"Things are not always what they appear to be."
- Paul Neuman to Sally Fields
in Absence of Malice
"Don't pity the poor soldier who has tried and failed, save your pity for the sucker who has never had the guts to even try."
Adapted from a saying by -
I think that a great deal of you might be surprised to learn that our website here at Antipas Ministries - i.e., www.endtimesnetwork.com (now www.antipasministries.com) - gets over 1.6 MILLION "hits" a MONTH. Our other website - www.isrp.org - receives a similar amount of "hits." Now that's quite a lot of "hits" - especially considering the fact that we have done NOTHING at all to advertise the website. NOTHING! - the fact is, we've never really had enough money to do so.
That makes Antipas one of the most visited CHRISTIAN websites on the internet. That's simply amazing, especially since our "popularity" (if that's what it could be called) is a word-of-mouth "popularity" based simply on the fact that one reader has told another reader about us, who in turn has told another, and so on, and on, and on.
Moreover, this is all the more amazing when one begins to comprehend the notion that this enormous readership has been largely generated out of the very community that supposedly forms George Bush's CORE political constituency.
What does all this suggest? Well, for one thing it seems to suggest that at the "RANK-AND-FILE" or "GRASS ROOTS" level of the evangelical community there is a lot of latent misgiving about the connection the church's leadership has been promoting with George Bush and his AMERICAN NEW WORLD ORDER SYSTEM - and that there is a willingness to listen on the part of "ordinary Christians" to what we are saying in opposition to what the church's leadership has been promoting. [Please see our article, "George Bush, the Promise Keepers, and the Principles of Messianic Leadership; please also see our article, "Inside the American New World Order System."]
Now this could be a very dangerous thing for us and, frankly, not only for us, but for all those who associate themselves with us - and we are not kidding around here! The fact is, those who oppose the self-righteous and sanctimonious "hard-right" in this country have a way of "disappearing," having "accidents," and/or being jailed on "trumped up charges" of one kind or another. [Please see our articles on this matter, "MK-Ultra: The Search for the Manchurian Candidate, A Study of the Mindset Behind Today's New World Order;" please also see "MK-Ultra and the Assassination of John F. Kennedy - More Evidence," and "Conspiracy Theories;" finally, please see our articles, "Apostasy: Christianity in the Service of a Religio-Political-Corporate-Terrorist State," "John Ashcroft, Theodore Olson, and the New National Security State," and "Ashcroft: Making a List of Dissenters."]
While we have no interest at all in the politics of what's happening here [by that we mean, we are not interested in building a political challenge against Bush, we are only interested in breaking the connection between him and the church (and not out of any political concern for the nation as such, but because of the spiritual concern we have for the church)], we understand that is probably not the way Bush and his sycophants in the leadership of the church are going to view matters. And in connection with this, it probably has not gone unnoticed by the "powers that be" that our readership has grown to the extent that it has, which, of course, does us no good from a "personal security" standpoint.
The fact of the matter is, these men have no interest in spiritual matters! Their only interest is in using the church in furtherance of their own political, military, and economic goals, and they cannot help but view us as a hindrance to what they are trying to accomplish - BECAUSE IN CHALLENGING THE CHURCH'S CONNECTION TO GEORGE BUSH'S NEW WORLD ORDER SYSTEM, WE ARE - IPSO FACTO - CHALLENGING THE VERY BASIS OF HIS HOLD ON POLITICAL POWER. STRIP BUSH OF HIS EVANGELICAL FOLLOWING, AND WE WILL STRIP HIM OF HIS POWER; OR - PUT ANOTHER WAY - STRIP THE CHURCHES WHO SUPPORT HIM OF THEIR "PARISHIONERS," AND WE WILL RENDER HIS BASE IMPOTENT.
Moreover, the threat we represent to Bush and his flunkies in the leadership of the church is made all the more dangerous by the fact that in challenging the connection the church has with Bush and his political cohorts, we are doing so NOT on the basis of any kind of liberal sociological or political standpoint, but from a BIBLICAL standpoint, AND IN A MANNER THAT MOST "RANK-AND-FILE" EVANGELICALS CAN UNDERSTAND.
As a result, resistance to what we are doing from both the Religious Right and the Political Right is inevitable; and believe me, it is there, and it is growing in more ways than we could ever say! - and IT'S FOR THIS REASON THAT IT HAS BEEN SO EXTRAORDINARY THAT SO MANY CHRISTIANS HAVE "TUNED IN" TO WHAT WE ARE SAYING. It proves that they are not quite the "PAVLOVIAN" automatons that their leaders have attempted to make them; and that they might NOT be as willing to act as "boot-lickers" and "fawners" to the rich as their leaders had hoped.
All this suggests that there remains a vast residue (a REMNANT, so to speak) of "born-again" Christians "out there" who are resisting the perverse notion that spiritual success with God can be measured by the material things one possesses; that there are a lot of "rank-and-file" Christians who are refusing to "buy off" on the freakish belief purveyed by the leadership of today's evangelical church (e.g., Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, Bennie Hinn, Cindy Jacobs, Bill Hamon, John Eckhardt, Bobbie Byerly, Dutch Sheets, Jim Goll, etc.) and their allies in the Economic Right THAT HALLOWS THE HUMAN QUEST FOR PROSPERITY AND SANCTIFIES GREED AS A MORAL IMPERATIVE - AN IMPERATIVE THAT CYNICALLY AND VERY PERVERSELY JUSTIFIES THE DISGUSTING ALLIANCE THEY HAVE MADE WITH AMERICA'S NEW WORLD ORDER SYSTEM. It proves that there are Christians left - despite the APOSTASY and DECEPTION of the "end of the age" - that are still capable of reading the Scriptures for what they really say, and understanding the plain meaning behind verses like Matt. 6:19-21:
"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:
"For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (Matt. 6:19-21)
"... THEY THAT WILL BE RICH FALL INTO TEMPTATION AND A SNARE, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which DROWN MEN IN DESTRUCTION AND PERDITION.
