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Beliefs, Prophecies and War

Shri. Anant Pai

Beliefs, Prophecies and War

CA Anant N. Pai ‘Indian’

What causes War and bloodshed in the name of GOD? The author explores the fascinating connection between religious beliefs and the causes of eternal human conflict. He uses Palestine – the place where three religions converge – as a case study to explain his thesis on why it has become the focal point of a global war.

1. Religion and War: – Friends, all of us are familiar with the popular adage that “more blood has been shed in the name of God than in any other name”. While there can be no doubt about the truth in this statement, equally striking is the paradox in it. After all, if religion is the way to God, who is All Love, then cruelty and bloodshed should have no place in practice of religion. But, then just as a needle is required to remove a thorn stuck in the heel, wars have been invoked in name of religion to settle contentious issues amongst disputing parties. Ahimsa – which is negation of himsa [i.e. violence], has two meanings in interpretation; both meanings being equally valid according to the context in which it is invoked. The first being ‘abstinence from himsa itself and second being resorting to himsa of a lesser intensity to destroy a himsa of a larger intensity. It is in the second context, that wars have been justified in religions, if the same is conducted on basis of a “Dharm Yudh”. The endorsement of such ‘justifiable wars’ can be even found in our religious texts. For example, the sacred Gita was not only conceived on the battleground of Kurukshetra, but also the very Mahabharata War was ushered to Arjuna by Krishna Himself on the grounds that he was duty bound to conduct this war to erase evil from earth. It may however be remembered that this war was endorsed by Krishna only after all diplomatic overtures to make peace with the evil enemy had failed. The Holy Quran also justifies Jihad, the Holy War, when the Way of God is irreparably being put to threat by the evil in mankind.

Prophecies in Holy Books need to be taken seriously. Practically every important incident in Christ’s life was prophesied even before His birth took place and the mention of the fulfillment of such prophecies are against each incident in the New Testament. Know, O Readers that the Holy Books contain words ordained by God only. The Word of God is unfailing and it will always come true. It cannot collapse. The entire creation is the evidence of the power in this Word – for it was the Word that created the Universe, it is the Word that sustains it and causes its changes.

Whereas there can be justification to a war which is used as a means to the end of establishing a True Religion of Peace by eradicating tyranny, there cannot be any justification to religion being the means to establish a war as an end. With passage of time, practices of religions have distanced themselves too much from the original versions settled by its founders. There was never in diversity in the principles of religions propounded by these founders – Religion is one, God is one and the entire mankind is His One Large Family. Just as one single sheet of water on earth has been split in to ‘oceans and seas’ by mankind by allotting geographical names and boundaries, so too, religions have been apportioned by mankind in to mutually excluding classes.

2. Religion was always One: – Take for example, in the West; Judaism is known to be the first of the Religions there. This was followed by Christianity and then by Islam. The Patriarchs of Judaism right from Adam down to Abraham, Moses and others find respectful references in Christianity. Islam too does the same and also included Christ in its lineage of prophets. Tanakh is the Jewish Bible and the same has been retained as the Old Testament in the Christian Bible. Even the New Testament in the Christian Bible asserts that the Original Faith is not being disturbed by the coming of Christ and this assertion is made by none other than Jesus Himself. In the Book of Mathews in the New Testament, {Mathews 5.17 & 5.18}, Jesus is quoted as saying “Do you think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish, but to fulfill. For truly, until heaven and earth pass way, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.” The Holy Quran, as revealed to Prophet Muhammad, also declares Religion as being one and the same from the beginning to the end of mankind. It is also in this context that the Venerable Prophet in His Last Sermon to mankind declared that there will be “no new Faith will be born after him.”

3. Palestine as case study:- As if by way of God demonstratively pointing that all these three religions are one, these religions converge geographically at one piece of land on earth – Palestine. But, far from being the place where the faithful of these religions should be seen assembled in joint prayer, it is the focal point of a global war.

This article is a dispassionate study of the relationship between Religious Beliefs and War – with the Palestinian conflict as the test case.

4. Religious beliefs:- To begin with, let us be all in one mind as to what should constitute a ‘religious belief. Let us all understand ‘religious belief’ as ‘that proposition which is believed to be aligned with God’s Law.’ Words heard from God’s mouth or from His Authorised Ones form the authorities on basis of which these religious beliefs are derived or based.

In these three religions, one of the most relied authorities for God’s commandments is “The Holy Book” {what we call the Granth in India}. Qua Judaism, the Tanakh constitutes “The Holy Book; qua Christianity, it is the Bible and qua Islam, it is the Quran.

