Volume XXX Issue X October 2011
Last Trumpet Ministries, PO Box 806, Beaver Dam, WI 53916
Fax: 920-887-2626 Internet: http://www.lasttrumpetministries.org
Signs Of Danger In The Last Days!
"The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor: let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined."Psalm 10:2
"But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up."II Peter 3:10
"And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth."Isaiah 2:19
"And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?"Revelation 6:15-17
In this issue of the Last Trumpet Newsletter, we will once again examine the current happenings of our time and compare them to the conditions of the last days, which were foretold of in God's Word. We as the human race have been given a beautiful gift. When God inspired His servants to write the Holy Scriptures, we were provided with a book to edify, exhort, and comfort us in these very trying times in which we live. Although many obstinate people, inspired by Satan and his minions, have risen up to question the veracity of the Bible, God's Word has stood the test of time. Despite being written thousands of years ago, the Scriptures have never been more pertinent than they are today.
When a person studies the Bible with an open heart, it soon becomes obvious that it is more than just a book. Even though the Bible is divided into sections, written by many different men under the inspiration of God, each part works together in ways that go beyond the capabilities of mortal men. For example, portions of the book of Daniel go hand-in-hand with portions of the book of Revelation, despite the fact that the servants who were chosen to write each book had never met each other. Numerous verses of the Bible also contain scientific principles, which in some cases were written down thousands of years before the very same principles were discovered by the scientific community.
However in my view, the most miraculous aspect of the Holy Scriptures is the vivid and accurate description of the days we now live in. Whether you turn to Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21, II Timothy 3, or various other portions of the Bible, the conditions written of are consistent with the conditions we now see in this present year of 2011.
"The Elements Shall Melt With Fervent Heat!"
II Peter 3:10 gives us a description of the coming of the Lord in which the circumstances surrounding the event bear a striking resemblance to a nuclear disaster. While no man can say for certain how much of a factor nuclear weapons will be in the end time scenario, the possibility of mass destruction at the hand of such weapons remains a very real threat.
A report by the Federation of American Scientists estimates that there are over 20,500 nuclear warheads in existence today. The nations which are known to possess these weapons are Russia, the United States, France, China, the United Kingdom, Israel, Pakistan, India, and North Korea. (1) There is also growing fear amongst world leaders that Iran is covertly developing nuclear weapons. In a recent speech, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pleaded with world leaders to prevent Iran from developing such weapons, stating, "The possibility that the world's most dangerous weapons will fall into the hands of the world's most dangerous regimes is too real." (2)
Meanwhile, the nation of China is rapidly expanding its nuclear arsenal. A report by the Pentagon to the U.S. Congress stated, "China is both qualitatively and quantitatively improving its strategic missile forces. Beijing will likely continue to invest considerable resources to maintain a limited nuclear force ... to ensure the [People's Liberation Army] can deliver a damaging retaliatory nuclear strike." (3)
Precisely how much nuclear material exists in the world is impossible to determine because much of it has been lost. A shocking report issued in September 2011 by the Government Accountability Office indicates that 36,000 pounds of the United States' weapons grade uranium and plutonium has gone missing. (4) There are also an estimated fifty atomic bombs that were lost during the Cold War, many of which now sit on the bottom of the ocean floor. In an article published in 2008, Otfried Nassaur, an expert on nuclear armament, explained how many of those weapons were lost. "In the early days of the Cold War, the aircraft lacked sufficient range to cross the Atlantic on one tank of fuel. Some bombers collided with their tanker planes, while others simply missed the tankers and, after running out of fuel, plunged into the sea." The article also recounts the story of a B-52 bomber that exploded on January 24, 1961. Before the plane exploded, the two hydrogen bombs it was carrying were ejected. One of the bombs landed in a tree, while the other landed in a marsh near Goldsboro, North Carolina, where it still exists to this day. The area is now a restricted military zone. (5)
There have also been concerns raised in recent days regarding the possibility that a nuclear power plant disaster, such as the recent event in Japan, could also occur in the United States if there was a significant earthquake. The United States is home to 104 nuclear power plants, and according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, or NRC, twenty-seven of these plants may need upgrades to help prevent a potential meltdown. The plants flagged for upgrades include the Perry 1 reactor in Ohio, which was found to be twenty-four times more likely to suffer from nuclear core damage than previously thought. There is also concern over nuclear plants on the West Coast, because it's generally believed that a major earthquake will occur in that region in the not-so-distant future. In an article by the Associated Press, Brian Sheron, head of the NRC's Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research, was quoted as writing, "Isn't there a prediction that the West Coast is likely to get hit with some huge earthquake in the next 30 years or so? Yet we relicense their plants." (6)
