Paul’s “Last Days People” Sign Here: Why Does God End Civilization?

When God sends Wormwood to demolish civilization (Rev 6-8), is it because time's up (6000 years) or are there conditions in society that give God cause, such as the negative attributes Paul warned Timothy about in "people of the last days?" (2Tm 3:1-3)? I could never explain this prophecy until I stopped trying to ignore how people are more rude, outraged, and angry than ever and researched the cause, a technology now infecting nearly all of us. Understand and see the writing on the wall for yourself so you can prepare for 2026. Learn three errors in judgment I see Christians using social media make and what they are forgetting. Update: The 5 battle-tested keys for success at doing what Jesus said that Katrina and I use...

Part 1: The End Time Sign I Ignored

I have good news and bad news.

The good news is that if you're not content with my personal-dream-based conviction about 2026 being when Wormwood brings the end of civilization (rather than some later sabbath year cycle/70th-week timeframe like 2032/2039/etc.) I have a new explanation for an end-time sign in the Bible that's easier to confirm than praying for your own revelation from God to confirm my dreams.

The bad news is that if you had hoped my dreams were wrong about 2026 and that we had more time, this new sign is hard to miss once I show it to you. It is covered regularly in the news and witnessed by most of us on an almost daily basis. Once you see it, it will change how you view our modern, digital life.

The sign I'm referring to is a prophecy I have ignored for 20 years now. Paul warned Timothy about how degenerate people will be in the "last days" with a list of 19 descriptors:

2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NIV2011) — 1 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

This is no easy prophecy.

Problem #1: Subjective "Worsening"

Can you see the problem I had with this? Take a look at the list of negative characteristics of people. They are not exactly what we would call unique; most have been manifested to varying degrees in all societies throughout history. Paul confirms the universality of them by including a warning to Timothy to avoid people like that in his time. A warning about last-days people which applies already 2000 years earlier left me perplexed.

How do we know when the prophecy is fulfilled? Is it a matter of scale, an unprecedented level of anti-social tendencies in people that would be impossible to miss? Paul's statement later in the chapter seems to confirm this:

2 Timothy 3:13 (HCSB) — Evil people and impostors will become worse, deceiving and being deceived.

Indeed, that seems like the only possibility. Somehow, people will become much worse. Since "worse" is so relative and not quantifiable, we cannot hope to truly understand what this prophecy really looks like until we get there. Along the way, it's will be unavoidable that we think it has arrived when really it has not. I have seen Christians claim this prophecy was fulfilled many times over the past decades. When Democratic presidents such as Bill Clinton and Barack Obama are in the White House, or when "Christian values" (like not making cakes for homosexual couples) are knocked back, or even when “Happy holidays” is substituted for "Merry Christmas," Christians express that the end is near "because we cannot go on much longer like this."

I think most making such claims do not realize that they are simply repeating what people in nearly every generation have thought and said. Because of biased, selective memories and subjective judgment, we tend to believe things are worse than we remember from our youth—in the "good old days." This is so common it even has a name, the “Golden Age Fallacy.” As far back as in Ancient Greece, Aristotle thought that the next generation was worse than his and wrote about it.

But remember, Paul's full prophecy is not about just any subjective worsening, but rather specific characteristics multiplying in people. No surprise then that we're still here and the much-proclaimed end still is not.

Problem #2: What Could Cause All 19 Attributes?

The other problem with this prophecy comes when you try to explain how such a broad spectrum of negative characteristics would manifest in people. Some characteristics seem incompatible with the development of others. What could go so wrong in society to make them all develop? Here are two ideas I ruled out:

  • Global Crisis? - Say we had another Great Depression, world war, or a similar global crisis. With lower security or standard of living foisted upon the population, we would expect them to become "brutal, treacherous." But why "disobedient to parents" or "proud, arrogant, ungrateful?" Bad circumstances tend to humble us and make us grateful for what we can get when we see lack all around us. A global crisis would not seem able to cause Paul's prophecy.
  • Prosperity? - On the other hand, increasing prosperity and standards of living would easily explain people becoming "lovers of self, pleasure, proud, arrogant, ungrateful." We get narcissistic, spoiled and entitled from wealth as we already are seeing in affluent Western democracies for decades. But prosperity does not naturally explain people becoming "brutal, treacherous, disobedient to parents, abusive, without self-control, not loving good."

What could possibly explain a rise in all these negative characteristics if the normal cycles of boom and bust, crisis and recovery do not? Heck, you would almost have to insert most of humanity into mobs personalized to their likes and interests. Peer pressure can lead good people to do horrendous things like torture, lynching, or even genocide against the Jews as the Nazis did. But that's never going to happen, right? (wink, wink...)

I was stumped. Hence, I decided to leave Paul's prophecy alone and, as long-time readers know, focus on other more quantifiable prophecies, like Wormwood and WW3, as I wrote about in my book Know the Future.

A Nudge From God?

To be honest, I completely forgot about Paul's prophecy. I wrote it off as hopelessly unclear and unhelpful. I had put together so much of the end time roadmap from other prophecies that I was OK with that.

Nevertheless, it seems that God acted to end my ignorance on this prophecy as he had done with others. I was provoked to think in a new direction because of a question. A supporter who is not thrilled that the end may be coming soon in her lifetime (as I believe) asked the following of me:

“The question I have now is: do you see anything with what's going on...about Russia building up of new tensions building up. Do you see not maybe as a sign but do you see anything in that kind of stuff at all like that the Damascus prophecy may be coming? ...can you squeeze anything out of what we're seeing going on in the world that shows we could be close to the end?”

My immediate answer was, no, nothing had changed in my position. She already knew that the Psalm 83 war was the next prophetic event and there was no other sign before that. However, later in the same conversation, I ended up sharing some new thoughts I had on recent negative trends in society. These trends kept being covered in podcasts and news articles I was consuming so that I finally started thinking and talking about them.

Article continues below...

The End In 2026? It's Now Possible

Since learning in 2001 that Yeshua must return in a Sabbath year, I've had to rule out three Sabbath year cycle windows for the final 7 years (2003-2009, 2010-2016, 2017-2023). With the next window (2024-2030) less than 7 years away, I'm ready to share why I believe, based on the real end time sign of Mt 24:14, that this can be the one. If it is, the "birth pains" (WW3 + Wormwood, Lk 21:10-11) would hit near its middle in 2026 with Yeshua returning in 2030. Find out what's changed to convince me about 2026 and what you can do about it...

Later that same day after the meeting, like a bolt of lightning, a thought occurred to me: It wasn't true what I said about there not being another sign before Psalm 83; I was wrong.

The negative trends I had shared were actually related to Paul's "last days people" prophecy sign which I had forgotten and there was one cause behind both the trends and Paul's predicted societal change. This cause finally covered all the negative characteristics that could not be explained by anything else before.

A Brief History of the World ('70s, '80s, '90s, and '00s)

In order to appreciate these new trends, it may help to back up and revisit how technology and innovation have reliably delivered decades of consistent progress to civilization. From my childhood in the 1970s and onward, quality of life has steadily improved. Products and services became better, safer, faster, cheaper, and more powerful, lifting our standard of living. We went from wall phones to cordless phones to pagers to cell phones to smartphones; from reel-to-reel to 8-track to cassette tape to CD to DVD to Blu-ray. Standards in society continually rose, too, providing better education, human rights, and opportunities.

The Cold War that had been ongoing since 1945 ended effectively with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1991. A few years later, in 1995 the free web browser Netscape brought the ten-year-old internet to the attention of the masses in the fulfillment of prophecy that "many" in the end times would google ("go to and fro" is not about travel but is a Hebrew idiom for "searching") and "increase knowledge" (Dan 12:4). As all of us know, even with only "primitive" Yahoo search available then (compared to Google now), this was a game-changer for humanity. What else could you ask for after such an incredible gift? Not much, yet the internet continued to expand and improve our lives. (I, for one, was able to start to work from home in 2000, years before that became a common thing.)

If there were any major regressions to progress in the '70s, '80s, '90s, and 00's, I cannot recall them. They were either minor or aberrations that did not last long before they were coaxed forward again. For example, back in the 2000s, there was much talk about a coming serious energy shortage due to "peak oil." The theory stated that the discovery of new oil fields had peaked and was slowing while the demand was still rising which spelled an inevitable global crisis. Although conventional crude oil production did indeed peak in 2006, along came the innovation of hydraulic fracturing (fracking), increasing oil production once again.

In summary, the first four decades of my life up until 2008 impressed me as a period of constant progress and improvements to life.

New Significant Negative Trends

Against that backdrop, now consider these anti-progress developments in three different areas of modern life:

  • Traffic deaths on the rise? -  After 15 years of decline, traffic deaths in America rose in 2015 by a startling 9 percent, according to data recently released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). From 2000 to 2014, traffic fatalities declined by more than 22 percent. Distracted driving especially related to smartphones is blamed. As smartphone ownership skyrocketed from 55 percent in 2013 to 77 percent in 2017, the number of accidents escalated from 5.7 million to 6.4 million, an increase of 12.3 percent.
  • "Eradicated" measles returns? - Measles was declared eradicated in America in 2000. Yet in 2019 more cases of the disease were reported than since 1992, mostly among people who have never been vaccinated. The anti-vaccination movement spread on social media (stating that vaccines are dangerous or cause autism) is mainly blamed for lower vaccination rates. UPDATE: For all those commenting, I'm not judging the anti-vaccination movement. I'm judging the tragic return of an eradicated disease, OK?
  • Flat earth resurgence?? - The most disturbing "progress reversal headline" of all for me is the bizarre resurgence of "flat-earthers." Just as it sounds and despite the overwhelming 2,500 years of scientific evidence to the contrary, flat-earthers believe that the earth is a flat disc, not a sphere. This means that 100 years after the first occurrence of the term "flat-earth-man," you can no longer use that term to refer to someone holding "ridiculously antiquated views." It's a current view again, held by no doubt millions globally (the Flat Earth Society twitter feed alone has around 100K followers). The next time you are tempted to express how ridiculous an idea is by comparing it to flat earth belief, be careful, as you may get the awkward response back, "I believe in flat-earth." (It's happened to me more than once.)

This image of a windfarm off the Belgian coast with the lower parts of the more distant towers increasingly hidden by the horizon, demonstrating the curvature of the earth.

Can you see why these headlines reminded me of Paul's prophecy? Maybe not yet. Viewed independently, they are saddening yet can be dismissed as relatively unimportant. After all, who dies from measles (only 0.02% of cases); who really is up in arms about the carnage on the highways (few compared to much lower death rates from many diseases); and "so what if conspiracy nuts are spreading yet another ridiculous conspiracy" (as most would say in response to flat-Earthism )?

Yet taken together, all of these trends relate to "people getting worse" (2Ti 3:13) in areas of longstanding progress, all thanks to the new potent technological combo of smartphones and social media.

Everyone readily understands how dangerously seductive even old cellphones are, in that they lure drivers to their deaths as the sirens did to sailors in Greek mythology. Few of us can 100% of the time "just say no" to taking our eyes off the road when our phone alerts us to a text or call. What's harder to understand is how enough people became convinced it's "unsafe" to vaccinate their kids that measles returned or especially how an easily disproven, outdated belief like flat earth could have a modern, mainstream resurgence. The answer to both questions explains how Paul's prophecy is already being fulfilled in people all around you, including probably you, too. They are also a key part of the answer to a new question I never could have answered before now:

"What will God say when we ask him in the Millennium why it was he sent Wormwood to punish civilization when he did?"

The Proliferation of Smartphones and Social Media

Skeptical? It's understandable when smartphones bring so many benefits. If you ever leave home, GPS mapping apps alone make smartphones worth the upgrade from an old flip phone. Social media also has been wonderful, especially in the early years. It enables us to find and communicate with long lost friends and far-flung relatives or to share a personal problem and get a flood of crowd-sourced solutions even more tailored to your needs than a Google search can do.

There was also the Arab Spring overthrow of Egypt's dictator Mubarak in 2011 thanks to a Facebook group started by a dissident. The potential for good and positive change from social media seemed so promising! Nevertheless, as time has gone on and this pair of technologies has spread into more people's hands, cracks have begun to appear in that rosy facade.

But spread they have. You may be surprised to learn how widespread these technologies have been with humanity around the globe, not just in the wealthy nations:

  • World population is 7.7 billion
  • 5.5 billion smartphones are in use across the world today.
  • 3.5 billion use social media
  • In rich countries (with near-universal internet), almost all young people use social media.
  • On average, the world’s internet users spend 6 hours and 42 minutes online each day, over 2 hours of which is social media.
  • More than 50% of the content viewed on Twitter includes images and videos.

Just stop and consider how fast and remarkable the spread of these technologies has been. Most of the world is poor; one third live on less than $2/day. But who doesn't have a cellphone or a smartphone? A minority. I remember when we lived in poor Third World Costa Rica, even there everyone had cell phones. (We knew of one person with a cellphone despite living under a bridge!)

Likewise, while in the '90s and even '00s it was common to refer to "online life vs real life." The reality now, because of mobile internet on our phones and tablets, is that we're all online every day for hours. Modern life is a fusion of offline and online.

So what are the effects of most of us, including the poor of the world, being connected to each other through our phones, the internet, and social media for so much of our daily life?

"Reach Out and Abuse Someone"

With all the benefits of our online life, we only gradually have been becoming aware of its dark side. The chief of this is online abuse in its many forms. Americans will remember how AT&T used to promote its service with the slogan, "Reach out and touch someone." Telemarketers and others spoiled the early positive association of hearing your phone ring. The same has happened with the internet long since. People are reaching out to harass someone through the internet in ways that make telephone harassment seem like the good old days. When you learn how bad it is, you will be shocked and hope you are never the target of doxxing, swatting, revenge porn, cyberbullying, or cyber-mob attacks.

Many people have lost their jobs, careers, marriages and even their lives—often by suicide because online abuse is so devastating. Consider just this one horrifying tale of a woman who was cyber-mob attacked as a result of a satirical joke she shared on Twitter and because she appeared to be a "person of privilege" who "deserved" to be shamed.

A Mob Mentality Epidemic

The reason people do such vicious things online, the reason that bad or false ideas like flat-earth belief spread and the reason that all the negative characteristics of "last days people" are manifesting now is one and the same cause: mob-mentality facilitated by social media. Social media enables every person, no matter how strange or obscure their likes or dislikes, to find and connect with like-minded people. Everyone on social media is part of one or more online groupings that exert a powerful effect on their thinking.

Mob or herd mentality "describes how people can be influenced by their peers to adopt certain behaviors on a largely emotional, rather than rational, basis." As we all know, individuals connected in a group agree with and do things that they normally would never do because "groupthink" overtakes their individual thinking. If you want to bring out the worst in people, grouping them with others is a historically proven highly effective way.

There are several groupthink dynamics that psychologists have observed:

  • Groups tend to affirm your beliefs, whether right or wrong, good or bad. This increases your confidence in them and makes you reluctant to listen to opposing views.
  • Individuals in groups desire acceptance, approval and to fit in so they conform by suppressing their dissenting thoughts and opinions. They also go along with the group and its decisions rather than stay true to their individualized values. They become "deindividualized."
  • Groups tend to have a radicalizing effect on our initial beliefs  ("smoking is bad...smoking kills...smoking should be banned"). Like-minded people share far more arguments for why they are right than evidence to the contrary which confirmation bias also tends to filter out.
  • "Us vs. them" thinking is a natural outcome of this. The radicalization of belief includes the view that your group, the ingroup, is more right or virtuous while those outside your group, the outgroup, are more wrong or villainous. This leads to more and more polarization of the opposing groups.

Example: The Dangerous Incel Subculture

If you have wondered why mass shootings in America are steadily increasing, from once every few years, to once a year, to at times weekly, social media groupthink is a major cause.

One such contributing group is a recent cultural online movement called "incels." Incel stands for "involuntary celibate." These are the stereotypical, sad, dateless males living in their parents' basement. This class of antisocial or introverted people in the past would stay brooding alone or among their friends and family. Their feelings and thoughts would not find so much affirmation among a normally heterogeneous social circle that includes some socially successful individuals.

However, thanks to the internet, incels are able to connect with each other and group up. All the group dynamics described above occur. What started out as a support group for shy men has evolved into a brutal movement that promotes and encourages misogyny, rape, and even murder. Incels have been linked to several mass murders.

This outcome is no surprise considering how well-known the wisdom is of preventing certain elements from affirming each other. I remember back in grade school how there were two classmates that were particularly unruly. My teacher separated them to opposite sides of the classroom while explaining, "Michael is gasoline and Frank is the match." In college the rule was that two freshmen were not allowed to room together in our two-person dorms; freshmen had to be paired up with an upper-classman. When I naively asked my senior roommate the reason for this rule that was preventing him from rooming with his brother also attending the college, he explained, "Because if two freshmen are together one will suggest a bad idea to the other and he'll agree, 'sound's great, let's do it!'"

Social media is effectively not only telling all the "freshmen" out there that their ideas are great, but also why not take them even further?

Example: Flat Earth's Resurgence Explained

The detrimental groupthink of social media is its most potent drawback. But it only partially explains, for example, why flat earth has returned.

The other problematic aspect of social media (among many others) is that its greatest benefit of allowing everyone, even the marginalized, to have a voice and broadcast to the world, is also its greatest problem. Anyone with any idea, no matter how meritless, also gets a voice. They can share their ideas in a very persuasive, personal manner through video and through memes. Memes are a significant development that should not be underestimated. They have proven highly effective because as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.

