Volume XXXV Issue VIII August 2016
Last Trumpet Ministries, PO Box 806, Beaver Dam, WI 53916
Phone: 920-887-2626 Internet: http://www.lasttrumpetministries.org
USA: A Nation In Turmoil And Distress!
"And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king's business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it."Daniel 8:27
"Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust."Matthew 5:43-45
"Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another."Matthew 24:9-10
"For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life."Titus 3:3-7
In this issue of the Last Trumpet Newsletter, we will once again scrutinize the current events of our day. At the very outset of this newsletter, I will say that many of the things we see happening today are very distressing. When we consider the violence and the hatred that is now so common in the United States, it can be troubling to the point that to ponder our country's condition leaves one feeling ill. In this regard, I can relate to Daniel the prophet, who after being given a vision of the future reported in Daniel 8:27, "And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king's business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it." What Daniel saw in his vision was so distressing that it made him physically ill for days.
In Matthew 24 our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ gives us many details regarding the condition of the world in the latter days of the earth just before His second coming. One of the predominant characteristics of that time period is prevalent hatred. This is a hatred not only for God's people, but also a hatred that wicked men have for each other as they turn on each other and betray one another. Matthew 24:9-10 tells us, "Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another."
As it happens, one of the characteristics of the people now manifesting in these turbulent times is widespread hatred. This hatred often leads to violence, and this violence has caused great turmoil in the United States. Sadly, this tension runs along racial lines, and there is especially great animosity between black Americans and American police forces. In fact, a pair of officer-involved shootings in early July 2016 have led to unrest all over the country. The first incident occurred on July 5, 2016, when a 37 year-old black man, known as Alton Sterling, was shot in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (1) The second shooting occurred the very next day on July 6, 2016, when a 32 year-old black man by the name of Philando Castile was shot by a police officer during a routine traffic stop in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota. (2) Video evidence suggests that both shootings were likely unwarranted and involved excessive force by the officers involved in the incidents. In the case of Castile, it has been reported that the individual was shot while reaching for his wallet to retrieve his identification, an act which the officer misinterpreted as an attempt to reach for a firearm. (3)
In the days following these shootings, massive protests have broken out all over the country. On July 10, 2016, it was reported by ABC News that a combined 200 people had been arrested in Baton Rouge and St. Paul. In St. Paul, during a tumultuous night, mobs targeted police officers with Molotov cocktails, rocks, glass bottles and even concrete slabs. (4) In Baton Rouge, members of the hate group known as the New Black Panther Party were on hand for the protest, (5) and as usual, outside agitators were present to stir up the people. "It appears the protestors at Baton Rouge Police Headquarters have become more violent as out-of-town protestors are arriving. Any protest which becomes violent will be immediately dispersed," the Baton Rouge Police Department said in a statement. (6)
Unfortunately, some protests became very violent. On July 7, 2016, a former soldier by the name of Micah Johnson opened fire at a protest in Dallas, Texas. This well-planned attack resulted in the death of five police officers and wounded nine other individuals. (7) The conflict eventually ended after a fruitless negotiation dragged on for hours in a building located at El Centro College in Dallas. (8) Amazingly enough, the shooter was eventually killed after the Dallas Police Department deployed a robot armed with a bomb. According to reports, this tactic had never been used before in a civilian conflict. During the standoff, Johnson taunted police officers as he laughed and sang songs (9) while expressing a desire to kill more white people. (10) Oddly enough, it was later discovered at the scene that the twenty-five year old shooter had scrawled the initials "RB" in his own blood. His reasoning for doing so remains a mystery. (11) A journal, which is said to contain incoherent ramblings, was also found at the home of the shooter. Regarding this development, Dallas Police Chief David Brown was quoted as saying, "I think that this killer obviously had some delusion," noting that the journal contained "quite a bit of rambling… that's hard to decipher." (12)
When we consider the strange writings in the journal of Micah Johnson, his odd behavior during the standoff, and the mysterious initials written in blood, it becomes obvious that there was something very wrong with this individual. I cannot help but wonder if this man was acting under the influence of mind control. While many people would find such a notion hard to believe, we must remember that it has been proven that agencies such as the Central Intelligence Agency have used mind control techniques in the past, and though they would never admit it, they probably still do today. At the very least, Micah Johnson was acting under the influence of demonic forces.
