Volume XXXIV Issue III March 2015
Last Trumpet Ministries, PO Box 806, Beaver Dam, WI 53916
Phone: 920-887-2626 Internet: http://www.lasttrumpetministries.org
A Glimpse At The Future Of This World!
“Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.”Jeremiah 6:16
“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.”Isaiah 14:12-15
“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”Hebrews 4:27
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”II Timothy 4:3-4
In this issue of the Last Trumpet Newsletter, we will examine the current events of our day and also take a glimpse at the future of this world. Of course, as Christians we understand that only God knows what the future holds with any degree of certainty. Yet, when we consider current trends and listen to what researchers and scientists are saying, we begin to see a picture of what the world may be like in the not-so-distant future, or at least, what those on the cutting edge of scientific and technological research are hoping the world will be like.
One of the changes that we have seen in recent years is the conversion of books, videos, pictures, and music to a plethora of digital formats. With these changes, we are told that we still own these products when we buy them, yet, they only exist in electronic form on our personal devices or in cyberspace. In essence, it means those who use such products have far less control over their belongings. In fact, the tenuous nature of digital ownership was highlighted in July 2009, when the giant Internet retailer known as Amazon.com remotely deleted copies of the books 1984 and Animal Farm, both by George Orwell, from their customers’ devices without the consent or knowledge of those who had purchased them. (1) These changes represent only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the advances in science and technology which could change the world beyond recognition in the future.
A Gradual Transition To A Cashless Society!
Even as the masses become more acclimated to digital possessions, efforts are underway to establish digital currency, which could eventually lead to a cashless society. After decades of conditioning, it has become second-nature for people to reach for their debit or credit card instead of cash, and because of this trend, many consumers, especially those who are young, carry very little or no cash at all. In a recent survey conducted by Citibank, about 40 percent of respondents from the millennial generation indicated a preference for debit cards over cash for small purchases. (2)
In recent years, technology has also been developed which allows consumers to make purchases using their smartphones, which further eliminates the need for cash, and even makes carrying physical credit or debit cards unnecessary. The adoption of such technology is likely to increase on a very large scale now that the trendsetting computer and electronics company known as Apple Inc. has released their new payment system, Apple Pay, which works with devices such as the iPhone 6 and the Apple Watch. The system uses a near field communication chip, or NFC, to wirelessly transmit payment information to vendors, which means users no longer need to swipe a card, or even hand any form of payment at all to a cashier. Each payment is authorized by a fingerprint reader on the user’s phone or smartwatch. Apple Pay was launched in October 2014, and has seen significant growth. In fact, it was reported in January 2015 that 800,000 customers at Bank of America have added 1.1 million cards to the Apple Pay system. (3) Numerous vendors have already signed on to accept these digital payments, including Macy’s, Office Depot, McDonald’s, Toys ‘R’ Us, Whole Foods, Walgreens, and many others. (4) Just how quickly could we see a transformation to a cashless society in the United States? In an article published by the New York Times, the author told his readers that he believes the most common method of payment for young people in America within ten years’ time will be a thumbprint. (5)
On a global scale, Microsoft founder, Bill Gates, has pushed for the establishment of cashless mobile payment networks in the world’s poorest countries. According to his assessment, poor countries lack the necessary infrastructure for its citizens to participate in traditional banking. Thus, his solution is to see that everyone has a mobile phone capable of cashless transactions. In the 2015 Annual Gates Letter, which was published by Bill and Melinda Gates, the couple wrote: “Already in the developing countries with the right regulatory framework, people are storing money digitally on their phones and using their phones to make purchases, as if they were debit cards. By 2030, 2 billion people who don’t have a bank account today will be storing money and making payments with their phones.” (6)
What could these trends mean for the future? If every country in the world embraced a cashless payment system, it would be extraordinarily easy to merge every monetary system in the world into just one. Thus, it is not a far-fetched notion that there could one day be a global cashless society. Of course, such a system would be devoid of personal freedom, since every purchase and payment you make would be tracked, and the powers that be could confiscate all of your financial resources with just a few clicks on a computer screen.
An Automated Transportation System!
