Uncle Sam's Diminishing Role in Bible Prophecy
Uncle Sam's Diminishing Role in Bible Prophecy
By Todd Strandberg
One of the most frequent questions Terry and I are asked has do with America's role in Bible prophecy. At the end of World War II, the U.S. emerged as a financial and military superpower. Prophecy scholars found themselves having to explain why such a mighty nation was left out of the biblical end-time scenario.
Some folks have twisted Scripture to find a role for the U.S in the Bible. Anglo-Israelism is one example. The late Herbert W. Armstrong helped popularize the idea that America had replaced Israel. The claim rests on the idea that Britain comprised descendants of the lost tribes of Israel, and that America was settled by Britain.
Some sites say the passage, "The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle" (Revelation 12:14), is an indication that Israel (the woman) will flee to America (the eagle) when the Antichrist tries to destroy her. Another popular reference to America in prophecy is Ezekiel 38:13. Ezekiel speaks of the "merchants of Tarshish and all the young lions thereof." Tarshish is described as the westernmost trading and seafaring nation of the ancient world--Britain again. The young lions are the colonies. I don't stand by any of these references because they are just not solid enough, and they can lead to less credible speculation.
In the past few years, I've seen a growing indication that the question of America's role in prophecy may be answered by our rapidly diminishing importance on the world stage. At one time, the GDP of the U.S. was equal to the combined output of all other nations on planet earth. Today, we rank second to the European Union, and China is rapidly working to bump us down to third place.
Our nation has lost several key rankings that it once dominated. For decades, New York City was the financial capital of the world. That title has now been given to London. The largest auto market is now in China. We once dominated the list of world's tallest buildings. Now we only have the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) as number nine on the list. We've even lost our status as the global headquarters for gambling. A few years back, Las Vegas surrendered that honor to the Chinese city of Macao.
The main source of America's might has been the dollar's status as the world's reserve currency. Since all other nations needed the greenback to conduct trade, part of our prosperity came from our ability to operate a printing press. The dollar's reign may soon come to an end.
At the beginning of this month, China and Japan, the two largest holders of America's securities, began trading goods and services between each other without using the dollar. China and Iran have already been working for several months to undermine the petro-dollar system that has been used for decades as the backbone of global oil trade.
The financial crisis in Europe has given a temporary boost to the dollar's value, but in the long run, our more massive debt load will prove to be more difficult to manage.
America no longer has an economy based on manufacturing, so a sudden collapse of the global fiat money system and a return to a system based on the balance of trade would devastate our standing in the world. For a long time, I looked at Wal-Mart as a major problem, with so much of its goods being imported. A sharp decline in the value of the dollar would make imports too costly for us to afford, and we would find ourselves unable to produce basic household products like phones, cameras, TVs, and computers.
Another business that has been slowly chewing away at our nation's financial health are all these cash-for-gold stores you see in every major city. Most of the gold that these businesses take in from people is exported to Asia. Since the dollar seems doomed to decline as a result of our growing national debt, America will someday regret selling its precious metals for a few hundred dollar when the value of those sold items rises into the thousands.
The ultimate factor in America's absence from Bible prophecy may be the Rapture. When the church is called home, at least 40 million Christians will instantly disappear from our nation. Since believers are part of the financial backbone of America, our sudden removal would have a devastating impact on the economy. Because the negative consequences of being left behind are so high, I ask everyone with any doubt to rethink where you stand with God.
"But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness" (2 Peter 3:10-11).