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Last Days Survival Guide: A Scriptural Handbook to Prepare You for These Perilous Times

Last Days Survival Guide: A Scriptural Handbook to Prepare You for These Perilous Times

by Rick Renner


Learn More | Meet Rick Renner

1

'Tag - We 're It! '

When I was a boy growing up, my friends in the neighborhood would occasionally congregate in our large backyard to play tag. If you grew up playing that game, I’m sure you remember how it is played.

The game of tag begins when someone in the group starts to chase others in an effort to touch or tag them. I remember the glee each of us felt when we were “it,” and we finally touched another player and yelled, “Tag, you’re it!” In that moment, the person tagged became “it” for the next round of the game.

My friends and I would play tag for hours. We didn’t quit until every kid had been tagged — and when that happened, it was our signal that the game was done!

As a boy, I really liked to play tag for several reasons. It was a group game; it was fast; and it required us to strategize about how we would dodge and outrun the person designated “it” to avoid getting tagged. A rambunctious game of tag caused my heart to pump with excitement as I dashed here and there to stay out of reach.

I also liked the game of tag because if anyone had to sit out for a round, he or she could then jump back in the game to begin playing again. What I didn’t like so much were the times I was the one who got tagged. However, in the game of tag, everyone eventually got tagged before the game was over. Whether we liked it or not, at some point each of us was going to be “it” for a round of the game.

The reason I tell you about this simple childhood game is that it reminds me of the significance of this strategic time we are living in right now. For the last 2,000 years, the Church has been living in the midst of a time frame that is technically called “the last days.”

However, now we have come to the very last of the last days — a time frame unlike any other that has preceded us in history. And God has chosen you and me to be part of the generation born at the very end of this age. You and I are “tagged” to live in this last round of the prophetic game. In a very real sense, God is saying to us, “Tag, you’re it!”

Others in Church history were “tagged” by God to be “it” in their generation, for their own time. I could make a long list of such men and women who helped change the course of history to His glory during their time on earth. But now it is time for us to play our part as we serve Jesus in the wrap-up of this prophetic season. For you and me to come out winners as God has destined us to do, we’ll need to learn how to move quickly and hear accurately as the Holy Spirit gives us strategies to dodge the enemy’s attacks and combat the evil influences that are trying to affect so many in society right now.

The fact remains that we are living in the last round of this end-times age. That means we must know what God has specifically stated about events in society in the last days — and we must receive divine guidance to maneuver accurately in the midst of the attacks the enemy is waging against every stratum of society.


We are living in the last round of this end-times age. That means we must know what God has specifically stated about events in society in the last days — and we must receive divine guidance to maneuver accurately in the midst of the attacks the enemy is waging against every stratum of society.

One evening of watching the news is all that’s needed to confirm to yourself that an all-out assault is being waged against the human race and against godliness. Society today is filled with violence, decadence, financial crises, political feuding beyond anything we ever imagined possible, and heightened tensions among the world’s political leaders. Natural disasters occur with increasing regularity all over the earth.

One evening of watching the news is all that’s needed to confirm to yourself that an all-out assault is being waged against the human race and against godliness. Society today is filled with violence, decadence, financial crises, political feuding beyond anything we ever imagined possible, and heightened tensions among the world’s political leaders. Natural disasters occur with increasing regularity all over the earth.

These combined and cumulative events seem so overwhelming that it can feel like our very well-being is under continual threat. If it were not for the peace of God that rules our hearts and minds, we could easily be thrown into a state of panic, shaken by all of these disturbing developments. (See my book Signs You’ll See Just Before Jesus Comes to learn of all the events Jesus predicted in Matthew 24 that we will see in the world prior to His next coming.)

Many of us remember growing up in a very different world, where life was slower and kinder — and so safe that we didn’t even lock the doors to our houses. We didn’t fear our neighbors, and we never had a single thought about terrorist activity. Does that description resemble the childhood you remember decades ago?

But the world has changed dramatically in the course of our lifetimes and has become a far different place than the one we grew up in years ago. What happened to the world we once knew? How is it possible that so many things could change so fast and so dramatically? Who of us in our growing-up years would have ever imagined that we’d see the day when so much nonsensical thinking would dominate society?


What happened to the world we once knew? How is it possible that so many things could change so fast and so dramatically?

My parents, along with our local church, reared me to believe the Bible, so we knew that we were most likely living in the last days. But now years have flown by, and the reality of these last days has hit with explosive force! It’s no longer imaginary; it is upon us. Whew! We didn’t know that life could change with such speed!

But change it did, and the slower, kinder, safer world we grew up in is nearly gone. With every new day, it seems like society is being inundated with new, once-unthinkable absurdities that have left many people bewildered and perplexed.

