Volume XXXVII Issue IV April 2018
Last Trumpet Ministries, PO Box 806, Beaver Dam, WI 53916
Phone: 920-887-2626 Internet: http://www.lasttrumpetministries.org
The Endeavors Of Mankind In The Present And Future
"If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable."
I Corinthians 15:19
"But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in [all] holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness."
II Peter 3:10-13
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life."
In this issue of the Last Trumpet Newsletter, we will thoughtfully consider the endeavors of mankind in the present and future and the ultimate conclusion of time that is coming. The men and women who inhabit this world understand that our time on planet Earth is limited. Attention to this very fact is drawn in James 4:14 which tells us, "Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away." Scriptures also tell us that the world itself will one day grow old and wear out. Isaiah 51:6 tells us, "Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished." As Christians we know that, yes, this world will come to an end someday, but we have the promise of God's unending salvation.
There are others, however, who have not embraced the glorious promises of God and the assurance of everlasting life through Jesus Christ our Lord. These include men and women who are considered to have the most brilliant minds of all humanity. Such was the case with the world famous physicist Stephen Hawking who passed away on March 14, 2018, at the age of 76. Hawking, who was confined to a wheelchair because he suffered from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which is commonly known as ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease, was well-known for his teachings on evolution, black holes, and the theory of relativity. He also vehemently opposed the existence of an intelligent God. "I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There's no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark," Hawking once said. (1) Despite his atheistic views, Hawking did seem to have a fascination with the end of the world. According to a report by CNBC, Hawking's final paper, which is currently under review, is entitled "A Smooth Exit from Eternal Inflation" and predicts the end of the universe. (2) The report also notes that Hawking had previously predicted that Planet Earth would become a "giant ball of fire" by the year 2600. (3) This prediction may not be far off. In II Peter 3:10 we find the words of the Apostle Peter which declare, "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up."
It is apparent that the scientific community understands that our world's days are numbered. As such, in what is a futile attempt to outsmart God, plans are now being made to colonize space and other planets. National Geographic published a story on March 3, 2018, with a headline that states, "There's Only One Way for Humanity to Survive. Go to Mars." The story features an interview with scientist Michio Kaku who has written a new book entitled "The Future of Humanity." In this book the author pointedly declares, "Either we must leave the Earth or we will perish." (4) Considering this belief that the world is doomed, it is not surprising that Elon Musk, the billionaire founder of Tesla Motors and the space exploration company known as SpaceX, is now readying a rocket that he claims will soon be able to travel to Mars. The space vehicle is supposed to be completed by 2019, and plans are underway to send a cargo mission to Mars by the year 2022. "We are building the first ship, the first Mars or interplanetary ship right now and I think we'll be able to do short flights, short up and down flights, probably in the first half of next year," Musk said at the South by Southwest conference in March 2018. (5) Musk also told his audience that the first humans who endeavor to travel to Mars will likely die. "For the early people that go to Mars, it will be far more dangerous… It's difficult, dangerous, good chance you'll die, excitement for those who survive," declared Musk. (6) Additionally, American President Donald Trump floated the idea of establishing a new military branch known as the "Space Force." "Space is a war-fighting domain, just like the land, air and sea. We may even have a Space Force, develop another one, Space Force. We have the Air Force, we'll have the Space Force," Trump suggested. (7)
In I Corinthians 15:19 the Apostle Paul writes, "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable." Indeed, I would truly feel miserable if I thought this present life is all that we will ever have. Yet, I know that the hope of mankind is not a new home in outer space, nor is it a colony on Mars. Rather, our hope is in Jesus Christ. In John 5:24 our Saviour tells us, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life." I urge every reader of this newsletter to put your hope, trust, and faith in God. If you have not yet repented of your sins and dedicated your life to Him, I urge you to do so now.
