Discernment and the Christian Prepper

By Dare Tuitt

Photo by: Nate Shivar

Things are getting really crazy out there.

The Left’s centerpiece belief of moral relativism has produced a new reality which is now to the point of utter absurdity. What used to be “good” is now called “bad.” Ordinary evil is treated as a morally neutral choice and the truly evil is being force fed to the American public as “do this/think this way – OR ELSE!” The entire culture is on the slippery slope to perdition and so many seem preoccupied (dare I say hell bent?) and working overtime to grease the skids on the way down.

As Preppers we know things are bad, so we do what we can to prepare for the inevitable crisis. As Christians, we prepare for a larger reason. We prepare because we know what time it is.

It is The End Time.

How do we know it is The End Time? And what does this have to do with Discernment?

Theologian John MacArthur said this about Biblical Discernment:

In its simplest definition, discernment is nothing more than the ability
to decide between truth and error, right and wrong. Discernment is the
process of making careful distinctions in our thinking about truth. In other
words, the ability to think with discernment is synonymous with an ability
to think biblically. (emphasis mine).

One of the reasons why Christians through the centuries have been sure in the faith is because we trust the veracity of our Holy Book. The Bible is different from every other holy book because it is God speaking to us. I realize all believers from every religion make the same claim about their holy book(s) – yet the Holy Bible of the Christian faith is the only book to prove itself time and again as being from Almighty God. And the reason is significant: the God who speaks to us through the pages of the Bible distinguishes Himself from all other so called “gods” by telling us ahead of time what is going to happen. And it has been 100% accurate. Not 50% or 75% accurate – or even “close enough to win the Kewpie doll” accurate – but 100% accurate right down to tiny details!

God tells us that He proves He is the One True God by telling us the future, in Isaiah 46:9-10 NKJV (bold emphasis mine):

“Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like Me,

Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things
that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do
all My pleasure,’

He also tells us how to know for sure it is He who is the One telling us future things, by means of a
test, described in Deuteronomy 18: 21-22, NKJV (bold emphasis mine):

“And if you say in your heart, ‘How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?’

when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.”

In other words, if a prophet says something about the future which they claim comes from God, and it does not come to pass, then it did not come from God.

Most Bible scholars place the total number of prophetic scriptures – scriptures whereby God tells us what will happen in the future – at nearly one-third of all scripture contained in the Bible! That’s a lot of information given to us so that we will be prepared when it comes to pass.

The Bible, which is where God speaks to us, also tells us in Psalm 111:10:

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding
have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever.”

 

Photo by: George Bannister

So, one level of learning how to discern wisely is to read the Bible and note what God says about what will happen in the future. Realizing His words DO come to pass builds faith and trust in God.

Another level of discernment has to do with parallels. Jewish and Christian scholars through the ages have noted how God uses parallels to teach us many things, including the consequences of certain behaviors or actions.

You can see parallels in the books of the Bible about the history of the Jewish people especially in the books of Judges and Chronicles. In these prophecies, God shows us what will happen to you as an individual and as a nation if you turn from His teachings (laws) and follow evil practices (sin). The stories repeatedly show what’s known as the “cycle of nations.” The cycle begins in oppression, moving to belief and faith in God. This leads to courage and liberty, then abundance. Finally, abundance turns into complacency; then descending into the inevitable oppression once again.

Jesus first walked the Earth during a time of oppression of the Jewish people which was the result of ongoing disobedience of God, corruption in the spiritual leaders of the day, and was foretold by God’s prophets centuries earlier. Oppression by an occupying government is among a long list of consequences for disobedience (See the Book of Habakkuk, describing how God would use the Babylonians to chastise Israel for disobedience). God has a bigger plan and was using the occupation of Israel by Rome for a much larger purpose. Knowing this reason, Jesus taught His followers a new way to deal with oppressors: a kind of civil disobedience short of open rebellion. He taught them to turn the other cheek, and walk the extra mile when bullied by Romans. He knew if you can demonstrate a humble spirit, you set a better spiritual example and bullying becomes futile. By repenting of one’s sins and being obedient to God, praying for enemies and exhibiting a winsome spirit, everyday life in Jesus’ day would improve for Jews despite the occupation, resulting not only in turning away wrath but exhibiting behavior that attracted and made converts of the Romans. Indeed, the faith Jesus found in the Roman officer of the story in Matthew 8:5-13 and Luke 7:1-10 is a wonderful example of a Roman who repented of sin, converted, showed great faith and who ceased harming Jews. Jesus taught a response to oppression both practical and spiritual; and ultimately obedient to God’s sovereign Will.

