Once again, this is a long article; but it is an EXTREMELY important one - especially in light of what's been happening in the Middle East. It has required an extensive amount of time and effort to write. In reading it, you should not skip around: each section builds on the previous one, and if you jump around, you may very well get lost. In addition, links are provided to previous articles that reinforce the content of this article. The article is divided into five parts. Part I, "A Cup of Trembling," deals with the re-emergence of anti-Semitism as a powerful force in world politics; it also describes the new anti-Zionism that is spreading like a wildfire throughout Europe and in certain parts of this country as well (most particularly in the liberal left and on college campuses); finally it details the irreconcilable differences that exist between Israel and the Islamic world that are pushing both sides irresistibly toward war with one another. Part II. "God's Unconditional Promises to Israel," deals with the nature of God's relationship with Israel. You are urged to read this section carefully because it forms the theological foundation for much that will follow. Part III, "A Covenant with Death and Hell," describes the relationship between Israel and the United States. Unlike what you might imagine, it is not a relationship that the Scriptures have glossed over, but one that is treated in great detail by the Word of God; it also deals at length with what the Scriptures say concerning the upcoming war in the Middle East. Part IV, "The Making of a Messiah," deals with the anti-Christ and his relationship to Israel, the United States, and - sadly - the American Evangelical community. Finally, Part V, "The Tribulation," deals with the Tribulation Period, and what it will mean in YOUR life. I urge you with all of my heart to read this article carefully. It may very will change your life forever.
And this brings us back to the ACLU: to Christians like Graham, the ACLU is nothing more than a tool of the Jewish community - a Jewish community that is out to "get them" by emasculating their Euro-centered, Christian-based civilization. For example, Billy McCormack, a past director of the Christian Coalition, told the editorial staff of the Los Angeles Times,
"I'd like for you to take - but your paper might not allow you to do it - and that is to take a look at the Jewish element in the ACLU which is trying to drive Christianity out of the public place, and I'd like to see if you could do something objective there. Because the ACLU is made up of a tremendous amount of Jewish attorneys."
[What McCormack evidently meant was for the paper to "expose" the connection between the supposed anti-Christian attitudes of the Jewish community and the ACLU.]
The very real truth of the matter is, when conservative politicos like William Bennett, Jack Kemp, Bob Dole, George Bush, etc. and conservative religious leaders like D. James Kennedy, Jack Hayford, Jerry Falwell, Billy Graham, etc. express their feelings against the ACLU, what they are really doing is betraying their own anti-Jewish sentiments. TO THINK OTHERWISE IS TO EXPOSE ONESELF AS AN IGNORAMUS OR A NAIF - after all, its pretty much of a stretch to believe that in using this rhetoric they are not well aware of its anti-Jewish overtones.
There is just no way of getting around it: the term "ACLU" is a codeword in the anti-Jewish lexicon of both the conservative political and religious communities. And it is habitually used as such by people who are not very well-disposed towards the Jewish community - people like former Secretary of State James Baker, a close confidant of both the president (Bush, Jr.) and the vice president (Cheney), who could say without batting an eye in an unguarded moment to his friends and business associates: "FUCK THE JEWS!" Obviously, people don't say "FUCK THE JEWS" in public - after all, the remarks by both Graham and Baker were not meant for public consumption. But they do make remarks like that in public about the ACLU; and in doing so, they are sending signals out to the electorate and to the public in general about how they really feel concerning the Jews. [Please see "The Republican Party And The Jews."]
Of course, what Christians like Graham and politicos like Baker say in private, anti-Semites say openly and very publicly. For example, the flagrantly fascist, anti-Semitic magazine, Vanguard, the publisher of the Turner Diaries, says:
"Jews ... have taken the lead in persuading a whole generation that homosexuality (and other deviant sexual behavior) is a normal and acceptable way of life ..."
Now stop and think about this for a minute! - what's the difference here between what Graham said to Nixon and what Vanguard is saying? There is none, of course! It's the same rhetoric containing the same hate-filled shibboleths - AND MOST EVANGELICALS - IF THEY ARE HONEST - KNOW FULL WELL WHAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT HERE.
Most have heard such talk by now in their churches - and it does little good for them to pretend otherwise. To such people, the Jews are the intellectual force behind multiculturalism; the bankers and financiers driving the economic integration of the world; the media moguls responsible for the destruction of "traditional values;" the destroyers of the old Orthodox World through communism and socialism.
Finally, there is the crushing loss by the Jewish community of the Left's support in recent years. This loss is almost impossible for most in the Right (both political and religious) to comprehend. For more than a hundred years, the Jews have been able to count on the Left's unstinting support when all else failed. Together with the Left, Jews had battled Hitler in Germany, and anti-Semitism in Poland, in Hungary, in France and elsewhere throughout Europe before the Second World War; and they had contributed immeasurably to the Jews' struggle for a truly pluralistic society in the United States, a society in which the Jews could feel as much at home as could Christians.
But that's all gone now; the Palestinians have displaced the Jews as the "darling" minority of the Left, and Jews today are seen as members of the "oppressor class" rather than as part of the "oppressed." Indeed, one would be very hard-pressed to find a Thurgood Marshall and a Constance Baker Motley willing to march with a Jack Greenberg, a Joe Rauh and a Michael Schwerner for the sake of a Jewish homeland in the Middle East - or, for that matter, any other reason today. And nothing symbolizes this more than the demonstrations against the Jews (for that's what those demonstrations really are all about) in front of Sproul Hall at the University of California recently, or similar demonstrations at the University of Michigan, the University of Wisconsin, at Harvard and elsewhere. [We urge you to see our very important article on this subject, "Schizophrenia in the Jewish Community;" it deals extensively with the Jews' loss of the Left's support both in the United States and throughout Europe.]
Given all this, is there any real doubt that very few people today would shed too many tears if Israel suddenly ceased to exist? AND THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT GROWING NUMBERS OF PEOPLE THROUGHOUT THE WORLD ARE BEGINNING TO THINK TOO. Again, as Daniel Bernard has said:
"... that shitty little country (i.e., Israel)! Why should the world be in danger of World War III because of it?"
With this kind of animosity against Israel, is there any wonder that growing numbers of people seem to believe that Israel's days as a Jewish state are numbered? For instance, according to Newsweek, only 34 percent of adults surveyed in the United States (Israel's closest ally) think Israel will continue to survive as a Jewish state for much longer. Some 23 percent think that Israel - largely as a result of the secularization effect that's all too obviously embedded in the so-called "Oslo Peace Process" - will be forced to give up its present status as a homeland for the Jewish people and instead be turned into a secular state with no particular connection to Judaism or the Jewish people: a country where Palestinians will shortly comprise the majority population; and 18 percent think Israel will simply be swallowed up by Islamic fundamentalism and cease to exist altogether. Indeed, on the front cover of the April 1, 2002 edition of Newsweek Magazine is a picture of an old and tattered Israeli flag with a faded Star of David emblazoned on it and the words:
"The Future of Israel; How Will It Survive?"
Richard Cohen, a journalist for the Washington Post (and one of those not unusual examples in the United States of "assimilist Jews" who seem to go out of their way to prove their anti-Zionist, secular-humanist credentials - for example, people like Adam Shapiro, a New York Jew recently found siding with Arafat against Israelis in Arafat's compound in Ramallah on the West Bank), believes that what the Jews are facing not only in the West Bank, but in Israel itself is analogous to what the French faced in Algeria in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Cohen believes that like the French in Algeria, the Israelis are "colonialists" in the Holy Land doing to the Palestinians what European colonialists did to native Americans in the United States. He believes that they really don't have any right to be there. He writes:
"I summon up the Algerian war (of the late 1950s) because I have long thought it was the direction the Palestinian insurrection would inevitably take. It's not just that both societies (i.e., the Algerians and the Palestinians) are overwhelmingly Muslims, but that they both consider themselves occupied by colonizers who, in turn, both (i.e., the French in Algeria and the Jews in Israel) consider themselves (wrongfully Cohen apparently thinks) to be virtually indigenous. Remember that Algeria was not a French colony. It was part of France itself. [What Cohen is saying here is that the French "settlers" in Algeria and the Israeli "settlers" in "Palestine" considered that they had as much right to be there as did the Algerians in Algeria and the Palestinians in "Palestine" (i.e., the Holy Land).]
"And remember, too, that the French did not fight halfheartedly. From the very beginning of the war, the French responded to guerrilla and terrorist tactics with extreme repression. Assassinations were commonplace, torture routine - human rights abuses, such as gang rapes, hardly uncommon. The French considered their enemy barbaric. They descended to that level themselves.
"The Battle of Algiers is now being fought in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, in Haifa and Netanya - anywhere a Palestinian suicide bomber can infiltrate. It is being fought, too, with increasingly desperate Israeli tactics - first pre-emptive assassination, now the virtual reoccupation of the West Bank. The turn that the war - the Palestinian struggle - has taken may be lost on Sharon, and, it seems President Bush, but not on some of those involved. 'If they kill us, we will kill them', said Muhammad Odeh. 'It will never stop'. Odeh knows whereof he speaks. His son, Abdel Basset Odeh, blew himself up in Netanya last week, killing 22 others at a Passover Seder.
"Another observer, the astute Israeli columnist Nahum Barnea, said something similar. He noted that terrorism had become something like 'A POPULAR SPORT' for young Palestinian men and women. 'You can kill, deport and deter professionals', he wrote. 'There is no military way to fight suicide bombers'.
"I understand Sharon's rage and why he lashes out at Yasser Arafat, who is, for sure, complicitius in the suicide bombings. It is how I felt on September 11, down by the World Trade Center. First came a sense of utter impotence - all those deaths and nothing anyone could do about it. But then, instantly, came a wave of anger, a desire for revenge that, really, has never left me. I burnish my anger and treasure it. It is my own memorial to the thousands murdered.
"This is also how Bush feels, too. But this altogether understandable and even laudatory desire for revenge-cum-justice has led Bush to essentially endorse Sharon's actions. Bush does not seem to appreciate that even when it comes to terrorism, distinctions have to be made. Downtown Manhattan or the Pentagon is not Israel or the West Bank.
"The deeper Sharon plunges the Israeli military into the West Bank, the greater their peril. He and they must then swim in a sea of sharks, in a culture where suicide bombers are valued, praised - where they bring distinction and some money on a family that has little of each. He can, if he so chooses, even get rid of Arafat. But even that, in the long run, will not change matters. A new leader will arise. The struggle will continue.
"The Palestinians are practicing terrorism. No doubt about it. It is inexcusable, but not inexplicable. It is their chief weapon and, moreover, it works. Terrorism will persist until Palestinians feel that their political concerns are being addressed. It is folly to keep yelping 'Tenet and then Mitchell' as if it is some sort of magical incantation that will make terrorism go away ...
"The French, who now lecture the United States on human rights, proved in Algeria that nothing - not repression, not warfare, not torture, not assassination - could prevail over an enemy that fought dirtier, meaner and with more determination than they could."
Christopher Dickey and Daniel Klaidman of Newsweek echo Cohen. Both - like Cohen - are "assimilists" who abhor Zionism as anathema to the "enlightenment views" they cling to. They write:
"How will Israel survive? The questions come from the mouths of Israeli children. As Jews in Israel and around the world begin to commemorate Passover this week, they will read of the flight from Egypt. They will eat at a table laden with symbolism: the bitter herbs of slavery, the unleavened bread of a desperate escape. And the youngest child will ask, 'Why is this night different from all others'? They will listen to the story of the Exodus and of the four sons - the wise one, who asks the meaning of the laws; the wicked one, who denies his Jewishness; the simple one, who wonders, 'What is all this'?
"This year, at this moment, the ritual has special meaning, and these nights will be different from all others because so many Jews believe the future of Israel, or its children, or their place in the Middle East and in the world, is threatened now as it has not been for generations. Will the Jewish state survive? At what cost? With what identity? CAN IT EVER KNOW PEACE?"
Most Americans, of course, like to believe that there is no such a thing as irreconcilable differences. That differences can be bridged if everybody really works at it; that they can be compromised. But that simply isn't true. Take the matter of how Muslims REJECT out of hand any Jewish claim to ANY of the sacred sites in the Holy Land; for example, the Temple Mount. To Muslims, Jewish claims to the Temple Mount are based on FAKE HISTORY. Jewish claims are a fraud. That's what Hosni Mubarak, the leader of Egypt and a so-called "moderate" in the Arab world, believes: that the Israelis have "created history" in order to legitimize their claim to the Temple Mount. To the Muslims, the Temple is a figment of the Jews imagination. There is only the "Dome of the Rock," and "Al-Aqsa." That's all. Nothing more! That's why at Camp David two years ago, Arafat balked at any solution for Jerusalem that denied him FULL SOVEREIGNTY over the Temple Mount and all of eastern Jerusalem, saying that otherwise he feared a Muslim assassin's bullet. The PLO chief warned,
"... there will be no peace and no stability in the Middle East region if [Jerusalem] does not return to its legitimate owners."
Where is there here any room for "common ground?" There is none!
Then, as if to make sure his hearers understood what he meant, Arafat continued,
"I will NOT be flexible concerning the holy places. They are Palestinian, Arab ... and Muslim holy places, and everyone must respect it."
Palestinian Authority (PA) cabinet secretary Abed el-Rahman expanded on what Arafat had just said,
"If the THIEVING Israelis continue holding on to our lands, another Intifada awaits them - AND WORSE THINGS AS WELL." [And, of course, that's exactly what has happened.]
"You have to remember, you are speaking to Yasser Arafat. I will continue to liberate all the Islamic and Muslim holy places. I can't betray my people. I can't betray the Arabs ... I can't betray the Muslims."
Ultimately, what Arafat wants is to declare a Palestinian state by raising the Palestinian flag over a "liberated" Temple Mount. What he and Mubarak are willing to settle for in the interim - and what Arafat actually suggested to Clinton - is that the Temple Mount be transferred to "Islamic sovereignty," entrusted to Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Morocco, but with Palestinian administrative control.
It was an option Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak quickly ruled out. But Mubarak - like Arafat - is also afraid of what could happen to him if he were to yield to Israel on the question of the Temple Mount and Jerusalem, believing that if he becomes a party to a compromise, he will invite on himself the endless wrath of Muslim extremists and possibly murder at the hands of his own people.
Against this kind of intransigence, what does an agreement on a piece of paper mean? Nothing, of course. For example, the Oslo Accords are supposed to guarantee access to the Temple Mount to the Jews as well as to the Arabs, a right which the Jews have always claimed, but have never exercised [other than demanding access to the so-called "Western Wall" (which is, in reality, not part of the Temple Mount complex itself, but is merely an old "retaining wall" below the actual Temple Mount which was built after the construction of Herod's Temple to prevent erosion to the Temple's foundation)].
Because they have failed to exercise their "right of access" to the Temple Mount itself over the years in order to placate the Muslims, many Israelis now fear they will lose that right altogether - not only on a de facto level, but on a de jure basis as well.
It was precisely for this reason that then Likud chairman Ariel Sharon decided to put the Oslo guarantees of Jewish access to the Temple Mount to a test by visiting the Temple Mount on the eve of Rosh Hashana two years ago - a visit that Sharon advertised in advance as a "simple pilgrimage" to Judaism's holiest site; a "pilgrimage" which was supposedly guaranteed to the Jews by the Oslo Accords. Sharon reasoned that if such a "pilgrimage" could not be undertaken now at a time when ultimate authority over the Temple Mount still rests with Israel, what would happen if this authority were to pass to the Arabs - either directly or indirectly?
What occurred is probably exactly what Sharon had expected: THE PROMISES CONTAINED IN THE OSLO ACCORDS AMOUNTED TO NOTHING ON THE GROUND! The morning after Sharon's visit, over 20,000 enraged Muslim radicals converged at the Al Aqsa mosque to hear the Grand Mufti, Sheikh Ibrahim Ekrima, refer to Sharon as the "Jewish butcher of Muslims" who was "challenging more than one billion Muslims all over the world" by his DESECRATING presence the previous evening on the Temple Mount. The Mufti appealed for a pan-Islamic Jihad (holy war) "TO ERADICATE THE JEWS FROM PALESTINE." [Please see our article entitled, "The Coming War in the Middle East" for a detailed account of the false charges of Sharon's complicity in the Sabra and Shatilla massacres in Beirut which the Grand Mufti was alluding to here. The charge is made that Sharon controlled the Christian Maronite militias that entered the Palestinian refugee camps and carried out the slaughter; but the reality is, the American CIA was the organization that was really in charge, not Sharon.]
In case one still didn't get the message, Voice of Palestine radio began playing patriotic war songs and Arafat closed the schools; called a general strike; and urged everyone to "take their wrath to the streets." Since then, thousands of people have been killed and thousands more wounded, mostly Palestinians. PA minister Abed Rabbo warned,
"Trying to touch or to play with the issue of Al-Aqsa (i.e., the Temple Mount) will lead to a religious war which would last for generations. Any attempt to touch even a stone in the Aqsa mosque will provoke more than a billion Muslims all over the world." [And, again, this is precisely what has occurred - editor.]
All this ruckus because Sharon decided to exercise a right of pilgrimage that was presumably guaranteed to him by the Oslo Accords? This doesn't say much for these guarantees - especially in light of the fact that the world press has all but called for Sharon's lynching for exercising these supposed rights. Indeed, Dutch and Danish courts are currently in the process of indicting Sharon as a "War Criminal" for what happened at Sabra and Shatilla, and for his "inciting to riot" in Jerusalem when he visited the Temple Mount. Molly Ivins, a well-known columnist in the United States, believes that Sharon should stand trial for his visit to the Temple Mount as well. She suggested in a syndicated article that Sharon be "charged with treason" for putting the Oslo guarantees regarding Jewish access to the Temple Mount to such an open test. In light of all this, one should excuse average Jews for believing that the Oslo guarantees aren't worth the paper they're written on.
