Volume 43         Issue Two         February 2024

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

Ninety Seconds To Midnight


“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.”


Matthew 24:6-8


Each year, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists gives an annual update on the condition of the world according to their reckoning. Most famously, the Bulletin is known for its symbolic Doomsday Clock, which represents how close our world is to “midnight” or to the end of the world. On January 23, 2024, the Bulletin issued its latest update, declaring, “It is still 90 seconds to midnight.” Although the time on this symbolic clock is the same as it was last year, its advancement in 2023 represents a belief by some of the world’s brightest minds that the world has never been more dangerous than it is right now, and we have never been as close to the end as we are right now. In its annual report, the Bulletin wrote, “Today, we once again set the Doomsday Clock at 90 seconds to midnight because humanity continues to face an unprecedented level of danger. Our decision should not be taken as a sign that the international security situation has eased. Instead, leaders and citizens around the world should take this statement as a stark warning and respond urgently, as if today were the most dangerous moment in modern history. Because it may well be.” (1)


The Bulletin has long focused on the dangers of nuclear weapons, which still remain an existential threat to the entire world. Despite the concern, protests, and nuclear arms treaties that have been put in place in years past, the most powerful nations in the world are working feverishly to ramp up their nuclear capabilities. “China, Russia, and the United States are all spending huge sums to expand or modernize their nuclear arsenals, adding to the ever-present danger of nuclear war through mistake or miscalculation,” the Bulletin writes. (2) 


Is the concern over nuclear weapons overblown? When Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, news headlines were suddenly abuzz with the potential for nuclear war. Young people who had never really considered the possibility that world leaders could be foolish enough to actually use nuclear weapons were suddenly confronted with this reality for the first time. It was uncomfortable, but the concern was short-lived, and few people are still talking about it. Yet, recent headlines suggest that the threat is very real and even increasing as the world becomes embroiled in conflict and war. Indeed, since October of last year, Hamas attacked Israel, Israel attacked Gaza, ISIS attacked Iran, Iran attacked Pakistan, Hezbollah attacked Israel, Israel attacked Hezbollah, and American troops are waging a war with the Houthis from Yemen, even if American President Joe Biden refuses to call it a war. All of this is occurring while the war between Russia and Ukraine rages on, China continues to threaten Taiwan, and North Korea is threatening to attack South Korea. All it would take for nuclear war to break out is for a world leader with nuclear capabilities to become enraged enough, insane enough, hateful enough, or desperate enough to use them.


True And False Peace


If something seems strangely familiar about the scenario playing out on the global scene, perhaps you’ve been reading your Bible. In Matthew 24:6-8, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ warns, “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.” There have been “wars and rumours of wars” since the days when Jesus ascended into heaven. Yet, these wars and rumors are growing increasingly prevalent and complex in our modern time. According to a document published by the United Nations in January 2023, the world is facing the highest number of violent conflicts since the Second World Warand “a pervasive sense of insecurity.” (3) If the world is facing the highest number of conflicts since World War II, could there soon be a third world war?


The fact that there is so much war and conflict in our present time is evidence that the United Nations has failed in its mission to bring about lasting peace. What is their solution? “There is only one route to durable peace,” claimed UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed. She then went on to suggest that the entire world must embrace sustainable development. “When we fail to meet the development needs of our time, we fail to secure peace for our future,” she said. (4) 


It should be noted that when the United Nations talks about “sustainable development,” it is directly related to the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a sweeping agenda published in 2016 that affects nearly every aspect of the human experience. Yet, we are now just six years away from 2030, and all signs suggest that the United Nations is far from reaching its goals. In fact, there is a growing dissatisfaction with the UN. On September 16, 2023, Bloomberg News published a headline declaring, “World Disappointed by the UN Now Looks Elsewhere for Answers.” (5) The report notes that the United Nations has become increasingly ineffective at resolving the world’s conflicts and disputes. “It’s very disappointing that the Security Council isn’t able to respond in an effective way to serious breaches of security around the world,” said Taiwanese politician Hsiao Bi-Khim. “We’re all aware of our shared interests and agenda in keeping global peace. That’s why the UN was founded.” (6) Manoj Joshi, who is a distinguished fellow at the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi, India, also weighed in, stating, “The UN is as it has been — the divisions in the world order have prevented its effective functioning for some time now.”  (7)


In another report, The Wall Street Journal went so far as to call the United Nations “irrelevant.” (8)

Noting that the Presidents of Russia, China, and France, and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom didn’t even bother to attend the general assembly in September 2023, the Journal asks, “In the emerging world order of rogue regimes and multi-polar power centers, what good does the UN do anymore? (9)


