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Matthew Priebe

Misdirection & Guile: The Papacy, Climate Change, Evangelicals, and Secret Sunday Laws

There seems to be great confusion among Seventh-day Adventists about the source, timing and manner of the coming of the final Sunday Law that will crown Satan’s scheme to take over the world and destroy those faithful to God. This seems strange, as Adventist understanding of the Sunday Law development was always a central teaching of our church. But now there are many contradictory claims being made, especially on social media. So in this presentation, we will try to break down what we know through inspiration and what is being made up out of blatant speculation.

First and foremost, I want to be clear that I will only accept facts supported by inspiration. If a theory about the Sunday Law cannot be supported by God’s inspired Word, then I will reject it. This will limit ideas to only the ones that can be backed up by a clear voice from above. Everything else is human speculation that may or may not be right. Also, to be clear, by inspiration I mean all inspired messengers from God, both Biblical writers and our modern prophet, Ellen White, whose authority is the same as every Biblical prophet.

In this program, I will reference inspired statements to examine the stage of history in which we find ourselves. I am chiefly going to draw from three chapters of Great Controversy. Chapter 36, “The Impending Conflict,” is a detailed description of the moral bankruptcy which will bring about the end. Chapter 25, “God’s Law Immutable,” is a general overview of the great conflict between truth and error. Chapter 35, “Liberty of Conscience Threatened,” shows the true danger from the Catholic Church throughout history and into the future. All are outstanding chapters that I recommend everyone to read entirely.

Prophetic insight has much to say about the anti-God society we live in. The Bible and Spirit of Prophecy describe a world rejecting moral and ethical standards that God established. This leads to ruin and is a perfect description of our modern age. I will only look at one statement since this is obvious to anyone.

The Bible is within the reach of all, but there are few who really accept it as the guide of life. Infidelity prevails to an alarming extent, not in the world merely, but in the church. Many have come to deny doctrines which are the very pillars of the Christian faith. The great facts of creation as presented by the inspired writers, the fall of man, the atonement, and the perpetuity of the law of God, are practically rejected, either wholly or in part, by a large share of the professedly Christian world. Thousands who pride themselves upon their wisdom and independence regard it as an evidence of weakness to place implicit confidence in the Bible; they think it a proof of superior talent and learning to cavil at the Scriptures and to spiritualize and explain away their most important truths. (GC 583)

Future of America

Earth’s final events involve several major players setting everything in motion. Ellen White describes several distinct groups:

In contrast to those who keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus, the third angel points to another class, against whose errors a solemn and fearful warning is uttered: “If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God.” Revelation 14:9, 10. A correct interpretation of the symbols employed is necessary to an understanding of this message. What is represented by the beast, the image, the mark? (GC 438)

She later says that

“while the dragon, primarily, represents Satan, it is, in a secondary sense, a symbol of pagan Rome. In [Revelation] chapter 13 is described another beast, “like unto a leopard,” to which the dragon gave “his power, and his seat, and great authority.” This symbol, as most Protestants have believed, represents the papacy…. At this point another symbol is introduced…. “I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb.” Verse 11…. One nation, and only one, meets the specifications of this prophecy; it points unmistakably to the United States of America…. “And he had two horns like a lamb.” The lamblike horns indicate youth, innocence, and gentleness, fitly representing the character of the United States when presented to the prophet as “coming up” in 1798…. Republicanism and Protestantism became the fundamental principles of the nation. These principles are the secret of its power and prosperity. (GC 438-441)

Next Ellen White describes how America will fail.

But the beast with lamblike horns “spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed; ... saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.” Revelation 13:11-14…. The “speaking” of the nation is the action of its legislative and judicial authorities…. The prediction that it will speak “as a dragon” and exercise “all the power of the first beast” plainly foretells a development of the spirit of intolerance and persecution that was manifested by the nations represented by the dragon and the leopardlike beast. And the statement that the beast with two horns “causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast” indicates that the authority of this nation is to be exercised in enforcing some observance which shall be an act of homage to the papacy. (GC 441-442)

So to be clear, America will make the Sunday Law through its “legislative and judicial authorities” as an “act of homage to the papacy.” It will originate in America, not Rome. Rome has been urging Sunday sacredness for centuries; that is nothing new. What is new is that the United States will finally get on board and enact a law that manifests “the spirit of intolerance and persecution” of both pagan and papal Rome.

This is what America’s future holds, according to prophecy. There will be several stages involved. The National Sunday Law is one of the last steps, since laws prohibiting work on Sunday will proceed it. I am using the term “National Sunday Law” to refer to the entire set of steps involved, to simplify this presentation. Others have made a step by step analysis of this process that I don’t intend to repeat. Again, my focus here is identifying who will bring these laws about, not a meticulous account of the laws themselves.

