Sunday Law by Stealth! – Update
By Pastor Hal Mayer
Dear Friends and Fellow Believers,
Warm Christian greetings to all our listeners and readers. This month our sermon will address the topic of how to understand certain types of prophetic developments. It also includes a follow up report to our March sermon entitled Sunday Law by Stealth!
Those who have been watching events unfold in the Christian world know that the close of human probation is near. The signs are obvious! Many nominal Christians are afraid that western civilization with its Christian roots is nearing its end and will fragment and be destroyed. They think that they must do something to rescue it. Their minds and hearts are ready for suggestions. When a crisis comes that touches their lifestyle and their familiar surroundings, a Sunday law, implemented to regain the favor of God, will not seem distasteful to them.
The sermon Sunday Law by Stealth! is only one in a long legacy of sermons by Keep the Faith Ministry on prophetic developments in our time, all of which, as our regular listeners know, urge character development, victory over sin and preparation for the coming crisis and the second coming of Jesus. That is our primary purpose at Keep the Faith Ministry. As the sermon ricocheted around the world by email to thousands of families who do not receive our regular sermons on CD, it became the focus of discussion and controversy. The events reported in that sermon stood out much more than other events which we have analyzed in the past. But put in context of the overall prophetic developments taking place in our world, it is only one of many.
We pray that the sermon aroused many to work for souls, for the night is coming. We hope that this message has not been lost in the controversy. Preparation is a spiritual matter which should be undertaken regardless of unfolding events. “A storm is coming, relentless in its fury,” says God’s messenger to the remnant, “Are we prepared to meet it?” Testimonies for the Church pg 315. We must not sleep as do others. We are children of the day, not children of the night. (1 Thess 5:5) Therefore Paul says, “knowing the time… it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.” Rom. 13:11. The Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy are abundant in their warnings to get ready, to stay awake and to watch and pray. We must not remain in idle slumber, or live like those who were destroyed by the flood or in the fire and brimstone of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Prophetic developments should stir God’s people very deeply. If you have a knowledge of the end times such as is found in the book Great Controversy and 5th volume of the Testimonies for the Church, you will understand current events in a unique way. Armed with this context, these events take on new significance, a new power. Those who have been paying attention realize that there is a hastening of events and that western civilization has turned an important corner. The prophetic viewpoint opens a depth perception that pulls at my soul to prepare, to get more oil in my lamp. Fulfilling prophecy speaks powerfully to this last generation of the nearness of the close of probation.
In light of tense world political relations, severe economic challenges in the U.S. and other places, substantial advances in the ecumenical movement, and the recent papal visit to the United States and its President, among other things, many true-hearted souls yearn to know how prophecy is being fulfilled. They sense that we are near the end, and want to keep abreast of prophetic developments. Keep the Faith Ministry provides a free, monthly end-time sermon on CD, which often includes an analysis of current events in light of prophecy plus our well-known Prophetic Intelligence Briefings. These briefings, by the way, are on CD only and are not posted online. You may request a free CD subscription by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 540-672-3553, or by writing to Keep the Faith Ministry, Locust Dale, VA 22948, USA. Our next sermon (July 2008) will be an analysis of the Papal visit to the United States.
So let us begin with prayer. Dear Father in heaven, I want to thank You for Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross for us. We thank you that we have a great High Priest that has entered into the heavenly Most Holy Place to conduct the final atonement. Thank You for Your patience with us and Your mercy. We need to know that You are by our side in every difficulty. We need Your power to prepare us for the coming time of trouble. We earnestly pray that Your Holy Spirit will enlighten us as we look at the prophetic developments in the world that tell us that Jesus is coming soon. In Jesus name, Amen.
There are several important issues that I want to cover in this sermon to address concerns raised about the Sunday Law by Stealth! sermon. First we need to understand the conspiracy against God’s true people. Secondly, we need to understand how a Sunday law would likely develop. Thirdly, we need to understand whether and under what conditions we should involve ourselves in Christian political organizations. Fourthly; we will look briefly at how we should gather information about end-time events. Fifthly, we will look briefly at how we should spiritually respond to prophetic developments in our time. And Lastly, I will share with you our research into the details of the secret meeting that allegedly took place in November of 2007 as we reported in the Sunday Law by Stealth! sermon. These are all key issues related to questions and concerns raised about the sermon. Remember this is a sermon, so I’m going to be appealing to you personally to get ready for Jesus’ coming.
You also need to know that this sermon has been researched and edited by a team of more than 15 people to whom I am very grateful and indebted for their assistance. We want to be sure that you get the very best, so we chose a number of objective and open-minded people to conduct research, review the evidence and make their recommendations based on their honest perceptions.
The Conspiracy Against God’s People
My friends, we are living in the most powerful of times. There are serious developments taking place, but many of us don’t understand how serious they really are. We must not assume that prophetic developments are all on the surface and can be seen; and that anything that cannot be seen cannot be true because it cannot be documented.
Listen to this statement from Scripture. It is found in Psalm 94:20, 21. The Bible says: “Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law? They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood.” The throne of iniquity is the place where the mystery of iniquity rules in this world. Satan, the grand conspirator, according to Revelation 13, is working with the Papacy to establish his power in this world. The throne of iniquity is in Rome and the Papacy is making mischief by consistently working to get Sunday laws passed wherever possible. Benedict XVI (as John Paul II before him), regularly urges observance of the Lord’s day (or Sunday) as a day of rest,” such as when he spoke at the Eucharistic Congress in Italy shortly after he was elected Pope, and more recently in Austria in September of 2007.
Some fear discussion of conspiracies because they think that they belong to wide-eyed, paranoid lunatics or fringe elements of society. But the Bible pulls back the curtain and reveals to us the mother of all conspiracies, both supernatural and human. Though it is not profitable to research and expose every conspiracy in the world—and there are certainly many—there is one conspiracy that we all need to understand very clearly. Satan is operating one side of the great controversy, and it involves his agents in the world; some we see, and some we don’t. There is no dispute that this conspiracy against God’s true people is terribly real, and like it or not, it involves you.
