The Coming Market Crash :: By Britt Gillette

As COVID-19 spread across the world in early 2020, economic activity froze. Entire cities in China were put on lockdown, and the lockdowns soon spread to Europe, the United States, and the whole world. With people confined to their homes, many businesses closed. The global economy came to a grinding halt. Global supply chains broke, airlines canceled flights, and an oil glut drove down petroleum prices as supply outstripped demand.

The economic shock of the coronavirus hammered global markets. Bond markets went into freefall, stocks plummeted, and global trade slowed to a near stop. The abrupt impact of COVID-19 on the global economy caused panic around the world, and this panic forced governments and central banks to take unprecedented measures. As a result of trillions of dollars in stimulus, the U.S. stock market and markets around the world reversed course, and they’ve been on an upward trajectory ever since. Second-quarter U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which measures the economic output of the U.S. economy, was the worst on record at negative 31.4%, but third-quarter GDP was the best ever at 33.4%. Throw in the rollout of several vaccines in November/December 2020, and boundless optimism continues to drive markets higher on the idea the economy will reopen and the pandemic will end.

But is this really what will happen?

The Health of the Global Economy

As we begin 2021, global markets signal a rebound in economic activity. The widely held belief is everything will eventually bounce back to pre-pandemic levels once COVID is vanquished. At least, that’s the consensus. Unfortunately, it’s not reality. The global economy is in terrible shape, maybe even in terminal condition.

Right now, the global economy is much like someone who just survived a bad car wreck. Immediately afterward, they walk away. They feel and look fine, and they think they’ve escaped unharmed. They don’t yet realize the extent of their injuries and only discover how serious they are hours or days later. This is where we are right now with the global economy.

Government programs have covered up the true extent of the damage, but they can’t do so forever. Business bailouts, direct government payments to individuals, and rent and mortgage moratoriums have delayed the pain. Because of them, many people can’t see the true extent of the economic damage. But these government band-aids won’t prevent the inevitable. The economy won’t “spring back” due to pent-up demand. Yes, once the pandemic ends, more people might decide to take cruises or eat out at restaurants. But they won’t book two cruises for the same weekend or order 15 meals in a single night to make up for the cruises they would’ve taken or the meals they would’ve eaten. Those transactions are lost forever.

In many cases, the economic damage from COVID-19 is permanent. The National Restaurant Association reports more than 110,000 U.S. restaurants permanently closed their doors in 2020. This is compared to 2019 which saw an increase of more than 10,000 restaurants, and the carnage isn’t over yet. Many of the 2020 survivors will go out of business in 2021. More than 15,000 retail store locations closed their doors in 2020 in the United States alone. The list of companies impacted includes iconic brands like Pier 1 Imports, Lord & Taylor, and Neiman Marcus.

Rent and mortgage forbearance has kept many from losing their homes, but what about the landlords and bondholders who haven’t been paid? Eventually, someone has to pay for all those who have lived rent and mortgage free in 2020. And what about the commercial real estate industry? With restaurants and retailers not making their lease payments, commercial real estate firms face ruin. With many employees successfully working from home, many commercial real estate leases won’t be renewed. This leaves vast amounts of office space vacant in big cities throughout the world. And this is just one example of the coming debt defaults and bankruptcies that will soon ripple throughout the entire global economy.

Right now, the world is drowning in debt – $277 trillion in debt. Much of that will never be paid back. When the defaults and bankruptcies start to take place, they’ll cascade throughout the global banking system and create another financial crisis. The only way to avoid a massive deflationary spiral like the Great Depression will be for governments to print and hand out currency to keep people and businesses from going under. But this will create its own crisis – a hyperinflationary crisis. In other words, there’s no way out. We’re on the brink of a major financial crisis. Government policy can delay it, but any delay is simply the calm before the storm.

The Asset Bubble Collapse

Over the long-term, stock markets cannot outperform the economies they operate in. Yet that’s what we’ve seen since the COVID crisis. Global stock markets are up. Economic growth is down. By almost every measure, U.S. stock markets are more overvalued than any time in history.

Warren Buffett’s favorite metric for valuation of stocks is to divide the total value of the stock market by the GDP. When the market is fairly valued, this ratio is between 75% and 90%. Right now, the ratio is hovering around 190% – the highest in recorded history. This means the stock market is now in its largest bubble ever. This includes the 1929 bubble which led to a three-year 89% crash and ushered in the Great Depression. It includes the Dot Com Bubble which caused a mania of speculation and irrational exuberance and ultimately ended in a 78% crash of the NASDAQ.

And this isn’t confined to U.S. markets either. According to Siblis Research, the price-to-earnings ratio of the global stock market is over 27, considerably higher than the 30-year average. Combine these record valuations with an ailing global economy, and you have a recipe for disaster.

A Dangerous Economic Crisis

So, what does all this mean? It means a major economic crisis is on the horizon. It may be the worst global economic crisis ever – worse than the Great Depression. This is cause for concern for more than just financial reasons.