A Tale Of Two Bombers
For those who follow news headlines, it is obvious that we live in a dangerous world. There is peril on every continent, and yet, when faced with dangers up close and personal, it is a rather shocking experience. The city of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, a place that I have called home for more than thirty years, is described by our Chamber of Commerce as a "picturesque community" surrounded by lush farmland and a tranquil lake. Looks can be deceiving, however.
On March 5, 2018, the city of Beaver Dam was rocked by an unexpected explosion at an apartment complex. It was later revealed that the occupant of the apartment who perished in the explosion, had been making numerous bombs. "It appears to look like he was making bombs because of the explosion," said Beaver Dam Police Chief John Kreuziger. (8) Upon investigation it was discovered that a large amount of explosive material remained in the building and would require drastic action to neutralize. "These materials are so sensitive they cannot be handled and cannot be removed [from the] affected apartment unit," Kreuziger reported. (9) Enlisting help from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, a plan was devised to detonate the remaining explosives on March 7, 2018. (10) However, the controlled detonation failed to eliminate all of the explosives, and a state of emergency was declared. It was quickly determined that the entire apartment building would have to be destroyed, and residents were told they would lose most of their possessions. (11) On March 15, 2018, with volunteers from more than twenty fire departments on hand, the building was set ablaze and consumed within hours. "The fire burned hot enough to accomplish what we need to do. The FBI bomb squad and chemist have confirmed that no explosive materials remain on site," said Beaver Dam Fire Chief Alan Mannel. (12)
The explosives maker was later revealed to be 28-year-old Benjamin Morrow. (13) He appeared to be a normal young man who had been homeschooled and later attended a Christian college in Florida. His motivation for making these explosives is completely unknown, and many lingering questions remain. Just what did he intend to do with these bombs? We can only wonder what plans were interrupted, but it could very well be that it was a divine act of protection that there were no further injuries. We thank God that our friends, family, and the people of this city were kept safe.
Oddly enough, even as Benjamin Morrow toiled in his apartment with his deadly explosives, another young man was terrorizing the city of Austin, Texas, with homemade explosive devices. On March 2, 2018, a 39-year-old man was killed by a package bomb that had been left on his porch. Ten days later, a 17-year-old boy was killed by another package bomb that also injured his mother. On the same day, a 75-year-old woman sustained injuries from another bomb. Two bicyclists were injured when a bomb utilizing a tripwire was set off on March 18, 2018. The next day, a package exploded at a Fedex facility near San Antonio, Texas. (14) As more than 500 law enforcement personnel hunted for the person responsible for these senseless acts of violence, questions swirled about who might be responsible. "My mind was racing this morning. Is it a former oil-field worker that's extremely familiar with explosive devices? Is it a former military EOD (explosive ordinance disposal)? Former fire/police officer that's got training in bombs?" wondered Clint McNair, a former detective from Garland, Texas. (15) On March 21, 2018, authorities revealed that the suspect believed to be responsible for the bombings blew himself up in his car while being pursued by the police. The suspect, we have been told, is Mark Anthony Conditt, a 23-year-old man from Pflugerville, Texas. Those who knew him were shocked to learn of the allegations against him, and one neighbor described him as "smart" and "polite." (16) What is causing these seemingly normal young men to become killers? Is it mind control? Is it demonic influence? One thing is certain: our world is fraught with danger, and the devil will use anyone he can to wreak havoc.
A Call For A Revolution
If you ever need an example of how fractured the United States of America is today, simply bring up the topic of gun control in a room full of strangers. There are many Americans who affirm their right to bear arms in accordance with the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution, and there are others actively seeking to establish new gun control regulations. There is great animosity between the two sides, and in recent weeks, the rift between them has grown more pronounced.
