Truth in the Clouds
Revealingly, clouds are often mentioned in the Bible. The word cloud and its plural form is cited 149 times. We see that the Bible holds a fascination for them, repeatedly noting the critical and crucial roles that they play in life on earth and prophecy. They are wondrous. Marvels Job, “Do you know how the clouds hang poised?” (Job 37:16a).
As well, the use of clouds as literal imagery is expansive in the Bible. For example: “[…] he is coming with the clouds,’ and ‘every eye will see him, even those who pierced him’; and all peoples on earth ‘will mourn because of him […].” (Revelation 1:7). Or consider 1 Thessalonians 4:17a: “After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.” Yes, “[…] you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven” (Mark 14:62).
Querying the specter he sees of Jews migrating to Israel in the last days, Isaiah asks, “Who are these that fly along like clouds, like doves to their nests?” (Isaiah 60:8).
To be balanced, we must also mention that clouds are frequently used to symbolize gloomy occasions. These refer to both punishment and blessing … especially so in apocalyptic verses that have yet to be fulfilled.
For example, Zephaniah says, “That day will be a day of wrath—a day of distress and anguish, a day of trouble and ruin, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness” (1:15). And so, the types of clouds that waft across the endtime world during the Tribulation period are of a less auspicious sort.
Head in the Clouds
Looking ahead at global affairs, not only is the outlook cloudy, but also mankind has become totally clouded in his thinking. Mankind increasingly has his “head in the clouds.” In the very last days, humanity is smitten with delusion and fanciful thinking … without foundation … rejecting the very Creator of clouds.
Today, we would agree with the opinion that the entirety of humanity has their collective “head in the clouds” as never before in history. We will yet provide a few examples of this being the case.
Of course, the reader will know that this phrase is a type of criticism … being accused of not being realistic or rational. Christians may very well have their eyes cast toward the clouds—”[…] stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21:28)—yet we remain unclouded in our doctrines, with our feet firmly on the ground.
Not so the world. Instead, their doctrines are malleable and made of mist.
A New Type of Cloud
Perhaps not coincidentally, the meaning of the word “cloud” has gone through a modernization in our day. It’s taken on new meanings. It is a similar shift as applied to the word “gay.” Where once this word had idyllic meanings, today it has been hijacked as a descriptor for sexual orientation.
Today, the word “cloud” has been borrowed by the field of IT technology—applying to digital data and computer networks. You can have your data in “the cloud” (also called the iCloud). As such, this phrase (“the cloud”) has become an important marker of our age. Consider that “cloud” technologies today have been a major driver of “global interconnectedness” and the digital capture of mankind’s activities. People no longer find it extraordinary that we now “live in the cloud.”
As the case may be, there are many movements “driven by clouds” these days. We are referring here to mankind’s space travel to Mars, or the fanciful dreams of Tesla’s founder, Elon Musk, who believes that humans will someday populate other planets.
Most prominently, we think of trends that involve a belief in unlimited technology that may foster futuristic dreams and altered realities. Here we refer to such theories as transhumanism1 (see endnote) and “dematerialization.” There is no lack of delusion here. Consider also the ideology of Cosmism (a Russian variant). We will not discuss these notions, apart from saying that those who engage in such certainly have their “heads in the clouds.”
Not surprisingly, these theories go hand in hand with occult belief systems and those that wish to entirely nullify God. Instead, they conspire to take full power and authority for humanity. They want to “do what they wilt” (this the cry of occultists) without any consequences or limitation. This is “clouded thinking,” of course, as the created world has its boundaries and limits. Everyone must acknowledge this; it is a sign of the times, we believe. There is a broad abandonment of common sense and facts, instead believing in the ridiculous. We identify many recent trends and developments that ultimately will give “birth to wind” (Isaiah 26:18). There is an accelerating number of beliefs, values, and future expectations for mankind worldwide that are entirely decoupled from foundations, evidence, and sustainability.
Humanity is intent on making his own reality … his own future. This is a choice of mankind that the Bible foretells. The nations wish to rebel. They want to go their own way (Psalm 2:3). And the chief adversary is pursuing the same objective. He says: “I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High” (Isaiah 14:14).
