God Called Me to a Prepper Ministry
By Ken Uptegrove
We can say with certainty that those Christians who believe that the Tribulation period (Daniel's 70th Week) is imminent, and believe we will live through this prophetic 7 years, are in a way preparing the way for the Second Coming of the Lord (Mark 1:3). These preppers are warning all believers that we must prepare for this new, unprecedented era in human history that will bring much destruction and heartache BEFORE and during the 7 years. Like Noah, we must lay down our lives to preach repentance and a call to prepare physically for these difficult times... until every eye will see Him.
To me life is not worth living unless we are willing to die for Jesus. It then behooves us to live so that we can propagate that worthy cause we would die for. But first we must learn how to die to self before we can truly live for Christ. For 69 years of my life I thought I knew what death and death-to-self was … until my darling wife of 43 years died in 2005. George Mueller understood this. He said:
"There was a day when I died, utterly died-died to George Mueller, his opinions, preferences, tastes, and will; died to the world, its approval or censure; died to the approval or blame even of my brethren and friends-and since then I have only to show myself approved to God." — George Mueller
As George Mueller said, “There was a day when I died, utterly died....” Oh that I could have understood that profound proverb years earlier! Hopefully I am now more usable to my God. Now let me add that the Lord has since blessed me with Lora, another loving wife who is a like minded Christian and my dear partner in ministry.
Lest we get side tracked and miss the point; unless we are willing to get killed for Jesus' sake (as the Apostles were) we will not be able to live for Jesus to the fullest. I have learned that the purpose of life is to prepare for eternity. Therefore, success is measured by treasures we have laid up in eternity, not here in this lifetime. (Ref: 1 John 2:15-17). Or as Leonard Ravenhill said it: "This life is a dressing room for eternity—THAT'S ALL IT IS!"
Now I have purpose, and that purpose is to prepare the way of Yeshua! He is my life and eternity. To me this defines the Christian prepper ministry. I know that was a heavy introduction. It just seemed important to show you the heart of a Christian prepper and the ministry my wife and I are called into.
In 1974, my Lord and Savior gave me my life's commission, my reason to survive … my reason to live. That is when the Lord told me to prepare His people physically and spiritually for this prophetic time we are now in, to propagate a survivor’s lifestyle … to establish a self-sustaining community of like minded Christians for the times we are in. Premillennialists call this climatic time the Seven Year Tribulation, or the Seventieth Week of Daniel (Daniel 9:24-27).
Very few Christians believed this prepper message from the Lord in 1974, 1984, 1994 or 2004, but now millions do. It is estimated by Answer.com that there are 3.6 million “preppers” in America. Activist Post publishes that there are 4 million preppers in America, but there may be many more than that. But what percentage of them are true, committed Christians, I haven't seen any statistics.
Many professing Christians are now aware of the imploding of our economy and corrupt government, as well as the impending wars and worldwide economic collapse. Sharks look more sinister when you are walking the plank than they do when you are safely on deck. The problem is that millions of blind-folded brethren still don't know they are already walking the plank. At some point, reality will awaken a few of them and they will have spiritual eyes to see and spiritual ears to hear those Great White sharks biting chunks out of that flimsy plank under their unsure feet (Matthew 13:14-15).
We are talking about a small minority, a remnant who will awaken, brethren.
A Tiny Minority
Of course, many survivalists and preppers (and a vast majority of society) are not Christians and could care less what we say here. They will not prepare spiritually for what is coming down, and even the most optimum physical preparation still will not prepare them for the stark reality of facing impending death... and eternity, and may prove to have all been in vain. That is why, in my thinking, spiritual preparation takes top priority.
Now this brings up another point of which we all are painfully aware. All of the Christian preppers and survivalists combined make up but a tiny minority in society. But as Lazarus Long said, “Does history record any case in which the majority was right?” And doesn't the Bible tell us that a huge majority of society rejects Jesus? Think about it; Noah's crew constituted a minority of eight people who prepared, out of an estimated 10 billion (according to Henry Morris) that populated the earth and perished in the flood they were warned about. The truth is most people don't want the truth. I sometimes wonder if I do. How about you?
