WORKING WITHIN THE
OR OUTSIDE OF IT;
WHAT SHOULD WE DO?
Written By S. R. Shearer
"I know thy works and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat
is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even
in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain
among you, where Satan dwelleth." (Rev. 2:13)
"... that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the
house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and
ground of the truth." (1 Tim. 3:15)
"Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may
be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.
For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers ... Whose mouths
must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they
ought not, for filthy lucre's (i.e., money's) sake ... They profess
that they know God; but in works (i.e., doctrine) they deny him, being
abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate. " (Titus
"I know thy works and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat
is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even
in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain
among you, where Satan dwelleth." (Rev. 2:13)
THE CHRISTIAN LIFE IS MORE
THAN HEARING; IT'S ALSO DOING
It is an unfortunate fact of life insofar as today's Christianity
is concerned that most of us have been trained as "hearers,"
but not as "doers;" "observers," but not as "participants;"
"pew sitters" but not as active, vibrant members of the Christian
community. We have an "audience" mentality; not a "participant"
mentality. We've been trained "to listen," not "to act." Indeed,
the rather bizarre fact of the matter is, many of us think that
by hearing and listening we have done everything that is required
of us. We've come to believe that "doing" is something for the
"professionals;" it has nothing to do with us. Our job is simply
to act as an audience for the "professionals," and to say "amen"
and shout "hallelujah" at the appropriate places. But that's
not what Christianity is all about. The church belongs to all
the saints. And the responsibility for the church rests on all
our shoulders, not just simply on the shoulders of the "paid
professionals." We've all been called as "doers." The Bible
"... be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your
own selves." (James 1:22)
The priesthood which the Bible speaks of is the "priesthood of all
the believers" (I Pet. 2:9) - and that includes you. You're
not excused whoever you are. There is nothing which excuses you! - your
age, your station in life, your sex, where you live, the amount of money
you make, your career - Nothing! No one is excused!
THE TWIN PILLARS OF EARLY EVANGELICALISM
While all this might come as a surprise to many of us today, it certainly
wouldn't have been a surprise to early evangelicals. Indeed,
evangelicalism - the movement that most of us today claim to
be a part of, whether we call ourselves "fundamentalists," "charismatics,"
or "pentecostals" - was based on this very notion: that the
"average," "every-day" saint of God ought to be the main "doer"
in the church, not the "professional clergy;" in addition, early
evangelicalism was also intimately connected to a second notion:
that the church ought to be centered solely on a biblically-based
Christianity. These were exciting and even revolutionary concepts
to early evangelicals; needless to say, however, they never
much excited the professional clergy or those powers within
the Western elite which hoped to harness Christianity for their
own selfish (usually right-wing political and economic) purposes
- a proposition which a biblically-based Christianity would
never permit. As a result, evangelicalism was treated as a radical
and even revolutionary movement by most mainstream Protestant
leaders when it first appeared as the "Brethren Movement" in
the 1830s (a movement which later manifested itself as the Welsh
and Azusa Street Revivals of the turn of the century). Why?
- because the mainline Protestant leadership was far too entrenched
in its own self-centered conceits and greedy accommodations
with the established elites to go along with such thinking.
Unfortunately, however, over the years the nature of evangelicalism
has changed; to a very large extent, it has made the same comfortable
accommodations with the world that mainline Protestantism made before
it - and so much so that most early evangelicals (i.e., Darby, Newton,
etc.) would hardly recognize what we today call "evangelicalism." Indeed,
it would not be unfair to say that today's evangelicalism is "evangelicalism
turned upside down" - and to such an extent that those who today demand
that the teachings of people like Bennie Hinn, Kenneth Hagin, John Wimber,
Paul and Jan Crouch, etc. be measured against the Bible (a proposition
which all early evangelicals would have demanded not only for others,
but for themselves as well) are treated as narrow-minded, mean-spirited,
unloving "dogmatists." And insofar as the full participation of the
laity in the church-life is concerned, this is today a concept more
honored in the breach than in the keeping. The "professional clergy"
is more entrenched than ever before - and so much so that in more instances
than many would care to admit, the professional clergy has adopted a
dictatorial and autocratic pattern of leadership more in keeping with
the principles of Catholicism than those of the early evangelicals.
HYPOCRITES: SAYING ONE
THING, AND DOING ANOTHER
The sad fact of the matter is, today's evangelical church is headed
up by a group of frauds - fakes who present themselves as evangelicals
and as the heirs of our evangelical faith, and who trade on the godly
reputation of yesterday's evangelicalism, while all the while they deny
the very doctrines which empowered that church and made it what it was.
It may be an indication of how close to the end we really are. The Bible
"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some
shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and
doctrines of devils ..." (I Tim. 4:1)
The Bible solemnly warns against such people - i.e., people who label
themselves one thing, but who in reality are something else altogether.
