Volume 42 Issue Eleven November 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
Is There Any Hope?
“That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast....”
In the early days of the 2020s as the world grappled with a global pandemic and the spread of a virus that came to be known as COVID-19, a new word crept into the English language. The term “doomscrolling,” which refers to the practice of obsessively reading or watching bad news online, especially on smartphones, first appeared on social media and soon appeared in news stories, too. Eventually the word became so common that it was added to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary in September 2023. (1) Over time, the obsession with the pandemic faded away only to be replaced with stories about economic woes, high inflation, failing banks, a war in Ukraine, the threat of nuclear war, wildfires, heatwaves, political scandals, climate change, climate change, and more climate change. For example, actor Morgan Freeman, appeared on ABC’s television program The View in October 2023 to warn viewers, “If we don't hurry up and change our ways, there's going to be a cataclysmic event that will wipe many of us off the face of the earth.” Freeman then attempted to offer a glimmer of hope, suggesting that the majority of the human race might be wiped out but “life” on earth would still continue without us. “How far back does life exist on this planet? And why does it still exist? It’s because life is tenacious. Life – we’re not talking about human beings here. We’re talking about the planet. She’ll stay.” (2) Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ does not agree with Freeman’s assessment. In Matthew 24:35 Jesus said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” Indeed, the Scriptures indicate that God’s people will live on even after the planet we presently occupy expires and is replaced. II Peter 3:12-13 declares, “Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.”
As would be expected, Freeman believes the cause of the “cataclysmic event” will be climate change. Truthfully though, the ultimate cause of the planet’s impending doom is global sinning, not global warming. Every calamitous event attributed to climate change is rooted in the fact that we live in a fallen world that is bending and breaking under the weight of sin.
In decades past, people would often get their news from nightly television broadcasts or from a daily newspaper. The broadcasts would end after a short time and you could finish an entire newspaper in one sitting. Today, we not only have unprecedented access to information, but we also have constant exposure to it. You could spend every waking moment of every day reading news reports or streaming news online from sources all over the world and still never run out of material. Yes, it is important to know what is happening in the world. However, we must ensure that the news we consume is properly balanced in light of God’s Word. As we navigate these days of unprecedented danger, you won’t find much hope in the bleak headlines of mainstream news, but you will find hope in the Scriptures. It is for this reason the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 15:4, “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” The hope we find in Jesus Christ strengthens and anchors us. Hebrews 6:18-19 declares, “That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast....”
This newsletter often covers difficult subject matter. However, it is not my desire that our readers feel discouraged or overwhelmed by the contents of these pages. Even as we “watch and pray” according to the command of our Saviour, we also know from Scripture that no matter what happens in this world, nothing can separate us from the love of God. Romans 8:37-39 proclaims, “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” If you have not yet repented of your sins and dedicated your life to God, I urge you to do so now.
The Age Of Dissatisfaction
If you look around at the world or spend time conversing with others, you’ll find that there is great dissatisfaction and unhappiness in our modern society. Even in the United States of America, which is sometimes called “the land of opportunity,” there is a prevailing sense that the world is unfair and people are not getting what they deserve. For example, in Hollywood, California, which is the center of the American film and television industry, dissatisfaction is widespread. This discontentment led to a summer of strikes in Tinseltown, as members of both the Writers Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild refused to work until more favorable terms were negotiated for writers and actors. It was the first double strike in Hollywood since 1960. (3) “There’s a lot of bitterness between the writers and the studios, and the actors and the studios,” said entertainment lawyer Jonathan Handel in July 2023. (4) The writers’ strike was finally resolved in October 2023, ending a work stoppage that lasted for five months. (5) However, the actors’ strike is still ongoing as of this writing. (6)
As would be expected, the recent strikes have delayed the release of many television programs and movies. While this development is likely disappointing to many fans, having less content to watch could accurately be called a blessing in disguise. Research published in March 2023 indicates that the average adult American watches 294 minutes of television per day. (7) Assuming an American is working for eight hours per day, sleeping for eight hours per night, and watching TV for more than four hours per day, there is little time left for anything else. Perhaps this is why Lifeway Research reported in 2023 that only 39 percent of adult Americans said they read the Bible three or more times per year. The research also found that only 24 percent of adult Americans read the Scriptures at least weekly. (8)
