Volume XXX Issue VII July 2011
Last Trumpet Ministries, PO Box 806, Beaver Dam, WI 53916
Fax: 920-887-2626 Internet: http://www.lasttrumpetministries.org
A Sinful World Waxing Worse And Worse!
"Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be."Matthew 24:23-27
"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."Matthew 7:21-23
"Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.II Timothy 3:12-13
In this issue of the Last Trumpet Newsletter, we will once again examine the progression of events leading us ever closer to the end of this age that we now live in. As we the children of God obey the Biblical command to watch and pray, we need not look far to see the flood of evil that has engulfed the majority of this erstwhile beautiful planet. Satan's footprints are everywhere as they are manifested in the form of moral depravity, wars and uprisings, false religions, oppressive autocratic political regimes, and a glut of other problems too voluminous to list in this newsletter. As Christians, we understand that the situation in this world will continue to deteriorate until the return of our Saviour, for as Paul wrote in II Timothy 3:13, "But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived." We now live in a time when Satan is working like mad in an attempt to overtake the entire world to set up his own devilish one world government. He is in panic mode and "raising hell," so to speak, because as a portion of Revelation 12:12 tells us, "Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time." Satan only has a short time left to work his plan, and we know that ultimately he will fail to accomplish what he has set out to do.
Unfortunately, the window of opportunity for sinners to repent is also closing and may soon be completely shut. If you have not yet repented of your sins and given your heart to God, I encourage you to do so now. As the prophet Isaiah wrote in Isaiah 55:6-7, "Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon."
Strange Religion In The Last Days!
In Matthew 24 Jesus warned us regarding many of the conditions we would face in the last days. Our Saviour spoke of wars and rumours of wars, nations rising against nations and kingdoms against kingdoms, famines, pestilences, and earthquakes. I have covered many of these topics in-depth in earlier issues of the Last Trumpet Newsletter. Additionally, Matthew 24 also warns us that many false prophets would rise up in the last days, and there would be some who would even claim to be Jesus Christ. We are truly living in the days in which many forms of strange religion are rising up.
For the last several months, one man who has received a lot of attention in the media and in the court of public opinion is 89 year-old radio personality Harold Camping. Mr. Camping predicted that the rapture would occur on May 21, 2011, and because of his teachings, many of his followers sold their possessions and spent all that they had in an effort to sound the alarm. May 21st has come and gone, and unfortunately, many of Mr. Camping's biggest supporters are now broke and penniless. One news article, published on May 7, 2011, cited a Camping follower as saying, "We budgeted everything so that, on May 21, we won't have anything left." (1) This is very sad and my heart goes out to those who were deceived by these false teachings. As for Mr. Camping, he remains unrepentant and now insists that the world will be completely destroyed on October 21, 2011. (2) Interestingly enough, Camping suffered a stroke on June 9, 2011. For the most part, he seems to be doing okay although his speech is slurred. (3) Perhaps this is God's way of warning the man to keep quiet.
Harold Camping was not the first man to predict a date for judgment day, and it is unlikely that he will be the last. Nevertheless, if Jesus had wanted us to know the date of His return, He would have told us. The Bible never gives us that information because it is not information we need to know, and it could be detrimental to our spiritual health if we did know. If given a date, many Christians would let their guard down, and possibly even fall into sin. Matthew 25:13 tells us, "Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh." Rather than attempt to decipher secret codes in the Bible or use numerology to try and discern the day of our Saviour's return as Mr. Camping had done, we should be in a state of constant readiness to meet our God.