"For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." (1 Tim. 6:9-10)
Yes! There is, indeed, a "REMNANT" out there! - and a much larger one than even I had at first anticipated, so that we can all say with joy concerning the church as Paul said so many years ago with regard to his kinsmen in Israel,
"God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not (i.e., Don't you know) what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying,
"Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.
"But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.
"EVEN SO THEN AT THIS PRESENT TIME ALSO THERE IS A REMNANT ACCORDING TO THE ELECTION OF GRACE." (Rom. 11:2-5)
ONE MILLION SIX HUNDRED THOUSAND "hits" a month! Yes, there is, indeed, a "REMNANT" "out there." The question is, how do we coax all these people out of their "hiding places" and into the open in order to take a stand against what's happening? - and, again, we do not mean so much taking a stand against what's occurring politically, as we mean taking a stand against the SHAMEFUL propensity of the church's leadership to link the Christian community with the moneyed elites of this present evil world (Gal. 1:4) - and most especially with that ignoble and utterly depraved subset of humanity: The country club patricians of the Republican Party. Listen, brothers and sisters, Jesus wasn't kidding around when He said:
"The love of money is the root of ALL evil." (1 Tim. 6:10)
"The pursuit of the moneyed-life is ... (their) commanding value, in relation to which the influence of all other values has declined, so ... (that they have) become morally ruthless in its pursuit ... They have narrowed the meaning of 'success' to big money and in these terms condemn (financial) failure as the chief vice, raising money to the plane of absolute value."
What's that say, then, about these so-called financial "worthies" and their flunkies in the Religious Right -
"... who like to walk around in long robes (i.e., in elegant clothing), and (like) respectful greetings in the market places,
"And chief seats in the ... (churches), and places of honor at banquets,
"Who devour widows' houses (i.e., evict them from their homes), and for appearance's sake offer long prayers ..." (like Bernnie Ebbers of WorldCom, Kenneth Lay of Enron, Archie Dunham of Phillips Petroleum, the Hunt brothers of First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas) [Mark 12:38-40 (NASB)] ?
Plainly it says that they are all EVIL men, despite their labored pretense at decency and virtue - and for you to think otherwise is to prove that you are not a "Bible-believing" Christian at all (despite your protestations to the contrary), because that's plainly what the Scriptures are suggesting here! - i.e., that all these men and women are EVIL; that they are nothing more than -
"... HYPOCRITES! ... (who are) like unto whited sepulchers (graves), which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.
"Even so ... (they) also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ... (they) are full of hypocrisy and iniquity." (Matt. 23:27-28)
Concerning such people, Jesus said:
"... Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
"And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." (Matt. 19:23-24)
What then does the Kingdom of God have to do with such people? - the kind of people who somehow or other actually believe that CAPITALISM IS "GOD ORDAINED," and that Adam Smith, David Ricardo, and Thomas Malthus are Biblical figures on a par with Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel; the kind of people who think it is appropriate to employ the routine and methodical use of TORTURE to enforce compliance on recalcitrant client-state populations to the brutish dictates of America's economic elites; the kind of people who actually think that they are "doing service for God" when they run death squads in Central and South America in order to prop up the American New World Order System there. [Please see our articles on this subject, "The Death Squads: Bringing in the Kingdom of God Through Terror, Torture, and Death;" please also see "Christian Evangelicals and the Death Squads: Oh What a Tangled Web We Are Weaving for Ourselves" and "Pat Robertson, D'Aubuisson, and the Death Squads;" please also see our article, "The American Empire: The Corporate / Pentagon / CIA / Missionary Archipelago."]
There is NOTHING God ordained about capitalism! There's NOTHING holy about such a mean-spirited system of economics. (1 John 5:19) The Bible says that anyone who will be a friend of the kind of brutish, unfettered capitalism that the American New World Order System is promoting is -
"... the ENEMY of God." (James 4:4)
There are, of course, some people - mainly our detractors - who insist that our critique of the alliance the moneyed elites of the Republican Party have made with the church's leadership "smacks" too much of "conspiracy theory;" that the rich do not act so deliberately and in such a calculated way. By this view, the seeming convergence of the interests between the church and the ultra-rich in such matters as abortion, prayer in the schools, vouchers, support for Israel, etc. is little more than a series of innocent happenings having nothing to do with the need of the rich to secure a "mass following" to act as a "rubber stamp" for their miserly economic policies, or the perceived need of the church to secure funding for its own "pet projects" - not the least of which is the destruction of their hated adversaries in the "public arena," the so-called "secular-humanists." Certainly this is the impression leaders in both "camps" want to create - i.e., that their alliance flows out of nothing more than the desire of both parties to "do good."
Michael Parenti, commenting on this kind of naiveté, writes:
"I recall a cartoon of two steers in a meadow. One has an anguished look on its face and is saying, 'Good grief, I just found out how they make hamburgers'! The other steer is saying. 'Oh, you leftist paranoids with your conspiracy theories'.
"Those who are victimized by the policies of the ... (ultra-rich) should start recognizing, lest they be turned into hamburger, that the conditions they endure are something more than the result of innocent folly and unintended consequences."
And the same is true of Christians who wonder why the church in recent years has become so devoted to the economic policies of this country's patrician class. It's not just coincidence. Why, for example, does the leadership of the church feel compelled to speak out in favor of NAFTA, the WTO, the murderous policies America is pursuing in Colombia, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Angola, Indonesia, etc. the way such Christian luminaries as D. James Kennedy, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, etc. are doing? None of these policies have much to do with religion per se, or any other such thing. The only possible answer is that these leaders are doing the bidding of their masters in the Economic Right - mobilizing their following in the interests of the rich against the poor of the world, all for the sake of a few dollars the rich dole out to them from time to time.
