ISIS declares new ‘Islamic caliphate’

This is huge.

Fighters in Syria and Iraq have announced the establishment of a “caliphate”, referring to the system of rule that ended nearly 100 years ago with the fall of the Ottoman empire. In an audio recording distributed online on Sunday, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) declared its chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as “the caliph” and “leader for Muslims everywhere”. Baghdadi is believed to be the leader of ISIL, which announced that it is now called “The Islamic State”.

Read the full story here at Al-Jazeera.

Or read a longer article here at Wall Street Journal

  • shawn
    Posted at 22:18h, 29 June

    Hi Joel,
    Is this al-Baghdadi fellow one of the horns you talk about? I have recently discovered you on you tube. Before that I didn’t know about you. I am glad though because you put forth some credible information. All this end-times stuff is very confusing to me, all I know is to try and be prepared no matter how things unfold. When I first discovered you, I looked you up on Christian Research Institute. You aren’t in their archives. For some reason I think that, if CRI hasn’t written about it then it must be scripturally sound. Silly ain’t it? Anyways thank you for what you do.


  • David W. Lincoln
    Posted at 22:22h, 29 June

    Cue more efforts to put the Christian faith tradition in a positive light, when compared with Islam.

    One is, Allah is not Emmanuel.

    Another is found in the letter of the Apostle Paul to the Church in Rome. Christ died for us while we were yet sinners.

    Plus, healing is extended from God to all, so that we have the option of being at peace with the authentic King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

  • Laurel
    Posted at 23:47h, 29 June

    Another tidbit. The very first Caliph was Abu Bakr – (632–634). This guy’s name is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. A coincidence?
    Thanks Joel for all your info. You are right on. God Bless.

  • Joel
    Posted at 00:00h, 30 June

    I don’t think he’s the Antichrist no, but I do find this development extremely concerning on a few levels. t should be pointed out that Baghdadi is no mere Osama Bin Laden. He’s a genuine Islamic scholar.

  • Christopher Mantei
    Posted at 00:32h, 30 June

    My reading of Dan. 7 has the caliphate first emerging in Iraq/Syria, then Iran invades and moves the caliphate there, then the Turks lead the war against Iran and it finally moves there.

  • Jeanne
    Posted at 01:02h, 30 June


    I was just reading about Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi at “When the Pieces Fit” (link at the right side of this page). My question about someone like him is, is he the type of person who could deceive Israel into making a peace covenant with him? Daniel gives us several characteristics of the AC and his personality, one being that he “becomes strong with a small people” (Dan. 11). That could certainly describe Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

    Daniel 11 also tells us that he will come to power through “flatteries” and “intrigue”. This sounds to me like a smooth-talking, sophisticated sort of man. One other individual who is the “kind” of man, the “type”, someone to watch who could fulfill the role of AC based on Daniel’s descriptions, is Mohammad Dahlan:

    After reading this posting on Dahlan at The Mystery of Israel (, I did some searching on him. As I commented after the article there, Dahlan is the former leader of Fatah in Gaza. He speaks fluent Hebrew (!), which he learned during his numerous imprisonments in Israel. According to Wikipedia, “Dahlan was chosen to head the Preventive Security Force in Gaza after the signing of the Oslo Accords. He built up a force of 20,000 men, making him one of the most powerful Palestinian leaders, dealing regularly with the CIA and Israeli intelligence officials.”

    Benjamin Netanyahu has been in talks with Dahlan as well.

    I found another article, dated February 6, 2014, with the following on Dahlan:

    FTA: “In contrast, Dahlan is believed by some senior level government officials in Jerusalem to genuinely desire peace with Israel. Supporters of the discussions inside the Israeli government also believe that Dahlan could act as an important bridge between the West Bank and Gaza, which was at one point Dahlan’s power center, according to the report. Furthermore, Dahlan himself has claimed that he, and not Abbas, can be counted on to bring peace. Dahlan reportedly sent a letter to the American government in 2010 in which he said that, “There is no choice but to replace Abbas with someone who can deliver results.” (

    Dahlan’s bold assertion that he can be “counted on to bring peace” and “deliver results” seems to reveal a confident, if not egotistical, personality, the sort of individual who would be given to using “flatteries” and ingratiating himself with those who are in positions to advise and influence policy makers in order to advance himself. (Note that he wrote a letter to the USG.) There are the strong pro-Palestinian/pro-Muslim elements in our own Government (including our intelligence agencies), who are eager for “peace” and a Palestinian state, and someone like Dahlan might be the sort of person they are looking for to help achieve that, if he got backing from the U.S. and Israel.

