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Bible Study: End times understanding and preparation 101

INTRODUCTION:

As we see the literal fulfillment of Biblical prophecy concerning the “end times” come to pass, we need to be aware that the day is coming (and I believe coming rapidly) that Christians will need to know what to do when we can no longer live in a “business as usual” manner.  The following material includes the subjects of  spiritual and emotional preparation, and several topics of physical preparation.  Of course, all of this information must be evaluated in light of a LOT of prayer.  You must determine what the Lord is leading YOU to do for YOUR family, and in YOUR specific situation.  Also, you must remember that we are not to fear what is coming, because HE is in control of all things, and at all times.  Lastly, we need to remember that our SURVIVAL is NOT the point.  Being obedient to God, and continuing to have a faithful witness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, even in uncomfortable or unpleasant times, is what it is all about.

SPIRITUAL AND MENTAL PREPARATION:

The most important part of any preparation for the end times is to be prepared spiritually and mentally.  If we are settled in our soul and mind that we will follow and obey Jesus no matter what may come our way, and if we are convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that God’s will and plan for our lives is perfect even if it is uncomfortable, then we will be equipped to show forth a living testimony of faith no matter what our circumstances.  The following material deals with this spiritual and emotional mindset that we must have to witness effectively in the end times.

Job 13:15-16

15 Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.  Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him.  16 He also shall be my salvation, For a hypocrite could not come before Him.

Mt 24:3-34

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?”  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.  9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.  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. 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! 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.  23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand.  26 “Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it.

27 For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 28 For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.  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.  32 “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! 34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.

John 16:33

33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.

In light of these things, we need to remember that we are not to let fear rule us as we consider these issues, because God is our Strength, Provider, and Protector!

Exodus 14:10-14

10 And when Pharaoh drew near, the children of Israel lifted their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians marched after them. So they were very afraid, and the children of Israel cried out to the Lord. 11 Then they said to Moses, “Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you so dealt with us, to bring us up out of Egypt? 12 Is this not the word that we told you in Egypt, saying, ‘Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness.”  13 And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. 14 The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”

Deuteronomy 31:8

8 And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”

Joshua 1:9

9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Psalm 27:1-5

1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?  2 When the wicked came against me To eat up my flesh, My enemies and foes, They stumbled and fell.  3 Though an army may  encamp against me, My heart shall not fear; Though war may rise against me, In this I will be confident.  4 One thing I have desired of the Lord, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord, And to inquire in His temple.  5 For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.

Psalm 91:1-6

1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.  2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”  3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler And from the perilous pestilence.  4 He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge;

His truth shall be your shield and buckler.  5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,

Nor of the arrow that flies by day,  6 Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.

Matthew 10:28-31

28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

1st Peter 3:12-17

12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers;

But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”  13 And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.” 15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; 16 having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. 17 For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

Now lets’ consider what Corrie Ten Boom wrote on the subject of Christians and the Tribulation.

Corrie Ten Boom-1974 

“The world is deathly ill.  It is dying.  The Great Physician has already signed the death certificate.  Yet there is still a great work for Christians to do.  They are to be streams of living water, channels of mercy to those who are still in the world.  It is possible for them to do this because they are overcomers.  

Christians are ambassadors for Christ.  They are representatives from Heaven to this dying world.  And because of our presence here, things will change.

My sister, Betsy, and I were in the Nazi concentration camp at Ravensbruck because we committed the crime of loving Jews.  Seven hundred of us from Holland, France, Russia, Poland and Belgium were herded into a room built for two hundred.  As far as I knew, Betsy and I were the only two representatives of Heaven in that room.  

We may have been the Lord’s only representatives in that place of hatred, yet because of our presence there, things changed.  Jesus said, “In the world you shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”  We too, are to be overcomers – bringing the light of Jesus into a world filled with darkness and hate.

Sometimes I get frightened as I read the Bible, and as I look in this world and see all of the tribulation and persecution promised by the Bible coming true.  Now I can tell you, though, if you too are afraid, that I have just read the last pages.  I can now come to shouting “Hallelujah! Hallelujah!” for I have found where it is written that Jesus said, “He that overcometh shall inherit all things:  and I will be His God, and he shall be My son.”  This is the future and hope of this world.  Not that the world will survive – but that we shall be overcomers in the midst of a dying world.

Betsy and I, in the concentration camp, prayed that God would heal Betsy who was so weak and sick. “Yes, the Lord will heal me,”, Betsy said with confidence.  She died the next day and I could not understand it.  They laid her thin body on the concrete floor along  with all the other corpses of the women who died that day.

It was hard for me to understand, to believe that God had a purpose for all that.  Yet because of Betsy’s death, today I am traveling all over the world telling people about Jesus.

There are some among us teaching there will be no tribulation, that the Christians will be able to escape all this.  These are the false teachers that Jesus was warning us to expect in the latter days.  Most of them have little knowledge of what is already going on across the world.  I have been in countries where the saints are already suffering terrible persecution.  In China, the Christians were told, “Don’t worry, before the tribulation comes you will be translated – raptured.”  Then came a terrible persecution.  Millions of Christians were tortured to death.  Later I heard a Bishop from China say, sadly, “We have failed.  We should have made the people strong for persecution rather than telling them Jesus would come first.  Tell the people how to be strong in times of persecution, how to stand when the tribulation comes – to stand and not faint.”

I feel I have a divine mandate to go and tell the people of this world that it is possible to be strong in the Lord Jesus Christ.  We are in training for the tribulation, but more than sixty percent of the Body of Christ across the world has already entered into the tribulation. There is no way to escape it.  We are next.

Since I have already gone through prison for Jesus’ sake, and since I met the Bishop in China, now every time I read a good Bible text I think, “Hey, I can use that in the time of tribulation.”  Then I write it down and learn it by heart.  

When I was in the concentration camp, a camp where only twenty percent of the women came out alive, we tried to cheer each other up by saying, “Nothing could be any worse than today.”  But we would find the next day was even worse.  During this time a Bible verse that I had committed to memory gave me great hope and joy. “If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you; on their part evil is spoken of, but on your part He is glorified.” (I Peter 3:14)  I found myself saying, “Hallelujah!  Because I am suffering, Jesus is glorified!”

In America, the churches sing, “Let the congregation escape tribulation”, but in China  and Africa the tribulation has already arrived.  This last year alone more than two hundred thousand Christians were martyred in Africa.  Now things like that never get into the newspapers because they cause bad political relations.  But I know.  I have been there.  We need to think about that when we sit down in our nice houses with our nice clothes to eat our steak dinners.  Many, many members of the Body of Christ are being tortured to death at this very moment, yet we continue right on as though we are all going to escape the tribulation.

Several years ago I was in Africa in a nation where a new government had come into power.  The first night I was there some of the Christians were commanded to come to the police station to register.  When they arrived they were arrested and that same night they were executed.  The next day the same thing happened with other Christians.  The third day it was the same.  All the Christians in the district were being systematically murdered.

The fourth day  I was to speak in a little church.  The people came, but they were filled with fear and tension.  All during the service they were looking at each other, their eyes asking, “Will this one I am sitting beside be the next one killed?  Will I be the next one?”

The room was hot and stuffy with insects that came through the screenless windows and swirled around the naked bulbs over the bare wooden benches.  I told them a story out of my childhood.

“When I was a little girl, “ I said, “I went to my father and said, “Daddy, I am afraid that I will never be strong enough to be a martyr for Jesus Christ.” “Tell me,” said Father, “When you take a train trip to Amsterdam, when do I give you the money for the ticket? Three weeks before?”  “No, Daddy, you give me the money for the ticket just before we get on the train.” “That is right,” my father said, “and so it is with God’s strength.  Our Father in Heaven knows when you will need the strength to be a martyr for Jesus Christ.  He will supply all you need – just in time…”

My African friends were nodding and smiling.  Suddenly a spirit of joy descended upon that church and the people began singing, “ In the sweet, by and by, we shall meet on that beautiful shore.”  Later that week, half the congregation of that church was executed.  I heard later that the other half was killed some months ago.

But I must tell you something.  I was so happy that the Lord used me to encourage these people, for unlike many of their leaders, I had the word of God.  I had been to the Bible and discovered that Jesus said He had not only overcome the world, but to all those who remained faithful to the end, He would give a crown of life.

How can we get ready for the persecution?  First we need to feed on the word of God, digest it, make it a part of our being.  This will mean disciplined Bible study each day as we not only memorize long passages of scripture, but put the principles to work in our lives.

Next we need to develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  Not just the Jesus of yesterday, the Jesus of History, but the life-changing Jesus of today who is still alive and sitting at the right hand of God.

We must be filled with the Holy Spirit. This is no optional command of the Bible, it is absolutely necessary. Those earthly disciples could never have stood up under the persecution of the Jews and Romans had they not waited for Pentecost.  Each of us needs our own personal Pentecost, the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  We will never be able to stand in the tribulation without it.

In the coming persecution we must be ready to help each other and encourage each other.  But we must not wait until the tribulation comes before starting.  The fruit of the Spirit should be the dominant force of every Christian’s life.  

Many are fearful of the coming tribulation, they want to run.  I, too, and a little bit afraid when I think that after all my eighty years, including the horrible nazi concentration camp, that I might have to go through the tribulation also.  But then I read the Bible and I am glad.

When I am weak, then I shall be strong, the Bible says. Betsy and I were prisoners for the Lord, we were so weak, but we got power because the Holy Spirit was on us.  That mighty inner strengthening of the Holy Spirit helped us through.  No, you will not be strong in yourself when the tribulation comes.  Rather, you will be strong in the power of Him who will not forsake you.  For seventy-six years I have known the Lord Jesus and not once has He ever left me, or let me down.  Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him, for I know that to all who overcome, He shall give the crown of life.  Hallelujah!”

Now let’s consider what the Bible says in regards to tribulation as opposed to God’s wrath.
Will Christians Go Through the Great Tribulation?by Rich Deem
There is, and always has been great interest in the second coming of Christ within the Christian community. Before this century, the predominant interpretation of end-times events included a post tribulation rapture (removal of Christians from the Earth) of Christ’s church. However, this interpretation has become unpopular recently, and has been replaced with a pre-tribulation rapture interpretation, which includes at least two “second comings” of Jesus – one to rapture believers and a second to defeat the forces of evil and establish His millennial kingdom on Earth. After years of studying this issue, I have great concern for the preparedness of Christians in the days to come. A pre-tribulation rapture scenario has much more appeal for Christians (since Christ delivers us before all the bad things begin to happen). However, if this interpretation is inaccurate, it can lead to a false sense of security, and a falling away by many if persecution of believers reaches unprecedented proportions before Christ’s return.

In this study, we will examine what the Bible says about the rapture (the word itself is never directly used), tribulation events, God’s wrath, and God’s judgment. My goal is to include all relevant verses, so as not to bias the data. Once we have all the data, we will examine rapture interpretations to determine which scenario fits the data the best.

Tribulation vs. Wrath

First, I think it is important to define the word “tribulation” and how this is related to God’s wrath (anger and judgment). There are two Greek words most often used to describe tribulation events, and in many instances, they are used together in the same verse. The first word is diwgmos (Strong’s #G1375), which occurs 10 times in the New Testament and is translated “persecution(s)” in all major English translations. This word always refers to the persecution of believers by non-believers. The second word is thlipsis (Strong’s #G2347), which occurs 45 times in the New Testament and is translated “tribulation(s),” “affliction(s),” “anguish,” “distress,” “persecution,” or “trouble.” In 42 of these 45 occurrences, the word refers to the suffering believers received at the hands of non-believers. One of the other 3 refer to the sufferings of Joseph when he was sold into slavery at the hands of his brothers, another to the sufferings of people during the famine of that time, and only one refers to the suffering of those who commit evil. On this basis alone, one would seem to be on shaky ground in assuming that the tribulation is reserved only for non-believers (since it only refers to non-believers in only 2% of all verses).

