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As believers, God gives us an insider’s knowledge. There is an eventual major upheaval in the worldwide social and economic situation. All the currency of the world: its money, possessions, fashions, and whims, will be worthless at our death or Christ’s return, either of which could be very soon. This insight should utterly change our investment strategy.

Jesus explained to us in Matthew 24, verses 8 and 33-34—that these events would begin at the same time, run concurrently, and crescendo like the pains of a woman giving birth—the closer we get to His Second coming.

Matthew 24:8, 33-34 All these are the beginning of sorrows. 33 So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! 34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.

The fifth trend that starts small and builds in strength and intensity is the sign of global commerce: with digitalized money and global tracking.

#5: The Sign of
Global Commerce: Digitalized Money, Global Tracking and Positioning

God’s Word describes a future time when money is tied to a number, and only with that number can anything be bought or sold. There would be technology capable of tracking the world’s population and commerce.

Revelation 13:16-17 He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, 17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

How close are we getting to that scenario? The last week of August when we moved here I was at Home Depot getting a lawn mower to take a stab at the grass that was growing too high. I checked out, handed my credit card, the clerk paused, sent me over to the service desk to stand, soon the phone rang—it was Omaha, Nebraska where the VISA fraud department saw a large purchase on an OK card in MI.

They knew where I was, where I was from, what I was buying, and a whole lot more information about me.

Enough that when I told them 2 or 3 stops I made on the drive to Michigan, which they saw on their screens, they decided I was the rightful card holder—and released my lawnmower so that I could purchase it.

As I was driving homeward, I fully expected a VISA rep to be waiting in front of our rented house to make sure I really mowed the lawn!

That is living in a Global Commerce era with digitalized money (a number) and Global Tracking!

And those are just what the coming world leader will need to enforce his desires at the End of days!

What could possibly cause fiercely independent Americans and Britishers and others to give into a one world financial system? Maybe a severe crash, a panic, and a global depression would do it.

And what are we right in the midst of right now?

S&P 500 Index Drop Leaves 64 Industries With Losses

Nov. 21 (Bloomberg) — The worst annual decline in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index since 1931 has dragged down every industry in the benchmark gauge and 96 percent of its stocks. All 64 of the S&P 500’s so-called level-three categories, groups such as “distributors” and “leisure equipment” with as few as one company, dropped in 2008. Four hundred eighty-two companies slipped as the 500-stock index slumped 46 percent, poised for its biggest yearly retreat in eight decades. “There seems to be no bottom,” the president of Birinyi Associates Inc. said on Bloomberg Television. “We have no tools that tell us where to go now.”

The breadth of declines this year is leaving investors without defensive strategies to protect against losses that erased more than $8 trillion from just the U.S. equities market so far in 2008.

World leaders tackle economic crisis

WASHINGTON — World leaders agreed Saturday to put tighter controls on financial markets and work together to halt the economic crisis now cascading across the globe.

“We must lay the foundation for reform to help to ensure that a global crisis, such as this one, does not happen again,” the leaders said in a joint statement.

Finding an escape from financial tsunami

G-20 nations comprising of United States, Germany, Japan, France, Italy, Britain, Canada, European Union, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, South Africa and Turkey sat in an emergency summit like meeting in Washington National Building Museum when the world economy has been gripped by ‘ economic tsunami’. Spain and the Netherlands were also invited.

This G-20 group was established in 1999 with the wealthy and emerging economic countries. This 20- nation group represents eighty-five percent world economies.

Leaders considered creating a ‘college of supervisors’ to oversee the world’s biggest financial institutions. College of supervisors would bring together international regulators to coordinate oversight of the world’s 30 largest financial institutions.

•    German Finance Minister Peer Steinbruck commented the importance of the summit in this way “The window of opportunities for financial reform has never been as wide open as at present.”
•    Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said, “It was unlikely that the major economies of the world would consent to external control of their regulatory system.”
•    French president Nicholas Sarkozy said, “We want to change the rules of the game in the financial world.

The G-20 and the Group of 6 Billion

The message from last weekend’s G-20 summit meeting on the global economy [was]:  The game can’t go on.  The game must go on.

In the face of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, European leaders had flirted with the idea of actually trying to change something. As a result, it is necessary to rebuild the entire global financial and monetary system from the bottom up, “the way it was done at Bretton Woods.”

Gordon Brown, PM of Britain said, “We now have global financial markets, global corporations, global financial flows.  But what we do not have is anything other than national and regional regulation and supervision.”  We need “a global way of supervising our financial system.”  He called for “very large and very radical changes,” including turning the IMF into a “global central bank.”

UK’s Brown: Now is the time to build global society

LONDON (Reuters) – The international financial crisis has given world leaders a unique opportunity to create a truly global society, Britain’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown said in a keynote foreign policy speech Monday.

Britain, he United States and Europe are key to forging a new world order. They must lead the global effort to build a stronger and more just international order,” an excerpt from the speech says.

“Uniquely in this global age, it is now in our power to come together so that 2008 is remembered not just for the failure of a financial crash that engulfed the world but for the resilience and optimism with which we faced the storm, endured it and prevailed,” Brown said in his speech on Monday evening.

“And if we learn from our experience of turning unity of purpose into unity of action, we can together seize this moment of change in our world to create a truly global society.”

