The Coming Monetary Collapse :: By Britt Gillette

Since the arrival of COVID-19 and the subsequent decision to lockdown entire cities and nations, world economic activity has significantly decreased. When normal recessions strike, they typically involve only one nation or a single region. But the COVID Recession has hit the whole world at once. This is the first time every nation has simultaneously seen a decline in output since the Great Depression.

Despite the scale of this economic disaster, many economists are calling for a quick V-shaped recovery once the coronavirus is brought under control. But is this likely? No. Even if the virus disappears tomorrow, we won’t see a V-shaped recovery. Why? Because of central bank policies and unrestrained government spending. The world’s central banks (the U.S. Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, the Bank of Japan, and others) have made reckless policy decisions for decades. But their bad policy decisions kicked into overdrive following the Great Recession of 2008-2009.

After September 11th, central banks pushed out artificially low interest rates. These low rates, along with other poorly thought out government policies, blew a massive housing bubble. When the bubble burst, central bankers and politicians rewarded corrupt and incompetent bankers and business executives with huge bailouts. Unrestrained by a gold standard, they created new currency to fill the holes created by bad decisions, mismanagement, and misallocation of resources. They propped up a broken financial system and blew yet another asset bubble in the process.

When COVID popped that bubble, we saw a new round of bailouts and central bank schemes to elevate financial markets and avoid the inevitable. We also saw direct government payments to individuals in the hope of “stimulating” the economy. This is only possible because governments can create new currency at will. The U.S. dollar and every other national currency in the world is a fiat currency. This means they aren’t backed by anything but a government promise. They only have value because governments say they do. They’re nothing but pieces of paper or ones and zeros in a computer, and that means governments can create as much currency as they want to with the click of a button.

Fiat currencies don’t have the value of those backed by gold, silver, or other hard assets. This means politicians and central bankers can create new currency out of thin air to fund an endless array of stimulus programs, welfare benefits, and schemes to bailout and enrich their friends.

For decades, and especially since the Great Recession, these politicians and central bankers have done everything in their power to avoid the pain of a recession or even a protracted stock market decline. But no matter how hard they try to avoid the inevitable, a day of reckoning is coming. They’ve distorted the free market, and they can’t hold off the consequences forever. The bill will soon come due. COVID didn’t cause the coming crisis. It only accelerated it.

The Road Before Us

All these foolish government policies have put the global economy in a no-win situation. As a result, only two options are left:

Option #1): Deflation – The Great Depression is the most famous example of economic deflation. In a deflationary spiral, credit contracts and the overall money supply shrinks. People cut spending, and workers lose their jobs. Debt levels become a massive burden. Businesses fail and bankruptcies rise. Unemployment spikes and breadlines form. A deflationary spiral is a painful event for all of society. It foments riots and calls for revolution. The pain of deflation is necessary to clear the economy of bad debt and poorly managed companies. Nevertheless, central bankers and politicians try to avoid deflation at all costs. Why? Because the temporary and necessary economic pain threatens their power.

Option #2): Big Inflation or Hyperinflation – The Weimar Republic gave us the most famous example of hyperinflation. Crushed under a mountain of post-war debt and reparations, the German republic printed more and more currency to meet its obligations. The result was a massive loss of purchasing power for Germany’s currency – the mark. Prices rose quickly to reflect the new reality. A 160-mark loaf of bread at the end of 1922 cost over 200 billion marks less than a year later. In one story from that time, a woman carried a wheelbarrow of marks to the bakery just to buy a loaf of bread. When she went into the bakery, a thief stole her wheelbarrow, but he left the pile of worthless marks. That’s how quickly the currency lost its value.

All this happened because an unrestrained government vastly increased the supply of its currency, and basic economics says when supply increases without an increase in demand, price falls. In other words, the citizens of Germany quickly figured out that what they thought was “money” was nothing more than worthless pieces of paper. The mark wasn’t anchored to gold or silver or anything of real value. Once this reality came to light, the world lost all faith in the mark, and its purchasing power plummeted. Eventually, it became worthless.