Major Players in Society

How does all of this fit with current events in our world today? What groups will be responsible for bringing about a National Sunday Law? In order to answer this, we need to break down the major players in society today, especially as they relate to America. At the top of the entire chart must be set in stone the main entity that lies behind all efforts to create a false day of worship to which everyone must submit. This of course is the papacy, the leadership structure that runs the international Roman Catholic Church in all its many forms. As we know from scripture and prophecy, Satan has been running this organization for over 1500 years and it is his main weapon of force to destroy the faithful throughout history. Since we are told that the papacy never changes, we know that despite all modern innovations and reforms, the papacy remains the enemy of God’s people. And it doesn’t matter if the current Pope is an unpleasant individual or a compassionate one, as this is just window dressing for what really goes on behind the scenes. Everything we discuss in this presentation should be taken as local manifestations of the long-term plans and designs of the Man of Sin.

Rome’s potential and reason for success in domination is summarized nicely on pages 572-573 of GC.

It [the papacy] is prepared for two classes of mankind, embracing nearly the whole world—those who would be saved by their merits, and those who would be saved in their sins. Here is the secret of its power.

A day of great intellectual darkness has been shown to be favorable to the success of the papacy. It will yet be demonstrated that a day of great intellectual light is equally favorable for its success.

But in case you haven’t noticed, we are told that we live in a Christian Nation, not a Catholic one. Regardless of the accuracy of this statement as relating to the origins and purpose of America, the point is that Catholicism is not directly in charge of the United States either in national government or religious policy. The Catholic Church is well represented among the religions of America but certainly not the supreme voice among the plurality of voices, both religious and secular. So the Catholic influence must be either indirect or secret in America, with other players taking the lead in changing America into something the papacy can control.

I am focusing almost entirely on America because inspiration has told us that the instigation of the end time events will begin here.

As America, the land of religious liberty, shall unite with the papacy in forcing the conscience and compelling men to honor the false sabbath, the people of every country on the globe will be led to follow her example. (6T 18)

Despite many trends toward Catholic primacy in many parts of the world, we have clear revelation predicting the United States to be the epicenter of apostasy. This makes the papacy’s lack of full power here so significant, since we are not interested in how Italy or Spain or Brazil will enact a Sunday Law. Any understanding of end time events will have to go through America.

Now I am going list those groups which might be the foolish agents of the papacy we are looking for. I am not going to list every political group out there fighting for power, as most are purely secular that really have no connection to our subject at hand. For example, I am completely excluding any faction of the financial world arguing about taxes, stock market principles, trickle-down economics, social welfare, etc. Likewise, I am omitting issues such as immigration, health care, racial injustice, infrastructure, science and technology. Whatever the many views on these types of issues, they are not really a part of Sunday Law discussions, as they will all eventually fall into line with whatever precipitates the final events. So my list will only include movements and issues which have potential to be behind the moral decisions we are examining. I am also not going to oversimplify this into a Democrat versus Republican issue. There is no inherent value in either party, as they are both made up of many forces and factions, most of which are generally negative and a few positive. These umbrella groups contain many facets of what we will list, but the parties themselves are not what I am concerned with. Do not take this presentation as a rally to unite with either party, as America will not be saved by either group and will most likely be destroyed by both.

On the left of our list I will place the following groups & ideas.

LGBTQ RIGHTS. This movement has grown in power and influence greatly over my lifetime, to the point that now the Supreme Court has established most of their aims and now all of society is expected to conform to their principles.

CLIMATE REFORM. This faction pushes for laws that will reduce the impact of humanity on our climate, with the stated goal of saving life on Earth.

SOCIALISM/GLOBALISM. This should be one of the financial aspects that I promised not to include, but this has become a bigger idea than just a way of handling money. Many ideas of wealth control and social management are included in this. When you hear people talking about communists, new world order, and the elite, this is what is being discussed.

TRADE UNIONS. United groups who organize and lobby for various things for their members, such as increased wages or work benefits. There are certain unions who could be placed on the right side of the chart, but most of these groups have historically been identified with the left.

On the right of our list I will place the following groups & ideas.

EVANGELICALS. This is a broad term including many conservative Christian churches who are united only in their goals of achieving moral reform through political power. Not all evangelical churches are involved in politics, but most churches involved in politics are evangelical. Notice that there is no unified group of liberal churches on the left side of this chart. This is not because there are no liberal political churches, but because those churches are not unified as a power player like the evangelical churches are. Evangelicals rose to power in the 1970s and have become one of the most powerful blocks in the U.S.

