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May - June 2006
   

European American Evangelistic Crusades

 

The Flaming Sword
Contending For The Faith – Jude 3

 

DANCING AROUND THE GOLDEN CALF - PART 1

By JOHN S. TORELL

 

THE 2006 INVASION OF GAZA
Watching the newscasts shows us that something wrong is going on in the Middle East. First the attack of Hamas militants, killing several Israeli soldiers and then kidnapping one and hiding him in Gaza. Then the response by Israel, with a massive military response reaching deep into Gaza. Neither side is backing down, nor is the blood that is flowing from civilians, who have to die, because of the hate between Jews and Palestinians. People are asking, “Is peace possible, can some kind of compromise be worked out?” Sadly, the answer is NO!

HEZBOLLAH ATTACKS ISRAEL
The ground attack by Hezbollah fighters in the second week of July, 2006, followed by rocket attacks came as a surprise to most people in the world. A small fire in the Middle East suddenly grew larger threatening to engulf the whole region in a major war. As I write this newsletter, we do not know if this will be a limited war, like so many times before in the Middle East, or if we have seen the opening salvo of World War III.

MUSLIMS DO NOT VALUE LIFE
It is very difficult for a nation based on the Old Testament morals and values to fight a nation which values a religious movement over a human being. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (right), an Islamic mullah and the supreme leader of Iran, is sitting safe and secure in his compound in Tehran, with air conditioning and all the comforts money can buy while commanding his followers to sacrifice their lives and attack Israel, the United States and all other nations in the world who do not hold to Muslim teaching. The leader of Hezbollah is another Islamic mullah by the name of Sheik Hassan Nasrallah (left), who is in hiding and telling his followers to “go and die for the cause.”

The United States encountered fanatical fighters in World War II, when Japanese soldiers chose to die rather than surrender. There were also kamikaze pilots (right), the original suicide bombers, who blew themselves up when they flew their airplanes directly into American warships. In the Korean War, U.S. soldiers encountered hundreds of thousands of Chinese soldiers, who were herded toward the American lines. Against this massive horde, they used machine guns, cannons and strafing from fighter bombers, but could not stem the tide. The Chinese ran toward death without hesitation and were able to overrun the front lines because of their sheer numbers. The dead bodies of all the Chinese were piled up by the tens of thousands, but it did not matter to the Chinese military leadership; these men were expendable and were given no human value. The United States encountered the same thing in the Vietnam War as the communist leaders forced their soldiers to run against a deadly barrage of fire until the Americans either ran out of ammunition or they were overrun by the Viet Cong because they could not kill them fast enough.     

This is what U.S. soldiers are facing in Iraq and Afghanistan and this is what Israel is also facing in Gaza and in Lebanon.

WHO ARE THE LEADERS IN THIS NEW WAR?
There are a number of leaders in this deadly conflict: First there is God himself, who told the children of Israel long ago that if they sinned and left him, they would be kicked out from the land. The second player is the Devil, who is constantly stirring up the Jews and Palestinians; enticing the Jews to develop the State of Israel and at the same time filling the Palestinians with hate. It’s a double win for the Devil when Jews and Palestinians kill each other as those who are not saved end up going to hell. God is determined to resist the Jewish effort to establish Israel and bring peace to the region without His Messiah and Son, Jesus Christ. When will this terrible conflict end? There will be a temporary period of peace when the Antichrist begins to rule the world, but that will not last, final peace will arrive only when Jesus Christ comes back in His full glory and takes dominion over the entire world. Revelation chapter 19

UNDERSTANDING ISLAM
There are two major denominations in Islam, Sunnis and Shiites, and they in turn are split into many different factions. I want to set forth some basic definitions, so that we who are living in the West can understand the underlying power in Islamic nations. If we use Christianity as an example, we know that the Christian community is split into two major groups, Catholics (Roman, Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Anglican and Episcopal churches) and Protestants. In much the same way that there has been friction and sometimes war between Catholics and Protestants (i.e. North Ireland), so it is between the Sunnis and Shiites.