Many who claim Jesus was a “rebel” like to point to the story when Jesus overturned the tables of the moneychangers at the Temple in Jerusalem. We have established earlier that God tells us what will happen ahead of time if we do not follow His rules. The spiritual leaders in Jesus’ time were the Pharisees, scribes and temple priests. They had inherited a system which had become degenerate and characterized by institutional corruption following a decline in obedience to God. So it should come as no surprise they were being oppressed and occupied as a consequence, as foretold by God through His prophets.

Please note Jesus did NOT teach rebellion against the Roman Occupiers. Instead, He taught followers not to be like the temple priests, scribes and Pharisees because they were hypocrites. He was trying to call the Jews to repentance and obedience to God, because He knew it was really a spiritual battle. That is why Jesus overturned the tables of the moneychangers at the Temple. He was calling attention to the fact that the “spiritual leaders” of their day were completely corrupted, were hypocrites, and were NOT behaving as God wants. He was making a point of this while calling the people to repentance and obedience to the Lord. He taught the people to avoid the dead end trap of obedience to the kind of law the Pharisees represented and enforced. He invited individuals to be born again with a new spirit from the living water. He avoided teaching rebellion against the occupiers and instead taught a new kind of civil disobedience against them, because teaching rebellion would have invited more oppression and would have taken the focus off of individual repentance of sins. It would have served no good purpose.

Can we find any parallels to this in our present day?

In America, ever since 1963 when we kicked prayer out of our public schools, we have been so morally corrupted, we now live in a time fast becoming an oppressive government occupation. Too many of our “spiritual leaders” in the Church are corrupt and hypocritical. They teach a watered-down gospel of self-help and social justice, instead of teaching repentance of sins, and belief in the shed blood of Jesus as the only way to salvation based on God’s grace. They teach this to line their own pockets with money and power. Such a false teaching is leading many to believe their own works can earn salvation.

An example of the level of our current corruption is how these modern “spiritual leaders” have vast ministries where they teach a works-based salvation of giving “seed offerings” of money to get wealth, as if one can manipulate God. Or they teach extortion in the name of God, as a tool of “social justice” which is just another name for theft and redistribution of the wealth that belong to others.

As money was the real God in the temple during Jesus’ day, money is the real god today in the apostate church. But again please note: the solution Jesus taught was not rebellion to the occupation Roman government, it was instead addressed to the spiritual leaders of His time, and is addressed to the Church in America today. It is a call to individual repentance of sins, and a rebirth of obedience to God through the belief in Jesus’ shed blood as sacrifice for the sins of all. Once again, the parallel – it’s a spiritual battle!

Do I mean that we Christian Preppers should not use Godly civil disobedience to show our displeasure with the corruption of our political system and government? Of course not! However, the time for that to be effective may have already passed. Where was the overwhelming hue and cry at the removal of prayer in schools in 1963? If we had truly been obedient to God, there would have been such an overwhelming response of the Church and the people towards the government, that to even hint of removing God, the Bible and prayer from schools would have become the third rail to a politician seeking election, and would still be today! Perhaps the public outcry was muted because the Church willingly allowed themselves to be kneecapped, because of the IRS code changes nearly a decade earlier.

In 1954, new restrictions on speech were put in place on churches and non-profit organizations, led by then-Senator Lyndon Johnson (a Democrat). Prior to 1954, churches and non-profits had no such restrictions on their freedom of speech or their right to speak out in favor or against political issues or candidates. The lure of not paying taxes – again, an issue about money – silenced the Church.

What then can we say of Discernment in our day? That, as individuals, we must stay firmly rooted in the Bible, the Word of God. We must spend more time with Him – or at least as much time with Him as we do contemplating our preps! Do you worship God, or do you worship your own actions through prepping?

We know we can trust the Bible as without error because God is without error, and that it teaches us all things, especially how to live in a way pleasing to God. It proves itself with every prophecy fulfilled.

We know we are living in The End Times because all of the conditions described in the prophetic descriptions of such times in the Bible are now met. And the strongest proof among these prophecies is the return of the Jews to their homeland of Israel in 1948. We are on the verge of Christ’s return with conditions parallel to His own Olivet Discourse (Mark 13, Matthew 24, Luke 21).

Using discernment and given the times we are now living in (The End Times), what would be pleasing to God insofar as our response to the oppressive occupying government?

Photo by: Jerry “Woody”

The Lord told us to “render to Caesar the things which are Caesar’s” (See Mark 12:17; Matthew 22:21 and Luke 20:25). Applying this rule to our current predicament, one could say “That is the problem! Our government is too big and not limited to what the Constitution says IS the role of government!” If our oppressive government is overstepping its enumerated powers, how can we as Christians address this? Can we just “vote the bums out?” Or should we embrace the call for a new Constitutional Convention and restrict the government to only doing that which we say it can? If such a convention actually convenes, do we run the risk of too much compromising with non-Believers (organized Evil)? In reality, hasn’t the country become too divided and too overrun with evil to make it impossible to live peaceably together any longer? Did not God call us to come out of the world and not be unequally yoked? Perhaps this is an argument for secession and starting over with a new country or for coming “out from among them” and expatriating to another land?