For ordinary Christians to say that there are no such calculations being made between the rich and the leadership of the church insofar as their dirty, vulgar alliance is concerned is so disingenuous that it borders on the absurd. To DISMISS as "conspiracy fantasy" the assertion that the alliance between the church and America's New World Order System has been consciously and intelligently arrived at, and that ordinary Christians are being deliberately turned into "toadies" and sycophants in the service of the rich, is - as Parenti suggests - to arrive at the implausible position that in the evil world we live in, there is no self-interested planning, no secrecy, no attempt to deceive the public, no suppression of information, no deliberate victimization, no ruthless policy pursuits, no intentionally unjust or illegal gains.
The very sad truth of the matter is, the perverse alliance between the American elites and the leadership of today's church is no accident; it has resulted from very deliberate policies pursued not only by the American elites, but the leadership of the church. To think otherwise is just plain stupid! AS A RESULT, WE AS CHRISTIANS FIND OURSELVES IN JUST ABOUT THE SAME SITUATION SPIRITUALLY THAT THE JEWS OF EUROPE FOUND THEMSELVES IN PHYSICALLY BETWEEN 1880 AND EARLY 1933 (the year Hitler seized power in Germany). The very real truth of the matter is, Christians are caught today in a system of Christianity that has become so contaminated and defiled by the world that it has the effect of "killing" spiritually all those who really want to go on with Christ, just as the Jews were caught in societies in Europe that were seeking their destruction.
The Jews' situation among the nations to which they had been dispersed had never been a comfortable one; but in the thirty or so years preceding the First World War, it had turned from bad to worse. As Amos Elon writes in his wonderful book, The Israelis; Founders and Sons, the crisis that confronted the Jews - especially the Jews of Eastern Europe - was one of abject poverty and oppression interspersed by systematic, government-sponsored pogroms that routinely swept through their communities killing off hundreds and even thousands each year. Moreover, there was a sense among Jews everywhere that their situation was set in stone; there was nothing they could do to alter it - at least not in the lands to which they had been dispersed.
As a result, in the 1880s Jews began to be attracted to Palestine, their hearts filled with a fervor for Zion they had not felt for almost two thousand years. It was a fervor born of the physical despair that gripped them. Elon describes the grim and dreary circumstances of their situation - and he does so by mirroring their gloomy state of affairs to their dreary physical surroundings. He writes:
"A traveler making his way through European Russia during the last half of the nineteenth century viewed a strangely gray, desperately backward, sorely depressing, monotonous land. Human habitations were pitifully squalid. The traveler might also have noticed the fabulous homes and careless abandon of the ruling feudal aristocracy, or the intense intellectuality, rarer in the West, of a few well-to-do. But these lucky few lived lives apart, on a different star. The fundamental and most enduring feature was, as Leon Trotsky has written, the slow tempo of development; it led to economic backwardness, primitive social forms, and a low level of welfare.
"Nor was nature more inviting. The northwestern belt between Warsaw, Minsk, and Vitebsk, which at that time was one of the main population centers of world Jewry, was an immense lowland of forest and marsh with patches of primitive cultivation in between. As it rose almost imperceptibly toward the Urals in the east, it was all flatness and seemingly unlimited space, dull and inert; only where the sullen monotony was broken by a sudden profusion of lakes, rivers, and thick forests of spruce and Scotch pines was there a certain somber beauty.
"The climate made it even worse ... For most of the year it meant either ice, snow, slush, mud, or dust. Winter lasted up to six months, with snow covering the land and severely limiting human activity. Spring set free the frozen rivers, swamps, and lakes and simultaneously spread seas of deep heavy mud and slush, which added further hardship to outside movement. The briefest of summers could bring days as stiflingly hot as a southern desert; dust storms and huge dust clouds hovered low in the air, covering the meager crops and often ruining them. Autumn meant violent winds; it saw the reappearance of the mud.
"Nature itself joined forces with the STERILE APPARATUS OF CZARIST OPPRESSION to inflict a terrible punishment on people and country alike ... SURVIVAL WAS AN ACHIEVEMENT."
Now stop and think about what Elon is describing. More than most of us care to admit, what he is describing here insofar as the physical hopelessness the Jews were confronted with in the late nineteenth century is not that much different from the spiritual hopelessness and "poverty of soul" with which we are today confronted in the churches we "are being held captive in." Add to that the "STERILE APPARATUS OF ... OPPRESSION" that the "APOSTLES AND PROPHETS MOVEMENT" has introduced into the church in recent years (which is analogous to the Czarist oppression the Jews labored under in Eastern Europe), and one is left with a sadness that is almost too great to bear.
Is this what Christianity is all about? - going to church Sunday after Sunday to sit silently in a pew while some proud peacock "struts his stuff" on a flower bedecked stage pretending to have a "corner on God" that you not only do NOT possess, but NEVER can hope to possess, and spouting out sermons you've heard so many times before that you're barely able to keep your eyes open. The monotony and heaviness of it all is killing!
And when he's not telling you what a sinful wretch you are and proposing some new spiritually nauseous nostrum that he has "cooked up" back somewhere in his "spiritual laboratory" that you can use to remedy your pitiable situation with, he is trying to "drive the demons out of you" that seem to continually draw you - secretly, of course - to the sin that haunts you in the hidden places of your life. And the message that is drummed incessantly into your head? - "YOU'RE NO GOOD! YOU'RE NO GOOD! YOU'RE NO GOOD! - AND UNTIL YOU ARE, YOU DON'T HAVE A CHANCE WITH GOD!" [Please see Chapter XVII of the Antipas Papers, "An Ominous New Direction for Western Christianity" for an excellent discussion of this kind of thinking: "Grail Christianity."]
So forget about the "higher calling of God" on your life, stop concerning yourself with the misdirection of the church, and concentrate instead on "straightening yourself out."
