HAPPY NEW YEAR!?
But, what to do? Well, more people than ever are planting their own gardens; natural foods are all the rage; “go to the ant, thou sluggard” and all that.
Beware if you live off the supermarket shelves, because the farmers are fed up with their slice of the price of food. The largest single industry in America, and probably the world, is tired of being maligned, looked down on and cheated. They are threatening to just quit growing anything for us (they’ll put in a garden for themselves, of course) and see how we like to fast!
Can you imagine the food riots that would erupt; the farms looted and pillaged by starving city citizens? Can’t happen? Better not bet on it! The farmers are organizing, and they mean business!
The spiraling cost of real estate makes home owners feel good and prospective buyers feel bad. The average cost of a new house, now running quickly from $40,000 to $50,000, is forcing people to live like sardines in high-rise apartment house complexes, condominiums and townhouses. Tensions rise with the rents. The market price is determined by the buyer-seller ratio. Cost of materials and labor is outpacing the rest of the economy, and even do-it-yourselfers are glum. What if the bubble bursts, and there are no buyers? Sources I have indicate agricultural land is the best investment. Anything that will grow food will be increasingly valuable.
The contrast of God’s Kingdom and its economy is amazing: Abundant harvests with the planter following in the footsteps of the reaper (Amos 9:13). Every man with his own land (under his own fig tree). No heavy taxation for defense because “nations will not learn war anymore” and we will “beat our swords into plowshares” (Isa. 2:1-4). That’s the motto of the “United(?) Nations,” by the way – but no way the UN will ever bring it about.
High unemployment is a nagging headache for most Western economies. Of course you could move to China – I understand there is no unemployment there!
Candidate Carter promised surcease of the unemployed. President Carter will find a frustratingly high unemployment percentage fits into the paradox of jobs going begging in these next years.
Did you hear about the 61-year-old man who applied for 24 jobs out of the local paper – and got hired for 20 of them in one week’s time? Many people don’t want jobs – they just want paychecks. And if they can get them from the government (whatever that is), then why should they work for a living? Mark it down in your little red (for deficit) book: higher unemployment, more jobs going begging, higher taxes for those who do work to pay for those who don’t – and won’t.
Contrast God’s unemployment plan which is too simple to be considered in today’s complex world. Paul spelled it out in the New Testament: “This should be your ambition: to live a quiet life, minding your own business and doing your own work, just as we told you before. As a result, people who are not Christians will trust and respect you, and you will not need to depend on others for enough money to pay your bills…. Stay away from any Christian who spends his days in laziness and does not follow the ideal of hard work we set up for you. For you well know that you ought to follow our example: you never saw us loafing; we never accepted food from anyone without buying it; we worked hard day and night for the money we needed to live on, in order that we would not be a burden to any of you. It wasn’t that we didn’t have the right to ask you to feed us, but we wanted to show you, firsthand, how you should work for your living. Even while we were still there with you we gave you this rule: ‘He who does not work shall not eat'” (I Thess. 4:11-12; II Thess. 3:7-10, The Living Bible).
The other side of the coin is that a servant is worthy of his hire, and for those who work doubly hard, they get double pay! And, of course, there is ample biblical legislation to care for the genuine needy!
God says He wishes above all things that we should prosper and be in good health – that He wants His people to live off the fatness of the land. And, after all, He is the one who put all the riches in the earth!
The only thing God demands is that we don’t make the pursuit of physical things uppermost in our minds. “So don’t worry at all [a better translation might be “don’t be overly concerned”] about having enough food and clothing. Why be like the heathen? [Now that’s a thought to apply even to the calendar!] For they take pride in all these things and are deeply concerned about them. But your heavenly Father already knows perfectly well that you need them, and he will give them to you if you give him first place in your life and live as he wants you to. So don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time [or, “sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof”]” (Matt. 6:31-34, The Living Bible).
Beyond that, God promises us a share in His eternal life and possession of the universe – and that is a lot to possess.
“He is governed best who is governed least,” a wise man once said. God’s plan for mankind is to bring us into His Kingdom as His own sons, living, acting, thinking as He does. Totally self-governing – as He is!
