Volume XXXIV Issue X October 2015
Last Trumpet Ministries, PO Box 806, Beaver Dam, WI 53916
Phone: 920-887-2626 Internet: http://www.lasttrumpetministries.org
A Time Of Disharmony In Our World!
“I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the Lord; and I will heal him. But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.”Isaiah 57:19-21
“We looked for peace, but no good came; and for a time of health, and behold trouble!”Jeremiah 8:15
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”Isaiah 9:6
“That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us.”Ephesians 2:12-14
In this issue of the Last Trumpet Newsletter, we will examine the turbulent condition of our world even as prominent figures call for peace. Just a glance at the news headlines these days will paint a very unpleasant picture. We live in a world that is constantly involved in conflict as battles, wars, and fighting rage across the planet. Will there ever be world peace?
On June 26, 1945, just shortly after the conclusion of World War II, the charter of a group known as the United Nations was signed. (1) Under the guise of establishing world peace, this organization then built its headquarters in New York City, and began to work on its agenda to unite the entire world. In the preamble of the Charter of the United Nations, we find these words: “We the peoples of the United Nations determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom, and for these ends to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbors, and to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security.” (2)
Despite their cries for peace, the United Nations has not brought about an end to conflict in the decades it has existed. In reality, their main goal is to establish a one world government, and when a group is working to force countries around the world to comply with their agenda, the end result is more war and conflict, not less. Indeed, there have been many famous wars since 1945, including the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Iraq Wars, and the conflict in Afghanistan. Some of these conflicts are ongoing even to this day. In fact, a report published by the Associated Press in February 2015 indicates that civilian casualties increased in Afghanistan by 22 percent in the year 2014. This number includes 3,699 fatalities. (3) Throughout the year of 2014, 12,282 people were killed in Iraq. (4) “Yet again, the Iraqi ordinary citizen continues to suffer from violence and terrorism. 2014 has seen the highest number of casualties since the violence of 2006-2007. This is a very sad state of affairs,” said United Nations representative Nickolay Mladenov. (5) Meanwhile, over 9,000 people were killed in Nigeria in the year 2014, while 1.5 million more were displaced from their homes. (6) Meanwhile in Syria, an astonishing 76,021 people were killed throughout the year 2014. (7)
It is important that we understand that many of the casualties which occurred in Iraq, Syria, and Nigeria, were inflicted on Christian people who are enduring heavy persecution at this time. According to figures released by an organization known as Christian Freedom International, Christians are the most persecuted people in the world. It is estimated that there are over 200 million individuals who identify as Christians in 105 countries who are facing persecution today, and that one Christian is killed every five minutes. (8) Sadly, the infamous hardline Islamist group known as ISIS has been hard at work trying to eliminate Christianity from Iraq and Syria. One of the group’s latest tactics is to use former churches as torture chambers where Christians are forced to either convert to Islam or be killed. (9)
On September 21, 2015, the United Nations observed what has come to be known as the International Day of Peace. They mark this day each year by ringing their “Peace Bell” amid a call for peace in the world. “Stop the killings and the destruction, and create space for lasting peace,” insisted United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. He further went on to say, “Just as surely as striking this Bell makes a sound, we will continue to hammer this point and demand peace.” (10) Calls for peace such as this one, however, do very little to bring about peace in our troubled world. Our world will never be at peace as long as there is an adversary causing havoc as he roams to and fro in the earth and up and down in it. Furthermore, global peace will never be achieved as long as so many people continue to reject the Prince of Peace, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Prominent individuals have long sought a solution to solve the disharmony in our world. The answer can be found in God’s Word. If every man, woman, and child would embrace the teachings of Jesus there would no longer be wars, strife, and starvation in this world. It is for this reason that the Apostle Paul writes in Ephesians chapter 2 that Jesus Christ “is our peace.” No, the United Nations will never bring about peace in this world. Yet, we can have peace in our hearts today if we dedicate our lives to the Lord Jesus and obey His commandments. If you have not yet fully given your heart to God, I urge you to do so now.
Pope Francis Comes To America!
