At the beginning of the New Year, we look back at the last year with grateful hearts for all His benefits toward us. “Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks: for thy name is near thy wonderful works declare.” (Psa. 75:1)
The earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes and other tragedies have brought much pain and sorrow to many people, making many homeless, as well as the grief and heartache of those who have lost loved ones in these tragedies. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to all those who have experienced these hardships. “We weep with them that weep.” (Rom. 12:15) However, such tragedies bring out the best in people. Quite a few have risked their lives in trying to rescue the unfortunate. It is wonderful to see “people helping people.” God bless such good people! “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” (Prov. 15:3)
Amidst these tragedies, crime is escalating in every country – thievery, murder, rape, child abuse, suicide among the young, illegal drugs, alcohol and terrorism.
“D.C. Leads Nation In Murders As Violent Crime Rate Jumps – Washington – The number of violent crimes reported nationwide in 1988 increased 5.5 percent from 1987 to a new high, with murders rising 2.9 percent to 20,675, the FBI said in a report released Sunday.
“The overall murder rate was 8.4 per 100,000 people. Washington, D.C. led the nation in the rate of murders and non–negligent homicides, with 59.5 per 100,000. The police have reported 372 people were slain in the nation’s capital. The murder rate calculations cover cities with population of 400,000 or more.” (The Orlando Sentinel, August 7, 1989)
Disease, too, is increasing with no cure in sight for many terminal cases – such as ALZHEIMER, AIDS, etc. However, medical science is researching and making every effort to find such cures.
“Jerusalem (JTA) – Scientists at Bar-llan University have reported finding a medication to treat Alzheimer’s disease, a degenerative condition that affects middle-aged and elderly people, and is usually manifested by loss of memory.
“Yediot Achronot reported Monday that a team of scientists, led by Professor Shlomo Eliahu, developed a medication that reverses memory loss in patients with Alzheimer’s. The scientist said they tested it successfully on humans, but it needs further development before being approved for mass production.
“According to the report, the university in Ramat Gan is negotiating with various pharmaceutical companies to eventually produce and market the medication. But few details have been released because of the need for ‘commercial security,’ Yediot Achronot said.” (New York Jewish Press, September 15, 1989)
“Progress On Blood Substitute – Artificial blood is no longer the stuff of science fiction books. After years of research, a team at the Technion in Haifa claims to have developed a series of blood-substitute compounds that carry oxygen ‘no less effectively’ than human blood. The new substitutes, which are not yet being produced on a commercial basis, can help solve the problem of emergency transfusions, and can avoid the transmission of diseases through the use of contaminated blood.
“Prof. Noah Lotan, who heads the team, says that the use of blood or of blood plasma in field emergencies or even hospitals raises serious medical and logistical problems. Thus artificial materials based on hemoglobin have been developed.” (By Judy Siegel – Jerusalem Post, July 15, 1989)
“Aids – A Human Time Bomb – AIDS is one of the most serious scourges to strike humanity. While authorities in the USA and SA continue to cry ‘Don’t panic,’ AIDS statistics continue to mount. Of 100 people who contract AIDS – after 3 years 90 will be living and working oblivious of the fact. Average life expectancy for an AIDS patient is 7.3 years for most of which time they will not know they have the disease.
“In the USA AIDS is expected to become the major cause of death by 1992 surpassing motor accidents. Scientists are not expecting to find an effective vaccine for at least 10 years. The incidents of AIDS in Africa is doubling every year.” (By Ack Citizen, Christian Action for Israel – 2nd Quarter)
“Aids Ravaging Florida Youth, Lawmakers Told – Miami, Florida has the second–highest number of Pediatric AIDS cases in the nation, a congressional committee was told Monday.
“The committee decided to hold the hearing in Miami because of the high number of AIDS-infected babies here. New York is the only state with more cases of HIV-positive babies than Florida, which was 215 cases, half in Miami.
“Rep. George Miller, the committee’s chairman, said the study was one of the toughest his committee has undertaken. ‘This is not something that’s going to be remedied with slogans or a one-year political campaign,’ the California Democratic said.” (The Orlando Sentinel, August 8, 1989)
“1980s – A Decade Of Greed – After 10 years of meanness, the ‘70s look better every day. Any era looks better from a distance. Nevertheless, as the decade of the ‘80s draws to a close, the ‘70s look mighty good. In the ‘70s OPEC was our principal challenger. The price of a barrel of oil soared from $1.75 to $35. Economies spun out of control. The rising cost of imports turned our trade balance negative. Manufacturing exports exceeded imports by a healthy $30 billion. We are still the world’s banker.
“In the ‘80s, Japan became our main challenger. A long list of product lines in which we were dominant a decade ago are now produced by others: telecopier machines, VCRs, TVs. In 1982, three of the top four companies receiving U.S. patents were American. Today the top three are Japanese.
“Faced with the new challenge, we’ve lost our confidence. George Bush labels our educational system a disaster, but refuses to provide relief. Congress criticizes corporate takeovers and leveraged buyouts, but does nothing to impede them. Time magazine’s cover story wonders, ‘Is Government Dead?’ America’s big businesses eagerly sell out to foreign investors, or move abroad themselves.
