Volume XXXIII Issue II February 2014
Last Trumpet Ministries, PO Box 806, Beaver Dam, WI 53916
Fax: 920-887-2626 Internet: http://www.lasttrumpetministries.org
America - A Nation Under Immoral Leadership!
"The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts. His ways are always grievous; thy judgments are far above out of his sight: as for all his enemies, he puffeth at them. He hath said in his heart, I shall not be moved: for I shall never be in adversity. His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity."Psalm 10:4-7
"Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished."Proverbs 16:5
"But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded."James 4:6-8
"Also in thy skirts is found the blood of the souls of the poor innocents: I have not found it by secret search, but upon all these. Yet thou sayest, Because I am innocent, surely his anger shall turn from me. Behold, I will plead with thee, because thou sayest, I have not sinned."Jeremiah 2:34-35
In this issue of the Last Trumpet Newsletter, we will carefully consider many of today's current events, including a severe lack of ethical leadership in the United States. At this present time, we have a president in this country who thinks very highly of himself. Indeed, his arrogance and pride can be discerned simply by looking at the man, and his troubling actions make it very clear that he has done and will continue to do much damage to the United States of America.
Since his election to the highest office in the land in 2008, Barack Obama's presidency has been rife with controversy. This trend has continued even to this day, and it shows no signs of slowing down in this young year of 2014. In fact, Obama made headlines in January 2014 when he warned Congress that he would act without them through the use of executive actions if they are unwilling to go along with his agenda. "We're not just going to be waiting for legislation in order to make sure that we're providing Americans the kind of help they need. I've got a pen and I've got a phone. And I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions and administrative actions that move the ball forward in helping to make sure our kids are getting the best education possible, making sure that our businesses are getting the kind of support and help they need to grow and advance, to make sure that people are getting the skills that they need to get those jobs that our businesses are creating," Obama declared. (1) Obama expressed a similar sentiment at a speech in North Carolina on January 15, 2014. "When I can act on my own without Congress, I'm going to do so," Obama stated. (2) When questioned about Obama's position regarding executive actions, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney defended the President in a statement as follows: "He [Obama] will not limit himself and certainly doesn't think the American people would want him to limit himself just to what he could do legislatively through Congress. As president, there is a lot more he can do and he has demonstrated that throughout his term in office. He will continue to do that with renewed vigor this year because there is much to be done and there is great opportunity to get it done using every means available to him." (3)
Although Obama purports to take actions that are in the best interest of the American people, we must remember that his idea of helpful programs include Common Core Education and the Affordable Care Act. Yet, we know that the Affordable Care Act, which is sometimes referred to as Obamacare, has made life much harder for many Americans. After a shaky rollout for the program's official website and the revelation that millions of Americans will lose their current health insurance even after Obama promised they would not, it has now come to light that enrollment in Obamacare has fallen far short of the Administration's expectations. Speaking of this development, Dr. John Goodman, president of the National Center for Policy Analysis, or NCPA, was quoted as saying, "I think there is a significant problem here. I think the insurers are worried. I think the administration is worried. Remember, everybody is facing the wrong price. And sick people are facing a price that's well below the cost of their care. Young healthy people are being overcharged. And so they need lots of young healthy people to join so they can get the money to pay the bills for the sick people. And the younger people just aren't buying it." (4) To make matters worse, it was revealed by hacking expert David Kennedy that the official website of the Affordable Care Act, healthcare.gov, is far from secure. In fact, Kennedy claims to have been able to access 70,000 personal records on this website within four minutes. "You can literally just open up your browser, go to this, and extract all this information without actually having to hack the website itself," Kennedy said. Mr. Kennedy further went on to say, "It's not just myself that's saying this website is insecure, it's also seven other independent security researchers that also looked at the research I've done and came to the exact same conclusion." (5) In light of these facts, it is no surprise that the contractor responsible for creating the original Obamacare website was fired in January 2014. (6)
Despite his many failures nothing seems to dampen the arrogance of Barack Obama. Speaking of his low approval ratings, Obama was quoted by a magazine known as The New Yorker in which he told his interviewer, "There's no doubt that there's some folks who just really dislike me because they don't like the idea of a black president. Now, the flip side of it is there are some black folks and maybe some white folks who really like me and give me the benefit of the doubt precisely because I'm a black president." (7) In other words, what Obama is saying is that if any disapproves of his actions as president, it must be because he is a black man. However, it is not the color of the man's skin which is important, but the condition of his heart. It is also worth noting that some prominent black men have been known to be highly critical of Obama's performance as president. This includes Dr. Benjamin Carson, who was formerly the director of pediatric neurosurgery at John Hopkins Hospital. In October 2013, Carson was quoted as saying, "You know, Obamacare is really I think the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery. And it is in a way, it is slavery in a way, because it is making all of us subservient to the government and it was never about healthcare. It was about control." (8) Another black man who has been highly critical of Obama's job performance is none other than liberal political commentator Tavis Smiley. According to Smiley, Obama has done little to improve the lives of black people living in America today and claims that they are worse off now than they were before Obama began his presidency. "The data is going to indicate sadly that when the Obama Administration is over, black people will have lost ground in every single leading economic indicator category. On that regard, the president ought to be held responsible," Smiley said. (9)
