Last Trumpet Newsletter
Volume 39 
     Issue Three      March 2020
Last Trumpet Ministries, PO Box 806, Beaver Dam, WI 53916

A World Under Siege By Disaster And Disease

"And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows."

Matthew 24:6-8

"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."

I Thessalonians 5:3

"I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety."

Psalm 4:8

In this issue of the Last Trumpet Newsletter, we will once again carefully assess today's current events. Without question, the planet we occupy at this time is facing an astonishing wave of turmoil as throngs of humanity move from one crisis to the next. In a speech given in February 2020, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres bemoaned the world's condition. "I have spoken recently about winds of hope. But today a wind of madness is sweeping the globe. From Libya to Syria and beyond - escalation is back. Arms are flowing and offensives are increasing," Guterres informed. "All situations are different but there is a feeling of growing instability and hair-trigger tensions, which make everything far more unpredictable and uncontrollable, with a heightened risk of miscalculation." He later went on to say, "As we can see, problems feed each other." (1)

Interestingly enough, 2020 is the 75th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations. (2) This organization was set up to unite the world and establish lasting peace, but this elusive peace will never be found because the United Nations rejects the Prince of Peace who is Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul warned 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." Conversely, we learn from Psalm 4:8 that genuine peace and safety comes only from our God. The verse declares, "I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety." Nevertheless, Guterres and his officials at the UN are obviously troubled that despite their efforts and despite the fact that the United Nations boasts a membership of 193 countries around the world, (3) they have been unable to complete their objectives. On the contrary, the world is under siege as disease, disaster, and war continuously take their toll.

As we watch the events of our day unfold, Christians around the world are beginning to wonder if we are approaching or are now in the end times. This development was noted in a story published by a British newspaper which declared in its headline, "End of the world: Coronavirus panic and African locust plague spark Bible apocalypse fears." The author of the story then accuses Christians of "outrageous claims" for saying that Jesus could return soon. (4) Yet, the description that Jesus gave us of the end times in Matthew 24 sounds very much like a description of modern day headlines. In Matthew 24, Jesus describes a planet filled with trouble that grows increasingly worse over time. Verses 6-8 declare, "And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows." Such events have been happening for quite some time, but in recent years they have greatly intensified. How close are we to the end? While I do not know when the Lord Jesus Christ will return, I do know that with each tick of the clock, we are one moment closer to that fateful day. Thus, through all of the turmoil, we still look up in anticipation of our King's appearance.

The Earth Ravaged By Disease

It seems there is always a disease of some sort making headlines these days. Sometimes there are more than one. In recent years we have heard a lot about Ebola and the disastrous effect this deadly disease has caused on the African continent. The latest outbreak, which began in August 2018, is finally winding down and is believed to be nearly over. Throughout the duration of this time, 3,500 people were infected and 2,250 have died. (5) While the people of Africa are likely relieved to see Ebola go once again, recent history suggests that there will be more outbreaks in the future. As has been the trend, however, this crisis has given way to a new one.

As I reported in last month's issue of this newsletter, a brand new strain of coronavirus has been wreaking havoc in China. Over the course of the previous few weeks, the situation has steadily worsened. Each day brings further details, and as I write this newsletter on February 18, 2020, I am presently staring at forty stories about this virus. I cannot possibly cover every detail, and chances are by the time you read this report, a multitude of new stories will have surfaced.