The future could also bring about some profound and drastic changes to the way people use transportation. In fact, the technology company known as Google has been working on the development of a driverless car for quite some time. Google co-founder, Sergey Brin, has expressed hope that their project will someday eliminate the need for people to own cars. “If you look at the self-driving cars, for example, I hope that that could really transform transportation around the world, and reduce the need for individual car ownership, the need for parking, road congestion and so forth. If that was successful in its own right, we would be super happy. It’s obviously still a big bet. It’s got many technical and policy risks… So much land in our cities, about 30 to 50 percent is parking, which is a tremendous waste. Also, the roads themselves, which are both congested and take a lot of space are just unpleasant. So with self-driving cars, you don’t really need much in the way of parking, because you don’t need one car per person. They just come and get you when you need them,” Brin declared. (7) Of course, such a system would leave passengers at the mercy of the computers controlling the vehicles, which could also likely be controlled remotely, forcing passengers to perhaps go places they would rather not go. It is interesting to note that Apple Inc. has shown an interest in the development of a driverless car. According to reports, their project, which is codenamed “Titan,” involves hundreds of workers who are hard at work developing a fully automated electric car which would not require a driver. (8)
The Future Of Medicine!
Futuristic technology will also change the way medical care is administered. Indeed, two hospitals in the San Francisco Bay region of the state of California in the United States are already using robots which are known as “Tugs” to deliver food and medicine to patients, while also picking up waste and laundry. (9) Meanwhile, PinnacleHealth facilities in the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania region have deployed eight robots at their facilities which sometimes see patients when doctors are not available on location. These robots are used to transmit video and sound to doctors who are off location, and can also perform tasks such as measuring the reflex of a patient’s pupil. According to Christian Caicedo, a doctor at PinnacleHealth, such robots are “the future of medicine.” (10)
As strange as it sounds, research is now being conducted which scientists are hoping will someday allow microscopic robots to be ingested by human beings. The miniscule robots would then attempt to heal various illnesses throughout the human body. “We’re making microscopic robots that are guided by externally generated magnetic fields for use in the human body,” said Brad Nelson, a mechanical engineer at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. (11)
Genetic manipulation has also become commonplace within the scientific community. For example, researchers at Cambridge University in England have said they may have found a way to create babies with two parents of the same gender. The process involves the usage of stem cells taken from human skin which are then used to make sperm and eggs. Regarding the project, researcher Jacob Hanna was quoted as saying, “I am not in favor of creating engineered humans… but I am very confident it will work and will be very relevant to anyone who has lost their fertility through disease. It has already caused interest from gay groups because of the possibility of making egg and sperm cells from parents of the same sex.” (12) In another development, members of the British House of Commons have voted in favor of a measure which will allow the use of genetic material from three parents to be used to create one baby. In other words, babies born from this procedure will have three parents instead of two. British Prime Minister David Cameron lauded the decision. “We’re not playing god here, we’re just making sure that two parents who want a healthy baby can have one,” Cameron said. (13) Member of Parliament Fiona Bruce was far less enthusiastic about this development. “[This] will be passed down generations, the implications of this simply cannot be predicted. But one thing is for sure, once this alteration has taken place, as someone has said, once the gene is out of the bottle, once these procedures that we’re asked to authorize today go ahead, there will be no going back for society.” (14)
There are certainly many amazing things that scientists are hoping to accomplish in the coming years. Some of it sounds incredibly far-fetched, yet they are determined to reach their goals. Their most ambitious goal of all is to reverse the aging process. A recent cover of Time Magazine, which was published in February 2015, features a picture of a baby and proclaims, “This baby could live to be 142 years old.” (15) Another article published by The Independent on February 3, 2015, features a headline which declares, “Eternal life could be achieved by procedure to lengthen chromosomes.” (16) Yet another article published by The Telegraph on February 15th, 2015, details some of the ways scientists are hoping to dramatically expand the human lifespan. This includes a new contest launched by a doctor known as Joon Yun. The contest, which is called the Palo Alto Longevity Prize, promises to reward a one million dollar prize to anyone who can successfully “hack the code of life.” (16) “It’s always been said that there’s two certainties in life: death and taxation, but death isn’t looking so certain anymore,” stated Stuart Kim, a professor in Developmental Biology and Genetics at Stanford University. (17) Speaking of his contest, Dr. Yun was quoted as saying, “This isn’t like plastic surgery where you’re papering over the cracks, this is actually making a person younger from the inside out.”
