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     Recognizing Deception and Apostasy
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Part II Continued

RECOGNIZING
APOSTASY

What They Don’t Want You to Know!


 

Chapter 12
Economic Deception –

Are You Ready for Meltdown?

 

 

About the Author

 

 

This chapter is being rewritten in January, 2004.  I mention this because the material in it is somewhat time sensitive.   It is also being rewritten to be a part of the larger book on apostasy and deception, because the economic condition of the world is a big part of the deception.  There are two aspects: first, the prophetic economic meltdown predicted in Scripture culminating in the “Mark of the Beast”, and second, deals with the current economic situation and America’s  condition as the commercial, political, military and “Christian” leader of the world.  We know that the administration is going to do everything in its power to keep the economic bubbles from popping before the election in November, but after that all bets are off!  Whether we enter the Tribulation in the next few years or not, we are in for troubled times ahead and we will prove it!

 

The Threat from the Government

 

There are a number of economic threats on the horizon.  One is the state of the economy and how the government is lying and manipulating it.  In the name of the war on terror, the administration has set in motion the apparatus which will control buying, selling and everything else.  Terrorism is the perfect enemy.  It can be anywhere and everywhere.  You can’t spend enough money or do enough to stop them, and the funny thing is, that the public supports this war, no matter what the cost.  They don’t complain about the erosion of freedom from the so-called Patriot Act, because they will pay any price for peace and safety.  The reason that the war on terror is important to this economic discussion is that it gives the government the freedom to snoop into everything you are doing, especially how you spend your money and where you go.

 

They hype the terror threat until people are afraid to travel anywhere unfamiliar.   I have a different perspective.  I’ve been in the Middle East.  I’ve been in the middle of the civil war in El Salvador and heard the mortars and machine guns in the hills near my hotel.  I was in a restaurant the night before guerillas came in and killed a half dozen US marines. I spent many months in Colombia with murder, robbery, bombs all around.  I’ve been in other very dangerous places such as Nigeria and South Africa and the one thing I’ve learned is that no matter what is going on around you, the statistical probability that anyone would ever be hurt is less than being struck by lightening (unless you go to the middle of a riot to see what’s going on).  Terrorists killed about 3,000 people in America – pretty much for the first time in history but 40,000 a year are killed by automobiles.   After all, cigarettes kill 400,000 people a year so why don’t we declare war on cigarette companies, on liquor or other known killers!  I would submit that we are doing far more to irritate a hornet’s nest of terrorists right now in the Middle East than we ever would have if we hadn’t invaded two Islamic nations.  Folks the government is making a mountain out of a mole hill and spreading fear and panic across the land.  It is far more dangerous to get in your car and drive to the store.  Besides, isn’t your life in God’s hand?  Why is the government pandering fear?  So they can legally control every aspect of our lives – your ability to transfer money, buy, sell and travel!  If a person is even suspected, they can be thrown into jail and have everything they own confiscated without due process.  You can be held indefinitely.

 

If we are living in the “last days” and coming into a time the Bible calls the worst “tribulation” in the history of the world, and if the economic system stops us from buying and selling without the “mark of the beast”, one can imagine, that a lot of crazy things happen leading up to that total control.  We are talking about a government that is putting into motion programs that will control our every movement.

 

Let’s just look at one.  An article appeared yesterday that all airline passengers are going to receive background checks before being allowed to fly.  The past few weeks, there have been articles about the new rating system – green, yellow and red tags.  A person with a green tag boards the plane.   A person with a yellow tag is scrutinized carefully at the airport and a person with a red flag is not permitted to fly.  This is supposed to be directed at suspected terrorists, but already green party members and other critics of the administration have fallen into the “red” category.  But beyond these categories, the government is going to screen every single person before they fly.  Below are some excerpts from the article:  (found at http://www.wsws.org/articles/2004/jan2004/air-j21_prn.shtml )

“Stage one has the airlines turn over each passenger’s reservation data, including name, address, telephone number, and travel itinerary to the government, which will now also require airlines to obtain the passenger’s date of birth when he or she makes a reservation. The data is given in turn to a private contractor, who checks it against large databases developed commercially from public records and other sources such as credit bureaus and marketing lists. Social Security numbers are added to the passenger data from these records.

The contractor assigns a numerical value to each traveler, designed to rate the likelihood that he is the person he says he is. The rating is passed back to the TSA, which then crosschecks the information against federal “do-not-fly” lists. Finally, a color code is assigned to each passenger—green for normal screening, yellow for extra searches, and red for not being allowed to fly. In addition, “red” passengers may be subject to police interrogation and possible arrest.

Although dozens of peace activists and other opponents of the Bush administration have found themselves caught up in the “do-not-fly” lists, up until now the government has claimed that only suspected terrorists were tracked. Now, however, the TSA has expanded the list to include supposedly violent criminals. The TSA has not said whether a conviction or simply an arrest will earn someone a place on the list, nor exactly what crimes are considered violent.

This expansion of the list has the effect of making the detention of a passenger seem more routine and even justified. Anyone targeted, either mistakenly or strictly for their political activities, will be even more isolated as they are being led away, since they will be assumed to be a common criminal.

CAPPS 2 represents a major buildup of the police-state apparatus that the Bush administration has been developing under the guise of the “war on terror.” Turning airports into internal checkpoints, similar to roadblocks, it creates a blanket system for monitoring and controlling the comings and goings of citizens and non-citizens alike.

No information is being released on the criteria established for assigning a “red” or “yellow” rating. In addition to being an extensive identity check, the stage one numerical rating incorporates an assessment of whether the traveler is “rooted in the community.” Does this mean that someone without a long credit or shopping history will be considered a high risk? Will those who recently moved be more likely to be denied the right to travel than those who have not? How this is determined remains secret, supposedly to prevent terrorists from figuring out how to “work” the system.

Such secrecy invites abuse. The government can target political opponents to be put in the “red” category without having to make any accounting for the action. Someone who finds himself banned from travel has no recourse. In truly Kafkaesque fashion, he cannot find out how his name got on the “do-not-fly” list, nor how he would be able to get it removed. The TSA claims it will have an ombudsman to whom those who feel they have been erroneously subjected to restrictions can complain, but there is no indication as to what authority the ombudsman will actually have.”

