Volume 40 Issue Twelve December 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
A Connected World In Crisis
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
In 2015 the United Nations published its blueprints for the future of mankind. This all-encompassing agenda is designed to include every man, woman, and child alive at this present time and those who will exist in the future. Known as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the plan contains seventeen “sustainable development goals,” or SDGs, which the United Nations seeks to implement by the year 2030. Scrutiny of documents published by the United Nations reveals that the 2030 Agenda is a sophisticated plan to transform the entire world into what would amount to a global socialist society. “The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as Global Goals, were adopted by the United Nations in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity,” the United Nations Development Plan website states. (1)
Within the text of the agenda itself, we find that part of “Goal 9,” which covers “Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure,” is an insistence by the United Nations that all of humanity be connected to the Internet. “More than 4 billion people still do not have access to the Internet, and 90 percent are from the developing world. Bridging this digital divide is crucial to ensure equal access to information and knowledge as well as to foster innovation and entrepreneurship.” (2) On the surface, this goal sounds noble, but what if there is a more nefarious reason that the United Nations wants to bring every person in the world online?
There is no question that the Internet is useful for many things. Thanks to online technology, it is easier than ever to stay in touch with friends and family around the world. It provides those who use it with a wealth of information, and it has been a boon for the free press. Our ministry has used the Internet for years to reach more people, and in that regard, it truly has been a blessing. Nevertheless, we must realize that the Internet also forms the backbone of the forthcoming beast society of the future. Without the Internet, a global economy, a global cashless monetary system, and a global government would be much more difficult if not outright impossible to achieve. It is also the technology that drives in an increasingly sophisticated and invasive surveillance apparatus.
Today, Internet usage is almost ubiquitous in the United States. According to Pew Research Center, about one-half of all Americans regularly used the Internet in the year 2000. By April 2021, the number of Americans who go online reached 93 percent. (3) Not only do most Americans spend some of their time in cyberspace, but the Internet itself continues to expand at a rapid pace, reaching closer and closer to enveloping the entire world. The Internet is always there for many of us with wireless, Wi-Fi, and cellular signals beaming through the air in our homes, workplaces, restaurants, retail stores, city parks, and even our vehicles. Thanks to smartphones, we can even carry the Internet with us in our pockets. Indeed, research published in April 2021 reveals that 85 percent of all Americans now carry a smartphone. (4) Of course, when you carry a smartphone, the government and private companies alike are both able to pinpoint your exact location at any given moment. Not only that, it is likely that these entities know everywhere you have ever been if you had your smartphone with you while traveling from place to place.
Efforts are underway to bring Internet access to even the most hard-to-reach places in the United States. President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better infrastructure plan, which could cost the American people trillions of dollars in the coming years, includes a directive to bring high-speed Internet services to rural America. “We’ll make sure every single, every single American has access to high-quality, affordable, high-speed Internet,” Biden said in March 2021. He further went on to say, “When I say affordable, I mean it. Americans pay too much for Internet service. We’re going to drive down the price for families who have service now and make it easier for families who don’t have affordable service to be able to get it now.” (5) Meanwhile, Elon Musk’s company known as SpaceX is hard at work launching its Starlink satellites into the sky. More than 1,800 of these satellites have been launched so far, with fifty-three of them most recently being launched on November 13, 2021. These satellites are capable of beaming high-speed Internet access down to earth. Starlink is growing quickly and now provides service to about 140,000 people in twenty countries. According to SpaceX, the company has received more than 750,000 requests for service around the world. (6) As more of these satellites are launched, we are seeing planet earth surrounded and encapsulated in a gigantic web. In the future, nearly every remote crevice of our planet could be blanketed with Internet access.
