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Books by Tom Kovach

Dec 2006
Slingshot

Aug 2008
Tribulation: 2008

About the author

Tom Kovach lives near Nashville, is a former USAF Blue Beret, and has written for several online publications. In December of 2006, he published his first book, Slingshot. Tom's second book, Tribulation: 2008, was released in August of 2008.

Tom is also
an inventor, a horse wrangler, a certified paralegal, and a former network talk-show host. (He would like to lauch another talk show -- perhaps on your station.)

One highlight of Tom's career in the Air Force was serving on a protection detail for US President Ronald Reagan. Tom has also run for Congress (and might run again).

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January 2009

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Friday, 09 January 2009, at 2152 hours
Central Time -- Nashville, Tennessee, USA

The Filistin Factor

If you think that the title of this column resembles the title of a Robert Ludlum novel, you're right.  And, yes, it's by design.  I just like the man's style.  He was a master of his genre.

Similar to "a voice crying in the wilderness", I will continue to proclaim the importance of what I call "The Filistin Factor" until people finally get it on a large scale.  To say that The Filistin Factor is a concept of world-changing importance is not an exagerration.  So, you might ask, "Just what is The Filistin Factor?"

The Filistin Factor is actually more than one concept.  It is the confluence of several concepts.  One of those concepts is the propagandistic twist of language (the English language, in particular) to cause the mass population to overlook the obvious.  And, just what is "the obvious"?

The people referred to as "The Palestinians" in the so-called "mainstream" news media are the same people as "The Philistines" recorded and described in the Holy Bible.  Really.  And, the word Filistin is the English transliteration of the Arabic word that is normally translated "Palestinian".  In other words, they call themselves Philistines.  So, why shouldn't we call them Philistines?

In most translations of the primary canon of the Holy Bible, there are 20 references to the place called Gaza.  In modern language, we still use a metaphoric technique that is used even more frequently in Bible language.  That technique is to refer to an entire land by the name of its capital city.  Thus, when the Bible refers to the "land" of Gaza, it is actually refering to the country whose capital is the city of Gaza:  the country of Philistia -- the land of the Philistines.

map of the Holy Land, showing Philistia

The word "Palestine" itself -- with its "long-I" final syllable -- is a linguistic lie.  So, too, is the word "Palestinian".  The people of that area speak Arabic.  And, in that language, they are called Filistin (pronounced exactly the same way as the English word "Philistine").  It is only when we come to grips with that reality that we can even begin to understand The Filistin Factor.

The Philistines were one of the ancient enemy nations that surrounded Israel.  Their capital city was Gaza.  (And, it still is.)  The Philistines were the people that often harrassed Israel.  In one battle, their champion soldier was a giant named Goliath.  In addition to the 20 mentions of Gaza in the Bible, there are another 29 uses of the word "Philistine" and 215 uses of the plural "Philistines".  There are other mentions of the Philistine cities of Ashkelon, Ashdod, Gath, and Ekron.  Gaza is the city where Samson -- the strongest man that ever lived, and a champion of Israel -- was put into slavery after he was tricked into cutting his hair (and thus losing his great strength, which was given to him by God through his long hair).  The modern State of Israel should heed the moral of the story of Samson, because they have given away the strength of their numbers to the Philistines by withdrawing from their settlements in Philistia (otherwise known as the Gaza Strip).  Just as the Philistines constantly harrassed Israel in ancient times, the same is true today.

Only with all of that background can one begin to understand The Filistin Factor.

The population of the world -- but especially of the Christian West -- is being duped into thinking that the conflicts between Israel and the "Palestinians" is nothing more than some ethnic dispute over land.  But, it is much more.  It is the acting out of the conflict between Isaac and Ishmael.  It is the perpetuation of the conflict between Israel and Egypt.  (In the wake of the destruction of Egypt at the original Passover, the king sent away a group called the Sea Peoples, who had been living in Egypt.  Some scholars believe that the Sea Peoples were the ancestors of the Philistines.)  But, some "leaders" in the modern news media do not want people to realize that this ancient conflict still rages, because they also do not want people to realize that God exists.  If anyone recognizes this ancient conflict for what it truly is, then they might be forced by circumstance to realize that the conflict (and its outcome) were predicted thousands of years ago by the Holy Bible.  And, if that is true, then the other predictions of the Bible must also be true.  And, if that is true, then so must the moral laws be true.  And, there are some that will go to great lengths to support the idea that there is no way that the Bible could be true.