It calls these kinds of persons "hypocrites" - "whited sepulchers,"
(Matt. 23:27) i.e., people who "... indeed appear beautiful outward(ly),
but ... (are) within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness"
(Matt. 23:27) - the kind of persons who can claim the heritage of evangelical
/ protestantism on the one hand, while cavalierly denying its very substance,
on the other:
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like
unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but
are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even
so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are
full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees,
hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish
(i.e., decorate) the sepulchres of the righteous, and say, If we had
been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers
with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore ye be witnesses
unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the
prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents,
ye generation of vipers (i.e., poisonous snakes) ... Wherefore,
behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some
of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge
in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: that upon
you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the
blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias,
whom ye slew between the temple and the altar." (Matt. 23:27-35)
course, such warnings have little effect on many in today's evangelical
leadership - they've already made up their minds! [Well does the Bible
say of them, "They speak lies in hypocrisy ... (and) have had their
consciences seared with a hot iron." (1 Tim. 4:2)] Today - in church
after church - politics, not theology, is what counts. Winning a tight
Senate race or electing a Religious Right candidate to the House of
Representatives is much more important to them than winning someone
to Jesus - and if they're going to win such races, they need the Catholic
vote as well as the evangelical vote. Doctrinal differences can't stand
in the way here! In the political arena, doctrine counts for nothing;
building a religio-political alliance large enough to "take the country
back from the "secular-humanists" is what's important! "Doctrine divides"
is their watchword. Why? - because they need Catholics and protestant
/ evangelicals to "pull together" as a single community if they are
to achieve their right-wing [and even, as astonishing as it might seem,
fascist political goals (please see our article, "The Death Squads:
Bringing In The Kingdom Of God Through Terror, Torture And Death")]
- and since doctrinally evangelical / protestants and Catholics are
far too removed from one another to make such an endeavor practical
on theological grounds, doctrine must of necessity be de-emphasized
if the two communities are to be successfully brought together; for
certainly no such alliance could be promoted and justified with any
chance of success on a doctrinal basis or on the bedrock of any kind
of "common Christianity." Hence the necessity to disparage the importance
of "sound doctrine," coupled with the concomitant requirement to belittle
and ridicule those who insist on it. But such thinking is so absurd
and irrational that it hardly merits the time it takes to refute it.
THE CHURCH IS THE PILLAR AND GROUND OF TRUTH
It goes without saying that the movement of evangelicalism away from
a biblically-based Christianity in order to accommodate the church's
involvement in the politics of the "New Right," coupled with the concomitant
usurpation of the church-life by the "professional clergy" has had a
very profound impact on the evangelical church: the one affects the
standing of the church AS A CHURCH before God; the other affects
the ability of the "average," "every-day" saints of God to influence
the situation and counter the apostate path the professional clergy
has set the church upon. Each condition is feeding off the other and
is creating a situation which is spiraling the church ever downward
towards impotence: as the professional clergy's grip on the church-life
tightens, the downward path of the church accelerates, and as it accelerates,
the grip of the professional clergy tightens further, rendering the
"average," "everyday" saints that much more powerless to do anything
about the worsening situation - until at last the Shekinah departs,
and the saints are left with an empty shell which no longer possesses
the Spirit of God and the testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ. It has
at last lost its standing AS A CHURCH. This is precisely what
happened to Catholicism, Orthodoxy, and to the so-called mainline churches;
and now its happening to evangelicalism.
The Bible says that the church is -
"... the PILLAR and GROUND of the TRUTH" (1 Tim. 3:15)
But if the church no longer "abides in that truth" (I John 2:27) can
it really be called the church any longer? The answer is obviously,
No! Just because people who call themselves Christians meet together
does not in itself mean that they meet as the church. The Mormons, the
Moonies, the Jehovah Witnesses and countless other similar sects call
themselves Christian - but does that mean that when they meet together,
they meet as (or constitute) the church? - No, of course not! Why? -
because they do not meet on the "ground of truth," despite the fact
that they call themselves Christians. The Bible says:
"... God is a Spirit: and they that worship him MUST worship him
in spirit and in truth. (John 4:24)
We repeat, the church is more than the assembly of those who call themselves
"Christian" - it is the assembly of those who -
- call themselves Christian
- meet on the "ground of truth."
IF THE SALT LOSES ITS SAVOUR, IT'S GOOD FOR NOTHING
Take away the truth, and you destroy the church! You can't have one
without the other! Jesus said,
"Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour,
wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing,
but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men." (Matt. 5:13)
- that is to say, if the Church loses its savour, [i.e., its standing
insofar as the truth ("sound doctrine) is concerned], it no longer can
be considered the church. It loses its standing as the church. Evangelicals
like Paul and Jan Crouch, John Wimber, Chuck Colson, etc., therefore,
make a big mistake in thinking that church unity can be achieved by
compromising doctrine. We repeat, doctrine cannot be compromised without
at the same time compromising the church's standing before God. While
it may be true that those who continue to meet may not themselves lose
their standing as individual Christians, if indeed they are truly "born-again,"
their assembly will certainly lose its standing as a church - and don't
make the mistake that a church can't lose its standing as a church.
