The Trumpet Herald is a commentary on certain current events in the light of inspired prophecy.
Crisis of Moral Leadership
The people of the United States and the world have been exposed to one revelation after another about the perverted sex life of the President of the United States and the lies used to conceal it. In an unprecedented flood of graphic information via television and the Internet, lurid details have been made exceedingly public.
One is reminded of a Scripture account of the effect of immoral leadership:
"Not only did Ahab introduce Baal worship at the capital city, but under the leadership of Jezebel he erected heathen altars in many "high places," where in the shelter of surrounding groves the priests and others connected with this seductive form of idolatry exerted their baleful influence, until well-nigh all Israel were following after Baal. [See 1 Kings 21:25, 26.]
"Ahab was weak in moral power. His union by marriage with an idolatrous woman of decided character and positive temperament resulted disastrously both to himself and to the nation. Unprincipled, and with no high standard of rightdoing, his character was easily molded by the determined spirit of Jezebel. His selfish nature was incapable of appreciating the mercies of God to Israel and his own obligations as the guardian and leader of the chosen people. ...
"Captivated by the gorgeous display and the fascinating rites of idol worship, the people followed the example of the king and his court, and gave themselves up to the intoxicating, degrading pleasures of a sensual worship. In their blind folly they chose to reject God and His worship. The light so graciously given them had become darkness" (Prophets and Kings, p. 114-116).
Stock Market Plunges
The dramatic 512-point dip in the Dow Jones one month ago, and the market's continuing gyrations since, give evidence of the glowing instability in the interconnected world economy. While the Great Depression brought on by the Crash of '29 was also worldwide, nothing in history can compare to the global bond which now blends the markets of so many different lands. The crisis in Asia, Russia, and most recently Latin America will likely inflict vast injury on the U.S. Economy in the near future.
Revelation 13 is clear that the economic sanctions brought against God's people at the end of time will be of a global nature (verses 14-16). Inspiration is clear that economic turmoil will characterize the events of the last days:
"There are not many, even among educators and statesmen, who comprehend the causes that underlie the present state of society. Those who hold the reins of government are not able to solve the problem of moral corruption, poverty, pauperism, and increasing crime. They are struggling in vain to place business operations on a more secure basis. ...
"The Scriptures describe the condition of the world just before Christ's second coming. Of the men who by robbery and extortion are amassing great riches, it is written: 'Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. Behold, the hire of the laborers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.' James 5:3-6" (Testimonies, vol. 9, pp. 13, 14).
Inspiration also speaks of how the enforcement of the mark of the beast, which will be offered as a means of national salvation, will end instead in national ruin.
"Protestants will work upon the rulers of the land to make laws to restore the lost ascendancy of the man of sin, who sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Roman Catholic principles will be taken under the care and protection of the state. This national apostasy will speedily be followed by national ruin" (Review and Herald, June 15, 1897).
"When Protestant churches shall unite with the secular power to sustain a false religion, for opposing which their ancestors endured the fiercest persecution, then will the papal sabbath be enforced by the combined authority of church and state. There will be a national apostasy, which will end only in national ruin" (Evangelism p. 235).
Ten Commandments Posting
The September 1998 issue of Church and State reported that South Carolina Attorney General Charlie Condon has issued an advisory opinion recommending the posting of the Ten Commandments and other religious practices in public schools (p. 19).
Condon's written support of such endeavors was intended to lend credence to the efforts of State Rep. Bradley Jordan, and his brother Dr. Henry Jordan, who together have crusaded for the placing of the Ten Commandments in the public schools of South Carolina.
Once, at a May 1997 meeting of the South Carolina State School Board, Dr. Jordan made obvious his intolerance for those religious minorities who might be offended by such obviously Christian activities in taxpayer-funded facilities. Jordan then used a vulgar expression to describe his feelings about Buddhists, then snapped, "Kill the Muslims and put that in the minutes!" (Ibid.)
God desires his law to be internalized in human hearts through the new covenant (Jer. 31:31-34; Heb. 8:8-10). To mandate the posting of the Ten Commandments so people will be encouraged to read them will probably accomplish little despite the fact that these principles are a source of human prosperity. The fundamental principles also include religious liberty. Obviously, careful thought about the balance is indicated.
"And the Constitution guarantees to the people the right of self-government, providing that representatives elected by the popular vote shall enact and administer the laws. Freedom of religious faith was also granted, every man being permitted to worship God according to the dictates of his conscience. Republicanism and Protestantism became the fundamental principles of the nation. These principles are the secret of its power and prosperity" (The Great Controversy, p. 441 -emphasis added).
Christ's kingdom, however, is above all earthly kingdoms:
"But today in the religious world there are multitudes who, as they believe, are working for the establishment of the kingdom of Christ as an earthly and temporal dominion. They desire to make our Lord the ruler of the kingdoms of this world, the ruler in its courts and camps, its legislative halls, its palaces and market places. They expect Him to rule through legal enactments, enforced by human authority. Since Christ is not now here in person, they themselves will undertake to act in His stead, to execute the laws of His kingdom. ... But He said, 'My kingdom is not of this world.' John 18:36" (Desire of Ages, p. 509).
Hurricane Season Roars On
August and September witnessed the acceleration of more savage weather as Hurricanes Bonnie, Charlie, Earl and Frances struck the southern and southwestern United States. Loss of life and property, especially in Texas, follow on the heels of the summer's drought and searing heat (see "The Storms of August," Newsweek, Sept. 7, 1998, p. 41). Again, experts warn that far worse is on the way [Hurricane Georges is sweeping the Caribbean at this writing.].
Again we note the prophet's words:
"In accidents and calamities by sea and by land, in great conflagrations, in fierce tornadoes and terrific hailstorms, in tempests, floods, cyclones, tidal waves, and earthquakes, in every place and in a thousand forms, Satan is exercising his power. He sweeps away the ripening harvest, and famine and distress follow. He imparts to the air a deadly taint, and thousands perish by the pestilence. These visitations are to become more and more frequent and disastrous" (The Great Controversy, pp. 589, 590).