Volume XXXV Issue XII December 2016
Last Trumpet Ministries, PO Box 806, Beaver Dam, WI 53916
Phone: 920-887-2626 Internet: http://www.lasttrumpetministries.org
A Time Unlike Any Other Time!
"Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them."Matthew 7:16-20
"Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts."Galatians 5:19-24
In this issue of the Last Trumpet Newsletter, we will once again examine today's current events, which as we have learned in recent days sometimes take unexpected twists and turns. In recent months as we approached the presidential election of 2016 in the United States, we were told over and over again by the news media and politicians that Hillary Rodham Clinton would be selected as the next President of the United States on November 8, 2016. Most news reports favored Clinton and every poll I encountered declared that she would be victorious. Of course, we all know what happened on Election Day. On this day it was Donald Trump who emerged victorious rather than Clinton, and he is now the President-elect of the United States.
This upset victory for Donald Trump is perhaps one of the most surprising events to ever happen in the United States. Even Mr. Trump had stated on numerous occasions that he believed the election would be rigged against him. Some reports suggest that such efforts were made. For example, in the state of Virginia, Governor Terry McAuliffe issued pardons to as many as 60,000 felons and thus granted them the right to vote in the 2016 presidential election. This daunting task required the use of a mechanical autopen. (1)
Celebrities also attempted to use their popularity to influence the vote and compel Americans to support Hillary Clinton. This included a woman named Rachel Bloom who is known for starring in a television program called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. In early November 2016, a music video featuring Bloom and many of her celebrity peers, such as actress Elizabeth Banks, actor Adam Scott, the musician who calls himself Moby, and numerous other famous individuals, surfaced on the Internet. This stomach-churning song, which is supposed to be funny, contains a seemingly endless flow of profanity and multiple instances where these filthy celebrities take the Lord's name in vain while demanding that the people go vote for Clinton. (2) At the conclusion of the video, Bloom told her audience, "So vote for Hillary. 'Cause what else are you gonna do, throw your vote away on a third party? I mean, I guess you technically could, it's your right, but still, ugh." Bloom later explained her motivation for making the video. "If this video motivates one person, especially in a swing state, to just get out there, then it will have been worth it," she stated. (3)
Despite the unflinching support of Hollywood, the news media, and many politicians, not everything went Clinton's way in the days leading up to the election. On October 28, 2016, James Comey, who is the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or FBI, announced that his agency was reopening a federal probe into the unlawful use of a private email server by Clinton while she served as Secretary of State for the United States. In a letter addressed to the United States Congress, Comey wrote, "In connection with an unrelated case, the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear pertinent to this investigation." (4) The emails were found on a laptop computer belonging to Anthony Weiner, a former member of the United States House of Representatives and the estranged husband of Clinton staff member Huma Abedin. (5) This development roiled the Clinton campaign and left the American people wondering if Hillary Clinton would finally be prosecuted for her crimes. However, on November 6, 2016, just two days before the election, Director Comey announced that the FBI would not be pursuing charges against Clinton. (6) Despite being cleared by the FBI once again, Clinton has blamed the FBI for her devastating loss to Donald Trump. "There are lots of reasons why an election like this is not successful. Our analysis is that Comey's letter raising doubts that were groundless, baseless, proven to be, stopped our momentum," Clinton lamented. She further went on to say, "We were once again up in all but two of the battleground states, and we were up considerably in some that we ended up losing." (7)
One thing is certain, Hillary Clinton and her staff were not expecting to lose the election. According to the New York Times, the Clinton staff was so confident of a victory that they celebrated with champagne early on November 8, 2016, aboard Clinton's private aircraft. (8) Meanwhile, the famous magazine known as Newsweek printed special editions of their publication early which featured Hillary Clinton on the cover and proclaimed her to be "Madam President." The magazines were then delivered to vendors such as Barnes and Noble. "The polls show Hillary Clinton with a commanding lead, and a business decision was made to print the Clinton issue first while continuing to work on the Trump issue," stated the magazine's CEO, Tony Romando, prior to the election. (9)
