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2. Damascus Update

If you want the inside story on what's happening within Israel and Islam, stay tuned. In addition, I'll be reporting on events that affect believers everywhere.This issue contains an update on the film “DAMASCUS,” some perspective on the proposed “two state solution” in Israel, an explanation for Islam's curious interest in controlling Jerusalem, and some writing tips.

Our Israeli Connection

In the last issue, I told you about the amazing showing of the film “DAMASCUS,” the story of Saul of Tarsus. I am delighted to report that more than 1,000 Syrian political, business, and religious leaders, as well as many journalists, attended the premier showing in the Damascus Opera House. It created quite a stir in the region. The Syrian government actually facilitated the production of the film and permitted a huge advertising billboard that was seen by millions of people every day for several weeks prior to the showing. The crowd apparently was really getting into the story and applauded when Saul's eyes were opened, at his baptismal scene, and when the followers of “The Way” were first called “Christians.” Isn't it great how the Apostle Paul is still appearing before kings and presidents even after his death? Please pray that the film and its message will find their way thoughout the Middle East. The entire Arab world is talking about the premier. With all the bad news, we can rejoice that God is still in the business of reaching out to “whomever will call on the name of the Lord.”

Let's shift our focus to the center of the action. The Obama administration generic cialis cheap has made it clear that it will push for a “two state” solution in Israel, including dividing Jerusalem. This move would allow Arabs to declare East Jerusalem (where all the holy sites are) as the capital of their new state. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has ignored the fact that under Israeli rule, Jerusalem has been a free and open city to everyone. Such freedom was nonexistent when the city was divided and Jews were driven out of the Old City. She appears not to be bothered by the prospect of Islamic terrorists establishing bases in the heart of Jerusalem. The Holy City would become inaccessible to both Jews and Christians. Look what happened in Gaza. We must pray that Israel's new leader Benjamin Netanyahu will hold firm in his rejection of such a disastrous plan.

This is just another in a long string of “land for peace” plans forced on Israel (usually by U.S. presidents). Considering the dismal failure of every one of these attempts, it is unbelievable that supposedly intelligent people think that for some reason it will work this time. It will never work for one simple reason. Israel's enemies have no desire to live alongside Israel in peace. They have vowed to fight until all of Israel is removed from the region and erased from existence. A two state “solution” would surely lead to Israel's quick demise. Since biblical prophecy makes it clear that Israel is never destroyed, I believe God will prevent such a foolish plan to be adopted. If I'm wrong, God will intervene in a spectacular way. One thing is clear. He will deal harshly with those nations that participated in any way in dividing up His land. Check out Joel 3:1-2.

It's News to Me

Have you ever wondered why Jerusalem is so important to Muslims? After all, isn't Mecca their holy city? Besides, Jerusalem isn't even mentioned in the Koran. So how did the greatest city for Christians and Jews become their city, too? To find an answer, we must go back to the Crusades, the so-called “Christian Campaign” to retake the Holy City back from the Muslims. Doing so would show the superiority of Christianity over Islam. Islam had grown (back in the 7th Century) largely because the Christian “Church” had grown weak and powerless. (It is no coincidence that this weakening paralleled the Church's official rejection of its Jewish roots.) When the Muslims conquered Jerusalem, they proclaimed their view of truth–Islam had replaced Judaism and Christianity. They used a new tactic in this proclamation. They built the Dome of the Rock on the online casino Temple Mount on the very spot, as best we can tell, where Abraham offered Isaac. Muslims claim that Ishmael, not Isaac, was offered, but that's another story in itself. Amazingly, the Jews supported the Muslims in taking over the city. Why would they do that? To get back at the Christians for their cruel treatment of the Jews. They actually helped the Muslim invaders locate the very site for the “Dome.”

So here's the point. Jerusalem has become important to Muslims because it was there that Islam demonstrated its triumph over Judaism and Christianity. This is the true significance of the “Dome.” The greatest disaster and shame in the history of Islam was the loss of Old Jerusalem after the '67 War. Why? Because not controlling Jerusalem calls into question the very truth of Islam. If it does not control Jerusalem, has it really superseded Judaism and Christianity? Any territory conquered by Islam is expected to stay under Islamic control. This is why a religious Muslim can never consent to any peace agreement allowing Jews to control Jerusalem. Keep this in mind as you watch the political maneuvering in coming days.

Writing Tips

Good writers must be observant. Here's an interesting exercise. Look closely at the following words: unquestionably, facetious, abstemious, abstentious, and bookkeeping. How are each of these different from every other word in the English language? Examine them closely. Don't read ahead. You'll miss out on all the fun. OK, are you done? And the answer is…The first has all the vowels including y. The next three have all the vowels in order. The last has three sets of double letters. That one was easy. If you got them all, congratulate yourself.

A reminder from the last issue–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.

I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.

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