The pre-flood world population was calculated using the formula given below. This formula was published by Henry Morris and calculates the population of the world at the time of the Flood. P(n) is the population after n generations which begins with one man and one woman. The number of generations is represented by n. A value for n can be obtained by dividing the total time period by the number of years per generation. The Biblical Basis for Modern Science, Baker Book House, 1984, p.417
10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
II Thessalonians 2:10-12
"Deliverance from believing lies must be by believing truth." ~ Jessie Penn-Lewis
"To know what you believe, look at what you do." ~ Anonymous
Panicked, Passive... or Prepared? Prepare For What?
A well known saying is "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail". That is what preparing is all about. Let me share with you how I feel led to prepare to help people survive in this prophetic time the Bible warns us of, and that many believe we have already entered into.
Remember, whatever you do may mean the difference between life and death for you and your family.
Among those who opt to prepare, there are two camps of thought, the preppers and the survivalists … with variations of each. For my part, I am a prepper, but a lot of Christian survivalists come to my website to see my rather unique prepper approach. I call this concept an Acts model Christian Community of Intentional Neighbors life style. In another article I will tell you all about this concept. Just know that, by Acts model I mean the whole book of Acts. Until then I will let this quote from Andrew Strom suffice.
“You know, Christianity is not designed to be lived out by a pack of "individualists". And half-committed "building-attenders" on Sunday mornings are not it either. Christianity is designed to be lived out CORPORATELY—the "Body of Christ" -- an entity that can be seen and observed by people — full of the glory of Jesus. A Body that corporately carries all the words and power and love and miracles of the King.”
Let me ask you, do you believe hard times are coming? Or, are hard times already here? And just how bad can the coming hard times be? How would God have you prepare for such a time as this, physically, mentally, and spiritually? If any of this is true, how much time do we have left? Can any of this happen before the onset of the 70th week of Daniel and the Second Coming?
Dr. Arno Fruchtenbaum, a highly committed pre-tribulationalist and a highly reputed scholar, points out in his study The Footsteps of the Messiah that the lead-up to the actual 70th week of Daniel is fraught with many of the very hardships and trials that will occur during the Tribulation itself: world-wide war, famine, global epidemics, and large scale natural disasters (Matthew 24:7-8).
He goes on to insist that the events which together comprise the lead-up to The 70th week of Daniel, what Jesus calls "birth pangs," have been occurring since at least World War I—and have been intensifying ever since—to the extent that they are now impossible to ignore.
But other prominent pre-tribulationalist theologians, such as Dr. Chuck Missler, agree with Dr. Fruchtenbaum on this point, and are making preparations. The implication is obvious: church leaders—even those convinced that the church will be raptured prior to the Tribulation—should be preparing their respective congregations for hard times ahead; that, in short, the church is not being well served by leaders who fail to do so.
But as LeonardRavenhill points out, not all pre-trib-rapturist advocates will agree with Dr. Fruchtenbaum and Dr. Missler.
"The attitude of the average Christian today is relax and be raptured. But He is coming... and when God gets angry you´ve no idea what it is. Like a thousand volcanoes exploding. He has appointed a day in which He is going to judge the world and the poor blind world doesn't know much about it and the poor blind church doesn't think much about it now." —Leonard Ravenhill
I don't want to overstate or understate the ominous, threatening storm clouds over America and the world … and the church`... that compels us to be prepared for. We must ask, is it time for judgment to begin with first the household of God and then our nation?
16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? —1 Peter 4:16-18
Like everyone else, Preppers plan, prepare, and have priorities. What are you planning and preparing for? Retirement? A Caribbean cruse? A hydroponic greenhouse? You see, EVERYONE is a prepper! But are you preparing for what you want or for what is actually going to happen?
Here are some of the major things anticipated by most preppers and survivalists… and many Americans in general.
