The Trumpet Herald

Giving the trumpet a certain sound

May 2003

A New Disease: SARS

The Washington Post reported recently:

China's Communist leaders today declared a nationwide war on the SARS virus and ordered officials to stop covering up the extent of the epidemic that is spreading throughout China. . . .

China's government has been widely criticized here and abroad for responding slowly to the threat of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, which is believed to have erupted in Guangdong province in southern China in November. Officials have been blamed for failing to report the disease to other provinces and other countries. ("China Orders End To SARS Coverup,", April 18 10, 2003).

The BBC reported:

A World Health Organization (WHO) team investigating the outbreak there has predicted that China will reveal a far greater number of cases than the 1,485 reported so far.

The worst-affected area outside Asia is Canada, where it was announced that a 14th person had died of the virus on Saturday and 247 people are suspected of having the virus.

Public health officials in Toronto have admitted they may be losing control of the situation, and thousands of people have gone into voluntary quarantine ("Virus deaths mount in Hong Kong," BBC News, Apr. 19, 2003).

Scientists racing to identify the disease, meanwhile reported:

Dutch scientists have produced the final pieces of evidence necessary to conclusively link the microbe, known as a coronavirus, to the new disease, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), scientists at the Geneva-based United Nations body said ("Scientists Link SARS Virus to Common Cold,", Apr. 17, 2003).

SARS joins AIDS and ebola among new diseases challenging the human family.

Inspired Commentary

One of the prophetic issues that should give concern is mentioned here:

For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. (Rom. 8:22, 23)

It is impossible to present our bodies a living sacrifice to God when we continually fill them with corruption and disease by our own sinful indulgence. Knowledge must be gained in regard to how to eat and drink and dress so as to preserve health. Sickness is the result of violating nature's law. Our first duty, one which we owe to God, to ourselves, and to our fellow men, is to obey the laws of God. These include the laws of health (Counsels on Health, p. 24).

To faithfully follow the path of the Saviour involves living and sharing the messages about physical health.

Pope reaffirms Catholic teaching

In what may be his last encyclical letter, Pope John Paul II yesterday emphasized the importance of the Eucharist to the Roman Catholic Church and reaffirmed that those who have committed serious sins must go to confession before taking Holy Communion.

The letter asserts an orthodox view of the Eucharist, the wafer and wine that Catholics believe are transformed into the body and blood of Jesus Christ during the Mass. "This is no metaphorical food," the pope wrote, saying he hoped to rekindle the "amazement" of Catholics at the "real presence" of Christ in the consecrated bread and wine.

Scholars said the letter -- the 14th encyclical of John Paul II's 25-year papacy -- continued his commitment to traditional teachings. ("Pope Reaffirms Traditions on Communion,", Apr. 18, 2003).

The article pointed out that an encyclical is "an authoritative, but not necessarily infallible, teaching letter." The letter generally forbids Catholics and Protestants from taking communion together.

"You could see this as an exclamation point at the end of his pontificate," said the Rev. C. John McCloskey, director of the Catholic Information Center in Washington. "If you thought the Second Vatican Council [from 1962-65] was about openness to the modern world or the church becoming more like Protestant religions, or if you thought the church would start to fudge on its teachings, an encyclical like this is a very strong statement that nothing has changed" (Ibid.).

Inspired Commentary

Note this inspired counsel:

The Roman Church now presents a fair front to the world, covering with apologies her record of horrible cruelties. She has clothed herself in Christlike garments; but she is unchanged. Every principle of the papacy that existed in past ages exists today. The doctrines devised in the darkest ages are still held. Let none deceive themselves. The papacy that Protestants are now so ready to honor is the same that ruled the world in the days of the Reformation, when men of God stood up, at the peril of their lives, to expose her iniquity (The Great Controversy, p. 571, emphasis added).

The war in Iraq

Recent news reports have reported the evidences of man's inhumanity to man under the now former Iraqi government. Some have insisted that discussions about the war keep God out of the discussion. Knowing God's intimate involvement with the affairs of men, this insistence seems unrealistic. In various past newsletters, the Trumpet Herald has mentioned that the United States fits the description of the two-horned beast of Revelation 13. Rev. 13 indicates that the two-horned beast will one day speak as a dragon in the area of worship (Rev. 13:11, 12).

Perhaps the demonstration of the United States military power will aid in giving authority to its words at some future time when it renounces its principles of religious liberty to kill those who refuse to worship the image to the (another) beast (Rev. 13:15). Perhaps until that time the following Bible counsel can inform Christian thinking.

Inspired Commentary

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake (Rom. 13:1-5).

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