Volume XXXVI Issue V May 2017
Last Trumpet Ministries, PO Box 806, Beaver Dam, WI 53916
Phone: 920-887-2626 Internet: http://www.lasttrumpetministries.org
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 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."
"Deliver me, O Lord, from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man; Which imagine mischiefs in their heart; continually are they gathered together for war. They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders' poison is under their lips. Selah. Keep me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from the violent man; who have purposed to overthrow my goings. The proud have hid a snare for me, and cords; they have spread a net by the wayside; they have set gins for me. Selah. I said unto the Lord, Thou art my God: hear the voice of my supplications, O Lord. O God the Lord, the strength of my salvation, thou hast covered my head in the day of battle."
"But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by."
In this issue of the Last Trumpet Newsletter, we will examine a world that is very much at risk of being engulfed in conflict and a global war. Without a doubt, we live in perilous times, and this is a reality that the news headlines bring forth over and over again each and every day. Over the course of the last month, there have been missile attacks in Syria ordered by American President Donald Trump as well as the launching of a 21,000 pound non-nuclear bomb in Afghanistan. (1) Russia and Iran are both furious with Trump's decision to attack Syria, and North Korea is growing increasingly belligerent against the United States. Even the Asian island country known as the Philippines has sought to assert itself and announced plans to occupy previously uninhabited islands in the South China Sea, which is a maneuver that will certainly displease China. "The unoccupied, which are ours, let's live on it," said President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines. He further went on to say, "It looks like everyone is making a grab for the islands there. So we better live on those islands that are still unoccupied. What's ours now, we claim it and make a strong point from there." (2) Further reports indicate that China frequently encroaches on Japanese territory by both air and sea in what is likely an effort to antagonize Japan. "They've routinized their intrusions into our territorial sea space. We send our fighters, and that makes the situation possibly very dangerous, when fighters and fighters come close," said Eisuke Tanabe, a senior policy coordinator at the Japanese Ministry of Defense. (3) There is a potential for war on many fronts, and by extension, a possibility that World War III could break out in the not so distant future.
There is a certain word that I have seen used repeatedly in news reports these days. The word is "nuclear," and there seems to be a growing fear around the world that a nuclear war is now more possible than ever. In a report published by the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research, or UNIDR, we find the following warning: "The threat of a nuclear weapon detonation event in 2017 is arguably at its highest in the 26 years since the collapse of the Soviet Union. While the size of the global stockpile has decreased significantly from the peaks of the Cold War, the pace of reductions has slowed, and nine States together still possess over 15,000 nuclear weapons. Global investment on nuclear forces continues to rise, and extended deterrence remains the centerpiece of many states' strategic doctrines. Meanwhile, terrorist groups such as Al-Qaida and Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant have expressed their desire to acquire nuclear weapons and materials. The world appears 'full of potential for catastrophe.'" (4)
More than seven decades have passed since the United States used atomic bombs to attack the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. Thankfully, no other nuclear weapons have been used since that time. However, in the aftermath of the attacks in Japan, which were credited with ending World War II, the man who led the team of scientists responsible for developing the atomic bomb was filled with regret. "If atomic bombs are to be added as new weapons to the arsenals of a warring world, or to the arsenals of nations preparing for war, then the time will come when mankind will curse the name of Los Alamos and of Hiroshima," said J. Robert Oppenheimer, referencing his research facility in Los Alamos, New Mexico, in a speech given on October 16, 1945. (5)
When we consider the thousands upon thousands of nuclear weapons that exist today, it is a marvel that our world has survived this long. There have been times when this planet was in jeopardy of a nuclear war, and amazingly enough, such a war has never come to pass. On September 26, 1983, less than one month before the day of my birth, the world narrowly averted catastrophe. On this day, a Russian duty officer by the name of Stanislav Petrov received a warning from his faulty computer system, which incorrectly indicated that the United States of America had launched nuclear missiles against the Soviet Union. According to protocol, this man was supposed to report the purported attack to his superiors, who would have then ordered a counter-attack against the United States. In an article published by the BBC in 2015, Petrov recounted his ordeal. "The siren howled, but I just sat there for a few seconds, staring at the big, back-lit, red screen with the word 'launch on it," Petrov said. He further continued, "A minute later the siren went off again. The second missile was launched. Then the third, and the fourth, and the fifth. Computers changed their alerts from 'launch' to 'missile strike." Despite the intensity of the situation, something held Petrov back. "All I had to do was reach for the phone; to raise the direct line to our top commanders - but I couldn't move. I felt like I was sitting on a hot frying pan," Petrov said. (6) I believe that God intervened in September 1983. Petrov could not move because God would not let him, and in so doing, an incalculable disaster was prevented. As we read news stories of wars and rumors of wars, we would do well to remember that there is no force, no power, and no weapon greater than our God. He is in complete control. Psalm 115 tells us, "Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is now their God? But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased."
