Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Little Time of Trouble

LandMarks Magazine 

Who will be blamed for all the trouble?

By Lawrence Nelson

For thus saith the Lord; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? Wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail and all faces are turned into paleness? Alas, for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it." Jeremiah 30:5–7.

God has not left us to wonder about the meaning of this Scripture, for the Spirit of Prophecy opens up the magnitude of this crisis. "The ‘time of trouble such as never was,’ is soon to open upon us; and we shall need an experience which we do not now possess and which many are too indolent to obtain. It is often the case that trouble is greater in anticipation than in reality; but this is not true of the crisis before us. The most vivid presentation cannot reach the magnitude of the ordeal." The Great Controversy, 622.

The little time of trouble occurs prior to the close of probation and will be experienced by all the living saints. When they receive the latter rain, they give the loud cry with divine power, warning all the inhabitants of the earth that they must make a final decision for or against God. Then probation will close and immediately the great time of trouble will commence. "And at the commencement of the time of trouble, we were filled with the Holy Ghost as we went forth and proclaimed the Sabbath more fully."Early Writings, 33.

There is no question. When the little time of trouble begins, the latter rain falls, the saints are sealed and the loud cry is given. This is made positively clear in the following quotation. "‘The commencement of that time of trouble,’ here mentioned, [on page 33] does not refer to the time when the plagues shall begin to be poured out, but to a short period just before they are poured out, while Christ is in the sanctuary. At that time, while the work of salvation is closing, trouble will be coming on the earth, and the nations will be angry, yet held in check so as not to prevent the work of the third angel." Early Writings, 85.

When the national Sunday law is adopted by the United States of America, the papal power will be so in control of the New World Order that it will force all nations to immediately follow the Sunday law in America, making it a universal law. It will be accepted by all nations and falsely believed to be the beginning of the great millenium of peace that will lead the entire world to be converted to God.

"Papists, Protestants, and the worldlings will alike accept the form of godliness without the power, and they will see in this union a great movement for the conversion of the world and the ushering in of the long-expected millenium." The Great Controversy, 588.

We know what the true results will be. "When the reasoning of philosophy has banished the fears of God’s judgments; when religious teachers are pointing forward to long ages of peace and prosperity, and the world are absorbed in their rounds of business and pleasure, planting and building, feasting and merrymaking, rejecting God’s warnings and mocking His messengers —then it is that sudden destruction cometh upon them, and they shall not escape. 1 Thessalonians 5:3." Patriarchs and Prophets, 104.

The people of the world believe that the New World Order program will bring a millenium of peace in which everyone will be saved, but God will permit calamities to awaken the honest in heart to see the need to obey God or perish. "Calamities will come—calamities most awful, most unexpected; and these destructions will follow one after another. If there will be a heeding of the warning that God has given, and if churches will repent, returning to their allegiance, then other cities may be spared for a time. But if men who have been deceived continue in the same way in which they have been walking, disregarding the law of God and presenting falsehoods before the people, God allows them to suffer calamity, that their senses may be awakened." Evangelism, 27.

Here again we see a picture of a loving God, who, as a loving Father, is not willing that any of His children should perish. This is why these disasters gradually get worse, giving time for the Third Angel’s Message to do its work.

"Angels are now restraining the winds of strife, until the world shall be warned of its coming doom; but a storm is gathering, ready to burst upon the earth, and when God shall bid His angels loose the winds, there will be such a scene of strife as no pen can picture . . ."A moment of respite has been graciously given us of God. Every power lent us of heaven is to be used in doing the work assigned us by the Lord for those who are perishing in ignorance." Evangelism, 704.

It is during this little time of trouble that God gives a last chance to the world to accept His law. "Soon strife among the nations will break out with an intensity that we do not now anticipate. The present is a time of overwhelming interest to all living. Rulers and statesmen, men who occupy positions of trust and authority, thinking men and women of all classes, have their attention fixed upon the events taking place about us. They are watching the strained, restless relations that exist among the nations. They observe the intensity that is taking possession of every earthly element. And they realize that something great and decisive is about to take place, that the world is on the verge of a stupendous crisis." Maranatha,174.

This is why we will finish the work under the most dire circumstances during this little time of trouble. "While the work of salvation is closing, trouble will be coming on the earth, and the nations will be angry, yet held in check so as not to prevent the work of the third angel. At that time the ‘latter rain,’ or refreshing from the presence of the Lord, will come, to give power to the loud voice of the third angel, and prepare the saints to stand in the period when the seven last plagues will be poured out." Early Writings, 85.

God has foreseen what is coming and has made the necessary preparations for us to be refreshed by the latter rain and with the power of the mighty angel to give the loud cry. Oh, it will not be long until the climax is reached and Jesus will come!

"Satan works through the elements also to garner his harvest of unprepared souls. He has studied the secrets of the laboratories of nature and he uses all his power to control the elements as far as God allows. While appearing to the children of men as a great physician who can heal all their maladies, he will bring disease and disaster until populous cities are reduced to ruin and desolation. Even now he is at work. In accidents and calamities by sea and by land; in great conflagrations, in fierce tornadoes and terrific hailstorms, in tempests, floods, cyclones, tidal waves, and earthquakes, in every place and in a thousand forms, Satan is exercising his power. He sweeps away the ripening harvest, and famine and distress follow. He imparts to the air a deadly taint, and thousands perish by the pestilence. These visitations are to become more and more frequent and disastrous. Destruction will be upon both man and beast." The Great Controversy (1888 edition), 589.

Satan’s purpose in such destruction will be to blame God’s faithful for these terrible judgments. "As men depart further and further from God, Satan is permitted to have power over the children of disobedience. He hurls destruction among men. There is calamity by land and sea. Property and life are destroyed by fire and flood. Satan resolves to charge this upon those who refuse to bow to the idol which he has set up. His agents point to Seventh-day Adventists as the cause of the trouble. ‘These people stand out in defiance of law,’ they say. ‘They desecrate Sunday. Were they compelled to obey the law for Sunday observance, there would be a cessation of these terrible judgments.’ " Maranatha, 176.