In the last few months, central bankers and politicians have flooded the world with trillions of dollars in new currency. Their answer to every financial problem is to throw more and more currency at an ever-expanding list of government aid programs and targeted bailouts. Like Weimar Germany, the world is simply printing more and more currency in an effort to solve its financial problems. At best, the result will be a 1970’s-style stagflation with high unemployment and runaway inflation. At worst, we’ll see a total collapse of the purchasing power of all fiat currencies relative to gold, silver, and other hard assets. Once again, it will cost wheelbarrows of dollars, euros, or yen to buy a single loaf of bread. Unsurprisingly, the Bible says such a time will come – a time when an entire day’s wages will buy nothing more than a loaf of bread (Revelation 6:6).

Which Road Will We Choose?

Politicians and central bankers will never accept Option #1. This is because deflation poses an immediate threat to their power and position. Clearing the system of bad debt is necessary for a healthy economy. However, the pain it creates will lead voters to demand new leadership. That frightens the politicians and central bankers who love their positions of power and prestige. Faced with a deflationary spiral, Option #2 will seduce them. They’ll buy into the belief they can “engineer” a recovery while managing and controlling inflation. However, history has proven central planning doesn’t work. In the end, they’ll lose control, and all the world’s fiat currencies will collapse.

We’re already seeing the early stages of this crisis. As governments around the world call for bailouts of businesses, local governments, and the unemployed, we see the cost of their big government policies reflected in the surging prices of gold and silver. The chances of a global Weimar-style hyperinflation are much more serious than the public believes.

What’s Next?

Once the world experiences a massive inflationary spiral, the current monetary system (in place since 1971) will come to an end. A new monetary system will rise from the ashes. What will it look like? We don’t know for sure. But in all likelihood, it will be built upon some sort of digital currency. Already the world’s central banks are lining up to launch their own cryptocurrencies. China is currently testing its own state-sponsored cryptocurrency, and dozens of other nations have already announced plans to launch their own. Just last week, news broke of the U.S. Federal Reserve partnering with MIT to develop its own digital currency.

If government cryptocurrency replaces paper currency, individual freedom and liberty will disappear. Governments will be able to “turn off” an individual’s cryptocurrency. That means if you do something the government doesn’t approve of, they’ll be able to shut down your ability to buy and sell. This shouldn’t surprise you either. The Bible says this is precisely what will happen in the end times. The Antichrist will establish a global system of commerce. His system will play a part in every economic transaction on earth. It will be so dominant, no one will be able to buy or sell anything without approval from the Antichrist (Revelation 13:17).

We’re fast approaching a time the prophets warned about. We’re in the midst of a global pandemic (Luke 21:11). Israel is back in the land (Jeremiah 23:7-8). The Jewish people are back in Jerusalem (Luke 21:24-28). And the Gospel is being preached throughout the world (Matthew 24:14). The end times are drawing near. The tribulation, the Antichrist, and global government are part of the world’s immediate future. But don’t despair; this also means Jesus is on the brink of return (Revelation 22:20). He will establish an everlasting kingdom (Daniel 2:44) with no more death or crying or pain (Revelation 21:4). So keep your eyes fixed on Him!

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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.

 

Living Through Birth Pains… What’s Next? :: By Britt Gillette

With all the restrictions and societal changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, I found myself longing for the “carefree” days of 2019 when everything was “normal.” Perhaps you’ve felt the same way. Of course, 2019 was far from perfect. It had its own problems and stresses, but only in comparison to 2020 do we think of 2019 as “the good old days.” And that got me thinking… This seems to be happening a lot lately. We’ve had no less than three of these events in the past 20 years.

If you’re old enough to remember, it was a different world before September 11, 2001. After September 11th, collective fear increased. All sorts of restrictions and protective measures were put in place. Where would the next terrorist threat come from? Many longed for the relatively simple days of life before that terrible day.

