Does Jesus Want Christians to be “Preppers?”

The Church is divided on whether we should prepare for the Apocalypse to come. Some are putting away “gold, groceries, and guns” and planning to be Survivalists. Others plan to trust that God will provide in days that are approaching and aren’t preparing at all. So, what does scripture say? Is there a verse in the New Testament in which Jesus clearly teaches that we should put food away for the hard times?  Does Jesus want Christians to be “Preppers?”


Shockingly, there is a verse that supports this idea; its Matthew 24:45 and an identical verse in Luke 12:42 :

Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time (Gk: KAIROS, meaning “appointed time”)? (NASB)

As a Church we tend to read past this highly important, yet obscure verse found in Matthew’s version of the Olivet Discourse (Jesus’s primary teaching on the end times). One day a few years ago, I was “reading past” this verse and ignoring what it meant just as I had a couple dozen times before. It was on that day, however, that it struck me that Jesus was giving us a riddle. He is asking “who is this wise and faithful slave?” We have three clues:
• He is a wise slave
• He is put in charge of his master’s household
• He provides food for that household at the appointed time

Have you guessed it yet? It’s Joseph, the wise and faithful slave that Potiphar put in charge of his household. Joseph obviously provided food for that household, both Hebrews and Egyptians, in the seven-year famine. Once we solve the riddle of this verse, its meaning opens up to us: Jesus wants us to be “Josephs” for his household in the coming “appointed time.”

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Who is His Household?

We need to stop and pause. If you are not familiar with this teaching, I am certain your jaw has just dropped. Jesus wants us to a “Joseph” for his household? Yes, he does. He doesn’t want us to prepare only for our own household, but for His household. There is an incredible difference. Christians who are “preppers” for their own households store up “gold, guns and groceries” for themselves. Many plan to escape the hard times and hide in a mountain retreat or a bunker. I call these persons “survivalists.” Jesus is calling us to provide for his household: the Jewish remnant and the Church. I call the persons who will sacrificially provide for the “least of these” during hard times as “revivalists.” We will discuss these two groups later in the article.

Preparing for the Time to Come

Jesus also indicates that he wants us to provide this food at a specific time and it is critically important to understand what this time is.  Joseph stored up food to provide it during the “appointed time” of the 7 year famine that occurred in the Middle East in those days. In so doing, he saved the lives of his brothers and their families in addition to saving numerous Egyptians. Jesus is calling us to provide his household with food during the coming “appointed time.” What might that time be? Just a few verses earlier in Jesus’s Olivet Discourse, he taught the disciples that there would be famines during the “Beginning of the Birth Pangs” period (the first 3 ½ years of the 70th Week of Daniel.) Might this be the “appointed time?” It might.

We also know that the False Prophet will institute the “Mark of the Beast” during the 70th Week.

He causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead,  and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. (Rev. 13: 16-17)

Is the Mark of the Beast directly tied to the famines? Do the False Prophet and Antichrist take advantage of the food shortage to offer a “solution” in the form of a new economic system that provides food? We know that taking this Mark and participating in this economic system leads to eternal damnation.

If this scenario is accurate, millions or billions of hungry people might readily take the Mark to avoid starvation. What if Christians had food stored up and were able to provide it to some of those in need at this time? Would this stored food be the impetus for those needy to reject the Mark of the Beast and come to faith in Jesus? It is an interesting and intriguing theory. In Jesus’s letter to the Church at Pergamum we read:

But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality. (Rev. 2: 14)

First notice Jesus says there are “some” in the Church who hold to false teaching and Jesus holds this against the entire Church. This clearly teaches Jesus holds us responsible for his entire household. Second, part of the false “teaching of Balaam” was to cause Israel to eat “unholy food” that was sacrificed to idols. In a modern analogy, might this be food purchased through the Mark of the Beast? Might prepared Christians be able to help their brothers and sisters resist the Mark if they have food?

Pack Your Lunch

How will we ever be able to provide food for our entire church you might ask? You won’t be, obviously. But you might be able to “pack your lunch.” Jesus’s feeding of the five thousand is instructive.  The disciples first came to Jesus and recommended He send the crowds away to find food for themselves. Jesus then asked the disciples to feed them. The puzzled disciples were only able to find a young boy with a lunch of two fish and five loaves. From this simple “lunch,” Jesus was able to feed the huge crowd.

