By Pastor Hal Mayer
Dear Friends, I am amazed at the speed of progress toward a Sunday law in the United States. I believe that we may now be beginning to see the agitation for a Sunday law that has long been expected. While we have seen little issues here and there that involve Sunday observance, blue laws and other “rest day” issues. But the new, amazing movement to elevate Sunday as a day of rest is couched in terms with which even God’s people can agree, if they were not promoting Sunday observance. This month, I had planned to discuss the appointment of two Roman Catholics to the Supreme Court of the United States, but something vitally important has arisen that I have decided to address. It is the issue of Sunday agitation. There are some very important events that are about to happen in the very near future. I want to you know about them before they happen so you can watch them carefully. I’m sure we will have the opportunity to look at them after they happen also, but it is vital that you know about them before hand. We will return to our series called Joseph’s Troublesome Coat in the future. But before we begin today, let us bow our heads in prayer and ask for God’s guidance as we share these things.
Our Father in Heaven, thank you for your love, especially for your church. Thank you for giving us prophecy so that we can see what is happening behind the scenes. We pray that you will give us wisdom as we examine the movement that is likely to begin the process of Sunday agitation in the United States and around the world. As we see events like this unfolding, we pray that you will help us prepare for the coming of Jesus by getting our lives right with Him, becoming wise unto salvation, wise unto purity of heart, and wise unto the plans of the Devil. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Turn with me in your bibles to the book of Daniel 12:10. Here is a passage that speaks directly to the issues that we face concerning the secret Sunday law movement. The movements now in progress are not understood by the very ones that are doing them. But those who are overcoming their sins will understand the prophecies of scripture, and will be able to see behind the scenes. Listen. “Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.” Please note that it is the wise are being purified and tried. It is they that will understand the things that most of the world cannot.
Why does God reveal in the scriptures what is coming upon us? It is so that His true people can take the steps to get prepared. But many of God’s people are not preparing. They don’t believe the prophet any more. They are carrying on as if there will always be another day to repent and turn from their rebellion. For most of God’s people, they will only realize what they have forfeited when it is too late. They are still going around trying to get money so they can buy more things. They are adding to their entertainment, their houses and lands, their cars and possessions. They are adding to their retirement and they are eating and drinking with pleasure. They are oblivious to the onward march of fulfilling prophecy and now as the movement begins to agitate Sunday, they slumber in carnal security, unpurified, unprepared, and unready.
The Basis of Sunday Movements
There is a very important statement in the Spirit of Prophecy which I would like to read as we begin. It is found in the book Great Controversy, page, 573. Here it is. “In the movements now in progress in the United States to secure for the institutions and usages of the church the support of the state, Protestants are following in the steps of papists. Nay, more, they are opening the door for the papacy to regain in Protestant America the supremacy which she has lost in the Old World. And that which gives greater significance to this movement is the fact that the principal object contemplated is the enforcement of Sunday observance—a custom which originated with Rome, and which she claims as the sign of her authority. It is the spirit of the papacy—the spirit of conformity to worldly customs, the veneration for human traditions above the commandments of God—that is permeating the Protestant churches and leading them on to do the same work of Sunday exaltation which the papacy has done before them.”
Notice that there is a Sunday observance movement now is progress. And it is a secret movement. It is a movement that is going to one day come out in the open, but for now it is behind the scenes. The leaders of this movement don’t understand the magnitude of what they are doing, because they don’t understand prophecy. They think that what they are caught up in is actually a good thing. After all, how can supporting morality be a bad thing? Many of God’s people also don’t understand the movement. They don’t see much danger, largely because they aren’t studying prophecy or don’t want to believe that these things are happening now. Could it be that they don’t want to change quite yet, and get ready by putting away their sins and worldly pleasures.
Listen to this statement from the Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, page 452, written in 1885. “It is no time now to allow our minds to be engrossed with things of minor importance. 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. It is our duty to do all in our power to avert the threatened danger.” Did you hear that? There are many who unite with the movement that don’t know where it is going because the real intentions are hidden. They don’t understand prophecy.
I’ll read on, “Religious powers, allied to heaven by profession, and claiming to have the characteristics of a lamb, will show by their acts that they have the heart of a dragon and that they are instigated and controlled by Satan. The time is coming when God’s people will feel the hand of persecution because they keep holy the seventh day. Satan has caused the change of the Sabbath in the hope of carrying out his purpose for the defeat of God’s plans. He seeks to make the commands of God of less force in the world than human laws. The man of sin, who thought to change times and laws, and who has always oppressed the people of God, will cause laws to be made enforcing the observance of the first day of the week. But God’s people are to stand firm for Him. And the Lord will work in their behalf, showing plainly that He is the God of gods.”
Notice that it is Satan that has caused the change of times and laws. He works through the man of sin, the Pope and the Papacy, who has established his own Sabbath in the place of God. Protestants who keep Sunday are very vulnerable. They agree with Rome’s authority. So long as they keep Sunday instead of the Bible Sabbath, they show their loyalty to Rome. And they have no power to resist Rome’s suggestions. That is why they are so vulnerable to the ecumenical movement. They are conditioned to think that Sunday is the true rest day, and it is a strong point of agreement on which they can unite. But they don’t realize that Sunday observance comes from Rome, who has changed God’s law in the minds of billions of people in this world. The movement to exalt Sunday observance is a pillar of Rome’s doctrines. As Protestant America adopts her principles, and through the ecumenical movement adopts her spirit, she too will become a persecuting power.
