Volume XXXI Issue III March 2012
Last Trumpet Ministries, PO Box 806, Beaver Dam, WI 53916
Fax: 920-887-2626 Internet: http://www.lasttrumpetministries.org
The Approach Of The Midnight Hour!
"Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh."James 5:7-8
"Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth."Luke 15:10
"And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour."Revelation 8:1
In this issue of the Last Trumpet, we will thoughtfully consider the current condition of the world we live in and how it relates to the soon coming of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. For those who sincerely love God and watch with great sadness as this world deteriorates, it can at times feel frustrating that our Saviour has not yet returned. Some might wonder how the Lord can hold off his judgment even as the level of wickedness continues to reach new heights and mankind grows ever more wicked by the day. As incredulous as it may sound, despite how deplorable the current condition of our world may be, there is actually potential for the situation to grow much worse. If you ever find yourself wondering why Jesus has not yet returned, be mindful that some people will still repent. Thus the harvest is not yet complete.
In James 5:7-8, we are admonished to be patient while the husbandman, who is Jesus Christ, awaits the precious fruit of the earth, which is a metaphor for God's children. It is also interesting to note that in Luke 15:10 Jesus tells us there is great joy in heaven when a sinner repents. Yet, in Revelation 8:1, we are told that there will come a time when there is silence in heaven. This is no doubt that fateful moment when the very last soul who will repent has done so, completing the harvest. Once this happens, and no man knows when that will be, our Saviour will return. The concept of a harvest is also spoken of by Jesus in Matthew, chapter 13, when he likens His children to wheat and the children of the wicked one to tares. In verses 37-40, we read the following words of Jesus, "He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world." While the ever increasing wickedness in this world is hard to bear, we can take comfort in the knowledge that there are still others who will repent before time runs out. If you have not yet repented and given your heart to God, I urge you to do so now. It is my hope and prayer that all who read this newsletter will be counted as wheat and not as tares.
An Assault On The Constitution Of The United States!
Since its inception, the United States has been a flawed nation in many ways. However, one of the things that made our nation special was the set of rights guaranteed to every American citizen through the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights. Yet in recent days, there has been a lack of appreciation for the Constitution as critics line up to denigrate it. It is shameful enough that the Constitution is so often ignored by our current government when it is making decisions or establishing new laws. Now we are seeing calls to abolish the Constitution altogether and replace it with a new one.
In an article published by the New York Times on February 6, 2012, writer Adam Liptak states, "The Constitution has seen better days." He further claims that the Constitution has fallen out of favor and is losing its influence around the world. Mr. Liptak then refers to the document that is supposed to guarantee freedom to every American as "terse and old" and complains that "it guarantees relatively few rights." He also specifically mentions the second amendment right to bear arms as if it were unsavory while he explains that only 2 percent of all other constitutions in the world have a similar provision. (1) The article also quotes Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the United States Supreme Court, who when asked about establishing a new constitution in Egypt, stated, "I would not look to the United States Constitution if I were drafting a constitution in the year 2012." (2) Considering the fact that the responsibilities of the Supreme Court include interpreting the Constitution of the United States, Ginsburg's words are particularly alarming. Here let it be noted that the aforementioned article from the New York Times was also posted on the website of the Council on Foreign Relations, which is an organization dedicated to the proliferation of globalism and the establishment of a one world government. (3)
Shockingly, one book publisher, known as Wilder Publications, seems to find the contents of the Constitution to be so offensive that those involved in publishing it felt the need to include a disclaimer in their 2008 printing of it. The disclaimer reads, "This book is a product of its time and does not reflect the same values as it would if it were written today. Parents might wish to discuss with their children how views on race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and interpersonal relations have changed since this book was written before allowing them to read this classic work." (4)
Barack Obama has also been a vocal critic of the Constitution because he finds the document to be too restrictive for his liking. On a recent television appearance with Matt Lauer on NBC, Obama complained, "it turns out that our Founders designed a system that makes it more difficult to bring about change than I would like sometimes." (5) Dismantling the Constitution of the United States is an absolutely crucial step for the elitists with a globalist agenda. For if the rights guaranteed by this remarkable document were truly upheld, it would be impossible for their goals to ever be fully realized.
