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Islamic State

“He will be a wild donkey of a man, His hand will be against everyone, And everyone’s hand will be against him; And he will live to the east of all his brothers.” (Genesis 16:12)

Caliphate

A caliphate is an Islamic state led by a supreme religious and political leader known as a caliph – i.e. “successor” – to Muhammad. The succession of Muslim empires that have existed in the Muslim world are usually described as “caliphates”. Conceptually, a caliphate represents a sovereign state of the entire Muslim faithful, (the Ummah), ruled by a caliph under Islamic law (sharia).

In its earliest days, the first caliphate, the Rashidun Caliphate, exhibited elements of direct democracy (shura). It was led, at first, by Muhammad’s immediate disciples and family as a continuation of the religious systems he had introduced.

The Sunni branch of Islam stipulates that as a head of state, a caliph should be elected by Muslims or their representatives. Followers of Shia Islam, however, believe a caliph should be an Imam chosen by God (Allah) from the Ahl al-Bayt (the “Family of the House”, Muhammad’s direct descendants). From the end of the Rashidun period until 1924, caliphates, sometimes two at a single time, real and illusory, were ruled by dynasties. The first of these was the Umayyad dynasty, followed by the several other sometimes competing claimants and finally the Ottoman dynasty. Though non-political and entirely spiritual, the Ahmadiyya Caliphate has been the only caliphate in existence for over a century. However, in 2014, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, designated a terrorist organization, proclaimed another Caliphate. From Wikipedia

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

Ibrahim ibn Awwad ibn Ibrahim ibn Ali ibn Muhammad al-Badri al-Samarrai, more commonly known by his nom de guerre Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is the Caliph of the self-proclaimed Islamic State— previously ISIS or ISIL—located in western Iraq and north-eastern Syria. He was formerly known as Abu Du’a He has also used the aliases Amir al-Mu’minin Caliph Ibrahim and, claiming descent from the prophet Muhammad, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi Al-Husseini Al-Qurashi. From Wikipedia

As Caliph of the Islamic State

On 29 June 2014, ISIS announced the establishment of a caliphate. Al-Baghdadi was named its caliph, to be known as Caliph Ibrahim, and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant was renamed the Islamic State (IS). There has been much debate across the Muslim world about the legitimacy of these moves.

The declaration of a caliphate has been heavily criticized by Middle Eastern governments and other jihadist groups, and by Sunni Muslim theologians and historians. Qatar-based TV broadcaster and theologian Yusuf al-Qaradawi stated: “The declaration issued by the Islamic State is void under sharia and has dangerous consequences for the Sunnis in Iraq and for the revolt in Syria”, adding that the title of caliph can “only be given by the entire Muslim nation”, not by a single group.

In an audio-taped message, al-Baghdadi announced that ISIS would march on Rome in its quest to establish an Islamic State from the Middle East across Europe, saying that he would conquer both Rome and Spain in this endeavor. He also urged Muslims across the world to immigrate to the new Islamic State.

On 5 July 2014, a video was released apparently showing al-Baghdadi making a speech at the Great Mosque of al-Nuri in Mosul, northern Iraq. A representative of the Iraqi government denied that the video was of al-Baghdadi, calling it a “farce”. However, both the BBC and the Associated Press quoted unnamed Iraqi officials as saying that the man in the video was believed to be al-Baghdadi. In the video, al-Baghdadi declared himself the world leader of Muslims and called on Muslims everywhere to support him. From Wikipedia

The Seed:

The trouble between Islam and the rest of the nations of the world began with the birth of Ishmael and Isaac around 1900 B.C. Ishmael was born thirteen years earlier to a woman named Hagar who was an Egyptian hand maiden of Abraham’s wife Sarah. Because he was the first male child of Abraham it is viewed that the Birthright of the Covenant between God and Abraham should have gone to Ishmael. But this was not the case as God had promised Abraham and Sarah a son of their own and his name would be Isaac. It was according the Word of God that Isaac was to receive the birthright. It was at the birth of Ishmael that the Angel of the Lord said to Hagar, “He will be a wild donkey of a man, His hand will be against everyone, And everyone’s hand will be against him; And he will live to the east of all his brothers.” (Genesis 16:12)