The possibility of a nuclear disaster occurring in the United States has caused many people to become fearful of the future. Immediately following the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear power plant crisis that wreaked havoc on the nation of Japan in March 2011, reservations for a spot in an underground bunker, now being constructed in Nebraska, soared by 1000 percent. The bunker is 137,000 square feet and is designed to house 950 people for a year. (7)
In an even more bizarre development, an "adult entertainment" company, known as Pink Visual, is also constructing an underground bunker in case the apocalypse should occur in the year 2012 as predicted by some groups and individuals. In addition to the usual amenities you might find in an underground bunker, this facility will also feature fully stocked bars, a huge performance stage, and a studio in which they hope to produce pornography. "We're not building this thing just to eke out a few more months of a deprived, downscaled existence. Our goal is nothing less than to survive the apocalypse to come in comfort and luxury, whether that catastrophe takes the form of fireballs flung Earthward by an all-seeing deity, extended torrential rainfall, Biblical rapture, an earthquake-driven mega-tsunami, radioactive flesh-eating zombies, or some combination of the above," stated group spokesman, Quentin Boyer. (8)
It is also a well-known fact that many government and military bunkers, such as the Raven Rock Mountain Complex in Pennsylvania, the Cheyenne Mountain Directorate in Colorado, and the Mount Weather Emergency Operations Center in Virginia, exist. When I read about bunkers built underground or carved out of mountains, I cannot help but think of Revelation 6:15-17, which reads, "And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?"
A "Dangerous New Phase!"
In a September 2011 speech, Christine Legarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, warned that the world is entering a "dangerous new phase." "The world is collectively suffering from a crisis of confidence, in the face of a deteriorating economic outlook and rising concerns about the health of sovereigns and banks," Legarde stated. (9) There is growing concern amongst economists and world leaders that Greece will default on its sovereign debt and spark a series of events that will result in a "global recession." Should the economies of Greece and other nations in the Eurozone fail, it would likely cause many European banks to collapse as many of them are already teetering on the brink of disaster. A recent article by Business Insider featured a list of twenty banks that are most likely to fail. The list included financial institutions in Italy, Ireland, Spain, Greece, Germany, France, Belgium, and the United Kingdom. (10)
To solve the current crisis in Europe, former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has called for the formation of a "United States of Europe." Although many of the European nations are already united under a common currency known as the Euro, each country stills maintains a degree of autonomy. Mr. Schroeder believes this needs to change. "The current crisis makes it relentlessly clear that we cannot have a common currency zone without a common fiscal, economic, and social policy. We will have to give up national sovereignty," Schroeder stated. (11)
Meanwhile, the economic conditions in the United States have not improved. I would love to be able to report that the economy is getting stronger, unemployment is improving, and the housing market is recovering, but none of these statements would be true.
Economists in the United States were shocked to learn upon the release of the "Employment Situation Summary" by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that job growth in August 2011 was zero. (12) Here let it be noted that this was the first month in which no jobs were created in the United States since February 1945. (13) The bleak situation prompted New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to warn that we may soon see widespread rioting in New York. "You have a lot of kids graduating college, [who] can't find jobs. That's what happened in Cairo. That's what happened in Madrid. You don't want those kinds of riots here," Bloomberg stated. He also went on to say, "The public is not happy. The public knows there is something wrong in this country, and there is. The bottom line is that they're upset." (14)
As if the economic hardships in the United States were not already bad enough, we are now seeing one of the country's oldest institutions, the United States Postal Service, on the verge of collapse. "Our situation is extremely serious. If Congress doesn't act, we will default," pleaded postmaster general Robert R. Donahoe. (15) In an effort to help stave off insolvency, the postal service is hoping to gain approval from Congress to eliminate Saturday mail delivery, close 3,700 post offices, and lay off 120,000 workers. "The situation is dire. If we do nothing, if we don't react in a smart, appropriate way, the postal service could literally close later this year. That's not the kind of development we need to inject into a weak, uneven economic recovery," said Senator Thomas R. Carper of Delaware, chairman of the Senate subcommittee that oversees the postal service. (16) It is unfathomable that the U.S. Congress would just let the postal service collapse. In all likelihood, a bailout of some sort will be arranged. This, of course, will cost the taxpayers more money.