But what about today’s human governments? More bad news. Government begets government. In England one out of every four is working for the government. Here in the United States we are a little behind, with only one out of five – but give us time – it won’t take us much longer to catch up!
Candidate Carter promised us government reform. President Carter established the first new government department in 11 years, and it is going to cost you and me twenty billion dollars the first year! If you thought the cost of government was high before, you will soon realize that it was only “peanuts” compared with what’s coming!
You had better rememorize Psalm 23, because we are headed through the “valley of the shadow of death.” The giant of the West is curling up into a ball of isolationism, shrinking in fear from the mice that roar!
Way back in Genesis God promised us “the gates of our enemies,” and together with the British Empire we possessed most of them in the last century. But we’ve been busy giving them away! (Read our free booklet The United States and British Commonwealth in Prophecy.)
God promises to take back all the good things He gave us: “I will no longer give her rich harvests of grain in its season, or wine at the time of the grape harvest. Now I will expose her nakedness in public for all her lovers [biblical language for “allies”] to see, and no one will be able to rescue her from my hand” (Hosea 2:9-10, The Living Bible).
God uses even stronger language in Ezekiel 16 (and you’ll have to admit it does seem to fit!): “Prostitutes charge for their services – men pay with many gifts. But not you, you give them gifts, bribing them to come to you! So you are different from other prostitutes. But you had to pay them, for no one wanted you” (verses 33,34, The Living Bible).
Our Founding Fathers would turn over in their graves if they could see the mess we are in today. Our “rights” have disappeared under the banner of maintaining them. The apostle John in the book of Revelation and writer George Orwell in his book 1984 both foresaw the problem: buying and selling, having and not having a job totally controlled by government.
You may end up under another government with another number – and as I bring it up let me say ahead of time that I am NOT saying that the “number in their right hands and in their foreheads” is the Social Security number – But, let’s just see what now is, and what is possible in John’s and Orwell’s vision of our next few years!
“Social Security” – what a wonderful sound! And when it was inaugurated we were all promised our number would never be used for anything but Social Security! Do you know your number? What do you use it for?
The computer is an invention of the rank of writing and the wheel: It has completely revolutionized our society. Don’t misunderstand me. Computers are not bad, but they have been put to. Some uncomfortable uses.
Names are okay, but computers prefer numbers. The one number you have which is unique to you is your Social Security number. Once you have that unique number it is convenient for government and business to keep track of as many things about you as possible with reference to that one number. So the promise of its single use goes by the wayside, as so many other promises, and you and I become increasingly naked and have our privacy invaded to the last jot and tittle – or should I say bit and bite! For the fun of it, why not figure out how many uses your number is now being put to? You might start by counting the credit cards you carry – each company asked for your number before issuing you their little plastic rectangle.
Credit rating? Driver’s license? Bank account? Gun registration? Crop allotments? Timber harvest? The amount of water in your well? The checks you write? The life-style you lead; the things you buy? Did you know, by the way, that every check you have ever written is microfilmed and on file and available to. government and business alike?
Need cash? What for? Paper money is only redeemable in more paper money! Besides, it’s what money can buy: that is important, not the money itself. Checking accounts help create more money. Credit cards do too. But they can be doctored, stolen, misused. Wouldn’t it be nice if they offered to just tattoo your unique number on the back of your hand invisibly, of course and all you had to do was pass it under a small machine to buy and sell, to pay and get paid? No one could steal it; nobody else could use your number! Can’t happen? Don’t bet on it!
There will be no privacy in God’s Kingdom either. He knows not only all the facts about us, but even our every thought. He knows our heart and our very intent. That’s fine! As long as GOD is governing I won’t mind that invasion of privacy – but with human beings in control to such an extent, I get uneasy. How about you? With corruption rampant, terrorism spreading worldwide, nuclear holocaust around the corner, society in a moral sinkhole, the family disintegrating, famine, pollution and pestilence staring the human race in the face, I can only pray: “Thy Kingdom come!”
That will be the really good news!
Happy New Year!