Volume XXXIII Issue XII December 2014
Last Trumpet Ministries, PO Box 806, Beaver Dam, WI 53916
Phone: 920-887-2626 Internet: http://www.lasttrumpetministries.org
A Progressive Loss Of Freedom In This Modern Age!
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”Galatians 5:1
“But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.”Ephesians 4:7-8
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”Luke 4:18-19
“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”John 8:31-32
In this issue of the Last Trumpet Newsletter, we will thoughtfully consider several topics that are pertinent to the Christian people living in this modern age, including a progressive loss of freedom in the United States. The United States of America is famously known as the “land of the free and the home of the brave.” It is certainly true that the American people have historically enjoyed a great deal of personal freedom. However, in recent years it has become obvious that there is an invisible leash around the necks of every man, woman, and child living in the United States. As long as the boundaries of these leashes are never tested, it appears that people are free. Yet, if you reach the end of your leash, it quickly becomes obvious just how restrained and controlled, we the people, truly are.
Of course, most of us who live in the United States are accustomed to paying our taxes. We understand that if we fail to pay our federal and state income taxes, there is a very real possibility that we could be sent to prison. For those of us who own homes, we understand that if we fail to pay our property taxes, our homes will be seized and taken away from us by the government. Furthermore, the law of eminent domain allows government agencies to force you to sell your real estate to them if they should ever decide they want your land for their own purposes.
Most American citizens have learned to accept paying taxes as an unfortunate part of life. However, the rules and restrictions forced upon the American people in recent years go well beyond tax laws. For example, a story surfaced in July 2012 which reported that a man who lived in Eagle Point, Oregon, was facing thirty days in jail and a $1,500 fine for collecting rain water and snow melt on his property. (1) In February 2014, it was reported that a woman living in Cape Coral, Florida, was taken to court by city officials for living off the grid. The woman was using solar panels to provide power for her home and a system that treated rainwater to provide water. The court gave her thirty days to plug into city utility services. (2)
Certain municipalities in the United States are also cracking down on individuals who feed the homeless in public areas. Such was the case in May 2014 when a retired couple and four other volunteers in Daytona Beach, Florida, were issued tickets by the police for feeding homeless people who had gathered at a park. Regarding the incident, Daytona Beach Chief of Police Mike Chitwood was quoted as saying, “We as a city have spent millions of dollars to turn that park into a place for families, kids, and dog lovers. We have an ordinance that says when people want to perform acts of kindness or charity that they must coordinate with our local social service agencies.” (3) In other words, the people of Daytona Beach are not allowed to perform acts of charity without first obtaining permission from the local government!
Sadly, a similar incident was also reported in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in November 2014. In this case, it was 90-year-old Arnold Abbott who was charged, along with two pastors, with the crime of feeding the homeless. This development, however, did not dissuade Mr. Abbott from continuing to feed hungry people with no place to call home. “I know that I will be arrested again and I am prepared for that. I am my brother’s keeper and what they are doing is just heartless,” Abbott said. (4) Two days following the initial news report, it was reported that Mr. Abbott was once again cited for feeding the homeless. This development prompted Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler to say, “Mr. Abbott has decided that he doesn’t think these individuals should have to have any interaction with government, that they should be fed in the parks. We disagree.” (5)
Unfortunately, the push to criminalize the feeding of the homeless is increasing in the United States. In fact, at least twenty-one cities have enacted rules against the charitable practice since January 2013 while at least ten more cities are considering similar rules. This trend has raised the ire of Michael Stoops, a director at the National Coalition for the Homeless. “Cities’ hope is that restricting sharing of food will somehow make [the] homeless disappear and go away. But I can promise you that even if these ordinances are adopted, it’s not going to get rid of homelessness,” Stoops declared. (6)
Another manner in which the American people have lost their freedom is the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, which is colloquially known as Obamacare. This new healthcare system, which had a rocky start in 2013, is now firmly established as the law of the land in the United States. Consequently, every man, woman, and child is now required by law to carry health insurance, and if they refuse, a stiff penalty is leveled against those who fail to comply with the individual mandate, which decrees that we must buy health insurance. Here let it be noted that the Obamacare system was crafted in part by a man named Jonathan Gruber. It was during a conference at the University of Pennsylvania in 2013 that Gruber told his audience that a “lack of transparency is a huge political advantage.” He then went on to say that “the stupidity of the American voter… was really critical for the [ACA] to pass.” (7)
When we see what is happening in the United States today, it is no surprise that the American people are not feeling as free as they once did. This fact can be attested by the results of a recent study performed at the Legatum Institute. This organization is responsible for publishing their annual Prosperity Index, and one of the sections of this index measures how free people in their respective countries feel. Using this methodology, it was determined in 2010 that the United States ranked 9th in terms of personal liberty. However, the newly released report indicates that United States now ranks 21st in personal liberty, behind countries that include France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. (8)
Yet, as Christians, we understand that while our freedom in this world may be limited, we have great liberty in our Lord Jesus Christ. In Luke 4:18-19, our Saviour quoted from the book of Isaiah and told the people, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” Despite the circumstances of this present world, we can have great spiritual freedom, and we obtain this freedom by repenting of our sins and crying out to God. It is only when we are freed from the condemnation of our sins that we are ever really truly free. If you have not yet given your heart to God and dedicated your life to Him, I urge you to do so now.
