ISIS – the modern-day expression of “Muhammadanism”

khaled-asaad

Khaled Assad; Credits – International Business Times

Verily a week goes by that we do not witness the destruction by ISIS of a  churchmonastery, temple, or ancient artifact.  Read more. One of the most disturbing such events happened in Palmyra, Syria, recently. ISIS beheaded Khaled Asaad who had served as head of antiquities at Palmyra for over forty-years. Palmyra is the site of a plethora of Roman-era ruins, and its archaeological finds date back to the early second millennium BC. Khaled Asaad was 82 years old, and according to reports, was tortured to death rather than reveal the location of ancient artifacts that had been hidden before ISIS overran Palmyra. Khaled had been a captive for over a month before he was beheaded. As a final testament of its ideologue, ISIS hung his headless body on a column of a building near the town square which Assad had laboriously worked to restore. Khaled was the father of eleven children. When he retired in 2003, his son Walid took over his work at Palmyra. They both were reportedly detained by ISIS in August 2015. The fate of his son is not yet known, but if the fate of the father was torture untill death, the son is likely to experience the same– his youth has likely worked to his detriment. Death was a mercy to the father; may it come sooner than later for the son. The Economist reports that Khaled was a supporter of Bashar al-Asaad’s government. Bashar al-Assad is Alawite Shia. ISIS is Sunni Salafi– they consider Shias as unbelievers, infidels.

ISIS’ specific charges against Khaled Assad are as follows:

A board in front of the body set out the charges against him, which accused him of loyalty to the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, maintaining contact with senior regime intelligence and security officials and managing Palmyra’s collection of “idols.” Read more.

It is incredulous that a human being is beheaded because he restores, protects, and preserves ancient art.  This thought is echoed by historian Tom Holland, who recently stated:

Historian Tom Holland said the news was distressing. “For anyone interested in the study of the ancient world, it comes as – to put it mildly – a shock to realise that ideologues exist who regard the curating of antiquities and the attendance of international conferences on archaeology as capital offences.” Read more.

An hadith of Sahih Bukhari has this to say about pictures or images and what the great Muhammad has to say about them:

Um Habiba and Um Salama mentioned a church they had seen in Ethiopia and in the church there were pictures. When they told the Prophet (ﷺ) of this, he said, “Those people are such that if a pious man amongst them died, they build a place of worship over his grave and paint these pictures in it. Those people will be Allah’s worst creatures on the Day of Resurrection.”1 (Emphasis supplied)

We must remember the historical context when Muhammad received his revelation and first began to preach and teach in Mecca, the city of his ancestors.  Meccans were polytheists, i.e., they worshiped multiple pagan deities in the pre-Islamic society. Hubal was the chief god among many of the pagan deities of Arabia, and thought to be the “moon god,” one of 360-plus deities of the Arabian tribes in the seventh century a.d. The most common symbol of Hubal was the crescent moon. It is out of this polytheistic culture that Muhammad had his vision from Allah via the angel gabriel.2 Muhammad’s revelation went “against the grain” of his day– Islam is a monotheistic religion, i.e., based upon a one-god belief system. When a monotheistic, one-god religion, encounters a polytheistic many-gods religion, the stronger of the two will prevail. Muhammad’s forces prevailed against the polytheists of Mecca in A.D. 630. Here is the account of what Muhammad did to Hubal, the moon-god, along with 360 other idols:

At the Kaaba the idol of Hubal was made of red agate, and shaped like a human, but with the right hand broken off and replaced with a golden hand. When the idol was moved inside the Kaaba, it had seven arrows in front of it, which were used for divination. According to Karen Armstrong, in her book Islam: A Short History, the Kaaba was dedicated to Hubal, and contained 360 idols which probably represented the days of the year, and Hubal’s was said to be the grandest of the idols. As an infant, Muhammad was brought before Hubal by his grandfather Abd al-Muttalib, at-Tabari records in “The History of the Prophets and Kings” 1:157. When Muhammad conquered Mecca in a.d. 630, he ended the Quraysh’s tradition of idol-worship by smashing the statue of Hubal along with the other 360 idols at the Kaaba, and re-dedicated the structure to Allah, the one God.

