Volume XXXV Issue II February 2016
Last Trumpet Ministries, PO Box 806, Beaver Dam, WI 53916
Phone: 920-887-2626 Internet: http://www.lasttrumpetministries.org
Evil Men And Seducers Waxing Worse And Worse!
"But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus."II Timothy 3:13-15
"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy."I Peter 2:9-10
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."Romans 12:1-2
In this issue of the Last Trumpet Newsletter, we will consider the current events of our day and the impact they are having around the world. Is the world we live in today getting better, or are conditions on this planet actually growing worse? We often hear notable figures tell us how wonderful everything is in this modern age. This is something that President Barack Obama has done on more than one occasion. Speaking at the United Nations in September 2014, Obama was quoted as saying, "I often tell young people in the United States that despite the headlines, this is the best time in human history to be born, for you are more likely than ever before to be literate, to be healthy, to be free to pursue your dreams." (1) This sentiment was recently echoed by United States Secretary of State John Kerry. Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in January 2016, Kerry told his audience, "We are not living in a new normal and we don't have to. We are not the prisoners of a predetermined future. Change is occurring in our world for the better and it is occurring faster, moving faster than ever before." (2) Despite the assertions of Barack Obama and John Kerry, the real life experience for billions of people around the globe shows that conditions are not changing for the better. In fact, we live in a world today where the persecution of Christian people is at an all time high, while moral values seem to be disappearing, and even the often praised global economy is on shaky footing.
On January 20, 2016, it was reported by an organization known as Open Doors that the Christian population in numerous countries is suffering persecution at an intensity never before seen in modern history. "The 2016 World Watch List documents an unprecedented escalation of violence against Christians, making this past year the most violent and sustained attack on Christian faith in modern history," said David Curry who is the chief executive officer at Open Doors. He later went on to say, "The levels of exclusion, discrimination and violence against Christians is unprecedented, spreading and intensifying. Christians, longing to stay in their home countries are being forced to flee for their lives and for their children's lives." (3) Persecution is most common in Islamic countries where Christians are the minority. However, communist countries such as China and North Korea are also hostile to Christianity. It is estimated that between 50,000 and 70,000 Christians are imprisoned and subjected to hard labor in North Korea. (4)
I have a feeling that those who are enduring such persecution would likely disagree with John Kerry's belief that "change is occurring in our world for the better." Indeed, such a notion is actually contradictory to Scripture. We are warned by the Apostle Paul in II Timothy 3:13, "But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived."
The Destruction Of The Family Unit In America!
Life in the United States has changed drastically since the turn of the century. One of the most significant changes we have seen is the destruction of the family unit. It is a bit ironic that homosexual couples have waged such a fierce battle in recent years for the right to "marry" their same-sex partners while an increasing number of straight couples are forgoing marriage altogether. As a result, a high percentage of children born in the United States today are born out of wedlock. This trend was noted by the New York Times about four years ago in an article published on February 17, 2012. At the time, the report noted that more than one half of all births by women under the age of 30 occurred outside of marriage, a development which the paper referred to as "the new normal." (5) Recent data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, indicates that an astounding 40.6 percent of all births in the United States now occur out of wedlock. (6) Amazingly enough, this prevailing tendency does not appear to be a concern for most Americans. A study conducted by Gallup in May 2015 found that 61 percent of respondents said it is morally acceptable to have children outside of marriage. (7)
Of course, this would not be happening if people adhered to the Biblical standards on intimacy. However, unwed mothers and broken families are not the only problems. Behavior that has now become normal in much of the world, including the United States, has led to an astounding proliferation of sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs. According to data published by the CDC in October 2014, about 50.5 million men and 59.5 million women in the United States are infected with an STD. (8) To put things in perspective, the United States Census Bureau estimates that the entire population of the United States at this present time is about 322 million people. (9)
