ASTONISHING CURRENT EVENTSBy: Elder Lawrence NelsonThis sermon is part of a series entitled Spiritualism
As an introduction to the amazing spiritism events that are now taking place in this last decade of this century we must not fail to keep our focus on the prophetic words of God. I read from the Holy Scriptures in 2 Peter 1: 16,19, "We have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts."
Divine prophecies have outlined clearly the course of this earth's history and have described in detail coming last-day events culminating in the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. The books of Daniel and Revelation and the Spirit of Prophecy are filled with heavenly insight, telling us just what to expect just before Jesus Christ appears in the clouds to give His saints immortality and to destroy the wicked. How thankful we should be to our God for sharing with us the needed information concerning last-day events. How assuring that with this prophetic revelation also comes divine counsel and guidance to enable us to make the right decisions for eternity.
Let us pray. Loving Father, we cannot praise Thee enough for the prophetic guidance Thou hast given to Thy people. We pray that Thou wilt impress upon us the urgency to carefully study every day Thy inspired counsel so we may be ready for the coming crisis. Open our understanding in this study that we may comprehend these closing events that have heavenly assurance in facing the final test. In Jesus' name we ask, Amen.
Christian publications such as Christianity Today, of March 6, 1995, report that there are some 20,000 organizations representing the United Nations, world governments, business, educational and religious bodies who have special plans for the year 2000. Some forty Christian organizations, including the Roman Catholic Church, plan to reach the whole world with the gospel by the year 2000.
Reading in the book Sunday's Coming p. 8,9 it says, "Pope John Paul II has been working toward uniting the world by the year 2000 and participating personally in the great Jubilee. On November 19, 1994 Pope John Paul II issued an apostolic letter from the Vatican. This letter is a 62-page document that outlines his plan to prepare for the new millennium."
John Januik has simplified this apostolic letter in his book The Great Controversy Endgame. From p. 28,29 I quote the following, "'The year 2000 will be celebrated as the great Jubilee. As the eve of the new millennium approaches, unity among all Christians of various confessions will increase until they reach full communion. I pray that the Jubilee will be a promising opportunity for fruitful cooperation in many areas which unite us. These are unquestionably more numerous than those which divide us. It would thus be quite helpful if with the due respect for the programs of the individual churches and communities, ecumenical agreements could be reached with regard to the preparation and celebration of the Jubilee.'"
"The Pope says that as Bishop of Rome he has special responsibilities to prepare for the great Jubilee of the year 2000. He goes on to say that the increase of Papal journeys over the past several years have been designed to bring about unity. In addition, the pope has divided the time between 1996 and the year 2000 into two periods. The first phase is the preparation period through the year 1996, and the second is the strictly preparatory phase for the years 1997 and 1998."
I continue to read, "'The second phase is divided into thirds among the trinity with Mary added to each one. The first year (1997) will thus be devoted to reflections on Christ, the Word of God made man by the power of the Holy Spirit.' He concludes his thoughts on the year 1997 by stating, 'The blessed Virgin will be, as it were, indirectly present in the whole preparation phase.'
"The second year (1998) will be dedicated in a particular way to the Holy Spirit. Christians are called to prepare for the great Jubilee of the beginning of the third millennium by renewing their hope in the definite coming of the kingdom of God. The pope continues his discussion of the second year countdown by emphasizing unity in the Spirit and the role of Mary.
"According to the pope's countdown, this year (1999) will be the third and final year of preparation. The pope emphasis the role of conversion, penance, and charity in preparing for the Jubilee. He then goes beyond unity among Christians to include other world religions. He says, 'As far as the field of religious awareness is concerned the eve of the year 2000 will provide a great opportunity especially in view of the events of recent decades for inter-religious dialogue. In accordance with the specific guidelines set down by the Second Vatican Council, in this dialogue the Jews and the Muslims ought to have a preeminent place. Attention is being given to finding ways of arranging historic meetings in places of exceptional symbolic importance like Bethlehem, Jerusalem and Mount Sinai. In this broad perspective of commitment, Mary, Most Holy, the highly favored daughter of the Father, will appear before the eyes of the believers as the perfect model of love toward both God and neighbor.'
