Abdullah’s Death and the Fall of Yemen to Houthis – Will Iran see the will of Allah?

Jamkaran Mosque (courtesy of mahdiwatch.org)

Jamkaran Mosque (courtesy of mahdiwatch.org) The “hiding place” of the Hidden Imam

When Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was president of Iran, a documentary was produced entitled, “The Coming is Upon Us” (translated into English by Reza Kahlili (former member of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards who spied for the CIA; author of “A Time To Betray“)).  The purpose of the documentary was to reveal a series of events that needed to take place before the “Islamic savior,” Muhammad “al-Mahdi,” (also called the “12th Imam” and the “Hidden Imam”)1 “emerged.”2

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Footnotes to post:
  1. Al-Mahdi is called the 12th Imam because Shias believe he was born in 869 A.D., the son of the 11th Imam, Hasan al-Askari, who met an untimely death at the hands of the Sunnis. The son’s name was Muhammad bin Hasan and he assumed his role as Imam at age 5 upon the death of his father, the 11th Imam. He went into “hiding,” referred to by Shias as “occultation” to protect his life from the Sunnis that killed his father. He is called “Hidden Imam” because Shias believe he never died but went into hiding and has been in hiding ever since the late 9th century (about 1,200 years!). []
  2. Muhammad al-Mahdi is said to “emerge” because Shias believe he will “reappear” from his hiding or occultation at the precise moment when Allah commands him. He will not be “resurrected” because resurrection implies death and Shias do not believe al-Mahdi ever died. When he emerges, he will do so not as the 12th Imam but Muhammad al-Mahdi, the last Imam, and the Messianic savior of the world. Shias also believe that al-Mahdi’s present hiding place is a mosque in the small village of Jamkaran tucked in a corner of Iran. Behind the mosque is a well that the Mahdi or 12th imam will one day emerge from. Shias believe that al-Mahdi appears among their midst annually but no one recognizes him. He returns to his hiding place, the well at Jamkaran Mosque, as he awaits the command of Allah to emerge as the Mahdi. Shias believe that when al-Mahdi emerges he will continue the bloodline of Muhammad through Ali and Fatima (Muhammad’s daughter). Muhammad is reported to have said, “The world would not continue but for that day wherein Allah will send a man from the family of my house. The Mahdi will be from my family, from the descendants of Fatima. See Islam the Cloak of Antichrist and references cited therein, page 188. []

Duke University Reverses Muslim Call to Prayer Decision

Which is worse? To have approved the Muslim call-to-prayer in the first place or to  reverse the decision after pressure?

In a week of media frenzy, Duke University officials made this initial statement on Monday 1/12/15:

“This opportunity [to allow the Muslim call-to-prayer] represents a larger commitment to religious pluralism that is at the heart of Duke’s mission,” added Christy Lohr Sapp, the chapel’s associate dean for religious life. “It connects the university to national trends in religious accommodation. Read more.

Duke Memorial Chapel

The decision by Duke University officials called for the Muslim call-to-prayer, or “adhan,” to be given from the Duke Memorial Chapel bell tower every Friday, much like the call-to-prayer ushers from the pinnacle of a minaret at a mosque five times a day.1 In an editorial from the Raleigh News and Observer, Duke University’s decision was described as a stand for religious diversity and pluralism:

Duke has taken a different approach, however. It supports religious groups in their particularities and practices. With separate centers for Christian, Jewish and Muslim life and with dedicated prayer rooms for Catholics, Hindus and Buddhists, Duke responds to religious diversity not by reducing all traditions to one common denominator but by attempting to let each religious group on campus express itself in its own unique way. Read more.

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Footnotes to post:
  1. “Adhan, literally in Arabic, “announcement” is and in the Shari’ah it means the announcement made in specific words at the time of salat. It was introduced in the first year of the Hijrah at Madinah. The cause of its introduction, in the opinion of the Imamis, was that Gabriel came down with the adhan in a message from God to the Prophet (S). The Sunnis say that ‘Abd Allah ibn Zayd saw a dream in which he was taught the adhan by someone. When he related his dream to the Prophet (S), he approved it. See http://www.al-islam.org/shiite-encyclopedia-ahlul-bayt-dilp-team/call-prayer-according-five-islamic-schools-law, accessed January 20, 2015. []

