Volume XXX Issue XI November 2011
Last Trumpet Ministries, PO Box 806, Beaver Dam, WI 53916
Fax: 920-887-2626 Internet: http://www.lasttrumpetministries.org
The Unholy Transformation Of America!
"Fret not thyself because of evil men, neither be thou envious at the wicked: For there shall be no reward to the evil man; the candle of the wicked shall be put out. My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change: For their calamity shall rise suddenly; and who knoweth the ruin of them both?"Proverbs 24:19-22
"The shew of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves."Isaiah 3:9
"And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof."Romans 13:11-14
In this issue of the Last Trumpet Newsletter, we will once again examine the current events of our time and compare many of the issues we are facing today with relevant historical events of the past. These are days of great turmoil, unrest, and change. Although no man knows for certain what the future may hold, we can look back through the annals of history for clues of what might happen in the future. One thing is certain: we are living in a world undergoing a drastic transformation. These changes affect many facets of our lives, including economic systems, government policies, and the moral values of the common man. For the faithful children of God, our lives will only grow increasingly more difficult as we near the day of our Saviour's return. Our beliefs will be met with ever-increasing hostility, and the evil which abounds throughout the world will continue to confront us, challenging our faith and testing our resolve. Yet, with the strength of our God we can withstand the tempest and the storms of life, and through it all, "Hold fast to that which is good."
The Clamor For Revolution!
In the late 1700s, the European nation of France was facing many challenges. France had a national debt which was spiraling out of control due to the expenditures related to backing the Americans during the American Revolution and also to fighting the Seven Years' War against Britain. The debt crisis was further exacerbated by the extravagant overspending of King Louis XVI. These circumstances left the peasant class and also the middle class with a cumbersome tax burden. Conversely, the clergy and the French nobility were mostly exempt from taxes, despite the fact that they held the majority of the wealth in the country. During the time period leading up to the first stirrings of the French Revolution, members of the elite class consisted of just 2 percent of the population. (1) In the 1780s, a series of crop failures led to food shortages, which also contributed to the misery of the peasants in France. In fact, the price of a loaf of bread rose by 67 percent in the year 1789. (2)
On July 14, 1789, a bloodthirsty mob besieged the French prison known as the Bastille. The mob stormed the prison seeking weapons, gun powder, and the release of the prisoners housed in the facility. This riotous crowd of angry men and women demanded that prison governor Marquis de Launay lower the bridges and allow them access to the prison. At first, de Launay offered to lower the bridges if his troops were allowed to leave peacefully, but the mob, who was seeking blood, did not agree to those terms. Seeing no way out, de Launay eventually capitulated to the mob's demands. De Launay and his staff were taken captive and subsequently dragged through the streets of Paris where they were eventually decapitated. (3)
The storming of the Bastille was the beginning of the French Revolution, which would lead to a turbulent and horrifying time in history. King Louis XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette were both beheaded by the revolutionaries, and from September 5, 1793, to July 28, 1794, thousands upon thousands of people were executed. Most of those who were killed were sent to the guillotine by the order of Maximilien Robespierre, one of the nine members of the so-called "Committee of Public Safety." This dark time in history is known as the "Reign of Terror." (4)
Much like France in the late 1700s, the present day United States of America is suffering from a massive national debt and food prices that seem to rise higher every month. The rich only seem to be getting wealthier, while the poor are getting poorer, and the middle class is slowly disappearing. We are now seeing the stirring of a new revolution. It is a mishmash of people with many different beliefs and ideologies who are coming together to protest corporate greed, corruption, and a tax system that they believe unfairly favors the rich. According to the protesters, they are the "99 percent," and the wealthy class is the "1 percent."
The complaints of the protestors are not entirely without merit. It is true that the bankers and those on Wall Street did much damage to America's economy through illegal and immoral practices. It is true that many of them bend or break the law and are driven by greed. And it's also true that some of the protestors have admirable goals, such as abolishing the Federal Reserve. Nevertheless, a common thread amongst those involved with the "Occupy Wall Street" movement is a push to turn the United States of America into a socialist nation.
