by Terry James
Here we are at the end of November, 2016 and prophetic possibilities are popping all around us. Israel is in the process of –as usual– being pressured as part of trying to divide God’s land, meaning that Joel 3:2 is on the cusp of coming to pass. The “covenant made with death and hell” of Isaiah chapter 28 might not be far distant in the making.
Paul’s “perilous times” (2 Timothy 3:1-5) words describe American culture and society to a “T,” as they say. The “days of Noah” are here, with God’s message of repentance being mocked by rebels of a judgment-bound world. Debased human behavior like in the days of Lot proliferates, so that it now seems to be more the norm than the aberrant.
Many within the ranks of those who are antagonistic to or who ignore the God of Heaven seem to instinctively sense something ominous is brewing. Something isn’t right, and a visceral fear streams just beneath the surface of civility. The behavior of mankind–especially in America—demands correction of some sort, although neither the problem nor the correction can be discerned. A reprobate mind like that forewarned in Romans 1 prevents clear analysis in trying to understand the matters involved.
Ominous predictions like the prophecies of the long-dead French seer Nostradamus pique the interest of many every time his name is mentioned. In the minds of some, at least, a nebulous justice of some sort must demand a penalty for the base things infecting this generation. Guilt feelings fester in the collective consciousness to a degree.
Things going on in the Middle East trouble these who are unsure about the source and the reason for their uneasiness. Israel is most often given by mainstream press outlets as the number-one culprit in fomenting hostilities in that incendiary part of the world. However, the usually-pointed-at Israel doesn’t seem an underlying cause of things taking place in Syria, with the massacring of his fellow Syrians by dictator Bashar al-Assad.
There is good reason for fear of things developing in Damascus. It is a city of biblically prophetic import like only two others. Jerusalem is slated for both great turmoil and magnificent glorification, according to Bible prophecy. Babylon–whether the actual city within Iraq or whether figurative, as given in Revelation chapter 18–will suffer destruction as none other in history.
Damascus is prophetically scheduled for similar devastation. With all other signs of the return of Jesus Christ on the end-times horizon, the current developments in this, the oldest occupied city on the planet, is most relevant for those who are “watchmen on the wall.” The fate of the Syrian capital just might be nearly the top indicator of how near is the Rapture of the church.
The verse of great interest among those who watch for Christ’s return is, of course, the following: “The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap” (Isaiah 17:1).
According to the signals given in prophetic Scripture, the present generation of Earth dwellers looks to be in the last of the last days before the first phase of Christ’s Second Coming–the removal of all born-again believers from Planet Earth. This prophetic utterance by the prophet Isaiah has recently and dramatically arisen to prominence amid all of the other indicators pointing to the end of days. Damascus’ destruction fits somewhere within the general time frame of the very end of the age. Whether we have reached that parentheses in God’s prophetic program is the question, when considering news of the current tumult in Syria.
The Syrian dictator, President Bashar al-Assad, it is thought by some of the most in-the-know diplomatic types, senses that his time is about up. He will soon go the way of, at worst, Saddam Hussein and Moammar Gadhafi, and at best, Hosni Mubarak. Many of the “experts” believe al-Assad will choose to bring the entire Syrian people down with him rather than abdicate rulership or flee to escape his comeuppance.
The international community powers that be view warily al-Assad’s activities within his capital city and nation. Russia’s asserting itself within the affairs of Syria and the region greatly adds to the portentous uncertainties for the immediate future.
Al-Assad has certainly witnessed what happens to former tyrants in his part of the world in recent times. The question is not without merit. Might the Syrian dictator himself invoke his own “Samson option,” of sorts, and become the instrument of prophecy in making Damascus the “ruinous heap” it is destined to become?