The Anxiety & Turmoil Of This Modern Age: Last Trumpet Newsletter
By Samuel David Meyer / The Last Trumpet Newsletter
“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?”
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
In this issue of the Last Trumpet Newsletter, we will examine the anxiety and turmoil of this modern age. The world in which we live is astonishing in many ways. Technology has permanently altered our lives, and in the United States we have become accustomed to easy and quick access to the things we want and need. In the advanced fast-paced society of today, anxiety has become prevalent. According to a recent report, nearly one-third of American young people and adults suffer from an anxiety disorder. (1) Furthermore, a poll conducted in May 2018 found that 39 percent of respondents reported a higher level of anxiety over the course of the last year, while another 39 percent claimed to have anxiety levels equal to the previous year. Only 19 percent of respondents reported feeling less anxious. (2)
Why are the American people so stressed? It is easy to point a finger at the rancorous American political climate and the distressing news reports, which are crafted in a way to not only tell the audience what to think, but also to instill anxiety. Yet, recent reports have shown that there is a new culprit which is also instilling anxiousness in the United States and around the world: The widespread overuse of social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter. A report published in November 2018 by Marketwatch indicates that spending too much time on Facebook can cause depression. (3) The article cites a study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania which found that not only did the overuse of Facebook cause depression in those whom they examined, but their symptoms of depression dropped when the study’s participants began limiting their usage of Facebook. “It was striking,” said Professor Melissa Hunt at the University of Pennsylvania. “What we found over the course of three weeks was that rates of depression and loneliness went down significantly for people who limited their (social media) use.” (4) Remarkably, an experiment conducted by a local CBS affiliate in the state of Minnesota discovered that for some individuals, their blood pressure and heart rate immediately rose when they signed on to Facebook. “When you’re talking about the people using it day in and day out, it’s not appearing to be very healthy for them actually,” said clinical psychologist Dr. Matthew Syzdek. (5)
With the advent of smartphones, it has become easier than ever for consumers to check their social media accounts on a daily basis. Unfortunately, this easy access has led to addiction. A report published in 2016 indicates that smartphone users touch their phones an average of 2,617 times per day. This number includes every click, tap, or swipe on the devices, and for the heaviest users the number is even greater. The top 10 percent of smartphone users were found to be touching their devices an average of 5,427 times per day. (6) The overuse of smartphones and social media have seemingly caused a detrimental effect on the human attention span. In fact, recent studies claim that the average attention span of humans has fallen over the course of the last fifteen years from a meager twelve seconds to an even paltrier eight seconds. (7) Sadly, such a short attention span cannot efficiently process complex information, which in effect, dulls the ability of the human mind to think. Those who cannot think for themselves will be told what to think by someone or something else.
Needless to say, those with short attention spans are going to have a difficult time waiting on God. Yet, we know that quiet times of prayer, reflection, and waiting are how we are strengthened by the Almighty. In Isaiah 40:28-31 we read, “Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Waiting on God and following the prompting of His Spirit is the most effective way to overcome anxiety in this world. I urge every reader of this newsletter to repent of your sins if you have not yet done so, dedicate your life to God, and put your faith in Him. In so doing, you will find a peace that passes all understanding.
