POLITICAL BEHEADING: Revelation 20
Scattering The Global Flock Into Submission
And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. Rev 20:4
It is interesting as well as alarming to discern from Scripture that beheading will be the practice of the soon to rise the false prophet (beast from the earth) as well as of the man of sin (beast from the sea) for those who refuse to take the beast’s mark of authority during the time of the great tribulation as described in the Book of Revelation.
We are currently discerning upsurging trends of both behavioral patterns as well as underlying legal provisions toward this described execution of extreme political power akin to multiple historical accounts although perceived as emotionally and experientially foreign to most modern societies.
The following is a short presentation on the practice and context of beheading from the Jewish Encyclopedia:
Biblical Data:As a regular capital punishment, Beheading does not seem to have been known to the Israelites before the time of the Greek dominion. Only cutting off the head of a slain or disabled enemy (I Sam. xvii. 51 et seq.) for a trophy occurs (I Sam. xxxi. 9; practiced by the Philistines). Soldiers sent to kill anybody usually brought his head as proof of the faithful execution of their mission (see II Kings vi. 31, 32; II Sam. xvi. 9; xx. 21, 22).The Babylonian and Assyrian monuments abound in representations of such trophies. The Egyptians, however, seem to have employed this mutilation very rarely, except in the earliest times (first and second dynasties). Their belief that life has its seat in the head, and that Beheading means, therefore, a destruction of the soul’s second existence—Beheading thus was reserved for the worst criminals as bringing double and eternal death— may possibly furnish a clue for the importance attached to the head as a trophy, among ancient nations.
According to rabbinical opinion, Beheading was one of the accepted modes of execution in the Bible (Mishnah Sanh. vii. 1). Murder and idolatry (when committed by a whole city, Deut. xiii. 14) were the crimes punishable with Beheading (Mishnah Sanh. ix. 1; Mek., Mishpaṭim, 4; Sifre, Deut. 94). Punishing a slave so severely that death followed within twenty-fourhours, was accounted murder; and the guilty master was punished capitally (Mek., Mishpaṭim, 7).The mode of procedure in Beheading is a matter of dispute, even as early as the Tannaites of the second century, some of whom maintained that the criminal’s head was struck off with a sword, “the way the government does”; while, according to R. Judah ben Ilai, the neck of the victim was placed against a block, and the head hewn off with an ax (Mishnah Sanh. vii. 3). This discussion between R. Judah and his opponents (Tosef., Sanh. ix., end; Gem. ib.52b) reveals the fact that Beheading, as a mode of execution, must have been adopted in late years from other nations—Assyria or Persia, Greece or Rome.
The very question, whether ax or sword should be employed, is intelligible only on the supposition that Beheading was a foreign procedure, and one, therefore, not determined by law or custom. It is known that the Roman emperors adopted the use of the sword in lieu of the ax. For the same reason, Beheading was the only mode of execution which a Jewish king might employ, other current modes mentioned in Scripture being reserved for the established courts of law; a king may only claim, as royal privilege, that which kings customarily demand (Maimonides, “Yad ha-Ḥazaḳah,” Sanh. xiv. 2; ib., Melakim, iii. 8, following the Tosefta, Sanh. vii. 3; Yer. Sanh. vii. 24b).
Beheading was accounted one of the least painful modes of execution; according to the view of R. Simeon, it was the least painful (Mishnah, ib. vii. 1). It was customary to have two different burial-places for executed criminals: one for those who had suffered death by stoning or by fire; the other, for those beheaded or strangled. The punishment was considered a measure of the crime; and it was not deemed right to bury criminals of a minor degree among those of greater wickedness (Tosef., Sanh. ix. 9; Mishnah, vi. 5; Gem. 47b).
Bibliography:• Duschak, Mosaisch-Talmudisches Strafrecht, pp. 10, 11, 41.
From a spiritual perspective, decapitation of the Godhead and his tri-une reflective image on earth has been a consistent demonically inspired strategy throughout human history. By corrupting and breaking up the relationship and its underlying written principles between man and his creator, subsequently targeting Godly institutions such as holy matrimony, family structure, churches and government, the predominant corner stones of society have become increasingly weakened and ultimately scattered.
