Nearly two decades ago, y2k came and went. Though there were minor glitches, the dire predictions of massive chaos were wrong.
Years later, even those affected by the 12/2004 tsunami somewhat moved on to lead their version of normal lives. Hurricanes Katrina, Faye, Irene, Sandy, Irma, Maria, etc. have all come and gone--though areas are still affected by them. And in spite of all the hurricanes, tornados, and tropical storms, things have gotten basically back to a new normal for most in the USA (other than Puerto Rico).
The restrictions on buying certain grains in some stores put in place back in 2008 were lifted long ago. And even the earthquakes in Japan and Haiti seem to have relatively little impact outside their own countries (other than perhaps how Japan's problems may affect the nuclear power industry).
2012 came and went, and as I had written in a book on it back in 2009, 2012 was not going to be the end of the world. Nor, as I correctly pointed out, did the world end from Comet Ison or the Viking Apocalypse in 2014. Nor the blood moons in 2014 and 2015 that I denounced. Nor the solar eclipse of 2017, which I also denounced. Nor will it be in 2018 or 2019, despite certain current and old non-biblical prophecies (see also When Will the Great Tribulation Begin?).
Does this mean that Christians should not be prepared?
Here is a link to a related sermon: Physical preparedness for Christians.
Here are some scriptures that might provide some possible answers:
6 Go to the ant, you sluggard!
Consider her ways and be wise,
7 Which, having no captain,
Overseer or ruler,
8 Provides her supplies in the summer,
And gathers her food in the harvest.
9 How long will you slumber, O sluggard?
When will you rise from your sleep?
10 A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to sleep --
11 So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler,
And your need like an armed man. (Proverbs 6:6-11).
15 "Laziness casts one into a deep sleep, And an idle person will suffer hunger" (Proverbs 19:15).
4 The lazy man will not plow because of winter; He will beg during harvest and have nothing. (Proverbs 20:4)
24 ... they are exceedingly wise: 25 The ants are a people not strong, Yet they prepare their food in the summer; (Proverbs 30:24-25)
But won't God provide?
3 "The LORD will not allow the righteous soul to famish" (Proverbs 10:3).
Yes, He will, but look at the next verses:
5 "He who has a slack hand becomes poor, But the hand of the diligent makes rich. He who gathers in the summer is a wise son; He who sleeps in harvest is a son of shame" (Proverbs 10:4-5).
So, the Bible speaks well of those who gather in the seasons when they can.
Notice also something from the New Testament:
10 For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. 11 For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. 12 Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread. (2 Thessalonians 3:10-12)
You are not just to sit around and expect others to take care of you.
In modern times, paperwork may be helpful as well.
25 And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said to the centurion who stood by, "Is it lawful for you to scourge a man who is a Roman, and uncondemned?"
26 When the centurion heard that, he went and told the commander, saying, "Take care what you do, for this man is a Roman."
27 Then the commander came and said to him, "Tell me, are you a Roman?"
He said, "Yes."
28 The commander answered, "With a large sum I obtained this citizenship."
And Paul said, "But I was born a citizen."
29 Then immediately those who were about to examine him withdrew from him; and the commander was also afraid after he found out that he was a Roman, and because he had bound him. (Acts 22:25-29)
The centurion bought a citizenship, which he felt would help him. Paul was basically born a dual-citizen and was able to use that to his advantage. In modern times, having documentation of such things could be helpful for some.
Consider also the following scriptures:
22 A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children, But the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous. (Proverbs 13:22)
3 "A prudent man forsees evil and hides himself, But the simple pass on and are punished" (Proverbs 22:3).
43 "But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. 45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? 46 Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing" (Matthew 24:43-46).
12 "gather His wheat into the barn" (Matthew 3:12).
The Bible endorses saving and proper planning.
Thus, people who believe the Bible will take steps and not ignore what is happening today.
Back in 1999, as far as y2k went, I remember a relative who asked me about it in December of that year. He had bought some canned foods earlier for y2k, but had already eaten them. He asked me what to do. I told him that while nothing major was likely to happen on January 1, 2000, that he should again buy some canned food. I asked him, what is the worst that would happen if no significant y2k event would occur. He responded that he would have some canned food that he would eat anyway. So, I told him that I saw no downside in him buying some canned food. He did, nothing of massive importance happened with y2k, and he ended up eating the food.
Before going further, let me state that accumulating some financial savings is a sound idea. While you may feel that you are too poor to save anything, let me state that if you do not make efforts to save you will essentially have to always remain poor. Do not accept that mindset.
Save and be generous.
2 Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (3 John 2)
24 There is one who scatters, yet increases more;
And there is one who withholds more than is right,
But it leads to poverty.
25 The generous soul will be made rich,
And he who waters will also be watered himself.
26 The people will curse him who withholds grain,
But blessing will be on the head of him who sells it. (Proverbs 11:24-26)
10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)
God's intent is not that His people be always physically poor. Yet, many people do not have the faith to give.
Consider also, in the parable of the virgins, the wise are prepared and rewarded, but the foolish are unprepared and turned away (Matthew 25:1-13); while is is true that this parable (and the other scriptures quoted) have spiritual meanings, it does suggest that Christians should also be prepared physically.
Some do not think there will be a problem because things seem to be the same.
Is that the acceptable biblical criteria?
38 "For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be" (Matthew 24:38-39).
1 Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), 2 that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, 3 knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, 4 and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation." 5 For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, 6 by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. 7 But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
8 But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:1-9)
Noah and his family planned.
But what about all the official assurances we will be receiving in the end times that things are fine and/or under control?
Notice something that the Bible warns about:
3 "For when they say, 'Peace and safety!', then sudden destruction comes upon them" (I Thessalonians 5:3).
Sudden destruction will come--and that includes the USA (cf. Daniel 11:39; see also USA in Prophecy: The Strongest Fortresses).
But we should not have a bunker mentality nor make our personal or financial safety our highest priority. Notice something from the Old and New Testaments:
24 "If I have made gold my hope,
Or said to fine gold, 'You are my confidence';
25 If I have rejoiced because my wealth was great,
And because my hand had gained much;
26 If I have observed the sun when it shines,
Or the moon moving in brightness,
27 So that my heart has been secretly enticed,
And my mouth has kissed my hand;
28 This also would be an iniquity deserving of judgment,
For I would have denied God who is above. (Job 31:24-28)
1 Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! 2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. 3 Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days. 4 Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. 5 You have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury; you have fattened your hearts as in a day of slaughter. (James 5:1-6)
The Bible does not endorse hoarding up everything up for the last days or trusting in things like gold.
