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“If you believe that the world is going to come to an end, does it not drain one’s motivation to improve life on earth while we’re here?”
We desperately want to improve life on earth by stopping the mass killing of the unborn through abortion, the rape of women, pornography, greed, lying, child abuse, murder, theft, adultery, wife-beating, hatred, wars, etc. The heart of the human problem is the sinful heart of the human being, and the only power that can change that is the gospel.
A graphic designer and evangelical Christian pastor who has been working his way through all 66 books of the Bible to create theological illustrations of each one, recently shared a new infographic summarizing three common end-time views held by Christians.
Josh Byers, who has published nine Bible-themed infographics for the personal project he calls “Project 66,” unveiled his end times infographic earlier than he had planned, due to high demand for an illustration of the differing views on the end times among evangelical Christians.
In Christianity, the end times is punctuated by the tribulation, the rapture and the second coming of Jesus Christ, and is often discussed along the lines of premillennialism, postmillennialism and amillennialism. The Book of Revelation, the final book of the Bible, is usually cited in these discussions, although other New Testament books and prophetic books of the Old Testament are referenced as well. Christians believe the Bible teaches that Jesus Christ will return at some future point to reign on Earth and judge the world — although the purported timeline of events are hotly debated.
“I did quite a bit of research from my own notes, papers and positions online and I also collaborated with my dad and a few friends,” Byers explained to The Christian Post. “The main difficulties were trying to accurately represent as many views as possible but keep the graphic simple and to find a way visually [to] show similarities and differences. There are so many different subsets of beliefs this graphic could probably be never ending.”
Byers explains on his website, however, “An interesting concept that the graphic portrays is that each view agrees on the beginning and end. Every view believes that the kingdom was promised in the Old Testament, presented by Jesus and will culminate in the eternal state.”
Some main points of contention among premillennialists, postmillennialists and amillennialists involve the tribulation, the rapture and the form and establishment of Christ’s kingdom. The tribulation, a time of intense suffering brought on by cataclysmic events, is present in all three views, although its length is debated.
The rapture, an event in which Christ’s followers are “caught up” from the Earth to “meet him in the air” (1 Thessalonians 4:17) is held only by premillennialists, according to Byers’ chart, although there is disagreement among that group about whether the rapture will occur before or after the tribulation.
Byers’ infographic notes that amillennialists believe Jesus establishes his kingdom through the Christian Church, while postmillennialists believe Jesus’ disciples were commissioned to establish his earthly kingdom.
The graphic designer told CP that he was originally inspired to create theological infographics after viewing a few wallpapers at The Resurgence ministry website.
“I created a couple and then noticed Tim Challies was starting to produce his own set of ‘visual theology’ pieces,” Byers explained. “I contacted Tim to see if he would be interested in featuring a few that I had made and he ended up commissioning me to create two additional pieces which were ‘The Books of the Bible‘ and ‘To the Glory of God.'”
“I decided to keep on creating them because I really liked how they turned out, got tons of positive feedback, and the Internet in general seems to be in love with infographics,” he added.
Byers says he spends anywhere from 10-20 hours producing a single infographic, and tries to publish a new one every week. His favorite illustration so far is “The Book of the Bible.” He plans to next create a Book of Leviticus ingrographic, which “will focus on the five different offerings described in the book.”
While he produces infographics out of his passion to teach and help others, Byers told CP that “Project 66” is time consuming, but he appreciates the support he receives through print sales of his infographics, which can be found on his website.
“It has a few purposes,” Byers said of “Project 66,” explaining that he wants to challenge himself both creatively and theologically.
But, he added, “I want to give people fun, innovative, modern and interesting tools to teach with.”
Byers, a front end developer for CopyBlogger Media, lives with his wife and three children in Polk City, Iowa. He serves at Lakeside Fellowship church as the student ministries director.
California megachurch pastor Greg Laurie, who is taking his congregation through a series of messages called, “Revelation: The Next Dimension,” spoke about the mark of the beast, showing the world is already moving towards the fulfillment of the prophecy.
“We have never been closer to the end of the world than right now,” said Laurie, pastor of Harvest Church in Riverside, in his message on Sunday.
It is, however, important to know that the Bible also talks about a new beginning when there will be “no perversion, no terrorism, no war, no starvation… no problem of any kind.” As Isaiah 11:9 says, the knowledge of the Lord will fill the earth. But “it is going to get worse before it gets better,” the pastor warned.
Revelation 13 talks about spiritually dark times, the tribulation period, he went on to say. “Satan’s son” will emerge on the scene… “the man of perdition, the man of sin, the beast… best known as the antichrist… the most evil man who’s ever lived… history’s vilest embodiment of sin and rebellion.”
