Monday, May 31, 2010

Ready to Answer

Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear. 1 Peter 3:15.

I have been shown that many who profess to have a knowledge of present truth know not what they believe. They do not understand the evidences of their faith. They have no just appreciation of the work for the present time. When the time of trial shall come, there are men now preaching to others who will find, upon examining the positions they hold, that there are many things for which they can give no satisfactory reason. Until thus tested they know not their great ignorance. And there are many in the church who take it for granted that they understand what they believe; but, until controversy arises, they do not know their own weakness. When separated from those of like faith and compelled to stand singly and alone to explain their belief, they will be surprised to see how confused are their ideas of what they had accepted as truth....

God will arouse His people; if other means fail, heresies will come in among them, which will sift them, separating the chaff from the wheat. The Lord calls upon all who believe His word to awake out of sleep. Precious light has come, appropriate for this time.... Believers are not to rest in suppositions and ill-defined ideas of what constitutes truth. Their faith must be firmly founded upon the word of God so that when the testing time shall come and they are brought before councils to answer for their faith they may be able to give a reason for the hope that is in them, with meekness and fear.

The servants of Christ are to prepare no set speech to present when brought to trial for their faith. Their preparation is to be made day by day, in treasuring up in their hearts the precious truths of God’s word, in feeding upon the teaching of Christ, and through prayer strengthening their faith; then, when brought into trial, the Holy Spirit will bring to their remembrance the very truths that will reach the hearts of those who shall come to hear.

God will flash the knowledge obtained by diligent searching of the Scriptures, into their memory at the very time when it is needed.


Maranatha, E. G.W. pp.45.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Seventh-day Adventists: Where have your donations gone? (SDA church issue)


Zed dialogues with Seventh-day Adventist Church

Rajan Zed who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism who had a dialogue with some of the leaders of Seventh-day Adventist Church on May 25, says that they are planning to have further dialogue and might cooperate on common causes.
CJ: Correspondent

Fri, May 28, 2010 12:59:03 IST
HINDU STATESMAN Rajan Zed and Seventh-day Adventists are planning to work together on issues of common interest.

Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism and who had a dialogue with some of the leaders of Seventh-day Adventist Church at their world headquarters in Silver Spring (Maryland, United States of America) on May 25, says that they are planning to have further dialogue and might cooperate on common causes.
Rajan Zed met with Michael Lee Ryan, General Vice President of Seventh-day Adventist Church; Dr John Graz, secretary general of International Religious Liberty; and Dr William G Johnsson, assistant to the president for Interfaith Relations.

Numbering around 16 million with about 66,000 churches in 203 countries, Seventh-day Adventists, a Christian denomination, accept the Bible as their only creed. Norwegian-born Jan Paulsen is president. Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.

Note: Highlights added ///

Sabbath: Did history play a trick on us?

Sabbath: Did history play a trick on us?
Posted By Lot Masiane on 26 May, 2010 at 2:53 pm

Lot Masiane is a member of the SDA Church. An accountant by profession, he is also a self-confessed bookworm and his interests include football. He supports Chelsea Football Club.

THE Romans had occupied Israel and that was a constant bitter pill to swallow for the Jews. When Jesus came, preaching a “turn the other cheek” message, that seemed out of touch with their immediate needs then. They wanted a military leader to free them from Roman administrators and stop Romans soldiers from patrolling their streets.

On His last trial, Pilate brought in Barabbas, which means, “son of the father”, and Jesus, who was the “Son of the Father” side-by-side and the people chose Barabbas to be released because he was a militant “Robin Hood” type zealot.

Initially, Rome had thought the Jewish religion too ridiculous to be a threat to theirs and declared it a “religio lecita” — a licit or legal religion — and allowed to flourish in the empire. That changed because of the intense nationalistic patriotism of the Jews. Historians say between 65 and l35 AD when Jerusalem was twice sacked, more than two million Jews died in the rebellion and revolt.

Then came a young Jewish guerrilla fighter named Barkokeba, a militant messianic figure many Jews had been looking for to lead them in massive revolt against Rome. And this time the Roman Empire countered with a furious, take-no-prisoners vengeance. After the rebellion things had to change, the Emperor Hadrian (ll7-l38 AD) decreed new policies against the Jews:

1. First, he prohibited any Jew under the threat of death to set foot in the new Roman city rebuilt over.

2. Secondly, he outlawed the practice of the Jewish religion…it was now a “religio illecita.”

3. Thirdly, he outlawed the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath.

Meanwhile, the new Jewish Christians continued working on their friends and families and neighbours declaring the Good News of the Gospel of Christ and the whole place was on fire with thousands turning to Christ. But as far as the Roman Empire was concerned, they were all one and the same — Jews and Christians — just a bunch of fanatical religious zealots.

1. After all, the Christians worshiped on the same day as the Jews…the 7th day Sabbath.

2. They worshiped in the same places as the Jews, the neighbourhood synagogues, unless of course they were expelled by angry Jews.

While Rome saw no distinction between the two religions, no Jew or Christian ever confused their separate identities. The Jews were convinced that the Christian church was out to destroy Judaism. And the new Christians were convinced that Judaism without Jesus was a bankrupt system in the end. Add another dimension, along comes Emperor Nero, whose wife, Empress Poppea Sabrina, converted to Judaism in 62 AD. Nero himself is a friend of the Jews and soon he turns on this growing movement of Christians with a vengeance.

When Rome caught fire in the night, he blamed it on the Christians and a merciless persecution ensued. Christians were covered with pitch and lighted up as human lampposts, they lined the streets of the Imperial City, and their smouldering bodies a testimony to Roman rage. Pressure was definitely mounting on the Christian Church. Were they not worshiping on the same Sabbath as the Jews who were now an illegal religion? They did. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck then it must be a duck!

So now the challenge was for the Christian church to distance itself from anything Jewish, now “religio illecita.” More and more Christian writers began to distance themselves from the Sabbath. Until one author, Justin Martyr (l00-l64 AD), went so far as to suggest that the seventh-day Sabbath was “a brand of infamy imposed by God on the Jews to single them out for punishment they so well deserved for their wickedness” (Bacch. l84).

A lot of subtle changes started taking place. Under pressure — in a desperate effort to differentiate themselves from the forbidden Jewish religion — historical research conclusively reveals that the Christians of the 2nd and 3rd centuries abandoned the Sabbath of Jesus and the apostles and the New Testament Church. They couldn’t stand the pressure and persecution any longer.

But the fact remains that those later Christians could have chosen Thursday or Friday or even Wednesday instead of celebrating Sabbath on Saturday as they had been doing. Anti-Judaism created the desire to substitute a new day of worship, but it did not determine the specific choice of Sunday.

Why Sunday? Enter Emperor Constantine. His empire divided by two major constituencies: pagan Romans and Christian Romans. He sought to unite them. So in March, 32l AD, Constantine makes a calculated political decision and issues an empire-wide edict that the day of the Sun would be a day of rest, not a religious day of rest but a day for all citizens to refrain from work. A day to build harmony and peace throughout the empire. And soon, it was that Constantine himself was baptised a Christian. Then some say he marched his army across a river and declared them baptised.