When anyone can broadcast it is not the better authority who gets listened to but rather the better storyteller. Obviously, scientists and other experts are not in their position because of their ability to tell stories. They lose competing on social media against "real people" with a story to tell of how they used to believe the earth was round and did not want to hear that the earth was flat, but a transformation happened and their eyes were opened to the Satanic conspiracy trying to keep this secret information from us, etc.

Social media does not care which is most accurate or true. It promotes what is most popular. An MIT study found that false stories were 70% more likely to be retweeted on Twitter than true ones. It comes as no surprise that most people who believe in flat-earth reported that they learned of it through YouTube. They were not even interested in the idea, but YouTube's algorithm served it up based on other conspiratorial videos they were exploring. Many initially watch such videos wanting to debunk them in the comments. Instead, after being overwhelmed with "200 proofs the Earth is not a spinning ball" that they cannot refute (including Scriptural ones), they often come away convinced. Then, after being infected with the "flat earth virus," many go on to become flat-earth evangelists to infect others. It's like Paul said:

2 Timothy 3:13 (HCSB) — Evil people and impostors will become worse, deceiving and being deceived.

But so what, flat earth belief is just a harmless, cosmological view that has no practical impact on one's daily life, right? On the contrary, it's having great negative effects. On Facebook, flat-earthers are some of the most unpleasant and divisive people you will meet. It is so bad, I have frequently seen Facebook posts announcing flat-earthers and their trolling will no longer be tolerated on their wall. Offline, flat-earthism (similar to the incels) has led to damaging effects such as breaking up marriages, families, and churches.

Isn't it ironic that by achieving the ideal of a worldwide shared resource of knowledge that one would expect to create peace, harmony and a common interpretation of reality, that quite the opposite has happened? As knowledge has been increasingly "democratized" and competing narratives have emerged, populism has won, rather than truth or idealism.

Dear Flat Earther: No Offense

Before moving on, I want to explain something to flat earth believers reading this. I do not condemn, criticize or even mock you. I have love and compassion for you because I have believed discredited conspiracy theories of my own, such as KJV-onlyism. In time, I came around to see the error of that theory and I trust the same will happen with all flat-earthers eventually, hopefully without spending $250,000 on a Virgin Galactic flight into space.

Then why do I have to make an example of flat earth belief? Because I know that the vast majority of readers see flat earth's resurgence as a shocking and perplexing development. I certainly did. I struggled to understand it until I studied it in depth. I consider this resurgence as a perfect case study to explain the key dynamics of social media that contribute to so many negative outcomes and trends since the advent of the smartphone (2007) and social media (2004, Facebook) in the mid-2000s.

Finally, since I already have proven for myself the earth is indeed a globe, I'm not interested in debating this topic or hearing from flat earthers who want to tell me I am wrong. Don't expect a response if you do.

Breaking Down "Last Days People" Characteristics

If social media can resurrect an inferior belief like flat earth and make people worse by it, what else is possible? I think every negative attribute that Paul said is also possible. It's a challenge but I will try to explain how each has been enabled and amplified by social media, its economy, and the groupthink that it creates:

  1. "lovers of themselves" - The first item on Paul's list deserves its lead position as it's the most important. The clinical word for this is narcissism, defined as excessive self-admiration. Narcissism has been steadily increasing for decades due to many factors but has spiked in the last decade. The epitome of the narcissism explosion, the selfie photograph, exists because smartphones let you take them and social media gives you the reason why: to share them with the world. Not too long ago, anyone posting so many snapshots of themselves would have been ridiculed as full of themselves. Now many narcissistic behaviors like this have been normalized by social media; monkey see, monkey do.
  2. "lovers of money" - You don't love something you never see or have. People love to show off their riches and people who want to have that lifestyle are eager watchers. In the past, people would consider such a focus shallow and shameful, but social media has normalized this, too.
  3. "boastful" - One of the behaviors of narcissists which social media makes into a new occupation is being a show-off. For example, I read there was an Instagram channel of a woman where she makes money by only sharing "butt shots", i.e., pictures of her attractive derriere. That's a new form of boasting without words and it even pays the bills. Show-offs never had it so good. It helps to have no dignity, which is also spreading. Another form is taking daredevil photographs and videos, too many attempts at which have resulted in death.
  4. "proud/arrogant" - Everyone online is very confident in their particular ingroup's knowledge and rightness. After all, they googled it and now they are an expert! Hubris is foolish pride, ignorant arrogance or overconfidence that leads to disaster.
  5. "abusive/blasphemers" - Abuse and harassment have skyrocketed thanks to how easy it is to accomplish online and how readily people fall into us vs. them mentality, thereby justifying their retaliation on outgroups. One particular class of abuse takes place offline still because the victims are not (yet) online, yet the internet is overrun with images of the abuse, labeled "CSAM." (Warning: you could lose your faith in humanity if you research that topic or read this NYT article.)
  6. "disobedient to their parents" - I have witnessed shocking disobedience in my children, my siblings' children and friends' children compared to how our generation had to behave or get whooped. I could not figure out what we were doing wrong to not get the same results. Then it dawned on me that my child and the rest were connected with others from a young age already texting on dumbphones, internet sites, and game chats, even before they all had smartphones and social media as they do today. You don't have to be an adult for a communication network like that to affirm your bad ideas and behaviors and give you ideas for new ones you never would have thought of. Children get corrupted by groupthink, too, if you let them, just as I shared above about elementary children being separated by teachers to prevent it. It's extremely hard now not to let them, to tell your kid they cannot have a digital life like all their friends and be the cyber-leper. Trying to get your digitally connected kids to obey today is like doing an intervention for a drunk friend and letting his drinking buddy come and sit by his side and whisper in his ear. It doesn't work.
  7. "ungrateful" - With all the outrage, "important" causes, and envy spread on social media, it's hard to be slow, thoughtful and experience gratitude for things.
  8. "unholy" - Unholy is not set apart to honor or glorify God. If long disproven flat-earth belief has been propped up through social media, how much more is atheism going to spread?
  9. "without love/unloving/heartless" - To be without heart or love means you're indifferent or hateful. Narcissism leads to indifference and unmoderated, online tribalism promotes hate.
  10. "unforgiving/irreconcilable/unappeasable" - People hold a grudge like never before because groupthink reinforces the conviction of their own rightness or virtue. Ever try to get someone on social media to see that the "other side" are human beings, and not just "liberals" or not really evil or wrong on some point? When I tried that recently, I was told by a Christian, "you sound like the liberals." End of discussion. There is no reasoning with the "us vs. them" mindset that dehumanizes people.
  11. "slanderous" - Social media increases and promotes outrage while at the same time offering you an all-too-easy method to verbally attack anyone whose viewpoint offends you.
  12. "without self-control" - Imagine having a weakness in the area of self-control (drugs, alcohol, porn, food) and connecting with others like yourself—not in a 12 step program setting: "Eh, you're fine, I've seen worse, in fact, you are too hard on yourself." Even then, long-time AAs who harken to the original intent of AA doctrine and traditions call the groups in which the more modern and less-stringently moderated groups have extremely low success rates "Let's all go to hell together" groups.
  13. "brutal" - Angry mobs have always been brutal. Social media brings angry mobs together as the video above about shaming demonstrates all too well.
  14. "not lovers of the good" - With every conceivable interest and outrage being promoted and affirmed on social media, the truly good gets left behind. It's boring and not so sensational so it gets fewer shares. People don't fall in love with what they hardly ever see or experience.
  15. "treacherous/traitors" - Online relationships are shallow and easily replaceable (Tinder, etc.), so why do you need loyalty? One of the greatest values of my wife is her loyalty. I met her in college before meeting people online even existed.
  16. "rash/reckless" - Facts, truth and nuance no longer matter as much so people now rush to judgment and outrage. It feels good and enough others who agree with you will affirm your choice, so why hold back and be careful?
  17. "conceited" - Vanity is no longer such a vice. Just get a social media account and do your thing and you may get rich or at least famous in the process.
  18. "lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God" - Every obscure, hedonistic deviancy such as sexual fetishes of all kinds have their own online cultural subgroup now. If you love pleasure, however weird, now you can find the group that will affirm you and will join you. You no longer need to be alone, keep your interests secret and practice them rarely if ever at all. What do you need God for when you can have everything you care about all the time so easily?
  19. "have a form of godliness but denying its power" - In the past, I could only imagine this characteristic in a religious context, which is why I was left stumped. One synonym for godliness is "virtue" and if this is only a form of godliness or virtue, then this may fit: The light went on once I learned about the popular social media behavior of virtue signalling. People who are not religious at all love to express their superior moral values in a conspicuous way. Often it takes the form of expressing something they know people will agree with such as calling out someone else's norm-breaking behavior, rather than doing something constructive in real life about it in an inconspicuous way (that takes more work, has more risk and gets you no kudos or glory). It's a form of virtue that's powerless because it's talk and not action. It's only increasing.

What Does It All Mean?

So I have shared a lot. In my opinion, the evidence is overwhelming that the smartphone and social media are a bane for society, humanity, and decency. The smartphone is already so psychologically powerful on its own with the promise of text messages from your social circle, it's not very far off from Gollum's "precious" powerful ring of invisibility calling to him in the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings movies to put it on (and same to its next Hobbit owners Bilbo and Frodo). It's a fitting metaphor when you consider people continue to text and drive, how even in college classes, plays or other paid venues people cannot help being glued to their screens. They are off somewhere else instead of being present with those around them. When they are asked to surrender their phones at the start of events so they can pay attention to what they paid for, they resist saying, "I can't; someone may want me." They fear missing out or being alone. Gollum would not give up his precious readily, either.

Social media makes the smartphone even more seductive which in turn makes social media more available and intertwined into our lives. At that level of engagement, social media's cyber-mobs take over our thinking, dragging it down, degenerating us. Who could have ever imagined a mobile technology combo so present and capable of modifying human behavior in so many negative ways?

What does this mean and spell for us?

In a previous article, I shared the unexpected realization that when God fulfills Revelation by devastating Earth with a rogue planet, it will be so obvious who did it that it not only brings the end of civilization but the end of atheism with it (Rev 6:16-17). How could anyone continue to deny the existence of God when a catastrophic miracle happens which the whole world witnesses (Rev 6:15)?

As pivotal as that event will be, I must admit that I never stopped to ask a very important question about it: why does God disrupt civilization when he does? Before seeing this connection between social media and Paul's "last days people," I would have answered it's because the end of the 6000 years allotted to man to fully test self-rule is near its end; "time's up." Also, I would have pointed out that the end of civilization is needed to give rise to the Antichrist for the final 3½ of the 6000 years. The Antichrist uses the global crisis to be welcomed as "God" himself coming as the savior of the world (2Th 2:4).

But now I see all around me that God has a more directly justifiable cause for judging our society when he does, so soon now in 2026. I believe when God is asked later why he sent Wormwood on our society, he will answer that humanity had already peaked and was degenerating. Having more time would not change or reverse that.

The new, digital lifestyle that settled in during the 2010s has promoted learning of narcissism and demoted learning of empathy, the ability to put yourself in someone else's shoes. That's a big problem for God and his plan for this "eternal life training simulation" he put us all in. As I explained in my last article on the Bad News of the Kingdom, this life is designed to teach us what we need to live peacefully and joyfully in eternity with God and his other children. We cannot get along with God if we are encouraged to be narcissists who love ourselves more than God. We cannot get along with others if we are discouraged from learning empathy. The best way to learn empathy is to have a face to face conversation with someone.

Yet today we often hear or say ourselves, "I'd rather text than talk." We even get bothered when someone shows up unannounced without texting or calling first.

I saw a post on Facebook recently by a young man asking the best way to get out of unwanted conversations with taxi drivers who want to tell him about their lives. Talk about something a narcissist would say. The very thing that he needs to build empathy he's too self-important to bother with. That more and more widespread attitude is leading us to avoid the character-improving interactions that God designed life to revolve around.

What If Virtual Reality Were Here?

If you don't follow my point yet about digital life defeating God's purposes to the point that we're degenerating too far, let me explain it another way.

While researching this article, I listened on and off to a Joe Rogan interview of John Carmack, the legendary developer of 3D games Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, and Quake. He is now the CTO of a virtual reality hardware company. Virtual reality allows you to put on a headset that syncs with you as you turn your head to make it seem like you are in another world.

Carmack sang the virtues of virtual reality, "to make the world as you want it." Poorer people who could never have a mansion or home theatre could have one in VR. There are not enough islands in the world for everyone to have their own private island like Richard Branson, but with VR they all could.

As I was listening to this pitch, my mind immediately said, "Bullshit! VR is not a panacea any more than the smartphone has turned out to be." He's missing the ramifications of letting people "make the world as they want." If you want an idea of what a world with VR looks like then you need not look further than the first minute of Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One (2018):

The clip above depicts the protagonist descending a "stack" of trailers in a trailer park called The Stacks. As he passes his neighbors' trailers, you can see each of them wearing VR headsets while motioning in ways that make sense in whatever fantasy world their equipment is "making" for them. Who can blame them when you can escape your depressing world into the world of your making. But, see, it would not just be poor people who live in squalor doing this. Nearly everyone would like to make the world of their dreams. They'd be saying, "I'd rather VR than R [reality]" just as we say, "I'd rather text than talk." But what would they learn about real life and real people that God had intended? Next to nothing.

In other words, if VR like that were ubiquitous today we would clearly understand why God would pull the plug on civilization immediately. God would see everyone opting out of the world he made to be in their own world say "game over." Today we are already in a more primitive digital/cyber world more and more and in face-to-face reality less and less with the consequent degeneration of our characters. Over the next seven years until 2026, this will only continue to worsen, and probably at an accelerated pace. I don't think we'll have anything like Ready Player One by 2026, but we'll be closer. Close enough and degenerated enough that God will still say, "game over."

"Depressing?"

Now that you heard my very heavy and depressing take on our degrading world and the technology that you yourself no doubt use that's causing it... how do I conclude this article and give you some encouragement?

Well, as I did, you will have to process all this first. Take moments away from the phone and reflect. I was quite a bit sad to learn the things above and you may be, too. This does seem to be the death knell for this civilization, which has been retreating for years already. I see that the writing is on the wall. It's like learning the "mark of the beast" is here. I did not want to see or know it.

Since processing this research, I'm more aware and wary when I'm on my phone or social media than ever before. I'm cognizant of how I'm playing with fire by using the very tool of our civilization's demise. Likewise, I'm more aware when others are "using" around me and remember to be patient when they do not give me human attention because of it. I realize they probably do not consider how the device is influencing them.

In the past, I'd be more like the man who wanted to avoid unwanted interactions with taxi drivers. Since learning the importance of conversation and interactions with others to gain empathy I'm less resistant when opportunities come up to engage like that. I gained a lot of empathy in Costa Rica and saw how that enabled me to stop making people wrong, stop judging them and love them more easily. Since that's what it's all about (Mt 7:12), I want to keep moving in that direction rather than become more narcissistic and less empathetic like the world as a whole.

Finally, I am more aware now when I reach for my phone out of dumb habit, not from intention. I am aware that the phone has cut down on my solitude and prayer time. When I'm on the phone sometimes I ask if the time would not be better spent talking to God and inviting him into my life more. I ask if the phone occupying my mind is not blocking me from hearing something from God that would benefit me or my readers. This helps me to get off the phone. If time really is running out, cultivating that connection with God is a priority.

That is how the insights above have impacted me. I hope this inspires you to make similar adjustments.

Update: Someone sent me this excellent article by a social psychologist, joking that maybe he read my article above? Actually, I saw the author on a Joe Rogan podcast months before writing my article when I was just beginning to comprehend that social media was more powerful and pernicious than we realized, despite our initial optimism and other good experiences with it.

Part 2: 3 Errors Christians Spread On Social Media

Last month's article (above) must have resonated with readers as many more than normal took the time to respond. Most expressed that the article confirmed their own concerns about smartphones, social media and “people getting worse.” One said they had already quit Facebook because of their convictions. Conversely, another urged me to amend the article with the advisement that people not quit their social media in case my conclusions were wrong and inspired them to do so. For the record, I never suggested we all quit social media; I only warned about its dangers and advised we all be more conscious of how it's affecting us as we use it.

Speaking of which, although I was as pleased as most readers were with the article, I was not happy with that rushed conclusion directly above. I had more observations to share to help people make a practical application of what I shared, but due to time constraints, I had to leave them out and finish the article for release (it had already been over a month in the making with many delays). In the following days, I intended to add another section to the article with those observations but I never got around to it. The positive responses that continued to pour in may have biased me against making additions.

Yet, it continued to nag me on and off until I got a long critical email, ten days after my post. When I read the email, I knew I had to go ahead and write the expansion you are reading now. Here's the email. (As you read it and see if you can understand why it convicted me):

The scope of human depravity is accelerating and broadening at an ever increasing pace. The primary reason for this is the marriage of public education and Cultural Marxism (CM). Everything that is devolving or degenerating today finds its genesis in the rejection of traditional Western thought, culture, and tradition. All of it can be traced back to the tenets of CM, and virtually all its poison was spread thru education, particularly at the university level. Before smartphones, the internet, and social media, the trajectory of human depravity was fully established. Technology had little to do with it.

You spent a lot of ink talking about flat-Earthers without pointing out that most colleges today teach that truth does not objectively exist. Moreover, the corpus of knowledge that has accumulated over the last two millennia is being thrown out by academia as the detritus of patriarchy. In education today, morality does not exist. Truth does not exist. Only social justice matters, and it is an intersectional reality that is not debatable.

You made the choice of pointing to incels as dangerous. Really? How about Antifa? Third-wave feminists? Communist professors? Big Tech censors? While what you said was true, it failed to even scratch the surface, much less identify what is really destroying humanity's collective mind.

