How to Survive the Apocalypse
Copyright © September 2, 2013 by Robert Wayne Atkins, P.E.
All Rights Reserved.
(All Scripture Verses are from the New International Version of the Holy Bible.)
Let's begin by defining three words that are frequently used in connection with the seven year time period described in the book of Revelation:
The tribulation, or the apocalypse, will begin one day in the future. It may begin this year, or 14 years from now, or 385 years from now, or whenever. Except for God, nobody knows when the tribulation will begin.
- Apocalypse: a prophecy about a cataclysmic future event in which evil forces are eventually destroyed.
- Armageddon: the location where the final decisive battle between good and evil is actually fought.
- Tribulation: a time of extreme suffering that is the result of severe persecution.
This means there is a chance the tribulation may not begin during your lifetime.
The reason I am writing this article is to help Christians better understand some of the challenges they will face if the tribulation should begin during their lifetime.
If you decide to continue reading this article then please be prepared to read some information that may be upsetting to you.
The Apocalypse and the Rapture
According to the Bible, anyone who is not a Christian will need to be able to survive the entire tribulation period. However, a Christian's exposure to the tribulation will be determined by the timing of an event called the rapture.
There are three major theories about when the rapture will occur in relationship to the seven year tribulation period as described in the book of Revelation. The rapture is when Jesus returns in the clouds and He calls His followers up into the air to be with Him.
If there is a pre-tribulation rapture then all Christians will be in heaven with Jesus during the entire tribulation period, regardless of which rapture theory they may personally believe in.
- Pre-Tribulation Rapture Theory: The rapture will happen before the tribulation begins or very soon after the start of the tribulation.
- Mid-Tribulation Rapture Theory: The rapture will happen shortly after the midpoint of the tribulation period.
- Post-Tribulation Rapture Theory: The rapture will happen at the end or very near the end of the tribulation period.
If there is a mid-tribulation rapture then all Christians will need to be able to survive the events that happen during the first 3.5 to 4 years of the tribulation period, regardless of which rapture theory they may personally believe in. If there is a mid-tribulation rapture then the sequence in which the events occur during the tribulation will be very important because Christians will need to be prepared for a specific sequence of events. The Christians who do survive those events, and the Christians who don't survive those events, will all be in heaven with Jesus Christ during the second half of the tribulation period.
If there is a post-tribulation rapture then all Christians will need to be able to survive everything described in the book of Revelation, regardless of which rapture theory they may personally believe in.
The Holy Bible tells us that a lot of people, including a lot of Christians, will die during the tribulation. But the Holy Bible also tells us that a huge number of Christians will be raptured into heaven by Jesus when He returns for His followers. Therefore many Christians will survive the tribulation, but many Christians will die during the tribulation. Hopefully this article will provide some information for you to consider so that your family can be one of the families that does survive until the rapture, if that is the Lord's will for your family.
In a previous article I presented a theoretical timeline for the sequence of events as they will unfold during the tribulation time period. This new article will be based on the sequence of events as described in my previous article. My previous article can be read by clicking here.
In order for this article to be of value to people who believe in the mid-tribulation rapture and to people who believe in the post-tribulation rapture, this article will begin by discussing strategies on how to survive the first half of the tribulation time period. Then we will look at strategies for surviving the second half of the tribulation.
How to Survive the First Half of the Tribulation
A brief summary of the events that will happen during the opening of the first six seals is as follows:
A brief summary of the events that will happen during the blowing of the first six trumpets is as follows:
- Seal One: A war begins.
- Seal Two: The war escalates and many people are killed.
- Seal Three: Famine becomes widespread, food prices skyrocket, and a person works an entire day to earn just barely enough money to buy food for one day.
- Seal Four: One-fourth of all mankind die as a result of the war, famine, plague, and wild beasts.
- Seal Five: Christians are persecuted and murdered in large numbers all over the world.
- Seal Six: The sun is darkened, the moon turns red, the stars fall from the sky, the sky rolls up like a scroll, and every mountain and island is removed from its place.
Let's begin by examining the events that happen during the opening of the first five seals. A war begins and quickly escalates and many people die as a result of the war, and from famine and plague and from predatory wild beasts. Christians are persecuted and slain in large numbers. These events have happened many times in the past and although these are tragic events, there is nothing unusual about the events themselves. Mankind has survived these types of events in the past and many people will survive these events during the tribulation.
- Trumpet One: Destructive hail, and fire (probably caused by lightning), destroy one-third of the trees and grass on the earth.
- Trumpet Two: Something like a burning mountain falls into the sea and one-third of the sea turns to blood, and one-third of the sea creatures die, and one-third of the ships are destroyed. Whether the seawater actually turns into blood, or it simply becomes thick and red like blood, is not worth debating. The important issue is that it is no longer ordinary seawater and it will not support sea life and it cannot be navigated by ships.
- Trumpet Three: A blazing star (or meteor) falls to the earth and one-third of the rivers and springs of water become bitter and poisonous.
- Trumpet Four: One-third of the sun, moon, and stars become dark, and one-third of the day is without light, and one-third of the night is without light.
- Trumpet Five: Smoke rises out of an Abyss in the earth like a giant furnace, and the smoke blocks the light from the sun and the moon. Locusts with the sting of a scorpion come out of the smoke and they cause great pain to anyone who does not have the seal of God on their foreheads.
- Trumpet Six: Four evil angels are released and they kill one-third of all mankind.
However, the opening of seal six describes events that have not happened in the past: the sun is darkened, the moon turns red, the stars fall from the sky, the sky rolls up like a scroll, and every mountain and island is removed from its place. These are worldwide catastrophic events and they will impact everyone in every nation on the earth in one way or another. The sun and the moon turning dark will seriously impact solar power systems. Without the sun crops will not grow and the worldwide famine will become more severe. The stars falling from the sky could be huge meteors and they will cause serious damage wherever they hit, whether it be in a city or in the country. The sky rolling up like a scroll could be John's way of describing the explosion that results from one or more nuclear bombs, or it could be the debris thrown into the air from the impact of the meteors that hit the earth. The mountains and the islands shifting out of their original locations would create terrible problems for homes, buildings, and roads, and for the power, gas, water, and communication networks. Almost every utility that we depend on would be shut down and solar power would not be an efficient alternative because of the darkened sun. The sixth seal will be a very challenging seal to survive if you don't have God's protection on your family.
Now let's examine the blowing of the six trumpets which will happen at approximately the same time as the opening of the seals. One-third of the trees and grass will be destroyed. This will have a drastic impact on the conversion of carbon dioxide into oxygen and this could make the simple task of breathing a painful chore. The destruction of the green trees and grass will also probably result in the death of approximately one-third of the wild animals, and one-third of the domestic animals, and one-third of the birds. One-third of the sea turning to blood will destroy one-third of the sea creatures and one-third of the ships. Therefore anyone who is planning to survive on a boat only has a two-thirds chance of not being impacted by this event. One-third of the fresh water becoming poisonous will kill one-third of the marine life that lives in that water and the worldwide fresh water supply will be reduced by one-third. The combination of all these events will make water and food the two most valuable commodities in the entire world. The sun, moon, and stars turning dark has already been discussed. The locusts with a sting of a scorpion will attack anyone who does not have the seal of God on their forehead. I do not know how God will seal His beloved children. I also do not know if this is the seal God puts on His 144,000 witnesses in Revelation 7:1-8 and in Revelation 14:1-5, or if it is a different type of seal, similar to the one descibed in Ezekiel 9:1-6. But I sincerely pray that your family is among the ones who are sealed. Finally, four evil angels will kill one-third of mankind. All of these trumpet events are catastrophic events and every one of them will create significant survival challenges for your entire family.
Now that we know what to expect during the first half of the tribulation we can examine some specific survival strategies that may help your family live through these nightmare events.
This completes my comments on how to survive the first half of the tribulation. If you believe in the post-tribulation rapture then you will also need to be able to survive the second half of the tribulation.
The tribulation begins with a war. When the war escalates it will take peace from the earth. Unlike recent wars, this will be a true global war and every nation will experience loss. Every nation will be invaded by enemy soldiers, and every nation will have its cities bombed and destroyed. The United States of America will not be exempt from this war and there is a good chance the entire nation will be brought to its knees just like the South was at the end of the American Civil War. This is a reasonable assumption because the book of Revelation does not specifically mention a powerful nation that resembles the current United States of America. Instead the Bible mentions a coalition of ten nations that join together to form a powerful force that will gradually dominate the world.
