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"And this GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."
- Matt. 24:14
Imagine a colossal Machine that moves about the earth gobbling up everything in its path. The acquisition of wealth and "precious things" is its sole preoccupation. It is sustained by its own forward motion, guided mainly by its own carnal appetites and it is growing larger and accelerating as it goes. It uproots whole populations in its quest for riches, it destroys communities, it devastates the environment, and it rolls over and crushes all those who get in its way.
"... toward some sort of dark abyss."
The Machine is "manned" by an army of robot-like workers, each with his own job to perform, each possessing his own special niche; each answerable to a HIERARCHY that permits no deviation from "Standard Operating Procedures." All independent thought is anathematized. TOTAL OBEDIENCE to the dictates of the HIERARCHY is demanded from all workers on the Machine. They must see themselves as having value only insofar as they have value to the Machine; and if and when they fail in their performance, or express any independent thought whatsoever, they are "cast out" of the Machine and onto the mounds of wreckage left behind in the Machine's merciless track, there to rot while someone else - someone from the "outside" eager to replace the worker on board the Machine, or someone from the "inside" anxious to work his way up the HIERARCHY - steps in to replace him.
The Machine is "manned" by an army of robot-like workers, each with his own job to perform, each possessing his own special niche; each answerable to a HIERARCHY that permits no deviation from "Standard Operating Procedures."
This Machine actually exists in the world today. It is called the AMERICAN NEW WORLD ORDER SYSTEM and the fact of its reality is the one essential truth of EVERYONE'S social, economic and religious existence - and unless one intends to withdraw from the world altogether, there is no place to hide from it.
It aims sooner or later to subsume and absorb into its mechanism the whole world and all of mankind, and to this end it has sent out into all the earth its "priests and prophets" as plenipotentiaries and emissaries to extol its virtues to the "masses" and to command the whole of mankind to bow down and serve it.
The question before every person in the world today is how does he or she relate to the machine? Do they submit to it, or do they resist?
The "priests and prophets" who act as the Machine's ambassadors and who scurry devoutly and piously about from nation to nation setting up temples of worship to the god of the Machine call themselves "Christians," but they are not!
Their god is MAMMON, and they are unceasing in their god's "praise and worship," though they are careful to conceal his true identity from the poor of the.
Their god is MAMMON, and they are unceasing in their god's "praise and worship," though they are careful to conceal his true identity from the poor of the earth – i.e., the hapless victims the Machine routinely savages and plunders - lest the poor rise up en masse against them: Hence their subterfuge. But what an empty subterfuge it is: Attempting to pass Mammon off in the guise of a Person who EXPLICITLY condemned Mammon and juxtaposed Himself against him:
"No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye CANNOT serve God and mammon." (Matt. 6:24)
These are those Christians (so-called) about whom Jesus said:
"Ye HYPOCRITES, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,
"This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
"... in vain they do worship me ..." (Matt. 15:7-9)
They "... devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayers." (Matt. 23:14)
This kind of Christianity produces Christians who measure their "Christianity" by the money they possess, who condemn as "failures" the poor for not having achieved their level of fiscal prosperity, and who feel no compassion when the poor "get what they deserve" by being stripped of their welfare checks and tossed out into the street; Christians who -
"... devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayers." (Matt. 23:14),
These are the sort of pathetic Christians who act as the Machine's plenipotentiaries and emissaries and who in their effort to please the god of the Machine -
"... compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, they make him twofold more the child of hell than they are." (Matt. 23:15)
And in doing so, they -
"… shut up the kingdom of heaven against men ..." (Matt. 23:13)
They "shut up the kingdom of heaven against men?" YES! What else would you expect from such people, OR is it that difficult to see that when the church allies itself with the American New World Order System to ravage and pillage the earth, that the poor of the earth would be offended by it, and "turned-off" to Christ? After all, what would you think if you were one of the citizens of Falujah and had had your city "liberated" IN THE NAME OF CHRIST by the American army - death squad-style; to say nothing of seeing your neighborhood blown up by 2,000 pound bombs - once again, IN THE NAME OF CHRIST? Be honest! - what would you think? This kind of hypocrisy has an effect on the poor; it turns off the poor of the earth to the true message of the poor Carpenter of Nazareth. [Please see our article, "Sowing the Seeds of the Gog / Magog War."]
