Financial Signs of the End-Times / Program 1
|By: Dr. David Jeremiah; ©2011|
|In these three programs, we take a further look at the road from economic crisis to consolidation and investigate five key financial signs of the end times already unraveling in today’s current events.|
Announcer: Nations across North Africa and the Middle East are erupting in bloodshed and revolution. Japan continues to confront its largest crisis since WWII. And America’s economy, along with the economies of the world, stand on the verge of crisis. Just a few months ago, President Obama’s bi-partisan Debt Commission warned in its report: America faces staggering deficits. This coming year, for every dollar the US Government plans to spend, it will have to borrow 40 cents to do so. Interest on the debt could rise to nearly $1trillion by 2020 – just 8 years from now. And by 2025, our total revenue will be able to finance only four things: the interest payments on our debt; Medicare; Medicaid; and Social Security. Every other Federal Government activity, from National Defense and Homeland Security to transportation and energy, will have to be paid for with borrowed money. Is the world stage being set for the end-time events the biblical prophets predicted? Are we beginning to see a world-wide, economic Armageddon? My guest today is Dr. David Jeremiah, Senior Pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, CA; and founder and speaker of the popular radio and television ministry, Turning Point. We invite you to join us for this special edition of the John Ankerberg Show.
- John Ankerberg: Welcome to our program. We’ve got a great one for you today. My guest is Dr. David Jeremiah, Senior Pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, CA. You know him as the founder and speaker on Turning Point, the popular television and radio program that’s heard around the world. Folks, we’re talking about his new book, The Coming Economic Armageddon. This is on the New York Times best-seller list, and today our topic is From Crisis to Consolidation. And we’re going into 185 countries right now that are listening to this information. And you know that there’s a crisis in the European Union with Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Spain, Italy; and there’s a shift going on there. The Euro could be in trouble and everybody is worried about that. We’re going to talk a little bit about that.
- I think the main thing for us here in America is we know that there is this shift toward big government here in the United States. I think, David, what we want to talk about is how crises that we’re experiencing here in this country and those overseas are leading toward this consolidation of power that the Bible talks about: that like a G-10 is going to come, and a leader over the G-10 – a ten-group nation here is going to control the world’s economy, that we can actually see signs of this coming right now. Start us off.
- David Jeremiah: John, one of the things that’s really interesting is that if you listen to the talk from the government and you’ve been hearing people talk about this crisis and “let’s don’t waste this crisis…”
- Ankerberg: Um-hmm.
- Jeremiah: Going back in history, philosophically people have understood that a crisis can be useful to a tyrant. A crisis is the vehicle that would-be world rulers use to gain power. We’ve talked about that in Germany; you can go back through all of the major disruptive governments in history. And we’re seeing some of that now. For instance, Greece may be the first in a long chain of European nations that could default on their obligations. There is a group of nations known humorously as the “PIIGS” (the P-I-I-G-S); it’s an acrostic for Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain. Then you look to Great Britain and their government; they have a budget deficit of 11.6% of its GDP. And everywhere you look in Europe, and we can’t look too far because it’s true in our own nation as well, we’re finding all kinds of crises – crises that demand some sort of solution. And in each of these political crises the problem is created largely by growing dependence upon the government to take responsibility for its citizens’ well-being.
- Ankerberg: Let’s stop right there. I think we all know that in 2008 George Bush, at that time said, we’ve got a crisis; we’ve got to act. Then President Obama came in and said unless we come up with this almost trillion dollars worth of a bailout, we’re in big trouble. So you have these crises that are coming and what has happened is that the government is spending money and the controls for spending that money gets into fewer and fewer hands. But these crises control who gets this power. And it has not stopped – we’re still in this problem that we have an economic crisis happening here and across the world and there are still calls for more controls. Like what?
- Jeremiah: Well you know, John, we were talking during the break about how once the government begins to provide something for its citizenry it’s almost impossible for it ever to be reversed. If you go back through all the entitlement programs – you know everybody’s talking about how they’re going to reverse the healthcare program – well they’re going to have a hard time doing that because once the people get used to something that they consider to be their privileged entitlement they’re not going to give it up. And what we’re going to see as we go along is this is kind of like the frog in the kettle. The citizens focus on their own comfort and they don’t notice that more and more of their lives are being controlled by somebody else, and they don’t seem to care very much as long as what they’re getting continues to happen. You were talking about the extension of the program for unemployment…
- Ankerberg: Yeah, I think we have extended unemployment benefits to two years – so you can be out of work for two years. Now the question is when we get to that barrier again, which we’re going to get to pretty quick, and jobs aren’t being created, how long are we going to extend that? And if you take them off of that, you have all of these people not getting money – they won’t be paying their mortgages, they won’t be able to get food, and the fact is now you have a real crisis on your hands.
