By Theodore Shoebat
ISIS has made a new rule: if you get caught reading the Bible, you will be executed. According to one report:
The statement specifically states that “Muslims do not hear the recitation of their books out loud”, effectively banning any Christians from openly reading the Bible or singing psalms. Likewise, all acts of worship must be carried out inside a church and under no circumstances should acts of worship be performed in public.
The new tyrannical edict forbids “public worship and treachery against IS.” Christians are also “banned from publicly showing their crosses in Muslim areas, or in their own market places.”
According to another report, “Defying these rules could result in death.”
We all know how cruel and merciless ISIS is, and they will show no mercy to any Christian reading the Bible in public. When the Islamic State in the beginning of August attacked the Syrian government’s last stronghold in north al-Raqqa, they captured a regiment from Brigade 93. 90 IS fighters were reported to have been killed in the battle and 300 Syrian soldiers were reported killed and more than 100 were captured including 2 Brigadier Generals.
We edited most of the beheading footage from the video, and focused on one story: the execution of a Christian soldier. The Christian’s wallet was searched and they found a cross, and the caption on the video states “The nation of disbelief are all one,” insinuating that a Christian is just as bad as an unbeliever in Islam. Then the camera zooms on two captives, the first is a Shiite who is killed without question and the other is the Christian who is quickly given his last chance to convert to Islam, he rejects and is shot on the spot with an additional shot in pure vengeance.
So, because they are so vicious and ruthless against any Christian who openly expresses his faith, there is no doubt that they will be carrying out this despotic edict with the death penalty.
Christian militias have already arisen in Iraq and Syria which we can now fund and support which has been approved by U.S. government. It is called The Syriac Military Council.
ISIS wants to destroy Rome, and if you don’t believe me, this is what these militias are facing, and there is a video recently released by ISIS with footage of the Vatican being destroyed and them declaring that they are going to invade and take over the Vatican:
Christian persecution is intensifying every day, and it will reach its apex through the power of the reviving neo-Ottoman movement. In the Middle Ages, when Christian persecution was being done by the Turkish Seljuk empire, there was a crusade. So, in the future, there will be the Final Crusade, fighting against the Ottoman Empire to liberate Christianity. It will consist of pure Christian action, which will be the ultimate expression of faith and the show of pious love done for the cause of defeating Satan.
So let us get into some militant theology, and the spirituality of the Crusades.
Action is the highest form of worship. It illustrates the Faith that lies within the heart, and is the purest manifestation of internal convictions; action is without guile; action confronts to us the highest state of belief. Action emanates from every spiritual realization that we have within our very beings, and is the result of contemplation on God and His divine laws. Action is worship in its purest fashion.
St. Thomas Aquinas once wrote, “the highest from of contemplation is that which superabounds in Action.” (1) Pope Pius XI once said, La vita e azione or “Life is Action.” (2) Life is a series of actions, and each action is either good or bad, and is determined by our own moral compass. Truly, our actions are but consequences of our internal beliefs. I did a whole video on this:
St. James said,
Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! (James 2:18-19)
You may say that you believe in God, in the Crucifixion, in the Trinity, but the devils themselves know that these things are real and true. So what separates us from the demons? Our actions. The angels know that God is real, that He is the Holy Trinity, they believe in the Crucifixion, in the Resurrection, and so what separates the angels from the devils, since they both have the same knowledge? What separates the angels from the demons, is that angels obey, and moreover, the angels were loyal to God and fought for Him and His Kingdom in the war over Heaven.
That the angels fought against evil, against the devils and Satan, showed that they had love for God and His laws. Human beings, then, have two choices: they can either emulate the angels, and fight for God, or emulate the devils, and rebel against God and end up in the everlasting abyss. To emulate the angels makes one a son of God, and to emulate the demons makes one a son of Belial.
The will to fight for God is sparked by one thing, and one thing alone: love. It is the love of the angels, and it is the love that stirs us to fight against evil and the forces of darkness. This love brings about our zeal for God, in our coming to realization of Him and His glory. When one becomes unified with God (to use the words of St. Gregory Palamas)
he knows this from the impassible joy akin to the vision which he experiences, from the peace which fills his mind, and the fire of love for God which burns in him. (3)
In this state of love for God, the body becomes a tool by which this love illustrates zeal for the divine laws of Heaven, and for the victory over evil. For, in the words of St. Gregory Palamas,
Our soul is a unique reality, yet possessing multiple powers. It uses as an instrument the body, which by nature co-exists with it. (4)
In other words, the body becomes a weapon to combat the wiles of the devil. Our whole beings become a weapon to prove our love for God, by fighting against the devil, and all of the darkness that he has inundated the earth with.