The faith of this boy who “packed his lunch” and willingly gave it to the Master to distribute was what Jesus desired to see. From this simple act , a great miracle was experienced. If we “pack our lunch” and willingly give it to others during the “appointed time,” will Jesus multiply our efforts? I think he will.

This also brings up the point of solely relying on the provision of God without effort on our own. Jesus acted upon the faith of the young boy. The boy packed food because he knew he’d need it. He planned to stay and listen to Jesus as long as he could;  AND he planned in advance to do so by packing a lunch. He then willingly surrendered all he had. We know there will be famines; Jesus has told us as much. Isn’t it presuming upon the Lord to believe he will provide for us without any effort on our parts to contribute to that provision?? Yes, Jesus will provide for us, but don’t we share in the responsibility to do what we can, and then to rely on him to do what only He can?

Revivalists and Survivalists

When the “appointed time” comes (it is certainly not here yet), there will be many more important issues than our “survival.” Once the 70th Week of Daniel begins, the great countdown to the return of our King will also begin. We will be entering the “two minute warning” to use a football analogy. Strategies we have employed during the rest of our lives will need to be modified.

Revivalist “prepers” will step out in faith and use the food they have stored up to bolster the faith of those who haven’t prepared. In this way, they likely will participate in a great miracle and possibly the salvation of many souls. The “food” they provide will likely be physical food and “spiritual” food in terms of the Gospel!!

Survivalist “prepers” will horde their food and attempt to “survive” at all costs. With Jesus only a few years away at that point, does that even make sense? Do you want to spend your last years hiding in a bunker eating beans, or do you want to participate in the great spiritual battle against Satan and the Kingdoms of this world that will “prepare the way of the Lord?”

Which “prepper” will you be?

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22 thoughts on “Does Jesus Want Christians to be “Preppers?””

  1. Unfortunately, as long as the majority of church is in deep coma sleep, it cannot even decide to think whether they should belong to survivalist or revivalist category.
    The only category a sleeping church can resort to when they go through tribulation, is the “repentalist” mode.

    Food storage can only last up to a year and when cash/gold/silver no longer is a means for exchange, Christians need to solely depend on God’s providence during the 2.5-3.5 (depending on whether you are pre-wrath or post-trib) years of heavy tribulation.

    1. Thanks Afo. I agree almost all are sleeping.

      In regard to food, you might want to take a look at the account of Elijah during the 3.5 years of drought he prayed for in Ahab’s reign. Initially he was fed by ravens (symbol for unbelievers) at the brook until his water dried up. Then he went to a gentile town and was provided for by a widow. The widow first gave up all she had to feed the prophet, only then did God’s provision miracle “kick in.”

      Tonight at the youth group I lead at church we were discussing the miracle of the paralytic lowered thru the roof. His four friends had to make the effort to lift him onto the roof and cut a whole in it and lower him. then the miracle happened. Sitting outside the house and only praying for this man wasn’t the method God chose for his deliverance. Notice the passage says Jesus responded to their faith (the faith of the 4 friends).

      Just as the article explains, only after the little boy gave up his lunch did God perform the miracle of feeding 5000.

      There are great parallels in these stories. In Heb. 11:7 it says after Noah was warned of divine judgment to come, he reverently built an ark. We have been warned. Are we building our Ark like Noah and packing a lunch like the young boy? All our provision is from God and there is NO WAY we can feed the entire Church with our “lunch.” Only God can do that. But I think God still wants us to pack it and sacrificially give it away, first. Just my opinion.

      This is especially true of the “weaker” sleeping ones who will be fed by us when the food initially runs out. The ones blessed by this act of selfless love may repent and assume a passionate faith in our Savior that would have never happened without that initial food. I think food in the end times, stored up in faith right now, will become a spiritual weapon.

    2. Afo, we do need to depend on God, but we also must do what God asks us to do. Even now, we don’t expect God to provide for our needs if we refuse to work, for example. Depending solely on God does not mean we sit back and wait for something to happen. There is marvelous insight into the examples Nelson provided. Even Joseph had to store up seven years worth of provision for the coming famine.

