Even now, none of us have recovered from the shocks of September 11, 2001. We cannot resist noting the following Scripture:
That day is a day of wrath,
a day of trouble and distress,
a day of wasteness and desolation,
a day of darkness and gloominess,
a day of clouds and thick darkness,
A day of the trumpet and alarm
...against the fenced cities, and against the high towers.
There were those who received a prophecy that "America would be dialing 911." Little did we realize how literally that would happen on the 9th month, 11th day!
We certainly were shocked, yes; but it should not have come as a surprise. Over the past several weeks we have participated in prophecy conferences at the International Prophecy Summit at Branson, Missouri; the Steeling the Mind of America Conference at Keystone, Colorado; Solidarity for Israel Conference at Fort Worth, Texas; and, the Great Lakes Prophecy Conference at Appleton, Wisconsin. The potential dangers and upcoming events were all well highlighted.
And just weeks ago, Avi Lipkin, from our own platform in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, warned specifically about the likelihood of an attack on the World Trade Center in New York.
Our lives - and our nation - will never be the same.
Amidst the struggles, and attempting to recover from the countless tragedies and disruptions, it has been a heartwarming surprise to see the American flags emerging everywhere. As President Bush highlighted, "They are displayed with pride, and they wave in defiance."
There are some who suggest that there never would have been a State of Israel but for the Holocaust in Germany. And, in a sense, this "holocaust" in New York and Washington appears to be having a singular role as a "wake-up call" for America; not only a call to arms, but a call for a renewal of our heritage, our fundamental values, and our priorities.The Nature of our Adversary
A wake-up call it is, and it certainly isn't over. We are, indeed, at war. We are engaged in Islam's "Jihad in America." Most Americans - and even most Christians - have no real awareness of the nature of Islam: its origin, its agenda, and its methods. We each must understand the realities and not be blind-sighted by misleading propaganda.
There is, of course, a concerted effort to avoid offending the "moderate" Muslims throughout the world who are peace-loving and not characterized by the "extremists" or "fundamentalists." But we also need to recognize the root teachings of the Koran, and the call to violence that has been spread throughout the world:
Fight and slay the pagans (infidels) wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem of war.
Quran, Sura 9:5
Prophet, make war on unbelievers and hypocrites, and deal rigorously with them.
Al Tawbah (The Repentence) Sura 9:73
Let not the unbelievers think they will ever get away. They have not the power to do so. Muster against them all the men and cavalry at your command, so that you may strike terror into the enemy of God and your enemy... Prophet, (Muhammed) rouse the faithful to arms! If they (the non-Muslims) incline to peace (accept Islam) make peace with them.
Al Anfal (The Spoils) Sura 8:59
If they reject your judgement, know that it is Allah's wish to scourge them for their sins.
Al Maidah (The Table) Sura 5:49
Believers (Muslims), take neither Jews nor Christians to be your friends: they are friends with one another. Whoever of you seeks their friendship shall become one of their number, and God does not guide (those Jewish and Christian) wrong-doers.
Al Maidah (The Table) Sura 5:51-5:74
Among the most shocking images on the news broadcasts were the unbridled celebrations among the Muslims and "Palestinians." We saw an unveiling of their real hearts that even their leaders were unable to mask, hide, or deflect through intimidations.What Is the Real Issue?
But our real warfare is not against flesh and blood. We need to look behind the carnage and the legacy of hate that now reaches our shores and plagues our communities and families. Let's try to put this in a Biblical perspective.
This is, indeed, a "religious" war. It is an open, bloody, conflict over a real estate issue!
Every nation-except one-on the Planet Earth is presently occupying its geography as a result of a history of conquest. Only one nation has a legitimate, documented land grant from the Creator Himself: Israel.
It is a challenge to that land grant-and Israel's right to occupy that land-that is at the root of the current conflict that caused the wanton murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children... and this was just a beginning.
The land involved does not belong to the PLO (despite Clinton's franchising this band of cutthroats as the principal negotiators for the "Palestinian" cause). The land involved also does not belong to the UN. This particular real estate is the specific subject of a most sacred oath delivered by God Himself! God indulged in participating in, what was in that day, the most sacred form of commitment.1 (However, Abraham was put in a deep sleep so that God alone incurred the commitment. It was an unconditional covenant.)
