America’s economic system has been exposed to the world. It’s a fraud. We have tried to market this system to the nations for years, yet now its corrupt roots lie exposed. American capitalism, vaunted so highly for so long, is just history’s latest failure.
This system was always doomed to fail—because it breaks God’s law! The seeds of this financial meltdown were sown the very first time this country decided it would ignore the law of God and build an economic system on credit.
This world rejects God’s laws and tries to convince itself that they no longer apply—that they came from the imagination of an unsophisticated, ancient desert people. But these laws came from the Almighty Creator! His understanding of His creation includes every aspect of the physical realm, including economics. His law makes the most brilliant economic minds in our world look ignorant.
God has a perfect economic system. Our top financial experts are so arrogant that they would ridicule it. But the fact is, they are suffering, and unemployed, and losing billions of dollars, because they break it!
Let’s look at God’s economic system and see what a wonderful, revolutionary improvement it will be over the systems used in the world today.
Many prophecies speak about the tremendous prosperity we will enjoy in the Millennium. The foundation of that prosperity will be the ingenious economy designed by God based on the principle of love.
Herbert W. Armstrong gives the overview of this new world economy in Mystery of the Ages: “It seems evident … that Joseph will be made director of the world’s economy—its agriculture, its industry, its technology, and its commerce—as well as its money and monetary system” (emphasis added throughout). There are several details there: There will be industry, technology and money.
“This will be an administration that will eliminate famine, starvation, poverty. There will be no poverty-stricken slums. There will be universal prosperity!” So many expensive things in this world—militaries, prisons, security systems, policing, many government programs, for example—will be unnecessary. And that money will be put to far better use. God’s law tells us how that wealth will be managed in the best possible way to ensure it isn’t misused, enriching a few at the expense of the many. It will start with obedience to God’s commands against stealing, lying and, most importantly, coveting (Exodus 20:17).
“In God’s Kingdom, commands of His will be obeyed. They’ll become the standard for regulating commerce, business, finance, and the entire economic structure of the world,” Mr. Armstrong continued. “And all will be on the giving basis. … The giving standard will be followed in God’s rule on this Earth—not the grasping, conniving, striving, deceitful, clandestine, furtive, scurrilous, devious, cheating and lying chicanery that is commonplace in today’s business world” (ibid).
A Brilliant Overview
Here is an overview of an economy governed by God’s economic laws. It contains many details that show how Mr. Armstrong studied and internalized the Old Testament laws regarding business and finance.
“A fixed standard will be set up; and values will never change,” he wrote. Commerce, money and the monetary system “will be on the international level, the same in every nation” (ibid). Today, your money loses value because the supply can continually increase: The government just prints more bills. The United States government is doing just that, adding trillions of dollars into circulation by fiat. But God’s system of money will be stable, with fixed value. It won’t just be paper; it will be based on something like the gold standard.
“No more speculating or gambling on other people’s ability,” Mr. Armstrong continued. “Never again will any person become rich from investing in the labors and creative ability of another person. No more stock markets, world banks, financing centers, insurance companies, mortgage companies, loan agencies or time payments.” A world governed by God’s law won’t have investments as we have today. There will be wealth, but it will be tied more directly to physical assets rather than to large sums of currency sitting in banks. You won’t be able to simply throw money at people and expect them to work with it and give you a return.
God’s system restricts much of the power associated with money. Today, those with money tend to make more and more of it while those without tend to make little. God’s system doesn’t allow for some few to make enormous fortunes off the backs of others. It rewards each person fairly for his work.
Interest? God Says No
Think of it: no world banks, mortgage companies, loan agencies or time payments. “In God’s abundant government people will buy only what they need, when they can afford it, when they have the cash to pay for it. No more interest” (ibid). This is a revolutionary change from today’s world. Credit as it is practiced today—the lifeblood of capitalism, without which the system cannot function—is against God’s law!
The Old Testament mentions interest (“usury”) 22 times, and every time, there is evidence that God doesn’t approve of it.
Read Deuteronomy 23:19. The New King James Version reads, “You shall not charge interest to your brother—interest on money or food or anything that is lent out at interest.” See God’s promise in verse 20 to bless the nation that obeys this financial law. Some people believe this law only prohibits charging interest to a poor Israelite, while charging interest to rich Israelites who want to expand their businesses was fine. That is not what this law says. There are scriptures where God specifically forbids charging interest to the poor, but in other passages, including this one, He makes no such distinction.