I would encourage you to read the entire article.  Think about it.  This is happening right now.  They estimate that about 5 percent will be tagged.  I personally know someone who was “red tagged” (and she is hardly a threat to society, I assure you).  These arbitrary searches and crossing of information such as your shopping habits, the books you check out from the library, the sites you visit on the internet and bringing in your social security number and other personal data means a complete end to privacy.  Do you realize what this can mean if people can’t travel to attend meetings or visit friends and relatives – because their name is on a list and they don’t know why or how to get it off?  This administration has already shown its willingness to mark ordinary peaceful citizens who happen to disagree with it.  Take it a step further.  Your name gets on one of these data bases and you are stopped by a traffic cop.  Or they start to set up road blocks on major roads coming into cities to check for “terrorists” and guess what?  The Office of Homeland Security already has plans to do this and is training national guardsmen at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.  (please see the entire article at http://www.rense.com/general15/idss.htm )  The technology exists to stop you from traveling, renting a hotel room, buying anything if you are even suspected of being a threat to this country!  This government can throw you in jail, confiscate your property, take away your children without due process – just based on suspicion – and you have no recourse thanks to the “Patriot Act” and subsequent legislation.

 

The Threat from the World Economic System

 

There are other threats – threats from a world gone crazy, lusting for the good life and for more and more “things”.  To our shame, surveys show that there is no significant difference between the average church going “Christian” and the average American citizen in terms of indicators such as rates of divorce, child abuse, drug and alcohol abuse, etc.  There is also no difference between the average “Christian” in terms of the amount of mortgage debt, credit card debt and savings.  All are caught up in the rat race and just a month or two away from total wipe out if income were totally cut off.  The only thing that has saved families so far is the good old credit card, easy mortgage money and two income families.  So if one loses a job, they are able to hold on for a while.  Little seems to stop the propensity to spend money you don’t have to buy things you don’t need.  We go on spending as if there is no tomorrow and the piper never has to be paid.  We are all caught in the trap.  As Donald Trump recently showed us, the most powerful, devastating words are “you’re fired.”   We have other nice ways of saying it.  You’ve been downsized, reengineered, etc.  This represents the bitter end for many, including professionals and high skilled workers who will never find another job that pays any where near the same.

 

We are bullish on the equity markets (which are reaching new two year highs), on housing which is going higher and higher - on just about everything but jobs.  Something is wrong with this recovery.  We should be adding 200,000 jobs a month but last month (December 2003) only 1,000 jobs were created and we regularly see about 350,000 new unemployed every week.  The unemployment percentage stays the same because people lose benefits and just quit looking.  We are like party goers on the Titanic.  We think the American ship will never sink but it is already taking on water as the rivets pop off one by one  (more on the economy in detail later). 

 

The world economic system has every one of us in its clutches.  Most people are so deep in debt, so dependent on their job to pay the next months bills that if they lose it, they have nothing to fall back on except a credit card.  Instead of saving 40 percent of our income like the Japanese, we don’t save anything!  We are stuck on the treadmill with no way to get off.  In centuries past you could at least go back to the farm and live off the land.  Now, there is no where to go.  You are completely dependent on the system for health care, unemployment insurance and retirement.   You pay taxes on everything and are regulated in everything you do.  As long as your government is benevolent, fine, but if it starts to turn on you, there is no where to run, no where to hide.  If the demands of the “empire” are great, tax money is diverted from your community to far off lands.  Your children are conscripted into government service to fight the “terrorists.”  If you dare to dissent or question them, your house is taken, your bank accounts frozen, your children farmed out to “politically correct” families and you are sent off to work camps or worse.

 

What Does the Bible Say?

 

The scriptures are clear that in the “last days” wealth will increase, followed by economic collapse, total control of trade, followed by the destruction of a great commercial nation.

 

And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write:The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this:  I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I would that you were cold or hot.  So because you are lukewarm; and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth, Because you say I am rich and have become wealthy and have need of nothing... (Revelation 3:14-17)

 

And when He broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, “Come.”  And I looked, and behold, a black horse; and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand.  And I heard as it were a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius and do not harm the oil and the wine.”  (Revelation 6:5-6)

 

And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the freemen and the slaves, to be given a mark on their hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one should be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of the name.  Here is wisdom.  Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six. (Revelation 14:16-18)

 

And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great!  …For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality and the kings of the earth have commits of immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality…and the merchants of the earth weep and mourn over her, because no one buys their cargoes any more…The merchants of these things, who became rich from her, will stand at a distance because of the fear of her torment, weeping and morning…for in one hour such great wealth has been laid waste!  And every shipmaster and every passenger and sailor, and as many as make their living by the sea, stood at a distance, and were crying out as they saw the smoke of her burning…”  (Revelation 18:2,3,11,12,17)

 

The prophetic scriptures above speak of economic woes which will come upon the earth: a time when a days wages goes for food alone, when everyone will need a mark to be able to buy or sell.  They also describe a great “end times” consumer nation that will be destroyed and the merchants of the earth, who got rich from her and traded with her by sea, mourn her destruction. There is no other great economic consumer power the world trades with by sea than America.   Which nation fits that description?  Any guesses?  What church fits the description of Laodicea where over half of the Christians are congregating in market driven, program driven “mega” churches?  Could it be that the American church thinks it is on top of its game?

 

Commercial Spiritual Deception

 

There is a spirit at work in the world today.  Actually Mammon was the God the heathen prayed and paid to for the blessing of wealth.  Just like today’s televangelists, they were told to give 10 to get a 1000.  We long for wealth.  We expect it.  We send in the Publishers Clearinghouse coupons and buy lottery tickets.  We work longer, harder hours than anyone on earth!  The Protestant ethic assumes the accumulation of wealth is proof of God’s blessing!  The whole world is lusting for more and more material goods, and like the tar baby, the more they strive to have it all, the faster they run on the treadmill.  All are seeking the elusive dream which drives them forward.  Only as a person ages do they begin to realize what an empty promise material things are, but by then it is too late.  A trap is set for the people of the world because they are tied into a fully integrated, interrelated global commercial system, that one day will demand their total allegiance or kill them. 

 

It goes without saying that spiritual readiness is important for the “end times” Christian.  We need to know the Lord, recognize His still small voice and be prepared to lose all things, including our lives.  But is there anything practical that we can do to prepare?  The “Greatest Tribulation the world has ever seen” (Matthew 24:21) may not happen in our lifetime.  But then again, it just might, and if it does, there will be some of the greatest economic and social upheaval the world has ever seen.  Woe to the “end times” Christian of the “Laodicean Church” mentioned above where MONEY/WEALTH and SIZE defines its success.  Money and possessions determines one’s status in churches.  Just listen to the TV preachers and they will tell you that wealth measures how much we have been blessed by God.  Money determines our place on the Board of the Church, and our influence in the community.  It is money we all strive for and money that corrupts and draws us away from an absolute commitment to God and His kingdom. It is money and the lust for all the things that it will buy that draws us many away from God.  It is the preoccupation over money that causes sleepless nights and ulcers.  It is arguments over money that breaks up most marriages.  And it is the fear of not having money that drives us to accumulate wealth so we don’t retire as penniless paupers.