The end result of this election was baffling for many people. An election night headline from USA Today pondered, "How did pollsters get Trump, Clinton election so wrong?" The article went on to report that of sixty-seven national polls, all but four showed that Clinton was leading in October 2016. The Princeton Election Consortium even stated that Hillary Clinton had a 99 percent chance of winning the election. (10) So, what happened? One contributing factor is that more Americans are waking up to the truth that the mainstream media is dishonest. For the media to be so spectacularly wrong about the election shows beyond any shadow of a doubt that there is a prevalent liberal slant. They overestimated their own influence, thinking that positive coverage of Clinton would propel her to a win, and it most assuredly did not. Research facilitated by a company known as YouGov conducted a post-election study, which found that 7 out of 10 respondents do not believe that the news media are "honest and trustworthy," while 8 out of 10 respondents believe that news coverage is biased. (11) Another factor that Hillary Clinton and her ilk do not like to consider is the will of God. Perhaps God concluded that Hillary Clinton is just too evil to be President of the United States. Psalm 37:1-2 tells us, "Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb."
After two failed attempts, it is highly unlikely that Hillary Clinton will ever be the American President. As the reality sinks in that Donald Trump will soon be occupying the White House, liberal despair has taken hold. "I don't know how we go forward from here. Is America a failed state and society? It looks truly possible," wrote Paul Krugman for the New York Times on November 8, 2016. (12) On November 9, 2016, The Huffington Post also took on a gloomy tone, but suggested that liberals could make themselves feel better by donating to organizations such as Planned Parenthood. The news outlet also published the phone number for a suicide prevention hotline. (13) This all seems quite melodramatic, but if these people are really so concerned about the future, it would behoove them to repent of their sins and seek the Lord. God is the antidote for despair, for as it tells us in Psalm 146:5, "Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God." If you have not yet given your life to God, I urge you to do so now.
What Will Donald Trump Be Like As President?
As I sat in front of my computer in the very early hours of November 9, 2016, I watched live video on the Internet of Donald Trump giving his victory speech after emerging the winner of a brutal campaign against Hillary Clinton. I watched this video and could not help but think that even Trump himself looked surprised to be there. I am not so certain that he expected to win, but he did, and now many people are wondering what he will actually do as President of the United States.
Figuring out what a Donald Trump presidency will be like is difficult since his words before he ran for president were often quite different from his words while he was a presidential candidate. For example, while running for president, Donald Trump talked about deporting all illegal immigrants from the United States. However, in 2012 he appeared on CNBC and said, "I also understand how, as an example, you have people in this country for 20 years, they've done a great job, they've done wonderfully, they've gone to school, they've gotten good marks, they're productive - now we're supposed to send them out of the country, I don't believe in that, Michelle, and you understand that. I don't believe in a lot of things that are being said." (14)
Since the election has ended, Donald Trump has actually praised Hillary Clinton, which is a stark difference in his tone during his campaign, wherein he repeatedly referred to Clinton as "Crooked Hillary" and threatened to throw her in jail. "She congratulated us - it's about us - on our victory, and I congratulated her and her family on a very, very hard-fought campaign. I mean, she - she fought very hard. Hillary has worked very long and very hard over a long period of time, and we owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country. I mean that very sincerely," Trump said during his victory speech. (15) Although Trump said he would appoint a special prosecutor to investigate his opponent during his campaign, Trump expressed reluctance to carry out this promise. In an interview with the CBS News program 60 Minutes which aired on November 13, 2016, Trump told news reporter Lesley Stahl, "I don't want to hurt them," referring to the Clintons. "I don't want to hurt them. They're, they're good people. I don't want to hurt them." (16) Trump has also signaled a willingness to keep some provisions of the Affordable Care Act, which is also known as Obamacare, in place. To his credit, Trump has confirmed his intentions to appoint pro-life judges to the Supreme Court. (17)
Without a doubt, Mr. Trump has said things in the past that I as a Christian could never excuse or defend. He has admitted that some of his controversial statements during his campaign were intended to elicit a reaction from the electorate, and this is a technique that apparently was effective. "Sometimes you need a certain rhetoric to get people motivated. I don't want to be just a little nice monotone character and in many cases I will be," Trump said in his 60 Minutes interview. (18) So what will Donald Trump be like as President? The truth is that it is very difficult to say. Only God knows what this man will do. I sincerely hope that Donald Trump will be a good President. Whether that is the case or not, we should know very soon. In Matthew 7:16-20 we are told by Jesus, "Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." In Galatians 5:22-23 we find the following list of good fruit, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." We will be watching with great interest to see what kind of fruit Donald Trump brings forth.
