Volume XXXV Issue IV April 2016
Last Trumpet Ministries, PO Box 806, Beaver Dam, WI 53916
Phone: 920-887-2626 Internet: http://www.lasttrumpetministries.org
Unbelief And Terror In This Modern Age!
"And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?"Luke 18:7-8
"Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."Matthew 7:13-14
"There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."Proverbs 14:12
In this issue of the Last Trumpet Newsletter, we will examine the trends of this modern age, which indicate that there has been a great turning away from God in the United States of America. Over the course of recent decades, it has been easy to see a change in the attitudes of the people. While there was once great reverence for God in our country, this once ubiquitous respect is not as common as it was in the past. This is especially true amongst America's young people, including teenagers and those in their 20s and 30s. Evidence of this trend can be found in the results of a decades-long study which were recently published, prompting The Independent to declare in its headline, "The percentage of Americans who believe in God is at an all-time low." (1) According to the study, which began in 1972 and concluded in 2014, the number of Americans who said they do not believe in God was doubled over the period between 1980 and 2014. During this same period, the number of Americans who reported that they never prayed increased five-fold. (2) Dr. Jean Twenge, who is a psychology professor at San Diego State University, offered a rather clinical assessment of the study's findings. "Most previous studies concluded that fewer Americans were publicly affiliating with a religion, but that Americans were just as religious in private ways. That's no longer the case, especially in the last few years. The large declines in religious practice among young adults are also further evidence that Millennials are the least religious generation in memory, and possibly in American history," Dr. Twenge stated. (3) Of the study's participants, one third of the Americans who had reached their 30s by the year 2014 declared themselves to be secular. (4) Oddly enough, it was also noted by researchers that the number of participants who believe in the afterlife actually increased. Thus, it would seem that there are people who do not believe in God but do believe in Heaven. "It was interesting that fewer people participated in religion or prayed but more believed in an afterlife. It might be part of a growing entitlement mentality - thinking you can get something for nothing," Dr. Twenge said. (5) Those who are expecting to enjoy a pleasant afterlife without God will someday experience a rude awakening. In Proverbs 14:2 we read, "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."
In another study, which was conducted by Pew Research between June 4, 2014, and September 30, 2014, it was found that only 50 percent of young Millennials - those born between 1990 and 1996 - believe that God exists with absolute certainty. Additionally, only 52 percent said they believe that the Bible is the Word of God, and only 56 percent said they believe in the existence of hell. (6) What is the root cause of this unbelief? Most people no longer read their Bibles. It was reported in 2013 that only 26 percent of Americans who were polled ever read their Bibles. Of those who did claim that they read the Bible, 57 percent of them said they only do so four times per year or less. (7)
Clearly, the United States is being transformed into a secular society. It is a process that does not happen overnight, but rather, it occurs slowly over a span of decades and years. Yet, I have seen this country change dramatically in just the short time I have been alive. In America, we now have legalized same-sex marriage, widespread abortion, and a prevalent hostility to public displays of Christian faith. Many of today's young people are not only secular, but they are also socialist. They adore their favorite Presidential candidate, the openly socialist and secular Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. In fact, 30,000 people showed up at a Sanders campaign rally which took place on March 22, 2016, in San Diego, California. Reports indicate that the lines backed up for miles as people waited to enter the event and forced officials to open two overflow areas of the San Diego Convention Center to accommodate the crowd. (8)
Today, there are many regions of the world which now have predominantly secular societies. This is especially true in Europe. For example, research performed by Gallup found that 76 percent of the study's respondents in Sweden identified as either not religious or atheist. In both the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, 66 percent of the respondents reported themselves to be secular. High percentages of secularism also exists in Germany, Switzerland, Spain, France, Denmark, Austria, and Ireland where more than 50 percent of the population is either not religious or atheist according to the poll. (9) Some of the other countries included in the research with high percentages of secularism are: Israel - 65 percent, Japan - 62 percent, Australia - 58 percent, and Canada - 53 percent. (10) In perhaps just a few generations from now, the United States too will be a predominantly secular nation. This trend calls to mind the words of Jesus we find in Luke 18:8, "Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?"
The United Nations - Now More Intrusive Than Ever!