In that sense, the “footloose and fancy-free” rebellion that we are witnessing today is a “sign of the times.” Let’s consider a few such examples of collective global humanity having their heads in the clouds.
- Modern Monetary Theory: We have written about this newish theory several times in the past (most recently, in the January issue). It is not a new idea … just an old one in new garb. One of the most licentious tenets of this new policy is the idea that debt (government debt, primarily) can be increased virtually without limit (given certain conditions). Politicians and policymakers will be eager to boost spending and budget deficits. But who would doubt that debt increases will have consequences? To think otherwise is to be clouded. This writer would not be surprised if a massive inflationary spiral unfolds in the Tribulation period, which leads to the conditions of exorbitant wine prices and basic items of sustenance (barley) becoming unaffordable (Revelation 6:6).
- Ex Nihilo—Cryptocurrencies: This new form of currency has become all the rage among speculating investors. Little more than a decade ago, this digital currency type did not exist. Bitcoin, the best-known crypto, was the first to launch in 2009. Just what are these cryptocurrencies comprised of, really? What purpose do they serve? Most will be stumped to find an answer … including financial professionals. Cryptocurrencies do not exist in physical form (like paper money). Many have no connection to a bank account, and typically are not issued by a central authority.
In this writer’s view, cryptocurrencies and their various derivations are basically speculative vehicles that should not be called currencies. Nevertheless, their value has boomed on crypto exchanges far beyond comprehension. Recently, the Financial Times2 reported that the value of outstanding digital securities reached 1,000 times the estimated value of the entire world’s wealth. Is this real? Hardly. Speculators have their heads in a cloud.
- Financial Wealth at All-Time High. Primarily due to the massive monetary interventions of the world’s major central banks (due to sluggish economic growth worldwide and the negative economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic), interest rates around the world have tumbled to all-time lows. In fact, most of the world’s government bonds yield a negative interest rate. This, in turn, has led to soaring stock markets … and somewhat more selectively, real estate prices are also rising to the surprise of many. Valuations are now probably the most extreme in modern financial history. There are no foundations or stable reference points to be found. They are all floating in the clouds somewhere.
- Falling Fertility Rates. As is well known, human fertility rates continue to decline rapidly around the globe. These are at a record low in many countries. It is the new wisdom that population growth must decline to save the world. With respect to declining population growth, few are worried. Why? They believe that financial markets will miraculously yield enough investment income and gains so that pensions and personal savings will be sufficient to maintain reasonable lifestyles for the world’s future retirees. This is unlikely, of course. All the natural laws of creation would first need to be repealed before this can happen.
Nonetheless, policymakers wish to defer this grim outcome if at all possible. To do so, a Ponzi-like program must be pursued. Here again, we have an example of a belief of mankind that leads to a great, self-driven disaster. Again, it reveals an instance where mankind believes that he can slip the bounds of creation. Put simply, if humans stop having children, there can be no such thing as a comfortable retirement for all. It is impossible. All the same, policymakers are inflating financial asset values to hoodwink and delay the ultimate outcomes. This is already unfolding. Nevertheless, there will come a point where the clouds will lift, and policymakers will realize that real wealth cannot be found in the clouds.
Thoughts to Ponder
We have only scratched the surface in our list of “clouded” and “head in the clouds” thinking. With respect to clouds, just what is the weather forecast?
The world may think it is on Cloud Nine today. But in reality, it is unhinged and without moorings. While the world constructs its “cloud in the sky” of global data and electronic networks, we are to keep watching for our Lord, who is coming in the clouds.
According to Isaiah 55:8-9, humanity’s thoughts are not God’s thoughts: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
While the world continues to unfetter its chains and deny the Creator, what are we commanded to do? “[…] Since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1).
We have the blessed hope.
Says Apostle Paul: “[…] we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so, we will be with the Lord forever” (1 Thessalonians 4:17).
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.
Contact Wilfred at: email@example.com
1 The belief or theory that the human race can evolve beyond its current physical and mental limitations, especially by means of science and technology.
2 “Crypto finally becomes bigger than … the world.” The Financial Times, January 15, 2021.