For by the 4th century, the Christians in the west had officially declared their day of worship to be the day of the Sun (Sunday), the day the Sun of Righteousness arose from the dead, was how they defended it. And of course their pagan neighbours were already worshiping the sun on Sunday, so what a convenient blending of pagan and Christian truth! Peace at last for all. And when in the middle of the 4th century the church in Rome convened a council at Laodecia, at last was the official stance ratified in the words:

“Christians shall not Judaize and be idle on Saturday, but shall work on that day; but the Lord’s day they shall especially honour and … If possible, do no work on that day.” (Finley 64) {Note how he separates Saturday/Sabbath from the Lord’s day!}

We have a clear line of truth.

God has a day “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day” [Rev 1:10]. That day is called the Sabbath “The Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath” [Mark 2:28]. The Sabbath is the seventh day. “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made” [Genesis 2:1,2].

Some more quotes from Catholic scholars:

Bishop Eusebius, the high-ranking Catholic leader during Constantine’s reign:

“All things whatsoever that were prescribed for the [Bible] Sabbath, we have transferred them to the Lord’s day, as being more authoritative and more highly regarded and first in rank, and more honourable than the Jewish Sabbath” (Quoted in J. P. Migne’s “Patrologie” p 23, 1169-1172).

The Convert’s Catechism, the instructional book for those who join the Roman Catholic Church:

“Question: Which is the Sabbath day?” “Answer: Saturday is the Sabbath day.” “Question: Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?” “Answer: We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday.”

Cardinal James Gibbon:

“You may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation and you will not find a single line authorising the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday.”

Then why does Rome venerate Sunday? The Catholic Encyclopaedia answers:

“The church, after changing the day of rest from the Jewish Sabbath of the seventh day of the week to the first made the Third Commandment refer to Sunday as the day to be kept holy as the Lord’s Day.” (V 4, p 153)

[It says ‘the Third Commandment’ instead of Fourth because the Catholic Catechism dropped the Second Commandment, forbidding graven images, “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image,” (because it condemned their usage of the statues of “Peter”, “Mary” etc.) and consequently divided the Tenth Commandment into two parts in order to still get ten commandments] see Exodus 20: 1-17 for Biblical 10 Commandments.

But if the Catholic Church claims to have changed the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday, why do most Protestant churches also worship on Sunday?

In his book, the Faith of Millions, the late Rev. John A. O’Brian, former professor at Notre Dame University, writes:

“But since Saturday, not Sunday, is specified in the Bible, isn’t it curious that non-Catholics who profess to take their religion directly from the Bible and not from the Church, observe Sunday instead of Saturday? Yes, of course, it is inconsistent; but this change was made about fifteen centuries before Protestantism was born, and by that time the custom was universally observed. They have continued the custom, even though it rests upon the authority of the Catholic Church and not upon an explicit text in the bible. That observance remains as a reminder of the Mother Church from which the non-Catholic sects broke away like a boy running away from home but still carrying in his pocket a picture of his mother or a lock of her hair.”

Whose authority will you follow, clever human devices and Divine command? It is my prayer that every Christian studies the Bible for themselves and stop following human traditions or clever philosophies. They will not save from the fires of hell.

Christ said, “But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” [Matthew 15:9].

Aristotle in 300 BC made the following scientific observation and wrote it down in his journal: “The spider is a small animal which has six legs.” That declaration was accepted as truth for 1700 years, until somebody else counted the legs of the spider in 1400 AD and discovered that it has eight legs! They had to rewrite their books but for 1700 years nobody challenged the great Aristotle, and so his false count was followed mindlessly by all those behind him!

A reward of £1million was offered to anyone who finds a text of scripture from the Bible instructing us to keep Sunday holy. To date, there haven’t been any takers! We could up the ante to £2 million (just to show our confidence in the Scriptures).

True and Honest Men

By their wisdom and justice, by the purity and benevolence of their daily life, by their devotion to the interests of the people,--and they, idolaters,--Joseph and Daniel proved themselves true to the principles of their early training, true to Him whose representatives they were. These men, both in Egypt and in Babylon, the whole nation honoured; and in them a heathen people, and all the nations with which they were connected, beheld an illustration of the goodness and beneficence of God, an illustration of the love of Christ.

What a lifework was that of these noble Hebrews! As they bade farewell to their childhood home, how little did they dream of their high destiny! Faithful and steadfast, they yielded themselves to the divine guiding, so that through them God could fulfil His purpose.

The same mighty truths that were revealed through these men, God desires to reveal through the youth and the children of today. The history of Joseph and Daniel is an illustration of what He will do for those who yield themselves to Him and with the whole heart seek to accomplish His purpose.

The greatest want of the world is the want of men-- men who will not be bought or sold, men who in their inmost souls are true and honest, men who do not fear to call sin by its right name, men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole, men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall.
But such a character is not the result of accident; it is not due to special favours or endowments of Providence. A noble character is the result of self-discipline, of the subjection of the lower to the higher nature--the surrender of self for the service of love to God and man.

The youth need to be impressed with the truth that their endowments are not their own.
Strength, time, intellect, are but lent treasures. They belong to God, and it should be the resolve of every youth to put them to the highest use. He is a branch, from which God expects fruit; a steward, whose capital must yield increase; a light, to illuminate the world's darkness.
Every youth, every child, has a work to do for the honour of God and the uplifting of humanity.

Education, E. G. White, pp.56-58.

Friday, May 28, 2010

The secret costs of papal visits

Both sides try to keep these hidden from the taxpayers. Neither the Vatican nor the politicians, (who are wooing the “Catholic vote”), want the bill to be made public. In Australia it was even declared a state secret. But when the hidden figures were revealed, it was found that the papal visit had scared off tourists and cost far more than estimated.

Security hysteria on the Pope's trip to Bavaria
Gay Catholic youth not wanted
Vatican's “World Youth Day 2005” funded by European Union

“Make the Pope's visit a pastoral rather than a state one. After all, its main focus ― the beatification of John Henry Newman ― is primarily a Catholic event; and one could argue that, by offering his pastoral guidance to an embattled Church, the Holy Father will achieve far more than by taking part in a state-funded public relations exercise.” ― Catholic Herald, 28 April 2010

When it comes to papal trips the pope gets the best of both worlds. He claims the diplomatic perks of a head of state to have his visit paid for by the country that has officially invited him [1], yet as a religious leader he doesn’t hesitate to make politically-charged statements about the policies of his hosts [2], which no real visiting head of state could get away with.

The host country is responsible for [the pope’s] travel expenses, room and board, and, most important, [his] large security needs. In order for this arrangement to work in any country that has separation of church and state, the papacy must be recognised as both a religious and political organisation. The host country is often responsible not just for the basic travel expenses, but also for all the street closures, traffic rerouting and police overtime. [3]

Security, the costliest item, was carefully left out of the British Government’s estimates for the cost of the papal visit. [4] However, this includes measures such as closed circuit TV cameras (for public events such as a Pontifical masses), additional police presence on the streets, the assignment of temporary security personnel to the Pope’s entourage, increased intelligence surveillance and the temporary adoption of certain anti-terror measures, such as heightened airport security. [5]

The Pope’s trip to Portugal in May 2010 featured the customary open-air mass with half a million worshippers. [6] Yet, the British state visit in September is shaping up as a tightly-controlled tickets-only event, where even Catholics with tickets will be turned away unless they arrive on buses chartered by their diocese. “Tens of thousands of Catholics will be unable to attend papal events” and thus be denied the chance to see the Pope. [7] If it were a pastoral visit, as recommended by the Catholic Herald, there would be no possibility of protests and one would hope that the faithful could be given better access. Is the Pope’s insistence on being treated as a sovereign interfering with his role as shepherd to his flock?