The War In Syria Intensifies!
The ongoing civil war in Syria began on March 15, 2011. Since this time, it is estimated that more than 470,000 people have been killed. A report published by PBS News in February 2016 claims that 11.5 percent of Syria's entire population has been wounded or killed since the conflict started. (7) This war, which has persisted for more than half of a decade, seems to have no end in sight.
Understanding what is happening in Syria can be difficult. We know that even as the civil war rages on a group of radical Islamists, calling itself the Islamic State, or ISIS, is wreaking havoc wherever they can in both Syria and Iraq. Meanwhile, the United States, and most western nations stand in opposition to the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, while Russia and Iran provide Assad's government with vital support. A group known as Al Nusra Front, which is affiliated with the terrorist network Al Qaida, is also actively fighting Assad in Syria. (8) Thus, we have a very odd situation in which many of the so-called rebel forces in Syria who are fighting the Syrian regime are also enemies of the United States.
Until recent days, it seemed that American President Donald Trump intended to steer clear of the Syrian Civil War entirely and rather focus his efforts on defeating ISIS. On March 31, 2017, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer indicated that the Trump Administration had no intention of challenging Bashar Assad in Syria. "There is a political reality that we have to accept in terms of where we are right now. We had an opportunity and we need to focus on now defeating ISIS," Spicer declared. (9) Speaking of Assad, Trump's ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley was quoted as saying, "Do we think he's a hindrance? Yes. Are we going to sit there and focus on getting him out? No." (10) President Trump's attitude regarding Syria and the Assad regime changed quickly, however, when news began to surface that Bashar Assad had launched a chemical attack on the civilian population in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in Syria on April 4, 2017. Reports indicate that more than 70 people were killed and 500 were injured in the attack. (11)
Was Bashar Assad really responsible for the attack as we have been told by mainstream news outlets? If Assad perpetrated this gruesome and coldhearted attack, he is a very foolish man indeed. I cannot help but wonder why he would do such a thing when the Trump Administration had just indicated less than one week prior to the attack that the United States had no intention of pursuing a regime change in Syria. Surely Assad must have realized that such a senseless assault on civilians would spark international outrage. Ron Paul, a well-respected former United States Representative from Texas, believes that the circumstances of the chemical attack in Syria may not be as we have been told. "Before this episode of possible gas exposure and who did what, things were going along reasonably well for the conditions. Trump said let the Syrians decide who should run their country, and peace talks were making out, and Al Qaida and ISIS were on the run. It looks like, maybe, somebody didn't like that so there had to be an episode, and the blame now is we can't let that happen because it looks like it might benefit Assad," Mr. Paul stated. (12) It should be noted that the aforementioned Al Nusra Front in Syria has been known to use chemical weapons in the past. (13) In any case, whoever is responsible for this barbaric act will answer for it on Judgment Day.