The world has seen many popes come and go throughout the ages. However, the current Pope of the Roman Catholic Church is unlike the other men who have held his office over the years. Pope Francis has a way of drawing people in to the point where it seems as though he is being worshiped. Of course, we know that since his ascent to the papacy, he has prayed with Muslims, made overtures to atheists, and proclaimed that homosexuals should not be judged. It seems as though this man aims to please everyone. In fact, he is even friendly towards communist dictators.
In the days prior to his arrival in the United States, Pope Francis first stopped in the Caribbean nation of Cuba where he met with former dictator Fidel Castro on September 20, 2015. Interestingly enough, a picture published in a CNN report depicts Fidel Castro greeting Pope Francis with a handshake that looks very much like something you would see in a Masonic lodge. (11) Castro, as we know, is the man who brought revolution and communism to the island of Cuba in January 1959. As is typical with most communists, the Castro family is known to be atheist. However, Fidel’s son, Raul Castro, who now holds the office of President in Cuba, seemed moved by the flowery words of Pope Francis. “If the Pope continues talking like this, I may return to the church and start praying again,” stated Raul Castro. (12)
On September 23, 2015, a ceremony was held at the White House in Washington, D.C., to welcome Pope Francis to the United States. Upon his arrival in America, Pope Francis spoke highly of President Obama and praised him for his efforts to fight climate change. “Accepting the urgency, it seems clear to me also that climate change is a problem which can no longer be left to a future generation. When it comes to the care of our ‘common home,’ we are living in a critical moment of history. We still have time to make the changes needed,” Francis said to Obama. (13) Obama, for his part, seemed quite smitten to be in the presence of the pope despite the fact that he is not Catholic, even going as far as to call Francis his “Holy Father.” In so doing, Obama signaled his submission to Pope Francis and the Roman Catholic religion. “I believe the excitement around your visit, Holy Father, must be attributed not only to your role as pope but to your unique qualities as a person. In your humility, your embrace of simplicity, in the gentleness of your words and the generosity of your spirit, we see a living example of Jesus’ teachings.” (14) Oddly enough, it seems that Obama is unfamiliar with the teaching of Jesus Christ found in Matthew 23:9. This verse reads, “And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.”
On the following day, September 24, 2015, Pope Francis became the first pope in history to address a joint session of the United States Congress. In his speech, Francis criticized those who are inflexible in their religious beliefs and see things as either good or evil. “We know that no religion is immune from forms of individual delusion or ideological extremism. This means that we must be especially attentive to every type of fundamentalism, whether religious or of any other kind. A delicate balance is required to combat violence perpetrated in the name of a religion, an ideology, or an economic system, while also safeguarding religious freedom, intellectual freedom and individual freedoms. But there is another temptation which we must especially guard against: the simplistic reductionism which sees only good or evil; or, if you will, the righteous and sinners.” Further on in his speech, Pope Francis called for unity and demanded that the people become one for the common good. “We must move forward together, as one, in a renewed spirit of fraternity and solidarity, cooperating generously for the common good.” (15) Yes, Pope Francis preaches a message of unity at all costs as he slowly builds a one world religion piece by piece. He seldom speaks of repentance, and in his speech to Congress and his subsequent speech at the United Nations on September 25, 2015, there was not one mention of Jesus Christ. He did, however, preach against climate change. (16) The pope’s behavior stands in stark contrast to the apostles Peter and John in Acts chapter 4. After being commanded by the authorities to not preach in the name of Jesus, it tells us in Acts 4:19-20, “But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” One thing is certain, there is never an inappropriate time to talk about Jesus!
Pope Francis is highly adored and revered by many. In fact, he has become known as “the people’s pope” in the mainstream media. In a report published on September 20, 2015, by NBC News, reporter Maria Shriver spoke of the pope’s popularity. “I think Catholics were tired of the discussion about those other issues. Our poll, it showed that they find that his teachings very closely align with theirs, and that they want political figures to also talk about these subjects,” Shriver said. She later went on to say, “They like him much better than the quote ‘institution’ or the church he represents. So I think that there’s a lot that political leaders can learn. He’s an outsider, people call him a prophet, that’s he’s the people’s pope. And yet, he’s kept the people in the pews.” (17) Amazingly enough, Pope Francis even plans to release a rock album. According to Rolling Stone Magazine, the collection, which has been titled “Wake Up” will feature a set of rock songs intermingled with snippets from the Pope’s speeches and sermons. The album is scheduled for a release in November. (18) Apparently, Pope Francis wants to be a rock star too.
