Preppers, Survivors, Survivalists and Eschatology
How often have we been brought under conviction by the Holy Spirit for being biased, opinionated, and contemptuous of things we didn’t understand? This being true, it is therefore probable that we are still guilty of other things we need to repent of once the Holy Spirit has enlightened us. Until then we will be blind and asleep to what is often critical issues, even life threatening issues.
SPIRITUAL PREPARATION IN BALANCEConsider this; if you are intentionally preparing for the tribulation you are inadvertently and simultaneously prepaying for any natural or human catastrophe that may happen before then. But the opposite is equally true, isn’t it? That term sort of absorbs other terms we throw around, like Pan tribulationists (it will all pan out in the end). Since no one knows when the period called “the 70 weeks of Daniel” will start, we can only know IT IS COMING… and hard times will precede it. Logic says we need to be prepared for the coming hard times, and by doing so we will also be prepared for the tribulation period… IF… we are called to go into it. God wants his born-again Christians in a position where he can use us. So, whether we live or whether we die, we are to serve the Lord with our life – and in our death – enduring unto the end. Unless we are ministering Jesus Christ to others, we are just serving self – and our survival is just selfishness … worthless dung. One can get dangerously out-of-balance with the idea of serving the Lord only; and still miss God. One Post-tribulation Rapture pastor told me he has never yet found anywhere in the Bible where we, as Christians, are told to prepare in any way other than spiritually. But, I found some Bible passages this dear brother conveniently overlooked. For instance: Noah building the Ark and Joseph storing enough wheat to feed everyone in Egypt for seven years. They were instructed by God to prepare for life: for what they knew was coming – physically. Let’s take Noah’s and Joseph’s examples a little further. God brought the flood and put Noah in place to prepare it. God brought the drought and put Joseph in place to prepare for it. God is bringing the Tribulation and is putting people like you and me in place to prepare for it. If you can get the big picture here, God is preparing some of us to prepare for the needs of others he will send to us to minister to. Noah didn’t want a flood, and Joseph sure didn’t want a famine – and who among us would want Tribulation? Not me! But, what did not seem good to Joseph and Noah at the time turned out to be exactly what was needed. I think these precedents are in place for us to expect God to prepare an Ark: a Goshen for his people in the coming Tribulation. We can experience that kind of covering and provision too… if we are as able to hear God – and are as able to obey his directions – like Paul, Noah, and Joseph were. These heroes of the faith show us that being in the will of God is required in order to be under his covering. This is a profound truth that gets overlooked. They learned that the more they cut themselves off from the help of men, the more they opened the way for God to help them be able to help multitudes. We may – or may not – know what God has called us to do today, but it will be for the sake of many others much more so than just for ourselves.
Prepared for Their Place in HistoryBefore these men of God could be the “man of the hour,” they first had to be rejected and humiliated. They were each put through many tests and were made into the kind of man God was looking for. Joseph did not have to suffer as he did, but he choose suffering rather than compromising his honor and dignity. This was the kind of man needed to supervise the wealth and prosperity of Egypt in order to save that nation during the crisis ahead. God is calling such men and women as these today. Are you one of those that God is putting in a position where he can use you? If we acknowledge him, we will acknowledge what he tells us to do – and where to go – not using our understanding to procrastinate, or question, or disobey him. If we do this, our paths will have fewer kinks in them – and we will be in those safe places – our Goshen, our Ark that he has provided for us individually. No “amens” till then. Like Noah and Joseph, you and I are in the right time and place in prophetic history to be used by God in an unprecedented way. We are living at the very threshold of the Tribulation, the Second Coming, and the Millennium! We are about to be personally involved in one of the greatest episodes in human history! How fortunate and blessed we are! There is a Goshen – an Ark – waiting for you, too; but there is a price to pay to gain it – as many heroes of the faith can testify. But, many Survivalists won’t pay the price; and will end up “paying the price” – forgive the parody. By now, I trust that the name of this article is beginning to make sense. In God’s eyes, Survivalism is not necessarily about you surviving; but about your obedience that comes out of your love for Christ – giving you this kind of endurance.
God’s Purpose for the 70 Weeks of Daniel
Perhaps many Preppers and Survivalists do not fully understand and appreciate God’s purpose for the 70 Weeks of Daniel… the 7 year tribulation period. Yet, in my estimation, that is the very focus of The Tribulation Network ministry where this article was first published.