Then in 2008, the Great Recession hit. Many people lost their jobs, and among those who didn’t, fear of an impending layoff increased. Many longed for the “simpler” times of the post-September 11th years. Now, here we are in 2020. We’re in the middle of a global pandemic, and many long for a return to their pre-pandemic lives. None of this should surprise us.

Jesus said the days before His return will follow this exact pattern. He likened them to birth pains (Matthew 24:3-8). This means, as with labor contractions, we’ll see these types of events increase in frequency and strength as we approach the end of this age. What we’re seeing today are the birth pains Jesus warned about.

Jesus Is Coming

The frequency of these events testify that Jesus is coming. Our generation will witness His return (Matthew 24:34). All the signs Jesus and the prophets said to look for are present. They include, but aren’t limited to:

  • The restoration of Israel (Jeremiah 23:7-8; Isaiah 11:11-12)
  • The Jewish people in possession of Jerusalem (Luke 21:24-28)
  • The global spread of the Gospel (Matthew 24:14)
  • A marked increase in travel and knowledge (Daniel 12:4)
  • Israel surrounded by enemies (Psalm 83:4-12; Ezekiel 11:14-17; Ezekiel 35:10)
  • Israel fielding a great army (Ezekiel 37:10; Zechariah 12:6,8)
  • The rise of a United Europe (Daniel 2; Daniel 7; Revelation 17)
  • The rise of the Gog of Magog alliance (Ezekiel 38:8; Ezekiel 39:27)
  • Increased calls for global government (Revelation 13:7)
  • People acting in the way Paul said they would act (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
  • Widespread ridicule of the Second Coming (2 Peter 3:3-4)

All these signs and more point to the soon return of Jesus. He told us to “look up” when we see these signs converge (Luke 21:28), and we’re seeing them converge now. That means the rapture, the Tribulation, and the Second Coming are close at hand. And since Jesus told us to expect birth pains leading up to His arrival, look for major events similar to September 11th, the Great Recession, and the COVID-19 pandemic to appear with greater frequency and cause greater trauma. In other words, expect things to get worse before they get better.

So, what will come next? While we can’t know for sure, here’s a few events on the horizon.

What’s Coming Next?

With conditions set to be worse in the coming months and years, what are the most likely events to occur in the near future? The possibilities are endless. We could see large magnitude earthquakes, a nuclear terrorist attack, or even a global pandemic worse than COVID-19. But rather than speculate, let’s focus on what we know is coming. The three events outlined below are either already happening or certain to happen in the near future.

1) A Global Depression – For the moment, many people seem to think the current economic slowdown is a brief pause – that once the coronavirus disappears, the economy will spring back to life and resume an upward growth trajectory. The S&P 500 reflects this belief. After crashing for most of February and March, it’s now just a few percentage points from its all-time high. But the “V-shaped” economic recovery touted in the media is nothing more than a mirage. You can’t shut down entire countries in an interconnected global economy and expect the impact to be temporary.

Many individuals and small business owners have watched their savings dwindle as their businesses are forced to close or their customers disappear. In some industries, it will take years for sales to reach pre-pandemic levels. Governments have tried to take measures to help – offering loans, providing direct cash payments, and even outlawing evictions. But these measures are only temporary. Eventually, they have to end.

For instance, in the United States, unemployed workers receive an extra $600 per week on top of their regular unemployment benefits. This has helped mask the true impact of the coronavirus shutdowns, but unless they’re extended, those payments will end on July 31. Then what happens? With more than 20 million people collecting unemployment, that adds up to over $12 billion per week. That’s $624 billion on an annual basis. Prior to the shutdowns, this would have been around 3% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product. Today, with the hit the economy’s taken, it adds up to even more. When those payments end, consumer spending will dry up even further, lines will once again form outside of food banks, and a new round of layoffs will hit America’s workforce.

