In this series, we have been documenting the many trends and developments in the world today that evidence the “ripening” of the times. We are systematically identifying the “trends of significance”—this meaning worldwide developments that have only recently erupted in line with Bible prophecy and the promises of the Lord. These endtime “enabling” trends, we show, are so widespread and advanced that it would be plainly unreasonable (even for non-believers) not to conclude that indeed the times are ripe for judgment and the return of our Lord.
In this issue, we continue our focus on the unprecedented explosion of financial wealth and its global intertwining. Without a doubt, the economic order of the world is becoming ever more fragile. A development we see emerging in the world today is increasing economic captivity and financial oppression.
New Discoveries in History
In recent times, Assyriologists (these being anthropologists and archaeologists that study the ancient Near-East) have come to new understandings regarding the financial practices of the ancient societies of one to two millennia before Christ (for example: Sumer, Akkadia, the early Babylon… etc.). Excitingly, new discoveries are overturning established opinion.
However, not all are happy with these new interpretations. There is resistance to these messages found in stone and clay tablets, as they show a very different society than what we have today in terms of credit and debt. Why? Our Roman-influenced world of today promotes and protects creditors – upholding the sanctity of debt, not its cancellation. It is contrary to the wisdom of the ancient world and, also, the Bible.
The norm in those earlier Sumerian times was completely different in principle. The debtor was protected… not the creditor. It was common practice for rulers to announce a debt forgiveness at the start of their reigns. This was the tradition of the Near East in those times. Some rulers would effect a debt forgiveness quite regularly (also referred to as a Clean Slate).
This practice was more the norm than it was unique. Doing so made good sense. In those agrarian times, most debts arose due to crop failures. People could not pay taxes nor sustain themselves. Once having borrowed to pay for such obligations, they often became debt-trapped. Many would take liens on their property.
The rich creditors would then take possession of their land, this being people’s only means of income and support. It was also common to imprison people who could not pay their debts.
In time, very wealthy property owners emerged as they assembled landholdings from the poor. This is what Isaiah refers to when he admonished the rich: “Woe to you who add house to house and join field to field till no space is left and you live alone in the land” (Isaiah 5:8).
However, capital that the debtor cannot pay off has no productivity. A Clean Slate made good sense, as it liberated everyone and balanced out power and wealth. Rulers were able to counteract the influences of the rich in doing so. Yet, due to the natural animus of human nature, eventually a large and wealthy landowner group would emerge. They could crimp the king’s tax receipts, as they had much influence and power over the rulers. We see similar trends today.
It is the story of mankind from the beginning. The primordial animus of mankind has always been “the love of money” (1 Timothy 6:10), wealth accumulation, greed and the “lust of the flesh” (1 John 2:16). It has therefore always been the same—the struggle between the rich and the poor. Left alone, whatever the time and era, an ultra-rich class would emerge and oppress the majority, which were then poor.
Says Michael Hudson, a prominent Assyriologist, “[…] the ebb and flow that has characterized all subsequent economies and is still shaping today’s world: the conflict between social constraints on predatory finance, and the attempt by a rentier class to gain control.”1
As such, we witness the very same conditions today. The major difference of our time is that it is a global, world-encircling problem, where wealth is denominated in tradable assets of various kinds in addition to land. Also, the world is trapped by its expectations of ever-expanding prosperity. The gods of mankind’s present era are “consumption growth” and the expansion of gross domestic product (GDP which, by the way, is a highly imaginative and unreliable concept).
Thoughts to Ponder
We live in an age of the most extreme and systemic global materialism of all time (in this writer’s view). This statement may startle readers. Some may not be able to see the forest because of the trees. We all today are so acclimatized with our society and its conventions, that we do not see the gravity of our situation when viewed against the human timeline upon earth and the Lord’s prophecies.
