The focus of world politics today is on the nation of Israel in the Middle East. That focus is one of many signs that we are living in the season of the Lord’s return because all of end times Bible prophecy focuses on Israel.
Need proof? Just look at today’s newspaper headlines. The Middle East today is a cauldron of turmoil, and much of that turmoil has been stirred up by a mysterious group called ISIS that seems to have come out of nowhere. What is this group? What are they all about? And how do they relate to what the Bible says about Israel and the Arabs in the end times? I will answer these questions in this new series — “ISIS and Israel in the End Times.”
Where in the world does ISIS fit into the end times picture?
ISIS is a Sunni Muslim group that has transformed rapidly from a terrorist group into a full fledge army. And I mean rapidly!
The group was founded by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. He is a recluse, and so he keeps to himself. Likely he’s afraid of assassination. He never stays in the same place per night. He’s moving around all the time. He’s only made two public appearances since he formed ISIS. Because al-Baghdadi is a real recluse, there is very, very little known about this particular man.
What we do know about al-Baghdadi is that he became the leader of an Al Qaeda group that was called ISI, standing for the Islamic State of Iraq, because he began to launch terror attacks across Iraq with the idea of taking over Iraq and turning it into a pure Muslim State under Sharia Law. In 2013, he ventured into Syria and he changed the name of his group to ISIS, standing for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. He later changed it again to ISIL, meaning the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant. Levant is a French word which means the Middle East. So, you can see how he is expanding his reach. Al-Baghdadi started out with Iraq, then went into Iraq and Syria, and then expanded into Iraq and the entire Middle East.
Al-Baghdadi’s most important public appearance was in June 2014 where he made a public speech and for the first time declared the establishment of the Islamic State. So, today he calls his organization IS — I-S — for the Islamic State. He doesn’t call it ISIL or ISIS as some keep calling it.
What Motivates ISIS
Let’s consider for a moment what motivates those in ISIS.
Al-Baghdadi’s pronouncement was the most important pronouncement that had been made by a Muslim in many, many years. Keep in mind that no Muslim Caliphate, meaning no Muslim Empire, has existed since the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire in 1922. When he declared an Islamic State, he was instituting an Islamic caliphate. Radical Muslims all over the world became excited. They began to flood into the Middle East because they wanted to be part of the establishment of the next Muslim caliphate. In building the next Muslim empire, these Muslims hope their’s will be the empire that will take over the entire world.
In February 2015, Marie Harf, a State Department spokeswoman, made the most incredible proclamation I think that has ever come out of the mouth of a government employee. She said that the motivations behind ISIS is their desire to get jobs. She believes these are people who need jobs! Here is her actual words:
“We cannot win the War on Terror, nor can we win the war on ISIS, by killing them. We need to find them jobs. We need to get to the root cause of terrorism and that is poverty and the lack of opportunity in the terrorist community.”
This is liberal thinking gone to seed! It is just pathetic. Pathetic! What a perverse idea that ISIS is driven by poverty and the need for jobs. One of my own staff members, who doesn’t even know anything about her statement, when I told him about this he said, “Dave, this is insane. I haven’t heard one members of ISIS yet yelling, ‘Jobs, jobs, jobs!'” He said, “All they seem to be yelling is, “Allahu Akbar!” “Allahu Akbar!” “Allah is the greatest!”David Reagan: What a perverse idea that #ISIS is driven by poverty and jobs instead of the commands of the #Quran! Click To Tweet
The real motivation that drives ISIS is of course religion, specifically the commands of the Quran. These are the verses right out of the Muslim holy book that they live by: “To fight non-Muslims until you exterminate all other religions, leaving Islam as the one and only religion in the world.”
What are they doing? They are following the dictates of their holy book. Mohammad is quoted in the Hadith as saying, “I have been ordered to fight with the people until they say, ‘None has the right to be worshipped except Allah.”
ISIS has become very quickly identified by their use of indescribable, widespread, radical terror, and this is all in accordance with the Quran. In addition to military force, the Quran orders Muslims to terrorize non-Muslims. Sura 8:60 reads, “Strike terror in the hearts of the enemies of Allah and in your enemies.” Allah then assures his followers that he will help them do this: “I will instill terror in the hearts of unbelievers. Smite them above their necks, and smite all their fingertips off them. It is not you who slay them it is Allah.”
Concerning jihad, or Holy War, Mohammad says the Quran guarantees Paradise to those who fight for Allah. In fact, in the Muslim religion, the only guarantee you have that you will go to Heaven is if you die in combat fighting for Allah. Otherwise, there is no guarantee whatsoever. Even Mohammad said he wasn’t sure whether he would go to Heaven or not.
Dying for Allah is presented as better than living. If you are killed or die in the way of Allah, forgiveness and mercy from Allah are far better than amassing all worldly wealth. It is a great thing to die for Allah.
Martyrs are also promised a sensual and luxurious life in Paradise. In short, the Muslim paradise is one of eternal decadence.
In the second part of this series on ISIS and Israel in the end times, we’ll learn what ISIS’s purposes are and just what they really respect.