Volume XXXIII Issue XI November 2014
Last Trumpet Ministries, PO Box 806, Beaver Dam, WI 53916
Phone: 920-887-2626 Internet: http://www.lasttrumpetministries.org
A State Of Turmoil And Chaos In The World!
“And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.”Luke 21:11
“And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”Matthew 19:4-6
“Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.”Romans 1:24-27
“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.”Psalm 43:5
“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”Romans 15:13
In this issue of the Last Trumpet Newsletter, we will thoughtfully examine the current events of our day which show beyond any shadow of a doubt that our world is engulfed in a prevalent state of turmoil and chaos. At this present time, the Ebola virus has ravaged the African nations of Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea, and now it has found its way inside the United States. In the Middle East, wars and fighting rage on while politicians and the media warn us over and over again that terrorists of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, may have already crossed into the United States by way of our nation’s southern border. There is also a sense that the nation of Russia may have undisclosed ambitions, and no one seems to have any idea what they might try next. In the American state of California, a devastating drought, now in its third consecutive year, continues on with no end in sight.
The troubling condition of our world is so obvious that notable politicians are now taking note of it. At a speech given on October 2, 2014, American Vice President Joe Biden offered the following assessment of our world: “The world has changed,” Biden declared to those in attendance. He then went on to say, “This has led to a number of immediate crises that demand our attention from ISIL (Islamic State) to Ebola to Ukraine – just to name a few that are on our front door – as someone said to me earlier this week, ‘the wolves are closest to the door.’ Each one in its own way is symptomatic of the fundamental changes that are taking place in the world. These changes have also led to larger challenges. The international order that we painstakingly built after World War II and defended over the past several decades is literally fraying at the seams right now.” (1) American President Barack Obama also referenced the troubling state of our world in a speech he gave for the Democratic National Convention on October 7, 2014. “There are times where I think in this country we doubt ourselves, and there are times when we’re uncertain of all the changes that are taking place all across the globe. And understandably, when you see the headlines every single day and you read about ISIS and Ebola and the Russian incursions into Ukraine, there’s a sense possibly that the world is spinning so fast and nobody is able to control it.” (2) Predictably, Obama then sought to reassure his audience by portraying the United States as an unstoppable nation which will overcome and solve all of these problems.
With so many issues of concern prominent in the minds of the American people, the Republican Party has sought to use these woes to their advantage in the hopes of gaining an upper-hand in the 2014 congressional elections. “I think Republicans want people to turn on the television and see that nothing is working,” declared former White House spokesman Robert Gibbs. He then went on to say, “It will be interesting to see if they can convince people that they aren’t part of that dysfunction.” (3) Republican strategist Stuart Stevens accused the Obama Administration of being in denial regarding the condition of our world. “The recurring pattern here is his unwillingness to admit things are bad. It’s sort of like saying the world isn’t what it is, which is not an uncommon thing in the White House,” Stevens said. (4)
In these chaotic times, many people find themselves feeling fearful, afraid, and without hope when they see so many negative news headlines. This has led some people to avoid the news altogether because they would rather not know what is happening. However, there is hope for those who put their faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. If you put your confidence in man and expect mankind to solve all of the problems plaguing our world, you will be disappointed. Thankfully, the future of this planet is not all that we have to look forward to. For as the Apostle Paul wrote in I Corinthians 15:19, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” If reading the news brings you down and you begin to feel that all is hopeless in the world, I urge you to put your hope in God. In Psalm 43:5 we read, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.” If you have not yet fully given your heart to God, I urge you to do so now. In so doing, you will find that you are never again in a situation with no hope.
Ebola Crosses The Ocean!