The Vatican has always had two faces, one that is political and one that is religious. Any political organization has two levels of activity, some on the surface and some behind the scenes. In the case of the Vatican, this takes on extra significance and power because the religious component is commingled with the political. Her religious goals also have a strong political side to them. Ellen White makes this clear in particular regarding the papacy. She says: “It is a part of her policy to assume the character which will best accomplish her purpose; but beneath the variable appearance of the chameleon she conceals the invariable venom of the serpent.” That is Great Controversy, page 571.
The Vatican is not required to publish its behind-the-scenes efforts to make ready for a Sunday law, or prepare for its promotion. She can hold meetings, public and private, secret or open. It is prophecy and history that tell us that there is a secret element to Rome’s plans. It is still part of Rome’s hidden agenda to bring about a Sunday law in the United States of America.
Notice what Great Controversy, page 573 says; “In the movements now in progress in the United States to secure for the institutions and usages of the church the support of the state, Protestants are following in the steps of papists. Nay, more, they are opening the door for the papacy to regain in Protestant America the supremacy which she has lost in the Old World. And that which gives greater significance to this movement is the fact that the principal object contemplated is the enforcement of Sunday observance—a custom which originated with Rome, and which she claims as the sign of her authority. It is the spirit of the papacy—the spirit of conformity to worldly customs, the veneration for human traditions above the commandments of God—that is permeating the Protestant churches and leading them on to do the same work of Sunday exaltation which the papacy has done before them.”
Rome can encourage them and work with them quietly because she knows that they have her same spirit. Rome is not likely to advise other churches of her activities behind the scenes until they can be safely brought into the circle of discussion without damaging her plans. Secret meetings and activities are the stuff of political machinery, and they go on all the time, to make plans and impose laws or policies that suit the leaders. We only hear about them after their implementation. There are many examples in recent times. For instance, in 2007 there was a secret meeting between the Pope and the President of the European Parliament Hans-Gert Pöttering just one day before an angry Papal speech to European bishops chastising Europe for being in a form of apostasy and urging Europe to return to its Christian roots. If you would like a free copy on CD of our sermon ask for “Germany Infuriates the Pope.”
Since September 11, 2001 the American administration has had secret meetings and made secret plans, and issued secret memos, and then implemented unconstitutional measures over and over again. As recently as April 4, 2008, the Washington Post reported on secret memos written by John Yoo, a justice department lawyer, in 2001, justifying harsh interrogation techniques (which amount to torture), long detentions without due process, military intervention in domestic terrorism (which violates the fourth amendment), etc. And when these practices were finally discovered, some, many months, and even years later, the Administration justified them in the name of fighting the war on terrorism. These are just a few of many examples of secret arrangements to accomplish certain goals. For more information, request our sermons, Without Justice or Mercy, Architects of a New America, The Rise of the Surveillance State, and Torture and the U.S. Constitution.
Why wouldn’t today’s Vatican, being a political organization as well as a religious one, comport secretly with other Christian agencies and political organizations to accomplish her political and religious purposes? Remember she is friendly and tolerant where she is helpless so that she can gain the confidence of the churches and the political leaders of nations. Let me read it to you from Great Controversy, pg. 565. “The pacific tone of Rome in the United States does not imply a change of heart. She is tolerant where she is helpless. Says Bishop O’Connor: ‘Religious liberty is merely endured until the opposite can be carried into effect without peril to the Catholic world…’”
I have never heard of a conspiracy that does not involve secret meetings and maneuvering. Many conspiracies operate, to some extent, out in the open, But there are always secret elements to conspiracies that start processes that are not generally comprehended before their consequences become public. They are like the underground pressure that builds before a volcano erupts. You can’t see evidence on the surface for a long time, except for a little steam that blows off now and then. But as the time gets nearer for the real event, there is a gradual increase in earth tremors, swelling of the volcano “cap” and finally a grand eruption that blows fire and smoke into the atmosphere.
How will a Sunday Law Likely Develop?
Could a Sunday law happen quickly, or will it take a long time to put it in place with lots of public debate? Though we don’t know when a Sunday law will be publicly agitated, there are indeed efforts to bring this to the forefront. We have documented these in previous sermons and will continue to do so in the future (for more information ask for our sermon Calling for Sunday Rest). However, there is important evidence that suggests it might not take long at all if conditions are right. Yes, there will be public debate particularly in the later stages. But a strong national sense of emergency and fear can easily turbo-charge the process. If it is anything like what happened after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 in the United States, it may not be difficult, particularly if there are those who have been maneuvering behind the scenes all along in preparation. Once established and accepted, there will be a process of intensification. Sunday laws will at first be mild, but will increase in severity over time. We don’t know how long that will take, but we are told that “the final movements will be rapid ones.” 9T 11.
Ellen White gives us a thumbnail sketch of how a Sunday Law will likely develop. In Great Controversy, page 589 and 590 she gives a long list of terrible disasters that Satan will be allowed to inflict upon the world, “until populous cities are reduced to ruin and desolation.“ This includes storms, earthquakes, disease, famine, etc. “These visitations…“ she wrote, “are to become more and more frequent and disastrous.” This will also likely involve serious national economic distress. Notice what happens next. “And then the great deceiver will persuade men that those who serve God are causing these evils. The class that have provoked the displeasure of Heaven will charge all their troubles upon those whose obedience to God’s commandments is a perpetual reproof to transgressors. It will be declared that men are offending God by the violation of the Sunday sabbath; that this sin has brought calamities which will not cease until Sunday observance shall be strictly enforced; and that those who present the claims of the fourth commandment, thus destroying reverence for Sunday, are troublers of the people, preventing their restoration to divine favor and temporal prosperity.”
Fear can make people do things they would not normally do. If conditions are right, a few words from national leaders could easily push them in any direction their leaders want them to go. And a few words from religious leaders can easily generate strong calls to national lawmakers to “protect Sunday as a day of rest” and enact a Sunday law. That is why it is so important to Rome to be in a position to influence national leaders. They know that in a crisis, people look to their religious leaders for guidance. Right now the world is involved in a serious economic crisis, food shortages are starting to effect even western countries, and global warming is being said to change weather patterns that could cause serious disasters. If these things become more pronounced as they most likely will, there could be stronger efforts for spiritual solutions very quickly.
