The Panama Canal and the End of the USA?

Panama Canal (Thomas Römer/OpenStreetMap data)


Recently, my family and I visited the Panama Canal.

Here is some information about it:

The Panama Canal (Spanish: Canal de Panamá) is an artificial 48-mile (77 km) waterway in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean. The canal cuts across the Isthmus of Panama and is a key conduit for international maritime trade. There are locks at each end to lift ships up to Gatun Lake, an artificial lake created to reduce the amount of excavation work required for the canal, 26 metres (85 ft) above sea level. The original locks are 33.5 metres (110 ft) wide. A third, wider lane of locks was constructed between September 2007 and May 2016. The expanded canal began commercial operation on June 26, 2016. The new locks allow transit of larger, Post-Panamax ships, which have a greater cargo capacity than the previous locks were capable of handling.  …

One of the largest and most difficult engineering projects ever undertaken, the Panama Canal shortcut greatly reduced the time for ships to travel between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, enabling them to avoid the lengthy, hazardous Cape Horn route around the southernmost tip of South America via the Drake Passage or Strait of Magellan. Colombia, France, and later the United States controlled the territory surrounding the canal during construction. The US continued to control the canal and surrounding Panama Canal Zone until the 1977 Torrijos–Carter Treaties provided for handover to Panama. After a period of joint American–Panamanian control, in 1999 the canal was taken over by the Panamanian government and is now managed and operated by the government-owned Panama Canal Authority. (Panama Canal. Wikipedia, accessed 11/12/16)

Recognized by the American Society of Civil Engineers as one of the seven wonders of the modern world in 1994, the canal hosted its 1 millionth passing ship in September 2010. (Panama Canal, History Channel. accessed 11/12/16)

How did it get there? Well, the original idea was for military purposes, then trade:

The earliest mention of a canal across the Isthmus of Panama dates back to 1534, when Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain, ordered a survey for a route through the Americas that would ease the voyage for ships traveling between Spain and Peru. Such a route would have given the Spanish a military advantage over the Portuguese.

In 1788, Thomas Jefferson suggested that the Spanish should create it since it would be a less treacherous route than going around the southern tip of South America, which tropical ocean currents would naturally widen thereafter.

During an expedition from 1788 to 1793, Alessandro Malaspina outlined plans for its construction.

Given the strategic location of Panama and the potential offered by its narrow isthmus separating two great oceans, other trade links in the area were attempted over the years. The ill-fated Darien scheme was launched by the Kingdom of Scotland in 1698 to set up an overland trade route. Generally inhospitable conditions thwarted the effort, and it was abandoned in April 1700.

Another effort was made in 1843. According to the New York Daily Tribune, August 24, 1843, a contract was entered into by Barings of London and the Republic of New Granada for the construction of a canal across the Isthmus of Darien (Isthmus of Panama). They referred to it as the Atlantic and Pacific Canal and it was a wholly British endeavor. It was expected to be completed in five years, but the plan was never carried out. At nearly the same time, other ideas were floated, including a canal (and/or a railroad) across Mexico’s Isthmus of Tehuantepec. Nothing came of that plan either.)

In 1846 the Mallarino–Bidlack Treaty granted the United States transit rights and the right to intervene militarily in the isthmus. In 1849, the discovery of gold in California created great interest in a crossing between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The Panama Railway was built by the United States to cross the isthmus and opened in 1855. This overland link became a vital piece of western hemisphere infrastructure, greatly facilitating trade and largely determining the later canal route.

An all-water route between the oceans was still seen as the ideal solution, and in 1855 William Kennish, a Manx-born engineer working for the United States government, surveyed the isthmus and issued a report on a route for a proposed Panama Canal. His report was published as a book entitled The Practicality and Importance of a Ship Canal to Connect the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. In 1877 Armand Reclus, an officer with the French Navy, and Lucien Napoléon Bonaparte Wyse, both engineers, surveyed the route and published a French proposal for a canal. French success in building the Suez Canal, while a lengthy project, encouraged planning for one to cross the isthmus.

