By Pastor Hal Mayer
Welcome to Keep the Faith Ministry. Today we are going to explore a shocking development that left me stunned. I was devastated when I learned of it, so much so, that I struggled to hold back the lump in my throat. I tossed and turned in bed for the next couple of nights. I could not concentrate on my work during the day.
Nevertheless, I am so thankful for the word of God that guides our understanding of the truth in the midst of error and deception. As the enemy ratchets up His power, God does the same for His people. So, today’s sobering message is meant to encourage you to remain faithful to the Lord, even when all around you gives way and yield to the powerful deceptions of the enemy.
As we begin, let us pray. Our Father in heaven, please give us your love for lost souls. Please show us how to understand our times and the soon coming conflict between the followers of Jesus and the followers of the enemy. The world is being divided into two camps. And we want to be in the right one. So, please give us victory over the enemy’s temptations. Show us how to live a victorious life. And most of all send Your Holy Spirit today to teach us what we must know for our own salvation, amen.
Friends, I trembled as I prepared this message because it is addressing a disturbing issue that is becoming a major force in God’s church. We are told in scripture that the enemy has the Remnant Church in his crosshairs. So, why should we be surprised?
Let us read about it from Revelation 12:17. “And the dragon [that’s Satan] was wroth with the woman and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”
This passage reveals that the very last church is going to get an attack that is virtually overmastering and powerful. We must be prepared for it. We cannot slack off and become negligent in our daily walk with God. We cannot bury our heads in the sand and leave it to others to sort out. Each person is going to have to decide for themselves whether to go along with it, or resist the tide of human momentum, the peer pressure, and the outright hostility that is going to be leveled at God’s faithful people.
They will be ridiculed as they did to Noah in his day. They will be derided and condemned like Elijah. They will be mocked and scorned as were many of God’s people who faithfully stood against the tide of evil in the intervening centuries. And they will be threatened and accused like Jeremiah and Isaiah. The popular religious leaders will oppose them and misrepresent them with pious arguments. Are you ready for all of that? But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s back up and think about what we’ve covered in the last few months.
First, over the last year and a half, I did a series of messages on the life of Samson and his addiction to heathen women. These were really a series of sermons designed to warn God’s people from joining the ecumenical movement. Samson is a prophetic prototype of the people of God who give the powerful three angels’ messages especially under the power of the latter rain just before Jesus comes in the clouds of glory.
As I prepared those messages, I had no idea that I would be preparing today’s sermon. But God’s timing is always amazing. I didn’t know why He led me to do the series on the life of Samson, but He did. And now I know why. The ecumenical movement is dangerous, my friends, because it leads down the path of compromise until God’s church is so blinded by their so-called opportunities to unite with the fallen churches of Babylon that they become addicted to those ecumenical alliances. They cannot understand God’s purpose for the last generation and they resist the idea that there is a remnant with a clear and distinctive message that God has ordained for the last generation to give to the world.
Then I prepared a message on the direct attack on the three angels’ messages coming from within God’s church. I pointed out how that the intellectuals, the seminary professors and other leaders are attacking Last Generation Doctrine or “Theology” as they like to call it, and how that is preparing God’s church to accept ecumenical engagements in the interest of uniting with them.
Then I prepared a sermon on the Greeks and how they used, what we would call interfaith activities, to merge their cultures and in the process destroyed the true faith of God’s people in the coming Messiah so that they missed His coming, rejected Him and crucified him.
Now, if you have missed hearing those messages, please go back and listen to them. It will lay a powerful foundation for what you are going to hear today. Having gone through all those messages, I was stunned when I saw what I am going to share with you today. I do not want to share these things, and I wrestled with whether or not I should for quite some time.
One day I was sitting on a plane and had downloaded some material sent to me by a friend of mine. As I scrolled through it, I realized an overwhelming sense of disappointment and sorrow for God’s people. I felt like Jeremiah who wept and lamented the sorrowful condition of God’s church. I anguished in my mind over whether to present these things because I know there will be people that will try to say that I am just criticizing or being judgmental or that I am an alarmist, or that I have an ax to grind.
But that is the last thing from my mind. I have no desire to criticize. I believe we need to pray for those who claim to be leaders. I’m troubled, my friends, by what I see. I’m not, in the least, angry or upset at anyone. I’m merely fulfilling the commission that God has given to me in warning you of the coming crisis for God’s people, and warning you of the devastating and deceptive activities of the enemy even among God’s people.
Listen to this important statement. It is from Selected Message, Vol. 1, and page 122. “We have far more to fear from within than from without. The hindrances to strength and success are far greater from the church itself than from the world. Unbelievers have a right to expect that those who profess to be keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus will do more than any other class to promote and honor, by their consistent lives, by their godly example and their active influence, the cause which they represent. But how often have the professed advocates of the truth proved the greatest obstacle to its advancement! The unbelief indulged, the doubts expressed, the darkness cherished, encourage the presence of evil angels, and open the way for the accomplishment of Satan’s devices.”