When Obama was elected, he was the most radical POTUS this country has ever had. Now, he is criticized by the Left as being too conservative. The pace at which the Left has gone insane is breathtaking, and it has nothing to do with the internet or social media. In his first term, Barry [Obama] said he was against same-sex marriage. Today (only 10 years later), you can lose your job for saying there are only two genders.

The leftist elites (e.g. Hollywood), the MSM [main-stream media], and academia have engaged in an unholy alliance to deconstruct everything Godly in order to build a globalist utopia. Shakespeare has been replaced by random black/lesbian/female "writers" because whiteness is the root of all evil and masculinity is toxic. Art is no longer about talent creating beauty, but rather, narcissistic hacks "exploring" ideas thru shock value, such as putting a crucifix in a jar of piss.

Speaking of narcissism, it did not flourish with the rise of the selfie and social media, but from the self-esteem movement of the last three decades. You failed to even mention the religion of global warming, the cult of the social justice movement, or the emotional wreckage caused by radical feminism. You deplore groupthink while failing to notice that the Left is rapidly eradicating free speech, and turning journalism into leftist propaganda.

At the last Democratic convention, a speaker mentioned God and he was booed. The Left is the source of mankind's spiral downward into utter depravity. The Frankfort School left Germany to flee Hitler and planted themselves in Ivy League schools, starting with Columbia. The rest is history. Their goal was world-wide communism, no borders, the elimination of all morals, the deconstruction of Western Civilization, and even the idea that truth exists. Their tactics were to pit race against race, women against men, and invent a hierarchy of oppression. They were incredibly successful. If the internet and the smartphone went away tomorrow, mankind's descent into depravity would continue to accelerate.

A one-world authoritarian government and one-world religion have always been the ultimate goal of the CM psychopaths and their useful idiot minions. That just so happens to be the predicted state of the world when Jesus returns. How coincidental.

I understand that you have to show a level of equanimity, but truth be told, the grave state of humanity is just the natural consequence of insane leftist ideas. The USA is dying one indoctrinated SJW [social justice warrior] at a time. And when the USA goes down, the world goes down. This is not about smartphones and Tinder.

Cheers...[name withheld]

What do you think? Do you agree with my correspondent? He describes what many conservatives do not like about the world. I think many, if not most, readers will agree with him since my readership is mostly conservative Christians. I cannot say I completely disagree, either, especially on how the narcissism epidemic began (as stated above) in the decades before smartphones and social media with the self-esteem movement, replacement of free play with structured playtime and several other factors. For sure he has named several other real concerns beyond the ones I did.

However, did you notice how we're talking about two different things:

  • He's speaking of long-term liberal agendas and trends that he and many conservatives feel spell disaster for their nation or way of life.
  • I, in contrast, was focusing above on negative trends across the whole spectrum of society that have been caused by groupthink enabled by very recent, revolutionary technology.

Because there is some overlap of trends between the subjects, I can understand why my correspondent missed my point (“Paul's 19 last days negative characteristics are all here now because of new, digitally connected mobs”) and instead he thought I was overlooking a much more pressing matter (“liberals have been destroying society for decades in many more ways than Tim listed”). As the writer, I take responsibility for this disconnect and consider that if he missed my point then I'm sure other readers did, too. That alone gives me reason enough to write this update.

Moreover, his many statements directly relate to the issue I neglected to address in the first part of my article: what I see many Christians on social media doing and focusing on in conflict with what I see as the teaching of Jesus. This is why I was convicted that I had to write this update.

How Are Christians Getting Worse, Too?

Fair warning: you may not enjoy this “last days Christians” part of the article as much as the generalized commentary on “last days people” in Part 1 above. You may feel that I have “moved on from preaching to meddling,” as the saying goes.

Despite that risk, I feel it is my job to point out what I have been noticing since getting on Facebook in 2006. The email above epitomizes it. In the early days of Facebook, Christians mainly used the platform to share sermons, scripture, testimonies, and events; many still use it for that. The biggest challenge back then was expressing your doctrinal position and discovering through an ensuing debate thread that not all Christians agree on the doctrines that you have received. The rampant division and infighting in Christianity were shock enough for most of us in the early days to handle. That continues today and is still sad in itself, however, increasingly, a bigger problem has eclipsed and maybe even lessened it: Christians are drifting further away from Christ's teaching as they get distracted with what I would express as “exposing and fighting the enemy to save the country.”

The sad truth is that Christians have always tended to follow what other Christians do (especially charismatic thought-leaders) rather than what Christ did and taught. It's what's easy and obvious. Jesus is hard to relate to, separated from us by 2000 years and his foreign culture and language. Modern Christians are relatable, speak our language and about the issues that concern us. It's hard to get excited about looking at and modifying your sinful thoughts and actions like Jesus instructed (Mt 5:48) but comparatively easy to plug into with your social group and get caught up with its "heroic struggle" against the enemy to save our way of life and nation.

When you take Christians who already have a herd mentality (instead of a Christ mentality) and connect them into an online, digital “herd” through social media, all the bad things I already laid out for you in Part 1 happen to them just the same as it happens to everyone else. They fall into “us vs. them” mentality (ingroup vs outgroup), they vilify and dehumanize the outgroup, and they radicalize in their opinions, words, and actions against the outgroup. It's one thing for non-believers to fall for this, but quite another for believers who profess they follow a Savior who practiced and taught love, even love for “enemies” (Mt 5:44).

Let me  highlight three major errors in thinking that I see Christians fall into at an accelerated pace because of social media groupthink:

Error #1: A Focus On External Enemies

Have you noticed how many “enemies” Christians rant about on Facebook, trying to expose and combat them? Here are the regular targets of posts by my Christian Facebook friends (by no means an exhaustive list):

  • Liberals
  • Muslims (E.g. “Did you know by 2050 they project the Muslim population will overtake the Christian population? Christians need to have more babies!”)
  • ISIS (“It's OK to hate them, they are God's enemy.”)
  • Socialists (read: Communists)
  • LGBTQ / “Alphabet group”, especially transgender
  • Global warming/climate change proponents, “Climate alarmists”
  • Social Justice Warriors (SJW)
  • Antifa
  • Big tech censors
  • Feminists
  • Abortionists
  • Evolutionists
  • Atheists

Because Christians feel their lifestyle or values threatened are under attack by these groups we can understand how easily this translates to dislike and even hate of them. I get it and do not judge anyone for obsessing over their perceived enemies. Let me get that out of the way that I am not here to judge.

Yet I do want to shed light on how allowing yourself to follow the crowd (or your base impulses and emotions) in this can bring you far removed from what Christ taught. Jesus taught to love thy enemies (Mt 5:44) including enemy groups. In his day the equivalent of Muslims, ISIS and LGBTQs were the Samaritans, Romans, and eunuchs, respectively. Philip converted a eunuch (Acts 8:26-40), Jesus healed a Roman centurion's servant (Mt 8:5-13) and he used a Samaritan as the central character in one of his most famous parables, the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). That parable portrayed a hated Samaritan (think Muslim) as far more compassionate than a Levite (think Christian pastor) to teach Christ's audience that it's not about who you are (“Abraham's offspring/”) or what you call yourself (“Jew/Christian”) but whether you overcome your biases, emotions, and apathy to love others (see Matthew 25's Parable of the Sheep and Goats if you have any doubts about Jesus clear emphasis on loving others in action).

Speaking of which, that's the real enemy Christ said to focus on, the enemy within, our carnal nature, our prideful self. Everything within us that leads us to break the Golden Rule eventually needs to be identified, exposed and defeated so we can do what Christ said was the greatest commandment, the one that summed up the whole Bible at that time:

Matthew 7:12 — So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

You may say, “Tim, but can't a Christian be an activist against Antifa and do what they can to prevent them from hurting others?” Sure. I'm not saying it's wrong to take part in a good cause against a harmful organization. That said, what I see often is that Christians are so busy focusing on various external enemies that they neglect to work on themselves. They never improve to become loving like Christ. It's like that saying evangelists often use: "if you were put on trial for being a follower of Christ, would there be enough evidence to convict you?" When we focus on all the sins of enemies we are fighting, we minimize our own sins as comparatively inconsequential to theirs, and not worrisome.

I personally am so busy with the unloving thoughts, attitudes, and habits I have which God reveals within me that I have no time to join the fight against “climate alarmists scaring children.” You may say, “Tim what if everyone was like that, then nobody would fight against these evil forces and they would win.” That argument ignores the fact that not everyone thinks the same and makes the same choices, a "what if" that will never happen. “Many are called, few are chosen, few are faithful” means that if one person chooses to take his calling seriously by choosing it every day and saying no to other distractions, it will not change how the majority will go on choosing against their calling, not remaining faithful. Jesus said this would be the case in the Parable of the Sower:

Matthew 13:22-23 — 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 23 As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”

Unfortunately, most Christians fit in the category of the seed that fell among the thorns. They hear the Word but get distracted by worldly cares and concerns. I am choosing (and praying) to focus on being a “hundred-folder” which for me personally requires saying no to fighting Antifa, climate alarmists, LGBTQs, and anyone else. There are plenty of “Christians in thorns” who will decide a different focus, or "thirty- and sixty-folders" who can handle battling both the internal and external enemies—leaving no pressure on me to abandon my Lord's high calling.

Error #2: Focus on exposing, debating, slandering, discrediting the enemy

Let's say you are one of those rare Christians who can multitask well enough to “major” in carrying on your calling (to overcome your enemy within) and to “minor” in engaging in a cause against an external enemy. Note well I am not saying this is impossible or such people do not exist, even if I know I am not one of them.

Even then, there is still danger and risk for such a person to lose focus and fall into apostasy. When you put someone into a group that is working together against that enemy, they become susceptible to all the groupthink effects described in Part 1. Remember, a group tends to dehumanize outgroups and radicalize (worsen) the group member's feelings and actions against them. In other words, feelings can move from “they are deceived; we have to stop them” to “they are evil; I hope they die. Did you hear what they did this time?!”

As the language becomes more vitriolic the Christian can forget that they are to be different in speech and character, especially with adversaries. In fact, dealing with adversaries is the best opportunity to demonstrate the difference of the way of Christ. Instead, I regularly see Christians on Facebook resort to slander, gossip, mockery, ridicule, and hate speech against others. When I ask them about it they always justify it.

One time I saw a Hebraic Christian post an article titled “China bans burqas and 'abnormal' beards in Muslim province” with her comment “HURRAY!” I commented that she seemed to not be shy about her schadenfreude (pleasure in others' misfortune) and perhaps (giving the benefit of the doubt) it was because she lives in fear of Muslims in that province? Her response was:

Oh... the poor wittle babies! They can't wear burqas & wear their trademark beards! Oh, WOE is me! ALAS! WhatEVER shall they do...?

Not a BIT shy about it when they're a people who behead, rape, torture, slaughter, cannibalize, burn alive... innocent men, women & children... & have as THEIR GOAL, to eliminate ANYONE who will not convert to THEIR way of thinking & living...!!!

If YOU actually believe that losing their burqas & beards causes THEM more misfortune that that of all the people they have... & WILL in the future... slaughter for their goal... then you are a raving lunatic! Have you ALREADY converted to them? Or were you born into it?

I REALLY hope you were just trying to be facetious, instead of serious.

FYI... it sounds as if yer one of those who have fallen for the lie that THEIR god is the same as YHVH, the God of the Bible. That isn't true. Their god is the moon god... originally called al-ilah... & several OTHER names along the way. Those gods are AKA... satan.

In her defense, she elaborated later that her rejoicing was as I offered over the safety issue of burqas (preventing identification of potential Muslim perpetrators). However, all the things she said before that show there is much more than a concern for the Chinese going on in her heart. The sarcastic tone in mocking and villanizing the Muslims was revolting. She not only spread misinformation that Muslims worship a “moon God” but went further to state that they actually worship "Satan." (Note that whoever Muslims actually worship does not matter; we still are to love everyone. Claims about who they worship is just an attempt to justify bad behavior towards them.) In simply asking her to explain her jubilant reaction to the news story, she turned on me and suggested I must be one of them.

This is by no means an isolated incident. I am sure you have also seen Christians speak in an offputting manner about hated groups. In researching this article I have dared to ask more than a few friends about their posts and paid the consequences. As they justify their unkind words, I almost always get insulted or accused of “being one of them, too.” Once when I responded to a friend's post comparing climate change alarmists to Nazis by posting a reference to Godwin's law, they replied that they needed to reevaluate my book they had bought and highly praised the previous year, as I was “not sounding Biblical or very truthful.”

Here are some justifications I have heard for hateful, mocking, slanderous, or even clearly untrue posts by Facebook friends:

  1. “These are God's enemies” (My response: Mt 5:43-45)
  2. “What they do is far worse than the words I'm posting” (My response: Mt 6:14?)
  3. “The mainstream media is suppressing this information so I am sharing it here” (My response: Is our calling to become like Jesus or to spread “information”?)
  4. “I am trying to wake other Christians up to the truth” (My response: Jesus said he was the truth in John 14:6 and by the looks of it, Christians desperately need more of this truth than anything else.)
  5. “It may be false, but it's funny” (Yes, I shared this one already above, but include it again in this because I think it's a common motivation that is indefensible.)
  6. “Yes, I admit I do this sometimes in retaliation for what I see the other side saying against us.” (One honest reader admitted this and I praised her for her honesty. Jesus said in Matthew 5:38-42 that it was highly blessed to resist the temptation to retaliate and instead do the opposite of retaliation and “go the extra mile,” blessing them instead.)

I could say a lot more about each justification, but I think you can see on your own that most of them are not very good, especially in light of the speech ethic that Jesus' brother James described:

James 4:11-12 — 11 ... do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. 12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?

James 1:26 — Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.

Ouch, right? That's just a taste of what James and the Bible have to say on standards of speech for the righteous. (More below.)

Error #3: Seeking the Wrong Kingdom?

Ultimately, for what big cause are Christians retaliating against “the enemy” and fighting so dirty? Are they trying to “convert people to Christ?” Are they trying to “shine their light?” Nope.

You saw the actual reason mentioned in the email quoted above. The common understanding is that these enemies are “destroying America” which some also see as liable to “bring down the world.” (Most of my readers are Americans but I imagine non-American Christians also want to see America preserved in addition to saving their own nations from the liberal onslaught there.)

Who does not feel justified and even obligated to defend their home country or, for people outside America, to defend “the defender of freedom and democracy?” If it were not for America, WWI and WW2 may have turned out differently. How could we let America fall?

Again, I think Christians who talk like this are forgetting what their calling is supposed to be about. It is not to save a nation or even to save this world, but to save themselves and let their light shine before men so that they may enter the Kingdom of God later. Jesus' main message was the Gospel/Good News of the Kingdom of God (Mt 4:17) and he told us to seek the kingdom and his righteousness “first” (Mt 6:33). In the model prayer he gave his disciples, the kingdom is featured prominently:

Matthew 6:9-10 — 9 “This, then, is how you should pray: 'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.'”

What did he mean by the kingdom of God? Most Christians have no clue, so it's easy for them to forget what Christ said and get busy fighting for the kingdom they currently live in, instead! Jesus addressed that very issue when Peter fell into the similar trap of fighting for a cause Christ never asked him to fight, defending Jesus from “his enemies:”

Luke 22:49-50 — 49 When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?” 50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear. 51 But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.

John 18:10-11 — 10 Then Simon Peter drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus. 11“Put your sword back in its sheath!” Jesus said to Peter. “Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given Me?” 36 Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place."

Jesus strongly disapproved of Peter's actions to the point that he even reversed the damage Peter had done to the enemy! That's the strongest rebuke. Further, Jesus stated that, as far as “his servants” are concerned, they were not to fight on his behalf. Lest there be any confusion, note that I am not saying Jesus taught pacifism or that we cannot fight for other causes as we did against the actual Nazis. (Veterans, thank you for your service defending the country from real enemies.) However, on his behalf, he's specifically stating that his servants are not to fight because this is not his kingdom. That situation has not changed; the kingdom is still in heaven only and has not arrived on earth. We see in prophecy that when the kingdom of God has enveloped the earth after the 7th trumpet (Rev 11:15) that Jesus and his servants arrive to fight (Rev 19:11-15).

In other words:

  1. If you fight to save America for Jesus, you're saving the wrong kingdom.
  2. If you fight to save America for Jesus, you're not serving Jesus anymore because those who serve him are told not to fight but to love (John 13:35=Mt 7:12). You're a vigilante, actually serving yourself.

Again, I'm not judging you if you fight anything or anyone for whatever reason you choose. I'm merely pointing out that the calling which Jesus gave his servants precludes saving other kingdoms for him or fighting his enemies before his kingdom comes. If you want to fight liberals go ahead, knock yourself out. I still do not judge you. I would recommend you stop telling yourself that you are doing it for God or because they are “God's enemies” as that is not compatible with Jesus' plain instructions to his servants.

As I strive to be a servant of God, Jesus' instructions on this point are clear enough for me to have a clean conscience about letting America fall to the liberals, the Russians and whoever else comes. If you still want to keep fighting, it may be wise to ask yourself what your actual reason is for doing it. You may discover that in all truth you despise liberals or you fear ever losing your country or your way of life...or you may find something else important you would want to know about yourself. It might also be fruitful to ask what your faith is based on and what you are willing or unwilling to sacrifice for your calling to be God's servant. Not all of us have faith in God's total goodness if it means seeing the nation we identify with defeated. I mean, imagine the faith Jesus had to have in God's wisdom and goodness to follow through with the plan of his enemies defeating him? The narrow path is not easy at all which is why few are on it (Mt 7:13).

