Sunday, September 29, 2013


For the first time in American history, the culture, and law, has become diametrically opposed to the teachings and practices of christian churches.  A pastor in Pennsylvania was fired (rightfully so) last month for performing a same sex marriage. (read the article: ) As the Bible is very clear on issues of sex and marriage (to argue differently is only meant to divert the conversation) and a church cannot allow it's clergy to violate clear Biblical teaching.  The real issue at hand is how to uphold Biblical truth in the face of such cultural, political and even legal opposition, without seeming hateful, uneducated or becoming irrelevant to society.  Can the church find a balance of love and compassion while upholding truth without compromise?

Romans chapter one clearly identifies God's opposition to homosexual behavior and Jesus clearly identified marriage as a union between a man and a woman in Matthew 19:5.  To argue that the Bible is not opposed to homosexual activity and same sex marriage is subterfuge.  To argue that the Bible has any influence, or is recognized as a moral authority in our current culture is a valid argument, but that influence and authority should not argued within the church.

Unfortunately, many churches have discarded Biblical truth for the sake of convenience.  The pastor who was fired in PA is married to a woman that also happens to be a Pastor of a church.  The Bible clearly teaches that the role of Pastor is reserved for men, men of great character, faith and morals.  In the book of I Timothy, it is clear that one of the requirements of Deacons and Elders (pastors) is to be a man:

1Timothy 3:1-13  This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. 
 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; 
  Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; 
One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; 
 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) 
  Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. 
  Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. 
 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; 
  Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.  And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. 
  Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.   Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. 
  For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus. 

Nowhere in the above passage is there any loophole or argument that allows a woman to pastor.  In fact, the Apostle Paul makes the point even more emphatically in the previous chapter of I Timothy

1Timothy 2:12  I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. 

Obviously, God's intent is that men serve as pastors and are responsible for teaching His word in a church setting.  Opponents of this teaching will always claim shifting culture as the reason we can ignore the clear teaching of scripture.  I cannot find any passage of scripture that allows for shifting cultural mores to dictate the veracity of Biblical truth.  Truth is truth and cannot be altered.  If a truth can be altered or changed, it is not a truth by definition.  If the Bible can be altered or changed to fit societal changes and beliefs, then the Bible is not truth and has no moral authority.  In that case, we can discard the Bible and live as we please without any influence from any god or higher authority.  It is no wonder this pastor supports same sex marriage as he already has demonstrated contempt for the clear teachings of the Bible.

The Bible tells us that God is UNCHANGEABLE. If we accept the Bible as God's word we must understand the implications of such a belief.  We must believe that the Bible is wholly inspired by God and without error.  We must believe that because God is unchangeable, so are the teachings found in His word.  If the Bible is true, then it is true, regardless of what ever a law dictates, a court decides, or a free press reports.  If the Bible says marriage is between a man and a woman and that homosexual behavior is wrong it is the role of the church to uphold that teaching.

The very tricky part is for the church to remain true to Biblical truth and maintain a compassionate heart and a relevancy to society.  It is easy for Christians to get angry and forget we are to love people into the kingdom.  It is easy for us to allow out emotions to dictate our behavior and allowing us to say hateful and hurtful things about and to the very people to whom we are supposed to be demonstrating the love of Christ.  Our example is Christ.  To the woman caught in adultery, Christ told her, "go and sin no more."  To the paralytic at the pool at Siloam, Christ said, "stop sinning before something worse happens to you."  The key is that Christ did not address their sin until He showed them love and compassion.  In the case of he adulterous woman, Christ rescued her from and forgave her for her sinful behavior.  In the case of the paralytic, Christ healed him of his infirmary, and when the man responded to Christ's gift of healing, Jesus addressed the man's sin.

As a church, we are so quick to attack the sin of individuals that we forget that "while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."  The church needs to repent and clean it's own house before we can address the sins of society.  We need to be about the work of love without compromise.

It will become increasingly difficult for the church in America to remain relevant as our culture shifts further away from Biblical morals and truth.  At one time, lawmakers used the Bible to set laws and govern society.  Today, that is far from the case.  Emotion, faulty reasoning, and political correctness has hijacked morality and truth.  I applaud the church in PA for firing this apostate preacher.  I fear for the day when churches are forced to abandon Biblical truth or face legal consequences.  I fear for that day, yet I am confident that it is not far away.  Given the current state of affairs in the American church, I foresee a great deal of compromise and apostasy in our future for there is a great deal of compromise and apostasy now when we are free to follow Biblical truth.

