Most Christians think of a time the Bible calls the tribulation as something unspeakably horrible. They are thankful they will miss it entirely. Those left behind will suffer. Amidst the turmoil, we have a fond hope that many of the people will recognize they are getting a glimpse of a world without God, and will turn to Him in repentance.
However, that will not be the case with most people. It will be just the opposite. Through the calamities, social upheaval, and political turmoil, God gives glimpses of what a world without his protection will be like. The devil, on the other hand, will be blaming God for all the sorrows. He will be saying that he is trying to build a new earth, and that the God of the Bible is the problem. In fact, he will be saying that God isn’t god at all. That he is god. And, he will be offering solutions. He will be removing boundaries set by God. The people will be offered a utopia of their own imagination.
The still small voice will no longer be on earth to help the people discern truth from error. The restraint of the Holy Spirit is removed – people will be like bratty children left alone without any adult supervision. They are suddenly ‘free’ to follow the wickedness of their hearts. The real believers are all gone. Churches may be still be full to half full of cultural and social Christians who followed some of the teachings of the Bible. However, there is no longer anyone around who will care if they ‘bend the rules’. There will be no human beings left who actually care if they break the rules of Christian civilization. There will be no Holy Spirit to help them discern truth from falsehood.
Ultimately, most of those left behind will be relieved to have the rules makers gone. They will be sad to see the old world gone – but they won’t care for long. They will see a new world rising out of the ashes of the restraint of so called immoral behavior. In their minds, nothing will be impossible to them. Vanity Fair and Babylon will be offered up to them on a silver platter. (Well, fake silver of course – because nothing will be real in the kingdom offered by the anti-christ.)
So, in the midst of the turmoil of the events that occur around the rapture of the church and natural disasters, there will be an offering from the devil. He will offer the people a society without any restraint. The ruination and destruction of the soul will be presented as freedom from all restraints and old fashioned morality. Just when those people who have been left behind need all their mental ability and focus power, they will be offered a distraction so great that it will pull their mind from thoughts on eternity to thoughts on the pleasures offered in the ‘new world’.
I really wouldn’t doubt that it will be presented as something like, ‘In an era of long ago, God drowned the wicked in a global flood. Today, God pulled the wicked from the earth and left the earth to be governed by those willing to step into a New Age of Enlightenment.’ People will hear what their itching ears want to hear. The lust of the eyes will rule the day, and the hearts and minds of most of mankind. Almost everyone will choose to live in ‘Vanity Fair’ with no thought for the Pearly White City John saw coming down.
Vanity Fair in the Midst of the Tribulation
Bilco Hammer was in a foul mood. It was Sunday Morning and he really wanted to sleep an extra hour or two. Well, first he wanted an early game of golf, then a nap, and then get up early in the afternoon to spend ‘quality time’ with his family. Deep down in his heart he was absolutely sure that golf and nap were the best way to start any Sunday, but for appearance sake, he was going to put on a happy face and go to church. However, his wife could just forget about having a cheerful companion for the day. If his day was ruined by church and a family meal, then why should she be able to enjoy Sunday.
Bilco had hopes of a brighter future. The kids would one day grow up and there would be no threat of child support if he divorced his wife. Their first and third kid would likely side with their mother, but that middle kid, the little boy, now he might be a different story. He already snuck out of Sunday School half the time. If it ever came down to spending holidays with mom doing his Christian duty or time with dad doing whatever he wanted to do, Bilco was sure that kid would go along with dad.
So, it was a grumpy Bilco who got the family in the car and headed for church. Driving to church he tried not to look at his wife Tiny because she certainly wasn’t Tiny any more. In fact, she was huge. Well, maybe not actually huge, but certainly not tiny by any stretch of the imagination. At church, Bilco soon found a group of like-minded husbands. They gossiped until the last possible moment before going into church. One of the guys was certain he had a sure fire way to escape from the nagging wives for the afternoon. He was going to let them all know about it when church was over.
Tiny had been practicing the hymn ‘Pearly White City’ with the choir. She had been singing it at home so much Bilco knew it by heart and was sick of it. He wondered who would want to live in a city made of pearls anyway.
