By: SR Shearer
Your blood be upon your own heads
We are today locked in an intense struggle with regard to the Prophetic Scriptures; the conflict revolves around the question, Should these Scriptures be allowed to become a mechanism to divide the Church?
There are many who say "NO!" - among whom are my erstwhile colleagues Dene McGriff and Doug Krieger, with whom, I am very sad to say, my own twin brother is now "in league." [Please see our article, "The Great Grief Associated with Preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom."]
However, I say "YES!" To say otherwise is tantamount to allowing people to reduce God's Word to the lowest common denominator; to a baby pabulum that anyone can swallow.
The fact of the matter is, the Word of God does divide! - Jesus said:
And be clear here, Jesus was NOT speaking to "unbelievers," but to His own disciples!! Moreover, Jesus went on to say that as the "end of days" draws near, this conflict will grow PHYSICAL - even to the extent that your "brothers in Christ" will -
Finally, Luke 12:51-53 and Matthew 10:17, 21 make it very clear that the division referenced above is a GOD-DRIVEN one; a "rending apart" that is meant to divide those Christians who refuse to separate themselves from the American New World Order System and the church that justifies it (and, ipso facto, the worldly wealth that attaches itself to these twin entities), from those Christians who are willing to go "OUTSIDE THE CAMP" (Hebrews 13:14-14) and say with the prophet Habakkuk,
It is out of this division - this "rendering apart" - that God will produce a church purified and made ready to act as one of the "TWO WITNESSES" at the "end of the age." [Please see Part 1 and Part 2 of Chapter VIII of the New Antipas Papers, ("Tribulation Reveals What Is Already Formed" and "The Tribulation as a Winnowing of God" respectively) please also see Part 4 and Part 5 of Chapter VIII of the New Antipas Papers ("The Two Witnesses" and "Parables and Ciphers" respectively).]
Naturally enough, one can choose to ignore what God is doing in the church today; to discount the RUTHLESSNESS and SEVERITY that He is employing in FORCING this division on the church; but that God can be RUTHLESS in dealing with His servants is very clearly evidenced by the seeming coldness that Christ evinced toward the "unprofitable servant" when He said:
Dene and Doug demonstrate their ignorance of this fact - i.e., their failure to recognize His severity as demonstrated in the verses above - when they write:
It is here - exactly here - that we are compelled to recognize the central role played by the "GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM" in this process; but to do so, one must recognize the Gospel of the Kingdom for what it really is.
Most Christians today are totally oblivious to the fact that when Jesus said -
- He was referring not so much to the "Good News of Salvation" as He was to the setting up of the Kingdom of Heaven ON EARTH after His return to planet earth. [We URGE you to read our articles, "The Good News of the Coming Kingdom," "The Kingdom of God Is at Hand," "The Principles of the Kingdom" and "The American New World Order System Must Give Way to the Kingdom of Heaven."]
The establishment of the kingdom of heaven ON EARTH is the great future event to which Christ was alluding when He taught His disciples to pray -
This is the wonderful as-yet-future event toward which Christ was pointing when, at the "Last Supper," He -
Indeed, it is precisely for this reason that Jesus said:
This is substantiated in Luke 6:20 where Jesus said,
But while the New Testament says that Christ will "... fill the hungry with good things" when He comes again (Luke 1:53a), the Bible also says that -
There is to be no room in the coming Kingdom for the rich of the world - and so much so is this to be the case, that the rich are warned -
The church that these men and women (see above) represent has been sold into slavery - SLAVERY TO BABYLON THE GREAT; it is a church that no longer serves God, but one that has PROSTITUTED herself out to the American New World Order System FOR MONEY. [Again, please see our article, "The Rich Have Seized Control of the Church."]
If we are to serve God today, WE MUST SEPARATE OURSELVES FROM THIS CHURCH - and that is especially true if we are to have anything to do with proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom which is what we are called to do as the "end of the age" draws near (Matt. 24:14); after all, what does today's church want to do with the poor of this world? We URGE you to read our article, "The Machine verses the Church."]
It is with this understanding that we now turn to the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah because we face the exact same situation that these men (Ezra and Nehemiah) faced when God called them to re-establish His testimony in the Holy Land in preparation for Christ's First Coming.
AND MORE THAN THAT, WE FACE THE SAME KIND OF "IN-HOUSE" OPPONENTS (and I speak here of people such as my twin brother, Dene McGriff, Doug Krieger, Richard Paradise, et. al) THAT THE "RETURNEES" TO JERUSALEM FACED 2500 years ago as we seek to return to the purposes of God by establishing a church (a witness) clean of the stain of this world and made worthy to PROCLAIM the coming soon to earth of the Kingdom of Heaven. [Please see our article, "A Little Leaven Leaveneth the Whole Lump."]
The Jews returned to the Holy Land after their captivity in Babylon in several waves; the first group to return to Jerusalem came under the command of Zerubbabel in 538 BC and numbered only about fifty thousand; subsequent waves of "Returnees" under Ezra and Nehemiah were equally miniscule. The sad fact of the matter is, the great bulk of the Jewish people remained in Babylon where they had become very successful. Indeed, according to the great Bible expositor J. Vernon McGee, they had become -
"... so prosperous, so lost to materialism, that they did not want to go back to Jerusalem even though they were still slaves and exiled from their own land."
The first act of the "Returnees" when they had at last arrived in the Holy Land was to build an altar on the original temple site in the midst of the ruins. Out under the open sky they erected an altar to God and began to worship and offer sacrifice as the law of Moses commanded them to do.
Concerning the importance of this act, the late Pastor Ray Stedman writes:
"This is significant because the first act of a heart that really desires to return to God after wandering in darkness is to erect an altar. AN ALTAR IS ALWAYS THE SYMBOL OF OWNERSHIP. It is both the acknowledgment that God has sole right to us and the symbol of our personal relationship to him. Therefore, an altar almost invariably involves sacrifice ... the sacrifice of recognizing the truth, 'You are not your own; you were bought with a price' (1 Cor. 6:19-20)."
What Stedman is saying here is extremely important: ONLY THOSE WHO RECOGNIZE THAT THEY ARE NOT THEIR OWN, THEY HAVE BEEN "BOUGHT WITH A PRICE," WILL EVER HAVE THE COURAGE TO LEAVE BABYLON AND RETURN TO THE "HOLY LAND."
Let us build together!
Almost immediately the Jews were opposed in their effort to rebuild the Temple; this opposition first appears as friendly solicitude. Chapter 4, verses 1 and 2 in the Book of Ezra states:
"Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the returned exiles were building a temple to the Lord, the God of Israel, they approached Zerubbabel and the heads of fathers' houses and said to them, 'Let us build with you; for we worship your God as you do, and we have been sacrificing to him ever since the days of Esarhaddon king of Assyria who brought us here'. [Ezra 4:1-2 RSV]
This, of course, is EXACTLY what Dene McGriff and Doug Krieger did insofar as my attempt to obey the Holy Command to get out of Babylon, and I speak here primarily of my early effort to get out of "Religious Babylon" - that is to say, the American Church. They joined themselves to me and seemingly embraced my cause with great enthusiasm.
NOTE: Please see Part 2 of Chapter XIII of the New Antipas Papers, "The Whore of Revelation 17" for an explanation regarding the twofold nature of Babylon the Great - specifically, (1) it's RELIGIOUS aspect and (2) its CIVIL aspect.
And although I was more than aware of the proclivity of both these men towards "GET-RICH-QUICK" schemes - a proclivity that should have warned me that they had no real interest in actually separating themselves from the church of C. Peter Wagner, Rick Joyner, Glen Cole, Capital Christian Center, New Hope Christian Fellowship, et. al. - I allowed them to join the ministry; after all, when one comes saying that he worships the same God and asks,
"Let us help you. We would like to join with you in this enterprise; you are rebuilding the temple; fine; we would be glad to help"
- how is one to turn such an offer down without sounding like a bigoted, biased jerk?