Finally the Sunday violators will be declared to be the cause of all that is taking place in this little time of trouble. "Satan puts his interpretation upon events, and they [leading men] think, as he would have them, that the calamities which fill the land are a result of Sunday-breaking. Thinking to appease the wrath of God, these influential men make laws enforcing Sunday observance. They think that by exalting this false rest-day higher, and still higher, compelling obedience to the Sunday law, the spurious sabbath, they are doing God service. Those who honor God by observing the true Sabbath are looked upon as disloyal to God, when it is really those who thus regard them who are themselves disloyal, because they are trampling under foot the Sabbath originated in Eden." Maranatha, 176.

Thus the entire world under the papal power will turn against God’s people. Sabbath-keepers will be hated and plans will be made to utterly destroy them. "The whole world is to be stirred with enmity against Seventh-day Adventists, because they will not yield homage to the papacy, by honoring Sunday, the institution of this antichristian power. It is the purpose of Satan to cause them to be blotted from the earth, in order that his supremacy of the world may not be disputed." Testimonies to Ministers,37.

Such wicked plans will draw the attention of the honest in heart, to the belief and teaching of God’s remnant church in such a way as is now thought impossible. In fact, the attention of the entire world will be riveted on our beliefs. "Every position of truth taken by our people will bear the criticism of the greatest minds; the highest of the world’s great men will be brought in contact with truth and therefore every position we take should be critically examined and tested by the Scriptures." Evangelism, 69.

Study and Prepare

Now we seem to be unnoticed, but this will not always be. Movements are at work to bring us to the front, and if our theories of truth can be picked to pieces by historians or the world’s greatest men, it will be done. We must know for ourselves what the truth is and be prepared to give a reason for the hope that we have with meekness and fear. (See 1 Peter 3:15.)

We are nearing the time when we shall stand alone to answer for our beliefs. But the strength of God’s remnant will be found in their obedience and knowledge of His word. "The powers of darkness will open their batteries upon us; and all who are indifferent and careless, who have set their affections on their earthly treasure, and who have not cared to understand God’s dealings with His people, will be ready victims. No power but a knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus, will ever make us steadfast; but with this, one may chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight." Maranatha, 217.

This is why we have been urged to study and prepare for what is sure to come. We will have to bear our testimony before courts and councils. "You know not where you may be called upon to give your witness of truth. Many will have to stand in the legislative courts; some will have to stand before kings and before the learned of the earth, to answer for their faith. Those who have only a superficial understanding of truth will not be able clearly to expound the Scriptures, and give definite reasons for their faith. They will become confused, and will not be workmen that need not be ashamed. Let no one imagine that he has no need to study, because he is not to preach in the sacred desk. You know not what God may require of you." Fundamentals of Christian Education, 217.

"The time is not far off when the people of God will be called upon to give their testimony before the rulers of the earth. Not one in twenty has a realization of what rapid strides we are making toward the great crisis in our history. There is no time for vanity, for trifling, for engaging the mind in unimportant matters." Maranatha, 253.

"The Lord Jesus will give the disciples a tongue and wisdom that their adversaries can neither gainsay nor resist. Those who could not by reasoning overcome satanic delusions, will bear an affirmative testimony that will baffle supposedly learned men. Words will come from the lips of the unlearned with such convincing power and wisdom that conversions will be made to the truth. Thousands will be converted under their testimony.

"Why should the illiterate man have this power, which the learned man has not? The illiterate one, through faith in Christ, has come into the atmosphere of pure, clear truth, while the learned man has turned away from the truth. The poor man is Christ’s witness. He cannot appeal to the histories or so-called high science, but he gathers from the Word of God powerful evidence. The truth that he speaks under the inspiration of the Spirit, is so pure and remarkable and carries with it a power so indisputable, that his testimony cannot be gainsaid." Maranatha, 252.


God’s people will be persecuted during this time of trouble. This will take place during the loud cry before probation closes. But thank God such persecutions will be limited. "Persecution in its varied forms is the development of the principle which will exist as long as Satan exists and Christianity has vital power . . . But so long as Jesus remains man’s intercessor in the sanctuary above, the restraining influence of the Holy Spirit is felt by rulers and people. It still controls to some extent the laws of the land. Were it not for these laws, the conditions of the world would be much worse than it now is. While many of our rulers are active agents of Satan, God also has His agents among the leading men of the nations. The enemy moves upon his servants to propose measures that would greatly impede the work of God; but statesmen who fear the Lord are influenced by holy angels to oppose such propositions with unanswerable arguments. Thus a few men will hold in check a powerful current of evil. The opposition of the enemies of truth will be restrained that the Third Angel’s Message may do its work. When the final warning shall be given, it will arrest the attention of these leading men through whom the Lord is now working, and some of them will accept it, and will stand with the people of God through the time of trouble." The Great Controversy, 610, 611.

"As Christ was hated without cause, so will His people be hated because they are obedient to the commandments of God. If He who was pure, holy, and undefiled, who did good and only good in our world, was treated as a base criminal and condemned to death, His disciples must expect but similar treatment, however faultless may be their life and blameless their character.

"Human enactments, laws manufactured by satanic agencies under a plea of goodness and restriction of evil, will be exalted, while God’s holy commandments are despised and trampled under foot. And all who prove their loyalty by obedience to the law of Jehovah must be prepared to be arrested, to be brought before councils that have not for their standard the high and holy law of God." Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Volume 7, 977.

This is not a very pretty picture. In the end time, corrupt judges will pledge themselves to uphold and honor the New World Order. "Those who live during the last days of this earth’s history will know what it means to be persecuted for the truth’s sake. In the courts injustice will prevail. The judges will refuse to listen to the reasons of those who are loyal to the commandments of God, because they know that arguments in favor of the fourth commandment are unanswerable. They will say, ‘We have a law, and by our law he ought to die.’ God’s law is nothing to them. ‘Our law’ with them is supreme. Those who respect this human law will be favored, But those who will not bow to the idol sabbath will have no favors shown them." Maranatha, 195.