In recent months, there has been growing concern over the spread of the deadly virus known as Ebola. As of this writing, this pestilence has already caused great devastation in West Africa as health organizations struggle to slow its spread. The situation is particularly bleak in the African nation of Liberia where the medical and economic systems have collapsed. Before the current Ebola outbreak took hold in Liberia, the ill-equipped country only had 50 doctors and one thousand nurses to care for over 4 million people. Since that time, at least 89 health workers have died after being infected with the virus. Speaking of the devastating impact the disease has had on Liberia, Sean Casey of the International Medical Corps, or IMC, was quoted as saying, “We have a lot to worry about. If we have thousands or tens of thousands more deaths, that’s going to have a very destabilizing effect.” He later went on to say, “A lot of hospitals are closed right now because the staff died.” (5) Just how bad is the medical system in Liberia? According to a report published by World Net Daily, a team of investigators from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, went to Liberia in August 2014 and discovered that most counties in the nation had only one hospital. Each of these hospital only have about 100 to 150 beds, and the healthcare workers at these facilities have no disposable gloves to wear, no soap, no bleach, and no hand sanitizers. (6)
As people around the globe watch in horror while the Ebola virus ravages nations such as Liberia, the disease has stealthily entered into the United States. On September 19, 2014, a man boarded a plane in Liberia and arrived in Dallas, Texas, the next day. By September 25, 2014, the man was sickened to the point where he sought medical treatment at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. (7) The man, who was known as Thomas Eric Duncan, told health workers that he had arrived from the nation of Liberia, yet for some unexplained reason, the staff at the hospital sent the man home with antibiotics. (8) On September 28, 2014, the man was admitted to the hospital for care after his condition worsened. (9) Blood tests performed by the CDC later confirmed that Duncan had been stricken with the Ebola virus. (10)
As word spread that Ebola had reached the United States for the first time, government officials sought to reassure the public and alleviate growing concerns that Ebola could potentially become widespread in America. On October 3, 2014, it was reported that between fifty and one hundred individuals were being tracked due to potential exposure to Ebola. Dr. David Lakey, who is the commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, was quick to downplay the situation in his state. “There’s no additional individuals that have any symptoms that would be consistent with Ebola at this time,” Dr. Lakey declared. (11) Lisa Monaco, assistant to the president for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, was also quick to reassure the public. “Every Ebola outbreak over the past forty years has been stopped. We know how to do this, and we will do it again,” Monaco stated. (12)
On October 8, 2014, it was announced that Thomas Eric Duncan succumbed to the Ebola virus and passed on. (13) However, this would not be the last case of Ebola infection in the United States. Despite wearing protective gear and following hospital protocols, it was revealed on October 12, 2014 that a nurse who had provided care for Thomas Duncan had also contracted the Ebola virus. (14) As of this writing, the nurse, who is known as Nina Pham, has been transferred to the National Institute of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, and has been upgraded to good condition. (15) Sadly, another nurse by the name of Amber Vinson also contracted Ebola. Tracking her case has been rather difficult for the government since this nurse flew on Frontier Airlines flights from Dallas, Texas, to Cleveland, Ohio, and then back to Dallas while displaying symptoms of Ebola infection. In response, the CDC and Frontier Airlines have sought to track down as many as 800 people who could have potentially been exposed to the virus. (16) Oddly enough, it was reported that Nurse Vinson contacted the CDC several times before flying, but she still was given the all-clear to board her flight despite her fever because her temperature was only 99.5 degrees as opposed to the 100.4 degrees or higher, which guideline the CDC uses as a threshold to determine those who are at a high risk of infection. (17) This misstep, along with several others, seems to indicate that the government and the healthcare facilities of the United States were not adequately prepared to deal with Ebola infections within our nation’s borders.
Ebola has also made its way into Europe. In October 2014, a nurse by the name of Teresa Romero became the first person in Europe to contract the virus while she cared for a Spanish priest in Madrid, Spain. Thankfully, the nurse has responded well to treatment, and as of October 21, 2014, she has been declared to be cured by health officials. (18)
Although we have not seen a widespread outbreak of Ebola in the United States or Europe at this time, these recent cases demonstrate how pervasive and dangerous the Ebola virus is. If it reached the United States once, it is not a huge leap to think that it could do it again. Regarding the global threat of Ebola, a doctor from the American state of Missouri by the name of Gil Mobley recently issued this warning: “For months, doctors in my community – since we had a meeting six weeks ago – have been convinced that the United States will be importing clusters regularly. Right now, on the continent of West Africa, there are a million people in isolation, in quarantine, because of Ebola, and ten thousand passengers leave West Africa every single day. It’s just a matter of time before this disease is carried to every corner of the world.” (19)
These recent developments have prompted Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal to call for a travel ban which would prevent people from Ebola-stricken nations from entering the United States. “We should stop accepting flights from countries that are Ebola stricken. President Obama said it was ‘unlikely’ that Ebola would reach the U.S. Well, it has and we need to protect our people,” Governor Jindal declared in a statement. (20) In response, CDC Director Tom Frieden made the claim that such travel restrictions would backfire. “Even if we tried to close the border, it wouldn’t work. People have a right to return. People transiting through could come in. And it would backfire, because by isolating these countries, it’ll make it harder to help them, it will spread more there and we’d be more likely to be exposed here,” Director Frieden stated. (21) However, in what appears to be an apparent compromise, Director Frieden announced on October 22, 2014, that all passengers arriving in the United States from Ebola-stricken nations would be monitored for twenty-one days for signs of Ebola infection. (22)
Truly, we are living in a time which fits the description of the earth’s latter days spoken of by Jesus in Luke 21. In fact, Luke 21:11 tells us, “And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.” We know earthquakes are common these days, and there always seems to be famines in certain areas of the world. Fearful sights also occur with regularity, and the spread of Ebola is a perfect example of a pestilence. We must continue to watch and pray in these perilous times.