Yet, that does not mean one should do nothing in terms of normal preparations.
Ants gather up for a season. Christians should be prepared for seasons, as well as events that can reasonably be expected to affect where where they live.
In our case, we are vulnerable to earthquakes as well as isolation as there is only one main highway in or out of our area. There are some backroads, but they would be hard for semi-trucks to drive across if they survived. Furthermore, a massive disaster that hits California would also likely affect the more densely populated areas of Northern and/or Southern California. Hence, our area (which is several hours away from each by truck) would not be as much of a priority for government emergency planners. Thus, our family has some food and water to last a week or two, in the event of a major earthquake or other disaster. And that is something that the government planners do encourage people around here to do--though relatively few do so.
Christians should take some steps.
Consider also the following:
"Come now, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city and buy and sell, and make a profit'; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow...But now you boast in arrogance. All such boasting is evil. Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin." (James 4:13,16,17).
Are not the peoples in the first world countries rich? We should be doing good--planning can be good.
Does the Bible teach that we are to ignore problems?
"Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that will he reap...Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart" (Galatians 6:7,10).
16 "The lazy man is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who can answer sensibly" (Proverbs 26:16).
"But be you doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror, for he observes himself, goes away and immediately forgets what kind of man he was" (James 1:22-24).
And preparation certainly makes a lot of sense. One website (to which I have no affiliation whatsoever, nor from which have I ever bought anything) that has been suggested to me related to physical preparation is http://beprepared.com/ (but their are many others on the internet that have similar information).
In 2008, there were temporary limits placed on buying rice in the United States (see Rice and the Beginning of Sorrows) and some Asian nations limited and even stopped rice exports for a while. Thus, this and more could happen again.
There were various wheat shortages expected for 2010 (see Drought: Less Wheat in Russia, Europe, Australia, China, and Argentina). Back on August 5, 2010, Russia announced that it would be halting exports of grains.
Those that believe that being part of a Western nation will always keep them fed would do well to notice the following secular news article:
The Geopolitics of Food Scarcity
In some countries social order has already begun to break down in the face of soaring food prices and spreading hunger. Could the worldwide food crisis portend the collapse of global civilization?
Spiegel - Feb 11, 2009
World carryover stocks of grain (the amount remaining from the previous harvest when the new harvest begins) have dropped to only 60 days of consumption, a near record low…
No country is immune to the effects of tightening food supplies, not even the United States.
If China turns to the world market for massive quantities of grain, as it recently has done for soybeans, it will undoubtedly look to the United States, which dominates world grain exports. For US consumers, the prospect of competing for the US grain harvest with 1.3 billion Chinese consumers with fast-rising incomes is a nightmare scenario. It would be tempting for the United States to restrict exports, but this is not an option with China which now holds well over one trillion US dollars. Like it or not, US consumers will share their grain with Chinese consumers regardless of how high food prices rise.
If the food crisis worsens, national restrictions on grain exports coupled with various bilateral arrangements could tie down much of the exportable supply of grain, making it increasingly difficult if not impossible for weaker, less affluent countries to find grain to import. Many countries heavily dependent on imports could be left out, and the result would be hundreds of millions of desperate people. Desperate people do desperate things: They riot, they fight over food, they overthrow governments, and they mass migrate to more food-secure countries.
The massive amount of debt that Western nations have acquired somehow needs to be dealt with. And while at some point, leaders will restrict certain food exports, that will not guarantee that their people will have food (they may even need to import if their currencies are any good). If indebted nations restrict their food exports that puts them at risk of totally destroying their currencies, and cause other severe civil disruptions. These are dangerous times, even for the Anglo-American nations (see also Anglo - America in Prophecy).
Notice also the following:
August 25, 2016
The German government told its citizens on Wednesday to stockpile at least a week’s worth of food and water in case of a serious attack or catastrophe, Reuters reported. It is the first time since the Cold War that Germany has enforced an emergency preparedness plan for the entire nation.
“The population will be obliged to hold an individual supply of food for ten days,” read the 70-page plan, called the “Concept for Civil Defense”, prepared by the Interior Ministry.
Citizens will also be required to store five days’ worth of drinking water. ...
According to German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, the plan calls for all Germans to “prepare appropriately for a development that could threaten our existence and cannot be categorically ruled out in the future.”
It also lays out precautionary steps for terror scenarios, chemical attacks, and cyber attacks, and outlines the demand for an effective alarm system which could notify citizens of emergencies. The plan suggests improvements on protection for buildings and emergency medical care as well.
In addition, the report states that civilians should be ready to assist the military with urgent tasks in the case of an emergency, such as directing traffic, providing accommodation for people in need, and finding fuel, said Reuters. ...
The preparation or “prepper” movement in America, while not government-mandated, operates in similar anticipation of an apocalyptic event of some sort. While some stock up on supplies in order to prepare for terror attacks, government breakdown, or natural disasters, others see the signs of an approaching End of Days and are determined to be ready. http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/74574/germany-warns-citizens-stockpile-food-water-case-attacks/#u6V6AygkL78X827f.99
So, Germany wants its people to prepare.
Of course, famines and related disruptions have long happened and were even predicted. But Jesus indicated that they would be a serious issue towards the end times:
3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked Him privately, 4 Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign when all these things will be fulfilled?”
5 And Jesus, answering them, began to say: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 6 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and will deceive many. 7 But when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be troubled; for such things must happen, but the end is not yet. 8 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines and troubles. These are the beginnings of sorrows. 9 But watch out for yourselves, for they will deliver you up to councils, and you will be beaten in the synagogues. You will be brought before rulers and kings for My sake, for a testimony to them. 10 And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations. 11 But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand, or premeditate what you will speak. But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. 12 Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. 13 And you will be hated by all men for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end shall be saved… Mark 13:3-13).
Events seems to be lining up to fulfill the above and other biblical prophecies. But the end (meaning the great tribulation, which starts afterwards, see When Can the Great Tribulation Begin?) is NOT yet.
Difficult times should get people's attention.
National repentance is what is needed (though this looks unlikely for the UK, USA, and their Anglo-allies like Canada, New Zealand, and Australia). Some suspect that food riots may some day hit the United Kingdom (see Food Riots for the UK?).
Yet, there is good news as ultimately, God’s kingdom will come and food shortages will be gone:
16 They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore (Revelation 7:16).
But a terrible hour of trial is coming first (Revelation 3:10; Jeremiah 30:7).