Biblically, leadership manifested in man, father, and priesthood has been corrupted to the extent that most families and social organizations have already been scared and seduced into rebellion, pseudo-independence, lawlessness and political submission to alternate worldly and spiritual authority figures, having transferred their original identity and means of power as well as having forfeited their former authorities’ protection and provision.
An August 11, 2004 article from ABC News puts forward several noteworthy cases of political decapitation which similar power transferring social impact, “Famous Beheadings in History:”
“The Bible is replete with decapitations. Severed heads are displayed in victory and headless bodies left behind as a mass morality lesson, many of which were illustrated by some of the Western world’s greatest artists. In the Old Testament, a poor Jewish widow named Judith volunteers to deliver her people from an Assyrian siege around the town of Bethulia. Pretending to be an informer against her people, the beautiful Judith enters the Assyrian camp and seduces the military general, Holofernes. She enters his tent, gets him drunk and after he falls asleep, cuts off his head with the help of her maid, Abra. With their mighty commander beheaded at the hands of a woman, the Assyrian troops, shocked by their vulnerability, flee and Bethulia is liberated.The story of Judith slaying the Assyrian general has been a theme for some of the Western world’s most famous Italian painters, including Michelangelo Caravaggio, Artemesia Gentileschi and Donatello.David Slays Goliath: In one of the best-known stories of the Old Testament, David, a shepherd boy and the youngest of eight sons, offers to fight Goliath, a giant Philistine warrior who was threatening the Israelites. Armed with a slingshot, five stones, and a belief in God, David advances toward a dismissive Goliath, and hits him between the eyes with a stone. As Goliath falls, David draws out the Philistine warrior’s own sword and beheads him. When the Philistines see their once-invincible warrior decapitated, they panic and flee. David carries Goliath’s head triumphantly to King Saul’s court in Jerusalem and keeps the sword as a spoil of war. A Michelangelo fresco of David slaying Goliath adorns the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican. Other artworks include Caravaggio’s painting of David holding Goliath’s deathly pale head by his hair while the Philistine warrior’s expression is frozen in a terrifying scream.John the Baptist’s Head on a Platter: The New Testament has its share of beheadings, too. John the Baptist had the misfortune to end up in King Herod’s prison, and the even worse misfortune to have angered Herod’s wife. Queen Herodias had first been married to Herod’s brother, and John had condemned her new marriage as incestuous. Herodias’ daughter, Salome, dances for King Herod, who is so pleased with the performance that he promises to grant the girl anything she wishes. Salome, at her mother’s urging, asks for the head of John the Baptist on a silver platter. Herod is upset, but a promise is a promise. The incident has been immortalized in paintings and plays by artists ranging from Caravaggio to Titian to Botticelli to Oscar Wilde.Imam Hussein, Decapitated at the Battle of Karbala: The slaying of Imam Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, is one of the pivotal chapters in Islamic history. Imam Hussein died during the Battle of Karbala, in what is now southern Iraq, in A.D. 680 after he claimed the right to become the caliph of Baghdad upon the death of Ummayad Caliph Muawiya. However, Muawiya’s son, Yazid, had different ideas, and a battle broke out at Karbala, a city now situated in southern Iraq. Hussein’s small army was surrounded by Yazid’s forces and deprived of food and water for 10 days. According to a historical account, a wounded Hussein dragged himself to his tent and picked up his infant son when Yazid’s troops fell on him, cut off his head and trampled on his body. The martyred Hussein’s head was then carried to castle of Kufa. The battle marked the breakaway of Shiites from the Sunni form of Islam, and the day of Hussein’s death is commemorated as Ashura by Shiite Muslims.”
Those within Islam who are historically characterized as fundamental and manifest outwardly as radical still legalize and practice beheading as means of capital punishment, both within their own legal domain as well as part of their occupational external strategy which is rapidly gaining political following and territory globally these days. The underlying Qur’an doctrine is designed to function as de-facto standard in life The teachings on beheadings are also elaborated upon by the Hadiths (sayings and deeds of Muhammad).
