Terror, Terror, Terror!
Earlier this week, news sources all over America once again paused to headline December 7th, 1941 … the horrendous attack on Pearl Harbor. This was the 74th anniversary of what United States President Franklin Roosevelt would (the following day) broadcast: “…a date which will live in infamy.” A day when, “the United States was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.”
It was a terrifying assault that, for the moment, struck terror in the lives of Americans. That anyone could or would dare attack the shores of this great country, let alone wreak such destruction on our naval fleet and kill 2,400 US servicemen, was unthinkable. But we gathered ourselves together; we rebounded with the resounding resolve of a “sleeping giant” (the words of Japanese Admiral Yamamoto). Eventually the United States crushed the nation whose people—long before terror and terrorism became every-day terms—believed they could cripple our military beyond recovery; and terrify America traumatically enough to keep us from interfering with their Pacific conquests, to negotiate some form of settlement on their terms, or to think we could possibly win a war against Japan and the Axis Powers.
For baby boomers out there, do you remember the movie released in 1970 about the audacious attack on Pearl Harbor? The film was called Tora! Tora! Tora! The Japanese word, tora, literally means tiger. However, the Japanese military used the term as an acronym for two Japanese words totsugeki raigeki, which means “lightning attack.” Tora, tora, tora … Attack, attack, attack.
For me and for purpose of this article, the Japanese word Tora sounds a lot like Terror. That’s not a far stretch when you imagine the lightning quick attack of a tiger on its target. If the prey is a human being, the attack can be that much more terrifying.
Terror is rampant throughout the world, garnering almost daily headlines as cold calculated acts of terrorism grow in frequency and severity … each with a chilling reminder of 9/11.
Murder is murder no matter who does the killing; it is the foulest most brutal act of one human being against another. Therefore, is there any difference between terrorism (terrorists who kill) and otherwise random killings by those we normally consider either deranged or morally anesthetized when they take a human life? The answer is an absolute, unqualified, “Yes.” Moreover, it’s vitally necessary that we distinguish between the two, otherwise we won’t know how to reactively and proactively respond. If we conclude that terrorists have the same mindset as common criminals or every-day murderers, then we will miss or ignore their ulterior motive. We will fail to see that terrorism and terrorists—whether members of a terrorist group or lone wolf murderers that otherwise support the ideology of Islamic terrorists—kill for a “cause.”
We Need to Define Terrorism
Webster’s Dictionary defines terror as: “a state of intense fear, a frightening aspect (of invasion), a cause of anxiety.” Terrorism is defined as: “the systematic use of terror, as a means of coercion” (italics for emphasis). And to terrorize is to: “fill with terror or anxiety, to coerce by threat or violence.”
Those who commit these sudden, unprovoked, cruelly inhumane, blood-thirsty acts of ruthless violence are rightfully called terrorists. Invariably their victims are defenseless (soft targets) and their intention is to advance a callous cause, which is why today’s terrorism is, indeed, systematic. Frankly, there aren’t enough adverse adjectives in any language to adequately describe the depraved mentality, hardened hearts, and wicked acts of these people. Except, perhaps, Evil. But even that word has been used so often of what’s taking place on this war-weary, terrified globe that it is losing its meaning and impact.
Terror(ism) is essentially an ideology that is carried out by those whose belief system (religious or otherwise) seeks to eliminate or, at the very least, subjugate those of another race, culture, religion, or belief system that the terrorists consider to be inferior or irrelevant and unworthy of even occupying the same space (land).
In today’s world, the ism that breeds terrorists who seek to terrorize their enemies (perceived or real) into submission by killing innocent people is none other than Islam. If I’m being politically incorrect, then please identify even 10% (make that 5%) of terrorist acts in the past twenty years that were committed by those who were not Muslim. Guilt by association, confirmed by the identity of those who rape, pillage, and murder Jews, Christians, and even fellow-Muslims, the new breed of terrorists and terrorism is almost exclusively linked to the Islamic religion.
Terrorism, by today’s meaning and practice, stems directly from a heinous higher cause, carried out by those who possess a diabolically distorted higher calling. In this case to, by Jihad (holy war), establish a Middle East then world-wide Islamic Caliphate that will either eradicate or suppress their rivals … primarily Christians and Jews.