So, the next time you watch a TV news story that says the Israelis are causing destruction and are "oppressing" and/or invading the people of the "Gaza Strip", just think of the word "Philistines" every time you hear "Palestinians".  The next time you hear the lamestream news media say that Israel should back off from the attacks against the terrorist group Hamas, just remember that God told the leaders of Israel that they were expected to "utterly destroy" the Philistines.

And, don't worry, that destruction will come ... soon.  How can I be sure?  Because there is no mention of Gaza or the Philistines in the various Bible prophecies of the End Times.  So, because the Tribulation is already upon us, the time for the Philistines to be conquered and/or destroyed is upon us.  With that in mind, it seems that Israel will soon defeat Hamas ... by totally destroying them.

If you steel your mind in that manner, then you will not fall prey to The Filistin Factor.


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Thursday, 25 December 2008, at 1620 hours
Central Time -- Nashville, Tennessee, USA

"Christmas" versus The Christ

Five years ago, I wrote a column that sought to "rescue" Christmas from commercialism and secularism.  The column was called "The hijacking of Christmas".  My hope was to help return our society to a more reverent view of Christmas.  Little did I realize at the time that the research I began would lead me down a much different path than originally expected.

I have come to realize that it is impossible to rescue Christmas from secularism, and make it more reverent, because Christmas (at least, as we know it in modern times) is actually opposed to Christianity!  The details of my follow-up research can be viewed in a two-part column series called "Christmas needs an extreme makeover".

Don't get me wrong.  I would love for it to be true.  The world certainly needs all of the things that Christmas purports to promote:  peace, love, joy, harmony, and hope.  But, how can we have those things, which come from God, if we pervert the very worship of the God that provides those things?

Even the very day selected to purportedly celebrate the birth of Jesus is actually an insult to God.  The pagans of ancient Rome used the 25th of December to celebrate the Feast of the Invincible Sun.  That was a leftover from Mesopotamian sun-god worship.  The sun god of Mesopotamia was named Baal.  Yes, you read correctly.  We celebrate the birth of the Son of God on a day that was dedicated to the worship of the arch-enemy of God.

Many of my columns tend to "go long".  So, for those of you that prefer the "short version", this column is intended to condense five years of research and spiritual transition into some bite-sized chunks that most people can easily digest.  Hopefully, you will soon be able to see just how far away from God the celebration of modern Christmas really is.

-----------------------------------

Christmas custom says:  Put up lights to "help the Wise Men find their way", and to show the world that we are celebrating Jesus.  Hold contests to see who has the "best" lights.

The Holy Bible says:  Jesus is "the light of the world".  (John 1:9 and 8:12)  He needs no other light.  Regarding those pesky competitions, "... what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God."  (Luke 16:15)  Besides, have you ever noticed that the organizations that sponsor those Christmas lighting contests are usually the local chamber of commerce and the local electric company?  Hmmmmmm.

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Christmas custom says:  We must spend lots of money, so that "the children" will have a "good Christmas".

The Holy Bible says:  "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."  (1st Timothy 6:10)  Teaching young children to expect something for free is merely teaching them the same "entitlement mentality" that is now bankrupting our national economy.  Santa Claus is the ultimate welfare sugar-daddy.  (Besides, within a week, half of those toys will likely be broken.  The owners of big retail chains are the ones that have a "good Christmas" when the masses spend lots of money.  Just like Leftist politicians, the retailers hide behind myths and children to bilk most of the public out of their money.)

-----------------------------------

Christmas custom says:  Put up an evergreen tree as a place for family gathering, as a sign of everlasting life, and just for fun.

The Holy Bible says:  "You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations which you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree."  (Deuteronomy 12:2; see also:  Isaiah 57:5)  Christmas trees are pagan ... period!

-----------------------------------

Christmas custom says:  Christmas is about peace on Earth.  Even people that are not Christians can celebrate Christmas.

The Holy Bible says:  "All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him."  (Matthew 11:27)  "Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.'"  (John 14:6)  Modern people that call themselves Christians seem all too eager to compromise the exclusivity of Jesus and His divinity.  As famous author Josh McDowell put it, "He is either a liar, a lunatic, or the Lord."  In his classic book, Evidence that Demands a Verdict, McDowell then disproves the first two assertions, and proves the third, by a vast array of logical and historical examinations.  How dare we bring Jesus low by saying that "anyone" can celebrate Him?