“In the ‘80s, we lost our economic supremacy. We also lost our social conscience... Three of every four jobs created in the ‘80s paid wages less than the household poverty level. Government abandoned its role of nurturer and instead expanded its role as enforcer.
“In the 1980s, greed has been in the saddle. The number of millionaires equals the number of the homeless. A recent Senate bill creates ‘special preferences’ for 4,800 immigrants. The price of admission? A cool million dollars. U.S. citizenship is now for sale... We’ve become a meaner and weaker nation – meaner to one another, weaker compared to others.
“What will the ‘90s bring? A renewed sense of community and purpose? Or a widening of the cracks in society and a continued, perhaps more rapid, economic decline? The portents are not favorable, yet hope springs eternal. Maybe the ‘90s will be as pleasantly surprising as the ‘80s have been painful and distressing.” (By David Morris – The Orlando Sentinel, October 26, 1989)
“Japan Winning War Without Firing A Single Round – After their defeat and surrender in 1945, the Japanese wisely concluded that waging war in that old conventional military manner, to gain wealth and power, proved futile. They realized that the smarter route to national greatness was economic. So while we were spending billions of dollars expanding our defense posture, the Japanese concentrated their efforts on making their country a first-rate economic power, and in this way they succeeded – most of it at our expense.
“It is now evident that the victory Japan failed to win with its military might is now being won by waging ‘war’ with economic clout.
“Japan’s Road To ‘Victory’: Japan has become the world’s biggest creditor nation. Japan now has the second–highest number of identifiable billionaires – 34... In the banking world, the U.S. is not No. 1. It is not even No. 10. The 10 largest banks in the world are Japanese. The Japanese yen has nearly doubled in value against our dollar.
“The Japanese are having a field day ‘buying’ up America... Japanese purchases of prime real estate, resorts, hotel chains, businesses, corporations, gold mines, office buildings, universities and our Treasury bills are legion. You name it and they are buying it.
“And now this: The Japanese blame the United States for our trade problems. Their foreign minister said Americans don’t try hard enough to penetrate their market. He said, ‘Japan must speak its mind to bring the U.S around to its way of thinking.’ What gall!
“The Japanese prime minister... told our president they want more to say as we develop our policies toward the Soviet Union and Latin America. They are telling us to put our house in order. What hubris! And this from the country that we allegedly defeated.
“Perhaps the Japanese have earned the right to criticize us. After all, they demonstrated to the whole world that the use of military force is passé – that if you want to gain more land, more wealth and more power you can do it without firing a single shot.” (By Donald N. Salvetti in My Word – The Orlando Sentinel, November 22, 1989)
The Orlando Sentinel reported Japanese Top List Of The Rich. “Forbes [magazine] says U.S. has the most billionaires, with 55 individuals qualifying for that title.”
“But woe unto you that are rich! for you have received your consolation.” (Luke 6:24) “Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts as in the day of slaughter.” (James 5:5)
However, some of our rich men have been benevolent and mindful of the poor and needy, and have used their wealth to alleviate the condition of the helpless. “For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good or evil.” (Eccl. 12:14
“White–Collar Criminals Are Attacking Everywhere – Having already plundered the nation’s savings and loan associations and HUD, racketeers are invading other strongholds where unbelievably large amounts of money circulate freely and are pretty much there for the taking for those who are smart enough to pull off a paper heist.
“If we are to believe Raymond Maria, acting inspector general of the Labor Department, the racketeers who are hijacking our financial institutions are not hooded Mafia characters carrying machine guns, but are a relatively new breed of criminals posing as lawyers, bankers, accountants and investment advisers. Virtually every financial institution is under attack these days, so it is no surprise that the nation’s pension funds are being targeted for a stupendous hit. No good hold-up man would overlook an unguarded cache of $1.7 trillion.
“The white-collar criminal element has invaded every institution where dollars flow from the stock market to pension funds – and money is disappearing faster than country club jails are being built to house the people stealing it. The new racketeers are slicker than Willie Sutton and have more guts than Al Capone. They can steal millions without ever being in a life-threatening situation, and are confident in the knowledge that even if they get caught, they won’t have to endure anything as demeaning as spending time with common hoods in a hole like Alcatraz.
“Now that more securities fraud is being exposed and white-collar criminals are being collared, crooks are crying ‘foul.’ For the first time last week, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act, or RICO, was used to convict five executives with the defunct firm of Princeton-Newport Partners and one former trader with Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc.
“A lot of people who have been victimized, however, tend to side with Ronald Goldstock, a director of the New York State Organized Crime Task Force. ‘If the RICO statute can be used for three bookmakers standing on the corner, it certainly ought to be used for individuals sitting in corporate board rooms stealing massive amounts of money from the public,’ Goldstock said.