In fact, you're so "bad" that's it's best for you not to even preach the Gospel. Better for you to sit quietly in your pew, try to stay awake and learn from your "spiritual betters," smile, put money in the basket when it is passed, and just shut up.
Now that's a pretty deadening form of Christianity - the kind of Christianity that would make one say with Peggy Lee, "Is this all there is?"
This is the kind of question (i.e., "Is this all there is?") that the Jews confronted insofar as their lives were concerned in the late 1800s. There had to be something more; something better! And so some of them - a very, very, very few of them - began to meet in order to find "a better way" - a "better way" that they thought they might find in Palestine away from the oppression of the nations to which they had been driven.
These few - these infinitesimal few - called themselves the "LOVERS OF ZION," and as they met in obscure, little discussion groups scattered throughout Russia, the Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, etc. they began to think the impossible - of returning to Zion, and in doing so, they revealed themselves as irrepressible romantics - dreamers: all of them. After all, only dreamers could entertain such madness. Their detractors called them Luftmenschen - "people who live in the air" or in the clouds, and they were mercilessly made fun of and even persecuted by the Jewish religious establishment which was bitterly opposed to what they were doing. As a result - as Amos Elon explains - only a tiny number of these very few managed to actually translate their dreams into action, and in fact emigrated to Palestine.
Those tiny few who finally went possessed a unique ability to focus their dreams into a CAUSE to which they totally dedicated themselves - and so much so that they had little time for their families; their wives were often engaged in similar work. Some directed the fiscal affairs of their settlements, managed workers' sick funds, or purchased land for resettlement. They farmed hard, dry, seemingly arid ground. Others tirelessly toured Jewish communities in America and elsewhere collecting the huge amounts of money it took to keep their CAUSE alive. They lived frugally, and their salaries were tied to the wage scale of common workers and graded not according to rank, but according to the number of dependents one possessed. Only occasionally were salaries augmented by expense accounts, and even then tastes remained modest. A ready-made suit in New York, purchased at a discount from a sympathetic Jewish tailor, a few nylon shirts, a small radio or electric hand-mixer were their most cherished possessions. But when it came to the CAUSE their capacity to raise money knew no boundaries. To this end, they developed fund raising to an art both rare and fine.
Finally, there is something else one should take note of in studying these "Lovers of Zion." They were INDIVIDUALISTS capable of taking action on their own without waiting for others. In other words, they were not afraid of starting off for Zion alone - and in the end, unless one possesses this "individuality of spirit" - so depreciated in today's Christianity which favors the "clump" or "group" or "BORG" mentality that the Apostles and Prophets Movement so assiduously promotes - one can never be at the "cutting edge" of what God is doing in this or any other age. Take the way David Ben Gurion, the first prime minister of the state of Israel (born David Grien in 1886) became a Zionist. He was a native of Plonsk, a small town some forty miles northwest of Warsaw in Czarist-ruled Poland. He was the sixth child of Sheindle and Avigdor Grien. The mother died while the future premier was still an infant. The father was a provincial lay lawyer and notary public. His main task was to write petitions for illiterate peasants and to act as a go-between on affairs with the authorities.
As Elon tells it, in 1906, seized by an irresistible urge, the young David Grien left his father's house. He was twenty at the time and already transfixed by a dream that would not leave him his entire life. With only a small knapsack on his back, he traveled ALONE by fourth-class train to Odessa, and then continued in steerage across the Black Sea and down the eastern shore of the Mediterranean. Three weeks after his departure from Plonsk, travel-stained and weary, he was finally rowed ashore onto the rocky port of Jaffa. The promised land, as it appeared to him that day, was a small dusty town of some 15,000 Arabs and 3,000 Jews engaged in petty business. Ben Gurion did not like Jaffa; he found it filthy and depressing. He did not even stop overnight when he came off the ship after his long journey. He continued on foot across barren and swampy sand dunes which would subsequently become the traffic-choked metropolitan area of greater Tel Aviv with a population in the millions, to the nearby Jewish settlement of Petach Tikva.
Petach Tikva was at that time a small village of a few hundred souls. A muddy path led through its single street. Economically, Petach Tikva was still a shaky enterprise and was kept afloat only because of the generosity of wealthy Jews living abroad. Ben Gurion spent his first night in a workers' hostel, a wooden shack with straw mats. But he didn't seem to recognize the hardship that surrounded him. He was free of the Czar! He wrote his father, saying: "Who is to complain, to sigh, to despair? In twenty-five years our country will be one of the most blooming, most beautiful and happiest; an old-new nation will flourish in an ancient-new land. Then we shall relate how we fevered and worked, hungered and dreamed." The next day he hired himself out as a field worker to farmers.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, we would all do well to take a lesson from these Jews AND BEGIN OUR OWN EMIGRATION OUT OF TODAY'S CHURCH: A MODERN-DAY VOLKERWANDERUNG OF CHURCH OUTCASTS AND EXILES WHO REFUSE ANY LONGER TO ACQUIESCE TO THE PROFANE ALLIANCE THE CHURCH HAS MADE WITH GEORGE BUSH'S AMERICAN NEW WORLD ORDER SYSTEM - a system that habitually, regularly and with rigorous intent OPPRESSES and ABUSES the poor of this earth (James 2:6).
Émigrés for Christ! - THAT'S WHAT WE MUST BECOME; people who refuse any longer to believe the fairy tale that there is any coincidence in the alliance their leadership has made with the American New World Order System; that it was in fact entered upon by their leadership as the result of self-interested scheming in pursuit of "filthy lucre;" and that the rich, for their part - who own and control so much, and who are so well-schooled in business and politics, so at home in the circles of power, so completely aware of where their interests lie - do not make such alliances without knowing EXACTLY what they are buying: THE CHURCH'S SOUL.
