Overcoming the Tribulation
Jesus tells us in Matthew 24 that the end of the age and days leading up to His coming will be filled with wars, rumors of wars, nation rising against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. Jesus also says there will be famines and pestilences. I tend to believe the words of the prophet Jesus over any other prophet in the modern day church. But there are some prophets out there prophesying that things will get better in the end times. You will have to decide which prophet you want to believe; Jesus or the others. Those who chose incorrectly will most likely experience great sorrow in the days to come.
Chaos is on the horizon. "Natural" disasters are increasing. Nuclear war is a very good possibly, along with nations being invaded. The world economy is a house of cards, and it could collapse at any time. When this happens governments will fall. Rioting, looting, violence, civil unrest, and civil war may follow. And that includes the United States. Let us see what the scripture shows us about the severity of the days ahead:
(Revelation 6:7-8 NKJV)
When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth.
(Revelation 9:13-18 NKJV)
Then the sixth angel sounded: And I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind. Now the number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them. And thus I saw the horses in the vision: those who sat on them had breastplates of fiery red, hyacinth blue, and sulfur yellow; and the heads of the horses were like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths came fire, smoke, and brimstone. By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed—by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which came out of their mouths.
One third of the global population will be completely wiped out in a war that will take place in the coming days. The times that are coming on this country and the world are perilous. We must prepare with seriousness for the end of this age, for it is upon us. The harshest time that the world will ever experience is the last three and a half years of the age. This time period is referred to as the great tribulation by Jesus in Matthew 24.
The Great Tribulation
(Daniel 7:21-25 NKJV)
“I was watching; and the same horn was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them, until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom. “Thus he said: ‘The fourth beast shall be A fourth kingdom on earth, Which shall be different from all other kingdoms, And shall devour the whole earth, Trample it and break it in pieces. The ten horns are ten kings Who shall arise from this kingdom. And another shall rise after them; He shall be different from the first ones, And shall subdue three kings. He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, Shall persecute the saints of the Most High, And shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand For a time and times and half a time.
(Revelation 13:4-7 NKJV)
So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?” And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation.
These two scriptures make it very clear that the antichrist (the beast) is given global authority for the final three and a half years of his age. We know that it is the final three and a half years of the age, because when Jesus returns the antichrist is stripped of his authority and thrown into Hell (Revelation 19:19-20). Also, when Jesus returns, the new age will begin. So for three and a half years the antichrist will be given authority to make war against believers and to overcome them by killing them. The pressure of these last years will be extreme. But believers who walk close to the Lord will "overcome him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death." This means that by not loving our earthly life, and embracing martyrdom; we will overcome the beast.
There is a big difference between being killed and being martyred. Many Christians will simply be killed because they are weak and unprepared. These are not martyrs or overcomers. Christians who are currently living in compromise will not be spiritually strong enough to survive the tribulation. All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword, which say, The evil shall not overtake nor prevent us (Amos 9:10). They will most likely be taken out by the calamities coming upon the earth. These believers will not fulfill their calling. Christians who are not walking intimately with the Lord may fall away from the faith under the pressure of the beast system and persecution. Christians starving to death may fold under the pressure and take the mark of the beast in order to feed their family. Anyone who takes the mark will with suffer eternal damnation (Revelation 14:9-12).
Mark of the Beast
The antichrist will only have total control for three and a half years. This is the time that he will be able to set up the mark of the beast system. During this time, no believer will be able to go to the store to buy food or supplies.
(Revelation 13:16-17 NKJV)
He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
It is extremely important that we do not get offended with the Lord in the coming days. Lot's wife got offended and angry with the Lord in her heart. Because of this, she did not survive the tribulation that was coming upon the earth. Let us examine the scripture in regards to this.
(Luke 17:26-33 NKJV)
And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed. “In that day, he who is on the housetop, and his goods are in the house, let him not come down to take them away. And likewise the one who is in the field, let him not turn back. Remember Lot’s wife. Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.
Genesis 19:4-8 in the KJV, states that Lot had two daughters living with him and his wife. They were virgins who had not yet been married. Genesis 19:14-16 states that Lot had at least two other daughters that were married to his sons-in-law. Married women cannot be virgins so the scripture is speaking of additional daughters to the ones that are living with Lot. Lot tried to warn his sons-in-law about the coming judgment but they did not believe him. There will be many worldly minded Christians who will not believe that judgment is coming as well and suffer the same fate. Anyway, because Lot's sons-in-law and married daughters did not believe him, they remained in the city.
