My Changing Views on Slavery, Usury, & Prophecy
(Yes, I admit, I used to be more ignorant than I am now!)
Silver Stock Report
by Jason Hommel, May 28th, 2013
Math itself testifies that usury is harmful to mankind because it leads to total enslavement. Here's how.
At an interest rate of 6%, one dollar will grow to a $719 million, in 350 years.
That might not seem dangerous, but consider, there were billionaires that long ago who started banking. A tiny million at 6% would grow to $719 trillion, which is far more money than exists in the form of gold in the world today, which is valued at only about $7 trillion (5 billion oz. x $1500).
At a much smaller interest rate, at 2.3%, a million will grow to a trillion, which is a million times more, in just over 1000 years. Over 6000 years, and a gold coin would become so large that it would be far, far, far more than all the gold in the entire world. In fact, all the atoms of the entire universe would have to become gold to pay that kind of interest rate over 6000 years.
I put this first, not because I learned it first, but because it gives the non Christians something to think about, before they tune out when I start talking about Biblical stuff.
When I became a Christian in 1998, I did not have an instant insight into all things of the Bible and Godliness. It was a slow process. I had to read it again. And again. I look back now, and see that some of my initial thoughts were childish.
So after that, I finally took the Bible seriously, as the primary message of God for mankind. And therefore, God expects men to be able read it in their short lifetimes, and to be responsible for living their lives in accordance with the revelations that he gives to us, through it! That was a huge revelation, because I was taught the opposite; that only a "governing body" of a few select men could interpret the Bible's truths for us.
I remember reading or thinking of liberal skeptics at college who said, "How could God allow slavery in the Bible, that's just wrong. So God is wrong. Or they would say, "I could never worship such a cruel God." See, in our modern society that has outlawed slavery over 150 years ago, God just seems backwards and behind the times!
Maybe I kind of believed like that for a while, it's hard to remember. I do remember that was quite a puzzle for me to try to understand why that was about slavery. I knew slavery was bad. So, God allows slavery, yet the USA abolished it in the Civil war. A puzzle.
Later, I remember how my thinking first changed, as I took the Bible seriously at first.
God is good, and we must obey him, even though we may not understand why at the time, was my new more serious view.
In that light, I viewed God allowing slavery as "good", and therefore the banning of Slavery in the US at the time of the civil war, logically, had to be seen as arrogant and wrong by way of simple contrast.
Later, I learned the difference between allowing something, and approving of something. As a parent of teenagers, I might "allow" my kids to buy candy with their money (after all, you cannot control what they buy when they are not in your presence), while telling them that I disapprove of their decision, warning them of the consequences of too much candy, etc., but letting them make their own decisions.
So, while God allows slavery, this does not mean that God likes slavery, or approves of it. What a big difference this nuance of thought can make!
After all, God also allows us all to get diseases and die, since we are under the original death sentence pronounced upon Adam and Eve. This does not mean that disease and death are good, or that God wants us to get diseases and die. No, God wants us to be healed, and to live forever!
And God does not really approve of slavery, but rather limits and regulates it and has stopped and prevented it in many ways, as he rescued the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt after 400 years.
The beginning to the Ten Commandments says:
And God spake all these words, saying, I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
The Biblical regulations say slaves should be set free every 7 years. And also every seven sets of seven years, (49 years) on the 50th year of Jubilee.
From early American history, people who colonized the USA back in the 1700's were "indentured servants" who served 7 years for their ocean passage.
And Jesus has come to set us free from sin. And there is the very specific phrase saying to not enter into slavery:
1 Cor 7:23 You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.
Seen in this light, the banning of slavery after the civil war in the US can be seen as being more closely in line with God's view of slavery as something not approved. It was allowed, but seen as bad.
Clearly, God does not think slavery is "good" or a high ideal for the state of man; not if he attaches his very name to the freeing of slaves, and admonishes us to not become slaves. God does not even want us to be slaves of sin, nor slaves to idols made of wood or stone!
But the puzzle is not finished.
