Volume 42 Issue Nine September 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
“And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.”
As another summer draws to a close, many people around the world are likely relieved to see it ending. Much of the world has endured sweltering heat, including parts of the United States, Europe, and Japan. Hot and dry conditions have provided a favorable environment for wildfires, which have broken out in the United States, Canada, Europe, and elsewhere. Tropical storms and hurricanes are ramping up in our world’s oceans, and even the sun is exhibiting unusual behavior with solar storms strong enough to impact life on earth. A report from NBC News, published on August 22, 2023, highlights the eventful summer, stating, “Wildfires, hurricanes, and heat: The U.S. is getting hit by extreme weather from all sides.” The article quotes Gonzalo Pita, an associate scientist at Johns Hopkins University, as saying, “We’re looking at a multi-hazard situation, where we’re being hit by a string of different events over a short period of time. It’s like a double or triple whammy, and even when they happen frequently or at the same time, the negative effects are compounded.” (1)
If you asked people to describe the summer of 2023 with just one word, many would likely choose the word “hot.” In fact, many regions experienced soaring temperatures that were well beyond the norm. This includes Phoenix, Arizona, where temperatures exceeded 110 degrees Fahrenheit for thirty-one consecutive days throughout July of this year. (2) In Death Valley, California, which is known to be one of the hottest places on earth, temperatures in July topped 120 degrees Fahrenheit for seventeen days in a row. (3) In El Paso, Texas, local news described the summer as “hellishly hot” after experiencing a record-breaking streak of forty-four days where temperatures cracked 100 degrees. (4) The heat index in Miami, Florida, exceeded 100 degrees Fahrenheit for 46 days in a row in a record streak that finally ended on July 27, 2023. (5) Record high daily temperatures were recorded in Grand Junction, Colorado; Gallup, New Mexico; Kingman, Arizona; and Reno, Nevada. On July 26, 2023, Kansas City, Missouri, reached 120 degrees, and St. Joseph, Missouri, reached 122 degrees Fahrenheit. (5) Elsewhere around the world, a remote town in China reached an astonishing temperature of 125 degrees Fahrenheit on July 16, 2023. (6) On July 19, parts of the Sicilian region in Italy exceeded 116 degrees. Greece and Spain also recorded scorching heat. (7) Scientists claim that July 2023 was the hottest month ever recorded since recordkeeping began. “Last month was way, way, warmer than anything we’ve ever seen. It’s very likely that July 2023 was hotter than any month in any year since at least 1850,” said Sarah Kapnick, the chief scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA. (8)
The abnormally high temperatures persisted in the month of August in various regions including southern Florida. A startling report from the Miami Herald published on August 10, 2023, indicates that it was so hot in Miami that the temperature of the sand at South Beach measured 137 degrees. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the rubberized flooring on the children’s playground at Miami’s Bryan Park measured 177.9 degrees. (9) Remarkably, it was reported on August 23, 2023, that about 130 million Americans in twenty-two states were under heat advisories. (10) Another report from CBS News published on August 25, 2023, claims that more than 3,600 records for high temperatures in the United States were broken over the preceding thirty days. (11)
To be sure, these hot temperatures are unusual. Most scientists claim that climate change is responsible for these oppressive heat waves. However, a report from Reuters indicates that the current climate pattern known as El Niño is at least partially responsible for the warmer temperatures. “El Niño is a natural phenomenon that in addition to contributing to higher temperatures in many parts of the world, also drives tropical cyclones in the Pacific and boosts rainfall and flood risk in parts of the Americas, Asia and elsewhere.” The article later informs that the El Niño cycle could cause economic losses of three trillion dollars worldwide. (12)
The World On Fire
In June of 2023, a peculiar situation developed in the state of Wisconsin. The sky became gray and hazy even on days that were supposed to be sunny. A smell of smoke permeated the air, which hindered breathing and forced Wisconsinites concerned about their health to stay indoors. On June 15, 2023, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources alerted residents of poor air quality. (13) By June 27th, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, had the dubious distinction of having some of the worst air quality in the entire world. (14) Why? Smoke from the Canadian wildfires that had been raging since springtime was making an unwelcome visit. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that before 2023, there had not been an air quality alert related to Canadian wildfires since 2011. By June 27th, state officials had already issued warnings nine times. (15)
The scenario in Wisconsin is one that played out in numerous states across the country. In fact, smoke from the Canadian wildfires resulted in a 17 percent increase in emergency room visits related to asthma between April 30 and August 4, 2023. This uptick was noted in states from New York all the way down to Virginia, and in the Midwest states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin, too. (16) Volker Radeloff, who is a professor of Forest and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, warns that the coming years will likely bring more smoke-related pollution from wildfires. “This is an extreme year. I’m not saying this is what every year will be like, but I think there will be more years like [this],” he said. (17) Wildfires are quickly becoming an unpleasant summer tradition with unpleasant consequences even for those who live far away from the flames.
