By Pastor Hal Mayer
The most important document in the free world is under attack. This attack is coming from within. The Papacy is unrelenting in its effort to control America through its servants and friends within the various branches of the U.S. government so that it will be able to implement cannon law in the United States and bring America to its knees in worship of Rome’s authority. It is vitally important that you and I get ready for the imminent return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Today we will look at yet another assault on the Constitution as the world is preparing to persecute God’s people for their faith and practice of the Ten Commandments, especially the Sabbath commandment.
As we begin, let us bow our heads in prayer. Dear Father, we have known that prophecy reveals that there will be an change in the world, a change that is designed to bring God’s people who keep all the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus, into a position where they will not have mercy or justice. We pray that we can have the faith to live by Your law of love. It means so much to us that You love us, and care for us, even though our lives in this world are very difficult. We know that heaven will be wonderful. We pray that You will preserve us and put Your Holy Spirit in us, so that we may live for You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
The Scripture says, in 1 Thess 5:3 “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.” The trouble is, my friends, most people are thinking about peace and safety. They are not thinking about the sudden destruction. When Noah went into the ark, the people were thinking peace and safety. For seven days, they salved their consciences that nothing would happen and that all would go on as before with no disruption. Then suddenly, the storm came and they were swept away. It was too late. The important issue for God’s people to remember today is that the battle is over their hearts, their loyalty to God and obedience to all of His commandments.
Rome tries to enslave men to her teachings. She is merchandizing in the souls of men says Revelation 18. Most people don’t understand this. They think that Romanism is just fine. Even Protestants think they have nothing to fear from Rome. However, in the end, they will weep over her. But it will be too late. They don’t realize that sudden destruction is lurking for them also.
Many of God’s remnant people are satisfied to think that Jesus will forgive them if they sin. While this is true if they repent, it is not enough. Jesus must have a people in the Last Generation who are beyond the holy place experience of sinning and being forgiven, sinning and being forgiven, sinning and being forgiven. He is preparing a group of people that are mature in their experience and have overcome all sin and have successfully resisted the temptations of the devil. This doesn’t happen by outward sign, my friends. It doesn’t happen by some bolt of lightening, or some supernatural manifestation. It is a quiet, process that happens in the heart that is given over to Jesus. He refines it. He remolds it. He changes the character into the likeness of His character.
When this is accomplished, then you will see the signs of the times for what they really are. When you have victory over your sins, then you are ready to take the steps of a mature Christian walk that Jesus has for you.
Let us read 1 Thess 5 again with more verses. This time verses 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.”
Today my friends, we are living in a sober time in earth’s history. This is the Day of Atonement. Jesus is doing His work of blotting out the sins of those that are giving them up by faith and not doing them any more. Do you have sins that you want to turn over to Jesus so that you don’t have to do them any more, and can have them blotted out? If so, let Jesus take over your heart. There is no problem that He cannot solve. There is no pain that He cannot heal. There is not burden that he cannot bear. There is no victory that He cannot give you. You can live a life of holiness to the Lord if you truly want to. It doesn’t matter how bad you have been, or how sinful. You can put all of that behind you and live for Jesus.
We must do this because we are coming right down to the crisis. Satan is working through his agents on earth to create terrible circumstances for God’s people. Listen to this important statement from the Spirit of Prophecy. “Satan is actively arranging matters so that the Lord’s people may not have mercy or justice.” That’s from the 5th Volume of the Testimonies, page 452.
What does it mean not to have mercy or justice? Isn’t that what Jesus went through? Most of God’s people don’t want to think about it. They seem to think that everything will go on as before. It is hard for their minds to grasp the significance of what is taking place and what will take place in time, once the new system of inquisitorial justice is in place. They don’t want to think that the “land of the free” will somehow become the “land of persecution.” They don’t want it to change and are willing to blind their eyes to it, so that they don’t have to think about what is coming stealthily upon them. How are you going to stand? There is only one way, and that is by the protection of God. That means that you must have a close intimate walk with God every day.
Today we are going to discover some amazing things about the changes in the Constitution of the United States that is preparing for the time when the Lord’s people will not have mercy or justice. In fact, America is headed for a legal environment very similar to the Inquisition in the dark ages. This is how Satan and Rome would have it. The coming crisis will be controlled by forces that are principalities and powers far beyond you and me. But God has them in control. They can do nothing unless He gives them permission.
God’s end-time prophet says in the book Great Controversy, page 581. “[Rome] is silently growing into power. Her doctrines are exerting their influence in legislative halls, in the churches, and in the hearts of men.”
What does this mean? How is it happening? We have been tracing the footsteps of Rome in relation to the Constitution as it is being redefined more in harmony with the principles of Rome. Rome has gained much popularity. This gives the bishops more opportunity to influence government leaders because they can offer votes in exchange for policies and laws. They are constantly at work. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington is continually accessing legislative halls in Congress. Their Office of Government Liaison tracks legislation and seeks to influence lawmakers with their point of view. Rome is also working in other stealthy ways as we shall see today. But the “invisible hand” of her influence is being felt everywhere. Most people don’t recognize it because it is behind the scenes and not connected in their minds to the Papacy. They don’t know history, so it is hard for them to tell how America is being legally paralleled with Rome.
President Bush is a Methodist, but he is working with the leaders of the Catholic Church in many, many ways, especially in relation to changes in the Constitution. He has his own political reasons for cooperating in a way that the Bishops will approve. But through that cooperation, Rome gains her objective as well; the control of the politics and laws of America.
