Where Is America in Biblical Prophecy?
The Lord prophesied that before His return a Fourth Kingdom would arise, often referred to as ''the revived Roman Empire,'' that would crush and rule over all the other kingdoms of the earth (Daniel 7:23). In more common terms, this implies a global, one-world government will someday exercise total sovereignty over virtually all of the people and nations of the earth. This suggests that America will eventually surrender its own national sovereignty and submit to the power, authority, and dominion of the coming Fourth Kingdom. Furthermore, there are many who ask, ''Why hasnt God judged America?''
Billy Grahams memorable quip several decades ago pointed out, ''If God doesnt judge America, He will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah!''
Thomas Jefferson expressed the same idea in 1781 when he opined, ''I tremble for my country when I recall that God is just, and His justice will not sleep forever.''
There are, at present, at least four emerging challenges to America: 1) Ezekiel 39:6, which hints at a nuclear exchange; 2) Al Qaeda, with its ''American Hiroshima''; 3) Iran, and its EMP threat; and 4) The collapse of the U.S. economy. It is this last one that is not widely understood.
Bretton Woods and Its Betrayal
The U.S. had positioned itself with this in mind before the war because it was known that America would end up supplying its allies with provisions, weapons, and thousands of other items during WW II, with the only acceptable form of payment being gold. Thus, the U.S. had accumulated a significant portion of the worlds gold by the conclusion of the war.
The Bretton Woods agreement worked well until the guns-and-butter policy of the 1960s was instituted and the money supply was expanded as never before to finance the Vietnam War and Lyndon Johnsons ''Great Society'' programs.
Crisis and Repudiation
A dollar crisis erupted in 1970-1971 when foreign central banks, who had been flooded with dollars funding U.S. deficits, began to demand payment for their dollars in gold according to the Bretton Woods agreement. The U.S. had printed so many dollars and borrowed so much money from foreign banks that U.S. gold reserves were rendered insufficient (by a ratio of over five to one!), making full payment in gold impossible. The crisis required an immediate solution to save America from default and bankruptcy.
The U.S. resorted to immediately severing the link between the dollar and gold, making it abundantly clear to all its creditors that America would never repay any of the billions of dollars it had borrowed with physical gold, so the depreciating paper dollars were then backed by nothing but the ''reputation'' of the U.S. Government.
The act of severing this link was functionally equivalent to an act of bankruptcy by the U.S. Government. However, because of its economic, political, and military power, no government on earth could oppose this action as they had no viable alternative. They were literally forced to continue accepting depreciating dollars in payment for their goods and services sold to America.
In order to ensure that the world had an economic reason to continue holding dollars, America made an agreement with Saudi Arabia wherein the Saudis would accept only U.S. dollars as payment for their oil. With this move the dollar suddenly became backed by the one commodity every nation had to have to survive: OIL! In order to buy oil one would have to own dollars to pay for it. Even though the dollar could no longer be exchanged for gold, it was now exchangeable for Black Gold: oil.
In exchange for accepting only U.S. dollars, America agreed to support the power and position of the House of Saud and to protect them if they were ever attacked by one of their neighbors. This guarantee was fulfilled when Saddam attacked Kuwait and threatened to attack Saudi Arabia in 1991. In the ensuing years world demand for oil continued to increase, and so did the demand for dollars, forcing foreign governments all over the world to accumulate increasing amounts of dollars in order to purchase their oil. Over time, world markets evolved to the point where other commodities such as wheat, corn, soybeans, natural gas, gold, silver, and many others were all traded in dollars. Thus, the position of the U.S. dollar as the worlds reserve currency was firmly established, as was the requirement of foreign central banks to accumulate dollars to pay for all these commodities purchased on the world market.
With this system firmly in place the U.S. could then print and borrow as much money as was needed without regard to any budget discipline whatsoever. As long as the dollar was the only acceptable means of payment for oil, its dominant position as the worlds reserve currency was assured, and America could borrow and spend whatever it wanted without fear of flooding the globe with excess dollars. The supremacy of the U.S. dollar as the worlds reserve currency ensured that America could dominate the world economically and politically, and could raise the necessary amount of cash through borrowings to fund (among other things) the military, making it the most formidable military power on earth.
