Volume XXXIII Issue VIII August 2014
Last Trumpet Ministries, PO Box 806, Beaver Dam, WI 53916
Phone: 920-887-2626 Internet: http://www.lasttrumpetministries.org
Pride And Tragedy In This Modern Age!
“Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good.”Ezekiel 16:49-50
“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
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”I John 2:15-17
“The show 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
In this issue of the Last Trumpet Newsletter, we will examine recent events which demonstrate the sinful nature of today’s modern society, and witness evidence that Satan is still wreaking havoc in our world while he is “walking to and fro in the earth, and up and down in it.” When we consider the current events of our day, we must do so with an understanding that this world is not going to become a better place as time continues on. Indeed, the Scriptures warn us in II Timothy 3:13, “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.” As I study the news, I sometimes find myself feeling amazed by how much this world has changed within the short time period of my existence. Yet, what we have witnessed in recent decades is a monumental change in the attitudes of the people at large, wherein men and women are now embracing the homosexual lifestyle, abortion is common and accepted, and an increasing segment of the American population is now expressing support for socialism.
These changes are most pronounced within the group of American people aged between 18 and 29 years, which is commonly known as the Millennial Generation. In fact, according to the results of a recent study wherein 2,400 Millennials were surveyed, 62 percent of respondents declared themselves to be liberal. Additionally, 42 percent of survey takers were found to support socialism, despite the fact that many respondents could not accurately define the word “socialism.” (1) In essence, the younger generations of today have been trained and conditioned to accept a socialistic government system, despite the fact that they may not even fully understand what it is they are supporting.
When we consider the point of view that is now common amongst young Americans, it can start to seem as if our nation’s future generations will be doomed. Yet, I am thankful to know that we have hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Scriptures have shown us time and time again that there is always a remnant who are saved. I urge every reader of this newsletter to seek the Lord. If you have not yet fully given your heart to God, I urge you to do so now.
The Sinful Nature Of Pride!
Throughout the Holy Scriptures, we find many verses which speak of pride. Pride is not presented as a positive thing in God’s Word; in fact, a careful study of the Bible will reveal that the opposite is true. For example, in Proverbs 16:5 we find the following warning: “Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.” In like manner, James 4:6 tells us, “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” Bearing in mind these Scriptures, it is interesting to note that the word “pride” is strongly associated with homosexuality in our day. It is also worthwhile to note that Ezekiel 16:49 proclaims that pride was one of the sins which were prevalent in Sodom.
On May 30, 2014, Barack Obama, as he has done in previous years, once again declared that the month of June would be “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month.” In an official presidential proclamation posted on the White House website, Obama declared the following: “As progress spreads from state to state, as justice is delivered in the courtroom, and as more of our fellow Americans are treated with dignity and respect – our nation becomes not only more accepting, but more equal as well. During Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month, we celebrate victories that have affirmed freedom and fairness, and we recommit ourselves to completing the work that remains.” After outlining the recent victories in the United States for the homosexual movement and expressing his goals for the future, Obama closed his statement by declaring, “Now therefore, I Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2014 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. I call upon the people of the United States to eliminate prejudice everywhere it exists, and to celebrate the great diversity of the American people.” (2)
Throughout the month of June 2014, members of the homosexual community were out in full-force proudly displaying their perverse lifestyle in gay pride parades around the world. One such parade occurred on June 13, 2014, in Tel Aviv, Israel. According to a report by the Associated Press, Tel Aviv has become well-known as a gay-friendly world destination, which managed to attract over 100,000 individuals to its event. (3) It was the largest gay pride parade in the Middle East, a region of the world that is generally known to shun homosexuality. A similar event also took place in Istanbul, Turkey, and was reportedly attended by tens of thousands of people. (4)