Meanwhile, Google has also entered the ring of anti-aging research and has formed a new subsidiary known as Calico or the California Life Company. The research facility for the company cost Google 1.2 billion dollars, and what exactly they are doing is a closely held secret. In explaining their purpose, CEO Arthur Levinson offered this statement: “Our goal is to make progress on a very basic challenge: how to help people stay healthier for longer.” (18) Will scientists ever reverse aging and bring about an end to death? There are some who certainly think so. “Since the dawn of civilization, humanity has been enslaved by the knowledge that no lifestyle choice, no medicine, no quirk of fate, can enable anyone to live for more than a few decades without suffering a progressive decline that leads inevitably to death. But scientists have already drawn a road map to defeat biological aging and will one day show there is no such inevitability. This is a when, not if,” declared Dr. Aubrey de Grey of the SENS Research Foundation in Mountain View, California. (19)
Of course, we know that a genuine Christian would not want to live in this world forever. Our ultimate goal is to spend an eternity with God, and we know that the Scriptures tell us in Hebrews 4:27, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” Despite their efforts, scientists will never be successful in their endeavors to outsmart God. Ultimately, I believe the reason this activity is happening is because Satan desires his own method to defeat death, a plan which he hopes would make it unnecessary to rely on the salvation of our Lord Jesus Christ. We know that the devil has long aspired to be as powerful as God. In Isaiah 14:13-14 we read, “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” Yet, we know that Satan has no ability to create anything and can only hurt and destroy. What we are seeing today is his ill-fated attempt to augment his power with the use of technology.
Panic Over Measles In The United States!
In recent weeks, much concern has been expressed over an outbreak of the measles virus in the United States. According to a report published on February 23rd, 2015 by ABC News, 154 cases of measles infections have been reported since 2015 began and have affected people in 16 states. These states are Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, Georgia, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Washington. Washington D.C. has also been affected. Of these cases, 118 of them have been linked to an outbreak which began at Disneyland in the state of California in December 2014. (20)
The current outbreak of measles has prompted cries from medical professionals who insist that everyone must be vaccinated against the measles virus and numerous other diseases. “This is not a problem with the measles vaccine not working. This is a problem of the measles vaccine not being used,” stated Dr. Anne Schuchat of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. (21) A similar opinion was expressed by Tom Frieden, the Director at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC. “We are very concerned by the growing number of people who are susceptible to measles, and the possibility that we could have a large outbreak in this country as a result,” Frieden declared. He further went on to say, “What we’ve seen is, as over the last few years, a small but growing number of people have not been vaccinated. That number is building up among young adults in society, and that makes us vulnerable.” (22)
As a general rule, all fifty states in the United States have made it mandatory for children to receive a full regime of vaccinations before attending public school. However, every state except West Virginia and Mississippi allow for exemptions, either for religious beliefs, personal beliefs, or both. (23) Yet, efforts are now underway to do away with such exemptions, which would effectively force every child in the country to be vaccinated unless the need for a medical exemption can be demonstrated. In February 2014, lawmakers in the state of California revealed that new legislation, which would make vaccines mandatory for all children, is now under consideration. “There are not enough people being vaccinated to contain these dangerous diseases. We should not wait for more children to sicken and die before we act,” declared Richard Pan, a Democrat from Sacramento. (24) Governor Jerry Brown has indicated that he supports the measure. The governor believes that vaccinations are profoundly important and a major public health benefit and any bill that reaches his desk will be closely considered,” stated Evan Westrup, a spokesman for Governor Brown. (25)
On a national level, a large majority of American people believe that vaccinations should be mandatory. According to a recent poll conducted by Reuters and Ipsos, 78 percent of respondents indicated that they believe all children should have vaccines forced upon them. Only 13 percent expressed opposition for vaccines. (26) It has become obvious that there is now great hostility aimed towards people who refuse vaccines. In fact, some doctors are now refusing to see unvaccinated patients. (27)
We are told that the United States of America is the land of the free. Despite this claim, we have seen a progressive loss of freedom over the years and forcing vaccinations upon the people would further erode our liberty in this country. It should always be a personal choice to undergo a medical procedure and I believe there are legitimate reasons to forgo vaccinations. Even if they are as effective as the medical profession insists, we don’t know everything about how these vaccines are developed and what additives they contain. What is a verifiable fact is that aborted fetal cells, taken from babies who have been killed in the womb, are sometimes used to help produce vaccines. This has been admitted by the CDC. “The rubella vaccine virus is cultured in human cell-line cultures, and some of these cell lines originated from aborted fetal tissue, obtained from legal abortions in the 1960’s,” the CDC said. (28) This fact alone represents a very good moral reason not to receive vaccinations. Furthermore, if the American people can be coerced into receiving vaccinations, who knows what else the authorities might try to foist upon us in the future.
