Since many do not study prophecy and others believe there isn’t any need to since we will all be swept away before the period referred to as “The Tribulation” begins, they do not recognize the prophetic events unfolding before our very eyes. Before proceeding, it is necessary to stress that we can recognize the signs of the times but we cannot accurately predict how end time prophecies will play out or the specific dates of these occurrences.
As someone who views the world through a biblical lens, the current evil atrocities in Iraq are more than disturbing but also seem to be fitting into a remarkable prophetic pattern. To begin to understand more than the physical manifestations of these events, Christians and Jews need to understand Islam from a prophetic point of view. While we hear much information about Islam – both accurate and inaccurate – the many inscriptions on top of the Dome of the Rocki (Dome) encapsulate the very essence of the Islamic faith. To paraphrase, the Aramaic inscriptions say over and over again that God does not have a son and that Jesus is only a messenger – as is Mohammed. It should also be noted that these inscriptions face skyward to mock God.
Did Ezekiel predict the Dome?
Recognizing the writings on top of the Dome helps us to understand the Islamic assaults on the deity of Christ and gives us a clue to why this battle against Christians is being fought, but this isn’t the only clue. The prophet Ezekiel also had something to say about the Dome. Ezekiel was given a vision of the temple mount in the end days in Chapter 8. He gives us the location as being at the door of the north gate of the inner court and the edifice he calls “the seat of the image of jealousy was, which provokes to jealousy” (verses 3b, 5). You may have guessed. The Dome is located on the temple mount at the door of the north gate of the inner court.
That’s not the only clue the prophet gives us concerning Islam and the Dome of the Rock. In Ezekiel 8:6, the prophet describes an area that he refers to as a great abomination that makes God go far away from His sanctuary, and 8:7 Ezekiel describes a hole in the wall of this abomination. For those that are unfamiliar with the structure of the Dome, it contains a stone at the southeastern corner that has a hole that is often referred to as the “Pierced Stone.”
There is more. Ezekiel 8:15-17 speaks of another abomination. Verse 15 describes the practice of praying and worshipping with backs toward the temple of the Lord – facing east. These verses condemn these practices and verse 17 specifically says they fill the land with violence, provoke God to anger, and put the branch (Jesus) to their nose. Isaiah 14:12-14 also speaks about Lucifer (otherwise known as Satan or the devil), exalting his throne above the stars of God and sitting on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north. You guessed it. The devil establishes his throne on the temple mount on the farthest north side: translation: the Dome of the Rock.
Prophecy, Iraq, and Babylon
But what about Iraq? Iraq in Scripture is called “Babylon.” Don’t be confused. There are two Babylons, one is the physical location of Iraq and one is “mystery” Babylon, which refers to a one world government as first noted in the Genesis account of the passage that details the Tower of Babel. The physical location, Iraq, is what is being discussed in this writing. The prophet Isaiah details the future of Iraq during the time known as “the Day of the Lord” in chapter 13. In Isaiah 13:17, 18, the prophet talks about stirring up the Medes (the Iranians) against Babylon, who will not have pity on the fruit of the womb or spare the children. The prophecies in Isaiah 3:19-22, can be interpreted to mean that a nuclear bomb will be dropped on Iraq. Jeremiah 51:29, 37 supports this as well and Jeremiah 51:30 speaks of the cowardice of the Iraqi men. When peace and stability seemed likely in Iraq, the fulfillment of this verse did not seem imminent. However, peace in Iraq has currently been replaced with levels of violence that were birthed in the pits of hell. Should that violence and brutality spread to other nations and not be controllable, the nuclear destruction of Iraq may suddenly be up for consideration.
Prophecy and beheading: John the Apostle
In the New Testament, the Book of Revelation also depicts a time of terrorism in Revelation 6:4. This is the second horse (or the fiery red horse) of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Since many people believe that the first horseman represents the anti-Christ and not the spreading of the Gospel worldwide, the mission of the second horseman is not being recognized.
Revelation 20:4 tells us that many will be “beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshipped the beast or his image…” A few years ago, beheadings seemed to be a practice relegated to the pages of history reserved for political executions and meant to terrify. As Islam and its minions grow, beheadings are once again in the news. Unfortunately, beheadings aren’t only a form of execution practiced by the followers of Mohammed. In 1996, Georgia’s House of Representatives in Session AB 1274, instituted guillotine provisions for the death penalty. The argument presented was that capital punishment using guillotines was more humane because it left the body organs intact and usable for donor transplants. Although it may be hard to envision a time in America when a person can be beheaded for their faith, on 9/11/2001 it would have been hard to envision an American president sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood, or a Senate that comes close to ratifying treaties that surrender the rights of parents to the UN – and it would have been equally as hard to envision a time when patriotic Americans would be considered domestic terrorists and enemies of the state.
Whatever your theology may be concerning the end of days, these prophecies indicate that God is completely aware of what is happening in the world today and His Word can be trusted. And while evil seems to be overtaking good, eventually every knee will be bowing to Christ and in the end – the good guys win! But the end may not come fast enough for those being subjected to the evils of ISIS or the Islamic Extremists. Still, the admonition is the same today as it has always been, we are to overcome and stand fast – remembering always that cowards are the first to be thrown into the lake of fire.
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