Volume 41 Issue Eleven November 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
“If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
II Chronicles 7:13-14
“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
As we enter the month of November, many Americans are making preparations for an upcoming holiday. Observed annually on the fourth Thursday in November, Thanksgiving Day is known as a celebration of prosperity and a time to be thankful for the abundance of blessings to which we are accustomed. The traditional feast usually includes turkey with all of the trimmings and a wide assortment of side dishes and desserts. However, in 2022 the American people approach this holiday against the backdrop of great uncertainty. Stubbornly high inflation has pushed prices at the supermarket higher and higher, while interest rate hikes implemented by the Federal Reserve have sent the cost of borrowing money soaring to astronomical levels. As such, the housing market is cratering, and the American stock market has taken a brutal pounding. On September 30, 2022, Business Insider reported that global markets lost an astonishing 46.1 trillion dollars in market value since November 2021. (1) Marketwatch further reported that this year saw the worst September stock market performance since 2002. (2) Needless to say, Thanksgiving Day is going to be different for many families this year.
As it turns out, it’s not just humanity that has been ravaged by disease in these perilous times. In 2022 flocks of birds throughout the country have been tormented by a tenacious strain of bird flu. Although bird flu is nothing new, outbreaks of the virus typically subside during the summer months. The current strain of bird flu continued throughout the summer and has affected 47.6 million birds in forty-two states just this year alone. (3) This number includes more than 3.5 million turkeys in the state of Minnesota and more than 13.3 million turkeys in Iowa. Consequently, the price of turkey has increased by a whopping 73 percent since this time last year. (4)
With food prices soaring, it is not surprising that the American people are planning to alter their behavior. A recent survey conducted by Personal Capital found that one in four Americans are not planning to celebrate Thanksgiving this year. About one-third of respondents said they would have a smaller celebration because of the higher cost, while 88 percent of respondents said they would cut at least one dish from their meal. (5)
As many Americans choose to forgo Thanksgiving, we must ask ourselves, is the United States of America still a thriving and blessed nation? Are we still a prosperous country? Consider these startling statistics: According to the United States Department of Agriculture, thirty-three million people in the United States are “food insecure,” or in other words, struggling to put food on the table. (6) This is about 10 percent of the entire American population! Furthermore, about 1.2 million people living in and around our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., struggled to procure enough food in 2021. (7) According to a report from CNBC, an estimated 60 percent of Americans are living from paycheck to paycheck. (8)
There is no question that people are struggling already, but what will happen if inflation continues to rise well into next year? Here let it be noted that chief executive officer of KraftHeinz Miguel Patricio stated in October 2022 that he expects inflation to remain high for the foreseeable future and warned that more price hikes are coming at the grocery store. “We’ve already increased the prices that we were expecting this year, but I’m predicting that next year, inflation will continue, and as a consequence, [we] will have other rounds of price increases,” Patricio said. Patricio attributes some of the inflation to an unpredictable supply chain that has recently been disrupted by poor crop yields. “Every day, there’s a shortage of something. It doesn’t help [that] with the global warming that the crops have not been good. So there’s a lack of tomatoes in the world, there’s a lack of potatoes in the world, there’s a lack of beans in the world,” the frustrated CEO lamented. (9)
There are multiple reasons for the rising costs we see today, especially when it comes to groceries and staples. The cost of poultry and eggs has risen because of bird flu, both drought and flooding have hindered crops, the war in Ukraine has hampered the production of fertilizer in Europe, and the conflict has also hampered the export of wheat to countries that need it most. All of these problems are in addition to supply chain woes which began during the pandemic and were never fully corrected. To make matters worse, Bloomberg News reported on October 19, 2022, that the United States’ supply of diesel fuel is at the lowest level ever recorded with only a twenty-five-day supply remaining. The rush is on to replenish the supply before it runs out even as demand for the fuel, which is used by the American trucking industry and agricultural sector, skyrockets. The supply crunch threatens to push inflation even higher. (10) Meanwhile, The Energy Information Administration, or EIA, has projected that the cost of natural gas, which is used by many families to heat their homes, will increase by 28 percent this winter. (11)
The Holy Scriptures tell us that God uses natural disasters, floods, and drought to punish nations that turn their backs on Him. For example, God declares in II Chronicles 7:13-14, “If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” It is difficult to convince most people that these troubles could be the consequences of bad behavior when so many people just assume that every drought, flood, storm, famine, and wildfire is due to climate change. Nevertheless, as we face mounting challenges in the days ahead, we can draw inspiration from the words of the Apostle Paul who wrote in Philippians 4:11-13, “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Whatever the future might bring, God is able to get us through it.