SHIITES (From the Infoplease Encyclopedia)
“Shiites are the second largest branch of Islam, Shiites currently account for 10% - 15% of all Muslims. Shiite Islam originated as a political movement supporting Ali (cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam) as the rightful leader of the Islamic state. The legitimacy of this claim, as initially envisioned by Ali's supporters, was based on Muhammad's alleged designation of Ali as his successor, Ali's righteousness, and tribal customs, given his close relation to the Prophet. Ali's right passed with his death in 661 to his son Hasan, who chose not to claim it, and after Hasan's death, to Husayn, Ali's younger son. The evolution into a religious formulation is believed to have been initiated with the martyrdom of Husayn in 680 at Karbala (today in Iraq), a traumatic event still observed with fervor in today's Shiite world on the 10th of the month of Muharram of the Muslim lunar year.

“The Shiite focus on the person of the Imam made the community susceptible to division on the issue of succession. The early Shiites, a recognized, if often persecuted, opposition to the central government, soon divided into several factions. The majority of the Shiites today are Twelve-Imam Shiites (notably in Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, India, and Pakistan). Others are Zaydis (in Yemen), and the Ismailis (in India, Pakistan, Syria, and Yemen). The central belief of Twelve-Imam Shiites is the occultation (or disappearance from view) of the 12th Imam. The 12th Imam is considered to be the only legitimate and just ruler, and therefore no political action taken in his absence can be fruitful. While this position has provided Shiite clerics with the means to survive an often hostile environment, the need for an alternative formulation capable of framing political militancy has fostered activist movements within the Shiite tradition, occasionally leading to dissidence.

“The religious authority of the Shiite clerics is derived from their role as deputies of the absent 12th Imam; they are as such the recipients of the khums religious tax, a source of substantial economic autonomy. Shiite clerics are often refered to as mullahs and mujtahids. The most prominent clerical position is that of marja al-taqlid. The Shiite clergy does not, however, have a formal hierarchy. The honorific ayat Allah or ayatollah is a modern title that does not correspond to any established religious function.” 1

SUNNIS (Quote from Wikipedia)
Sunni Muslims are the largest denomination of Islam. They are referred to as Ahl ul-Sunna, the folks of the tradition. The word Sunni comes from the word sunna, which means the tradition of the Prophet of Islam Muhammad. Sunnis are also referred to as Ahl ul-Sunna wa-l-Jama'ah (people of tradition and congregation) which is meant to imply that the Sunnis are united. Sunni means follower of the sunna of the Prophet, with some details.” 2

 SUNNIS, by Tore Kjeilen, Encyclopedia of the Orient
“Main group in Islam, making up 90% of the religion's adherents. Has been dominating almost continuously since 661, when the Shi'is departed from the main fold (the Kharijis left in 658). Sunni Islam claims to be the continuation of the Islam as it was defined through the revelations given to Muhammad and his life, a claim which is substantiated through the fact that Shi'i Islam for a number of decades had very little following and had no real, formal organization. As for the theology, Sunni Islam represents no more of a continuation of Islam than the other orientations.

“Hence one should be careful about thinking of Sunni Islam as mainstream Islam, and clearly refrain from calling it "orthodox". None of the 3 orientations of Islam coming out of the schisms of the 7th century can do no less than trace their origins back to the very first Muslim societies, and for the bystander none of the orientations must be deemed as inferior to the others.

“Sunni Islam has its name from its identification with the importance of the Sunna (the examples from the hadiths), which earlier than in Shi'i Islam was established as a central element in Islam, and central to understanding the full truth in the religion. There was a need to establishing a law, called Shari'a (for which the hadiths served as a central source), as Sunni Islam was the religious orientation of the rulers, while the Shi'is did not establish administrative organizations for yet a long time to come.

“The actual theological and ritual differences between Sunni and Shi'i Islam, came over a couple of centuries with development. For a long time, Sunni Islam was defined from Shi'i Islam by its adherence to the Caliph as the leader of the Muslim world. But there are many small and some large differences between Sunni and the other orientations, in all aspects of the religion. Sunni and Shi'i Islam share only three core doctrines, oneness of God, the belief in the revelations of Muhammad, and the belief in resurrection on the Day of Judgment.