- Collapse of the dollar and industrial civilization, and the anarchy and martial law that will follow
- Race riots in our big cities over food prices and criticism (even impeachment?) of this beloved president they identify with so much
- World government under a coming Antichrist
- The Mark of the Beast and martyrdom
- Civil war over banning the Second Amendment right to bear arms. Public figures such as Glen Beck
and Alan Keyes, sheriffs and cops are saying this is likely. And the Department of Homeland Security seems to be preparing for a civil war, according to news reports. In my opinion Christian preppers should not be anarchists or rebels.
- Heresies, apostasy, ecumenicalism, false prophets, falling away, etc. (Matthew 18)
- Corruption in government, public schools and colleges
Here are some “Prepper” scriptures to encourage and instruct us. More will be shown in a coming article.
A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished. — Proverbs 27:12
When righteous men do rejoice, there is great glory: but when the wicked rise, a man is hidden. — Proverbs 28:12
A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished. —Proverbs 22:3
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. — 2 Timothy 3:1
Babylon The Great
Some preppers are moving out of America because they believe our nation is the Babylon the great spoken of in Rev 17, 18.
But this consideration is of no consequence to born again Christians (who are premillennialists) since the city of Babylon will be destroyed when the wrath of God is being poured out at the very end of the 70th week of Daniel (according to Doug and Dene and most Bible scholars). Believe me, I am no authority on this subject.
And according to Doug Krieger and other researchers, all the bowls and the seven-fold trumpets occur between the 1,260th and the 1,290th days of the latter half of Daniel's 70th Week. Doug's chart graphically illustrates this point.
Revelation 16: 18-20 shows when Babylon the great is remembered for destruction.
18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.
19 And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.
20 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. (KJV, My emphasis)
This fact gets overlooked by some preppers and survivalists who are leaving America. They don't seem to know when the Bible says the Wrath of God will be poured out on this wicked world, and Babylon the Great will be among may places that will be utterly destroyed … in the 30 day period AFTER the 70 weeks and the rapture. Whether the Wrath of God period is 30 days or 3 or more months (according to some teachers), the principle is the same … the rapture takes place BEFORE God releases His wrath.
Do you see how presumptuous it would be for a Christian prepper to leave America based on such a false teaching?
So, what can we do to prepare ourselves (physically, mentally, and spiritually) for such a time? One of the basic characteristics of those whose lives have been established on the Kingdom of God, is that they will have peace and come alive, even thriving during times of trouble. This is because they have been prepared to live in the greatest time of trouble the world has ever known. They prepared by building their lives on the Kingdom, not on the things of this world that are so easily shaken. As Leonard Ravenhill said: "This life is a dressing room for eternity—THAT'S ALL IT IS!"
Survivalists vs Survivors:
Many preppers advocate, as the ideal way to prepare for these end times, a self-sufficient, agrarian lifestyle in Christian community. This community concept has worked well for the Mennonites (all Anabaptists), for 500 years in the best and worst of times. Of course, there is a big doctrinal difference between us, but I am referring to the concept of living in community and being self-sustaining as a lifestyle.
There is also a big difference between being a survivalist and being a survivor (another word for prepper). Briefly stated, survivalists (as a general rule) horde food and supplies and arm themselves to protect their stuff. In contrast, survivors are able to peacefully bring themselves and others through good and bad times by growing food and making everything they need on their own remote property. They know how to be totally self-sufficient while at the same time be totally dependent on God to lead and protect them as He has for many over the centuries (Isaiah 4:5-6).
Noah is a good example of this. He survived … he was a survivor … he prepared … as he was led of the Holy Spirit so that all those lives (human and animal) aboard that Ark could survive. But his mission was larger than that. In his loins was the future linage of Messiah … and you and me.
In all fairness I need to mention other groups that God will provide for. There are those Christians who see what is coming down but will not be able to do a single thing to prepare. Either they are too old, too sick, too poor, or a combination of these overwhelming challenges. It would be wonderful if some churches would make provision for them out in the boonies somewhere, but that is not likely to happen … due to lack of funds or vision.