Officially, the illness caused by this new strain of virus has been given a name by the World Health Organization. Those who are infected are said to be suffering from COVID-19, which is short for "coronavirus disease 2019." (6) As of this writing, there have been more than 74,000 infections in mainland China. Numerous other countries have reported COVID-19 infections, including 62 cases in Hong Kong, 74 in Japan, 81 in Singapore, 35 in Thailand, 31 in South Korea, and 29 in the United States. More than 2,000 people have died. (7) Just eight days ago, on February 10, 2020, the total number of infections was reported to be 43,099 with around 1,000 deaths. USA Today suggested the rate of infection would grow much worse, and their prediction has now proven true. The story quoted the director-general of the World Health Organization as saying, "There have been some concerning instances of… spread from people with no travel history to China. The detection of a small number of cases may indicate more widespread transmission in other countries. In short, we may only be seeing the tip of the iceberg." (8)

How bad will it get? No one knows; however, scientists are quite alarmed by the rapid spread of this coronavirus strain. Projections can vary wildly from scientist to scientist with some suggesting there could be at least 550,000 cases of the disease while others suggest there could be as many as 4.4 million. (9) Harvard Professor Marc Lipsitch believes there could be a "global pandemic." "I think it's likely we'll see a global pandemic. If a pandemic happens, 40% to 70% of people worldwide are likely to become infected in the coming year," the professor stated. (10)

There are numerous theories regarding the origin of COVID-19. Researchers at the South China University of Technology think that it definitely originated in a laboratory. In a report published by the educational institution, it was noted that the new virus strain bears a strong genetic similarity to CoV ZC45 coronavirus, which is found in horseshoe bats. The report then noted that there are no native bats within 600 miles of the city of Wuhan, which is the epicenter of the outbreak. However, a facility known as the Wuhan Center for Disease Control is home to 605 diseased bats. (11)

Senator Tom Cotton, a Republican from the American state of Arkansas, believes that China has been less than forthcoming with the truth regarding the outbreak of COVID-19. In one interview, he suggested that the virus may have originated at the Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory. "We don't have evidence that this disease originated there, but because of China's duplicity and dishonesty from the beginning, we need to at least ask the question to see what the evidence says, and China right now is not giving any evidence on that question at all." Cotton opined. (12)

Videos filmed within China clearly show Chinese authorities wearing protective gear hauling away citizens against their will. (13) Those who have attempted to warn the world have either been threatened or arrested. Such was the case with Dr. Li Wen Liang who was one of the first to warn the world about the virus and was then suppressed by the Chinese government. Sadly, he later passed away from a coronavirus infection. (14) Chen Qiushi, who had been filming videos from within China and posting them online after subverting China's Internet controls, has recently disappeared. In one of his videos, Chen said, "I am scared. I have the virus in front of me, and on my back, I have the legal and administrative power of China." (15) In February 2019, Chinese President Xi Jinping called on his country's officials to crack down on those who share the truth about the condition of disease-stricken areas. "It is necessary to increase use of police force and strengthen the visible use of police," Xi said. He also ordered that the communist Chinese government "strengthen the management and control of online media" and "crackdown on those who seize the opportunity to create rumors." (16)

Reports out of Taiwan claim that COVID-19 could be even more problematic than is usually claimed. An article published on February 10, 2020, by the Taiwan News, cites Chinese pulmonologist Zhong Nanshan who claims that the average incubation period for COVID-19 is three days, but the incubation period can be as long as 24 days. Considering the fact that the standard containment protocol calls for a quarantine of 14 days for those exposed to the virus, this is troubling news if true. (17) Another report published on February 14, 2020, by Taiwan News, cites an anonymous doctor who claims that those who had COVID-19 and recovered can be reinfected and often die from heart failure when this occurs. (18)

Various diseases have come and gone over the years, and perhaps the same will happen with COVID-19. At this point, we do not know what the future holds, and that is all the more reason to keep praying. It should be noted that officials in Japan are very worried about the spread of COVID-19 in their country and have now asked the Japanese people to take steps to prevent further transmission. "We want to ask the public to avoid non-urgent, non-essential gatherings. We want elderly and those with pre-existing conditions to avoid crowded places," said Japanese health minister Katsunobu Kato. (19)