This brings us back to the peace proposals themselves. All current peace proposals demand that the Jews pull back to Israel's 1967 borders - which weren't really its borders at all, but a cease-fire line established at the end of the 1948 war. It was never recognized by any Arab state until after the 1967 war, and has been grudgingly accepted recently by states that still do not yet recognize the legitimacy of Israel - a border which most military analysts believe is indefensible, especially if Israel is forced to abandon its security positions on the Jordan River.
But even if Israel were to withdraw to its so-called 1967 borders, give up its defensive positions along the Jordan River, withdraw from all its settlements on the West Bank and Gaza, that would probably still not be the end of it. This is what Hussein Ibish and Ali Abunimah, both Palestinians, believe. They write:
"... the occupation is only one of two major issues standing in the way of an end to the century-old conflict. The denial of the right of millions of Palestinian refugees, those displaced in the 1948 and 1967 wars and their descendants, to return to their homes and land is also a fundamental obstacle. Unlike the occupation, it is an issue which has never been seriously addressed or properly understood in the U.S. All recent American and Israeli proposals for Israeli-Palestinian peace have been predicated on an unworkable and disastrous concept: that the world's largest group of refugees would renounce or be denied this basic human right."
But if the Israelis grant the Palestinians the "Right of Return," it will mean the end of Israel as a Jewish state. Contrawise, if the Jews refuse to grant the Palestinians this concession, the suicide bombings will no doubt continue endlessly into the future. As Newsweek suggested last week,
"Israelis know - as should the rest of the world - that the real division among Palestinians is not between those who want peace in the Western sense - i.e., as a point after which the world lives free of tensions with a consciousness of reconciliation. In reality, the number of Palestinian leaders holding this view is minuscule. THE FUNDAMENTAL SCHISM IS BETWEEN THOSE WHO WANT TO BRING ABOUT THE DESTRUCTION OF ISRAEL BY CONTINUING THE PRESENT STRUGGLE, AND THOSE WHO BELIEVE THAT AN AGREEMENT NOW WOULD BE A BETTER STRATEGY TO RALLY FORCES FOR THE ULTIMATE SHOWDOWN LATER ON."
Either way, Israel will eventually have to go if the Palestinians are to be satisfied! This is why the Jews will ultimately have to fight. There is no way around it.
All these things - the anti-Semitism, the anti-Zionism, the irreconcilable differences between the Arabs and the Israelis over Israel's presence in the Holy Land - have conspired together to produce a feeling of dreadful PARANOIA in the Jews regarding how the rest of the world feels about them, and a parallel sense THAT WAR WITH THE PALESTINIANS (AND INDEED THE ENTIRE ISLAMIC COMMUNITY) IS INEVITABLE. The very real fact of the matter is, Israel's back is up against the wall, and so much so that Jewish historian Amos Elon writes:
"I'M IN SUCH DESPAIR BECAUSE I FEAR IT IS TOO LATE. AND I HAVE ONLY TOLD YOU HALF OF WHAT I FEAR."
But the Bible says:
"And it shall come to pass, that as ye were a curse among the heathen, O house of Judah, and house of Israel; SO WILL I SAVE YOU, and ye shall be a blessing: fear not, but let your hands be strong.
"For thus saith the LORD of hosts; As I thought to punish you, when your fathers provoked me to wrath, saith the LORD of hosts, and I repented not:
"So again have I thought in these days to do well unto Jerusalem and to the house of Judah: FEAR YE NOT." (Zech. 8:13-15)
And so God warns Israel's enemies:
"Son of man, set thy face against mount Seir (i.e., those nations that immediately surround Israel), and prophesy against it,
"And say unto it, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O mount Seir, I AM AGAINST THEE, and I will stretch out mine hand against thee, and I will make thee most desolate.
"I will lay thy cities waste, and thou shalt be desolate, and thou shalt know that I am the LORD." (Ezek. 35:1-4)
Listen brothers and sisters: it is a fearful thing for someone to hear those words from God, "I AM AGAINST THEE." There can be no more frightening thing in all the world, because we are dealing with God here. The Bible says:
"... fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him (i.e., God) which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." (Matt. 10:28)
And why is it EXACTLY that God is against Mt. Seir? The Lord explains:
"BECAUSE THOU HAS HAD A PERPETUAL HATRED (against Israel), and hast shed the blood of the children of Israel by the force of the sword ..." (Ezek. 35:5)
Now I ask you, Who is it today that has A PERPETUAL HATRED against Israel? Is it not CLEARLY those who are carrying out the suicide bombings in Jerusalem, in Tel Aviv, in Natanya, etc? SUICIDE BOMBING! - now that's hatred!
The Bible says that God is AGAINST THEM (i.e., all those who hate Israel in this way) and He will PURSUE THEM UNTO BLOOD!
Specifically, the Bible says:
"Therefore, as I live, saith the Lord GOD, I will prepare thee unto blood, and blood shall pursue thee: sith (since) thou hast not hated blood, even blood shall pursue thee.
"Thus will I make mount Seir most desolate, and cut off from it him that passeth out and him that returneth.
"And I will fill his mountains with his slain men: in thy hills, and in thy valleys, and in all thy rivers, shall they fall that are slain with the sword.
"I will make thee perpetual desolations, and thy cities shall not return: and ye shall know that I am the LORD." (Ezek. 35:6-9)
Listen to me: you do not want to be found on the "RECEIVING" end of these verses for any reason! God is warning you! Get away, and get away fast! He is warning all those that are "round about" Israel - all those who will hear Him out on this matter - get away as quickly as possible. SOMETHING DREADFUL IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN, and you do not want to be around when it occurs.
All you believing Arabs who dwell in the vicinity of Mt. Seir, all you who believe and are "called according to His purpose," get away - and get your friends and families away too. A great calamity is coming. Something horrible is about to happen: all those who today say that Israel has no right to be where she is; all those who think that the Jewish people are trespassing on Palestinian land, you SHALL BE DESTROYED:
"I will prepare thee unto blood, and blood shall pursue thee." (Ezek. 35:6)
What's that say, then, about those who believe that Israel has no right to the so-called "West Bank?" Who say that they are going to drive Israel into the sea? Who say that Israel should negotiate with the Palestinians? Who say that Israel should give up East Jerusalem and the Temple Mount? Who hate Israel with a PERPETUAL HATRED? - it says that God -
"... will even do according to thine anger (i.e., HATRED), and according to thine envy which thou hast used out of thy HATRED against them; and I will make myself known among them, when I have judged thee." (Ezek. 35:11)
In other words, what the Bible is saying here is that God will hate these people to the degree that they have hated the Jewish people and the state of Israel.
God is going to HATE them to the degree that they hated Israel? Wow! - you say that that's not fair? - well, I tell you something, WHO ARE YOU TO SAY TO GOD WHAT'S NOT FAIR? The Bible says:
"Nay but, O man, WHO ART THOU THAT REPLIEST AGAINST GOD? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
"Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?" (Rom. 9:20-21)
We must understand something here! HE IS THE POTTER AND WE ARE THE CLAY. There is nothing more to be said - and God help those who would dare to say otherwise and challenge God's UTTER and TOTAL supremacy and sovereignty in this matter! The Bible says:
"Who is this (i.e., man) that darkeneth counsel by words WITHOUT knowledge?
"Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me (if you can).
"Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.
"Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?
"Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;
"When the morning stars sang together ...?
"Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb?
"When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it,
"And brake up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors,
"And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed?
"Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring to know his place;
"That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it?
"It is turned as clay to the seal; and they stand as a garment.
"And from the wicked their light is withholden, and the high arm shall be broken.
"Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? or hast thou walked in the search of the depth?
"Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death?
"Hast thou perceived the breadth of the earth? declare if thou knowest it all.
"Where is the way where light dwelleth? and as for darkness, where is the place thereof,
"That thou shouldest take it to the bound thereof, and that thou shouldest know the paths to the house thereof?
"Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail,
"Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?
"Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth?
"Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it.
"Then answered the LORD unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
"Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.
"Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?
"Hast thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like him?
"Deck thyself now with majesty and excellency; and array thyself with glory and beauty (if you can)." (Job 38-22, 31-33, 40:2, 6-9)
"DECK THYSELF NOW WITH MAJESTY AND EXCELLENCY; AND ARRAY THYSELF WITH GLORY AND BEAUTY ..." if you can?
Of course we can't!
Again, I say: He is the Potter, and we are the clay. But one should be perfectly clear here, God certainly did not choose the Jews because the they were somehow or other congenitally better than any other people on earth; or because they were a people morally superior to the people who surround them; or that they possess some kind of innate spiritual DNA that predisposes them toward God.
He chose them in order to make an open show of His MERCY - i.e., that His dealings with man are based on UNMERITED FAVOR (i.e., GRACE) and nothing else. That's what the Bible says:
"He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
"For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.
"As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
"Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.
"For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust." (Ps. 103:10-14)
And His mercy toward Israel is an OPEN and PUBLIC demonstration to that effect - a historical display of His KINDNESS and COMPASSION for ALL to see who seek after God - for the Bible says that with regard to this matter (i.e., His mercy), He is - as Peter says:
"... NO RESPECTER OF PERSONS:
"But in EVERY nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him." (Acts 10:34-35) [And the Bible goes on to explain what it means here by the word "work:" Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent." (John 6:29).]
What's that mean? - it means that our relationship with God - whoever we are - is based on His mercy toward us and not on any innate righteousness on our part; that if we try to approach God on the basis of anything we can do, we will surely fail. The Bible says:
"... we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away." (Is. 64:6)
And again, the Bible says:
"As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
"They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one." (Rom. 3:10, 12)
And so it is that we must trust in God's mercy to clothe us with His righteousness. But what assurance do we have that He will do so? For those of us who believe, we have, of course, the assurance of the Written Word:
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that WHOSOEVER (that surely includes everyone, no matter who they are or what they've done) believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
And the Bible goes on to say"
"For by GRACE (i.e., unmerited favor) ARE YE SAVED through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
"NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast." (Eph. 2:8-9)
And Israel is God's OPEN and very PUBLIC demonstration in the HISTORICAL RECORD and IN THE EVENTS OF TODAY, that God saves man on the basis of His mercy alone, and not on the basis of any righteousness we think we possess. After all, if God can remain faithful to Israel despite all that Israel has done, and all that she has failed to do, He can remain faithful to ALL those who call upon His name - and that He will fulfill ALL the promises He has made to us and bring us safely through to the end.
Contrawise, if God's promises to Israel fail on the basis of Israel's unfaithfulness, than we also stand in jeopardy of our future - for surely the church has been as unfaithful to God as Israel has been - OR HAVE YOU BEEN READING OUR MATERIAL FOR NAUGHT? The very real truth of the matter is, the church's historical record is every bit as tawdry and cheap as is Israel's, and to think otherwise is to reveal yourself as an IDIOT.
It's for this reason that those who condemn Israel because she supposedly is no different from any other nation are so wrong. While THEY ARE RIGHT that she possesses no higher innate morality than do the Palestinians, no greater virtue, no higher sense of decency and purity, they are still very wrong because THAT'S NOT THE POINT!
The point is UNMERITED FAVOR - i.e., GRACE. That's the point - and that if God can save Israel on that basis, He can also save you on that basis as well - whether you are Jew or Arab, Iranian or Turk, Russian or Chinese (China, of course, is today the home of more REAL Christians than anywhere else on earth, despite the fact of their unrelenting persecution by the Chinese government) - whoever you are! All this to say that God will surely save NATIONAL Israel, for the Scriptures say that on THAT day,
"... THEY (i.e., Israel) SHALL LOOK UPON ME WHOM THEY HAVE PIERCED (very obviously the Lord), and they shall mourn for him (i.e., Jesus), as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness (i.e., great sorrow) for him (i.e., Christ, whom they rejected), as one that is in bitterness (i.e., great sorrow) for his firstborn." (Zech. 12:8)
There are, of course, countless numbers of Christians today who believe that all this is hogwash! - that modern-day Israel is nothing more than a fluke of history (quite a fluke!) - and they are irritated (indeed, many appear to be quite irate) with those who believe otherwise. [Please see Chapter III of the Antipas Papers, "The Distinction Between Israel and the Church."] For example, take Texe Marrs: he finds the thought that Israel will ever again be a "fruitful nation" repugnant. He writes that people who believe the contrary "... would exalt the Jews as a superior race - as God's ETERNAL chosen people." [Please see our side article on Texe Marrs.] This is evidently what the Presbyterian and Reformed Churches of America believe too; a statement from these groups to that effect reads,
"... Gods promises to Israel were conditional. Dispensationalists* [i.e., those who believe that God is not finished with Israel (see below)] greatly err in teaching that God gave Israel a blank check They teach that Gods promises to national Israel are binding upon God regardless of what Israel does or does not do. This doctrine is based upon a very shallow interpretation of isolated verses of Scripture.
" THE CRUCIFIXION WAS ISRAEL'S MOST HEINOUS CRIME AGAINST GOD. It was at this point - their treatment of the Messiah - that Israel failed the most miserably to keep the conditions laid down in Gods promise to her.
" WHAT WAS THE PENALTY FOR ISRAEL'S FAILURE TO MEET THE CONDITIONS LAID DOWN BY JEHOVAH, AND WHICH CLIMAXED IN HER HEINOUS TREATMENT OF THE MESSIAH? ... GOD WITHDREW HIS PRESENCE FROM ISRAEL AS A NATION. THE JEWISH STATE CAME TO A BITTER END IN A.D. 70. NOR WILL NATIONAL ISRAEL EVER AGAIN BE A FRUITFUL NATION.
"... There is no Scriptural basis for the REGRESSIVE idea that Gods dealing will again be centered ... in natural Israel at some future date."
* The term, "DISPENSATIONALISM" has taken on a decidedly negative hue among evangelicals in recent years - especially among those who feel that the church should exert itself more powerfully politically than it has in the past in order to brake the descent of American society into immorality and cultural chaos. The reason for this is quite easily explained: dispensationalism makes the church's entry into the political arena almost impossible to justify from a theological standpoint. Yet, if anything can characterize the church's self-appointed mission today, it is this: the necessity of Christians to "take back America for Christ and the church." Thus, THE DISREPUTE INTO WHICH THE CONCEPT OF DISPENSATIONALISM HAS FALLEN IN RECENT YEARS HAS MORE TO DO WITH "CHURCH POLITICS" THAN WITH THEOLOGY.
Regressive idea? Failure? Heinous Crime? - these are certainly harsh judgments!
But the very real fact of the matter is, there is a SCRIPTURAL basis for that belief - i.e., THAT GOD IS NOT FINISHED WITH ISRAEL; THAT THE PRESENT-DAY NATION OF ISRAEL IS NO FLUKE OF HISTORY, AND THAT GOD'S PROMISES TO ISRAEL REGARDING HER POSSESSION OF THE HOLY LAND ARE ETERNAL AND WILL NOT FAIL. A simple reading of the Scriptures will make plain the fact.
The reality is, Israel's claim to the Holy Land rests on a series of UNCONDITIONAL and ETERNAL covenants that God made with the Jewish people, and these covenants and promises are as REAL and UNCONDITIONAL and ETERNAL as the ones that He has given to us. If we once grasp the UNCONDITIONAL and ETERNAL nature of these promises - and appreciate how they are being worked out before our very eyes in the events of today, we will never again have reason to doubt God or to doubt His ability to save. As the Bible says:
"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?
"Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? IT IS GOD THAT JUSTIFIETH.
"Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
"Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
"Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Rom. 8:31-35, 37-39)
Charles F. Lincoln defines what the word "covenant" means insofar as it is used in the Bible:
"A divine covenant is (1) a sovereign disposition of God, whereby He establishes an UNCONDITIONAL or declarative compact with man, obligating Himself in grace, by the untrammeled formula, 'I WILL', to bring to pass of Himself definite blessings for the covenanted ones, or (2) a proposal of God, wherein He promises, in a CONDITIONAL or mutual compact with man, by the contingent formula 'IF YE WILL', to grant special blessings to man provided he (man) fulfills perfectly certain conditions, and to execute definite punishments in case of his (mans) failure.
Four of the covenants that God made with Israel are UNCONDITIONAL - i.e., (1) the "Abrahamic Covenant," (2) the "Palestinian Covenant," (3) the "Davidic Covenant," and finally, (4) the "New Covenant." Only one of God's covenants with Israel is CONDITIONAL: the "Mosaic Covenant" - and the Mosaic Covenant was given to Israel for one reason, and one reason only: to prove that there is NOTHING any of us can do in and of ourselves to merit (or deserve) God's favor.
Unlike the conditional covenant (i.e., the Mosaic Covenant) the UNCONDITIONAL covenants depend ALONE on the Giver of those covenants for their fulfillment. Those things which were promised in these covenants depend EXCLUSIVELY on the sovereignty of the One who gave them, and they were conferred on Israel on the basis of the authority and integrity of God TOTALLY apart from the merit or response of Israel - and, again, it is precisely here that those who try to differentiate between Israel and the nations who are contending with Israel over ownership of the Holy Land are making such a HUGE mistake. God never granted Israel title to the Holy Land on the basis of Israel's merit, but SOLELY on the basis of His sovereign will.
Three additional points should be noted: FIRST, God's covenants with Israel are LITERAL. G.N.H. Peters writes:
"In all earthly transactions, when a promise, agreement, or a contract is entered into by which one party gives a promise of value to another, it is universally the custom to explain such a relationship and its promises by the well-known laws of language contained in our grammar or in common usage. It would be regarded absurd ... to view them in any other way ... The very nature of a covenant demands that it should be so worded, so plainly expressed, that it conveys a decisive meaning, and not a hidden or mystical one that requires many centuries to resolve in order to develop."
