With most of my past posts I have focused on issues that were relevant to the church worldwide – events in the Middle East and the effects on the entire world. This time though I felt a need to say something about the United States and the abyss we face as a nation. The Second Signpost, defined in this post and written about in my book, Hidden In Plain Sight, may very well be the triggering event that places the United States on its destined path to prepare it for the Tribulation.
From the time of our country’s founding and setting up of our current government in 1788, all the way to 1913, our money was gold and the effect of faith in God was felt everywhere in society. His commandments and Bible were in courthouses and schools. It was a time when criminal or other clandestine activities were done in secret, and perpetrators may have felt shame but they always had to deal with the wonderfully relentless rule of law.
The Progressive movement started in the late nineteenth century and with it American society began to move away from God such that people decided to trust man and government rather than trust their God. This movement found fruition in 1913, with the creation of the income tax to provide funds for government, the Federal Reserve to act as regulator and creator of our money, and a popularly elected Senate so the wall of separation of power between states and people came down.
In the century since that time, with the Democratic Party leading the charge to socialism and a “soft tyranny,” and the Republicans only managing to slow down that charge, our nation has changed drastically. Our government has racked up debt equal to our GDP officially and far higher than that unofficially. With recent court rulings dealing with crimes on Wall Street, no one’s account assets are safe from being looted. We are now ruled by a majority or activists on a court, rather than law. We also went from exporting petroleum, to importing 60% of our petroleum now. Lastly, our money went from gold, to paper backed by nothing. It is propped up by the fact that U.S. dollars are the reserve currency of the world, but that status is eroding, and once we lose that the dollar becomes just another currency – free to fall or float depending on the economy of the issuing nation. We have even seen our government’s debt rating fall for the first time in this nation’s history during this current administration.
Through most of the twentieth century we Christians could never have dreamed that our country would be so vulnerable to the events of the end times. Perhaps that feeling helped fuel the belief in a pre-Tribulation Rapture. After all, if the United states had to be torn down to be oppressed by the Antichrist then what better explanation than all the Christians being removed by the Rapture? But I say this not to knock the pre-Trib Rapture, but to show how far our country has fallen since the early to mid-twentieth century and how much perhaps we older Americans have seen our country decline morally and financially. The United States doesn’t need a Rapture now to become hobbled, it is doing that all by itself, to itself.
The Second Signpost is the second of four sets of events prior to the Tribulation, told to us by the Bible. This Second Signpost is the escalation of war in the Middle East. Iranian military forces will run out from country to country installing Islamic revolution, causing chaos, and taking control of the oilfields which provide one quarter of the oil supply to the world. The bear of Daniel 7, the ram of Daniel 8, and the second horseman of Revelation talk of this, and the events within the government and society of Iran confirm that the time is ripe. The affected oilfields are almost entirely in only six nations – Iran itself, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf states of Kuwait, Qatar, and the U.A.E. All are within easy striking range of Iran’s offensive move. The map shows the location of the oilfields in relation to Iran and its advances.
World production of oil stands at about 87.5 million barrels per day (mbpd). A little over 27% of that oil – 23.9 mbpd comes from the oilfields of the six nations. There will be two major factors that will impact people’s lives if this oil is cut off. The first is worldwide, and it is the physical cutoff of oil from these regions.
A study was published recently by the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. The report was titled Thinking the Unthinkable: Modeling a Collapse of Saudi Oil Production. It projected what would happen hypothetically if you cut off exports from only Saudi Arabia due to some event like a series of terrorist attacks. In summary it said, “A prolonged and massive disruption of Saudi oil production would significantly affect global energy markets and economic activity. It is difficult to calculate the magnitude of the panic in the global capital market that such a scenario would cause.” More specifically it spoke of its model showing “petroleum prices jump from $100 per barrel to more than $220 per barrel” and “gasoline prices jump to more than $6.50 per gallon.” [Ref. 1]
And this report was based on the loss of Saudi Arabia’s oil, which said country produces 10.9 mbpd. But all six nations produce 23.9 mbpd, more than double than that of Saudi Arabia alone. [Ref. 2] If just losing Saudi oil is unthinkable, what would it be to lose all six nations’ oil?