The original protest in New York City was fomented by a group from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, known as Adbusters. The group, which publishes an anti-consumerist magazine, wrote the following on their website, "We are a global network of activists, writers, pranksters, students, educators, and entrepreneurs who want to advance the new social activist movement of the information age. Our aim is to topple existing power structures and forge a major shift in the way we live in the 21st century." (5) The cofounder of the group, Kalle Lasn, described how they came up with the idea for the Occupy Wall Street movement. "It came out of these brainstorming sessions we have at Adbusters. We were inspired by what happened in Tunisia and Egypt and we had this feeling that America was ripe for a Tahrir moment. We felt like there was a real rage building up in America, and we thought that we would like to create a spark which would give expression for this rage," Lasn said. (6)
Since the protests began on September 17, 2011, in New York City, there have been many voices protesting many different things, and it would seem that some of the people are simply caught up in the movement and not really certain of what exactly they are protesting. Others present at Zucotti Park in Manhattan do not appear to be there to protest at all, but rather to party. According to an article by the Daily Mail, free condoms are provided to protestors, who then perform illicit acts out in the open in front of everyone. Another man was there just to hide from the police. "I got warrants. I'm running from the law. I'm not even supposed to be here, but it's as good a spot to hide as any," said the twenty-four year-old man from Stamford, Connecticut. (7)
As of this writing, protests have spread to 900 cities in Europe, Africa, Asia, and North America. (8) A protest in Rome, Italy, turned into a full-blown riot on October 15, 2011, with some protestors throwing rocks and bottles at police while others were wielding clubs and hammers. The protestors threw firecrackers at banks, destroyed ATMs, and set trash bins on fire. (9) The mayor of Rome estimates the damage from the carnage to be approximately 1.4 million dollars. (10)
The protests in the United States have been nonviolent for the most part. Nevertheless, there were some sparks of violence in Manhattan when Brookfield Properties, the company who owns Zucotti Park, the site where protestors are camping out, announced plans to come in and clean the area. Despite the fact that Brookfield Property officials told the protestors that they would be allowed to return once the deep cleaning was completed, leaders of the protest interpreted the plans as an eviction notice. Consequently, some protestors began to fight with police officers, and rather than allow the situation to escalate, Brookfield Properties postponed the cleaning of the park. (11) This event, while it may seem insignificant, does provide some insight into the mentality of the protestors, who can quickly turn violent if they feel threatened by the authorities.
Others involved in the protests have plainly called for violence. One protestor at the "Occupy Los Angeles" event stated the following, "One of the speakers said the solution is nonviolent movement. No, my friend. I'll give you two examples: French Revolution, and Indian so-called Revolution. Gandhi today is, with respect to all of you, Gandhi is a tumor that the ruling class is using constantly to mislead us. French Revolution made fundamental transformation. But it was bloody. India, the result of Gandhi, is 600 million people living in maximum poverty. So ultimately, the bourgeoisie won't go without violent means. Revolution! Yes, revolution that is led by the working class. Long live revolution! Long live socialism!" (12) The protestor's remarks were met with enthusiastic cheers from the audience.
Actress Roseanne Barr has also expressed support for the movement and issued a bizarre statement while being interviewed by Russia Today. "I do say that I am in favor of the return of the guillotine and that is for the worst of the worst of the guilty. I first would allow the guilty bankers to pay, you know, the ability to pay back anything over $100 million [of] personal wealth because I believe in a maximum wage of $100 million. And if they are unable to live on that amount then they should, you know, go to the reeducation camps and if that doesn't help, then being beheaded." (13) It is unclear whether or not Ms. Barr was joking when she made the statement with a straight face. However, even if she wasn't serious, her remarks were distasteful and she should be ashamed of herself.
