"And this GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."
- Matt. 24:14
I was utterly shocked recently by some who apparently had no idea what I meant when I spoke of the "Gospel of the Kingdom" in our article "The Aliya Foundation," and who were mystified when I talked of it as something distinct and separate from the "Gospel of Salvation." Many people acted as if I had made this up out of thin air - even some who are closely and very positively associated with the ministry.
This is extremely unfortunate because there is nothing more important today than this specific Gospel, and that is so because of the presence on this earth at this time in history of an entity - the American New World Order System - that falsely claims to represent Christ on earth.
Such claims can only be a "turn-off" to the poor of the world who see the American New World Order System and the church that justifies it as frauds. The fact is, most of the poor in the world today see Christianity as a rich, white man's religion having NOTHING to do with them. Sadly, Islam is more a religion of the poor than is Christianity. What do the poor of the world want to do with a religion that justifies the very system - i.e., the American New World Order System - that oppresses and brutalizes them? [We urge you to read our article, "A Woman Riding A Beast Going Forth Conquering and to Conquer" for insight as to how this partnership between the rich of the world and Christianity works.]
The "Gospel of the Kingdom" is God's answer to this deception. It has been calculated to rip away the mask of piety that the religious FRAUDS who wickedly justify this system hide behind - for example, Christian leaders like D. James Kennedy, Charles Stanley and John Hagee - while at the same time revealing the evil, avaricious "money-grubbing" that's really at the heart of the American Empire and that animates ALL those associated with it.
Once these frauds - and the system they excuse - are exposed for what they actually are, then the poor can see Christianity for what it really is: God's way of salvation for them, and see Christ for whom He really was - a POOR carpenter who said of Himself:
"... Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head." (Luke 9:58) -
A Man who rather than placating the rich (as the leaders of today's church so shamefully do), said of them,
"... 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 (sewing) needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." (Matt. 19:23-24) [Please see our article, "The Rich Have Seized Control of the Church."]
The FACT of the "Gospel of the Kingdom" - it's reality in Scripture - is NOT something dreamed up by me; it is a reality that is taught at most fundamental Bible schools and seminaries throughout the country - for example Multnomah School of the Bible and Dallas Theological Seminary. Without meaning to offend those who have been perplexed by my rather unoriginal teaching on it, all I can say to them is what Jesus said to Nicodemus:
"... Art thou a master (or a teacher) of Israel, and knowest not these things?" (John 3:10)
These are, unfortunately, the kind of people about whom Paul said have not advanced beyond the rudiments of the faith:
"For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again ... THE FIRST PRINCIPLES OF THE ORACLES OF GOD; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat." (Heb. 5:12)
Brothers and sisters, if we are to get anywhere with God, we must get beyond the rudiments of the faith (what Paul calls here "the first principles of the oracles of God"), especially if we are to play any kind of meaningful role in the "end of days." We must go further; we must get to the "strong meat" of the Word - and that's certainly true of all those who want to associate themselves with Antipas. The "Gospel of the Kingdom" is that "strong meat" about which Paul talked - and knowledge of it does not come by means of osmosis or by inhaling it out of thin air, but by HARD and DILIGENT study. The Bible says:
"Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (interpreting) the word of truth." (2 Tim. 2:15)
So let us get down to this "strong meat," and to do that, let us use a reference guide that is universally accepted by "old-line evangelicals:" the Scofield Reference Bible. Concerning the differing gospels spoken of in the Bible, Scofield writes:
"The word 'gospel' means GOOD NEWS. As used in the New Testament, the word deals with different aspects of divine revelation."
In other words, there are various aspects of the "divine revelation" that the Bible vouchsafes to man. The "good news" of salvation, of course, is paramount; but there are other aspects of the "divine revelation" that go beyond the matter of salvation and are also a part of the "good news" of the Word of God.
One is the "good news" of the kingdom [i.e., the "GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM" (Matt. 24:14)] which foretells the coming kingdom of Christ that will entail social justice and equity between and among all men; and still another is what the Bible calls the "ETERNAL GOSPEL" (Rev. 14:6) which forecasts the destruction of "Babylon the Great," the kingdom of Satan which antichrist will set up in the "end of days" in opposition to the coming kingdom of Christ.