One group that is anxious for Hollywood to resume the production of television and film is the gay advocacy group known as G.L.A.A.D. Noting the power of Hollywood to promote and normalize the LGBTQ lifestyle, Sarah Kate Ellis, who is the group’s chief executive officer, was quoted as saying, “It is crucial that the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) reach a fair deal with striking writers and performers – that these talented creatives can return to work as soon as possible, so that the progress made in LGBTQ representation remains on track. LGBTQ stories told through film have a powerful and inextricable link to culture-change. With more people than ever now empowered to live authentically and openly, the cost of lost progress in LGBTQ representation on-screen means erasure. As the LGBTQ movement has always been, this is a fight and a demand to exist.” According to the Hollywood Reporter, 28.5 percent of all movies released in 2022 featured an LGBTQ character. (9)
While the Hollywood strikes have garnered a lot of attention in recent months, these were far from the only work stoppages this year. According to CNBC, there have been 312 strikes involving 453,000 workers in 2023, including the United Autoworkers strike and a recent three-day walkout at Kaiser Permanente that involved 75,000 medical workers. “This is a pretty considerable uptick relative to the rest of the 21st century,” said Johnnie Kallas of Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations. (10)
The American Illusion
Why are labor strikes so common these days? One contributing factor is the fact that the American people are finding it increasingly difficult to make ends meet in this era of persistently high inflation. It was reported in August by LendingClub that 60 percent of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck. (11) In yet another sign of the fading prosperity of the United States, the Wall Street Journal put it bluntly, declaring in its headline on October 16, 2023, “It’s Getting Too Expensive to Have Fun.” The story notes that 60 percent of respondents to a recent survey said they’ve been forced to reduce the amount of money they spend on live entertainment, such as concerts, sporting events, and amusement parks, because of a new phenomenon known as “funflation.” One mother lamented the fact that she was unable to take her daughter to a Taylor Swift concert. “Do I do something that feels really irresponsible and take this check and make my daughter’s dreams come true?” she wondered. Why the struggle? The average price for a ticket to a Swift concert on the ticket reseller website known as StubHub is a whopping $1,095. (12) I personally do not understand the obsession with Taylor Swift, but she did offer a possible clue as to why so many love her music in 2020 when she said that her song Willow “sounds like casting a spell to make someone fall in love with you.” (13)
In more prosperous times, young people used to believe that the American Dream was attainable. This dream usually involved a well-paying job, home ownership, and the ability to have and raise a family. Yet, the 2023 U.S. Home Affordability Report from the research firm known as ATTOM, found that soaring home prices and high interest rates on mortgages have made the prospect of owning a home untenable for many people. The report found that the typical mortgage payment, which includes property taxes and insurance, is now $2053 per month. Thus, it costs the average American nearly 35 percent of their monthly income just to make payments for their house. According to traditional lending guidelines, the cost of a mortgage should not exceed 28 percent of a family’s income. (14) As a result of the hefty cost of living in this modern age, many young adults are forgoing home ownership altogether and instead living with their parents. According to an article published by Bloomberg News on September 20, 2023, nearly half of all young adults between the ages of 18 and 29 are living with their parents or grandparents. “We’re in an economy where it’s harder to live independently. Adults recognize that it’s tough these days,” said Carol Sigelman, a professor of social psychology at George Washington University. One woman who was interviewed for the piece was quoted as saying, “People my age were being fed this dream that you could go to college, get a job in corporate America and buy a house. That dream is unattainable.” As a result of this trend, the authors of the article surmised, “For many, the American Dream is more like an American illusion.” (15)
Yet another indicator that the American people have grown disillusioned is reflected on the abysmal approval rating of American President Joseph Robinette Biden. According to polling released by Gallup on October 26, 2023, Biden’s overall approval rating is only 37 percent. This rating includes an eleven percentage point slide amongst Democrats. (16) However, one person who believes Joe Biden is doing a wonderful job as President of the United States is Joe Biden. In a speech given on October 23, 2023, President Biden told his audience, “I truly believe this country is about to take off, because, for the first time in a long time, we’re investing in America and we’re investing in American people. We’re investing in our future. And I can honestly say I’ve never been more optimistic about America’s future.” (17) To further convince the American public that all is well, the Biden campaign has already spent twenty-five million dollars on campaign ads despite the fact that the election is not until next year. Will this ad campaign be effective? Here let it be noted that a poll conducted by CNN in September 2023 found that 67 percent of Democrat-leaning voters said they don’t want Biden as their nominee in 2024. (18) Clearly, the current President of the United States does not inspire confidence. Considering the fact that we are living in an especially volatile period of time which could see much of the world engulfed in war and conflict, having a weak Commander in Chief could prove to be a serious disadvantage to the United States.