What might drive a Salafi Islamist to smash the ancient art of Palmyra, including the removal of all Christian symbols from churches? Why behead an 82 year-old defenseless man, whose life was dedicated to recovering, preserving, and recording these same artifacts for human history?

Because Muhammad did in his day. And Muhammad is the perfect, supreme messenger of Islam who must be emulated by all Muslims. What Muhammad did in the 7th century, ISIS is doing in the 21st century. It is the root of Islam and it goes very deep.

Dr. Timothy Furnish states, in part, quoting Historian Marshall G. S. Hodgson:

Thus, “Shar’iah-minded Islam” eventually “banned all figural imagery … on the ground that it might tempt the weak to idolatry. … it is from this particular Islamic interpretive ideology that most of the world’s terrorists now come—including the al-Qa`idah-linked killers in Paris, and the ISIS destroyers of any and all art which they can get their bloody jihadist hands on.

And since Khaled Asaad restored such “idols,” he was cut-off from his work, literally, and the hanging of his headless body on a column in the city square was to have the same effect upon the witness as the visible ruins of a bulldozed church.  Islam is supreme; and there is none like Allah and his Muhammad. Khaled’s death is a statement, a testament to Islam’s need to protect Allah, as defined by the model prophet of Islam, Muhammad, and emulated by his followers.

In Islam, if someone goes apostate, he is liable to death. Why does Allah protect his numbers by directing his followers to kill the apostate? How is it that there is no “compulsion” in Islam when the death penalty greets the apostate (Qur’an 2:256)? If one insults the messenger of Islam, or Allah, or the Qur’an, why is death the penalty? On what basis does the threat to Allah, Muhammad, or the Qur’an warrant the death penalty? Witness the burning of the Qur’an several years ago by American soldiers who did so without intent to slander or impugn the Qur’an. Witness the Pam Geller event wherein people were invited to “draw Muhammad.” Why is a Muslim moved to kill because someone drew a cartoon of Muhammad? Can Allah not deal with the insult to his messenger by an infidel? Why must Allah instruct a suicide bomber to don an explosive to kill the blasphemer only to offer him sex with 72 virgins as a reward? Is Allah telling us that we will have physical bodies in heaven? How does that work since Allah is not flesh and blood nor any of us will be either in heaven (or hell)? At least that is what the Scriptures teach about the after-life. Why must Allah deny an old man his last years with his grandchildren because he restored art? To me, the insult is to Allah. He cannot take care of his own image so he causes his followers to commit the gratuitous violence in his name. I wonder how many “Allahu Akbar’s” were declared on the day that Khaled al-Asaad was hung headless on a column?  It is as if death in Islam is the solution to every threat to Allah; and, in death, not life, Allah is glorified. That is satanic. There are no rights in Islam but those of Allah; free speech, free will, is non-existent. There is only submission– and death.

This is one of the many differences between Islam and Christianity. In Christianity, Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life …  (John 14:6). In Jesus, there is life, and that life is the light that draws us out of darkness (John 1:3-4). Jesus is the life-giving Spirit, the last Adam, who redeems Adam’s sin passed down through the ages through the actions of the first Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45). Jesus is truth and there is no lie in Him. Muhammad is death; and the truth that is in him is only a half-truth (which explains the schizophrenia we find so prevalent in Islam). It is this half-truth that accepts Jesus as a prophet but denies Him as Son of God (1 John 2:22). It is this half-truth that denies the God-proving resurrection (Acts 17:31 NASB) by eliminating the cross altogether– for in Islam, Jesus was never crucified, only one who looked like him (Qur’an 4:257). In the process of proclaiming and teaching these half-truths, Islam guts the gospel of everything in it that gives it meaning, Islam commits the unpardonable: it makes God a liar since He has declared these things to be so (1 John 5:10). If we had to point to a Scripture that might properly describe the role of Islam in hardening the hearts of Muslims it would be this passage:

You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies. –John. 8:44 (NASB)

ISIS is the modern-day expression of Muhammadanism. As a Salafi Islamist sect it seeks to emulate every action of Muhammad (and his Companions). Its actions also are an emulation of the prince of darkness, satan. Compare the actions of the two and they will fit hand-in-glove. Muhammad lives through the beliefs and actions of ISIS. Revelation 13:15.