In contrast, two different Greek words are used to describe the suffering of non-believers at the hand of God. The first word is thumos (Strong’s #G2372), which occurs in 18 verses in the New Testament and is translated “angry tempers,” “fierce,” “indignation,” “outbursts of anger,” “passion,” “rage,” and “wrath.” In nine of those 18 verses, the term specifically refers to the anger and judgment of God against the unrighteous (the other 9 refer to the anger of people against each other). The second word is orgay (Strong’s #G3709), which occurs in 34 verses in the New Testament and is translated “anger” or “wrath.” Twenty-eight of those verses refer to the wrath of God (or Jesus against the unrighteous, one refers to the persecution of believers, and five refer to anger of people against each other.) Therefore, whereas tribulation almost always refers to the persecution of believers, wrath almost always refers to the anger of God against the unrighteous that results in punishment.

Events Preceding the End

Three of the four gospels tell of Jesus’ description of the end time events. In addition, the book of Revelation describes these events in some detail (although not completely in a sequential order). The major events of these end times prophecies are included in the table below.

Event Matthew Mark Luke Revelation
False Christs 24:5, 23-26 13:6, 21-23 21:8  
Wars, famine, earthquakes 24:6-7 13:7-8 21:9-11 6:2-8, 12
Tribulation of believers 24:9-10, 21-22 13:9-20 21:12 6:9-11
Gospel preached to all nations 24:14 13:10   14:6
Astronomical signs 24:29 13:24-25 21:25 6:12, 8:12
Return of Christ 24:30 13:26 21:27 1:7
Rapture of believers 24:31 13:27 17:34-36 7:9-14

 

The Rapture

God promises to remove believers from the Earth prior to the time that He executes judgment against the unrighteous. The removal of believers prior to God’s judgment has been called the rapture. Descriptions of the return of Christ and the rapture are found in three of the four gospels, the book of Acts, 1 Thessalonians, and the book of Revelation. It is mentioned in many other letters to the churches, but no significant additional information is included.

The descriptions given in the gospels are sequential, since many verses indicate a sense of order:

Matthew 24:6 – “…but that is not yet the end”

Matthew 24:8 – “But all these things are merely the beginning…”

Matthew 24:14 – “And this gospel … shall be preached in the whole world…, and then the   

                             end shall come”

Matthew 24:29 – “But immediately after the tribulation of those days…”

Matthew 24:30 – “and then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky…”

Parallel passages in the other gospel indicate similar references to sequential events. The order of events clearly indicates that believers will go through the Great Tribulation. In addition, the text indicates that the days of tribulation (persecution of believers by non-believers) will be shortened by the Lord “for the sake of the elect” (i.e., believers). The Lord will announce His coming through astronomical signs and quickly gather together “His elect” (the rapture). Following these events, the wrath of God will be executed against the remaining non-believers.

The book of Revelation likewise indicates that believers will go through the tribulation. In chapter 6, believers killed for their faith ask how long it will be before God avenges their death. The answer is that they have to wait even until more believers are killed for their faith. Not only will believers be persecuted for their faith, but also they will be killed because they are Christians (Revelation 6:11). This tribulation will be followed astronomical signs and the “sealing” of 144,000 Jewish men who seem to be future Christian evangelists. Immediately after these men are “sealed”, “a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues” suddenly appear in heaven (from the rapture). When one of the elders asks who all these people are, John answers that they are those “who come out of the great tribulation.” Immediately after the rapture, the seventh seal is broken, and there is silence in heaven for 30 minutes before the wrath of God is poured out on the Earth.

 

From these studies, one can see that there is a significant difference between the wrath of God (which is judgment directed at the unrighteous) and the tribulation (which is the persecution directed at believers). Throughout the Bible, God is consistent in His treatment of humans. He allows individuals to choose between love and hate, and rarely interferes with that choice. At the times of the end, God will allow the unrighteous to persecute believers to an extent that “has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall,” before ending their reign of terror. God then removes believers from the earth before executing judgment on the unrighteous. A complete description of this judgment can be found in the remainder of the book of Revelation (chapters 8-19). The ultimate fate of unbelievers can be found in chapter 20 of Revelation.

I am more convinced than ever that Christians will go through the Great Tribulation. Since much of the Church believes God will deliver them prior to the Great Tribulation, many believers will be surprised when they find themselves being persecuted and killed for their faith. Their faith will be severely tested, since they may believe that God has abandoned them and that the prophecies of the rapture are not true. Under such circumstances, most believers will fall away and deny their faith to save their lives. Jesus, in fact, made just such a prophecy:

“And at that time many will fall away and will deliver up one another and hate one another…. “But the one who endures to the end, he shall be saved. (Matthew 24:10, 13)

If you are a Christian, be prepared to die for your faith. Even your fellow “brothers” will deliver you to the authorities to avoid their own deaths. If you are not willing to die for what you believe, you will deny your faith when threatened with death. Be aware of what Jesus said about those who seek to save their lives:

For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. (Matthew 16:25)

Many Christians are looking forward to the return of Christ, which will, indeed, be a glorious event. However, the time just preceding the end will not be pleasant for Christians. The watchful Christian should be prepared to join his fellow brothers under the altar of souls of those who will die “because of the testimony which they had maintained.”

We also see in Scripture that God has given us a blueprint, or outline, of the events of the Tribulation as it applies to Christians.

The Exodus as a blueprint for the Tribulation: Summarized from material by M. Judah

The Book of Exodus contains the blueprint for the last generation saints to endure the great tribulation until the Messiah comes. It is the story of the exodus from Egypt to the Promised Land; it is the pattern for the greater exodus from this world to the Messiah’s Kingdom.

Moses wrote a song of deliverance (Exodus 15) at the first Exodus. Upon crossing the Red Sea and seeing Pharaoh’s chariots drowned, he sang that song – the song of Moses. I’m sure you have heard the words, “The horse and rider He has thrown into the sea.” But, did you know that Moses wrote a second song. The second song is also a song of deliverance and according the book of Revelation, it will be sung along with the song of the Lamb by tribulation saints at the end of the age. The second song of Moses (Deuteronomy 32) is for the greater Exodus. And they sang the song of Moses the bond-servant of God and the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and marvelous are Thy works, O Lord God, the Almighty; Righteous and true are Thy ways, Thou King of the nations. Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Thy name? For Thou alone art holy; For all the nations will come and worship before Thee, For Thy righteous acts have been revealed.” REVELATION 15:3-4

 

The children of Israel left Egypt with the clear expectation that they were going to the promised land – the land of milk and honey. However, they did not go directly to that land. Instead, they went into the great, terrible wilderness for 40 year and camped at 42 different places. Then, they came to the Jordan river and crossed over to the promised land.  Whereas, Israel camped 42 times, our tribulation is 42 months. The Hebrew word for Egypt is Mitzrayim. It means trials and tribulations.

Lets look at some of the comparisons between the Exodus and the “FINAL” exodus:

 Pharaoh and the Anti-Christ:  Pharaoh hardened his heart against the Lord and great judgment befell Egypt.  The Antichrist will also harden his heart against God and not remember the son of Joseph (Jesus the Messiah). Great judgments will befall the world and the Antichrist so that everyone will “know the Lord.”

Moses and Aaron – the two witnesses Moses and Aaron went into Pharaoh and spoke the Lord’s will, “Let My people go.” With each refusal, Moses and Aaron pronounced God’s judgments upon Egypt and Pharaoh. In like manner, we will have two witnesses prophesying in Jerusalem, pronouncing judgments upon the world, and warning the people, “Behold, Here is your God!”

God’s Judgments as Sets The ten plagues that hit Egypt were three sets of three judgments with a final judgment. They can be identified by where Moses was when the judgment is brought forth. Beginning with the first judgment, water into blood, the judgments came forth in this manner: At the river Nile, at the Palace, then unannounced. This pattern repeats itself through the first nine. Therefore, the judgments were actually three sets of three each. It is not that the judgments announced at the river Nile happened first then all the Palace announcements happened, etc. They were integrated with each other. In like manner, we can see that the future Revelation judgments are three sets of seven.

The Locusts and Darkness Judgment Judgement number eight and nine in ancient Egypt were particularly difficult. These preceded the final judgment. God demonstrates His great wisdom and judgment by doing the same with us in the great tribulation. In the final days of the tribulation, an asteroid, meteor, or comets strike the earth in a deep impact scenario. According to the prophet Joel and John, great clouds billow up to darken the sun, moon, and stars. All the prophets have spoken of the world being in darkness before the coming of the Lord – in the final days of the indignation. From the abyss in the earth, demons come forth in this darkness to terrorize men. They are compared to locusts, following in mass and devastating everything in their path.

 

The 10 Tests in the Wilderness Israel was purposely tested in the wilderness. God wanted to transform the people and teach them to trust Him. And you shall remember all the way which the Lord your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. And He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord. Your clothing did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years. Thus you are to know in your heart that the Lord your God was disciplining you just as a man disciplines his son. DEUTERONOMY 8:2-5 Beginning with the crossing of the Red Sea and ending with Israel’s rejection at Kadesh-Barnea, Israel failed 10 tests.

These tests are summarized by two categories (belief and obedience) as the following questions:

 Belief and Trust: 1. Will God save us from Pharaoh (Antichrist)?

                             2. Will God provide water?

                             3. Will God provide food?

                             4. Will God be with us to defend us?

                             5. Is God the One and only, true God?  

 

Obedience and Blessing: 6. Will we reject God’s provision?

                                        7. Will we reject God’s presence?

                                        8. Will we reject God’s salvation?

                                        9. Will we reject God’s Anointed?

                                       10. Will we reject God’s Kingdom?

At the Red Sea, Pharaoh and his chariots approached to slaughter the Children of Israel. The unbelievers cried out that Moses had brought them out to die. But Moses answered and told the people to be quiet and see the salvation of God. God led them through the Red Sea and drowned the Egyptians before their eyes. When the great tribulation comes, the first test will be whether God will save us from the Antichrist and his chariots. Many believers have been told that the Antichrist will be very powerful in the world. The Antichrist will be given power for a specific period; however, our God will not forsake us nor abandon us to the enemy. He is a savior and His arm is not short to deliver those who take refuge in Him. The Apostle Paul makes reference to these tests explaining that they are to teach us. He also says they are intended for the people at the end of the ages (the last generation). Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. 1st COR. 10:11

 

Wanting to return to Egypt It didn’t take long before the children of Israel began to mumble and grumble among themselves. The accommodations were not all that great. Food and water were questionable. Eventually, Moses’ leadership came into question. They complained that in Egypt they had cucumbers, melons, leeks and garlic; in the wilderness, all they had was manna. They also had taken a lot of gold from Egypt. What could they spend their gold on out in the wilderness? All of this led to various groups and individuals rising up in opposition saying that they should return to Egypt. In like manner, I can assure you that these very issues will present themselves in the great tribulation in the camp of believers. They will get hungry for McDonald’s french fries, Chinese take-out, and pizza delivery. What’s more, many believers will bring money with them, but there won’t be anywhere to spend it in the camp. The temptation will come and our own brethren will rise in opposition to camp leadership. The issue won’t be the leaders; the issue will be money, and they will want to go spend it back in the cities.