Temple Mount – Where the concealed prayers of a Jew hasten the Tribulation

temple.mount

Picture from Templeinstitute.org

The Temple Mount in Jerusalem is the most contested land in the world, and for good reason. Two of the world’s monotheistic religions lay claim to the site but for different reasons. The Temple Mount is considered by Jews to be the site of both Solomon’s and Herod’s temples, and the ancient location of the holiest site on the planet, the Holy of Holies, that place where the presence of God literally dwelt. 1 Kings 8:11 NASB. To Muslims, the “Haraam al-Sharif” (translated, “Noble Sanctuary”) is the location of the Dome of the Rock1 and al-Aqsa Mosque. (Read more). The entire site is considered a mosque in Islam. Further, to Muslims, the site is where Abraham bound Ishmael, his first-born son by Hagar, for intended sacrifice. Hagar was Abraham’s slave woman to whom a barren wife, Sarah, bedded her husband. Genesis 16:2 NASB. To  Christians, Hagar was the bondwoman of the flesh (Galatians 4:22-23 NASB). To Jews, it was not Ishmael that was bound, but Isaac, the second-born of Abraham and the son-of-promise by Sarah, his wife (Genesis 17:19). These two sons are the fathers of two ancient peoples, Arabs and Jews, and the enmity that has existed since the days of their youth (Psalm 83:2-8 NASB) continues to fuel conflict in the modern day.

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Footnotes to post:
  1. The Dome of the Rock is the oldest building in Islam. Its construction is in the shape of an eight-sided geometric creation described as “three rectangles encompassing a circle.” Its interior and exterior walls are emboldened with Arabic script quoting from the Qur’an and embellishing Muhammad as the messenger of Islam and Jesus not to be the Son of God (see my book, Islam the Cloak of Antichrist, chapter 6). []

Egyptian President Abd al-Sisi – “We need to revolutionize our religion”

President Hollande Receives Egyptian Counterpart Al-Sisi - Paris

Egyptian President Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi

Egyptian President Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi’s made an historic speech before a large group of Muslim religious scholars and clerics gathered to celebrate the birth of Islam’s prophet, Muhammad. The speech occurred on December 28, 2014 at Al Azhar University in Cairo, regarded by many as the world’s leading Sunni Muslim institution of learning.1 MEMRI video and English translation can be found here. I have excerpted below key points from President al-Sisi’s speech:

… and we are not doing enough with regard to true religious discourse. The problem has never been with our faith. Perhaps the problem lies with ideology, and this ideology is sanctified among us. … I am talking to the religious scholars and clerics. We must take a long, hard look at the current situation. … It is inconceivable that the ideology that we sanctify should make our entire nation a source of concern, danger, killing, and destruction all over the world. It is inconceivable that this ideology, I am referring not to “religion” but to “ideology” — the body of ideas and texts that we have sanctified in the course of centuries, to the point that challenging them has become very difficult. It has reached the point that (this ideology) has become hostile to the entire world. Is it conceivable that 1.6 billion (Muslims) would kill the world’s population of 7 billion, so that they could live (on their own)? This is inconceivable. I say these things here, at Al-Azhar, before religious clerics and scholars. … You cannot see things clearly when you are locked (in this ideology). You must emerge from it and look from outside in order to get closer to a truly enlightened ideology. You must oppose it with resolve. Let me say again: We need to revolutionize our religion. Honorable Imam: (the Grand Sheik of Al-Azhar)2: you bear responsibility before Allah. The world in its entirety awaits your words because the Islamic nation is being torn apart, destroyed, and is heading to perditon. We ourselves are bringing it to perdition.

ahmed altayeb

The last statement President al-Sisi makes is significant. He lays responsibility at none other than the #2 leading Muslim of influence in the world3, Professor Dr Sheikh Ahmad Muhammad Al-Tayyeb, the Grand Imam of al-Azhar University. Even though the Grand Imam has denounced the Islamic State (Here), apparently President al-Sisi believes that in order to truly save Islam, more must be done. The Sunni Muslim leadership must “revolutionize our religion”  because it has become “hostile to the world.” (There were no Shias at the meeting so it is doubtful that Islam will be revolutionized so long as Shias await the time of their revenge against Sunnis. Read my book for more.)