Burt Lancaster as the religious fraud, Elmer Gantry: Once these frauds - and the system they excuse - are exposed for what they actually are, then the poor can see Christianity for what it really is: God's way of salvation for them, and see Christ for whom He really was - a POOR carpenter who said of Himself, "... Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head." (Luke 9:58
Once these frauds - and the system they excuse - are exposed for what they actually are, then the poor can see Christianity for what it really is: God's way of salvation for them, and see Christ for whom He really was - a POOR carpenter who said of Himself:
"... Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head." (Luke 9:58) -
A Man who rather than placating the rich (as the leaders of today's church so shamefully do), said of them,
"... Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
"And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a (sewing) needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." (Matt. 19:23-24) [Please see our article, "The Rich Have Seized Control of the Church."]
THE FACT OF THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM
The FACT of the "GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM" - it's reality in Scripture - is NOT something that can be argued against. Without meaning to offend those who have never been confronted with the REALITY of this Gospel as something distinct and separate from the Gospel of Salvation, all I can say to them is what Jesus said to Nicodemus:
"... Art thou a master (or a teacher) of Israel, and knowest not these things?" (John 3:10)
These are, unfortunately, the kind of people about whom Paul said have not advanced beyond the rudiments of the faith:
"For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again ... THE FIRST PRINCIPLES OF THE ORACLES OF GOD; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat." (Heb. 5:12)
Brothers and sisters, if we are to get anywhere with God, we must get beyond the rudiments of the faith (what Paul calls here "the first principles of the oracles of God"), especially if we are to play any kind of meaningful role in the "end of days." We must go further; we must get to the "strong meat" of the Word - and that's certainly true of all those who want to associate themselves with Antipas. The "GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM" is that "strong meat" about which Paul talked - and knowledge of it does not come by means of osmosis or by inhaling it out of thin air, but by HARD and DILIGENT study. The Bible says:
"Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (interpreting) the word of truth." (2 Tim. 2:15)
So let us get down to this "strong meat," and to do that, let us use a reference guide that is universally accepted by "old-line evangelicals:" the Scofield Reference Bible. Concerning the differing gospels spoken of in the Bible, Scofield writes:
"The word 'gospel' means GOOD NEWS. As used in the New Testament, the word deals with different aspects of divine revelation."
In other words, there are various aspects of the "divine revelation" that the Bible vouchsafes to man. The "good news" of salvation, of course, is paramount; but there are other aspects of the "divine revelation" that go beyond the matter of salvation and are also a part of the "good news" of the Word of God.
One is the "good news" of the kingdom [i.e., the "GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM" (Matt. 24:14)] which foretells the coming kingdom of Christ that will entail social justice and equity between and among all men; and still another is what the Bible calls the "ETERNAL GOSPEL" (Rev. 14:6) which forecasts the destruction of "Babylon the Great," the kingdom of Satan which antichrist will set up in the "end of days" in opposition to the coming Kingdom of Christ.
Finally, of course, there is what the Bible calls a "DIFFERENT GOSPEL" (2 Cor. 11:4; Gal. 1:6) which is NOT "good news" at all, but a perversion of the "good news" of the Bible. We are warned by Paul against it and all its "SEDUCTIVE" forms which are at war with God's "Plan and Purpose in the Ages."
Obviously, then, when the Bible speaks of "good news" it has more in mind than the "Gospel of Salvation." No doubt, the "Gospel of Salvation" is paramount, for without it, one cannot even think about what the Bible has in store for those who are called according to His purpose, especially as that purpose relates to the Kingdom of God. Concerning the "GOOD NEWS OF SALVATION," Scofield writes:
"Absolutely essential to man's salvation is the GOSPEL OF THE GRACE OF GOD [SALVATION] (Rom. 2:16). This is the good news that Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sins of the world, that He was raised from the dead on account of our justification, and that by Him all who believe are justified from ALL things. It is described as the Gospel 'of God' (Rom 1:1) because it originates in His love; 'of Christ' (2 Cor. 10:14) because it flows from His sacrifice, and because He is the object of faith; 'of the grace of God' (Acts 20:24) because it saves those whom the law curses; 'of the glory of Christ' (2 Cor. 4:4; cp. I Tim. 1:11) because it concerns Him who is in the glory and who is bringing many sons to glory (Heb. 2:10); 'of your salvation' (Eph. 1:13) because it is 'the power of God for the salvation to everyone who believes' (Rom. 1:16); and 'of peace' (Eph. 6:15) because through Christ it makes peace between the believing sinner and God, and makes inward peace possible."