The popemobile, shipped abroad by air cargo before each papal trip, is a modified Mercedes-Benz M-Class off-road vehicle. It is rugged, powerful and weighs four tons. The Pope sits in a high seat in the back within a cube made of advanced, bulletproof plastic. ...Shortly before the Pope's 2010 tour of Malta in his armoured vehicle, a Maltese enquired if anyone could lend the His Holiness a donkey so that he could use the same transport as Jesus did.

Malta, April 2010: The Government claimed that the papal visit would cost €200,000, but this has been called by one of the country’s leading newspapers “not even enough to pay for the overtime of police officers”, let alone the other security costs. [8]

Furthermore, it is understood that the pope’s personal security costs will be “considerably higher” than when the trip was planned because of an incident during the Christmas Eve Mass at in Rome. As the Pope walked in procession down the aisle of St. Peter’s an unarmed woman scrambled over the barricade and ran towards him. When the black-suited security guards tackled her, she clung to the pope’s robes, pulling him down with her. His mitre and staff clattered to the marble floor, but he was unhurt. [9]

Any government inviting the Pope is responsible for protecting him, even within a church and even from unarmed admirers. In the Vatican the Swiss Guards cope with what they call “religious fanatics” by using pepper spray, however, host governments must take everything very seriously. This is an expensive task and politicians are reluctant to reveal its costs, the British Government going so far as to claim that it could omit security from the estimates because it was covered by “existing budgets”. [10]

Also not acknowledged as associated with the papal visit is the “extensive work being carried out on the country’s roads, the quality of which has already been questioned.” [11] In addition, thousands of flowers have been planted along the papal route. And at the end of his visit, the Maltese taxpayers will pay to fly him out, just as they paid to bring him there. Air Malta flight KM1950 has been chosen to mark the 1,950th anniversary of St. Paul’s visit to the island. [12]
However, the arrival of St. Paul, which this event commemorates, was somewhat different. His ship struck a reef, the hull broke up and the Saint swam ashore. [13] That apostolic visit was accomplished at no cost to the Maltese taxpayers.

Australia, July 2008: The price tag that the Church got an Australian premier to hide has finally been revealed by the Auditor General. On the heels of embarrassing figures showing that the papal youth jamboree scared off tourists, the government of New South Wales has belatedly released figures on the budget shortfall of World Youth Day, July 2008. As a visiting head of state, Benedict XVI had his accommodation and (massive) security paid for by his hosts and now the taxpayers will have to come up with 100 million Australian dollars more.

In preparation for the Pope’s visit to Sydney, Australia, the premier of New South Wales had a financial statement drawn up which he said showed the papal jamboree would bring in $150 million Australian. Then the Catholic Church got the Government of Premier Morris Iemma, who happens to be Catholic, to exempt this report from the Freedom of Information Act, claiming it would be against the public interest to allow anyone to check the figures. [14] All that could be gleaned was that $41 million in public funds was paid to the race track where the event was held and it's been estimated that at least another $20 million was spent on security. Not included here is the cost of providing emergency services and of billeting pilgrims in state schools. [15]

Until late November Premier Iemma's government was still resolutely refusing to reveal the price tag for "the joy it brought to our city". Later, however, Tourism Australia released figures suggesting that far fewer attended the World Youth Day than the Church had estimated. And most of the “pilgrims” who did turn up, quite naturally took the free accommodation provided by the state and didn't use hotels. [16] Furthermore, the tourism department's figures indicate that the event actually ended up costing Sydney some 63,000 visitors who preferred not to spend their holiday in a city full of fervent teenagers. Yet even long after the event the information on the government's expenses is still being treated like a state secret. [17]

In the wake of news of the tourist shortfall, the financial shortfall was made public when the Auditor General was finally allowed to release his “top secret” report. According to this, the Australian taxpayers will have to pay an additional $100 million AUD (about £42.3 million British pounds). [18]

France, September 2008: The costs to the taxpayer of the papal visit to Paris and Lourdes from 12-15 September, are still being held secret. However, from the security measures alone it's clear that also this papal visit didn't come cheap. [19] A few highlights:

Two “popemobiles”, each weighing 4 tons, were flown in by military Hercules C-130 transport planes to Paris 10 days in advance so that the police could become proficient in driving them.

In Paris 2000 police formed a network through the capital, the river brigade was mobilised to watch the banks of the Seine, and sharpshooters were posted on high points.

Glass bottles, large flags, banners, posters or signs were forbidden.

About 72 hours before the pope's arrival in Lourdes, the holy site was “decontaminated” by mine detectors.

Company Number One of motorcyclists from France's élite riot police controlled the entrance to the football stadium where the pope would hold the rally. The local airport of Tarbes-Lourdes-Pyrénées was guarded by police, while the hills which overlook the town were patrolled by the mounted brigade.

And finally, Lourdes was blanketed with an aerial security cordon extending for 20 kilometres in all directions, where radar, planes and missiles would be prevented from attacking the pope.
What all this security cost the French taxpayers has never been revealed.

However, for the 2006 papal trip the government took stronger measures: it banned outright the sale of spirits in the cities visited by the Pope — but not, of course, in the duty-free shops for tourists. Thus in Kraków the only place where you could buy vodka during the Pope's visit was at the John Paul II Airport.Brazil, May 2007: Nor do we know the true cost to the Brazilian taxpayers of the papal visit estimated at 50 million Brazilian reais [20] (about 28 million US dollars or 18 million British pounds) — a trip which the Pope used to urge the signing of a concordat.

A massive security operation — the greatest ever adopted in Brazil — was launched to protect the Pope, with some 10,000 police agents as well as helicopters, cameras and two bulletproof popemobiles. [21] However, at least they didn't have to pay as much as the Vatican was expecting. “Reportedly, the Vatican was quite ‘upset’ that Brazil was unable to organise (and pay for) the Pope’s return air trip to Rome.” [22]

Germany, September 2006: Also not revealed are the expenses footed by the German taxpayers from Benedict XVI's first papal trip, (9-14 September 2006). However, in the course of the preparations for it, the president of the Bavarian Police Union, Harald Schneider got a look at the cost of the Pope’s security. This led Schneider to remark that it would have been cheaper if the German taxpayers had given every Catholic pilgrim who wanted it, a round-trip ticket to go and see the Pope in Rome. [23]

Of course, in the end both the Australian and the German taxpayers can afford to subsidise the pope. But unfortunately, papal trips are not confined to lands like these. The much-travelled John Paul II visited 129 different countries, few of them as wealthy as Australia and Germany.

Angola, March 2009: In addition to the cost of the 10,000 police officers, there was security in the form of anti-terrorism measures such as sharpshooters to protect the route taken by the Popemobile. [24] One wonders who protected the poor Angolans from police who are noted for practicing with complete impunity “arbitrary arrests and unlawful detention, torture and ill-treatment, deaths in police custody and extrajudicial executions”. [25]

Tanzania, September 1990: At that time the former nun, Maria Lauda/Majella Lenzen, was working in a Tanzanian hospital. (She was later expelled from the Sisters of the Precious Blood for distributing condoms to fight the epidemic there of AIDS. [26]) As she relates, “Suddenly the order came for every villager to pay 1000 Tanzanian shillings for the necessary security measures. That’s a month’s wages for a family. But, in order to save face, almost everyone paid up. Even when they had to incur large debts”. [27]

See also: Papal trips: both “pilgrimages” and “state visits”

Further reading about the Pope’s Australian trip: Max Wallace, “World Youth Day wash up”, Online Opinion, 5 February 2009.