"Before the warfare shall be ended and the victory won, we as a people are to experience trials similar to those of Paul. We shall encounter the same hardness of heart, the same cruel determination, the same unyielding hatred . . . Persecutions will again be kindled against those who are true to God; their motives will be impugned, their best efforts misinterpreted, their names cast out as evil . . .God would have His people prepared for the soon-coming crisis. Prepared or unprepared, we must all meet it."Sketches from the Life of Paul, 251, 252.

"There will come a time when, because of our advocacy of Bible truth, we shall be treated as traitors."Testimonies, vol. 6, 394.

"Wealth, genius, education, will combine to cover them with contempt. Persecuting rulers, ministers, and church members will conspire against them. With voice and pen, by boasts, threats, and ridicule, they will seek to overthrow their faith." Testimonies, vol. 5, 450.

"As the defenders of truth refuse to honor the Sunday-sabbath, some of them will be thrust into prison, some will be exiled, some will be treated as slaves. To human wisdom all this now seems impossible; but as the restraining Spirit of God shall be withdrawn from men, and they shall be under the control of Satan, who hates the divine precepts, there will be strange developments. The heart can be very cruel when God’s fear and love are removed." The Great Controversy, 608.

"Throughout the land the papacy is piling up her lofty and massive structures, in the secret recesses of which her former persecutions are to be repeated." Testimonies for the Church, volume 5, 449, 450.

"The papal church will never relinquish her claim to infallibility. All that she has done in her persecution of those who reject her dogmas she holds to be right; and would she not repeat the same acts, should the opportunity be presented? Let the restraints now imposed by secular governments be removed and Rome be reinstated in her former power, and there would speedily be a revival of her tyranny and persecution." The Great Controversy, 564.

Furthermore, Protestants will also persecute the faithful. "The church appeals to the strong arm of civil power, and in this work, papists and Protestants unite." The Great Controversy, 607.

Satan has planned every detail. Listen in as God tells us of Satan’s devices as he instructs his angels and his evil men. "We [Satan and his angels] led the Romish church to inflict imprisonment, torture, and death upon those who refused to yield to her decrees; and now that we are bringing the Protestant churches and the world into harmony with this right arm of our strength, we will finally have a law to exterminate all who will not submit to our authority." Testimonies to Ministers, 473.

Former Seventh-day Adventists will join in the persecution of God’s saints. "Men of talent and pleasing address, who once rejoiced in the truth, employ their powers to deceive and mislead souls. They become the most bitter enemies of their former brethren. When Sabbath-keepers are brought before the courts to answer for their faith, these apostates are the most efficient agents of Satan to misrepresent and accuse them, and by false reports and insinuations to stir up the rulers against them." The Great Controversy, 608.

Finally, this New World Order will determine to utterly destroy God’s faithful, just as Satan attempted in earlier centuries. "The decree which is to go forth against the people of God will be very similar to that issued by Ahasuerus against the Jews in the time of Esther . . . Satan instigated the scheme in order to rid the earth of those who preserve the knowledge of the true God. But his plots were defeated by a counterpower that reigns among the children of men . . . The Protestant world today see in the little company keeping the Sabbath a Mordecai in the gate. His character and conduct, expressing reverence for the law of God, are a constant rebuke to those who have cast off the fear of the Lord and are trampling upon His Sabbath; the unwelcome intruder must by some means be put out of the way.

"The same masterful mind that plotted against the faithful in ages past is still seeking to rid the earth of those who fear God and obey His law. Satan will excite indignation against the humble minority who conscientiously refuse to accept popular customs and traditions. Men of position and reputation will join with the lawless and the vile to take counsel against the people of God . . . By false representations and angry appeals they will stir up the passions of the people. Not having a ‘Thus saith the Scriptures’ to bring against the advocates of the Bible Sabbath, they will resort to oppressive enactments to supply the lack. To secure popularity and patronage, legislators will yield to the demand for a Sunday law. Those who fear God cannot accept an institution that violates a precept of the Decalogue. On this battlefield comes the last great conflict of the controversy between truth and error. And we are not left in doubt as to the issue. Now, as in the days of Mordecai, the Lord will vindicate His truth and His people."Testimonies, vol.5, 450, 451.

"When this grand work is to take place in the battle, prior to the last closing conflict, many will be imprisoned, many will flee for their lives from cities and towns, and many will be martyrs for Christ’s sake in standing in defense of the truth." Maranatha, 199.

"As he [Satan] influenced the heathen nations to destroy Israel, so in the near future he will stir up the wicked powers of the earth to destroy the people of God. Men will be required to render obedience to human edicts in violation of the divine law. "Those who are true to God will be menaced, denounced, and proscribed. They will be ‘betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolk, and friends,’ even unto death." Prophets and Kings, 587.

Such persecutions, during this little time of trouble, will bring the close of probation upon the earth. I praise God for the encouragement He has given for this soon-coming little time of trouble. "And if we are called to suffer for Christ’s sake, we shall be able to go to prison trusting in Him as a little child trusts in his parents. Now is the time to cultivate faith in God." Our High Calling, 357.

We do not need the courage and fortitude of the martyrs of old until brought into the position that they were in. "Should there be a return of persecution there would be grace given to arouse every energy of the soul to show a true heroism." Our High Calling, 125.

"The disciples were not endowed with the courage and fortitude of the martyrs until such grace was needed." The Desire of Ages, 354. "When for the truth’s sake the believer stands at the bar of the unrighteous tribunals, Christ stands by his side . . . When one is incarcerated in prison walls, Christ ravishes the heart with His love. When one suffers death for His sake, Christ says, ‘I am He that liveth and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore . . . and have the keys of hell and of death.’ Revelation 1:18. The life that is sacrificed for Me is preserved unto eternal glory." The Desire of Ages,669.


