Who Will Be Left For Us To Rule in the Millennium?

The Dilemma for Post-tribulation Rapture Only?

A question that eventually comes up after studying end time prophecy long enough is who is going to be left to populate the earth during the Millennium, especially the start of it. The question arises from two discoveries:

  1. The righteous go up to heaven in the rapture and then come back glorified to rule.
  2. The unrighteous go through God’s terrible wrath (which means being subjected to hundred pound hailstones among other things – Rev 16:21) and seem to all die from many verses (1Th 5:3; Ps 2:12; Zeph 3:9; Mal 4:1; 2Th 1:7;2:12)

For pretrib rapture believers, who position the rapture seven years before #2 above, they believe some of those left behind after the rapture become righteous (such as Jews) and survive into the Millennium. They argue that the post-tribulation rapture must be false because, with it coming at the end, there is no time between the rapture and the start of the Millennium for any unbelievers to be converted and saved

The Surprising Solution

Despite many verses that on their own seem to point to utter destruction of all unbelievers in God’s wrath, there is a very clear verse which pretribbers overlook specifically talking about survivors from Armageddon:

Zechariah 14:16-18 (HCSB)— 16 Then all the survivors from the nations that came against Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD of Hosts, and to celebrate the Festival of Booths. 17  Should any of the families of the earth not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of Hosts, rain will not fall on them. 18 And if the people of Egypt will not go up and enter, then rain will not fall on them; this will be the plague the LORD inflicts on the nations who do not go up to celebrate the Festival of Booths.

How can this be?

First, while the Battle of Armageddon will result in complete destruction of the Beast’s armies (God’s enemies) as Zechariah clearly depicts (Zec 14:12), this is only the armies who come against Jerusalem. The rest of the people left behind in the nations where the armies came from will not be destroyed by God at the Battle of Armageddon.

Secondly, even with hundred pound hailstones that fall before Armageddon comes, some of these people left behind will find cover and survive. Zechariah 13:8 suggests that as many as one third will be left after God’s wrath.

What About the Mark of the Beast?

There is still another problem with the unrighteous survivors of the tribulation which many will think of. Everyone on earth (who is not raptured and is not martyred) will have the Mark of the Beast within five months (Rev 13:7-8)—except for the 144,000 who have the seal of protection from the locusts (Rev 9:4) that allows them to witness unhindered for the entire Great Tribulation).

At first glance, it seems that those who took the mark and worshiped the Beast’s image will be tormented forever (Rev 14:11). This naturally reminds Christians of hell. However, the passage does not explicitly say the torture itself lasts forever. It only says the smoke of their torment rises forever which is impossible and cannot be meant literally.

What’s the difference? It is an idiomatic expression which is used previously in the OT. It is found in that form and others such as the worm of the dead not dying (Isa 34:10; 66:24). Similarly, Revelation says later about the destruction of Babylon that her smoke rises forever, too. We understand that Babylon is not destroyed, burning or tortured forever. The hyperbole about smoke rising forever seems to convey the seriousness of the judgment.

Where it says that those who worship the Beast have no rest day or night, that’s talking about how bad the cup of the wrath of God (Rev 14:10) will be that they must face. It’s not talking about hell. The lake of fire comes over 1000 years later at the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev 20:11-14).

Thus, the implication of Zechariah 14 that survivors will come up to worship (or receive no rain) is that the mark of the beast that was on all of them was removed when the Kingdom of God begins to reign. Satan is bound at that time (Rev 20:1-3) and it stands to reason the mark and enslavement of people it brought is also terminated.

Why the Marked Don’t Deserve Damnation

This releasing and forgiveness of the marked would only be fair of God when you consider the circumstances. People who take the mark will have been deceived into thinking the Beast is God himself (2Th 2:4). They will also be coerced into taking it by the fact that they cannot buy or sell without it (Rev 13:17). Plus there are the locusts that are unleashed at the start of the Great Tribulation on people (Rev 9:4-10). They torture people with pain like from the sting of a scorpion for five months (Rev 9:10). Probably only those who have resisted taking the mark receive this torture. (For more on the locusts and what they probably are read my Mark of the Beast article.)

As you can now see, there will be survivors who make it through the Great Tribulation, the wrath of God and the mark of the beast. These survivors, although not righteous or believers, will become the subjects of the Kingdom during the Millennium. The point about there being punishment if they disobey God’s instructions fits the fact that these people are not starting out as believers or even welcoming of Jesus. They will no doubt have resistance to the new king of the Earth who has just arrived and changed everything without their consent.