But Rome’s primary political target is the U.S. Constitution. She hates it above all else, because it provides for religious liberty for all its citizens. As you may recall the Constitution plays an important part in prophecy because it is the core document that underlies freedom in America, a nation that scripture tells us Rome wants to control. There is no way that the prophecy of Revelation 13 can be fulfilled concerning the lamb-like beast, or the United States, without a dramatic change in the Constitution, or the way the Constitution is interpreted and applied. Rome must change the Constitution if she is going to require all to worship in her prescribed way!
No matter how much Americans love America, no matter how much they appreciate living in it, they will eventually recognize that it will have changed. But it will be too late for most. Those who follow prophecy will be able to watch the changes as they happen. Prophecy insists that America will speak as a dragon, and formulate the image of the beast, a look-alike of Rome. We don’t judge the leaders of the nation unduly. There are honest people working at every level. If there weren’t our freedoms would have long ago vanished. But, we cannot overlook the fact that America is being reformulated at this very moment.
Perhaps it is hard for us to conceive of it because we have such a high regard for the principles that made America great, but those principles are being replaced. Prophecy will be fulfilled. We must not forget that. The Constitution is being dismembered day by day, step by step, gradually and carefully. Rome is gaining fresh courage daily to move forward with her agenda. The American leaders are steadily opening the door to her as best they can.
Prophecy in relation to the Constitution of the United States is the focus of this series of sermons. Today we are going to talk about the new justice system that is replacing the tried and true justice system installed by our founders. It is important to realize that the new justice system that is being developed is inquisitorial, not constitutional. Rome has been seeking to implement the principles of the Inquisition in America and other countries for centuries and is now about to accomplish her purpose. These principles include detention for extended periods without trial or charges, tribunals instead of a court with a jury of peers, no access to accusations by the defense, assumption of guilt and even torture. The U.S. Constitution guarantees that these things will not be used in the United States. But the people of the United States are being prepared to accept these principles of Rome, even against their own citizens. Right now they are mostly being tested on those who are not citizens, but that is only where it starts.
I also want to point out that this is not about politics, it is about prophecy. It is not about the democrats vs. Republicans. Under the pressure of terrorism, these developments would occur no matter who runs the government. It is not about liberals or conservatives, for these kinds of changes can and have happened under both types of government. Whatever the reasons, whatever the motives, terrorism has created circumstances that make it easy for the Constitution to be reinterpreted, or undermined and changed. It is hard for some to separate politics from prophecy because prophecy does involve politics. But keep in mind that though we talk about the things that are being debated in the press in a political context, we are actually staring the fulfillment of prophecy in the face.
When God’s prophet says that Rome is “piling up her massive structures, in the secret recesses of which her former persecutions will be repeated,” (GC 581) we had better pay attention. What were the persecutions of the horrible inquisition? They involved secret prisons, torture, secret evidence, unlimited detention, trial by tribunal, surveillance of average citizens, and much, much more. While Rome is making ready in the old world, the United States works with Rome to form the image of the beast in the new, according to Revelation 13, and will do what Rome tells her. That is why we are seeing so much in the press about torture, surveillance, extended detentions without access to lawyers, secret evidence not available even to the defendant. These things must become acceptable to the American public mind so that when the time comes, Satan can use these principles against God’s remnant church.
One example of how America is being reshaped is the way in which those captured by the United States in the war on terror are treated. Those who are detained have been called “enemy combatants,” not prisoners-of-war. The purpose was to legally circumvent the Geneva Conventions of 1949, so that prisoners could be treated in less than humane ways. This was a new category of enemy defined as those who were not authorized by a government to conduct war, or were fighting without a uniform. This rather creative definition was intended to provide latitude for the U.S. government to deprive them of their rights under the Geneva Conventions.
The Geneva conventions require that prisoners of war be treated humanely, which includes the conditions under which they are held, a fair trial if they have committed a crime, and no torture. But the Bush Administration, for the years immediately following the September 11 terrorist attacks, denied its “enemy combatants” these basic protections because they had not been classified as prisoners-of-war, even though the intent of the Geneva Conventions would have included all prisoners in any conflict whatsoever. The detainees could not challenge their detention in court, nor can they see the evidence against them reported USA TODAY on December 2, 2004. They were, for a long time, denied access to lawyers, and even when they were finally given access, they were not permitted to see the evidence against them.
The Administration continues to fight very strongly to defend a policy that anything could be done to prisoners in the process of interrogation, except actions which cause organ failure. To define torture as only those actions which cause organ failure, is to violate the spirit as well as the letter of the Geneva Conventions, international human rights laws and common decency. Very quickly there arose an outcry against the American administration for condoning the abuse of prisoners in the Abu Graib prison in Afghanistan, and shortly afterwards, the treatment of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Later, outrages over the treatment of prisoners in a program of “extraordinary rendition” run by the CIA and authorized by Donald Rumsfeld, the Defense Secretary, with increased concern over America’s disregard for international law. “Extraordinary Rendition” is another term for torture of prisoners held in secret prisons.
A well-known example of the abuse of a detainee is the case of Maher Arar, a Syrian-born Canadian Citizen who was detained by the CIA at JFK airport in New York on suspicion that he was linked to Al-Qaeda. He was shipped off to Syria where he was imprisoned in a “rat-infested dungeon and brutally tortured,” said the New York Times of February 26, 2006.