Jesus specifically warned that such a thing is possible when He cautioned
the Church in Ephesus,
"Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent ... or
else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick
out of his place ..." (Rev. 2:5)
- and while this was spoken with regard to the Church in Ephesus' "first
love," it would apply with equal force insofar as "sound doctrine" (i.e.,
truth) is concerned. Why? - because if one abandons the truth (i.e.,
"sound doctrine"), it's a testimony to the fact that one never really
loved the Lord. The Bible says,
"... he that hath my commandments (i.e., he who abides in the truth),
and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me ..." (John 14:21)
This may be a hard saying, but it's nonetheless the truth. Isn't that
what these verses, when taken together, logically imply? - of course
TRUTH AND SOUND DOCTRINE
ARE ONE AND THE SAME THING
These facts, of course, are so obvious that there are some who say
that "truth" and "sound doctrine" are not one and the same thing - and
on this basis they attempt to make a difference between the two (i.e.,
between "truth" and "sound doctrine") - applauding the one (i.e., truth)
and demeaning the other (i.e., "doctrine") as if they were two separate
and distinct things.
But such thinking is - on the face of it - farcical. Doctrine is nothing
more than the way the Bible arranges or explains truth. In the original
Greek, "truth" (alethes) refers to the individual facts which
constitute doctrine - that is, which relate to a specific description
of things. For example, in describing the individual components of a
red rose, one would describe the rose as red, its stem as long and green,
its leaves as moderately broad, etc. The fact that the rose is red,
that its stem is long and green, etc. - these are the "facts" or "truths"
(alethes) of the matter. But when these facts are written down
in an orderly fashion so that they can be presented to others in a manner
which can be easily understood and which accurately describes what a
red rose is, that is "doctrine" (didaskalia).
Stated somewhat differently, doctrine (didaskalia) is a description
of "truth" (alethes) - and it is in this way that the Bible can
speak of "sound doctrine" (I Tim 3:10; 2 Tim. 4:3; Titus 1:9; Titus
2:1) and "false doctrine" [Matt. 16:12 (i.e., the doctrine of the Pharisees),
etc.]; or, put another way, a "good" or "honest" DESCRIPTION of the
truth OR a "bad" or "false" DESCRIPTION of the truth. For example,
"sound doctrine" describes our red rose as exactly that - a red rose;
"false doctrine," on the other hand, might describe the rose as orange,
or maybe as yellow. It's not an accurate description of the truth (alethes)
- and this is exactly what people like Chuck Colson are into when they
say that "sound doctrine" is not important. What they really are promoting
is a description of Christianity which does not comport with the truth;
it's not an accurate description of true or Biblical Christianity -
and it promotes a description of Christ which is not factual.
WHOSOEVER ABIDETH NOT IN THE DOCTRINE
OF CHRIST HATH NOT GOD (2 John 1:9)
This is serious stuff! - and it's for this reason that the Bible somberly
"Whosoever ... abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, HATH
NOT GOD. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath
both the Father and the Son." (2 John 1:9)
"He that hath my commandments [i.e., my word (which is to say, the
truth)] , and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he
that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and
will manifest myself to him.
"... if a man love me, he will keep my words (i.e.,
he will abide in the truth): and my Father will love him, and
we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
"He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings (i.e., refuses to abide
in the truth): and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's
which sent me.
"Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself,
except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
"I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I
in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can
"If ye keep my commandments (i.e., if you remain in the truth),
ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments,
and abide in his love.
"These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.
"They shall put you out of the synagogues (i.e., the "meeting places"):
yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he
doeth God service.
"And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known
the Father, nor me.
"But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come,
ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not
unto you at the beginning, because I was with you.
"I have given them thy word (I have shown them the truth); and the
world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as
I am not of the world. (John 14:21, 23-24, 15:4-5, 10; 16:1-4)
DOCTRINE DESCRIBES WHO CHRIST IS
Now, it's important to remember in connection with this what doctrine
is all about! - it's a description of the truth; it's a description
of Christ! - it's a description of who Christ really is! To claim
that one can love Christ without at the same time loving those things
which make up His character is an exercise in fraud! In like fashion,
to say that one loves Christ without at the same time loving "sound
doctrine" (i.e., those things which accurately describe His character,
His personality, etc.) is a sham! It's akin to a wife saying she
loves her husband while all the while her house is decorated with the
pictures of another man. One would certainly have cause to doubt her
testimony. If, therefore, a church - any church - no longer accurately
portrays Christ to the world, but instead portrays something (or someone)
else, how can it be said that it has any longer any standing before
God? Obviously, it can't.