Whether we like it or not, times have changed — very rapidly. During our childhoods, it would have been hard to envision that things could change so much in relatively so little time.

But God knew these times were approaching, and approximately 2,000 years ago, His Spirit spoke very clearly to alert us — we who live in the last days — that such times would come. He wanted this generation to know that “perilous times” would emerge in society at the very end of the last days.

WHERE WE ARE IN TIME — GOD REALLY WANTS US TO KNOW

In this chapter, it is my intention to focus on Second Timothy 3:1. I want to dissect and examine it piece by piece to help you grasp exactly what the Holy Spirit is communicating to us in this powerful scripture.

As the apostle Paul wrote his second letter to Timothy, he said this in the opening verse of chapter 3: “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.” But let’s begin by looking closely at the first part of the verse, where the Holy Spirit says, “This know also....”

The word “know” is a translation of the Greek word ginosko, which in this verse means to know something definitely, emphatically, and with absolute certainty. But it is also important to know that the tense used here depicts something so urgent that it MUST be known, MUST be recognized, and MUST be acknowledged.

In other words, what the Holy Spirit is saying in this verse — and in the passage that follows — should not be considered optional information for us to retain or not to retain at our discretion. The Greek tense makes the message of this verse strong. It is almost as if the Holy Spirit is raising His voice to get our attention. He is reaching out from the pages of Scripture to grab us, shake us, and cause us to sit up straight, hold our heads high, and open our eyes and ears so we truly grasp what He is about to communicate.

In this verse, the Holy Spirit speaks loudly, authoritatively, and emphatically because He wants us to fully grasp what He is about to say. His urgent desire is that we will be prepared and not taken off-guard when last-days events begin to take place with increasing, rapid-fire frequency.

What was coming in the future — in the very time in which you and I are currently living — was so ominous that the Holy Spirit really wanted to warn us in advance that perilous times were coming. His purpose was not to scare us, but to prepare us so we would be informed and spiritually equipped to navigate a last-days tempestuous storm. If we’ll listen to what the Holy Spirit says in this verse and in the verses to follow, we’ll be able to prepare ourselves — as well as our loved ones and friends — to sail victoriously through these stormy waters. And we’ll not be overcome by the evil that Scripture says would inevitably emerge and become widespread in society as the age approaches its end.

Friend, God has “tagged” you and me to live in this time! And since He has chosen us for this late round of the game, we can be assured that He has also supplied us with everything we need to live in this season victoriously. If we’ll pay attention to what the Holy Spirit has said in Second Timothy 3 and receive divine strategies from Him, we’ll be able to:

  • Shine as lights in a world growing ever darker.
  • Build a hedge of protection around our families.
  • Teach our children and grandchildren the Word of God so that while they live in this world, they will not be of this world or be negatively impacted by it.
  • Stay unaffected by the changing moral landscape in society around us.
  • Be protected and safeguarded by Scripture that has been stored in our hearts.

God has “tagged” you and me to live in this time! And since He has chosen us for this late round of the game, we can be assured that He has also supplied us with everything we need to live in this season victoriously.

In Second Timothy 3:1, the Holy Spirit pointed His prophetic finger 2,000 years into the future to prophesy that perilous times would come in the last days. In this pivotal verse and the passage that follows, the Holy Spirit lucidly forecasted that certain characteristics would emerge in society at the very end of the age. In no uncertain terms, the Holy Spirit said that perilous times would come and that these disastrous developments would become prominent and commonplace in a world gone crazy.

The Holy Spirit was warning those of us destined to live at the end of the age about these things so that we’d be prepared to not be taken off-guard. But I want to stress again that the Holy Spirit didn’t give us this prophetic insight to scare us; rather, He gave it to prepare us so we could avoid these detrimental end-time manifestations and live as victorious believers until Jesus comes again! Because the Holy Spirit has forewarned us of what is to come, we will know what to do to reinforce our lives so we can live victoriously as we await the glorious moment when Christ returns for His Church.


The Holy Spirit didn’t give us this prophetic insight to scare us; rather, He gave it to prepare us so we could avoid these detrimental end-time manifestations and live as victorious believers until Jesus comes again!

WHAT DOES THE WORD ‘LAST’ REALLY MEAN?

Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the apostle Paul prophetically wrote, “This know...” (2 Timothy 3:1). As noted earlier, the word “know” in this verse describes something that is definite, emphatic, and absolutely certain.

But Paul went on to add, “This know also...” It’s easy to read over that word “also” and go on without paying any attention to it. But in the Greek text, the word for “also” is very important. It is the little Greek word de, which means indeed. The use of this word adds the sense of something that is emphatic and makes this verse a categorical statement. By adding this little Greek word, the Holy Spirit is literally saying to you and me, “You emphatically and categorically need to know with unquestionable certainty...”