On February 28, 2018, American President Donald Trump offered his opinions on the topic at a meeting with American lawmakers. "We can't wait and play games and nothing gets done. We want to stop the problems," Trump declared. At this same meeting, President Trump publicly accused Republican Senator Pat Toomey from Pennsylvania of being afraid of the National Rifle Association, or NRA. (17) In his most surprising statement, Trump stated that guns should be taken away from anyone deemed to be dangerous without due process. "Take the guns first, go through due process second," he said. The entity responsible for deciding who is too dangerous to own a gun was not specified. His other proposals include new legislation that would expand background checks for individuals buying firearms and raising the age at which Americans could legally purchase such weapons to 21 years old. (18)
As is the case with most controversial issues nowadays, the topic of gun control has led to protests and rallies all over the United States. Many of the protestors are America's youth. Among them, Parkland, Florida, school student David Hogg has emerged as a leader of the protest movement. Sadly, he has shown himself to be a foul-mouthed individual with no respect for older generations. "When your old (expletive) parent is like, 'I don't know how to send an iMessage' and you're just like, 'Give me the (expletive) phone and let me handle it.' Sadly, that's what we have to do with our government; our parents don't know how to use a (expletive) democracy so we have to," Hogg said in an interview. (19) The hatred and disdain evident in his words are astonishing.
On March 24, 2018, Hogg gave a rousing speech at the March for Our Lives Rally in Washington, D.C. His speech was surprisingly eloquent given the nature of his profanity-laced tirade mentioned above. He is either a remarkable speechwriter or someone wrote the speech for him. "The cold grasp of corruption shackles the District of Columbia. The winter is over. Change is here. The sun shines on a new day and the day is ours. First-time voters show up 18% of the time in midterm elections? Not anymore. Who here is going to vote in the 2018 election? If you listen real close you can hear the people in power shaking," Hogg declared. In one notable moment, the young orator defiantly raised a clenched fist in a manner reminiscent of the communist salute. Hogg also appeared on the television program "Good Morning America" and stated rather matter-of-factly, "Today we are going to start a revolution." He then went on to say, "We will change America with or without these politicians." (20)
Although Mr. Hogg and many other protestors will say that they have no interest in abolishing the Second Amendment, on occasion the real agenda does become evident. Another speaker at the March for Our Lives was the 9-year-old granddaughter of Martin Luther King Jr. At this event Yolanda Renee King, who was almost certainly coached, told the crowd, "I have a dream that enough is enough. That this should be a gun-free world. Period." (21) Whoever told this little girl to say these words obviously seeks a total disarmament of the people.
As we continue to hear calls for stricter gun control measures, it should be noted that gun laws already exist in this country. For example, background checks are usually performed when someone buys a gun and convicted felons are prohibited from owning firearms. Could more rules be put in place? Certainly. Would criminals abide by these rules? Certainly not. If the government ever decides to confiscate all firearms from the American people, there are many who would likely not give up their weapons without a fight. Thus, a gun-grab could easily start a war. There could be exceedingly dangerous days ahead.
The Hyper-Invasive Nature Of Technology
There was a time in this country when the American people valued privacy. Future generations, however, may never have a private moment as the world becomes increasingly open and connected thanks to new advances in technology. Companies such as Facebook and Google now collect extraordinary amounts of data regarding their users, and the things they know about people are truly amazing. A report published by TechCrunch on March 23, 2018, puts it bluntly. "Facebook knows literally everything about you," the headline declares. The article goes on to detail how Facebook not only saves every thought and picture you share and every message you send while on their website, but they also track other websites you visit, too. Additionally, if you use Facebook's service on your smartphone, there is a good chance they are collecting information about every message you send, every phone call you make, and the names and numbers of your contacts. (22)
In another development, Google has released a new "smart camera" called Clips. This device is placed in the user's home and is constantly watching all activity within its vicinity. The camera, which costs about $250, then uses artificial intelligence to capture candid moments of your family and pets and whatever else might be happening around you. (23) Not only is technology becoming more invasive, but users are voluntarily placing these devices in their homes.