The war will result in the destruction of cities, suburbs, and farms in order to cripple the infrastructure of every nation worldwide. This will result in a significant reduction in agricultural output. Military soldiers will lose their lives. Normal ordinary people will also lose their lives as the war ravages their cities, homes, and farms. Those families that survive, and who had a reasonable standard of living prior to the war, will be suddenly displaced from their homes and from their possessions, and they will be forced to live in extreme poverty conditions as refugees. Famine and disease will run rampant throughout every refugee camp and the death toll will skyrocket.
The only reliable way to survive this war will be the same strategy that people have always used to survive a war. A family must get out of the path of enemy forces as they gradually devastate one area after another. A family must have at least two or three different locations to flee to in the event that the war is headed directly for their current location. A family must also have some way to take their most important survival possessions with them when they flee. In the past people have had to carry their belongings on their back, or push them in front of them in a wheelbarrow. This seriously limits the amount of stuff you can take with you. If you have one or more motorized vehicles, then you could load them strategically with your most important stuff, giving special priority to food. If you must evacuate on foot then a bicycle and a bicycle trailer would allow you to take more of your possessions with you, compared to a ordinary backpack or a wheeled suitcase. These options will be discussed in more detail later.
- Breathable Air:
Hail and fire will destroy one-third of the trees and grass and this will reduce the number of green plants that are available to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen.
The destruction of the trees and the grass will probably also result in the loss of approximately one-third of the domestic animals, wild animals, and birds. The human population will also be reduced as a result of war, famine, and plague. Therefore, although there will be fewer oxygen producing plants, there will also be fewer living creatures that consume oxygen. This means that the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere may be adequate to support the people and animals who need this oxygen. This is a realistic assumption because the book of Revelation mentions a great battle that involves a multitude of people at the end of the tribulation period and these people would not be alive if there was no breathable air.
Unfortunately, the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere is not the only issue. When the stars (or meteors) fall from the sky then they will impact the earth with enough force to send a tremendous amount of debris up into the atmosphere. Later the smoke from the Abyss will combine with the debris in the atmosphere. When this happens then travel outdoors may become extremely difficult or dangerous due to the contamination in the atmosphere. At that time travel outdoors may only be possible if you have some type of gas mask or face mask that will filter out almost all of the harmful particles in the air and allow its wearer to breathe normally.
Therefore some type of military gas mask, or some type of high quality breathing mask, would need to be worn by any member of your family who must travel outdoors. The major problem with gas mask filters and breathing mask filters is that they have a short useful life once they are put into use. Therefore you will need a lot of them if you are forced to venture outdoors on a regular basis. With this in mind, it seems reasonable to believe that the families who will have the best chance of surviving this period will be those families who have enough emergency supplies inside their shelter so they can remain inside their shelter for an extended period of time. The downside of this strategy is what is commonly known as "cabin fever." Cabin fever occurs when a person is confined to a very small area for an extended period of time and they have very little to do. Books and games can help to reduce the impact of cabin fever but they will not completely eliminate its effect. You should be prepared for cabin fever to impact different members of your family to a greater or lesser extent, and in different ways, based on each person's ability to spend extremely long periods of time inside a shelter.
- Drinking Water:
Water is absolutely necessary for all forms of life, including humans and animals. Water is extremely heavy and it takes up a lot of space and it will gradually become unfit for human consumption due to the multiplication of harmful microorganisms that are present in the water.
When one-third of the world's saltwater becomes blood (or becomes like blood) and one-third of the world's fresh water becomes bitter and poisonous, then this will have a drastic impact on all forms of life, and not just marine creatures. Those areas that have their fresh water turned bitter and poisonous will not be able to support any kind of life. The book of Revelation tells us that one-third of the fresh water will become bitter and poisonous but it does not give us any information about which parts of the world will experience this death sentence. Therefore there is very little you can do to prepare for this tragic event except to pray diligently and sincerely that your area will not be one of the areas that receives this specific judgment from God.
If the fresh water in your area does not become bitter and poisonous then you can replenish your water supply on a regular basis using the same procedure you would use for a hard times event.
However, if the fresh water in your area does become bitter and poisonous then you will probably not be able to filter the poison out of that water. In this situation your family will need to acquire their drinking water by one of the following two methods:
- Stored Water: You will need to have enough drinking water in storage to last until your family is raptured into heaven. If you believe in the mid-tribulation rapture then this would be enough water to last at least three or four years. If you believe in the post-tribulation rapture then you will need enough water to last six or seven years.
If you allow for one gallon of drinking water per day per person then each person will need a minimum of 365 gallons of water per year. One gallon of water requires 231 cubic inches of storage space. 365 gallons of water will require approximately 48.8 cubic feet of storage space or a space that is approximately 3.65 feet long by 3.65 feet wide by 3.65 feet high. In order to store enough drinking water for one person for 3.5 years you would need a storage space that is approximately 12.75 feet long, 3.65 feet wide, and 3.65 feet high. You will also need a way to keep this water relatively free of microorganisms and you will need a good water filter to filter the water before you drink it.
You will also need additional water to rehydrate stored foods, and to cook stored foods. You will also need water to bathe and to wash your dishes and your cloths. Therefore you will need to store water for these other activities in addition to your drinking water.
- Rainwater: The book of Revelation does not specifically mention any type of drought during the first 3.5 years of the tribulation. However, during the second half of the tribulation the two witnesses will have the power to shut up the sky so it does not rain. Since this occurs during the second half of the tribulation it is possible that rain may continue to fall during the first half of the tribulation. But it may fall less often and in smaller quantities. Therefore those areas where the fresh water has been turned bitter and poisonous may still receive some rain on an intermittent basis. If you are in one of these areas then you will need to catch and collect the occasional rainwater before it comes into contact with anything in order to replenish your supply of drinking water. You cannot allow the rainwater to come into contact with water that is in the streams, lakes, or ponds because the rainwater would immediately become contaminated. To be safe, after you collect your rainwater you should filter or distill that rainwater before you drink it.
If your area has its fresh water turned bitter and poisonous then drinking water will not be your only concern. All life within your area will die. This means you will not be able to grow vegetables, or provide food and water for farm livestock, or hunt wild animals for food, or catch fish. If you live in one of these disaster areas then you will need to have enough food in storage to feed your family until your family is raptured into heaven.
- Famine and Food:
In order to avoid death by starvation a person must have something to eat. Edible food includes all the following:
- Fresh Fruits, Vegetables, Nuts, and Berries: These food items will be extremely limited due to the war (chaotic conditions that do not favor the growing of food), the lack of sunshine, the lack of water, and the smoke and other debris in the atmosphere. The Bible says that some of these fresh foods will still be available but there will be very little of them and they will be extremely expensive. Therefore a family will not be able to depend on this type of fresh food during the tribulation. (Note: A greenhouse requires sunshine and water and therefore a greenhouse will probably not be useful during the tribulation. In addition, during famine conditions a greenhouse would draw everyone who sees it directly to your shelter area and this would not be desirable.)
- Fresh Meat from Domestic Animals (cows, pigs, sheep, etc.): These types of meat will also be available in very, very small quantities and at extremely high prices.
- Fresh Meat from Wild Animals and Birds (squirrels, beaver, boar, deer, turkey, etc.): Due to the depletion of the trees and grass, and the widespread famine conditions that will force people to kill and eat any wild animal or bird they might see, these types of meat will not be a dependable source of meat for a family during the tribulation. (Note: Bear meat is edible and if you should kill a bear then you may have access to a reasonable supply of fresh meat. Some of this meat could be cooked and consumed immediately but you should also know how to preserve most of this meat in the form of dried meat jerky.)
- Fresh Fish (fresh water fish and saltwater fish): When one-third of the seawater becomes blood or blood like, and one-third of the fresh water becomes poisonous, and transportation becomes chaotic and undependable, then fresh fish will become extremely rare and very expensive.