This unequivocally tells us that what the Holy Spirit is about to forecast is not something that may or may not come to pass. This verse clearly forecasts events that will definitely occur in the very end of the last days. God’s intention in giving this scripture was not only to speak to readers living in the First Century when this verse was written, but also to especially inform us — those who would be alive at the very end of the age when these events would take place.

In Second Timothy 3:1, Paul wrote, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.” Because Paul used the word “know,” which is a translation of the Greek word ginosko, and the word “also,” which is a translation of the little word de, he emphatically meant to convey the Holy Spirit’s message here in the clearest and strongest of terms. It literally means, “You emphatically and categorically need to know with unquestionable certainty....”

But then the Holy Spirit dives deeper into His message and becomes more specific by adding that “...in the last days perilous times shall come” (2 Timothy 3:1).

What do the words “last days” really mean? The Greek word for “last” used in this verse is translated from the Greek word eschatos, a word that commonly depicts something that is final. It is the Greek word from which we derive the word “eschatology,” the theological study of end times or the study of last things. This Greek word eschatos points to the very last or the ultimate end of a thing. It was used by ancient Greeks to describe the point that was furthest away.

In fact, the ancient world used the word eschatos as a seafaring word to describe the last port of call for a ship. Although a ship in transit stops at many ports en route to its final destination, the word eschatos was used to depict the very last port. This last stopping-off point signified that it was the end of the road and the journey was finished. Thus, the word eschatos indicated, “This is the end, and you can go no further.”

Let me give you a few examples of eschatos to demonstrate the finality associated with this word. This word eschatos could be used to describe the very last month of a 12-month calendar. It could also refer to the very last week in a month or the very final day in a week. In other words, this Greek word eschatos points to the very ultimate end of whatever is being discussed.

In the discussion of the last days before the return of Jesus Christ, the word eschatos points to the very ultimate end of the last days. For this reason, Paul used it in this verse to point to the very last of a long last-days season. We could call it the last of the last days.

To be technically correct, I must point out that “the last days” started about 2,000 years ago on the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was poured out. In Acts 2:17, Peter responded to the outpouring of the Spirit by quoting Joel 2:28 in which the prophet Joel prophesied about the supernatural happenings in the last days. Peter said, “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh...” (Acts 2:17).

So when the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Day of Pentecost, it triggered a prophetic time frame called “the last days” that we’ve been living in for nearly 2,000 years. But in Second Timothy 3:1, the word eschatos points to the very end of that prophetic season — to the days you and I are living in right now at the very ultimate end of the age.

THE ‘LAST PORT’ IN THE JOURNEY

Make no mistake — the Greek word eschatos (“last days”) in this verse means the very ultimate end or the very end of time, and it points to the conclusion of the age. The Holy Spirit is literally saying, “...In the very end of days — when time has sailed to its last port and no more time remains for the journey...”

This gives us a specific point of reference for the time frame we are about to study in this chapter from Second Timothy 3, which is solely concerned with events that will occur at the very ultimate end of this age. The events Paul described in this Bible chapter will hastily transpire in the very concluding days of the age. To this end-time generation, it will feel as if time has suddenly accelerated and end-time developments are quickly coming to pass at a speed that is shocking to the natural mind.

Does that sound like our times? If you say yes, I remind you that the Holy Spirit is saying, “Tag, you’re it!” for this exciting wrap-up of the ages!


To this end-time generation, it will feel as if time has suddenly accelerated and end-time developments are quickly coming to pass at a speed that is shocking to the natural mind.

Second Timothy 3:1 could therefore be correctly translated, “You emphatically and categorically need to know with unquestionable certainty that in the very end of days — when time has sailed to its last port and no more time remains for the journey...”

Then the Holy Spirit begins to expound on what will happen in that concluding time frame called the last of the last days. He vigorously states that “perilous times shall come” to be experienced by people who live in that prophetic season. But before we look at the words “perilous times,” we must first study the words “shall come,” for they are very important in this text.

The words “shall come” are a translation of the Greek word enistemi, which is a compound of the words en and histemi. The word en means in, and the word histemi means to stand. But when these are compounded into a single word, the new word means to stand in, to stand in the middle of, to be surrounded by, to be encumbered by, or to stand in the midst of whatever is being discussed with the feeling that it cannot be avoided or that one cannot escape from it. It depicts someone who is so encompassed by whatever surrounds him or her that there is no way out of it.

