Volume XXXII Issue VI June 2013
Last Trumpet Ministries, PO Box 806, Beaver Dam, WI 53916
Fax: 920-887-2626 Internet: http://www.lasttrumpetministries.org
An Increase In Knowledge And The Future Of Humanity!
"Hear this, O ye that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail, Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? And the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit? That we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes; yea, and sell the refuse of the wheat? The Lord hath sworn by the excellency of Jacob, Surely I will never forget any of their works."Amos 8:4-7
"Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness which they have prescribed; To turn aside the needy from judgment, and to take away the right from the poor of my people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless!"Isaiah 10:1-2
"And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven."Acts 1:10-11
"Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen."Revelation 1:7
In this issue of the Last Trumpet Newsletter, we will examine numerous current events which demonstrate the oppressive spirit of governance that is now common in the United States and other regions of the world. We will also consider some of the pertinent facts which indicate mankind is bringing itself ever closer to the brink of destruction. In the book of Daniel, chapter 12, verse 4, we are warned that "many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased" in the end times. We are now living in a day and age when knowledge has increased to levels which would have been unfathomable even one hundred years ago. Although we are told that the plethora of new technology now available and in development enhances the lives of men and women, numerous scientists have expressed concern over the detrimental effect these advances may have on humankind. In fact, Nick Bostrom, who is director of the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University, has warned that advancements in synthetic biology, nanotechnology, and machine intelligence could have unforeseen consequences for the human race. "There is a great race on between humanity's technological powers and our wisdom to use those powers well. I'm worried that the former will pull too far ahead," Bostrom said. (1) A geneticist by the name of Dr. Sean O'Heigeartaigh, who also works at the Future of Humanity Institute, has warned of the dangers presented by the incredible advancements in technology we are seeing today. "We are developing things that could go wrong in a profound way," O'Heigeartaigh declared. (2) Another scientist who is fearful of the fate of the human race is the famous physicist Stephen Hawking. Hawking, who is a staunch atheist, has expressed doubt that mankind will survive for another thousand years. "We won't survive another 1,000 years without escaping our fragile planet. We must continue to go into space for humanity," Hawking said. (3) It is interesting to note that the Christian people are often berated by non-believers for believing what the Bible teaches us about the end times. Yet the scientific community routinely declares that the days of human existence are numbered. Why are these scientists so afraid?
Perhaps one of the reasons scientists are so concerned about the fate of the world is the rapid decline of the honey bee population. The mysterious phenomenon, which is known as Colony Collapse Disorder, has resulted in a massive die-off that affects millions upon millions of bees. The die-off has been so significant that the United States Department of Agriculture, or USDA, wrote in a recent report, "Currently, the survivorship of honey bee colonies is too low for us to be confident in our ability to meet the pollination demands of U.S. agricultural crops." The astonishing rate at which honey bees are dying in the United States has been as high as 30 percent annually in recent years. As a consequence, the number of colonies has decreased from 6 million in 1947 to just 2.5 million in this present day. The demise of the honey bee has a direct impact on over one-hundred unique crops. (4)
Even as scientists scramble for a solution to the honeybee crisis, researchers are working like mad to develop new robotic bees, which would likely be used to pollinate crops in the stead of honey bees. An article published by CBS News in May 2013 reports that researchers at Harvard University have made a breakthrough in the development of their miniature robot, which has been dubbed the "RoboBee." The robot, which is half the size of a paperclip and weighs less than one tenth of a gram, has been tested extensively and is designed to function remarkably similar to real bees. "This is what I have been trying to do for literally the last 12 years. It's really only because of this lab's recent breakthroughs in manufacturing, materials, and design that we have even been able to try this. And it just worked spectacularly well," declared Robert J. Wood of the National Science Foundation. (5)
Because of the incredible "increase in knowledge" in this present time, it is now possibly for scientists to do astounding things. According to recent reports, a facility located in New Jersey and known as the Institute for Reproductive Medicine and Science of St. Barnabas, is now producing genetically modified human infants. It was revealed that thirty babies, which each carry the genes of three parents, have been born over the last several years. The program was designed to help women who suffer from infertility; however, the ethics of such treatments have been called into question by experts in the medical profession. "Regarding the treatment of the infertile, there is no evidence that this technique is worth doing… I am very surprised that it was even carried out at this stage. It would certainly not be allowed in Britain," stated Lord Winston of the Hammersmith Hospital in West London. (6) John Smeaton, National Director of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, also voiced his displeasure of this new medical technique. "One has tremendous sympathy for couples who suffer infertility problems. But this seems to be a further illustration of the fact that the whole process of in vitero fertilization as a means of conceiving babies leads to babies being regarded as objects on a production line. It is a further and very worrying step down the wrong road for humanity," Smeaton said. (7) Jacques Cohen, who is the lead scientist on the project, claims that the procedure he helped developed could also be used to perform human cloning. Regarding the subject of cloning, Cohen was quoted as saying, "It would be an afternoon's work for one of my students." (8)
Those involved with the scientific community seem to grasp and understand that there are many threats facing the world today. Unfortunately, many scientists do not have faith in God, and because of this reality, they are often driven by fear. They speak of issues such as climate change, global warming, and technology gone awry in a seemingly endless profusion of warnings to the population of the earth. As Christians, we understand that our only hope is in the salvation we receive from our Lord Jesus Christ. Although this present world will not last forever, we are assured in the Holy Scriptures that there will be a second coming of Jesus Christ. For as it says in Acts 1:11, "This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." I urge every reader of this newsletter to fully dedicate your lives to God and give your hearts to Him. Our existence in this world is only temporary, but the good things of God are eternal.