- Long-Term Storage Foods (dehydrated food, freeze dried food, canned foods, white rice, wheat, dent corn, dry beans, dry pasta, etc.): These foods are available now but they will not be available after the tribulation begins. These are the only types of food that a family will be able to depend on for sustenance during the tribulation period. Therefore each family will need to store at least 3.5 years worth of food for each person (or 7 years per person if you believe in the post-tribulation rapture). A simple basic one-year food supply for one adult will require a space approximately 4 feet long, 3 feet wide, and 3 feet high. A two-year food supply for one-person would be 6 feet high. A four-year food supply for one person would therefore require a space that is at least 8 feet long, 3 feet wide, and 6 feet high. Canned foods contain some water and this will be very desirable when water is in short supply. However, canned foods take up more storage space than dried foods. Canned foods are also heavier than dried foods and therefore you would be able to take less of them with you if you were forced to evacuate your home. Dried foods will require water to make them suitable for human consumption, and to make them easier to digest. But dried foods take up less storage space and they weigh less than canned foods. Therefore you could take more dried foods with you if you had to evacuate your home. Therefore, if you have some canned foods and some dried foods in storage, then it would probably be a good idea to plan your meals at the beginning of the tribulation so you eat about twice as much canned food as dried food each day. This would allow you to save more of your dried foods for future consumption and this may be extremely beneficial if you are forced to evacuate your home and you must travel to a safer location.
- Potential Long-Term Health Problems:
Regular Meals: Eating the same foods over and over again will result in appetite fatigue and eventually weight loss and poor health.
Sunshine: The sun is the human body's natural source of vitamin D and a vitamin D deficiency can result in health problems.
Fresh Fruit and Vegetables: Fresh food is a natural source of a multitude of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C. Long-term storage foods will contain calories, protein, carbohydrates, fat, and minerals but they will be subject to vitamin loss with the passage of time.
Vitamin Tablets: A good quality complete multivitamin tablet that also contains minerals will help to prevent, or at least delay, vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
Antibiotics: If possible, a family should also have some antibiotics in the event of a serious infection.
- Plague and Disease:
Most people will be living in extreme poverty conditions or in refugee camps. There will be no dependable supply of fresh water or sewage removal systems. Human waste will accumulate wherever these people live and disease and plagues will run rampant. These individuals will be in a weakened condition and in very poor health and they will quickly succumb to any bacteria or virus that attacks what remains of their once healthy bodies.
If you are forced to evacuate your home, then you will need to make the decision on whether or not you will follow all the other people who are also evacuating their homes. Sometimes these caravans are forced to travel to a specific location by law enforcement personnel and military soldiers. Your family might be better off in the long-term if you do not join one of these caravans, if you can safely avoid doing so.
- Predatory Wild Beasts (wolves, bears, lions, tigers, deadly snakes, etc.):
The current predatory wild beast population in an area will increase for a variety of reasons. Humans will be busy just trying to survive from day to day and these creatures will not be aggressively hunted as they were during normal times. In addition, the worldwide war will result in the destruction of cities and communities everywhere and this means that some of the wild animals that are now in zoos or in circuses will have a chance to escape and run wild. When they become hungry they will revert to their natural savage behavior and they will kill and eat anything including other wild animals, domestic animals, and people. Because these wild animals spent part of their lives in a zoo or circus they will not have any fear of humans and they will quickly kill and eat any person they see. While they are hunting and feeding themselves using their natural instincts, they will also begin to breed and multiply freely. This will create problems in any area that has been devastated by the war because that area will not be able to deal with the increase in their predatory wild beast population.
- Boats and Ships:
When one-third of the sea becomes blood, or blood like, then one-third of the ships will also be destroyed. The ships that survive will not be able to navigate on a substance as thick as blood. Therefore international trade will become more difficult and more expensive. When all the mountains and all the islands move out of their original locations then large sections of the earth's surface will be in motion and this will probably create massive tidal waves that will make sea travel extremely dangerous even on those seas that are still navigable. Therefore the chance that a family will be able to survive on a boat at sea will be extremely slim when compared to today. There will be no safe port where they can dock and replenish their supplies. The location of harbors and islands will have changed. And the pollution in the atmosphere could make it extremely difficult to replenish their drinking water even when it rains.
- Global Positioning System (GPS):
When the earth's surface begins to shift then the GPS coordinates of every area will change. This will create problems for the GPS satellites and for GPS devices because the new GPS position of a specific piece of real estate will not be where it used to be.
- Municipal Power Networks: The utility networks around the world will be destroyed by enemy nations. Or they will become very undependable due to falling stars (meteors), and the problems with one-third of the world's water, and the lack of reliable modes of transportation to deliver fuel to the power generating plants, and the shifting of the earth's surface.
- Solar Power: Solar power systems will be impacted by unpredictable hail storms and by a darkened sun. However, if you can protect your solar panels from hail damage, then they will still produce some power each day, probably somewhere between 10% to 50% of what they would have been capable of producing during normal times. One way to protect your solar panels from hail damage would be to build a framework of lumber above your solar panels so the frame does not cast shadows on your solar panels during the day. Then place a piece of clear shatter-resistant glass a few inches above each solar panel. Then put a piece of 3/4 inch plywood a few inches above the shatter-resistant glass. The glass could remain above the solar panels all the time. But you could place the plywood above your solar panels in the evening and remove it in the morning. When it starts to hail you could immediately place the plywood into its protective position. This may be effective during the first half of the tribulation but it would not be effective during the second half of the tribulation when 100 pound hail begins to fall.
- Water Power: Water turbines will become unreliable due to a change in the earth's water resources which will have a direct impact on the amount of rainfall in an area. However, if you live in an area that continues to have a steady flow of fresh water then a water turbine may still be an effective way to produce power. The difficulty is being able to correctly guess whether or not your area will be impacted by the water problems that will impact a significant part of the world.
- Wind Power: A wind turbine might be a way to produce electricity to recharge deep cycle batteries. But wind turbines must be mounted at least 25 to 40 feet above the ground and therefore they will be visible from a long distance away. This means they would attract the attention of everyone who sees them and this would draw everyone within visual range directly to your shelter.
- Propane: If a family has a propane tank, preferably underground, then they may be able to produce small amounts of power on an intermittent basis when they need it. However, they will need to be able to muffle the sound of their propane powered generator, and they will need to be able to successful exhaust the deadly fumes produced by that generator without those smelly exhaust fumes being detected by anyone. The sound of a generator or the exhaust fumes from a generator would draw people directly to your shelter.
- Bicycle Powered Generator: These units are extremely labor intensive and they produce a limited amount of power. When food and water are both scarce resources, then riding a stationary bicycle to produce power will consume precious human energy. On the other hand, if your family has absolutely nothing else to do inside your shelter for exercise, then each member of your family could ride the stationary bicycle for a short period of time each day to keep their body healthy and to store a little electricity in your 12-volt deep cycle batteries. If you decide to investigate this option then make sure your bicycle generator will charge standard 12-volt deep cycle batteries and not just a special battery that is only available from the manufacturer.
- Hand Cranked Battery Charger: Some flashlights and some radios have a hand crank that will charge the internal battery of the device. Several years ago some of these devices used standard rechargeable AA batteries. But today most of them have an internal battery that cannot be removed from the device. If you can find a hand crank device that has removable rechargeable AA batteries then it would be possible to charge those batteries using the hand crank on the device. When the batteries are charged then they can be transferred to a different device that uses AA batteries. However, at the current time many of the hand crank devices that have an internal battery will also work on standard AA batteries but the device will not charge those AA batteries -- the device will only charge its internal battery. My personal experience with these hand crank devices has been mixed. Some of them were extremely well designed and they continued to work for a long time before they eventually wore out. However, some of the devices I purchased were poorly designed and they wore out very quickly. In addition, the quality of these hand crank devices has gradually declined with the passage of time. If the device has an internal battery that cannot be removed then the battery will discharge and it will become worthless if you don't hand crank the device on a regular basis to keep some power in the internal battery. Therefore I cannot make a specific recommendation for a good quality hand crank device that would be reliable for a long period of time. However, if you decide to investigate this option then I suggest you look for a hand crank flashlight or lantern that uses LED bulbs because the LED bulbs only use a tiny fraction of the power when compared to a traditional flashlight bulb.
