Volume 42 Issue Two February 2023
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 Brink Of Global Catastrophe
“Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.”
As we move through time, it has become abundantly clear that today's world is on an increasingly destructive course. Regardless of the season, whether it be spring, summer, autumn, or winter, it is now commonplace for devastating storms, strange weather, and natural disasters to incessantly pummel the planet that we presently occupy. Systemic economic distress is weakening the entire global economy and could soon usher in a new financial system and way of life. Violence and hatred are only growing worse in this supposedly civilized world as crime soars in our largest cities, mass shootings occur with increasing frequency, and the war in Europe between Russia and Ukraine intensifies while threatening to drag the entire world into the conflict. These are days of great peril as we move from conflict to conflict and crisis to crisis. For those who study the Bible, none of this is surprising. We are seeing the words written down so long ago come to pass before our very eyes. The scientific community, too, is quite alarmed by the current events of our day.
On January 24, 2023, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists announced that it had moved its Doomsday Clock ahead ten seconds and issued a proclamation that we are now “ninety seconds to midnight.” The organization, which was founded by Albert Einstein and a group of scientists at the University of Chicago in 1945, uses its symbolic clock to gauge how close we are to the end of the world. In a statement released by the group, we are informed that we are living in a “time of unprecedented danger,” and the world is “the closest to global catastrophe it has ever been.” (1)
According to the organization, the primary reason the clock was moved forward is the war in Ukraine. “The war in Ukraine may enter a second horrifying year, with both sides convinced they can win,” a statement from the Bulletin warns. It later continues, “Russia’s thinly veiled threats to use nuclear weapons remind the world that escalation of the conflict—by accident, intention, or miscalculation—is a terrible risk. The possibility that the conflict could spin out of anyone’s control remains high.” (2) Rachel Bronson, the chief executive officer at the organization, was quoted as saying, “We are living in a time of unprecedented danger, and the Doomsday Clock time reflects that reality. Ninety seconds to midnight is the closest the clock has ever been set to midnight, and it's a decision our experts do not take lightly. The US government, its NATO allies, and Ukraine have a multitude of channels for dialogue. We urge leaders to explore all of them to their fullest ability to turn back the clock.” (3)
An International War In Ukraine
Despite the dire warnings from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, recent developments in Ukraine show that not only is the war heating up, but countries around the world are becoming even more involved in the conflict. Since the war began in February 2022, the United States has played a crucial role, providing about fifty billion dollars in funding to Ukraine last year. (4) Reports suggest that American intelligence agencies have worked with the Ukrainian government to help locate Russian targets, (5) and Ukrainian soldiers have even received training on American soil. (6) In essence, the United States has provided almost everything needed to fight a war except for the soldiers.
Even satellite Internet service has been provided to Ukraine by Elon Musk’s company known as SpaceX. This access to the Internet has given the Ukrainian army advanced capabilities despite Russia’s efforts to knock out infrastructure and communications systems in the war-torn country. “Musk has put in the hands of the Ukrainian military the power of the Internet, which can be used in all sorts of ways. Having the Internet is profoundly important to the way the war is being fought. Soldiers can flip down a screen showing a tactical map of the battlefield, helping to promote common situational awareness of where the enemy is. It makes a big difference,” said the former head of the United Kingdom’s forces command, Richard Barrons. The Starlink technology provided by SpaceX has also enabled Ukraine to carry out drone attacks against Russian targets. (7)
Without a doubt, technology has dramatically changed the way warfare is conducted in this modern age. For example, a missile attack conducted by Ukraine on January 3, 2023, killed at least eighty-nine soldiers at a training facility for Russian conscripts in the Ukrainian city of Makiivka. Russian officials claim that Ukraine was able to conduct this strike because soldiers at the facility were using their mobile phones and thus gave away their position. “This factor allowed the enemy to locate and determine the coordinates of the location of military personnel for a missile strike,” insisted a statement issued by Russian officials. It should be noted that while Russia acknowledges that eighty-nine soldiers were killed, the Ukrainian government believes that four hundred soldiers were killed and another three hundred were injured. (8)
