A Measure of Wheat For a Penny


jack-kinsella-2006The federal deficit widened last month, if you can believe it.  The federal government spent $40.49 billion more than it took in for that month!  April marked the thirty-first month of deficit spending in a row.

America’s fiscal year starts in October, which means we are now seven months into the 2011 fiscal year.  With just over half the fiscal year behind us, the US deficit for the last seven months amounts to eight hundred and sixty-nine billion, ninety million dollars!  ($869,000,000,000.00)

Let’s put that into perspective first, before moving on.  A million seconds equals roughly 12 days.  A month is roughly two and a half million seconds.  A billion seconds is thirty-two years.  Stay with me here.

So (at the rate of a dollar a second), paying back the amount of money we’ve borrowed over the course of the last 17.5 million seconds would take twenty-seven thousand, eight hundred and eight years.

So if we started right now, we could pay off half of the debt accumulated in the last seven months sometime in the year twenty-nine thousand, eight hundred and eighteen!

(How old will you be in the year 29,818 AD?)

The federal government will reach its current legal ‘debt ceiling’ in four days – on May 16.  Under the law, the US Treasury is forbidden to borrow beyond that limit without Congressional approval.

But Congress isn’t going to approve, if the House Majority Whip is to be believed.

“I can tell you as a Whip there’s not one Republican vote for a negative debt limit vote where no cuts are proposed,” McCarthy told reporters at the Republican National Committee (RNC) headquarters on Wednesday.

“We have staked out very early what we see as a change to America. We have listened to the American public. They want jobs. They want government to cut their spending. They don’t want a credit card that just keeps expanding.”

This week, the Treasury auctioned off another $56 billion in new debt, in spite of the fact that auction will push the US over its debt ceiling on Monday, unless the Republicans fold at the eleventh hour and vote to increase it.

By all accounts, exceeding the debt ceiling will force the United States to default on its debt.  Some lawmakers say that this is a good thing because it will FORCE Congressional Democrats to cut spending.

The problem is that defaulting on our debt is unconstitutional.


“Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.” – James 5:1-3

White House spokesman Jay Carney accused John Boehner and Congressional Republicans for holding the debt ceiling “hostage” by demanding spending cuts and a moratorium on raising taxes.

“We continue to maintain that the — it is folly to hold hostage the vote to raise the debt ceiling to prevent the United States of America from defaulting on its obligations to any other piece of legislation,” Carney told reporters on Air Force One.

“Maximalist positions do not produce compromise,” said Carney, who described Boehner as restating his “starting position” with his New York speech.

Big words like “Maximalist” sound more ominous than “Constitutionalist” does – which is what is really in play here.  The Fourteenth Amendment, which passed shortly after the Civil War, is often called the Civil Rights Amendment.

In part, its purpose was to ensure that the statutory citizenship and legal rights granted to the newly freed slaves were not denied by the states, or repealed by a later Congress once the Southern states were fully represented again.

But only in part.  We never hear about the other part from lawmakers, many of whom probably don’t know it is even in there.

The Fourteenth Amendment also tackled the massive war debt left over after the Civil War. Vast federal debts had been incurred to fight that war, and Congress also acted to ensure that these obligations could not be disavowed in the future.

So in addition to guaranteeing rights to citizenship, due process of law, and equal protection, the 14th Amendment forbids dishonoring “[t]he validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law.”

What does this mean?  It means that the US is constitutionally forbidden from defaulting on its debt. In particular, it must continue to make payments, interest and principal, on its bonds, effectively requiring Congress to provide sufficient authority for that purpose.

The simple fact is that the Congress cannot renege on existing debt, but under the Constitution, it could bypass the debt ceiling by taking back the power — currently delegated to the Treasury — to borrow money.

Since the Treasury is overspending about forty cents of every dollar, by taking back the power to borrow money, Congress could effectively cut spending across-the-board by forty percent by simply refusing to authorize it.

But that would trigger individual political responsibility – lawmakers would have to run on their fiscal voting record instead of hiding behind the Treasury Department.

So it seems likely that the United States government will simply ignore the Constitution, as has become federal policy whenever the Constitution conflicts with political expediency.

How does this fit with Bible prophecy?  According to the Bible, the antichrist’s government rests on three pillars; control of a global religion, global government and global economy.

The antichrist’s economy is evidently completely digitized – Revelation 13:17 says he will be able to restrict all financial intercourse to those who are part of his economic/religious system. Anyone not part of that system will be unable to buy or sell.

But in order to reach that goal, the current economic system must first be replaced with a new one. According to Revelation, the antichrist accomplishes that by crashing the existing order.  Revelation Chapter Six provides the outline with the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

The rider on the first horse is the antichrist, symbolized by a rider on a white horse that carries a bow, but no arrows, indicating a peaceful ascension to power.  The antichrist won’t seize power, it will be handed to him.

Once in power, the first order of business is to plunge the world into war.

“And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.” (Revelation 6:4)

War’s handmaidens throughout history have always been famine, pestilence and death, so it comes as no surprise that the next rider is the one on the black horse holding a pair of balances (weight scales) in his hand.

“And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.” This is a perfect word picture to describe the eventual outcome of any deficit-based economy.

A measure of wheat or three measures of barley symbolize a day’s worth of food.  A ‘penny’ symbolizes a day’s wages.  Oil and wine are symbolic of great wealth.   So the word picture is this – the rich will get richer while the poor get poorer.

The condition already exists today – the poorest guy in America lives better than someone earning a comfortable living in most nations in central Africa.

But eventually, the gap between rich and poor will become just as wide among workers within industrialized countries as it is between the industrialized West and that of Third World basket cases like Somalia.

Sadly, it is impossible to imagine that there are enough elected representatives willing to make the hard choices necessary to prevent this scenario from playing out precisely as outlined within the next few years, if not the next few months.

Now, take a look at our situation as it stands.  We can practically hear the approach of the Rider on the Black horse – and he is the THIRD horseman.   That gives us some idea of how close the first and second riders are.

Bible prophecy was given to this generation, not for use as a parlor trick, but for use as evidence we can produce to prove to a lost and skeptical world that the Bible is true, the time is short, and the opportunities for salvation are limited.

These are but shadows of what the Bible says are to come during the Tribulation Period. We aren’t yet there. None of the expected riders have yet made their appearance, but the way is being cleared for them in preparation for their ride.

“And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe. ” (John 14:29)

These aren’t hard times.  These are the end times.


By Jack Kinsella