In response to the chemical attack on April 4, 2017, President Donald Trump ordered a series of fifty-nine missile strikes on April 7, 2017, which targeted the Shayrat military base in Syria. (14) According to the President's son Eric, the decision to bomb Syria may have been influenced by his sister Ivanka. "Ivanka is a mother of three kids and she has influence. I'm sure she said, 'Listen, this is horrible stuff.' My father will act in times like that," Eric Trump said. (15) As would be expected, the missile attack on Syria caused a great deal of consternation in Russia. "President Putin considers the American strikes against Syria an aggression against a sovereign government in violations of the norms of international law, and under a far-fetched pretext. This step by Washington is causing significant damage to Russian-American relations, which are already in a deplorable state," said Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokeman Dmitry Peskov. Peskov further went on to say, "Of course, Syria is our ally, considering that we are helping the Syrian armed forces at the Syrian leadership's request." (16) During an appearance on the ABC television program "Good Morning America," Peskov also suggested that current relations between Russia and the United States may be worse at this present time than they were during the Cold War. (17)
To further enflame tensions, Russian fighter jets were caught on two separate occasions in April 2017 approaching American territory near Alaska. In the first incident, which occurred on April 17, 2017, a pair of Russian aircraft flew within one hundred miles of Kodiak Island in Alaska before being intercepted and escorted away by the American military. (18) The second encroachment occurred the very next day on April 18, 2017. In this incident, two Russian fighter jets came within 36 miles of the Alaskan mainland. (19)
President Trump's bombing of Syria certainly demonstrates that he is not under the thumb of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Nevertheless, it is not difficult to see how further military action in Syria could lead to an American war with Russia and possibly Iran. Considering the fact that there is also talk of military intervention against North Korea, it is not difficult to see that our entire world is at risk of a global war.
Rumors Of War In North Korea!
There is no doubt that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un has a flair for the dramatic. In recent years, the despotic regime has sought to garner attention in the media and has demonstrated a penchant for rhetoric. As a result, we often hear ridiculous threats coming from North Korea that sound rather similar to something you might hear from a colorful movie villain. "Our army has already said that if there will be even the smallest provocation from the United States during exercises, we are ready to deliver the most ruthless blow," said North Korean ambassador Kim Hyong-Jun. (20) Amid swirling rumors that the United States may attack North Korea in order to stop their developments of nuclear weapons, the official communist newspaper of North Korea, the Rodang Sinmun, boldly declared, "In the case of our super-mighty preemptive strike being launched, it will completely and immediately wipe out not only U.S. imperialists' invasion forces in South Korea and its surrounding areas but the U.S. mainland and reduce them to ashes." (21) In another report, the newspaper claimed that North Korea was ready to sink an American aircraft carrier that presently is located in waters near the Korean peninsula. "Our revolutionary forces are combat-ready to sink a U.S. nuclear powered aircraft carrier with a single strike," the newspaper boasted. (22) For his part, United States Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has grown weary of North Korea's rhetoric and threats. "We've all come to hear their words repeatedly; their word has not proven honest," Mattis said. (23)
Given the comical tone of North Korea's threats, it can be difficult to take them seriously. Yet, the country is closely aligned with China, and China has the largest standing army in the world. Based on recent headlines, it's increasingly likely that military action in the region of North Korea could happen very soon. In April 2017 it was reported that the Chinese military had sent 150,000 troops to its border region with North Korea. (24) Russia, too, has reportedly moved troops and military equipment to the border it shares with North Korea. (25) The United States has deployed not only the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Vinson to the Korean peninsula, but also the U.S.S. Michigan, which is a submarine armed with more than 150 Tomahawk cruise missiles. (26) Additionally, the U.S. Air Force has sent a plane, which is capable of detecting nuclear activity, to the region. (27) Meanwhile, lawmakers in the American state of Hawaii passed a resolution on April 13, 2017, urging state officials to take steps to prepare for a nuclear attack. The plans ask for state funding, which would allow for the reactivation and restocking of nuclear fallout shelters in Hawaii. (28) We are living in a time when troops are being gathered, forces are being marshalled, nations are rising against nations, and kingdoms are rising against kingdoms. There has never been a better time to draw nigh to God!
The War On Free Speech!