The second factor affecting people’s lives would be more limited to the United States. And that is the loss of the dollar’s currency reserve status. The fact that the dollar is held by so many countries as the reserve currency is lost on most Americans. They simply enjoy the relatively good purchasing power of the dollar. The Breton Woods Accord of 1944 made the dollar the currency of the world for international transactions. It was considered as good as gold. The dollar was already sliding in value by the 1960’s, but when Nixon took us off the gold standard in 1971 the dollar accelerated its slide. The petrodollar system was then invented in 1973-74. The U.S. government made a deal with the Saudi government that we would provide them military protection from enemies in exchange for their selling their oil in our dollars. The other Gulf states joined in. Even today, the backbone of the dollar’s currency reserve status is Saudi and Gulf oil being sold to countries like Japan and South Korea for U.S. dollars.
But what if that was to stop? What if oil from that region was no longer sold in U.S. dollars, or simply could not be sold at all because production was stopped? Michael Snyder writes the answer in the ETF Daily News when he says, “…at some point a tipping point will come (for example if Saudi Arabia were to declare that it will no longer take U.S. dollars for oil) and the entire global financial system is going to change. When that tipping point comes the global demand for U.S. dollars is going to absolutely plummet and nightmarish inflation will come to the United States.” [Ref. 3] So in addition to loss of oil in varying degrees all over the world, Americans will also suffer from their dollars being devalued. This would have unforeseen effects on all nations’ governments balance sheets to one degree or another since most of them hold dollars. This devaluing of the dollar will also hamper the United States ability to procure imported oil because while the price of oil would be going up relative to all currencies, it will go up even more due to the devaluation of the dollar.
So in conclusion this is how I see the United States entering the final years prior to the Tribulation, and the Iranian invasion of the Middle East is the trigger. The dollar will hold no greater status than any other currency. Its people will be struggling more day to day to feed and clothe themselves, as inflation accelerates, much akin to a third world nation. The U.S. government will not be able to borrow like it can now without paying much higher interest rates, in effect, preventing it from borrowing. And without the ability to borrow, millions of Americans who now depend on government help may find no safety net at some point. And the U.S. will not likely be able to project military power, as it says in Daniel 8:4 where no nation could stand against the ram or rescue anybody from his power.
And because the world still has to endure the full duration of the Second Signpost, and the Third, and the Fourth, it will still be several years before the Tribulation even begins. This chaos sparked in the world economy is the result of the second horseman being given power to take peace from the entire world (Revelation 6:4) even though the war itself is confined to the Middle East.
I do not like to write posts like these, telling of how I believe things will get much worse from here long before the Tribulation. But someone needs to get this message out. People need to realize that this Second Signpost is the increasing of sorrows, and that this is not the Tribulation and it is not the arrival of the antichrist but it is the next season in God’s timeline leading to the Return of Christ. And when people see the Supreme Leader of Iran being overshadowed by a leader in Iran with new government powers they must know that the Second Signpost has begun.
[Ref. 1] Ariel Cohen, Ph.D., David W. Kreutzer, Ph.D., James Phillips, and Michaela Bendikova; Thinking the Unthinkable: Modeling a Collapse of Saudi Oil Production; The Heritage Foundation; April 9 2012; retrieved from: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2012/04/thinking-the-unthinkable-modeling-a-collapse-of-saudi-oil-production
[Ref. 2] CIA World Factbook
(Oil production in mbpd: Saudi Arabia 10.2, Iran 4.2, Iraq 3.1, UAE 2.8, Kuwait 2.4, Qatar 1.2)
[Ref. 3] Snyder, Michael; Why The U.S. Dollar’s Reign As World Reserve Currency Is Ending; September 11, 2012; retrieved from http://etfdailynews.com/2012/09/11/why-the-u-s-dollars-reign-as-world-reserve-currency-is-ending/
Categories: Signpost #2: Iran