Will The US Go The Way Of Venezuela?

Will The US Go The Way Of Venezuela?

We’d all like to believe that the United States is on the road to economic recovery and that things are going to get better.  Everyone wants to think the store shelves are just a few cargo ships away from being refilled. People want to believe that once 2020 is over, life will return to “normal” and that we’re just having a really bad year.

But someone pointed out an article I published four and a half years ago and when you look at the things which happened there and compare them to our situation, you may notice some uncanny similarities.

Here’s how Venezuela ran out of food.

In February of 2016, I wrote about what an economic collapse really looks like, using Venezuela as an illustration.


Venezuela:

The article begins when prepping began to be frowned upon by the Venezuelan government.

In 2013, many began to suspect that the outlook for Venezuela was grim when prepping became illegal.  The Attorney General of Venezuela, Luisa Ortega Díaz, called on prosecutors to target people who are “hoarding” basic staples with serious sanctions.

Shortly thereafter, grocery stores instituted a fingerprint registry to purchase food and supplies.  Families had to register and were allotted a certain amount of supplies to prevent “hoarding.”


The United States:

Early in 2020, supplies began to be difficult to find due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and the potential of a lockdown.  When folks couldn’t find basics like toilet paper, fingers immediately began to point at “preppers” and “hoarders.”

The word “hoarding” is being repeatedly used throughout news reports.  They’re already working to paint preppers as bad and selfish people.  They’re already vilifying those who hurry out to fill any gaps in their supplies.  They’re making it seem like a mental illness to get prepared for what could potentially be a long stretch of time at home with only the supplies you have on hand.

This is a frequent trick of propagandists everywhere.  Repeat a word often enough and suddenly everyone begins using it.  Everyone begins to believe that the people labeled with an ugly word are terrible, selfish, and threats to decency.

This dialogue is still in place, with people being shamed for large purchases, when in fact, they’re simply getting necessities for a large family.  A friend of mine with a large family has said she’d have to shop every two days with the original limits stores posted to keep everyone in her household well-fed.


Venezuela:

It wasn’t long until the basics were incredibly difficult to acquire.

Then, just over a year ago, it became even more apparent that the country was falling when long lines for basic necessities such as laundry soap, diapers, and food became the norm rather than the exception.  Thousands of people were standing in line for 5-6 hours in the hopes that they would be able to purchase a few much-needed items.


The United States:

Writers on this website have talked about the shelves being cleared back in March, what we may see in shortage after halting many imports from China, and the fact that in most parts of the country, the supply chain is clearly broken.

People from all over the country have reported in the comments the bare spots in their local stores, with a few exceptions who say that everything in their part of the nation is back to normal.  Many areas still have limits on how many packages of toilet paper, cleaning supplies, and canned goods customers can purchase months after the original panic-fueled shopping sprees.


Venezuela:

Shortly after the story broke to the rest of the world, the propaganda machine shifted into high gear.  As the government began to ration electricity, it was announced that this was not due to economic reasons at all, but instead was a measure of their great concern for the environment.


The United States:

We’re looking at you, California, where PG&E, the largest power provider in the state has shut off the power to people in rural areas repeatedly over the past couple of years to “prevent wildfires.”  Millions faced the hottest days of the summer without electricity.


Venezuela:

As stores struggled to provide the essentials to customers, the government stepped in to “help.”

As the situation continued to devolve, farmers in Venezuela were forced to hand over their crops last summer.  They assumed control of essential goods like food and began putting retail outlets out of business.  Then, once they had control of the sales outlets, they began forcing farmers and food manufacturers to sell anywhere from 30-100% of their products to the state at the price the state opted to pay, as opposed to stores and supermarkets.

But that wasn’t enough to keep the population fed.  (Isn’t it astonishing how much less motivated people are to produce food and supplies when they are no longer allowed to benefit from their hard work?  Historically, collectivism and farming have never gone successfully hand in hand.)

This January, the government told citizens that they would need to produce their own food.  The Ministry of Urban Farming was created to oversee this.  While self-reliance sounds great, it isn’t so great in Venezuela.  Just so the urban farmers don’t get too self-reliant, a registry of the crops and livestock will be required.  (And obviously, they’ve already proven that they have no issue forcing farmers to hand over what they’ve produced.)


The United States:

As our supply chain devolved, it was learned that farmers in the United States were unable to get their products to the market due to logistics issues, closed packaging plants, and a totally different marketplace.  The President signed an Executive Order to force people to go back to work at meat packaging plants and also tried to organize a way to get food that was just being thrown out to the people who desperately needed it.

Processing plants across the country are shutting down as more and more employees become ill.  At least ten large meat processing plants have closed due to the virus.  Distribution issues have farmers dumping thousands of gallons of milk, plowing under vegetables in the fields, and leaving potatoes to rot.