--------------------------------

The exclusivity and divinity of Jesus was so highly regarded in the early days of Christianity that church doors were guarded.  At a certain point in the worship service, the leader would call for all those that had not been baptized to leave, lest they might even look upon the elements of Holy Communion!  (The original purpose of ushers was to make sure that those non-Christian people would actually leave — not to help them find a seat on the way in.  They would've been considered "church bouncers" in our modern terminology.  The tradition is preserved in the text of the Divine Liiturgy of Saint John Chrysostom, which is routinely celebrated in Orthodox churches -- but, ususally without actually barring the doors shut.  Alas.)  Contrast that with how casually most Christians treat the things of God now.

In ancient times, it was expected that people would consider the Christian faith, and examine it, and be trained in it, for up to a year before even being allowed to make a decision toward baptism.  Such strict discipline was needed to prevent converts from bringing their pagan customs into Christianity and infecting it.  Eventually, people began to relax the rules, and the infection began.

Look how far we have fallen.  Churches actually promote the incorporation of Santa Claus (a.k.a.:  Satan Lucas) into formal worship services at this time of year.  Some churches do the same with elves, which were originally pagan Germanic demi-gods.  I believe it is no coincidence that Santa wears a red suit, and the color of Communism is red.  (And, another group that wore red suits were the Edomites, whom King Saul of Israel failed to "utterly destroy" as commanded by God.  Their name means "red people".)  Santa promotes the welfare mentality, which must become widespread in order for Communism to take over a successful capitalist country from within.  (And, if you don't think that is happening right now here in the United States, then you simply haven't been paying attention.)  There is a significant parallel between Communism and Islam.  Both are totalitarian, both are at war with Christianity, and both require lies and misery in order to come in and "fix" the situation.  When a dumbed-down populace sits around and waits for their next welfare check from Santa Government, then that populace is ripe to be picked by totalitarian thugs.  (And, if you don't think that a Communist-funded version of Islamic Law is about to take over America, just wait until after the upcoming inauguration of Barack Obama.)

When a country abandons God, and turns their back upon His Son, then they put themselves into danger.  One of the ways that we have shown our disdain for the truth of the Holy Bible, and our abandonment of "the word made flesh" in Jesus, is by injecting a pagan celebration into our Christian faith, and then allowing that celebration to mold our doctrines.  It is a theological case of a cart pushing the horse.

What will we do to stop the revolt of Christmas versus The Christ?

-------------------------------

And, in other "Christmas" news...

Santa killed a family in California.

-------------------------

While the world sits "fat, dumb, and happy" full of turkey and ham, the Islamists are relentlessly working toward a total takeover of the Holy Land.  Recent rocket attacks by Hamas upon Israel broke the truce, and produced a diplomatic standoff with Israel's neighbors.  Not only does the "lamestream" news media continue to describe the so-called West Bank (which is really the ancient lands of Judea and Samaria) as belonging to the Palestinians (who are really the descendants of the ancient Philistines, and are called Filistin in Arabic; therefore, I shall call them what they are:  Philistines!), but the media also ignores the obvious signals of Islamist takeover intentions.  For example, in remarks that were soon edited out of online Associated Press reports, Philistine president Mahmoud Abbas said, "Come to the ocean of peace that starts from Mauritania and ends in Indonesia."  That is Islamist code-speak.  It means "join the Islamic world".  It comes from the Islamic belief in "dar es salaam" — the so-called "house of peace", which means all that are members of the Islamic faith.  All that are not believers in Islam are regarded as members of the "house of war".  Therefore, what the Philistine president was really saying was that all Israeli citizens should become Muslim!

That would be the Islamists' version of "peace on Earth" at this time of year.

-------------------------

In another news report, amateur science buffs are now engaging in genetic experiments to produce new life forms.  I think it is no accident that the news media waited until Christmas to release this information.  (That way, they could not be accused of totally "suppressing" the information.  They simply published it at a time when the fewest number of people would be reading the news.)  The news story makes it clear that such experiments have been going on for some time, as there are not only companies but also amateur associations quoted as having been active in promoting this activity.

