Volume 40 Issue Ten October 2021
Last Trumpet Ministries · PO Box 806 · Beaver Dam, WI 53916
Phone: 920-887-2626 Internet: http://www.lasttrumpetministries.org
“For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?” I Cor. 14:8
The Days Of Perplexity
“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.”
“Deliver me in thy righteousness, and cause me to escape: incline thine ear unto me, and save me. Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou [art] my rock and my fortress. Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man. For thou [art] my hope, O Lord GOD: [thou art] my trust from my youth.”
As our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ prepared to complete the work that He had set out to do here on earth, He left His disciples and those who would come after them a warning of things to come in the latter days of time. Accounts of these warnings can be found in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21. Each of the three synoptic gospels tells the story in a slightly different way, owing to the stylistic differences of the authors that God inspired to write each book. The account we find in Luke contains a very interesting statement from Jesus Christ which can be found in Luke 21:25-28. These verses declare, “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.”
It is noteworthy that Jesus specifically states there will be distress of nations, with perplexity in the days leading up to His return. While we live in a world where distressing things happen quite frequently, it is less common for events to occur which cause distress upon multiple nations at once. Yet, here we are in 2021, and we see that nearly the entire world is in distress at a level unseen since the days of World War II. The distress of this present day has been caused by a virus that rapidly spread to nearly the entire world. The virus causes a disease called Covid-19, and as of September 17, 2021, only five countries in the world claim they have no cases of the illness. These countries are North Korea, Turkmenistan, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Nauru. (1) Given the fact that North Korea is located between China and South Korea, two countries that have had bad outbreaks of the disease, it is unlikely that North Korea’s claim of zero infections is true. As for Turkmenistan, no cases of Covid-19 have officially been reported, but sources within the country say the virus is rampant there. (2) The remaining countries, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Nauru are all located on islands with very small populations.
The rapid spread of Covid-19 has also resulted in great confusion, which makes it highly appropriate that Jesus used the word perplexity in Luke 21. The definition for the word perplex is: “to cause to be puzzled or bewildered over what is not understood or certain; confuse mentally.” (3) Indeed, humanity has continuously struggled to comprehend what is happening in the world since this virus surfaced and the pandemic began. Amid this confusion, we the people have been told time and time again to “trust the science.” However, the scientists, too, have struggled to understand the virus now plaguing the world and they have been wrong many times. In fact, they often cannot even agree with each other. This reality is demonstrated in an article published by The Washington Post on September 4, 2021, which declares in the headline, “For scientists, path to Covid endgame remains uncertain.” The piece then goes on to describe the mixed signals and confusing messages and incorrect predictions that scientists have brought forth in this pandemic age. “It’s basically over already. It will end this October. Or maybe it won’t be over till next spring, or late next year, or two or three years down the road,” the article starts out. The article then goes on to say, “From the most respected epidemiologists to public health experts who have navigated past disease panics, from polemicists to political partisans, there are no definitive answers to the central question in American life: As a Drudge Report headline put it recently, ‘Is it ever going to end?’” (4)
From the very outset of the pandemic in March 2020, we have seen mixed signals from the scientific community. Anthony Fauci, a man who is now famous for serving as chief medical advisor for both former President Donald Trump and current President Joe Biden, was personally responsible for much of this confusion. In March 2020, Fauci made an appearance on the television news program known as 60 Minutes and told his interviewer that he felt it was unnecessary for the American people to wear face masks despite the new virus that was circulating amongst the population. “Right now in the United States, people should not be walking around with masks,” Fauci told his interviewer, Dr. Jon LaPook. He further went on to say, “When you’re in the middle of an outbreak, wearing a mask might make people feel a little bit better and it might even block a droplet, but it’s not providing the perfect protection that people think that it is.” (5) In a similar fashion, Fauci wrote in an email on February 5, 2020, “Masks are really for infected people to prevent them from spreading infection to people who are not infected rather than protecting uninfected people from acquiring infection. The typical mask you buy in a drugstore is not really effective in keeping out virus, which is small enough to pass through the material.” (6) By April of 2020, however, Fauci had changed his mind and was recommending that people wear face masks when out in public. (7) He then later justified his earlier comments on masks by claiming that he was intentionally lying to prevent a shortage of personal protective equipment for healthcare workers. (8)