Now is the time to pray for our church leaders who are still remaining true to God's word, that they will have the strength and fortitude to remain so when not only society shifts against us but  the law as well. We need to pray for ourselves, as individual believers, to stand firm and remember the Biblical mandate, "Let God be true and every man a liar."  We need now more than ever to love and serve the lost as Christ did allowing them to recognize their sin and need of salvation through the power of the Holy Spirit.  We need to immerse ourselves in God's word in order to know what it teaches...and then live by it.

Sunday, September 22, 2013


Tonight I had the most difficult honor of Eulogizing my friend Steve.  No matter how many funerals I officiate, it never gets any easier, especially due to the fact that the majority of funerals I have done have been for someone very close to me or very close to someone I care for dearly.
 My friend Steve was a good man who loved his family and loved the Lord.  He was a good example to me and I will miss him.  I did not know him long, but the time I did know him was good.  Steve and his wife Kaye have become part of our family.

      As I  performed the service tonight, I invited people to consider eternity.  I am overjoyed that I was able to unequivocally declare the fact that Steve is in heaven right now and that I would one day see him again.  I know this because of the faith he and I shared in Christ.   The question I asked of the people at the funeral and the question I ask my readers, is will the minister who performs your funeral be able to say with assurance that you are in heaven?

That is the most important question you will ever answer.  You can know for sure because Jesus told us that by trusting in Him we can know that we have eternal life. Steve would be overjoyed if his passing gave someone pause long enough to consider eternity and if that consideration led to salvation.  I know Steve would embrace with joy anyone who made it to heaven because his death caused them to consider life after death.

I will miss Steve, but only for a time.  I look forward to praising God with Steve one day in eternity.  Will you be there with us?   I certainly hope so!

Thursday, September 19, 2013


   Pope Francis is once again making headlines due to remarks that do not sound very Pope-like.  Today, a published interview revealed that the Pontiff is very reluctant to take a stand on many doctrines that are central to Vatican teaching.  After having declared atheists redeemed if they live according to their conscience (see FRANCIS - APOSTATE POPE...) the Pope has further confounded the faithful by refusing to take a stand on abortion and gay marriage.  Amazingly, these two topics are tied to terrible judgments meted out by God.

  Anyone who has ever attended Sunday school knows the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. Essentially, these cities had become so corrupted by homosexual behavior that God destroyed them with fire and brimstone from the sky.  The Pope has all but endorsed homosexual activity by failing to address the sinfulness of the behavior and stating that if a gay person "seeks the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?"  The Pope has refused to come out against homosexual clergy as well.  While it is imperative that the church loves the lost as Christ does, it is also imperative that the church does not excuse sinful behavior, especially within the church itself. The Apostle Paul was very clear in I Corinthians when he addressed an issue of sexual sin within the Corinthian church, the offending party was to be expelled from fellowship.  The Bible is abundantly clear that sexual sin is not to be tolerated among God's people.  Once again, the Pope fails.

    On the topic of abortion, the so called Vicar of Christ calls for a more inclusiveness within the church.  Never once does Francis condemn the act of abortion.  Silence in this case is tantamount to acceptance.  Abortion, especially when used as post pregnancy contraceptive, is a murder of convenience.  When an abortion is performed for no other reason than getting rid of a "mistake" or to get rid of an unwanted pregnancy, is it really any different than killing in the name of pleasure?  One of the sins of the nation of Israel that led to it's destruction was the practice of sacrificing babies to the god Molech.  Of this practice, God said, "I did not require this nor did the idea even enter my mind."  God was so disgusted with His people for the senseless destruction of the most innocent among them, that He decimated the nation for it's despicable practice.