The quest for world dominion by Islamist groups such as the Islamic State, HAMAS, Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda and similar terrorist organizations is publicly acknowedged by al-Sisi’s statements. He makes a profound and revealing statement when he says:  “Is it conceivable that 1.6 billion (Muslims) would kill the world’s population of 7 billion, so that they could live (on their own)? This is inconceivable.”

Perhaps we should look at Scripture to see if the ideology that has been “sanctified” in Islam is prophesied in Scripture:

Revelation 13:7-8 (NASB) It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.

Daniel 7:23 (NASB) “Thus he said: ‘The fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom on the earth, which will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth and tread it down and crush it.

President al-Sisi represents non-Islamist Muslims all over the world, Muslims who value peace, the right of all to chose their own religion, and to do so without prejudice or the threat of personal injury. He is a breath of fresh air in Islam.

Jesus come quickly.

Blessings and Happy New Year.

Jack

 

Footnotes to post:
  1. Al Azhar is today the chief centre of Arabic literature and Islamic learning in the world. It was founded in 970 by the Sunni Fatimids as a centre of Islamic learning. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Azhar_University accessed January 6, 2015 []
  2. The Grand Imam of Al-Azhar is a “respectable prestigious Sunni Islam title and a prominent official title in Egypt, and is considered by some Muslims to be the highest authority in Sunni Islamic thought and Islamic jurisprudence… The current Grand Imam of Al-Azhar is Mohamed Ahmed el-Tayeb. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Imam_of_al-Azhar accessed January 6, 2015 []
  3. according to the Top 50 report of the world’s top 500 Muslims []

Iran and Russia – As Oil Prices Fall do the End-Times Rise Near?

iranian.alliance.12.17.2014.croppedA map can tell a story, particularly, when strategic locations all point to one common denominator. In this case, a nation — Iran, and the specific Muslim sect, Shia Islam, that comprises 90% of its population. Check the map and those locations colored in orange, all of which have been significantly influenced by Iran or have announced publicly to be an ally of Iran. Does Bible prophecy in the end-of-days reveal a nation or group, the characteristics of which, Iran (and Shiism) fulfills? If so, believers need take notice. The Scriptures tell us — God will not initiate matters of importance without first informing His prophets, and they, His people. Amos 3:7 NASB Genesis 18:17 NASB Psalms 25:14 NASB.

1. Iran. Iran is Shia Muslim, specifically, the Twelver sect of Shiism, and Persian. As a nation, Iran is the north shore of the Persian Gulf through which much of the Middle East’s oil flows by tanker.1

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Footnotes to post:
  1. The key passageway of the Persian Gulf (as well as one of its most exposed places to danger) is the Strait of Hormuz, just to the southern-most border of Iran. The Strait of Hormuz is the only sea passage from the Persian Gulf to the oceans and is one of the world’s most strategically important choke points. At its narrowest, the strait is 21 nautical miles wide. About 20% of the world’s petroleum, and about 35% of the petroleum traded by sea, passes through the strait making it a highly important strategic location for international trade. Whomever controls the Strait of Hormuz controls the oil outflow of 20% of the world’s petroleum, most of which originates from Saudi Arabia. In response to economic sanctions led by the United States, Iran has made threats to militarily close the Strait of Hormuz to oil shipping; but the problem for Iran is that any closure of the Strait of Hormuz impacts Iran’s own economy. And, even if Iran “holds the key” to the outbound door at the Strait of Hormuz, the U.S. Navy warships sitting in the Arabian Sea are not the easiest to slip a tanker by! The impracticalities of Iran exercising its threat are apparent to all. []

Lone wolf in Canada – Allah’s tribe distinguishes itself again

 Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks during a nationally televised address on CBC in this still image taken from video in Ottawa, October 22, 2014.

Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks during a nationally televised address on CBC in this still image taken from video in Ottawa, October 22, 2014.

There probably is nothing more satisfying to me than seeing the saving power of the Lord Christ in the life of a new convert to Jesus Christ. As a pastor “working in the trenches,” I am blessed to see this regularly. Just a few weeks ago, a husband and his wife stood before me as I led him in prayer to receive Christ. I remember hearing his voice breaking as he prayed, only to finish the prayer and observe tears streaming down his face. As I watched him lead his family from the church that day, the smile on his face could only be explained as the pure joy of the risen Lord. I think there is no greater evidence of the reality of the love of God in Christ than a changed heart and changed life, all the result of humbling oneself before a mighty God who transforms us from the inside out into a new creation. 2 Corinthians 5:17 NASB.