Of course, wearing face coverings frequently is both uncomfortable and annoying. Thus, to entice people to get the Covid-19 vaccinations, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, told the American people in the summer of 2021 that they would no longer need to wear face masks in public if they got the Covid shots. By August 2021, the CDC had changed its mind and was again recommending that even vaccinated Americans continue to wear face coverings. (9)
There has also been confusing messaging regarding how many people in the United States need to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity, or in other words, the rate of immunity at which the virus can no longer effectively spread. In December 2020, the aforementioned Dr. Fauci admitted that he had been lying about this topic as well. “When polls said only about half of all Americans would take the vaccine, I was saying herd immunity would take 70 to 75 percent. Then, when newer surveys said 60 percent or more would take it, I thought ‘I can nudge this up a bit’ so I went to 80, 85 [percent.]” (10) In reality, I believe that Fauci would like that rate to be as close to 100 percent as possible. Nevertheless, how can we “trust the science” when one of the top scientists admits that he is a liar? How can we believe anything he says?
The topic of Covid-19 booster shots has led to great confusion, too. The experts cannot seem to agree on who should receive these extra doses of the vaccines. This simple fact can be demonstrated by reading recent news headlines. On September 4, 2021, CNN published a story with the headline “Three doses of Covid-19 vaccine are likely needed for full protection, Fauci says.” (11) Then, the very next day on September 5, 2021, CNN published another story with a headline that declares, “Already vaccinated against Covid-19? Experts say you’re protected, even without a booster shot.” (12) Here we see dueling and contradictory headlines published by the same news outlet just one day apart!
In August 2021, President Biden announced plans to begin distributing Covid booster shots to the general public starting the week of September 20, 2021. “The plan is for every adult to get a booster shot eight months after you got your second shot. It will make you safer, and for longer. And it will help us end the pandemic faster,” Biden insisted. (13) However, the Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, threw a wrench in President Biden’s plan when the FDA advisory panel voted to limit booster shots to Americans who were immuno-compromised or over the age of 65. (14) Then, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky decided to go against the FDA’s recommendations by also including front-line workers, such as medical personnel, as those who would be eligible to receive the extra dose of vaccine. “As CDC Director, it is my job to recognize where our actions can have the greatest impact. At CDC, we are tasked with analyzing complex, often imperfect data to make concrete recommendations that optimize health. In a pandemic, even with uncertainty, we must take actions that we anticipate will do the greatest good,” Walensky said in a statement. (15)
Multiple state officials have complained about the confusing messaging regarding booster shots. This includes Maryland Governor Larry Hogan who said, “For several weeks now, states have had to operate without clear guidance from the federal government regarding these booster shots.” He further stated that the Biden Administration’s guidance was “confusing and contradictory.” (16) “There’s been just a yoyoing of messages. Even for people like us who are following, we are confused,” lamented Clay Marsh, who is the head of West Virginia’s Covid response team. (17)
Even the origin of the novel coronavirus which causes Covid-19 remains a hotly contested topic. At the outset of the pandemic, anyone who expressed a belief that the virus came from a laboratory in China was immediately dismissed as a crackpot conspiracy theorist. However, government officials, including President Biden, acknowledged earlier this year that it is possible the virus could have escaped from a laboratory. In fact, Biden ordered a ninety-day fact-finding mission in May 2021 to determine the origin of the virus. (18) Despite the fact we are now entering October 2021, we are no closer to a definitive resolution, but news reports indicate that officials within the Biden Administration consider the Covid lab leak theory to be “credible.” (19) Additionally, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus admitted that there had been a “premature push” to dismiss the lab leak theory in the early days of the pandemic. “I was a lab technician myself, I’m an immunologist, and I have worked in the lab, and lab accidents happen. It is common,” Tedros said. (20)