U.S. fiscal discipline during the 80s and 90s was lax, but it was nothing compared to what was to take place under the current administration, which has embarked on the largest borrowing spree in the nations history. America began to experience larger and larger current account deficits as it spent billions more every month on goods and services than it sold abroad. During 2005, the current trade deficit increased to an annualized $800 billion! Total U.S. outstanding debt now exceeds a staggering $8 trillion dollars, of which a large majority is owed to foreigners.
This staggering mountain of debt poses one of the greatest threats to the economic survival of the United States if circumstances were to arise wherein the dollar was not the only currency that nations could use to pay for their oil. If nations suddenly had a choice as to whether to pay for oil in euros rather than dollars, the supremacy of the American dollar would be seriously threatened, along with its economic viability.
The primary risk for America, should this option become available, would manifest itself in reduced demand for dollars on the global foreign exchange markets, as nations would require fewer and fewer dollars to pay for their oil. Reduced demand for any item implies a lower price down the road, and this dynamic would doubtless result in a depreciating dollar relative to other global currencies. Foreign central banks, needing more euros to buy oil, would seek to denominate ever increasing amounts of their foreign currency reserves in non-dollar currencies.
This in turn would mean that America would find it increasingly more difficult to borrow the $3 billion dollars a day it must have to keep the U.S. economy afloat, pay the interest on $8 trillion dollars in debt, as well as continue to fund its enormous continuing deficit.
Why Did America Really Invade Iraq?
The stated reason by the Bush Administration for invading Iraq was that Saddam possessed weapons of mass destruction and was prepared to use them against Israel, Iraqs other neighbors, and possibly America.1 There are some that believe that the real reasons why America invaded Iraq are found in events and policy development that happened before the invasion but which were never revealed to the American public. There are two such reasons suggested:
First, to ensure that the dollar remained unchallenged as the worlds reserve currency, so that the U.S. could continue to fund its massive deficits and sustain its economy and its political and military supremacy. What does the dollar have to do with all of this and how does the invasion of Iraq fit into the picture?
It seems that Saddam sealed his fate in September 2000, when he demanded that all Iraqi oil sold under the U.N. Oil for Food Program must be paid for in euros rather than dollars. Saddams actions were a direct threat to the supremacy of the U.S. dollar as the worlds reserve currency and the ability of the U.S. to continue to fund its massive deficits. This is born out by the fact that two months after the U.S. invaded Iraq, the Oil for Food program was terminated and all of the Iraqi euro accounts were switched back to dollars. No longer did the world have the option of buying oil from Iraq and paying for it in euros.
Forcing the Iraqi accounts to convert from euros to dollars cost the Iraqis a great deal of money because the dollar had fallen in value relative to the Euro by some 13%! Not surprisingly, this detail has never been prominently mentioned by the five U.S. major media conglomerates who control 90% of information flow in the U.S., but confirmation of this vital fact provides insight into one of the crucial - yet overlooked- rationales for the 2003 Iraq war.
The second possible reason for the Iraq war is hinted at in a 1999 speech given by Dick Cheney while he was still CEO of Halliburton:
By some estimates, there will be an average of two-percent annual growth in global oil demand over the years ahead, along with, conservatively, a three-percent natural decline in production from existing reserves. That means by 2010 we will need on the order of an additional 50 million barrels a day.2
If the Vice President of the United States truly believed, as he stated before becoming Vice President, that world oil production was about to peak and go into decline, would this be sufficient motivation for the U.S. to ensure its economic survival by sending its military to Iraq in order to secure control over the second-largest oil and gas reserves on earth?
Who Opposed the War and Why?
The nations who vehemently opposed the war in Iraq were Russia, Germany, France, and China. The real underlying reason was never spoken of by the press or by the Administration. The reason all these nations opposed the war was because they all had contracts to purchase and develop Iraqs vast oil and gas reserves. American and British oil giants were excluded by Saddam and left out in the cold. It is significant that, after the U.S. conquered Iraq, most of these contracts and agreements with France, Germany, Russia, and China were cancelled and given to U.S. and British Oil companies. To the victor go the spoils.
Saddam had begun the process of excluding American and British oil and gas corporations from acquiring stakes in Iraqs bountiful hydrocarbons in the spring of 1997. Relief to Iraqis and restored confidence in the durability of the Saddam regime by the international community had already begun to occur after the UNs Oil for Food scheme was introduced the previous December.