As Stedman explains,
"... it is not very difficult to say no to an enemy who breathes fiery threats of slaughter. But when he comes dripping with solicitude and offers to help in your projects, it is very difficult to say no." [Please see our articles, "The Titanic" and "A Little Leaven Leavens the Whole Lump."]
'YOU HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH US IN BUILDING A HOUSE TO OUR GOD.'
"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
"Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?" (Matthew 7:15-16)
The only way one can deny the desire of such so-called "friends" "to build with you" is to do so out of a heart that is willing to be obedient to the word of God REGARDLESS OF HOW "BAD" IT MAKES YOU LOOK. The Bible says:
"But Zerubbabel, Jeshua, and the rest of the heads of fathers' houses in Israel said to them, 'YOU HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH US IN BUILDING A HOUSE TO OUR GOD; but we alone will build to the Lord' ..." [Ezra 4:3 RSV]
Concerning this seemingly boorish act, Stedman writes:
"That may have seemed a bit churlish, but it was not mere capriciousness that made them reply that way. God had commanded that Israel was not to fellowship with other nations, or to engage with them in enterprises that concerned the faith."
Somehow or other, this fact - i.e., the necessity of being "boorish" with one's opponents - seems to escape people like Gloria Cooper and her ilk, people who believe that we should all try "to get along;" that we should take people such as Dene McGriff, Doug Krieger, ad nauseum at their word regarding their desire to "work with us," and we should excuse their "little" compromises with the world - after all, they're just "little" compromises; but, these "little" compromises necessitate a friendship with people who have "made peace with the world" AND THAT CANNOT BE!
NOTE: And Dene made that abundantly clear to me (i.e., our so-called "need" to put up with the compromises our Christian brethren have made with the world) the last time I ever saw him when he demanded that I should "go easy" on the leaders of today's church - leaders responsible for selling the church out to the world, a demand which if I did not accede to, would force him to leave the ministry. [Please see our articles, "The Rich Have Seized Control of the Church" and "Making Merchandise out of the People of God."]
All this to say nothing of the inconvenience my writings were becoming to Dene who was trying so desperately to sell his "GET-RICH-QUICK" scams to unsuspecting Christians on our subscriber list and enflame their desire to participate in the so-called "American Dream." [Please see our article, "Ponzi Schemes, The Investment Craze, and the End of Days."]
"... God rejects utterly those who make such alliances with the world; those who accept the help of the world in carrying out God's work ... God has made it clear that such people are to be rejected."
At that point, I had no alternative but to walk away from Dene.
I had no one to blame but myself in allowing my relationship with Dene to advance this far. Shortly thereafter, and for very similar reasons, I parted company (as it were) with Doug Krieger. I had disregarded the advice of Stedman and the example of Zerubbabel, and allowed Dene and Doug to build with me - and all this despite the evidence of the thorns and thistles in their lives. The sad fact of the matter is, they are both like unto the man about whom Jesus said -
"... received seed among the thorns ... and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful." (Matthew 13:22)
I knew very well of the many, many money-making schemes that both Dene and Doug had involved themselves in over the years - from selling bogus oil leases in Alaska (Doug Krieger), to peddling Imelda Marcos's ill-gotten fortune to Americans who, like so many others, want a quick way of achieving the so-called "American Dream" (Dene McGriff).
And now REJECTION turned to HATRED and I found myself traveling down the same road that Zerubbabel had traveled so many years before when he rejected the help of his so-called "friends." Stedman explains:
"The veil of friendship that was offered quickly turns to hatred. In verses 4 and 5:
'Then the people of the land discouraged the people of Judah, and made them afraid to build, and hired counselors against them to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia'." [Ezra 4:4-5 RSV]
Rejection turns to hatred
"And in the next two chapters is the story of how successful they were in stopping the work of rebuilding the temple. By deliberately attempting to frustrate these people, by mocking them and taunting them, they discouraged Israel from doing work that God had commanded. These so-called friends even used legal means to undermine Israel's authority and right to build. This is what goes on any time anybody wants to stand for God. As Paul wrote to the Galatians, 'The desires of the flesh are against the Spirit'. (Gal. 5:17) This is the picture that we have here, and the principle was quite successful. The work was stopped for sixteen years and the temple lay half-completed, overrun with weeds and grass."
Shortly thereafter, Ezra arrived in Jerusalem with a second band of "Returnees" and was immediately approached by several members of the first group of "Returnees." In chapter 9 Ezra writes:
"They approached me and said, 'The people of Israel and the priests and the Levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands with their abominations ... For they have taken some of their daughters to be wives for themselves and for their sons; so that the holy race has mixed itself with the peoples of the lands. AND IN THIS FAITHLESSNESS THE HAND OF THE OFFICIALS AND CHIEF MEN HAS BEEN FOREMOST." [Ezra 9:1-2 RSV]
Ezra, in verse 3, says:
"When I heard this, I rent my garment and my mantle, and pulled hair from my head and beard, and sat appalled." [Ezra 9:3 RSV]
"... until the evening sacrifice." [Ezra 9:4b RSV]
The walls of Jerusalem: WALLS OF SEPERATION
Shortly after the arrival of Ezra, Nehemiah arrived in Jerusalem with a third group of "Returnees." Nehemiah immediately grasped the urgent need of permanently separating the "Returnees" from those who surrounded them in the Promised Land; his answer to this need WAS TO BUILD AGAIN THE WALLS OF JERUSALEM, and under Nehemiah, the Jews bent every effort to do so.
NOTE: In the ancient world, the walls that surrounded a city provided protection, security, strength and INDEPENDENCE to its inhabitants; a city with no protective walls was defenseless against the outside world, and thus subject to the capricious whims and vicissitudes of its enemies. The absence of walls or the presence of broken walls left the community defenseless.
And now the fury of those who opposed the Jews' efforts to rebuild was kindled against them:
"But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite heard this, it displeased them greatly that some one had come to seek the welfare of the children of Israel." [Neh 2:10b RSV]
Their opposition to Nehemiah's effort to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem took three forms:
"The enemies tried to mock or heap contempt on what God was doing. When they failed, they attempted a conspiracy. They tried to involve the Israelites in a plot that would overthrow this work."
VERY IMPORTANT NOTE:
The High Priest had allowed Tobiah [i.e., the sworn enemy of God] to move right into the temple! He had even allowed one of his grandsons to marry the daughter of Sanballat, thus joining the family of the High Priest to the family of Israel's chief enemy.
Nehemiah then drove the High Priest, his son, Jehoida (and the unnamed grandson) out of Jerusalem on the ground that they had defiled the priesthood [Neh.13:28].
Would to God that my twin brother would learn this lesson regarding Dene, Doug, Richard Paradise and his "biggie friends" at Capital Christian Center, Trinity Fellowship and the faculty and staff up at Multnomah and Western Seminary in Portland. No one can be immune from being ejected from God's work in re-establishing the purity of God's church if they have in any way compromised themselves with the American New World Order System and the church that supports that system. [Please see our article, "A Little Leaven Leaveneth the Whole Lump."]
And so, as was the case with Nehemiah when he began to build a wall between himself and the so-called "friends" who wanted to "help," so it was with our experience as well.
The lies, the contempt and the cunning began in earnest as both Dene and Doug maneuvered to "explain" why they were "kicked out" of the ministry. Dene huffs in anger that he had been -
"... with Antipas from the beginning"
- as if Antipas was an entity separate from me. That's simply NOT true. At the risk of sounding "elitist" (as Dene suggests that I am) Antipas is a ministry that God gave to me PERSONALLY; if that makes me an elitist, so be it!! All Dene did was try to build on a foundation that was NOT his, and claim partial credit for it. The only person who could possible claim that he was with me from the beginning is Fred Palmquist.