But, the good news is Kingdom of God will come afterwards.
However the tribulation will come:
18 And pray that your flight may not be in winter. 19 For in those days there will be tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of creation which God created until this time, nor ever shall be. 20 And unless the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake, whom He chose, He shortened the days…
37 And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!” (Mark 13:18-20,37).
A period of persecution combined with successfully proclaiming the gospel to the world as a witness precedes the great tribulation (see also Persecutions by Church and State). And then the faithful church FLEES (see also There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Petra).
Until then, Jesus says to watch and pray (Luke 21:26).
Also, notice the following:
25 I have been young, and now am old;
Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken,
Nor his descendants begging bread. (Psalms 37:25)
The righteous obey God and take the steps that they believe God would want them to take, realizing that God will provide, even when that does not seem to be the case (cf. Genesis 22:8).
Although those who trust in things on the earth will be disappointed, the wise may also wish to study physical preparation scriptures, such as Proverbs 6:6-8, as they are certainly in the Bible for a reason.
The Bible tells of a coming time of death and pestilence (Revelation 6:7-8; Matthew 24:7-8).
On a trip to Asia, I noticed that some Asian-appearing individuals (and only Asians, and then mainly women) were wearing masks to presumably reduce their risk of catching airborne diseases in airports and some other places. Washing hands and wearing masks sometimes do have limited benefit, and it is possible that in times of epidemic that some (though not all) may benefit from these actions.
The fourth horseman of the apocalypse will result in death of a quarter of humankind (Revelation 6:8). Just like bodily exercise can benefit for a little while, physical hygiene steps may also benefit some for a little while, yet turning to God and living His ways are what we need to do:
8 For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come. 9 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance. 10 For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. (1 Timothy 4:8-11)
Godliness is profitable in all things (see also What is the Meaning of Life? and The Ten Commandments Reflect Love, Breaking them is Evil). (For more on pestilences, please see the article Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse.)
While proper preparation is good, some take this to extreme and overly trust in themselves. Others trust in technology.
Entrance to Svalbard Global Seed Vault
One solution for problems in the world is the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, also called the Doomsday Vault.
Yet, there have been problems with the so-called Doomsday Vault:
20 May 2017
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault in the remote Arctic is meant to be a “fail-safe” backstop against doomsday scenarios that could kill off humanity’s food supply. Located on an island between Norway and the North Pole, and lodged inside a mountain, the vault was designed to withstand major disasters, “natural or man-made,” and “stand the test of time,” according to its website.
But as with much of the land above the Arctic circle, the mountain containing the vault--and all the land around it--is made of permafrost, the thick layer of compounded plants and animal bones that has been frozen since the last ice age. When ice and snow melts in the Arctic during summer, permafrost--theoretically “permanent”--does not. At least it did not, historically. But thanks to climate change, the permafrost now is thawing, releasing greenhouse gases while causing the land to subside and pools of meltwater to form on the surface. The people behind the seed vault’s perspective were not prepared for that when they built it in 2008. Scientists at the time were just beginning to understand what a threat global warming posed to the frozen layer.
“It was not in our plans to think that the permafrost would not be there and that it would experience extreme weather like that,” Hege Njaa Aschim, a spokeswoman for the Norwegian government agency which manages the vault, told the Guardian.
Water flooded into the entrance tunnel to the vault after the unusual season, the Guardian reported Friday (May 19).Thankfully, the water froze before it reached the seed storage areas (to preserve their viability, seeds are stored at -18 Celsius, or just below 0 degrees Fahrenheit). https://qz.com/987894/the-fail-safe-svalbard-seed-vault-designed-to-save-us-from-crop-failure-just-flooded-thanks-to-climate-change/
May 20, 2017
Popular Science spoke with Cary Fowler, one of the creators of the vault to see just how serious the situation really is. “Flooding is probably not quite the right word to use in this case,” he told them. According to Fowler, a little bit of water has made its way into the entrance every year. Though he wasn’t present at the vault when the ‘flooding’ occurred this year, he insists that it’s a pretty routine occurrence.
“The tunnel was never meant to be water tight at the front, because we didn’t think we would need that,” he tells Pop Sci. Basically, there’s a 100-meter tunnel that serves as a walkway into the mountain and it goes downhill. Before you reach the vault doors, the ground shifts uphill. This little area allows water to collect and two pumps can evacuate it. Hege Njaa Aschim, a Norwegian government official, told the Guardian, “A lot of water went into the start of the tunnel and then it froze to ice, so it was like a glacier when you went in.” And well, that’s not really a crisis. In fact, according to Fowler, if the water were to make it all the way uphill it would get hit with temperatures around minus 18 degrees celcius, freeze, and create a new barrier.
Still, the seed vault is supposed to function without humans having to get involved with maintenance. The Norwegian government is studying the situation and plans to fix the leak. http://gizmodo.com/the-doomsday-vault-isnt-flooded-but-were-all-still-goin-1795400407
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault did not anticipate this problem. There are also others they have not considered.
Prior to this occurrence, CBS reported the following about it:
The Doomsday Vault: Humanity’s salvation?
April 2, 2017
On the Arctic tundra in Svalbard, Norway, about half-way between Oslo and the North Pole, there are no gardens, no trees. Yet, deep beneath this barren surface lies the largest concentration of agricultural diversity anywhere on Earth.
The angular, concrete structure seems more “modern art museum” than “seed storage vault.” It impresses even before entering.
American agriculturalist Cary Fowler heads this international effort to safeguard the sources of the world’s food supply -- one designed to outlast any disaster, and ultimately, all of us. ...
There are 1,700 seed banks worldwide of varied size and state of repair. But this one in Norway is known as the “Doomsday Vault.” It’s a back-up for the whole system designed to last for thousands of years.
So, for instance, when a typhoon tore through a seed bank in the Philippines, destroying everything inside, all was not lost. Or when war destroyed seed banks in Iraq and Syria, the seeds were safe here.
“We protect, yes, against some of the natural disasters — war and civil strife and hurricanes and floods and fires,” Fowler said. “But we also protect against anemic budgets and budget cuts and stupid human mistakes as well." . . .
“I think a lot of people would say, ‘Wow, this is incredible that there are all of those seeds up in Svalbard, good idea, but it probably doesn’t really affect me, personally,’” Doane said.
“Oh, I think it clearly affects everyone,” said Cary Fowler. “I mean, we’re losing right now something like $160, $170 billion a year just in our wheat crop globally, just because of the temperature anomaly that we have in the world, the hotter temperatures. So we’re going to need, and plant breeders are working on, heat-resistant varieties.