Why God Likes You More Than You Think

Believer’s Paranoia

Whether they know it or not…

Whether they admit it or not…

….every believer struggles with having a positive image of God. Is he mad at them for their latest sin, committed for the umpteenth time? Is he holding back blessings…or even sending curses on them? Has he stopped hearing their prayers?

Sound familiar?

If you want to know how I know what you’re going through so well, it’s because all believers signed up for  the same challenge of serving an invisible and silent Father in heaven. Yes, we all know it’s a matter of faith to believe in and serve God. But being told that over and over does little to help us with our day to day uncertainty on how he judges in general, and us in specific. We’re all left kind of paranoid about God because we are lacking information.

I finally recognized this universal problem after noticing similar questions from believers like above. I would receive these questions from people despite my advertised area of expertise being in Bible prophecy (the topic of my first book), not in, say, pastoring or Christian counseling. That indicates how desperate people are for answers on this problem.

For example, here’s the latest one from just this week on this theme:

i pray to Jesus but I’m afraid because i am not very christian in my ways that he don’t hear me

what do you think?

When I answered her she was quite pleased with what I said. Therefore I am going to publish my answer to her below knowing that for every person who has asked, there are many more who have not yet have the same doubts.

Here’s What I Said:

What you’re saying about having doubts and fears is very common. In the last few years I conquered my own doubts about God not wanting to hear from me or to help me. I did this by studying Jesus words and deeds which he said was always “showing the Father” and only doing what the Father willed.

And what did he do? He only loved those who came to him for help (which excludes the religious leaders he rebuked because they came to attack him). He even healed every single person who came to him, even when there were masses of hundreds, it says he healed them all. Of course, in crowds of that size there were certainly some there of “unchristian ways” like you have, and even heavy sinners. Yet we find that he never said, “go repent and do better before I’ll heal you.” He healed all who came.

God is the same way because Jesus said he reflected the Father’s wills and ways. He will do the same for us if we seek him. He will not reject us and say we’re not good enough.

Now, if you think you’re not good enough or worried that you are not right with God, then that’s actually a very good sign. The real problem would be if you were not worried about your ways or relationship with God. You know, just like most of the world who does not give God a passing thought let alone care what he says? You’re not like that based on what I’m hearing, so your every attempt at prayer or good works, even when you fail, is pleasing to God.

In Revelation it reveals that the prayers of the saints are as sweet incense to God. How can that be? Because it takes faith to pray to an invisible God and to believe he will do good in response. Hebrews says without faith its impossible to please God. You’re very pleasing to God when you act in faith, no matter how imperfectly (or even boringly!).

Consider by comparison how we view toddlers who try to do well but stumble and get in trouble and make messes. Even though we are imperfect and “evil” (Lk 11:13), we love them and enjoy their every cute attempt to please us, no matter how disastrous. I think God has to see us as toddlers, too. When we keep stumbling while trying to do right he still loves and enjoys us as, compared to us, he is full of patience, mercy and love.

And here’s another thing: he expects nothing less since he made us this way: limited in strength, understanding, and willpower. He already knew we’d make mistakes, forget to do what we promised and , etc. He forgives all because this is how we designed us: imperfect and learning through repeated, inevitable mistakes. When you think about it, we probably in total do more things wrong in life than right, yet we’ll all be in the kingdom for our intent or heart to do right and not be kept out for all our failures.

Do you feel better yet? Then go pray to God and just talk to him like a toddler goes on and on and know that, like we do with our toddlers, God will laugh and enjoy it. God wants to hear from you, his child who seeks to please him.

Should We Celebrate Christmas?

Someone asked me a very common question for December:

Should we celebrate Christmas? Since it had pagan beginnings?

Here is my answer:

Bible Does Not Prohibit Celebrating Days – Only Judging About It

Like most everything in life (minus five prohibitions Jesus listed as salvation requirements) (Mt 19:17-19), Christmas is a matter of personal choice, not of sin or of right and wrong. That something came from pagans simply does not make it sin or wrong. It’s a good thing, too, since most everything in life was devised by heathens, not by servants of God (who are in the minority always). You’d have to live in a cave and be all knowing of everything’s origin if God really expected us to concern ourselves with avoiding all pagan-influenced things. (And by the way, how would you know for sure this is God’s will, anyway, since it’s a minority fringe opinion that we must maintain such a standard of purity?)

When you investigate the Bible to find God’s will, there is nothing in the NT about believers needing to quit celebrating holidays. In Jesus’ and Paul’s day under Roman occupation, there were many such pagan festivals celebrated around them. And although they talk a lot about many actual sins going on and to be repented of, not a word is mentioned on holidays except when Paul talks about those who judge each other about such things (Rom 14:4-5; Col 2:16). Instead the focus is always on actual sins…like judging.

