3,000-year-old Bible mystery anticipates stock collapse?


NEW YORK – Is it possible that a 3,000 year-old text warns of a major crash of the U.S. stock market next month?

Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, author of the New York Times bestselling book “The Harbinger,” has written a sequel, “The Mystery of the Shemitah,” in which he documents a historical cycle he believes portends a painful stock-market collapse that would mark the beginning of a major economic decline.

The Shemitah, or sabbath year, is the seventh year of the seven-year agricultural cycle mandated by the Torah for the land of Israel.

mystery-of-the-shemitahCahn’s warning comes as savvy investors such as Warren Buffett dump stocks of companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble and Kraft Foods, complaining of “disappointing performance.” Meanwhile, fellow billionaire John Paulson, who made his fortune betting on the subprime market meltdown, is dumping stocks from his hedge fund, Paulson & Co. He has shedded 14 million shares of JPMorgan Chase and dumped his entire stock investment in discount retailer Family Dollar and consumer-goods maker Sara Lee.

The widely read financial blog ZeroHedge.com adds to the list of billionaire investors preparing for a market crash, including Sam Zell, chairman of Equity Group Investments; George Soros; and Carl Ichan.

Cahn writes of market collapses as the “ancient mystery moves cross the globe,” from the New York Stock Exchange to major exchanges worldwide, “in one vast colossal Shemitah, nullifying, canceling, wiping clean and transforming the financial realms of nations.”

“Shemitah” also just reached the New York Times Best Seller list, placing it at 6th, just about a week after release.

If you haven’t read “The Harbinger” or seen “The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment” yet, now is the time to catch up on the groundbreaking spiritual detective work of Jonathan Cahn.

It would wipe out a stock-market boom fueled by debt as a consequence of the Federal Reserve’s policy of Quantitative Easing, in which it has bought trillions of dollars of U.S. Treasury debt since the end of the George W. Bush administration.

WND has repeatedly reported that a major stock-market downward correction becomes more likely if interest rates rise as the Federal Reserve “tapers” QE borrowing with a plan to end all Fed purchases of Treasury debt by the end of the year.
Rabbi Jonathan Cahn

Rabbi Jonathan Cahn

“The majority of the greatest point crashes in [stock-market] history just happen to take place in a very small period of time that comes around once in seven years, which also just happens to be on the same biblical calendar for manifesting the massive financial repercussions of the seventh year,” Cahn warns.

Cahn advances his investigation by correlating a series of stock-market charts dating back to the stock-market collapse in 1973 under President Jimmy Carter with the biblical seven-year cycle, arguing it is more than coincidence.

He concludes:

The greatest financial turning points, peaks and long-term collapses of the past 40 years have taken place within the biblical Year of the Shemitah or its autumn wake.
When there has been both a financial collapse and an economic recession, the period connecting their starting points has fallen within the biblical Shemitah 100 percent of the time.
Thus, from the 40-year period beginning in 1973, every single one of the five greatest financial and economic peaks and collapses have taken place according to the set time of the Shemitah.

Cahn begins to decipher the 3,000-year-old mystery by applying the biblical admonition to keep the Sabbath a holy day reserved to prayer and worshiping God not only on the seventh day of the week – traditionally observed on Saturday in the Jewish calendar, beginning at sundown Friday – but also the seventh year in a cycle.

“During the Sabbath year, the people of Israel were to leave their fields, vineyards and groves for the poor,” Cahn notes.

“For the duration of the year the land belonged, in effect, to everyone. And whatever grew of its own accord was called hefker, meaning ‘without an owner.’ So during the Sabbath year the land, in effect, belonged to everyone and to no one at the same time.”

Cahn elucidates a biblical admonition that the last day of the Sabbath year a sweeping transformation took place in ancient Israel in which everyone who owned a debt was released and the nation’s financial accounts were wiped clean in what amounted to “Israel’s day of nullification and remission.”

He pointed out the original Hebrew command ordains that every creditor should “make a Shemitah,” which translates as a command to “grant a release.”

“The word Shemitah is most often translated as ‘the release’ or ‘the remission,’” he writes.