Finally, of course, there is what the Bible calls a "DIFFERENT GOSPEL" (2 Cor. 11:4; Gal. 1:6) which is NOT "good news" at all, but a perversion of the "good news" of the Bible. We are warned by Paul against it and all its "SEDUCTIVE" forms which are at war with God's "Plan and Purpose in the Ages."
Obviously, then, when the Bible speaks of "good news" it has more in mind than the "Gospel of Salvation." No doubt, the "Gospel of Salvation" is paramount, for without it, one cannot even think about what the Bible has in store for those who are called according to His purpose, especially as that purpose relates to the Kingdom of God. Concerning the "GOOD NEWS OF SALVATION," Scofield writes:
"Absolutely essential to man's salvation is the GOSPEL OF THE GRACE OF GOD [SALVATION] (Rom. 2:16). This is the good news that Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sins of the world, that He was raised from the dead on account of our justification, and that by Him all who believe are justified from ALL things. It is described as the Gospel 'of God' (Rom 1:1) because it originates in His love; 'of Christ' (2 Cor. 10:14) because it flows from His sacrifice, and because He is the object of faith; 'of the grace of God' (Acts 20:24) because it saves those whom the law curses; 'of the glory of Christ' (2 Cor. 4:4; cp. I Tim. 1:11) because it concerns Him who is in the glory and who is bringing many sons to glory (Heb. 2:10); 'of your salvation' (Eph. 1:13) because it is 'the power of God for the salvation to everyone who believes' (Rom. 1:16); and 'of peace' (Eph. 6:15) because through Christ it makes peace between the believing sinner and God, and makes inward peace possible."
But once more, this is merely the "milk of the Word" - or, as Paul puts it, the "first principles of the oracles of God." We must push on beyond this to God's Plan and Purpose in the "Latter Days" as expressed in (1) The "good news" of the coming kingdom of Christ and (2) the "good news" relating to the destruction of Babylon the Great, i.e., the American New World Order System. [Please see our article on Babylon the Great, "In Search of Babylon: What Do the Scriptures Say?"]
This is what Scofield believes as well; he writes:
"Another aspect of the good news is the 'GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM' (Matt. 4:23), i.e. the GOOD NEWS THAT GOD PURPOSES TO SET UP ON EARTH THE KINGDOM OF CHRIST ..."
The good news of this kingdom was announced by the Old Testament prophets (Is. 9:6-7), by Christ in His first coming (Matt. 9:35) AND WILL BE PROCLAIMED DURING THE ... TRIBULATION." [Note carefully for future reference when Scofield says this Gospel will be proclaimed: during the TRIBULATION period.]
The kingdom being proclaimed here will be a kingdom grounded in social justice for ALL mankind, a world of equity where men are not divided up between the "owners of capital" on the one hand and "labor" on the other hand, and where men and women are not divided up on the basis of their race or even their gender (Gal. 3:28); where the rich do not oppress the poor; where every man has equal access to God; where privileges cannot be bought by the wealthy; where there are no death squads, no poverty, no torture, no hunger, no disease, and no room for oppressors of any kind. [Please see our article, "Capitalism and Christianity."]
Very obviously, such a kingdom would be TOTALLY at variance to the world we now live in and with the American New World Order System that now prevails on the earth - especially the kind of world we described in our recent article, "The Horror of John Dimitri Negroponte and everything He Represents." [Please see that article plus our article, "Algeria: A Study of the Dreadful, Two-Tiered Economic System the U.S. Is Promoting Among Its Muslim Client-States."]
A world based on social justice where the rich do not oppress the poor? A world where there are no John Dimitri Negropontes, no Liamine Zerouals and no Augusto Pinochets? This, of course, is something much more than the "good news" of salvation, because while the "good news" of salvation promises redemption to the INDIVIDUAL, it does not promise to "make over" the world per se, and this is evidenced by the fact that from Pentecost until now there has been NO social justice and NO equity between and among men; tyranny and oppression have continued to flourish; and sickness, poverty and hunger have continued to wreak their horrible work on mankind.
