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1. Damascus

This issue contains some news of an amazing event in the Middle East, some background information Christians need to know regarding Islam, and a few tips to help you avoid some common writing mistakes.

Our Israeli Connection

According to Joel Rosenberg, something remarkable took place on March 2nd in the capital of Syria. More than 1,100 senior Syrian government officials, journalists, business leaders and religious leaders — Muslim, Catholic and evangelical Christian — attended the gala premiere of a major motion picture entitled “DAMASCUS,” written, produced and directed by entirely Arab Christians. The film, part documentary and part narrative drama, tells the story of how Saul of Tarsus — one of the first prominent persecutors of Christ-followers in the Holy Land — himself became a follower of Jesus during a miraculous encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus and eventually became known as the Apostle Paul, going on to write much of the New Testament.

The event is especially important in light of the prophecies in Isaiah 17 and Jeremiah 49 which state that at some unknown time, the city of Damascus will be obliterated. Christians should pray that the message of Christ's love and forgiveness would find its way to every Syrian.

It's News to Me

Have you noticed the recent explosion of devotion to Islam's so-called Messiah figure, “the Mahdi?” In case you missed it, in his address to the United Nations General generic cialis in india Assembly in 2005, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad boldly prayed to hasten the Madhi's emergence. (His comments expressed his view that the Mahdi will essentially be the reincarnation of Mohammed.) According to Islamic prophecy, the coming of the Madhi is the first of the major signs heralding the “Last Days.” While the Sunni and Shi'a camps have differing views of the details regarding the Mahdi, his coming is an established doctrine for both, and, in fact, for all Muslims worldwide.

Some misguided world leaders have found comfort in the fact that only the radical brand of Muslims are caught up in this fanatical idea. They rely on moderate Muslims to help “keep the peace” since they reject all forms of violent JIhad. This is true, for now. Once moderates believe the Madhi has come, all bets are off. The fifteen percent (violent Muslims) will become ninety percent. The remaining ten percent of liberals who reject the Caliphate (a legitimate sitting Calif who will rule the world and force all laws to conform to Sharia law) will be the first to go. The worldwide Jihad will begin.

In case you think this is just sensationalism, consider the fact that every biblical prophecy related to Christ's Second Coming pictures Christ fighting a nation that is currently Muslim. These prophecies suggest that Islam will be the major world power at the time. They will not reach that status by exercising moderation. Add to this the fact that every description of the Madhi's character in Islamic literature matches that of the Antichrist. Suddenly, the whole concept of a Muslim Messiah seems less far-fetched than many of us once thought. Read more.

Writing Tips

A common writing mistake springs from the erroneous assumption that all forms of the word “Bible” or “Scripture” should be capitalized. Only the nouns are capitalized. The adverbs and adjectives are not. Always capitalize Bible, Scripture, and Messiah. Do not capitalize biblical, biblically, scriptural, scripturally, messianic, epistle, or gospel (unless it refers to one of the four Gospels.

Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.

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