reports of the progress of the Islamic State in its jihad across northern Iraq as it gains territory using both a “soft” and a “hard” approach. The hard approach is the use of brutal violence against its opponents followed by a public display of its victims (Read more). (One of the most gruesome examples of its brutality was the crucifixion of nine men in Syria last month.) The brutality is then used as the means to convince local towns people and villagers to submit to the dominion of its leader and join the Calipha. Reuters reports:

The Islamic State, which in June captured a vast stretch of territory in the north including the largest city Mosul, used this strategy when its fighters met armed resistance from the town of al-Alam for 13 days running. They kidnapped 30 local families and rang up the town’s most influential citizens with a simple message about the hostages: “You know their destiny if you don’t let us take over the town.” Within hours, tribesmen and local leaders caved in to save the families. The black flag of the Sunni militants, who are bent on overthrowing the Shi’ite-led Iraqi government, was soon flying over government buildings and police stations in al-Alam. Read more.

However, the paragraph in the article that caught my attention was towards the end:

Residents also report that the militants are allowing anyone who “repents” to visit the home of a local sheikh who hosts a representative of the Islamic State on Fridays after midday prayers. Those who admit they were wrong to resist the group and who pledge their allegiance receive a sheet of paper stamped with a green “Islamic State” logo guaranteeing their safety.

Does that sound anything like this most noteworthy prophecy of the “beast from the earth,” the antichrist, as he directs humanity to the first beast (Allah), and his worldwide dominion (Revelation 13:7-8 NASB)?

Revelation 13:17 (NASB) and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name.

Residents must have a sheet of paper with the logo of the Islamic State to insure their safety. I suspect that without that same sheet of paper, the privilege of “buying and selling” will not be available as well.

Jesus come quickly.