Envision a wind turbine whirling on the round of a wheat-covered hill next to a large garden in the open sun. Toward the house, and attached to it's southern wall, a large greenhouse invites the winter sun as best it can with clear walls and roof sloping down toward the south. On the ground beside the garden lie three rectangular wood cases topped with clear lids, inside of which you can see trays of shriveling foods.
Directly under the corners of the house, rain barrels catch the roof water. Plastic pipes equipped with shut-off valves lead underground into the garden area, where they convert into a network of above-ground, small-diameter perforated tubing extending down the full length of every other garden row. Plants of many kinds are maturing with reddening fruit, purplish clusters, golden rounds, and a variety of yellow-green delights coming to peak.
All around the garden there is a solid concrete border eight inches into the ground, and you picture, with some pleasure, the local rodents trying in vain to dig into your treasures. Projecting seven or eight feet into the air from the concrete barrier there are steel posts with a net of fence wire clipped to them, and you amuse yourself again as you envision a couple of deer soaring as high as they can, only to crash into the wire and dart away in regret. A few feet up the wire fence and clipped to it, there is chicken wire to keep the smaller animals out.
On the inner side of the garden fence there lies a damp mound of what appears to be loose soil, but with invaluable scraps of plant materials "baking" within. Worms had been planted into the mound in order to get them to reproduce more wildly, for ultimate use in your garden soil.
Free-range chickens peck the ground clean of many unwanted pests. Their coop forms a wall on the north side of the garden to protect the vegetables from the frigid northers in early spring and late fall. No sun is lost because itís always to the south.
Through the clear plastic panes of the greenhouse, you can see your better-half inspecting the spinach plants that are due for transplanting later in the week. Your daughter is in the next isle watering the spinach plants that are a week behind, and your son is standing next to her tending spinach plants that are yet one week younger. Large screened openings on opposite walls invite the breeze to pass through the greenhouse. Streamers hanging on their upper frames indicate that there is a good breeze today. A fellow post-tribber is replacing one of the clear lids that fit over similar screened openings in the roof, because itís time to keep the greenhouse warm by night. There is a door from greenhouse to house, and for the greatest utility that door leads directly into the large kitchen pantry.
Attached to the north side of the house and blocking it from north winds, there is a cool-storage area. Boxes filled with your home-made dry goods are tucked away under the darkness of wall-to-wall shelving. Foods purchased only months prior to the enforcement of the skincode, sealed in opaque containers, cans and jars, fill the shelving.
This room is well ventilated through the north wall to catch the coldest winds possible. The shiny tin roof above the room slopes down toward the north on a steep angle to deflect away much sunlight and catch much of the coldest winds. The thin tin roofing material is not covered up on the inside nor insulated so that inside air can unleash its heat more quickly each night, or whenever else the outside air is colder than within. To keep the room cooler in warm months, a large water tank has been placed here, receiving the waters from a cool well.
A refrigerator and freezer back onto a north exterior wall receiving no direct sunlight, and the hot air unleashed from within these appliances is directed cleverly through vents in the wall leading to the outdoors. A stairwell cut into and descending from the floor ends seven feet below at an insulated and tightly-sealed door leading into a 10 x 10 foot root cellar. An insulated wall divides this basement cellar into two halves, the coldest half (in winter) being toward the north nearest the outside ground and air.
Well pipes lead to two hot water tanks. One is suspended either over or on a wood stove for winter heating. This tank keeps the house warmer into the night after the fire in the stove has dwindled away. The other tank is in the open sun for summer heating, and suspended over a specially-designed outdoor fire pit for added heating when necessary (see link at end of page). This tank is protected as much as possible from winds. Both tanks can be fully sealed but equipped with safety pressure valves to protect from over-heated water. Why not build your own wood stove with water tank attached directly overtop?
A 500-gallon propane tank is filled to the brim for the lazy days when you don't care to light a fire to heat your bath water. The propane pipes leads to a third, conventional hot water tank.
A family working under the shade of a majestic oak is one of three others chosen to share your ten-acre tract of land. A man with a chainsaw can be seen pruning trees for the collection of firewood. One smiley child has a kid goat in her arms, and the younger ones are swinging an old tire tied to a thick branch of the oak. In the valley between your house and theirs, beside the dirt driveway, an old 200-gallon oil tank is now a gasoline tank.