Making matters worse is the crippling impact on small business. Not only did governments force many businesses to shut down, but in a number of cases, it only allowed them to reopen with limited capacity. Foot traffic is down, and as new coronavirus cases crop up, these businesses may be forced to shut down again. This creates great uncertainty, and uncertainty is terrible for economic growth. Both businesses and individuals take less risk and cut expenses during times of uncertainty, and that means fewer sales, less revenue, and a contracting economy. To have the entire world economy suddenly come to a screeching halt is absolutely unprecedented. The result will be a terrible global depression on par with, or maybe even worse than, the Great Depression.

2) Widespread Famine – According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, more than 820 million people worldwide regularly suffer from hunger. And these statistics pre-date the coronavirus pandemic. That means events are only going to get worse because the state of the global economy has a direct impact on world hunger. Global hunger significantly increased during the Great Recession, and the current economic slowdown will be no exception. The World Bank’s most recent projection for 2020 global GDP is a 6.2% contraction – two times worse than the Great Recession. This alone increases the odds of famine and will leave millions more hungry.

According to Paul Winters of the International Fund for Agricultural Development, “Even before we got the COVID pandemic we were already seeing an increase in hunger around the world due to climate, conflict and economic slowdowns, and now we have this extra economic slowdown.”

By itself, the coming global depression will plunge millions into a state of poverty and hunger. But as terrible as all this is, it’s set to get far worse. Why?

Because this year also saw the emergence of one of the worst locust plagues in decades. Swarms of locusts measuring miles in length have ravaged countries in East Africa, the Middle East, and Southwest Asia. These swarms could continue to thrive and spread well into 2021. As they destroy crops, millions more face the prospect of famine – one of the signs Jesus said to look for (Matthew 24:7).

3) War in the Middle East – According to multiple news reports, Israel is currently contemplating the annexation of large parts of the West Bank. A coalition deal between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz, of the Blue and White party, put forward a plan to do so as early as July 1. But so far, nothing has happened. That said, Netanyahu knows his window of opportunity to act is small – especially if it looks like Donald Trump may lose his re-election bid. If that happens, Netanyahu will almost certainly move forward with annexation while he still has a reliable ally in the White House.

However, such a move is likely to set off a firestorm of international condemnation and declarations of war from many of Israel’s enemies. For decades, world leaders have feared an explosive war in the Middle East. We may be closer to such a war now than we’ve ever been before. While Israel’s next war doesn’t have to be one outlined in Bible prophecy, several prophesied conflicts have yet to take place. These include conflicts that result in the destruction of Damascus (Isaiah 17), an attack from Israel’s immediate neighbors (Psalm 83), and an invasion by a coalition that includes Russia, Iran, Turkey, and several other nations (Ezekiel 38-39).

Could we be on the verge of one of these wars? We could. And Jesus pointed to “rumors of war” as a sign of His coming (Matthew 24:6).

What You Should Do

So with all that’s taking place, what should you do? The answer is clear – make the most of the time you have left. If you’re not a Christian, turn to Jesus now. He paid for your sins through His blood as shed on the cross. There is no other name by which we are saved (Acts 4:12). Jesus alone is the way to heaven (John 14:6), so turn to Him while you still can.

If you’re already Christian, don’t fear the events of the Tribulation. Jesus promised to protect His followers from “the great time of testing that will come upon the whole world” (Revelation 3:10). But don’t think that because you’ll avoid the Tribulation, you won’t face trials in this life. Jesus says you will. He says you’ll face many trials and tribulations in this world, but don’t let them bring you down, because He has overcome the world (John 16:33).

Realize the rapture itself could be the next traumatic event to hit the world. Think of those left behind, the fear they’ll have, and the world they’ll be living in. Use that as motivation to spread the Gospel. Right now, more people than ever are seeking Him. God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose for them (Romans 8:28). World-shaking events like the COVID-19 pandemic are no exception. People have been shaken from their sense of security. It’s in these moments when people seek God the most, because He can never be shaken. He’s the rock you should build your life on (Psalm 18:2). So take advantage of this moment and share your testimony, because Jesus is coming soon!

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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.