Volume XXXVI Issue VII July 2017
Last Trumpet Ministries, PO Box 806, Beaver Dam, WI 53916
Phone: 920-887-2626 Internet: http://www.lasttrumpetministries.org
"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings."
"O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things."
"Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment."
"For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints."
I Corinthians 14:33
In this issue of the Last Trumpet Newsletter, we will examine a world run amok with confusion, chaos, and incivility. At this present time, there are throngs of people walking about in a state of confusion, seemingly uncertain of many things, including something as simple and basic as one's gender. In Genesis 1:27 we read, "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." Yet, today we live in a world where some women want to be men, some men want to be women, and some people do not want to be either man or woman. Those who refuse to be called either male or female are now referred to as "non-binary" human beings. (1)
In June 2017 it was announced that Oregon will become the first state in the United States to allow individuals to choose a third gender for their state issued identification or driver's license. On these identification cards, male will be marked with the traditional M, female will be marked with an F, and the third "non-binary" gender will be marked with an X. (2) The new policy came about largely on the efforts of a man named Jamie Shupe who became the first person in the United States to be legally pronounced neither male nor female in 2016. Shupe had previously tried to transition to the female gender but eventually decided he did not want to be female either. "I only became a female because I had no other choice. All of the systems channeled me in that direction, both medical and government, until I took a stand against that. It wasn't until I got to Portland [Oregon] and got exposure to the queer community that I then understood how wrong all what had been done to me was," Shupe stated. Despite Shupe's claim to be neither male nor female, he seems to acknowledge that he was born with a male body. "Turning a male body, especially an older male body into female, I think it really sets the stage for people committing suicide. I mean you had to maintain a hyper-feminine appearance 24-7 or you were back to getting called sir," Shupe lamented. (3) It is my personal belief that this individual is being tormented by evil spirits. Shupe even uses the pronouns "they," "them," and "their" as personal identifiers which suggests that there is more than one evil spirit involved. Needless to say, Shupe does not think highly of Christians. "All the Bible-thumpers believe that there's only males and females according to the Bible. I'm the person who destroyed that in the United States," Shupe boasted. (4) The new policy will take effect in Oregon on July 1, 2017. (5)
Following Oregon's lead the American capital city of Washington, D.C., also announced that they will begin issuing identification cards and driver's licenses with a non-binary gender option on June 26, 2017. (6) A similar change in policy might soon be implemented in the state of New York where New York Assistant Speaker of the House Felix Ortiz has introduced legislation that if passed would allow a non-binary gender designation on driver's licenses and identification cards. "Our governmental agencies should reflect the society we live in. While this change may seem small, it is a step forward to change the rigid mindset often faced by many today," Ortiz stated. (7)
Why are a growing number of men finding it so painful to be part of the male gender? In recent decades, we have seen an effort from the liberal left to villainize manhood. We are often told that men are responsible for all of the world's woes and that being a masculine man is a bad thing. Leftists frequently refer to this so-called problem as "toxic masculinity." (8) Consider the words of the famous singer and actress known as Bette Midler who posted a message online in response to a recent terrorist attack in London. In this message, Midler wrote: "More sorrow and grief at the hands of madmen. Men and religion are worthless." (9) Instructors at college campuses will often preach against masculinity too. For example, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill published a website in 2016 which asked, "How has the concept of masculinity contributed to the perpetration of violence in our society?" (10) It was also reported that students at Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, were subjected to a mandatory orientation video which declares that the three most damaging words a boy can hear are "be a man." (11) Is it any wonder that some men are so desperate to not be members of the male gender?