In times of chaos and economic instability, dangerous political leaders and demagogues capture the public imagination. Past economic crises led to the rise of Napoleon, the launch of the Bolshevik Revolution, and the consolidation of German state power in the hands of Adolph Hitler. All these events had grave consequences for the entire world, not just the individual nations in question. Why should we believe this time will be any different?

Why This is Relevant to Bible Prophecy

The Bible describes terrible economic conditions in the end times. Revelation 6 tells us an entire day’s wages will barely buy enough food to survive (Revelation 6:5-6). This describes a world ravaged by hyperinflation, and it’s the backdrop against which the Antichrist makes his drive for global conquest (Revelation 6:3-4).

Ultimately, the Antichrist will implement a global economic system which requires the people of the world to worship him. The Bible says he will require everyone on earth to receive a mark, and no one will be able to buy or sell without the mark (Revelation 13:17). We see the beginnings of this system today. Central banks openly discuss plans to replace national currencies with new cryptocurrencies, giving their governments unprecedented power. With such power, not only will government be able to track everything you buy or sell, it will be able to kick you out of the economic system – just as the Bible says.

What You Should Do

Knowing all this, what should you do? A global economic crisis is coming. How can you best prepare for it?

The most important thing you can do is to build your life on a firm foundation. Jesus says anyone who listens to Him and follows His teachings is wise, like a man who builds his house on solid rock. When the storm comes, his house won’t collapse because it’s built on solid rock. But anyone who hears His teachings and doesn’t obey is like a man who builds his house on shifting sand. When the storm comes, his house will collapse with a mighty crash (Matthew 7:24-27).

Be like the man who builds his house on solid rock. Build your life on the unmovable rock – Jesus Christ. If you do, not only will you survive in a global economic crisis, you’ll thrive. In fact, with Jesus, you can weather any crisis the world brings. Remember, in this world, you will face many trials and sorrows, but take heart, for He has overcome the world (John 16:33). The days ahead will be tough for the whole world, but those who trust in Him will not be disappointed (Romans 10:11).

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Britt Gillette is author of the free ebook Coming to Jesus as well as the books Signs of the Second Coming, Racing Toward Armageddon, and The End Times. Receive his book 7 Signs of the End Times for free when you sign up for his monthly newsletter.

The Top 3 Prophetic News Headlines of 2020 :: By Britt Gillette

The number one sign of the Second Coming is the convergence of all the signs Jesus and the prophets said to look for. Jesus said, “When you see all these things take place, look up! Your salvation draws near” (Luke 21:28). What are the things Jesus and the prophets said to look for? Israel back in the land (Jeremiah 23:7-8)… The Jewish people back in control of Jerusalem (Luke 21:24)… The Gospel being preached to the whole world (Matthew 24:14)… And more. Today, we see these signs. Because we do, we can be confident we live in the season of His return. But Jesus cited other signs too. So did the prophets. And we see those signs as well. As 2020 draws to a close, what were the biggest prophetic news stories? Below is a list of what I believe were the top three:

1) The COVID-19 Pandemic

The current COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic is not one of the specific events prophesied in the Bible for the seven-year Tribulation. The world simply hasn’t entered that time period yet. However, it is significant to Bible prophecy because it sets the stage for the near-term fulfillment of many end-times Bible prophecies. This isn’t surprising. Politicians take advantage of times of turmoil, disaster, and fear to implement changes people otherwise wouldn’t accept.

Since the coronavirus pandemic, politicians all over the world have used their power to implement draconian lockdowns of local populations. Countries such as Italy, Spain, and France announced nationwide lockdowns, ordering all “non-essential” workers to stay home and shelter in place. Draconian restrictions governed when people could leave their homes and who they could interact with. Police raided private residences to break up illegal parties, and many people turned in their neighbors.

While the deadliness of the pandemic has waned since the spring, government lockdowns and COVID regulations keep coming. In the United States, governors continue to issue onerous rules for how and when restaurants and other businesses can operate. They regularly trample on the First Amendment freedoms of assembly and worship. In fact, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito recently said Nevada treats casinos more favorably than houses of worship. All these government orders are an attack on personal freedom and liberty, drawing us down the road toward dictatorship.

The word “coronavirus” doesn’t appear in the Bible, and it’s not one of the monumental events of the Tribulation. However, the coronavirus is one of the general signs Jesus said to look for. When asked to describe the signs of His coming, Jesus cited pandemics just like the one we’re experiencing now as a major sign (Luke 21:11).

2) Calls for Government-Backed Cryptocurrencies

The coronavirus has also led to something else – an acceleration in the push for digital currency, also known as cryptocurrency. The use of paper currency has declined dramatically in this new era of online ordering and social distancing. Paper currency is a haven for bacteria and viruses, and many claim it could accelerate the spread of coronavirus. Because of this, look for more and more politicians to call for an end to using paper currency.

The end of paper currency and its replacement with government-sponsored cryptocurrency will put unlimited power at the fingertips of government leaders. Not only does cryptocurrency offer a way to permanently record every financial transaction, but it will also enable the government to track where you go and what you do. It will track the websites you visit and make note of who your friends are. While most of this information is already available through tracking of credit cards, debit cards, mobile phones, and social media profiles, a state-sponsored cryptocurrency will provide unfettered government access to this information. It will create a closed, government-controlled economic system where you’ll be dependent on the government’s cryptocurrency to pay for all your needs.

