Sermon: The Present and Future Crisis (Part Two)

Economic Armageddon and Conspiracies

Given 18-Dec-04; 73 minutes

description: (hide)

The United States' enormous debt, coupled with its escalating trade deficit, is inevitably leading to what economist call economic Armageddon. The conditions are ripe for vested economic interests, such as banks and multinational corporations, to participate in ruthless conspiracies designed to manipulate public fear and safeguard their interests. As seen in numerous Old and New Testament narratives, Israel has been no stranger to the dynamics of conspiracy. The motivation of survival (without the counsel of God and the welfare of the common person in mind) drives the greedy, carnally-wise leaders of elected government, fashioning a Satanically-inspired Beast. As Christians, we must urgently practice Proverbs 22:3, erasing debt, liquefying cash, and exercising economic prudence.



We are going to begin this sermon by picking up a verse with which I began last week:

Proverbs 22:3 A prudent man foresees the evil, and hides himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.

Last week's sermon was built around this scripture in that it appears to me there is a crisis of potentially huge proportions that already exists and appears to be building to the biblically prophesied "crisis at the close of the age" when Christ returns. I think that we would be prudent to look into it critically, analyze it, and prepare for it.

I heard Mr. Armstrong say on several different occasions that he felt that an economic crisis would be the major trigger that sets off the concluding events for the time of the end. We are in an economic circumstance in which the threatening clouds that one economist called "an economic perfect storm," have gathered but have not yet dumped their deluge of economic woes. He said that these factors are a record and growing demand for the world's most important non-renewable resource: oil.

These factors, combined with an historically low supply of oil (in which little hope exists that the supply will ever be substantially increased), combined with political instability in the oil-producing states (i.e., Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Nigeria, Venezuela, Cameroon, and others), combined with a deficit and debt in the economy of the world's largest consuming nation—the United States of America—all trigger inflation, which in turn triggers rises in interest rates, which will in turn eventually trigger deflation. Right at the storm's vortex, in the climax of these elements, will be war. Will these elements lead to the biblical Armageddon this time?

The following quotes will help us see that we are right on the precipice of a very critical situation in the modern world's economic condition. The first quote is taken from the website, November 23, 2004.

Steven Roach, the chief economist at investment banking giant Morgan Stanley, met a select group of financiers in downtown Boston last week, including a group at Fidelity. His prediction: America has no better than a 10 percent chance of avoiding economic "Armageddon."

In a nutshell, Roach's argument is that America's record trade deficit means the dollar will keep falling. To keep foreigners buying T-bills and prevent a resulting rise in inflation, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan will be forced to raise interest rates further and faster than he wants. The result: U.S. consumers, who are in debt up to their eyeballs, will get pounded.

Twenty years ago the total debt of U.S. households was equal to half the size of the economy. Today the figure is 85 percent. The dollar is hitting fresh lows against currencies from the yen to the Euro. Its parachute failed to open over the weekend, when a meeting of the world's top finance ministers produced no promise of concerted intervention. It has farther to fall, especially against Asian currencies, analysts agree.

Just in case that one did not inform you enough, here is one from the Washington Insider, November 11, 2004.

The USA, under the just re-elected President, George W. Bush, is bankrupt, and will be plunged into the relevant deep global chain-reaction collapse very soon. Bush may soon have very painful reason to wish he hadn't been elected since he may absolutely rely on the rampant arrival of a bankrupt economy. As I have emphasized repeatedly, the present world financial system is now entering a terminal phase of general global collapse from which it will never recover in its present form."

Here is another quote which is from EIR (Executive Intelligence Review) Strategic Alert, November 18, 2004:

The leading Italian financial daily, Il Sole 24 ORE stated on its November 9 front-page editorial by banker and former minister, Paolo Savona, that the re-election of George W. Bush had pushed the world closer to a monetary Hiroshima. He said that due to the U.S. imbalances, we are heading towards a big explosion which will disintegrate the world dollar activity and will unleash the second world depression.