As the afternoon lingers and the breeze increases sharply, you can hear the air being whipped by the 14-foot blades of the wind machine. The winds are now creating sufficient energy to provide the electric oven direct electricity without dwindling the power stored in the pack of batteries. There's no use wasting free power, and it's just in time for dinner anyway, so you prepare an oven tray of spiced carrots and potatoes, and you bake them golden brown. By dusk, the anemometer indicates that the wind gusts have increased to 28 miles per hour, so that you take advantage of the situation by pouring a tub of hot water heated on the electric stove. When the kids are done, since you never know how long it will be before the next high winds arrive, you and your better-half take big hot baths as well. Some of the battery power is used up for this luxury, but the winds howl all night and restore them to full capacity.
In the morning, the bird songs entice you to rise at dawn. You strike a wooden match and light the gas element for the morning coffee, appreciating the warm blue flames in the cool of the morning. While the water comes to a boil, you step out into the October sun and bring a fire to flame in the garden-side fire-pit, succeeding just as the whistle on the stove sounds. Over the first part of your coffee, you turn on the radio to hear what the False Prophet and anti-Christ might have been doing through the week. You learn that Christians retiring into the wilderness are being badly maligned. You also find that Israel is a war zone; the nightmare that the Jews had dreaded has become reality
You go out to the fire to pray with the sun to your front, pondering the times. As you drink the last of your coffee, a jay spots you. Not knowing the sounds of war, it flies off to the next tree without a care. Crows loudly bicker over something that isn't obvious, and then you open your mouth to speak to your God. The sounds are too faint to be heard by those asleep inside, but God hears the words and impresses His loving Spirit upon you. It feels good as the spiritual energy needed for enduring another day comes funneling through.
After thanksgiving, you give the kids a wake-up call and take the Spirit with you to the pantry to pick out the pepper most in need of cooking, seizing also a still-fresh onion out of a perforated bag hanging from the ceiling. You dice up some tomatoes and sprinkle them with salt and pepper, and proceed to lightly oil a smoke-black frying pan that will mix the flavors of your morsels. As you engage the fire to make a family-sized Spanish omelet, the kids are scampering out with slices of bread attached to forks, and they position the bread above the flames to toast it just the way they like it. Your youngest child chases a nosey rooster...
YOU CAN START NOW
Is the picture I've painted too unrealistic? True, its setting is during the harvest, and I haven't included daily hardships that will likely befall us in other seasons, but is there any reason that tribulation living can't rise to be as pleasant and as organized as I have just described? True, most Christians are not going to be so well prepared, but that's only because they will not prepare until the final year or month. But if you start years in advance, there's no reason that you couldn't set up so securely...while enjoying the property in the meantime as a weekend getaway.
You could deny the kids a basement toy room, and rent your basement out to tenants instead; use the hundreds of dollars profit per month for payments on a piece of land and the beginnings of a building. Take your kids out of music, paint and/or dance lessons, which are rather meaningless in the face of an imminent tribulation period; set the savings aside for a barbecue pit, picnic tables, mosquito tents, hammocks, fishing rods, etc...and you'll be the sung hero of the family because the kids in the interim will better enjoy these things, which will later be of greater value during the tribulation.
Forget golf; save the hundreds/thousands of dollars annually for good rifles and hunting suits, and enjoy the fairways of the wilds. Then instead of going for birdie, how about a huge wild turkey par excellence? And why waste money slicing golf balls when you could be purchasing the sharpest knives in town to slice your wildest game?
Instead of spending winter-vacation time merely catching sunrays on a Caribbean beach, while in the meantime drawing vacation dollars from your bank like water from a burst pipe, control yourself, and you could have precious sunrays in a dependable greenhouse...from the savings of merely one or two sacrificed family vacations. In fact, why not deny your family those exotic vacations altogether; go camping instead and use the savings for the construction of a large fish pond on your retreat. Better yet, forget the camp sites and camp out on your retreat; then use the savings for a above-ground swimming pool that doubles as a ready water tank for catching and storing roof waters.
Instead of buying that riveting new vehicle, humble yourself by making the "old tanker" last a few years longer. If you thereby save a thousand dollars per year for three or four years, you'll have enough for water tanks, a propane tank, gas heaters, wood stoves, kitchen sinks, taps, toilets, and even windows. Sell your spouseís gas-guzzler and buy a small econo-car, and youíll soon save enough gas dollars to fill the tribulation gasoline tank. Consider getting some grease underneath your fingernails by doing your own car repairs.
