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Transformative Upheaval in the United States

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Samuel David Meyer / Last Trumpet Newsletter

“The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.”

Genesis 6:11-12

“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”

Matthew 24:35-37

“And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.”

Luke 6:31


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In this issue of the Last Trumpet Newsletter, we will examine the shocking and dramatic events of recent weeks. It is truly amazing how much has happened since I wrote last month’s newsletter. Just as we were preparing to mail the June issue of the Last Trumpet, news broke of the George Floyd killing in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 25, 2020. Floyd, a black man, was killed by a white police officer who placed his knee on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes, thus causing death by asphyxiation. This brutal murder led to nationwide protests in America’s largest cities, which in many cases devolved into terrifying riots. Facing a triple-threat of a global coronavirus pandemic, social unrest, and poor economic conditions, the United States is fraying at the seams as people struggle to deal with the stress of the transformative upheaval now at work. When the dust finally settles, this country might never be the same as it was before.

As throngs of people continue to suffer from stifling anxiety, news reports are indicating there could be long term ramifications. An article from Wired Magazine published on June 4, 2020, reports that the American people are suffering from “crisis fatigue.” (1) The author of the piece goes on to explain that the human body is designed to cope with temporary stressful situations, but it is ill-equipped to deal with never-ending anxiety. “Your body is well adapted to handle temporary stresses, but it can get overwhelmed by the constant, unrelenting pressures of this horrible year,” the author, Matt Simon, wrote. He then quoted clinical research psychologist Adrienne Heinz who confirmed his premise. “Our bodies can’t sustain that level of nervous load. Things start to fail; wheels start to fall off. We experience a whole host of consequences – right now, we’re seeing an uptick in national anxiety and depression. You start to see insomnia, relationship distress,” she said. (2)

As stress levels soar, a growing number of Americans are turning to pharmaceuticals to help them cope. This trend has resulted in the Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, announcing that there is a shortage of Zoloft in the United States. Prescriptions for the drug rose by 12 percent year-over-year in March 2020, with 4.9 million people now on it. (3) According to WebMD, Zoloft, which is also known by its generic name Sertraline, is used to “treat depression, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorder, and a severe form of premenstrual syndrome.” (4) Considering the results of recent surveys, it is not surprising that the usage of anti-depressants has surged. Recent polls of 5,000 American citizens found that an astonishing 83 percent said that they are worried about the future of the United States. Additionally, 72 percent said they “believe this is the lowest point in the country’s history that they’ve ever been alive to see.” (5) The results of the studies prompted Arthur C. Evans, chief executive officer at the American Psychological Association, to say, “We are experiencing the collision of three national crises – the COVID-19 pandemic, economic turmoil, and recent, traumatic events related to systemic racism. As a result, the collective mental health of the American public has endured one devastating blow after another, the long-term effects of which many people will struggle with for years to come.” (6) Not surprisingly, the Associated Press reported on June 15, 2020, that the American people are the unhappiest they have been in fifty years, according to researchers. (7) Furthermore, a survey conducted by Rasmussen Reports found that 34 percent of respondents believe that the United States will experience a second civil war within the next five years. (8) Further stoking fears and anxiety, Marketwatch reported on June 17, 2020, that analysts from Deutsche Bank claim “there’s a one-in-three chance of a massive disaster that could be worse than COVID-19″ occurring within the next decade. Some possibilities for this hypothetical disaster include a catastrophic volcanic eruption, a significant solar flare, or a global war. (9)

People in this present age have become so accustomed to bad things happening that they are now expecting more bad things in the future. This view is not out of line with Scripture. II Timothy 3:13 declares, “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.” In like manner, Jesus warns us in Luke 21:10-11, “Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.” Nevertheless, there is a reason for God’s people to be optimistic. Jesus said in Matthew 24:35, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” Our Saviour also reminds us in John 16:33, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” Because Jesus overcame the world, we, too, can overcome the world. In the end, we have a great inheritance waiting for us. Revelation 21:7 informs, ”He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.” As such, I urge every reader of this newsletter to put your faith and hope in God. If you have not yet repented of your sins and dedicated your life to God, I encourage you to do so now.

