Well I'm happy to say that The Last Trumpet Newsletter is up and running again after the sad death of David Mayer early last June. His son Samuel and daughter Shirley Meyer have written this one.
Volume XXIX Issue VIII August 2010
Last Trumpet Ministries, PO Box 806, Beaver Dam, WI 53916
Fax: 920-887-2626 Internet: [link to www.lasttrumpetministries.org]
A Contaminated World In Travail!
"Let them now that fear the LORD say, that his mercy endureth for ever. I called upon the LORD in distress: the LORD answered me, and set me in a large place. The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?"
"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."
"But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour...."
"And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?"
In this issue of the Last Trumpet Newsletter, we will once again examine the current events happening in these last days. I sit here in front of this computer screen feeling helpless and missing my dad, Pastor David J. Meyer. One point he always stressed whether preaching, teaching, or writing the newsletter is that without God's help, he could do nothing. He truly believed that and I feel the same way.
One day when I was fourteen years old, I walked into my dad's bedroom and asked him if he would allow me to post his newsletter online. After receiving his consent, I began our online endeavor, a lasting project which has seen our site visits spike to approximately two million a year. Over the last few years, I became more involved with the newsletter as I offered suggestions and helped with the editing and correcting process.
As I sit here and attempt to write an entire issue of the Last Trumpet Newsletter for the first time, I do so to honor my dad as well as my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. I hope and pray this will be a blessing to you and all who read it. Whatever good may come of it, I give all glory to God.
While searching the Scriptures in preparation for this newsletter, I felt pressed and compelled to tell you all not to be afraid. We live in a time when everything seems to be going wrong. Our world is being polluted, our food supply is contaminated, our earth is constantly shaking, there are wars and rumours of wars, sin abounds everywhere, and many of the economies of the world are in shambles. The situation may seem very dire, but we have our Saviour. We have Jesus.
In Matthew, chapter 14, we find the story of Jesus walking on the sea. Peter, being the compulsive man that he was, asked Jesus to allow him to walk on the water with Him. Our Lord allowed this, and as long as Peter kept his eyes on Jesus, he did not sink. When Peter looked around and saw the wind and the waves, his faith wavered and the sea began to overcome him. I urge each and every one of you to keep your eyes fastened on Jesus. If you do so, his miraculous power will keep you safe through impossible odds and carry you above the cares of this life no matter what troubles you may face. You will not sink into the deep abyss of sin and distress. Just keep looking to Jesus. Keep your eyes on Him and all will be well.
A Bleeding And Wounded Earth!
I'm sure by now you have all heard the story. On April 20th, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico and killed eleven people while injuring seventeen more. It has become the biggest oil spill in U.S. history and has been called the "worst environmental disaster America has ever faced" by President Obama. (1) After the explosion, we saw one incompetent attempt after another to stop the spill, none of which even came close to working. Eventually, British Petroleum (BP), the company who had been leasing the oil rig, resorted to drilling two relief wells in an effort to stop the flow of oil. As of now, the relief wells are still not completed, and likely they will not be finished until August. (2)
The oil spill has reached Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and northwest Florida. Thousands of animals, including sea turtles, dolphins, and birds, have been killed. Meanwhile, giant plumes, made of a mixture of oil, gas, and seawater, have been found radiating around the blown-out well in all directions. The plumes contain toxic gases, including methane, which threaten the air supply for both animals and humans in the area. (3)
While BP officials can't seem to figure out what they are doing, the response of the Obama Administration has been underwhelming to say the least. Obama did visit the Gulf a couple times to tell BP to clean up the mess, but he really showed no sense of urgency until his approval rating started to drop. Even at that point, Obama's best strategy seemed to be going on television and using mild vulgarity to make threats. (4) Meanwhile, scientists have complained about the lack of coordination of the oil spill research efforts. Christopher F. D'Elia, the dean of the School of the Coast and Environment at Louisiana State University, stated, "Whatever the federal government is up to -- it may be well planned internally within the federal government, but the involvement of the outside research world is inadequate in my view." (5)
President Obama seems very proud of the fact that he negotiated a $20 billion fund from BP for the Gulf spill victims. (6) However, that money won't be nearly enough to cover the damages inflicted by this disaster. US lawyer Kenneth Feinberg, the man Obama appointed to oversee the fund, stated, "There's no question that the property value has diminished as a result of the spill. That doesn't mean that every property is entitled to compensation." He further went on to say, "There's not enough money in the world to pay everybody who'd like to have money." (7)
Despite the fact we have seen other large oil spills before, such as the Mexican Ixtoc 1 spill in 1979 and the Alaskan Exxon Valdez spill in 1989, very little money has been spent on oil spill cleanup technology over the years. The oil companies know the risks of deep water drilling, and they should have been more prepared for the recent spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Although BP claims they have spent $29 million on safer drilling operations research, they did not research oil spill cleanup technology at all. (8)
The extent of the damage caused by this catastrophe remains unknown. It is likely that the effects on sea creatures, our food supply, and the citizens of the Gulf coast will be felt for years to come. The Obama Administration will likely try to use this event to pass sweeping new energy laws. Should the bureaucrats succeed, Americans will see their cost of energy increase exponentially.
