by Irvin Baxter
“Then the sixth angel sounded: And I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, ‘Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.’ So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind. Now the number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them.”
Revelation 9:13-16 (NKJV)
The prophecy says a war will begin from the Euphrates River area that will kill one-third of all the people on earth. It also states that an army of 200 million soldiers will participate in this war. In other words, it will be, by far, the worst war the world has ever known. It will be 40 times World War II!
ISIS Now Controls 40% of the Euphrates
On January 3, 2014 in Fallujah, Iraq, the terrorist organization called ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) declared itself a state. From January 2014 to June of 2015, the advance of ISIS has been nothing short of breathtaking. During this time, ISIS has seized control of 75% of Syria and 50% of Iraq. It has largely concentrated its efforts on controlling the Euphrates River and presently possesses about 40% of it. This includes total control of the river in Syria and from the northern border of Iraq almost down to Baghdad.
A Brief History of ISIS
ISIS was originally founded by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and took the name Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). AQI fought against American forces in Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein. Zarqawi was killed by a United States airstrike in 2006.
In that same year, AQI changed its name to the Islamic State in Iraq (ISI), which signaled the group’s intention to focus on conquering territory in Iraq as a means of creating a Sharia state there.
After the death of Zarqawi, ISI was led by Abu Ayyub Al-Masri and then by Abu Omar al-Baghdadi. The two were killed by a tank shell in 2010.
After their deaths, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi became the leader of ISI. He was able to rebuild some of the popular support that had been lost under the previous leaders. The organization built strength while expanding its operations into the Syrian Civil War in 2013. During this time, ISI changed its name to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
When ISIS became involved in the Syrian Civil War, it concentrated its efforts more on building an Islamic state than defeating the regime of Bashar al-Assad. On January 3, 2014 ISIS gained control over the city of Fallujah in Iraq and proceeded to declare statehood.
In early June of 2014, ISIS shocked the world by storming across northern Iraq and capturing Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city. Then on June 29, 2014 ISIS declared the establishment of an Islamic Caliphate, changing its name to Islamic State (IS). Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was declared Caliph and the Islamic State called for all Muslims throughout the world to give loyalty to the new Caliph.
From June 2014 till June 2015, the Islamic State has expanded its control to include 75% of Syria and 50% of Iraq, an area larger than all of Great Britain. This has happened in spite of the bombing offensive against it led by the United States.
How has the Islamic State been So Successful So Fast?
The world has stood by in wonderment at the swift advance of what was thought to be just a radical terrorist organization. Their forces are well organized and well trained. After taking new territory, they immediately move to set up functioning government structures and services. They quickly establish schools, utilities and healthcare. How has this been possible?
When the United States overthrew the Sunni government of Saddam Hussein back in 2003, it banned anyone who had worked in Hussein’s administration from being a part of the new government. The U.S. used its power to install a Shia-led government leaving the Sunnis, who mostly live in the northern half of Iraq, feeling ostracized.
The rise of the Islamic State has attracted many of those who were military and governmental leaders under Saddam. They know how to train and command an effective military, and they know how to set up functioning government services.
What is a Caliphate?
A Caliphate is an Islamic state ruled by a single political and religious leader, or Caliph.
Caliphs are regarded by their followers as successors to the Prophet Muhammad and the leader of all Muslims.
The first Caliphate came into being after Muhammad’s death in 632.
In the centuries that followed, Caliphates had dominion in the Middle East and North Africa.
Turkish leader Kemal Ataturk abolished the last widely accepted Caliphate in 1924 after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire as a result of World War I.
Muslims have yearned for the re-establishment of their Caliphate since that time. Many observers have marveled at the appeal of the Islamic State; however, Muslims have dreamed of the restoration of the Caliphate since it was defeated almost one hundred years ago. With the declaration of the Caliphate and the recognition of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as the new Caliph, thousands of Muslims are making their way to Syria and Iraq in order to help establish what they believe to be rightfully theirs.
What does the Islamic State Believe?
The ideology of the Islamic State is that of Salafist-Jihadism. Various sources claim that Salafism is the fastest growing Islamic movement in the world.
It takes its name from the term “salaf”, which means predecessors or ancestors. Salafism refers to the earliest Muslims, who, its adherents believe, provide the epitome of Islamic practice. They attempt to follow the example of Mohammed in everything they do.
Mohammed beheaded his enemies, so the Islamic State beheads its enemies. Mohammed took a nine year old bride . Consequently, the fighters for the Islamic State feel justified in taking young girls for themselves, some of them as young as nine. The world has watched in horror as the Islamic terrorists have murdered men and carried their wives and daughters off by the thousands into sexual slavery.
It is important to remember that, for them, there is no distinction between religion and state. All decisions are based on a hardline interpretation of Sharia (Islamic law), which is brutally enforced in the areas controlled by the Islamic State.
What are the Goals of the Islamic State?
The Islamic State has short, intermediate and long-term goals.
Short Term: Its short-term goal is to consolidate the areas it already controls and capture more territory in Syria and Iraq.
