Last Trumpet Newsletter
Volume 41 Issue Nine September 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
Watch And Pray
“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.”
To say that we live in a complicated world is an understatement. The current events of our time show that confusion abounds all over the globe even as humanity continuously grapples with calamity and crisis. When a global pandemic was declared in March of 2020, most people regarded it as an extraordinary and rare event. In fact, the Covid-19 pandemic was said to be a “once in a hundred years event.” However, a piece published in August 2022 by the British newspaper known as The Times argues that outbreaks of deadly diseases are becoming more frequent. “The eruption of ebola, Sars, Mers, Zika, and now monkeypox are abundant evidence that what was true if you look back in time is no longer valid if you look forward,” the piece states. (1) The article later goes on to say, “The increasing rate at which novel pathogens are infecting humans means the probability of new pandemics will grow threefold in the next few decades. It is no longer reasonable, therefore, to regard a pandemic as a once in a century risk. The next one will be along much faster than that unless we change our ways.” (2) The article further discusses an assortment of crises including inflation, the war in Ukraine, exorbitant energy costs, and devastating drought while suggesting these problems will not be resolved any time soon. “Now, we have to get used to the idea that normal is not coming back,” the author writes. (3)
The general theme of the above-mentioned article is that the world is not only fraught with danger, but is growing measurably worse. While the author of the article might not realize it, this premise lines up perfectly with what God’s Word tells us about the tumultuous days leading up to the return of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. In Luke 21:9, Jesus tells us there would be “wars and commotions.” However, these problems would only be the first of many to imperil our world. Indeed, humanity has gravitated toward war for thousands of years. In 2003, the New York Times reported that over the past 3,400 years, the world’s population has only been at peace for 268 of them. (4) At least 108 million people were killed in wars during the twentieth century. (5) Thus, war itself is not a sign of the end because war is a byproduct of sin, and as long as there is sin in the world, there will be wars. Nevertheless, Jesus gave us other signs to watch for that indicate the world is growing closer to its final end. Luke 21:10-11 tells us, “Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.” Jesus further warns in verses 25-27, “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.” In this era of pandemics, megadroughts, heat waves, massive wildfires, flooding, economic uncertainty, and widespread violence, there’s absolutely no question that we see “distress of nations with perplexity” and “fearful sights.” It is also quite interesting that Jesus warned of “men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth.” Here let it be noted that researchers from Texas Tech University published research in August 2022 which indicates that watching and reading too much news can make people mentally and physically sick. Those who check the news frequently often suffer “significantly greater physical ill-being,” the research finds. (6)
When Daniel the prophet was shown a vision of the end times in Daniel, chapter 8, we are told that he was so distressed by what he saw that he fainted and was “sick certain days.” (Daniel 8:27) The events of this age are very heavy and at times difficult to bear, but ignoring what is happening in the world isn’t a viable solution. At the conclusion of Luke 21, Jesus admonishes His people to pay attention to what is happening around them. Luke 21:36 declares, “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.” Thus, we see that it is not just enough to watch, but we also must pray. Through prayer we form a bond and establish a connection to God in Heaven. With that connection we find the strength to endure, and as it tells us in Matthew 24:13, “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”
A Long Dry Summer
Something has gone terribly wrong on this planet. In the twelve years I have been writing this newsletter, I have never before seen so many stories about catastrophic drought. From the United States to Europe to eastern Africa to China, gloomy headlines abound as vast regions of the world dry up. While this dry spell continues throughout the summer of 2022, there is growing concern about the future of the global food supply.