If the government decides they don’t like you, they’ll be able turn off your access and freeze you out of the economic system. They’ll be able to decide what you can and can’t buy. They’ll be able to tell you where you can and can’t go. In essence, they’ll have complete control over your life. And while I’d like to think we can take measures to avoid it, the rise of government-sponsored cryptocurrency is inevitable.

Long ago, the Book of Revelation foretold the establishment of an end-times economic system eerily similar to a world dominated by government-sponsored cryptocurrency. The Bible says a time will come when a global dictator will require everyone on earth to receive a mark on the right hand or the forehead (Revelation 13:16). Without this mark, the people of the world will be unable to buy or sell anything (Revelation 13:17). How will this work? It remains to be seen. But the worldwide rush to create government-sponsored cryptocurrencies provides us with a glimpse as to how such a system might work. And right now, the world’s central banks are devising plans to roll this system out.

3) Peace Treaties with Israel

In recent decades, no area of the world has been home to more conflict and ongoing animosity than the Middle East. A cauldron of ethnic, political, and religious clashes, many believe the spark that ignites World War III will come from the Middle East. Central to the region’s ongoing conflicts are Muslim hostility toward Israel and disputes over control of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. These are the exact events the Bible says will happen in the last days. The Bible says Jerusalem will be “like an intoxicating drink that makes the nearby nations stagger” (Zechariah 12:2-3). That’s precisely what we’ve seen. Yet, the Bible also says an Israeli peace treaty plays a central and pivotal role in the end times.

Over 2,500 years ago, Daniel said a mighty ruler will enter into a covenant or a treaty with Israel for a period of seven years (Daniel 9:27). This treaty will kick off the seven-year Tribulation and make the ruler behind it a major player on the world stage. Who is this ruler? None other than “the man of lawlessness” (2 Thessalonians 2:3) himself – the Antichrist.

2020 has brought peace agreements between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kosovo, Serbia, Morocco, and Sudan – with the prospect of more nations joining in the near future. Do any of the recent peace agreements qualify as the Daniel 9:27 treaty? Some say yes. They point out that the Daniel 9:27 treaty is a covenant made “with many,” and that’s what we see. But that’s where the similarities begin and end. These peace agreements are not the treaty described in Daniel 9:27 – at least not yet.

The treaty outlined in Daniel 9:27 is set for a specific period of time – seven years. None of the recent peace deals with Israel mention a period of seven years. Also, the man behind the treaty of Daniel 9:27 is a specific individual – the Antichrist.

The driving diplomatic force behind these peace agreements has been the Trump administration, and Donald Trump is not the Antichrist. Despite what many of his political opponents may think or say, he simply doesn’t fit the profile. The Bible describes the life and times of the Antichrist. It provides details in regard to his ethnic background and political career. Donald Trump doesn’t fit the description.

The Bible says the Antichrist will be the leader of a revived Roman Empire (Daniel 7). He will come from among the people of the Italian peninsula (Daniel 9:26), and He will be called the Assyrian (Isaiah 10:12; Daniel 8:9). Furthermore, the Bible says the Antichrist will emerge from a group of ten kings (Daniel 7:7-8), and not all of these ten kings will willingly cede their power. Three will oppose him (Daniel 7:8). None of these verses describe Donald Trump.

So unless a dramatic change takes place, the recent Israeli peace agreements are not the treaty described in Daniel 9:27. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t have prophetic significance. In all likelihood, they lay the groundwork for the treaty Israel will eventually sign with the Prince of Darkness.

We’ll have to wait and see what further developments take place before we can know for sure. Remember, the Bible doesn’t say the Antichrist will “create” a covenant with Israel; it says he will “confirm” a covenant “with many” (Daniel 9:27). So the recent Israeli peace agreements may well be the foundation for Israel’s treaty with the Antichrist.

What to Look for in 2021

Hopefully, Jesus will return in the last few days of 2020. But whether He does or doesn’t, expect these same trends to continue in 2021. Look for the coronavirus pandemic to accelerate the trend toward increasing government power. More and more people have come to tolerate government mandates, bailouts, and censorship. Included in these government power grabs will be the eventual rollout of government-backed cryptocurrencies as a replacement for paper currencies. When this happens, all freedom and liberty will disappear. Governments will have complete control over their citizens.

Against this backdrop, we see the groundwork being laid for the peace treaty that will kick off the Tribulation (Daniel 9:27). Combine these developments with countless others foretold in the Bible, and we can know the rapture, the Tribulation, and the Second Coming draw near. This is why the #1 thing you should look for in 2021 is the return of our Savior. As we enter a new year, all the signs tell us, “Jesus is coming!”

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Britt Gillette is author of the free ebook Coming to Jesus as well as the books Signs of the Second Coming, Racing Toward Armageddon, and The End Times. Receive his book 7 Signs of the End Times for free when you sign up for his monthly newsletter.