- Our nation also is facing what are we going to do about these entitlement programs? In one of our previous programs we talked about Social Security and Medicare obligations had become $1 trillion, or 1/3 of the federal budget.
- Jeremiah: Yeah. I remember, I think in the book, there’s a picture of an iceberg and the iceberg shows the visible debt of 14, or 12, or whatever it is now, and then underneath that are all of the invisible entitlement programs, like Social Security, Medicare, and the 3 systems of Medicare, and it totals up to somewhere in the neighborhood of $120 trillion.
- Ankerberg: In fact David, let’s talk about the 3 parts of Medicare that are unfunded and are coming up, they’re due, and there’s no money there.
- Jeremiah: The first is Part A, which takes care of hospital visits, and that’s $36.7 trillion.
- Ankerberg: Unbelievable.
- Jeremiah: The second part, Part B is for doctors, and that’s 37 trillion. And then you have to add to that, the part that was voted in during George W. Bush’s rule, and that is for prescriptions, and that’s $15.6 trillion.
- Ankerberg: Yeah. And if you add all of those up, you get to $89.3 trillion, that’s unfunded. If you add the unfunded liability of Social Security to it, then you’re up to $106.8 trillion and you add that to the National Debt, which they are talking about, is $14 trillion, the total unfunded liability, as you said, is $120.8 trillion.
- Jeremiah: And that amounts to a debt-load that’s easy to see, when you say it’s $383,000 per person, per citizen in the United States. And if you happen to be a family of 4, it’s $1.5 million for that group. And that’s, that’s staggering.
- Ankerberg: Somewhere we’re going to hit the fan here, David. Where is this going?
- Jeremiah: Well you know what? What’s interesting to me, John, is that what’s happening right now is in direct violation of everything the founding fathers of this nation envisioned for our country. I don’t think there’s any doubt that we’re moving away from the direction that was established early on. In fact I read a very interesting quote from a guy by the name of David Walker who said that in fiscal 2008 you could trace less than 40% of our federal government spending back to the responsibilities that were envisioned by our founders. In budget language what that means is, all of those original programs that were supposed to be handled by the federal government have now been replaced by entitlement programs discretionary in the constitution, and they’re being absorbed into the things that people want instead of what the government was envisioned to do.
- Ankerberg: That would mean that 60% of what we’re spending, according to the constitution we shouldn’t be spending. It would seem that big government is now an established fact right here in the United States. But you’ve got other proof that we’re violating this as well. Give us some of that.
- Jeremiah: One of the things that everybody will resonate with is this: Back in 1940 there were almost 15,000 banks in this nation, and today there are less than half that many and there are becoming fewer and fewer. Banks are consolidating. In my city, where I live, I had a bank that was named one thing one week and the next week I looked in the paper and found out it had been absorbed by another bank. I went to the bank: I didn’t have to change ATM cards or anything. It took a little while for it to change over. I go to the same bank but it’s a totally different name. In actuality, according to the FDIC in the first 117 days of 2010, 72 more banks were added to the list of failed institutions. So this is just another illustration, John, of what’s happening with consolidation.
- Ankerberg: There’s another evidence of going from consolidation to power in the hands of just a few. This has to do with the stock market. In your book you write about in early May 2010 the stock market experienced what is being called a “flash crash.” What was that all about?
- Jeremiah: John, what happened was that in about one hour 1,000 points were lost on the Dow Index. Nobody seemed to know why it happened; in fact there was hardly anything about it in the paper, no one talked about it. Come to find out, it was probably a trader error – a typing of a billion instead of a million in an order entry, causing computers to immediately begin automated selling.
- Ankerberg: And you’ve got, “Back in 1988 our good friend Ronald Reagan, who was the president at that time, created by executive order what has been referred to as the Plunge Protection Team.” This is something that I didn’t know, David. Sometimes it’s referred to by economists as the Four Dictators. This is right here in the United States. What in the world are the Four Dictators – this Plunge Protection Team? And it has actually been in action recently.