Friends, this happens in the world all the time. The news media mock and ridicule people with biblical convictions. They take aim even at national leaders who try to live out their Christian faith publically. They suggest that they can privately believe what they want, but that they don’t have the right to live it out in the public where everyone can see them. Their unbelief in the public square is matched by a similar unbelief of God’s truth in His church. That’s the world we live in today, my friends. The enemy is everywhere. He has to be given permission from the throne room to manifest himself and his deceptions in the church as well as in the world.
In the last eight verses of Matthew 24, Jesus makes this astonishing statement. Let us read it, and analyze it, beginning with verse 44. “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.”
So, just when all the evidence points to a long delay in the Lord’s return; just when it looks like there is no Sunday law coming; or just when there is no evidence that Sabbath keepers will be persecuted for their faith, that’s when it all happens and ushers in the coming of the Lord. Suddenly, we are told, God will change the way He deals with the human race.
Listen to this interesting statement from Fundamentals of Education page 356. “There will soon be a sudden change in God’s dealings. The world in its perversity is being visited by casualties,—by floods, storms, fires, earthquakes, famines, wars, and bloodshed. The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power; yet He will not at all acquit the wicked. “The Lord hath His way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet.” O that men might understand the patience and longsuffering of God! He is putting under restraint His own attributes. His omnipotent power is under the control of Omnipotence. O that men would understand that God refuses to be wearied out with the world’s perversity, and still holds out the hope of forgiveness even to the most undeserving! But His forbearance will not always continue. Who is prepared for the sudden change that will take place in God’s dealing with sinful men? Who will be prepared to escape the punishment that will certainly fall upon transgressors?”
So you see, my friends, it appears that the dealings of God with perverse men who laugh at His warnings, and who mock and ridicule his followers, and who sin with defiance and impunity, will suddenly change. This suggests that it will be a great surprise when God changes His dealings with the human race. Friends, I cannot bear to let you go unwarned, unalerted and unprepared for the very things that are going to catch most men by an overwhelming surprise.
Let us return to Matthew 24 and read a bit more. “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?”
Friends, what is this saying? It is asking where are the faithful men and women who will warn the people of the coming destruction and the surprising shocking events that will unfold in the near future. Where are they? They are very few and far between. It is politically correct, even in the churches these days to avoid any mention of the false doctrine that is being preached from the pulpits. It is politically incorrect to raise any concern about the way in which church members and leaders live their lives. And it is politically correct to criticize and ridicule those who would warn God’s people of the coming “train wreck.” The blindness and deception is almost pervasive. And we need the warning of God. Will you be a faithful and wise servant?
Now, verses 46 and 47. “Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.”
Do you want to be happy and blessed? Then warn your friends and fellow church members and those of the world of the sudden change that is coming upon the world and upon God’s people. Then you will find peace and happiness, not in their approval, but in knowing that you are doing the will of God. Then you can be assured that the Lord will bless you in eternity with much. You may suffer persecution here, my friends, but what is the outcome? You will have much in the kingdom of heaven. Your faithfulness on earth, will give you rich rewards in the kingdom of heaven. The new earth will be populated by people such as you, who have stood for the right though the heavens fall; who have given the unpopular message even though it has cost them dearly.
But now what happens to those who are unfaithful to their calling, who teach the politically correct version of things, and who refuse to warn of the coming change in God’s dealings with perverse human nature.
Now verses 48 and 49. “But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken…”
Have you thought about what that is saying? What does wine symbolize in the Bible? That’s right. Doctrine. The wine of Babylon represents false doctrine. If you get drunk, in biblical symbology, you have become inebriated with false doctrine and cannot stand up straight doctrinally. You are deceived and may think that everything is ok, but you stumble around in confusion. In our modern context, when we are drawn into the ecumenical movement we thereby lose our connection to God and become confused about our mission to give the three angels’ messages, especially the last two. This leads us to stop protesting the errors and sins of Babylon, and it leads us to eventually unite with Rome in her false teachings.
Those who don’t like the prophecies of scripture about the end of time are most vulnerable to the idea that we are not nearing the end; that the last generation concepts are merely leftovers from the Victorian era when the Great Controversy was written.
Those who think that the Lord isn’t coming soon will then begin to oppose, isolate or marginalize, and even persecute those who do give the warning. In other words, it is becoming so unpopular to give the three angels’ messages that we have taken the symbols off of our church signs; we have moderated our preaching so that now we mostly give sermons on love, unity and an emaciated gospel that cannot save anyone. We prevent those who teach the true message from having church office, from speaking in our pulpits, and from opportunities that would grant them an audience to a considerable extent.
Now verses 50 and 51. “The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
So, in the end, who is going to have shame all over them? Who is going to have to face the ignominy of public disgrace when Jesus suddenly changes His dealings with the human race? It will be those who have refused to give the message of warning. It will especially be those who have had great light, and who have known the three angels’ messages and who have been given the commission to proclaim it, but who have refused to do so because of the opposition, or its unpopularity or its cutting nature, or whatever else.