Francis has also stated that he wants the church to be more "inclusive," a "church for all."  The fact is that the church is not "for all" but for those who choose to follow Christ.  The Bible clearly states that straight is the road and narrow is the gate and few are those that find salvation.  Again, it is written, "many are called, but few are chosen."  What do we sacrifice to become an all inclusive church, we sacrifice truth, we sacrifice the purity of the Gospel and we sacrifice the clear teachings of God given in His word, the Bible.  Prior to the Vatican II council in the early 1960's the Roman Church's official stance was, "there is no salvation outside the Holy Roman Catholic Church."  While this also was not a Biblical teaching, it demonstrates how far this Pope has veered from orthodoxy.  I am no fan of the RCC, but it seems this Pope is determined to strip away all that is good and leave a ecumenical shell that allows every belief system and behavior.  The roll of the church is to equip the saints and to disciple people into a relationship with Christ by loving the lost enough to share the good news of the Gospel, not make excuses for bad behavior and disbelief.
When one reads the passages in Revelation pertaining to the destruction of the Whore of Babylon, it is not hard to associate those passages with the Vatican.  (see A WOMAN RIDES A BEAST by Dave Breese) It may have been unthinkable for many to associate a church that proclaims Christ to be the Whore of Babylon, marked for holy destruction, but the direction that Francis seems to be leading the Church appears to be a path of rebellion against the very morality of God.  

I cannot say with certainty that we are on the very edge of the Rapture of the church and the coming Tribulation, but I am saying that the current Pope seems to be a very good candidate for the False Prophet spoken of by the Apostle John.  It is interesting that God calls His people to "come out of her" prior to pouring out His wrath and judgment on the great Whore.  I will be watching a waiting to see the Pope make more Biblically based pronouncements, but I am not very optimistic.  This Pope seems more interested in inclusivity than truth.  I hope that I am wrong, but will also be very surprised if I am.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Jesus asked the apostles who they thought He was and the Apostle Peter declared, "you are the Christ, the Son of the living God."  Jesus told Peter that that declaration was the rock, or foundation upon which He would build His church, against which the gates of Hell could not prevail.  If Jesus is the Christ, and if He is the son of the living God and if He is God in the flesh as John chapter 1 verses 1 and 14 declare, then Jesus cannot lie by definition because the Bible tells us emphatically in Titus 1:2 the God cannot lie. How, then, could any church or church leader claim that salvation is found in simply following your conscience regardless of whether one believes in God or not?  Jesus declared of Himself that He was the Way, the Truth and the Life and that no man could come to the Father but by Him.  

According to the current so called Vicar of Christ, Pope Francis, as long as you follow your conscience you will be saved even if you are an atheist.  In fact,  Francis has declared that sin is when a person simply does not follow their conscience.  This declaration falls apart on so many theological levels that one would have to wonder if Francis has ever even read the Gospels much less the rest of the Bible.  If the Pope is right, Jesus is a liar.

There is ample scriptural evidence to prove that Francis is an apostate fool at best and at worst an agent of Satan purposely working against the God he claims to represent.  In the Old Testament we are told twice in the book of Proverbs, once in chapter 14 and once in chapter 16 "there is a way that seems right to a man but it's end is the way to death."  That sounds like following your conscience can be a dangerous way to go, but according to the Pope, Proverbs is wrong.  The prophet Jeremiah, speaking on behalf of God, stated, "the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, who can know it."  Either Jeremiah is a false prophet and his book should be torn from our Bibles or the Pope is hopelessly wrong.

The entire message of the New Testament is about redemption through Christ.  What do we need redemption for if we can just follow our conscience and go to heaven?  Hebrews 11:6 declares Francis a liar:

Hebrews 11:6  But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. 

The tragedy in all this is that millions of adherents to the Roman Catholic Church are being misled by their so called shepherd.  The Bible has very clear admonitions for false teachers.   James 3:1 tells us that those of us who endeavor to teach God's word need to beware because we will be judged more harshly.  God will hold Francis responsible for his heretical teaching.

The fact that this pope is willing to pervert the Gospel he claims to be the guardian of is more evidence that we are living in the last days.  Can Francis be the false prophet spoken of in the book of Revelation?  Shame on Francis for denying his savior.  Pray for Francis that he may come to a true understanding of faith through Christ.  Pray that he may realize the error of his ways and come to repentance and salvation.  Pray that his lies do not lead others to hell, giving false assurances of salvation to those who would choose to reject Christ.  Pray for the true believers in the Roman Church to have the courage and ability to refute these heretical teachings from the Vatican.