In the months following 9/11, fear of more terrorist attacks provided a fertile opportunity for the American administration to reinterpret the Constitution of the United States to disrupt the balance of power, freeze assets of target individuals and organizations so they cannot legally buy or sell, detain suspects indefinitely without access to lawyers, allegations and court proceedings; implement presumption of guilt of terrorist detainees; torture them in secret prisons, use unconstitutional surveillance on American and non-American citizens, and much more. Most of it was defended successfully when it came to light. These things came down in an environment of unprecedented fear, most by secret meetings, secret memos and secret directives and decrees, not by public debate. We have had a demonstration of how quickly civil liberties can be eroded in other areas important to the U.S. Constitution. Why not with religious liberty? It is not unreasonable for planning meetings to first be held in small hotel rooms with handfuls of leaders that are brought into the inner circle of plans laid by religious and political organizations.
A classic example of this was in 1982 when John Paul II and Ronald Reagan met privately in the Vatican Library and began a “clandestine campaign to hasten the dissolution of the communist empire,” as reported ten years later by Time magazine, February 24, 1992. “This was one of the great secret alliances of all time,” wrote the author, Carl Bernstein. When the Polish communist regime collapsed, leading to a chain reaction from Warsaw and Bucharest, including the dismantling of soviet communism, the fall of the Berlin wall and the reunification of Germany, many only saw the speed at which these movements happened, but did not know, until exposed by the seminal Time article that the rapid developments had been orchestrated and augmented by secret meetings, secret maneuverings and back room operations. We would be foolish to think that this could not happen today concerning the Sunday Law. If Rome and the United States could work together to undo Russian control of Eastern Europe, could they not also work together today to bring about the prophetic assault on God’s church, a far more important and delicate target? Was the secret maneuvering in the 1980s proving ground for the cooperation needed at the beginning of the 21st century? When Popes and Presidents meet in private, they lay secret plans to help each other accomplish their respective goals. They don’t waste their political capital on mere friendly exchanges.
The current avalanche of changes to the U.S. legal system was implemented, it seemed, almost overnight. The rapid changes led many to wonder if the new laws and practices had been previously prepared. Is it possible that a Sunday law or a series of Sunday laws are being prepared now, particularly since prophecy actually points out that the movement is secret and underhanded?
There is another possibility that could be used to implement a Sunday law that many may not see. The word “decree” is often used in connection with enforcement of the false sabbath in the Spirit of Prophecy. For example in the 5th volume of the Testimonies for the Church, page 464, the author uses this term. “As the siege of Jerusalem by the Roman armies was the signal for flight to the Judean Christians, so the assumption of power on the part of our nation, in the DECREE enforcing the papal sabbath, will be a warning to us…”
A decree is not necessarily a law that has been passed through congressional process in the normal way. It could begin as a secret executive order, and then be processed through Congress, just as some of the secret decrees after 9/11 were implemented. If, for example, martial law was imposed in the United States after a major terrorist attack or disaster, the President could issue an executive order requiring Sunday rest, followed then by legislative action to change the U.S. Constitution. This is just one of a number of scenarios.
Is the United States being worked from behind the scenes to prepare for a Sunday worship law? Statements in the Spirit of Prophecy seem to indicate this. For example, in the 5th volume of Testimonies for the Church, page 452, God’s messenger says, “God has revealed what IS to take place in the last days, that His people may be prepared to stand against the tempest of opposition and wrath… 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.”
This statement was from the time period when a Sunday law was developing in the late 1880s. Please notice that the author says emphatically that God has revealed what IS to take place in the last days. While it is true that this statement applies to her time, it also applies to ours. And the merciful purpose of God in revealing these things to us is so that we may be prepared for the tempest of opposition and wrath that will surely come.
Notice too that the leaders are concealing the true issue. While the Sunday law movement will eventually take on a public profile, it will likely begin in secret. Many writers concede that the scenario presented in the Spirit of Prophecy will actually take place at some point, but they often write as if it is in the distant future and as if there is going to be a long drawn out process. Hence, when someone suggests that a possible secret meeting occurred dealing with Sunday laws or “protecting the Lord’s Day” (as it is put now), some react in disbelief to such a disclosure as if it were impossible. Please don’t be sleeping on this issue my friends.
A Sunday law was being agitated in 1887 through about 1889 in the United States. It involved the “Blair Amendment,” a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution which, if passed, would have enforced in the United States the observance of Sunday as a day of worship. A. T. Jones helped to defeat this bill in Congress.
There is a very clear Spirit of Prophecy statement that comes from that time. It is from the Review and Herald, December 24, 1889: “I have been much burdened in regard to movements that are now in progress for the enforcement of Sunday observance. It has been shown to me that Satan has been working earnestly to carry out his designs to restrict religious liberty. Plans of serious import to the people of God are advancing in an underhand manner among the clergymen of various denominations, and the object of this secret maneuvering is to win popular favor for the enforcement of Sunday sacredness. If the people can be led to favor a Sunday law, then the clergy intend to exert their united influence to obtain a religious amendment to the Constitution, and compel the nation to keep Sunday.”
Most members of God’s church would acknowledge that what happened in the 1880s could easily happen in our day, including secret and underhanded maneuvering. The clergy will likely try to lead the people to favor a Sunday law, which suggests that they are working to that end. To them it is part of the plan to bring America back to God. Their efforts will eventually be enhanced by fear of natural disasters or other events that they can use to suggest that God is angry with America and wants the nation to repent and return to Him. While many churches are uniting around issues such as abortion, euthanasia, environmental protection and other matters, they are laying the groundwork, perhaps unknowingly, to work together for the passage of Sunday worship laws in Congress, in violation of the law of God. This is consistent with history and prophecy.