- Jeremiah: Well actually, the Plunge Protection Team was put into operation by Ronald Reagan. He did it as a backstop against unexpected happenings in the stock market. He started it and it continued kind of below the radar screen through the presidents that followed him, and Obama brought it back to the top. Today we have this Plunge Protection Team made up of four really powerful people including Ben Bernanke, Timothy Geithner, Mary Schapiro, and Gary Gensler.
- The committee functions under executive order, and it’s to intercede when the stock market appears headed for a plunge. Now note, John, these people aren’t elected. They are all selected by the President of the United States, and they have ultimate power in that moment of crisis – and they determine whether it’s a crisis or not.
- Ankerberg: How do they help a crisis or stop a crisis?
- Jeremiah: Well, they supposedly take action that would not be able to be taken without committee approval or without a long process. They step in and they make decisions immediately that help us, supposedly, not experience what we experienced in these recent months. But the issue is not so much whether it is a valuable or viable thing; the issue is that it has been taking the power that belongs in the constitution and attributing that power to four people who have no check and balance and are able to manipulate the whole market by a vote of four people.
- Ankerberg: This also brings up something fascinating that you put in the book. That is that some people think that this group of people, with some of the big companies on Wall Street, actually are manipulating the stock market. Talk a little bit about that.
- Jeremiah: Well, I’m not sophisticated enough in my analysis of all that to know whether that’s true or not. But it certainly is being investigated and people are writing about it and it’s a suspicion. The reason it’s a suspicion is because there seems to be no other answer to the volatile nature of what’s happening in recent days.
- Ankerberg: Alright, folks, we’re talking about From Crisis to Consolidation; how economic crises lead to greater government control and the consolidation of power in the hands of just a few. We’ve just started talking about a few examples of what’s happening right now. We’re going to take a break. When we come back we’re going to talk about how the Bible talks about some of these things. And you will be amazed at what the Bible reveals of how this has happened in the past. Joseph is the prime example. Stick with us. We’ll be right back.
- Ankerberg: Alright, were back. We’re talking with Dr. David Jeremiah. We’re talking about The Coming Global Economic Armageddon. The Bible has a lot to say about past experiences of how people have gotten the power because of an economic crisis, some like we’re facing today, they have consolidated power, and it has not always been for the good of the people. Talk about Joseph.
- Jeremiah: You know, John, Joseph is one of my favorite people. He is one of the people in the Old Testament who is a type of Christ; he’s one of the few people in the Bible about whom there is no evil report. And his story is well-known. He came before the most powerful man in the world – the Pharaoh of Egypt. Pharaoh had had a dream; he didn’t understand it; Joseph interpreted it for him. He told him that the dream meant they were going to have seven years of plenty and seven years of famine, and then Joseph gave to Pharaoh a plan whereby, if he managed this right, the people of Egypt would be survivors. Pharaoh loved the plan so much that he put Joseph in charge of it. Basically what he said was during the seven years of plenty you save up and you store the grain so that you have plenty in the years of famine. And when he laid this all out in front of Pharaoh, Pharaoh said that’s great, it’s a great idea. Now you manage it.
- Ankerberg: So he started in. And what he did was he took the harvest during that time. He took it freely from the people, and he took how much?
- Jeremiah: Twenty percent.
- Ankerberg: Twenty percent of all they harvested. And they were making so much that, I suppose, they didn’t care … I think. And he stored that up. And so now you hit the time of famine and what did he do?
- Jeremiah: What happened was the time of famine came and the people had no food and they were instructed to go to Joseph, who was administrating the food store. He took their money and gave them food. So now what happened was he’s got all of their money – he’s consolidated their livelihood. The government owned all the wealth in the land. There was still a problem – there still was not enough food. This time the Egyptians came and he says, “well I’ve got your money. If you want to keep eating, give me your livestock.” So now he’s got all their animals; he’s got all their livestock. And of course back in those days, John, as you know the whole economy was agricultural. So basically he’s got everything that means anything monetarily to them. But he’s not finished, because the famine is still not over. They now still don’t have any food and they come back to Joseph. And this time he takes their land.