Since the United Nations first came into existence on October 24, 1945, we have been told that their mission is to establish lasting peace. In reality, this organization was formed to establish a one world government and a new world order. In previous issues of this newsletter, we have discussed the United Nations' 2030 Agenda, which is a vast sweeping set of reforms they hope to implement by the year 2030. In March 2016, the United Nations further revealed the mechanism they plan to use to ensure that their agenda is progressing as planned. As it turns out, the United Nations' Statistical Commission has been tasked with gathering enormous amounts of data, which they refer to as global indicators, from every country in the world. It is expected that every nation will gather this data and then submit it to the United Nations. The data will then be used by the Secretary-General of the United Nations to compile an annual progress report.
It takes a tremendous amount of determination to read the entire list of global indicators that the United Nations intends to track. It would seem that they have thought of everything and intend to monitor nearly every facet of life as we know it. A small sampling of the global indicators that they intend to monitor include: "Proportion of individuals who own a mobile telephone, by sex," "Proportion of individuals using the Internet," "Percentage of the population reporting having personally felt discriminated against or harassed," "Percentage of educational institutions with formal and informal education curricula on sustainable development and lifestyle topics," "Percentage of children aged 1-17 who experienced any physical punishment and/or psychological aggression by caregivers in the past month," "Percentage of seized small arms and light weapons that are recorded and traced in accordance with international standards and legal instruments," "Percentage of children under 5 whose births have been registered with a civil authority," and perhaps the most telling global indicator of all, "Extent to which global citizenship education, and education for sustainable development, including gender equality and human rights, are mainstreamed at all levels in national education policies, curricula, teacher education and student assessment." (11)
At this point, perhaps we should ask ourselves why the United Nations wants to know how many people are using mobile phones and have Internet access. Could it be that they want to ensure that everyone is connected to the system so that they can be tracked? Why do they care about how many guns have been seized and where the remaining weapons in circulation are registered? Could it be that they want to know how much potential opposition they might face in implementing their agenda? Why are they so concerned about registered births? Could it be that they want to make sure that they have an accurate headcount so that every person can receive their "global citizenship education" brainwashing? On October 20, 2015, as plans were being laid out to collect this data, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon was quoted as saying, "On this World Statistics Day, I urge all partners and stakeholders to work together to ensure that the necessary investments are made, adequate technical capability is built, new data sources are explored, and innovative processes are applied to give all countries the comprehensive information systems they need to achieve sustainable development." He further went on to say, "We need to ensure that everyone is counted, especially the most poor and vulnerable. No child's birth shall remain unregistered. No incidence of disease, no matter how remote the location, shall remain unrecorded." (12) In total, the United Nations has established 230 global indicators, or types of data, which will be collected. Regarding this development, Wu Hongbong, who is the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs at the United Nations, was quoted as saying, "Completing the indicator framework is of course not the end of the story - on the contrary, it is the beginning." He later went on to say, "The SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) indicators will require an unprecedented amount of data to be produced and analyzed - and it is evident that this will pose a significant challenge for national statistical systems, in developing as well as developed countries." (13) One thing is certainly clear, the United Nations is moving as quickly as they can to establish a global government.
An Age Of Constant Terror!
The time period we live in today has become an age of constant terror. Each and every day there are millions of people around the world who live under a constant threat of violence and deadly attacks. Living under these circumstances has long been the norm in many Middle Eastern countries and numerous African nations. Recent events show that this type of violence has now reached Europe, and as a result, the European people have been gripped by panic and fear.