With so much already invested, it should be quite obvious that the United States has no intention of letting Russia win in Ukraine. In December 2022, the Biden Administration announced plans to send sophisticated Patriot Defense missiles to Ukraine. (9) Weeks later, in January 2023, the United States announced plans to send hundreds of armored vehicles, rockets, and ammunition to Ukraine at a cost of 2.5 billion dollars. (10) Just days after that, the American government informed the world that they would send Ukraine thirty-one sophisticated M1 Abrams tanks. Other countries are involved, too. Even as the United States announced its plans, Germany said it would send Ukraine an initial shipment of fourteen Leopard-2 tanks. (11) Similarly, Britain announced plans to send fourteen Challenger-2 tanks. Poland has offered to send fourteen tanks. Norway, Finland, the Netherlands, Spain, and France, are also considering sending tanks to Ukraine. (12)
As expected, Russia is fuming that Ukraine will soon be given tanks. They view these generous contributions as direct involvement in the war. “There are constant statements from European capitals and Washington that the sending of various weapons systems to Ukraine, including tanks, in no way signifies the involvement of these countries or the alliance in hostilities in Ukraine. We categorically disagree with this, and in Moscow, everything that the alliance and the capitals I mentioned are doing is seen as direct involvement in the conflict. We see that this is growing,” said Russian spokesman Dmitry Peskov. (13) Meanwhile, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev recently suggested that NATO countries could be considered “legitimate military targets.” “Today...the main question is whether the hybrid war de facto declared on our country by NATO can be considered to be the alliance's entry into war with Russia? Is it possible to view the delivery of a large volume of weapons to Ukraine as an attack on Russia?” Medvedev wrote. He further wrote, “The leaders of NATO countries keep unanimously squawking that their countries and the entire bloc are not at war with Russia. Yet, everyone is well aware that this is not the case.” (14)
Given the fierce resistance Russia has faced in Ukraine, it is unlikely that Russia alone would ever attack NATO targets. However, it should be noted that Russia is not without allies. According to a recent report, Russia is planning to hold joint exercises in South Africa with both the Chinese and South African navies in February 2023. (15) Furthermore, Russia’s war efforts in Ukraine have been supported by Iran and North Korea. Both countries have provided military equipment to Russia. (16) Rumors are also swirling that Russia is trying to negotiate with the Taliban to provide them with an assortment of American-made weapons that were left in Afghanistan when the United States vacated the Middle Eastern country in 2021. There is approximately seven billion dollars worth of “aircraft, vehicles, munitions, guns, communications equipment, and other gear” in Afghanistan, according to a report by Voice of America News. American officials were quick to cast doubt on these rumors, however. “I can’t confirm this report. But if it’s true, it certainly would fly in the face of what the Taliban say their goals are,” said John Kirby, the coordinator for strategic communications at the National Security Council. (17)
Sadly, this war has already cost an enormous price. “Russian losses are beginning to approach 180,000 dead or wounded soldiers,” said Norwegian Chief of Defence Eirik Kristofferson. He further informed, “Ukrainian losses are probably over 100,000 dead or wounded. In addition, Ukraine has about 30,0000 civilians who died in this terrible war.” (18) These are thousands upon thousands of lives that have been destroyed for no good reason.
Slowly but surely, the war in Ukraine is pulling more and more countries into the conflict. Deals are being made, alliances are being formed, and the world is undergoing realignment. This is exactly what happens before a world war is fought. It is also interesting to note that a four-star U.S. Air Force General has predicted that the United States could soon be at war with China. According to a report by NBC News, General Mike Minihan believes China will move to invade Taiwan while the United States is distracted by the 2024 presidential election. “I hope I am wrong. My gut tells me we will fight in 2025,” he wrote in a memo. (19) We should all hope he is wrong. A protracted war with China would wreak havoc at home and abroad. Lives would be lost, the economy would suffer greatly, and the global supply chain would be twisted into knots. Could all of these developments be the stirrings of World War III? God knows. We must continue to watch and pray.