A consortium of Russian companies, led by the state-owned Lukoil, took a 75 percent share (with the state-owned Iraq National Oil Company taking 25 percent) in a joint corporation to develop the West Qurna oil field in southern Iraq. This oil field holds 11 billion barrels of oil - a third of the total U.S. oil reserves. Then, China National Petroleum Corporation entered the scene and entered into an agreement to develop the Adhab oil field.
Chinas lead was followed by Total Societe Anonyme of France (now TotalFinaElf), which agreed to develop Nahr Omar oil field in the south - almost as bountiful a field as the West Qurna. Then Ranger Oil of Canada secured a $250 million contract for field development and exploration in the Western Desert, followed by Indias Oil & Natural Gas Corporation and Reliance Petroleums signing of a deal to develop the Tuba oil field.3
Without exception, almost all of the above contracts to develop, transport, and purchase Iraqs oil were cancelled and declared null and void by the Bush Administration after the war was over. These same contracts were then awarded to British and American oil giants. It is readily apparent that securing control over the development, sale, transportation, and distribution of these oil and gas reserves for America and Britain was undoubtedly one of the primary reasons for the war in Iraq. This was undoubtedly grounded in the recognition that world oil production would peak sometime between 2006 and 2010.
In July 2003, two major oil companies agreed to buy 10 million barrels of Iraqi oil under the first long-term contracts to be offered by Iraq since the end of the war. BP, PLC and Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Cos. each had announced that they expected to ship two million barrels of Basra Light crude per month, starting in August and ending in December. They would load the oil on tankers at Iraqs Persian Gulf export terminal of Mina al-Bakr. This was a reward for British participation in the invasion and conquering of Iraq.
U.S. Executive Order #13303
The veracity of these actions appear confirmed by executive order. In May 2003, President George Bush issued Executive Order #13303, which stated:
...Any attachment, judgment, decree, lien, execution, garnishment, or other judicial process is prohibited, and shall be deemed null and void with respect to... all Iraqi petroleum and petroleum products and interests therein....
With this executive order the President granted American oil companies, or individuals who are involved in the production, transportation, or distribution of Iraqi oil, a lifetime exemption from any kind of legal action against them in the United States.
''In other words, if Exxon-Mobil or Chevron-Texaco touch Iraqi oil, anything they or anyone else does with it is immune from legal proceedings in the U.S.,'' explained Jim Vallette, an analyst with the Sustainable Energy & Economy Network of the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington D.C.
This action made it impossible for any of the nations who had their contracts nullified by the President to sue to reinstate them because the oil companies to whom they were given are immune from any judicial proceeding against them in the United States! ''Effectively, Bush has unilaterally declared Iraqi oil to be the unassailable province of U.S. and British oil corporations,'' Vallette added.
We can more often judge the true motives of nations and leaders not by what they say, but by what they do. Their actions reveal their true motives, not what they say for public consumption.
The Lifeblood of the American Economy
Oil is the lifeblood of the American economy. The U.S. has approximately 5% of the worlds population but consumes over 20% or more of the worlds daily oil production. What will be the consequences if we are rapidly approaching the time when world oil production peaks and the price of oil continues to skyrocket, choking off economic activity and creating massive unemployment?
With nations like China and India growing exponentially, the demand for oil cannot go anywhere but up. Where will the oil production come from to meet the demand of two nations that possess 2.4 billion people, as they seek to purchase new cars, trucks, tractors, and all of the other products that are petroleum based? Continuously increasing oil prices could at some point cause the U.S. economy to shrink to unimaginable levels. Almost everything we use today in our modern life has petroleum as its base: from plastics to fertilizer to gas for your car - they all utilize petroleum as their base. Food production is almost totally dependent upon fuel and fertilizers that are petroleum based.
Is the world really approaching a time when the price of oil will force the price of food to levels unknown in modern history?