The Rise Of An Autocratic Surveillance State
With each passing year, technology becomes increasingly sophisticated. In the not so distant future, such technology will be used to implement an autocratic surveillance state. In fact, this is already starting to happen in China. In recent years, the communist Chinese government has been hard at work developing surveillance equipment that serves as a backbone for their newly implemented social credit score system that is now being tested and is expected to be fully operational by the year 2020. (8) The system relies heavily on facial recognition software, and with surveillance equipment deployed in many public areas, the people of China are now watched and otherwise surveilled most of the time. Their activities, whether conducted online or in the real world, are constantly monitored. If a Chinese person behaves in a manner that is pleasing to the Chinese government, this person is rewarded with a good social credit score. If a person behaves in a manner that is displeasing to the government, their social credit score is lowered. Those who have an inadequate score soon find that many of the privileges they once enjoyed have been revoked. For example, it was reported in May 2018 that more than 11 million people in China are no longer allowed to fly on airplanes, and 4.25 million are unable to use high-speed trains. (9)
To make matters worse, the system is designed to publically shame those who have a low score. “We will improve the credit blacklist system, publically disclose the records of enterprises and individuals’ untrustworthiness on a regular basis, and form a pattern of distrust and punishment,” the Chinese government said in an official document. (10) Some of the activities that can lower one’s social credit include violating traffic laws, smoking in a non-smoking zone, and owning too many video games. Additionally, posting “fake news” online could also lower your score. (11) This restriction is especially troubling since it is likely that the authorities will consider any content critical of the Chinese government to be “fake news,” whether it really is or not.
I suspect that Christians who attend unauthorized churches will also be punished with a low score. Christians in China are already heavily persecuted, and the Christian Post reported on November 19, 2018, that four churches in China have been ordered to join the official communist church network or cease to exist. (12) Chinese officials are known to confiscate and burn Bibles, even as the government works to retranslate the Scriptures. “There are outlines that the new Bible should not look westernized and [should look] Chinese and reflect Chinese ethics of Confucianism and socialism. The Old Testament will be messed up. The New Testament will have commentaries to interpret it,” said Bob Fu, who is the founder of ChinaAid. (13)
Meanwhile, a Chinese electronics company known as ZTE has been helping the government in the socialist nation of Venezuela build a national surveillance system that likely draws inspiration from the system in China. While the Venezuelan program does not involve a social credit score at this time, it does compel the people to receive a new national identification card, which has been dubbed the “fatherland card.” The cards, which debuted in 2016, track and store a plethora of personal information, including the cardholder’s voting record, medical records, employment records, family information, and even information about the user’s activity on social media. While the cards are not technically mandatory, those who refuse to carry one are no longer eligible to receive fuel subsidies and are unable to receive boxes of food from the government. (14) Considering how common hunger is in Venezuela, it is unlikely that many will refuse to carry their “fatherland card.” Elsewhere around the world, Chinese companies are helping the governments of Zimbabwe, Malaysia, and Egypt develop surveillance systems, including advanced facial recognition programs. (15)
The social credit system now being implemented in China sounds like science fiction. It goes well beyond the capabilities of classic dystopian novels such as George Orwell’s 1984. Yet, it is really happening, and these developments could be a preview for what is to come for the rest of the world. In fact, a Democrat by the name of Andrew Yang from the American state of New York is planning to run for President of the United States in the year 2020. One of his proposals is that the United States government implements a new program that would reward compliant Americans with “digital social credits,” or DSCs. “As individuals rack DSCs, they would have both a permanent balance they’ve earned over their lifetime and a current balance. They could cash the points in for experiences, purchases with participating vendors, support for causes, and transfer points to others for special occasions,” it states on Yang’s website. “As their permanent balance gets higher, they might qualify for various perks like throwing a pitch at a local ballgame, an audience with their local Congressperson or meeting their state’s most civic-minded athlete or celebrity.” (16) It is highly unlikely that Andrew Yang will ever be president. However, the fact that such proposals are even being discussed is an indicator of just how rapidly our world is changing. It gives us a glimpse of a future where privacy is a thing of the past and the people of the world live under the bondage of a one-world global surveillance state.
