John Kerry Senate Foreign Relations Hearing

John Kerry
Senate Foreign Relations Hearing

A war of words occurred recently  (9/18/14) at the Senate Foreign Relations Hearing (SH – 216). Senator Marco Rubio (video) challenged Secretary of State John Kerry in an exchange that brought every ear in the room to center. The exchange related to the deployment of U S ground forces against ISIL (ISIS or Islamic State) and whether or not success was achievable without combat ground troops. Senator Rubio quoted U S military  experts who recently stated that they were open to ground troops if necessary to combat ISIL. The exchange took a vociferous turn when Kerry refused to address “hypotheticals” posed by Rubio. The President had recently stated no US troops would be deployed in a combat mission in the Middle East and Kerry refused to speculate what would happen if ground troops were the only means for success to be achieved. Kerry responded:

… I am not going to get into hypotheticals but you are presuming that Iran and Syria don’t have any capacity to take on ISIL. I mean, who knows? I don’t know what is going to happen here. [Rubio interjects that Kerry’s implication is that America might cooperate with Iran and Syria] … I never said anything about coordinating [with Iran and Syria]. If we are failing and failing miserably who knows what choice they [Iran and Syria] might make.

Iran is Twelver Shia. Syria is Alawite Shia (President Bashar al-Assad is Alawite Shia). ISIL is Sunni Salafi-Islamist. ISIL considers Shias as unbelievers (“kafirs“), hypocrites to whom repentance is unavailible.

Does Bible prophecy give any hint that Shia Islam will be involved in end-of-days conflicts?

Consider the following two passages, both of which are fulfilled by Shia Islam.

Islam’s beginnings include “three horns” being “pulled out by the roots.” Daniel 7:8 NASB provides the most telling characteristic to identify Shias as the sect of Islam that will distinguish itself in the end-times conflict. It states, “While I was contemplating the horns, behold, another horn, a little one, came up among them, and three of the first horns were pulled out by the roots before it…”

The history of Shia Islam fits this very specific prophecy in way that is absolutely astounding. When Muhammad died suddenly in 632 a.d., he had not named a successor. The leadership surrounding Muhammad at his death included his companions, disciples, and scribes, known historically as the “Companions” (“Shahaba” in Islam). The Companions’ first order of business was to name a successor to their deceased caliphsforbookportrait.revised.2.pdfmessenger. They chose Abu Bakr (632-634), the first convert of Muhammad and a very close friend and follower of Muhammad, rather than Ali (656-661) (the closest surviving blood relative of Muhammad). Ali was thought to be too young by the majority. Ali was passed over by the Companions two additional times, when Umar (634-644) was elected caliph in 634 and Uthman (644-656) in 644. Ali was finally elected caliph in 656, but he was never accepted as such by the Companions. Sunnis labeled these first four caliphs as the “Rightly Guided Ones” (“Rashidun”) because they followed the “right path.”

After the Battle of Karbala in 680, Shias and Sunnis divided into two sects, permanently. Sunnis became the majority sect (90% of Muslims) and Shias the minority sect, the persecuted sect (10%). From this point on (retroactively to 632 a.d.), the descendants of Ali and Fatima, Muhammad’s daughter, were considered by Shias to be the only legitimate successors to Muhammad. Shias eradicated the first three caliphs of Islam for Shias even though at the time of the retroactive action, Ali was already dead (Ali was assassinated in 661, and the irrevocable divide between Sunnis and Shias did not occur until 680, after the Battle of Karbala). Shias literally rewrote their history by electing Ali as the first legitimate successor to Muhammad, followed by Ali’s two sons, Hasan and Husayn, the second and third Imams of Shia Islam.1 The point? The first three caliphs were “pulled out by the roots” by Shias. To Shias, it was as if they never existed. This is precisely what Daniel 7:8 prophesies of the fourth beast.

Shia Islam combines in the “seed of men.” Another key passage is Daniel 2:43 NASB which states that the antichrist kingdom will “combine with one another in the seed of men.”2  Shia Muslims “combine in the seed of men” by virtue of Shia Islam’s requirement of blood descent through Ali as the primary legitimizer for spiritual guidance. Quoting from Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World:

“The Quran refers to prophetic progeny with four key terms: dhurriyah” (direct descendant), “al” (offspring; house, dynasty), “ahl” family, progeny), and “qurba” (relation, nearest of kin). When these words are used with reference to the Prophet, the commentators of the Quran have interpreted them as meaning Muhammad’s nearest of kin: his cousin and son-in-law Ali, his daughter Fatimah, and their sons Hasan and Husayn. The Shi’ah also extend the status of “ahl al-bayt” to the descendants of Hasan and Husayn.”3

This is quite different for Sunnis who define legitimacy not by blood-line but by the opinions of the Companions of Muhammad:

The focal point of Shiism is the source of religious guidance after the Prophet; although the Sunnis accept it from the “sahabah” (companions) of the Prophet, the Shi’ah restrict it to the members of the “ahl al-bayt” (the people of the house of Ali).4
Here is my point. Secretary of State John Kerry might well have voiced a yet-to-be fulfilled prophecy of the end-times when Iran and Syria, both Shia populated countries, are involved in key ways in the end-of-days. For this to further fulfill Bible prophecy would require the success of ISIL, not only in Iraq and Syria but also most of the Middle East. The result would be an area under ISIL control, defined not by geographical boundaries but by allegiance to Caliph Ibrahim and the Islamic State. Ezekiel 38:5-6 NASB describes the “many people” that join in the conflict against Israel. That group would include the surrounding nations now neighbors of Israel, none of which are specirfically mentioned in Ezekiel 38 by name but by their absence from the Ezekiel 38 assault against Israel. The group includes Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon, and Jordan. The key point is that this group is not defined by geographical boundaries but by another common factor. ISIL is not defined by geographical boundaries but by allegiance to the caliph and his state? It is possible that what Ezekiel 38 prophesies is that ISIL will have gained dominion over the neighboring nations to Israel, and together with the nations named in Ezekiel 38, that is, Turky, Iran, and “Gog” (Russia) will attack Israel in the end-of-days. This will fulfill Revelation 13:7-8 NASB as well as Zechariah 14:2 NASB.
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  1. See Islam the Cloak of Antichrist and sources cited, page 74f []
  2. ESV, alone, translates as “mix with one another in marriage” []
  3. Syed Husain M., Jafri, Joseph A. Kéchichian, Hamid Dabashi, and Ahmad Moussalli, “Shi`I Islam,” in The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World. Oxford Islamic Studies Online, []
  4. Syed Husain M., Jafri, Joseph A. Kéchichian, Hamid Dabashi, and Ahmad Moussalli, “Shi`I Islam,” in The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World. Oxford Islamic Studies Online, []