It is quite obvious that there are some very ugly spirits behind the Occupy Wall Street movement. Yet, the protestors have garnered a great deal of support from around the world. Amongst the groups and world leaders expressing support for the cause are Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei (14), socialist president of Venezuela Hugo Chavez (15), the government of North Korea (16), the Communist Party USA (17), and the American Nazi Party. (18) The Communist Party USA seemed particularly enthusiastic about the movement when they posted the following statement on their website, "This is an exciting time! Thousands of mainly young people have been occupying Wall Street for three weeks already, and the 'Occupy Movement' has spread to more than 200 other cities. On October 6 the actions spread to our nation's capital." The website also announced plans to participate in the Occupy Los Angeles protests. (19)
Is America Still The "Land Of Opportunity?"
When we consider the current conditions of our communities around the United States, it is not surprising that so many people are unhappy. The inept leadership of our Congress and Barack Obama's Administration has left the population at large with very few opportunities in a country which has often been called the "land of opportunity." Looking back at Obama's performance since 2009, it has been only one miscue after another. However, I do not believe Obama to be an unintelligent man. In fact, I suspect that many of his miscues were intentional, because the man embraces a socialist ideology and is purposely sabotaging the United States. Here let it be noted that the United States of America has accumulated more debt since Obama took office than it did throughout the entire first forty-one presidencies combined from George Washington through George H. W. Bush. With Obama at the helm, America increases its debt by over 4 billion dollars every single day. It is estimated that the national debt will be nearly 17 trillion dollars by the time Obama's term ends on January 20, 2013. (20) Even after all the money he has wasted and all the debt with which he has burdened the American people, Obama now wants to spend nearly half of a trillion dollars on his Jobs Act!
The United States is in such dire trouble that entire cities are now literally going bankrupt. In fact, the city of Harrisburg, which is the capital of the state of Pennsylvania, filed for chapter 9 bankruptcy in October 2011. "This really is our only option out there. I believe this is the only thing that will work," said Councilman Brad Koplinski. (21) Other cities and counties which are going broke include Central Falls, Rhode Island; Pontiac, Michigan; Jefferson County, Alabama; Harrison, New Jersey; Detroit, Michigan; Salem, New Jersey; Riverdale, Illinois; Strafford County, New Hampshire; and Camden, New Jersey. (22)
Economic hardships now reach far and wide across America. In Highland Park, Michigan, DTE Energy Company has repossessed 1400 streetlights because the city cannot pay its electricity bill. (23) In the city of Detroit, Michigan, funding for education is so poor that 47 percent of all citizens are now functionally illiterate. (24) In Topeka, Kansas, the city council has voted to stop prosecuting misdemeanors, including cases of domestic violence, because they do not have adequate funds to do so. (25) In Las Vegas, Nevada, which has been hit hard by home foreclosures, there are now approximately a thousand people living in the flood tunnels underneath the city. (26)
Sadly, the unemployment situation in the United States has not improved in any significant manner throughout the year 2011. Part of Obama's plan to get Americans back to work involves rebuilding America's crumbling infrastructure. Yet, it has now come to light that many projects, such as the renovation of the Alexander Hamilton Bridge in New York and the rebuilding of the Bay Bridge, which connects Oakland and San Francisco in California, are being performed by Chinese firms. Scott Paul, executive director for the Alliance for American Manufacturing, was understandably upset about this development. "When we subsidize jobs in China, we're not creating any wealth in the United States," Mr. Paul stated. (27) Although the Chinese companies use some American workers, all profits from the projects flow out of the country and into China. It is also interesting to note that some of the firms being used, such as the China State Construction Engineering Corporation, are directly owned by the Chinese government. Thus, many American construction projects are now helping to fund an oppressive Communist regime.