French construction attempts, 1881–94

The first attempt to construct a canal through what was then Colombia’s province of Panama began on 1 January 1881. The project was inspired by the diplomat Ferdinand de Lesseps …

In France, de Lesseps kept the investment and supply of workers flowing long after it was obvious that the targets were not being met, but eventually the money ran out. The French effort went bankrupt in 1889 after reportedly spending US$287,000,000 and losing an estimated 22,000 lives to disease and accidents, wiping out the savings of 800,000 investors. Work was suspended on May 15, and in the ensuing scandal, known as the Panama affair, various of those deemed responsible were prosecuted, including Gustave Eiffel.

De Lesseps and his son Charles were found guilty of misappropriation of funds and sentenced to five years’ imprisonment, though this was later overturned, and the father, at 88, was never imprisoned. In 1894, a second French company, the Compagnie Nouvelle du Canal de Panama, was created to take over the project. A minimal workforce of a few thousand people was employed primarily to comply with the terms of the Colombian Panama Canal concession, to run the Panama Railroad, and to maintain the existing excavation and equipment in salable condition. The company sought a buyer for these assets, with an asking price of US$109,000,000. In the meanwhile they continued with enough activity to maintain their franchise, and Bunau-Varilla eventually managed to persuade de Lesseps that a lock-and-lake canal was more realistic than a sea-level canal.

United States acquisition

At this time, the President and the Senate of the United States were interested in establishing a canal across the isthmus, with some favoring a canal across Nicaragua and others advocating the purchase of the French interests in Panama. The French manager of the New Panama Canal Company, Phillipe Bunau-Varilla, who was seeking American involvement, asked for $100 million, but accepted $40 million in the face of the Nicaraguan option. In June 1902, the U.S. Senate voted in favor of pursuing the Panamanian option, provided the necessary rights could be obtained, in the Spooner Act.

On January 22, 1903, the Hay–Herrán Treaty was signed by United States Secretary of State John M. Hay and Colombian Chargé Dr. Tomás Herrán. For $10 million and an annual payment it would have granted the United States a renewable lease in perpetuity from Colombia on the land proposed for the canal. The treaty was ratified by the U.S. Senate on March 14, 1903, but the Senate of Colombia did not ratify it. Bunau-Varilla told President Theodore Roosevelt and Hay of a possible revolt by Panamanian rebels who aimed to separate from Colombia, and hoped that the United States would support the rebels with U.S. troops and money. Roosevelt changed tactics, based in part on the Mallarino–Bidlack Treaty of 1846, and actively supported the separation of Panama from Colombia and, shortly after recognizing Panama, signed a treaty with the new Panamanian government under similar terms to the Hay–Herrán Treaty.

On November 2, 1903, U.S. warships blocked sea lanes for possible Colombian troop movements en route to put down the rebellion. Panama declared independence on November 3, 1903. The United States quickly recognized the new nation. On November 6, 1903, Philippe Bunau-Varilla, as Panama’s ambassador to the United States, signed the Hay–Bunau-Varilla Treaty, granting rights to the United States to build and indefinitely administer the Panama Canal Zone and its defenses. This is sometimes misinterpreted as the “99-year lease” because of misleading wording included in article 22 of the agreement.[27] Almost immediately, the treaty was condemned by many Panamanians as an infringement on their country’s new national sovereignty.

This would later become a contentious diplomatic issue among Colombia, Panama, and the United States.

President Roosevelt famously stated that “I took the Isthmus, started the canal and then left Congress not to debate the canal, but to debate me.” Several parties in the United States called this an act of war on Colombia: The New York Times called the support given by the United States to Mr. Bunau-Varilla an “act of sordid conquest.” The New York Evening Post called it a “vulgar and mercenary venture.” More recently, historian George Tindall labeled it “one of the greatest blunders in American foreign policy.”[citation needed] It is often cited as the classic example of U.S. gunboat diplomacy in Latin America, and the best illustration of what Roosevelt meant by the old African adage, “speak softly and carry a big stick [and] you will go far.” After the revolution in 1903, the Republic of Panama became a U.S. protectorate until 1939.

Thus in 1904, the United States purchased the French equipment and excavations, including the Panama Railroad, for US$40 million, of which $30 million related to excavations completed, primarily in the Gaillard Cut (then called the Culebra Cut), valued at about $1.00 per cubic yard.