Dene NEVER was a co-founder insofar as Antipas is concerned. NEVER! NEVER! NEVER! - and there are many who will attest to this fact, not the least of whom is my own twin brother or any number of other people, for example, Gloria Cooper (who certainly has no reason to lie for me after the way I have roughly treated her) and Fred Palmquist.
Dene goes on to say:
"Our problems with S.R. are not based on personality but upon certain teachings which we find spurious and misleading. So for the sake of our readers, we are going to shine the light on some of those differences. Specifically, it has to do with Steve's insistence that -
Christians must flee Babylon/America immediately (i.e., physically remove themselves from the USA or any of its commonwealth or territories).
His militantly negative attitude toward the church in general.
His apparent support for a form of liberation-socialist theology."
"But first, let's look at the similarities. We agree that in all likelihood, the only nation that fits the Scriptural description of prophetic Babylon is America. I lay out detailed arguments in a twenty one chapter book entitled 'In Search of Mystery Babylon' and Doug Krieger in 'The Rise or Fall of the American Empire' clearly portrays America as the 'political Babylon' of the Last Days. There are various articles and other books we have written which deal with this subject on our site. We both agree that the rapture of the Church occurs at the end of the Tribulation before the 'wrath of God - wrath of the Lamb'. (i.e., at the close of Daniel's 70th Week but before the 30 days of 'wrath' and the 45 days of Messiah's unveiling to Israel - ref. Daniel 12:10-13). We both agree that Israel and the Church are the two olive trees and two lampstands of Revelation 11 and have a major role in the Last Days as the 'two witnesses'. We, S.R. and ourselves, extensively fellowshipped on these issues going back as far as the 1960s. Now, however, we will examine our differences."
The first thing one should notice here is Dene's FALSE claim that -
"We, S.R. and ourselves, extensively fellowshipped on these issues going back as far as the 1960s."
The implication here is that Doug and Dene were as much responsible for the revelations that -
America is Babylon
The rapture of the church is to occur at the end of the Tribulation
The "Two Witnesses" are Israel and the church.
- as I was.
Again, THIS IS A LIE that is not only outrageous but it is shameful. These revelations were given to me long before either Doug or Dene attached themselves to my work. Again, I call upon my brother (who is no friend of mine insofar as the message of Antipas is concerned) and Fred Palmquist (again, the ONLY person who has any right to claim to be a co-founder of the ministry with me) to attest to this fact.
NOTE: This is not to say that God wasn't working in the hearts of others throughout the country with regard to these matters - people like Frank Logsdon, etc. - but these "others" certainly did NOT include either Doug or Dene.
Again, I say, Dene NEVER had anything directly to do with these ideas - unless one can say that simply being a friend of mine at certain times in one's life entitles one to make such a claim. The same is true with Doug Krieger.
The very real fact of the matter is, whatever work Dene and Doug have produced on the three subjects listed above is the result of PLAGIARISM - which is:
"The copying of what somebody else has written or taking somebody else's idea and trying to pass it off as original."
"Something copied form somebody else's work, or somebody else's idea that is then passed off as the work or idea of someone else."
After claiming that they were co-founders with me in Antipas, they begin their rant that I have "gone off the deep end;" that I suffer - as my twin brother alleges - from "posttraumatic stress disorder" as a result of my experiences in Vietnam. Dene and Doug write:
"If you have been following Steve's writings lately, you will notice that they are more and more into a kind of class warfare which is really nothing more than an evangelical form of liberation theology ... Antipas appears to be headed toward class warfare; the poor down trodden masses against the rich." [And one can almost see the disdain and contempt for the poor that is dripping out of Dene's mouth here - i.e., "the poor, down trodden masses."]
It is PRECISELY here that Dene and Doug reveal the miserable condition of their hearts. They completely misunderstand what the Gospel of the Kingdom is all about - and that is because they have no eyes with which to see, and no ears with which to hear. They are like those about whom Jesus said:
"For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them." (Matthew 13:15) [Dene alludes to my Article on "Liberation Theology;" We urge you to read this article for yourself, "Liberation Theology: The Vatican and the CIA; Ghosts and Phantoms."]
Dene and Doug attempting to get through the eye of a sewing needle
"It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a [sewing] needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." (Mark 10:25)
There are, of course, those Christians who have been told by their pastors that "the eye of the needle" through which a "rich man shall hardly pass" (referenced also in Matt. 19:24 and Luke 18:25) is the name of a narrow gate in the walls of Jerusalem, through which a camel, with some difficulty, could actually get through. This is what Father John Neuhaus, a Catholic and the darling of all those evangelicals who today are pressing for a rapprochement with right-wing Catholics (as opposed to left-wing Catholics), believes.
But such a contention is so COMPLETELY ridiculous that even Peter Singer (hardly a Christian), clearly sees through this hypocrisy. Writing in the humanist magazine Free Inquiry, Singer sarcastically (but very properly) reveals the "pretense to virtue" of Christians as they squirm to avoid the clear meaning of these Scriptures (i.e., Luke 18:25, Matt. 19:24 and Mark 10:25).
As Singer points out, there is zero archeological or historical evidence for this interpretation, which can only be traced as far back as the ninth century. Jesus was using a metaphor popular at the time, although one that usually referred to elephants rather than camels. And, moreover, the disciples very evidently understood what Jesus meant here - i.e., that it was impossible for a rich man to enter heaven - because,
"... they were ASTONISHED OUT OF MEASURE (at this teaching), saying among themselves, Who then can be saved?" (Mark 10:26)
To this question, Christ offers a crumb of reassurance: "With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible." Possibly! Maybe! - but the original injunction stands: Christians who want to follow Jesus and inherit eternal life will do well to give all they have to the poor. Isn't this what Jesus clearly meant when He said to the rich man who wanted to follow Him:
"If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me." (Matthew 19:21) ?
Sadly, however, when -
"... the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
"Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 19:22-23)
Very obviously, what Jesus said to the rich man is NOT an idea calculated to win Christianity the devotion of the rich! Hardly a saying that pastors - who desperately need the support of the rich if they are going to keep up the mortgage payments on their super-churches - want to embrace.
Neuhaus haughtily denies Singer's assertion that the Christian ethic tells us to share extensively with the poor, and he seems extremely annoyed that a "humanist" like Singer would be telling him (supposedly a Christian) how to interpret Scripture. Neuhaus responds to Singer:
"... the Christian ethic ... underscores that we are 'situated' creatures with duties framed by specific place and time and possibility ... The Christian view is grounded in the particular, and most particularly in the incarnation ... (of Christ) ... The vaulting ambitions of Singer's concept of 'a morally descent person' (giving their money to the poor) are implausible in theory and impossible in practice."
In other words, what Neuhaus is saying is that Christ's injunction to His disciples to share EXTENSIVELY their wealth with the poor is not only "implausible," but "impossible;" that we are creatures of the "situation" God has placed us in, and as such we have "responsibilities" to that "situation" that take precedence over "giving to the poor." Dene and Doug could have hardly said it better.
But, come on now! What DRIVEL! What utter NONSENSE! - and Singer clearly recognizes it as such. He sneeringly (and mockingly) retorts to the "idiocy" advocated by Neuhaus:
"Presumably Father Neuhaus is suggesting that from the fact that God has been incarnated in the form of a PARTICULAR person (i.e., Christ), it follows that we have particular duties, to our families, friends, compatriots, and so on, which override the injunction to sell what we have and give it to the poor. But by what principle of interpretation does a vague reference to the 'incarnation of Christ' count for more than the EXPLICIT Gospel account of the WORDS OF JESUS HIMSELF? ... Only, I guess, because the idea that the founder of Christianity told us to give away our assets is not at all to Father Neuhaus's liking. Nor, presumably, would it be congenial to the conservative Christians of ... (today)."