The testimony of the church is Christ, and if that testimony (which
is to say, "if that description") is no longer accurate, how can it
be said that its testimony has any validity? It can't! -
"...it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to
be trodden under foot of men." (Matt. 5:13)
THE SLIDE OF TODAY'S CHURCH AWAY FROM
ITS EARLIER GRIP ON "SOUND DOCTRINE"
And just how far has the church lost its grip on a biblically-based
Christianity? Well, take Paul Crouch, for example. Crouch is president
of Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), one of this nation's premier
evangelical Christian television networks. Crouch has said:
" ... I want to say to all you ... heresy-hunters, all of you
that are going around pickin' little bits of doctrinal error out of
everybody's eyes and dividin' the Body of Christ ... get out of God's
way, stop blockin' God's bridges (of unity between Catholics and protestant
/ evangelicals), or God's goin' to shoot you if I don't
... let Him sort out all this doctrinal doodoo! ... I refuse to argue
any longer with any of you out there! Don't even call me if you want
to argue ... Get out of my life! I don't want to talk to you ... I
don't want to see your ugly face." (Quote taken from Dave Hunt's CIB
Bulletin, Vol. 7, No. 7, July, 1991.)
Pretty heavy stuff - i.e., that doctrine is nothing more than sh-t
(that is, after all, what "doodoo" means), and that he (i.e., Crouch)
is going to shoot people who promote it; it's indicative of the ugly,
malicious and very menacing attitude that countless numbers of today's
Christians have adopted towards those who continue to promote "sound,"
"old-line" evangelical doctrine - the kind of doctrine that Dwight Moody,
Harry Ironside, Donald Barnhouse and Arno Gaebelein promoted in the
early part of this century.
The fact that almost the entire thrust of Roman Catholic teaching is
anti-Christian in character (and denies salvation by Grace alone) doesn't
seem to bother Crouch and his ilk; moreover the reality that countless
numbers of our Protestant forefathers were forced to forfeit their lives
to Rome (and not because they were engaged in any kind of warfare against
Catholicism as such, but simply because they denied Rome's pretensions
and preached salvation through Grace) - leaders like Huss (martyred
by Rome), Luther, Zwingle, Calvin, Hun (martyred by Rome), Brown (martyred
by Rome), Tyndale, Latimer (martyred by Rome), Ridley (martyred by Rome),
Cranmer (martyred by Rome), Wesley, Whitefield, Carey, Raikes, Darby,
Newton, Spurgeon, Moody, Pentecost, Walvoord and more names too numerous
to mention - doesn't seem to count for much with them either.
And it's this, more than anything else, which demonstrates the kind
of craven duplicity that many of our present-day leaders (people like
John Wimber, Paul and Jan Crouch, and even Chuck Swindall, president
of Dallas Theological Seminary, etc.) are engaged in - frauds
who, as we indicated earlier, present themselves as evangelicals and
as the heirs of our evangelical faith while all the while they deny
the very doctrines which empowered that church and made it what it was.
"... that old rotten Sanhedrin crowd (i.e., those who oppose the
"unity movement" for doctrinal reasons - for instance, those who allege
the incompatibility of Catholic and evangelical theology), twice dead,
plucked up by the roots ... they're damned and on their way
to hell and I don't think there's any redemption for them
... the hypocrites, the heresy hunters that want to find a little
mote of illegal doctrine in some Christian's eyes ... when they've
got a whole forest in their own lives ... I say, to hell with you!
Get out of my life! Get out of the way! Quit blockin' God's bridges
(of ecumenicism)! I'm tired of this! ... This is in my spirit. Oh
"Have you ever seen the old movie, Patton? ... He's my hero, he's
my hero. Old nail-chewing, tobacco-chewin', cussin' Patton - but he
read the Bible every day. I have a feelin' we'll see old General George
in heaven ... There's a wonderful scene in Patton ... they're tryin'
to get the Third Army across the bridge in France and there's an old,
dumb jackass ... right there on the bridge and it's blockin' the whole
convoy of troops ... General George roars up, pulls that ivory-handled
revolver out ... and shoots the donkey ...There's a spiritual
application here." (Quote taken from Dave Hunt's CIB Bulletin,
Vol. 7, No. 7, July, 1991.)
SHADES OF CARDINAL TORQUEMADA
AND THE SPANISH INQUISITION
A spiritual application? - one can't help but think of Cardinal Juan
de Torquemada and the Spanish Inquisition as one ponders what Crouch
means by such a statement? Is he, perhaps, thinking about the same thing
that Bob Jones was contemplating when he said,
"As we see the day approaching, there's going to be cleansing ...
there's going to be a purging coming forth ... and everyone's who's
living under the immorality cover (and Jones describes "immorality"
here as opposition to ecumenicism) ... will be brought down ... and
God's new breed will come forth ..." ? (Bob Jones, Kansas City Prophets,
But this isn't Biblical Christianity. This isn't Christianity at all.