In other words, while Christmas-keeping is not in any way clearly defined as wrong in the Bible, judging others over keeping it is!

Objection: “Israel Was Told Not To Copy Pagan Worship – Like Christmas”

Some argue that in the OT ancient Israel was told to not worship idols or even to worship God the way other nations worshiped their gods (Dt 12:30-31). However, this was a higher standard based on revelation given only to ancient Israel on how to worship him (Dt 12:32), which was a condition for them staying in the Promised Land. When they forgot about God and sought after other idols that the heathen nations around them served continually, they were evicted from the land. Believers today are not under Moses or any other prophet telling them how to serve God. They do the best they can on their own. Therefore, keeping any holiday or even Christmas to worship Jesus is not a violation of anything believers have been told.

When the Millennium comes and Jesus and the saints rule so that the word of God covers the earth, then there will be instructions on worship and the accountability to follow them. We can see this in the clear penalties that are carried out against those who disobey (Zech 14:18).

As for today not under the government of God, there’s no prohibition about celebrating Christmas. It’s up to you and your own conscience whether you do or not.

My Opinion on Walid Shoebat’s Teachings

Walid Shoebat’s Prophecy Teachings

Frequently, visitors to my site ask my opinion of other prophecy teachers, their predictions, interpretations and prophecy theories. This is often a tricky proposition because my answer can easily be perceived as attacking another man or his ministry even though I have no malice for other teachers, whatever they may teach or believe. The way I see it, we’re all sincerely teaching what we know to be true although without a doubt we are all in error on many points. The problem is that we don’t know which points are wrong until later (or we would not be teaching them).

Thus, I have nothing against Walid Shoebat as a person or teacher. I wish him and his ministry well. However, in response to questions about his teachings and claims I would say, the ones I have looked at I have not found to hold up to careful scrutiny including the Berean test (Acts 17:11).

As such, I have been disappointed with his teachings, such as the idea of the Antichrist being Muslim. For one example of the proof he gives for that claim and how it does not stands up to inspection, see this article: http://barthsnotes.com/2009/07/06/is…aim-revisited/

Charity and Terrorism Expert Claims

Regarding his claims to being an ex-terrorist and expert on Islam terrorism, CNN did a investigative report on him and his charity but could not find any evidence to back up the claims:
Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04yWUuoU7Lc
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItxpU7ll2SE

In the end, whether CNN’s report is accurate or a smear, for me on prophecy he’s just another teacher who seems to mean well but ends up telling people to watch and wait for the wrong things. Islam’s influence today is scary to many believers, but that does not mean it will have a large end time role. Islam has been taking peace from the earth since inception just as the red horseman spirit was to inspire on the earth (Rev 6:3-4). Beyond that I find no end time role for Islam, including no verse requiring the Antichrist be a muslim.

In conclusion, feel free to listen to Walid Shoebat and to test what he says for yourself. I’m not telling anyone to avoid him as to avoid considering any teaching is a missed opportunity to sharpen your discernment and critical thinking skills. And the same goes for me, too. Check what I say against Scripture and good logic (and do let me know if you find anything you think I missed).

Is There Still Punishment For Forgiven Sins?

I received the following question on Facebook about how forgiveness works:

Feeling as if it is a fresh start and that yesterday’s mistakes aren’t part of ‘today’ have made a large difference. I ask for forgiveness and hope for the best and try not to doubt the forgiveness. I guess I sometimes wonder about that word too; forgiveness. Like, does God forgive us our sins in the fact that they are erased so much that we don’t go to hell but still receive punishment in life for the sins.. or is the forgiveness wiping away our sins entirely as long as we ask, and we suffer no punishment?

To understand what the full cost of sin is, you have to first properly understand the nature of our reward in the Kingdom. It’s not as simple as Christians generally understand it, being only about salvation. For example, Revelation says we are rewarded “according to our works” (Rev 20:12-13). How can that be when many NT passages speak of salvation being a free gift according to grace through faith?

The answer is that Revelation is not talking about salvation there but to a second component of our reward after the first component of salvation. Everyone gets eternal life in the Kingdom for having faith in the Word of God. It’s the same “one penny” reward for all by grace through faith (Gen 15:6=Lk 8:21=Mt 20:10). You can’t earn it, Jesus paid for it already so that those who turn to God can have their sins forgiven and they can enter the Kingdom and live forever.