While COVID-19 garners most of the media attention, it is far from the only disease leaving death and destruction in its wake. The current flu season in the United States has been especially bad so far, and now at a point when the experts say it should be winding down, a second wave is striking America. It is highly unusual for two strains of flu to spread in a single flu season although it did happen last year. "We may well have, for the second year in a row - unprecedented - a double-barreled influenza season," said Dr. William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. (20) According to a report published by Live Science on February 14, 2020, there have been 26 million cases of the flu during the current season, which resulted in 250,000 hospitalizations and 14,000 deaths. (21) Looking back to China, in addition to the coronavirus, the Asian country is also contending with H5N1 bird flu in the Hunan province. As of February 1, 2020, Chinese authorities have been forced to cull 17,828 poultry. (22)

While viruses often afflict people and animals, it should be noted that plants can become disease-stricken, too. Such is the case with a virus known as ToBRFV. It was first discovered in the Israeli State in 2014 and has since spread to Europe, the United States, and Mexico. The virus causes unsightly brown patches to form on tomatoes and renders them unusable. This disease recently reached France for the first time. (23) Citrus fruit is also at risk due to a tenacious bacterial infection known as Huanglongbing. The disease, which originated in China, reached the American state of Florida in 2005. It came to California in 2012 and is still spreading, prompting the Los Angeles Times to warn on February 18, 2020, of an impending "citrus apocalypse." "We're getting to a point where it's kinda scary," said Tracy Kahn of the University of California at Riverside. (24) We are seeing again and again the consequences of living in a fallen world. Just as Jesus warned us, this world is filled with disease and pestilence. Thankfully, none of these problems will exist after we enter eternity with our God.

A Catastrophe In Africa

On a recent February day, 160 troops from the Ugandan army assembled in their African country to fight off an invasion. Their foes were not other soldiers. Instead, they fought against millions upon millions of locusts that have been terrorizing East Africa. They worked tirelessly to impede the voracious swarm, spraying the invaders with chemicals, but the hungry insects would not be stymied. (25)

Other countries in Africa can undoubtedly relate to Uganda's struggle. The insatiable locusts will consume any vegetation they can find, and they have made their way into Ethiopia, Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea, Tanzania, Sudan, South Sudan, and Kenya. These swarms are mind-boggling. In fact, one swarm that hit Kenya covered 930 square miles. According to Priya Gujadhur of the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization, "A swarm that size can consume food for 85 million people per day." (26) An article by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, further states that the locusts devoured some fields of crops in as little as 30 seconds. (27) Very little was spared. "The locusts appeared, and we called the authorities immediately. The airplanes started the spraying from that edge of the river. Some died, but the rest of the swarm moved to our farms. They destroyed everything here then. They have now moved to our homes. They are now laying eggs there," said a 38-year-old Kenyan mother who recounted her harrowing tale. (28)

The desperate situation in Africa prompted United Nations humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock to say, "There is the risk of a catastrophe." He also warned that efforts to stop the locust swarms have been insufficient. "The response today is not gonna work, unless there's a big scale-up," he said. (29) Kelvin Dalrymple, the Vice President and Senior Credit Officer at Moody's Investors Service, is anticipating more problems in the days ahead. "Rising food prices from a prolonged shortage of key crops fuels the potential for social unrest across East Africa, a region where we already assess political risks as elevated and the ingredients for potential social unrest prevalent," Dalrymple opined. (30) Amazingly enough, experts have warned that with more rains expected, the number of locusts tormenting Africa could increase by 500 times by the month of June 2020. (31)

These are amazing days. The stories we see splashed across news headlines sound like stories straight out of the Bible. Swarms of locust call to mind Biblical imagery as God had used these same creatures to punish the Egyptians during the time of the ancient Israelites. It is remarkable how much the story found in Exodus 10 sounds like the news out of modern-day Africa. In Exodus 10:5-6, Moses warned Pharoah that locusts were coming, stating, "And they shall cover the face of the earth, that one cannot be able to see the earth: and they shall eat the residue of that which is escaped, which remaineth unto you from the hail, and shall eat every tree which groweth for you out of the field: And they shall fill thy houses, and the houses of all thy servants, and the houses of all the Egyptians; which neither thy fathers, nor thy fathers' fathers have seen, since the day that they were upon the earth unto this day. And he turned himself, and went out from Pharaoh." While the swarms of locusts today are not quite as bad as the plague the Egyptians faced, it serves as a stark reminder that these days are filled with fearful sights.