By using this key word enistemi, the Holy Spirit prophetically declares that those who live in this last season will feel as if they are positioned in the very midst of — surrounded and encumbered on every side by — inescapable developments. To the people who are part of this end-time generation, it will feel like they are being assaulted by “perilous times” from every direction. In other words, there will be no escaping this period of time.

But remember — God “tagged” you and me to live in this strategic season at the close of the age! That means we can rest assured that His Spirit will enable us to dodge each of the enemy’s attacks. He will also empower us to help others find freedom and liberty from the darkness that is presently encroaching on society across the entire planet.

As Paul wrote the words of Second Timothy 3:1, it is as though he supernaturally peered through a prophetic window that allowed him to see 2,000 years into the future — to the very time in which we are living and the times directly before us. By the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul revealed what he had seen as he painstakingly and vividly wrote about the sweeping changes that would emerge and become commonplace in society and culture at the very end of this age.


It is as though he supernaturally peered through a prophetic window that allowed him to see 2,000 years into the future — to the very time in which we are living and the times directly before us.

Second Timothy 3:1 is crucial to what you are about to read in the rest of this book, so I want to make sure you truly grasp what the Holy Spirit has communicated in this verse. By alerting us to what will occur in the last of the last days, God is lovingly preparing us for what is coming. He desires that we would not be taken captive by a spirit of fear. He wants each of us to retain a sound mind that can wisely discern how to deal with the issues that will confront us.

But we must not hide from the world. Instead, we need to build a spiritual wall of protection around us so we can live in this world victoriously and not be brought down by it. Christ has called us to rise up as mighty, Spirit-filled victors! We are called to shine His light in the darkness, to rescue the perishing, and to do all we can to save those who are spiritually dying.

And regardless of the moral dilemmas that confront us in these times, you and I must never forget that we are called to be “more than conquerors” through the power of Him who loves us (see Romans 8:37). With the strengthening help of the Holy Spirit, we can overcome all things through Christ who empowers us — even the most intense battles in this prophetic season (see Philippians 4:13).

KEEP YOUR HEAD ON STRAIGHT ABOUT THE LAST DAYS

It is vital that each of us and our family members know how to build a wall of protection around us as we approach the conclusion of this age. With that in mind, I want to give you seven simple steps to help protect you and your loved ones from what will become rampant in society and culture at the conclusion of the last days.

This first verse in Second Timothy 3 plainly lets us know that what the Holy Spirit is about to describe are events that will definitely come to pass with absolute certainty. The apostle Paul by the Spirit of God warned us of it in advance so that we would be prepared to withstand the onslaught of evil that will diffuse itself throughout society and culture in the very last of a last-days generation. Again, I remind you that the Greek tense used indicates that what the Holy Spirit was about to say through Paul is so urgent for those of us living in the last times that He considered it something that simply had to be known, recognized, and acknowledged.

As you will see, the apostle Paul forecasted severe, abrupt societal and cultural changes that will develop in the very end of the last period of the age. You will recognize that all of these changes are in evidence even now — at this very moment — because we are already living in the final stages of the last of the last days. This means we are approaching the last port, the last stopping-off point, the end of the journey — and very little time remains.

The Holy Spirit wants you to know this information so you will be prepared and not taken off-guard as these events become commonplace. If you are informed and fortified by the truth of God’s Word, you won’t be shocked or shaken when these events begin to occur in a greater measure. Furthermore, the Holy Spirit does not want you — or any of God’s children — to fall into the destructive behaviors and symptoms that will be associated with a morally sickened last-days generation.


You will recognize that all of these changes are in evidence even now. This means we are approaching the last port, the last stopping-off point, the end of the journey — and very little time remains.

Because we are the ones living in this end-time generation to which the Holy Spirit is referring, it should be obvious to us that many of the things the apostle Paul wrote about are already happening. But Paul didn’t write about these end-time events only in Second Timothy; he also referred to them in Second Thessalonians 2:1,2.

Before we continue in Second Timothy 3 to see what Paul specifically prophesied regarding the last days, I believe we must first undergird ourselves with the truth he wrote to the Thessalonian believers about this subject. These passages of Scripture are vital in helping us keep our heads on straight as we walk through the tumultuous developments that God says will occur as mankind approaches “the last port” of this journey called the Church Age.

Apparently, some believers in Thessalonica were disturbed by what they had learned of the events surrounding the coming of Jesus. It seems those believers were so panicked that the apostle Paul felt the need to write them to calm them down and curb their fears.

In Second Thessalonians 2:1 and 2, Paul wrote, “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.”

Let’s dig into these two verses to see what we can learn from them.

