Saturday, June 12, 2010

Chapter 13

Chapter 13
Be Prepared

Many years ago, I had the wonderful experience of being a Boy Scout. I learned many important skills and character traits through the Scouts. One of the first things I learned was the Boy Scout motto—“Be Prepared.” There is nothing worse than being faced with an adverse situation and not being prepared. In the Scouts, we were taught to think ahead about situations that we might encounter while camping and prepare accordingly.

Many difficulties that we face in life, likewise, can be overcome if we think ahead and plan and prepare accordingly. In this chapter, we will think ahead to what difficulties we will face in the 70th Week and I will suggest ways that we can plan and prepare accordingly. By the time you read this book, even though I am writing it before the 70th Week starts, you may already be in it. Even if that is the case, it is still not too late to prepare.

In endeavoring to prepare for this time, you must first realize that many people will be deceived and will not recognize the signs of the prophetic times in which we live. For as the Apostle Paul said, Christ’s return to the clouds and the rapture will catch many people off guard and will come upon them as a thief in the night:

But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. (1 Thess. 5:1-3)

When the rapture happens, the people of the world will pretty much be going about their daily routines. Even though the 70th Week will have started and the first five seals will bring about much death and destruction, the majority of the people will be so deceived that they will not be able to recognize the prophetic times in which we live.

But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. (Matt. 24:37-42)

So we see that, even though the first five seals will be opened, and tribulations and sorrows will be experienced by the world, the vast majority of people will not recognize that we are in this prophetic time period and will be caught off guard by the Day of the Lord because they will be deceived by the devil and his cohorts.
But that is not to be the case for the believer. The believer, as Jesus says, is to watch:

Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. (Matt. 24:42-44).

The Apostle Paul also echoes the same idea and further tells us that the Day will not overtake us as a thief:

But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. (1 Thess. 5:1-6)

Note what it says in reference to the Day of the Lord, that it will not overtake the brethren as a thief. Why? Because any serious student of the Bible will recognize the signs of the times and, more specifically, will probably be able to know that the 70th Week has started and will be able to discern the occurrences of the seals. Thus, after seeing the signs, they will know that the Lord’s return is imminent. Hopefully, you will be walking close enough to the Lord that you can recognize His pending return and prepare many years in advance for the difficulties that lie ahead.
The most important consideration in getting ready for the Lord’s return is to make sure you are prepared spiritually. Jesus told a parable that teaches the importance of being spiritually ready for His return:

Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh. (Matt. 25:1-13)

Are you ready for the bridegroom?

Spiritual PreparationThe starting point for being spiritually prepared is to make sure that you are a Christian. “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves…” (2 Cor. 13:5a) Becoming a Christian is a very simple yet profound process. There are four things one must know in order to become a Christian:

1. We are sinners. As the Bible says; “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). Sin is falling short of God’s perfection. Everyone has sinned many times in life. We have all lied, or stolen, or cheated, or done something wrong at some time in our lives. “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one” (Rom. 3:10).

2. We deserve Hell. Realize that there is a punishment for being a sinner, and that punishment is death. “For the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23). The punishment for sin is not just physical death, but also spiritual death. The place of spiritual death is Hell. “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Rom. 21:8). We all have sinned and we all deserve the punishment of Hell for our sin.

3. Jesus died for our sins. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). Jesus willingly went to the cross, shed His blood, and died for our sins. On the cross Jesus paid the price for our sins, He suffered the punishment that we deserve, He suffered Hell for us. Hell is a place of total separation from God. When Jesus was on the cross, God the Father separated Himself from God the Son. That is why Jesus cried out “with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? That is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” While Jesus was on the cross He was experiencing separation from God the Father. In other words He was suffering Hell. He was suffering the Hell that we deserve. While on the cross Jesus paid for all the sins of mankind, past, present, and future.

4. We must receive Christ by faith. In order to receive the forgiveness of our sins and become a Christian it is not enough to know that we are sinners, that we deserve Hell, and that Christ died for our sins, but we must receive Christ by faith. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph 2:8,9).

Notice that that verse tells us that we cannot earn our way to heaven. We obtain salvation through faith, not by works. Faith basically boils down to placing your trust in something or someone. If you are sitting down while reading this book, you are placing your faith or trust in the chair that you are sitting upon. Faith requires more than just an intellectual belief; it involves an action of your will. For example, if there were a pond covered with ice, and there were people standing around saying that the ice could hold them up, but they were not willing to walk on the ice, then they would only be demonstrating an intellectual belief and not faith. If they stepped out onto the ice, they would be demonstrating faith.
One can place their faith in Christ by simply calling out to Him in prayer, for the Bible says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
I placed my faith in Christ by sincerely praying a prayer like this: “Dear Jesus, I am a sinner. I deserve Hell. Thank you for dying for my sins. Save me. Come into my life. Make me the kind of person that you want me to be. I thank you that you have and that you will take me to heaven when I die. Amen.