      But as I stated above, something else we can do to prepare is to form networks of trusted friends who can do things we cannot do, skills we can exchange to help each other. No one can do everything. Bartering is a very old form of exchange, and we don’t need to wait until things get difficult to help each other out.

      We need to be in prayer and ask God for wisdom in these matters.

  2. Really good stuff here!

    As I’ve been studying more about the idea that scripture points to a after “2 days” return of Christ I see that in John 4:7-43 the story of the woman at the well there is a parallel there in that Jesus was with the Gentiles for 2 DAYS and they all believed His message.

    Then again in John 11 we see Jesus waiting for 2 DAYS before going and resurrecting Lazarus from the dead.

    “6 When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was. 7 Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judaea again.

    This seems to be full of some amazing hints to the church!

  3. Hey Nelson, great thoughts about preparing for what is coming and being wise about it. Our family has been serving in Afghanistan and Tajikistan as missionaries for the last 5 years and now we preparing to head over Indonesia full time. I do feel the urgency to prepare for not just my family but to help our brothers and sisters overseas who are facing extreme persecution and more recently being completely displaced.

    Speaking of “Date Setting” I have been studying Hosea and Joel and some of the prophecies relating to the return of Jesus. Specifically this verse from Hosea 6:1:

    “Come, let us return to the Lord.
    He has torn us to pieces
    but he will heal us;
    he has injured us
    but he will bind up our wounds.
    2 After two days he will revive us;
    on the third day he will restore us,
    that we may live in his presence.

    It appears to be a prophecy of the Messiah (Jesus) going away for 2,000 years and then returning and ruling for 1,000 years. so 2,000 years from Jesus death would be 2033. With all of the talk of the blood moons and their significance I was looking at when the next “super” blood moon would occur and it just so happens to fall on April 14th 2033!

    Also this just so happens to fall right on the first day of Passover! The other interesting thing is that this will be a blood moon that Israel will actually see. The one occurring this year is not visible to Israel.

    Anyway, I think the timing is very interesting and another sign that seems to line up. Any thoughts about this scripture?

    Also something that your readers might find interesting is that every believer that I know in the Middle East/Central Asia fully believes that the Antichrist will be coming from that area and they usually look at you like “where else would he come from?” Haha, its funny how much we can be so influenced by our culture here 🙂

    Blessings!

    1. dapilot23, Yes, let me show you the verse that comes before the one you quote:

      I will go away and return to My place (HEAVEN) until they acknowledge their guilt and seek My face;In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me. “Come, let us return to the Lord. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us. He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up (RESURRECTION) on the third day, that we may live before Him” Hosea 5:15-6:2

      I wrote about this verse a couple weeks ago. I think your interpretation is right on. That is why I say it’s most likely 7, 14, 21 or 28 years away. (1, 2 3, or 4 Shabua). I’m pretty convinced that the seals break on Feasts of the Lord. In my new unfinished book, Revelation Deciphered, I give extensive proof for this. In my timeline, the 3rd seal breaks on Passover. Tim Warner has a chronology that ends in 2036. In his timeline (which I do not endorse, but it could be right; who knows?) the third year (and my third seal) are in 2033. Just food for thought.

    2. dapilot23,

      Wow, your post is timely because just last evening my husband and I listened to the Saturday evening online discussion with Reggie Kelly and others (mysteryofisrael.org) on Hebrews 11. They have been going through Hebrews, and last night Hosea 6:2 came up. Quite a bit of time was spent on the “two days”. It was a long discussion (3 1/2 hours), but very informative. I actually listened to most of it again today just to get a better handle on things. Things get interesting when Tom brings out his chart, shortly after 1hr 45min mark.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONcOJGFlXSs

      One thing that was emphasized in the discussion is that we need to stick with the Bible, that we must weigh everything against Scripture, including the current interest in the blood moons. They emphasized that Jesus gave us one very clear sign, and that is the abomination of desolation. Some other points made by Travis in the discussion about things we know must happen, from Scripture:

      –The ascendancy of certain countries that are going to be the ten kings;

      –There must be a military presence that is somehow able to counterbalance that of the Western powers to keep them at bay;

      –There must be the little horn that becomes strong with a small number of people, who is not given the honor of royalty;

      –There has to be some sort of peace accord; Israel has to be in some way associated with that;

      –We know that there has to be relative proximity to the building of a temple, that at least a cornerstone must be laid, and the sacrifices must be prepared and ready to go.