Monday, September 9, 2013


The Bible is clear that in the last days there will be a falling away.  In II Thessalonians, the Apostle Paul is dealing with issues concerning the time of the end.  The Thessalonian church was concerned that they had missed the return of the Lord, so Paul assures them that they have not missed it and that there were certain events that must take place before Christ comes back.  One of those things is what Paul referred to as "a falling away."

2 Thessalonians_2:3  Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 

The man of perdition is obviously the Anti-Christ who will take control of the world, but what does the falling away refer to?  Some believe it refers to the rapture of the church.  While I do emphatically believe in the rapture of the church and that it will occur before the Anti-Christ comes to power, I do not believe this passage is referring to the rapture. I believe it is referring to apostasy within the church.  
A simple definition of apostasy is basically a rejection of ones faith.  In the context of the church, apostasy would be a description of what the Apostle Paul is referring to in his letter to Timothy, the young pastor of the church in Ephesus:

2Timothy 3:1-5  This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 
  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 
  Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 
  Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 
  Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 

The key verse is those that have a form of godliness but denying the power thereof.  There are many who identify themselves as part of the church, but when it comes to the path to salvation, they do not believe that Jesus is the only way to the Father.  In fact, there are many leaders within the church who teach a doctrine of works.  As the church goes, so goes the culture, if the church is faithless, how can we expect the culture we are in to even care about God?  The church has lost it's voice in society and unfortunately, society has begun to shape the church.

Obviously, there are still many redeemed believers in the church who are truly the Church, but unfortunately they have become marginalized in society and are becoming marginalized within the walls of the local church.  How does this happen? I believe there are four steps to apostasy. The church, especially in America, seems to have reached that point.  The steps to apostasy are directly related to how the church deals with sin within it's own midst.

Step one: Ignore sin.  So often, within a church, people do not want to be offensive or to intrude, so we ignore  sin, even blatant sin.  Why is it that we do not care enough about each other to get involved, in a loving way, when our brother or sister falls into sin.  Once we ignore sin, it is allowed to fester and leads to the next step toward apostasy.

Step two: Tolerate sin.  Once we have ignored sin long enough, it becomes tolerated.  We make excuses for the sinners and excuses for why we do not deal with the person who is sinning.  The siren song of the world is tolerance and we develop a live and let live mentality.  Unfortunately, sin is not satisfied with simply being tolerated.  As we practice tolerance we easily slide into the next step towards apostasy.

Step three: Accept sin.  The world understands that tolerance leads to acceptance. Once we accept sin in our midst, we lose our moral authority to confront any sin.  We have no ability to engage society and have nothing to offer the lost.  When the church accepts no fault divorce, premarital sex, cohabitation, homosexual activity, illicit gambling, drunkenness, or any other direct disobedience to the word of God, we have lost our saltiness, we have lost our ability to reach the lost and we have lost the ability to offer a better path to the lost.  If we look just like the world, the world has no reason to turn to Christ.  Acceptance leads to the final step on the path to apostasy.

Step four: Condone sin.  Condoning sin moves us from the point of merely accepting sin to defending it.  Once the church begins to defend sin in the congregation, the church is apostate.  To defend sin is to actively work against Christ.  Any church that actively works against Christ cannot possibly have any ability to transform lives.  

I believe that many churches have become irrelevant because of sin that has been allowed to fester and grow into apostasy.  This is what I believe is the meaning of the the verse in II Thessalonians stated above.  

An in-depth study of the book of Jeremiah shows that most of the sins being committed by Israel which led to God's judgment are being committed by the so called church today.
The good news for true believers is that this is a major sign of the last days and we have the rapture to look forward to to rescue us from the wrath that is about to come upon the earth.

As believers, we must hold up the standard of Christ and not fall into the sin of the world around us.  The Bible challenges us to "be Holy as your Father in heaven is holy."

The remedy for this is discipleship.  When we are busy about the work of discipleship, we will be very conscious of and sensitive to sin in the lives of the people whom we are investing time in.  We will naturally be accountable to one another and we will have the relationships necessary to confront sin in each other's lives. Apostasy is the result of not loving and caring for each other enough to be involved in each others lives.  

