It is necessary to offer a Biblical strategy for spiritual survival in the tribulation period to those who will not be ready to meet the heavenly Bridegroom, and will consequently be left behind. In the light of what has already been said in these messages, only concise statements will be made and advice given on the proper actions to be taken. The main purpose with the strategy is to indicate to people how they can spiritually survive and ensure that they get to heaven despite the most gruesome tribulation and deception that they will have to face during the Antichrist's reign of terror.
The question is: What will happen after the rapture and what can the unfortunate ones who remained behind do to spiritually survive the world-wide dictatorship of the Antichrist? The Bible has clear answers to these and other questions. It will guide those who have been left behind to work out a proper plan of action. If biblical instructions are carefully followed, people can still be saved during the tribulation period and ensure that they inherit the kingdom of heaven.
However, it will not be easy to find the way to eternal life through the narrow gate during this time. Apart from the basic requirement of repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus as Saviour (Acts 20:21), a very high price, involving self-denial, economic impoverishment and public scorn and rejection, will have to be paid. Counting the cost of becoming a Christian will also include the willingness to die as a martyr for your faith.
Although many people will accept this challenge in order to obtain eternal life, the majority will, to their everlasting ruin, choose the easier way out of the dilemma. The spiritual deception of the Antichrist's alliance of world religions will be so strong that millions of people will be swept into it.
The tribulation period will comprise two periods of 3˝ years, which can be distinguished from one another as follows:
FALSE PEACE (3˝ years)
GREAT TRIBULATION (3˝ years)
The Antichrist is revealed as prince of peace. He bases his global leadership position on political, religious and economic structures.
The Antichrist desecrates the temple, abolishes the sacrificial service and declares himself as God. Israel abrogate their covenant with him.
The New World Order with its universal government and world Peace Force is instituted, and greatly strengthens the alliance of world religions.
The alliance of world religions (the false world church) is destroyed and replaced by the compulsory worship of the Antichrist as God.
The Antichrist concludes a covenant with Israel as their Messiah. All other religions accept and worship him in this capacity.
Severe persecution is instigated against Jews and Christians who refuse to worship the Antichrist as God. They are convicted and executed.
The third temple is erected in Jerusalem next to the Islamic mosque. The lie is proclaimed that all religions worship the same God.
The Antichrist becomes sole ruler and military dictator. He controls a cashless world economy by means of computerised 666 related numbers.
Babylon is rebuilt in Iraq as the New Age capital and symbol of world unity. A temporary economic recovery and a false peace prevails on earth.
An unprecedented death-toll is caused by wars, pestilences and natural disasters. Military mobilisation for the battle of Armageddon occurs.
One of the most conspicuous aspects of the Antichrist's reign will be the close association between religion and politics. He will right from the outset combine these two offices and concurrently be the head of a world government and universal messiah. His co-ruler will be the false prophet who will be heading the alliance of world religions. He will seduce the members of all religions to honour the beast and worship him as their messiah (Rev. 13:12). The religious cloak of the Antichrist will render him a deceiver of the masses such as this world has never known before. He will present himself as an angel of light – a messenger of God who has come to bring real peace, unity and reconciliation to mankind. Jesus strongly warned against this kind of deception that will be perpetrated in His name: "Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many" (Mt. 24:4-5; see also verse 11).
Much more than resistance to the Antichrist and his ideologies will be needed to survive spiritually during the time of the tribulation. The blood of the Lamb of God that was shed to atone for the sins of a lost world will still be the only basis for salvation (Eph. 1:7; 1 Jn. 1:7-2:2; 1 Pet. 1:18-19). You will have to confess your sins to the Lord and also forsake them (Prov. 28:13). Accept His forgiveness in faith, become spiritually renewed (Rom. 12:2; 2 Cor. 5:17) and experience deliverance from the power of sin (Jn. 8:36). Witness to other people about your salvation (Rom. 10:9-10) and your unconditional commitment to the Lord Jesus. Have fellowship with other Christians and encourage one another to persevere despite the daunting prospects and dangers.
A great outpouring of the Holy Spirit will occur among Jews: "And I will pour on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced" (Zech. 12:10).
Right at the beginning of the tribulation a group of 144 000 Jews will be saved (Rev. 7:1-8). Endued with the power of the Holy Spirit, they will boldly proclaim that Jesus Christ (Yeshua Ha Mashiach) is the only true Messiah of Israel and the whole world. Their testimony will immediately bring them into direct conflict with the followers of the false messiah, whose deceit will be exposed by the Messianic Jews. Persecution of the followers of the true Messiah will commence with great fury, but the Lord will protect and keep them (Mt. 24:15-22; Rev. 12:14).
