Volume 41 Issue Three March 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
The Post Pandemic World
“Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished.”
Could it really finally be over? In recent weeks, news reports have been abuzz with optimistic headlines regarding the Covid-19 pandemic. After more than two years of misery inflicted on nearly the entire world, the scientific community has signaled that life may soon return to “normal.” On February 16, 2022, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky issued a statement saying, “We all share the same goal – to get to a point were Covid-19 is no longer disrupting our daily lives, a time when it won’t be a constant crisis – rather something we can prevent, protect against, and treat.” (1) According to Jeff Zients, who is the coronavirus response coordinator at the White House, we are rapidly approaching the moment of which Walensky spoke. “As a result of all this progress and the tools we now have, we are moving to a time where Covid isn’t a crisis but is something we can protect against and treat,” Zients said. (2) With cases and death rates from Covid-19 rapidly falling in the United States, officials from state and local governments have begun to ease a host of Covid-19 related restrictions. In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, patrons are no longer required to show proof of vaccination before dining at a restaurant. (3) Officials in King County, Washington, which is home to the city of Seattle, said they would no longer require proof of vaccination to enter restaurants, bars, theaters, and gyms. (4) In Provincetown, Massachusetts, residents and visitors are no longer required to show proof of vaccination at local establishments. The mandate that required face coverings has also been rescinded. “We are learning to live with, and mitigate, the impact of the virus on our community,” said Town Manager Alex Morse. (5) Officials in Denver, Colorado, have also eased restrictions by no longer requiring customers to show proof of vaccination. Face masks are now optional at places of business. “Our modeling makes it very clear that lifting the face covering order now is safe. Cases are going to continue to decline and what that says is Omicron has run out of fuel within our community,” declared Bob McDonald, who is the Executive Director of Public Health and Environment in Denver. (6)
The virus that causes Covid-19 still exists. It will likely never be eradicated. So why are government officials easing restrictions now? A big factor in these decisions could be the national mood of the American population. Poll results which were published on January 31, 2022, found that 70 percent of respondents agreed with the statement, “It’s time we accept that Covid is here to stay and we just need to get on with our lives.” (7) Officials could also be wary of the possibility that the United States could see disruptive protests similar to those experienced in France and Canada in recent weeks. Additionally, the Omicron variant of Covid-19 is so contagious and has spread so rapidly in the United States that at least 73 percent of Americans now have immunity to it, which means the majority of the American people have at least some level of protection against Covid-19. Speaking of this development, Professor Ali Mokdad of the University of Washington in Seattle was quoted as saying, “We have changed. We have been exposed to this virus and we know how to deal with it.” He further went on to say, “I am optimistic even if we have a surge in the summer, cases will go up, but hospitalizations and deaths will not.” (8) As of this writing on February 25, 2022, cases of Covid-19 infections in the United States have declined by an amazing ninety percent over the last six weeks. (9)
Countries elsewhere in the world are also easing restrictions. This includes England where British Prime Minister Boris Johnson signaled that it is time for Britons to learn to live with the virus. “It is time that we got our confidence back. We don’t need laws to compel people to be considerate to others. We can rely on that sense of responsibility toward one another. Let us learn to live with this virus,” Johnson said. He further added, “Whilst the pandemic is not over, we have now passed the peak of the Omicron wave.” (10) Citizens of England are no longer required to wear masks or show a vaccine pass to enter public establishments. (11) Other European leaders have expressed optimism, too. “Rest assured that the worst days are behind us,” said Health Minister Fahrettin Koca of Turkey. (12) Ingvild Kjerkol, who is the Health Minister in Norway, was quoted as saying, “Now it’s time for us to take back our everyday life. Tonight, we scrap most measures so we can be closer to living a normal life.” (13) Finally, officials in Switzerland stated, “There are increasing signs that the acute crisis will soon be over and the endemic phase could begin” as plans were announced to ease many Covid related restrictions in the European country. (14) Even the State of Israel, which was one of the first countries to enact strict Covid restrictions in 2020, announced plans to shelve its Green Pass Covid vaccine passport system because cases of infection have declined significantly. (15)
To say that mistakes were made along the way in this pandemic would be an understatement. In February 2022, researchers at Johns Hopkins University published a study that found that pandemic related restrictions, such as lockdowns, school closures, and limited gathering sizes, had little-to-no effect on reducing Covid related deaths. “We find no evidence that lockdowns, school closures, border closures, and limiting gatherings have had a noticeable effect on Covid-19 mortality,” the research states. However, the study did find that the restrictions had “devastating effects” on the countries that enacted such measures. “They have contributed to reducing economic activity, raising unemployment, reducing schooling, causing political unrest, contributing to domestic violence, and undermining liberal democracy.” Finally, the study concludes by saying, “Such a standard benefit-cost calculation leads to a strong conclusion: lockdowns should be rejected out of hand as a pandemic policy instrument.” 16)
Indeed, lockdowns have had devastating effects. It is, frankly, disconcerting that the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, many European countries, and others around the world emulated the behavior of Communist China, which of course, was the first country to heavily restrict its population. Lockdowns and quarantines are the fodder of apocalyptic movies and books, which explains why the last two years of our lives have felt like a living nightmare for so many people.