Instead of buying new clothes for everyone, let them wear the old ones for a couple of years longer. Save the money for a kitchen stove to dress chicken-roast dinners instead, and a dashing cooking wood stove to keep everyone's bones both covered and warm in the tribulation. And if every other week you were to skip the weekly family outing to restaurants, you can save the $50 x 26 weeks = $1,300 per year for tribulation foods.
Forget about re-decorating the kitchen with new cupboards. Just paint, and use the money for some pantry shelving on your retreat. And don't upgrade to a luxury bathtub or re-tile the tub walls, just caulk in time to keep utter ruin at bay, and live with the out-dated tiles. Then spend on a tribulation tub and tub-surround instead.
Forget about pumping in cable television; provide a well and water pump instead to fill your tribulation tub, and cleanse your mind at the same time by that "major sacrifice." Cancel your newspaper/magazine subscriptions and get some books on vegetable gardens, root cellars, greenhouses and more.
Don't risk money on the stock market, but stock up for tribulation security and become a sure winner! Once you've jumped into the "tribulation securities" business with both feet by purchasing land, you'll take everything else more seriously and seek ways to save money. If the tribulation per chance does not arrive in your lifetime, your savings and your land will still be usable by your surviving family.
I can't be sure at this time whether or not He wants us to be fully prepared with wind turbines, major appliances, etc. Some argue that He prefers simpler, purely faith-dependant tribulation lives in order to generate deeper characteristics within us, appropriate for activities in the coming new age of Jesus. Prophecy does not spell this out, however...if turns out that He does prefer simplicity, He can easily cause our appliances and wind turbines to break down, or arrange for our inability to provide them in the first place. The only reason that I am now suggesting that you prepare more fully is because I have not been impressed by the Spirit toward an on-the-spot dependency.
This thing I know, that whether or not we endure the great tribulation with refrigerators and windmills will not be the deciding factor determining our salvation. But, of course, those who do endure with less, because they must, will be especially pleasing to God, for He appreciates determined conquerors. Yet He will not be looking for heroic faith defined as a deliberate throwing of oneself before greater afflictions to show God how valiantly one can cut it.
I do not have the illusion that all Christians are going to prepare solidly; I'm sure that many will not prepare a thing until it's too late, meaning that many will impinge themselves upon others, so that it would be well before God to prepare bigger on their account.
If you don't wish to have a retreat for recreational purposes until the tribulation, then as a riskier option you could buy or build in the nick of time. If you get away with it, then things already owned at that time--such as appliances and furniture--will not need to be purchased. In fact, if you own your house, you might be able to sell quickly and buy a remote property with a complete home and garden included.
Will it be permissible to trade with those who have the skincode? As there is no Biblical warning against it, it wouldn't appear displeasing in His sight, although there is a good argument to be made to the contrary. Take as many household items as you can, in any case, because even if your conscience won't let you trade with those who have taken the mark, or if it won't let you live with all the luxuries, you can always trade with fellow believers.
There are bound to be other believers near you, or sharing the same land, who might like your stereo to hear the news while they may have an extra window that you have come to badly need for your greenhouse. If you had a choice of giving that stereo to one who offered you nothing in return or to one that had a window to save your greenhouse plants, you'd probably trade rather than give it away.
BACK-UP SYSTEMS ON
If we find ourselves waiting and waiting and not hearing from God, even though we're yearning to hear while praying diligently, it could be, sad to say, that He is unhappy with our current lifestyles, our tongues, our minds, or about previous events that He still holds us responsible for. One word: sin! A second word: repentance. Then try praying again.
It is high-quality faith that translates into great faith in God's eyes, and this has to do with doing good to others by sacrificing what is ours. High-quantity faith is what the "prosperity preachers" are stressing, but without quality, or concern for others, it translates into vanity. Note how many in the prosperity movement are yet poor to this day, or no richer than when they entered the movement! And they think itís because they haven't got enough faith to increase their personal wealth!!