Here is another one from EIR Strategic Alert from December 12, 2004. This is a quote from an interview with Professor Dr. Heiner Flassbeck, Germany's deputy finance minister in 1998/1999 but now UN Chief Economist on the Conference on Trade and Development. He said,

The savings rate in the United States is dangerously low. Any additional shock, no matter caused by high oil prices or rising interest rates, could now lead to a situation whereby America's consumers normalize their savings "overnight" so to speak, and that would be a catastrophe for the American, and therefore the world's economy.

I have one more quote from our fellow Brits in the London Times, from an article by Sir William Rees-Moog, titled "The Avalanche Is Coming." On November 22, 2004, he wrote,

The Federal Reserve is becoming extremely anxious. The problem is not a new one. It is based on the structural weakness of the world's leading currency, and since 1971 the dollar has been in an unusual and vulnerable position. It is a dominant, but incontrovertible currency, and such a currency is always at a disadvantage. The politicians of the dominant country can behave with relative irresponsibility, and they usually do. The dominant nation is also likely to accumulate debt on a horrific scale, and this is like the situation that precedes an avalanche. More and more loose snow gathers until there is a huge overhang at some point which cannot be predicted exactly. The appetite for the dominant currency is sated, and the people want to sell. Then fear sets in, and the avalanche is upon us.

In other words, he is saying that there is going to be a run on the dollar.

Are you aware that because of America's trade imbalances with foreign nations, which is an incredible $2.8 billion per day, that America must sell Treasury Bills in that amount every day to keep our current accounts balanced, because Americans refuse to save money? That $2.8 billion is 80 percent of the entire world savings each day. Can this be sustained? Is the rest of the world just going to sit around and see us drain their savings away so that our economy can be supported and that we can go on spending money wildly on credit? How long do you think that they are going to put up with this? Can you begin to see why wars occur? One country sees another country spending like this, and they will go to war to protect themselves from the economic collapse into which the other country is dragging them.

Do you realize that at the end of November the Americans tried to sell T-Bills to the world, and nobody came to buy them? Does that give you an indication that they have just about reached here? Well, they got off the hook because China, believe it or not, came to our rescue; but there is a bind in the way China is doing this. I do not fully understand it, but China tendered the money in such a way as to give others the opportunity to back out slowly.

There is another thing being created, because the Europeans see that their Euro is probably going to be the currency of choice that will be the reserve for other nations—and they do not want it. They do not want it because they do not have the economy that the United States has to support the world using their money as the currency for the world. They are doing tap dances over there, too, saying, "What are we going to do?" Things are moving toward a very interesting bind.

There is a minor blessing, though, and that is that though the factors are clearly looming all around us, the full fury of the storm does not appear to be something that is going to happen just the day after tomorrow. Those nations are going to do everything they can until they feel they cannot do any more to keep America's economy from collapsing. However, as every day goes by, we become further and further indebted to them. It does look as though we have a little bit of time to get better prepared than we are right now. How much time, I do not know. We have got to put on our thinking caps.

War, invariably through all of man's history, has a number of elements that consistently are part of its creation, but always wealth in some form is the central issue. The wealth may be in the form of minerals. It may be that one country feels necessary to sustain a lifestyle. It might be in the form of land, to expand. It might be in manpower to operate that system, but wealth will always be in the mix.

In our time, the wealth is in the form of oil. The world's largest reserves of easily obtainable and cheaply refineable oil are in the Middle East, but the people there are not cooperative with the Western nations as to how to use that oil wealth. They want that oil to support and expand their way of life.

The Western nations, who originally discovered the oil deposits, funded and developed the means to extract the oil. They desperately need it to support their already-built and functioning cultures, and it is showing that they are willing to go to war to have the oil. The United States has already done it. The situation is such that if the western nations do not get the oil in sufficient amounts at what they believe is a reasonable price, its culture will collapse economically unless some alternative to oil is developed.

Some alternatives to oil are available. However, they are not cheaply produced, and neither are they in abundant supply. Thus, very seriously affected factions have their own interests to develop and protect. For example, do you think for even a moment that Royal Dutch Shell, British Petroleum, Exxon Mobile, and other huge, oil-derived financial empires within the West are going to give up their turf without a fight? Well, they are going to put up a fight.