“The idea of a nation ceasing all work on its land for an entire year is a radical proposition. No less radical is the idea of a day in which all credit and debt are wiped away. The ramifications of these two requirements are so great that concerns arose in later generations as to the Shemitah’s financial and economic consequences. These concerns were intensified when the Jewish people returned to the land of Israel in modern times.”

Cahn concludes the Shemitah, according to biblical admonitions, “declares that God is first and above all realms of life, and must therefore be put first and above every realm. During the Shemitah, Israel was, in effect, compelled to turn away from these earthly or worldly realms and return to their spiritual.”

When God is removed from the equation, as is increasingly happening in modern, secular America, then a removal of God’s blessings inevitably follows.

“The Shemitah thus deals with a particular flaw of human nature – the tendency to divorce the blessings of life from the Giver of those blessings, to divorce the physical realm from the spiritual,” he continues.

“It then seeks to compensate for the loss of the spiritual by increasing its claims over the physical world, pursuing more and more things, increase, gain – materialism. The increase of things, in turn, further crowds out the presence of God. The Shemitah is the antidote to all these things – the clearing away of material attachments to allow the work and presence of God to come in.”

Cahn sees major stock-market downturns as fulfilling God’s law by nullifying financial accounts.

Cahn calculates the next Shemitah begins this month, Sept. 24, and ends at sunset on Sept. 25, 2015. He believes a major stock-market downturn could begin early as next month.

But he cautions on taking the dates too literally.

“Nothing significant has to happen within the Shemitah of 2014-2015,” he writes.

“The phenomenon may manifest in one cycle and not in another, and then again in the next. And the focus of the message is not date-setting but the call of God to repent and return. At the same time, something of significance could take place, and it is wise to note the times.”

Cahn’s message is that the judgment of God is inevitable for any nation like America that forgets its blessings come from God.

“The warning here is this,” he concludes. “If America continues on its present course, its place as the head of nations will fall and the American age and global order will be allowed to collapse.”

The Syrian rebels that Obama is trying to ARM against ISIS have signed NON-AGGRESSION pact with ISIS


The Syrian rebels that Obama is trying to ARM against ISIS have signed NON-AGGRESSION pact with ISIS
Posted on Sep 13, 2014 at 4:57 PM in Foreign Policy Politics | Leave a Comment

By soopermexican

As part of the new phase of maybe-kinda-probably war against ISIS, Obama is seeking to arm the Syrian rebels, hoping they’ll fight against the ravenous terrorists who cut through the Iraqi army like a hot Jihadist knife through butter.

There’s just one tiny problem with this strategy – those rebels have signed a non-aggression pact with ISIS:

The U.S. backed, Syrian Revolutionary Front (SRF), have signed a ceasefire agreement with members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) in the Rif Dimashq Governate. According to the ceasefire agreement, the two militant groups will not engage in violence with one another in the densely populated city of Hajar Al-Aswad, just south of Damascus. The agreement outlines the purpose of the ceasefire, alluding to their mutual interest in usurping the “Nusayri Government” (Nusayri is a derogatory word used to insult Alawi Muslims) in Damascus.

So, then, arming them would accomplish what now?

The President has already asked Congress for the authority to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels to fight ISIS, administration and congressional sources told CNN. Obama is seeking the authority under Title 10 of U.S. Code, which deals with military powers. His request was sent soon after he met with Congressional leadership Tuesday night.

The authority, if granted, would allow the U.S. to accept money from other countries as well for this purpose.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called on Congress to support the request.

“It is clear to me that we need to train and equip Syrian rebels and other groups in the Middle East that need some help,” Reid said Wednesday. “It is called Title 10 authority. The President has tried to get that from us and we should give it to him. That is one way of helping to build an international coalition. Congress should do that.”

It’s clear then that the weaponry and aid we’d be giving to the Syrian rebels would just be used against Assad, and not ISIS, which is the reason for the authorization. Does this make any sense whatsoever?

ISIS Inflicting ‘Monumental Suffering,’ Human Rights Watch Adviser Warns


ERBIL, Iraq – As the United States and other countries ramp up efforts to battle Sunni militants in Syria and Iraq, international experts warn that gruesome finds could lie behind enemy lines. “When ISIS is pushed, if they are pushed back, we’re going to be dealing with mass graves for a long time and suffering of a community on a monumental scale,” Fred Abrahams, a special adviser to Human Rights Watch, told NBC News.