Oddly enough, despite the fact that the male gender is so often disparaged, some women in these modern times have decided that they want to be men. This includes a woman living in Portland, Oregon, who claims to be a transgendered male. She has undergone testosterone treatments to deepen her voice and enable her to grow facial hair while presenting herself as a very masculine person. Yet, she is pregnant and will soon have a biological child with her homosexual husband. The couple has two adopted children, one of which claims to be very excited about her "dad's" pregnancy. "What I was thinking about a baby that my dad's having, it's really, really fun, it's really, really exciting," the child said. (12)
We now live in a bewildering world where we are told that transgender men can give birth to babies, and a growing number of people are so tormented that they do not want to be the gender they were given by God, nor any gender at all. This is a spirit of confusion at work, and we know that God is not the author of confusion. People are accustomed to being told that they can be whatever they want, and they are often advised to follow their hearts. Yet, the Scriptures tell us in Jeremiah 17:9, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" In like manner, Jesus tells us in Matthew 12:35, "A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things." It is for this reason that we must surrender our lives to God and give Him our hearts. For as we read in Matthew 22:37, "Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind." If you have not yet repented of your sins and given your heart to God, I urge you to do so now. In so doing, you feel find that God enables His people to overcome all the confusion of this world.
USA: A Hotbed Of Incivility
On June 19, 2017, CBS News published an article with a headline that declares, "Americans say U.S. political debate is increasingly uncivil." (13) Of course, if you have interacted with people in the United States at all lately, you do not need a poll published by a news outlet to declare this blatantly obvious fact. The election of Donald Trump as President of the United States last year divided the nation, and bitterness has been festering in this country ever since that time. Despite the fact that it has been nearly one half of a year since Trump was inaugurated as President, the ugliness has not subsided.
In recent weeks we have seen numerous celebrities and public figures insinuate or otherwise suggest that the current President of the United States should be assassinated. For example, in March 2017 the rapper known as Snoop Dogg released a music video which portrayed him firing a toy gun at a clown named Ronald Klump who strongly resembled the President. Speaking of his video, Snoop Dogg was quoted as saying, "I don't ever expect or look for a reaction. I just put it out because like it's something that's missing. Anytime I drop something, I'm trying to fill in a void. I feel like it's a lot of people making cool records, having fun, partying, but nobody's dealing with the real issue with this… clown as president." (14)
Perhaps the vilest of all celebrities in Hollywood is the so-called comedienne Kathy Griffin. In 2007 Griffin made headlines after she mocked Jesus during her acceptance speech at the Emmy Awards. During this speech Griffin said, "A lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus." She then made a remark aimed at Jesus that is so blasphemous that I cannot even publish it in this newsletter. Finally, she told the audience, "This award is my god now." (15) Griffin, who once made a television special entitled "Straight to Hell," (16) stirred controversy again in late May 2017 when she published a photo of herself holding a fake and bloodied decapitated head, which very strongly resembled the head of Donald Trump. The grotesque image was so offensive that even liberal public figures such as Chelsea Clinton condemned it. After calling the photo "vile and wrong," Clinton said, "It is never funny to joke about killing a president." (17) First Lady Melania Trump was also deeply offended. "As a mother and a wife, and a human being, that photo is very disturbing. When you consider some of the atrocities happening in the world today, a photo opportunity like this is simply wrong and makes you wonder about the mental health of the person who did it." (18) After being fired by CNN and losing at least one endorsement deal, Griffin apologized. "I sincerely apologize… I'm a comic. I cross the line. I move the line, then I cross it. I went too far. The image is too disturbing; I understand how it offends people. It wasn't funny. I get it. … I beg for your forgiveness," Griffin claimed. (19) Days later, Griffin blamed Trump for her downfall rather than admitting that she was at fault for her actions. "I don't think I'm going to have a career after this. I'm going to be honest, he broke me. A sitting president of the United States and his grown children, and the First Lady, personally, I feel, are trying to ruin my life forever," she lamented. (20) I suspect that the same evil spirits who once inspired a woman named Herodias, who was the wife of Herod, to demand the head of John the Baptist are now working in Kathy Griffin.