The Worst Is Yet To Come
Thus far, the Federal Reserve has raised interest rates five times in 2022. (12) We’ve been told this has been done to curtail inflation, but despite these hikes, inflation has remained stubbornly high. In fact, inflation sat at 8.2 percent in September 2022. Economist Mark Hamrick of Bankrate.com called this development a “tremendously unwelcome negative surprise.” (13) Considering the fact that the Fed’s target inflation rate is 2 percent, we still have a long way to go before rates drop that much. Nevertheless, the Fed seems determined to rein in inflation regardless of the consequences. Charles Evans, who is President of the Federal Reserve’s branch in Chicago, Illinois, recently stated in an interview, “Ultimately, inflation is the most important thing to get under control. That’s job-one. Price stability sets the stage for stronger growth in the future.” He further went on to say, “If unemployment goes up, that’s unfortunate. If it goes up a lot, that’s really very difficult. But price stability makes the future better.” (14) A report published by Bank of America in October 2022 predicts that not only will there will a recession next year, but 175,000 jobs will be lost each month for at least half of next year. “The premise is a harder landing rather than a softer one. We are looking for a recession to begin in the first half of next year,” said Michael Gapin, who is head of economics at Bank of America. (15)
To say that the Federal Reserve is disliked these days is a massive understatement. As I conducted my research for this newsletter, I was amazed at the number of stories with ominous headlines regarding the future. I have never before seen so many economists and public figures fretting about economic dangers ahead, and in most cases, those sounding the alarm are placing the blame for the dark days ahead on The Fed’s unrelenting interest rate hikes. Here let it be noted that even the United Nations has pleaded with the Fed to stop raising interest rates because they worry that the world is being pushed into a global recession. “There’s still time to step back from the edge of recession. We have the tools to calm inflation and support all vulnerable groups. But the current course of action is hurting the most vulnerable, especially in developing countries, and risks tipping the world into a global recession,” warned Rebeca Grynspan, who is the Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. (16)
How bad could it get? Economist Nouriel Roubini, who is sometimes known as “Dr. Doom,” predicts the coming downturn will mix the worst of 1970s-style stagflation with the Great Recession of 2008. “It’s going to get ugly, the recession, and you’ll have a financial crisis.” He further went on to say, “Remember when you have negative supply shock, you get a recession and high inflation. We’re not going to get a fall in inflation that’s rapid enough to get to 2 percent.” Finally, he warned, “This is just the beginning of that pain. Wait until it’s real pain.” (17)
Jamie Dimon, who is chief executive officer at the famous bank chain known as JPMorgan Chase, sees a recession coming, too. “This is serious stuff,” Dimon said. “These are very, very serious things which I think are likely to push the U.S. and the world – I mean, Europe is already in recession – and they’re likely to put the U.S. in some kind of recession six to nine months from now.” Dimon believes the severity of the recession could be dependent on what happens with the war between Russia and Ukraine., “It can go from very mild to quite hard, and a lot will be reliant on what happens with this war. So I think to guess is hard, be prepared.” (18) Dimon is not the only CEO worried about the recession. According to The New York Post, a recent survey of chief executive officers found that 98 percent of them said they are preparing for an economic recession next year. (19)