Abrahams also warned that the Yazidi community – which has been targeted by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham – has been devastated by the conflict, with a least a thousand women and children held captive and in danger. There are credible reports of extreme sexual violence and the sale of young girls, he added, saying “the community is in a desperate condition,” he said. ISIS has demanded that religious minorities – including Yazidis and Christians – convert to Islam or be killed, driving thousands to flee persecution. International relief organizations estimate that about 800,000 people have fled ISIS and sought shelter in Iraq’s Kurdistan region alone.

Isis offensive: Obama puts faith in allies with little proof of their worth


Isis militants near Aleppo in Syria in October 2013.

Isis militants near Aleppo in Syria in October 2013. Photograph: Alamy

After securing broad regional support for his coalition against Islamic State (Isis) Barack Obama is now turning to the second part of his strategy: empowering proxies on the ground who – in theory – will finish what air strikes started.

The US president’s plan, though, invests immense faith in partners and would-be allies that have done little to display their worth in alliances that are, in many cases, at least a decade old. Of all the US-backed armies or rebel groups in the region, only a few have stood up when tested – and none of them recently.

The best armed and trained of them all, the Iraqi military, surrendered northern Iraq – and all of its arsenals – in less than 48 hours in mid-June, which is the main reason Obama is scrambling to take on a battle-ready Isis now.

The rout of the Iraqi army was one of the most extraordinary in modern military history. Five divisions numbering roughly 120,000 soldiers and officers fled as the jihadis advanced towards Mosul, Tikrit and Kirkuk, changing the face of the modern Middle East and posing a serious threat to states from the Levant to the Gulf and well beyond.

In August, the Isis rampage turned north towards the notional Kurdish capital of Irbil, where another US-trained ally – the Kurdish peshmerga forces – also rapidly retreated, leaving half a million Yazidis and Christians to fend for themselves.

Across the now redundant border with Syria, the Syrian army – though not a US partner – had been struggling to contain an insurrection against the country’s leadership until it was reinforced by Iran and its proxies, especially Hezbollah, in December 2012.

Now, from Damascus to Baghdad, non-state actors are leading the fighting, with what remains of the Syrian and Iraqi armies subservient to them.

Iranian-backed Shia militias are directing key battles, including the fight earlier this month to regain the Turkoman town of Amerli, which had been surrounded by Isis since late June.

The campaign saw an extraordinary convergence of interests, with the US air force providing game-changing air cover to its arch-foe, the Iranian Major General Qassem Suleimani, who was on the ground as militias he directed rescued the Turkomans.

The Iraqi army played a support role, just as it has elsewhere in Iraq in every attempt to claw back its losses. Ever since, it has not been deployed anywhere in the country without large numbers of militias.

In Syria, where the US air campaign is now turning, militias are also dominant. The Syrian opposition is split into two main groupings. The Syrian revolutionary council – which is backed by Saudia Arabia – will be expected to lead the counterattack against Isis. But its influence is limited by the terrain it controls, roughly a wedge of land from northern Idlib province to the edge of Aleppo.

Beyond that the Islamic Front – backed by Qatar and Turkey but viewed warily by the US – holds sway and has been the main bulwark against Isis. Neither group gets on, and while heavy weapons and training could buy influence with either, there is little to show from their track record against Assad that they could defeat an even more formidable foe.

There is, however, one precedent for success – the partnership between the US military and the Sunni tribes of Anbar province, who revolted against al-Qaida in Iraq in early 2007. The then occupying US army threw its full weight behind the initiative, and the jihadis were ousted after around nine bloody months. Several years of relative quiet followed, but now they are back, stronger than ever, and with the world’s most powerful army not on the ground to take them on.

“This is a big, big stretch,” said a senior US official who was in Iraq at the time of the awakening. “Nothing I have seen inspires confidence that our new friends can get things done, especially when the old (friends) failed so miserably.”