Mr. Arar was beaten and abused only on suspicion of being a terrorist, not on the actual fact. He was presumed guilty and was treated inhumanely. The CIA knew he would be tortured in the interrogation process in Syria. Mr. Arar was finally released from the Syrian prison because the Syrians found no link to al-Qaida. Mr. Arar sued for damages in a Federal District Court in Brooklyn. The judge did not dispute that the U.S. officials “had reason to know that Mr. Arar faced a likelihood of torture in Syria (which would have made it illegal to transport him there for questioning under current U.S. law). But he took the rare step of blocking the lawsuit entirely, saying that the use of torture in rendition cases is a foreign policy question not appropriate for court review, and that going forward would mean disclosing state secrets,” said the Times.
If the use of torture is beyond court review, then the law is meaningless. The Times pointed out that “with the Bush Administration claiming imperial powers to detain, spy on and even torture people, and the Republican congress stuck in enabling mode, the role of judges in checking executive branch excesses becomes all the more crucial. If the courts collapse when confronted with spurious government claims about the needs of national security, so will basic American liberties.”
On September 18, 2006 a Canadian government commission exonerated Mr. Arar and “issued a scathing report that faulted Canada and the United States for his deportation four years ago to Syria…” said the New York Times. Canadian Justice Dennis R. O’Connor, head of the commission, said that “categorically… there is no evidence to indicate that Mr. Arar has committed any offense or that his activities constituted a threat to the security of Canada,” and by extension, the United States.
The methods used now are strikingly similar to those used by the Inquisition to extract information from its victims. Those who have studied the Inquisition would know that prisoners were assumed guilty, were held without charge and without knowledge of accusations against them, were interrogated under torture, not provided with protected legal counsel, and tried by a tribunal that had already presumed their guilt rather than a jury of peers.
Some argue that this kind of approach to human rights is ok because these prisoners are not American citizens and that this could never happen to U.S. citizens because of their constitutional protections. But the new American methods would not be limited to foreigners only. Jose Padilla, a Chicago-born American citizen was captured on his arrival at Chicago O’Hare International Airport and detained as an enemy combatant.
In his announcement about the arrest of Jose Padilla, John Ashcroft (at that time the Attorney General) stated that he had “recommended that the President of the United States, in his capacity as commander in chief, determine that [Padilla] is an enemy combatant who poses a serious and continuing threat to the American people and our national security.” He also stated that Padilla had been “transferred from the custody of the Justice Department to the custody of the Defense Department.” Padilla remained in Defense Department control for three and a half years without charge or trial or any due process, and for most of the time without access to a lawyer.
The US government used laws designed for foreign terrorists to detain him, merely on suspicion of being involved in planning a major terrorist attack using a “dirty bomb.” The Bush Administration justified this on the basis that the war on terror is a different kind of war.
There are a number of legal questions involved?
For example, how does the President have the insight to determine if a detainee is or is not a terrorist or criminal? And is his judgment so infallible that no one can question its truthfulness? Does the President, or any one man, have the power under the Constitution to make such a determination? These are powers that the Constitution has not given to the President, even in war time.
If the defendant has no access to the courts, how can he show that he is not a terrorist? If he has no access to a lawyer, how will he ever be able to know how to approach the issues of law? If there are no formal charges against him, and he only knows that he is held on suspicion of terrorism, how will he be able to address a specific charge? Suspicion is very fluid and changeable. If he doesn’t have access to the evidence against him, how can he confront it and clear himself?
Without a trial, how can the government really show that they have a case? This creates distrust of the government. If the people allow this kind of justice during a time of war, will they return to constitutional justice after the war is over? If the government is permitted to usurp these powers and set itself up over the Constitution, will America remain the land of the free?”
If in time of war, with a well-villainized enemy such as the terrorist, the President is permitted to conduct himself unlawfully, and unconstitutionally, will he have any better behavior when God’s people become the new enemy and are sufficiently villainized? Will God’s people suffer less than humane treatment? Will they be subject to torture and lose their rights to constitutional guarantees?
The U.S. Constitution was designed to prevent just this type of injustice. The framers knew the history of the Inquisition. They knew what had happened in Europe for over 1200 years. They hungered for freedom themselves and gave their blood to establish a land with “liberty and justice for all.”
If you are reading the Catholic press, Rome keeps speaking about “justice for all.” But her system of justice is the farthest from it. As her system of justice is being introduced into the United States, she is not protesting, but aiding and abetting it. It is her adherents, or those that she is manipulating, that are bringing these things into the beloved land of liberty.
Perhaps Padilla is a terrorist. If so, then let the American people see the evidence in court. But unfortunately that is not what the government wants to do. The system that the Administration is trying to set up is arranged so that the accused has no recourse. The defendant cannot prove his innocence, cannot challenge his detention, cannot see the evidence. The Government doesn’t want to have to marshal the necessary arguments. They don’t want to bring their cases before the courts. The Inquisition thrived on a secretive environment such as this.
The implications are serious for God’s people. The real target behind all the changes in the justice system of the United States is God’s remnant people. That we know from prophecy. You won’t read that in the public press. You have to turn to the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy to know what is really going on. These things are not presently seen. Nor are they understood by many who are actually implementing the new system.
But Satan knows that he cannot persecute God’s people unless the Constitution is overthrown. Rome knows that it cannot persecute those that don’t go along with her Sunday worship unless these things are in place.