On March 22, 2016, operatives for the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, launched a pair of attacks in Brussels, Belgium. On this fateful morning, suicide bombers detonated two bombs at Zaventum Airport in Brussels. Just one hour later, another bomb was detonated at the Maelbeek metro station. (14) The attacks claimed the lives of 31 individuals while injuring hundreds more. (15) Following the attacks, the Islamic State issued a statement claiming responsibility for the attacks and thanking their god for the resulting damage. "Thanks be to god for his accuracy and success, and we ask god to accept our brothers among the martyrs," the terrorist group reportedly said. (16)
In the aftermath of the attacks in Brussels, the mood of the people in Europe has been sullen to say the least. Amid the sadness felt regarding the death and destruction, an almost defeatist attitude has set in, and it is widely expected that more attacks will be carried out in Europe in the near future. Regarding the desperate situation in Europe, Kyle W. Orton, a fellow at a think tank in the United Kingdom known as the Henry Jackson Society, was quoted as saying, "Yes, there is certainly a growing unease, if not panic. The overwhelming question after Brussels was: 'Where next?'" Orton then went on to say, "The security and intelligence services are, as ever, getting a lot of the blame, but in Belgium particularly it is clearly a political problem: the dysfunction of the government and a lack of resources for what is now a very large-scale problem." (17) One newsstand vendor in Brussels explained the problem in a simple yet effective way. "We arrest a terrorist and then another one but in the end, others join and it goes on," the vendor said. (18)
According to a report published by the Associated Press, government officials from Europe and Iraq have claimed that at least 400 ISIS militants are scattered throughout Europe and waiting to launch attacks. (19) To make matters worse, Yukiya Amano, who is head of the United Nations' International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, has warned that ISIS operatives may be plotting to launch nuclear attacks in Europe. "Terrorism is spreading and the possibility of using nuclear material cannot be excluded. Member states need to have sustained interest in strengthening nuclear security. The countries which do not recognize the danger of nuclear terrorism is the biggest problem," Amano declared. (20) He later went on to say that the most likely method of a nuclear attack would be a dirty bomb, which is a bomb crafted using conventional explosives and then laced with radioactive material. "Dirty bombs will be enough to (drive) any big city in the world into panic. And the psychological, economic, and political implications would be enormous," Amano said. (21)
As news of the attacks in Belgium broke, American President Barack Obama was in Cuba spending time with Cuban President Raul Castro and his communist friends. Speaking of the attacks, Obama was quoted as saying, "This is yet another reminder that the world must unite. We must be together, regardless of nationality or race or faith, in fighting against the scourge of terrorism. We can and we will defeat those who threaten the safety and security of people all around the world." (22) Of course, this statement sounds very similar to other statements Obama has made regarding terrorist attacks. I cannot help but feel that if he was really determined to defeat ISIS, it could be done. Yet, despite the fact that the United States and other countries have been bombing ISIS strongholds in Iraq and Syria since 2014, ISIS seems more determined than ever to bring death and destruction to their enemies. We must remember that Barack Obama is the one who armed so-called "moderate" rebels in Syria to fight against the regime of Syrian president Bashar Assad. Those very same weapons, which were provided by the Obama Administration, have found their way into the hands of Islamic State operatives. This is a fact so plainly obvious that even mainstream news network CNN has admitted it. (23) Therefore, when Obama promises that "we can and we will" defeat ISIS, I find his words difficult to believe.
As we continue to watch and pray in these perilous times, I think it would be prudent for us all to consider the possibility that we could be seeing the first stirrings of conflict that will eventually lead to World War III. In fact, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon has claimed that World War III has already started. "We're all in the same boat. The world finds itself at the moment in a third world war, or as it has been called, 'a clash of civilizations.' We must face it together," Ya'alon declared in March 2016. (24) Meanwhile, former Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov has warned that Europe is inching closer to nuclear war. "The risk of confrontation with the use of nuclear weapons in Europe is higher than in the 1980s," Ivanov stated. He then went on to say, "We have less nuclear warheads, but the risk of them being used is growing." (25)
It should be noted that we who live in the United States and the Western world are often shocked when we hear about terrorist attacks in Europe. It is truly sad to see so many lives destroyed, and it often prompts us to wonder, "Could it happen here?" The truth is that attacks similar to those carried out recently in Belgium and France happen on a routine basis in the Middle East and Africa. In fact, the attacks are so frequent that they seldom garner much, if any, media attention. As an example, on March 13, 2016, a suicide car bomber launched an attack in Ankara, Turkey, which resulted in the death of 35 people. (26) On March 6, 2016, a truck bomb with an operative from the Islamic State was detonated in Baghdad, Iraq, at a checkpoint and killed 47 people. (27) On January 7, 2016, nearly 50 people at a police academy were killed by a suicide bomber in Libya. (28) There are more examples I could cite, but I think the point has been established. We live in a time similar to that of the days of Noah when the earth was filled with violence. Jesus warned us it would be this way in the last days. As it stands, the violent attacks carried out by the Islamic State and other groups will no doubt be used by the propagandists at the United Nations as examples of why they think we all need to embrace their 2030 agenda and their one world government for the sake of world peace. Yet, it tells us in I Thessalonians 5:3, "For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape."
The Robots Are Coming!
In last month's issue of this newsletter, we took an in-depth look at the work of scientists and technologists as they continue to develop robots and artificial intelligence. Since that time, new stories have surfaced which show that such technology is advancing even more rapidly than previously thought, and we may very soon have robots walking among us.