New Marks And Chips For Human Cattle
If you have read this newsletter before, you might recall that we have covered the topic of human microchipping on numerous occasions. Last year we covered the shocking news that a company in northern Wisconsin had implanted microchips in a number of their employees. Additionally, we know that thousands of people in Sweden have received a microchip in their hands. This disturbing trend is slowly reaching other parts of the world. In November 2018 an article published by The Guardian announced that 150 people in the United Kingdom have received a microchip implant. These chips were inserted in the hands of humans by a company known as BioTeq, and it seems likely that there are more implants on the way. (17) According to reports, the Swedish firm known as Biohax is presently in talks with numerous British companies to implant their workers with microchips. This includes a large unnamed company that has hundreds of thousands of employees. (18) A spokesperson for the Confederation of British Industry, or CBI, expressed grave concern over this development. “While technology is changing the way we work, this makes for distinctly uncomfortable reading. Firms should be concentrating on rather more immediate priorities and focusing on engaging their employees,” the spokesperson said. (19) Frances O’Grady, the general secretary for the Trades Union Congress in the United Kingdom, also sounded the alarm. “We know workers are already concerned that some employers are using tech to control and micromanage, whittling away their staff’s right to privacy. Microchipping would give bosses even more power and control over their workers. There are obvious risks involved, and employers must not brush them aside, or pressure staff into being chipped.” (20)
Even as human microchipping slowly gains ground around the world, researchers have developed a new electronic tattoo that enables them to print computer circuitry which can be directly applied to the human body. “We’re reporting a new way of creating electronic tattoos. These are circuits that are printed on temporary tattoo film. We print circuits made of silver nanoparticles, and then what we do is we coat those silver nanoparticles with a liquid metal alloy. The liquid metal fuses with the silver to create these conductive wires on the tattoo; the tattoo can easily be transferred to skin, and the conductivity is high enough to support digital circuit functionality,” declared Carmel Majidi from Carnegie Mellon University. (21) This new technique will allow flexible computer circuitry to be applied directly to human skin, thus making man part human and part machine. Without a doubt, astonishing strides are being made by technology developers to implement new ways to mark and chip human beings. Just as cattle are commonly branded, humanity may soon be branded and marked as well.
The Perilous Times Of 2018
The world of today is constantly filled with turmoil and violence. This is not surprising since we live in a world that is saturated with sin, and we know that as we grow ever closer to the return of our Lord Jesus Christ, trouble will abound all the more. In II Timothy 3:1, we are specifically warned by the Apostle Paul, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.” We are then warned again in II Timothy 3:13, “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.” The headlines of this modern age leave little doubt that we are living in perilous times today.
Recent years have shown that we live in an age of protest. For example, earlier this year violent protests and riots broke out in Haiti after the International Monetary Fund forced the Haitian government to raise fuel prices. In recent days, a similar thing has happened in Paris, France, where thousands of French citizens took to the streets to protest new fuel taxes implemented by French President Emmanuel Macron. Protests that lasted for more than a week reached their peak on November 24, 2018, when an estimated 30,000 people clogged the streets of Paris to protest the new taxes, and three thousand police officers were deployed to confront them. (22) Damage from the protests was substantial as storefront windows were smashed and fires were started in the streets. (23) French officials bemoaned the protests and complained that the upheaval could hurt France’s image. “We shouldn’t underestimate the impact of these images of the Champs-Elysees… with battle scenes that were broadcast by the media in France and abroad. Behind this anger there is obviously something deeper and which we must answer, because this anger, these anxieties have existed for a long time,” lamented government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux. (24) Across the nation of France, over 100,000 people protested on November 24, a number which was about half the amount of protestors who took part in the previous week. (25)
Interestingly enough, the new fuel taxes instituted by Macron’s government are designed to make traditional transportation prohibitively expensive, thus forcing the French people to pursue more environmentally friendly options. (26) In other words, the taxes are supposed to combat climate change. It is evident that climate change is going to be used as an excuse to enact oppressive new restrictions on how people live their lives. The protests in France are a preview of how we can expect humanity to react when governments around the world foist new backbreaking rules upon mankind.