The previously mentioned Bloomberg piece suggests that the growing consortium of nations known as BRICS could step in to fill the power vacuum left by an ineffective United Nations. “We should help reform global governance,” said Chinese President Xi Jinping. (10) The acronym BRICS stands for Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. In January 2024, the expanding group added Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates to its membership. (11) According to the BBC, politicians in Brazil and Russia have suggested the formation of a BRICS currency that would rival the United States’ dollar in matters of international trade. Thus, one of the major goals of BRICS is to weaken the influence that the West, and especially the United States, has on the rest of the world. “Through BRICS, China is trying to grow its power and influence - especially in Africa. It wants to be the leading voice for the Global South,” opined Professor Padraig Camody of Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. (12)  


Global organizations, such as the World Economic Forum, Group of 20, International Monetary Fund, and the United Nations all exist under the guise of making the world more peaceful and prosperous. However, the simple fact is that you cannot have peace in a world that refuses to acknowledge the Prince of Peace. That is why all attempts to bring about peace have failed even to this day. The peace that comes from God is the only legitimate peace, and unless the world turns to God in repentance and follows the teachings of Jesus Christ, true peace will remain elusive. In John 14:27, Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”  As the world moves further away from peace, we must move closer to our Saviour. If you have not yet repented of your sins and dedicated your life to God, I urge you to do so now.


A Powder Keg In Europe


When a situation becomes increasingly volatile, it is often described with the idiom “a powder keg waiting to explode.” This idiom is a fitting description of what is happening in Europe where the war in Ukraine has now persisted for nearly two years. This war has come at an enormous cost in terms of human lives. According to estimates from the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence, the Russian military is on pace to lose more than 500,000 soldiers by the end of 2024. (13) Will the hostilities between Russia and Ukraine ever end? Based on recent comments from the deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, it seems unlikely the conflict between Russia and its neighbor will reach a peaceful resolution any time soon. “No matter who stands at the helm of the cancerous growth called Ukraine, it will not make their rule legitimate, nor will it make the ‘country’ legally viable. Therefore, the likelihood of a new fight will persist indefinitely,” Medvedev said.  (14)


To be sure, Ukraine would have fallen to Russia long ago without intervention from the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. (NATO) Since the war began in 2022, the United States has approved more than 113 billion dollars in support for Ukraine according to CNN. (15) As would be expected, Russian President Vladimir Putin has great disdain for the United States and the West. When Putin was asked at a public event, “What do you think of the assistance by Western countries to our adversary?” he responded by saying, “The point is not that they are helping our adversary. They [the Western countries] are our adversary.” (16)


Why have the United States and other countries given so many resources to Ukraine? It is widely believed that Russia will attack other countries, too, if it defeats Ukraine. This sentiment was expressed by United States Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, who said on December 6, 2023, “If Ukraine falls, Putin will not stop there. He will be emboldened. President Xi will be emboldened. Our adversaries will keep undermining us at every turn. Western democracy will begin to enter an age of decline if we aren’t willing to defend it.” (17) However, some lawmakers in Washington are reluctant to authorize more funding for Ukraine, given the exorbitant amount that has already been spent. How much more will it take? Schumer, for his part, pledged to keep fighting to send Ukraine more money. “One thing is certain: We’re going to keep going to get this done. If we don’t act, Ukraine will fall. … And everyday Americans will feel the impact, not years but months away,” Schumer pleaded on January 24, 2024. American President Joe Biden has asked Congress to authorize another 61.4 billion dollars in aid for Ukraine. (18)


The United States and its NATO allies have taken great care to ensure that their militaries have no direct confrontation with the Russian military. After all, a direct military conflict could result in World War III. Despite their cautious actions, however, recent headlines reveal that much of Europe is on edge as it anticipates the war spilling over the Ukrainian borders. For example, in Germany, a newspaper known as BILD published classified documents from the German government outlining its plans to deal with a Russian offensive against their country. (19) Sweden, too, is actively preparing for a war with Russia. “Many have said this before me, but allow me to reiterate by the power of my office – a war may erupt in Sweden,” declared Carl-Oskar Bohlin, who is the Minister for Civil Defence in Sweden. (20) Officials in The Netherlands have also sounded the alarm. “The Netherlands should be seriously afraid of war, and our society should prepare for it… Russia is getting stronger,” said Lieutenant General Martin Wijnen, who is the commander of the Royal Netherlands Army. (21) Admiral Rob Bauer, a naval officer from the Netherlands, also warned that there could soon be a war with Russia. “We have to realize it’s not a given that we are in peace. And that’s why we [NATO forces] are preparing for conflict with Russia,” the officer said. He further went on to say, “But the discussion is much wider. It is also the industrial base and also the people that have to understand they play a role.” Finally, he went on to suggest that the next twenty years could be a difficult time for NATO countries. “It starts there. The realization that not everything is plannable and not everything is going to be hunky dory in the next twenty years.” (22)