- Summary: A family should be prepared to survive without electricity even if they do have one or more ways to produce electricity. The reason is because it may become very difficult to produce electricity during the tribulation depending on where you live and what happens in your specific area.
The world will gradually become a darker place in which to live. Electric light bulbs will eventually become useless due to problems with the power networks worldwide.
LED Flashlights and LED Lanterns: An LED (Light Emitting Diode) flashlight or lantern will produce light efficiently when you need it. LED bulbs have a normal useful life of between 50,000 to 100,000 hours. In most cases the bulb will outlast the flashlight in which it is installed.
LED Bulb Life:
Let's begin with the lowest LED bulb life estimate of 50,000 hours.
50,000 hours divided by 8 hours per day = 6,250 days.
6,250 days divided by 365 days per year = 17.1 years.
If you change the estimate to 100,000 hours then a LED bulb will last 34.2 years.
Therefore a LED bulb should last somewhere between 17.1 to 34.2 years if it is subjected to 8 hours of use per day.
Some of the LED units have a small attached solar panel, and some have a hand crank. But I do not recommend the purchase of either a solar power unit or a hand crank unit. In my opinion a better option is a standard LED flashlight or lantern that does not have any special features that can disable the unit. In my opinion, a flashlight or a lantern that will provide light for a long period of time, and that uses either two or three AA batteries or AAA batteries, would be the best choice for the tribulation. Most of these units will provide light for approximately 2 or 3 hours on one set of batteries. But if you take the time to look carefully at what is available in your area, then you may be able to find a name brand flashlight or lantern that will provide 6 or more hours of light on one set of batteries. Some of the lanterns use 4 D size batteries to provide more light but it takes a lot more time to charge 4 D size batteries. Therefore I suggest that you be satisfied with a little less light and that you find a unit that works on either 2 or 3 batteries of size AA or size AAA. You will also need to invest in a reasonable supply of rechargeable batteries of the correct size before the tribulation begins. If you are just now considering the purchase of some battery operated devices then you should consider purchasing devices that operate on AA batteries in order to standardize your spare battery inventory, if you can find devices that will satisfy your needs and those devices use AA batteries. Satisfying your needs is more important than standardizing all your batteries into one size.
Every family should have a minimum of two different name brand LED flashlights or lanterns manufactured by different companies in order to provide a backup if one of the units stops working.
It would also be a good idea to have at least two different name brand rechargeable batteries in storage in the event one brand does not live up to its reputation.
The Rayovac Sportsman LED flashlight in the picture on the right cost approximately $15 at Walmart and it uses 3 AAA batteries. The flashlight is a very high quality flashlight. The flashlight is approximately 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) in diameter and 5.25 inches (13.3 cm) long. It will easily fit into the pocket of your jeans. It is waterproof and it can be dropped from a height of approximately 30 feet (or 9 meters) with breaking the flashlight.
When you press the button in the bottom of the flashlight it turns on in High Power Mode. When you push the button again it switches to Low Power Mode. When you push the button a third time the flashlight turns off.
On High Power the flashlight produces 120 lumens of light and it will illuminate objects out to a distance of approximately 530 feet (or 160 meters). The 3 AAA batteries will last approximately 5 hours in High Power Mode.
On Low Power the flashlight produces 19 lumens of light and it will illuminate objects out to a distance of approximately 230 feet (or 70 meters). The 3 AAA batteries will last approximately 40 hours in Low Power Mode.
If you put the flashlight in Low Power Mode, and stand it upright on the floor, then the beam will shine on the ceiling and it will illuminate a room that is approximately 14 feet by 14 feet (4.2 meters) so that everyone in the room can easily see one another.
There are two ways you can charge your rechargeable batteries using solar power as follows:
- Solar Battery Charger: A solar battery charger is approximately 7 inches long, 5 inches wide, and 2 inches high. These small portable units will charge either 2 or 4 rechargeable batteries at one time, depending on how the unit was designed. If you do not already own one of these units then I suggest that you consider purchasing at least two (or more) of the Solar Battery Chargers that will charge 4 batteries at the same time. These units could be protected from ordinary size hail by placing them below a piece of shatter resistant glass or plastic during the day and then bringing them indoors at night. Two or more of these solar battery chargers could keep your rechargeable batteries charged so that you would always have power for your LED flashlights, lanterns, radios, and other battery operated devices that can be powered by AAA, AA, C, or D batteries. These Solar Battery Chargers are portable and they could easily be taken with you if you are forced to abandon your home.
- Solar Panels, an Inverter (or Converter), and a 110 Volt Battery Charger: If you have a solar panel system with an inverter, then you can charge your rechargeable AAA, AA, C, and D batteries using a 110 volt battery charger that you plug into your inverter. If you do not have a solar power system and you are considering one then you should consider investing in an MPPT Solar Charge Controller for your solar system because it is designed to optimize the output from your solar panels. This will be very important during the tribulation when there is less sunlight each day.
A candle has the following disadvantages:
- A candle is a fire hazard and it is estimated that candles account for between 6% to 10% of all house fires.
- A candle consumes oxygen and this can become a health risk in a small living area.
- A candle generates soot and the inhalation of soot causes health problems.
- A candle provides very little light.
- You cannot read comfortably using the light of a candle.
- If you only need light for a few minutes then you will need to light the candle with a match or butane lighter, and then extinguish the candle when you no longer need the light to conserve the candle. Each time you light the candle you will need a match or you will be consuming butane lighter fuel. This may not be the best long-term use of your matches or butane lighters.
- You will need a significant inventory of candles and a reasonable supply of matches or butane lighters.
Some general information about candles:
- A candle should be burned above a heat-resistant surface.
- The flame of a candle can be used to heat a little water or a small amount food or it can be used to keep your hands warm. But a candle flame will not cook food.
- The flame of a candle should be protected from drafts to get the maximum life from the candle.
- The color of a candle does not impact its life expectancy.
- Do not invest in scented candles. You will probably get tired of the smell. And the odor may not be healthy over a long period of time.
- Before lighting a candle for the first time, trim the exposed wick to a length of 1/4 inch to prevent the loss of candle wax when the candle is first lit. A long wick will consume more wax until the wick can gradually burn down to its optimal length.
Data of Five Different Types of Candles
|Type of Candle||Diameter||Height||Cubic Inches||Ounces||Cost Each||Burn Time||Cost per Hour|
|Long or Tapered||0.875 Inch||8 Inches||4.510 cu. in.||2.50 oz.||$0.75||10.5 Hours||$0.071 per Hour|
|Plumber's Candle||1.25 Inches||5 Inches||6.136 cu. in.||3.30 oz.||$0.75||9 Hours||$0.083 per Hour|
|Short Round (Votive)||1.375 Inches||1.875 Inches||2.784 cu. in.||1.50 oz.||$0.97||12.25 Hours||$0.079 per Hour|
|Tea Candle (Tealight)||1.50 Inches||0.45 Inch||0.795 cu. in.||0.40 oz.||$0.05||4.25 Hours||$0.012 per Hour|
|100 Hour Candle||3.00 Inches||4.5 Inches||31.8 cu. in.||12.2 oz.||$5.00||110 Hours||$0.045 per Hour|
Some comments about the above five types of candles:
- Long or Tapered Candle: This candle is usually placed in a candle holder or candlestick. As the candle burns it is constantly surrounded by fresh air and the molten wax runs down the side of the candle onto the candlestick. This wax is normally thrown away. However, during the tribulation you should consider how to safely collect this wax so it will continue to feed the wick as the candle burns down.
- Plumber's Candle: This candle is usually placed in a special candle holder with a wide opening for the bottom of the candle. As the candle burns it is constantly surrounded by fresh air and the molten wax runs down the side of the candle onto the candle holder. This wax is normally thrown away. However, during the tribulation you should consider how to safely collect this wax so it will continue to feed the wick as the candle burns down. A plumber's candle is essentially the same thing as a tapered candle except it is not tapered, and it is shorter, and it has a bigger diameter.
- Short Round (Votive) Candle: This candle is usually placed inside a glass candle holder that completely surrounds the candle and it extends about an inch above the top of the candle. The candle holder protects the candle flame from normal gentle drafts. As the candle burns the wax collects in the bottom of the glass candle holder and the wax is not lost because it continues to feed the wick until all the wax has been consumed. At the current time a glass candle holder for a Votive candle costs about $2.00 each.