In this modern age, it is not just people who are online. Everything from smartwatches, smart thermostats, smart televisions, smart doorbells, and even smart lightbulbs populate a growing segment of cyberspace known as the “Internet of Things.” (IoT) Most of these devices interface with smartphones, which for example, allow end-users to turn off light switches or adjust the thermostat in their homes even when they are at another location. This burgeoning technology sector was worth 761.4 billion dollars in 2020 and is expected to increase to 1.39 trillion dollars by 2026. (7)
As we consider the growing monstrosity that is the Internet, one might be left to wonder what else will be put online in the future. As it turns out, “smart roads” are already in development. What is a smart road, you ask? These high-tech highways contain tiny sensors built directly into the pavement. These sensors are all online and capture real-time data about your vehicle and your travel habits. The sensors are intelligent enough to detect when a traffic accident has occurred and automatically alert first responders. “If you’ve driven off the road, smart pavements can detect when and where this happened and automatically send an alert to the emergency services to come help you. This will rapidly shorten the time before people get help,” said Tim Sylvester, who is chief executive officer at Integrated Roadways. (8) Smart pavements can also interface with travelers' smartphones on the road and send them updates regarding traffic and road hazards. (9) Safety features aside, such roadways would be an absolute disaster regarding personal privacy. A dystopian government could easily track everywhere you go, even if you are one of the remaining few who do not carry a smartphone. The concept of smart roads may sound fanciful; however, the technology already exists. According to a report from NBC News, the American state of Colorado began testing a half-mile stretch of smart road in 2018. (10)
Without question, the Internet has become a bigger part of our everyday lives. This trend was further accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic, which forced many school students into online classrooms for a time. Many businesses transitioned to a remote workforce, thus forcing employees to work from home using an Internet connection. Banks and credit unions around America closed their lobbies and encouraged customers to utilize online banking services as much as possible. One such example is a credit union in my hometown of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin.
In the summer of 2020, as the Covid pandemic raged on and interest rates on home loans fell dramatically, I decided it would be prudent to take advantage of this trend and refinance my mortgage. However, I could not do this in person. I submitted the application online, and nearly all of the subsequent communication regarding the loan happened via email and online messaging. I did not see my loan officer at all until closing day, and then I only saw him behind the window of my credit union’s drive-thru lane. In subsequent months, I dutifully used the drive-thru to make my payments. When my credit union finally reopened its doors to the public in July 2021, I was stunned to discover that they no longer had a counter with bank tellers. Instead, they had a personal teller machine, and when I made my loan payment, I had to insert the check into the machine while talking to a woman on a video screen. I left the building with a strange feeling in the pit of my stomach. The experience felt impersonal, clinical, and unsatisfying. It feels as though the more we’re connected to the Internet, the less we are connected face-to-face with others.
In the 1990s, when the Internet was growing, and more people went online, it was commonly referred to as “the world wide web.” This term to this day is frequently shortened to “the web.” It is also common to refer to the Internet as simply “the net.” Interestingly, both a web and a net are devices in which people, animals, or things can be caught and snared. People might find themselves desiring to go offline but realize that it is increasingly difficult to do so in the days ahead. After all, how can you escape the net if the net is always on and everywhere?
It is of paramount importance that we as Christian people ensure that our connection to God is stronger than our connection to anything else in this modern age, including our phone and computer screens. Thankfully, an active prayer life provides us with a direct link to the throne of our God in heaven, which is why Jesus tells us in Luke 18:1 that “… men ought always to pray, and not to faint.” He further instructs us in Luke 21:36, “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.”
An Era Of Crises
In last month’s issue of the Last Trumpet, I reported that inflation in the United States was at its highest levels in thirteen years. Since that time, new reports have emerged indicating that the current inflationary crisis is the worst it’s been in over thirty years. (11) The latest numbers show that not only is the problem worsening, but it is worsening at a rapid pace. Economists continue to sound the alarm as food prices, fuel prices, and freight prices continue to rise with some even wondering if the Federal Reserve has “lost control.” “The Fed has absolutely lost control of inflation and inflation expectations, or at least it appears that way. Policymakers arguably should have moved a lot sooner to pull back on easy policy earlier this year, when inflation was showing signs of persisting beyond what most economists would be comfortable with, even temporarily. But they continued to stick with their assessment that this is transitory,” said Lindsey Piegza, who is the chief economist at the investment bank known as Stifel. (12)