There are many of us writing about the Islamic paradigm these days. We may differ on who the Antichrist will be, or which nation/group he will rise from. Our differences may be even greater– whether Rome or Islam will be the revived beast and empire through which satan will rise. We may differ on specific and narrow interpretations of Daniel 2, 7, 9, 11, 12 or Revelation 12, 13, 17 & 18– but what we do not differ on is that Islam is rooted in darkness and in lies. In that root, this writer interprets that satan will wage his end-of-days war against the world.

Jesus come quickly.

Blessings.

Jack

Footnotes to post:
  1. Sunnah 63.99, Sahih Bukhari, Narrated by Aisha. http://sunnah.com/bukhari/63/99 []
  2. Islam the Cloak of Antichrist, p 29, quoting  Ira M. Lapidus, A History of Islamic Societies, 15. []

Will the Temple Need be Rebuilt before the Coming of Our Lord?

Underneath the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 (NASB) 3  Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.

How does the “man of lawlessness” “take his seat” in a temple that no longer stands?1  “Obviously, it must be rebuilt,” you say?  Gonna be awhile, then.  The “coming of our Lord Jesus” will not occur until the “man of lawlessness” is revealed and the “apostasy comes first.” As most of you know, I interpret the “man of lawlessness” to be the spirit of antichrist that was made manifest through Islam’s messenger, Muhammad. The apostasy, of course, is the falling away of believers in the end-times for various reasons. One need only do a head-count on most Sunday mornings  to see that the day of apostasy is fast upon us. So what about the man-of-lawlessness “taking his seat” in the holy place?

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Footnotes to post:
  1. It was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD. []

Daniel 11:45 and the Islamic State

map_of_iraq(Reuters) – By Ahmed Rasheed, BAGHDAD, Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:36am EDT

Iraqi security forces and militias fought their way into Saddam Hussein’s home city of Tikrit on Wednesday, advancing from the north and south in their biggest counter-offensive so far against Islamic State militants. The provincial governor said the army and militia fighters captured part of the northern district of Qadisiya, while in the south of the Tigris river city a security officer said another force made a rapid push toward the center. … More than 20,000 troops and Iranian-backed Shi’ite Muslim militias known as Hashid Shaabi, supported by local Sunni Muslim tribes, launched the offensive for Tikrit 10 days ago, advancing from the east and along the Tigris river.

The Islamic State is a Sunni-Salafi Islamist organization which declared itself the “caliphate” of Islam on June 29, 2014. (Read more). The Islamic State overran Tikrit in June, 2014, in one of the deadliest battles of the ISIS surge into north Iraq. Tikrit is the birthplace of the late Saddam Hussein who likened himself to ancient King Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 1:1) of Babylon, who besieged and destroyed Jerusalem in three separate sieges, 605, 597, 586 BC. Many of the senior members of Saddam’s Iraqi government were from Saddam’s own Tikriti tribe, the Al-Bu Nasir, and were members of his Iraqi Republican Guard, headquartered in Tikrit during Saddam’s presidency.

Iraqi forces (Sunni and Shia) are now launching a counter-attack to retake Tikrit from ISIS. The primary force in the counter-attack appears to be Iranian-backed, Hashid-Shaabi (literally, “Popular Mobilization“), comprised of local Shia militias from various areas in Iraq. Iranian Quds Force commander General Qasem Soleimani was seen in Iraq directing Shia militias in their fight against ISIS militants. ISIS is reported to be straining to hold on to areas it claimed easily in 2014, including Mosul, where loudspeakers warned residents fleeing Mosul they would be considered apostates if they fled. Perhaps evidence of ISIS loosing its grip on 2014 territories gained is the destruction  of ancient archaelogicalarcheological sites in areas previously taken. Reports include destruction of artifacts from the ancient city of Dur-Sharrukin near Mosul as well as the famed Nergal Gate entry to the ancient city of Nineveh and bulldozing the site of Nimrud (Genesis 10:8-10).