The New York Times of November 23, 2005 reported that, when challenged, the administration fought for its right to detain Mr. Padilla without due process all the way to the Supreme Court. But on November 22, the administration changed its mind. In order to avoid having to argue the case before the Supreme Court, the Bush Administration charged Mr. Padilla only with aiding other terrorists, and handed him over to a civilian court. The administration feared losing the case at the supreme court and would have then had legal restrictions based on case law, on how it can treat those it considers to be enemy combatants, especially if they are U.S. citizens. The charges filed against Mr. Padilla, the Times said, do not have the “remotest connection with the original accusations.” “The charges do nothing to clear up the enormous legal questions created by” his detention in the first place.
The legal adjustments to permit torture were orchestrated by Alberto Gonzalez, now the Attorney General, John Yoo, a Junior lawyer in the Justice Department, and David Addington, another Justice Department lawyer at the time. Gonzalez signed the memo that patently attempted to justify the use of torture.
Mr. Gonzalez stated in this now infamous memo, that “the war on terrorism is ‘a new kind of war’ that requires the United States to go to unusual lengths to get information about potential terrorist plots.” USA Today further revealed that Mr. Gonzales’ memo stated that new circumstances “had made the internationally recognized Geneva Conventions… ‘obsolete’ and that some Geneva restrictions were now quaint.” In other words, Mr. Gonzales was seeking support from the Justice department to use torture to get information, in violation of the Geneva Conventions.
On January 7, 2005, USA Today reported that Mr. Gonzales was “instrumental in decisions… to detain non-citizens and citizens alike as long as the war on terrorism lasts, and to use ‘stress and duress’ interrogation tactics to gather intelligence on potential terrorist attacks.”
Mr. Gonzalez is a practicing Roman Catholic who has a legal philosophy similar to the Inquisition. Is it any wonder that we are heading away from a constitutional justice system to one much more Romanist?
But Alberto Gonzalez and his legal buddies are not the only ones in the administration working to establish inquisitorial practices in the United States. Congress tried to intervene and restrict the use of torture. But on January 15, 2005, the International Herald Tribune reported that the US Congress scrapped a bill that would prevent the use of torture. I will quote the Tribune, “The restrictions would have extended to intelligence officers a prohibition against the use of torture or inhumane treatment…” Congress was going to restrict the use of torture, but something happened and they dropped the restrictions from the proposed law.
The Tribune revealed what happened. “In a letter to members of Congress,… Condoleezza Rice, the national security adviser (at that time), expressed opposition to the measure on the grounds that it ‘provides legal protections to foreign prisoners to which they are not now entitled under applicable law and policy.’”
The Tribune also revealed that “…in intense closed-door negotiations,… four senior lawmakers from the House and Senate deleted the restrictions from the final bill…” I would like to know more about these four senior lawmakers, but I could not find information about who they were.
This very revealing article shows that even though torture and inhumane treatment is against international law, the Administration clearly believes that it can violate these laws on mere technicalities. Incidentally, the Administration has described itself as at war with a group of religious extremists, and has systematically developed the American mind to fear and hate religious extremists. There will be no legal barrier to torture and abuse against those detained for their faith when a new definition of “extremist” makes God’s people the object of the new legal environment. That day will come.
Interestingly, a little more than a year later, Condoleezza Rice was invited to be the commencement speaker at Boston College on May 22, 2006. Boston College is a prestigious Jesuit university. She was also awarded an honorary law degree from that institution. Though Condoleezza Rice did not grow up Catholic (she was raised a Presbyterian, her father being a minister), she nevertheless is widely appreciated by Catholics. It happens that there were some who protested the Boston College invitation to speak because she strongly supported the war in Iraq, and holds pro-abortion views.
But that didn’t stop the university from proceeding. Obviously the bishops were not that concerned about her position concerning the war in Iraq, perhaps because it is not a core issue for Roman Catholics. No doubt their admiration for her outweighed the negatives, even the strong ones, like her pro-abortion position. But more importantly, all the adulation would certainly gain future opportunities for the bishops. Perhaps, the bishops close to the administration were instrumental in arranging the whole event.
It is also very interesting that Boston College awarded her an honorary degree in law when Condoleezza Rice has played a key role in undermining the Constitution which she was sworn to uphold among her various duties as Secretary of State. Before she became Secretary of State, she was National Security Adviser to President Bush, which would have certainly placed her in a position to deal with questions related to civil liberties and the Constitution as the nation grappled with the events of 9/11, and as the Bush Administration immediately began to implement its “security” agenda at the expense of the Constitution.
Awarding Ms Rice an honorary law degree from a Jesuit university is perhaps the ultimate statement of Rome’s distaste for the U.S. Constitution, and its desire to implement inquisitorial justice in the United States of America.
Condoleezza Rice, who describes herself as deeply religious, according to USA TODAY, knows the bishops as well as President Bush. They know how well they can work with her, and obviously it was felt, somewhere along the line that a little help from the Jesuit Boston College would sweeten the interchange, particularly if Condoleezza would one day run for president.
These revelations should be a warning to every faithful follower of Christ. Listen to the history of the Jesuits from Great Controversy, page 235. “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… The Jesuits rapidly spread themselves over Europe, and wherever they went, there followed a revival of popery.” Is it any wonder that Rome has become so popular today and that there is such a revival of popery? All the world is wondering after the beast, just as Revelation 13 says it.