When officials from the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury talk about “transitory” inflation, they mean that the current inflation we are experiencing is temporary. However, it has become poignantly clear that higher costs will continue in the months and years ahead. Burt Flickering, who is the managing director of the Strategic Resource Group, claims that the American people are experiencing “one of the worst crises in modern retail history.” He further went on to say, “This is the biggest emerging economic crisis for consumers for over a decade. The average cost of living for a family of four is up about $5,000 a year, so now it’s a choice between heating homes, feeding families, and giving gifts.” (13)
Much of the inflation we see today is the result of a malfunctioning global supply chain. When items are in short supply, the cost to purchase them will invariably go up. According to research firm Adobe Digital Insights, more than two billion out-of-stock messages were posted online during the month of October 2021. (14) We are seeing shortages of everything from consumer electronics to new and used cars and an assortment of groceries. Why are these things so hard to find? Shortages of raw material certainly are not helping matters. According to Reuters, twenty-six commodities were in short supply throughout the month of October 2021. Meanwhile, the price of forty-eight commodities rose in October. This includes raw materials such as steel, which has now increased in cost for fifteen straight months. (15) Even fertilizer is in short supply, which has prompted warnings of a possible food crisis in the coming months. “I want to say this loud and clear right now, that we risk a very low crop in the next harvest. I’m afraid we’re going to have a food crisis,” stated Svein Tore Holsether, who is the chief executive officer at the Norwegian fertilizer company known as Yara International. (16) According to Holsether, the cost to produce ammonia, which is a crucial ingredient in fertilizers, has increased from 110 dollars per ton last summer to a whopping one thousand dollars today. (17)
Food companies in the United States and elsewhere around the world are planning significant price hikes for groceries next year, including General Mills, which is most famous for producing iconic cereals such as Cheerios and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. However, the company makes more than just cereal. They are the conglomerate behind such brands as Yoplait yogurt, Progresso soups, and the Pillsbury product line. General Mills plans to raise prices by as much as 20 percent in January 2022. (18)
It is one thing for Americans not to be able to find the latest electronics. People will survive without a shiny new iPhone 13. However, it is a much more severe matter when it becomes a struggle to afford food. Furthermore, those who live in the northern United States are being warned to expect significantly higher heating bills this winter. Costs were already rising this past October when natural gas cost 28 percent more than it had the previous year. Heating oil was up 59 percent over the same period. (19) Mark Wolfe, the executive director of the National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association, put it bluntly. When utility bills start to arrive this winter, “The public’s going to get angry,” he predicted. (20) Interestingly enough, a growing number of Americans are purchasing firewood as they look for ways to defray the costs of heating their homes. However, the cost of firewood is rising, too. “It’s crazy. Everybody wants firewood,” said a dealer from Stone Ridge, New York. He now sells his product at a cost that is 19 percent higher than last year. (21) As society begins to unravel in the United States, people are turning back to old survival methods.
We are truly living in an era of crises. We have a supply chain crisis, a transportation crisis, a food supply crisis, and an energy crisis, all of which are feeding an inflation crisis caused by the Covid-19 crisis. Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers put it simply. “I think we do need to recognize, as people are starting to, that inflation is a serious problem.” He also criticized the Federal Reserve, saying, “I think the Fed is still not fully recognizing the gravity of the situation.” (22) With such inept leadership from both the Federal Reserve and President Joe Biden, it is no wonder that this country is facing so many crises. As the days get darker ahead, we must do what God’s people have always done and put our faith and trust in our Saviour. Psalm 118:8-9 declares, “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.” These words still ring as true today as they did when they were written thousands of years ago.
A Crisis Of Lawlessness
When we visit retail locations and encounter empty shelves, we usually assume the absence of products is due to supply chain problems. While that is often true in most of the United States, the shelves might be empty for an uglier reason in some large cities. Consider what happened in Lakewood, California, on November 26, 2021. On this day, a group of eight people between the ages of fifteen and twenty barged into a Home Depot store in the Los Angeles suburb and pilfered hammers and crowbars. When store employees tried to stop the thieves, they were threatened with bodily harm. “We tried to stop them. We closed the front entrance and they put their sledgehammers up and whoever got in their way, they were going to hurt them,” said one store employee. (23)