Sadly, sin often leads to more sin, and the most heinous sin of all has become common in the land today. The barbaric practice of abortion is not only accepted and tolerated in the United States, it is praised and promoted. Insomuch that American President Barack Obama issues a statement each year commemorating the United States Supreme Court's 1973 decision to legalize abortion. On January 22, 2016, Obama issued the following declaration: "Today, we mark the 43rd anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade, which affirmed a woman's freedom to make her own choices about her body and not intrude on private decisions made between a woman and her doctor. As we commemorate this day, we also redouble our commitment to protecting these constitutional rights, including protecting a woman's access to safe, affordable health care, and her right to reproductive freedom from efforts to undermine or overturn them. In America, every single one of us deserve the rights, freedoms, and opportunities to fulfill our dreams." (10) This decision that Obama chooses to commemorate has resulted in the loss of over 58 million innocent lives in the United States. (11)
Amazingly enough, there are abortion specialists in this country who seem to believe that God smiles down on them as they slaughter babies. In a recent letter to the editor of the Des Moines Register in Des Moines, Iowa, medical director for Planned Parenthood of the Heartland Jill Meadows wrote, "I am an abortion health care provider, and I am proud of what I do. It's a privilege to be a positive presence in a person's life at a time when she most deserves care and compassion." She later went on to write, "Planned Parenthood provides evidence-based, compassionate, non-judgmental, high quality, affordable reproductive health care. It is time for people who are anti-abortion to stop using terror, lies, hate rhetoric, misinformation, and violence against us. Regardless, we will not be bullied and intimidated into abandoning the people who depend on us. I will continue to follow my God-given calling of being an abortion care provider. Our doors will stay open. No matter what." (12) This woman actually believes that God has called her to kill babies, and she is not the only one who has this warped point of view. Another article, written by a young doctor known as Carolyn Payne states, "Who wants to be an abortion provider? I do. And I don't have a nose-ring or a tattoo. I'm a 5' foot blonde from Ohio and my last boyfriend was a pastor. In fact, my Midwest, Christian upbringing is largely responsible for my belief that providing abortion services is one of the most meaningful ways I feel I can contribute to making the world a more fair and equal place for women." Payne later made the claim that performing her first abortion made her feel good. "Providing our first MVA (manual vacuum aspiration abortion) was a 'feel good procedure,' because we had successfully performed an intervention that changed a woman's life for the better!" (13) Perhaps these women have never read Matthew 18:14 in which Jesus makes the declaration, "Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish."
Is The Global Economy In Trouble?
For many of us, memories of the Great Recession of 2008 are still fresh in our minds. After all, 2008 was not so long ago. In recent years, we have been told that a recovery is in full-swing, and as such we need not worry about the global economy. However, the year of 2016 has already seen much economic instability, and prominent figures are warning that the situation could soon be much worse. One such figure is William White, who is the chairman of the review committee at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, or OECD. Speaking of the current condition of the global economy, Mr. White was quoted as saying, "The situation is worse than it was in 2007. Our macroeconomic ammunition to fight downturns is essentially all used up." He later went on to say, "Debts have continued to build up over the last eight years and they have reached such levels in every part of the world that they have become a potent cause for mischief. It will become obvious in the next recession that many of these debts will never be serviced or repaid, and this will be uncomfortable for a lot of people who think they own assets that are worth something." (14) Meanwhile, elitist billionaire George Soros has warned that the recent currency devaluation in China could lead to another global financial crisis. "China has a major adjustment problem. I would say it amounts to a crisis. When I look at the financial markets there is a serious challenge which reminds me of the crisis we had in 2008," Soros said. (15)
The United States is already facing numerous economic issues. In fact, the United States territory of Puerto Rico has defaulted on its debts. In a letter dated January 17, 2016, and addressed to United States House of Representatives speaker Paul Ryan, United States Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew wrote, "I write to update you and your colleagues on Puerto Rico's debit crisis. I appreciate the recent commitment by congressional leadership to produce a responsible solution for Puerto Rico. In order to assist the 3.5 million Americans living in Puerto Rico, Congress must pass legislation for the President to sign into law before the end of March. Although there are many ways this crisis could escalate further, it is clear that Puerto Rico is already in the midst of an economic collapse." Lew further went on to write, "Puerto Rico is already in default. It is shifting funds from one creditor to pay another and has stopped payment altogether on several of its debts." (16)
I think it is safe to say we all have an appreciation for lower prices at the gas pump. However, the falling cost of oil has already wreaked havoc in the United States. According to a report by CNN, the low cost of oil has caused 42 American companies to file for bankruptcy since the beginning of 2015. (17) Additionally, an estimated 250,000 people have lost their jobs. (18) The problem could be further complicated in the coming months now that Western sanctions on the nation of Iran have been lifted, and Iran has the option to sell its oil to the world for the first time since 2012.
