As we go to press, the 2000 U.S. presidential election remains unsettled. No dispute of this kind has happened in American presidential politics since 1876, the election in which Rutherford B. Hayes defeated Samuel J. Tilden. Regardless of the outcome, many fear that whoever wins the Presidency will lack the necessary authority to lead and guide the nation.
We have often stated in this newsletter that it is not our policy to take sides in political matters. Our purpose is simply to note that growing unsettled state of our society, the fraying of fabric long held to be stable, the erosion of respect for established institutions. Jesus spoke of "men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth" (Luke 21:26). Inspiration has written:
"The Spirit of God is gradually but surely being withdrawn from the earth. Plagues and judgments are already falling on the despisers of the grace of God. The calamities by land and sea, the unsettled state of society, the alarms of war, are portentous. They forecast approaching events of the greatest magnitude" (Testimonies, vol. 9, p. 11).
"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 relations that exist among the nations. They observe the intensity that is taking possession of every earthly element, and they recognize that something great and decisive is about to take placethat the world is on the verge of a stupendous crisis" (Prophets and Kings, p. 537).
Yet further evidence of the truth of inspired counsel was aired on the November 2, 2000 broadcast of ABC's "Good Morning America," when it was reported that the number one cause of food poisoning in the United States is the consumption of fish and seafood. This follows on the heels of similar reports on the diseased state of fowl and land animals.
Years ago inspiration declared that "disease in animals is increasing in proportion to the increase of wickedness among men" (Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 366). Regarding fish the message was:
"In many places fish become so contaminated by the filth on which they feed as to be a cause of disease. This is especially the case where the fish come in contact with the with the sewage of large cities. The fish that are fed on the contents of the drains may pass into distant waters and may be caught where the water is pure and fresh. Thus when used as food they bring disease and death on those who do not suspect the danger." (Ministry of Healing, pp. 314-315).
From mid-October to early November 2000, disastrous floods struck from Italy and Vietnam to Texas and Arizona. Floods in the vicinity of Phoenix, Arizona, were reported on the CBS Evening News as the "worst ever." Flooding in Italy's Po River valley was reported to be the worst in 50 years. And the floods in Vietnam had, at last count, claimed the lives of at least 500 people.
October 31 saw the fatal crash of Singapore Airlines Flight 006 in Taiwan, leaving 82 dead and others seriously injured. On October 17 a high-speed train crashed in London, England, leaving four dead. November 4 saw another train derailment in Los Angeles, California. And on November 11, a cable car burned while passing through a tunnel in the Austrian Alps, leaving 155 dead.
The modern prophet writes, speaking of these events:
"We are standing on the threshold of the crisis of the ages. In quick succession the judgments of God will follow one anotherfire, and flood, and earthquake, with war and bloodshed. We are not to be surprised at this time by events both great and decisive; for the angel of mercy cannot remain much longer to shelter the impenitent" (Prophets and Kings, p. 278).
"Disasters by rail will become more and more frequent; confusion, collision, and death without a moment's warning will occur on the great lines of travel. The end is near, probation is closing. Oh, let us seek God while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near!" (Messages to Young People, p. 90).