Google already has the ability to track the movements and whereabouts of smartphone users who use the operating system known as Android. In fact, it was revealed in March 2018 that the police department in Raleigh, North Carolina, presented Google with a warrant demanding information about every smartphone user within a specific seventeen acre area. (24) Google has also partnered with the United States Department of Defense to develop artificial intelligence for use with drones. The program, which is called "Project Maven," allows drones to accurately detect and identify objects in thirty-eight categories while also tracking the movements of individuals. (25) Thus, Google has become a de-facto extension of the American government.
The Robots Have Arrived
In recent years we have been told repeatedly that the robots are coming. It seems that they have now arrived. In fact, you might see robots roaming the aisles at Walmart shopping centers very soon. These new robots are six feet tall and equipped with a variety of cameras and sensors tasked with monitoring the inventory on the shelves and checking price tags. Using artificial intelligence, these sophisticated robots can scan an entire aisle in about ninety seconds and are smart enough to avoid collisions with objects or people. "We boxed it in with four TV cameras earlier and it made a decision on the fly as to how to figure out a way around so that it could carry on with its job. That's the most rewarding thing, when it successfully navigates a really complex and dynamic space and just gets on with the job. It's unobtrusive, it just carries on," gushed Martin Hitch, the chief business officer at the robot's manufacturer, Bossanova. (26) Walmart is currently testing these robots at fifty stores in the United States. (27)
Meanwhile, a fast food restaurant in Pasadena, California, has installed a new robot they call "Flippy." Using thermal imaging and camera vision, Flippy is tasked with cooking hamburgers and cleaning the grill. "It detects the temperature of the patty, the size of the patty, and the temperature of the grilling surface," explained David Zito, the chief executive officer at Miso Robotics. Zito was also quoted as saying, "The kitchen of the future will always have people in it, but we see that kitchen as having people and robots." (28)
Even as robots wander about in Walmart, more and more driverless cars are beginning to populate American roadways. However, it is no longer just passenger cars that are being fully automated. A company known as Waymo, which is owned by Alphabet Inc., is now testing driverless freight trucks in Atlanta, Georgia. (29) This development is likely to cause anxiety amongst American truck drivers who could eventually be deemed unnecessary once the technology is perfected. More concerning is the potential for devastating accidents. Although automakers insist that driverless vehicles are perfectly safe and will ultimately reduce traffic fatalities, a recent accident in Tempe, Arizona, is challenging the validity of these claims. On March 18, 2018, a driverless car, owned by the ride hailing company known as Uber, struck and fatally injured a 49-year-old woman. In response, Uber halted all further testing of autonomous vehicles on public roads and issued a statement saying, "Our hearts go out to the victim's family. We are fully cooperating with local authorities in their investigation of this incident." (30) Despite the accident, plans are still underway for more driverless cars to be deployed. General Motors is hoping to launch a robot taxi service next year. (31) Additionally, Waymo has reached a deal with Jaguar to produce 20,000 driverless cars. The vehicles will be unleashed on American roads in about four years. (32) Ready or not, here they come!
In February 2018 former Google executive Eric Schmidt attempted to assuage fears regarding the dangers of robots and artificial intelligence. Speaking at the Munich Security Conference, Schmidt was quoted as saying, "Everyone immediately then wants to talk about all the movie-inspired death scenarios, and I can confidently predict to you that they are one to two decades away. So let's worry about them, but let's worry about them in a while." If Schmidt was trying to make people feel safer, he did not do a very good job. He further went on to say, "The other point that I want to remind everyone, these technologies [artificial intelligence] have serious errors in them and they should not be used with life-critical decisions. So I would not want to be in an airplane where the computer was making all the general intelligence decisions about flying it. The technology is just not reliable enough - there [are] too many errors in its use. It is advisory, it makes you smarter and so forth, but I wouldn't put it in charge of command and control." (33) Considering this statement, is it really such a good idea to put driverless cars and trucks on public roads?