Some have suggested Christians organize mass civil disobedience by limiting the taxes they pay to the federal government. The suggestion that we take a look at what our Constitution originally called for government to manage, and then eliminate all other programs, which clearly are not mandated under the original governing documents. A figure can then be arrived at that will pay only for those things government is required to do – and we individually pledge to reduce what we pay in taxes for anything else. In other words, we pay only for what IS Caesar’s and nothing more. Can we do this? Given the current climate of fear and intimidation, could it even be done? Would this act be seen as sedition? Would the government move to incarcerate all Christians if we withheld the tax payment for those things that are illegitimate under our original Constitution? How about simply starting by withholding the agreed upon figure per taxpayer for any government mandate that requires we pay for abortions? For the teaching of equating homosexuality with heterosexual marriage? What other issues has the Church compromised with? Remember, we are to render unto Caesar that which is ONLY Caesar’s (and no more) and render to God that which is God’s.

Where are the church leaders with a truly discerning Word of what Godly civil disobedience is and what it would look like in our current predicament? What can individual Christians do in the face of evil masquerading as “good?” Can our country even BE saved – changed for the better without a massive and sincere repentance of the Church before God?

What is our role in these times as Christians Preppers? If you believe in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church, it has been suggested that the Lord is using preppers to “pre-position” stores of food, water, first aid, etc. for the remnant after the Rapture. There would be enough to buy time for those left behind who come to the Lord, to help sustain them and allow for the last harvest of souls before the most severe judgments of the Tribulation.

Some say we can forestall judgment through true repentance like Hezekiah or the Ninevites when Jonah reluctantly prophesied to them. Others say the writing is already on the wall, and we must now recognize the system must crumble before God Himself rebuilds it. Using Biblical discernment, what do you think the Lord wants us to do?

This article first appeared on Ed That Matters.

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I'm the owner/editor of Prepper Website, a DAILY preparedness aggregator that links to the best preparedness articles on the internet. I'm also a public school administrator and a pastor. My personal blog is Ed That Matters, where I write about preparedness and from time to time, education. Connect with me on one of my social media outlets below.

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6 thoughts on “Discernment and the Christian Prepper

  1. Goatlover

    I feel a calling to return to a more agrarian lifestyle. Part of that includes disconnecting from materialism and the money-monster. As such, my income is greatly reduced, and my quality of life has improved. Connecting with creation through farming has helped me sense God’s presence more and that has brought more joy and peace into my life. My heifer makes me laugh for joy when she moos at me in the morning or runs with me through the pasture. Working the soil in my garden bathes me in peace, and I am awestruck by the miracle of life when delivering goats in my barn…..living a less money-driven life is what I feel called to do!

  2. Laura

    I agree with MUCH of the article. Some of the questions posed are questions that I’ll take to God in prayer this evening. I really want to do what is right in His eyes. I just wish I knew other preppers in my region. It’s tough being pretty much a lone ranger… my dh scoffs at my preparedness.

  3. Christopher de Vidal

    Two problems with calling Christians to render unto Caesar only that which is Caesar’s: Jesus responded with that answer to a question about paying taxes to the Roman government, an occupying force which had /clearly/ overstepped Biblical boundaries. Jesus apparently had no problem with paying the taxes which were demanded, even if they were used to fund activities which the godly Jews of the day would (should!) have opposed.

    So I don’t think yours is the intended application of that verse.

    Second problem is there’s so much diversity of opinion in Christendom for what are the government’s Biblical boundaries that you would struggle to send a unified message. Now perhaps it is a matter of conscience; So for example if one is not convinced addictive drugs should be illegal he wouldn’t pay for the budget of the DEA. But others might. However, with the combined civil disobedience of millions of born-again Christians, even if not perfectly unified, perhaps — just perhaps — you would indeed send a message.

    Yet I don’t think that’s Biblical. My current understanding of the matter is I should obey the authorities (Romans 13:1-5) until they directly command me to disobey God. (Exodus 1:15-22, Daniel 3, Acts 5:29; Also implied in Romans 13:1-5.) So if they adopt a Chinese one child policy in the name of environmentalism and say to me, “abort your child,” I will refuse. But I will pay the taxes that are demanded, even if used to abort children. (E.g. I will “render unto Caesar.”) What the government does with my taxes is between them and God. (See my interpretation of “render unto Caesar” above.) However, I will only give input with voting, petitions, calls to senators, peaceful protests in front of abortion clinics, lobbyists, lawyers, etc. In other words, the standard means. OR I can vote with my feet, move to a better place. I can pray that politicians be wise, and protect the innocent as they are called to do, and come to bow their hearts to the King of kings. And most of all, I can make disciples. Born-again Christians who love the Lord and their neighbor tend to vote well 🙂

    I will continue to follow this course of action until I learn of a more Biblical case for civil disobedience through witholding tax than simply “render unto Caesar” out of its context. So I’d be interested to hear if you can improve your arguments. You always write such thoughtful articles!