What about the banks, especially the central banks of nations, like the Federal Reserve of the United States or the Bank of England, and many others around the world which have loaned money to finance the building of these financial empires? Are they just going to give up? Are they just going to walk away from potentially huge economic losses involved in this oil-production, political issue? What about other institutions that are part of this huge complex of power that are beholden to the banks?

Do you remember that very popular song of a couple of decades ago called "Sixteen Tons"? It is a sad song about the financial futility of the common working man. Tennessee Ernie Ford was the man who sang, "Sixteen tons, and what do you get? Another day older, and deeper in debt." At one point in that song he said that he "owe[d] his soul to the company store."

What I am thinking about here are the politicians: the presidents, the prime ministers, the premiers, the cabinet officers, the senators, the congressmen, and judges, right on down through the entire governmental bureaucracy. Who is it that holds the strings of power to the politicians? To whom do they owe their political position and powers? To whom do they owe their soul? I will tell you: It is the central bank, through their cohorts in the corporations.

A former president of General Motors, whose name I have forgotten, once said, "What is good for General Motors is good for America." He was reviled right on the front pages of newspapers because people realized that what he said was true. Essentially, he was saying that corporations were running America, that one runs the other, that they were inseparable. Thus, he was implying that if the corporations are taken care of, so will America be.

What results from a situation in which various factions and individuals have vested interests at stake is that those interests are being threatened. It is a practical and historical fact that conspiracies arise among those intensely interested parties to protect those interests. These conspiracies have to be factored into the events that are swirling together to produce the crisis at the close of this age, because these people have the power to influence, to cause the government to act seemingly for the benefit of the whole nation. In reality, they are the beneficiaries while the majority suffers.

Forms of the word conspire appear in a number of places in Scripture; in fact 30 times, to be precise. Conspiracies are not something that has escaped God's attention. The Bible shows that they are a normal function of the carnal mind, but in this case "normal" does not mean "good."

Proverbs 1:7-10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. My son, hear the instruction of your father, and forsake not the law of your mother: For they shall be an ornament of grace unto your head, and chains about your neck. My son, if sinners entice you, consent you not.

It just dawned on me that after we get away from the introduction to the book of Proverbs, this is the first subject addressed. I think this is very interesting.

Proverbs 1:11-15 If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause. Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit: We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil: Cast in your lot among us; let us all have one purse: My son, walk not you in the way with them; refrain your foot from their path.

This does not necessarily portray a governmental conspiracy, but it does clearly show the sense of any conspiracy. Various parties come together and plan to accomplish some evil purpose for the conspirators' common good.

The word conspire came into the English language from Latin. It literally means "to whisper together." It has the sense of secrecy or, one might say, evil intrigue within its usage. Thus, its sense is that those who conspire are up to no good; otherwise, they would be open about their thoughts. Its synonyms can be plot, plan, scheme, or as the King James Version may say, take counsel together. Conspiracy is defined by my Reader's Digest Oxford Complete Word Finder as "a secret plan to commit a crime, or to do harm, often for political ends."

Genesis 37:18 And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him.

This is the very first appearance of the word conspired in the Bible. As you can see, the brothers of Joseph were up to no good. They did not say what they said right in front of him. They got their plan all together long before he showed up on the scene. This is interesting. It is just a little thing, but usually a conspiracy begins long before the actual event unfolds to the public eye. It is just a little thing, but somebody is plotting way in advance of what they want to pull off.

It is interesting to me that though this conspiracy was not against a governmental office, the one conspired against did indeed become a governmental official of exceedingly high rank. What I mainly want you to see is that the evil intent of their planning is very easily seen. God opens it up before us.

II Samuel 15:11-12 And with Absalom went two hundred men out of Jerusalem, that were called; and they went in their simplicity, and they knew not any thing. And Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David's counselor, from his city, even from Giloh, while he offered sacrifices. And the conspiracy was strong: for the people increased continually with Absalom.