USA - A Sharply Divided Nation!
The United States of America is today a sharply divided nation. This division has risen to the forefront of our minds in recent days and has been especially amplified by the recent election. Although Donald Trump won enough electoral votes to win the presidency, he did not win the popular vote. As of this writing, votes for Hillary Clinton have exceeded votes for Donald Trump by more than one million. (19) Clinton is especially favored by the Millennial Generation, which includes men and women aged 18-29. In fact, 55 percent of millennials voted for Clinton in the 2016 election, while 10 percent voted for the third party candidates Gary Johnson and Jill Stein. (20)
In the aftermath of the election, tens of thousands of protestors, many of whom are millennials, loudly voiced their dissent in a string of protests staged across the United States. The protests, which stretched beyond multiple nights, often took a violent turn. According to reports, police in Portland, Oregon, declared a riot after three nights of protests, which involved about 4,000 people. This declaration by the police was prompted by destructive behavior, including damage to buildings and cars and the hurling of objects at police officers. Twenty-six arrests were made. (21) Eleven arrests were also made in Oakland, California, after some participants of a protest that involved about 1,000 people decided to start breaking store windows and assaulting police officers with firecrackers and Molotov cocktails. (22) In the city of Los Angeles, California, 185 people were arrested for destructive and violent behavior. (23) Protests also took place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Denver, Colorado; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Baltimore, Maryland; Dallas, Texas; (23) Columbus, Ohio; Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and of course, New York City, New York. (24)
In an article dated November 11, 2016, the Washington Post reported that many of these protestors are being mobilized by a website known as MoveOn.org. (25) I find this ironic since these protestors seem incapable of moving on. It is worth noting that this group has been heavily funded by elitist billionaire George Soros. (26) Sadly, these protests may just be the first stirrings of a very volatile time in the United States. "We can be certain that these protests portend far larger ones in the future as social movement groups prepare to resist any policies of the new administration that threaten people stigmatized by Trump or that scientific evidence suggests will hasten environmental catastrophe," said T.V. Reed, who is a professor at Washington State University. (27) As for MoveOn.org, they are planning massive protests for Inauguration Day on January 20, 2017. "I expect mass peaceful protests with hundreds of thousands of people, if not millions, around the Inauguration and in other moments," declared MoveOn.org executive director Anna Galland. (28)
Although liberals usually try to portray themselves as tolerant and accepting individuals, the widespread acrimony uncovered by the 2016 election shows that many of them harbor great bitterness and anger. This is evident in a quote from one female protestor in California who told CNN, "If we don't fight, who is going to fight for us? People had to die for your freedom where we're at today. We can't just do rallies, we have to fight back. There will be casualties on both sides. There will be, because people have to die to make a change in this world." (29) Additionally, numerous individuals posted messages to the social networking website known as Twitter in an effort to voice their dismay regarding the election. These messages included several assassination threats against Donald Trump. (30) Such threats resulted in the arrest of an Ohio man who had posted a message on Twitter saying, "My life goal is to assassinate Trump. Don't care if I serve infinite sentences. That man deserves to decease existing." (31)
Yes, the United States is a sharply divided nation. As such, there is great tension in this country to the point where it is starting to seem possible that there could be another American civil war. I pray to God that does not happen. It is of the utmost importance that God's people continue to watch and pray during these desperate days.