There certainly are not as many opportunities as there used to be in America. A large percentage of the population must now rely on government programs just to make ends-meet. In fact, Americans are now receiving more income from the government than they are paying in through taxes. The last time this happened was during the Great Depression. (28) According to the Wall Street Journal, 48.5% of all Americans are now depending on government programs to survive. (29)
Will this erstwhile great nation of the United States ever return to prosperity again? Only God knows for sure. At any rate, this country's leadership has put this nation in a very deep hole. Even if the economy would improve to an extent, it seems unlikely that the United States could ever pay off its debt. Furthermore, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the level of public debt in America is on pace to reach 716 percent of the nation's gross domestic product by the year 2080. (30) The United States may already be beyond the point of no return. However, the United States is only one of many nations choking on its debt. We must remember that the elite masterminds at organizations such as the Council on Foreign Relations want to destroy the sovereignty of every nation and bring about a global one world government. They know that goal can only be attained if the current economic systems of the world fail. I believe the new system would be controlled by the Antichrist, and the people would be corralled into the system by a promise to forgive all outstanding debts.
My father used to say, "Your god is the one you turn to in the time of need." I would much rather put my trust in the Almighty Creator of the universe than any unreliable system that man has established. It is amazing to me how the one true solution to the world's problems is so often overlooked by the majority of the people. If every man, woman, and child would faithfully follow and obey the teachings of Jesus Christ, it would end all poverty and hunger. Every war would immediately cease. I encourage each and every one of you to put your faith and trust in God. For as it says in Isaiah 33:22, "For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us."
American Lives - Under New Micromanagement!
These days the lives of us living here in America are governed by thousands of rules and regulations designed to micromanage our lives. We are told that we have freedom of speech and expression, yet Americans are often penalized for exercising their right to free speech. Likewise, there are new restrictions on what we can do with our own property and even what kind of light bulbs we can use. The oppressive spirit which is rising up all over America is not only suffered at the hand of government agencies, but it is also sometimes brought about by authority figures such as school officials.
At William C. Wood High School in California, a student was recently disciplined for saying "Bless you" to another student after a sneeze. "The blessing doesn't make sense anymore. [In the old days] they were saying 'God bless you' for getting rid of evil spirits. But today, what you're doing doesn't really make any sense," said health teacher Steve Cuckovich. Mr. Cuckovich deducted twenty-five points from the student's grade. (31)
A group of football coaches at a middle school in Tennessee were reprimanded by the principal's office after they were spotted and reported for bowing their heads in prayer. (32)
In Fort Worth, Texas, a student was punished after stating to another student that he believed, "Being a homosexual is wrong." "It wasn't directed to anyone except my friend who was sitting behind me. I guess [the teacher] heard me. He started yelling. He told me he was going to write me an infraction and send me to the office," said the student. The boy was originally sentenced to a suspension by the principal's office; although this decision was later overturned. (33)
A couple in Mission Viejo, California, have been warned by city officials to stop holding Bible studies in their home. They were fined $300 in September 2011 for doing so and threatened with more fines for holding a "regular gathering of more than three people." (34)
In Wisconsin, a Dane County circuit court judge by the name of Patrick J. Fiedler recently wrote in the clarification of a court case regarding the right to consume raw milk, "No, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to own and use a dairy cow or dairy herd. No, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to consume milk from their own cow. No, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to produce and consume foods of their choice." (35)
Beginning in January 2012, Americans will no longer be able to purchase 100-watt incandescent light bulbs. The new regulations are part of a 2007 energy bill which calls for the phase-out of most incandescent bulbs by the year 2014. (36) As an alternative, most Americans will purchase compact fluorescent bulbs. Unfortunately, the bulbs contain mercury, which is a toxic poison. Although the amount contained in each bulb is very small, breaking a bulb still unleashes a toxin into your home. The impact such bulbs will have on landfills is also worrisome since millions of them will be discarded in the coming years.