 

This subject has been on my heart for some time and has taken years to research so I trust the Lord will give me the anointing to present this information to you.  People have been asking me for many years, “seeing that these things may come to pass in my lifetime, what can I do about it?”  This is a little longer than other chapters, but the material is so important, it has to be covered in detail, step by step, so please read on to the end.  There are some very practical steps we can take to prepare for what is coming.  This is not the kind of information you will hear from late Larry Burkett or any of the other Christian money gurus.  If we are in the “last days”, what we do should be governed by the prophetic scriptures that were written to warn us of things to come, not the Christian advice columnists and radio programs.

 

It is interesting that just as in religious circles, you have the foremost leaders of the Christian world telling us of the great revival to come, they talk of achieving victory and dominion in the world and that God is going to shower the greatest financial blessing in the history of the world on His people.   When the mainline Christian teachers speak of revival, patriotism, dominion and money instead of apostasy, heavenly citizenship, suffering and loss, something is wrong.  Is this the teaching of the Bible or of apostate Laodicean leaders?  Our ability to disentangle ourselves from the world and the economic pressures may be critical to our effectiveness and survival. 

 

The Net That Saves and Enslaves

 

There was a time in the early days of the American Republic when life was simple.  Most lived on farms and grew what they needed.  Then the great industrial revolution and a few wars came along and people found themselves moving to where the jobs are – the cities.  When the Great Depression came along, many were in desperate straights because they had come to the city and had no where to go back to.  The Depression traumatized an entire generation with the loss of their savings, their homes and their jobs.  Then the government stepped in to provide the security that was once provided by the family and farm.  Systems were set in place to guarantee the security of the little guy and prevent future crashes.  This included guarantees, savings deposit insurance and a managed monetary system designed to prevent swings in the economy.

 

Many educated people are convinced government has the economy under control.  There is no problem with “fiat” paper money, the Federal Reserve, America’s economy or the future.  We have the technology to work things out.  We have the greatest “God blessed” nation on earth.  There will never be another “Great Depression”  In fact, Milton Friedman, the famous economist, postulated that the Great Depression could have been completely avoided if they had known to increase money supply.   (Milton Friedman and Anna Schwartz, A monetary History of the United States) For sixty some years, the Federal Reserve has tweaked the economy by increasing or decreasing the money supply and interest rates in order to heat the economy up or cool it down.  With some ups and downs, it has worked.  We now have federally insured banks to guarantee savings and prevent a run on the bank.  Plus, beginning with Roosevelt, the government has been creating more and more of a safety net to shelter citizens from catastrophes of all type: unemployment insurance if you lose your job, social security retirement if you didn’t save for old age, food stamps, Medicare, disability programs, worker’s compensation should you be injured on the job.  We pass legislation to protect children, pets, trees, the air, water and everything else our law makers could think of.  Since there is no farm to go back to and family to take care of one another, the government provides cradle to grave coverage, protecting everything but the unborn.  Citizens do their collective “right” and vote now and then, maintaining the illusion that they are in control of their own destiny.

 

You may think the “faith-based initiatives” is a good thing – turning many social services, education and criminal justice programs over to the churches.  These programs are traps, to tie the churches financially into the state and make the churches more accountable.  Along with accountability comes standards, strings attached, plus revenue that will make the churches beholden to and dependent on the government.

 

So now, for as long as most of us can remember, the government is not only there for us, but it created the greatest economy the world has ever seen, the greatest and most powerful financial empire in the history of the earth all based on the standard of a little green sheet of paper called the “dollar”, which is backed by the “good faith and credit of the U.S. Government”.  We believe democracy and a free market system are the keys to peace, prosperity and freedom in the world.  And to this present day, most of the world believes it too and supports the huge American deficit by buying dollars, stocks and bonds!

 

The very safety net that saved us from unemployment, disability, sickness, old age and other bumps in life’s road, has also enslaved us.  We are dependent on the government for everything.  The government controls every aspect of our lives.   It “protects” us from terrorists and drug lords by monitoring our banking, major purchases and controls and regulates every aspect of our lives.  It taxes us, manages the economy and tells us that everything is fine.  We are in a recovery.  There is no need to worry.  The U.S. productive engine will save us once again and we will save the world for truth, justice and the American way.

 

For much of the Twentieth Century, the U.S. was the greatest producing and exporting economy the world had ever seen.  But things have changed radically in the past few years.  We have gone from the greatest exporter/creditor nation to the greatest importer/debtor nation.  We are going to examine these trends in detail and take a peak into our future based on current trends and Bible prophecy.  Then we are going to examine some very practical steps we can take to prepare for the trouble that lay ahead.

 

Another Depression?  A Look at the Stock Market

 

There is an interesting thing about Depressions.  No one ever admits that there is one.  It wasn’t until after WWII that economists and politicians even admitted that there was one.  Today the Federal Reserve chairmen speak of the dangers of “deflation” (a synonym for the dreaded “D” word which is never uttered)   Since the turn of the century, our markets lost $7 to $10 trillion of investor’s money, but three years later, the market is rallying again to new highs.  Housing is booming  and prices are sky rocketing.  Yet, we have lost 3 million [http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/2003-09-07-webber_x.htm] core manufacturing jobs and now white collar executive positions are moving to other countries such as India.  The Bond market is imploding and the dollar has lost 40 percent of its value.   They tell us everything is okay.  We are in a recovery.  The recession is over, but we still have that uneasy feeling.  Maybe things aren’t as rosy as the politicians  proclaim. 

 

Let’s examine the indicators.  The Dow Jones began in 1884 and consisted of 12 railroad companies and the next year two industrials were added.  By 1896 there were 12 industrials and 20 railroad stocks.  By 1928, there were 30 stocks as there are today.  The Dow is a moving target as failing companies slip off and new up and comers are put on.  On January 14, 2000 the Dow hit an all time high of 11,722.98 and the Nasdaq peaked on March 10 at 5,043.62.  The bubble popped and by September of 2001, the down had slipped to just below 8,000 and the Nasdaq bottomed out in the 1500 range. 

 

Historically, most investors consider a price earnings ratio (PE ratio) of 8 to 10 to be where stocks should sell.  This basically means that you earn the money back you paid for a stock in 8 to 10 years.  During the Y2K Bubble, the S&P 500 index hit 37 to 1 from a bottom of 10 to 1 in 1975.  So for those who think the bubble popped, it is back up to 60:1 right now for the S&P 500.  The average PE ratio for the DOW is back up to over 35 to 1, and actually much higher – more like 50 to 1 because of two factors.  Stock options for executive compensation and pension fund liabilities are not considered in the company’s profit and loss statement although by all rights they should be.  The Nasdaq is at a PE ration of 65 to 1!  (as of January 2004)

 

It is the job of Wall Street to continually hype the market.  The headlines in the 1930’s read pretty much as they do today.  The market is there for one reason – to sell stocks!  From 1929 to 1932, there were a half dozen rally backs.  In 1930, they rallied back 48 percent of their loss but the market went inexorably down, down, down for the next ten years.  We have seen the same thing since the market began to fall in 2,000.  There have been six rallies but the trend continues down.  The biggest sucker rally is the one going on right now (late 2003, early 2004).  The average person continues to drive the market up while the insiders are selling like crazy.  But as we see above, the bubble has been reinflated, only to be popped again.  The administration is determined to keep the economy propped up until after the election.  It will be interesting to see if they can.