For the Fear of our Children The greatest concern and most difficult issue for Israel in the wilderness was preparing to enter the land of Israel. When the spies returned and said, “There are giants in the land,” the people believed that their enemies would kill their children. For this reason, they would not trust the Lord despite all that the Lord had done and shown them. In like manner, we will face our greatest test in believing that the Lord will protect and care for our children. The children of Israel didn’t believe the Lord; they were judged for their unbelief and disobedience in refusing to enter the land. So God took their children and took the land with them. The parents died one by one in the wilderness.

 

Crossing the River Jordan When Israel crossed the Jordan river, they entered the promised land as a nation. They had leaders, laws, and land. The Angel of the Lord went before them. They were no longer slaves to Egypt. They were a free people with a covenant from God. In like manner, we will be resurrected from the dead or changed by the rapture. We will have new bodies. We will have Jesus with us.  We will no longer be slaves to sin and the world; we will be free and servants of the Living God. We will receive another covenant – the covenant of peace. And I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will place them and multiply them, and will set My sanctuary in their midst forever. My dwelling place also will be with them; and I will be their God, and they will be My people. EZEKIEL 37:26-27

 

Christianity in an Unfriendly Enviroment – compiled by Roy Crane

“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.  But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues.  You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles.  But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.  “Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death.  And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.” (Matthew 10:16-22)

 

It is evident from Scripture that the enviroment of the world that the church will exist in during the “last days” will be a hostile one.  Dangerous times, persecution, betrayal by those we thought were our friends, imprisonment, and so on will be the norm.  We must be prepared to face those times with wisdom, spiritual maturity, and physical and emotional preparation.  In this section, we will discuss some of the “practical” aspects of life “underground” as a persecuted and “illegal” group.  These items are in no particular order, and should always be guided by the basic truth that no one can be prepared for every eventuality.  Also, our ultimate guide is God, not any booklet that a man has written.  Pray about these things and let God guide you as to what YOUR level of preparation should be, and how YOU should handle various situations.

Christians in Rome used to use the “fish” symbol as a means of identifying one another without openly declaring their Christianity.  One person would casually draw a curved line on the ground with their staff, or their foot.  Then, the other person (if a Christian) would draw the opposite curve, forming the “fish” or “icthus” symbol, which was a symbol for the name of Christ.  In this way, believers could identify each other on the “Q.T.”.   In the near future, we may have to once again use the methods of persecuted churches around the world to live, meet, minister, gather supplies, and evangelize here in the United States.

When your read that “Christians” or “Christian Fundamentalists” are singled out for some national ill, take heed. That is usually the first step in stirring up hatred against a particular group.

Summary of Survival Basics

We are living at the edge, and given the current state of affairs, we should be on guard. Once a scenario unfolds, it can progress at a frightening pace. Be prepared at all times.

           Take stock of what you are eating, and take stock of what you have on hand. That will tell you how long you could survive if you cannot access the stores  tomorrow. 

•           What would you do for water if you cannot “participate” in the economy? Find what other sources you have, and have those sources tested.

•           What happens to your sewage? How would you cope if your system is disrupted?

•           Are you on medications? How long could you last without them? Do you have an alternate source for them? Always refill your prescriptions ahead of time. If questioned, just say that you are taking a trip. Have at least a month’s supply on hand if at all possible.

•           Is your vehicle ready to roll in case of an emergency? How much gas do you have? What about lubricants, brake fluid, spare parts?

•           Do you have a place to go? Do you know the topography of the area between your home and your place of retreat?

•           Do you have the knowledge to deal with emergencies? Do you have the skills to put the knowledge into practice?

•           Have you taken a first-aid course (or updated your certification) in the last five years? Do you have the supplies and instruments to give first aid?

•           Are you aware of what is happening in your community, your country, and in the world? Do you have radios, communication devices, and newsletters to keep you informed?

Bug Out Kit:  What is a “Bug out” kit?

A bug out kit is a fairly small, easy to carry container (such as a backpack) that contains basic survival and first aid supplies for 1 or 2 people, and can be kept packed so that it can simply be grabbed in a hurry when you have to “bug out”.  The contents of such a pack will vary based on your area, climate, needs, and personal preferences, and will be based on a 3-5 day duration, but would include such items as:

Water containers that can be quickly and easily filled in an emergency

Water purification supplies

Basic food, such as MRE’s, freeze-dried rations, or small canned/dry goods (rotated by date)

A change of clothing (rotated by season)

First aid supplies

A small supply of any medications that you need on a regular basis (rotated by date)

Extra eye-glasses

Shelter supplies (small tent, or a tarp for cover, etc.)

Map and compass

Knife (a Swiss army knife with several blades as well as some tools, and one larger “combat” style knife is a good mix)

Small Bible (or at least a “Gideon” New Testament and Psalms)

Flashlight or Cyalume lightsticks

Fire Starter, Waterproof Matches

Small Cooking Kit

The idea for this kit is to have a means of basic living in the event that you have to leave your home quickly.  Having a bug out kit is a good idea for a variety of emergencies, such as earthquake, biological problem (natural or manmade), or any of the events associated with persecution that would make it advisable to leave home quickly.

Water:

Since a person can only live a few days without water, it is the most important consideration in survival once you have dealt with the immediate “bug out” situation.  We don’t realize the debt of gratitude that we owe to the civil engineers who have made it possible for most of us to have easy access to clean, purified water.  Lack of water, or lack of pure water, is responsible for untold thousands of deaths and illnesses in Third World nations.  If we have to “off the system”, we will need to address the issue of water immediately.  Fortunately, here in the Twin Lakes Area, we have lakes, ponds, springs, and other sources of water.  However, most of that water would need to be purified before it would be safe to drink or cook  with.  The following is just a very basic outline of information of the subject.  I recommend that you gather more detailed information on your own, to suit your own situation and resources.

WATER ISSUES: From “The Complete Handbook Of Survival”

Summary of info. on water.

How much do you need per day?  2 quarts minimum for drinking (more if exerting yourself, or in hot weather), and approximately 2 quarts for food preparation, basic hygiene (tooth brushing, “spit bath”, etc.) PER PERSON.

Quick easy way to purify water for general use. (NOTE: this method doesn’t remove ALL contaminants)  UNSCENTED, PLAIN liquid Chlorine Bleach.  8 drops per gallon of water.  If water is cloudy, double amount of bleach.  Since bleach looses its strength over time, if bleach is over 1 year old, but less than 2 years old, double amount used.  If water is more than “cloudy” it must be filtered first until it is only cloudy, then apply bleach.  In all cases, after adding bleach, stir or shake thoroughly and let stand for 30-45 minutes.

 

Should I stockpile water? If so, how much? What a hassle!

Hassle, yes. But look at it this way: the average, healthy human body can survive over a month without food, but only a few days without water. We are, after all, 65% water, and we lose water constantly through tears, sweat, urine, feces, and the vapor in our breath, to the tune of about 10 cups per day when we’re not active, and as much as three times that much when we’re doing strenuous things. It also takes a certain amount of extra water to allow us to digest the food we eat—more water for dry foods such as grains and breads and meats, less water for wet foods such as stews and vegetables and puddings. So, how much water do we need to store? The rule of thumb is to figure a gallon per person per day, which should cover drinking water, cooking water, brushing teeth, and face-washing. For bathing and doing laundry, add another gallon per person per day. (I’m assuming you won’t all shower and do laundry every day, and unless your hands are really mucky, a communal bucket of heated water can be used to wash several pairs, several times.) That’s a lot of water, and it’s an important commodity, probably the most important thing you can have in your stockpile.

How should I store water? How long will it “keep”?

You can store water in small, easy-to-handle containers such as 1/2-gallon to 2-gallon containers, or you can store it in huge, 50- to 100-gallon cisterns which are hooked up to your regular plumbing system (the water is always being circulated and replaced as long as your regular water supply is running). The advantage of the smaller containers is cost and manageability: the cost is nil, if you’re recycling juice or soda containers you’re keeping them out of the landfill, and the smaller jugs are easy to carry around. Water is really heavy. Just think what it is like to carry two gallons of milk into the house—you know how heavy it gets when you have to lug them very far! The disadvantage is, it’s a bit of a hassle finding truly safe containers in which to store your water (the debate on plastics, which reportedly can leach small amounts of toxic chemicals into stored water, rages on).

No matter which storage method you choose, you’ll have to make sure the water is purified so it’s free of toxins and potentially harmful organisms. Properly purified and stored water can be kept indefinitely. The current recommendation for safe containers includes glass, polyethylene, polyester, or metallized polyester. I’m reluctant to recommend glass because of the obvious risk of breakage, which not only creates a mess and wastes your precious water, but also carries a real risk of injury in a cold, dark storage room while juggling with a flashlight. Personally, I like to use the two-liter soda bottles and the half-gallon plastic juice bottles (like those in which you buy apple or cranberry juice), which my family goes through by the dozens. Again, it depends on whom you ask, but most of the opinions I’ve gathered have indicated that the milky, nubbly type of plastic (such as the one-gallon milk jugs) are not good because the plastic, designed to break down faster in landfills, deteriorates too quickly. Smooth, shiny, clear plastic, such as in soda bottles and fruit juice bottles is better.

Whatever you use, it should be thoroughly cleaned in sudsy water, rinsed well, and air-dried before filling to within an inch of the top with purified water (your choice of filtered, distilled, or chemically treated) and securely capped (don’t forget to wash, rinse, and thoroughly clean the caps as well).

Adding three to four drops of non-scented chlorine bleach per two-liter bottle is a very cheap way to make sure you have water on hand. (I recommend this even for water you are storing for washing and the like.)

I tried drinking some water I’d stored for several months, and it tasted “flat.” Any suggestions?

After storage, water usually tastes “flat.” The way it was explained to me, this is due to lack of oxygen. You can remedy this by shaking the bottle or pouring the water from one container to another, re-incorporating air back into it—this should help it taste fresh again. Another solution is to add Kool-Aid or other flavorings. I bought a large container of Tang with extra vitamin C, so not only will the water taste good, but your family will get some vitamins, too.

Why do I need to “purify” the water that comes out of my faucet, if we usually drink it “as is” all the time anyway? What if it already has chlorine in it, thanks to the water treatment folks in my city? How do I purify it myself, assuming this is something I need to do?

Even if your tap water is drinkable “as is,” it’s likely to contain low levels of pathogens (potential disease-causing germs) that could thrive and multiply in long-term storage conditions, causing your water to become fouled and possibly even dangerous. When officials check the public water supply in your community, they’re not making sure it’s absolutely free of pathogens—they’re simply making sure the level of pathogens in the water is low enough so that it’s not likely to make anybody sick under normal circumstances. This is equally, if not more, true of well water and spring water.

About chlorine: Water that’s already chlorinated, as is the case in many large cities, is not necessarily purified with respect to pathogens. One very significant pathogen (called Cryptosporidium) isn’t killed by chlorine at all—in fact, lab tests have shown that some strains of “Crypto” actually thrive in it. An outbreak of Cryptosporidiosis, with diarrhea and nausea, occurred several years ago in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for that very reason. So, if you live in an area where the water supply is at risk of Crypto-sporidium contamination (usually that means there is farming nearby), chlorine simply won’t be good enough. If you were planning to rely on chlorine to purify your water, call your local public health department to find out if there have been any reports of Cryptosporidium in the past few years. And, if your water source or public storage facility is near a farm with livestock, particularly cattle, don’t rely on chlorine to purify your water, because the domestic cow is a common carrier of Cryptosporidium. If your water isn’t contaminated with it today, it could easily be contaminated next month. All it takes is a new, carrier cow arriving on the farm.

