By Nelly Favis Villafuerte
In the Holy Bible, there are Biblical prophecies that are not yet fulfilled. One of such ancient prophecies that has created a lot of anxiety these days in the light of contemporary events is about the total destruction of Damascus, the capital of Syria. The Book of Isaiah in the Old Testament says: “See, Damascus will no longer be a city but will become a heap of ruins.”
On Friday the 13th (April 13, 2018), the US, United Kingdom, and France launched precision strikes on targets associated with the chemical weapons capability of Syria. Damascus was one of the places in Syria hit by the combined military forces of US, UK, and France. There are reports that more than 100 missiles were fired in Syria – as a warning to the Syrian dictator Bashar Al Assad to stop launching chemical weapons attacks against his own people. It will be recalled that the ongoing civil war in Syria began in 2011.
In the minds of many, the ongoing Syrian crisis is a fulfillment of Bible prophecy… a part of end-times prophecy. Syria is near Israel and any military operation in any country near Israel puts Israel on the alert. There is also the on-and-off threat of neighboring Iran to attack Israel. Consider too the alliance of Iran and Russia, adding to the already explosive situation in the Middle East. We also see Russia, Iran, Israel, and other Middle East countries (the countries were referred to by other names in the Bible) forming alliances with one another during the end times (see Jeremiah 49:23-27; Ezekiel Chapter 38 and 39, and Psalm 83). Today, we are seeing events connected with Biblical end-times prophecy unfolding before our eyes. The latest of which is the Syrian crisis. While many think that the on-going chaos in Syria is just coincidental without any prophetic implications at all, we cannot ignore the fact that every passing day ever draws us closer to the fulfillment of the end-times prophecies in the Bible – one of which is the total destruction of Damascus
Syria (especially the cities of Antioch and Damascus) has significance in Bible history. Let us consider the following:
- Syria is called the cradle of civilization. No less than 39 civilizations emerged from Syria. It was the cradle of Semitic civilization from whom descended the Sumerians, the Canaanites, the Phoenicians, the Assyrians, the Hittites, the Armenians, the Chaldeans, the Arabs, and others. They are all considered Semitic people. Aramaic is the mother of all Semitic languages in the Middle East.
- The greatest sermon of Jesus in the world called the “Sermon of the Mount” was delivered by Jesus on Mount Hermon in Syria.
- The Ten Commandments were given to Moses by God on Mount Horai in Syria.
- Jesus walked, taught, and performed miracles of healing in Syria (see Matthew 4;24 and Matthew 9:35).
- In ancient Biblical times, Antioch in Syria (together with Jerusalem) was the starting “preaching ground” of Apostle Paul, Luke, Mark, and others who later preached the gospel to the world despite persecutions and martyrdom. Antioch is mentioned at 20 times in the Bible.
- Damascus, the capital of Syria, is the world’s oldest city. The term Damascus is mentioned about 60 times in the Bible.
- The City of Damascus was where Saul of Tarsus, feared for his hatred for the disciples of the Lord, was converted to Christianity (see Book of Acts Chapter 9). Remember the famous voice (of Jesus) to Saul as he approached Damascus: “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” (Acts 9:4) Damascus is also remembered as the place where the Lord’s disciples helped Saul (later known as Apostle Paul) to escape by night “in a basket.”
- Damascus has existed since prehistoric times. Unbelievably, the city still carries the same name (Damascus) as it did at the time of Christ. The Book of Genesis, the first book of the Bible mentions Damascus during the time of Abraham (Genesis 14:15 and Genesis 15:2). No wonder, this is what is said of Damascus, “The world began at Damascus and the world will end there.”
- Mark Twain, the famous writer, said when he visited Damascus in 1867: “To Damascus, years are only moments, decades are only flitting trifles of time. She measures time not by days and months and years, but by the empires she has seen rise and prosper and crumble to ruin. She is a type of immortality.” (Reference: https://www.britannica.com/place/Damascus)
By the way, as of Thursday, April 12, 2018, one hundred books (The Mystery of the Jubilee) that this column committed to give out for free has been reached. Since requests for copies of this book are still pouring in from the provinces, an additional 50 books for free distribution to the readers of this column are still being distributed – courtesy of the generous donor. As for the free subscribers of our daily Thought for the Day (Monday to Friday) that we have been e-mailing for the past 15 years, a few copies short 100 have already been distributed to the subscribers as of Thursday, April 12, 2018, and requests are still coming in.
This column continues to give out copies of the Holy Bible for free to those who cannot afford to buy their own copies. If interested, please send your letter-request to Ms. Nelly Favis Villafuerte, 5233 LRV Building, Fahrenheit St., Palanan, Makati City. Kindly mention if it is the Tagalog, English, Cebuano, or Ilocano Bible that is preferred.
Be joyful and forgiving! (Comments may be sent to Ms. Villafuerte’s email: [email protected])