The following is an illustration of how the value of paper currency has diminished:
The year is 1887. In 1887, the value of gold was $21.00 an ounce. That meant that one ounce of gold was equal in value to 21 ounces of silver. There was also paper currency, "representative" of these metals.
There were three young men. John is a true follower and bondman of the Christ. Thomas is a lukewarm believer. Adolph is an Atheist and a strong believer in the governments of men. They all worked as a labourer, and in exchange for their work, they each received $21.00 in paper currency (which, at that time, could be exchanged for gold or silver at the blacksmith, or at a bank).
John, putting his faith in God, exchanged that which man created (paper currency) for that which God created, and received one ounce of gold.
Thomas, following John's example, also exchanged his currency for one ounce of gold.
Adolph, however, believes paper currency is just as valuable as gold or silver, and keeps his paper currency instead.
Now, at that time, there was a one acre parcel of land for sale for $21.00. However, since this is the first time they ever received money, all three men decide to hold on to his $21.00 as a keepsake instead, and not to spend it until a later time. And, since one ounce of gold can be exchanged for $21.00 in paper currency, and since the $21.00 in paper currency can be exchanged for 21 silver dollars, it appears that they are equal in value. However, as will be shown, this is only an illusion.
Now, fast forward to 1933. There was no such thing as inflation yet. Prices remained the same from 1887 to 1933. In 1933, for the people's "safety", FDR made it a criminal offense for "citizens" to have gold in this country, and there was a $10,000 fine and 10 year prison sentence for any "citizen" who did not turn their gold over to the U.S. government. In exchange for the gold that people handed over to the U.S. government, they received the same amount in paper currency.
So, in 1933, FDR raised the price of gold from $21.00 to $35.00 an ounce.
Adolph the Atheist never did look to the substance that God created, so he did not have anything to do but keep his original $21.00 in paper currency.
Thomas, being a lukewarm believer, thought it "safe" to obey the government, so he turned in his ounce of gold to the government and received $35.00 in paper currency in exchange for that gold. Sounds fair, doesn't it? However,
John, the bondman of Christ who knew that he was not a "citizen" of any nation of the world, but of Heaven, ignored the deceptive mandates of man and did not hand it over to the U.S. government. He also knew that the gold belonged to God (Haggai 2:8), and he cannot render to Caesar (the U.S. government) that which belongs to God (Mark 12:17).
Those who were good little citizens obeyed their masters, and rendered to Caesar that which belonged to God. After all, the government would not really steal our gold, and would never do anything which would harm us. Would they?
Now, fast forward to 1973. The U.S. government decided to allow its "citizens" to own gold again, since they've been such obedient slaves. During the years between 1933 and 1973, the price of gold has been steadily increasing (or, in reality, has the value of paper currency been steadily decreasing?).
Fast forward to 1980. Let us say those three young men from 1887 are still alive, and they are now three old men. That acre of land is still for sale also. They never bought it back in 1887, but, the three old men decide they'd like to get it now. However, because of "inflation," the acre of land is no longer $21.00 as it was in 1887; it's current price is $594.90!!!
Now, let's look at what the three men have. Who faired better? The atheist who put his trust in the things made with man's hands, the man who tried to put his trust in both man and God, or the man who put his trust in God only?
Adolph, the atheist, who put his trust in man, had $21.00 in paper currency. He would not even be able to afford a plot of land the size of an outhouse! His paper currency was devalued! If he wanted the full acre of land, it would now cost him 29 times more to buy the same exact parcel!
Thomas, the lukewarm believer who obeyed man rather than God "for safety sake", had $35.00 in paper currency. He might be able to afford enough land for a roomier outhouse, but that's all. His paper currency was devalued! If he wanted the full acre of land, it would now cost him 17 times more to buy the same parcel!
John, the one who obeyed God rather than put his trust in man, still had his ounce of gold. In 1980, an ounce of gold averaged $594.90 an ounce! The same price as the acre of land. So, all John needed to do was to exchange his ounce of gold for the land, just as he would have been able to do back in 1887! His faith in God had protected him from the evil and deceptions of man.
Why did Thomas and Adolph fair worse than John? Scripture tells us:
Jeremiah 17:5, "Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD."
Psalms 118:8-9, "It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes."
Psalms 146:3, "Put not your trust in princes,"
Acts 5:29, "Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men."
We should keep in mind that $10 in silver or gold represents labour already done. But a $10 note (i.e. Federal Reserve Note, paper money) represents labour yet to be done. Notes are promises, and promises can be broken.
"Of all the contrivances devised for cheated the laboring classes of mankind, none has been more effective than that which deludes him with paper money" - Daniel Webster.
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