In verse 1, Paul began, “Now we beseech you...” This is very important, for the word “beseech” is a translation of the Greek word erotao, which conveys the act of using one’s position to make a strong request and to expect the listener to respond. The word is used in other literature to depict the act of making an earnest appeal or the act of sincerely and passionately entreating someone to do what is being requested. This lets us know Paul was appealing to the Thessalonian believers from his heart, asking them to do exactly what he was requesting of them.

When Paul wrote about “the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,” the word “coming” comes from the Greek word parousia, which was sometimes used to denote the celebrated arrival of a royal sovereign. The phrase “our gathering together” comes from the Greek word episunagoge. This word is used in this context to point to that moment in the prophetic future when God will quickly gather or collect His people together to receive them to Himself at the conclusion of this present age.

Then in Second Thessalonians 2:2, Paul added, “That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.” It is clear from this verse that Christians in Thessalonica were shaken and troubled by the future events surrounding the very last of the last days. So Paul wrote to these believers to calm them down and assure them that being panicked is not the right response for any Christian who hears that the end of the age is close at hand.

Paul told them, “That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled....” The word “shaken” is the Greek word saleuo, and it means to shake, to waver, to totter, or to be moved. The tense points to events that cause shock or alarm.

The word “troubled” is from the Greek word throeo, and it indicates an inward fright that resulted from whatever news the Thessalonian believers heard that shocked them. The word throeo depicts something that causes one to be filled with worry, anxiety, or fear. However, this tense points to an ongoing state of worry and inward anxiety resulting from something that was disturbing these believers and disrupting their state of peace. It is as if there was no reprieve from these shocking, debilitating, and nerve-racking things they were hearing. The word throeo actually portrays a state of jumpiness or nervousness, as if they were living on the edge of their nerves.

Paul told these believers not to be shaken in “mind” — a word that comes from the Greek word nous, which describes one’s mind or intellect, will, and emotions or the ability to think, reason, and decide. It is a fact that whoever or whatever controls a person’s mind ultimately has the power to dictate the affairs and outcome of that person’s life. Therefore, Paul was urging the Thessalonian congregation to be careful to whom they listened or what they opened their minds to when it came to last-days teachings. That same warning has applied to all Christians throughout the Church Age — especially to those of us who live in this end-time generation.


Whoever or whatever controls a person’s mind ultimately has the power to dictate the affairs and outcome of that person’s life.

Then in Second Thessalonians 2:2, Paul added, “That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit....” This word “spirit” is a translation of the Greek word pneuma, which in this verse refers to a spiritual experience or spiritual utterance that is out of sync with the revealed Word of God. Some have even translated the word to mean ecstatic utterances. Paul was here referring to strange utterances, weird revelations, or euphoric proclamations that have no root in sound doctrine and eventually produce the negative effect of spiritually upsetting believers.

Paul continued writing, “That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us....” The word “letter” is the Greek word epistole, which is where we get the word “epistle.”

It seems Paul was aware that people with fraudulent motives were attempting to write their own epistles in the style of those Paul had written to the churches. He was aware that some of these imposters were even claiming that their epistles were written by Paul himself. Others admitted writing the letters but then falsely alleged that Paul had endorsed their epistles as written in his behalf. But whatever it was that these believers were reading or listening to, the counterfeit message was stirring up fear and alarm in their hearts.

Paul began Second Thessalonians 2:3 by saying, “Let no man deceive you by any means....” The word “deceive” is the Greek word exapatao, which means to beguile, to cheat, to trick, or to mislead one to a false impression or a false conclusion. Paul was literally telling the Thessalonian believers to use their minds and not believe everything they heard — to keep their heads on straight when it came to what and to whom they listened concerning the last days!


In light of all we’ve just studied, the following is Renner’s Interpretive Version (RIV) of Second Thessalonians 2:1-3:

1. Brothers, listen carefully, for I am asking you in the strongest of terms to hear what I am about to say and to do exactly what I’m asking you to do. The appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ is very near. The moment we have all longed and waited for is almost upon us! I’m talking about that moment when Jesus will finally gather us together for Himself.
2. Some things will be happening right before His coming that could shake you up quite a bit. I’m referring to events that will be so dramatic that they could really leave your head spinning — occurrences of such a serious nature that many people will feel alarmed, panicked, intimidated, and even unnerved! Naturally speaking, these events could nearly put you over the brink emotionally and make you feel apprehensive and insecure about life. I wish I could tell you these incidents were going to be just a one-shot deal, but when they finally get rolling, they’re going to keep coming and coming, one after another.
That’s why you have to determine not to be shaken or moved by anything you see or hear. You need to get a grip on your mind and refuse to allow yourselves to be traumatized by these events. If you let these things get to you, it won’t be too long until you’re a nervous wreck! You have to decide beforehand that you are not going to give in and allow fright to penetrate your mind and emotions until it runs your whole life.
I also want to tell you not to be too surprised if people start making weird spiritual proclamations and off-the-wall utterances during the time just before the Lord comes. All kinds of strange things are going to happen during those days! It’s going to get so bizarre that you might even receive a letter from some person who claims that the day of the Lord has already come! Who knows — he might even attach my name to it, alleging to have my endorsement, or he might even send it as if it were written and sent from us!
3. In light of these things, I urge you to refuse to allow anyone to take advantage of you....

