Christians On The Road to Ecclesiastical Convergence: Uniting America’s Churches Under One Religious Head

Brexit-4On Sabbath July 16, 2016 over one thousand different church groups will converge on the National Mall in Washington DC in a bid for unity.  In this ecclesiastical convergence they have agreed to ignore the things that divide—doctrines—and focus only on that which unites—Jesus Christ.  The keynote speaker of this conglomeration of Protestants, Catholics, Evangelicals, Jews, Muslims and other faiths will be Pope Francis—the current sitting pope in the Vatican.  Included in this group of more than 1,000 church groups are some of the most popular names in the evangelical and Christian preaching and entertainment worlds, to include Josh McDowell, Kirk Franklin, Ravi Zacharias, Hillsong United worship group, and many other public faces from 21st Century protestants.

The founder of this one million-Christians march on the national mall is “Nick Hall, and his non-profit organization PULSE.”[1]  It is remarkable that PULSE is also the name of one of the largest homosexual pubs around the world!  We recently read in horror how an Islamic State sympathizer, himself a gay man, opened fire on the PULSE nightclub in Orlando Florida killing 49 gay people.  According to news reports, this is what happened on that festive Spring night: “An American-born man who’d pledged allegiance to ISIS gunned down 49 people early Sunday at a gay nightclub in Orlando… Mateen called 911 during the attack to pledge allegiance to ISIS…Mateen carried an assault rifle and a pistol into the packed PULSE club about 2 a.m. Sunday and started shooting, killing 49 people and wounding at least 53, officials said.”[2]

The movement of together2016 is seeking to unite Christians of all denominations in an ecumenical utopia, with the pope as the leader in chief.  Here is current news:

Together 2016 is an event organized by Nick Hall, and his non-profit organization PULSE. It is set to take place on July 16th at the National Mall in Washington D.C. The aim of the event is to bring together people from all backgrounds for a unified day of worship and prayer, lift up Jesus and to ask Him to reset the nation. It has been confirmed that the event will feature a personal video message from Pope Francis.[3]

Hall said there will not be a focus on party or denomination, or stances on abortion or gay rights.[4]

From the reports above, it is clear that this convergence is not for the better of Christianity, but for its very worst.  This type of coming together is the clearest way of bringing into focus the reality that Babylon is the cage of every foul and hateful spirit.  Said the revelator, “And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.  And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.” (Rev. 18: 1, 2).

The truth of this passage is clear when, among other things, we see homosexuality accepted, if not promoted by this ecclesiastical convergence of Evangelicals under the headship of Rome.  That this arrangement is welcomed by the majority of American Christians, here’s what the Southern Baptists have to say about this gathering:

Our greatest need in America is for the next Great Spiritual Awakening to occur. What if Saturday, July 16, 2016 was the day that God brought Spiritual Awakening to the National Mall in Washington D.C.? Do not miss Together 2016.[5]

This false “Spiritual Awakening” is eerily similar to the true Revival and Reformation that we have been told must and will take place in our day: “A revival of true godliness among us is the greatest and most urgent of all our needs. To seek this should be our first work.[6]  But who are the Southern Baptists?  What power do they wield in the Christian, Protestant or Evangelical world?

The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is a Christian denomination based in the United States. It is the world’s largest Baptist denomination and the largest Protestant body in the United States, with over 15 million members as of 2015. This also makes it the second largest Christian body in the United States, after the Catholic Church.[7]

To see the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest consortium of Christians in America and around the world, throwing their full support behind this movement, is evidence that we, as Adventists, have not followed cunningly devised fables, for long ago we have been warned that “the leading churches” of the United States will be foremost in striking a union with spiritualism and the Roman papacy.

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.[8]

And what do we see just ahead?—Another general council! A world’s convention! evangelical alliance, and universal creed!” When this shall be gained, then, in the effort to secure complete uniformity, it will be only a step to the resort to force.

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.[9]

The climate in which we currently live in the United States, and spreading across the world, is ripe for the fulfillment of these prophetic words, penned nearly 130 years ago.  Why?  Because there is a growing acceptance in Christianity of all sorts of falsehoods at the expense of Truth, and those who will stand for the principles of truth are being marginalized by the government as well as the large churches and denominations, as “disturbers of the peace.”

The US Supreme Court’s decision to legislate that homosexuals can now freely marry across the 50 States of America, has had one of the most far-reaching threats to Religious Liberty in America and around the world. Christians, who hold that the Bible standard is to be maintained on the question of marriage and human conduct, are being opposed not only by the Government, the media, and large corporations, but by social groups, Denominations, and large churches. Clearly, there are persecutive headwinds blowing in our direction, and they will intensify with each passing year!

The Government has already shown it hand in this matter, the civil courts of the land have already shown their hands in this matter, and the churches and social groups are also showing their hands.  This leaves the so-called “fundamental Christians” or “fundamental Evangelicals,” to face the wrath of the majority.  Then to couple with all these changes in the Christian doctrine, the growing acceptance of Islam as a religion of peace, when its adherents teach and practice war is to as it were, engage a war on multiple fronts!  The Government will be angry at these so-called “fundamentalist Christians,” the popular churches will be enraged at them, and the so-called extremists in Islam, who are very many, will also be angry at them.  This leaves only one way out—grant them a choice to determine on which side they will stand, or cleanse the earth of their existence!  This will bring on a time of trouble for God’s true people, those who “that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” (Rev. 14: 12).

