The Present Economic Recession

Is this the economic collapse that Christian leaders have been predicting?

Are we in the Great Tribulation?

From the Message of

Bread Upon The Waters Ministry,

Jesus REALLY is coming soon. BE READY!!!

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For several decades now, a number of interpreters of Prophecy have been saying that there would be a major economic collapse, worldwide. In two of my Web pages, “The Proper Handling of Prophecy” and "Before the Tribulation: What Should We Expect?” I said, long since, that there will not be such a major economic collapse. I have received several emails in which the writers believed that the current economic crisis is the economic collapse that has been predicted. I say it is not. In both of my two pages linked above, I say that a recession for awhile is possible, but not a total economic collapse. I stand on it, and we are in a recession. More than that, at this posting (January 2011) it is beginning to look like we will be out of the recession in another year. Most of the leading economic indicators look good.

For the record, I do believe that our economic problems are a sign that the end is near, just as the general decline in morality and the rise of homosexuality in particular are signs that the end is near. Also, the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was part of the general distress that Jesus predicted as a sign that the end is near, as are all the other disasters we've been having. The oil spill fits the Biblical definition of a "pestilence". Such things are happening worldwide. These are all “signs of the times”. See Matthew 16:2-3 & 24:32-33.

Economic Collapse Predictions

The “economic collapse” predictions go back at least to David Wilkerson’s book, “The Vision”, published in the mid 1970’s. He effectively claimed divine inspiration for the book. Much of what Wilkerson said in that book has long since been proven false by history. For example, in that book he also prophesied that nude dancing would become common in churches and that it would lead to a new kind of incurable mental illness. You know that this has not happened. See Deuteronomy 18:22. Personally, I think a prophecy like that is the product of a corrupt mind. See Titus 1:15-16. You could call it a lie of the devil.

For those not familiar with David Wilkerson, he was a New York City evangelist (he died recently in an auto accident) who became famous in the late 1960’s for his success in evangelizing street gangs. His success was publicized in a book and later in a movie titled “The Cross and the Switchblade”. Building on that success, he has since established a big independent church in the Times Square area, called the Times Square Church. However, to my perception, he discredited himself completely by making a succession of false prophecies. When he knew that events have proven his prophecies false, he excused himself by saying “I’m not a prophet”. But then he went right ahead and made more wacko predictions. Other Christian leaders have engaged in similar behavior. Too many other Christians ignore this behavior and believe their predictions anyway.

What I See Happening In The Real World

Until recently, I worked at a regular full time job for a living in a large Manhattan law firm. (I have retired.) I live in Brooklyn.  I had to ride the New York City subway to get to work, and I had to take a nine city block walk to get from my home to the nearest subway station. On my way to the subway, I walked past several stores of the type that are referred to as deli-groceries in New York. (Such stores sell ordinary groceries plus made-to-order sandwiches, fresh salads, hot coffee and tea, etc.) Three of these stores have large shelves out on the sidewalk on which they put fresh cut flowers, fresh fruit, and other fresh produce. I have not noticed any empty shelves. Neither have I noticed a shortage of any other kind of food. This is the situation everywhere I go.

I worked on the upper floors of a Midtown Manhattan skyscraper overlooking Times Square. From the windows of my building, I could see several other large buildings being constructed nearby, three within a few minutes walk from my building.

I saw Times Square full of tourists. I also saw large cruise ships docked at the Hudson River piers on the west side of Manhattan.

Early in the summer of 2010, there was a big public aviation event over New York Harbor involving stunt flying and airplane racing. It was a big event that must have cost millions of dollars to produce.

On July 4, 2010 there was a huge fireworks display over the Hudson River, produced by Macy’s Department Stores. That too must have cost millions.

Apple Computers launched their new iPad and iPhone 4 products in 2010. Millions of people rushed to buy them.

Etc., Etc.

Somebody definitely has money. In fact, many people obviously do. Again, we are in a recession, howbeit a bad one, but not in a total economic collapse, not even close.