Islamic Attacks On North America!
In recent months, much has been said about Islamic “extremism.” We know that the current President of the United States often speaks fondly of Islam, and he is always quick to try and differentiate between peaceful Muslims and radical Muslims. Yet, we see the horror stories regarding the Islamic State, which is wreaking havoc in Iraq and Syria, and people cannot help but notice that so many Muslims seem to become “extremists.” Of course, many Muslims will claim that those who espouse extreme views are not legitimate representatives of Islam, and they will further claim that their religion is a religion of peace. The truth is that the so-called holy book of Islam, which is known as the Quran, instructs followers to perpetrate brutality and violence against those who do not share their beliefs. In Quran 8:12 we find the following instructions for the Muslim people, “[Remember] when your Lord inspired to the angels, ‘I am with you, so strengthen those who have believed. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieved, so strike [them] upon their necks and strike from them every fingertip.’” (23) In this verse from the Quran, we clearly see that the Muslim people are instructed to chop off the heads and fingers of those who reject Islam. Thus, the so-called radical Muslims are those who more accurately adhere to the Quran, while the moderate or peaceful Muslims are the ones who to do not fully follow the Quran to the letter. The aforementioned verse found in the Quran stands in stark contrast to the instructions that we receive from Jesus in Matthew 5:44 which tells us, “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.”
Sadly, we have seen examples of Islamic extremism occurring in North America in recent weeks. This includes an attack which took place at a factory in Moore, Oklahoma, known as Vaughan Foods. On September 26, 2014, a man by the name of Alton Nolen became so enraged after being fired from his job that he stormed the facility where he had been employed and beheaded 54-year-old female employee Colleen Huford. The man then attempted to kill another employee before he was shot and wounded by a security guard working at the factory. (24) News reports indicate that the man had recently converted to Islam and was going by the name Jah’Keem Yisrael. (25) Here let it be noted that an official from the Obama Administration traveled to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, in early October 2014 to speak at an Islamic gathering and publicly praised the mosque where Alton Nolen had attended services. “Your service is a powerful example of the shared roots of the Abrahamic faiths and how our communities can come together in shared peace with dignity and a sense of justice,” quoted David Myers, the director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships as he read a letter which had been written by Barack Obama. (26)
Another attack perpetrated by a devout follower of Islam occurred in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, on October 22, 2014. On this day, a cowardly man by the name of Michael Zehaf-Bibeau shot a Canadian soldier who was posted at the National War Memorial in Ottawa. The soldier, who was identified as Corporal Nathan Cirillo, was shot at point blank range and later died from his wound. Zehaf-Bibeau, a man who had recently converted to Islam, then entered the Parliament building and fired an estimated thirty rounds before being shot and killed by Sergeant-at-arms Kevin Vickers. (27)
The Quran promises Muslims who fight against non-Muslims that they will be rewarded in the afterlife. However, those who have died perpetrating such acts of violence soon find out that their eternal destination is a lot hotter than they were expecting.
The Homosexual Movement Grows In The United States!
These are indeed strange days in which we live. There was a time in the not-to-distant past when most Americans understood the Biblical teachings regarding homosexuality, and most people clearly understood that such a lifestyle is unnatural and unacceptable to God. This is no longer the case in the United States of America. In fact, recent court decisions have resulted in same-sex marriage becoming legal in a majority of American states.