Tyranny Lurking Around The Corner!
Since the first election of Barack Obama to the office of President of the United States in 2008, the American government has continued to expand its powers. Far-reaching and invasive policies have been enacted while a continuous stream of unjust laws flows from the White House. Predictably, a great deal of animosity has formed between Obama and his conservative opponents. In fact, a recent survey, performed by a group known as Public Policy Polling, found that one in four respondents believed that Obama could be the antichrist. (9) One of Obama's biggest critics is none other than Dr. Benjamin Carson, who is the director of pediatric neurosurgery at John Hopkins Hospital. Dr. Carson was the subject of much attention after he famously criticized Obama's Affordable Care Act at the National Prayer Breakfast in February 2013. Since that time, the well-respected doctor has become more vocal with his criticisms of the current American President. "Let's say somebody were [in the White House] and they wanted to destroy the nation. I would create division among the people, encourage a culture of ridicule for basic morality and the principles that made and sustained this country, undermine the financial stability of the nation, and weaken and destroy the military. It appears, coincidentally, that those are the very things that are happening right now," Carson declared. (10) Obama has always been quick to dismiss the concerns of his critics, and during a spring commencement speech at the University of Ohio, he urged the young people in attendance to dismiss the voices that oppose him and his intrusive expansion of the government. "Unfortunately, you've grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that's at the root of all our problems; some of these same voices also doing their best to gum up the works. They'll warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices," Obama declared. (11)
Although Barack Obama seems eager to paint any individual who believes that the United States is progressing towards tyranny as a foolish critical voice, the past actions of the current president indicate that the government has been tightening the proverbial noose around the necks of the American people for quite some time. For example, Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act into law on December 31, 2011, which contains language allowing for the indefinite detention of American citizens. This law is so egregious that even the liberal left-leaning organization known as American Civil Liberties Union, or ACLU, was heavily critical of its passing. "The statute is particularly dangerous because it has no temporal or geographic limitations, and can be used by this and future presidents to militarily detain people captured far from any battlefield," said Anthony D. Romero, the executive director at the ACLU. (12)
Obama has also shown a propensity to use unmanned aircraft, which are commonly known as drones, to efficiently kill thousands of people. In fact, it is estimated that drones were used to kill at least four thousand individuals in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. Of those killed by drones, at least a thousand of them were civilians, and at least three of the victims were American citizens. (13) The drone strikes are often carried in secret insomuch that even members of Congress are unaware of what is happening. "The United States has gone far beyond what the U.S. public - and perhaps even Congress - understands the government has been doing and claiming they have a legal right to do," said Mary Ellen O'Connell, a professor at Notre Dame Law School. (14) The ACLU is also critical of this secret drone program which has killed so many. "The public has a right to know the circumstances in which the U.S. government believes it can kill people, including American citizens, who are far from any battlefield and have never been charged with a crime. The targeted killing program raises serious questions about government power in a constitutional democracy," said Hina Shamsu of the ACLU. (15)
Another outrageous piece of legislation was signed into law on March 26, 2013, by Barack Obama. Carefully hidden within a 587 page spending bill, known as HR-933, is a provision that allows companies who produce genetically modified seeds to continue distribution of their product even if the safety of its usage is called into question. This new provision has raised the ire of Senator Jon Tester, a Democrat from the state of Montana. "The United States Congress is telling the Agricultural Department that even if a court tells you that you've failed to follow the right process and tells you to start over, you must disregard the court's ruling and allow the crop to be planted anyway. Not only does this ignore the constitutional idea of separation of powers, but it also lets genetically modified crops take hold across this country, even when a judge finds it violates the law," Senator Tester declared. (16) When I consider the manner in which the American people are being fed genetically modified food, often without their knowledge or consent, I cannot help but think of Amos 8:5-6 which reads, "Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? And the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit? That we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes; yea, and sell the refuse of the wheat?" The phrase "refuse of the wheat" refers to food of little or no nutritional value, which under normal circumstances would be discarded. It seems like a fitting description of genetically modified food, which often consists of corn and wheat.