Meanwhile, controversy stirred in the United Kingdom when General Sir Patrick Sanders, who is a senior British Army officer and the Chief of the General Staff, suggested that it may be necessary to conscript British citizens to the military in the event of a war with Russia. “Within the next three years, it must be credible to talk of a British Army of 120,000, folding in our reserve and strategic reserve. But that’s not enough,” Sanders said. In response to the ensuing uproar over the remarks, a spokesman for the British Prime Minister reassured British citizens, “The British military has a proud position of being a voluntary force. As I say, there’s no plan for conscription.” (23)


Without a doubt, war is on the minds of military officials in Europe. As such, NATO has announced that the military alliance will hold its largest military drills since 1988, when the Cold War was still ongoing. Ninety thousand troops are expected to take part in the operation known as “Steadfast Defender 2024.” Speaking of the upcoming exercises, NATO was quoted as saying, “Steadfast Defender 2024 will demonstrate NATO’s ability to rapidly deploy forces from North America and other parts of the alliance to reinforce the defense of Europe.”  (24)


In other related news, a report published in late January 2024 indicates that the United States will place nuclear weapons in the United Kingdom for the first time in fifteen years. (25) This news comes even as the Russian media reports the deployment of a new nuclear explosion simulator in Russia. “The invention will be used in exercises and practical training with military units to improve the quality of training of the ground forces for combat operations in the context of the use of nuclear weapons, as well as radiation, chemical, biological ground reconnaissance units to determine the parameters and detect the epicenter of a nuclear explosion,” said the Russian media outlet known as TASS. (26)


A New War In The Middle East


Even as much of Europe frets over the possibility of a widening war in their backyard, the United States is already at war in the Middle East. Although the United States government has been reluctant to characterize the conflict as a war, the simple fact remains that American troops are being systematically attacked, and the American military has responded with force on multiple occasions. “We are not at war with the Houthis,” said Pentagon spokesperson Sabrina Singh, in reference to the militant group from Yemen. “The Houthis are the ones that continue to launch cruise missiles, anti-ship missiles at innocent mariners. ... What we are doing, with our partners, is self-defense,” she insisted in mid-January 2024. (27)  It should be noted that defense is a part of war. After all, that’s why the United States has a Department of Defense.


In retaliation for Israel’s offensive in Gaza, which began in October 2023, Houthi militants in Yemen have blocked, seized, or outright attacked multiple cargo ships in the Red Sea. According to United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the Houthi attacks have disrupted nearly 20 percent of global shipping. (28) Sky News reported that global shipping costs have risen more than 300 percent since November 2023 as a result of the disruptions in the Red Sea. (29) On January 12, 2024, the United States, with assistance from the United Kingdom and other allies, launched a series of missile strikes against Houthi forces in Yemen. In a statement explaining the decision, American President Joe Biden said, “These targeted strikes are a clear message that the United States and our partners will not tolerate attacks on our personnel or allow hostile actors to imperil freedom of navigation in one of the world's most critical commercial routes.” (30) More missile strikes followed, including an operation that destroyed fourteen Houthi missiles on January 17. (31) Following the operation, reporters asked President Biden if the missile strikes were working. In response, Biden replied, “Well, when you say working, are they stopping the Houthis? No. Are they gonna continue? Yes.”  (31)


If anything, the conflict in the Middle East is rapidly deteriorating. According to a report published by the United States Department of Defense on January 29, 2024, American troops and their allies have been attacked more than 150 times in Iraq and Syria since the war between Israel and Hamas broke out. (32) On January 28, an attack against U.S. troops was launched for the first time in Jordan. The drone assault killed three American soldiers and injured more than 40 others. The Pentagon said that Iran is ultimately responsible for the attack. “We know that Iran is behind it. And certainly as we've said before ... Iran continues to arm and equip these groups to launch these attacks, and we will certainly hold them responsible," the Pentagon’s spokesperson said. (33)


Some politicians in Washington are calling on President Biden to launch a direct attack against Iran. “The only answer to these attacks must be devastating military retaliation against Iran's terrorist forces, both in Iran and across the Middle East,” insisted U.S. Senator Tom Cotton, a Republican. Representative Mike Rogers, another Republican, also demanded action be taken against Iran. “It's long past time for President Biden to finally hold the terrorist Iranian regime and their extremist proxies accountable for the attacks they've carried out,” he said. Representative Barbara Lee, who is a Democrat, was quoted as saying, “As we see now, it is spiraling out of control. It's beginning to emerge as a regional war, and unfortunately, the United States and our troops are in harm's way.” (34)


The dictionary defines war as “a conflict carried on by force of arms, as between nations or between parties within a nation; warfare, as by land, sea, or air.” Based on this definition, the United States is already at war with militants that are presumably backed by Iran. How bad will the conflict get? If the United States does directly attack Iran, this could easily lead to World War III. Thus we see there are now multiple paths to a global war that could become the most devastating war the world has ever experienced.   