In closing, it has become evident that there are constricting forces at work in this world. In recent weeks the social networking website known as Facebook and the video sharing website known as YouTube have greatly increased censorship efforts. According to a report by Bloomberg News, Google has hired 10,000 new moderators to police YouTube content, and they are actively removing thousands of videos on the website. According to a YouTube representative, some of these deletions were an error. "As we work to hire rapidly and ramp up our policy enforcement teams throughout 2018, newer members may misapply some of our policies resulting in mistaken removals," a YouTube spokeswoman said. (34) Nevertheless, this trend could be an indicator of things to come, and it could become increasingly difficult to publish content online.
As we grow ever closer to the return of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, there is a great spiritual darkness in this world, but the light of God will shine on. Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:14-16, "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."
Thank you all for your kind support of this ministry. If you have any prayer requests, great or small, you are invited to send them our way. Our team of intercessors always give each prayer request individual attention. Grace and peace be unto you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
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. Time Magazine, March 14, 2018, By Jamie Ducharme, http://time.com.
02. CNBC, March 3, 2018, By Sam Meredith, http://cnbc.com.
04. National Geographic, March 6, 2018, By Simon Worrall, http://nationalgeographic.com.
05. PJ Media, March 12, 2018, By Tyler O'Neil, http://pjmedia.com.
07. CNBC, March 3, 2018, By Christina Wilkie, http://cnbc.com.
08. Beaver Dam Daily Citizen, March 6, 2018, By Terri Pederson, http://wiscnews.com/bdc.
09. WBAY News, March 7, 2018, By WBAY News, http://wbay.com.
11. The Daily Dodge, March 10, 2018, By The Daily Dodge, http://dailydodge.com.
12. The Fond du Lac Reporter, March 15, 2018, By Taima Kern, http://fdlreporter.com.
13. Beaver Dam Daily Citizen, March 13, 2018, By Rob Schultz, http://wiscnews.com/bdc.
14. The Dallas Morning News, March 22, 2018, By James Barragan and Loyd Brumfield, http://dallasnews.com.
15. CBS Local News, March 19, 2018, By CBS Local News, http://dfw.cbslocal.com.
16. Time Magazine, March 21, 2018, By Jamie Ducharme, http://time.com.
17. Associated Press, March 1, 2018, By Lisa Mascaro, Matthew Daly, and Catherine Lucey, Washington, D.C.
18. Time Magazine, February 28, 2018, By Alana Abramson, http://time.com.
19. Real Clear Politics, March 23, 2018, By Tim Hains, http://realclearpolitics.com.
20. Real Clear Politics, March 24, 2018, By Tim Hains, http://realclearpolitics.com.
21. Associated Press, March 24, 2018, By Ashraf Khalil and Calvin Woodward, http://apnews.com.
22. Tech Crunch, March 23, 2018, By Romain Dillet, http://techcrunch.com.
23. The Week, March 1, 2018, By Navneet Alang, http://theweek.com.
24. Fast Company, March 18, 2018, By Fast Company, http://fastcompany.com.
25. Gizmodo, March 6, 2018, By Kate Conger and Dell Cameron, http://gizmodo.com.
26. CBS Local News, March 20, 2018, By CBS Local News, http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com.
28. KTLA 5 News, March 5, 2018, By Rich Demuro, http://ktla.com.
29. Recode, March 9, 2018, By Johana Bhulyan, http://recode.com.
30. Bloomberg News, March 19, 2018, By Mark Bergen and Eric Newcomer, http://bloomberg.com.
31. Bloomberg News, March 26, 2018, By Keith Naughton, http://bloomberg.com.
32. PJ Media, March 27, 2018, By Phil Baker March, http://pjmedia.com.
33. Defense News, February 28, 2018, By Daniel Cebul, http://defenseone.com.
34. Bloomberg News, February 28, 2018, By Mark Bergen, http://bloomberg.com.
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