Is religious fanaticism something to be found "over there"? Might your own nation fall under the sway of a strong religious leader. Your Bible reveals the answer!
More than 1.5 billion people profess the religion called Islam. For vast numbers of these believers, their religion is their life. Rightly or wrongly, they are passionate about their religion! Though many Muslims are basically peaceful and mean well, the powerful influence of Islamic religious beliefs—and the extremists who capitalize on the most militant understanding of those beliefs—is causing many others to become violent.
Many top politicians and strategists in the West have tried to insist that Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS)—the "Islamic State" now spreading across the Middle East, already ruling a land mass larger than the entire United Kingdom—is not about religion. But they are absolutely wrong! If you study carefully, you will come to see that it is "all" about religion! More than that, the "religious" orientation of these militants causes them to hunger for the death of all who oppose them as they try to hasten the end of the world as prophesied in Muslim scriptures.
How bloodthirsty and genocidal have these ISIS Muslims become in the name of their religion? Consider this recent eye-opening report by Graeme Wood of The Atlantic magazine:
"In September, Sheikh Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, the Islamic State's chief spokesman, called on Muslims in Western countries such as France and Canada to find an infidel and 'smash his head with a rock,' poison him, run him over with a car, or 'destroy his crops.' To Western ears, the biblical-sounding punishments—the stoning and crop destruction—juxtaposed strangely with his more modern-sounding call to vehicular homicide. (As if to show that he could terrorize by imagery alone, Adnani also referred to Secretary of State John Kerry as an 'uncircumcised geezer.')
"But Adnani was not merely talking trash. His speech was laced with theological and legal discussion, and his exhortation to attack crops directly echoed orders from Muhammad to leave well water and crops alone—unless the armies of Islam were in a defensive position, in which case Muslims in the lands of kuffar, or infidels, should be unmerciful, and poison away.
"The reality is that the Islamic State is Islamic. Very Islamic. Yes, it has attracted psychopaths and adventure seekers, drawn largely from the disaffected populations of the Middle East and Europe. But the religion preached by its most ardent followers derives from coherent and even learned interpretations of Islam.
"Virtually every major decision and law promulgated by the Islamic State adheres to what it calls, in its press and pronouncements, and on its billboards, license plates, stationery, and coins, 'the Prophetic methodology,' which means following the prophecy and example of Muhammad, in punctilious detail. Muslims can reject the Islamic State; nearly all do. But pretending that it isn't actually a religious, millenarian group, with theology that must be understood to be combatted, has already led the United States to underestimate it and back foolish schemes to counter it" (The Atlantic, March 2015).
As this article points out in great detail and with many references, Islamic State adherents are absolutely "passionate" about their religion!
What about you? How passionate are you about your religion?
"Oh, no," you may say, "nothing like this could ever happen here in our 'educated' Western society." But you would be absolutely wrong. The inspired Word of the Creator God—the Holy Bible—very specifically makes it clear that in the "last days" of this society a very powerful religion will come on the scene, deceptively calling itself "Christianity." It will claim to represent Jesus Christ and it will take over vast portions of this world—its houses of worship, its businesses, and most of its entire way of life. Yes, most of you who are alive today will live to see a world in which a nominal form of Christianity will hold power in the West to a degree that today's ISIS militants can only envy!
For good or for ill, religion has been a truly powerful force for the most part of human history. Religion taps into an enormous urge in human nature to follow a higher power and serve something greater than oneself. Many evil men have taken advantage of their ability to twist this noble side of human nature. And indeed, over the next several years, the inspired prophecies of the Bible clearly indicate that there will be a "clash of religions" of monumental proportions affecting this world's society. For two great world powers, each supported by a different religious passion, will come to a time of war at the very end of this present civilization. At that point, the entire world will be shocked when a third force—the leader of what will seem "another religion"—will intervene with astonishing force to save humanity from destroying itself.
Yes, this is all in your Bible! But, right now, almost daily, we read about the horrible atrocities perpetuated by the "Islamic State"—vile acts that are almost incomprehensible to most people.