There are some interesting parallels between what is happening in the Middle East right now and Bible prophecy. A key passage is Daniel 11 which provides in part:

Daniel 11:43-45 (NASB) “But he will gain control over the hidden treasures of gold and silver and over all the precious things of Egypt; and Libyans and Ethiopians will follow at his heels. … But rumors from the East and from the North will disturb him, and he will go forth with great wrath to destroy and annihilate many. 45 “He will pitch the tents of his royal pavilion between the seas and the beautiful Holy Mountain; yet he will come to his end, and no one will help him.

The nations from the East and North are significant in Bible prophecy. Biblically, Babylon (modern-day Iraq) is referred to as the nation “from the North” (Ezekiel 1:4, 9:1, 26:7). Persia (modern-day Iran) is referred to as the nation “from the East” (Isaiah 41:2, 46:11). Daniel 11:45 states that these two nations will “disturb him,”and this is exactly what is occuring right now. This “disturbance” will cause the antichrist-type of Daniel 11 to erupt in wrath and destroy and annihilate many.

If Daniel 11:44-45 is in the process of being fulfilled by ISIS, several events must still take place before the Islamic State “will come to its end.” First, the antichrist-type must “enter the Beautiful land.  (Daniel 11:41). The Beautiful land is Israel, but notice, he only “enters” the Beautiful land. The Beautiful land does not appear to fall to him as does Egypt (Daniel 11:42). Second, Egypt must fall and its “precious things” will be taken over by the antichrist-type. Daniel 11:42-43. Third, the antichrist-type must make Jerusalem his capital (Daniel 11:45); or, at least he will declare it to be so since Daniel 11:43 states he only “enters” the Beautiful land. Lastly, many countries will fall to his hand. Daniel 11:42, 11:44.

If we looked at other hints in the passage to determine its application, we have at least these:

1. He seeks to be “acknowledged” by others (Daniel 11:39) in the same way that the Islamic State seeks to be acknowledged by Muslims the world over as the caliphate and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as its legitimate caliph;

2. The Islamic State is already ransacking the ancient treasures of Iraq just as it is prophesied to do of Egypt. If we interpret this as a characteristic of the Islamic State for it to occur in Iraq implies it will also apply in Egypt — in due time. Daniel 11:43.

3. Boko Haram has just proclaimed allegiance to the Islamic State, revoking its allegiance to al Qaeda. This is significant since Boko Haram’s influence extends to the western border of Egypt, i.e., Niger, and by proclaiming allegiance to ISIS, ISIS now extends its reach into North Africa. Given that the Daniel 11 prophecy extends itself to the fall of Egypt, Boko Haram’s African force should not be dismissed as meaningless since it now nearly surrounds Egypt. This is the case particularly when one considers that the Islamic State includes militant forces in the Sinai Peninsula which have continued to attack Egyptian forces after the fall of Muhammad Morsi. The impact of Boko Haram’s allegiance to ISUS is described by NBC news analyst as follows:

The transaction is important because Boko Haram controls an area where “ISIS has very little, if any, control,” Laith Alkhouri, director of Middle East and North African research and analysis at Flashpoint, told NBC News when the offer was made last weekend. “This gives ISIS the extra credibility and the additional territory to further its growth around the world.”

4. The final hint contained in the prophecy is the last sentence of the last verse — “… and no one will help him.” This statement is particularly relevant when one considers that the success of ISIS will depend on whether or not other Muslims join them in their jihad (either by personal efforts or financial efforts). According to James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, financial donations to ISIS have fallen dramatically. Clapper states:

Donations to Islamic State jihadists have dramatically declined in the wake of brutal executions by the group that have shocked public opinion in the Middle East, the chief of US intelligence said Monday. “I think there is change afoot in the Mideast,” said James Clapper, director of national intelligence, referring to perceptions of the IS group in the region.

