The Trumpet Herald

Giving the trumpet a certain sound

June 2003

Record Numbers of Tornadoes

The Associated Press reported recently:

The barrage of twisters that ripped across the nationís midsection marked the most active week of tornadoes on record, meteorologists said Saturday as they sized up a wave of storms that left 44 people dead from Kansas to Georgia.

The deadly tornadoes began early in the week in Missouri, Kansas and Tennessee, followed by two rounds of twisters in the Oklahoma City area Thursday and Friday. Storms combined with straight-line wind, lightning and floods as they reduced hundreds of homes and businesses to splinters and piles of loose bricks... . . .

By Saturday, about 300 tornadoes had been reported since the start of May, about 100 more than the most recent comparable rash, in 1999. Until now, that 1999 barrage had been the record for any 10-day period since record-keeping started in the 1950s, said Dan McCarthy, warning coordination meteorologist at the Storm Prediction Center (ďTornado Week: Dozens Dead, Hundreds of Homes Destroyed in Twister Outbreak,Ē Associated Press [online], May 11, 2003).

Inspired Commentary

Are disastrous storms random events or is there some spiritual significance?

The time is right upon us when there will be sorrow in the world that no human balm can heal. The Spirit of God is being withdrawn from the world. Disasters by sea and land follow one another in quick succession. How frequently we hear of earthquakes and tornadoes, of destruction by fire and flood, with great loss of life and property. Apparently these calamities are capricious outbreaks of seemingly disorganized, unregulated forces, but in them Godís purpose may be read. They are one of the means by which he seeks to arouse men and women to a sense of their danger (Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, February 26, 1914).

The spirit of antichrist is prevailing in the world to a far greater extent than it has ever prevailed before. The day of test and purification is just upon us. Signs of a most startling character appear, in floods, in hurricanes, in tornadoes, in cloud-bursts, in casualties by land and by sea, that proclaim the approach of the end of all things. The judgments of God are falling on the world, that men may be awakened to the fact that Christ will come speedily (Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, November 8, 1892).

Famine in Ethiopia

A famine is developing in Ethiopia that threatens to rival that of 1984 when 8 million people were at risk and pictures of starving children haunted the television screens of western-nation viewers. The current situation appears to be worse.

Short rainfalls last year, poor government planning, the effects of a two-and-a-half-year border war with Eritrea (which split from Ethiopia in 1993), and donor fatigue have worsened the current crisis. About 11.3 million of Ethiopiaís of 69 million people face severe malnutrition or starvation. The total could reach 14 million by July ("I Never Thought Iíd See Anything Like that Again", Christianity Today, May 2003).

Christian relief agencies are trying to help and the U.S. Congress has approved an additional $250 million for food relief in Africa, the report added. It appears, however, that the relief will not come fast enough or in sufficient volume. AIDS/HIV is also sweeping the country lowering disease resistance.

Inspired Commentary

Note this inspired counsel:

Today the signs of the times declare that we are standing on the threshold of great and solemn events. Everything in our world is in agitation. Before our eyes is fulfilling the Saviourís prophecy of the events to precede His coming: ďYe shall hear of wars and rumors of wars. . . . Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers placesĒ (Maranatha, p. 68).

The Need for Literature

One might think that in the Internet age demand for the printed page might be dropping off. Simple observation suggests otherwise, since although it has been a long time since the next counsel was given, Satan does not seem to be letting up in the production of the printed page.

Satan is busy in this department of his work, scattering literature which is debasing the morals and poisoning the minds of the young. Infidel publications are scattered broadcast throughout the land. Why should not every member of the church be as deeply interested in sending forth publications that will elevate the minds of the people, and bring the truth directly before them? These papers and tracts are for the light of the world, and have often been instrumental in converting souls (Christian Service, p. 145, 146).

There are many areas of the earth where Godís last-day messages have not been presented. There are workers in various parts of the world willing to carry and share the printed message, and they frequently ask us for materials to share.

Lutherís pen was a power, and his writings, scattered broadcast, stirred the world. The same agencies are at our command, with facilities multiplied a hundredfold. Bibles, publications in many languages, setting forth the truth for this time, are at our hand, and can be swiftly carried to every part of the world. We are to give the last warning message of God to men, and what should be our earnestness in studying the Bible, and our zeal in spreading the light! Let every soul who has received the divine illumination seek to impart it. Let the workers go from house to house, opening the Bible to the people, circulating the publications, telling others of the light that has blessed their own souls. The preaching of the word will have power in reaching a class who would not receive the truth through reading; but the ministers are few, and where the living preacher can not come, the published truth can reach. Personal effort will accomplish far more than could be accomplished without it. The truth must be proclaimed in the dark places of the earth. Obstacles must be met and surmounted (Atlantic Union Gleaner, March 8, 1905).

Comparing the printed page to the Internet, one notes that the printed page survives after the power is turned off. Some in third world countries sometimes have limited Internet access, but without the means to print. We have not yet departed the age of the printed page, and probably we never will.

The distribution of our literature is one means by which the message is to be proclaimed. Let every believer scatter broadcast tracts and leaflets and books containing the message for this time. Colporteurs are needed who will go forth to circulate our publications everywhere. In the miracle of feeding the multitude with a few loaves and fishes, the food was increased as it passed from Christ to those who received it. Thus it will be in the distribution of our literature. Godís truth, as it is passed out, will multiply greatly. And as the disciples, by Christís direction, gathered up the fragments, that nothing might be lost, so we should treasure every fragment of literature containing the truth for this time. None can estimate the influence that even a torn page containing the truths of the third angelís message may have upon the heart of some seeker after truth (The Southern Watchman, January 5, 1904).

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