What we are about to study in the rest of this book are prophetic utterances concerning developments that will emerge at the end of the age. The purpose of this book is not to make you feel alarmed, panicked, intimidated, or unnerved. I am not on a mission to put your nerves on edge or to make you feel apprehensive and insecure about life!

However, we need to keep our heads on straight about the state of this world in this day we’re living in. We must not bury our heads in the sand and ignore what the Holy Spirit clearly wants us to understand.

The radical changes in society that we are experiencing are just the tip of the iceberg — just the beginning of a worldwide mutiny that Paul prophesied about so long ago. According to the prophetic teaching of Scripture, societal and cultural changes will worsen as time passes.

The last-days spirit of iniquity is at work — and a steadily growing mutiny against God and His Word is rapidly spreading across the planet. A dark spiritual force is in full swing against the holiness of God and the voice of Scripture.


We must not bury our heads in the sand and ignore what the Holy Spirit clearly wants us to understand.

Can you see how the “mystery of iniquity” is spreading and infiltrating the world with greater and greater moral decay? Does this accurately describe what is happening in the culture of your time?

LIVING IN THIS PHASE OF HISTORY

People who are spiritually sensitive know that we have entered a final phase in this prophetic season. They understand the times in which they live and may feel disturbed by the destructive changes in behaviors and lifestyles they see happening in society, even among many who profess to be Christians.

But God spoke through the apostle Paul long ago to enlighten the eyes of those who profess Christ and to help His people understand what the world environment would be like in the concluding moments of the age. This knowledge is intended to help believers recognize the time in which they live and live soberly, with eternity in view. God wanted His people to be alert and awakened to this reality — especially the generations actually living in that time!

The time is short. That has often been said over the course of time, but it has never been more true than in this present hour. For this reason, we must use the time that remains wisely and shine the light of the Gospel into the hearts of those whom Satan has blinded (see 2 Corinthians 4:4).


The time is short. That has often been said over the course of time, but it has never been more true than in this present hour.

Do you have friends or family who are unsaved and blinded to the Gospel or who have wandered from the truth? Now more than ever before, it’s time to fervently pray for God to open their spiritual eyes so they can see the truth for themselves and be transformed by the power of Jesus Christ.

The floodgates of evil are swinging open wide as society races toward a cataclysmic collision with crises of a magnitude never before seen. Societal attitudes and moral standards have shifted and plummeted to depths that are almost unimaginable. As I wrote in Signs You’ll See Just Before Jesus Comes, Scripture clearly teaches that natural catastrophes of unusual proportions will be witnessed in the last of the last days. Of equal concern will be the changing spiritual climate in which accommodation of the world system will become the norm — and the world will become increasingly hostile toward and intolerant of those who stand for moral absolutes.

The Bible prophesied that the last of the last days would be characterized as “perilous times.” Few would doubt that this describes the age in which we live. But remember, you and I are ordained by God to live in this time.

We may not want to hear that the end is quickly drawing near, but the truth is, someone’s generation has to be the last days.

“TAG — we’re it!”


We may not want to hear that the end is quickly drawing near, but the truth is, someone’s generation has to be the last days.

LAST DAYS SURVIVAL GUIDE ACTION STEPS
TO BUILD A WALL OF PROTECTION AROUND YOUR LIFE

In the following paragraphs, I want to suggest action steps you can take to help build a wall of protection around your life so you are protected in this last-days environment. If these action steps are not already established habits in your walk with God, you should begin to implement them immediately to help you stay spiritually garrisoned even in the most troublesome of times.

These action steps are simple, but when acted on consistently, they will produce great power and spare us from all types of troubles that otherwise would invade our lives. Especially in these last days when evil abounds, it is essential that we make these simple elements a rock-solid wall of protection around our lives.

Of course, there are many more beneficial steps you should take to protect your heart and soul. However, these easy steps are a very good starting place to reinforce the spiritual wall of protection you must establish about your life and the lives of your family members in these last of the last days.

1. Pray every morning.

Start your day every morning with prayer as part of a plan to build a wall of protection around your life. In Psalm 5:3, David wrote of his commitment to spend time with God every morning. He said, “My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.”

