Volume 43         Issue Seven         July 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


What Is Truth?


“Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.”


         John 18:37-38


We hear a lot about disinformation and “fake news” these days. Yet, this is not a new problem. In fact, the very first disinformation campaign occurred in the Garden of Eden when the serpent beguiled Eve, enticed her to eat the forbidden fruit, and told her lies that she chose to believe. What were those lies? Genesis 3:4-5 explains, “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” Humanity has suffered the consequences of these lies since the fall of man.


By the days of Isaiah the Prophet, conditions had only worsened. Isaiah 59:4 laments, “None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity.” The prophet further tells us in Isaiah 59:14, “And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.” This verse describes a societal condition in which there is such little regard for the truth that it is cast out into the street like refuse and trodden underfoot.  


When Jesus Christ came to this world, He, too, encountered a culture that stood in opposition to the truth. In fact, Jesus was hated because He only spoke the truth. In John 8:45, Jesus told His opponents, “And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.” Since the early days of humanity, people have embraced lies and disregarded the truth. The irony, of course, is that if Jesus had spoken lies, He would have been accepted by His opponents. The scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees would have loved Him!


Our Saviour’s ministry revealed many important truths. He taught us that we who have sinned must repent. For example, Matthew 4:17 tells us, “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” In Luke 13:3, He again preached repentance, warning, “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” Jesus revealed that the religious structure of His day, led chiefly by the Pharisees, was rife with hypocrisy. In Luke 12:1 He admonished, “Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.” Our Lord and Saviour also taught us the essential truth that love is one of the defining characteristics of God’s people. John 13:34-35 declares, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” He further reveals to us the most important truth of all: That Jesus Christ is the way to salvation. John 14:6 declares, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Every word ever spoken by Jesus Christ is absolutely true. If you ever feel lost in the maze of confusion that this modern world has become, you can always look to Jesus to find the truth. It is for this reason John 8:31-32 tells us, “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” If you have not yet repented of your sins and dedicated your life to God, I urge you to do so now.


Apathy For The Truth


As people continue to struggle to find and comprehend the truth, a new problem has emerged. Young people today, particularly those who belong to Generation Z, are apathetic to the truth. In these modern times, the population at large has become so attached to their devices that smartphones now function like an extension of one’s mind and consciousness. It is a digital appendage, in such a way that if you take someone’s phone away, they feel like a piece of themselves is missing. Consequently, there is such an oversaturation of content on the Internet and on social media that young people find it takes too much effort to distinguish between truth and untruth.


Researchers from a Google subsidiary known as Jigsaw recently set out on a study to understand how young people read and digest news and information online. What they learned was alarming to say the least. Researchers found that many young people do not read actual news stories. Instead, they immediately scroll to the bottom of the story to read the comments section to decide if the headline is true or not. In other words, rather than discern the truth themselves, they are guided by consensus from their peers. Business Insider, which covered the research from Jigsaw, wrote in its piece, “Where older generations are out there struggling to fact-check information and cite sources, Gen Zers don't even bother. They just read the headlines and then speed-scroll to the comments, to see what everyone else says. They're outsourcing the determination of truth and importance to like-minded, trusted influencers. And if an article's too long, they just skip it. They don't want to see stuff that might force them to think too hard, or that upsets them emotionally.”  (1)


For a generation that believes you can pick your pronouns and gender, the truth is subjective, and nothing is set in stone. “The old guard is like: 'Yeah, but you have to care ultimately about the truth.' The Gen Z take is: 'You can tell me your truth and what you think is important,” said Jigsaw’s CEO Yasmin Green. (2) Evidently, young people today are confusing truth with opinions. Opinions are subjective, but the truth never is.


Interestingly enough, the researchers also found that young people have a mistrust of traditional news sources. Instead, they turn to their favorite influencers on social media websites such as TikTok and Instagram. “Gen Zers will have a favorite influencer or set of influencers who they essentially outsource their trust to, and then they're incredibly loyal to everything that influencer is saying. It becomes extremely costly to fall out of that influencer's group, because they're getting all their information from them," said Jigsaw’s head of research Beth Goldberg. (3) To me, it sounds like Goldberg is describing cult leaders with devoted followers who are unable to think for themselves. Interestingly enough, LinkedIn published a story in 2019 with the headline “Unchecked Influencers Are Cult Leaders.” (4) It is a safe guess that cult leaders of the past, such as Jim Jones and Charles Manson, would have loved social media.


According to a recent report published by Patheos, one million young people leave Christianity every year. (5) Yet, despite this mass exodus from the faith, human beings have an innate desire for a spiritual experience. Some find this spiritual experience in an almost religious-like devotion to their favorite influencers. Needless to say, those who seek to share the gospel with young people are facing a difficult task. If young people cannot even be bothered to read an entire news story but instead skip ahead to the comments, how will they be able to study the Word of God in any great depth? If they believe the truth is subjective and open to interpretation, how will they ever accept the truth of God’s Word that is so often contrary to societal norms? Thankfully, God is greater than any influencer in this world, and He is able to reach the lost even in this time of great apathy and deception. God has always had a people, and He will continue to have a people even to the very end.


