Are You PREPARED?
Events prophesied in your Bible are now beginning to occur with increasing frequency. In this Work of the living God, we are able to warn you about what is going to happen soon. We are not talking about decades in the future. We are talking about Bible prophecies that will intensify within the next five to 15 years of your life!
Please understand. We are not "scaremongers." We love our fellow man. So it is our responsibility to warn our peoples—ahead of time—to prepare for the future. Most of our advice is spiritual in nature. However, in this editorial I want to give you some common sense advice involving your physical survival and your financial well-being.
We must always remember the "Big Picture" prophecy of Matthew 24:6–11. Christ explains that there will be smaller wars within "nations" and major conflicts between "kingdoms." He indicates in Luke 21:11 that "fearful sights"—or, as a number of translations have it, "terrors"—will come upon us, as well as truly "great" earthquakes at the time of the end. Concurrently, there will be famine and disease epidemics.
If we are truly Bible-believing Christians, we need to prepare for these situations. We are reminded of the old adage, "God helps those who help themselves!" Many examples indicate that although God will often intervene supernaturally to deliver us, He expects us to use wisdom and do our part to protect ourselves.
God warned Joseph, back in the land of Egypt, to set aside extra food for a prophesied famine (Genesis 41:25–57). Obviously, God could have said: "Don't worry or take any evasive action, I will simply deliver you—no matter what happens!" However, the Bible—which reveals the mind of God—indicates that God wanted Joseph and his people to go through the experience of setting aside extra foodstuffs and learning to do their part in preparing for a future calamity. As the Apostle James wrote, "faith without works is dead" (James 2:20).
It is better for human beings to learn the lessons through these situations, and experience exercising caution, wisdom and perseverance, rather than having God "deliver" us from every possible catastrophe. For God is training us to be His full sons in His Kingdom and family forever. We must learn to develop the understanding of His will and the wisdom to do what is right in handling many different situations. Then we will be better fit and better prepared to be kings and priests, ruling under Christ, in Tomorrow's World.
Our Father tells us in Proverbs 22:3 that a "prudent man foresees evil and hides himself, but the simple pass on and are punished." Obviously, God does not want us to be cowards. But it is also obvious that a wise man or woman should sometimes "hide himself"—take evasive action—or be secretly let down over the city wall and "flee"—as the Apostle Paul did in a dangerous situation (Acts 9:23–25)!
So we must each examine our own situation to determine what action we should take. Are we living in a low-lying coastal area where we may be in danger at a time of increasing hurricanes, tsunamis or similar natural disasters? Do we have at least a week's supply of emergency food and water, flashlight batteries, a first-aid kit, a battery-powered radio, prescription medications and other essential items? Have we read the instructions from our nation or region about how to prepare for such emergencies as hurricanes, earthquakes or terrorists attacks?
I also want to strongly encourage our subscribers—especially the Americans—to prepare for a financial emergency that may strike our nation within a very few years. Although I am certainly not a financial expert, I do have access to many very reliable news sources. Right now, more and more news reports are warning of an impending financial collapse that may devastate the United States within the next several years! Note carefully a few highlights from a September 12, 2004 article by Carolyn Lochhead in the San Francisco Chronicle:
"The first of the 77 million-strong Baby Boom generation will begin to retire in just four years.… 'Chilling' is the word U.S. Comptroller General David Walker uses to describe the budget outlook.
'The long-term budget projections are just horrifying,' added Leonard Burman, co-director of tax policy for the Urban Institute. 'I've got four children and it really disturbs me. I just think it's irresponsible what we're doing to them.' ….
'To give you [an] idea how big the problem is,' said Laurence Kotlikoff, economics chairman at Boston University, who has written extensively on the subject, to close a $51 trillion fiscal gap, 'you'd have to have an immediate and permanent 78 percent hike in the federal income tax.'
These obligations are not imaginary. And unlike the 1980s and 1990s, economic growth cannot bail out the government because the Baby Boom retirement is at hand. Those born in 1946 will reach age 62 in 2008, allowing them to take early retirement and receive Social Security benefits.… A pathbreaking study by Jagadeesh Gokhale of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland and Knet Smetters, a former deputy assistant secretary at the Treasury—commissioned by former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill—estimated a $44 trillion fiscal gap. It laid out a few painful options on how to meet the liabilities:
More than double the payroll tax, immediately and forever, from 15.3 percent of wages to nearly 32 percent; Raise income taxes by two-thirds, immediately and forever;
Cut Social Security and Medicare benefits by 45 percent, immediately and forever;
Or eliminate forever all discretionary spending, which includes the military, homeland security, highways, courts, national parks and most of what the federal government does outside of the transfer of payments to the elderly.
Such corrective actions grow more severe each year. Waiting just until 2008, the end of the next presidency, would mean raising the payroll tax to 33.5 percent instead of 32 percent, the study found.
Gokhale said that fresh numbers from the Medicare trustees show the fiscal gap has since grown to $72 trillion, $10 trillion of that for Social Security and an astonishing $62 trillion for Medicare, the government health care program for the elderly."
Does an amount like $72 trillion get your attention? Does the need to raise the income tax by two-thirds—"immediately and forever"—seem significant? Does the need to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits by nearly half seem serious?
And whom have we just quoted? Some religious fanatics or financial weirdos? No! We have just quoted the U.S. Comptroller General and several respected economists, including two Federal Reserve Bank officials. They are the ones giving these astonishing figures, which portend the biggest economic challenge of modern times. So each of us should carefully consider what lies ahead, and get our own financial house in order.
A first priority would be to pay off all credit card debts—and all other debts we possibly can. We should also have at least the equivalent of 60 days' living expenses in case of a sudden breakdown in the banking system or a similar emergency. Also, we should gradually work out a family budget that allows us, over time, to set aside financial resources to carry us through a year or more in case of job loss, catastrophic health situation, etc.
Finally, we should not leave God out of the picture. Although the natural reaction would be to take care of the financial side and forget about God, the truly wise approach is to honor our Creator in this matter and know, in faith, that He will then bless and guide all our other efforts. The Bible tells us, "Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase; so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine" (Proverbs 3:9–10).
Jesus Christ Himself instructed: "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:19–21).
If you truly believe in the living God and in His inspired word, you will do your part to support His Work even in trying times. Then the Creator will certainly "be there" when you desperately need Him. But even if you do not yet understand this spiritual matter, be sure to be aware of what is going to happen physically, and take immediate steps to begin putting your own financial house in order. You owe it to your family and yourself!