Throughout history, the world has been lifted up by heroes, and beaten down by villains. A hero is defined as a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. A villain is morally bad or wrong, a wicked person. In our own times, we are surrounded by examples of both. In fact, as the Lord’s timeline for the rule of Man draws to a close, the key people for the Tribulation are being placed into their positions. Nations and their leaders are gaining more power, and are exerting their influence:
When the dragon saw that he had been thrown to earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child. The woman was given two wings of a great eagle, so that she could fly from the serpent’s presence to her place in the wilderness, where she was fed for a time, times, and half a time. (Revelation 12:13-14)
The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, turn your face toward Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. Prophesy against him and say: This is what the Lord God says: Look, I am against you, Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws, and bring you out with all your army, including horses and riders, who are all splendidly dressed, a huge company armed with shields and bucklers, all of them brandishing swords. Persia,Cush, and Put are with them, all of them with shields and helmets; Gomer with all its troops; and Beth-togarmah from the remotest parts of the north along with all its troops—many peoples are with you.
“Be prepared and get yourself ready, you and all your company who have been mobilized around you; you will be their guard. After a long time you will be summoned. In the last years you will enter a land that has been restored from war and regathered from many peoples to the mountains of Israel, which had long been a ruin. They were brought out from the peoples, and all of them now live securely. You, all of your troops, and many peoples with you will advance, coming like a thunderstorm; you will be like a cloud covering the land.
“This is what the Lord God says: On that day, thoughts will arise in your mind, and you will devise an evil plan. You will say, ‘I will go up against a land of open villages; I will come against a tranquil people who are living securely, all of them living without walls and without bars or gates— in order to seize spoil and carry off plunder, to turn your hand against ruins now inhabited and against a people gathered from the nations, who have been acquiring cattle and possessions and who live at the center of the world.’ Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish with all its rulers will ask you, ‘Have you come to seize spoil? Have you assembled your hordes to carry off plunder, to make off with silver and gold, to take cattle and possessions, to seize great spoil?’ (Ezekiel 38:1-13)
They worshiped the dragon because he gave authority to the beast. And they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to wage war against him?”
A mouth was given to him to speak boasts and blasphemies. He was also given authority to act for 42 months. He began to speak blasphemies against God: to blaspheme His name and His dwelling—those who dwell in heaven. And he was permitted to wage war against the saints and to conquer them. He was also given authority over every tribe, people, language, and nation. All those who live on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name was not written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slaughtered. (Revelation 13:4-8)
Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; he had two horns like a lamb, but he sounded like a dragon. He exercises all the authority of the first beast on his behalf and compels the earth and those who live on it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed. He also performs great signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in front of people. He deceives those who live on the earth because of the signs that he is permitted to perform on behalf of the beast, telling those who live on the earth to make an image of the beast who had the sword wound and yet lived. He was permitted to give a spirit to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast could both speak and cause whoever would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. And he requires everyone—small and great, rich and poor, free and slave—to be given a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark: the beast’s name or the number of his name.
Here is wisdom: The one who has understanding must calculate the number of the beast, because it is the number of a man. His number is 666. (Revelation 13:11-18)
The sixth angel blew his trumpet. From the four horns of the gold altar that is before God, I heard a voice say to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels bound at the great river Euphrates.” So the four angels who were prepared for the hour, day, month, and year were released to kill a third of the human race. The number of mounted troops was 200 million; I heard their number. (Revelation 9:13-16)
The sixth poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the east. Then I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming from the dragon’s mouth, from the beast’s mouth, and from the mouth of the false prophet. For they are spirits of demons performing signs, who travel to the kings of the whole world to assemble them for the battle of the great day of God, the Almighty.
“Look, I am coming like a thief. The one who is alert and remains clothed so that he may not go around naked and people see his shame is blessed.”
So they assembled them at the place called in Hebrew, Armagedon. (Revelation 16:12-16)
Interestingly, scientists have recently determined there are only four personality types, based on new data:
A robust data-driven approach identifies four personality types across four large data sets / Nature Human Behaviour, 2018
Northwestern University researchers have sifted through data from more than 1.5 million questionnaire respondents and found at least four distinct clusters of personality types exist: average, reserved, self-centered and role model. The findings challenge existing paradigms in psychology.
“People have tried to classify personality types since Hippocrates’ time, but previous scientific literature has found that to be nonsense,” said co-author William Revelle, professor of psychology in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences.
“Now, these data show there are higher densities of certain personality types,” said Revelle, who specializes in personality measurement, theory and research.
