Volume 41 Issue One January 2022
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
Troubled On Every Side
“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.”
II Corinthians 4:8-10
“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
II Corinthians 4:17-18
“And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.”
As we begin a new year, it is an opportune time to reflect on the state of our present world. Events of the last two years have left the masses battered, worn-out, and fatigued. When year one of the pandemic ended, a general consensus with which many people agreed was that 2020 was one of the worst years in human history. It was not just our imagination. According to a piece published about a year ago by The Washington Post, historians concluded that 2020 was the sixth worst year for humanity ever recorded. (1) When 2021 finally arrived, the angst was palpable. Would it be a good year or a bad year? Would it be better or worse than 2020? Of course, most of us are not historians, so ranking the quality of a year is subject to personal circumstances and opinions. Nevertheless, a study conducted by OnePoll this past December reports that about one half of all respondents said 2021 was the worst year of their lives. (2)
It is not difficult to see why people were so miserable in 2021. The pandemic caused by the virus known as SARS-CoV-2 certainly did not end. Despite the fact that the United States has access to three vaccines that we are told are safe and effective against Covid-19, the world was battered by the Delta variant of the virus. Now we are contending with the Omicron variant, too. We have also faced heavy inflation, rising prices for food, energy, and essentials, a snarled supply chain, empty shelves at the stores, and a massive worker shortage. The summer months brought hurricanes, much of the planet burned, and in December 2021 an outbreak of tornadoes pounded nine American states. In total, forty-four tornadoes were reported in Missouri, Illinois, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Indiana, Ohio, and Alabama. (3) According to the National Weather Service, one of these tornadoes formed near Woodland Mills, Tennessee, and stayed on the ground all the way to Falls of Rough, Kentucky. This tornado alone carved out a path of destruction 165.7 miles long. (4) Kentucky was the hardest hit state by far, which prompted Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear to say, “We’re going to have over 1,000 homes that are just gone. I don’t think we’ll have seen damage on this scale ever.” (5) Sadly, at least ninety-three people lost their lives in these tornadoes, including seventy-eight in Kentucky. (6) According to Governor Beshear, entire towns have been wiped off the map. “I’ve got towns that are gone. My dad’s hometown, Paxton, isn’t standing. It’s hard to describe,” Beshear lamented. He further went on to say, “You think you can go door to door to check on people and see if they’re okay – there are no doors.” (7)
It is safe to say that those who lost their homes, possessions, and loved ones in this slew of storms would say 2021 was the worst year ever. Those who had to say goodbye to loved ones as homicide rates spiked in many of America’s largest cities would also say that 2021 was an awful year. Those who saw their freedom gradually taken away as governments began enforcing new Covid vaccine mandates in places such as New York City and many European countries probably did not enjoy the year either. The words of the Apostle Paul found in II Corinthians 4:8, which declare, “We are troubled on every side,” seem strikingly appropriate for this present time. However, the Apostle Paul understood that all of the struggles in this life would eventually give way to the good things of God. The verses in II Corinthians 4:8-10 continue on, “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.” He then concludes the chapter with these reassuring words in verses seventeen and eighteen, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
Something Is Wrong
About six months ago, I wrote a lengthy piece regarding the birthrate crisis affecting much of the world. At the time, I reported that the vast majority of the world is experiencing a precipitous decline in fertility, and as 2021 came to an end, a plethora of reports surfaced detailing the world’s progress in recent months. To put it bluntly, things have only gotten worse.
