Volume XXXV Issue VI June 2016
Last Trumpet Ministries, PO Box 806, Beaver Dam, WI 53916
Phone: 920-887-2626 Internet: http://www.lasttrumpetministries.org
Daily Hazards In This Modern Age!
"So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me. And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour. Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun."Ecclesiastes 2:9-11
"This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord."Lamentations 3:21-26
"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us."Romans 5:1-5
In this issue of the Last Trumpet Newsletter, we will once again examine current events and the daily hazards we face in this modern age. When my father, Pastor David J. Meyer, was on this earth, he faithfully preached the Gospel for four decades and published this newsletter for twenty-nine years. Although many people appreciated his work, he also had a multitude of critics. The most common complaint levied against my father was that he was too negative, speaking often about the end of the world and the coming judgment of the Lord. It is true that he never shied away from difficult topics, and he always offered an honest and frank assessment of our world's condition. However, he also preached of the great and wonderful hope that we have in our Lord Jesus Christ. In contrast, the scientific community is constantly warning us about climate change and claiming that our world is on the brink of disaster. The men and women who incessantly bombard us with this bleak message are the real gloom and doom preachers. Of course, one of the most vocal climate change alarmists is not even a scientist. It was former American Vice-President Al Gore who released a film entitled An Inconvenient Truth ten years ago. Despite the fact that the predictions made in the film have not come to pass, Al Gore continues to sound the alarm, and insists that the situation today is more desperate than ever. "Sorry to risk sounding grandiose, but the future of human civilization is at stake," Gore declared in a recent interview. "Winning means avoiding catastrophic consequences that could utterly disrupt the future of human civilization. It means bending the curves downward so that the global warming pollution stops accumulating in the atmosphere and begins to reduce in volume." (1)
While Christians are often criticized for believing what the Bible tells us about the ultimate end of this planet, the scientific community also believes that the earth will be facing a fiery destruction in the future. In an article published on April 13, 2016, by Live Science and further distributed by CBS News, a question is asked in the headline: "What Will Happen to Earth When the Sun Dies?" Although the author of the article claims that the sun will not burn out for seven or eight billion years, he does insist that ultimately the earth and all of its inhabitants are doomed. The article also indicates that as the sun collapses on itself, it will grow larger before it dies while eventually causing the earth to bake and melt and the oceans to evaporate. It is then suggested that not only will the earth be consumed, but so will the planets Mercury and Venus. (2) Interestingly enough, the Bible also speaks of the earth being consumed. In II Peter 3:10 we read, "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up."
Even though scientists claim it will be billions of years before this final destruction will occur, they are already looking for a solution. According to the Live Science article, the human race may have to find a way to move to the planets Mars or Neptune, although the article continues to state that these two would also become exceedingly hot. (3) Meanwhile, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA, is constantly on the lookout for "earthlike planets." In fact, it was announced in May 2016 that scientists have discovered three new planets which they claim are similar to Earth. "These planets are so close, and their star so small, we can study their atmosphere and composition. This is a jackpot for the field," stated Julien de Wit of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. (4) I am thankful to know that the hope of mankind does not rest on the discovery of an earthlike planet or the colonization of Mars. Rather, we find our hope in the Lord Jesus Christ. For as it tells us in Romans 5:1-2, "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God."
New Technology To Track And Monitor You!
There was a time when most people would have reacted in horror to listening devices being placed in their homes. However, as an indicator of just how much times have changed, many folks who are anxious to experience cutting edge technology and are willing to sacrifice privacy for convenience are now placing such devices in their homes voluntarily.
Nearly one year ago, the Internet retailer known as Amazon.com released a new product that they call the Amazon Echo. This device is a black cylindrical speaker system, measuring just over nine inches tall and featuring seven internal microphones. The device is connected wirelessly to the Internet and utilizes a voice recognition system known as "Alexa." Users of the device are able to call it by name, and in so doing are able to ask it questions to which the device then gives answers. Upon request, it also has the ability to read news stories aloud, play music, or even place orders for groceries. (5) The device has been well received, and in a review published by the technology website known as CNET, the author declared, "I didn't know I wanted to talk to my house until I talked to my house. Now, after living with the Amazon Echo for a year, I talk to it every day." (6) The Amazon Echo is considered another part of the modern "smart house," but is it really smart to place a device in your home that can listen to everything you do and say?