The New Sunday Movement
Now I want to draw your attention to a movement that is developing and which will be launched on the 7th of May 2006. It is a movement that involves some of the most famous and popular religious leaders in the world. It has the power of the religious media to support it. And it is calling upon all Christian pastors and all churches world wide to support this movement. It is the Ten Commandments Day movement. Its purpose is to draw attention to the Ten Commandments.
This movement came about because of concerns that America is declining in morality. But it is not limited to America. The leaders of the movement decry the moral decline world-wide and want this movement to be a global movement. This movement will no doubt lend itself to the promotion of Sunday observance and the fulfillment of the prophecies we have just read. Do not overlook the importance of this movement. If you do, it will be to your eternal destruction.
Those who believe that the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy are not correct concerning these things, do not know what they are talking about. Those who think that the Spirit of Prophecy is a Victorian relic that should be abandoned, and that the predictions of God’s end-time prophet will never come to pass, are deceiving you into eternal loss. Those who believe that the Adventist interpretation of Revelation is irrelevant to today’s circumstances and is again something left over from previous generations, are deceived and should turn again and pay heed to the counsels that God has been so gracious to give to His people.
The movement I’m referring to is a recently formed association organized by the Ten Commandments Commission. The Ten Commandments Day association is an organized effort to strengthen understanding of the importance of the Ten Commandments in the life and history of the nation, by joining all the churches possible, together to place an emphasis on the Ten Commandments in a prelude to agitation of Sunday observance. Though there are no references to Sunday observance yet, those who know prophecy, know that it will morph and become an emphasis on the fourth commandment, the Sabbath; that is the Christian Sabbath, as transferred to Sunday supposedly by Christ and/or His apostles.
Here is a prediction from the book Great Controversy, page 587-588 that tells us that this movement to oppose moral decline and strengthen society is going to be attributed to the desecration of the Christian Sabbath and will lead to the oppression of the people of God. Listen.
“Yet this very class put forth the claim that the fast-spreading corruption is largely attributable to the desecration of the so-called “Christian sabbath,” and that the enforcement of Sunday observance would greatly improve the morals of society. This claim is especially urged in America, where the doctrine of the true Sabbath has been most widely preached. Here the temperance work, one of the most prominent and important of moral reforms, is often combined with the Sunday movement, and the advocates of the latter represent themselves as laboring to promote the highest interest of society; and those who refuse to unite with them are denounced as the enemies of temperance and reform. But the fact that a movement to establish error is connected with a work which is in itself good, is not an argument in favor of the error. We may disguise poison by mingling it with wholesome food, but we do not change its nature. On the contrary, it is rendered more dangerous, as it is more likely to be taken unawares. It is one of Satan’s devices to combine with falsehood just enough truth to give it plausibility. 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.”
Now keep in mind that this is being supported by many of the churches that used to tell us that the Ten Commandments were done away with at the cross. This disconnect from the moral law of God inevitably led to a decline in moral principles, which then led to a breakdown of society. This in turn is leading to a re-emphasis on the Ten Commandments as still binding (at least in some ways) even though they were given to Moses, whose law was supposedly done away with at the cross. It is a cause and effect circle in which one thing leads to another. The reason why many churches adopted the idea that the law was done away with at the cross, was because of Seventh-day Adventists who upheld the Bible Sabbath of the Ten Commandments, the 7th day of the week.
The leaders of this surfacing movement plan to have an annual, global Ten Commandments Day, the first of which is to be held on May 7, 2006, and every 1st Sunday in May thereafter. It has a commission of Sunday church leaders that are concerned about recent decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States that struck down the public display of the Ten Commandments in public buildings, particularly courtrooms and courthouses. This movement involves any and all Sunday churches that will support its goals.
Objectives of the Ten Commandments Commission
Let me read to you from the Ten Commandments Day website about their purpose. “The objectives of the Ten Commandments Commission are as follows: 1) To restore the supremacy of the tenants, precepts, and principles contained in the Ten Commandments. 2) To provide a global symbol that expresses our submission and commitment to the values found in the Ten Commandments. 3) To create a mechanism by which the Word of God can be restored in every aspect of society peacefully and without violation of the legal system. 4) To give opportunity for identification with millions who adhere to the supreme universal law of God.”
Let’s just take a minute and think about these objectives. Notice that one of them is to restore the supremacy of the tenants, precepts and principles contained in the Ten Commandments. This is not referring to the exact details of the Ten Commandments, but the more vague and general “values, precepts and principles.” In other words, when a worship day law is promoted, it won’t matter that it isn’t God’s holy Sabbath day, but just that it is one day in seven. Since these are almost all Sunday keepers that are organizing this, do you think they will be emphasizing the Bible Sabbath that God gave at creation? No, they will be emphasizing Sunday as supposedly changed by Christ and his apostles, but in actuality changed by the Roman Church. Yes, the tenants, precepts and principles will be restored, but not the way God gave them. Only in the way tradition now sustains them. But what does supremacy mean. That means that these organizers want the Ten Commandments to become the supreme law of the land. But wouldn’t that be good? Yes, if our nation was a theocracy. But since our nations are not theocracies, whose interpretation of the Ten Commandments is going to be supreme? It is going to be the popular interpretation, isn’t it?