SECOND, THERE IS ONLY ONE NATION THAT GOD HAS EVER COVENANTED WITH - ISRAEL; NO GENTILE NATION (INCLUDING THE UNITED STATES) HAS EVER RECEIVED A DIVINE COVENANT FROM GOD. J. Dwight Pentecost writes:
"Finally, these covenants were made with a covenant people, Israel. In Romans 9:4 Paul states that the nation of Israel had received covenants from the Lord. In Ephesians 2:11-12 he states, conversely, that the Gentiles have not received any such covenants and consequently do not enjoy covenant relationships with God. These passages show us, negatively, that the Gentile (nations) were (and are) without covenant relationships (with God) and, positively, that God had entered into covenant relationships with Israel."
THIRD, it should be noted that THE UNCONDITIONAL COVENANTS MADE BY GOD WITH THE JEWISH PEOPLE ARE ETERNAL. In other words, they will NOT pass away. Lincoln writes:
"ALL of Israels covenants are called eternal except the Mosaic Covenant which is declared to be temporal, i.e., it was to continue only until the ... (advent of a better covenant - the New Covenant). For this detail see as follows: (1) the Abrahamic Covenant is called eternal in Genesis 17:7, 13, 19; I Chronicles 16:17; Psalm 105:10; (2) the Palestinian Covenant is called eternal in Ezekiel 16:20; the Davidic Covenant is called eternal in II Samuel 23:5; Isaiah 55:3; and Ezekiel 37:25; and (4) the New Covenant is called eternal in Isaiah 24:5; 61:8; Jeremiah 32:40; 50:5; and Hebrews 13:20."
As we just indicated, their are four different and separate UNCONDITIONAL and ETERNAL Covenants that God made with Israel - specifically: (1) the "Abrahamic Covenant," (2) the "Palestinian Covenant," (3) the "Davidic Covenant," and (4) the "New Covenant." All these covenant were declared to be ETERNAL and UNCONDITIONAL and all of them granted or re-affirmed Israel's title to the Holy Land.
The Abrahamic Covenant is the first of the four great ETERNAL and UNCONDITIONAL covenants made by God with the Jewish people (Genesis 12:1-3; 26:1-5; 28:10-15). It forms the basis for the remaining three. It contains seven promises:
(1) "I WILL MAKE OF THEE A GREAT NATION."
(2) "I WILL BLESS THEE."
(3) "AND MAKE THY NAME GREAT."
(4) "AND THOU SHALT BE A BLESSING."
(5) "I WILL BLESS THEM THAT BLESS THEE."
(6) "AND CURSE THEM THAT CURSE THEE."
(7) "AND IN THEE SHALL ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE EARTH BE BLESSED."
In the closing chapters of the Book of Deuteronomy, the children of Israel faced a crisis in their national existence (Deuteronomy 28-30). They were about to pass from the proven leadership of Moses to the unproven leadership of Joshua. They were standing at the entrance to the land that was promised to them by God. BUT THIS LAND WAS POSSESSED BY ISRAELS SWORN ENEMIES who had shown that they would resist any attempt by Israel to enter the land promised them. [WHICH IS PRECISELY WHAT ISRAEL IS FACED WITH TODAY.]
It was impossible for them to return to their former status as a slave nation, and the land to which they were journeying seemed shut before them. [And once again, this is exactly the situation that the Jewish people confront today in the Holy Land. They are caught between the "devil and the deep blue sea." Where will they go? They can't go back to the lands that drove them out in the first place - i.e., to Germany, to France, to Russia, to Iraq, to Libya, to Yemen, etc., and the Palestinians are bent on their destruction. What are they to do? - the parallel between "then" and "now" is total.] As a result, many of them doubted the efficacy of the original ABRAHAMIC COVENANT. Had the inauguration of the MOSAIC COVENANT, which all agreed was CONDITIONAL, set aside the UNCONDITIONAL ABRAHAMIC COVENANT, the promises of which were now in doubt? To answer these important questions, God stated again His covenant promise concerning Israels possession of and inheritance in the Land of Palestine.
The PALESTINIAN COVENANT promised the following:
(1) It reaffirmed title to Israel of the land of promise.
(2) It substantiated to Israel the fact that the introduction of the TEMPORAL and "CONDITIONAL" MOSAIC COVENANT had not set aside the UNCONDITIONAL and ETERNAL promises of the ABRAHAMIC COVENANT.
(3) It enlarged the boundaries of the promised land given in the ABRAHAMIC COVENANT.
In addition, THE PALESTINIAN COVENANT contained certain statements:
(1) That the nation would be punished because of its unfaithfulness vis-à-vis the MOSAIC COVENANT (Deut. 28:63-68).
(2) That Israel would be eventually restored to the land of promise after an as yet future dispersion among the Gentile nations (Deut. 30:5).
(3) That Messiah would come (Deut. 30:3-6).
(4) That there would be a future repentance of Israel (Deut. 30:1-3).
(5) That Israel would embrace Messiah as a nation (Deut. 30:4-8; cf. Rom. 11:26-27).
(6) That Israels enemies would be judged (Deut. 30:7).
(7) That the nation would receive her full and eternal blessing (Deut. 30:9).
Again, it is interesting to note that the exact conditions which prevailed at the time wherein the PALESTINIAN COVENANT was given, prevail again today. We do well to stand with Israel despite increasingly shrill calls by Israel's enemies to the contrary; it is a fearful thing to be found fighting against the God of Israel for ANY reason.
These promises made by God to Israel are contained in II Samuel 7:12-16. The historic background of the DAVIDIC COVENANT is well known. Inasmuch as David had come to power and authority in the kingdom and now dwelt in a house of cedar, it seemed incongruous that the One from whom he derived his authority and government should dwell in a house of skins - a tent. It was Davids intention to build a suitable dwelling place for God. But because he had been a man of war, David was not permitted to build this house. However, God made certain promises to David concerning the perpetuity of his house. These promises pertained to the eternal nature of:
(1) Davids House.
(2) Davids Kingdom.
(3) Davids Throne.
John Walvoord, past president of Dallas Theological Seminary, writes:
"What do the major terms of the (DAVIDIC) covenant mean? By Davids House it can hardly be doubted that reference is made to Davids posterity, his physical descendants. It is assured that they will never be slain in toto, nor displaced by another family entirely.
"The line of David will always be the royal line. By the term throne it is clear that no reference is made to a material throne, but rather to the dignity and power which was sovereign and supreme in David as king. The right to rule always belonged to Davids seed. By the term kingdom there is reference to Davids political kingdom over Israel.
"By the expression forever it is signified that the Davidic authority and the Davidic kingdom or rule over Israel shall never be transferred to another family, and its arrangement is designed for eternal perpetuity. Whatever its changing form, temporary interruptions, or chastisements, the line of David will always have the right to rule over Israel and will, in fact, exercise this privilege."
As with the PALESTINIAN COVENANT, certain prophetic implications resulted which naturally followed from the provisions of the DAVIDIC COVENANT:
(1) Israel must be preserved as a nation.
(2) Israel must be brought back into the land of her inheritance (including not just her 1948 boundaries, but also the so-called West Bank, the whole city of Jerusalem, and much of present day Jordan, southern Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, etc.
(3) Davids "Seed," the Lord Jesus Christ, must return to the earth bodily to reign over Davids promised kingdom.
(4) A literal earthly kingdom must be constituted over which Messiah will reign. Peters writes: "The fulfillment of the covenant promises implies, in view of this restored Davidic throne and kingdom, that the Messianic Kingdom is to be a visible, external kingdom, not merely a spiritual one ..."
(5) This kingdom must become an eternal kingdom.
The NEW COVENANT as stated in Jeremiah 31:31-34 guarantees to Israel what the temporal and conditional MOSAIC COVENANT could never accomplish - a converted heart as the foundation of all her blessings:
"Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a NEW COVENANT WITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL AND WITH THE HOUSE OF JUDAH: not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them out of the land of Egypt (the MOSAIC COVENANT); which covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL; after those days (i.e., the "last days") saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more." (Jeremiah 31:31-34)
"The NEW COVENANT promises:
(1) "An UNCONDITIONAL, grace covenant resting on the I WILL of God. The frequency of the phrase in Jeremiah 31:31-34 is striking (cf. Ezekiel 16:60-62).
(2) "An EVERLASTING covenant. This is closely related to the fact that it is UNCONDITIONAL and made in grace ... (Isa. 61:2; cf. Ezek. 37:26; Jer. 3135-37).
(3) "The impartation of a renewed mind and heart which we may call regeneration ... (Jer. 31:33; cf. Isa 59:21).
(4) "Restoration to the favor and blessing of God ... (Hos. 2:19-20; cf. Isa. 61:9).
(5) "Forgiveness of sin: ... for I WILL remove their iniquity, and I WILL remember their sins no more (Jer. 31:34).
(6) "The indwelling of the Holy Spirit. This is seen by comparing Jeremiah 31:33 with Ezekiel 36:27.
(7) "The teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit will be manifested and the will of God will be known by obedient hearts ... (Jer. 31:34).
(8) "As is always the case when Israel is in the land, she will be blessed materially in accordance with the provisions of the NEW COVENANT ... (Jer. 32:41; Isa. 61:8; Ezekiel 34:25-27).
(9) "The sanctuary will be rebuilt in Jerusalem, for it is written, ... I will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. My tabernacle also shall be with them'. (Ezek. 37:26-27a)
(10) "War shall cease and peace shall reign according to Hosea 2:18. The fact that this is also a definite characteristic of the Millennium (Isa. 2:4) further supports the fact that the NEW COVENANT is Millennial in its fulfillment.
(11) "The blood of the Lord Jesus Christ is the foundation of all the blessings of the NEW COVENANT, for by the blood of THY COVENANT I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water. (Zech. 9:11)
"By way of summary, it may be said that as far as the "Old Testament" teaching on the NEW COVENANT is concerned, the covenant was made with the JEWISH PEOPLE. Its period of fulfillment is yet future, beginning when the Deliverer shall come and continuing throughout all eternity. Its provisions for the nation of Israel are glorious, and they all rest ... (solely) on the WORD OF GOD." [Please see our side article, "The Church Cannot Disinherit Israel of Her Promises from God."]
THE PROBLEM WITH THESE PROMISES AS THEY RELATE TO ISRAEL, HOWEVER, IS THAT THE ISRAELIS SIMPLY DON'T BELIEVE THEM. They have no trust in them. They have no faith in the One who gave them; so they are unable to appropriate them. The promises are there! They're real. But to make them operative on their behalf, the Israelis must reach out and take them.
Israel's situation today with regard to all it faces in the Middle East is analogous to a man who is getting ready to be evicted from his home for non-payment of the mortgage without realizing that he has inherited a fortune, and it is waiting down at the bank for him to come and claim it. He received a letter to that effect several weeks ago, but he thinks its all just a prank. Meanwhile, he is running around all over town to find someone he can borrow the money from. He thinks he has found someone. The money is being offered at a RUINOUS rate of interest, but what choice does he have? - so he accepts the money.
But it's "Mafia" money and there is going to be hell to pay for it! - AND THAT IS PRECISELY WHAT ISRAEL HAS DONE BY TURNING TO THE UNITED STATES FOR HELP! That's what's happening today in the Middle East! The United States has its own fish to fry in the region, and its going to make Israel fry those fish for it. That's what happens when you borrow money from the "mob" - when you can't pay the money back, you are reduced to bondage in the "mob's" service. The Bible says:
"The rich ruleth over the poor, and the BORROWER IS THE SERVANT OF THE LENDER." (Prov. 22:7)
Exactly how close this perverse relationship has drawn the United States and Israel together is attested to by the seeming Carte Blanche that President Bush has given Ariel Sharon to do whatever he wants in his war against the Palestinian terrorists - even in the face of overwhelming opposition against Sharon and the so-called "Israeli occupation of Palestine" that has seized hold of the rest of the world.
Yes, to be sure, Bush has told Sharon to pull back his forces on the West Bank - and he has even said, "I mean it." But there was no "or else" attached to his "I mean it," and the circuitous route that Colin Powell, Bush's secretary of state, took several weeks ago to get to the Middle East seems to indicate that Bush was trying to "buy" as much time as he can for Sharon to complete his job rooting out the terrorists on the West Bank and Gaza.
One thing's for sure: there is a lot of "winking" and "nodding" going on between Bush and Sharon - enough to give the impression that while it is obligatory on Bush to appear from time to time as if he were yanking on Sharon's leash a little, the overall notion one gets is that Bush has given Sharon leave to do pretty much what he wants. And insofar as all the yelping and howls of protest from his feeble counterparts in the fifteen nation European Community, the Middle East and elsewhere in the world to do more to rein Israel in - they seem to be rolling off Bush like water off a duck's back.
THIS ISN'T WHAT WAS SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN - WHICH SUGGESTS THAT SOMETHING MAY BE AFOOT BETWEEN ISRAEL AND THE UNITED STATES THAT THE REST OF THE WORLD DOESN'T HAVE A CLUE ABOUT; that an intersection of interests and purposes between the two has taken place at the highest levels of government - one that is irresistibly pulling both countries together, and propelling them down the road to what they believe will be the "FINAL SOLUTION" to their problems in the Middle East: ALL OUT WAR, not only against the Palestinians, but against the entire Arab and Islamic world.
Most so-called "experts" had predicted that America's "War on Terrorism" would drive Israel and the United States apart, not together; that the United States, in its effort to build a large regional and global coalition - especially as its "War on Terrorism" might pertain to Iraq - would be forced to recognize that its relations with the Arab world would be shaped by its role in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict; that the United States would have to take a more "even-handed" approach to the struggle - which, when translated, means a more pro-Palestinian approach. After all, it seems - at least on the face of it - that asking Arab governments and societies to embrace U.S. foreign policy would require that the United States be seen as engaged in a serious effort to address the plight of the Palestinian people.
As both Ibish and Abunimah say,
"... U.S. policy toward the Arab world must contain affirmative elements. The U.S. cannot sustain common cause with Arab societies if it continues to oppose Palestinian independence and an end to the Israeli military occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza strip."
BUT WHAT IF THE UNITED STATES HAS COME TO SEE THAT IT HAS NO REAL FRIENDS LEFT IN THE MIDDLE EAST; THAT ITS EXTREMELY AVARICIOUS AND PREDATORY ECONOMIC POLICIES TOWARD THE PEOPLE OF THAT AREA OF THE WORLD HAVE AT LAST BORNE FRUIT IN A HARVEST OF RAGE AGAINST IT; THAT IT HAS BY NOW SO ALIENATED PEOPLE IN THAT REGION IN ITS GREED TO PUMP OIL OUT OF ARAB LANDS, THAT THE "ARAB STREET" IS NOW FORCING AMERICA'S "CLIENT-STATE" GOVERNMENTS IN THE AREA TO TURN AGAINST IT. WHAT ABOUT THAT? - that is, after all, what happened in Iran where a militant Islam there was directed almost solely against the United States, and where interest in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict played hardly any role at all. [Please see "The Coming War In The Middle East."]
What if the specter of militant Islamic fundamentalism has finally awakened the oil elites in the United States to the fact that they (and not just Israel) are also in REAL and very GRAVE danger of losing out in the Middle East? That they could very well see their billions and billions (even trillions) of dollars in "investments" there seized by "POPULISTS" under the banner of militant Islam? That most of the U.S. "client-state" governments there are about ready to "go the way" of the Shah? That the people in the region have at last caught on to what the U.S. has been doing to them for generations: ROBBING THEM BLIND OF THEIR OIL WEALTH? What about that?
The sight of the rulers of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia embracing Saddam Hussein's henchmen at the Arab summit in Beirut a few weeks ago (and all that such a thing might portend for the future of their investments there) could not have been lost on Washington. Neither did it escape their attention that King Abdullah of Jordan and President Mubarak of Egypt both declined to attend the Beirut summit out of fear that in their absence from Amman and Cairo respectively, Islamic militants could use the opportunity to instigate street riots and even a revolt against them. All this suggests that America's "client-state" elites in the Middle East hold a very tenuous grip on power; that they no longer are in control of events, and are - as a result - in grave danger of being overthrown. Then where would the United States be?
Such things cannot but weigh heavily on the minds of American government officials these days - especially in light of the fact that almost every member of the Bush Administration is a card-carrying member of America's oil elite with HUGE personal investments in the area at risk; cut them off from their source of funds - i.e., the oil revenues pouring into their coffers from the Middle East - and the power these people wield would dry up and quickly wither away. In this country, MONEY MEANS POWER. Lose your money and you will lose your power; it's as simple as that!
Some might object to this analysis. Most people think that war for the United States and Israel in the Middle East is simply unwinnable; that if, perchance, Israel and the United States are pushing for this kind of solution - i.e., all out war - Israel is in danger of bringing on its own destruction, and the United States runs the very real risk of getting involved in a guerrilla war that would make Vietnam look like a cakewalk.
After all, their Islamic opponents not only do not recoil from death, they embrace it as martyrs - and terrorism wielded by the hands of people like that is surely something to make people think twice about. What would happen to the Israeli and American armies in vast, built-up urban areas like Baghdad, Cairo, Beirut, Amman, Teheran, and so forth when confronted there by guerrillas in street to street, and building to building fighting? - their soldiers would certainly be slaughtered just as surely as they were in Mogadishu in Somalia.
But people who think like that do not appreciate the kind of war that Israel and the United States may be contemplating: TOTAL WAR on a scale not seen since the end of World War II: the kind of war where whole cities are leveled to the ground, where not one building is left standing; and where whole populations are mercilessly slaughtered: the kind of war that was waged against Dresden, Berlin, Munich, Tokyo and - yes - even HIROSHIMA and NAGASAKI. [Please see "The Revolution In Military Affairs."]