As is usual for the United States, a large federal deficit is projected for the year 2016. In fact, the deficit is set to increase by 24 percent this year to 544 billion dollars. The Congressional Budget Office, or CBO, estimates that the federal deficit in the year 2022 will exceed one trillion dollars. (19) Naturally, the national debt of the United States, has also continued to rise, and is now on the verge of reaching 19 trillion dollars. (20) At its current pace, the national debt will reach a mind-boggling 27 trillion dollars by the year 2025. (21)
We live in a world today that is driven by debt. It is not a uniquely American problem as there are many countries that have an enormous amount of debt. In fact, a report published by the World Economic Forum in July 2015 indicates that the top three most indebted nations in the world are Japan, Greece, and Italy. (22) Do the countries of this world ever intend to pay off their debt? I do not believe they do. A time will come when debt in the United States and other countries around the world will reach a point where it cannot progress any further. I believe that when that happens the economies of the world will collapse, and a new one-world economy will be ushered into existence. In an effort to entice the masses to accept this economic structure, we will be told that all previous debt is forgiven. However, the new system will envelope the entire world in a global, electronic, and cashless society. Those who refuse to accept this new order of things will find they are no longer able to buy or sell.
A World United In Conformity!
In last month's issue of The Last Trumpet, I covered in great detail the plans of the United Nations to unite the entire world under a system of global governance by the year 2030. Their agenda, which they call "The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development," is an ambitious plan which includes a global economy, global educational system, and global healthcare. In January 2016, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson promoted this new agenda. "Fundamental principles that underpin the new goals are interdependence, universality, and solidarity. They should be implemented by all segments of all societies, working together. No one must be left behind. People who are hardest to reach should be given priority," Eliasson said. He later went on to say, "We must be ready to think - and to act - comprehensively and holistically. Every actor, every country, every international and regional organization has a responsibility to work in synergy, translating the Agenda into practical realities on the ground." (23) Quite clearly, he is speaking of a one world government. Not only that, but it is apparent that the United Nations is expecting every man woman and child to conform to their specifications as docile and compliant global citizens. Within the text of the Agenda itself, we find the following words, "We reaffirm the importance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as other international instruments relating to human rights and international law. We emphasize the responsibilities of all States, in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations, to respect, protect, and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms for all…" (24) When I read these words, I cannot help but think of the Scripture we find in Romans 12:2, which declares, "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Note that the Bible specifically calls for God's people to be non-conformists. In fact, Jesus Christ, when He was here in bodily form on this earth, was the greatest non-conformist who ever lived. The Scriptures never instruct the children of God to unite with the world. In reality, I Peter chapter 2 tells us that we are a "peculiar people."