The United States also paid the new country of Panama $10 million and a $250,000 payment each following year. In 1921, Colombia and the United States entered into the Thomson-Urrutia Treaty, in which the United States agreed to pay Colombia $25 million: $5 million upon ratification, and four-$5 million annual payments, and grant Colombia special privileges in the Canal Zone. In return, Colombia recognized Panama as an independent nation. …

The U.S. formally took control of the canal property on May 4, 1904, inheriting from the French a depleted workforce and a vast jumble of buildings, infrastructure and equipment, much of it in poor condition. …

The construction of the canal was completed in 1914, 401 years after Panama was first crossed by Vasco Núñez de Balboa. The United States spent almost $375,000,000 (roughly equivalent to $8,600,000,000 now[46]) to finish the project. This was by far the largest American engineering project to date. The canal was formally opened on August 15, 1914, with the passage of the cargo ship SS Ancon. (Panama Canal. Wikipedia, accessed 11/12/16)

The Panama Canal can be considered to be a “sea gate.”

Here is how defines a sea gate (viewed 08/05/2013):

sea gate noun a navigable channel giving access to the sea.

That is part of the definition. But for the purposes of this article, my use of sea gate implies that some government has the land and thus is able to exert at least some control over the channel that is near that land.

Could any of this have to do with the Bible?

Let’s begin by looking at a promise given to Abraham:

16 “By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son — 17 blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. 18 In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” (Genesis 22:16-18)

Enemy gates were promised to Abraham’s descendants.

Notice a prophecy about what was told to Rebeka, the wife of the son of Abraham, named Isaac:

60 “Our sister, may you become The mother of thousands of ten thousands; And may your descendants possess The gates of those who hate them” (Genesis 24:60).

Prosperity was also a promised blessing to the descendants of Isaac and Rebeka’s grandson Joseph (Genesis 49:22-26). Blessings were promised to Joseph’s descendants, Ephraim and Manasseh (Genesis 48:2-20)–the British descended peoples and the USA respectively (see also Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel).

Consider that for many years, the major sea gates of the world were possessed/controlled by the United States (like the Panama Canal) and the British Empire (Straits of Malacca, Singapore, Suez Canal, Bab el Mandeb, Strait of Hormuz, Simon’s Town/Cape of Good Hope, Malta, Gibraltar, Falkland Islands, etc.).

And while that is no longer the case for many of them, they seem to have been prophesied to be taken away for disobedience as well.

We in the Church of God have been teaching for decades that the United Kingdom and USA would ultimately lose many of their sea gates–we believe they possessed them because of blessings from God and would lose them because of blatant disobedience. And many are no longer under USA/UK control.

Notice what the Bible teaches:

24 ‘Do not defile yourselves with any of these things; for by all these the nations are defiled, which I am casting out before you. 25 For the land is defiled; therefore I visit the punishment of its iniquity upon it, and the land vomits out its inhabitants. 26 You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations, either any of your own nation or any stranger who dwells among you 27 (for all these abominations the men of the land have done, who were before you, and thus the land is defiled), 28 lest the land vomit you out also when you defile it, as it vomited out the nations that were before you. (Leviticus 18:24-29)

23 ‘And if by these things you are not reformed by Me, but walk contrary to Me, 24 then I also will walk contrary to you, and I will punish you yet seven times for your sins. 25 And I will bring a sword against you that will execute the vengeance of the covenant; when you are gathered together within your cities I will send pestilence among you; and you shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy. (Leviticus 26:23-25)

58 “If you do not carefully observe all the words of this law that are written in this book, that you may fear this glorious and awesome name, THE LORD YOUR GOD, 59 then the Lord will bring upon you and your descendants extraordinary plagues — great and prolonged plagues — and serious and prolonged sicknesses. 60 Moreover He will bring back on you all the diseases of Egypt, of which you were afraid, and they shall cling to you. 61 Also every sickness and every plague, which is not written in this Book of the Law, will the Lord bring upon you until you are destroyed. 62 You shall be left few in number, whereas you were as the stars of heaven in multitude, because you would not obey the voice of the Lord your God. 63 And it shall be, that just as the Lord rejoiced over you to do you good and multiply you, so the Lord will rejoice over you to destroy you and bring you to nothing; and you shall be plucked from off the land which you go to possess. (Deuteronomy 28:58-63)

And many of the sea gates, including the Panama Canal, have been lost to the USA and the UK (such as the Straits of Malacca, Singapore, Suez Canal, Bab el Mandeb, Strait of Hormuz, Simon’s Town/Cape of Good Hope, etc.).

