Volume 41 Issue Twelve December 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 Beginning Of Sorrows
“And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.”
“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.”
Over the last two thousand years, Matthew, chapter 24, which is found in God’s Holy Word, has captured the imagination of the followers of Jesus Christ. This chapter, which is set at the Mount of Olives, records Jesus having a discussion with His disciples regarding the condition of the world in the days leading up to the end times. The vivid description from our Saviour indicates that in the perilous times of the earth’s final age, the world will be fraught with danger. Matthew 24:6-7 describes wars and rumours of wars, famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in divers places. Although Jesus was describing the events that would transpire at the end of the world, it almost sounds as if He’s providing a synopsis for an episode of “World News Tonight” in 2022. Our Saviour then warns in verse 8 that the world’s condition will worsen, stating, “All these are the beginning of sorrows.”
Wars, Famines, And Earthquakes
Without a doubt, wars and rumours of wars have been almost incessant throughout the past two thousand years. Even at this moment, there’s a prolonged conflict between Russia and Ukraine, while North Korea makes threats against the United States and its allies, and rumors abound that China could soon invade Taiwan. The possibility of nuclear war has also sparked fresh anxiety in recent weeks even as concern mounts that the world could be on the verge of a third global war.
Famine remains a threat, too, especially in the Horn of Africa, where historic drought has decimated crops and animal herds and left an estimated twenty-one million people food insecure. (1) According to the World Food Programme, South Sudan, Yemen, Ethiopia, and Nigeria are the countries most at risk, which prompted the organization to warn that action is desperately needed to “prevent starvation, death, and the total collapse of livelihoods.” (2)
What about earthquakes? The world is constantly shaking. As I write this newsletter on November 26, 2022, there have already been forty-three earthquakes today. (3) Over the last thirty days, there have been 9,993 earthquakes. (4) These temblors are so frequent that most are only reported if they are particularly noteworthy. Sadly, such was the case in Indonesia when a 5.6 magnitude quake hit West Java and left at least 318 people dead while injuring 7,729 more. The earthquake also destroyed 58,049 houses. (5) It is shocking and dismaying that one earthquake can inflict so much damage in such a brief amount of time. Nevertheless, all of these earthquakes are leading up to the most severe earthquake the world will ever see when the vials of God’s wrath are poured out upon the earth. This is described in Revelation 16:18, which declares, “And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.”
Of all the problems Jesus warned about in Matthew 24, pestilences are especially relevant to this present age. The dictionary defines pestilence as “a deadly or virulent epidemic disease.” (6) Despite the modern advances of mankind and all of the scientific breakthroughs of the last one hundred years, we still contend with pestilence today. In fact, in these strange times there are multiple pestilences at once.
Between 2014 and 2016, a deadly outbreak of the Ebola virus terrorized much of Western Africa. In total, there were 28,616 infections and 11,310 deaths in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. (7) On September 30, 2014, the first-ever case of Ebola infection in the United States was reported in Dallas, Texas. (8) At the time, this news sent shockwaves throughout the country as people began to fret about the possibility of a widespread outbreak. Thankfully, God was merciful at that time, and although there were a handful of other cases in the United States, the deadly Ebola virus was contained.
In 2022, Ebola is back and is plaguing the African country of Uganda. Officials in the United States are already conducting exercises to prepare for the possibility that Ebola could again surface in this country. “It might be just a matter of time. That is why every minute right now is being spent to ramp up the preparedness and response in anticipation of that single event occurring. But the more that we put our time and effort into this stage of the crisis, the better off we’ll be when we do get that first case,” said Lori Tremmel Freeman, who is the chief executive officer at the National Association of County and City Health Officials. (9)
Needless to say, an Ebola outbreak is the last thing that the United States needs right now. The American people are still weary from the Covid-19 pandemic, which wreaked havoc in more ways than one and led to the current economic crisis we must now endure. An Ebola outbreak could be the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back, so let us hope and pray that God is merciful again.