Is Advanced Technology A Threat To The Human Race?
In our day-to-day lives, we are constantly surrounded by an amazing array of technology. This is the age of smartphones, tablet computers, and 3D printing, and the average man has unprecedented access to many devices which enable him to do incredible things, once found only in the imaginations of science fiction writers. In light of this reality, most of us cannot help but wonder what the future might hold. As it turns out, numerous articles have surfaced in recent days which detail some of the things scientists and technology groups are hoping to accomplish in the coming years.
One of the aforementioned articles was published by Yahoo News in October 2014, and it features an ominous headline which declares, “Nine real technologies that will soon be inside you.” According to this report, researchers are now developing technology which they hope will someday allow them to turn human bones into living speakers, while other researchers are trying to create eye implants which would allow the user to capture images in the blink of an eye. The development of such technology could eventually lead to implantable smartphones. (9)
Additionally, scientists at Boston University in Massachusetts are developing a bionic pancreas, which is equipped with a miniscule sensor that is linked to a patient’s smartphone and used to monitor blood sugar levels. Also in development are pills equipped with microprocessors, which will have the ability to send text messages to doctors who will use the data to measure the user’s health and ensure that prescribed medicines are actually being taken. (10)
Meanwhile, a company known as Dangerous Things has made a near-field communication chip which can be embedded in a human finger, allowing the user to unlock doors by simply pointing. (11)
Remarkably, a group from, Brown University, known as BrainGate is attempting to develop an interface system which would link human brains directly to computers. “Using a baby aspirin-sized array of electrodes implanted into the brain, early research from the BrainGate team has shown that the neural signals can be ‘decoded’ by a computer in real-time and used to operate external devices,” declares a statement on the group’s website. (12) It is worthwhile to note that a report published in November 2009 states that the microchip manufacturer, known as Intel, believes human brains will be interfacing with computers by the year 2020. Speaking of their research at Intel, scientist Dean Pomerleau was quoted as saying, “We’re trying to prove you can do interesting things with brain waves. Eventually people may be willing to be more committed… to brain implants. Imagine being able to surf the Web with the power of your thoughts.” (13)
Scientists around the world are also working to develop new and sophisticated robots. This is particularly true in the nation of Japan where life-like robots have already been introduced to the public. One such robot is known as Android Asuna and features a detailed and realistic face. Although this robot is not yet equipped with artificial intelligence and must be controlled by an operator, the company which produced the robot is hoping to perfect their product to the point that their robots are indistinguishable from real humans within ten years. “We already have 20 years’ experience making androids in the lab. So in 10 years we will marry AI (artificial intelligence) and life-like geminoids in perfection,” stated the CEO of A-Lab, Takeshi Mita. (14) The nation of China is also on the cutting-edge of robot development. In fact, China plans to install 1.3 million industrial robots by the year 2020 with that number increasing to 2.5 million robots by the year 2030. (15)
Although it may seem far-fetched that millions of robots could one day heavily populate the earth, the technology behind robot development is now advancing so quickly that the United Nations recently held a meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, where representatives of certain countries expressed their worries regarding the possibility that robots could be weaponized in the future. “Machines lack morality and mortality, and as a result should not have life and death powers over humans,” declared UN official Christof Heyns. (16) Additionally, a group, known as the Human Rights Watch, has called for a complete ban of what they call “killer robots.” “There is a sense of urgency about how we deal with killer robots. Technology is racing ahead,” the group said in a statement. (17)
The amazing technological advances we are seeing today could one day be used to enslave the people of the earth or destroy the human race altogether. I believe that is what Satan is hoping, but I also know that ultimately God is in control, and He will only allow the enemy and his minions to get so far before He completely stops them in their tracks.