But did the USA really ban slavery? Perhaps only a certain kind?! What about debt slavery? Did the USA ban debt slavery? Obviously not.
The concept of being in debt, and being a slave are intimately related, not only in life and history, but also in the Bible. Every 7 years and 50 years was supposed to be a time not only of slave release, but debt release as well.
(Deut 15:1-3) (Lev 25, 27:16-18)
Somewhere about 50 to 100 years ago in the USA, all home mortgages were for no more than 7 years! Hard to imagine when most home mortgages are for 30 years, and "modern advisors" think it's cute and smart to tell you to try to pay it off in 15, instead.
The indentured servants mentioned? They became slaves to pay for their voyage across the sea, to secure freedom from being a lifetime serf in Feudal England. When faced with a choice of being a slave forever, or a slave for only 7 more years to a righteous Biblical faction who was pushing for freedom from the Pope and then freedom from the King of England, the choice is tempting, because freedom has a natural allure!
Proverbs 22:7 The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.
Another interesting relation is that sin is like a debt.
So, slavery is like debt, which is like sin! All three, slavery, debts, and sins should be avoided, in my opinion, yet all three happen, and are allowed!
The Biblical law has rules for debts, like there are rules for slavery, and the rules are similar.
Israelites are not to charge usury, not any interest, to a fellow Israelite, but they can to a foreigner. And there are the debt free years, every 7, and 50!
Biblical law critics note that the years of debt forgiveness were never followed by the Israelites. I know. The Bible says this. They thus insist that the law is therefore impractical. I think that is a rather immature view.
Gary North justifies usury based on Matthew 25, the parable of the talents, where the evil servant is told by the master that he should have at least put the talents with the bankers to get usury.
But Jesus spoke parables on purpose, to hide meaning. Thus, for every parable, there are at least two intended meanings, one for the world to deceive them and keep the real truths hidden, and another meaning for God's people who know the Bible well.
Some think Matthew 25 also condemns the ownership of gold! Not so, either. First, let me quote the parable in full, then I'll examine it.
The Parable of the Talents
Some just think it's wrong to store wealth in the form of gold. However, gold and silver are the only things you can use as money that you can weigh out and measure. An unjust weight and measure, such as the dollar, remains an abomination.
Why is the evil servant evil? First of all, the talent was not his money, it was his master's money! His master was sowing with him, giving him money to be wisely invested. A "talent" was 66-90 pounds of precious metal. It was a large amount of money. The master, representing Jesus, acted as a capitalist, who was investing his money in the man's ability to invest money. (Like an investor who buys a silver stock fund, that in turn, invests in stocks.) But the evil servant did not respect his master's capitalist ways; and he made a false accusation, he said the master reaped where he did not sow. But the master was sowing into the man, rather than into the ground! So, in a sense, the evil servant valued himself as less than dust, because his false accusation implied that it would be better to sow into the ground than into himself!
The silver or gold became a stumbling block to him, because his heart was thinking wrong things.
The capitalist who invests with men is not doing an evil thing as the evil servant accused. The evil servant represents a man who despises capitalism, the foundation of which is private property. He despised his master's ways, and he was covetous of his master's potential gain. But meanwhile, as one of his master's servants, he was consuming some of his master's wealth, just to live! He was lazy and didn't want to work for anyone else's benefit, but felt no guilt about taking benefits from others.
But all work, to be profitable, must be to the benefit of other men!
So, the story does not condemn storing gold, the story is an overwhelming support of all the many principles of Biblical Capitalism, which is different than the so-called capitalism we have today that is dominated by money lending and fraudulent weights and measures!
Some people wrongly think that Matthew 25:14-28 justifies usury, because the master says to the evil servant: "you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest."
But this is not a justification of usury, it is a condemnation. Clearly, the master could have deposited his money with the usurers himself; he didn't need a servant to do that for him. But the master clearly wanted to try to get a better return than with the usurers, and expected that to be more than likely, which is why he trusted his servant, instead. Also, that would teach and test his servant about the nature of productivity. He even expected his most lazy servant, to whom he entrusted the least money, to do better than the local usurers!