On Sunday, June 29, 2014, numerous gay pride parades were held throughout the United States and North America. One of the largest and most notable events occurred in San Francisco, California, a city which is well-known for its large homosexual population. Approximately 1.7 million people attended the event, which is a new record for the annual gathering. Regarding the parade, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee was quoted as saying, “I can’t be more proud than this time right now because the city of San Francisco is shining on its great diversity.” (5) As usual, politicians were on hand to show their support for the event, including Minority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi. Numerous corporations were also delighted to show their support for the homosexual lifestyle, as representatives from Facebook, Google, Kaiser Permanente, Whole Foods, and computer maker Apple Inc. each had a large presence at the parade. (6) In fact, approximately 5000 employees from Apple were in attendance, (7) clad in white t-shirts which featured the Apple logo and emblazoned with the word “Pride.” (8) This group included the CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, a man who is known to be a homosexual. (9) Fast food chain Burger King also demonstrated its support for homosexuality at one of its locations in San Francisco, which served “The Proud Whopper” to customers on June 29. The sandwich, which was wrapped in rainbow colored paper, featured the words “We are all the same inside” on the inside of the wrapper. (10) Speaking of the decision to serve this gay-themed sandwich, senior vice president of global branding at Burger King was quoted as saying, “We felt that the [Proud Whopper] could bring to life a message of equality, self-expression, authenticity and just being who you are.” (11)
Meanwhile, in Chicago, Illinois, another massive gay pride parade was held which was attended by close to one million people. Attendees were beaming with pride as they declared their joy over the fact that same-sex marriage is now legal in the state of Illinois. “I think there is definitely like an even more sense of pride now knowing that in Illinois you can legally get married now,” stated Charlie Gurion, who is a partner of the first same-sex couple to be married within the state. (12) The event even featured a blasphemous imitator of Jesus Christ who wore a white robe and held up signs in support of the homosexual lifestyle. (13)
Other major gay pride parades occurred in New York City, New York; (14) Seattle, Washington; (15) and Cleveland, Ohio, which reportedly saw a record turnout for their 2014 parade. (16) The event in Cleveland featured a well-known politician from the area by the name of George Forbes. Speaking to the crowd after the parade had ended, Forbes claims he recently had a dream in which he stood outside the gates of heaven and rang the bell. “The Lord came to the gates and said, ‘What did you do on earth to get into heaven,’” said Forbes as he retold the dream. He then went on to say, “I told him I was a lawyer, and the Lord said that won’t do it. So I said I was president of Cleveland City Council. The Lord said, ‘Oh, don’t give me that political crap.’ So I said I was grand marshal in a gay pride parade, and the Lord said, ‘Come on in!’” (17)
These are truly strange days wherein even some who profess to be Christians are now supporting homosexuality. In fact, the leaders of the Presbyterian denomination approved a measure in June 2014 which will allow Presbyterian ministers to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies. The decision, which was passed by a vote of 429 in favor and 175 opposed, was lauded by a minister known as Randy Bush. “This is a glorious day for the church and for LGBT people who have been seeking full inclusion here for decades,” Bush stated. (18) Another professing Christian minister who now supports the homosexual lifestyle is a man by the name of Danny Cortez of the New Heart Community Church in La Mirada, California. Despite belonging to the Southern Baptist denomination, which does not accept homosexuality, Cortez decided to break with his denomination on the issue after his 15 year-old son declared himself to be gay. Barack Obama was so impressed by this minister’s decision to reject Biblical values that the minister was invited to attend a reception held on June 30, 2014, in honor of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Month in Washington, D.C. Speaking at the event, Obama was quoted as saying, “A lot has happened in the year since we last gathered here together. Same-sex marriage has gone into effect in 10 more states, which means that 43 percent of Americans now live in states where you’re free to marry who you love. The NFL drafted its first openly gay player. Harvey Milk got a stamp. Laverne Cox was on the cover of Time. Coca-Cola and Honeymaid were unafraid to sell their products in commercials showing same-sex parents and their children.” (19) Yes, it is now quite evident that the sinful nature of gay pride is now more prominent in the United States than ever before.
A Tragedy In Ukraine!
