The recent collapse of giant financial institutions in the US (banks, building societies, and a multinational insurance company with assets in excess of one trillion dollars), gave rise to an unprecedented level of government support so save these institutions from closing their doors. This intervention checked the quick downward spiralling of stock exchanges (securities exchanges) worldwide, although not necessarily on the long term. Even as far away as Russia, financial institutions experienced tremendous pressure, prompting the Russian government to prevent chaos through a large-scale rescue operation and the temporary shutting down of their stock exchange.
What are the implications of this extraordinary financial crisis in the world, and the ensuing government intervention? Various experts are of the opinion that this is the end of the capitalist free market system as we knew it. The vast extent of the aid packages to the sinking enterprises effectively resulted in the nationalising of these institutions. When a government starts taking control of a country’s economy it inevitably paves the way to a socialist system.
In light of these developments it can be expected that future economic tendencies in the world will not predominantly be determined by market forces any longer but by government intervention in the economy. In this regard central banks that act under pressure of their own governments’ policies are playing a major role. They increased the supply of money too sharply and made it available to banks at very low rates. The consequence was that even beginners with low salaries started living far above their income. Almost all of them could obtain big loans to buy houses and expensive cars. Whenever they have cash-flow problems they get credit cards that allow them to buy more goods on credit.
Sharply rising inflation was caused in this way as everything that was offered by the market was bought with cheap credit. Another factor which pushed up the rate of inflation was the soaring oil price. These things caused the downfall of many people who were so overburdened by debt that they could simply not afford to pay the increased instalments. Cars and houses were repossessed by banks and sold again at a loss. Eventually this also caused the collapse of many banks.
A similar process in SA
In South Africa, the drastic lowering of interest rates by the Reserve Bank resulted in cheap credit to millions of people which, in turn, sharply increased the demand for property and other goods. Suddenly it appeared as if the ANC government was creating a large wave of prosperity for the entire country. In the process, keen real estate buyers caused property prices to shoot up sky-high. Between 2000 and 2006, house prices increased between 300% and 400%. Houses that were bought for around R400 000.00 in 2000 were sold for more than R1.3 million in 2006. This increase was so unrealistic that house prices started falling during the past year. Together with a major downturn in the building industry the economy also cooled down and is now heading for a recession. Banks are busily repossessing houses and cars which, due to increasing interest rates, can no longer be paid for by their owners. New buyers find it hard to obtain house loans as most of them do not comply with the conditions imposed by the new credit law.
The artificially created wave of prosperity has collapsed, causing poverty to increase more rapidly than in the past. By 2006 the Reserve Bank realised that they had made a mistake in making money available at such low rates. They then started increasing the interest rate in an effort to curb the inflation that they had helped to set in motion. But the damage was already done. The more interest rates are adjusted upwards, the faster houses and other possessions are repossessed because of non-payment. What will the banks do with all the repossessed property which is worth less than the outstanding balance? What happened in the US will also happen here – banks will lose millions of rand.
Since South Africa was taken over by the ANC on national, provincial and local levels (municipalities), the leaders consumed the fat of the land while at the same time – due to their inability, lust for power and poor administration – they have been steering the country to a point of corruption and a virtual disintegration of services. In many cases basic services are no longer rendered in a reasonable way. The same happened to large corporations such as Escom which was, on account of affirmative action, also taken over by poorly qualified and inexperienced people. Remuneration packages paid to members in top management positions in some cases are five times bigger than during the time of the previous rule. All these injustices and poor services, together with the inability of the new government to maintain law and order, have caused more than a million people to leave the country – many of them highly skilled.
Now that the wealth of many years’ of hard work and dedication has been consumed and the infrastructure becomes more and more dilapidated by the day, only the skeletons of formerly thriving enterprises, as well as the bits and pieces of the well organised society of yesteryear, remain in the dim moonlight of Dark Africa’s sombre landscape. The “fat cows” of Western civilisation were slaughtered and consumed in Africa, and the whites then deliberately marginalised. Black interest groups in Africa now turn against one another and wage a bitter struggle for supremacy over what is still left in their countries. A moral duty is still imposed on the rich countries to care for them.