In that eternal life there are different roles, responsibilities and brightness of bodies according to Daniel and Paul (Dan 12:3=1Co 15:40-41). Or what Jesus referred to as “riches in heaven” that come from greater sacrifice (Mt 19:21). What you get depends on your works (Jas 2:24=Mk 4:8=Rev 20:12-13). To qualify higher you need more works and less sin. Because it says love covers a multitude of sins (Jas 5:20) it seems that the equation is something like REWARD = GOOD WORKS – SINS.

So there’s no need to be in guilt on past sins or paralyzed worrying about them as Jesus paid the price to forgive them so you can still enter the Kingdom. If you instead focus on replacing them with good works, they don’t have to hurt your reward level in the Kingdom, either.

Scott Clarke Prophecy Video Theories Debunked

The Prophecy Video Trend

I always enjoy answering emails from readers asking for help discerning prophecy theories. In the last couple of years I’ve been getting more and more requests from readers to take a look at a prophecy teaching on Youtube for them. In the past these videos were almost always the amateurish kind with text flowing on the screen slowly with distracting music. When you combine a shaky typical date-setting premise from the title with a tortuous deliver like that, I found them unbearable to watch.

Lately when I click the link, it turns out out to be a video on the eternalrhythmflow Youtube channel by the prolific pretribber Scottie Clarke. Thankfully, he does not torture you with text. Instead, he narrates various images and charts such as from an astronomy program. Yet, as a pretribber his main focus is continually looking for signs of the rapture or Jesus’ return (seven years later according to pretrib thinking). As these never pan out, he has a reason to keep producing videos with new theories.

Here’s the latest email I’ve received on one of this videos:

I was wondering if you thought about the findings of  Scott Clarke related to his Rev 12 ‘virgin birth’ event that perfectly correspond to astronomical alignments in 2017? Please view his video detailing this at http://youtu.be/v5dyEnZFu0w “A 2017 Virgin Birth In SPACE?!”

Please view it with an open mind (ie ignore his conviction about what this “sign in the heavens” means for the rapture event). Rather, I’m curious what your thought is on how this very rare sign could mean to the sequence of events as detailed in your book? Like, what do you think the virgin birth event sign in the sky in Sept 2017 means? Could it simply say that 2023 is the right timing for our Lords return (and not 2030)? Are there any ‘events’ in your timeline around the 2017 or 2018 time period that could corrsepond to this ‘virgin birth’ sign in the heaven?

Tim,…I’m hoping you recognize how rare this “birth” sign is (ie the gestation period of Jupiter is 41 weeks, the 12 stars crowning her head is rare, etc). The Lord provided this sign to indicate something – if it is not what Mr Clarke suggests, then what could it be?

The Flawed Assumptions

As you can see from the underlined text in the email above, the underlying assumption of this video  is that heavenly signs such as eclipses and conjunctions are something we should be poring over. The more unique and rare these events are, the more significant they are supposed to be, to the point that it is assumed that it must be God’s doing in order to tell us something. Not surprisingly, Scott Clarke is a fan of the four blood moons theory and includes it in the above video. (I debunked that speculation when Mark Biltz came out with it and when John Hagee issued his version of it.)

The problem with these assumptions is that they rely upon taking verses out of context and building doctrines on them. Clarke, like Mark Biltz and John Hagee, uses Genesis 1:14 as his license to look for signs in the sky. But that verse does not say to look in the heavens for signs of the end times. In context it is talking about signs for seasons/festivals, days and years (Gen 1:14 HCSB). In other words, the regular events we set our calendar by.

They also use Joel 2:31 since it mentions a blood moon in the end times. But it also talks about a solar eclipse at the same time. And if you back up a verse, there is more happening than that. Wonders in the heaven and on the earth at the time of that blood moon / solar eclipse (Joel 2:30). This is parallel to the 6th seal (Rev 6:12-19) which gives even more events like a great global earthquake and shooting stars. It all points to a new cosmic object like a comet in close proximity to earth which explains the four trumpet impact disasters that immediately follow in sequence (Rev 8:1-13). Joel does not direct us to look for normal solar and lunar eclipses on the NASA table as a sign of the rapture or anything. It directs us to expect something new in the heavens interfering catastrophically with our very planet and all life on it.

Jesus Already Said What To Look For (!)

What people are missing who try to read prophecy into these naturally-occurring heavenly events is that Jesus already explained what the end time signs were exactly. He said nothing about singular eclipses, or four eclipses, or conjunctions of heavenly bodies.

In the Olivet Discourse and Revelation he described a few events that he called collectively the “beginning of sorrows.” They are unmistakeable events that have not happened, unlike eclipses and conjunctions that happen on a regular basis. In the Parable of the Fig Tree. Jesus said these are the signs of his coming. He also said that until you see these events, his coming is not near (Mt 24:6). To understand what these “beginning of sorrows” are and what causes them, it’s important to understand Wormwood.