CHRISTIAN DOMINIONISM. A concept held by many Evangelicals which could be merged with the category above, but not all Evangelicals believe it. This teaching holds that Christianity must eventually rule not only America but the entire world, with moral Biblical law above all secular law. Formerly this idea was laughed to scorn in free America, but now its proponents are in key positions of our government, including the Supreme Court, and should not be taken lightly.

CLIMATE DENIAL. This industry-led faction pretends climate change doesn’t exist and works to prevent any reforms to laws and society that prevent climate pollution.

Now we have a basic framework to identify the origin of Sunday Laws. Everything in the left of this list falls under the general term “Liberal” while everything on the right falls under the general term “Conservative.” Many people on each side hold several of these positions, so I am not trying to split these all into isolated positions. But by and large, these two sides are completely opposed to each other. In fact, those on the left generally despise those on the right and vice versa. These comprise many aspects of our culture wars that agitate society.

Please note that I am not making any arguments here about the truth or falsehood of these various positions or groups. I have plenty to say about many of these topics elsewhere and have no need to repeat that here. The only question I am targeting here is, “Which group or groups will cause the National Sunday Law to be passed in America?” I have limited the options to those groups that are prominently mentioned by Adventist speakers as those who will bring about the end times. Many accusations are made against one or more of these groups. But do those claims have the support of inspiration? If not, what is the true source of these claims?

Inspired Evidence

Let’s go directly to the information God chose to give us.

But what is the “image to the beast”? and how is it to be formed? The image is made by the two-horned beast [America], and is an image to the beast [papacy]. It is also called an image of the beast. Then to learn what the image is like and how it is to be formed we must study the characteristics of the beast itself—the papacy…. In order for the United States to form an image of the beast, the religious power must so control the civil government that the authority of the state will also be employed by the church to accomplish her own ends. (GC 443)

This is one of the most significant sentences we will read. The only way the image to the beast will be formed, the ONLY way, is that the religious power must control the civil government. The church in control of the state will be able to accomplish her own ends. Which church? Not the Catholic Church, as the religious power is an image TO the beast, NOT the beast itself. Fortunately, God did not leave us in doubt on this issue.

And now, as in former ages, he has worked through the church to further his designs. The religious organizations of the day have refused to listen to unpopular truths plainly brought to view in the Scriptures, and in combating them they have adopted interpretations and taken positions which have sown broadcast the seeds of skepticism…. The teachings of religious leaders have opened the door to infidelity, to spiritualism, and to contempt for God’s holy law; and upon these leaders rests a fearful responsibility for the iniquity that exists in the Christian world. (GC 586-587)

Protestant churches that have followed in the steps of Rome by forming alliance with worldly powers have manifested a similar desire to restrict liberty of conscience…. The wide diversity of belief in the Protestant churches is regarded by many as decisive proof that no effort to secure a forced uniformity can ever be made. But there has been for years, in churches of the Protestant faith, a strong and growing sentiment in favor of a union based upon common points of doctrine. To secure such a union, the discussion of subjects upon which all were not agreed—however important they might be from a Bible standpoint—must necessarily be waived.

Charles Beecher, in a sermon in the year 1846, declared that the ministry of “the evangelical Protestant denominations” is “not only formed all the way up under a tremendous pressure of merely human fear, but they live, and move, and breathe in a state of things radically corrupt, and appealing every hour to every baser element of their nature to hush up the truth, and bow the knee to the power of apostasy.…”

When the leading churches of the United States, uniting upon such points of doctrine as are held by them in common, shall influence the state to enforce their decrees and to sustain their institutions, then Protestant America will have formed an image of the Roman hierarchy, and the infliction of civil penalties upon dissenters will inevitably result…. The “image to the beast” represents that form of apostate Protestantism which will be developed when the Protestant churches shall seek the aid of the civil power for the enforcement of their dogmas.  (GC 443-445)

Could she have been any clearer? Over and over she repeats variations of the same concept. Protestant America, Protestant churches, apostate Protestantism, churches of the Protestant faith, religious organizations of the day, religious leaders, and leading churches. And by far the most amazing, “evangelical Protestant denominations.” These are the very words used today for one of the foremost powers in American politics. This is not just a smoking gun, this is word for word prophecy being fulfilled. One more statement, just to be crystal clear.

The Protestants of the United States will be foremost in stretching their hands across the gulf to grasp the hand of spiritualism; they will reach over the abyss to clasp hands with the Roman power; and under the influence of this threefold union, this country will follow in the steps of Rome in trampling on the rights of conscience. (GC 588)

Note that Protestants initiate both the union with spiritualism and the union with Rome. They are not dragged along by the Catholic Church or tricked by spiritualism. The Pope will not stomp over to America and demand a Sunday Law. Endless speculation on what the Pope is doing next is not only a waste of time, but it is a dangerous misdirection of our attention. The Protestant faction leads the way. They are the guilty party that lights the fuse of destruction.

