - evidently to meet the very great need of the church at the time [which had, in a matter of days, expanded from a few hundred souls to thousands and thousands, many of whom were desperately poor (Acts chapters 2-5)]. That they did so willingly is made apparent by the context.

Obviously, Ananias and Sapphira were not so led, but they saw what appeared to them to be the general thanksgiving of the saints in connection with the generosity of those who had given so much, and they wanted to be "lifted up" (as they saw it) in like manner; hence their intrigue. (Acts 5:1-2) They wanted the "approval" (again, as they saw it) of the congregation minus the sacrifice that was necessary to obtain that "approval" (i.e., appreciation, thankfulness). They wanted recognition! - and an undeserved recognition at that. This was the problem" This was the sin!

THE CHURCH AS THE "CITY OF GOD"

I tell you the truth when I say that the key insofar as the "church" is concerned in these "latter days" - especially in light of the economic catastrophe that is looming over all of us - MUST be found in the word, "COMMUNITY." 

In Hebrews chapter 11, this community is called "THE CITY OF GOD" - and it is precisely this "CITY" that God's people in Hebrews chapter 11 were searching for:

"... they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: FOR HE HATH PREPARED FOR THEM A CITY." (Hebrews 11:16)

The Bible calls it -

"... a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God." (Hebrews 11:10)

AN UNEQUALLED OPPORTUNITY

SO, IN THE END, LET ME SAY THIS: THE ECONOMIC CATASTROPHE THAT IS DESCENDING ON ALL OF US SHOULD NOT BE VIEWED NECESSARILY AS AN UNMITIGATED DISASTER; IT PROVIDES US AN UNEQUALLED OPPORTUNITY TO DEMONSTRATE TO THE WORLD THE LOVE OF GOD.

Thus, when we seek to destroy the ILLUSIONS of our Christian brethren that everything will turn out okay for them insofar as the present economic crisis is concerned, we are not necessarily being negative - at least insofar as God's larger purposes are concerned; we are in fact being very, very positive with regard to what's important in light of eternity. It's in the light of this fact that I say unto you, as Paul did so many years ago:

"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

"Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

"For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds." (Hebrews 12:1-3)

AGAIN I URGE YOU ...

It's in the light of these facts that I again URGE you to acquaint yourselves with what's happening today; to acquaint yourselves with what the Prophetic Scriptures have to say on these matter, and TO CONSIDER DOING THE FOLLOWING THINGS:

  1. Those of you who continue to reside WITHIN the borders of the United States, we URGE you to involve yourself in the ANTIPAS TRAINING (ALIYA) by -

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    NOTE: Please take the time to read the attached article at that portion of the website; then, if you wish, sign up at the place designated at the end of that article.

  3.  In addition, if you have not as yet ordered your FREE DVD, "Greed Is Good," we encourage you to do so now -

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    We pray that you will remember the Word of God:

    "IF WE HAVE SOWN UNTO YOU SPIRITUAL THINGS, IS IT A GREAT THING IF WE SHALL REAP YOUR CARNAL (MATERIAL) THINGS?" (1 Cor. 9:11)

God bless you all!

S.R. Shearer
Antipas Ministries

 

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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