Some contend that “usury” means exorbitant interest, but that a little interest is okay. This too is mistaken. God doesn’t want any interest charged for anything! Study Nehemiah 5:1-12, where even 1 percent interest is condemned.
The only exception God permits is in charging interest to foreigners. This is God’s way of protecting His people from outsiders taking advantage of them. No foreigner could impose on an Israelite for a free loan. This is one legal provision that will no longer apply in the Millennium, because usury will be illegal all over the world!
Mr. Armstrong said that in the Millennium there will be no world banks. Our whole banking system is built on usury: You lend money to the bank at interest; it lends your money out to others at even higher interest. God doesn’t want anyone to profit off someone borrowing money. Why? Because He doesn’t want people borrowing money!
“Never again will anyone build a building he can’t afford, and doesn’t need, to lease and rent to tenants who help him pay for it. No more interest. God says it is sin to lend money at ‘usury’ or interest,” Mr. Armstrong wrote (ibid). As soon as it becomes profitable to help other people get into debt, then you have people encouraging others to go into debt. We see this everywhere: credit card offers, stores advertising time payments, lenders offering home loans to people who can’t really afford them, and so on.
Read Leviticus 25:35-37, where God forbids charging interest to a poor man, even a non-Israelite. Notice the reason given in verse 38. This one law absolutely condemns today’s credit card companies. The ridiculous interest rates they charge lead many poor people into the slavery of oppressive debt. By breaking this statute, they are trampling on God’s law of love!
In tomorrow’s world, we will teach people how to conduct their finances responsibly. “People will not, then, try to ‘keep up with the Joneses,’ so they will not try to live beyond their means,” Mr. Armstrong wrote in The Wonderful World Tomorrow—What It Will Be Like. “They will be educated to resist impulse buying, and lustful acquisition of various gadgets, toys, playthings and luxury items that they can’t afford, and don’t need.” (There will also be fewer such products, since people will devote their creative and labor energies to worthwhile enterprises as opposed to things that fulfill lusts but don’t truly better our lives.)
This is an excellent aspect of God’s law we should evaluate ourselves on. It is easy to get off track because society continually pushes us to buy, buy, buy! Buy now, pay later! No money? Buy it on time payment. Don’t wait—have it now! You deserve it! This erodes sound principles and godly character.
Interest makes it more expensive to conduct business, which artificially increases prices and creates inflation. Credit bumps our standard of living in the short term, but makes us far poorer in the long run.
Our culture sees no shame in debt—and the worst offender is the American government. A major reason our taxes are high is the usury we are paying on all of our debt! See the effect of this policy in Proverbs 22:7.
Easy credit teaches financial irresponsibility and self-indulgence, enslaves people in debt, and leads to financial ruin. Eliminating easy credit teaches financial responsibility, patience, hard work and self-control, and in the long run, it increases individual and family wealth.
Consider it: With a mortgage, you put tens of thousands of dollars in a banker’s pocket and end up paying double for your home. Under God’s system, you have to wait longer for that house, but that extra money stays in your family, perhaps for your children’s inheritance. No wonder Mr. Armstrong said there won’t even be mortgage companies in God’s economy! Interest always tends to take money from the poor and give it to the rich, increasing the economic disparity between the two.
Today, government waste is epidemic. Not so in the World Tomorrow! Because the overarching administration will be spirit beings, bureaucratic waste will be history, and there will be absolutely zero corruption. “[T]here will be no huge bureaus watching other huge bureaus, which are suspiciously watching other bureaus; no military establishment; no ‘intelligence’ (spy) agencies or members of Interpol; no huge cartels, monopolies, unions or giant government spending.” “Take away … losses through government price controls and overflooding of markets.” “No more foreign aid—none of the wasted billions to buy ‘lovers’ (allies) … who turn and rend you later. No more strings-attached government grants to industry, to science and space technology, to schools and institutions for research” (Mystery of the Ages).
A more efficient government will have many benefits. For one, it will make people far richer! “[N]o more taxes. But the tithing system will be universal” (ibid). Today, taxes consume almost 40 percent of Americans’ money, and in many nations they consume far more. In the World Tomorrow, everyone will pay the same: 10 percent of their increase.
“[T]ake away all the taxes, real and hidden. Take away property taxes, school taxes (since all education will then be handled by the Family of God, and the physical family of Levi) and all other taxes …” (The Wonderful World Tomorrow). No property taxes! Today, the nicer you make your property, the more of your money the government takes—thus penalizing people for developing their property. Not in God’s world!
