Matthew 24: Minutes to Midnight
By Pastor Hal Mayer
Greetings to you this month from our team at Keep the Faith Ministry. I am praying that God will open your mind to His word more fully as we study together. Today we are going to study a very serious matter – the countdown to doomsday; the day when the world, it’s cities and its people are annihilated by nuclear holocaust.
But before we do, I would like to thank you for your support and prayers for Keep the Faith Ministry. It means so much to us to hear from you and we really appreciate all the feedback we receive from our listeners. Don’t be afraid to contact us with your prayer requests. We pray every day for our listeners and their prayer burdens. Also check out our website. There is new material constantly being added. You can download sermons, articles and many other interesting materials. Now let us turn to our subject for today.
Prophetic sermons for decades have used the symbol of a clock to describe how near we are to the end of the world and the return of Jesus. Evangelists have often shown images of clocks in print, on overhead projections, power point presentations and in other media to tell their audiences that Jesus’ coming is very near. Often the clocks used in the pictures show the time to be just minutes before midnight.
But did you know that a group of nuclear scientists have been using a symbolic clock to describe how close our world is to nuclear annihilation, and that they have been tracking world nuclear tensions for the last 60 years; since 1947? Its true. Their symbolic timepiece hangs at the University of Chicago and its second hand is figuratively adjusted whenever they think conditions warrant a change.
Before we go any further however, let us pray and ask God’s blessing as we study. Dear Father in heaven, today we come to You to learn Your mind. We pray that You will help us to love You and You alone, and be faithful, even though we live in a world of unfaithfulness and increasing chaos. Give us a sense of the nearness of Jesus’ return to earth. We pray that we will be ready to meet Him when He comes. Our lives are pulled in so many directions, so help us today to focus on Your important message for this hour. Now speak to us as we consider the perilous times in which we live. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.
Turn with me in your bibles to the book of first Thessalonians, chapter 5. This chapter tells us something about what is going on in our world right now. It reveals the attitude of most people, whether religious or not, to the sweeping events taking place around us. They don’t know that a great terror is coming upon them, and a great destruction. They think that they are safe because they are protected by the government, or because they go to church every week. They think they will be protected just because they claim the name of Christ. But this is not true. The protection of God only comes when we have Jesus in our hearts, and when He lives our lives for us, overcoming the devil on every point, the consequences be what they may. It requires our cooperation and surrender to His will moment by moment. While God’s church slumbers on; while many of His people watch their bank accounts, their TVs and DVDs, listen to their worldly music, and eat their chicken, fish and who knows what else, the world is marching steadily on toward destruction. The vengeance of God is about to be poured out, and God’s people are not preparing for the spiritual struggle that is about to take place.
In the 8th volume of Testimonies for the Church page 315 we read, “A storm is coming, relentless in its fury.” Then in the third volume of Selected Messages page 389 we read, “The people must not be left to stumble their way along in darkness, not knowing what is before them, and unprepared for the great issues that are coming.” Tragically, even most of those who claim to be God’s people don’t realize what terrible things are coming upon the world.
I will begin reading the first verse of 1 Thess. 5. “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, or of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.”
Our world is nearing the brink of nuclear war, and we are asleep. We are careening toward World War III, yet somehow we think it won’t happen for another hundred years. But on January 17, 2007, the world got a warning. It was not a warning in the sky. It was not a warning from the bible. It was not an earthquake, tsunami or other natural disaster. It was a group of worldly scientists and nuclear physicists. These scientists maintain what they call the “Doomsday Clock,” a symbolic clock that indicates how close we are to a nuclear war of annihilation.
“For the first time in five years,” said the Toronto Star on January 17, 2007, “the elite board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists is moving the minute hand on their Doomsday Clock closer to the fatal hour of midnight.
“We stand on the brink of a second nuclear age,” said the Bulletin in its official statement announcing the change in the time of its symbolic clock. “Not since the first atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki has the world faced such perilous choices… This deteriorating state of global affairs leads the Board of Directors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists in consultation with a Board of Sponsors… to move the minute hand of the “Doomsday Clock” from seven to five minutes to midnight.”
This sobering announcement comes at a time when the world is watching the proliferation of nuclear weapons. “Not since the darkest days of the Cold War has the bulletin, which covers global security issues, felt the need to place the minute hand so close to midnight,” said the BBC. “The Doomsday Clock,” says Wikipedia, an internet encyclopedia, “is a symbolic clockface maintained since 1947 by the Board of Directors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists at the University of Chicago. It uses the analogy of the human race being at a time that is ‘minutes to midnight’ where the midnight represents destruction by nuclear war.”
The “Second Nuclear Age” refers to a new and far more dangerous nuclear threat era that has developed since the end of the Cold War. “Doomsday” refers to an array of events and political currents that will eventually bring a cataclysmic end to the human race through nuclear annihilation.
“The clock was started at seven minutes to midnight during the cold war in 1947, and has subsequently been advanced or rewound at intervals, depending on the state of the world and the prospects for nuclear war,” says Wikipedia. The clock has actually been adjusted 18 times in those 60 years. It is interesting to note, that for the last 5 years, the clock has been at the same “seven-minutes-to-midnight” just like it was after the first atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki that ended World War II.
A crisis is brewing and it is placing the world on edge. We are told that men’s hearts will fail them for fear. Among the thinking men and women of this world, there is a growing apprehension about the future, and a foreboding of trouble. Listen to this incredible statement from the pen of inspiration. This is found in the devotional book Maranatha page 175.