    I’m especially struck by the fact that Dahlan speaks fluent Hebrew, he has already been building a small coalition, and has contacts in the Israeli and U.S. governments. I would not be surprised at all if the AC comes to power with the backing of foreign governments (“intrigue”), perhaps maybe even our own (we’ve helped install foreign leaders in the past). Israel’s agreement to a peace treaty indicates to me that the Israeli Government will have a certain level of trust in this man, whoever he is, and that means they would already have been talking to him, IMO.

  • Christine Marsh
    Posted at 02:16h, 30 June

    Now Rouhani of Iran is calling on brothers in the region to unite against the new ISIS Caliphate. He says the time for terror is over…

    “We are ready to join hands with all our friend and brother countries in the region to fight the problems of instability and insecurity and restore peace and calm to our sensitive region,” the Iranian president pointed out.

  • shawn
    Posted at 04:08h, 30 June

    I remember some years back when president Ahmadinejad wanted to bring about chaos and bloodshed in order to bring about the advent of the mahdi.Is this still part of their belief?

  • Robert Macniel
    Posted at 05:13h, 30 June

    Hi Joel, sorry to trouble you with another question. I hope you don’t mind because I mean well. Besides ISIS being the name of the new Caliphate it is also the name of a goddess as you may know. I’ve tried looking into the name of the beast in relation to the name ISIS and when you google that you’re always bound to find someone seeing the 666 mark in there somewhere. But one thing seems to return constantly, namely that 3 letter S’ seems to be symbol of ISIS and in Greek SSS has the numerical value of 666, thus we could calculate ISIS the name of the new caliphate (beast) as 666.
    I have to admit I’m having trouble finding a reputable site that can confirm SSS as being the symbol of the goddess ISIS. Have you ever looked into this? And what are your (very valued) thoughts about this Joel?
    Oh and also have you noticed that the goddess ISIS is a cherubim? As in Ezechiel 28 prophecy prince of Tyrus “Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth”.

  • Strings
    Posted at 05:42h, 30 June

    The meaning of Ba’yah (pledging allegiance) with 5 mins of your time….

    Pledging allegiance to a Caliph is a major Ba’yah and is Irreversible……

    I can’t help but feel this is related somehow to taking of the mark of the beast….maybe there is a tattoo of the islamic state black flag….who knows….

  • Strings
    Posted at 05:50h, 30 June

    Is this the mark…the black flag of new caliphate or will it be a message pledging allegiance to the state.

    Should read worth 5 mins of your time in my Ba’yah message above…

  • James
    Posted at 06:09h, 30 June

    The deadly head wound has been healed .

  • Steve
    Posted at 14:05h, 30 June

    This will sure jump start Turkey and Iran to bring in their vrsion Caliphate it seems to me. The good thing is maybe this will keep all the boys occupied over there, if we can keep our snoot out of it. You all got alot to talk about at the prophecy conferance!

  • Dave
    Posted at 19:41h, 30 June

    I hadn’t realized that Islamic texts describe the destruction of Mecca.

    It’s fascinating watching these events correlate to the Bible; it’s like watching a jigsaw puzzle coming together. I also saw this video. I don’t know much about the producers of it, but it had some rather interesting content that is relevant to what we are seeing take place.

    Also, is there another forum associated with this website (or one that is recommended) for other end-times related questions. I have a couple of questions about The Revelation to John that I don’t recall having seen addressed.

  • Gabe
    Posted at 21:12h, 30 June

    ISIS vows to conquer Mecca and destroy the kaaba to prevent idolotry. Considering their proximity to the Saudi border in Anbar and their grassroots support in the Gulf states, i would take the threat seriously.


  • Yohana boulos
    Posted at 01:31h, 01 July

    I don’t know if you find this important or not, but Abu bakr al-baghdadi and his predecessor Abu Omar al-baghdadi both share the names of the first Sunni caliphs of history . According to the alawite Muslims, the Sunni caliph Abu bakr is like the antichrist for them.

  • Simon
    Posted at 03:00h, 01 July

    A restored Caliphate, even in the hands of a terrorist group, is surely one of the biggest events this century, if not the biggest.

    The implications are global and so extraordinarily large that it just boggles the mind.