The sermon that day was on the rapture of the church. Bilco always tried to sleep through sermons like that. It was getting harder and harder to sleep through church without waking himself up snoring. If only they would put recliners in church he would be able to get a head start on his afternoon nap. However, he was definitely in church. He had spent most of his Sunday’s in church since the day he was born. And he was definitely expecting good behavior points for his attendance even in the best of weather.
He did manage to doze off a few minutes in spite of the noise the preacher was making. What woke him up was people hollering and yelling other than the preacher. He was trying to wake up, but he was sure his eyes were not seeing correctly because the once full auditorium was only about half full. Tiny wasn’t in her usual place in the choir. The kids were in children’s church, so he wasn’t expecting to see them. Everyone was naturally somewhat hysterical to say the least. The preacher began calling for calm, and demanding everyone sit down. Of course that didn’t happen. People were running and screaming names of loved ones and friends.
The earth began to shake. Bilco had been in a few earthquakes while he lived in San Francisco, so he knew what was happening. He ducked under the bench, thanking his wife Tiny for insisting that he chip in for the 100 year solid oak pew. He soon knew this was no ordinary earthquake because it just kept going on and on and on. Finally it stopped. Climbing out from under the bench, Bilco glanced around at the damage. At least half the building was totally flattened. A few groans were coming from the rubble, but he immediately decided he had better things to do than to try to rescue anyone. He made his way to the outbuilding where the children were housed during services. It was not only flattened, but it was missing from the landscape entirely. It appeared it had fallen into a crevice with a mountain of dirt almost burying the remains of the building. He knew that it was unlikely that anyone was alive in that mess, and that any rescue would be dangerous. His mind reeling, Bilco turned and walked away.
Hours later, Bilco was sitting in what remained of the living room of his home. He as wondering what happened. His mind was just drawing a blank. ‘What happened?’ was the phrase running through his mind. ‘What should I do now?’ ‘Is this some sort of Biblical prophecy fulfillment that Tiny was always talking about? Surely a woman that straight laced and narrow minded couldn’t have been right about anything, much less something this big. But………What if Tiny WAS right? But……Why were there still so many Christians still at church – including himself?’
Remembering a small church pretty close to his house, Bilco decided to walk over and see what was happening at that church.
Arriving at the church, Bilco found some people like himself there looking for answers. Some said it was what the Christians called the Rapture. Bilco knew that was supposed to be a time when Jesus shouted ‘come up here’ and true believers would float up in the air in some sort of transformation. Others said that was obviously not what happened as they were still there. That church had lost its preacher, but they all knew of churches whose preacher was still here.
It occurred to Bilco that there should be some sort of search and rescue going on, but it didn’t seem to be happening. People were trying to figure out what had happened and how it related to them personally. There was no real concern for the missing by anyone. Bilco finally left, having found no answers to any questions.
THREE MONTHS LATER
Finally! Electricity was restored to many places, and even to some homes. Bilco was one of the lucky ones. He still had most of a house with most of his walls still standing. He had electricity, running water, and a enough food in the pantry to feed a family of four for six months. That was thanks to Tiny’s idea that they should have food stored in case Bilco lost his job or inflation skyrocketed or some other goofy scenario. The end result was that Bilco had enough food for two years. As usual Tiny had even messed that up. She stored way to much grain and vegetables, and not nearly enough canned meat. He would just have to make the best of it.
Anyway, tonight was the big night. Satellite TV was on, and viewers could expect a speech and some sort of explanation from the emerging world leader NimRock. It was an odd name and an only name. No one seemed to know from whence he had come, or really anything about him. He refused to divulge information, saying the days of any sort of ethnic, or national, or family loyalties were over permanently. So, Bilco was anticipating an interesting evening that would provide some answers, and even provide some entertainment. After the great earthquake, Bilco had tried to figure out what had happened. Ultimately he came to believe that nothing had happened except some sort of monster earthquake. Everyone who had vanished was at the bottom of a pile of rubble in part of the world.
The news came on a few minutes earlier than usual. NimRock was introduced quickly by someone who seemed almost invisible when standing next to NimRock. NimRock waited a few minutes to let people look at him. He was quite a figure. Even Bilco, though watching from home, was tempted to stand up and cheer when NimRock began to speak.
