The Global Financial Crisis (GFC) of the past few years has ravaged many
households. Millions are living in dire conditions not dissimilar to those
experienced in the time of the 1930s Great Depression. Over 42 million
American households today rely upon food stamps.1
That is an increase of 44% since the start of the GFC (considered to be
early September 2008 when the firm of Lehman Brothers collapsed). One of the
busiest times of the month for Wal-mart is now early in the morning on the
first day of the month, when the food stamp cards are transactionable.
The GFC is not over; it is still morphing through various stages. Lately,
financial troubles are ripping through parts of Europe.
Much more trouble surely lies ahead elsewhere. The GFC indeed could
represent a preliminary phase of the global economic travails that
ultimately manifest in the final economic collapses detailed in the book of
Revelation. However, events can unfold in unexpected and deceitful ways.
A deceptive aspect of the times is that even as many more people have fallen
into difficult circumstance, perhaps losing all or a considerable part of
their savings in the real estate crash, the wealthy seem to be doing fine.
Yes, many wealthy people also suffered loss throughout the GFC. However, as
a group, they nevertheless today account for a greater share of national
wealth than likely ever before in America’s history.
According to one recent estimate, the richest 20% of all U.S. households
now account for 84% of all wealth.2
Another survey dating back to 2006 data, focusing on the top 0.01% (1
hundredth of 1%) of the
population, shows this group earning 976 times the income of the bottom 90%.
That ratio by far exceeds the extremes of 1928, the last peak period of an
extreme wealth distribution in the U.S. Therefore, even while we see
luxury goods in high demand today, we also observe that the majority of
households have reduced their overall spending … even on staple goods.
We live in a period of time where the financial world has become decoupled
from the real world. In other words, the realm of financial wealth and asset
markets has become its own master, seeking to insulate itself from the
real-life underpinnings of the day-to-day world of labor, income and massive
household indebtedness. Today, rather than money being in the service of
mankind, societies have been taken into the bondage of servicing money.
Whenever such a state of affairs has occurred in past history, it has
ultimately led to a demise of that society. Unless things change, this same
outcome is likely to befall America,
and a host of other countries.
In fact, today these conditions impact the entire world, not just individual
countries. The globalized financial edifice is looting entire countries,
progressively forcing governments to appropriate taxpayer monies to bailout
banks and global sovereign bond markets.
The Façade of Rich Hopes
The topic of wealth … should we even discuss it? According to the prophet
Amos, perhaps we shouldn’t. He said: “Therefore the prudent man keeps quiet
in such times, for the times are evil” (Amos 5:13). To have any opinion on
the accumulation of riches in these times is to be branded of a particular
political persuasion—perhaps Democrat, Republican, Libertarian … even a
Socialist or a Communist. It is a particularly treacherous topic in North America. Why? Because the ideas of opportunity for
all … the freedom to excel … property rights … human rights … etc. … run
deep. These represent the very foundation of the American Way. It is not that any of these
notions are unreasonable or reprehensible. They should be upheld. However,
along the way, the object of worship has changed. The focus has turned from
these ideas to the acquisition of money and wealth itself—in short: greed
and humanistic materialism.
None of these comments are meant to support any one particular political
view. They are simply Biblical statements of fact which confirm the
vulnerabilities of the human heart to corruption. We are therefore speaking
here of human affections, not political philosophies.
Capitalism and Other Views Not Sanctified
For some, the objective of the maximization of wealth is a religion itself…
an “ism.” Anything that would stand in the way of this Mammon edifice must
be struck down and removed. To them, money exists for its own sake. All
policies of state and matters of human life must be in subservience to
increasing wealth. And so, increasingly for the entire world, wealth has
been transformed into a highly visible financial form, one that is narrow
Without naming names or politicizing the views being expressed here, it is
very evident that many rich and powerful individuals, the corporate sector
represented by the large multinational corporations, as well as the
parasitic financial community (collectively referred to as Wall Street), are
run by the interests of money. They have tremendous influence and lobby hard
to continue the pursuit of even more wealth. That societies may be
crumbling; that the global economic standing of entire nation states is
being sacrificed; that an ever larger portion of humanity is being enslaved
are just part of the competitive scoring game.
Quoting Dr. Michael Hudson, in America:
We are dealing with shameless demagogy. The financial End Time has arrived.
[…] The argument is made that ‘The rich create jobs.’ After all, somebody
has to build the yachts. What is missing is the more general principle:
Wealth and income inequality destroy job creation. This is because beyond
the wealthy soon reach a limit on how much they can consume. They spend
their money buying financial securities – mainly bonds, which end up
indebting the economy. And the debt overhead is what is pushing today’s
economy into deepening depression.
Being or becoming wealthy is not a sin, though few are able to remain
untainted by its influence. On the other hand, desiring to be wealthy or to
oppress others in the effort to attain or preserve wealth is a sin. Such
motives, if not curtailed, lead to destruction, as the Bible outlines. In
fact, it could be considered a physical law that applies to anything that
draws the affections of mankind. “[…]
Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced
themselves with many griefs” (1 Timothy 6:10).
Today, we see ample evidence of the destructive trends of wealth hoarding at
The Bible’s View on Today
Let’s allow the Bible to speak of the indictments and judgments that applied
to Israel and Judah during similar times of
elitism and economic oppression. Please read these statements and compare
them to conditions evident in our day:
Son of man, say to the land […], There is a conspiracy of her princes within
her like a roaring lion tearing its prey; they devour people, take treasures
and precious things and make many widows within her. […] Her officials
within her are like wolves tearing their prey; they shed blood and kill
people to make unjust gain. […] The people of the land practice extortion
and commit robbery; they oppress the poor and needy and mistreat the alien,
denying them justice (Ezekiel 22:24-25, 27, 29).