According to a report published by Gizmodo on August 5, 2022, nearly 50 percent of the United States was experiencing some form of drought at the time, which prompted the news outlet to write in its headline, “The U.S. is Dry, Dry, Dry.” (7) The story further reports that there were some early indicators that this was going to be a difficult year. In April 2022, California officials conducted their annual measurement of snowpack at Phillips Station, which is just south of Lake Tahoe. Under normal circumstances, there would have been several feet of snow there, but when they measured in April, they found only 2.5 inches of snow. (8) California’s official drought monitoring website indicates that 2021 saw the driest winter months in one hundred years. (9)
As a consequence of the years-long drought, more than 531,000 acres of farmland were left unplanted in the state of California this year. (10) It should be noted that California provides more than one-third of the United States’ supply of vegetables and two-thirds of our country’s fruit and nuts. (11) Additionally, California is the biggest producer of processed tomatoes in the world, but because of the drought, there could soon be shortages of products such as ketchup and pasta sauce. “We desperately need rain. We are getting to a point where we don’t have the inventory left to keep fulfilling the market demand,” warned Mike Montna, who is head of the California Tomato Growers Association. He further went on to say, “It’s real tough to grow a tomato crop right now. On one side you have the drought impacting costs because you don’t have enough water to grow all your acres, and then you have the farm inflation side of it with fuel and fertilizer costs shooting up.” (12)
The drought in the west goes far beyond the state of California, however. As I reported in last month’s issue of the Last Trumpet, the southwestern United States is in the throes of a historic megadrought. The prolonged drought, which has persisted for more than two decades, has caused the flow of the mighty Colorado River to slow dramatically, and consequently, the most important reservoirs in the western United States, Lake Powell and Lake Mead, are declining at an alarming rate. Seven states rely on water from the Colorado River, and none of them are eager to reduce their usage. “The system is approaching a tipping point, and without action we cannot protect the system and the millions of Americans who rely on this critical resource,” warned the commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation, M. Camille Calimlim Touton. (13) While officials from the affected states continue to bicker, others are suggesting that time is running out to find a resolution. “What we’re facing here is that the continued drawdown at Powell and Mead starts to affect people’s physical ability to get water. It’s not like we can argue over this forever, and then the reservoir goes dry and you don’t have access to water, and at that point you’re not negotiating anything,” said Devon Upadhyay of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. (14) The Colorado River Compact, which was an agreement signed by representatives from Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico, California, Nevada, and Arizona, went into effect nearly one hundred years ago on November 24, 1922. (15) At the time of the agreement, no one knew that a megadrought would come in the twenty-first century. Those involved with current negotiations to curb water usage predict reaching a new agreement will be problematic to say the least. “The most tumultuous time in its 100-year history is likely to be in the next few years,” said Zach Frankel of the Utah River Council. (16)
In August 2022, the American Farm Bureau Federation, or AFBF, published the results of a survey conducted amongst farmers in fifteen drought-stricken states. The results revealed that many farmers are facing myriad struggles right now. Seventy-four percent of respondents said they are expecting a reduction in harvests because of drought conditions. Thirty-seven percent of respondents reported intentionally destroying their crops because they knew there would not be enough water to keep them alive until harvest. Thirty-three percent of respondents said they’ve destroyed orchard trees and multi-year crops. (17) Farmers in the state of Texas are expecting their crop yields to decline 68 percent this year. Famers in Oklahoma, too, are expecting a steep decline with 60 percent fewer crops anticipated at harvest time while farmers in New Mexico are expecting a 54 percent decline. (18)
To make matters worse, farmers and ranchers all over the country have sold off much of their livestock because there was not enough water for the animals. Consequently, cattle herd sizes in Texas have shrunk by a whopping 50 percent. (19) As such, the price consumers pay at the supermarket for beef has dropped in recent weeks, but in the months and years to come, it is likely that prices will rise significantly. “The effects of this drought will be felt for years to come, not just by farmers and ranchers but also by consumers. Many farmers have had to make the devastating decision to sell off livestock they have spent years raising or destroy orchard trees that have grown for decades,” said Zippy Duvall, who is president of the AFBF. (20)