“So, we might not notice it right now, but all of these different conditions are affecting today’s food supplies.” http://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-doomsday-vault-svalbard-global-seed-vault/
The CBS article did not mention anything about genetically-modified seeds which are something that place the world at risk for major crop failures and possible famine.
I continue to believe that likely crop failures associated with GMO grains are putting the USA at extreme risk of being destroyed economically and otherwise (and most USA corn and soy crops come from genetically-modified seeds). Many other parts of the world are vulnerable to this as well–though Europe continues to resist this (see European nations say NO to genetically-modified corn).
The disciples asked Jesus about the end:
3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3)
Notice some of what Jesus taught in response:
4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. (Matthew 24:4-8).
The “beginning of sorrows” (Mathew 24:7-8) begins before the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21), the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jeremiah 30:7). We seem to be in the beginning stages of these sorrows.
But the ‘Doomsday Vault’ is not humanity’s salvation. Consider the following:
10 The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing;
He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect.
11 The counsel of the Lord stands forever,
The plans of His heart to all generations. (Psalms 33:10-11)
But people often make plans that leave the true God out. Someone told me today that the ‘Doomsday Vault’ failure reminded him of the ancient Tower of Babel. Here is a passage of scripture related to it:
4 And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” (Genesis 11:4)
People did not believe God that there would no longer be an earth-covering flood (Genesis 9:11-17). People were afraid so they came up with their own alternate plan. But it was unsuccessful (cf. Genesis 11:5-9).
While having natural seeds preserved is logical and can help, seed vaults are not humanity’s salvation.
Jesus said that if God did not intervene in the end, that no flesh would be saved alive:
21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened. (Matthew 24:21-22)
Those who hope to be 'raptured away' before hand will be disappointed as Jesus returns AFTER the tribulation:
29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Matthew 24:29-31)
(For more related to the 'rapture' position, check out the articles Is There A Secret Rapture for the Church? When and Where is the Church Protected? and There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Near Petra.)
While having seeds protected can make sense, we need Jesus’ return.
While making physical preparations can be wise (cf. Proverbs 22:23; 30:24-25), those who think that they have considered being prepared for all possible emergency situations that will occur are deceiving themselves.
Christians need to heed Jesus’ instructions:
25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. (Matthew 16:25-27)
This does not mean that no physical preparations should be made: but they will not provide salvation.
As far as physical protection in this age during the time of the Great Tribulation, the Bible teaches that there will be two groups of Christians. One group will be protected and the other will not be:
14 But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. 15 So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. 16 But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. 17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. (Revelation 12:14-17)
Notice the group that is promised protection:
7 “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write,
‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true, "He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens": 8 “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. 9 Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie -- indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. 10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. (Revelation 3:7-10)
The above promise of protection was only made to the Philadelphian Christians, yet is was not made to the other churches of Revelation 2 & 3. NOT ALL CHRISTIANS WILL BE PROTECTED DURING THE COMING GREAT TRIBULATION.
34 “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:34-36)
Christians should watch world events and realize their biblical ramifications. They should pray to be accounted worthy to escape what will come to pass. This means that in these times that they need to strive to be a Philadelphian Christian.
Relying on seed vaults, etc. is not the answer. Get your spiritual house in order.
There are also modern problems that the world faces that were unheard of a century or two ago as the world is more and more dependent upon electricity.
Countries such as the USA, Russia, Israel, North Korea, and Iran (to name a few) are believed to be testing the ability to unleash electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weapons that can disrupt electricity. Some believe that this could drive countries, such as the USA, into the stone-age if they are successful enough. Apparently this has concerned some in the State of Arizona to advise the residents there to take preparatory steps:
Feb 13, 2014
PHOENIX -- State lawmakers are moving to make sure you know what to have on hand when electronic Armageddon strikes.
Legislation approved Wednesday by the Senate Public Safety Committee would require the state Division of Emergency Management to come up with recommendations about what kinds of things Arizonans should buy now and store in the garage, basement or storage room just in case some enemy detonates a nuclear or other bomb that wipes out power and communications in the state -- and possibly nationwide.
That recommendation also would spell out exactly how much food, water and medical supplies should be available to last for weeks or months. And the state agency would have to updated that list every five years.
SB1476 is being pushed by Sen. David Farnsworth, R-Mesa, amid concerns about an electromagnetic pulse that can be caused by certain types of explosion.
According to a briefing prepared for legislators, a nuclear blast on or near the ground can damage electrical systems and communications for 70 miles or more from the site. But an explosion high in the air -- 15 miles or more above the surface -- could damage electrical grids nationwide for weeks, if not or longer...
Lawmakers were given no indication of what it would cost the state agency to come up with that list of necessary supplies. But they were unanimous in their approval. In fact, some suggested the legislation does not go far enough.
Sen. Chester Crandell, R-Heber, said it isn’t simply a matter of individual survival.
“There’s a lot of different organizations we have in the state that actually work for the public safety,” he said, including agencies like the Department of Public Safety or even utilities that need to provide power for everything down to the plant that purifies and pumps water. He said maybe state emergency officials need to be figuring out -- and telling them -- what they need to have on hand.
“If we’re looking at a nationwide, or at least a statewide catastrophic (situation), all the power goes out, trucks stop running, this whole thing, how are they going to then carry out their duties and responsibilities for public safety?” Crandell asked.
Sen. Andrea Dalessandro, D-Green Valley, said she understands in a small way what can happen when unexpected disaster strikes, having lived in New Jersey.
“Sometimes we would have regional blackouts for several days,” she said.
“It was absolutely debilitating,” Dalessandro explained. “Gas pumps are electric. You can’t use credit cards.”http://azdailysun.com/news/local/state-and-regional/panel-make-list-to-prep-arizonans-for-doomsday/article_8798eb08-946d-11e3-a3f3-0019bb2963f4.html
There are many risks to the current world order.
What about preppers?
Well, preppers are correct that disasters are coming.
It is reported that various government officials in the Washington, D.C. area are taking steps to prepare for ‘doomsday’:
What Do They Know That We Don’t? DC Officials Flock To Doomsday Camps
March 21, 2018
Washington D.C. government officials are flocking to doomsday camps around the country. Which of course begs the question: what do they know that we do not? https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-03-20/what-do-they-know-we-dont-dc-officials-flock-doomsday-camps
A building network of backwoods doomsday camps around the country are pulling in members from affluent areas and even Washington national security officials as the threats grow from nuclear war, an EMP or virus attack.