A lot of the food being produced was destined for restaurants, hotels, and cruise ships.  Diverting it to grocery stores and the millions of people using food banks right now (because they didn’t get their money from unemployment yet, remember?) is unfortunately not as easy as it should be.

One of the issues processing.  With meat, in particular, this is difficult – most folks aren’t even going to be willing to process their own chickens and it’s wildly unrealistic to imagine a family in the city processing a cow or a pig.  With produce, it becomes a little bit easier – anyone can wash fruits and vegetables – but employees are still needed to harvest the food.

A lot of that scarcity could be remedied if we could reallocate things – if janitorial supplies could be sold to the general public, if farmers could sell directly to stores or consumers, and if farmers could donate unpurchased items to food banks.

To summarize, farmers are losing billions of dollars and people are going without food, while the food we have is left to rot.  Hopefully, President Trump’s new 19 billion dollar plan will allow the federal government to play matchmaker between frustrated farmers and hungry families.

So while nobody has insisted farmers hand over their crops without compensation, the government is clearly getting involved in the distribution of food.


Venezuela:

Eventually, all the measures the government of Venezuela took to hide the catastrophic collapse from citizens could hold up no longer.

Venezuela is out of food.

After several years of long lines, rationing, and shortages, the socialist country does not have enough food to feed its population, and the opposition government has declared a “nutritional emergency.”  This is just the most recent nail in the beleaguered country’s slow, painful economic collapse.

Many people expect an economic collapse to be shocking, instant, and dramatic, but really, it’s far more gradual than that. It looks like empty shelves, long lines, desperate government officials trying to cover their tushes, and hungry people.  For the past two years, I’ve been following the situation in Venezuela as each shocking event has unfolded. Americans who feel that our country would be better served by a socialist government would be wise to take note of this timeline of the collapse.

It only took 3 years from the first report (about making “hoarding” illegal) for the once oil-rich country to fall into ruin so extreme that there wasn’t enough food for everyone.


The United States:

While we are by no means at the point where there is no more food, there are all sorts of warning signs that day could come – and sooner than expected.  Many aspects of our system are crumbling, the supply chain is definitely broken, stores are already preparing for the second wave of shortages, and a simulation has predicted a 400% increase in the price of food by 2030.

An important side note

I’m sure it’s merely a coincidence but Venezuelans lost their firearms at around the same time “hoarding” was deemed illegal.

Were you aware that Venezuela banned guns for private citizens a mere four years ago, in 2012?  Although the country was already in trouble, it seems like that was the beginning of the end.

Under the reign of Hugo Chavez, the government introduced a law that banned personal purchases of firearms and ammunition in an attempt to “improve security and cut crime”.  The law was designed to keep guns in the hands of only police, military, and some security companies.

At the time, Chavez’s government said that “the ultimate aim is to disarm all civilians.”  Shortly after the law passed, Chavez lost a battle to cancer, and bus driver Nicolas Maduro became the new president.

Maduro invested $47 million in “disarmament centers” in 2014, where citizens could turn in their firearms without fear of repercussions.  This was at about the same time as the government declared that prepping was illegal and those “hoarding” could be detained on criminal charges and when the country instituted a fingerprint registry for purchasing groceries so that they could ensure people only purchased what they were allotted.

Most readers of this website are well aware of concentrated efforts across the United States to undermine the Second Amendment over the past 9 years it has been operating.  For more information on these efforts, check out these articles.


How far will we fall in the United States?

This side-by-side comparison is certainly not identical to the crisis in Venezuela, but there are enough similarities that you should be very uncomfortable with our situation.  We strongly encourage efforts to become more self-reliant, stocking up on food and other supplies, and frugality in the days ahead.

Those who are prepared may still struggle but they’ll be far better off than those who are completely blindsided by the continued collapse.

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Originally published at The Organic Prepper — reposted with permission.

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Our Latest Posts:

478: More Than Stumbling Forward
477: Where Are We In Prophetic History?
476: The Condition of the Church
475: How to Understand the Why Questions
474: Time to Call a Sacred Assembly

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478:  More Than Stumbling Forward

478: More Than Stumbling Forward

In the Christian life, surrounded by our brothers and sisters who, like us, have failed in their walk with Christ, we often define sanctification as simply stumbling forward.  We hear sermons, Sunday after Sunday, that tell us to grow closer to Him and bear His fruit (John 15:1-8), but they never seem to tell us how.  And we are left feeling like we have to put together a dresser from Ikea without any instructions.  But the Christian life, once we know the “how” to do what we must do, is so much more than stumbling forward.