Pastor Mark Tossell

Sunday School Lesson Volume 7
Lighthouse Baptist Church
Lesson 9 – 27/6/04 Phillip Bay, NSW

Seventh Day Adventists

· According to the JW’s, divine guidance comes only through the ________________ Society. (Watchtower)
· What is the goal of Mormons? (To attain godhood on the basis of good works)
· What did we learn about Allah, the god of the Koran? (he is really Allah, the pagan moon god)
· What is the key belief of Buddhism? (Reincarnation, or the circle of life)
· What is the major problem of the Roman Catholic religion? (Human tradition is elevated above the Bible)
· Hinduism takes the bold step of proclaiming that we are _________. (God)
· Scientology is a voyage of ___________________________. (self-discovery)
Read more @

About the Lighthouse Baptist Church

Lighthouse Baptist Church is an independent, fundamental Baptist church located just south of Washington DC in the Alexandria, Virginia area. Our church is easily accessible from anywhere in the Northern Virginia area by major highways (i.e., I-95, I-395, & I-495).

There are more than 15,000 independent Baptist churches in America and at least 10,000 independent Baptist missionaries serving on mission fields worldwide. Just as all independent Baptist churches are an autonomous congregation, we are self- governing and self-supporting. However, we hold true to the Biblical fact that the head of the church is the Lord Jesus Christ. We earnestly strive to make the Bible our sole authority for faith and practice. It is our desire to be a truly New Testament church.

At Lighthouse Baptist Church, though we have one message – the message of the Lord Jesus Christ, and one ministry – the ministry He has given us to go into the entire world and preach the gospel to every creature. This is evident by the many soul-winning ministries of our church.

Peek aboo!

Ken Salazar

Kenneth Lee "Ken" Salazar (pronounced /ˈsæləzɑr/; born March 2, 1955) is the 50th and current United States Secretary of the Interior, serving in the administration of President Barack Obama. A member of the Democratic Party, he previously served as a United States Senator from Colorado from 2005 to 2009. He and Mel Martinez (R-Florida) were the first Hispanic U.S. Senators since 1977; they were joined by Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey) in January 2006. Prior to his election to the U.S. Senate, he served as Attorney General of Colorado from 1999 to 2005.

On December 17, 2008, President-elect Obama announced he would nominate Salazar as U.S. Secretary of the Interior. The environmentalist movement's reaction to this nomination was mixed.[1][2] Previously, Salazar supported the nomination of Gale Norton to Secretary of the Interior,[3] President George W. Bush's controversial first appointee who preceded Salazar as Colorado Attorney General. On January 20, 2009, Salazar was confirmed by unanimous consent in the Senate.
50th United States Secretary of the Interior
Assumed office January 20, 2009
Barack Obama
Preceded by
Dirk Kempthorne
United States Senatorfrom Colorado
In officeJanuary 3, 2005 – January 20, 2009
Preceded by
Ben Nighthorse Campbell
Succeeded by
Michael Bennet
36th Attorney General of Colorado
In officeJanuary 12, 1999 – January 3, 2005
Bill Owens
Preceded by
Gale Norton
Succeeded by
John Suthers
March 2, 1955 (1955-03-02) (age 55)Alamosa, United States
Political party
Hope Salazar
Denver, United States
Alma mater
Colorado CollegeUniversity of Michigan Law School
Roman Catholic


U.S. Government Keeps 'Boot on Neck' of BP Over Spill

Monday, May 24, 2010
U.S. Government Keeps 'Boot on Neck' of BP Over Spill


GALLIANO, La.--The U.S. government piled pressure on BP Plc Monday to clean up a "massive environmental mess" in the Gulf of Mexico amid growing anger at the oil giant's failure to contain a five-week-old oil spill.

The company insisted it was doing all it could to try to shut off a blown-out oil well spewing hundreds of thousands of gallons (liters) of oil into the Gulf every day. It threatens to become the worst U.S. oil spill in history.

London-based BP, which has now lost about 25 percent of its market value -- almost $50 billion -- since the spill began, said it would make another attempt to plug the leak on Wednesday, but gave it only a 60-70 percent chance of success.

With heavy oil already washing into fragile marshlands and wildlife refuges in Louisiana, the U.S. government is pushing BP to try to contain or seal the leak as soon as possible.

"We will keep our boot on their neck until the job gets done," U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told reporters after touring affected areas of the Gulf coast with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and a group of U.S. senators.

President Barack Obama has called it an unprecedented environmental disaster for the United States.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal said some 70 miles of his state's coastline had been affected by the oil spill. He renewed a plea for federal authorities to send more equipment, especially booms, to help stop the oil from making landfall.

More than 1,100 vessels, 24,000 personnel and 2 million feet of boom have been deployed to deal with the spill, the largest such effort in history, U.S. officials said.

"This is a BP mess, it is a horrible mess and it is a massive environmental mess," Salazar said. He added BP was legally responsible for halting the spreading spill, cleaning up its effects and paying for resulting economic damages.

Salazar said an ongoing investigation by U.S. authorities would hold the company accountable "both civilly and in whatever way is necessary," appearing to leave open the possibility of a criminal inquiry.

The oil spill is a political hot potato for the Obama administration ahead of a November election that is widely expected to erode Democrats' control of the U.S. Congress. Analysts warn that voters may punish Democrats regardless of who is ultimately deemed responsible for the mess.
The White House has repeatedly said it is the energy giant's responsibility to clean up the spill, but with public anger over BP's handling of the crisis intensifying, there have been calls for the Obama administration to take charge.


The administration warned BP Sunday it would be removed from efforts to seal the well if it was not seen as doing enough. But it acknowledged only the company and the oil industry have the know-how to stop the spill.

BP plans to inject heavy fluids and then cement into the seabed well to block oil flow in a so-called "top kill" operation Wednesday.

"We need it to work," BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles told CNN.

BP shares fell nearly 3 percent in London on Monday as investors reacted to the Obama administration's renewed pressure and waited to see whether BP's latest attempt to stop the leak would work.

BP executives have warned there is "no certainty" that the containment efforts will be successful because they have not been attempted ever before at the depths -- a mile (1.6 km) down -- where the Macondo well is located.

They involve remote-controlled undersea robots working in the dark with lights and under intense depth pressure.

A previous control measure attempted by BP -- a long tube deployed down to the larger of two leaks from the well -- appeared to have had relatively little impact on the flow.

BP said the oil collected by the siphon tube was at times as low as 1,360 barrels of oil (57,120 gallons/) per day in the six days before May 23. On average, BP said, the oil captured during that period was 2,010 barrels per day. Last week the company said it had been siphoning as much as 5,000 barrels (210,000 gallons / per day.

The company had estimated that about 5,000 barrels have been leaking every day, although some scientists have given much higher numbers for the size of the leak -- up to 70,000 and even 100,000 barrels per day.

BP said the spill, triggered by an April 20 explosion that sank the Deepwater Horizon rig and killed 11 workers, had cost it $760 million so far. It also pledged up to $500 million Monday toward studying the impact of the spill.

Suttles said if the "top kill" operation did not work, the company would attempt to put a "top hat" containment device over the larger leak to try to capture most of the oil and pipe it up to a tanker on the surface.

Another option was a "junk shot" -- the injection of golf balls, pieces of rubber tire and other debris into the well's failed blowout preventer to try to shut it.


Oil has been sloshing into Louisiana's fragile marshlands, and over 65 miles of shoreline have been tarred.