“Our leaders, however, can always be counted upon to help those in distress. Congress is already considering two bills that would revamp RICO in civil cases, eliminating the award of triple damages. Some lawyers argue that such penalties are too severe and inappropriate in cases where the crooks are gentlemen.” (By Dick Marlowe – The Orlando Sentinel, August 6, 1989)
“The Economy – As we progress another year further in the Time of Trouble (Dan. 12:1) the trouble increases and is being manifested in all facets of life – especially in finances in our country and in every country in the world. The current debt ceiling in the U. S. is $2.87 trillion with prospects of a new law raising it to $3.0 trillion. It has been said that a ‘nation can be propelled into bondage more easily through debt than invasion.’ Our nation has changed from the largest creditor nation to the largest debtor nation in the last 8 or 9 years. What is true of the nation is also true of individuals abusing credit.
“The Federal government and the people comprising the government are marching to complete financial collapse because of failure to live within our means – spending more than we receive in taxes or wages. The recent failure of Savings and Loans still present a problem that cannot be solved without presenting the bill to the taxpayer. All debts may not be paid, but all debts are eventually liquidated.
“There are hundreds of financial newsletters written endeavoring to predict the future and advise their subscribers. They are divided into optimists and pessimists, and both try to substantiate their opinions. A large percentage are predicting a very serious economic collapse in the near future. The stock market is very jittery, making wide swings up and down on any bit of news. Mr. Donald Trump, on being interviewed by Sam Donaldson, said that ‘we are in for a bumpy five years ahead.’
“In the November issue of U.S. News there appears a lengthy article on ‘The Soviet Economy in Shambles,’ going into great detail describing conditions in all phases of life in Russia, indicating the nation’s patience is running short.
“At the same time Russia continues to support Afghanistan, Cambodia, Nicaragua via Cuba and Syria’s support of the bloody occupation of Lebanon with military equipment.
“The Lord’s people are in the world but not of it. So our faith is in the Lord. He promises to never leave us or forsake us. And though storm clouds loom dark above we continue to pray, Thy Kingdom Come, because we know that this present ‘evil world’ (Gal. 1:4) under Satan must fall before the Lord’s Kingdom will be established. The Lord called Satan the ‘prince of this world’ (John 12:31) who will be cast out when the Lord ‘judges the world in righteousness.’ (Acts 17:31)”(Contributed)
As we move into the 1990s and the beginning of a new decade, we look back at the nation’s unprecedented peace-time economy, which is now in its eighth year. The majority of the business economists are predicting three or more years.
In the ‘80s we have seen the Dow Jones rise to its highest level and drop to its lowest point since the 1930s. We have seen oil prices fluctuate all over the board in the last year. Between December 1988 and December 1989, we have seen crude oil prices rise 50%. Precious metals have gone up and down.
As we start into the 1990s, we see signs of the economy’s weakness as more companies are trimming back on their number of employees to make their companies more profitable. We have had a great many leveraged buy-outs of large companies, such as R. J. Reynolds, which itself consisted of some of the largest companies in this country – like Nabisco and Planters. Our debt level is at an all time high. We are still challenged by the expert craftsmanship of foreign companies, especially the Japanese. They say the American people are fast losing their place as being the leader in quality goods and services.
It looks like a gloomy picture. All of these things are predicted in the Bible. Many countries are in a revolutionary stage, with the hope that a new government will straighten out the conditions which have prevailed. Violence has erupted many times. Our Lord says, “For there shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” (Matt. 24:21) We are thankful for the phrase, “no, nor ever shall be.”
We think the first part of 1990 will continue to be good, but there will be ups and downs. Precious metals should continue to be a good investment.
(To be continued February 1990)
LETTERS OF GENERAL INTEREST
Dear Mrs. Hoefle:
My friend, David Horowitz of World Union Press, United Nations, asked me to mail you a copy of my article “Papal Visits ...” So here is a copy of the Baptist Bulletin’s Report.
I’m enclosing other sheets which may be of interest to you. The enclosed Israel Chance or Destiny will indicate our pro-Zionist position.
Shalom to you, Rev. ------- (NEW HAMPSHIRE)
Just want you to know how much we enjoy your publication. We would like you to have this check to help you with your work.
Thank you! ------- (MISSISSIPPI)
Thanks for your letter. I am looking for the early publications of C. T. Russell, originals or reprints. I have The Divine Plan of the Ages and also CTR – An Early American Christian Zionist. If you can provide me with any other Watch Tower publications from the period of 1878-1916, please let me know.
Sincerely, ------- (CALIFORNIA)
Dear Sister Emily: Greetings in the precious Name of Jesus!
Thank you for your literature for the many passing years. We are second generation Bible students. Our parents came into the truth through a Slovak brother... We appreciate your service of love to the brethren. We do not know of P.S.L. Johnson’s work. We stay very close to the “meat in due season” our Present Lord has given through That Wise and Faithful Servant. We do not accept teachings of anyone else. We thank you for No. 327, defending the Bible chronology. We fear too many today are losing faith in what our precious Lord has given us.
The Lord bless you! We love you ------- (WISCONSIN)
We are grateful for the many beautiful Christmas cards, and especially appreciative of the Christian love and prayers of the brethren. To all our reader our best wishes for a Blessed New Year.
ANNOUNCEMENT: The date for our Memorial is April 8, 1990, after six p.m.