‘Earthly inhabitants,’ NimRock began, ‘We are citizens together searching for a better earth. I am from a different realm, but earth is my home. I have power to help you build a world where all people are truly equal, and where each individual is able to follow their hearts to fulfill their dreams. In order to do that, we have to face some stern realities.
Reality number one: Our home earth was filled with some very intolerant and selfish people. Most were within the Christian faith, but many were scattered throughout the other faiths of the world.
Reality number two: It was these people who were holding back the quantum leap in evolution that would allow you to advance to a higher level of intelligence, abilities, and longevity.
Reality number three: Good and evil do exist. I want good for you. Good for you will translate into good for the realm from whence I came. There is also a realm where evil is king. So, while I planned to do good by painlessly evacuating those holding society back, Evil also had something planned. I wanted to simply take away the narrow minded roadblocks to real progress. Evil wanted to be certain he put something evil in the middle of the good I was doing. Evil is the one from whence the earthquake came. He is the Usurper. He wants to sit on my throne! The reason many of you are not really missing your family members and friends is that in your heart of hearts you knew they were inferior, and you also know, even before I tell you so, that they have gone to a place that is better for them. It is also better for us to be without them for a while. They definitely were just holding you all back.
Reality number four: All this time you have been taught that there are certain rules by which you must live. Truthfully, the rules of civilized behavior were all made up by the evil inhibitor of self-growth. Forget them.
Reality number five. The beginning of building a better world is that you set aside your inhibitions that you have left over from the world in which you grew up. That includes both religious taboos as well as legal. From this moment forward, I free you to do what seems right to you personally. Think about it, digest it, and begin to act upon it. You are free.’
Bilco found himself filled with hope like he had never known when the broadcast ended. He wanted to begin building a better world, a world where Sunday was just another day.
THREE MONTHS LATER
Bilco was not as happy as he thought he had a right to be. No moral or even legal laws currently existed. However, one catastrophic disaster after another kept occurring. On the plus side, that ‘moral laws are rules from the past are null and void’ was working out pretty well. In fact he was really liking the party aspect of it. He was free to party, and parties were everywhere, even with all the things lost since the murder his wife and children in the great earthquake. Everyone had a patch of marijuana growing in the front yards now. NimRock’s idea of an almost totally painless way to change the world for the better by taking away the ‘unfit’ was ruined by the Usurper’s earthquake. He had been pulling all sorts of stunts like that every few weeks. The earth was in turmoil; political upheaval globally even with NimRock in control; and dissenters had come out of the caves in which they lived. These relics of the Christian era were vocal. They claimed they had accepted Jesus Christ after the Rapture, and that NimRock was the anti-Christ. NimRock claimed the disasters and calamities were all sent as distractions from the truth. The truth, according to NimRock, was that Jesus was sending one evil thing after another to exact vengeance. Bible thumpers claimed turning to Jesus was the only way to secure eternal life in heaven with Jesus.
Bilco knew that ultimately, he would have to make a decision regarding who was telling the truth. Was it NimRock or was it the Jesus Christ of the Bible? Bilco knew that was who NimRock called the Evil One, the usurper, and the reason for all the troubles of mankind. NimRock and the Christ were totally different in every way. They couldn’t be one and the same. It was obvious that they both wanted to be god/God, but who the real god/God was remained to be proven.
From Bilco’s point of view, NimRock was sure giving him a better life than Jesus ever gave him. It was Vanity Fair, or it might be called Sodom and Gomorrah except better – or worse – depending on your view point. One of the first things that had happened was people began to ‘throw off the shackles of old morality’ was that clothes were thrown off. He was very thankful to be living in a warmer climate, where it was easier to get rid of the clothing obstacle to progress. He wasn’t so fond of it that he had given up his own clothing, but he really appreciated those so progressive that they were willing to give up their own clothes. It seemed that for every natural disaster sent by the Usurper, NimRod was able to prevent mass hysteria or depression or all sorts of insecurities and fear by simply reminding everyone of a particular old age taboo that was a legitimate and even honorable activity in the Age of Nimrod. What was once called crime was now called freedom. The blame for the calamities was the vengeful and hate filled God of the Bible. NimRock promised repeatedly that the catastrophes hitting the earth one after the other would end when the last residue of any teachings from the Holy Bible was destroyed. Then, he promised the earth would be returned to the perfection of Eden. That gave Bilco and many others the strength to ignore calamities. Well, that and the new found freedoms in the new age.