Be clear - be ABSOLUTELY clear here: THE U.S. AND ISRAEL CAN WIN THAT KIND OF WAR. All it takes on their part is the stomach to wage it. And after 18 months of unrelenting terrorist attacks that only seem to get worse and worse, Israel is clearly acquiring a stomach for EXACTLY that kind of warfare, and the U.S., for altogether different reasons, is very close to letting Israel do so - or how else can one explain the seeming Carte Blanche that the United States has granted Israel in its war against the Palestinians?
And, again, make no mistake about it - that's EXACTLY what the U.S. has granted Israel, all of America's posturing to the contrary, and all of Bush's demands that Israel withdraw from the "occupied areas" notwithstanding. It's all show, and very little reality. That's certainly what most in Europe and the Middle East think. That's precisely what King Mohammed VI of Morocco told U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell when he visited him in Casablanca. The very real fact of the matter is, America and Israel are "in bed" with each other insofar as what is happening in the Middle East.
No doubt, the reason that each country would have for waging TOTAL WAR in the Middle East would be different: the Israelis, because they fear for their national existence, and even for their very lives; the Americans (or, more accurately, the American elites) because they fear for their investments - and it's precisely here that one can at last begin to discern the real relationship between Israel and the United States: the U.S. is in the "driver's seat" because when one fears for his or her very life, ONE IS MORE WILLING TO STRIKE A BARGAIN WITH THE DEVIL; specifically, Israel may be more willing than usual to be USED as America's "cat's paw" in its (America's) struggle to maintain access to the oil wealth of the Middle East. [Please see "The Real Enemy Of Israel: It's Not Who You Think!"]
The very real fact of the matter is, the American oil elites are desperate to save their investments in the Middle East and Central Asia - and, as a result, the elite press has been beating the war drums against militant Islam for some time now, and serving up pictures on a never-ending basis on CNN, FOX, PBS, NBC, ABC, and CBS of the twin towers of the World Trade Center crashing down in New York City. The not too subtle message behind all this, of course, is that militant Islam needs to be DESTROYED before it can destroy us - never mind the fact that Islam is bereft of any nuclear bombs, while the U.S. possesses enough nuclear warheads to destroy the nations of the Middle East a thousand times over; and, of course, forget the fact that the U.S. has been robbing the people of the Middle East blind of their God-given oil wealth for generations now while most of the people in the region barely scrape by on pennies a day.
But the U.S. elites don't want you to know about that - i.e., about how HATED America is in the Middle East (and the reasons why it is so hated) - and they have done everything in their power to obscure these facts from the American people - though the elites themselves have very little doubt as to that matter any longer. They know very well what Islamic fundamentalism's main target is! - i.e., who the "GREAT SATAN" is: it's the United States, not Israel. [Please see "The Caucasus Mountains, And Chevron Oil."]
Indeed, it is impossible to over-emphasize the fact that when Islamic fundamentalism FIRST surfaced in Iran, it had very little to do with what was happening between Israel and the Palestinians, and everything to do with the thieving ways of the American oil elite. Israel hardly registered as a blip on the radar screens of the Iranian mullahs. The U.S. was the main target - and while Israel now registers pretty near the top of Islamic fundamentalism's target list, THERE CAN BE LITTLE DOUBT THAT SHOULD ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALISM SWEEP THE MIDDLE EAST, THE OIL ELITES IN THE UNITED STATES ARE GOING TO PAY A VERY STEEP PRICE INDEED.
And this is where Israel comes in. Israel is America's FORCE OF LAST RESORT if all else fails in the Middle East. It isn't as if the U.S. is through playing its duplicitous games in the Middle East with its "client-state" governments in the area - i.e., Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, etc., it's just if that game is lost, the U.S. can still play its "TRUMP CARD" in the area: Israel.
If, "God forbid," despite all of America's efforts to contain the genie of Islamic fundamentalism, which it - more than any other country - is responsible for uncorking on the world, it (i.e. Islamic fundamentalism) sweeps the Middle East and Central Asia anyway, America - contrary to what a lot of very naive pundits in Europe and this country think - is not going to fold up its tents and quietly steal away in the night. THEY WILL FIGHT! - AND THE ARMY THEY INTEND TO USE IS THE ISRAELI ARMY. The poor Israelis! - they think to use the United States for their purposes, but it's the U.S. that is going to use Israel for its purposes. That's what happens when one strikes a deal with the devil.
The Bible calls this agreement - i.e., Israel's "deal" to be America's "cat's paw" in the Middle East - HER (i.e., Israel's) "COVENANT WITH DEATH;" AND HER "AGREEMENT WITH HELL!" [Please see Chapter VI of the Antipas Papers, "The Gog/Magog War"] - AND IT IS PRECISELY THIS AGREEMENT THAT WILL PRECIPITATE ALL THE EVENTS OF THE TRIBULATION PERIOD - DANIEL'S SEVENTIETH WEEK! Specifically, the Bible says:
"And he [i.e., the "King of Babylon" - please see our article, "In Search of Babylon; What do the Scriptures Say?"] shall confirm the covenant with many (Israel) for one week (seven years): and in the midst of the week (after three and a half years) he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate." (Dan. 9:27a) [Please see Chapter V of the Antipas Papers, "Understanding the Book of Revelation" for a "time line" for the Tribulation Period."]
The living Bible translates this passage thus:
"This king [Antichrist - please see Chapter XIII of the Antipas Papers, "Anti-Christ, King of Babylon."] will make a seven year TREATY with the people [Israel], but after half that time, he will break his pledge and stop the Jews from all their sacrifices and their offerings; then as a climax to all his terrible deeds, the enemy [Antichrist] shall utterly defile the sanctuary of God [which is to say, he shall commit the Abomination of Desolation]." (Daniel 9:27a LB)
J. Dwight Pentecost writes:
"According to Daniel 9:26-27 the prince of the Roman empire (i.e., the West, called Babylon) will make a covenant with Israel for a seven year period. This covenant evidently ... guarantees Israels integrity [is a defense pact] ... [and] also is a Satanic imitation of the fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant [see Chapter III of the Antipas Papers, "The Distinction Between Israel and the Church" - specifically that section that deals with the promises of God to Israel.] which ... [guaranteed] Israel title deed to the land. This action is pictured by John [in the Apocalypse] (Rev. 16:2) as a rider going forth to conquer [as the first horseman in the Apocalypse] ... This condition exists for three and one-half years, after which the covenant is broken by the ... [Antichrist]."
One of the most eminent scholars on "Last Things," Sir Robert Anderson, says that the signing of this treaty will signify the beginning of the Seventieth Week - i.e., the "Tribulation Period!" Anderson writes:
"... the Seventieth Week [the seven year period of the Tribulation] will be a definite period of time, of which the beginning, the middle, and the end are definitely marked [by certain well defined events (please see chart #2, in Chapter V of the Antipas Papers, "Understanding the Book of Revelation")]. [Just as the beginning of the first sixty-nine weeks were signified] ... not by the return of the Jews from Babylon, nor yet by the rebuilding of their Temple, but by the SIGNING OF THE PERSIAN DECREE [TREATY] which restored ... [them], so also the beginning of the Seventieth Week will date not from their restoration to Judea [May 14, 1948], nor yet from the future rebuilding of their shrine, but from the SIGNING OF THE [DEFENSE] TREATY BY THE COMING PRINCE [ANTICHRIST]."
BUT THE UNITED STATES IS NOT ISRAEL'S FRIEND! The fact is, the Bible calls the country with whom Israel has covenanted with here (i.e., the United States) an "OVERFLOWING SCOURGE." Pretty heavy! - and it warns Israel that this "overflowing scourge" will eventually BETRAY it:
"... your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the OVERFLOWING SCOURGE shall pass through, THEN YE SHALL BE TRODDEN DOWN BY IT." (Is. 28:18) ["Overflowing scourge?" - this is certainly a pretty good description of the United States: just ask the peoples and nations of the world that the U.S. had reduced to "client-state" status - for example, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador, Guatemala, Zaire - the list is endless.]
SO, ISRAEL IS WARNED: "You have covenanted with death, and you have made an agreement with hell, and you will be betrayed by those you have covenanted with."
Nonetheless, Israel persists in its desire for such a treaty - and, in the end, it will no doubt get what it wants, PROBABLY UNDER THE PRETENSE OF GUARANTEEING A PEACE WITH THE PALESTINIANS.
Concerning such a treaty as it would relate to peace in the Middle East, Newsweek writes:
"Even if those Palestinians who sign a 'final' agreement have no afterthoughts, no one can guarantee that they will not be replaced by radical successors. A peace agreement will not quell but may stimulate the intransigence of Hamas and other radical groups or states. If, as is asserted, Arafat cannot be asked to accept a permanent cease-fire as an entrance price into negotiations because his radical opponents would have a veto, why would not the same condition apply after a peace settlement? Thus the differences between a permanent and an interim settlement are more a matter of adjectives than substance. NATO ... or other third-party guarantees (i.e., guarantees from the EC or the UN) are of marginal utility in overcoming this problem.
"Nobody can seriously believe that the European countries would go to war for Israel, especially against challenges that are likely to be ambiguous. THE ONLY POSSIBLE SOLUTION WOULD BE AN AMERICAN GUARANTEE AGAINST INVASION FROM NEIGHBORING STATES ..."
But this is EXACTLY what the prophet is warning Israel against: such a guarantee is an affront to God; an abomination; IT IS ISRAEL PLAYING THE HARLOT WITH THE UNITED STATES.
Nonetheless, the Bible says that God will fight for Israel despite Israel's unfaithfulness; the Scriptures tell us:
"... LET GOD BE TRUE, though every man (be found out to be) a liar ..." (Rom. 3:4)
Specifically, insofar as this great war is concerned, the Bible says:
"... Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do NOT this (i.e., fight for you) for YOUR sakes, O house of Israel, but for MINE holy name's sake, WHICH YE HAVE PROFANED among the heathen, whither ye went." (Ezek. 36:22)
In other words, God has a purpose in this matter (i.e., insofar as this great war is concerned) that both encompasses and at the same time transcends Israel: and that purpose is to prove His faithfulness. If God can be faithful to faithless Israel, He can surely be faithful to all of us, regardless of who we are or what we have done. God is faithful; again, the Bible says:
"... LET GOD BE TRUE, though every man (be found out to be) a liar ... (Rom. 3:4)
And so God warns all those who oppose Israel - those who dwell in the lands "round about" her (i.e., in the regions of Mount Seir), who honor God, but who dwell in the midst of Israel's enemies; the warning to you is: GET OUT - AND DO SO QUICKLY; there is very little time left! The Lord is about ready to SANCTIFY His great name, and you are advised to get out of the way while there is still time. The Bible says:
"... I will sanctify my great name ... and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD ... when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes." (Ezek. 36:23)
And one is making a great mistake in making light of this warning! - Christian or non-Christian; believer or non-believer. The warning is: Get away, and get away as soon as you can!
The details of the Gog/Magog war are given in chapters 38 and 39 of the Book of Ezekiel; in Daniel 11:40-45; in Matthew 24:4-21; and finally in Revelation 12 [Please see Chapter VI of the Antipas Papers, "The Gog/Magog War," for a detailed description of this war.] A CLEAR UNDERSTANDING OF THIS GREAT STRUGGLE CAN ONLY EMERGE AFTER ALL THESE VERSES ARE PIECED TOGETHER.
The Bible says that in "the LATTER YEARS" (cf. Daniel 11:40 and Ezekiel 38:8) Israel will find herself surrounded by a group of nations who possess a PERPETUAL HATRED" against her (Ezek 35:5), and who have covenanted together to destroy her "... by the force of the sword ..." (Ezek. 35:5). [Please see our side article, "The Gog/Magog War as Differentiated from Armageddon."]
The Bible carefully lists these nations: essentially, nations, tribes and peoples who nowadays inhabit that portion of the Islamic world which stretches in the form of a great arc from the Caucuses Mountains in the north, southward through Iran, Iraq, Syria, etc., and then westward along the northern rim of Africa (Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, etc.). [We URGE you to see our side article on this subject, "Old Thinking vs. New Thinking Regarding the Participants in the Gog/Magog War" - especially as this old thinking impacts Russia's supposed involvement in it.]
That it will be a MASSIVE invasion is clearly foretold by Ezekiel where the Lord speaks through the prophet to the remarkable angelic prince (kosmokrater) in charge of the army: GOG. The Bible says:
"... Behold, I AM AGAINST THEE, O GOG ...
"... I will bring thee (i.e., "Gog") forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:
"Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:
"Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.
"Be thou (i.e., Gog") prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.
"After many days thou shalt be visited (i.e., visited by God): in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people (i.e., Israel), against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations ...
"Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee.
"To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations (again, Israel), which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.
"And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the LATTER DAYS, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes." (Ezek. 38:3-9, 12, 16)
"... Behold, I am AGAINST thee, O Gog ... (Ezek. 38:3) Listen to me, dear brothers and sisters in the Lord: again I warn you, it is a fearful thing to be found opposing God insofar as Israel is concerned. You will surely live to regret it. SOMETHING DREADFUL WILL HAPPEN TO YOU! - and not only to you, but to all those - Christian and non-Christian like - who today take sides against Israel insofar as the Holy Land is concerned. [Again, please see our side article on Texe Marrs.] I REPEAT, THIS IS NOT A MATTER OF RIGHT AND WRONG; IT IS A MATTER PERTAINING TO GOD'S SOVEREIGNTY - and if you challenge God's SOVEREIGNTY in this matter, you will SURELY BE DESTROYED. And it is about to happen to all those in the Middle East who oppose Israel. Again, the Bible says to them all:
I AM AGAINST THEE." (Ezek. 38:3)
And specifically to Gog, the Bible says:
"... I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an OVERFLOWING ... FIRE ..." (Ezek. 38:22)
Moreover, the Bible leaves nothing to the imagination as to what is going to happen to Gog:
"... I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee ...
"Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured.
"Thou shalt fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD.
"So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.
"Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord GOD; this is the day whereof I have spoken.
And then, as if to erase any and all doubt as to the extent of the victory God will give to Israel over her enemies - i.e., the forces of militant Islam - the Bible says:
"And they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and the bucklers, the bows and the arrows, and the handstaves, and the spears, and THEY SHALL BURN THEM WITH FIRE SEVEN YEARS: [Now think about that, SEVEN YEARS: it gives you an idea of the extent of the victory - i.e., that it will take seven years to clean up the mess, which, interestingly, is the length of the Tribulation period - please see Chapter V of the Antipas Papers, "Understanding the Book of Revelation;" please also see Chapter VI of the Antipas Papers, "The Gog / Magog War."]
"And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea: and it shall stop the noses of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude: and they shall call it The valley of Hamongog.
"And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land.
"Yea, all the people of the land shall bury them; and it shall be to them a renown the day that I shall be glorified, saith the Lord GOD.
"And they shall sever out men of continual employment, passing through the land to bury with the passengers those that remain upon the face of the earth, to cleanse it: after the end of seven months shall they search." (Ezek. 39:2, 3-5, 7-9, 11-14)
Now think about all that is being described here! - it's not pleasant picture! The Bible says that after the war, travelers (i.e., "passengers") traveling through the Middle East will be continually finding the unburied bodies of Gog's soldiers left over from Gog's enormous defeat - and their smell will be so great and so nauseous that it will cause people to gag from the stench. So great a problem will all this be, that workers will have to be employed to "pass through the land" searching for the bodies and burying them. It is a MASSIVE victory for Israel.
BUT NOW ISRAEL WILL HAVE TO "PAY THE PIPER" FOR HER ILL-ADVISED ALLIANCE WITH THE UNITED STATES. Anti-Christ is now ensconced in the Holy Land. The Bible says:
[Please see Chapter XIII of the Antipas Papers "Antichrist: King Of Babylon."]
Why is he there? - obviously to "honor" the treaty he made with Israel. [Please see Daniel and the Latter Days (Moody Press) by Robert Duncan Culver for an excellent treatment of these and other passages]. Specifically, the Bible says that -
"... at the time of the end (he - i.e., anti-Christ) shall come ... LIKE A WHIRLWIND, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall OVERFLOW and PASS OVER." (Dan. 11:40)
The Bible continues:
"... and many countries will fall; [i.e., many nations in the Middle East shall fall prey to him]
"Then he [i.e., Antichrist] will stretch out his hand against other countries, and the land of Egypt [which was formerly anti-Christ's ally] will not escape.
"And he [i.e., Antichrist] will GAIN CONTROL OVER THE HIDDEN TREASURES ... [no doubt, the oil reserves of the region]
"But rumors from the East and from the North will disturb him [i.e., Antichrist], and he [Antichrist] will go forth WITH GREAT WRATH to DESTROY and ANNIHILATE many. [i.e., shall go north in the direction of Europe, and east in the direction of Pakistan, Indonesia, etc.] (Dan. 11:41-44)
What's happened here? The Gog/Magog war is done, and Anti-Christ, claiming that the victory is his, has entered the Holy Land, and from there he has "OVERFLOWED" (Dan. 11:40) into the Middle East in general with an ENORMOUSLY POWERFUL army. And why has he come (the defense pact notwithstanding)? - to "GAIN CONTROL OVER THE HIDDEN TREASURES" of the area: the OIL. But as he seizes the oil, a protest against what he is doing is raised from a group of nations to the "north" and "east" of the Middle East, and he sends forth his army in great wrath to "DESTROY" and "ANNIHILATE" those who oppose him. Then the Bible says that -
"... he [Antichrist] will pitch the tents of his royal pavilion between the seas and the beautiful Holy Mountain ..." (Daniel 11:45)
The whole dark and sinister tenor of these verses indicates that something astonishing has happened to the anti-Christ here. The victory that he supposes to be his as a result of the Gog/Magog War has very obviously produced within him an extraordinary "MESSIAH-COMPLEX," so that now he seems to be saying with Lucifer, "Son of the Morning:"
"... I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
"I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High." (Is. 14:13-41)
And the evidence that he has been seized by a "MESSIAH-COMPLEX" is evinced by the fact that the Bible says that after he has destroyed his enemies "to the north" and "to the east," he returns to the Holy Land to "... pitch the tents of his royal pavilion between the seas and the beautiful Holy Mountain ..." (Daniel 11:45) In other words, so taken is anti-Christ by his new "MESSIAH-COMPLEX" that he "establishes" himself in Jerusalem - the "City of God." Whatever doubts that he had had that he was "ON A MISSION FROM GOD" have now all been erased; and in this connection, it should be noted that Isaiah 28:18 seems to indicate that anti-Christ's "presence" in Israel has been transformed into a kind of military OCCUPATION - or how else should one understand that Israel is now "TRODDEN DOWN" by the "OVERFLOWING SCOURGE" (i.e., the anti-Christ).