We now live in a country where simply stating your beliefs, holding Bible studies, or trying to produce your own food can land you in hot water with the authorities. Sadly, the rights of the American citizen, which are spoken of so often even today, are being systematically stripped from the people. The situation has only grown worse as we have progressed through time, and I hate to imagine what this country may be like in future generations.
Are Flu Shots Safe?
It is that time of the year again when hospitals, pharmacies, and other locations are pushing for every American to go out and get a flu shot. But are flu shots really a good idea? My parents were strongly opposed to vaccinations, including flu shots, and for that reason, I have never received one. Yet, I have not suffered from the flu in over fifteen years. It seems to me that many of the people who come down with the flu have been inoculated against it. In fact, I have heard many complain about getting the flu shortly after receiving the shots! Here let it be noted that a 2010 study found that flu shots are only 1 percent effective in preventing the flu. (37) Flu shots can also cause nasty side effects as was the case in Finland, where seventy-nine children between the ages of four and nineteen developed narcolepsy after receiving a vaccine for swine flu. The majority of the children who were afflicted also suffered from cataplexy, hallucinations, and paralyzing physical collapses. (38) Considering the potential consequences, it appears we would all be better off if we did not get flu shots.
A Rumor Of War!
Iran has been receiving heavy news coverage in recent days. In late September 2011, the Islamic nation announced that they are now mass producing a new cruise missile. The new missiles, which the Iranians have named Ghader, have a range of 124 miles and the capability to "sink giant warships." (39) The head of Iran's navy has also threatened to move warships close to the Atlantic coast of the United States. "Like the arrogant powers that are present near our marine borders, we will also have a powerful presence close to American marine borders," said Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari. (40)
In October 2011, a news story broke detailing the alleged plot by Iran to assassinate the ambassador of Saudi Arabia to the United States. According to the reports, the plot involved the deployment of an explosive device at the ambassador's favorite restaurant in Washington, D.C. An US-Iranian citizen by the name of Manssor Arbabsiar was arrested after the assassin he tried to hire to do the job turned out to be an undercover agent of the US Drug Enforcement Administration, or DEA. "This conspiracy was conceived, was sponsored, and was directed from Iran, and constitutes a flagrant violation of US and international law," stated US Attorney General Eric Holder. (41)
The alleged plot has caused much outrage in the United States and abroad. In response, Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal stated, "Somebody in Iran will have to pay the price." (42) Barack Obama issued a similar threat stating that Iran will "pay a price." (43) In an article written for Newsmax, Joel C. Rosenberg, a former aide to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, suggested that now may be the time for the United States to launch pre-emptive military attacks against Iran. (44)
It is beginning to look as though war with Iran in the near future is a very real possibility. Even before details of the assassination plot unfolded, the nation of France was already threatening military action against Iran. French ambassador Gerard Araud stated at an UN meeting on September 27, 2011, "If we don't succeed today to reach a negotiation with the Iranians, there is a strong risk of military action." (45) If war with Iran was to break out, it is not far-fetched to wonder if it might lead to World War III. Iran is on friendly terms with China, North Korea, and Russia.
In closing, I know that we are truly living in perilous times. What we see happening all around us can be hard to bear. It is for that reason that I put all my faith, trust, and hope in Jesus Christ. I encourage each and every one of you to do the same. It was the Apostle Paul who once wrote in I Corinthians 15:19, "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable." I am so thankful that this present life is not all that we will have. If you have not yet fully given your heart to God, I encourage you to do so now. The enemy will often try to convince us that we are giving up too much by serving God, but as my father used to say, "The only thing I gave up by becoming a Christian was going to hell."
Thank you to all who so graciously support this ministry. I am especially grateful for your financial contributions even in these times of economic hardship. We at Last Trumpet Ministries take great care to ensure that nothing is wasted, and that the resources we are given are used to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a world that so desperately needs Him. As always, please feel welcome to send us your prayer requests. We take prayer seriously, and each request will be given individual attention. Grace and peace be unto you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.