"He concludes by saying, 'The ecumenical and universal character of the sacred Jubilee can be fittingly reflected by a meeting of all Christians. This would be an event of great significance. I trust this responsibility of the whole church to the maternal intercession of Mary, mother of the Redeemer. She, the mother of the Fairest Love, will be for Christians on the way to the great Jubilee of the third millennium the star which safely guides their steps to the Lord.' It is with this great event in mind that the pope is preparing the world." (Additional notes were taken from Sunday's Coming p. 9 – 11 and The Thunder of Justice p. 53-62)
Thank you, John Januik for this summary of the pope's objectives. So now we can visualize the definite plans for the celebration of the great Jubilee that are now underway. On January 17, 1996 the pope met in the Vatican with the Israeli Minister of Religious Affairs who said, "I express great appreciation for the connection the pope has made between Rome and Jerusalem in the celebration of the Jubilee of the year 2000 - especially that Jerusalem will be included as a place of ceremonies in addition to Rome." (Inside the Vatican February 1996)
I must here emphasis the plan of the papacy to involve the Jews and Muslims in this great Jubilee. Jerusalem will be the place for the Jews and the Protestants together with the Catholics to celebrate by participating each other in the celebration of the Eucharist. As for the Muslims, they are to celebrate the Jubilee in Bethlehem where they will be joined by Catholics and Protestants to honor Mary, the mother of Jesus, where she gave birth to the Christ Child. Arafat is spending over one million dollars to clean up the old town of Bethlehem by paving the streets, developing parking facilities and providing a center for the anticipated crowds that will gather to celebrate.
Now before we proceed further, let us consider how these papal plans are affecting the Seventh-day Adventist church. I am sorry to state that the news is not good. If you were following closely the papal plan of preparation for the Jubilee year of 2000 you will have noted the following:
1. A dialogue must take place between the various churches to develop unity. And what has been the response of the Seventh-day Adventist leadership to such a dialogue between churches? Could this be the reason why our church recently dialogued with the leadership of the Lutheran Church as reported in the Review? Our participation in the World Council of Churches insists that every church dialogue with another church to discover ways in which we can fulfil unity by the year 2000 as planned by the pope. Think it over.
2. During the 1998, the churches are to emphasize the Holy Spirit in developing a spirit of unity. What about this special emphasis that is to be given to the Holy Spirit in 1998? Could this be the reason why last fall, in 1998, the Review issued a special edition on the Holy Spirit? Could it be because our church is so deeply involved in the World Council of Churches, which demands its cooperating churches carry out Rome's ecumenical program as planned by the pope? Was this done to fall in line with Rome's program? Think it over.
3. In the year 2000 the leadership of all the churches is to gather in Jerusalem to celebrate the Eucharist together. What about this papal plan for all churches to celebrate the Eucharist in Jerusalem during the Jubilee of 2000? Once again, I must ask, since our church leadership participates in the World Council of Churches, is it possible that our church leadership is planning to unite in this ecumenical celebration of the pagan Eucharist in Jerusalem? If this happens, mark my words, there is but one step left – to embrace the pope's plan for a Sunday Law. Think it over.
This is why I have repeatedly emphasized that we are not saved as a church but as individuals who have determined not to be misled by a few leaders who have infiltrated into God's ranks. There will be God's faithful few who will hold fast to the pillars of our faith as found in the Word of God and emphasized in the Spirit of Prophecy. Such dedicated, individual members make a loyal stand to obey God come what may. Remember, "We have far more to fear from within (the church) than from without." Last Day Events p. 156. As the coming storm darkens this is no time to abandon Zion's ship for God has a church and there will be found a faithful few, a remnant, who will be ready to meet Jesus.
