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We are a Christian Fellowship meeting in North London with a strong interest in teaching the Bible and understanding our time in

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Apocalyptic financial crisis

The papers have been dominated with the economic crisis using words like ‘apocalyptic’ and ‘Armageddon’. What has been absolutely clear in this crisis is that it is global in dimension and what happens in one country affects another. Therefore no country can solve the problem on its own. IMF (International Monetary Fund) director, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, described it as ‘global problem which needs a global response.’ Gordon Brown repeated the same thing and George Bush said, ‘The world is sending us a signal. Bring us together and we’ll come through this together.’

 

The solution which the governments have come to for the moment is government control of the banks. This has long been a socialist aim – in his student days Alistair Darling was to be found handing out Trotskyite tracts in Edinburgh calling for nationalisation of the banks. In many ways the recent events seem like the upheavals which shook the Communist world in the 1980s and led to the demise of the Soviet Union and the changes which took place in China in the 1990s. The Communist system ended up with a kind of mixture of communism and capitalism in the east. The effect of what is happening in the west could also be a mixture of communism and capitalism.

 

As the powers that be turn to global institutions to sort it out it is inevitable that this will lead to a loss of democratic accountability of those in power. Gordon Brown has talked of the need ‘to reshape the global financial system to make it fit for purpose for the future.’ He spoke of the need for ‘a new international financial architecture and enhanced global co-operation to monitor and then supervise financial flows that know no borders.’ The need for new regulations and regulators to govern international affairs can only be put in place by some body having international authority. Who gives it this authority? Who can vote it out of power if it makes decisions which are wrong? It is clear that the way is being made open for the one world system of government described in Revelation. As we see in Daniel 2 its feet of iron and clay is an unstable alliance which will not hold together.

 

Today the issues are being decided by international organisations like the IMF and the G7 group of countries. The G7 or Group of 7 is the meeting of finance ministers from seven industrialised nations, France, Germany, Italy, the UK, Japan, the USA and Canada. Since 1998 Russia has been admitted to G8 meetings. Since the balance of power and wealth is now shifting this means that rising economies of China, India, Brazil and the Islamic countries feel left out such meetings which affect all nations. Also four of these countries (France, Germany, Italy and the UK) are in the EU, and two of them (USA and Canada) are in North America. It is not impossible to see a call for a G10 group consisting of the EU, North America, Russia, China, Japan, India, Arab countries, South America, Africa, Australia. Then the 10 kings give their power to the beast. Revelation 17.

 

Comments on the crisis

 

I quote below some of the interesting pieces I have picked up on this subject over the past month.

 

Foreign economists urge creation of new global financial system after US failures

 

Leaders and economists from Western Europe to East Asia Tuesday urged the United States to go beyond reviving a failed domestic bailout and start working on a new global financial system. The Americans don’t have a choice — they must absolutely have a global plan, Christian Noyer, head of the French central bank, said in Paris. David Smick, a global strategist and author of The World Is Curved: Hidden Dangers of the Global Economy, said the next U.S. president should immediately call for a second Bretton Woods conference to devise a new doctrine of international finance. The tiny New Hampshire town hosted a conference shortly after World War II that established rules for economic interchange among the worlds industrial powers and created the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. I am convinced that the sickness runs deep and that we need to rethink the entire financial and monetary system, as we did in Bretton Woods ... to create the tools for worldwide regulation made necessary by the globalization of trade, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said in the French city of Toulon on Monday. Washington Post 1/10/08

 

China paper urges new currency order after financial tsunami

 

Threatened by a financial tsunami, the world must consider building a financial order no longer dependent on the United States, the People’s Daily, a leading Chinese state newspaper said (Reuters 17/9/08).

 

Is the US economic crisis leading to a New Global Monetary Order?

 

National solutions have been enough to stem the financial-sector crisis so far, ECB Governing Council member Mario Draghi said in a Berlin speech Thursday, but they may not be enough if things get worse. “Policies are taking a variety of shapes that can be grouped within two broad categories: emergency and structural responses,” said Mr. Draghi, who also heads Italy’s central bank. “Until now, the first remained typically national since each crisis was unique to the financial structure of the country and so were the remedies.

 

However, if the crisis were to become systemic - and the past weekend has shown just how sudden and dramatic the turn of events can be — I believe that an internationally coordinated effort will be necessary.” Mr. Draghi’s words have international heft, since he chairs the Financial Stability Forum — a group of global regulators and central bankers working on solutions for preventing the next blowup. (The Wall Street Journal 16/9/08).

