By Pastor Hal Mayer
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As we begin our message today, let us ask our heavenly Father to send His Holy Spirit to show us the things we need to know. Our Father in Heaven, we praise you and thank you for loving and caring so much for Your church that You gave us the signs of the times to warn us of coming events and of the end of the world. These things tell us of the coming of Jesus. We long to see Him and we pray that we will be ready to meet the crisis and stand in our place and live in Christ until He comes. Open our minds and hearts today as we continue our study on the end times. In Jesus precious name, amen.
Last month we started with a verse from Matt 16, in which the Pharisees and Sadducees came to him asking for a sign. They were like many of God’s people today who want a miraculous sign to tell them that the end is near and that it is time to get ready.
Many of God’s people think that they can get ready at the last minute. They think that they can quickly organize themselves when the time comes to leave the big cities. They aren’t working on it now, doing what they have in their power to do to prepare. The big city is where they have a job. It is where they have everything available to them, including food, clothing, television, football games, entertainment, and all sorts of other amenities. They think that a sign will one day be given them, so that they can quickly prepare to let go of it all and get right with Jesus.
Many think they can learn to grow their own vegetables overnight, or in one season. They think they can let go of the entertainment and sports. They think that the schools that call themselves Christian schools will train their children in the right way and make up for any deficiencies in the training they give their children. And what the schools can’t do, they think God will someday miraculously do, and their children will be safe in the end. They are expecting that when it is time, a “loving” Jesus will give them a miraculous “sign-in-the-sky” when it is time to get their lives together and become spiritually minded, and get ready to face the crisis.
Do you think this is what is going to happen? Do you think that Jesus is going to give us a sign just in the nick of time? I don’t think so. Notice what Jesus said next in verse two and three.
“He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowering. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?”
Jesus was talking about the people of His earthly days, but He was also talking about the Last Generation, the remnant church. We are to discern the signs of the times all around us. Christ has given us many signs. No, they aren’t some sort of miraculous intervention, but they are nevertheless signs that are ordained of God to warn us of the end.
You see my friends, those who claim to be the children of God, and those who claim to be his remnant people, cannot wait until some last minute sign to flee their selfish lives. They cannot let go at the last minute. If, at the last minute there was a sign, they would make some excuse to keep on doing what they are doing. They might even go so far as to ridicule the prophet and make light of the counsel God has been pleased to give us. I pray that you are not among those that do this my friend.
Jesus offers us the privilege to come into line with heaven’s culture now. Let go of worldly culture. It is addicting and will destroy you. Let go of the things that make you unspiritual, and uninspired by the truth of God. There are many things in this world that are designed to rob you of your spirituality, or prevent you from becoming spiritual. You have to deal with them. They are galling task masters. I don’t know what your temptations are, but you do. And God does. Go to Him and ask Him to give you power to resist them. Power is what you need. The only way you can overcome your sins and have a Most Holy Place experience of overcoming is through power, God’s power. At the end of time, Jesus is asking His Last Generation, His remnant church to be faithful to His whole law. He is asking them to have a mature overcoming experience. The Holy Place experience won’t do it. If you are only sinning and repenting and being forgiven over and over again for the same sins, you are having a Holy Place experience. A Most Holy Place experience requires a full surrender to His will and power that goes beyond your previous experience. You must enter the Most Holy Place with Jesus and let His power deal with your sins “root and branch,” and get them out altogether. Those who believe that God’s people are going to keep on sinning right up until Jesus comes in the clouds of glory, don’t comprehend the scriptures. They are superficial in their study.
But now let us turn in our bibles to the book of 1 Thess 5:1-6. “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.”
My friends, we are nearing the end. All the forces of evil are collaborating together to crush God’s law and bring God’s people to a time of crisis. In the name of safety we are seeing the collapse of the Constitution. In the name of security we are seeing its principles being shredded into bits. The world is seeking peace and safety, but they will never find it. It will always be elusive because they are looking for it in the wrong place. They are looking for the government to keep them safe. They are not looking to the God of heaven who is the only one Who can preserve them from the things that Jesus said were coming upon the earth.
Rome’s agenda is to take over the world. She does this through her riches, her teachings and her political policy. There are many nations and rulers that benefit by their relationship with Rome. There are many merchants who benefit by doing business through their connections with Rome. She has made herself rich by making others rich. Her political connections bring great benefit to many rulers and people. The economy is what makes the world go round and Rome has mastered the economy.
But there is coming a time when all this is going to change. The Bible declares that with violence, Rome will suddenly, in one hour, be overthrown. Roman Catholicism will lose its hold on its more than one billion members. The people of the earth are going to see the destruction of Rome and will weep and wail and distance themselves from Rome when they see the destruction that has come upon her. But it is too late then. They have been caught up in her merchandising, and they will then be caught up in her destruction. It is a great encouraging prophecy for those who are persecuted and oppressed by Rome.