Notice that the objective is to create a mechanism by which the Word of God can be restored in every aspect of society. Does that include you too? Of course it does. And it is to be done without violating the legal system. Of course not. In this day and age, when governments can redefine the meaning of the law, how easy do you think it will be to redefine or change the law so that it won’t be violated by imposing a Sunday law? Already it is being said that the Constitution doesn’t have a wall of separation between church and state. The late Supreme Court chief justice William Rehnquist said it plainly.
Let me read more from the website. “Because of the urgency of this matter, the Ten Commandments Commission is calling on all supporters of traditional values to unite and let their voices be heard.” Do you support traditional values? Of course you do. But if you know where this is going to lead, and you are not willing to support this movement because of the tyranny to which it will take the nation, then you will be painted by some as not really upholding traditional values. I’ll read on. “We are calling on all churches, synagogues, ministry leaders, Christians, and all who care about traditional values to celebrate Ten Commandments Sunday by hosting local community events in support of the Ten Commandments.”
So there is going to be a nationwide, and perhaps global set of community events that will draw attention to the Ten Commandments. Isn’t that interesting? Perhaps there will be parades, special luncheons with community and political leaders, and other high profile events to bring the Ten Commandments before the minds of Christians and non-Christians alike, all in the name of rebuking sin and bringing America back to traditional values, back to God.
And notice that the special day dedicated to the Ten Commandments is on a Sunday, the first Sunday in May every year. Don’t think that is an accident. It is planned that way because most people automatically think that Sunday is the day of rest of the fourth commandment. They have been deceived to think that the Sabbath was changed, and that it was a Jewish law given to Moses, instead of a law and a principle that comes from creation, long before there was a Jew.
A Secret Movement
The movement to exalt Sunday is a secret movement. It is not open on the surface yet. It will not come to the surface until the time is right. Not until there is enough damage done by disasters, wars, or calamities, that the nation and perhaps the world will be reigned up about getting back to God. But this movement is laying the groundwork.
Listen to this statement from the Review and Herald, March 14, 1893. “The whole confederacy of evil, led by Satan, is seeking diligently to increase the ranks of those who transgress the law of God; and the law of the land sustains them in their apostasy. Underneath every movement for the exaltation of the mystery of iniquity, there is a secret undercurrent of effort for the suppression of God’s truth in his holy requirement. Men are seeking again to enslave the souls of men by the decree of the law of the land.”
Again God’s prophet speaks “I have been much burdened in regard to movements that are now in progress for the enforcement of Sunday observance. It has been shown to me that Satan has been working earnestly to carry out his designs to restrict religious liberty. Plans of serious import to the people of God are advancing in an underhand manner among the clergymen of various denominations, and the object of this secret maneuvering is to win popular favor for the enforcement of Sunday sacredness. If the people can be led to favor a Sunday law, then the clergy intend to exert their united influence to obtain a religious amendment to the Constitution, and compel the nation to keep Sunday.” That’s from the Review and Herald again, December 24, 1889.
So it is vitally important that we not sleep, but that we be awake to the movements to bring to the front the false Sabbath. Let me read again from the Ten Commandments Commission website about how big this movement really is. “The Ten Commandments Commission has assembled a massive coalition of cross cultural interdenominational community leaders, pastors, rabbis, educators, and heads of denominations who are committed to standing up for traditional values.”
What does “traditional values” mean? This is a vague term that really doesn’t mean much. But eventually it will mean that which the organizers of the Ten Commandments Day want it to mean, and will probably reflect what the majority of people think are traditional values. It will certainly involve the hot button issues that are being politically stirred these days. It will likely involve the issues of marriage which are so hotly debated right now in light of the gay movement to establish gay marriage in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and other nations. It can involve the other morality issues that relate to the commandment not to kill, such as abortion. It can involve the commandment that prohibits sexual infidelity which relates directly to pornography. But all of these and many more are just the foundation which gives the movement the opportunity to grow into a large force for change.
I think it is interesting that this comes at a time just after two practicing Roman Catholics have been appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, John Roberts and Samuel Alito, which will give the court the opportunity to shift away from the liberal agendas that have filled its docket for the last 40 years or so and reverse its direction to a more conservative side. While this is a welcome change in many ways, it is nevertheless a dangerous moment. The Supreme Court has five Catholics, whose loyalties the church of Rome claims first, above their loyalty to the Constitution. But the Supreme Court also has two mainline Protestants that are part of churches that support Sunday observance. That would make seven in favor of Sunday laws if they are inclined to over-ride the first amendment of the Constitution of the United States. There are two Sabbath keepers on the court. They are Jews. But they are only two. What can they do when a majority are loyal to Rome and the others who would not oppose them. This is a day that Rome has longed for. When America’s top court, that is supposed to protect the Constitution that she hates, will begin to rule in favor of Catholic issues and eventually impose, or allow to be imposed, laws that support her Sunday.
