We have been documenting world trends, these being developments of prophetic importance that serve as markers and enablers of the encroaching end times. Indeed, some of the trends that we have investigated may even qualify as prophetic fulfillments; all of them, of course, qualifying as developments that set the stage for actual prophetic fulfillments yet future. To date, we have identified seven such developments. We now proceed with the eighth—World End-Time Mammonization.
What is Mammonization? We define it as the process by which all of earthly creation and the activities of mankind are translated and captured in the form of a money value. This trend goes hand-in-hand with the process that we have many times identified as the Global Endtime Money Snare (GEMS) that Satan is deploying. (This author published a book by this name, The Endtime Money Snare: How to Live Free, now out of print.)
It is a “prophetically significant” trend—but one that may not be obvious to many. Nevertheless, it is a major, pivotal contributor to the end-time agenda. Thus, it is critical that we review this development. We will explain this end-time phenomenon as best as possible and try to keep it interesting.
The advent of Mammonization can be clearly deduced from the Bible. Scripture says that the end times will be marked by great deception, Mammon worship and materialism. It is therefore no coincidence that the Bible considers riches and wealth to be deceitful (Mark 4:19).
Critical to Satan’s Mammonization strategy are two subsidiary worldwide trends: 1. Financialization; and 2; Numeracy. We will explain these trends in this two-part series. Both have rapidly conditioned humanity (and even the Church) to a type of blindness (see Revelation 3:17).
Readers will note that we choose to capitalize the word Mammon. Why? Because it clearly has spiritual dimensions and, in our view, is enlivened by a sinister being—Satan himself. Mammon, therefore, is the personification of the lure of earthly wealth—the god of riches—seeking to convince us to “live by bread alone” (Matthew 4:4; Luke 4:4).
The Bible says that there are two opposing realms, that of Mammon and God. They are at opposite poles and cannot be mixed. Jesus says expressly: “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24, KJV).
A number of prominent Bible translations (NIV, ISV and others) do not use the word “mammon” (mammonas in Greek); instead, interpreting this word as “worldly wealth,” “riches of this world,” or “money” and “wealth.”
None of these terms, in this writer’s view, fully capture the essence of the concept expressed by the Greek word mammonas. This word is mentioned four times in the New Testament. It pointedly refers to deceitful riches, wealth personified, and unrighteous wealth (Luke 16:11, KJV). These definitions better portray the essence of Mammon.
Now that we have a better understanding of “Mammon,” we can better frame a personal question: Do we wish to serve God or the “god of unrighteous riches”?
We remind ourselves that the Lord does possess all riches, as He is the Creator (Revelations 5:12). Knowing this, how is it then that the god of riches has so successfully prevailed in attracting the world’s worship? It clearly must be an unrighteous and deceptive god.
We turn to the task of explaining the two contributing trends mentioned earlier. We begin with Financialization.
Financialization —It Is All About the Money
Financialization refers to the process whereby everything is expressed or appraised in terms of money value.
Consider the concept of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It is a well-known term today and has had an enormous impact on how our society thinks and sees things—through a prism of money value. GDP represents a tally of all human economic activity expressed in a money value. It is a figure that has come to be revered in our modern day.
But, did you know that GDP is a very modern invention, finding its roots only as recently as the 1920s? And, if that is the case, you the reader may be asking, how was it possible that humanity was able to survive without such a concept of national accounting before that time?
Today, a difference of a few tenths of one percent in an estimated growth rate of GDP can cause stock and bond markets to soar or fall. The slightest wiggle is treated with great significance. Quoting one commentator, “The quarterly release of GDP statistics is more akin to a religious service than anything resembling a scientific study.”1
Given this hypersensitivity to GDP statistics, you may be surprised to learn that the GDP estimates (and also other economic statistics) are highly unreliable and subjective.
In our view, National Accounting made possible the idolatrous figurement. It has paved the way for wealth worship, which has possessed our last-day world today! It makes for an eye-opening story.
GDP: What Is It?
Allow us to explain the significance and construct of GDP.
To be sure, economic statistics have existed for generations, most certainly in the form of business and transactional details. These types of records go back to ancient Babylonian times, often making up the bulk of documents that have been unearthed.
The accounts of King Solomon’s enterprises, for example, are recorded in detail in the Bible. Solomon’s trade dealings are found in 1 and 2 Kings and 1 and 2 Chronicles. Reading of the riches and splendor of Solomon’s reign, it almost conjures up the fanciful idolatry of our modern-day financial systems, which are intertwined with national accounting. But it was very different from what we have today.
Key to recognize with respect to modern-day GDP, is that never before was there invented a systematic approach to measuring the total value of human activity and output in terms of a “money value.” Perhaps a silver trade guild may have attempted to record the sales volume of figurines of Artemis (see Acts 19:4-29). But, no one thought to try to estimate the “value added” of this production and to equate its overall contribution to the total money value of Asia Minor’s economic output.
GDP is a concept born out of the invention of national accounting. Going back to its roots, Russia developed national output tables in the 1920s. However, its primary goal was to measure economic efficiency rather than its value in financial terms (after all, it was a communist country). There was no concept of the “moneyness” (capital) of human activity.
Later, beginning in the 1930s, the National Accounts System was first developed in the United States. Crucially, national accounting was then rapidly adopted in other countries. Many countries saw the benefit of such a calculation. It was an era where it was increasingly recognized that economic size (in terms of money GDP) was a form of power and might.