There is something that needs to be made very clear. When discussing Evangelicals as a group, I do not intend to condemn individual members of the various churches involved. Many evangelicals are lovely people that believe strongly in what is right. Many of these will join with the remnant during the final events as the issues are made clearer. Just as we do not denounce individuals in the Catholic church when we identify the Beast of Revelation, so we do not denounce individuals in the Evangelical movement when we identify the power that will set up the Image to the Beast.

So our analysis should be over. We have looked at what Divine inspiration tells us and it has identified the agency Rome will use in America to destroy our freedoms and create the Sunday Law. The apostate evangelical Protestant denominations of America will be the direct cause of instituting of the Sunday Law and the persecution that goes along with it.

Evangelical Influence

But there is a problem and you may have already guessed it. How many people that you have listened to recently have correctly identified the Evangelicals as the threat we should be most worried about? It seems we are told to beware everyone and everything except the Evangelicals. We are told they are our spiritual allies in opposing the moral decay and abuses of society. How can they be the enemy?

Something very strange happened to Adventism in the 1950’s. The leadership of the SDA church began to meet with leaders of various Evangelical denominations and discuss doctrines and ideas with them. We claimed we were witnessing to them but we ended up changing more than they did. In fact, some of our distinctive concepts began to be weakened and eventually removed in an effort to secure Evangelical approval and acceptance. This has been well documented by numerous historians and theologians for the last 70 years. It is not too great a stretch to say that most of the turmoil in Adventism we experience today is a direct result of this erasing of our distinctive messages to appease other denominations.

This has led to unexpected consequences. Not only have core doctrinal teachings been lost or corrupted, but we have also begun to copy Evangelical ideas when it comes to politics and national agendas. Evangelicals developed into a political force in the 1970’s and opposed many of the same things that Adventists oppose. Since we were beginning to copy theological concepts from them, why not join them in their crusade to reform America? This has been especially true in the last 20 years or so. Now SDAs are constantly parroting Evangelical talking points when it comes to political candidates and issues, even when the issues involved have nothing to do with Biblical truths.

This could be seen as foolish but innocuous. So what if we spout Evangelical ideas about US involvement in Iran or immigration policy? It doesn’t hurt anything, right? Wrong. Satan is counting on us being indifferent in this area because he is using this as a way of conditioning our minds to accept misdirection. In what way is Satan using our Evangelical alliance to lead us astray? There are two ways I will address specifically.

1} By listening to the Evangelicals, we automatically do not see them as the prophetic agents of America’s destruction as established by inspiration. Since they are not the “bad guys,” we are left looking for someone else to fill that role.

2} The Evangelicals are more than happy to tell us who the “bad guys” are. Their enemies become our enemies and we focus on a threat that is not real. We rail against the menace posed by so-and-so, and Satan is able to operate in plain sight unopposed. It is like getting out a fire extinguisher during a monsoon or like putting on sunscreen at night.

Evangelical Misdirection

Both points are serious consequences of our ignoring the messages of God given by His prophets to His people. Now let us go back to our list of players with all of this in mind. We have already seen that on the right hand side, both Evangelicals and Christian Dominionism are culpable in bringing about the Sunday Law. In fact, it is one of the underlying goals of the Dominionists. So these, very obviously, must remain on this list. Climate Denial originates mostly from industry trying to avoid anything that hurts its profitability. They have no possible motive for an enforced day of rest, as that would hurt profits too. So we can scratch industry off the list.

Now on the left side, we are left with a bit of a paradox. All of these are basically concepts originating from secular worldviews. That is certainly what the Evangelicals claim. We are told that these are all “godless infidels” working to undermine the “Christian Nation” God established. If that is true, then why would any of them want to pass Sunday legislation enforcing a national day of rest? Isn’t it their goal to abolish all religion and replace it with atheism? Let’s try to look at each group impartially, to see if they have an agenda leading to a Sunday Law.

Would the LGBTQ Rights movement be benefitted by Sunday legislation? Not really. But many aspects of the gay rights agenda do come into conflict with religious liberty. Many prominent court cases turn on which right has priority. There is a real danger that society could marginalize religious liberty in the name of civil liberty. But this is of course the opposite danger from establishing more religious laws such as Sunday laws. So this movement is arguably dangerous but not part of what we are looking at here. There is actually a backlash effect that is relevant to this issue. As society becomes progressively more worldly, pushed along by LGBTQ ideas, it has become and will continue to be more lawless and corrupt. The backlash of the Evangelicals to “Save America” will continue to gain traction. Eventually they will use this political power to “reform” society through legislation, and that is the direct path to the end.