A Crumbling Economy!
President Obama has claimed for the last few months that the U.S. economy is "recovering." He claims his stimulus plan is working and that we are "heading in the right direction." Yet I keep seeing headlines that say things like "U.S. Consumer Confidence Crumbled in June." (9) With the expiration of first time home-buyer tax credits of up to $8000, pending home sales plunged 30% in May. This was surprising to many in the real estate business since economists were expecting a drop of only 10.9%. (10) Perhaps it is good that the homebuyer credit program is over since it appears our government wasn't running it very efficiently. CNN reported that over $28 million was stolen from the program, including $9.1 million by prison inmates. (11)
Meanwhile, Barack Obama's special mortgage program, designed to help homeowners make their housing payments easier, has been a stunning failure. More than a third of the 1.24 million borrowers who were enrolled in the program have dropped out with 155,000 participants leaving the program in May 2010 alone. According to John Taylor, chief executive of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, "The foreclosure-prevention program has had minimal impact." (12)
As of early July 2010, the unemployment rate in this country sits at 9.5%. This is actually a drop from the June rate of 9.7%, but only because 652,000 people have stopped looking for work altogether and are no longer considered unemployed. According to an Associated Press report, the United States has 7.9 million fewer jobs than it did when the recession began. (13) Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke has predicted that the unemployment rate will stay high. "The unemployment rate is still going to be high for a while, and that means that a lot of people are going to be under financial stress." (14) Bernanke also stated, "My best guess is we'll have a continued recovery, but it won't feel terrific." (15)
While Obama and Bernanke talk about recovery, banks in this country are still being shut down. Recent closures include banks in Florida, Nevada, California, Nebraska, Mississippi, and Illinois. Over eighty banks in the United States have been shut down by regulators in 2010. (16) As smaller banks continue to close, we may eventually be left with only two or three very large banks. Of course, that would probably make the task of launching a brand new monetary system much easier.
Just how bad is the U.S. economy? One thing we need to keep in mind is that the money Obama used for his massive stimulus package was borrowed from other countries. The United States is broke, and Obama's unbridled spending has put this country on the brink of a debt that could exceed the value of its gross domestic product by 2012, based on reports from the International Monetary Fund. (17)
Budget crises on the state level abound as well. The state of Illinois has raised its retirement age to 67. Arizona, New York, Missouri, and Mississippi plan to make people work more years to collect pensions. Colorado has cut pensions for all its workers, including past, present, and future. California and New Jersey have already cut, or are looking to cut, pensions as well. The situation in Illinois is so bad that R. Eden Martin, president of the Commercial Club of Chicago, warned, "We're within a few years of having some of the pension funds run out of money." He further stated, "Funding for the schools is going to be cut radically. Funding for Medicaid. As these things all mount up, there's going to be a lot of outrage." (18)
We now live in a world with a global economy, and because of that, some elements of economic distress are beyond the control of even our own government. The financial collapse in the European Union, particularly within Spain, Portugal, and Greece, has been a cause of great concern to economists and other finance experts. Jeff Tjomehoj, a research manager for Lipper Inc, said, "It weighs a lot on the financial system because what we're really talking about is the health of European banks, and our banks are going to have a lot of exposure to them." The economy of Greece has collapsed to the point their debt is now valued at "junk" status. (19)
The president of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, is so concerned about the debt crisis in Europe that he has warned that democracy could disappear in Spain, Portugal, and Greece. His concern seems based on the fact that all three of these countries have histories of military coups, and without economic stability, it could open the door for new dictators to come in and take over. (20)
End Time Technology!
Technology has advanced by leaps and bounds since the 1950s. We've seen computers shrink from units that would take up an entire room to tiny devices that we can now fit in our pockets. In fact, smartphones, such as the iPhone, the Evo, and the Droid, are basically miniature computers that also have the capability to send and receive phone calls. These devices have technology much more advanced than what was used in home personal computers only ten years ago. Mobile phones have become so cheap and ubiquitous that it is not uncommon to see very small children using them. But are cell phones safe?