Lebanese Christians Take Up Arms to Resist ISIS, Rising Tide of ‘Sunni Pride’


ISIS is growing in strength, and as Christians flee Syria and Iraq to escape the horror, Lebanese Christians fear that they will not be the only people coming across the border.  The writing is on the wall, as one report claim Churches in the north are being graffitied with the words: “The Islamic State is coming.”

Fears in Lebanon multiplied after militants from Syria overran a border town last month, clashing with security forces for days and killing and kidnapping Lebanese soldiers and policemen, according to the Associated Press reporting from Qaa.  Nerby Arsal was taken, and the area has become a hotzone.

“We all know that if they come, they will slit our throats for no reason,” said one villager as he drove through the streets in the border town, Qaa, an assault rifle of the ready.

For the first time since the Lebanese civil war ended in 1990, Lebanese Christians are arming themselves for self-defense, deploying on hills surrounding their communities, and laying in ambush in case Muslim extremists head their way.  The remnant of the Lebanese resistance is taking up arms again.

ISIS has already taken Arsal, and the Lebanese Army continues to shell the town to try and recover it.  The Islamic State is also gaining popularity among Lebanese Sunni groups, according to news from the region.

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In Tripoli, the black flag of ISIS is gaining popularity, as a form of “Sunni Pride”, according to the Daily Star.

The ISIS-affiliated insignia is increasingly appearing outside some shops around Tripoli and is being donned by protesters at Islamist rallies in the city, a potential signal of the radical group’s growing reach and level of support in Lebanon’s second-biggest city. Others, however, insist it is merely a symbol of Sunni unity and pride.

In Iraq, thousands of Christians have fled rather than face the alternative of converting or being killed. The homes of the departed, have been claimed as Islamic State property and marked with the Arabic letter ‘N’ for Nasarani, or Christian.

Meanwhile, thousands of Syrian Christians have been displaced and found there way into Lebanon, but are beginning to feel insecure even in the pluralistic country.

Some leftist and communist groups in Lebanon have supported the rearming of Christians, and black market weapons sales have climbed.  Hezbollah, a Shiite group, has indirectly supported the effort.

But there is concern all over Lebanon, that the rearming effort could raise tensions in Lebanon, which is split over the Syrian conflict. During its own 15-year civil war, the right wing Phalange group fought on behalf of Lebanese Christians, but news seems to point to a turning tide of sentiment.

The number of Christians in the Middle East is rapidly declining as jihadist groups target their communities, and many Christians have fled Syria for Europe. Iraq’s Ninevah region and the provincial capital of Mosul has been emptied of the Christian communities that have lived in the area for centuries.

“We are scared,” Umm Milad, a young Iraqi woman said while waiting to collect aid at a Chaldean church in Beirut. She came to Lebanon with her husband and children after someone painted an ‘N’ on their home in Mosul in July. The terrorists gave them 24 hours to leave. “We don’t want to go back. We want to go anywhere else. Canada or America,” she said.

“We’ll take the fight until the last drop of blood,”


ERBIL, Iraq—As the Islamic State fighters tore through northern Iraq in a murderous rampage, the women were called to come down from the mountains.

One woman known as Ozlem, a longtime fighter with a Kurdish guerrilla group, was sent to defend Makhmour, a town where some 12,000 Kurds had taken refugee. Ozlem, whose nom de guerre means “to be missed,” eagerly left to confront the enemy — the radical Islamic group also known as ISIS or ISIL.

“We knew what they did in Sinjar,” Ozlem said, referring to the recent slaughter of civilians from the Yazidi minority sect, whose surviving members fled into a forbidding mountain range in northern Iraq before.

PKK Commander Ozlem

“We came to Makhmour with so much aggression against ISIS,” she said.

For days, they heard how the Islamic State was advancing toward Makhmour, their black banner giving the fighters the appearance of a marauding army conjured up from a medieval past.

Then, the fighters arrived.

For the next 76 hours, Ozlem along with the rest of the Kurdish forces, battled the militants for control of the town, the women participating alongside the men in combat, as members of the Kurdistan Workers Party (or PKK) has always done.

In firefights with bearded, black-clad men, she came close enough to notice they were fighting in sandals and seemed apparently unconcerned with death.

“In clashes with other enemies, soldiers defended themselves, because life was important to them,” Ozlem said. “You usually lay down and shoot from the ground or from behind something. They were standing up — exposed — and shooting.”