And the key is knowing how to do the things we know we need to do.  Or how to obey the commands of Christ that we struggle with.  Consider these “how to do them” questions:

  • How to live by faith (Gal. 2:20).
  • How to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18).
  • How to walk by the Spirit and not by the flesh (Gal. 5:16).
  • How to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:5).
  • How to lay my life down as a living sacrifice (Rom. 12:1-2).
  • How to have victory over sin (1 John 5:4).
  • How to pray without ceasing (1 Thes. 5:17).
  • How to rejoice always in every situation (Phil. 4:4).
  • How to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matt. 6:33).
  • How to experience the peace of God (Phil. 4:7).
  • How to hear God’s voice (2 Peter 1:18).
  • How to have God’s Word become alive to me (Heb. 4:12).

There are so many how questions in the Christian life.  And there is so little teaching on how to answer them.


But It’s More Than Simply Stumbling Forward

The best way for our faith to grow so we will no longer stumble forward in our spiritual life is to believe the promises of God.  All of them.  Every last one.

And in order to have that kind of faith to trust God at His Word, there are some things we must learn.  And they are difficult.  For example, we must learn to trust the promises of God.  We must learn to lean and rely on Him and not on our own understanding (Prov. 3:5-6).  We must learn to let Him work out all the details of our life, no matter what they are.  We must learn to say “yes” and not “why?”, “how?”, “what for?”, “how long?”, or “that doesn’t seem fair.”

In essence, by faith we must learn to see by believing.  And not seeing in order to believe.

Hebrews 11:6 – But without faith it is impossible (not able) to please (to be well-pleasing, to take pleasure in) Him, (why) for he who comes to God (to approach, to come near) must (is necessary) believe (faith, trust, be firmly persuaded) that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (seek Him out, to search diligently).

Which means, without having faith you cannot, under any circumstances, be pleasing to God.  Why?  Because those who come near to God, those who approach Him must (there is no other way) be firmly convinced that He exists and that He will prove Himself to be a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him out.

Join us as we take just one simple promise from God, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Heb. 13:5) and use it to grow our faith in Him by believing and living victoriously in that belief.  After all, it’s so much better than stumbling forward and then trying to convince ourselves this is the abundant life we were promised (John 10:10).

To download the slides to this message, click – HERE

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Our Latest Posts:

477: Where Are We In Prophetic History?
476: The Condition of the Church
475: How to Understand the Why Questions
474: Time to Call a Sacred Assembly
473: Self-Examination and Salvation

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477:  Where Are We In Prophetic History?

477: Where Are We In Prophetic History?

When we look at the times in which we live, no question seems more important than this:  Where are we in prophetic history?  And what is going to happen next?  What is next on the prophetic calendar?  Where are we in regards to Matthew 24 or Daniel 9 or the book of Revelation?  Where are we, right now, in the continuum of prophetic history?

And the answer to that question will either fill you with peace or dread, depending on your relationship with the Lord.  If you long for His return, then the signs of His coming provide great encouragement.  But if you are trying to live your best life now, then His return and judgment should keep you up at night.

Scripture gives us a few signs, like a timeline, for the end.  And when we see these signs coming in rapid successions, like birth pains, we know the time of His return is near.  Let’s look at just a few of these signs.

  1.  The Regathering of the Jewish People to their Land
  2.  Increasing Apostasy in the Church
  3.  The Coming Middle East Peace
  4.  Reuniting of the Roman Empire (East / West)
  5.  The Proliferation of Globalism

Remember what our Lord said about these signs:

Matthew 24:4-8 – “Take heed that no one deceives you.  For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.  And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.  For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.  All these are the beginning of sorrows.”

Did you catch that?  The “beginning of sorrows (or travail from childbirth).”


Question:  Where Are We In Prophetic History?

But what about our country?  Where does the United States fit in the end time?  Where are we, as a nation, in prophetic history?

The simple answer is, we do not figure into the end time scenario.  And there are many speculations why that may be.  We may be included in the list of Gentile nations that reject God in the end times (Revelation 10:11, 11:18, 12:5, 14:8, 15:4, 16:19, 17:15, 18:3, 23, 19:15).  Or even worse, we may be included in the nations that rage against God in Psalm 2.

Psalm 2:1-2 – Why do the nations rage (including ours), and the people plot a vain thing?  The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, “Let us (the nations and people) break Their (plural) bonds in pieces and cast away Their (plural)  cords from us.”

Again, are we part of the “nations” in Psalm 2?
Or, are we a Godly nation that follows after Him?
Is the church pure enough to forestall His wrath?
Can we expect another great revival before the end?
And, if so, what would the rapture do to our nation?
Or are we, as a nation, long overdue for judgment?

As you can see, these are vital questions that need to be answered as we see the day of His return approaching (Hebrews 10:5).  So let’s take a look at this together to determine exactly where we are in prophetic history and what we can expect next.