The marshes are nurseries for shrimp, oysters, crabs and fish that make Louisiana the top commercial seafood producer in the continental United States. Fishing is now banned in a large swath of the Gulf because of the spill.

The spill has raised questions about Obama's earlier proposal to expand offshore drilling as part of a strategy to win Republican support for climate change legislation.

Many scientists have warned the spreading oil could increasingly be caught in a powerful ocean current that could take it to the Florida Keys, Cuba and the U.S. East Coast.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a fierce critic of Washington, said on Sunday he had sent a team of oil experts to socialist ally Cuba to help it prepare for the possibility of oil from the spill coming ashore there.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Floods of Frogs shuts Down Major Greek Highway


Gomez to Begin Ministry in LA

Catholics will welcome the Coadjutor Archbishop today with Mass at 2 p.m.

Updated 6:58 AM PDT, Wed, May 26, 2010

The man chosen by the pope to succeed Cardinal Roger Mahony as head of the most populous Roman Catholic archdiocese in the United States will officially begin his ministry in the Southland Wednesday.

Coadjutor Archbishop Jose H. Gomez, head of the church in San Antonio since 2004, will be at a gala Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. Gomez was chosen in April by Pope Benedict XVI to replace Mahony, who will retire on his 75th birthday on Feb. 27.

At 2 p.m., Mass will mark the beginning of Gomez's work in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, which claims more than 5 million Catholics in Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. About 4,000 invited guests are expected to attend the Mass.

"As an Hispanic bishop, we've worked together on committees and know each other well," said Bishop Gabino Savala. "He comes to a complicated, large, diverse archdiocese, so it's going to be challenging.

"If you can imagine the excitement among the Latino community, it's tremendous."

Gomez will serve as an assistant bishop until Mahony's retirement.

Wednesday's Mass will will include the rite of reception. After Mahony gives his sermon, Sister Mary Elizabeth Galt, chancellor of the archdiocese, will read a letter from Rome announcing Gomez's appointment as coadjutor archbishop. Mahony will accept the letter and ask the audience -- expected to include about 4,000 people -- if they will support Gomez, and they will reply "We are.''

While Mahony will be the principal celebrant, the Mass will include six other cardinals, 59 bishops and 411 priests.

Los Angeles native Cardinal William Levada, the highest-ranking American in the Vatican, will attend, as will Philadelphia Archbishop Justin Rigali, also a Los Angeles native.

Gomez, 58, will address the congregation after Communion, and he will greet and bless people on the Cathedral Plaza following the Mass.

Church rules require archbishops to tender their resignation at age 75. The pope can allow them to stay on, but he otherwise appoints a successor.

From Monterrey to LA

Gomez is a Monterrey, Mexico-born priest of the conservative Prelature of Opus Dei. He earned undergraduate degrees in accounting, philosophy and theology and was ordained in the Prelature of Opus Dei in 1978.

In 1980, he earned a doctorate in theology from the University of Navarre's campus in Pamplona, Spain.

Gomez was the priest in residence at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in San Antonio from 1987 to 1999. During that period, he became a regional representative to the National Association of Hispanic Priests and, in 1995, was named president. In 1999, he became executive director.

As the archbishop in San Antonio, Gomez helped establish the Hispanic Seminary of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, which opened in 2000.

In 2001, he was ordained an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Denver, where he served in several areas, including outreach to Hispanics. He also organized Denver's Centro San Juan Diego for Family and Pastoral Care, a place for formation of lay leaders and a base to provide welcoming services to immigrants.

A replacement for Gomez in San Antonio has not yet been named, and that diocese is being overseen by an interim administrator, according to Los Angeles Archdiocese spokesman Tod Tamberg.

First Published: May 26, 2010 6:21 AM PDT


"Bobby" Jindal: The Story They Don't Want You to Read

Bobby and Supriya Jolly Jindal meet with then-President George W. Bush
When the Louisiana Democratic Party announced their intentions to air a series of television commercials about gubernatorial candidate Bobby Jindal, the Jindal campaign immediately went into damage control mode. Tim Teepell, Jindal’s campaign manager, rushed out an e-mail claiming that Democrats would be launching an ad that “attacks Bobby for his Christian Faith (sp).” WAFB initially reported that one of the ads concerned Jindal’s published account of an exorcism he witnessed (and arguably, participated in) while an undergraduate at Brown University. The Louisiana Democratic Party later clarified that the commercial did not concern Jindal’s “exorcism” story.

Read more @

Dudus still at large

Published: Wednesday May 26, 2010

Policemen take the fight to armed thugs on South Camp Road as gunfire rained down on Woodford Park in Kingston yesterday. - Norman Grindley/Chief Photographer

Word he escaped as Tivoli pounded by military might

Daraine Luton & Arthur Hall, Senior Staff Reporters

Christopher 'Dudus' Coke, the No. 1 target which sparked an unprecedented assault by the Jamaican army on Tivoli Gardens and other crime havens, is still missing, even as dozens of fatalities were reported from gunfights across Kingston in three days of intense urban warfare.

The operation, which was bolstered by police firepower, started at 10 o'clock Monday morning and splintered into major battles being waged in Woodford Park and Fletcher's Land as the Jamaican capital remained under siege.

"To our best information, he (Christopher 'Dudus' Coke) is still at large," acting Deputy Commissioner of Police Glenmore Hinds told journalists at a media briefing yesterday afternoon.

Hinds did not say if the police knew the whereabouts of Coke, who is wanted in the United States to answer gun and drugs charges.

"The security forces had previously encouraged the individual (Coke) to surrender himself and, in fact, made known the opportunity to surrender," National Security Minister Dwight Nelson told the media briefing.

He said the security forces were still determined to execute the arrest warrant on Coke who is facing possible extradition.

But unconfirmed reports yesterday were that Coke had slipped out of the west Kingston enclave of Tivoli Gardens on Monday while Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) soldiers were engaged in a massive firefight with thugs manning barricades at entrances to the community.

Nelson said the JDF was greeted with gunfire when soldiers attempting to enter Tivoli were forced to defend themselves on a scale and magnitude which included heavy artillery.

Soldiers later told The Gleaner that they were engaged in a more than five-hour gun battle with the criminals.

One soldier was fatally shot during that battle while five others suffered gunshot wounds. Another soldier was injured in an undisclosed accident.

Several civilians were shot in that battle, with the official numbers being 26 killed and 25 injured. However, late yesterday, medical sources told The Gleaner that the civilian death toll had climbed to 44, with the number of injured moving to 37.

The deaths included two men reportedly found in a neighbouring community with tags on their bodies, indicating they had been shot for refusing to participate in the fight to defend Coke.

The police also reported that 211 civilians - including six women - had been detained, and a large number of firearms, ammunition, binoculars, army fatigues and ballistic vests seized.

However, the cops were unable to provide specific data on those seizures up to press time. They were also unable to say if the powerful Grizzly Big Boar rifle, which was reportedly in the hands of criminals in Tivoli, was among the weapons seized.

"We are still doing some searches and I do not want to go into the numbers," Hinds told journalists.

"There is a rifle that was seized and the persons on the ground said they could not describe it, but I would not want to say if this was the one," Hinds said.

"When it isn't Oil, it's Greece"

Who's next on the News (noose) hitlist? Ships?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

"Blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it".

27And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked.

28But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

Luke 11:27,28.

"This man is worthy to die; for he hath prophesied against this city,.."