More than 1.4 billion people live in China today. With such a substantial number, one would not expect the world’s most populous country to be suffering from a birthrate crisis. Yet, that is exactly what is happening. Unless trends change dramatically, there will not be enough young Chinese citizens to care for and replace the country’s aging majority in the decades ahead. In fact, the population decline may have already started. A surprising report from the South China Morning Post, published on December 4, 2021, indicates that the number of births in China fell by a whopping 20 percent in 2021. The report also states that the number of deaths in China could outpace the number of births. (8) “From our preliminary forecast based on provisional data (in 2021), it’s going to be very likely to be around or even under ten million births,” said demographics expert James Liang. “And of course, with that number, the biggest news will be China is probably in a population decline.” (9) He Yafu, a demographer from Guangzhou province in China, issued a similar statement, saying, “China’s population is very likely to enter negative growth in 2021.” (10)
After years of social programming and propaganda, the Chinese government has now reversed its course and has offered a variety of incentives to Chinese couples if they have children. However, a widespread consensus amongst young adult Chinese citizens is that having children is too costly, both financially and as an impediment to career growth. Thus, the negative population trend is likely to continue and worsen. "Of course, the bad news to China is this is not the end, and that China will continue to gravitate toward the lowest of the spectrum – so it’ll be more like Singapore and South Korea very soon. If you look at big cities in China, like Shanghai and Beijing, their fertility rate is already the lowest in the world – at about 0.7,” Liang warned. (11)
As for South Korea, deaths outpaced births for the first time ever in 2020. In 2021 the decline continued, and projections indicate that their population could fall from 51.75 million people today to anywhere from 37 million to 31 million by the year 2070. (12) The fertility rate is expected to drop to a paltry 0.7 births per woman by the year 2024. (13)
In Europe, a long-term fertility crisis continues to hamper the growth and future prospects of the continent. Germany was one of the first European countries to experience a drop in births, and as such, they are feeling the pain of this decline more so than other nations. As more and more Germans plan to retire soon, there is a profound lack of young people available to take their places. “It’s really hard to find any craftsmen nowadays. And looking ahead, it certainly doesn’t look like it’s going to get easier,” said the human resources manager at Janicke GmbH & Co.KG. (14) Torsten Ruban-Zeh, who is the mayor of the German town known as Hoyerswerda, was quoted as saying, “We need to do something because there are many people who are going to retire soon. And the young people who would have to replace them are simply not there.” (15) Germany’s Federal Employment Agency claims that the aging European country needs more than 400,000 immigrants a year to plug the labor shortage. (16)
Much like Germany, Italy is also facing a fertility crisis. In 2020, Italy recorded 15,192 fewer births than they did in 2019. The trend continued the following year as well with a decrease of 12,500 babies born in 2021 compared to 2020. The fertility rate in Italy has now dropped to its lowest level since 1861. (17) This sobering fact seems to have caught the attention of Pope Francis. During an address given in December 2021, the Pope told his audience, “The demographic winter is a real worry, at least here in Italy. It seems that a lot of people have lost the wish to have children. Lots of couples prefer to remain childless or to have one child only. It’s a tragedy… which runs counter to our families, our country, and our future.” (18)
Most developed countries around the world are suffering the same birthrate plight, including Australia, the United Kingdom, and of course, the United States of America. In April 2021, the United States Census Bureau reported that population growth in America had slowed to its lowest rate since the 1930s. According to a piece published by USA Today in May 2021, the projected birthrate for American women is expected to drop to 1.64, which is well below replacement level and the lowest rate ever recorded. The article’s author, Kelsey Bloom, suggests that low morale might be a contributing factor for the declining birthrate. “Life expectancy declined for three consecutive years starting in 2014. And growing old seems increasingly perilous as every metric screams that something is wrong: Increasing use of antidepressants across all incomes, drug overdoses, suicides (especially among children and teenagers,) alcohol related illnesses. Not to mention Covid-19 and Covid-related deaths of despair.” (19) With so much wrong in the world, many people may not desire to have children. A poignant snapshot of the fertility crisis can be found on the United States Census Bureau’s website. This website features a population clock. The clock shows: “One birth every nine seconds.” “One death every nine seconds.” “One international migrant every 130 seconds.” (20) Therefore, we can conclude that the only reason the U.S. population is still growing at all is because of international migrants.