The question is, from where did this "messiah-complex" originate? Anti-Christ is, after all, merely a man; he is not God; he is not divine. Indeed, speaking of him, the Bible says,
"Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus (i.e., Anti-Christ - please see The Coming Prince by Robert Duncan Culver), Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; YET THOU ART A MAN, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God ..." (Ezek. 28:2)
Anti-Christ's "messiah-complex" originated from somewhere, just as Hitler's did. Hitler received his ideas from the German people - people like Alfred Rosenberg, Houston Stewart Chamberlain (who was actually an Englishman, but who became German), Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, etc. Where did anti-Christ get his? That's the question! These ideas - the kind that lead to a "messiah-complex" - don't appear out of thin air.
The one great difference between a tyrant and a messiah-figure (which anti-Christ plainly is) is that a tyrant forces himself on a population; he imposes himself on it, often by force of arms like a Pinochet or a Samosa. But a messiah-figure - someone like a Hitler, for instance - receives his power by acclimation. Rather than imposing himself on people, he gives the appearance of emanating from them - and this is precisely what the Scriptures say about anti-Christ:
"And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy." (Rev. 13:1)
[In Scripture, the "sea" is a representation of the people; in other words, the "beast" (anti-Christ) originates from the people by acclimation.]
A messiah-figure is in a very real sense a living MANIFESTATION of the people out from which he comes; he is their creation, their "mirror image" - and so much so that it is often the case that the people "recognize" a "messiah" long before he "recognizes" himself.
The well-known English historian Ian Kershaw writes concerning the possessor of this kind of "charisma" or "messianism" (specifically, as it pertained to Hitler):
"If I have found one concept more than any other which has helped me to find a way to bind together the otherwise contradictory approaches (to Hitler) through biography and the writing of social history, it is Max Weber's notion of 'charismatic leadership' - a notion which looks to explanations of this extraordinary form of political domination primarily in the perception of 'charisma', that is, in the society rather than, in the first instance, in the personality of the object of their adulation."
What Kershaw is saying here is that the holder of "charismatic power" derives it not so much from the force of his own personality, but from a society that is predisposed toward seeing him as such; specifically, IT IS DERIVED FROM THE READINESS OF OTHERS TO SEE HIM AS A MESSIANIC FIGURE.
Max Weber conceptualized messianic leadership, which he contrasted with "traditional" and "legal" leadership (i.e., leadership resting on impersonal, "rational," bureaucratic rules), as an extraordinary form of rule, tending to arise in unusual or crisis conditions, and directed not at the solution of everyday problems of government, but at overcoming "supradimensional" emergencies. Messianic authority rests on people perceiving in their messiah-figure supernatural and/or superhuman power.
According to Weber, then, Messianism is a quality determined by the subjective perceptions of the followers. Weber writes:
"What is alone important is how the individual is actually regarded by those subject to charismatic (i.e., messianic) authority, by his 'followers' or 'disciples'."
The followers of the leader are won over and their backing derived from personal loyalty, not abstract "rules" or positions, and it is sustained by great deeds, resounding successes, and notable achievements which provide the repeated "proof" of the leader's "calling." The bearer of charisma (i.e., messianic leadership) seizes the task for which he is destined and demands that others obey and follow him BY VIRTUE OF HIS PERCEIVED MISSION OR "CALLING." If those to whom he feels sent do not recognize him, his claim collapses; if they recognize it, he is their master as long as he "proves" himself.
Who, then, are anti-Christ's followers in the first instance? From what social milieu does he emanate that renders to him the "recognition" messianic leadership demands? WHO ARE THOSE PEOPLE TODAY WHO ARE PRONE TO SEE HIM AS A MESSIAH? - and remember here, this great latter-day messiah possesses much more than mere social charisma, but RELIGIOUS charisma, and a particular kind of religious charisma; a kind that attaches great importance to the Holy Land, and most particularly, to Jerusalem. So very obviously, we are not talking about a Hindu-like "New Age" charisma; that kind of leader would be more disposed "to pitch the tents of his royal pavilion" (Daniel 11:45) in the Himalayas, or in the Hindu-Cush, or maybe even in the Andes or some other such "High Place," but not in Jerusalem.
The very real fact of the matter is, THERE IS ONLY ONE GROUP IN ALL THE EARTH THAT IS TODAY PRONE TO SEE MESSIAHS - at least the religious kind of messiah described in Daniel and the Revelation: and that is THE AMERICAN EVANGELICAL COMMUNITY, THE VERY GROUP OF PEOPLE WHO TODAY FORM THE CORE ELEMENT OF PRESIDENT BUSH'S POLITICAL CONSTITUENCY.
While Europe is a spent force religiously speaking, American Christianity is alive and well, and has actually installed "ITS MAN" in the presidency. There is NOTHING in Europe that even comes close to the vibrant nature of American evangelicalism. There are no churches anywhere there that can match the huge size of D. James Kennedy's church in Florida, or James Robison's church in Texas. Such churches simply don't exist in Europe. Yes, Europe has its cathedrals, but they are nothing more than empty hulks of a bygone era who serve more as tourist attractions to visiting Americans than houses of worship to Europeans. Leaving aside the fact that Europe is a pygmy militarily speaking, and nothing more than an American client-state economically speaking, Europe simply doesn't possess the kind of population that sees messiahs any longer. They are a "spent people" on a "spent continent" that no longer are capable of "climbing high mountains," or "dreaming great dreams."
But Americans? - THEY'RE DIFFERENT! They still believe in "MANIFEST DESTINY!" - and they still believe that some great destiny awaits them. And no where else does this dream hold sway more than in the hearts of American evangelicals. To Americans, America is God's great REDEEMER NATION. What German today would ever say that about Germany? Or what Englishman would say that about England? Or what Frenchman would say that about France? - and most especially, what European would ever say that about that impersonal, bureaucratic, detached entity called the EC? Such people don't exist.
But in America, MANIFEST DESTINY is alive and well, and it is throbbing in the breasts of countless numbers of American evangelicals whose hearts beat proudly whenever they see their planes bomb another village in Afghanistan, or another aspirin factory in the Sudan; or whenever they see one of their massive carrier battle groups return home from duty to San Diego or Newport News, having bombed the hell out of some third world country. [And I say this not as one who has never served in the military; I am a combat veteran of the Vietnam war having served in two long, drawn-out combat campaigns and having won a bronze star.]
American Christians long ago forgot what Jesus said about this world:
"... My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight ... but ... my kingdom (is) not from hence." (John 18:36)
They have instead unabashedly embraced the old Calvinist (Puritan) concept of America as the "REDEEMER NATION" that God has chosen to carry "Christian Civilization" to the world.
In recent years, this older Calvinism has been merged with the newer concept of "dominionism" which has served only to enhance and strengthen the concept of America as the "REDEEMER NATION" on the American evangelical's imagination. Al Dager, a recognized authority on "dominionism," explains the new dominionist mindset,
"Some two decades before Pentecostalism found its way into the (mainstream) denominations (i.e., the Episcopalians, the Catholic Church, etc.) as the Charismatic Renewal, it experienced a new surge of experience-oriented theology within its own ranks. It was from this neo-Pentecostal experience - what came to be called the Latter Rain Movement - that Charismatic Dominionism sprang. The more prominent leaders of that movement blended Pentecostal fervor with teachings that THE CHURCH WAS ON THE BRINK OF A WORLDWIDE REVIVAL. THAT REVIVAL WOULD RESULT IN A VICTORIOUS CHURCH WITHOUT SPOT OR WRINKLE ... (WHICH) WOULD INHERIT THE EARTH AND RULE OVER THE NATIONS WITH A ROD OF IRON."
The mixture of the two - i.e., the older Calvinism that pictured America as God's REDEEMER NATION and the newer dominionism that postulates the belief that the church is on the brink of a great REVIVAL that will result in the church inheriting the earth and ruling over the nations with a rod of iron - has produced in evangelicals the belief that God is going to bring a vast revival to America - and through America, the world. It has conjured up a picture in American evangelicals of America as a kind of new CRUSADER STATE destined by God to spread the Christian message throughout the world - AT THE POINT OF A SWORD, if necessary
Preaching the "Gospel of peace" (Rom 10:15 & Eph 6:15) at the point of a sword? It's OXYMORONIC! It's INSANE! Nonetheless, this is what the late R.J. Rushdoony plainly taught when he wrote,
"In winning a nation (or the world) to the gospel, THE SWORD AS WELL AS THE PEN MUST BE USED."
It's also what Sam Fife believed when he said,
"... Jesus is setting up His kingdom here on earth ... WE ARE THE RULERS OF THIS PLANET - IT'S TIME WE TAKE OVER."
And insofar as America's pivotal role in the conquest of the world for "Christ and the church," Kenneth Copeland says:
"THIS COUNTRY BELONGS TO GOD ... Hes the One who brought the United States of America into existence. He has a SPECIAL PURPOSE for it (as God's REDEEMER NATION) ... He raised it up, and its not going to be taken away from Him."
To evangelicals like Kenneth Copeland, Sam Fife and R.J. Rushdoony, there is no such a thing as the separation of church and state. The state exists merely to serve the needs of the church. For example, the late W.A. Criswell, the Senior Pastor of Dallas's giant First Baptist Church, said:
"THERE IS NO SUCH A THING AS THE SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE. It is merely a figment of the imagination of infidels."
And the list of those who now embrace this kind of very menacing Christianity reads like a "Who's Who" of American pastors and leaders - people who fervently believe in America as the REDEEMER NATION destined by God to conquer the world for "Christ and the church" - and includes such Christian "luminaries" as Charles Stanley, D. James Kennedy, Tim LaHaye, the late John Wimber, Juan Carlos Ortiz, C. Peter Wagner, Beverley LaHaye, Ern Baxter, Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagin, Oral Roberts, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Chuck Colson, Jack Hayford, David Yonggi Cho (yes, even Cho who isn't an American, but a Korean), Robert Stearns, Mike Bickle, Reuven Doron, Che Ahn, Frank Hammond, Cindy Jacobs, Bill Hamon, John Eckhardt, Bobbie Byerly, Dutch Sheets, Jim Goll, John Paul Jackson, James Ryle, Frank Damazio, Ed Silvoso, Carlos Annacondia, Claudio Freidzon, Roger Mitchell, Ted Haggart, Paul Cain, Chuck Pierce, Rick Joyner, Kingsley Fletcher, Jim Laffoon, Barbara Wentroble, ad infinitum.
The eschatological model that all these men in one way or another subscribe to is as follows:
Now it's important to note that the dominionist model as depicted here is not an eschatological model that is well organized or very well thought-out - and most certainly it is not based on any kind of systematic treatment of the Word. Indeed, one will search in vain for any theological coherence in it at all. Within the world created by this system, one will find very few people arguing over its details. There are no details, only broad generalizations and a good deal of talk about a coming "Great Revival," "taking back territory from the enemy," "demonic principalities and powers," the "Coming of Christ in oneself" (i.e., the "Grail Quest" and the "search for inner purity"), and that kind of thing. "Taking back territory" from the "enemy" - whether in oneself or in the world - that's what the dominionist mindset is all about - and when one "takes enough territory back," Christ will come again.
Of course, none of these things (i.e., the "Great Revival," "taking back territory," etc.) have any connection with the Scriptures. Indeed, they are at TOTAL variance with them - and that's because the Scriptures point unswervingly to an apostatized church at the "end of days" that has fallen into "deception" (Matt. 24:21-25). Paul says,
"Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
"Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God." (2 Thess. 2:3-4)
What's Paul saying here? Well, it's plain enough! - he is saying that BEFORE the "man of sin" (i.e., the anti-Christ) is revealed there will be a FALLING AWAY of Christians from the faith. That is what the word "apostasy" means - to "fall away." Unbelievers can't "fall away" from the faith - they were never there to begin with. To believe so is tantamount to saying that someone who is on the first floor of a building can "fall away" from the building's tenth story even though he has never been there. It's impossible! It's an absurdity!
This may not be what Christians today want to hear - but this is certainly what the Scriptures say. Indeed, the Lord Himself says that when He returns to wind up this present evil age, the overall state of the planet will be very similar to the time of Noah just prior to the flood (Lk. 17:26-27), and the time of Sodom just before the cataclysm which destroyed that city (Lk. 17:28-30). The picture here, in both illustrations, is of a wholly sinful, unconcerned world, carrying on its business without a care to know spiritual truth (cf. Gen. 6:5, 11-12 and Gen. 18:20-21).
The fact is, the basic premise behind Christian dominionism - that the church can conquer the world using the military might of the United States - is so TOTALLY and COMPLETELY absurd that only apostates of the worst kind could possibly accept such a supposition - which is EXACTLY what people like C. Peter Wagner, Charles Stanley, D. James Kennedy, Tim LaHaye, the late John Wimber, Juan Carlos Ortiz, C. Peter Wagner, Beverley LaHaye, Ern Baxter, Kenneth Copeland, etc. are - i.e., APOSTATES.
Concerning the picture of the church just prior to His coming again, the Lord is constrained to ask rhetorically,
"... when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:8)
Apostate or not - this is PRECISELY the kind of Christianity that George Bush has come to embrace - the kind that he first ran into when he met Dr. Tony Evans (not to be confused with Don Evans), the black pastor of one of Dallas's largest mega-churches, the crystal-chandeliered Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship, and the Christian organization Evans helped to found, the PROMISE KEEPERS. [We URGE those of you who have not already, to read our detailed article on Bush's religious beliefs, "George Bush, the Promise Keepers, and the Principles of Messianic Leadership." It is simply impossible to comprehend what Bush is really all about - what motivates him politically - without at the same time understanding his religious convictions.]
Essentially, what Bush learned from Evans was a completely new approach to politics - a RELIGIOUS approach rather than an economic one, an approach that Bush thought could trump the economic message that Clinton had used to defeat his father with. Indeed, Dr. Martin Hawkins, Tony Evans' assistant pastor, says that what Bush did was to imbibe a "WHOLE NEW PHILOSOPHY" about "how the world should be seen from a divine viewpoint - A VIEWPOINT THAT HAS BUILT INTO IT AN IMPERATIVE TOWARDS CONQUEST. And it is precisely in those terms that Bush is justifying his war against "EVIL" (i.e., his "War on Terrorism"). The fact is, that word (i.e., "evil") was not chosen haphazardly; it is being used in a very purposeful fashion. "EVIL" is a religious term, and does not really fit into a secular context, or in the lexicon of the Left.
AND IT IS PRECISELY THIS KIND OF CHRISTIANITY THAT UNDERGIRDS THE PRESIDENCY OF GEORGE BUSH! - AND IT THIRSTS FOR THE SUBJUGATION OF MILITANT ISLAM! Moreover, the events of September 11th have only served to ratchet up American evangelicalism's hatred of Islam. As far as these Christians are concerned, Islam and Christianity are in a "STRUGGLE UNTO DEATH," and only one of them will emerge intact. For example, Pastor John Hagee, senior pastor of the giant Cornerstone Church of San Antonio, Texas (a church that George Bush visited often while he was still governor of Texas) - has been circulating a video to evangelical churches around the country entitled "Allah and America" that calls for a "Christian holy war" (read: "crusade") against Islam. The synopsis printed on the cover of the series reads:
"In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on September 11, (liberal) American politicians have tripped over themselves to affirm that the vast majority of Muslims living in the United States are just ordinary people. Is this true? The Americans who died on September 11th are casualties of a global conflict (between good and evil), whose other victims include Jews in Israel, Christians in Indonesia and Pakistan. When one side understands it's at war and the other thinks its adversaries are apostles of peace, guess which side has the advantage and will win the war?
"The Bible says, 'You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free'. It is not truth that sets you free ... but the knowledge of the truth that sets you free. In this series, Pastor Hagee reveals intensive historical, theological and religious research to determine the truth concerning the Islamic faith in America and the world. Learn the truth about the Islamic faith and its intentions for America."
In the series of tapes (three altogether), Hagee calls Muslims living in this country "ENEMIES OF THE STATE." He says that they are all followers of a "MURDEROUS RELIGION" that is out to destroy America, and he calls on Americans to "wake up" before "it's too late" and support Bush in his "War on Terrorism" - a war which he hopes the president will eventually "morph" from a war directed merely against "terrorism" into a war against all of Islam. And Hagee isn't alone in his feelings here. There is very little most conservative evangelicals would find fault with in these videos (sermons).
The sad fact of the matter is, war has always been a part of Christianity; indeed, it has been elevated to the status of a holy sacrament, and that is especially true with American evangelicalism. Historian Charles Potts writes,
"The sinews of war in the United States ... (have always been) wrapped in churchy tones"
To American evangelicals, the holy trinity consists of (1) conservative Christian preachers, (2) conservative politicians, and (3) the military establishment - not the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. To evangelicals, when liberals attack the flag, preach non-violence, cut the defense budget, and try to impose religious "diversity" on the political and social structures of the nation, what they are really doing is attacking God. Potts says:
"Church and state, far from being separated, are a simultaneous and identical occasion in the United States ... The flag is the symbol of this religious fusion and the Pledge is the state prayer."