The United Nations recently completed a study spanning ten years, thirteen countries, and thirteen thousand participants. They found a forty percent higher incidence of glioma, a rare form of brain cancer, among the participants who used their phones the most. Despite the findings of the study, experts decided the results were "inconclusive." It's worth noting that simply holding the phone four inches away from your head reduced the radiation levels to nearly zero, so if you must use a cell phone often, you may want to purchase a Bluetooth headset. (21)
Evidence is mounting that mobile phones may also be responsible for the disappearance of honey bees. Researchers at Chandigarh's Punjab University in India set up an experiment with two bee hives. The one hive was fitted with two mobile phones, which were powered on twice a day for fifteen minutes each session. The other hive was fitted with two dummy mobile phones. The results of the three-month study were striking. The researchers found that in the hives with the powered cell phones, the queen bee produced fewer eggs, fewer bees returned to the hive after collecting pollen, and the bees that did remain stopped producing honey. The hive with the dummy mobile phones remained normal. (22)
The U.S. military has grown increasingly concerned over the possibility of cyber attacks through the Internet. The concern has resulted in the army setting up a new U.S. Cyber Command, headed by General Keith Alexander. "In short, we face a dangerous combination of known and unknown vulnerabilities, strong adversary capabilities, and weak situational awareness," Alexander warned. "Our U.S. Department of Defense must be able to operate freely and defend its resources in cyberspace." Much of this concern seems to be sparked by successful cyber attacks against Estonia in 2007 and the country of Georgia in 2008. (23)
The paranoia over a possible cyber attack is being used as an excuse for a new U.S. Senate bill that would grant the President of the United States power to shut down all or part of the Internet during an emergency. The legislation stipulates that all Internet service providers "shall immediately comply with any emergency measure or action developed" by the Department of Homeland Security. Failure to comply would result in fines against the service providers. (24) Somewhat troubling is the fact that what exactly constitutes an emergency isn't clearly defined. Keep in mind that governmental control over information on the Internet is nothing new. They've been doing it in China for years! The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs has approved the bill known as "Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act," or PCNAA. As of this writing, a vote in the Senate is pending. (25)
We know that many people have been implanted with microchips over the years. However, Dr Mark Gasson, a scientist from the University of Reading in the United Kingdom, claims to be the first person to be infected with a computer virus. Dr Gasson, who had a RFID chip implanted in his left hand last year, stated, "By infecting my own implant with a computer virus, we have demonstrated how advanced these technologies are becoming and also had a glimpse at the problems of tomorrow." He further stated, "I believe it is necessary to acknowledge that our next evolutionary step may well mean that we all become part machine as we look to enhance ourselves. Indeed we may find that there are significant social pressures to have implantable technologies, either because it becomes as much of a social norm as say mobile phones, or because we'll be disadvantaged if we do not. However, we must be mindful of the new threats this step brings." (26) Yes, I suppose not being able to buy or sell might be considered a "disadvantage" by some.
A Contaminated Food Supply!
It seems like every year we're seeing more and more food recalls. In recent weeks we've seen recalls for Marie Callender frozen dinners, which are possibly tainted with salmonella. (27) Campbell's has recalled 35,000 cases of SpaghettiOs because they may have undercooked meat. (28) Kellogg's has recalled 28 million boxes of breakfast cereals, including Froot Loops, Apple Jacks, Corn Pops, and Honey Smacks. They claim it's because of a waxy smell and flavor coming from the cereal packaging. Although the risk is low, consumption of the tainted cereals could cause an upset stomach. (29) It is important to remember that many food manufacturers discover problems months later after putting their products on the market. It is always a good thing to pray before you eat!
Much of the food we consume in the United States now comes from genetically modified crops. In fact, 81% of corn crops, 91% of soybean crops, 95% of sugar beet crops all come from bioengineered seeds. Additionally, most processed foods and feedstock for cattle and chicken contain GMOs, or genetically modified organisms. Many other countries, including those in Europe as well as in China, require food companies to indicate on the label the presence of all genetically modified food. The United States does not require any such labeling, and consequentially, we have no way of knowing if the food we are buying has genetically modified organisms or not. (30)
Over the years we have been warned many times about polluted seafood. But it seems the extent of the pollution may have been grossly underestimated. Scientists discovered high levels of cadmium, aluminum, chromium, lead, silver, mercury, and titanium in tissue samples taken from about 1000 whales over the course of five years. Biologist Roger Payne was quite distressed by these discoveries and issued this somber statement, "You could make a fairly tight argument to say that it is the single greatest health threat that has ever faced the human species. I suspect this will shorten lives." (31)
The United Nations would like us all to become vegans. As crazy as it may sound, a report from the United Nations' Environment Programme claims that due to a world population likely to surge to 9.1 billion people by the year 2050, diets rich in meat and dairy products will no longer be sustainable. According to the report, "Impacts from agriculture are expected to increase substantially due to the population growth increasing consumption of animal products. Unlike fossil fuels, it is difficult to look for alternatives: people have to eat. A substantial reduction of impacts would only be possible with a substantial worldwide diet change, away from animal products." (32) If the UN gets their way, the Fourth of July will never be the same!