Thursday, September 5, 2013


Imagine being in a neighborhood, living in a house that is legally yours and all of your neighbors calling for your demise.  Imagine living under constant threat of all your neighbors, one day, joining together to destroy you.  Imagine that God told you that one day your neighbors would join together to destroy and erase your name from memory.  If you can imagine this scenario, you are able to understand what it is like for the nation of Israel.

The tiny nation of Israel is surrounded by nations who want to see Israel pushed into the sea.  Even as Israel is celebrating it's New Year celebration of Rosh Hashanah, fear of immanent attack looms.

As the U. S. deliberates attacking Syria, serious consequences may be set into motion.  The first problem with interfering in Syria is that neither side is friendly to America, in fact, the current government is more friendly (I use this term very loosely) than the Al Qaeda backed rebels we would be defending.  Our country never declared war on Syria or the Assad regime, but the last time I checked, we were at war with terror which includes stopping Al Qaeda.  America's interests will not only not be served but will possibly be harmed by assisting the rebel forces in Syria.  An Al Qaeda run government will be able to put vast resources towards terrorist endeavors aimed at the U. S and Israel.

Another major problem with attacking Syria is we risk igniting another cold war with Russia.  Russia is supports the Assad government and is claiming to have proof that the chemical attacks were made by the rebels themselves.  Further evidence is found in the following video:

After non existent WMD's in Iraq justified invasion there, hard questions need to be asked before taking sides in a civil war that has no right side.

The final problem with possibly attacking Syria in this instance is the instability it will cause in the whole region and the repercussions that will come upon Israel.  The following article in the Jerusalem Post shows that the region will possibly erupt into an all out war, with Israel at the center.

According to the above article, Hezbollah is waiting for Iran to give permission to attack Israel in light of a military strike by the United States.  If Hezbollah attacks Israel with Iran's backing, Israel will be forced to respond and the region will unite together against Israel.  Suddenly the scenario of imagining one's neighbors hating them and uniting together to destroy them becomes very real.

This brings us to Psalm 83:

Psa 83:1  A Song. A Psalm of Asaph. O God, do not keep silence; do not hold your peace or be still, O God! 
Psa 83:2  For behold, your enemies make an uproar; those who hate you have raised their heads. 
Psa 83:3  They lay crafty plans against your people; they consult together against your treasured ones. 
Psa 83:4  They say, "Come, let us wipe them out as a nation; let the name of Israel be remembered no more!" 
Psa 83:5  For they conspire with one accord; against you they make a covenant—
Psa 83:6  the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, Moab and the Hagrites, 
Psa 83:7  Gebal and Ammon and Amalek, Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre; 
Psa 83:8  Asshur also has joined them; they are the strong arm of the children of Lot. Selah. 
Psa 83:9  Do to them as you did to Midian, as to Sisera and Jabin at the river Kishon, 
Psa 83:10  who were destroyed at En-dor, who became dung for the ground. 
Psa 83:11  Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb, all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna, 
Psa 83:12  who said, "Let us take possession for ourselves of the pastures of God." 
Psa 83:13  O my God, make them like whirling dust, like chaff before the wind. 
Psa 83:14  As fire consumes the forest, as the flame sets the mountains ablaze, 
Psa 83:15  so may you pursue them with your tempest and terrify them with your hurricane! 
Psa 83:16  Fill their faces with shame, that they may seek your name, O LORD. 
Psa 83:17  Let them be put to shame and dismayed forever; let them perish in disgrace, 
Psa 83:18  that they may know that you alone, whose name is the LORD, are the Most High over all the earth. 

God told Israel that one day her neighbors would unite and rise up against her to attack.  Is it possible that U. S. involvement at this time could help facilitate this prophecy's fulfillment?  See how this scenario compares to Ezekiel 38:

Ezekiel 38:1-8 The word of the LORD came to me: 
 "Son of man, set your face toward Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him 
  and say, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. 
 And I will turn you about and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you out, and all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed in full armor, a great host, all of them with buckler and shield, wielding swords. 
  Persia, Cush, and Put are with them, all of them with shield and helmet; 
 Gomer and all his hordes; Beth-togarmah from the uttermost parts of the north with all his hordes—many peoples are with you. 
 "Be ready and keep ready, you and all your hosts that are assembled about you, and be a guard for them.   After many days you will be mustered. In the latter years you will go against the land that is restored from war, the land whose people were gathered from many peoples upon the mountains of Israel, which had been a continual waste. Its people were brought out from the peoples and now dwell securely, all of them.

