One does not have to be a conspiracy theorist or prophecy junky to see that America and the world are changing. Things are becoming more secular. Living a life in Biblical faith is becoming less politically correct. It’s time to prepare.
Many people feel this and the solution often manifests itself in a desire to prepare physically. The rise of “preppers” has been mocked on television shows with labels thrown out towards anyone who stockpiles food, water, and ammunition in their garages. Many of these people look to changes in the government and in public sentiment. They feel the need to defend their lives and the lives of their family by preparing for hardships to come. I won’t go into the needs or challenges with this mentality other than to point out one thing: whether you want to prepare physically or not, you absolutely must be prepared spiritually.
Much of the world is already experiencing hardship over faith. That’s why this article singled out Americans specifically, though anyone living in a country where persecution for faith is light will face the same types of challenges. Whether it’s the government “coming for our guns,” natural disasters, economic collapse, revoking of rights, or any other worldly challenges that come, there’s only one requirement. We must stay faithful. We must be willing to maintain our belief and worship of Yeshua as Lord and Savior no matter what the world throws at us.
A common feeling that many worldly preppers have is that they have their faith covered and now they need to prepare physically. They are getting their survival gear, storing water, buying gold, building bunkers, and any of a plethora of prepper activities. They are training their children how to fire a weapon. They have maps in place of where they’ll go if they’re separated, how to hunt for food, where to find ammunition… the list of physical preparations that some are going through is huge.
Many see the changes and realize that times are getting weird, but they’re only preparing a little bit. An average American household has enough food for two weeks and very little water other than what’s in the tap. Maybe they have a “bug out bag” or some food stores, but not enough to live without assistance for very long.
Most are intentionally avoiding the issue. If disaster strikes, they’ll rely on the government to fix things.
Regardless of which category you fall into, it’s imperative that you prepare yourself and your family from a spiritual perspective. That doesn’t mean going to church every Sunday. That means learning the Word of God and understanding what can happen in the not-too-distant future. The Christians who are being murdered around the world have a choice. They could denounce their faith in Yeshua the Messiah and claim allegiance to Allah. If they do, their lives will be spared, but they don’t. They are martyrs.
Are you prepared spiritually to be a martyr? If a knife is to your neck, are you certain that you would accept death? If a knife is to the neck of someone in your family, are they prepared? Would they let you die? Would you let them die?
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. – Matthew 16:25 (KJV)
Nobody wants to think about it let alone talk about it with their family, but it’s the most important conversation you could have. This is why we are so against the teachings of people like Joel Osteen and others who promote the idea of living the best life today. This life is not the best life. The one to come is forever and glorious. Don’t sacrifice that life in order to save this one. Persevering to the end, regardless of what hardships or persecution you face, will be the ultimate test of your faith. Whether you’re a worldly prepper or not, you must be a spiritual prepper. You must know how to respond if things go crazy in our lifetime.
Have the conversation and make a plan with your family.
The Commitment to Persevere
Sometimes, it comes down to a simple promise. These thoughts are challenging to have and even harder to discuss, but if you don’t have them, you might be caught unprepared if hardships come suddenly.
Make the commitment yourself and then have the uncomfortable conversation with the family. Tell them that no matter what happens, regardless of any situation that could arise, that you’ll always stay faithful all the way to the end. All the way to death if necessary.
There is nothing that can be done to you in this world that can prevent you from keeping your faith if you keep the full Armor of God on you at all times.
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil – Ephesians 6:11 (KJV)
Know the scriptures and understand that tribulation is ahead. It doesn’t matter whether or not you believe we are in the end times. It doesn’t even matter if you believe as most do in the pre-tribulation rapture. There are people even in America who have been faced with the same choice of faith versus denouncing faith that those in the Middle East and around the world have faced. With the radical Islamic terrorism growing around the world, it’s possible for anyone to be faced with a choice over persecution.
This isn’t intended to scare people. We truly have nothing to fear as long as we understand in our hearts that our commitment to persevere is strong. No matter what circumstance falls upon you, make certain you will never denounce your faith.
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Why we aren’t ‘preppers’ who store food, gold, guns, or ammunition
It is very compelling for many people, particularly in America, to see the collapsing freedoms and growing persecutions across the world and want to do something to protect ourselves. This makes many choose to store certain items for times that are coming (or potentially upon us already) when chaos rules. My family disagrees with this viewpoint.
Before the attacks start coming in, there are two important things to consider. First, we have a good amount of food and survival gear as well as plenty of protection within our house. It’s not a coincidence that my children’s favorite pastime is weekends at the shooting range. Second, we have nothing against those who choose to live the “prepper” lifestyle. It’s a natural reaction from certain points of view.
