After all this time writing about debt, I have never really revealed the Biblical definitions and parameters of debt. Did you know the original meaning for “mortgage” is “dead pledge?” To “amortize” means “to deaden.” Did you know that one of the 13 names for Satan is “debt?” It is true. This is why Jesus needed to come and “pay our debt that we could not pay.” (See Col. 2:13-14.)

The Hebrew word picture for debt is “mem-tav”: “mem” is a picture of flooding waters and “tav” is a sign of the cross, meaning “what God had promised would happen because of sin.” Satan (debt) is a master of bondage, which creates death. The enemy’s goal has always been to create so much debt that it is impossible for the individual to pay it back. Debt (Satan) creates a relationship of servitude and slavery to the one who offered the apple of death. Satan does not care what kind of debt one adopts: money, promises, material things, food, time, tithe, favors, or sins. It really doesn’t matter to him!

In the Old Testament times, loaning money to fellow Jewish brothers was only under the condition of charitable giving. It was absolutely forbidden (still is) to charge interest to a brother of the race. The children of God were not to borrow, or loan, to people outside their race. If they did, they were accused of forming partnerships with the “unequally yoked.” The early Jews knew the interest charged would create long-term bondage. Under Hebraic law, if a person loaned money to a brother and he refused (or couldn’t) pay it back, the loan was then considered “charitable giving.” This was not determined until the end of the seventh year. If the borrower was caught a second time “stiffing” a fellow brother for a loan, he was to be treated as a foreigner. This included no financial dealings, which would force him to leave the community.

Nowadays when an individual cannot pay a debt, he considers ideas such as bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is not a Biblical solution, nor does God support these kinds of resolutions. Bankruptcy laws are changing to make it easier for individuals and corporations to go this route. It used to be when a person went bankrupt, their assets were turned into legal tender and the money would be used to pay down the debt. The Hebrew Word Picture for bankrupt is “broken bench.” It was a custom to do business while sitting on a bench, which was usually located in the courtyard of the temple. Back then, when a banker went “bankrupt” his bench was broken by other businessmen. This is actually the practice that Jesus was addressing when he threw the “money changers” out of the temple (Matt. 21:12). As the years have passed, bankruptcy has become a way of escaping from the responsibility of paying debt. God tells us to “be in debt to no man” and to pay up all of our debts, unless we are forgiven of that debt.

Depreciating Debt Items: The worst kind of debt is money owed on items that decrease in value the longer one looks at them. The longer one owns them, the more worthless they become. Since with most debt there is interest on these depreciating debts, a person is actually throwing his money to the wind. Jesus graciously reminds us of these worthless investments:

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19, NASB).

He is speaking of depreciating items that collect dust and moths. So what are these appreciating items? Let’s take a look.

Appreciating Items: It used to be when someone bought a house or land, he was guaranteed to be investing in an appreciating item. The closer we get to the end-times and the final global economy, we are going to find that even gold and silver are going to be bad investments. God made it clear to us that wisdom and understanding is so much better than gold and silver (Prov.16:16). He also promises that those who seek wisdom and understanding are considered wealthy in the Kingdom of God. For most “Christians,” this isn’t enough. They want more – much more. They want the best of both worlds. Up to most recently, that plan has worked fairly well. Soon and very soon, “Christians” will be faced with having to choose which Master they will serve. But for now, they can claim the prosperity of two Masters and get away with it.

“Your gold and your silver have rusted; and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire. It is in the last days that you have stored up your treasure 
(James 5:3, NASB)!

James is openly warning us about storing up gold and silver for the end-times. I know many “Christians” who are buying up gold and silver. They are hoping that “if” the economy falls out, they will have some assets with “appreciating value” that will care for them in tough times. The problem with that solution is there are multiple passages in the Bible in which God says He is going to make gold and silver worthless. Secondly, Revelation tells us that true indwelt Christians will not be able to “buy, sell, or trade” in this final system of the Antichrist. So what is a true Christian to do? Well – that is where we are going with this series!

