Financial Signs of the End-Times / Program 3

By: Dr. David Jeremiah; ©2011
How financial signs are leading toward the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Further, we’ll see how these Bible prophecies offer insights into what we should be on the alert for today.

Contents

Introduction

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.

 

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Ankerberg: Welcome to our program. We’ve got a great one for you today. We’re talking with Dr. David Jeremiah, the Senior Pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, CA. And most of you know him as the founder and speaker on Turning Point, the popular television and radio program that’s heard around the world. We’re talking about, the financial signs of the end-times according to the Bible. David, the Bible has a lot of prophetic things it says about what’s going to happen in the end-times. Let’s talk about those things and why it is so powerful that the Bible is talking about them.
Jeremiah: The New Testament has a wonderful passage in 2 Peter. It says, “So we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your heart.” I believe we need the prophecies of the Bible more than we’ve ever needed them before, to shine some light on our path and show us where this is all going.
You mentioned earlier when we were talking about this that we need to be careful that people understand that the Rapture doesn’t have any signs. There are no signs for the Rapture. I believe in the doctrine of eminency, which means that the Rapture could happen at any time. It could happen before we’re finished taping this show. But I want to tell you something: there are signs for the Tribulation which takes place immediately after the Rapture. And when we see those signs, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out – if the Rapture is before the Tribulation and these signs are telling us the Tribulation is drawing near, then obviously the Rapture is just around the corner as well.
Ankerberg: Yeah. If you’re at Thanksgiving you know Christmas is coming, because you’re at Thanksgiving. And if you can see Christmas coming you know Thanksgiving has got to be even sooner. If we can see signs of the Tribulation taking place, you know the Rapture could happen at any moment.
Jeremiah: The Bible gives some signs that I think are interesting. There are many, many of them – we couldn’t ever talk about all of them today. But John, one of the things, I think it’s interesting is there are some that are purely financial in nature, and since this whole discussion is about the coming economic Armageddon maybe we could talk about some of those.
Ankerberg: Let’s start with number one. What is number one?
Jeremiah: Sign number one – as I’ve put it in the book – is the proliferation of global technology. We talked about this when we were together the last time – about the technology that’s necessary for the mark of the Beast, to control the population of the world. When the False Prophet requires the worshipers of the Antichrist to be permanently marked, it will be necessary at that time for there to be some way of controlling and monitoring the response of those who take the mark.
Ankerberg: And the question is, do we have the technology today to do what the Bible is saying?
Jeremiah: I don’t want to go back and repeat what we talked about the last time we were together. The obvious answer to that question is yes. And one part of the future picture that has been developing rapidly before our very eyes is this whole thing we call the “cashless society.” Ankerberg: Yeah, it’s interesting.
Jeremiah: Worldwide commerce would demand this and there’s absolutely no doubt that a world government, for the first time in history, would have the ability to do it. Here’s a little personal illustration of that that all of us are seeing. We used to get a bank statement from our bank and it would have all of our canceled checks in it. Now, unless you personally request that – and even some banks won’t do it – you get a statement with no returned checks, but you can get them on your statement with the internet. Now you can go to the bank and instead of having a deposit thing, you put your checks in a little pile, stick them in a hole; they go in the bank, they count them, they take a picture of them, they send them back on the tape showing you the picture of all your checks and they add up your deposit for you. It’s all electronic. And little by little this is being taken out of our hands and it is being governed by machines. And not just locally is that happening, but it’s happening globally as well.
Ankerberg: We’re using cards or phones or our computers to do financial transactions. So some economists are predicting pretty soon there’s not going to be any dollars, there’s not going to be any coins. It’s all going to be cashless – it’s all going to be electronic.