The “sign of the times” is here, we believe. Mankind is inextricably imbedded in the most complete financialization in history. And, as we have shown in our writings on these topics, the final ensnarement has occurred very quickly. As readers will know, suddenness is one of the telltale markers of last-day “trends of significance.”
The very last days of the Church Era—the terrible times that Paul talks of—are described as being “without love [and] unforgiving”; instead, characterized by the love of money and love of themselves (2 Timothy 3:2-3). That exactly describes the attitudes required to underpin an environment of economic oppression, high indebtedness and widening wealth skews. That day is here. If anything (by at least some measures), these conditions are likely to get worse… and most certainly, much worse by the time the Tribulation unfolds.
Moses said to the Hebrews, “There should be no poor among you” (Deuteronomy 15:4), this being a command from God. Jesus said that He came to preach good news to the poor. He also said: “You will always have the poor among you” (John 12:8), pointing out the unfortunate state of a fallen world. Here we then see the mandate for the entire world. There should be no poor in the world, if godly principles were observed. But because of sin and mankind’s fallen nature, this has not transpired. Far from it.
Finally, to review, the Bible reveals that a great day of economic “re-setting” will happen in the last days. A Day of the Lord’s Favor will occur that will “restore all things.”
Wonderfully, the Bible does concern itself with the captives and the poor, whether in spirit or physically. An earlier 3-part series2 showed just how wonderfully God has aligned the physical creation with His heavenly kingdom and work of salvation. It provides an in-depth explanation of the remarkable Levitical economic laws. God Himself was the author of these. When these laws were practiced, the land was productive and there were no segments of the population that were chronically poor or permanently enslaved.
Should His requirements of love, mercy and forgiveness not be practiced, the societies of mankind are designed to malfunction and self-destruct. In this regard, we are at the point of extremes in the world today.
A thorough study of the economic principles within the God-given laws to the Israelites of the Sabbath and Jubilee Year, reveals the intended “wealth distribution” that God had planned upon earth. It is not unreasonable to take instruction from these commanded ordinances of the Israelites as, after all, they were called to be a light to the world (Isaiah 42:6; 49:6).
But aren’t ancient laws and principles irrelevant today? No. Consider that God Himself will again reinstitute these two Sabbath ordinances in the Millennium period. Think of it: when Jesus Christ restores all things (Acts 3:21), the Sabbath and Jubilee years will be practiced by the entire earth.
Civil leaders today would then do well if they sought to pursue the same principles behind these two ordinances. Were the principles behind these two Sabbath years observed today, our current globalized world of money would not be so dangerously imbalanced.
The world groans for a Jubilee Year. As Apostle Paul says, “We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time” (Romans 8:22). Something else is needed to liberate the world, to free the economic captives.
Will God also judge the rampant commercialism and economic injustices observed in the world today? The Bible says yes. Mankind’s systems will be brought to naught.
Yet, mankind has been given this great promise: “There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience” (Hebrew 4:9-11).
1 Michael Hudson, “…And forgive them their debts: Lending, Foreclosure and Redemption: From Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year,” ISLET-Verlag Dresden, 2018, p. 22.
2 April to June 2011 issues of Midnight Call (Part I Jubileum: God’s Prophetic Outline for Prosperity; Part II Jubileum: Human Oppressors and Enslavers Restrained; Part III Jubileum: Hope for the Poor in Spirit and Wealth).
Wilfred J. Hahn is a global economist/strategist. Formerly a top-ranked global analyst, research director for a major Wall Street investment bank, and head of Canada’s largest global investment operation, his writings focus on the endtime roles of money, economics and globalization. He has been quoted around the world and his writings reproduced in numerous other publications and languages. His 2002 book The Endtime Money Snare: How to live free accurately anticipated and prepared its readers for the Global Financial Crisis. A following book, Global Financial Apocalypse Prophesied: Preserving true riches in an age of deception and trouble, looks further into the prophetic future.
You can contact Wilfred at: firstname.lastname@example.org