The arguments of the National Reform Association in the 1880s are strikingly similar to the arguments used today for making the United States a Christian nation. Any real effort today to establish a Sunday law would surely begin in secret just like it did back then, for the nation is not any more religious now than it was then. Ellen White gave us a clear warning about what will happen in our day by showing us what happened in hers. This is very similar to how God uses the stories of the Bible as ensamples unto us “upon whom the ends of the world are come.”1 Cor. 10:11.
Should We Become Involved in Christian Political Organizations?
Is it a denial of one’s faith for a Sabbath keeper to be involved in Christian political organizations that may have an interest in pushing for a Sunday law? One such organization in the time of Ellen White was the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, or the W.C.T.U. This organization had a considerable number of members and was primarily involved in temperance and political action to get prohibition laws passed in the United States in the 1890s. However, the W.C.T.U. also had connections to the National Reform Movement which was pushing for a national Sunday law. The W.C.T.U. began to support the National Reform Association and adopt its attitudes concerning Sunday legislation. The story is found in Manuscript Releases, Vol. 1, pages 124-126.
According to the Ellen White Estate “Mrs. S. M. I. Henry… was the national evangelist for the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. A serious health problem led her to the Battle Creek Sanitarium where she accepted the Adventist message and was also miraculously healed. In December, 1898, Mrs. White wrote as follows regarding the relation of Mrs. Henry to the W.C.T.U.:
“I thank the Lord with heart, and soul, and voice that you have been a prominent and influential member of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union… The Lord does not bid you separate from the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. They need all the light you can give them… Flash all the light possible into their pathway. You can agree with them on the ground of the pure, elevating principles that first brought into existence the Women’s Christian Temperance Union.” Letter 118, 1898.
According to the White Estate; “at the time when this letter was received by Mrs. Henry, she had tendered her resignation as an officer of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. Regarding this she wrote to Mrs. White on February 3, 1899 as follows:
“I cannot begin to tell you how thankful I am that the Lord sent the word to me just in time to prevent me from taking the final step which would have severed my relation to the W. C. T. U. This was one of the most remarkable manifestations of the personal and constant care of God over His children which I have ever had. . . The message coming just at that opportune time, and so clearly from the Lord that I could have no question concerning it, I simply wrote withdrawing my resignation.”
Mrs. White wrote her back; “I was greatly pleased with your letter, in which you give me the history of your experience with the W. C. T. U. When I read it, I said, ‘Thank the Lord. That is seed sowing which is of value.’ I am pleased, so much pleased. The Lord has certainly opened your way. Keep it open if possible. A work can be accomplished by you. Preserve your strength for such efforts. Attend important gatherings when you can. . . .
The White Estate noted: “Mrs. Henry continued with the organization, and it was largely due to the influence of her work and her appeals that the work in behalf of the Sunday law was quite generally dropped by that organization.
Ellen White also wrote to others concerning the W.C.T.U. One of them was a Dr. Lillis Wood-Starr on September 5, 1907.
“Be encouraged to continue your work for the W. C. T. U. Unite with them in their good work as far as you can do so without compromising any principle of truth. Lead them to see that there is more light for them in the Word of God. God has shown you that it is your privilege to unite with these workers that you may give them a more intelligent understanding of the principles of His Word.” Letter 278, 1907, pp. 5. Could it have been that God alerted His people to the underhand and secret maneuverings to establish a Sunday Law through the connections with the W. C. T. U.? Perhaps God is trying to alert us again.
The W. C. T. U. is not that dissimilar to some of the Christian political organizations of our time. No two moments in history are exactly the same. No two organizations are exactly the same. Yet, the principles involved will certainly apply. While we should not generally join in associations with the ungodly (See FE 499-500), or organizations that are predominantly ecumenical, there may be times when the Lord may open exceptional opportunities to work within certain Christian Groups who may be sincerely trying to do a good work, so long as we do not compromise any principle of truth. While there is certainly a balance needed, one cannot justly be condemned for being involved in such Christian organizations without knowing his circumstances. While there are balancing Spirit of Prophecy statements, it is a matter of personal understanding of the Lord’s leading when such doors seem to be open, in deciding whether or not to join. Whether our source was doing God’s will in being involved in the Christian Coalition is a matter between him and his God and it is not for us to judge, particularly since God’s end-time messenger encouraged some to do so at least in certain circumstances.
Should We Look to Only One Organization for Information about End-Time Events?
During these last days, God will work differently than we expect. Testimonies to Ministers, page 300 says. “Let me tell you that the Lord will work in this last work in a manner very much out of the common order of things, and in a way that will be contrary to any human planning. There will be those among us who will always want to control the work of God, to dictate even what movements shall be made when the work goes forward under the direction of the angel who joins the third angel in the message to be given to the world. God will use ways and means by which it will be seen that He is taking the reins in His own hands. The workers will be surprised by the simple means that He will use to bring about and perfect His work of righteousness.”
This passage tells us, among other things, that God will not always use the official means to tell us what is going on behind the scenes in every situation. He may often use unconventional methods to alert His people to some of these things. We may have tightly monitored processes to verify information about end-time events, but God may still work around them. Objectively speaking, are we to expect that we are all going to get the warning from an official channel when the time for the crisis comes? This has not always been the case historically. This is not to suggest that the official channels don’t have an important role or that they won’t issue warnings. But we must not reject relevant information because it comes through an unofficial or even an unapproved channel. The news of Jesus birth, an enormous prophetic event, didn’t come through official channels, but through lowly shepherds and foreign and uncircumcised nobles.
Suggesting that all should rely on one central source for information about end-time events is inappropriate and could even be dangerous. Not one individual or organization has been granted exclusive coverage or access to primary sources. In the internet age, all can search for themselves.
It is also worth noting that sometimes God uses mistake-ridden people to do His work. He chose a rather unreliable Jonah to do a work for Nineveh. God will use whoever He can to accomplish His work and it is not for us to say whom He can or cannot use, or what criteria they must meet for Him to use them. Jonah wasn’t even humble.
How Should We Spiritually Respond to Prophetic Developments in Our Time?