Father Neuhaus and Peter Singer
NOTE: This kind of thinking - the kind that says that we have responsibilities to our "particular" "situations" (i.e., to our immediate families, our mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, etc. that take precedence over our responsibilities to the larger community of Christ) - was clearly repudiated by Jesus Himself in Matt. 12:46-50:
We should be ashamed of ourselves
"... the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light." (Luke 16:8)
Nonetheless, the interpretation of Scripture offered by Neuhaus is clearly the interpretation to which Dene McGriff, Doug Krieger et. al. are alluding when they charge me with teaching class warfare. [Please see our article, "Get Out Before It's Too Late."]
Nonetheless, the fact remains, call it what you will - "Class Warfare," "Liberation Theology," etc. - this bias AGAINST the rich of the world is very plainly a bias that Jesus Himself taught.
At the risk of sounding repetitive, take another example of Christ' favoritism toward the poor of the earth; in Luke 4:18 the primary recipients of the "Kingdom of Heaven" are once again announced to be the POOR of this earth - the "sons and daughters," so to speak, of Chad, the Congo, Sierra Leone, Guatemala, Brazil, Vietnam, etc. - the people who have been so RUTHLESSLY and BRUTALLY oppressed by the American New World Order System. [Please see our article, "Christians in Africa Awake! America and the American Church Are Not Your Friends."]
These are the people - i.e., the poor of the world - about whom Jesus said:
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, BECAUSE HE HATH ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL [OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN] TO THE POOR ..." (Luke 4:18)
Luke 4:18 is substantiated in Luke 6:20 where Jesus says,
"BLESSED BE YE POOR: FOR YOURS IS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN." (Luke 6:20)
This same verse is rendered "Blessed are the POOR IN SPIRIT: FOR THEIRS IS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN" in Matthew 5:3 - "poor in spirit" being but the natural outcome of the condition of poverty, WHICH IN THIS LIFE IS ALMOST ALWAYS THE RESULT OF THE OPPRESSION OF THE RICH OVER THE POOR. [Please see our article, "The Third World as a Model of the New World Order;" please also see "The Congo and American Greed" and "Lee Kyang; The Rich and the Poor, America and God."]
It is these - the poor in spirit, those whose spirits have been broken by the wicked oppression of the rich - that Christ AS KING is coming to rescue; those who have been crushed by the mind-numbing, back-breaking labor imposed upon them by America's multinational corporations; those who make Nike shoes, Liz Claiborne clothes and Gucci handbags for the "DAUGHTERS OF BABYLON" for pennies a day in sweatshops scattered across the globe; those who labor in the copper mines of Chile for Annacondia Copper and the banana plantations of Chiquita Brand in Guatemala for barely enough money to rent a tin shack and put food on the table for one more day; those who have been chased off their farms in Mexico by Cargil and Archer-Daniels-Midland, and forced to migrate surreptitiously to the United States to work as "Illegals" picking tomatoes in plantation farms in the United States run by these very same corporations; those Iraqis and Afghanis who have been robbed by Exxon-Mobile, Haliburton, Shell Oil, etc. of their patrimony, and on and on and on.
Mexican "illegal aliens" who have been chased off their land in Mexico by giant American agribusinesses and forced to "pick tomatoes" on plantation farms in the United States owned by the same agribusinesses that chased them off their land in Mexico.
I solemnly warn you: the Kingdom of Heaven stands in UTTER juxtaposition to the kingdom of this world; for example, consider the way Christ places the rich and the poor in opposition to one another: For example, Jesus said of the poor
"Blessed be ye poor: FOR YOURS IS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN." (Luke 6:20)
But while the Bible says that Christ will "... fill the hungry with good things" when He comes again (Luke 1:53a), it also says that -
"... the rich he will send empty away." (Luke 1:53b)
LOEL PASSE: The rich He will send empty away - and it's Dene McGriff who introduced Loel to MLM marketing. [Please see our article, "The Titanic."]
Very obviously, in Christ's thinking, the rich and the poor stand at opposite ends of the pole insofar as the promises of the kingdom of heaven are concerned. There is to be no room in the coming Kingdom for the rich of the world - and so much so is this the case, that the rich are warned -
"Woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.
"Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep (Luke 6:24-25)
Indeed, so putrid and contemptible is the condition of the rich vis a vis the poor in the eyes of God, that the Apostle James went to great length to warn the early church against the rich in their midst:
"For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;
DO NOT RICH MEN OPPRESS YOU …?
"And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool:
"Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?
"Hearken, my beloved brethren, HATH NOT GOD CHOSEN THE POOR OF THIS WORLD rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?
"But ye have despised the poor. DO NOT RICH MEN OPPRESS YOU ...?
"Do not they [i.e., the RICH] BLASPHEME THAT WORTHY NAME BY WHICH YE ARE CALLED?" (James 2:2-7)
That's heavy! - and so much so that the words of this great apostle are enough to take one's breath away.
All this, however, is "forgotten history" to people such as Dene McGriff and Doug Krieger. et. al.
Finally, Dene writes:
"I don't mean to be insensitive, but Jesus said we would always have the poor with us. Paul did not tell the saints to overthrow the Romans but submit to and pray for your rulers."
But Dene and Doug both know that I have NEVER advocated the overthrow of ANY government on earth; WHAT I AM AGAINST IS THE ALLIANCE THAT TODAY'S CHURCH HAS MADE WITH THESE GOVERNMENTS, AND MOST PARTICULARLY, THE AMERICAN NEW WORLD ORDER SYSTEM - an alliance that both Dene and Doug seem to ignore, at least on any practical level.
Dene and Doug continue:
"It doesn't matter if our government is good or bad, fair or unfair. Christians in China, Africa or the Middle East don't work at changing their governments but at bringing the life-giving gospel and hope to their people."
What both Dene and Doug utterly fail to acknowledge here, at least in any MEANINGFUL way, is the difficulty of presenting the Gospel of Salvation to the poor when the poor connect this gospel to the American New World Order System and those who oppress and brutalize them; when they see the gospel of salvation as merely a tool to pacify them insofar as the oppression of the rich is concerned.
Christianity's connection to the rich of the world can only be a "turn-off" to the poor who see the American New World Order System and the church that justifies it as frauds.
The fact is, throughout the world today's Christianity is perceived to be a rich, white man's religion having NOTHING to do with the poor. Sadly, Islam is more a religion of the poor than is Christianity. [We urge you to read our article, "A Woman Riding A Beast Going Forth Conquering and to Conquer" for insight as to how this partnership between the rich of the world and Christianity works.]
It has been calculated to rip away the mask of piety that the religious FRAUDS who wickedly justify this system hide behind - for example, Christian leaders like D. James Kennedy (now deceased), Charles Stanley and John Hagee - while at the same time revealing the evil, avaricious "money-grubbing" that's really at the heart of the American Empire, and that animates ALL those associated with it. [Please see "The Superman Theology of the International Christian Embassy's Feast of Tabernacles" for a discussion of the theology and eschatology that animates people like John Hagee.]
Once these frauds - and the system they excuse - are exposed for what they actually are, then the poor can see Christianity for what it really is: God's way of salvation for them; and they can see Christ for whom He really was (is) - a POOR carpenter who said of Himself:
"... Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head." (Luke 9:58)
NOTE: Dene and Doug attempt a way out of the dilemma they face in justifying the oppression of the rich over the poor by reminding their readers of Paul's injunction to the disciples:
But this advice was given by Paul at a time when Christianity was very much a poor man's religion - and while this injunction still stands today with regard to "born-again" believers, now that Christianity has been rendered a rich man's religion in the eyes of the world, it can only be a "turn-off" to unbelievers.