“The time is right upon us when there will be sorrow in the world that no human balm can heal. Even before the last great destruction comes upon the world, the flattering monuments of man’s greatness will be crumbled in the dust.” Does that remind you of the twin towers in New York City? It should. But do you think that is all the flattering monuments of man’s greatness that will be flattened and crumbled in the dust? I don’t think so. Much more is coming, my friends!
“Changing the clock is not something that scientists take lightly,” said CBC News in Canada. “The purpose of the symbolic clock was to “promote their concerns about the danger of nuclear technology to politicians and the public,” said the CBC.
The people who make the decisions about where to place the minute hand on the Doomsday Clock are some of the most prominent scientists and professors in the world. The Board of Sponsors of the Bulletin includes 18 Nobel Prize laureates.. These are not just a bunch of nobodies. They are key thinkers. They are not mere reflectors of other men’s thoughts. These are some the best and most gifted minds in the world. They are in the know. They may not be Christians, but they are certainly concerned about where our world is heading.
The simultaneous announcements in London and Washington included remarks from the English Astronomer Royal, Sir Martin Rees, and world-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking, both of whom are on the Board of Sponsors of the Bulletin. “As scientists,” said Stephen Hawking, “we understand the dangers of nuclear weapons and their devastating effects, and we are learning how human activities and technologies are affecting climate systems in ways that may forever change life on earth.”
“This is a sober and highly alarming judgment by a group of people who are knowledgeable and experienced,” said Nobel laureate John Polanyl, of the University of Toronto, reported the Toronto Star. “The most immediate hazard we face is the most easily addressed, namely the thousands of nuclear-armed weapons aimed at Russia and the United States, and left pointlessly in a state of high alert. The fact that they are is an appalling failure to step back from the brink,” he said.
These men and women are scientists. They don’t normally read the bible, let alone believe in it. Yet these children of darkness are paying attention; not to bible prophecy, but to world events. They are not celebrating, like many of God’s people. Nor are they ignoring the signs of the times. They are concerned! In their own way, they are warning the world of the coming cataclysmic events. They don’t have the advantages that we have in terms of the predictions in the bible, but nevertheless these children of the world sense that the end is getting nearer. Amazingly the scripture even predicts this by saying that the children of darkness are wiser than the children of light. See Luke 16:8. *********Need other text too.
The Toronto Star quoted several other experts. Listen to what they said. “American non-proliferation expert Joseph Cirincione said today’s movement of the Doomsday Clock’s hand was a ‘measurable indicator of how bad things are. If some of the world’s smartest scientists are saying we are now closer to doomsday, it should focus attention on… the urgency of finding solutions.’” “U.S. President George W. Bush’s administration has made the dangers faced by the planet worse,” he said. “They came in determined to make a radical change and they made it. It was a complete disaster. Every member of what they call the ‘axis of evil’ is a greater threat now than it was before they came to power. They thought they could use the blunt instrument of military might to overthrow evil regimes. But instead of intimidating countries, they made things worse.”
By the way, it isn’t just the Bush administration that is warmongering. International and political leaders of all political stripes tend to escalate tensions toward war. It is not partisan politics that we are talking about; it is part of the prophetic scenario at the end of time. No matter who is in power, and though there is ebb and flow in political tensions depending on the angels holding back the winds of strife, the trend at the end of time is still the same. The world is moving toward a cataclysmic war.
The famous Henry Kissinger former U.S. Secretary of State, and three other former American officials said that dependence on nuclear arms was “becoming increasingly hazardous and decreasingly effective…” and said that “the world is now on the precipice of a new and dangerous nuclear era.”
Prophecy tells us that a dangerous age is coming, and now it is here just like prophecy said. Listen to this statement from Evangelism, pg. 29 says, “O that God’s people had a sense of the impending destruction of thousands of cities, now almost given to idolatry.—(Review and Herald, Sept. 10, 1903). If thousands of cities will be destroyed, surely it will include destruction by war and even perhaps, nuclear detonations.
The Doomsday Clock was originally adjusted in response to the waxing and waning tensions between the two superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union. These two powers defined the Cold War and the nuclear threat since they controlled all the nuclear devices in the world for essentially four decades. What kept the Cold War cold no longer applies. Mutually assured destruction (or MAD, as it was called) kept both nations in nuclear balance. But then things began to change. Eventually and inevitably a new crop of countries, dazzled by the possibility of obtaining nuclear technology, have acquired, or are in the process of acquiring the technology to make their own nuclear weapons. But up until recently, the threat of nuclear war has still remained between nation states.
Even as late as 1999 and again in 2001, India and Pakistan threatened each other with nuclear exchange. In more recent times North Korea has threatened the United States with a nuclear warhead missile. The only difference between North Korea and the India-Pakistan threat is that North Korea apparently isn’t quite ready with the warhead, but is working to obtain it. This has a collateral development in which both Japan and South Korea (neighbors of North Korea) want to obtain or develop nuclear weapons of their own. Iran has also been threatening to use nuclear warheads on Israel to “wipe Israel from the map” – according to Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
According to Eugene Rabinowitch, one of the Bulletin’s founders, “The Bulletin’s Clock is not a gauge to register the ups and downs of the international power struggle; it is intended to reflect basic changes in the level of continuous danger in which mankind lives in the nuclear age, and will continue living, until society adjusts its basic attitudes and institutions.”