 

Several factors keep the market going.  First, retirement and investment funds pump new money into the market every month. Second, foreigners still love America and seem to have more confidence in it than Americans.  They have so many surplus dollars to invest, they put it in the stock market.  Japan has put a trillion dollars into the American economy this year to bolster the dollar and keep the yen low so their exports won’t suffer.  Countries around the world continue to loan us money they make from us so we will keep buying from them.  In fact, America absorbs 80 percent of the world’s savings.  Pretty sweet deal as long as it lasts so how long can we pull off the biggest ponzi scheme in history!

 

For every bubble, there is a bust.  The stock bubble occurs when the stock price is way out of line with earnings.  It results from excess productive capacity – too many airlines, phone companies, computers, cell phones or investment in worthless ventures.  The companies aren’t making money but the stock price stays high.   At the end of 1999, dot.com companies were worth billions on paper with little value in reality because they weren’t making any money.  Amazon.com has yet to make any profit for share holders but has gone through billions of investor capital.  Other companies such as Tyco and Enron bought up smaller companies of questionable value for huge price tags.  Airlines were in deep trouble before 9/11 and they have now lost more money in the past three years than they made in their entire history.  Yet the government intervenes and supports broke airlines, and allows bankruptcy protection for companies that should be liquidated.  These same companies compete unfairly with more healthy competitors.  While under “protection” they don’t have to pay off their debts.   Meanwhile, the government bails out the sick companies rather than letting them fail.  We see this happening in all sectors – energy, transportation, communication, etc.  Businesses and consumers keep adding more and more debt but the purpose of a depression is to work off the debt and begin to build up savings. 

 

Historically, a depression or a run-up in the market lasts between 17 and 20 years. The Great Depression began in 1929 and lasted 17 years to 1945.  The next boom lasted 20 until 1965, followed by a downturn.  When the market first started up in 1982, it began at a Dow of 1,000 and ended in 2000 with a Dow of 11,000 18 years later.  We are now just a little over two years into the Bull Market and have a long way to go, with many rally backs before reaching the bottom.  Stocks are still as overpriced in terms of P/E ratios (price/earnings) as they were at the peak.  Greenspan’s easy money policies, a desperate Wall Street and giddy investors are hoping against hope it will keep rising forever.  But it won’t.  Eventually, the irrational exuberance will end and the Dow will drop back to the mean and acceptable P/E ratios of no more than 10 to 1 bringing the Dow down to between 2,000 and 3,000!  Now that won’t happen over night because the Fed is doing everything it can to stave off the inevitable by keeping the interest rate low and printing money which only devalues the dollar, and creates more debt.  But in the end, it will make the landing even harder as businesses fail, jobs are lost, savings and investments are lost and the economy readjusts to the new reality.  Eventually market swings adjust themselves.

 

Efforts by the government to prevent the inevitable only make the bubbles worse in the long run, leading to greater crashes in the stock market as stocks fall to a more reasonable value.  The recent Fed policy has only created additional bubbles in bonds and housing and consumption.   This merely postpones the day of reckoning.  It doesn’t prevent it.  The best example is Japan which has been in a 12 year depression.  The Japanese government tried everything our government has tried, but could not prevent the slide which resulted in the loss of 80 percent of the value of stocks and real estate.

 

American Consumption

 

As Revelation 18 so accurately describes, America is the consumer nation!  In 2002, America bought 60 percent of the world’s total exports and the money spent was flowing out of America at record rates – over a half trillion dollars a year.  Japan and China both continue to reinvest in American bonds keeping the system pumped up. (see Wall Street Journal)  The whole world from Europe to Asia knows that they need the U.S. market to survive or there is no consumer market for their products. (see Revelation 18)  To allow it to fall, would bring them down as well.  A full 80 percent of the world’s savings returns to the U.S. to fill the gap, plug the trade deficit of a half trillion dollars a year and keep the imports coming.  The current economy is kept afloat by consumer spending which represents 70 percent of the entire GDP!   During the biggest boom in history, the net worth of households has gone down.  In spite of the increase in home prices, equity in homes is down.  Debt from consumer spending is the only thing driving the economy.

 

American Empire

 

No country in history has been as dominant economically, culturally, militarily and technologically as America, dwarfing all empires gone before: Greek, Roman, French, Spanish, Chinese, British, German, etc.  Most ended badly with a deflated currency, over extended and costly armies to maintain.  And the U.S. is an empire in every sense of the word with over 300,000 troops in over 144 countries, still maintaining over 100,000 in Europe, 75,000 in South Korea and Japan, not to mention over 200,000 in the Middle East.  The cost of the first part of the Iraq war was $65 billion and another $87 billion has been committed to the region.  At one time the Bush administration thought it might take on some more countries in its war on terrorism, but it may be having second thoughts.  A lot more could be said about the American Empire but let’s just leave it for now with the idea that it costs a bunch and is a major drain on America’s resources and a little reminder of what has happened to all empires gone before.  Need we say more?

 

Drowning in Debt

 

Debt is at all time highs:

 

            Sector                                                 Amount                       Per Capita

Federal Government                              $6.7 trillion                   $22,000

State and Local Government                 $1.4    “                             5,000

Social Security Liability                      $10.0    “                           36,000

Unfunded Medicare Liability                $7.0     “                          26,000

Household Debt                                     $8.4     “                          29,000

Business Debt                                        $7.1     “                          26,000

Financial Sector Debt                          $10.4     “                          36,000

Other                                                      $0.5     “                            2,000

TOTAL DEBT                                  $34 trillion                   $119,000

 

Individuals, business, governments (federal, state and local) are so far in debt, they have no way of getting out of it, especially if the economy wipes out.  Most people are so deceived by the media and government spin, they don’t even realize they are on the brink of destruction.  The only thing keeping it from self-destructing is the addition of more and more debt.  The Federal Government is facing a half trillion dollars in the federal budget deficit this year and next and the next.  There is another half trillion balance of payments (current account) debt – over $40 billion dollars every month and $12 billion of it going to China alone, where thanks to the American consumer, we are funding a boom.