The fact is, the rich have purchased the services of the church as one would purchase the services of a WHORE, and in doing so, they have reduced her to nothing more than a "camp-follower" (a woman who follows an army into the "field" and sells her sexual "favors" to the soldiers) in their wars of conquest which aim at spreading the so-called "American Free Enterprise System" into every "nook and cranny" of the world.
But the Kingdom of God is NOT about war and conquest; NOT about subjugating nations and peoples to "client-state" status in the service of America; NOT about the WTO, the World Bank, and the IMF; NOT about oil concessions in Central Asia and the Middle East in favor of Exxon-Mobil, Phillips, Haliburton, Chevron Oil, etc. It's about love, joy, peace, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, equity and so forth (Gal. 5:22-23) - and this is so obviously the case from the standpoint of the Scriptures, that in pointing this out, one cannot help but reveal the John Ashcrofts, the Pat Robertsons, and the D. James Kennedys of this world for the irascible APOSTATES they really are - and not only these leaders, but whole denominations like the Assemblies of God, the Southern Baptists, the Vineyards, etc. who it seems have pretty much gone over to Bush "lock, stock, and barrel."
How is it possible for us to stay under such circumstances? It's NOT -- at least it's not if we hope to maintain a shred of personal integrity and not bring more shame on the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ who - if one listened to what today's church leaders say about Him [e.g., church leaders like Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, Bennie Hinn, and the other purveyors of the Green Gospel (which itself is nothing more than an offshoot of the squalid theology being pushed in the "Apostles and Prophets Movement")] -- would be more at home in the boardrooms of Ford Motor Company or General Motors than where He really was at home with: the poor of this world. These are apostates who somehow or other think God must have made a mistake when Christ wasn't born in Herod's palace rather than where He actually was born: in a stable to a poor peasant woman.
But you had better understand that "in your going" (i.e., in your choosing to emigrate) - and especially in your encouraging others to leave (i.e., to emigrate) with you - you will be mightily opposed. Why? - because, as we indicated earlier, IN STRIPPING THE CHURCH OF ITS "PARISHIONERS" (OR EVEN THREATENING SUCH A THING) YOU WILL BE - IPSO FACTO - MENACING THE CHURCH WITH IMPOTENCE, AND IN DOING SO, CHALLENGING THE VERY BASIS OF BUSH'S HOLD ON POLITICAL POWER. STRIP BUSH OF HIS EVANGELICAL FOLLOWING, AND YOU WILL STRIP HIM OF HIS POLITICAL POWER in a way that no other group - Left or Right - is capable of doing. [Please see our articles, "George Bush, the Promise Keepers, and the Principles of Messianic Leadership," and "Today's Church, Making Zombies out of Christians - the Prophets and Apostles Movement."]
Not only that, but you will be EXPOSING the leaders of the church for what they have become: shameless toadies and flunkies to the rich of this world - and so much so that they no longer can be rescued from their folly.
Pretty heavy! Obviously, then, you will not be allowed to go unchallenged. As a result, Jesus warns us,
"... they shall (in their fury) lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the ... (CHURCHES), and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake.
"... (and) ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; AND SOME OF YOU SHALL THEY CAUSE TO BE PUT TO DEATH.
"And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake." (Luke 21:12, 16-17)
Clearly, then, "emigration" out of today's reprobate church will generate a lot of opposition, not only from your churches and the flag-waving devotees of America's New World Order System, but also from your "parents," your "brethren," your "kinfolk," and your "friends." That's why Jesus said,
"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
"For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
"And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.
"He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me." (Matt. 10:34-37)
But the Bible goes on to say:
"Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so PERSECUTED they the prophets which were before you. (Matt. 5:12)
And where is it that your are to flee after leaving your churches? - TO YOUR HOMES just like the brothers and sisters in China have done, and just like the early church did!
It's here in your homes that you can begin to establish a TESTIMONY against the churches! It's here - in your homes - that you can begin to raise up a WITNESS against the churches, and in doing so, begin a process that will culminate in God's judgment against what the churches have done, and against the New World Order with which they have so shamelessly allied themselves. [Please see Chapter XI of the Antipas Papers, "Tribulation and Judgment;" plea also see Chapter XII of the Antipas Papers, "The Two Witnesses." As a background to these two chapters, you should also read, Chapter III of the Antipas Papers, "The Distinction Between Israel and the Church," and Chapter IV of the Antipas Papers, "The Great Escape: Misconception Concerning the Rapture."]
And in doing all this, whether you mean to or not, you will be striking a blow against the tyrannical and dictatorial PASTORAL SYSTEM that has - under the impress of the APOSTLES AND PROPHETS MOVEMENT - taken such frightful root in today's church - a hard and cruel system of oppression and rule that Jesus clearly said has NO place in the church when He warned His disciples:
"... Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them.
"And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all (i.e., your slave)." (Mark 10:42-44)
"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, HE SHALL TEACH YOU ALL THINGS, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." (John 14:26) [We URGE you to read our small article in the Antipas Papers on the work of the Holy Spirit entitled, "Body, Soul, and Spirit."]