In recent years as I have learned more about the fertility crisis plaguing much of the world, I have felt this is a topic that should be discussed far more often than it is. After all, the fate of humanity hangs in the balance, and of all the problems that our world faces today, this is one of the biggest. Interestingly enough, the world’s richest man, Elon Musk, thinks so, too. Speaking at an event in December 2021, Musk said, “I think one of the biggest risks to civilization is the low birthrate and rapidly declining birthrate. And yet, so many people, including smart people, think that there are too many people in the world and think that the population is growing out of control. It’s completely the opposite. Please look at the numbers – if people don’t have more children, civilization is going to crumble, mark my words.” (21) Musk believes this impending population crisis is the reason elderly people will need his robots in the future. After all, there will not be enough young people to care for the older generations, so in his mind, robots will fill that void. However, this crisis leads me to a much different conclusion. I believe the world is wearing out, humanity is in decline, and the day of our Saviour’s return is growing nearer.
An Empire Of Part Iron And Part Clay
In last month’s issue of the Last Trumpet, we covered the rapid rise of technology in recent decades. As I wrote previously, the Internet, while it can be used to accomplish good things, is often used for evil. This ubiquitous technology has become an always-on, always present system that continues to grow more invasive each and every year. I believe it is this technology that the powers that be are hoping to use as the backbone for the forthcoming one world government. I believe it is for this reason that the United Nations seeks to have every home in the world online by the year 2030.
When we consider the vast expanse of the Internet and the many ways it now encroaches on our lives, it can and should make privacy advocates cringe. We have technology giants such as Alphabet Inc. (Google), Meta (Facebook), Apple, and Amazon always there to watch, listen, and track our every move as they build an ever-expanding dossier on people around the planet. A futuristic dystopian government would not even need to build its technology infrastructure, because the world’s largest tech giants have already done it. A fascinating report was published by Quartz in 2017, which details how the United States intelligence community, including the Central Intelligence Agency, or CIA, and the National Security Agency, or NSA, established a program in the 1990s called the Massive Digital Data Systems (MDDS) project. This project provided funds in the form of research grants to computer scientists at various universities. Two of the researchers who were given money by the CIA and NSA while they were performing research at Stanford University in California were Sergey Brin and Larry Page. These two men would later go on to form Google. (22) It should be noted that the government intelligence agencies who funded projects that eventually led to the formation of companies such as Google did so in the hope that they would one day be able to use the technology as a surveillance system. These days, Google is a household name, and the tech giant owns some of the Internet’s most famous brands including Gmail, YouTube, and the mobile operating system known as Android. It is worth noting that Android is the most dominant smartphone operating system in the world. An estimated 2.5 billion people use devices featuring Google’s Android, (23) which means an enormous proportion of people are carrying these gadgets which double as tracking devices.
Thus, we see that the Internet of today is by all appearances an unstoppable behemoth. But sometimes it doesn’t work. On December 7, 2021, much of the United States was cast into confusion when Amazon Web Services (AWS) went down and stayed down for most of the day. (24) These tech services provided by Amazon are used by some of the world’s biggest companies including Netflix, Hulu, Capital One, Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson, General Electric, and NASA. (25) Even the CIA uses Amazon Web Services! (26)
People had difficulty functioning throughout the day of the outage, which just goes to show how much society has come to rely on the Internet and modern technology. Some of the following quotes from frustrated users almost sound like fake news, but they were published by The Wall Street Journal. After the AWS outage caused an Internet-connected kibble dispenser to malfunction, one user came home to find his cats hungry and their food dishes empty. “We had to manually give them food like in ancient times,” the man complained. (27) Another user grumbled that he could not use his Roomba robot vacuum cleaner to clean up a mess in the kitchen. “I had to resort to getting a broom and dustpan. It was crazy.” (28) Another man lamented that he could not talk to his Amazon voice assistant, Alexa. “We chat more during the day than me and my wife do.” He further said that without Alexa “You almost have separation anxiety.” (29) A woman in Florida was forced to open her blinds as she was unable to tell Alexa to turn on the lights in her home. “Over the last two years, I’ve grown lazy. It’s easier to tell Alexa to turn the light on and off. She listens better than the kids,” the woman said. She further went on to say, “It makes you realize how much you rely on technology.” (30) Additionally, students complained that they were unable to submit their homework assignments, which are often done via an online service nowadays. (31)
Remarkably, the outage of December 7 was just one of three outages that occurred within a one-month period. (32) The other two outages were brief, but it does demonstrate that perhaps the Internet is not as strong and secure as it looks at first glance. The second chapter of Daniel describes four world empires. These empires include the Babylonian Empire; symbolized by gold, the Medo-Persian Empire; symbolized by silver; the Greek Empire symbolized by brass; and the Roman Empire symbolized by iron. Since the fall of the Roman Empire, efforts have been made throughout history to establish a new global power. However, according to Daniel 2, the final empire is represented by iron mingled with clay and is said to be “partly strong and partly broken.” There is no doubt that the technology of today is being used in an effort to establish a global government. However, the system is only partly strong and will eventually crumble. Conversely, the Kingdom established by Jesus Christ will stand forever. Daniel 2:44 declares, “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.”