One of them is a role model (or hero). “These are people who are dependable and open to new ideas,” Amaral said. “These are good people to be in charge of things. In fact, life is easier if you have more dealings with role models.” Another is self-centered (or villain). “These are people you don’t want to hang out with,” Revelle said.
The Bible is full of heroes, many of them unknown:
And what more can I say? Time is too short for me to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets, who by faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the raging of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, gained strength after being weak, became mighty in battle, and put foreign armies to flight. Women received their dead—they were raised to life again. Some men were tortured, not accepting release, so that they might gain a better resurrection, and others experienced mockings and scourgings, as well as bonds and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawed in two, they died by the sword, they wandered about in sheepskins, in goatskins, destitute, afflicted, and mistreated. The world was not worthy of them. (Hebrews 11:32-38)
Unfortunately, the number of villains increase as we get closer to the End of the Age:
They consider it a pleasure to carouse in the daytime. They are spots and blemishes, delighting in their deceptions as they feast with you. They have eyes full of adultery and are always looking for sin. They seduce unstable people and have hearts trained in greed. Children under a curse! They have gone astray by abandoning the straight path and have followed the path of Balaam, the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness but received a rebuke for his transgression: A donkey that could not talk spoke with a human voice and restrained the prophet’s irrationality.
These people are springs without water, mists driven by a whirlwind. The gloom of darkness has been reserved for them. For by uttering boastful, empty words, they seduce, with fleshly desires and debauchery, people who have barely escaped from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption, since people are enslaved to whatever defeats them. (2 Peter 2:13-19)
Egoism, Machiavellianism, narcissism, psychopathy, sadism, spitefulness, and others are among the traits that stand for the malevolent dark sides of human personality. As results from a recently published German-Danish research project show, these traits share a common ‘dark core’.
The dark core of personality / Psychological Review, 2018
Both world history and everyday life are full of examples of people acting ruthlessly, maliciously, or selfishly. In psychology as well as in everyday language, we have diverse names for the various dark tendencies human may have, most prominently psychopathy (lack of empathy), narcissism (excessive self-absorption), and Machiavellianism (the belief that the ends justify the means), the so-called ‘dark triad’, along with many others such as egoism, sadism, or spitefulness.
Although at first glance there appear to be noteworthy differences between these traits — and it may seem more ‘acceptable’ to be an egoist than a psychopath — new research shows that all dark aspects of human personality are very closely linked and are based on the same tendency. That is, most dark traits can be understood as flavoured manifestations of a single common underlying disposition: The dark core of personality. In practice, this implies that if you have a tendency to show one of these dark personality traits, you are also more likely to have a strong tendency to display one or more of the others.
As the new research reveals, the common denominator of all dark traits, the D-factor, can be defined as the general tendency to maximize one’s individual utility — disregarding, accepting, or malevolently provoking disutility for others — , accompanied by beliefs that serve as justifications.
In other words, all dark traits can be traced back to the general tendency of placing one’s own goals and interests over those of others even to the extent of taking pleasure in hurting other’s — along with a host of beliefs that serve as justifications and thus prevent feelings of guilt, shame, or the like.
In fact, the Bible describes all of these dark factors originate with one entity:
You said to yourself:
“I will ascend to the heavens;
I will set up my throne
above the stars of God.
I will sit on the mount of the gods’ assembly,
in the remotest parts of the North.
I will ascend above the highest clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High.” (Isaiah 14:13-14)
The ultimate D-factor is the devil himself. Fortunately for us, our ultimate Hero completely defeats him, along with all of the evil angels and people:
When the 1,000 years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle. Their number is like the sand of the sea. They came up over the surface of the earth and surrounded the encampment of the saints, the beloved city. Then fire came down from heaven and consumed them. The Devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet are, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
Then I saw a great white throne and One seated on it. Earth and heaven fled from His presence, and no place was found for them. I also saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life, and the dead were judged according to their works by what was written in the books.
Then the sea gave up its dead, and Death and Hades gave up their dead; all were judged according to their works. Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And anyone not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:7-15)
“Look! I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me to repay each person according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
“Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and may enter the city by the gates. Outside are the dogs, the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.
“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to attest these things to you for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright Morning Star.”
Both the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” Anyone who hears should say, “Come!” And the one who is thirsty should come. Whoever desires should take the living water as a gift. (Revelation 22:12-17)
If you are not sure that you are saved, you can accept Christ into your life right now, by praying:
“Lord Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. Please forgive my sins and give me the gift of eternal life. I ask you in to my life and heart to be my Lord and Savior.”