In March 2016, it was announced that the famous pizzeria chain known as Domino's will soon begin testing a new pizza delivery robot. The device is known as the Domino's Robotic Unit, or DRU, and features a heated compartment with storage for up to ten pizzas. The robot is three feet tall and has the capability to travel up to 12.5 miles before it becomes necessary to recharge the batteries in its self-driving unit. "DRU is cheeky and endearing and we are confident that one day he will become an integral part of the Domino's family. He's a road to the future and one that we are very excited about exploring further," said Scott Bush, the general manager of the Domino's branch in New Zealand. Tests are set to commence in New Zealand as soon as Domino's receives permission from the nation's government. (29)
A robot similar in appearance and function to the Domino's Robotic Unit has been developed by a company known as Starship Technologies. In similar fashion, this robot is designed to deliver take-out food and may soon be launched on the streets of Washington, D.C., if the company gets approval to do so. The robot is sophisticated enough to detect stop signs and stoplights while avoiding collisions with pedestrians. "It has nine cameras, an obstacle detection system. For example, if a pedestrian was to walk in front of it, the robot would stop," said Alexander Shakeshaft of Starship Technologies. (30)
Meanwhile, a drone has successfully delivered a package in the state of Nevada. On March 10, 2016, a drone built and controlled by a company known as Flirtey successfully delivered a package containing household supplies. "Conducting the first drone delivery in an urban setting is a major achievement, taking us closer to the day that drones make regular deliveries to your front doorstep," said Flirtey CEO Matt Sweeney. Nevada State Governor Brian Sandoval also conveyed his enthusiasm regarding delivery by drones. "I am thrilled that Flirtey is not only testing its cutting-edge technology in Nevada, but also creating jobs through its headquarters relocation to Reno," Governor Sandoval said. (31) Sure, this development may be creating jobs in Nevada right now, but they might want to consider what happens to those jobs when robots are made that can design and build other robots.
The robots we have discussed so far in this newsletter all have a common thread. They have the potential to take jobs away from human beings, a development that could lead to a great deal of human misery. Yet, a recent headline by the Washington Post suggests that robots will not only take jobs but also become part of our families. "Get ready for robots to become part of the family," the article declares. (32) It further goes on to quote Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos who said, "Things like machine intelligence and robotics are going to affect everything. This has been science fiction for 50 years or more. I believe it is on the precipice of happening." (33)
Based on the words of some technologists, it seems that a major goal of those developing artificial intelligence is to develop new god-like lifeforms. People were amazed a few years back when a new system known as Siri was launched on Apple's iPhone platform. With this system, you can talk to your phone and ask it questions, which are then answered by the female-voiced Siri. The system was designed by a man named Dag Kittlaus who is now working on another system he calls Viv. "Siri was chapter one, and now it's almost like a new Internet age is coming. Viv will be a giant brain in the sky," Kittlaus declared. (34) The system is designed to allow humans to talk to the Internet and have the Internet talk back. Unlike Siri, however, Viv will have a mind of its own. A "giant brain in the sky" goes beyond artificial intelligence. Rather, it sounds very much like an imposter god.
The Temple Of Baal In New York City!
We certainly have much to consider and much to pray about in these dangerous days. Sadly, a report published by the New York Times on March 19, 2016, indicates that a deed is now underway which will bring further reproach upon the United States of America. According to the article, a replica of a 50-foot arch that formed the entrance of a temple for the false god known as Baal is going to be erected at Times Square in New York City. Amazingly enough, the article starts off by saying "Next month, the Temple of Baal will come to Times Square." Plans are also underway to install an identical structure in London, England. (35) Such actions will no doubt anger God and have the potential to bring a greater curse upon the land. Such was the case in Israel during ancient times when the Israelites followed after Baal. Consider the words of Jeremiah 23:12-13 which declare, "Wherefore their way shall be unto them as slippery ways in the darkness: they shall be driven on, and fall therein: for I will bring evil upon them, even the year of their visitation, saith the Lord. And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria; they prophesied in Baal, and caused my people Israel to err."
In closing, I urge every reader of this newsletter to draw nigh to God. In Matthew 7:13-14 we are warned by our Lord Jesus Christ, "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." We must stay on the strait and narrow way even as we face mounting pressure from all sides to assimilate with the world. It is a sorrowful thing to see so many people taking the broad way to destruction, but the good news is that this does not have to include you. If you would like to take the road that leads to everlasting life, I urge you to dedicate your life to God and repent of your sins if you have not already done so. In so doing you will find a peace that no one can provide except our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Thank you all for your support of this ministry. Your kindness is never forgotten, and we will strive to continue serving you to the best of our ability according to God's perfect will. If you have any prayer requests, please do not hesitate to send them our way. We always give each prayer request individual attention. Grace and peace be unto you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.