Meanwhile, according to Bloomberg News, scouts who traversed the American Midwest in August 2022 to evaluate corn crops were disappointed by the results of their inspection. “If the western corn belt is not as good as last year and the eastern corn belt isn’t better than last year, we are going to have a production deficit. There’s no way around it,” said scout Brent Judisch. (21) Recent data suggests that South Dakota, Ohio, Nebraska, Indiana, and Illinois will have smaller corn yields this year. (22)
Elsewhere around the world, Europe is presently suffering its worst drought in 500 years according to the European Union’s Joint Research Center. As of August 23, 2022, sixty-four percent of the European continent is experiencing drought conditions. (23) “The combination of a severe drought and heat waves has created an unprecedented stress on water levels in the entire EU,” lamented Mariya Gabriel, who is the commissioner for research at the European Union. (24)
As a result of the pervasive drought, many rivers in Europe are beginning to dry up. This includes the famous Rhine River, which is often used to transport consumer goods and raw materials. However, in recent weeks, water levels on the Rhine have become too low for ships to utilize this vital transportation route. (25) The falling water levels have made visible carvings in stones that were engraved centuries ago during previous droughts. One such stone is presently visible on the Elbe River in Germany. The message, which was carved in 1616 reads, “Wenn du mich siehst, dann weine.” This message translates to English as, “If you see me, weep.” (26) Similar stones have become visible on the Danube, Rhine, and Weser Rivers. (27)
Moving onto China, the world’s most populous country is also grappling with a drought emergency. In late August 2022, the Chinese government issued a warning that the country’s upcoming autumn harvest is under “severe threat.” The warning instructed local governments to ensure “every unit of water… be used carefully.” (28) The drought, in tandem with sweltering heat, has caused some of China’s Yangtze River to dry up. (29) Even Pay, who is an analyst for Trivium China, was quoted as saying, “We’ve now had thirty-five straight days of heat warnings. We have dry season water levels or below typical dry season water levels. The conditions are very, very extreme and there’s no question that there will be some loss of crops.” (30) Falling water levels on China’s rivers has also wreaked havoc on the country’s hydroelectricity system. As a result, some areas of China have seen rolling electrical blackouts and power rationing. (31) The ailing power grid forced the Chinese government to shut down many factories in August 2022 because there wasn’t enough power to operate these facilities. These shutdowns could further complicate supply chain issues worldwide since so many countries, especially the United States, import vast amounts of goods from China. “These shutdowns have the potential to be equally if not more impactful on supply chains than recent Covid lockdowns,” opined Mirko Woitzik of Everstream Analytics. (32)
Other troubling reports have emerged from Iraq, which is home to the Biblical rivers known as the Tigris and Euphrates. Iraq is in its third year of drought, and the formerly lush marshlands of the region have lost 46 percent of their water since August 2020. This same area, which was once home to the Garden of Eden written of in the book of Genesis, no longer resembles paradise. “Before when we used to come to the marshes, there was greenery, water, inner peace. Now it’s like a desert,” said a 20-year-old from the region. (33) In December 2021, Iraq’s water resource ministry warned that Iraq could be “a land without rivers by 2040.” (34) It is interesting to note that Revelation, chapter 16, while detailing the plagues that will befall mankind during the end times, tells us in verse 12, “And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.” While the book of Revelation mostly uses metaphors and word pictures throughout its text, Revelation 16:12 could be fulfilled in two ways - both in a figurative and natural sense.
It should be obvious that the pervasive drought afflicting so much of the world is not normal. In fact, the Eastern portion of Africa has received no rain for four straight seasons. Sixteen million people living in the Horn of Africa suffer from an inadequate supply of drinking water, and between 18 and 21 million people are facing food insecurity. (35) While the scientific community is fixated on climate change, the Bible makes it quite clear that God sometimes uses drought to punish nations that are disobedient to Him. Haggai 1:11 declares, “And I called for a drought upon the land, and upon the mountains, and upon the corn, and upon the new wine, and upon the oil, and upon that which the ground bringeth forth, and upon men, and upon cattle, and upon all the labour of the hands.” Haggai uttered his prophecy in 520 BC, but it sounds like he is describing the summer of 2022.
An Astonishing Deluge
As much of the United States continues to suffer from historic drought, other parts of the country have been devastated by historic flooding. For example, Yellowstone National Park, which is located primarily in the state of Wyoming but also stretches into Montana and Idaho, suffered disastrous flooding in June 2022. The flooding destroyed multiple bridges and washed away miles of road. In the aftermath of the flooding, ABC News published a headline declaring “Yellowstone flooding rebuild could take years, cost billions.” (36) This was just one extreme weather event. Multiple floods have struck the United States throughout this tumultuous summer.