    I can just envision a massive surge in the hunger of Muslims to understand Islamic teachings about the end of the age. Moreover, the increase in hunger for the victory of Islam will be growing in leaps and bounds.

    I don’t think ISIS will keep control of the Caliphate because Iran, Turkey, and Egypt will all want to be the power in control and that is exactly the picture that the book of Daniel paints, if we are all interpreting it correctly.

    Either way, sadly there is a lot of violence to come.

  • Robert W. Miles
    Posted at 03:52h, 01 July

    I like what you mentioned Simon, I think that we will really need to watch to see what Turkey, Iran and Egypt have to say, But I am also interested in the response of Saudi Arabia. I think that this is huge.

  • Mark
    Posted at 06:54h, 01 July

    Joel- thank you so much for your hard work and insight!

    Is it possible, in your understanding, that we may presently be living under the third broken seal? With the economy continuing its decline could Obama be riding the black horse? It struck me that a crown was given to the rider of the white horse and ironically SCOTUS’s ruling made G. W. Bush President. Also carrying a bow brought to mind shock & awe. Maybe AQI (now ISIS) represents the second horse?

    I might be overthinking this but it at least seems plausible to me that the Arab Spring and now the rise of this Sunni caliphate represents that the first seal has been broken or on the cusp of bring broken…?

  • David Roberts
    Posted at 07:03h, 01 July

    Aren’t Muslims supposed to wait for their Mahdi before re-establishing the Caliphate? I always thought we’d only see the Caliphate coming back after the 10 kings hand over their lands to the AntiChrist to create a grand beast empire…

  • Joel
    Posted at 09:51h, 01 July

    For clarity, I do not think that Baghdadi is the Antichrist. The rise of a Caliphate is huge for numerous reasons, but I do not see this as the rise of the Antichrist. The Antichrist will come in a time of peace and unsuspectingness much moreso. I think there are going to be some regional wars that will radically change the region and atmosphere prior to the man coming forth.

  • James Tom
    Posted at 11:08h, 01 July

    I guess we can all agree, too many horns not enough heads…..once the beast system realizes its been ridden by Islam the whore, they may ditch it some way….remains to be seen.

  • Dirk
    Posted at 13:09h, 01 July

    “The Antichrist will come in a time of peace and unsuspectingness much moreso.”

    What verses are you referring to?

  • Joel
    Posted at 13:26h, 01 July

    You can answer that yourself Dirk. You know the verses.

  • Christopher Mantei
    Posted at 14:15h, 01 July

    James Tom, the Caliphate is the Beast. The whore/mystery Babylon is Saudi Arabia/Mecca. Everyone in the region hates the Saudis but they tolerate them for the time being. Iran will do the dirty work per Isa. 21

  • Jason
    Posted at 15:23h, 01 July

    Isn’t it nice of mr. Obama to send the Caliphate some extra start up cash?

  • Dirk
    Posted at 04:35h, 02 July

    “You can answer that yourself Dirk. You know the verses.”

    I can think of

    -Ezekiel 38: “On that day thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil scheme. 11 You will say, “I will invade a land of unwalled villages; I will attack a peaceful and unsuspecting people—all of them living without walls and without gates and bars. ”


    1 Thes.5: “While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.”


    Dani. 11:22: “22 Then an overwhelming army will be swept away before him; both it and a prince of the covenant will be destroyed. 23 After coming to an agreement with him, he will act deceitfully, and with only a few people he will rise to power. 24 When the richest provinces feel secure, he will invade them and will achieve what neither his fathers nor his forefathers did. He will distribute plunder, loot and wealth among his followers. He will plot the overthrow of fortresses—but only for a time… The two kings, with their hearts bent on evil, will sit at the same table and lie to each other, but to no avail, because an end will still come at the appointed time. ”

    But I don’t think any of those verses mean that Antichrist will appear during a time of peace. I’m certain it means that he makes and breaks accords, but I would stop short at the common conception that Antichrist is a man of peace, and I would stop sort of saying that Antichrist will come at a time of peace. So again, if you know of other verses that support the idea that Antichrist comes in a time of peace, please share.