I pray that these positive trends will continue, and by God’s grace, I hope that we will finally get past the pandemic. However, we need to understand that even if the pandemic ends, the post pandemic world is going to be scarred by the effects of not only the disease but also the slew of restrictions foisted upon the masses. Returning to “normal” isn’t so simple when our world has been dramatically changed. The pandemic moved the United States closer to a cashless society as more people began to eschew cash for contactless payment methods. Government stimulus checks planted a seed in the minds of the people and made them wonder if perhaps universal basic income would help solve their woes. Throngs of Americans left the office to work from home instead, and some might never go back, while worker shortages hastened the adoption of automation, robotics, and artificial intelligence. A constant stream of news led to a pandemic of fear, panic, and despondency. Covid has altered the fabric of our society so much that news reports are now referring to young people who lived through the pandemic as “Generation Covid,” or “Generation C” for short. This was noted in a report from Axios published on November 12, 2021 with the headline “Lasting changes ahead for ‘Generation Covid.’” (17) Clearly, the effects of the pandemic will linger for years to come, and this world will never be the same as it was before.
Thankfully, despite the hardships of these last two years, God has not forsaken His people. Even as we face challenges in this world, we find opportunities for our faith to grow and thrive. The pandemic won’t be the last challenge we face in these perilous days, but we know that every challenge we overcome makes us more prepared to face the next crisis. The Apostle Peter understood that the trials of our faith ultimately make us stronger. In I Peter 1:7-9, he wrote, “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” If you have not yet repented of your sins and dedicated your life to God, I urge you to do so now. In so doing, you will find the strength to endure what is coming. Jesus promised in Matthew 10:22, “…he that endureth to the end shall be saved.”
Will There Be More Lockdowns?
Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the Covid crisis could soon fade into the background before finally being relegated to the annals of history. If this path holds true and the pandemic really ends, does that mean we can say goodbye to lockdowns forever? The pandemic lockdowns and the plethora of restrictions that followed set a dangerous precedent. Governments around the world now understand that most people will comply with mandates and restrictions if there is a proclaimed health emergency. While there will always be some that protest and rebel, the majority have shown a willingness to comply with restrictive edicts from the authorities. Interestingly enough, a piece published by The Hill on February 2, 2022, dared to ask in the headline, “Coming soon: Climate lockdowns?” (18)
At first glance, the notion that world governments, or perhaps even the United Nations, could declare lockdowns to stop climate change seems improbable and far-fetched. They would never really do that, right? However, we must remember that when the lockdowns began to take hold in 2020, scientists gushed over the environmental impact of these shutdowns as emissions dropped and pollution receded. According to a report from March 2021, global emissions dropped 7 percent in 2020 because of the lockdowns. The report then goes on to say that “emissions must fall by the equivalent of a global lockdown roughly every two years for the next decade” if climate change is to be curtailed. (19) Thus, we see that at least some scientists view lockdowns as a net positive for the planet, and it would not surprise me in the least if they tried to bring these restrictive measures back in the future. In November 2020, the aid organization known as the Red Cross declared that climate change is a bigger threat to the world than Covid-19. (20) Famed billionaire and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates agrees, having written in August 2020, “Covid-19 is awful. Climate change could be worse.” (21) Meanwhile, the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report in August 2021, which UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called a “code red for humanity.” (22)
The United Nations is set to release yet another report on February 28, 2022, which The Scotsman claims will be “the starkest warning yet about the impacts of climate change on people and the planet.” The piece in The Scotsman then goes on to quote former United Kingdom chief scientist Sir David King who said, “There’s absolutely no guarantee that we will recover from the impacts of climate change, unless we all begin to work together and far more quickly, far more effectively, than we are doing at the moment.” He also warned, “Each individual nation is run by governments that are working for their own communities and that kind of selfishness doesn’t fit this challenge. We all have to understand this is a joint challenge – and I think we’re quite a bit removed from that as we stand now.” (23) I have long believed that the climate change agenda will be the catalyst used to try to bring about a global government. When we have a highly respected public figure proclaiming that local governments working to better their own communities are “selfish,” it is easy to see that collectivism is the ultimate goal for those who share this philosophical outlook on life. Furthermore, as the earth continues to “wax old like a garment” as prophesied in Isaiah 51:6, humanity will become increasingly desperate. One of their solutions in the days ahead could easily be climate lockdowns.
