Funding the Enemy

From the April 2008 Trumpet Print Edition

One out of every five cranes inthe world is at work in Dubai. This tiny Persian Gulf emirate—one of seven United Arab Emirates—is enjoying a wild binge of expansion. It houses more construction workers than citizens.

Dubai will soon have the world’s tallest building and is constructing another building that will be fully half again taller than that. The world’s largest amusement park—double the size of Walt Disney World in Orlando, which currently has that title—will soon reside in Dubai. So will the world’s largest airport, the world’s largest shopping mall, the world’s largest automated rail system, the world’s largest indoor skiing facility, and the world’s first underwater hotel.

But Dubai is doing more with its wealth than attracting the international jet set. It is also buying up international stock markets. A mere 30 months ago, the Dubai International Financial Exchange was born. Eight months ago, Bourse Dubai consolidated difx and Dubai’s other stock exchange. Today this upstart Middle Eastern bourse has completed a series of deals that has left it owning 22 percent of the London Stock Exchange and one fifth of nasdaq—making it the first government-controlled stock exchange to hold a significant stake in a U.S. exchange.

Where is this monster money coming from? Scary question. You already know the answer—but first consider this.

In Isaiah 46:9-10, the God of the Bible claims the singular ability to bring prophecy to pass. “I am God, and there is none else,” He says. “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” Fulfilled prophecy is, in fact, one of the strongest proofs of the truth of the Bible.

One way God ensured He could fulfill that promise is through resource distribution. Long ago He carved up the Earth into continents and buried within its soils a specific spectrum of mineral and other natural wealth. The Bible is clear that He had a guiding hand in settling various peoples in specific areas (e.g. Deuteronomy 32:8; Acts 17:26)—thus preparing them via location, geography and custody of strategic resources to fulfill their pre-ordained national roles in end-time prophecy.

The historically unprecedented wealth enjoyed by the United States and, before it, the British Empire that vaulted them to superpower status in recent generations powerfully illustrates this truth. Our free book The United States and Britain in Prophecy provides scriptural proof of how this wealth was prophesied to fall into the hands of these peoples—and to be subsequently lost.

Today we are witnessing another dramatic instance of this reality: the meteoric rise to prominence of a tiny clutch of otherwise inconsequential Middle Eastern states by sole virtue of their possession of what has only recently become the most valuable commodity on Earth.

The world’s crushing demand for oil is rapidly rising. A staggering 95 percent of the world’s transportation sector is petroleum-based. At the same time, production is leveling off. As recently as 1998, oil traded at $11 per barrel. Today that figure hovers around $100. This means that within a single decade, per-barrel oil revenue for these states shot up about 900 percent—$89 more for every barrel. And the world uses 40,000 gallons of oil every second—86 million barrels a day.

Do the math. It adds up to a mind-boggling, historically unprecedented transfer of wealth—about $700 billion more per year than just five years ago, much of it from free societies in the West—into oil-exporting nations. Many of these nations happen to be Middle Eastern, Muslim, and increasingly antagonistic toward the United States and other Western states.

This situation places near-nuclear-bomb-level power in their hands.

All the stock exchanges in the world are worth $57 trillion. At current oil prices, opec nations are sitting on $92 trillion.

Some of that oil money is funneling into sovereign wealth funds used to buy up strategic and technologically advanced companies in the U.S. and other Western nations. Some of that money is financing the construction of mosques and madrassas all over the West, including the U.S. And you can be sure, some of that money is flowing into the production of another highly consequential Middle Eastern export: terrorism.

A common argument is that terrorism grows out of poverty among Middle Eastern Muslims caused by Western oppression. The reality is practically the opposite. One could far more reasonably argue that terrorism would wither on the vine if not for steady infusions of oil money—largely from the West. Imagine the Allied powers during World War ii sending a billion dollars per day to Hitler.

Stepping back and evaluating the causes of this problem, several individual reasons present themselves. The juggernaut U.S. economy has grown to consume roughly a quarter of the world’s energy. Oil has proved to be the most viable source of energy, but America’s domestic oil production peaked during the 1970s and has fallen ever since. Rather than investing heavily into new oil exploration or expensive alternative energy sources, the market met supply shortfalls by increasing its dependence on foreign oil producers. In addition, environmental concerns are restricting access to additional domestic oil sources. Congress has blocked efforts to open up Alaska to oil drilling and placed a moratorium on new offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. This is essentially neo-paganism masquerading as environmentalism—valuing animal life and raw wilderness over human welfare.

On top of these factors is the West’s sense of justice and fair play. To this point the West has chosen to accept paying oil-producers their asking price—however steep—without putting up a fight, despite its military superiority. Thus, Middle Eastern states are the beneficiaries of the Western liberalism they often so vehemently denounce.

All of these specific causes contribute to the crisis. But the reason they add up to the epic realignment of global wealth and power we see occurring today depends largely on the resource distribution we spoke of earlier.

The Muslim world has inherited its prosperity by providential design—in order to facilitate its biblically prophesied rise to global prominence. Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt—these nations would never have registered a blip on the radar screen in modern times if not for their God-given oil wealth. Read our booklet The King of the South to see what a pivotal role they are prophesied to play in the time just ahead.

For the same reason, efforts to solve the problem by reversing Western dependence on foreign oil will always prove inadequate. At this stage, it is simply too little too late. The die has been cast. The situation is rapidly moving toward the biblically prophesied financial besiegement and subsequent collapse of the United States and Israel.

The material factors contributing to this crisis are underpinned by a spiritual reality. Likewise, the ultimate solution is not material, but spiritual. It lies not in ethanol and electric cars, but in repentance toward the God who prophesied catastrophe as punishment for disobedience to Him—including a devastating dependence on foreigners that would lead to ruin (e.g. Deuteronomy 28:43-44, 52).

Ultimately, the solution lies in the coming of the Messiah to build a new civilization from the ground up—a civilization free from the greed and rot that permeates the one we have built without His direction. That too is prophesied. And as the God of the Bible says, “My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.”