After the birth of Isaac contention grew between Sarah and Hagar and she was forced to leave by Abraham. Both were the sons of Abraham and he asked God to bless his son Ishmael. “And of the son of the maid I will make a nation also, because he is your descendant.” (Genesis 21:13) This blessing causes two problems for the Islamic belief that Ishmael is the one to whom the Covenant blessing of God belongs to. Ishmael was blessed but he was not chosen by God, Isaac was. The revisionist history of their prophet Mohamed cannot change this truth. For the Christian this truth must be forefront in our thinking towards the Islamic point of view. Our Lord and Savior was worked through history by God and is of the bloodline of Isaac. “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) Second this blessing to Ishmael shows that those outside of the covenant blessing are not ignored by God. Ishmael had the good things of life but he did not believe in God and rejected living in His Word. There is no way towards salvation apart from the covenant community of God, that is to say the Church of God. Paul makes the point in Romans. “But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel.” (Romans 9:6)

Strife Continues:

The problem did not end with Isaac but continued on with Isaac. Again we see the question of who was to receive the birthright. Isaac married Rebekah who gave birth to twins named Esau and Jacob. The Lord told Rebekah that the younger son would be the one of God’s choosing. “The LORD said to her, “Two nations are in your womb; And two peoples will be separated from your body; And one people shall be stronger than the other; And the older shall serve the younger.” (Genesis 25:23) Again we have the trouble with the birthright and who was to receive the Covenant Blessing. Esau was born first with Jacob behind holding to his heal. With a little treachery on Rebekah and Jacobs part Isaac was deceived into giving the birthright to Jacob the youngest son and the one who was chosen by the Lord. Jacob had caught Esau on a day when he was hungry and traded a bowl of soup for Esau’s birthright. Jacob then disguised himself as Esau and deceived his father, Isaac, into blessing him. After this Jacob feared Esau’s revenge and fled. “So Esau bore a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing with which his father had blessed him; and Esau said to himself, “The days of mourning for my father are near; then I will kill my brother Jacob.” (Genesis 27:41)

IS in the Past:

The image of Islam has been greatly tarnished throughout thousands of years in their battles amongst themselves and against the Jews and Christians. The history of the conflict is unending and so is the conflict itself. In my view, and I hate to sound hateful and arrogant but I must be truthful, the Islamic religion is not a true religion in the sense that they worship no true God. They claim to be a religion of peace yet through the radicalization of factions within they are a religion of terrorist bent on destroying all who are in disagreement with their belief in Allah. Their claim holds small validity in that they worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I agree that there is but one God but man in his sinful nature cannot approach him except through the righteousness of Jesus Christ. “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6)

It is encouraging to me that while Islam is rapidly a growing world religion those who have been followers are becoming disillusioned and turning away from and towards Christianity. David Garrison reports in his carefully researched book, “A Wind in the House of Islam,” that unprecedented numbers of Muslims are put off by the widespread violence which they see in their societies and are turning to Christ. Indeed, he believes this is “one of the greatest recurring motivations for Muslims coming to Christ.” This trend is being seen in Iran after a repressive and radical regime was imposed by Ayatollah Khomenei. In Egypt the Islamic population were repressed by the bloodiest violence against Christians in over 700 years. Many a heart wrenching question has been raised by this activity in the Egyptian state. In fact, Christian leaders in Egypt believe that, “Never before have so many asked so much about a faith that has oppressed so many for so long… This situation presents the church with one of the greatest opportunities of this generation,” that is, openings to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Muhammad Fahad al-Harthi, an expert on the Middle East, says, “This extremism transcends borders and language barriers; and affects people across all sectors of society, regardless of religion, class or gender.” This condition fits the prophecy of Genesis 16:12. “He will be a wild donkey of a man, His hand will be against everyone, And everyone’s hand will be against him; And he will live to the east of all his brothers.”

There is a link between Ishmael and todays modern Arabs through Kedar as recorded in the Scriptures. “And these are the names of the sons of Ishmael, by their names, in the order of their birth: Nebaioth, the firstborn of Ishmael, and Kedar and Adbeel and Mibsam and Mishma and Dumah and Massa, Hadad and Tema, Jetur, Naphish and Kedemah.” (Genesis 25:13-15) Not all Arabs are descendants of Ishmael but some are. There is a stronger link that the Arabs living in Saudi Arabia are descendants of Ishmael.

Kedar

The Kedarites were the main military power of the sons of Ishmael. Isaiah speaks of Kedar’s ‘glory and her gifted archers.’ (Isaiah 21:16-17) Ezekiel 27:21 associates Arabia with all of the princes of Kedar, suggesting a confederation under their leadership.

During history, the Kedarites were in constant conflict with the Assyrians. The Assyrians, Neo-Babylonians, Persians and even the Romans realized the importance of taking control of the commercial routes in northern Arabia that were under the dominion of the Kedarites (and later the Nabataeans).