Will The Democrats Nominate A Socialist?

Election season is upon us. States have already begun to hold their primaries and caucuses to determine who their Democrat candidate will be to run against Donald Trump for the office of President of the United States. On February 3, 2020, Iowa held its caucus. It was a nightmare marred by technical glitches, and five days after the ballots were cast, each precinct in the state finally reported their results. Initially it was declared that the state of Iowa had a surprise winner: Pete Buttigieg. (32) However, the state of Iowa is now saying that Buttigieg and the socialist Bernie Sanders effectively tied, prompting calls for a recount of the vote. (33) On February 11, 2020, the state of New Hampshire held its primary and the winner of that contest was Bernie Sanders. (34) Since that time, Sanders has emerged as the frontrunner to secure the nomination from the Democratic Party. He is enjoying a surge in popularity and attracted a crowd of 17,000 people at a rally held in Tacoma, Washington, on February 17, 2020. "We may not have billions of dollars to throw around, but we have hundreds of thousands of people in every state in this country knocking on doors. And that's why we're going to win here in Washington and why we're going to win all over this country," Sanders told his enthusiastic crowd. (35)

Oddly enough, the man who very well could become the Democratic nominee for President of the United States is not even technically a Democrat. He is an independent Senator from the state of Vermont who openly admits that he is a socialist. Those who knew him in years gone by do not paint a very flattering picture of the eccentric politician. One of his friends who knew him before he was famous noted that Sanders had to resort to stealing electricity because he was delinquent in paying his bills. "The electricity was turned off a lot. I remember him running an extension cord down to the basement. He couldn't pay his bills," the friend said. (36) He tried his hand at carpentry, but was unsuccessful at it. (37) In 1972, he resorted to writing filthy sexually explicit material for a publication known as the Vermont Freeman to earn money. (38) In 1977 he started a video production company known as the "American People's Historical Society." He used this venture to make low-budget films, which sometimes focused on his socialist heroes. He then worked to place his videos in schools. (39) In March 1981, he became the mayor of Burlington, Vermont, after winning by just ten votes. He would go on to be reelected as mayor three times and served in this position until 1989. (40)

It was during his tenure as mayor of Burlington that Mr. Sanders married his second wife, Jane. The day after the wedding in the spring of 1988, he left with his bride to honeymoon in Russia, a nation that was communist at the time. While there he openly disparaged the United States and hobnobbed with Russian officials. Upon return from his trip, Sanders was quoted as saying, "Let's take the strength of both systems. Let's learn from each other." (41) Over the years, Sanders has publically praised communist leaders such as the late Fidel Castro of Cuba and Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua. (42) Make no mistake, Bernie Sanders is a radical. In 1972 he said, "I don't mind people coming up and calling me a communist." (43) He should mind, though. Communism has inflicted misery upon millions of people over the last hundred years. Furthermore, the former Soviet Union, the current governments of North Korea, China, and Cuba, are all oppressive communist regimes that do not tolerate dissent or free speech. They are secular societies that do not allow the uninhibited right to worship God. If elected, Sanders would be the first openly secular President, and he has already told us what he wants numerous times in his speeches: a political revolution. (44)

Ultimately, God will decide what He allows to happen in the United States. It is certainly not a forgone conclusion that Bernie Sanders will be given the presidency despite his enthusiastic base of young supporters. What is troubling, however, is that so many people want a secular socialist leader. It is likely only a matter of time before they have one.