The fact is, in America God is wrapped up in the flag, and the mandatory worship of this piece of cloth, with all the ceremony attendant to this obligation, is the real liturgy of American evangelicalism.
This is no joke! This is no exaggeration! This is for real! For example, John Eckhardt, the pastor and "overseer" of Crusaders Ministries in Chicago and a luminary in today's "Apostles and Prophets Movement," characterizes the church in the "end of days" as a church of WARFARE. To Eckhardt, that's what "Apostolic Ministry" is all about. [Please see our article on "Apostolic Ministry" entitled "Today's Church: Making Zombies out of Christians - the Prophets and Apostles Movement."] Eckhardt writes:
"Apostolic ministry is a ministry of WARFARE. It entails commanding, mobilizing, rallying and gathering the ARMY of God to challenge and pull down the strongholds of the enemy. The Apostolic Church invades new territories and breaks through."
And, again, make no mistake about it, this is the church (so-called) to which Tony Evans, introduced President Bush. This is the Christian mindset that, according to Gail Sheehy, Bush and his "Christian" cohorts (i.e., John Ashcroft, Don Evans, Karen Hughes, Karl Rove, etc.) embrace - a mindset that posits that God is moving to reassert His authority on the earth - AND HE IS DOING IT THROUGH THE TWIN INSTRUMENTALITIES OF CHURCH AND STATE.
Eckhardt continues in an ominous and very sobering way - a way that should make those who disagree with him, and who "get in his way" sit up and take careful notice of; he writes:
"God has a plan and purpose He will fulfill ... Nothing will stand in the way ... God calls the ravenous bird of prey (which Eckhardt says is the "Apostolic Church") to execute His purposes ... The ravenous bird is the Hebrew word for ayit, meaning a hawk. It also means to swoop down upon. THE HAWK IS A SYMBOL OF WAR, REPRESENTING THE MILITARISTIC ASPECT OF THE ... (APOSTOLIC CHURCH).
Wow! Think about that! - the "MILITARISTIC aspect" of the "end times church." It makes one wonder who these people are worshipping? - it certainly couldn't be the "Prince of Peace" - the One who said:
"... all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword." (Matt. 26:52)
Nonetheless, Eckhardt persists in his frightening description of the so-called "end times church:"
"Another contemporary definition for 'hawk' is one who demonstrates an actively AGGRESSIVE or COMBATIVE attitude. IT IS A PERSON WHO FAVORS MILITARY FORCE OR ACTION IN ORDER TO CARRY OUT A ... POLICY. What a symbol ... for (the 'Apostolic Church') ..."
This kind of talk reminds one of what Randall Terry, the founder of Operation Rescue, once said to his followers:
"I want you to just let a wave of INTOLERANCE wash over you. I want you to let a wave of HATRED wash over you. Yes, HATE IS GOOD ... Our goal is a Christian nation. We have a biblical duty, we are called by God to conquer this country. We don't want equal time. We don't want pluralism.
This is the kind of Christianity that Eckhardt is talking about. This is the kind of Christianity that C. Peter Wagner is promoting. This is the kind of Christianity that Bobbie Byerly, Dutch Sheets, Jim Goll, John Paul Jackson, James Ryle, Frank Damazio, Ed Silvoso, Carlos Annacondia, Claudio Freidzon, Roger Mitchell, Ted Haggart, Paul Cain, Chuck Pierce, Rick Joyner, etc. are plugging. They might deny it, but that certainly is what their words imply. Eckhardt continues:
"... The hawk symbolizes sharpness, keen vision and quickness. It represents discernment and insight into the plans and purposes of God. The hawk is a swift bird that SUDDENLY SEIZES HIS PREY. It is a ravenous bird. Ravenous means extremely hungry, voracious or greedy for gratification. This bird symbolizes the MILITANT, AGGRESSIVE and WARLIKE aspect of the apostolic (church) ..."
Again, I say WOW! Are these people nuts? Maybe! - nonetheless, this kind of talk is rampant in the church today. Jack Deere says that God is raising up an ARMY of Christians all over the world to seize the earth "death squad" style. Deere writes
"... this army is totally unique. This army, theres never been one like it and there never will be one like it in ages to come ... Its so mighty that theres never been anything like it before ... This is the ultimate in Apostolic government."
Bob Jones, another "seer," says,
"They (i.e., God's "end times army") will move into things of the supernatural that no one has ever moved in before. Every miracle, sign and wonder that has ever been in the Bible - theyll move in it constantly ... so that the glorious church might be revealed in the last days ..."
The late John Wimber, the former head of Vineyard International, explains,
"This end time army will be made of the Elijahs of the Lord God ... There will be a filling of the Temple. That is why we are prophesying and saying to you that it is coming soon ... These things ... will come. Suddenly, immediately, right-away a change - in a moment - without notice ..."
Jewel van der Merwe, an outspoken critic of this type of thinking, describes what is being said here, and pictures its impact on the countless numbers of Christians who are waiting to enlist:
"Blow the trumpet! Hear the noise of the chariots! The chariots are leaping across the mountains! The army of the Lord is approaching! The earth will quake before them; the heavens shall tremble ... a great people and a strange: there hath not been ever the like. Utterly awesome! This army is mentioned in Joel.
"This is the army that (certain) teachers and prophets are declaring that God is raising up in these days. The end-time army.
"Do you want to be a part of it? Just think, you will be able to climb the wall like men of war. Even when you fall on the sword you will not be wounded. Crowds clap and cheer as they visualize the wondrous feats they will be able to perform in the Name of the Lord! No one wants to miss God and not be a part of what He is doing! It all has such a spiritual ring. The tears well in the eyes of hungry seekers as they wait for a new experience. Perhaps, even tonight the heavens will open and that anointing will be poured out.
"There is always that expectancy that perhaps this is the time it will happen ... The prophetic message is that God is raising an army in these last days to execute judgment and dominion throughout the earth ... They (i.e., the prophets and teachers) declare that the time is at hand for God to pour out His Spirit (the Latter Rain) on an unprecedented scale on the Church in fulfillment of Joel 2:28, marking the beginning of the great new thing God is doing on the earth ..." [Please see our article, "The Obermenschen (Supermen) of Kenneth Hagin, Bennie Hinn, and John Wimber."]
James Ryle too says that the church today is "GATHERING FOR WAR." That is, of course, what Eckhardt has been saying also:
"Some of the greatest churches the world has ever known are now on earth. Apostolic churches and apostolic networks are developing around the world as GOD IS POSITIONING HIS CHURCH ... (FOR DOMINION)."
To this end, according to Eckhardt,
"THE GREATEST APOSTOLIC SPIRIT THE WORLD HAS EVER KNOWN IS EVEN NOW BEGINNING TO BE RELEASED. It will be greater than what we read of in the book of Acts. The coming move of God will dwarf the acts of the apostles by comparison. It is already happening. The largest churches the world has ever known are now on the earth. There are more Christians alive today than at any other time in history. There are more miracles and healings taking place than ever before. There are more apostles and prophets on the earth than ever before. We are living in apostolic times."
This is the kind of Christianity that Bush embraces; this kind is more than ready to embrace a political messiah - one that will lead them off "CONQUERING AND TO CONQUER." (Rev. 6:2) What the German people were willing to do for Hitler - i.e., embrace him as their messiah - American evangelicals are very obviously more than willing to do for someone who will lead them victorious over their enemies. BUT THIS KIND OF WARFARE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH CHRIST, AND EVERYTHING TO DO WITH ANTICHRIST!
And now - after the Gog/Magog War - fiction begins to meet reality; deception meets fact; the cracked-pot and vain imaginings of C. Peter Wagner, John Eckhardt and their ilk meet the reality of Biblical truth: and that is, that the people of the world are NOT waiting around breathlessly for their (i.e., the American evangelical's) selfish, mean-spirited brand of Christianity; and that the rest of the world, if not American evangelicals, recognize the American Empire for what it really is - that it is NOT the "New Israel of God," but a -
[Please see Chapter XI of the Antipas Papers, "Tribulation And Judgment."]
"... BEAST, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly ... (with) great iron teeth ... that ... devoures and brake in pieces, and stamps the ... (people of the earth) with its feet ..." (Dan. 7:7) [Again, we urge those of you who haven't already, to read our article on the United States, which deals with America from a Biblical point of view, "The American Empire: In Search Of Babylon! What Does The Bible Say?"]
America as the Beast of Daniel 7:7? - come on now, is it really that hard to see? Is it that difficult to understand why people outside the United States despise America, a country that has - as we have shown on numerous other occasions - attempted to overthrow more than 40 democratically elected governments since the end of World War II; and that has tried to crush more than 30 populist-nationalist movements struggling to assert their own legitimate political and human rights over and against intolerably corrupt, brutal dictatorships (most of which had been installed by the American government) during the same period of time?
Is it really that difficult to understand the feelings of detestation and hostility that people would have towards a nation that has subjected most of the world to "client-state" status in the service of American multinational corporations like the United Fruit Company (now Dole) in Central America; Exxon / Mobil Corporation in the Middle East; Nike Corporation in Malaysia; Rockefeller corporate interests in Brazil and Argentina, etc., and that has - as a result - condemned the people of these nations to lives of grinding poverty, unrelenting agony and hopeless despair?
AMERICAN EVANGELICALS MAY BE BLIND TO ALL THIS, BUT THE REST OF THE WORLD ISN'T! - AND THEY'RE NOT WAITING AROUND WITH OPEN ARMS FOR A CHANCE TO BECOME ANOTHER SLAVE STATE IN AMERICA'S "NEW WORLD ORDER SYSTEM."
No! - most of these peoples and nations will fight being made to grovel at America's feet. They want no part of it. But in the religio-political system that is now beginning to evolve around the Bush presidency, those who rebel against America's "New World Order System" will be made to appear as REBELS AGAINST GOD. In the "New World Order," opposing America is tantamount to opposing God. Come on, isn't that how most American evangelicals will take it? Isn't that what someone like John Hagee will say? And Pat Robertson? And D. James Kennedy? And James Robison? And Tim LaHaye? - who like the nincompoop he really is thinks that the anti-Christ will come out of Romania! These are the blind leading the blind! - and all because they stubbornly refuse to see the truth about the United States that the rest of the world - believers and unbelievers alike - so plainly sees.
[Please see "The American Empire And The U.S. System Of Client-States."]
And there is something more! - what will happen to tiny Israel when she refuses to CONVERT after the Gog/Magog War. That's plainly what the "dominionist" time table calls for:
1. The world is plunged into a time of political and spiritual crisis, one which threatens the world with chaos and the church with destruction.
2. The Lord brings revival to the church.
3. This revival results in the end of the churchs divisions and the rule of the "apostles and prophets."
4. The "Gospel of the Kingdom" is preached in America first; America is "revived" as the "Redeemer Nation," which leads ultimately to the conversion and eventual conquest by the "Redeemer Nation" (i.e., America) of the world; this results finally in the CONVERSION OF ISRAEL, and the judgment of those who refuse to convert.
5. The Lord returns.
According to the "dominionist" model, Israel has to CONVERT for the Lord to come back. That's what people like Derick Prince, Reuven Doren and countless other "dominionists" like them posit.
What happens if Israel refuses to convert? And they won't convert, at least not on the timetable that the dominionist model calls for! Remember, the Scriptures teach that NATIONAL salvation for Israel will not come to the Jewish people until - "THEY SHALL LOOK UPON HIM WHOM THEY HAVE PIERCED" (Zech 12:10), and that won't happen until Christ's Second Coming - approximately seven years after the Gog/Magog War. Until then, the Jews AS A NATION will remain in unbelief. THIS DOESN'T MEAN, OF COURSE, THAT MANY JEWS AS INDIVIDUALS WON'T BE SAVED (as they have been doing for centuries) DURING THE TRIBULATION PERIOD - i.e., that seven year period of time following the Gog/Magog War. Many, no doubt, will! But the conversion of Israel AS A NATION will have to wait for the end of the Tribulation period - when Christ returns! At which time, the Bible says:
"And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the SPIRIT OF GRACE (i.e., UNMERITED FAVOR) and of supplications: and THEY SHALL LOOK UPON ME WHOM THEY HAVE PIERCED (very obviously the Lord), and they shall mourn for him (i.e., Jesus), as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness (i.e., great sorrow) for him (i.e., Christ, whom they rejected), as one that is in bitterness (i.e., great sorrow) for his firstborn.
"In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.
"And one shall say unto him, WHAT ARE THESE WOUNDS IN THINE HANDS? Then he shall answer, THOSE WITH WHICH I WAS WOUNDED IN THE HOUSE OF MY FRIENDS." (Please see Zech. 12:8-14, 13:1, 6)
But, again, this will only happen at the moment of Christ's Second Coming - and if that's the case, it does violence to the dominionists' time line. In this connection, it is important to bear in mind that most dominionists don't really believe in a rapture. They are PRECISELY what their name implies: "dominionists" - people who believe that the church must take DOMINION on the earth BEFORE (I say again, BEFORE) Christ returns - which, of course implies that the church must not only unite and subdue the earth BEFORE the Lord returns, but also THAT ISRAEL MUST BE SAVED.
Reuven Doron explains:
"The very nation (Israel) that once gave birth (to the church) now is in need to be birthed by another (so that Israel - acting together in consort with the church - can usher in the Return of Christ). Who will provide it? (i.e., Israels rebirth) ... This premise of spiritual revival still hinges upon the rising and completion of the ministry of the prophetic Son of Man' company (i.e., the united, glorified church under the leadership of the 'prophets and Apostles') ... Today the Lord is calling forth a Son of Man Company to corporately prophecy and speak to Israels lifeless, hopeless white bones until the vision is completed ... THE CHURCH IS BIRTHING ISRAEL."
What Doren is saying here is that as the church is "perfected" by the ministry of the "Apostles and Prophets," it will take its place over Israel's lifeless body, and prophesy unto it, and it will be "rebirthed" (i.e., Israel will convert to Christianity). Presumably this will occur shortly after the Gog/Magog War when Christians (so-called) throughout the world will gather in the Holy Land to celebrate "Christ's" (really, anti-Christ's) supposed victory over Islam.
Expanding on what Doron says, Rick Joyner continues,
"The Jews have historically represented the greatest test for the gospel ... In a sense, Jews are the ACID TEST of our message. UNTIL THE CHURCH COMES TO THE SPIRITUAL STATURE (MATURITY) WHERE SHE PROVOKES THE JEW TO JEALOUSY, WE HAVE NOT YET ATTAINED TO WHAT WE HAVE BEEN CALLED."
This statement - "until the church comes to the spiritual stature (maturity) where she provokes the Jew to jealousy, we have not yet attained to what we have been called" - says a lot about the mindset of dominionists like C. Peter Wagner, John Eckhardt, Derrick Prince, Dutch Sheets, Jim Goll, John Paul Jackson, James Ryle, Frank Damazio, Ed Silvoso, Carlos Annacondia, etc. What it says is that the CONVERSION OF THE JEWS is the church's "PROOF POSITIVE" (presumably to Christ) that she has made herself ready, AND THE LORD CAN NOW RETURN - kind of like passing a driver's examination to prove to the state that one has at last obtained the skills and knowledge to drive a car.
Think about that: THE CONVERSION OF THE JEWS - NOT NECESSARILY THE CHURCH TAKING CONTROL OF THE EARTH - IS THE "ACID TEST" THAT THE CHURCH HAS BEEN "PERFECTED." That's pretty heavy! - and it indicates the importance that the dominionists attach to the Jews' conversion. Joyner continues:
"The Jews were hardened TO MAKE THEM THE HARDEST TO REACH. In this way, they have become the barometer of humanity, reflecting the overall condition of the state of man. When the gospel is preached that grafts the natural branches back into the tree, the church and Israel will then be able to reach the whole world. This is why Paul said that the gospel should be preached to the Jew first. This was not just out of favoritism, but because the Jew represents the greatest challenge of the gospel, and one which we must have ... Even so, our relationship to the Jews is not meant to be a stumbling block, but a stepping stone ... The final joining together of both into one new man ... resulting in the healing of all spiritual and cultural wounds. WHEN THE CHURCH AND ISRAEL HAVE BEEN GRAFTED TOGETHER ... THE TIME OF "THE RESTORATION OF ALL THINGS" (i.e., THE LORD'S SECOND COMING) MAY BEGIN.
In other words, "the time of the restoration of all things" can't begin until Israel is saved. But once again I must remind you that the prophet Zechariah says that won't occur until Christ returns, not before. (Zech. 12:10 - 13:1) Nevertheless, Christian dominionists are expecting the Jews to convert! - and to this end, they fervently believe the church has made herself ready.
What will happen when these hopes are dashed, as they most certainly will be. (cf Zech. 12:10 - 13:1) WOW! - THE WRATH THAT WILL FALL ON ISRAEL AS A RESULT WILL BE HORRIBLE! THERE IS, AFTER ALL, NOTHING SO HATEFUL AND MEAN-SPIRITED AS A JILTED LOVER.
And more than that, what will Christian dominionists think when Israel refuses not only to convert, but rebuilds the temple, excludes any Christian participation in its rebuilding and in the subsequent revived Temple service, and then - as if to add insult to injury - CLAIMS THAT SHE (i.e., ISRAEL) - AND NOT THE CHURCH - IS GOD'S REPRESENTATIVE ON EARTH? What will happen then? Think of the wrath that this will provoke among Christian dominionists!
The gloves will come off, the smiles will disappear, and the knives will surely be unsheathed then. THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED TO LUTHER - and you can be sure that it will happen again!