 

The effect of all of this debt is that foreclosure rates are at 30-year highs, along with record business and personal bankruptcies.  American corporations are deeper in debt than ever, equaling the national debt.  On top of the debt, they have unfunded pension liability.  American corporations took the cash out of their pension funds and put it in stock.  When the stock fell, they had a huge shortfall.  GM’s pension fund is under funded by $40 billion dollars.  It is estimated that the S&P 500 companies’ pension fund deficits is over $300 billion.  The huge corporate debt load of $7.1 trillion will mean less profit, less investment in new equipment, technology or employees.  For those looking for profits and high returns, they may have a very long wait.  This is truly a jobless “recovery”.

 

Why is California $38 billion in debt?  Why are the other states and most county and local governments buried in debt?  Because we have such a wonderful recovery or because businesses and employees aren’t making any money and paying taxes?

 

No society in the history of the world has had these debt levels without suffering total collapse.  No government has been able to maintain its balance with an astounding trillion dollar debt amounting to 10 percent of the GDP (between trade and budget deficits).  Only the colossal American economy has been able to keep its head above water and that for three basic reasons:  1) the Federal Reserve prints lots of money and extends credit with record low interest rates; 2) Americans continue to consume like there is no tomorrow and 3) foreigners continue to invest in American stocks and bonds to keep us pumped up so we will continue to buy their products.  It is this symbiotic relationship that has kept the dollar pumped up and the economy from collapsing.  But there are other forces at work which are unstoppable and will bring about the inevitable collapse as we shall see in a moment.

 

Families have been losing ground. In 1960 outstanding household credit debt was negligible (about $150).   Credit card debt alone is over $8,000 per family.  The average annual salary adjusted have not increased appreciably in the past 30 years.  The only thing that has allowed families to keep their head above water is working longer hours than ever along with more women and children working.  Americans save practically nothing and spend more than they earn between credit cards and refinancing of mortgages.  They spend $3 for every $1 dollar they earn.  Demand created by easy credit can’t last, because it eventually has to be paid back.

 

The Almighty Dollar

 

In 1965, there was about $500 billion in circulation (M3 money supply).  By the time Nixon stopped exchange dollars for gold in 1971, it was approaching $1 trillion.  By the time Alan Greenspan took office in 1987, money supply had quadrupled to $4 trillion.  Since 1996 it has more than doubled again to over $9 trillion.  The Fed is trying to print our way out of the current quagmire at record rates.  This is the greatest money printing binge the world has ever seen.  Lesser countries such as Germany, Argentina and Mexico have been brought down for less.  We are printing money at six times the rate of economic growth.  Borrowing, spending and printing creates debt and destruction not wealth!  The end is inflation of prices and deflation of the dollar.  Adding insult to injury, the Bush administration has had three tax cuts – great in the short run for the average American but catastrophic in the long run.  Don’t let anyone fool you.  In the end, debt is like “anti-matter.”  It destroys wealth.

 

The U.S. depends on other countries coming in and investing and supporting the dollar.  This just in.   Foreign investors and central banks currently propping up America's credit-bubble - and with it, the international Dollar Standard itself - have begun to lose faith. Figures released by the U.S. Treasury show net capital inflows to the U.S. fell more than 91% in September, from $50 billion in August to $4.2 billion in September.   Foreigners also only bought $5.6 billion in treasuries compared to $25.1 billion the previous month. The dollar has ONLY maintained its position as the world currency because the world has had faith in the dollar.  Is that faith beginning to wane?  It would seem so.  If the rest of the world loses confidence in the dollar and stops supporting it, this is the beginning of the end.

 

It is absolutely immoral, greedy and selfish for our government to rack up debts it knows it will never pay but will fall on the shoulders of our children.  The result of these policies is that the dollar has fallen 40 percent in the last year against the Euro and other currencies.  The Euro recently hit 129 against the dollar and two years ago it was at 89.  Gold has risen by 50 percent since 2000, and continues to increase, another sure sign that the dollar is not healthy.

 

Employment

 

The U.S. has lost 3 million manufacturing jobs since the downturn two years ago.  The unemployment rate is still over 6 percent and people are still losing jobs at the rate of nearly 400,000 per week.  Like an underdeveloped country, many are underemployed or they have just given up and dropped out of the job market.  Unemployment figures are kept only for those currently drawing unemployment benefits.  The real unemployment number is more like 20 percent overall and double that in low income neighborhoods. 

 

Jobs are moving out of the United States at record rates and not just unskilled factory jobs but skilled computer, accounting and management jobs.  I just spoke to an MCI representative and the help desk for Dell Computer’s in India.  A programmer that makes $80,000 a year here, makes $5,000 in India with no benefits.  They estimate that ten million computer jobs will be lost to India in the next 10 years.  The average hourly wage in the U.S. is over $20 and in China it is 30 cents (Bureau of Labor Statistics) .  Our best manufacturing and management jobs are flowing overseas never to return!  Sure, there is job creation if you are interested in flipping burgers at McDonalds or being a greeter at WalMart.

 

Don’t think that it is okay if they can make things cheaper in other countries.  We are losing core manufacturing jobs permanently.  Manufacturing (making something) is the only real source of wealth for a country.  Wealth is created on the factory floor.  The U.S. is losing low tech and high tech, heavy manufacturing and light – whether cars, cell phones, TVs, appliances, clothes, computers, even our food.  We have been losing one sector after another as we become the market for the world.  But as Henry Ford said, when asked why he was selling his cars so cheap, he replied, “I want my workers to be able to afford to buy one.”  We were once the exporter of goods to the world, but our days as the world’s great importer (Revelation 18) are numbered since people will have less money to buy things with.  The greedy elites who continue to export jobs abroad don’t seem to care, they are destroying the best market in the world.  Some day, there will be no one to buy their products.

 

Studies have shown that when a person loses a white collar executive position or a good factory job, that the next job that person gets pays only a fraction of what he was making before.  During the WTO meeting in Seattle a demonstrator was being interviewed by the network news about jobs.  She replied, “Yes, there are plenty of jobs.  I have three jobs and my husband works two and we are barely making ends meet.”  So just because they say jobs are being added, the question is, what kind of jobs, what do they pay and do they offer benefits.  We are coming into the era of the contract worker who gets no benefits and is only there as long as he or she is needed.  

 

The government reports new employment figures every week and then revises unemployment figures upward.  It is doing this on a week-to-week, monthly and annual basis.  Also, as you know, a large number drop off every week because they are no longer eligible for benefits and therefore presumed to have dropped out of the job market.  In contrast to adding 200,000 jobs as a sign of recovery, it is viewed as a good sign if we lose less than 400,000 – talk about lowering the bar!

 

Interest Rates and the Housing Bubble

 

The fact that interest rates are the lowest since the Great Depression is not the sign of a healthy economy in a sustainable recovery.  It is a sign of how desperate the Fed is.  Since January of 2002, the Federal Reserve lowered rates 14 times to 1 percent, which is lower than the rate of inflation.   In short, they are giving money away but it doesn’t seem to be doing any good in terms of jump starting the economy.