David, the king, is the one being conspired against. Many people, as we see, were innocently caught. I want you to remember that, too, because many people are caught in the conspiracy of the sinners. They are innocent about what is going on, but it does not stop lives from being destroyed, nor does it stop somebody's financial standing from being wiped away. People become victims of something of which they were not a part at all.

David is being conspired against, and people are innocently caught in the web of deceit, not understanding that they were being used to further somebody else's ambitions. Absalom had an evil mind; as you can see, he did not mind what we would call "using" other people who were not aware of really his evil intent. He was not against using them for his own gain. Absalom wanted power and wealth.

We do not have to go very much deeper to understand that conspiracies are nothing new to the Israelitish people. I could take you through another ten or fifteen places just in I and II Samuel and I and II Chronicles where it even says so-and-so was conspiring against the king, and then the next chapter says, "The conspiracy was strong among his servants."

On and on it goes. Sometimes it was the king himself who was conspiring against his own people. Should we think that in modern Israel—America, Britain, France, and others—there would not be conspiracies amongst those who are involved in seats of power—whether in the economy, in education, in media, in the military—and that they are not moving to achieve some end of which the overwhelming majority are innocent?

Matthew 12:14 Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him [Christ], how they might destroy him.

This episode is especially interesting because the conspiracy was formulated and carried out by the so-called holy people of Jesus' day. These people had very high opinions of themselves and boasted of their extraordinary holiness; but when we compare this one episode with three different reports of it, they conspired with the so-called evil Herodians if it suited their purpose. Politics makes strange bedfellows when conspirators begin to find that they have the same general goal in mind.

Psalm 2:1-3 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, "Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us."

This psalm might be said to depict the ultimate conspiracy. On the one hand, it shows a conspiratorial process that has taken place in every age of mankind—in other words, incipient revolt against the established order in any country at any time in man's history. On the other hand, the particular one being described is all of mankind conspiring against the Almighty through their representatives, the leaders of their nations. The setting can easily be the time of the end. The Hebrew shows—especially in the opening part of the psalm—haste, restlessness, agitation, whisperings, and plottings.

The Interpreter's Bible Commentary said that the psalm "suggests a view to grasping power by a group of highly-placed political gangsters who represent godless humanity in a position of temporary eminence." How about that! This came right out of the commentary. What they are against is the moral authority of God, and they are demanding license to operate within their liberty. What it shows us is what Paul summarized in Romans 8:7, that "the carnal mind is enmity against God. It is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." Ultimately, brethren, governmental conspiracies always exist because it is human to conspire, and our government in our time at this juncture in history is no different.

This part of this brief two-part series is more speculative but is becoming less and less so as time progresses toward Christ's return. It becomes less and less speculative as information such as these revelations regarding the world's oil supply and demand is made known and the resulting impact on the American economy becomes apparent.

Is it possible that within this political and economic mix in which we are living right now, we might very well be witnessing the rise of the ruling clique of the Beast from whom the prophesied Beast himself might come?

For a long time, we have been hearing rumors of conspiracies involving people in powerful positions of influence. We have been hearing of shadow governments that are purported to be running nations regardless of those elected to office by the people. We have been hearing of connections to conspiracies by members of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, the Illuminati, the Fabians, The Club of Rome, The Club of 300, the Bildebergers, Opus Dei, Skull and Bones, the Masonic organizations, and the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England.

We have heard of the rich foundations established by very wealthy people like the Rockefellers, the Rothschilds, and the Fords, who provide support to projects and movements dedicated to the destruction of the American way of life and the British way of life. In this last election, Teresa Heinz Kerry is a prime example. A foundation that the Heinz Corporation operates gave money to the people who attacked us, the Muslims. As far as we know, it was not stopped just because 9/11 occurred. That is well-documented.

The people in these organizations are not just American, nor are they all in government. They are in corporate business. They are in banking. They are in the media, as well. It is multinational in scope, consisting largely of Semitic people living in northwestern Europe, the United Kingdom, America, Israel, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and a few of those countries from eastern Europe, as well.