Listen, brothers and sisters: Jesus dwells in YOU and, as a result, YOU have NO need for any man (or, for that matter, angel or any other such thing) to stand as an INTERMEDIARY between you and God - and while this concept may sound REVOLUTIONARY to you because it has been so little preached in the church (after all, should this teaching "take hold" to any great degree among the so-called "laity" in the church, it would destroy the church as we know it today with its elaborate system of hierarchy), it is, nonetheless, true. It is this great truth - the "priesthood of all the believers" (Rev. 1:6) - that allowed people of "no reputation" like Peter, John, James, Matthew, Paul, etc. to become dynamic leaders in the early church, and so much so that the religious leaders of that day were astonished by their teaching, perceiving that they were men of "no consequence" -
"Now when they (i.e., the religious leaders of the day) saw the boldness of Peter and John, AND PERCEIVED THAT THEY WERE UNLEARNED AND IGNORANT MEN, they marveled ..." (Acts 4:13)
Of course, "emigrating" out of the "established church" and into your homes takes GUTS. It's so much easier to be a "salon radical" - i.e., a "radical" ONLY "in private." There are, SADLY, just too many things that hinder people from taking their radicalism "into the streets" (as it were) - of "putting legs to their dreams:" Wives (or husbands) who want nothing to do with what they are thinking; family and business responsibilities that mitigate against the hint of any kind of radical activity; friends and loved ones who will be left behind, if not physically, then spiritually; the fear of losing out financially; the fear of besmirching their reputation if they "hit the nut circuit," etc.
But, then, all these things hindered the Jews 100 years ago as they considered emigration out of Czarist Russia to Palestine. And plainly, these considerations had an effect: Most "RESPONSIBLE" Jews stayed home; only the so-called Luftmenschen (dwellers in the sky) left - and of those who left, more than half of them eventually returned home. Life in Palestine 100 years ago was simply too hard!
Nonetheless, there are some Christians "out there" - some very few - who do possess the unique ability to focus their dreams into a CAUSE like the Jews who emigrated to the Holy Land so many years ago; those few who can say with Christ:
"The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up." (John 2:17)
Christians who are willing to leave the "easy (if monotonous) life" of today's Super Churches to work the spiritually hard, dry, and sometimes arid ground of their own neighborhoods and work places in order to establish a "house-church" in their homes the way the Jews of Petach Tikva farmed their apparently barren land a century ago; who are willing to abandon their reliance on today's stifling pastoral system, roll up their sleeves and do the work of pastoring for themselves - which means tenderly being the friend of those who have no friends and helping the helpless (both physically and spiritually); who are willing to search the Scriptures out for themselves and spend the time in them necessary to allow God to speak to them.
All these things, and much more besides, are difficult to do! It's much easier to let others do them for you. That's why the pastoral system is so popular. But it will never work in the Holy Land to which God is taking us! - a place where He -
"... hath made us (ALL) kings and priests unto God and his Father ..." (Rev. 1:6)
Moreover, as we begin laboring in our own little settlement (our own "house-church," our own Petach Tikva) we must be people of vision; for without vision - without the ability to say with Ben Gurion as he lay on his bed of straw in that squalid, little workers' hut: "Who is to complain, to sigh, to despair? In twenty-five years our country will be one of the most blooming, most beautiful and happiest; an old-new nation will flourish in an ancient-new land. Then we shall relate how we fevered and worked, hungered and dreamed" we will surely turn back. After all, what is the glory of a small "home meeting" compared to the seeming majesty of a worship-service (so-called) in one of today's "super-churches?" Moreover, how can the "services" of a small "house-church" compare with all the "services" that a "super-church" can provide (e.g., Sunday schools, youth meetings, youth camps, singles groups, etc., etc.)? It's here that one must possess vision. As the Bible says:
"Where there is no vision, the people perish ..." (Prov. 29:18)
No! - the naked truth is, just as Petach Tikva - with its one muddy, little path for a main thoroughfare and its small, wooden worker's hostel for a shelter - could not compare to the seeming "glory" of Warsaw, Moscow and St. Petersburg back home (even if the Jews had never possessed any real access to these cities), our little "house-churches" will in no way be able to compare to the seeming glory of today's "super-churches." Here in the Holy Land to which God is taking us we only have our small rather squalid-looking Petach Tikva - AND THE TEMPTATION FOR ALL THOSE WHO DO NOT POSSESS VISION WILL BE TO TURN BACK AND "GO HOME."
Finally, and perhaps most difficult of all, those who desire to leave the corrupt religious system of today must - like the Jews who emigrated to Palestine a hundred years ago - be prepared to not only sacrifice themselves, but also their families to the CAUSE. Again, take Ben Gurion: On a fund-raising trip to America in 1918, Ben Gurion married a young nurse, Paula, in New York whom he had met in a small "LOVERS OF ZION" meeting he had attended in the Lower East Side. Soon afterward he abandoned her almost penniless and in the sixth month of her pregnancy in order to return to the Holy Land and defend the Jewish settlements there which were coming under increasing attack from the Turks.
While most people would probably be stunned by the seeming callousness and indifference of Ben Gurion toward his wife, Paula kept "soldiering on;" she continued to faithfully attend her twice weekly LOVERS OF ZION meeting, and did the best she could on the pennies that Ben Gurion was able to send back to her from Palestine. A number of extraordinary letters written by Ben Gurion to Paula during this time reflect Ben Gurion's "strange" mixture of tenderness and cruel will power. The letters throw a fascinating light on the motivations of the small group of Zionist leaders who at that time were exiled or preparing for new action in Palestine. They also supply an unusual insight into the character of a man so totally obsessed by his dream that anything merely human became sheer trivia outside of its assimilation into the CAUSE.
In one letter written shortly after leaving his pregnant wife to her own devices, Ben Gurion commiserates a bit sheepishly with her over the "immense difficulties" and the "great suffering" he has caused her. He assures Paula that he left her not because he did not love her enough. "I loved you even before I married you, and you know it, even though I never told you. My love for you has since grown ... you are my saint, the suffering angel hovering over me unseen." Next he compliments her on her courage:
"What you did is infinitely greater than anything which I and others are doing and your sacrifice is so great that sometimes I want to take off my hat to you and bow down deep ... I did what I had to do, for your sake too, and I assure you, my dear Paula, that a time will come - and it is not far away - when you will share this feeling and you will understand.