America Has An Abortion Problem!
As Christians, we can easily discern that one of the biggest problems in the United States is the widespread practice of abortion. About a million innocent babies are slaughtered each year, and amazingly enough, many women in this country are not even sad about it. In September 2015, a new trend emerged on the social networking website known as Twitter. In a post made to the website, a user by the name of Amelia Bonow bragged about her abortion. “I am telling you this today because the narrative of those working to defund Planned Parenthood relies on the assumption that abortion is still something to be whispered about,” Bonow wrote. She then went on to say, “Plenty of people still believe that on some level – if you are a good woman – abortion is a choice which should [be] accompanied by some level of sadness, shame, or regret. But you know what? I have a good heart and having an abortion made me happy in a totally unqualified way. Why wouldn’t I be happy that I was not forced to become a mother?” (19) Bonow’s post prompted other women to respond in similar fashion, and a campaign for women encouraging them to “shout” their abortions was born. Regarding this trend, Seattle-based writer Lindy West declared, “It’s about destigmatization, normalization, and putting an end to shame.” (20) Abortion, however, is a shameful practice. It is a marvel that so many women in the United States are now “without natural affection,” but II Timothy 3:3 warns us that such a trait would be prevalent in the perilous times of the last days.
In the wake of the release of a series of undercover videos, which were published by the Center for Medical Progress, much indignation has been expressed in the United States due to the revelation that Planned Parenthood is profiting from the sale of aborted baby parts. In response, conservative lawmakers have attempted to strip Planned Parenthood of their funding. It was reported on September 18, 2015, that the United States House of Representatives had passed a bill which would defund Planned Parenthood for one year while an investigation was made to see if the evil organization had broken any laws. Republican Representative Gus Bilirakis from the state of Florida, who was a co-sponsor of the bill, was quoted as saying, “Taxpayers should not be forced to financially support organizations whose behavior is at best unethical and possibly illegal. When it comes to defunding Planned Parenthood, the issue should not be partisan. This is about protecting the rights of taxpayers – but more importantly, protecting the basic right of human life. I will continue to give a voice to our most fragile Americans who cannot speak for themselves.” (21) However, the bill would also have to pass the United States Senate if it were to become law, and that did not happen. Sadly, even if the Senate had passed the measure, our current president, Barack Obama has declared he would veto it. “We’ve been quite forthright about the president’s opposition to any effort to wholesale defund Planned Parenthood,” said White House spokesman Josh Earnest. He then implied that the shocking undercover videos which reveal the grotesque practices of Planned Parenthood should simply be forgotten because the group has apologized. “What has injected this issue into the political dialogue of late, the graphic videos that emerged on the Internet the last couple of months, Planned Parenthood has apologized for the content of those videos and they should. They were shocking. It is certainly not appropriate for Republicans in Congress, in fact, it’s even cynical for some Republicans in Congress to try to use those vidoes as an excuse to try to take away basic health care from millions of families that rely on it every day,” Earnest declared. (22)
Planned Parenthood’s practices have ostensibly outraged some Republican lawmakers to the point that they have threatened not to pass any spending bills that include funding for Planned Parenthood, which would result in a shutdown of the United States government. (It should be noted that “shutdown” is a bit of a misnomer since any government agency deemed to be essential would remain in operation.) However, outgoing Speaker of the House John Boehner has promised that no such shutdown will occur. Instead, he announced that a committee would investigate Planned Parenthood. “The Senate is expected to pass a continuing resolution next week. We’ll also take up a select committee to investigate these horrific videos that we’ve seen from abortion clinics that we’ve seen in several states,” Boehner said on September 27, 2015. (23) It would be wonderful if this committee would put a stop to Planned Parenthood’s heinous behavior, but I do not have high hopes that any action will be taken against the organization. In any case, we live in a period of time when many people have become reprobate and have lost their ability to discern between right and wrong. As a result, the practice of abortion is not only allowed, but celebrated by those who espouse liberal “values.” God will judge such wickedness.