It is also a well-known fact that Barack Obama has little regard for human life. Not only is he a strong proponent of abortion, but he has also authorized 326 drone strikes in foreign countries over the course of his presidency. (10) As if that was not bad enough, a book published last year and written by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, known as "Double Down: Game Change in 2012," alleges that Obama was once overheard telling his aides that he is "really good at killing people." (11) As I studied the Scriptures in anticipation of this newsletter, I came across a passage in the book of Psalms which greatly reminded me of Barack Obama. In Psalm 10:4-7 we read, "The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts. His ways are always grievous; thy judgments are far above out of his sight: as for all his enemies, he puffeth at them. He hath said in his heart, I shall not be moved: for I shall never be in adversity. His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity."
After all the damage Obama has done, many Americans are eagerly awaiting the expiration of Obama's second term as president. However, it is a very real possibility that Obama's successor could be someone even worse. In fact, a cover story for an issue of Time Magazine, published in January 2014, asks the question, "Can Anyone Stop Hillary?" (12) In the article, it is revealed that some Americans are so excited about the possibility of Hillary Clinton becoming the next president that they have already donated more than four million dollars to a group known as "Ready for Hillary" despite the fact that the former first lady has not even announced yet if she intends to run for the highest office in the land. (13)
The Lasting Effect Of The Great Recession!
It seems remarkable to still be talking about the "Great Recession" at this juncture in time. However, a flood of news reports have come across my desk indicating that the United States is still suffering from the lasting effect of the recession. This fact is so obvious that even Barack Obama has admitted that the recovery is not as robust as it should be. "Overall, the message to my Cabinet, and that will be amplified in our State of the Union, is that we need all hands on deck to build on the recovery that we're already seeing. The economy is improving, but it can be improving even faster," Obama stated during a January 2014 speech. (14) Sadly, this "recovery" that Obama speaks of is practically invisible for many Americans, a fact that was recently highlighted in a January 2014 article published by the Wall Street Journal. Citing data from the National Association of Counties, the article makes the claim that about one half of all counties in the United States still have not recovered from the recession. Emilia Istrate, who is Director of Research at the above referenced association, was quoted as saying, "This shows us that although the U.S. economy as a whole is on the right track, we have a fragile recovery, and at the same time it's an uneven recovery." (15) This sentiment was echoed by outgoing Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke who declared, "The recovery clearly remains incomplete. Excessively tight near-term fiscal policies have likely been counterproductive." (16)
At this present time, unemployment in the United States remains high, and the recently released jobs report for the month of December 2013 indicates that the situation is worse off than many economists expected. According to the report, only 74,000 jobs were added to the economy in December instead of the anticipated 193,000 jobs. (17) Meanwhile, it also came to light that the current labor market participation rate for American adults is only 68.2 percent. (18) In other words, 31.8 percent of all working age adults in the United States do not have a job at this time. While it is true that some of the Americans included in that number are unemployed by choice, it seems highly unlikely that the officially published unemployment rate is accurate. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment in the United States stands at 6.7 percent as of January 2014. (19) We must remember that the official unemployment rate does not include men and women who would like to have a job but have given up on looking for one. Speaking of the disappointing jobs report, Republican Senator Jeff Sessions from the state of Alabama was quoted as saying, "Today's jobs report underscores a deeper problem facing the economy: a large and growing block of people who are chronically jobless and completely outside the workforce. In December, the economy added only 74,000 jobs - not nearly enough to keep up with population growth - and 347,000 left the workforce. That means for every one job added, nearly 5 people left the workforce entirely. There are now nearly 92 million Americans outside the workforce, resulting in the lowest participation rate in thirty-six years." (20)
As the American people continue to trudge through Obama's weak economic recovery, there are still many people who are desperate to find a decent paying job. In fact, approximately 1,500 people recently lined up on a cold January morning for an opportunity to apply for a job in Queens, New York. The crowd wrapped around an entire city block as applicants waited, some for days, in the hopes of being hired as painters or blasters who would work on bridges and steel structures. (21)