Before Social Security was introduced, most Americans secured their old age through savings, property ownership and family. Now government programs effectively eliminate adults’ responsibility to their own children and grandchildren. Rather than encouraging adults to retire among family, the government prods the elderly to spend the money on themselves, and even to pass debt on to children!
In God’s society, every family will own property, and God’s laws will help safeguard that asset. As a result of this and other family-friendly developments, families will become stronger and bigger—more united, more active, more loving. Communities will become stronger, more social, friendlier and more interdependent. Imagine the unity and harmony when all families are obeying the same law and worshiping the same God!
God also commanded a celebration twice per century that would have a tremendous healing effect on the economy. Read about it in Leviticus 25:8-13. As Mr. Armstrong expressed it, “Once each 50 years, all debts, public and private, will be cancelled, completely.”
Read verses 14-16. Land is valued according to how many years remain before it will be returned to the original family in the Jubilee. Thus property values, rather than rising year by year, go down. This eliminates inflated property values and the danger of a real-estate bubble. This also removes the incentive to become a property baron, because anyone who tried would lose much of his investment at the end of 50 years. God intends any non-family owner of the land to profit only from what he can produce on it year by year, not from speculative land development or property inflation. Under this law, families will generally develop their own land, rather than developers buying up property and littering them with subdivisions, hotels and strip malls.
Look at the planning God put into His physical creation, and how everything works together to create a perfect ecosystem in which so much life can thrive. God’s law works the same way. God planned out exactly how to create a society that would help human beings live the way of give on a grand scale. His laws all work together to create such a society.
A Rest for the Land
Look at a great example of how God’s law benefits society in Leviticus 25:1-4. This is the same principle behind the weekly Sabbath. Those who keep the Sabbath today can see many benefits of doing so. You can be sure that additional benefits would also arise from keeping the land Sabbath every seven years.
Note the faith principle in this law contained in verses 20-22. Remember how God provided double the manna on the sixth day of the week so the Israelites didn’t have to gather on the Sabbath (e.g. Exodus 16:5). Using this same principle, God promises to bless the agricultural yields in the sixth year so that His people will have plenty of food during the sabbatical year. This law makes people rely on their Creator in a very real way for their economic health. And when they follow it, they enjoy abundance!
Read 2 Chronicles 36:21 to see how important the sabbatical year is to God. The Jews went into Babylonian captivity for about 70 years, in fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecy in Jeremiah 25:11-12. Why 70 years? Because between the time of Moses and the beginning of the captivity, Israel failed to keep 70 sabbatical years! God said, If you’re not going to let the land rest every seven years, then I’m going to put you in captivity so the land can rest! I’m keeping track! The land should have gotten 70 sabbaths, and I’m going to ensure it gets every one of those 70—one after the other after the other!
God made the soil to need this rest in order to be maximally productive—perhaps for many reasons. Imagine the many benefits in a world where this law is universally kept! Heading into the seventh year, how much easier would it be to forgive debts as God commands (e.g. Deuteronomy 15:1-2) when you have an exceptionally bountiful harvest—three years’ worth of produce in a single year? With everyone enjoying a large harvest, it is not difficult to imagine a community helping each other to reap it.
Then, suddenly, the whole community has an entire year where no one is farming and everyone has extra time on their hands. What will they do during that seventh year? You could easily see communities getting together and doing special projects: worshiping God in community productions; raising extra money for headquarters in Jerusalem; hosting special educational opportunities; raising up public buildings together; constructing great infrastructure and architecture; undertaking projects as a community that, in our world today, the government does with our tax money. Read Deuteronomy 31:10-11 to see what people will hear during the Feast that year. How close, how unified, how strong will that community be as they work together and enjoy each other’s company during that sabbath year!
This is on top of the benefits we’ve seen that God’s law produces in individual families, with multiple generations living together, with children being taught, marriages being strong, older people being honored. Think of how this world will prepare all people to enter God’s Family! Everyone will be able to witness firsthand the blessings that come from obeying our most wise, just, merciful, loving Creator!
Man’s laws—which are contrary to God’s laws—have unexpected negative effects. God’s laws have unexpected positive effects! Just like our children can’t always understand the reasons why we tell them to do this or avoid that, we won’t always immediately understand the wisdom in God’s law. But if we apply our hearts to it, meditate on it and do it, then over time, the understanding will come. Trust God and obey, and you will discover many unforeseen purposes and hidden benefits to His perfect law of love.