In other words, it isn’t the day to day political rhetoric or month to month ebb and flow of international relations that is the key indicator of the Clock’s status. He is talking about the political and technological “sea changes” that occur from time to time to the underlying critical elements that keep the world in nuclear equilibrium. Changes in international circumstances and capabilities increase or decrease the threat. These are the things that matter to the Board of Sponsors of the Bulletin.
Let us try to understand the meaning of what Mr. Rabinowitch wrote. The threat of nuclear exchange between nations either by accident, inadvertently or as a deliberate act of war, is still very real. However there is a more sinister and volatile potential which has developed since the end of the Cold War and which has changed one very critical factor in the underlying threat.
With the dismantling of the Soviet Union, their widely scattered nuclear arsenal was up for grabs. Many war heads, bombs and other devices simply disappeared. The rise of global terrorism has brought this issue front and center. Now, some of these missing warheads are believed to be in the hands of terrorist organizations such as al-Qaeda. They have the funding to purchase them, and to “contract” or “arrange” the expensive maintenance costs of such devices to keep them in working order. They even have the capability to transport or smuggle these devices across borders. These terrorist organizations are especially dangerous because they are so unpredictable.
Even more critical is the fact that they don’t have political obligations that a regular nation state would have that would help keep the detonation of a nuclear device in check. In the hands of terrorists, operational nuclear devices perhaps pose the greatest threat of all. This is a very recent development that has changed the threat level significantly. Furthermore, what is to keep former Soviet nuclear scientists from selling nuclear secrets or their skills to the highest bidder? That factor alone creates a very unstable threat risk. Add to that however, that there could well be motivation for hostile governments, such as Iran or North Korea to sell or give nuclear secrets to terrorist organizations. That way when a nuclear detonation does occur, there is no outward connection between the terrorist organizations and the countries that provided the nuclear knowhow.
Another critical sea change in circumstances involves the development of globalism. Borders have become much more porous as a result. This was not the case in 1947. Borders were heavily guarded and people did not move through them as easily. This change however, makes it easier for terrorists to transport fissile material or actual bombs across borders for use within target countries.
Further, globalization has eroded the global agreements that have held the nuclear powers in check and prevented or at least resisted the spread of nuclear technology and weaponry. In 1970 the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) came into force. This treaty essentially was a deal between the nuclear states and the non-nuclear states which said in effect, that the nuclear states would gradually disarm their nuclear war capabilities, in exchange for restraint of the non-nuclear states to not develop nuclear capabilities. In 2005 however, the NPT Review Conference could not come to a consensus on some of the core issues of the treaty.
Iran has violated and continues to violate the terms of the NPT even though it is a signatory. North Korea pulled out of the treaty in 2003 and declared its intention to develop nuclear weapons. The Bush administration has reaffirmed its commitment to nuclear weapons as advantageous militarily. In March of 2006, the Assistant Secretary of Defense, Mr. Peter C. W. Flory, stated that “Nuclear weapons, however, will continue to play a critical role in the defense capabilities of the United States, its allies and friends. Nuclear weapons provide credible military options to deter a wide range of threats, including chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear weapons, and large-scale conventional military forces. And nuclear weapons possess unique properties that give the United States options to hold at risk a wide variety of target classes. Nuclear weapons will retain a vital role in deterring WMD threats, assuring allies of U.S. security commitments, holding at risk an adversary’s assets and capabilities that cannot be countered through non-nuclear means, and dissuading potential adversaries from developing large-scale nuclear or conventional threats.”
In essence Mr. Flory was saying that the United States needs up-to-date nuclear weapons so that it can keep everybody else at risk and in check. Hence the U.S. has stalled its progress toward reduction of nuclear stockpiles and is in the process of modernizing them.
Moreover, a bevy of other nations are developing nuclear weapons or obtaining them. Since the end of the Cold War, India, Pakistan and North Korea have declared that they have them. Israel has them, but has chosen not to declare them. Other nations, as you will soon see, are pursuing them.
Another sea change in circumstances is that of rapid communications which facilitates the spread of technical knowledge of the development, care and maintenance of nuclear devices. Also, the expansion of “dual-use” technologies and materials has increased the potential that materials intended for a useful purpose such as nuclear energy generation, will fall into the dangerous hands of those that want to use them for destructive purposes.
Nuclear terrorism poses a very critically serious risk, as the fissile materials needed for these devices is unsecured in many parts of the world, making them more available to terrorists who would use them for very destructive purposes.
According to the Bulletin, the U.S. and Russia have only succeeded in “finding, consolidating, and securing about half of Russia’s nuclear bombs and fissile material in just over a decade.” Imagine that, only half! That means that the other half is still out there on the loose. Considering the enormous number of nuclear weapons that exist, half of Russia’s arsenal is an enormous amount of destructive potential.
The highly technical expertise to go with these devices is also available for sale. The Atlantic Monthly ran a lengthy article a couple of years ago about Abdul Qadeer Kahn who is the “father” of Pakistan’s nuclear program. While bringing Pakistan into the “nuclear club,” he sold nuclear secrets to North Korea, Libya, and Iran and who knows who else. Pakistan’s president even pardoned him after he confessed to leaking the nuclear secrets. Some friend he is to the United States and other developed countries.