5. The Jewish beliefs:- The basis for the Jewish Community’s claim for Palestine as its “Promised Land” is derived from the Jewish Bible, Tanakh [more precisely the Books of Torah in it] in which there is a record of God directing the Jewish Patriarch Abraham to leave his country, his people and his father’s household and go to the land shown by God. God is also stated to have assured this land to Abraham’s descendants. There is an also a rough description of boundaries defining this Promised Land.

Jerusalem in Palestine carries on its soil the holiest sanctuary of Judaism faith – the Jewish Second Temple, which though presently in ruins, is still the most revered venue for offering prayer. The Rock on which this Temple is situated is believed in Judaism as the original foundation from which the world was created by God.

In short, Promised Land and the Temple are vital & integral components of Jewish faith. They are not negotiable aspects as far as a religious Jew is concerned and for a hardliner Jew; its denial means ‘War”.

6. The Islamic beliefs:- The opposition to the Jew’s Promised Land comes from the Islamic community, more particularly its Arab section. The religious basis for this opposition is that Jerusalem is not just less holier to a Muslim than to a Jew, but in fact more. Jerusalem is third important holy city in Islam, after Mecca and Medina. The Masjid Al – Aqsa in Jerusalem, the third holiest shrine in Islam, is situated at the very Mount which carries the ruins of Jewish Second Temple.

In fact, even in the earlier days of the spiritual ministry of Prophet Muhammad, the Islamic practice of offering prayer was in the direction {the Qibla}facing Jerusalem until it was later changed towards the Holy Kaaba in Mecca by the Prophet under God’s direction.

More ever, as regards the Jewish claim to the Promised Land on the basis of being descendants of Abraham, Arab Muslims too claim similar lineage. It is their belief that Prophet Muhammad is a descendent of Ishmael, the son of Abraham through his second wife, Hagar.

A hardliner Religious Muslim clings to his spiritual beliefs as dearly as his Jewish counterpart and he is in no mood to compromise one bit on them. The Jewish claim for Jerusalem is seen as an intrusion on his religious belief. The hostility of the Islamic countries to Israel in this regard may range from not recognising it as a State to its eradication from the face of earth. It should not matter even if the end result is War.

A hardliner Religious Muslim clings to his spiritual beliefs as dearly as his Jewish counterpart and he is in no mood to compromise one bit on them. The Jewish claim for Jerusalem is seen as an intrusion on his religious belief. The hostility of the Islamic countries to Israel in this regard may range from not recognising it as a State to its eradication from the face of earth. It should not matter even if the end result is War.

7. The Christian beliefs:- Palestine is the birth place of Jesus Christ and the scene of action of His life and spiritual ministry. Christians as a world community are not making any exclusive claim for Palestine as its own land based on any religious belief.

8. Beliefs relating to War :- Readers, we have seen above the religious beliefs leading to war. Now, we shall see the religious beliefs relating to war itself. Generally, these beliefs relating to war also coincide with beliefs relating to Coming of the Promised Savior [the much awaited Messiah]. This is because it is this Savior who ultimately resolves this War and the dispute between the warring parties. In short, in these beliefs, you should see three common aspects – [1] A Great Religious War [2] An intervention of the Savior in the War and [3] the dawning of a Messianic Era i.e. golden age under the Messiah’s spiritual administration where religious differences vanish, the Original Religion is returned and the world community converges in belief in One God. These are the three expectations in religious beliefs relating to war.

So that we in India should understand, such common aspects can also be traced in the Hindu beliefs. In Ramayana, a Great War was fought against tyranny; to which Lord Rama gave the resolution towards victory and the golden age of Ram Rajya then followed.

9. Jewish Messianism and War:- Let us start with the Jewish belief associated its Temple in Jerusalem. The history of the Temple is that the Jewish King David wanted to build the Temple during the Biblical times, but he did not receive the mandate from God as his hand was “bloodied” {with bloodshed in wars}. {This is commensurate with the Jewish belief that the construction of the Temple is permissible only when God ordains and not till then, which belief is maintained even today as the readers will see in subsequent portions of the discussion in the article.} So, the task was left to his son, King Solomon, who completed the task. This Temple is known as the First Temple of the Jews and also known as Solomon’s Temple. The First Temple was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon in 586 BC and the Jews came under Babylonian Rule.

The Babylonian rule in Palestine was followed by other rules until Palestine became a part of the Persian Empire. The reconstruction of the Temple was permitted under the rule of the Persian King Cyrus the Great in 537/ 538 BC and completed in 516 BCE under the reign of Darius the Great. This reconstructed Temple is known as the Second Temple.

