The Trumpet Herald

Giving the trumpet a certain sound.

July 1998

The Trumpet Herald is a commentary on certain current events in the light of inspired prophecy.

Istook Amendment Fails in Congress

On June 11, 1998, the U.S. House of Representatives voted on the so-called Religious Equality Amendment, which would have made it legal for government to give official sanction to religion and to bring organized prayer back to the public school curriculum. The amendment, authored by Rep. Ernest Istook (R-Oklahoma), failed to receive the two-thirds vote necessary to pass a Constitutional amendment.

The debate on this amendment drew impassioned arguments from both sides, but perhaps the speech most noteworthy was delivered by Rep. Robert Nedler (D-North Carolina), himself a Baptist gospel singer and lifelong churchgoer. Nedler turned against it after receiving calls from "Christian" activists who not only claimed he would go to hell if he voted against this amendment, but who even threatened his life! Nedler courageously compared those in the so-called Religious Right to the Pharisees who crucified Jesus.

Inspired Commentary:

The failure of this amendment to pass Congress at this time reminds us that God is still holding the winds of strife, as He waits for appropriate spiritual readiness on the part of His people (Rev. 7:1-3). But again we are reminded of what Inspiration says will happen at the end:"If the people can be led to favor a Sunday law, then the clergy intend to exert their united influence to obtain a religious amendment to the Constitution, and compel the nation to keep Sunday" (Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, December 24, 1889).

During the second week of June, Pat Robertson declared on the 700 Club that America needs to get back to "faithful Sabbath observance" —meaning of course, Sunday. He even referred to Isaiah 58:13 as the basis of his concern! Robertson expressed his own regret of having campaigned on Sunday while running for the presidency back in 1988. This statement by Robertson helps to remind us that while the failure of the Istook Amendment indicates God's restraint on the winds of strife, this restraint could easily be loosed once God's people are ready.

Congressman Nedler's speech against the Istook Amendment reminds us of yet another inspired statement:

"While many of our rulers are active agents of Satan, God also has His agents among the leading men of the nation. The enemy moves upon his servants to propose measures that would greatly impede the work of God; but statesmen who fear the Lord are influenced by holy angels to oppose such propositions with unanswerable arguments. Thus a few men will hold in check a powerful current of evil. The opposition of the enemies of truth will be restrained that the third angel's message may do its work. When the final warning shall be given, it will arrest the attention of these leading men through whom the Lord is now working, and some of them will accept it, and will stand with the people of God through the time of trouble" (The Great Controversy, p. 610-611).

"Heavings of earth tell the vast wond'ring throng ..."

"Heavings of earth tell the vast wond'ring throng ...
Tempests and whirlwinds the anthem prolong" —from the third stanza of "Lift Up the Trumpet"

While the hand of divine restraint may now be seen in certain segments of the political world, the last day of May saw multiplied evidence of the withdrawal of this restraint on the natural world. First, an earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale rocked Afghanistan on this day, leaving as many as 72 villages in ruins. No death toll is yet available at the time of this writing.

Closer to home, the same day witnessed as many as 60 killer tornadoes touch down in eleven states from South Dakota to Massachusetts, leaving a wide path of death and destruction. Nearly the entire town of Spencer, South Dakota was wiped from the map as a mile-wide funnel cloud obliterated neighborhoods, the post office, the local bank, and more.

The weekend of June 13-14 saw even more of what the CBS Evening News described a a "spring of wild weather." Thunderstorms and rain brought flooding to the eastern seaboard, including the cities of Boston, Massachusetts and Providence, Rhode Island. The same weekend saw tornadoes rip another gash in the nation's heartland, this time in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The June 14 broadcast of the CBS Evening News warned that there is "much more to come" of this bizarre weather.

Inspired Commentary:

We seem to cite this reference in practically every issue due to the quick succession of such events, but is it foretold in our day:

"The restraining Spirit of God is even now being withdrawn from the world. Hurricanes, storms, tempests, fire and flood, disasters by sea and land, follow each other in quick succession. Science seeks to explain all these. The signs thickening around us, telling of the near approach of the Son of God, are attributed to any other than the true cause" (Testimonies vol. 6, p. 408).

"Nations are angry, by this we do know ..."

"Nations are angry, by this we do know ..." —from the fourth stanza of "Lift Up the Trumpet."

The recent crash of nuclear thunder from the Asian subcontinent reminds us of the vengeful spirit which continues to stir the nations of our world. The end of the Cold War has caused the lesser nations of Earth to envy the technology and weapons of the great powers, and to develop deadly means by which to settle old disputes.

Inspired Commentary:

Inspiration declares, regarding the last days:

"The world is stirred with the spirit of war. The prophecy of the eleventh chapter of Daniel has nearly reached its complete fulfillment. Soon the scenes of trouble spoken of in the prophecies will take place" (Testimonies vol. 9, p. 14).

Disasters by Rail

The tragic derailment of Germany's magnetic-levitation train during the first week of June proved again the frailty of technology and material things. As of this writing, the disaster is yet unexplained.

Inspired Commentary:

The following inspired prediction comes to mind:

"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!" (The Signs of the Times, April 21, 1890).

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