      It was an excellent discussion. We’ve been listening for quite some time, and I was able to attend the 2014 Convocation in Madison, OH., so I have met most of these brothers.

      1. Thanks for sharing this, Jeanne. I plan to listen over the next week and I’ll give you my two cents. 3 hours is quite a bit. From the way you phrased it, it seems they may be discounting the 2 days aspect of Hosea 5-6 as a one time occurance. This verse is a “second witness” to the Great Creation Prophecy in Genesis 1 that shows God has ordained 6000 years before the return of Christ. Reggie Kelly is a very astute prophecy teacher, I’m interested in his take on this.

        1. Nelson, I probably should have clarified the “Stick with the Bible” comments made by Travis in its context. Many people are “into” the blood moon stuff these days, for example, yet they aren’t willing to study Scripture. I do run into people like this. They have no interest in really studying the OT prophecies and when I bring up Matthew 24 tell them that Jesus said we should read and understand Daniel, they brush it off. Studying seems to be just too hard a task for them. They run after the “prophecy du jour”, so to speak, and neglect the Word of God.

          Hosea 5 and 6 were both discussed, as well as Ez. 38:8. One comment from Reggie (hope I transcribed it correctly): “He returns after two days from the cross, after the door is open to the Gentiles….What makes them willing? Jacob’s trouble.” He also commented that God “is a God of absolute succession and order.”

          I’ll be very interested in your assessment of the discussion; it was fascinating. They meet every Saturday evening.

          Also, the week before they took a break from Hebrews to discuss the time of Jacob’s trouble. One of the participants is the child of Holocaust survivors, as is his wife. The change in topic for this discussion was the result of a newsletter that this gentleman received from a Jewish believer in Israel who subscribes to the pre-trib view. There was an urgency to this session, as you will sense.

          1. I have listened to 2 hours 45 min. of the first session so far with zero things I disagree with. Reggie Kelly is a fine bible/prophecy teacher, IMO. His opinion is identical to mine: Jesus will fulfill Hosea 5:15-6:2 with the same precision he fulfills other prophecies like Daniel’s 70 Shabua. The main teaching on Hosea is from 2 hours 7 min to 2 hours 29 mins. for those interested. Here is the link.

          2. I seen the video you was talking about Nelson and i agree it was very good video of discussions.. I like video discussions like this where people are trying to learn and get other peoples opinions and offering their own. A lot of christians cant and dont do this without being offended of something and fighting and bickering.. To me the bible is a puzzle especially prophecy. There is a piece here and piece there that puts the whole picture together and should not be split apart and seperated just like that has been done with gog and magog war in ezekiel, and then some say a psalm 83 war and splits them from the tribulation. To me they are all the same event to unfold with just more information from each prophet. Even jesus said of the tribulation in Luke that these be the days of vengeance that all that has been written may be fulfilled. Even Joel Richardson said dont miss the forest for the trees. The world today is a fast paced place with so many distractions its unreal. Maybe you nelson or someone can start group meetings like this on skype? Would be great i think to see you, joel richardson, and Alan Kurschner and maybe we could join in?

          3. Yes, I think this is a good idea. With SKYPE technology, multiple speakers can join from remote sites. I filmed a show with another prophecy teacher yesterday over SKYPE. (it will run in about a month). Some of us have spoken about a webinar in the past. We need to begin thinking outside the traditional prophecy conference box on these things.

  4. The famine in that day…

    Amo 8:9 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord GOD, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day:
    Amo 8:10 And I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; and I will bring up sackcloth upon all loins, and baldness upon every head; and I will make it as the mourning of an only son, and the end thereof as a bitter day.
    Amo 8:11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:
    Amo 8:12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.
    Amo 8:13 In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst.
    Amo 8:14 They that swear by the sin of Samaria, and say, Thy god, O Dan, liveth; and, The manner of Beersheba liveth; even they shall fall, and never rise up again.

    1. Cathy, I think Amos 8:9-10 had its initial fulfillment with Jesus’s crucifixion. Sun darkened at noon on a clear day, it was Passover so “feasts to mourning”, mourn as if for an only son (Jesus).