Bilco made the decision to indulge a little longer in what was now allowable in the world. He decided it was his patriotic duty to engage into a little more shaking off the taboos and traditions of the past age. He was really thankful that pornography on his computer was no longer a necessity. All he had to do was walk out doors and he could view numerous people who were certain that because clothing was the first burden placed on mankind by the Evil One, that it must be torn off first. Thinking of what mankind had gained by the appearance of NimRock made it much easier to avoid thinking about the things he had lost in the earthquake. Bilco had to admit something to himself. He had thought he loved Tiny when he married her. Kids weren’t really a part of his plan, but they had three. He was sure he had had some affection for all three kids. However, he was beginning to enjoy life without family responsibilities. He began to think he was certainly better off without them. It was a relief! He really didn’t care whether NimRock or Jesus took them. He just knew he didn’t want them back.
NimRock Speaks Again.
Fires, floods, disease, and famine were rampant in many parts of the world. There were growing numbers of people who rejected NimRock in spite of all the wonderful things he had done for mankind. NimRock was scheduled to speak that evening to allay some of the fears. He was going to tell them all a little bit more about the wonderful plans he had for them.
‘My people,’ NimRock, began. ‘We are facing a number of terrible calamities and plagues brought on by the Evil One. He is attacking your new life in this age in the same way he attacked Egypt during the days of Moses. He is using the same tactics. He is powerful. It would be foolish to ignore the past if we wish to have a better future.
In Egypt he attacked:
Water by turning the water into Blood – In the mind of Moses, the puppet of God, this showed the Nile god to be inferior to the God of Moses. In truth, innocent suffered.
Frogs – fertility destroyed and the innocent suffered.
Lice – every creeping thing was attacked – and innocent suffered.
Flies – flies rose up to eat up the rotting frogs and insects. The evil one killed the flies and the innocent suffered.
Cattle died. Innocent suffered
Boils. The great physician cannot heal, he only brings on sickness. Innocent suffer
Hail fell from the sky in an attempt to cripple the sky goddess. Innocent suffered.
Locusts – crops began to grow. The Evil One sent locusts to eat the crops and starve the people.
Darkness – the Usurper covered the light of the sun, harming the innocent both mentally and physically.
First Born of Egypt were killed. The innocent suffered.
BE PREPARED – that is what the Usurper is going to do again. He will attack my creation with all the vengeance and anger of a monster gone mad. You will see the earth attacked as never before. But you must not fear. I will bring you through it.
There were many in Egypt, notably the Jews, who refused to see the evil the Usurper was doing to the innocent.
Water turned to blood – Nile goddess defeated
Frogs – Fertility goddess defeated.
Lice – Goddess of beetles and flies – defeated soundly
Flies – earth goddesses defeated
Cattle worshipped as a god – defeated soundly
Boils – plagued not the Jews but tormented the taskmasters.
Hail – destroying crops – showing the sky goddess had no power to protect them
Locusts – god of crops powerless to save crops
Darkness – sun god had no power to give light when the God of Moses stopped him.
Firstborn killed – Pharaoh proven powerless to stop the hand of God.
So there you have it. The Usurper was presenting himself as the good one, and he is always destroying my handiwork at every opportunity. He is given to dreadful fits of temper. He will ignore my creation and then jump in and destroy the good that I have determined to do. He is a liar and a deceiver.
However we can defeat him through banding together. For me to encourage you to band together it seems helpful that I give you more information about exactly who I am and from where I came.
The first thing is that my real name is Nimrod instead of NimRock. You know me from the Biblical distortion of the Tower built at Bab-el. I was the one who came to stand up to the Usurper. He was claiming worship and obedience that rightfully belongs to me. He was restricting the people with the same set of ridiculous rules with which you have been shackled ever since. I was the first anti-Christ. I fought against him who claims the throne of heaven. People followed me. We could have won then except my compassion exceeded by determination. Innocent people were made to suffer by the Usurper.