Omicron Has Arrived
It has been nearly two years since the coronavirus which causes Covid-19 surfaced in the United States. We have learned a lot about this virus since the early days. Yet, despite multiple vaccines and therapies designed to prevent and curtail Covid-19, the disease still persists. As I write this newsletter on December 30, 2021, the world is contending with the most contagious variant of Covid-19 yet. This variant has been dubbed Omicron.
Remarkably, a record for new cases of Covid was set on December 27, 2021. More than 440,000 cases were reported on this day, and all indicators show the Omicron variant is going to continue its rapid spread. (33) Government officials and public figures are in full-blown panic mode as more people than ever before are contracting Covid-19. Billionaire Bill Gates, who became wealthy after founding the tech giant known as Microsoft, has become well-known in recent years as an influential proponent of vaccines. The famous billionaire has taken on a gloomy if not alarmist tone in recent days. “Just when it seemed like life would return to normal, we could be entering the worst part of the pandemic. Omicron will hit home for all of us. Close friends of mine now have it, and I’ve canceled most of my holiday plans,” Gates wrote in December 2021. (34) President Joe Biden has also painted a bleak picture of the coming days stating that the United States is about to suffer a “winter of severe illness and death.” (35)
While Omicron is quite obviously far more contagious than all previous iterations of the disease, including the Delta variant, if there is a reason to be hopeful it is that Omicron seems to produce far less severe infections. A study published by the United Kingdom Health Security Agency claims that people are 50 to 70 percent less likely to be hospitalized if they are sickened by Omicron. (36) A study published by the Institute for Health Metrics at the University of Washington predicts that anywhere from 40 percent to 60 percent of the entire United States population could contract Covid-19 by March 2022. (37) However, reports suggest that up to 90 percent of those who are infected with Omicron will never even know it because their symptoms are expected to be mild. (38)
At this point, I should say that I am very thankful that Omicron produces a far less severe form of the disease. Yet, we should all remain vigilant and cautious. I have friends and acquaintances with loved ones who passed away after contracting Covid-19. I also know many people, including friends and family, who have been infected by it, and in most cases, I am told it was a highly unpleasant experience. Multiple individuals from our local church congregation also had Covid-19, but thank God, they have all recovered.