On September 30, 2004, the BBC did an interview with Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, an Egyptian who is the Director General of the International Atomic Agency (IAEA). Dr. ElBaradei was investigating A. Q. Khan’s activities. The interviewer asked him “Do you know the extent of the nuclear proliferation that took place as a result of Pakistan’s scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan… as a result of the technology he sold, the equipment that he sold and the materials that he sold around the world?
Dr. ElBaradei said: “Not fully yet. It’s mind-boggling. All I know is there’s at least more than 30 companies in 30 countries all over the globe involved in this fantastic sophisticated illicit trafficking network with Mr. A.Q. Khan acting as C.E.O.”
In other words, Mr. ElBaradei is suggesting that A.Q. Khan has organized a network of companies, perhaps disguised as legitimate businesses, conducting business with “dual-purpose” materials, but that are perhaps secretly developing nuclear weapons devices that will one day fall into the hands of hostile groups or nations.
When Jesus said that “nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom,” (Matt 24:6) little did his disciples realize what He was talking about. They had no idea It appears that this prophecy is being compellingly fulfilled; and in ways that to most people are unthinkable.
Here is a mighty statement from Pamphlet 120, page 11. ********????? “Soon grievous troubles will arise among the nations, troubles that will not cease until Jesus comes… The judgments of God are in the land…” Now what are those judgments? We have a clear answer from this same passage. “The wars and rumors of wars, the destruction by fire and flood, say clearly that the time of trouble, which is to increase until the end, is very near at hand. We have no time to lose. This world is stirred with the spirit of war.”
Consider North Korea who withdrew from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 2003. The purpose of doing this was so that North Korea could pursue its goal of becoming a nuclear power, with warheads to wage war against the United States, South Korea and other nations. North Korea tested its first nuclear weapon in 2006, three years later. Although there was a lot of pointed condemnatory rhetoric from around the world, the international community has essentially accepted North Korea as a nuclear power. This sends a message to any nation that would aspire to develop nuclear weapons. The message is that the international community is not likely to stand in their way.
There are five countries that are recognized by the Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty as being nuclear armed. Of these the most notable are the United States and Russia which, according to the Bulletin hold 26,000 of the 27,000 known nuclear warheads in the world. To help you grasp these numbers and the destructive potential of so many warheads, the Bulletin added some statistics. These warheads are smaller and yet contain anywhere from 8 to 40 times more destructive force than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan in 1945. One small detonation could easily wipe out a small city of 100,000 people. If as few as 50 of today’s weapons could kill 200 million people, why bother having 26,000 of them?
Here are the events that have changed the clock over the last 60 years. In 1947 the clock was originally set at seven minutes to midnight. In 1949 the Soviet Union tested its first atomic bomb. The clock was changed to three minutes to midnight. Then in 1953 the U.S. and Soviet Union both tested thermonuclear devices within nine months of each other. The clock was then changed to two minutes to midnight. This was as close as it has come to midnight.
In 1960 the clock was changed back to seven minutes because there was a perceived increase in scientific cooperation and public understanding of the dangers of nuclear weapons. In 1963 the U.S. and Soviet Union signed the Partial Test Ban Treaty and the clock was changed to 12 minutes to midnight. In 1960 and 1964 France and China respectively, acquired and tested nuclear weapons, wars were raging in the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent, and Vietnam. So in 1968, the Board changed the clock back to seven minutes.
In 1969 the U.S. Senate ratified the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the clock was changed to ten minutes. Then in 1972 the U.S. and the Soviet Union signed SALT I (Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty) and the clock was changed back to 12 minutes. In 1974 India tested a nuclear device, SALT II talks stalled and the clock was changed to nine minutes to midnight.
1980 brought another change. Deadlock on talks between the U.S.-USSR, increases in nationalist wars and terrorist activity led to another change in the clock, this time back to seven minutes. Then in 1981 the Arms race escalated. There were conflicts in Afghanistan, South Africa and Poland. The clock was changed to four minutes to midnight.
In 1984 the famous “star wars” race of Ronald Reagan prompted another change in the clock to three minutes to midnight. Remember that this was the period of time in which the U.S. was putting a lot of pressure on the Soviet Union in the arms race. It was so expensive that the Soviet Union could not keep up, so it gave up. You may remember that this led to the dismantling of the Soviet Union leaving the U.S. as the only remaining superpower. This was a strategic initiative designed to get the Soviet Union to give up the race. And it worked. Not until recently has there been any discussion or research in space-based weaponry. When there was no more threat from the Soviet Union, the space-based initiative was scuttled. I doubt that President Reagan ever thought that his initiative would be completed. But the change in the USSR also left a lot of nuclear military material and equipment scattered all over the former USSR unsecured. This event ushered the world into the dangerous age we know today including the global nuclear terrorist threat.
Then in 1988 the U.S. and the Soviet Union signed a treaty to eliminate intermediate-range nuclear forces and relations improved. The clock was changed back to six minutes. In 1990 with the fall of the Berlin Wall, the dismantling of communism in Eastern Europe, the Cold War nearing its end, the clock was changed to 10 minutes to midnight. When the U.S. and the Soviet Union signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), the clock was changed to 17 minutes, the farthest distance ever from midnight.