How should we react to reports of secret meetings that are not easy to verify? Would it not be prudent to avoid being reactive and condemnatory, but rather encourage one another to prepare? It is one thing to believe a false report and get ready for the coming storm. It is another thing altogether to neglect preparation for the crisis and the second coming because a report is said to be unreliable. We must always be ready. Reports of prophetic developments should not speed up or slow down our preparation depending on what we hear about these events. Current events keep us on our toes, they inform us how to pray and double our efforts to win souls, and they give us an assurance that Jesus is coming, and that we should hold fast our patience. Perhaps some of the controversy about Sunday Law by Stealth! was the result of an underlying fear that we are not ready and we needed to have assurance that there is still enough time to prepare. Unfortunately many may well go back to their old ways; to business as usual. My friends, we should spend our energies getting ready spiritually and sharing our faith with others. Now is the time to work, not later. Listen to this important statement from the book Great Controversy, page 620 and 622.
“Satan leads many to believe that God will overlook their unfaithfulness in the minor affairs of life; but the Lord shows in His dealings with Jacob that He will in no wise sanction or tolerate evil. All who endeavor to excuse or conceal their sins, and permit them to remain upon the books of heaven, unconfessed and unforgiven, will be overcome by Satan. The more exalted their profession and the more honorable the position which they hold, the more grievous is their course in the sight of God and the more sure the triumph of their great adversary. Those who delay a preparation for the day of God cannot obtain it in the time of trouble or at any subsequent time. The case of all such is hopeless… The “time of trouble, such as never was,” is soon to open upon us; and we shall need an experience which we do not now possess and which many are too indolent to obtain.”
Verification of Details Related to Sunday Law by Stealth!
We have been asked many times if we are going to stand by our original report. We cannot stand behind anything that is not true or can be shown to be untrue. However, there is significant verification that you should know about. We are attempting to be reasonable with the evidence. Though we anticipate that there may be those that will take issue even with this report, we humbly acknowledge that there may always be differences of opinion about how such things should be undertaken and reported. We respect, as fellow Christians, even those who disagree with us. We believe that the majority of sincere Adventists genuinely want to know the truth as best as can be determined about the secret meeting last November.
We published our sermon in good faith that the details reported to us were accurate. We read every word of our sermon pertaining to the meetings in November over the phone to our source before we published, for accuracy and permission to publish. Where we have unintentionally made misstatements of fact (and there are a number of discrepancies to be reported), we have corrected them. Our edited sermon is now posted on our website. However, there is also some important verifying information that you need to know.
It is true that we could have done more research to verify some of the details surrounding the story before publishing a report of this nature. Our regular listeners know that we normally document material quite well. Although a secret meeting is not as easy to verify, in light of the overwhelming response we have had following the release of our sermon, we have taken the time to pursue those details as best we can. We are sorry, nevertheless, for any unnecessary confusion and misunderstandings that may have arisen as a result of the controversy. I should add that we did not intend to set ourselves in conflict with any organization or individual. Nor did we intend to call into question the credibility of organizations that also watch prophetic developments, or suggest any negligence on the part of anyone else. The realm of religious insight and debate is open to all, and has a lot of room for differences of opinion and perspectives.
Being a self-supporting pastor, I am in a unique position which often provides our listeners and readers with a distinct perspective. God has often used self-supporting messengers in His work. Jesus Himself, our example in all things, was not a conference worker. He was a self-supporting minister and teacher. Like Jesus, it is important that every pastor, whether a conference worker or not, resist the temptation for strife and contention, and instead have a humble spirit recognizing that God may work in His own way through whomever He chooses. It is not with any contempt for any part of God’s church that self-supporting work is done. I believe the Adventist message with all my heart, and I am a member in regular standing of a local conference church here in Virginia. I also believe that the Seventh-day Adventist Church is the depository of God’s truth in these last days and that it’s message is the fullest and most mature expression of His truth.
The big question in the minds of most is whether or not the meetings reported actually happened, or, in the event that the secret meeting cannot be fully verified, its likelihood. Is there evidence from independent sources that would support the story?
Concerning Sunday Law by Stealth! there are some important verifications of the details related to us by our source, an actively retired pastor. And there are some things that we could not verify. Secret meetings are usually intended to be kept secret, and those involved, often work very hard to keep such a meeting secret.
I first talked with our source on the phone when he called me in early April 2007 to tell me of a planned meeting that he was going to attend in Washington DC at the end of April. He told me that the meeting would involve a Vatican representative. He also told me details about where the meeting was to be held and some of the people he had learned, or heard, would be involved. When that meeting was postponed, he told me that he did not know when it would be rescheduled. When in early November, I read the emails about the upcoming secret meeting I immediately recognized the same details and knew that this was the same meeting that had previously been postponed. This was one of the reasons I believe the report of our source was essentially true. A person who would fabricate such a story would not likely make it convoluted with advance warnings and details, postponements, etc.
I was in Australia when the meetings allegedly took place in November. I wanted to contact our source while he was in Washington on November 15. So I got up very early in the morning on the 16th and called his home to ask for his cell phone number. His wife was not expecting my call, but told me spontaneously that she had just spoken to him at the hotel, and that I would not be able to reach him until later because he had just turned off his cell phone and was headed into the meeting with the Vatican cardinal. This was about 1:30pm Eastern time. This was the first time that I knew that the meeting had been changed to the hotel from the John Paul II Cultural Center. I had never met his wife or spoken to her before. This is important because she spoke to me in the most matter of fact way. There are only three possibilities. Either his wife was lying to me (which I doubt), or she was deceived by her husband about the meeting (again not likely, since a meeting did happen), or she was telling me the truth. The reason I believe the latter is because of the confirmed details of the meeting that we have received from the hotel.
Some have declared unequivocally that the meeting could not have happened because their research shows that some of the principal people involved like Al Gore and Nancy Pelosi were not there for one reason or another. Upon more careful research, we have discovered that there is more than meets the eye and that some of the very arguments that are used against the account of our source, are in fact no evidence at all, and in some cases actually confirm certain aspects of the testimony. Some researchers did not tell all the facts.