To download the slides to this message, click – HERE

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Our Latest Posts:

476: The Condition of the Church
475: How to Understand the Why Questions
474: Time to Call a Sacred Assembly
473: Self-Examination and Salvation
472: Have You Experienced Regeneration or Conversion?

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476:  The Condition of the Church

476: The Condition of the Church

What is the condition of the church today?  Is the bride of Christ pure like our Lord commanded?  Or have we compromised and sold our birthright for a bowl of stew?

The church, made up of true believers, is to be the assembly of those who are the light of the world (Matt. 5:14) and salt of the earth (Matt. 5:13).  But sadly, as we see the church compromise and the world’s acceptance and approval of us loom large in the hearts of many, our influence wanes to the point of being a non-factor in our culture.  How did that happen?  We allowed our focus to move from the Lord to ourselves as we judge truth by how it affects each of us.  This is the current condition of the church.

And it really should not be any surprise to us.  After all, Jesus said it would be this way for those who live, like we do, in the Laodicean church age.

  • Denial of God – Luke 17:26; 2 Timothy 3:4-5
  • Denial of Christ – 1 John 2:18; 4:3; 2 Peter 2:6
  • Denial of Christ’s Return – 2 Peter 3:3-4
  • Denial of the Faith – 1 Timothy 4:1-2; Jude 3
  • Denial of Sound Doctrine – 2 Timothy 4:3-4
  • Denial of the Separated Life – 2 Timothy 3:1-7
  • Denial of Christian Liberty – 1 Timothy 4:3-4
  • Denial of Morals – 2 Timothy 3:1-8,13; Jude 18
  • Denial of Authority – 2 Timothy 3:4

What else does the Scripture teach about the condition of the church in the end times?


What is the Condition of the Church Today?

There are many Scriptures that show us the condition of the church at the end.  And the major description of the church is apostasy.  They have left their first love (Rev. 2:4).  Let me just share a few with you.

1 Timothy 4:1-3 – Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.

2 Timothy 3:1-5 – But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:  For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power.  And from such people turn away!

And there are many more.  This should shed some light on the condition of the church today.

If you want to know more, including how to soar in times of great compromise, keep listening.

To download the slides to this message, click – HERE

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Our Latest Posts:

475: How to Understand the Why Questions
474: Time to Call a Sacred Assembly
473: Self-Examination and Salvation
472: Have You Experienced Regeneration or Conversion?
471: How to Experience the Peace of God

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475:  How to Understand the Why Questions

475: How to Understand the Why Questions

When we read Scripture, we usually focus on the obvious “who, what, where, and what does it say and what does it mean” questions.  But what is often overlooked are the vital “why” questions.  And learning how to ask the “why” questions takes some time.  It is not something that comes naturally.  You almost have to train your brain to look beyond the obvious and force yourself to try to understand the “why” questions that come with every passage of Scripture.

Not, “why did God choose to put this statement in His Scripture?”  Or, “why is the Song of Solomon included in the Bible?”  But “why did Paul write this letter to the church at Phillipi in the first place?”  What was the problem that needed to be addressed or the ministry that needed to be encouraged?  And how would I feel if I was a member of that church, listening to Paul’s letter being read publically?  What impact would it have on me?

For example, consider the following well-known teaching from Paul’s letter to the Philippians.

Philippians 4:6-7 – Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Now, let’s ask some questions about the text in order to better understand “why” Paul wrote this letter to them.

What was the setting for this statement?
Where was Paul when he wrote the letter?
What worries or fears did the church at Philippi have?

Next, begin to make it personal.

What worries and fears do I have?
What keeps me from experiencing His peace or robs me of experiencing His joy?
And what worries and fears do I have that rob me of my joy?


How to Understand the Why Questions of Scripture

As you read Paul’s letter (or any passage of Scripture), imagine you were in the church in Philippi listening to this letter being read.  How would you feel?  What would the words mean to you?  And what impact would they make on your life if you were living in the early days of the New Testament?

Then go deeper.  What impact are these words having in your life today?  And why is that?

As you look at each verse, ask yourself the “why” questions in order to understand (and feel, experience) the power of these words.  And when you do, the Scriptures, every Scripture, will come alive to you in ways you may not now fully understand.

2 Timothy 3:16 – All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,

And why is that?

2 Timothy 3:17 – that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Join us as we learn how to understand the importance of asking the “why” questions in Scripture.

To download the slides to this message, click – HERE

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Our Latest Posts:

474: Time to Call a Sacred Assembly
473: Self-Examination and Salvation
472: Have You Experienced Regeneration or Conversion?
471: How to Experience the Peace of God
Our Uncertain Times

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