Jesus Christ’s visit to the Second Temple is recorded in the New Testament. In this Chapter, there is a report that Jesus, who had come to pray there, was angered to see in the courtyard, sprawling stalls of money changers [i.e. those who changed the coins of foreign pilgrims in to local currencies to enable them to make their offerings]. Jesus is stated to have over turned the tables of the money changers in anger and chased them away, accusing them of desecrating the sacred place by commercial use. By this incident, the Christians believe that the wrath of God had fallen on the Temple.

There is also a Christian belief based on the New Testament that Jesus has predicted the destruction of the Temple. Jesus is stated to have told his disciples, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”The Second Temple was destroyed by the Roman Emperor Titus in 70 A.D, which incident the Christian believe was the fulfillment of Christ’s words.

Thereafter, there were two attempts by the Jews to reconstruct the Third Temple. The second attempt was initiated under orders of the Roman Emperor Julian the Apostate.[so called because of his known opposition to Christianity}.The devout Jews generously contributed their wealth for its rebuilding and assembled in large numbers to put their hands in reconstruction. Then, sudden tragedy struck. The foundations of the Second Temple were barely uncovered when flames of fire burst forth from under the ground. The flames were accompanied by large explosions. The workmen fled and the building was stopped, never again to be restarted. Many believed that the explosion and fire were a demonstration of the anger of God on the Jews as the rebuilding of the Temple was not divinely ordained at that time.

In days to come, the Jews were exiled from Palestine. The Jews do not believe in Jesus Christ and do not subscribe to the Christian view that the Second Temple was destructed by wrath of Jesus. But, they believe that the deprivation of the Promised Land and destruction of the Temple was ordained by their God for wavering from the path shown by Him. They now believe that the Promised Land and the reconstruction of the Third Temple will take place only when their God ordains and not one moment before and that it will acting against His Will if they forced their hands to do so till then. Their atonement for sins is reflected in their prayer where they confess to the sins which caused their banishment from the Promised Land and deprivation of worship in the Temple. They invoke His Will to have mercy on them and rebuilt the sacred sanctuary speedily and magnify its glory, which has been lost.

The Jewish believe that the reconstruction of the Temple will be at the hands of Divine Providence in a Messianic Era. The Messianic Era according to them is the age in which their Messiah will return and restore the glory of their religion. The Messiah will usher a Kingdom of Peace after a bitter war and there will dawning of consciousness in the people of belief in only one God. This Messianism is a central pillar of devout Jewish faith so much so that to negate it would mean to disregard the very words of their Prophet and their Holy Book.

From 1922 to 1947, Palestine came to be administered by the British under what was known as the British Mandate of Palestine. After the world wide persecution of the Jews in the hands of Hitler, the demands of the insecure Jewish community for a separate homeland increased. The British were initially unwilling to admit this demand of Jews and this lead to large scale infiltration of the Jews in to Palestine followed by acts of terrorism by the Jewish resistance groups against the British administration. Finally, with the rising sympathy for the Jews pursuant to persecution in hands of the Nazis, the British declared the need for Jews to have a separate homeland. This lead to wide spread resentment in the Arab community, who felt they were betrayed and let down.

On 29-11-1947, the United Nations General Assembly vide Resolution no. 181 voted for the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine and terminate the British Mandate by 1-8-1948 . The Partition Plan envisaged a three way partition of Palestine – a Jewish State, an Arab State with Greater Jerusalem including Bethlehem coming under international control initially for 10 years. The Plan provided that existing rights in respect of Holy Places and religious buildings and sites shall not be denied or impaired.

A majority of the Jews and the Jewish groups supported the plan, but the Arab leaderships opposed it. This was followed by attacks by the Arabs on Jewish establishments.

In December 1947, the Arab League’s meeting in Cairo adopted a series of resolutions for a military solution to the Palestinian conflict. On 14-5-1948, the State of Israel came in to being. The proposed Arab State never came in to being. The areas allotted to the Arab State in the Plan were conquered and annexed by Egypt and Jordan. Israel also took opportunity to expand its territories by invasions resulting in having about 77 % of the Palestine territory in its folds.

The new State of Israel was invaded by the troops from Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria setting in to motion the 1948 Arab Israeli War. Israel sustained its territories in this War.

