We often encounter questions that reveal an interest in the topic of profiting from Bible prophecy. Is it possible? As well, we frequently come across situations where certain people or financial advisers make the claim that they are “Spirit-led investors.” We have commented on these issues in the past. Again, is it possible to gain financial profit from an understanding of futurist prophecy? Is the Holy Spirit in the service of making money? We answer “no” and again “no.”
We are firmly convinced that one cannot profit through the application of eschatological perspectives. This is not to deny the random chance of an investment turning a profit. Nevertheless, there are some that attempt to make money through deductions born of their interpretations of Bible prophecy – the Iraqi dinar scam, oil exploration in Israel, and Israel in the Tribulation, to name a few. We believe that such investment strategies are entirely unreliable and have no merit. In the first place, these prophetic viewpoints may be entirely wrong and speculative. Secondly, there is the challenge of timing. Who is able to successfully time the short-term movements of financial markets let alone the fulfillment of any Bible prophecy? This is impossible to do reliably on both counts.
More profoundly, viewing these questions from a cosmological perspective, we must surely conclude that God did not provide his Church (and his chosen people) prophecy for the purpose of financial profit. It is anathema to such a thought we would dare even say. On the witness of the full body of the Bible’s council, nowhere, no how, and in no way is Money (its spiritual, metaphysical essence … thus spelled with a capital) given any assistance nor is mankind given any guidelines on how to successfully harness it for profit. In fact, to the direct contrary, the Bible warns against the love of money and the sorrows of consorting with Mammon. God shows that his purposes and designs have no intercourse with the incentivizations of Money.
Not one of God’s prophets in the Old Testament is shown to have profited from the “Word of the Lord” that was given to them. Again, it is to the contrary. For example, Jeremiah, knowing that Jerusalem would be destroyed by the Babylonians, nevertheless was commanded by God to “buy” a property. (See Jeremiah 32:7-12.) We must assume he bought this property with his own 17 shekels of silver, all the while knowing that its value would be decimated. After all, this is what the Lord said to him: “The whole land will be ruined, though I will not destroy it completely” (Jeremiah 4:27). God had something else in mind — eternal values. He wanted to show faithfulness to his promises. Despite the punishment that was exacted upon Judah and Jerusalem, one day it would again be restored to prominence and prosperity. And so, Jeremiah was asked to sustain a massive near-term loss on his purchase of this field. This investment strategy wouldn’t make any sense to Wall Street or prosperity teachers, would it?
Elsewhere, not once did Jesus Christ ever give any investment advice or insights as to how to turn Mammon into a Golden Goose except in one way and that was to take advantage of worldly wealth to build riches in heaven. The parable of the Wicked Servant illustrated this great lesson: “And I say unto you, make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations” (Luke 16:9).
We also have the testimony of 13 disciples. One of them, Judas, who did seek to profit from his association with Christ, came to a sad end. The other and final 12 disciples were all recorded to have been persecuted. Eleven of them died an unnatural death. The temporal accumulation of earthly riches was not a priority for them. Yet, they would have had to have been good stewards, nonetheless.
The Holy Spirit Never Tempts Mankind to Mammon
The Kingdom of God and Mammon have nothing to do with each other. (“Ye cannot serve God and Mammon” (Matthew 6:24).) Only one of them can be served. By definition, that must also mean that neither of these two domains can be in the service of each other. This is only logical and leads to these two deductions: Firstly, Mammon has no interest in teaching us how to better worship God. It will never do this. Secondly, God is hardly inclined to tempt his children to become ensnared or preoccupied with the things of Mammon.
What follows, therefore, is this conclusion: God is not inclined to send “Spirit-led advisors” for the purpose of enabling his children to better compete and succeed in the world of Mammon. That should be no surprise. The witness of the Bible supports this statement. Nowhere in the Bible can we find any example of the Holy Spirit assisting people in accumulating wealth. On the contrary, the one instance in which a spirit (demon in this case) is stated to give money-making prophecies through a young damsel (Acts 16:16), the Apostle Paul drove it out of her.
A Rigged, Treacherous Scheme
The unpoliced world of Mammon is a treacherous place. Please never forget that the “love of money” (1 Timothy 6:10) is the greatest vulnerability of mankind. It is at the very root of all evils, and the major leverage point that Satan has to enlist humans to carry out his endtime plans of insurrection, as the Bible outlines.
In practical terms, however, what does this actually mean? It signifies that a godless world will make “Money” (Mammon) its god and object of worship and aspiration. That means that there are 7.1 billion people in the world today that are either vulnerable to, or committed to, doing anything possible to “get money.”