- Tea Candle or Tealight: This candle is sold inside a self-contained soft foil container. The foil container completely surrounds the wax. As the candle burns the molten wax is trapped inside the foil container and the wax feeds the wick until all of the wax has been consumed. A tea candle is a very efficient candle because it has its own foil container and it completely consumes all of its wax. At the current time a small glass candle holder for a tea candle costs about $0.75 and one of these glass candle holders should be used to keep the tea candle safely contained while it is burning and to protect the surface on which the candle rests. At the current time tea candles can be purchased for approximately $2.25 for a package that contains 50 unscented tea candles. Every family should have a supply of tea candles, and five or six glass candle holders specifically designed for tea candles. Tea candles could serve as a backup source of light if your LED flashlight or lantern does not work for some reason.
- 100 Hour Candle: This is basically a single-use oil lamp. Liquid paraffin is contained inside a clear plastic bottle with a wick extending down into the bottle. As the wick is consumed you must occasionally blow the wick out and wait for it to cool. Then you use some needle nose pliers to gently twist and turn and pull the wick up until about 1/4 inch of the wick is above the top of the container. Then you can relight the wick. This candle is odorless and smokeless.
Oil Lamps: An oil lamp produces a limited amount of light. If an oil lamp is used for an extended period of time then it will need a significant inventory of lamp oil and some extra wicks and matches. At the current time lamp oil costs approximately $6.00 for 64-ounces and wicks cost approximately $4.00 each. Finally, an oil lamp produces soot and it consumes oxygen. An oil lamp would not be a good choice for producing light on a long-term basis during the tribulation.
Propane or Gas Lanterns: A propane or gas lantern generates a reasonable quantity of light. However, it requires propane or gas and some spare mantels. It will also require matches if it does not have an electric spark. It consumes oxygen and it does release fumes that can be a health hazard. A propane or gas lantern would not be a good choice for producing light on a long-term basis during the tribulation.
Summary: If a family does not have a dependable source of light then each family should be prepared to spend approximately 16 hours per 24-hour day without light. In other words, a family will need to accomplish all of their necessary daily chores, including the consumption of their meals, in approximately 8 hours and then be prepared to spend about 16 hours in the dark. This would be a good time for mom and dad to learn how to tell stories to entertain their family while their family is waiting to go to sleep.
When the power networks are destroyed by meteors then the communication networks around the world will also be destroyed. This means that traditional methods of communication, such as telephones or cell phones, will no longer be a dependable method of communication. Satellite phones may or may not work depending on whether or not the space satellites are damaged, and whether or not the companies and nations that own the space satellites will allow them to be used for civilian communications.
The AM and FM radio stations around the world will also be impacted so there is a good chance that an ordinary portable battery operated radio will not be able to pick up any radio stations, or it may only be able to pick up a limited number of radio stations that are operated by government personnel in different parts of the world. Some of these AM and FM radio stations may be broadcasting truthful and useful information but some of them may be transmitting government censored information or information that is simply not true.
On the other hand, if you have a shortwave world band radio then you may be able to listen to broadcasts that originate in different parts of the world. Some of these radio stations may still be broadcasting. Being able to listen to broadcasts from different parts of the world would be a significant advantage because it would allow you to hear a variety of different interpretations of how other major nations perceive significant current world events and news stories. Although every nation will impart its own "bias" to a particular news story, you will have the opportunity to determine how the rest of the world is responding to something that may have happened in your own country.
You can listen to a shortwave world band radio and not worry about being located using any type of tracking technology with which I am familiar. The reason is because you are only receiving a signal and you are not transmitting anything. This is the same basic concept as human speech. If a person is speaking then you can easily identify where that person is located based on the sound of their voice. However, if you are only listening to the person then no one will know where you might be because your ears do not make any noise. In fact, hundreds or thousands of people could be listening to one person who is speaking and you would not know how many people were listening or where each of those people was located. This is the same basic concept as listening to a radio broadcast as opposed to transmitting a broadcast. Therefore you could listen to a radio without worrying about the radio revealing your location, assuming you do not turn the volume up too high. If you choose to listen using earphones or earbuds then you should consider listening to the radio with only one ear in order to allow your other ear the freedom to listen for any unusual sounds in your area that might require you immediate attention.
- Religious Persecution:
The only people who will have a reasonable chance of surviving the tribulation will be Christians. But they will also be aggressively persecuted and murdered by non-Christians. Therefore the place where a Christian family lives will have a significant impact on their chance for long-term survival. Families that live in areas where Christians are hated and murdered during normal times, will not live very long after the tribulation begins. Families that live in areas that have a significant Christian population will have a better chance of not being persecuted and killed. However, things could change very quickly and if a bounty is paid for each Christian that is killed, then a lot of non-religious people will immediately become bounty hunters and they will start killing Christians and non-Christians to claim the bounty money.
- Martyrdom or Dying for Jesus Prior to the Rapture:
If you are a Christian and you are captured then you will have to make a very simple decision:
- Will you deny that you are a Christian and risk the chance that Jesus will deny you before God? If this happens then you may be condemned to spend eternity in hell.
- Will you confess Jesus as your Lord and Savior and be immediately executed? If this happens then your spirit will immediately ascend into heaven and you will spend eternity with Jesus.
- False Christs:
Jesus told us that during the tribulation there would be rumors of His return and those rumors would say that He was waiting at some specific place for His followers to come to Him. The purpose of these rumors will be to lure newly converted Christians to their doom. Jesus told us that all of these rumors would be lies. When Jesus returns He will rapture Christians up into the sky to be with Him and a true Christian will not have to travel to some specific location here on this earth to meet Jesus. (Note: This lie may appeal to some Christians who believe in the pre-tribulation rapture because they will eventually realize that the tribulation has begun and they are still here on the earth. If they are immature Christians who do not understand the warning that Jesus gave us to not go looking for Him here on this earth, then they may be lured to their death by these rumors. However, I suspect that after the tribulation begins then many of the spiritually mature pre-tribulation believers will be receptive to another interpretation of the rapture event that does include them, such as the mid-tribulation rapture.)
- Choice of Location:
The southeastern United States of America has been known as the "Bible Belt" for a very long time due to the number of Christians and the number of Christian Churches in the region. This could be a blessing or a curse. If the Christians will stand together to defend one another then maybe they will be able to survive. But if they do not resist the people who want to kill them then the "Bible Belt" could quickly become a huge graveyard.
Another possibility is that God may supernaturally protect some of His children in specific areas. For example, God supernaturally protected the Israelites during the 10 plagues that devastated the Egyptian people. Another example of God's supernatural protection is in Ezekiel 9:1-6. However, the Holy Bible does clearly say that many Christians will die during the tribulation. But the Holy Bible also says that many Christians will be taken up into heaven during the rapture. I do not know how so many Christians will be able to survive. I suspect some of them will be supernaturally protected by God, and I suspect some of them will use daily prayer and good common sense to survive the tribulation.
Please remember that the Bible says that if we are persecuted in one place then we should flee to another place. (Matthew 10:23 - When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another.)
- Law Enforcement:
The existing law enforcement agencies within a nation will either cease to exist due to the war, or they will gradually change and what emerges will not be in the best interests of the common people. The primary purpose of the new law enforcement agencies will be to ensure the survival of the law enforcement personnel and the survival of the government that gives them their authority. The new law enforcement agencies will not exist to protect the common citizen from harm, or to catch and prosecute criminals. They will exist to force the common people to obey laws that are not in the best interests of the common people and to punish anyone who does not obey those laws.
- Firearms and Ammunition (for personal self-defense and for protection from predatory wild beasts):
A community will not be able to defend itself against an organized attack from a well equipped and trained military force. However, each family and each community will need to be able to defend itself from criminals, and from small roving bands of evil people, and from small scouting parties composed of enemy soldiers, and from predatory wild animals. Therefore a family will need some type of firearm and a reasonable supply of ammunition for that firearm. The choice of the most appropriate firearm for your specific circumstances and for your specific geographical region will depend on a variety of factors that cannot be discussed in one paragraph. However, if you do not yet own any type of firearm then I recommend that you consider purchasing an AK-47 rifle and as many rounds of 7.62x39 ammunition as you can afford, assuming that you can find that ammunition available.