This is why Christ said,
you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment. (Mark 12:30)
It is the first commandment, because it is the Law of Love. It is with love that we sacrifice our entire beings for the cause of God; it is with love that we war against the darkness that brings men to maliciousness, to heresies, to callousness, to violence and to the love of oppression.
And it is with love, that the warriors of the Church strike the enemies of God as Joshua struck the heathens of Jericho, as Gideon vanquished the Midianites, as Samson crushed the Philistines, as Jehu slew the priests of Baal, and Judas Maccabeus killed the Jews who plunged themselves into the abysmal depths of pagans and sodomites. It was with love that the holy king, Hezekiah, amongst the greatest warriors for the path of Light and for the peace of humanity, shattered the idols and slew the wizards, took the lives of the pagan priests and destroyed the houses of the sodomites who “are deserving of death” (Romans 1:32).
With his zeal and his piety, his gallantry and with the fiery love that burned within his bosom, did the glorious Hezekiah “turned to the Lord with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses; nor after him did any arise like him.” (2 Kings 23:25)
When he slew the wicked, he followed the First Commandment that Christ exhorted us to follow, as well as the Second Commandment, loving his neighbor by destroying the evildoers who oppressed the helpless, “that no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to Molech” (2 Kings 23:10). He followed the path of faith in all perfection, observing the First and Second Commandments, for “On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:39)
Hezekiah gave his whole being for the cause of the Holy War against Satan; his body was unified with the divine will and worked in accordance to the eternal laws that is written within the heart.
His whole body, mind, spirit and soul, was used as an instrument for God’s justice, so when he struck and destroyed, it was God Who struck and destroyed. When the warrior charges into battle for the cause of good, he gives his entire body for the holy battle, and all those holy fighters who fight for the cause of Heaven give up as their “bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” (Romans 12:1)
Through the holy Solomon did God declare, “By me kings reign, and princes decree justice.” (Proverbs 8:15) And so when a righteous king decrees that homosexuals, the killers of Christians and the promoters of death, be punished and executed, he is being used as a means towards God’s justice.
St. Gregory of Nazianzus declared that it is Christ Who gives the sword to the state, and Christ Who rules with the ruler, as he said in one homily, addressing temporal rulers,
You rule with Christ and you govern with Christ; it is from him that you receive your sword, not to use, but to brandish. (5)
When the righteous ruler slays homosexuals, it is Christ Who commands him; when he extirpates heretical and evil cults, it is Christ Who commands him; when he wars against an aggressive and pagan nation, it is Christ Who commands him. Why then is it so wrong to have a Christian state? for truly it was by God that Christendom reined, and all of its just edicts came from the Almighty. There is no evil in forming Christendom again, and when it does revive, it will be by the will of Heaven.
When justice is decreed, and righteousness established, and the king says with David, “in the name of the Lord I will destroy them” (Psalm 118:10), and “Early I will destroy all the wicked of the land” (101:8), the righteous ruler who unsheathes the sword of the law, does so under the Law of Love. There are many theologians and pastors today that complicate the Gospel, saying that Christ got rid of all the laws and replaced them with two laws: love God and love your neighbor. But what they will never bring in Romans 13:9, where Paul says that all of the laws summarized by one law: love your neighbor as yourself.
For Thou shalt not commit adultery: Thou shalt not kill: Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness: Thou shalt not covet: and if there be any other commandment, it is comprised in this word, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (Romans 13:9)
All of the Law, be it in uprooting the sodomites, Islam, feminism and atheism, or in punishing any sort of wickedness, is done so for love of one’s neighbor. To give license to the homosexual agenda, or to jihadism, or to abortion, or the destruction of Christian institutions (such as marriage and the honor given to human life), or to mockery of Christianity, or to deviancy, is anarchy, and shows an utter callousness to one’s neighbor.