I know that I am personally experiencing a firm change in me from skepticism to belief partly because of this oil crisis and partly because of many other evidences, especially this war on terror and the potential for enslavement inherent in the Homeland Security Act. Things I have read in the past seem much more solid than when I first heard them, and I am coming to believe that there is an elite of powerful people governing America and guiding it away from the America of the past toward what is commonly called "Globalism" or "the New World Order." This push involves the same secularism practiced in Russia and in Europe. In other words, they are anti-God.

I am going to read some excerpts from an article by one Thom Hartmann which appeared on the Information Clearing House website, a Belgian website. The article is titled "Hyping Terror for Fun, Profit—and Power." The author is reviewing a documentary that appeared on the BBC. It was not on some pirate station somewhere but right on the British Broadcasting System, in three one-hour segments during the first three weeks of October. This is hair-raising! This is not something that came out of some kind of pirate press somewhere.

What if there really was no need for much—or even most—of the Cold War? What if, in fact, the Cold War had been kept alive for two decades based on phoney WMD threats? [See, we go from the period of the Second World War up to the time that we are living in right now. We are fighting the war on terror.]

What if, similarly, the War on Terror were largely a scam and the administration were hyping it to seem larger-than-life? What if our "enemy" represented a real but relatively small threat posed by rogue and criminal groups well outside the mainstream of Islam? What if that hype was done largely to enhance the power, electability, and stature of George W. Bush and Tony Blair?

And what if the world were to discover the most shocking dimensions of these twin deceits—that the same men promulgated them in the 1970s and today?

It happened.

The myth-shattering event took place in England the first three weeks of October, when the BBC aired a three-hour documentary written and produced by Adam Curtis, titled "The Power of Nightmares." If the emails and phone calls many of us in the US received from friends in the UK and debate in the pages of publications like the Guardian are an indicator, this was a seismic event, one that may have even provoked a hasty meeting between Blair and Bush a few weeks later.

According to this carefully researched and well-vetted documentary, Richard Nixon, following in the steps of his mentor and former boss Dwight D. Eisenhower, believed it was possible to end the Cold War and eliminate fear from the national psyche. The nation need no longer be afraid of communism or the Soviet Union. Nixon worked out a truce with the Soviets, meeting their demands for safety as well as the US needs for security, and then announced to Americans that they need no longer be afraid.

In 1972, President Richard Nixon returned from the Soviet Union with a treaty worked out by Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, the beginning of a process Kissinger called "détente." On June 1, 1972, Nixon gave a speech in which he said, "Last Friday, in Moscow, we witnessed the beginning of the end of that era which began in 1945. With this step, we have enhanced the security of both nations. We have begun to reduce the level of fear, by reducing the causes of the fear—for our two peoples and for all peoples in the world."

But Nixon left amid scandal and Ford came in, and Ford's Secretary of Defense (Donald Rumsfeld) and Chief of Staff (Dick Cheney) believed it was intolerable that Americans might no longer be bound by fear. Without fear, how could Americans be manipulated?

Rumsfeld and Cheney began a concerted effort—first secretly and then openly—to undermine Nixon's treaty for peace and to rebuild the state of fear and thus reinstate the Cold War.

And these two men—1974 Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Ford Chief of Staff Dick Cheney—did this by claiming that the Soviets had secret weapons of mass destruction that the President did not know about, that the CIA did not know about, that nobody but them knew about. And, they said, because of those weapons, the US must redirect billions of dollars away from domestic programs and instead give the money to defense contractors for whom these two men would one day work.

The CIA strongly disagreed, calling Rumsfeld's position "a complete fiction" and pointing out that the Soviet Union was disintegrating from within, could barely afford to feed their own people, and would collapse within a decade or two if simply left alone. But Rumsfeld and Cheney wanted Americans to believe there was something nefarious going on, something of which we should be very afraid. To this end, they convinced President Ford to appoint a commission including their old friend Paul Wolfowitz [who is now on President Bush's staff in the same position] to prove that the Soviets were up to no good.

According to Curtis' BBC documentary, Wolfowitz's group, known as "Team B," came to the conclusion that the Soviets had developed several terrifying new weapons of mass destruction, featuring a nuclear-armed submarine fleet that used a sonar system that did not depend on sound and was, thus, undetectable with our current technology. [I remember that.]