Friends, the ecumenical spirit is everywhere pervading the churches. They are uniting together with Rome and they are seeking to find peace with the enemy. This spirit is everywhere these days. That ecumenical spirit is Satan’s masterpiece designed to get all the churches to unite together on their common beliefs and lay aside anything that is distinctive in their doctrines. Keep in mind that this is especially targeted to the last generation of the remnant. The other churches are not so different that they cannot find common ground with each other and with Rome. But with God’s remnant church, there is no ground of sympathy; there is very little common ground.
We have been given a special work in these last days, a clear message to give. But we ourselves have become confused about it and have become afraid of it. How can we expect God’s approbation if we refuse to do what He has called us to do? How can we leave men in darkness? How can we let the enemy wreak havoc without putting up some protest?
Do we have unbelief manifested today among God’s people concerning who they are and what their message is? Of course we do. Notice that the earlier statement said we have more to fear from within than from without. You see, my friends, the enemy knows that if he can get God’s last remnant to disbelieve their own message and adjust their views, he can overcome them and that they will be controlled by him. They will then smite their brethren and persecute anyone who is raising the alarm.
You see, the enemy wants you to fall asleep; to take your ease; and to indulge yourself. He knows that if he can get you to think that there is peace and safety then you won’t be prepared for the sudden destruction. It is a master plot, my friends, a conspiracy if there ever was one! And you can’t afford to fall for it. You can’t let yourself be deceived by it.
The enemy wants to get you to disbelieve God’s truth, disbelieve the messenger He has sent to you, and finally get you smiting your fellow brethren.
How does he do this? How do you smite your fellow brethren? It’s easy, just criticize him. “Oh, he’s a little bit fanatical;” Or “She wears such old fashioned clothing;” Or, “I wish they weren’t so judgmental.”
These are all false charges brought upon God’s true messengers. They may actually apply to some people. You know, the enemy will raise up a few of them to be able to excuse these descriptions of those who are faithful to the Lord. But underneath it all, he is taking aim at God’s true messengers. He will derail those who are afraid to give the message. And they’ll eventually reject the Holy Spirit in the latter rain as verily as the Jews rejected Christ as the Messiah. What makes us think that we are any safer than they were? Will we have to come under the power of spiritual Babylon in these last days for our unbelief and disobedience?
We have for so long tried to justify our lifestyles, our worship styles and our relationships that we are now in danger of turning from the light that God has given us and replacing it with darkness. And there are those among us who are determined to remove from God’s people their distinctive message and mission and change it to a more evangelical message and an ecumenical mission.
You may remember that the Bible tells us there were men hiding in the bedchamber of Delilah. Do you think there are men hiding among God’s people today who are doing the same thing, waiting for an opportunity to constrict God’s people?
Listen to this statement from the pen of inspiration. It is from Selected Messages, Vol. 1, and page 204. I’m going to go through this bit-by-bit.
“The enemy of souls has sought to bring in the supposition that a great reformation was to take place among Seventh-day Adventists, and that this reformation would consist in giving up the doctrines which stand as the pillars of our faith, and engaging in a process of reorganization…”
So, the enemy wants to reorganize the belief system of God’s people today. We should be watching for it. It may not be a new structure, though there may well be some elements of that. But notice that there is an enthusiasm for some so-called “great reformation.” Do you know what that reformation is? You should. That reformation has to do with removing the old landmarks that make God’s people distinctive from all other people. That alleged reformation is to make God’s remnant people more like the ecumenical churches. There are those among us who want to merge the churches together, just as the Greeks did during the 400 years before Christ. They want to get rid of our distinctive message and get closer to the fallen churches of Babylon. The reformation spoken of here is about ecumenism and uniting with other churches on the doctrines that we hold in common.
That reformation also consists of a distorted understanding of righteousness by faith, which has been brewing for more than 50 years. It has been out in the open for quite some time, but now it is starting to manifest itself brazenly against the plain teachings of the Lord. That process of reorganization may have started with doctrinal issues, but it is now manifesting itself in false principles of worship such as celebration worship styles, the one movement, women’s ordination, and the like. All doctrinal falsehoods eventually lead to practical improprieties and behavior.
I’ll continue on. “Were this reformation to take place, what would result?—The principles of truth that God in His wisdom has given to the remnant church would be discarded.”
Do you think there are those who are attempting to do that? That’s one of the points I’ve been documenting over the last year and a half. They despise last generation doctrine, which involves the three angels’ messages, the great controversy theme, the idea of a remnant living in the last days with a unique message and mission, a hatred kindled against the testimonies that is satanic. All, these and more, are very strong today. I’ll read on.
“Our religion would be changed. The fundamental principles that have sustained the work for the last fifty years would be accounted as error.”
When theologians and professors say that last generation doctrine and all that it stands for was never part of the mainstream teachings of God’s church, they have crossed the line. There would be no book called The Great Controversy if its teachings were not part of the mainstream thinking of God’s people. And it was published first in 1884. The concept of the remnant was reached quite early on once they worked out what really happened in the sanctuary in heaven in 1844. It too has been a key part of the mainstream thought and doctrine of God’s church for 175 years.