Another thing about pre-chlorinated water is the fact that the levels of chlorine might not be sufficient to eliminate pathogens that contaminate the water after it leaves the central reservoir. Leaky pipes along the way, and any contamination and sediment that might be present in pipes, valves and storage tanks anywhere between the reservoir and the tip of your faucet, might overwhelm its ability to kill off even the daintiest of germs.

The bottom line on water is, you have to nip those pathogens in the bud, before they take over the water you plan to put into storage. I encourage you to do some research of your own to find the method that works best for you. Following are some of the methods I have learned about in my own research. Obviously, after purifying your water, you should store it in containers that won’t reverse the process by adding contaminants and toxins back into the water.

•     Boil it. It’s time consuming, a real hassle, and not totally infallible (some pathogens actually can survive boiling, but they’re usually not an issue in this country). The water must boil vigorously for 20 minutes.

•     Filter it, with a countertop or built-in faucet filter (such as the Brita water pitcher, available in grocery stores and variety stores everywhere). The Brita filters and others like them are marketed as a way to make tap water taste purer, and they even remove some chemical contaminants such as lead, but they don’t claim to make contaminated water safe. This can be a problem if your water source, and/or your plumbing pipes, already contain some organisms that are too small to be trapped by the filter, such as certain bacteria and viruses. If you have any doubts, shop around for a finer filter that is warranted to remove pathogens, and/or get your tap water tested at your local public health department first—if it gets a clean bill of health, it should be okay to use a Brita-type countertop filter as your main mode of purification unless things get really bad. All water filters are meant to be replaced at regular intervals (and sooner if you use them “a lot,” which isn’t defined in the literature that comes with the Brita filter)—if you try to pinch pennies and keep a filter past its scheduled discard date, two things can happen: First, it could become clogged with the crud it has removed from your water, making it work very slowly, which is a pain when you’re trying to put away a lot of water. Second, the crud that naturally accumulates in the filter (instead of going into your water) can become colonized with germs and actually become a source of contamination, a problem that becomes more and more of a probability the longer you keep the filter. So, be diligent about changing filters when you’re making purified water for storage. And remember that if you’re using water of questionable integrity to begin with, this sort of filtration may not be adequate.

•     Filter it, with a millipore filter: These are available in desktop models or in a hand-pump-style carried by hikers for purifying water they find along the trail. Because they’re able to trap even smaller germs than the countertop filters are, they’re marketed as a means of purifying water that’s contaminated and should be fine for your purposes here. And, like the countertop filters, they’ll also remove some chemical contaminants, such as lead, pesticides, detergents, and even chlorine (which chemicals they remove depends on the size of the chemical’s molecules). The desktop model I’m aware of is called Amritt Vitae, available from DSK Medical Products for about $20 (for orders call 949–588–1170). Replacement filters cost about $5. The campers’ models, such as the Katadyn, are available in stores and catalogs that carry camping, hunting and hiking gear, such as L.L. Bean (800–221–4221), Mountain Gear (800–829–2009), Cabela’s (800–237–4444), and Eddie Bauer (800–426–8020). Cost ranges from $35 to $200, and replacement filters range from $10 to an unbelievable $50. For me, the biggest disadvantage is that they’re relatively slow—some brag about taking “as little as” 4 minutes for 1 gallon of water, which feels like a long time if you have to stand there and pump the water in (I don’t know about you, but I don’t have that sort of patience). But they really work well, and for a single drink, they’re terrific. The filter I have is the British Berkefeld Water Filter—removes parasites and pathogens, as well as undesirable odors and flavors: $259.00. Each filter includes four silver-impregnated ceramic filter elements. Additional replacement elements are available for just $35.00 each. (See recommendations at the end of the book.)

•     Add chlorine bleach (the laundry type, without added colors, scents, or other stuff. Pure sodium hypochlorite is what you’re looking for). The USDA recommendation is 1/4 teaspoon per gallon of water (or I use about three to four drops per two-liter bottle). It’s easy and quick, but not totally infallible. Chlorine does not remove toxins and chemical contaminants, and in the eyes of many it is, in and of itself, a toxic contaminant. For folks who believe added chlorine is a health risk, this method can be combined with filtration, using the filter of your choice to remove the chlorine after 30 minutes (which should give it enough time to kill most common germs).

•     Add iodine water purification pellets. It’s easy, quick, and very effective (but be warned that it tastes pretty awful). Before millipore filters were available in gadgets small enough for backpackers, iodine pellets were the standard for backcountry water purification. They’re available in stores and catalogs that carry camping, hunting and hiking gear, and a bottle of 50 pellets costs about $5. (It takes 1 pellet to treat a quart of water.) Iodine won’t get rid of chemical contaminants, and as you may have guessed, there are folks who quiver at the prospect of drinking water with this stuff added to it. Again, filtration after the iodine pellet has had time to work (30 minutes should do it) can help remove most of the additive, leaving the water pure as long as the filter is clean.

•     The Steri-Pen is a neat new gadget that’ll work great for a single glass. It’s about the size of an electric toothbrush, and its battery will last for about 30 treatments. The business end emits ultraviolet light which, when immersed in your glass for 30 seconds, kills germs, including Giardia, E. coli, tiny viruses, and Cryptosporidia. In fact, on a larger scale, ultraviolet light is used to sterilize commercially bottled water (again, it won’t get rid of chemical contaminants). The Steri-Pen will be available in early 1999 from the manufacturer (Hydro-Photon, 207–374–5800) for about $200.

•     Distill it. This process removes just about all contaminants, including sediments, dissolved solids, heavy pesticides, herbicides, and even volatile gases. The trouble is, it’s quite slow (about 6 hours per gallon with the countertop distiller I found) and expensive, compared to some of the simpler methods of purification. Still, a lot of people swear by this method, though some people complain that by removing the minerals from the water, they’re leaving us at risk for mineral deficiency! I figure we get plenty of minerals in good food and a good quality vitamin-mineral supplement, and somewhere along the line you’ve got to stop worrying about stuff! I found a nice distiller, called the EcoWater Distiller, in the Harmony catalog (800–869–3446) for $200, plus $13 for the filters it uses, and $14 for stuff to clean the scum that comes out of your water and adheres to the interior of the machine.

•     Buy commercially bottled water.

 

How can we bathe if there’s no running water, let alone HOT water?!

This is actually a fairly simple problem to take care of with minimal pre-planning. In camping stores or catalogs, and even in some of the larger variety stores, there are simple gadgets called “sun showers.” They’re a plastic bag, covered with a dark-colored nylon bag that has a fabric handle on one end and a spigot on the other, affixed with a rubber hose and a cute little shower head. The bags hold a gallon or two of water, depending on what you buy. Here’s what you do: Heat some water in a teapot or kettle until it’s just a little warmer than you like for your bath. Using a funnel so you don’t spill, fill your shower bag with the hot water. Some of the heat will be absorbed by the cold fabric and by the slight delay before you get naked, but you’ll still want to make sure the water has cooled enough so you don’t get scalded. Hang the shower bag from your regular shower head (if it wants to slip off, take a thick rubber band from your newspaper and wrap it around the metal shower head’s neck a few times—this will serve as a stopper for your sun shower’s handle). Set a lantern in a safe place on your bathroom sink where it won’t get knocked off or start a fire. Then climb in the shower. Open the spigot to get yourself and your soap wet, then shut it off. Soap up then rinse yourself off. You’ll be amazed at how refreshing it is to shower this way, in a chilly bathroom, with hot water! And believe it or not, there’s usually plenty of water not only to bathe your body, but also to shampoo and rinse your hair. For those of you with really long hair or a predisposition to take LONG showers, buy a couple of sun showers and fill them both. That way, you’ll be sure to have enough hot water to rinse thoroughly.

Food:

Food is essential in all the scenarios. Your choice of provisions will play a large part in how you come through a situation. You should plan your rations. Have foods that are ready to eat, have some that take minimal preparation, and have some that are suitable for a base camp where you will have time to cook. Whether you use a camp stove or open fire will also affect the type of food you are eating. If cooking on a stove, you will be limited to one-pot meals unless you have a lot of time. A campfire lets you heat more than one pot at a time and is much more suitable for baking.

The weight of the food is another important aspect of rationing, particularly on longer treks. Compare the calories against the weight of the food you intend to bring. Dried foods are usually the best as they are light and won’t spoil in warm weather. Freeze-dried foods, which contain only 2 percent of the original moisture, are often lighter than dried foods, in which 25 percent of the moisture can remain. How food is packaged also affects weight.

The amount of food a person needs each day depends on a variety of factors. First, the intensity and amount of activity you are doing will be the major influence on how much fuel you burn. Another factor is age. An active, young person will burn food quicker than someone who is older or heavier. The height and weight of a person are other factors in the amount of food an individual needs. The outside temperature also influences fuel consumption as the body uses energy to keep warm on cold days. Due to these variables, it is difficult to recommend a precise amount of food. But as a rough figure, a person participating in outdoor activities will need between 2,500 and 3,500 calories per day. This works out to approximately two pounds of food.

Food consists of three main components: fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. All provide essential energy, but are assimilated and used differently. Vitamins and minerals are also essential to long-term survival, but short-term deficiencies are not likely to cause serious harm.

Carbohydrates are the food most quickly turned into energy and should thus compose the bulk of your diet, about 65 percent, when exercising. There are two types of carbohydrates: complex, which are starches such as grains and vegetables, and simple, which consist of sugars like sucrose and honey. Complex carbohydrates are the best fuel for strenuous activities because they provide more energy over a longer period. Simple carbohydrates give bursts of energy that burn off quickly.

Fats, which are present in foods like eggs, nuts, meat, and milk products, should compose about 25 percent of your daily calories. Increase this amount by about 10 percent in winter because fats have an important role in making the body tissues less sensitive to cold.

Protein, the raw material that renews the body’s cells, is contained in food such as meat, beans, and nuts. Although protein is crucial to survival, it should compose only about 10 to 20 percent of your diet.

Modern prepared foods have excellent shelf lives. Some examples are shown below:

          Canned food 2–3 years
          Dehydrated foods 3–4 years
          Freeze-dried foods                                       (pouches) 2–4 years
          Freeze-dried foods                                   (cans) 10–15 years

 

Sleeping, Clothing, and Shelter:

Sleeping bags

There was a time when buying a sleeping bag was simple—get the traditional duck pattern or opt for the ever-popular guns-and-fishing-poles design. Today, there is much more to consider.

•     Comfort rating

•     Type of fill

•     Shape and construction

•     Weight and compactability

First consider the typical conditions that you expect to encounter. Sleeping bags can generally be grouped into four comfort-rating categories:

•     Summer weight (above freezing)

•     3-season (as low as 15ºF)

•     4-season (5ºF to 0ºF)

•     Winter/extreme (as low as –40ºF)

Comfort ratings are based on the insulation’s thickness, or loft (more loft = more heat retention). Use these ratings as a guideline because there are several real-life factors that will affect the bag’s performance. Your metabolism, diet, and fluid intake directly affect how warmly you sleep. Ground insulation, shelter, and the shape of the bag will also contribute dramatically to your overall comfort.

When fully lofted, the fill in a sleeping bag creates thousands of very small dead-air pockets. These pockets trap warmth generated by your body, slowing transfer to the hostile environment beyond the sleeping bag.