Some of the world’s wealthiest men have expressed their unease regarding the coming downturn. This includes Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos who posted on Twitter, “Yep, the probabilities in this economy tell you to batten down the hatches.” (20) Billionaire Barry Sternlicht struck a more alarming tone when he appeared on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” television program in early October of this year. Speaking of the Federal Reserve, Sternlicht said, “They’re going to cause unbelievable calamities if they keep up their action, and not just here, all over the globe.” (21) Billionaire investor Stanley Druckenmiller, who, according to Marketwatch is “one of Wall Street’s most respected minds,” expressed his concerns, too. “I will be stunned if we don’t have a recession in ‘23. I don’t know the timing but certainly by the end of ‘23. I will not be surprised if it’s larger than the so-called average garden variety. I don’t rule out something really bad.” (22)
After all of the warnings I’ve already covered, you might wonder how many more there could be. Yet, they just keep coming. Jeremy Siegel, who is a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, thinks we could not only have a recession but possibly even a depression. “If the Fed waits for the core [inflation] to get down to 2 percent year-over-year, it will drive the economy into a depression,” Siegel informed. (23)
It is important that we understand the recession doesn’t just affect the United States. Thanks to globalism, when a major country suffers an economic downturn, it has a knock-on effect on the rest of the world, too. The barrage of threats to the global economy prompted World Trade Organization Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to say, “The global economy faces a multipronged crisis. The picture for 2023 has darkened considerably.” (24) A report published by the International Monetary Fund, or IMF, put it even more bluntly. “The worst is yet to come, and for many people, 2023 will feel like a recession,” the report states. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, who is chief economist at the IMF, was quoted as saying, “Next year is going to feel painful. There’s going to be a lot of slowdown and economic pain.” (25)
How did we get to this point where the outlook seems so profoundly negative? We must remember that many of the supply-chain issues came about in 2020 and 2021 because of the Covid-19 pandemic shutdowns. In fact, to this day, the zero-Covid policy in China routinely sparks more shutdowns and leads to further bottlenecks in the global supply chain. The problems were also worsened by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, who both insisted that inflation was “transitory” in 2021 (26) and allowed the rising costs to become entrenched in the United States. The war in Ukraine complicated matters even more, and we are now dealing with a perfect storm of calamities.
Despite the bleak warnings of many economists, billionaires, and public officials, American President Joe Biden seems to be profoundly out of touch. This is evident in comments made by the President while he chatted with a reporter at a Baskin-Robbins ice cream parlor in Portland, Oregon. “I’m not concerned about the strength of the dollar. I’m concerned about the rest of the world. Our economy is strong as hell.” The President then seemed to suggest that because other countries are worse off, the American people have nothing to worry about. “Inflation is worldwide. It’s worse off than it is in the United States. So the problem is the lack of economic growth and sound policy in other countries, not so much ours.” (27) Biden is obviously attempting to shift blame away from himself and onto other world leaders. If the President of the United States is blissfully unaware of our country’s problems, how is he ever going to fix them?
I am not an economist, nor am I an expert on global markets. However, I can tell you what the economists and experts are saying, and it is not pretty. A probability model from Bloomberg economists Anna Wong and Eliza WInger predicts there is a 100 percent chance that there will be a recession next year. (28) How bad will it be? Only God knows, which is precisely why we need to draw nigh to God and put our complete trust in Him. James 4:8 promises, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.” No matter what happens, we serve the same God who has always sustained His people.