Thus, we see that there is great confusion even within the scientific community. Given this reality, it is no wonder that the general population is so confused as well. We are asked to “trust the science,” but scientists cannot even agree with one another. While science can accomplish great things and has led to monumental discoveries and achievements, it is far from infallible. I find it a far better alternative to put my trust in God. Psalm 71:1-5 declares, “In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion. Deliver me in thy righteousness, and cause me to escape: incline thine ear unto me, and save me. Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou [art] my rock and my fortress. Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man. For thou [art] my hope, O Lord GOD: [thou art] my trust from my youth.” The world is confusing, but God is able to remedy that confusion and give us great clarity of mind. The Apostle Paul wrote in I Corinthians 14:33 “For God is not [the author] of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” Therefore, if you feel bewildered and perplexed during these uncertain times, the best thing you can do is to seek the one who is never uncertain, confused or perplexed. Isaiah 40:28 declares, “Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, [that] the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? [there is] no searching of his understanding.” If you have not yet repented of your sins and dedicated your life to God, I urge you to do so now.
Shortages Across America
The United States of America is traditionally known as “the land of plenty.” Indeed, we have been blessed to live in a country where food, clothing, and shelter are so readily available. However, the pandemic age has given us a glimpse of a world where you might not necessarily find the things you want or need at the grocery stores. In the early days of the pandemic, there was a heavy demand for items such as toilet paper, disinfectants, hand sanitizer, and canned goods. This demand led to widespread shortages, and for the first time that I can recall in my lifetime, the entire country had difficulties obtaining basic necessities. Eventually, supply and demand reached a tenuous equilibrium, and thanks to ramped up production, the shelves were mostly well stocked throughout the early months of 2021. However, in recent weeks we have seen shortages reappear, and as a consequence, many store shelves at mass merchandisers such as Walmart are noticeably bare. This is true in my hometown of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, where I observed empty shelves throughout the month of September 2021. This phenomenon was also observed at other local retailers such as Dollar General.
The shortages that have been observed are not just a local problem. News reports indicate that there are nationwide shortages of a wide variety of items. A report from Bloomberg News published on September 24, 2021, states that Americans are having difficulty purchasing goods that are normally plentiful, including beverages and pet food. (21) Meanwhile, a shortage of chicken has forced the iconic restaurant chain known as Kentucky Fried Chicken to pull some of its advertising for fear that it could not meet the demand for its chicken tenders. The famous coffee shop chain known as Starbucks has also complained of shortages. “These supply chain disruptions are industrywide, and Starbucks is not immune,” lamented company spokesperson Sanja Gould. (22)
Why are these shortages happening? It is a convergence of multiple issues at once that are hampering the supply chain of goods around the world. “If you look at the base of a lot of the issues that we’re seeing with the supply chain, a lot of it is labor-related and it really creates a domino effect. It is very complex. It’s almost like putting together a puzzle,” said Doug Baker, who is vice president of industry relations at the Food Industry Association. (23) Ted Decker, who is President and CEO of the home improvement store chain known as Home Depot, also chimed in stating, “There’s a Covid outbreak in a factory, there’s a shipping constraint, there’s a domestic transportation capacity constraint, so it’s been a story of two steps forward, one step back.” (24)
One of the biggest issues affecting businesses in the United States is a lack of truck drivers. Without enough drivers to drive the big rigs, restaurants cannot get their supply deliveries in a timely manner, store shelves cannot be replenished, and shipping containers from Asia transported by sea cannot be unloaded. As a result, a record number of cargo ships were reported off the coast of southern California on September 19, 2021. On this day seventy-three ships were anchored near the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach just waiting for their turn to be unloaded. (25) A similar problem was reported on the East Coast, too. According to Business Insider, about two dozen ships were stuck off the coast of New York, awaiting an opportunity to unload their cargo. (26)
Shortages of dockworkers, truck drivers, and even shipping containers have caused the costs associated with shipping merchandise to increase exponentially. According to The Wall Street Journal, the cost to ship a container from Asia to the West Coast of the United States is now fourteen times higher than it was in 2019. (27) Industry experts expect shipping costs to continue to rise well into next year. “Things are actually getting worse,” said Robert Khachatryan, who is the founder of the firm known as Freight Right Global Logistics. He noted that in some cases, the cost to ship a 40-foot container from China to the United States has reached an astonishing 20,000 dollars. (28) As such, inflation is expected to continue being a problem in the United States for the foreseeable future.