What About The Virgin Sign?

Regarding the heavenly sign of the Woman in Revelation 12, it had to do with Jesus (the manchild’s) birth 2000 years ago. It has nothing to do with the end times. You can tell this because this sign happens before the manchild is taken up to heaven, referring to Jesus’ ascension. Likewise it happens before the dragon (Satan) chases the Woman who God helps for 3.5 times, speaking of Satan’s wrath in the Great Tribulation.

In fact, this “Virgin sign” is not even unique. The heavenly arrangement depicted by Rev 12:1 including the crescent moon, the sun, the woman (constellation Virgo) and the twelve star crown (“Berenice’s hair“) happen in the sky on a repeating basis. 2017 is not the first time it has happened and it won’t be the last. As this article explains, it appeared in the sky when Jesus was born, allowing us to pinpoint the exact time of his birth on the Day of Trumpets (not Tabernacles as many Messianics believe).

Unique Signs Sent By God?

However, even if a sign is unique, that does not make it sent by God or is a divine communication. Even unique conjunctions in the heavens are still just the result of the natural movements of the heavenly bodies. There are all manner of unique signs that have happened throughout history. Uniqueness does not make any of them signs from God, even if we can find parts of them described in the Bible in another context.

In the Bible, when a sign is meant to communicate something from God, it is announced by a prophet beforehand. He also gives the meaning at that time, rather than force you to speculate what it means after the fact. This article explains that in the context of another “unique” phenomenon: major natural disasters which prophecy buffs never fail to seize upon and pronounce to be prophetic after they happen.

Finally, when someone shares a discovery of a unique combination of events like this we have to remember the problem of confirmation bias. We all tend to see patterns or significance in disparate events that simply is not there. Our bias of ignoring information and aspects of these patterns that do not match our theory deceives us. When we hear someone else’s “the only way to explain this pattern is God!” theory, it’s hard to see all the things they left out that do not line up with their theory.

But we don’t have to. If we just remember that creating unique events in the heavens or on earth is not how the Bible shows God communicating with humanity, then we can safely ignore all speculation based on such things. The Bible already has specified how God talks to us: through certified, sign-working prophets like Moses and Jesus. What’s more, these prophets have already spoken on what the key events of the end times are. If you want to understand where we are in prophecy and if anything is near, learn and focus on those events, not the latest dazzling speculation on Youtube or anywhere else.


A Key to Repentance…From Comedian Louis CK?

Repentance: Why Do We Get Stuck?

Repentance is a nebulous word to modern ears. To repent literally means to turn. Specifically, to turn from your natural selfish inclinations to the way of God, the way of love and peace.

Of course, we tend to fail to act lovingly all the time. We all generally know what we should do in any situation, perhaps the opposite of our natural selfish instinct, but we don’t follow through. For example, the Bible is full of praise for giving generously to the poor or those in need.  As much as we all support that principle, in practice we tend encounter difficulties acting on it. We don’t know why, but we just can’t do it. Why is this and how do we change it? There is a way that I have been practicing that few seem to be aware or do. You probably will never get instruction on this in church, but you might just get a glimpse of it from a top comedian.

The Profound Insight

I certainly was surprised when I heard a comedian describe this key to repentance in a recent interview. Watch the short clip below. It’s profoundly insightful (as well as humorous) when he tells of pulling over and sitting with negative thoughts:

Did you catch the insight and how it relates to repentance? In his anecdote, he gave a powerful example of a habit we all have. When we have negative feelings or thoughts about ourselves, we try to ignore it or distract ourselves from it. In his case, it was sadness from being reminded that he is alone and may always be alone or even die alone. For believers trying to do the right thing, when we fail we likewise feel bad about ourselves. We may feel ashamed, hypocritical, ugly or guilty of not doing God’s will.

What most of have learned to do to handle these unpleasant feelings is to try to put them out of our minds. In our modern, connected world, it is incredibly easy to distract ourselves and not feel these thoughts. We can reach out to a friend through the phone like Louis CK did, or through social media like Facebook. We can go exercise or watch a movie or program on demand. We can eat some comfort food or get a drink or even take a pill like a Xanax. Any number of other pleasures are able to help us forget about how rotten we are.

How to Overcome Our Blockages

But what if we do what Louis CK did and actually get ignore our fear or discomfort and stop and look at ourselves in our moment of selfishness? Then we might actually be able to discover why we failed and fix it.