But in 1995 concerns about post-Soviet nuclear proliferation of weapons and brainpower and continual military spending at Cold War levels prompted the Board to move the clock three minutes closer to midnight and set it at 14 minutes. In 1998 India and Pakistan tested nuclear weapons, the U.S. and Russia had difficulty in further reducing nuclear stockpiles, so the clock was changed to nine minutes. In 2002 the U.S. withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and rejected a series of arms control treaties. Remember that the U.S. was the only remaining superpower that had just been attacked by terrorists. It also had an ambitious agenda for geo-political power and influence. Also the dramatic events of 9/11 revealed that terrorists had capabilities that had been only theoretical before 9/11. Furthermore, terrorists were seeking to acquire nuclear weapons. This motivated the Board to change the clock to seven minutes before midnight once again.
Then in January of 2007, because of North Korea’s test of a nuclear weapon, Iran’s nuclear ambitions, a renewed U.S. emphasis on the military usefulness of nuclear weapons and the continued presence of some 26,000 nuclear weapons in the U.S. and former Soviet Union (many of which are unsecured – particularly in the former Soviet Union) the Clock was changed to five minutes to midnight. What is more, the Board assessed the dangers related to global warming which had added a new and unquantifiable dimension to nuclear pressures, and has therefore added climate change to its prospect of nuclear annihilation. Climate change will increase the demand for civilian nuclear power which has the potential to increase the risk of proliferation of weapons grade material. Moreover the global insecurity about oil will also add pressure to the need for nuclear power for civilian use.
One final note. The TimesOnline reported on November 4, 2006 that Six Arab states have joined the rush to go nuclear. Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are seeking the technology for nuclear energy. “The move, which follows the failure by the West to curb Iran’s controversial nuclear programme, could see a rapid spread of nuclear reactors in one of the world’s most unstable regions…” said the Times.
“All [of the countries] want to build civilian nuclear energy programmes, as they are permitted to under international law. But the sudden rush to nuclear power has raised suspicions that the real intention is to acquire nuclear technology which could be used for the first Arab atomic bomb, said the Times.
“Mark Fitzpatrick, an expert on nuclear proliferation at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, said that it was clear that the sudden drive for nuclear expertise was to provide the Arabs with a “security hedge.’” In other words, if Iran is going to have nuclear power (and nuclear bombs), these other nations want it too, in order to protect themselves. In simple terms, they want to have a détente or a mutually assured destruction of the Middle East; a Cold War so to speak, among the Arab countries similar, to the 40 years of Cold War between the U.S. and the USSR. It is truly mad.
“If Iran was not on the path to a nuclear weapons capability you would probably not see this sudden rush [in the Arab world],” he said.
“The announcement by the six nations is a stunning reversal of policy in the Arab world,” said the Times, “which had until recently been pressing for a nuclear free Middle East, where only Israel has nuclear weapons.”
The Doomsday Clock is ticking. How close will it get to midnight? Only God’s clock knows that. God’s clock is the real clock. It is not symbolic, but through prophecy we can track its ticking seconds. He knows just how to slow or advance the things that concern these scientists. I think it is amazing that God even uses worldly unbelievers to speak for Him. The stones are crying out, so to speak. Shouldn’t we be just as awake? I love this about God. He uses secular people to verify what He has said in prophecy. When Napoleon’s general Berthier, an atheist discovered the Rosetta Stone in Egypt, he had no idea that God was using him to verify the accuracy of the biblical record. Now again, these scientists are perhaps completely unaware that they are verifying the biblical prophetic testimony by their actions.
Think about it. Right now there are some serious issues going on politically in regard to nuclear weapons. But these are part of the prophetic galaxy of issues that face our world today.
From Maranatha pg. 174 we read, “Soon strife among the nations will break out with an intensity that we do not now anticipate. The present is a time of overwhelming interest to all living. Rulers and statesmen, men who occupy positions of trust and authority, thinking men and women of all classes, have their attention fixed upon the events taking place about us. They are watching the strained restless relations that exist among the nations. They observe the intensity that is taking possession of every earthly element, and they realize that something great and decisive is about to take place, that the world is on the verge of a stupendous crisis.”
Keep your eye on the Doomsday Clock. But more importantly, keep your eye focused on the bible as God’s revealed word. These events, including the increasing nuclear tensions that have stimulated the change in the Chicago “Doomsday Clock” are really confirmations of what our loving Lord has given us as signs of the times. Your eternal destiny rests on your choices, not on the choices of those that run governments and conduct wars and build nuclear bombs. Your only choice to survive the coming holocaust is to connect yourself with Jesus Christ and gain victory by His life in you over the temptations of this world. That is not say you won’t die before He comes. It is only saying that eternally, you can survive and migrate to that eternal home, in that far country that is waiting for those that love Jesus truly and with all their hearts seek Him daily for their spiritual power.
Let us pray. Father, we pray that we may be shielded and protected by your divine power in the coming world calamity. You have told us in your word that we are headed for perilous times. You have told us that there is no escape for the wicked from the judgments of God. Help us to prepare and be ready for the Time of Trouble. Thank you for your promises of protection to those who love you and live for you. In Jesus’ name I pray amen.
Prophetic Intelligence Briefing
The following is a prophetic intelligence briefing for those who love the appearing of Jesus Christ and are watching the fulfilling prophecies. We can see the signs of the times telling us that we are nearing the world’s great crisis. May the Lord find us faithful.
Our first item this month: Benedict XVI and Evolution
ABC News reported that “Pope Benedict has expressed his views on evolution for the first time in his papacy, saying evolution and religion can coexist.
“The Pope has made the comments in a new book titled Creation and Evolution.