In yet another indicator of the poor economic conditions in the United States, some of the most iconic American department stores are under considerable financial duress. In December 2013 it was announced that the famous chain of retailers known as Sears has seen a decline in sales for twenty-seven straight quarters. (22) For the quarter ending in February 2014, it is estimated that the company will lose between 250 and 360 million dollars. (23) Meanwhile, department store chain J.C. Penney has announced plans to shutter 33 of its American stores and eliminate 2,000 jobs. (24) The chain of department stores known as Macy's has also announced plans to eliminate 2,500 jobs and close five stores. (25)
When we consider the current condition of the United States, it seems there are two possible explanations for why the economy has improved so little since Obama took office. It is either a consequence of inept leadership or the result of backhanded intentional sabotage. In either case, this country has suffered greatly under the reign of Obama, and it serves as further evidence that we cannot look to men to save us, but rather we need to put our hope and trust in God. For as it tells us in Psalm 34:6-8, "This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him." If you have not yet fully given your life to God, I urge you to do so now.
The Ever-Expanding Police State!
In recent months, news reports have continued to surface indicating that the scope of surveillance by the National Security Agency, or NSA, is far more expansive than most people had previously realized. Although many people have long held a suspicion that the government agency was encroaching upon American privacy, the breadth of their capabilities really only began to come to light in 2013. Since that time we have learned some remarkable things regarding the ever-expanding police state in America.
According to a report published by the New York Times in September 2013, the NSA is using its enormous collection of personal data to build detailed graphs of the social connections of many American citizens. This endeavor, which began in November 2010, allows the government agency to use phone records and email logs to identify people's friends, the places they go, religious views, political affiliations, and a plethora of other information. (26) This information is usually referred to by the NSA as "metadata," which is a rather ambiguous term that is generally understood to mean "data about data." Orin S. Kerr, a law professor at George Washington University offered this explanation for how the information can be used. "Metadata can be very revealing. Knowing things like the number someone just dialed or the location of the person's cellphones is going to allow them to assemble a picture of what someone is up to. It's the digital equivalent of tailing a suspect," Kerr said. (27) The scope of this surveillance is rather mind boggling. In fact, recent news reports indicate that the NSA is actively gathering five billion records a day which reveal the whereabouts of user's cellphones around the world. (28) Additionally, it has been revealed that the NSA collects and stores 200 million text messages sent through mobile phones each and every day. (29)
Amazingly enough, the NSA has implanted secret software in over 100,000 computers around the world. This software allows the agency to conduct surveillance on its subjects and also use the computers to launch cyber-attacks against its opponents. In some cases, they are even able to infiltrate computers with no network connection to the Internet. This is done by attaching a small hidden device to computers which then transmits information through a secret radio channel. (30) The NSA insists that this technique has not been used on American citizens, although it seems doubtful that they would tell us if it had been. (31)
Facing mounting backlash regarding the NSA's covert surveillance activities, Obama attempted to placate the people by announcing reforms to the program in January 2014. "Americans recognized that we had to adapt to a world in which a bomb could be built in a basement and our electric grid could be shut down by operators an ocean away. And yet in our rush to respond to very real and novel threats, the risks of government overreach - the possibility that we lose some of our core liberties in pursuit of security - became more pronounced. The reforms I'm proposing today should give the American people greater confidence that their rights are being protected, even as our intelligence and law-enforcement agencies maintain the tools they need to keep us safe," Obama said. (32) Unfortunately, Obama's proposed reforms will do very little to curtail the surveillance activity of the NSA. Furthermore, he went on to defend surveillance by government agencies as something necessary to keep American citizens safe. "We cannot prevent terrorist attacks or cyberthreats without some capability to penetrate digital communications," Obama declared. (33)
Of course, we know that it is not only the NSA who has advanced surveillance capabilities, but also other government agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or FBI. In December 2013, it was revealed that the FBI has the capability to remotely activate the camera on a computer without the user being aware that it is on. "The FBI has been able to covertly activate a computer's camera - without triggering the light that lets users know it is recording - for several years, and has used that technique mainly in terrorism cases or the most serious criminal investigations," said Marcus Thomas, former assistant director of the Operational Technology Division at the FBI. Thomas further went on to say, "Because of encryption and because targets are increasingly using mobile devices, law enforcement is realizing that more and more they're going to have to be on the device - or in the cloud. There's the realization out there that they're going to have to use these types of tools more and more." (34)
I believe it's safe to say that privacy as we once knew it in the United States has disappeared forever. Each time we use an electronic device such as a laptop or a mobile phone, there's a very real possibility that everything we're doing is being watched and recorded by the government. These technologies as they exist today are likely the fore-runner to the infrastructure that will be required to operate an antichrist one-world government and surveillance state.