A Peshmerga fighter leads training exercises on a base in northern Iraq.

Ozlem and other women who were part of the battle say they took special pleasure in fighting the notorious radicals whose barbarism, especially towards women, has left a scuttlebutt trail in every town they have taken.

“They’re the enemy of women, but not only women,” Ozlem said. “They’re the enemy of the entire region and entire world.”

“Having women on the front lines is a way of confronting the fear of ISIS.”

The Islamic State militants came dangerously close to Erbil, the capital of the semi-autonomous Kurdish region of Iraq.

The PKK not only called upon defense forces from its mountain base but a flood of ethnic Kurds also volunteered for the fight. Many are women, now training others as their more seasoned comrades-in-arms fight on the front lines.

In the fighting force, as many as 40 percent are women, who undergo the same combat training as men, with a supplementary course on women in war, according to commanders. Gender equality is a fundamental feature of the PKK, which was founded as a Marxist-leaning organization.

Adept at psychological warfare, the Islamic State wants to inspire terror through its brutality.

“Having women face them directly sends a powerful message,” says Meral Zin Cicek, the president of the Kurdish Women’s Relation Office in Erbil.

“Having women on the front lines is a way of confronting the fear of ISIS.”

Shanaz Bakir Ahmad, 19, joined the Peshmerga four years ago. She is an RPG specialist.

“We’ll take the fight until the last drop of blood.”

While women of the PKK and its affiliate in Syria—the YPG, another gender-mixed force that has been fighting the Islamic State in the Kurdish region of Syria for three years—see far more action than women in other Kurdish armed groups, the eagerness to confront ISIS is all the same.

The commander of a 500-strong all-female unit of Peshmerga fighters says that after the events of Sinjar, everyone from lawyers to university professors and government workers asked how they could help.

Her own daughter, just 10 years old, who happily marched alongside a unit of women training, told her that she wanted to join the Peshmerga to avenge the deaths of all the children who died in Mosul and Sinjar.

“As Peshmerga, it is my duty to go to war, but it is not the duty of civilians,” said Colonel Nahida Ahmad Rashid. “Yet even civilians are so disturbed by ISIS—they are raping women, degrading the value of women, brutally killing people—they want to do something to stop them.”

Adding to their inspiration is a widely held rumor that the radical fighters believe that if killed by a woman they will not go to paradise. Though disputed by experts, it is the gospel among the women of Colonel Rashid’s regiment.

Shanaz Bakir Ahmad, a 19-year-old RPG specialist, says she is ready to go to the front lines for this reason.

“We’ll take the fight until the last drop of blood,” she said.

“I have a high morale and am ready to take my gun and go.”

So far, enough volunteers have offered to fight that she has not yet been called. Instead, she has been delivering weapons to the front lines in Jalawla, another Kurdish town under threat.

Nasik Qader Mohammed, 39, has also volunteered.

“I have a high morale and am ready to take my gun and go,” she said.

She is now manning checkpoints and participating in supply runs to the front lines along with her daughter, 19-year-old Shanaz Bakir Ahmad, an RPG specialist, who is part of the same unit.

Peshmerga, the main defense force of the Kurdish region of Iraq is now collaborating with the PKK in some areas, including Makhmour, after initially being beaten back by the Islamic State. Men from both groups stand side-by-side at checkpoints, ushering in the refugees who are slowly returning to their town a month after the Islamic State was ousted.

Still, residents are jittery and want the PKK fighters to stay. The lean and sunbeaten men and women patrolling the camp are happy to oblige. Zinarin, a 33-year-old PKK veteran, who describes the Islamic State as a “dirty organization,” says she will stay as long as any threat remains.

“We want to defend our people,” she said.

Colorado woman pleads guilty to aiding ISIS


A 19-year-old Colorado woman pleaded guilty on Wednesday for conspiring to provide material support to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and a number of al Qaeda affiliates.

According to the Justice Department, Shannon Conley of Arvada, Colo., and a co-conspirator unlawfully worked together with others to provide support and resources to the two groups between February and April.

Conley and her co-conspirator, a man, met on the Internet, and bonded over their support for violent jihad.