Notice some of the key players - Magog the prince of Meshech and Tubal:  Magog refers to Russia, Meshech = Moscow and Tubal refers to the republic of Georgia.  Persia is modern Iran.   I encourage you to read the rest of the chapter as God declares deliverance for Israel, but the question is not if but when do these events take place.  Will the United States continue to be a friend to Israel and continue to enjoy God's blessing as such or will America play the role of Judas and betray Israel opening the door for the prophesied scenario to come to fruition?

Jesus warned against this as well in Matthew 18:

Mat 18:7  "Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes!

It is obvious that the scripture will be fulfilled, Israel will be attacked by her neighbors and God will deliver Israel but woe to the nation who sets these events in motion.

I hope this excites the readers about the Bible and the relevance of scripture in today's world.  Please join me in praying for the peace of Jerusalem and looking for the immanent return of Christ to take His bride, the Church to Glory.  Jesus told us to not let our hearts be troubled, so even in troubled times we can look to the author and finisher of our faith to deliver His people, both Israel and the church.  Please pray for America and her leadership that we would be on the side of God.

Monday, September 2, 2013


Much ado is currently being made concerning events in Syria and possible U. S. military involvement.  Many scholars and Bible students are wondering if the events of Isaiah 17 are about to be fulfilled by a military strike in Syria.  I believe that current events will not fulfill Isaiah 17 for a few reasons.  I do believe we are in the last days, I do believe that Bible prophecy has been and is being fulfilled since 1948 as is evident in my blog on Egypt and Isaiah 19, but I do not believe that Isaiah 17 can be fulfilled now as the rest of the chapter seems to deal with events that will be taking place during the Great Tribulation.
     Could Damascus be destroyed in a military strike led by U. S. forces?  Only if we drop a nuclear bomb.  Obviously that is not going to happen.  Clues as to when the actual destruction of Damascus takes place are found in the rest of the passage.

 Isaiah 17:4 - 5 And in that day the glory of Jacob will be brought low, and the fat of his flesh will grow lean. 
  And it shall be as when the reaper gathers standing grain and his arm harvests the ears, and as when one gleans the ears of grain in the Valley of Rephaim.

Currently, Israel, the glory of Jacob, is flourishing as a nation, despite the fact that it is surrounded by hostile enemies.  So by this verse we know that Damascus will be destroyed during a time when Israel is not doing very well as a nation.

Also, the verse preceding the above passage has a curious line:

Isaiah 17:3  The fortress will disappear from Ephraim, and the kingdom from Damascus; and the remnant of Syria will be like the glory of the children of Israel, declares the LORD of hosts. 

This passage tells us that Israel's protection will be gone in the day that Damascus loses it's kingdom.  We do not know exactly what the fortress of Ephraim refers to but Ephraim absolutely refers to Israel as it is the name of one of her prominent tribes.  Could the United States be the fortress of Ephraim or possibly Israel's nuclear capabilities?  Only time will tell, but assuredly, Israel has not lost her protection at this point in history.  Even though the current administration is not nearly as friendly towards Israel as past administrations, when push comes to shove, America still has Israel's back.

Also curious in the above passage is the mention of the remnant of Syria being like the glory of the children of Israel.  During the tribulation period spoken of by the prophet Daniel and the Apostle John, people of all tongues, tribes, and nations will turn to God through Jesus Christ.  The remnant spoken of in the above passage has to refer to believers during the Great Tribulation as it is at the conclusion of that time that Christ will return and gather all the faithful to Himself and lift them up.  Any believers currently in Syria will be raptured out before these events take place(if I am reading this right) and cannot be the remnant spoken of here.

It is very possible and quite probable that the events in Syria are leading up to the war spoken of in Ezekiel 38.

As far as Damascus being destroyed by America, there is very little danger of that happening, especially since public opinion and international sentiment is against U. S. intervention.

I continue to look for end time events to manifest in current events, but I believe, based on the context of Isaiah 17, that this passage is not going to be fulfilled anytime soon, at least not until Anti-Christ comes to power and begins to persecute Israel.

I hope you enjoy searching the scriptures for our blessed hope of redemption as I do!