The Blood Of The Souls Of The Poor Innocents!
On January 22, 1973, the United States of America was changed forever. On this shameful day, the United States Supreme Court ruled in a case known as Roe vs. Wade that the slaughter of unborn children through abortion would be legal from that point forward. Since that time, over 56 million babies have been murdered, (35) a figure which increases by over one million each and every year. (36) Sadly, the current President of the United States wholeheartedly embraces this barbaric practice. On January 22, 2014, Barack Obama commemorated the 41st anniversary of Roe vs. Wade with the following statement: "Today, as we reflect on the 41st anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, we recommit ourselves to the decision's guiding principle: that every woman should be able to make her own choices about her body and her health. We reaffirm our steadfast commitment to protecting a woman's access to safe, affordable health care and her constitutional right to privacy, including the right to reproductive freedom. And we resolve to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies, support maternal and child health, and continue to build safe and healthy communities for all our children. Because this is a country where everyone deserves the same freedom and opportunities to fulfill their dreams." (37) It is a reproach upon this nation to have a president who equates the slaughter of innocent babies with freedom and the opportunity for Americans to "fulfill their dreams." There are now over 56 million souls who have been brutally ripped from their mothers' wombs and killed. They never had an opportunity to "fulfill their dreams."
Meanwhile, the vulgar comedienne known as Sarah Silverman has managed to sink to a new low in her unabashed support for the murder of innocent babies. In a short video produced by Silverman, actor Michael Weatherly appeared dressed as Jesus Christ and then proceeded to express support for abortion while spouting vulgarities which included the F word. "Fertilized eggs aren't people, people are people," the actor declared at one point during the video. Silverman later states in the video that "using religion to dictate legislation is un-American, but it's happening." (38)
As if all of the above wasn't bad enough, a religious group is planning to hold a seminar on February 12, 2014, in St. Paul, Minnesota, which is designed to teach clergymen how to be more supportive of abortions. The group, which is known as the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, stated the following in their promotional material for the event: "Clergy and faith leaders know that the lives of women and families in our congregations are often complex and challenging, especially around issues of reproductive health and loss. Let MNRCRC (Minnesota Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice) equip you to be present with your people on these tender pastoral care issues." The material later goes on to say, "This new curriculum is designed to help us integrate our reproductive lives into our faith journey." (39) The official public policy document for the group, which is found on their website, further explains their stance on abortion. "We support access to comprehensive sexuality education, family planning and contraception, affordable child care and health care, and adoption services as well as safe, legal, abortion services, regardless of income or any other unique circumstance," the document declares. (40)
When I consider how prevalent abortion has become in this modern age, I cannot help but think of the Scriptures found in Jeremiah 2:34-35 which read, "Also in thy skirts is found the blood of the souls of the poor innocents: I have not found it by secret search, but upon all these. Yet thou sayest, Because I am innocent, surely his anger shall turn from me. Behold, I will plead with thee, because thou sayest, I have not sinned."
Thankfully, there are still people in this country who are willing to stand up and voice their opposition to the brutal practice of abortion. In fact, hundreds of thousands of pro-life advocates attended the annual March for Life demonstration in Washington, D.C., on January 22, 2014. (41) Additionally, seventy new legal provisions, which place restrictions on abortions, were enacted in twenty-two states during the year of 2013. (42)
In closing, I wish to express my appreciation to all who support this ministry. We could not do what we do at Last Trumpet Ministries without your help. It is an honor and a privilege to serve you, and we will continue to do so as long as the Lord allows us. If you have any prayer requests, please know that you are welcome to send them our way. We always give every request individual attention, and we have seen many answers to prayer throughout the years. Grace and peace be unto you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.