So, again, while everyone is focusing on pagan-inspired sins associated with so-called "Christmas" — such as greed, gaudiness, and gluttony — the forces of evil are at work tinkering with the basic elements of God's design for life.  Although the Holy Bible is technically silent on when Jesus was born, that is because the clues were readily understood in ancient times.  Those clues indicate that Jesus was actually born during the annual Passover celebration.  But, regardless of when Jesus was born, what a horrible contrast this news presents.  On the one hand, the very Author of Life volunteered to take on human flesh in order to save us from our sinful ways, and arrived on Earth in the form of a newborn baby.  On the other hand, created beings are experimenting with trying to create entirely new forms of beings, but have no real understanding of their actions.  Jesus came "that you may have life, and have it more abundantly".  If those "scientists" (some of whom do not even have a degree in biology) make a mistake, it could unleash destructive diseases upon the Earth.  What a coincidence that the Bible predicts that a plague will kill one-third of the people on Earth during the latter part of The Tribulation, which I believe has already started.

--------------------------------

So, even the news reports indicate that Christmas is at war versus The Christ.
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Monday, 22 December 2008, at 2204 hours
Central Time -- Nashville, Tennessee, USA

NASA has four PHAs this Hanukkah

For those that have not read my latest book, nor my other columns on this topic, a PHA is a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid.  That is an object in outer space that has the potential for striking Earth and causing damage.  This year, during the eight days of Hanukkah, there are four PHAs in the NASA Near-Earth Object database.

This is significant because, as two of my recent columns explained, the Bible makes a clear prediction that Damascus will be destroyed.  Further, that destruction is linked by historical events to the Jewish festival of Hanukkah (Hebrew for "dedication").  I believe that God will use an asteroid strike to destroy Damascus; and, that He will do it during Hanukkah.  As events unfold, signs seem to point with increasing clarity to the destruction occurring during this year's eight-day Hanukkah festival, which has already begun.

Just today, a follow-up news report from WorldNetDaily announced that Syria is now demanding that Israel give up the Golan Heights as a token for merely starting any further "peace" negotiations.  Not only is the Golan region a strategic high ground, but it is also part of the Biblical territory of ancient Israel.  Therefore, Syria's request not only disrespects the modern Israeli government, but it also disrespects God.

Just today, NASA placed three more asteroids in their NEO database for the Hanukkah timeframe.  Each of them was discovered less than 24 hours before publication of this column.  None of the three new asteroids is designated as "potentially hazardous", even though Asteroid YQ2 has an average estimated miss distance that is very close to that of Asteroid EV5, which is PHA designated.  The new additions bring the total to ten asteroids that will pass astronomically "near" Earth during this year's Hanukkah.  Of those ten, four are designated as potentially hazardous.  (They are:  EV5, LV3, UX34, and AC5.)

Earlier today, I sent my prior columns on this topic to several media outlets and government agencies — both Stateside and overseas, especially in the Middle East.  So far, not one of those recipients has replied.  And, site traffic numbers do not show any noticeable increase.  Therefore, it seems that my warnings are being ignored.  As this blog shows, the Bible makes clear that most of the people in Damascus will ignore a warning.  I've tried.

I find it more than coincidence that Syrian President Bashar Assad chose today to announce a harsher stance regarding potential peace negotiations with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.  This is so parallel to the hardness of heart shown by King Ahaz of Judah, and by Governor Antiochus IV of Assyria, both of whom angered Yehowah (the "proper name" of the One True God) by making pagan sacrifices in the Temple of God in Jerusalem.  And, this hardness of heart by President Assad, if extended to the idea of ignoring a warning about a Bible prediction of an asteroid strike against his capital city, could lead to the needless deaths of many thousands of his citizens.  And, by ignoring the warning, President Assad is behaving in a manner parallel to Pharaoh Rameses II of Egypt.  Most everyone on Earth knows that ignoring the warning from Moses did not turn out well for Rameses and his country.

For the record, I sent my previous two columns on this topic to news agencies in Damascus, Jerusalem, and London.  I also sent the information to government agencies of Syria (via their embassy in Washington), Israel (via their embassy in Washington), and the United States.  Over the past five-plus years, I've written on a number of difficult and controversial topics.  I have never even been sued, much less forced to withdraw any of my columns.  That is despite having ruffled some high-level feathers.  For example:  proving that the FBI created a phony paper trail in order to cover up the true cause of the downing of TWA Flight 800 twelve years ago.  I value my credibility.  I would not toss it into the wind.  Therefore, I urge readers to examine the statements made in these blogs and to consider forwarding my warning to people living in the Damascus area.