In an effort to improve the employment situation in America, Barack Obama has devised the American Jobs Act, which if passed would cost 447 billion dollars. The plan includes provisions to extend tax cuts which would otherwise soon expire, provide more unemployment benefits, improve infrastructure in the United States, and provide funding to help schools retain teachers. (17) While I can appreciate having a little extra money in my pocket due to tax cuts, it seems unlikely to me that Obama's plans will do much to create new jobs. If anything, it may prevent some jobs from being lost and create a small amount of temporary jobs for construction workers or similar lines of work. Those who recall Obama's original stimulus package may remember that it had similar provisions and did little to actually improve the American economy. I couldn't help but notice that Obama has taken on a strange new repetitive tone as he urges Congress over and over to "pass the bill." At any rate, Obama's plan has left many lawmakers underwhelmed. "The federal government already has tried using more spending and more debt to resuscitate the economy. That experiment failed. The President should have the courage to acknowledge when he's wrong, and there's no doubt his economic policies have been dead wrong," stated Representative Justin Amash of Michigan. (18)
This is a sad time in America. Approximately 800,000 houses have been repossessed in the United States because of the recession, and 248,000 of them are owned by the government. (19) The housing crisis has impacted some of our most vulnerable citizens. In fact, a 101 year-old woman in the city of Detroit was recently foreclosed on, and consequently evicted from her home. (20) There has also been a significant increase in combined households in which one additional adult is living in a home who is not a student or the main householder. There were 21.8 million such households in the spring of 2011 according to the U.S. Census Bureau. (21)
Tragically, the number of homeless people in the United States has increased 20 percent from 2007 to 2010. There are now over 700,000 homeless Americans. Some have resorted to living in "tent cities," such as the one found in the woods near the city of Lakewood, New Jersey. (22) As I consider the housing crisis in this country, I cannot help but think of Isaiah 5:9, which reads, "In mine ears said the LORD of hosts, Of a truth many houses shall be desolate, even great and fair, without inhabitant."
As many Americans struggle just to get by, the cost of food has continued to rise steadily. In the month of August 2011, prices for finished consumer foods soared by an annualized rate of 13.2 percent. (23) To further exacerbate the problem, poor corn crop yields, due to harsh weather and drought this year, may cause food prices to rise at an even more rapid rate. The US Department of Agriculture, or USDA, has warned that the corn surplus in the United States could dwindle to a 19-day supply during the autumn months of this year. (24) With Americans growing increasingly desperate to put food on the table, some have resorted to dumpster diving. "I don't like getting all the way into dumpsters unless there's something really valuable in there, but my son doesn't mind as much. He'll jump right in," said one dumpster diver as quoted in an article by MSNBC. "I have three kids in school and a wife in nursing school, and things are tight. This helps a ton," the man went on to say. (25)
In this erstwhile prosperous nation of the United States, it has become poignantly clear that this country is no longer blessed by God. When people must search through dumpsters to obtain food, hundreds of thousands of houses sit vacant, and large portions of crops are lost due to drought, it is quite obvious that there is something very wrong in this land. However, in these times of trouble we can look to our Heavenly Father for guidance and protection. Whatever the future may hold, we have a Saviour who is with us every step of the way. For as it is recorded in Hebrews 13, God has promised, "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."
A Worldwide Health Crisis!
In the Holy Scriptures, we are warned by Jesus that there would be pestilences in the last days. This has never been more true as mysterious illnesses and various diseases affect millions of people all over the world. Some of the health problems now plaguing civilization are man-made maladies while others have developed from unknown origins.
In August 2011, it was reported that a new mutant strain of bird flu virus has been spreading in Asia, particularly in the nations of China and Vietnam. Officials at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, or FAO, have expressed concern that the new variant of bird flu, which is formally known as H5N1, may soon become more widespread. "The general departure from the progressive decline in 2004-2008 could mean that there will be a flare-up of H5N1 this fall and winter, with people unexpectedly finding the virus in their backyard," said Juan Lubroth of the FAO. (26)
In September 2011, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, warned of a growing threat from a tick borne infection known as Babesiosis, which is now infecting the American blood supply. The infection, which can cause severe disease or even death, cannot be detected through any diagnostic procedures at this present time before people donate blood. (27)
Scientists have also discovered a new strain of the sexually transmitted disease known as gonorrhea, which cannot be killed with any of the typical treatments used to fight the disease. This new "superbug" was discovered in Kyoto, Japan. (28)
Diabetes has become a global epidemic with 366 million people around the world suffering from either Type 1 or Type 2 of this disease. Sadly, the illness takes the lives for 4.6 million people per year, and someone dies from diabetes every seven seconds. (29)
In August 2011, a new study was released that suggested watching too much television can significantly shorten the lifespan of the viewer. "TV viewing time may have adverse health consequences that rival those of lack of physical activity, obesity, and smoking; every single hour of TV may shorten life by as much as 22 minutes," wrote researchers from the University of Queensland in Australia. (30)
I realize that with so much illness in the world it is easy to be fearful and worried that we may become sick. I take comfort in knowing that ultimately God holds the keys of life and death. I can't help but think of my father who passed on in June 2010. He was a strong advocate of God's healing power and experienced numerous such healings throughout his sixty years on this earth. I recall sitting in the hospital last year wondering if God would grant him yet another miracle. However, after forty years of service, God decided that it was time to take my father home.