Let us read it from Revelation, chapter 18, beginning with verse 9. “And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come. And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more: The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble, and cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men. (vs. 9-14)
Rome traffics in all these things. That is how she becomes powerful. That is how she gains control of the world. She offers benefits to nations, and particularly rulers, that come into her fold. And the saddest of all, is the loss of the “the souls of men” that she controls in superstition and vice. How many millions will be lost because they have listened to Rome and rejected the truth of God? This is the great tragedy. Rome has a lot of blood on her hands, my friends. And before the end, there will be a lot more. Before we move on further, I want to say that when we are talking about Rome we are referring to the system, not the individual people. There are many sincere people that are deceived by Rome. They think they will get to heaven by ritual, penance and money. God will enlighten them as He uses us to reach them. But it is the system that the Bible tells us is corrupt. The system is what is described as the harlot in holy writ. So let us not think that the precious souls that are caught up in sincerity are all involved in the conspiracy to control the world.
Verse 15. “The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, and saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls! For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city! And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.”
But notice what heaven will be doing. Verse 20. “Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.
Heaven has declared the destruction of Romanism. Heaven has declared that her fornication and spiritual adultery will come to an end in punishment. Notice verse 21. “And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.”
So the Vatican’s agenda is to take over the world. Though it may not be openly in every country, it is certainly so behind the scenes. Listen to it from God’s prophet. This is from Great Controversy, pages 555 and 556. “[Rome] is employing every device to extend her influence and increase her power in preparation for a fierce and determined conflict to regain control of the world, to re-establish persecution, and to undo all that Protestantism has done. Catholicism is gaining ground upon every side.”
Perhaps the most important prize for Rome is the takeover of the United States. There is no doubt that it is vital to the Vatican to ascend to the height of power in the United States and she cannot do so without changing the Constitution to reflect her principles because the Constitution was designed to prevent that very eventuality. The Constitution is at the center of her agenda. That is why it is so important that she control the Supreme Court through her adherents on the bench. That is why it is important for her to have a lot of influence and even control over other government branches, again through her adherents and friends.
There are many fronts through which Rome exercises her power and influence in overturning the Constitution. Last month we discussed the gradual removal of privacy, and the rise of a surveillance state. This month we will learn how the balance of powers established in the Constitution is being transformed so that there is more centralized power in the executive branch of the government.
The Constitution was established to prevent an executive branch from becoming too powerful. There were three branches of government that were established to protect the American people from misuse of governmental power. The history of the dark ages under Roman Catholicism made the founders very wary of a centralized and powerful executive branch. So they built in a balance of legislative and judicial branches to prevent the President and his office from becoming too strong.
Throughout the history of the United States, there have been repeated attempts to add more power to the executive. It is instinctual in human nature. Those that come to office are bound by the Constitution to protect that balance and restrain themselves from seeking more power than what is given them in the Constitution. There is a continual and needed tension between the executive branch, the legislative, and the judicial branches. Many times, the courts have overthrown laws established by the legislative body because they were in conflict with the Constitution and intruded on citizens’ rights. Many times, the courts and the legislative body prevented the President from taking power unto his office. And there have been times when the President’s veto of an act of congress has been used as a limit on the legislative power. Each branch limits the others.
But this cannot continue if Rome is going to gain control. Her principles require a strong centralized government with a powerful chief executive that she can control. The fewer people balancing each other, the more power Rome can develop. The fewer people at the top of power, the easier it is for the Vatican to influence the whole nation.
Perhaps you have noticed some of the arguments in the press about surveillance. Congress was very upset with the President because he had left them out of the information loop – not because most of them don’t believe that surveillance of innocent Americans is wrong. No, they generally support it. They were just upset that they were being left out of it and that it wasn’t happening under their oversight. They don’t like the fact that the President is taking these powers to himself rather than sharing them with Congress. They were unhappy that he was removing them from the authority structure that authorizes surveillance.
September 11, 2001 afforded the President the opportunity to assume much more power – and this is power over people’s lives, not just within the government, and to redefine the meaning of the Constitution. President Bush clearly understands the issues of the Constitution, but he may not realize that he is, unfortunately, helping Rome establish the Inquisition in the “land of the free.” He is looking for the Catholic vote, so he helps the bishops. Their real agenda is often hidden. Continually, it seems, the executive branch has been taking more power. Every area of life has been affected by these new powers as a big brother state is being developed with the capability to control the details of where you go, what you buy, how you communicate, how you worship. Many of these things don’t appear on the surface, but the legal structures to control them are being reformulated so that everything can be controlled.
The architects of a new America are changing the balance of power. It has enormous implications for the future of Americans. Their entire way of thinking about themselves and their freedoms is being twisted into new definitions of the law and the boundaries of the Constitution. Much of the changes are taking place, not through legislative due process, but by presidential executive order.
There has been a lot of discussion in the press about the President’s actions regarding the treatment of detainees from the war in Afghanistan and Iraq in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and in the CIA’s secret prisons around the world. The President and his Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez have defended these prisons, and torture, both for foreign and American suspects saying that they were not violations of the Geneva conventions on a mere technicality. The Bush Administration argues that because they did not classify them as prisoners of war, but as “enemy combatants,” they do not have the protections of the Geneva Conventions.
