The Trumpet Herald is a commentary on certain current events in the light of inspired prophecy.
Kosovo and the Final Conflict
The NATO air campaign against Yugoslavia, begun in late March and continuing at press time, has again driven into the world's consciousness the fact that only one superpower remains on earththe United States of America. Again we see an America-led alliance setting a deadline for a designated outlaw nation, the deadline passing, and then a resort to force.
This newsletter takes no position on domestic or international political issues. It is not our desire to place ourselves for or against the present NATO action. We only recognize that again the alignment of global power forecast in Revelation 13 is continuing to come together.
In Revelation 13 the lamb-like beast, symbolizing the United States, leads the entire world in paying homage to the papacy (verses 13-17). In the aftermath of the cold war, nearly all the world has been growing accustomed to following America's lead. If no other significance is attached to the current Kosovo crisis, this significance should be noted.
Inspiration offers the following observations regarding war in. the last days:
"Soon grievous troubles will arise among the nationstrouble that will not cease until Jesus comes. As never before we need to press together, serving Him who has prepared His throne in the heavens and whose kingdom ruleth over all. God has not forsaken His people, and our strength lies in not forsaking Him.
"Soon strife among the nations will break out with an intensity that we do not now anticipate. The present is a time of overwhelming interest to all living. Rulers and statesmen, men who occupy positions of trust and authority, thinking men and women of all classes, have their attention fixed upon the events taking place about us. They are watching the strained, restless relations that exist among the nations. They observe the intensity that is taking possession of every earthly element, and they realize that something great and decisive is about to take place, that the world is on the verge of a stupendous crisis" (Maranatha, p. 174)
War on the Wall of Separation
Just as some other leaders of the Religious Right seemed about to surrender the so-called "culture war," Florida evangelist Dr. D. James Kennedy sponsored a "Reclaiming America for Christ" rally, which drew an enthusiastic crowd of over 1,800 activists February 26-27. Among other things, Kennedy and his invited speakers declared to those assembled that there will be "no surrender" to their political and social adversaries, and that any thought of Christian conservatives withdrawing from the political arena must be summarily rejected (see Church & State, April 1999, p. 8).
Those speaking at Kennedy's rally declared open war on the wall of separation between church and state, calling this principle "the sharpest sword in the devil's arsenal" (Ibid., p. 10). One of Kennedy's books describes the wall between church and state as "diabolical," and says it should be demolished just as the Berlin Wall was demolished (Ibid., p. 12).
In a call for Christians to take up political arms against America's moral problems, one of Kennedy's speakers declared, "We must use our spiritual bayonets. We must use the bayonets, for the nation must be taken for the love of God" (Ibid., p. 13).
If these speakers spoke of using "spiritual bayonets" in the context of preaching God's Word, which Scripture describes as a sword (Eph. 6:17, Heb. 4:12), we would have no problem. But this was a gathering intended to foster the involvement of Christians in passing civil laws to enforce Christian belief. Some of these legislative targets would deal with abortion, "gay" rights, and the "godless" public school system.
While these are not specifically "religious observances" as referred to below, and while we share many of the concerns that are being addressed, we are also aware that the Bible predicts that somehow it will happen that governmental power will be brought to bear against religious observances that are actually commanded by God. Since a person's religious experience is so personal, we desire for government to use great restraint when dealing with issues much involved with that experience.
Again we cite the words of the modern prophet:
"To protect liberty of conscience is the duty of the state, and this is the limit of its authority of matters of religion. Every secular government that attempts to regulate or enforce religious observances by civil authority is sacrificing the very principles for which the evangelical Christians so nobly struggled" (The Great Controversy, p. 201).
"Let the principle once be established in the United States that the church may employ or control the power of the state, that religious observances may be enforced by secular laws; in short, that the authority of church and state is to dominate the conscience, and the triumph of Rome in this country is assured" (Ibid., p. 581).
The April 7 broadcast of ABC News' "World News Tonight" featured an interview with meteorologist William Gray, who predicts that the coming hurricane season (June to November) will likely include 9 hurricanes and 14 tropical stormsperhaps the worst to date. He also indicated that for the next few years we will be entering into a "more extended" period of frequent storms, after what he calls a relatively quiet last few decades. Considering how much beach-front property has been developed in the United States in the general pathway of hurricanes, Gray predicts that a single major storm could cause as much as 100 billion dollars worth of damage.
Again, as we have so often in this newsletter, we turn our attention to the following inspired forecasts:
"The restraining Spirit of God is even now being withdraw 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).
"Even now he [Satan] is at work. 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. . . . These visitations are to become more and more frequent and disastrous" (The Great Controversy, pp. 589, 590).