In recent months the nation of Ukraine, which borders Russia, has become a hotbed of unrest as pro-Russian rebels battle against the Ukrainian government. Although the fighters who are operating in Ukraine are not officially Russian soldiers, it is generally believed that they are working at the behest of the Russian government in an effort to destabilize the present Ukrainian government which Russia considers to be illegitimate. In an attempt to prevent Russia from achieving its goals in Ukraine, world leaders such as American President Barack Obama have enacted sanctions against Russia while pressing other countries to do the same. However, such maneuvers have done little to compel Russia to give in to the demands of Obama. Speaking of a new round of sanctions that were enacted by the United States in July 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin was quoted as saying, “We consider the new round of American sanctions against Russia as a primitive attempt to take vengeance for the fact that events in Ukraine are not playing out to the tune of the script in Washington.” (20)
Against the backdrop of the widespread unrest in Ukraine, a horrendous tragedy occurred on July 17, 2014. On this day, Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17, which was flying from Amsterdam, Netherlands, to Kuala Lumpar, Malaysia, was shot down by missiles as it flew over Ukraine, and nearly 300 people who were aboard the plane lost their lives. (21) Almost immediately, it was determined by the United States government that the pro-Russian rebel fighters in Ukraine were responsible for the missile launch, and that the Russian government was indirectly responsible for what had happened. (22) “Our assessment is that Malaysia Airlines Flight 17… was likely downed by an SA-11 missile, operated from a separatist-held location in eastern Ukraine,” declared Samantha Power, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. (23) Predictably, Ukrainian Prime Minister Aseniy Yatsenyuk quickly expressed his outrage over the event. “All red lines have been already crossed… We ask our international partners to call an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting and to [do] everything we can to stop this war: a war against Ukraine, a war against Europe, and after these terrorists shot down a Malaysian aircraft, this is a war against the world.” He further went on to say, “Everyone is to be accountable and responsible. I mean everyone who supports these terrorists, including Russians and the Russian regime.” (24) Barack Obama’s initial reaction to the event was far more subdued than other world leaders. At the opening of a speech held in Delaware on July 17, 2014, Obama spoke of the tragic event in Ukraine for about 40 seconds, and reportedly told the audience, “It looks like it may be a terrible tragedy.” Shortly thereafter, Obama began telling jokes as he gave a previously prepared speech which had been planned for the day. (25) His words were underwhelming, to say the least.
In the aftermath of the tragedy, most of the world has blamed pro-Russian fighters and the Russian government for the missile attack. As one might expect, however, the Russian government has placed the blame squarely on the Ukrainians. “Russian air space control systems detected a Ukrainian Air Force plane, presumably an SU-25 (fighter jet), scrambling in the direction of the Malaysian Boeing… The distance of the SU-25 plane from the Boeing was from 3 to 5 kilometers (2 to 3 miles),” stated Air Force Lieutenant-General Igor Makushev. He further went on to say, “Earlier Ukrainian officials said that on the day of the Boeing 777 crash there were no military aircraft in the region – as you can see this does not appear to be true.” Another Russian military officer, Lieutenant-General Andrei Kartopolov has asked the United States government to produce evidence that rebels were responsible for the attack. “We also have some questions for our U.S. partners. According to the U.S. declarations, they have satellite images that confirm the missile was launched by the rebels. But nobody has seen these images. If the American side has pictures from this satellite, then they should show the international community,” Kartopolov said. (26)
There are many unanswered questions regarding the crash of Malaysian Airlines Flight M17. It is a rather odd fact that the pilot of the flight diverted from the original flight plan. In fact, when Flight M17 was shot down, the plane was about 300 miles away from the flight path which is normally used for its route. (27) Although it may never be possible to fully ascertain who is responsible for this tragedy, we know that God knows and appropriate judgment will be meted out.
Tragic Happenings In The Middle East!