I’ll continue. “A new organization would be established. Books of a new order would be written. A system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced. The founders of this system would go into the cities and do a wonderful work.”
Do we have books of a new order being written? And do they support a new system of intellectual philosophy, which thinks it knows better than God and His word? They are attacking the idea of the remnant, the Great Controversy, and especially the three angels’ messages.
Continuing on… “The Sabbath, of course, would be lightly regarded, as also the God who created it. Nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of the new movement. The leaders would teach that virtue is better than vice, but God being removed, they would place their dependence on human power, which, without God, is worthless.”
Oh, my friends, let us not think that we’re going to be able to breeze through this easily. Your faith will be tried and tested. My faith will be ridiculed and misrepresented. There are some that are doing everything they can to make sure that the true message isn’t heard.
Here is the final sentence of that passage. “Their foundation would be built on the sand, and storm and tempest would sweep away the structure.” This is from Special Testimonies, series B, number 7, page 39.
Hidden behind the scenes, my friends, there are men who are working to undermine God’s truth. Some of them are coming out in the open, but some of them are not. One of those who is coming out in the open is a man named Reinder Bruinsma. This man is a retired president of the Netherland’s Union who is now being paraded around to various camp meetings, teaching that we need to adjust our understanding of inspiration, and that our understanding of the Great Controversy needs to be revised. He also claims that last generation doctrine is false doctrine.
This Reinder Bruinsma also teaches that the Sunday law will not come for a very long time. Does he think he understands what’s going on better than God does?
He recently wrote an article called, Are Sunday Laws Coming? It was published on December 07, 2018 in AdventistToday, a liberal online journal that documents and supports the opposition to God’s truth. I’m going to read this article to you so that you can see the kind of arguments that are going to come against you in the near future, if they haven’t already.
“For a few weeks the supermarket close to the apartment building where we live is open on Sundays. Sunday shopping has long been a hotly debated issue in local politics. Until recently the influence of the religious parties was strong enough to frustrate the attempts by the rest of the local council to allow all shops to be open on Sundays, even if the shop owners so desire. At long last, things are changing in our village of some 22,000 inhabitants—as they have been gradually changing in most places in our traditionally Calvinist country.
“In the Thursday issue of my daily newspaper (one of the Christian dailies of our country) I found an interesting article about Sunday observance in the United States. For a major percentage of the population in the United States Sunday is rapidly losing its importance. Only a third of all Americans avoid paid work; for only ten percent shopping on Sunday remains taboo; and only six percent feels that Sunday observance is incompatible with visiting an amusement park.”
Can you see where his argument is heading? He is laying a foundation to say that instead of moving toward a Sunday law, society is moving away from a Sunday law. Reading on…
“There is an ever-deepening chasm between the reality of Sunday observance in today’s western world and the message that continues to be heard in some quarters of the Adventist Church, namely that we will soon have to face severe Sunday laws, which will force every citizen to keep Sunday and will make life extremely difficult for those who insist on keeping the seventh-day Sabbath sacred.
“However the expectation that in the end of time a universal Sunday law will be enforced by the civil authorities, upon the insistence of the public and at the demand of the “apostate” churches, seems to be more and more unrealistic. Admittedly, there are a few groups and organizations that continue to urge legislation to enforce strict Sunday observance, but in reality the overall trend is towards less, rather than more, strict Sunday keeping. In the western world the Sunday of church worship is rapidly being replaced by a Sunday of amusement and shopping, and by a day when people also want to see their packages with their on-line orders delivered.”
So, in other words, we are not supposed to expect a Sunday law any time soon. This isn’t happening and will not happen for a very long time, according to him.
But what does God say is happening? Here is a pointed statement from the Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, and page 452.
“While men are sleeping, Satan is actively arranging matters so that the Lord’s people may not have mercy or justice. The Sunday movement is now making its way in darkness. The leaders are concealing the true issue, and many who unite in the movement do not themselves see whither the undercurrent is tending. Its professions are mild and apparently Christian, but when it shall speak it will reveal the spirit of the dragon.”
Does Mr. Bruinsma realize what he is doing? He is denying the truth of the very inspired source that God has sent to warn him and arouse him to greater vigilance. He is now saying that it is all a big hoax, a relic of the past, and that we don’t have to heed the counsel of the Lord’s messenger. This is the very epitome of the statement we just read before about the big change that will come to God’s church in the last days. There will be those who will try to change our religion and remove the fundamental principles. Are these men working for God? I hardly think so. That means they are under the banner of another leader. I hate to think of their end result.
Here is another statement that Mr. Bruinsma ignores. It is as if he is on a mission to undermine the teachings of God’s word for this very time in earth’s history.
“God’s word has given warning of the impending danger; let this be unheeded, and the Protestant world will learn what the purposes of Rome really are, only when it is too late to escape the snare. She 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. Stealthily and unsuspectedly she is strengthening her forces to further her own ends when the time shall come for her to strike. All that she desires is vantage ground, and this is already being given her. We shall soon see and shall feel what the purpose of the Roman element is. Whoever shall believe and obey the word of God will thereby incur reproach and persecution.” That’s from the Great Controversy, page 581.