This is NOT to take anything away from the "good news" of salvation, but very plainly social justice and social equity have yet to be established on the earth, which the coming Kingdom of Christ is calculated to accomplish.
The "Gospel of the Kingdom" announces the "good news" that the Kingdom of Christ is close "at hand." This, of course, is not the first time that the Kingdom has been announced to be close "at hand." It was announced the first time 2,000 years ago when the angels proclaimed it to the shepherds "in the field" at the time of Christ's birth in Luke 2:10-11):
"And she (i.e., Mary) brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
"And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, WHICH SHALL BE TO ALL people.
"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2:7-8, 10-11)
Shortly after - and in conjunction with what the angels declared to the shepherds - the Kingdom was announced to be "at hand" by John the Baptist, then by Christ Himself, and finally by the Twelve.
"... they (i.e., Israel) without us (i.e., the church) should not be made perfect." (Heb. 11:40) [Please see chapter 3 of the Antipas Papers, "The Distinction Between Israel and the Church."]
Now, after an interval of some 2,000 years, the Kingdom is once again "at hand!" The so-called "church age" is all but past, and the Jews - once dispersed over the whole earth because of the rejection of their king - have now been re-gathered again to their land. Everything is ready! - and God is raising up a people to proclaim that the Kingdom is again "AT HAND." [Please see chapter 12 of the Antipas Papers, "The Two Witnesses."]
"The 'Eternal Gospel' (Rev. 14:6) is described as the announcement of divine judgment upon the wicked (specifically, Babylon the Great) ... It is good news for the suffering believers as it heralds their coming deliverance and reward (cp., v. 12). In view of this those who 'live on the earth' are exhorted to fear God and worship Him (v. 7)."
Now note carefully here: while Scofield says that the "Gospel of the Kingdom" is again "at hand" - he does not believe that the church will be commissioned to announce it. Why? - because, according to Scofield, the church will be gone as a result of the rapture. Instead, he says that this commission will be given over to a special caste of pseudo-Christians he calls "Tribulation Saints." They are evidently not part of the church (because the church is gone), nor are they part of Israel. They're just there - suspended somewhere between "hither and thither." This, of course, is the NONSENSE dispensed by Tim LaHaye's series of books on the Tribulation and the rapture.
But there is no need to do such injury to the integrity of our understanding of the church by leaving some who call on His name suspended outside its blessed borders when one dismisses the pre-tribulation rapture of the church for the foolishness it is. Once one discards this teaching, the problem is solved; the lunacy dissolves that Scofield and others created when they allowed their imaginations to conceive a "special class" of Christians who are not part of the church.
As with the Gospel of Salvation, we - the members of today's church - are the ones to whom these commissions have been entrusted, IF SO BE WE CAREFULLY GUARD OURSELVES AGAINST THE SEDUCTION OF THE "GREAT DECEPTION" AND APOSTASY ("FALLING AWAY") OF THE "END OF DAYS." [We URGE you to read Chapter IV of the Antipas Papers, "The Great Escape: Misconceptions Concerning the Rapture;" also chapter 11 of the Antipas Papers, "Tribulation and Judgment" and chapter 12 of the Antipas Papers, "The Two Witnesses."]
Listen to me dear brothers and sisters in the Lord. The Lord is "coming again" and we have been commissioned to proclaim His coming, the setting up of His Kingdom, and the destruction of "Babylon the Great" and all those who have allied themselves with her - AND WE HAD BETTER BE ABOUT DOING IT. Jesus said,
"Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
"Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods." (Matt. 24:46-47)
But those like C. Peter Wagner, D. James Kennedy, Charles Stanley et. al. who have forgotten what true Christianity is all about, and who have partnered with the rich of the world (and by doing so have portrayed Christianity as a rich man's religion) will not fare very well at His appearing. Jesus said of them,
"The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,
"And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matt. 24:50-51)
Now I don't know exactly what the Lord means when He says that He will "cut asunder" such people and "appoint them a portion with the hypocrites" (i.e., people who say one thing, but do another - who falsely represent what Christianity is really all about) where "... there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth," but I don't want to find out. And one must bear in mind here that Jesus is talking about His servants - people who claim to be "born-again." These are not words one would want to be cavalier about.