I’m also amazed that this movement is developing just at the time when there are significant changes in the legal structures of many western countries including privacy laws, surveillance laws, detention laws, and especially the new terrorism laws that can easily be expanded and used against a new enemy.
I’m also amazed that this new movement is developing just at the time when there is an increase in frequency and magnitude or intensity of natural disasters around the world. And at a time of War in the Middle East and other hot spots around the world that are threatening to explode into war as well.
The Ten Commandments Day was originally appointed to be the fifth of February, but it was changed to May seventh. The main reason was to give more time for the organizers to plan and especially promote the event. But more significantly, it was moved to May because it is around the time when Moses received the Ten Commandments from God. Let me read it to you from the website. “The leaders of the Ten Commandments Commission felt strongly that it was important to establish a date for Ten Commandments Day that coincided with the historical time period when Moses met with God on Mount Sinai and received the Ten Commandments for all mankind. The first Sunday in May is an ideal date, occurring between the Jewish observances of Passover and Pentecost.”
Note that though the Ten Commandments were supposedly done away with at the cross, now it appears that the leaders have switched and now declare that they were given for all mankind; at least their principles. I thought we were told that the fourth commandment was a Jewish institution. Perhaps then, only the Seventh-day was nailed to the cross. Why do they want to place an emphasis on Moses? Could this be so that Jewish leaders can be brought into the movement? Could it be that it is important for Jews to support the Ten Commandments Commission so that they won’t fight the coming Sunday law so hard when it does? Will even the Jewish Supreme Court justices agree with Sunday laws too?
You need to know who is supporting this movement. The Ten Commandments Commission has a new chairman. His name is Belarmino “Blackie” Gonzalez, who is the founder of many media ministries and is on the Board of the National Religious Broadcasters, or the NRB. He is also vice-president of ACTS, an association of Christian Television Broadcasters. He is even on the Board of a national prayer ministry in Washington DC. “Blackie” is an evangelical Christian that has “a special love for Israel,” according to the Ten Commandments website.
This man is very well connected. I had never heard of him before, but obviously he brings to the Ten Commandments Commission a background that will serve them well. Let me read from the website again. “With the naming of Belarmino “Blackie” R. Gonzalez as Chairman of the Ten Commandments Commission came the added involvement of a variety of media ministries and religious broadcasting leaders, many who are involved with Mr. Gonzalez in the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB). The NRB’s partnership with the Ten Commandments Commission has been a real blessing, because it means an abundance of broadcast resources that will help to make Ten Commandments Day a success.”
The NRB is a very powerful organization. They are the association that involves media ministries that control the huge market for religious listeners and viewers. The NRB is the most important association for those involved in broadcasting. With the NRB behind the Ten Commandments Commission and the Ten Commandments Day, there will no doubt be a major media blitz which will bring this issue to the forefront in the next few weeks.
The man who started the Ten Commandments Commission is Ron Wexler. He is a man of tremendous vision. He was born in Israel and has a “vision of unity, harmony and reconciliation among all races and genders…” Ron Wexler “has utilized his extensive contacts within the religious community to assemble together a cross-cultural, interdenominational strategic coalition of influential Christian leaders known as the Millennium council.” That is very interesting, and it is taken right from his biography on the Ten Commandments Day website. I’ll read just a little more. “Through Ron’s efforts, thousands have been touched with a new appreciation, respect, and tolerance for the differences in the way people observe their faiths.” Perhaps Ron doesn’t know where this movement will lead, but he is involved in organizing a movement that is very broad-based in its reach.
Now let me read to you the list of organizations and individuals that have signed on to the Ten Commandments Day association. Perhaps you will recognize some of these names.
Dr. Paul Crouch, Founder and President of the Trinity Broadcasting Network
Bishop T.D. Jakes, CEO of The Potter’s House of Dallas
Rabbi Yehuda David Greenberg
Jerome Edmondson , Senior Partner of Edmondson Associates
Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ)
Benny Hinn, Founder of Benny Hinn Ministries
Richard Shakarian of the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship
Bishop George McKinney of Church of God in Christ
Pastor Billy Joe Daugherty of Tulsa Victory Christian Center
Ted Haggard, President of the National Association of Evangelicals
Dr. Mark J. Chironna, Overseer of The Master’s Touch International Church
Richard Roberts, President of Oral Roberts University
Marilyn Hickey, Founder of Marilyn Hickey Ministries
Bishop Paul S. Morton, Founder of Life Center Full Gospel Baptist Cathedral
Dr. Charles Phillips, Official Representative to the United Nations as a Non-Government Official to the Economic Concilias
Bishop Harold Ray, Pastor of Redemptive Life Fellowship
Dr. Charles Green, Pastor of Faith Church of New Orleans
Bishop Eddie L. Long of Bishop Eddie Long Ministries, Inc.