The very real fact of the matter is, the continued existence of the Jewish people as a separate and distinct and UNBELIEVING entity OUTSIDE the church will have to be explained somehow - this isn't the way things are supposed to happen according to the "dominionist model." The presence of unconverted Jews in the Holy Land could not help but be a festering sore to the dominionist eschatology of Reuven Doren, C. Peter Wagner, Cindy Jacobs, D. James Kennedy and the like.
Maybe if the Jews could just remain quiet and crawl away into some obscure corner of the world and stay there, perhaps that would be enough. But their continued presence in the Holy Land - where the church of James Ryle, Barbara Wentroble, Jack Hayford, Texe Marrs, etc. is busy "setting up shop" - is too much, especially in light of their REFUSAL to recognize the church's primacy - is too much!! It will directly challenge the "dominionist" undergirding of the Apostate Church, and ipso facto, the authority of America's "New World Order System" which now - in the religious fervor and hype of the moment - has come to be undergirded by this theology. What to do?
The answer is simple enough! - picture those Jews in the Holy Land who refuse to convert as agents of the Devil (after all, the church has been doing that for centuries and centuries). There certainly exists a large enough body of literature in the countless CONSPIRACY THEORIES about the Jews that abound in Christian circles to accommodate such thinking. THE DEVIL IS ANIMATING THE JEWS! - that must be the answer! The Jewish people's reluctance to surrender their Old Testament promises to the church is of the devil. That's it! And their refusal to accord the anti-Christ (who is by now ensconced in the Holy Land passing himself off as their "savior") the deference and respect he thinks is due him for supposedly rescuing them from the "Islamic Horror," gives evidence to the fact of their hard-hearted and insensitive nature.
Very obviously, it would appear that the conspiracy theories like the famous Simonini fabrication, Biarritz, The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, The International Jew, etc., and conspiracy-theorists like Nesta Webster, the Abbe Barruel, Herman Goedsche, Gougenot des Mousseaux, Sergey Alexandrovich Nilus, Henry Ford, etc. were right about the Jews all along - the Jews MUST be a tribe of witches. Certainly the "Prophets and Apostles" like John Eckhardt and James Ryles would have very little trouble in believing such a thing - after all, by Eckhardt's own testimony, those who refuse to recognize the authority of the church (so-called) are motivated by a spirit of WITCHCRAFT. That's what he says:
"... false teachers (meaning those who oppose "The New Apostolic Reformation") carry a spirit of WITCHCRAFT."
And so now, it begins all over again - a new BLOODLUST against the Jews aggressively pushed by the APOSTATE CHURCH - which, together with the anti-Christ, is ALSO now ensconced in the Holy Land - begins, and Christians (especially Jewish Christians) in Israel will be forced to take sides. Who are they going to side with? - the Apostate Church, or Israel? [Please see our side article on the "The Messianic Jews: What Will They Do?]
By standing with Israel, the Reuven Dorens and the James Ryles of this world will claim that Christians who refuse to stand with them have abandoned their Christianity! That they have abandoned Christ! What will they do then? - that's the question for them! This doesn't mean that Jewish Christians in Israel shouldn't preach the Gospel. They should! - both "in season and out of season!" But what it does mean, is that in their preaching of the "Good News" of Jesus Christ, THEY MUST ALSO PROCLAIM BOTH BY THEIR WORDS AND THEIR MANNER OF LIVING THAT THEY (AND TRUE CHRISTIANS EVERYWHERE) HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THE FALSE CLAIMS OF THE APOSTATE CHURCH AND THE AMERICAN "NEW WORLD ORDER SYSTEM," AND THAT THEY OPPOSE THE OCCUPATION OF ISRAEL BY THIS "OVERFLOWING SCOURGE" (Is. 28:18) THAT HAS -
"... pitched the tents of his royal pavilion between the seas and the beautiful Holy Mountain ..." (Daniel 11:45)
No doubt, in doing so, and in their resultant failure to support the OCCUPATION of Israel by the forces of anti-Christ (which, sadly, has resulted from Israel's ill-advised defense pact with the United States), they will, as we have previously indicated, very obviously appear to be challenging the LEGITIMACY of America's New World Order System, which is something much more than a mere "religious crime," but a "political crime" as well - for which they can pay with their lives. What will they do then?
Moreover, as this kind of thinking takes hold - the kind that attributes opposition to the Apostate Church and America's "New World Order System" as WITCHCRAFT - it will spread out to encompass everyone. Everyone who opposes the "New World Order System" will be lumped together as "enemies of true religion and the state" - including those "residual lefties" around the world who continue to oppose America's "Free Enterprise System" - the rebels who fight the "American System" in Columbia, in Ecuador, in Peru, in Venezuela, in Guatemala, etc.
Certainly these people will have to be dealt with. After all, in opposing America, these nations and peoples are opposing God. And in opposing Dole, Nike, Exxon-Mobil, Swift and Company, Cargill, Archer Daniels Midland, Monsanto, General Electric, Barrens Mining, Occidental Oil, Citicorp, Bank of America, Standard Oil, Texaco, etc. they are opposing God's servants in the world today, "little angels" whose sole purpose is, as Bechtel's corporate statement declares, "working with ... local communities throughout the world to help improve their standard of living and their quality of life" - never mind the fact that what they are really up to is gouging the poor of the world for all they can get, AND HANG THOSE WHO GET IN THE WAY.
And so - in the name or "right religion" and "free enterprise" apostate Christianity and America will go forth "conquering and to conquer" - so that, in the end, "... every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess" that the church, America and the "Free Enterprise System should be worshipped and adored. Hence the words in the Apocalypse -
"And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: AND HE WENT FORTH CONQUERING, AND TO CONQUER." (Rev. 6:2)
A monster has been created! - "... dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly ... (with) great iron teeth ... that ... devoures and brake in pieces, and stamps the ... (people of the earth) with its feet ..." and one that does so claiming that it has the imprimatur of Christ! But this beast is not of Christ - it is anti-Christ. The Bible says:
"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
"Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not PROPHESIED in thy name? and in thy name have CAST OUT DEVILS? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
"And then will I profess unto them, I NEVER KNEW YOU (i.e., I never had any relationship with you): depart from me, ye that work iniquity." (Matt. 7:21-23) [Please see our side article on "Signs and Wonders."]
Anti-God and anti-Christ: that's what America is all about, and that's what American evangelicals like Reuven Doren, C. Peter Wagner, John Eckhardt, Pat Robertson, D. James Kennedy, etc. are all about - or does one really think that creating a "safe investment climate" for companies like AOL / Time Warner, Microsoft, Amazon.com, General Electric, Ford, Archer Daniels Midland, Dole, Monsanto, etc. is what the Kingdom of Christ is all about? Or that the motto, "What's good for Big Business is good for Christ?" should be tacked up over the doors of today's churches?
The question then is, WHO AMONG CHRIST'S SERVANTS WILL STAND UP AND SAY THAT THIS COMPOSITE MONSTER THAT IS MADE UP OF THE RELIGIOUS AND ECONOMIC ELITES OF THE UNITED STATES IS NOT OF CHRIST, BUT OF ANTI-CHRIST? Who will say that? - and do it BOLDLY, without any equivocation, without any regard to his or her safety, and without regard to financial loss (i.e., the loss of one's job, etc.)? Who will do this? Who will stand up and say NO to all this? Who will say that NONE of this has anything to do with Christ?
If you just keep quiet - if you are so TOTALLY and COMPLETELY a COWARD that you can sit timidly by and watch God's name dragged through the dirt by people who say that the activities they are engaged in - i.e., reducing men and women to the status of COGS IN A MACHINE for the sake of Monsanto's, Exxon-Mobil's, Chevron's, Citicorp's, Bechtel's, and Archer Daniel Midland's "bottom line" - is something that Christ approves, then you truly are a REPROBATE. [Please see our article, "Making Men Cogs in a Machine."]
And more than just that, who among us will say that America's so-called "War on Terrorism" is nothing more than an excuse to extend the boundaries of "America's New World Order System?" Who will say that? Who will say that the security measures that Attorney General John Ashcroft has taken under cover of the draconian and brutish U.S.A. Patriot Act is nothing more than the first steps in setting up a Gestapo-like CHRISTIAN TERRORIST STATE?" Who will say that and RISK GOING TO PRISON IT? - because that's EXACTLY what will eventually happen! That's what Jesus said would happen:
[Please see "John Ashcroft, Theodore Olson, And The 'New National Security State'."]
"... they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up ... into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake." (Luke 21:12)
And more than that, who will stand up to people like that deluded madman John Eckhardt and say that the Church of God is NOT like some grotesque "ravenous bird of prey?" Who will say that taking money from the Moonies the way D. James Kennedy, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, James Dobson, etc. have done is wrong? Who will say that AND RISK BEING OSTRACIZED FROM HIS CHURCH and from his friends and loved ones, maybe even his own family? - because that's EXACTLY what will eventually happen to them if they do! The Bible says:
"They shall put you out of the ... (church meeting halls): 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." (John 16:2-3)
And, again, the Bible says -
"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 21:16-17)
Nevertheless - despite all this - I say again, who will stand up now and say that people like Charles Stanley, D. James Kennedy, Pat Robertson, James Robison, Tim LaHaye, Jerry Falwell, Chuck Colson, etc. are HYPOCRITES! - people who say one thing, and do another? These are, after all, the leaders of our church who - more than any others - are responsible for the church "playing the harlot" with moneyed elites of this country. IF NO ONE DENOUNCES THEM, THEN UNBELIEVERS CAN'T BE BLAMED FOR THINKING THAT CHRISTIANITY IS A "RICH MAN'S RELIGION." Who will stand up to these men and say NO?
Who will say that the late John Wimber, Juan Carlos Ortiz, C. Peter Wagner, Beverley LaHaye, Ern Baxter, etc. are also nothing more than HYPOCRITES? - leaders who are seeking to bring the world into bondage to a mean-spirited and SATANIC religious system that makes a mockery of what Christianity is all about - i.e., mercy, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering ..." (Col. 3:12) IF YOU REFUSE TO STAND UP AGAINST THESE MEN, YOU CANNOT HELP BUT LEAVE THE IMPRESSION WITH THOSE WHO DON'T BELIEVE THAT WHAT THESE APOSTATES TEACH IS WHAT CHRISTIANITY IS REALLY ALL ABOUT!
Who will say that people like Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagin, Oral Roberts, Robert Schueller, etc. are APOSTATES who are so TOTALLY and COMPLETELY caught up in materialism and the "good life" that they actually teach that getting rich is what the Christian life is really all about? IF YOU REFUSE TO DO SO - AND DO SO BY "NAMING NAMES" (as Paul did with Hymenaeus and Alexander (1 Tim. 1:20) and with Alexander the coppersmith (2 Tim. 4:14) - THAN YOU MAKE YOURSELF COMPLICIT IN THEIR HYPOCRISY AND APOSTASY.
But be clear here - be PERFECTLY clear; if you speak out, all these things will SURELY happen to you! - i.e., "... you will be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you will be put to death, and ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake." (Luke 21:16-17) The fact is, your opposition is anticipated; and plans are being laid to deal with it. For example, Wes Campbell, a prominent Vineyard pastor who is an ardent believer in "Christian dominionism," writes about a vision he has had concerning YOUR opposition. He says:
"... the church was gathered in a large civil war-type big stately mansion, a big ballroom, and they were dancing. And they were dressed in colorful clothes and happy, and they were moving and they were laughing and they were dancing and they were just having the wonderful party of their life ... And he looked at that and Bob (apparently Bob Jones) began to laugh and he said Look at them dance, look at them have fun. And an angel came and said Wait. Not yet. And then what happened is that strangely in the ballroom, the crowd began to change, and they began to take sides, and they began to have blue coats and gray coats, and in a moment civil war broke out."
Ryle had a similar vision. Essentially, its a follow-up on Campbells vision. He says,
"And they went into a terrible fight, and it was father against son, brother against brother, and a mans enemies were in his own house. And the angel said this: There wont be a house that escapes weeping. We do not know how long this time of visitation will continue in this capacity. But when the time is up you run with all your might, because as this begins to be known throughout the entire Christian community of the world, there will come a polarization. There always has come a polarization ... And there eventually will become wars. There will be wars in your household. Your own family may not understand whats going on."
And what to do about all this? Well, they know what to do!. Rick Joyner says,
"SOME PASTORS AND LEADERS WHO CONTINUE TO RESIST THIS TIDE ... WILL HAVE TO BE REMOVED FROM THEIR PLACE."
"... THERE WILL BE MANY 'STUMBLING BLOCKS' CIRCULATING IN THE CHURCH ... THOSE SERVING IN LEADERSHIP MUST TRUST THEIR DISCERNMENT AND REMOVE THE 'STUMBLING BLOCKS'."
Bob Jones, speaking about those Christians who "refuse to go along to get along" with the "New Apostolic Reformation, warns:
"THERE'S GOING TO BE A CLEANSING ... THERE'S GOING TO BE A PURGING ... coming forth ..."
And what EXACTLY is the penalty for not going along? Well, it isn't that hard to figure out when we understand that most of the leaders mentioned above equate opposition to the "New Apostolic Reformation" to witchcraft! Yes! - WITCHCRAFT! Eckhardt writes:
"Among the dark spirits we must contend with today is a spirit of WITCHCRAFT... they relate to the Church's opposition today ... WITCHCRAFT is a major spirit that will challenge and attempt to stop the progress of the Church ..."
What Eckhardt is saying here is that those who oppose the direction of the church today (i.e., the "church in dominion") are controlled by a spirit of WITCHCRAFT. Wow! - think about that. We're being called WITCHES! Pretty heavy! He goes on to say,
"One of the signs of WITCHCRAFT operating and infiltrating a church is the inability of the people to OBEY the truth [Of course, this is "truth" as defined by Eckhardt, Wagner, Doren, Ryles, Joyner, etc.] Disobedience and rebellion are always present wherever there is WITCHCRAFT [ipso facto, anyone who opposes their teachings - i.e., who is "disobedient" and "rebellious" insofar as the "truth" they are preaching is a WITCH].
"... false teachers (meaning, once again, those who oppose "The New Apostolic Reformation") carry a spirit of WITCHCRAFT."
And Eckhardt's answer to these "opposers?" - to subjugate them to the RULE of the "Apostles and Prophets." He writes:
"... The apostolic anointing (ruling) keeps us free from ... false teaching (and false teachers) ... THIS IS ONE OF THE REASONS WE NEED AN APOSTOLIC ANOINTING WITHIN THE CHURCH. This anointing deals with WITCHCRAFT... The apostolic anointing (ruling) prevents the enemy from stopping the flow of the Spirit."
And how is it that the RULE of the "Apostles and Prophets" is going to prevent "false teachers" (meaning, once again, those who oppose the "New Apostolic Reformation") from "ruining" the church. Eckhard gives a way:
"I like the way Paul dealt with WITCHCRAFT. He did not play around with it. He judged it with the power of God, CALLING DOWN BLINDNESS upon Elymas the sorcerer. THIS TYPE OF AUTHORITY AND JUDGMENT IS RETURNING TO THE CHURCH WITH THE RESTORATION OF APOSTOLIC MINISTRY ... With the restoration of the apostolic ministry, we will see the same manifestations return to the Church that we read about in the book of Acts: PEOPLE FALLING DOWN DEAD, sorcerers smitten with blindness, LEADERS BEING EATEN UP BY WORMS. This is not a pleasant picture, but the Lord will allow no man or woman to hinder ... (His moving) in these last days."
Leaders being eaten up by worms? People falling down dead? - and I suppose that if the "Spirit" doesn't do it, the "Apostles and Prophets" will - after all, what else are we to make of John 16:2 -
"They shall put you out of the ... (church meeting halls): yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you WILL THINK THAT HE DOETH GOD SERVICE." (John 16:2)
This is pretty heavy stuff! - but these are "pretty heavy" people - people convinced of their own righteousness and determined to impose it on everyone else - EVEN AT THE POINT OF A GUN! These are, after all, disciples of the late R.J. Rushdoony, a man who - as we have said many times previously - found nothing wrong with saying:
"In winning a nation (or the world) to the gospel, THE SWORD AS WELL AS THE PEN MUST BE USED."
The point to be made in all of this is, if you stand up and protest against this evil system that is running roughshod all over the world masquerading in Christian garb, you will surely pay a price! (cf., 2 Thess. 2:4). BUT STAND UP YOU MUST. 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, 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)
Yes! - I tell you the truth - YOU MUST NOW SPEAK OUT, OR NEVER CALL YOURSELF BY THAT NAME AGAIN.
So now we come down to what the Tribulation is really all about; it's about YOU speaking out AGAINST this evil system, and as you do so, hundreds of people will be drawn to Him as a result of your testimony. Maybe not right away. Maybe not while you are alive; but they will remember. Isaiah 55:11 says: "So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." Concerning your testimony, the Bible says:
"... they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake.
"AND IT SHALL TURN OUT FOR YOU A TESTIMONY.
"Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer:
"For I WILL GIVE YOU A MOUTH AND WISDOM, WHICH ALL YOUR ADVERSARIES SHALL NOT BE ABLE TO GAINSAY NOR RESIST." (Luke 21:12-15)
The word, "Tribulation," means "TEST." It is derived from the Latin word, Tribulum, which means to press and subject to stress as in a test. But the word means more - it means to SEVERELY test, to press to the point of ANGUISH - much as a test pilot tests an experimental plane and presses it to its very limits of toleration. [We URGE you to read Chapter XI of the Antipas Papers, "Tribulation and Judgment," concerning the Tribulation Period, and what it's all about; unfortunately, most Christians have little or no understanding about the Tribulation is all about, and what God is going to accomplish in it.]