On July 17, 2016, another violent shooting occurred, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. On this fateful day, a 29 year-old former Marine by the name of Gavin Long shot and killed two police officers and one sheriff's deputy. (13) It later came to light that Long had mailed a letter to an acquaintance in an attempt to explain his demented rationale for this heinous attack. "The way the current system is set up, it protects all cops whether good or bad, right or wrong, instead of punishing bad cops and holding them accountable for their actions," Long wrote. He later went on to write, "Therefore, I must bring the same destruction that bad cops continue to inflict upon my people, upon bad cops as well as good cops, in the hopes that the good cops (which are the majority) will be able to stand together and enact justice and punishment against bad cops because right now the police forces and current judicial system is not doing so." (14)
At this point, the United States is facing a conflict that could soon become an all-out war. In recent days, police officers have been targeted in the states of Missouri, Georgia, and Tennessee. (15) Meanwhile, in Baltimore, Maryland, anti-police sentiment has increased to the point that the Baltimore Police Department is having difficulties finding new recruits. "They're having trouble recruiting because since Ferguson there has been a lot of negative press about policing," said John DeCarlo who is an associate professor of criminal justice at the University of New Haven, Connecticut, as he referenced the Ferguson, Missouri, unrest of 2014. (16) Needless to say, if this contentious environment persists in the United States it will bring about dire consequences in the future.
Sadly, the world we live in today is filled with hatred. This hatred leads to violence, and this violence leads to even more violence. It is a vicious cycle that can only be broken by the Lord Jesus Christ. In Titus 3:3-7 we find the following words, "For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life."
Will The United States Constitution Be Altered?
In the United States of America, it is not unusual to hear people talk about their "rights." These rights which people speak of are guaranteed by an extraordinary document known as the Constitution of the United States. A close examination of this document quickly reveals that its main point of emphasis is restricting the government. We now live in a period of time when this document is routinely maligned by liberals, and there is often propaganda sprouting forth demanding that the Constitution be modified. One man who has complained about the Constitution on more than one occasion is none other than our current President, Barack Obama. For example, Obama complained in a 2001 interview, stating that the Constitution is "a charter of negative liberties. It says what the states can't do to you. Says what the federal government can't do to you but doesn't say what the federal government or state government must do on your behalf." (17) In 2013 he again derided the Constitution when he said, "I am constrained by a system our founders put in place." (18) When we realize that the person holding the highest office in the land has a great disdain for the Constitution, it should not be a surprise that many Americans today regard it as an old fashioned document that is no longer relevant today.
One of the biggest points of contention regarding the Constitution today is a belief by liberal Americans that the Second Amendment, which guarantees the American people the right to bear arms, needs to be abolished. In fact, an article entitled "Why it's Time to Repeal the Second Amendment" was published by Rolling Stone Magazine on June 13, 2016. Set against the backdrop of the mass shooting at a homosexual nightclub in Orlando, Florida, on June 12, 2016, the author of the article states, "In the face of yet another mass shooting, now is the time to acknowledge a profound but obvious truth - the Second Amendment is wrong for this country and needs to be jettisoned." (19)
I suspect that if the Second Amendment was abolished, it would not be long before the Fourth Amendment was also revoked. The Fourth Amendment restricts the government from performing unlawful searches and seizures, and in order for a ban on firearms to truly be effective, house to house searches would have to be performed. Of course, such a government likely would not want people complaining about these searches, so perhaps the First Amendment, which prevents the government from restricting free speech, would also be abolished. While it may seem far-fetched that anything like this could ever happen, we should keep in mind that speech is sometimes already restricted in this country. In fact, controversial events often draw a crowd of protestors, and these protestors are sometimes told that they must remain in a "free speech zone." Ironically, these zones, which are supposed to allow the American people to freely express themselves, are set up like cages.
It is distressing to see so many people, especially young people in the Millennial Generation, disparage the Constitution. After all, this document was created for our benefit. Yet, as this world grows more corrupt, we will likely find that many of our rights and freedoms are taken away. Thankfully, we know the one who can make us truly free indeed, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ.