When the valorous Hezekiah destroyed the idols and extirpated the pagan priesthood from the Holy Land, he did so “that no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to Molech” (2 Kings 23:10); but today, we allow the pagan priesthood to reign, murdering babies before they get to even see the beauties of God’s creation, or breath the air outside the wombs of their mothers. Today, people are more comfortable with blasphemy than they are with holiness; piety is mocked; blasphemy is seen as courage; to boastfully say that you are homosexual is esteemed as heroic — and it is no wonder that St. Paul calls the homosexuals, “proud, boasters,” (Romans 1:30); Hindus and Buddhists are revered as exemplars of peace; and Muslims who slaughter Christians receive funding from the most powerful of nations.
Truly what the world needs now is not superficial love, but true love. The world needs the love that strikes the wicked and the cruel; we need the love that instills fear into the evildoers “that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.” (1 Timothy 2:2-4)
We need the love that infuses the zeal within the pious warrior that “shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked” (Pslam 58:10); we need the love that declares “So strike, that you heal; slay, that you may give life, by the example of him who said, I will kill and I will give life; I will strike and I will heal.” (6); we need love that has such strong affections for humanity, that it will slay all the cruel and demon possessed people who wish harm to precious human kind; we need love that does not compromise with superficial hypocrisy, but that enters into battle to fulfill its righteous aspirations; we need love that sacrifices itself for the victory over the sinister; we need love that burns with the jealously of God; we need love that is as Christ, fighting against the devil to obliterate his works, so that the light of truth may dispel the ocean of darkness that the spirits of the inferno have clouded mankind with.
At the commencement of the First Crusade, Pope Urban II declared to the warriors before him that in their combat against the Muslims, it was (and to use his words) “God working through you,” (7) as they fought the enemy.
This is a great truth; for when the warriors of God fight for Christianity and for the liberation of the Church from oppressors, it is God working through them as instruments for the advancement of His holy justice, infusing within their souls the zeal and love that St. Gregory Palamas wrote of, so that righteousness may pour forth from their hearts, and fortitude aid them in their most arduous mission.
David says “Your servant meditates on Your statutes” (Psalm 119:23), and this meditation results in action, in which the king, with the Lord working through him and his love, executes the temporal sword on the enemies of God.
With this said, I would like to show you another belief that strengthened the ancient warriors of old: the belief that the saints and the angels in Heaven are watching after them as they fight the slaves of the devil.
I remember when interviewing a very brave Serbian Christian named Lazar. He is a veteran of the Serbian Special Forces who fought against the Albanian Muslims in the war over Kosovo. He had a very admirable position in the military: he was part of a team whose job was to protect the churches from Muslim terrorists.
So he truly is a modern day Crusader, like the Templars who defended helpless pilgrims in the Holy Land. I remember him telling me about how the saints in Heaven would watch over him and his team during the war, saying,
We were praying everyday, whenever we had the possibility to do that. I was praying, in some situations, every minute, every second. I had with me a picture of my patron saint (St. Paraskeva of the Balkans).
Lazar and his fellow warriors knew that the saints, such as St. Paraskeva, were watching over them, and interceding for them, bringing their prayers to God. This is a very ancient belief in Christian theology, and was instrumental in empowering the warriors who fought against pagans, Muslims and other heretics.
It is here, on holy Mount Zion, where stands the armies of Christ, triumphant and victorious, crowned and worthy to be called saints. They are the warriors who fought in sacred war against the enemies of God, alongside those who refused to reject Christ for heathen idols, and they reside as precious martyrs on the eternal mountain. When we come to Heavenly Mount Zion, we come to the Holy Trinity, to a prodigious army of angels, and to the souls of those valiant warriors who fought and died for Christ. For as St. Paul tells us:
But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. (Hebrews 12:22-24)
The warriors on earth look up to the warriors in Heaven, who have already been rewarded the crown that those who still live mortally labor and travail, fight and struggle, to win. The armies of God do not just consist of men, but angels, as David wrote:
The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place. (Psalm 68:17)
The fighters of God’s army desire to emulate the saints in Heaven, follow their actions and aspire to be instilled by the same zeal they bore when they “through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions. Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.” (Hebrews 11:33-34)
The “the spirits of just men made perfect,” are the souls of the confessors and the warriors, who fought against idolatry, defended true religion from the advances of pagans, “who willingly offered themselves for the Law,” “and smote sinners in their anger, and lawless men in their wrath” (1 Maccabees 2:42-44), whose tongues forever praise the Lord, and whose hands grip a two edged sword.