In 1967, a six day war was fought by Israel and the Arab countries. The Israeli troops entered Jerusalem and took possession of the city under the leadership of the Defense Minister Moshe Dayan. Then, an interesting thing happened which the Readers should note. Moshe Dayan did not take possession of the site of the Jewish Holy Temple and proceed to reconstruct it. This is site on which the present Islamic holy structures of Masjid Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock also stand and this site is the bone of contention between the Jewish and Islamic communities. One would have expected the Israelis to take opportunity of the invasion and reconstruct the cherished Third Temple. No, but Moshe Dayan did not do any thing of this sort. He handed the keys of the Temple to a Muslim Wafq to administer this site with a condition that the Jewish right to pray at the site {the Wailing Wall} is assured. The ‘Religion’ in Moshe Dayan got the better of the ‘General’ in him. The belief that the Temple cannot be constructed till it is certain that God has signaled it prompted Moshe Dayan to take this step. The Israeli army also withdrew from Jerusalem. This incident should surely convince the readers to agree with me that a religious belief can not only powerfully determine the course of a war, but its outcome.

10. Christian Messianism and War :- Christianity also has its own share of beliefs in Messianism. The Christian believes in the Second Coming of Christ. This belief is also ‘war related’ as the expected return of Christ is in opposition to one, Anti-Christ, an evil general who is prophesied to plunge the world in to a bloody conflict with an aim to establish his kingdom of evil on earth.

This Anti-Christ is stated to find mention in Bible four times and the prophecy relating to him has also been mentioned in the Nostrodamus’ prophecies. The Anti- Christ is stated to be represented by a ‘number’ i.e. ‘666’ [three times ‘sixes’ in succession- I shall explain it a bit later}. The Anti Christ is believed to be a false prophet, who will impersonate as a Savior and mislead the credible devotees. His followers will participate in his army under a mistaken belief that he is the Savior and his waging of the war is a justifiable pre-requisite for re-establishment of religion. With his deceit and power, he will not only lead his followers astray but also submit his opposition to unspeakable persecution and humiliation.

In the initial stages, Anti-Christ will meet unprecedented success in his conquest over countries. But, ultimately, he will be defeated and exposed by the Returned Christ.

Now, regarding the prophetic number ‘666’. Readers may note there is an intelligent use of code numbers in religions to express something which is ‘divinely ordained’. I shall give you an Indian example to acquaint you with the technique of numbers in religion. We are familiar with the life of Lord Krishna and the prophecy associated with his birth. His birth was the answer to the prophecy that the eighth child of Devaki would slay the tyrant king, Kama. Lord Krishna was born as the eighth child of Devaki on the eighth day of the eighth Hindu calendar month. He is also the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. He had eight queens. Thus, the rhetoric use of the number ‘eight’ in Krishna life associates this number with Him in our minds and when we refer to any person as a ‘eight number’ one, we know that we are referring to Krishna.

Likewise, the celebrity Brazilian football payer Pele can be referred by ‘number ten’ – the famous number on his jersey. If we want to call somebody as ‘brainless’ or ‘idiot’, we call him as ‘zero’. This is how numbers register in our mindsets as numerical representations of personalities.

Coming back to the number ‘666’ – the mark of the Anti-Christ, there are three speculations as regards this number. The first is that it represents a ‘personality’ and the second is that it represents a ‘force’ and third is that it represents a date of a catastrophic event e.g. 06-06-06 {6th June of year 2006 ] or the like.

Readers, may note the difference between a mere ‘personality’ and a ‘force’. For example, in India, Dr. Ambedkar is not just a ‘personality’, he is a ‘force’. He ‘lives’ even after his death in the hearts and minds of his large following. There is a “Dr. Ambedkar” in each of his followers and also in all the followers together. His sphere of influences thus extends beyond his physical being in to his followership and he is thus a ‘force’.

Likewise, Jesus Christ and Prophet Muhammad are ‘personalities’ as well as a ‘forces’. They are examples of good ‘forces’.

Osama Bin Laden is an example of an evil force. Even if the United States army finds and kills him, he will continue to live as a ‘force’ in his followers.

The ‘Anti-Christ force’ is similarly the opposition to the ‘Christ force’.

Three leaders of three countries, who can each be represented by a ‘number six’ can, in combination, form the Anti-Christ force of ‘666’. For example, a sixth ruler of a country can be represented by number ‘six.’ Readers, try to find three such ‘sixth’ rulers. See if they have both the capacity and the motive of combining with an objective to defeat the “Christ” force. If they are so found, be on alert that they can form the ‘666’ force.

Then, it would also mean that 06-06-06 is not 6th June 2006 literally, but the ‘date’ on which these three ‘Anti-Christ sixes’ have come together in association. This will be the date of initiation of the Third World War.