The gaining and losses of many of the sea gates of the world by the Anglo-Saxon descended nations show that Bible prophecies have been and are being fulfilled.

The USA ceded control to Panama in 1999 based on a treaty in 1977. Companies with ties to China, a nation that often has a different world view than the USA, have significant control of the canal now.  Enough so, that in the event of a blitzkrieg-type war (cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:3; Daniel 11:39), that it may be that the USA will be blocked from using the Panama Canal at a time it could have military advantages to use.

The fact of the losses so far of many of the Anglo-American sea gates should show us that various curses have begun to hit the Anglo-nations.

The time will come when the USA is no more. Not controlling the Panama Canal could be a factor.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

USA in Prophecy: The Strongest Fortresses Can you point to scriptures, like Daniel 11:39, that point to the USA in the 21st century? This article does. A related sermon is titled: Do these 7 prophesies point to the end of the USA?
Will the UK Lose Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands? For many years, the major sea gates of the world were possessed/controlled by the United States (Panama Canal and certain locations in the Pacific ocean) and the British Empire (Straits of Malacca, Singapore, Suez Canal, Bab el Mandeb, Strait of Hormuz, Simon’s Town/Cape of Good Hope, Malta, etc.), and many are no longer under their control. Spain wants Gibraltar and Argentina wants the Falklands (also known as the Malvinas). UK Prime Minister David Cameron says the UK will defend the Falklands Gibraltar. Does the Bible give clues as to what will happen with those ‘sea gates’? Do promises made the Jacob’s mother Rebekah play a role? What about Deuteronomy 28? This is a video.
Will the UK Lose Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands? Spain wants Gibraltar and Argentina wants the Falklands (also known as the Malvinas). Does the Bible give clues as to what will happen with these ‘sea gates’? A version of the article in the Spanish language would be ¿Perderá el Reino Unido a Gibraltar y las Islas Falkland (Malvinas)?
Mexico, Central America, South America, Brazil, and the Caribbean in Prophecy [Español: México, América central, Suramérica, Brasil y el Caribe en la profecía] [Português: México, América Central, Ámérica do Sul, e Brasil na profecia] What will happen to those of Latin America? Will they have prosperity? Will they cooperate with Europe? Will they suffer in the future? What role might the various Caribbean nations/territories play?
Islands and Bible Prophecy What’s ahead for islands? What does the Bible prophesy about them?
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, English, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo-Saxon (non-Dutch) Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? What will happen to Jerusalem and the Jews in Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo-Saxon nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first? Here is a link to the Spanish version of this article: Anglo-América & las Tribus Perdidas de Israel. Information is also in the YouTube sermons titled Where are the Ten Lost Tribes? Why does it matter? and British are the Covenant People. A short YouTube of prophetic interest may be Barack Obama and the State of the Apocalypse.
Will the Anglo-Saxon Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves? Will the lands of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand be divided? What about Jerusalem? What does Bible prophecy teach? Are there non-biblical prophecies that support this idea? Who will divide those lands? Who will end up with the lands and the people? Here is a link to a video titled Will the USA and other Anglo-nations be Divided and Their People Made Slaves? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Serán divididas las naciones anglosajonas?
British are the Covenant People What do ‘British’ and ‘Britain’ mean in Hebrew? Are the descendants of the Anglo-Saxons people of the covenant? Does the British royal family connect to the throne of David? What does the Bible teach? What does history show us? Is there any DNA evidence related to British-Israelism? When did Christianity make it to the British Isles? Could Jeremiah have made it to the British Isles? What type of Christians made it to the British Isles? Did the last King of England believe in British Israelism?
Europa, the Beast, and Revelation Where did Europe get its name? What might Europe have to do with the Book of Revelation? What about “the Beast”? Is an emerging European power “the daughter of Babylon”? What is ahead for Europe? Here is a link to a video titled: Can You Prove that the Beast to Come is European?
Who is the King of the West? Why is there no Final End-Time King of the West in Bible Prophecy? Is the United States the King of the West? Here is a version in the Spanish language: ¿Quién es el Rey del Occidente? ¿Por qué no hay un Rey del Occidente en la profecía del tiempo del fin?

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