Nehemiah’s opponent, ‘Geshem the Arab’ has been identified as one of the kings of Kedar from the mid fifth century BC. (Based on a number of North Arabian inscriptions)

Regarding their religion, Assyrian inscriptions tell us that Sennacherib captured of several Arabian deities in the Kedarite city of Dumah. The chief deity was Atarsamain, or the morning star of heaven. (The counterpart of Mesopotamian Ishtar). The tribal league led by the Kedarites was known as “the confederation of Atarsamain, and their cult was led by a series of queen-priestesses in Dumah. The rest of their pantheon of gods consisted of Dai, Nuhai (Nuhay), Ruldai (Ruda), Abirillu, and Atarquruma. Rock graffiti in the Thamudic language reveals that Ruda was known as the evening star, and Nuhay was the sun-god, and they were worshiped in addition to Atarsamain ‘the morning star.’ Herodotus, in the fifth century BC identified two deities worshiped among the Arabs, as a fertility god called Orotalt (perhaps Ruda, as identified by Macdonald in North Arabian in the First Millennium BC, 1360), and a sky goddess known as Allat. (Herodotus III,3.) Later Allat became referred to in the masculine form as Allah)

The Kedarites are mentioned in a number of places in the Bible, and always referred to as nomads. (Psalm 120:5 Isaiah 42:11 Jeremiah 2:10 Jeremiah 49:28 Ezekiel 27:21 http://www.balaams-ass.com/alhaj/twelvetribesofishmael.htm

Let us not forget that Ishmael had eleven other sons who also populated the Arab nations. The violent traits of Genesis 16:12 is fitting to the pattern of a radical, violent brand of Islam which emanated from Saudi Arabia under Muhammad after he had consolidated his rule over Mecca. This trait can be seen in modern history, e.g. Bin Laden and his nineteen Saudi Al Qaeda cohorts who killed nearly 3,000 people on 9/11.

We must also realize that not all Islamic people are Arab. The word Arab means mixed and therefore it is a conclusion that the descendants of Ishmael and his sons have mixed in with the Arab populations. Also those who are Islamic are not necessarily descendants of Ishmael but do have a strong emotional, mental, spiritual connection to Ishmael which implies a significant link. This makes since then that the hostile traits are more vivid in the Islamic majority areas of the Arab world and more especially the Wahhabis of Saudi Arabia.

There is a biblical history of hostility between the Israelite and the Ishmaelite shown here in these Scriptures. (Genesis 37:25-28 Nehemiah 2:19 Nehemiah 4:7 Nehemiah 6:1 Psalm 83:5-8) We see in these passages that the Ishmaelite’s, Ammonites and Midianites formed alliances against the Israelites.

Is Today

Bringing this to New Testament times Paul makes a reference to this in his letter to the Galatians. “But as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now also.” (Galatians 4:29) We would be hard pressed to deny that Islam either spiritually or metaphorically are children of the slave woman, Hagar, will often persecute the children of the free woman, Sarah. Their persecution is all too often in hostile, violent ways. Islam as spiritual descendants of Ishmael would make a mockery and counterfeit God’s plan to bring salvation to the world through His Messiah Jesus Christ.

Islam portrays Muhammad as the intercessor or savior figure of their faith. Hadith states that Muhammad is the corner brick which is a direct miss-representation of the cornerstone that Christ Jesus is to the building of His Church. “He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief corner stone.” And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:11-12)

Therefore, Islam’s Greatest Prophet Muhammad is the usurper, the counterfeit to the Christian faith. This is the issue that we face today that Islam is the counterfeit to the truth of God’s Word. A counterfeit that is often expressed in unspeakable violence to any who refuse to believe their false doctrine.

The struggle for Ishmael and his children will go on until the day that the Lord comes to drive out the evil in this world. Till then the battle will rage on without end. “You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end.” (Matthew 24:6) We will call on our Generals to lead and fight as we must but there will be no final victory for the weapons of man cannot fight the spirits of hell. As Paul wrote to the Ephesians, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12) It is only through our Lord and Savior that the victory will be won.

We must not be afraid, we must not turn away, we must remain steadfast in our Faith that Jesus died to set us free from the bondage of our sin and even now is preparing a heavenly home for each of us. Till that day we must not miss the opportunity that He has privileged us with. To keep on keeping on in the ministry of spreading the hope of His gospel. “For a wide door for effective service has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.” (1 Corinthians 16:9) We are to be His good soldiers in service to Him who has redeemed us to the Glory of the Father. We are to love our enemies and plant the seeds of His truth that if even one may hear the saving knowledge of Hope in Jesus Christ, the grace of God’s free gift of salvation.

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

First Baptist Church of Durant, September 10, 2014

Durant Bible College

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