By Pastor Hal Mayer
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My friends, closely tied to the elevation of the Ten Commandments in the public arena in the United States lie the first ten amendments and the core tenants of the Constitution which have given religious liberty and other crucial freedoms to its citizens for 230 years. The Constitution also provided a model for other western countries to follow and this gave rise to unprecedented historical freedom in the modern world.
Yet those very freedoms are on the verge of being extinguished. As terrorism and the war on terror expands in new directions, opportunities for abuse of executive power by the President, a permissive congress, and an expanding economic uncertainty have created conditions ripe for a strategic turn in religious politics. And now with a new religious and conservative environment in the Supreme Court, the last bastion of protection of religious freedom may be coming to an end. Many of God’s people resonate with some of the moral principles of the conservatives in government, and when you think about it, but considering that the erosion of the main underlying principles of the U.S. Constitution in the last few years have come from conservatives, it is already quite clear that it is a conservative government in the U.S. that will likely bring in the final challenge to religious liberty.
I have for a long time wanted to address the issues related to the erosion of the principles of the Constitution of the United States but have decided to wait until the Supreme Court, which largely deals with these questions, has had its retiring and deceased justices replaced by the President and the Senate.
Now that John Roberts and Samuel Alito have been confirmed to the Supreme Court, the time has come to analyze the questions no one asked. Will the new supreme court allow the nation to enact Sunday laws and other repressive religious laws long predicted in scripture? Will the new conservative environment on the court bench bring about changes that will lead to the loss of religious liberty and the rise of religious persecution in the United States as the Bible predicts?
It is important to note that the Constitution of the United States plays an important role in prophecy, and is vital to maintaining a free society. The Bible and Spirit of Prophecy predict that this will change, and the land of the free will become a land of persecution leading other nations to do the same.
Before we begin, let us pray. Our Father in Heaven, we are in a time of impending developments that will challenge your people to their inner core. It is vital that we have moral stamina that will hold us through the coming time of trouble. Please help us overcome our sins. Give us convictions that will help us stand when the world turns against us. May we be able to see in the great movements in our world the harbinger of Jesus’ return. And it is in Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Turn with me in your bibles to Revelation 13. Here we see the rise of the lamblike beast which is the United States of America. It changes, and becomes like a dragon, deceiving the world and removing the religious liberties of those who do not worship the image of the beast. Let us read from vs. 15 – 17.
“And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”
“Here is wisdom…” the scripture says in vs. 18. When we understand the meaning of these words, we will be able to see the coming crisis and wisely prepare for it through the grace of Christ. All prophecy in scripture is reliable and will for certain come to pass. It is only a matter of time. But it is a matter of spiritual insight to see it. I pray that you and I will see it coming and prepare for it spiritually. God gives us prophecy so that His church will understand ahead of time, specifically, what will come to pass. All scripture, and prophecy in particular is written for the sake of God’s church, small and defective as it may be. The large and important movements in this world are permitted so that God can reveal Himself through the small remnant of His people. But many of God’s people don’t care about the coming crisis. They only care that they aren’t disturbed. If their safety is affected, they are willing to yield their liberties. They don’t pay attention to the unfolding events as if their eternal destiny depends on it. And some even scoff, as if these important messages are no longer relevant.
Now let me read a very famous statement from the Spirit of Prophecy to remind us of the problem we face. It is found in the 5th volume of the Testimonies, page 451. “By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near.”
Obviously the final act which completely collapses the protections of the Constitution of the United States is the Sunday Law. My friends, we are in the run-up to this final act. That act cannot happen without important coordinated changes in other areas of government and politics. It cannot happen without all the other principles of the Constitution being eroded. It cannot happen without there being a change of legal philosophy concerning the Constitution.
Before we go any further I want to make a point that has perhaps been missed by many. At the same time that Islamic fundamentalism and extremism have increased, there has also been a great increase in Christian religious zeal. The relationship is directly proportional. The stronger the one becomes, the more aggressive and zealous the other becomes. Often, in the last few years, the war between radical Islam and the west has been characterized like the crusades – Christian nations against Islamic nations or people. Regardless of the label, the Bible tells us that this world is headed for Armageddon which has spiritual and physical properties. It will exacerbate the spiritual crisis of God’s true people, even as it destroys large numbers of people and hundreds, perhaps thousands of cities in the path of its destruction.
In the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States, the environment of fear has made the impossible, possible. Now dramatic changes can be made in the foundational principles of the Constitution of the United States with much greater success than before September 11. Since then, American citizens are quite ready to give the President of the United States enormous power over their lives. The leaders of other nations can do the same. And the President along with his peers in other western nations, has not failed to improve on that opportunity. He has been very aggressive in taking unprecedented powers to the presidency in the name of fighting the war on terror. Meanwhile, the Constitution has been largely stripped of its protections of citizens rights. Most of these are directly related to the Constitution, every principle of which, prophecy tells us, will be repudiated.
Let me ask you a question. Would it be possible for Satan to bring God’s people under persecution in whatever country in which they live, if there isn’t a change in the protections of their privacy and the freedoms they have enjoyed? You see, religious ideas are the domain of your inner private thoughts. Unless the government can claim the right to control your thoughts, it cannot control your religious beliefs or practice.