Do you remember the statement that God’s prophet makes in the book Great Controversy, page 581? “[Rome] is silently growing into power. Her doctrines are exerting their influence in legislative halls, in the churches, and in the hearts of men. She is piling up her lofty and massive structures in the secret recesses of which her former persecutions will be repeated.”
It is becoming more clear by the day, what Rome’s agenda really is. Only a few people, in the end, will be the special target of the new inquisition. It will be those who keep God’s holy Sabbath day and live by the Ten Commandments.
The new system of justice that is being put in place will be buttressed by a Supreme Court with a majority of its members who are Roman Catholic. In addition there will be a strong majority of Sunday keepers, as many of the non-Catholics on the court will likely uphold a Sunday law when it is implemented.
Let us come back now to the current legal status of the detainees. Recently President Bush was forced by the justice department, to back up and change his policies concerning treatment of prisoners. He has been negotiating with a restive congress in which some of his own conservative Republican party rebelled against him on these constitutional points. Incidentally, if you think it is just the liberals that are concerned about these things, you may have missed something. The fact that conservative Republican lawmakers, though a minority, made a stink about the raw usurpation of presidential power, and the treatment of detainees, helps to strengthen the point about prophecy and the Constitution. Its not just the liberals who are concerned.
But having said that, it is also clear that they are willing to negotiate, and with it, negotiate away many of personal liberties embedded in the Constitution. Perhaps they won’t allow the President to go as far as he would like, but they will not be able to bring him back to the respect for the Constitution that it deserves.
The President is dealing with political realities. In the absence of any real terrorism on American soil in more than five years since September 11, Americans have less tolerance for compromises of their personal liberties for security. If there would have been fresh attacks, the President may well have been able to continue dismembering the Constitution. The troubling part of it all is that the Administration has taken the assault on the Constitution as far as it has while Congress has mostly let it be done.
The conservative Republicans aren’t willing to fight against him too much. They are also dealing with political realities. They know that if they fight too much, they may lose their voter support. So they were willing to compromise and make a deal with the President for the time being. They are willing to play politics with the Constitution and with the liberties of the people. The President may have to step back a bit, but he will not step back to where the whole thing started. He continues to press his agenda to deny justice and mercy to anyone suspicioned of being involved in terrorism. A few setbacks always happen, but he is determined. While to some, that may seem justifiable, what happens when the new enemy is God’s people? What happens when there is a new kind of religious extremist, one that terrorizes religious people perhaps?
I’d like to point out however, that there is another reality that most people miss. 30% of the House of Representatives and 24% of the Senate are Roman Catholic. Over 300 non-Catholic lawmakers in Congress are Sunday keepers. This should warn us of what will happen when Sunday laws are pressed in Congress.
Here is another point that many people miss. Whenever there is an assault on principle, whether it is the principles of truth and righteousness, the doctrines of God’s remnant church, or the principles of the Constitution, there is a universal process that occurs. First there is slow and subtle change. Then the flood gate opens for a while and changes happen fast and furious, including some changes that are perceived by most as too radical. Then there is a backing up. But the backing up is never to the point where the changes began. The backing up is only part way, perhaps off of the outer, more radical edge of change. Then the process goes back to the slower pace for a while, and the whole cycle starts over again. In this way, Satan makes progress step by step toward his goal.
The ominous reality is that though President Bush has been forced to move back away from his Roman Catholic inspired and terrorist facilitated purpose, he still has the mentality and the purpose to take America to the next level of inquisitorial law and justice. The Administration continues to develop as many of the anti-constitutional principles of justice and law as they can. When a new emergency occurs, whether real or created, where will he or a future president take America in terms of its constitution? Many predict marshal law and the suspension of the Constitution if another major terrorist attack strikes America.
Though the political debate is very interesting, it is a very dangerous time for God’s people. What is being debated sounds like a struggle over what to do with terrorism suspects… for now. Once Inquisitorial law is established in the United States, there is going to be a switch in enemies, or at least an expansion of enemies…
In any case, “Satan is actively arranging matters so that the Lord’s people may not have mercy or justice.” (5T 452) “The Roman Church is far-reaching in her plans and modes of operation. She 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.” That is from Great Controversy, pages 565 and 566.
The new inquisition currently being put in place is preparing for the last great determined conflict against the truth of God and His faithful people. The new system will be designed to be unjust and unmerciful, just as God told us it would. It is amazing how that even the little things found in prophecy are being fulfilled in the preparations that are being made for the last great conflict between truth and error.
Which side are you going to be on? Will you be a worker for Christ or will you be a worker for Satan? We all must face the reality that we are on one side or the other. You cannot be neutral.
My friends, as we see these things develop, in the United States, we are reminded that we are living in the final moments of earth’s history. We need the power of God in our lives. This is no time to play around with sin. This is not the time to delay our preparation for the coming crisis. Jesus is coming soon, let us make the preparations necessary to see Him in glory with great joy. Jesus gave His life so that He can give you the power to be victorious. The cross is a reminder of the malignant hatred of Satan for Jesus, which has now been transferred to His followers. You are the special target. You will suffer much like Christ if you are faithful. Maybe God is allowing you to go through trials now so that you will understand what is going to happen in the future. Maybe you are afflicted now so that you will have strength then. Nothing is wasted. Remember that Jesus loves you and is working for your salvation above all else. His sacrifice should be the hope of your soul when you go through similar trials. May the Lord find you faithful.