Why did these thieves steal hammers and crowbars? The logical answer is that these items are the favored tools used by flash mobs during smash and grab robberies. For example, a mob of thirty to forty kids entered a store called Sam’s Jewelry in Hayward, California, on November 21, 2021. Some of the looters carried hammers, which were then used to smash open the display cases. Just the previous day, on November 20, 2021, eighty people clad in ski masks used crowbars to pillage and plunder a Nordstrom clothing store in Walnut Creek, California. The day before that on November 19, 2021, a flash mob smashed the windows at a Louis Vuitton store in San Francisco, California, and reportedly “emptied out” the high-end clothing shop. (24)
Shoplifting has become so prevalent in the San Francisco area that some stores are calling it quits. In October 2021, the famous drugstore chain known as Walgreens announced plans to close five of its stores in San Francisco due to rampant retail theft. (25) The mass-merchandiser known as Target is also suffering greatly from shoplifting. To combat the problem, all Target stores in San Francisco have reduced their operating hours and now close at 6 P.M. (26) “For the last few months, we’ve been experiencing a significant and alarming rise in theft in and security incidents at our San Francisco stores, similar to reports from other retailers in the area. Target is engaging local law enforcement, elected officials, and community partners to address our concerns. With the safety of our guests, team members, and communities as our top priority, we’ve temporarily reduced our operating hours in five San Francisco stores,” said Target spokesperson Amy Tew. (27) How bad is the shoplifting problem at these Target stores? When the Target store on Mission Street in San Francisco decided to start reporting thefts to the police in September 2021, the total reported shoplifting incidents in the city of San Francisco doubled. (28) These crimes usually go unreported because the perpetrators are seldom prosecuted and store owners are worried about liability issues. A former security guard for a now shuttered Walgreens store explained the issue, saying, “The policy is not to confront, stop or engage with shoplifters. Walgreens – they don’t want any incident.” (29) It is no wonder that stores are closing in San Francisco. It is also not surprising that thieves feel emboldened enough to shoplift in broad daylight with no fear of reprisal. However, the problem extends beyond the state of California. On November 26, 2021, two Best Buy stores were looted in the suburbs of Minneapolis, Minnesota. In one incident, a group of twelve individuals showed up at the electronics retailer and just took whatever they wanted. In another case, a gang of thirty people rushed to a Best Buy location in nearby Maplewood, Minnesota. (30) These brazen thefts on one of the busiest shopping days of the year prompted Sheriff Bob Fletcher to say, “We can’t tolerate that kind of behavior. Just as a society, we just can’t.” (31) Best Buy CEO Corie Barry also complained about the recent thefts stating, “This is traumatizing for our associates and is unacceptable.” Barry also expressed concern that his chain of stores could have difficulties attracting new employees due to the rise in organized retail theft. (32) The United States is already suffering from a historic labor shortage. Roving gangs of thieves carrying out highly coordinated heists is not going to improve matters.
The spike in organized retail theft comes even as the United States grapples with rising homicide rates. Data released in September 2021 reveals that the national homicide rate rose to its worst level in six decades in 2020. Nearly five thousand more people were murdered in 2020 than in 2019. (33) Sadly, the trend has continued this year. Data collected from twenty-two American cities reveals that the murder rate throughout the first nine months of 2021 is 4 percent higher than last year and 36 percent higher than in 2019. (34)
Elsewhere in the world, massive protests occurred in multiple European nations in November 2021. Tens of thousands of demonstrators marched in Austria, Switzerland, Croatia, Italy, Northern Ireland, and the Netherlands to protest lockdown restrictions related to the surging Covid outbreak that is plaguing Europe. These protests have turned violent at times, prompting police forces to discharge their firearms against rioters. (35) Is there any question that we are living in a time similar to the days of Noah when the earth was filled with violence? Jesus Christ warned us the world would be in this condition in the days leading up to His return.
The Covid Crisis Extended
Will Covid-19 ever go away? It has been nearly a year since Pfizer and Moderna announced their first vaccines against the novel coronavirus. Soon after that, the vaccine from Johnson and Johnson was released, and people thought the pandemic would finally end. However, those who have placed their hope and faith in the vaccines have been sorely disappointed. Recent events have shown that Covid can and does continue to spread even in countries with high vaccination rates. This is true in the Israeli State, where despite the nation’s exceptionally high rate of vaccination, Covid is spiking again. Regarding the uptick in cases of infection, Professor Cyrille Cohen, who is the head of the immunotherapy laboratory at Bar Ilan University in Israel, was quoted as saying, “These are not good omens.” He then added, “Things can deteriorate quickly.” (36)
As Covid continues to spread in Europe, outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called the situation “highly dramatic.” German Health Minister Jens Spahn put it more bluntly, stating, “Just about everyone in Germany will probably be either vaccinated, recovered, or dead” by the end of this winter. (37) In other words, Spahn is implying that Covid will reach almost everyone in his country in the coming months and is no doubt trying to frighten the German people into getting vaccinated.