Referring to his previous message on the antichrist, Laurie reminded the audience that the antichrist’s agenda will be to deify Satan. The antichrist will come to take the place of Jesus, and to kill all Christians. And the antichrist will have with him his “devilish worship leader, a religious guru,” the false prophet, referred to as the “second beast” in Revelations.
Laurie then quoted Revelation 13:15-18: “The second beast was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom. Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. That number is 666.”
If you google the number 666, you’ll receive 543 million results, the pastor said. “And you probably will find 543 million ideas about what it actually means. I don’t think anyone can answer this with complete certainly, but this much we do know… The antichrist is going to introduce a cashless society… The endgame of this is to cause people to engage in devil worship.”
This scenario is unfolding before us, Laurie said. The technology to make that happen is already here. He quoted Mark Hitchcock, a writer on the topic of prophecy, as saying, “The fact that the words of Revelation 13 were penned in the age of wood, stones, swords and spirit, makes this prophecy one of the powerful proofs of the inspired nature and reliability of God’s word that one could have ever imagined. Who could have predicted a one-world economic system that controls all commerce but God?”
God knows the future just as well as we know our past, Laurie said. While we sometimes forget even our past, God knows the future with complete precision. Only God can tell what is going to happen, as Isaiah 46:9, 10 says.
About the changing global economy, the pastor quoted a financial expert as telling Fox News, “The real reform is some kind of a banking union where everyone signs on board, that there’s going to be some kind of a banking overlord, a banking union that everyone’s gonna have to bow down to.” Can this actually happen? Actually, it can, Laurie said. “And the leader of it will be the antichrist, and he will have his mark.”
Laurie added, “The antichrist’s economic policy will be very simple. Take my mark and worship me, or starve to death… No mark, no merchandize… No seal, no sale.”
The technology to do this is already here, the pastor said. A June 1, 2012 headline from New York Daily News read, “‘Human barcode’ could make society more organized.” The article said, “Microchip implants have become standard practice for our pets, but have been a tougher sell when it comes to the idea of putting them in people.”
Since 2006, new U.S. passports include radio frequency identification tags, known as RFID, that store all of the information in the passport as well as a digital picture of the owner. In 2002, an implantable id chip, called VeriChip, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The chip can be implanted in a person’s arm, and when scanned can pull up a 16-digit id number containing information about the user. However, it was discontinued in 2010 amid concerns about privacy and safety.
“Am I saying that this technology will be the mark of the beast? No, I’m not,” Laurie cautioned. “I’m just saying the ability to technically pull this off exists.”
We don’t know when the tribulation period will begin, five or 20 years from now, Laurie said. But with the technology today, we know all this is “totally plausible.” But let’s not overreact, Laurie advised. Not every stamp put on someone’s hand by some authority is the mark of the beast. Or, if an office building’s number is 666, that’s not the mark of the beast.
While we do not know exactly when the mark of the beast will appear, we know this though that a great delusion will come upon the world and many will believe the lie leading to their destruction, as 2 Thessalonians 2:9 warns. Destruction will happen “because they refused to believe the truth that would save them.” At the time of the tribulation, they will choose to believe in a lie that the antichrist is “God,” Laurie said.
God has given us a free will, the pastor emphasized. He’s not going to force us to believe something we do not want to believe. And if we continue to harden our hearts, there will come a day when God will strengthen our own resolve not to believe, he warned. But those who respond to the Holy Spirit are also strengthened in their resolve to believe, he added.
The false prophet will appear to be harmless – like a baby rattlesnake – but will be as harmful as the antichrist, Laurie said. He will mislead many people.
We’re already moving towards a global economy and a global religion, the pastor said. The watchword for the day is tolerance, he painted out. We have people talking about women’s reproductive rights, which means women have the right to murder their own babies; death with dignity, which means euthanasia of the elderly; and religious tolerance, which means you tolerate every religion except the one that says Jesus Christ is the only way to God the Father.
However, Revelation 14:1 talks about another kind of mark, which we, who are believers, want in our lives: “Then I looked, and behold, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.”
Who are these people? These are Messianic believers who have found Jesus as the messiah set up by God to proclaim the Gospel during the tribulation period, Laurie suggested. Not one of them was lost. “God does not lose us.”
Laurie said it is important for us to learn from the characteristics of the believers that Revelation 14 refers to. They had the mark of the Father, and not the antichrist. You have a mark on you, and God can see it, he told the congregants. Even today it matters what mark we carry; God can see the mark.