By 1952, the United Nations had published a guideline called A System of National Accounts and Supporting Tables, thus introducing this standardized system to the entire world. This first guide was 50 pages long; the latest edition has 722.
Today, every country in the world has its economic output measured in “money terms” (even if not by its own statistical agency). Not all nations follow the same exact rules; some of the definitions are quite arbitrary, as we will show shortly.
However, transnational organizations such as the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), the International Monetary Fund, United Nations, World Bank and many other global institutions work to harmonize the various and different national accounting systems.
Today, the value of the economic output of the entire world is estimated in “money terms.” For example, according to the World Bank’s “current nominal value” definition of Gross National Product (GNP, a slightly different concept than GDP), total world economic output in 2018 was estimated at $86 trillion, expressed in US dollars. Though many people will have little idea as to how this number is derived, an actual dollar number seems to make this statistic more real. It seems to provide an anchor to a sense of worldly riches (the “god of unrighteous riches”).
Just why was it seen as desirable to measure the output and activity levels of all humanity in terms of money? And, why was this national accounting convention so readily and rapidly adopted around the world?
It is puzzling, actually. Why? Because the national accounting techniques used to measure GDP today still remain unruly and unscientific given that the value of money itself has been such a volatile and unreliable specie. It is one thing to record human activity; it is quite another to value it in money terms.
At the beginning, a main purpose of national accounting was to better manage employment levels (responding to the high unemployment in the US during the 1930s Great Economic Depression). This would seem to be a worthy motive.
And, of course, all governments are eager to find tools to help them better assess their taxation base. This motivation, too, seems innocuous and transparent, though perhaps not necessarily eagerly welcomed by the citizenry.
However, do not be misled. National Accounting has since traveled a long way down the slippery slope by valuing everything in the world in terms of money. Significant compromises needed to be made.
Metaphysical Money and Idols
National accounting has served as a launch to a highly sophisticated, great big measurable pile of riches, the ups and downs of which are reported in minute-by-minute detail, thus becoming an idol.
Taking a literal, Biblical worldview, we would venture further to say that humanists, intent upon creating an earthly security and self-determination without God—trusting in Mammon instead—see mammonization as a tool to mount materialist agendas against Him. Their perspective is diametrically opposite to that of the Bible.
We must ask, why worship something that we ourselves must prevent from toppling with our own hands? That surely is the case with financial markets. Our society worships soaring financial wealth (as false as most of it may be), but these markets repeatedly “totter” and “topple.” We then want policymakers to prop them back up (as again happened when the Coronavirus in 2020 triggered a heart attack in world financial markets).
GDP: An Imperfect Idol
Even though the world puts great value on the concept of Money today, it remains that GDP statistics are highly unreliable. It is a most arbitrary of concepts, constantly being changed and adjusted.
Here are just two examples of how this measure is politically and morally influenced. For instance, a decade ago, Sweden decided to count gambling and prostitution as an activity that is added to the national output (GDP). The net result was to make the size of its economy (GDP) appear bigger.
As of September 2014, all European Union countries were required to provide accounting estimates for trade in sex, drugs and other underground activities. This was part of an overhaul and harmonization of economic measuring by Eurostat, the European statistics agency. These changes boosted reported GDP. Spain, for example, estimated at that time that including prostitution would add some $20 billion to the size of its economy.
Were Italy to include all black-market activities and the valued added of the Mafia, would it then be the second largest European economy behind Germany?
For a good chuckle, we quote from an excellent resource on this topic of GDP by Diane Coyle2: “If you pay someone to mow your lawn and report wages paid, that adds to GDP. If you pay that person under the table, it doesn’t. If you pay your maid to clean your house, it adds to GDP. Except if you marry her, then it doesn’t. Unless of course she gets access to the credit card, in which case spending probably increases GDP dramatically. In England, sex with your wife does not add to GDP, but sex with a prostitute does—even if it is unreported.”
Points to Ponder
GDP is clearly a “moneyness” number, nothing much more. It is rickety, wobbly and misleading.
Nevertheless, Mammon must be venerated and enlarged. Financial market participants today continue to treat newly reported GDP statistics as from the mouth of an oracle.
Most certainly, the National Accounts System has its useful applications. Yet, it has served as a launch point for a humanist world that is intent upon Mammonization to further capture all of mankind’s activities in a financial net, translating everything into Mammon’s “moneyness” and helping to fabricate an enticing boom in worldwide financial wealth.
We conclude that the common denominator of all human activity and philosophies is increasingly the metaphysical entity of Money …the spirit of Mammon … an idol that is held in great awe. Much of this “money image” of so-called progress is delusion.
In conclusion, it seems doubtful that God has much use for the concept of Gross Domestic Product. He instead looks to the individual hearts of mankind … the numbers of souls. He cares not for the might, riches and large economies of nations. A poor person is just as valuable to Him (if not more so, as Christ came to “proclaim [the] good news to the poor”: Luke 4:18), as are one or more persons from a nation with a high GDP per capita. He is much more drawn to contrite souls who do not depend on nor place their hope in wealth.
Who owns all wealth? Said King David: “Yours, LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things […]” (1 Chronicles 29:11-12).
In the next part, we conclude this 8th sequel of the Ripening Times.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
1 John Mauldin, Thoughts from the Frontline, July 20, 2014
2 Diane Coyle, GDP: A Brief but Affectionate History