The Decline Of The Media


The year was 1999. Even before the sun had risen, I was crawling out of my bed, bleary-eyed and half-awake, making preparations to carry out an important task. I would descend the stairs, unlock the front door, and pull my bundles from the porch. I would dutifully count my papers to make sure I had the proper amount, and I would stuff my bag as full as I could. Equipped with an ample supply of rubber bands, I would roll newspapers as I walked and deliver them to fifty homes spanning five city blocks in my hometown of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. Like my father and my older brother, I was one of many boys who participated in the time-honored tradition of newspaper delivery. As I walked along my route with the sun slowly rising overhead, it never once occurred to me that I was doing something that no one would still be doing twenty-five years later. Today, the Daily Citizen newspaper is a shadow of its former self. Paper carriers no longer deliver it. Like many other regional papers, the Daily Citizen was bought out by a larger company years ago. Today, small newspapers are dying off at a rapid pace, and the entire news industry is in a state of upheaval.


To be sure, mainstream news has long been manipulated. Most newspapers today are heavily biased and slant the news to fit their ideologies and agendas. For this reason, a growing number of Americans no longer trust the news. This trend is especially noticeable in the 2024 Digital News Report from the Reuters Institute at Oxford. According to the researchers responsible for the annual report, only 50 percent of American respondents to their survey said they trust the New York Times. Similarly, only 47 percent said they trust USA Today, 49 percent said they trust The Wall Street Journal, 46 percent said they trust the Washington Post, and 58 percent said they trust regional or local newspapers. (6) Television news is also viewed with a heavy dose of skepticism by many people. Among those surveyed, only 52 percent said they trust ABC News, BBC News, and CBS News. Other news networks faired even worse with 48 percent saying they trust CNN and 43 percent saying they trust Fox News. (7) In another study published by Gallup in October 2023, only 32 percent of respondents said they have a “great deal” or “fair amount” of trust in mainstream news reporting. Conversely, 39 percent of respondents said they have “no confidence at all” in the news media. (8)


The general mistrust of the media and the rise of the Internet has decimated the news industry. At the start of 2024, NBC News, Time Magazine, Business Insider, and the Los Angeles Times all laid off a significant number of employees. Over 500 journalists were laid off in January 2024 alone. These cuts came after 3,087 workers in digital media, broadcast news, and print media lost their jobs in 2023. (9) According to an article published by the Associated Press in November 2023, an average of 2.5 newspapers per week ceased operations last year. Of those that do remain, many have become weekly publications. (10) At the time, there were 204 counties in the United States with no local news outlet and 1,562 counties with only one news source. (11) Remarkably, 43,000 journalists have lost their jobs over the last two decades. (12)


As traditional media dries up, so-called news in other forms is stepping in to fill the void. On June 11, 2024, AFP reported that at least 1,265 fake local news outlets are masquerading as legitimate news sources online. Meanwhile, local newspapers are only operating 1,213 websites. “The odds are now better than 50-50 that if you see a news website purporting to cover local news, it’s fake,” said a report from NewsGuard. (13)


On June 5, 2024, Reuters reported that one of the most popular news websites has been caught red-handed publishing completely fabricated stories. The website, which is known as NewsBreak, has published fake stories at least 40 times since 2021. In one of the most egregious examples, NewsBreak posted a story on December 24, 2023, with the headline, “Christmas Day Tragedy Strikes Bridgeton, New Jersey Amid Rising Gun Violence in Small Towns.” The incident described in the report never happened. In response to increased scrutiny, NewsBreak added a disclaimer to its website in March 2024 stating that its content “may not always be error-free.” (14) Not every story posted by NewsBreak is fake. So how is it that the fake stories get mixed in with the legitimate ones? Like an increasing number of media outlets, NewsBreak is using artificial intelligence to write some of its stories. (15) Thus, the stories you read online might not only be untrue, but there’s a growing possibility that they weren’t even written by a human being.


Artificial Intelligence And The Destruction Of Reality


The world is in the throes of an artificial intelligence (AI) revolution. Consequently, it is becoming even more difficult to separate fact from fiction and reality from illusion. For example, in September 2023, Newsweek reported that a video circulating on TikTok claimed that the popular arts and crafts chain known as Hobby Lobby was selling satanic Baphomet statues. A narrator in the video can be heard to say, “Apparently Hobby Lobby has a [expletive] ton of Baphomet [satanic] and demon-like statues just on the shelves right now, which is really confusing because Hobby Lobby is a super Christian-based company.” However, the story was completely false and the images used in the video were generated by AI. (16)


Controversy and uproar ensued again in November 2023 when images surfaced online that purported to show self-checkout kiosks at Walmart stores asking for tips. Such a proposition would certainly upset customers since by using self-checkout, the customer is doing the work a cashier used to perform. As you might have guessed, however, the images circulating online were fake. (17) Despite the poor quality of the images, some Internet users shared them on social media. 