To yet indicate that we are living in the last days, there is now a man in Australia who is claiming to be the reincarnation of Jesus Christ. However, the man is actually Alan John Miller, and his wife, who claims to be the reincarnation of Mary Magdalene, is actually a woman named Mary Suzanne Lock. The couple have established their "church" near Kingaroy in Queensland, Australia. The surrounding property has been purchased by an estimated thirty to forty followers that Miller has drawn in over the years. (4) On his website, Mr. Miller states, "Just a little over 2000 years ago, we arrived on Earth for the first time. Because of my personal desire and passion for God, as I grew, I recognized not only that I was the Messiah that was foretold by ancient prophets, but also that I was in the process designed by God that all humans could follow if they so desired." (5) A report by the Daily Mail quotes Miller as saying, "There's probably a million people who say they're Jesus and most of them are in asylums. But one of us has to be. How do I know I am? Because I remember everything about my life." (6)
Jesus warned us that men such as Alan John Miller would arise. In Matthew 24:24-26 we read, "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not." The existence of false christs is another fulfillment of prophecy and another sign of the time we live in.
Most of us have probably heard of the major religions in the world today. There is Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and many others. Yet, what may be the strangest religion in this modern era is what you might call the Cult of Apple. In a BBC documentary entitled "Secrets of the Superbrands," reporters had the editor of an Apple publication undergo an MRI. The reporters discovered that when the man was looking at Apple products the areas in his brain that became active were usually the same areas of the human brain which were active during religious devotion. The documentary also noted that the opening of an Apple store in London was "more like an evangelical prayer meeting than a chance to buy a phone or laptop" with Apple fanatics "jumping up and down, clapping and shouting." (7)
Although many people would find the notion that Apple is a religion to be a bit far-fetched, the devotion some give to Apple products is nothing short of shocking. A news story that began circulating in early June tells of how a 17 year-old boy in China was so desperate to obtain an iPad 2 (Apple's new tablet computer) that he sold one of his kidneys on the black market in order to acquire the funds to do so. "I wanted to buy an iPad 2, but I didn't have the money. When I surfed the Internet I found an advert posted online by an agent saying they were able to buy a kidney," the boy said. (8)
There is nothing wrong with using Apple products if it is done with the right mindset. I own a few of Apple's devices myself. However, it is important that we do not allow fanaticism to overtake our hearts, whether it be for electronics, movies, television, sports teams, or anything else. As Christians we need to be devoted to God, not to our iPads, iPods, or laptop computers.
Persecution Of Christians - Intensifying In The Last Days!
Another condition of the end times that our Saviour warned us of is prevalent persecution of the Christian people. In Matthew 24:9 we read, "Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake." Although we still enjoy a fair amount of religious freedom in the United States today, Christians around the world are being persecuted every day. Many of the stories I have been finding through various news sources are utterly horrifying.
The recent revolution in Egypt, which resulted in the ouster of former president Hosni Mubarak, was hailed by many as a great victory for democracy. Unfortunately, the ensuing power vacuum has allowed a hard-line Islamic element to rise up and seize control. The oppressive new government, which is operated by the military of that country, has arrested an estimated 7000 people since it took power. (9) The Egyptian authorities are especially hostile to Christians, and they do very little, if anything, to protect them from harm's way. In fact, those in positions of authority often assist in persecuting those who follow Christ.
One such example of persecution occurred in January 2011 when an off-duty police officer became enraged at the presence of several Christians on a train bound for Cairo. The police officer shot and killed a 71 year-old Christian man while wounding the man's wife and four other people. (10) Barry Rubin, the director of Global Research in International Affairs, had this to say about the attack, "The critical factor is that [the shooter] was on his way to work, and so it wasn't a planned thing. If it was a planned thing he would have done it some evening or sometime. I think he was overcome with rage and hatred." (11) Daniel Pipes, the director of the Middle East Forum, said of the shooter: "He is a jihadist and one who doesn't want to have any Christian presence in Egypt. He believes that Egypt should be a completely Muslim country." (12)
Sadly, the hostility toward Christians extends far beyond the borders of Egypt. In May 2011, an attack on a Christian village in Nigeria left sixteen people dead. "There was an attack on Kurum village by unknown gunmen and from reports reaching me 16 people have been killed and 20 houses burned in the attack," stated Amama Abakasanga, commissioner of the Bauchi state police. (13)
Another attack occurred in April 2011 in the African country of Somalia when two Muslim extremists brutally murdered a 21 year-old man who had recently converted to Christianity. The young man was reportedly dragged from his house and then shot several times. After killing the Christian man, the Islamic militants shouted, "Allahu Akbar [God is greater]" and fled the scene. (14)
The Chinese government is also very hostile to Christianity, and in April 2011 they arrested and detained approximately fifty Christians for holding an unregistered church gathering. Although China claims to allow Christian worship in its country, adherents are only allowed to attend church services approved and controlled by the state. Remarkably, Christianity is flourishing in China despite persecution from the government. There are an estimated sixty million Chinese Christians who worship in unregistered "house" churches, which the oppressive communist regime deems to be illegal. (15)
In the United States we are blessed to have easy access to our Bibles and to be able to hold church services without the government breaking down the door. However, the Gospel is not allowed to flow quite as freely as it used to in America. It is not uncommon to hear of street preachers being arrested for "disturbing the peace" or Christians being arrested for "hate speech" if they try to witness to a homosexual. I thank God for the opportunities we do have to spread the Gospel, and yet I understand that we may not always be able to do so. We at Last Trumpet Ministries feel the urgency of the time in which we live, and it is for that reason we are more determined than ever to work as hard as we possibly can for the cause of God's Kingdom.