Going back to the example above where of not giving to someone in need, with a little repeated introspection we may discover that:

  • We hold some prejudices against giving to the poor from a upbringing showing us how to be hardworking and self-reliant (“if I can do it, why can’t they?”).
  • We think the poor get that way only because they are lazy or not working hard enough.
  • We assume that they otherwise must have brought the trouble on themselves or are even cursed by God and “deserve” it.
  • We may be coming from a scarcity mentality that makes it hard for us to give to others because we feel we won’t have enough for ourselves later.

Once we get to the root belief system(s) behind our negative actions, we can work on questioning and changing that false value or false belief and replacing it with the proper true or loving belief. It may take some doing and petitioning in our prayer closet, but in time we will find that our actions align more and more with truth and love.

If you make it a habit to examine the beliefs behind all your selfish or fearful ways, you will be on your way to being called an overcomer (Rev 21:7 KJV) and producing much fruit (John 15:5).


Pagan Holidays: Not Sin…But Still “Wrong” or Helping Enemy?

As a follow up to my comments about why celebrating “pagan” holidays is not a sin or something we need to avoid, I received this question:

I am not at all suggesting that this is a salvation issue…but how can it be a good or even “ok” thing to celebrate these pagan-based holidays knowing how it all plays in to the end time deception planned by Lucifer and his followers? I am referring to the whole Osiris/Apollo/ Nephilim etc etc agenda for the coming NWO (I am assuming with all of your researching regarding the tribulation and time of the end that you have come across this info.)

Isn’t it better to try to encourage our fellow believers to wake up and ‘take the red pill’ so to speak (obviously abiding by the biblical principal to be ‘ready to give a reason…’ as opposed to banging down a closed door) regarding the true origin and meaning of things including the man-made traditions that are now considered righteous and holy and “of the Lord?” So that they have a better chance of not believing the great delusion that will be offered at that time. To my husband and I, these traditions ingrained in the Christian “way” that are clearly not Bible-based but pagan-based are all part of a well devised and well executed master conspiracy authored by the father of lies and therefore, should be treated a little more seriously as such. Does that make sense?

I just value your opinion and appreciate the method you have used in the past to arrive at answers to biblical questions and was hoping to understand a little better what your view is on all this stuff.

Higher Standards and Judgment

I doubt many mainstream Christians can relate to the questions and concerns expressed above. Because I went through not only my Torah keeping and conspiracy theory phases, I understand it all too well.

I’m also familiar with the thinking that although something may not be sin, it could still be somehow “wrong” and need to be avoided. Some Torah keepers use this logic. They won’t claim that Torah is required today, but they will suggest that if you “know” that it’s the “ideal” that God gave to Israel, “shouldn’t you want to do as much of it as you can?” Those who don’t see it that way are viewed as not true or not serious servants of God, guilty of “picking and choosing” what to obey in God’s Word.

This judgment is usually not intentional or malicious. It is an effect of having high personal standards. We naturally think others should have the same standards we do in order to qualify as good people like ourselves. A naturally thin or exercise-loving person may view overweight people as lazy thinking that if he can keep himself thin, then everyone can and “should” do so, too (“should” is a word loaded with judgment). When it comes to instruction of the Bible, it’s easy to believe that its instructions are universal or God’s will for all men. Anyone opting out from any commandment of God must be disobedient.

What these people miss is that good, sincere, diligent people come to different conclusions on what the Bible says. There are typically good reputable scholars on either side of any doctrinal dispute. The Bible is just written that way that multiple reasonable interpretations are possible. Until one recognizes that fact and as long as one keeps insisting that “the Bible is very clear” we continue to consider those who do not maintain the same standards as we do to be disobedient needing “to repent” instead of seeing them as the like-minded brothers who seek to serve God that they really are in God’s eyes.

The Fallacy of Complicity and Negligence

In this case, the belief is that everyone should know that Christian holidays are of pagan origin and part of some end time conspiracy to deceive people and should want to avoid them. It is thought that if you do not avoid them when you know better, you are somehow complicit, or an accomplice to this terrible “plan of the enemy.” Again, as with the Torah keepers, the fear is that you will be held accountable by God for not acting on what you “know.”

Certainly the Bible teaches the principle of accountability for what you know. If you see your neighbor’s ox wandering astray, it is your duty to help and return it to him (Ex 23:4). Or if you know to do good and you do not do it, it is sin (James 4:17). But is this principle correctly applied when we consider those who celebrate pagan holidays as helping the “NWO?”

There are several differences in the topic at hand that make this principle inapplicable. First, when you see your neighbor’s ox wandering the street, you know it is out of place. You have the evidence; there is no disputing the fact. You must act or be guilty of negligence.