Waterfowl down and synthetic fiber are the materials of choice because they are durable, do not conduct heat very well, and have the capability to loft time after time.

Down, as any waterfowl will tell you, is an excellent insulator. Nothing beats the warmth-to-weight ratio, compressibility, or luxurious feel of a good down bag. These characteristics make it an ideal choice for those who travel light or want to minimize pack space. The quality of down is measured by its fill power; e.g., one ounce of 550 fill has the volume of 550 cubic inches when fully lofted, 500 to 550 is good. A 600 to 700 fill is excellent, but expensive. But, with the proper care, a down bag will last much longer than a synthetic fill bag, making it a good long-term investment. The major drawback with down is that it loses most of its insulating value when wet, and air-drying takes a very long time. Down may also be a problem for some allergy sufferers.

Synthetic fills are composed of small-diameter polymer fibers. Sheets, or batts, of these fibers provide the insulation used in many sleeping bags now available. Quality bags will contain respected brand name fills such as Hollofil II, Polarguard HV, or Lite Loft.

Hollofil II is a soft, relatively compressible fill composed of short, hollow fibers. Polarguard HV (High Void) is made up of continuous, cross-linked, hollow-core polyester fibers. This ensures that the insulation stays where it is supposed to, making Polarguard HV the most durable synthetic fill. 3M’s new Lite Loft, composed of extremely fine, cross-linked fibers, approaches the warmth-to-weight ratio of down. Lite Loft has proven to be durable, compressible, and comfortable.

Although not as compressible or as light, a synthetic bag is less expensive than an equivalent down bag. Also, synthetics do not absorb water. This means that, unlike wet down, a synthetic fill will maintain some of its lofting power and warmth when wet. Synthetics will also dry on their own faster than down, making them less vulnerable to mildew and other moisture damage.

Building a better bag—The outer shell must serve three critical functions:

•     Hold the insulation in place

•     Create an effective wind block

•     Allow internal moisture (perspiration) to escape

Ripstop or taffeta nylon are often used because of their lightness and tight weave. A tight weave will keep the fill, especially down, in place and minimize wind penetration. Gore-Tex is used on some high-end down bags. Although it adds a bit of weight over regular nylon, Gore-Tex provides a great deal of moisture protection and wind resistance, making for a warmer bag.

For comfort and efficiency, the inner lining must be soft, breathable, and be able to wick moisture away from your body. Nylon meets these needs, but a nylon/ poly/cotton blend will feel better against the skin.

To prevent the outer shell and inner lining of a synthetic bag from touching a potential cold spot, sheets or batts of fill should be overlapped so that each stitch line is backed up by one or more layers of insulation.

Because down is a loose fill, compartments are needed to keep it in place. Baffles, made of mesh fabric, are sewn from the shell to the lining to create channels that are then filled with down. Using baffles also prevents the shell and lining from touching, eliminating cold spots. Some lightweight bags are sewn through (the fill is stabilized by stitching shell and liner together). These bags are recommended for warm weather use only because each stitch line creates a cold spot.

There are four basic bag shapes: mummy, modified mummy, barrel, and rectangular, each with its own inherent advantages and disadvantages. With less space to warm, a close-fitting bag will have a higher thermal efficiency than that of a roomier one, even if they have the same amount of loft. The trade-off is that it may feel too constricting to be comfortable. Check the fit by climbing in and zipping up. Make sure you can move freely without compressing the loft, especially around the shoulders and in the foot box. If you don’t feel comfortable, try another bag. It won’t get better when you set up camp.

Hoods should be contoured with lots of insulation (up to 40 percent of personal heat loss is through the head).

Yokes will keep warm air from being forced out around your neck whenever there is movement in the bag.

Foot boxes should allow room for your feet to rest naturally without compressing insulation. Also look for additional insulation in this area.

Draft tubes should run the entire length of the zipper to prevent cold spots. It is best when they are sewn to the inner lining, not sewn through to the outer shell.

Zippers made of nylon are light, easy running, and conduct heat less than metal. Nylon coil zippers are less likely to snag fabric and are self-repairing if untracked.

Accessories

Liners made of soft poly/cotton blend can be used to keep the inside of the bag clean. They add some weight, but save your bag from the trauma of overwashing.

Overbags are simple synthetic fill bags that slip over your regular bag to extend the comfort range. Alone, they can sometimes be used as a summer bag.

Sleeping pads provide ground insulation, protection, and added comfort. Consider one of closed-cell foam (won’t absorb moisture) or a Therm-a-Rest (open-cell foam in a waterproof, airtight case). Unprotected open-cell foam acts like a sponge if it gets wet.

Care and cleaning—Store your bag loosely, never compressed in its stuff sack. Air it out, and make sure it’s dry before putting it away in a cool, ventilated area (hung up or in a large storage sack).

Use a down-specific cleaner such as Kenyon or a very mild detergent when washing a bag. Soap leaves a residue, even after repeated rinsing and harsh detergents can deteriorate the fill. For both down and synthetics, hand washing in a large tub of lukewarm water is safest, but a commercial, front-loading washer will also work. Soak the bag, then work the cleaner with a gentle agitating motion. Rinse repeatedly until the water is clear. Then press out (never wring) as much water as possible. Always support a wet bag entirely when picking it up. The weight of soaked fill can destroy internal baffles and stitching. Unlike synthetic fills, down will take a very long time to air-dry completely (three to five days), an invitation to mildew. If possible, use a commercial dryer at a low heat. To break up any clumps and regain the loft of down, put some clean tennis balls in the dryer.

Clothing

Dressing in layers, instead of one bulky do-everything garment, can help prevent uncomfortable and potentially dangerous situations. Layering is the relatively simple concept of dressing in a way that allows you to adjust to a wide range of environmental conditions.

To understand layering a little bit better, let’s look at some of the mechanisms the body employs to regulate comfort, because after all, comfort is what it’s all about. To provide an optimum working environment, your internal systems try to maintain a thin layer of warm (86 to 91ºF), still air around your body. This is your very own microclimate. If the surrounding environment was constant and your life was void of activity, it’s all you need. But that is not the case. Once you step outdoors, throwing caution (and your body) into the wind, you run the risk of knocking your microclimate out of whack. Physical activity, wind temperature, and moisture can all contribute to creating conditions too extreme for the body’s mechanisms to deal with on their own. Wearing a series of thin layers will allow you to maintain an optimum microclimate during periods of physical exertion, as well as those times you stand around waiting for something to happen. By dressing this way, you can fine-tune your microclimate by shedding layers before you get too hot or by adding layers before you start cooling down.

Inner layer—Referred to by most people as underwear, this layer plays the most critical function of the system. It must transport moisture, usually in the form of sweat, away from the skin and disperse it to the next layer where it can evaporate. This process is often advertised as wicking.

Why is this so important? Water is a very good heat conductor. A wet garment against your skin can draw heat away from your body twenty-five times faster than a dry one. Even in conditions above freezing, this rapid heat loss can cause a dangerous drop in your body’s core temperature, leading to hypothermia. Synthetics such as polypropylene and polyester now dominate as the materials of choice for this layer. Synthetics are light, strong, and best of all, unlike natural fibers, synthetics absorb very little water. This quality makes for quick-dry materials, reducing the risk of conductive heat loss.

Synthetic underwear is available in light, medium, and heavy weights to meet the demands of different activities. Light weight is for sustained activity where moisture transport is paramount. For changing activity levels, midweight allows a balance of wicking and insulation value. Heavy weight is for those times when your activity level is limited to watching the temperature drop. The inner layer should fit snugly, but not so tight as to feel restricting.

Midlayer—The prime directive, so to speak, of the midlayer is to provide insulation and continue the transport of moisture from the inner layer. To slow heat loss, this layer must be capable of retaining warmth that is generated by your body. Wool and synthetics are well suited for this purpose because the structure of the fibers create small airspaces that trap molecules of warm air.

As far as moisture management goes, synthetics have the upper hand because they absorb little water, allowing faster evaporation. Wool absorbs up to 30 percent of its own weight in water, leaving it heavy and difficult to dry. Synthetic fleece/pile garments (jackets, pullovers, and vests), as well as being lightweight, are very durable and require less care than wool. Additional features such as pit zippers and full-length front zippers add to the versatility and control. As with the inner layer, this layer should be snug, but not constricting. If it is too loose, it just means more space your body has to warm up.

Outerlayer—With all the effort you have just put into creating the perfect environment, you don’t want to have it blown away by a gust of wind or soaked by rain. The outer layer protects your microclimate from the elements. It should also allow air to circulate and excess moisture to escape.

Choose on the basis of what you plan to do, where you plan to do it, and what you plan to spend. For dry conditions, a breathable (uncoated) wind shell may be all you need. If you expect conditions to be more severe, a waterproof (coated) rain jacket with additional insulation may be more in line with your needs. A shell made of a breathable/waterproof fabric, such as Gore-Tex, will give you protection from wind and rain, as well as allowing water to escape. Keep in mind, however, there are no miracle fabrics. When you are active, your body can produce more water vapor than any fabric can pass. The result can be a buildup of moisture on the inside, leaving you wet, clammy, and cold. Strip off a layer or open any ventilation zippers before this happens, and you will be a happier camper.

Head protection—It has been estimated that 40 percent of a person’s total heat loss can occur through the head. This is because your body considers the head to be a rather important extremity and therefore pumps a hefty volume of blood to it, keeping it warm and functional.

Unfortunately, contrary to what some people may say, the head does not have much fat. Without this natural insulation, your head acts like a radiator, letting heat escape. This puts a strain on the rest of your system because your body must now use additional energy to rewarm the blood as it recirculates. A good wool or fleece hat will not only slow heat loss through your head, it will also make your hands and feet feel warmer because of the improved circulation. Don’t overlook full-face balaclavas and neck gaiters for those really harsh conditions.

Hands and feet—In its effort to keep your head and torso warm in cold conditions, your body reduces blood flow to the hands and feet. To compound this, these areas do not generate much heat on their own. Some sort of protection is needed.

Mittens are warmer than an equivalent pair of gloves because the whole hand contributes to the warming process. The disadvantage is a sacrifice in dexterity. Gloves are good for activities that require independent finger control, such as tying knots, but each finger must warm up its own little compartment, making them less efficient at keeping your hands warm. A layering system that consists of a thin wool or synthetic glove for moisture transport, an insulating mitten, and a noninsulated shell mitten for outer protection will give you a wide range of temperature control and manual dexterity.

Wool—Wool is still the dominant choice for socks, offering a good balance of moisture management, insulation, and cushioning. The addition of a polypro liner sock will speed up moisture transport from the feet to the outer wool layer. Socks should fit snugly. Too tight and circulation can be restricted. A loose sock can slip or bunch up, creating pressure spots that can lead to blisters.

Gore-Tex—Gore-Tex is actually a membrane that is bonded to other high-performance materials to create a durable, laminated fabric that is waterproof and functionally breathable. The Gore-Tex membrane is made up of material (expanded polytetrafluoroethylene) that has about nine billion microscopic pores per square inch. These pores are 20,000 times smaller than a single droplet of liquid water, but 700 times larger than a molecule of water vapor. This allows water vapor from perspiration to easily pass through the membrane while keeping liquid water from the outside at bay. Integrated into the membrane is an oil-hating substance that prevents contamination from insect repellents, cosmetics, or misguided chunks of that greasy chili you had for lunch.