What this statement by Clapper implies is that in spite of the fact that ISIS has been so successful, its success is beginning to show cracks. These cracks could become more significant to the point that ISIS will ultimately lose its support around the world. This is what Daniel 11:45 prophesies.

As we seek to interpret Bible prophecy, our interpretations cannot be dogmatic; but that does not mean we cannot find the identifiers and hints in prophetic passages and make informed conclusions. If ISIS is in Daniel 11, then there is much to unfold in Bible prophecy, including the revealing of the Antichrist, the last false prophet. Daniel 11:45 states the antichrist-type prophesied therein will “come to his end.” When he does, another will fill his place; for there is only one “last false prophet,” and that one will be the Antichrist. Perhaps this will be Muhammad al-Mahdi, the one “who was, and is not, and is about to come up from the abyss and go to destruction.” (Revelation 17:8).

Jesus come quickly.

Blessings.

Jack

The Race is on – Al Qaeda and the Islamic State, Who Will Claim the Other?

 

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi "Caliph Ibrahim"

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
“Caliph Ibrahim”

Al-Monitor reports Matthew Olsen, Director of US National Counterterrrorism Center, describes two issues — the threat of an attack on US soil on 9/11/14, and the Islamic State becoming the dominant voice in the global jihadist movement (outpacing al-Qaeda):

By Barbara Slavin, Sept 3, 2014. Matthew Olsen, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, said Sept. 3 that the Islamic State (IS) “poses a multifaceted threat” to the United States but there was no “credible information” at present that the group was planning to attack in the United States or had a cell of fighters here capable of doing so. … However, in rare, wide-ranging public comments that followed the beheading of a second American journalist in Syria by IS, Olsen told a packed audience at the Brookings Institution in Washington that the terrorist group was “an extremely dangerous organization” that was “threatening to outpace al-Qaeda as the dominant voice of influence in the global jihadist movement” because of its territorial advances, financial resources and sophisticated propaganda. …IS “has proven to be an effective fighting force,” Olsen said, which “employs a battlefield strategy that is both complex and adaptive” and mixes terrorism with paramilitary assaults. … Even though al-Qaeda expelled IS earlier this year because of the latter’s extreme brutality toward other Muslims and religious minorities, members of al-Qaeda have traveled from Pakistan to Syria recently and IS pamphlets have been spotted in the Pakistani border city of Peshawar. Asked if IS might not assist in a revival of al-Qaeda and the Taliban in South Asia, especially as the US withdraws from Afghanistan, Olsen said the United States was aware of the possibility and would work to prevent that…. “Since the fall of Mosul, [al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri] has said nothing about IS, Caliph Ibrahim or the American war in Iraq,” Riedel told Al-Monitor in an email. “That is very unusual for him and very intriguing. AQAP has called IS ‘brothers’ and offered advice on fighting drones. My guess is that AQ/[Zawahri] and AQAP want to avoid further public disagreements with what is a winning organization at least now.” Read more.

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Islamic State enforcing female genital mutilation – U.N. Reports

Muslim.woman.garbage.croppedGENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations, expressing deep concern, said on Thursday that militant group Islamic State had ordered all girls and women in and around Iraq’s northern city of Mosul to undergo female genital mutilation. … “We have current reports of imposition of a directive that all female girl children and women up to the age of 49 must be circumcised. This is something very new for Iraq, particularly in this area, and is of grave concern and does need to be addressed,” Badcock said. (Read more)

Here are two posts that specifically address the oppression of women in Islam and the fulfillment of Daniel 11:37 NASB by such actions.

Islam’s Treatment of Women – The Odor of Antichrist AboundsRead more.

No regard for the “desire of women” – Islam Fits the ProfileRead more.