In early October 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a decision which allowed rulings from appeals courts around the country to stand. These rulings declared that banning same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, and as a result, so-called gay marriage became legal in the states of Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin. (28) The move set a precedent which seemed to indicate that the Supreme Court would allow such rulings from other states to stand as well.
Shortly after the decision by the Supreme Court, it was announced that the state of West Virginia would drop its fight against same-sex marriage. “While we disagree with the Supreme Court’s decision to allow the 4th Circuit’s opinion to stand and believe it improperly displaces state and local decision-making, we will respect it,” said West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey. (29) Earl Ray Tomblin, the governor of the state of West Virginia, then directed his government agencies to accommodate same-sex couples seeking marriage as quickly as possible. “As the attorney general stated today, recent rulings by several federal courts, combined with the refusal of the U.S. Supreme Court to hear this issue, make it clear that laws banning same-sex marriage have been declared unconstitutional,” Governor Tomblin declared. (30) Officials in North Carolina and Colorado chose a similar path and announced that they would no longer uphold same-sex marriage bans in their states. (31) Shortly thereafter, same-sex marriage was also legalized in the states of Alaska and Arizona. Thomas C. Horne, the Attorney General of Arizona, made it clear that he believed any effort to prevent same-sex unions in his state would be a waste of time. “The probability of persuading the Ninth Circuit to reverse today’s decision is zero. The probability of the United States Supreme Court accepting review of the Ninth Circuit decision is also zero. The only purpose to be served by filing another appeal would be to waste the taxpayer’s money. That is not a good conservative principle,” Horne stated. (32)
While the states of Kansas, Montana, and South Carolina are still actively fighting against same-sex marriage, these states are quickly becoming the exception to the rule. (33) As of this writing, gay marriage is now legal in thirty-two states, (34) and it seems likely that it is only a matter of time before it is legalized in every American state.
As same-sex marriage laws change around the country, Christian ministers may soon find that they might be penalized by the government if they refuse to officiate at same-sex weddings. Such is the case for a couple who run a wedding chapel in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Donald and Evelyn Knapp have been told by government officials that if they refuse to provide their services to homosexual couples, they could be fined $1,000 per day and be forced to serve up to 180 days in jail. According to City Attorney Warren Wilson, the Knapps must comply with their anti-discrimination laws since it is a for-profit business and not a church. (35)
Meanwhile, pastors at some churches have declared that they are unwilling to talk about homosexuality from their pulpits. Such is the case with Hillsong Church in New York, which is led by a pastor known as Carl Lentz. “Jesus was in the thick of an era where homosexuality, just like it is today, was widely prevalent. And I’m still waiting for someone to show me the quote where Jesus addressed it on the record in front of people. You won’t find it because he never did,” Lentz said. (36) The pastor’s wife, Laura, further added: “It’s not our place to tell anyone how they should live. That’s their journey.” (37)
To suggest that Jesus does not have an opinion on homosexuality requires a great deal of mental gymnastics. We know for certain that Jesus defined marriage as being between one man and one woman. In Matthew 19:4-6 we read, “And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” Notice that Jesus does not mention a man cleaving to a man or a woman cleaving to a woman. It is also important to realize that Jesus never nullified the Old Testament scriptures; in fact, he quoted from them often. If you read Luke, chapter 24, you will find that Jesus taught extensively from “Moses and all the prophets,” which demonstrates his obvious approval for the books of the Old Testament. Finally, it is important that we realize God’s opinion does not change to line up with the popular majority. In Malachi 3:6 we find this firm and unchangeable declaration, “For I am the Lord, I change not…”
In closing, I know that we are living in a very distressing time, but we can take comfort in the fact that everything we see happening was foretold of long ago in God’s Word, and none of the events of our day come as a surprise. Jesus warned us that there would be pestilence in the latter days, and we are seeing that now in the form of Ebola and Enterovirus. He warned us that there would be wars and rumors of wars and the news today constantly speaks of conflict in the Middle East, Ukraine, and other places. We know that homosexuality has become common and even celebrated in this age, and Jesus told us this would happen, too, in Luke 17:28-30. Yet, we have great hope in our God. For as the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 15:4, “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”
Thank you to all who support this ministry. We appreciate your kind letters, news clippings, and donations which enable us to serve you all and publish this newsletter. If you have any prayer requests, great or small, we are more than willing to carry your petitions before the throne of the Almighty. Grace and peace be unto you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.