Now getting back to our subject of unity and spiritualism. The Great Controversy p. 588 and 589 states, "Papists, Protestants, and worldlings…will see in this union a grand movement for the conversion of the world and the ushering in of the long-expected millennium." Beloved, this prediction about the millennium is being fulfilled before our very eyes. Almost all Christian denominations in this world teach that when Christ comes the second time that He will commence a literal reign on this earth which will start the great 1000 years of peace.
This is why Satan has chosen the pope to unite the world by the year 2000 and conduct a great Jubilee for the inauguration of the millennium in which Satan will counterfeit the Second Coming and confer on the pope his thanks for making possible the counterfeit coming. This is what the pope has in mind by choosing Jerusalem as the celebration site.
Inspiration further states in Great Controversy p. 561, "Satan has long been preparing for his final effort to deceive the world….He has not yet reached the full accomplishment of his designs; but it will be reached in the last remnant of time. Says the prophet: 'I saw three unclean spirits like frogs;…they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.' Revelation 16:13,14."
Note this carefully. Except those that are kept by the power of God, through faith in His Word, the whole world will be swept into the ranks of this delusion. These unclean spirits of the dragon, the beast and the false prophet are religious powers who appeal to the political powers to unite in a New World Order under the domain of the pope. Reading Revelation 17: 12,13 we find, "And the ten horns which thou sawest...[which] have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast."
Referring to this verse, Ellen White says in Manuscript 24, 1891, "There will be a universal bond of union. One great harmony, a confederacy of Satan's forces and shall give their power and strength unto the beast." In his book, The Keys of This Blood, by Malachi Martin, he explains on p. 48,50 how this New World Order originated. And, (this is very important) he says that John Paul II received a personal communication from heaven, the Great Design of God, for the New World Order. This is a heaven geopolitical agenda for our time.
Pope John Paul II would now stride in the arena of the Millennium End Game. And so now the question, "When is this New World Order to start?" I am reading from Keys of This Blood, p. 639. Pope John Paul II "is waiting for an event….It will be an event on public view in the skies, in the oceans, and on the continental landmasses of this planet….Then his ministry as the servant of the Grand Design will begin. This is why John Paul II is waiting, for God must first intervene before John Paul's major ministry to all men can start."
And what is this supernatural event that will give the pope the signal to commence this New World Order in which the entire world will obey him? In John Januik's book, The Great Controversy Endgame he states on p. 29, "This will be Satan's counterfeit of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. The Catholic Church has a prophecy which says, 'When Jesus Christ comes, then the pope will give him the pope's tiara and throne. Jesus will give him the keys and then Jesus will bless the pope.'" I believe when Satan's counterfeit of the Second Coming of Jesus takes place, then this Catholic prophecy will be fulfilled and the whole world will worship Satan as Christ and the beast (the papacy) as the Vicar of Christ.
We read in Revelation 13:4, "And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him?" Who is the dragon? Revelation 12:9 says, "And the dragon is Satan." So the whole world will worship Satan who counterfeits the Second Coming of Christ and the beast (the papacy). And note this, the people who were not quite sure before as to who the papacy is, when they see the counterfeit Christ blessing the pope, then they will exclaim, 'Who is like the beast (the papacy)? Who is able to make war with him?" (Revelation 13:4). They will all be deceived.
Right now all leaders and people of this world are looking for someone who will bring peace, justice and especially prosperity. The Jews are waiting for the Messiah in His first coming, the Christians are waiting for Jesus Christ in His Second Coming, the Buddhists are waiting for Buddha in his fifth reincarnation, the Hindu's are waiting for Krishna, the Muslims are waiting for a man, Mahdi, the New Age Movement is waiting for Maitreya, Cosmic Christ. When Satan counterfeits the Second Coming of Christ they will all welcome him as their Savior. Then Satan, together with the pope, will promise peace, justice and prosperity to the people of the world. Then will start the religio-political system called the New World Order.