 

Emergence of Islamic Single Currency

 

Finance chiefs of five of the six-member, oil-rich Gulf Cooperation Council approved a proposal to create a monetary union as a move toward adopting a single currency, according to the AFP. The six Islamic states constituting the Gulf Cooperation Council are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Oman pulled out of the agreement last year. Five states in the compact have agreed to set 2010 as the target date for the creation of a monetary union and the adoption of common currency. The emergence of an Islamic single currency among these oil-rich Middle Eastern countries marks a significant step in the emerging worldwide movement to abandon national currencies in favour of regional currencies, along the model where the EU states have abandoned their national currencies in favour of the European Central Bank and the euro. World Net Daily 21/9/08

 

US ‘will lose financial superpower status... The world will never be the same again

 

The US will lose its role as a global financial “superpower” in the wake of the financial crisis, Peer Steinbrück, the German finance minister, said on Thursday, blaming Washington for failing to take the regulatory steps that might have averted the crisis. “The US will lose its status as the superpower of the world financial system. This world will become multi­polar” with the emergence of stronger, better capitalised centres in Asia and Europe, Mr Steinbrück told the German parliament. “The world will never be the same again.” Financial Times 25/9/08

 

THE WALL STREET CRISIS: A SOMBRE WARNING By Gary Kah

 

On September 15th, Lehman Brothers, one of this nations oldest and most prestigious banking firms, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This represents the largest financial failure in U.S. history and will produce enormous ripple effects. It will impact our economy and markets more than any of the other negative financial developments of the past year. Why? Lehman owed its creditors a staggering $613 billion. Those parties will now be unable to regain their funds, nor spend or invest them elsewhere in the economy. The money has evaporated!

 

The Feds balked at rescuing the financial giant. They didn’t have the funds available. They had just bailed out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to the tune of $200 billion the week before. Our government has also stepped in with $85 billion to save AIG (American International Group) -- Americas largest insurer -- which was nearing bankruptcy. After helping AIG the Feds may have few resources left to channel elsewhere. The pot is drying up.

 

The government only has three options. It could raise our taxes in order to pay for these bailouts, which would extract money from the economy at a time when it needs more. It could print more currency, which would lead to hyper-inflation and an eventual collapse. Or, it could borrow even more from foreign entities -- if they are willing to loan us the money. This last option would further increase our colossal debt (currently over $10 trillion) and lead to our governments eventual bankruptcy.

 

The fact is our government is almost as broke as the institutions it is trying to assist. It is in no position to help. The obvious next question is, Who will bail out the U.S. Government when it goes broke?

 

Once the current system has become completely undone, I believe a new system will be proposed as the solution. It will include some form of global government based on regional economic arrangements, similar to the European Union and the proposed North American Union. Global planners have long understood there cant be a new one-world system until the old order has failed. Developments in the U.S. will most certainly impact the entire world.

 

Make no mistake, the current situation is very serious and will get worse. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan today warned, This is a once-in-a-century crisis.

 

We’re all doomed!

 

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling, announces that the current economic conditions are ‘arguably the worst they’ve been in 60 years’ and will get worse. Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, writes a draft letter leaked to the press saying that crime, violence, illegal working and even terrorism will surge because of the economic downturn.

 

Small wonder that newspaper columnists are quoting Private Fraser, the character from ‘Dad’s Army’, who ran around announcing in a high-pitched voice, ‘We’re all doomed!’

 

Unfortunately the situation is not a joke

 

A storm is hitting the world and none of our political or religious leaders has an answer. Many people in the western world are already struggling as a result of rising food and energy prices, job losses and problems in the housing market. For those who are already living in poverty the situation is even worse. Reuters (3/9/08) carried a story entitled: ‘Food crisis and silent famine to continue’. This spoke about global food shortages and multiple crises from climate change and energy and water scarcity causing a ‘silent famine’ that is pushing a 100 million people back into poverty in Africa. Many nations are braced for further instability after food riots in 37 countries as prices for basic foods soar.

 

An article in the Daily Telegraph (11/8/08) had the title ‘Worst of financial crisis is still to come?’ In it the IMF’s former chief economist Kenneth Rogoff said, ‘We’re not just going to see mid-sized banks go under in the next few months, we’re going to see a whopper, we’re going to see a big one, one of the big investment banks or big banks.’ On September 15, 2008 the fourth largest investment bank in the US, Lehman Brothers, collapsed.