Ever been in a group and the conversation turned to religion? How about Islam and Christianity? I recently found myself in conversation with a friend and the question was asked whether Allah and God are the same?

How might one answer? I suggest we look at what happened in Canada:

Reuters) – Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper vowed to redouble the country’s fight against “terrorist organizations” abroad after a reported convert to Islam rampaged through parliament, shocking the usually tranquil capital city.

Shortly after a gunman shot dead a soldier at the National War Memorial in central Ottawa on Wednesday morning, a man armed with a shotgun burst into the Center Block of Parliament, pursued by police. He died after dozens of shots rang out a few yards away from where Harper was talking to his legislators.

The objective of these attacks was to instill fear and panic in our country,” Harper said. “Canadians will not be intimidated. We will be vigilant, but we will not run scared. We will be prudent but we will not panic.”

Harper pledged to speed up a plan already under way to bolster Canadian laws and police powers in the areas of “surveillance, detention and arrest.”

The killing of the Canadian soldier was the second this week with a possible link to Islamist militants. A convert to Islam on Monday ran over two Canadian soldiers with his car, killing one, near Montreal, before being shot dead by police.

Read more.

The gunman in Canada is reported to be a recent convert to Islam. Regardless of whether that proves to be true, the point remains: Why would a Muslim use violence to glorify his god? And what does that say about his god if the use of violence is seen as a means to identify with or bring glory to that god?

To answer the question, I offer the difference between a new Muslim convert and a new Christian convert. A convert to Islam takes up arms because Muhammad, the perfect role model and messenger of Islam, revealed the word of Allah in Qur’an 9:5, 47:4 and many other Quranic passages, to the end that “smiting the necks” of the unbelievers becomes not only a belief, but a duty of virtue that one pursues. In some cases, converts to Islam who had never before contemplated murder as an option now see it not only as an option but a virtue rewarded in the afterlife. In these cases, the convert may become the “lone wolf,” unpredictable and threatening to society. In a recent Congressional Research Report (#7-5700, R41416 (January 23, 2013) by Jerome P. Bjelopera), there have been 63 “homegrown” violent jihadist plots in the United States since 9/11/2001.  Since 2009, there has been an “apparent expansion of terrorist activity in the Untied States (through December 2012),” resulting in arrests for 42 “homegrown,” jihadist-inspired terrorist plots, all of which were conducted by American citizens or legal permanent residents of the United States. (See CRS R41416, p. 1).

American Adam Gadahn Al Qaeda Senior Operative

American Adam Gadahn
Al Qaeda Senior Operative

We might liken what happened in Canada to the “homegrown lone-wolf” terrorist described in CRS R41416 above cited. The effectiveness of provoking fear in the minds of innocent civilians is a major purpose of Salafi-Islamists such as Al Qaeda or the Islamic State, even if the provocation is a single shooter with a shotgun as appears to be the case in Canada. The CRS report above cited states, “For example, the media wing of Al Qaeda, As Sahab, released an English language video in March, 2010, entitled, “A Call to Arms,” featuring American-born spokesperson Adam Gadahn. In the video, Gadahn extols Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan as a “trailblazer” who did not attract law enforcement attention by training abroad or relying on conspirators.  Gadahn encourages would-be terrorists to select realistically hittable targets that are familiar to them and have some broadly symbolic—especially economic resonance (see full video here. video analysis here).

This is precisely what happened in Canada. The lone wolf attacked a high profile location – Parliament – so as to generate the highest level of public reaction.

In another video, Gadahn (June 2011 English language video) even more clearly emphasized lone wolf operations. In the video he suggests that the ease of weapon purchases in the United States allows for the ease of conducting jihadi operations at the center of one’s locality (see video here):

Let’s take America as an example. America is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms. You can go down to a gun show at the local convention center and come away with a fully automatic assault rifle, without a background check, and most likely without having to show an identification card. So what are you waiting for?

The CRS report above (p. 12) distinguishes between “radicalization” and “violent extremism.” In America and other Western countries (Canada, for example), it is not illegal to adopt, express, or disseminate ideas, even hateful and extremist ones. Hence, the radicalization of Muslims is not illegal in free societies. But when radicalized individuals mobilize their views (that is, they move from a radicalized viewpoint to membership in a terrorist group, or to planning, materially supporting, or executing terrorist activity) then the nation’s public safety and security interests are activated. Thus radicalized views become “violent extremism” as violent action takes place.