Finally, as most of you know, I teach that America is Mystery Babylon which is prophesied to fall in WW3 about when Wormwood appears in the sky. If you believe this doctrine then you understand why I often say that anything we fight or do today in America is “like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.” It's temporary and impotent to change the ultimate outcome and therefore arguably a wasteful focus or waste of time. If you believe this prophecy, too, and are still "fighting liberals" to save America, it might be a good idea to ask why and even reconsider that tack. It is up to you.

How to Get Back On Track

In Part 1 one of Paul's 19 characteristics I covered was about “having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof” (2Ti 3:5). I argued that it can apply to secular people, such as “social justice warriors” having a form of “virtue” (another possible rendering of the Greek word) just as the other 18 characteristics clearly apply to all people, not just religious ones. However, if godliness is the right translation it would apply more correctly to folks with that facade of godliness called religion.

Following the religion of Christianity is pretty easy. You mostly just need to go to church and pay your tithes. No one polices your online behavior and takes away your Christian membership if they catch you being horrible to others. (I always say that compared to Judaism with Sabbath and the rest of the 613 commandments, Christianity is a walk in the park.) This makes Christianity a form of godliness “denying power” because it requires nothing of its adherents. No one is impressed with a Christian for sacrificing an hour at church weekly and the rest of the time acting no better than anyone else in actual situations that test or measure our character.

Being a servant of God, subject to Jesus' instructions requires tremendous sacrifice, humility, and willingness to change yourself to become more like Jesus little by little. The rare people who take on that calling do shine a powerful light by their loving example (Mt 5:16) when it is not natural or easy. God often enhances their light with his own power through divine appointments and even miracles. We have all heard testimonies of this.

If you want to get back on track with Jesus and see that power in your life, how do you do it? Where do you start? When John the Baptist was asked this very question in the first century, he gave an answer that perfectly fit the temptations and challenges of his audience's primitive civilization (“soldiers, don't extort; tax collectors, do not embezzle; those with surplus, share it with those in lack” - Luke 3:10-14).

Today, we have different temptations and challenges and I am certain his focus for repentance would be different today. If John the Baptist were here today, I think his number one instruction would relate to how we are time-challenged with too many things vying for our attention, so many good things to do, watch and consume. We could all do better by slowing down and doing less to leave room to hear from God and see his leading and then to make better choices based on that (Rev 3:15-18). That's number one for this modern, 21st-century world.

I think right behind that one, his number two for saints would be something like James' warning about our speech. Back in his day, you probably did not know how to write nor have the paper to write on if you did, nor many potential readers. Words were limited to what the tongue could project out to those within hearing range. Nevertheless, James in his epistle warned about the dangerous power of “the tongue, the tongue, the tongue” (James 1:26; 3:5, 6, 8, 9). How much more pertinent is James' warning today when practically everyone is literate and can project their words around the entire world with social media? Because of this amplification of the power of our words, social media is one of the most potent weapons ever invented. It has done a lot of good because of this, but as we have already covered, it is being used even by the saints to do a lot of harm. Christians simply do not realize that they have unwittingly become part of a Christian mob that is just as bad as that sounds when you consider the dozens of groups Christians consider as justifiable targets of their verbal mob violence.

Effecting A Paradigm Shift on Words

Again, I am not going to suggest you quit social media. That's up to you to decide, to do if you feel convicted about it. What I want to do to help you with your speech is first to let the Bible speak to you on the subject. Then I want to share some testimonies on kind speech.

I already shared a little from James above. He has the highest ethics on words in the entire Bible so I am including everything he says on the subject this time:

James 1:19-20 — 19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.

James 3:2-12 — 2 We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check. 3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5 Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. 7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

James 4:11-12 — 11 ... do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. 12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?

James 1:26 — Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.

Here's a collection of assorted verses from the rest of the Bible:

Matthew 15:11 — What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.

Matthew 12:34 — For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

1 Peter 3:10 — For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech.

Colossians 4:6 — Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

Ephesians 4:29 — Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Titus 3:1-2 — 1 Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, 2 to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.

Proverbs 10:19 — Sin is not ended by multiplying words, but the prudent hold their tongues.

Proverbs 12:18-19 — 18 The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. 19 Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.

Proverbs 21:23 — Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.

Proverbs 17:27-28 — 27 The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even-tempered. 28 Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.

Proverbs 18:20-21 — 20 From the fruit of their mouth a person’s stomach is filled; with the harvest of their lips they are satisfied. 21 The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

Psalm 141:3 — Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.

Wow! The Bible is powerfully convicting on this subject when taking so many verses together at once, isn't it? I have read James alone many times and always felt humbled by what he said because I knew I did not control my tongue well enough and therefore was far from “mastery” as he said, bordering on the worthless religion for most of my life (James 1:26). I have said my fair share of unkind things about others, despite feeling the sting of others doing that to me. How could I ever stop it?

In the past year even before thinking of writing on this topic I felt convicted to start at least changing my habit of cursing when feeling suddenly out of control in a situation. It took me many failures over many months to make any progress; it was discouraging. Yet gradually I began to gain awareness of what was triggering me and the reason why. With that insight and I was was able to make a new habit of reassuring myself in prayer that all would be fine when things look wrong and out of control. I do not feel the need to curse and instead ask myself in faith how even this is going to "work out for good" (Rom 8:28)?

Sometime later, God then convicted me to try to avoid saying snarky, critical things. I saw a conservative video about Michelle Obama saying something inaudible on camera during a 9/11 memorial while a flag ritual was being done. Nevertheless, people were trying to make out what she said by reading her lips. How embarrassing it would be if she actually did say something snarky and disrespectful about the 9/11 memorial thinking it was in private only to discover the whole world was listening in an unforeseen way? I thought about how I say snarky things, too, and considered that I may never know when I am around a "hot mic." With doorbell cams, nanny cams and spy cams everywhere in people's dwellings now, this is not as paranoid as it sounds. I felt convicted that it was finally time to work on my critical and unkind comments so that even when I think no one is listening, I have trained myself not to utter them...just in case I am wrong.

Has God convicted you personally yet on your speech? Few of us are above saying uncalled for critical things at times as it's socially acceptable and shows we are "above it all." In my experience as a Bible teacher I know that simply sharing what the Bible says to do (e.g., speak kindly) is often not enough to convict people. Christians have heard most of the Bible many times before, reducing the impact of hearing those verses again. It often helps more to hear the specific reasons for the Bible's instructions or specific examples of outcomes from following or not following them.

To help with that, I am going to share two true stories that I heard in sermons on the power of positive or kind words. They may inspire you to work on your speech better than the conviction from Bible instructions alone.

Kind Words Story #1: An Essay in Math Class? “Write All the Good Things"

This is a true story that you may have already heard since it circulated widely as a chain email in the early days of the internet (the late 1990s):

Sister Helen Mrosla was a nun teaching at St. Mary's Catholic school in Morris, Minnesota for decades and she wrote about a classroom experience from 1965. Decades ago she wrote about a junior high math class she was teaching one late Friday afternoon. The kids were getting unruly and snarking at each other that she was inspired to do something. She told everyone to close their math books and take out a blank sheet of paper and write down the names of the every other student in the class, leaving space between each name. When they finished, she proceeded to instruct them to go back through the names and write “at least one kind thing that you can honestly say about each of your classmates.” For the next twenty minutes, that's what they did.

One Friday, things just didn't feel right. We had worked hard on a new concept all week, and I sensed that the students were frowning, frustrated with themselves —and edgy with one another. I had to stop this crankiness before it got out of hand. So I asked them to list the names of the other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name. Then I told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates and write it down. It took the remainder of the class period to finish the assignment, and as the students left the room, each one handed me the papers. Charlie smiled. Mark said, "Thank you for teaching me, Sister. Have a good weekend."

That Saturday, I wrote down the name of each student on a separate sheet of paper, and I listed what everyone else had said about that individual. On Monday I gave each student his or her list. Before long, the entire class was smiling. "Really?" I heard whispered. "I never knew that meant anything to anyone!" "I didn't know others liked me so much!" No one ever mentioned those papers in class again. I never knew if they discussed them after class or with their parents, but it didn't matter. The exercise had accomplished its purpose. The students were happy with themselves and one another again.

Years later in 1971 she was attending the funeral of one of the students who was killed in Vietnam, along with several other students from that class. The parents of one of the students approached her:

“We want to show you something. They found this on Mark when he was killed. We thought you might recognize it,” he said, gently taking out a worn piece of paper that had been refolded many times and taped together.

A few of Mark’s school friends who were gathered around also recognized the paper, and one by one they told her they still had theirs. Lesmeister preserved his in his wedding album. Marilyn Lohr kept hers in her diary. And like Mark, Jim Halbe had his with him in his wallet.

How rare sincere, positive words are! They are so rare and valuable to people that if they get any, they hold onto them like gold. Most never realize this potential to their words because they do not say enough kind words to hear feedback such as this.

Kind Words Story #2: “The X Box Story”

True story:

Management guru Tim Sanders was teaching in one of his seminars about the important role in good management and employee morale of words of praise and recognition. A member of the audience named Steve realized he had failed to do this and decided to rectify this immediately. He sat down with each of the nine employees that reported to him to say how much he appreciated them and what each did with excellence that he was grateful for.

One of the workers, named Lenny, called in sick the next day. The following day he showed up with a gift for Steve. Steve opened it and it was an X Box (worth $500), something Steve had previously mentioned that his wife forbade him to buy because they had a new baby. Lenny explained that he had been depressed after his mother died because she was his only friend. He had planned suicide and was slowly following advice he found online in “suicide chat rooms” including buying a gun and practicing putting it in his mouth every night after supper while listening to Curt Kobain (the ex-Nirvana frontman who committed suicide) and build up the courage to finally pull the trigger. That plan was disrupted by Steve's kind words:

“... the other day you freaked me out. You come into my cubicle, you put your sweaty arm around me, and you tell me that you admired the fact that I turned in every project one day early, and it helped you sleep at night. Which, by the way, Steve, is my style. You also told me that I had an incredible sense of humor over e-mail and that I made the whole group laugh when times were stressful.”

Moving closer to his boss, Lenny whispered, “But then you told me, ‘Lenny, I’m glad you came into my life.’ “I went home that night, put on Kurt Cobain, and started my nightly routine. But when I opened up the cigar box, as the light reflected off the chrome, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up. And for the first time, I was afraid to die. Before I could catch myself, I said out loud to no one in particular, ‘Lenny, I’m glad you came into my life.’

“At that minute, I was off the program. I shut the cigar box and put it in my backpack. I called in sick yesterday because I wanted to sell the gun immediately. I took it back to the pawnshop that sold it to me, and they gave me a few hundred bucks. I thought to myself, “What do I want to spend this money on?”

“Then I remembered that you had been bellyaching for a month over e-mail that your financial controller at home, aka your wife, wouldn’t let you buy the new Xbox gaming system because you had a new baby.” With tears streaming down his cheeks, Lenny said, “Sir, in exchange for my life, my soul, this gift is for you.”

What To Do Next: Challenge Time

Inspiring stories, yes? Wouldn't we all like to have our words save a life like Steve the manager's or deeply impact several lives like Sister Mrosla's math students' words did under her direction? Sure we would. Talk about “having a form of godliness [with] the power thereof!” (2Ti 3:5). But...what chance do we have of ever being skilled enough at speaking kindly to achieve such powerful results?

Plenty, if we only stop practicing the negative speech we currently do and start practicing positive speech instead. With time we will improve and our kind words will multiply enough to have some return to us as kind stories.

But first, again, you absolutely must be convicted that you need to change this and are willing to put in the work. If you're not fully convicted yet, then pray for God to help you as he did me. It may take multiple “doses” of conviction.

It did in my case. I already shared a couple of episodes of conviction above. Yet I was convicted further a third time before deciding to write this update. I was visiting my son's apartment with my wife to drop off his laundry. While there I noticed the sink was full of dirty dishes, a filled trash bin was swarming with fruit flies and it did not smell nice. My wife had complained about it to me before but this was the first time I had seen it myself. I reflexively commented just as she had in the past about “how disgusting” it was. Later that day my son called and informed me that he was in the apartment and sleeping in the next room when I made my critical comment about the horrid state of his apartment. He said he did not enjoy waking up to hearing my negative words. I was mortified. I apologized that I did that to him, not knowing he was there. I hung up and went out for a bike ride, listening to sermons I had loaded previously on my iPod like I usually do. One sermon I heard was on the power of our words and included the two stories I shared above. I knew it was no accident that it came up when it did, right after getting off the phone with my son. As you can imagine the combination of feeling terrible my son heard my words in conjunction with the inspiring stories convinced me that God was signaling to me to press forward harder with improving the nature of my speech.

If you now are convicted enough to make changes in your daily habits, then I suggest you do what the sermon I was listening to suggested at the end: set a goal to change your speech and hold yourself accountable for a set time, whether it be 24 hours or 30 days. Can you stop saying unkind things about or to anyone else? Can you practice saying kind things or nothing at all? Can you do this for even one day? I bet you can't; it's not easy at all. That, of course, must include things you share on social media! Can you stop being a part of Paul's prophecy about last days' people being “boastful” “brutal” “slanderers” “denying the power of godliness?" If you challenge yourself to meet the Biblical standards of righteous speech, I think you can.

By the way, the sermon included the testimony of a non-Christian writer from Salon magazine who attempted the 30-day challenge of “no snark.” You can read about it here and hopefully use her insights as a springboard for your own self-improvement on this front.

I hope this article inspires you to reconsider all of your use of social media and its effects on you, what you say everywhere, who your enemy really is, and which calling in life you want to make your main focus.

Update: "How do we 'have nothing to do with such people'?"

A few of the people who were convicted by the article to act on Paul's warning questioned me on how to comply with this part of the passage I quoted above:

2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NIV2011) — 1 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves... 5 Have nothing to do with such people.

If most of the world now is on social media and the fulfillment of Paul's prophecy, how can we possibly avoid involvement with "such people?" Well, we can't but thankfully we do not have to.

Remember how I explained above that this chapter seems to have a first-century application for Timothy and a broader last days fulfillment for all of us? This becomes clearer if you continue beyond the part I quoted above:

...6 They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7 always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. 9 But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.

If any of this sounds familiar, that's because Jesus warned about how the corrupt Pharisee ministers did similar things:

Matthew 24:13 — Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.

Therefore my conclusion is that this "no contact" stipulation is referring to corrupt ministers who Timothy, himself a minster, would encounter. This is easier to accept if you disregard the chapter break that groups verse 5 with 1-4 in English Bibles. Chapter breaks were added arbitrarily and do not come from the original manuscripts. Without them, it is possible to group the "no contact" command of verse 5 with the more specialized description of people in verses 6-9.

Clearly, Paul could not have been telling anyone, even Timothy, to avoid nearly all people as described in verses 1-4. Instead, I think Paul is telling Timothy specifically not to associate with corrupt ministers. It is one thing that the world is now mostly narcissistic, but another to associate with ministers who are supposed to be far different from that (John 13:35). It would ruin the reputation of a servant of God to associate with reprobates like that. Although this is a specific command to Timothy, Jesus gave a general command to us on the same topic of avoiding false prophets/teachers who he described as wolves in sheep's clothing (Mt 7:15). That is something we all would be wise to heed.

Part 3 – 5 Keys to Success At Doing What Jesus Said

Failure and Frustration

Once again I received enthusiastic responses to the latest part of the article (posted directly above). As before, I did not plan on writing another part, but the content of some of the responses made it clear I needed to address another aspect of this subject for completeness. Here's one of the responses:

Hey Tim!

I’ve finished reading your latest article and it was exactly my conviction lately. I don’t see how it isn’t every Christ follower’s. It should be. I hope you don’t mind if I ask for some advice. With fasting and prayer, I’ve been working on my tongue and gossiping and complaining and the likes. My biggest issue is: How do you handle a controlled tongue amongst constant family strife? Normally I would separate myself from divisive people, but since it’s family, I can’t get away from it.

My mom recently had a horrible heart attack and she’s learning to walk again. To be frank, she has always often been negative and complains and pits us children against each other, picking favorites and seems to expect us to give her our full care and attention (in her defense she’s been divorced with 5 kids since I was 7, my father is a pastor, so she’s had a hard life). Still, I think it’s definitely where I’ve picked up some of my own sinful habits, although I realize now I am an adult and have to own them. While I’m trying to rid myself of unwholesome talk, it is very difficult to show respect to my mother as Scripture commands and be around her and my other siblings when they’re constantly practicing these habits.

I am desperate in this area at this point. I try and try and always seem to fail. I even tried setting my alarm every hour as Katrina suggested in a video, and I was successful until the last hour, when I lost it on my children (toddlers) for a small reason. I was shocked.

Do you have any advice? I feel at a loss and it’s discouraging. I love the Lord and I love people, but I can’t seem to love them enough.

Many thanks, [name withheld]

Anyone who has been convicted to improve their behavior and then commits to making changes can relate to my correspondent's letter. Ironically, as you try to be better you inevitably feel worse. With each incident of failure there comes a greater awareness that you are not doing what you committed to doing; "you are failing, you hypocrite!" You start to feel out of control then hopeless and alone. Yet you are not alone; 1900 years ago, Paul already expressed the same frustration:

Romans 7:18-25 (NIV) — For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. … 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Our Proven Keys and Strategies To Success

Katrina and I have experienced this despair many times since we were convicted by God years ago to watch our speech. It started with a conviction about our complaining which we felt directly denied what Jesus said about God providing all our needs (Mt 6:33). Complaining about each other, complaining about third world Costa Rica conditions (where we lived at the start of this repentance journey), complaining about what we do not have, and so on. It took many attempts, failures and new insights to finally change that behavior across the better part of a year. (We together talk about that journey in a couple of our podcasts in the supporter content.)