Jerry Horner, Th.D., Director of Doctoral Studies, Beacon University
Floyd Flake, Pastor and former Congressman
Susan Zahn, President and Founder of WDC Media Public Relations
Jason T. Christy, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, The Church Report
David W. Clark, Ph.D. , President of Palm Beach Atlantic University
National Religious Broadcasters NRB Committee
Dr. Frank Wright, president of the National Religious Broadcasters
Belarmino (Blackie) Gonzales – President, KCHF-TV KDAZ
Garth W. Coonce – President, TCT Ministries
Ron Hembree – President, Cornerstone Television
Ken Mikesell – President, TV52 /45 Good Life Broadcasting
Bob D’Andrea, President CTN
Peter Sumrall, President Lesea Broadcasting
John Barker – President, The Ark Complex
Pastor George Morrison – Chairman, Promise Keepers
Mr. David Barton, Wallbuilders, Inc.
Mr. Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families
Mr. Joel Belz, World Magazine
Mr. Phil Burress, Citizens for Community Values
Mr. Jack Clayton,Christian Legal Defense and Education Foundation
Mr. Chuck Colson, Prison Fellowship,Washington, DC
Mrs. Roberta Combs, Christian Coalition,Washington, DC
Congressman Bill Dannemeyer (1979-1992), Americans for Voluntary School Prayer
Dr. James Dobson, Focus on the Family, Colorado Springs, CO
Rev. Jerry Falwell, Liberty Alliance, Lynchburg, VA
Mr. Mike Farris, Homeschool Legal Defense Association
Mr. David Keene, American Conservative Union
Dr. D. James Kennedy, Coral Ridge Ministries
Mr. Martin Mawyer, Christian Action Network
Mr. William Murray, Religious Freedom Coalition
Mr. Tony Perkins, Family Research Council, Washington, DC
Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny
Mrs. Frances Rath, Committee for Biblical Principles in Government
Ms. Sandy Rios, Concerned Women for America
Rev. Pat Robertson, Christian Broadcasting Network
Dr. Rick Scarborough, Vision America
Rev. Lou Sheldon, Traditional Values Coalition
Mr. Paul Weyrich, Free Congress Foundation
Mr. Don Wildmon, American Family Association
Rabbi Daniel Lapin, President, Toward Tradition
You can visit the website of the Ten Commandments Commission at www.tencommandmentsday.com. This is quite a list of very respected religious leaders in the United States. While it is obvious that this movement and association is mainly in the United States, when something like this is successful, you can be sure that the religious leaders in other nations will join in the effort. Keep in mind, that this May 7 will be the first annual Ten Commandments Day. There will be one every year and will increase in scope as more and more churches, ministry leaders and other join in.
Here is a statement from the Review and Herald, April 23, 1889. “The present hour, involving our dearest interests, is an hour of momentous importance. Our rights as individuals and churches are brought into question in the agitation on the enforcement of Sunday observance. Conflicting opinions are disturbing the minds of the religious world, and the people are at variance in regard to what should be done in the matter. Events of a startling character are fast thickening, and the anxious inquiry is already arising, ‘What shall be the end?’”
Now we see a movement designed to unite and organize all the churches together. While it is based in evangelical leaders, you can be sure that it has the support of other religions including Jews and Catholics.
But what should we do when Sunday laws are agitated? Here is an interesting statement from the Manuscript Releases Vol. 2, Ms 16, 1890. Ellen White was referring to Sunday-Law agitation in 1890 when she wrote this. “This time, when there is such an effort made to enforce the observance of Sunday, is the very opportunity to present to the world the true Sabbath in contrast to the false. The Lord in His providence is far ahead of us. He has permitted this Sunday question to be pressed to the front, that the Sabbath of the fourth commandment may be presented before the legislative assemblies. Thus the leading men of the nation may have their attention called to the testimony of God’s word in favor of the true Sabbath. If it does not convert them, it is a witness to condemn. The Sabbath question is the great testing question for this time.”
So we need to be proclaiming the Sabbath in the fourth commandment of God. It must be done with Christ at the center of it because it is centered in Christ. We are to proclaim it within the principles of righteousness by faith and that Christ died for the sins of the world.
Here is another important statement from Counsels to Writers and Editors, page 97-98. “I do hope that the trumpet will give a certain sound in regard to this Sunday-law movement. I think that it would be best if in our papers the subject of the perpetuity of the law of God were made a specialty. Should there not be a paper or a pamphlet issued to take the place of the Sentinel? I have not been able to think that it was the wise thing to do to let that paper drop. It was a voice that was constantly speaking in defense of religious liberty. The truth should be presented in short articles, in clear, distinct lines, giving special points in regard to the Lord’s Sabbath, and showing that those who frame laws to compel the observance of the first day of the week, are disloyal to the Lord of heaven, who placed His sanctity upon the seventh day. Are we doing all we can to exalt the law of Jehovah? We should now be doing our very best to defeat this Sunday law. The best way to do this will be to lift up the law of God and make it stand forth in all its sacredness. This must be done if the truth triumphs.” — Letter 58, 1906.