“The Pope has not endorsed the religion-based theory “intelligent design’ which has been criticized for being another version of Creationism.
“He had been thought of as endorsing that view after a recent book written by a former close adviser.
“But the Pope also says the Darwinian theory of evolution is not completely provable because mutations over hundreds of thousands of years cannot be reproduced in a laboratory.”
It seems to me friends, that the Pope isn’t a creationist either. Of course, support for the biblical account of creation isn’t one of Rome’s strong points.
Next: New Law Could Subject Civilians to Military Trial.
“Private contractors and other civilians serving with U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan could be subject for the first time to military courts-marshal under a new federal provision that legal scholars say is almost certain to spark constitutional challenges,” said the Washington Post on January 15, 2007.
“The provision, which was slipped into a spending bill at the end of the last congress, is intended to close a long-standing loophole that critics say puts contractors in war zones above the law…
“Critics have long complained that, unlike soldiers, contractors are rarely prosecuted for their actions, even after evidence surfaced that contractors mistreated prisoners or fired on U.S. troops…
“Under military law, known as the Uniform Code of Military Justice, commanders have wide latitude in deciding who should be prosecuted. Crimes include many that have parallels in civilian courts – murder and rape, for instance – as well as many that don’t, such as disobeying an order, fraternization and adultery.
“…Attempting to hold civilians to the same standards as U.S. troops could be a messy process. It is also likely to raise constitutional challenges: Civilians prosecuted in military court don’t receive a grand jury hearing and are ultimately tried by members of the military, rather than by a jury of their peers. The Supreme Court has struck down civilian convictions under military law, and no conviction of a civilian under the UCMJ has been upheld in more than half a century.
“This looks good on the surface, but it creates far more problems than it solves,” said Stan Soloway, president of… a trade group that represents contractors…
“To try to solve the problem, Rep. David E. Price (D-N.C.) introduced legislation last week that he said would strengthen MEJA (the existing law that covers civilians working in foreign battlefield zones through federal law enforcement), an option he considers superior to using military law. ‘Military law is not appropriate for civilians,’ Price said. “The constitutional questions just confuse the issue.’”
This article of which I have quoted a part reflects yet another challenge to the constitutional protections which protect American citizens from the government. The trouble is that this issue is muddied by the fact that so many private contractors work for the U.S. military. But as you can see, there are serious constitutional questions that get entangled when prosecuting civilians under military law. The more the Constitution is challenged, the less it will be seen as an adequate document for America’s needs. That has serious implications.
Next: Pentagon and CIA Expand Intelligence Role in U.S.
Historically, the military has been barred from conducting surveillance and intelligence gathering inside the USA. The posse comitatus law ensures that the military cannot intervene in domestic affairs. But the age of terrorism has opened the door to the erosion of this constitutional principle.
The International Herald Tribune reported on Jan 14, 2007 that “The Pentagon has been using a little-known power to obtain banking and credit records of hundreds of Americans and others whom it suspects of terrorism or espionage inside the United States, part of an aggressive expansion by the military into domestic intelligence gathering.
“The CIA has also been issuing what are known as national security letters to gain access to financial records from American companies, though it has done so only rarely, intelligence officials say.
“Banks, credit card companies and other financial institutions receiving the letters usually have turned over documents voluntarily, allowing investigators to examine the financial assets and transactions of U.S. military personnel and civilians, officials say.
The FBI has been the agency that is involved in domestic investigations not the CIA. They have issued thousands of national security letters since 2001.
“But it was not previously known, even to some senior counterterrorism officials that the Pentagon and the CIA had been using their own “noncompulsory” versions of the letter.
“The military and the CIA have long been restricted in their domestic intelligence operations, and both are barred from conducting traditional domestic law enforcement work. The CIA’s role within the United States has been largely limited to recruiting people to spy on foreign countries…
“Some national security experts and civil liberties advocates are troubled by the CIA and military taking on domestic intelligence activities, particularly in light of recent disclosures that the Counterintelligence Field Activity office at the Pentagon had maintained files on Iraq-war protesters in the United States in violation of the military’s own guidelines…
“There’s a strong tradition of not using our military for domestic law enforcement,” said Elizabeth Rindskopf Parker, a former general counsel at both the National Security Agency and the CIA, who is dean at the McGeorge School of Law at the University of the Pacific. “They’re moving into territory where historically they have not been authorized or presumed to be operating.”
“Similarly, A. John Radsan, an assistant general counsel at the CIA from 2002 to 2004 and now a law professor at William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, said: “The CIA is not supposed to have any law enforcement powers, or internal security functions, so if they’ve been issuing their own national security letters, they better be able to explain how they don’t cross that line.” We should recognize that the time may be coming when branches of the military will address civilian issues especially when this involves large numbers of people scattered all over the nation.
Next: Lutheran Apology
Christianity Today reported in the February issue that, “The Evangelical Lutheran church in America (ELCA) apologized in November on behalf of forebears who persecuted Anabaptists. Martin Luther and other 16th-century reformers argued that civil authorities should punish Anabaptists. The 1530 Augsburg Confession, a landmark Lutheran text, condemned Anabaptists for saying children could be saved without baptism. But the ELCA Church Council said the condemnation does not apply to today’s Mennonite Church USA. The council expressed hope that the apology will strengthen bonds between Lutherans and modern-day Anabaptists.”
Seems like the ecumenical movement is continuing at all levels. While it is good to apologize, often the purpose behind the apology has more to do with ecumenical ties than past treatment.