Then comes a long series of quotes of one Dr. Anne Cahn who was the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency director, 1977-80. She was questioned on the program and refuted everything that Rumsfeld and Cheney were saying. I will give you one select part of her testimony. Here is her response to a question:

COHN: I would say that all of it was fantasy. I mean, they looked at radars out of Krasnoyarsk, and said, "This is a laser beam weapon," when, in fact, it was nothing of the sort. And if you go through most of Team B's specific allegations about weapons systems, and you just examine them one by one, they were all wrong.

INTERVIEWER: All of them?

CAHN: All of them.

INTERVIEWER: Nothing true?

CAHN: I don't believe anything in [Wolfowitz's 1977] Team B was really true.

Anyway, it ends this way:

Watching "The Terror of Nightmares" is like taking the red pill in the movie The Matrix. It's the story of idealism gone wrong, of ideologies promoted in the US by Leo Strauss and his followers (principally Wolfowitz, Feith, and Pearle [who is still around and on that team], and in the Muslim world by bin Laden's mentor, Ayman Zawahiri. Both sought to create a utopian world through world domination; both believe that the ends justify the means; both are convinced that "the people" must be frightened into embracing religion and nationalism for the greater good of morality at a stable state. Each needs the other in order to hold the power.

Then he urges you to tune in to that website to listen for yourself.

Brethren, American government has gradually undergone a fundamental change of philosophy that I think, at least in my experience, began with the Franklin Delano Roosevelt administration in the 1930s. President Reagan's administration was somewhat of an anomaly, and he apparently looked upon government as being more the enemy than the friend. However, in the past decade, the change has been rapid and vast. Under the elder Bush, Bill Clinton, and especially the younger Bush, the track record has been anything but good. It has been very different.

Bush, Jr., has relentlessly expanded central government and the scope of its spending and the extension of its intrusion into private life. So vast is the change that Michael C. Ruppert, author of Crossing the Rubicon, has declared that by definition we no longer have a republic. To support this, he quotes Benito Mussolini, former Fascist dictator in Italy, as saying, "Fascism should more properly be called 'corporatism' since it is a merger of state and corporate power."

Many Americans feel it no longer matters for whom they vote during a national election because there is barely a difference between the two parties. Regardless of who wins, the banking and the corporate powers—the shadow government—are the real power, calling the shots that are in their best interests.

Let me give you an example from the website an article written by one Frosty Wooldridge titled "Illegal Immigration's Destruction of America's Middle Class." Are you wondering why nobody is doing anything about this immigration crisis? Is it possible that it is being planned to allow it to occur, that it is actually being promoted? It is.

Economist Paul Roberts wrote on January 21, 2003, "Will America become a Third World country in 20 years?"

In The Christian Science Monitor, December 11, 2003, "But as the US economy shifted toward service jobs, factory jobs have steadily lost—in fact, in just the past 39 months, some 2.8 million jobs vanished."

Did you hear the news this morning? On the news they said that the Department of Labor had readjusted the figures of how many jobs the American economy was going to create over the next year or so, and they lowered it from 3.5 million to 2.1 million.

Where are they going? China. India. Mexico. Deep into the Third World. "You Americans have lived an artificially high standard of living for a long time," a man working one our jobs outsourced to India wrote to me. "It's time you Americans drop to the poverty levels of the rest of the Third World."

America's middle class is being dismantled by jobs exported to cheap-labor Third World countries. CEOs and corporations that enjoy the luxuries of America's hard won freedom care not a tinker's damn whether you have a job or not—or a living wage.

Worse, our Congress upped the H-1B visas by another 20,000 again this year. Our Congress gave out nearly one million H-1B visas in the past decade. Congress facilitates outsourcing, insourcing, and offshoring! Why complain? You just re-elected most of them back into Congress.

So whom can we blame but those who elected them? The outsourcing, insourcing, and offshoring comprise only one part of this picture. The other part, and possibly the more devastating one, is what the government is promoting in regard to immigration.