Called Fortitude Ranch, the outposts promise protection and a year’s supply of food for those unable to build their own bunker. What’s more, until a crisis strikes, they are being used for prepper training and vacations.
“We’re seeing members from all the three letter agencies,” said Fortitude creator Drew Miller, a retired Air Force colonel and intelligence officer, in a reference to the Central Intelligence Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation.
He called an attack or even a weather-related electromagnetic pulse shutdown of the electric grid “inevitable,” and a driving force in his project.
One of his members from the Baltimore area, speaking on background, said that he and others joined after “waking up” to the potential of a national crisis from an attack, financial meltdown or political violence. “For most of us, something rattled our cages and woke us up,” he said. …
Each camp is expected to house 50-500 in a crisis and Miller said they will have lodges, underground bunkers and guard towers. In the event of a social meltdown, members will be responsible for manning those towers. …
There have been numerous reports recently warning of EMP, nuclear and viral attacks from Russia, Iran and North Korea.
“You’d have to be an idiot not to think it will happen,” said Miller, author of “Rohan Nation: Reinventing America After the 2020 Collapse.” 03/19/18 https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/washington-secrets/official-washington-flocking-to-doomsday-camps-1
Are there real risks to the USA?
Might some government officials know more about some risks than the general public?
Might being in a ‘doomsday shelter’ possibly provide any protection from certain rough events?
Will US President Donald Trump be able to stop the USA from being taken over during the Great Tribulation?
Will going into any doomsday shelter be the ultimate or preferred protection during the time of the Great Tribulation and Day of the Lord?
The best protection is that which Jesus offered:
36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man. (Luke 21:36)
7 “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write,
‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens”: 8 “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. 9 Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie — indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. 10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. 11 Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. 12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”‘ (Revelation 3:7-13)
Jesus tells His followers to watch, pray, and change enough to be accounted worthy to escape these things. He clarifies in Revelation 3 that He is specifically referring to Philadelphian Christians.
NOT ALL CHRISTIANS are promised this protection--per Revelation 12:14-17.
For more on who will be protected and where they will be protected, please check out the article There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Petra.
Now, preppers are correct that people are foolish to think that the government will be able to help them when things get really bad.
Preppers are right that it is wise to prepare for emergencies and disasters.
Preppers are right to conclude that they should be able to 'live of the grid' in the event of massive electrical shortages that could be triggered by solar flares, electromagnetic pulse bombs, or other natural and manmade phenomena.
Essentially, they believe that if they have some type of difficult to penetrate shelter (bunker), food, water, filtration system, medicines, guns, etc. that they will be able to take care of themselves and be fine.
But most doomsday preppers who think that they will safely ride out the Great Tribulation are basically deceiving themselves.
They correctly believe that by having such things that they will reduce the strain on whatever a government may or may not be able to supply in the event of a massive disaster.
It is not that none will survive the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord, but it will be worse than they anticipate.
Some doomsday preppers believe that they will be able to survive in various locations in the USA. Some preppers believe that they will survive in the mountains of Australia. New Zealand is remote and its South Island has a lot of mountains, some of the rich are looking there (see Buying a ‘place of safety’ in New Zealand is ignoring what the Bible teaches). Still others look to the UK or to remote regions of Canada.
As far as New Zealand goes, notice the following:
Super rich hedge fund managers are buying ‘secret boltholes’ where they can hideout in the event of civil uprising against growing inequality, it has been claimed.
Nervous financiers from across the globe have begun purchasing landing strips, homes and land in areas such as New Zealand so they can flee should people rise up.
Robert Johnson, president of the Institute of New Economic Thinking, told people at the World Economic Forum in Davos that many hedge fund managers were already planning their escapes.
He said: “I know hedge fund managers all over the world who are buying airstrips and farms in places like New Zealand because they think they need a getaway.”
Mr Johnson, said the economic situation could soon become intolerable as even in the richest countries inequality was increasing.
He said: “People need to know there are possibilities for their children -- that they will have the same opportunity as anyone else.
“There is a wicked feedback loop. Politicians who get more money tend to use it to get more even money.”
His comments were backed up by Stewart Wallis, executive director of the New Economics Foundation, who when asked about the comments told CNBC Africa: “Getaway cars the airstrips in New Zealand and all that sort of thing, so basically a way to get off. If they can get off, onto another planet, some of them would.”
He added: “I think the rich are worried and they should be worried. I mean inequality, why does it matter?
“Most people have heard the Oxfam statistics that now we’ve got 80, the 80 richest people in the world, having more wealth that the bottom three-point-five billion, and very soon we’ll get a situation where that one percent, one percent of the richest people have more wealth than everybody else, the 99.” http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/panicked-super-rich-buying-boltholes-5044084
The reader who sent me the above, titled his email Panicked Super Rich buying Places of Safety. Notice also the following:
Is New Zealand A Doomsday Preppers' Paradise?
February 16, 2018
Of course, the wealthy have many options for doomsday preparedness, as we’ve noted time and time again - from personal bunkers to memberships to luxury post-apocalyptic communities.
But New Zealand represents something different: A sparsely populated island with plenty of resources - essentially clay for wealthy capitalists to mold a new society from the ashes of the old after the collapse sets in…
Thiel isn't the only one: The Guardian points out that several other wealthy Silicon Valley figures have also taken an interest in the country...
There’s little dispute that belief that the end times - or at least a massive civilizational collapse - are looming just over the horizon as some of the social fabric underpinning society unravels, and economic inequality skyrockets - reinforcing the idea that those who survive will be those who can afford it.
Everyone is always saying these days that it’s easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism. Everyone is always saying it, in my view, because it’s obviously true. The perception, paranoid or otherwise, that billionaires are preparing for a coming civilisational collapse seems a literal manifestation of this axiom. Those who are saved, in the end, will be those who can afford the premium of salvation. And New Zealand, the furthest place from anywhere, is in this narrative a kind of new Ararat: a place of shelter from the coming flood. ...
New Zealand’s appeal as a potential oasis during an all-out societal collapse is understandable: It’s association with lush rolling hills, large quantities of fresh, potable water and plentiful arable farmland only enhance its appeal. https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-02-15/new-zealand-doomsday-preppers-paradise
February 15, 2018
f you’re interested in the end of the world, you’re interested in New Zealand. If you’re interested in how our current cultural anxieties – climate catastrophe, decline of transatlantic political orders, resurgent nuclear terror – manifest themselves in apocalyptic visions, you’re interested in the place occupied by this distant archipelago of apparent peace and stability against the roiling unease of the day.