“The co-conspirator communicated to Conley that he was an active member of an al Qaeda affiliate fighting in Syria known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Al Sham (ISIS),” said the DOJ in a statement.

“The two then decided to become engaged, and together, they worked to have Conley travel to Syria to join her new fiance,” the statement added. “Before traveling to Syria, Conley refined and obtained additional training and skills in order to provide support and assistance to any al Qaeda and/or ISIS fighter. Conley also intended to fight if it became necessary to do so.”

The guilty plea comes as fears grow that Americans are flocking to join ISIS and that members of the group with Western passports could return to their home countries to commit violence.

Rep. Candice Miller (R-Mich.), chairwoman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security, said Wednesday that “several hundred” Americans might have traveled to Syria to fight with the Islamist group.

According to the DOJ, Conley also joined the U.S. Army Explorers to be trained in U.S. military tactics and weapons, and traveled to Texas where she obtained first aid training, as well as firearm certification from the National Rifle Association.

On numerous occasions, secret FBI agents attempted to persuade her not to travel overseas to fight, the DOJ said.

On March 29, 2014, Conley’s co-conspirator, along with others, arranged for her to fly to Turkey from Denver.

On April 8, 2014, Conley was arrested by FBI agents as she attempted to board a flight to Turkey at Denver International Airport.

“A subsequent search of Conley’s home revealed DVDs of Anwar Al-Awlaki lectures and a number of books and articles about al Qaeda, its affiliate groups and jihad. Agents also recovered shooting targets labeled with the number of rounds fired and distances,” the DOJ said.

Conley faces up to five years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000.

Top Obama Officials Disagree Over Whether U.S. At War With ISIS


John Kerry Iraq
US Secretary of State John Kerry looks out over Baghdad from a helicopter on Sept. 10, 2014. Brendan Smialowski—AFP/Getty Images

The use of the W-word could have both legal and political implications.

Top Obama Administration officials have publicly given conflicting accounts in recent days over a fundamental question of the new U.S. military campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria: Is the nation at war?

With 158 airstrikes carried out on ISIS targets and more than 1,600 troops deployed to Iraq in various capacities, Secretary of State John Kerry told ABC News Thursday that the nation was not in fact at war with the militant group, which has seized vast territory in Syria and Iraq. “No. Look, we’re engaged in a counterterrorism operation of a significant order,” Kerry said. “And counterterrorism operations can take a long time, they go on. I think ‘war’ is the wrong reference term with respect to that, but obviously it involves kinetic military action.” National Security Advisor Susan Rice weighed in Thursday to CNN that “I think, frankly, this is a counterterrorism operation that will take time.”

But by Friday afternoon, the White House and the Pentagon were reversing course. “Make no mistake, we know we are at war with [ISIS], in the same way we are at war, and continue to be at war, with al-Qaeda and its affiliates,” Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said, referencing a long-term, largely-airborne campaign against the terrorist group.

At the White House, the same word was used. “The United States is at war with [ISIS] in the same way we are at war with al Qaeda and its affiliates,” echoed White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest minutes later. “The United States is at war with [ISIS].”

Only Congress can formally declare war under the U.S. Constitution. The White House said Obama is now relying on the 2001 post-9/11 Authorization for the Use of Military Force against al Qaeda as a Congressional justification for the campaign against ISIS.

It was far from the first mixed message sent by the administration in the months-long conflict. Last month Obama suggested he had “no strategy” for dealing with ISIS in Syria. Later Obama suggested ISIS could be contained to become “a manageable problem” in the region. Finally, as he reiterated to the nation on Wednesday night, Obama promised to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the militant group, but he did not describe the metrics that would be used to know when either of those goals were achieved.

The confusing language has drawn fire from Republicans and puzzling looks from Democrats, but hasn’t yet undermined the emerging broad-based support among the American people for the airstrikes.

As Aspiring Jihadists Heed Call of ISIS, Home Nations Try to Stymie Them

UNITED NATIONS — France wants more power to block its citizens from leaving the country, while Britain is weighing whether to stop more of its citizens from coming home. Tunisia is debating measures to make it a criminal offense to help jihadist fighters travel to Syria and Iraq, while Russia has outlawed enlisting in armed groups that are “contradictory to Russian policy.”