As for the shortages, those could get worse, too. The warehouse store chain known as Costco warned in September 2021 that it was imposing purchasing limits on common household products such as toilet paper due to increased demand and a lack of supply in some of its stores. (29) A shortage of computer chips continues to hamper American automakers’ assembly lines. Both Ford and General Motors were forced to suspend production of their vehicles for weeks at a time, which resulted in a 33 percent decrease in sales for Ford this year. (30)
Sadly, the United States with its widespread shortages and empty store shelves is starting to resemble the Cold War era Soviet Union when similar shortages were common in Russia. The United States has been severely weakened by this crisis and there is much uncertainty in the days ahead. Yet, we know that we serve a God in Heaven who is able to supply every need. In Matthew 6:31-33 we find these reassuring words from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ: “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
The Most Restrictive Mandates Yet
In recent months, we have seen a slew of new restrictions and mandates regarding the Covid-19 vaccines. Simply put, there are places you cannot go, things you cannot do, and jobs you cannot work unless you have received the shots. Not long ago, a sweeping vaccine mandate required all United States government workers to get the jab. Additionally, a similar requirement was put in place for the United States military. However, these mandates were not enough for President Joe Biden. In September 2021, Biden enacted his strictest mandate yet, decreeing that all employers with one hundred or more workers are now required to ensure that everyone on their staff is vaccinated against Covid or otherwise submit to weekly testing for the virus. (31) This mandate is only one or two steps away from demanding that everyone receive the Covid inoculations.
How quickly things can change! Speaking of the newly available shots, Biden was quoted as saying in December 2020, “No, I don’t think it should be mandatory. I wouldn’t demand it to be mandatory.” (32) In a similar fashion, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi told a reporter in April 2021, “So here’s the thing: we cannot require someone to be vaccinated. That’s just not what we can do.” She later went on to say, “It’s a matter of privacy to know who is or who isn’t. I can’t go to the Capitol Physician and say, ‘Give me the names of people who aren’t vaccinated, so I can go and encourage them or make it known to others to encourage them to be vaccinated.’ So we can’t -- we can’t do that.” (33)
Nevertheless, new mandates continue to be implemented, and right now in New York City, you can no longer eat at a restaurant if you have not been vaccinated. In fact, you cannot do much at all. Most public places are off-limits, including gyms, swimming pools, movie theaters, concert venues, museums, aquariums, and zoos. (34)
With many places so heavily restricted, how are people going to prove they have been vaccinated? While people who get the shots are given a paper vaccination card, these cards are easily forged and many will certainly be damaged over time if used frequently. Thus, a need arises for a digital vaccine passport. The city of New York already has a vaccine passport system they call Excelsior Pass. The app, which can be downloaded to a smartphone, provides a QR code that can be scanned at the door of local establishments. Smartphone maker Samsung is working on a system that will operate in a similar way to New York’s vaccine passport. The app’s designer, JP Pollak, claims the new technology will be superior to other apps being used for such purposes. “Rather than having to pull up Common Health – which is a personal health records app, which is not really designed for walking into a grocery store and showing a QR code – now you can store this in a much more convenient place,” Pollak said. He further went on to say, “You can imagine that at some point in the future, your vaccine record happens to be something you need with that great of frequency.” (35)
Of course, smartphones can be lost or damaged, or the battery might lose its charge, so what happens if you need your vaccine passport but you do not have your phone available? What about those who do not own a smartphone? A student in Italy decided to take matters into his own hands. Rather than rely on his smartphone, he simply had his QR code tattooed on his arm. According to reports, the tattoo works, and when he enters a vaccinated-only location, his arm is scanned. (36) Will they try implantable microchips next?
