According to the Beige Book (a Federal Reserve snapshot of our economy) released on Wednesday, our nation’s economy continues to spiral downwards. Ten out of the twelve Federal districts are declining while the other two remain weak. The national unemployment rate is now at 7.6 percent, the highest in more than 16 years and is expected to reach about 9 percent this year. In his annual letter to shareholders on Monday, Warren Buffett warned that the multibillion-dollar bailouts by the US Government will bring on an “onslaught of inflation.” Finally, the push to nationalize looms ominously over the horizon.

Is there any meaning in this madness? The Bible does warn of a time when such things will happen. Revelation 6:5-6 states When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, ‘Come and see.’ So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, ‘A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.’” The judgment of the black horse symbolizes inflation, famine, and hunger during the Tribulation. The rider with a balance scale in his hand signifies that the government has control of the food and is weighing out bread to the people. A denarius was a typical laborer’s wage for a day. In the first century, it had a greater buying power than it will in the last days. One denarius could buy about 16 quarts of wheat. According to the prophecy, the denarius will be inflated and will buy only one quart of wheat. One quart is about 2 pints (4 cups), which will barely feed one person for one day. How about a family of four? This will need people to buy barley, a low-grade grain suitable for the livestock. It would be three times cheaper than wheat but enough to feed a whole family for a day. But this will leave no money for clothing, shelter, utilities, and medicine.

As bad as it may seem in America, we still have much to be thankful. In Zimbabwe, the breadbasket of southern Africa, people are dying of hunger and cholera while their dictator just prints as much money as he wants. Recently, 8,000 lobsters, 100 kg king prawns, 3,000 ducks, 4,000 portions of caviar, 8,000 boxes of Ferrero Rocher chocolates, 16,000 eggs, 3,000 cakes, 4,000 packs of pork sausages, 500 kg cheese, and 4,000 packets of crackers were spent on his birthday party while his people are paying one million dollars for just one sack of flour. This may explain the prophecy “and do not harm the oil and the wine.” The “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” will gallop through our streets after the rapture of the church. But if we put our ears to the ground, can we not hear their hoofbeats growing louder by the day?

Is there something we can do to save ourselves from this judgment? The answer was given about a quarter of a century ago by Billy Graham in his book “Approaching Hoofbeats.” He wrote: “At some time in the future – a time unknown to us – the terrible hooves of the four horsemen will finally trample across the stage of human history . . . but in the meantime I think God’s hand of judgment will pause when we repent.”

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