Mr. Bruinsma is denying the very principles of Rome when he says a Sunday law is not coming in the near future. But wouldn’t you expect that the enemy would raise up those among God’s people who teach that Rome has changed and that she does not have a Sunday law agenda, right at the very time when it is all about to happen. Of course, I don’t know how long it will take for the Sunday law to fulfill the prophetic testimony of God’s word and of His servant. But I believe the Bible, my friends. I chose to believe that the Bible is more accurate than any human being can possibly be, and that every prophetic utterance will be fulfilled to the letter. I choose to believe the Bible over the statements of Reinder Bruinsma. I’ll read on from Bruinsma’s terrible assault on God’s prophetic truth.
“Adventists must ask themselves: Does the Bible clearly predict a time when merciless Sunday laws will be enforced? We should realize that this Sunday-law scenario is mainly based on the interpretation of the prophecies of the Revelation by Ellen White in her book The Great Controversy.”
So, now he is going to attack the Great Controversy book! This is at the very root of our very clear understanding of God’s prophetic truth at this time. He is essentially saying that the book The Great Controversy is wrong, and that it is from an era that no longer exists. He is also saying, without saying it, that its author was not under the inspiration of God when she wrote that book, otherwise, it would still be valid today. He is actually taking a shot at the prophet.
That should be no surprise, my friends. In fact, it constitutes one of the last deceptions of the enemy. Here it is from Last Day Events, page, 177. “The very last deception of Satan will be to make of none effect the testimony of the Spirit of God. “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18). Satan will work ingeniously, in different ways and through different agencies, to unsettle the confidence of God’s remnant people in the true testimony.”
Reinder Bruinsma hasn’t understood Revelation 13. Undermining confidence in the testimony of the Spirit of God is the last deception. And Bruinsma is certainly doing that, telling us that we are very near the very thing he denies will happen. I’ll continue reading from his article…
“For some this means that, against all present appearances, the Sunday laws are coming, because “she says so!” For others it means that Ellen White was wrong and that she is thereby disqualified as a prophetic beacon for the Adventist believers.
I do not personally believe that the Sunday law is coming because of a human statement.
“Because she says so” is not why I believe what the book The Great Controversy says. I believe that God has said so, in human words, just as the prophets of the Old and New Testaments. The book of Revelation, particularly chapter 13, makes it very clear that worship laws are coming as part of the end-time scenario with its ultimate death penalty. And while secularism has overtaken the western world, it has already begun to lay down a precedent by undermining religious liberty in its own way, namely with regard to equality and support for the LGBTQ+ movement. That precedent, when matured and expanded, will be used to justify further loss of religious liberty under the pressure of natural disasters or other national and global emergencies that will shake the nations.
Prophecies have always been fulfilled when it seems most unlikely; when to all present appearances, it looks impossible. That’s one of the main principles of Bible prophecy.
The Obama administration gave us a classic example of how religious liberty is already being undermined. Both President Obama and Mrs. Clinton tried to reframe the discourse on religious liberty many times, and reduce it to mere worship. They both made this abundantly clear with multiple statements that they believe in freedom of worship. This is a long way from freedom of religion. In other words, you may worship however you choose, but you cannot live your convictions in the marketplace because that would offend the equality movement for LGBTQ+ and other causes, which now override religious freedom.
When the United States was established, religious liberty was the most fundamental freedom. That has now been replaced by equality. If Mr. Bruinsma thinks that these things are not significant in terms of laying the foundation needed for end-time Sunday Laws, he’s burying his head in the sand, at the very least. But it gets worse. He then attacks the concept of inspiration that God uses to convey information and guidance to man. Let me read on, and I quote…
“For me, it means that we must revise our concept of inspiration.”
Friends, do you realize what he is saying? He has no confidence in God’s messenger to the remnant. How can he, since he doesn’t believe in a remnant in the first place? Revising our ideas of inspiration really means that he places his judgment above the messenger that God has sent. It is sheer arrogance, my friends. How much more deceived can you be than to think you know better than God?
This is not uncommon in today’s modern world. Mr. Bruinsma does not accept that what God has said through the author of the book The Great Controversy is correct concerning end-time events. He doesn’t think she can be trusted in today’s modern world. Notice how he justifies his position by saying that Ellen White wrote a long time ago, when things were different. She wrote in the circumstances of her own time. The only trouble is, all prophecy was written a long time a go when it was different. That’s what makes Bible prophecy so compelling and so divinely inspired. Here it is hundreds, even thousands of years later, and the prophecies are being fulfilled to the letter in every detail. I’ll read on.
“Ellen White wrote her book The Great Controversy in the late nineteenth century, against the background of circumstances that prevailed in the United States. Her world was divided between Roman Catholics and Protestants. She belonged to a tiny Adventist sect that was not welcome. She lived in a time when politicians at the state level and the national level were doing all they could to enforce Sunday observance. She experienced how, in some states, Sabbath keepers were actually put in prison!