What an opportunity! Are we getting ready to do this? The time is very near when we will have to uphold the moral law of God in clear distinct lines. But we are teaching that it isn’t so important to keep that law. If we teach that Jesus is our Sabbath-keeping and we really don’t have to keep the Sabbath, then we will have no power to present the truth in all its bearings at the very moment when it is most important. If we are going out to eat after church on Sabbath; if we go out an buy things on the Sabbath day, if we speak of secular things after church, or during fellowship dinner; if we generally disregard the sacred hours by letting our children do activities that are not designed to draw their minds to the God of heaven and His holy law, it is likely that we will not see the issue coming and be unprepared to stand clearly on the Lord’s side. This is the time to be getting ready my friends. This is the time to let the Lord have His way in your life and in the life of your family.
The Lord has some pointed testimony for those that are in charge of our publications. It is also found in Counsels to Writers and Editors, page 98. “In the night I was earnestly addressing those who are bearing responsibilities of editors and contributors of our periodicals. . . . If those in charge of our periodicals have no more judgment than to fill the publications with the exaltations of human beings, then let them seek wisdom from God. Your spiritual eyesight needs the heavenly anointing. . . In pouring forth an overflow of praise of one whom they do not know, who has not accepted a “Thus saith the Lord” in keeping His commandments, they place themselves where, in the crisis coming upon us, they will have defective discernment as they shall see the good things done by those who will seek to deceive, who will claim to be Christ and prophets sent of God.”
Did you hear what that is saying? If we adulate and praise human beings and feature those in our publications who do not keep the Sabbath, such as the popular Christian leaders of our day, in an effort to become popular, or be recognized, and to avoid being called a cult, we place ourselves in a position to have defective discernment. Do you want defective discernment? Of course not. Then tell your leaders not to publish articles praising men and women who know not the Sabbath. If we adulate those who don’t know God’s truth, God says that we will not have the clear discernment to understand that these very people will actually seek to deceive. We will become confused and our people will become disoriented. We will not see the crisis coming. We will not understand our duty, and will not be ready. We must give the trumpet a certain sound my friends. We must give ourselves to the Lord and seek to follow His counsel in regard to our publications.
I’ll read on from page 99. “I know how the Lord regards all such productions from those who suppose they are working righteousness, who seem to be neither on one side nor on the other. The message that is given to me for them is: You are in darkness, you know not what you praise. God cannot vindicate a work that has not His stamp upon it, for it is leading others in a way that does not bear the signature of heaven.”
“This is a time when every sentence written should mean something definite, should be true, sincere. Not a scratch of the pen should be made in order to become popular or to vindicate that which God condemns. Those who follow such a course have a zeal, a burning desire, to distinguish themselves, but they have not learned their lessons at the feet of Jesus. Self is interwoven with all they do and say. They aim their weapons against their brethren who are doing the work God has appointed them, and they think in their blindness that they are doing God service.”
You see my friends, it is easy to get things turned around if we don’t have spiritual discernment. If we adulate the popular Christian leaders, we will turn things upside down, and turn against those that are upholding the truth and doing what God has appointed them to do.
Where is all this heading? Where is the movement going that supports the Ten Commandments Day Commission? Let me read it to you from Great Controversy. This is from page 580. “Marvelous in her shrewdness and cunning is the Roman Church. She can read what is to be. She bides her time, seeing that the Protestant churches are paying her homage in their acceptance of the false sabbath and that they are preparing to enforce it by the very means which she herself employed in bygone days. Those who reject the light of truth will yet seek the aid of this self-styled infallible power to exalt an institution that originated with her. How readily she will come to the help of Protestants in this work it is not difficult to conjecture. Who understands better than the papal leaders how to deal with those who are disobedient to the church?”
And from page 579 we read, “Since the middle of the nineteenth century, students of prophecy in the United States have presented this testimony to the world. In the events now taking place is seen a rapid advance toward the fulfillment of the prediction. With Protestant teachers there is the same claim of divine authority for Sundaykeeping, and the same lack of Scriptural evidence, as with the papal leaders who fabricated miracles to supply the place of a command from God. The assertion that God’s judgments are visited upon men for their violation of the Sunday-sabbath, will be repeated; already it is beginning to be urged. And a movement to enforce Sunday observance is fast gaining ground.”
Reading now from page 573-574, “If the reader would understand the agencies to be employed in the soon-coming contest, he has but to trace the record of the means which Rome employed for the same object in ages past. If he would know how papists and Protestants united will deal with those who reject their dogmas, let him see the spirit which Rome manifested toward the Sabbath and its defenders.
And finally, from page 588, “Through the two great errors, the immortality of the soul and Sunday sacredness, Satan will bring the people under his deceptions. While the former lays the foundation of spiritualism, the latter creates a bond of sympathy with Rome. The Protestants of the United States will be foremost in stretching their hands across the gulf to grasp the hand of spiritualism; they will reach over the abyss to clasp hands with the Roman power; and under the influence of this threefold union, this country will follow in the steps of Rome in trampling on the rights of conscience.”
My friends, we are on the verge the most momentous times. Please do not ignore the signs of the times. God is calling you to be His agent in these last days to uphold the Sabbath of God found in scriptures. We are nearing Home, aren’t we? We need to come under the true authority of God and not yield to the authority of man in opposition to God.