If you’re interested in the end of the world, you would have been interested, soon after Donald Trump’s election as US president, to read a New York Times headline stating that Peter Thiel, the billionaire venture capitalist who co-founded PayPal and was an early investor in Facebook, considered New Zealand to be “the Future”. https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/feb/15/why-silicon-valley-billionaires-are-prepping-for-the-apocalypse-in-new-zealand
New Zealand will one day be taken over--it will not be the ultimate place to ride out the Great Tribulation.
As far as societal unrest goes, I do expect civil unrest in the USA, UK, Europe, and elsewhere. The fact that some of the wealthy are realizing this is interesting. Here is another article:
Why are the global elite buying extremely remote compounds that come with their own private airstrips in the middle of nowhere on the other side of the planet? And why did they start dumping stocks like crazy earlier this year? Do they know something that the rest of us don’t? The things that I am about to share with you are quite alarming. It appears that the global elite have a really good idea of what is coming, and they have already taken substantial steps to prepare for it. Sadly, most of the general population is absolutely clueless about the financial collapse that is about to take place, and thus most of them will be completely blindsided by it. . . .
Stewart Wallis, executive director of the New Economics Foundation, … told CNBC Africa: “Getaway cars, the airstrips in New Zealand and all that sort of thing, so basically a way to get off.
“If they can get off, onto another planet, some of them would.”
For some reason, the global elite seem to have a particular affinity for New Zealand. Perhaps it is because of the great natural beauty of the nation combined with the fact that it is in the middle of nowhere. …
The following comes from the Daily Mail . . .
New Zealand, which is about the size of the UK, but has a population of just 4.4 million, offers them all the modern luxuries they have come to expect – but miles from any country which may implode into chaos.
The country is 11,658 miles away from the UK, while its closest neighbour is Fiji -- 1,612 miles away, more than double the distance between Lands End and John O’Groats.
Homes at the top end of the market come with tennis courts, swimming pools and media rooms -- and some even boast their own personal jetties where a family can moor their boat.
But the icing on the cake for those looking to make a quick escape comes in the form of private helipads or, better, your own airstrip.
For most of us, buying a luxury bolthole with a private airstrip in New Zealand is not a possibility.
But we should all be getting prepared.
A reader sent me the following:
Doomsday Bunkers Of The Rich & Famous: “You Need So Many Things To Ride Out The Apocalypse”In the latest issue of The New Yorker, Evan Osnos takes a look at some of the super-rich that are taking extreme measures to prepare for the apocalypse. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-23/prepping-lives-rich-famous-far-away-all-issues-world
Reddit CEO Steve Huffman, Sam Altman of Y Combinator, Trump-loving Peter Thiel -- the list goes on -- are all preppers. Hoffman estimates that “50-plus percent” of other tech billionaires have a home to escape to.
But the instinct to run, hide and survive is only one approach to a future that may see social order tumble into chaos as a result of extreme inequity.
“It’s one of the few things about Silicon Valley that I actively dislike-- the sense that we are superior giants who move the needle and, even if it’s our own failure, must be spared,” Max Levchin, a founder of PayPal, told Osnos. http://www.recode.net/2017/1/23/14354840/silicon-valley-billionaires-prepping-survive-underground-bunkers-new-yorker
Some have claimed that Donald Trump’s election was a signal to move to New Zealand.
A while back, I also saw an article listing the ten safest places to wait out World War III (see 10 safest nations to be in during World War III? Has WWIII begun?), and I did a video about that (watch 10 Safest Nations to be in During WWIII)--yet, since the article did not rely on the Bible, its author(s) overlooked many matters.
As Christians, we are to “walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). So, we look to the Bible for comments about protection and safety. Here are some:
22 But the Lord has been my defense, And my God the rock of my refuge. (Psalms 94:22)
25 The fear of man brings a snare, But whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe. (Proverbs 29:25)
15 He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly,
He who despises the gain of oppressions,
Who gestures with his hands, refusing bribes,
Who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed,
And shuts his eyes from seeing evil:
16 He will dwell on high;
His place of defense will be the fortress of rocks;
Bread will be given him,
His water will be sure. (Isaiah 33:15-16)
Interestingly, the descriptions in the Bible of a place of safety during what some might refer to as WWIII refer to a rocky place in the wilderness in a location like part of southern Jordan (see There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Petra).
Of course, certain Protestants instead believe that they will be ‘raptured’ away from the earth prior to the start of the Great Tribulation. While that is their professed hope, the idea is NOT supported by the Bible and is in error (for many biblical details, check out the article Is There A Secret Rapture for the Church? When and Where is the Church Protected?).
Now that Bible shows that some few will escape captivity will go to the mountains:
16 'Those who survive will escape and be on the mountains
Like doves of the valleys,
All of them mourning,
Each for his iniquity.
17 Every hand will be feeble,
And every knee will be as weak as water. (Ezekiel 7:16-17)
Yet, notice also something from the prophets Amos and Jeremiah:
9 ‘Assemble on the mountains of Samaria; See great tumults in her midst, And the oppressed within her. 10 For they do not know to do right, ‘Says the Lord, ‘Who store up violence and robbery in their palaces.'” 11 Therefore thus says the Lord God: “An adversary shall be all around the land; He shall sap your strength from you, And your palaces shall be plundered.” 12 Thus says the Lord: “As a shepherd takes from the mouth of a lion Two legs or a piece of an ear, So shall the children of Israel be taken out Who dwell in Samaria -- In the corner of a bed and on the edge of a couch! 13 Hear and testify against the house of Jacob,”Says the Lord God, the God of hosts, 14 ‘That in the day I punish Israel for their transgressions, I will also visit destruction on the altars of Bethel; And the horns of the altar shall be cut off And fall to the ground. (Amos 3:9-14)
19 They pursued us on the mountains And lay in wait for us in the wilderness (Lamentations 4:19).
The above indicates that some will be hiding in the mountains and other places in the USA while others are will be taken out of the USA (which is the prophetic Samaria--see Spiritual Samaritans: Old and New). Most of the Anglos that are not killed will be made slaves. Hiding in the mountains may protect a few for a time, but it will be relatively few that survive that way for long.
They will be pursued.
But didn't Jesus teach to flee to the mountains?