Ellen White agrees. Testimonies to Ministers p. 62 tells us, "Fallen angels upon earth form confederations with evil men. In this age (notice those words) antichrist will appear as the true Christ." This statement implies that the counterfeit coming of Christ takes place when unity among the nations of this world has been achieved. Could this be the reason that President Clinton of the United States has been stressing global reconciliation and unity in his visits to other countries? You will recall that he made this a part of his message in his speech to Congress.
This is also the main objective of John Paul II. As I read in the book Sunday's Coming p. 8, what is John Paul II's main objective? "Pope John Paul II has been working toward uniting the world by the year 2000." Ellen White speaks of such unity in Testimonies for the Church, Volume 7, p. 182, "Under one head - the papal power - the people will unite."
In describing the counterfeit coming of Christ the Spirit of Prophecy uses simple, understandable words. Listen, "The world is a theater; the actors, its inhabitants, are preparing to act their part in the last great drama." Testimonies for the Church, Volume 8, p. 27. And what is this last great drama? "A power from beneath is working to bring about the last great scenes in the drama – Satan coming as Christ." Testimonies for the Church, Volume 8, p. 28.
And so you can easily imagine how this united world will react to the people of God who would dare to say, "This is a false Christ who has appeared. This is the antichrist spoken of in God's Word." And how will the New World Order respond? - "You Seventh-day Adventists are against peace, justice and prosperity. Away with you."
This is why Inspiration tells us in the book Maranatha 209, "I saw our people in great distress, weeping, and praying, pleading the sure promises of God, while the wicked were all around us, mocking us, and threatening to destroy us. They ridiculed our feebleness, they mocked at the smallness of our numbers, and taunted us with words that were calculated to cut deep. They charged us with taking an independent position from all the rest of the world. They had cut off our resources so that we could not buy or sell, and referred to our abject poverty and stricken condition. They could not see how we could live without the world; we were dependent upon the world, and we must concede to the customs, practices, and laws of the world, or go out of it. If we were the only people in the world whom the Lord favored the appearances were awfully against us. They declared that they had the truth, that miracles were among them, that angels from heaven talked with them, and walked with them, that great power, and signs and wonders were performed among them, and this was the temporal millennium, which they had been expecting so long. The whole world was converted and in harmony with the Sunday law and this little feeble people stood out in defiance to the laws of the land, and the laws of God, and claimed to be the only ones right on the whole earth."
Oh what a day this is going to be! This will surely be our time of Jacob's Trouble. Question: "When will a world-wide Sunday Law be enacted?" Great Controversy p. 624 says, "As the crowning act in the great drama of deception, Satan himself will personate Christ. The church has long professed to look to the Saviour's advent as the consummation of her hopes. Now the great deceiver will make it appear that Christ has come. (And what will take place?)…He claims to have changed the Sabbath to Sunday, and commands all to hallow the day which he has blessed. He declares that those who persist in keeping holy the seventh day are blaspheming his name….This is the strong, almost overmastering delusion."
Remember these vital words in Testimonies for the Church, Volume 7, p. 141, "The substitution of the laws of men for the law of God, the exaltation, by merely human authority, of Sunday in place of the Bible Sabbath, is the last act in the drama." Current events indicate that we will soon be faced with a national Sunday Law in America. Two historical documents regarding ecumenism have emerged. One was written at the Vatican over the signature of John Paul II on May 25, 1995 entitled, "That They May Be One." The pope wrote of this, "The path to be followed toward the celebration of the great Jubilee of the holy year of 2000, the Holy Spirit, who leads all Christians toward full and visible unity."