Money is therefore the nexus point of the most competitive and brutally corrupt arena that exists in the entire universe. This thorny thicket is what any saver or steward is up against when they enter the modern world of money and financial markets. Despite the fact that there are supposedly many regulatory bodies and consumer protection agencies around the globe who attempt to keep the “animal spirits” of money in check, massive financial busts, elaborate thefts, and grand lying and cheating in high places will continue (and worsen). In fact, the Bible states this to be the case, even prophesying that such global conditions would be a “sign of the times.” The two visions of Zechariah found in Chapter 5 pointedly indicate that a state of “lying” and “stealing” covers the entire earth, this leading to a curse from God.
This being the condition of the world today, no specific investment opinion can be sure, nor any one outcome guaranteed. Conditions can change rapidly and without warning. The vast majority of stewards and savers are therefore usually no match for the “experts in greed” that serve to brutally rig the global money casino.
Continuing on the Road to Prophesied Breakdown
Looking ahead, given the incredibly unprecedented and desperate financial and economic conditions around the world, anything is possible over the short-term … including a runaway stock market to the upside. Calls to invest everything in gold or to “dump” the US dollar cannot be guaranteed to be timely advice.
We must remember that the character and essence of the very last days is deception and entrapment. To that end, one last and final manipulated boom in fictitious wealth could be the “checkmate” move … the final steel bear trap that captures many more people’s hopes and leads to an even greater Global Financial Crisis. And, if it is to be the last and final boom — and we have no certainty on this point — the collapse phase will most certainly take place inside the Tribulation period, the most crushing phase in the Great Tribulation spanning the final three and one-half years.
The turbulence that the world is witnessing today signifies the build-up of tremors that finally erupt in the Tribulation period. These tremors contribute to the anguish of many people today and their susceptibility to ill-conceived solutions. They may fall prey to false prophets of prosperity, chase shadows, or uncritically run after so-called Christian money prophets who have the latest solution.
Practical Investment Advice Needed?
What to do? Where should we steward our savings?
But first a disclaimer. We have never provided specific investment opinions in our publications, instead focusing on stewardship and Biblical perspectives on world “endtime money” developments. The Bible is never wrong, certainly this applying also to its statements about the future. On the other hand, people who make timing forecasts (in other words, prophesy) about money trends or other detailed aspects of the future will be wrong at least half of the time. One can never know when a forecaster will be right or wrong. That makes their pronouncements unreliable and dangerous.
Frankly, we are not aware of anyone who has consistently been proven correct in providing opinions on specific investments or future trends. No such person exists. Everyone is fallible … especially, of course, when trying to predict the future. I make incorrect judgments about economies and the timing of world trends frequently. Any reference to my opinions expressed in secular publications would quickly prove that point.
But back to our first question: What to do? We believe that three attitudinal shifts are necessary to receive peace on this question. One must realize that we are already hostages of a globalized, integrated and corrupt financial system. There is little we can do about that reality other than to make the best of it from an eternal perspective. That’s where the second attitudinal shift comes in. We need to concentrate on heavenly riches rather than on earthly wealth.
Of course, sensible stewardship of our resources here on earth is expected at a minimum, but this does not require one to forecast the near-term fate of the US dollar or gold or the S&P500 stock market. We should not become anxious about such things. Where is the one place that our riches are secure? The Bible provides a sure answer: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19).
Thirdly and finally, our focus should shift away from anxieties about our own “personal” financial security to a Samaritan attitude of helping others. Almost every inquiry we receive reflects anxieties that are personal or limited to the confines of one’s personal family. The worries rarely center on others. It can be a most liberating perspective to turn one’s cares to that of others less fortunate.
Assuming that the above-mentioned attitudes are held, the practical issue of stewardship still remains. What to do? My oft-repeated counsel to investors to whom God has given financial assets to steward is to broadly diversify one’s investments across as many asset types as possible (including gold), as well as globally. For the majority of people, this is the most practical and safest approach though it provides no guarantee of gain. Yes, there definitely will be investments from time to time that appear more attractive than others. Though that may be the case, the average individual usually is not successful in capitalizing upon such opportunities. There are many reasons for this. Suffice it to say that one would need to be adept at understanding the devious and deceptive workings of Mammon (without it capturing the affections of one’s heart). Not many have such skills or dispositions.
Mostly, all of the above-mentioned notions of stewardship are earthly and fleshly attempts to establish security in this world. In essence, this is a “worldly” focus; it is not Biblical. This statement may surprise readers. It surely challenges the trained disposition of this financial analyst; however, we cannot void the truth of the Bible. Its perspectives are true and life-giving. We ignore its advice to our detriment.
Booms, bubbles and busts will continue. All the while, the wealth skew of the world continues to widen … the rich becoming wealthier and the rest poorer and more indebted. (The chart on the front page reflects the cares of the rich.) The world is hurtling rapidly along the path that leads to the ultimate collapses revealed by the Bible. The processes that led to the Global Financial Crisis remain; their full legacy still to unfold in the future. Another bubble and bust will surely soon follow. A more detailed explanation of these expected developments, supported by Scripture, can be found in the recent book, Global Financial Apocalypse Prophesied: Preserving True Riches.