Actor Johnny Depp has also hinted that perhaps President Trump should be put to death. Speaking at a film festival in Glastonbury, England, on June 22, 2017, Depp told the audience regarding Trump, "It is just a question - I'm not insinuating anything. By the way, this is going to be in the press. It will be horrible. I like that you are all a part of it. When was the last time an actor assassinated a president? I want to clarify, I am not an actor. I lie for a living. However, it has been a while and maybe it is time." (21) Depp apologized the next day saying, "I apologize for the bad joke I attempted last night in poor taste about President Trump. It did not come out as intended, and I intended no malice. I was only trying to amuse, not to harm anyone." (22)
Sadly, the bitterness that is so prevalent in our country today does sometimes result in violent acts. Such was the case on June 14, 2017, when a gunman targeted Republican lawmakers during a baseball practice session in Alexandria, Virginia. Four individuals were wounded in this assault, including Steve Scalise, who is the majority whip for the United States House of Representatives. (23) The shooter, who was identified as James T. Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois, was a fervent supporter of former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. He was shot and killed by police officers on the scene. According to media reports, Hodgkinson often posted messages on the Internet regarding his hatred for President Trump and the Republicans, even writing at one point, "It's time to destroy Trump and Co." (24)
Donald Trump is a polarizing figure to be sure, and as he is human, he is certainly prone to make mistakes. Whether you like or dislike the President, the bitterness, strife, and incivility on display in our land is appalling and shameful. I believe there are forces at work who hope to see the United States ripped to shreds because a nation in a weakened state is much easier to manipulate and control. Meanwhile, the folks who publish the Global Peace Index have lowered the ranking of the United States by eleven spaces since last year. According to their reckoning, the United States is now the 114th most peaceful nation in the world. "The U.S. deterioration is primarily driven by the growing intensity of internal conflict within the country, which was partly seen in the divisive 2016 Presidential election, as well as increases in the perceptions of criminality across American society," the latest edition of the index report said. (25)
The Leading Edge Of A Technology Tsunami
As I study the news and read of the advancements of technology, it can be a struggle to keep up with all that is happening. I cannot help but marvel at how quickly technology is developing and how rapidly our world is changing. With the advent of the Internet, more and more people today are connected to a global system that is certainly advantageous in some ways, while frightening and invasive in others. According to a report issued by Pew Research Center in September 2016, only 13 percent of Americans today do not use the Internet. The majority of those who still live in an offline world are senior citizens aged 65 years or older. Conversely, only 1 percent of Americans aged 18 to 29 do not use the Internet. (26) Amongst this group of young people, Pew reports that 36 percent report being online "almost constantly," while 50 percent of them go online multiple times each day. (27) Even as more Americans connect to the Internet on a daily basis, traditional forms of media are dying out. In June 2017, it was reported that the circulation of daily newspapers in the United States has fallen to its lowest rate in 77 years. (28)
The Internet has also dramatically changed the shopping habits of Americans. Whereas most purchases were once made in brick and mortar retail locations, more shoppers today are opting to conduct their purchases online. As a result, a multitude of retailers today are facing extinction. In April 2017 Business Insider reported that more than 3,200 stores are closing throughout the United States. This figure includes 552 RadioShack electronics stores, 400 Payless shoe stores, 240 Family Christian bookstores, 138 J.C. Penney department stores, 108 Kmart mass merchandiser stores, 70 Staples office supply stores, and 70 CVS drugstores. (29)
Even as retail stores continue to shutter and shopping malls become abandoned, the online store known as Amazon.com is thriving. In fact, this online entity that started as a book store in 1995 has grown to such an extent that 52 percent of all books in the United States, whether in paper or electronic form, are sold by Amazon, and a full 43 percent of all e-commerce transactions are facilitated through the company. (30) The online behemoth has continued to grow over the years, and in recent days the company has sought expansion beyond the confines of the online world. In June 2017 it was announced that Amazon had purchased the grocery store chain known as Whole Foods for 13.7 billion dollars. This development has raised fears that Amazon will eliminate many employment positions at Whole Foods, opting instead to use robots and automation to cut operational costs. "Amazon's brutal vision for retail is one where automation replaces good jobs. Sadly, the hard-working men and women who work at Whole Foods now face an uncertain future," said Marc Perrone, who is president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union. (31) While Amazon has not announced any plans to cut jobs at Whole Foods, it is interesting to note that the company announced plans in 2016 to open a futuristic grocery store known as Amazon Go. This store, which recently opened in Seattle, Washington, is entirely cashless. To shop, customers must use a smartphone equipped with a special program. As you enter this store, you scan your phone, and as you shop, the store automatically tracks what you put in your shopping cart or if you put something back. When your shopping is completed, you simply walk out the door, with no need to check out with a cashier. The purchases are automatically billed to your Amazon account. (32) It is not far-fetched to think that Amazon may have similar plans for their Whole Foods stores.