To make matters worse, we are now being told that a new highly contagious variant of Covid-19 is spreading. This variant, which has been dubbed Omicron, has already sparked a slew of new Covid restrictions worldwide. (38) Anthony Fauci, who is an advisor for President Joe Biden, has not ruled out the possibility that the United States might need to implement some restrictions, too, including lockdowns. “You want to be prepared to do anything and everything,” Fauci insisted. (39) Omicron, which was first discovered in South Africa, has spread to nineteen countries as of this writing. (40)
As we conclude this historic year, we see that our world continues to struggle against the many challenges we are facing in this modern age. Indeed, we face poor economic conditions, high inflation, shortages, a pandemic that never seems to end, widespread violence, and the rapid deployment of technology that continues to alter the human way of life. Yet, even as we confront these challenges, we should be cognizant of the fact that God has brought us this far, and He will continue to guide us through the dark days ahead. He is not going to abandon us now. Jesus promised us in Mark 13:13, “…but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” He also assures us that He has already overcome the world. John 16:33 declares, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
This is the final issue of the Last Trumpet for the year 2021. If you receive this newsletter by mail, please remember to fill out and return the enclosed renewal form to us as soon as possible if you have not already been renewed. We want to ensure that you receive every issue of this newsletter in the coming year. I am certain we will see many astonishing events in 2022.
Thank you all for your kind support. As always, we encourage and welcome you to send us your prayer requests. Our intercessors always give each request individual attention. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
Samuel David Meyer
01. United Nations Development Programme, http://undp.org.
02. United Nations Development Programme, http://undp.org.
03. Pew Research Center, April 7, 2021, By Pew Research Center, http://pewresearch.org.
04. Pew Research Center, April 7, 2021, By Pew Research Center, http://pewresearch.org.
05. CNET, March 31, 2021, By Margeurite Reardon, http://cnet.com.
06. Space News, November 13, 2021, By Jason Rainbow, http://spacenews.com.
07. Datamation, November 11, 2021, By Shelby Hiter, http://datamation.com.
08. NBC News, June 25, 2018, By David Cox, http://nbcnews.com.
11. Marketwatch, November 11, 2021, By Vivien Lou Chen, http://marketwatch.com.
13. Fox Business, November 11, 2021, By Talia Kaplan, http://foxbusiness.com.
15. Reuters News Service, November 1, 2021, By Lucia Mutikani, http://reuters.com.
16. Fortune Magazine, November 4, 2021, By Katherine Dunn, http://fortune.com.
18. CNN, November 23, 2021, By Nathaniel Meyersohn, http://cnn.com.
19. Bloomberg News, November 10, 2021, By Josh Saul, http://bloomberg.com.
20. The New York Times, November 8, 2021, By Talmon Joseph Smith, http://nytimes.com.
21. Bloomberg News, November 20, 2021, By Maxwell Adler, http://bloomberg.com.
22. Mediaite, November 4, 2021, By Rudy Takala, http://mediaite.com.
23. Fox 11 News, November 26, 2021, By Fox 11 Digital Team, http://foxla.com.
24. Fox News, November 22, 2021, By Emma Colton, http://foxnews.com.
25. The Guardian, November 15, 2021, By Abene Clayton, http://theguardian.com.
26. ABC7 News, July 2, 2021, By ABC7 News, http://abc7news.com.
27. San Francisco Chronicle, November 27, 2021, By Susie Neilson and Rachel Swan, http://sfchronicle.com.
30. The Daily Mail, November 28, 2021, By James Gordon, http://dailymail.co.uk.
32. CNN, November 23, 2021, By Parija Kavilanz, http://cnn.com.
33. The Guardian, September 27, 2021, By Lois Beckett, http://theguardian.com.
34. CNN, November 8, 2021, By Emma Tucker, http://cnn.com.
35. Associated Press, November 20, 2021, By Associated Press, http://apnews.com.
36. The Times of Israel, November 25, 2021, By Nathan Jeffay, http://timesofisrael.com.
37. Bloomberg News, November 22, 2021, By Arne Delfs and Naomi Kresge, http://bloomberg.com.
38. Associated Press, November 27, 2021, By Pan Pylas, http://apnews.com.
39. Reuters News Service, November 28, 2021, By Reuters, http://reuters.com.
40. CNN, November 30, 2021, By Rob Picheta, http://cnn.com.
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