“Sunni Islam has a different set of hadiths from Shi'i Islam. Sunni Islam puts far more importance into the hajj to Mecca, while Shi'i Islam has some other very important pilgrimages as well. Sunni Islam revere Ali, but does not hold him up as the only true continuation of the tradition from Muhammad, and has no emphasis on him bringing on a divine light from the Prophet.” 3

WAHHABISM
This is the least well-known Islamic group in the West but it is the most sophisticated and deadly. Its power center is located in Saudi Arabia, where it is the state religion. Saudi’s do not like to work hard and they don’t have to because billions of dollars are flowing into the country every month. Hundreds of thousands of Philippino’s and Pakistanis are working in the Saudi kingdom as domestic workers. Many of the women are abused and used as sex slaves. There are tens of thousands of young women who have been imported from Eastern European nations to work as whores and live a terrible life. Few of them ever make it back alive to their native nations. Even though tens of thousands of white collar workers from the west are building up their economy and infrastructure, foreigners are not allowed to bring in Bibles and Christian literature, and worship services are either restricted or totally suppressed.

The Wahhabi leadership is like a serpent, it strikes where it can. Osama bin Laden’s family is from Yemen, but work and live in Saudi Arabia where they are involved in construction. The Saudi’s are officially fighting terror on the side of the United States, but money is secretly dispersed to the al-Qaeda network, a CIA operation which began in 1982 for use against the Soviets in Afghanistan.

Saudi intelligence operations are in reality a Wahhabi organization, whose sole aim is destabilizing western governments and working for the establishment of an Islamic takeover of the Western nations. Saudi intelligence operatives work with Iranian intelligence, which is making Iraq unstable. It also supports Hezbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood, and all kinds of other radical Islamic groups in the world. Wherever there is some kind of radical work of Islamic extremism, there is a money trail leading back to Saudi Arabia. The Al-Qaeda operatives who carried out the 9/11 attack in the United States were bankrolled from Saudi Arabia. Millions of dollars are spent every year to build mosques all over the world and propagate Islam to people in the West.

President Bush knows all this and so do leaders in Congress but they do not dare to speak about it since we are totally dependent on oil from Saudi Arabia.

Let me now quote from Wikipedia:

WAHHABISM
“Wahhabism is a Sunni fundamenta-list Islamic movement, named after Muhammad ibn Abd al Wahhab (1703–1792). It is the dominant form of Islam in Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Many members of the movement object to the term 'Wahhabism'. The Wahhabis claim to hold to the way of the "Salaf as-Salih", the 'pious predecessors' as earlier propagated mainly by Ibn Taymiyya, his students Ibn Al Qayyim, and later by Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahab and his followers.”

Beliefs
“Wahhabism accepts the Qur'an and hadith as fundamental texts, interpreted upon the understanding of the first three generations of Islam. It also accepts various commentaries including Ibn Abd al-Wahhab's book called Kitab al-Tawhid ("Book of Monotheism"), and the works of the earlier scholar Ibn Taymiyya (1263–1328).

“Wahhabis do not follow any specific maddhab (method or school of jurisprudence), but claim to interpret the words of the prophet Muhammad directly, using the four maddhab for reference. However, they are often associated with the Hanbali maddhab. Wahhabi theology advocates a puritanical and legalistic stance in matters of faith and religious practice.