A true Christian Survivalist is Christ-minded, Kingdom-minded and eternity-minded. Is not the purpose of life to be the Bride without spot or wrinkle… to prepare for eternity with Christ? Read all of Hebrews 11 – the “faith” chapter – again to get the mindset of first century Christianity before reading more of what I hope to say here. We will need that “Pauline” mindset if we hope to be mentally and spiritually prepared.
Here is an exhortation from Hebrews 11 to hold fast the faith with patience and thanksgiving:
“For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
“For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.
“Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
“But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.”
Those who are truly Yeshua’s – and have humbled themselves – and have asked for forgiveness for all their false doctrines and personal sins will be led and guided by Yeshua through these terrible times to come. The name of the Lord is a strong tower and the righteous run into it and are safe (Prov. 18:10). He will lead some to safe places to escape physical harm; and others to glorious martyrdom as he did with Steven (See Acts 7:59).
Moses set the precedent for living by miracles alone when his supplies brought from Egypt ran out. Think “tons of quail and manna” for a moment… and lest we forget… the land flowing with milk and honey. Canaan land was complete with the buildings, the crops, the warehouses, the roads – everything they could ask for. Yet, they did not deserve it, or buy it, or even ask for it. God just provided! But, as Moses found out, whether we live or we die, we are the Lord’s.
False Converts, False Doctrines will be Judged
Some of our most renowned preachers, such as David Wilkerson, Leonard Ravenhill and Paul Washer have said that 80 to 90% (or far less?) of those who say they are Christians have had a false conversion; and are not Christians at all. They think they are Christians; but they are not. The Tribulation we see coming will begin to reveal the false Christians and the false doctrines. Yes, all doctrines – and especially all Eschatologies – will be tested. Time tests all things.
In this 7 year period – the 70th Week of Daniel – God will bring judgment first to his church; then to the world.
“I (Yahweh) also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.”
Jesus will purge his Church to bring forth a Bride pure and ready for the Bridegroom – and to separate the clean from the unclean. Perhaps some of the “goats” and “tares” will get saved; but the rest will viciously turn against God – and against his “wheat”… his “sheep” – the “called out” ones. They will be compelled to reveal what they really are! It will soon be obvious who took the Mark of the Beast; and who didn’t. Hebrews 11 makes it really clear. They lived it, brethren!
“And what shall I more say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; or David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:
“Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions.
“They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented.”
Hebrews 11:32-33, 37
This describes the purging and cleansing pretty well, I’d say. And, it pretty well dispels the “we’re outta here, sorry about you” Pre-trib Rapture delusion. Boy, what will they say when they step into this unexpected Hebrews 11 arena they will be totally unprepared for?
We hear talk about a hoped-for reformation and revival in the Last Days; but if and when it comes, it will probably look more like a prelude to the separation of the sheep and goats and the wheat and tares we see in the parables Jesus taught in Matthew, chapters 13 and 25.
Since the year 2004, I have noticed that the eyes of many have been opened. Research indicates there are over 4 million Preppers and Survivalists today. But, when the Lord called me to this Prepper ministry in 1972, I could not find a single Christian who understood this calling. And the terms “Prepper” and “Survivalist” were not invented for several more decades. Their awakening is wonderful and welcome; but I predict that any coming revival will be primarily among Christians who were sleeping and needed to be revived. So, rather than expecting a great harvest of souls – “quantity” – I fully expect to see the next great move of God – “quality!”
Divine Protection and Provision
Brethren, the Lord still provides divine protection and provision for some of his own – for his true ones.
Here is a modern testimony. A friend of mine in Texas told me that he had a lucrative job in the twin towers in New York City when the Holy Spirit told him to quit his job and go home. He wasn’t told why – and he didn’t have a clue. His colleagues ridiculed him and thought he was fool; but, two weeks later, they (and some 3,000 others) were smoldering ashes sifting through a horrendous mountain of rubble. Fortunately, he was home in Texas – with his grateful family, safe and sound – watching the horror on Fox News and grieving over his colleagues.
If we are Holy Spirit led, we can hope for such an early warning as this brother had; and be on the road to our “bug-out” refuge – unhurried and stress free. Again, are you that much “in-tune” to the Holy Spirit’s prompting?