The Bush Administration also defended the detaining of U.S. citizens as well on the same basis, claiming that they were not entitled to the protections of the Constitution because they were working for a terrorist organization, or were involved in terrorism; an allegation that the Bush Administration has never supported with evidence in a court of law.
How then could a citizen detainee show that he is not working with a terrorist organization, if he is not given the protections of the Constitution, or the opportunity to demonstrate it in a court of law?
In other words, President Bush claims that he can tell, whether or not a suspect, or detainee is working for a terrorist organization or not, and no one can question his decision because the evidence against the detainee is sealed, even from the detainee. This is exactly how the Papal Inquisition treated its prisoners.
In more recent times, the President and his team have defended the unconstitutional wire tapping of innocent American citizen’s communications through email and telephone. The administration has also engaged in a secret and unconstitutional data-mining program on trillions of phone calls within the U.S., between U.S. citizens. The Bush Administration claims that this is legal and not unconstitutional because this is general data, not the content of the conversations or emails. Small comfort. How long will it be before the contents are the next legal frontier to cross?
When many Americans think of the government, they think of the President as a businessman running a business. The Cato Institute, in their policy analysis, published October 28, 1999, pointed out that one reason is because of the “growth of presidential rule through executive orders and national emergencies.” Cato Institute pointed out that “when presidents use executive orders to legislate… they usurp the powers of Congress or the States, raising fundamental concerns about the separation of powers.”
The Constitution of the United States clearly states that “All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.” This means that the President does not have the authority to make laws or legislate. His responsibility is to see that the laws are carried out. The Constitution was designed to prevent the President from exercising legislative power. A congress that doesn’t understand this principle delegates more and more power to the executive branch which actually aids and abetts the expansion of presidential power. If the Supreme Court justices don’t understand their responsibility, they will allow the executive to take more power to himself than he should have. Part of the responsibility of the courts, and the Supreme Court in particular, though not exclusively, is to check presidential lawmaking.
Montesquieu, a philosopher and advocate of separate bodies of legislative, executive, and judicial power once said “There can be no liberty where the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person, or body of magistrates.” The American Constitution provided for this separation of powers. Because each of these branches of governments were given separate functions and empowered to fulfill those functions, each branch would check efforts by the other branches to enlarge or abuse their powers, in a sort of adversarial way. When these powers work too closely together, or cooperatively, government grows and increases its scope, and becomes more and more like a business.
That transformation from a government to a business is most easily seen in presidential lawmaking. The use of “executive orders, proclaimations and other ‘presidential directives (especially by recent presidents)… has ursurped the “powers the Constitution vests in congress or leaves with the States,” said Cato Institute. In other words, the tools intended for another use, are now being used to bypass congress or the states. For example, in speaking of a particular executive order of President Bill Clinton, which attempted to redefine more power to the federal government over the States, the Institute went so far as to say that “Where all previous executive orders on federalism aimed to restrain federal actions over states, the current version (the one signed by Bill Clinton) is written to justify federal supremacy.” There was an outcry in congress and the order was revoked. But it shows how a president with visions of more power will attempt to take more power when the opportunity arises.
This is exactly what President Bush has done. September 11 gave occasion for great public anxiety. President Bush saw his opportunity and through executive orders, which were originally designed as a means of regulating laws that were enacted through due process, President Bush, has further blurred the line between the President and Congress, often issuing executive orders, taking illegal actions, and essentially changing existing laws. One of many examples is the executive order instructing the National Security Agency to begin wiretapping the communications of American citizens and collecting data from trillions of innocent American’s phone calls.
Clinton advisor Paul Begala’s statement “Stroke of the pen. Law of the land. Kind of cool,” succintly revealed the enthusiasm presidents have for usurping the powers assigned to the other branches of government.
Though the law requires the President to publish all executive orders and proclamations in the Federal Register, they can circumvent that requirement by the wording used in the order or proclamation, so that some of them are actually secret and unavailable to the public. This is very serious. “The doctrine of the separation of powers was adopted by the Convention of 1787… not to avoid friction, but [by means of that friction] to save the people from autocracy,” said Justice Louis Brandeis. “The framers with memories of the tyrannies produced by a blending of executive and legislative power rejected that political arrangement,” said Cato Institute.
The insightful Cato analysis continued, “Germany, after the First World war, framed the Weimar Constitution, designed to secure her liberties in the Western tradition. However, the President of the Republic, without concurrence of the Reichstag, was empowered temporarily to suspend any or all individual rights if public safety and order were seriously disturbed or endangered. This proved a temptation to every government, whatever its shade of opinion, and in 13 years suspension of rights was invoked on more than 250 occasions. Finally, Hitler persuaded President Von Hindenburg to suspend all such rights, and they were never restored.”
Through executive order, proclamation or other presidential directive, the President bypasses scores of statutory limitations on governmental authority.
The Bush Administration has even asserted that it is above the law. On many occasions, when congress has passed legislation that may limit the President’s power, the President issues a “signing statement,” essentially saying that he is signing the legislation into law, but that he reserves the right to do otherwise if he thinks it is necessary.