When you read in detail about the Middle East—most of it under the sway of Islam—you realize that many millions have spent their whole lives hearing about how they have been "put down" by the United States and its European allies, and especially by the Jews whom they seem so happy to persecute. Indeed, it is true that the Arab nations have, in the past, been conquered by European powers, have had their national boundaries redrawn for political reasons, and have felt denigrated and victimized by persecution. In their own towns and villages, in poor rural areas and in their cities, many have absolutely longed for some kind of revenge.
Countless Arab Muslims have been fed an ideological diet by their imams and other leaders suggesting that a coming "Mahdi" or super-religio-political leader will come at the end of this age to deliver them from oppression and make them proud of themselves again. Right now, many in the group calling itself Islamic State are perpetuating and magnifying these concepts and ideas and are trying to produce a "Caliphate"—a full-blown empire of Islam through which supporters can band together to throw off the shackles imposed by the European and American peoples. The Arab masses are clearly upset, and extremist religious leaders are increasingly egging on their desires for revenge through old Muslim prophecies as a way to "get even" and enable them to "hold up their heads once again."
Notice the inspired prophecy found in Daniel 11. In this prophecy, the Creator God is describing a final revival of the ancient Roman Empire in Europe—obviously north of the Arab states. The setting is described as clearly the "time of the end"—the final years of this world's present civilization (v. 40). At this point, the "King of the South"—a powerful leader over the Arab nations—attacks (or, as some biblical scholars translate it, "provokes") this powerful leader of the final revived Roman Empire. Having technologically superior weapons, the coming leader of this European power—called the "Beast" in biblical prophecy—will come swooping down "like a whirlwind" to overwhelm this Muslim power. At that point, the Beast and his armies will enter the "glorious land" and take over much of the Middle East.
Daniel's prophecy clearly indicates, "the land of Egypt shall not escape" (v. 42). Here, however, scripture also indicates the arrival of a great army from the east, coming to fight the Beast and stop him from taking over the whole world (v. 44).
At this point, humanity will be right on the verge of cosmocide—utterly annihilating itself. Only then, your Bible indicates, will the final and greatest "Religious Leader" of all time intervene and stop these human wars altogether. That Leader? His name is Jesus Christ!
Many religious scholars and students of prophecy have come to understand that the "King of the North" described here is a coming "Hitler"—described as the "Beast" in your Bible. In the relatively near future, he will be in charge of the world's top superpower—having the greatest military and industrial might the world has ever seen.
Who is he? If you will study carefully and with an open mind, you will easily prove to yourself that this coming "Beast" is in fact the leader of the revived Roman Empire. Your Bible states: "Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time. The beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition. The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast" (Revelation 17:9–13).
Even now, many European nations are peacefully giving over their power to one of the leading nations of Europe. Eventually, the final leader of this system—called the "Beast" in your Bible—will have ten kings or kingdoms allied with him, and power extending far beyond those kingdoms. John tells us "For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury" (Revelation 18:3). But Christians must not succumb to its temptations. John was inspired to warn us: "And I heard another voice from heaven saying, 'Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues" (v. 4).
The rulers over this massive military-industrial complex—guided by their religious leaders—will become so arrogant that they will literally fight against Jesus Christ when He returns as King of kings. "'These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.' Then he said to me, 'The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues'" (Revelation 17:14–15).
The false church or "harlot" described in verse 15 sits in religious power over multitudes of nations and tongues! Remember, this system is called "a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird!" (Revelation 18:2).
When you contemplate the soon-coming reality of all this, it is absolutely astonishing. For the misused power of religion is so enormous that hundreds of millions of human beings will be deceived into following a religious force—a "woman" who rides on this coming Beast, symbolic of her controlling role (Revelation 17:3–7). She will cause it to fight Jesus Christ Himself as He returns to rule the world (Revelation 17:14)!
As many of you long-time subscribers to Tomorrow's World magazine already understand, these signs are completely provable from the clear verses in the Bible. However, for those of you who may be "newer" to this magazine and wish to understand and prove these vital truths, please call us or write us immediately to request your free copies of our eye-opening booklets on this very topic: The Beast of Revelation and The Middle East in Prophecy. For your own good, please read and study along with your own Bible the powerful information in these booklets!