It is impossible for Revelation 13 to be fulfilled without the development of the (presently unconstitutional) ability to spy on, secretly detain, limit the rights, and prosecute in unconstitutional ways, those that the government defines as enemies of the state. Without the ability to do these things and more, it is impossible for God’s people to be prevented from buying and selling. Unless the government is led to develop the ability to differentiate between those that are loyal to God and those that are loyal to Satan, based on their religious beliefs and practices, it will be impossible to enforce Sunday laws and other restrictions of liberty. The tools for this differentiation are being developed in the name of fighting terror. Once these systems are in place and generally accepted by the public, they can then more freely be used against new targets of the law, particularly those who refuse to go along with future laws concerning Sunday observance. Western nations such as Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and the nations of Europe are also seeing similar changes and the removal of their civil protections.
Here is an important statement that needs to be understood in light of these things. It is from the fifth volume of the Testimonies, page 452. “While men are sleeping, Satan is actively arranging matters so that the Lord’s people may not have mercy or justice. The Sunday movement is now making its way in darkness. The leaders are concealing the true issue, and many who unite in the movement do not themselves see whither the undercurrent is tending.” Did you hear that? The secret Sunday law movement is working to prevent justice and mercy for God’s true people who refuse to obey the coming religious laws!
To properly understand the Constitution’s current crisis it is necessary to understand the history of how the Constitution came about. There were two revolutions that occurred in the late 18th century. One of them was the French Revolution and the other was the American Revolution. Both were an attempt to throw off tyrannical governments. But there were vast differences in their approach. First the French threw out the Bible and religion all together and the result was chaos and bloodshed. I recommend that you read the chapter on the French Revolution in the book Great Controversy. You’ll find this enlightening. You will learn, among other things, that the French Revolution was largely caused by the abuses of the Church, and that it was a reaction to Roman Catholicism. Thousands of priests were slain along with nobility and commoner alike.
The Americans however saw what happened during the French Revolution. They realized that religion was a stabilizing force in society, but that it had to be separated from government in order to prevent the abuses that had occurred in the old world under the Holy Roman Empire controlled by the Papacy. Their revolution was tempered by Protestant principles developed in old England, and it resulted in a stable nation that would one day become a tremendous world power. Their constitution was a response to the abuses of the church, particularly the Inquisition, and of the state. But it was also an effort to prevent the usurpation of temporal power by the church.
In contrast with the Inquisition the American Constitution provided protections so that its citizens would never experience the evils of church craft in their country. The Roman Church and the Inquisition were intolerant of any differing opinions concerning spiritual and physical matters. The American Constitution was a response to that intolerance. It provided liberty of conscience and separated church and state so that every citizen could believe what he wanted and practice his religion according to his conscience. The U.S. Constitution provides the right of free assembly, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of worship, and many other liberties, all of which Rome and the Inquisition prevented through prosecution of thought which Rome claimed the right to control.
Especially is the Constitutional system of justice established as a response to the principles of the Inquisition. Under the Inquisition, the defendant did not have the right to know his accusers or the accusations against him. The U.S. Constitution provides those rights. The Roman Inquisition was a tribunal system which had no court of appeal. The U.S. system of justice has an elaborate system of appeals courts that provides the opportunity for review of the principles of cases heard in lower courts. Under the Inquisition, the accused was assumed guilty. It was only a matter of discovery or inquiry to determine the measure of his guilt. The U.S. Constitution provides an assumption of innocence unless evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, produced in court, leads to conviction.
Under the Inquisition the accused had a right to legal counsel, but under its rules, the legal counsel could also be accused of heresy and tried before the court, making that “right” a shell with no substance. The U.S. system of justice provides for protected legal counsel. Under the Inquisition, the defendant did not have the right not to witness against himself. The U.S. Constitution provides that a defendant does not have to witness against himself. Under the Inquisition the accused did not have the right to an impartial jury. The system was controlled by a tribunal that controlled every aspect of the process and the outcome. Under the Inquisition, the defendant could be in prison for long, extended periods of time without trial, including time in interrogation and torture. The U.S. Constitution provides for due process, a speedy trial and makes torture tactics illegal. Every last one of these protections are under major assault right now.
These last two points are particularly relevant right now considering the recent debates concerning detention, secret prisons and torture tactics used by the military and CIA to interrogate prisoners. This practice has been defended by the Bush administration as a necessity in the war on terror, even though coerced testimony is known to be unreliable and is against the law both in America and in international treaties. The American people for the most part, have also essentially agreed that these tactics are important.
The U.S. Constitution also gave the American people some other very great principles including a limited Federal Government, a concept of a republic that is in direct opposition to the Papal concept of the divine right of kings. The U.S. Constitution also provided for the separation of church and state and true religious freedom. A good number of other governments modeled their constitutions in respect to religious freedom along the same lines as the American Constitution.
All these things and more have been relatively stable features of the U.S. Constitution until after September 11, 2001. That is not to say that there hasn’t been an undermining process going on before that. But since September 11 there has been an avalanche of changes that threatens to destroy the continuity of the U.S. Constitution. Astonishingly, Americans are not that concerned about these changes. Yes, there is discussion in the press concerning them because they are controversial, but the controversy does not carry broad based support against these changes, thanks to the fear of more terrorism.