“Wahhabists see their role as a movement to restore Islam from what they perceive to be innovations, superstitions, deviances, heresies and idolatries. There are many practices that they believe are contrary to Islam, such as:

  • Invoking of any prophet, Sufi saint, or angel in prayer, other than God alone (Wahhabists believe these practices are polytheistic in nature).
  • Visiting the graves of Sufi saints or prophets and asking the dead for help
  • Celebrating annual feasts for Sufi saints
  • Wearing of charms, and believing in their healing power
  • Practicing magic, or going to sorcerers or witches to seek healing
  • Innovation in matters of religion (e.g. new methods of worship)

Early History of Wahhabism
Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia was founded in the 1700's by Muhammad ibn Abd al Wahab, an Arabian cleric who had come to believe that Sunni Islam was being gradually corrupted by innovations (bidah), many of which were countenanced by the Islamic mystical movement called Sufism, which was indeed the case in Arabia at the time of Ibn Abd al Wahab. Abd al Wahab discovered the works of the early Muslim thinker Ibn Taymiyya and started preaching a reformation of Islam based on Ibn Taymiyya's ideas. He was repudiated by his father and brother, who were both clerics, and expelled from his home village in Najd, in central Arabia.

Al-Wahhab then moved to the Najdi town of Diriya and formed an alliance with the Saudi chieftain Muhammad bin Saud. Bin Saud made Wahhabism the official interpretation of Islam in the First Saudi State. Al Wahhab gave religious legitimacy to Ibn Saud's career of conquest. Ibn Saud was also backed up by the British Empire who sought to weaken the Ottoman Empire.

In 1801, the Saudis attacked the Iraqi city of Kerbala and sacked the shrine of Imam Husayn. In 1803, Saudis conquered Mecca and Medina and destroyed various shrines, such as the shrine built over the tomb of Fatima Zahra, the daughter of Muhammad. They also wanted to dismantle Muhammad's shrine as well but abandoned their plan. This led to a great loss of all historical locations in the Arabian Peninsula; in a matter of months, a great part of Islamic historical heritage was reduced to rubble. The Saudis held the two cities until 1817, until they were retaken by Mohammed Ali Pasha, acting on behalf of the Ottomans. In 1818, the Ottoman forces invaded Najd, captured the Saudi capital of Diriya and the Saudi emir Abdullah bin Saud. He and his chief lieutenants were taken to Istanbul and beheaded. However, this did not end Wahhabism in Najd. The House of Saud returned to power in the Second Saudi State in 1824. The state lasted until 1899, when it was overthrown by the Emir of Hayel, Mohammed Ibn Rasheed. However, Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud reconquered Riyadh in 1902 and after a number of other conquests, founded the modern Saudi state, Saudi Arabia in 1932.

Modern Spread of Wahhabism
In 1924 the Wahhabi al-Saud dynasty conquered Mecca and Medina, the Muslim holy cities. This gave them control of the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage, and the opportunity to preach their version of Islam to the assembled pilgrims. However, Wahhabism was a minor current within Islam until the discovery of oil in Arabia, in 1938. Vast oil revenues gave an immense impetus to the spread of Wahhabism. Saudi laypeople, government officials and clerics have donated many tens of millions to create religious schools, newspapers and outreach organizations.

Salafism and Qutbism
Hassan al-Banna, the Egyptian founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, is said to have been influenced by the Wahhabis. The Muslim Brotherhood also claimed to be purifying and restoring original Islam. When the Muslim Brotherhood was banned in various Middle Eastern countries, Saudi Arabia gave refuge to Brotherhood exiles. This seems to have set the stage for a mingling of Brotherhood and Wahhabi thought under the aegis of the term Salafism. Rebels against the Saudi state found justification in the thought of Sayyed Qutb, a member of the Brotherhood who spent years in Egyptian jails. Some Wahhabis, or Salafis, rejected what they call Qutbism, as a deviation from true Salafism. Thus there is now a considerable spectrum of religious opinion within Saudi Wahhabism/Salafism, to a great extent divided on the question of whether the Saudi state is to be supported, endured patiently, or violently opposed. The modern day Salafis, deny that Hassan al-Banna or Sayid Qutb were followers of the Salaf, since they upheld the view that it is allowed to overthrow the Muslim leader, and to make "Takfeer" (the act of placing a Muslim out of the fold of Islam, making him a disbeliever) on him based on Major Sins.” 4

WHAT IS HEZBOLLAH?
Hezbollah can be likened to the French Foreign Legion, which is a combat unit owned and operated by the French government. Hezbollah is owned and operated by the government of Iran and is an extension of the Iranian Army. The super states among the Islamic nations in the world today are Iran (Persia) and Pakistan. Both nations have nuclear weapons and the missiles to deliver them. Pakistan is currently cooperating with the United States, but not because the Pakistani government and its people like the United States, they need to have support in their conflict with India which also has nuclear weapons and missiles to deliver them. If Pakistan did not have to contend with India, it would be lining up with Iran and supporting its attacks on Israel.