While Amazon makes plans to launch their automated grocery stores, Sam's Club locations in the United States already allow customers to use a similar automated process. The retailer now offers a downloadable program for smartphones called "Scan and Go." As customers browse the store, they can simply scan the barcodes on products with their smartphone, and when they are ready to check out they use the phone to pay for the purchases as well. (33)
Additionally, the iconic fast food chain known as McDonald's has announced plans to replace cashiers at 2,500 locations with automated ordering kiosks. Since the announcement, McDonald's has attempted to assuage fears that the rollout of automated kiosks will result in a loss of employment for the company's current workers. "Our CEO, Steve Easterbrook, has said on many occasions that self-order kiosks in McDonald's restaurants are not a labor replacement. They provide an opportunity to transition back-of-the-house positions to more customer service rules such as concierges and table service where they truly engage with guests and enhance the dining experience," said a spokeswoman for McDonald's. (34) I cannot help but be skeptical of McDonald's claim that these kiosks will not result in a loss of jobs. Do they really believe that McDonald's customers want table service? It is far more likely that McDonald's is making this change to counter the rise in minimum wage in various areas around the country. For example, the minimum wage in San Francisco, California, has been increased to fifteen dollars an hour. Following this increase, sixty restaurants have closed in San Francisco since September 2016. (35)
It is logical that automation will result in a massive loss of jobs. "If it is doing the same thing over and over again, and it doesn't require analysis, it's going to be automated. We're on the leading edge of a technology tsunami," stated Professor Ed Hess of the Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virginia. He further went on to say, "The question is, is this automation going to produce enough new jobs that technology itself can't do?" (36)
Another casualty of mankind's technological advancements could soon be paper money. I have noticed on numerous occasions that cashiers at grocery stores in this area are often startled when I pay with cash. On one occasion a cashier at our Piggly Wiggly store assumed I would be paying with a credit or debit card and curtly informed me that my payment "didn't go through." It was at this point that I handed her the cash that I had been holding in my hand to which she reacted with a noticeable surprise. Reactions like these are an indicator that the United States may soon go the way of nations such as Sweden where cash is seldom used. Here let it be noted that about 2,000 people in Sweden have already received a microchip implant in their hands. According to a report by The Independent, the state-owned Swedish rail company known as SJ is now allowing passengers to pay their fares with these embedded microchips. Speaking of this development, a spokesperson for SJ was quoted as saying, "As north Europe's largest train operator and one of the top 10 digital companies in Sweden, we are at the forefront of digital developments. This is an interesting project that gives us ideas of how to enhance the digital customer experience even further." In another remark, the spokesperson said regarding the microchip, "It's just a matter of days before everyone has it." (37)
The Battle For Life Is Raging
Abortion is the most heinous of all sins committed in the United States, and it happens every day. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for every 1,000 live births in the year 2013, 200 babies were slaughtered using this barbaric practice. (38) Although abortion rates have been falling in some areas, there are still many determined Democrats and liberals who vow to continue fighting for their "right" to murder babies. In June 2017 the governor of the state of Delaware, John Carney, signed a bill that allows women in his state to abort babies in the womb at up to nine months of gestation, removing all restrictions. (39) This is truly disheartening, but thankfully there are efforts being made elsewhere to stem the tide of innocent blood.
On June 22, 2017, the liberal news outlet known as the Huffington Post published a panicked headline which declares, "Republicans Might Actually Defund Planned Parenthood This Time." (40) The article is referring to the new Senate healthcare bill, which if passed, would prevent Medicaid patients from accessing Planned Parenthood's services for one year. (41) While this is a step in the right direction, the defunding of Planned Parenthood should be permanent. Nevertheless, when news broke of this possibility, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards threw a fit. "It's as bad as we thought. The text of the Senate bill was just released, and now there's no denying the truth: This bill would devastate Planned Parenthood patients and leave millions of Americans without access to care." (42) Of course, what Richards really means by "access to care" is access to abortion, because that is the so-called service that they primarily perform. Planned Parenthood murdered 328,348 babies in 2015. (43)
Remarkably, the United States opposed a recent United Nations resolution that called for greater access to "safe abortions" under the guise of preventing violence against women. After hearing the resolution presented by Canada, United States First Secretary to the United Nations Jason Mack told the Council, which was assembled in Geneva, Switzerland, "We do not recognize abortion as a method of family planning, nor do we support abortion in our reproductive health assistance." (44) It is my hope and prayer that efforts to stop abortion in the United States will be successful.