Let us pray. Our Father in Heaven, We are near the moments that prophets have spoken of. We are nearing the final stages of the conflict between Christ and Satan for the control of our souls. I pray that we will have your Holy Spirit to teach us how to live in the sight of God with His approval. Let us not turn from the principles of scripture. Let us, in our lifestyle, obey God’s commands in every area. Especially may we uphold the Sabbath. Thank you, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
For those of you receiving the CD version of this message, the following is a current events update of interest to those that love the appearing of Jesus Christ and are watching the fulfilling prophecies. This part of the program is only available on CD and on our website. 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.
President Bush Authorizes Spying on Americans
A major political controversy erupted in the United States over revelations in the New York Times about a secret program authorized by President Bush shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks, that give the National Security Agency (NSA) the freedom to spy on American citizens without a court warrant. Normally, if spying on American Citizens is felt necessary, it is usually done by the FBI and is authorized by a secret court in Washington. This NSA is traditionally involved in foreign surveillance, but on rare occasions it has eavesdropped on American soil, usually involving embassies. This decision was “a major shift in American intelligence-gathering practices,” said the Times. Some officials familiar with the continuing operation have questioned if this is constitutional.
“’This is really a sea change,’ said a former senior official who specializes in national security law. ‘Its almost a mainstay of this country that the NSA only does foreign searches.’”
So there are two issues involved. NSA is now doing surveillance in the U.S. on U.S. citizens and it is not getting the constitutionally required warrants for doing so. This is significant. We know that the United States will repudiate every principle of its constitution. Here we see a major erosion of civil liberties and privacy rights. Yet it is being justified by the President and other leaders on the basis that the “President has broad powers to order such searches, derived in part from the September 2001 congressional resolution authorizing him to wage war on al-Qaida and other terrorist groups,” reported the Times.
But these initiatives by the administration have caused “an outcry from members of Congress, watchdog groups, immigrants and others who argue that the measures erode protections for civil liberties and intrude on American’s privacy,” the Times said.
The New York Times was going to publish their article a year ago in late 2004, however, the White House heard about it and asked the Times not to publish it, “arguing that it could jeopardize continuing investigations and alert would-be terrorists that they might be under scrutiny. The newspaper delayed publication for a year, and then published it without certain information that the administration argued would be useful to terrorists.
Terrorism, my friends, is again the excuse for conducting activities not permitted in the Constitution of the United States. President Bush has defended this policy vigorously, saying that the surveillance is only conducted if one end of the communication, whether email or phone, is outside the United States, thereby bringing it under the NSA.
But on Saturday December 24th the New York Times reported that a published report by NSA indicates that the agency has conducted broader surveillance of emails and telephone conversations without court orders than the Bush administration has admitted. Government officials told the New York Times that NSA accessed domestic and international communications with the help of telecommunication companies. Companies have been storing information on calling patterns since the September 11, 2001 attacks, and that NSA officials have been studying the information in hope of finding terrorists.
The argument that the government has to move quickly in terrorism related cases and thereby needs to be able to do its surveillance without the oversight or the approval of the secret court is trivial. The court almost always grants the warrants. They are not hard to get and don’t take a long time, perhaps a couple of hours at the most. The real issue appears to be that the President and other leaders don’t want court oversight of their activities. This is another way that the President gathers more power to his office.
Claiming that they have been granted these powers by Congress in the war on terrorism, the administration essentially bypasses the legal process that is designed to protect American citizens from unwarranted search and seizure, and opens the door for intrusion into all sorts of areas of their lives. The government claims that there are safeguards in place and that it still needs the court approval for surveillance of strictly domestic communications, it still remains very clear to those that know the history of law, that this is not where it will likely stop. Those who know prophecy know that all our liberties will be undermined, eroded and eventually repudiated. U.S. citizens are allowing repudiation of them one by one in the name of security.
“One government official involved in the operation,” the Times reported, “said he privately complained to a Congressional official about his doubts about the program’s legality. But nothing came of his inquiry. ‘People just looked the other way because they didn’t want to know what was going on,’ he said”
“Several national security officials say the powers granted the NSA by President Bush go far beyond the expanded counterterrorism powers granted by Congress under the USA Patriot Act,” reported the Times. “Under the act, law enforcement and intelligence officials are still required to seek a FISA warrant (that’s the secret court), every time they want to eavesdrop within the United States.”
But the Bush administration argues that they don’t need the warrants because of the broad powers granted by Congress in fighting terrorism. Incidentally, the relevant act is classified and cannot be studied by anyone but the administration who uses it to defend their increased powers.
The Washington Post on December 18, 2005 was more pointed in its remarks. “As with its infamous torture memorandum, the administration appears to have taken the position that the President is entitled to ignore a clearly worded criminal law when it proves inconvenient in the war on terrorism… FISA has been the law of the land for 2 ½ decades. To disrupt it so fundamentally, in total secret and without seeking legislative authorization, show profound disregard for Congress and the laws it passes.” The implications are clear. The President appears to be seeking to take more unsupervised power to the office of the President. This approach to government is unaccountable and is therefore wide open to abuse if he should succeed, as it appears he will.