Well, yes for the mountains of Judea:
15 "Therefore when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place" (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 "then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. (Matthew 24:15-16)
But He also did not say one should plan to stay in them. Consider that Jesus then added:
17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! (Matthew 24:17-19)
Now this does not mean that Jesus expected one to go to a stocked bunker. Only that those in Judea who have not fled before they see the abomination will not have time to do anything then but flee. In time, any who are Philadelphian Christians will go elsewhere (see also There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Near Petra).
Mormons tend to believe that they need to have a year's supply of food on-hand, yet that will not be enought.
It will be so bad that it will take God's intervention to keep any humans alive:
20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened. (Matthew 24:20-22)
The Bible tells of a place of protection for Philadelphian Christians and that is in a wilderness area, apparently in the Middle East.
The mountains of the USA. Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the UK will not really be a place of protection for many--the place of protection for the Philadelphian Christians will be elsewhere (see There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Near Petra).
As far as preppers go, while those biblically-inclined may wisely point to scriptures like Proverbs 6:6-11; 30:24-25 to consider the ant and prepare.
Preppers, however, may also wish to consider what happend to the wildfire group called the Granite Mountain Hot Shots.
In 2008, a fire a fuels mitigation crew, after much training became the first municipal wildfire team to be awarded the "Hot Shots" designation by the US Federal government. The crew then named itself the Granite Mountain Hot Shots.
They trained and prepared, not only to essentially "fight fire with fire," they also had equipment and training to help the crew survive in case it became trapped before a fast-moving brush fire. They 'prepped' for it, in case such a situation would occur.
As it turned out, there was a fire in the area, now called the Yarnell fire. It was bad. Other fire crews left a dangerous area. It was time to 'flee,' if you will.
However, the Granite Mountain Hot Shots decided that they had more time. So, they decided to work to try to stop the fire from reaching an area. After working a short while, they realized that they should have fled earlier.
One of the things that the Granite Mountain Hot Shots prepared for was such an emergency. They apparently cleared some brush to slow the fire down, then in the clearing, they donned indvidual portable fire shelters. Shelters that only took them seconds to set up in training, and probably only took that long in this situation. They trusted that their shelters and training would protect them.
They were wrong.
Here is some more about it:
On June 30, 2013, 19 members of the group were killed fighting the Yarnell Hill Fire. ... The firefighters had apparently deployed fire shelters, but not all of the bodies were found inside them. According to the National Fire Protection Association, it was the greatest loss of life for firefighters in a wildfire since 1933, the deadliest wildfire of any kind since 1991, and the greatest loss of firefighters in the United States since the September 11 attacks.
The firefighters were burned up.
Preppers, accurately, believe that they should have training and prepare for disasters. They trust their training and their equipment.
So did the Granite Mountain Hot Shots.
Thus, while certain levels of preparation for disasters is logical and biblically-correct, most of those who believe that they will be able to ride out the coming Great Tribulation and Day of the Lord are deceiving themselves, as did the Granite Mountain Hot Shots.
Don't think that you cannot be affected:
10 All the sinners of My people shall die by the sword, Who say, 'The calamity shall not overtake nor confront us.' (Amos 9:10)
There will be a time to flee (e.g. Matthew 24:15-20; Jeremiah 51:6; Zechariah 2:6).
Yet, many will not realize it--including many Christians (cf. Revelation 12:17).
God inspired the Prophet Zephaniah to write the following:
1 Gather yourselves together, yes, gather together, O undesirable nation, (Zephaniah 2:1)
Although it has certain misunderstandings, the Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary realized that the gathering together was intended for a religious group or assembly:
Gather yourselves together - to a religious assembly, to avert the judgment by prayers, (Joel 2:16, "Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders," etc.) (from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright Â© 1997, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)
When are they to gather together?
2 Before the decree is issued, Or the day passes like chaff, Before the Lord's fierce anger comes upon you,
Before the day of the Lord's anger comes upon you! (Zephaniah 2:2)
The gathering is to take place will before the day of the Lord (which happens about 2 1/2 years after the Great Tribulation of Matthew 24:21 begins) and before some type of decree is issued.
Consider also what the New Testament teaches about the importance of gathering together as we get closer to the end:
23 We should not stop gathering together with other believers, as some of you are doing. Instead, we must continue to encourage each other even more as we see the day of the Lord coming. (Hebrews 10:23, Gods Word Translation)
Who does God want to gather together?
The most faithful end time Christians.
How do we know that Zephaniah 2:1-3 is related to Christians? Because the decree is for the end time and because of what else God inspired Zephaniah to write:
3 Seek the Lord, all you meek of the earth, Who have upheld His justice. Seek righteousness, seek humility. (Zephaniah 2:3a)
The above is a reference to Christians as they are to be the "meek of the earth" (Matthew 5:5) and to Philadelphians who "have upheld His justice. Seek righteousness, seek humility."
These are Philadelphian Christians who understand that church leaders need to have integrity and are willing to be humble enough to accept the authority of a church led by a low-level prophet in the absence of a clear apostle (cf. 1 Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:11-15). They are humble enough to not think that they should remain 'independent,' as many Christians, such as those who once were part of the old Worldwide Church of God have done.
Why does God tell them they may wish to be gathered together? So:
3...It may be that you will be hidden In the day of the Lord's anger. (Zephaniah 2:3b)
So, it is those who have taken the prepatory step to "gather together" that may be protected from what is coming. By the way, the Bible shows that God is displeased and/or angry with the Sardis and Laodicean Christians at the end (Revelation 3:1-6; 3:14-22).
Interestingly, the Hebrew words translated as Zephaniah means “Yahweh Hides” or “Yahweh Has Hidden” (Holy Bible: Vine’s Expository Reference Edition, p. 826).
Why have I written that Zephaniah 2:1-3 has to do with Philadelphian Christians?
For they are the only ones who will actually 'gather together' as they should.
A decree will be issued that may allow those who are gathered together and who listen to it an opportunity to be protected (Zephaniah 2:1-3). A decree that the Philadelphians will listen to and fly/flee.
Those who gather together to support the end time Philadelphian work (Revelation 3:7-13) are the only Christians promised protection during the "hour of trial that which shall come upon the whole world" (Revelation 3:10). And they, unlike the Laodicean Christians (Revelation 3:14-22), will have gathered together in time.
The Granite Mountain Hot Shots did not gather together with the other firefighters when they should have. They were in error. Most Christians in the end times will be in error as well (cf. Revelation 12:17).
Preppers, and others, should consider the following:
5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. (Romans 8:5-8)
We should be reasonable, but need to understand we need to trust God more than our physical prepartions.