Recent news reports indicate that a widespread abuse of power has been prevalent within the Internal Revenue Service, or IRS, which is the government agency responsible for collecting federal taxes from the American people. It was in 2009 when Barack Obama seemingly joked about having his opponents audited by the IRS. (17) In light of recent revelations, it has become a distinct possibility that he was not joking. In May 2013 the IRS confessed that it had inappropriately scrutinized non-profit conservative organizations over the last two years. On January 15, 2012, the IRS issued new guidelines for its employees, instructing them to target "political action type organizations involved in limiting/expanding government, educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, [and] social economic reform movement." (18) Here let it be noted that the IRS will be the government agency tasked with the enforcement of the rules which regulate the Affordable Care Act, or the new healthcare system, commonly known as Obamacare. In fact, the IRS will be expected to administer forty-seven new provisions related to the sweeping healthcare reform legislation. (19) Thus, the Internal Revenue Service will become even more powerful than it was before.
Is Big Brother Really Watching You?
For many years, suspicious individuals have declared that the United States government has the ability to watch and track the actions of every American citizen. Are these people simply paranoid or are there legitimate reasons for concern regarding privacy in modern day America? A heavily fortified secret facility, located about twenty-five miles south of Salt Lake City, Utah, will soon be operational and in use by the National Security Agency, or NSA. Reports indicate that this facility has the capability to store five zettabytes of data, which is an almost incomprehensible amount of information. Former employees of the NSA have expressed concern over the existence of this new facility. "[It] raises the most serious questions about the vast amount of data that could be kept in one place for many, many different sources," said Thomas Drake, who worked for the NSA from 2001 to 2008. Drake further went on to say, "It's in secret so you don't really know. It's benign, right… and if I haven't done anything wrong it doesn't matter. The only way you can have perfect security is have a perfect surveillance state. That's George Orwell. That's 1984. That's what that would look like." (20) Another former employee of the NSA by the name of Bill Binney elaborated on why the American people should be concerned about this secret facility. "It's really a turnkey situation, where it could be turned quickly and become a totalitarian state pretty quickly. The capacities to do that is being set up. Now it's a question of if we get the wrong person in office, or if certain people set up their network internally in government, they could make that happen quickly," Binney stated. (21)
The capabilities of the government to conduct surveillance are more extensive than most people realize. This became evident when former FBI counterterrorism agent Tim Clemente was interviewed on CNN. Addressing a question regarding whether or not the government would be able to access phone conversations which occurred in the past, Clemente stated the following: "We certainly have ways in national security investigations to find out exactly what was said in that conversation. It's not necessarily something that the FBI is going to want to present in court, but it may help lead the investigation and/or lead to questioning." Clemente further went on to say, "No, welcome to America. All of that stuff is being captured as we speak whether we know it or like it or not." (22) It has also been revealed by Mark Klein, a former engineer at the telecommunications giant AT&T, that his former company has given the NSA access to all communications transmitted by AT&T's customers. "The NSA set up a system that vacuumed up Internet and phone-call data from ordinary Americans with the cooperation of AT&T," Klein declared. He further went on to say, "Contrary to the government's depiction of its surveillance program as aimed at overseas terrorists, much of the data sent through AT&T to the NSA was purely domestic." (23)
Meanwhile, new legislation now before the Senate calls for the creation of a biometric database, which would contain information on most American citizens and would be operated by the Department of Homeland Security. The legislation, which is known as the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, contains a provision which would require every employer to verify the identities of the people they hire by checking their information in the database. David Bier, an analyst from a think tank known as the Competitive Enterprise Institute, has warned that this law, if passed, could further restrict the freedom of the American people. "The most worrying aspect is that this creates a principle of permission basically to do certain activities and it can be used to restrict activities. It's like a national ID system without the card," Bier said. (24)
The Time Of The Falling Away!