As for Covid-19, the virus still exists, and it is highly unlikely that it will ever be eradicated. However, we have learned a lot about the virus over the last two years, and we know that terrible mistakes were made in 2020. In the early days of the pandemic, much of Europe, the United States, Australia, and other countries went on lockdown. As a result, businesses closed their doors, unemployment soared, the supply chain collapsed, and people were forced to stay home from work and school. None of these restrictions stopped the virus from spreading. In February 2022 a study published by Johns Hopkins University revealed that the lockdowns of 2020 had a deeply detrimental impact on society. “We find no evidence that lockdowns, school closures, border closures, and limiting gatherings have had a noticeable effect on Covid-19 mortality,” the study declares. The study further went on to say that lockdowns “contributed to reducing economic activity, raising unemployment, reducing schooling, causing political unrest, contributing to domestic violence, and undermining liberal democracy.” (10) In other words, the harm inflicted by the lockdowns far outweighed any benefit.
While the Western world has learned over time that we have to live with the virus, the Chinese government has stubbornly continued its zero-Covid policy, which means lockdowns have persisted in China even to this day. News outlets reported in November 2022 that China is seeing a record number of Covid infections, which has prompted a slew of new lockdowns throughout the Asian country. (11) The Chinese government even erected barbed wire and concrete walls in the southern city of Guangzhou, effectively making the residents of the city prisoners. (12) As would be expected, the Chinese people are growing weary of these onerous restrictions, and some have begun to fight back.
After nearly three years of lockdowns, it seems that many Chinese citizens are reaching their breaking point. On November 26, 2022, protests erupted all over China, including the city of Shanghai, where angry crowds shouted, “We want freedom!” and “Unlock Xinjiang! Unlock all of China!” Over time, the protestors grew bolder and began chanting, “Xi Jinping, step down!” and “Communist Party, step down!” (13) Clearly, there is far more dissatisfaction in China than the country’s government would like us to believe. The Chinese people are beginning to realize what we have known for quite some time: Lockdowns do not work. Nevertheless, the totalitarian regime in China does not respond kindly to any form of dissent. This is a tense situation that I will be watching closely.
Back in the United States, officials have warned that we could see more cases of Covid-19 as we enter the winter season. However, Dr. Ashish Jha, who is the Covid-19 response coordinator at the White House, seems confident that the United States is ready to fight off any Covid surge that may come. “I believe we are in a way better place no matter what Mother Nature throws at us,” Jha opined. He’s optimistic because he claims that most Americans have already had Covid, and nine in ten have received at least one Covid vaccine. (14) Are the Covid-19 vaccines really as effective as they claim, though?
In late November 2022, the liberal news outlet known as The Washington Post published an article with a startling admission. According to the article, the majority of the people dying from Covid-19 infections are people who have been vaccinated against Covid. “It’s a continuation of a troubling trend that has emerged over the past year. As vaccination rates have increased and new variants appeared, the share of deaths of people who were vaccinated has been steadily rising. In September 2021, vaccinated people made up just 23 percent of coronavirus fatalities. In January and February this year, it was up to 42 percent…,” the article informs. By August 2022, fifty-eight percent of people who died from Covid had been vaccinated. (15) “We can no longer say this is a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” admitted Cynthia Cox, who is vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation. (16)
Health experts claim that vaccinated people are dying from Covid because they decline to get booster shots. However, booster shots are said to be needed so frequently that it would be difficult to keep up. A report published by the National Institute of Health in July 2022 states, “Although Covid-19 booster vaccinations in adults elicit high levels of neutralizing antibodies against the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2, antibody levels decrease substantially within three months, according to new clinical trial data.” (17) When the Covid vaccines were released, people thought receiving them would prevent Covid-19 infections. We quickly learned this was untrue. We were then told that although you might still get Covid if you’re vaccinated, the shots will prevent serious illness or death. Yet, the latest data clearly shows that you can be vaccinated and still die from Covid-19. Conversely, I personally know many unvaccinated people who have had Covid. The vast majority of them have fully recovered.