Does it really matter to the families and victims of terrorism and to all of us who are horrified at the seemingly incessant bloodshed in the name of Islam that the majority of Muslims do not resort to violence? Actually, it’s sad that this question is pragmatically rhetorical. But it could be a non-rhetorical probe with a better answer if the greater majority of Muslims would condemn these atrocities. Such as the massive condemnation by Christians everywhere of the man (so-called Christian) who attacked the Planned Parenthood office in Colorado. It could be a question that doesn’t even need to be asked, if so-called mainstreams Muslims would do something about the merciless killings committed by the “radical” among them.
If, however, only 5% of Muslims are radical, that’s still equates to some 750,000 militant Muslims in the world. It only took two seemingly “mainstream” Muslims (husband and wife) to kill fourteen innocent people in San Bernardino, California just a few days ago. Mainstream in the sense and context of their work, family, and community life in San Bernardino, California. Were they “radicalized?” Of course they were. But then so was Islam’s prophet, Mohammed, who devised, dictated, and delivered (carried out) Islam’s combative creeds and bellicose beliefs.
It’s now quite evident that these two Muslims despised Israel, the Jews, and were ideological followers of ISIS. Because the media at large has generally down-played it, a lesser known fact is that the husband, Sayeed Farook, hated a Christian co-employee, Nicholas Thalasinos, who staunchly supported Israel in general and Messianic Jews in particular. Mr. Thalasinos was also outspoken about Islamic terrorism, to which Farook took great exception. Just a short time before Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, launched their murderous rampage, she pledged loyalty to ISIS, which (as you may recall) also claimed credit for the horrific attacks in Paris just a few weeks ago.
(Photo of November 13, 2015 Attacks on Paris)
Farook had previously threatened Nicholas Thalasinos by saying, “Christians and Jews deserve to die,” and that he (Nicholas), “was going to die.” Just a couple of hours before Farook and his wife returned to the Social Center and opened fire on innocent defenseless victims, he had a heated argument with Nicholas. Consequently, I don’t know how much clearer it can be as to the motive for the (terrorist) attack that killed Nicholas and thirteen others. Because of their weapons and munitions found in their home, it’s also evident that they had planned to act sometime, probably more methodically. However, the argument with the Christian co-worker who loved Israel and the Jews became the trigger point excuse for Farook and his wife.
Islam and Muslims … An Agenda of Peace or War?
In italics, the following is an excerpt from an Eye of Prophecy article entitled, A Religion of Peace? Part I, posted on 4-11-15.
Is Islam a religion of peace, as we’ve read or heard world leaders and religious figures proclaim dozens of times, particularly since Muslim terrorists and Islamic terrorism have exploded (pun intended) on the world stage in the past few decades? Not even close. Instead, the religion of Islam—as categorically contained in and confirmed by the Koran—compels (for example) all Muslims to: “Fight those among the People of the Book (Christians and Jews) who do not believe in Allah nor the Last Day, who do not forbid what Allah and His Messenger (Mohammed) have forbidden, and who do not embrace the religion of truth (Islam)…” (Koran 9:29).
And, “Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever you find them—seize them, besiege them, and make ready to ambush them” (Koran 9:5).
These are but two of several Koranic commands to subjugate and kill the infidels, which are primarily Jews and Christians, but ultimately anyone who doesn’t yield (submit) to Islam’s demand that the entire populace of earth be subjects of an Islamic Caliphate … a Muslim political and cultural structure of world-wide domination.
And yet there is an incredibly immature (false) premise widely held by global heads of state that Islam is inherently a religion of peace; that only a very small minority of its followers are militant extremists bent on annihilation of Israel, destruction of the United States, and domination of the entire world.
Did you know that the Arabic language doesn’t even have a word for peace? In fact, Islam means submission.
Our own United States President has often recapped this pervasive belief … that Islam is basically peaceful. That it does not promote conversion by force. That extremist groups such as Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Boko Harem, al-Qaeda, and ISIS, do not represent the real tenets of Islam.
The San Bernardino massacre and many other “long-wolf” attacks taking place mostly in Israel are unequivocally Muslim terrorism. The terrorists have an undeviating association with and are direct products of Islamic ideology; with the primary prevailing objective that of destroying Israel in particular, and killing Jews and Christians in general. As opposed to random murders or mass murders (killing four or more people) which occur far too often in the United States, but are rarely associated with a specific, identifiable “cause,” as such. Yet, when investigated, evidence was disclosed in many of these random attacks that the killer(s) had targeted either Jews or Christians. Although terrorist groups, especially ISIS, are branching out and expanding their targets to other nations like Russia (224 killed from a bomb on a Russian plane over the Sinai Peninsula) and France (130 killed in coordinated attacks), they are doing so because both countries are fighting against ISIS strongholds in Syria.
