Israel National News (Arutz Sheva 7, July 10, 2014) is reporting a statement from a spokesman of ISIS (Islamic State) that “conquering Bayt el-Maqdis (Jerusalem) and destroying the State of Israel is central to the group’s jihad.” The spokesperson was responding to critics who questioned why its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, had not actively supported Hamas in fighting Israel. The spokesman, Nidal, Nuseiri, stated “the time is not right for a confrontation with Israel.” (Read more). Nuseiri stated that several items must take place before ISIS can join HAMAS in its jihad against Israel:
Among them, Nuseiri said that the US – seen as Israel’s greatest ally – needed to be weakened politically and economically via attacks on the American mainland, as well as US interests in Muslim countries. Additionally, the existing “Islamic State” needed to expand its borders to cover all of “Greater Syria” (which would include Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jorislamdan and possibly Gaza); such a state, he said, would then be in a position for a direct confrontation with Israel.
Nuseiri’s statement has a long fuse before it can be accomplished; but it strikes awful close to home! Recent news reports seem to support that the fuse is certainly burning:
- Pakistani terror group (Pakistan Talaban) becomes ‘first jihadi group to defect to ISIS outside of Middle East’ as leader al-Baghdadi’s influence grows
- Militants in Lebanon seek to emulate Islamic State
Is America in end-times prophecy? In order for ISIS to turn its sights towards Jerusalem, it would have to be. I have often searched for America in Bible prophecy. Hard to find us. However, there are a few places that seem relevant to the question. The first is Revelation 13:7-8:
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. 8 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.
To me, America is in the phrase “authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him.” That statement seems pretty inclusive to me, and it begs the question, “Why would America not be included in the phrase?” It seems that if we exclude America our world-view is rather, “American.” This seems particularly the case because verse 8 repeats what was said in verse 7. It goes to great lengths to ensure that we know that “all who dwell on the earth,” except the saints, will “worship” him (that is, come under his authority; and Islam literally means “submit”).
There are some noted authorities in Bible prophecy that take exception to that view, including Walid Shoebat in a post on Midnightwatcher’s Blogpost (an exceptional prophecy blog) (Read post here). Brother Shoebat interprets Revelation 13:7-8 to refer only to the Muslim nations and groups of the Middle East; and, he offers several passages in Scripture where the “entire world” does not mean literally the “entire world” but rather has a regional meaning. He states, “In light of the whole counsel of Scripture, the Antichrist’s dominion and political-religious control will be relegated primarily to the whole Muslim world — the nations that today surround Israel — but not the world as a whole.”
I think there is another passage that possibly refers to America. In Daniel 12:6, Daniel asks the Lord, “How long will it be until the end of these wonders?” The reply is quite interesting in the modern-day:
Daniel 12:7 (NASB) I heard the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, as he raised his right hand and his left toward heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times, and half a time; and as soon as they finish shattering the power of the holy people, all these events will be completed.
Let us suppose that “the power” of the holy people (literally, the “hand” of the holy people) does not refer to the power of Israel as a nation, but rather, the “Power” that stands alongside Israel, i.e., America. When America is shattered, then the events will be completed. Christ will return as the final victor, the Great Tribulation will pour out the wrath of God, Israel will be saved, and the cleansing of the earth will bear fruit in the birth of the Millennium.
I may be wrong but that sounds very close to what the ISIS spokesman was referring to. America will be in the cross-hairs if the ISIS statement is actually lining up with end-times prophecy. I think the fuse is a slow burn.
Jesus come quickly.
Interesting perspective Jack. Sobering. Thanks for posting. Even though the Bible is mostly Middle-East-centric as Joel Richardson often states, other nations are mentioned at times. your points seem valid to me. Lately I have been sensing an increased urgency to pray for awakening for the people of God (in my city of Ottawa and nation of Canada). If what you are writing is correct, awakening of the people of God in the nations of the West becomes a prayer priority that is very closely connected to God’s purposes in the Middle East.
I could not agree with you more. I am burdened beyond compare for an awakening of the people of God in the times we are in. It seems that the passing of every day brings us closer to a time of world trib. Yet, to most in the West, all is well, and continues as it always has.
Jack, I still think the power and central focus of Daniel 12:7 is Israel, but your points are valid and this is a really great article. I also accept the possibility you may be on to something. Clearly the US is Israel’s major alley, well recognized in all Arab states. Furthermore, the Unites States is facing troubling times with increase fiscal issues. This has made a dramatic impact on our Department of Defense as we go through dramatic force structure cuts over the next five years.
To put this in perspective, the army is decreasing its force structure from 570,000 to 490,000 and may be directed to cut further down to as low as 440,000 (77% of its current strength). Almost all military acquisition and modernization programs in military services are terminating. Each budget cycle is getting tougher as congress realizes it is not in the best interests long-term to continue to raise the debt ceiling. With increased prices and the realization of the need to decrease spending, the situation will only get worse. Congress cuts national programs every budget cycle and our nation is on a downward glide path economically.
The FY15 budget will be so difficult that we project another standoff in congress causing another sequestration, more programs being cancelled, and we do not have the analysis to fully understand the second and third order effects this will have on our nation. Although another attack on the nation would be devastating, we have a tendency as Americans to rally and overcome, however, this does not appear to be the case when it comes to fiscal responsibility. There also does not appear to be a course of action that will keep our nation as a dominate superpower and our current course could prevent us from being able to support Israel to the extent that it would need if there was (or I should say “when” in referring to Revelation) an attack on Israel. Uncertainty looms, we also know the events of Revelation will occur. It is time for national revival and increased prayer…on a brighter note, the day of our Lord returning is coming closer with each passing day.
You said ” the “Power” that stands alongside Israel, i.e., America.” If you think America is now standing with Israel you probably also believe Israel should show restraint. That statement is no longer true.
Charles – under Pres Obama, it is hard to say where America stands in spite of his public statements of support. However, I do believe that America provides more foreign aid, military and economic, to Israel than any other country in the world except Afghanistan. Also, here is another post I made on Ameica’s support of Israel (or lack thereof) that you might find interesting: http://www.jacksmithprophecy.org/2013/11/26/america-abandoning-israel-for-iran/
I think it is one thing for America to publicly support Israel and quite another to think about what America might do if Israel were threatened by the Russians. You might also check the comment made by “Mike” just before you made yours. His perspective is quite interesting coming from a military point of view.