The Prospect Of Armageddon
The American people have a tendency to worry. In 2020 and 2021, the biggest concern on people’s minds was the Covid-19 pandemic. With the realization that Covid is here to stay, society’s attention has shifted again. For many, one of the biggest concerns in our modern world is the possibility that a nuclear war could break out soon. This undercurrent of existential dread is a throwback to the 1980s when the American people feared that we were on the verge of a nuclear war with Russia. A poll conducted by Reuters-Ipsos and published in October 2022 reveals that 58 percent of respondents “fear the United States is headed toward a nuclear war.” The results of this study prompted Chris Jackson, who is senior vice president at Ipsos to say, “I don’t recall any time in the last twenty years where we’ve seen this sort of level of concern about the potential for nuclear apocalypse.” (29)
Even as people feel increasingly anxious over the war between Russia and Ukraine, American President Joe Biden fanned the flames of fear and dread even more while speaking at a fundraiser this past October. Speaking of Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Biden warned that the Russian leader is “not joking when he talks about the use of tactical nuclear weapons or biological or chemical weapons.” Biden then went on to say, “We have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis.” He then suggested that Putin might resort to using nuclear weapons “because his military is – you might say – significantly underperforming.” (30) Biden’s words were presumably a reaction to a statement issued by Putin on September 21, 2022, when the Russian President said, “I want to remind you that our country also has various means of destruction… and when the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, to protect Russia and our people, we will certainly use all of the means at our disposal. It’s not a bluff.” (31) A little over a month later, Putin claimed that Russia has no intention of using nuclear weapons in the conflict with Ukraine. “We see no need for that. There is no point in that, neither political, nor military,” Putin said. (32) Against the backdrop of this inflammatory rhetoric, Russia conducted a “massive nuclear strike” simulation on October 26, 2022. (33)
Clearly, tensions are high in Ukraine. Even without the use of nuclear weapons, there remains a possibility that any slight miscalculation could drag the United States into the conflict. As it stands, the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne division has already set up shop in Romania just miles away from the Ukrainian border. The 4,700 troops are said to be training for a conflict with Russian troops. (34) In fact, American Brigadier General John Lubas has made a special effort to emphasize that this is “not a training deployment” but a “combat deployment.” According to CBS News foreign correspondent Charlie D’Agata, these troops are ready to cross into Ukraine. “If the fight escalates, and NATO partners are under threat, they’re fully prepared to cross over into Ukrainian territory if ordered to do so.” (35) If this happens, the most likely outcome is that World War III begins. We are already beginning to see alignments form. Iran is said to be providing Russia with drones to use in attacks on Ukrainian targets. (36) Meanwhile, both Finland (37) and Poland have offered to host nuclear weapons for NATO. (38)
While much of the world is focused on the war between Russia and Ukraine, China has taken bold steps to exert its influence in the world. In a speech given in October 2022, Chinese President Xi Jinping declared, “China’s international influence, appeal and power to shape the world has significantly increased. Chinese modernization offers humanity a new choice for achieving modernization.” (39) This statement suggests that China is seeking to supplant the United States as the most influential country in the world. Elsewhere in the speech, Xi hinted at the possibility of the Chinese government soon taking steps to take back Taiwan. “The wheels of history are rolling on toward China’s reunification and the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. The complete reunification of our country must be realized, and it can without a doubt be realized,” Xi insisted. (40) United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed concern that China may soon move to seize Taiwan by force. (41)
If China attacks Taiwan, it could greatly complicate matters for the United States. American politicians, including President Biden, have pledged to support Taiwan in the past. Furthermore, Taiwan is the world’s leading producer of advanced microchips that are used in so much of our modern technology. Considering China’s growing hostility toward the United States, a takeover of Taiwan could result in supply-chain disruptions that are far worse than what we’ve already seen. The world right now is like a powder keg waiting to explode. We must continue to watch and pray!
In closing, the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic began a transformation of the world. It is obvious that the world will never be the same as it was before. Now, with the specter of a global recession and perhaps a global war on the horizon, we must ask ourselves what the future might bring. Without a doubt, the world is on the verge of a great cataclysm and, quite possibly, a sweeping realignment. World War I brought us The League of Nations. World War II brought us The United Nations. If there’s a third world war, it could usher in a global antichrist government.