Then, as I related above, I moved on to my outbursts of cursing and also critical, judgmental comments about others. I was met with the same frustration of failure in the face of my intention to change the nature of my speech. This time, however, it was a little easier because I knew the keys to success from before and that I was not alone. God was certainly going to bless this goal of repentance.

In this update, I will share the keys and strategies we have learned and leveraged to modify our attitudes and behavior according to what Jesus taught and demonstrated.

  1. Include God constantly
  2. Drop perfectionism, lower expectations, increase patience
  3. See hard people as a gift, hard experiences as training
  4. Be curious and quiet to uncover the heart source of failures
  5. Persist with humility through “level-ups”

Key #1: Include God Constantly

I can tell you that of all the areas of repentance we can talk about, controlling your tongue is probably the most difficult for the average person as James alludes to (James 1:26). That might sound like a discouraging point to make, but it actually makes it a great starting point for learning how to overcome the right way: with God's help like Paul concluded in his rant quoted above. When it comes to speech, your own effort will fail so frequently that you can more easily understand how insufficient your limited strength is. This will drive you to your knees to seek God in a greater way than perhaps ever did or knew to do before.

Let me illustrate what I mean by this. My first career, starting when I was twenty, was doing application programming. I did this throughout my youth for twenty years. In that time I cannot recall ever praying for God to help me do my job. I figured God gave me a brain and it was up to me to use it to do my work because it was not something related to salvation or repentance and therefore not something to include God in. Yes, we can both probably chuckle at that naive perspective now, but that is really how I saw God. Do not bother God for things you should be able to do yourself!

The same thing happens to many when they embark on a new goal of controlling their behavior. As adults, we're expected to control ourselves and thereby distinguish ourselves from children who cannot. We “should” all be able to stop saying mean things and start saying kind things without any help, right? So we think. Then we try and fail, and fail again. Katrina and I have heard this many times from people who have consulted with us. When we ask how they are including God in it, it usually is revealed they were mostly doing the repentance on their own strength.

What we recommend is to include God in all phases of the process:

  1. Pray daily about your speech.
  2. “Spot-pray” before and during dealings with difficult people or situations.
  3. After a failure, confess it to God and tell him it goes to show that you need more of his help. After a success, praise and thank God for his great job as your life teacher.

Do your part but learn to rely on God more than you ever have before.

Finally, do these prayers with full confidence knowing that God is pleased you are taking his command to love your neighbor as yourself (Mt 7:12) seriously. He is also pleased you are humble enough and faithful enough to come to him for help. He will bless your efforts quickly.

Key #2: Drop perfectionism, lower expectations, increase patience

The next most common mistake people make in personal change (after not including God enough) is to expect too much of themselves and then to beat themselves up for their failures. Basically it's the trap of perfectionism. As you may have seen or experienced personally, perfectionistic people withhold forgiveness of themselves thinking they do not deserve it and that this self-abuse will motivate them to improve. However, the truth is that it's neither fair nor effective.

Firstly, it's just not realistic to expect perfection or no failures. We have to realize that the habits we want to change have usually been forming for decades. We have grown up in a culture that has normalized being less than loving in our speech and actions. This goes for church culture, too. Let's just say Christians are not known for their impressive ability to never gossip and never judge or criticize each other. (I do not have to say more than that for longtime church-going readers who have been verbally abused by not-very-Christlike Christians.)

So when you see the verses on loving speech as I quoted above or like this one for example:

Jude 1:9-10 — 9 But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” 10 Yet these people slander whatever they do not understand, and the very things they do understand by instinct—as irrational animals do—will destroy them.

...stop and consider that the culture that holy angels like Michael are immersed in is very different from the unholy culture we are immersed in. As covered in part 2 above, slander is part of the "last day's people culture" that Paul predicted as easily seen on social media (2Ti 3:3). But can you imagine Michael the archangel engaging in “trash talking” against Satan? I cannot imagine that any more than I can imagine a UFC fighter in a promotional appearance saying “The LORD rebuke you” to someone trash-talking him. My point is that we have been surrounded by examples of and practicing ourselves mainly trash talk. We need to give ourselves a break while we stumble and look stupid in the processing of learning a new way of “treasure talking” =).

Secondly, beating yourself up or hating yourself only reinforces a view that you are trash and cannot change. Not only that, you project this perception on God thinking he must certainly see you the same way and is impatient with you and not willing to help you until you "repent." When you do not forgive yourself, you are often implying that God does not forgive you either. That's a lie as God says his mercy endures forever and his forgiveness is available to all who turn to him. He did not say he only forgives those who are perfect enough or performing well enough on their own first.

Strive to see yourself as God sees you. Even better, make that part of your daily prayer (something Katrina and I have done for years). God loves you and is pleased with your efforts to seek and obey him. He does not expect perfection. His “yoke is easy and his burden is light.” Stop making artificial yokes and standards that are harsher on you than God is. It will help you to see yourself as someone God will help. That faith boost will move God's hand to bring help and encouragement to you quickly on your speech.

Key #3: See Hard People as a Gift, Hard Experiences as Training

We try to control our lives to make things easier and more comfortable for ourselves; “avoid pain, seek pleasure” as the mantra goes. So when “life happens” and wrecks our plans, causing discomfort or inconvenience, we easily resent it and complain. If certain people are to blame for “disturbing of the peace” of our life we feel resentment towards them. We may even resent God for "not helping us more" or fall into a victim mentality or persecution complex.

This is quite common and understandable up to a point. That point would be where we review again these central promises of the Gospel of the Kingdom:

Matthew 6:33 (NIV) — But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Proverbs 3:12 (NIV) — because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.

Hebrews 12:6 (NIV) — because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.

In other words, God provides all our needs. This includes not just our physical needs but also our educational needs such as discipline and new information. He does not just do this when we're bad but also when we're good and righteous as we see in many Bible stories such as the trial of Job. There are many things in life we cannot learn simply by instruction but must learn through personal experience, often unpleasant ones at that.

Therefore, when we feel persecuted by life or victimized by others, we are forgetting that God put these things in place to provide us with the correction and training we need. Hard circumstances are sent by God in love for our good. Hard people also are sent by God for our good. When we resent life, people or circumstances, we are forgetting this hidden yet fundamental purpose of life revealed in the Bible. We deny the Good News and the faith itself by judging these things as wrong or that they should not be happening to us. Additionally, when has the conclusion that we are "forsaken by God," needlessly persecuted or victimized ever solved anything or brought peace or happiness?

What does improve our mental state and can even bring peace is choosing to see meaning and purpose in our suffering and trials. This worked even in the Holocaust as Viktor Frankl wrote about in Man's Search For Meaning. Difficult people are a gift from God. They help us to see where we are weak and lacking in faith. The same for hard circumstances. This is why James said to "count it all joy when you find yourself in a trial" (James 1:2-8). It's going to improve you and likely bring a blessing from God when you pass the test. What I'm suggesting is to consciously make a paradigm shift about difficult people and difficult situations. See them both as gifts from God to help you.

While you are at it, stop trying to change people. They are perfect the way they are to help you be perfected. You can be happy with everyone staying just the way they are if you change yourself. As Paul said, he could be content in all circumstances (with only imperfect people around him) (Php 4:11-12).

Try it; it works. But don't take it from me, read about how the Norwegians use paradigm-shifting to be happy about their long winter with the sun not rising above the horizon for months.

Key #4: Be curious and quiet to uncover the heart source of failures

The three keys above will go a long way to help you to handle frustration and avoid giving up on your repentance so you can endure long enough to see some encouraging improvement and victories with God's help.

However, if you want to move on to mastery, especially in difficult areas, you are going to have to do something most of us try to avoid: examining our hearts and thoughts. Because as Jesus taught, “out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks:”

Luke 6:45 (NIV) A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

In other words, if you find you continually fail to control your tongue in a certain situation or with certain people, most likely there is a deeper issue behind it such as a strong fear, trauma or false belief. In that case, no amount of will-power or brute-forcing will keep your heart from expressing something other than the love you intend.

After these failures, it's still important to exercise the forgiveness and release of guilt mentioned above. Then if you are able, replace the guilt with curiosity. Be curious about what is triggering this. Pray for God to reveal it if you cannot see it. Then take the time to listen to what comes to mind.

This is the process we follow to make breakthroughs where you are stuck or break habits. I touched on this above how in attempting to stop cursing when angry that I struggled and seemed to get nowhere for months of intention and focus. After doing prayer and contemplation post-failure, I started to get insight into why I was feeling the need to curse. I saw that I felt threatened by being out of control which in turn made me feel unsafe. However, I could immediately see that this belief was a lie since God is with me and has always been with me. Despite setbacks, things always turn around for the better with God's help in my life. When something breaks and it invariably gets fixed or replaced—sometimes with something even better. It's never been the end of the world although it felt that way many times. After gaining those insights, I decided to make it a point to not react immediately from something bad but to count to ten, pray and remind myself of all these truths. Instead of cursing the world, myself or someone else, I quickly adjust to the unexpected or unwanted situation and return to peace.

Having said all this, I must also point out that self-reflection is something not everyone is comfortable with. Most of us do our best to ignore being alone with our thoughts because we find them ugly, embarrassing or downright frightening. Along these lines, the French philosopher Blaise Pascal stated that “All of man’s troubles come from his inability to sit quietly in a room by himself.” If this is the case with you then your first step is to take that to God as well. Also, whatever dark things you discover in looking inward, you must trust that God can heal it all and be confident that “he who began a good work in you will continue to perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Php 1:6).

Finally, I have to warn you that if you do not want to look inward because you have issues with self-rejection, self-loathing and lack a healthy self-love ("love your neighbor as YOURSELF" - Mt 7:21) , then I do not recommend you do so until you have gotten healing on those issues from God (Rev 21:4). I have seen a few who took our advice to look inward only unravel in depression because of unhealed abuse or other trauma in their past that caused them to be more easily triggered into self-rejection and depression.

Testimonial of Keys #1, #2, #3 and #4 Working

I wrote an email my correspondent quoted above. It contained the four keys above albeit in a much-abbreviated form. Nevertheless, weeks later she shared the following report:

I think that’s a great idea [to write an update as above]. The heart has always been the root issue [#4]. What’s helped me the most since I talked with you is giving myself grace [#2] as you recommended and praying for the grace of God to help me in this area [#1] because it’s evident I cannot do it on my own, and to be patient as you mentioned [#2]. I also continue to look back on the article to remember not to fix other people, to let them have their faults without correcting, etc. [#3] I apologize if I say things I shouldn’t and try to remember to pray before conversations with difficult people [#1]. You helped me recognize it’s not about changing the responses of those around me, but to change my own responses despite them [#3]. I now realize I learned these word-habits over a long period time [#2], so I know it will also take time to overcome them. I will keep working on it and expect God to help me as I read the Word & pray [#1]. I also have to face the fact that what I’m putting in my body/brain may be affecting my overall mindset. I might need to consume healthier foods and entertainment and find a balance if I want to give myself the best chance of changing my thought patterns. These are the things that have helped me. I expect God to bring victory in this area [#1].

By practicing the keys above, you too can make progress and even gain some level of mastery in certain aspects of your speech. You'll never be perfect, but again perfection is not necessary. God just wants to see you adopt his law in faith so he knows you will be in harmony with him in eternity. Nevertheless, what you focus on and practice will grow. You will become “better than the average bear” at expressing love in word and deed. People may even take notice and comment that you do not complain, do not speak evil of others who are not present, let alone gossip. They may express appreciation about the kind words “fitly spoken is like apples of gold” (Pr 25:11) that come out of you (thanks to practice and the inspiration of God).

Key #5: Persist With Humility Through “Level-ups”

Success! Changing bad habits and becoming more like Christ than you ever imagined does make you start to feel good about yourself and proud of your changes. As always, even healthy pride and good success can “precede a fall” (Pr 16:18).

I used to take that proverb very negatively. Now I see it as part of a natural cycle of human nature. Psychologists have found repeatedly in their research that entitlement and vanity come to us very quickly with any feeling of elevation we receive or achieve. This goes for even the righteous and vigilant who are walking the narrow path Jesus described.

God in his love may orchestrate new, harder and different situations to continue your education. Part of it is to give some needed dose of humility, some of it is to reveal more of your heart in need of healing, and many other possible things for your good.

Katrina called it “leveling up” the other day and I instantly liked it. Before the leveling up, you may have a test or two in a row that you pass well or even with flying colors. You will be partly surprised that you did not handle the situation badly the way you used to, and partly not surprised, knowing you have been making steps towards this achievement. Your expectations of yourself and your behavior will rise accordingly (despite what I said above in Key #2 about staying realistic). It's natural.

Since the old situations no longer challenge you or cause you to grow, you need a new much harder situation or one that triggers you in a new way. You can guess what happens. To your horror, you fail, perhaps “epically.”

At this point, you can easily fall back to self-loathing (despite Key #2). Better is to pause, think, reject that idea and replace it with faith in God's goodness. You may even be able to see God's fingerprints all over the event so that you were “set up to fail” as we say, but with the twist that a loving Father in heaven did it as part of your “continuing education classes” on loving your neighbor as yourself (Mt 7:12).

A Public Embarrassment and Blessing

I had an experience just like that very recently. After writing at length above on the importance of controlling our tongue, I had my own epic failure. Although it was very embarrassing, I will share it here as it makes for a good example of what I am trying to convey about God leveling-up the difficulty and value level of your trials.

Remember how I wrote above that I decided to watch any criticism or negativity coming out of my mouth because after thinking about the Michelle Obama soundless video that people were lip-reading her to have said something disrespectful during a 9/11 commemoration ceremony involving a US flag? Between that and a friend installing surveillance cams throughout his house plus all the doorbell cams now, I have been on my guard ever since to guard my mouth like David said (Ps 39:1) and like Solomon warned about little birds telling the king that you cursed him (Ecc 10:20). I was practicing the four keys above and gaining awareness when I said negative things, feeling my conscience convicted and moving forward to do better with God's help and any inspirations I gained. I was making some small progress just like I did at first with cursing when I broke something.

Then three weeks after writing the last update, I was praying about what to do with my Monday, like I often do when it's not plainly obvious what needs my attention next. Later in the afternoon, I remembered that I had received a notification from the local customs office of a package from Australia for me to come and pay for before receiving. It could wait, but the weather was clear and just warm enough (39°F) to use the errand as an excuse to go for a decent 30-mile bike ride to the customs office and back. Something clicked and was excited in my spirit to take care of both my health and the package together this way. So I departed.

When I arrived at customs, I was disappointed to see who the agent attending me was. Unlike the nice woman who helped me last time, this was a man who gave me the impression he did not want to help me much. He always spoke German quickly despite it being obvious I'm an “Amerikaner” with poor German proficiency. The previous time when I arrived twenty minutes before closing, he at first said my paperwork did not have the file number and to come back Monday. When I found it on my phone a minute later, he refused to come back over to the counter to help and told me again to come back on Monday because the other agent who spoke English would be there. I got the impression that he did not like dealing with me, perhaps because of the language barrier.

This time he wavered between helping me to get my package and sending me away empty-handed twice more. At first, he proceeded to process me until he requested an invoice (that I did not have). Then I showed him the value of the goods from a previous invoice on my phone. Seemingly satisfied, he set out to calculate the tax so I could pay. Then...he suddenly decided I really did need to have an actual invoice. Fortunately, when I opened the box I had carefully removed the paperwork taped in that plastic sleeve on the outside and left it on the table. While I tried to accept that once again I was not getting my package thanks to this guy's whims, he noticed that among the papers from the package was an invoice. He took it and calculated the taxes so I could pay and be on my merry way after all.

But there was one hitch still. I came on a bike with a backpack big enough for the contents of the box, but not the box itself. I had handled this previously with another agent by asking if they could dispose of the box for me. (Every home and place of business in Germany has a big blue paper recycling bin for this). This time when I asked, this agent inexplicably denied the request and told me to take the box with me...on a bike. As petty as all this sounds in hindsight and in the telling, you could definitely say at the moment I was offended and thought, “Why does this guy always seem to want to make things hard for me?!” I felt like I had a bully who was picking on me for being a foreigner who did not speak the language.

Nevertheless, I told him “OK” and picked up the empty box and began to collapse it as I went out the door with the hopes of finding a way to properly dispose of it nearby. As luck would have it, the office had a garbage bin out there with enough space to fit my box if I flattened and folded it completely. As I was doing so, the agent followed me out, something no agent had ever done before. "Was he suspicious and checking up on me to see if I just dumped the box like a criminal?", I wondered while fitting the box into the bin. He passed by me to do something in his car and then went back inside just as I finished disposing of the box.

At that moment as I went towards my bike in front of the entrance, I uttered “asshole” to myself. Immediately I heard his voice inside the foyer of the office angrily repeating “What? What? What?” He came right up to my face and said in plain English (surprise, surprise) “What did you say?!” I was surprised he had heard me. Also horrified. I had thought he was inside already and safely out of earshot, but I was dead wrong. Was he angry enough to get violent? I hoped not and I quickly decided that repeating the curse word would probably not help the situation at all. In the hopes he was not sure what exactly he heard, I replied, “Nothing.” Thanks to God the lie worked and he immediately left me. I was embarrassed again that I had to deny what I actually said, but I was relieved at the same time to avoid an altercation or an argument with a German man as a clueless foreigner.