"I did not want to give you a small, cheap, SECULAR kind of happiness. I prepared for you the great sacred human joy achieved through SUFFERING AND PAIN. To the greatest joy of my life, I have become convinced that you were born for such happiness ... to SUFFER TOGETHER with me for a great cause and you deserve that I bow my head before you. Therefore I love you so dearly ... I know you were not ready for the suffering and hard test ... but I know you well enough to be certain that you will carry this heavy burden. Dolorous (i.e., mournful) and in tears you will arise to the high mountains from which one sees vistas of a New World, a world of gladness and light, shinning in the glow of an eternally young ideal of supreme happiness and glorious existence, a world only few will be privileged to enter, for only rich souls and deep hearts are permitted entry there. I know that your soul is rich and your heart great enough for the superb world and the superb life that I want to prepare for you."
Wow! - only a dreamer could write such a letter! To anyone else, it would seem to be nothing more than the product of a thoroughly self-absorbed, totally irresponsible, and completely reckless "Utopian" who should be stood up against a wall and shot for his thoughtlessness toward his wife and unborn child. Amos Elon writes:
"Such sentiments - although perhaps less elitist in spirit - were shared ... by many pioneers: disdain for 'small, cheap, SECULAR' kinds of happiness; a desire to mount high peaks of chiliastic faith, to open glorious vistas of a 'new superb life' in a new, vaguely autonomous Jewish community in Palestine, based on a Messianic blend of Zionism and socialism. The Messianic sentiments became even more pronounced ... (as the years went on)."
To most Christians in America, the seeming callousness with which Ben Gurion and his peers at the "cutting edge" of what was happening in the Holy Land treated their families and "secular responsibilities" is beyond comprehension. Still, it's EXACTLY this kind of zeal and dedication that it takes to build a revolution, rather than just dream about one from the safety of one's living room. And whether one is prepared to understand it or not, it is PRECISELY this kind of dedication that it takes to build the Kingdom of God.
BUILDING THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS NOT SOMETHING ONE DOES WHEN ONE HAS THE TIME FOR IT, AND WHEN "OTHER DUTIES" DO NOT IMPINGE ON ONE'S TIME! It takes TOTAL dedication, and to think otherwise is not only naive, but absurd - even asinine. The Kingdom of God CANNOT be built on the cheap! The Bible says:
"And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.
"And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; BUT THE SON OF MAN HATH NO WHERE TO LAY HIS HEAD.
"And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
"Jesus said unto him, LET THE DEAD BURY THE DEAD: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.
"And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.
"And Jesus said unto him, NO MAN, HAVING PUT HIS HAND TO THE PLOW, AND LOOKING BACK, IS FIT FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD. (Luke 9:57-62)
And, again, Jesus said:
"He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is NOT worthy of me." (Matt. 10:37)
In other words, if you put the welfare of your loved ones - even your wives and husbands, your fathers and mothers, your sons and daughters - before Christ, you are NOT worthy of Christ! Now that's pretty heavy! Still, that's what Jesus says! If you have a problem with this, your argument is with God, not with me. The Bible continues:
"After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.
"Therefore said he unto them, 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 10:1-2)
Now, the sequence of these sayings here is EXTREMELY important! How so? Well, put simply, what Jesus is very PLAINLY saying is that unless one is willing to SACRIFICE - as Ben Gurion put it - one's "secular" happiness and indeed one's "secular" RESPONSIBILITIES - even for such "secular" necessities as a descent home, clothing (Luke 9:58), and taking care of one's family (Luke 9:59-51) - one cannot have a part in the "work of the Kingdom." And this is so much the case that ONLY AFTER warning His disciples of this harsh reality, did He choose the "Seventy" and send them out "into every city and place" with the words, "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 10:1-2) Plainly, Jesus wanted His disciples to fully understand what being His disciple was all about.
Only a very few possess this kind of dedication to THE CAUSE; and only a very few can say with Christ:
"The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up." (John 2:17)
What's that mean? - it means that the "work of the kingdom" has taken precedence over one's life to such a degree that there is NO time left for anything else.
Brothers and sisters in the Lord, listen to me here: THE KINGDOM OF GOD CANNOT BE BUILT ON THE CHEAP. Israel was not built on the cheap, and neither can the church be built on the cheap.
Let as, therefore, dedicate ourselves to the cause of COMING OUT of the church as it is presently constituted, and building a new church-life in our homes. Just as the Jews came out of Europe so many years ago and went to Palestine to build a new country, let us free ourselves from today's hideous church and from the repulsive alliance that this church has made with George Bush and his American New World Order System and start anew in our homes. Listen to me here, it's not without reason that we are warned:
"And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, COME OUT OF HER, MY PEOPLE, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." (Rev. 18:2, 4)
Babylon - and here we speak not only of "commercial Babylon," but most especially of "spiritual Babylon" - has become the "habitation of devils" and the "hold of every foul spirit" and a "cage of every unclean and hateful bird" - and so we are told that we MUST come out of her "that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues."
And come on now, isn't that pretty much the condition of today's church? - i.e., that she has become the "habitation of devils" and the "hold of every foul spirit" and a "cage of every unclean and hateful bird?" Of course it is! How else could one describe the abhorrent and repugnant ministries of people like Benni Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagin, Richard Roberts, C. Peter Wagner, Cindy Jacobs, Reuven Doren, Paul Cain, John Paul Jackson, etc. who directly or indirectly teach the "doctrine of human deification" - all of which are connected to the "Apostles and Prophets Movement? [Please see our article, "The Superman Theology of the International Christian Embassy's Feast of Tabernacles," in the subsection dealing with "The Feast of Tabernacles and the Doctrine of Sinless Perfection" and subsequent subsections.]