Jeremiah 26

1In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah came this word from the LORD, saying,

2Thus saith the LORD; Stand in the court of the LORD's house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the LORD's house, all the words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word:

3If so be they will hearken, and turn every man from his evil way, that I may repent me of the evil, which I purpose to do unto them because of the evil of their doings.

4And thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the LORD; If ye will not hearken to me, to walk in my law, which I have set before you,

5To hearken to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I sent unto you, both rising up early, and sending them, but ye have not hearkened;

6Then will I make this house like Shiloh, and will make this city a curse to all the nations of the earth.

7So the priests and the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the house of the LORD.

8Now it came to pass, when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking all that the LORD had commanded him to speak unto all the people, that the priests and the prophets and all the people took him, saying, Thou shalt surely die.

9Why hast thou prophesied in the name of the LORD, saying, This house shall be like Shiloh, and this city shall be desolate without an inhabitant? And all the people were gathered against Jeremiah in the house of the LORD.

10When the princes of Judah heard these things, then they came up from the king's house unto the house of the LORD, and sat down in the entry of the new gate of the LORD's house.

11Then spake the priests and the prophets unto the princes and to all the people, saying, This man is worthy to die; for he hath prophesied against this city, as ye have heard with your ears.

12Then spake Jeremiah unto all the princes and to all the people, saying, The LORD sent me to prophesy against this house and against this city all the words that ye have heard.

13Therefore now amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the LORD your God; and the LORD will repent him of the evil that he hath pronounced against you.

14As for me, behold, I am in your hand: do with me as seemeth good and meet unto you.

15But know ye for certain, that if ye put me to death, ye shall surely bring innocent blood upon yourselves, and upon this city, and upon the inhabitants thereof: for of a truth the LORD hath sent me unto you to speak all these words in your ears.

16Then said the princes and all the people unto the priests and to the prophets; This man is not worthy to die: for he hath spoken to us in the name of the LORD our God.

17Then rose up certain of the elders of the land, and spake to all the assembly of the people, saying,

18Micah the Morasthite prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah, and spake to all the people of Judah, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Zion shall be plowed like a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of a forest.

19Did Hezekiah king of Judah and all Judah put him at all to death? did he not fear the LORD, and besought the LORD, and the LORD repented him of the evil which he had pronounced against them? Thus might we procure great evil against our souls.

20And there was also a man that prophesied in the name of the LORD, Urijah the son of Shemaiah of Kirjathjearim, who prophesied against this city and against this land according to all the words of Jeremiah.

21And when Jehoiakim the king, with all his mighty men, and all the princes, heard his words, the king sought to put him to death: but when Urijah heard it, he was afraid, and fled, and went into Egypt;

22And Jehoiakim the king sent men into Egypt, namely, Elnathan the son of Achbor, and certain men with him into Egypt.

23And they fetched forth Urijah out of Egypt, and brought him unto Jehoiakim the king; who slew him with the sword, and cast his dead body into the graves of the common people.

24Nevertheless the hand of Ahikam the son of Shaphan was with Jeremiah, that they should not give him into the hand of the people to put him to death.

King James Version (KJV)



Monday, May 24, 2010

Because Large Cities Will Be Swept Away - Destruction of Thousands of Cities

Because Large Cities Will Be Swept Away.--Everywhere there are men who should be out in active ministry, giving the last message of warning to a fallen world. The work that should long ago have been in active operation to win souls to Christ has not been done. The inhabitants of the ungodly cities so soon to be visited by calamities have been cruelly neglected. The time is near when large cities will be swept away, and all should be warned of these coming judgments. But who is giving to the accomplishment of this work the wholehearted service that God requires? . . .

At the present time there is not a thousandth part being done in working the cities, that should be done, and that would be done if men and women would do their whole duty.--Manuscript 53, 1910.

Destruction of Thousands of Cities.--O that God's people had a sense of the impending destruction of thousands of cities, now almost given to idolatry.-- Review and Herald, Sept. 10, 1903.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Judge Napolitano: Obama's Private Army


Here we have Judge Napolitano, a devout Roman Catholic and papal servant in our "legal system" leading a discussion about the Universal (Catholic) Health Care Bill on High Knight of St. Gregory, Rupert Murdoch's FOX NEWS, ("The Other Catholic Channel"), seeming to support the Constitution and condemning the Pope's Health Care legislation. And he is purposely juxtaposed against Knight of Malta Zbigniew Brzezinski's masterful "Muslim" creation, Papal King Barack Obama, a 32 degree Jesuitized/Illuminized Prince Hall Freemason who openly professes Islam, and Papal Court Jew, ("We have no king but Caesar/Pope") Rom Immanuel. In this video, the openly professing Catholic on the openly professing Catholic FOX NEWS seems to be the "Good Guy", while the blame is placed on the Vatican controlled "Muslim" and the Vatican controlled "Jew", all of which work loyally for the Antichrist Pope in Rome!

You talk about MIND CONTROL! This video is the epitome of mind control and I want my friends to be able to see through it all. Not one word is ever said about who these people, every stinking one of them, really work for, and that is the Pope of Rome! And the Pope doesn't care who you blame, Muslim, Jew, or Jesus, as long as you don't blame the Papacy for what is about to happen in this country.

If anybody has any questions, NOW is the time to ask!

Tom Friess KCØEBM
Inquisition Update

Friday, May 21, 2010

Student Protests Tie Up Campuses in Puerto Rico

Students protesting budget cuts at the University of Puerto Rico sat in the road in front of the San Juan campus last week as riot police officers stood guard.

Published: May 20, 2010

SAN JUAN, P.R. — The seven entry gates on the largest campus of the University of Puerto Rico system remained chained shut on Thursday. Beyond improvised barricades were hundreds of students in makeshift camps, some with portable showers and stoves, hardly engaged in the typical college springtime routine of studying for final exams and preparing for graduation.

Ricardo Arduengo/Associated Press
Students have been on strike for over a month, living in makeshift camps behind university gates.

The students here have hunkered down, bringing the academic calendar to a halt. They are a month into a strike that has crippled an 11-campus system with more than 62,000 students, intent on persuading the administration to revoke austerity measures that they believe will unfairly hamper low-income students. Only one campus, for medical sciences, is operational.

Ricardo Arduengo/Associated Press
Supporters of the students held a rally Tuesday.

The Río Piedras campus here in the capital has been closed since the strike began on April 21. When the students locked the gates, a confrontation with the police ensued, and university officials later decided to shut down the school. The territory is grappling with a huge budget deficit and an unemployment rate of 16 percent. The strike is the latest, most contentious protest against Gov. Luis G. Fortuño, a Republican elected in 2008. Thousands of union members rallied against planned layoffs by the government in a national protest last October.

As the university system announced budget cuts, students demanded an alternative and a greater transparency for university finances. One point of tension is funding for music, athletics and honors scholarships for students who also have federal grants.

“We understand this is social marginalization and discrimination against the people with less resources,” said Fernando Espinal, a law school graduate and former president of the student council.

University officials did not respond to requests for interviews.

Many public universities in the United States have faced tuition increases and cuts in funding because of states’ financial problems. In March, thousands of students and faculty members protested at the University of California.

But the strike in Puerto Rico has continued for weeks and grown increasingly tense, with reports of the police preventing the students from receiving supplies, food and water last weekend.

The fiscal crisis set up the conditions for the student strike, said Miguel Soto-Class, executive director of the Center for a New Economy, an independent research organization here.