Let us pray. Our Father in Heaven, we are living in a sober time. We realize that the steady march of principalities and powers in this world is an ominous warning to us. We pray that we will learn to be faithful and loyal to your law. May we live by the holy Ten Commandments. May we have Jesus in our hearts. In Jesus name, Amen.
We hope you have received a great blessing from this month’s message. Your prayers and gifts mean much to us. Thank you for your support. The song you have just heard “It was For Me,” is from a CD entitled Chosen 4 One. If you would like a copy of this CD please send $16 post paid to Keep The Faith Ministry, Locust Dale, VA 22948.
The following is a current events update of interest to those who 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.
The Pope’s Statement to Islam
When Benedict XVI was in Bavaria in September, he made a statement concerning Islam. Though he did not mention Islam, said Reuters on Sept. 12, 2006, he quoted a 14th century Byzantine emperor “who wrote that Mohammad had brought things “only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached…” The Pope who used the terms “Jihad” and “holy war” in his lecture added in his own words: ‘Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul.’”
This statement offended Muslims because they felt the pontiff was making negative statements about Islam. If not, why was he quoting the 14th century document? As the anger spread, the Vatican made several statements about the intentions of the Pope, denying that he intended to offend Muslims, but rather urge dialog with mutual respect. Finally the Pope himself made a statement that was intended to sound like an apology, but which in actuality was not. After all, how can the “holy father” make a fallible, or “unholy statement” for which he would have to apologize?
ZENIT, one of the Vatican news agencies reported on his supposed “apology” five days later on Sept. 17. “Benedict XVI said that he is ‘deeply sorry’ for the harsh reaction to his recent remarks… ‘These in fact were a quotation from a Medieval text, which do not in any way express my personal thought,’ the holy father said…”
The New York Times remarked that the Pope’s “apology” was a rare step, quoting Alberto Melloni, professor of history at the University of Modena, “This is really, really abnormal,” he said, “It’s never happened as far as I know.” And it may be. But Muslims were very quick to point out that this was not an apology for the remarks, but rather regret for the reaction. Sami Abu Zuhri, a spokesman for Hamas, which controls the Palestinian parliament, said: “We do not view the statement attributed to the Pope as an apology.” “His apology is not sufficient because he did not say that what he said was wrong,” said the spokesman of a Pakistani political group, reported the Associated Press.
The Pope’s statement, said the Times, “came amid much worry in the church about violence and any erosion of the status of the Pope as a neutral figure for peace among faiths.”
Muslims are right in that they perceived the statement for what it is, a non-apology. However, why would Muslims act so offended when in reality the suggestion that at least some Muslims believe in religious violence, is actually true? In many Islamic countries, especially where the ruling party is an extremist group, there is much violence used to “protect” the faith. While not all Muslims agree with violence, the Pope’s criticism seems apropos.
When Danish newspapers published cartoons of the prophet Mohammed, the Muslim world reacted in violence against Denmark, burning embassies, rioting and vowing to kill the cartoonists.
The Jerusalem Post on Sept. 16 reported that the Mujahideen’s Army said on an Islamic website that “members of the organization would ‘smash the crosses in the house of the dog from Rome.’”
The Associated Press reported on September 19, 2006 that “an Al-Qaida-linked extremist group warned Pope Benedict XVI on Monday that he and the West were “doomed.”
“The Mujahedeen Shura Council, an umbrella organization of Sunni Arab extremist groups that includes Al-Qaida in Iraq, issued a statement on a Web forum vowing to continue its holy war against the West,” the Associated Press said. “The group said Muslims would be victorious and addressed the Pope as ‘the worshipper of the cross’ saying ‘you and the west are doomed… We will break up the cross, spill the liquor and impose head tax, then the only thing acceptable is a conversion (to Islam) or (be killed by) the sword.”
“For the third day running,” the Associated Press said, “people burned tires and shouted “Down with the pope… In the Middle East… Muslims threw firebombs at seven churches in the West Bank and Gaza Strip over the weekend…” And the BBC reported that an Italian nun was killed in Mogadishu, Somalia by gunmen, perhaps in retaliation for the statements.
“Protests also broke out in Iraq, where angry demonstrators burned an effigy of the Pope in Basra, and in Indonesia, where more than 100 people rallied in front of the heavily guarded Vatican Embassy in Jakarta waving banners that said the “Pope is building religion on hatred.”
It also appears that Islam in general is attempting to limit free speech by strong threats and violent reactions to anything that even sounds negative of Islam in western society. ZENIT reported that the “European commission described as unacceptable the ‘disproportionate’ reactions that ‘reject freedom of speech, ‘ such as those expressed after Benedict XVI’s words on Islam at a German university. ‘Freedom of speech is a cornerstone of the EU’s values, as is respect for all religions, Christianity, Judaism or Laicism,’” said a commission spokesman.
There are some very interesting elements here. The incident recalls the “apologies” of John Paul II made to other religions such as Jews and Muslims during his pontificate. Again, careful examination of those apologies revealed that they were not apologies of the church itself, but were rather apologies on behalf of the errant children of the church, or the church members.