- Travel and Relocation:
If it is possible and practical, then you should remain where you are. Travel will be dangerous and you would need to leave most of your possessions behind.
However, if you must travel then you have three options:
- Automobile or Truck: If you have a motorized vehicle, then load it with the things you will need to survive. Take as much food as you can.
- Bicycle and a Bicycle Trailer: If you have a bicycle and a trailer then load the trailer and the bicycle strategically with the things you will really need, with a priority being given to food.
- Walking: If your area is unsafe or unfit for human survival, then you may need to walk out of the area. But you must know where you are going and you must have the ability to walk that distance.
- Equipment, Supplies, and Food:
The best long-term survival strategy would be to remain where you are. However, something bad could happen or it could be in the process of happening, and the only hope your family would have for long-term survival would be to quickly evacuate your current location.
The tribulation will not be like a normal hard times event. Road or bridges could be completely destroyed and the only way your family may be able to escape the danger area will be to walk out of the danger area on foot. (Note: The roads and bridges could be destroyed by enemy nations or by falling meteors.)
Destination: You must know where you are going and why. You do not need to be traveling deeper into a dangerous area. You should always be traveling further away from a dangerous area.
Comfortable Walking Shoes or Boots: A good pair of walking boots will help to minimize the number of blisters on your feet, and they will help you to travel further each day. Therefore you should invest in some good hiking boots for each member of your family before the tribulation begins.
Distance Traveled per Day: If all the members of your family are in good physical condition, and they are all at least 14 years old, and everyone is wearing some good hiking shoes or boots, then your family may be able to walk 15 to 20 miles per day. If you have bicycles, then you may be able to travel 20 to 30 miles per day. If your family is not in really good physical condition then you may only be able to cover 5 to 10 miles per day.
Equipment Belt: This is a belt that you wear around you waist in addition to the belt that holds your pants up. Do not attach things to the belt that holds your pants up or those items will pull your pants down and gradually wear blisters on your hips.
Canteen: Every member of your family should have a water bottle or a canteen that will hold at least 20 ounces of water and that water container should be attached to their equipment belt.
Multitool: A least one adult should have some type of folding multitool in its own carrying case attached to their equipment belt. If you don't already own a multitool then you may wish to consider the Leatherman Wave Multitool.
Knife: Every adult and teenager should have a fixed blade hunting knife on their equipment belt.
Handgun: Every adult should have a loaded handgun on their equipment belt.
Backpack: Every person in your family that can walk and that can carry a backpack should have a camping backpack that is preloaded with items that would help that person survive extremely difficult circumstances. An adult will need to carry the things that will be needed by a small child or a baby.
Maximum Weight of a Loaded Backpack: Do not exceed 30 pounds for an adult male, or 25 pounds for an adult female, or 20 pounds for a teenager, or 10 pounds for a child between six to ten years of age.
Folding Luggage Carrier: Each person should have their own folding heavy-duty luggage carrier that they can use to pull their backpack behind them when they are traveling along a good paved road. The luggage carrier should have very large diameter wheels. When you must travel off road then the luggage carrier can be tied to the outside of the backpack and the backpack carried on the person's back. A very small child can be pushed in a child stroller, or a child can sit on a luggage carrier (and be safely and comfortably strapped to the luggage carrier in the same manner as a child's car seat) and the child can be pulled along behind an adult while an adult carries a backpack strapped to his or her back. There should always be one person at the rear that can keep watch on the child as you walk.
Items that should be carried in an Adult Backpack (or divided between two or more adult backpacks):
Water Filter: Your family should have at least one Katadyn Pocket Water Filter. This filter is small, portable, entirely self-contained, and it is hand-pumped. If you can find a source of water that is not bitter and poisonous, then you could pour some of that water through a clean cloth to remove any large impurities and then process the water through your filter to generate clean drinking water. After each person has consumed all the water they desire, then each person's water bottle should be refilled before you continue your journey.
Cookware: Each family should have a basic simple set of high quality stainless steel cookware that contains pots that can be nested inside one another for travel. Also include a dishcloth, a dishtowel, a pot scrubber, and two hot pads for picking up hot pots.
Fire Starter: At least one person should be carrying a magnesium fire starter. This item is small and it may never be needed. But if you need to start a fire in a situation where normal fire starting methods will not work, then you will have this item available.
First Aid Kit, Lots of Spare Bandages, Medicine, and First Aid Instructions: There are three factors to consider when selecting a first aid book: its content, its size, and its weight. Some first aid kits come with a small first aid pamphlet that may be sufficient for most of the common first aid situations that you will probably encounter.
Small Sewing Repair Kit: These small plastic kits contain some needles, thread, buttons, safety pins, and usually a plastic thimble. The cheap scissors in these kits should be replaced with some folding stainless steel scissors. Or you can simply use your barber scissors, or the scissors on your multitool, if you have a multitool that has scissors.
Personal Hygiene Items: Barber scissors, fingernail clippers with attached nail file, toenail clippers with attached nail file, tweezers, folding compact small round mirror.
Tarps: You will need tarps to collect rainwater if it should rain. You will also need a high-quality 10 mil thick tarp to put on the ground for your family to sleep on at night and another bigger 10 mil thick tarp to put above your family in an upside down "V" shape for shelter from the weather while you are sleeping.
Twine (at least 200 feet): You will need some heavy-duty nylon or polypropylene twine to build a shelter each evening using your tarps.
Wire (at least 75 feet): This is a very lightweight item. If you have some 20 to 22 gauge wire then at the end of each day you could set some spring-loaded animal snares attached to some bent tree limbs and you may find your breakfast waiting for you when you get up in the morning (if there are any small wild game animals still alive in your area).
Gill Net: If you do not own a gill net then I recommend a 25 feet long by 6 feet high monofilament gill net with a 2 inch mesh. It weighs very little and it can be folded so that it will fit in a normal zipper sandwich bag. A gill net would allow you to quickly catch any fish in a small stream by pulling the net across the stream from one bank to the other bank with the bottom of the net close to the bottom of the stream. Or you could use a gill net in the normal way if you stop beside a river or lake to camp at the end of the day. The gill net will catch fish while your family is asleep at night and you may be able to dine on fresh fish for breakfast (if there are still any fish in the river or lake).
Hatchet, Saw, and Military Style Folding Shovel: In my opinion, an "Estwing" stainless steel hatchet with a wrapped leather handle and a leather belt sheath is a very good investment. After you use the hatchet, wipe the sweat or moisture off the steel surface and off the leather wrapped handle. A family should also have a good quality folding saw and a folding military style shovel.
LED Flashlight and Rechargeable Batteries and a Solar Battery Charger: A solar battery charger will charge AAA, AA, C, and D batteries. If possible, select a LED flashlight that operates on 2 or 3 batteries, such as AAA or AA batteries. One AAA battery or one AA battery does not produce enough power to create a strong beam of light.
Battery Operated Shortwave World Band Radio and 50 feet of 16 Gauge Copper Wire (twisted wire is preferred because it is more flexible but solid wire will work just fine): This will allow you to listen to uncensored information from a variety of different sources. However, everything you hear may not be the truth so you will need to use good common sense to interpret what you hear.
Original Copies of Birth Certificates, Immunization Shot Records, Passports, School Records, Deeds, Marriage Licenses, Drivers Licenses, etc.: These original documents should be placed in a heavy-duty zipper freezer bag to keep them safe. An adult should carry the originals. In addition, a photocopy of these important documents should be put inside a zipper freezer bag inside each person's backpack as a backup. A photocopy is not a legal document but it may help you to replace the originals if the originals are lost.
Maps: You should have a map of your entire country, and a more detailed map of the area or areas you will be traveling through.
Rifle and Ammunition: You will need at least one rifle for protection, and maybe for hunting wild game. Ammunition is very heavy so you will need to carefully consider how much ammunition you can carry along with all the other supplies in your backpack.
Holy Bible: You will be living through the tribulation period as described in the book of Revelation. You will probably become very interested in everything the Holy Bible says, in addition to the information in the book of Revelation.