I thought about it a lot on the ride home. How could this have happened, that a word like that which I never said to anyone before would come out of my mouth about someone when I thought I was alone but I was not...all this despite me already having made the conscious plan to work on myself to eliminate curses like that from my talk? How indeed! I had no doubt it was a perfect setup by the master Coordinator of life on earth.

Would God really set me up for such a humiliating public embarrassment? I'm convinced he did because humbling is always good for our pride plus I learned in an unforgettable way that I had a persecution complex that needed to be dealt with or more ugliness would come out of me. I already knew I had some latent trauma from a few bullying incidents back in grade school.  I just did not know how serious it still was. Certainly, as a writer who has an established career as a truth-teller and who plans two more books on the unpleasant truth about Christianity's deception and the unpopular narrow path of repentance Jesus taught, I need to work on my persecution complex. That way when real persecution comes, I can handle it in love, rather than with retaliation out of emotion as had just happened.

Epilogue

When I got home I knew I had to make things right by writing a letter of apology. That evening and over the next day I thought about what to say, wrote and edited a letter. The next day I asked a friend to help translate it to German (and also to edit it for any German cultural differences). With the translation done and the next day free and with a clear weather forecast, I decided I would deliver it tomorrow and went to bed. I got up the next day and biked to the office again to face the music. I honestly did not want to do it, but I forced myself. I sheepishly entered the office, presented the letter, waiting to see if the agent would come to the counter, read it in my presence and maybe “tell me off” in German or whatever. Mercifully, he directed me from where he sat at his desk to leave it there at the counter for him. So that's what I did and left. Phew! (Although I included my email address in the letter in case he wanted to respond, so far more than a week later it's “all quiet on the Western front.” =)

I find that when I face my fears or do other hard things for righteousness' sake (Mt 6:33), God often responds immediately with a big blessing. In this case, I had been praying intensely for days about the next book (the “Missing Manual” concept for believers). I had lots of topics planned and just arrived at a title I liked after many iterations and much prayer. A structure I loved came to me as well near about the same time. But how to start the book's first chapter? Nothing was more important to me than to figure that out. For several nights during my frequent bouts of insomnia, I had now moved onto praying about how to open the book in a compelling and inviting way for the entire audience I envisioned of mainly Christians and atheists. As you may already have guessed, an answer to the prayer came finally, after the incident with the agent. I loved the concept instantly as would make for a compelling opening that is also inclusive to both segments of my main audience.

However, the inspiration did not come the night after I delivered the letter as you might have assumed. It came the night before when I made up my mind that I was delivering the finished apology the following day. I have seen this before in my life that when I make up my mind to do something hard for God, God often blesses me strongly the same day. The letter was written and it was as good as delivered, so God answered my prayer for inspiration. Stay tuned (and pray for me) as I hope to begin writing soon and have something to share early in 2020.

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96comments
BlowMe - March 27, 2020

Flat Earthers learned it all on YouTube!
Now here’s a YouTube video proving nothing with a bicycle!
Irony!

Reply
    Tim McHyde - March 27, 2020

    Dear “BlowMe@hotmail.com,” I was just talking to a flat-earther who I knew from college named Mike about how abusive Flat Earthers are as a group to those who disagree with them (which is most people they meet). He said you’re not all that way but now I’m going to have to show him this comment.

    Reply
GP - March 23, 2020

Reading this article I gained some perspective. However I’m trying to understand with the global crisis, a looming recession that will inevitably hit the US ,and the globe almost like another great depression I can’t help but wonder how possibly this is God withholding a pending judgement coming soon . I have heard some say we are suffering this pandemic because of the deal of the century yet I haven’t seen anything signed yet. I would like to believe this is a time of revival, I believe the rapture of the church will come when other things happen but given the circumstances and crisis we’re in it seems people are feeling in their spirits they are going home soon whether that soon is 3 days to 3 years from now we just don’t know. Has this crisis changed yourthoughts on these end times?

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    Tim McHyde - March 24, 2020

    GP, this pandemic is not in prophecy nor is it God’s judgment (or he’d say so according to pattern Amos 3:7). It changes nothing for my expectations of the end coming in 2026 and perhaps just confirms we’re getting close and this is a proper dress rehearsal to ready us.

    Reply
Dominika Privatt - March 11, 2020

I am a daughter of holocaust survivors. I left evangelical christianity 12 years ago, exactly because I could not stand all the gossip, all the judgment and condemnation of others, all the Us vs Enemy (fill the blank) mentality any longer. I went back to judaism, but even that gossip is culturally unacceptable in orthodox judaism (just like smoking in christianity), and Satan is not looked upon as all-powerful enemy, but as a tool of G_d to make us better, and hell is not an eternal condemnation (roman catholic error doctrine meant to scare and control masses that protestants did not free themselves from) but rather a spiritual growth tool for multiple lifetimes, with ultimate reward being either eternal new life or soul destruction for the new world/creation, and even that it was a relief mentally/spiritually, it was not an answer either. I went through a period of questioning and looking at a lot of “forbidden” by christian social circles materials and scientific stuff. In the end of my inquiry: G_d is still g_d, and Jesus is still a messiah, so I am a spiritual “free ranger”: just doing the best I can with love and care for self and others as my spiritual motivation, but lately I was missing some fellowship. I am so glad to come upon your book and now, the website… Thank you, Tim.

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Elizabeth Becker - December 18, 2019

Tim,
This article is spot on. I have been trying to make sense of the generational war and what’s going on in DC much less the world and this article hit the nail! I just read a study about how Boomers may be more sensitive than millennials and Boomers raised the latter. So the ME generation raised more ME generations …..surprise surprise. https://www.businessinsider.com/millennials-less-sensitive-than-baby-boomers-stereotypes-2019-12

Anyways, even if the age doesn’t come to an end in 2030, you can view your dreams as a test. God may have given them to you to test you and see what you would do with the info. I think you are passing! You are focusing people more on soul searching and changing themselves and that is what we need to do.

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    Tim McHyde - December 18, 2019

    Elizabeth, good to see your astute comments here again. You disappeared for a while. Yes, I passed the test of overcoming the fear of being seen as a “date-setter” and publishing what God gave me. If I misunderstood them and 2030 is wrong we all get to keep our repentance and growth from the urgency that 2030 gave us!

    Reply
      Blaze - December 26, 2019

      Assume next prophetic event May 14 2022, assume math is correct, then…

      < 10 Seasons, < 900 days, < 30 months

      Reply
Johan Pretorius - December 8, 2019

Hello Tim, you really made me laugh for teaching somebody English so quickly, with one word? I love this article, so much information to better ourselves and the events is happening now in our present time, real time, no trying to imagine the circumstances it is tangible and visible. Really an eye opener for those who can see and understand that our current time is running out. I am not stressed or worried about this, whether I am prepared or not, I am looking forward to a new era of proper governance. Thank you for the article and keep well, bless you all.

Reply
Blaze - December 7, 2019

Tim, remember the Rocky II press conference?

“Derogatory? …Yeah, he’s great.”

Reply
    Tim McHyde - December 7, 2019

    Blaze, why? did I use a word wrong?

    Reply
      Blaze - December 8, 2019

      No, I mentioned it because it comes to mind when talking about speech. Plus you mentioned ufc, so I just thought of about it.

      Apollo is upset he lost and they’re promoting the rematch.

      And a reporter asks Rocky if he has anything bad to say about Apollo.

      And plus he’s upset Rocky is being so chill. Although Rocky didn’t have too much to lose status wise.

      Reply
Caroline Carmack - December 7, 2019

Great update. The hardest for me will be #4, but I never would’ve really realized that had this gone unwritten. That’s what’s so cool about this journey! There are always knew things to learn.

“And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new”

Thanks, Tim! You and Katrina are a blessing!

Reply
Kathryn Arnold - November 24, 2019

An article from The Atlantic that I found in my Twitter feed today…

The Dark Psychology of Social Networks: Why it feels like everything is going haywire – https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/12/social-media-democracy/600763/

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Johan Pretorius - November 23, 2019

Hello Tim,I could not help noticing that Paul says at the end of his message that you should have nothing to do with such people. I have noticed that I am trying to avoid people in certain categories that I do not agree with but then I remember ‘love your neighbour like yourself’. It is very difficult to try and be Mr. Niceguy all the time. Now back to Paul’s saying, how do we distinguish between the two, I will be honest, the less people I have to deal with in my life, the happier I am.

Reply
    Tim McHyde - November 23, 2019

    Johan, thanks for the question. I’ve updated the article to answer it. See above.

    Reply
      Johan Pretorius - November 24, 2019

      Thank you Tim for the update,it makes sense when you look at it that way.
      So, we are still stuck with certain people we want to avoid!!!
      What I try to do is always greet people with a smile and ask them how they are doing, this seems to break the ice and people tend to be more friendlier and accommodating. Also show respect and listen to people and don’t try to take over the conversation, people like it when you listen to them even if you do not answer back, most people are so wrapped up in themselves that they sometimes don’t even notice you are not talking back, just a yes or a nod of the head is enough for them to think you are participating in the conversation which is fine as long as you do not offend them by showing no interest at all.
      Also the other important advice is to keep your boundaries in a respectful way with people you have difficulties interacting with and still be polite when you end up in a conversation.
      So in the end it still stays ‘love your neighbor as yourself’.
      Thank you Tim, keep up the good work. I am currently going through all the” On the narrow path vlogs”, a lot of information to refresh the mind again.
      Any chance of an update on the progress on the Workbook??
      Regards Johan

      Reply
Cliff - November 19, 2019

Tim, i first of all want to thank you for the most recent post relating to part two. I too have struggled with focusing on worldly concerns like politics, terrorists, loss of Christian values in America etc. your comments were very helpful. I believe they are true and a great help to refocus my attention on Christ likeness in heart and mind. In this endeavor I have been pretty humbled to realize how difficult it is to remain focused on the issues in my heart. My heart is so deceitful and easily led astray. I have come to appreciate the grace of God and his forgiveness. I also have seen the need to pray to him to both forgive me and cleans me of all unrighteousness. This in itself has humbled me. This humility has then allowed me to view others with compassion and not judge them. So for me pursuing being like Christ and humbling myself has led to more compassion in how I treat others. This full filling the law of Christ. To be clear, I could not fix myself but only pray, repent, humble myself and seek His face. He then was faithful to cleans me. Thanks for your reminder to stay focused on Christ.

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Mark - November 16, 2019

Being a Christian certainly is a fine line. America, like all other nations, is under God and we seem to recognize that fact in our pledge, but sometimes we do act as if we are above God. Whenever I hear some people say “God bless America” it almost sounds like a demand, rather than a request.
Our founding fathers recognized God’s hand in almost everything they did and enshrined the ‘recognition’ of our God-given rights in the Constitution they drafted. I believe its the among the finest documents mortal man has ever conceived —short of God’s Kingdom, or His word. The Bible and the Constitution are almost complimentary which is why I think so many un-repentant sinners rail against both. We’re all sinners, of course.
That brings me to my other point. Sin is everywhere and the causes to sin abound as much today as ever, probably even more so with movies and internet. I believe one critical thing is different though. People have always committed certain sins, throughout all history and been sorry and repented, not always, but usually. Today, it seems for the first time in history we are being asked, by some, to not only tolerate sin, which, as sinners, we should always do, but to celebrate it, which, as repentant sinners, we should never do. Its a very fine line, but the difference could not be any clearer. I might tolerate an adulterer being my President, but I could never ever see celebrating the sin of adultery in order to appease that President. To his credit, Trump has never asked anyone to celebrate his sin. In fact his attempt to cover it up is proof he seems to be ashamed of it. That’s a good thing. I think shame is the very basis for repentance. People don’t usually repent over something they’re proud of…

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William Lubber - November 15, 2019

Tim….In reading your link to Rick Brown’s very long and semantically challenged article about how the name allah is the same name for our God as the muslims, I must clear something up . It does not matter if the muslims call their god “Bozo the Clown” “Howdy Doody”, or allah…….he is still a false god. The pointless point of his article is akin to saying that if one person lives in Portland, Maine and another lives in Portland, Oregon, it doesn’t matter….they are both from Portland. His reasoning would be that since both cities are in the United States, what’s the sense in differentiating between the two? They are both Portlands! When arabic Christians use the word allah they know all too well they are not speaking about the god of islam. Just the same as when I’m talking about the NBA basketball team the Portand Trailblazers, knowledgeable sports fans know I’m talking about Portland, Oregon, not Portland, Maine. In kind, when knowledgeable arabic Christians hear the word allah used in connection with islam, they know you are talking about the false god muhammad invented, not the one true living GOD that created heaven and earth. Whether or not the god of islam is a moon god or not is inconsequential,,,,he is a lie, and has NOTHING in common with the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Trying to say that they refer to the same god is blasphemous. William

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    Tim McHyde - November 17, 2019

    Bill, in Islam, Allah is the one true God above all others as it is in Judaism and Christianity. Arabic Christians use the term Allah to pray. It seems like only Western Christians want to argue against the obvious because of doctrinal differences in how Muslims worship Allah. But historically Christians have been anti-semitic killing Jews (many still are today, without killing) and murderers also while worshiping the one true God.

    Reply
      William Lubber - November 19, 2019

      Tim..thanks for printing my comment but I think the point was missed. I understand that Arab Christians use the term allah when praying to God but they are praying to the God that sent His only begotten Son down to this earth to die for our sins. When muslims pray to “their” allah they are praying to a god they say “has no son” (surah 23:91) and actually ask their god to destroy anyone who makes the claim that Jesus was the Son of God (surah 9:30-31). Muslims also believe that Jesus (who they call a prophet) did not die on the cross; that it was all a big hoax (surah 4:157-158) which, in essence, would invalidate the entire Christian faith. The “doctrinal differences” you speak of are diametrically opposed to one another and therefore no commonality can be found in these two faiths; they are mutually exclusive. As far as Christians “killing Jews”, I only find the Roman Catholic Church (a cult in itself) mostly guilty of such atrocities. In the last few hundred years (and well past the Reformation and Martin Luther’s anti-semitic ideology), true bible-led and Spirit-fed Christians have come to understand that it is written that we should “pray for the peace of Jerusalem; they shall prosper that love thee” (Psalms 122:6) William

      Reply
        Tim McHyde - November 19, 2019

        Bill, I got your point; I just could not accept it. I countered that both Muslims and Christians misunderstand the nature and will of God as demonstrated by their doctrine and checkered (including antisemitic) pasts. As Christians are wont to do, you dismiss any wrongdoing by Christians as relegated to one of the 40,000 branches you consider apostate. Yet to any objective (outside) observer, Islam and Christianity (with all their divisions) worship the same monotheistic God as the Jews (which Christians also consider to be apostate), howbeit with very different understandings. I could give you more examples of Christian wrongdoing in history but I expect you would say they also “don’t count” because they are not true Christians. Of course, a good Christian is expected to defend his “one true faith.” However, I would ask myself if I am not resorting to a logical fallacy of No True Scotsman in this? Jesus warned about a “wide path” with a crowd of many that would deceive and destroy the people following it (Mt 7:13) in place of a “narrow path” of following his (difficult) instructions directly (Mt 7:24). It’s much easier to switch to the narrow path instead of defending the wide path.

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Mark Zehring - November 14, 2019

Excellent article Tim. Thanks much for your insight, it was a good reset when dealing with the challenges of our times. Also, it is not so easy to pull punches verbally when others offend so easily, but that is indeed the “narrow way”.

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Douglas Keaty - November 14, 2019

Tim, Thank you for putting on paper the thoughts you and I have been having over the last decades. I had the hardest time talking to friends about the depravity of society while trying to get an understanding of where it was coming from and what should I be doing. I feel so cleansed from this burden. I have a new sense of freedom and even stronger empathy and compassion for the people of the world, especially within my sphere of influence. I feel like I’ve had a serious course correction. The cares of life are falling by the wayside even faster for me and I’m gaining speed in my run to the end. Douglas

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Joel - November 14, 2019

Hi Tim.

Your thinking and reasoning style strikes me as being a great example of what Daniel Kahneman, in his book Thinking, Fast and Slow, refers to as System 2 – thinking slowly. That is, you take the time to ponder the deeper meaning of contributing elements, expend even more energy mashing it all together, and then even more drawing well-reasoned conclusions.

In one review I read about Kahneman’s book the reviewer comments “Often, we let System 1 take over because it’s tough to concentrate on something and we take the path that offers minimum resistance. … Since mental tasks require effort, so we take the easy route and let System 1 take over.” When I read that in the review it reminded me of the message of Mt 7:13, and your work.

You definitely don’t take the path of least resistance through the Bible! Rather, you look for the narrow gate, the nuance, the sometimes subtle meaning, the often vague link between scriptures separated by many chapters and hundreds of years.

I’d like to say thank you for your ongoing efforts in bringing the scriptures alive to me in a way that I would have once thought impossible. For turning cryptic verses into easily understood links in the chain of life God intended for us to live.

May you and your family continue to dwell in the shelter of the Most High and rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

Joel.