It's the gospel according to Paul and Jan Crouch, Bennie Hinn, Charles
Colson, etc. - it's an apostate and even renegade gospel having nothing
to do with the Word of God. And what was it exactly that so repelled
all the old-line evangelicals with regard to Catholicism? Well, it wasn't
a peripheral matter as some evangelicals allege. Put plainly, it was
the fact that the Roman Church has little or nothing to do with Biblical
Christianity, and is instead very much a heathen institution.
Indeed, as Hislop, Gardner, Edgar and countless other Protestant theologians
have demonstrated - theologians endorsed not by the "pop" evangelists
and whiz-kid luminaries of today's TV Christianity, but by such Protestant
eminences as Donald Barnhouse, Arno Gaebelein, Charles Spurgeon, Dwight
Moody, etc. - most of the so-called "mysteries" of the Roman Catholic
Church are literally Babylonian in origin (hence, the name "old-line"
evangelicals gave to the "Roman system:" "Babylonian" - the same name
the Bible gives it in Revelation 17). The great crime with which the
Roman Catholic Church was (is) involved is the adoption of a "grail-like"
or Gnostic process of salvation by works based on mortification [often
of an extreme nature leading even to self flagellation (beatings and
whippings) - a practice which is going on even today in Opus Dei,
the Jesuits, etc., and especially in those monastic orders dedicated
to Fatima - to say nothing of ordinary parishes in the Philippines,
Latin America, etc.], and a kind of fleshly piety and strict adherence
to the sacraments of the Roman Church. This isn't biblical Christianity!
This is babalism!
And what more can we say of the "Mary worship" of Roman Catholicism?
How can evangelicals tolerate the adoration and veneration of Mary as
the "Mother of God" [note: not the mother of Christ - but the "Mother
of God," the subtlety here is important!] Some Romanists, of course,
may affect to deny that they honor Mary with the worship due to God
only, but in their books of devotion, it's quite another thing, and
prayers to the "Virgin" occupy a prominent place. Consider the following
prayers, and then judge for yourself whether Mary is being worshipped
or not, the protestations of certain charismatic Catholics notwithstanding.
"If the winds of temptation arise, if thou run upon the rocks of
tribulation, look to the star, call upon Mary. If thou art tossed
on the waves of pride, of ambition, of distraction, of envy, look
to the star, call upon Mary. If anger or avarice or the temptation
of the flesh toss the barque of thy mind, look to Mary. If disturbed
with the greatness of thy sins, troubled at the defilement of thy
conscience, affrighted at the horrors of the judgment, thou beginnest
to be swallowed up in the gulf of sadness, the abyss of despair, think
upon Mary - in dangers, in difficulties, in doubts, think upon Mary,
If this isn't worship, I don't know what is. Indeed, what it really
is, is idolatry - and the Bible has some very serious things to say
"Cursed is the man who makes an idol ..." (Deut. 27:15 ).
One should be very careful here because the curse falls on those who
even countenance such things - and isn't that what evangelicals are
doing when they go along with this kind of thinking? - countenancing
And in the "mysteries" of the Rosary" ["Fourth Glorious Mystery" (The
Assumption)], this is written:
- The eternal predestination of Mary as the masterpiece
of God's hands.
- Her Immaculate Conception, and her plenitude of grace and reason
while within the womb of her mother, Saint Anne.
- Her nativity, which gladdened the whole universe.
- Her presentation and stay in the Temple.
- Her admirable life exempt from all sin.
- The fullness of her singular virtues.
- Her fertile virginity and painless birth.
- Her divine maternity and her alliance with the
Most Holy Trinity [again, idolatry!]
- Her precious and loving death.
- Her resurrection and triumphant assumption."
And the "Fifth Glorious Mystery" of the Rosary ["The Coronation"]:
- The triple crown with which the Most Holy Trinity crowned Mary.
- The joy and new glory heaven received by her triumph.
- To recognize her as Queen of Heaven and earth, angels and man.
- The treasurer of the graces of God, of the merits of Jesus Christ,
and of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
- The Mediatrix and Advocate of men.
- The destroyer and ruin of the devil and of heresies.
- The secure refuge of sinners.
- The Mother and nurturer of Christians.
- The joy and sweetness of the just.
- The universal refuge of the living, the all-powerful consolation
of the afflicted, of the dying, and of the souls in purgatory."