A Cup Of Trembling
The world at this present time is facing extraordinary danger. The conflict now underway between the State of Israel and the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip could very quickly spiral out of control and potentially draw other countries from all over the world into the fray. The horrific events that have transpired in Israel and Gaza have already resulted in thousands of lives being lost and could easily result in thousands more being lost in the weeks and months to come. While everyone analyzes and assesses the situation and a wide array of opinions are promulgated by world leaders, politicians, news outlets, and citizens of countries around the world, we should never lose sight of the fact that people are dying, needlessly so, and that is a tragedy. There is no justification for the unprovoked slaughter of infants, children, and everyday people who are just trying to live their lives.
For the entirety of my life, the State of Israel and the Palestinians have been at odds with one another. Many men and women have sought to find a peaceful solution to the dispute and have been unable to do so even as the decades come and go. Zechariah 12:2-3 accurately describes Jerusalem as a “cup of trembling.” These verses read, “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.” The imagery of a trembling cup suggests an unstable condition in which the contents could spill out at any moment. Sadly, the threat of violence and conflict spilling out in Israel never seems to go away.
When Hamas operatives from the Gaza Strip launched an attack in recent weeks against the State of Israel, it marked the start of yet another conflict. While there have been many conflicts in the past, it feels different this time. The brutality is more severe and the hatred runs deeper than ever. According to reports, Hamas operatives slaughtered 1,400 Israeli citizens on October 7, 2023, and took more than two hundred hostages. In retaliation, Israeli forces have launched a furious attack against Gaza, which has resulted in the death of 8,306 Palestinians, including 3,457 children as of October 30, 2023. Another 1,800 people are missing. (19) Regarding the desperate situation in Gaza, Rick Brennan of the World Health Organization was quoted as saying, “It’s a disaster on top of a disaster. Health needs are soaring and our ability to meet those needs is rapidly declining.” (20)
Israeli officials, which have now launched a ground attack against Hamas after several days of aerial bombardments, have said that this is just the beginning of the war and they expect it to go on for quite some time. “This is our second War of Independence. We are only at the beginning,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant further warned, “This will not be a short war.” (21)
The longer the war continues the greater the chances are that other countries will become entangled in the fight. Iran has already hinted it might get involved though it is not certain if they intend to engage Israeli forces directly or by proxy militant groups. On October 29, 2023, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi wrote on the social networking website formerly known as Twitter that Israel “had crossed the red lines, which may force everyone to take action.” (22) In similar fashion, Ali Fadavi, who is the deputy commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards, issued a warning stating, “Another shockwave is on the way if Israel does not end atrocities in Gaza.” Fadavi later told students at the University of Tehran, “Some of you young people consider practical action to be a direct missile to Haifa,” he said, referencing the city in northern Israel. “Of course, if it is necessary, this will be done, and it will be done without hesitation.” (23) Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivered a fiery speech on October 28, 2023, and issued a veiled threat against the State of Israel. “From now on, we will continue on our path with the motto that we may suddenly knock on your door one night,” Erdogan said. The enthusiastic crowd was heard to chant, “Turkish military to Gaza!” (24)
On October 17, 2023, the New York Times reported that United States Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin had ordered two thousand U.S. troops to prepare for deployment to the Middle East. (25) Ultimately, nine hundred of those troops were deployed in response to increasing attacks against U.S. military forces in Iraq and Syria. The United States has also sent two aircraft carriers and fighter jets to the region in recent days. (26) Since October 17, 2023, American forces have been attacked by armed drones twenty-three times. (27) Department of Defense spokesman Brigadier General Patrick Ryder said Iran would be held responsible for these attacks. “By virtue of the fact that they are supported by Iran, we will ultimately hold Iran responsible,” he said. He later went on to say, “We are concerned about escalation. We are all watching increased tensions in the region and again we want to deter this from becoming a bigger conflict.” (28)
American President Joe Biden has pledged his unwavering support for the State of Israel. “Israel has the right to defend itself and its people. Full stop. There’s never a justification for terrorist attacks. And my administration’s support for Israel’s security is rock solid and unwavering,” the President said. (29) Biden’s support for Israel, however, has put him at odds with members of his own political party. A study conducted by Gallup in March 2023 found that 49 percent of Democrats polled said they sympathize with the Palestinians versus 38 percent who said they support Israel. (30) Additionally, protests and demonstrations in support of the Palestinians have occurred in numerous places across the United States in recent days. For example, seven thousand protestors flooded the streets of New York City on October 28, 2023, in support of the Palestinians with many of them also expressing support for Hamas. (31) The Israeli-Hamas conflict has laid bare the acrimonious division not only in the United States, but throughout the entire world. Could we see a global war? God only knows. I pray we do not.