The Reuters article gives an explanation of the specifics of “FGM” and the degrading, cruel, and heinous impact upon women:

FGM, the partial or total removal of external female genitalia, is a tradition practised widely in many African and Muslim countries and often justified as a means of suppressing a woman’s sexual desire to prevent “immoral” behaviour. Worldwide, more than 130 million girls and women have undergone FGM and more than 700 million women alive today were children when they were married. … “This is not the will of Iraqi people, or the women of Iraq in these vulnerable areas covered by the terrorists,” she added.

I suppose it goes without saying that FGM “is not the will of … the women of Iraq.” Only in the darkness could such a practice be a part of any “religion.” In fact, such a practice reveals the presence of evil in the religion.  It is what my book, Islam the Cloak of Antichrist, seeks to reveal to the world. Islam is not a religion of peace. It is the hand through which Islam will operate.

Jesus come quickly.

Blessings.

Jack

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Praising God on the Mountaintop so we can serve Him in the Valley

The Pyramids Behind Bars

The Pyramids Behind Bars

Good morning to my subscribers.  It is good to be in the house of the Lord – and the whole earth is His sanctuary to those who abide in Him through faith. May the Lord’s face shine on the desolate places today that all the world might know the Only-Begotten One. Daniel 9:17 NASB.

Today is my first day back in this country from a ten-day trip to a country on the other side of the world. Since away, I have pretty much been unable to access internet and other outlets normally available. It will take me a few days to get caught up on unread emails and some more days before posting to my blog.  I cannot wait to be fully engaged again as I seek to interpret the events of our world in light of the prophecies of Scripture. I must tell you — I have been to the mountaintop; that place where God transforms us from the inside out; that place where we are drawn-in to Him, revived and strengthened for serving Him in the Valley. Mark 9:9-10 NASB. I am ever more convinced that the spirit of antichrist is active (1 John 4:3 NASB) and at war with the Holy One and those who serve Him. Revelation 12:17 NASB. It is my joy to be one of many who wait for the day of the Lord’s coming and the defeat and imprisonment of the weak, deceiving one, who has made captive so many of God’s children. Revelation 20:3 NASB.  I shall stand with the body of Christ declaring that the “will of God be done on earth as it is in heaven,” and that one day the good Lord Jesus will forever bind-up satan and his minions. I join the righteous as we declare victory in the blood of the Lamb and defeat of the dark one, and I pray to my Lord that I may prove worthy of suffering in His name. 2 Timothy 1:8 NASB. May my strength be in the fullness of His coming victory and may the Lord Christ make me ever faithful in my work against satan. Thank you, Lord, that it will not be in my personal righteousness that I will be victorious but only in the blood of the Lamb and the power of the word of testimony that He has given me. Revelation 12:11 NASB.

It is good to be on the side of the Lamb, and to find my only comfort, my only hope, my only resting place in the one Name, Jesus Christ, given to men that we might be saved.

Jesus come quickly.

Blessings.

Jack

Voices heard by Aaron Alexis – another is claimed

Ezekiel 28:14-15 (NASB) 14  “You were the anointed cherub who covers, And I placed you there. You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked in the midst of the stones of fire. 15 “You were blameless in your ways From the day you were created Until unrighteousness was found in you.

washingtonThere was a time when verse 14 above had a meaning quite different than I know it to be now. Originally, I assumed the Hebrew word translated “covers” referred to a protective type of covering, sort of like a mother might “cover” her child for warmth or protection. Then I looked deeper. “Cover” in the original language means to “overshadow, screen, cover . . .” as in Exodus 40:3, Lamentations 3:43-44 (see BDB Hebrew Lexicon).  That is, the anointed cherub (satan) is the one who “covers,” who is veiled, in the sense that he masks or overshadows himself so that his presence is not known. We find this precise meaning in Matthew 16:22-23 where Jesus is the only one who is aware of satan’s presence. Satan has “covered” himself through the one disciple least possible to be duped: Simon Peter, the Rock. The verse reads:

Matthew 16:23 (NASB) But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.”

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