We continue with our 2-part article series, in part, providing an update on Endtime Money. To this point, we have concluded that global financial systems are already far advanced and have become increasingly centralized. We already live in a world where it is virtually impossible to survive economically without a bank account. However, more steps yet remain if Bible prophecy in this respect is to be fulfilled.
However, as we will now be dealing with the question of future trends and of when specific verses in Bible prophecy will be fulfilled, we must first comment on two issues—that of forecasting the future and the question of prophetic fulfillment.
Fulfillment of Money Prophecies: Futurist or Historical?
At the outset, we must say emphatically that it is not possible to present definitive proof for the exact timing of any trend or sign in the future. There are a number of reasons why this is the case. Firstly, mankind does not have the ability to reliably see into the future … much less so to predict short-term developments. Secondly, there is no way of determining just how extreme mankind’s idolatries and delusions may yet become in the future. It is impossible to forecast delusion and irrationality. That would be a contradiction in terms.
Moreover, looking back, searching for benchmarks and patterns that might be projected into the future, we discover that not much information is available. Whatever there might be found is quite recent in the human time-line. We discover that the endtime processes have accelerated only in recent centuries … lurching forward on many fronts with little uniformity. Finally, we must acknowledge that our sovereign Lord is in control. He can choose to tarry … or to act suddenly. In short, any conclusions with respect to future developments will be highly unreliable.
We do believe that it is correct to identify the trends that we point to in the global financial and economic realm as being prophetically significant … as representing endtime processes that must be seen as necessary preconditions to the fulfillment of specific endtime prophecies. Any sudden world trends, changes or developments that have taken place after 1948 (that being the fulfillment of the prophesied re-founding of Israel; some argue that the 1880s are pivotal, as this is when the Zionist movement began) are candidates for prophetic significance. In saying this, we are careful not to endorse a historicist perspective.
Rather, we are pointing to developmental trends that either must or will serve as the necessary preparations or stepping stones to future literal prophetic fulfillment. Isaiah 60:8-9 provides a useful illustration of this point. “Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows? Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far […].”
Just who are these that fly as a cloud or as doves? This is a specific prophecy that refers to the return of Jews to Palestine from the five continents of the world. The prophet Isaiah sees them using either boats or planes. What other alternative form of cross-ocean transport is there today between continents for the most part? There are only two. Could we not then conclude that the Bible envisions the invention of human flight?
If so, then the discovery of manned flight (only as recently as 1903 by the Wright brothers) must be prophetically significant. The prophecy of Isaiah 60 could not otherwise be fulfilled. But at what point does Bible prophecy see Israelites using planes to return to their ancient homeland—in the Millennium, during the Tribulation, or perhaps even as early as the late 19thcentury when Zionism was birthed?
The Bible says that the returning Jews will arrive by “ships of Tarshish first.” Why not first by plane? Could it be because the plane was invented only later after the Aliyah had already begun? It was only in the early 1930s that transcontinental commercial flight was in operation, but then only by airships such as Zeppelins (could these be the clouds that the Prophet Isaiah saw?). Transatlantic flights by planes (these perhaps looking like doves to the prophet) began in the later 1940s (as did the Israeli airline El Al). However, the first transcontinental passenger flights landing in Israel did not take place until the early 1950s, when “El Al airlifted over 160,000 immigrants to Israel from India, Iran, Iraq and Yemen as part of Operation Magic Carpet and Operation Ezra and Nehemiah” (Source: Wikipedia).
Nevertheless, for Isaiah’s prophecy to be fulfilled at all would require the prior invention of manned flight. Therefore, we could legitimately say that the technology of flight is a prophetic development (an enabler) and in that sense, is a valid sign of the last days. Nevertheless, it may still be true that the Bible only provides prophetic pictures of this technology at work in the early millennial age.
In the same way, the trends we may refer to as financial signs of the endtimes must be seen as precursors—prophetic enablers—to the actual times and events specifically prophesied in the Bible. In that sense, they are prophetically significant and can be legitimately seen as “signs.”