On DC's Red Sunday, A Call "To Look For the Good"

In the 60th edition of a classic rite of Washington autumn, this morning saw six of the nine Justices of the US Supreme Court fill the front pew of St Matthew's Cathedral for the capital's annual Red Mass, held as ever on the Sunday before the first Monday of October, when the Supremes' new term begins.

Led by Chief Justice John Roberts – the second Catholic ever to hold the post – the top-bench delegation was rounded out by Associate Justices Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan

Organized by the District's venerable John Carroll Society of Catholic lawyers – named for the founding bishop of these States – and always celebrated by the city's archbishop, given the crowd, the DC Red's guest preacher could well be considered American Catholicism's most prestigious annual speaking gig.

Along those lines, following in the recent footsteps of Tim DolanGus DiNoiaDan DiNardoPeter SartainSeán O'Malley and the Venerable Ted, this year's pulpit honors have fallen to the capital-based Archbishop of the Military Services, the Cleveland-born Timothy Broglio, a career Vatican diplomat now charged with the spiritual welfare of some 1.5 million American Catholics either in uniform or on government service abroad, a flock far younger than practically any other in the Stateside church.

In the midst of a heated election season and an epic church-state showdown over the parameters of religious freedom on these shores, here below is the full text of Broglio's homily, as prepared for delivery.

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The 60th Annual Red Mass & Brunch



Time: 10:00AM-1:00PM
St. Matthew's Cathedral & The Capital Hilton
Sunday, September 30, 2012

60th Annual Red Mass & Brunch Sunday, September 30, 2012 Time: 10:00AM-1:00PM The Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle & The Capital Hilton Sunday, September 30, 2012 The Red Mass is celebrated annually at the Cathedral, traditionally on the Sunday before the first Monday in October, which marks the opening of the Supreme Court’s annual term. Its purpose is to invoke God’s blessings on those responsible for the administration of justice as well as on all public officials. His Eminence, Donald Cardinal Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, Principal Celebrant Most Reverend, Timothy P. Broglio, Archbishop for the Military Services, USA, Homilist Brunch and Pro Bono Legal Awards presentation to follow at the Capital Hilton, 1001 16th Street, NW. The Mass is free and open to the public. You must register in advance for the brunch.


“Pulpit Freedom Sunday” Pits Church Leaders Against IRS

Posted on September 27, 2012

Pulpit Freedom Sunday will see religious leaders around the country endorse political candidates; how the IRS will react remains unclear.

On October 7, Pastor Jim Garlow will share his opinion with 2000 members of his Skyline Wesleyan megachurch in La Mesa, CA about who they should vote for in the 2012 presidential election in an event called “Pulpit Freedom Sunday”. Garlow will undertake this course of action despite knowing that it violates IRS regulations for organizations like his, and that the IRS could revoke Skyline Wesleyan’s tax-exempt status as a result. Garlow, as well as over 1000 preachers from across the country, are planning on using Pulpit Freedom Sunday to bring supposed infringements of religious liberty and “muzzling” of churches to national attention.

One of the primary arguments supporting the sentiments behind Pulpit Freedom Sunday is based in American history. The Speak Up Movement, which “Protects and promotes the rights of our churches” and one of the organizations involved in organizing the event, points out that pastors speaking from their pulpits have frequently become involved in politics throughout the course of our national history and have played a large part in shaping the country into what it is today. A video on the Speak Up Movement’s website discusses how churches supported the push for American independence from Britain, protested slavery, and backed the civil rights movement of the 1960s and argues that preachers should be allowed to vocally support individual candidates by virtue of these precedents.

Reason for the debate

The focus of religious liberty proponents’ complaints is a major stipulation included in a 1954 tax code that says that churches are not allowed to enjoy tax-exempt status if they preach in favor of a political party or issue during services, through newsletters or in any other form of church communications with their congregation. Specifically, IRS rules for 501(c)(3) charitable organizations state that they cannot act “on behalf of (or in opposition to) a candidate for public office.” It is thus a violation of the restrictions governing who is allowed to claim tax exempt status when church leaders like Garlow communicate their opinions about political candidates to their flock.

The threat of having their tax exempt status revoked is a very serious one for many, if not all, of the churches involved in Pulpit Freedom Sunday. Garlow’s megachurch, for example, would be taxed at rates comparable to those levied on for-profit corporations for the millions of dollars in collects in donations every year if its tax-exempt status is revoked. American churches, and the patrons of those churches, would be taxed $25 billion more a year if all church-related tax exemptions were abolished (note that those are actual tax revenues and not the additional amount of money that federal, state, and local governments would be able to apply taxes to).

Provoking a federal reaction

The Catholic church has announced plans to hold their own version of this event, called Fortnight for Freedom.

Despite the serious implications of a church losing their tax-exempt status, Garlow would welcome it and see it as an opportunity for religious liberty advocates across the country to permanently change tax codes.

“We’re hoping the IRS will respond by doing what they have threatened [and revoke a church’s tax-exempt status],” he said. “We have to wait for it to be applied to a particular church or pastor so that we can challenge it in court. We don’t think it’s going to take long for a judge to strike this [tax code] down as unconstitutional.”

Some of the ministers involved in Pulpit Freedom Sunday have even sent videos of them speaking about political issues in front of their congregations to the IRS in an attempt to provoke lawsuits.

Bolstered by the efforts of Protestant ministers, a cohort of Catholic bishops have announced plans to host their own version of Pulpit Freedom Sunday, “Fortnight for Freedom.” Catholic officials throughout the country have pledged to continue their criticism of the Obama administration and his policies on birth control and health care so that Americans will be able to “vote with their Catholic consciences” during the upcoming presidential election.
IRS inaction

Despite the blatant and flagrant breaking of its tax codes at the hands of the church leaders involved in Pulpit Freedom Sunday, the IRS has done nothing to stop them. One major reason behind their inaction is their desire to be seen as an impartial, non-political federal agency. Cracking down on churches would inevitably be seen as a partisan, pro-liberal move, something that the IRS is especially keen to avoid while a Democrat occupies the White House.