What about Labor Unions, also called trade unions and confederacies by Ellen White? Just like the LGBTQ community, this group has no overt pro-religious interests and should be easily dismissed from this list, except for one thing. Many SDAs focus on the inspired warnings of dangers these groups pose. These warnings talk about the violence unions cause when they don’t get their way. It’s a warning about staying too long in cities where life is becoming increasingly difficult. As usual, her warnings are very true. But not a single statement in her writings ties the problems caused by unions to Sunday law legislation. Not one. In fact, the opposite is said.

These unions are one of the signs of the last days. Men are binding up in bundles ready to be burned. They [those who join] may be church members, but while they belong to these unions, they cannot possibly keep the commandments of God; for to belong to these unions means to disregard the entire Decalogue. (2SM 143)

Labor unions are not interested in religion. They oppose the principles of the Decalogue. That includes any pretense of keeping Sunday sacred. So again, speakers who claim unions are a direct road to the Sunday Law are going beyond inspired writings for their own agendas. The most that could be said is that the methods of these groups will lay the groundwork for force and violence that will bring about the final time of trouble.

The trades unions will be one of the agencies that will bring upon this earth a time of trouble such as has not been since the world began. (2SM 142)

We have actually seen this downward regression in our society. Violent strikes by labor unions have succeeded in getting results, so other causes have decided to use these methods as well. Violence now accompanies many parts of our society, with everyone armed and ready to “defend their rights.” When we see shattered windows of downtown city shops or the Confederate battle flag on the U.S. Senate floor for the first time in history, we see Ellen White’s labor union statements dramatically coming true. So labor unions set the stage for violence but do not directly install Sunday laws.

How about Socialism/Globalism? It has many tendrils and could potentially be dangerous to our way of life. But is Socialism/Globalism really interested in Sunday Laws? Look at any socialist/communist country over the last century and show where it pushed a day of rest for religious reasons. I certainly have never discovered that in history. Quite the opposite. It is mostly based on an atheistic model that wants to destroy all trace of religion from its society. Karl Marx called religion the opiate of the people and pure communism has tried to eradicate it from every area it controls. So even though we are opposed to communism, it is very unlikely to bring on a Sunday crisis. It can’t be ruled out though, so let’s leave it on the chart for now.

That leaves Climate Reform, and I have saved it for last precisely because it is the main target these days as the vehicle which will bring on the end times. It is growing in influence and power, especially because of the change in administration taking place in 2021. Is this the Trojan Horse that will burst open to destroy us all? Climate change activists are complex and multifaceted. There are people from all religions who support this cause; it is not actually a new age or atheistic movement. But the leadership is said to be totally non-religious and that may be true. But that is not really the point. The movement’s goals are stated to be the restoration of Earth’s ecosystems to preserve its ability to sustain life. Its enemies accuse it of wanting to destroy our economy, destroy our way of life, or just destroy us altogether. Again, I am not looking to solve this dispute here. I have written a lot on this subject elsewhere, especially my article “Mene Mene Tekel,” so will not repeat that here. The real question is; would the Climate Reform movement want a Sunday Law?

Yes and no. Many environmentalists have proposed a day of non-activity as a way of reducing energy consumption. But they don’t really care what day it would be. Tuesday is just as good as Sunday. If they could get a movement together of religious groups on board with Sunday, they would be more than happy to make that deal. But not because they believe in Sunday sacredness. The Pope recently came out in support of climate reform, so now everyone assumes the Climate Reform movement is just a tool of the papacy. Again, I am not trying to solve this controversy. If the Climate Reform movement is sincere in its stated goals, then they have no reason to care about Sunday Laws. If the movement is a sinister front for the Roman Catholic agenda, then all of their attempts to save the planet are just a front to hide their true agenda. So I will not rule out the latter possibility from an objective point of view. So two possible options, Climate Reform and Socialism, remain on the left as players that could cause the Sunday crisis.

Are any of our four remaining candidates--on both sides--capable of bringing about a Sunday crisis? Absolutely, any of them could. So, how do we know for sure? How do we choose? The answer is inspiration. God would certainly warn us where to look for this great danger. To date I have yet to read a single statement from the Bible or Ellen White that tells us that either Climate Reform or Socialism is Satan’s agent of end time destruction. I have yet to hear a single Adventist speaker that has found an inspired statement either. Instead there are lots of sensational attacks with non-specific statements of prophecy to supposedly back up their claims. Compare that to the mountain of statements I quoted earlier that points to the evangelicals/apostate Protestants. There is no comparison of evidence. Massive versus nil. I must follow the inspired evidence and that evidence points to the Evangelicals/Christian Dominionists. I therefore reject the claims that either Climate Reform by itself or Socialism is the current enemy. Later at the very end of the process when a one world government unites under Rome’s leadership, I am sure they will both play a part of the final destruction of all liberty. They will probably be part of the ENDGAME, but inspiration tells us that they will not INITIATE the process. And that is what matters to us now.