  4. Dare Tuitt

    You’re onto something there, but I think it depends on what you believe is “government.” I tried to address the issue of “government” by marking the difference between the government by Romans and government by Jewish Temple priests in Jesus’ day, compared to government “by the people” in the USA today. That is what makes it so confusing to discern what is right. It may depend on what you believe is our present government. I think we’ve reached a point where most Christians no longer believe our government responds to the people, and that it is, in fact, corrupt almost beyond redemption. We see ballot measure outcomes overturned by corrupt judges and stolen elections. We are being ruled by evil special interests while our interests are trampled on daily. While we continue to pray for our country and our leaders and do the duties of good citizens, our voices and values are being disrespected, marginalized and outlawed. We are being forced to pay for very evil things former generations of Christian Americans never faced – nor would have ever tolerated to such a degree as the Church is today. It’s almost as if the evil in charge is pushing us inexorably into a corner where some may finally fight back – which will give them the desired pretext for our incarceration. We have already been labelled domestic terrorists and unpatriotic by the occupying government and they will use any push-back as proof of our “criminality.” If all of us stopped paying taxes or placed a moratorium on payment for several months (enough to have the effect truly impact the nation and make the point) I’m not sure what they could do about it at this present time. There aren’t enough camps yet set up that could handle the sheer numbers. Perhaps another strategy could be for all Christians to begin withdrawing our financial support by quietly beginning a campaign of barter between each other to pay for our everyday living expenses and needs or as much of it as possible. Or we need to start our own version of Bitcoin and slowly, imperceptibly withdraw financial support from the occupying government. This could serve 2 purposes: 1). It would reduce our taxes which will impact what the occupying government can pay for and 2). it can forge stronger ties between Church members, especially at the local level. After all, we are urged by the Apostle Paul to help others within the Church FIRST and then outsiders next (read about efforts at helping Believers in Jerusalem, etc. in II Corinthians Chapters 8 & 9). If something like this was truly successful, the general public would see the benefits of such “social programs” outside of the occupier government control and perhaps ironically, point us back to the virtues and foundations of our original form of government. Does anyone have other thoughts on this?

  5. Dare Tuitt

    In regards to the withdrawing financial support of evil I mentioned in my earlier response, I would point out the Bible gives us instruction through the stories about many individuals and what each did – or didn’t do – in obedience to God’s Will. We find ourselves in the same predicament today that Joseph found himself after being sold into slavery and ending up in Potiphar’s house in Egypt. While there, he was accosted and ordered by Potiphar’s wife to have sex with her, which was a very evil order. He refused her order and was falsely accused of attempted rape and sent to prison. Let’s break it down: Potiphar represents “government” and Potiphar’s wife represents “evil.” Under the guise/protection of government, evil is pressed upon Joseph and he refuses to participate in it and then suffers incarceration. He finds himself in a position of being “damned if he did and damned if he didn’t”, which is always a hallmark of Satan’s fingerprints on a situation. If Satan can’t trip you up because you choose to participate in the obvious evil (sex with Potiphar’ wife), instead of suffering the secondary evil (being falsely accused and sent to prison) then Satan “gets you” either way. Or does he? If you stand in the Truth, even if you are falsely accused and incarcerated, you have not disobeyed or strayed from God’s Will. This is why God rewarded Joseph who humbly and in service to God, made the most of his skills while incarcerated. Joseph’s obedience to the Lord ultimately got him released from prison which led to his becoming Pharaoh’s Chief Steward – second in command only to Pharaoh, and governing all Egypt! Actually, there are a good many other parallels here in the story of Joseph: He thought himself exceptional (American exceptionalism?); his father Jacob overtly favoring him with the gift of the coat of many colors (America being blessed of God for most of the country’s history) and dreamed of his brothers bowing down to him, which enraged them to the point of hatred (the activity of all non-Believers who hate Christians now, but ultimately will honor and bow to Jesus (“every knee shall bow.” Isaiah 45:23 and Romans 14:11).

    So how can Joseph’s story help us? In a “damned if we do or damned if we don’t” scenario, we should stay obedient to God, stand in the Truth and resist evil, come what may. In our representative republic form of democracy, do we allow the illegal usurpation of authority to dictate to the Christian majority that they must participate in evil?

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