By the way, the General Conference Religious Liberty Department has a very good list of all the Sunday laws on the books in every state. Please see the following link
Is/ was our source a part of the leadership of the Christian Coalition?
The Wall Street Journal ran an article in 2004 after an interview with [our source], listing him as the state director of the West Virginia chapter of the Christian Coalition.
Calls to the Christian Coalition offices on March 24, 2008 and April 3, 2008, confirmed that our source is the chairman of the WV chapter. One of our researchers on March 24, 2008, contacted the Christian Coalition twice and asked two different representatives if our source was involved as one of the vice-chairmen of the organization. Two separate receptionists indicated that he was. We do not know exactly how this position functions at the Christian Coalition. A vice-chairman is not an officer of the corporation apparently and therefore is not listed on their most recent IRS documents. It may not be the kind of position that holds a lot of influence. I know of several religious organizations in which the chairman and vice-chairmen are mainly functionaries to manage meetings rather than being an authoritative voice in the corporate structure.
The Host Hotel
After questioning our source more intensely, we learned that the correct name of the hotel that was used for the meetings is L’enfant Plaza Hotel, not the Hyatt Regency. We have corrected this discrepancy. Significantly, the L’enfant Plaza Hotel has confirmed by phone, April 28, 2008, that the Christian Coalition did reserve rooms for meetings on both the 14th and 15th of November. On April 30, the hotel also confirmed by phone that there was extra security at the hotel during those days, and that their records show quite a bit of additional information about the meetings, but could not give us more without appropriate clearance. We believe from these confirmed details that the meetings happened, including the secret meeting on the 15th of November. Though there is uncertainty about the actual agenda (being secret) and some in attendance, it is clear to us that what took place was important.
One of the points raised concerning the testimony of our source has to do with Al Gore, the former Vice President of the United States. It is alleged that he was not at the environmental meeting on the 14th of November because he was at a meeting in San Francisco for the Full Circle Fund 2007 Forum. While news media sources document that Mr. Gore was in San Francisco, what has been unreported was that the meeting there began at 5.30pm. Most people would know that it is possible to be at a meeting in Washington in the morning and at a meeting in San Francisco in the evening, particularly since the San Francisco time zone is three hours behind Washington.
We apparently misunderstood that Al Gore spoke at the environmental meeting. We learned when asking further questions, that he did not. We have corrected this discrepancy.
Would Al Gore Work with Conservative Christian Groups?
Some rejected the idea that Al Gore would work with conservative Christian organizations like the Christian Coalition to develop a Sunday law? Al Gore is a politician. He will work with whomever he can to accomplish his goals.
The Associated Press on March 31, 2008 published an article entitled: “Gore Announces Global Warming Effort.” by Travis Loller. “Former Vice President Al Gore on Monday launched a three-year, multimillion-dollar advocacy campaign” they wrote, “calling for the U.S. to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions… Some advertisements [in Gore’s campaign] will feature bipartisan pairs, such as the Rev. Al Sharpton with Pat Robertson and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with former Speaker Newt Gingrich…”
Apparently Al Gore does know and work with religious and political leaders to accomplish his purposes. In the process, religious leaders can also advance their agenda as well. In Sunday Law by Stealth! we pointed out a possible link between environmental protection and the Sunday law issues at the end of time. We have shown that Rome, the Association of Evangelicals, and even the Southern Baptists have all made pronouncements in recent times about the moral responsibility Christians have to protect the environment.
Some have questioned whether it was possible for Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives, to attend the meeting with the Vatican representative on the 15th because she was at lunch with former Speaker Dennis Hastert and did a farewell speech in the afternoon for him on the floor of the House of Representatives. Though it is true that these things did happen as documented from several sources, the actual facts make it very possible for Nancy Pelosi to attend such a meeting.
The L’enfant Plaza Hotel is located a few blocks from Capitol Hill, a short cab or limo ride from Congress. We researched the Congressional Record for November 15 and learned that Nancy Pelosi was not listed in any of the voting roll calls during the entire day until 9:41pm. Throughout the day, she appointed several Speakers Pro Tempore in writing as substitutes. However, she made two speeches, one at 2:53 in the afternoon bidding farewell to Dennis Hastert and one around 7:45pm concerning a surveillance bill. Hastert’s own farewell speech was at 2:32pm. Nancy was apparently present for that speech as well.
We do not know the time of her lunch with Dennis Hastert, but we know that it was at the Capitol building. Even if her lunch with Dennis Hastert ended at 1pm, she could have easily gone to the hotel for a meeting with the Vatican representative by about 1:30pm and could have been there up until around 2pm or so when she would have had to return to the House for Dennis Hastert’s speech.
When questioning our source further concerning this, he explained that when the group entered the room about 1:45pm for the meeting with the Vatican representative, Nancy Pelosi was already there talking with him. As she finished her conversation with him, she started leaving the room. He apparently commented about her dedication. She turned around and said what our source reported, as recorded in our sermon. We learned also that we misunderstood that she was a participant in the Christian Coalition meeting itself. This discrepancy has been corrected.
Nancy Pelosi does not follow Catholic Church teaching in her voting record. Yet she is very good friends with many Catholic leaders including a number of Jesuits, and attempts to give them prominence as we have previously documented (request our sermon Rome’s Foot Soldiers for further information). Would Nancy Pelosi join with religious conservatives in promoting Sunday laws? Reasonable people know that political pressure can change a politician’s stand very quickly, and that they will join with strange bedfellows when it serves their own political interests.
Some have argued that the NSA doesn’t provide security forces on the ground therefore it could not have been the NSA providing security for the meeting. If our source thought that NSA agents escorted him and provided security for the meeting, when in reality it was another type of security agency, it could be understandable. But he still believes that it was the NSA that was present. We could find no further confirmation of this. The hotel tells us that there was extra security, though they would not confirm the agency. We did not say that they were under the control of the Vatican though we suggested tha they were in cooperation. The NSA website does have job openings for investigators which requires, among other things, some travel. This could well involve field agents carrying out various assignments as well as office agents.
