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Giving the trumpet a certain sound

September 2006

War in Lebanon-Cease Fire

At the time of this writing, a cease-fire has taken hold in Lebanon. It appears however, that seeds are being planted for future conflict.

HAIFA-The war is over (for now) and the Arab and Israeli streets have determined the winner: Hezbollah. Now, not only does Israel have to develop new strategies toward unfriendly Arabs but so do Arab world leaders who have long called for conducting diplomacy with Israel.

The leaders of Arab nations such as Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia despise and fear Hezbollah’s fundamentalist Islamic doctrines, which support an agenda of violent “resistance” to the Jewish state, and see the “Party of God” as a tool of Shiite-Muslim Iran.

But what can they do when across the Arab and Muslim world people are now hailing Hezbollah’s leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, as their hero, claiming that his use of violent “resistance”- not diplomacy - has proved to be the way to get results from Israel? (“Mideast crisis--Blog from Jerusalem,” USNews.com, Aug. 15, 2006)

Time reported on European reluctance to send the troop to police the cease fire that they helped work out through the United Nations.

A defiant Hizballah said it had no intention of handing over its arms. The rules of engagement under which the international force would act remain “fuzzy,” French Defense Minister Michèle Alliot-Marie insisted, to worried nods of agreement from other European capitals. (“Europe's Collective Inaction in Lebanon,” Time.com (Europe Edition), Aug. 20, 2006)

Inspired Commentary

The outlook in the Middle East and elsewhere continues to confirm the prophecy of Jesus:

And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Matthew 24:6-8

Volcano in Ecuador

A volcano in Ecuador, Tungurahua, has been erupting and further eruptions are threatened. As of August 19, only three deaths had been reported. Three thousand people had been evacuated from a government-declared “red zone”, but some refused to go despite warnings of further eruptions.

Although about 80 percent of the population 500 village of Bilbao was recently destroyed by an eruption, one person who stayed behind was quoted as saying:

“We are afraid, but we cannot leave our belongings, what little we have,” Egas said. A few yards away, volcanic steam rose off an ash-contaminated creek that had supplied the community’s irrigation water. (“Ecuadoreans Defy Warning About Volcano,” washingtonpost.com (Associated Press), Aug. 19, 2006)

Inspired Commentary

God also gives warnings ... about extravagance of “stuff:”

The enemy has succeeded in perverting justice and in filling men’s hearts with the desire for selfish gain. “Justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.” Isaiah 59:14. In the great cities there are multitudes living in poverty and wretchedness, well-nigh destitute of food, shelter, and clothing; while in the same cities are those who have more than heart could wish, who live luxuriously, spending their money on richly furnished houses, on personal adornment, or worse still, upon the gratification of sensual appetites, upon liquor, tobacco, and other things that destroy the powers of the brain, unbalance the mind, and debase the soul. The cries of starving humanity are coming up before God, while by every species of oppression and extortion men are piling up colossal fortunes. (Testimonies, v.9, pp. 11, 12)

Bombing Plot Foiled

In a sign of the continuing threat of terrorism, British authorities arrested 24 men (beginning on Aug. 9) who are accused of plotting to destroy as many as 10 airliners flying from Britain to the United States.

The Islamists had apparently found a squad of would-be martyrs who would board planes in groups of two or three, each carrying ingredients for the liquid bombs—ingredients that could be drawn from nail-polish remover and concentrated peroxide, usually undetectable by airport screening devices—as well as a simple electrical device, like a music player, to use as a detonator. (“The New Age of Terror,” Newsweek (www.msnbc.com), Aug. 21-28 issue)

Despite the success of the recent police operation, the threat is expected to continue.

For the moment, at least, it appears that Osama bin Laden has been thwarted in his relentless desire to stage an even grander spectacular than 9/11. But no one can doubt that he, or his successors and many imitators and acolytes, will try again and keep on trying until they succeed. Their ideology may date from the seventh century, but the jihadists, especially bin Laden’s sinister No. 2, Ayman al-Zawahiri, are eager to get control of 21st-century weapons of mass destruction. (ibid.)

Inspired Commentary

To instill fear is apparently sought after by some – terrorists -- to achieve their goals. Jesus predicted that fear would be prevalent in the last days, and distress of nations:

And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. (Luke 21:25-27)

Methodists Join on Justification

In a step characterized as opening the door to new ecumenical ties, a world Methodist assembly decided to join with Lutherans and Catholics on a major doctrinal point:

Seoul, Jul. 27 (CWNews.com) - The World Methodist Council has given its approval to a theological statement on the doctrine of justification — a statement already agreed upon by Catholic and Lutheran leaders.

At a general assembly in Seoul, South Korea, the World Methodist Council added its approval to a statement produced in 1999 by the Vatican and the World Lutheran Federation. The Methodist general assembly, drawing together representatives of 76 different Methodist communities worldwide, is held every 5 years. (“Methodists join Catholic-Lutheran statement on justification,” cwnews.com, July 27, 2006)

Inspired Commentary

These records of the past clearly reveal the enmity of Rome toward the true Sabbath and its defenders, and the means which she employs to honor the institution of her creating. The word of God teaches that these scenes are to be repeated as Roman Catholics and Protestants shall unite for the exaltation of the Sunday. (The Great Controversy, p. 578)

Page created:8/14/06. Updated: 10/15/06
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