On January 4, 2006, The Boston Globe reported that President Bush issued a signing statement when signing the new law banning the use of torture. I will read part of the article.
“When President Bush last week signed the bill outlawing the torture of detainees, he quietly reserved the right to bypass the law under his powers as commander-in-chief.
“After approving the bill last Friday, Bush issued a ‘‘signing statement” — an official document in which a president lays out his interpretation of a new law — declaring that he will view the interrogation limits in the context of his broader powers to protect national security. This means Bush believes he can waive the restrictions, the White House and legal specialists said.
‘‘The executive branch shall construe [the law] in a manner consistent with the constitutional authority of the President . . . as Commander-in-Chief,” Bush wrote, adding that this approach ‘‘will assist in achieving the shared objective of the Congress and the President . . . of protecting the American people from further terrorist attacks.”
“Some legal specialists said yesterday that the president’s signing statement,… raises serious questions about whether he intends to follow the law…
“A senior administration official, who spoke to a Globe reporter about the statement… said the president intended to reserve the right to use harsher methods in special situations involving national security.
‘‘We are not going to ignore this law,” the official said, noting that Bush, when signing laws, routinely issues signing statements saying he will construe them consistent with his own constitutional authority. ‘‘We consider it a valid statute. We consider ourselves bound by the prohibition on cruel, unusual, and degrading treatment.”
“But, the official said, a situation could arise in which Bush may have to waive the law’s restrictions to carry out his responsibilities to protect national security…
“David Golove, a New York University law professor who specializes in executive power issues, said that the signing statement means that Bush believes he can still authorize harsh interrogation tactics when he sees fit.
“‘The signing statement is saying ‘I will only comply with this law when I want to, and if something arises in the war on terrorism where I think it’s important to torture or engage in cruel, inhuman, and degrading conduct, I have the authority to do so and nothing in this law is going to stop me,’ he said. ‘‘They don’t want to come out and say it directly because it doesn’t sound very nice, but it’s unmistakable to anyone who has been following what’s going on.’
In another context, when God’s people suddenly become a threat to national security, it will be far too tempting for the President to use harsh and degrading treatment of them, just as the Romans did to Christ.
Note that the government official said that President Bush often issues signing statements. This tactic to avoid accountability to the law by interpreting it in any way the president wants to, is another key feature of a dictatorship. Though the Administration says they are bound by the law, they are not too bound, and that whenever they want to they can justify doing differently on some “national security” grounds.
The “signing statement” as presently used by the President is a symbol of a shift in the balance of power away from the legislative branch of government to the executive. “The shift,” said U.S. News and World Report of May 29, 2006, began soon after Bush took office and reached its apogee after 9/11, with Bush’s authorization of military tribunals for terrorism suspects, secret detentions and aggressive interrogations of “unlawful enemy combatants,” and warrantless electronic surveillance of terrorism suspects on U.S. soil, including American citizens.”
Who is behind all this presidential usurpation of power? While President Bush and Dick Cheney have taken most of the criticism of these actions, there is a largely anonymous government lawyer, recently appointed as Cheney’s chief of staff, who has been the one “driving the most secretive and controversial counterterrorism measures through the bureaucracy.
“The signing statements are just one tool that David Addington and a small cadre of ultraconservative lawyers at the heart of the Bush Administration, are employing to prosecute the war on terrorism,” said U.S. News. “Name one significant action taken by the Bush White House after 9/11, and chances are better than even that Addington had a role in it… So ubiquitous is he, that he has been called the “‘invisible hand’ in national security matters… ‘He seems to have his hand in everything,’ says a former Justice Department official, and he has these incredibile powers, energy reserves in an obsessive, zealot’s kind of way…’ ‘The joke around here,’ says a senior congressional staffer with a chuckle, ‘is that Addington looks at the Constitution and sees only Article II, the power of the Presidency.’”
Berenson, Bush’s former associate counsel, says that Addington “is a national security conservative with a twist. ‘He’s not the intellectual legal conservative of the Federalist Society type…, who has moved on to the next battlefield.” These quotes are all from the U.S. News article.
The Federalist Society types generally believe in judicial restraint and limited government with checks and balances to prevent one branch merging with the others, or exceeding them in power. David Addington believes that the presidency should be the most powerful of the three branches, and that the others should be there to assist him in doing his work. They should cooperate fully in matters of national security, especially. But this is very subtle. They are not saying that we need to do away with the separation of powers all together; only in cases of national security. As you already know, this means much more than it appears on the surface. A new definition of terms is easy to develop, and those new definitions of power are also easy to expand. The definition of a “national security issue” can easily move to a new target, never before defined that way.
David Addington was one of the principal authors of the famous White House memo, which Alberto Gonzalez signed, justifying torture of terrorism suspects, and was a prime advocate of arguments supporting the holding of terrorism suspects without access to courts. (Sourcewatch.org: Article David Addington)
So David Addington has guided the Bush Administration in developing much of their agenda to remove personal liberties and strengthen the office of president. He has worked to justify, along with Attorney Generals John Ashcroft and then Alberto Gonzalez, the illegal use of the tools of power to bring America to the brink of a police state.