The United States Is Filled With Violence!
In the United States of America today, violence has filled the land. Just as it was a problem in Noah’s day before God sent the flood, the condition in the United States is remarkably similar. The increase in violence has been blamed in part on anti-police sentiment. In some cases, Police officers, particularly in New York City, will no longer intervene in certain situations if they believe they could be met with harm. “I won’t get out of my car for a reasonable-suspicion stop; I will if there’s a violent felony committed in my presence,” said one officer from New York City. (24) Another New York City police officer claimed that many policemen and women are now too fearful to effectively do their jobs. “There’s a total lack of respect out there for the police. The perps feel more empowered to carry guns because they know that we are running scared,” the officer said. (25) Jim McDonnell, the head of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in California claims that reductions in crime over the last decade are now being wiped out. “The last 10 years have witnessed dramatic decreases in crime. Now in a short period of time, we are seeing those gains undone,” McDonnell said. (26) In numerous instances which occurred this summer, police officers were shot and killed during the course of their normal duties. One example is Officer Darren Goforth who was shot and killed on August 28, 2015, when he stopped to gas up his vehicle. In like manner, Louisiana state trooper Steven J. Vincent was shot in the head and killed while helping a motorist on August 14, 2015. (27) Needless to say, these are not activities that would normally be considered dangerous.
The rise in crime has been significant to say the least. In fact, the homicide rate in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has increased by 76 percent this year. Elsewhere in the country, homicides have increased 60 percent in St. Louis, Missouri; 56 percent in Baltimore, Maryland; 47 percent in Minneapolis, Minnesota; and 36 percent in Houston, Texas. (28) These are truly perilous times.
A Full View Of Chinese Military Strength!
In recent days, we have seen some rather unusual behavior from the nation of China. The Asian country, which has the largest military in the world, has flexed its military might on more than one occasion, which seems to be an effort to demonstrate that they are not intimidated by anyone, including the United States of America. In early September 2014, it was reported that warships from the Chinese Navy were spotted in United States’ territory along the Alaskan coast, and even came within 12 miles of American land. It is worth noting that this had never happened before, and it just so happens that during this point in time, Barack Obama was visiting Alaska. (29)
It has also been reported by the magazine known as Popular Mechanics that a video was recently released which portrays a simulated attack by the Chinese military on an American military base. It is believed that the base under attack was supposed to represent the American base on the Japanese island of Okinawa. Oddly enough, the video was first reported by the Council on Foreign Relations, or CFR, which is a secretive and nefarious group located in New York City which tries to portray itself as a think tank. The video, which has a running time of about six minutes, is titled “Battle to Capture an Island: a Full View of Chinese Military Strength.” According to the CFR, the video was produced by the Chinese military. (30)
Meanwhile, the Chinese government held a large parade on September 3, 2015, at Tianamen Square in Beijing, China. In this parade they showcased their military arsenal which now includes a new weapon known as the DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missile. This missile, which has been nicknamed the “carrier killer,” purportedly allows the Chinese military to efficiently attack targets all over the world. (31) One can only wonder what China intends to do with their new advanced weaponry.
In closing, these are dangerous days, and it can easily be seen from our current event headlines that we do not live in a peaceful time. Despite the calls from United Nations officials and Pope Francis, peace in our time remains unrealized by the majority of the world’s inhabitants. Yet, we can turn to our Saviour who will give us peace even in a time of trouble. In Philippians 4:6-7, we are told by the Apostle Paul, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Thank you all for your kind support of this ministry. We appreciate you all and we thank God that we have been given this opportunity to serve you. If you have any prayer requests, we are here and ready to pray for you or whatever your needs may be. We firmly believe in the power of prayer with a full expectation that God will hear and answer our petitions. Grace and peace be unto you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.