American Freedom Trampled Underfoot!
Each month there are several hundred news stories that come across my desk. Invariably, I find that many of these stories are appalling and indicate that the erosion of our privacy, freedom, and rights as American citizens is occurring at an ever-increasing and alarming pace.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, or FBI, is in the process of revising their manual known as the Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide in an effort to give their agents more leeway to conduct investigations. Under the new rules, the agents need no firm evidence, probable cause, or even a hint of suspicion to search database records, follow Americans with surveillance teams, or search through a person's trash. The new regulations also loosen the requirements necessary to administer lie detector tests. (16)
Just weeks before the FBI announced their new regulations, Barack Obama signed an extension for certain controversial portions of the Patriot Act which are considered so intrusive that they must be renewed every four years. (The majority of the Patriot Act is a permanent part of United States' law.) Regarding the Patriot Act, Obama stated, "It's an important tool for us to continue dealing with an ongoing terrorist threat." (17) Other figures in Washington, however, were far from delighted. Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) lamented over his decision to vote in favor of the Patriot Act in 2001, saying, "I soon realized it gave too much power to the government without enough judicial and congressional oversight." (18)
It is no longer unusual to hear of law enforcement officers breaking down the doors of innocent Americans. In fact, a recent incident took place in Stockton California, wherein a team of agents, acting on the behalf of the Department of Education, broke down the door of a man's home, dragged him out of his house, and locked him in a hot patrol car for six hours after confronting him about his estranged wife's unpaid college loans. (19)
Another outrageous incident occurred in Vernal, Utah, on May 27, 2011 when a man was given a citation after attempting to pay a disputed $25 bill at a clinic with 2500 pennies. The police charged the man with "disorderly conduct." (20)
If you ever spend time in the city of Chicago, there is a good chance Big Brother will be watching you. The city has a network of over 10,000 surveillance cameras, and plans are underway to add more. Of the surveillance expansion plans, Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel stated, "Work's been done. We should complete it because it's identified as important in the Homeland Security reports. The camera network is part of security and safety for the city." (21)
Have The Scientists Gone Mad?
Throughout the course of history, there have always been scientists who were known to be a little eccentric. However, the projects that many scientists are now working on today go beyond minor eccentricities but rather redefine the realm of insanity. Have the scientists gone mad?