And so the warning goes out: Those who ally themselves with Babylon the Great (i.e., the American New World Order System) - either actively or passively, no matter - will pay a HORRIBLE price when the Lord returns. And how does a Christian get himself into such a mess? - by neglecting the physicality of Babylon, and the danger that that physicality presents.
Brothers and sisters, let me somberly warn you, Babylon is not merely a "spiritual matter" that can be dealt with in the solitude of our "prayer closets," but there is a great deal of PHYSICALITY attached to her, a physicality that will demand a solution in the "real world" of the "here and now." One cannot deal with Babylon while shopping at the mall, pursuing a good career, or piling up money in the bank - or even by embarking on a "Grail Quest" in pursuit of "inner peace."
And just how PHYSICAL Babylon is becomes very clear when one studies the Scriptures that pertain to her. The fact is, it's her very PHYSICALITY that gives her the power that she possesses - either as a radiantly beautiful and exotic SEDUCTRESS, or as a dreadful, brute BEAST; after all, you can't make "love" (if that's what it's called) to a photograph, and you can't be torn apart limb from limb by an illustration in a book. Physicality is everything here!
What is Babylon to you? - a BEAST or a SEDUCTRESS? How you answer that question will pretty much determine whether you will be able to break free from her or not. It's much, much easier to break away from the jaws of a ravenous beast, than from the arms of an erotic seductress! To say otherwise is to reveal yourself as a simpleton and a naïf. Lust - once it has taken hold on you - is a CONTROLLING and RULING presence where there is no longer any room for reason or objectivity, The Bible says:
"... at the window of my house I looked through my casement, and beheld among the SIMPLE ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man VOID OF UNDERSTANDING (is that what you are?), passing through the street ... and he went ... to (a certain) house, in the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night. And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtle of heart. SO SHE CAUGHT HIM, and kissed him ... and said unto him ... I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt. I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with love.
"With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him. He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks; Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life.
"Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth. Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths. For she hath cast down many wounded: YEA, MANY STRONG MEN HAVE BEEN SLAIN BY HER. HER HOUSE IS THE WAY TO HELL, AND GOING DOWN TO THE CHAMBERS OF DEATH." (Proverbs 7:4-27)
God help you if Babylon is a seductress to you rather than a beast, and I am afraid that's what she is to most Americans. It's to the poor that she presents herself as a beast, not to the rich. If, dear Christian, as a matter of fact you are trapped by the "good things" of this life - by the whole circle of WORLDLY goods (and by that I mean your nice homes, your furniture, your green lawns, your cars, etc., i.e., those things that make life pleasant and comfortable for you), endowments, riches, advantages, pleasures that accrue to those who are citizens of the richest, most powerful nation on earth, which though hollow and fleeting, stir our desires and seduce us from God, then Babylon is a seductress to you.
If once you are trapped by the allurement of all this, then you are on your "way to hell," you are descending "down to the chambers of death." That's what the Bible says! Babylon has caught you; you are lying naked in bed with her - and now you think you can escape? Oh, really? Like a "bird that hastens to a net," like an "ox that goes to the slaughterhouse," like a "fool to the stocks," you will plunge on headlong to your destruction, knowing all the while what it means, and totally unable to stop yourself. Better to be cornered in the woods by a ravenous wolf than to be trapped in the arms of THIS seductress.
Once you're trapped by her, there may be no way out! - even if you come to your senses. She just has to trap you for awhile; just long enough for the next 9/11 event, after which the borders will be sealed, and there is no way out for you. When that happens, the likelihood that you will "rise to the occasion" is very slim, if non-existent!
If you couldn't "rise to the occasion" before being trapped, you probably won't be able to do so after being trapped when the frontiers are secured, your every move is watched, and prison, torture and death are only a hair's breath away. The chances are, you will retreat back into a sullen silence, cringing cowardly in your little "hidie-hole" like a trapped animal. And then what will you say to God on THAT DAY? - a day which is closer than you think.