No, wrong, but when we apply our faith in doing good for others, however tiny our faith-muscle may be, we enrich the quality of our faith and we are therefore answered. Doing good to others is what brings glory to God, and if we ask anything in Jesus' name which brings glory to God, He answers us. There is simply no greater back-up system for tribulation survival than love for your fellow brothers and sisters, wherefore if you purchase windmills etc. not merely for your luxurious trib' survival, but for maximizing benefits to others, God will not be able to help but take notice, for you would then be a rare gem indeed.
Faith is not wishing for worldly things that are not yet Given to us. Faith is working (i.e. living) for God now while hoping that our "pay" rests on the other side of the Resurrection-Rapture. When the apostles said to Jesus, "increase our faith," he saw their selfishness in wanting to be empowered with God's power, and steered them away by teaching them that even a small amount of faith is enough to move mountains. Then he told them what was really important in acquiring such great small faith: "When you do all the things commanded you, say, 'We are unprofitable servants, we only did what we were supposed to do'" (Luke 17:5-10). That sounds like meekness, but there's more to it. It also means, "seek first the Kingdom of God."
If we merely fulfill our quota at our place of employment, so that we may receive our pay, big deal! Likewise, if we do what Christ has commanded us so that we may secure our salvation, we are merely thinking about ourselves and therefore haven't done anything remarkable. But if we go beyond what our boss has asked of us because we naturally care about the company's condition, then we will be singled out and promoted. God the Boss will then make our faith a living power that we may concern ourselves all the more devotedly to God's business (i.e. Kingdom). But God has never asked people to throw themselves before persecution or affliction in order to please Him. Rather, He has asked his workers to stay the straight course even if it brings persecution and affliction.
People who begin to prepare for the tribulation not only show God that they are truly watching for the Return of their Savior, but that they are willing to sacrifice their worldly occupations for a better "company." If you want God to be a part of your tribulation project, that's a good start indeed, but if you desire the inclusion of other children of your God, then that's perfect...and He will therefore rush to cover you when troubles come your way. But if you trust in your riches to endure the tribulation, then you're running on empty. The fact is, we can endure the tribí marvelously without receiving the mark and still lose our salvation because we fail to love others.
What if you have the perfect garden soil but it doesn't rain? What if it rains too much and your plants drown? What if it rains just right but insects get it all? That's why you'll need a greenhouse as a back up. What if the winds blow the greenhouse away? That's why you'll need a garden as a back up. What if both the garden and the greenhouse are destroyed? That's why you'll need an indestructible root cellar full of food as insurance.
What if it's not cold enough to keep fresh foods in a root cellar from spoiling? That's why you'll need to dry or jar vegetables at harvest time. What if it's too humid or too cold to dry foods? That's why you'll need to build sun-drying compartments that can attain 120 to 140 degrees for 4 to 6 hours consecutively.
What if the climate is too cold in winter so that certain foods in root cellars would tend to freeze and spoil? That's why you'll need a structure built overtop of it. What if the root cellar is too damp to keep flour and certain fresh foods? That's another reason why you'll appreciate an above-ground, drier storage structure overtop of it. What if the inside of this above-ground structure reaches temperatures below freezing? That's why you'll need a pantry or attic in the house for the long-term storage of foods that must be kept from freezing.
What if the house reaches below the freezing point? That's why you'll appreciate a large pack of batteries charged by a wind turbine, so that you can heat the pantry to 32 degrees or higher. What if the wind turbine is destroyed by winds? That's why you'll need a couple of good gasoline/propane generators to back it up?
What if the windmill and generators are ruined? That's why you'll need a tank of propane. What if the propane runs out in winter, at which time methane production is low or nil? That's why you'll need to cut and dry lots of firewood in the spring.
What if no one gets up in the middle of the night to put more wood in the stove? That's why you'll need to insulate your house well and keep your ceilings low. What if the firewood is too green and therefore smolders? That's why you'll need lots of blankets and clothing.
What if the water pump breaks down? That's why you should have a second one, a manual pump, and perhaps a water-pumping windmill.
What if the tribulation starts in the dead of winter? That's why you'll need to have enough money on hand to buy enough dried and canned foods to last till the first harvest. What if traditional money will not be accepted at that time? That's why you'll need to know your prophecy and buy food just at the right time, as close as possible to the skincodeís enforcement without taking great risks. What if the first harvest fails? That's why you should buy for the second year as well.
Don't forget the seed for the first year's crops, and if the garden doesn't fail, that's why you'll need a little smile on your blessed face.
Questions, comments, dialogue