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William Lubber - November 11, 2019

Tim… when you quote James about the poison and untamed tongue that we all have, keep in mind that he is generally referring to believers and their speech toward OTHER believers……not unbelievers . Jesus Himself was quite vicious in His speech towards the Pharisees in Matthew 23 and other places as well. I do not condone foul language when confronting blasphemy and the obvious ridiculing of the Word but I also have no problem with biting words that can chew through the hardest of hearts. Jesus was no sissy when He saw blatant disrespect as is highlighted in His actions towards the money changers in the “den of thieves”. Discernment is definitely needed, though, as to when and where to let your harshness fly. William

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    Tim McHyde - November 12, 2019

    William, I think because I failed to define “misuse of tongue” my readers may misunderstand what exactly James is warning about. It’s not about “cursing” or even strong speech. I would sum it up with how “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Lk 6:45) and since we by default constantly have unpoliced unloving thoughts and feelings, an uncontrolled tongue expressing them hurts others, not just brothers, but all. Indeed, James 3 warns about evil speech in general while, as you noted, James 4 explains why speaking evil of a brother is even more serious, yet he then returns to your “neighbor” (James 4:12) as the general context. As for Jesus in the role of prophet being harsh in word and violent in action in a few recorded incidents, I have never been comfortable with Christians using his example that came from 100% love and direction of the Holy Spirit to justify their behavior. I need to see someone emulate Jesus’ track record of love and compassion for people before they emulate his authority to rebuke their brother.

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      Blaze - November 12, 2019

      So you’re saying I should stop flipping over tables in church?

      In that example actually he quoted prophecy. And I don’t see him saying anything else looking at Matthew.

      https://biblehub.com/matthew/12-19.htm

      However I feel if I worked too hard at being nice and saying only nice words I might get run over by the people around me. As in I have to maintain a minimum level of toughness.

      https://biblehub.com/ecclesiastes/7-18.htm

      (I did think it was funny watching Al Roker scare children with “climate change” on the Today show. Also I never thought climate change was a good name and that it should be called “toxic death sludge” Now those are words that motivate!).

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      Kimberly - November 14, 2019

      How true, words are stronger than we know, take for example Jacob. When Jacob ssecretly separated himself from Leban, Rachel had stolen her father’s idols, Jacob, not realizing this, said, “the one you find them with, shall not remain alive” and Rachel, (who had already born Joseph, and asked God “may the Lord add another son for me” , as the name Joseph implies) died as Jacob sworn.

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    Kimberly - November 14, 2019

    Hi Tim,
    Yes, I agree with the writer who commented, it really boils down to God vs Satan, Good vs evil, whereas good comes from God (God alone is good), evil rears its ugly head in many, many forms-communism, globalism, earthly pursuits, etc. In all its forms, evil must be fought with the sword of God’s Word, which is always Truth. Be bold to denounce those who, “call themselves prophets” but deny the Word, by the Word Itself. Jesus counteracted satans temptations by quoting scripture. Jesus lived the law, (fulfilled, and is always fulfilling the law), and followed the Traditions set down by God. (Do this, and you will have a perfect tongue, because you will keep the word of God on your lips.) As one who has practiced this (and continues to practice), you will come across those who will say things about another to get you to say something negative, knowingly or unknowingly, they are setting you up to judge. Be alert, do not judge. Maybe Tim, your son was sick, worked overtime, had friends over, whatever it be, do not judge. Know this instead, God knows, He’s judge, we have His example. God’s Word is sharper than any 2-edged sword, able to separate bone and marrow. This article has shown me how much you have grown, Tim. “Humble yourself and you shall be exalted”, I see your humbleness here, I see you exalted here. May the peace of Jesus Christ be with you.

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Judy Reneau - November 9, 2019

Thank you ..: thank you … touched my soul and convicted me gently … thank you

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    Tim McHyde - November 9, 2019

    Judy, that my writing accomplished that means a lot to me. Thank you.

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      Bob Milroy - November 10, 2019

      Tim, a great article, and yes I am guilty also, but in a slightly different degree. I rarely, almost never, criticize a person to their face, or behind their back. BUT you should “hear” what I say (think) about them or their actions. While reading your article I was reminded of Matthew 5:27-28. In this respect I an judge, jury, and executioner, but I never said a word. ( I used to give myself a lot of credit for not acting on my whims or mental daydreams). I find it easier to control my tongue than my thoughts.
      It’s fairly easy to not hit someone in the mouth……
      It is a little harder to not tell them they offend…..
      Try not to think they offended…..
      At what point does a persons ‘knowledge of good and evil’ that we received in Eden not kick in?
      If we had no “knowledge of good and evil” it would be like we were in Eden again… maybe that is the goal?

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      Catherine - November 11, 2019

      I also am grateful and am very encouraged by this article.
      For you see when I hear people, especially “Christians” attacking others for not living Godly I usually respond to their comments with “we need to pray for them, Jesus died for them and loves them also, we need to show them love.”
      I say usually because sometimes I say nothing and a lot of times since I am come against especially when it’s family I will just nod my head. There are times I get very upset with some negative comments and respond negative myself and I hate myself for it.
      I have compassion for the ungodly and the “Godly”.
      This article encouraged me to
      not give up in well doing and to keep in time to the Holy Spirit.
      Again thank-you!

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Dianne - November 9, 2019

Hi Tim. GREAT message, especially the content on watching what we say. So very important in so many ways. The key to using correct speech is below

One of my favorite versus is in Timothy 2:25 about correcting people with gentleness (humility etc = love) so that God may will grant them repentance and then knowledge of the truth. The second a word said not in love comes out your mouth/pen/keyboard it doesn’t matter how factual or truthful it is, if love was not the purpose behind it then we cant hear the words we hear the intent behind the words. I make it a practice (I dont always get it right) and have tried to teach my children this as well to rather not respond if you are angry or annoyed but wait until you feel love for that person and then respond.

Examine your reasons for saying things : is it to justify yourself, prove you are right, cause hurt, humiliation, shame. If it is then you have lost before you have begun and you will most likely get a response in kind. If you respond with love in your heart its then possible that they will listen and more importantly HEAR you and can then make helpful changes. What’s in your heart comes out your mouth. Pray for a change of heart if you are not feeling it and He will give it to you.

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MICHAEL ANDERSON - November 9, 2019

Nice Anabaptist perspective there on the two kingdoms! The time for that message is coming for sure.

I wonder if it’s useful to distinguish between not saying unkind things and not being critical at all. Most of the difference is intent, whether I’m trying to put the other person down or come alongside and support that person to do his or her job effectively, and perhaps also the intent perceived by the recipient of the criticism, since some people are more sensitive than others. But if the matter is important enough, even a sensitive person will eventually hear the truth as I see it or else there is no potential for relationship. If we are sons and daughters of God, we will be corrected by Him (Hebrews 12:8), and likewise in our earthly relationships there needs to be honest communication rather than mere positivity.

Where we easily go wrong is when we lose patience, which is a form of judgment. It’s a tricky thing to know when to make such judgments, whether it’s an employee who can’t do his job or a spouse who continues to be abusive, but so far God has been faithful to me in letting those people judge themselves through their false accusations. Though they cut me off, still I think of ways I might come alongside and support them if they’d let me. I think God is in a similar position.

I’m reminded of what an evil spirit told me through another person (it’s a long story), that their plan is to fill the earth with positivity. And who then would want to listen to those comparatively negative but truthful servants of God?

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Helen Davies - November 9, 2019

Great one! This surely has needed to be shared. Thank you for helping us stay on track, my brother. If every believer could read this at least some could see the light and repent of attacking those they aren’t comfortable with. Unfortunately I know a Spirit filled Pastor who publishes a newsletter monthly, whose almost entire focus monthly is on bashing homosexuals. It’s been shocking to me to see that there has been no mention of love for them at any time. He’s lost many of his readership. Not that they may be embracing someone’s homosexual lifestyle, but because he’s had a brutal attack of them throughout his entire newsletter. There are a lot of believers who are blinded since they don’t study the Word of God. I thank God for people like you who help pull God’s people back from the flames. Thank you, Tim! I’m praying for you and family and think of you often. Helen/DallasTx

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Cris - November 7, 2019

Hello Tom,
Always enjoy reading your articles, and though I don’t always agree with your end times theories, you give me cause to dig deeper and see for myself through scriptures and related references. I also respect you greatly for correcting yourself publicly, an outward sign of Christ that seems to be getting scarce

Definitely see an uptick in Apostle Paul’s prognosis of last days human characteristics. Case in point—and this will likely bring fire from your readers—the absolute blind leading the blind religious fervor of these days in the US where many Evangelical Christians will swallow hook-line-and-sinker everything that they want to believe rather than asking the Lord and digging deeper to know the truth. Even if a leader displays the fruits of last days character (boastful, scornful, disrespectful, loving self , etc) rather than the fruits of the Spirit, we should discern and not be swayed by opinion or rhetoric.

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Joshua Booker - November 5, 2019

Hi Tim thank you for this wonderful article. It definitely brings things into perspective. I’m curious what your thoughts on climate change are and how they relate to the end times. According to scientists we don’t have much time on our planet. I’ve heard 2050 the earth would not be habitable if we do nothing. I honestly can’t imagine the leaders of our world uniting at all, because they haven’t yet and we have known the consequences of inaction for a while now. To me it just proves even more that Yehovah will return soon because I don’t believe the world being destroyed by climate change is his plan. What are your thoughts on how all that factors in?

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    Tim McHyde - November 7, 2019

    Joshua, they have made such climate apocalypse forecasts almost as much as prophecy date setters have with no better of a track record. When I was a kid in the ’70s the ice age was coming by now. I don’t pay any attention to it anymore. Civilization will end by Wormwood like prophecy says, not by normal, cyclical changes in climate.

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      Krystle - December 12, 2019

      Tim, I want to thank you for the wisdom you have passed on. I am very much convicted, as I have a problem with negativity. My own husband has even called me an “emotional vampire.” I do need humbling in this instance. Pride is ugly, and is also probably my biggest problem. The Bible says to make a “joyful noise unto the Lord,” and I do tend to like a lot of rock music…and I’m trying to make that fit into with Christian music. It is very hard to find Christian music of that type, and I can now see why. I am trying very hard to open up to other actual Praise music, although there are some songs that I especially like which call out to the Lord in a despairing note. Maybe that is my cry for help b/c I can identify to them so well.

      Thank you for always enduring your patience with me. I apologize for any curt challenges that I may have written to you. We’re all in the same race, and I want you to know that I am just sharing with you a possibility in my correspondence with you and not defiantly implying that you are wrong.

      God bless.

      -Krystle N.

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        Tim McHyde - December 12, 2019

        Krystle, thanks for sharing how the article convicted you. Pride is everyone’s problem but they don’t know it as it’s invisible to each person unless they proactively ask God to reveal it. Your questions are fine; when my understanding does not stand up to scrutiny it’s time to change it.

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Eric Hood - October 14, 2019

Great Read Tim. I have been hearing from many people around me saying the end is very close (Meaning within a couple years). In your opinion what year will we see the anitchrist rise up? Also with all that is going on with President trump and all of the middle eastern news do you think there is anyway we will see the return of Jesus before your year of 2030? Thanks in advance for the reply Sir!

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    Tim McHyde - October 15, 2019

    Eric, thanks, 2023 is the next sabbath year and Wormwood would already be here now (and the Great Tribulation by April) if Jesus was coming back in 2023. He’s not. That leaves 2030 next, which for me is not just a possibility. Trump’s problems and Middle East wars and rumors of war don’t factor in.

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      zyko - October 27, 2019

      Hey Tim, Vr is already here. I work in it a little and it’s very concerning. It’s very difficult for me. It’s pretty much everything you think it is, and it’s going to get worse. Email me if you want to know more, or need some thoughts or information on it.

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        Tim McHyde - October 29, 2019

        Chris, thanks, yes it exists but thankfully it’s decades away from the mass adoption the smartphone or social media has which is why we’re seeing this prophecy already being fulfilled.

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Obiajulu Echedom - October 12, 2019

Wow! Tim, it’s always a great delight getting reminders of your freshly baked bread of life. Thanks immensely for the great work you are doing. Do agree with
your views of the negative effect of social media on our world. Recently I started filling out on line surveys. The way the admins would encourage honesty and threaten to use ‘ the cane’, reminds me of a world that appears to settle for wrong instead of right.

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Blaze - October 12, 2019

I was thinking about how the leaders of this world are now using social media. The President, Senators, Journalists, Pastors, Priest, Business Owners, etc.

If you were born in 2007 + 18 = 2025. You would have lived an entire life with smart phones and social media, etc. Is it a coincidence there was a major recession the following year in 2008?

——————————

Here is an interesting article…

https://www.laphamsquarterly.org/roundtable/beware-cranks?utm_source=pocket-newtab

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HReid - October 11, 2019

Rome has caused all to worship the beast. Paul was a Roman with ties to Herrod. Please research the Constantine religion Paul brings forth. The changes instituted at the council of Nicea along with the calendar changes. More people follow Paul then Messiah, that in itself it the abomination that makes desolate. Peace and Blessings

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Al Farrell - October 10, 2019

Tim, I think you nailed it in this article. For some time I’ve been troubled by the accelerating preoccupation so many people have with smart phones & social media. For me, it’s been much deeper than just irritation and I think you’ve put your finger on the real danger in it all. I don’t think your linking Paul’s list in 2 Tim. 3:1-5 to the present-day tech. impact is too much of a stretch. There’s a serious warning here for all tech users & that includes me. Thank you, Tim. Al

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William Lubber - October 8, 2019

As I read more and more about what flat-earthers believe I do have one interesting question. In Revelation chapter one verse 7 it says that behold he cometh with clouds and every eye shall see him. How’s that possible if we live on a globe? Your thoughts please

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    Tim McHyde - October 8, 2019

    William, how is it possible on any earth for “every eye” to see (Rev 1:7) when many eyes are blind or what does that passage mean anyway?

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    Bob Milroy - November 10, 2019

    Also Revelation 11:9 speaks of the whole world seeing.
    When I was a kid the war in Vietnam was shown on the 6:00 pm news…. but when the Twin Towers were hit and fell down the whole world saw it live, even people in the outback of third world countries by way of the internet and portable battery operated laptops.
    This verse, along with the “no man may buy or sell without the mark”, and your “gold and silver will be worthless” were the three verses that were not possible when I was a child, that lead me to believe when I saw they were possible.
    Also the earth is flat , if you consider small enough areas.
    Peace, love, bob

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    Cameron Hulcy - November 19, 2019

    I would think all media outlets would be covering a man descending from the clouds live, don’t you?

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John Sanford - October 8, 2019

Tim, I love the new read! just to clarify do you still believe it will be 5+ years before we see the 2nd coming? Would really love a response! Thanks in advance!

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    Tim McHyde - October 8, 2019

    John, no, it’s never been 5 years until the second coming as every time a potential 2nd coming sabbath year comes near, it gets ruled out due to lack of prerequisites. 2023 is ruled out and 2030 is the next possible sabbath year for the return which my dreams for me confirm is the one that won’t get ruled out as things will start happening in 2022.

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      John Sanford - October 8, 2019

      Thanks for the input. Does that put the tribulation starting in 2023 in your opinion?

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bryan simon - October 7, 2019

Good stuff. And mildly depressing. I share your belief that the technology that was once helpful has degraded and will lead to further troubles.

How reluctant were you to use “Bullshit” as part of your article? I lol’d because I knew it would probably rustle some jimmies.

Blessings. May God have mercy on us.

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    Tim McHyde - October 7, 2019

    Bryan, bless you for the comment and donation. Nobody objected to that so far. It’s really what I thought and said to my wife in the kitchen when it happened. I think the truths I’m sharing are more offensive than such words.

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Robert Larsen - October 7, 2019

I may not agree with your view of flat earth and vaccines, but I always enjoy your reasoning and research, Your ideas motivate me to study scripture more diligently…a mark of a good teacher. God bless you and Katrina
BTW – The first episode of “Black Mirror” on Netflix is about the addictive properties of VR.

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    Tim McHyde - October 7, 2019

    Robert, thanks, but I never posted my view of vaccines =)

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Robert Wheeler - October 7, 2019

Tim, all my life I was taught and believed that Judas was responsible for the death of Jesus Christ. I was an article of utube saying he was innocent. I thought how stupid! But I started thinking about it and reading Luke 22 where Satan entered Judas and set up the deal for 30 pieces of silver. John 13 made me realize it wasn’t Judas, it was satan . When jesus gave judas that piece of bread and said “what you do do it quickly!!” Made me almost feel that I was there looking and hearing what Jesus was saying that was so so powerful. I wonder if Judas had any awareness when Satan was inside him. Maybe he didn’t know anything until it was over. his bringing the silver back and declaring Jesus an innocent Man and being so disgusted to hang himself. Tells me he was innocent what about you Tim. bye , your friend forever bob

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    Tim McHyde - October 7, 2019

    Bob, Judas innocent? He did not lose his self-will because of a spirit. He had to agree with it and whatever it inspired. He probably betrayed Jesus with some justification in his mind that it was for the best (stop a larger problem, force him to declare himself Messiah, etc.) But it said he was a thief (John 12:6) which opens the door for other evil, yes?

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Catherine - October 7, 2019

Believing 2026 being the year of the third angel sounding the third trumpet causing a third of the waters to become wormwood then we will see the first two trumpets come to pass in the next 6 years?

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Catherine Hafner - October 6, 2019

Some years ago the Holy Spirit took me above the earth and brought from country to country and showed me, what I’ll do in the future. The earth is and was a globe, not flat, I saw it.
I forgot this vision until some years later, I understood, that I was doing what I saw in the vision. I went from country to country, I was until now in 82 countries to prepare people for the second coming of Jesus.
There are countries in Asia, Africa, etc. you can’t go without vaccines against this and that. I made all the vaccines in the trusting, that they will not have any bad influence in my life and I thank God, i had never problems and was protected. Some times christians have more fear then unbelievers.

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    Blaze - October 7, 2019

    I just wanted to comment on the last sentence. I have noticed that fear appears to be a fruit of Christianity.

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      Elizabeth Becker - December 16, 2019

      Fear is the driving force behind all religious systems.