If you sincerely pray that prayer with all your heart, then the Lord Jesus will come into your life and forgive your sins, and save you from an eternity of Hell. If you were to die tomorrow, you would go to heaven. Not because you are good enough to get there, but because you have received the payment of your sins. It is that simple.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. (Jn 5:24)

So the first thing that one needs to do in order to get ready spiritually for the Lord’s return is to make sure that you are a Christian. I would encourage you, if you are not sure of your eternal destiny, to take a moment right now and bow your head and sincerely pray the prayer listed above and place your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Once you are saved, nothing can separate you from the love of God. For more on the security of your salvation, see the article “Eternal Security” at

Righteous Living
The next step in being spiritually prepared for the Lord’s return is to make sure that you are living a righteous life — that is, a life without offence toward God and man. There are serious consequences for the believer who is not living in obedience to our Lord’s commands.

For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. (1 Cor. 11:30-32)

These verses suggest that the disobedient Christian will be subject to problems, sickness, and even death for their disobedience. You certainly do not want to be in a disobedient state when the Lord returns.

How do you live a righteous life? Righteous living is summed up in just two commandments:

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matt. 22:37-40)

Thus, the two most important things for a Christian to do is to love God with all his heart and love his neighbor as himself.

How does a Christian love God? Jesus answered that question succinctly:

If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (Jn 14:15)

He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. (Jn 14:21)

Jesus told us the way that we love God is to keep the commandments.
There are some Christians who say to make a list of items that you should obey is legalism. No, to not have a list of things a Christian should obey is licentiousness. Legalism is when you say that one must obey a list of “dos and don’ts” for salvation. To have a list of dos and don’ts from the Bible to show love to God is godly living. Those who say the Christian is free or at liberty to do as they wish are not free. Rather, they are enslaving themselves to sin at the dictates of their misguided imaginations and fleshly desires. If someone is legalistic in saying, in order to love God you must keep the commandments, then Jesus was legalistic when He commanded us to keep them. We know that this was not the case. Therefore it is not legalism to obey God.

Here are some of the many things that the Lord, either directly or by application of principle, commands Christians to do:

· Pray and read the Bible daily
· Be baptized
· Attend church
· Give tithes and offerings
· Love our neighbor as our self
· Share the gospel
· Obey authorities
· Forgive others
· Dress modestly

Here are some of the many things that the Lord, either directly or by application of principle, commands Christians to not do.

· Lie
· Steal
· Cheat
· Cuss
· Covet
· Murder and commit acts of violence
· Hate
· Harbor unforgiveness
· Fornicate
· Commit adultery
· Listen to rock and rap music
· Look at unwholesome things

Unfortunately, many Christians have swallowed—hook, line and sinker— the lie of the devil that a Christian is free to live as they please. This philosophy is contrary to the teaching of scripture. I have worked with Christian young people for 20 years, and I have seen a steady progression of worldliness and unrighteousness in the lives of the children and their parents. And sadly enough, many of these young people have fallen into grievous sins and brought great destruction to their lives. For more information on how to live righteously, see the article entitled “Living Righteous” at
Remember we obey God, not for the purpose of earning salvation, but because God has saved us from a terrible hell and we out of love for the Lord want to glorify Him by abstaining from sin and living a Godly life. Let us not use our liberty in Christ as a license to sin. The Apostle Paul gives us a strong admonition if we continue in sin:

Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. (Eph. 5:1-7)

Dear Christian, as we see the Day of the Lord approaching, let us sincerely examine ourselves before the Lord with a humble and contrite heart to make sure that we are in the faith and that we are living a life that is pleasing to Him. Let us all strive to hear the words “Well done, thou good and faithful servant enter into the joy of thy master” (Matt. 25:21). Do not try to claim that you love the Lord if you do not obey Him. Jesus said; “He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.” (John 14:24)
This may seem difficult, but you don’t have to do it alone. The power and ability to live the Christian life comes through the controlling and empowering of the Holy Spirit. In scripture, this is referred to as walking in the Spirit or being filled with the Spirit.

Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit. (Eph. 5:17,18)

This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. (Gal. 5:16)

How can a Christian be filled with the Spirit? Colossians 2:6 answers that question: “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him.” This verse is basically saying that in the same way that we received Christ, we should also walk in Him. How does a Christian receive Christ? Through faith, thus, we are to walk in Him by faith or be filled with the Spirit through faith. So in order to be filled with the Spirit, we must first desire to be filled. Then we must make sure that we have all sins confessed — for God will not fill a dirty vessel — we must also present ourselves to God as a living sacrifice to be used any way that He may wish, and ask to be filled and believe by faith that we are filled.
Here is a suggested prayer to be filled with the Spirit: “Dear God I present myself to you to be used any way that you desire. Fill me with your Spirit, direct me, control me and empower me. Live your life through me. I thank you that you will. Amen.”