And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, ''A quart of wheat for a denarius (a days wages), and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine.'' - Revelation 6:6
The IOB (Iranian Oil Bourse) could accelerate the already existent global trend of shifting foreign currency reserves from dollars to euros. ''Countries could begin the process of switching to euro reserves from dollar reserves and this could bring down the value of the U.S. currency. Imports would start to cost Americans a lot more. As countries and businesses convert their dollar assets into euro assets, the U.S. property bubble would, without doubt, burst.''4
If oil trades in euros, it is only a matter of time before wheat, soybeans, natural gas, gold, silver, copper, and all of the other major commodities will come to be traded in euros as well. Nations want to protect their own interests, and no nation wants to have its reserves denominated in a currency that is depreciating, but rather in one that is appreciating, or is at least stable.
As nations begin to choose the euro over the dollar, the U.S. Treasurys ability to finance the U.S. deficit and pay the interest expense on $8 trillion dollars will become increasingly more difficult. We will be forced to make some very hard choices in order to preserve our economy. Among the possibilities are: substantially raising taxes, making major cuts in spending in all areas (including the military), raising interest rates to whatever levels it takes to enable the U.S. Treasury to continue to fund the deficit, or simply by just printing money to fund the deficit, leading to sustained and possible hyperinflation.
These coming events could portend horrific economic consequences for the U.S. economy and for the lifestyle we have come to know and expect.
If this scenario begins to unfold, individuals who have excessive mortgage and credit card debt, or who have loans - personal or business - that float with the prime rate, will have to pay ever increasing interest rates, which at some point leads to massive defaults and bankruptcies. It appears that there could be substantial economic dislocations in America, probably leading to unemployment levels unknown in modern times, which would undoubtedly bring on severe financial distress for millions of Americans. The lifestyle we have enjoyed and have become accustomed to could change dramatically in the coming years.
The Missing Report Card
There is a new Chairman of the Federal Reserve System - regarded by many as the most powerful non-elected official in the world: Ben Benanke. (Under Greenspans 18-year tenure, the U.S. dollars value was cut in half.) It will be important to watch how he deals with the forthcoming debt dilemmas.
Until 1971 the Federal Reserve System, also known as ''the Fed,'' defined the money supply as equal to the sum of currency in circulation (excluding bank vault cash) and demand deposits (checking accounts). This definition of the money supply ignored saving accounts and time deposits (accounts that earned interest but could not be withdrawn without penalty until they matured). Monetary authorities and economists became concerned that estimates of monetary growth could be misleading if those estimates ignored savings accounts and time deposits.
In 1971 the Federal Reserve began publishing measures of broader monetary supplies. The monetary aggregates were given the names M1, M2, and M3. M1 was comparable to the original money supply measure - that is, currency in circulation and demand deposits. M2 equaled M1 plus accounts such as savings accounts and small time deposits. M3 was an even broader measure, adding in larger time deposits. M3 is, in effect, a primary report card on the Fed and the control of inflation.
However, effective March 23, 2006, the M3 will now no longer be reported!
It is also significant to note that turnover has been continuing at the top posts of the Federal Reserve: Fed Vice Chairman, Roger Ferguson unexpectedly announced he was stepping down. This on the heels of the resignation of the Philadelphia Fed Regional Bank President Anthony Santomero, which followed resignations of two of the seven Fed Governor spots and six of the twelve Fed Regional Bank President posts over the preceding two years.
What do they see coming?
One World Currency
How could America, and the nations of the world, lose their sovereignty without a shot being fired? Can you imagine the panic that will take place in the markets of the world if the dollar crashes? With 70% of the worlds reserves held in dollars, nations may watch helplessly as their currency reserves evaporate as the value of the dollar plummets. Realize that the U.S. is now the worlds largest debtor. And the Bible cautions us, ''The borrower is servant to the lender.''5
One solution to the forthcoming ''dollar crisis'' could be the creation of a ''one world currency,'' prophesied in the Bible. The leaders of the world will seek to establish a one-world currency. (Already we hear talk, in the hallways of the Bank of International Settlements, of an ''Amero,'' a unified currency for North America.)
To move toward a one-world currency, the world leaders would create and empower a world governing body that would have control over the creation, supply, and distribution of money worldwide. When a nation gives up its control over the printing of its money to someone else, it gives up its sovereignty (e.g., to the Fourth Kingdom described in the book of Daniel?).
The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. - Daniel 7:23
There will be exciting times ahead! But we need to be diligent and very disciplined in regards to our personal stewardship. This topic is discussed in our recent briefing package, The Kings of the East, available this month on DVD as well as audio formats. Seehere for details.