In II Thessalonians 2:3 we find the following warning from the Apostle Paul, "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition." There are many indicators that we are now living in that time of the falling away. In fact, a recent survey performed by the Barna Group found that 17 percent of respondents view the Bible in an unfavorable light. This is an increase from 10 percent in just the last two years, and this decline is likely to continue as we move through time. (25) "What the Bible has become attached to is unpopular in society and politics," said Clint Jenkin, vice president of research at the Barna Group. He further went on to say, "Politically conservative Christians have not done themselves a favor by saying 'This is what the Bible says and why we stand against a certain issue.'" (26) Another poll, this time conducted by Rasmussen Reports, found that only 64 percent of respondents claim that they believe Jesus Christ rose from the dead. This is a sharp drop from the results of the same poll conducted last year, which indicated that 77 percent of respondents believe in Christ's resurrection. (27)
Not only are we seeing noticeable decline in those who embrace the Christian faith, but there is also a growing hostility toward the Christian people. This point is highlighted in a news story published by CNN entitled "When Christians Become a Hated Minority." According to the article, much of the hostility aimed at Christians today is the result of an unwillingness to accept the homosexual lifestyle. (28) Sadly, because of this growing animosity, many professing Christians are now too intimidated and frightened to even express their opinion that homosexuality is a sin. "The media will hail someone who comes out of the closet as gay, but someone who simply expresses their personal religious views about homosexual conduct is attacked," said Peter Sprigg, a former pastor who now works for the Family Research Council. (29) Joe Carter, an editor at the Gospel Coalition, also weighed in on the situation. "Faux civility, embarrassment, prudishness and a fear of expressing an unpopular opinion has caused many Christians to refrain from explaining how homosexual conduct destroys lives," wrote Carter in a recent article. He further went on to write, "It's easier to just go along. You don't want to be lumped in with the bigots. That's a powerful word." (30) Professional football player Brendon Ayanbadejo, who calls himself an ally of the homosexual movement, explained in an interview on the CBS television program "Face the Nation" the viewpoint he is hoping Christians will take in the future. "The religious community, we respect religion, and we want people to have their religion and also not change religions, but we want people to be accepting of everybody," Ayanbadejo declared. (31)
In these days of growing animosity towards Christians, it can be detrimental for people to express their religious beliefs. Such was the case in Phillipsburg, New Jersey, when a substitute teacher was suspended and then ultimately fired after he gave a Bible to a student who expressed an interest in having one. Speaking of the incident, a friend of the teacher was quoted as saying, "Just because this guy gave a student a pocket New Testament on his lunch hour - that's enough to throw you out of school. They have said tonight, 'God, we don't want you in this school.'" (32)
The Emergence Of Deadly Diseases!
It seems that each month we hear of new outbreaks of deadly diseases around the world. An inquisitive mind might wonder from where such diseases come. According to recent news reports, viruses are sometimes developed in laboratories. In an article published on May 2, 2013, it was revealed that researchers in China have been developing new strains of the flu virus. This development has raised the ire of Lord May, a former government chief scientist in the United Kingdom. "They claim they are doing this to help develop vaccines and such like. In fact the real reason is that they are driven by blind ambition with no common sense whatsoever. The record of containment in labs like this is not reassuring. They are taking it upon themselves to create human-to-human transmission of very dangerous viruses. It's appallingly irresponsible," Lord May declared. (33) As of this writing, the nation of China is battling a new strain of bird flu, known as H7N9, which has claimed the lives of at least thirty-five individuals since March 2013. (34)
Meanwhile, a new strain of coronavirus similar to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS, has been spreading in Saudi Arabia. At least thirty-four people have been infected with the virus with eighteen of them losing their lives. (35) The SARS-like virus has also made an appearance in France, (36) which has prompted global health officials to warn that this new strain of virus, along with the bird flu virus in China, could spark global outbreaks if they are not contained. (37) These new strains of viruses and diseases are yet another reason we must continue to watch and pray in these distressing days.
In closing, I know we are living in a time of heavy spiritual pressure. The news headlines tend to present far more bad news than good news in this day and age, and it can have an exhausting effect on the children of God. I encourage each and every one of you to take your burdens to the Lord and put your faith and trust in Him. For as it says in I Peter 5:6-10, "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you."
Thank you to all who so generously support this ministry. We appreciate this opportunity to serve you and will strive to work as hard as we can to keep you apprised of the current happenings of our time. If you have any prayer requests, small or great, please do not hesitate to send them our way. Each prayer request is always given individual attention, and we know for a certainty that God hears our prayers. Grace and peace be unto you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.