What Role Does America Play in End-Time Events?/Program 2
|By: Dr. Mark Hitchcock; ©2010|
|The global recession that has been taking place since 2008 is the worst since the Great Depression of the early 1900s. The difference this time is the global nature of the recession. With unemployment nationwide at over nine percent, widespread home foreclosures, and rising inflation, our nation’s top priority in the news and government has been to somehow stimulate the economy.|
Announcer: America is the reigning superpower in the world, the nation with the richest economy, the strongest military, and the acknowledged global leader. What Role Does America Play in End-Time Events? My guest today is bestselling author Dr. Mark Hitchcock.
- Dr. Mark Hitchcock: The conclusion that I’ve come to and really I think that most prophecy teachers have come to is that America is not mentioned in Bible prophecy, and of course then that raises the great question: Well, if America is not mentioned then why aren’t we mentioned?
Announcer: Why is the Bible silent about America, but it names other nations in end time events?
- Hitchcock: What I believe is that indicates that something is going to happen to America.
Announcer: What four crises do secular experts predict could bring America to its knees in the future? What is the one event the Bible states will take place in the future that could severely affect American prominence in the world? To hear the answers, join us for this special edition of The John Ankerberg Show.
- Ankerberg: Welcome to our program. I’m John Ankerberg, and we’re talking about, what is the number one question that people ask about biblical prophecy? Do you know what it is? The question is, where is America in end time events? Why is the Bible silent about that? What happened to America? And our guest today is going to answer that question. Dr. Mark Hitchcock. He’s a prophecy scholar; got his Ph.D. at Dallas; he’s an adjunct professor there at Dallas Theological Seminary. He’s also a pastor and has written 20 best-selling books on end time events. You’ve probably seen him on MSNBC; you’ve seen him on FOX, and different places where people have interviewed him about his knowledge about end time events in relationship to the world events that are taking place.
- Mark, we’re really glad that you’re here today. For folks that missed last week, let’s summarize what we talked about last week. First of all, is America mentioned or not in end time events? We are the number one superpower in the world, okay. We’ve got our hands protecting Israel; we’re the friend to Israel; and the Bible mentions Israel. We are the one that is keeping Iran from doing many things, and Iran is mentioned there. We have relationships with Russia; Russia is mentioned in the Bible. We’ve got relationships with China; the Far East is mentioned in the Bible. Egypt is mentioned in the Bible. We’ve got relationships with all of those, but when we get to end time events in biblical prophecy, our nation does not seem to be there. What are your conclusions? And then talk about the possible scenarios that scholars and experts are talking about, why it is that we may not be there.
- Hitchcock: Well, when you look at the Bible, Jesus and the prophets made predictions about many events that are going to take place in the future. And Jesus likened the events that are going to take place in the end times to birth pangs; that these birth pangs are going to come and they are going to begin and they’re going to get more serious, they’re going to get stronger, and they’re going to get closer together. I don’t think we’re in that time yet, but we’re in the time that’s setting the stage or leading up to those things. And there’s all kinds of things predicted in the Bible that we see strikingly foreshadowed in our world today. The Bible predicts times of great unrest and wars and rumors of wars. It predicts, in Revelation 6, a great time of world economic collapse, a time of great hyper-inflation, of runaway inflation. It’s going to bring the nations of the world down.
- But the one thing that’s missing in all of these prophecies about the end times is any mention of the United States of America. Now, everybody agrees America is not mentioned explicitly, but some people will say, well, America, though, is the “young lions of Tarshish” in Ezekiel 38; or this unnamed nation in Isaiah 18; or some even say we’re the ten lost tribes of Israel. One of the most common views is that America is “Babylon the great,” or maybe even that’s New York City, in Revelation 17 and 18. But I’ve investigated all of those views in great detail and I’ve concluded that none of those are a reference to America. So I think America is not mentioned in end time prophecy, and I think that’s significant.
- Some would say, well, America’s just not mentioned like, you know, a lot of other nations aren’t mentioned. But we’re the greatest superpower in the world – economically, politically, in every way. And I think the fact America’s not mentioned is significant.
- So what we’ve done is, we’ve looked at some of the plausible scenarios of what could happen to America to reduce us from that superpower status, because the Bible says in Revelation 13 that when we get to the end times, this world ruler, the Antichrist, it says no one’s going to be able to make war with him. He’s going to be the world ruler. And if he’s the world ruler, it means America’s not going to be. Now we may be somehow folded into his empire or be part of that, but he’s going to be the one dominating the world, not the United States.