Jeremiah: Yes. Robert Samuelson, the political and economic and social columnist for The Washington Post said, “It is one of those vast social upheavals that everyone understands but that hardly anyone notices because it seems too ordinary. The long-predicted “cashless society” has quietly arrived, or nearly so. Electronic money is cheaper than cash or checks and it is more convenient. So,” said Samuelson, “we have crossed a cultural and, as well, an economic threshold when plastic and money are synonymous.”
Ankerberg: I love what you put in the book about Peter Ayliffe, the Chief Executive of VISA in Europe. He says, “This is going to happen probably within five years. Paying for goods with notes and coins could be consigned to history. We’re not going to do it.” Now you’ve talked about people flying on airplanes, they know you can’t use cash to buy anything.
Jeremiah [chuckling]: No. That’s right. And frankly that’s a good thing because most of what they sell isn’t worth anything anyway. The banking systems of this country have been inundated with a mass of paper. Actually, in this book that I wrote, I showed a chart of what’s happened to the paperless economic situation, and how we’ve gone from a paper-driven economy to a cashless economy. And it is just in the last few years, John, that it’s happened and it’s a pretty amazing statistic.
Ankerberg: You’ve got the statistic in the book: 1996 – checks and cash represented almost 80% of consumer payments. By 2010 – that was last year – the electronic payments were exceeding 70% of all our transactions.
Jeremiah: Add to that the fact that 83% of all the Social Security checks now are not ever seen – you don’t see them in your hands, they’re just deposited to your account.
Ankerberg: I think one of the most astonishing things I read in your book was the amount of use that’s going on with cell phones, not only in this country, but around the world. Talk about that.
Jeremiah: John, last week I was reading the San Diego Union Tribune and on the front page there was a little article about China, with 1.3 billion inhabitants. By the way, we have 300 million; they have 1.3 billion. But the article was about the cell phones in China. In China they have 400,000,000 cell phones; which means they have 100,000,000 more cell phones than we have people. [John chuckles.] It is through the cell phone now that technology is being exported all over the world, and ultimately the cell phone, according to most experts, is going to be the conveyor of commerce of the future.
Ankerberg: Yeah, think about it. We get our weather; we get our sports information; we can watch movies; we can text friends all on our little cell phone. One of the things I really find fascinating about the cell phone usage is the financial technology that can be incorporated into the use of a phone. In the Philippines you have what is called an electronic wallet service. What in the world is that?
Jeremiah: It’s a service to perform safe and secure online purchases with the help of their cell phones. These cell phone wallets are taking the place of the desktop PC, as it becomes another option for internet connection. According to Facebook, 65,000,000 or 25% of their 250,000,000 current users access their service through a cell phone.
Ankerberg: Now why are we giving all of these statistics? So go back; people get lost in the fact we’re giving all these statistics. What does it mean?
Jeremiah: It just says that in order for the events of the end time to take place – obviously there could be just some sort of a “wave the wand” and it happens. God can do that (I’m not sure Satan has the power to do that), but what has to happen is a network has to be built so that the world rulers – the unholy trinity that we’ve talked about before – can walk into the middle of that and be able to use that technology to accomplish the evil goals they have for the world.
Ankerberg: I think we have to go back to 2009 when the G-20 actually instituted this financial regulatory board that basically would control the economic situations of the entire world – the global economy. So they’ve already put it in place. And now you’ve got these cell phones that we’re already using to do financial transactions. We’re getting into the cashless society. We’re getting into the ability to track people via a little chip under their skin. We’re getting all of the things in place right now that could be used by the Antichrist a little later on.
Jeremiah: It’s almost like all he has to do is walk in and plug it in …
Ankerberg: Yeah.
Jeremiah: … and it’ll be ready to go.
Ankerberg: What are some of the other financial signs of the end-times, David?
Jeremiah: The next one that I want to talk about is the polarization of prosperity and poverty – basically the evaporation of the middle class.
Ankerberg: Alright. Folks stick around. We’re going to take the break right here and then we’re going to go into that. You won’t want to miss it. Stick with us.