Remarkably, a new study published in the well-respected medical journal known as Nature reports that people are much more likely to become sick with Covid-19 and possibly die if they are deficient in Vitamin D. “Several observational studies have shown a strong relationship between infection with Covid-19 and low serum levels of Vitamin D. An early study of 489 patients with Vitamin D lab values in the year before a Covid-19 test found a 77 percent increased risk of a positive Covid-19 test in those with a Vitamin D deficiency,” the paper informs. The paper's authors then went on to describe how they conducted their own study on the effectiveness of Vitamin D3 as a treatment for Covid-19. They determined a 33 percent decrease in mortality rates among those who were given Vitamin D3. The authors then go on to write, “When we extrapolate our results for Vitamin D3 supplementation to the entire US population in 2020, there would have been approximately 4 million fewer Covid-19 cases and 116,000 deaths avoided.” (18) Thus we see that we can significantly improve our odds of surviving Covid-19 by taking a simple and affordable supplement found in God’s creation.
During the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the new virus was most dangerous to the elderly and those with underlying health conditions that compromised their immune systems. However, young children usually did not become seriously ill even when infected with Covid-19. Yet, because of the steps that were taken to prevent the spread of this disease, such as lockdowns and social distancing, young children were often not exposed to germs the way they normally are. Consequently, the immune systems of infants and very young children are not as robust as they should be. This is why we are now seeing so many young children becoming seriously ill after being infected with the respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV. “Now we have three-year-olds who never saw RSV because they didn’t acquire it during the first few years of life, and that’s contributing to this tremendous surge of RSV that we’re observing here,” said Dr. Jeffrey Kahn, who is a professor of infectious disease at UT Southwestern. He further went on to say, “The pandemic has turned the epidemiology of these viruses upside down, and I think it may be a year or two before we get back to equilibrium.” (19) RSV is a common virus. Most children get it eventually, and it is highly unusual for it to cause such serious threats to health. Yet, pediatric hospitals around the country are filling up at unprecedented levels.
According to a report by CNBC, the rate of hospitalization for infants under six months of age with RSV are double what they were last year and seven times greater than they were in 2018 before the Covid pandemic. More than three-fourths of beds at children’s hospitals in the United States are full as of this writing. (20) In response to the RSV surge, representatives from the Children’s Hospitals Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics sent a letter in November 2022 to President Biden pleading with the President to declare a national emergency. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports alarmingly high rates of RSV and other respiratory illnesses across the country. These unprecedented levels of RSV happening with growing flu rates, ongoing high numbers of children in mental health crisis and serious workforce shortages are combining to stretch pediatric care capacity at the hospital and community level to the breaking point,” the letter states. (21) Amazingly enough, more than 100,000 Americans missed work in October 2022 to stay home and care for sick children. (22)
Between RSV, the flu, Covid, and the common cold, many people are under the weather right now. However, serious pestilences do not affect just humans but animals, too. Avian bird flu has been especially bad this year and has hampered the supply of poultry and eggs at the supermarket. As of November 2022, more than 50.54 million birds have been wiped out in the United States this year. (23) This outbreak has become “the worst U.S. animal-health disaster” in history, according to Reuters. (24)
Bird flu has also spread across Europe. The outbreak is so bad there that the government in England has ordered that all poultry and captive birds be kept indoors from November 7, 2022. (25) In total, nearly 50 million birds in Europe have been lost to the flu this year. (26) To make matters worse, bird flu is spreading in Japan, too. The first cases of the disease were reported there on October 28, 2022, and almost three million chickens have been culled since that time. (27) Between the United States, Europe, and Japan, more than 100 million birds have been lost to avian flu this year. This is a mind-boggling number.
What most people may not know is that humans can be infected by avian flu if they come in close contact with sick birds. Although bird-to-human transmission is very rare, when it does happen, the fatality rate is about 60 percent. (28) Given the prevalence of bird flu right now, scientists are worried that the virus could mutate and become more transmissible to humans. These worries prompted The Guardian to publish an article with the headline, “Bird flu is a huge problem now – but we’re just one mutation away from it getting much worse.” (29)
As if that’s not bad enough, MIT Technology Review reported in November 2022 that a tick-borne illness called theileria is killing cattle in the United States. The illness causes severe anemia in cattle, which can lead to their death and also causes cows to lose their calves before they are born. One veterinarian in Virginia reported that theilera was detected at forty nearby farms in 2020. “We’re having a hard time getting the USDA to pay attention to this because they don’t believe it’s causing a lot of problems. And that’s like, ‘Wow, you have no idea how many problems it’s causing and how widespread it could be,” veterinarian Melinda McCall warned. (30) How bad could it get? It should be noted that theileria disease has been circulating in Australia since 2012. It now afflicts one-quarter of all the cattle there. (31)
We will likely continue to see more pestilence in the days ahead as we move closer to the coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. How should we respond to this reality? We should continue to trust in God for salvation and believe that He is able to deliver us from whatever trouble might come. Psalm 91:1-3 declares, “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.”