The other document is titled "Evangelicals and Catholics Together." This twenty-five page document was developed by Protestant Chuck Colson and former Protestant Richard John Newhouse and signed by forty well-known evangelical and Catholic leaders. The magazine, The Christian America of May/June 1994 reported, "After nearly four centuries of division and hostility, Protestants and Catholics have taken an important step toward unity. Forty key evangelical and Catholic leaders signed this statement at the Institute on Religious and Public Life in New York City on March 29, 1994 urging their followers to accept each other as Christians and to put aside differences and contend for common, civil causes."
Now let's take a look at how Protestantism is changing. As Ellen White wrote in Great Controversy p. 588, "Through the agency of spiritualism, (notice, "through the agency of spiritualism") miracles will be wrought, the sick will be healed, and many undeniable wonders will be preformed. And as the spirits will profess faith in the Bible, and manifest respect for the institutions of the church, their work will be accepted as a manifestation of divine power."
I like the way John Januik summarizes these details. I am taking this from the book The Great Controversy Endgame 32-35. "Today's Protestantism is becoming increasingly Pentecostal and charismatic, in part due to television preachers who, like Pat Robertson, Benny Hinn, John and Carol Arnott, and Oral and Richard Roberts, to name but a few. Public healings has become a specialty with the spectacle seen not just by the audience in attendance but by millions around the world. Not only Pentecostals but some mainstream Protestants are praising and publicizing such miraculous feats. The miracles ignore denominational boundaries making doctrinal differences seem not to matter and unity among the churches seems much more likely. This unity is based on common experience.
"The official theme of the 1996 Promise Keepers Men's Conference was to break down the walls. No doubt about it, the walls are coming down. The walls between conservatives and liberals, the walls between Charismatics and Southern Baptist, the walls between professing Fundamentalists and New Evangelicals are breaking down. Are you aware that the largest clergy gathering in history was held in Atlanta, Georgia in 1996 where some 39,000 clergyman gathered under the Georgia Dome at a massive Promise Keepers Convention. By the end of three days, by one report, the clergymen had seemingly become pawns ready to exhibit any emotional response by hollering, cheering, clapping, whooping, chanting, even roaring – solicited and engineered by the worship leader of the Promise Keepers, Bill McCartney who reported, 'No such meeting was held in the past four hundred years. It is exciting to see the denominational barriers come down. The purpose of this meeting is to have the unity of the church.'
"John and Carol Arnott, the pastors of the church in Toronto where the recent 'laughing revivals' and 'holy rolling' began in North America, reported twenty-seven months of continuous, nightly meetings in their church. Dr. Richard Roberts, the Oral Roberts University President, then came to the center stage and had the entire group join hands for prayer asking for miracles, healings and deliverances. After a contemporary, big-beat musical group sang 'The Holy Spirit Fall Afresh On America,' Jerry Falwell, said, 'We must network together or we will lose this country.'
"The 'Washington for Jesu'" event concluded with a signs-and-wonders miracles service led by Benny Hinn who held a faith-healing ceremony right on the Georgia capital steps. One by one, persons made their way up the stage. When Mr. Hinn touched each one on the forehead each fell backward into the arms of a waiting attendant. Pentecostals call this being 'slain in the spirit.' People tossed aside their crutches, canes and walkers as these miracles were performed. This is modern spiritualism manifestations in our day.
"Today the Catholic world is entranced with the apparitions of the Virgin Mary seen nearly worldwide. Catholics also have modern visionaries with prophetic utterances as well as miracles of all kind. Pick up a catalogue of a Catholic publication and you will be amazed at the number of popular books on the subject of prophecy and the end-time."
And now I want to read to you a most alarming statement found in The Catholic International, August, 1994 p. 384 and 394. It says, "Dialogue: Buddhists and Christians, Evangelicals and Catholic Reformation Reversed. Protestants Embrace Rome." Billy Graham and John Scott have been saying it. Now Charles Colson, Bill Bright, J.I. Packard, Pat Robertson, John White echo it. Evangelicals and Catholics together. The Evangelicals have sounded the death knell for the reformation and the impending demise of the Protestant church. The ecumenical reunification of all Christendom under Rome is unstoppable and the end is in sight."