However, the same cannot be said if you change the situation to someone merely reporting to you that your neighbor’s ox is in the street. Are they telling the truth or correct in their identification? Hard to say. It would be considered hearsay in front of a judge to claim that someone else said they saw the ox. You are far less accountable for that.

Now take it a step further consider a situation where you are told that someone else is planning to open your neighbor’s gate so his ox can get lost. Not only hearsay, but this time hearsay about an intent to create a problem, rather than there being potentially an actual serious problem. This is more in the realm of rumor now. If you know the neighbor you might pass it along, but if they are just some stranger out there then it’s really not your concern. Chasing down wild rumors like that would not be a good use of your time.

And that’s what these reports about the NWO planning to delude the entire world by inventing and encouraging pagan holidays are like. We have never met them, we don’t know who they are, we don’t know where they are or what they plan to do exactly or when. How can we be complicit in their evil plans by celebrating a popular holiday when all we have is hearsay and rumors to connect the two?

Now, I concede that by not acting on even a rumor you might be considered negligent if it is regarding something serious enough, like someone reported to be conspiring to murder or physically harm others. For example, the Secret Service reportedly follows up on every single rumor of a threat against the President of the United States because of how important the president and his safety is.

Deception: Not the “End of the World”

However, what we’re talking about here is “only” deception, and deception on the topic of holidays, no less. Whether it is part of some grand conspiracy does not matter. As stated above, this cannot be proven, and even if it’s true 1. it does not matter what was “intended” by those who started a tradition, but rather what is intended by those keeping it, and 2. we can’t be held accountable for knowing the origins of and intent behind every old tradition we keep anyway, even if it mattered, which it does not. Celebrating a holiday is not a sin.

And truth be told, deception is not such a big deal either. We’re all deceived all the time thanks to Satan’s influence (Rev 12:9). We go in and out of deception as we study; picking up wrong information that stays with us until we discover it–if we ever do. Thankfully, we will be saved no matter how much false doctrine, tradition and beliefs we hold in our head and practice, even if those things are in alignment with the plans of evil people. Deception most often only hurts our pride, not our salvation.

For this reason, “waking people up” about the pagan origins of holidays or supposed NWO conspiracy plans is not the biblical equivalent of the Matrix’s “red pill” that it is made out to be by many. For some it is noteworthy and leads them to discover that Christianity is not teaching them the truth but is teaching tradition.  Yet they probably will remain Christian and keep believing the majority of the falsehood Christianity teaches contrary to the Bible. Adding or removing those beliefs of themselves does not change ones relationship with God.

The majority, however, will view conspiracy theories from fringe sources or a history lesson on the pagan origins of some Christian traditions as not things profitable to focus on or change their life around. Who wants to serve a God who would expect you to be accountable for rumor-level information and things done or intended by people long ago in history?

The Real “Red Pill” Awakening

I know some people deep into conspiracy theory research will probably not be helped by the reasoning above. They will find it hard to let go of the idea that this secret “information” is not important or that it can safely be ignored.

Perhaps it would help to know what the real “red pill” awakening is. It’s called the gospel of the Kingdom of God. When Jesus came this was the message he taught to the masses–not that he was the Messiah and people had to accept him as such to be saved. He taught them to repent because the Kingdom was being offered to those who do. Those who are called, chosen and faithful until the end will receive eternal life and entrance into the Kingdom where they will “inherit” and rule the earth for 1000 years. And not only that but blessings are promised in this life too (Mk 10:30).

How do you qualify for all this? All that is required is to love your neighbor as yourself for God (Mt 19:17-19). No need to have a religion, belong to a church, keep biblical holidays, avoid pagan traditions, study conspiracy theories and wake people up about them. Simple! (But not easy…)

If you still doubt the above, it might help to ask yourself why with all the warnings Jesus gave about avoiding things, he spent ZERO time talking about avoiding pagan influence and conspiracy of the Roman culture and powers of his day dominating his nation? Instead, he emphasized love as the focus, not avoiding all these traditions and inventions of men. You’re safest if you follow his teaching rather than the rantings of fringe sources on the internet today.

What is the True Church?

Tim, have you written any articles or have any links to share about the true Church of God and where/who it is?

No, but this is such an important question for every believer it is time I did.

Why So Many Churches?

Most believers probably forget (or purposely ignore) how fractured the Christian world is. To focus on it causes cognitive dissonance. How can “Jesus’ followers” be so divided? Why is Christianity, if it is Jesus’ religion, such a confusing mess?