What, then, should we do? The Apostle Paul warns in II Timothy 3:13, “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.” He then instructs Timothy on how to respond to the deteriorating condition of the world. “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” The best thing we can do is to stay in the Word of God and continue to put our faith and trust in our Saviour. If you have not yet repented of your sins and dedicated your life to God, I urge you to do so now.
Thank you for your kind support of this ministry. If you have any prayer needs, we invite you to send us your requests. Each request is always given individual attention. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
Samuel David Meyer
01. Business Insider, September 30, 2022, By Matthew Fox, http://cnbc.com.
02. Marketwatch, October 1, 2022, By William Watts, http://marketwatch.com.
03. CNBC, October 18, 2022, By Aditi Shrikant, http://cnbc.com.
05. Daily Capital, October 17, 2022, By Personal Capital, http://personalcapital.com/blog.
06. National Public Radio, October 2, 2022, By Olivia Hampton, http://npr.org.
08. CNBC, September 30, 2022, By Jessica Dickler, http://cnbc.com.
09. CNN, October 24, 2022, By Christine Romans, http://cnn.com.
10. Bloomberg News, October 19, 2022, By Chunzi Xu, http://bloomberg.com.
11. Fox Business News, October 17, 2022, By Bradford Betz, http://foxbusiness.com.
12. Forbes, September 21, 2022, By Taylor Tepper, http://forbes.com.
13. CNBC, October 13, 2022, By Mike Winters, http://cnbc.com.
14. CNBC, October 10, 2022, By Jeff Cox, http://cnbc.com.
15. CNN, October 10, 2022, By Matt Egan, http://cnn.com.
16. The Wall Street Journal, October 3, 2022, By Paul Hannon, http://wsj.com.
17. CNBC, October 20, 2022, By George Glover, http://cnbc.com.
18. Just The News, October 10, 2022, By By Natalia Mittelstadt, http://justthenews.com.
19. The New York Post, October 14, 2022, By Thomas Barrabi, http://nypost.com.
20. CNBC, October 19, 2022, By Jeff Cox, http://cnbc.com.
21. CNBC, October 4, 2022, By Carmen Reinicke, http://cnbc.com.
22. Marketwatch, October 1, 2022, By Isabel Wang, http://marketwatch.com.
23. Business Insider, October 13, 2022, By Matthew Fox, http://businessinsider.com.
24. Fox Business News, October 5, 2022, By Megan Henney, http://foxbusiness.com.
25. CNBC, October 11, 2022, By Hannah Ward-Glenton, http://cnbc.com.
26. CNBC, June 1, 2022, By Jeff Cox, http://cnbc.com.
27. CNBC, October 15, 2022, By Lawrence Richard, http://cnbc.com.
28. Bloomberg News, October 17, 2022, By Josh Wingrove, http://bloomberg.com.
29. The Hill, October 14, 2022, By Daniel De Vise, http://thehil..com.
30. Associated Press, October 7, 2022, By Aamer Madhani and Zeke Miller, http://apnews.com.
32. The Hill, October 27, 2022, By Brett Samuels, http://thehill.com.
33. The Times of Israel, October 26, 2022, By Associated Press, http://thetimesofisrael.com.
34. CBS News, October 21, 2022, By Charlie D’Agata, Steve Berriman, and Tucker Reals, http://cbsnews.com.
35. The Washington Examiner, October 22, 2022, By Daniel Chaitin, http://washingtonexaminer.com.
36. The Wall Street Journal, October 28, 2022, By Dion Nissenbaum and Benoit Faucon, http://wsj.com.
37. Newsweek, October 26, 2022, By James Bickerton, http://newsweek.com.
38. The Guardian, October 5, 2022, By Julian Borger, http://theguardian.com.
39. Bloomberg News, October 16, 2022, By Rebecca Choong Wilkins and Kari Lindberg, http://bloomberg.com.
41. The Washington Post, October 18, 2022, By Ellen Francis, http://washingtonpost.com.
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