“The University of Puerto Rico is receiving a significant amount less than it has received in the past,” he said. “It has forced the administration to undertake some cost-cutting measures that have not been popular with the students and some of the staff.”

Mr. Fortuño has encouraged both sides to work together to reach a solution, a spokesman said.

The governor said in an e-mail interview: “It is unfortunate that a minuscule group of students, that do not represent the vast majority of university students, have decided to take matters in their own hands and closed the university gates, thus precluding the vast majority of students to continue their studies, the teachers to impart their classes and the researchers to continue their research projects.”

The protesters spend their time reading and using computers with wireless Internet access to spread the word about the strike. They have received support from union leaders, writers and performers, including the Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano and the Puerto Rican musician Ricky Martin, who posted a supportive message on Twitter.

After negotiations between the administration and students fell apart on Thursday, Aura Colón Solá, a member of the university’s law school action committee, said she was prepared to continue the strike for several more months. She said she was upset that university officials had sued some student leaders to try to end the strike.

“You do not sue students if you really intend to negotiate,” she said. “It is ridiculous. They would have to sue the 200 students in here and the thousands that voted in favor of this.”

Maritza Stanchich, an English professor at the Río Piedras campus who supports the strike, said many professors viewed the strike as a “teachable moment” to show the students how to stand up for themselves.

“It has been an enormous disruption,” she said, “but it’s meant to be that way to force the administration to negotiate.”

Students said the administration tried to end the strike through a court injunction, but public backlash intensified and Mr. Fortuño revoked the court order after three days. This week, the police chief ordered a reduction of the police presence.

On Thursday, the mood was calm at the main gate, where about 20 police officers stood guard. A large sign on the fence read “You may cut all the flowers, but will never eradicate spring.”

A version of this article appeared in print on May 21, 2010, on page A14 of the New York edition.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

"going forward"

The lastest cliche is "going forward". If you listen long enough you'll hear this catchy phrase in the soundbytes that are supposed to be news. Well, it sure sounds progressive; Yet, what I see is a whole lot of back peddling like Tom "wrong way" Wooten would do back in the 1980's.
They talk a great game, but, in reality they're going no where but backwards.

The Seal of God

The Seal of God

"He cried also in mine ears with a loud voice, saying, Cause them that have charge over the city to draw near, even every man with his destroying weapon in his hand." {5T 207.2}

And he called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer's inkhorn by his side; and the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house." {5T 207.3}

Jesus is about to leave the mercy seat of the heavenly
sanctuary to put on garments of vengeance and pour out His wrath in judgments upon those who have not responded to the light God has given them. "Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil." Instead of being softened by the patience and long forbearance that the Lord has exercised toward them, those who fear not God and love not the truth strengthen their hearts in their evil course. But there are limits even to the forbearance of God, and many are exceeding these boundaries. They have overrun the limits of grace, and therefore God must interfere and vindicate His own honor. {5T 207.4}

Of the Amorites the Lord said: "In the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full." Although this nation was conspicuous because of its idolatry and corruption, it had not yet filled up the cup of its iniquity, and God would not give command for its utter destruction. The people were to see the divine power manifested in a marked manner, that they might be left without excuse. The compassionate Creator was willing to bear with their iniquity until the fourth generation. Then, if no change was seen for the better, His judgments were to fall upon them. {5T 208.1}

With unerring accuracy the Infinite One still keeps an account with all nations. While His mercy is tendered with calls to repentance, this account will remain open; but when the figures reach a certain amount which God has fixed, the ministry of His wrath commences. The account is closed. Divine patience ceases. There is no more pleading of mercy in their behalf. {5T 208.2}

The prophet, looking down the ages, had this time presented before his vision. The nations of this age have been the recipients of unprecedented mercies. The choicest of heaven's blessings have been given them, but increased pride, covetousness, idolatry, contempt of God, and base ingratitude are written
against them. They are fast closing up their account with God. {5T 208.3}

But that which causes me to tremble is the fact that those who have had the greatest light and privileges have become contaminated by the prevailing iniquity. Influenced by the unrighteous around them, many, even of those who profess the truth, have grown cold and are borne down by the strong current of evil. The universal scorn thrown upon true piety and holiness leads those who do not connect closely with God to lose their reverence for His law. If they were following the light and obeying the truth from the heart, this holy law would seem even more precious to them when thus despised and set aside. As the disrespect for God's law becomes more manifest, the line of demarcation between its observers and the world becomes more distinct. Love for the divine precepts increases with one class according as contempt for them increases with another class. {5T 209.1}

The crisis is fast approaching. The rapidly swelling figures show that the time for God's visitation has about come. Although loath to punish, nevertheless He will punish, and that speedily. Those who walk in the light will see signs of the approaching peril; but they are not to sit in quiet, unconcerned expectancy of the ruin, comforting themselves with the belief that God will shelter His people in the day of visitation. Far from it. They should realize that it is their duty to labor diligently to save others, looking with strong faith to God for help. "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." {5T 209.2}

The leaven of godliness has not entirely lost its power. At the time when the danger and depression of the church are greatest, the little company who are standing in the light will be sighing and crying for the abominations that are done in the land. But more especially will their prayers arise in behalf
of the church because its members are doing after the manner of the world. {5T 209.3}

The earnest prayers of this faithful few will not be in vain. When the Lord comes forth as an avenger, He will also come as a protector of all those who have preserved the faith in its purity and kept themselves unspotted from the world. It is at this time that God has promised to avenge His own elect which cry day and night unto Him, though He bear long with them. {5T 210.1}

The command is: "Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof." These sighing, crying ones had been holding forth the words of life; they had reproved, counseled, and entreated. Some who had been dishonoring God repented and humbled their hearts before Him. But the glory of the Lord had departed from Israel; although many still continued the forms of religion, His power and presence were lacking. {5T 210.2}

In the time when His wrath shall go forth in judgments, these humble, devoted followers of Christ will be distinguished from the rest of the world by their soul anguish, which is expressed in lamentation and weeping, reproofs and warnings. While others try to throw a cloak over the existing evil, and excuse the great wickedness everywhere prevalent, those who have a zeal for God's honor and a love for souls will not hold their peace to obtain favor of any. Their righteous souls are vexed day by day with the unholy works and conversation of the unrighteous. They are powerless to stop the rushing torrent of iniquity, and hence they are filled with grief and alarm. They mourn before God to see religion despised in the very homes of those who have had great light. They lament and afflict their souls because pride, avarice, selfishness, and deception of almost every kind are in the church. The Spirit
of God, which prompts to reproof, is trampled underfoot, while the servants of Satan triumph. God is dishonored, the truth made of none effect. {5T 210.3}

The class who do not feel grieved over their own spiritual declension, nor mourn over the sins of others, will be left without the seal of God. The Lord commissions His messengers, the men with slaughtering weapons in their hands: "Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house." {5T 211.1}

Here we see that the church--the Lord's sanctuary--was the first to feel the stroke of the wrath of God. The ancient men, those to whom God had given great light and who had stood as guardians of the spiritual interests of the people, had betrayed their trust. They had taken the position that we need not look for miracles and the marked manifestation of God's power as in former days. Times have changed. These words strengthen their unbelief, and they say: The Lord will not do good, neither will He do evil. He is too merciful to visit His people in judgment. Thus "Peace and safety" is the cry from men who will never again lift up their voice like a trumpet to show God's people their transgressions and the house of Jacob their sins. These dumb dogs that would not bark are the ones who feel the just vengeance of an offended God. Men, maidens, and little children all perish together. {5T 211.2}