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Sandra Mavity - October 6, 2019

Another great article Tim! Confirmation for me as God continues to reveal “little things” about the world we live in and the regressing of the people. This is NOT our home and as we draw nearer to God, it’s more evident that Satan’s time is very short and the darkness is spreading quickly. Thanks again!

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Mike Anderson - October 6, 2019

Nice work. I agree. I can imagine several possible responses, but for now I think I’ll explore some of the content of the social media groupthink that you carefully avoided. There are many who feel oppressed by legacy power structures and demand greater freedom, but often don’t perceive that they are fighting natural law instead of imposed law. Resisting them are those who pride themselves in understanding the way things really work, but are better acquainted with principles such as “survival of the fittest” than God’s ways of love. Both groups, by resisting the other, respond with more fear, selfishness, and protectionism. It troubles me to see a “natural law” resistance forming around mediating figures such as Jordan Peterson because they espouse a distorted, Jungian-Gnostic interpretation of Christianity, a form of godliness that denies that God is good or has power, that perhaps he is principle such as a yin-yang dualism. When they turn inward for self-knowledge according to Gnostic teaching, they expose themselves to the leading of demons, and, trusting this experience, move further away from the humbling work of testing theories according to logic and the best available evidence, where you could be wrong. If you can’t recognize love from the many counterfeits, you could easily be swept away, but if you can and cling to it, you will not be moved by any demonic teaching.

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Victor Talbot - October 6, 2019

I also wanted to say live vaccines can be good George Washington used them to defeat smallpox and win the revolutionary war but yea I believe also that they have been tampered with and made unholy By our Governments to make us sick. It’s like Tim said it’s just a shame that eradicated diseases are making a comeback. It’s hard to trust anything anymore its why I am mostly vegan and follow Dr. Sebi diet somewhat and pray when I can, I pray all you guys have a nice day God bless you all:)

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Victor Talbot - October 6, 2019

Thanks for the article a real eye-opener. Your right all this technology is a double edge sword I don’t use facebook or twitter really at all I’ve studied conspiracy theories and went down the rabbit holes and then flat earth hit me and yes tempting to believe after a person has considered one conspiracy after another to weed out the truth, the problem is is that there are grains of truth in everything and sometimes we all need to stand back and pause and think and pray and then logic returns God is our source of peace and comfort and if these technologies have a place in the future knew world it will be under God’s guidance. I have a gut feeling I know in my heart that when people are like-minded and love one another its just the polar opposite of what social media does, that in the future instead of us Hating each other we won’t be able to stand to not be with each other cause our inner love and complete happiness will be fulfilling, everything will get flipped on its head soon for the positive its just said we have to see the negative for a short while play out I most hate the mass shootings that go on for I believe its an empty world for both the victims and the perpetrators, think of how messed up in the head you have to be to shoot people in a movie theater for a batman movie https://www.coloradopolitics.com/news/psychiatrist-much-is-still-hidden-in-aurora-theater-shooter-holmes/article_73df4da4-0c59-52ca-bfbb-3563e0f21f3b.html this is what society is breeding its wack!

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Diana MacDonald - October 6, 2019

Thank you for your faithful research, vulnerability and working toward becoming more of what Father wants us to be. The links to your resources and understandable, linear thought is a blessing. I read your article and most of the linked pages orally to my husband as we directed our thoughts to Eloheim this Sabbath. Praying for you and your family.

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Mike - October 6, 2019

I’ve thought for several years now that things are getting more rabid quickly. The “people” who run this world do in fact know the age of this world and the timeline for the end of the 6000 years. They are rushing and falling all over themselves to institute increasing depravity and immoral behavior as fast as possible. Recently a Fox News commentator or guest accused democrats of worshipping Moloch with their abortion agenda. I’ve known that was the purpose for years. There isn’t much time but eternity is the result after the millennium.

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Louis White - October 5, 2019

Hi Tim. Thank you for another insightful article. I ordered your book a while ago but when my laptop died, I wasn’t able to recover its contents. I will eventually order it again.
I love how you welcome the opinions of others and handle them with compassion while using careful consideration in your responses. As followers of Christ we are supposed to support and sharpen one another, which is the case with most who subscribe to your research. I believe this is especially important today for the body of Christ because history has shown that failure to test doctrinal teachings, combined with blind allegiance, is what emboldened people like Adolph Hitler to persecute and murder the innocent. Satan has had thousands of years to confuse humanity regarding religion using an elaborate web of misinformation. His influence has even corrupted the thinking of world renown religious leaders. For instance, it is rarely talked about among Christians how the Protestant reformer Martin Luther was highly anti-Semitic and how his writings condoned murdering Jews. Martin Luther wanted to convert the Jews through Lutheranism, but failed. Out of anger he wrote a 65,000-word treatise denouncing the Jews, which caused an intense hatred of Jews in Europe.
In the treatise, he argued that Jewish synagogues and schools should be set on fire, their prayer books destroyed, rabbis forbidden to preach, their homes burned, and for their property and their money be confiscated. He urged that the Jews be shown no mercy or kindness, afforded no legal protection and that “these poisonous envenomed worms” be drafted into forced labor or expelled for all time. He also seemed to support murdering them, writing “We are at fault in not slaying them”. Luther described Jews as a “base, whoring people, that is, no people of God, and their boast of lineage, circumcision, and law must be accounted as filth.” He even wrote that they are “full of the devil’s feces, which they wallow in like swine,” and that the synagogue is an “incorrigible whore and an evil slut”.
Satan knew that by using a high-profile person like Martin Luther he could inflict severe damage to humanity.
The fact that a historically significant person like Martin Luther could be manipulated in a such a way by Satan only shows the importance of vetting those in positions of influence and how Christians should be functioning as a unified body and divesting themselves of heretical teachings. It is also important to note that dates and numbers are important to God, which is why it surprises me that Christians so easily dismiss God’s true appointed times. Though God’s prophetic plan and calendar were followed by Christ to the letter, most Christians still only acknowledge the pagan traditions put in place by Rome.
For instance, many Christians don’t even question Easter, which is riddled with fertility symbols (eggs, rabbits, etc.) Those who celebrate Easter ignore how Passover and the 49-day period afterwards ending with Shavuot represent the 50 greatest days in human history because they ushered in events significant to both
Jews and Gentiles.
I also believe it is likely that Christ was born on Rosh Hashanah (The Day of Trumpets), which used to be called Yom Teruah. To me, it makes so much sense that the day of trumpets would have been used by God to announce the birth of Christ and not the 25th of December.
Though Lutheranism estranged itself from some Catholic practices, it kept many of the traditions established by Rome and is just as guilty of giving these counterfeit traditions equal status to God’s true appointed times. No wonder the Jews didn’t buy what Martin Luther was trying to pitch to them. Imagine this: You are a Jewish religious leader and for thousands of years God has been guiding, punishing, and directing your people on how to honor Him properly. You know that after freeing your people from slavery through an extraordinary succession of miracles, God specifically told your people that they were His chosen people, established to be a nation of priests who will one day lead the world in honoring Him, and gave them specific instructions on how to honor Him and precise measurements for building His Holy Temple in Jerusalem so that one day He could rule from there.
Because your people were trained on proper operation of the Temple and understand its true purpose, your entire culture has been taught for generations how to know what is acceptable and offensive to God. By the millions, your people have endured the pain and hardship of being taken into bondage by other cultures due to past disobedience and failure to properly keep God’s laws, so it is now ingrained in your culture’s traditions and practices and passed down from generation to generation so that God’s lessons won’t be forgotten.
Then, along comes a Gentile named Martin Luther who claims that the Jews need to relinquish their long-held traditions that were personally given to them by God to follow his poorly edited version of Roman Catholic Christianity, which still reeks of blasphemous Babylonian practices. How do you think you would have reacted?
The fact that Christ and His followers used the same traditions to honor God that His covenant people (the Jews) used for thousands of years inclines me to believe that God’s true traditions were derailed by the Romans and replaced with a set of counterfeit traditions.
I believe it was Satan’s plan all along to misdirect the work of Christ and the apostles and the only way the body of Christ will ever return to the power and glory it once had is by dropping all denominational labels, identifying and eliminating all its pagan trappings, and returning to its Jewish roots.
Another blaring scripture from the Bible that I never hear Christian leaders include in their sermons comes from the prophet Zechariah (8:23):
In those days it will happen that ten men, of all the [different] languages of the nations, will take hold, they will take hold of the corner of the garment of a Jewish man, saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you!’ Zechariah 8:23.
The prophet Zechariah was speaking of a future time when God would establish His kingdom on earth and the entire world would know who the one true God is and would be making pilgrimages to Jerusalem to pay respect. I am pretty certain that Christmas and Easter will no longer be celebrated during this period and all of humanity will only be following God’s traditions. What do you think?

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    Tim McHyde - October 5, 2019

    Louis, sure, not only will pagan holidays like Xmas and Easter be eradicated but Christianity itself (based on paganism and other traditions of man) will be gone in the Millennium in favor of simply loving God and your neighbor as yourself without distractions (Mt 7:21). The holy days will be secondary to the daily focus on love which is lost in Christianity with so much misinformation.

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Janey - October 5, 2019

But…..the bible says the earth is flat…..are you picking and choosing YOUR truth……???

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      Janey - October 5, 2019

      Umm, attention Tim….not a flat earther at all. I read the old testament, did you? You want us to take the bible literally, and there it is. Would you please address the fact that it says the earth is flat in bible or not. Heres a hint for you…..firmament…

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        Tim McHyde - October 5, 2019

        Janey, so because I disagree with your conclusions on the OT, I must not have read it? I’m done. If you really wanted an answer to your question and not just to fight and insult me you could have googled it and found many reasonable responses like.

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    Ray - November 9, 2019

    Isaiah 40:22 It is He who sits above the circle of the earth and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers.

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Marlen Sherar - October 5, 2019

Christians are already experiencing persecution in the US but as we lose our freedoms it will become greater. People in the US don’t realize that if the progressive NWO people take over the government here they will institute the UN agenda 20-30. Which is a total Marxist communist constitution? We will have lost all our freedoms. God’s grace and protection will be lost. Satan is the author of confusion and destruction. Jesus warns us not to be deceived 4 times in Matthew 24

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Marlen Sherar - October 5, 2019

Tim; I enjoy your insights. We are indeed in the last days which has been getting worse each year. Christ will come to judge the church first which is in apostacy at this very moment. The church has failed here in the USA. There teaching of prosperity, fake signs and miracles, appointing LBGT and transgender pastors and laypeople , Advocating a one-world religion, Our courts abolishing prayer and Bible reading out of our schools and government bldgs, corruption in our government, This has been going on for decades, The church has been blinded and has become corrupt. We are in the Laodicean church age. America is ripe for destruction. I just heard that the church of England nominated a druid to be head of the church there. We are in perilous

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Norm Frost - October 5, 2019

Just a side note….you should not condemn people who are opposed to vaccines. They have just been vindicated by an Italian study and I quote…
“The analysis on SNP, InDels, CNV, SV variants on 560 genes chosen because they involved in different forms of human cancer shows the presence of numerous “original” variants, that’s to say that they are, not even present in public databases, therefore are not known in the literature. In other words, important modifications of genes known to be associated with various tumor forms have been identified, for all the 560 verified genes; furthermore, there are variants whose consequences are not known, but which, however, affects genes involved in the induction of human cancer.”

In other words they are purposely putting variant genes in this vaccine that cause tumors and is associated with cancer. Over 500 of them. Here is the link to the study…
https://www.corvelva.it/it/speciale-corvelva/vaccinegate-en/vaccinegate-mrc-5-contained-in-priorix-tetra-complete-genome-sequencing.html#

Natural News also did a story on it

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    Tim McHyde - October 5, 2019

    Norm, I never condemned anyone in my article, including anti-vaxxers or even flat-earthers. It’s tragic that the measles and flat earth belief came back, yes? That’s my point.

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Mark Douglas - October 5, 2019

The reason I concur with you Tim, although I don’t understand exactly how things will take place over these last days we are living in, is because I’ve taken the time to study God’s Word. God says, If we will seek for Him we will find Him. Period. Yes, our time is short. No doubt. Best article I’ve read from you.

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Johan Pretorius - October 5, 2019

Hello Tim, yes another good article highlighting the evil that goes on in our lives and around us. There is nothing wrong with technology, it is the way that it gets misused in the end that causes our downfall.
I had a thought about all these things that are taking place and pointing to the troubles starting soon and the end of this age, then I asked myself how do I feel about this? Am I scared, am I troubled, do I feel hopeless, or maybe am I happy or relieved that finally things are coming to a close? I could not answer this question for certain, I had mixed feelings.
I then asked myself what was Yeshua’s feelings before he got crucified. He knew what was coming like we do today, was he scared or troubled or hopeless or was he happy and relieved that its coming to an end? I could not answer that question either, I do not know how Yeshua felt.
When I thought about it further I realised that Yeshua’s event and our end times events are very similar and for a purpose. There’s a reason for all this happening to ultimately save us for a better life and eventually being in the kingdom for eternity.
So what should we feel, anger, joy, fear, relieve?
I still don’t know, but one thing is for sure, we need to pray that we have the strength to escape all these things coming soon.

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Ron Perkins - October 5, 2019

Tim, thanks once again for such an insightful article. I pray that whatever time we have left will be committed to seeking His kingdom and His righteousness and allow “His kingdom come, His will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.” Even though I am old school I still get caught up with the “info” net and waste alot of time that could be more productive for His kingdom and Glory. Father forgive us as we learn to forgive one another, pray for one another, and seek your Kingdom and Righteousness with all our heart, mind, and soul! Your Kingdom come, your will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven!

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trevor GLYN DAVIES - October 5, 2019

Thanks for the POST Tim , folk need to be SEEKING GOD !! while He may be found , and NOT worrying how much time is left !!Matt 24:44 , Your Analizing2Tim3:1-5 was very insightfull and helpfull, All those traits are worsening !! people are so “short fused” than they were years ago (Iam 84 baptised in 1960 attending Radio Church of GOD ) V13 of 2 Tim3: indicates the sad downward spiral, but even more graphic is Matt 24:37,it gives a HRRIFIC picture of AHEAD !! , I have been watching for the Rebuilding of the Temple ( it will indicate how much closer the return of Christ is ) but will they build on the Temple mount (ruins of Fort Antonio) ?? or on the Original SITE of the 70 AD Temple ? ? and as a now Scattered member of the “Body of Christ” I am reminded of “Prediction ADDICTION ” some were “Obsessed about” as the ministers on occaision reminded Us. I hope your followers don,t get “TOO carried away” we need to be READY !! overcoming to the END . again Thank you Tim !! and my warm love to you and your family………Glyn DAVIES

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Todd Kemp - October 5, 2019

Wow Tim. This makes even more sense why I replied to your question on FB this week with my answer. Deep down, I think many of us can “feel” the message of this article but couldn’t quite put it into words. I think you did it perfectly and I’ll requote you….

“But now I see all around me that God has a more directly justifiable cause for judging our society when he does, so soon now in 2026. I believe when God is asked later why he sent Wormwood on our society, he will answer that humanity had already peaked and was degenerating. Having more time would not change or reverse that.

I’m processing this as we speak because I feel a tremendous sadness knowing I have been duplicit in the very things mentioned above…however, I’m very grateful for this revelation and will hold it close to keep me in check. I’m still seriously wrestling with deleting my social media accounts maybe except for LinkedIN as it does seem to be more oriented for job searching and networking for careers rather than the degeneracy we’re seeing through the other channels. Thank you so much for sharing this because I definitely needed to hear it.

Love to you and Katrina.

Todd

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Randy - October 5, 2019

Great minds. I have a son who’s become agnostic. I was thinking about his unbelief and began thinking about how man has built the internet to know everything and get answers to all questions immediately. Much like, as a believer, we have God. The internet has definitely become a type of God. If we have all the answers available , who needs God. The internet is doing what God has always been doing. Yet we deny God. Sad times we are in. Alieanation is almost complete.

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Daniel - October 5, 2019

Hi Tim,

Whilst I agree with your concern about the rising number of people being duped by flat earth theory, I am not sure if you are trying to lump people who may disagree with getting dozens of vaccines into the same basket as people who believe in flat earth.

You may not have looked into the matter quite as thoroughly as you should, but some of these recent outbreaks of the measles were amongst people who were actually vaccinated.

If you want to look into some of the evil signs of the times, as it says in revelations ch 9:21: “And they did not repent of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their whoring, nor of their thefts”…

The word sorceries is the Greek word pharmacia, which means poison, from which we get the word pharmaceuticals.

Look into Bill and Melinda Gates funding vaccines in the 3rd world which cause sterilisation… to further him aim at population reduction.

Look into The fact that the most vaccinated country in the world, America, also has the highest infant mortality rate amongst western countries.

Vaccines are 100%, the leading cause of Autism. Millions of people were infected with a cancer causing simian virus in the polio vaccines.

There is an evil satanic agenda to use mainstream pharmaceuticals to corrupt our bodies and minds, all the while making a fortune off us… “lovers of money”.

No, you cannot lump legitimate and well founded, specifically provable concerns against vaccines in the same basket as flat earth belief.

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    Tim McHyde - October 5, 2019

    Daniel, I’m afraid you misunderstood me. I did not lump anti-vaxxers and flat-earthers together. I lumped the return of measles with the return of flat-earth. We can agree both are bad developments. I made no judgment on people leading to either as we can all agree they have understandable rationales for taking part.

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    J G Vaidhyan - October 8, 2019

    Instead of modern quick fixes, best alternative is Ayurveda medication that retains our natural immunity.

    Reply
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