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Point of Death

 I know your afflictions and your poverty — yet you are rich! I know the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life. Revelation 2:9-10

Christians are seeing the prophecy of the Bible unfold before their very eyes right now in real time as we speak. At present Christians are only seeing what could be bits and pieces of how end times will be fulfilled. As a Christian I can see what was prophesied by the creator of heaven and Earth already in place with only one part of the plan not yet revealed. Who is the charismatic person or persons who will lead and organize the villains of end times.

Dr. Charles Swindoll recently described this person (the antichrist) to be well educated and adored by many people all over the world and a man that who would rise to power in a relatively short period of time. While Dr. Swindoll did not name this person he described a person with a personality and character similar to Barack Obama, who is loved by people all over the world, including the Islamic terrorist in which our nation is currently in conflict with. However, let us be prudent, if the president elect is an end time leader, let us look for proof before we jump on the bandwagon that point fingers. Instead let us pray for him as a man ordained by God

 Christians do not normally make the effort to understand the religions of the world because they have the certainty of a relationship with the one true God. At the same time Christians are aware that all religions believe in one true God, but how could the human mind conceive so many different true God’s without help from the opposition?  At the same time we live in a time when theologians use certain terms about the end times rather loosely.  The God of creation perceived that men would conceive and worship many false gods. Much of the Old Testament discussed how the worship of false gods led to the downfall of human race and the degrading of the human mind to worship what is evil in our creator’s mind.  

Prosperity followed In the lands where Christianity gained a foothold, its form of government is more democratic, its people have inalienable rights, more freedoms and live comfortable lives. In the lands where false gods gained a foothold you see corruption in the highest level of government, its people living in poverty while its leaders live in palaces. In the lands of false gods, the people are forced by law to worship a specific god of that nation. In direct contrast Christians do not live in fear of God, instead they seek a personal relationship with God.  The certainty of worshipping the one true God is in personally knowing God the father and Jesus Christ.

Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. John 17:3

The bible represents many things to Christians to lead men to a great and awesome God. At the same time the Bible is practical in every aspect that it presents to man.  The historical aspect is that God presented a history of our religion derived from the children of Abraham which formed two nations and shaped the basic religions of the world. Isaac and Ishmael were decendants of Abraham from which the religions of Judaism and Islam were derived.

Islam believes that Ishmael was the first born of Abraham and the rightful heir to the promised covenant. Christians believe that the covenant between God and Abraham would to be passed down or reckoned through the descendants of Isaac. Ishmael has a share in the promise made to Abraham, as he will become a great nation. However, God instructed Abraham to send Hagar and Ishmael into the wilderness of Beersheba. God said to Abraham:

"Do not be so distressed about the boy and your maidservant. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned. I will make the son of the maidservant into a nation also, because he is your offspring." Genesis 21:11-13

The angel of the Lord spoke these words to Hagar about Ishmael.

He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone's hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers." Genesis 16:11-12

The descendants of Ishmael have become a great nation, a nation that is hostile towards all its brothers but with empathis on the descendants of Isaac (Israel). The covenant made with Abraham is hotly disputed by many in the Middle East.  Who is rightfully the heir to the covenant creates the foundation for hostility in the physical and spiritual realms we face today. The struggle prophesied for the end time will not be fought over land, possessions or wealth, but to decide who is god and worthy of human worship.

The tactics used to gain and hold power in the Islamic world can be very intimidating to the point that the citizens of Islam are held in slavery by their fear of death. Any infraction of the Islamic faith can be subject to the penalty of death by stoning or beheading.

In America beheading is considered to be too gruesome and hideous a subject to discuss. Just thinking about beheading causes the average person to shiver in revulsion.  Generally speaking beheading is not discussed as a subject in church though about a hundred persons were beheaded within the pages of the Bible. Those known to have been beheaded were Goliath, King Saul and John the Baptist. According to tradition Paul the apostle was believed to have been beheaded outside the city of Rome between 62 and 67 AD during the persecution of Nero. Beheading is important enough issue to discuss as it is prophesied in scriptures to happen.

I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. Revelation 20:4

Most of us can vaguely remember the names of the American businessman Nicholas Berg, Jack Hensley, an American engineer, Eugene Armstrong an American contractor, the American businessman Paul Johnson and Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl who were beheaded as infidels. To the Moslem people a infidel is defined as being a non-believer of Islam therefore, you can believe in no god or any other god and still be an infidel.    

The Taliban and Al-Qaeda are a militant sects of the Islamic religion that is currently waging a holy war called Jihad to purposely end foreign influence in Muslim countries. Their goal is to create of a new political authority based on the teaching of Muhammad. The Taliban and Al-Qaeda is just two of many Islamic militant sects devoted to the Qur'anic scripture that commands beheading of infidels. This command is found in the Muhammad’ writings of Sura (chapter) 47.

When ye encounter the infidels, strike off their heads till ye have made a great slaughter among them, and of the rest make fast the fetters. - (refer to: http://thriceholy.net/Texts/Koran5.html  #42 [scoll down to chapter 47- fourth verse])

This verse of the Qur'an is known as a ayah, a sign and considered to be a command of Allah. The methods that Islamic extremist use to fight a holy war (Jihad) is very similar to a number of prophetic references within the Bible that follow,

He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast — all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world. He who has an ear, let him hear.   If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity he will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he will be killed. This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints. Revelation 13:7-10

When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. Revelation 6:9

Terror strikes the hearts of those that witness an execution by beheading or see the victim’s head displayed as if it were a prize. Seeing a head that has been severed from the body does several things, it attests that this person is no longer living, it destroys the courage of the enemy and makes them willing to submit under duress in a state of terror.   

All that is missing in this scenario is the beast who stirs the waters and muddies the waters. The bible goes on to say this beast will crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left (Daniel 7:7.) These beasts will appear and perform miraclous visual effects that can only be attributed to the person of their god.  These signs and wonders (miracles) will influence many to worship the god responsible those signs. Not everyone will be convinced to worship this beast and those who refuse to worship the beast will become the example of a merciless tyrant claiming to be god.  

Lets remember that the physical battle is centered on Jerusalem, but the effects of this battle will reach the ends of the earth via TV.  The spiritual battle will be worldwide and you may be asked who is your God? The victory in this spiritual battle has always been with the certainty that you have a personal relationship with the one true God.  As Christians, should the situation arise, will you be willing to lose your head and your life, rather than deny Jesus Christ? You may think you would not deny your Lord, but a life-threatening situation has a habit of changing your mind as it did for Peter. The strong belief that you will lose your life if you don’t compromise your faith in God will make you seriously consider the value of serving God to live.

There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.  "But before all this, they will lay hands on you and persecute you. They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name.  This will result in your being witnesses to them.  But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves.  For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.  You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death.  All men will hate you because of me. But not a hair of your head will perish.  By standing firm you will gain life. Luke 21:11-19

I know your afflictions and your poverty — yet you are rich! I know the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life. Revelation 2:9-10

Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth. He ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. Revelation 13:14-15

The devil will put some of you in prison to test you for ten days. Satan believes that man will give all he has for his own life.

Skin for skin!" Satan replied. "A man will give all he has for his own life. Job 2:4

You may be one of those chosen to be place in prison by the devil and given a choice to worship the image of the first beast (Satan) or be killed. You may be taken to see several executions during this time of testing. Would you renounce God if you were actually facing certain death for your belief in God when the executioner points his finger at you and said your next?  

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