Next: The Bankrupt Can Tithe
Christianity Today’s February issue reported that “The U.S. House of Representatives voted in December to allow debtors in Chapter 13 bankruptcy to tithe. The bill responds to a New York court’s August ruling that a 2005 federal bankruptcy reform bill bars middle-income debtors from making charitable contributions. The Senate previously passed the bill, and President Bush is expected to sign it.
Next: North American Union.
Apparently the attempts to integrate the nations of Canada, the United States and Mexico are moving along quietly – that is, by Stealth.
According to Judicial Watch, a public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, a meeting in Banff, Canada in September of last year was held to discuss issues pertaining to the integration of the three nations. Documents released by the Pentagon, indicate that there is a quiet program underway to bring about integration of the three countries without full disclosure and public debate.
Judicial watch commented on the notes of the meeting. “The notes for the presentations document the need to overcome popular opposition to North American integration: ‘…While a vision is appealing working on the infrastructure might yield more benefit and bring more people on board (‘evolution by stealth’),’” said judicial watch.
In other words, the concept is that by building an infrastructure between the three countries, transportation, economic, legal, etc, the way will be paved for the people to accept the idea of an integrated North America which can then be created without much opposition.
According to The New American, of March 5, 2007, a periodical that documents constitutional threats, the notes indicate that Pedro Aspe, who was a co-chair of the event, argued that integration could occur only when the income gap between Mexico and the United States is narrowed.
Of course, the only practical way that could happen is to lower the average income of the citizens of the United States. That of course is in process already.
Apparently, according to the notes released, Aspe remarked that “Bad things/crisis are likely to happen and without a regular connectivity there will not be a way to address responses.” Aspe then apparently noted, “European integration was driven by crisis,” implying the possibility a crisis may be manufactured to induce integration. “Perhaps more chilling,” said The New American, according to the documents, Aspe noted that the infrastructure reforms needed to achieve more thorough North American integration “cannot be fully market driven.”
Apparently Mr. Aspe believes that the only way to get an integration of the three countries is to use more forceful means, and by “stealth.”
Next. Utah opposes North American Union.
The New American of March 5, also reported that the The Utah House of Representatives on February 6 passed a resolution urging the United States “to withdraw from the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America and any other activity which seeks to create a North American Union.”
“The resolution, which now awaits action in the Utah state Senate, states that “the Gradual creation of such a North American Union from a merger of the United States, Mexico, and Canada would be a direct threat to the United States Constitution and the national independence of the United States and would imply an eventual end to national borders within North America.”
Next: Trying to Scare Americans into Silence.
On November 29, 2006 the New York Sun reported on Newt Gingrich’s speech at the Nackey S. Loeb First Amendment award dinner on November 27 in New Hampshire.
“A Former House speaker, Newt Gingrich is causing a stir by proposing that free speech may have to be curtailed in order to fight terrorism.
“We need to get ahead of the curve rather than wait until we actually literally lose a city, which I think could literally happen in the next decade if we’re unfortunate,” Mr. Gingrich said Monday night during a speech in New Hampshire. “We now should be impaneling people to look seriously at a level of supervision that we would never dream of if it weren’t for the scale of the threat.”
“Speaking at an award dinner billed as a tribute to crusaders for the First Amendment, Mr. Gingrich, who is considering a run for the White House in 2008, painted an ominous picture of the dangers facing America.
“This is a serious, long-term war,” the former speaker said, according to an audio excerpt of his remarks made available yesterday by his office. “Either before we lose a city or, if we are truly stupid, after we lose a city, we will adopt rules of engagement that use every technology we can find to break up their capacity to use the Internet, to break up their capacity to use free speech, and to go after people who want to kill us to stop them from recruiting people.”
Mr. Gingrich acknowledged that these proposals would trigger “a serious debate about the First Amendment.” He also said international law must be revised to address the exigencies posed by international terrorists.
So, now because of terrorism, free speech is under assault. One day, perhaps, it will be impossible to spread the warning message for this time through traditional means of communication. What do you think?
Next: Britain’s New Law Limiting Religious Teaching
Great Britain has recently passed a law severely restricting all schools, businesses and organizations from teaching or practicing their faith in regard to sexual orientation.
For example: “Under the new Sexual Orientation Regulations, it will be illegal for a teacher… to state that homosexual activity is morally wrong,” said the National Catholic Register, April 8, 2007. “A teacher could be prosecuted if a pupil were able to claim that, by teaching the sinfulness of homosexual activity, the teacher had discriminated against him and caused him to feel hurt or humiliated.”
The vagueness of the law will certainly create an environment of fear in which teachers will not be able to teach certain bible principles for fear of being prosecuted.
The legislation also affects a whole range of other activities including adoption agencies, requiring them to offer children for adoption by homosexual couples. It also affects private businesses that offer goods and services of any kind. For example, photographers or wedding caterers who publically offer their services, would be required to do the photography for or catering for weddings of homosexual couples. Bed and Breakfast owners could not decline a double bed to two homosexuals.
The legislation was passed through the House of Commons Committee, “Opportunity for serious debate was denied,” said Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor.
The House of Commons was not given an opportunity to have a full debate on the regulations but only a single vote late one night when few members of Parliament were able to be present,’ said the Register.