 

In September the US government stepped in to save Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the financial companies that are tied up to roughly half the nation’s $12 trillion mortgage market. The deal which cost the US treasury $200 billion was justified by treasury Secretary Henry Paulson who said: ‘Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are so large and so interwoven in our financial system that a failure of either of them would cause great turmoil in our financial markets here at home and around the globe.’

 

Together, the agencies hold loans of $5 trillion. That is the largest debt ever held by any private company in history, larger than any other country’s debt, with the exception of that of the United States. Allowing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to collapse would have been like letting Japan or the United Kingdom go bankrupt. Global economic leaders say even those unimaginable scenarios would have paled beside the fallout from a Fannie/Freddie implosion. ‘The bankruptcy of Fannie and Freddie would have meant Armageddon,’ said Domenico Siniscalco, former finance minister of Italy. He added, ‘Meltdown of the financial system, the global financial system.’ 10% of China’s gross domestic product is invested in these companies.

 

After this action by the US treasury a correspondent to the Daily Telegraph asked the question ‘Who will bail out the United States of America?’ Good question. At the time of writing this article (15/9/08) US debt stands at over $9.6 trillion, that is $9,689,176,354,606! The debt has increased by $1.93 billion a day since 28/9/07. How was US National debt allowed to get so big? ‘The U.S. debt is the highest in the world. The only reason it was allowed to get this high is that the U.S. economy had been so strong and so stable for so long that everyone reasonably expected they would be paid back. In other words, the U.S. has been such a large customer that it has been allowed to run a huge tab.’ Kimberly Amadeo, About.com.

 

The next question is ‘What happens when the creditors call in their debts?’ Will the US collapse economically and therefore cease to be the world’s super power? Will the whole world banking and trade system collapse? Out of the chaos that ensues will a new world system emerge? Total chaos or the emergence of a dynamic world leader who has a plan to fix the system?

 

According to the Bible this age will end with a great time of shaking in the nations. At some point in this process God will supernaturally remove those who have saving faith in the Lord Jesus who died for our sins and rose again from the dead in the event known as the rapture of the church: ‘For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.’ 1 Thessalonians 4.16-17

 

Out of the confusion and chaos on the face of the earth a dynamic world leader will arise offering ‘peace and safety’. He will be hailed by many as the new Messiah or Saviour of the world. But he will turn out to be the anti-Messiah who brings in the final world dictatorship of Revelation 13 in which people are put onto a new economic system: ‘And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. … His number is 666.’ The technology based on RFID technology and Somark that we featured in our last magazine already exists for this. This could be implemented on humans so that they would receive a ‘mark‘ that could not be stolen or transferred that would be linked to a global database, being put together now under various national ID systems.

 

Revelation 18 describes the Fall of Babylon, the collapse of this system, as God pours out His wrath on it for its iniquity. ‘Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons … For all nations have drunk of the wine of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury. And I heard another voice from heaven saying, ‘Come out of her my people lest you share in her sins and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven and God has remembered her iniquities.’

 

The Fall of Babylon will happen at the end of the great tribulation period. Jesus described this period in these words: ‘For then there will be great tribulation such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no nor ever shall be And unless those days were shortened no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.’

 

This time will be an unprecedented crisis in human history which will affect all nations of the earth and bring the possibility of the end of all life on earth if God did not step in through the return of Jesus ‘shortening’ those days and bringing the time of human mismanagement of the planet to an end. (Matthew 24.27).

 

However we are not all doomed. Despite all this there is a glorious hope for the future. Jesus said ‘When these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.’ Luke 21.28. These things have begun to happen so we should look to the return of the Lord Jesus as the hope for the world. While people without faith are described by Jesus as experiencing heart failure for fear at the things which are coming on the earth (Luke 21.26), the believer has a totally different expectation: ‘We should live soberly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people zealous for good works.’ Titus 2.12-14.

 

Now is the day of salvation. Put your trust in Jesus today. Do not delay. Tomorrow may be too late. Here is a prayer to accept Jesus as your Saviour.

 

‘Dear Heavenly Father, I admit that I am a sinner and need your forgiveness. I believe that Jesus the Messiah died in my place, shedding His blood to pay for my sins, and that He rose again from the dead to give me eternal life. I am willing right now to turn from my sin and accept Jesus the Messiah as my personal Saviour and Lord. I commit my life to you and ask you to send the Holy Spirit into my life, to fill me and to take control and to help me become the kind of person you want me to be. Thank you Father for loving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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