- And, you know, what are some of the things that could bring America down? Well, Bible prophecy scholars, and even secular experts, would say that oil, a great oil crisis could bring America to her knees. Economic disaster, bankruptcy, terrorism – some type of biological or nuclear terror, or even the biblical event that’s called the rapture, when Jesus is going to come and take the believers out of this world, that that could be the thing that reduces America from her superpower status. But these are some of the scenarios we’re examining as we go through and look at why America’s not mentioned in end time prophecy.
- Ankerberg: Alright. Well, we’re going to talk about the second thing that many folks are worried about, and that is, namely that America could go bankrupt, and we could fall because of our debt. And my question to you is, how close are we to seeing that happen?
- Hitchcock: Well, you know, we could be very close. Our leaders in our government are very worried about it. These last elections that took place, the mid-term elections in 2010, really that’s what they were all about is about this debt crisis. And, you know, when we start talking about America’s bankruptcy, when we start talking about these trillions of dollars, the government has just had to up the debt limit for America, the legislature has, to $14.3 trillion.
- But I think, to me, the way to get our minds around this is to kind of bring it down to where each one of us live, and to kind of liken it to your credit card. If you had a credit card that you had spent thousands and thousands of dollars on that you didn’t have, and every month all you could do was just pay the interest on that credit card – you weren’t lowering the total debt really, you were just paying the interest – and that interest was taking 40% of everything you earned just to pay that interest, now that would be bad enough, because you wouldn’t be reducing your debt. But not only were you not paying anything to reduce the debt, but you were constantly adding to that debt. Or maybe you had another credit card that you were borrowing from to go and to pay the interest on the other credit card. That’s the kind of thing that’s happening in America. So not only are we not paying down the debt, but we are actually adding now $1.5 trillion of new debt every year. And what’s happening is, the amount that it’s taking in interest to pay that, is increasing. When we get to where we’re paying over half of everything that comes into our country every year just in interest payments, we’re adding to that debt, it doesn’t take a person who is an economist to figure out that America’s in deep economic trouble.
- Ankerberg: Yeah. The amount of taxes that we take in is basically anywhere from $976 billion to $1.2 trillion. And our debt every year is $1.4 or $1.5 trillion, and so we keep adding this. So it’s like, if you have that credit card and you maxed it out, all of a sudden, the fact is, where do you get the money? Well, you go and get another credit card. So you borrow money to pay the interest. You’re not even paying the principle on this other credit card, and you’re starting to run up one on your second. And when the second card is full and you’ve got two cards that are coming due, you get another card and you start borrowing with that. And the United States is doing that. We’re paying the interest, and we’re just servicing the debt, we’re not paying off the principle on the $14 trillion. And the fact is, we’re going to China and to Russia and to these other countries, and we’re borrowing that money. So we’re getting a second card just to pay the interest to keep that going, and we’re building up another card and another card. And the fact is, the economists are saying somewhere this is going to hit the fan; and if they don’t give you another card and the payment comes due, now what?
- Hitchcock: That’s right.
- Ankerberg: How close are we to that?
- Hitchcock: Well, we’re very close to it. Back in 1988, 13% of America’s debt was owned by other countries. In 2007, it was 25%; and only two years later, in 2009, it was 44%. So we don’t owe that money even to ourselves. Almost half of that money is owed to other nations besides the United States.
- Hitchcock: That’s the situation that we’re in. And everyone knows it in our country. I mean, it’s the great crisis that we face today is this debt crisis. You know what, there’s been talk of how did ancient empires fall. There was an article in Newsweek in 2009, in December, that was titled “How Empires Fall; or How they Decline.” And in that it said that the number one thing was debt. Because what began to happen is these nations, just like with America, were trying to pay this debt. And what ultimately took place is it affected their military. They didn’t have the money to pay their military and to keep their military in action, which ultimately led to the demise of these countries. So it’s not just an economic issue either; it also affects the military might of the United States.
- Ankerberg: Alright. This is January, and so the fact is, this is the year and this is the date when a lot of the Baby Boomers all of a sudden start to collect Medicare and Social Security, alright. And when we come back, we’re going to talk about if you’re one of them, if you’re sixty-five or older and you’re starting to collect Medicare or Social Security, do you expect the government to actually send you that check or to pay those expenses; that they’ve promised to do it? We’re going to talk about the crisis just in those two areas when we come right back. Stick with us.
- Ankerberg: We’re back. We’re talking with Dr. Mark Hitchcock, and we’re talking about what could happen if America goes bankrupt. How could this cripple America as a world leader? How would this affect our military? And let me just give you a couple of figures to start with here. This is January and the Baby Boomers are turning 65. And they’re going to start to collect Social Security; they’re going to start to collect Medicare. And if you’re one of them, and you’re really expecting to actually receive a check from the government, where’s the government going to get that money? Do you realize there is nothing they have saved? They call these “unfunded liabilities.” That’s zip, nada, there’s nothing there, alright. Now, how much does the government owe the crowd of people that is now turning 65 and expecting to get these things?