Let these Bible passages encourage you:
“Because you have kept the word of my perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown” – Revelation 3:10-11.
“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, he is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust” – Psalm 91:1-2.
“The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it” – Proverbs 22:12.
The Best and Worst of Times
Borrowing from the introduction in Charles Dickens book, “A Tale of Two Cities,” we need to understand right now that we are quickly entering into the most prophetic time in the history of mankind.
Dickens said, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us…”
Today, we live in such an epic time as this: you and me! Consider that in our lifetime we may well see the culmination of human history. In this dark time, we shall see the rise and fall of the Antichrist – and the long-awaited, glorious arrival of Jesus Christ: the eternal King of Kings the world has awaited for 6,000 years. We will experience his Millennial rule; and his love for us for eternity. It is incredulous: can we believe this is happening?
Can we focus on the good news in the midst of the bad news? Can we endure the temporary testing and hardship we may experience in the next few years – knowing we will also see eternal blessings and rewards not so long from now? If we decide now that we will be prepared for that day, we will complete our mission. But, keep in mind that we will need to be training for this lifestyle, this culture – long before it is needed. Talk about culture shock!
Ask God today to show you your private Goshen – your invincible Ark – you are to dwell in. Mine is in the Ozark Mountains. Where is yours?
You and I will see what the Prophets and Apostles wrote about – and longed to see ages ago. How exciting and privileged is that perspective? I look forward to preparing physically, mentally and spiritually for what the Lord is bringing in my lifetime. How about you?
This is the Survivalism God is calling you to. This is the mental preparation that will see you through into the Millennium – and then eternity.
Preppers, Survivors, Survivalists and Eschatology“There is one principle that can keep a man in everlasting ignorance. That is contempt prior to investigation.” Herbert Spencer (1820-1903), English philosopher, biologist and sociologist Understanding our Lack of Understanding Think about it, how often have you and I been brought under conviction by the Holy Spirit for being biased, opinionated, and contemptuous of things we didn’t understand? This being true, it is therefore probable—oh the pain of it all—that we are still guilty of other things we need to repent of once the Holy Spirit has enlightened us. Until then we will be blind and asleep to what is often critical issues, even life threatening issues. What is more deceiving and self-defeating than ardently believing a damnable lie? I suspect that most of society is indeed guilty of this. Hitler said, “The size of the lie is a definite factor in causing it to be believed, for the vast masses of a nation are in the depths of their hearts more easily deceived than they are consciously and intentionally bad.
The primitive simplicity of their minds renders them a more easy prey to a big lie than a small one, for they themselves often tell little lies, but would be ashamed to tell big lies.” Islam is an extreme example of a big lie, but you and I could go on to mention a few others.
Nothing scares me more than any lies I may believe, and my own bias and ignorance I may be guilty of, and the losses I will suffer because of it. But my fear is healthy because it motivates me to test all I think I know and believe – Berean style – to see how well my belief system holds up to Scripture and the origins of the doctrines I think I believe at this time. This route has been painful though, because the Lord has brought me to a lot of repentance through this process.
But we can also be ignorant about what prophetic era we are in, and just how troubled our social, economic, and political situation is here in America. I saw this problem long before I saw the false doctrines and teachers in the church. But fortunately I now see both and am writing on both subjects because they are so interrelated and symptomatic of each other. Sometimes it is hard to know if people just don’t know or don’t want to know. Fear of what the future may hold motivates some people to not want to know.
How can anyone live in this society and NOT notice the rising need to protect themselves from what is obviously coming down? The majority of society falls into that category … asleep, ignorant, and oblivious. But for those who have awakened, then the issue is, HOW do we prepare? What is the best way to prepare? Many suspect they need to do something, but they don’t want to be criticized, and they have no idea how to prepare.
Christians will want to know if there are Biblical precedents or models for us to follow? Yes there are. Think of Moses and Joseph for example.
I am not an alarmist or fear monger, just an observer who hopefully is being led of the Holy Spirit to report on our options. I simply advocate a life sustainable lifestyle that has been practiced by Christians for two thousands years. This lifestyle will be described in a future article.