Did you know that when we are using that credit card, or borrowing money from the lender, that we are not only spending someone else’s money, but we are dragging around a “carrus” full of bags? The Roman pagans used a system of charging in order to enslave others to be their baggage carriers. If one borrowed from a Roman, he would be required to be his “baggage wagon” carrier until his debt was paid in full. This is where we get the Latin definition of “carrus/charge,” which means “baggage wagon.” It is through this early Roman practice that I get the Revelation Roman Empire practice of the Antichrist enslaving the world to his baggage cart. I believe that personal, corporate, and national debt is the number one requirement for slavery to the Antichrist. For without debt, the people are freed from being a baggage toting “donkey” for the Antichrist, and I mean that literally.

Compounding Interest: Satan is not satisfied with you and me being in debt with a bit of interest piled on top. He is really after the compounding interest. When we get caught by this trap, we begin to feel like we will never be out of debt and oftentimes never are. Cumulus, or compound, debt is exactly what the word means: to pile up one upon another. If we get behind in a payment, the compounding interest kicks in and we soon find ourselves only being able to make the interest payments and never (or rarely) touching the principle debt. This is the condition that most credit card toting slaves are in today. I, too, was once a credit card slave; more than once, in fact. Once Satan has us paying the interest payment only, he then can come in with his left-handed punch through the loss of a job, health problems, car repairs, or any other kind of “emergency” that justifies more debt. His goal – financial disaster and spiritual, emotional, and financial bondage!

Do you remember an earlier article, in which I shared the true to life facts about how much interest the United States of America pays per second on our national debt (not including our internal debt)? Sometimes numbers fly by readers because they are more interested in the content. So I will give those numbers to you again. The U.S. is charged compounding interest to the tune of $41 million per hour. To make it even more real: that’s $984 million per day, $690,000 per minute, or $11,500 per second! This is why even our unsaved global economists are saying that America will never be able to get out of debt. No big deal, right? Hummm, I’m not even going to comment on that one!

God graciously warned us and then He told us. Now we are beginning to suffer the ultimate consequences of borrowing. God gave His guidelines of:

“Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law” (Romans 13:8, NASB).

This is not only something that is required of the private sector; but every nation on the face of the earth is soon to tote this wagon. Today, when people have to choose between loving someone and getting that new “thing,” statistics prove they choose debt. 

I have reviewed some of the proposals of the G-20 debt reduction plan. One of the more sobering items is that all the debt accumulated by parents, will require payment by their children and grandchildren – up to four generations! Once the Antichrist’s system is implemented, every time we use that credit card we are potentially putting our great-great-grandchildren in debt. Shocking? Well, that is how national debt works. We pass it from President to President and generation to generation. Why hasn’t the world up to this point made a big deal about our trillions of dollars of debt? Some have. But the reason there has not been a global outcry is because the Antichrist has wanted to turn the interest into compound interest. Now that the debt is so out of control, a leader can step in and suggest an idea that will “miraculously” set us free from certain global disaster.

The Curse Coming Down Upon Us: So far, we have mostly been dealing with the negative issues relating to the Antichrist and debt. But we must not forget about the judgment of God. God is clear about how He handles people or nations that are in debt.

"But it shall come about, if you do not obey the LORD your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes with which I charge you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you: ‘He shall lend to you, but you will not lend to him; he shall be the head, and you will be the tail’ ” (Deuteronomy 28:15, 44, NASB).

Who exactly is He talking about here? The “you” is anyone who is disobedient to the Lord’s commands. If you and I think these “curses” are locked in the Old Testament, then we do not understand the purpose of the Old Testament. The curse still applies to all unsaved people or nations who have not been freed through the power of the Cross – Salvation. God is already allowing these “curses” to come upon the people of the world and they ARE continuously overtaking them. If you don’t believe me, check out the world news tonight. God goes on to warn us that this “he” will lend to us, but we will not be able to lend to him. Why? This “he” (Antichrist) is going to be the “head” of the dog and the unsaved people are going to be the “tail.” When the head decides to wag, all the people will wag.

What should not be news to you and me by now is that the borrower is a slave to the lender (Prov. 22:7). One of the primal ways for God to keep His children from being slaves after salvation is by keeping them out of debt! God would like for all of His precious children to be 100% free from the affairs of everyday life. God knows, because He made us, that our calling requires service and loyalty to the one who enlisted us into our calling. He certainly would like for us to understand that DEBT distracts us from that reality. Debt deceptively forces us to shift our loyalty (and Kingdom monies) to a “new commander and chief.” 

“No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier” (2 Timothy 2:4, NASB).