“However, her world no longer exists. The underlying “grand narrative” of the “great controversy” between the forces of good and evil is as valid as ever. But it plays out in vastly different ways in our secular society, that has a totally different religious and cultural composition. It is up to us to discern how this “great controversy” plays out in our twenty-first century western world.”
In other words, we don’t have to worry that a scenario like what is found in the book The Great Controversy will develop in our modern world. We can go along with the ecumenical movement without danger. We can engage with other churches and expect that they will appreciate us and encourage us.
“The great challenge for Sabbath-keeping Adventists is not to keep talking about an end-time scenario that is increasingly implausible, but to convince our fellow-citizens that there is an immeasurable religious, social and health benefit in respecting the God-given six-plus-one rhythm in time.”
Did you hear that? Mr. Bruinsma is lightly regarding the Sabbath. He considers it a God-given six-plus-one rhythm in time. While what he has said is true, the Sabbath is much more than that. Even Sunday keepers know and believe that God gave us a six-plus-one rhythm of time. In fact, those who advocate Sunday rest laws are arguing the same thing. Just have a look at the European Sunday Alliance materials online. This is one of their key points. He goes on, and I quote…
“Man has been created with an internal clock, and not to respect that will be to their detriment. The Sabbath remains our best antidote against stress and burn-out and our best channel for regaining moral strength. It is the divinely ordained instrument to charge our spiritual batteries and to (re)connect us with God and the people who are dear to us.”
Friends, this is the same arguments that Roman Catholics use to advocate for Sunday rest laws. While I’m not surprised at Mr. Bruinsma’s European outlook, I am surprised that he is willing to go on record and say these things. He’s not saying that the Sabbath rest is divinely ordained for the seventh-day. He is just saying we need one day of rest in seven. Evangelicals and now Roman Catholics have been saying this for a long time to undergird their purpose to keep people worshipping on Sunday. They claim that the seventh-day Sabbath is no longer to be kept, and have hidden plans for Sunday laws.
He concludes with the following words, “Let us not waste energy on trying to push an unrealistic Sunday-law scenario, but promote and model a life in which the Sabbath-rest, that is part of God’s creation, holds center stage.”
Here he implies that the Sabbath rest is the creation Sabbath, which would, to a seventh day Sabbath keeper be the seventh day, or Saturday, though to a Sunday keeper, it could also be acceptable to them. Again, Evangelical and Roman Catholic apologists for Sunday observance have used God’s creation seventh day Sabbath to justify Sunday worship and Sunday laws. If you want to get it from a high-level Roman Catholic source, just go back and read Dies Domini, written by Pope John Paul II and published by the Vatican.
This reminds me of what the Lord said to Jerusalem in Isaiah 29: 9-14, Listen carefully. “Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. For the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered. And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned. Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.”
The Bible and its prophecies are a sealed book to those who refuse to accept its plain utterances. Mr. Bruinsma has the spirit of deep sleep on him and it has closed his eyes. All of his so-called “wisdom,” which he uses to raise his hand against God’s plain teachings, will perish and his so-called prudent counsel shall be hidden. My friends, I would not want to be Mr. Bruinsma in the judgment. He will have nothing to say when the Bible’s predictions come true.
This man is scoffing at the idea that Sunday laws are coming and that the end-time events predicted in the book The Great Controversy are going to happen in detail, just as predicted. What happened in Noah’s day when scoffers mocked his predictions? Scoffers pointed to all the evidence that a flood was impossible, just as Mr. Bruinsma points to so-called evidence that Sunday laws are impossible. Yet, all the scoffing and all the evidence to the contrary, and despite all their unbelief, the destructive flood still came just as predicted. God was merciful and gave the antediluvians plenty of time to think about the warning and get ready to go into the ark, but they hardened their hearts and would not hear the plain words of God about what to expect at the end of 120 years of the prophecy. God is still the same God. He has not changed. He still holds out mercy to the impenitent. But the prophetic utterances that He has given us in His word will come to pass! There is not a shadow of a doubt in heaven or in the hearts of the true followers of Jesus here on earth.
But friends, Mr. Bruinsma’s outrageous article is actually laying the foundation for God’s people to abandon their distinctive understanding of end-time events and unite with the fallen churches of Babylon in ecumenical alliances and eventually even choose to follow them in Sunday observance. He is making a raid on last generation doctrines and the concept of the remnant without saying so. He is trashing the great controversy theme that runs through scripture and which is fully matured in the three angels’ messages. This is, in fact, a direct attack on the three-fold warning message that God has entrusted to the last generation of His people on earth to give to the lost. And now he is paraded around camp meetings in order to promote his ideas as if they are the latest and greatest.
But this ecumenical screed is all about laying the foundation for what is next in ecumenical achievements. I was astonished by what I saw as I was sitting on that plane. There in front of my eyes was one of the most disturbing things I have ever seen. It has to do with the ecumenical movement and it reveals who is really behind it, in a way.