It is against this group that the dragon’s wrath will be directed, for prophecy has warned of this very moment in time: “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” (Rev. 12: 17).  The dragon, being a symbol of Satan (Rev. 12: 9), and the woman being a symbol of the true church—the true worshippers (Eph. 5: 25), then his “wrath” can only be seen as a time of trouble yet to be unleashed upon the true people of God!

As a spiritual counterweight to this growing apostasy, and mounting persecutive spirit of intolerance around our world, our heavenly Father is calling for all true worshippers to recognize their high calling of God in Christ Jesus, to sound the battle cry, and raise the standard high.  That these current shifts in the Christian church have not taken our God by surprise is evidenced in the below quotation from the pen of Inspiration:

Before the final visitation of God’s judgments upon the earth, there will be, among the people of the Lord, such a revival of primitive godliness as has not been witnessed since apostolic times. The Spirit and power of God will be poured out upon his children. At that time many will separate themselves from those churches in which the love of this world has supplanted love for God and his Word. Many, both of ministers and people, will gladly accept those great truths which God has caused to be proclaimed at this time, to prepare a people for the Lord’s second coming. The enemy of souls desires to hinder this work; and before the time for such a movement shall come, he will endeavor to prevent it, by introducing a counterfeit. In those churches which he can bring under his deceptive power, he will make it appear that God’s special blessing is poured out; there will be manifest what is thought to be great religious interest. Multitudes will exult that God is working marvelously for them, when the work is that of another spirit. Under a religious guise, Satan will seek to extend his influence over the Christian world.[10]

Even as the ink wets my paper, these words are being fulfilled, for the passage is clear that “before” the true outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit upon all true believers, Satan “will endeavor to prevent it, by introducing a counterfeit.”  This counterfeit revival is the glimmerings of what we are presently seeing in this national gathering of Christians in their bid for unity with Rome.

The troubling concern is that this event is being hosted on the very door steps, as it were, of the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s World Headquarters in Silver Spring MD, only about 30 minutes away, and there is complete silence on the part of Adventists on this matter.  On Sabbath, June 9th I asked a well-informed pastor if he was aware of this gathering of Christians in the Nation’s Capital and he responded, “No,” and that my questioning him was the first time he has heard of this event.  It leaves me to wonder why Seventh-day Adventists are looking in the other direction on these matters, while actively persecuting those who would lift up their voices like a trumpet, guiding the path of God’s sheep to the fold of green pastures.

“And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.” Isa 58:12

Those who are responding to the true voice of revival and reformation, will recognize that a breach has been made in God’s law, the Torah, and accept their divine obligation to becoming a “repairer of the breach, [and a] restorer of paths to dwell in,” so that those who dwell in darkness may come and see the great light.  But there is little hope that things will change for the better, for both Evangelicals and Seventh-day Adventists are now seeing matters in practically the same light, from abortion rights, to same-gender marriages, to Islamic terrorism, to Sunday sacredness!  Yes, a large class of those who today profess faith in the 7th day Sabbath will turn their backs on it, and become its most strident opponents.

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.

As the storm approaches, a large class who have professed faith in the third angel’s message, but have not been sanctified through obedience to the truth, abandon their position, and join the ranks of the opposition. By uniting with the world and partaking of its spirit, they have come to view matters in nearly the same light; and when the test is brought, they are prepared to choose the easy, popular side. 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. In this time of persecution the faith of the Lord’s servants will be tried.[11]

In his recent encyclical on climate change, the Pope has made the Sunday-sabbath a center piece of his homily, and appeal to the nations of earth—our common home, calling it family day, earth day, and a day for spiritual renewal. “On Sunday, our participation in the Eucharist has special importance. Sunday, like the Jewish Sabbath, is meant to be a day which heals our relationships with God, with ourselves, with others and with the world.”[12]

Ellen White was well ahead of her times when she made the following declaration:

As Spiritualism more closely imitates the nominal Christianity of the day, it has greater power to deceive and ensnare. Satan himself is converted, after the modern order of things. He will appear in the character of an angel of light. Through the agency of Spiritualism, miracles will be wrought, the sick will be healed, and many undeniable wonders will be performed. And as the spirits will profess faith in the Bible, and manifest respect for the institutions of the church, their work will be accepted as a manifestation of divine power.

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. Papists, Protestants, and worldlings will alike accept the form of godliness without the power, and they will see in this union a grand movement for the conversion of the world, and the ushering in of the long-expected millennium.[13]

But while theologians and worldlings are plotting their master plan, YHWH has already prepared a door of hope, and window of escape, an ark of safety for his faithful followers today.  We need not fear the forces of evil that are daily mustering their troops for some final battle, but to trust in our Creator, and worship Him in spirit and in truth, lifting high the banner of His “commandments, statutes and judgments.”