Guess where David Addington was trained as a lawyer. He graduated Summa cum laude from Georgetown University, the oldest Jesuit university in America. No wonder he is pro-torture. No wonder he is pro-executive. No wonder he is a centralizer of power. He has been trained very well to promote Rome’s agenda. And he has the legal mind and zeal to do it. Once again the effects of Rome’s invisible hand can be seen.
According to U.S. News, David Addington and close associates Alberto Gonzalez, John Yoo, and a few other very conservative lawyers who created a think tank in the Bush Administration that became the legal minds behind the White House’s so-called war on terror; a formidable team of advocates for presidential power at the expense of congress, the judiciary and personal liberties. “Addington… helped Yoo shape some of the most controversial… memos, said several justice department officials?” U.S. News even suggested that Addington, Yoo and Gonzales would compete with each other over who could be more expansive with the President’s power. Obviously they worked together to mature more of Rome’s agenda and strip the Constitution of its protections and balances.
Even if he is not a Roman Catholic, David Addington, along with Alberto Gonzalez has been trained very well to promote Rome’s plan and to lay the groundwork for Rome’s control of America.
Let us assume for a minute that he is not a Roman Catholic. Yet by going to a Jesuit university, he placed himself in a vulnerable position to be trained to think in their terms.
Perhaps he had Jesuit instructors that explained to him their definitions of the Constitution and impressed upon his mind the importance of executive power, and the need for the other branches of government to cooperate with the executive.
In other words, he may well have received the view that America doesn’t need an adversarial relationship between the three branches of government from his Jesuit law professors.
From Great Controversy, page 235 we read, “Under various disguises the Jesuits worked their way into offices of state, climbing up to be the counselors of kings, and shaping the policy of nations. They became servants to act as spies upon their masters. They established colleges for the sons of princes and nobles, and schools for the common people; and the children of Protestant parents were drawn into an observance of popish rites. All the outward pomp and display of the Romish worship was brought to bear to confuse the mind and dazzle and captivate the imagination, and thus the liberty for which the fathers had toiled and bled was betrayed by the sons. The Jesuits rapidly spread themselves over Europe, and wherever they went, there followed a revival of popery.
History records that within 25 years of the Reformation, the Jesuits had infiltrated even the Protestant universities. Do you think that the universities in America are any exception to this principle? Do you think that openly Catholic or Jesuit universities are somehow going to teach their young impressionable students the true principles of the Constitution?
My friends, I would like you to understand the importance of this. Revelation 13:11 says the lamb-like beast will speak as a dragon. There is no way that America can be transformed from a lamb to a dragon without the very core of its foundational principles being completely changed. Rome is marching stealthily and steadily into the secret of America’s power and is carefully dismembering each and every tenet of the Constitution.
Listen to this statement from the pen of inspiration, “Everything in God’s world—men and doctrines, and nature itself—is fulfilling God’s sure word of prophecy, and accomplishing his grand and closing work in this world’s history. We are to be ready, and waiting for the orders of God. Nations will be stirred to their very center. Support will be withdrawn from those who proclaim God’s law as the only standard of righteousness, the only sure test of character. And all who will not bow to the decree of the national councils, and obey the national laws to exalt the Sabbath instituted by the man of sin, to the disregard of God’s holy day, will feel not only the oppressive power of the Papacy, but the oppression of the Protestant world, who will seek to enforce the worship of the image of the beast.” That is from the Review and Herald, March 9, 1911.
This could not be more prophetic. Changing the Constitution stirs the nation to the very center doesn’t it? But did you notice what is the purpose of it all. It is designed to enforce the devil’s worship on all the people in direct opposition to God’s law which requires that we reverence His holy Sabbath day.
Do you remember how at the beginning of this message we spoke about the desire of some for miraculous signs? What kind of sign are you looking for? Are you looking for an outward miraculous sign, perhaps the Latter Rain, to do for you what you have neglected to do for yourself? Or are you looking for the evidence in the world around us that tells us that Jesus is coming soon? Are you purifying your soul by His grace so that He will be able to place the power of the Holy Spirit upon you?
You see my friends, discerning the signs of the times requires a heart to know the truth. It requires a heart that is willing to obey the prophet, and pay attention to what God says about the unfolding events of the last days. You cannot do what is right on your own. You have to have Jesus in your heart and your soul dedicated to His service no matter what your human obligations may be.
My friends, this is what it is all about. Rome is seeking to regain control of the world, and undo all that Protestantism has done. Our Lord Jesus gave His life so that each of us may have an eternal home with Him, and He promised us the signs of the times so that we would know when the end is near. Are you getting ready for the crisis? Do the signs of the times mean anything to you? May God help us understand the times and get ready.
Let us pray. Our Father in Heaven, please give us your Holy Spirit to teach us. We need Jesus too, and we pray for His power in our lives to get us ready for the end of all things. May we be pure and holy before God in these last days, so that we may have an overcoming experience and come under the protection of Jesus. In Jesus name I pray, amen.