That's why the Bible warns us to get away from her; don't go near her house, stay far away! (Psalm 7:4-27) - and that's why Jesus warns those who live within the precincts of Babylon, to get out, and to get out NOW:
"... 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)
Brothers and sisters, you must understand something: The Lord is not making a suggestion here - some kind of proposal that we can accept or reject depending on our differing circumstances and situations. It's a COMMANDMENT, and it MUST be treated as such. Moreover, one should bear in mind why God is telling us to do so: it's NOT because He wants to spare us the anguish of persecution, tribulation and even martyrdom. The reason is:
"THAT YE BE NOT PARTAKERS OF HER SINS."
What God is concerned about here is that if we stay in Babylon we will be TAINTED by Babylon's sin and spiritually CORRUPTED. And if we are seduced and corrupted, THEN WE WILL BE JUDGED FOR IT! - we will "receive of her plagues (judgments)." That's not something you should want to be cavalier about!
We in Antipas certainly don't want any part of that, and we have made PLANS to avoid it and to become fully involved in what the Lord is doing in these "Latter Days." That's our passion! We want to be able to say with Paul on THAT DAY,
"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
"Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, BUT UNTO ALL THEM ALSO THAT LOVE HIS APPEARING (i.e., His "coming again"). (2 Tim. 4:7-8)
Brothers and sisters, we've said it before, and we say it again now, RADICAL times demand RADICAL answers, and we cannot pursue these answers while still tethered to ordinary "middle-class" lives and conventional "middle-class" ways of doing things.
If we are truly living in the "end of the age" - if we really believe that - then it's about time that our lives reflect that fact; it's about time that we begin taking seriously verses like Luke 18:22 where Jesus urged the "rich man" to -
"... SELL ALL THAT THOU HAST ... and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, FOLLOW ME." (Luke 18:22)
And Mark 8:34-37 where Jesus told His disciples -
"... Whosoever will come after me, LET HIM DENY HIMSELF, and take up his cross, and FOLLOW ME.
"For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but WHOSOEVER SHALL LOSE HIS LIFE FOR MY SAKE AND THE GOSPEL'S, THE SAME SHALL SAVE IT.
"For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
"Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Mark 8:34-37)
The fact of the matter is, we stand at the edge of a vast abyss today - the place where Christians are confronted with the reality of verses like Matthew 10:37 ("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"). This is where - under the impress of verses like this - that prophecy reconstructs itself into fact and takes on substance; where it becomes reality and ceases to be a game. Leaving sons and daughters, and fathers and mothers; selling all that we have; and taking up our cross and following Him not just in word, but in deed - that's something very hard to contemplate.
It's here - it's PRECISELY here - that most Christians hesitate and draw back in fear; they're just not prepared to cross over. It's too frightening; too risky; too many friends and loved ones who will have to be left behind; but Jesus said that those who think so are UNWORTHY of Him. That's what Matthew 10:37 says. Pretty heavy! - but if that offends you, your argument is with God, not with me.
"Multitudes, multitudes [that's you!] in the VALLEY OF DECISION: for the day of the LORD is near ..." (Joel 3:14)
There is not much time left. As we have said so many times before, you don't even have to be a Christians to see that: The truth as to what is occurring in the country is plain enough for anyone to see who wants to see: for example, the FACT, as we have indicated on other occasions, that America has embarked on a policy of ENDLESS war; the FACT that the re-imposition of the draft is only a hair's breadth away - a draft that will enlist your sons and daughters in this war to be maimed and killed in the service of corporate greed; the FACT that our country is sliding inexorably into dictatorship; the FACT that our right to assemble and protest the policies of the government is being restricted to the point where it no longer has any practical meaning; the FACT of the increasing restrictions on our right to travel; the FACT of the new and massive increase of government surveillance; the FACT of the massive "militarization of the police;" the FACT that the government can wiretap our phones, monitor our email and Internet usage, search our homes and businesses, and seize documents all without a warrant; the FACT that the government can now arrest people without charges and hold them indefinitely (i.e., "disappear" people); the FACT that the government is blurring the wall between the police functions of the state and its intelligence functions, and so forth and so on. [Please see our articles, "Closing the Trap," "Get Out Before It's Too Late," and "John Ashcroft, Theodore Olson and the New National Security State."]
More next time!
Until then, God bless you,