A World Stricken By Poverty!
In Matthew 26:11, Jesus said, "For ye have the poor always with you..." Since Jesus spoke these words around two thousand years ago, they have certainly been proven to be true. For a time, there was great prosperity in the United States of America, but many indicators suggest that the era of American abundance may be coming to an end. As of September 2011, 15.1 percent of all Americans are living in poverty. (6) In total, that percentage accounts for approximately 46.2 million people, which is an increase of 6.4 million since Barack Obama began his term as president. (7) This is just one of that many negative changes that Obama has presided over throughout his tenure in the Oval Office. Since January 2009, food stamp recipients have risen from 32 million to 46 million, gas prices have increased by 90 percent, and the share of the national debt for each American citizen has jumped from $34,731 to $49,058 as of February 14, 2012. (8)
Unfortunately, the number of people classified as "near poor" has also increased. Recent data released by the United States Census Bureau indicates that 51 million people fall into this category. This came as a surprise to the Census Bureau's chief poverty statistician, Trudi J. Renwick. "These numbers are higher than we anticipated. There are more people struggling than the official numbers show," Renwick stated. (9) Of the approximately 313 million people living in the United States as of this writing, (10) nearly 100 million of them are either poor or near poor. This represents a very large segment of the population, which only seems to be growing. As a consequence of these hard times, many older Americans are now being forced to remain in the workforce rather than retiring. According to a recent article by the Associated Press, Americans often work until age 70 and beyond with some saying they will likely never stop working. "I'll probably just work until I drop," said one woman quoted in the article. (11)
In many areas around the world, people are so poor that they cannot even afford to buy food. One quarter of all children in the world do not get enough to eat, and three hundred die every hour of malnutrition. Poverty and hunger is particularly rampant in India where one half of all children in the nation do not get enough to eat and a quarter of them do not get any food at all. (12)
Why are so many people around the world stricken by poverty in this age of scientific advancement and modern technology? The United Nations identifies the source of the problem as overpopulation. In a recent report, a UN panel wrote, "As the global population grows from 7 billion to almost 9 billion by 2040, and the number of middle-class consumers increases by 3 billion over the next 20 years, the demand for resources will rise exponentially. By 2030, the world will need at least 50 percent more food, 45 percent more energy, and 30 percent more water - all at a time when environmental boundaries are throwing up new limits to supply. This is true not least for climate change, which affects all aspects of human and planetary health." (13) One of the solutions this UN panel recommends for a sustainable future is "ensuring universal access to quality and affordable family-planning and other sexual and reproductive rights and health services." (14) In other words, they want to provide women with easier access to abortions.
The scientific community is also working on solutions to feed a hungry planet. Researchers in the Netherlands have been growing "meat" from stem cells in their labs, and they expect to serve their first artificial burger later this year. "In October we are going to provide a proof of concept showing out of stem cells we can make a product that looks, feels, and hopefully tastes like meat," said Professor Mark Post of Masstricht University in the Netherlands. "Eventually my vision is that you have a limited herd of donor animals in the world that you keep in stock and that you get your cells from there," Professor Post further elaborated. The professor and his fellow researchers are hoping to be serving up their artificial meat en masse within ten years. (15)
The world as envisioned by the elite class and the scientific community seems rather bleak. Will the future bring more poverty to the world? Will population be tightly controlled for the sake of sustainability and the "health of the planet"? Will our "meat" be meticulously grown in a lab? A far better solution would be the return of our Saviour. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
Economic Pain In Europe!