The Homosexual Lifestyle In A Changed America!
When Barack Obama campaigned for the presidential election in 2008, he promised the American people that he would bring change. Indeed, this country has changed in many ways since Obama took office, and one of the most obvious changes is the favorable opinion now enjoyed by homosexuals in the United States. It is interesting to note that prior to Obama’s election win in 2008, only two states, Massachusetts and Connecticut, had legalized same-sex marriage. (29) As of this writing, same-sex marriage is now legal in 37 states. (30) Oddly enough, Obama actually claimed to oppose same-sex marriage during his first campaign for President of the United States. On April 17th, 2008, during a speech given at Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church, Obama declared the following: “I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now for me as a Christian – for me – for me as a Christian, it is also a sacred union. God’s in the mix.” (31) Obama would then claim later that he had a change of heart and on May 9th, 2012, he told Robin Roberts of ABC News, “I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.” (32) The truth is that Barack Obama never opposed same-sex marriage, and when he said that he did, he was lying through his teeth. This fact is confirmed in a recently released book published by former political strategist David Axelrod who worked for Obama during his campaign. Speaking of Obama, Axelrod wrote in his book, “Opposition to gay marriage was particularly strong in the black church, and as he ran for higher office, he grudgingly accepted the counsel of more pragmatic folks like me, and modified his position to support civil unions rather than marriage, which he would term a ‘sacred union.’” (33)
It seems probable that finding a way to normalize the homosexual lifestyle in America was part of the Obamas’ plans all along. At a speech given on January 30th, 2015, First Lady Michelle Obama praised Hollywood for promoting same-sex marriage in movies and television shows. “Every day through the movies and TV shows and ads you all create, you have the power to shape our understanding of the world around us. You challenge our most strongly held beliefs. You influence our opinions on current events. So the fact is, in many ways, you all are in a unique position to help us address some of the most challenging issues that we face as a nation. Just take an issue like gay rights. It wasn’t all that long ago that this was a third-rail kind of issue, not just in politics but in entertainment as well. It was considered sensitive, even controversial. But in the early 90s, that started to change. Tom Hanks won an Oscar for his portrayal of a gay character in ‘Philadelphia.’ ‘The Real World’ included an openly gay cast member. And over the years, there was ‘Ellen’ and ‘Will and Grace,’ ‘Milk’ and ‘Brokeback Mountain.’ And today, ‘The Imitation Game’ is up for Best Picture at the Oscars, and Cam and Mitchell – two of my favorites – are raising their daughter on ‘Modern Family,’ one of the top-rated shows on TV.” (34) Needless to say, Hollywood has played a significant role in the promotion of homosexuality.
Of course, the homosexual lifestyle which has become greatly normalized in our day is completely contrary to the Scriptures we find in God’s Word. However, that does not seem to bother some professing Christians. In a recent television appearance, former megachurch pastor Rob Bell told Oprah Winfrey that he believes we are only “moments away” from seeing homosexuality accepted by the church. “I think culture is already there and the church will continue to be even more irrelevant when it quotes letters from 2,000 years ago as their best defense, when you have in front of you flesh-and-blood people who are your brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles and co-workers and neighbors and they love each other and just want to go through their life with someone.” (35) Rob Bell’s words call to mind Scriptures we find in II Timothy 4:3-4 which reads, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”
In closing, it is quite obvious that we live in a world that is rapidly changing in many ways. Many of these changes are not for the better and can make it seem as though this world's future is quite bleak. Thankfully, we have a far better future to look forward to in eternity. In Revelation 21:4 we find the following assurance, “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” This beautiful future will be ours if we just yield our lives to God and fully obey His Word. If you have not yet fully given your heart to God, I urge you to do so now.
Please remember that we are here to pray for you. Our God is a God of miracles who specializes in the impossible and we have seen many answers to prayer. We always give each prayer request individual attention. Thank you all for your support of this ministry. We appreciate it more than words can express. Grace and peace be unto you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.