Our Quaking Planet!
In this modern age, earthquakes have become so normal that most people no longer pay much attention to them. Yet, earthquakes have always been of significant interest to the Christian people because it is one of the signs that Jesus specifically told us to watch for in the latter days. In Luke 21:11 Jesus warns us, “And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.” In this present world, earthquakes occur each and every day all over the world. Although we do not always know it, our planet is constantly shaking and quaking.
It is interesting to note that the aforementioned verse in Luke 21:11 speaks of great earthquakes. Amazingly enough, an article published by NBC News in October 2014 bears the headline: “Worldwide Surge in ‘Great’ Earthquakes seen in Past 10 Years.” According to the report, eighteen earthquakes with a magnitude of 8.0 or higher have occurred between 2004 and 2014 around the world. This represents an increase of 265 percent over the rate of the last century. However, at least one scientist has attempted to downplay the significance of such quakes and insists that the fact they occurred is merely a coincidence. “If we look at all earthquake magnitudes, the past 10 years is not unusual in terms of the rate of events; the rate increases are just seen for events magnitudes larger than 7.5 or so. This suggests that great events were ‘catching up’ on the plate boundary motions in several regions with fortuitous similar timing,” stated Professor Thorne Lay of the University of California, Santa Cruz. (18)
It is certainly undeniable that seismic activity has increased in certain locations, including areas within the United States. In fact, the frequency at which earthquakes occur in the American state of Kansas has increased so much that Governor Sam Brownback issued a statement in November 2014 in which he announced plans to install new equipment to be used to monitor earthquakes. “Public safety is my top priority. We must balance the safety of all Kansans, and consider the impacts to industry. This deployment will give our state geologists the data they need to better understand the increased seismic activity being experienced in south-central Kansas and to formulate a plan going forward,” Governor Brownback said. (19) The announcement came on the same day that the region was struck with an earthquake measuring 4.8 in magnitude. It is believed that the increase in earthquakes within the state of Kansas is due to a commonly used oil and gas drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking for short. (20)
Another region with increased seismic activity in the United States can be found in the northwestern area of Nevada near the Oregon border. This area has experienced about 750 earthquakes since July 2014, and geologists have expressed concern that a big one could be coming. “If you are not ready for an earthquake, now is an awfully good time to get ready for an earthquake,” stated Alison Ryan, a spokeswoman for the Department of Geology and Mineral Industries in Oregon. (21)
Sadly, the nation of Japan has suffered yet another significant quake in recent days. On November 22, 2014, an earthquake measuring 6.8 in magnitude struck near the city of Negano. According to reports, this powerful quake was felt 125 miles away in Tokyo, and there was significant damage in the town of Hakuba where ten homes collapsed. This quake was followed by twenty-one aftershocks. (22)
Of course, these are just a few examples of the many earthquakes that occur on a daily basis. As of this writing, there have been 1,485 earthquakes measuring 2.5 magnitude or greater in the last thirty days. (23)
High Tensions Between Russia And The United States!