And again, some of her other titles and appellations:
- Ark of the Covenant
- Gate of Heaven
- Morning Star
- Refuge of Sinners
And then J.I. Packer and Chuck Colson - to say nothing of countless
other Protestants and evangelicals throughout the country - have the
titanic temerity and enormous presumption to imply that the Reformation
was all just a misunderstanding! The colossal insolence and artless
naiveté of such thinking is breath-taking. What are these men
thinking? - and it isn't as if all these heresies are hidden away somewhere
in the deeper recesses of the Catholic Church - but rather quite to
the contrary: they're reiterated daily in Catholic
"Masses" throughout the world in which every Catholic is expected to
THE TRUE WORSHIPPERS MUST WORSHIP
GOD IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH
Paul Crouch, J.I. Packer, etc. are wrong! - "Sound Doctrine" and Christianity
can't be separated! Indeed, the Bible says,
"... mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the
doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them." (Rom. 16:17)
And it goes on to say,
"If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive
him not into your house, neither bid him God speed ..." (2 John 1:10)
And as if that isn't enough, the Bible goes even further by declaring
that those who abide not in "sound doctrine" are of the devil - and,
again, this isn't what we say, it's what the Bible says:
"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)
And remember here, if one thinks these sayings (i.e., verses) are too
harsh, his or her controversy is not with us, it's with God. The truth
is, on the basis of John 8:44, one should seriously ask himself - what's
this say about Paul Crouch, Bennie Hinn and Charles Colson? We repeat,
Christianity and "sound doctrine" can't be separated! On the contrary,
the Bible plainly teaches that "... the true worshippers MUST worship
God in spirit and truth" -
"... the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall
worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh
such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must
worship him in spirit and in truth.(John 4:23-24)
The reality of the matter is, God and "Truth" are synonymous
- they are intrinsically one; they cannot be separated - and
it is for this reason that the Bible calls the "Comforter" (i.e., the
Holy Spirit) the "Spirit of Truth:"
"... when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the
Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father,
he shall testify of me ..." (John 15:26)
Indeed, Jesus says,
"... I am the way, the truth, and the life ..." (John 14:6a)
And He goes on to say,
"... no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6b)
- that is to say, no man can come to the Father except through the
truth. The Bible says,
"... truth is in Jesus." (Eph. 4:21)
The truth is Jesus. Jesus is the truth - they are one and the same
THE BATTLE FOR THE CHURCH &
THE "GROUND OF TRUTH"
pivot around which our struggle in these "Last Days" is centered is
the church. Why? - because the church, together with Israel, is the
instrumentality through which God intends to make known to the world
(1) His Son, (2) salvation, and (3) His "Plan and Purpose in the Ages"
during these "Last Days" (again, please see "The Two Witnesses" in the
Antipas Papers). Satan, therefore, has directed all his energy
in neutralizing the church and "sidelining" it in the upcoming struggle.
And how, you ask, is he doing that? - by severing the church's relationship
with the "truth," that is to say, with "doctrine." As we have already
indicated, the Bible says that the church is the "pillar and ground
of the truth" (1 Tim. 3:15) and if that's so, you can't have the church
without truth; you can't have one without the other. By attacking
the church's connection to "sound doctrine," he is attacking the church.
Can't you see the subtlety here? Satan is not attacking the church directly
- he's attacking the church's relationship with doctrine (i.e., truth).
By killing the one, he is killing the other - and the genius of it
all lies in the fact that Satan's attack on doctrine is being done in
the name of God, for the sake of Christian unity, and with the goal
of "returning the nation to Christ."
Brothers and sister, I tell you the truth when I say, if there is any
hope for the church - and there is - that hope rests not in our establishment
leaders (most of whom are by now far too compromised to be of any value
in the upcoming struggle against church apostasy) but in the "little
people" - people like you! After all, who were Peter, John, James, Andrew,
etc. if not the "little people" of their day? None of them were a part
of the religious establishment - not one of them! Indeed, the establishment
figures of that day were astonished by them, perceiving that they were
uneducated men of no consequence:
"Now when they (i.e., the establishment figures of the day) saw the
boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned
and ignorant men, they marveled ..." (Acts 4:13)
The Antipas Papers (which by now most of you have read) is a
call TO YOU to take action; it's a book which places a demand on YOUR
life. Think about it! - (1) if we really are living in the "end of days;
(2) if we really are going to go through the Tribulation; (3) if the
United States really is "Prophetic Babylon," and evangelicals - rather
than separating themselves from it - are actually to be found promoting
the church's political involvement with it; (4) if the Roman Catholic
Church really is the Woman of Revelation 17 and evangelicals - rather
than distancing themselves from her - are becoming ever more involved
with her; (5) if we really are called to be witnesses (please see "The
Two Witnesses," in the Antipas Papers) in these "last days;"
etc. - why then do we not act? The fact is, we can't pretend that we
don't know what's happening - we do know! - and this knowledge hangs
like some kind of biblical sword of Damocles over our heads. To do nothing
is to invite it to fall on us. The Bible says:
"Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them,
When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take
a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman:
"If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet,
and warn the people;
"Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not
warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be
upon his own head.
"He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood
shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.
"But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet,
and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person
from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his
blood will I require at the watchman's hand." (Ezek. 33:2-6)
WE FACE A CRISIS
Obviously, we're facing a crisis. We've been called to stand for God
in these "Last Days;" but should we do so from within the "system" or
from outside of it? Some, of course, would say that we should stay and
work to reform the "establishment church" from within. But the chances
for success here are pretty slim. A very old and wise history professor
of mine at the University of California, Dr. Sonntag, once told me,
"People don't change institutions, institutions change people."