Mental PreparationIn order to be ready for the return of the Lord, we must not only be spiritually prepared, but we must also be mentally prepared. To do this, we need to have a good working knowledge of prophetic truths. The Lord admonishes believers to not be asleep in regards to prophetic matters:

But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is…Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch. (Luke 13:32-37)

Here, Jesus warns believers of being asleep at His return. I believe He is specifically referring to being mentally and spiritually asleep, or unaware of the prophetic times that we live in, and the pending sorrows and tribulations that Christians are going to have to endure during the 70th Week. This description would probably classify the vast majority of sincere Christians that, due to a lack of fervency in seeking after the truth in relation to end times prophecy, have blindly adhered to what their well-respected, but erring pre-trib teachers have taught them.
So I say, wake up, Christian, know that we are very close to entering the 70th Week of Daniel, and by the time you read this we may already be in it. Do not remain asleep to the pending trials that are going to come upon the world with the opening of the seals. Christians who remain asleep and do not prepare spiritually, mentally and physically for those trials will be subject to extreme difficulties and hardships. After the Abomination of Desolation, the antichrist will require all to take the mark in order to buy or sell.

And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. (Rev. 13:16,17)

What are Christians who have not prepared for those times going to do when they are faced with the choice of not being able to buy or sell unless they take the mark? And yes, it will be a choice, and will not be forced upon anyone as was depicted in the popular, but scripturally inaccurate, Left Behind series. Many misinterpret Rev. 13:16, which says, “And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads,” to read “And he forces” instead of “And he causeth.” The Greek word in question here is poieo. Strong’s Greek and Hebrew dictionary defines it as “to produce, construct, form, fashion, to be the authors of, to make ready, to prepare.” The word in no way means, “to force.”

It will be a choice that all alive at the time will have to make, and I fear some nominal Christians will choose the mark, undoubtedly reasoning it away somehow, especially when they are faced with not being able to buy or sell. Some may even be faced with a choice of taking the mark or being put to death. Unfortunately, the threat of death will, along with the many deceptions and persecutions, will be part of the reason there will be a great falling away from the faith. Scripture even indicates that many nominal Christians will fall away to the point where they will even betray family members.

Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. (Mark 13:12,13)

If somebody takes the mark are they really doomed to hell? The answer is found in Rev. 14:9-12:

And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
So yes, those who take the mark are doomed to hell. Do not let any fantasy series convince you otherwise. The Left Behind series portrayed an individual who was forced to take the mark and who later was saved. This is in contradiction to the scripture above. Taking the mark will be an eternal choice with clear ramifications.
Physical Preparations

Along with making spiritual and mental preparations for the return of the Lord, one must also make physical preparations. Preparing for the future is a basic life principle. “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.” (Prov 6:6-8) “A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.” (Prov 22:3) These verses make it clear that a Christian is to prepare for the future. So how can a Christian prepare physically for the 70th Week? We must first consider what we are likely to be faced with. As already discussed, Christians will be faced with living through the first five seals....



  1. Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as may as the Lord our God shall call. Acts 2:38, 39 (This is being born again of the water and the Spirit.)

    1. Baptism by water is not a requirement for entrance into heaven, it is through faith and faith alone. Did the thief on the cross get baptized with water? No, but he still went to heaven.

  2. I am baptized and as Jesus did so have I Yes we must have faith and confess our saviour but full immersion should be done no sprinkling for me! And the theif was under the OLD COVENANT the church was not established re all the book of acts re baptism!

  3. Yes I am baptized too. I was baptized after I was saved. Salvation in OT and NT has always been the same--faith in Christ. For by grace are you saved through faith not of yourselves, it is a gift of God, not of works (baptism) lest anyone should boast.

  4. I have enjoyed your book, but I have ONE criticism. You said not to listen to Rap and Rock, the lyrical content should dictate what music, NOT the genre, otherwise great job!

  5. I have researched the origin, purpose and effect of rock music and regardless of the words the music is destructive. You can read the research in a book I have written called Christian Rock Music; Wolf or Sheep. Christian rock to me is like a Bible verse on a cigarette.

  6. I'll check it out, but I have my opinions, and you have yours :-|

  7. Also, check out KJ-52, I know him personally, and he is a devout Christian, and rap is his talent. He has reached out to many with his music, and has called many to belief

    1. I know what you are saying, but that does not make it right. I could put the gospel on a beer can or pack of cigarettes and people could get saved, that does not make beer or cigarettes OK. The ends do not justify the means.