The following is a current events update of interest to those that love the appearing of Jesus Christ and are watching the fulfilling prophecies. We can see the signs of the times telling us that we are nearing the world’s great crisis. May the Lord find us faithful.
First: Fingerprinting of Foreigners Expands to Legal Permanent Residents of the United States.
“Millions of legal permanent residents will soon have to be fingerprinted and photographed before reentering the United States…” said the Washington Post, July 28, 2006. “Those requirements of the US-Visit program will be applied around the end of the year to more than 11 million holders of green cards, as well as all immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers, people paroled to the United States and travelers under the Guam Visa Waiver Program… Certain Canadians entering for extended business or employment also will be subject to the new rule.”
As is always the case, laws intended for one group of people tend to expand after they are implemented for a while and the public is used to them, to other groups of people.
Under the Real ID act, American Citizens will soon be subject to biometric identifiers through a coordinated driver’s license program.
Next: The Lebanese Government Seeks Help from the Vatican.
Fox news reported on July 20, 2006 that the Lebanese government turned to the Vatican for “help in pressing for a cease-fire in the Middle East, dispatching the son of assassinated premier Rafik Hariri to meet with the Holy See’s Secretary of State.”
“Vatican officials said Cardinal Angelo Sodano met Saad Hariri…”
Remember that the Catholic Church, which has been at the center of the struggle between Catholic, Jew and Muslim for centuries, tries to position itself as a friend of all and as the peace broker in any major conflict. Of course this serves to strengthen perceptions that the Vatican is in the best position to help the peace process. But it also draws political support for the Vatican as the dominant moral voice in world politics. “All the world wondered after the beast…” Revelation 13:3.
Next: The Pope Hopes to Reclaim Catholic Territory
“The power of the Catholic Church in Spain has been declining since General Franco died in 1975,” said the London Times, August 10, 2006. “In his Spain, contraception, abortion, divorce and homosexuality were illegal. Woman were not allowed to work, own property or travel without spousal approval. In the past three decades, however, Spain has become one of the most liberal-minded countries in Europe. The role of women has undergone a revolution, with a higher proportion in the workplace than in many other parts of the Continent.”
The Times went on to say that “the Spanish government has moved aggressively to expand social freedoms. It has made divorce easier and faster, reduced the role of the church in education and allowed homosexuals to marry and adopt children…”
The visit of Benedict XVI to Spain in July was designed to emphasize the traditional family, and to encourage Catholics to “pass on the faith to their children.”
Along with a resurgence of commitment to Catholic values, would come political power. If Benedict XVI is able to revive flagging zeal among the nation’s Catholics, it would greatly strengthen the influence of the church on national policies. Of course, this is Benedict XVI’s agenda.
Next: Methodists Join Roman Catholics and Lutherans in Ecumenical Leap
The Religion News Service on August 8, 2006 reported that “Methodist churches took a key step toward mending relations with the Vatican, adding their approval to an interfaith accord that aims to repair divisions dating back to the 16th century Protestant Reformation.
“On Sunday (July 23), the World Council of Methodists, a body representing more than 65 million faithful, met in Seoul, South Korea, and signed the “Joint Declaration on Justification.” That document, signed by the Vatican and the Lutheran World Federation [at Augsburg] in 1999, aimed to settle disagreements over “justification” – the issue of whether salvation is God-given or earned through good works.
“This question was at the center of the 16th-century debate that eventually sparked the Protestant Reformation. The joint declaration attempted to heal the rift by stating that salvation was a gift from God that reflected good works. A statement from World Methodists Council on Sunday said the group welcomed the agreement with “great joy.”
“It is our deep hope that in the near future, we shall also be able to enter into closer relationships with Lutherans and the Roman Catholic Church,” the statement said.
“Cardinal Walter Kasper, the Vatican’s head of ecumenical relations, said Sunday’s agreement was “one of the most significant dates in the history of our churches.”
ZENIT, on July 28 reported that “according to George Freeman, secretary of the Council of World Methodists, the agreement “opens the door to new ecumenical relations.”
My friends, there is no doubt in my mind that John & Charles Wesley would be horrified at this joint declaration. It is truly a “leap;” a blind leap, a presumptuous leap. One that cements the Methodist’s heavenly denunciation as a daughter of Babylon. Any ecumenical alliance with Rome surely deserves that horrible pronouncement. When you think of what the Methodists stood for, especially the methodical and systematic loyalty to the Bible and its principles which began the movement in the first place, this is a very shocking agreement. Justification does not reflect good works. Good works are the evidence of a love relationship with Jesus of which justification is the basis. How can Methodists, who profess a heritage of Bible-based teachings come to such a point? Here is the reason. They never advanced with advancing light. When the 2nd Advent message was presented to them, like most churches, they rejected it. They have ever since been returning to Rome, step by step.
Please note, that the original document was signed by the Lutheran and Catholic delegations in Augsburg, the very city in which the reformers wrote and signed the great Lutheran declaration known as the Augsburg Confession in 1530. Rome has no compunction about insulting the ones who shed their blood and sacrificed so much for the liberties that in part we enjoy today. She distains the Augsburg Confession because of its affront to her authority and teachings. Signing the joint declaration in Augsburg would perhaps be the most disingenuous means of refuting the reformer himself. Rome could not do it in the days of Luther. But 469 years later, she is still at it and with much more success.