In February 2012 the nation of Greece reached an agreement for a new bailout package with the European Union, private creditor groups, and the International Monetary Fund. The bailout, which amounts to 130 billion Euros or the equivalent of 172 billion U.S. dollars, calls for strict new austerity measures to be implemented. (16) The nation of Greece was required to meet 79 different measures before they were given the bailout, including a 22 percent reduction in the country's minimum wage and an agreement to eliminate 15,000 government jobs. (17) Despite the forthcoming bailout, many economists are skeptical that the measures will save Greece. "I don't think this is going to solve anything. Not only do they not have a strategy for growth, it doesn't look like they've even thought about it," declared Diego Iscaro, an economist at IHS Global Insight in London. (18) Dutch Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager also expressed doubt regarding the efficacy of the bailout package. "To be honest, I have doubts, but it's the best we could do," said De Jager. (19) Upon learning the details of the bailout, credit rating agency Fitch promptly downgraded the Greek credit rating from CCC to C. (20) According to the agency, their downgrade indicates a high probability that Greece will likely default "in the near term." (21)
The nation of Portugal has also fallen on hard times. In December 2011 the unemployment rate climbed to 14 percent with about 700,000 Portuguese citizens unable to find work. The situation has become so dire that government officials are now urging people to emigrate out of Portugal and seek employment elsewhere. "If people are unemployed they should leave their comfort zone and look beyond our borders," stated Miguel Mestre, Portugal's Secretary of State for youth and sports. Miguel Relvas, the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, echoed those sentiments. "Recent graduates should lead a new type of emigration, different from the 1960s when Europe was the destination. In the past 20 years, Portugal has invested in a generation of people, and now we can't give them what they need -- employment," Relvas opined. (22)
The nation of Spain is also suffering from poor economic conditions. According to a January 2012 report, unemployment has now reached 22.8 percent, and 5.3 million people are without work. (23) Interestingly enough, an underground barter economy has now been established with many Spanish people trading for goods and services instead of purchasing them with money. (24)
Overall, the entire eurozone, which is a group of seventeen nations who share the euro currency, is now in danger of recession. Recent economic data was surprisingly weak, even for stronger nations in the European Union, such as Germany and France. Regarding the disappointing data, economist Chris Williamson of Markit Group Limited was quoted as saying, "It is not a great sign. There have been widespread job losses on the periphery, which you would expect. More worryingly there was virtually no job creation going on in France and in Germany. The rate of growth has eased quite sharply." (25)
War On The Horizon!
Since 2001 the United States has been involved with an armed conflict against the Taliban in Afghanistan. Although military officials have told us that the war there is progressing well, one American officer has claimed that the American people have been intentionally misled. In an article published by the Armed Forces Journal, Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Davis reports that the situation in Afghanistan is actually growing worse, and that once the United States' military forces leave the area, the Taliban will resume complete control. Speaking of his experiences in Afghanistan, Davis wrote, "What I saw bore no resemblance to rosy official statements by U.S. military leaders about conditions on the ground." He further stated that he "witnessed the absences of success on virtually every level." He also asserted that Afghan Security forces, which are supposed to be allied with the American troops, sometimes collude with the enemy. (26) Sometimes Afghan soldiers even turn their weapons on the American and coalition troops that are there to assist them. A recent ABC News article reports that there have been forty-two such incidents from 2007 to 2011. (27) In fact, four French soldiers were recently gunned down by an Afghan soldier, which infuriated French President Nicolas Sarkozy so much that he threatened to withdraw all French troops from Afghanistan. "The French army is not in Afghanistan to be shot at by Afghan soldiers," Sarkozy said. (28)
Sadly, the United States military may soon find itself firmly entrenched in war elsewhere. According to a report by The Guardian, the Pentagon is now in the process of drawing up "contingency plans" for military action against Syria. (29) The nation of Syria has been in chaos since protests began against President Bashar al-Assad and his regime in March of 2011. As of February 2012, 7,636 people have been killed, including over 5,000 civilians. (30) Although most nations in the Western world are horrified by the brutality of Assad's regime, China, Russia, and Iran have all expressed support for Syria. This was particularly evident in an article published by the Communist Party of China in their newspaper known as the People's Daily. "If Western countries continue to fully support Syria's opposition, then in the end a large-scale civil war will erupt and there will be no way to thus avoid the possibility of foreign armed intervention," the article claimed. (31) As a show of friendship and support, Iran has now docked two warships in Syria. (32) Meanwhile, a former member of the Russian Joints Chiefs of Staff has warned that an attack against Syria or Iran will not be tolerated by the Russian government. "A strike against Syria or Iran is an indirect strike against Russia and its interests. Russia would lose important positions and allies in the Arab world. Therefore, by defending Syria, Russia is defending its own interests," said General Leonid Ivashov. (33)
