Friday, August 29, 2014

System of the Beast | ISIS and the Rulers of Darkness

In the tenth chapter of Daniel we are given a small but fascinating look into the spiritual warfare that is going on around us.  In Daniel's vision, he sees God's messenger whom he describes as a man dressed in linen and gold. During the vision the man tells Daniel that he wanted to come earlier but had been withstood by the prince of Persia, and was helped by one of the chief princes, Michael. As the man tells this story it becomes evident that he is not talking about mortal princes. He is talking about angelic beings.

We see from this that certain celestial beings are given dominion over certain parts of the world. We learn in Daniel 10 and 12 that Michael has charge over the Israelites and that he contends as an ally of God. In Revelation, it is Michael who leads a group of angels against the fallen angelic forces of the dragon. There are also evil spiritual forces, such as the prince of Persia, who have dominion over areas of the world and the peoples who live there.

It is with this in mind that I have attached the following article. I think there is merit to the writers opinion that the soldiers of ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) are being driven by the spiritual prince of Assyria. They are in Nineveh province. The city of Mosul, a large city controlled by ISIS, is across the Tigris river from the ancient ruins of Nineveh. Nineveh was the capital of the Assyrian empire. It repented by the preaching of Jonah. Its destruction was later chronicled in the book of the prophet Nahum. Also, remember what the apostle Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:12,

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

The Demon Wolves of ISIS: Ancient Assyria Reborn

Lord Byron’s poem The Destruction of Sennacherib begins with the line, “The Assyrian came down like a wolf on the fold.”

My friend Paul Thigpen makes the link between the warlords of the Islamic State (IS) and their historic predecessors, the warlike Assyrians.

Two ancient civilizations jockeyed for power in what is now the nation of Iraq: Babylon to the south and Assyria to the North.

The Assyrian Empire was centered on the exact geographical territory that Islamic State now claims–Eastern Syria and Northern Iraq.
Assyria emerged as a territorial state in the 14th century B.C. Its territory covered approximately the northern part of modern Iraq. The first capital of Assyria was Assur, located about 150 miles north of modern Baghdad on the west bank of the Tigris River. The city was named for its national god, Assur, from which the name Assyria is also derived.

While the Babylonian Empire was known for its accomplishments in learning, architecture, and the arts, the Assyrians were known as experts in warfare. Cruel, bloodthirsty and proud, they bragged about their military victories and heartless oppression of their victims.

One early Assyrian king, Assurnarsipal wrote,
I built a pillar over against his gate, and I flayed all the chief men … and I covered the pillar with their skins … some I impaled upon the pillar on stakes. Many captives … I burned with fire … From some I cut off their hands and their fingers, and from others I cut off their noses, their ears … of many I put out the eyes.

Another historical account reads:
In strife and conflict I besieged [and] conquered the city. I felled 3,000 of their fighting men with the sword … I captured many troops alive: I cut off of some their arms [and] hands; I cut off of others their noses, ears, [and] extremities. I gouged out the eyes of many troops. I made one pile of the living [and] one of heads. I hung their heads on trees around the city.” 
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