Next. Religious Leaders Unite to Promote Common Causes.
ZENIT on July 6, 2006 reported on the World Summit of Religious Leaders. At the meeting were Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus and Shintoists. Addressing the G-8 world political leaders the religious leaders said, “We, the representatives of different religions and confessions, were unanimous in affirming that it is indispensable to put an end to the constant increase of opposition between people, with violence, cruelty and terrorism,” said
Patriarch Alexy II, on closing the summit.
“Our mission is to remind the world of the imperishableness of the moral values that each religion and confession professes. Each one of us preaches on this. But today, we say it with one voice, which heads of government, international public opinion and our faithful must finally heed,” said the Patriarch.”
It is interesting to note that they were sending a message to world political leaders, implying that they should enact laws designed to reduce conflict between religions and “put and end to the constant increase of opposition between people…” Does that mean they are urging the governments of this world to enact laws restricting freedom of expression concerning the teachings of the Bible? Perhaps that wasn’t the foremost point in their minds, but it is certainly included.
The religious leaders called for “assistance to the family” through “international law and the practice of states, various public institutions, religious communities and the mass media.”
“‘We deplore the activities of pseudo-religious groups and movements destroying the freedom and health of people as well as the ethical climate in societies,’ the summit leaders continued. ‘Using religion as a means for rousing hatred or an excuse for crimes against individuals, morality and humanity present a major challenge today…’”
“We call for an end to any insult to religious feelings and defilement of texts, symbols, names or places held sacred by believers,” the leaders said.
Let me ask you a question. Do you think that one day God’s remnant people will come into conflict with world religious leaders who interpret the presentation of Bible truth about Rome and other fallen churches and pagan religions as an insult to religious feelings and that civil laws will be enacted making an expression of certain Bible truths a crime against other religions? You can hardly give the full biblical message without potentially offending someone. After all, the Bible reproves unbelief and false doctrine. If faithful witnesses for the truth are to give the whole Bible message in these last days, it may well be in the context of such laws. Already there are blasphemy laws in some countries that prohibit insulting other religions. Britain has new laws making it illegal to “incite hatred” against another religion. Would this law one day be construed to prevent God’s true messengers from preaching the full truth of scripture about Rome and the daughters of Babylon?
The religious leaders continued: “‘Human life is also interrelated with the economy. International economic order… should be based on justice… This is what makes the economy really efficient, that is, beneficial to the people,’ the declaration said.”
It is not difficult to see where this is headed. If the point made by the religious leader’s gains traction with world leaders, it is easy to see that it will eventually be used to proscribe the economic activity of those that don’t fit their religious profile. Painted as not helping the economy by causing division and even interreligious strife, God’s people may well be boycotted economically. Revelation 13 declares that this is a certainty. Those who do not go along with the new world religious order, will not be able to buy or sell. Of course it is economically related.
To give the Bible message about unfaithful churches, is not rousing hatred, but it could cause feelings and sensibilities to be offended. Hence in an environment of terrorism based in religious zeal, nations are being pressured to enact laws that will bring peace. But more importantly they will also be targeted at preventing God’s people from giving His last warning message.
By the way, do these leaders represent you and your beliefs as they claim? They can’t represent everybody, contrary to their assertion. Their intent is to claim jurisdiction, not just mere representation, over all religions, including yours and mine.
Satan is very strategic. The religious appeal to world leaders is patently political and is intended to lead to laws that harmonize with the ecumenical agenda of Rome and other religions who join the ecumenical alliances. As world chaos increases, these calls for unity, and legally-supported, religious solidarity will get stronger. Stay tuned.
Next: Seventh-day Adventists and Evangelicals Meet in Dialogue
The Adventist Press Service reported on August 15, 2006 that “representatives of the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church and the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) met in dialogue August 8-11, 2006 on the campus of the International Baptist Theological Seminary, located in Prague, Czech Republic. Although informal contacts had occurred during the past 50 years, this was the first official meeting of the two groups.
“The purposes of the dialogue were: To gain a clearer understanding of the theological positions of each body; To clarify matters of misunderstanding; To discuss frankly areas of agreement and disagreement on a biblical basis; and to explore possible areas of cooperation.
“Representing the Evangelical Alliance were; Dr. Rolf Hille (Tuebingen/Germany), chairman of the Theological Commission, WEA; Dr. Juerg Buchegger; Pastor James Kautt; Dr. Herbert Klement; Dr. Ian Randall, joined by theological expert Dr. Reinhard Hempelmann. The Seventh-day Adventist representatives were: Dr. John Graz (Silver Spring, MD/USA), Secretary of the Council on Interchurch/Interfaith Relations; Dr. Niels-Erik Andreasen; Dr. Bert B. Beach; Dr. Kwabena Donkor; Dr. Eugene Hsu; Dr. William Johnsson; Dr. Teresa Reeve; and Dr. Angel Rodriguez (of the Biblical Research Institute at the General Conference). Drs. Hille and Graz co-chaired the discussions.