The scientific facts are lining up with the Bible prediction.  This includes "signs in the sun, moon, and stars".  Who will heed the warnings?


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Saturday, 20 December 2008, at 0123 hours
Central Time -- Nashville, Tennessee, USA

Does diplomatic deal drive Damascus destruction?

Shortly after I wrote the recent column, "Divine deadline for destruction of Damascus?", a news story in WorldNetDaily reported that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is negotiating with Syrian President Bashar Assad to work out a foreign-policy "legacy deal".  In an apparent attempt to pursue "peace in our time", Olmert seems intent on brokering an Israeli retreat from the strategic Golan Heights.  I believe this would be an error "of truly Biblical proportions".

Bible prophecies make clear that, during the End Times, Israel will occupy the borders that God established in ancient times.  Those borders mostly affect modern-day Syria, and include the current Syrian capital of Damascus.  As I wrote recently, the Bible says that Damascus will be utterly destroyed from being a city.  The language of the 17th chapter of Isaiah implies that the destruction will be sudden.  I believe that the destruction will be caused by an asteroid strike.  Such an act would carry a "divine signature".  It would also make people wonder about the reason.  This column attempts to explain the "why" behind the destruction of Damascus, based upon clues from the Bible and from history.

The previous column referenced above explains the links between the ancient Assyrian occupation of Israel, the pagan sacrifice in the Hebrew Temple by the occupying commander (Antiochus Epiphanes), the miracle of Hanukkah, and the eventual destruction of Damascus.  But, is there more to God's anger than "merely" having a pig sacrificed upon His altar by pagan Antiochus?  Yes.  As bad as that insult was to God, something else happened.  And, that something else is remarkably parallel to the current plans of Prime Minister Olmert to give away the Golan.

That "something else" can also be described as "something worse", and it is recorded in the Bible in 2nd Kings 16:1-20.  The reason that it is worse is because the pagan sacrifice of Antiochus was made by a foreigner.  But, when a king of Judah removed the required items of God from the Temple in Jerusalem, in order to make room for an altar to a foreign god, that was even worse, because he should have known better.  King Ahaz had a bad record regarding his spiritual life, as we shall now examine.

In verse three of the above-cited chapter, we learn that King Ahaz "even made his son pass through the fire".  That is Bible language for offering a child sacrifice to the demon idol Molech.  (There is a spiritual connection between political power, abortion money, genetic experimentation, and sacrifice to Molech.)  And, the same verse expands the concept by making clear that Ahaz killed his own son "according to the abominations of the nations whom the LORD had driven out from before the sons of Israel". In other words, Ahaz practiced "appeasement diplomacy" by adopting the spiritual ways of the enemy, and thus insulted the One True God.   But, wait, it gets even worse.

Not long after the reign of King David, the nation of Israel had become divided.  The northern kingdom was the land of the "ten tribes", while the southern kingdom was the land of the tribe of Judah.  (The twelfth tribe was the tribe of Levi, the priestly tribe.  They had no tribal lands of their own, and were thus scattered to serve among the other tribes.)  In addition to fighting the enemy nations that surrounded them, the kingdoms of Israel and Judah began to fight each other.  King Ahaz found himself in such a situation, and his response to that situation earned him (and his nation) the wrath of God.

The northern kingdom came to be called Samaria, after its capital.  The king of Samaria at that time was Pekah.  He had made an alliance with the king of Aram, and they jointly attacked the land of Judah.  In a diplomatic end-run, King Ahaz then made an alliance with the king of Assyria, whose name was Tiglath-Pileser.  (His name means, "Thou will uncover the wonderful bond".  Keep that in mind.)  In order to secure the alliance, King Ahaz took gold and silver out of the treasury of the Temple of God in Jerusalem, and gave it to King Tiglath-Pileser.  Now, here is where the story gets bumpy.

The city of Damascus was (and still is) the capital of the kingdom of Aram (also known as Syria; the language is Aramaic).  After the Judean-Assyrian alliance defeated the Samarian-Aramean alliance, the two winning kings met in Damascus.  There, King Ahaz saw a large altar to the pagan gods of Damascus.  King Ahaz sent instructions to Urijah the priest to build a duplicate altar at the Temple in Jerusalem.  Verse 15 documents two important points.  First, Ahaz commanded Urijah to burn regular sacrifices upon this new altar to another god.  Second, Ahaz reserved the use of the bronze altar to God "for me to inquire by".