Some have questioned whether our source could have worn a name tag with his church affiliation to the secret meeting. When we questioned him about this, our source informs us that we were mistaken about his name tag. We have corrected this.
Sunday Law Discussion
Some have said that our source told them that Sunday Laws were not discussed at the secret meeting in November. We reported that our source told us that the word “Sunday” was not used in the discussion on the 15th, but the words “Lord’s Day” were used instead. As we indicated, there was no discussion of specific Sunday laws. The discussion involved protecting the Lord’s Day in the context of working with legislative bodies. To most Christians, this would mean that Sunday should be protected by civil laws. Rome does not have to address an issue using our familiar terms in order to get their point across. Our source still insists that the discussion happened as we reported.
In his apostolic letter Dies Domini, John Paul II uses similar constructions to press for Sunday legislation. For example, he writes: “Therefore, also in the particular circumstances of our own time, Christians will naturally strive to ensure that civil legislation respects their duty to keep Sunday holy.” He is talking about Sunday laws, but does not use the phrase “enact Sunday laws,” but the more general and academic terminology; “strive to ensure that civil legislation respects their duty to keep Sunday holy.”
See Dies Domini
Is David Crockett Al Gore’s “Research Liaison?”
Some questioned the term our source used to describe the relationship of David Crockett to Al Gore. Our source tells us that the term “Research Liaison” was his own term because he could not think of the correct word. News reports confirm that David Crockett is a consultant on sustainable development and that he and Al Gore know each other and work together. There is a news story that makes this clear located here.
Confirmation of the Two Meetings Nov 14 & 15.
In spite of official statements that have been circulated suggesting that the account of our source is not true and that the meetings in November 2007 did not happen, one concerned church member called the Christian Coalition and spoke with Michelle Combs, one of their leaders. He wrote on March 30 that “she verified that [our source] had been at a Christian Coalition organizational meeting in Washington, D. C. on Nov. 14 and 15, 2007.” Though there is some dispute about the details of some who were at those meetings, our own research directly with the hotel, and the independent research of the concerned church member with the Christian Coalition have both confirmed that there was indeed a Christian Coalition-sponsored meeting on both days. The same researcher has verified that the meeting on the 14th of November 2007 involved the environment, as we reported, and that the president of the National Wildlife Federation was there and that David Crockett was there as well. Though the subject and attendees of the meeting on the 15th of November is more obscure it has been confirmed that a meeting did happen. The Christian Coalition told the concerned church member that they had an organizational meeting, according to his report, which could well have been the essence of the meeting with the Vatican representative.
Does Senator Byrd Know Our Source?
Some have suggested that Senator Byrd does not know our source. On April 16, 2008, one of our researchers went to Senator Byrd’s office and spoke with one of his assistants. He asked her if Senator Byrd knows our source. At first she thought no, but the next day, April 17, after asking the Senator, she called our researcher and told him that indeed Senator Byrd confirmed that he does know him.
What is the Relation of Our Source to the Adventist Church?
Some have said that our source was involuntarily terminated from employment as a Seventh-day Adventist Pastor. Our source was a conference Pastor for many years according to conference records. Some leaders, such as a former conference president say that he was terminated involuntarily from conference employment, but the current president of the Mountain View Conference told me that there was no record of any disciplinary proceedings against him in his file. His ministerial credentials however were not renewed after he retired. The local conference normally requests the Union to continue them for the retired pastor. Neglect of making this request would trigger this situation. It does not require a specific action. If there is a “falling out” between the pastor and the conference leaders, as there obviously was in this case, this could be the result. Because he does not have current credentials, our source does not appear in the official SDA yearbook for 2007. A good number of faithful self-supporting pastors and retired SDA pastors are not in the annual SDA yearbook. Yet they are very active in soul saving ministry. The fact that a pastor is not in the yearbook, doesn’t mean that he is unreliable.
I spoke with the pastor of the Charleston, WV SDA church where our source is a member. He told me that our source is in regular standing and that there has been no disciplinary actions taken against him.
A number of negative allegations were made by some against the character of our source. Because we believe that it is important to verify such things from independent sources before accepting them as fact, we traced down virtually every lead we were given, to try to obtain documented or verifiable details of alleged misdoings. We were told some stories, but no one was willing or able to support them with documentation or provide any way of verifying them. If it is important to hold a high standard of documentation, it would even be more important concerning character references. Since we could not corroborate even one allegation from independent sources we can only consign these things to the realm of the unverified. Unsubstantiated allegations against an individual are not a valid basis to determine whether his account is reliable or whether a secret meeting took place. No court would admit such evidence. God’s people must have a higher standard than the courts of the land.
We do not intend to defend the past actions or the character of our source. We have more important work to do. The discrepancies in his story that have come to light could arise from several possible reasons, ranging from age, forgetfulness, over-commitments, poor listening skills, or an inability to sequence events clearly or outright deception. All of these or any one of them could explain the discrepancies. We do not have the resources to determine which.
An Independent Source
In early April of 2008 I received a letter from a man who lives in the Washington area. He told me that he had done some calling around to see what information he could get concerning the schedule of the Papal visit to Washington, D.C.
He called a Catholic Church in Virginia and was able to speak to one of the priests. He said that the priest shared with him the schedule and added that the Pope would be meeting at the Senate Building. The priest said that the caller would not be able to go to that meeting. When he asked why, the priest told him that “It’s not for the public.” Incidentally, when speaking with this person, I learned that he was skeptical of the report of our source.
We have no evidence that the meeting at the Senate Office building happened, though it appears that it may have been scheduled. If it was scheduled it was canceled, postponed, or its location was changed. Nevertheless, there was a meeting with evangelical leaders in Washington DC during the papal visit. These included many prominent evangelicals, as well as other prominent religious leaders.
We struggled for many weeks with the verification process concerning the details surrounding the November meetings. Though it is virtually impossible to prove irrefutably the precise nature of the secret meeting in November, yet, by the grace of God, we have been able to show quite reasonably that it did happen. Though we do not know from more than one witness exactly what was said at the meeting, we are satisfied that sufficient evidence exists to confirm many key details of our source.