Incidentally, those who were looking forward to Obama disappearing from the spotlight after his second presidential term ends may be in for a disappointment if Obama gets his way. News reports surfaced in January 2016 which indicate that Barack Obama is covertly campaigning to succeed Ban Ki-Moon as Secretary-General of the United Nations. This development raised the ire of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who reportedly said, "Wasn't eight years of having Obama in office enough?" (25)
Meanwhile, Pope Francis has continued his campaign to unite the religions of the world. Speaking in a video released in January 2016 for the Feast of Epiphany, Pope Francis is heard to say, "Most of the planet's inhabitants declare themselves believers. This should lead to dialogue among religions. We should not stop praying for it and collaborating with those who think differently." He then went on to say, "Many think differently, feel differently, seeking God or meeting God in different ways. In this crowd, in this range of religions, there is only one certainty that we have for all: we are all children of God." (26) The video also features a female lama who expresses her confidence in Buddha, a Jewish rabbi who expresses his belief in God, a priest who says he believes in Jesus Christ, and a Muslim who declares his faith in Allah. (27) Amazingly, the Pope's message directly contradicts the words of Jesus. In John 14:6 Jesus tells us, "… I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." In John 8:44, Jesus dispels the notion that every person is a child of God when he tells his opponents, "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."
According to a report published by the Christian Post in January 2016, Pope Francis has been invited to visit the Great Mosque in Rome. In a visit with the Pope, Islamic leaders from the mosque reportedly told Pope Francis that it was an "honor to meet you and recognize your moral and spiritual leadership. We are honored to invite you to the Islamic Cultural Center." In response, Pope Francis told his guests that it would be "a great pleasure to visit you also, because it would be a great sign of our brotherhood." (28)
Chaos In Europe!
In recent months, much has been said about the migrant crisis in Europe. Due in a large part to the civil war in Syria, many migrants and refugees have left their nation of origin and have made Europe their new home. In fact, over one million migrants entered Europe in the year of 2015. Half of them came from Syria. (29) As would be expected, this sudden increase in population has required an enormous amount of resources and has put a significant strain on the infrastructure in European communities. Amazingly enough, the aforementioned George Soros offered his opinion on the crisis in Europe and has suggested that the European Union is on the verge of collapse. "There is plenty to be nervous about. As she (German Chancellor Angela Merkel) correctly predicted, the EU (European Union) is on the verge of collapse. The Greek crisis taught the European authorities the art of muddling through one crisis after another. This practice is popularly known as kicking the can down the road, although it would be more accurate to describe it as kicking a ball uphill so that it keeps rolling back down." Soros then went on to say, "Merkel correctly foresaw the potential of the migration crisis to destroy the European Union. What was a prediction has become the reality." (30)
As would be expected, the cultural differences between the migrants and the Europeans has been a cause for contention throughout the European Union. Sadly, it has become apparent that many of the migrants are rather rowdy men who have an extremely low opinion of women. Such attitudes led to a shocking attack on December 31, 2015. On this day, over 800 women were assaulted as they were taking part in a New Year's Eve celebration in Cologne, Germany. (31) The attacks, many of which were sexual in nature, were perpetrated by men of Arab or North African appearance. (32) German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed outrage over the attacks and promised that efforts would be made "to find the perpetrators as quickly and comprehensively as possible and punish them, regardless of their origin or background." (33) It is important to note that attacks such as these are not new. In fact, similar attacks occurred in Sweden in 2014. "It was a modus operandi that we had never seen before: large groups of young men who surround girls and molest them. In the cases where we were able to apprehend suspects, they were with a foreign background, newly arrived refugees age 17-20, who had come to Sweden without their families," said Stockholm city administration official Roger Ticoalu. (34) Needless to say, tensions are running high in Europe. The perpetrators of these assaults certainly did not help the cause of migrants seeking to garner support for their plight.
In closing, the news headlines of today make it very clear that the world we live in is not changing for the better. I am certain that we will face many challenges in the days ahead. Yet, we serve a gracious God who always gives us the strength we need to overcome the world. In I John 5:4 we read, "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." If you have not yet given your heart to God and dedicated your life to Him, I urge you to do so now. In so doing, He will give you the strength you need to endure to the end.
Thank you to all who support this ministry. We could not do what we do without your help, and we are thankful for each and every one of you. As always, we are here and ready to pray for your needs and we invite you to send us your prayer requests. We always give each request individual attention. We at Last Trumpet Ministries firmly believe that God hears us when we cry out to Him, and we have seen many answered prayers over the years. Grace and peace be unto you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.