As far as the other Democratic candidates for President go, they are not much better than Sanders. Pete Buttigieg, who is also a favorite amongst voters, is an openly homosexual man who is married to another man. He has expressed a desire to have children with his "husband" in the White House if he becomes President. (45) Strangely, current President Donald Trump seems to have a soft spot for Buttigieg. In a recent interview with Geraldo Rivera on Fox News, Rivera asked Trump, "Would Americans vote for a gay man to be president?" Trump responded by saying, "I think so. I think there would be some that wouldn't, and you know, I wouldn't be among that group, to be honest with you." He then went on to say, "It doesn't seem to be hurting Pete Buttigieg." (46)

In closing, the world of today is in crisis. There are many diseases and disasters with which to contend, and humanity faces numerous threats each and every day. Despite this all, we serve a God who will never leave us, and Jesus has promised that He will comfort us even as we endure these difficult times. In John 14:18, Jesus said, "I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you." I urge every reader of this newsletter to repent of your sins if you have not yet done so and dedicate your life to God. In so doing, we find the peace and comfort that comes only from our Saviour.

If you have any prayer requests please feel free to send them our way. Your requests will be given individual attention by our team of intercessors, and we know that God is a very present help in trouble. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

Samuel David Meyer

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01. National Public Radio, February 4, 2020, By Bill Chappell,
02. Ibid.
03. WorldOMeter,
04. The Daily Express, February 14, 2020, By Callum Hoare,
05. The Washington Post, February 14, 2020, By Max Bearak,
06. CNET, February 11, 2020, By Oscar Gonzalez and Jackson Ryan,
07. John Hopkins University, Center for Systems Science and Engineering,
08. USA Today, February 10, 2020, By John Bacon,
09. Stat, February 14, 2020, By Sharon Begley,
10. Mediaite, February 14, 2020, By Charlie Nash,
11. The Daily Mail, February 16, 2020, By Ross Ibbetson,
12. 5 News, February 17, 2020, By Tegna,
13. The Daily Mail, February 8, 2020, By The Daily Mail,
14. Associated Press, February 11, 2020, By John Leicester and Dake Kang,
15. Ibid.
16. AFP, February 15, 2020, By AFP,
17. Taiwan News, February 10, 2020, By Huang Tzu-ti,
18. Taiwan News, February 14, 2020, By Jules Quartly,
19. AFP, February 16, 2020, By AFP,
20. Live Science, February 14, 2020, By Rachael Rettner,
21. Ibid.
22. End of the American Dream, February 17, 2020, By Michael Snyder,
23. AFP, February 18, 2020, By AFP,
24. Los Angeles Times, February 18, 2020, By Gustavo Arellano,
25. Yahoo News, February 19, 2020, By Michael O'Hagan,
26. Ibid.
27. CBC, February 13, 2020, By CBC Radio,
28. Reuters News Service, February 19, 2020, By Reuters,
29. Associated Press, February 14, 2020, By Associated Press,
30. CNBC, February 20, 2020, By Elliot Smith,
31. The Guardian, February 10, 2020, By Jason Burke,
32. The Washington Examiner, February 9, 2020, By Tiana Lowe,
33. Associated Press, February 19, 2020, By Alexandra Jaffe,
34. The Nation, February 12, 2020, By John Nichols,
35. Associated Press, February 17, 2020, By Rachel La Corte,
36. Politico, July 9, 2015, By Michael Kruse,
37. Ibid.
38. Ibid.
39. Ibid.
40. Ibid.
41. The Washington Post, May 3, 2019, By Michael Kranish,
42. SoMdNews, February 12, 2020, By Jake Pickering,
43. The Washington Examiner, February 4, 2020, By Joseph Simonson,
44. The National Interest, January 27, 2020, By Amitai Etzioni,
45. CNS News, February 13, 2020, By CNS News Staff,
46. Lifesite News, February 14, 2020, By Calvin Freiburger,

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