The rapid surge of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, and its ability to draw fighters from across the globe, has set off alarm bells in capitals worldwide. Countries that rarely see eye to eye are now trying to blunt its recruitment drive, passing a raft of new rules that they hope will stop their citizens from joining extremist groups abroad.

Complete story here. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/13/world/middleeast/isis-recruits-prompt-laws-against-foreign-fighters.html?_r=0

Entire Leadership of ISIS Opposition Wiped Out by ‘Unexplained’ Explosion



Nearly fifty senior commanders of a major coalition of Islamic ‘moderates’ opposed to ISIS in Syria have been killed by an explosion at their secret command bunker as they met to discuss strategy against the the Islamic State.

The blast in the Northwest region of Idlib, Syria on Tuesday killed senior members of rebel group the Ahrar-al-Sham brigade (AaS), including leader Hassan Abboud and 45 others including senior members from other rebel alliance groups, reports The Times. The Idlib region stands in AaS territory, but it is close to the front-line with ISIS in neighbouring Aleppo.

Sources dispute the source of the blast, with it being unclear whether it was an opposition group, suicide bomber, or accidental explosion at a nearby ammunition dump. Regardless, the incident will destabilise and possibly tear apart the AaS group and associated Islamic Front Coalition which was recently described as “the most powerful armed group in Syria”.

Islamic group Ahrar-al-Sham, whose name translates as ‘The Free Men of Syria’, is one of many movements competing in the inter-rebel conflict in Syria. A number of rebel groups are presently fighting each other as well as besieged Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whose power base is in West and South-West, for overall control of the Region.

As the main rival to ISIS for control of Syria, the AaS blast if not orchestrated by the Islamic State will certainly be greatly beneficial to them. The ‘decapitation’ strategy, targeting Ahrar-al-Sham’s political, military and spiritual leadership is reminiscent of the United States’ targeted strikes against the leadership of Al-Qaeda.

The death of Abboud and his followers in Idlib highlights the difficulty of Western involvement in the conflict, where enemies of the apparent first enemy ISIS also make fairly poor potential allies. Many members of AaS have come from groups like Al-Qaeda and would in any other context be considered hard line Islamists.

The Ahrar-al-Sham brigade has also been extremely critical of Western involvement in the conflict. In an interview before his death leader Abboud rejected the Geneva peace conference saying: “We see Geneva as a tool of manipulation; to derail the Syrian revolution away from its goals and objectives …. Whatever outcome the conference may yield, will be binding on the Syrian National Coalition only. For us, we will continue to fight for our revolution until we restore our rights”.

Ahrar-al-Sham has appointed a new leader, Hashim al-Sheikh, who will attempt to hold together the fragile coalition which has lost most of its senior thinkers and strategists. al-Sheik said the attack “will only make us more resilient to fight and continue the fight until we liberate our homeland” on Wednesday.

Is ISIS’ caliphate a harbinger of the Antichrist?


Seven years ago, Al Gore was warning us that all of the polar ice caps would be completely gone by now. I was warning of a caliphate.

For the past 10 years, I’ve diligently sought to awaken the Church to the fact that the Hebrew prophets point to a Middle Eastern Antichrist who will emerge from the region of Turkey, Syria or Iraq. Some have examined the evidence and recognized the solid scriptural basis for this view. Others have questioned, debated, or even maligned this perspective. The truth, however, is that although some naysayers have tried to cast this view as a “lone ranger” perspective, in broad historical terms, I have been far from alone in espousing it. In fact, many great Christian expositors have recognized the biblical evidence for this view. Many even foresaw that a last-days caliphate would be established in the region of Turkey, Syria and Iraq. In light of the astounding re-establishment of an Islamic caliphate for the first time in over 80 years in Iraq and Syria, let us consider a few of the great Christian expositors and teachers who foresaw precisely what we are witnessing today.