The kingdom being proclaimed here will be a kingdom grounded in social justice for ALL mankind, a world of equity where men are not divided up between the "owners of capital" on the one hand and "labor" on the other hand, and where men and women are not divided up on the basis of their race or even their gender (Gal. 3:28); where the rich do not oppress the poor; where every man has equal access to God; where privileges cannot be bought by the wealthy; where there are no death squads, no poverty, no torture, no hunger, no disease, and no room for oppressors of any kind.
This is what Scofield believes as well; he writes:
"Another aspect of the good news is the 'GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM' (Matt. 4:23), i.e. the GOOD NEWS THAT GOD PURPOSES TO SET UP ON EARTH THE KINGDOM OF CHRIST ..."
"The good news of this kingdom was announced by the Old Testament prophets (Is. 9:6-7), by Christ in His first coming (Matt. 9:35) AND WILL BE PROCLAIMED DURING THE ... TRIBULATION." [Note carefully for future reference when Scofield says this Gospel will be proclaimed: during the TRIBULATION period.]
The kingdom being proclaimed here will be a kingdom grounded in social justice for ALL mankind, a world of equity where men are not divided up between the "owners of capital" on the one hand and "labor" on the other hand, and where men and women are not divided up on the basis of their race or even their gender (Gal. 3:28); where the rich do not oppress the poor; where every man has equal access to God; where privileges cannot be bought by the wealthy; where there are no death squads, no poverty, no torture, no hunger, no disease, and no room for oppressors of any kind. [Please see our article, "Capitalism and Christianity."]
Very obviously, such a kingdom would be TOTALLY at variance to the world we now live in and with the American New World Order System that now prevails on the earth - especially the kind of world we described in our recent article, "The Horror of John Dimitri Negroponte and everything He Represents." [Please see that article plus our article, "Algeria: A Study of the Dreadful, Two-Tiered Economic System the U.S. Is Promoting Among Its Muslim Client-States."]
A world based on social justice where the rich do not oppress the poor? A world where there are no John Dimitri Negropontes, no Liamine Zerouals and no Augusto Pinochets? This, of course, is something much more than the "good news" of salvation, because while the "good news" of salvation promises redemption to the INDIVIDUAL, it does not promise to "make over" the world per se, and this is evidenced by the fact that from Pentecost until now there has been NO social justice and NO equity between and among men; tyranny and oppression have continued to flourish; and sickness, poverty and hunger have continued to wreak their horrible work on mankind.
This is NOT to take anything away from the "good news" of salvation, but very plainly social justice and social equity have yet to be established on the earth, which the coming Kingdom of Christ is calculated to accomplish.
The "GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM" announces the "good news" that the Kingdom of Christ is close "at hand." This, of course, is not the first time that the Kingdom has been announced to be close "at hand." It was announced the first time 2,000 years ago when the angels proclaimed it to the shepherds "in the field" BUT THE KINGDOM WAS REJECTED BY THE JEWS in fulfillment of the Scripture, that "... they (i.e., Israel) without us (i.e., the church) should not be made perfect." (Heb. 11:40)
"And she (i.e., Mary) brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
"And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, WHICH SHALL BE TO ALL people.
"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2:7-8, 10-11)
Shortly after - and in conjunction with what the angels declared to the shepherds - the Kingdom was announced to be "at hand" by John the Baptist, then by Christ Himself, and finally by the Twelve.
BUT THE KINGDOM WAS REJECTED BY THE JEWS in fulfillment of the Scripture, that -
"... they (i.e., Israel) without us (i.e., the church) should not be made perfect." (Heb. 11:40
Now, after an interval of some 2,000 years, the Kingdom is once again "at hand!" The so-called "church age" is all but past, and the Jews - once dispersed over the whole earth because of the rejection of their king - have now been re-gathered again to their land. Everything is ready! - and God is raising up a people to proclaim that the Kingdom is again "AT HAND."