In closing, we have much to pray about in these days of perplexity. I urge every reader of this newsletter to put your faith and trust in Almighty God. No matter what happens, He will not forsake his people. Deuteronomy 31:8 declares, “And the LORD, he [it is] that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.”
Thank you for your kind support of this ministry. You are welcome to send us your prayer requests. We always give each request individual attention. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
Samuel David Meyer
01. Koryo Group, September 17, 2021, By Koryo Group, http://koryogroup.com.
02. Radio Free Europe, August 31, 2021, By RFE, http://rferl.org.
03. Dictionary.com, http://dictionary.com/browse/perplex.
04. The Washington Post, September 4, 2021, By Marc Fisher, http://washingtonpost.com.
05. Fox News, March 8, 2021, By Edmund LaMarche, http://foxnews.com.
06. USA Today, June 3, 2021, By Rick Rouan, http://usatoday.com.
07. Fox News, March 8, 2021, By Edmund LaMarche, http://foxnews.com.
08. The Street, June 12, 2020, By Katherine Ross, http://thestreet.com.
09. The New York Times, July 27, 2021, By Apoorva Mandavilli, http://nytimes.com.
10. Slate, July 28, 2021, By Kerrington Powell and Vinay Prasad, http://slate.com.
11. CNN, September 4, 2021, By Travis Caldwell, http://cnn.com.
12. CNN, September 5, 2021, By Aya Elamroussi, http://cnn.com.
13. The New York Times, September 3, 2021, By Sharon LaFraniere and Noah Weiland, http://nytimes.com.
14. The Times of Israel, September 18, 2021, By TOI Staff, http://timesofisrael.com.
15. The Wall Street Journal, September 24, 2021, By Felicia Schwartz, http://wsj.com.
16. Politico, September 19, 2021, By Lauren Gardner, http://politico.com.
18. CNN, July 16, 2021, By Natasha Bertrand, Pamela Brown, Katie Bo Williams, and Zachary Cohen, http://cnn.com.
20. Associated Press, July 15, 2021, By Frank Jordans and Maria Cheng, http://apnews.com.
21. Bloomberg News, September 24, 2021, By Andrea Felsted, http://bloomberg.com.
22. NBC News, September 24, 2021, By Haley Messenger, http://nbcnews.com.
25. The New York Times, September 23, 2021, By Gregory Schmidt, http://nytimes.com.
26. Business Insider, September 26, 2021, By Zahra Tayeb, http://businessinsider.com.
27. The Wall Street Journal, September 16, 2021, By Thomas Gryta, http://wsj.com.
28. ICIS, September 16, 2021, By Adam Yanelli, http://icis.com.
29. Fox Business News, September 22, 2021, By Daniella Genovese, http://foxbusiness.com.
30. The Washington Post, September 23, 2021, By Jeanne Whalen, http://washingtonpost.com.
31. The Wall Street Journal, September 9, 2021, By Stephanie Armour and Sabrina Siddiqui, http://wsj.com.
32. CNS News, September 9, 2021, By Michael W. Chapman, http://cnsnews.com.
33. CNS News, September 10, 2021, By Craig Bannister, http://cnsnews.com.
34. Fox 5 NY, September 13, 2021, By Fox 5 NY Staff, http://fox5ny.com.
35. NBC News, August 18, 2021, By Kevin Collier, http://nbcnews.com.
36. Business Insider, August 23, 2021, By Anna Medaris Miller, http://businessinsider.com.
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