Items that should be carried in each person's personal backpack:
Breathing Mask or Bandana: A face mask would allow a person to breathe without inhaling any small particles that might be in the air. These masks are only good for a short period of time because they will gradually become clogged with small particles and air will not be able to penetrate through the mask. Another option would be to tie an ordinary cotton bandana around the lower part of each person's face to cover their nose and mouth. At the end of each day you could wash the bandana and allow it to dry during the night. Each person in your family will need at least three bandannas. I suggest a dark color or a camouflage color for the bandana.
Water Cup: Each person should have his or her own drinking cup that can also serve as a soup bowl.
Plate, fork, spoon, and knife: Each person should have their own eating utensils.
Food: Food is extremely heavy. For a short period of time a person can survive on lifeboat emergency food ration bars. I personally prefer the "Mainstay" brand.
Extra Clothing: Each person's backpack should contain at least two changes of their underwear and at least four changes of socks. Also a long sleeve lightweight shirt. Also a ski mask, a mosquito head net, and one pair of soft warm cotton gloves. Adult and teenage backpacks should contain one pair of leather work gloves.
Lightweight Warm Wool Blanket and a Small Pillowcase (travel size pillowcase): Just before bedtime fill your empty pillowcase with your clean clothing and use it as a pillow for your head during the night.
Personal Hygiene Items: Toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, hair brush if needed, hand towel, washcloth, and some toilet tissue.
Soap: Each backpack should contain a bar of soap inside a plastic soap container with a lid, and the soap container should be inside a heavy-duty freezer zipper plastic bag to keep the soap dry and to prevent the smell of the soap from saturating the other items in the backpack, such as your clothes and pillowcase.
Compass: Each backpack should contain a good compass. If possible that compass should also contain an emergency whistle and a weather thermometer.
Matches and a Butane Lighter: Each backpack should contain a butane lighter and at least 200 paper matches inside a waterproof container or inside a heavy-duty freezer zipper plastic bag.
Note: Some of the above items are small and they do not weigh very much and they should be in every person's backpack. If a backpack is lost, or if some of your backpacks must be abandoned in order to run away, then you will still have at least one of your more important survival items if you are able to take at least one backpack with you.
How to Survive the Second Half of the Tribulation
If there is a mid-tribulation rapture then you will be with Jesus in Heaven during the second half of the tribulation.
If there is a post-tribulation rapture, and if you survive the first half of the tribulation, then you will also need to survive the second half of the tribulation.
A brief summary of the events that will happen during the seven bowl or plague judgments are as follows:
The Two Witnesses: They will witness for God for 42 months and they will be able to strike the world with plagues as often as they wish.
- Bowl One: Ugly painful sores break out on everyone who has the mark of the beast.
- Bowl Two: The entire sea turns into blood and every living creature in the sea dies.
- Bowl Three: The rivers and springs of water turn into blood.
- Bowl Four: The sun scorches people with fire.
- Bowl Five: The kingdom of the beast is plunged into darkness.
- Bowl Six: The river Euphrates dries up to allow an invasion by the kings from the east.
- Bowl Seven: Flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, and a great earthquake. Every island and mountain is destroyed. 100 pound hailstones fall on men.
A One World Religion: The false prophet will force everyone to worship the image of the beast. No other religion will be permitted or tolerated.
The Mark of the Beast: The false prophet will force everyone to receive the mark of the beast on their right hand or on their forehead. Nobody will be able to buy or sell anything without the mark of the beast on their hand or forehead. The government will severely persecute or execute anyone who will not receive the mark of the beast. Everyone who does receive the mark of the beast will gradually develop painful ugly sores all over their bodies and everyone who has the mark will be cast into hell when they die.
Now that we know what to expect during the second half of the tribulation we can examine some specific survival strategies that may help your family live through these nightmare events.
The post-tribulation rapture theory suggests that the rapture will occur after the seventh bowl judgment when Jesus returns to the earth at the battle of Armageddon, and that the rapture and the battle of Armageddon happen at approximately the same time and that Jesus will only return once and not twice. In other words, Jesus will not return the first time in the clouds to rapture His children into heaven, and then return a second time at the battle of Armageddon. The post-tribulation rapture theory states that Jesus will only return once and that He will rapture His children and then He will immediately defeat the armies of the beast at the battle of Armageddon. If you believe the post-tribulation rapture theory then your family will need to survive until after the seventh bowl judgment is poured out above the earth.
- Bowl One: Ugly painful sores break out on everyone who has the mark of the beast.
If you do not receive the mark of the beast then you cannot buy and sell. However, you will probably still be required to pay your rent, mortgage, and taxes. If you are unable to pay then you will be evicted and your family will become homeless refugees.
If you receive the mark of the beast then you can buy and sell. But ugly painful sores will soon break out all over your body. And you will probably hate everyone who is not experiencing the pain that you are suffering. And when you die you will be cast into hell.
The only way to avoid the sores is to not receive the mark of the beast on your right hand or forehead.
Everyone everywhere will be warned by angels to not take the mark and everyone will receive advance warning that all who receive the mark will be cast into hell when they die.
This will be a very difficult time for your family because you will become homeless refugees almost immediately if you are renting or if you have a mortgage, or you will become homeless refugees when they increase your property taxes astronomically and you cannot afford to pay those taxes.
It is also possible that the new world government will execute everyone who does not willingly receive the mark of the beast.
I do not know of any strategy that would be useful to a family at this time, other than to disappear into some area where your family will not be found for the duration of the tribulation period.
- Bowl Two: The entire sea turns to blood and every living creature in the sea dies.
There is no way to avoid this disaster.
The sea will no longer be navigable by ordinary ships and boats.
All marine life in the sea will die. This will make the famine much worse.
- Bowl Three: The rivers and springs of water turn into blood.
There is no way to avoid this disaster.
The large rivers all over the world will no longer be navigable by ordinary ships and boats.
All marine life in the rivers and springs will die. This will make the famine much worse.
The price of drinking water will probably be higher than the price of food.
Drinking Water and Food:
The two witnesses of God will shut up the sky so that it does not rain.
All the fresh water worldwide will be turned to blood or to something thick and red like blood.
If a family does not have enough fresh water and food stored to last their family until the end of the tribulation then the family will die.
If a family has been evicted from their apartment or home, then they may only have what they could take with them and this will probably not be enough water and food to last until the end of the tribulation.
- Bowl Four: The sun scorches people with fire.
Travel outdoors will become impossible.
Life indoors will become a hot, sweaty nightmare.
A family's best chance of avoiding the consequences of this judgment would be an underground shelter or a cabin cave. But this type of shelter would be of limited value if a family does not have food and water in that shelter.
- Bowl Five: The kingdom of the beast is plunged into darkness.
Any area that is ruled by the beast will be dark 24 hours per day.
Solar power will be completely useless.
Water turbines will be completely useless.
Wind turbines might work but there is a chance that the winds will be stilled and no wind will blow.
If you are trapped inside the area ruled by the beast then you will spend your time in darkness if you do not have a huge inventory of candles and matches or butane lighters.
- Bowl Six: The river Euphrates dries up to allow an invasion by the kings from the east.
The invasion will be on land. There is a good chance there will be no fuel for motorized military equipment. There is a good chance that the roads will be in terrible condition and that most or all the bridges will have been destroyed. Therefore the soldiers will advance on foot or on horseback.
Anyone in their way will probably be killed.
A family could avoid the direct impact of this judgment by living somewhere far away from the Euphrates river and the land of Israel.
- Bowl Seven: Flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, and a great earthquake. Every island and mountain is destroyed. 100 pound hailstones fall on men.
These are a series of worldwide catastrophes and they will kill or devastate most of the people who had survived until this time.
I do not know of any way a family will be able to protect itself from these judgments other than by diligent sincere prayer that God will protect them.
After the seventh bowl judgment the battle of Armageddon will occur but it will be over very quickly because Jesus will defeat the entire army with the sword that comes out of His mouth.
Revelation 16:16 - Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.
This concludes my comments on how to survive the second half of the tribulation.
Revelation 19:11-21 - I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. "He will rule them with an iron scepter." He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, "Come, gather together for the great supper of God, so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and mighty men, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, small and great." Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against the rider on the horse and his army. But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. The rest of them were killed with the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.