Scripture reveals that, after the enormous disruptions and traumas caused by the "King of the South," and that entity's ultimate defeat by the "King of the North," a final war will take place such as the world has never seen. As the European-led armies of the Beast mass to do battle against 200 million soldiers coming from the East, Almighty God will intervene to stop the coming cosmocide that would otherwise take place. Yes, Christ Himself will return—intervening to prevent the utter destruction of all humanity! He will bring the nations of the earth down to the "Valley of Jehoshaphat" (Joel 3:12). There, with His total power, He will bring about the climax of the prophesied "Day of the Lord" in the valley of decision (v. 14). The "stars will diminish their brightness" (v. 15) "The Lord also will roar from Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; the heavens and earth will shake; but the Lord will be a shelter for His people, and the strength of the children of Israel" (v. 16).
As an enormous earthquake literally shakes the entire earth, Christ will return in total power to set up His Kingdom, His Government on this earth: "Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, 'The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!'" (Revelation 11:15). For Christ will not only return as King of kings but as "Lord of lords." He will return as High Priest of the one true religion: "'He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.' For out of Zion the law shall go forth, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem" (Micah 4:1–2). Then, "all people walk each in the name of his god, but we will walk in the name of the Lord our God forever and ever" (v. 5).
Furthermore: "Many people shall come and say, 'Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.' for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore" (Isaiah 2:3–4).
Unlike our present day, in which religious militants seek to kill and maim in the name of Islam and other religions, the Kingdom of God on this earth will usher in a time when human beings will not even learn about warring and killing and destroying each other anymore. They will be taught the way of God.
Yes, religion is indeed a powerful force. In the end, true religion will bring about a joyous utopia of love, joy and peace which has never been experienced in the history of this world! So never let anyone tell you that religion is not important anymore. It is going to be the important force as a motivator for the final events of this world's history—and it will be the ultimate force for good in the age to come! So do not underestimate the power of religion. This all has to do with your real future that has already begun to occur in these battles between the Europeans, the Arab nations and finally will affect all the nations on the entire face of this earth.
As the awesome events I have been describing begin to take place all around us, please understand that if you want to escape the terrible turmoil ahead, it is absolutely vital that you learn and practice the true religion taught throughout the pages of your Bible! For Satan the Devil is pictured as deceiving all the nations of this world (Revelation 12:9). Jesus Christ taught again and again that the way of God involves Spirit-filled Christians using the indwelling Spirit to enable them to "keep the commandments" (Matthew 19:17).
Christ even said that those who teach and practice the "least" of the commandments will be very blessed for doing so. Sadly, today, even most who call themselves Christ's followers have conjured up all kinds of arguments saying that you do not have to keep God's commandments to be a true Christian! But you know better! As you can read for yourself in the Bible, the true faith of Christ is pictured again and again as being based upon the way of God—the Way in which everyone keeps the Ten Commandments as a way of life—bringing peace to all who keep them. As God's Word says in Revelation 14:12: "Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus."
Yes, the true religion described by Christ and His apostles throughout the New Testament is truly powerful—and it definitely involves commandment-keeping, made possible by the gift of the Holy Spirit. Please do not let smooth-sounding preachers deceive you into believing otherwise. Please keep reading and studying this magazine and the powerful booklets we send absolutely free to help you understand the way of God and to prepare you to be those "kings and priests" who will assist Christ in ruling over this world—not up in heaven—in the coming Kingdom or Government of God (Revelation 5:9–10).
No doubt some of you reading this have friends who have chosen their church, maybe even their whole religion, based on how "easy" it is to drive or walk to worship services, or on who has the most active youth program, or the best choir director, or the "nicest" people. But you, as a sincere and zealous student of the Bible, should know better! You should prove for yourself who is teaching the full truth of the Bible! May God help you to check these things out and "prove all things; hold fast that which is good" (1 Thessalonians 5:21, KJV). May God help you to realize how important the power of true religion is, and how it will soon turn this entire world—and your own personal life, if you let it—"right side up"!