The mention of Anti-Christ ‘four’ times in the Bible indicate that Anti-Christ must register ‘four’ times in our mind. So therefore, besides the ‘three’ players in the ‘666’ Anti-Christ force, there must be another player – the ‘fourth’ one. He must be the real brain behind these three players, i.e. the Anti-Christ himself, the master puppeteer.

Prophecies in Holy Books need to be taken seriously. Practically every important incident in Christ’s life was prophesied even before His birth took place and the mention of the fulfillment of such prophecies are against each incident in the New Testament. Know, O Readers that the Holy Books contain words ordained by God only. The Word of God is unfailing and it will always come true. It cannot collapse. The entire creation is the evidence of the power in this Word – for it was the Word that created the Universe, it is the Word that sustains it and causes its changes.

11. Islamic Messianism and War :- The Islamic belief about the Coming of the Messiah is more centered in the Shia sect of this faith. ‘Al-Mahdi’ is the Promised Redeemer of Islam, who will ultimately rid the world of error, tyranny and injustice. The Return of Christ has also been prophesized in this belief. Both the Mahdi and the Returned Christ will fight together and defeat the evil forces of a one eyed enemy called Dajjal {the Islamic equivalent of Anti-Christ}.

The Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is the biggest subscriber to Mahdism. He is of the firm belief that he has received ‘divine appointment’ to herald the imminent arrival of the Mahdi. In fact, during the course of his speech to the United Nations in September 2005, which is stated to be laden with references to the Mahdi, the Iranian President believes that he had undergone a paranormal experience of being engulfed in green light and in this experience, he saw the world leaders looking at him transfixed without moving an eyelid for 27 to 28 minutes as if ‘a hand’ was holding them there.

For the Iranian President, martyrdom in the cause of the Mahdi is the most coveted principle and he is always exhorting his countrymen to join his band of martyrs awaiting the arrival of Mahdi. His speeches are rhetoric with references to the Mahdi.

His recent election to the second term of Presidentship was controversial with allegations of rigging. But, the Iranian President has the support of the Ayatollah, the Supreme Religious Leader in Iranian politics, who says his election was ‘divinely ordained’. Considering that the leaderships in Iran intensely believe that the arrival of the Mahdi is imminent, then be sure that the Great War for purported complete establishment of Islam in this world by Iran is also in the making. Iran is expected to be become fully capable for nuclear warfare in the coming times.

12. Indian Messianism?

The Biblical prophecy of the coming of Anti Christ finds an echo in the Nostradamus’ Prophecies. Nostradamus has also prophesied the Third World War and the role of an Anti-Christ in this War. If the prophecies of Nostradamus are read, it may appear that there is a spill over of Palestinian Messianism in to India. According to Nostradamus, a person will be born in the land of ‘three seas sign” i.e. India, which has three seas on its boundaries. He will celebrate his ‘day’ on a Thursday. In India, Thursday {Guruvaar} is prayer day for Hindus, just as Friday is for Muslims, Saturday for Jews and Sunday for Christians. The sign of identification of such a person is that he will be “unstoppable” in the sense that his fame, praise, rule and power shall grow like a tempest in the East. Such a person, it appears, will provide the decisive leadership in the battle against the Anti-Christ.

13. India’s concerns:- Readers in India may wonder what the Palestinian conflict and their beliefs has got to do with us, when we are sitting thousands of miles away. All I can say is that sometime ago, somebody sneezed in a remote part of Mexico without keeping a handkerchief on his face and it did not capture anybody’s attention in India. Today, we have swine flu here in India. The sparks of previous world wars were not lit in India, but the flames were felt here. If prophesies of war do not come true, there would be no person happier in this world than me.

With these remarks, I will leave my readers to ponder over what is written. God be with all of you.

See Also: Mumbai Terror Attacks – Mere Terrorism or something else? and Pakistan – The Global Terrorism Monster! by CA Anant N. Pai ‘Indian’

4 comments on “Beliefs, Prophecies and War
  1. subramania Iyer says:

    A special BIG Thanks to the author for sharing his vast knowledge with us and provoking analytical thinking .

  2. Such a thorough researched article. It is sad that 328 views and only 2 responses.

    Thanks to the author.

    By the by, I could not control my laugh when I saw an advertisement within this site where some group was trying to make money by selling God/religion. As someone has rightly said ‘God/….’ are the easiest methods to make money’.

  3. Sowmya says:

    The article has very good attention to detail. Must be published for a wider audience i.e some popular newspaper or weekly.

  4. Ganesh says:

    a well researched article which makes lot of sense when read in context

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