You might ask, "So what?"  The answer is, "Plenty."

According to the laws of God, as passed down to the Levite priests in the book of Leviticus (and thus known as the Levitical Law), only prophets and priests were allowed to inquire of God.  A king could only make direct inquiry to God if that king were also a prophet (as was King David).  Otherwise, it was forbidden for a king to inquire of God.  The king was required to ask a prophet, and the prophet could then ask directly of God.  Despite having just built an altar to a foreign god in the Temple of Yehowah (the "proper name" of the One True God), King Ahaz still wanted to make direct inquiry to God via the bronze altar.  In modern terms, King Ahaz would be considered a "universalist", who hedges his spiritual bets by worshipping every god that he can think of.  Such practice is very insulting to the One True God.  But, wait, it gets even worse.

Not only did Ahaz build a foreign altar in the court of the Temple of God, but he also later moved and defiled other items in the Temple court that were dedicated to God.  He put the foreign altar on the north side of the Temple.  (The north side is considered holy to God the Father.  The east side is holy to the Messiah — whom Christians believe is God the Son, namely Yeshua [Jesus].)  Ahaz also took the bronze Sea (where the priests performed ritual washings) off its custom-made stand (four bronze oxen), and "put it on a pavement of stone".  In other words, he brought it low.  If an occupying foreign king had done such acts, it could at least be understood in terms of psychological warfare.  But, because an Israelite king did it, it can only be understood in terms of spiritual and national treason.

So, kings have defiled the Temple of God twice.  Once was by a treasonous Israelite king (before the Babylonian exile), and the other was by an arrogant pagan king (during the "inter-Testamental period", after the return from Babylon, but before the birth of Jesus).  Both of the defilements were caused by the worship of foreign idols that had been previously worshipped in Damascus.  In both cases, these defilements led to much bloodshed.  (Ahaz begot Hezekiah, whose weak foreign policies mimicked those of his father.  That eventually led to the Babylonian captivity.  The defilement by Antiochus led to the Maccabean Revolt.)  Further, in the early days of Christianity, the Sanhedrin issued a written order (given to Saul of Tarsus) to kill all of the Christians living in Damascus.  Apparently, the Sanhedrin had "agents in place" that would assist Saul upon his arrival there.  (Otherwise, why would Saul have needed a written order?)  Therefore, God has three long-standing reasons to be angry toward Damascus.

But, wait, there's more.

Fast-forward to modern times, and the plans of Prime Minister Olmert to give away the hard-won Israeli territory in the Golan.  The plan is to give away the Golan to neighboring Syria, whose capital is Damascus.  Israel captured the Golan in the Six-Day War, and that victory is considered part of God's miraculous protection of Israel.  And, now, Israel wants to give away this strategic high ground?!  That certainly sounds like a fourth insult toward God.

The prophet Amos wrote, "Thus says the Lord: "For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment, because they have threshed Gilead with implements of iron."  (Amos 1:3)  The language of the verse indicates that the fourth transgression is separated from the other three.  As the paragraph above shows, the first three transgressions were committed in ancient Israel, before the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.  The fourth transgression takes place after Israel was revived in 1948.  God has sealed the destruction of Damascus; it will happen.  The only question is when.  My previous column on this topic suggests that it will happen during Hanukkah, possibly this year.

As it turns out, the connection to Hanukkah goes not only through Antiochus, but also through Ahaz.  How?  In 2nd Kings 16:18, we read that Ahaz "... removed the Sabbath pavilion which they had built in the temple, and he removed the king's outer entrance from the house of the Lord, on account of the king of Assyria."  In my previous column, I pointed out that this area, known as Solomon's Portico, was the very place where Jesus told the Jews plainly that He is the promised Messiah.  When the Temple was later refurbished under Nehemiah, after the return from Babylon, he apparently repaired the damage that Ahaz had done.  But, there is still the matter of the insult to God's authority.

What about the people living in Damascus now?  Do they bear responsibility for the sins of generations long past, or for the actions of their current government?  Should they face destruction for things beyond their control?