The Supreme Court was designed to protect against the government taking too much power unto itself and making oppressive laws that would jeopardize the liberties of its people. But a time is coming when even the Supreme Court will not protect specific religious minorities against laws that will remove their right to believe and worship according to their consciences. The changes taking place right now in American law in the name of fighting terrorism, once accepted and once gotten used to, will one day be expanded to include those that do not fit in with new religious laws requiring Sunday observance. Furthermore, Sunday laws will likely be enacted in the environment of a national or international emergency when fear and emotionalism will drive the citizens to pressure their legislatures to enact them.
The United States has largely been a two party system throughout most of its history. There are liberals and conservatives divided largely, though not exclusively, into two camps known as democrats and republicans respectively. The balance of these two groups has generally kept America from swinging strongly to the left or the right constitutionally for most of its history. In politics, we need a balance of liberals and conservatives to prevent a strong swing one way or the other. Gradually however, over the years there has been a more secular liberal bent on the Supreme Court as well as other levels of courts, which has given rise to a legal environment that supports or even encourages certain evils, such as abortion, gay marriage, the radical feminist movement and other imbalances.
Religious leaders consequently began to get more involved in politics and a movement developed to oppose the secularization of American life and these deviations from historical American culture. There has been a growing movement to elect leaders that will support traditional moral values. When the nation came under severe economic and political pressure in the wake of the September 11 attacks, this movement became much stronger, as Christian’s were told that the attacks had something to do with the secularization and immorality of America’s culture. Conservatives, over the last few years have been elected to government more often than liberals. Even strong liberals like Hilary Clinton are trying to reposition themselves as more conservative in the hopes of helping their chances of getting the votes they want.
In contrast, President Bush has been very careful to paint himself as a conservative religious person whose religious beliefs and his relationship to God help guide his government policies and practices. He meets for prayer every week with religious leaders, both Catholic and Protestant, and to discuss issues that affect the U.S. government.
The overall result has been a shift away from liberal agendas and a strong movement to create a legal environment that would support and promote a more conservative culture. It is interesting that this is happening during a major resurgence of Islamic conservativism and radicalism
The timing of the two open seats on the Supreme Court could not have been more important to the conservatives. President Bush eventually nominated John Roberts for the position of chief justice when William Rehnquist died. John Roberts, a practicing Roman Catholic and a conservative, added to the strength of the influence of the Roman Catholic Church on the court. Then President Bush nominated Samuel Alito, another practicing Roman Catholic to take the place of retiring justice Sandra Day O’Connor. The confirmation of both of these two men has created a situation where there are, for the first time in history, five Roman Catholics on the Supreme Court, largely assuring a Roman Catholic bent to their conservative views. It is interesting to note that though only 10% of Supreme Court justices have been Roman Catholic throughout American history, the Roberts court essentially opens with 56% Roman Catholic when only 24.5% of the U.S. population is Roman Catholic. This disproportionate percentage should catch our attention. It reveals how seriously the Bishops have taken their responsibility to influence those who make nominations and those that confirm them. Furthermore, it also reveals their effectiveness in penetrating the higher echelons of power. And lastly it reveals how effectively the ecumenical movement has muted the voice of Protestants in the United States. The National Catholic Register of February 12, 2006 enthusiastically pointed out that “Catholics have suddenly achieved an unprecedented level of ascendancy in Washington.”
In any case, you can be sure that President Bush consulted with the Bishops when considering nominations to the court. No doubt the Bishops wanted Roman Catholic nominees, who would more likely vote in line with church teaching when the real issues are placed on the table.
Roman Catholicism teaches that those of its members who are in government leadership must make decisions in harmony with church, or canon law. If not, they can be subject to church discipline. That makes a practicing Catholic more dangerous than a non-practicing one. In the most recent presidential elections, there were priests and bishops who refused to give communion to politicians or those who supported candidates who were in favor of abortion. I believe that we will see more of this in the future. But for now, it is important to realize that we have seen big changes in the legal environment in the United States that should be a warning to us concerning the future.
While it is easy to assume that Roman Catholic judges on the Supreme Court will consistently vote in harmony with Canon Law, this is not always the case. Some of the court’s Catholics are not really very conservative. Yet when the nation is traumatized, terrorized and emotionalized, it will not be difficult for even the liberals on the court to back a Sunday law. And they will find or develop a legal doctrine to support it.
Whatever the case, to be sure, this is a day for which Rome has longed. But having five Roman Catholics on the court is not the only problem. The four other members of the court are also religious people. And though they are not Roman Catholic, two of them are evangelical and ecumenical. Though two are Jews, they are liberal. Even if they were faithful Sabbath keepers, they cannot overcome a strong Sunday keeping majority. They may even favor oppressive laws against Sabbath keepers when the circumstances requires it, particularly if the Sabbath doesn’t mean very much to them.