- Let’s just take Medicare, okay. The unfunded liability for Medicare Part A, what is that? That’s the hospital care. So if you go into the hospital and you’re expecting to be covered, the government right now has an unfunded liability of $36.7 trillion for Medicate Part A. For Part B, that is if you want to visit the doctor and get a check from the government, the government has an unfunded liability of $37 trillion more dollars. And for Part D, prescription drugs – when you go and you actually say I want my prescription and the government’s going to pay for part of that – that is an unfunded liability of $15.6 trillion. If you add up all three of those, the total liability of all three unfunded Medicare programs is…$89.3 trillion.
- Now, let’s add that to Social Security, because if you’re expecting to continue to pick up a Social Security check, alright…, if you add the unfunded liability of Social Security to it, you come up with the figure of $106.8 trillion that the government should be giving to people in the future – and they haven’t got one dollar of it right now.
- If you add that to the current national debt of $14 trillion, then America’s liabilities approach $120 trillion. And if you break this down for every person, that is $380,000 per person in America; or if you’ve got a family of four, you owe $1.5 million for a family of four. Mark, what do you think about those numbers?
- Hitchcock: Well, it’s kind of like one of our Senators, I think, said years ago; A million here and a million there and pretty soon you’re talking about real money. But today it’s trillions that we talk about, and really it boggles the mind. We can’t even really get our minds around the situation that America has today. And this debt that we have, this crushing debt, is the number one problem that America faces today, I believe, internally or domestically. It could easily bring us from being the leading nation in the world to being a following nation in the world.
- And it’s not just here in America, though. We see this happening in other places. And, you know, it’s called the financial flu – one nation sneezes and another one kind of catches the cold. And it’s kind of reverberating really around the world from this great recession that took place in 2008. America has to look at these other nations and see that what has happening there is a reality that could take place in this great nation.
- Ankerberg: Let’s talk about what the military takes out of the budget each year, alright? In 2008, 41.5% of all the military spending in the world was done by the United States, okay. You could put China, Japan, Russia, Europe, and all of them combined, and we beat them all, alright? In 2009, America’s defense budget was $642 billion. If you add just the defense budget to Social Security, Social Security was just a little higher, at $677 billion, so Social Security is higher than the military right now. If you put those two items together, that accounts for roughly two-thirds of America’s budget, alright?
- So when you talk about how could our military go into decline, a couple of things I see. I don’t know about you, but the fact is, right now we’ve got two wars going on. We’re pulling out of Iraq, and if you finish up in Afghanistan, and you start to save that money, the fact is, I think America is going to put up its borders here and say we’re going to try to save that money. The thing is that then there becomes a power vacuum in the Middle East, if we’re not involved. What do you see happening?
- Hitchcock: Yeah. I think it’s very likely America could go back to becoming kind of an isolationist-type stance in the world today. Really, we’ve had these long, drawn-out, just grinding bloody wars that we’ve had. People are tired of that. And if that power vacuum exists in the Middle East, someone’s going to move in and take that. and I think that we can see from Scripture that it tells us that a Revived Roman Empire is going to begin to have that influence in that part of the world. This individual the Bible calls the Antichrist is going to come. He’s going to eventually make these treaties. So I think we can see how America really becoming isolated, withdrawing, maybe being lessened in influence and power, is going to give rise to some of these scenarios that the Bible predicts.
- Ankerberg: What is this thing called the Revived Roman Empire? People say, I don’t find that in the Bible. Where do you find that?
- Hitchcock: Well, the Revived Roman Empire, re-united Roman Empire, is spoken of in the book of Daniel. In the book of Daniel it outlines these great empires that would come: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and then Rome. But it gives a picture of the Roman Empire under ten rulers or ten kings. I like to call them the G-10; the Group of Ten. Well, Rome never existed historically in that form. So all the other aspects of Daniel’s prophecy were all literally fulfilled, so that has to be literally fulfilled as well, and it hasn’t taken place. So I believe that’s a future form of this Roman Empire that’s going to be re-united. And today we see the European Union. You know, there’s 27 nations there today; sixteen of them have this currency known as the Euro. It’s half a billion, or five hundred million people live there in Europe, in the E.U, so, you know, it’s a growing power. The Euro now is stronger than the dollar.
- Ankerberg: Mark, what I find fascinating is that right now the world is calling for this kind of G-10. They might not have it nailed down to ten, but the fact is, they want to have a group of leaders that control the economies of the different countries, because if Greece goes down or if Ireland goes down or America goes down, the fact is, everybody is hurt. The world economy is tied together. What’s the answer that the world is proposing?