Syria is playing a minor role in supporting Hezbollah but it is not able to dictate its own policies. The reason for this is that Syria is ruled by Bashar al-Assad (born 1965, right), and the son to the ruthless dictator Hafiz al-Assad (died June 10, 2000, left). Hafiz put down a rebellion by the Muslim Brotherhood in 1982 when they had rallied in the city of Hamah. Syrian security forces attacked the city, executed some 20,000 men, and destroyed most of the city. Bashar, his second son and a medical doctor in the field of ophthalmology was not trained and ready to become the next dictator of Syria. That all changed when his older brother Basil was killed in an automobile accident in 1994, Hafiz started to groom Bashar to become the next leader of Syria.

The power in Syria is held by a small group of military officers and politicians who are using Bashar as a figurehead. Since Syria is not a strong militarily, it is dominated by the government of Iran. If Israel were to attack Syria, it could take control over it in less than three days. The large Kurdish population in the north that has been courted by Israel for many years and the Syrian military leaders know that they are no match for the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) forces.

I am now going to quote from the Council on Foreign Relations, an organization which is operated by the World Government. This organization is not friendly to Christians, and someday in the future, it will be used by the forces of the Antichrist. I just want the Christian community to know what they say and how they think:  

“Hezbollah is a Lebanese umbrella organization of radical Islamic Shiite groups and organizations. It opposes the West, seeks to create a Muslim fundamentalist state modeled on Iran, and is a bitter foe of Israel. Hezbollah, whose name means ‘party of God,’ is a terrorist group believed responsible for nearly 200 attacks since 1982 that have killed more than 800 people, according to the Terrorism Knowledge Base. Experts say Hezbollah is also a significant force in Lebanon’s politics and a major provider of social services, operating schools, hospitals, and agricultural services, for thousands of Lebanese Shiites. It also operates the al-Manar satellite television channel and broadcast station.

What are Hezbollah's origins?
Hezbollah was founded in 1982 in response to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, and subsumed members of the 1980s coalition of groups known as Islamic Jihad. It has close links to Iran and Syria.

Who are Hezbollah's leaders?
Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah (right) is considered the group’s spiritual leader. Imad Fayez Mugniyah (left) is considered the key planner of Hezbollah’s worldwide terrorist operations. During the Lebanese civil war in the 1970s, experts say Mugniyah trained with al-Fatah.  When the Palestine Liberation Organization and al-Fatah were expelled from Lebanon by Israeli forces in 1982, Mugniyah joined the newly formed Hezbollah and quickly rose to a senior position in the organization. Hassan Nasrallah is Hezbollah’s senior political leader. Nasrallah was originally a military commander, but his military and religious credentials – he studied in centers of Shiite theology in Iran and Iraq – quickly elevated him to leadership within the group. Experts say he took advantage of rivalries within Hezbollah and the favor of the head of Iran’s theocratic government, Ayatollah Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini (right), to become the group’s secretary general in 1992, a position he still holds.

Where does Hezbollah operate?
Its base is in Lebanon’s Shiite-dominated areas, including parts of Beirut, southern Lebanon, and the Bekaa Valley. In addition, U.S. intelligence reports say that Hezbollah cells operate in Europe, Africa, South America, and North America. Despite Israel’s 2000 withdrawal from Lebanon, Hezbollah continues to periodically shell Israeli forces in the disputed Shebaa Farms border zone.