Gore-Tex is very stable. It can withstand just about any conditions that you could encounter on earth or, in some cases, beyond. It remains functional at extreme temperatures. It is not damaged by saltwater or ultraviolet light. Bleach, detergent, and dry-cleaning chemicals will not harm it, and it is not susceptible to mold or mildew. Just remember that the other fabrics used in the garment may be affected by these agents. The care tag included with the garment will have more information.

The value of keeping your Gore-Tex clean cannot be overstated. Keeping water beading on the surface of the fabric allows the membrane to breathe better and minimizes condensation, resulting in vastly improved comfort. Dirt can dramatically impede performance so it is a good idea to wash your Gore-Tex garment frequently, following care instructions on the sewn-in label.

The material is very durable, so don’t worry about damaging the garment with vigorous treatment. (However, double-check the care tag for special handling if the garment uses silk, wool, or down.) A second rinse cycle may be useful in removing detergent residues. High heat in the dryer, and even a light touch-up with a warm iron, will help restore water repellency. After extended wear, use a commercially available water-repellent spray.

Have spare clothing on hand. This is desirable as under some circumstances, contaminated clothing should be discarded. You really don’t want to cavort around naked during a disaster.

How on earth will we be able to keep our clothing clean without a washer and dryer?

You’ve got three choices: Hand-washing, non-electric mechanical washing, and going dirty! Most clothing items will clean up quite nicely by hand-washing in a dishpan in the bathtub, but there are some tricks to doing this efficiently and easily. First, protect your hands by using a mild detergent such as Woolite or liquid dish detergent—regular laundry detergent is far too harsh for repeated hand use, and you’ll end up with a really bad case of chapped hands if you ignore this warning. Second, you’ll get things cleaner if you forget about doing “a big load” and, instead, wash one or two items at a time. For really dirty spots and stubborn stains, keep a hand brush nearby for scrubbing. Make a pile of all the items you’ve washed, squeeze or blot out as much of the water as you can, then dump your wash water into a bucket for re-use (it’ll help knock the first layers of grime off dirty hands, or serve as a “pre-wash” for really greasy pots and pans). Refill the dishpan with clear water and add a teaspoon of white vinegar for a more complete rinse. Re-rinse in fresh water with vinegar as many times as necessary to get out all traces of detergent—otherwise, skin irritation when you wear the clothes can result. If the faint smell of vinegar is objectionable, do a final rinse with plain water. Squeeze out as much excess water as you can, and hang your clean laundry to drip over the bathtub. If there’s a warmer room where the family is congregating, you can move your laundry to a clothesline in that room as soon as it stops dripping.

If you find the idea of hand-washing impossible, there is a hand-cranked washing machine available for doing small loads. Shaped like a small home cement mixer, the machine holds water, detergent and clothes in a cylindrical tub with a pressurized seal, and agitates the clothes when you turn the side-crank. The manufacturer claims that the sealed lid creates a high-pressure bath that forces soapy water into fabrics, for a fast and easy load (two minutes!).

Boots

Selection of footwear is as important as selecting the right clothes. Many would argue that it is even more important. Depending on the need, we have hiking boots, mountaineering boots, and snow boots. Boots are further divided into cold-wet and cold-dry types. Given the great variety of boots on the market, we shall limit discussion to a few types.

For all-around hiking insulated, Gore-Tex hiking boots are recommended. Heavy mountaineering boots are not designed for walking, so stay with hiking boots for all-around use. Don’t buy boots that are too tight. Your feet will swell when you are hiking. You buy boots to protect the feet from the roughness of the trail and to keep out water, snow, mud, stones, and other material. Any boot you buy should have a lugged outsole. The better ones are the Indy 500, Positrac, Vibram Foura, and Vibram Hiking. The boots should flex at the balls of the feet and be made of full-grain leather with a Gore-Tex bootie. This is reasonably watertight.

Boots higher than the ankle add weight and tend to form creases that irritate the Achilles tendons. Truly waterproof boots are for specialized use only. The feet sweat and the boot thus becomes wet anyway.

Boot care—Wear new boots around for a couple of weeks, and let them get scuffed up. This helps to remove the factory-applied buffing wax. Then treat the seams and the join of the sole with Freesole or a similar compound. This will greatly increase the water resistance and durability of boots. Allow the treated boots to cure for twenty-four hours by placing them in a box with a wet towel. This treatment should be done before applying other water-repellent compounds.

Treat the fabric and leather with Biwell Green or like compounds. This has a very high silicone content that will provide excellent water resistance. Using a toothbrush, apply a thin coat and allow twenty-four hours for it to penetrate the leather and fabric before using.

Shelter

Tents

A tent is one of the more essential and expensive items needed for sleeping outdoors. With a lightweight tent, you can carry a home on your back that can be assembled in minutes. No more lugging around heavy yurts or tepees. Tents are made in a multitude of designs to suit a wide variety of uses: from mountaineering to cycle touring to car camping. But a tent that is perfect for one use is sometimes not the best type for another. Therefore, you will probably want to find a tent, or tents, that work well for different activities. To narrow your choices, consider some basic questions. When and where will it be used? How many people must it hold? Is weight important? How much will it cost?

Three-season, four-season, and expedition tents—The first thing to decide is what time of the year you will be using the tent. Three-season tents can be used in the more moderate weather of spring, summer, and fall, while four-season tents can take you into winter. Four-season expedition tents go past the four-season rating and are designed to stand up to the worst possible conditions.

Tents designed for really bad weather usually feature more and stronger poles, additional waterproofing, and a sturdier design. Be aware that the season designation of a tent is not a perfect classification. A tent that stands up to snow well may not hold up in a really strong wind and vice versa.

Tent shape and design—The majority of tents have a breathable inner canopy and a separate waterproof fly. The two-walled construction is beneficial in two ways. First, it moderates the temperature, thanks to the insulating airspace between the two walls. Second, it allows ventilation of body vapor. Ventilation is important because a person loses about a pint of water during a night’s sleep. If not allowed to escape, this moisture condenses inside the tent and can get you and your gear wet. A tent can also be ventilated by using waterproof and breathable fabric similar to Gore-Tex.

Traditionally, tents were made in an A-frame design that is becoming obsolete due to the evolution of flexible tent poles. Tunnel and geodesic dome tents, which use flexible poles, are now standard. Most tents are hybrids of these designs, and one manufacturer’s version of a dome tent can be quite different than another’s. This makes generalizations about design difficult.

Many tents are freestanding, which means they come to life without being pegged down. This is advantageous because the tent can be assembled anywhere and then plopped down in the best site. A freestanding tent works best when pegged and must be anchored in winds or when left unattended. Don’t let freestanding be too important a criterion as some nonfreestanding tents may only require a few pegs and will be lighter and tighter than a similar freestanding model.

What to look for—Before buying a tent, you should set it up. If the tent is already assembled, ask the salesperson if you can take it down and put it up again. This is the best way to judge how easy it is to pitch. While setting up the tent, imagine you are cold, hungry, and wet. How long does it take? Could you do it wearing gloves? Once you have finished the assembly, take your shoes off, get inside, stretch out, and roll around. Consider how many people will fit inside. Are they midgets or giants? Is there room for gear?

Next, take a look at the inside of the tent. To determine how strong it is, push on the walls from different angles and directions to ensure it won’t collapse or bend too easily. (Freestanding and pegged-out tents will behave differently in this test.) The canopy and fly should be as taut as possible since loose panels will decrease breathability, water repellency, and stability. Check that the poles join easily and snugly with no area of unusual stress. In general, tents with more poles and pole intersections are stronger, but heavier. Steeper walls catch more wind, but shed rain better. A flat roof allows snow buildup.

Tent construction—the body—A tent’s floor should be made from a tough, waterproof material that is also used on the first six inches of the tent walls. The rest of the tent body will be constructed of a nonwaterproof fabric, usually taffeta or ripstop nylon. The weight of the fabric will largely determine how heavy the structure is, but keep in mind that lighter fabrics are usually less durable.

It is important to examine a tent’s seams as they are prone to leaking and take stress when the tent is taut. Two seam types, bound and lap felled, are most common in tents. The weaker of the two, bound seams are constructed by stitching through a layer of material folded over the two pieces being joined. With lap-felled seams, the two pieces of fabric are placed on top of each other, folded, and then stitched. Good quality tents use lap-felled seams wherever possible and bound seams where more than two pieces of fabric need to be joined (although they should not be used indiscriminately).

Poles—Most tent poles are now shock corded, which means the poles are hollow and attached by an elastic cord running down the center and fixed at both ends. This makes the poles easier to assemble. Ideally, a tent pole should be lightweight, strong, and somewhat flexible. The three basic materials used in tent-pole construction are fiberglass, carbon fiber/composite, and aluminum.

Aluminum, the most common material, comes in a variety of qualities made from different alloys. The 7000 series is the strongest followed by the 6000 and 2000 series. Carbon fiber/composite poles are also popular because they are light and strong. But they are expensive. At the other end of the scale are fiberglass poles, which are cheap, heavy, and prone to breaking.

The fly—The fly is the part of the tent most exposed to the elements, and it will need to be replaced more often than the tent body itself. To be effective, a fly must be constructed of a waterproof material. It can be extended away from the tent to create a vestibule, which acts like a porch. Vestibules are useful for storing gear.

Stakes and zippers—Zippers are often the first part of a tent to break. If a slider goes first, it is relatively easy to fix. Whereas an entire zipper is more expensive. When buying a tent, look for any tight or difficult zippers that could break later on. A nylon coil zipper is lighter and less likely to stick than a metal one. Aluminum stakes around nine inches long work well in most environments. Carry them in a separate bag to protect the tent from punctures.

Tent care—Proper care of a tent, both at home and in the field, can lengthen its life. Clean your tent after use as debris can create holes and tears once the tent is packed. When possible, let the tent dry before packing because moisture causes mildew that can stain the fabric and make it smell. Make sure it is completely dry before storing it for any length of time. In addition, seal your tent regularly (if not seam taped) because water tends to leak through the stitch holes. Lastly, if it is set up for long periods, cover your tent with a tarp or keep it in the shade to guard against ultraviolet rays, which are the single greatest cause of tent failure.

Sewage:

What do we do about using the toilet? If the electricity is off, there will be no running water.

If you live in a home that has its own septic system, your toilet will flush normally if you dump a two-gallon bucket of water into the bowl after use. If you’re hooked up to a city sewer system, dumping water into the toilet may or may not work—it depends on whether your city’s system has electric switches and pumps to move the effluent from homes to the treatment plant. Call the manager of the sewer system and ask whether you can flush your toilet with a bucket of water if the entire city were without power. Don’t accept a “probably” or “I don’t think so” answer—if he or she can’t respond with authority, and back it up in writing, ask for the name and number of someone who can, and you might want to get the local newspaper involved too. A lot of people will need to know the answer.

If the answer is “no,” (or you have any doubt!) you’ll need to devise an independent toileting method for your family. Your choices include a composting toilet, a porta potty usually reserved for camping expeditions, or a rented chemical toilet-in-a-box (such as what you see at construction sites). It’s not a good idea to “just go outside,” even if you live in a rural area, because over an extended period of time the human body can produce an overwhelming amount of liquid and solid waste which can foul an area and create additional health problems.

Medical:

A few words about surviving without doctors. Most physicians, hospitals, and medical supplies are located in cities. Most disaster scenarios will hit cities harder than the countryside. Therefore, you may have to do without conventional medical treatment after a disaster. The human body has remarkable capabilities of healing itself, especially if the injured and their companions practice intelligent benign neglect.