 

What it did do is continue the Stock bubble and create housing and debt bubbles.  Record low mortgage rates, rising real estate prices, lower monthly payments and easy refinancing gave homeowners a sense they were doing very well, when in fact just the opposite was happening.  Is there something wrong with this picture?  It was recently suggested somewhat facetiously that people quit their jobs and lived off the increasing equity in their houses (to the tune of $50k per year).  How long can that continue?

 

Statistically, people have less real equity in their house than ever before, and if the housing bubble were to burst, they would really be in trouble because their house would be worth less than the loan.  We seem to think it can’t happen to us.  I bought a house in Connecticut that had been on the market for $450,000 and I only paid $262,000 thinking I got a good deal, only to sell it later for $162,000.  The same happened to me in Houston.  Just look at Japan where housing values dropped by three quarters or Argentina where they plunged by 90 percent in just six months!

 

In the past five years, $5 trillion in mortgage debt has been added for a total of $8 trillion.  Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac hold most of the mortgage paper and are so highly leveraged that if rates start to go up, the house of cards will fall and they have no reserves to stop it.  As foreclosures continue to increase (and they are currently at all time highs), and people lose their jobs, housing prices will begin to fall.  Why should an old house continue to increase in value at double digit rates?  Is it in better shape than it was when it was new?  How about your car, your furniture?  Does anything else increase in value as it gets older?  Even the IRS allows for depreciation of property, realizing that it loses value over time.  You may say it is an issue of supply and demand.  True, but not as a function of the number of houses, but the availability of cheap dollars.  As payments decreased because of lower rates, prices went up so the monthly payment as a percent of income are at all time highs and housing prices have gone up with cheap rates and increased money supply.  Housing will prove to be an even bigger bubble than the stock market and will hurt everyone. People who planned on it to be their nest egg will find their value plunge into negative figures just as it did during the Depression, and more recently in Japan and Argentina.  You may disagree, but time will tell.

 

Business Profits

 

In 1963, the pre-tax profits of business were 9 percent of GDP.  By the end of the century, they had dropped below 3 percent.  U.S. production is not increasing.  It is declining.  The worker productivity figure Greenspan loves to point to is because products are produced abroad for less and companies are laying off workers by the thousands, permanently gutting their payroll.  Manufacturing payrolls are the lowest they have been since 1958.  The manufacturing sector has been declining for 35 months and has lost 3 million jobs. Is this a sign of recovery?  There are signs of trouble in every industry.  They sold a lot of automobiles, but did they make any money doing it?  (No, Ford and GM made money on their mortgage lending activities, not automobiles)  There are major signs of trouble in airlines, communications and high tech.  All the indications are of a slow down, not an increase.  When you look carefully at the quarterly profits, the real reason for the profits is often because they sold a subsidiary, laid off workers (thereby increasing productivity), or just plain cooked the books.  Time and again, sales are up but profits are down.  A retail chain may have higher same store sales than last year but what about the quality of those sales?  Did they make any money or give the merchandise away?  The issue is net profits, not an increase in gross sales.  There are hundreds of examples.  Bottom line is, there is nothing on the bottom line.

 

Third Quarter GDP Growth – 8.2 Percent – What About That?

 

That the so-called growth was a one time shot in the arm for the economy that came in the form of a one time tax break given American families, record Federal and defense spending, plus a whole series of assumptions about inflation, computer spending, etc. that are flawed to say the least.  Just one quick example.  The government estimates investment in computers by measuring “computing power” (so if you increase computing power five times, it does not result in five times the labor productivity). That little assumption falsely accounted for over 40 percent of the increase of the GDP in the first two quarters.  This gets too technical for this article, but believe me, the government “cooks the books” just like corporations do and they do it all the time – putting the best face on things, especially since elections are near.

 

Japan – a Case Study in a Long Drawn Out “Deflation

 

No one likes to use the “D” word (Depression) so you find it disguised and they call it “deflation” – actually the same thing.  Greenspan and the Fed governors have been talking about the dangers of deflation or low inflation lately.  But they feel it is easy to control.  All they have to do is tweak the engine a little.  Add some more high octane fuel and the economy will take off.  Failure is inconceivable!

 

Japan was the second largest economy in the world – Japan, Inc. touted in the post-war period as a miracle – double digit growth year after year.  Then something happened; it has been dragging for the past 12 years.  There are some interesting parallels between the two economies but with a ten year lag.   Japan’s economy grew five fold from 1971 to 1985 and then tripled in the next five years.  Ten years later, in 1981, the U.S. economy took off and increased five fold by 1995 tripling in the next five years.  In 1990, the Japanese Market peaked just as the U.S. market did 10 years later.  Then their stock market steadily fell off over the next ten years to 1984 values, losing three quarters of their value.  The Nikkei Dow peaked at 38,915 in 1989 and today it is at 9750.  Real estate also boomed in Japan until mid 1991 and began to collapse and lost half its value by the end of 1993.  This created a banking crisis from bad loans.  By mid 1994, consumer prices began to fall.   Japan did all the right things according to current central banking theory.  They lowered interest rates and printed money, increasing the national debt from 60 to 150 percent of the GDP.  They also cut taxes to stimulate the economy.  The same policies that failed for Japan are currently being pursued with a vengeance by Greenspan and our own central bank.

 

Over the next 12 years, the economy entered into a long, slow, down hill slide.  There were a number of rallies.  The Japanese government did everything they could to stimulate the economy.  Their central bank lowered interest rates to zero and over the course of the next ten years, the Japanese government printed money and did public works projects in an effort to ignite the faltering economy.  They had two big problems.  First, the average consumer refused to spend but saved a large portion of their income. .  Second, the government, bankers and business all collaborated together and would not allow the excess capacity to be purged from the economy.  In short, they would not let companies or banks fail and would not write off bad debt.  Real Estate values plummeted to 80 percent of their former values.  The high rate of savings softened the blow for the average person, but government intervention only exacerbated the problem.  Think it can’t happen here?

 

The Federal Reserve moved more quickly to cut the discount rate, and print money.  It hasn’t started TVA public works projects yet, but it is rebuilding countries like Iraq and Afghanistan (same thing I guess except America doesn’t benefit).  Japan tried everything and nothing worked to pull them out.  Ironically, exactly ten years later, our markets began to collapse.  It took 17 years for America to pull out of the Great Depression.  Japan has been in its depression for 12 years and we started just two years ago.  This could take a while.  We have tried the same “central bank magic” that Japan did and it didn’t work there any more than it will work here.  Why?