The Jesuit order arose within the Roman Catholic Church as a means of overthrowing Protestantism. Its secret agenda has almost been a complete success as Protestants now patronize Rome as if the Catholic Church is the best thing since sliced bread. Even God’s people have become involved with them in ways that will surprise you. Not only was I surprised, but I was devastated to think that God’s people would engage in ecumenical alliances with the Vatican, let alone the Jesuit order. But unfortunately that is exactly what is happening. In the very place where the head of the Jesuits, the Superior General often called the black pope, is consecrated, and where he has his headquarters, we are now collaborating with the order and engaging in collaborative activities by top leaders whose responsibility it is to defend religious liberty and hold firm to Bible principles. Where is this heading?
Just think about the history of the Jesuits for a minute. “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…The Jesuits rapidly spread themselves over Europe, and wherever they went, there followed a revival of popery.” That’s from The Great Controversy, p. 234.
Do you think they want to revive popery in every corner of the globe, in every denomination, and in every political organization? Of course they do. Do you think they have aimed their strategy at you and at your church? Why wouldn’t these agents of the enemy try to derail your faith by getting you involved in their social justice agenda and drawing you closer to them and to Rome?
If you associate with them, so they think, you will not fear them. And it’s true. That actually happens when churches unite in the ecumenical spirit of the day. They lose their fear of what is coming.
Remember that the whole purpose of the ecumenical movement is to get you to give up your distinctive beliefs, particularly your end-time doctrines and theology. It starts by engaging you in social projects that will make you think that if you give up something of your faith, you can have a lot of influence and access to a wider body of people.
Listen to this statement from The Great Controversy, page 44. “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.”
Have we reached the point where the leading churches, not just of the United States but also of the whole world are uniting on points of doctrine that they see in a similar way? Have we reached the point in which, at least in uniting with Rome, we no longer proclaim our distinctive beliefs?
But this is serious deception to make you unprepared for the crisis and the overwhelming surprise that will take the world by storm and cause you to miss out on salvation through Jesus Christ. And strangely enough it is in the name of Jesus Christ that the Jesuits lead out in the ecumenical movement.
The Jesuit headquarters in Rome is in sight of the Vatican, perhaps a block or two away. Inside the building are the chambers where the Jesuits hold their top level meetings and consecrate their general. The meeting room has a distinctive circular design. Once you see it, you will recognize it anywhere. This is the curia or administration building of the Jesuit headquarters in Rome.
Here, in this building the Jesuits sponsored a conference in October of 2018 called “Global Partners Forum” entitled Faith Action for Children on the Move.
What is a partner? A partner is someone or a group of people who join with others in an enterprise. In other words, the Jesuits held a discussion for its Global partners, its colleagues about its projects and plans. It held this meeting in its headquarters, where the Jesuits run their global operations, for a group of churches, charities and other NGOs that are concerned about child immigration. It is an ecumenical engagement that was designed, like all other ecumenical activities, to unite disparate organizations and even organizations that may disagree with each other on various points, but who, through this activity, would promote understanding and friendship, all in the name of unity and collaboration on urgent global social justice issues that all can support.
Do you think this meeting at the Jesuit headquarters in Rome would be the place for someone who believes the three angels’ messages? I don’t think so at all. God’s people should stay clear of those sorts of meetings.
But that is not the case. Now church leaders are invited to participate in these ecumenical conferences held by the Jesuits. Attending the conference for the Jesuit Global Partners is none other than Dr. Ganoune Diop, Director of the Public Affairs and Religious Liberty Department of the General Conference. Perhaps it is no small matter that he spent some of his time while at the conference sitting on the dais, which is where the Jesuit Superior General sits when the Jesuits have their assemblies and where the pope sits when he visits the Jesuit headquarters. Not far away is the crucifix, looking down on the assembly. This is the very same crucifix before which the Jesuit General prayed when he was elected and consecrated.
While some might not see the significance of this, or perhaps even excuse it, I can’t help but wonder what heaven thinks of all this. Just think about this, my friends, here is an Adventist leader of the General Conference taking up matters of importance to the Jesuits and to the Roman Catholic Church, such as ecumenical unity around social justice in relation to the migration of children. Here is a man who should be keeping his distance from this organization, sitting in their meeting hall. How did we get to such a place?
Here is a very interesting statement. It is from Last Day Events, page 130.
“How the Roman church can clear herself from the charge of idolatry we cannot see…. And this is the religion which Protestants are beginning to look upon with so much favor, and which will eventually be united with Protestantism. This union will not, however, be effected by a change in Catholicism, for Rome never changes. She claims infallibility. It is Protestantism that will change. The adoption of liberal ideas on its part will bring it where it can clasp the hand of Catholicism.”
So, in other words, if the protestant churches adopt a liberal theology that pretty much accepts everything including every lifestyle, religious practice, or that will justify sin, this will lead them back to Rome. Is that what is happening today? The Protestant churches have joined hands with Rome after they became very liberal. Even many Pentecostal churches have joined the movement. Is the remnant church suffering the same affliction? And apparently it has now morphed to the point where we are now see ecumenical ties that were once the domain of the regular mainstream and evangelical churches now coming into God’s last day remnant church.