As the children of God, there is no need for us to be fearful. Yes, the world is corrupt and full of sin, and there are many things which can harm us. However, God is in control, and He never makes mistakes. Throughout the Gospel books, one of the things our loving Saviour, Jesus Christ, tells us over and over is, "Be not afraid."
The Spirit Of Blasphemy In The Last Days!
Another indicator that we are truly living in the last days is the increasing amount of blasphemy against God. The book of Revelations warns us that the spirit of blasphemy would rise up and that this problem will increase as we get closer to the coming of our Lord.
In southern California, a group of atheists, known as the Backyard Skeptics, recently gathered to tear apart photocopies of Bible verses. One of the portions of Scripture these atheists find particularly offensive is James 5:14-15 which reads, "Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him." Although the original plan was to only rip up photocopies of Bible verses, the group's leader, Bruce Gleason, was so overtaken by the devils inside him that he could not resist tearing actual pages out of the Bible. "I just want to tear out pages of the Bible that are illegal," Gleason said. (31)
The British actor and so-called "comedian" Ricky Gervais has again gone out of his way to offend Christians. Gervais, who is the man responsible for the movie known as "The Invention of Lying" which openly mocks God, has taken his blasphemy even further. The actor is featured in a photo on the cover of New Humanist magazine on which he poses shirtless with the word "atheist" written above his chest in blood. He also wears a crown of thorns on his head in the picture. (32)
Earth - A Constantly Shaking Planet!
The disasters we are now seeing around the world are yet another indicator that we are living in the last days. While the world has always suffered from natural disasters, what we are seeing now is an almost constant barrage of calamity. Earthquakes, in particular, were spoken of by Jesus as indicative of the end times, and we are now seeing more quakes than ever.
On August 23, 2011, a 5.8-magnitude earthquake struck the United States. The earthquake spanned twenty states, and it caused significant structural damage in Washington, D.C. It was reported that this was the largest earthquake in the Virginia region since 1897. (33) It is interesting to note that the Washington Monument, which is the large phallic symbol that overlooks our nation's capital and has strong ties to freemasonry, was damaged by the quake. A news report from CNN indicated that the monument would be "closed indefinitely." (34)
There have been numerous other recent earthquakes "in divers places." On the very same day that the above mentioned earthquake occurred, another quake struck in Colorado. The 5.3-magitude rumbling was the largest in the area in over forty years. (35) Other earthquakes which occurred in August and September 2011 include a 6.8-magnitude quake in East Timor (36), a 6.8-magnitude quake in the Aleutian Islands near Alaska (37), a 6.4-magnitude quake in Argentina (38), a 7.0-magnitude quake in Vanuatu (39), a 5.9-magnitude quake in New Zealand (40), a 5.9-magnitude quake in Chile (41), a 6.2-magnitude quake in Japan, a 6.0-magnitude quake in Cuba (42), a 7.2-magnitude quake in Fiji (43), and a 6.9-magnitude quake in India, Nepal, and Tibet (44)
With so much havoc occurring around the world, earthquakes are only part of the problem. The news often carries reports of flooding, drought, wildfires, and other disasters. Those in the secular world blame such events on global warming and climate change, but as my father used to say, "The problem is not global warming; it is global sinning."
In closing, I want to encourage all of you to put your trust and hope in God. Yes, there are many troubles and sorrows in this world, but through it all we have a loving Saviour who will never forsake us. It is only through His strength that we are able to endure these desperate days. There are many alarming things that I have written about in this newsletter, but we can overcome every single one of them through Jesus Christ our Lord. If you have not yet fully given your heart to God, I urge you to do so now. Call upon Him in prayer, read His Holy Word, put your faith and trust in Him, and obey the Scripture.
Thank you to all who support this ministry. It is through your kindness that we are able to publish this newsletter and do a work for God. We at Last Trumpet Ministries appreciate your donations, letters, news clippings, and support so very much. If you have any prayer requests, small or great, please do not hesitate to send them our way. Each request is always given personal and individual attention. Rest assured - if you send us a prayer request, we will pray for you. Grace and peace be unto you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.