One thing is certain, our world at this pivotal moment in history is filled with a lot of outrage. The world is fraying at the seams, anger is boiling over, and the world has become a very dangerous place. When Jesus Christ said there would be wars and rumors of wars in the days leading up to His return, He knew exactly what He was talking about.
Thank you all for your kind support of this ministry. It is my hope and prayer that the peace of Jesus Christ will reign in your hearts even in these days of great turmoil. If you have any prayer requests, great or small, please do not hesitate to send them our way. We always give each request individual attention. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
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. Merriam Webster, merriam-webster.com.
02. Entertainment Weekly, October 25, 2023, By Joey Nolfi, ew.com.
03. Barron’s, July 13, 2023, By AFP, barrons.com.
05. Reuters, October 9, 2023, By Lisa Richwine, reuters.com.
06. Reuters, October 27, 2023, By Gursimran Kaur and Dawn Chmielewski, reuters.com.
07. Marketing Charts, March 31, 2023, By Marketing Charts, marketingcharts.com.
08. Lifeway Research, April 27, 2023, By Aaron Earls, research.lifeway.com.
09. The Hollywood Reporter, September 14, 2023, By Chris Gardner, hollywoodreporter.com.
10. CNBC, October 9, 2023, By Jessica Dickler, cnbc.com.
11. CNBC, September 27, 2023, By Jessica Dickler, cnbc.com.
12. The Wall Street Journal, October 16, 2023, By Robbie Whelan and Anne Steele, wsj.com.
13. Religion News Service, December 22, 2020, By Emily McFarlan Miller, religionnews.com.
14. ATTOM, September 28, 2023, By ATTOM Team, attomdata.com.
15. Bloomberg News, September 20, 2023, By Claire Ballentine and Paulina Cachero, bloomberg.com.
16. Gallup, October 26, 2023, By Megan Brenan, gallup.com.
17. Whitehouse.gov, Remarks by President Joe Biden, October 23, 2023, whitehouse.gov.
18. Axios, September 7, 2023, By Shauneen Miranda, axios.com.
19. Reuters, October 30, 2023, By Nidal al-Mughrabi and Henrietta Chacar, reuters.com.
21. The Wall Street Journal, October 28, 2023, By Chao Deng, Omar Abdel-Baqui, and Ari Flanzraich, wsj.com.
22. NBC News, October 29, 2023, By Alexander Smith, nbcnews.com.
23. The Jerusalem Post, October 23, 2023, By Jerusalem Post Staff, jpost.com.
24. The Express, October 28, 2023, By Liam Doyle, express.co.uk.
25. The New York Times, October 17, 2023, By Eric Schmitt, nytimes.com.
26. Reuters News Service, October 26, 2023, By Idrees Ali and Phil Stewart, reuters.com.
27. The Military Times, October 30, 2023, By Meghann Myers, militarytimes.com.
28. Politico, October 23, 2023, By Lara Seligman, politico.com.
29. Politico, October 7, 2023, By Myah Ward and Craig Howie, politico.com.
30. Gallup, March 16, 2023, By Lydia Saad, gallup.com.
31. The New York Post, October 28, 2023, By Larry Celona, Georgia Worrell, Valentina Jaramillo, Matthew Sedacca, Rich Calder and Katherine Donlevy, nypost.com.
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