When this confederacy of churches, join with the confederacy of nations, it will be a formidable force against which to stand, and they will be an oppressing force against all true worshippers.  It is then that our God will move on behalf of His people and secure them in the ark of safety for today—his pre-millennial kingdom.  The vanguards of this kingdom will be the 144,000 of Rev. 14: 1-5, who will be anointed by the Holy Spirit to fearlessly declare God’s holy law, then the professed Christian world declares it void.

It is the great trumpet of the twenty-seventh chapter [Isaiah] that will save them.  It may be that there will be many from “Assyria” and “Egypt” that will join the 144,000 and go to worship the Lord in the holy mount at Jerusalem.  Since Isaiah says they were ready to perish, it may happen just at the making up of the image of the beast, or just in the time of transition when the world emerges from the “Assyrian” period and enters the period when “Babylon the Great” rules…

When Volume One of The Shepherd’s Rod came we saw that the message had to be carried to the church, and the light we have received from God through this chapter [Isa. 27] is to help us to understand what God expects of us and the magnitude of the work that is to be done not only in the church but also in the world.[14]

As Present Truth believers, it is time to awake to the lateness of the hour, and realize that Assyria must be warned of her doom, and be informed of God’s great love for her, that she may quickly repent, like Nineveh of old and be saved, lest she falls like ancient Sodom and Gomorrah, and never rise again.

The Great Controversy should be very widely circulated. It contains the story of the past, the present, and the future. In its outline of the closing scenes of this earth’s history, it bears a powerful testimony in behalf of the truth. I am more anxious to see a wide circulation for this book than for any others I have written; for in The Great Controversy, the last message of warning to the world is given more distinctly than in any of my other books.[15]

It is time for all Present Truth believers to purchase The Great Controversy (1888 ed.) in mass, and distribute them to the world, so people will be given an opportunity to know the end of these things, and the wisdom of deciding on the eternal issues at stake, before it eternally too late.  Thus the great multitude shall be awakened, or mustered from their sleep so that when the final call goes forth, “the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the LORD, and to seek the LORD of hosts: [then the other cities shall respond] I will go also.” (Zech. 8: 21)  Truly, there will be many from Assyria today who will join with the 144,000 in the “second exodus”, as there were Egyptians joining the Hebrews in the “first exodus.”

The restrictions against religious liberty will not localize itself only to the United States of America, but it will be a global push.  At first it will appear as laws against terrorism, but such acts of “terror” will be redefined to include so-called Christian fundamentalists, who seek to live in obedience to all the “commandments, statutes, and judgments” of the Bible.  Here are new anti-religious libertarian laws now ready to be enforced in the largest country on Earth—Russia.

This week, Russian president Vladimir Putin approved a package of anti-terrorism laws that usher in tighter restrictions on missionary activity and evangelism. Despite prayers and protests from religious leaders and human rights advocates, the Kremlin announced Putin’s approval yesterday. The amendments, including laws against sharing faith in homes, online, or anywhere but recognized church buildings, go into effect July 20.[16]

Can you see the cunning of the enemy, and the growing persecution hemming believers in on every side?  Soon there won’t be a safe hiding place on earth, from the reach of national laws against the practice of the Messianic faith.  But we are not discouraged, for when the battle gets hot; Michael will stand up and deliver His waiting saints, and liberate them into the kingdom of our God. (Dan. 12: 1, 2).  Our duty today, as true believers—the “meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment” — is to “Seek ye the LORD…seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD’S anger.” (Zeph. 2: 3).

— Written by: Garrick Augustus, June 20, 2016 —

 

List of References

[1] World Religion News: “Pope Francis Will Address Crowd at D.C.’s National Mall During “Together 2016”” http://wp.me/p45VCq-7ii

[2] http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/12/us/orlando-nightclub-shooting/

[3] World Religion News: “Pope Francis Will Address Crowd at D.C.’s National Mall During “Together 2016”, June 8, 2016; http://www.worldreligionnews.com

[4] Religion News Service, April 7, 2017: Christians plan massive rally in Washington in July; http://religionnews.com

[5] Ronnie Floyd, President, Southern Baptist Convention; https://reset2016.com/churches/

[6] EGW, Review and Herald, March 22, 1887

[7] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_Baptist_Convention  

[8] EGW, 1888, The Great Controversy, p. 588

[9] EGW, 1888, The Great Controversy, pp. 444, 445

[10]   EGW, 1888, The Great Controversy, p. 464

[11] EGW, 1888, The Great Controversy, pp. 609

[12] ENCYCLICAL LETTER “LAUDATO SI’” OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS ON CARE FOR OUR COMMON HOME; http://m.vatican.va/content/francescomobile/en/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20150524_enciclica-laudato-si.html

[13] EGW, 1888, The Great Controversy, pp. 588-589.

[14] VT Houteff, The Symbolic Code, Vol. 11, No. 7, p. 23.

[15] EGW, Letter 281, 1905; also in Colporteur Ministry, p. 127

[16] Christianity Today, July 8, 2015: http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2016/june/no-evangelizing-outside-of-church-russia-proposes.html

 

 

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