What he meant was this: history teaches that the course of an institution,
once it has been set, is impervious to change - despite the sometimes
heroic efforts of some people, even people at the top, to force change
on the institution. Bureaucracies become too entrenched to be swayed
and/or uprooted, alliances with other companies and associations which
are helping to propel the institution in its given direction become
too powerful to break, etc.; in the end, most who try are defeated or
- worse - eventually subverted.
And it's not just secular history that teaches us this, the history
of the church also testifies to this fact. The examples are numerous
and all too familiar - whether it was Luther working initially within
the Catholic Church for reformation, Wesley in the Anglican Church,
those who finally associated themselves together as the "General Association
of Regular Baptists" working within the American (Northern) Baptist
Association to re-orient it away from the liberal path the American
Baptists had set themselves upon (to say nothing of the so-called "Conservative
Baptists" who initially condemned the "Regular Baptists" for their break,
but who later repented, left the American Baptist Association and started
their own denomination), etc. And what could we say more of Chuck Smith,
David Wilkerson, Jim Durkin, etc., etc. - all of whom were forced to
leave the denominations they were originally a part of in order to answer
God's call on their lives.
The sad fact is, once a denomination or church starts down the road
of compromise, there is very little that can be done to change things.
Apostasy, once it takes hold, is almost impossible to stop. This was
the problem with the religious establishment of Christ's day. As a result,
it was no accident that Jesus had to operate from a perspective which
was totally outside of and at variance with the established religion
of His day - so much so that the religious leaders of that day felt
impelled to crucify Him in order to end the threat He seemed to constitute
against their security.
The truth of the matter is, when the Spirit of God moves in a new way
- as He was doing when Jesus began His ministry - He invariably has
to move outside of the religious establishment, not within it.
So also today! - it's futile for people to look to the evangelical establishment
of today for rescue from the apostasy which is spreading throughout
evangelicalism. The fact is, with each passing year the church - largely
as a result of the apostasy which has seized hold upon it - is ever
more becoming a part of the world that Jesus came to earth to oppose,
so much so that it has even become a part of a movement to "take it
But its not just history as such which cautions us against trying to
work within a system that has already been corrupted; the Scriptures
themselves warn against such a direction - indeed, they counsel the
"Be ye not unequally yoked ... for what fellowship hath righteousness
with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
"Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate,
saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive
you ..." (2 Cor. 1:14, 17)
This probably is not what most well-meaning Christians today would
counsel. Undoubtedly, most would say that we should stay and work for
change; that to abandon the established church is "the cowards way out"
and a means through which we will only hasten the apostasy. Nevertheless,
while separation may not be man's way, it surely is God's way, and it
is clearly what the Bible advises in such circumstances.
Why? - because, in speaking about apostasy, we are dealing with a process
which is way beyond the "ordinary;" one which is extremely relentless
and terribly unbending; and one whose end is hideous and appalling in
its effect on the institution it has seized upon. There's no second
chance when dealing with it. Once it seizes hold of its victim, it holds
on with a tenacity and obstinacy which is all but impossible to break
until at last the process has run its awful course. The Bible refers
to this pathology figuratively as "leavening;" in doing so it
is making reference to a process in which a baker inserts a small amount
of yeast into dough to make it "rise." In the imagery of the Bible,
leaven is always used in connection with a contaminating influence,
and a process which - once it takes hold - spreads throughout the entire
loaf. There is no way for the baker to stop it once he sets the process
in motion. He cannot suspend or halt it until the whole loaf has been
affected or "leavened" - and it just takes a tiny bit of yeast to initiate
the process. The Bible says,
"A little leaven (just a little, just a tiny bit) leaveneth the whole
lump." (Gal. 5:9)
THE UNYIELDING NATURE OF LEAVEN
Indeed, it's precisely because of the unyielding nature of this process
that the Bible warns us to avoid it at all cost; in doing so, it's saying
that the only way we can deal with the leaven of apostasy is to prevent
it from being introduced into the "lump" in the first place. Once it
is introduced, there is very little then that can be done. It's too
late! Hence the stern warning that God gave to the children of Israel
concerning the avoidance of all "contaminating influences," especially
the influence of the Canaanites. God saw such influence as "leaven"
- leaven that, should it take hold, would pollute and corrupt the children
of Israel and draw them away from Him.
His answer with regard to this matter was a harsh one - annihilation!
The Jews were not to try to reform the Caananites, they were to exterminate
them. He warned them that if they refused to do so, those who remained
would - over time - exercise a debilitating and contaminating influence
on the nation, and so much so that it would eventually corrupt it:
"Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye are
passed over Jordan into the land of Canaan;
"Then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before
you, and destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten
images, and quite pluck down all their high places:
"And ye shall dispossess the inhabitants of the land, and dwell therein:
for I have given you the land to possess it.