Hezbollah has also carried out attacks outside the Middle East. In his September 20, 2001, speech to Congress, President Bush pledged that the U.S.-led war on terror ‘will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped, and defeated.’ Hezbollah’s cells outside the Middle East, its reported involvement in the January 2002 attempt to smuggle a boatload of arms to the Palestinian Authority, and its role in a pair of attacks in Argentina in the early 1990s, imply that it might meet the president’s definition, terrorism experts say. In June 2002, Singapore accused Hezbollah of recruiting Singaporeans in a failed 1990s plot to attack U.S. and Israeli ships in the Singapore Straits. Hezbollah was also among the few terrorist groups that President Bush mentioned by name in his January 2002 State of the Union address.

How big is Hezbollah?
Its core consists of several thousand militants and activists, the U.S. government estimates.

What major attacks is Hezbollah responsible for?
Hezbollah and its affiliates have planned or been linked to a lengthy series of terrorist attacks against the United States, Israel, and other Western targets. These attacks include:

  • a series of kidnappings of Westerners in Lebanon, including several Americans, in the 1980s;
  • the suicide truck bombings that killed more than 200 U.S. Marines at their barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1983;
  • the 1985 hijacking of TWA flight 847, which featured the famous footage of the plane’s pilot leaning out of the cockpit with a gun to his head;
  • two major 1990s attacks on Jewish targets in Argentina—the 1992 bombing of the Israeli Embassy (killing twenty-nine) and the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center (killing ninety-five).
  • a July 2006 raid on a border post in northern Israel in which two Israeli soldiers were taken captive. The abductions sparked an Israeli military campaign against Lebanon to which Hezbollah responded by firing rockets across the Lebanese border into Israel.

Does Hezbollah play an active role in the Lebanese politics?
Yes. After the 2005 elections, Hezbollah won eight new seats, giving the group twenty-three seats in the 128-member Lebanese Parliament. In addition, Hezbollah has two ministers in the government, and a third is endorsed by the group.

Hezbollah did not disarm when it entered Lebanese politics, and experts say the group's new political involvement is not an indication that the group is becoming more moderate.” 5

WHAT DOESN’T THE MEDIA WANT YOU TO KNOW?
The current combat in Gaza
and Lebanon is not “just happening.” There is a command center located in Iran where Iranian generals and their staff are running the war against Israel. The government of Iran is more than happy for this war, since it has turned attention from the nuclear weapon program in Iran, to the war in Lebanon and Gaza. The Iranian generals know that the Hezbollah fighters are not going to be able to stand up against the Israeli army but they want to bog down the IDF in a prolonged war in Lebanon just as the American forces are tied down in a no-win situation in Iraq and Afghanistan. It will drain manpower and strain the Israeli economy since its armed forces consist of citizen soldiers who are taken away from their jobs to fight Hezbollah.

Furthermore, when casualties increase, it turns the population against its own government, just like what is happening now in the United States. Muslims in the world now number more than one billion and this cannon fodder can be moved into the Middle East and wear down the IDF through sheer numbers.

If Hezbollah is defeated in Lebanon, they will withdraw into Syria. The Iranian leadership does not care if Lebanon and Syria becomes a wasteland and millions of civilians die, their only concern is that Israel is destroyed and Islamic leaders obtain world dominion. If they are driven out of Syria, they will regroup in Iraq, which already is partially destroyed. There are not enough Israeli soldiers to occupy Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. The killing fields have been set up for the Israeli army.

There is also a central command center located in Israel in which the IDF are running the war from their side. They are well aware of the facts that I have brought out so far. If the Israeli casualties increase, they will turn to the “Sampson Option.” That means that nuclear bombs will be dropped on targets in Iran that will not only cripple the Iranian armed forces but also take out the nuclear production centers in Iran. I have laid this out in past newsletters. It is clear that Israel cannot fight and clear the deck in the Middle East and bring about peace!

In order to bring a more clear understanding where we are, and where we are going in the future, let us turn to the only true source on this planet – The Bible.

CONTINUED: Dancing Around The Golden Calf - Part 1
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1. http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/society/A0844916.html

2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunni

3. http://lexicorient.com

4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wahhabism

5. http://www.cfr.org/publication/9155