Is The American Political System Rigged?
It is often said that there is no honor among thieves. It could also be said that there is no honor among politicians. In July 2016 it was revealed that the Democratic National Committee, or DNC, which is the governing body of the Democratic Party in the United States, had been working to ensure that Hillary Clinton would be the Democratic nominee for president of the United States even as the primary elections raged on between Clinton and her rival Bernie Sanders. This is significant because the DNC was supposed to remain neutral and not support one candidate over the other. As it turns out, the deck was stacked in Clinton's favor the entire time.
The reality of the DNC's dirty deeds was brought to light when the controversial website known as WikiLeaks released nearly 20,000 emails which they had obtained from anonymous computer hackers. These emails show that not only did the Democratic Party favor Clinton, but they used unscrupulous tactics to do so. For example, emails show that the DNC sent spies into the Bernie Sanders campaign to gather information. Another email shows that the DNC actually paid people to go online and push back against Bernie Sanders supporters. We also learn from these emails that collusion with the mainstream media is rampant, and the Democrats actively worked to plant news stories and manipulate headlines. (20)
Amid the scandal, it was announced on July 24, 2016, that the chairperson of the Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, was stepping down from her position. "I know that electing Hillary Clinton is critical for America's future. I look forward to serving as a surrogate for her campaign in Florida and across the country to ensure her victory," Wasserman Schultz said in a statement. She further went on to say, "Going forward, the best way for me to accomplish those goals is to step down as party chair at the end of this convention." (21) In response to the controversy, Bernie Sanders was quoted as saying, "The party leadership must also always remain impartial in the presidential nominating process, something which did not occur in the 2016 race." (22) While I am certainly no fan of Bernie Sanders, this email scandal clearly demonstrates that the Democratic Party is as crooked as a barrel of fishhooks. It is for this reason that Hillary Clinton is their perfect candidate. This development calls to mind the words of Jesus we find in Matthew 10:26 which declares, "Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known."
A Buying Spree By Foreign Interests In America!
For many years, the nation of China has prospered greatly at the expense of the United States. The United States imports massive amounts of merchandise from China, and as a result, Chinese goods line the shelves at American retail stores such as Walmart. Since the United States exports far less to China than it imports from China, each year we see a trade deficit. In 2015, the United States' trade deficit reached a new record of 365.7 billion dollars. (23)
Not only does the United States owe massive amounts of money to China, but in recent days, Chinese firms have been spending billions of dollars on the purchase of American companies and assets. In fact, some of the most iconic American establishments are now owned by Chinese interests. This includes the luxurious Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City which was purchased for 1.95 billion dollars by a Chinese insurance company known as Anbang Insurance Group in 2014. (24) In March 2016, this same Chinese company purchased the American company known as Strategic Hotels & Resorts for 6.5 billion dollars. The sale included 16 luxury hotels at various locales in the United States including Ritz-Carlton locations in the state of California and a Four Seasons resort in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. (25)
China has also become heavily involved in the American Entertainment industry. In 2012 the Chinese company known as the Dalian Wanda Group purchased AMC Entertainment Holdings, which operates the well-known chain of AMC movie theaters in the United States. To further expand their footprint, AMC then purchased the chain known as Carmike Cinemas in 2016. As a result, the world's largest movie theater chain is owned by a Chinese company. (26) Additionally, the Hollywood Studio known as Legendary Entertainment has been purchased by Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin. (27)
Even the famous American company known as General Electric has been invaded by the Chinese. In June 2016 the sale of General Electric's appliance division to Chinese manufacturer Haier was finalized. (28) Amazingly enough, a Chinese consortium, known as the Chongqing Casin Enterprise Group of China, or CCEG, is now attempting to purchase the Chicago Stock Exchange. The plan, which was announced in February 2016, has met with resistance from members of the United States Congress who fear that such a purchase could have national security implications, especially since it is possible that the Chinese group is partially owned by the communist Chinese government. "It's clearly of a concern they could play upon our own stock exchange. The financial markets, the stock exchanges, they have a critical impact on our nation's economy," stated Representative Robert Pittenger, a Republican from the state of North Carolina. (29)
Even as these high profile acquisitions make headlines, China has also been quietly purchasing vast amounts of American real estate. Between the years of 2010 and 2015, Chinese nationals spent 17 billion dollars on commercial real estate, and a whopping 93 billion dollars on residential real estate in the United States. (30) One can only wonder, what do they plan to do with all of this real estate?