There was a time not too long ago when we were what some would call “amateur preppers”. We bought long-term food stores. We maintained an independent water supply. We have family members who have enough guns and ammunition to hole up in solitude indefinitely without fear.
The reason we shifted our views away from deep preparations can be broken down into three categories.
1. Tribulation is an opportunity
This isn’t a call for people to go looking for trouble. We aren’t suggesting that everyone needs to go give away Bibles in China or preach the Word in Iran in hopes of getting arrested and persecuted. Some are clearly called to do such things, not for the sake of the persecution they’ll receive but to make disciples of the nations. Bold actions like these aren’t for everyone.
What we are saying is that the Bible makes it very clear that those who overcome their fears and face the tribulations, trials, and persecutions that are becoming increasingly robust around the world are blessed for their diligence and faith.
Matthew 5:10 (KJV)
10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Romans 5:3-5 (KJV)
3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
James 1:2-3 (KJV)
2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
Our first goal is to accept the gift of salvation. Our second goal is to spread the Gospel to those we can touch. Once those two things are ongoing, we should continue to keep our security and health, but not at the detriment of either of the first two goals. In fact, Yeshua spoke of the importance of keeping the faith now for the grace to come instead of trying to focus on saving our bodies in this life.
Luke 9:23-25 (KJV)
23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.
25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?
Total faith means knowing that whatever God has in store for you, whether it’s what we consider to be positive or negative, we must see beyond the effects on this life and believe that how we handle everything can be a merit at the time of judgment.
2. The Principalities and Powers are watching
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
A look at the news on any given day will reveal two disturbing trends: the various governments and other entities of the world are tightening around us while the people are becoming more confused and looking towards sinful solutions.
The concept of having guns pried from our cold, dead hands is seeming to be more and more likely of a scenario.
Between technological advancements, emboldened governments, and desperate leads in and out of governments, it’s very unlikely that anyone can be truly safe. The only choices may end up being to die defending the farm or to face persecution. It’s definitely possible to do both, to be a prepper while still maintaining the right connection to faith, but it’s part of human nature to rely on our own works when we focus on solutions like those.
As I’ve discussed before, Christians shouldn’t prepare at an extreme level for an economic collapse. Again, we’re not suggesting that people should abandon their gold or silver. It simply can’t be a priority as it takes away from the proper focus of this life – unending love and faith in Yeshua as our Lord and Savior.
At no point would we ever recommend sitting back and watching our liberties fade into history. There are times to fight. There are times to hide. There are times to adjust. Of course, the one universal is that there is time for prayer, repentance, and service to our Lord.
3. Faith through the Armor of God is sufficient
As I’ve made abundantly clear on my other site, I do not believe in the doctrine of the pre-tribulation rapture. Those who are alive when the end times come will face tribulation whether they have guns or not.
There is a false security that is created when the works of our hands are used to solve problems as big as the tribulation from the Bible. That’s not to say that we shouldn’t act, but the real action comes from preparing our souls and putting on the whole Armor of God.
Those who prepare for catastrophe are distracted. We all are to some degree with everything that is in front of us in this world. One of our goals should be to remove or properly handle these distractions.
Being a prepper doesn’t make anyone any less of a Christian. It just makes being a good Christian harder. Of course, that could be said about pretty much everything in this world that’s not centered squarely on the Bible’s teachings.
Is technology making it feel like time is speeding up?
Some of the things they put out at Truthstream Media are extremely compelling. Then there are times when their videos are a bit blah. This is one of those times, but don’t be discouraged. There’s actually some pretty interesting information to glean from all of this.
Time does seem to be getting faster, or at least passing faster. Most attribute it to age. Some have speculated about the changing speed of light which scientists have demonstrated is getting slower. Since time, space, and light are all relative to each other, a slowing speed of light would actually make us feel like time is getting faster. But the notion that Truthstream Media latched onto is both the real likely cause as well as an interesting bit of information in and of itself.
Our attention spans are dropping thanks the prevalence of information and media in our lives. When once it could take hours just to download a television show, today we can stream movies without interruption on our smartphones. We’re able to bounce around from website to website, app to app, all in our search for the next stimulation, the next dopamine hit.
Since we’re able to get information more quickly, is that the reason our attention spans are growing shorter? Is that also the reason time seems to be moving faster? Know knows. It’s a decent video, albeit not their best.