Money Hysteria a Step Too Far
Just because the Bible indicates that there will be an all-controlling financial system during the last days, does not necessary prove that certain other developments must occur—some of these popularly taught by Bible teachers. Some examples follow:
• That a single world currency must yet emerge. This is not necessary, neither is this specifically mentioned in Scripture. One should note that the world’s financial industry is so interconnected with the sophisticated use of currency derivatives and other means, that it already is a de-facto one-world financial system. Though it could occur, a one-world currency (in name) is not necessary.
• That one can live outside of the Beast’s system. Quite a few people think that they can make preparations to live through the Tribulation period. There are not a small number of businesses selling survival supplies that thrive based on this connection. According to Scripture, there will be no possibility of living outside of the financial system at that time. This is already the case for the most part today.
• That you can outsmart the world’s financial system and find sure safety for your wealth in the here and now. This is impossible. People seem to have little conception of just how corrupt and primordial are the forces to be engaged in this endeavor, especially so in the very last of the last days, a time prophesied to be ultra-deceptive. We would venture even to say that if wealth preservation is a prime fixation of anyone’s life (as is often the case with people who are wealthy), then one is also risking one’s soul and eternal reward.
• That banking services such as debit cards and other payment means are evil. We would say not. It is what will be done with these types of systems in the future that will be evil. You can use these services and enjoy their conveniences. That said, every new convenience also will open us up to a greater vulnerability to financial controls.
• That gold is a sure investment or an alternate money form. It may have been once upon a time. Gold, as attractive as it may appear during these times of massive global monetary malfeasance, is nevertheless dependent upon the whims of political economy. It is very plausible that gold will become a regulated asset at some point in the future. One should not place his hope upon gold.
• That the great money trap is due to diabolical international bankers and evil people in pin-striped suits. There definitely are conspiracies underway, big and small … and some may even involve us as individuals. The Bible confirms that mankind schemes and plots. “Woe to those who plan iniquity, to those who plot evil on their beds! At morning’s light they carry it out because it is in their power to do it” (Micah 2:1). We are all humans born as sinners who need prayer and redemption. Do not be distracted with all the hyper-shrill conspiracy theories being promoted today. We must remember that the Bible says that “all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave” (Revelation 13:16), including all these supposed conspirators, will be caught by the money trap. The elites get caught, too.
All or some of the above may be possible deductions, but they are not specifically mentioned in the Bible. As such, they are speculations. Yet, in some circles these viewpoints are held as though they were supported by Scripture itself.
Thoughts to Ponder
Consider that many observers lament that the Global Financial Crisis did not cause more financial reform, certainly so in the U.S. They point to the fact that the very financial institutions that needed to be bailed out or helped in America (over 700 of them at the time) are now more concentrated and bigger than ever before. The financial institutions that were thought “Too Big to Fail” (TBF) back in 2008-9 are now much bigger and therefore potentially even more dangerous.
Moreover, many of the reforms (i.e. such as the Dodd-Frank bill currently proposed) that were thought necessary, have been effectively defanged by the henchman lobbyist troops of these financial institutions. Many executives that should have been charged for their criminal activities have been left to count their money. The net of it is that the U.S. financial system is as bought-off and compromised as ever. The same is true to lesser or greater degrees in other nations.
Suffice it to be said, that for all the above-mentioned reasons, and the steps that are still needed to facilitate the fulfillment of Revelation 13:7, at least one or more major global financial crises—necessarily, a much bigger doozie than the GFC—must yet be expected.
We conclude and aver that many financial signs of the endtimes can be seen today. Moreover, we identify many of these trends as being prophetically significant. Without these occurring first, specific future prophecies such as Revelation 13:7 could not be fulfilled.
One or more bigger global financial crises yet lie ahead. When will this (these) occur? According to our understanding of Scripture, the final one of these crises will occur in the second half of the Tribulation. Could that be the very next one? Maranatha. The Lord come.
“How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you, that you bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in you. In the shelter of your presence you hide them from all human intrigues; you keep them safe in your dwelling from accusing tongues” (Psalm 31:19-20).