Some Christians are called to be martyrs, and some are called to live by miracles alone, and they will know who they are. David Wilkerson wrote two books to these people that I highly recommend; America's Last Call. On the Brink of a Financial Holocaust, and God’s Plan To Protect His People In The Coming Depression.
On the other hand, the sad truth is, some Christians, and many non-Christians, will die miserable, pitiful, pointless deaths because they were clueless. Maybe thousands! Maybe millions! Whatever the number don't be one of them!
4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
9 Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. —Psalms 91
Spiritual Preparation Is A Lifestyle
We can always tempt God and say reverently to ourselves, “Oh well, God will take care of me.” And He will, if we allow Him to give us divine wisdom and direction on how to plan for any future emergencies. But without that we are being fatalistic and foolish, passively tempting God with our lack of understanding of what spiritual preparation really is. This point is so important, and missed by so many dear saints!
Spiritual preparation, by definition, includes and requires physical preparation!
Where there is true active faith there will also be active good works and righteous living, as we are led of the Holy Spirit. So this means that spiritual preparation is a lifestyle.
All the Biblical examples we have of God sustaining His people miraculously are of people who were in obedience to God. They were where they were supposed to be, doing what they were sent to do there. In another article we will show several marvelous Bible precedents, as well as Scriptures to confirm this claim.
How Much Time Have We Got To Prepare?
Doug Krieger shared this with me:
“There are 4008 360-day prophetic years between the creation of Adam and "Messiah the Prince" and between 33 AD and the present there are 1980 solar years for a total of 5,988 years (prophetic and solar) - there will be 12 years left of which we have 5 solar and 7 prophetic which were "backed out" purposefully for they are the final 360-day years constituting the 70th Week—that means that in 2018 will be the commencement of the 70th week which will begin on Passover and extend 250 days unto the Feast of Dedication with the Third Temple—in the middle of these first 250 days (actually 120 days from Passover signaling the "120 Jubilee Cycles are at a close - i.e., 120 Jubilee Cycles X 50 years is equal to 6,000 years) will be a BULL'S EYE BLOOD MOON on 27 July 2018 (look it up) --- "the Moon will be turned to blood" - 27 July 2018 happens (just happens) to be the week of the 9th of AV which is the commemoration of the destruction of BOTH the Temple of Solomon and that of the Herodian Temple—after 250 days will be 1,010 days of "Sacrifice" and then in the Middle of the Week will be the Abomination of Desolation and then 1,260 days of the persecution of the saints and then the Rapture/Snatching and then the Wrath of the Lamb.”
Like the children of Issachar, I think Doug is endeavoring to give us an understanding of the times we are in, and is not date setting. Besides, we all know that Matt 24:22 says “those days shall be cut short.” How much it will be shortened, no one knows.
32 And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment. —1 Chronicles 12
Based on this calculation we have at least 5 years until the 70th Week (i. e., 2018) - this is based on 6,000 years of "human history". And since all the bowls and the seven-fold trumpet occur between the 1,260th and the 1,290th days of the latter half of Daniel's 70th Week, that may give us another 3.5 years in America to fully prepare (i. e., 2022). However, I prefer to not depend on having 5 to 8 years to prepare. Instead, I hope to be established in this gentle lifestyle before it is needed, whenever it does happen.
Prayerfully consider what the Holy Spirit may be quickening in your heart as you consider this message.
Remember, whatever you do may mean the difference between life and death for you and your family. But at the same time, it is not about our surviving. It is not about the rapture. It is not about our escape. It is not about our comfort. It is all about God's testimony. It is all about preparing the way for the Second Coming. Again, as Leonard Ravenhill said: "This life is a dressing room for eternity—THAT'S ALL IT IS!" So, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's, and eternity is a long time.
Let's not trifle with life or God's word. Let's be prepared, brethren!
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