In the United States of America there are many rights that the people hold dear. One of these most important rights is that of free speech, which is guaranteed by the United States Constitution. It is this right that allows us to publish this newsletter, and we are grateful that God has put us in a place and time that enables us to do so. Nevertheless, there has been an effort in recent days to curtail free speech. These efforts are often made under the pretense of preventing the spread of fake news. In March 2017 it was reported that a new bill had been proposed in the state of California. A portion of the text of this bill reads as follows: "It is unlawful for a person to knowingly and willingly make, publish or circulate on an Internet website, or cause to be made, published or circulated in any writing posted on an Internet website, a false or deceptive statement designed to influence the vote on either the following: (a) Any issue submitted to voters at an election, (b) Any candidate for election to public office." (29) What remains unclear is who would decide what constitutes "a false or deceptive" statement. In essence, this bill would have resulted in censorship because the authorities could arbitrarily decide what is or is not fake or deceptive news. The Electronic Frontier Foundation found the proposal so offensive that they referred to it as "a censorship bill so obviously unconstitutional, we had to double check that it was real." (30) Thankfully, the bill was pulled from consideration after much public outcry, (31) but there still remains other efforts to restrict free speech.
In the state of New York, a bill has been proposed by Assemblyman David Weprin and Senator Tony Avella that would force Internet search engines and "online speakers" to remove any information that is deemed to be "inaccurate, irrelevant, inadequate, or excessive." Failure to comply with the proposed law would result in a 250 dollar daily fine. (32)
The proposed law in New York would likely be well received by the government in Germany. According to a report published by the Financial Times, Germany has enacted a new law which requires social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter to remove fake news. Additionally, the law requires websites to provide the German government with quarterly reports detailing how many complaints they receive regarding offensive speech and fake news, and how much of the banned content is deleted. Failure to abide by these rules could result in monetary penalties as high as fifty million euros. (33) The trend is clear - free speech is under fire, and in the future, people may find themselves no longer able to speak freely. Are the thought police far off? It is interesting to note that scientists are developing a system that they claim will allow them to read human minds. Researchers at the Toyohashi University of Technology in Japan claim they already have the ability to detect, with a 90 percent success rate, when someone is thinking of a number between zero and nine. They also claim their equipment can recognize eighteen Japanese syllables with a 61 percent success rate. (34)
The War On The Unborn!
I often marvel at the lack of compassion and natural affection now so common in the United States today. There are multitudes of coldhearted women and men who not only allow abortion, but they embrace it as a good thing. They claim it is their right to kill their children and they are determined not to let anyone get in their way. As such, there is a war on the unborn today, and it is a war fought against the most vulnerable and helpless of human beings.
Liberal entertainers tend to have the most extreme and repulsive views on abortion. This was demonstrated in a recently released special by the so-called comedian Louis CK. In this special, which was released by the Internet video company known as Netflix, CK admits, after some initial indecisiveness, that abortion is murder. "I don't think it's killing a baby. I don't. I mean, it is. It's a - it's a little bit - it's a little bit killing a baby. It's 100 percent killing a baby. It is - it's totally killing a whole baby, but I think that women should be allowed to kill babies," CK said. (35) The fact that these words were supposed to be part of a comedy routine just demonstrates how far-gone liberal Americans are today. If a person can sit and listen to a man proclaim that women should be allowed to kill babies and react with laughter and applause, it shows beyond any shadow of a doubt that such people are reprobate and have no sense of right and wrong. In fact, abortion "rights" are considered one of the most important issues in the Democratic Party today. According to Democratic National Committee Chairman Thomas Perez, there is no room for pro-life individuals amongst Democrats. "Every Democrat, like every American, should support a woman's right to make her own choices about her body and her health. This is not negotiable and should not change city by city or state by state," Perez declared. He then went on to say, "At a time when women's rights are under assault from the White House, the Republican Congress, and in states across the country, we must speak up for this principle as loudly as ever and with one voice." (36) Meanwhile, the state of California is now considering legislation that would require all health centers at public universities and community colleges in the state to provide students with abortion pills. "I think that it's incredibly important because women of all ages, especially young women, need to make sure they have control over their future - that they have a choice of when they want to incorporate a family into their lives," the bill's author, Senator Connie Leyva, said. (37) How does God feel about abortion? In Matthew 18:14 we are told by our Saviour, "Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish."