The old Worldwide Church of God published the following:
Despite what you may have heard, gold and silver may not be all that good as inflation hedges. In times of economic turmoil, governments often confiscate their citizens' gold.
Also, while it is not the province of the GN to give specific investment advice, gold and silver are two investments that are mentioned in Bible prophecy. The forecast, however, is not bullish:
"They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed: their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the Lord: they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels: because it is a stumbling-block of their iniquity" (Ezek. 7:19).
You cannot eat gold. You must buy it retail and sell it back wholesale. You may have to pay assay charges. You can't buy in quantities of less than an ounce, and so, in times of social breakdown, how would you pay for a loaf of bread? By clipping off a piece of your Krugerrand?
Of course, since gold is regarded as a disaster hedge by many investors, prudence might dictate that perhaps a small fraction of your liquid assets be in gold: (Caulkins J. WHEN MONEY FAILS. Good News, October-November 1979)
Decades later, a former Global Church of God minister once mentioned that having a few gold or silver coins around could be helpful in the time of the end. That may well be true, but if so, since the Anglo-American governments will be toppled in the Great Tribulation, coins from other than the USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom would seem to be a wiser choice.
Many believe that the Anglo-American nations will inflate their currencies so much, that this will mean that they will have little if any value in the future. And sadly this is correct (see also Anglo - America in Prophecy). This will mean that they will be able to import little, if any food, should they have significant weather, pestilences, or other massive issues with their own food supplies.
Many advocate gold, silver, and/or other precious metals as a hedge against this. And while I am NOT a "gold bug," it is true that the Bible shows that gold and silver will have value into at least part of the Great Tribulation--but it may well drop in value before then.
Notice that the Bible suggests that gold will have value:
40 ... the king of the North ... 43 He shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt (Daniel 11:40, 43).
The Great Tribulation actually would start by the end of verse 39 of Daniel 11, so obviously Daniel 11:43 is after that. If gold and silver were of no value then, then they would not be precious (see also Zechariah 14:13-14) to the King of the North.
Revelation 18 also confirms that gold will have value during the time of the Babylonian beast power (cf. Revelation 18:12).
However, the Bible specifically teaches that they will not save the rich (or anyone else) from the end-time problems:
3 Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days (James 5:3)
4 Riches do not profit in the day of wrath,
But righteousness delivers from death. (Proverbs 11:4)
18 Neither their silver nor their gold
Shall be able to deliver them
In the day of the Lord's wrath;
But the whole land shall be devoured
By the fire of His jealousy,
For He will make speedy riddance
Of all those who dwell in the land. (Zephaniah 1:18)
However, this does not mean that owning some may not help a little bit, but that a relationship with God counts much more. For more scriptures, as well as technical information about gold, please see the article The Plain Truth About Gold in Prophecy. How Should a Christian View Gold?
As one familiar with statistics, there is a concept known essentially within the framework of "game theory" which in essence states, look at the end result and not always at the probability for occurrence. Regarding a food shortage, let us assume that there is a 99% probability that nothing truly significant will happen this year or next.
Let us assume you do nothing. If nothing happens, you will feel vindicated. If something does happen, you may be impoverished or worse--you will also contribute to the panic that would ensue for those who also did not prepare.
Let us assume that tomorrow you store some water and go and buy a few weeks of storable food (canned goods, dried foods, sacks of grain). If nothing happens, you will have food you can consume eventually that you bought prematurely. You may also eat more whole grains instead of refined ones, which while a little more difficult to prepare, will be healthier for you than the more processed foods. On the other hand, let us assume there are food shortages. You will not be as likely to panic and contribute to the problem. The fact that you bought early, will mean that you can even help your neighbor as Jesus said,
35 "It is more blessed to give than receive" (Acts 20:35).
Remember, if you do not prepare early enough, you will hope that others will help you.
I would rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
What does any of this have to do with game theory?
Simply this, that even if the probability of an occurrence is low, the consequences of each probability needs to be weighed. Or in the vernacular, it is better to be safe than sorry.
There is probably a 99% probability that if you do not look both ways before crossing a street that you will not be severely injured. But most people realize that they should look before crossing a street.
Disasters are coming--Jesus said so (cf. Matthew 24:4-29).
God will take care of His faithful Philadelphian Christians:
32 Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. (Luke 12:32)
While we should make reasonable physical preparations, understand what the Apostle Paul wrote:
3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, 5 for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; (Philippians 1:3-6)
God will not give up on you--but God expects you to do your part.
Some believe that they know the safest places to flee to or to be in when trouble comes (watch 10 Safest Nations to be in During WWIII), but biblically most are in error.
I should state that I do not believe we in the Western nations will need to flee this year, I do believe that according to scripture, the Great Tribulation cannot begin before 2022. But we now seem to be in the time that Jesus referred to as "the beginning of sorrows" (Matthew 24:4-8), and preparation during this time appears wise. As I wrote much earlier about y2k, I suspected that the y2k rollover would not be the actual test, but perhaps a pretest to see who would prepare.
I would also add, however, that those who believe that they can personally prepare physically to ride-out the Great Tribulation and Day of the Lord are likely deceiving themselves as there will be many problems that they will not have been able to anticipate, nor do I believe that Christians should be so focused on physical protection that they trust in themselves.
25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. (Matthew 16:25-27)
But there is still value in preparation.
I suspect that because y2k and various storms did not lead to major long-term problems in Western nations, some Christians will not flee when it's time (for a related article, please check out Laodicean Warning for God's People and There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Petra).
The Bible seems to make it clear that it is prudent for Christians to take a few essentially no-risk preparations. After all, if as Jesus said, "you are of far more value than many sparrows" (Matthew 10:31), shouldn't we prepare at least as much as ants?
Consider the ant, but also remember the Granite Mountain firefighters.
While gold and silver (nor guns) will not provide salvation, they are likely to outlast the value of the US dollar. And while I do believe that hardly anyone will survive in places like the USA/UK/Canada, etc., because they hope to have a 3 1/2 year supply of food, it is prudent for people to have reasonable amounts of stored food and water so that they can survive for several weeks at least (as well as to possibly be able to help neighbors and others survive).
Therefore, I believe that some physical preparations are wise in these end days, but only with the realization that God is our protector and only He can protect from what is coming (and He has made such a provision, please see There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Petra).
Here is a link to a related sermon: Physical preparedness for Christians.
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Thiel B. Physical Preparation Scriptures for Christians. www.cogwriter.com (c) 2000/2005/2006/2008/2009/2010/2011/2012/2013/2014/2015/2016/2017/2018/2020 0315