One of the central tactics it has used to advance its goals has been to precipitate all-out sectarian war in Iraq between Sunnis and Shiites. IS tries to achieve this by massacring civilian populations of Shiites whenever and wherever it can. This methodology is used partly due to their view of Shiites as heretics deserving of death, and it is also a tactic aimed at causing reprisal attacks from Shiite militia groups, thus driving Sunnis into the arms of the Islamic State.
Intermediate Goal: The Islamic State’s intermediate goal is to consolidate and expand its control of territory in Iraq and Syria and, in the next stage, advance into neighboring Sunni countries.
It seems that Saudi Arabia and Jordan could be the next targets. Both countries have large populations of discontented young men, and both are authoritarian monarchies that emerged from the Arab Spring relatively unscathed.
Advancing in this way is in keeping with the Islamic State’s current practical approach of consolidating power in a contiguous territory in order to build a manageable and defensible state.
The Ultimate Goal: Ultimately, the group aims at nothing short of total world domination.
The Islamic State, declared by the Islamist group formerly known as ISIS or ISIL, is the first and, so far, only attempt to resurrect the governmental system of the early Muslims in the modern era. A Caliphate as a system of government is considered by believers to be a divinely sanctioned religious monarchy that invests power in the hands of the Caliph, who has the sole authority to declare jihad and to interpret Islamic texts.
In theory, the Caliphate has sole religious and political jurisdiction over the entire Muslim ummah (nation).
The Caliph is an incredibly important symbolic figure in Islamist terms, and the reestablishment of the Caliphate has been a longstanding goal of all Islamist and jihadist groups, from the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt to Jamaah Islamiyah in India.
Spiritually speaking, the Caliph is the successor to the founder of Islam, Mohammed. In order to increase his legitimacy on that score, the leader of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, claims descent from Mohammed using the additional name ‘al-Qurayshi’.
Will Islamic State Trigger All-out War?
The Islamic State is giving no indication of stopping its aggressive conquering of territory. The U.S. air raids appear to be ineffective in stopping the rapid advance of IS.
So, where are the red lines? At what point would the United States feel compelled to pull out all the stops and use its full military might against the Islamic State—including troops on the ground?
It’s no secret that the IS would love to occupy Saudi Arabia since Mecca and Medina, Islam’s two holiest places on earth, are located there. Since the Islamic State claims to be the Caliphate for the entire Muslim world, why shouldn’t it want to establish its headquarters in the birthplace of Islam—Mecca?
However, it is inconceivable that the U.S. would stand by while IS took control of one of the world’s greatest sources of oil. Knowing this, would the Islamic State dare to launch the takeover of Saudi Arabia?
What if Israel Entered Into the Conflict?
Jordan is another country that IS intends to conquer in the future. Already, there are many Sunni Muslims in Jordan that are sympathetic to the Islamic State and enamored by the idea of a Muslim Caliphate.
However, Jordan is the only thing that stands between IS controlled territory in Iraq and the borders of Israel. There’s no way Israel is going to stand by and allow Jordan to fall under the control of the Islamic State.
If ISIS dared to invade Jordan, bringing Israel into the conflict, would this cause the 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide to join the Caliphate and seize the opportunity to make war against the Jewish state?
Will Islamic State Conflict Lead to the 6th Trumpet War?
Since the Islamic State now controls 40% of the Euphrates River from which the 6th Trumpet War will begin, and since 1.6 billion Muslims could field the 200 million man army prophesied in scripture, and since it is time for the prophesied war that will kill one-third of mankind, will the present conflict involving the Islamic State lead the world into the war prophesied in Revelation 9:13-16?
We can’t say with absolute certainty that the present situation will become the fulfillment of the prophecy, but we do know for sure that it is going to happen. The prophecies always come to pass.
How Soon could the 6th Trumpet War Explode?
There’s nothing preventing the breakout of the war prophesied in Revelation 9:13-16. As volatile as the Middle East is, the Euphrates River War could ignite yet this year! Or it could be next year or the next. It looks like it may well be sooner rather than latter.
What will the World be Like After This Unprecedented War?
Try to imagine how the world will be changed after one person out of three on the planet has been killed! The numbers of dead will be so large that bodies will have to be buried by bulldozers in mass graves.
The world will be desperate for answers and will demand structures of world government that can insure war will never happen again. It will be the perfect climate for a strong man with answers to stake his claim to global leadership.
The Bible prophesies that shortly after the 6th Trumpet War the Antichrist will arise and set up his prophesied world government.
What can We do to Prepare?
The most crucial thing for each of us at this most critical time is to be certain that we have eternal life. This is only available through Jesus Christ. Jesus said that we must be born again in order to enter the kingdom of heaven. For Endtime’s free brochure entitled, “What Do You Mean…Born Again?”, write to Endtime Ministries, 2701 East President George Bush Highway, Plano, TX 75074. or you may read the brochure on our home page at www.endtime.com.
Once we have insured our personal salvation, we must be ready to help the millions of people that will need answers like they have never needed them before.
At this unprecedented time, people will either follow the leadership of the Antichrist, or they will seek to return to the real Christ.
Endtime Ministries is gearing up for this effort as quickly as we possibly can. Your prayers and your support will assist us in this vital end time effort. Let’s work together. It’s time for the church’s finest hour!