The book of Jasher (which the Bible mentions in II Samuel 1:17-18 and Joshua 10:13) is a historical book based on Jewish tradition. It records the following:
And He overthrew these cities, all the plain and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground; and Ado the wife of Lot looked back to see the destruction of the cities, for her compassion was moved on account of her daughters who remained in Sodom, for they did not go with her. And when she looked back she became a pillar of salt…
When Lot's wife saw the judgment of God falling on the city something happened in her heart. She thought of her daughters in the city and anger filled her heart. Offense and bitterness rose up in her heart. "How could you be so cruel God," she may have thought. Lot's wife sought to save the life she had in that city with her daughters (her natural earthly life), and she lost her life. What would we do or think if the Lord allows a city to be destroyed where our family or loved ones live? How would we react toward the Lord? As it was in the days of Lot, so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed. Remember Lot's wife.
Overcoming the Tribulation
1. Obedience is the first key to surviving the great tribulation.
(Matthew 7:24-27 NKJV)
“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
Only those who actually "do" the things that Jesus says will be able to stand in the turmoil that is coming.
2. Relationship / Abiding in His word and Presence (first love)
(Psalms 91:1-16 NKJV)
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler And from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day, Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near you. Only with your eyes shall you look, And see the reward of the wicked. Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place, No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone. You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot. “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him, And show him My salvation.”
Those who abide in the secret place of the Lord's presence will be protected from pestilence, terror by night, and destruction at noon day. Thousands may be killed all around them, but they will stand. No evil shall befall those who make the Most High their dwelling place. This promise is only for those who walk in intimacy with the Lord. It does not apply to the casual believer.
3. Get Freedom from any bondage or sin
(Isaiah 33:14-16 NKJV)
The sinners in Zion are afraid; Fearfulness has seized the hypocrites: “Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?” 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: 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.
Those who walk in righteousness will be provided with food and water in the days ahead. This promise is not given to Christians who are living in sin.
(Mark 8:34-35 NKJV)
When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.
Any believer who follows after Jesus as His disciple, will learn how to lose his earthly life. By doing this, he will secure his Heavenly life. The Lord will call many of His disciples to martyrdom in the tribulation. This is overcoming the tribulation, just as those who make it through.
5. Tithes & Offerings
Giving to the Lord will bring kingdom stability in the days ahead. When you invest in Heaven, you have access to Heaven's resources and store houses. If you do not invest in Heaven then you will not have access.
6. Giving to the poor
Psalm 41:1-2 (NKJV)
Blessed is he who considers the poor; The LORD will deliver him in time of trouble. The LORD will preserve him and keep him alive, And he will be blessed on the earth; You will not deliver him to the will of his enemies.
(Zephaniah 2:1-3 NKJV)
Gather yourselves together, yes, gather together, O undesirable nation, 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! Seek the LORD, all you meek of the earth, Who have upheld His justice. Seek righteousness, seek humility. It may be that you will be hidden In the day of the LORD’s anger.
8. Respecting, honoring, and fearing The Lord
(Psalms 33:18-19 NKJV)
Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, On those who hope in His mercy, To deliver their soul from death, And to keep them alive in famine.
Preparing in the spiritual is the most important thing we can do. However, we must also prepare in the natural in order to survive what is coming.
(Hebrews 11:1-2, 6-7 NKJV)
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.
Noah received a good testimony from the Lord because he built a boat when he was warned of things not yet seen. Noah demonstrated his faith by his works. Noah also stored food for the time of trouble:
(Genesis 6:21-22 NKJV)
And you shall take for yourself of all food that is eaten, and you shall gather it to yourself; and it shall be food for you and for them.” Thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did.
Joseph also operated in the wisdom of God and prepared for the time of severe trial that was going to come upon the earth.
(Genesis 41:46-49 NKJV)
Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt. Now in the seven plentiful years the ground brought forth abundantly. So he gathered up all the food of the seven years which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities; he laid up in every city the food of the fields which surrounded them. Joseph gathered very much grain, as the sand of the sea, until he stopped counting, for it was immeasurable.
Genesis 47 records that the famine was so bad that people gave their money, livestock, land, and even sold themselves for food. Please do not be one of these people. The scripture clearly tells us what is coming. We have been divinely warned of things not yet seen. When we act out of faith, we receive a favorable testimony from the Lord. Those who don't act, don't really believe the Bible or the Lord. Those believers will not receive a favorable testimony from the Lord.
The basic supplies that one will need in the days ahead are: food, water purification equipment, toiletries, medical supplies, a way to cook food and boil water, clothes, shoes, shelter, and guns and ammo (for defense, hunting, or bartering). There are many more supplies that are necessary for survival. I will not list them here. This subject can be researched online.
10. Watch & Pray
(Luke 21:34-36 NKJV)
“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. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 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.”
The Greek word for "watch" also means to be sleepless or to keep awake. We can not allow the dullness of this life to cause us to go to sleep spiritually. We must stay awake. We must stay fervent in spirit. Burning for the Lord. The time is at hand.