Considering the fact that we are living in such a volatile period of time, it would be reassuring if we, the people, could feel confident about our leadership. After all, we are living in a pivotal moment in human history and are facing extraordinary dangers on multiple fronts. Sadly, American President Joseph Robinette Biden does not inspire confidence. I’m not writing this section to mock him, nor is it my intention to be unkind. I am genuinely concerned about his ability to lead the United States of America. While everyone makes mistakes from time to time, Biden commits embarrassing blunders with such regularity that it certainly calls into question his fitness to serve as Commander in Chief.
On December 25, 2022, Newsweek published a list of his most egregious gaffes of 2022. Included on the list was the time Biden accidentally referred to the Ukrainian people as “Iranians” while giving his State of the Union Address. "Putin may circle Kyiv with tanks, but he'll never gain the hearts and souls of the Iranian people. He will never extinguish their love of freedom. He will never weaken the resolve of the free world,” Biden said.
In another incident on July 8, 2022, the President accidentally read instructional prompts from the teleprompter out loud. “It is noteworthy that the percentage of women who register to vote and cast a ballot is consistently higher than the percentage of the men who do so—end of quote, repeat the line. Women are not without electoral and, or, political—let me be precise: not and, or—or political power," the President read. Not only did he audibly read his cues, but he flubbed the subsequent line.
To make matters worse, on October 24, 2022, Biden called Vice President Kamala Harris a “great president” while wishing her a happy birthday. This was not the first time he called her President. In March 2021, he said, “Now when President Harris and I took a virtual tour of a vaccination center in Arizona not long ago, one of the nurses on that, on that tour injecting people, giving vaccinations, said that each shot was like administering a dose of hope."
On October 28, 2022, he erroneously said that the United States has fifty-four states. (20) I do understand that the President has a speech impediment and that is not his fault. However, these mistakes go beyond a simple stutter. Considering the frequency of these cringeworthy gaffes, can anyone honestly say that the American President is capable of striking fear into Russian President Vladimir Putin or Chinese President Xi Jinping? God help us all.
Given the trends we have seen over the last decade, it is not surprising that the American Congress is feuding again. As was the case in 2011, Democrats and Republicans are in a standoff over the United States debt ceiling. Democrats argue that the United States must raise the debt ceiling so our country can pay its bills. Republicans, led by the new Speaker of the House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy, argue that a plan to cut government spending should be implemented before the ceiling is raised. President Biden has said he won’t negotiate, and Congress must simply raise the limit again as it has done so many times in the past. (21)
On January 19, 2023, the United States officially hit its debt limit, which is presently 31.4 trillion dollars. In response, United States Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said she would use “extraordinary measures” to pay our country’s bills. The Secretary estimates that she can use these special maneuvers until June 2023. However, she warned the situation is fluid, and the exact moment the United States runs out of cash is unknown. “The period of time that extraordinary measures may last is subject to considerable uncertainty, including the challenges of forecasting the payments and receipts of the U.S. government months into the future. I respectfully urge Congress to act promptly to protect the full faith and credit of the United States,” Yellen wrote. (22) In a recent interview with Axios, Yellen expressed considerable anxiety over what might happen if the government can’t pay its bills. “Of course, it makes me nervous. It would be devastating. It’s a catastrophe,” she lamented. After warning that “we’ll have a financial crisis,” she further went on to say, “And I believe we would have recession in the United States.” Finally, she warned, “Americans would face higher borrowing costs, and it would cause a good deal of turmoil globally as well.” (23) It should be noted that a slew of economists have predicted that the United States would be in a recession in 2023 regardless of the debt ceiling.
The most likely result of this manufactured crisis is that Congress will again raise the debt limit before the United States defaults on its obligations. I do have questions and concerns, however. Why is our government so inept when it comes to balancing a budget? In fiscal year 2022, the United States government took in 4.90 trillion dollars in taxes and other revenues. Despite this impressive amount, those who are running this country still managed to run a deficit and spent a whopping 6.27 trillion dollars in one year. This is a deficit of more than 1.3 trillion dollars. Furthermore, our government has a terrible track record in these matters. Over the last fifty years, there has only been a surplus five times, and the last time the government took in more than it spent was in 2001! (24) Why bother having a debt ceiling at all if you are just going to raise it every time you hit it? The United States pays its debts by taking on more debt. Private citizens have attempted to do this on a much smaller scale, but such tactics usually result in bankruptcy. How has the United States managed to get away with this for so long? Simply put, other countries do the same thing. In fact, this modern world runs on debt. According to a report published last year by The World Economic Forum, global debt surpassed the equivalent of 300 trillion dollars in 2021. (25) As I mentioned in last month’s issue of the Last Trumpet, one trillion is the equivalent of a million millions. This is not a number that can be easily visualized or comprehended.