The Roman word, Tribune, is also derived from the Latin word Tribulum. A Tribune in ancient Rome was a magistrate or judge appointed to hear civil and criminal proceedings. It is the word from which our modern English word, "Tribunal," is derived - which means a seat of judgment. In all these instances, the word Tribulum [from which, once again, the English word "Tribulation" is derived] had a legal sense attached to it. It meant [in the sense that is appropriate here] pressure and stress applied to an object in order to test it.
This is the exact sense that the translators of the King James version of the Bible were trying to convey when they translated the Greek word, Thlipsis, as Tribulation in Revelation 7:14. As with the Latin word, Tribulum, the Greek word, Thlipsis, means pressure and stress applied to an object for the purpose of testing.
It is this sense, then, of the word, "Tribulation," which the translators of the King James version of the Bible wished to convey to the readers - A TIME OF TESTING!! This is substantiated by Revelation 3:10 when Jesus referred to the Tribulation as "the hour of testing."
And what exactly is to be tested? What is to be put on "trial" here? - it is, of course, the BEAST-SYSTEM of Daniel 7:7 and Revelation 17:3-5 - i.e., THIS COMPOSITE MONSTER OF AMERICA'S ECONOMIC ELITES that is masquerading all over the earth in conjunction with the APOSTATE CHURCH that evangelicals like C. Peter Wagner, Cindy Jacobs, Bill Hamon, John Eckhardt, Bobbie Byerly, Dutch Sheets, Jim Goll, John Paul Jackson, James Ryle, etc. are pushing; this "... BEAST, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly ... (with) great iron teeth ... that ... devoures and brakes in pieces, and stamps the ... (people of the earth) with its feet;" (Daniel 7:7) This monster the Bible pictures as a "woman riding a beast." (Rev. 17:3) Ultimately, what the Tribulation will demonstrate is that this composite monster of George Bush, John Ashcroft, James Baker, Dick Cheney, C. Peter Wagner, Jerry Falwell, Tim LaHaye, D. James Kennedy, James Ryle, etc.) is not of Christ, but of anti-Christ.
And it is we as Christians who are being SUBPOENAED by God to bear WITNESS against her. THAT'S THE WHOLE POINT OF THE TRIBULATION. That's why our presence is needed during this time. We are those witnesses God is going to use to testify against this MONSTER - and that's precisely why the rapture of the church will NOT take place until AFTER the tribulation period. After all, the witnesses must remain in the "WITNESS BOX" until the trial is completed. [And it is for this reason that it is so IMPORTANT that as Christians we get this matter of the rapture settled in our mind. We URGE you, therefore to read, re-read, and read again Chapter IV of the Antipas Papers, "The Great Escape, Misconceptions Concerning the Rapture;" we also URGE you to read Chapter XII of the Antipas Papers, "The Two Witnesses."]
There is no getting out of this duty. We have no choice in the matter - OUR TESTIMONY HAS BEEN SUBPOENAED and WE MUST APPEAR. If we fail to do so, we will have, as we previously indicated, no right at all to ever again call ourselves servants of God - after all, it's God's name that is at stake here.
Now listen to me here brothers and sisters: the testimony that we are to give at this "TRIAL" (this Tribulum) is NOT complicated, it's NOT convoluted; it's NOT intricate or delicate. It's straightforward and simple. After all, what's so difficult about seeing the MONSTER of Daniel 7:7 and Revelation 17:3-5 for what it really is: a FARCE and a SHAM that has NOTHING to do with Christ, and everything to do with anti-Christ. And if you don't see this, IT'S BECAUSE YOU HAVE CHOSEN NOT TO SEE IT. It is, as we have said so many times before, like someone standing on a train platform and who - upon hearing a train pulling into the station - turns his back to it and then claims later on that he never saw it, though the train rumbled by a mere 10 feet from where he was standing. He didn't see the train because he CHOSE not to see it.
During the "trial" [i.e., the Tribulation (the Tribulum)] essentially TWO WITNESSES will be called: Israel and the church. Both witnesses are necessary: Israel, because it stands as a powerful and unyielding testimony against the false claims of America's "New World Order System" - i.e., that America together with the false, rapacious and predatory religious system she supports is NOT the "New Israel of God."
The continued existence of Israel OUTSIDE this system, and her refusal to give up her claim as God's "covenanted nation" and be absorbed into the new politico-religious system America has created gives the lie to the dominionist mindset that grips people like Reuven Doren, C. Peter Wagner, John Eckhardt, James Ryles, George Bush, John Ashcroft, Don Evans, etc. [Again, we URGE you to read Chapter XII of the Antipas Papers, "The Two Witnesses."]
The second witness, the church - and by this, we mean the true church [Please see our side article, "The True Church: The Silver Line of God's Grace"] - is necessary to testify to the world that the Christianity that Christian "luminaries" (so-called) like Charles Stanley, D. James Kennedy, Tim LaHaye, the late John Wimber, Juan Carlos Ortiz, C. Peter Wagner, Beverley LaHaye, Ern Baxter, Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagin, Oral Roberts, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Chuck Colson, Jack Hayford, David Yonggi Cho (yes, even Cho who isn't an American, but a Korean), Robert Stearns, Mike Bickle, Reuven Doron, Che Ahn, Frank Hammond, Cindy Jacobs, Bill Hamon, John Eckhardt, Bobbie Byerly, Dutch Sheets, Jim Goll, John Paul Jackson, James Ryle, Frank Damazio, Ed Silvoso, Carlos Annacondia, Claudio Freidzon, Roger Mitchell, Ted Haggart, Paul Cain, Chuck Pierce, Rick Joyner, Kingsley Fletcher, Jim Laffoon, Barbara Wentroble, ad infinitum isn't real Christianity at all, but a FAKE and a FARCE that has allied itself to the anti-Christian system of George Bush and John Ashcroft - that system of Christianity that has come to believe that conquering the world for Bechtel Corp. and Exxon-Mobil is the same thing as "preaching Christ to the nations;" and who believe with R.J. Rushdoony that it is appropriate to use military force in the service of Christ. It's a system of Christianity that has brought SHAME and INFAMY on the church and has convinced countless numbers of people throughout the world that CHRISTIANITY IS A RICH MAN'S RELIGION.
What an UTTER shame to Christ, who said of the rich,
"... a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven." (Matt. 19:23)
Who said of the poor,
"... Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God." (Luke 6:20)
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)
And, finally, who advised His disciples to,
"... go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me." (Matt. 19:21)
The fact of the matter is, what we call today the Church is surely a mixture of wheat and tares - good seed and bad seed. In a day when it has become so popular - even fashionable - to be referred to as "born-again" that political figures [whom the Bible calls the basest or lowest of people (Daniel 4:17)] refer to themselves as "born-again" to get votes, there certainly can be no doubt concerning this matter. Jesus himself, speaking in a prophetic parable concerning this condition of the Church, said:
"The kingdom of heaven [the Church] may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field.
"But while men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares also among the wheat, and went away.
"And the slaves of the landowner came and said to him, Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?
"And he said to them, An enemy has done this! And the slaves said to him, Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?
"But he said, No; lest while you are gathering up the tares, you may root up the wheat with them.
"Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.
"Then He left the multitudes, and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.
"And He answered and said, The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one;
"And the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are angels.
"Therefore just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age.
"And will cast them into the furnace of fire; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
"Then THE RIGHTEOUS WILL SHINE FORTH AS THE SUN in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear." (Matthew 13:24-30; 36-43)
Now in connection with this parable, it is interesting to note how the harvest was carried out in the ancient world and how the wheat [the good seed] was separated from the tares and the chaff [the bad seed]. Both were harvested together. THEN THROUGH A PROCESS OF WINNOWING, THE WHEAT WAS SEPARATED FROM THE CHAFF. The process of winnowing was accomplished in this manner: first, the harvest was crushed and spread out on a large floor; then workers took shovels and threw the harvest into the air by the shovel-full. The tares and chaff, being lighter than the kernels of wheat, were blown away by the wind, usually into another bin, while the kernels of wheat, being heavier, fell again to the threshing floor. In this way the wheat was separated from the tares and the chaff. The chaff and tares, being good for nothing, were then gathered together and burned, while the wheat was gathered together, bundled and stored in the barn.
There is a great winnowing coming to the church! John the Baptist prophesied about it when he said,
"I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me (i.e., in the "end of days") is mightier than I ...
"His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff [tares] with unquenchable fire." (Matthew 3:11-12)
Now this is a prophetic utterance, and has little or nothing to do with Christ's baptism itself. The utterance concerns the "end of days" when "He will thoroughly purge His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn ..." And when is that. In the "last days" - the days we are living in now. And how will He accomplish this winnowing? By the Tribulation! The Tribulation is to be the GREAT WINNOWING OF GOD spoken of by John the Baptist! And what will this winnowing accomplish? A great separation between those who truly love Christ and those who merely claim to love Him, but whose hearts are far away.
Listen to me, brothers and sister, as you speak out against the "New World Order System" that Reuven Doren, C. Peter Wagner, John Eckhardt, James Ryles, George Bush, John Ashcroft, Don Evans, etc. have created, you will be MARKED, and people will begin to separate themselves from you.
This will occur on both a RELIGIOUS basis, and on a SOCIAL AND POLITICAL basis. YOU WILL BE OSTRACIZED (i.e., you will be "separated out"). If you don't speak out, if you refuse to stand up and be counted, if you remain silent about what's happening, if - when you hear the train rumbling into the station - you turn your back to it and try to claim that you didn't see it, then you will not be separated from the tares and the chaff. It's as simple as that! Your speaking out on these things will determine whether you are separated out or not! Jesus said,
"Whosoever therefore shall CONFESS me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
"BUT WHOSOEVER SHALL DENY ME BEFORE MEN, HIM WILL I ALSO DENY BEFORE MY FATHER WHICH IS IN HEAVEN.
"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.
"And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me." (Matt. 10:32-38)
But there is something more you should know about the Tribulation, and "tribulation" in general and that is, tribulation is also a purifying work that elevates, ennobles, glorifies, and transforms the believer. Paul says:
"... but we also EXULT in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;
"And perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;
"And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us." (Romans 5:3-5)
Indeed, tribulation is the gate through which all true believers must pass into the kingdom of heaven; the transformation of our souls is impossible without it. The Bible says:
"And when they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch,
"Strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, WE MUST THROUGH MANY TRIBULATIONS ENTER THE KINGDOM OF GOD'." (Acts 14:21-22)
And again, the Bible - speaking of those saints who through the transforming power of the Holy Spirit [during the "Tribulation Period"] have been translated to the very throne of God - says:
"After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands ...
"Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?
"And I said to him, Sir, you know. So he said to me, THESE ARE THE ONES WHO COME OUT OF THE GREAT TRIBULATION, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." (Revelation 7:9,13-14)
The Bible says:
"There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job, and that man was BLAMELESS, UPRIGHT, fearing God, and turning away from evil.
"Now there was a day when the sons of God [angles] came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them.
"And the Lord said to Satan, From where do you come? Then Satan answered the Lord and said, From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.
"And the Lord said to Satan, Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a BLAMELESS, UPRIGHT man, fearing God and turning away from evil.
"Then Satan answered the Lord, Does Job fear God for nothing? [Why shouldnt he respect you since you take care of him so well?]
"Hast Thou not made a hedge about him [havent you put a wall around him to protect him from me?] and his house [his family] and all that he has, on every side? Thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.
"But put forth Thy hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse Thee to Thy face." [but take away the wall and let me at him, and he will hate you]
"The Lord said to Satan, BEHOLD, ALL THAT HE HAS IS IN YOUR POWER ..." (Job 1:1, 6-12)
Why does God allow his servants to suffer? Why does God allow "bad things" to happen to them? Why does God allow tribulation to enter their lives? Many in todays Church, of course, deny that God does - but this is obviously not what the Scriptures say. But these same people would retort that God only allows suffering when there is sin - and, apparently, this is what Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, Jobs, friends said about Job during his sufferings: that Job was suffering because there was "hidden sin" in Jobs life, and that this was the only reason that God would allow such suffering in one of his servants. But God was greatly angered by such thinking:
"And it came about after the Lord had spoken these words to Job, that the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends, because you have not spoken of Me what is right as My servant Job has.
"Now therefore, take for yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, and go to My servant Job, and offer up a burnt offering for yourselves, and My servant Job will pray for you. For I will accept him so that I may not do with you according to your folly, because you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has." (Job 42:7-8)
GOD WAS GLORIFIED IN JOB!! SATAN HAD SAID THAT JOB LOVED GOD BECAUSE OF THE "THINGS" GOD BESTOWED UPON HIM. WHAT A TERRIBLE THING TO SAY. IT IS THE CURSE OF WEALTH. HOW DOES A RICH MAN EVER KNOW THAT HE IS TRULY LOVED? THE SAD TRUTH IS, HE DOESN'T SO LONG AS HE RETAINS HIS WEALTH. BUT SHOULD HE LOSE IT, THEN HE WILL FIND OUT. Great crowds of people followed Jesus so long as he fed them and healed them of their diseases. But when tribulation arose because of the Word He spoke, the crowds disappeared.
Oh, to be loved because of who you are, and not just because of the "things" you have! This is the love that God desires from those who follow Him. It is the love that Ruth gave to Naomi, and this even after Naomi had asked Ruth to depart from her because she [Naomi] had nothing further to give Ruth - she no longer possessed any "things" with which to "purchase" Ruths love:
"And Ruth said, Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:
"Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me. (Ruth 1:16-17)
The Lord is looking for such to follow Him - those that will follow Him long after the "things" are gone, the crowds have left, the popularity faded; when the clothes are tattered and torn, there is no food on the table, and persecution rages all around. These are the disciples of Jesus - with such people one can repose trust and friendship, true love is here to be found! These are the disciples who can say with the prophet Habakkuk:
"Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock be cut off from the fold, And there be no heard in the stalls -
"YET I WILL REJOICE IN THE LORD, I WILL JOY IN THE GOD OF MY SALVATION." (Habakkuk 3:17-18)
It is in this kind of love that the TRUE Church will be "revealed," "disclosed," "manifested" (Romans 8:19)! It is this kind of love which will expose the hypocrites for what they really are. It is this kind of love which will separate the wheat from the tares. And it is only in tribulation that this love is truly revealed in all of its splendor and precious beauty. In this, Gods glory can find rest; in this the presence of God securely dwells.
The Bible says:
"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
"Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
"For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds." (Heb. 12:1-3)
The Bible says that we should "lay aside every weight" that "hinders" us - EVERYTHING - and "run the race."
There is a JOY (reward) that awaits us at the end of the race, and if we want to attain it - if we want to hear the Lord say, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant ..." (Matt. 25:21) - THEN WE MUST RUN WITH ALL OUR STRENGTH.
I know that many of you must be frightened, but -
"... the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: 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.
"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?
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
"As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
"Nay, IN ALL THESE THINGS WE ARE MORE THAN CONQUERORS THROUGH HIM THAT LOVED US.
"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
"Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom. 8:26-27, 31-32, 35-39)
So I say to all of you, STAND UP NOW AND BE COUNTED! Copy this article and pass it out in your churches, to your friends and loved ones - EVERYWHERE. To this end, we have made the article "downloadable" in PDF format so you can print it out easily. There is very little time left now, and so few people know what's really happening. THIS IS WHERE YOU COME IN. IT'S UP TO YOU TO GET IT OUT! IT'S IN YOUR HANDS NOW, AS IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN ALL ALONG. No doubt you will be opposed! - but come on now, did you really expect anything else?
You will find just as we have found that you will eventually find people who will listen to you - but you will never find them unless you open your mouths and begin to speak.
Finally, I want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart who have so SACRIFICIALLY given to the ministry recently. The very real truth of the matter is, we couldn't go on without your continued SACRIFICIAL giving. 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.
BUT I MUST ALSO REMIND YOU THAT WE CONTINUE TO NEED YOUR FINANCIAL HELP. While we endeavor to make everything this ministry does available to everyone without charge, it still costs a lot of money to keep going. You must understand that while we make available this message that God has given to us free, it is not free to those of us who are involved with it on a daily basis. Much of the work can only be done on a full-time basis, and those who labor full-time for the ministry need to pay their bills too.
I can assure you, however, that no one in this ministry is getting rich. The fact is, as many of you know, Antipas Ministries - and most of us who are associated with Antipas - live in a well-known and rather infamous ghetto area of the city where there is gunfire close by on a regular basis - indeed, two people were shot dead recently no more than a block away from where I now sit writing this article. I say this not to shame you, but to REASSURE you that we are NOT spending the funds you send us so SACRIFICIALLY in a frivolous manner. We're not living the "good life" in a split-level home in the suburbs on your money. We live in very inexpensive housing, and the money we get from you goes simply to keep food on the table, a roof over our heads, and to take care of the ministry's expenses - which, as you can imagine, are growing more intense every day.
I can ASSURE you, whatever you send is really NEEDED, and is spent wisely. If you have benefited from this ministry, I urge you to continue to help so that we can continue to get this message out as far and as wide as possible. I TELL YOU THE TRUTH HERE - I AM NOT BOASTING, I SIMPLY STATE THE TRUTH - NO ONE ELSE IS SAYING THE THINGS WE ARE SAYING IN THESE "LAST DAYS." But in order to keep on saying these things, WE NEED YOUR HELP TO KEEP GOING. WE REALLY DO. This message will go out just as far as you allow it to go through your regular, SACRIFICIAL giving.
Listen, brothers and sisters, eternity is at hand - YOUR eternity! What you do now will affect you for all time. You will never get away from it. Your actions today will follow you into the "Kingdom of Heaven," and will determine whether you are known as the "greatest" or the "least" in that glorious realm. (Matt. 5:19) The fact is, we cant pretend that we dont know whats 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.
And so I say -
More next time!
Until then, God bless 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 Archipelago."]
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