But Rome is not a neutral in its efforts for peace. She has a prophetic agenda to regain control of the world. All her efforts are intended to increase her power. An apology from the Pope to the extent demanded by Islam is not likely. “As Rome asserts that the ‘church never erred; nor will it, according to the Scriptures, ever err’ how can she renounce the principles which governed her course in past ages?” That is a quote in Great Controversy from John Mosheim, Institutes of Ecclesiastical History. If the church is “holy” it cannot err. So how can any pontiff apologize for things done by the church if they were always right? The popes therefore only apologize for the sins of the members of the church, not the church itself, even though the atrocities of history attributed to the members of the church were often instigated largely by church doctrine, policy or direct incitement.
Reading from Great Controversy page 581, “And let it be remembered, it is the boast of Rome that she never changes. The principles of Gregory VII. and Innocent III. are still the principles of the Romish Church. And had she but the power, she would put them in practice with as much vigor now as in past centuries. Let the principle once be established in the United States, that the church may employ or control the power of the State; that religious observances may be enforced by secular laws; in short, that the authority of church and State is to dominate the conscience, and the triumph of Rome in this country is assured.” Rome intends to use violence, through the United States and other governments to force all to worship her Sunday. Why then is the Pope condemning violence in others?
On September 19, The Independent, an English newspaper, published a story saying that Vatican experts are saying that the Pope is ‘unrepentant.’ “As protests against the Pope continued to rumble around the Muslim world yesterday, Catholics began asking themselves if this highly intelligent man can really have been so crass as to have ignited the passions of millions of Muslims without realizing that he was doing it.
“If the alternative version is more credible – that he knew exactly what he was doing – then the next question arises: why? The gloomy conclusion of some Vatican experts is that there was no inconsistency in the Pope’s choice of the words “inhuman and evil” – quoted from the Byzantine emperor Manuel II Palaeologus – to characterize Islam. Such a negative view, they say, is consistent with all his words and actions with regard to Islam.
Benedict XVI has indicated “from the start that he would not continue down the same road [as John Paul II].” Marco Politi, Vatican expert at La Repubblica newspaper said, “‘At his inaugural mass as Pope, Benedict XVI cut out any reference to a fraternal relationship’ with Islam. The Pope is also, according to Politi, ‘tormented with worry born from the messages of violence woven into the Koran,… The discourse at Regensburg and its consequences indicate an irreversible break… in relations between Islam and the Catholic Church.
Well my friends, the comments of the Pope in Bavaria perhaps reveal the real agenda of Rome in relation to Islam. In spite of all the ecumenical ties and efforts in the last 2.5 decads, it may well be that Rome is going to become more confrontational with Islam. History repeats itself. Perhaps the wars at the end of time, or even Armageddon itself will be a modern version of the crusades.
Next: Mary may bring Christians and Muslims together.
ZENIT reported on June 29, 2006 that “An Egyptian Muslim and deputy director of a prominent Italian newspaper suggested that Mary could be the figure who brings Christians and Muslims together.” Magdi Allam of II Corriere della Sera launched an appeal in the national daily newspaper to Muslims living in Italy to visit the Marian shrines in their host country. “The journalist said that he is convinced that the Virgin Mary is a meeting point between Christians and Muslims,” said ZENIT. “‘Mary is a figure present in the Koran, which dedicates an entire [chapter] to her and mentions her some thirty times. In Muslim countries there are Marian shrines that are the object of veneration and pilgrimage by Christian and Muslim faithful,” he said.
You should know that Jesus is also mentioned in the Koran more than 90 times, more than Mohammed and Mary put together as I understand it. How then can Mary be better than Jesus for bringing reconciliation. Roman Catholicism and the ecumenical movement are centered in Mary, not Jesus.
Next: Governors Resist Shifting Authority over Guard
On August 14, 2006, the New York Times reported that 51 governors objected to the President’s proposed legislation to federalize national guard troops in a disaster without local authorities’ consent. “In a letter to Congressional leaders last week, the governors detailed their argument that the measure, drawn up after Hurricane Katrina… would undermine their authority and autonomy… ‘This provision was drafted without consultation or input from the governors,’ read the letter… and represents an unprecedented shift in authority from governors… to the federal government.”
“Many local officials,… have been critical of what they describe as federal interference with their National Guard forces… Although the president already has the authority to call up any branch of the reserves into involuntary service in the case of a terrorist attack overseas… that power does not extend to natural or man-made disasters. The bill in Congress would extend the President’s power to such disasters… The administration”, said the Times, “has been criticized by some conservative lawmakers and policy experts as chipping away at states’ rights” which is one of the separation of powers in the Constitution.
All the President needs to do is ask for the support of the national guard, and the governors usually agree to send them to any domestic disaster (except in dire local circumstances). The President doesn’t need any more authority, but is using the Katrina disaster to justify yet another intrusion on the Constitution. If he should be given the authority to claim the guard without consent in a domestic disaster, he would then be in a position to use them when they are needed elsewhere, such as fighting wild fires and other domestic and more local needs. It would give the President the priority, and his decisions would take precedence and be final.
This fits in with the trend of the administration since 9-11 and is one more point in which every principle of the U.S. Constitution is being eroded, and eventually repudiated. By the way, fifty-one governors includes the governor of Puerto Rico, just in case you were wondering where the extra governor came from.