In the process of reporting our findings, we have learned some important lessons which will help to guide us in the future. We also hope to have encouraged you to get ready for the coming crisis. With the amount of detail that has been verified concerning the account of our source, and with the background information concerning how it came to light, and the scenario established in the Spirit of Prophecy concerning the development of a Sunday law, we believe that the meeting in November is a warning to all of God’s people that we must not ignore. We pray that instead of endless controversy and discussion and dissection, you will get on with the business of soul winning and preparation. Remember, we are children of the day, not the children of the night. Therefore we must not sleep as do others.
The United States has turned a significant corner again. When Benedict XVI visited the U.S. in April, he met with the President as well as other political and religious leaders. These events are extremely significant prophetically. We don’t know the substance of the discussions between President Bush and the Pope because they are secret, but we can be sure that whatever it was, Rome still has her goal in mind.
Furthermore, one has to consider the following question; what kind of response should we expect from the enemy of truth, when his activity is exposed? Surely, one cannot expect that Satan would just sit back and watch the exposure of his secret plans without at least making an effort to create some kind of smokescreen or distraction to cover up his tracks. Among his favorite schemes the old serpent often endeavors to redirect people’s attention from the real issue by launching a character assassination campaign that is geared to discredit those who may be a threat to his wicked purposes. We should not expect anything less from him today.
The controversy over our sermon Sunday Law by Stealth! has been challenging and humbling. Yet it is all part of God’s plan to keep us focused on Christ and His will for our lives and remind us of our human weaknesses. God often works in such a way as to provide opportunity to doubt if one chooses. In revealing the secret meeting through weak vessels, he shows that it is not they who do it, but He.
I and others have spent enough time with our source to know that he is not pretentious. He is a 74 year old man that has much experience in pastoral ministry. He works with the coal miners of West Virginia, teaching them the truths of God’s word. How did he get involved in the leadership of the Christian Coalition? Our source became a member of the Christian Coalition back in the 1980s and for a long time listened and watched them work. He learned how they think and he also learned how to talk to them. This happens in any sphere of life. It is difficult to be able to have a significant discussion with a medical doctor, a lawyer or a scientist, unless you have something in common or you understand how he or she thinks. Our source builds friendship easily. It is not difficult to see how he became involved in the Christian Coalition.
Summary of Confirmed Facts
1. Our source is a retired Seventh-day Adventist pastor according to Mountain View Conference records, though he does not carry current ministerial credentials.
2. The Christian Coalition has verbally confirmed multiple times that our source is the chairman of the WV chapter of the Christian Coalition.
3. Christian Coalition representatives have twice verbally confirmed that our source is a vice-chairman of the Coalition – though it is unclear what that actually means in terms of function.
4. The Environmental Meeting on the 14th of November did happen as confirmed by research.
5. The L’enfant Plaza hotel confirmed that the Christian Coalition scheduled a meeting for both the 14th and 15th of November and that there was extra security that day.
6. Nancy Pelosi was not accounted for in the House of Representatives for most of the day on November 15. Within the confirmed details of her activities that day, there is likely enough window of time for her to visit with a Vatican representative (or Cardinal) at a downtown Hotel.
7. A Washington area resident confirmed some of the intended plans for the papal visit at the Senate Office Building when speaking with a local priest.
8. The wife of our source told me during a surprise phone call, where our source was and what he was doing during the early afternoon of November 15, which corroborates his account.
9. Senator Byrd knows our source as confirmed by his office representative.
Do you remember the vision of Ezekiel 8? Go and read of the secret meetings going on then, particularly behind closed doors. Ezekiel 9, we are told, applies to God’s church in the last days. Ezekiel 8 is the underlying reason why the destroying angel goes out among God’s people to destroy them. Doesn’t this chapter apply to our times? Would there be efforts to cover up such a meeting in our times?
The economic crisis that now faces the world, including a recession and perhaps a depression, the papal visit to the United States and its consequences, and the huge changes that have taken place in law and jurisprudence both in the U.S. and in other western countries in the last eight years, provide a strong platform to suggest that the time is very near when Jesus will throw down His censor in the Most Holy Place of the Heavenly sanctuary and declare the awful sentence: “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.” Rev 22:11.
We must be ready, for key prophecies of the end time can happen very quickly. After listening to or reading this sermon, you may have to decide for yourself whether or not the story of our source is true. We pray that you will be stirred to work for souls. Notice this statement from the 5th volume of the Testimonies for the Church, page, 463; ”The work which the church has failed to do in a time of peace and prosperity, she will have to do in a terrible crisis, under most discouraging, forbidding, circumstances. The warnings that worldly conformity has silenced or withheld must be given under the fiercest opposition from enemies of the faith. And at that time the superficial, conservative class, whose influence has steadily retarded the progress of the work, will renounce the faith, and take their stand with its avowed enemies, toward whom their sympathies have long been tending.”
I don’t want to be among that class, do you? You don’t have to be. But you must prepare. Make sure that you have extra oil in your spiritual lamps so that when the bridegroom comes, you will be prepared to go into the wedding feast with Him. May God bless you,
Let us pray. Our father in Heaven, We pray that you will show us how we may be faithful to Jesus. We know that the end is near. We know that the judgment of the living is near. And we pray that you will so mold our characters after the character of Christ that we will be like Him in all things. May your Holy Spirit rest in great power on every true believer. May we discern the signs of the times. May we see in them the joy and hope of our soon coming Lord and savior. In Jesus name, Amen.
If you would like to become a subscriber to our free monthly end-time sermons on CD, email us here, or call us at 540-672-3553, or write to us at Keep the Faith Ministry, Locust Dale, VA 22948. Our July sermon will analyze the visit of Benedict XVI to the United States. It reveals a very interesting development that shows just how much the United States is being controlled and manipulated by the Vatican. You can receive this and our regular monthly CDs at no charge, by emailing us at the above address.