A program set up by the IRS to counter political activity amongst charitable organizations like churches, the Political Activity Compliance Initiative, appears to have been inactive since 2009.


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Obama slammed on Fast and Furious in Spanish-language TV interview: Shouldn’t you ‘fire’ Holder? [VIDEO]

Published: 5:16 PM 09/20/2012

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Police brace for trouble as thousands join Northern Ireland march

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 8:37 AM EDT, Sat September 29, 2012
Orangemen march past St.Patrick's Catholic Church in north Belfast, Northern Ireland on September 29, 2012.
Orangemen march past St.Patrick's Catholic Church in north Belfast, Northern Ireland on September 29, 2012

Belfast, Northern Ireland (CNN) -- Thousands of people are taking part Saturday in a march through the Northern Ireland city of Belfast that many fear could inflame tensions between Catholics and Protestants.

Over the course of the day, up to 30,000 people were expected to join the Ulster Covenant parade, held to mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of a pro-union document which helped shape Northern Ireland's history.

The parade left from Belfast City Hall Saturday morning, headed for the grounds of Stormont, beside the Parliament Buildings.

Concerns over potential disorder along the route center have focused on an area near St. Patrick's Church, where violence flared up between Catholics and Protestants earlier this month.

The parade passed near the flashpoint Roman Catholic church, near the city center, without incident Saturday morning but must still return along that route in the evening.

Hundreds of police officers are stationed along the route in that area, with many more elsewhere in the city, as the Northern Ireland police service braces for possible trouble.

About 2,000 people took part in the morning parade feeding into the main demonstration, in which tens of thousands are expected to take part.

The parade, a special event for the Ulster Covenant centenary, is expected to be one of the biggest held in years.

Hundreds of parades take place across Northern Ireland each year, the majority involving the Protestant Orange Order and associated organizations, although pro-Irish nationalists also have marches.

The Northern Ireland Parades Commission rules on which marches are allowed to take place and which are banned, in an effort to keep friction to a minimum.

Most parades pass off peacefully, but when members of one community march near or through neighborhoods dominated by another, violence sometimes occurs.

The rioting in Belfast earlier this month, which left dozens of police officers injured, was some of the worst seen by the city in years.

Tensions have been high all summer, and behind-the-scenes talks over Saturday's highly symbolic parade did not succeed in brokering a compromise between the Catholic and Protestant communities over the staging of the event.

The Ulster Covenant was a document signed in 1912 by nearly half a million people in opposition to steps by the government in Westminster to introduce "Home Rule," or self-government, in Ireland within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

The majority of the island gained independence in 1921, following two years of conflict. But six of the nine counties of the province of Ulster chose to stay in the United Kingdom, eventually becoming the country of Northern Ireland.

In the late 1960s, the conflict between mainly Protestant unionists, who want Northern Ireland to remain part of the United Kingdom, and largely Roman Catholic nationalists, who want it to be reunited with the rest of Ireland, exploded into a political and sectarian war, known as the Troubles.

The three decades of ensuing violence between the Irish Republican Army and loyalists claimed the lives of more than 3,000 people, most of them north of the border. While the Good Friday Agreement of 1998 effectively ended the conflict, suspicions between Catholics and Protestants remain.

Under the terms of the landmark accord, terrorist groups on both sides dumped their weapons, and Sinn Fein, the political affiliate of the IRA, now work with pro-British politicians in Northern Ireland's power-sharing government.

Journalist Peter Taggart and CNN's Laura Smith-Spark contributed to this report.


Seventh-day Adventists facing pressure on allowing female clergy

Seventh Day Adventist Female Pastors
Pastor Courtney Ray, who serves as an associate pastor at a church in Compton, Calif., called the Pacific Union decision “long overdue.” She chose not to be “commissioned” and now looks forward to an ordination ceremony if an executive committee approves her for ordination. RNS photo courtesy Courtney Ray

(RNS) Two U.S. regional groups of the Seventh-day Adventist Church have recently approved the ordination of women pastors, moving faster than the worldwide church’s study of the issue.
The Pacific Union Conference, which includes California and four other Western states, voted 79 percent to 21 percent at a special session on Aug. 19 to “approve ordinations to the gospel ministry without regard to gender.” Weeks earlier, the Maryland-based Columbia Union Conference, which includes eight Mid-Atlantic states, adopted a similar change in its policy, with 80 percent in favor.