Recently, Americans reacted with horror when recent convert to Islam, Alton Nolen, beheaded one of his coworkers and stabbed another before being shot. Reports are that Nolen attempted to convert his coworkers to Islam but to no avail. When he was fired, he reacted by using violence against those working with him. One aritcle reports:

“He comes out, tries to assimilate with a local mosque, is spurred on by videos and Internet postings by groups like ISIS, and then the incident at his workplace — a perceived wrong against him — becomes the catalyst that trips the trigger in his mind to move from jihadi thoughts to violent action,” Dunleavy added.

I suppose the problem for law enforcement is how to predict when radicalization will become violent extremism? And whether the motivation is simply an act of obedience to Allah and his Muhammad or retribution for a wrong suffered?

Do you know of any new converts to Christianity who have “radicalized” to the point of using violence as an act of obedience to Christ? Any who have become “violent extremists” to advance Christianity? In my Google searches, I find none. In fact, the only evidence I find of Christians being involved in violence has been when they are former Muslims who have converted to Christianity and have become victims as Muslim apostates subject to the death penalty. I know what some are thinking. What about the Crusades? Are you serious? The Crusades were launched for the same reason that Obama launched air strikes on Iraq and Syria. To save human life. Muslims in the Middle East were annihilating Christianity and the Crusades were launched as a reaction to the Muslim sword. (It is quite OK with me if you post to the heavens on that point. I will stand with the martyrs of Revelation 6:10 awaiting the vengeance of the Lord. If you want to stand on the side of Islam don’t tell the Lord you weren’t told!)

It seems to me that the first steps a believer takes are those most revealing of the god in whom they believe. They are like baby-steps that reveal the nature and extent of one’s connection to the “parent” that feeds them. When lone-wolf converts to Islam (or matured jihadis) commit violent extremist actions they reveal the god in whom they serve. Allah is not the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as revealed in Jesus Christ. Allah is another god, a god of darkness. He is satan’s representative masquerading as God and the lone wolf of Islam reveals him for who he truly is. 2 Corinthians 11:14, Revelation 13:3-4.

Jesus come quickly.

Jack

 

 

 

 

Treat or Flee? Ebola challenges the Hippocratic Oath

Smith demonstrates putting on personal protective equipment during an Ebola educational session for healthcare workers at the Jacob Javits Convention center in New York

A registered nurse demonstrates putting on personal protective equipment during an Ebola educational session for healthcare workers. Credit Reuter’s Media.

CHICAGO/NEW YORK Wed Oct 22, 2014 7:16pm EDT

(Reuters) – The Ebola crisis is forcing the American healthcare system to consider the previously unthinkable: withholding some medical interventions because they are too dangerous to doctors and nurses and unlikely to help a patient.

U.S. hospitals have over the years come under criticism for undertaking measures that prolong dying rather than improve patients’ quality of life.

But the care of the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the United States, who received dialysis and intubation and infected two nurses caring for him, is spurring hospitals and medical associations to develop the first guidelines for what can reasonably be done and what should be withheld.

Officials from at least three hospital systems interviewed by Reuters said they were considering whether to withhold individual procedures or leave it up to individual doctors to determine whether an intervention would be performed.

Ethics experts say they are also fielding more calls from doctors asking what their professional obligations are to patients if healthcare workers could be at risk. …

Throughout the history of medicine some doctors have declined to treat infectious patients or fled epidemics, said Michigan’s Markel.  Greek physician and philosopher Galen fled Rome during the bubonic plague 1,800 years ago, doctors deserted European cities stricken by the Black Death of the Middle Ages, and some health workers refused to treat HIV/AIDS patients in the 1980s.

“The idea that a doctor would stick to his post to the last during an epidemic, that’s not part of the Hippocratic Oath,” Markel said. “If you feel your life is at risk you don’t have to stay and provide care.”

Read more.

The passage that comes to mind reminds me that there is one Shepherd who will never flee:

John 10:11-14 (NASB) “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. 12 “He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 “He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep. 14 “I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father and I lay My life down for the sheep.

Ebola may be the modern-day wolf; but Christ is our good shepherd, and He will never leave us!

Jesus come quickly.

Jack