Scientists have taken light-emitting proteins from jellyfish and merged them with a single human cell to create what one news report called a "living, biological laser." "This is the first time that we have used biological materials to build a laser and generate light from something that is living," said Seok-Hyun Yun, an optical physicist at Harvard Medical School. (22)
A new system known as Nutrismart, which would allow edible RFID tags to be embedded in food, is being developed. The scientists claim the system would be useful for tracking nutrition and food allergies, thus making it easier for people to keep a record of what they eat. (23)
Scientists in China have produced a herd of genetically modified cows that produce milk with the same properties as human milk. Professor Li Ning, the project's director and lead researcher stated, "The genetically modified cow milk is 80 percent the same as human breast milk. Our modified cow milk contains several major properties of human milk, in particular proteins and antibodies which we believe are good for our health and able to improve our immune system." (24)
AgResearch in New Zealand has produced genetically engineered transgender goats, which they are calling goys. The goats, which are said to be females in sterile male bodies, will be induced into milking by the researchers in charge of the project. (25)
This next story is so disgusting that I am reluctant to even include it in this section. It is hard to read this without feeling a little nauseous, and for that I apologize in advance. A Japanese researcher by the name of Mitsuyuki Ikeda has developed a synthetic meat product made from the proteins found in "sewage mud," or in other words, human waste. "I admit that few people would be keen to eat it knowing it's made of human excrement. As far as the cost is concerned, because at the moment it includes the cost of research, our artificial meat is 10 or 20 times more expensive than normal meat. But once the research is complete and it's put on the market, we'll probably be able to price it at roughly the same level as normal meat," said Ikeda in an interview. (26)
A Worldwide Food Supply In Crisis!
One thing every man, woman, and child has in common in this world is that they all must eat. Yet, we find in this modern age when new technology is supposed to be making our food safer and more abundant that it is actually becoming more difficult to obtain wholesome, nutritious, and affordable food. In fact, a report published by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, or OECD, states that they expect the price of food to continue to rise over the next ten years. "People are going to be forced, either to literally eat less, or find other sources of income," said Angel Gurria, the head of OECD. (27) Jim Borel, the executive vice president at DuPont had this to say, "People are starting to recognize that food demand is outstripping supply. If the world doesn't figure out how to effectively deal with this challenge, then the results are ugly." (28)
Much of the food that is available to consumers is actually unsafe for consumption. It was recently discovered that a considerable amount of the food in China is tainted, including diseased pigs that were used to make bacon; noodles made from a mixture of corn, ink, and paraffin; rice contaminated with heavy metals; sausages made of rotten meat and fertilizer; and pork that is so full of bacteria that it glows a strange blue color in the dark. (29)
In Germany, a breakout of a new strain of E.coli bacteria has sickened 3408 people and killed 39 more as of June 18, 2011. (30) The origin of this tenacious new strain of E.coli is a mystery, which officials in Germany are having a difficult time solving. At first they thought tainted lettuce, cucumbers, and tomatoes were the culprits. After that they turned their suspicion to sprouts of mung beans, broccoli, peas, chickpeas, garlic, lentils, and radishes. Meanwhile the scare has left many Europeans afraid to consume vegetables, particularly if it happens to be organic. Upon learning that many of the suspected crops were grown on organic farms, a German man was quoted as saying, "It's a bit scary all of this, especially that it is coming from an organic place. No more organic food for me for now." (31)
Here let it be noted that a report by The Atlantic, claims the new strain of E.coli, which is known as O104:H4, contains genetic material from various strains of E.coli as well as DNA sequences from plague bacteria. (32) When we consider all of the facts we know regarding this deadly new strain, which some reports called the worst outbreak of E.coli ever, I cannot help but wonder if it was created in a lab somewhere.
Corn prices in the United States have continued to rise, and the cost of a bushel of corn is now more than double what it was just a year ago. Stockpiles are also at levels of about half of what officials would like them to be, which is partially due to the flooding which occurred earlier in the year and destroyed crops in many areas. (33) Meanwhile, other areas of the United States have been suffering from severe drought, and this has threatened our nation's supply of wheat. Inventories of wheat are expected to drop 8.8 percent with a price increase as high as 20 percent by the end of 2011. Other regions of the world, such as China, parts of Europe, the Ukraine, and Russia have also had recent difficulties growing wheat. Dan Basse, president of AgResource Co, was quoted as saying, "In 32 years, I've never seen so many problems in so many places. We're concerned about the world story now." (34)
The world's supply of wheat also faces another challenge from a strain of fungus called Ug99. The fungus is referred to as wheat rust, and once it is attached to a wheat crop, the plants become covered in reddish brown blisters, which renders them useless. Ug99 was first discovered in Uganda in 1999. Since that time it has spread to all of the southern and eastern regions of Africa, and scientists are growing more concerned that it may reach other areas of the world, such as Pakistan, India, Australia, or even the Americas. Because of the destructive potential of Ug99, researchers are frantically working to develop new varieties of wheat which are resistant to the fungus. (35)
Earth - Battered And Beaten By Natural Disasters!
