The Olivet Discourse chart

Ever studied eschatology (study of the end) and found yourself jumping back and forth between Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 trying to line things up in your head and understand what’s going on? Well, I have. Finally I broke down and made a comparison chart to help me put things in perspective and learn the pieces easier. I’m going to share it with you for the low low price of… okay sorry no it’s right below no cost but your time.

These three chapters are known as the “Olivet Discourse” because they were presumed to be a conversation that happened upon the Mount of Olives. It does appear Luke’s account is in the temple and not on the mount but that’s not conclusive. Many speculate it was the same account but written to a different audience. In either event we’re looking at it as the same information regardless of whether it’s the same event recorded. Continue reading

What is the mark of the beast?

I should begin with the very new idea that the “mark of the beast” is a bar-code or bio-metric chip or some other new form of technology that will be forced upon people. The easiest refutation is simple reason. We find from scripture the purpose of the mark and it does not conform with the above. The mark is not for the purpose of identifying the individual but for the individual being identified WITH the beast. It has been popular to see the bar-codes or chips as the mark because of the line about buying and selling. But we do need to take a closer look at what the Bible says about the mark.

Seven verses in Revelation mention the “mark”

Rev 13:16-17  Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name.

Rev 14:9 And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand,

Rev 14:11  And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.” 

Rev 16:2  So the first angel went and poured out his bowl on the earth, and harmful and painful sores came upon the people who bore the mark of the beast and worshiped its image.

Rev 19:20  And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur.

Rev 20:4  Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years

 

These verses identify that the mark is HIS, the beast’s, mark. This immediately rules out a bar-code or a chip system which identifies the individuals because that would be the mark of Micah for me, the mark of Bob for him, the mark of Jessica for her etc. etc. you get my point.
Secondly it is linked to Worship of the beast. This is something that is a willful decision done by those who will be wearing the “mark.” You cannot be tricked into wearing the mark and somehow lose any hope of salvation. I should be clear here people WILL be deceived about the nature of the mark and the beast. Taking the mark however won’t be a tricky oh we gotcha. It is a choice linked to worshiping the beast and/or the image. The way many will be deceived into this appears to be through the false prophet who works miracles. (Rev 19:20)

Next we should just be clear about what the word mark means. This word in the Greek is χάραγμα (khar’-ag-mah). It is defined in Strong’s Concordance as “a scratch or etching, that is, stamp (as a badge of servitude), or sculptured figure (statue): – graven, mark.” It is only used once outside of the book of Revelation and that usage is the second form describing a graven idol in Acts 17:29.

To summarize, the “mark” of the beast is a mark that will be the same identical mark for everyone not an individualized mark and it will be willfully taken by those who worship the beast.

I have more views on what the mark will actually be but it gets into conjecture and my purpose is too keep this strictly with the biblical evidences. This principle I think is key when speaking about eschatological facts verses our opinions and views. Remember Acts 17:11 and don’t just take my word for it. Receive what I have said with an open mind and search the scriptures to prove these things!

America Edges Toward Enabling the Tribulation

Bob Mitchell just posted this on his blog, Shofar Ministries.  War over Israeli land, especially Jerusalem, prophesied in Ezekiel 38, is now a possibility.

OBAMA FAVOURS ISRAELI RETREAT TO 1949 BORDERS

Report: Obama Favors 1949

by Maayana Miskin

United States President-Elect Barack Obama will support the Saudi Initiative for peace between Israel and Arab nations, the British Sunday Times reported Sunday.

Obama told Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, “The Israelis would be crazy not to accept this initiative,” according to the Times. The initiative calls on Israel to withdraw completely to its 1949 borders in exchange for normalized relations with Arab League countries.

It includes a full retreat from the eastern half of Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount, and from the strategic Golan Heights in northern Israel.

The Saudi Plan has won limited support from President Shimon Peres, who says it could be used to launch negotiations. Other senior politicians and defense officials have dismissed the plan, saying it wold compromise Israel’s security.

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, the heads of the Kadima and Labor parties, have not ruled out the Saudi Initiative completely. However, neither has expressed willingness to give away the Temple Mount or major Israeli population centers located east of Israel’s 1949 borders.

Approximately 600,000 Israeli citizens live in the areas, including eastern neighborhoods of Jerusalem, demanded for the PA under the Saudi plan.

The plan also calls on Israel to find a solution for the plight of millions of foreign Arabs who claim descent from those who fled Israel during the War of Independence. They are considered refugees by Arab governments and continually have been denied citizenship in their countries of birth. While proponents of the plan have welcomed the plan as a chance to deal with the refugees without granting them Israeli citizenship, some Arab leaders have warned that any alternative to allowing the millions to “return” to Israel is unacceptable.

PA-based terrorist groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad are among those who insist that every Arab who identifies as a descendant of a former resident of Israel be allowed to live in Israel.

Abbas: Retreat or War

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas addressed a letter to PA Arabs on Saturday saying Israel must retreat to its 1949 borders or face war. “The passage of years… will not force us to abandon or surrender a single inch,” of Judea, Samaria or Jerusalem, Abbas said in the letter, which was published by PA media. The letter was sent in honor of PA “Independence Day.” While the PA does not rule an independent country, it celebrates “independence” each year in honor of the PA having declared itself an independent entity 20 years ago.