Wars And Rumors Of Wars!
As we watch and pray in these last days, we only have to read the daily news to began to see how the nations of the world might align themselves if World War III breaks out. Of course, Israel and Palestine have been making the news lately with all of their conflicts. But we also see the nations of Iran and North Korea gearing up to produce nuclear weapons. We've seen Venezuela seeking to align themselves with Iran, and Al Qaida has been making more threats.
In June 2010, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez issued the following statement, "Someday the genocidal state of Israel will be put in its place, in the proper place and hopefully a real democratic state will be born. But it has become the murderous arm of the Yankee empire -- who can doubt it? -- which threatens all of us." (33)
Additionally, an Iranian spiritual leader, known as Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi Mesbah Yazdi, has written a book in which he stated that Iran should not deprive themselves of the right to produce "special weapons." Yazdi states in his book, "Under Islamic teachings, all common tools and materialistic instruments must be employed against the enemy and prevent enemy's military superiority."
Iran also announced in June 2010 that they would penalize world powers by freezing nuclear talks for two months. "We are postponing the talks because of the bad behavior and the adoption of the new resolution in the (UN) Security Council. This is a penalty so that they are disciplined to learn the way of talking to other nations." (35) That statement was issued right around the same time that CIA Director Leon Panetta said Iran probably has enough low-enriched uranium for two nuclear weapons and could possibly have them built in two years. (36)
On March 26, 2010, North Korea torpedoed and sank a South Korean corvette, known as the Cheonan. Since that time, tensions have been high as we've seen North Korea issue threats of military action. (37) They also recently announced plans to build up their nuclear weapon capabilities. The North Korean Foreign Ministry issued this statement, "The recent disturbing development on the Korean Peninsula underscores the need for (North Korea) to bolster its nuclear deterrent in a newly developed way to cope with the U.S. persistent hostile policy toward (the North) and military threat toward it." (38)
A recent report by the inspector general of the U.S. Justice Department stated that the agency is not prepared to handle an attack against this nation with a weapon of mass destruction. The report found that "the department is not prepared to fill its role." (39) A report issued in December 2008 by the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism stated that the United States will likely be attacked by a weapon of mass destruction by the year 2013. (40) Considering the facts, it's a bit disconcerting that Adam Gadahn, a U.S. born representative of Al Qaida, recently issued a warning that stated, "With the relatively small number of Americans we have killed so far, it becomes crystal-clear that we haven't even begun to even the score." (41)
Signs In The Heavens And On The Earth!
The people of this planet have certainly been enduring a lot of natural disasters lately. It seems there's been a lot of flooding especially. In the month of June, a flash flood swept through the Albert Pike Recreation Center in Arkansas and killed about twenty people. (42) Also in June, flooding and landslides killed about fifty people in Myanmar. (43) China had a massive flood, which forced them to evacuate over a million people. (44) At least forty people were killed in a Brazilian flood, which also swept away entire villages. (45)
As always, the earth continues to shake and quake. In fact, a quick look at the charts on the U.S. Geological Survey website will indicate that there are earthquakes occurring every single day. Some of the notable ones include a 7.5-magnitude quake off India's Nicobar Islands on June 12, 2010 (46), a 5.7-magnitude earthquake in southern California on June 15, 2010 (47), and a 5.5-magnitude earthquake in Canada that was felt in Ottawa and Montreal on June 23, 2010. (48) The Canadian quake was especially surprising since that region does not usually have them.
According to a recent study by scientists, there is a one-in-three chance that a major earthquake, like the ones felt in Chile and Haiti, could hit the Pacific Northwest within the next fifty years. Chris Goldfinger, a marine geologist at Oregon State University, claims, "It's not a question of if a major earthquake will strike, it's a matter of when. And the 'when' is looking like it may not be that far in the future." (49)
Scientists also claim the sun is about to get a lot more active. According to Richard Fisher, head of NASA's Heliophysics Division and other scientists, sunspots will soon start erupting, causing solar storms that could potentially wreak havoc on power grids, GPS navigation, air travel, and emergency radio communications. (50)
Another odd happening was a recent infestation of frogs in Thessaloniki, Greece. According to Thessaloniki traffic police chief Giorgos Thanoglou, there were millions of frogs found near the town of Langadas. Authorities were forced to close a main highway after three cars skidded off the road while trying to avoid the frogs. (51)
In closing, I urge you all to keep watching and praying. I know it's easy to feel dismayed and discouraged by what we see happening in this world. But put your trust and hope in God, and He will sustain you. If you have any prayer requests, please feel welcomed to send them to us, and our teams of intercessors will give them each individual attention. Thank you all for your support of this ministry. Grace and peace be unto you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Samuel David Meyer
EDITED to about 75% of origional contents with link. (If you want the index click on the link.)