According to a report by the International Displacement Monitoring Center, 2010 was the most devastating year ever recorded with 42 million people being forced to flee their homes because of natural disasters. (36) The trend has continued in 2011 with major earthquakes in various regions of the world, flooding in several countries, droughts, volcano eruptions in Chile and other places, and a shocking number of storms and tornadoes in the United States. In fact, experts are now claiming that April 2011 was unlike any month in the history of America. "While similar extremes have occurred throughout modern American history, never before have they occurred in a single month," says the report published by the National Climatic Data Center. (37)
The extreme weather was not limited to the month of April, however. On May 22, 2011, one of the deadliest tornadoes ever recorded occurred in Joplin, Missouri. This powerful storm cut a path of destruction nearly fourteen miles long, and tragically, at least 153 people lost their lives. (38) Other areas of the United States are still suffering the consequences of major flooding, and much of the southwestern United States is still enduring major drought. Unfortunately, the severe drought has presented ideal conditions for wildfires, and several such fires were started in June 2011. The Wallow fire in eastern Arizona is the largest the state has ever seen with 773 square miles, or 495,016 acres, now destroyed. As of this writing, there are more than 4,600 firefighters attempting to contain the blaze. (39)
There are many other examples of disasters around the world that could be discussed, such as the volcano in Chile, which has strewn ash all the way across the Pacific Ocean and grounded flights in Australia; (40) the earthquakes and aftershocks in Christchurch, New Zealand, which have frustrated city residents to the point that many wish to leave the area altogether; (41) and the flooding in China, which has forced over 555,000 people in seven provinces to evacuate their homes and killed over 100 more. (42) It certainly seems that natural disasters and extreme weather only are intensifying in these last days, and that trend will likely continue as we move through time and get closer to the coming of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
A Gloomy Outlook For The Economy!
Experts and the average American people have taken on a stark, gloomy tone regarding the economy in recent weeks. According to a new survey by a research company known as AlixPartners, 61 percent of respondents believe that they will not be able to return to their pre-recession lifestyles until 2014 or later, while 10 percent of respondents believe that they will never recover from the recession. (43) Meanwhile, the Misery Index, which combines unemployment and inflation data to measure the level of misery in the United States is now at a 28 year high. (44) On June 5, 2011, CBS News published a story claiming that chronic employment is now worse than it was during the Great Depression. The report says that 6.2 million Americans, which represents 45.1 percent of the unemployed in the United States, have now been unemployed for more than six months. (45)
The situation here in the United States could deteriorate quickly if the government begins defaulting on its debt. Many experts, such as Jim Rogers, chief executive at Rogers Holdings, believe the United States may soon be facing a crisis worse than the 2008 recession. (46) There is so much more that could be written about the economy, but unfortunately I am out of space in this issue. What I can tell you is that we need Jesus more than ever to protect us from the storms of this life. We know from our Bible that the situation here on earth will only grow progressively worse as we move closer to our Saviour's coming, but we also know that He will watch over us and protect us if we put our trust in Him.
In closing, I wish to thank all of you who support this ministry. We appreciate each and every one of our readers, and we will continue to publish this newsletter as long as the Lord allows us to do so. I know that much of the subject matter discussed is very heavy and sometimes hard to bear, but I firmly believe that we need to continue to keep ourselves and our fellow Christians apprised of the current events happening in these trying times as we watch and pray. If you have any prayer requests, small or great, please feel welcome to send them our way, either through postal mail or the email address listed below. Our team of intercessors will give each request individual attention. We know that our God answers prayer, and we have seen the results of prayer time and time again. Grace and peace be unto you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.