Meanwhile, gruesome violence has become all too common in London, England. Although firearms are heavily restricted in this region of the world, an epidemic of knife attacks have shown that wicked men and women will use whatever tools they can find to commit their heinous acts. It was reported in November 2018 that 118 people have been murdered in London since January 2018. The majority of these senseless acts of violence involved knives. (27) The brutal attacks in London have persisted despite the fact that Mayor Sadiq Khan promised in April 2018 that his city would impose stricter knife control measures. “No excuses: there is never a reason to carry a knife. Anyone who does will be caught, and they will feel the full force of the law,” Mayor Khan insisted. This announcement came after it was revealed that murders in London for the months of February and March 2018 exceeded the murder rate of New York City for the same time period. (28)
Canada, too, is grappling with an increase in homicides and violent crimes. The homicide rate, which is now at a ten-year high, is especially bad in the province of British Columbia, which has seen an increase of 32 percent over this time period. (29) Much of the violence has been attributed to gang activity, a development which has prompted Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to enforce stronger border security measures. Trudeau’s plan, which was announced on November 7, 2018, will cost 86 million Canadian dollars over the short term, and 327 million over the course of the next five years. (30) Additionally, the Canadian government plans to increase deportations of undocumented aliens by a rate of 10,000 per year. “While Canada is a humanitarian country that has welcomed many immigrants and asylum-seekers over the years, those coming to our country are expected to abide by our laws and processes,” said a border agency spokesperson. (31)
There is also a great potential for upheaval at the border between the United States and Mexico. As of this writing, a group of about 5,000 migrants, mostly from the Central American nation of Honduras, have assembled at the Mexican border town of Tijuana as they await to apply for asylum in the United States. Evidently, not everyone in the crowd is intent on waiting for approval, and on November 25, 2018, a group of migrants attempted to storm the American border. According to reports, some of these migrants were agitated and began hurling stones at American border agents. In response, these agents fired tear gas and rubber bullets at the crowd and arrested 69 people. (32) The actions of these agents were heavily criticized in the media because some of the tear gas was fired in the proximity of women and children. However, American President Donald Trump defended their actions stating, “They had to use [it] because they were being rushed by some very tough people.” (33) Needless to say, the situation at the border remains volatile, and there could certainly be more clashes in the coming days.
In this present time period we live in today, there is a great deal of religion. This is especially true in the United States where more than 70 percent of the population professes to be Christian. (34) Yet, a recent report indicates that 61 percent of Americans who self-identify as Christians also embrace New Age or pagan beliefs. According to a study by Pew Research, 26 percent of professing Christians believe in astrology, 29 percent believe in reincarnation, and 40 percent believe in psychics. (35) Considering these facts, it is no wonder that there is so much confusion in the world and that witchcraft is thriving in the United States. While people may think that they can believe whatever they want and that they can worship God however they want, this notion is refuted by the Lord Jesus in John 4:24. This verse declares, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” We cannot worship God in truth while concurrently embracing New Age witchcraft.
Strangely enough, so-called Christian ministers in this day and age sometimes do not even believe in God. Such is the case at a church in Toronto, Canada, where a woman who is a professed atheist leads her congregation. Gretta Vosper, who has worked as the minister at West Hill United Church since 1997, has long told her audience that she does not believe in God nor the authority of the Bible. For a time it seemed as though she might lose her position, but in a surprise development, it was announced in November 2018 that her denomination’s leaders have decided to allow her to stay. In response, Vosper was quoted as saying, “It’s going to be wonderful. We’ll be out from underneath that heavy cloud. Now we’ll really be able to fly.” (36) This story just goes to show that you can have religion without God. However, such religion has no value.
In closing, there are many concerning things happening all around us each and every day. The cares of this life threaten to swallow us up with anxiety, and yet we know that if we put our faith and trust in God, we do not need to worry. In Matthew 6:25-27 we are told by our Saviour, “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?” In like manner, the Apostle Paul writes in Philippians 4:6-7, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Thank you all for your kind support of this ministry. Please note that this is the final issue of the Last Trumpet Newsletter for the year 2018. If you receive the paper edition through the mail, you will find a renewal form enclosed. Please fill out this form and return it to us at your earliest convenience to be included on the 2019 mailing list. As usual, you may also send us your prayer requests. Each request is always given individual attention by our team of intercessors. Grace and peace be unto you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
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