You will find me in history in many ages. Standing up against the moral code of the Usurper and his evil ‘Christian’ henchmen has been my vocation. And now here we stand, in the mightiest conflict yet set up between me and that one.
I can defeat him all on my own. I have that power. But at what cost to the innocent? Cost of innocent lives has stopped me in the past. It will stop me again in this conflict UNLESS – UNLESS I bring you into the inner circle. You, every individual, must know what is happening. You must participate. You must help discover and rid our world of the lovers of evil. You must be prepared to let the innocent suffer today in order to avoid suffering in the future.
How far away is the future you may be wondering? Why should I suffer now for a future generation? The answer is that YOU are the future generation. Just a few years of extermination and eradication of undesirables, and you will personally have centuries in a realm where I have rule. What you do now will determine what your place in our new kingdom will be. Remember, in that realm, we will never again be plagued by followers of the Usurper. The longevity enjoyed by our ancestors will be restored a thousand times. My kingdom is without end! The citizens of my kingdom will consist of those of you follow me. You personally can have a godlike life span – and that makes you a god!
I have given you the facts. What you do with them is your choice. You can believe the Usurper or you can put your trust in me. I will give you a future without rules and obligations. Whatever you imagine you can do in the new world.
The loyalty test will be a simple mark on your forehead or hand. It is just an outward show of your inward allegiance to me. Me –Nimrod returned to execute judgment on the slackers and unbelievers – and restore paradise to earth. Remember, this is really all about you the individual. To you, you are personally the most important being in the universe. It really is all about you. You decide your future by choosing who you trust. Decide wisely. You only have two real choices, and you have one chance.
A few weeks later Bilco was still thinking about the things Nimrod had said. It came down to two possibilities. Either Nimrod was telling the truth; OR, the Bible was telling the truth. Each leader promised an eternal future in a realm over which they would bear the rule. The Bible promised a new heaven and a new earth wherein dwells righteousness. However, Bilco was having a hard time with his past definition of righteousness. All the commandments were being broken literally and spiritually every day, and in truth he liked a society without restraints. And, then if he did choose the God of the Bible how was he going to like heaven anyway? A city made of pearls filled with people singing hymns sounded like a very dull place. He had gotten used to some of the pleasures of this life he had never enjoyed in the past age. He was also having a problem with the ‘sin nature’ thing preachers used to talk about all the time. He was always a good person. Besides that, if the rules were gone, then there was no definition of perfect anymore. Perfect would be whatever he made of it. Nimrod had once said that all the people should have a self-image so positive that they bowed down in front of the mirror every morning to pay homage to the image reflected back at them. He loved doing that. He wondered if it was just him, or if he was actually becoming god-like.
On the other hand, Nimrod promised no boundaries. Everyone could do what was right for them at the time. Bilco freely admitted that he loved being able to lust, covet, lie, cheat, and curse God at will without danger of penalty. He hadn’t actually committed murder, but he was actually thinking about it seriously. To be honest, most people murdered in the past age probably deserved it. In his heart he knew murder really should not be a crime.
With his Christian background, Bilco felt that he had a pretty clear understanding of the situation.
Nimrod and Jesus Christ were both going to rule in a particular place for a lengthy time. He had only one chance at making the right decision. He still wasn’t sure, but he began to think Nimrod was right. Life wasn’t meant to be lived within boundaries that seemed so contrary to human nature. And, he couldn’t really imagine enjoying life in a place that resembled church. He could barely tolerate it once a week, much less eternally.
‘I’ll think on it a few more months,’ Bilco told himself, ‘But I am really leaning toward Nimrod. I am also beginning to feel like I was duped by Christian theology and Christians in general. I certainly don’t want to live with that bunch for eternity.’ He was reading for the umpteenth time Nimrod’s last speech. The main parts of the speech were scattered throughout the newspaper. Nimrod referenced the story of the Adam and Eve eating forbidden fruit. He said, ‘At that time my world was ready for that quantum leap in evolution. Adam and Eve were set to become gods. Then the Usurper threw one of his tantrums and brought disasters to the earth. Again the human race began to defy the authority of the Usurper. He responded by drowning everyone and everything except those I placed safely in the ark. Then came Babel where I came in the flesh to lead the rebellion. And other rebellions against the Usurper throughout recorded history. I don’t want you to think of me at this point. I do want you to think of the promise I made to Adam and Eve. I promised them they could become gods. That promise is extended to you. You can defeat the Usurper. You can put him the place of subjection under your thumb – the same place he has held you all these ages. You will be lord over the Usurper. You will be a god. Let the image of you as god be ever before you. Remember that the only obstacle standing in your way is the Usurper and his followers.’