Adventist Blind Spot?

So why is there so much antagonism from SDAs against these groups, since there is no real proof from inspiration? The answer is due to what I discussed earlier--our following the example of the politics of the Evangelicals. Evangelicals, as members of the right side of the spectrum, hate everything on the left side of the spectrum. With a few exceptions, Evangelicals have rejected Climate Reform as heresy and Socialism as the policy of the devil. They endlessly rail against these as some of their main enemies. So SDAs, as part of our susceptibility to the Evangelical worldview, have mimicked their antagonisms and prejudices. The only original idea SDAs have added to these concepts is the Sunday Law issue itself, since Evangelicals never bring this topic up except to promote it.

Let us make no mistake. Evangelicals in general hate Adventism. They always have. They have called us a cult, they have disparaged us as “non-Christian,” and a prominent one said specifically, “I curse the Seventh-day Sabbath.” They have said less against us recently as we have become increasingly subservient to them. But they are not our friends. So why do we try to be their friends? Every time I hear an Adventist attack Socialism or Climate Reform, I hear Pat Robertson’s or James Dobson’s voice echoing in the background.

Remember what Ellen White said about apostate Protestantism.

The line of distinction between professed Christians and the ungodly is now hardly distinguishable. Church members love what the world loves and are ready to join with them, and Satan determines to unite them in one body and thus strengthen his cause by sweeping all into the ranks of spiritualism. Papists, who boast of miracles as a certain sign of the true church, will be readily deceived by this wonder-working power; and Protestants, having cast away the shield of truth, will also be deluded. (GC 588)

When we look at the big picture of who is going to create the Image to the Beast in America, we find the most remarkable paradox. The ones who are going to do this demonic act of Papal imitation, the Evangelicals, are the ones crying the loudest about the dangers of the left. This is misdirection and guile! Those who fall for this trap will be shocked when prophecy is fulfilled and the true enemy turns out to be those who handed us false information, pretending to be our ally. An article in Liberty magazine had an illustration that summarized this perfectly. A hideous giant face of a deep sea anglerfish dangles a glowing white lure like a fishing rod on her forehead. Mesmerized by the shining light, a small yellow fish stares raptly at the lure, totally unaware of the toothy mouth opening up behind him….

Once again, I don’t have to make this claim by guesswork. Inspiration has already spelled this out conclusively.

As the Protestant churches reject the clear, Scriptural arguments in defense of God’s law, they will long to silence those whose faith they cannot overthrow by the Bible. Though they blind their own eyes to the fact, they are now adopting a course which will lead to the persecution of those who conscientiously refuse to do what the rest of the Christian world are doing, and acknowledge the claims of the papal sabbath. (GC 592)

Note that she says these Protestant churches are “now adopting” a course that will lead to persecution. Given that she wrote this over a century ago, it can hardly be considered something that has yet to occur. Babylon is fallen indeed, and it has been for a long time. She even specifies how the persecution will be carried out.

Those who honor the Bible Sabbath will be denounced as enemies of law and order, as breaking down the moral restraints of society, causing anarchy and corruption, and calling down the judgments of God upon the earth. Their conscientious scruples will be pronounced obstinacy, stubbornness, and contempt of authority. They will be accused of disaffection toward the government…. In legislative halls and courts of justice, commandment keepers will be misrepresented and condemned. A false coloring will be given to their words; the worst construction will be put upon their motives. (GC 592)

Lots of interesting points in that statement, but I will only comment on one tidbit. Notice that the faithful in the end of time will be “denounced as enemies of law and order.” Did you think that this term originated recently? It actually became popular a century ago as a code phrase of white supremacy. Basically, those who supported Jim Crow laws in the South were defenders of “law and order.” Since then, petty dictators around the world (and those not so petty) have often used this phrase to target enemies and rally support. Isn’t it interesting that this “dog whistle” phrase will be turned on Sabbath worshipers by a corrupt leadership of America “speaking as a dragon.” Those Adventists who support the ideology that goes with this term now will be quite dismayed when it is turned back upon them later.

Secret Sunday Laws

Now I will address one more point that is badly misunderstood by many Adventists. The secret Sunday Law. I hear numerous versions of this particular prediction, from various groups of SDAs. Few versions agree, as everyone has a different guess of how it will play out. Major concepts include the Pope working behind the scenes of gullible American leadership, or an evil president just scheming on his own, or Senators plotting in dark backrooms of Washington D.C. Each version ends with a National Sunday Law bursting upon an unsuspecting American populace and all of us being forced to submit or face imprisonment and death.