Scientists, politicians, and activists have long urged average everyday people to take steps to help slow climate change. Common measures include driving electric cars, embracing a vegetarian diet, using reusable shopping bags at the grocery store, and refraining from using plastic straws. There’s certainly nothing wrong with any of these actions, but we need to understand that doing these things is not going to make a measurable difference in the big scheme of things. According to a report published in 2017 by The Guardian, just one hundred companies are responsible for 71 percent of all emissions in the world. (24) Furthermore, China is the world’s biggest polluter and is said to be responsible for 27 percent of all emissions on the planet, which is more pollution than every other nation in the developed world combined. (25) Convincing China to alter its behavior would be a hard sell to say the least, since doing so would greatly hinder the Asian country’s economic output.
It is undeniable that the earth has endured a barrage of natural disasters in recent years including wildfires, flooding, powerful storms, and drought. Yet, I still believe that much of what is attributed to climate change is in reality God’s judgment upon a sinful world. Revelation 16 clearly states that men will be “scorched with a great heat” when judgment is poured out, and I strongly suspect this is starting to come to pass. Although the creation has been greatly desecrated by sin over the millennia, I draw comfort from the promise of our Lord Jesus Christ in John 14:2-3 which tells us, “In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” It is because of the promises and the hope we have in Jesus Christ that Peter wrote in II Peter 3:13, “Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
War In Europe
On February 18, 2022, an urgent report which informed its readers that Russia had amassed as many as 190,000 troops at the Ukrainian border was issued. American Ambassador Michael Carpenter called it “the most significant military mobilization in Europe since the Second World War.” (26) All indicators pointed to an imminent invasion by Russia into Ukraine, and on February 24, 2022, attacks against Ukraine were launched over land, sea, and air by Russian military forces. (27) Tragically, as I sit here in my office on February 28, 2022, millions of lives in Ukraine and Russia are in peril, and thousands of people have already perished in the fight. (28)
On the same day the invasion began, Russian President Vladimir Putin issued an ominous warning to the world, stating, “Whoever tries to impede us, let alone create threats for our country and its people, must know that the Russian response will be immediate and lead to the consequences you have never seen in history.” (29) This statement is widely perceived to be a threat to use nuclear weapons if any country gets in Russia’s way.
The United States, the European Union, and Canada moved swiftly to enact sweeping new sanctions against Russia. A number of Russian-owned banks have been barred from using the Swift international payments system, while vast amounts of Russian assets have been frozen in an effort to prevent the Putin regime from funding its wartime operations. Russian-owned entities have been removed from the European Union stock exchanges. (30) Additionally, Russia’s central bank has been banned from conducting any transactions with the United States dollar. (31) As of this writing, Russia’s currency, known as the ruble, has lost 25 percent of its value since the war began less than a week ago. (32)
American President Joe Biden stated in an interview that the United States is choosing to use sanctions against Russia rather than direct military intervention in Ukraine, because sending troops to Ukraine would likely start World War 3. “You have two options. Start a Third World War, go to war with Russia, physically. Or two, make sure that the country that acts so contrary to international law ends up paying a price for having done it.” (33) Russia’s President Putin is said to be furious over the restrictions levied against his country by the western world, and on February 27, 2022, he took the ill-boding step of ordering his nuclear forces to be put on high alert. (34) According to the Associated Press, an anonymous senior U.S. defense official was quoted as saying that Putin is “potentially putting in play forces that, if there’s a miscalculation, could makes things much, much more dangerous.” (35) In another concerning development, Alexander Lukashenko, who is President of Belarus, stated that he would ask his ally, Vladimir Putin, for nuclear weapons if his country is threatened. (36) Belarus is located on the northern border of Ukraine, and Belarus also shares a border with Russia. The country is a close ally of Russia.