Violence Erupts In America

Without a doubt, it has been a challenging year for the United States. After enduring the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and a shutdown that impacted the majority of the country, the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis at the hands of the police was the straw that broke the camel’s back. People were already angry. Now they are furious, and the rage has not subsided even a month after the incident in Minnesota.

The American people have a constitutional right to protest. The first amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees the American people freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom to assemble peaceably, and the right to “petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Therefore, I have no problem with people protesting peacefully. However, much of what we have seen in the United States in recent weeks is not protesting; it is violent rioting and insurrection.

Astonishing things have happened in this country. For example, the Secret Service rushed the President of the United States, Donald Trump, to his fortified bunker at the White House while demonstrators raged across the street on May 29, 2020. (10) This emergency measure would not have happened if the Secret Service did not believe there was an imminent threat to the President’s life. In the days following, new fencing that stretches for nearly two miles was installed around the White House in an effort to transform the famous residence into a fortress. (11) Reports indicate that there was a heavy contingent of “armed guards, sharpshooters, and combat troops” on site. (12) Additionally, dozens of troops were deployed to stand guard at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., after numerous statues and monuments have been vandalized, and in some cases destroyed at various locales around the country. (13) President Trump, for his part, said he was “taking immediate presidential action to stop the violence and restore security and safety in America” in a statement on June 1, 2020. Additionally, United States Attorney General William Barr was quoted as saying, “Law enforcement response is not going to work unless we dominate the streets.” (14) Yet, despite the promises of presidential action and domination, violence has persisted in the United States.

A Tragedy In Atlanta

Even as the nation continued to experience turmoil, protests, and riots, another incident in Atlanta, Georgia, further fanned the flames of outrage. On the night of June 12, 2020, an intoxicated black man by the name of Rayshard Brooks fell asleep in his vehicle while waiting in line at the drive-thru of a Wendy’s fast-food restaurant. Although Brooks initially cooperated with the police, he resisted when it became evident that the officers were going to arrest him. A struggle ensued as an officer tried to handcuff him. Eventually, Brooks stole the officer’s stun gun and attempted to flee. When Brooks aimed the stun gun at the officers, Officer Garret Rolfe shot Brooks in the back. Since a stun gun is not a lethal weapon and Brooks was too far away from the officers to inflict any harm, the shooting of Brooks was determined to be an overuse of force, and Rolfe has now been charged with felony murder. (15) Immediately following the incident, Atlanta’s police chief Erika Shields resigned. (16) This tragedy served as a catalyst for more violence and protests in America.

An Occupation In Seattle

It is always tragic when someone dies needlessly. However, these incidents have been seized upon by radicals who are attempting to start a revolution in the United States. Consider what is now happening in Seattle, Washington. In early June, radicals from Antifa and other groups clashed with the National Guard and police officers in the area of Seattle known as Capitol Hill. This war raged for several days until the order came down for the Seattle Police to abandon their East Precinct building. Radicals quickly moved in and took over the area. They moved the barricades which had been left by the police into a defensive position and declared the area to be the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” or CHAZ for short. A cardboard sign was placed at the entry point stating, “you are now leaving the USA.” (17) After the order came through for the police officers to abandon their building, the Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best was incensed. “You should know: leaving the precinct was not my decision. We fought for days to protect it. I asked you to stay on that line, day in and day out, to be pelted with projectiles, to be screamed at, threatened, and in some cases hurt. Then to have a change of course, nearly two weeks in, it seems like an insult to you and our community. Ultimately, the city had other plans for the building and relented to public pressure. I am angry about how this all came about. I understand that my comments and this message may be leaked to the public, but I’m not concerned about that. I stand by what I am saying,” she said. (18)

After the police station fell and radicals moved in, the police force could no longer reach the residents inside the “autonomous zone,” which stretched for six square blocks. “Our calls for service have more than tripled. These are responses to emergency calls – rapes, robberies, and all sorts of violent acts that have been occurring in the area that we’re not able to get to,” the Seattle Police said in a statement. (19) Meanwhile, heavily armed radicals patrolled the areas, and claims have been made that some of them were demanding protection money from residents and business owners in the area. “We’ve heard, anecdotally, reports of citizens and businesses being asked to pay a fee to operate within this area. This is the crime of extortion. If anyone has been subjected to this, we need them to call 911,” said Seattle Assistant Chief of Police Deanna Nollette. (20) The residents of Capitol Hill have become exasperated. “I think it’s ludicrous. What has happened is you have armed people holding hostage a neighborhood. It’s absurd. It’s not a protest. There’s no free speech. You get shouted down,” said one resident. (21)