Given the corrupt state of American politics, I could easily see any of these scenarios taking place. Except for one thing. Inspiration did not say it would happen that way. In fact, it says the exact opposite. Please read carefully what the Holy Spirit told us would take place, instead of what modern predictors say.

The dignitaries of church and state will unite to bribe, persuade, or compel all classes to honor the Sunday. The lack of divine authority will be supplied by oppressive enactments. Political corruption is destroying love of justice and regard for truth; and even in free America, rulers and legislators, in order to secure public favor, will yield to the popular demand for a law enforcing Sunday observance. (GC 592)

The leaders “of church and state” will try to “bribe, persuade, or compel all classes to honor the Sunday.” This involves public effort, not secret enactments. They verbally try to get “all classes” to agree with them. This involves politics, not conspiracies. If bribery works, great. If persuasion works, great. But for those who aren’t convinced, force will be needed. “The lack of divine authority will be supplied by oppressive enactments.” How will those come into being? Secret laws put into place without proper legal procedures? “Rulers and legislators, in order to secure public favor, will yield to the popular demand for a law enforcing Sunday observance.” The “popular demand?!?” How can it be a secret if it is demanded by the public? This is one of the most crucial understandings we were given of the final events. The “law enforcing Sunday observance” will not come from the top leadership down to the helpless naïve pubic. Instead, a “popular demand” will give “rulers and legislators” the political capital of “public favor” they need to enact a Sunday Law.

Obviously the public won’t think to do this on their own. They will be provided with appropriate demands from the Evangelicals and Catholics among them who proclaim this is the only thing that will save all of us from destruction. Ellen White refers to an “unlooked for calamity” that takes us unawares; “something that brings the soul face to face with death.” (COL 412) This will have to be a crisis that actually qualifies as an extinction-level event. What that might be is yet to be seen. If we could predict it, it wouldn’t be “unlooked for,” would it? That eliminates climate change as the potential calamity, since it is anything but unlooked for. But whatever it may be, this will be the only thing that will ever unite all the factions in America. No matter what happens these days, at least half the population is opposed to it. Something terrible is still coming that will get everyone on the same page--worship on Sunday or we are all going to die! Since there is no point in speculating beyond inspiration, I will leave it at that.

The key point is that the Sunday Law is incapable of being kept secret. It is impossible to mesh any form of a secret American Sunday Law with God’s word. Every time you hear any Adventist speaker talk about any form of a secret Sunday Law, you automatically should know that the speaker has neglected to consider clear statements from Ellen White. In fact, there have been many who have already predicted when the Sunday Law would be enacted. A high profile prediction targeted spring of 2019. Unfortunately for them, those dates have already come and gone with no sign of their foolish predictions coming true.

Unfounded claims like this accomplish two negative things. They destroy the credibility of these false prophets, and rightly so. But they also damage Adventist witnessing to those who we are trying to reach with the three angels’ messages. When public predictions are made that prominently fail, the public will tend to ignore everything else we have to say. Why listen to crackpots making wild claims that the end is nigh? This makes Sunday Law predictions not only foolish but dangerous. Truth is being undermined every time we promote or pass on any speaker that deals in these improper forecasts.

Is Being Conservative a Good Thing?

There is a reason claims like this are rising to prominence. There is a tendency among faithful, conservative Adventists to be wary of what has been labeled “liberal Adventists.” We don’t listen to them because they don’t believe in what we believe. But a “conservative” speaker is safe to listen to, right? Not necessarily. Obviously, due to the recent Evangelical infiltration into Adventism, a conservative can repeat Evangelical errors of theology just as easily as a liberal can. But the reality is that this is not a surprise development. Ellen White predicted this exact problem over 150 years ago.

The work which the church has failed to do in a time of peace and prosperity she will have to do in a terrible crisis under most discouraging, forbidding circumstances....And at that time the superficial, conservative class, whose influence has steadily retarded the progress of the work, will renounce the faith and take their stand with its avowed enemies, toward whom their sympathies have long been tending. (5T 463)

Now we see her prophecy coming true. A “superficial, conservative class” is focusing on signs and enemies and conspiracies, looking at the outward surface of events and ignoring the real issues of heart preparation and character development. This is dangerous for all of us, as they have “retarded the progress of the work,” and eventually they will “take their stand with its avowed enemies.” Right now many conservative Adventists are sympathizing with the Evangelicals, both in theology and politics, and according to inspiration will eventually join them. I can’t begin to count how many times a sincere, faithful, well-meaning Adventist has basically said to me that, “So-and-so is safe to listen to, because he or she is conservative.” Unfortunately, if this was ever true, it certainly is no longer. The standard is not liberal or conservative but rather if someone is faithful to inspiration.