It has truly been a hellish summer in Canada. As of this writing, the fires, which first began in April of this year, have burned more than 37.8 million acres of land. (18) There have been more than 6,000 fires in total, and at this present time, more than a thousand of them are still burning. (19) The total land consumed is an area larger than the state of Iowa in the United States. (20) According to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, or CBC, the 2023 fire season is the worst ever recorded in Canada. (21)
The fires have been especially bad in the western provinces of Canada in recent weeks. In August, the entire city of Yellowknife, which is the capital of the Northwest Territories, was ordered to evacuate even as a fire encompassing more than six hundred square miles approached the city of about 20,000 residents. “We’re all getting tired of the word unprecedented, yet there is no other way to describe the situation in the Northwest Territories,” said Northwest Territories Premier Caroline Cochrane. (22) Remarkably, the fire never reached Yellowknife as of this writing, though it did come within nine miles of the city. (23) It is interesting to note that the massive fire that forced the evacuation of thousands of people was started by a simple lightning strike. (24)
Sadly, Canada is not the only part of the world that has been devastated by fire in recent weeks. On August 8, 2023, a disastrous fire ripped through the city of Lahaina on the Hawaiian Island of Maui. The fire was first reported at 6:37 A.M. after a witness said she heard a “thundering boom” from a blown transformer near a subdivision of the former Hawaiian capital. By 9 A.M., officials claimed that the fire was 100 percent contained. Firefighters believed they had successfully extinguished the flames and made the fateful decision to leave the location by early afternoon. Less than two hours after their departure, the fire was burning again, fueled by 65-mile-per-hour winds, and headed straight for the heart of Lahaina. (25)
The fire spread rapidly, and officials made the inexplicable decision not to sound the city’s alarm system. Consequently, residents had little warning of the fiery inferno headed their way. By the time emergency alerts were sent to people’s mobile phones, many had already lost power and phone service. (26) To make matters worse, a report from The Hill published on August 23, 2023, indicates that police set up barricades on the road leading out of the city and told residents to turn around and go back as they attempted to flee. “Those who disobeyed the barricaded road closures during the Maui fires survived the disaster, while many of those who heeded orders to turn around perished in their cars and homes with no way out,” the article informs. (27) These facts are confirmed by the Associated Press, which states, “As flames tore through a West Maui neighborhood, car after car of fleeing residents headed for the only paved road out of town in a desperate race for safety. And car after car was turned back toward the rapidly spreading wildfire by a barricade blocking access to Highway 30.” Police claim they put up the barricades because of downed power lines, but in so doing they cut off the only escape route for many. (28) With nowhere else to go, some residents fled to the ocean. (29)
At least 115 people perished in the Lahaina fire, (30) which makes it the “worst natural disaster that Hawaii has ever faced,” according to Hawaiian Governor Josh Green. (31) In another statement Governor Green said, “About 80 percent of Lahaina is gone.” (32) Thus, nearly an entire city that had once been Hawaii’s capital was destroyed. Questionable decisions were made, to say the least; and the fire did not have to be as horrific as it was.
While Hawaiians assessed the damage and the death count continued to rise, American President Joe Biden sat on a beach in Delaware. He was asked by a reporter to comment on the rising death toll. The President simply responded, “No comment.” Hawaii State Representative Mark Kaniela, who is a Democrat, expressed his disappointment online, writing, “I campaigned for you. Now, when I lose dozens of my friends, family, and neighbors. This?” (33) After his vacation in Delaware, the President then took another vacation in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. Nearly two weeks passed before he finally made his way to Maui on August 21. While there, he attempted to relate to the devastated Hawaiians by claiming he once nearly lost his “wife, my ‘67 Corvette, and my cat” in a house fire. However, a news story from 2004 indicates that the incident mentioned involved a small kitchen fire that was quickly extinguished. (34) After his visit in Hawaii, President Biden headed back to Lake Tahoe to resume his vacation. (34)
Heatwaves and wildfires serve as a poignant reminder that we are all in need of God’s mercy. It also presents an opportunity to reflect on the pain and suffering from which our God has delivered us. As hot as it’s been, it is going to get much hotter as we draw closer to the coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Revelation 16 indicates that when the angels of God go forth to pour out the vials of God’s judgment in the last of the last days, one of the judgments will be a scorching heat. Revelation 16:8-9 states, “And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.” It is remarkable that the masses of humanity will still refuse to repent even as judgment falls.