Remember, the job of the Supreme Court is to uphold the Constitution. When the time comes, and the nation is traumatized, and God’s people are sufficiently villainized in one way or another, the Supreme Court will no doubt be used to support oppressive legislation against them. When a Sunday law is agitated again, it would take enormous judicial courage, perhaps more than they could gather, to prevent it. But more likely, the court will come up with some legal logic that circumvents the Constitution similar to what President Bush uses to justify spying on Americans, engaging in torture, and other violations of the Constitution and international law.
In fact Judge Alito is known for his strong support of executive power at the expense of individual liberties. Alito, “is exactly the kind of legal thinker President George W. Bush wants on the U.S. Supreme Court,” reported the New York Times, January 23, 2006. “He has a radically broad view of the President’s power, and a radically narrow view of Congress’s power… He wants to reduce the rights and liberties of ordinary Americans, and has a history of tilting the scales of justice against the little guy.”
On January 26, the New York Times published another article. “[By] portraying the Alito nomination as just another volley in the culture wars vastly underestimates its significance. The judge’s record strongly suggests that he is an eager lieutenant in the ranks of the conservative theorists who ignore our system of checks and balances, elevating the presidency over everything else. [Alito] has expressed little enthusiasm for restrictions on presidential power… His much quoted statement that the President is not above the law is meaningless unless he also believes that the law requires the chief executive to defer to Congress and the courts.” Alito’s track record gives little comfort that he would help to restrict presidential power.
The Times article went on to address the appointment of John Roberts. “Chief Justice John Roberts… has already given indications that whatever he said about the limits of executive power when he was questioned by the Senate has little practical impact on how he will rule now that he has a lifetime appointment.”
This is serious, my friends. When the test comes, and the faithful of God are a small minority, don’t expect the Supreme Court to protect their rights. When the President overrides the Constitution to restrict their religious liberties, the court will likely defer to him, even if his executive order is patently in violation of the Constitution. Whatever their views on abortion, neither Roberts nor Alito are the kind of men who will tilt the court toward protections for tiny religious minorities. Both men are quite young and will be around a long time.
Let’s see if we can summarize. September 11 created the opportunity to strongly erode the principles of the U.S. Constitution. It also added strength to the developing religious and conservative movement. Now President Bush successfully nominates two conservative Catholics to the Supreme Court. Do you think we are going to see more changes in the U.S. Constitution in favor of forming the image of the beast? You can be certain of it.
The questioning of John Roberts and Samuel Alito during their confirmation hearings mostly centered around their views of abortion, women’s rights, civil rights especially related to racial issues, executions of the innocent, and the like. John Roberts said that the abortion law labeled “Roe vs. Wade” is settled law, but did not say how he would vote in cases brought before the court, that might actually unsettle that law. But Alito refused to disavow an earlier opinion that the Constitution does not guarantee the right to an abortion. Though the National Catholic Register stated that Judge Alito “will bring more consistency to the court on issues of religious freedom,” there is little evidence that he would protect small minorities. Sweeping public issues related to religious liberty such as the display of the Ten Commandments in public areas, will no doubt get a boost from Alito and Roberts, but when the real issues of the Sabbath and Sunday are brought to the forefront, these men are not going to deviate largely from the majority view in society. Also, they will not likely deviate from their Catholic perspective.
There were also questions about the separation of powers. John Roberts did get some questions concerning separation of church and state, but they were not directly on the issue of religious laws that would restrict liberty. Both judges were vague in their answers and left many in congress with the feeling that they didn’t get much information concerning how they would vote. These “hot-button” issues however obscured the deeper more fundamental questions that should interest every true follower of Christ.
The question no one asked, and for which there may be no perceived reason to ask, has to do with how their Catholic views would affect their decisions when religious zeal and political entanglement of church and state leads to the sacrifice of the most basic principles of the way man worships his God. This is probably because the Sunday law is not the issue on their minds, it didn’t occur to the questioners to investigate what every Roman Catholic Pope, Jesuit, Cardinal, Archbishop, bishop, and priest would know; these men would likely support Rome’s primary objective, according to prophecy, to enact legislation in America and the other nations of the world to enforce her authority by Sunday laws.
But this should be on the minds of all who love liberty and freedom of religion. It is well known that Rome never changes. Rome’s history of dealing with those she considers to be heretics is also well known. But today, no one seems to be asking the question, what would Rome do if given the opportunity to enforce Sunday laws, particularly in nations that have a history of freedom? This issue certainly did not underlie the questioning of John Roberts and Samuel Alito.
Think about it for a minute. Rome has gotten very close to the most recent series of U.S. presidents, even though none of them have been Roman Catholic. They do this through behind-the-scenes contacts in the White House (even showing up in pictures with the sitting President in the press now and then); they do it through prayer breakfasts, high profile papal visits, and continual priestly contacts throughout the government. And when it will bring greater influence, the priests even go public and create controversy, as seen in the demonstrations and protests concerning the U.S. immigration problem.
To understand the impact of this, one only needs to look at the way in which the current and former presidents attended the funeral of Pope John Paul II. No doubt the funeral was a key opportunity for the bishops to connect in a very intimate way with the leaders of the nation, further cementing their influence on American public life. Rome, at the moment, has a very strong representation of her adherents in the congress of the United States as well, totaling 29% of the present congress. That is a very large influence! In the current conservative environment, it is likely that these numbers will grow. More than that, there are a vast majority of Sunday keepers in congress. In fact, 99% of the non-Catholic members are Sunday keepers, most of them from ecumenical denominations that are friendly to Rome and would not fight a Sunday law under the right circumstances. My friends, this is a significant and dangerous moment in U.S. politics.