Although the Middle East always seems to be in a perpetual state of conflict, fighting in the region has been particularly brutal in recent weeks. This is especially true of an ongoing clash between the Israeli state and the inhabitants of the Palestinian Gaza Strip. On July 17, 2014, Israel launched a ground attack against the Palestinians, reportedly in response to a multitude of rockets that had been launched into Israeli territory in the days leading up to the offensive. A statement issued by the Israel Defense Forces, or IDF, offered this explanation for their maneuvers in Gaza, “The IDF’s objective as defined by the Israeli government is to establish a reality in which Israeli residents can live in safety and security without continuous indiscriminate terror, while striking a significant blow to Hamas’ terror infrastructure.” (28) Sadly, this present conflict between Israel and the Palestinians has already resulted in a tragic and significant loss of life. As of this writing, 583 Palestinians have lost their lives, including at least 120 children, while 3,600 more have been wounded. On the Israeli side, 27 soldiers and 2 civilians have been killed. (29)
As a result of the intensifying conflict, the Department of State in the United States has issued a warning advising Americans not to travel to Israel at this time. “The US Department of State warns US citizens of the risks of traveling to Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza due to ongoing hostilities,” the government agency said in a statement. The State Department later issued another warning which stated the following: “Travelers should avoid areas of Israel in the vicinity of the Gaza Strip due to the real risks presented by small arms fire, anti-tank weapons, rockets, and mortars, as attacks from Gaza can come with little or no warning.” (30) As a highlight of how volatile the situation has become, on July 22, 2014, a Delta Airlines flight which originated in New York City and was bound for Tel Aviv, Israel, was forced to divert its flight to Paris, France, after a rocket exploded near the airport in Tel Aviv. (31) Later that same day, the Federal Aviation Administration, or FAA, issued a temporary ban on American flights flying to and from the airport in Tel Aviv. (32)
Meanwhile in Iraq, a militant Islamic group, which has been known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), or simply as the Islamic State (IS), has continued to tighten its grip on numerous Iraqi cities. As they gain more control, Islamic State operatives have ordered any Christians who remain in the area to either leave or pay an Islamic tribute known as a “jizya.” Those who fail to comply with these demands will be killed. Consequently, many Christians have been forced to leave the city of Mosul, and they are often robbed by Islamic militants as they attempt to flee. One eyewitness described what it was like for many Christians who were attempting to flee to safety. “They were stopped by members of Islamic State, who took everything they had. Mobile phones, money, jewelry. When my cousin and friends from three families tried to plead with them, they took their cars.” The man then went on to say, “From one old woman they took $15,000. She asked for just $100 of it so she could reach Dohuk. They told her that these are the funds of the Islamic State, and we cannot give it to you.” (33)
A Crisis At The American Border!
In recent days, controversy has been brewing in the United States over the recent influx of undocumented immigrants crossing over the southern borders of states such as Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico. As of this writing, more than 57,000 illegal immigrants have entered the United States in 2014, and this large number of people is putting an enormous strain on the American immigration system. (34) According to a report by CBS News, the government agency responsible for deporting illegal immigrants is burning through their resources so quickly that they are on pace to exhaust all of their funds by August 2014. (35) Reports also indicate that the stream of illegal immigrants entering into the United States has become so overwhelming that the American government can no longer provide basic medical screening to everyone who has entered the country. It should be noted that many of these illegal immigrants are children who have traveled from Central American countries and are carrying a variety of infectious diseases. The potential health risks of this crisis have sparked concern among those who are close to the situation. “We’ve already had one confirmed case of H1N1 (swine flu) in Texas, and have been informed by our federal partners of two additional cases of type A influenza that are likely to be H1N1, in addition to reports of other illnesses at other detention facilities,” said Texas Governor Rick Perry. (36) In response to the crisis, Governor Perry has announced that he intends to mobilize 1,000 National Guard troops near the Texas border. “I will not stand idly by while our citizens are under assault and little children from Central America are detained in squalor. We are too good of a country,” Perry declared. (37)
Reports have also surfaced which reveal that not everyone who crosses the southern borders into the United States are from Mexico or Central America. In fact, one Texas rancher who lives near the border was surprised to find an Urdu-to-English dictionary had been dropped on his property. Urdu is a language which is primarily spoken in the nations of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Other items, which quite obviously were the belongings of Muslims, have been found near the American borders. “We’ve found Korans, prayer rugs, and many other unusual items at the border that certainly raise concern,” said a Texas Border Patrol agent speaking on the condition of anonymity. (38)
In closing, I know we are living in a very distressing time. The world is changing right before our eyes and not for the better. Homosexuality is now rampant in the United States, there are wars and rumors of wars abounding, and Christians around the world are facing intensifying persecution. Thankfully, we can be at peace despite all that is wrong in this world, for we serve a wondrous Saviour who has promised that he will never leave us nor forsake us. For as Jesus tells us in Matthew 28:20, “… Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
Thank you all for your generous support of this ministry. We at Last Trumpet Ministries are honored to serve you, and we pray that God’s blessings will be upon each and every one of you. Please remember that we are here to pray for you, whether your needs be small or great. We have seen God answer many prayers over the years and we know that He is faithful. I am also excited to announce that our ministry will be holding special services at Truth Tabernacle in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, on August 30 and 31, 2014, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of our church. These services will be open to the public, and if you would like more information you can write to us or phone us using the information found at the top of the first page of this newsletter. Grace and peace be unto you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.