As we see shocking images of wildfires consuming large swathes of our planet, they make it easier to imagine what the end of the world will look like. Ultimately, this world will be subjected to heat and fire so intense that even the elements will melt. II Peter 3:10 declares, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” However, Peter offers solace in verse 13, declaring, “Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.”
The Dangers Of Climate Anxiety
If you spend any significant amount of time reading news stories, you’ll notice a trend. Nearly every story about natural disasters and inclement weather, including heatwaves, wildfires, hurricanes, and storms, features a seemingly obligatory reminder that scientists believe these problems are being worsened by man-made climate change. Consequently, climate anxiety is wreaking havoc on the lives of many people and contributing to a mental health crisis in the United States. A study published by The Lancet in December 2021 found that most children and young people are worried about climate change, and some even to a debilitating degree. A survey of 10,000 young people aged 16-25 in ten countries found that 84 percent were worried about climate change. Of those who responded, 59 percent said they were “very or extremely worried” about climate change. Forty-five percent of respondents said their “feelings about climate change negatively affected their daily life and functioning.” More than half of respondents reported feeling “sad, anxious, angry, powerless, helpless, and guilty.” (35)
A recent broadcast of the PBS NewsHour suggests that feeling distraught over climate change is a good thing. The segment featured an interview with climate psychology therapist Leslie Davenport who said, “One thing that’s really important to understand is we view distress, upset, sadness, grief, anger about climate change to be a really reasonable, even healthy reaction. Because it’s built into us as people that if we feel risks, threats, experience losses, there’s going to be upset. So it’s really important to acknowledge that if you’re feeling that on any level of intensity, it really means you’re paying attention, you care, you’re empathetic to what’s happening to our world.” (36) In this statement, we find a startling admission: The media wants you to feel bad about climate change in the hopes that you’ll be motivated to change the way you live your life. This message stands in stark contrast to the words of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who declared in John 14:1, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.” He then goes on to explain, “In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” We can have peace in our hearts because we know our Saviour has gone to prepare a place for His people and He’s coming back to get us. Remarkably, He spoke these words just a short time after warning His disciples in Luke 21:25-26, “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.” Sadly, one of the reasons “men’s hearts are failing them for fear” in this modern age is because they’re terrified of climate change.
Climate change anxiety is already having a detrimental impact on our world. In a recent piece published by the New Yorker, author Jia Tolentino confessed, “A couple of years ago, reading a climate report on my phone in the early hours of the morning, I went into a standard-issue emotional spiral thinking about it all. We had also recently had a baby, whose carbon footprint likely already exceeded that of entire villages in Burundi. I was playing whack-a-mole with my consumer desires.” (37) Clearly, she was feeling guilty about bringing a child into the world. Unfortunately, she is not alone in this way of thinking. In 2021, Morgan Stanley wrote in a letter to investors, “[The] movement to not have children owing to fears over climate change is growing and impacting fertility rates quicker than any preceding trend in the field of fertility decline.” An article published by The Washington Post in December 2022 quotes a woman who said, “I wanted to have a child, but I was also looking at the planet and thinking, ‘Well, what kind of future will we have if there’s more of the same?’” (38)
On August 10, 2023, The Wall Street Journal published a surprising article. The piece indicates that hospitals all over the United States are closing their maternity wards because there are not enough babies being born. “There’s just not enough babies to be had,” said Dr. Michael Cruz, chief operating officer of OSF Healthcare. About 2.2 million American women of childbearing age are living in “maternity deserts” where there are no hospitals or birth centers with doctors, nurses, or midwives with experience delivering babies. (39) You would expect to hear about these difficulties in poorer countries, but certainly not in the prosperous United States of America!
The logical conclusion is that if people stop reproducing, society will eventually crumble. As we get older and retire, there won’t be enough young people to replace us in the workforce. Some countries are already grappling with this problem due to negative population growth. In Japan, for example, one in three citizens between the ages of 70 and 74 are still working. (40) We can also look at China. Although China has the largest population in the world, that population began to decline for the first time in modern history in 2022. (41) A report from the New York Times published in February 2023 notes that once a country begins to experience a population decline, the trend is rarely reversed. “History suggests that once a country crosses the threshold of negative population growth, there is little that its government can do to reverse it. And as a country’s population grows more top-heavy, a smaller younger generation bears the increasing costs of caring for a larger, older one,” the report states. The lengthy piece also notes, “Countries such as the U.S. and Germany have been able to rely on robust immigration, even with relatively low birthrates.” (42) In other words, the only reason the population of the United States is still growing is because people from other countries are coming here.