The abominations for which the faithful ones were sighing and crying were all that could be discerned by finite eyes, but by far the worst sins, those which provoked the jealousy of the pure and holy God, were unrevealed. The great Searcher of hearts knoweth every sin committed in secret by the workers of iniquity. These persons come to feel secure in their deceptions and, because of His long-suffering, say that the Lord
seeth not, and then act as though He had forsaken the earth. But He will detect their hypocrisy and will open before others those sins which they were so careful to hide. {5T 211.3}

No superiority of rank, dignity, or worldly wisdom, no position in sacred office, will preserve men from sacrificing principle when left to their own deceitful hearts. Those who have been regarded as worthy and righteous prove to be ring-leaders in apostasy and examples in indifference and in the abuse of God's mercies. Their wicked course He will tolerate no longer, and in His wrath He deals with them without mercy. {5T 212.1}

It is with reluctance that the Lord withdraws His presence from those who have been blessed with great light and who have felt the power of the word in ministering to others. They were once His faithful servants, favored with His presence and guidance; but they departed from Him and led others into error, and therefore are brought under the divine displeasure. {5T 212.2}

The day of God's vengeance is just upon us. The seal of God will be placed upon the foreheads of those only who sigh and cry for the abominations done in the land. Those who link in sympathy with the world are eating and drinking with the drunken and will surely be destroyed with the workers of iniquity. "The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and His ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil." {5T 212.3}

Our own course of action will determine whether we shall receive the seal of the living God or be cut down by the destroying weapons. Already a few drops of God's wrath have fallen upon the earth; but when the seven last plagues shall be poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation, then it will be forever too late to repent and find shelter. No atoning blood will then wash away the stains of sin. {5T 212.4}

"And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince
which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, everyone that shall be found written in the book." When this time of trouble comes, every case is decided; there is no longer probation, no longer mercy for the impenitent. The seal of the living God is upon His people. This small remnant, unable to defend themselves in the deadly conflict with the powers of earth that are marshaled by the dragon host, make God their defense. The decree has been passed by the highest earthly authority that they shall worship the beast and receive his mark under pain of persecution and death. May God help His people now, for what can they then do in such a fearful conflict without His assistance! {5T 212.5}

Courage, fortitude, faith, and implicit trust in God's power to save do not come in a moment. These heavenly graces are acquired by the experience of years. By a life of holy endeavor and firm adherence to the right the children of God were sealing their destiny. Beset with temptations without number, they knew they must resist firmly or be conquered. They felt that they had a great work to do, and at any hour they might be called to lay off their armor; and should they come to the close of life with their work undone, it would be an eternal loss. They eagerly accepted the light from heaven, as did the first disciples from the lips of Jesus. When those early Christians were exiled to mountains and deserts, when left in dungeons to die with hunger, cold, and torture, when martyrdom seemed the only way out of their distress, they rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer for Christ, who was crucified for them. Their worthy example will be a comfort and encouragement to the people of God who will be brought into the time of trouble such as never was. {5T 213.1}

Not all who profess to keep the Sabbath will be sealed.
There are many even among those who teach the truth to others who will not receive the seal of God in their foreheads. They had the light of truth, they knew their Master's will, they understood every point of our faith, but they had not corresponding works. These who were so familiar with prophecy and the treasures of divine wisdom should have acted their faith. They should have commanded their households after them, that by a well-ordered family they might present to the world the influence of the truth upon the human heart. {5T 213.2}

By their lack of devotion and piety, and their failure to reach a high religious standard, they make other souls contented with their position. Men of finite judgment cannot see that in patterning after these men who have so often opened to them the treasures of God's word, they will surely endanger their souls. Jesus is the only true pattern. Everyone must now search the Bible for himself upon his knees before God, with the humble, teachable heart of a child, if he would know what the Lord requires of him. However high any minister may have stood in the favor of God, if he neglects to follow out the light given him of God, if he refuses to be taught as a little child, he will go into darkness and satanic delusions and will lead others in the same path. {5T 214.1}

Not one of us will ever receive the seal of God while our characters have one spot or stain upon them. It is left with us to remedy the defects in our characters, to cleanse the soul temple of every defilement. Then the latter rain will fall upon us as the early rain fell upon the disciples on the Day of Pentecost. {5T 214.2}

We are too easily satisfied with our attainments. We feel rich and increased with goods and know not that we are "wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked." Now is the time to heed the admonition of the True Witness: "I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be
clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see." {5T 214.3}

In this life we must meet fiery trials and make costly sacrifices, but the peace of Christ is the reward. There has been so little self-denial, so little suffering for Christ's sake, that the cross is almost entirely forgotten. We must be partakers with Christ of His sufferings if we would sit down in triumph with Him on His throne. So long as we choose the easy path of self-indulgence and are frightened at self-denial, our faith will never become firm, and we cannot know the peace of Jesus nor the joy that comes through conscious victory. The most exalted of the redeemed host that stand before the throne of God and the Lamb, clad in white, know the conflict of overcoming, for they have come up through great tribulation. Those who have yielded to circumstances rather than engage in this conflict will not know how to stand in that day when anguish will be upon every soul, when, though Noah, Job, and Daniel were in the land, they could save neither son nor daughter, for everyone must deliver his soul by his own righteousness. {5T 215.1}

No one need say that his case is hopeless, that he cannot live the life of a Christian. Ample provision is made by the death of Christ for every soul. Jesus is our ever-present help in time of need. Only call upon Him in faith, and He has promised to hear and answer your petitions. {5T 215.2}

Oh, for a living, active faith! We need it; we must have it, or we shall faint and fail in the day of trial. The darkness that will then rest upon our path must not discourage us or drive us to despair. It is the veil with which God covers His glory when He comes to impart rich blessings. We should know this by our past experience. In that day when God has a controversy with His people this experience will be a source of comfort and hope. {5T 215.3}

It is now that we must keep ourselves and our children unspotted from the world. It is now that we must wash our robes
of character and make them white in the blood of the Lamb. It is now that we must overcome pride, passion, and spiritual slothfulness. It is now that we must awake and make determined effort for symmetry of character. "Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts." We are in a most trying position, waiting, watching for our Lord's appearing. The world is in darkness. "But ye, brethren," says Paul, "are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief." It is ever God's purpose to bring light out of darkness, joy out of sorrow, and rest out of weariness for the waiting, longing soul. {5T 215.4}

What are you doing, brethren, in the great work of preparation? Those who are uniting with the world are receiving the worldly mold and preparing for the mark of the beast. Those who are distrustful of self, who are humbling themselves before God and purifying their souls by obeying the truth these are receiving the heavenly mold and preparing for the seal of God in their foreheads. When the decree goes forth and the stamp is impressed, their character will remain pure and spotless for eternity. {5T 216.1}

Now is the time to prepare. The seal of God will never be placed upon the forehead of an impure man or woman. It will never be placed upon the forehead of the ambitious, world-loving man or woman. It will never be placed upon the forehead of men or women of false tongues or deceitful hearts. All who receive the seal must be without spot before God--candidates for heaven. Go forward, my brethren and sisters. I can only write briefly upon these points at this time, merely calling your attention to the necessity of preparation. Search the Scriptures for yourselves, that you may understand the fearful solemnity of the present hour. {5T 216.2}

Testimonies for the Church Volume Five (1882-1889)/Chap. 24 - The Seal of God (pp. 207-216)

P.S. Thanks Brother John T. for pointing out 5T 211.2.