Christians who are newly saved, must associate with the Messianic Jews and support them despite the risk of persecution. Regard it as the very last chance to do something for the extension of the Lord's kingdom on earth. Do not be drawn into the structures of the false church of that time (i.e. the alliance of world religions) and in that way give credibility to the false messiah who was sent by the 'angel of light' (2 Cor. 11:13-15).
The nature of the persecution of Christians will take different forms in the two halves of the tribulation period. The first 3˝ years will be characterised by a false peace and unity, while the last 3˝ years are aptly described as a great tribulation. During the first half the Antichrist will rule in association with other leaders, and also handle religious affairs in consultation with the leaders of the alliance of world religions. Force will be used, but not excessively so, and only with the consent of his co-rulers. Milder methods of intimidation, bribery, deception and brainwashing will be employed to gain wider support. When the use of force is necessitated, an international Peace Force will be commissioned to discipline the opponents of the New World Order. They will be branded as rebels whose actions and beliefs constitute a major threat to world peace and unity.
An extensive propaganda campaign and psychological war will be waged against the fundamental Christians who only worship the true Messiah, Jesus Christ, and explicitly dissociate themselves from the alliance of world religions. They will be hated and condemned by all nations and also by the powerful united religions organisation of the false messiah.
The following scenario of the persecution of Christians will progressively manifest during the tribulation period. Initially, the fundamental Christians will experience hatred, rejection and intimidation. With the passing of time, pressure against them will mount and culminate in a campaign of extermination:
The Christians of the tribulation must refrain from compromising in any way whatsoever. Be among those who refute the kingdom of the beast, and instead proclaim the gospel of the kingdom of Jesus Christ. Be prepared to die as a martyr for your faith and never shrink from the implications of your decision: "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" (Mt. 10:28).
In order to achieve the maximum advantage for the kingdom of God, it is important to follow the right approach from the very beginning of the tribulation. Guard against the tendency to live a life of self-interest in which you only pursue the economic survival of your family and yourself. Not one Christian will physically survive the tribulation, and should never regard the challenge of economic and physical survival, including going into hiding, as major objectives. The following are guidelines for a sensible strategy:
· You are commissioned to resist the Antichrist and, like Daniel's three friends, not to bow the knee before the modern king of Babylon. Warn as many people as possible against the deception and spiritual dangers of recognising the false messiah. Collaborate with other true Christians to organise an awareness campaign against the dangers of deception and compromise.
· Do not make futile attempts to dethrone the Antichrist or to promote your endangered national interests. The tribulation is the hour of darkness, and to its leader will be given authority over every tribe, tongue and nation" (Rev. 13:7). Warn people against being loyal to or of compromising with this deceiver and dictator, and encourage them to be prepared to pay the highest price for their faith in the true Messiah.
· Do not take foolish risks, which may, at an early stage, lead to your arrest, imprisonment or execution. Try to stay out of reach of the Antichrist and his forces for as long as possible. Guard against their treacherous methods to get information about the movements and whereabouts of Christians. They will most definitely also plant informants among the true believers to spy on them. Daniel says that "many shall join with them by intrigue" (Dan. 11:34). Make very sure about a person's testimony of salvation and do not reveal unnecessary information to newcomers.
· As in the time of the early church, Christians should assist one another to survive economically. Sell your fixed property, unless it can be used as a basis for survival or as some kind of Christian centre. Remember that you will not be able to sell any property during the second half of the tribulation when a cashless monetary system based on the number of the Antichrist will be in operation. Also sell other assets that you do not really need in the short term. Spend the money on evangelism and the provision of places of refuge for Christians. Food, cooking facilities, clothes, blankets and medical supplies should also be bought and stored in a safe place. Do not resign your work and abandon your source of income during the first 3˝ years unless unacceptable pressure is exerted upon you.
· During the first 3˝ years, centres for evangelism should be established in various places where Bibles and Christian literature can be stored and even printed. (Like the clandestine printing of Bibles and Christian books on home-made printing-presses in Communist countries during the Cold War). Only use the King James Version of the Bible as a reliable account of the Word of God. Store some of the Bibles and literature in secret places where it cannot be easily traced and confiscated by the antichristian authorities. Remember that the Word of God will become unobtainable: "They shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east; they shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the Lord, but shall not find it (Amos 8:12).
In order to gain absolute control over all people the Antichrist will institute a centrally controlled, cashless economic system for the world. 666 related personal identity numbers will be issued to all economically active people, without which it will be impossible to gain access to the cashless monetary system. The 666 qualifies this number explicitly as the number of the beast; consequently it associates the bearer with the satanic rulers of the New World Order.
An oath of allegiance will have to be made to the Antichrist and his world government before a number will be issued. The oath will also imply allegiance to the beast as the god of this world, and for that reason the taking of the oath will be a covenant with death (Rev. 14:9-11). This absolute form of control will extend much further than buying and selling, as people will subject themselves body, soul and spirit to the control of this evil dictator. Do not follow the example of Esau by selling your soul to the devil for financial gain (Heb. 12:16-17).