- So now he’s got their livelihood; he’s got their livestock; and he’s got their land. And the people were now servants of the state, totally dependent on Joseph to find new ways to let them purchase grain with their families. And then, he finally relocated all the people. He put them in places where they were closer to the centers of where the food was, and he has now consolidated their location. He moves the people from their homes into the cities from one end of the border of Egypt to the other.
- Ankerberg: And he still wasn’t done.
- Jeremiah: No, he’s still not done. He’s got one more step that he’s going to take in this consolidation. Now he consolidates their labor. He makes them feudal farmers, if you will. They are now working the land. He gives them back something for their work, but he owns the land and he controls the whole industry of Egypt.
- Ankerberg: Yeah. He says, “I’ll tell you what. You guys can take four-fifths but we’ll take a fifth…”
- Jeremiah: Right.
- Ankerberg: …of the stuff that comes in in the harvest. So like you say, he owns all of their money – he takes that; he takes all of their cattle and their livelihood basically; he takes them themselves in terms of their land; and then he makes them work for the government. They all survived. Now the question is, Joseph is painted as a good guy…
- Jeremiah: Yeah.
- Ankerberg:… but it doesn’t seem like… Was he a tyrant or was he a hero?
- Jeremiah: No. If we were telling his story in light of what we were talking about earlier we would say he’s a bad dude – he shouldn’t have done that. But of course we have a tendency to look back into that situation and read all of our information. Let’s just understand that he was doing this under the direction of God, so he was God’s servant in this particular situation. And what is often lost is this wasn’t really about Egypt, this was about Israel. This was about God’s plan to keep Israel alive during a time of great famine. They were in the best land and they had the best food. But the story is about what Joseph did in the consolidation. So here’s the deal. He did what he did under the direction of God, but even in doing that he illustrates the challenges that happen when power is consolidated in one person.
- Ankerberg: The scary part of this is we’re starting to see this in our own country and also in other countries of the world, where because we have these economic crises we’re saying we need help. Who is giving it? The government. But the government is taking stuff from us in terms of taxes – everybody is predicting we’re going to have higher taxes; we still have to figure out what we’re going to do with all of these entitlement programs because they will bankrupt us as a country, so you’ve got to do something – but you’re going to have to take some money away from people who have been getting it. So there’s an illustration. And where is this going to lead?
- Jeremiah: In the words of Paul Harvey, let me tell you the rest of the story. When you open your Bibles to the first chapters of Exodus you get the rest of the story where it says, “and there arose a new generation that knew not Joseph.” When Joseph passed off the scene what took place was the people of Israel became the slaves of Egypt and they were in bondage to that nation for 400 years. John, let me tell you something. Consolidation may have an immediate response that’s good but the long-term perspective of consolidation under a few people is a very dire situation. And we are headed that way as a nation today.
- Ankerberg: Alright, David, what do you want people to take away from this program today? What do we learn from Joseph?
- Jeremiah: I think Joseph teaches us the danger of sacrificing tomorrow on the altar of today. What happened was they took care of the immediate problem, but they created a problem that was far more serious going into the future. I don’t know how to put that together with the sovereignty of God; I’m just looking at it through my human eyes. That’s what I see. Then the second thing – we’ve been talking about this pretty consistently during these programs – and that is the problem of submitting the good of many to the control of one. We can go through history and give illustration after illustration of what happens with totalitarian government. As we see our nation, little by little putting the power of the nation in the hands of fewer and fewer people who make more and more of the decisions, we should be on our knees before God and ask Him, Where do we go to stop this movement toward a government that is not in keeping with the founding fathers of our nation?
- Ankerberg: I think we ought to be involved to the extent that we can be involved to stop some of this. And it means accepting hard decisions that our nation is going to have to make or we’re going to be bankrupt as a nation.
- Jeremiah: Right.
- Ankerberg: Now, next week we’re going to continue and we’re going to talk about the Mark of the Beast. We’re going to talk about the technology that is available today. You’ve got a ton of things that people need to hear, that has to do with this new technology that could fulfill some of the prophetic statements made in the Bible. We’re going to talk about this special chip, or a mark, that’s affixed to the hand or the forehead of every individual on earth. How close we are to that! Folks, you will not believe what David’s going to present to you. It’s already on the market; that’s being tested, used, and is in favor in many, many big companies in our country. So stick with us; we’re going to talk about the Mark of the Beast next week.