Having a Catholic majority on the Supreme Court of the United States is a prize long sought by Rome. She understands that this is the capstone of influence she holds over the government of the United States, a nation that was founded on anti-Roman Catholic principles. This coup de tat is not much publicized in the press, nor was it debated in congress. It was treated as if it is the most normal thing in the world. And perhaps now it is. But this is fraught with danger for those who love God’s truth and keep His Sabbath. Whatever the case, Catholic publications are gloating about it.
Listen to this statement from the Testimonies, Volume 5, page 712. “When our nation shall so abjure the principles of its government as to enact a Sunday law, Protestantism will in this act join hands with popery; it will be nothing else than giving life to the tyranny which has long been eagerly watching its opportunity to spring again into active despotism.”
There are two trends which have developed in more recent years that will be interesting to watch in the new court. Sandra Day O’Connor and other justices believed that the Constitution is a living, evolving document which can change with changing times. This is a serious matter. If the Constitution is changeable, then how can it be expected to continue to defend the principles of freedom that it once upheld. In an environment of fear, it is evident that even the Constitution is no barrier to change, but if the justices believe that it is changeable, that is the same as saying that they believe that they have the right to change it.
Imagine what could happen in a court dominated by Roman Catholics. Could there be attempts by the Supreme Court to reinterpret the Constitution of the United States in harmony with Canon Law? Actual wording changes require that there be a process of ratification involving all 50 states. However, changing the wording of the Constitution is generally not necessary. It is more likely that changes will come in the form of interpretation. That is why there were some questions asked of John Roberts and Samuel Alito concerning their views of interpretation. Both of them claimed that they would interpret the Constitution according to the original intent of the founders. But will their votes end up being consistent with Canon Law which is diametrically opposed to the Constitution?
Perhaps here is another question that no one is asking. Will the court go beyond original intent and allow current conservative views to influence their interpretations of the Constitution? In other words, will these two judges interpret the Constitution according to the original intent of the founders of the United States, which was strongly against Catholic principles, or will they reinterpret the law quite differently than did the fathers of our nation more in line with today’s conservative Christian views, particularly Catholic views.
Conservative Christians claim that they want the courts, especially the Supreme Court, to interpret according to original intent, but in reality would likely urge the court to go beyond original intent and become far more narrow than even the founding fathers.
Once Judge Alito was confirmed, he wrote many thank you letters to those who congratulated him. One of them was to James Dobson of Focus on the Family, a strong evangelical Christian. Dobson had enthusiastically asked his 2 million radio broadcast listeners to pray for Alito during the confirmation process. In the six-paragraph letter he thanked Dobson for his support. He wrote, “As long as I serve on the Supreme Court, I will keep in mind the trust that has been placed in me.” On his broadcast, Dobson read the entire letter and said that support of Samuel Alito had affected history. “It makes a difference,” Dobson said, “And in this case, it absolutely affected history because partial-birth abortion is now being considered by the Supreme Court.” In other words, Judge Alito is our man.
The letter created quite a bit of controversy because it appeared to defenders of liberty that Alito was saying, in code words which both sides could understand, but which would not violate judicial ethics, that he would be supporting the religious conservative agenda in future rulings. While there is debate about the meaning of the language in Alito’s letter, there is no doubt that the religious conservatives feel that they have their man in Court, and that he will support their objectives.
Judge Alito, who has a history of being opposed to abortion, during the confirmation hearings refused to say that the liberal abortion laws based on liberal interpretations of the Constitution would not be reviewed or even changed. All he would say was that “Roe v. Wade is an important precedent of the Supreme Court.” This says nothing about what he would do if faced with a decision to limit abortions. It may mean that he will likely be willing to re-examine the matter when it comes to the attention of the Supreme Court in the future. The Supreme Court does have an historical precedent of overturning historical precedents. If the current court deems that the historical precedent of Roe vs. Wade is merely historical and no longer relevant to American society, what would stop the court from overturning it? Day by day, step by step, America is getting closer and closer to overturning its abortion laws. Some states have even enacted strong legislation in recent months severely limiting abortion, setting up a Supreme Court challenge that will be reviewed in the coming months. Both justices and all the others will be forced to come out in the open concerning this matter. While that will be interesting to watch, and while it is a good thing to restrict abortions, this issue may give us some insight to what might happen in the future when other conservative issues, like Sunday observance become greatly debated in the public arena.
Another troubling issue is the court’s assessment of the power of the Presidency. Does the President, during war time, have extraordinary powers to limit the rights of citizens concerning free speech, detentions, the right to a speedy trial by jury of peers, etc? Samuel Alito appears to have a history of siding with the government and big business. This is especially dangerous when a President is taking more and more unconstitutional powers to himself as President Bush has openly done since Sept. 11, because the Supreme Court, at least with John Roberts and Samuel Alito on the bench, could easily begin to support that kind of power grab, and thereby jeopardize the Constitution even further.