In light of the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, government officials have intensified their push to force as many people as possible to receive the Covid-19 vaccines. Outgoing New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio decreed in early December 2021 that all employees who work in the city will need to provide proof of vaccination. There is no option for Covid testing as an alternative. “We in New York City have decided to use a preemptive strike to really do something bold to stop further growth of Covid and the dangers it’s causing to all of us,” De Blasio insisted. (39) He later encouraged mayors, governors, and others in positions of power to follow his lead. “This would be my advice to mayors, governors, CEOs, all over the country. Use these vaccine mandates. The more universal they are, the more likely employees will say, ‘Okay, it’s time, I’m going to do this,’ because you can’t jump from one industry to another or one company to another. It’s something that needs to be universal to protect all of us.” (40)
Is the day coming when you will no longer be able to buy, sell, or work a job unless you’ve received the vaccine and can prove it? More restrictions are being enacted elsewhere. In Chicago, Illinois, patrons will no longer be able to visit restaurants, gyms, and an assortment of other indoor facilities unless they can provide proof of vaccination. This requirement takes effect on January 3, 2022. (41) Boston, Massachusetts, is enacting similar policies. Bostonians will need to provide proof of at least one vaccination by January 15, 2022, if they want to go out to eat or visit a slew of other locations. Full vaccination will be required by February 15, 2022. (42)
As an increasing number of employers and governments require proof of vaccination, new forms of verification are beginning to surface. In countries where a vaccine passport is required, people often use a program on their smartphones to provide the verification. However, some in Sweden are taking a different approach. This European country has been a pioneer in human microchip implants for years. Now they are offering a microchip implant that can serve as a vaccination passport. “Implants are a very versatile technology that can be used for many different things. Right now, it’s very convenient to have Covid passports always accessible on your implant,” said Hannes Sjoblad of the Swedish firm known as Epicenter. (43)
In closing, I believe we are closer than ever to the return of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. As such, we as God’s people should heed the words of the Apostle Peter who wrote in I Peter 1:13, “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
As always, you are invited to send us your prayer requests. Each request is always given individual attention. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
Samuel David Meyer
01. The Washington Post, December 30, 2020, By Michael S. Rosenwald, http://washingtonpost.com.
02. Study Finds, December 22, 2021, By Chris Melore, http://studyfinds.org.
03. ABC News, December 18, 2021, By Emily Shapiro, http://abcnews.go.com.
04. The National Weather Service, http://weather.gov.
05. ABC News, December 18, 2021, By Emily Shapiro, http://abcnews.go.com.
07. The Telegraph, December 12, 2021, By David Millward, http://telegraph.co.uk.
08. South China Morning Post, December 4, 2021, By Zhou Xin, http://scmp.com.
09. CNN, December 1, 2021, By Nectar Gan and Steve George, http://cnn.com.
12. Business Standard News, December 9, 2021, By IANS, http://business-standard.com.
14. The Wall Street Journal, December 22, 2021, By Georgi Kantchev, http://wsj.com.
17. The Independent, December 14, 2021, By Celine Wadhera, http://independent.co.uk.
18. New York Post, December 26, 2021, By Sam Raskin, http://nypost.com.
19. USA Today, May 19, 2021, By Kelsey Bloom, http://usatoday.com.
20. U.S. Population Clock, http://census.gov.
21. USA Today, December 7, 2021, By Scott Gleeson, http://usatoday.com.
22. Quartz, December 8, 2017, By Jeff Nesbit, http://qz.com.
23. InMobi, August 9, 2021, By Team Inmobi, http://inmobi.com.
24. The Wall Street Journal, December 8, 2021, By Sarah E. Needleman, http://wsj.com.
25. Amazon Web Services, http://aws.amazon.com/solutions/case-studies.
26. Data Center Dynamics, November 23, 2020, By Sebastian Moss, http://datacenterdynamics.com.
27. The Wall Street Journal, December 8, 2021, By Sarah E. Needleman, http://wsj.com.
32. Chron, December 22, 2021, By Aaron Gregg and Drew Harwell, http://chron.com.
33. BBC News, December 29, 2021, By BBC News, http://bbc.com.
34. Protocol, December 22, 2021, By Sarah Roach, http://protocol.com.
35. AFP, December 24, 2021, By AFP, http://timesofisrael.com.
36. The Times of Israel, December 23, 2021, By Jill Lawless, http://timesofisrael.com.
37. The Daily Wire, December 23, 2021, By Joseph Curl, http://dailywire.com.
39. CBS New York, December 7, 2021, By Marcia Kramer, http://newyork.cbslocal.com.
41. Associated Press, December 21, 2021, By Sara Burnett, http://apnews.com.
42. Politico, December 21, 2021, By Lisa Kashinsky, http://politico.com.
43. Christian Headlines, December 21, 2021, By Milton Quintanilla, http://christianheadlines.com.
If you would like to submit a prayer request, you may send email to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail it to our postal address.