They sang a new song. Songs are about celebration, Laurie explained. All believers should sing a “new song,” what God has done for them today. They lived pure lives – no premarital or extra-marital sex, and only in the context of married man and woman, he added. They were also sincere in their faith. They had no deceit or hypocrisy. And they “followed” the Lamb wherever He went. They were not like Twitter followers, Laurie said.
“Are you ready to meet the Lord?” Laurie asked the audience as he closed the message.
www.wnd.com – Cope Reynolds a gun store owner in Arizona has posted a sign out side of his business telling Obama voters to go away! He will not sell arms to them. He says that they have proven themselves to be irresponsible. He said he doesn’t care, “I’m a small business owner. … I don’t care who it makes mad.” The owner has received death threats. He said, “We’re able to wear our guns in Arizona and we wear one 24-7,” He said. “We train regularly.”
www.wnd.com – Sudanese dictator Omar al-Bashir has launched air strikes against the Christian Nubu people of South Sudan. They have reportedly dropped 88 bombs since September and October. In North Sudan the dictator has imposed Shariah Law on everyone including non-muslims. Women who are caught not wearing veils are being arrested, including non-muslims. Christian schools and institutions are being shut down by the government or destroyed by mobs or both.
www.wnd.com – Reports from all around the country are stating that Obama won numerous precincts by 100% or more. In one Ohio precinct Obama won by a whopping 108%! What?! How is that even possible? Also, in many other precincts Romney received ZERO votes! What?! How is that possible? Read more by clicking on the wnd.com link above.
Hamas has targeted Israel for destruction, annihilation. Hundreds of rockets have been raining down from Gaza upon Israeli cities this past week. Why? In 2005 Israel gave the Palestinians the Gaza strip to build a Palestinian State. What has been accomplished since then? Why haven’t they prospered? Because that is not or never was their objective. Their objective has always been to destroy Israel.
For years they have been terrorizing Israel. They have been stock piling ammunition, rockets and terrorists. Training their children to hate and murder Israelis. The mission of the Palestinians along with all of the other Muslim extremists is to kill all Jews! That’s it! Nothing else. It is that simple. If anyone cannot see this where have you been for the past 60 years? Attacks on Israel and her people have been going on for thousands of years. We have seen it in our homes on television and in the news papers almost on a daily basis. If anyone has not noticed this then they must have had their head deep in the sand. It is so blatant that is slaps you across the face.
The Israelis want peace and security. They want their own sovereign country that God has promised them. Israel has not promoted war and violence against anyone. Look at the fruit of this nation. Israel is the only country in the region to have flourished with trees, flowers, fruit and forests. They are feeding the world. Israel leads the world with innovation and technology. Israel has established an outreach program to perform free heart surgeries for babies and small children, to anyone who needs it! Including Muslims! This very small country of Israel has become a light in the middle of darkness.
Israel has been the target of assassination from it’s origin. The last great genocide of the Israelis came close to killing all Jews! That was Adolf Hitler in World War II. In order for the Jewish people to survive they must defend their selves. Suppose that a neighboring country began firing missiles at civilian neighbor hoods in the United States. What would we do? Would we just sit back and relax? Wait it out? Would we try to talk peaceably to them and tell them to stop it? Please don’t fire missiles at us. What have we done to you? Or would we defend our people? Would we fight back to keep them from destroying us?
It’s time to wake up people! Israel is defending their lives! Their EXISTENCE!!! How can anyone tell them to sit still and relax. Tell them not to worry, we will try diplomacy! Hogwash! For how many years now, decades, even centuries have we tried this? The Muslim extremists are terrorists. How then can you sit and have dialogue with terrorists? People who are Hell bent on destroying you. They have never wanted peace and never will. They will blame the Israelis of promoting hatred and terror. That is what satan does. He twists the facts. He is a great liar and deceiver. And apparently it’s working. Most of the world thinks that Israel is to blame.
The stage is being set. Things are falling into place. God has a plan and it is unraveling right before our eyes. Biblical prophecy is happening faster and faster as it was meant to happen. If you do not know God. If you do not know what the bible tells us. It is time to know! It is time to accept Jesus Christ as you Lord and Savior. Time is so close for Jesus to take his church. You do not want to be here after that. It will be a time of great wrath upon the world! I am not afraid. I am Saved! My trust is in the Lord.
www.ynetnews.com – Israel has been under attack from Hamas in the Gaza strip. Hamas has fired hundreds of rockets into Israel this past week targeting both the military and civilians including Jerusalem. The Israelis have fought back with air strikes targeting only military targets (Operation Pillar Defense). The Israeli government has called up tens of thousands of reservists to assemble at the Gaza border. There have been reports that Iran is to blame for initiating the strikes against Israel.