Concomitant with the proclamation of the "GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM" - and in conjunction with it - the "Eternal Gospel" will also be proclaimed. Specifically, Scofield says:
"The 'Eternal Gospel' (Rev. 14:6) is described as the announcement of divine judgment upon the wicked [specifically, Babylon the Great] ... It is good news for the suffering believers as it heralds their coming deliverance and reward (cp., v. 12). In view of this those who 'live on the earth' are exhorted to fear God and worship Him (v. 7)."
Now note carefully here: while Scofield says that the "GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM" is again "at hand" - he does not believe that the church will be commissioned to announce it. Why? - because, according to Scofield, the church will be gone as a result of the rapture. Instead, he says that this commission will be given over to a special caste of pseudo-Christians he calls "Tribulation Saints." They are evidently not part of the church (because the church is gone), nor are they part of Israel. They're just there - suspended somewhere between "hither and thither." This, of course, is the NONSENSE dispensed by Tim LaHaye's series of books on the Tribulation and the rapture.
But there is no need to do such injury to the integrity of our understanding of the church by leaving some who call on His name suspended outside its blessed borders when one dismisses the pre-tribulation rapture of the church for the foolishness it is. Once one discards this teaching, the problem is solved; the lunacy dissolves that Scofield and others created when they allowed their imaginations to conceive a "special class" of Christians who are not part of the church.
As with the Gospel of Salvation, we - the members of today's church - are the ones to whom these commissions have been entrusted, IF SO BE WE CAREFULLY GUARD OURSELVES AGAINST THE SEDUCTION OF THE "GREAT DECEPTION" AND APOSTASY ("FALLING AWAY") OF THE "END OF DAYS."
We have now come to the end of this book; you have been acquainted with the "course and character" of this age. The question is, What are you going to do with this knowledge? - after all, knowledge which does not produce action is useless.
Very obviously, Christians are facing a time of crisis, one which all evangelicals - if they really are evangelicals - have long expected, and one which shouldn't come as a surprise - CHURCH APOSTASY: the refusal of the church to see itself any longer as a "citizen" of a heavenly kingdom having nothing to do with this world ["My kingdom is not of this world ... my kingdom ... (comes) not from hence." (John 18:36)] to seeing itself, rather, as a "citizen" or "friend" of this present evil world and all that such a thing portends - from the church's involvement in the world's political affairs, to its rapprochement with the right-wing of the Roman Catholic Church [Please see our article, "Liberation Theology, the Vatican and the CIA: Ghosts and Phantoms"] to its involvement in death squad activity in the name of God in South and Central America - "...Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." ( James 4:4) But, again, why should we as evangelicals be surprised by all this? - isn't this what the Bible said would happen? - "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day (i.e., the day of the rapture and the resurrection) shall not come, except there come a falling away (i.e., apostasy) first ..." (2 Thess. 2:3)
What then should we do with regard to this crisis? Menachem Begin, the former Prime Minister of Israel, faced a similar crisis in his life and in the life of the Jewish People in the early 1940s. The crisis he faced had to do with whether or not he should wait for the end of World War II and the plodding negotiations of Jewish "mainline moderates" like Dr. Chaim Weizmann and the World Zionist Organization to press the British Mandate Authority to facilitate Jewish immigration to Palestine (all this in addition to having to rely on the maddening timidity of the mainline Jewish defense organization - the Haganah - to secure their safety in Palestine), OR whether he should join up with the radicals, Vladimir Jabotinsky, and the Irgun Zvai Leumi - and hang the "niceties of diplomacy."
Begin finally chose Jabotinsky and the Irgun! - and he never looked back. Years later, in remarking on the single-mindedness of the organization he finally joined - i.e., the Irgun - he said: "In times like those, there is no greater force than people who (1) have the ability to see beyond the concerns of daily life, despite the sometimes very pressing nature of those concerns, (2) who possess the capacity for self-sacrifice, and (3) who are willing to get involved!" Begin believed that the rest didn't matter! And so it is with us today, the rest doesn't matter! - one's natural talent, one's standing within the church, one's ability to speak, one's wealth, one's education, one's personality, the number of mistakes one has made in his or her life, one's age, one's sex, etc. - all of that is inconsequential in comparison.