The debate over whether or not Israel should launch an attack against Iran has continued to intensify in recent weeks. In a poll of American citizens conducted in February 2012, 48 percent of respondents expressed support for such an attack, saying they would want the United States to assist Israel in their endeavors. (34) However, General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff, has urged Israel to hold back on any plans to strike Iran. "We think that it's not prudent at this point to decide to attack Iran. I mean, that's been our counsel to our allies, the Israelis, well-known, well-documented," stated Dempsey. (35) British Foreign Minister William Hague issued a similar statement, saying, "I don't think a wise thing at this moment is for Israel to launch a military attack on Iran. I think Israel like everyone else in the world should be giving a real chance to the approach we have adopted on very serious economic sanctions and economic pressure and the readiness to negotiate with Iran," stated Hague. (36) Not surprisingly, Russia has issued a blunt warning to Israel. "Of course any possible military scenario against Iran will be catastrophic for the region and for the whole system of international relations. I hope Israel understands all these consequences... and they should also consider the consequences of such action for themselves. I hope realistic approach will prevail, along with a sensible assessment," declared Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov of Russia. (37)
Conversely, Naftali Bennett, a former Chief of Staff in Israel, seems convinced that Israel must attack Iran soon. "We're at the very last moment. This is going to be the first time in history that a maniacal, radical Islamic regime will acquire a nuclear weapon. The day after they have a bomb will be a different day for the entire world," warned Bennett. He further went on to say, "We do not know for sure now that America will be there for us in this current administration and that's why we are concerned. We're being told, 'Israel do not attack Iran.' But how can we not do it? We don't know what we're going to see in 12 months from now, we have no guarantee that others will take care of it. If necessary we'll do the job for the world but please, please don't tell us to stand back and just wait and I guess pray for something good to happen. We've got to do the job. If Obama won't do it, please let Israel do the job." (38)
As the possibility of an attack on Iran continues to grow, Iran has deployed warplanes and missiles while ramping up exercises to protect its nuclear facilities. (39) Iran has also expressed that they might be willing to conduct pre-emptive strikes if they feel threatened. "Our strategy now is that if we feel our enemies want to endanger Iran's national interests, and want to decide to do that, we will act without waiting for their actions," said Mohammad Hejazi, the deputy head of Iran. (40)
The potential for conflict and strife in these last days has become so widespread that it now seems it is only a matter of time before the world descends into an all-out war. In fact, the Prime Minister of Russia, Vladimir Putin, has announced that his government has appropriated 772 billion dollars to build up their military over the next ten years. The build-up will include 2,300 late-generation tanks, 600 modern combat aircraft, 8 nuclear ballistic submarines, 50 warships, a new inventory of artillery, air defense systems, and 17,000 new military vehicles. (41) Explaining the impetus for the build-up, Prime Minister Putin said, "We are forced to take decisive steps to bolster our national aerospace defense system to counter the US and NATO efforts in the deployment of missile defense." (42) Could World War III break out soon? It is now more important than ever to obey the command of Jesus to watch and pray.
The Doomsday Clock Advances!
As Christians, we are sometimes ridiculed for believing that the world will end some day. Yet, even the scientific community admits as much. The world is facing more threats today than it ever has before. It is for this reason that the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists moved their symbolic "doomsday clock" ahead one minute on January 10, 2012. In their press release, the scientific organization stated, "It is five minutes to midnight. Two years ago, it appeared the world leaders might address the truly global threats that we face. In many cases, that trend has not continued or been reversed. For that reason, the 'Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists' is moving the clock hand one minute closer to midnight, back to its time in 2007." (43) When I consider this announcement, I cannot help but think of Matthew 25:6, which reads, "And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him." Yes, the midnight hour is approaching. Sadly, many people will not be ready to meet our Saviour. In the 13th verse of Matthew 25, Jesus warns, "Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh."
In closing, I sincerely thank all of you who generously support this ministry. It is because of you that we are able to continue publishing this newsletter each and every month. It is our goal at Last Trumpet Ministries to bolster your faith in God as we await the glorious return of our Saviour. If you have any prayer requests, small or great, please do not hesitate to send them our way. We always give each request individual attention and carry your petition before the throne of the Almighty. Grace and peace be unto you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.Samuel David Meyer