Note especially Genesis 15:18:
In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:
[When people speak of the "West Bank," I like to ask which river they had in mind-the Jordan...or the Euphrates!]
This land grant is the root issue behind the terrorism against Israel and against America as its patron. Reducing the borders of Israel will not solve the problem. It is not the size of Israel that is the issue; it is the presence of Israel that is the issue.
Islam regards Israel as simply a puppet of the United States. They believe that they can destroy the puppetmaster to destroy the puppet. But make no mistake: Islam is not simply anti-Jewish: it is also anti-Christian.2
Their children's street ditty goes, "Today Friday; tomorrow Saturday; then Sunday." (Friday is the Islamic holy day; Saturday, the Jewish Shabbat; and Sunday, the Christian's day of worship.) That's their agenda. And it is inculcated into their children at the earliest opportunities.
It is imperative for every Christian to really understand the realities behind Islam.3 With the resources now available to them, their agenda can no longer be ignored.The Biblical Relevance
And we need to recognize the spiritual warfare that lies behind the legacy of hate that now attempts to envelop our own communities.
There will also be those who will point to Zephaniah 1:14-18 and Revelation 18 as specifically pointing to the events of September 11, 2001. Perhaps they do in a connotative sense, but I personally believe that those passages are specific to events which are yet still in the future.
But we do need to recognize the Biblical nature of the Middle East conflict. It is, indeed, time to "do our homework." This is a time to be diligent. To study carefully for ourselves and not simply parrot the prejudices of our favorite teacher(s) (Acts 17:11).The First War of the 21st Century
We also need to recognize that the 21st century is destined to be dramatically different than anything of the past. The events of September 11th are just a beginning. And the threats will not be limited to the logistics of airline high-jacking.
The next challenge to our national way of life is likely to come from biochemical weapons. These emergent technologies are a terrorist's dream: They are inexpensive, they are easily delivered to metropolitan environments, and they are virtually impossible to satisfactorily guard against.4
And there have also been reports that Osama bin Laden-and other radical Islamic groups-may now have possession of nuclear devices. Informed experts are anticipating nuclear possibilities as well: "not if, but when...."
The 20th century was the bloodiest century in human history, and the coming decade clearly is not going to be characterized by "peace and safety." Furthermore, the draconian measures which are inevitably going to be instituted for security requirements will seriously infringe and curtail the freedoms that we all have taken so for granted.
Joe deCourcy, former publisher of The Intelligence Digest, pointed out to me that, in his opinion, we will look back on the '50s and '60's as the "Golden Age" of personal freedom. But there are dramatic changes continuing on our horizon. (See our website, www.khouse.org, for a summary of these various strategic trends and sign up for our free weekly newsletter, eNews, which will help keep you up to date on the Biblical relevance of current events. Yes, it's free.)The Opportunities
The good news is that people are now more open and inquiring as never before. It is not "business as usual." Everyone's priorities are being drastically reexamined and revised. People are desperately seeking answers to fundamental questions. The opportunities to be a witness for Christ-and to provide a Biblical perspective on what's happening-is unprecedented in our lifetime!
But we need to be prepared.
The Armor of God
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will reject thee that thou shalt be no priest to me...
We are, indeed, at war, and Ephesians Chapter 6 enumerates our arms inventory. We are (twice) commanded to "put on the whole armor of God." We need to know what these seven elements consist of and how to don them daily. And we must put on the whole armor-not just our favorite pieces! It is time to know what you believe and why you believe it. It is inexcusable for people who are as immersed in available resources as we are not to have meaningful answers to life's most critical questions. If you are not exercising your spiritual gifts you are defrauding the Body. Let us help you. Let us know what you need. The time for harvest may be shorter than any of us realize!
On September 11th, we experienced a gigantic "non-linearity" in our lives. More are coming. We need to rearrange our personal priorities. And our most precious resource is time.
So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
Let us continue to mobilize our heavy artillery: prayer. Let us pray for the families affected; for our leadership, for discernment in their decisions and resolve in their commitments; for ministries, to repair misconceptions and to be ever more responsive to the opportunities; and, let us pray for Israel and Jerusalem.5
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For a compelling video by Steve Emerson, Jihad in America. Originally shown on PBS and subsequently withheld for eight years, this video documents the widespread network of Islamic conspiracies in America. A "must see" and startlingly relevant to today. It springboards from the previous bombing of the World Trade Center and includes secret footage, etc.7