It is clear to me that we are presently in hard times, and that things could get much worse before the Tribulation period starts and before the Rapture takes place, and probably will. Whether pre-tribulation or mid-tribulation or post-tribulation in our eschatology, this will affect us all. Put in broader terms, this will affect people of all the three schools of eschatology, the pre-millennial, post-millennial, and amillennial. But the latter two will make every effort to explain away this reality. Worse yet, they will say obnoxious things about our views. That is their mindset.
Eschatology: Our End Time Beliefs Can Blind Us
Our worldview, alternately called our paradigm or mind set, makes up how we perceive reality. This really came home to me when discussing world affairs with one of my brothers who is a Catholic convert. It was like we were from two different planets. It took awhile for me to realize the misunderstanding was due to our different eschatologies. To me his eschatological worldview seemed to be unaware of the obvious, and mine likewise to him. “There are always trends, ups and downs in the market, and all the social ills we have today have always been with us, and we can vote the Liberals out in the next election and reverse the bad legislation. All is well, life is good,” he would say.
He was espousing an eschatology he never heard of before and knew nothing about. That is the nice thing about being a Catholic, you don’t have to think or know anything, you just believe because you are immersed, saturated, conditioned by the rhetoric in every church service. He asked for counsel from his Priest so he could counter me, and he came back quoting his Priest saying, the Catholic eschatology is Partial Preterism, another name for amillennialism (meaning there is no millennium).
In short, Catholics (and many Protestant denominations) believe that the Second Coming took place in 70 AD, but that Jesus will not make Himself visible until some time in the distant future. As Daniel J. Boorstin said, “The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance — it is the illusion of knowledge.”
“This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” ~Matthew 15:8-9
Brethren, premillennialists are in a minority in Christendom, and even that word needs to be defined to some who are premillennialists. This view says that the second coming of Jesus will take place before the millennium (1,000 years of rest) starts. The point being, our worldview, our ignorance, our thinking we are right when we are in fact deceived, can prove to be dangerous. If we were to take our shaded “eschatology” glasses off for a minute we would see an entirely different reality. But my brother CAN’T do that because at this time he is in bondage to an errant religion and its “infallible” teacher and leader – the Pope. As George Bernard Shaw once said, beware of false knowledge, it is more dangerous than ignorance. The question I have to ask myself is, am I also that blind? Are you?
Doesn’t history and logic prove to us that time tests all eschatologies, and only one of them will pass the test of time – but probably not completely? And it should be obvious that some eschatologies will prove to be entirely false. That is a little scary, guys!
So, don’t place your trust in a teacher or teaching, but in Christ only. After studying all the schools of eschatology for 2.5 years I came to the conclusion that we should know them all but not completely trust any of them. If we know them all, then we can more clearly watch and see prophecy being fulfilled. If we expect the “Left Behind” fiction book series to be our guide, we are very apt to really miss what God is doing and put ourselves in great jeopardy. We get into these worldviews by letting those around us influence us rather than the Word of God. I am talking about our families and culture and our peer group and colleagues.
I am sure you will want to know what I believe. Well, I am not dogmatic about my belief on this controversial and complicated issue, and my views are subject to change, but basically I am post-tribulation-rapture (1 Thessalonians 4: 15-17).
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PREPPER AND A CHRISTIAN PREPPER?
We all like the Psalm that speaks of a thousand falling at our left hand and ten thousand at our right, but think about it for a moment. What would the average person do –especially most women– if they saw that many bodies heaped on either side of their path. Are you emotionally prepared for what may come into your life?
Point is, we need to be mentally prepared as well for what is coming down and what we might experience. I remember when I was in Army basic training (1956 – 1960) we were told how to handle hearing our buddies on the battlefield dying and crying for mother and pleading for help. Perhaps you have seen such scenes in war movies.
In the Army, I was trained for several things but among them, I was a field medic. I was never in any battles, but just in ordinary life I have come across accidents and was able to use my field medic training to save lives. It was important to be able to hold myself together and not get emotional and freaked out, and to know what to do for the dead and injured. Hopefully that was training I needed and hopefully, I can serve the brethren in really hard situations.
This is the technical difference between a Prepper and a Christian Prepper.
In conclusion, may I ask you if you are ready physically, mentally, and especially spiritually, for the prophetic times we are coming into? Namely the time of the Tribulation period and the Second Coming. My next two articles will address some of the (sometimes controversial) ways some Christians are preparing.