- Hitchcock: Well, the answer the world is proposing is more centralized authority. It’s globalism. It’s what the Bible predicted 2,000 years ago, that there’s going to be this group of ten, this G-10, that’s going to rise, according to Scriptures, out of a re-united Roman Empire. And they’re going to begin to take control and probably try to bring some kind of semblance of order, you know, out of this chaos.
- There’s another individual the Bible predicts, who is going to rise from this same part of the world, hat the Bible calls the Antichrist. And he’s going to come on the scene and he’s going to try to bring order out of what’s taking place. See, in the world today, what we see happening in America, as this debt continues to go up and we can’t pay it, one of things we’re doing is printing more money to pay for it. Well, as you print more money, that creates inflation. We just printed 600 billion more dollars to put into the system. That creates runaway inflation, or hyperinflation. The Bible actually predicts in Revelation 6, there’s going to be this hyper runaway inflation in the end times that’s going to bring the collapse of the world economy. Well, these rulers and these leaders are going to step in and they’re going to be the ones who are going to bring this centralized authority and a cashless society, in the end times, to be an answer for this, a one-world currency.
- And we can see today how things are being set up towards that. And obviously, if this collapse takes place in America, it’s one of the explanations for why we’re not going to be the great superpower that we are today when the end times arrive.
- Ankerberg: The Bible talks about this “mark of the beast,” okay. It gives us kind of symbolic language about what that is. And you’ve got a whole book on the cashless society, and the technology is already there. Quickly tell us what that technology is and why we’d want to use it.
- Hitchcock: Well, the mark of the beast is really, it’s a mark that people are going to have to take all over the world to buy or sell. He’s going to control everything – supply and demand. You have to take it to buy or sell. It’s a mark of allegiance to him, but it’s also the tribulation trademark, really, for the end times to be able to carry out commerce. And we don’t know what it is, but it says it’s upon the right hand or the forehead. And we see the technology today for a person or a group of people to control world commerce; to control the flow of goods through radio frequency identification placed on every item. People using, probably will be their phone, the smart phone, coupled with some type of biometric identification where you can just walk out of a store with the goods and it will just automatically register those on your phone and deduct those from an account. So, all this technology is there to control the world economy, to control people’s lives. And that’s where…
- Ankerberg: And that technology is already being used in different countries across the world, too.
- Hitchcock: It is. And that’s where we’re ultimately headed. And that’s what the Bible predicts for this world economy that’s coming in the end times. But these crises that we see, they are what’s paving the way and setting the stage and precipitating this one-world economy that’s going to take place.
- Ankerberg: People do wonder, Mark, if the reason that America’s not mentioned is, do we economically go down? And what hope do you give to folks that are listening here in America, and then folks that are across the world in their own countries facing economic problems?
- Hitchcock: Well, you know, America could get her financial house in order. If people have the will to do it and begin to cut debt and to cut the fat in this country, that could take place. If it doesn’t happen, there’s dire consequences for America: America will go down. And if America goes down, American support for Israel goes down; America’s influence in the Middle East goes down; There’s a power vacuum that’s going to have ripple effects in every area, really, of the world, and certainly of the entire world economy.
- But we don’t want Americans, or we don’t want people in the world, to lose hope in these times in which we live. Jesus told us not to lay up our treasures on earth, but to lay up treasure in heaven. The Bible tells us we’re not to put our hope in the uncertainty of riches. Those who know Jesus Christ as their Savior have every reason in this world we live in today to have hope. We have the hope of eternal life, and the hope of salvation that can never be taken away.
- So I want to encourage people who have never put their faith in Jesus Christ to do so; to come to Him today. Then, those who are having mounting debt in their lives, take care of your own debt and your own finances, so you can be on a firm footing. And if you have an abundance, do what the Bible says and use that abundance to share with others who are in need, and lay up that treasure in heaven where the Bible says moth and rust don’t corrupt and where thieves cannot break in and steal and destroy.
- Ankerberg: Solid words. And we’ve got more that’s coming up. Next week we’re going to talk about another scenario, and that is that the only thing that George Bush and Kerry agreed on in all of their presidential debates, last go around, alright, was the fact that the number one threat facing America is a nuclear attack by a terrorist. We’re going to talk about what our political leaders then and now, CIA and in our government, what they are talking about that they are facing, and what the possibilities are by the time we get to 2015, alright.
- We’re going to talk about biological and nuclear attacks on America. We’ve got a target on our back, if you’re an American. Folks, I hope that you’ll join us. Mark’s got some fascinating information on this. I hope you’ll join us next week.