As the month of July 2022 concluded, Kentucky was devastated by some of the worst flooding the state has ever seen. According to the National Weather Service, eastern Kentucky and central Appalachia were hit by multiple storm complexes between July 25th and July 30th, 2022, which drenched some areas with four inches of rain per hour. Entire homes were washed away, and sadly, thirty-nine people lost their lives. Twenty-four flash flood warnings were issued, and over six hundred helicopter rescues were performed as emergency workers rushed to save those who were threatened by the rising waters. Rainfall estimates indicate that between fourteen and sixteen inches of rain fell during this historic event. (37) Kentucky has been hit with numerous weather disasters in recent months, which prompted Governor Andy Beshear to say, “I wish I could tell you why we keep getting hit here in Kentucky. I wish I could tell you why areas where people may not have much, continue to get hit and lose everything. I can’t give you the why, but I know what we can do in response to it. And the answer is everything we can.” Dan Mosley, who is the judge-executive for Harlan County was quoted as saying, “The pure catastrophic loss is hard to put into words. I’ve just never seen anything like this in my career or even my life.” (38)
Nearly the entire state of Texas has endured drought this summer. This includes the Dallas-Fort Worth area, which did not see any measurable rainfall for sixty-seven days until it finally rained on August 10, 2022. (39) Less than two weeks later, a deluge came to Dallas. Beginning on August 21, 2022, and lasting well into the next day, nearly ten inches of rain fell in just twenty-four hours. This was more rain than Dallas usually gets throughout an entire summer. (40) “What happened yesterday is the second worst rainstorm and flooding in Dallas since 1932,” lamented Texas Governor Greg Abbott. Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson also weighed in, saying, “We got hit pretty hard and we got hit in a historic way. The sky opened up and our streets closed down.” He further went on to say, “I’ve heard this called a once-in-a-thousand-year weather event.” The city of Dallas lost twenty-eight patrol cars, four ambulances, and four firetrucks as emergency workers faced an onslaught of more than two thousand calls for help. (41) In the days that followed the Texas flooding, heavy rain caused more difficulties in the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida panhandle. (42)
I’ve been closely following these extreme events for more than a decade. Such events certainly are intensifying as we move through time, and all indicators suggest there will be more drought and flooding in the years to come. The world is growing more dangerous by the year, and as such, we need to be as close to God as possible.
The American people cannot agree on much these days. In fact, politicians and commentators on television cannot even agree on whether or not the United States is in an economic recession. Traditionally, the United States is considered to be in a recession when there are two consecutive three-month periods, or quarters, in which the economy contracts. By this definition, the United States would be in a recession right now because the economy contracted by 1.6 percent during the first quarter of 2022 and then again by 0.9 percent during the second quarter of 2022. However, the National Bureau of Economic Research, which is the organization tasked with officially deciding if there is a recession, has not yet made that determination. (43) American President Joe Biden has insisted that the United States is not in a recession because unemployment levels are historically low right now. “Today there are more people working in America than before the pandemic began. In fact, there are more people working in America than at any point in American history,” Biden said. (44) However, employment levels in America could be changing for the worse soon. On August 26, 2022, Forbes Magazine published a list of more than forty companies that announced layoffs in July and August of this year. This includes Ford Motor Company, which announced about 3,000 layoffs in August 22, 2022. This announcement came just a little over a month after Ford announced the company would be shedding 8,000 jobs in July 2022. Other big companies that announced layoffs include Apple, Microsoft, Walmart, the real estate firm known as Re/Max, electric car maker Tesla, and many others. (45)
Although President Biden may be unwilling to admit it, the American economy is in deep trouble. Even the liberal-leaning news outlet known as CNN published a story on August 22, 2022, with the headline “72 percent of economists expect a US recession by the middle of next year.” (46) Meanwhile, recent reports indicate that the American housing market is faltering with some headlines even referring to the growing crisis as a “housing recession.” (47) The downturn in the housing market has been spurred by aggressive measures from the Federal Reserve to tamp down soaring inflation by raising interest rates. The Fed has already raised interest rates three times in 2022: 0.25 percent in March, 0.50 percent in May, and 0.75 percent in June. The most recent interest rate hike was the largest since 1994. (48) When interest rates are raised, it makes it more difficult for the American people to obtain mortgages and automobile loans, and makes it more expensive to carry debt on credit cards. On August 26, 2022, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell suggested he would inflict more “pain” on the American people in the coming months. Speaking at the annual Economic Symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Powell told his audience, “While higher interest rates, slower growth, and softer labor market conditions will bring down inflation, they will also bring some pain to households and businesses.” He then went on to say, “Our responsibility to deliver price stability is unconditional.” (49) In other words, the Federal Reserve will do whatever it takes to curtail inflation even if it inflicts misery on the masses. Powell’s stern tone sent shockwaves through the American stock market causing the Dow Jones Industrial Average stock index to plunge by 1,008 points on the day of the speech. (50)
In closing, I urge every reader of this newsletter to put on the whole armor of God as we continue to watch and pray. Ephesians 6:13-18 offers these inspiring words, “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” If you have not yet repented of your sins and dedicated your life to God, I urge you to do so now.