Without a doubt, climate anxiety is causing a tremendous amount of problems. In fact, the anxiety itself is an existential threat to humanity. However, we can take comfort in the fact that the future is in God’s hands. Even the most educated scientists and experts do not know what the future holds, but God does. Though we live in a troubled world, we can find refuge in the One who knows the end from the beginning. Psalm 46:1-3 declares, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.” 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. If you have any prayer requests, we invite you to send them our way. Each request is always given individual attention. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
Samuel David Meyer
This newsletter is made possible by the kind donations of our supporters. If you would like to help us, you may send your contribution to our postal address or donate online at http://lasttrumpetnewsletter.org/donate.
01. NBC News August 22, 2023, By Denise Chow and Evan Bush, nbcnews.com.
02. CBS News, July 31, 2023, By CBS News, cbsnews.com.
03. ABC7 Los Angeles News, August 4, 2023, By ABC7 News, abc7.com.
04. El Paso Times, July 30, 2023, By Daniel Borunda and Eli Wizevich, elpasotimes.com.
05. The Weather Channel, July 31, 2023, By Jonathan Erdman, weather.com.
06. The Guardian, July 21, 2023, By Guardian Staff, theguardian.com.
08. NBC News, August 14, 2023, By Denise Chow, nbcnews.com.
09. Miami Herald, August 10, 2023, By Ashley Miznazi, news.yahoo.com.
10. The Guardian, August 23, 2023, By Richard Luscombe, theguardian.com.
11. CNN, August 25, 2023, By CNN, cnn.com.
12. Reuters, July 19, 2023, By Gloria Dickie, reuters.com.
13. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, June 15, 2023, dnr.wisconsin.gov.
14. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, June 28, 2023, By Christopher Kuhagen and Beck Andrew Salgado, http://jsonline.com.
16. US News and World Report, August 25, 2023, By Steven Reinberg, usnews.com.
17. WKOW News, August 17, 2023, By Grace Ulch, wkow.com.
18. ABC News, August 22, 2023, By Stephanie Ebbs, Julia Jacobo, Daniel Manzo, and Daniel Peck, abcnews.go.com.
19. CIFFC, August 29, 2023, ciffc.ca.
20. Axios, August 23, 2023, By Andrew Freedman, axios.com.
21. CBC News, August 11, 2023, By John Paul Tasker, cbc.ca.
22. CNN, August 17, 2023, By Mitchell McCluskey, Aya Elamroussi, and Alaa Elassar, cnn.com.
23. CTV News, August 29, 2023, By Natasha O’Neill, ctvnews.ca.
24. Associated Press, August 18, 2023, By Tammy Webber and Jim Morris, apnews.com.
25. Los Angeles Times, August 24, 2023, By Julia Wick and Rong-Gong Lin II, latimes.com.
26. NBC News, August 17, 2023, Updated August 19, 2023, By Tim Stelloh and David Douglas, nbcnews.com.
27. The Hill, August 23, 2023, By Lauren Sforza, thehill.com.
28. Associated Press, August 24, 2023, By Rebecca Boone, Heather Hollingsworth, Claudia Lauer, and Christopher L. Keller, apnews.com.
29. The Independent, August 15, 2023, By Bevan Hurley, independent.co.uk.
30. The New York Times, August 25, 2023, Updated August 26, 2023, By Tim Arango, and Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, nytimes.com.
31. The Independent, August 14, 2023, By Namita Singh, independent.co.uk.
32. CNN, August 11, 2023, By Aditi Sangal, Adrienne Vogt, Matt Meyer, Elise Hammond, Maureen Chowdhury, Elizabeth Wolfe, and Tori B. Powell, cnn.com.
33. Fox News, August 14, 2023, By Jessica Chasmar, foxnews.com.
34. Washington Examiner, August 22, 2023, By Christian Datoc, washingtonexaminer.com.
35. The Lancet, December 2021, By Caroline Hickman, Elizabeth Marks, Panu Pihkala, Susan Clayton, R. Eric Lewandowski, Elouise E. Mayall, Britt Wray, Catriona Mellor, and Lisa van Susteran, thelancet.com.
36. Newsbusters, August 5, 2023, By Clay Waters, newsbusters.org.
37. The Wall Street Journal, July 30, 2023, By Allysia Finley, wsj.com.
38. The Washington Post, December 2, 2022, By Shannon Osaka, washingtonpost.com.
39. The Wall Street Journal, August 10, 2023, By Melanie Evans, wsj.com.
40. Nippon, July 7, 2023, nippon.com.
41. The New York Times, February 9, 2023, Updated February 12, 2023, By Andrew Jacobs and Francesca Paris, nytimes.com.
If you would like to submit a prayer request, you may send email to email@example.com or mail it to our postal address.