I believe that all of this debt will eventually result in serious consequences. In fact, it could eventually cause the rise of a global antichrist economy and government. It should be noted that we are already rapidly moving toward a cashless society, and governments around the world are researching and testing central bank digital currencies. If the current system fails, a new one will be needed to replace it.
I recall many years ago my father, Pastor David J. Meyer, hypothesized that a rising antichrist system could gain acceptance from the population at large by offering to forgive all debts that are owed. The catch, of course, would be that in order to receive this forgiveness and participate in the new economy, you would have to take a mark in your right hand or forehead. The mark of the beast spoken of in Revelation 13 clearly has a financial component to it. Revelation 13:16-18 tells us, “And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.” Interestingly enough, thousands of people have already received microchip implants in their hands. Now, companies such as Elon Musk’s Neuralink wants to give people brain implants, too.
In closing, we know we are living in perilous times. The world feels as though it is on a collision course with its own destruction. Yet, God’s wisdom is infinite, His knowledge is unlimited, and He knows what is going to happen tomorrow, next month, and next year. He knows what the future holds, and despite all of the trouble in this world, we are told not to worry. In Luke 12:32, Jesus told His people, “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Instead of being afraid, He instructs us to watch and be ready to meet our King. Matthew 24:42-44 tells us, “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” 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 generous support of this ministry. As always, we invite you to send us your prayer requests. We understand the importance of prayer, especially in this present age. We always give each prayer request individual attention. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
Samuel David Meyer
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01. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, January 2023, Editor John Mecklin, http://thebulletin.org.
03. AFP, January 24, 2023, By Chris Lefkow, http://news.yahoo.com.
04. The Conversation, January 18, 2023, By Monica Duffy Toft, http://theconversation.com.
05. The New York Times, May 4, 2022, By Julian E. Barnes, Helene Cooper, and Eric Schmitt, http://nytimes.com.
06. Military Times, January 10, 2023, By Meghann Myers, http://militarytimes.com.
07. The New York Post, January 14, 2023, By Rich Calder, http://nypost.com.
08. BBC News, January 4, 2023, By Will Vernon and Elsa Maishman, http://bbc.com.
09. The Washington Post, December 21, 2022, By Dan Lamothe and Karen DeYoung, http://washingtonpost.com.
10. Reuters, January 20, 2023, By Reuters, http://reuters.com.
11. Associated Press, January 25, 2023, By Frank Jordans, Kirsten Grieshaber, and Samya Kullab, http://apnews.com.
12. Reuters, January 25, 2023, By Reuters, http://reuters.com.
13. Reuters, January 26, 2023, By Mark Trevelyan, http://reuters.com.
14. Newsweek, December 16, 2022, By Isabel Van Brugen, http://newsweek.com.
15. Stars and Stripes, January 24, 2023, By Seth Robson, http://stripes.com.
16. Voice of America News, January 28, 2023, By Patsy Widakuswara, http://voanews.com.
18. Newsmax, January 22, 2023, By AFP, http://newsmax.com.
19. NBC News, January 27, 2023, By Courtney Kube and Mosheh Gains, http://nbcnews.com.
20. Newsweek, December 25, 2022, By Gerrard Kaonga, http://newsweek.com.
21. The New York Times, January 19, 2023, By Alan Rappeport, Jim Tankersley, and Jeanna Smialek, http://nytimes.com.
22. The New York Times, January 19, 2023, By Jim Tankersley and Alan Rappeport, http://nytimes.com.
23. Axios, January 28, 2023, By Hans Nichols, http://axios.com.
24. FiscalData, http://fiscaldata.treasury.gov.
25. World Economic Forum, May 16, 2022, By Victoria Masterson, http://weforum.org.
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