      I think Amos 8:11 had initial fulfillment in the 400 years between the OT and Jesus’s birth. I also think our Bibles will be made illegal in the near future and there will be a famine for God’s word coming again.

  5. “survivalists” vs. “revivalists”

    “There are great insights here, Nelson. For example, I had never thought of the feeding of the five thousand in the way you have presented it, i.e., focusing also on the faith of the boy who brought his lunch. And the verse from Rev. 2:14 also struck me with regard to taking the mark of the Beast.

    We can get really distracted if we are worrying about how to prepare. “Prepping” is very popular right now and we are always being “warned” about the next coming crisis. But God has promised to provide all our needs (Phil. 4:19); yes, we need to prepare at the same time, but also need to trust Him.

    In pondering the difference between those with a survivalist mentality and those with the “revivalist” mentality, I am also reminded of Jesus words in Matthew 16:25, “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”

    I’d be interested to know how other readers are preparing, since this isn’t only about having food. We may very well need the skills of others for bartering. Some people are good at gardening, and they could help us learn to garden and can food. Others are good mechanics, for example, or even cutting hair. But we don’t need to know how to do everything. So perhaps one way we prepare is to take an inventory of the skills we have and begin forming networks with others that will enable us to barter and share the skills we have.

  6. I have been thinking about this a lot lately.. I have a place here of about 1200 sq ft to store food and water, and then i think to myself what about the ones in need now already? Sometimes i almost feel bad to store a lot when ones need it already.. Maybe i can divide it? I have even thought what if something happen to me before due time, where would it go? How would it be kept for the time its needed? Maybe i could will it to a church with specific instructions? A lot in my mind about it. Maybe you could help give advice Nelson?
    Thank you brother

    1. “I almost feel bad to store a lot when ones need it already…” Marc. Our giving should be directed by the Holy Spirit. If you are directed to give what is stored now: give.

      I just took a fabulous class “When Helping Hurts” (google the book). It shows only 10% of “need” right now is for relief (physical food, clothing, etc.). 90% of need is for development (teaching a man to fish). Most of the world is not in famine right now, and the hunger that is out there is not tied to taking the Mark of the Beast. So for me, putting a little away on a constant basis for what is to come is what the Holy Spirit is leading me to do. Plus he leads me to give in many other ways. He may tell others to do otherwise. Some of us are “eyes” some “ears” etc, making up a single body.

      1. Hi Nelson i been reading your book.. I am excited some of the things so far is exactly what i was thinking.. I Love reading the parables.. To me the Parables are so rich with information.. My first parables of understanding was in Luke of the 10 minas and wicked Vinedressers. I have a perfect example of judging someone from this parable of 10 minas in Luke of the wicked slave. In Matthew Jesus says do not judge or you will be judged and with what measure you use it will be measured back to you.. Now look at Luke of the wicked servant, that kept his mina hidden away, he tells his master he feared him because he was a hard man collecting what he did not deposit and reaps what he did not sow, now look at what Jesus tells him, OUT OF YOUR OWN MOUTH I WILL JUDGE YOU, You wicked servant, you knew i was a hard man collecting what i did not deposit and reaping what i did not sow, why did you not take my mina and put it in the bank that when i return i may have collected with interest? He tells the others take from him his mina and give it to the one that has 10..
        Some people have actually told me the parables was just stories and hard to understand everything.. To me the way i am seeing Gods word now for the first time that i have never seen it this way before is everything God and jesus spoke and everything done has a reason and meaning behind it. They mean something specific. Jesus was not wasting his breathe for chit chat and fairy tales.. Those who even say to me we live by the new testament and act like the old testament dont matter anymore. That is true of who jesus is and his purpose of salvation, but to really understand a lot of the new testament you have to know the Old testament and also know the jewish hebrew roots of their traditions etc. Jesus said also specifically when tempted of the devil to make those stones become bread, man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.. I was told by some of my own family when i was explaining the meaning of prophecies they said that is deep, why are you spending so much time with that? I told them it actually gets deeper than only the little bit i explained to them.. Sorry i made such a long post Mr Nelson.. I really like your book and will try to order for my Pastor also

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