BREAK

Ankerberg: Alright, we’re back. We’re talking with Dr. David Jeremiah about “The Coming Economic Armageddon.” And we’re talking about the chapter in his book where he is talking about the five financial signs of the end-times, according to the Bible. Are we actually seeing those happen today? Let’s talk about the next sign, which is what?
Jeremiah: The polarization of prosperity and poverty. John, this comes from the book of Revelation. In the early part of the Tribulation, in the symbols that are used to describe what’s going on, the third seal is opened and here’s what we read in Revelation 6:5-6. “I heard the third living creature say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.” This is a picture of worldwide famine. John sees this as a time when millions will be starving, while at the same time many others will be living in the lap of luxury. In other words, the poor are going to get poorer and the rich are going to get richer.
Get this – the worker would use a denarius, which was one day’s pay, and with that all he could buy was a quart of wheat. And that was enough for him, maybe for one member of his family, but that was it. To put it in ordinary language, you’d have to spend a day’s wages for a loaf of bread and there would be no money left for anything else. Revelation makes it clear that that represented the poor.
The part of the prophecy that we just sort of skip over when we read this is the part that has to do with not touching the wine. Really what that means is there are going to be two classes of people. There are going to be people who are using every dime they earn to buy a loaf of bread and there are going to be others who won’t be touched by this at all. Once again, a picture of the gap between the poor and the rich. Now why is that important on the prophetic schedule? Because it’s supposed to happen in the Tribulation period; it’s already happening now.
Ankerberg: Let’s go to number three – the priority of oil in the Middle East. Why is this so important?
Jeremiah: Well, you know the whole issue of oil is a very interesting prophetic subject. I wrote a book some years ago called “What in the World is Going On?” and I devoted a whole chapter to that and how oil has become the new “black gold.” It’s the new standard of economy in our world. It’s important with regard to Israel because all of the nations that have oil are the neighbors of Israel.
The Bible talks about a battle in the future, called the Battle of Gog and Magog, when the nations of the world are going to be drawn into that basin. Literally the Bible says God is going to put a hook in their jaw and bring them into this. So you have to ask this question: what is that hook? I don’t have any doubt, in my mind at least, that that hook is oil. Oil is going to be the thing that brings the nations of the world into the conflict. Let’s stop and think about it. Why would the end of the world happen in an obscure place like that? I can think of a number of places, John, where it makes more sense for that battle to take place. But the problem is, most of the oil in the world is there, and that oil and the proliferation of oil is going to draw the battlefield lines in that final day.
You know what else is happening? You probably are aware of this. I have some good friends who are part of the drilling team in Israel. I don’t even know where this fits into prophecy, but think about this: What if the richest oil reserve is finally tapped into way beneath the surface in Israel, and now Israel becomes a controller of oil? You can see why this is so important to the prophetic future. Oil is the commerce of our day.
Ankerberg: Alright. Again, we’re talking about the five economic signs of the end-times according to the Bible. You say the fourth sign is this: the preoccupation with money that people have and with material things.
Jeremiah: Well that’s true. In that passage in Timothy, Paul gives those eighteen characteristics, and the first two are occupation with ourselves and occupation with money. And it talks about how in the end-times people are going to be caught up with themselves. We’ve had so many illustrations of that, in the Bernie Madoffs and the Dennis Kozlowskis and the Kenneth Lays and the Bernard Ebbers’ of our generation who were not thinking about anybody else but themselves. So what happens if all the people lose their savings? So what if bankruptcies occur? They don’t seem to care. That’s the spirit of the age. But add to that this whole occupation with money – this whole determination that money is the end-all of everything. We see that so prevalent in our culture today.
Ankerberg: That’s the core of our culture today that they care about money. Everything revolves around the dollar.
Jeremiah: And, you know, people misunderstand this. Paul wrote to Timothy again and he said, “The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.” And I always like to point out he didn’t say money was the root of all kinds of evil: he said the love of money. That’s the issue. It’s not whether you have money; it’s whether or not money has you. It’s the desire to be rich that causes people to “fall into a temptation and into a snare and into many foolish and harmful lusts.”
Ankerberg: I don’t think anybody disagrees with you, David, that the American culture is in love with the dollar.
Jeremiah: Here’s a good way to demonstrate that. If you go to any other culture in the world their definition of a challenge, their definition of a terrible time is: plagues, pestilence, famine, and worse things than that. Our definition is the destruction of our wealth. We think that’s the worst thing that could happen. Our ultimate definition of a disaster is a materialistic one, fixated on the ups and downs of our financial woes and our asset values and our home prices and the patterns of employment and unemployment, and all other such things. In most of the third-world countries, they wouldn’t even know what we were talking about. The love of money is at the core of today’s society. It fuels the engines that drive commercialism, and it’s the way people are judged and the way achievement is measured.