In closing, I urge every reader of this newsletter to continue to watch and pray as we see the condition of this world deteriorate. The mess is not pretty. However, we have the promise of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, who tells us in Matthew 28:20, "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." Jesus also promises us in John 14:18, "I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you." No matter what happens, God is always with His people!
Thank you all for your kind support of this newsletter. We could not do what we do without your help. Please keep us in prayer as we endeavor to continue this ministry during these challenging days. As always, our team of intercessors is ready and willing to pray for you or any prayer requests you may have. Please do not hesitate to send them our way. Each request is always given individual attention. Grace and peace be unto you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Samuel David Meyer
01. USA Today, June 21, 2017, By William Cummings, http://usatoday.com.
06. The Washington Post, June 21, 2017, By Rachel Siegel, http://washingtonpost.com.
07. NBC News, June 20, 2017, By Mary Emily O'Hara, http://nbcnews.com.
08. National Review, June 7, 2017, By Ben Shapiro, http://nationalreview.com.
10. The College Fix, November 2, 2017, By William Nardi, http://thecollegefix.com.
12. Life Site News, June 20, 2017, By Claire Chretien, http://lifesitenews.com.
13. CBS News, June 19, 2017, By CBS News, http://cbsnews.com.
14. The Washington Post, March 15, 2017, By Elahe Izadi, http://washingtonpost.com.
15. Reuters News Service, September 11, 2007, By Reuters News Service, http://reuters.com.
16. Bravo TV, http://bravotv.com.
17. National Public Radio, May 31, 2017, By Miles Parks, http://npr.org.
20. Time Magazine, June 2, 2017, By Melissa Chan, http://time.com.
21. The Guardian, June 23, 2017, By Press Association, http://theguardian.com.
22. Fox News, June 23, 2017, By Fox News, http://foxnews.com.
23. The New York Times, June 14, 2017, By Michael D. Shear, Adam Goldman, and Emily Cochrane, http://nytimes.com.
25. The Washington Times, June 1, 2017, By Jennifer Harper, http://washingtontimes.com.
26. Pew Research Center, September 7, 2016, By Monica Anderson, http://pewresearch.org.
27. Pew Research Center, December 8, 2015, By Andrew Perrin, http://pewresearch.org.
28. Newsmax, June 1, 2017, By Cathy Burke, http://newsmax.com.
29. Business Insider, April 17, 2017, By Hayley Peterson, http://businessinsider.com.
30. USA Today, June 26, 2017, By Elizabeth Weise, http://usatoday.com.
31. The Washington Post, June 16, 2017, By Danielle Paquette, http://washingtonpost.com.
32. Business Insider, June 16, 2017, By Kif Leswing, http://businessinsider.com.
33. Chicago Tribune, December 12, 2016, By Lauren Zumbach, http://chicagotribune.com.
34. CNBC, June 22, 2017, By Tae Kim, http://cnbc.com.
35. The Fresno Bee, June 13, 2017, By Jeremy Bagott, http://fresnobee.com.
36. New York Post, April 30, 2017, By Ed Zwirn, http://nypost.com.
37. The Independent, June 16, 2017, By Helen Coffey, http://independent.co.uk.
38. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, http://cdc.gov.
39. The Christian Post, June 20, 2017, By Jay Gotera, http://christianpost.com.
40. The Huffington Post, June 22, 2017, By Laura Bassett, http://huffingtonpost.com.
42. Life Site News, June 22, 2017, By Steven Ertelt, http://lifesitenews.com.
44. Reuters News Service, June 22, 2017, By Stephanie Nebehay, Geneva, Switzerland, http://reuters.com.
To learn more about the history of our ministry and our founder, Pastor David J. Meyer, please visit http://pastormeyer.org.
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