Dene and Doug continue their tirade against Antipas:
"If we get too caught up in the injustices of the world and the causes around us, we could end up supporting a liberation-style dominion theology. Steve's 'gospel of the kingdom' in contrast to the 'gospel of the grace of God' has a definite Dominionism ring to it; a kingdom grounded in social justice. Here is one quote from the article just cited:
'The kingdom being proclaimed here will be a kingdom grounded in social justice for ALL mankind, a world of equity where men are not divided up between the "owners of capital" on the one hand and "labor" on the other hand, and where men and women are not divided up on the basis of their race or even their gender (Gal. 3:28); where the rich do not oppress the poor; where every man has equal access to God; where privileges cannot be bought by the wealthy; where there are no death squads, no poverty, no torture, no hunger, no disease, and no room for oppressors of any kind'."
Dene and Doug persevere in their evil, misleading rant:
"I'm sure we will soon see such a kingdom on this earth but not during the close of this age. Even so, it is disingenuous for Steve to give the allusion, the appearance of being a liberation theologian of the 'here and now', while simultaneously asserting a yet-future Millennium when and where only 'King Jesus' can actually effect social justice on the planet."
The American church caught cheating with the rich of this world.
WHAT I HAVE DONE IS ADVOCATE THE PROCLAMATION THAT CHRIST INTENDS TO SET UP A KINGDOM OF JUSTICE AND EQUITY ON EARTH WHEN HE RETURNS - and I have done so for the exact reasons I just mentioned (see the above section, "God's Answer to this Deception"). [Again, we URGE you to read our articles, "The Good News of the Coming Kingdom," "The Kingdom of God Is at Hand," "The Principles of the Kingdom" and "The American New World Order System Must Give Way to the Kingdom of Heaven."]
To be sure, I have consistently striven to show that - contrary to what American Christians have been told - capitalism is NOT a "God ordained" system of economics, and the effort by twits such as Krieger, McGriff and others of their ilk to say it is, is a LIE. [We URGE you to see our articles, "The Marxist Paradigm" and "Capitalism and Christianity."]
Dene and Doug go on to say:
"S.R. Shearer is constantly urging readers to become radicals to abandon America, to picket the Republican convention, the World Trade meetings or the local 'mega church' ... I don't think God approves of that kind of radicalism any more than he does the activism of the 'religious right'. This world is not our home. Why didn't the apostles encourage the 'early church' to picket the Roman government for human rights abuses (e.g. throwing Christians to the lions or crucifying them) or for their military and economic subjugation of their expanding empire."
Again, the outrageous implication in what Dene and Doug are saying here is that I advocate political activity aimed at changing the social and political structures of this world. I HAVE NEVER DONE THIS - and both of them know that. THEY ARE LYING. Truly it can be said of them:
"YE ARE OF YOUR FATHER THE DEVIL, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. WHEN HE SPEAKETH A LIE, HE SPEAKETH OF HIS OWN: FOR HE IS A LIAR, AND THE FATHER OF IT." (John 8:44)
I say again, all I have ever done is condemn those who have led the church into an alliance with the American new World Order System; IT IS THIS ALLIANCE AGAINST WHICH I HAVE RELENTLESSLY RAGED - and when I have pointed out "the human rights abuses" (as Dene and Doug mildly put it) of the American New World Order System, my sole purpose has only been to reveal the hideous "goings-on" of that BEAST with whom the church has allied herself.
It's here that Dene makes one of his most astonishing charges against me: he says that I have adopted a position against Israel similar to the one that the Presbyterian Church USA has adopted; a policy that, according to Dene, "likens Israel to the Nazi state" - AND HE CONNECTS THIS TO THE "CLASS WARFARE" THAT I AM SUPPOSEDLY PROMOTING, AND MY STAND AGAINST THE FOREIGN POLICY OF THE UNITED STATES. Dene writes:
"ONCE YOU DEMONIZE AMERICA AND EVERYONE IN IT - AMERICA'S FOREIGN AND ECONOMIC POLICY - IT IS A SHORT HOP BEFORE YOU TURN ON ISRAEL ... before "left-leaning" evangelical of all stripes, including S.R., find themselves in open criticism of Israel and her alleged "Nazi-like" policies."
Israel on bended knee kissing the boots of its American "Dominatrix." [We URGE you to see our article, "Israel: In that Day There Shall Stand up a Root of Jesse that Shall Be an Ensign for the People."]
Dene adds 1+1 here and gets 3. Yes, it's true that I openly and very loudly condemn the American New World Order System as a MONSTER; and, yes, it's true that I openly and very loudly condemn Israel for allowing herself to be reduced to a LACKEY and a BOOTLICKER to that system. But how is my opposition to Israel's position as a bootlicker to the American New World Order System different from God's opposition to that same heinous and shameful relationship? What does Dene (or, for that matter, my twin brother, Doug Krieger, Richard Paradise and others of their ilk) have to say concerning God's charge against Israel: specifically that by involving herself in such a relationship with the United States she has made a "COVENANT WITH DEATH" and an "AGREEMENT WITH HELL?" And why does God then warn Israel:
"... your covenant with death [i.e., the U.S.] shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell [again, the U.S.] shall not stand [i.e., you will be wickedly BETRAYED]; when the OVERFLOWING SCOURGE [i.e., the U.S.] shall pass through, THEN YE SHALL BE TRODDEN DOWN BY IT." (Is. 28:18)
America as an OVERFLOWING SCOURGE
The very real fact of the matter is, like the church, Israel has been reduced to the status of a "handmaiden" (slave) in America's household. BUT (and thankfully so), LIKE THE CHURCH, ISRAEL TOO IS BEING RUTHLESSLY SUBJECTED TO A PROCESS THAT WILL - IN THE END - FREE HER FROM THIS SLAVERY. [We URGE you to see our article, "Israel: In that Day There Shall Stand up a Root of Jesse that Shall Be an Ensign for the People."]
Listen to me here: Recognizing Israel's fallen state vis a vis the United States does not make one an enemy to Israel. If that were the case, then one would have to conclude that God is Israel's enemy.
But the Bible says:
"... let God be true, but every man a liar ..." [i.e., Let God remain faithful, though every man is discovered to be faithless.] (Romans 3:4)
Israel does not possess some kind of spiritual DNA that makes her better than all the other peoples of the world.
"If you read one of Steve's latest articles entitled 'The Invasion of Europe by America's Apostate Church', it appears to be a defense of Muslims."
[We urge you to read this article for yourself: "The Invasion of Europe by America's Apostate Church" - Antipas]
What is Dene suggesting here? - that one must adopt a hatred of Muslims to be able to affirm God's holy relationship with Israel? If that's what Dene is suggesting - and it appears that it is - then Dene has absolutely no real idea about the nature of God's relationship with Israel, and what that relationship is meant to convey to the world: the GRACE OF GOD.
One must realize something here regarding the Jewish people - they are not the "CHOSEN OF GOD" because they are innately drawn to Him more than any other people on earth. They possess no superior spiritual DNA that lifts them above their fellow man. God has chosen them to DEMONSTRATE His GRACE to the peoples of the earth in the arena of the "here and now" - and by doing so, saying to ALL the peoples of the world that IF HE CAN BE FAITHFUL TO FAITHLESS ISRAEL, HE CAN BE FAITHFUL TO ALL OF US. [We urge you to see Appendix 1 to this article: "The Nature of God's Relationship with Israel."]