The comparison of the evil servant to the usurers does not justify usury. It is a way to highlight the comparable evil of the evil servant. For example, if a man had a wife who cheated on him by sleeping with someone else, and then, upon discovering that betrayal, to highlight the evil of that adultery, her husband bitingly and sarcastically remarked that she should at least have charged the man like a harlot would, that's no justification of the practice of harlotry, and the man is clearly not saying he simply wanted his wife to get paid! But rather, it is assumed that harlotry is bad in such an example. Otherwise, if you assume that being a harlot is good, then saying the wife should have gotten paid like a harlot makes no sense.
Another way to look at the comparison to putting the money with the bankers is to look at other options of making money. It would make no sense to say to the evil servant that he "should have at least put the money into a stock that went up ten times, or two times, or one time," because that's very hard to do, and not a sin, and would not showcase the evil servant's evil. To show the evil servant his own evil, the comparison has to be to something that is actually evil, such as depositing money with bankers to get usury.
Back to why usury is evil, and was the cause for punishment by God. Usury never rests. It compounds 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, every year of the term of the loan. As long as it is practiced, usury becomes a form of perpetual slavery, and there is no debt release, there never was, as there needs to be to obey the law.
God had punished Israel for not letting "the land" rest on the years of the Jubilee, and for every year of Jubilee not observed, they were to be exiled in Babylon. Daniel recognized this.
Daniel 9:2 I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the Lord given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years.
Why 70? How did Jeremiah know this? Because the punishment was for not following the law regarding debt and slave release every 50th year on the Jubilee.
2 Chronicles 36:21
How did Jeremiah know this? It was in the law! A curse of exile if they did not follow the law of the 7 and 50th years of land rest (sabbath years), debt release, and slave freedom.
Leviticus 26:34 Then the land will enjoy its sabbath years all the time that it lies desolate and you are in the country of your enemies; then the land will rest and enjoy its sabbaths. 35 All the time that it lies desolate, the land will have the rest it did not have during the sabbaths you lived in it.
Leviticus 26:43 For the land will be deserted by them and will enjoy its sabbaths while it lies desolate without them. They will pay for their sins because they rejected my laws and abhorred my decrees.
The "Sabbaths" are not strictly limited to resting on Saturday, and doing no work. It's also about not harvesting the crop on the 7th year, not going into debt more than 7 years, and releasing slaves on the 7th year. The other set of Sabbaths are the 7 Feasts of the Lord, which are Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits, Pentecost, Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles.
Ezekiel also wrote about the punishment for not following the Sabbaths.
Ezekiel 20:13 “‘Yet the people of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness. They did not follow my decrees but rejected my laws—by which the person who obeys them will live—and they utterly desecrated my Sabbaths. So I said I would pour out my wrath on them and destroy them in the wilderness.
Perhaps now you can see why I write against paper money, against debt, and against usury. It's slavery. Total domination. The exact opposite of freedom. Usury is the opposite of how a free market economy should work.
Some free market libertarian advocates who lack a Biblical background, such as Ayn Rand, and her student, Alan Greenspan, (and his successor Ben Bernanke) think that banking is business, and lending at usury, should be completely "free". But that's like trying to say that freedom should consist of the freedom to enslave people!
Think about that contradiction for a while!
With libertarian advocates like those, who needs enemies?
See, that's the same, childish distortion I originally had about slavery when I first took the Bible seriously. That slavery must be ok, since God allows it in the Bible.
God hates slavery, speaks against it, offers redemption from it, condemns it, regulates slavery to cause freedom on the 7th year, and punished Israel with exile since they didn't follow the Sabbath rest times of freedom, and release of debts and slaves!
God does not ban slavery, nor does God prohibit lending at usury altogether. It's regulated. No usury to fellow Israelites. Debt forgiveness on the 7th year.
But the prophets had an even more enlightened view of the spirit of these laws. There is no need to release your own slaves on the 7th year if you never have any slaves to begin with. There is no need to pay off your debts, or not go into any debt for a term of 7 years, if you avoid debts to begin with. There is no need to release those who are paying debt to you, if you are not a lender to begin with.