Bilco went to mirror and stared at himself. He thought he was beginning to see a firmer chin and less lines around his eyes. He was certain his hair had lost all the gray that was there last month. It appeared he was beginning to show the first signs of immortality and godliness. It was hard to tear himself away from the image in the mirror. Bilco was making god in his own image. He loved it.
Nimrod was speaking again and people were really listening. In his most recent speech he had said, ‘This is about you personally. Those who are refusing to join us in this cause are standing in the way of the cause. If they are not for us, they are against us. There is no middle ground. Tell us if you know people who worship the Usurper. Or, deal with them in whatever way you feel best suits the situation. As long as one of them remains on this planet, there will never be a moment of peace or liberty for any of us. This time, I cannot let the suffering of the innocent stop me from doing what must be done. We cannot tolerate anyone who honors Jesus Christ, Jehovah, Allah, Buddha, collective faiths, or any specific faith. Remember, I am the culmination of all faiths. All faiths have been paths to the same place – a place with me in my realm. Everything is fulfilled in me. Follow me and you will see a new world rise from the ashes of Babylon. It was there that I introduced true religion. Immediately the Usurper called it a false religion. Unless we remain strong and fight to the finish this time, we will face the same battle in our future again and again and again. Let victory begin today. Let it begin with you.’
Bilco knew his mind was really made up. He just had to go forward, vow allegiance to Nimrod, and choose the design of the mark of loyalty he was getting. He would be prone to wait a little longer, but his stash of food was shrinking. Actually, he had eaten the good stuff months ago. And, he was sick of canned chili and tuna fish on stale crackers. He wasn’t able to buy any food now without the mark. He really didn’t have much in the way of options. It was either get the mark or starve.
Bilco had a steadily growing aversion to Christians in general. He resented all the years of repression and unnecessary rules. Actually, he had a growing hatred of the being that was worshipped in Christian churches. He was ready to fight against him with all his might. If his wife Tiny showed up on the side of Jesus Christ at some epic battle, he was prepared to slash her throat with a sword.
That night Bilco had a vision. He would have like to call it a dream, but being so vivid, it certainly was a vision. In the vision two beings of light presented themselves to him. Nimrod himself came and personally invited him to join the ranks in Nimrod’s war against the kingdom held captive by Jesus Christ. The second angle offered him an eternity of servitude to Jesus Christ.
The next morning, Bilco walked to the place of induction to receive his mark. He tried not to stare at the uninhibited women running around in their birthday suits on his way. There would be plenty of time for ‘enjoying the scenery’ after the war was won. He was ready. His eternal destination was going to be written in stone in just a few minutes. There was no way the Usurper could buy him back from Nimrod.
He chose a dragon as the design for his mark. He chose his hand for the place. With his ‘feminine side’ starting to show, he wanted to show off the mark like a woman might show off her engagement ring. The mark was applied and Bilco’s eternal destiny was set. Walking home Bilco’s thoughts were exploring the possibilities of a society completely rid of the relics of Christianity and false religions. He had no time to pay a lot of attention to the natural calamities occurring almost daily. Nimrod had warned everyone that the Usurper would be throwing tantrums which translated into destroying as much of the earth as possible. Nimrod had promised that he would restore everything when the Usurper was defeated once and for all. In the meantime, there was plenty of entertainment to take his mind of his troubles. He knew he had made the right decision. He prayed to Nimrod asking for help in ferreting out and exposing the followers of the Usurper. His hatred for those people, those standing in the way of an earth restored to Eden like qualities, was starting to overwhelm his enjoyment of the moment. He was ready to fight for Nimrod and the new world order.
By Barbara Henderson