Hear this word, you cows of Bashan on Mount
Samaria, you women who oppress the poor and
crush the needy and say to your husbands, ‘Bring us some drinks!’ (Amos
‘So I will come near to you for judgment. I will be quick to testify against
sorcerers, […] against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who
oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive aliens of justice, but do
not fear me,’ says the LORD Almighty (Malachi 3:5).
For I know how many are your offenses and how great your sins. You oppress
the righteous and take bribes and you deprive the poor of justice in the
courts (Amos 5:12).
Woe to those who plan iniquity, to those who plot evil on their beds! At
morning’s light they carry it out because it is in their power to do it.
They covet fields and seize them, and houses, and take them. They defraud a
man of his home, a fellowman of his inheritance” (Micah 2:1-2).
Do any of the conditions or attitudes exemplified in the Spirit-inspired
statements of the prophets cited above, apply in our day? Most readers will
Moreover, an attitude of rapaciousness and an incessant striving for gain is
rampant. Attitudes such as these were also spoken against by the prophets.
Consider Nahum indicting the brutal Assyrians, saying, “You have increased
the number of your merchants till they are more than the stars of the sky,
but like locusts they strip the land and then fly away” (Nahum 3:16). Today,
avaricious actions such as these take different forms. For example, a
company is taken over, its assets stripped, laborers downsized, and then it
is laden up with debt to pay out gains to its acquirers. Not only do actions
such as these undermine the strength of these companies, but also entire
As well, the obsession of multiplying wealth for its own sake, was also
deplored by the prophets. Said Isaiah: “Woe to you who add house to house
and join field to field till no space is left and you live alone in the
land” (Isaiah 5:8). We see here that the objective of gaining wealth—of
piling up and hoarding riches—is not to be the leitmotif of life. The
incessant striving for “growth and increase” virtually ensures that a large
number of poor will result, destroying society.
Points to Ponder
This writer believes that the conditions of materialism and economic
oppression witnessed today—even in such advanced nations as the
Canada and others—is at least
as rampant as during the times that the prophets sounded the warnings and
indictments against Judah
The divide between the rich and poor has become extreme. No Jubilee Year is
practiced as in ancient times of the Hebrews, where all liabilities are
forgiven and the forces of exponential gain are again reset to zero. (“In
this Year of Jubilee, everyone is to return to his own property” (Leviticus
25:13)). In today’s world
driven by global materialism, there is no rebalancing of wealth and property
other than through eventual calamitous financial busts and economic
To date, global leaders and finance ministers from the major nations have no
answer to the Global Financial Crisis other than to reshuffle debt and to
shift liabilities upon governments and aging populations. There is no
possibility of a voluntary Jubilee Year. The net result is even greater
financial slavery for the average citizen; even greater relative wealth of
the “haves.” Yes, some leaders speak of a return to “stewardship” and
stopping the march into greater indebtedness. However, for the most part,
societies and their leaders will opt for policies that seem the lightest ...
that promise deferral of the ultimate consequences, even if only for a
period of months.
But surely, the judgments that were carried out against
Israel and Judah for their economic sins could never happen
to the U.S. or Canada, for
example. Many refuse to believe that today’s generation will not be absolved
of its idolatries and sins, on the good credit of prior generations that may
have founded their nation upon Christian principles. Or, they may think
themselves impervious to judgment because of the great evangelical
outreaches and good deeds to the rest of the world that were birthed in
They forget the lessons of ancient Israel
and the principle illustrated in Ezekiel 18. Here Ezekiel provides a
detailed illustration of the accountabilities of fathers and sons,
concluding that each generation must answer for its own conduct. For
example, the sins of the son cannot be absolved on the strengths of the good
deeds of the father. Says Ezekiel: “For every living soul belongs to me, the
father as well as the son—both alike belong to me. The soul who sins is the
one who will die” (Ezekiel 18:4-5).
As such, the immoral and evil conditions that we witness today will be
accounted to the current generation. God is faithful, a respecter of no one.
As Apostle Paul observed,
“The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap
destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will
reap eternal life” (Galatians 6:8).
Living in this dispensation upon earth, great and wonderful promises have
been given to us in addition to salvation. While the world becomes mired in
its humanistic materialism, losing everything, we can translate what we have
into eternal riches, “where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves
do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:20), gaining everything. “I tell you,
use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone,
you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings” (Luke 16:9).
About the Author:
Wilfred J. Hahn
is a global economist/strategist. Formerly a top-ranked global analyst,
research director for a major Wall Street investment bank, and head of
country’s largest global investment operation, his writings focus on the
endtime roles of money, economics and globalization. He has been quoted
around the world and his writings reproduced in numerous other publications
and languages. His 2002 book The Endtime Money Snare: How to live free
accurately anticipated and prepared its readers for the Global Financial
Crisis. His newest book, Global Financial Apocalypse Prophesied:
Preserving true riches in an age of deception and trouble, looks further
into the future.
2010 statistic released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in
Michael I. Norton & Dan Ariely, “Building a Better
– One Wealth Quintile at a Time.”
Michael Hudson, “The Coming Sell-Out to the Super Rich and What It
Means for the Rest of
Us,” www.counterpunch.com. Accessed November 15, 2010.