Jeremiah 15:10 Woe is me, my mother, that thou hast borne me a man of strife and a man of contention to the whole earth! I have neither lent on usury, nor men have lent to me on usury; yet every one of them doth curse me.
And now here is another curious mystery. Why would both borrowers and lenders curse one who simply does not partake in either?
Why enslave your brothers through lending at usury? This is the argument Nehemiah makes in the Bible, in Nehemiah Chapter 5. Why enslave yourself to a debt payment? Don't do either! Don't oppress others and don't oppress yourself. Why is that so hard to understand? Why is it so hard to practice?
For several years, I have I contemplated borrowing money to expand my business. After all, by helping people acquire silver and gold, honest money, I'd be doing God's work, right?
But if I can't justify practicing harlotry or theft, by giving 10% to the temple, then I can no more justify borrowing, simply because my cause is good.
May God have mercy on my soul, and encourage me to be steadfast, and to resist temptation.
So, don't tell me that I don't understand how borrowing can be good. I know. Besides, that's not the point. The point is obedience to God, regardless of what we think is the right thing to do.
Sex before marriage, or outside of marriage, or in any of the other Biblically prohibited forms, also can feel really good. That's not a valid excuse!
What's truly fascinating, is that the failure to obey God's laws on usury is a failure of all strata of society. It's a failure of the most rich, who lend. It's a failure of another of rich mechants, who borrow at low preferred rates for speculation or business. It's a failure of the poor, who borrow at high rates on credit cards at 30% that they can't pay off. It's a failure of the preachers, who fail to condemn the practice of both borrowing and lending at usury.
God punished the Israelites for 70 years of exile in Babylon over this issue! This was the wrath of God, his prophetic curse as contained in the laws of Leviticus, referenced above. Daniel said so in Daniel chapter 9.
Daniel 9:11 All Israel has transgressed your law and turned away, refusing to obey you. “Therefore the curses and sworn judgments written in the Law of Moses, the servant of God, have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against you.
Daniel 9:16 Lord, in keeping with all your righteous acts, turn away your anger and your wrath from Jerusalem, your city, your holy hill....
Due to lack of repentence, the 70 years became 70 weeks of years, or 490 years, a seven fold increase. The 70th week is known also as the tribulation week, which is still yet to come, also known as the 7 year tribulation, and the time of Jacob's trouble.
This entire week is still "the wrath of God". This completely disproves the fanciful notion that the wrath of God is poured out only towards the end of the future tribulation week, and that the entire week is not the wrath of God.
Thus, this "pre wrath rapture" idea is correct in that the rapture comes before wrath. They just don't realize that the wrath starts at the same time as the 7 year tribulation.
So, this shows that prophecy, and the prophetic punishment to come, is intimately related to failure to understand and obey God's basic economic laws about debt, usury, and slavery! For that reason alone, I would hesitate to borrow money at low rates, even for a good cause!
During the tribulation, a main feature is the emergence of the mark of the beast economic system, where no man may buy or sell unless he takes the mark, the 666. Revelation 13.
Most prophecy teachers say this is likely to be a biochip implant that will enable a cashless currency system. The Bible says that those who take the mark are engaging in an act of worship, and that they are deceived.
I see that taking such a chip is an act of worship, since it violantes every single one of the ten commandments at least in some sense.
Originally, I thought that the opposite of a cashless system, would naturally be cash. But I then realized that the true opposite is God's creation of gold and silver!
I wrote an article on why Paper money alone violates all of the ten commandments. Interestingly some people think even paper money is like the mark of the beast, since the value of paper money is established not by weight, but by marks on it! The marks of governments!
1. Paper money debt enslaves you to something other than God.
Ah, there it is, my temptation to borrow. Greed.
And a biochip money system violates all the basic economic laws, and is an act of enslaving yourself to a fraudulent money system, and it's a repudiation of God's money, silver and gold, which are inherently anonymous and untrackable.
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