A New World Order
On the international arena it more than ever is evident that a new world order is considered as a matter of urgency in order to handle global problems from a centralised power base. Further motivation is the fact that rich countries such as the US have so many internal problems to solve, and are waging so many unnecessary and very costly wars, that they do not have any money left to assist poor countries. In the same way the US and Russia have started taking control of their economies through nationalisation, the emerging new world order will exercise full control over the future world economy. According to the Bible the Antichrist will be the head of this government and he will institute a cashless economy in which nobody will be able to buy or sell without a special number (Rev. 13:1-18). No independent banks or other financial institutions will exist anymore.
From the position in which poor, third world countries find themselves, a new world order is even less avoidable, as they are absolutely unable to survive without extensive international aid in all spheres of life (economic, technological, etc.). Compare the various governments in Africa where division, lust for power, self-enrichment, dishonesty, and the inability to collaborate with other people in a democratic way, are busy dragging this continent back to the Dark Middle Ages. They will accept any international dispensation offering advantages to them.
The final transition
The world needs only one or two dramatic events to effect the transition to a new world order. A Middle East war – most likely between Russian supported Iran and American supported Israel – will be a big factor to promote this move. Such a war will cause the blocking of oil exports from the Persian Gulf. Iran has already threatened that it would shut the Strait of Hormuz to bar the exportation of oil from the Gulf region to markets in the rest of the world.
The possibility of war in this region often prompts the US to deploy warships in the Persian Gulf. Iran has also advanced very far in its development of nuclear weapons. This radical Muslim state has committed itself to the annihilation of Israel with a view to establishing an Islamic world state in the Middle East, with Jerusalem (Al Quds) as its capital. They also strive for the destruction of Israel’s allies – particularly America.
It is obvious that a war in this region will soon escalate widely, with various other Muslim states also participating. This war will have a disastrous impact on the world economy, and particularly the stock markets, to say the least. This crisis will probably induce the nations, through the mediation of the UN and its Security Council, to establish a world government with executive powers, including the power to impose compulsory taxes on member states.
According to the Bible the Antichrist will suddenly appear on the scene in the Middle East as a peacemaker (Rev. 6:2). The whole world will marvel at him, follow him, and also worship him as the expected messiah of the world (Rev. 13:3-4). He will soon rise to a position of international leadership (Rev. 13:7).
The rapture will occur before the revelation of the Antichrist since the true believers, who are a temple of the Holy Spirit, are withholding his appearance (2 Thess. 2:6-10). This event will send strong shock-waves throughout the world, and the keys of many more unpaid houses will be returned to the already struggling banks. The Antichrist, however, will soon restore a degree of financial order and also introduce a false peace to the world, so he can be admired and followed by all as saviour and prince of peace.
All the dramatic events of the recent past are, therefore, only a prelude to yet more dramatic events which can be expected in the near future. The world is definitely at a crossroads – with the new route leading to an unknown future on earth.
Christians are also at this crossroads – but our future is upwards where the Lord Jesus has prepared a place for us (Luke 21:28; John 14:1-3). From Biblical prophecies we know what awaits the unsaved world. They, however, refuse to accept this scenario. They eagerly engage in the building of a human empire and only wait for the great “prince of peace” who will guide them along this new path. They will heartily embrace him, only to be greatly disillusioned later: “For when they say, Peace and safety! then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labour pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape” (1 Thess. 5:3). But as Christian believers we are not in darkness so that this day should overtake us as a thief (1 Thess. 5:4; Luke 21:36).
We still have the obligation to be light of a dark world and the salt of a corrupt earth, and should continue warning people against the serious consequences of current world events. The global unity which is so fervently sought by the world will lead to creating a platform for the world government, world economy and world religion of the coming Antichrist.