When the Hebrews under Judas Maccaebees were in the middle of a battle with the pagans, they saw the prophet Jeremiah in Heaven, praying for them:
Now the vision was in this manner: Onias who had been high priest, a good and virtuous man, modest in his looks, gentle in his manners, and graceful in his speech, and who from a child was exercised in virtues, holding up his hands, prayed for all the people of the Jews:
After this there appeared also another man, admirable for age, and glory, and environed with great beauty and majesty:
Then Onias answering, said: This is a lover of his brethren, and of the people of Israel: this is he that prayeth much for the people, and for all the holy city, Jeremias the prophet of God.
Whereupon Jeremias stretched forth his right hand, and gave to Judas a sword of gold, saying:
Take this holy sword a gift from God, wherewith thou shalt overthrow the adversaries of my people Israel. (2 Maccabees 15:12-16)
When Elisha was surrounded by the pagan Syrians, his servant was sorely afraid, and Elisha, in strengthening him, asked God to reveal the army of Heaven that surrounded him, and when he saw what was unseen, he witnessed the true protection of the saints. As the Scripture says,
Therefore he sent horses and chariots and a great army there, and they came by night and surrounded the city. And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?”
So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, and said, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. So when the Syrians came down to him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, and said, “Strike this people, I pray, with blindness.” And He struck them with blindness according to the word of Elisha.” (2 Kings 6:14-18)
St. Ambrose, the teacher of St. Augustine, saw this story of Elisha as a witness for the saints who watch over the Christians in Heaven. He referred to the saints in Heaven as soldiers who watch over us, and that they are a reason that we should not fear on this earth. In one letter St. Ambrose said:
Such defenders do I desire, such are the soldiers I have, that is, not soldiers of this world, but soldiers of Christ. I fear no ill-will on account of them, the more powerful their patronage is the greater safety is there in it. And I wish for their protection for those very persons who grudge them to me. Let them come, then, and see my attendants. I do not deny that I am surrounded by such arms: “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses, but we will boast in the Name or the Lord our God.” The course of divine Scripture relates that Elisha, when surrounded by the army of the Syrians, told his servant, who was afraid, not to fear ; “for,” said he, “they that be for us are more than those against us;” and in order to prove this, he prayed that the eyes of Gehazi might be opened, and when they were opened, he saw that numberless hosts of angels were present. The Lord opened our eyes, and we saw the aids wherewith we have been often protected. We used not to see them, but yet we had them. And so, as though the Lord had said to us when trembling, “See what great martyrs I have given you,” so we with opened eyes behold the glory of the Lord, which is passed in the passion of the martyrs, and present in their working. We have escaped, brethren, no slight load of shame; we had patrons and knew it not. We have found this one thing, in which we seem to excel those who have gone before us. That knowledge of the martyrs, which they lost, we have regained. (8)
In the battle against the tyrant Eugenius, who was fighting to reestablish paganism in the Christian Roman empire, the emperor Theodosius and his men were few in number, and worn down by exhaustion. In such a difficult situation, the pious emperor took the monastic way, and he ascended a high mountain where he spent the whole night praying to God for intervention. He fell asleep, and awakened only to see two men clothed in white and mounted on white horses.
They exhorted the emperor to “be of good courage, to renounce all fear,” and when the dawn came to lead his men into battle, one of them told him that he was St. John the Evangelist, and the other said that he was St. Philip the Apostle. There was another soldier who had the same vision, and he immediately rushed to a centurion and reported it to him. The centurion then took the soldier and brought him to the tribune; the tribune heard the story and recounted it to a general, and the general told of the vision to the emperor.
“It is not for my sake,” said the emperor, “that these things were shown to him, for I fully believed those who promised me the victory. But that no one might suspect that from the desire of engaging in battle I feigned to have seen such things, the Protector of my empire revealed the same to him also, that he might bear witness to the truth of my assertion; for it was to that the Lord of all first gave the vision. Let us then throw off al fear, and follow our military leaders, and let us not estimate the chances of victory by the number of combatants, but let us take into account the power of our leaders.”