In May 2016 it was announced that Google has developed a device similar to the Amazon Echo. This device, which has been dubbed "Google Home," is also equipped with microphones and has the ability to vocally respond to queries. The device, which is being promoted as a control center for the modern home, will even enable users to use vocal commands to turn on lights or adjust the temperature of their homes. (7) As with the Amazon Echo, the Google Home device will always be listening. Considering the fact that Google is known to work closely with the United States government, perhaps it will not be just Google who is listening in these homes.
In some cases, new technologies which encroach on our privacy are foisted upon users who do not want to use them. Just a few days ago, my mother reported to me that Microsoft had installed their new Windows 10 operating system on her computer without her consent. It was startling to learn that such a major technology company would use a tactic commonly associated with criminal enterprises, but upon investigation, I learned that Microsoft was indeed using deceitful tactics to trick users into installing Windows 10. In response to a query by the news outlet known as Forbes, Microsoft justified their actions and offered the following response: "With the free Windows 10 upgrade offer ending on July 29th, we want to help people upgrade to the best version of Windows." The statement later went on to say, "Customers can choose to accept or decline the Windows 10 upgrade." (8) Why might users decline a free upgrade to the latest operating system? Perhaps because Windows 10 tracks its users activities. In fact, one of its new features is a personal voice activated assistant known as "Cortana." It behaves similarly to the technology used by the Amazon Echo, the forthcoming Google Home, and the voice recognition technology built into most smart phones. The operating system also tracks users in other ways. In fact, the magazine known as Newsweek reported in August 2015 that Windows 10 even keeps track of what is typed, noting that the official privacy statement from Microsoft declares, "Your typed and handwritten words are collected." (9)
Without a doubt, a great effort is being made to ensure that every man, woman, and child is connected and monitored. Not only are new devices which make it easier to track the masses being made each year, but efforts are being made to make the Internet accessible to all. A technology that is now being developed is called Li-Fi. According to reports this technology uses a method known as visible light communication, or VLC, to transmit Internet access via light sources. Future plans call for LED lightbulbs to be fitted with this technology, which would potentially allow Internet access in hard to reach areas. "All we need to do is fit a small microchip to every potential illumination device and this would then combine two basic functionalities: illumination and wireless data transmission. In the future we will not only have 14 billion light bulbs, we may have 14 billion Li-Fis deployed worldwide for a cleaner, greener, and even brighter future," said Li-Fi inventor Harald Haas of the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. (10)
Meanwhile, a growing number of hobbyists around the world have been implanted with microchips. One such individual is a man from the state of Minnesota known as Tim Shank. The man, who is a science fiction enthusiast, believes he has enhanced his life by implanting several microchips in his body. "That to me is a very inspiring concept, that we can be more than we're built to be. That's really where a lot of my passion comes, because there are so many limitations and conditions that we have as people that we can overcome if we put a little energy into it and a little technology," Shank opined. Some of Shank's previous microchips already do things like open doors, interface with his computer, and allow him to operate his smart phone. It is his hope, however, that his latest microchip will allow him to forgo carrying items such as cash and credit cards. "I'm hoping that this will make it possible for me to not have to carry a wallet or credit card or keys," Shank stated. He later went on to say, "I think every indication of it is we're all moving closer and closer to internalizing our technology." (11)
To further promote propaganda regarding the microchipping of human beings, an affiliate of NBC in Tampa, Florida, featured a story on May 13, which suggests that responsible parents should have their children implanted with microchips in case they are ever lost or kidnapped. The article and the accompanying video, which is published on their website, features an enthusiastic mom who thinks microchipping children is a wonderful idea. "If it'll save my kid, there's no stuff that's too extreme. Micro-chipping would be an extra layer of protection, if something bad does happen," the mother declared. (12) The report also featured an engineer from Boston, Massachusetts, by the name of Stuart Lipoff. "I would tell people that the technology is already here, and it's been around since the early 90s. In fact, two companies developed microchips for humans and were testing them. They were on the verge of an initial public offering, but went under. People should be aware that this is being done right now. The military is not only testing this out, but already utilizes its properties. It's not a matter of if it will happen, but when," Lipoff declared. (13) In the report's video, reporter Melanie Michael ends with the following ominous statement: "You can bet somewhere, someday, someone is going to pull this off, and we could see those microchips in everyone." (14)
Excessive Technology Can Be Hazardous To Your Health!