The first was Hippolytus of Rome (170–235). Hippolytus was an important theologian of the early third century. In speaking of the Antichrist, he said this:

“That these things, then, are said of no one else but that tyrant, and shameless one, and adversary of God, we shall show in what follows. But Isaiah also speaks thus: ‘And it shall come to pass, that when the Lord has performed His whole work upon Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, He will punish (visit) the stout mind, the king of Assyria, and the greatness (height) of the glory of his eyes.’” (emphasis added)

The second theologian who foresaw the Antichrist as emerging from the region now controlled by ISIS was Victorinus of Pettau (240–304). Victorinus was an early Christian bishop and the author of the most ancient complete commentary on the book of Revelation in our possession. In this ancient commentary, Victorinus identified the Antichrist as “the Assyrian” mentioned in Micah 5:5 who would invade the land of Israel only to be destroyed by Jesus upon His return.

The next witness is Lucius Caecilius Firmianus Lactantius (240 – 320). Lactantius was yet another early Church writer from the third century who wrote much on the end times. Amazingly, Lactantius specifically stated that the Antichrist would come from the Roman Province of Syria:

A king shall arise out of Syria, born from an evil spirit, the overthrower and destroyer of the human race, who shall destroy that which is left by the former evil, together with himself. … But that king will not only be most disgraceful in himself, but he will also be a prophet of lies … and power will be given to him to do signs and wonders, by the sight of which he may entice men to adore him. … Then he will attempt to destroy the temple of God and persecute the righteous people.” (emphasis added)

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Many are surprised to discover that Clarence Larkin (1850–1924), the great dispensational teacher, also foresaw these things. Larkin was an American Baptist pastor, Bible teacher and author whose works continue to sell to this day. In his book “Dispensational Truth,” Larkin wrote, “It is clear that the Antichrist is to come from Syria. … We are to understand therefore by the ‘King of the North’ the King of Syria, which also included Assyria. This fixes the locality from which the Antichrist shall come. …”

One of my favorite commentators is G.H. Lang (1874–1958). Lang was a magnificent British expositor whose commentary on the book on Daniel received the highest endorsement from the legendary biblical scholar F.F. Bruce. In Lang’s “The Histories and Prophecies of Daniel,” he said the following:

Therefore the Antichrist will be the king of Assyria with Babylon as his capital, which of old was in the dominion of Seleucus, who gained the eastern area of the empire of Alexander. Thus when the Antichrist arises, he will not come at Rome, or any where else in the west. Had this been understood, many vain and misleading speculations would have been avoided, such that of the pope, or the Papacy, or Napoleon, or others being he. And when he comes, his military efforts will be expended mainly upon Egypt and the south, the east, and Palestine.

Arthur W. Pink (1886–1952), an English evangelist and biblical scholar also well-known for his work “The Antichrist,” likewise identified the Antichrist as coming from the Middle Eastern region of the former Assyrian Empire:

“We have seen that the scriptures which help us to determine the direction from which he will arise, speak of him under the title of the ‘Little Horn.’ Now the first thing this title denotes is that he is a king, king of Assyria. … [After he] acquires the crown of Syria he will speedily enlarge his dominions.”

Now, to be clear, the various references to the Antichrist as “the Assyrian” are not ethnic denotations. Instead, it points to the region from which the Antichrist will likely emerge. In the same way that, for example, the prophet Joel speaks of the destruction of Philistia in the Day of the Lord (Joel 3:4), he was not speaking of the judgment of ethnic Philistines when Jesus returns, but of those enemies of His people, who occupy the region of ancient Philistia. So also do the biblical references point to Assyria as the region from which the Antichrist will emerge, but do not indicate that he will ethnically be an Assyrian. Today, the majority of the Assyrian people are Chaldean Christians. Most of those who had continued to live in the region of ancient Assyria have now been forced to flee the onslaught of ISIS.

All of these men of God foresaw the Antichrist and his empire as arising from the same region where we have now witnessed the re-establishment of an Islamic caliphate. All of these men looked to the words of the Hebrew prophets and came to similar conclusions. They foresaw in quite a remarkable way what has now unfolded before all of us. As radical Muslims continue to murder, kidnap, rape, behead, crucify and slaughter their way across the Middle East, now it the time for the Church to wake up and diligently study the Scriptures to discern if all of these events indeed provide us with a genuine harbinger of the coming Antichrist and the soon coming return of Jesus.

“It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes.” (Luke 12:37)