Another important issue is the right to privacy. Alito told the senators that he “generally” believes the right to privacy. To believe strongly in the right to privacy is quite different from generally believing in the right to privacy. I suspect that Judge Alito is likely to be willing to allow more invasion of privacy as a matter of government surveillance in the future. This would not bode well for God’s people when they become the enemy within. With the surveillance technology today, your emails and phone calls, including your most intimate conversations with your closest friends can easily be monitored. Someday soon I will do a sermon on the current serious and secretive erosion of privacy, but in the mean time, suffice it to say that the technology exists to monitor almost your every move and almost your every communication if the government desires to do so.
The Supreme Court has two new justices, both practicing Roman Catholics and both conservative in their philosophy. While the nation and the world focused on issues like abortion, we need to pay attention to the questions no one asked. How will the appointment of these two men to the Supreme Court change its liberal direction and how will that effect our religious liberties eventually? Incidentally, there is another elderly member of the court that could retire before the end of the term of President Bush. Justice John Paul Stevens is now 85 years of age. It is entirely possible that he could retire in the near future. He is a Protestant. When he does retire, will he be replaced with yet another Roman Catholic? We’ll have to wait and see. And while we watch, let us pray that God will intervene according to His will in protecting His true church.
I am amazed at how rapidly we are coming to the final crisis. These things may be scary my friends, but remember that if you are under the shadow of the Almighty, you don’t need to fear. If you are in the secret place of the most high, the second apartment of the sanctuary, living by the Ten Commandments and having your sins pass on into judgment through Jesus Christ, you will be under the care of Christ Himself.
“The agencies of evil are combining their forces, and consolidating. They are strengthening for the last great crisis. Great changes are soon to take place in our world, and the final movements will be rapid ones.” That’s from the Testimonies, vol. 9, p. 11.
In a future presentation, we will look at more of the specific changes that are taking place in the Constitution. In the mean time my friends, let us come close to our Savior Jesus. Let us repent of our sins and learn to live by the Ten Commandments in everything. We don’t have much time left. Satan is marshalling his forces. Please, please don’t neglect so great a salvation. Jesus is waiting for you. He loves you and wants to save you. He is keeping heaven’s door open just a little longer so that you can get ready. Now is the time, my friends, to secure our preparation to heed Jesus’ appeal found in Isaiah 26:20, “Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.”
Let us pray. Dear God, thank you for showing us where we are in time. Your people are not ready, we are not ready for the overwhelming crisis that is predicted in your word. Father, through Jesus I ask you to help us overcome our sins and live for you. May we enter the Most Holy Place in the heavenly sanctuary by faith, where Jesus is, so that we can have our sins blotted out and live in the light of His presence and be sheltered by His protecting arm. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.
For those of you receiving the CD version of this message, the following is a current events update of interest to those who 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.
Mad Cow in America Again
This time it was in Alabama. “The nation’s third case of mad cow has been confirmed on a farm in Alabama” reported the New York Times on March 14, 2006. “It did not enter the animal or human food chains,” said Dr. John Clifford, chief veterinary officer for the Federal Government’s Agriculture Department. The cow was perhaps 10 years old according to its teeth. “The Department will now try to trace where the cow was born and find other members of its birth herd, which presumably ate the same feed,” said the Times.
I want to ask, how many cows in that 10-year-old cow’s birth herd may have had the disease, but were slaughtered and processed long ago, and have passed into the food chains?
“Consumers Union said the find of a third infected cow ‘underlines the need to take additional precautions.’ The [Consumers Union] wants a ban on feeding restaurant waste, sweepings from chicken coop floors and cows’ blood to cows,” reported the Times.
It seems amazing to me that Americans are still doing things that endanger the health of cattle and subsequently humans that eat them, when there is much evidence that these very practices are the foundation for the diseases we have seen develop in other countries. Aren’t you glad that you don’t eat cow?
The Agriculture Department was only testing “one out of every 10,000 cows slaughtered,” said the Times. “Over the last 18 months, the Agriculture Department has tested 650,000 animals — about one in 90 — and has found three cases of the disease.”
That’s amazing! If you do the math, that means there are approximately 58.5 million cattle in the U.S., meaning that 270 cows potentially had the disease over the last 18 months. How many cows were slaughtered before any manifestations of the disease were found? Is it possible that there is a lot more mad cow disease out there than the Agriculture Department and the meat industry is willing to admit? Is it possible that more of it is getting into the food chain than was previously suspected or reported? Remember, the prion that is the cause of the disease cannot be killed by autoclave or other forms of sterilization. A butcher knife that may have cut the spinal cord or brain, can easily contaminate other body parts that get into the food chain.
Our next item is also about health.
Bird Flu, Coming to a farm near you.
“March 13, 2006. In a remarkable speech over the weekend, Secretary of Health and Human Services Michael Leavitt recommended that Americans start storing canned tuna and powdered milk under their beds as the prospect of a deadly bird flu outbreak approaches the United States,” reported ABC News. “Ready or not, here it comes,” ABC said, “It is being spread much faster than first predicted from one wild flock of birds to another, an airborne delivery system that no government can stop. ‘There’s no way you can protect the United States by building a big cage around it and preventing wild birds from flying in and out,’” said Michael Johanns, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.