In closing, it is evident that we are living in exceptionally precarious times. The crisis at the U.S. southern border has spurred a showdown between Texas Governor Greg Abbott and the Biden Administration. After Abbott erected razor wire along the border, the Biden administration sued the Texas government, and the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Biden’s favor. However, Governor Abbott has continued to use razor wire as a deterrent along the border, and rumors are swirling that the showdown could result in an American Civil War. On January 25, 2024, Newsweek published a story with the headline, “Greg Abbott's Fight With Biden Sparks Warnings 'Civil War' Has Begun.” (35) When Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick was asked during an interview if the dispute could “turn into a civil war,” he replied, “We believe constitutionally we are right, and we have a right to defend our citizens, we have a right to defend this country and we are just doing our job. These young women and men who serve our National Guard and our DPS, these are the best of the best of the best. Why would he [Biden] want to send anyone down to confront them?” (36)


One thing I have learned over the years is that it is not wise to jump to conclusions. We cannot assume that World War III will break out or that there will be a second American Civil War. The truth is that we don’t know for certain, but we do know that the danger is real and these wars could become our reality very soon. We also see Scripture being fulfilled before our eyes. What should we do? In I Thessalonians 5:5-8 we find the answer: “Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.”


Thank you all for your kind support of this ministry. We invite you to send us your prayer requests as always. Each request is 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. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, January 23, 2024, By John Mecklin, thebulletin.org.

02. Ibid.

03. The United Nations, January 26, 2023, By UN Press, press.un.org.

04. Ibid.

05. Bloomberg, September 16, 2023, By Iain Marlow, bloomberg.com.

06. Ibid.

07. Ibid.

08. The Wall Street Journal, September 19, 2023, By The Editorial Board, wsj.com.

09. Ibid.

10. Bloomberg, September 16, 2023, By Iain Marlow, bloomberg.com.

11. BBC News, December 29, 2023, By BBC News, bbc.com.

12. Ibid.

13. The Guardian, January 6, 2024, By Guardian Staff, theguardian.com.

14. Newsmax, January 17, 2024, By Sandy Fitzgerald, newsmax.com.

15. CNN, September 21, 2023, By Zachary B. Wolf, cnn.com.

16. The Hill, January 8, 2024, By Alexander J. Motyl, thehill.com.

17. The U.S. Senate, December 6, 2024, democrats.senate.gov.

18. The New York Post, January 24, 2024, By Josh Christenson, nypost.com.

19. Fox News, January 15, 2024, By Greg Wehner, foxnews.com.

20. Essa News, January 11, 2024, By MUP, essanews.com.

21. Newsweek, December 28, 2024, By Jon Jackson, newsweek.com.

22. The Telegraph, January 18, 2024, By Joe Barnes, telegraph.co.uk.

23. The Telegraph, January 25, 2024, By Danielle Sheridan,  telegraph.co.uk.

24. Reuters, January 18, 2024, By Sabine Siebold and Andrew Gray, reuters.com.

25. The Times, January 27, 2024, By David Charter, Alistair Dawber, and Michael Evans, thetimes.co.uk.

26. Newsweek, January 23, 2024, By Kaitlin Lewis, newsweek.com.

27. Reuters, January 18, 2024, By Reuters, reuters.com.

28. The Times of Israel, January 8, 2024, By Jacob Magid, timesofisrael.com.

29. Sky News, January 12, 2024, By James Sillars, news.sky.com.

30. Sky News, January 14, 2024, By Sky News, news.sky.com.

31. Associated Press, January 18, 2024, By Tara Copp and Lolita C. Baldor, apnews.com.

32. The U.S. Department of Defense, January 29, 2024, By C. Todd Lopez, defense.gov.

33. Ibid.

34. Reuters, January 29, 2024, By Phil Stewart and Idrees Ali, reuters.com.

35. Newsweek, January 25, 2024, By Katherine Fung, newsweek.com.

36. Newsweek, January 28, 2024, By Natalie Venegas, newsweek.com.