In Matthew 6:20 we are admonished to lay up treasures in heaven where our investments will be safe from theft or other loss. I believe all of us need to seek out a practical application of this instruction, because everyone has financial decisions to make, regardless of our economic standing. In America we have had a tremendous period of prosperity in the last 70 years. This is a relatively long time span to have a financial upswing.
In the first part of the 20th century we experienced a brief period of prosperity, which was followed by the Great Depression, beginning with a stock market collapse in 1929. Then in 1933 President Roosevelt came up with a solution he called the New Deal. In the World Book Encyclopedia, it says he borrowed vast amounts of money to finance this New Deal. And today that debt is still with us, and growing at an unbelievable rate. But if the road to economic freedom is as simple as borrowing money without repaying it, then why didn't’t my dad tell me about that? What the encyclopedia doesn't’t tell us is, whom Roosevelt borrowed the money from and what he put up for collateral. To me these seem like pretty major issues, since the borrower is servant to the lender.
Some time ago I was in my local bank and I asked the manager of the bank a tongue in cheek question. I asked her how secure our money is, since a bankrupt government backs it. She gave me a thoughtful smile and responded, “Well it’s been that way as long as anyone can remember.” And then she said, “But if people couldn't’t get their money they would raise a lot of commotion.” Somehow I wasn't’t comforted by her response.
Where does our nation’s borrowed money come from? Mostly it comes from the Federal Reserve. Who owns the Federal Reserve? According to Alan Greenspan, it is nominally owned by private banks. Where do they get their money? According to Alan Greenspan it is “fiat” money which means that it’s not backed by anything tangible. It’s somewhat like play money that you would use in a Monopoly game. What is the motivation of these lenders? According to Alan Greenspan they have a “shabby little secret” whereby they can accomplish a hidden confiscation of wealth. I got this information from a six page article entitled “ Gold and Economic Freedom” that Greenspan wrote back in 1966 before he was involved with the Federal Reserve. It’s found in a book by Ayn Rand entitled CAPITALISM—THE UNKNOWN IDEAL.
You’ve heard the old expression that cheaters never win, and that’s true in the long run, but sometimes in the short run they do very well. And though seventy years is a long period of financial prosperity, it is a pretty short period in the time span of the rise and fall of nations.
So how does all this affect us? Basically we live in a fantasy world financed by our trillion dollar debt to the international bankers. If we were to face financial accountability today our standard of living would be reduced very drastically to say the least. This may explain why so few people understand or even care to understand these issues. Most of us would prefer to live in our fantasy world. Some would say that we know the economy will collapse someday but we might as well enjoy it while we have it. That’s a little bit like saying, “Well I know this ice is thin, but we might as well enjoy the skating party while it lasts.” Or you might even compare it to saying, “ We know this whorehouse is going to get busted but we might as well enjoy it while we are here.”
The atmosphere that goes with our economic situation is not conducive to righteousness. It is somewhat like doing business with the mafia. There are some advantages, but someday it’s bound to catch up with us, or our children or our grandchildren. Sodom and Gomorrah were blessed with great prosperity. That is what persuaded Lot to settle there. (Gen. 13:10;11) But the way they handled or mishandled their prosperity led to their sexual perversion and later annihilation. Actually there were four basic sins that led to their downfall, which America happens to share today. Ezekiel 16
2. Fullness of bread
4. Failure to help the poor
Most people would agree that America has a problem with the first three of the sins listed, in Ezekiel but some would argue that we have done many benevolent works in the last 70 years. Yes, I suppose we have been very generous with our borrowed money, but anyone can write a hot check, especially if you never intend to balance the check book. But I am persuaded that we will be visited by the Divine Auditor someday and America will be found weighed in the balance and found lacking.
In Luke 19:22,23 Yahshua compared loaning money on interest with reaping where you have not sown and gathering where you have not strewn. This is a very good description of what is taking place in the world of banking today. In the book of Proverbs it is called unjust gain. Alan Greenspan calls it “ a hidden confiscation of wealth”.
If the faithful servant described in Luke 19 made his profit in the money market he must have found a tremendous rate of interest to turn one pound into ten.
The American Peoples Encyclopedia says in their article on banking, “With the revival of trade in the 11th and 12th centuries, Europe set out to learn again the
practice of banking. Money changing and lending had been shifted to the Jews because of the attitude of the church, but now the Italians began to emulate these people…(page3-014)
So what was the attitude of the church? According to Compton’s Pictured Encyclopedia “banking was once frowned upon because the taking of money on interest was considered immoral, and some nations forbid their citizens to engage in it.” (page 51)
In Deut. 23:20 Yahvah allowed interest to be charged to foreigners. Historically many Jews have probably used scriptures like this to justify charging interest to non Jews like Christians, not realizing that some of those people might be the very elect Yahvah. Conversely today many Christians justify charging interest to non Christian like Jews, etc. without realizing that some of these people may be the very elect of Yahvah. Deuteronomy 14:21 says that Israel was not allowed to eat anything that died of itself, but they could give it or sell it to the strangers/foreigners. But to make that a colossal business venture like banking has become, would be very questionable to say the least.
John Calvin was one of the first theologians to teach that it was okay to charge a “reasonable” amount of interest. This was convenient position for him to take because he was from a wealthy family. But one of the reasons his teaching caught on so well was that he lived during the infancy of the industrial revolution, which needed commercial banking to make any headway.
One of the effects of the industrial revolution was the disintegration of the family; because when men began to leave home to work in the factories 60-70 hours a week, the women were left with greater domestic burdens and children were seen as burdens instead of assets or blessings. Today our heritage is shuffled off to day care while grandpa and grandma have been moved to the nursing home, all in the name of progress. Another sign that something is amiss is that many of us live in relative luxury while multitudes don’t even have adequate water for drinking or bathing.
Without commercial banking we would never have been able to have a global economy, which will probably come in very handy someday for the implementation of the mark of the beast.
As we have accepted the industrialized version of agriculture in our society we are beginning to lose control of our food supply which leaves our personal and national security at tremendous risk.
As we yield control to the international corporations are soil is becoming depleted, not to mention our minds and bodies being depleted of proper nourishment which leaves us unable to function rationally.
Am I suggesting we return to an agrarian society? Obviously we have gone too far past the point of no return for society at large in this age, but when Yahshua returns men will beat there swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Today our swords and spears are billion dollar war machines, and I have heard it said many times that war is good for the economy. It’s true that military conflict does result in deficit spending which gives the economy a boost in the short run. But oh what a price there will be to pay in the long run.
Someone said “To have what you want is luxury—to be able to do without is power.” We have lots of luxury in our society today but very little power. Actually it’s our insatiable desires that allow other people or nations to have power over us. If the average consumer wasn’t obsessed with obtaining the lowest price (at any cost) then Wal-Mart wouldn’t have been able to get a stranglehold on the retail market today. Not many people in positions of power can resist feathering there own nest, but our government is ruled by it’s own people ( to some extent) and we tend to vote in policies that are convenient for ourselves in short run but destroy us in the long run.
What is the solution to our problem? In a nutshell it’s this—Let’s not labor for the meat that perishes, but labor for the meat that endures forever.
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