Let me be perfectly clear here: GOD'S GRACE EXTENDS AS MUCH TO THE PEOPLE OF THE MUSLIM WORLD (or any other people on earth) AS IT DOES TO THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL. [We URGE you to read our article, "Hardening Our Hearts against God; Becoming Prisoners of a Pathology of Hate." Also, we URGE you to examine our article "Radical Islam" in order to gain an understanding of the CIA's (i.e., America's) role in unleashing radical Islam on the peoples of the Middle East and Central Asia.]
We come now to the matter of Revelation 18:4; but before we do, it's probably necessary to explain why our first attempt to leave the US ended in failure - why we were forced back to the U.S. with "our tails between our legs." Initially, Lucy and I were planning to go to Canada by ourselves; we had made an earlier trip up to Vancouver Island and found a place that we could afford without any other person's assistance. However, after some discussion with a number of close associates, we decided to buy a large ranch in British Columbia that could accommodate many more people. In order to do so, however, we had to coordinate with others to make the move possible - ALL OF WHOM LATER DECIDED THEY COULDN'T MAKE THE MOVE TO CANADA FOR ONE REASON OR ANOTHER. Their failure to come guaranteed the failure of the enterprise.
Nevertheless, our failure in Canada does not mean that we have given up our effort to get out (indeed, we are in the planning stage for another attempt) - and that we have given up our effort to encourage YOU, our brethren in Christ, to get out as well - all in answer to God's holy DICTATE in Revelation 18:4 to "COME OUT OF HER." [Please see our article, "Our Failure in Canada."]
"Steve Shearer INSISTS ON A LITERAL INTERPRETATION of Revelation 18:4:
'And I heard another voice from heaven saying, "Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues'.
"He interprets this to mean that American Christians MUST get out of America any way they possibly can - by any means, they must flee. He views the "sins and apostasies" of America as so evil that to stay here is to be contaminated by her filth, participating in her sins and plagues. There are no "ifs", "ands" or "buts" about it. He sees this as a command for every Christian which MUST be obeyed - no excuses."
NOTE: One should ask himself with regard to this comment, Is Dene taking a stand against LITERALISM - which, supposedly, is one of the hallmarks of evangelicalism? Yes! - that's exactly what Dene appears to be doing. Of course, one can understand why he is doing this: It's the only way he can justify his purposeful misreading of Revelation 18:4.
"I discuss the timeline of events in the book of Revelations in detail in Chapter 2 of 'In Search of Mystery Babylon'. The rapture of the church is clearly mentioned in Revelation 11:12 'And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, Come up here'. And they ascended to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them' ... There is another reference to the rapture in chapter 15 when it speaks of the harvest prior to the coming wrath. SO THE CHURCH IS GONE."
[We URGE you to carefully read Chapter VII of the New Antipas Papers, "The Great Escape: Misconceptions Concerning the Rapture," for a refutation of Dene's pathetic attempt here to link Revelation 18:4 to the Rapture of the church - Antipas.]
The sheer idiocy of Dene's contention in tying the Rapture to Revelation 18:4 is mind-boggling.
Moreover, one should carefully note the reason why we are commanded to get out of Babylon:
"... THAT YE BE NOT PARTAKERS OF HER SINS ..." (Rev. 18:4b)
But surely such a warning would have little meaning if one is so na•ve as to connect Revelation 18:4 to the Rapture, because this passage of Scripture implies the passage of time between the call for Christians to "Come Out" and the destruction of Babylon - at least enough time to involve oneself thoroughly in the sins of Babylon. But Dene implies that IMMEDIATELY after Christ's call to His people to "Come Out" in Revelation 18:4, destruction will fall - rendering God's advice to get out meaningless.
This brings us to another matter that many people (including Doug and Dene) seem to "conveniently" miss - Why we are commanded to leave. It has NOTHING to do per se with the fact that Babylon itself is going to be destroyed, as Dene suggests; but with the fact that IF WE STAY, WE WILL BE COMPROMISED BEYOND REMEDY. This is the problem insofar as the Lord is concerned - AND IT'S THIS POWER TO CORRUPT USING RELIGION AS THE INSTRUMENTALITY OF CORRUPTION THAT GIVES THE U.S. OCCASION TO STAND ALONE IN THE WORLD.
No other country on earth (outside the Muslim world) possesses the mix of religion [i.e., Christianity (so-called)] and politics that the United States possesses - not Canada, not Mexico, not any of the countries of Western Europe. Francis Shaeffer was right: these are ALL "post-Christian" societies. The United States is the ONLY nation on earth that possesses a VIABLE and POTENT "Religious Right" Christian community - a community that actually possesses political power. IT'S THIS, AND NOTHING ELSE, THAT DISTINGUISHES THE UNITED STATES FROM ALL THE OTHER NATIONS ON EARTH.
Dene now attempts to disassociate the church (spiritual or religious Babylon) from the American New World Order System (physical Babylon); the reason, apparently, is that in confronting Revelation 18:4 we are dealing with something spiritual rather than something physical.
We can, of course, sympathize with Dene's effort to "spiritualize" the meaning of Revelation 18:4 - to make it apply principally to the church rather than America; that Babylon is a "spiritual matter," and not a physical matter - a matter of the heart, and not of the flesh. After all, it's so much easier for people to think that the only thing they have to do to "come out of her" is to "come out" of the "apostate church." To suggest that to escape "Religious Babylon" necessitates escaping "Physical Babylon" (i.e., America) makes everything so much more difficult.
But the truth of the matter is, there is a physical reality attached to Babylon as well as a religious reality - and the physical reality of Babylon is as profound and intense as its religious reality, and just as deadly. Babylon the Great is depicted in Scripture as a two part entity: a woman riding a beast. The great Bible expositor, F.C. Jennings, writes:
"Turning then to the seventeenth chapter of the Book of Revelation, we see the whole stage filled with two personalities only: a 'Beast' and a 'Woman' ... There can be no argument or discussion as to this speaking of both the CIVIL [political, economic, and military] and ECCLESIASTICAL [religious] conditions [of the country] ... the 'Beast' (which answers to the Civil Power) and the 'Woman' (which answers to the Religious Power) are thus INDISSOLUBLY co-related ..."
The Woman and the Beast: INDISSOLUBLY co-related
Again, I realize that it is so much easier to believe that the only thing that we have to do to "come out of her" is to "come out" of the "apostate church" - the church of Charles Stanley, Pat Robertson, C. Peter Wagner, et. al. [Please see our article, "Today's Church: Making Zombies out of Christians."]
But coming out of the Apostate Church won't accomplish much by itself! The very real fact of the matter is, a break-out from the one (i.e., Spiritual Babylon" or the "Apostate Church") necessitates a break-out from the other (i.e., the United States). What other conclusion is possible?
NOTE: Please take note of the fact that even this - "coming out of today's church" - is something that both Doug and Dene are loath to do - OR why else do they complain of my -
You don't see what we're talking about here? You really don't see it? Well, all I can say is, if you don't, it's because you have - like so many of my erstwhile colleagues - PURPOSEFULLY chosen NOT to see it.
The power to corrupt the best of people - even YOU! Babylon the Great "ain't no Sally Frump."
The truth is, the force of APOSTASY has now broken out of the "meeting halls" of the super-church, and has poured out into the streets. The power of Charles Stanley, Pat Robertson, C. Peter Wagner, etc. has morphed into "street power;" it is no longer confined to the pulpit. [Please see our articles, "The Christian Right: Creating a New and Ominous Strategy against the Left" and "Crossing the Rubicon."]
Just because you do not "attend church" on Sundays does not mean you have escaped the power of Religious Babylon: it now holds the nation in its grip, and it is infusing itself into the nation's political and even its military institutions.