Many thanks to our supporters who make this newsletter possible. We appreciate your kindness and pray that God will bless you all. If you have any prayer requests, please do not hesitate 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. The Times, August 22, 2022, By William Hague, http://thetimes.co.uk.
04. The New York Times, July 6, 2003, By Chris Hedges, http://nytimes.com.
06. Study Finds, August 24, 2022, By Study Finds, http://studyfinds.org.
07. Gizmodo, August 5, 2022, By Angely Mercado, http://gizmodo.com.
09. State of California website, http://drought.ca.gov.
10. San Francisco Chronicle, August 22, 2022, By Yoohyan Jung, http://sfchronicle.com.
11. Community West Bank, February 2, 2021, http://communitywestbank.com.
12. Bloomberg News, August 13, 2022, By Kim Chipman, http://bloomberg.com.
13. The Washington Post, August 16, 2022, By Joshua Partlow and Karin Bruilliard, http://washingtonpost.com.
15. Water Education Foundation, By Sue McClurg and Rita Schmidt Sudman, November/December 2007, http://watereducation.org.
16. The Washington Post, August 16, 2022, By Joshua Partlow and Karin Bruilliard, http://washingtonpost.com.
17. American Farm Bureau Federation, August 14, 2022, By AFBF, http://fb.org.
20. CNN, August 18, 2022, By Vanessa Yurkevich, http://cnn.com.
21. Bloomberg News, August 24, 2022, By Tarso Veloso Ribeiro and Kim Chipman, http://bloomberg.com.
23. Bloomberg News, August 23, 2022, By Kevin Whitelaw, http://bloomberg.com.
25. ABC News (Australia), August 20, 2022, By ABC News, http://abc.net.au.
26. ZME Science, August 15, 2022, By Mihai Andrei, http://zmescience.com.
28. The Guardian, August 24, 2022, By Helen Davidson, http://theguardian.com.
31. Fortune Magazine, August 20, 2022, By Will Daniel, http://fortune.com.
33. Agence France-Presse, August 14, 2022, By Agence France-Press, http://voanews.com.
34. VOA News, June 20, 2022, By Dale Gavlak, http://voanews.com.
35. Nature World News, August 25, 2022, By Rain Jordan, http://natureworldnews.com.
36. ABC News, June 18, 2022, By Lindsey Whitehurst and Brian Melley, http://abcnews.go.com.
37. National Weather Service, http://weather.gov.
38. The New York Times, August 1, 2022, By Tricia Fulks Kelley, Rick Rojas, and Campbell Robertson, http://nytimes.com.
39. Accuweather, August 23, 2022, By Allison Finch and Thomas Leffler, http://accuweather.com.
41. WFAA News, August 24, 2022, By Rebecca Lopez, http://wfaa.com.
42. Associated Press, August 25, 2022, By Michael Goldberg and Emily Wagster Pettus, http://apnews.com.
43. Yahoo News 360, August 8, 2022, By Mike Bebernes, http://news.yahoo.com.
44. Time Magazine, August 5, 2022, By Brian Bennett, http://time.com.
45. Forbes, August 26, 2022, By Brian Bushard and Carlie Porterfield, http://forbes.com.
46. CNN, August 22, 2022, By Matt Egan, http://cnn.com.
47. Fox Business, August 15, 2022, By Megan Henney, http://foxbusiness.com.
48. USA Today, July 25, 2022, By Orlando Mayorquin, http://usatoday.com.
49. CNN, August 26, 2022, By Martha C. White, http://cnn.com.
50. Kiplinger, August 26, 2022, By Karee Venema, http://kiplinger.com.
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