While on the subject of medical matters, do not forget about veterinary antibiotics. People who for decades have used antibiotics to combat their infections have not produced normal quantities of antibodies and have subnormal resistance to many infections. People who have not been dependent on antibiotics have these antibodies. In the aftermath of a disaster, most survivors would be in rural areas. Many would need antibiotics. Much of their need could be met by supplies of veterinary antibiotics kept on livestock and chicken farms, at feed mills, and in small towns.  Many animals are given more antibiotics in their short lives than most Americans receive in theirs. In many farming areas, veterinary antibiotics and other medicines are in larger supply than are those for people. Realistic preparations to survive should include using these supplies.

MEDICAL ISSUES: From Dr. “X” Y2K Medical Guide

In the event of a national economic breakdown, our “industrialized” food production and distribution system could break down, resulting in shortages or unavailability in many parts of the country.  This possibility must be factored in to your medical and nutritional preparations.

Nutritional Diseases

Protein-Energy malnutrition affects children most severely

Vitamin A deficiency

Vitamin C deficiency – “scurvy”

Vitamin B deficiencies – beriberi (thiamin), pellagra

(niacin or lack of absorption of niacin in corn sources)

Iodine – some cases suspected

Iron – especially in pregnant and lactating women

RECOMMENDATION:  Plan on making a supply of multi-vitamins, and extra “C” vitamins, a part of your supply preparation.  They are small, generally inexpensive, and can make a big difference in your overall health in long term situations.

Communicable  Diseases

Measles

Diarrhea Diseases

Cholera

Acute Respiratory Infections

Malaria

Hepatitis

Meningitis

From the medical/ethical perspective, while the drugs used down at the Animal Hospital are the same as far as potency and cleanliness, the dosage given to animals varies widely.

Medicines packaged for larger animals like cattle for instance may have to be greatly diluted for humans. Dosages for your 30 lb. Cocker Spaniel will probably have to be increased for human use.

If you’re in a city somewhere, you need to take a trip to the country as soon as possible to a farm supply store. One chain is Quality Farm & Fleet, another is Southern States, but whatever the name, these stores dot the countryside like “Wal-Marts for farmers.” They’re veritable department stores except their hardware departments cater to farmers’ special needs.

One of those needs farmers have is for veterinary products that they administer themselves.

While some drugs given to animals require a prescription from a vet, like the antibiotic amoxicillin, the anesthetic lidocaine, and the steroid prednisone, there are many products useful for humans that can be bought without question at one of these stores.

One afternoon’s shopping in person and in the catalog produced this selection of medicines and medical supplies. Also listed is their common uses in humans:

Albendazole:                  anti parasitic.

Aureomycin chlortetracycline: Wounds. Part of the tetracycline family. See below.

Betadine Ointment: Topical antibiotic.

Blood Stopper: stops bleeding from wounds, which do not require a tourniquet.

“Blue Compound”: wound healing lotion and antiseptic.

Electrolyte Powder: Combat dehydration.

Epinephrine: Anaphylactic shock (respiratory collapse) due to allergic reaction for   

                       example, bronchodialiator for asthmatics.

Gelatin capsules for repackaging powdered medicine into capsule form.

Gentamicin: antibiotic when penicillins or the less toxic drugs are contraindicated.

Ivermectin: Anti parasitic preparation.

Kaolin-Pectin: Anti-diarrhea. Not always recommended and this product does not 

                        address dehydration danger. It was readily available however for    

                         the purposes of this list and has application in humans.

Neomycin: Mainly used topically in humans though some internal uses prior to  

                    abdominal surgery.

Oxytetracycline: Another member of the tetracycline family.

Penicillin G Procaine: Antibiotic against a range of strep and staph infections and      

                                     certain sexually transmitted diseases.

Permethrin: Scabies, Delousing.

Piperazine: Dewormer and anti-parasitic.

Reusable Syringes & Needles: Administer medication by injection.

Scalpels and Suture material.

Sulfamethazine: a “sulfa” drug used to fight infections but less powerful than      

                           “antibiotics” and must be taken with large amounts of water to   

                            avoid kidney damage.

Tetanus Antitoxin: Prevent lockjaw.., immunize burn and wound patients.

Tetracycline: Treatment of mycoplasma, chlamydia, rickettsia, clostridium, sexually transmitted diseases. Dangerous to use after expiration date  on bottle unlike many other drugs which simply weaken in strength.

Tylan:                 antibiotic

Udder Balm: Soothing topical skin ointment.

An amazing variety of products, wouldn’t you say? Did you know they were sitting right under your nose and available without prescription? Naturally if you’re using something designed for animals on humans, it should be in a dire emergency when “for human” equivalents are unavailable and under suitable medical care only!

How to use them

Remember:          The use of veterinary medications by humans is definitely ILLEGAL in the U.S. The following is for INFORMATION purposes only. Use it at your own risk.

What I didn’t mention above is that this shopping trip also produced lots of confusion. There were medications that simply couldn’t be used. How do you know the difference? Simple.

You check the chemical name against a reference book like the Physicians Desk Reference or Davis’ Drug Guide For Nurses or other similar medical references to see if there is a human application and at what dosage! Besides Davis, I especially recommend the Hesperian Foundation’s Where There Is No Doctor, an excellent “do it yourself” text.

The latter is the smaller book and therefore easier to use quickly. The Physician’s Desk Reference or “PDR” for short is much more comprehensive however.

Of course, you don’t want to take either into the farm store and advertise your use of these products! Write down what’s available and check it out later!

Because all the above drugs can have very dangerous side effects when abused, you must use them with as much access to medical knowledge as possible~ preferably  a  physician.

 

Communications:

In a crisis, not having accurate information can be psychologically unsettling at best, and life-threatening at worst. Nothing can create a sense of isolation and fear more quickly than being cut off from the flow of information. This is particularly true in our overcommunicated society, where we are almost addicted to twenty-four–hour news updates and immediate Internet access to the latest breaking information.

Whether it’s a natural disaster such as a tornado, a hurricane, or a flood, or a social problem that keeps us from our regular means of getting news, the communication channels we depend on most are at risk. This includes television and radio broadcasts, Internet access, and even basic phone service. Therefore, it is imperative for your psychological well-being, as well as your physical safety, to have some sort of alternative communications system in place.

There are several good AM/FM radios on the market that work with alternative power. Certainly any battery-operated radio is an option. Just make sure you also stockpile a good supply of batteries. However, there are a couple of radios that can run without electricity or batteries. Since they are relatively inexpensive, I would suggest that you acquire one.

Simple radio receivers or scanners are great when all you want to do is listen in on a broadcast or someone else’s two-way transmissions. But what if you want to engage in two-way communication yourself? What if you want to talk as well as listen?

One option is a CB (“citizen’s band”) radio. As you may recall, these were very popular in the 1970s, before the availability of cellular phones, but are now making a comeback. You can pick them up very inexpensively—usually less than $100, and even cheaper if you are willing to do a little garage sale shopping. They supposedly have a range of ten to twenty miles if the channel is clear and the terrain permits; or about four to five miles if the channel is congested. In actual use the range is usually about a mile and a half. However, if you wire them to an antenna and elevate them on a PVC pipe or other device, you can extend the range by several miles. (You will need to do some experimenting to find out if this will work in your situation.)

 

Before you rush out and purchase a bunch of fancy communications equipment, you need to determine your communications needs and decide what you want to accomplish. To do so, follow these steps:

1. Make a list of the people you want to stay in touch with in an emergency. This will undoubtedly include family members, business associates, church friends, and neighbors.

2. Determine what it would take to stay in touch with each person. For example, to stay in touch with my parents, who live in another part of the country, will require an amateur radio. To communicate with my fellow church members, who are scattered over a wide geographic area, may require the same. But I can use either CB or FRS radio to talk to the neighbors in my subdivision.

3. Consider your resources. Make sure that you attend to first things first. As important as staying in touch may be, it’s not as important as food, water, and shelter. Make sure you take care of those things first, before you blow a bunch of money on high-tech communication gadgets. If you have less than $100 to spend, get a simple AM/FM radio that will run on solar power or via a hand-crank mechanism. If you have a couple of hundred dollars, you can add a CB or FRS radio.

4. Get a commitment from the people you want to talk to. It won’t do you any good to buy a radio if the people you want to talk to don’t have one. Duh! That’s why buying a radio is often a group decision. It’s best if you are using similar equipment so you can help one another with problems.

5. Develop a communications plan. How often to you want to talk to the people in your network? What are your procedures and protocols? These are things you need to figure out together, long before you are in the middle of a crisis.

6. Run periodic test drills. Take a page from the military: practice, practice, practice. You want a system you can depend on in an emergency. The only way to do this is by getting comfortable with it before you need it.

General Guidelines On Preparation:

Remember that accumulating supplies is easy only before day that you become a “target”. After that, it is a chancy and more expensive proposition. Many people will be after the same materials once the situation becomes sticky. So stock up early (as much as possible). And keep quiet about what you buy. Cache some of your supplies using lengths of plastic sewer and water pipes. The ends can be easily sealed with end caps available from the same source as the pipes. Governments have a nasty habit of confiscating supplies from people who prepared for disasters to give to the indigent. Their logic runs to the philosophy that by giving supplies away, you reduce the possibility of the indigents turning into predators. All they are doing is putting everyone at risk.

It is important to have a designated place for your group to meet should you have to evacuate. You must have a place picked out well before the excrement hits the fan. It should be easy to identify and to reach by all members of your group. And it should not be on the official evacuation route.

When gathering for meetings, never assume that you can use the same place twice, and vary the times often.  Develop ways of informing the group without “broadcasting” it to all and sundry.  Be prepared to share supplies with your brothers and sisters in need.  And lastly, remember that God is in control of all things at all times; have faith!

Coping with an Oppressive Government

In order to combat terrorism and crime, many federal and state governments are advocating the use of identity cards, compulsory address-change registration, firearms registration, and confiscation of certain classes of firearms. Increasingly, governments are using oppressive techniques on the general population in order to catch a few terrorists or criminals. This starts a futile process. More and more controls will be needed to know who is doing what. This intrusion into the family home is alien to the North American psyche.

You would be shocked to know how little privacy you have left. Introduction of new technology reduces it even more. Imagine a “smart card” that would not let you make a grocery purchase if you are more than two miles from your home. The technology is here today to enable the government to do just that. If you looked into your file at the FBI, the state police, the motor vehicles office, or your credit bureau, you might feel like a rape victim.  This information, coupled with the government’s desire to be Big Brother, is the biggest current threat facing us.

If you don’t believe that oppressive government can be harmful to your health, consider that in this century alone close to 200 million men, women, and children have been shot, beaten, knifed, clubbed, tortured, burned, frozen, crushed, worked to death, buried alive, blown up, drowned, bombed, or killed in other ways by their own governments. A bad government can be as deadly as the Black Plague.

 

Day One

When address change registration is compulsory and identity cards are issued, Day One has either arrived or is very close. This may start out benignly. Americans will be required to register at the post offices. This will apply to all residents and visitors to the U.S.  Once you are registered, the government may want to keep an eye on you. This may be in the form of a local registration card or some type of federal identification.

 

What to do:

•           You should begin to cache basic supplies in several places. A cache is different from     

            hiding in that the cache is for long-term storage.

Day Two

Day Two will feature a need for permits to visit border areas and a security check on those living in the border regions. Based on the communist doctrine, the border region is usually a ten-mile (sixteen-kilometer) strip. Comprehensive registration of all persons is an initial step for a potentially oppressive government to take; first they must know who is living in their jurisdiction.