Notice that the last part of that verse says, “...and will look up.” David was surrounded with enemies both inside and outside his home, and he was tempted to struggle emotionally. He knew he needed to start every morning by “looking up,” or things would escalate that could take him down.

Likewise, you need to start every day with the Lord “looking up” — or life will quickly take you down. If you ignore this spiritual principle, you’ll end up troubled, nervous, and worried — and you will lack spiritual power in your life. On the other hand, if you do this, you’ll remain in a state of abiding peace, able to walk through each day in confidence. You’ll know you’ve done what is right, and you’ll experience power to overcome the daily problems you face in life.

You can actually learn to live in a continual state of fellowshipping with the Lord in prayer. Ephesians 6:18 says, “Praying always....” You may say, “Is that really possible?” Yes, it is, but you must learn to do it. Becoming intentional about beginning each day with prayer confirms that you are serious about your commitment to God. It opens your heart to receive from Him, and it sets the tone for your day as you expect God’s guiding presence and His goodness to manifest in your life.

As you set your heart to begin each day in prayer — and to stay in a prayerful frame of mind the entire day — you’ll find yourself becoming more spiritually attuned to the things around you. A prayerful mindset will heighten and sustain your spiritual sensitivity — which is exactly what you need in these last days.

2. Read the Bible every day.

Make a commitment to read the Bible every day as part of a plan to build a wall of protection around your life. In Psalm 119:105, the psalmist wrote: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” You must determine that the Word of God will be the guiding light that leads you down every path and in every decision you make in life.

God told Joshua in Joshua 1:7: “...Turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.” According to this verse, a great part of your daily victory depends on you faithfully sticking with the Word of God and not allowing other voices or other ideas to sidetrack you along the way. By taking time to read the Bible and allowing its words to enter into your heart and mind, you give God the ability to do a supernatural work in your heart and to keep your soul free from the enemy’s entrapments.

If you don’t know where to start reading, find a Bible-reading plan to help keep you on track as a type of personal accountability. The Bible will feed you, help you, ensure that you stay on course, and keep your heart soft before the Lord.

I urge you to make God’s Word the highest priority of your life. Put it before your eyes every morning. Let it fill your eyes, flood your mind, touch your emotions, and become your guide. Your life will be strengthened and changed if you will do this.

Hebrews 4:12 reveals the transforming power of God’s Word: “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” In these last days, it is vital for you to have the Bible in your heart and at your disposal to successfully defeat the demonic forces that will continually try to accost your mind.

3. Quickly confess sin and receive the cleansing of Jesus’ blood.

Learn to quickly confess sin and receive the cleansing blood of Jesus as part of your strategic plan to build a wall of protection around your life. We all commit sin, some unintentional and, at times, some even intentional. Regardless, as soon as you realize that you’ve done something or meditated on something inappropriate, you must quickly act on First John 1:9, which says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Proverbs 28:13 states it clearly: “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” When we ignore or try to hide sin, it negatively clogs our spiritual lives and makes us susceptible to the attacks of the enemy. But by quickly confessing sin and submitting to the cleansing power of Jesus’ blood, it keeps us free of self-condemnation and attack and keeps our hearts pliable.

Don’t let your heart become hard by allowing unconfessed sin to build in your soul. Quickly confess sin and submit it to the cleansing power of Jesus’ blood. As you do, you’ll immediately receive forgiveness and mercy as the blood of Jesus cleanses you from any act or thought that has grieved the Spirit of God. This is how you stay spiritually free and help your soul stay free in these last days.

4. Put on the whole armor of God.

Ephesians 6:11 says, “Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” God has provided mighty spiritual weapons for you with which you are to continually arm yourself. Each element of this spiritual armor — the loinbelt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit, and the lance of prayer and supplication — is a vital, effective, and powerful weapon for you to use every day against the devil’s assaults against you.

So put on the whole armor of God as part of a plan to build a wall of protection around your life. The devil will try to wage attacks against you, but you have at your disposal this full array of spiritual weapons — ready for you to wield and to win the victory every time.

Especially in these last days as spiritual conflicts become more and more intense, you need this God-given spiritual weaponry to enable you to successfully withstand every attack and drive the enemy out of your space. With these “weapons of your warfare” in place (see 2 Corinthians 10:3-5), you are more than able to defeat any foe or demonic stronghold that would challenge your faith!

(To know more about spiritual weapons, I advise you to read my book Dressed To Kill. This book is entirely devoted to the subject of spiritual warfare, including how to use your spiritual weaponry to stay free from every attack of the enemy waged against you.)

