Trend Update: Assyrian Empire/Violence, August 2014

Revelation 20:4 Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

Believers in Christ are beheaded for their faith during the Tribulation. Beheading is a disturbing trend that is emerging in Middle East at the hands of ISIS (August 2014). The choice presented to people is convert to Islam, move from the region, or be killed. ISIS is producing videos to intimidate people. They are tutorials on violent behavior and how to complete a suicide bomb mission. See the following New York Times link for details.

Revelation 6:9 When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained…

The scene is in the throne room of Heaven. The Greek word for “slain” is sphazo. Per Strong’s Concordance it means: to slay, slaughter, butcher, to put to death by violence, or mortally wounded. This word is used multiple times in Revelation. See 6:4, 13:3, and 18:24. Brutal, deadly violence is a hallmark of the Tribulation. This is also the same word used on multiple occasions to describe how Jesus was killed.

We are not in the Tribulation. The Antichrist has not been revealed and there is no Temple for him to desecrate. This is little consolation for those individuals who have been violently killed. But it is a developing trend that is consistent with what Scripture has to say about a seven year period of chaos leading up to the return of Christ.

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