Perhaps these columns will be used, in this age of instantaneous global communication, to warn those living in Damascus of the impending destruction.  God did the same for the people of Nineveh, and they avoided destruction by repenting.  But, this destruction was foretold thousands of years ago.  The only difference is that now, with the fourth transgression currently in progress, the people of Damascus have a slight degree of advance warning.

Is there any proof that God provides advance warning to the people of Damascus?  Yes.  Jeremiah 49:23-27 says, "Against Damascus. 'Hamath and Arpad are shamed, For they have heard bad news. They are fainthearted; There is trouble on the sea; It cannot be quiet. Damascus has grown feeble; She turns to flee, And fear has seized her. Anguish and sorrows have taken her like a woman in labor.  Why is the city of praise not deserted, the city of My joy?  Therefore her young men shall fall in her streets, And all the men of war shall be cut off in that day,' says the Lord of hosts.  'I will kindle a fire in the wall of Damascus, And it shall consume the palaces of Ben-Hadad.'"

The fact that the sea "cannot be quiet" indicates a natural disaster, as opposed to the Israeli nuclear strike opined by Hal Lindsey.  God asks why the city is not deserted, indicating that He expects them to flee in response to a warning.  He says that the destruction will occur "in that day", meaning that it will be sudden.  All of these points are consistent with an asteroid strike.
It is also interesting that God refers to Damascus as the "city of My joy".  Why?  Keep in mind that Saul of Tarsus became a Christian on the road to Damascus.  He was cared for by the very people that he was sent there to kill.  He changed his name to Paul, and became the greatest evangelist in the history of the Christian faith.  And, to this day, the headquarters of the Antiochian Orthodox Church is there in Damascus ... on a street called Straight.  (Paul stayed in the house of Ananias, in Damascus, on a street called Straight.)  Therefore, my belief is that God is sending a warning to the people of Damascus, so that the Christians and Jews can escape the coming destruction.  Sadly, the same text that confirms that such a warning will go out also confirms that many will ignore it.

The same happened in Sodom.

What will happen after the destruction of Damascus?  The areas south and east of there "will be for flocks, and no one will make them afraid".  That rules out a nuclear strike, because lingering radiation would kill flocks of sheep.  I believe the impact of an asteroid will have some dramatic effects that will benefit Israel.  Her borders will be increased, thus returning to their Biblical place.  (And, in a dramatic expression of divine authority, also doing the exact opposite of the Olmert land legacy deal.)  I believe that there will be other benefits to Israel.  I have described one such benefit to a high-level business executive in a private e-mail.  I do not have money to invest in his stock right now.  Perhaps that is a good thing, lest anyone accuse me of writing these words for money.  (See Acts 8:14-25 and 16:16-24)

Think back now to the name of the ancient Assyrian king with whom Ahaz made a deal.  His name means "Thou will uncover the wonderful bond".  What was that bond?  Was it a deal, made with the treasures of God?  If so, it only seems logical that the deal was for Ahaz and Tiglath-Pileser to divide the conqureed kingdom of Aram.  And, if that's true, then the dividing line would essentially return the border of Israel to where it had existed under King David.  Going in the direction of Assyria (on a modern map, eastern Syria and western Iraq), that border would be the Euphrates River.  That would greatly increase the "security zone" for Israel's population centers, provide them with more open land ("for flocks"), and provide Israel with new lands for oil drilling.  The only obstacle is the government of modern Syria.  But, if an asteroid destroys Damascus, then Israel can reclaim the lands of the "wonderful bond" that was purchased from Assyria by King Ahaz with God's treasure from the Temple in Jerusalem.  And, after seeing the capital of Syria wiped out by an asteroid, what nation would be foolish enough to dare dispute a claim enforced by God?

I am absolutely convinced that God will destroy Damascus at Hanukkah.  The only question that remains is whether it will be the Hanukkah that starts in a few days, or will it be another one in the next few years?  Bible history tells us that God sends warnings just in time.  It is always plenty of time, as long as it is heeded promptly.  In these days of Internet communication, cell phones, automobiles, and modern highways, there would be no need for God to send a warning months in advance.  A few days should be all that are necessary.  And, as it turns out, Hanukkah starts in a few days.

I hope that Prime Minister Olmert reads this, and thinks twice about giving away the Golan.  His political ambitions seem to carry more effect than he might have realized.  It seems to me that his daring diplomatic deal is driving the divine destruction of Damascus.


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