The government will set up committees in schools, workplaces, and apartment buildings to “guide” citizens. There will be snitch lines to turn in those who are opposed to the government. These snitch lines will be irritating in the beginning, but later on they may be a ticket to labor camps.

Day Three

By now the government feels that it has partial control over its citizens. The newly issued identity cards will be required for all transactions. Data banks are linked so that if you skip a day from work on the pretext of sickness and buy a ticket to a ballgame with your credit card, you may be in deep doo-doo. There will be a government seizure of all airports and aircraft, and a federal transportation agency will control all manners of transportation.

Using computer terminals in police cars, the authorities will carry out large-scale razzias (Webster’s: A plundering and destructive incursion). These start with large police units cordoning off urban blocks. Once cordoned off, everyone within it must show the new identity documents. The police will check through computer terminals whether these are valid. Those with false documents will be detained. A complete search of all buildings will be carried out. These police units will have metal detectors and other equipment. Anyone with prohibited items will be detained.

Students in schools will have to report on activities at home. It is likely that special “counselors” will be added to the schools’ staffs.

 

What to do:

•           Start bartering for those items that the government controls.

•           Arrange all traceable transactions on the basis that you buy a little extra each time you   

            shop. This will not alert the controllers. They may think that you are overeating. You are   

            establishing a pattern of purchasing a little extra.

 

Day Four

The government, in the name of crime control, will institute computer indexes of potential criminal behavior. God save you if you are eccentric. You may answer your phone and hear a computer-synthesized voice say, “Citizen Smith, you are in violation of the ‘loud music after 11 p.m.’ regulation, and your toilet flushed four times in the last hour. Stop the criminal activity.”

 

What to do:

           It is prudent to find out what constitutes “criminal behavior.” See if you can use your   

            contacts to find out the criteria for index points, such as antisocial attitude, conviction for  

            loitering, and so on. Once you accumulate enough points, they may send you to a  

            “reeducation camp.”

 

Day Five

To maintain control will require even more controls. You will see your remaining freedoms sucked into a black hole called “safety of the citizen.” The government’s desire to maintain control will extend to some very trivial areas. If not having a dog tag becomes a major offense, watch out. The government will force relocation of people from hard-to-control areas to “safe” areas. These new locations will have federal housing and control over the people.

 

What to do:

           Try to determine who the neighborhood informers are. If you see someone arrested and   

            he comes back a few days later saying that the authorities made a mistake, be careful. He  

            may have been turned and now is an informer.

•           Find out where the microwave-relay towers are located. A well-placed bullet in the horn   

            can disrupt communications.

 

Day Six

The government will add more and more control regulations on top of those already enacted. These will be in the form of seizure of all privately held communications devices, excessive food supplies, and private transport vehicles, as well as complete confiscation of firearms, crossbows, longbows, swords, and bayonets.

 

What to do:

           You should have several caches of your supplies, so if one is found, you have not lost all   

            your goods.

 

Day Seven

To build the new “safe” housing complexes, the government will establish labor camps, and anyone found subversive, unemployed, or on welfare will be sent to one. Children in these camps will be indoctrinated by their teachers and will serve as a fertile recruiting ground for future government forces. If the situation reaches this point, the government is more than likely to reach back into history to establish a new feudal society.

What to do:

           Do not move to any of the so-called “safe areas.” Resist by bugging out early.

•           Arrange a meeting place with family members and friends should you have to bug out   

            individually.

 

Day Eight

Around this time the system will start to break down. The trivial nature of many control measures will make most people “criminals.” The American psyche does not take kindly to minute control of activities. The security forces, recently enlarged, will be staffed more and more by incompetents. This is a blessing in disguise. How could you resist a really efficient oppressive government?

Minority Group Survival

There is a tendency in the human psyche to blame others when tough times arrive. The Germans blamed the Jews for their recession. Quebec’s former premier blamed the ethnic and moneyed groups (moneyed= Jewish) for their loss in the Quebec referendum of 1995. These are just two examples. Being a visible minority can be hazardous to your health in most scenarios. At best you may end up as a slave in some enclave not yet blessed by the ownership of a tractor; at worst you can be very, very dead.

Day One

When your read that a certain group is singled out for some national ill, take heed. That is usually the first step in stirring up hatred against a minority.

Day Two

Around this time, thugs will attack business premises and homes owned by the minority group. The more prominent you are, the more likely that some unpleasant incident will happen to you or your family.  The government will call for cooling of the tempers while it is evaluating whether to sacrifice the minority as a scapegoat for the national ills.

 

Day Three

There will be raids on minority areas. In the beginning, these will be unorganized, but as time goes by, you will see an organized pattern emerging. The minority group under attack will arm itself. The government will send in federal police forces to protect the minority under attack. Depending on how widespread the national ill for which the minority is blamed is, these police forces may or may not be effective.

 

Day Four

Large-scale conflicts will emerge, followed by mass migration of the minority under attack. Depending on the central government’s attitude toward the minority, we will see a genocide or a controlled situation. If the minority has a home area, it will be swollen with refugees and turned into an armed camp.

The disruption caused by the conflict will result in rising prices and shortages of supplies. People will demand that the government do something about them. The government may blame one minority or the other for the troubles. This will polarize public opinion against the targeted minority.

 

Day Five

The government will step in to protect the minority under attack, first with increased police presence in the area where the minority group lives and works. If this does not control the violence, a curfew will be put into effect, and troops will be brought into the contested area.

If the minority has an identifiable group preying on it, it will retaliate. An ever-increasing cycle of violence may develop at this time.

 

Day Six

The central government may take one or more of several possible steps. These can range from establishing protected reservations for the minority under attack to indifference to their plight. Whatever action is taken, the minority will realize that they are on their own.

The following is a good article on a controversial topic.  Once again, I must stress that you must determine how God wants YOU to handle this issue with much prayer.

The Christian And Self Defense: from “Spiritual survival during the Y2K crisis”

The issue of self-defense must be addressed before a situation ever presents itself. If someone broke into your home, what would you do to protect your family?

A man is going to have to decide in advance how he will protect his wife and children if they are threatened. No pun intended, but the gun issue is a loaded issue. So loaded that it is one you must address. And you must address it ahead of time.

There is a constitutional right to bear arms in this nation. And if a husband and a wife are deeply concerned about the protection of their family, then they can take certain steps.

Several years ago as I was watching CNN, I caught some testimony before Congress on gun control. I heard one woman tell a chilling story. She was putting her two small children down for an afternoon nap when she heard glass breaking downstairs. And then she heard voices. Two men had broken the glass in the door, reached in, and unlocked the door. She was at home with her two children by herself, and two men with wrong motives were inside her house.

The congressman asked her what she did.

“At first I felt a wave of panic. But then I reminded myself that my husband and I had talked about this possibility. And now it was here. I fought off my panic. And then I followed the plan that we had discussed. I walked into our bedroom, took down the key from the nail (placed high enough so our toddlers couldn’t reach it), and unlocked the gun case. I pulled out the Winchester Defender Shotgun. I chambered several rounds. And then I walked out of our bedroom to the top of the stairs. I stayed back away from where I could be seen from the floor below. Without saying a word, I simply worked the action on my pump shotgun.”

The congressman then asked her, “What happened next?”

She replied, “The next thing I immediately heard was the two men running to get out of the house.”

Note some things here. First, the couple had the foresight to think in advance about the safety of the family. Second, they instituted a very clear plan. Third, they kept the shotgun locked away where their small children could not get to it. Fourth, the wife did not have to fire a shot. Fifth, she had a very smart husband.

Why do I say that she had a very smart husband? Her husband knew human nature. Have you ever heard the sound of someone cocking the pump of a shotgun? It is a very definitive sound. It is a sound that says, “I have just chambered a round.” It is a sound that indicates you mean business. It is a sound that every criminal in America understands could cut him in half from less than thirty yards. In short, it is a sound that turns the odds in your favor.

Notice that this woman never said a word. Notice that she never fired a shot. She simply cocked the weapon. And the fact that she had the weapon made the men flee.

We have seen the same scenario played out on television newscasts over the years. For whatever reason, rioting breaks out. Anarchy and chaos are loose in the streets. And when that happens, people begin to loot stores.

But it seems that every time it happens, a shopkeeper makes a stand. He grabs his rifle or shotgun, grabs a chair, and takes a seat in front of his store. And what happens next? Nothing. The passing looters see the guy out in front of his store, and they keep right on going. Like the woman at home with her children, the shopkeeper doesn’t have to fire a shot. When a potential enemy sees the gun, he keeps moving.

I have a friend who came to Christ through the influence of a group of Mennonite and Amish people. As you know, Mennonites and Amish are pacifists. My friend told me that their teaching about pacifism had a great influence on his life as a young believer. He has struggled over whether or not he could actually fire a gun at another person. But he is also concerned about the safety of his family. The last time I talked with him, he told me he was going to buy a pump shotgun. He wasn’t going to buy any ammunition, just the shotgun. He wasn’t sure he could bring himself to actually fire the gun. But he figured he wouldn’t need to. Just the sound of the shotgun being cocked should do the job. And in ninety-nine out of one hundred cases, he’s right.

Are you a single mom? If you’re concerned about safety, you might look into this. Ask one of the men you know to take you to a sporting goods store and get you started. You can enroll in a gun safety course and learn everything that you need to know. You may not have a husband in the house, but you can have a quiet and supportive friend named Winchester.

Nearly every police car in the United States has a shotgun bolted down by the dashboard. A police officer with a shotgun can hold off a threatening mob until help arrives. A Spirit-filled, one-hundred-pound godly woman, holding a shotgun, can do the same thing.

A young seminary student asked me what I would do if someone broke into my home. My response was, “I would do whatever was necessary to protect my family.” Some things are so fundamental to life that they are givens. And protecting your family is one of them. Back when common sense was alive and well in America, this was understood. If someone broke into your home, you were within your rights to defend your family. Unfortunately some states have changed their laws to protect the rights of the ones breaking in. It would be wise to know exactly what the law says in your state. But the bottom line is this: do everything that you can to protect the ones you love the most. Your wife and children should know that you would give up your life, if necessary, to save their lives.

Self-Defense Is Biblical

Is it wrong to take up arms to protect and defend your family or your country? If you read Luke 22:35–38 about Jesus’ sending His disciples out on their last road trip, He told them to take a money purse, a bag, and a sword. And if they didn’t have a sword, He told them to sell their coats to get one. Now this road trip was different from the last road trips they had taken. This time, Jesus’ name was on the Top Ten Wanted List. And things were about to get rough. Apparently Jesus did not have a problem with having a weapon of self-defense.

That fits in with Exodus 22:2 (nkjv): “If the thief is found breaking in, and he is struck so that he dies, there shall be no guilt for his bloodshed.”

Nehemiah was directed by God to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. The specific purpose for rebuilding the walls was to provide physical protection for the city’s inhabitants. When Nehemiah’s enemies threatened the lives of the men and the women who were doing the work, Nehemiah instructed them to strap on their swords (Neh. 4:6–18). His instruction to the people was to defend themselves and their families: “Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses” (Neh. 4:14 nkjv).

Norman Geisler states the biblical position well:

“It is evil not to resist evil; it is morally wrong not to defend the innocent … to permit a murder when one could have prevented it is morally wrong. To allow a rape when one could have hindered it is an evil. To watch an act of cruelty toward children without trying to intervene is morally inexcusable. In brief, not resisting evil is a sin of omission, and some sins of omission can be just as evil as sins of commission. In biblical language, “Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins” (James 4:17). Any man who does not protect his wife and children against a violent intruder fails them morally.”