The Trumpet Herald is a commentary on certain current events in the light of inspired prophecy.
"Ye Shall Not Surely Die"
The devil's first lie is presently receiving wide publicity with the publication of James Von Praagh's new book Talking to Heaven (New York: Penguin Putnam, 1997). According to a three-part Special Assignment report on Channel 2 News in Los Angeles, aired on the evenings of March 2-4, this book has soared to the very top of the New York Times best seller list since its release in November of last year.
The Channel 2 report featured a number of persons from among the hundreds of thousands who are requesting Von Praagh to contact their dead loved ones. The reporters preparing this story set up Von Praagh, who lives in Southern California, with a number of people with whom he had had no prior contact, who had lost loved ones through death. In these interviews Von Praagh displayed to his guests knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the death of their loved ones which he could not possibly have obtained through natural means or mere intuition.
Von Praagh declares that the message of his book is the "good news" that "there is no death; there is only life." Many, because of his apparently supernatural knowledge of people's family secrets, think he must in fact be communicating with the dead.
What Von Praagh describes as "good news" is the very first lie told by Satan to human beings: "Ye shall not surely die" (Genesis 3:4). And the notion that unrevealed secrets of a person's life could only be known by the one deceased fails to account for the Biblical reality that two supernatural powers exist in our universeone divine, the other satanic.
Von Praagh declares that the love bonds established in life are maintained by the deceased even in death. The Bible disagrees:
Inspiration is equally clear that the impersonation of departed loved ones will be a prominent feature of end-time events:
""Many will be confronted by the spirits of devils personating beloved relatives or friends and declaring the most dangerous heresies. These visitants will appeal to our tenderest sympathies and will work miracles to sustain their pretensions. We must be prepared to withstand them with the Bible truth that the dead know not anything and that they who thus appear are the spirits of devils" (The Great Controversy, p. 560).
Update on Religious Equality Amendment
According to the February 1998 issue of Church and State, a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on the so-called "Religious Equality Amendment" could very well happen as this issue of Trumpet Herald goes to press. As previous issues of this newsletter have reported, this amendment wouldamong other thingspermit prayer and worship services to become part of the public school curriculum.
Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and state, declares concerning this proposal: "This amendment would obliterate church-state separation in one stroke. It must be stopped."
Time is so short on this matter, says Lynn, that concerned citizens should call or e-mail their representatives in Congress rather than write. (The House switchboard number is 202-224-3121.)
Inspiration is clear, as we have noted in past newsletters, that principles will be established through legislation which will make inevitable the setting up of the image to the beast:
"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" (The Great Controversy p. 581).
More Savage Weather
The fury of the so-called El Nino phenomenon continues to make headlines across the United States. The early morning hours of February 23 was killer tornadoes rip across central Florida, leaving more dead than the record set six years ago by Hurricane Andrew. Floods in Alabama and Georgia over the weekend of March 7 also caused damage and loss of life. Add to this the unusually heavy blizzards in the Midwest on the same weekend, and many wonder how much longer they can endure this season's savage weather.
Again we recall the very clear observation of God's end-time prophet:
"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).
The Prophet has predicted that the situation will get worse:
"While appearing to the children of men as a great physician who can heal all their maladies, he will bring disease and disaster, until populous cities are reduced to ruin and desolation. Even now he 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. 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).
Americans Against Political Corruption, a Washington D.C. group seeking political reforms, reports on their Internet web page (http://www.essential.org/aapc/tales.html) that:
"The Coalition to Eliminate Abusive Security Suits (which includes the American Institute of CPAs, the Big Six accounting firms, and high-tech companies) member PACs gave $8.5 million to 1994 congressional candidates. In December, 1995, Congress overrode a presidential veto to pass the Securities Litigation Reform Act, which limits shareholders rights to take legal action if defrauded in securities transactions, even if the issuers knowingly mislead investors or accountants make egregious errors."
Although some would undoubtedly argue that he only spoke for himself, it is instructive to note that one partner at an accounting firm reportedly bragged, "Well, that's how Congress works. We buy them. That's what they have to sell. We all make out by selling what we have to sell. Then they pretend they're doing it for the public good. At least we're not pretending anything."
Besides the corrupting influence of money spent to promote special interests, the moral corruption of certain high-profile political leaders, has been covered extensively in national and regional media.
The example of leaders who sell their votes for political contributions, and who abuse their positions of prominence to engage in immoral behavior may help to generate the backlash that is described in inspired prophecy:
"Political corruption is destroying love of justice and regard for truth; and even in free America, rulers and legislators, in order to secure public favor, will yield to the popular demand for a law enforcing Sunday observance. Liberty of conscience, which has cost so great a sacrifice, will no longer be respected. In the soon-coming conflict we shall see exemplified the prophet's words: 'The dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.' Revelation 12:17" (The Great Controversy, p. 592).