The fact of the matter is, just as the life (so to speak) of the Nazi state became so intertwined and twisted together with the lives of Germany's individual citizens that it became impossible to function any longer as a human being in Germany without at the same time being involved intimately with the crimes of that nation - SO NOW IT IS FAST BECOMING IMPOSSIBLE TO FUNCTION ANY LONGER AS AN INDIVIDUAL IN THE UNITED STATES WITHOUT BECOMING INVOLVED IN THE GREAT WICKEDNESS THIS COUNTRY IS VISITING ON THE REST OF THE WORLD, AND WITH THE APOSTASY THAT IS DRIVING IT. [We URGE you to see our article, "Come out of Her."]
Finally, Dene makes the attempt to say that there is no difference between the United States herself and the empire over which she rules. In other words, the world outside the boundaries of the United States is as corrupt as the US itself.
Map of Germany's conquests
Well, yes! - it's true, ALL the world will eventually be absorbed by the American New World Order System, just as all of Europe was eventually conquered and absorbed by Nazi Germany; but there was still a great difference to be remarked upon insofar as Germany's conquered territories were concerned (i.e., France, Denmark, Poland, the Ukraine, Norway, Holland, Belgium, etc.) and Germany herself; and there was a GREAT DISTINCTION to be remarked upon insofar as the conduct of these different populations were concerned vis a vis the people of German.
The truth is, Germany's population actually PARTICIPATED in Germany's crimes; the population of Germany's "slave states" SUFFERED as a result of those crimes. There is, as I have said before, a big difference here; it is, to put it in the vernacular, the difference between the "screwer" and the "screwee;" the difference between the one who is being raped, and the one who is doing the raping; the difference between the perpetrator and the victim; the difference between MASTER and SLAVE - SO ALSO INSOFAR AS AMERICA IS CONCERNED vis a vis HER CLIENT-STATES, i.e., HER SLAVE STATES. [Again, we URGE you to see our article, "Come out of Her."]
There is a big difference here; it is, to put it in the vernacular, the difference between the "screwer" and the "screwee;" the difference between the one who is being raped, and the one who is doing the raping; the difference between the perpetrator and the victim; the difference between MASTER and SLAVE.
Finally, Dene attacks me because I ask those who benefit from the work of the ministry to support it; specifically Dene says,
"The last thing that caused me to leave Antipas was their constant pleas for money ... Every article Steve writes asks for money ..."
Yes! - we do ask our readers to 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?" (1Cor. 9:11)
Dene condemns us for "Living Large" at the expense of our readers?
TOP AND BOTTOM LEFT: View of our home in Centralia, WA; BOTTOM RIGHT: View of Sean and Jack trying to plug the leaks on our roof. Is this what Dene means by "Living Large?"
We ask our readers for support us in the work of the ministry because that is EXACTLY what the WORD OF GOD tells us to do.
Dene - like so many other Christians today - believes that we should hold down full-time jobs and do the Lord's work when we have the time, and they refer to Paul's tent-making; specifically to I Cor. 9:13-17:
"But I have used none of these things (i.e., the obligation of the brothers and sisters to support what he was doing): neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void.
"For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!
"For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.
"What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.
"For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more." (I Cor. 9:13-17)
But it's interesting to note that in quoting verses 13 - 17, verses 1 through 12 are invariably left out; but in leaving verses 1 through 12 out, they miss altogether what Paul was really saying; these verses (i.e., verses 1 through 12) read as follows:
"Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord?
"If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord.
"Have we not power (i.e., the right) to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas? Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power (i.e., the right) to forbear working?
"Mine answer to them that do examine me is this,
"Have we not power (i.e., the right) to eat and to drink?
"Have we not power (i.e., the right) to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?
"Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power (i.e., the right) to forbear working?
"Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock?
"Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also?
"For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?
"Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.
"If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal (material) things?
"If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.
"Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?
"Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel." (I Cor. 9:1-12)
What had happened was this: Paul had been receiving support from a certain church which he had raised up, and their arose a contention in that church as to whether they could really "afford" to support Paul any longer - after all, Paul was not living there any more - he was doing the work to which God had called him elsewhere. As a result of the controversy, Paul's support was ended - and Paul was forced to resort to tent-making in order to support himself. But that was no glory to God; it was a shame to Him! - and it was a tragedy insofar as the work was concerned - for while Paul was making tents, the work to which he had been called stopped. And this ancient tragedy is made all the worse when saints today say that this is what God really wants - "full-time" workers making tents in order to support themselves.
tents to support themselves -
This is NOT what God wants! This is NOT what Paul wanted! To say so is to totally misconstrue I Corinthians 9:1-19 - and so much so as to make the mistake appear purposeful. Any honest reading of this passage of Scripture would make it abundantly clear what God wants (even demands) from those who follow Him - and that is that those whom He has called into "full-time" service should be supported by the saints. Paul says:
"Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple?" (I Cor. 9:11).
That Paul refused to enforce this ordinance because he did not want to suffer the humiliation of making a demand on the saints for support (which - again - he obviously felt he had a right to do, which they, because of a selfish spirit, were reluctant to offer) should not be construed as God's will in the matter. Again, God's will in this situation was very obvious -
"Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?
"Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel." (I Cor. 9:11-12)
But, ultimately, the efforts by the enemies of God to stop the work of rebuilding failed -
"So the wall was finished on the twenty-fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty-two days." [Neh 6:15 RSV]
Ezra opened the book and read
"Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people [this is the way to preach] for he was above all the people; and when he opened it all the people stood. And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God; and all the people answered, "Amen, Amen," lifting up their hands; and they bowed the their heads and worshipped the Lord with their faces to the ground." [Neh 8:5-6 RSV]
Brothers and sisters, if you are one of those very few whose eyes God has opened to the condition of the American church; part of that tiny minority that God has touched regarding the great wickedness of the American new World Order System; that small remnant whose heart longs for a restoration of a church, purified and made ready to PROCLAIM the Gospel of the Kingdom as one of God's "TWO WITNESSES;" those very few who today can say with the psalmist:
"By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.
"We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof.
"For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion.
"By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion."
"How shall we sing the LORD'S song in a strange land?
"If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.
"If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy." (Psalm 137:1-6)
- then, no doubt, God is preparing your heart to "COME OUT" of Babylon; to return to God's "Plan and Purpose in the Ages" and build up God's testimony in the church, and by so doing making the church one of God's "TWO WITNESSES." [We URGE you to study Part 4 and Part 5 of Chapter VIII of the New Antipas Papers ("The Two Witnesses" and "Parables and Ciphers" respectively).]
The testimony of God's "TWO WITNESSES" - WHICH IS THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM - is directed against the pretensions of Babylon the Great (The American New World Order System) and the church that justifies that system; specifically, the pretension that they represent God's kingdom on earth.
"And I will give power to my TWO WITNESSES and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days [3-1/2 years], clothed in sackcloth. These are the TWO OLIVE TREES and the TWO LAMPSTANDS standing before the God of the earth." [Please see Part 4 and Part 5 of Chapter VIII of the New Antipas Papers ("The Two Witnesses" and "Parables and Ciphers" respectively).]
"Those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth."
So discomforting and upsetting is this testimony to those who have "bought into the lie" that the American New World Order System and the church that justifies it represent the kingdom of heaven, that when the witnesses are finally slaughtered midway through the Seventieth Week (i.e., after the first 3 ½ years of the Tribulation) those -
"... who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth." (Revelation 11:10). [Please see Chapter IX of the New Antipas Papers, "The Course and Character of the Last Days" for an explanation of the "Seventieth Week of Daniel.]
Very obviously, however, if one is going to testify against the American New World Order System and the church that justifies that system, one cannot be a part of that system - either spiritually or physically. [Again, we URGE you to see our article, "Come out of Her."]