 

Demography Alone Signals the Beginning of the End

 

Now we come to the clincher.  Even if all of the above were not true, the change in the age structure of America will profoundly affect even our best efforts at economic growth.  Our country is aging, just as the West European countries, Russia and Japan.  They all had booms and are now are experiencing not only aging but declining populations.  Japan’s peak in baby boom population was 10 years before ours in 1951.  The booms occurred 40 years later and the bust ten years after that.  America has been tracking exactly 10 years behind Japan.  A huge boom ends in a corresponding bust.

 

What happens as a population ages?  We understand that there are fewer working people to support the retirees.  The American baby boomers range from 45 to 60 years.    By 2030 the U.S. government will be spending as much on nursing homes as it does on Social Security.  Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security will consume over half of payroll taxes.  Just as 350,000 General Motors retirees are supported by 118,000 GM workers, half of whom, according to GM, are due to retire over the next five years, the same phenomena is happening nationwide as the baby boomers age.  The cost to our children and grand children will be tremendous.

 

In the end these “pay as you go” systems fail because people cannot continually take out more than they put in.  AARP tells us that 80 percent of the population has no more than 8 months in financial reserves.  There are about 80 million Americans over 50 and that group will grow by another 40 million to 120 million by 2020.  It will probably begin to dawn on the greatest consumer generation the world has ever seen – the boomers who went out and bought more cars, bigger houses, boats and play things than any generation before, are getting older and they had better start saving.  They will realize that their money maker years won’t last forever.

 

This is the main reason we won’t see recovery and why nothing we do will matter.  Even if all the rest were not true or could be fixed by monetary policy magic, demographic changes will bring down the house of cards.  The current “recovery” is fueled by consumer spending and debt, not productivity and investment.  The current binge spending – running up our credit card debt and refinancing homes, is just about over.  There is no more equity in those homes.  Debt has to be repaid (at least by everyone except the government it seems).  The debt will have to be paid off and people will realize they must start saving again, especially the boomers as they realize their productive years are drawing to a close.  The economy is currently kept alive by 70 percent consumer spending – money we don’t have to buy things we don’t need.  But what happens if we start to save instead of spend?  Every percent of savings equals .7 percent in GDP. For every 5 percent increase in savings, there is a 3.5 percent decrease in GDP.  So what if savings went back to historic rates of 10 percent or even higher?  That would correspond to a 7 percent decrease in GDP – negative economic growth!  A simple demographic trend is the death blow to the “American Dream” or should I say “Illusion.”  Ironically, increased saving will kill the economy because we stop consuming!

 

Living in an Illusion

 

We may as well be in the “Matrix” because we are all living in an illusion.  In 1972, you made $10,000 a year so you think that because you now make $100,000 a year you are really well off.  I can assure you that you are not.  The house I paid $18,000 for in 1972 is “worth” $250,000 today!  Or the new car I paid $2,500 for then, is $30,000 today.  Come on, is it really “worth” that much more?  The biggest tax you face is not the tax you pay but inflation.  Inflation has been a built in policy of the Federal Reserve from the beginning.  You remember when you bought hamburger on sale for 3 pounds for a dollar, and even not to long ago when bananas and apples were on sale for 19 cents a pound instead of 99 cents.  You think you will be able to live on your retirement (assuming your company is even still around) or on a $1,200 a month Social Security check?   How will you pay off all of your debt without your present income?   An average house to rent is over a thousand a month and an apartment is near that.  Do you know how much you will receive (if you receive it) from Social Security.  With inflation, how far will it go ten years from now?

 

What if your retirement nest egg (your home) suddenly dropped in value by 80 or 90 percent?  We may not be old enough to remember, but this not only happened during the Depression, but it has happened around the country in “rolling depressions”, and it happened in Japan, the second largest economy in the world!  It has happened in many countries around the world.

 

As the demographic pressure builds, as savings inevitably increase, consumption decreases, stocks return to normal levels, and as other countries realize the dollar isn’t worth much any more and stop supporting it, the entire world will slip into a depression, the likes of which we have never seen before.  For their economies will fall once we stop buying their products, and down it will all come like a house of cards.  The typical American, with little savings (compared to the Japanese), will turn to their bankrupt government for help.  But the government will have declining revenues because businesses and individuals are paying less taxes.  The aging population will require more health care services, and the “pay as you go” Social Security system will drain the economy, as will continuing commitments overseas in a titanic effort to hold the American empire together.

 

So when will this happen?  It began a couple of years ago and may take another ten to unfold, but the hand writing is on the wallNo country has survived printing money and plowing deeper into debt for any length of time.  The powerful American economy has held up better than most thanks to foreigners and the “mall rat” consumer society.  But eventually, the piper must be paid and the balance sheet corrected.  There is a lot more that could be said, a lot more detail that could be given, but you get the idea.

 

Analysis – The Prophetic View

 

We have to view all of this against the prophetic backdrop.  If America is that prophetic commercial Babylon of the “last days” (Revelation 18 ), then she may not fall that quickly.  She is still the leader of the western world, and certainly Europe and other nations are not going to be fairing very well either.  One very good reason for the end to come quickly is that America is basically doomed and can’t sustain its position indefinitely.

 

We know prophetically what this is all leading up to as quoted in the various verses at the beginning.  The verses in Revelation 6 speak of what has become known as the “four horsemen of the Apocalypse:”  1) A man on a white horse goes out to conquer, 2) A man on a red horse goes to make war, 3) the black horse speaks of economic troubles, “a quart of wheat for a denarious, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and wine.” (Revelation 6:6) and 4) A black horse brings famine, pestilence and the sword.  (Revelation 6:1-8)  The third horse speaks of an economic system where the masses spend a day’s wages to eat while the elites live in luxury.  As we say, the “rich get richer and the poor get poorer.”  The situation builds until all commerce, buying and selling, is controlled and you must have the “mark of the beast” on the hand or forehead.

 

Now as an aside here, I believe as many other Christians that the “mark of the beast” has a spiritual component involving worship of the beast, so I am not quick to label every control, bar code or computer that comes along as the fulfillment of prophecy.  (see  http://www.digitalangel.net/ )   Satan’s purpose is to tie everyone into the system and make them totally dependent on it.  The government, not the Lord, has become the safety net.  The government will be the only source of protection and help.  Meanwhile, big brother will know your every move, can track your financial activity and do it in the guise of protecting you from terrorists and money laundering.  But in the end, the goal is to make you totally dependent and involved with the world system.

 

Our modern society is so complex that all of the pieces need to work or we starve.  What if there are crops in the field, but no trucks to bring them to market?  What if the water system were to fail?  What if the computers couldn’t keep power on and you lost all of your refrigerated food?  What if the stores had food but you didn’t have enough money to buy it?  (there was no “credit” on your chip?)

 

We are not just concerned about a deteriorating economy but a world system that is enslaving us.  The more attached you are, the more beholden you are to it.  The more you buy into its values, the more entrapped you are.  The more you become dependent on it, the more entangled you will become.  The ruler of this world is Satan.  I am not taking a stand as to whether one government is better than another.  All governments, commerce and things of this world are of the “evil one” and not of God.  In the end, we may be locked completely out of the commercial and political system.  So what can we do about it?