The Qur’an cannot be interpreted without the Hadiths and one cannot separate one from the other. They are intertwined and used in all aspects of Islamic jurisprudence. The Hadiths are held to an exalted status by the dominant streams within Islam i.e. Sunni and Shiites. The Hadiths are considered part of the faith of Islam. Rejection of the Hadiths is seen as a rejection of Islam. Muslims believe one MUST adhere to them in order to live out a life as a good Muslim.
However, it is not only Islam which is characterized this way as this study puts forward:
“Both Islam and Christianity – both Catholic and Protestants, are guilty of this very thing, murdering those who are perceived to be heretics from the only true religion. Jihad, the Crusades, the Inquisitions – all fit the bill of murder for and in the name of God. One thing is for sure, an absolutely necessary ingredient in any such bloody exchange would have to be a firm conviction that God is on one’s side and that He commands such executions.It is impossible to imagine any belief system or philosophy on the earth that could carry out such a thing other than a well-established world religion. While totalitarian regimes are certainly capable of such a thing, this verse specifically says that the ones who carry out these executions will believe themselves to be serving God in doing so. No, the system that carries this out will be a religious system that views itself as the earthly steward of some form of global divine government. It must view itself as God’s only organization or community on the earth.”
Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.
All this I have told you so that you will not go astray. They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God. They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. I have told you this, so that when the time comes you will remember that I warned you. John 16:1-4
In this passage, from the Gospel of John, Jesus is initially speaking to the disciples outside of a strictly end-time context. He first warns the disciples that in the days ahead they would see his followers put out of the synagogues. This prophecy came to its fullest expression after what became known as the Bar Kochba rebellion in 132-135 A.D. It was during the Bar Kochba rebellion that the final separation of church and synagogue took place. Bar Kochba was a false Jewish Messiah.
He was supported and endorsed by the highest level of the rabbinic authority at the time, the renowned Rabbi Akiva. As a result of Akiva’s support, Bar Kochba was authenticated as Messiah in the eyes of the Jewish people. When Bar Kochba led the Jews in a rebellion against Rome, any Jew who did not participate was viewed as a traitor to the Jewish nation. The Jews who were followers of Jesus however, who before this time, still regularly participated in the synagogue services, could not support a rebellion led by someone whom they knew to be a false Messiah. As a result the Jewish followers of Jesus were expelled from the synagogues en masse and Jesus’ prophecy was fulfilled in the second century.
But in the second part of this verse, Jesus is speaking of the end-times. “In Fact”, he goes on to say, “the days will come when your persecutors will do far more than merely expel you from a synagogue; they will literally kill you.” But the most bewildering and intriguing aspect of this verse is the next portion of Jesus’ statement. He says that those who kill you will literally think that in doing so, they are offering a service to God.”
This historical and prophetic account of faithful and set-apart followers of Jesus who came out of institutionalized religion are the ones to become subject to end times tribulation, persecution and possibly martyrdom, global in nature, likely to be a synthesized outcome of religious strive and subsequent negotiations between the main religious institutions headed by a synthesis of Islam and Christianity. This synthesized global religion, let’s call it Chrislam, will view itself as having a divinely appointed governmental role on the earth. It it will involve the specific method of beheading as its primary method of execution to serve their self construed god.
The required religious and political terraforming preceding this global political and religious synthesis may proceed along the above described cyclical pattern:
A continued deliberate breakdown of Godly authority which has already ‘progressed’ to such an extent that an increasing number of western Judeo-Christian nations and international governing bodies are on the verge of openly disconnecting from their Godly ties and their underlying principles entirely and are on the verge of adopting extreme totalitarian practices and principles, even beheading. Few people are aware that the necessary underlying transfer of identity and power manifested in revised legal frameworks is almost finalized and democratically ratified by their elected national or supranational governing bodies.
Under the political pretense of responding to globally upsurging radical violence as well as crisis point economics, financial and religious instability, all provisions appear to already have been made for a recurrence of extreme types of political rule on an unprecedented scale.
Unless properly discerned, understood and responded too, the ultimate attempt to corrupt the image and authority of God reflected in his Word, his people and their governing bodies, the final attempts to seduce and frighten humanity into submission to a synthesized political and religious authority by radical political and satanically inspired ritualized means appears to be merely a few crisis away from being undertaken.