The refusal of the Antichrist's number will have such severe implications that only strongly committed Christians will be able to face it. Among these are the following:
· Persons who refuse it will forfeit their identity number as well as their right to citizenship of their own country and the world state. That will be a punishable act.
· It will be regarded as the rejection of the New World Order and its leader, whose mark will be part of the new ID numbers. Those without the number will be charged with high treason and summarily executed in public.
· It will also be regarded as a rejection of the compulsory religion of the New World Order, i.e. to worship the beast as God. The death penalty will equally apply to this offence.
· Without the number no access will be gained to the international system of electronic funds transfer (EFT). Such a person will not be able to buy, sell or settle his accounts. It will be impossible to licence his car and buy fuel. Bills for services and taxes will remain unpaid, as well as instalments on property, motor cars and other commodities. In default of payment, property will be confiscated, seized or reclaimed. The message is clear: no one without the number will be able to remain economically active within this cashless system.
· People will lose their jobs and they will not be re-employed without an ID number, as these will at the same time serve as pay and bank numbers.
· After the introduction of the cashless economy, all the money that a person has will be converted to credit that can only be transferred to other accounts or utilised for payment by making use of the new personal identity number.
It is evident that economic control will be a mighty weapon in the hands of the Antichrist to force people to accept his New World Order, and to worship him as their god. In this way he will enslave the entire world population by depriving them of all the political, economic and religious liberties they previously had.
Those who refuse the number will become unemployed, robbed and impoverished fugitives. Because of high treason against the Antichrist and his governance structures they will face a certain death penalty when they are arrested. Special task forces will hunt them down and drag them to the guillotines. Some will be shot while fleeing, and many others will die of starvation, polluted water, diseases and exposure to harsh climatic conditions.
Although the Antichrist will muster awesome political, military, economic and religious power during his reign on earth, he will never be able to force true Christians into subservience to him. He will succeed in killing the saints, but, as with the myriad of Christian martyrs from Stephen to the present day, he will not succeed in gaining their worship if they prefer to remain true to Jesus. During this dark hour the Lord will empower His witnesses to resist the Antichrist and remain faithful until death: "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death." (Rev. 12:11) In the quoted verse, three powerful weapons are mentioned that are to be used by Christians in the struggle:
· The first one is the blood of the Lamb. It forms the basis of salvation when a person confesses his sins to the Lord (1 Pet. 1:18-19; 1 Jn. 1:7-9). The blood of Christ also protects you against the attacks of the enemy. Trust the Lord Jesus to protect you with His blood when you are in spiritual danger.
· The second weapon is the word of testimony. Witnessing to the saving grace and redemptive power of your Redeemer renders the enemy of your soul incapable of influencing you. A testimony of this nature will give unbelievers the courage to stand up and commit their lives to the conqueror, Jesus Christ. Never stop witnessing!
· The third weapon is to remain fearless despite intimidation and death threats. To be without fear of death, even in the face of a martyr's death to which the Antichrist will subject Christians, is a mighty spiritual weapon. It will give undisputed credibility to your witness if you are prepared to die for it. If you are afraid of death, and, perhaps, may even be prepared to deny Jesus for the sake of escaping it, your Christian witness will be powerless and unconvincing. (Read about the uncompromising heroes of faith in Hebrews 11).
The Antichrist and his followers are heading for everlasting punishment and banishment from the presence of God and His glory, in the lake of fire: "Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshipped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone" (Rev. 19:20-21; see also Rev. 14:9-11).
Despite the fact that Christians will stand to lose all the material possessions, rights and privileges they have during the great tribulation, their final destiny will be glorious (see Rev. 7:9-17 and 21:4-5). Will you be among the multitude of redeemed ones from all nations, tribes, peoples and tongues? There is also room for you! (Lk. 14:21-23).
In the light of these wonderful promises of ultimate victory, the martyrs can summon up the courage to persevere on their arduous course of loyalty to the true Messiah. If they remain faithful until death, they will inherit the kingdom of God and soon rule with Jesus Christ on earth:
It may be at morn, when the day is awaking,
When sunlight thro' darkness and shadow is breaking,
That Jesus will come in the fullness of glory,
To receive from the world His own.
It may be at mid-day, it may be at twilight,
It may be, perchance, that the blackest of midnight
Will burst into light in the blaze of His glory,
When Jesus receives His own.
Oh, joy! Oh, delight! Should we go without dying, –
No sickness, no sadness, no dread, and no crying –
Caught up thro' the clouds with our Lord into glory,
When Jesus receives His own.
– H.L. Turner