Currently, 15 million illegal aliens commandeer jobs away from American citizens. Twenty-two thousand of them alone are in Denver, Colorado. Four million more illegals are expected in 2005—in one year! In Denver, they have displaced landscapers, pavers, roofers, beef processors, farmers, dry wallers, and have virtually taken over the fast food industry. This is hard enough to swallow, but it is made even more so when one knows for a fact that the situation is being promoted by our own government. Trade agreements, such as GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) and NAPTA (National Alliance of Public Transportation Agreement) are eating away at the vitals of our ability to produce income and compete on world markets, while at the same time our President is openly promoting things like an amnesty program for Mexican illegals, thus freeing them to take even more jobs at minimum wage or less.

What is going on, brethren? Is our government serving us or them? Who is the "them"? Well, I will tell you who the "them" is: The "them" is the banks and the corporations. There are Americans, but who now is getting the jobs? Have you ever had any experience when you called a customer service line and got an Indian who could hardly speak English? You cannot blame the Indians. They are just taking advantage of what American corporations are making available to them, because the American corporation does not want to hire an American for a higher wage.

All of this is working together—everything from the high wages to you-name-it. What hurts is that the leaders are turning a blind eye toward our borders and doing virtually nothing to stop the continuous flow of illegals into this nation. There are many Scriptures regarding the powerful peoples' mistreatment of the weak in the Bible, meaning "the powerless." The book of Amos leaps to mind, and I want you to turn there. It is just this sort of thing that God has in mind when He had this written, because it was going on during Amos' day.

Amos 2:6 Thus says the LORD: "For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof, because they sold the righteous for silver, and the poor for a pair of shoes."

As I have said to you before, poor does not necessarily mean having no money at all or being destitute. It simply means somebody who is weak or somebody who is powerless to fight back. They are the victims of events.

Amos 2:7 "That pant after the dust of the earth on the head of the poor . . ."

He is describing how greedy the attitude is toward the corporate gain. The bottom line seems to be all that matters.

Amos 2:7 ". . . and turn aside the way of the meek: and a man and his father will go in unto the same maid to profane my holy name."

Amos 4:1 Hear this word, you kine [you women] of Bashan that are in the mountain of Samaria, which oppress the poor, which crush the needy, which say to their masters [or husbands], "Bring, and let us drink."

Entertainment is a big thing, but not considered is what is happening out in the country.

Amos 5:9-12 That strengthens the spoiled against the strong so that the spoiled shall come against the fortress. They hate him that rebukes in the gate [someone who tells the truth, in court especially], and they abhor him that speaks uprightly. Forasmuch therefore as your treading is upon the poor [the weak, the defenseless], and you take from him burdens of wheat [talking about taxes]: you have built houses of hewn stone, but you shall not dwell in them: you have planted pleasant vineyards, but you shall not drink wine of them. For I know your manifold transgressions and your mighty sins: they afflict the just, they take a bribe, and they turn aside the poor in the gate from their right.

Amos 8:3-6 "And the songs of the temple shall be howlings in that day," says the Lord GOD: "there shall be many dead bodies in every place; they shall cast them forth with silence." Hear this, O you that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail, saying, "When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? And the Sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit? That we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes; you, and sell the refuse of the wheat?" [Shoddy products is what they make available.]

All of these things, brethren, are gradually making persecution of Christians a reality. I do not know how often you saw the term the upright or the righteous involved in that. God is referring to them, making persecution of the righteous a reality in this supposedly Christian nation.

Now listen to these commands and warnings in Amos 5:

Amos 5:14 Seek good, and not evil, that you may live: and so the LORD, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as you have spoken. Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish justice in the gate: it may be that the LORD God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph.

How much more personal can that be? It is aimed right at Britain and the United States.

Amos 5:23-24 Take you away from me the noise of your songs; for I will not hear the melody of your viols. But let justice run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.

Isaiah 3:1-5 For behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, does take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water. The mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent, and the ancient, the captain of fifty, and the honourable man, and the counselor, and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator. "And I will give children [those who are immature] and babes shall rule over them. And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbour, the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable."