He finally chose Jabotinsky and the Irgun! - and he never looked back. Years later, in remarking on the single-mindedness of the organization he finally joined - i.e., the Irgun - he said: "In times like those, there is no greater force than people who (1) have the ability to see beyond the concerns of daily life, despite the sometimes very pressing nature of those concerns, (2) who possess the capacity for self-sacrifice, and (3) who are willing to get involved!" Begin believed that the rest didn't matter! And so it is with us today, the rest doesn't matter! - one's natural talent, one's standing within the church, one's ability to speak, one's wealth, one's education, one's personality, the number of mistakes one has made in his or her life, one's age, one's sex, etc. - all of that is inconsequential in comparison.
The ANTIPAS PAPERS are first and foremost a call to action to this kind of people; a call to the kind of people who joined themselves to Vladimir Jabotinsky and the Irgun; to the kind of people who possess vision and the capacity for self-sacrifice. It's a call for them to get involved! And to do it NOW! - before it's too late. To wait is to make prophecy of no effect - after all, prophecy is meaningless to those who refuse to do anything about it.
Prophecy is nothing more than a roadsign telling us of the danger that's ahead and warning us to take corrective action BEFORE we get to the danger. If we do nothing until we finally get there, it will be too late. Thus, if the only reaction the ANTIPAS PAPERS can elicit from someone who has read the book is "Wow! - what a wonderful book" - then we have utterly failed in what we set out to do, and that person has missed the point of the book altogether. Knowledge which does not produce action is worthless!
It is to those persons who possess the willingness to get involved that we now turn and to whom we now direct the following remarks: first, there are many things that will hinder you from getting involved - and sadly, your greatest hindrance will probably be those dear Christian brothers and sisters who claim to see what you see, but who caution "moderation." Those who do, however, are usually people who have a stake in the status quo - in other words, there's a reason behind their so-called "moderation" - they probably have a lot more to lose than you do. The fact of the matter is, not many rich, not many successful, not many "high church officials" will abandon "moderation" - they have too much to lose. This is why Jesus said, "... It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God" (Matt. 19:24) and why Paul said, "For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called ..." (1 Cor. 1:26).
Mostly, those who caution "moderation" are people who - while they might see objectively what you're talking about and who might even find it stimulating to sit in the safety of their living rooms for hours on end discussing this or that "end-times scenario" - will go ballistic if you actually suggest doing something about it. That's when the "moderates" panic! That's when people get labeled a "Jim Jones," a "Branch Davidian," a reckless and irresponsible radical, an "Unloving Person."
But look beyond the labels and you might see something else at work here! - a selfish effort by the "moderates" to shame you into silence and inaction. Why? - because if such thinking were to really catch on, they will be shown to be what they really are - spiritual cowards who have too much at stake in this world and in the status quo of today's church to get involved - whether it be pastors who have their reputation and pay checks to guard, ministry leaders who depend on "compromised" sources of income, wives who have their "nests" to protect from the "irresponsibility" of a husband who has hit the "nut circuit," Christian business people and professionals who have their "reputations" to protect, etc. - and in order to hide that fact, they are willing to stop at nothing to put the "radicals" to an open shame.
"Moderates" are the people who are given to writing time-consuming memoranda, holding "bigwig" conferences, "reasoning" with the opposition, discussing things endlessly - and not for the purpose of finding out the truth, but of "buying time" and "confusing the issue" - "Did so and so really say such and such? - I don't care whether a thousand witnesses heard him - let's find out what really happened." The object here, of course, is not to get to the bottom of what happened - after all, if a thousand witnesses won't suffice, nothing will. The real object is to get everything so tied up in red tape that by the time it's "sorted out," everyone will have "gone home."
To the "moderates," we would simply say this, What does one do with people who purposefully are leading the church into apostasy and into a rapprochement with right-wing Catholics? - reason with them? What's there to reason about? These people know what they're doing! - and you are not the first to question them on these matters. They've heard all the arguments before.