In closing, it is clear that we live in a troubled world with endless wars and rumors of wars. Yet, we serve a gracious God who will never forsake his people. In Psalm 140:1-7 we read, "Deliver me, O Lord, from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man; Which imagine mischiefs in their heart; continually are they gathered together for war. They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders' poison is under their lips. Selah. Keep me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from the violent man; who have purposed to overthrow my goings. The proud have hid a snare for me, and cords; they have spread a net by the wayside; they have set gins for me. Selah. I said unto the Lord, Thou art my God: hear the voice of my supplications, O Lord. O God the Lord, the strength of my salvation, thou hast covered my head in the day of battle." We can take comfort in the fact that the wars and conflicts of this modern age, though they be hard to endure, will never separate us from the love of God. For as it tells us in Romans 8:38-39, "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.
As always, we are grateful to you all for your continued support. We pray that God will strengthen and bless you. If you have any prayer requests, great or small, we are ready and willing to pray for you. Your requests will receive individual attention. Grace and peace be unto you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Samuel David Meyer
01. Business Insider, April 13, 2017, By Christopher Woody, http://businessinsider.com.
02. Reuters News Service, April 6, 2017, By Manuel Mogato, http://reuters.com.
03. CNBC, April 4, 2017, By Clay Dillow, http://cnbc.com.
04. United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research, By John Borrie, Tim Caughley and Wilfred Wan, http://unidir.org.
05. Newsweek, August 5, 2015, By Paul Ham, http://newsweek.com.
06. BBC News, September 26, 2013, By Pavel Aksenov, http://bbc.com.
07. PBS News, February 11, 2016, By Priyanka Boghani, http://pbs.org.
08. The Huffington Post, April 9, 2017, By Scott Ritter, http://huffingtonpost.com.
09. Associated Press, March 31, 2017, By Bradley Klapper, http://bigstory.ap.org.
11. Syria Direct, April 5, 2017, By Syria Direct, http://syriadirect.org.
12. The Daily Caller, April 5, 2017, By Christian Datoc, http://dailycaller.com.
13. The Huffington Post, April 9, 2017, By Scott Ritter, http://huffingtonpost.com.
14. The Washington Post, April 6, 2017, By Dan Lamothe, Missy Ryan, and Thomas Gibbons-Nefff, http://washingtonpost.com.
15. The Telegraph, April 11, 2017, By Simon Johnson and Gordon Rayner, http://telegraph.co.uk.
16. The Washington Post, April 7, 2017, By David Filipov and Dan Lamothe, http://washingtonpost.com.
17. The Hill, March 31, 2017, By Max Greenwood, http://thehill.com.
18. Associated Press, April 18, 2017, By Associated Press, Washington, D.C.
19. Fox News, April 19, 2017, By Lucas Tomlinson, http://foxnews.com.
20. AFP, April 7, 2017, By AFP, http://news.com.au.
21. Reuters News Service, April 20, 2017, By Ju-min Park, http://reuters.com.
22. Reuters News Service, April 23, 2017, By Reuters, http://reuters.com.
24. The Australian, April 12, 2017, By Rowan Callick, http://theaustralian.com.au.
25. The Telegraph, April 20, 2017, By Roland Oliphant and Reuters, http://telegraph.co.uk.
26. Business Insider, April 24, 2017, By Alex Lockie, http://businessinsider.com.
27. Yonhap News Agency, April 20, 2017, By Yonhap News Agency, http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr.
28. Hawaii News Now, April 14 & 17, 2017, By Hawaii News Now, http://hawaiinewsnow.com.
29. HeatStreet, March 30, 2017, By Emily Zanotti, http://heatst.com.
30. Electronic Frontier Foundation, March 27 & 28, 2017, By Dave Maass, http://eff.org.
32. The Washington Post, March 15, 2017, By Eugene Volokh, http://washingtonpost.com.
33. Financial Times, March 14, 2017, By Guy Chazin, http://ft.com.
34. The Independent, April 17, 2017, By Ian Johnston, http://independent.co.uk.
35. Relevant Magazine, April 7, 2017, By Jesse Carey, http://relevantmagazine.com.
36. The Washington Post, April 24, 2017, By Aaron Blake, http://washingtonpost.com.
37. The Sacramento Bee, March 17, 2017, By Taryn Luna, http://sacbee.com.
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