But the fact remains: The professed goal of ISIS is to be the first (rather than other terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda or an entire nation like Iran or other Arab and/or Muslim countries) to wipe Israel from the face of the earth by establishing an Islamic Caliphate in Iraq and Syria, close to Israel’s borders. Directly, indirectly, invariably, inevitably, and ultimately Muslim global terrorism and Palestinian lone-wolf terrorism is aimed at Jews and Israel. And, by default, whoever gets in their way by supporting Israel. There are a few exceptions: In Africa the Muslims are directing their terror mainly against Christians, as the Jewish population is very small in African countries.
Here, I would like to present an excerpt from Part II of the Eye of Prophecy article, A Religion of Peace? Posted 4-18-15.
If anyone attempts to, for example, compare the Crusades with Muslim terrorism in order to establish a position of moral equivalency between the two, then it’s imperative that they first contrast the Crusaders with true Biblical Christianity. This was done at some length in last week’s Part I article in general terms, but with a specific historical example of the Israelites conquest of the land of Canaan … the Land of Promise given to them by the true and living God.
Then an equally insightful comparison between Muslim extremists and the doctrinal decrees of the Koran that unmistakably demonstrate a causal connection, i.e. Islamic creed carried out in gory detail by militants who view themselves as mainstream Muslims … enforcing the will of Allah on all who are not ready or don’t want to submit to the regulations and requirements of Islam and the Koran. And what can a so-called moderate Muslim say or do in response to such cruel enforcement? The gloomy conclusion is … not much. Fortunately, there are a handful of Muslims who have spoken out boldly against Islamic violence. Unfortunately, they are few and far between. Because to unduly criticize the implementation of Sharia law (by force or otherwise) is to confront the Koran itself, which is tantamount to challenging their god Allah.
In that regard, contemporary Muslims are much like ordinary Germans during the rise of Hitler’s Third Reich, a rogue government and ideology that began with but a handful of fanatics. The average German did virtually nothing to condemn (or even to complain about) the intensely increasing violence against the Jews at the hands of a relatively small band of Nazi thugs. Slowly but surely, mainstream (actually should be called mid-stream or fence riders) Germans ignored, then condoned the round-up, interment, and transportation of Jews to work camps where millions were shot, starved, hung, and gassed. Although Germans didn’t necessarily celebrate in the streets as modern-day Muslims do when Jews (and others) are murdered by terrorists, they, nevertheless were silently complicit in the “final solution” of the Jews.
No less in today’s world are mainstream Muslims complicit because the vast majority of them refuse to condemn or otherwise do anything about the ongoing slaughter of Jews and Christians all over the world, particularly in the Middle East. In fact, it’s worse than the complicity of Germans before and during World War II. As indicated, Muslims have celebrated over many of the terrorists attacks of the 20th and 21st century; particularly when those killed are Jews, Americans, and Europeans that in some fashion support Israel and/or fight against terrorist groups like ISIS.
Who can forget Palestinians dancing in the streets as they celebrated 9/11? Recently, some Muslims in Dearborn, Michigan set off fireworks to celebrate the mass killings in Paris. Muslim Palestinians in Israel always honor those who maim and kill Israelis.
The Real Issue … The Actual Source of Terrorism
One more excerpt from A Religion of Peace? Part II in summary of that article and to further expand the theme of today’s article, especially in light of our own President, Barack Obama, previously comparing Muslim carnage in today’s world with the Crusades of long ago:
Thus, the Crusades and Inquisitions were disastrous distortions of Christian conduct and callous misrepresentations of God’s Word. And those who wish to cite these historical deviations as equivalent examples of militant Islam do not understand true Christianity and/or the historical facts of exactly who or what was responsible for these calamitous episodes of Christendom. Nor, conversely, do they comprehend that the fanaticism of Muslim radicals is not an aberration of Islam. Because the Muslim god, Allah, through the Koran, explicitly commands Muslims to maim and kill all infidels, which Mohammed specifically identified as Jews and Christians … also Muslims who beg to differ or dare to dispute the violent tactics of Muhammad and subsequent generations of his followers.