I can’t help but wonder friends, how this will end up. Is your privacy really protected? Once the controversy over this issue eventually is over, what legal barriers will be next? The fact that this is an anti-terrorism power claimed by the administration, reduces protests on a broad scale. Will these powers eventually be expanded to allow spying on communications solely on U.S. soil? Will these powers eventually be expanded to other targets than terrorists? Listen to our next report for a shocking insight into the future.
Governor of Massachusetts advocates spying on Mosques.
The Associated Press on September 16, 2005 reported on the storm of controversy that arose from Governor Romney’s comments at a speech concerning anti-terrorism intelligence. Muslim leaders and civil libertarians demanded an apology from Governor Mitt Romney for his comments about wiretapping Mosques and monitoring foreign students, reported the Associated Press, but the governor stood by his words, saying he was only advocating improved homeland security.
The governor’s remarks are ominous to all believers who may one day become a target of government criminal laws. Here is what he said during his speech. Speaking of gathering intelligence at mosques, he said that surveillance is appropriate because they “may be teaching doctrines of hate and terror… Are we monitoring that? Are we wiretapping?” he asked. “Are we following what’s going on? Are we seeing who’s coming in, and who’s coming out? Are we eavesdropping, carrying out surveillance on those individuals from places that sponsor domestic terror?”
This is a government leader in Massachusetts promoting the idea that religious places of worship should be wiretapped and that those teaching doctrines of hate should be subject to surveillance. Of course his comments were about mosques. However, once established, what is to prevent other religion’s houses of worship from being subjected to surveillance. Suppose your beliefs are characterized one day as being doctrines of hate, and therefore undermining national security. Would your church be wiretapped?
The governor appeared to characterize mosques as places that sponsor domestic terror. Perhaps some of them are. But most are not. Muslim leaders strongly protested this general characterization. Underlying this is the systematic vilification of extreme Muslims in the press and by the government. While extreme Muslims should be prevented from doing harm to any society, will there ever come a day when your beliefs will be vilified as extreme and you or your church will become the target of eavesdropping?
Governor Romney justified his comments on the basis that he was only advocating that the level of resources committed to fighting terrorism should be substantially enhanced, according to the Associated Press report. “Romney said… he wasn’t advocating for anything that wasn’t already being done.”
Is that true? Are mosques already being wiretapped? I’m sure they are, hopefully under court superstition. But when your faith becomes the target of vilification, it will be an easy thing to expand the scope of surveillance of religious places of worship. It also appears that it will be easy to get a court warrant if necessary, to eavesdrop on your congregation, or bypass your constitutional protections all together if they aren’t convenient.
Google Fights the Government over Privacy.
It seems that surveillance has become the watchword of this months religious liberty report. Here is another item that should interest those concerned about their privacy.
In its latest effort to intrude on the privacy of U.S. citizens, the government has demanded that Google the Internet giant search engine, turn over its users search records so that the government can develop a profile of users and determine how easily accessible pornographic sites are, and how effective filtering software is.
While we don’t appreciate pornography, it is nevertheless an important attempt at intruding on the privacy of Internet users. If search queries can be linked to users IDs, then law enforcement agencies would have a huge opportunity to spy on U.S. citizens and their Internet usage patterns. Other Internet search engines have cooperated with the government and provided information from their records, but Google believes that their request is onerous and jeopardizes the right of privacy.
The New York Times reported that the dispute with Google comes as the government is moving aggressively on several fronts to obtain data on Internet activity to achieve its law enforcement goals, from domestic security to the prosecution of online crime.
How private and secure do you think the Internet will be? How protected from government snooping will your searches be online? Perhaps one other question is appropriate; how easy would it be for key words that relate to your faith become the target of surveillance in the online world of cyberspace?
Privacy in Britain.
Privacy in Britain is also under assault. The BBC, on January 21, 2006, said, “The government (that’s the British government) has defended storing the DNA profiles of about 24,oo0 children and young people aged 10 to 18.
“The youngsters’ details are held on the UK database, despite them never having been cautioned, charged or convicted of an offence, a Conservative MP found,” the BBC said. MP Grant Shapps “fears a huge juvenile database – though not illegal – is being created by ‘stealth” and the ‘back door.’ “If the government wants to build a DNA database of the entire population, starting with kids – bring forward proposals, pass it through parliament and have a debate.”
The world is changing my friends. In Britain it is not illegal for the government to maintain records of all its citizen’s DNA. What a powerful tool! “The Home Office,” reported the BBC “announced earlier this month that 7% of the UK population would be on the database in two years’ time. It is already the biggest in the world… Police can now track down offenders by matching samples with other family members who may be on the database.”
It is amazing to see how new technology is justified on the platform of criminal prosecution or anti-terrorism. Eventually, these technologies will make it difficult for God’s people to practice their faith, don’t you think?
That’s all we have time for today my friends. God bless you until next month. Keep The Faith.
A new movement to elevate Sunday as a day of rest is couched in terms with which even God’s people could agree, if they were not promoting Sunday observance.