Brown set out five great challenges the world faces: terrorism and extremism; the global economy; climate change; conflict and mechanisms for rebuilding states after conflict; and tackling poverty and disease.

“My message is that we must be: internationalist not protectionist; interventionist not neutral; progressive not reactive; and forward looking not frozen by events. We can seize the moment and in doing so build a truly global society.”

Leaders vow to tackle economic crisis

WASHINGTON (CNNMoney.com) — World leaders unveiled a set of sweeping plans on Saturday aimed at tackling the ever-expanding economic crisis, but as expected they sketched out an agenda for more work in coming months and another meeting early next year.

They pushed existing global organizations including the Financial Stability Forum, which represents central bankers and regulators, and the International Monetary Fund, to take a greater role in the current crisis, while helping to identify potential risks going forward. Regulators and finance ministers were encouraged to:

•    create “supervisory colleges” for major financial institutions that do business around the world;
•    to work toward aligning global accounting standards;
•    take a hard look at compensation policies; and
•    identify companies that are critical to the global financial system.

Attending the summit were leaders from 19 of the world’s largest economies including China, Brazil, Saudi Arabia and Japan, as well as the European Union. Combined the G-20 represents 90 percent of the world’s economy and 75 percent of the global population.

Major indexes around the globe have fallen off a cliff over the last two months. In the first ten months of 2008: the Russian stock market has lost 65.5% of its value; Japan has lost 42%; and the United States 40%.

Hoping to halt the contagion, central bankers and government officials have taken unprecedented steps in recent weeks.

So a Global Financial System is forming all around us, something never possible before this generation. This and every one of the other signs Christ gave, are present in our world today. We are the first generation in all of history to experience these trends, these signs—all at once!

The Signs of the End of Days

#1: The Sign of Global Travel

Daniel was overwhelmed when he caught a glimpse of the number and speed at which people were moving about the planet.

Daniel 12:4 “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”

No one in the history of this planet ever traveled like we who are alive today can travel. This is the time of the end of the world!

# 2: The Sign of a Global Explosion of Information

Daniel 12:4 “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.

It is only in this generation that last year’s encyclopedia is about as useful as last month’s newspaper. It has been said that the sum of human knowledge from the Flood to 1850 doubled once. It doubled again following World War II. The doubling of human knowledge increases exponentially.

In short, the trend of global information increasing (not knowledge) is exploding.

#3: The Sign of Global Weather Awareness

Jesus foresaw the time when weather would be so bad that not just a few, but the whole world would be troubled, fearful, and killed by the fear of chaotic weather that would become prevalent.

Luke 21:25-26 “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; 26 men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

No wonder Jesus said that weather going wild would cause people to die from fear of what they saw coming!

#4: The Sign of Global Communication

God’s Word explicitly declares that mankind will be able to see and hear globally. When the world fastest know means of travel was the speed of a horse—God says the whole world will see an event and all at the same time, celebrate that event!

Truly global communication was foreseen.

•    Revelation 11:9-10 Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three-and-a-half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves. 10 And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.

•    Revelation 17:8 The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

The Bible predicts that the entire world will “see” certain events unfold. The invention of the television and the deployment of global satellite networks during the 20th century allow news to travel the world at the speed of light for the first time ever.

How to Build a Fire-proof Life

Look for just these last moments with me at Peter. Here he is at the end of the road. I can just see him now with his gnarled fisherman’s hands, the skin leathery from the sun, those eyes still piercingly full of zeal.

He never lost the wonder of Jesus. He has lived everyday since the Spirit fell upon him consumed with the message of the cross. Now one last time he wants to keep his beloved fellow saints on track so he warns that the coming fires are on the same level of catastrophe as the Flood.

So he exhorts his loved ones how to rescue our treasures from the floods and fires. Look at 2 Peter 3:9-18:

Materialism  Blurs our Purpose: Live Redemptively v.9 because God is patiently holding the Ark door of His grace open today.

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

Materialism Clouds our Minds: Keep Alert v. 10-11

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,

o    By living for what lasts v. 10 or what do we have that won’t burn!
o    By living in purity v. 11 so we won’t be ashamed when He shows up unexpectedly!

Materialism Clutters Our Lives: Build Fireproof v. 12-13

looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

•    By living for Heaven v. 12 we want to see God and be with Him.
•    Live Hopefully v. 13 we are looking up, God is keeping us eternally secure, just look up!

Materialism Blinds Our Eyes: Look Up v. 14-17

Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; 15 and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, 16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. 17 You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked;

o    By living peacefully v. 14 unlike the restless wicked ones!
o    By living assuredly v. 15a know that you are saved.
o    By living Word filled lives v. 17
study the Book

Materialism Clouds Our Wills: Obey Jesus V.18

but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.

Remember, grace is what God does, and knowledge is up to us to pursue and seek by that grace. God has done His part, we must do ours!

Build fire proof lives for His Glory!

•    Materialism Blurs our Purpose: Live Redemptively v.9
•    Materialism Clouds our Minds: Keep Alert v. 10-11
•    Materialism Clutters Our Lives: Build Fireproof v. 12-13
•    Materialism Blinds Our Eyes: Look Up v. 14-17
•    Materialism Clouds Our Wills: Obey Jesus V.18

And as we see earlier in this chapter:

•    TRUST THE WORD V. 1-2