The battle was soon commenced, and as the enemy shot forth their arrows, all of a sudden a strong wind came and shifted their direction away from the Christian warriors, and the armies of Theodosious took the victory against the pagan revivalists. (9)
After the Byzantine emperor, John I, defeated the pagan Russians, he offered his thanks to St. George, “the gloriously triumphant martyr” for the victory. (10) When the same emperor was fighting against the Pagan Scythians, it was said that a man riding on a white horse was seen, terrifying the enemy and utterly confounding them. In the words of John Skylitzes, an ancient Christian historian,
And a man appeared to the entire Roman army mounted on a white horse, thrusting foreword, routing the enemy ranks and throwing them into confusion, a man previously and subsequently unknown to anyone; they say he was one of the [two] gloriously victorious martyrs named Theodore, for the emperor always used [the icons of] these martyrs as allies and protectors against the foe. …To honour the martyr and repay him for his timely aid, the emperor tore down to the ground the church in which his sacred body lies and built a large and most beautiful new one which he endowed with splendid estates. (11)
In the reign of Michael IV, when the empire was warring with the pagan Bulgarians, it was said that the Christians asked the warrior saint, Demetrios, to pray to God for victory against the heathens. While the battle was happening, it was said that the morale of the enemy was diminished, and that the Bulgarians themselves said that they saw a horseman leading the Christians and shot forth a fire which burned the pagans to death. As John Skylitzes describes the event:
Now one day the people of the region went to the tomb of the great martyr Demetrios and held an all-night intercession, anointing themselves with the myrrh which flows from the sacred tomb. Then with one accord they flung open the gates and out against the Bulgars … [The Bulgars] were not in the least willing to offer a sustained or courageous resistance for the martyr was leading the Roman army and smoothing a path for it [cf. Isaiah 40:3]. This was attested to with oaths by some Bulgars who were taken prisoner. They said they had seen a young horseman leading the Roman ranks, exuding a fire which burnt up the enemy. (12)
When Christians fight, the saints of Heaven fight alongside with them. When the Conquistadors battled with the pagan Indians, it is said that both the Christians and the heathens saw in the battlefield a woman, and a man riding a white horse, and they terrified the enemy, fortified the spirits of the Spaniards, and cut asunder their adversaries. In the midst of one battle, the Indians told the Conquistadors,
If we had not been frightened by the woman and the man on the white horse, your house by this time would be destroyed and you yourselves would be cooked, but not eaten, for you are not fit to eat; we tried your flesh the other day and it tasted bitter, so we shall throw you to the eagles, lions, tigers, and snakes, which will eat you for us. (13)
It was believed that the man and the woman who the Indians saw was non other than Mary and St. James. Is this not what will happen in the Final Crusade? in accordance with the vision of St. John in which “the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.” (Revelation 19:14)
The ancient Christians, with the belief in the saints and angels in Heaven, fought with fiery zeal and confidence. And so it will be, in the Final Crusade, the warriors of Heaven will accompany the Christian soldiers on earth. To use the words of St. John, “the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.” (Revelation 19:4) These are the warriors of Heaven, and the armies of earth will also accompany them, for as the prophet Joel declared:
The Lord gives voice before His army,
For His camp is very great;
For strong is the One who executes His word.
For the day of the Lord is great and very terrible;
Who can endure it? (Joel 2:11)
The armies of Heaven and earth will gather together, and when they fight the armies of the Antichrist, they will show the greatest expression worship: action.
(1) Quoted in the IHS’ Directors’ intro to Jean Ousset’s Action, p. 12
(2) Ibid, p. 22
(3) Palamas, The Triads, B, 1.3.22, trans. Gendle
(4) Palamas, The Triads, C, 1.2.3
(5) St. Gregory of Nazianzus, Oration 17, 9
(6) Pope Innocent III, in the Third Lateran Council
(7) Council of Clermont, Version of Guibert of Nogent, ed. Edward Peters, The First Crusade
(8) Ambrose, Letter 22.10-11, trans. Romestin
(9) Theodoretus, Eccles. Hist. 5.24
(10) John Skylitzes, Byzantine History, 15.12
(11) John Skylitzes, Byzantine History, 15.17, ellipses mine
(12) John Skylitzes, Byzantine History, 19.27
(13) Gomara, Life of Cortez, 105, trans. Simpson