As the occupation in Capitol Hill dragged on, Seattle Police Officers Guild President Michael Solan lamented the sorry state of affairs saying, “And now they control six square blocks. They control the precinct. And that is a direct result of our city-elected officials lacking the political willpower to enforce the rule of law. And this is the closest I’ve ever seen our country, let alone the city here, to becoming a lawless state when public safety issues are deeply, deeply concerning.” (22) The radicals in charge of the Capitol Hill region eventually renamed the area to the “Capitol Hill Occupation Protest” or CHOP instead of CHAZ. (23) Following multiple shootings in the area, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan finally announced plans on June 23, 2020, to dismantle the Capitol Hill Occupation Protest. “The cumulative impacts of the gatherings and protests and the nighttime atmosphere and violence has led to increasingly difficult circumstances for our businesses and residents. The impacts have increased, and the safety has decreased,” Durkan admitted. (24) Hopefully, the occupation will end soon. However, the fact that this entire situation happened in the United States and the mayor of Seattle, as well as the governor of Washington, did nothing to stop it for weeks is truly unsettling. These are days of unprecedented events. Is it any wonder that so many Americans worry that our country could soon be facing a civil war?

A Battle In Madison

The violent protests that have rocked much of the United States in recent weeks have not left my home state of Wisconsin unscathed. Numerous demonstrations have occurred in the state’s capital city of Madison as well as our largest city of Milwaukee. While one would expect the protests and riots to calm down after a while, hundreds of rioters were wreaking havoc in Madison from June 23 to June 24, 2020. According to the official police report, 200-300 people moved through downtown Madison where they blocked intersections, invaded private residences, and destroyed two statues on the Capitol Square. The rioters then tried to storm the state capitol building but were repelled by pepper spray. An attempt was made to firebomb the City-County building where numerous government workers and police officers could have been killed. (25)

Sadly, at least one private citizen was caught up in the maelstrom as he attempted to reach the hospital in Madison to pick up his girlfriend. Around 10:30 at night, rioters hurled a bicycle at the man’s vehicle. When he exited the car to ask why they threw the bicycle, a group of about fifty protestors attacked the man, punching him and kicking him while he lay on the ground in a fetal position. His wallet and mobile phone were stolen, and the windows of his car were smashed. (26)

In response to the destruction in Madison, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers activated the National Guard. “The protests in Madison last night resulted in serious injury to bystanders as well as significant damage to state property. The Wisconsin National Guard will serve in a limited authorization meant to make sure people can exercise their First Amendment rights while ensuring the safety of members of the public and state buildings and infrastructure,” the Governor said in a press release. (27) Dane County Executive Joe Parisi was appalled by the violence. “Things have gone too far. What happened overnight in the heart of the city I’ve grown up and spent my entire life in is absolutely heartbreaking. The misguided actions of a few jeopardized people’s safety and well-being,” he said. (28) Parisi also pointed out that the City-County building in Madison is home to the 911 emergency dispatch center, so the firebomb could have taken down that system if the fire had not been extinguished quickly. (29)

The Earth Filled With Violence

Aside from the violence related to the riots which have occurred all across the nation, violence in America’s largest cities seems to be exploding. In Minneapolis, Minnesota, the city where George Floyd was murdered a little over a month ago, many people have become victims of gun violence. A report published by CBS Local News indicates that nine people within a two-mile radius were shot over a four hour period on June 22, 2020. (30) Overall, more than 100 people have been shot since the killing of Floyd, and a mind-boggling 1,600 gunshots were detected over the course of thirty days. (31)

Chicago, Illinois, which is well-known for its gun violence, has not been looking any better lately. On May 31, 2020, eighteen people were gunned down on the streets of Chicago. It was the deadliest day recorded in Illinois’s largest city since 1961. (32) It only got worse from there. Father’s Day Weekend, which stretched from June 19 to June 22, 2020, saw 104 people shot in Chicago. Fifteen of them were mortally wounded. (33)