If Russia uses nuclear weapons in any capacity, it will trigger World War 3. Given the fact that Vladimir Putin used what has been interpreted by many as a veiled threat to use nuclear weapons on those who would dare to impede his invasion in Ukraine, the existence of nuclear weapons proves to be a very real and existential threat to the entire planet and its occupants. A report from 2019 indicates that there were at least 13,865 nuclear warheads in existence at the time. These weapons are owned by the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel, and North Korea. (37) Unlike the days of World War II, nuclear weapons are no longer in their infancy. Modern weapons are far more powerful and damaging than the atomic bombs that were dropped on Japan’s Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States military on August 6, 1945. The use of just one of these weapons would cause astonishing damage. If multiple nuclear weapons are used, it could very easily result in the end of the world.
I pray that no one alive at this present time is deranged enough to use nuclear weapons. Nevertheless, there are multiple paths that could result in a global war. At this point, all it would take to start World War 3 is a stray bullet in a NATO country. While Ukraine is not a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, many of its neighboring countries are. Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty states that an attack on one NATO country is considered an attack on all NATO countries. Mary Elise Sarotte, who is a professor of history at Johns Hopkins University, was quoted in an article published by National Public Radio as saying, “There are 30 members of NATO, and we have given all of them Article 5. And I don’t think Americans understand this – that means we are obligated by treaty to basically defend them or go to war if they are attacked by Russia. We are obligated to treat an attack on Estonia as if it were an attack on Chicago by treaty,” the professor warned. She further went on to say, “So if there’s an Article 5 incursion, this could very quickly become not Ukraine’s war, but our war.” (38) Therefore, even the smallest of incursions into a NATO country could provide a pretext for a global conflict the likes of which have never been seen before.
Our reliance on technology in this modern age could also play a role in sparking conflict. The Internet is firmly entrenched in our country’s transportation, aviation, energy, and banking sectors. As such, these sectors are susceptible to cyberattacks and computer hacking. Here let it be noted that intelligence officials in the United States have presented President Joe Biden with a list of options that could be used to “carry out massive cyberattacks designed to disrupt Russia’s ability to sustain its military operations in Ukraine,” according to NBC News. Some of the proposed tactics include cyberattacks that would crash Russia’s power grid or derail trains. (39) If Biden should choose these options, it is a safe guess that Russia will retaliate in kind and launch cyberattacks that could disrupt the infrastructure of the United States. Recent history has already demonstrated how much damage hackers can do. In May 2021, a cyberattack launched against the Colonial Pipeline disrupted the energy supply on the East Coast of the United States and resulted in numerous fuel shortages. That was just one attack. Multiple coordinated attacks could inflict far more damage.
Further complicating matters, discussions are now taking place regarding whether or not cyberattacks would trigger Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty. Speaking hypothetically, U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner suggested that a cyber assault by Russia against Ukraine could easily spill over borders and into NATO regions. “When you launch cyberattacks, they don’t recognize geographic boundaries. Some of that cyberattack could actually start shutting down systems in eastern Poland. If you shut down Polish hospitals because they can’t get power to take care of their people, you’re rapidly approaching what could be viewed as an Article 5 violation of NATO… so we are in uncharted territory,” he said. (40)
Economists are warning that the war in Ukraine could put further pressure on an already tight global supply chain. Russia is the world’s largest exporter of natural gas and the second largest exporter of oil, thus the conflict is predicted to be a source of “inflationary shock.” Natural gas prices in Europe have already risen by nearly 70 percent, and the global price for a barrel of oil has reached its highest cost since 2014, which will cause more pain at the gas pumps. (41) Both Russia and Ukraine provide much of the world’s supply of wheat. Wheat prices have jumped to their highest levels since 2008 as a consequence of the war in Ukraine. (42)
On February 24, 2022, the Los Angeles Times published an article with the headline, “First pandemic. Then recession. Now, Russia invades Ukraine. Anything else, world?” The piece goes on to detail how the war in Europe is causing “fresh waves of anxiety and depression for Americans who have spent two years trying to survive an unprecedented period of instability, including a public health crisis, a recession, political upheaval, supply chain problems, and inflation.” (43) Thus, we see that the post pandemic world is set to be rife with problems as we move from one crisis to the next. What should we do then? Watch and pray, keep the faith, and remember that our God will never leave us or forsake us!