It is for this EXACT reason that we are commanded by God to "COME OUT OF HER." (cf, Jer. 51:6, 9 and Rev. 18:4). In doing so, we are declaring that we have NOTHING to do with Babylon; that we recognize the fact that we cannot make our abode simultaneously in both Babylon and the Kingdom of Heaven; that we make a distinction between the two; that the American New World Order System and the church that supports that system are NONE of God's, and hence, NONE of ours; that Babylon the Great is a SHAM KINGDOM, and we want NOTHING to do with it: THIS IS THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM.
If we insist on clinging to Babylon the Great - which is the implacable enemy of God - in any form, either physical or spiritual, we cannot help but expose ourselves as liars.
The hard truth is, we can "scream and holler" about Babylon "until the cows come home," but so long as we refuse to give up the benefits of Babylon, specifically, our split-level homes, our two cars, our green lawns, our fat bank accounts, our good careers, etc., our testimony concerning Babylon cannot help but ring hollow to the outside world.
The fact is, all of our preaching, all of our evangelizing, and all of our "praise and worship" - when it's done behind the guns of the American military (either directly or indirectly, whether by omission or commission, no matter) - cannot hide the counterfeit nature of our testimony, especially as that testimony affects those who are suffering under the oppression of Babylon the Great.
"... suffer affliction with the people of God..."
"... suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
"Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt (i.e., of this present evil world): for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.
"By faith he forsook Egypt (i.e., this world), not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible." (Heb. 11:25-27)
Again, however, that kind of testimony costs! - and it is precisely for this reason that Revelation 18:4 is such a "turn-off" to people like Dene McGriff and Doug Krieger.
Are you willing to live out that kind of testimony in your life here on earth? Not many are! - but for those who willing to do so, their words will count; their words will carry weight, just as the words of Christ; for when He taught the people, He taught them as one -
"... who had authority, and not as the scribes." (Mark 1:22)
The Gospel of the Kingdom opens up the poor to the Gospel of Salvation
Our words must be backed up by our deeds, and if that's the case, then we can say with authority that the American New World Order System is NONE of Christ's and - as a result - none of ours; that it is a bogus kingdom; that THERE IS A NEW WORLD COMING; ONE THAT HAS SUBSTANCE TO IT - a kingdom which has been hidden from the poor of the earth because of the "smoke and mirrors" of Babylon the Great, and the absurd "hocus-pocus" of the Apostate Church with which Babylon is associated; AND THAT THE POOR OF THE EARTH SHOULD PREPARE THEIR HEARTS FOR THE COMING OF THIS NEW KINGDOM BY OPENING UP TO THE GOSPEL ("GOOD NEWS") OF SALVATION.
I say again, if we patiently and persistently "keep on keeping on" (so to speak) in this great work - and if our lives demonstrate that we have DISASSOCIATED ourselves TOTALLY and COMPLETELY from Babylon the Great - then what we say will have substance, and what our work will ultimately produce is THE GREAT HARVEST OF THE LAMB:
"Here is the PATIENCE of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
"And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.
"And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe." (Rev. 14:12, 14-15)
The harvest is great, but the laborers are few
"... The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest." (Luke 10:2)
That's what is needed today: laborers to go forth into the harvest armed with the Gospel of the Kingdom.
I tell you the truth when I say that it will open up the door of the Kingdom to the poor of the earth and cause them to flood into it in such numbers that our "minds will be blown" - after all, whether people such as Doug Krieger and Dene McGriff want to admit it or not, IT'S THE POOR FOR WHOM CHRIST CAME, not the rich. We remind you again of the words of Christ regarding the rich,
"... woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation." (Luke 6:24)
And, again, we remind you what He said about the poor,
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because HE HATH ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised ..." (Luke 4:18)
Brothers and sisters, listen! - I implore you, stop wasting your time trying to persuade the rich of the world to come into the Kingdom; forget them - THEY SIMPLY ARE NOT OPEN TO CHRIST! And more than that, forget people such as Dene McGriff, Doug Krieger and those like them who want to compromise the Word of God as it pertains to the Kingdom of Heaven; who want to keep their feet in both this world and the world to come. These are the people about whom Jesus said,
"Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,
"This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
"... in vain they do worship me ..." (Matt. 15:7-9)
Again, I say, you are wasting your time on such people! Revolutions (so to speak) are made with the poor, not the rich; and most certainly not by those conceited little twits, Dene and Doug. Jesus gave a parable concerning people such as Dene and Doug:
"... A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:
COMPEL THE POOR
TO COME IN
"And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.
"And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.
"And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.
"And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.
"So that servant came, and showed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, AND BRING IN HITHER THE POOR, AND THE MAIMED, AND THE HALT, AND THE BLIND (i.e., the outcasts of society)." (Luke 14:16-21)
"And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.
"And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, AND COMPEL THEM (i.e., the poor) TO COME IN, that my house may be filled." (Luke 14:22-23)
God's desire is that His house be filled, AND HE PLANS TO FILL IT WITH THE POOR. Christianity is a poor man's religion. It was "created" (so to speak) for poor people. When we try to fit the rich into the church, the church is CORRUPTED. That's a hard saying, but it's true! - and it doesn't make it any less true because we in America have lost track of this truth, and because this truth is no longer preached from the pulpits of our churches. Jesus said,
"No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." (Matt. 6:24)
Dom Helder Camera of Brazil - one of those "Liberation Theologians" that Dene condemns me for having a relationship with. Better him than a Bennie Hinn, a Charles Stanley, a Glen Cole, or even a Dene McGriff.
"... sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me." (Luke 18:22)
Money and those who possess it corrupt the church. Dom Helder Camara of Brazil was right when he said,
"I used to think, when I was a child, that Christ might have been exaggerating when He warned about the dangers of wealth. Today I know better. I know how ... [impossible] it is to be rich and still keep the milk of human kindness. Money [or the desire for money] has a dangerous way of putting scales on one's eyes, a dangerous way of freezing people's hands, eyes, lips and hearts."
Jesus warned His disciples:
"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
"But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal ..." (Matt. 6:19-20)
Listen to me, dear saints of God: God is offering you the Kingdom of Heaven; and not only that, He is offering you a chance to be a worker in that Kingdom - TO ANNOUNCE ITS COMING, AND TO PARTICIPATE IN THE GREAT HARVEST OF THE LAMB. Don't miss out on this opportunity, because once offered and rejected, it may never be offered to you again. The Apostle Paul said,
"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." (Heb. 12:1-2)
And so I have decided to say to people such as Dene McGriff and Doug Krieger what Paul said to his detractors:
"Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean [of it]: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles [unbelievers]." (Acts 18:6)
- and all the while hoping against hope that my twin brother will forsake both these men as well as his "biggie friends" and join me in the great work that God has prepared for ALL those who love God and are called according to His purpose.
Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean of it.
More next time!
Until then, God bless you,
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]
WE ALSO URGE YOU TO ORDER YOUR FREE DVD, "GREED IS GOOD."
In ordering your FREE DVD, we encourage you to read our article, "Using the DVD as a Tool in Announcing that the Kingdom of God Is at Hand."
IN ADDITION, WE URGE YOU TO DOWNLOAD THE NEW ANTIPAS PAPERS, PRINT THEM OUT YOURSELF, AND STUDY THEM CAREFULLY; SHARE THEM WITH YOUR FRIENDS.
FINALLY, WE URGE YOU TO DOWNLOAD AND PRINT OUT THE FLYER WE SENT TO YOU RECENTLY.
Then make copies and take these copies out to the campuses where you live; pass them out; OR if that seems too "daring" for you right now, post them on telephone poles, the sides of buildings, on campus bulletin boards; post them in union halls, in the neighborhoods of the poor and downtrodden, near employment offices, wherever you can.
THE NATURE OF GOD'S
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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