January 11, 2019

Dear Brethren,

This evening, I was looking at the U.S. DEBT CLOCK that’s posted on the internet. It’s almost mind-boggling to think about the amount of debt our nation has. Do you know what the nation’s debt figure is? It’s nearly $22 TRILLION! What does that really mean? After all, it’s not just some meaningless number! Here is a comment about the nation’s debt, as posted by the History Channel in 2018.

The national debt is the total amount of money that the U.S. government has borrowed from various sources, including the governments of other nations, from private investors and different federal agencies. The government’s ability to pay off that debt is a function of our gross domestic product (GDP), and experts are concerned about any country defaulting on its debt when the debt-to-GDP ratio gets above 77 percent. The U.S. debt-to-GDP ratio has been above 100 percent since 2013.

When President Ronald Reagan was elected to office, our nation’s debt was $1 trillion. That debt has grown significantly since then. As a nation, we could say “we’re into debt up to our eyeballs.” If you went out and started spending one dollar every single second, it would take more than 31,000 years to spend ONE trillion dollars. Yes, that’s correct, 31,000 years to reach $1 TRILLION. Remember, our nation’s debt is NOT $1 trillion, it’s nearly $22 TRILLION and climbing. So, the length of time it would take to reach that amount (by spending a dollar per second), would be 31,000 years multiplied twenty-two times! Those are quite staggering figures to think about.

For the United States, there will come a “day of reckoning.” It’s inevitable! We will face a TOTAL ECONOMIC COLLAPSE at some point.

In the booklet “The Modern Romans” (a 1971, Worldwide Church of God booklet), we see a WARNING that hasn’t been heeded in this modern age! On page 57 of the booklet, the chapter discusses one aspect of what led to the Empire’s downfall. It parallels what we see today.

The Economy in TROUBLE

The economic oppression of the later Empire increasingly ate the spirit, loyalty, and pride out of the citizenry, high and low, and fostered a rash of other ills. It tore away at community and national spirit.

The costs of running a gigantic empire were massive. They caused a perpetual administrative struggle to maintain a stable economy.

The ever-burgeoning government bureaucracy became horribly expensive. Especially after Diocletian (late third century), the greatly enlarged military establishment caused great economic train. Food, supplies, weapons, new frontier posts, and fortification of towns cost fantastic amounts. Extravagant and excessive spending on buildings and engineering works added to the financial load.

It took a veritable army of officials to man and work the complicated dual supply and demands of both the government services and the military. This necessitated laying still heavier burdens of taxation upon already overburdened people.

There were land taxes, property taxes, occupation taxes, poll taxes, crop taxes, commercial taxes … taxes on almost everything. No stone was left unturned for revenues.

There were other economic problems which aggravated the revenue problem. Rising prices, loss of money’s purchasing power, the escape of the rich from taxation, the poor growing poorer, the decline of production, soil exhaustion and droughts, disease epidemics decimating provinces, peasant rebellions, brigandage, barbarian incursions, and expensive wars – all violently shook and weakened the economic superstructure of the Empire.

A Spanish American philosopher by the name of George Santayana, is credited with making the following well-known quote… “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it!”

Brethren, remember, what is happening in today’s world also means we’re that much closer to God’s KINGDOM and the GOOD NEWS God has for us! OUR future is the Kingdom of God! The GREAT GOD gives His people a REAL and LASTING HOPE, not endless despair. God’s ultimate plan for humankind is positive news! I will end tonight’s letter with some encouraging scriptures on which to meditate.

Hebrews 13:5-6 “…for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”

Psalm 62:7-8 “In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.”

Daniel 12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

Good night, everyone. Please have a wonderful Sabbath!

Your Brother in Christ,

Gary Liebold

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