Ankerberg: So let’s summarize. What are the financial signs that will signal the end-times and the coming of Christ to take his church to heaven? David has already talked about the proliferation of global technology, the polarization of prosperity and poverty, the priority of oil in the Middle East, the preoccupation with money and material things. Then you say sign number five is the passive indifference to the warnings of God. I think that’s so true. What made you put that in there?
Jeremiah: I guess, first of all I’ve noticed it in our own culture. But if you go back into the New Testament, in the book of Luke you read these words: “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be in the days of the Son of Man.” In other words, like it was then, it’s going to be in the days of the Son of Man – they ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage until the day that Noah entered the ark. Now most people that have preached on it in the past have talked about all those things as some indication of indecency, but that’s not what it’s all about.
What it’s about is, they went through the normal patterns of life – they ate, they drank, they got married, they were given in marriage. And none of this warning that was given to them concerning the flood even got on their radar screen. That’s where we are today. We just go through the normal things. The only thing that gets our attention is a little bit of economic stress.
But the warnings of the Bible and the concern for the future – we’re very passive about it. And I’m not talking about unbelievers, John; I’m talking about believers. They don’t want to hear it. I have guys come to me and say, “Why do you preach on prophecy? It’s so irrelevant. Why would you do that? Nobody wants to hear that today.” Well, I want to tell you something. Prophecy’s getting more relevant than it’s ever been, and we’d better be listening to it because we’re living through the early stages of what the Bible says the future is all about.
Ankerberg: What is the answer; what is the prescription for people that are passive to the things of God?
Jeremiah: You know, John, I’m not sure there is any, other than the events that are happening suddenly awakening them to the truth of the Scripture. Little by little I see people – the light goes on in their head: “Oh, that’s what the Bible was talking about.” I think we’re going to see more of that, but here’s the problem: If we don’t preach it in our pulpits people won’t have anything to recognize. They won’t know that it’s coming. I don’t preach on prophecy every week or every month or even extensively every year, but if you preach the Bible you’ve got to preach on prophecy because a huge portion of it is exactly that. It’s the prophetic Word of God.
Ankerberg: This all centers on Christ when you finally get down to it. Folks that don’t know Christ, how can they come into a relationship with Jesus so that when the Rapture does occur he takes them to be with him and they don’t go through this time of Tribulation?
Jeremiah: Here’s the key to that, John. Heaven is a place that God is preparing for those who love him. But the only way you can get there is to make a reservation ahead of time. You don’t just show up at the door and try to make your case. You have to make a reservation. You make that reservation by putting your trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible is so clear about that. If we put our trust in him, he will forgive our sin, he will clothe us with the righteousness of Jesus Christ, and make us fit for heaven. Apart from that there is no way to heaven. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father except through me.” I know that sounds politically incorrect: it just happens to be biblically true.
If you want to go to heaven, you’d better listen to that counsel because Jesus Christ himself said that. He said, if you want to go to heaven, “I am the way, the truth and the life.” So what that means is, when you put your trust in Christ, he comes to live within your heart, he forgives your sin, he gives you his righteousness, he makes you fit for heaven, and he gives you the gift of eternal life which you receive by faith through prayer.
Ankerberg: He’s a terrific Savior. A terrific Savior. Folks if you don’t know Christ, take this moment – even before the program closes – to bow your knee and just say to Christ that you want him to be your Savior. Ask him to come into your life. He will. He’ll change you. I hope that you’ll do it right now.
David, you have presented some fabulous information. I wanted you to do these programs because I haven’t heard anybody put this case together the way you have. You’ve done tremendous research – just lots of things that people don’t even know about; scary things, relevant things. And you’ve tied it to biblical prophecy. I just want to say “thank you” personally for doing all of this hard work, for all of the research and all of the hours, and then being willing to fly all the way from California to Tennessee to do this program. It took a lot of energy and a lot of strength, and I really appreciate it. Thanks for being with us.
Jeremiah: John, I know I’ve teased you a little bit about you half-killing me to do all this, but I want to tell you “thank you” for giving me the privilege. If you work as hard as I did on this book and somebody gives you the chance to talk about it, you’re going to say yes. I believe in this with all my heart. The only thing that keeps it from making a difference in the lives of some people is they don’t hear it. So we’re praying that God will use the incredible program that he’s given you to deposit this truth in people’s hearts, and there will be many changed lives as the result.
Ankerberg: We want folks to come to Christ. Those of you that are watching today, we say, thank you for watching.

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