Christian author and scholar Dr. Roy Blizzard has said that Christianity is divided into 40,000 warring denominations. Of course, the division stems mainly from doctrinal differences. For example, some denominations sprinkle for baptism, others immerse, others don’t do it at all. If you believe immersion is necessary, how can you stay with a group that denies “the truth” (as you see it) or condone them “doing it wrong?” You join or start a new group who you can agree with. This is what people have done over the centuries to produce the confusing Christian scenario that we are all too familiar with. It is a chief bad fruit of the emphasis on “right” doctrinal beliefs, instead of the emphasis on right attitude and actions that Jesus had exclusively.

Everyone naturally thinks that the church they belong to is doing things right and is the true church. From the smallest cult to the largest organization. I have had many Catholics proudly point out that their church is the true church because it is the oldest and preserved the Bible that “you Protestants use to argue against us.”

The Church Defined

But the truth is that to find the true church you do not go examining the Christian organizations or denominations out there. When Jesus said, “I will build my church” (Mt 16:18) he was not talking about Christianity, a religion that developed centuries after he died. The biblical definition of the church is actually the people, the believers. The Greek word translated church is ekklesia which literally translates to “called out ones,” not “church.”

The true ekklesia is you and I and all believers collectively. Whether you gather, assemble or meet or not, we are the church. It’s not contained in any one religion, denomination, system, or organization, but found across them all—and outside them, too. If you don’t “go to church” or don’t “belong to a church” you still are the church.

Today the true church of God is actually not organized. We have no leader. The apostles are gone. We have no system; it’s confusion. Certainly we have no agreed upon beliefs or practices (see above). But that’s OK. Such things are not required to be the called out ones. You only need choose to respond to the calling by believing in the good news of the Kingdom.

What is Repentance?

An important consideration here is that even believers who do not take the calling seriously or who do not act like Jesus instructed are still the church. There is no subdivision of true believers and false believers in the body. Therefore, even the typical Christian who does nothing more than sit through a sermon every Sunday and pay his tithe is still the church. Even if the rest of the week he may act no differently than the world around him, he still qualifies.

If you doubt this, read the letters to seven churches in Revelation chapters 2 and 3. Jesus corrects most of the churches telling them to stop being lukewarm and repent. Yes, sinning, lukewarm, wicked believers are still the ekklesia. They were called out and the chose to respond, but they are not bearing the right fruit, good fruit.

What fruit? “Fruit worthy of repentance” as John the Baptist called it (Mt 3:8=Lk 3:8). If you read Luke 3, you’ll see that John helpfully illustrates what these fruits look like. Unlike what Christianity teaches, it’s not about accepting Jesus and a bunch of orthodox beliefs and creeds and maintaining membership with a local “church.” Instead it is acting with loving compassion towards others rather than acting with our natural selfishness and indifference. This requires “turning” from your normal instinctive ways, which is the meaning of repent.

By the way, Jesus makes it clear that the members of the church that do not repent will not receive eternal life (Rev 3:5; 3:16). That’s why he implores them to repent. This is again different than what Christianity teaches that once you believe you are saved just for that. Some even teach that “once saved, always saved.” If that was true, why would the church listen to Jesus’ pleading to repent?

How To Receive Eternal Life in Jesus’ Own Words

The members of the church who actually think and act differently than everyone else are not just called and chosen (Mt 22:14), but they are called chosen and faithful (Rev 17:14). They faithfully have an attitude of following (albeit not perfectly) the six commandments required for entry into the Kingdom and receive eternal life (Mt 19:16-19). Jesus told a parable illustrating what those six commandments look like in practice, which is similar to what John the Baptist described:

Matthew 25:41-46 (HCSB) — 41  Then He will also say to those on the left, ‘Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels! 42  For I was hungry and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty and you gave Me nothing to drink; 43  I was a stranger and you didn’t take Me in; I was naked and you didn’t clothe Me, sick and in prison and you didn’t take care of Me.’ 44  “Then they too will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or without clothes, or sick, or in prison, and not help You?’ 45  “Then He will answer them, ‘I assure you: Whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for Me either.’ 46  “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

How much thought and effort does the average Christian put into cultivating an attitude of loving others like that in themselves? Obviously, not much. I have no judgment for them, only sorrow. In their defense, they are simply not taught or trained in having that focus. The focus in churches is on having the right beliefs and getting others to believe the same way and hopefully join the church.


In conclusion, finding or being the true church is very easy. Believers are everywhere. However, finding or being the part of the church that is faithful or on the narrow path (Mt 7:14) is not so easy, although the requirements are thankfully very simple. Put in the simplest way:

Matthew 7:12 (HCSB)  — Therefore, whatever you want others to do for you, do also the same for them—this is the Law and the Prophets.,

If you never step foot in a church but you study the instruction of Jesus and act on it, then you will be the best example of the true church available to probably most people who know you.