 AI-generated images can vary wildly in quality. Yet, the technology continues to improve rapidly, and it is no longer just fake pictures and images that we must contend with online. Sophisticated videos known as “deepfakes” have been circulating for years. One such example is a video posted two years ago on YouTube that features a look-alike of actor Morgan Freeman. The video shows what appears to be a man with a striking resemblance to the actor, but it is not a man at all. It’s artificial intelligence. The voice in the video, although not perfect, also bears a strong similarity to the actor’s famous sound. “I’m not Morgan Freeman,” the video begins with the AI speaking. “What you see is not real.” It then continues, “Well, at least in contemporary terms it is not. What if I were to tell you that I’m not even a human being? Would you believe me? What is your perception of reality? Is it the ability to capture, process, and make sense of the information our senses receive? If you can see, hear, taste, or smell something, does that make it real? Or is it simply the ability to feel? I would like to welcome you to the era of synthetic reality. Now, what do you see?” (18)



For now, careful examination of pictures and deepfake videos can reveal tell-tale signs that they are AI-generated. However, in the future, it will become much more challenging to tell the difference. Simply put, people will not be able to trust what they see or hear.


Meanwhile, notable figures continue to warn that artificial intelligence is not only dramatically changing the world, but it could even destroy humanity. In June 2024, a group of nine current and former employees at the AI company known as OpenAI warned that the company is not taking proper precautions to ensure that their artificial intelligence projects, including ChatGPT, do not pose a threat to the human race. More specifically, the OpenAI insiders warned that the company is working feverishly to develop artificial general intelligence or AGI. According to the Associated Press, AGI is “the industry term for a computer program capable of doing anything a human can.” (19) Daniel Kokotajlo, who was formerly a governance researcher at OpenAI, was quoted as saying, “OpenAI is really excited about building AGI and they are recklessly racing to be the first there.” In the past, Kokotajlo believed that AGI might arrive by 2050. However, given the rapid development of artificial intelligence, he has moved up that timeline considerably and now thinks there is a 50 percent chance that AGI could arrive as soon as 2027. He also claims that there is a 70 percent chance that AI will “destroy or catastrophically harm humanity.” (20)


Even Pope Francis is alarmed by artificial intelligence. In June 2024, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church addressed the G7 Summit in Italy and told his audience, “We would condemn humanity to a future without hope if we took away people’s ability to make decisions about themselves and their lives, by dooming them to depend on the choices of machines. We need to ensure and safeguard a space for proper human control over the choices made by artificial intelligence programs: Human dignity itself depends on it.” (21) Oddly enough, the Pope has already been victimized by artificial intelligence. In recent months, a viral AI-generated image began circulating online which purports to show him donning a white puffer coat. I would venture a guess that he is not amused.



In closing, it is poignantly clear that there is much deception in the world and that the truth is being systematically attacked. Yet, even when it feels like we cannot trust our eyes, our ears, other people, society at large, or the media, we can always put our faith and trust in our God. When our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ stood before Pontius Pilate shortly before He was crucified, He told the Roman governor, “To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.” Pilate responded by asking, “What is truth?” It is remarkable that a Roman official with power and prestige willingly admitted that he could not define truth. Thankfully, Jesus answered that very question when He prayed for his disciples and all who would ever believe on Him. In John 17:15-17 we read, “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” As such, it is now more important than ever that we abide in the truth of God’s Word.


Thank you all for your continued support of this ministry. We invite you to send us your prayer requests. 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. Business Insider, June 25, 2024, By Adam Rogers, businessinsider.com.

02. Ibid.

03. Ibid.

04. LinkedIn, September 19, 2019, By Monte Clark, linkedin.com.

05. Patheos, May 2, 2024, By Shawn Paul Wood, patheos.com.

06. Reuters Institute at Oxford, reutersinstitute.politics.ox.ac.uk/digital-news-report/2024/interactive.

07. Ibid.

08. Ibid.

09. Politico, February 1, 2024, By Kierra Frazier, politico.com.

10. Associated Press, November 16, 2023, By David Bauder, apnews.com.

11. Ibid.

12. Ibid.

13. AFP, June 11, 2024, By AFP, news.yahoo.com.

14. Reuters, June 5, 2024, By James Pearson, reuters.com.

15. Ibid.

16. Newsweek, September 12, 2023, By Jack Brewster and Macrina Wang, newsweek.com.

17. Verify This, November 15, 2023, By Emery Winter, verifythis.com.

18. YouTube, “This is not Morgan Freeman, A Deepfake Singularity”, youtube.com.

19. New York Times, June 4, 2024, By Kevin Roose, nytimes.com.

20. Ibid.

21. Associated Press, June 14, 2024, By Nicole Winfield and Kelvin Chan, apnews.com.