“U.S. spy satellites are tracking the infected flocks, which started in Asia and are now heading north to Siberia and Alaska, where they will soon mingle with flocks from the North American flyways,” said ABC News.
Now here comes the punch line. Richard Lobb of the National Chicken Council said, “All the birds involved in it would be destroyed, and the area would be isolated and quarantined. It would very much [look] like a sort of military operation if it came to that.”
Amazing! A little virus, turning the United States into a military zone? But that is what is being said. Already precautions are being taken at many U.S. chicken farms.
Meanwhile, bird flu continues its march around the globe, infecting birds in Burma, Cameroon, Egypt, Niger, Afghanistan, virtually all of Europe and Scandinavia, parts of Northern Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. It won’t be long and it will be on every continent including north and south America. The fear of course, is that the deadly H5N1 virus will mutate into a form that can easily transmit from human to human. Officials are recommending that people stock up on provisions in case there is a need to keep people in doors for extended periods of time.
Our next item concerns ID cards in Britain
The House of Lords, reported the BBC on March 16, 2006, overturned a proposal of the House of Commons to make biometric ID cards mandatory in Britain, for the third time. Now government ministers are threatening to use the Parliament Act to get the bill through without the Lords’ approval.
The Home Secretary Charles Clarke said passports were “voluntary documents” that no-one was forced to renew. The BBC said that critics were concerned that the proposed ID bill poses a “risk to freedom” and that the bill amounted to “compulsion by stealth.”
“Ultimately,” reported the BBC, “if the deadlock continues, the Commons has the option of using Parliament Act to force the measure through despite the Lords’ opposition.
Keep watching, Britain may yet get a law requiring all passports to become biometric with data stored on government databases.
Next: A Battle over Abortion is Brewing in the U.S.
Just in time for the new Supreme Court, South Dakota’s Governor Michael Rounds “signed into law the nations’ most sweeping state abortion ban on Monday,” reported the New York Times on March 7, 2006, “an intentional provocation meant to set up a direct legal challenge to Roe v. Wade, the 1973 United States Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal.”
“The law,” continued the Times, “makes it a felony to perform any abortion except in a case of a pregnant woman’s life being in jeopardy.” Mr Rounds, a Republican, said it was the “right thing to do. The law will force a legal showdown before it ever comes into effect, an outcome its supporters, eager to overturn Roe, intended,” said the Times.
Other states have been emboldened and similar bills have been proposed in at least 6 other states including Ohio, Georgia and Tennessee. “In Mississippi, an abortion ban with exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother passed the House… In Missouri, legislation that would outlaw all abortions except to save the life of the mother was proposed last week,” reported the Times.
“Some, including those that led efforts to pass the ban in South Dakota, said they considered this the ideal time to return the central question of Roe to the Supreme Court. State Representative Roger Hunt, who sponsored the bill in South Dakota, pointed to the appointments of Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., both conservatives, and what he described as the ‘strong possibility’ of the retirement of Justice John Paul Stevens in the near future and the naming of a conservative as his successor,” said the Times. “This is our time,” said Mr. Hunt.
While many of us would be glad to see substantial changes in the law concerning permissive abortions, some of these new state laws are way beyond what even most conservative Americans want. I wonder what would happen once momentum gets started. Would other conservative issues like worship laws become so politicized that they too would be taken beyond what most people think to be just and appropriate? Keep watching, we are seeing a substantial shift in American politics.
Next: Cashless in Britain
“Supermarket customers are being offered the chance to pay for their shopping by using a fingerprint” said the BBC, March 8, 2006. “Three Co-op stores in the Oxford area are offering the service, which is said to be the first of its kind in Europe. It means that shoppers do not need to carry cash or cards to the supermarket and need not remember chip-and-pin numbers.”
The new system “allows customers to have a finger scan linked to their bank details so payment for goods can be taken directly from accounts,” said the BBC.
But what shocked me was that the BBC said that “the payment system is already in use in the U.S. where nearly 2.5 million shoppers have signed up.” I didn’t know that, did you? Where in the U.S. are 2.5 million shoppers using their finger prints to pay for purchases?
It is free to use for customers, who can register at home on the Internet or at the participating stores,” according to the BBC. Could we soon have the ability to bypass the ID card or coordinated driver’s license all together? How easy would it be to link the fingerprint to government databases and record all sorts of information about customers, way beyond their buying patterns?
Next: Holocaust Moves to Chad
After World War II the world vowed that it would not let genocide happen again. But since then there have been episodes of genocide in Bosnia, Cambodia, Rwanda which have shown how pitifully inept the U.N. and other organizations are at stopping genocide.
But now genocide is happening again. Arab militias, known as janjaweed, have been killing, raping and destroying the Darfur region of Sudan. They are financed by the Sudanese government, according to the New York Times of March 20, 2006, to “cleanse” Darfur of blacks. The world stands by and allows this tragedy to happen.
The United Nations has described the carnage in Darfur as the world’s biggest humanitarian crisis but continues to prove itself completely useless at doing anything to stop it,” said the Times.