World leaders of the church — who appealed for unity before the votes were cast — said they were disappointed with the conferences’ actions. They said the Columbia Union’s July 29 action was “not in harmony” with the general policy of the church, and said the Pacific Union would “preempt the collective decisions of the world church regarding ordination.”
Leaders of the Maryland-based Seventh-day Adventist Church, which is best known for observing the Sabbath on Saturday instead of Sunday, are in the midst of studying the “theology of ordination” for possible consideration at their 2015 General Conference Session.
There are about 320 women pastors in the worldwide Adventist Church. Within North America, there are about 120 women pastors and about 4,100 male pastors. Many Seventh-day Adventist women pastors hold a “commissioned” credential, which does not permit ordination, while most male pastors hold a “ministerial” credential, which does.
In 1990, the General Conference Session, the highest authority of the global church, approved a recommendation that prevented authorization of ordination of women to the gospel ministry. Five years later, it rejected a request from its North American Division that its regional groups be permitted to authorize ordination regardless of gender.
In an official response to the Pacific Union, Seventh-day Adventist Church President Ted N.C. Wilson and other officers cited those previous decisions and said world church leaders “will carefully review the situation and determine how to respond,” possibly at an October meeting.
Adventists are not the first group to face disparate action on women’s ordination. In 1974, 11 women were “irregularly” ordained as priests in the Episcopal Church, two years before the national church voted to allow female priests and bishops.
Pastor Andrea Trusty King, pastor of an Adventist congregation in Moreno Valley, Calif., was elated by the Pacific Union Conference decision.
“I see it as a move of God,” said King, 34. “The church is recognizing what he has been doing for a long time.”
But King said everyone is not rejoicing, and she thinks the divide is more generational than geographical.
“You have older people who absolutely don’t believe in this and young people who are saying, ‘What’ s the big deal?’” she said.
Pastor Courtney Ray, who serves as an associate pastor at a church in Compton, Calif., called the Pacific Union decision “long overdue.” She chose not to be “commissioned” and now looks forward to an ordination ceremony if an executive committee approves her for ordination.
Ray said there was a tension between wanting to be sensitive to church leaders’ desire for everyone to “move together on this issue” and the sense of others who felt it was a “bad witness” for there to be different designations for male and female clergy.
“But the bottom line is that if something is right, then there’s never a time to wait to do the right thing,” said Ray, 31.
Pastor Stephen Bohr, an opponent of women’s ordination who leads an Adventist church in Fresno, Calif., said the Bible calls for women to have different roles from men. By his reading, women can be prophets — such as church co-founder Ellen White — and deaconesses, but only men can be pastors.
“I just am disappointed that the Pacific Union would launch out on its own and not wait for the world church to make a determination,” said Bohr, 62. “I think they jumped the gun.”
Garrett Caldwell, a spokesman for the world church, said there is “excitement” in many corners of the Seventh-day Adventist Church about the possibility of full recognition of women’s ministry roles.
“There’s an anticipation of that recognition, but I think the greatest concern is that as this body grows and matures and adapts that it is able to stay a united body,” he said.

Sunday trading: Give us a break!

Why shutting up shop on Sunday is good for everyone 

By Cherry Hamilton

Posted: Saturday, September 29, 2012, 9:47 (BST)
Sunday trading: Give us a break!PA

The irony didn’t escape me, when, on Boxing Day, I found myself taking calls from the media, explaining why shop workers shouldn’t have to work on Boxing Day. That was four years ago, when I worked for Usdaw, the shop workers’ union.
Fast forward to 2012, and Sunday trading was relaxed temporarily for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Games are over but the debate rages on. Should shops continue to open all hours, including for longer on Sundays?
The argument seems to focus on the fact that we’re an increasingly secular country, most of whom don’t attend church on a Sunday, so why not deregulate Sunday trading? I’ll tell you why not.
The reason Christians argue for a day off is because it’s good for people to have a rest, not for some abstract or particularly religious reason. Jesus annoyed the authorities of his day by being anti-legalistic, picking corn on the Sabbath (which was considered ‘work’) and claiming that, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” A day off is to make life easier, not harder.
While our lives may be a little easier if we can pop to the shops for milk, think how much less easy it is for shop workers, for whom it’s just like any other day. There need to be safeguards in place so that they can rest too.
In law, shop workers can ask not to work on Sundays, but increased Sunday opening hours mean that many workers report feeling pressurised to work whether they want to or not. They might want to show that they are committed to the job, make sure they get a promotion or perhaps just don’t want to let down their colleagues, who also have to muck in with shifts.
They can take off days during the week instead, but it’s not the same. In a way it doesn’t really matter which day people have off, so long as most people are off at the same time. It allows people to see their families/friends and enjoy a day that is different to all the rest.
Doctors, police etc. have to work Sunday shifts, but why add to that unnecessarily?
The lovely irony is that businesses themselves are more productive if they allow their employees rest, as W. K. Kellogg discovered in 1935. In a counter-intuitive move, he cut his staff’s working day by two whole hours, whilst keeping their pay the same. Both morale and productivity rose. Why?
A change really is as good as a rest. A day off can allow a shift of perspectives – from needing to produce and acquire to simply enjoying the release of just being. This freedom tends to make folk more, not less, productive.
Philosopher and rabbi, A J Heschel, elucidated this beautifully:
“There is a realm of time where the goal is not to have but to be, not to own but to give, not to control but to share, not to subdue but to be in accord. Life goes wrong when the control of space, the acquisition of things of space, becomes our sole concern.”


Religious leaders look for ways to up security while keeping a doors-open policy

Dan Gross/The Gazette - Parishioners fill the sanctuary for service at Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg on Sunday.

Dan Gross/The Gazette - Parishioners fill the sanctuary for service at Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg on Sunday.

By Elizabeth Waibel | The Gazette, Published: September 26

On Sept. 13, two days after an attack in Libya killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens, the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI issued a joint intelligence bulletin warning that the risk of violence could increase in reaction to an anti-Islam video posted to YouTube.
The bulletin urged officials and the public — including faith-based organizations — to be on the lookout for threats and suspicious activity. But that was not the first warning they had received that churches, mosques, synagogues and other places of worship can become targets for violence.
While security threats and terrorist attacks have changed the way airports, schools and concerts screen crowds of people, many religious institutions struggle to incorporate security measures into their open-doors philosophies.

In recent years, as churches and other religious institutions in Maryland have faced theft, vandalism and even violence, many are developing strategies to ensure the people who come through their doors for help are, as much as possible, kept safe.
‘Door to God’
On Aug. 5, a man walked into a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., shortly before services started. He shot and killed six worshipers in an attack apparently motivated by ethnic prejudice before killing himself.
Arvinder Uppal, chairman of the Guru Nanak Foundation of America, a Sikh place of worship in Silver Spring, heard about the attack a few hours after it happened, just after GNFA finished its services. She said her first thought was a defensive stance.
“I wanted increased security right away,” she said. “I know at GNFA we have had several hate incidents.”
After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, people threw stones at the building and broke windows, Uppal said. In addition, two senior citizens were assaulted near the building about two years ago. Now a police officer is stationed outside the foundation during its largest weekly service.
Although extra police patrols are encouraging, Uppal said there is a limit to how much security GNFA can add. To include such protection as metal detectors and security checks would violate Sikh beliefs, she said.
Sikh places of worship are called gurdwaras, which, roughly translated, means “door to God,” Uppal said. Larger gurdwaras in India have multiple doors that are open to anyone at all hours of the day.
“How do you close the doors of the most open community in the world? We will not do that,” Uppal said. “We will not change the basic tenets of Sikhism because of one person’s mistake.”
In North Potomac, Bhai Gurdarshan Singh, head granthi of the Guru Gobind Singh Foundation, said he thinks the area’s diverse international community helps keep religious minorities safe.
His gurdwara has a security camera in one corner, although the doors remain unlocked from early morning until late evening so people can come in, bow and read the scripture verse of the day.
“Traditionally, people, before they go to work . . . just come and bow and go,” he said, saying that many stop by on the way home from work as well.

