The End is Near: Chapter Two
Dr Philip Cheong is writing a book about the Endtimes. He has graciously allowed me to post it here.
Read Chapter One
Chapter 2February 2012
The next event on the prophetic horizon is the destruction of Damascus. Watch the news. Jesus Christ is coming again soon.
John 14:2-3 English Standard Version (ESV)
Jesus said, “In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”
John 14:29 English Standard Version (ESV)
And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe.
We live in tumultuous times, we live in privileged times. We have the privilege of experiencing the fulfilling of many Bible prophecies: the return of Jews to their homeland in May 1948, the signs that Jesus predicted in Matthew 24, the on-going formation of one world government, the great economic disparity, the symbolic Four horses of Revelation, the internet and the technology that make the implementation of the ‘mark’ feasible, the soon coming Middle East war, the soon destruction of Damascus. I will expand on the above in future months, God willing. Now we take a look at the prophecy concerning Damascus.
Isaiah 17:1 English Standard Version (ESV)Damascus, the oldest continuous inhabited city in the world.
Behold, Damascus will cease to be a city and will become a heap of ruins.
The city was founded more than 4000 years ago. Damascus is first directly mentioned in the Bible way back in Genesis 14:15 when Abraham defeated the combined forces of a number of kings under Kedorlaomer. Before Abraham had children (Isaac and Ishmael), Eliezer of Damascus, Abraham's chief servant, was to have been his heir (Genesis 15:2).
According to the 1st century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus in his twenty-one volume Antiquities of the Jews, Damascus was founded by Uz, the son of Aram. he stated:
Nicolaus of Damascus, in the fourth book of his History, says thus: "Abraham reigned at Damascus, being a foreigner, who came with an army out of the land above Babylon, called the land of the Chaldeans: but, after a long time, he got him up, and removed from that country also, with his people, and went into the land then called the land of Canaan, but now the land of Judea, and this when his posterity were become a multitude; as to which posterity of his, we relate their history in another work. Now the name of Abraham is even still famous in the country of Damascus; and there is shown a village named from him, The Habitation of Abraham.
King David held Damascus for some time, with a large garrison there (2 Samuel 8:5-6).
Damascus was captured and partially destroyed by the Assyrians under Tiglath-Pileser. The inhabitants were carried captive into Assyria. This fall was a fulfillment of Amos 1:3-5 and Jeremiah 49:24 prophecy not the prophecy of Isaiah 17:1. Damascus did not cease to be a city, it continued to these days.
Damascus then experienced a long era of foreign rulers - Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, and Romans. It remained under Roman control through the New Testament period.
The city is perhaps best known in the New Testament for Saul's conversion on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-25) after the martyrdom of Stephen. That event created one of the most prominent Christians in all history - Paul. Ananias of Damascus also played a key role in Paul’s life.
Acts 9:10-12 English Standard Version (ESV)
Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” And the Lord said to him, “Rise and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying, and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.”
Paul became a significant figure in the first organized Christian Church at Antioch in ancient Syria, from which he left on many of his missionary journeys.
Ottoman Syria was turned into an Arab Kingdom of Syria in 1920. Syria came under French Mandate in 1941, gaining independence in 1946, entering the Arab-Israeli War in 1948, and remaining in a state of political instability during the 1950s and 1960s.
In a coup of 1970, Hafez al-Assad and his Baath Party took power. Syria was ruled autocratically by Assad during 1970–2000, and after Hafez al-Assad's death in 2000, he was succeeded by his son Bashar al-Assad.
In the context of the Arab Spring of 2011, Bashar al-Assad's regime faces the ongoing 2011 Syrian uprising.
In spite of many conquests, Damascus has not been completely destroyed or ceased to be a city. The Prophecy of Isaiah 17:1 “Behold, Damascus will cease from being a city, and it will be a ruinous heap” has not yet been fulfilled. It will happen very soon. Watch the NEWS!
John 14:29 New Living Translation (NLT)
I have told you these things before they happen so that when they do happen, you will believe.
“Syrian President Bashar Assad on Tuesday (October 4, 2011) threatened to set fire to the Middle East, and especially to Israel, if NATO attacks Syria ,” the Iranian Fars news agency reported.
In meeting with Turkish FM, Syrian president discusses possibility of NATO strike, says “If a crazy measure is taken against Damascus, I won’t need more than six hours to transfer hundreds of rockets to Golan to fire at Tel Aviv.” Syrian President Bashar Assad on Tuesday threatened to set fire to the Middle East, and especially to Israel, if NATO attacks Syria , the Iranian Fars news agency reported.
According to the Fars news agency, the Syrian president stressed that Damascus will also call on Hezbollah in Lebanon to launch a fierce rocket and missile attack on Israel, one that Israeli intelligence could never imagine. “All these events will happen in three hours, but in the next three hours, Iran will attack US warships in the Persian Gulf as American and European interests will be targeted.” ( Assad threatens to attack Tel Aviv in case of NATO strike, Israel News, 10-04-11).
The London-based al-Sharq al-Awsat Arabic-language newspaper reported Tuesday that mass demonstrations had been held in all of Syria’s principal cities Monday, in support of an announcement by the rebel Syrian National Council (Eerily similar in sound to its Libyan NATO-supported counterpart: Libya National Transitional Council) that it was setting up a shadow government in Istanbul, that would be ready to move into power as soon as Assad fell.
The “decision” has been made – al-Assad must go! USA announced in its news conference today (31/01/2012). White House spokesman Jay Carney: "Assad's fall is inevitable... The regime has lost control of the country.”
Now begins the embattlement in earnest.
Syria's Assad will go, says US, as UN vote nears.
The White House said President Bashar al-Assad had lost control of Syria, adding "he will go".
Russia has said it will block a UN resolution calling for Mr Assad to hand power to a deputy who would then form a government of national unity.
Moscow said the text - proposed by the Arab League and backed by the US, the UK and France - was "not balanced" and would "leave open the possibility of intervention" in Syria's affairs.
Moscow, which has maintained its ties with Damascus, has so far resisted moves for a UN resolution condemning the violence in Syria. Russia has a naval base in the country and supplies arms to Syria.
"The current Western draft... certainly cannot be supported by us," Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov told the Interfax news agency.
Mr Gatilov said the draft was "not balanced" and "leaves open the possibility of intervention in Syrian affairs".
France says 10 of the 15 countries on the Security Council now support the Arab League text. A minimum of nine council members must lend their backing in order for a resolution to be put to a vote.
However, Russia - as one of the five permanent council members - can veto any proposed resolution.
“Behold, Damascus will cease from being a city, and it will be a ruinous heap”
Russia, China oppose anti-Syria draft
The UNSC logo. The West and Arab League are pushing for an anti-Syria UNSC draft resolution.
Wed Feb 1, 2012 2:46AM
Russia and China have rejected a potential UN Security Council (UNSC) draft resolution against Syria proposed by undemocratic Arab states and backed by Western powers.
The top officials of the Arab League (AL) gathered at the UN headquarters in New York on Tuesday, swaying the world body to force Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to resign and hand over the power to a deputy, who is then supposed to form a national unity government 'with the opposition within two months.'
The United States, the UK, and France have supported the AL plan.
Russia and China, however, have expressed opposition to the draft resolution based on their concerns that it could eventually lead to military action against Syria similar to the NATO attacks on Libya in March 2011.
We await new developments as we look forward to the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Timothy 4:8 English Standard Version (ESV)Loving His appearing,
Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.