However, if the rapture does occur shortly after the middle of the tribulation period, then all Christians will be spared the horrors of the second half of the tribulation, even if some of those Christians firmly believe in the post-tribulation rapture.
Most normal hard time survival strategies will not be effective during the tribulation. The tribulation will consist of a continuous series of nightmare catastrophes that have never happened before on a global scale and they will require a unique set of survival strategies if a family wishes to survive those events.
If the tribulation begins and you are not where you want to be, then you should make every effort to immediately get to where you want to be. You may not have very much time to optimize your family's chance of surviving the tribulation.
If you need to relocate to a safer area then you should do so as soon as you suspect that the tribulation has begun. If you cannot take everything with you on your first trip to your planned destination, then you should take the things that will be absolutely critical to your family's survival in the event that you are only able to make just one trip before the tribulation makes future travel life-threatening. Your emergency food supplies should be among the items that you move immediately.
In summary, some of the most important decisions that a family will need to make during the tribulation will be as follows:
- Overcoming Denial:
It may be extremely difficult for some Christians to believe that the tribulation has actually begun. The reason is simple. The tribulation begins with a war. And there has been some type of war going on somewhere on the planet earth for at least a thousand years. Some of these wars were very small local wars, some were moderate size wars, and some were world wars. The war at the beginning of the tribulation could be a war of any size but it will soon escalate into a war that impacts almost every nation on the earth in one way or another. If the nation of Israel is drawn into this war then this should be a very strong clue that the tribulation may have begun. However, if a Christian firmly believes in the pre-tribulation rapture theory, then that Christian may not be able to accept the fact that the tribulation has actually begun because the rapture hasn't happened yet. Therefore many good, sincere Christians may be in a state of denial until it is too late for them to take any significant action that may have allowed their family to survive until the rapture. Unfortunately most of these Christians will probably be the ones who perish during the first half of the tribulation. On the other hand, those Christians who do not believe in the pre-tribulation rapture theory will have a much better chance of putting the war into a proper perspective and realizing that the tribulation may have begun and that they now have a very limited amount of time to take decisive action to give their family the best possible chance of surviving until the rapture. By the time the third seal is opened and the worldwide famine begins taking its horrible death toll, then it will be very difficult for any family to survive unless they had the wisdom to store enough food to feed their family for several years prior to the beginning of the tribulation.
The families that will have the best chance of surviving the tribulation will be the families that are located in areas where:
- There is true religious freedom and a person may freely believe, or not believe, any religious book they wish without being persecuted or executed for their beliefs.
- There is a significant Christian population who believe and reverence the Holy Bible, and not some other inspired religious book instead of or in addition to the Holy Bible.
- There is currently a reasonable supply of fresh water, and the area has reasonable annual rainfall, and the area does not have a history of long-term droughts.
- The firearm laws are reasonable and any law-abiding citizen can purchase and own firearms, firearm related items, and ammunition.
- The government is not corrupt.
At the beginning of the tribulation most families will be renting or paying a mortgage. But most families will probably lose their primary source of income, or their income will be seriously reduced. Therefore it will not be too long before most families will be evicted for not paying their rent or their mortgage. Before this happens a family should have made some definite plans on where they will go and how they will survive. If you have an extended family network, then it may be possible for several families that are related by blood or by marriage to share one home and all the people who live in that home should agree to help make the rent or mortgage payments. If this option is not possible then you will need to consider your other options. I suggest that you avoid a government shelter and that you avoid any type of tent city or refugee camp. Charity in most areas will be reduced to zero so you should not be planning on receiving assistance from any charitable or religious organization. If you have no previous experience living outdoors then your family probably will not be able to survive in a hostile wilderness environment. If you do have some previous experience living outdoors then it may be possible for your family to survive deep inside a wilderness area if you are able to take the appropriate items with you into the wilderness, and if your family is prepared for an extremely challenging daily existence.
Most families will need to replenish their water supply using rainwater. This may be possible if you have some tarps, some nylon or polypropylene twine, some water storage containers, and at least one good gravity water filter and at least one good Katadyn Pocket Water Filter. If you are forced to relocate then every member of your family should have their own canteen or water container that can be attached to their own equipment waist belt.
After the tribulation begins, food will become the highest priority of most families (after water). If you do not have enough long-term storage food set aside to feed every member of your family for four years, then your family may not survive the tribulation. Food is heavy and it takes up a lot of space and it is not easy to move between locations. Moving food between locations will become even more challenging if there is no gasoline, or if the roads and bridges have been destroyed by enemy nations or by falling meteors.
- Firearms and Ammunition:
Every family will need to be able to protect itself from ruthless evil people and from dangerous predatory wild beasts. If you are forced to evacuate your current home and you must go somewhere else then you will need to take at least one good rifle, such as an AK-47, and a reasonable supply of ammunition for that firearm.
- Power and Entertainment:
No family should be depending on their current utility networks. Every family should have at least two or more solar battery chargers, an adequate supply of rechargeable batteries, and at least two battery powered LED flashlights or lanterns. If your family now enjoys some entertainment devices that will operate on rechargeable batteries, then you may be able to enjoy those devices on a limited basis during the tribulation.
Every family should have a shortwave world band battery operated radio. The radio will not allow you to communicate with other people. But it may allow you to stay informed about what is happening in your area and in different parts of the world. This type of information could be extremely useful in helping your family make well-informed survival decisions.
After the tribulation begins, and the events described in the book of Revelation begin to unfold exactly the way that Jesus Christ said they would, then most intelligent people will realize that their family has an extremely small chance of surviving unless God helps them. Therefore most people will begin praying often and sincerely. However, those people who have been praying often and sincerely before the tribulation begins will probably be in a much better situation than those people who waited for the tribulation to provide the motivation for them to spend more time in prayer.
At the current time there are people all over the world who are just barely surviving on a day-to-day basis and there is very little they can do to prepare for the tribulation except to pray.
If you are one of these people then please be assured that God hears your prayers and God loves you and your family. I suggest that you pray that God's Holy Perfect Will be done in your life, and in the lives of your loved ones. And then be prepared for whatever God allows to happen in your life. God has the power to protect your entire family from harm. But God may want you to be with Him in heaven so you can watch the horrible events of the tribulation unfold from a better place than the one you are now in.
Philippians 4:12-13 - I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
In closing, please let me remind you of the following:
Hebrews 13:5-6 - Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?"
Philippians 1:20-21 - I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
- Christians win in the end.
- Our victory is guaranteed by God Almighty.
- The devil, the beast, and the false prophet will be defeated.
- We will spend eternity in the New Heaven and the New Earth with our Loving Father and with our Beloved Brother Jesus Christ.
Brief Footnote on the Rapture and the Two Resurrections
The rapture will include the dead in Christ and all the Christians who are alive at the time of the rapture.
First Thessalonians 4:13-18 - Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.
The Holy Bible also says that new Christian converts who refuse to receive the mark of the beast, and who are beheaded for their faith, will reign with Jesus for 1,000 years.
Revelation 20:4-6 - I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.
If there is a mid-tribulation rapture and all Christians are raptured shortly after the midpoint of the tribulation, then it will still be possible for individuals to become Christians during the second half of the tribulation because the two witnesses of God will be witnessing, and the 144,000 who are sealed will also be witnessing. Therefore people will still have a chance to hear the Gospel message and accept Jesus as Savior and reject the mark of the beast. Unfortunately they will be beheaded for confessing their faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior. They will have missed the rapture, but they will be resurrected during the first resurrection to reign with Jesus Christ for 1,000 years.
The mid-tribulation rapture theory is based on the rapture occurring shortly after the middle of the tribulation, and the first resurrection occurring at the end of the tribulation. Therefore the mid-tribulation rapture theory is in agreement with the Holy Bible without the need for any additional explanation about these two events.
If there is a post-tribulation rapture, then all Christians will be raptured at the same time at the end of the tribulation period, including the living and the dead. If every Christian is raptured just before the Battle of Armageddon, and the beast and the false prophet are cast into the lake of burning sulfur, then it would no longer be possible for the beast to behead someone for their Christian faith. Therefore there would be no one available to be part of the first resurrection a short time later. Therefore the post-tribulation rapture theory will need to explain who will be included in the first resurrection because it is not immediately obvious to someone who reads the Holy Bible and simply accepts what they read as being the truth.
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