The world we live in today is more connected than ever. In this modern age filled with tablet computers, smart watches, and smart phones, people now have the capability to access their social networking websites even when they are on the go. As a result, an addiction to technology has set in, and for many people, especially young people, they are seemingly unable to disconnect. It is not uncommon to see people checking their phones at restaurants, at social gatherings, or even at church. The problem has gotten so out of hand that some restaurants have offered discounts to customers who are willing to put away their phones during their meals, while other establishments have banned the use of mobile phones outright. (15) Unfortunately, heavy usage of gadgets such as smartphones has led to multiple health complications for many users including neck pain, back pain, and impaired eye function. Speaking of what happens to the human body when users are constantly looking down to check their smartphones, chiropractor Bob Yakovac was quoted as saying, "It's not the first time [you look down], it's the 10,000th time you put your head down and all of a sudden, you say, 'Man, it's killing me!" He further went on to explain, "When people have their heads all the way down… the weight of their own head becomes about 60 pounds." Degenerative conditions associated with the use of smartphones and tablet computers have been observed in patients as young as two years old. (16) Dr. Mark Jacquot, the clinical director of vision care at LensCrafters, also warned of the damage caused by excessive usage of smartphones and other gadgets with screens. "Many of the millennials who are either college age or in the workforce are looking at screens constantly. Of course we're all glued to our phones right now," Jacquot said. He later went on to say, "Being locked in at a close distance for a long period of time can sometimes cause the eyes' focusing system to spasm, which even if you don't know much about eye anatomy, it just doesn't sound good… and it isn't." It is interesting to note that myopia, which is commonly known as nearsightedness, now afflicts at least 42 percent of all Americans between the ages of 12 and 54. (17)
Low Morale In The United States!
For many Americans today, low morale has set in. Even as American President Barack Obama brags about his accomplishments and insists that things are better than ever, reports indicate that many Americans disagree with him. In fact, research published in April 2016 found that 66.1 percent of the Americans who responded believe that the United States is on the wrong track. (18) Officially, the unemployment rate in the United States has fallen to only 5 percent. (19) However, the official unemployment rate is not an accurate representation of how many Americans are actually employed. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS, the labor participation rate in April 2016 was 62.8 percent. (20) In other words, less than 63 percent of all working-age Americans 16 years or older have a job. Amazingly enough, it was reported by the Washington Free Beacon on April, 22, 2016, that one out of every five families in the United States do not have an employed person in their households. (21) Additionally, a poll conducted by the Associated Press found that a full two thirds of Americans who were surveyed would be unable to cover an emergency expense of one thousand dollars or more. (22) Speaking of this development, Caroline Ratcliffe of the Urban Institute was quoted as saying, "The more we learn about the balance sheets of Americans, it becomes quite alarming." She further went on to say, "People are extremely vulnerable if they don't have savings. And it's a cost to taxpayers as well. Lack of savings can lead to homelessness, or other problems." (23) Another study published by the Federal Reserve in 2015 found that 47 percent of respondents do not have the funds necessary to cover a 400 dollar emergency. (24)
With so many Americans struggling financially, it is no surprise to hear cries going out to raise the federal minimum wage to 15 dollars an hour. However, such an increase could mean that low-income earning Americans are priced out of a job entirely. In fact, the minimum wage in the states of California and New York have been raised to 15 dollars an hour in recent days, and some businesses are already responding. For example, the fast food chain known as Wendy's has announced plans to install automated kiosks in its restaurants around the country by the end of the year. (25) Meanwhile, former McDonald's President Ed Rensi has warned that more restaurants are likely to replace employees with machines in the near future. "If you look at the robotic devices that are coming into the restaurant industry - it's cheaper to buy a $35,000 robotic arm than it is to hire an employee who's inefficient making $15 an hour bagging French fries. It's nonsense and it's very destructive and it's inflationary and it's going to cause a job loss across this country like you're not going to believe." Elaborating further, Rensi continued, "It's not just going to be in the fast food business. Franchising is the best business model in the United States. It's dependent on people that have low job skills that have to grow. Well, if you can't get people a reasonable wage, you're going to get machines to do the work. It's just common sense. It's going to happen whether you like it or not." (26) Could this really happen in the United States? Well, something similar is already happening in China. In May 2016, the BBC reported that the Chinese technology manufacturer known as Foxconn has replaced 60,000 workers with robots. "We are applying robotics engineering and other innovative manufacturing technologies to replace repetitive tasks previously done by employees, and through training, also enable our employees to focus on higher value-added elements in the manufacturing process, such as research and development, process control, and quality control," Foxconn said in a statement. (27)
At this point, perhaps we should consider the possibility that there are certain evil organizations and individuals in this world who want to demoralize the people. Since the Great Recession of 2008, many of the new jobs which have been added are low-paying and inferior to the older jobs. Thus, a significant number of Americans are having difficulty surviving on these low wages, which has ushered in a widespread state of discontentment. As a result, we are seeing demands being made for a significant increase to minimum wage. If that increase is implemented, it could cause a reaction which leads to many of those low-income jobs disappearing entirely as the workforce is replaced by machines. These unemployed masses would then have no other recourse but to turn to their government to supply their needs, and before long we could see an entirely socialistic government in the United States. Such a development would prepare the United States to take its place in a global government implemented and administrated by the United Nations.
