[by Dean Smith] A video released on the Twitter account of a website used by the Islamic State (IS) purports to show the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians. The same website has shown verified beheadings of westerners.
According to the video producers, the execution took place in Tripoli Province, Libya by a group claiming association with IS.
On the video, armed IS members march a group dressed in orange down to a beach near Tripoli, Libya’s capital city. Before their execution, one IS member says:
“O Crusaders, safety for you will be only wishes, especially when you’re fighting us all together. Therefore, we will fight you all together, until the war lays down its burdens, and Jesus, peace be upon him, will descend, breaking the cross, killing the swine and abolishing jiziyah.”
The prisoners are then forced to lie on the ground and all beheaded at the same time. Reports are coming in of family members recognizing some of the martyrs on the video.
There is an ominous verse in the Book of Revelation that warns about beheading of Christians during the end times. Revelation is a written record of a vision on the future return of Jesus Christ received by the Apostle John. It also warns of a time of great tribulation for Christians.
Towards the end of his vision, John talks about a special reward given to those beheaded because of their faith in Christ.
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.5 The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. (Revelation 20:4-5 NASV)
God will resurrect two groups believers before the thousand-year reign of Christ — those who had been beheaded and those who did not take the Mark of the Beast. The rest will be resurrected after.
If we are entering the end times, and many believe we are, these beheadings and others are a fulfillment of Bible prophecy.
The second disturbing fact is the location of this mass execution. It took place in Libya only 500 miles from Italy. According to one extremist on the video, IS has “Rome” in its sites.
Like Christians, Muslims also have an end-time messiah called “Mahdi.” Some Muslim extremists believe Madi’s return will happen once Islam has control of three cities — Istanbul, Turkey (currently under moderate Muslim control), Jerusalem (still under Israeli control, but over half the population is Muslim) and Rome. Read: Israel receives a downgrade, ISIS says Christians are now its number one enemy.