In closing, we are certainly living in a time of great heaviness. Because of the difficulties humanity faces today, many have become discouraged. This is especially true among young people. A recent survey of 1,055 members of Generation Z, aged 18 to 24, reveals that 42 percent have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder. These conditions include anxiety (90 percent), depression (78 percent), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (27 percent), post-traumatic stress disorder (20 percent), and others. Of those diagnosed with a mental disorder, 57 percent take medication for their condition. (32) The pandemic certainly didn’t help matters. However, I strongly suspect that part of the problem is that much of Generation Z has little interest in the things of God. A survey published in March 2022 reveals that Generation Z “is the least religious generation yet.” (33) No matter what happens, I can say with confidence that we always have hope in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Romans 5:1-2 tells us, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” If you have not yet repented of your sins and dedicated your life to God, I urge you to do so now.
Thank you all for your kind support of this ministry. It has been an eventful year, and I am certain that 2023 will be a consequential year, too. This is the final issue of the Last Trumpet in 2022. If you receive the paper edition of this newsletter by mail, please remember to send in your renewal form. If you have any prayer requests, we invite you to send them our way. We always give each request individual attention. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
Samuel David Meyer
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01. UN News, November 7, 2022, By UN News, http://news.un.org.
02. World Food Programme, January 28, 2022, By WFP Staff, http://wfp.org.
03. US Geological Survey, November 26, 2022, http://earthquake.usgs.gov.
04. US Geological Survey, November 26, 2022, http://earthquake.usgs.gov.
05. Business Standard, November 26, 2022, By IANS, http://business-standard.com.
06. Dictionary.com, http://dictionary.com/browse/pestilence.
07. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, http://cdc.gov.
08. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, September 30, 2014, http://cdc.gov.
09. CNN, November 16, 2022, By Jacqueline Howard, http://cnn.com.
10. WUSF, February 2, 2022, By Rick Mayer, http://wusfnews.wusf.usf.edu.
11. Reuters News Service, November 23, 2022, By Bernard Orr and Martin Quin Pollard, http://reuters.com.
12. The Times, November 25, 2022, By Didi Tang, http://thetimes.co.uk.
13. The Washington Post, November 27, 2022, By Lily Kuo, http://washingtonpost.com.
14. Politico, November 22, 2022, By Grace Scullion, Ben Leonard, Ruth Reader, and Carmen Paun, http://politico.com.
15. The Washington Post, November 23, 2022, By McKenzie Beard, http://washingtonpost.com.
17. National Institute of Health, July 19, 2022, By NIH, http://nih.gov.
18. Nature, November 12, 2022, By Jason B. Gibbons, Edward C. Norton, Jeffrey S. Mc Cullough, David O. Meltzer, Jill Lavigne, Virginia C. Fiedler, and Robert D. Gibbons, http://nature.com.
19. D Magazine, November 21, 2022, By Will Maddox, http://dmagazine.com.
20. CNBC, November 18, 2022, By Spencer Kimball, http://cnbc.com.
21. Official Letter to President Joe Biden, November 14, 2022, By Mark Wietecha and Mark Del Monte.
22. The Washington Post, November 15, 2022, By Abha Bhattarai, http://washingtonpost.com.
23. Reuters News Service, November 25, 2022, By Reuters, http://reuters.com.
25. CNBC, November 16, 2022, By Hannah Ward-Glenton, http://cnbc.com.
27. The Japan Times, November 27, 2022, By The Japan Times, http://japantimes.co.jp.
28. The Guardian, November 9, 2022, By Devi Sridhar, http://theguardian.com.
30. MIT Technology Review, November 17, 2022, By Britta Lockting, http://technologyreview.com.
32. Harmony Healthcare IT, September 15, 2022, http://harmonyhit.com.
33. Survey Center On American Life, March 24, 2022, By Daniel A. Cox, http://americansurveycenter.org
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