 

What Can We Do?

 

I want to be very practical, but I also want to make it very clear that these are merely suggestions.  The real issue is spiritual.  You need to ask the Lord what He wants you to do, and then do what He says.  Only you can determine before the Lord what you should do.  This is not investment advice.  The following represents suggestions that I have gleaned from months, even years of research on the subject.  You can take them or leave them.  Some of the suggestions are just common sense and others may or may not fit your situation.  I just present them to you to consider.  The overall idea is simple: get out of debt (and I mean really get out of debt) and get liquid.  Whether these are the “last days” or not, that is for you to decide, but all indications are that we are at least headed for a period of decline and “adjustment.”   At the very least, the excesses in our economy must be worked out and that is a very painful process for people.  Some call it recession, some deflation and some depression.   Whatever you want to call it, it will happen.  The news will deny it.  The pundits will deny it.  The analysts and the administration will deny it.  And you will either be caught by it or get free. 

 

I believe that as “end times” Christians, we should dialogue about these things.  We shouldn’t condemn one another for actions we take but give one another the grace to follow the leading of the Lord.  If you feel the Lord is telling you to do something radical like leave the country, go ahead.  Another person may feel to move to the inner city, the country or just stay where you are.  There are no rights or wrongs – just each of us following the leading of the Lord.  So where do we go from here?

 

There are a few things you can do as a family highlighted these below.  But remember, we aren’t here just to save ourselves but to be a testimony and witness together.  In fact, in subsequent chapters I will talk about how I believe we will finally discover what the real “church life” is when a 4 bedroom house with a living room and family room holds six or so families when we share all things in common because we have lost all things or are just about to.  So we hold on to one another for dear life.  Material possessions don’t mean much any more.  Neither does TV and all the pleasures of the world.  We are just people in love with Jesus and one another, rejoicing in the life and power that upholds us through the most terrible circumstances. 

 

But now is the time for preparation.  Joseph told Pharoah that there would be seven years of plenty followed by seven lean years.  We should be getting ready for the seven most awesome and terrible years in the history of the world.  Here are a few things we can do right now to disentangle ourselves from the world

 

Practical Suggestions

 

  1. Tear up your credit cards and pay them off.  The average household in America has nearly $10,000 in credit card debt.  This is the worst debt with the highest percentage you can pay, so get out of it.  Pay them off.  New bankruptcy laws won’t erase debt, just lower the interest rate.
  2. Pay off all your bills.  Don’t owe anything to anyone!
  3. Become a saver.  Save as much of your income as possible.  Stop spending on junk – the bigger TV, the new car, the swimming pool.  Save instead!  Try and save half your income and keep half of that in cash and gold or silver coin in your possession – not in a bank!  If your accounts are frozen, what good will it do you?
  4. Some feel that you should sell your stock and liquidate all Mutual funds and even retirement accounts.  As the market falls, you will lose it all any way if you don’t get it out now.  
  5. Be objective about your house.  You rent from a land lord or you rent from the bank, unless you own it outright.  If you are highly leveraged and have continually refinanced your home for various reasons, or if you anticipate moving or being transferred within the next couple of years, some would suggest that you sell it now and just go rent something.  If you own it free and clear, great!  But if not, you may be able to buy the same house back in a few years for 20 or 30 percent of today’s value.  But don’t get caught with negative equity or you may be trapped in the system and never get out.  If this world isn’t really our home anyway, what is a house?
  6. Your money is deflating in value.  You may not realize it, but it has lost 40 percent of its value in the past couple of years against other currencies.  Consider the following:

·        Take out cash and stuff it in a safe or under your mattress. 

·        Buy other currencies, such as the Euro, the Swiss Frank, the Yuan or the Yen.  Diversify.  If the dollar collapses these currencies will soar in value.

·        Consider buying gold coin (not bars or stock) but coin you can keep in your possession such as South African Krugerands or the Canadian Maple Leaf  gold coin.  Gold has always gone up when the dollar went down.  This is not an investment but a hedge.  Gold always has value, but if they outlaw ownership in the U.S. again, put it in a safety deposit box in Canada or some other country.  U.S. banks can snoop even in your safety deposit boxes, so be careful

·        Get rid of fancy toys and luxury cars.  Especially, get rid of any payments.  You probably don’t need that boat, jet ski or fancy motor home.  Sell them and get reasonable, reliable transportation.  Forget the cruise or fancy vacation, the fancy restaurant and bottle of wine. 

  1. If you are comfortable with this or you have an immigrant grand parent, some would suggest that you get a second passport, and dual citizenship (both are legal).  Open up a foreign bank account.  Acquire foreign currency, and possibly move to a foreign country.  This is pretty radical but an option some consider and may be led by the Lord to do.
  2. Consider moving to a rural area where the cost of living is cheaper and you have a better chance of being self-sufficient.  You can have a garden and a retreat for yourself and others.
  3. I am not a survivalist, but if you feel led to do so, store extra food and water and items that could be traded or bartered.  I realize some people get carried away with their generators and months and months of stores, but don’t discount it completely.  Keep an open mind and heart and just follow the Lord.
  4. Consider a depression proof business such as a small food store, or a bed and breakfast or being skilled at remodeling, auto or small machinery repair – something that deals in cash or trade.
  5. Get into communities with “like minded” Christians – neighborhoods, towns, trailer parks, campgrounds, farms, big houses, whatever.  Build close relationships with other Christians.  Do things together.  Help each other.  Those who have more should help those who have less.  This isn’t the world’s game of seeing who has the most.  The winner may be the one who can give away the most.  So above all, be generous with what the Lord has given you.

 

Again, these are just suggestions.  I’m not advocating trying to avoid “tribulation” because, ultimately we won’t be able to, nor do we even want to.  Our testimony is Revelation 12:11 “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even to death.”   What I am advocating is not getting foolishly caught in the world’s web or the government safety net where we are beholden to an evil political and economic system or so impoverished that we are herded into debtor work camps where our lives are controlled from sun up to sun down.  A trap is being set.  “End times” Christians need to get free from this world system rather than straddling the fence and trying to have the best of both worlds.

 

I don’t have answers for you.  All I know is that the prophetic time clock is ticking.  The warnings have been written.  It is up to us to do something about it or just let events overtake us, and if that pre-trib rapture doesn’t occur, brothers and sisters, we’ve got a problem.  Even Joseph saw the wisdom of laying up for the seven lean years to come. (Genesis 41:29-31)   Are we to just sit here and be swept up into the beast system or take action now?  Learn to listen to that still small voice and follow it.

 

 

 

  

 

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Chapter 13
The Church - The Roots of Deception

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