Are you listening? It's coming, surely, it's coming. Ellen White predicted this unity between Catholics and Protestants. Listen. She stated in Great Controversy p. 445, "When the leading churches of the United States, uniting upon such points of doctrine as are held by them in common, shall influence the state to enforce their decrees and to sustain their institutions, then Protestant America will have formed an image of the Roman hierarchy, (that's the image of the beast), and the infliction of civil penalties upon dissenters will inevitably result."
O friend, this process is beginning to happen now. Ellen White also predicted that Protestants and Catholics would come together. She wrote in Bible Echoes, February 1, 1887 an article entitled, "Protestants and Catholics Uniting." "Romanism is now regarded by Protestants with far greater favor than in former years….Romanism as a system is no more in harmony with the gospel of Christ now than at any former period in her history. The Protestant churches are in great darkness, or they would discern the signs of the times. The Roman church is far-reaching in her plans and modes of operation. She is employing every device to extend her influence and increase her power in preparation for a fierce and determined conflict to regain control of the world, and to re-establish persecution, and to undo all that Protestantism has done….
(O friend, wake up!) "Men are closing their eyes to the real character of Romanism, and the dangers to be apprehended from her supremacy.…The Romish church now presents a fair front to the world, covering with apologies her record of horrible cruelties. She has clothed herself in Christ-like garments; but she is unchanged….(Shall this power, whose record for a thousand years is written in the blood of the saints, be now acknowledged as a part of the church of Christ) It is not without reason that the claim has been put forth that Catholicism is now almost like Protestantism. There has been a change; but the change is in Protestants not in Romanists. (What is the secret of the papacy's power?)…The papacy is well adapted to meet the wants of all these. It is prepared for two classes of mankind, embracing nearly the whole world, - (first,) those who would be saved by their merits (their works), and (second,) those who would be saved in their sins. Here is the secret of the papacy's power."
The New Theology teaching being presented from many Adventist pulpits is preparing the way for professed Adventists to accept Catholicism, which also teaches that you can be saved in your sins. The Bible clearly teaches that there is no salvation by works and there is no salvation if we are in sin. In other words, there is no salvation in a legalistic way and also no salvation in cheap grace. Those who are in the above categories are under papal power.
As I worked on this tape the present pope has given his strongest message yet in preparing the world to accept Sunday as a day of worship. These typewritten statements came to me over the Internet and it was also published in such newspapers as The Detroit News on July 7, 1998 with the headline, "The Pope's Call For Worship. Welcome." In this message the pope warned that Sunday should be dedicated to celebrating God and not for free time. It should be a day in which the church celebrates the resurrection of Christ in obedience to the third commandment. Sunday must be sanctified.
And then came this outstanding statement: The pope said a violator should be punished as a "heretic." Anyone acquainted with the history of the Dark Ages, when the pope's words were the universal law of the land, will recognize in these words what the pope has in mind as an enforcement of a coming Sunday Law. Soon, very soon, you and I will see and meet this crisis.
As I close I must remind you that neither the Bible nor the Spirit of Prophecy says anything about the year 2000, and they give no suggestion that Christ will come in the year 2000, but we know that all time prophecies ended in 1844. Yet, the prophets of the scripture and God's mouthpiece for these last days reveals that in the very last end time, spiritualism will cause Protestant America to join hands with the papacy bringing about a national Sunday Law. God help us to be prepared for what is coming.
Let us pray. Heavenly Father, without Thy mighty power we shall never be able to stand faithful in view of what is to come. So please, Father, guide and transform us into sinless saints and may we be sealed as Thy Holy Spirit prepares us to meet this evil power. We thank Thee, dear God, for the wonderful promise that Thou wilt never leave us nor forsake us. Amen.