  • Joel
    Posted at 10:24h, 02 July

    You didn’t include these others that most look to:

    “After many days you will be summoned; in the latter years you will come into the land that is restored from the sword, whose inhabitants have been gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel which had been a continual waste; but its people were brought out from the nations, and they are living securely, all of them. Ez. 38:8

    “Therefore prophesy, son of man, and say to Gog, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “On that day when My people Israel are living securely, will you not know it? Ez 38:14

    And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand. 8:25

    I do not imagine him as a slick smiling man of peace. But when all of the passages are considered, he is portrayed as a deceiver. The overall picture of one who has enough capitol to make a treaty is not one who comes on the scene for instance as Baghdadi, breathing threats of annihilation. Israel is portrayed as “unsuspecting” etc.

  • Dirk
    Posted at 14:18h, 02 July

    The reference to Daniel 8 is vague as to whether any peace ever truly existed (meaning the “peace” could have been entirely pretense).

    The problem with the word translated as “securely” in Ezekiel 38, is that it doesn’t necessarily imply peace. I think the word indicates a feeling of assurance or a personal impression of security more than actual lack of conflict.

    Strong’s concordance explains this point by comparing it to the terms for “assurance” or “boldness” or “careless” “confidence” “hope” etc.

    I also believe that Ezekiel 38 is primarily post-millenial in application.

    I would note that the Ezekiel verses are Israel-centric and don’t indicate the disposition (peaceful/turmoil) of the surrounding nations.

    So I don’t think the concept- that Antichrist’s arrival comes during a time of peace- is as firmly rooted in scripture as has been advertised.

    I believe the nation of Israel will be a nonparticipant sitting amidst a regional war, and will be relying on others and upon regional alliances as protection against the turmoil of a regional conflict. I believe this is arrogance on Israel’s part and that YHWH will be less than impressed by Israel’s reliance upon schemes and treaty, and I don’t think the Assyrian will be impressed eith:

    Is. 36:
    “‘This is what the great king, the king of Assyria, says: On what are you basing this confidence of yours? 5 You say you have counsel and might for war—but you speak only empty words. On whom are you depending, that you rebel against me? 6 Look, I know you are depending on Egypt, that splintered reed of a staff, which pierces the hand of anyone who leans on it! Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who depend on him. 7 But if you say to me, “We are depending on the Lord our God”—isn’t he the one whose high places and altars Hezekiah removed, saying to Judah and Jerusalem, “You must worship before this altar”?

  • Paul
    Posted at 19:05h, 02 July

    Thanks Joel. I agree that al-Baghdadi isn’t the Antichrist. But do you think he could be/become the Sufyani? God bless.

  • Joel
    Posted at 20:11h, 02 July

    There is no such thing as a Sufyani. That is a Muslim prophecy. In essence, many already believe Baghdadi is the sufyani. Others think it is Assad. These things are only interesting to understand what is driving various groups, leading them into an apocalyptic frenzy.

  • Dave
    Posted at 00:03h, 03 July

    To me, Ezekiel 38 implies that there will be some major war for Israel in which their immediate enemies are destroyed/neutralized. This would mean that threats from Syria, the Palestinian territories, and possibly Lebanon no longer exist in order for Israel to feel secure within her borders. Then comes Gog and his destruction followed by the treaty with the Antichrist. I wonder if the destruction of Damascus occurs at this time, or later during the Great Tribulation.

    But, does it necessarily have to happen in this sequence? Could the Antichrist make the treaty with Israel first which causes them to feel secure/careless?

  • Joel
    Posted at 00:08h, 03 July


    I forgot this one as well: “ He will invade the kingdom when its people feel secure, and he will seize it through intrigue. Daniel 11:21

  • Joel
    Posted at 00:10h, 03 July

    The enemies are destroyed, but not until Jesus returns. A closer examination of the text reveals that Gog is simply another name for the Antichrist. These may help:

  • Kaye Stevens
    Posted at 20:05h, 03 July

    I don’t think this is the Anti-Christ, but a fore-runner. First there will be a terrible war, famine, death. Many people will think it is the war of Armageddon but it won’t be. Then, there will be a “natural” catastrophe which will make all of mankind lay down their arms in the interest of survival. The world will herald “a new, peaceful” world order. Kind of like the Age of Aquarius we heard about in the 60s. This prior war, the following famine and disease events will make the world “pliable”. They will be ready to make a peace treaty because they won’t be able to sustain war any longer and survive. They will grasp at any one who is willing to lead. That’s when the Anti-Christ begins his 7-year resolution treaty. Anyone who has a little charisma and says he has a solution will do, because the world will be weary to the bone! Remember Hitler and what he promised Germany, but think on a world scale.

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