“The Dialogue proceeded via several papers and presentations that described the respective profiles of Adventists and the Alliance. Representatives discussed the platform of beliefs held in common by Evangelicals; the Holy Scriptures, the Trinity, the Lord Jesus Christ, justification by faith, the new birth, the unity of the Spirit, and the Resurrection. They also considered Adventist presentations on the interpretation of Scripture; Gospel, Law, and the Sabbath; and relations with other churches.
“Representatives participated together in daily worship and fellowship. The dialogue revealed a large measure of common ground as agreement was found between the beliefs of the Evangelical Alliance Statement of Faith and the Adventist Statement of Fundamental Beliefs; further, the two groups shared a spirit of devotion and piety, a strong belief in the inspiration and authority of Scripture, and a common concern for united Christian witness in an age of increasing secularism and religious pluralism.
“The meeting concluded by planning for a second round of discussions to be held August 6-10, 2007, on the campus of Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan, USA. Topics to be covered include the role and authority of Ellen White; Adventists’ approach to Biblical apocalyptic, including the teaching of the pre-Advent judgment and the Remnant; and trends among Evangelicals worldwide.”
Now for some observations. I am sorry to have to say that this is a very sad report really and it burdens my soul. The first time Seventh-day Adventists had dialogue with evangelicals it resulted in the publication of the book Questions on Doctrine which greatly muted the distinctives of the Adventist faith and led to great controversy and confusion in the Adventist Church over doctrines such as the nature of Christ, righteousness by faith, the sanctuary message and other key beliefs. Now again there is an official dialogue which more closely follows the ecumenical pattern of first finding point of common belief, then branching off into points of distinction. Will the Adventist message be again muted even further in light of these discussions?
It is significant that the first meeting was held in Europe where liberal Adventism and liberal evangelicals have important centers. It is also significant that this first meeting found a lot of common ground. Where is all this heading? Let me read to you a statement from the pen of inspiration:
“When the leading churches of the United States, uniting upon such points of doctrine as are held by them in common, shall influence the state to enforce their decrees and to sustain their institutions, then Protestant America will have formed an image of the Roman hierarchy, and the infliction of civil penalties upon dissenters will inevitably result.” That is from Great Controversy, pg 445.
This statement is referring to the leading churches in the United States. But it seems that Adventists are aiming beyond that and seeking unity with worldwide organizations. When Adventists find common points of belief with evangelical churches and alliances on a world-wide scale, it will inevitably add greater weight and influence to U.S. based discussions and unity. Do you think this interfaith dialog; finding common points of belief with evangelical churches is helping to form the image to the beast in the United States too?
Note also that they expressed a “common concern for united Christian witness.” How can Seventh-day Adventists give the distinctive message that God has entrusted to them, which includes a call to come out of the fallen churches of Babylon, when they have been in ecumenical dialogue with these very same churches? Have the Adventist leaders lost their spiritual bearings?
Also note that one of the co-chairman of the meetings, Dr. Rolf Hille is from Tübingen, where he teaches at the same university where Benedict XVI taught from 1966-1969, and where Jan Paulson, the President of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists attended as a doctoral student, finishing his degree in 1972. It makes one wonder where this ecumenical dialog is headed. Tübingen is a major university in Germany which has both Catholic and Protestant studies. Apparently there is a good ecumenical spirit there, no doubt consistent with Vatican II.
You may have also noted that one of the participants in the dialog was Bert Beach, the man who presented Pope Paul VI with a gold medal in 1977, supposedly as a witness to the Adventist faith. I am amazed at the connections both obvious and implied in relation to this meeting.
Another observation that is worth noting is that the first meeting in the Czech Republic was centered around points of common ground, while the second meeting is mainly going to address the distinctive points of Adventist doctrine and understandings including the authority (which includes the inspiration) of Ellen White, Bible prophecy, and the sanctuary message (referred to as the pre-Advent Judgment). How on earth will there be unity on these points unless the Adventist representatives are willing to yield, mute or change their beliefs? It is certain that the evangelical leaders will not be finding agreement over the inspiration and authority of Ellen White. It is also certain that they are not going to find much agreement on the Adventist understanding of prophecy, particularly in the modern ecumenical climate.
Another thing that worries me is all the Drs. of Theology present at this meeting. It has always been the theologians that have led the church into apostasy. Somehow I sense that all is not what it seems on the surface.
My friends, it is a singular tragedy that Adventist leadership including William Johnsson and Angel Rodrigues, and other key leaders are meeting with these evangelicals. Where will this lead them? What is the point of having such dialogues? They can only do harm.
Well, that’s all we have time for today my friends. We really need to pray for God’s church and its leaders right now. I pray that you will remain faithful. God bless you.
Many of God’s people think that they can get ready at the last minute. Those who claim to be the children of God, and those who claim to be his remnant people, cannot wait until some last minute sign to flee their selfish lives. They cannot let go at the last minute.