Endless Mayfly: Iran’s disinformation wing that attacked America, Israel, and Saudi Arabia online
There are times when Iran seems to be one of the most sophisticated nations in the world when it comes to covert operations. They don’t have the level of techniques employed by espionage experts in the United States, Russia, or Israel, nor do they have the technical prowess of China or North Korea, but they have a level of deceptiveness that makes them formidable nonetheless.
But when it comes to disinformation campaigns, they’re ineptitude is almost comical, as Citizen Lab revealed early this morning. The media and technology watchdog and research group has built a reputation for uncovering some of the most complex disinformation schemes conducted across the internet. Their comprehensive uncovering of Endless Mayfly is another huge feather in their bountiful cap.
Here are the key findings from their report:
- Endless Mayfly is an Iran-aligned network of inauthentic personas and social media accounts that spreads falsehoods and amplifies narratives critical of Saudi Arabia, the United States, and Israel.
- Endless Mayfly publishes divisive content on websites that impersonate legitimate media outlets. Inauthentic personas are then used to amplify the content into social media conversations. In some cases, these personas also privately and publicly engage journalists, political dissidents, and activists.
- Once Endless Mayfly content achieves social media traction, it is deleted and the links are redirected to the domain being impersonated. This technique creates an appearance of legitimacy, while obscuring the origin of the false narrative. We call this technique “ephemeral disinformation”.
- Our investigation identifies cases where Endless Mayfly content led to incorrect media reporting and caused confusion among journalists, and accusations of intentional wrongdoing. Even in cases where stories were later debunked, confusion remained about the intentions and origins behind the stories.
- Despite extensive exposure of Endless Mayfly’s activity by established news outlets and research organizations, the network is still active, albeit with some shifts in tactics.
It was initially believed the organization was a Russian proxy, but their techniques and subjects eventually pointed to a likelihood of Iran being involved. While Citizen Lab rightly proclaims a likelihood instead of certainty of Iranian involvement, the data seems to be so clearly linked to Iran that there are only two reasonable explanations: either it is someone trying awfully hard to appear to be linked to Iran, or it’s Iran.
I’m going with the latter.
Their favored technique seems to be establishing fake websites with names close enough to legitimate websites that they’re able to fool prolific social media users and eager journalists dying for a juicy story. Buzzfeed News fell victim to one such instance on a website that looked identical to The Guardian, but that used a URL with a Turkish symbol replacing the “i” in “Guardian.”
They weren’t the only ones fooled. This operation seems to be quite vast.
But there were other obvious signs of falsehood that should have been noticed by the “useful idiots” propagating their disinformation. One article linked to from the report shows plenty of errors that a trained journalist should have noticed, and in this case, he did.
On November 5, 2018, Ali Al-Ahmed, a Washington-based expert in terrorism in the Gulf states and a vocal critic of Saudi Arabia, received a direct message on Twitter from “Mona A. Rahman” (@Mona_ARahman, now suspended).
After engaging in some polite conversation in Arabic with Al-Ahmed, “Mona” shared what appeared to be an article from the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center. The article contained a purported quote from former Mossad director Tamir Pardo, alleging that former Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman had been dismissed by Netanyahu for being a Russian agent. These allegations, if true, might reasonably be expected to strain relations between Russia and Israel.
The story sent to Al-Ahmed is so loaded with spelling and grammatical mistakes, it’s a wonder anyone could get fooled if this is indicative of the quality of Iran’s disinformation work.
If we assume Iran is, indeed, behind all of this, what does that tell us? We know tensions have been rising between Iran and both the U.S. and Israel. We can assume if they’ve been working at this since at least early 2016, they’ve had an agenda that extended to long before President Trump was elected. They probably found it unlikely he would be. So their goals weren’t to influence the U.S. elections as much as they were intended to shift sentiment from the rest of the world towards the United States, Israel, and Saudi Arabia.
The full report is a wonderful read. As research on such topics, this one is exhaustive and enlightening.
But it still doesn’t answer the question of what this all means for the geopolitical positioning of Iran. They clearly want something, but that something has very likely changed since inception. Their economy was starting to flourish when President Obama was in office. Under President Trump, their economy has begun a rapid fall, prompting alleged actions ranging from sabotaging oil tankers to preparing to strike U.S. targets. They are desperate, and having access to a disinformation organization may help them seed discontent with the United States as our military stance in the Persian Gulf becomes more aggressive.
Iran has been acting like a wild animal cornered by superior forces ever since President Trump started pulling back the layers of protection given to them by President Obama. What will they do next? Their desperation is showing.
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