What value is there in meeting with such people? What does one say to a Paul Crouch, for example, when he says that those who are standing against the church's rapprochement with right-wing Catholics should be shot? Discuss with him the kind of gun that is best for such a purpose? Negotiate with him over the ammunition that should be used?
What utter nonsense!" - after all, what's at stake here is the church's soul! There is nothing to negotiate about! And if those you love in the church refuse to go along, and you think to stay for their sake, be assured, you'll accomplish nothing - you're "going" will accomplish more than your "staying" ever could by showing them by deeds rather than words how serious matters really are - Remember, what's at stake here is eternity! - your eternity!
Have the courage to speak out like Wesley did three centuries ago.
"This GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." (Matt. 24:14)
And He went on in the very same discourse to say:
"Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
"Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods." (Matt. 24:46-47)
"BLESSED IS THAT SERVANT WHOM HIS LORD WHEN HE COMETH SHALL FIND DOING SO!" - that's what Jesus said.
Of course, the work will be dangerous! - there is no doubt about that. Jesus said:
"Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
"But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues;
"And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles." (Matthew 10:16-18)
Pretty frightening - especially for the poor and inarticulate; but Jesus said:
"But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.
"For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you." (Matthew 10:19-20)
"What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops." (Matthew 10:27)
We are not called to be subtle about the "Gospel of the Kingdom." Your preaching will accomplish two things:
It will draw some to you - those whose hearts God has prepared for such a day, and you will be surprised to find out who these people are.
It will drive others away from you, and so much so that the Bible says, "And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake ..." (Matthew 10:21-22)
"When they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come." (Matthew 10:23)
"Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
"Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 5:14-16)
Insofar as the second group is concerned, Jesus said:
"When they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come." (Matthew 10:23)
And He went on to say:
"The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.
"It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?" (Matthew 10:16-25)
There's that charge of WITCHCRAFT again!
It's here that we come to something that we in Antipas have been talking about for some time now - the matter of God's command in Revelation 18:4:
"And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, COME OUT OF HER, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." (Rev. 18:4) [We URGE you to read our article, "Come Out Of Her;" please see our article, "The Cost of Discipleship."]
This is a topic that has undoubtedly frightened many who otherwise are very much drawn to the message of Antipas. Unfortunately, however, the command here is very plain and straight forward - and I must tell you that if one fails here, he will fail EVERYWHERE.
One should not think that he can fail on this point (i.e., Rev. 18:4) and still be found faithful in all the rest; one should not think that he can falter here and later be found faithful to resist the forces of hell under much more onerous conditions than those that presently exist.
Those dear saints of God who are still in Babylon must get out. And just exactly how should one begin this journey? You must begin in faith. Jesus said:
"TAKE NO THOUGHT FOR YOUR LIFE, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on."
Take no thought for your life!
And Jesus went on to say:
"Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
"Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
"Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
"And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
"And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
"Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
"Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
"(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER KNOWETH THAT YE HAVE NEED OF ALL THESE THINGS." (Matthew 6:25-32)
And then Jesus said something very profound:
"BUT SEEK YE FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD …" (Matthew 6:33)
There it is again! - the "KINGDOM OF GOD." In other words, take care of the Kingdom - and the "Good News" or "Gospel of the Kingdom" and everything will follow from that; BEGIN BY PREACHING THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM, Do that, and many hands will help you along your way - some friendly, and some not so friendly. Necessity in the face of persecution will show you the way out and will press upon you solutions to your problems that you never before dared to consider. It's in face of this kind of necessity that Jesus said:
"When they persecute you in this city [for preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom], flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of … [the world] till the Son of man be come." (Matthew 10:23)
Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and DELIVER EVERY MAN HIS SOUL - FORSAKE HER, AND LET US GO EVERY ONE INTO HIS OWN COUNTRY
"Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and DELIVER EVERY MAN HIS SOUL [and, again, please note here, the Bible is not talking about one's physical-life, but one's soul-life]: be not cut off in her iniquity; for this is the time of the LORD'S vengeance; he will render unto her a recompence.