Thank you all for your kind support of this ministry. These are days of turmoil, and there are many obstacles to overcome, but we will press on as the Lord enables us. If you have any prayer requests, we invite you to send them our way. Each request is always given individual attention. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
Samuel David Meyer
01. Associated Press, February 16, 2022, By Sara Burnett, http://apnews.com.
06. Fox News, February 1, 2022, By Greg Norman, http://foxnews.com.
07. Mediaite, January 31, 2022, By Michael Luciano, http://mediaite.com.
08. Associated Press, February 17, 2022, By Associated Press, http://apnews.com.
09. NBC 15 News, February 24, 2022, By Emily Van de Riet, http://nbc15.com.
10. The New York Times, February 21, 2022, By Stephen Castle, http://nytimes.com.
11. Associated Press, February 2, 2022, By Jamey Keaton, http://apnews.com.
15. Associated Press, February 17, 2022, By Associated Press, http://apnews.com.
16. The Washington Times, January 31, 2022, By Dave Boyer, http://washingtontimes.com.
17. Axios, November 12, 2021, By Marisa Fernandez, http://axios.com.
18. The Hill, February 2, 2022, By Kristin Tate, http://thehill.com.
19. The Guardian, March 3, 2021, By Fiona Harvey, http://theguardian.com.
20. Associated Press, November 17, 2020, By Associated Press, http://apnews.com.
21. GatesNotes, August 4, 2020, By Bill Gates, http://gatesnotes.com.
22. UN News, August 9, 2021, By UN News, http://news.un.org.
23. The Scotsman, February 27, 2022, By Emily Beament, http://scotsman.com.
24. The Guardian, July 10, 2017, By Tess Riley, http://theguardian.com.
25. BBC News, May 7, 2021, By BBC News, http://bbc.com.
26. The Hill, February 18, 2022, By Lexi Lonas, http://thehill.com.
27. USA Today, February 25, 2022, By Gabriela Miranda, http://usatoday.com.
28. Miami Herald, February 28, 2022, By Mike Stunson, http://miamiherald.com.
30. The Guardian, February 28, 2022, By Jon Henley, http://theguardian.com.
31. CNN, February 28, 2022, By Nikki Carvajal, Jeremy Diamond, Kevin Liptak, and Kate Sullivan, http://cnn.com.
32. CNN, February 28, 2022, By Mark Thompson, Anna Chernova, and Vasco Cotovio, http://cnn.com.
33. The Business Standard, February 27, 2022, By TBS Report, http://tbsnews.net.
34. Associated Press, February 28, 2022, By Yuras Karmanau, Jim Heintz, Vladimir Isachenkov, and Dasha Litvinova, http://apnews.com.
36. The Wall Street Journal, February 27, 2022, By Evan Gershkovich, http://wsj.com.
37. Defense News, June 16, 2019, By Kelsey Reichmann, http://defensenews.com.
38. National Public Radio, February 26, 2022, By Patrick Wood, http://npr.org.
39. NBC News, February 24, 2022, By Ken Dilanian and Courtney Kube, http://nbcnews.com.
40. National Public Radio, February 26, 2022, By Patrick Wood, http://npr.org.
41. The Guardian, February 25, 2022, By Richard Partington, http://theguardian.com.
43. Los Angeles Times, February 24, 2022, By Cindy Carcamo, Alejandra Reyes-Velarde, and Laura J. Nelson, http://latimes.com.
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