Did Obama Do A Good Job As President?
Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the presidency of Barack Obama will finally end in January 2017. After suffering for eight years under his leadership, many Americans will be happy to see him go. Yet, Obama seems to be under the impression that he has done a "pretty good job" as President of the United States. Speaking at a press conference held in Greece in November 2016, Obama told his audience, "People seem to think I did a pretty good job, and so there is this mismatch I think between frustration and anger. Perhaps the view of the American people was, is that you need to shake things up," Obama said in an effort to explain the results of the 2016 election. He further went on to say, "Time will now tell whether the prescriptions that are being offered - whether Brexit or with respect to the U.S. election - ends up actually satisfying those people who've been fearful or angry or concerned." Obama then went on to brag about how better off the American people are since he became President. "And I think that's going to be an interesting test, because I think I can make a pretty strong argument that the policies we put forward were the right ones, that we've grown faster than just about any advanced economy. The country is indisputably better off, and those folks who voted for the president-elect are better off than they were when I came into office for the most part, but we'll see whether those facts affect people's calculations in the next election," Obama opined. (32) It seems that Obama has decided we are all better off whether we realize it or not.
One of the things Obama managed to do is nearly double the size of the American national debt in just eight years. On January 20, 2009, the day on which Obama began his first term as President, the national debt stood at just over 10.6 trillion dollars. (33) Today, as I write this newsletter, the national debt is now over 19.8 trillion dollars and will soon exceed 20 trillion dollars! (34) This is a nearly incomprehensible amount of money. In fact, a trillion is actually one million millions. To further demonstrate the enormity of this number, one trillion seconds is equal to 31,688 years. (35) The sad irony is that Barack Obama criticized his predecessor, George W. Bush, in 2008 for allowing the national debt to rise by 4 trillion dollars. "The problem is, is that the way Bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from 5 trillion for the first 42 presidents - number 43 added 4 trillion by his lonesome, so that we now have over 9 trillion of debt that we are going to have to pay back. That's irresponsible. It's unpatriotic." (36) How will the United States ever repay 20 trillion dollars? This is one area where Obama certainly did not do a "pretty good job."
Obama has also bragged about the strength of the American workforce since he has become President. After all, jobs are plentiful and 161,000 new jobs were added in October 2016. (37) "Job growth has been one of the most positive features of the U.S. economy during this presidential campaign. It's averaged over 200,000 a month for most of the past couple years," said John Ydstie of National Public Radio. (38) However, many of these jobs are low-paying positions at fast food restaurants and retail stores. In fact, the famous fast food chain known as Taco Bell is planning to add 100,000 new jobs in the United States by the year 2022. (39) Interestingly enough, the number of Americans working multiple jobs is now at an eight year high according to a USA Today article. This is partially due to the fact that many employers are hiring more part-time employees to avoid paying for the health insurance that they would be required to provide to full-time employees due to Obama's Affordable Care Act. (40) Considering these facts, it is not surprising that 43 million Americans still rely on food stamps to get by. (41)
A headline from July 2016 featured in the Wall Street Journal declares that America's economic recovery under Barack Obama over the last seven years has been "the weakest of the post-World War II era." The article goes on to state that the American economy has grown at an annual rate of 2.1 percent since mid-2009, which is the weakest rate of growth since 1949. (42)