Yes, there will be persecutions! Jesus said:
"Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also." (John 15:20)
But if we live in the reality of the Kingdom of God, we will have the "heavenly perspective" to persevere; the kind of perspective that can say with Paul the Apostle,
"I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." (Rom. 8:18)
The kind of perspective that professes that we are "strangers and pilgrims on the earth" (Heb. 11:13) and attests to the fact that we "seek another country" (Heb. 11:14), "a better country, that is, an heavenly country" (Heb. 11:16), a "city" (i.e., kingdom) that the Bible says God has "prepared for them" (Heb. 11:16) - and in view of all this, we are prepared to endure ANYTHING on this earth - "Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of ... (this present evil world) for a (small) season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures ... (of this world):" for we have in our view the "reward" of the kingdom to come. (Heb. 11:25-26)
Of course, there are those who say that all we are doing here is "dreaming of the sweet by and by," BUT THAT'S NOT TRUE AT ALL.
I tell you the truth when I say, IN A FEW SHORT YEARS - maybe in less than TEN - THAT KINGDOM WILL BE ESTABLISHED - AND NOT JUST IN HEAVEN, BUT HERE ON EARTH! TEN SHORT YEARS! We are at "THE BEGINNING OF THE END!" AND THE VERY REAL FACT OF THE MATTER IS, JESUS IS COMING BACK to -
"... bring the blind by a way that they knew not; ... (and to) lead them in paths that they have not known: (to) ... make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight ..." (Is. 42:16)
"... scatter the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
"(and) put down the mighty from their seats, and EXALT THEM OF LOW DEGREE.
"(To) fill the hungry with good things; and to send THE RICH ... EMPTY AWAY." (Luke 1:51-53)
And finally, at the "end of all things," to -
"... wipe away all tears from ... (our) eyes ..." (Rev. 21:4)
How do we begin? - we begin where we are! Some of you are in a position RIGHT NOW where you can begin a "house-church." Your spouse will support you, you have friends and loved ones who will begin meeting with you. You should start! - and as you do, remember, DO NOT LOOK BACK, because what you are beginning in your home cannot possibly compare to the so-called glory of what you have left anymore than Petach Tikva could compare to the glory (so-called) of Warsaw, Moscow, or St. Petersburg. You will have to improvise to make it work, just as the Jewish settlers in Palestine had to improvise to make what they were doing work.
Then there are those of you who want to begin, but have no one to meet with you. If that's the case, BEGIN BY ORDERING OUR CD. IT'S FREE! Once you get the CD, make copies of it, and pass it out to your friends and anyone else you can find. Or, if you wish, print the articles out (then make additional copies at a Kinkos) and distribute them in your church. Keep doing it. Don't give up. Eventually, if you sow enough seed, you will find some people who will want to meet with you to discuss the issues on the CD, and out of that - if you are persistent enough - a church-life will blossom.
Finally, there are those of you who for one reason or another can't emigrate out of your church right now. If that's the case, then support us by helping us out financially. That is a real help, believe me - for just as the Jewish settlers in Petach Tikva and elsewhere in Palestine couldn't have made it without the GENEROUS help of those who stayed back in America, so we who go can't make it without similar aid. There are so many things we can use your financial help to do. For example, thanks to your help, we have been able to keep two of our members employed full time writing and keeping the websites going. That's where most of the money has been going up till now - that plus purchasing the necessary computer equipment to keep everything working. And believe me here, your generous help in this matter has accomplished quite a lot: as we have already indicated, WE NOW HAVE TWO OF THE MOST VISITED CHRISTIAN WEBSITES ON THE INTERNET - SO THE MESSAGE IS GETTING OUT. 1.6 MILLION "HITS" A MONTH - that's a lot of "hits" and we owe that success to all those who have so SACRIFICIALLY given to the ministry over the last few years.
And let me tell you what we want to do now if more of you can see your way to help us out. We want to free another two FULL-TIME workers to go out and help those of you who want to start "house-churches" in your homes to get started.
Now the workers we have in mind are older Christians in the Lord, and are not rookies, but VETERANS of the old "Jesus Revolution" of the 1960s and early '70s. THEY KNOW HOW TO START "HOUSE CHURCHES," they LOVE the Lord, they know how to MINISTER to the saints, and by the time they leave you, you will be able to confidently move on with the Lord, and help others to do the same. [Please, we URGE you to read our article, "The Jesus Revolution,"]
REMEMBER HERE, IT IS THE TESTIMONY OF THESE "HOUSE-CHURCHES" THAT WILL RESONATE THROUGHOUT CHRISTIANITY IN THIS COUNTRY. By helping to establish them, you are striking a blow at GEORGE BUSH'S AMERICAN NEW WORLD ORDER SYSTEM AND ITS ALLIANCE WITH THE CHURCH in a way that NOTHING else can do!
In addition, you will be striking a blow at today's PASTORAL SYSTEM that will echo throughout all of Christendom. IT'S IN THESE SMALL "HOUSE-CHURCHES" THAT THE BATTLE TO REGAIN THE SOUL OF THE CHURCH FROM THE APOSTATES WHO NOW CONTROL IT WILL BE FOUGHT AND WON.
WE NEED YOUR FINANCIAL HELP TO DO THAT - AND IT HAS TO BE HELP BEYOND WHAT WE ARE GETTING NOW, BECAUSE - OBVIOUSLY - WE HAVE TO CONTINUE OUR WORK WITH THE "WRITING MINISTRY" AND THE WEBSITES. We can't let up there - that's what's gotten us to the point where we are now - so we will need "new giving" and / or "additional giving" to take this next step.
Finally, I want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart who have so SACRIFICIALLY been giving to the ministry. PLEASE KNOW THAT WHEN YOU GIVE FINANCIALLY TO THE MINISTRY, YOU MAKE THIS MINISTRY AS MUCH YOUR MINISTRY AS IT IS OURS! We could do nothing without your help. GOD KNOWS THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE GIVEN - and He is a REWARDER of those who help; maybe not in this lifetime and maybe not materially, but certainly in the life to come.
You can help and / or continue to help by making out a check to "Antipas Ministries."
God bless you all!