Brethren, what has happened to wisdom in this nation? What has happened to common sense? Well, I will tell you ever so briefly what is driving the leadership of this nation, a leadership in which some have become traitors to the very people who entrusted them with the power to lead. The first thing that is driving them is what I will label "survival."

One can understand that when vital information becomes available to one, one must take advantage of it. That is what Proverbs 22:3 teaches us. Is that not in principle what we have followed in reference to the knowledge of God and His kingdom? God has called us. He has made Himself and His plan known to us, and we have followed His sound advice, and it turned our attention to succeeding within His purpose. So far, so good, because we are directing our lives according to His truth.

Those people who make up the conspiratorial center of those organizations named earlier and who also have seats of power in government, business, education, religion, the military, and the media are following exactly the same principle. The fatal flaw is that they are not following the truth of God toward the establishment of His kingdom. They are doing, though, what is carnally wise for someone in their position. They are pursuing their vision, and that vision is not beneficial for the powerless because we eventually become just so much cannon fodder to be used just like Absalom used people who were sincere in their life and blind to what was really going on.

Revelation 13:1-4 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed, and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, "Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him?"

Brethren, Satan is the great conspirator who is coordinating and directing his purpose of bringing all mankind into direct confrontation with God. Remember Psalm 2. His purpose is global in scope and is going to succeed in forming a confederacy through deception of a massive, oppressive economic and military power.

Those organizations that I mentioned before were, for the most part, formed to keep those in seats of power informed as to what was going on in the world. Those people knew about the potential for the present oil crisis decades ago, and they began planning what they needed to do. This particular crisis is just one crisis. The entire world is in crisis from everything like overpopulation, availability of food, many diseases, illiteracy, a huge disparity of wealth between the haves and the have-nots; thus, they have developed plans to provide for themselves.

In one sense, brethren, what is driving them is as simple as that, but the second part of what is driving them is a major factor of human nature. It is called greed. It is not good enough that they merely survive. They want to survive and come out the other end with power extending far beyond what they now have over those who may have some slim chance of surviving.

Their concept is not merely national but global in scope. They are imbued with the notion that they are fighting for their very lives and the extension of their posterity. I have read of things that they openly discuss in their meetings that makes one gasp for breath, like deliberately reducing the population of the world through the promotion of killing diseases like AIDS and smallpox and of warfare. Never forget that Satan is the real author of all of this, and he is a deceitful murderer and destroyer. The fruits of his authorship will show in the way advances are accomplished.

I do not want to sell you on the idea that they are all unified in what they are attempting to accomplish. Satan's kingdom is one of confusion, division, and competition among various parts; thus, in practical, everyday affairs these people do not always get their way. They do not always agree, and they frequently fight against one another. Gradually, though, because Satan is in charge of this and because God is permitting it, world affairs are moving in Satan's direction. He is succeeding in bringing the pieces together to fight against Christ at His coming.

It is essential for us to keep an eye on these things and know the general direction that these events are moving. It is going to get worse before it gets better, and it behooves us to keep close to God daily in prayer, in study, and in submission to His will. It is His will that we do all that we can to prepare physically as well as spiritually. It is godly that we do what we can to be prepared to take care of ourselves, our own, and others as we are able.

Take the advice of those people who have studied these issues not only from a present-day scenario but historically, as well. They have learned what has worked best in the past as this and other nations went through what we still apparently have a bit of time to prepare for. There are some physical things that we can do. These people all recommend that we get as far out of debt as we can and at the same time start setting cash money aside as a cushion.

You might also want to set aside some food that will keep you going maybe for a month or two after the initial shock of the run on the American dollar begins to take place and the stock in the stores suddenly is not there because people have bought it up. It might not be a bad idea that some of the cash you set aside not be put in a bank but kept in some place that you consider safe, because many banks are going to crash; and the FDIC does not have all that much money. Banks are required by law to only keep ten percent in reserve; and they, too, owe their business, their soul to the Federal Reserve System. They also borrow money from them, and that is why they crash. Most of them are in no better shape than you. My final word is this: put on your thinking caps and get to work.