It is no secret that relations between the United States and Russia have soured in recent months. While the conflict between Russia and Ukraine continues on, the United States and the European Union have sought to reign in Russia by enacting sanctions against the Russian government. Although reports indicate that these sanctions have caused some economic hardship for the Russian people, it does not appear that these sanctions have done anything to weaken the resolve of Russian President Vladimir Putin. These developments have prompted the former head of state of the Soviet Union, Mikael Gorbachev, to declare that we may soon see a return of the Cold War. “The world is on the brink of a new Cold War. Some are even saying that it’s already begun,” Gorbachev said. (24) At a speech given in November 2014, Vladimir Putin continued his defiant tone and declared that the United States government “wants to subdue us, wants to solve its problems at our expense.” He then went on to say, “No one has succeeded in doing so in the history of Russia, and no one will.” (25) As a highlight of the tension between the United States and Russia, President Putin greeted the new United States Ambassador to Russia, John Tefft, with a thinly veiled warning not to interfere with Russia’s business. “We are ready for practical cooperation with our American partners in different fields, based on the principles of respect for each other’s interests, equal rights and non-interference in internal matters,” Putin declared. (26) Tefft also issued a statement wherein he declared that the United States would prefer that Russia embrace globalist ideals. “We would prefer a Russia that is fully integrated with the global economy; that is thriving on behalf of its people; that can once again engage with us in cooperative efforts around global challenges,” Tefft said. (27)
Meanwhile, Russia has continued to assert its military might, and it was announced in November 2014 that the Russian military will be using long-range fighter jets to conduct patrol missions that stretch from the Arctic Ocean all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. “In the current situation we have to maintain military presence in the western Atlantic and eastern Pacific, as well as the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico,” stated Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. Shoigu also declared that the patrols would conduct “reconnaissance missions to monitor foreign powers’ military activities and maritime communications.” (28)
Even as tension between Russia and the United States intensifies, relations between China and Russia have only grown stronger. During a visit to China, Russian Defense Minister Shoigu announced plans for increased military cooperation between the Russian and Chinese militaries. “Our cooperation in the military spheres has great potential and the Russian side is ready to develop it across the broadest possible spectrum of areas. We see the formation of a collective regional security system as the primary objective of our joint efforts,” Shoigu stated. (29)
We must remember that China not only has the largest army in the world, but the Chinese government also has a propensity to respond with a heavy hand to even the smallest infractions against them. In fact, a news story surfaced in October 2014 which reports that the Chinese government deployed 1,226 military personnel, 123 military vehicles, two fighter jets, and two helicopters after two men launched an unauthorized drone in December 2013. (30) One can only wonder what the tactics of such a military might be during wartime.
The Homosexual Agenda Pushes Forward!
For those of us who live in the United States, we are seeing a change unlike any other in the short history of our country. Of course, we remember that Barack Obama campaigned with the promise that he would bring “change” to America, and we now have many changes in this land since that time which are not for the better. When the Supreme Court of the United States overturned the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, last year, it seemed likely that same-sex marriage would eventually be legalized in every American state. However, the speed at which this is now happening is quite stunning. In last month’s issue of the Last Trumpet, I reported that same-sex marriage is now legal in 32 states. Since that time, the number has increased to 35 states.
In the state of Kansas, where gay marriage is now legal, it was announced that a mass gay wedding would take place on November 17, 2014, on the steps of a courthouse in the city of Wichita. “This is a way to help bring everyone together,” declared Minister Jackie Carter who organized the event. According to reports, the event was to feature about a dozen same-sex couples. (31) The two other states which have legalized same-sex marriage within the last month are Montana, which became the 34th state to do so on November 19, 2014, (32) and South Carolina, which legalized same-sex marriage on November 20, 2014. (33)
Thankfully, there are still some voices willing to cry out against same-sex marriage in the United States. In fact, a judge by the name of Gilbert Breedlove was so grieved by the legalization of same-sex marriage, that he resigned from his post in Swain County, North Carolina to ensure that he would not have to officiate same-sex marriage ceremonies. “It was my only option. We were directed we had to perform the marriages, and that was just something I couldn’t do because of my religious beliefs,” Breedlove stated. (34)
In closing, I wish to express my thanks to our readers and supporters. We could not do what we do without your help and we are honored to be able to serve you. This issue marks the final installment of the Last Trumpet for the year 2014. If you receive the paper edition of this newsletter, please remember to mail us your renewal form for the year 2015. We at Last Trumpet Ministries will strive to continue our work for as long as God will allow us, and it is our prayer that this newsletter and everything we publish will continue to be a blessing to you. If you have any prayer requests, great or small, we are ready and waiting to lift your petitions to the throne of the Almighty. We firmly believe in the power of prayer, and we have seen many prayers answered over the years. Grace and peace be unto you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Samuel David MeyerAcknowledgements