Anyone with any objectivity about these issues can see that the Koran and Hadith (collection and commentary on Muhammed’s sayings), provide the fuel that ignites the fires of every terrorist group and nation. As just one example of many: The so-called moderate Palestinian Authority of the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) headed by their “tolerant” President, Mahmoud Abbas, celebrate and glorify the Palestinians who bomb, beat, stab, shoot, and run over innocent Israelis. If the killing of Jews results in death of the Palestinian “martyr” the families are given monthly stipends to compensate them for the “honorable and glorious death” of their son or daughter. Often their picture is posted throughout the West Bank or Gaza Strip as a Palestinian hero. After all, the death of a Jew or Christian is not only condoned, but actually directed by Islam’s “holy book,” the Koran.
I have written often about the real problem between Arabs and Jews, between Palestinians and Israelis. And it is NOT simply an issue of alleged Israeli occupation or settlements or activity on Temple Mount or other fundamentally false and historically inaccurate accusations constantly hurled against Israel by the Arabs and also by Western nations who continuously support the absurdly unjustified United Nations sanctions against Israel.
The REAL problem is a long-standing animosity of most Arabs and outright hatred by many Muslins (Arab, Persian or otherwise) of the Jews in particular and of Israel in general. In part, due to unfounded and irrational support of the “Palestinian cause,” Antisemitism has once again reared its ugly head in nations the world over, including European and Asian countries, and even in the United States … particularly on university campuses.
It is not a question of even one square mile of land in Israel or of a two-state solution (that many Palestinians don’t want in the first place, because they innately know they’re better off under Israeli administration) or of any other kind of self-governing autonomy such as the corrupt, inept Palestinian Authority. In fact, most Palestinians prefer the terrorist leadership of Hamas, which blatantly vows to kill Jews and eliminate Israel from the face of the earth. Even the so-called moderate leader of the Palestinian Authority, President Mahmoud Abbas, has become more militant with such inciting rhetoric as not permitting, “the filthy feet of the Jews to step foot on Temple Mount.”
The whole world knows, but many are unwilling to admit it: This incitement from the most recognized leader of the Palestinians (a microcosm of Muslim society in general) has led to the lone-wolf attacks against Israeli soldiers and civilians alike. Most of these attackers are young, a few under the age of fifteen. Sadly, Palestinian children are expendable to their parents and to their leaders. Their actions clearly confirm the premise that former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir suggested: The Arabs hate the Jews more than they love their own children.
Whether ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, Hamas, the militants among the Palestinian Authority, and even mainstream Muslims, their tenet and tactic is terrifyingly transparent: Fewer Jews (or Christians) … less problems. No Jews … no Israel. So terrorize and kill the infidels until they change their Jewish ways and shrink from their Christian beliefs.
As terrible and terrifying the inexcusable atrocities of terrorism can be for unsuspecting, unprepared, and defenseless individuals going about their daily lives, terrorism is not even close to being the greatest threat facing Israel, Europe, America, and the free world. Rather, it is the powder-keg hot and cold civil conflict taking place within nations like Syria, the Ukraine, and African countries. Or the imminent eruption of wars between long-time rivals such as North and South Korea, India and Pakistan, China and Taiwan and others.
(Destruction in Syria)
Worst of all, it is entire rogue nations like Iran and an Arab Confederation which seek Israel’s annihilation, the collapse of the United States, the disintegration of European countries, and the dissolution of other democratic countries such as Canada and Australia and a few South American nations.
As much as we need to accurately define and identify the real terrorists of the world and as diligent as we need to be in planning the best course of action to eliminate terrorist groups such as ISIS, the greater need is to prepare for the global Terror to come. It is none other than the Great Tribulation foretold by Messiah Jesus when he said: “Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come” (Matthew 24:7-8).
He went on to say: “For there will be greater anguish than at any time since the world began. And it will never be so great again. In fact, unless that time of calamity is shortened, not a single person will survive. But it will be shortened for the sake of God’s chosen ones” (Verses 21-22).
As terrifying as it is and certainly without minimizing the horrendous results, the terrorism perpetrated by today’s terrorists affects dozens, hundreds, or thousands. Perhaps even tens of thousands. But this will pale in comparison to the catastrophe prophesied by Jesus, by the Apostle Peter, by John of Revelation, and by several Old Testament prophets. The Bible has been 100% correct in prophecies fulfilled to date. Scripture is equally accurate concerning the prophetic developments unfolding now and those that will take place in our near future.