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Corruption whistleblower on trial instead of Vatican officials

File photo shows Pope Benedict XVI (R) waving as he stands in his popemobile with his butler Paolo Gabriele (C) upon arrival for a weekly general audience at Saint Peter
File photo shows Pope Benedict XVI (R) waving as he stands in his popemobile with his butler Paolo Gabriele (C) upon arrival for a weekly general audience at Saint Peter's Square in The Vatican.Pope Benedict XVI's former butler Paolo Gabriele (R) sitting in a courtroom for the start of a closely-watched case that could see him receive up to four years in prison for aggravated theft, September 29, 2012.

File photo shows Pope Benedict XVI (R) waving as he stands in his popemobile with his butler Paolo Gabriele (C) upon arrival for a weekly general audience at Saint Peter's Square in The Vatican.

Sat Sep 29, 2012 2:42PM GMT

Instead of trying high-ranking officials of the Catholic Church for financial and moral corruption, a Vatican court has put the Pope’s former butler on trial for disclosing information on corruption.

Pope Benedict XVI's former butler Paolo Gabriele went on trial on Saturday in the Vatican for exposing financial and moral corruption within top brass of the Vatican. 

The trial reportedly began at a 19th-century courtroom in a corner of the city state where only eight reporters were allowed inside the courtroom and TV cameras were also banned. If found guilty, he risks up to four years in prison. 

The 46-year-old, who was arrested in May on suspicion of stealing secret documents from the pope's office, has confessed to taking confidential documents and memos and leaking them to Italian press. The ex-butler has however entered a non-guilty plea. 

He told investigators that he was hoping to save the Church by exposing “evil and corruption” within it.

Gabriele says he acted alone, but many believe he worked as part of a wider group of disgruntled Vatican employees. 

Many of the letters and other confidential documents that he allegedly took from the pontiff's desk were published in a book by an Italian journalist in May, which prove that the highest levels of Vatican officials are deeply involved in financial corruption and infighting over the power. 



Happy Sabbath

Friday, September 28, 2012

Watch this and you will know we're in END TIMES!

Published on Jul 13, 2012 by genoark

Video credit to youtube user fidockave213

Even seeing these events skyrocketing our days, denying Jesus's return is very soon to come is not reasonable.

God predicts these in the Bible


Matthew 24:5 "For many will come in my name, saying, I am Christ, and will mislead many."

Matthew 24:11 "And many false prophets will arise, and will mislead many."


Matthew 24:6 "And you will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end."

Rumors of wars in all areas of the world now occur frequently thanks to instant media coverage and the availability of a multitude of 24-hour news sources.

Matthew 24:7 "For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes."

More people have been killed in warfare in this century than at any other time in history. As the death toll rises in the Middle East, more and more countries work feverishly to develop devastating weapons of mass destruction. Add to that the expanding threat of terrorism and unpredictable dictators such as Saddam Hussein, and the potential for the outbreak of war exists in nations, kingdoms and places across the globe.


Matthew 24:7 "For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes."

As white, Christian farmers are driven out of Zimbabwe in increasing numbers, and foreigners move in to replace life-sustaining crops with poppies that now supply 25% of the worlds drugs, famine spreads across the African continent. The undernourished are not limited to Africa, however. A large portion of the worlds 5 billion people suffers from a shortage of food.


Matthew 24:7 "For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes."

The number and intensity of earthquakes this century is at a level higher than any other time in history. A staggering number of seismic events occur around the world daily. The earthquake seismic monitor IRIS shows all major earthquakes for the last year. Indicated by yellow and red circles, the seismic events of the last 15 days provides strong evidence of the fulfillment of Matthew 24:7 in our day. By contrast, in the years from 1890 to 1900 there was only one major earthquake in the world.


Matthew 24:8-9 "But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs. Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations on account of my name."


Matthew 24:14 "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations, and then the end shall come."

This prophecy has already been fulfilled through television, radio, missionaries, the translation of the Bible into many languages, and the internet. People all over the world now hear the message of Christ from missionaries who have the means to travel the globe, and via technology that allows us to communicate with people on the other side of the world right from our own homes, churches and offices.



II Timothy 3:1-5,7 "But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of god; holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."


I Timothy 4:1-3 "But the spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons. By means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth."

Pat Caddell Says: Media Have Become an "Enemy of the American people"

Published on Sep 27, 2012 by aimaccuracy

For full transcript please go to:

In recent remarks to an AIM conference, "ObamaNation: A Day of Truth," former Democratic pollster and analyst Pat Caddell said, "I think we're at the most dangerous time in our political history in terms of the balance of power in the role that the media plays in whether or not we maintain a free democracy." Caddell noted that while First Amendment protections were originally provided to the press so they would protect the liberty and freedom of the public from "organized governmental power," they had clearly relinquished the role of impartial news providers. Nowhere was this more evident than during the tragic death of a U.S. ambassador in Libya that was lied about for nine days, because the press and the administration did not want to admit it was a terrorist attack. "We've had nine days of lies over what happened because they can't dare say it's a terrorist attack, and the press won't push this," said Caddell. "Yesterday there was not a single piece in The New York Times over the question of Libya. Twenty American embassies, yesterday, are under attack. None of that is on the national news. None of it is being pressed in the papers." Caddell added that it is one thing for the news to have a biased view, but "It is another thing to specifically decide that you will not tell the American people information they have a right to know."