Next: America, a Secret Nation
In order for the principles of Rome to be established in America, there has to be a secrecy in the government that limits the information available to the public. A tremendous increase in secrecy has developed in the name of fighting terrorism. Again, this may be one of the things that a human government thinks it can do to keep Americans safe. But it is also giving Rome the opportunity to strengthen herself in the United States. Secrecy was very important to the Roman inquisition. All the records of the Inquisition were secret. All the proceedings were secret. All the decisions of the judges were secret except what the defendant needed to know. Not even family members were told what had happened to their relative once arraigned by the Inquisition.
The International Herald Tribune of December 30, 2005 published an article concerning the growing government secrecy since September 11. For over 40 years the United States has had a law that “guaranteed greater freedom of information to the American public,…” the Tribune said. But, “the White House’s sweeping enlargement of agency powers has nearly doubled the rate of newly classified documents to 15 million a year. At the same time, the administration has choked back the annual volume of documents declassified for public access, from 200 million in 1998 to 44 million lately.”
In other words, the Administration has been classifying more documents and declassifying a whole lot less than was formerly done. In the process of increasing executive power over the last five years, the President has necessarily had to increase the power and intrusiveness of government agencies. They in turn are encouraged to classify documents related to national security, even if it is only remotely related. Never mind that it was the government’s own failure to share information that led to the terrorists attacks of September 11, 2001 in the first place, suggested the Tribune.
“At the heart of this thickening veil,” continued the Tribune, “are direct presidential orders and former Attorney General John Ashcroft’s blanket assurance of legal defense to any agency erring on the side of secrecy.”
“Innocuous White House press pool reports are subject to classification, while historians complain of yearlong delays before academic requests are even acknowledged, never mind fulfilled,” said the Tribune. “Environmentalists can’t see routine dam and river drainage maps in the name of homeland security.”
Classification of documents is not the only approach to secrecy. George Washington University has a watch group called National Security Archive that pays attention to the classification of documents issue. They published an article on their website on February 21, 2006 called “Declassification in Reverse, The U.S. Intelligence Community’s Secret Historical Document Reclassification Program.” Stories on the secret reclassification program were run in newspapers all over the country.
“The CIA and other federal agencies have secretly reclassified over 55,000 pages of records taken from the open shelves at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)…. Beginning in the fall of 1999, and continuing unabated for the past seven years, at least six government agencies, including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the Defense Department, the military services, and the Department of Justice, have been secretly engaged in a wide-ranging historical document reclassification program…”
Some of the documents were more than 50 years old, dating back to World War II and would have little relevance to the intelligence community today. Thousands of the documents have been available, and have been photocopied by researchers for many years. It’s like “trying to put the toothpaste back into the tube,” said the article.
The level of secrecy must be raised if Rome is going to implement her agenda to crush liberty. If this is going to happen, Rome doesn’t want or need a lot of people clamoring about human rights and personal liberties. Abuses of rights must be kept as secret as possible. Therefore, government agencies have to get used to the idea of classifying far more documents than ever before, and forever.
Next: Setback on Wiretapping
On August 18, 2006, the Washington Post reported that “a federal judge in Detroit ruled yesterday that the National Security Agency’s warrantless surveillance program is unconstitutional, delivering the first decision that the Bush Administration’s efforts to monitor communications without court oversight runs afoul of the Bill of Rights and federal law.”
U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor ordered a halt to the wiretap program, secretly authorized by President Bush in 2001, but both sides in the lawsuit agreed to delay that action until a Sept. 7 hearing. Legal scholars said Taylor’s decision is likely to receive heavy scrutiny from the U.S. Court of appeals for the 6th Circuit when the Justice Department appeals…”
“‘It was never the intent of the framers to give the President such unfettered control, particularly where his actions blatantly disregard the parameters clearly enumerated in the Bill of Rights,’ Taylor wrote in her 43-page opinion. ‘…There are no hereditary Kings in America and no powers not created by the Constitution. So all inherent powers’ must derive from that Constitution.’” In other words, Taylor has begun to see an imperial side to the constitutional issues America faces today.
While the constitutional battle over the secret wiretapping program is no where near being over, it is clear that the debate is entering the courts. It will likely go as high as the Supreme Court. One federal judge will not likely set the who matter on its head. But it does represent a setback for the administration which has been attempting to redefine the Constitution on many fronts since September 11, 2001.
While it may be that judge Taylor is a liberal as she is accused by conservatives, let us remember that it is prophecy that gives us our bearings, when it comes to the developments in politics and legal issues. Prophecy essentially tells us which perspective we should pay attention to in these things.
The Bush Administration has been trying very hard to keep the practice of secret spying on American citizens out of the courts. The New York Times, August 18, 2006 said that “the ruling eviscerated the absurd notion on which the administration’s arguments have been based: that Congress authorized Mr. Bush to do whatever he thinks is necessary when it authorized the invasion of Afghanistan.”
It is amazing to me to see Rome’s hidden agenda, and its invisible hand at work to develop the principles of the Inquisition in the United States. Please keep praying for our nation and its leaders. They need the angels of God to intervene when they go wrong, and to strengthen them when they do the right. Never forget that we are in the final countdown to the last great conflict in the Great Controversy between good and evil. Your future is at stake. Know your enemy, but more importantly, know Jesus Christ, your Savior and Sustainer in the times ahead.
Well, that is all we have time for today. May God bless you and keep you faithful until next month when we return to the final episode of Joseph’s troublesome Coat.
The most important document in the free world is under attack. This month we look at yet another assault on the Constitution as the world is preparing to persecute God’s people for their faith and practice of the Ten Commandments, especially the Sabbath commandment.