Meanwhile, a dramatic uptick in shootings in New York City has prompted New York Police Department Commissioner Dermot Shea to sound the alarm. “We had a hundred shootings in May – [the] first time we hit that number in probably five years. We were trending up before COVID- hit on shooting. The shame of this is I’ve been warning people since November or December that this is coming. A month or two ago, I told you that there is a storm on the horizon.” (34) Fifty-three shootings were reported from June 15 to June 21, 2020, in New York City. (35)

All of this is happening at a time when morale amongst police officers is at an all-time low. Protestors around the country have called on American communities to “defund the police,” leading a growing number of officers to quit their jobs in frustration. On June 27, 2020, it was reported that 272 NYPD officers have filed for retirement, a number much higher than usual. (36) This exodus is happening even as New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio promised there would be “very substantial” cuts to the New York City police budget. (37) It is also worth noting that a poll conducted in June 2020 found that three out of four police officers in Washington, D.C., are thinking about quitting their jobs. (38) If communities in this country really do defund their police departments, we could easily see more occupations such as the one in Seattle. Not surprisingly, gun sales in the United States are rising dramatically. On June 1, 2020, it was reported that sales of firearms had increased a whopping 80 percent in May 2020. (39)

The violence that is now so prevalent is one of the signs that Jesus told us to look for in the end times. Genesis, 6:11 tells us that in the days of Noah, “The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.” Jesus then warned in Matthew 24:37, “But as the days of Noe (Noah) were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Thus, the violence we see, though very sad, is not surprising. I do not doubt in my mind that there is a concerted effort to dismantle the United States of America. This country is being divided and weakened in an attempt to prepare the American people to be a part of the United Nations’ global one world government. Consider the words of Hawk Newsome, the former president of the Greater New York Black Lives Matter group. In an interview with Fox News, Newsome told host Martha McCallum, “If this country doesn’t give us what we want, then we will burn down this system and replace it. All right? And I could be speaking figuratively. I could be speaking literally. It’s a matter of interpretation.” (40) In response to the inflammatory statement, Black Lives Matter Global Network managing director Kailee Scales attempted to distance her group from Newsome, stating, “Hawk Newsome has no relation to the Black Lives Matter Global Network.” The remark from Scales irritated Newsome, who responded by saying, “It pains me that at a time like this, black people are not sticking together. To say that all people who carry that banner have to be sanctioned is preposterous. … To alienate us at a time like this, when the president is targeting us, is not only counterproductive, but it’s counterrevolutionary.” (41) Thus we see, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that what Newsome has on his mind is a revolution. It would be naïve to think that he is the only one with this mindset.

As for racism, a topic that has garnered so much attention in recent days, I firmly believe that Jesus Christ gave us the solution to this problem nearly two thousand years ago. In Luke 6:31, as Jesus preached his Sermon on the Plain, he told his audience and by extension, us, “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.” If everyone would faithfully follow these simple instructions, there would be no more racism.

In closing, these are indeed dangerous days. COVID-19 is still a severe threat to this country. According to a report released today, June 28, 2020, over ten million cases of COVID-19 have now been reported around the world, with 2.5 million of them in the United States. The virus is surging in California, Arizona, Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, Idaho, Tennessee, Utah, and elsewhere. (42) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, has warned that states may be forced to reenact restrictions if cases continue to rise. “If cases begin to go up again, particularly if they go up dramatically, it’s important to recognize that more mitigation efforts such as what were implemented back in March may be needed again,” said Jay Butler, the deputy director for infectious diseases at the CDC. (43) Needless to say, there is still a very urgent need for prayer.

http://lasttrumpetnewsletter.org/2020/07_20.html

Thank you all for your kind support of this ministry. We know there are many challenges in the days ahead, but by God’s grace and help, we will get through this. If you have any prayer requests, please send them our way. We always give each request individual attention. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

Samuel David Meyer

This newsletter is made possible by the kind donations of our supporters. If you would like to help us, you may send your contribution to our postal address or donate online at http://lasttrumpetnewsletter.org/donate.

http://lasttrumpetnewsletter.org/2020/07_20.html


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