Dan Corner

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The word antinomianism is a theological term which comes from the Greek anti (against) and nomos meaning law. It refers to the doctrine that it is not necessary for Christians to obey the moral law. In other words, such people who embrace that incorrectly think faith frees the Christian from such obligations. That person would be an antinomian. In our day he would most likely identify himself as being free grace. Though antithetical to Scripture, this view is popularly embraced by many who hold influential positions on radio and TV in our day and believe the teaching of Once Saved Always Saved (or eternal security). [The internet should also be included in that listing and that would include people like false teacher, David J. Stewart.] Under the heading of the carnal Christian, such teachers have especially spread that message:

And so, sometimes out of ignorance or whatever it might be, they attempt to gratify and meet those needs the same Charles Stanleyway they did before they were saved, and therefore, you can’t tell a carnal believer from a lost man. That is, you can’t tell the cold from the carnal because the truth is, they’re both acting the same way. Now, one of them is in Christ and one of them isn’t. One of them is lost and the other one is in Christ. One of them knows about God and knows him in the experience of salvation; the other doesn't know him at all.(1)

As far as overt behavior is concerned, a carnal believer cannot be distinguished from an unbeliever.(2)

So according to Charles Stanley and other popular teachers of our day, a carnal Christian (or antinomian) behaves the same sinful way as the unsaved! That is antinomianism or free grace theology. Sadly others, besides the Stanley and Thieme, have been teaching the same detestable way, yet they seemingly go unchallenged.

Paul can only mean that these carnal Corinthians lived like unsaved men. That clarifies why the word carnal can label both unbelievers and believers, simply because the lifestyles of both are the same. The cure for the unbeliever's carnality is salvation; the cure for the believer's is to grow in the Lord (italics his).(3)
Carnal To have the characteristics of an unsaved life either because one is an unbeliever or because though a believer, one is living like an unsaved person (italics his).(4)
Chuck Swindoll made a similar assertion about one’s understanding of the carnal Christian:

Let me clarify something because many, many in the family of Chuck SwindollGod have no room in their theology for the carnal Christian, which creates tremendous confusion. If you don’t understand the carnal Christian, you will begin to believe that you have fallen from grace. You will believe that you have been born again and then you will think later when you do these number of things, you have not been born again.(5)

According to Chuck Swindoll, one may have a misconception about falling from grace unless he understands the once saved always saved, antinomian, carnal Christian, free grace teaching! Imagine that. Last but not least is Dave Hunt, who calls himself a Berean. He also teaches about the antinomian, but refers to him as a carnal Christian:

He warns them against prostitutes and various other sins unbecoming of Christians. He even declares that a person could have been so carnal that all of his works will be burned up-yet “he himself shall be saved” (1 Cor 3:15). (6)

Hunt is not only wrong there about loss of rewards, but also thinks the sexually immoral man of 1 Cor. 5:1,2 was a Christian even though he was committing sins that even the pagans were not doing. Demon faith won’t save anyone, but these teachers say otherwise! All eternal security teachers are very dangerous people!

To read into carnal and openly teach, as the aforementioned grace changers do, is to dangerously distort the image of Christianity. By fabricating this new type of Christian, who is behaving just like the darkened, God-hating, hell-bound, Christ rejecters, multitudes are being deceived. Some are even re-opened to the greatest possible danger of being thrown into eternal fire, yet are unaware of it. Such proponents have only a false hope. Besides the immediate context of 1 Cor. 3:3, this OSAS concept of the carnal Christian is also refuted Scripturally by the following:

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Cor. 6:9,10, NASB)

First, Paul stated by question form the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor. 6:9), then told us in the next verse how to identify someone who is unrighteous from their behavior. The sexually immoral, drunkards and the greedy, among others, are included in this group and will, therefore, be excluded from the kingdom of God, unless they turn from their sins and get forgiven. No exception is made for one who previously believed on Christ. This is the true grace teaching, according to Scripture.

Dear reader, do not be deceived by the glib-speaking, teachers in our day, who will present grace in a different way and speak as to appeal to those having “itching ears” (2 Tim. 4:3). Paul also wrote this about a justifying faith:

Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law. (Rom 3:31)

Paul taught against the dietary law and ceremonial law, but upheld the moral law, which is what he is referring to in Rom. 3:31. Remember that truth and Rom. 3:31. That is a very important verse related to this subject. Paul certainly was not an antinomian, like many in our dark day have been taught. Paul taught the faith in Jesus of Nazareth that justifies is a faith that obeys. Paul wrote:

God will give to each person according to what he has done. To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. (Rom. 2:6,7)

Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God’s commands is what counts. (1 Cor 7:19)

He could not have been a free grace person. See also Heb. 5:9; Gal. 6:8,9; 1 John 2:3,4; etc. Remember: If you are not obeying God you do NOT have eternal salvation (Heb. 5:9). Do not be deceived by antinomianism, eternal security carnal Christian or free grace teaching.

For much more information on NO eternal security and salvation in general, please consider ordering our Evangelical books, “The Believer’s Conditional Security and “The Myth of Eternal Security.”

End Notes:

(1) Charles Stanley (Atlanta, GA: In Touch Ministries, 1982), Spiritual Vs. Carnal: Study in 1 Corinthians, audiotape #8, PQ092.
(2) R. B. Thieme, Jr., The Prodigal Son (Houston, TX: R. B. Thieme, Jr. Bible Ministries, 1974), p. 8.
(3) Charles C. Ryrie, So Great Salvation (Victor Books, 1989), p. 62.
(4) Ibid., p. 155.
(5) Chuck Swindoll, Clearing the Hurdle of Carnality: Selections from 1 Corinthians, audiotape CHH 5-A.
(6) Dave Hunt, January 2007, The Berean Call, p. 5.


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