5. Make a covenant with your eyes.

Very often, evil finds access into your mind and imagination through your eyes. So make a covenant with your eyes as part of your deliberate plan to build a wall of protection around your life. Psalm 101:3 says, “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes....”

Matthew 6:22 (NLT) says, “Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light.” If your eyes are focused on what is healthy, it will bring good things into your mind. However, if your eyes are focused on what is unhealthy or foul, those vile things that gained entrance through what you allowed your eyes to see will enter into your mind and affect you negatively.

An ancient saying tells us, “The eye is the window to the soul.” Although this saying is not found in the Bible, it is true that your eyes are the gateway to your mind and imagination and to what positively or negatively affects your thinking.

We are living in the last days, and that, for one thing, means we are living in an environment where wicked things — especially sexually lewd things — are constantly on display before our eyes. If you don’t stop those images from entering your mind, you give the devil a tool to use against you. It is therefore essential that you make a covenant with your eyes, determining that you will not give permission for any wicked thing to be displayed in your sight.

6. Maintain a strong relationship with those to whom you are spiritually accountable.

You need to keep your relationship strong with those to whom you are spiritually accountable. This is a vital part of your plan to build a wall of protection around your life. Proverbs 11:14 says, “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.” Proverbs 24:6 also says, “...In multitude of counsellors there is safety.” According to these verses, a person who has godly counselors in his or her life is a wise person.

The fact is, everyone needs someone to whom he is spiritually accountable and to whom he can turn for counsel in time of need. That person could be your pastor. It could also be someone who is further along in spiritual maturity than you, whose counsel you respect, and who is trusted, confidential, and mature.

In Psalm 54:4, David said, “Behold, God is mine helper: and the Lord is with them that uphold my soul.” Whom do you have in your life who strengthens you in your soul — helping you think right about the situations you’re facing and align your emotions with God’s Word? You need people in your life like that.

There are times we all need someone to speak into our lives who will watch out for our souls. We need these trustworthy individuals who will pray with us, speak the Word to us, be honest and forthright with us, and hold us accountable. This is a healthy ingredient of our lives in God — especially in these last days when the enemy will do all he can to wage warfare against our soul.

By having such people in your life — those with whom you can talk and confide — you are provided a safety net to help you in times of need and to keep you strong. As David said, you need those who “strengthen your soul” during these last days when many will be tempted to fall into various temptations.

7. Regularly attend a church that teaches from the Bible.

You need to regularly attend a church where you will be encouraged from the Bible and strengthened in the presence of the Holy Spirit as you worship God with other believers. This is another essential part of a plan to build a wall of protection around your life.

Psalm 119:28 marvelously depicts the powerful effect of God’s Word to divinely energize a person who otherwise would feel physically or emotionally weak. In fact, when the psalmist was confronted with his own humanity, he knew that the Word was the ingredient that would strengthen him to rise above it. That is why he said, “...Strengthen thou me according unto thy word.”

The importance of finding a local body where you can receive a steady, healthy diet of God’s Word cannot be underestimated in your life. In fact, the amount of spiritual fire you have burning at your core is directly related to how much of God’s Word is planted in your heart — and where you regularly attend church is a vital factor in that equation.

Within the covers of the Bible are all the answers for every problem you will ever face. The Bible can bring new life to your heart, establish order in your mind, and refresh your soul when unruly emotions or tormenting thoughts threaten to disturb your peace. It is essential that you allow God to lead you to a company of other believers where you can receive a strong foundation of God’s Word and commit to living out its truths within the spiritual family where He has placed you.

When you hear the Scriptures expounded by the anointing of the Holy Spirit and take it by faith into your heart, its supernatural power is unleashed. And when that happens, every part of your being — your heart, will, thoughts, emotions, and memories — are all touched by God’s power.

Satan knows the life-transforming power that is locked inside the Bible. That’s why he fights so hard to get believers and churches to back away from it, trying to convince them to water down, modify, or even eliminate the Bible from its critical role in the life of every local body. (I discuss this demonic attack in-depth in my book How To Keep Your Head on Straight in a World Gone Crazy. I urge you to obtain that book and read it.)

So I want to ask you — are you attending a church where the emphasis is on a solid foundation of Bible truth? In a world where deception is proliferating and growing darker all the time, this issue is more important than ever. You must fortify yourself and your family by sitting under preaching and teaching of the Word that encourages you, confronts you, and helps you conform to the likeness of Jesus Christ.

If you are currently attending a church where the Word of God is not taught in power, or where a weakened and watered-down version of the Bible is preached, I urge you to begin looking for a pastor who will feed you the Bible in a way that leads to personal transformation. In these last of the last days, you must have the spiritual strength and vital support found in a church that is led by a pastor and filled with believers committed to biblical truth.


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