"But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from
before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain
of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and
shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell." (Num. 33:51-53, 55)
- and, again, if one thinks this is too harsh, his argument is with
God, not with us.
It was with this in mind that Jesus warned His disciples:
"... Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the
Sadducees" [i.e., the "established" religious leaders of the Lord's
day]. (Matt. 16:6)
In other words, get away from it; get as far away from it as possible!
"COME OUT OF HER" (Rev. 18:4)
still doubt, do you? You say that we are being altogether too harsh?
Separation! - that's such an unloving and severe answer! Well, would
it surprise you if we told you that there is really no need to even
speculate on this matter - the Lord is very specific as to what we,
as "Last Days" Christians, are to do! [Please read our article, "Come
Out Of Her."] He leaves no doubt with regard to the matter:
"And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, COME OUT OF HER,
MY PEOPLE, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive
not of her plagues." (Rev. 18:4)
And be clear here - these words are spoken very specifically and precisely
to those of us who are living in the "Last Days" and who are in any
way associated with the "Apostate Church." And there's more! - He leaves
little doubt as to the church He is referring to: the Bible calls it
the "mother of harlots" and says that it sits on seven hills (Rome).
[Revelation 2:18-29 and Revelation 17] And again, we need to be very
clear here - the historic position of the Protestant / evangelical church
is that this is a very exact and explicit depiction of the Roman Catholic
Church and those "daughter churches" who are in any way associated with
" And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials,
and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will show unto
thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:
With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the
inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her
fornication ... And the woman which thou sawest is that great city,
which reigneth over the kings of the earth ... And the woman was arrayed
in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones
and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and
filthiness of her fornication ... And I saw the woman drunken with
the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus:
and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration ... 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. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered
her iniquities. Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto
her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled
fill to her double." (Rev. 17:1-2, 44, 6; 18:4-6)
hint here about working within this system for reformation. There's
no equivocation here! No hesitancy about what we are to do - we are
to get out! And there's no doubt concerning the consequences if
we fail to do so - the clear indication here is if we fail to get out,
we will be SUBVERTED!
GOD WILL HELP YOU
say, "I've read, House Church: A New Way To Go On, but I am so
weak, what can I do? I can't start a church in my home; I don't have
the talent to do so," OR "I'm a woman, not a man, what can I
do?" OR "I'm too young," OR "I'm too old," OR "I
don't know that much about the Bible," OR - the worst excuse
of all - "This is something for the paid professionals (i.e., the clergy),"
etc. - to which we would say, "You'd be surprised what you can do when
God is for you!" [A lot has change since this article was written,
so please read the following articles on what Antipas Ministries is
doing, what to do (if you live in the U.S) and how you can get involved
- "A Plan of Action For Antipas Ministries," "Come Out
Of Her," and "The Aliya Foundation."] The Bible
"My (i.e., Christ's) grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength
is made perfect in (your) weakness ..." (2 Cor. 12:9)
again, the Bible says,
"Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our ... (weaknesses): for we know
not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh
intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
"And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the
Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to
the will of God.
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that
love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
"For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed
to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many
"Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom
he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he
"What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can
be against us?
"He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all,
how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? (Rom. 8:26-32)
THE LORD IS CALLING
The Lord is calling out today to His people - to those who love Him
and are called according to His purpose. He is asking -
"Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" (Isaiah 6:8a)
So if you hear that still, small voice calling, don't ignore it - He
may be calling you just as surely as He called Isaiah under similar
circumstances so many thousands of years ago - to which we hope and
pray that you will answer as Isaiah did,
"Here am I: send me." (Isaiah 6:8b)
The call of God is not to the special few, it is for everyone!
Whether or not we hear God's call depends upon whether or not we are
in the presence of God. "Many are called but few are chosen" (Matthew
22:14), that is, few prove themselves the chosen ones. The chosen ones
are those who have come into the presence of God and, as a result, hear
the still small voice calling all the time, "Who will go for us?" It
is not a question of God singling out a strong man and saying, "Now,
you go." Isaiah was in the presence of God and because of that he overheard
the call, and realized that there was nothing else for him to do but
to say, in conscious freedom, "Here am I, send me."
We need to get out of our minds the idea of expecting God to come with
compulsions and pleadings. When our Lord called His disciples there
was no irresistible compulsion from outside. The quiet passionate insistence
of His, "Follow Me" (Matthew 4:19) was spoken to men and women with
every power wide awake. If we let the Spirit of God bring us face to
face with God, we too shall hear something akin to what Isaiah heard,
the still small voice of God; and in perfect freedom will say, "Hear
am I; send me."
"My eager desire and hope is that I may never feel ashamed, but that
now as ever I may do honor to Christ in my own person by fearless
courage - whether that means life or death, no matter!" (Phil. i,
God bless all of you.
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
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