While China continues to buy up large portions of the United States, companies from Saudi Arabia are buying vast amounts of American farmland in the Southwest United States. This includes 1,790 acres in Blythe, California, and 10,000 acres in the state of Arizona. (31) This farmland is being used to produce alfalfa, which is then shipped back to Saudi Arabia to feed animals in the Middle Eastern country. Needless to say, local residents are unhappy with this development. "We're letting them come over here and use up our resources. It's very frustrating for me, especially when I have residents telling me that their wells are going dry and they have to dig a lot deeper for water. It's costly for them to drill new wells," said Holly Irwin, who is the chairman of the La Paz County Board of Supervisors. (32) It is also interesting to note that the largest oil refinery in the United States, which is located in Port Arthur, Texas, is now owned by the Saudi oil company known as Saudi Aramco. (33)
Slowly but surely, a vast amount of the United States is being taken over by foreign interests. Now many people might hear of this and think it is no big deal, but even if we assume that there is no malicious intent behind these acquisitions, we must realize that this trend will siphon wealth away from the United States and into foreign countries. This country could suffer greatly as a result.
A Dangerous New Video Game!
It was in the 1990s when a new video game surfaced and captured the hearts and minds of children all over the world. It was a game called Pokémon, which taught children to capture and train little monsters. In fact, the word Pokémon means "Pocket Monsters." (34) The Pokémon franchise, which has included video games, card games, and television programs, has been very profitable for Nintendo, and in recent days, a new game has again captured the hearts and minds of the people. The new game is called Pokémon Go. It is played on smartphones and uses a technology they call "augmented reality." (35) When this game is played, the user can see actual places on their phone screens, but in addition to actual scenery, they also see little monsters known as Pokémon. The object of the game is to go around and collect these monsters and then train them to fight other Pokémon. Players of this game insist that it is harmless fun, but is that really the case?
First of all, there are security issues with this game. The game was developed by a Google-owned company known as Niantic in collaboration with Nintendo. When people play Pokémon Go, it allows Google and Nintendo to gather a vast amount of personal data, which includes access to the user's smartphone camera, contact list, GPS location, and even the contents of memory cards inserted in the phone. (36)
We also know from previous incarnations of Pokémon that the characters in this game have special abilities, many of which are occult in nature. For example, some Pokémon have psychic abilities while others emit "negative energy." (37)
This game has become a national obsession. It is not unusual to see people wandering about in a zombie-like state with their smartphones out attempting to catch little monsters. According to numerous reports, players are so obsessed with this game that they will sometimes even stoop to trampling graves at cemeteries in an effort to catch Pokémon. This development has prompted representatives from the Arlington National Cemetery to issue the following statement: "Out of respect for all those interred at Arlington National Cemetery, we require the highest level of decorum from our guests and visitors. Playing games such as Pokémon Go on these hallowed grounds would not be deemed appropriate. We request that visitors to ANC refrain from such activity." (38) I think it would be prudent for us all to be wary of a game that compels people to behave in this manner.
In closing, we are living in a world today that is full of strife, hatred, and disorder. People will often say that something should be done to change these negative circumstances in our world. I believe the solution to the world's problems is Jesus Christ. In Matthew 5:43-45, Jesus tells us, "Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." If everyone did what Jesus told us to do in these verses, it would be a drastically better world. However, I do not believe that the majority of this world will ever turn to Jesus. Thankfully, that does not prevent us from doing so. If you have not yet repented of your sins and given your heart to God, I urge you to do so now.
Thank you all for your kind support of this ministry. We at Last Trumpet Ministries will endeavor to continue serving you to the best of our ability as we draw ever closer to the return of our Saviour. If you have any prayer requests, please do not hesitate to send them our way. We give each request individual attention, and we know that God hears our prayers. Grace and peace be unto you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.