Social And Economic Collapse In Venezuela!
The South American country of Venezuela should be a prosperous country. After all, this country has the largest oil reserves in the world, and oil certainly has gained a reputation as a profitable business over the years. Yet, the government in Venezuela is socialist, and after years of government mismanagement, the economy has collapsed. Many of the problems facing Venezuelans today stem from the policies of the late Hugo Chavez, who was president of Venezuela from 2002 until his death in 2013. His successor, Nicolas Maduro, has continued socialistic policies which led to gross overspending and hyperinflation. Just how bad is it in Venezuela? The International Monetary Fund, or IMF, estimates that inflation will reach 720 percent in the South American country this year. (28) As a result of the inflation, the Venezuelan currency known as the bolivar is nearly worthless. "Last April I bought some fruit and vegetables for 430 bolivars. Last Saturday the same items cost me 14,000 bolivars," said Venezuelan citizen Juan Carlos Bacalhau. (29) The situation has grown so dire that most Venezuelans can no longer afford to purchase things we take for granted here in the United States.
Food shortages in Venezuela have led to desperation. Even the nation's soldiers have difficulty obtaining a decent meal, which is why six members of their military were recently detained for stealing goats. "It's not a good sign when your military doesn't have enough food, and when the military has been relegated to guarding and protecting food lines. This is endemic of the problems going on across the country," declared Jason Marczak, who is director of the Latin America Economic Growth Initiative. (30) Violence is also plaguing the nation and it is estimated that 28,000 people were murdered in Venezuela last year. As a result, most citizens no longer feel safe outdoors and no longer venture out of their homes after dark. (31) Perhaps the masses of young people in the United States who are advocating socialism should take a hard look at Venezuela. Venezuela is a prime example of what socialism can do to a country.
In the world we live in today, there exists an underlying sense of despair and futility. Many people are demoralized and angry. Yet, these feelings are nothing new. In fact, this sense of hopelessness can be observed in the Biblical book of Ecclesiastes, which has been attributed to King Solomon. In Ecclesiastes 2:9-11 we read, "So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me. And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour. Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun." Note, that as King, Solomon could have anything he desired. Yet, all of his riches and material possessions could not instill in him a sense of purpose or fulfillment. However, by the end of the book, the author of Ecclesiastes comes to realize what is truly important. In Ecclesiastes 12:13 we read, "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man." It is only our Creator who can give us a sense of purpose and fill the void in our lives. If you have not yet repented of your sins and dedicated your life to God, I urge you to do so now.
Thank you all for your kind support of this ministry. We could not do what we do without your help and it is a great blessing to serve you. We are excited to announce that we have just recently released a new music CD featuring piano instrumentals performed by my mother, Shirley Meyer. The disc is entitled Victory in Jesus and features twenty-one beautiful hymns and gospel songs. If you are interested in obtaining this CD, you may write to us and request a copy or visit the website address listed on the bottom of the next page. As always, we are ready to pray for you and your needs if you have any prayer requests. We know that God hears and answers prayer! Grace and peace be unto you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.