The terror of (in) terrorism that we know today will explode exponentially into an awful apocalypse that we can’t even comprehend or imagine. It is the terror of malevolent tyrants and evil empires forming alliances that will threaten their own survival, but also the extinction of the human race.
It will begin soon after the glorious Rapture of believers by our Risen Lord and Savior, Messiah Jesus. This miraculous event will bring terror to tens of millions left behind. The trauma of this terror will compel many to realize what happened and call on the Lord to save them. But many who will be saved by the Grace and Mercy of God will die for choosing the true Messiah.
Tens of millions of others will rejoice and celebrate at the removal (some will call it a cleansing) of all those “intolerant, narrow-minded Christian bigots.”
For a brief time the terror will subside when an emperor from the ancient Roman Empire suddenly appears on the scene (from the Abyss). Many will be amazed at his “miraculous” return from the grave. He will promise them paradise on earth, but people must first give him their complete loyalty to the point of worship. All the while he will blaspheme the true and living God and the true Messiah, Jesus, boasting that he (Nero) is God and Messiah. The peace promised by this enormously evil man will abruptly end.
“While they are saying, ‘Peace and safety!’ then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape” (I Thessalonians 5:3).
The terror will return and abject fear will intensify beyond description for billions left behind. The source of this horror will originate from two opposite sources:
- Malevolent empire-like coalitions such as the Gog/Magog alliance, the Antichrist-led ten nation confederation, and the mighty kings of the east will generate terror not only for billions of civilians, but also for the soldiers in those military alliances. There will be a loss of life on an unprecedented scale.
See, Eye of Prophecy article, One Ring to Rule Them All, published 11-21-15. Also, Shocking Statistics of the Great Tribulation, posted 6-6-15.
- The second source is one that many people the world over don’t like to think about, prefer not to talk about, or choose not to believe at all. It will be the topic of next week’s Part II article. This terror is different. It is a terror to end terror. One from which there is no escape, whatsoever; unless you believe and receive the only One who can and will put a stop to the massive destruction and death that will follow for those who believe the lies and false promises of the Man of Lawlessness, more often called the Antichrist.
This new terror is pure terror that comes from what is true and right, fearsome but fair. It is a terror than billions of ungodly, unloving, uncaring, unrepentant, and just plain wicked people will experience like never before.
We’re talking about the Wrath of God. Poured out on those who, “…did not repent of their murders or their witchcraft or their sexual immorality or their thefts” (Revelation 9:21).
(Depicting the Wrath of God)
It is the terror of God’s justice through judgment that will vindicate all those who have been persecuted and killed for believing in him and his Son; judgment for all who have rejected Messiah Jesus, the one whom God chose to bring salvation to the world through the highest price ever paid … Christ’s death on the Cross. The righteous for the unrighteous; the just for the unjust.
“Those who plant injustice will harvest disaster; and their reign of terror will come to an end” (Proverbs 22:8).
Things to Ponder
The Bible tells us not only about the terror that originates from evil men and the source of that evil, Satan; but also the righteous terror that comes from God who is far greater and possesses infinitely more power than Satan, than the nations of the earth, their governments, and their leaders.
“Will those who do evil never learn? They eat up my people like bread and wouldn’t think of praying to God. Terror will grip them, terror like they have never known before. God will scatter the bones of your enemies. You will put them to shame, for God has rejected them. Who will come from Mount Zion to rescue Israel? When God restores his people, Jacob will shout with joy, and Israel will rejoice.” (Psalms 53:4-6).
Halfway through the Great Tribulation, the incredible death and destruction already experienced by those left behind at the Rapture will have just begun in scope and severity.
“Then I looked, and I heard a single eagle crying loudly as it flew through the air, ‘Terror, terror, terror to all who belong to this world because of what will happen when the last three angels blow their trumpets’” (Revelation 8:13).
Don’t miss next week’s article, as we examine some dramatic details of what will bring greater terror to the earth than has ever been experienced or ever will be again.
Terror, terror, terror is only for unbelievers.
For believers in Messiah Jesus: “Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love” (I Corinthians 13:13).
It is the hope we have for a glorious future, given to us freely by God’s great love expressed in the greatest gift ever given—Messiah Jesus and his sacrificial atonement for our sins. Apprehended by simple faith (trust) in so great a salvation.