"We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed: FORSAKE HER, AND LET US GO EVERY ONE INTO HIS OWN COUNTRY: for her judgment reacheth unto heaven, and is lifted up even to the skies." (Jeremiah 51:6 and 9)
Interestingly enough, this could only be said of the United States - a country populated almost wholly by immigrants from other lands, as one dear brother from India has so discerningly pointed out in his letters to us.
However, we must be honest regarding this matter. We dare not make the mistake of one dear saint of God who wrote me (via Sean) several years ago to say:
"Please pass this on to Steve … Some of us will never leave the U.S. for a variety of reasons, but do not dismiss us for that because our faith is strong and true. WE MAY NOT BE DOING ALL WE CAN TO TESTIFY IN THE STREETS NOW, BUT I SENSE OUR TIME HAS NOT ARRIVED YET. At this point, not many will listen and we will be branded as insane. The time will come, however, when many people will be hungry for what we have to say and they will listen, and the Lord will use us in a mighty way.
"There are Christians and others in the U.S. who will be saved by our efforts because we chose to stay and be physically with them during the Tribulation. The internet will probably be controlled at some point so it will be the people that you … have touched with your faithfulness and truth that will carry on the ministry one-on-one with people all over the world."
What a transparent "cop out!" - her time has not yet come to testify "in the streets," but someday, it will? Is that what she's saying? What absolute hogwash! She gives the game away here, and in the process reveals herself to be the spiritual FRAUD she really is! Who's she kidding? If she's unwilling to go out into the streets now, what makes her think that she will be able to go out into the streets under much more difficult conditions then?
She says that she wants to stay behind to testify to unbelievers during the Tribulation. She writes that, "There are Christians and others in the U.S. who will be saved by our efforts because we chose to stay and be physically with them during the Tribulation" – although she admits that she is not expending much effort in this direction at present: "We may not be doing all we can to testify in the streets now, but I sense our time has not arrived yet. At this point, not many will listen and we will be branded as insane. The time will come, however, when many people will be hungry for what we have to say and they will listen, and the Lord will use us in a mighty way."
What a transparent "cop out!" – her time has not yet come to testify "in the streets," but someday, it will? Is that what she's saying? What absolute hogwash! She gives the game away here, and in the process reveals herself to be the spiritual FRAUD she really is! Who's she kidding? If she's unwilling to go out into the streets now, what makes her think that she will be able to go out into the streets under much more difficult conditions then?
AND SO I TELL YOU NOW - ALL THOSE WHO ARE STILL IN BABYLON AND ALL THOSE IN OTHER LANDS, THE COMMAND IS TO TESTIFY AGAINST THAT BEAST AND THE WOMAN WHO SITS ON THE BEAST, AND SAY TO THEM,
"THE KINGDOM YOU ARE SETTING UP IN CHRIST'S NAME HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH CHRIST, AND EVERYTHING TO DO WITH ANTICHRIST."
This is the "GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM." If you persist in this direction, EVERYTHING will turn out well for you. The Bible says:
"Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine." (2 Timothy 4:2)
If you persevere in God's Word, you will draw people to yourself. You will! Be sure of that. The Lord has said:
"My word … 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." (Isaiah 55:11)
And as you do so, you will cause a great commotion around yourself - especially as those who begin to gather themselves around you add to the preaching of the "Gospel of the Kingdom" - AND ALL THIS BRINGS US BACK TO THE MATTER OF THE CHURCH.
Remember, it is the CHURCH THAT PRODUCES CHRIST'S TESTIMONY IN THE EARTH, AND THAT TESTIMONY IS OUR ONENESS IN THE MIDST OF TRIBULATION. Jesus prayed:
"That they all may be ONE … THAT THE WORLD MAY BELIEVE THAT THOU HAST SENT ME." (John 17:21)
And so I pray now for you, just as Paul prayed so many years ago -
"That in the dispensation of the fulness of times HE MIGHT GATHER TOGETHER IN ONE all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him.
"That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto YOU the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
"The eyes of YOUR understanding being enlightened; that YE may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his INHERITANCE IN THE SAINTS,
"And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to US-WARD who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
"Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
"Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
"AND HATH PUT ALL THINGS UNDER HIS FEET, AND GAVE HIM TO BE THE HEAD OVER ALL THINGS TO THE CHURCH,
"Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all." (Ephesians 3:10, 17-23)
God bless you all,