So that’s our examination of these critical end-time issues. We have looked at various controversial aspects of how the end will play out and who will initiate key features of the process. I will now restate what I said earlier in this program. I have no wish to drive anyone into the arms of either political party, as they are both bankrupt and dangerous. Where should our loyalty be placed? To a political party? To a country? To a prominent speaker that says really exciting things? To an internet blogger? To a popular conspiracy theory? Honestly! As Seventh-day Adventists, shouldn’t our loyalty always be first to the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy?

Ellen White stated a clear principle when she described the Sabbath or Sunday discussions of the early Adventist movement.

And those who did not search the Scriptures for themselves were content to accept conclusions that were in accordance with their desires. (GC 455)

As an illustration, imagine a laptop computer representing the internet and all the writers and speakers who promote their ideas on it. Next imagine a copy of the Great Controversy representing the writings of inspiration that God has chosen to reveal to His followers. These two sources of information are mostly incompatible. So you are faced with a choice. Which of these two is going to be your most important source of truth? Which is most vital? You can’t just flippantly say inspiration if you are believing and repeating the false views rampant on the internet. If you accept or promote secret Sunday laws, you are placing the internet above inspiration. If you accept or promote dates for Sunday Laws, you are placing the internet above inspiration. If you accept or promote sources of Sunday Laws from anywhere other than apostate Protestantism, you are placing the internet above inspiration. Please don’t place the internet above inspiration.

We must limit our presentations to what we can support by inspiration. Speculation has no place in the three angels’ messages. Every time we say anything that is either contradicted or unsupported by clear testimonies, we dilute or destroy the purity of our end-time witness. If you can prove a claim by clear statements of prophetic messengers, then by all means promote it boldly. But if your source is so-and-so who works inside such-and-such an organization and has exciting information to share about what only they know, then you are officially putting inspiration into the secondary position. Never substitute conspiracies or political grudges for actual testimony from heaven. If the internet is placed above inspiration, the message produced is utterly doomed.

Now that we have examined the big picture of who will bring about the Sunday law, let’s look once more at a quotation that we read earlier.

In order for the United States to form an image of the beast, the religious power must so control the civil government that the authority of the state will also be employed by the church to accomplish her own ends. (GC 443)

Doesn’t that put everything we have looked at into crystal clear perspective? The only way this will happen is by the apostate evangelical churches taking control of our government. We aren’t quite there yet, but we have been coming closer.

In the end, we have to stand against all efforts to destroy the liberties we hold dear. But our primary duty, heart preparation and character development, must always stay front and center, since that is the true instigator of the Earth’s final events. Sin in our lives is the reason we are not finished with the Final Atonement yet, since everything should have finished already. We know that God was ready during Ellen White’s ministry, but His people were not. The initiation of final events has never been about how wicked the world is becoming. Nor is it caused by Satan or his agents committing evil deeds.

Christ is waiting with longing desire for the manifestation of Himself in His church. When the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in His people, then He will come to claim them as His own. (COL 69)

Not when Pope Francis or the Jesuits do something. Not when Trump or Biden or any president does something. Or the Supreme Court. Or Congress. Or Bill Gates. Or Communism. Or Socialism. Or the Vaccination police. Or the United Nations. Or Climate Change. Or terrorists--foreign or domestic. Or the next villain around the corner that we don’t even know about yet. None of them. Not even the Evangelicals. The finger cannot be pointed outward when sin still festers in our own lives, since that is what is delaying the Second Coming. Holiness requires sacrifice. Sacrifice of self on the Rock of Ages. Then and only then will He have what He is waiting for. And then we can finally go home.

Envoy

For those who have skipped through parts of this presentation, I will restate the most important points that we have confirmed through inspired messages from God.

  1. The Papacy is the enemy, always, and not to be trusted.
  2. The Evangelical Protestant movement in America is apostate, the ally of the Papacy, and will set up the Image to the Beast. They are the enemy, now, and not to be trusted.
  3. Socialism and the Climate Reform movement may or may not be dangerous, but inspiration has told us nothing about them initiating the final crisis. Globalists will not succeed in their goals until the very end when everything else important has already happened in America.
  4. There will be no secret Sunday Law in America.
  5. The final desperate generation will demand the Sunday Law from their leaders, rather than having it forced onto them unwillingly.
  6. To be a conservative Adventist is inherently no safer than to be a liberal Adventist. Beware the superficial conservative class.
  7. Agents of evil will not initiate the events leading up to the Second Coming. Christ is waiting for us to surrender our hearts and reflect His character.

We live in momentous and dangerous times. With information overload a constant menace, we have to step back and focus on what is real and faithful. There is so much confusion and contradiction from so many voices, that the only safe course is to tune out the noise and only allow God’s Word to be allowed to speak. If we do that, we can avoid being swept away by the random theories of men.

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