Obama also gave us the Affordable Care Act, which forces all Americans to buy insurance or pay a penalty to the Internal Revenue Service if they fail to do so. Obama is particularly proud of his healthcare system, which is often referred to as Obamacare. Yet, many Americans are having difficulty affording the ever-rising premiums. A report published by the Associated Press on October 24, 2016, indicates that most consumers who purchase Obamacare insurance policies will see double-digit rate increases in 2017. "Consumers will be faced this year with not only big premium increases but also with a declining number of insurers participating, and that will lead to a tumultuous open enrollment period," stated Larry Levitt of the Kaiser Family Foundation. (43) Large insurance companies, such as UnitedHealth Group, Aetna, and Humana, have all announced plans to scale back their participation in the Obamacare program. Now another large insurance company known as Anthem is also threatening to back out. "If we do not see clear evidence of an improving environment and a path towards sustainability in the marketplace, we will likely modify our strategy in 2018. Clearly 2017 is a critical year as we continue to assess the long-term viability of our exchange footprint," said Joseph Swedish who is the Chief Executive Officer at Anthem. (44)
Frankly, I am underwhelmed by Barack Obama's performance as President of the United States. He has presided over an era in American history that has been dominated by liberal policies. He has strongly supported Planned Parenthood and allowed abortion practitioners to flourish in the United States. He also appointed liberal judges to the Supreme Court which eventually led to the legalization of same-sex marriage. He provided arms and support to so-called moderate rebels in Syria who were actually members of terrorist groups such as ISIS and al-Qaeda. As such, I must respectfully disagree with Obama's assertion that the United States is "indisputably better off" because he was President.
Swarms Of Earthquakes Are Shaking Our Planet!
In this modern age, we have become accustomed to earthquakes. Consequently, earthquakes are barely even mentioned in the news unless they are particularly devastating. Yet, our world is constantly shaking, and earthquakes are no longer singular events but rather come in swarms. On October 1, 2016, the Los Angeles Times reported on a series of quakes near the San Andreas fault in California. This series of quakes started in late September with three of them measuring greater than 4.0 on the Richter scale. Before the swarm was over, more than 200 quakes had shaken the region. Scientists expressed concern that a much greater earthquake could soon strike the area. "Any time there is significant seismic activity in the vicinity of the San Andreas fault, we seismologists get nervous, because we recognize that the probability of having a large earthquake goes up," said Thomas H. Jordan, director of the Southern California Earthquake Center. Scientists have said that a major earthquake usually strikes the San Andreas fault every 150 to 200 years. The last major quake on this fault occurred 330 years ago, which means the area is long overdue for a powerful shaking. (45)
Powerful quakes often do strike "in divers places" around the world, just as Jesus said they would in the days leading up to His second coming. One particularly nasty earthquake struck near the town of Kaikoura, New Zealand, on November 14, 2016. The powerful quake measured 7.8 in magnitude and left thousands of people stranded. (46) New Zealand's geological agency, known as GeoNet, reported that between 80,000 and 100,000 landslides further complicated matters in the region. (47) After the initial quake, more than 1,500 aftershocks occurred, which left residents and officials on edge. GeoNet director Dr. Ken Gledhill said the initial quake was "a monster quake, one that has shocked us all with its intensity and ferocity." He later went on to warn, "I can't relieve anyone's anxiety about future earthquakes; more will come." (48)
In closing, we live in a period of great upheaval and uncertainty, and it is a time unlike any other time. Only God knows what the future holds. It is certainly fine to be optimistic about the future, but it is important for us all to remember that we must put our hope and trust in God. I do not look to men of high esteem, earthly kings, or presidents to save us. Rather I look to Jesus Christ who is the author and the finisher of our faith. We are complete in Him. For as it tells us in Colossians 2:6-10, "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power."
Thank you all for your kind support of this ministry. We thank God for the opportunity to serve you, and we pray that God's blessings will abound in your lives. This is the final issue of the Last Trumpet for the year of 2016. If you receive the paper edition of this newsletter through the mail, please remember to mail your enclosed renewal form back to us so we can keep you on our mailing list in 2017. We will no doubt see many amazing things in the coming year. As always, you are invited to send us your prayer requests. We always give each request individual attention. Grace and peace be unto you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.