While this issue will certainly concern the Roman Catholic hierarchy, it should concern God’s church too. Will there come a time when laws will be enacted in which other distinctive truths of God’s word will be effectively banned, such as certain prophetic teachings, because someone might “feel discriminated against, or feel hurt or humiliated? Accusations of this kind can be constructed for the most trivial reasons, but with the powerful and pointed message of God for these last days, it is entirely conceivable that even religious organizations or individuals will be restricted in teaching the message of God in its entirety.
Satan is working hard to bind up the work so that God’s message cannot be given without great risk. Imagine a jail sentence for teaching that Rome is the Antichrist of Bible prophecy, or that the fourth commandment must be kept as it is written in scripture.
Britain may well set a precedent by this new law. While it is dealing mainly with sexual orientation, once established, will laws restricting other expression of faith or teachings and practices be made?
Next: Churches Call for Unity Under Pope
News.com reported on February 19, 2007 that a report was released by the Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission, saying that “The Roman Catholic Church teaches that the ministry of the Bishop of Rome as universal primate is in accordance with Christ’s will for the Church and an essential element of maintaining it in unity and truth.”
According to The Times, the report says, “We urge Anglicans and Roman Catholics to explore together how the ministry of the Bishop of Rome might be offered and received in order to assist our communions to grow towards full, ecclesial communion.”
While this news releases created quite a stir in the media, the two churches downplayed the significance of the report released by the commission, suggesting that it is nothing more than what the two churches have been exploring for a long time.
The dangerous ecumenical movement is designed to bring all churches under the authority of the pope in the name of Christian unity. Many churches and their leaders and people feel insecure about their teachings, and are anxious to “reconcile” with Rome. They have not followed the light to the fullest and most mature understanding of the truth for these last days, so they cannot see that they are giving up what they historically fought so hard to obtain. They are yielding up their religious independence step by step and correspondingly losing their influence.
Next: Montenegro Enters the Vatican Orbit
For the first time Montenegro has appointed an ambassador to the Vatican. According to Zenit, Jan. 22, 2007, “Benedict XVI encouraged dialogue with the Orthodox and Muslim communities in Montenegro when receiving in audience that country’s first ambassador to the Holy See.”
“The Pope also called for full recognition of the Catholic community in Montenegro when Antum Sbutega’s (the new ambassador) presented his letters of credence today.”
“In his address, the Holy Father,” said Zenit, “encouraged relations with the majority Orthodox community and described Montenegro, bridge between Eastern and Western Europe, ‘as a privileged place of that ecumenical encounter desired by all.’”
Montenegro became an independent state June 3, 2006 when a referendum yielded a 55% vote for severing ties with Serbia. Now Montenegro takes the steps to align itself with the Vatican by establishing diplomatic relations on December 16, 2006 and appointing an ambassador who was accredentialed to the Vatican on January 22, 2007.
Next: Christians Call for Partnership Against Poverty
In good ecumenical style a good number or churches have banded together to fight poverty. The Adventist News Network reported on September 14, 2005 that “Churches and governments must pursue partnerships to eradicate extreme poverty if the Millennium Declaration of 2000 is to meet its 2015 deadline, faith leaders, who met at a two-day summit at the Washington National Cathedral, said in a communiqué.
“Religious leaders from a wide range of denominations crafted and signed the communiqué outlining steps for governments and churches to take in building a global movement to help the poor…
“‘This is an urgent call and one that responds to the cry of the least among us – the voiceless,’ said Pastor Rajmund Dabrowski, communication director of the Seventh-day Adventist world church, and a participant in the consultation. ‘It’s a cry for justice to be done, and for equitable redistribution and accountability for the wealth the world has. As Christians, we know this cry, but we also know that much more must be done and that intentions must be turned into actions…
“The call for action against poverty came from a ‘consultation of Religious Leaders on Global Justice and Reconciliation, a new initiative of the Cathedral College of Washington National Cathedral which is part of the Episcopal Church USA. Among the participants in the consultation was the former Archbishop of Canterbury, George Leonard Carey, as well as other leaders of world Christian communions.”
“The partnership aspect,” said Dabrowski, “as identified in the communiqué, puts Adventists, along with other faith communities in a position of doing a better job in working together in the arena of common needs…”
Perhaps you remember that during the pontificate of John Paul II, he continually and consistently called for the redistribution of wealth from wealthy nations to poverty nations. This has been part of the Vatican agenda for many years. Rome knows that if wealth is transferred from wealthy protestant nations to poor Roman Catholic nations, much of it will come eventually into the hands of the Roman church.
The process of wealth transfer is already happening in North America, Australia and some other places through free trade treaties and agreements that have removed trade barriers and sent millions of jobs out of these countries and into developing countries, like Mexico and other Latin American countries. It is gradually stripping the developed nations of their middle class, and reducing their personal and national wealth. But it has not had the effect of increasing the wealth of those nations that have been the recipients of such largess.
While some of these manufacturing jobs are going to India, Thailand, and a few other places, this does not worry Rome. What is important to Rome is to reduce the wealth of the protestant nations so that they can be manipulated more effectively under the control of Rome.
While it is appropriate for us to do what we can to relieve the necessities of the poor, joining in “ecumenical partnerships” to do this work simply leads the churches involved into the orbit of Rome. This deceptive process is gradually bringing the churches closer to unity with Rome’s social agenda, and ultimately to her power agenda – the control of the world.
Well, our time has run out… Until next time, may God bless and keep you and your family in His loving and protecting care as we near the end. Keep the faith!