Update: January 2011: In the light of recent business news reports, it appears that the end of the recession is in sight. Most major economic indicators presently look good. Jobless rates are expected to fall dramatically this year.

False Prophecies

Back in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, many Christians believed a pseudo-scientific book called “The Jupiter Effect” and thought that a total lineup of the planets in space would trigger a huge earthquake that would destroy Los Angeles, California. There was no earthquake, and neither was there a total lineup of the planets. See my page “Report on the Stupider Effect”. Scroll down to “The Christian Attitude Toward Science”.

In the late 1990’s, Christians associated the prophecies of the “economic collapse” with the “Y2K Bug”, and the social and economic disaster it was supposed to cause. That didn’t happen either. See my page "Where Is The Promise?” Scroll down to the “Special Note: (February, 1999)”. Although the Y2K Bug might have been a problem, there was plenty being done to fix it at the time I put in the update. I knew that, but the fearmongers willfully ignored it. After it was over, one of them publicly admitted that he deliberately ignored what was being done. That kind of behavior is called intellectual dishonesty.

In both cases, Christians believed that those falsely predicted events would start the Great Tribulation. Again, the events did not happen. Now, many people think that because we are in a bad recession, we are in the Tribulation. I am certain that we are not. As it stands, there is almost zero real Biblical support for the idea. We can say that we are in the Time of the End, as in Daniel 12:4 & 9, but not in the Great Tribulation. When the Tribulation starts, it will be the end of the world as we know it. See my page "A Mountain Burning With Fire".

There is a practice that false prophets have, both of the secular “famous psychic” variety and the Christian “prophet” variety, of re-interpreting their own prophecies to make it seem that events have fulfilled their false predictions. When they do that, they are deliberately twisting their own words and deliberately misunderstanding the real events they are talking about. When Christian “prophets” say that this recession is the economic collapse they have been predicting, they are doing just that. That this happens has been noticed in the secular world, but somehow many Christians can’t seem to see it. If they did, and if they really obeyed God, they would stop listening to those “prophets”.

The Four Horsemen

There is just one Bible prophecy that, to my thinking, may include the present recession in its meaning. It is Revelation 6:5-6, part of the famous vision of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. But remember, I said it includes the recession; it is not just about that. I have   concluded that the Four Horsemen represent four social/spiritual forces that will affect the world during the Time of the End, that is, the period immediately before the Tribulation, and I think that they are 'riding' now. The black horse and its rider seem to predict serious economic problems. For example, consider the words of Rev. 6:6.

And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.

This verse, read in the original Greek, and understood in terms of Bible times, seems to prophesy outrageously high prices for basic food staples. The words "a measure of wheat for a penny" could be loosely interpreted and paraphrased for our times with the words "a loaf of bread for a day's wages" while retaining the basic idea. But all we can specifically say about the passage is that the black horse and its rider seem to represent serious economic problems, especially problems resulting in shortages of food.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the present recession can be taken as a sign that we are in the Time of the End, but this is not the total economic collapse that false prophets have been predicting. There is nothing in the Bible that specifically prophesies such an event. The idea of such a collapse is an extra-Biblical human invention. Neither does the recession mean that we are in the Great Tribulation. When the Tribulation really begins, economic recessions will be the least of the problems. That event is still in the future, though, to my thinking, not very far in the future.

See my page, “When Will Jesus Come Again?"

Our present economic problems are quite complex, and it is now expected in the world of big business and government that it will take several years for a full economic recovery. Yet I remain convinced that it all will be behind us when the Great Tribulation really begins. There are a number of Scriptural references, notably Luke 17:26-29 and I Thessalonians 5:3 that suggest that when that happens, everything will seem to be alright, and everyone will be taken by surprise. Everyone, that is, but the Christians who are really ready.

Bottom line: this recession is not the economic collapse that has been prophesied. We are not in the Great Tribulation yet, either, but, again, it is not far away in the future.

Jesus REALLY is coming soon. BE READY!!!

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Contact author; William D. Brehm, comingsoon@rcn.com