Many of the displaced Sudanese people have moved to Chad thinking they would be safer there. But now janjaweed has been going across the border after them. They have unleashed their fury on small villages in Chad killing burning and raping. Their hatred seems to know no bounds. The villagers in Chad are just “waiting to be massacred,” said the Times.
Most of the Sudanese are Christians. The Islamic Sudanese government is determined to rid the nation of non-Muslims and hence the genocide. But now it appears that they are attempting to go beyond Sudan.
War is one of the terrible predictions of Jesus concerning the end times. Islam is on the move, and often those who are victimized by it are the most vulnerable.
Next: Torture More Wide-spread than Originally Thought
This is from the New York Times, March 19, 2006
“As the Iraqi insurgency intensified in early 2004, an elite Special Operations forces unit converted one of Saddam Hussein’s former military bases near Baghdad into a top-secret detention center. There American soldiers made one of the former Iraqi government’s torture chambers into their own interrogation cell. They named it the Black Room.
“In the windowless, jet-black garage-size room, some soldiers beat prisoners with rifle butts, yelled and spit in their faces and, in a nearby area, used detainees for target practice in a game of jailer paintball…
“Placards posted by soldiers at the detention area advised, “NO BLOOD, NO FOUL.” The slogan, as one Defense Department official explained, reflected an adage adopted by Task Force 6-26: ‘If you don’t make them bleed, they can’t prosecute for it…’ Prisoners at Camp Nama (as the site was called) often disappeared into a detention black hole, barred from access to lawyers or relatives, and confined for weeks without charges. “The reality is, there were no rules there,” another Pentagon official said.
“The story of detainee abuse in Iraq is a familiar one. But the [new] account of Task Force 6-26, based on documents and interviews with more than a dozen people, offers the first detailed description of how the military’s most highly trained counterterrorism unit committed serious abuses.
“It adds to the picture of harsh interrogation practices at American military prisons in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as well as at secret Central Intelligence Agency detention centers around the world.
“The new account reveals the extent to which the unit members mistreated prisoners months before and after the photographs of abuse from Abu Ghraib were made public in April 2004, and it helps belie the original Pentagon assertions that abuse was confined to a small number of rogue reservists at Abu Ghraib.”
The Times article then continued to explain how the story came about, and the terrible treatment of the detainees at the prison camp. The New York Times report made it very clear that the Bush Administration grossly understated and misrepresented the scale of the abuse. It also pointed out that secret prisons are essentially grand torture chambers, where even the Red Cross are barred from reviewing activities. The military continues to hide behind a cloak of secrecy, even to defying Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld’s instructions that some documents related to the abuse be released, according to the Times.
My friends, Revelation 13 says that the lamb-like beast will become like the dragon. We can see this clearly when America imbeds torture and abuse in its policy of dealing with enemies. Let us remember that Rome used torture for centuries to maintain a stranglehold of power over those living under its control. Governments that use torture to protect or extend their power, will inevitably become dictatorships. First the torture is used on external enemies. Once firmly imbedded in policy and practice, and accepted by the bulk of its citizens, the government will then move to the torture and mistreatment of its own citizens to quell discontent, opposition and even religious dissenters. One only needs to look at China, the former Soviet Union and its eastern European satellites, and many Islamic nations for an insight into what unbridled power will inevitably bring to western nations as the Spirit of God is slowly withdrawn from the earth, and from the hearts of men.
Last but not least: Benedict XVI Advocates Sunday Rest
On the third Sunday in Lent, the day before the feast of St. Joseph, the patron saint of working people, Benedict XVI said that though work is good, “it is indispensable that man not allow himself to be subjected to work, that he not idolize it, intending to find in it the ultimate and definitive meaning of life,” reported Zenit, the Vatican News Agency. “On the point, the Pope affirmed that ‘biblical teaching on work finds its coronation in the commandment to rest…
The Pope’s homily on work, included a significant discussion on the Ten Commandments and the importance of the commandment to rest. “The Sabbath is a holy day, namely, consecrated to God, in which man understands better the meaning of his existence and also of his work activity,” the Bishop of Rome said. He quoted from the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church which says, “To man, bound to the necessity of work, rest opens the perspective of a fuller liberty, that of the eternal Sabbath. Rest allows men to remember and relive God’s works, from the creation to the redemption, recognize themselves as His work to give thanks to him who is their author for their life and their existence.”
Benedict XVI continues in the tradition of John Paul II in elevating Sunday as a day of rest. Though the word Sunday is not mentioned in the homily, it is nevertheless understood to be the meaning of the Sabbath which Rome changed from Saturday to Sunday without a shred of biblical support, and which she claims as her right.
Pope Benedict XVI improves every opportunity to send his Sunday observance message persistently and consistently. Don’t think that people aren’t listening. The day will come when it will become a hot issue in the politics of many countries.
It is interesting to me that in this context, the Ten Commandments Commission, made up of Protestants and Jews for the most part, is pushing for the Ten Commandments to be recognized in their spheres of influence just like Benedict XVI is promoting it in his.
Well my friends, that’s all we have time for this month. God bless you until next month, and Keep the Faith.
Closely tied to the elevation of the Ten Commandments in the public arena in the United States lie the first ten amendments and the core tenants of the Constitution.