We can say that Protestantism HAS changed. It HAS adopted liberal ideas and now it HAS clasped the hand of Catholicism. But it isn’t just Protestantism in general, it is specifically the very ones whom God has chosen to give the three angels’ messages, to expose the false doctrines of Rome and the activities of the Jesuits, and call people out of Babylon to join God’s faithful people who keep all of His commandments.
And that’s not all. How can a Bible-believing, seventh-day Sabbath-keeping believer join hands in collaboration with the very ones who want to bring in a Sunday law and persecute Sabbath-keepers, according to Revelation 13? How can they enter into the headquarters of the Jesuit order and engage in cooperation with the very society that is seeking their ruin, all in the name of social justice? 2 Corinthians 6:15 says, “And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?.”
Friends, I don’t get it! Why does this man, who is supposed to represent the message to come out of Rome, sitting in the very same seats where the Jesuits plan their strategic assaults on God’s church? Why does he collaborate with the Jesuit order at all?
It is obvious to me that we are living at the very end of time, my friends. It is patently clear to me that we are seeing the fulfillment of prophecies that have been long predicted. And it is a two-pronged attack. On one hand is the reeducation of God’s people to reject the idea that they are the last generation and that Sunday laws are not coming. On the other hand is the Religious Liberty leader of the General Conference, of all people, reaching out to Rome and collaborating at Jesuit conferences designed to bind God’s people in ecumenical chains. This is the very organization that wants to restrict religious liberty.
What a shock! What a bold and stunning maneuver! How shall we ever give the true message that God has given us to proclaim? Are these people serious about our faith?
I am burdened by this, my friends. I’m greatly troubled. God’s church has become a “Global Partner” of the Jesuits, and participates in leadership of conferences organized by the Jesuits by its religious liberty director!
I have no idea what kind of defense Dr. Diop will give concerning this serious breach of faith. But I can assure you that it will be rather insipid. He might say that he was there to put an Adventist spin on their perspective and help them see our viewpoint. He might even suggest that there is the need to let the Jesuits and other partners see that SDAs are really good people and that we can influence them not to push for Sunday laws when the time comes, particularly if we get to know them now.
Notice this powerful statement from The Great Controversy, page 587. “The leaders of the Sunday movement may advocate reforms which the people need, principles which are in harmony with the Bible; yet while there is with these a requirement which is contrary to God’s law, His servants cannot unite with them. Nothing can justify them in setting aside the commandments of God for the precepts of men.”
Friends, we have to think about the message our actions send. I have made mistakes in my life. We all do. But when I represent an organization and I am a responsible leader of that organization, I have to consider how my actions will affect the people I influence. God instructs us to be separate from Babylon’s organizations and people. Yes, we can witness to them, but not by collaboration in ecumenical social justice projects. Political activism has overtaken the preaching of the three angels’ messages.
Have we stretched our hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power? You remember that statement in the Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5,and page 451, don’t you?
“Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government.”
And here is another statement from Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 7, and pages 107 and 108. “Our work is to proclaim to the world the first, second, and third angels’ messages. In the discharge of our duties we are neither to despise nor to fear our enemies…We are to treat with kindness and courtesy those who refuse to be loyal to God, but we are never, never to unite with them.”
This is not the first time Dr. Diop has been connected to Rome. In October of 2016, as Secretary-General of the Conference of Secretaries of Christian World Communions, he led a group of church leaders to Rome for their annual meeting, and while there led them to the Vatican to have an audience with the Pope. Pope Francis gave them an ecumenical speech. And as he clasped hands with Pope Francis, I thought about how he has reached across the gulf. Dr. Diop was far more than an observer or a general participant. As Secretary-General he would have had a lot to do with planning the event.
My friends, I am burdened by these developments. I am not trying to criticize. I don’t have any animosity to anyone. But I’m burdened for the glory of God and the loss of souls. These men give up so much for a little handshake or a little pat on the back by men who do not have their best interests in mind. This is not God’s plan for His true people.
God’s people are to shine like a light on a hill. If they follow the Lord, and live by His principles, they will ride the high places of the earth and be fed with the heritage of Jacob. Why do we have to try to impress those who really have no sympathy with them?
My friends, please, let us pray for Dr. Diop and his supporters that they will see the direction they are heading. Let us pray that they will see their danger and change their behavior, and give glory to God.
Let us pray. Our Father in heaven, how can this be? How can Your people be led into an ecumenical alliance with Rome? Can they not see that this is forbidden? Can they not see that this is reaching across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power? Please Father, fortify us for the struggle ahead. We are facing an amazing foe. He is bold and defiant. He is not going to give up. He is not going to let go. Please Father, cover us with Your hand of protection. We need it so badly. And thank you for revealing these things. May we be faithful until Jesus comes. May we receive of the latter rain that is refreshing and that will fortify God’s true people for the final conflict. And most importantly of all, please prepare us for living in the world of light, where there is no darkness at all. In Jesus precious and holy name, I pray, amen.
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