Israel is very significant in Bible prophecy. When God looks at the earth, he focuses on the middle east, Israel, Jerusalem, the temple mount. The Bible contains great promises to the Jewish people and many of them have not yet been fulfilled, but the time is coming soon when they will be.
There have been several attempts at peace in the middle east over the past several years. Remarkably, Rabin of Israel and Arafat of the PLO did sign a "comprehensive peace agreement" in Washington DC on September 28, 1995. The official title of the agreement is The Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, also called Oslo II.
There were many steps that led to this agreement. In 1897 Theodore Herzl convened the First Zionist Congress which proclaimed the right of the Jewish people to a homeland.
On November 2, 1917 Arthur James Lord Balfour wrote a short letter to Lord Rothschild which contained a statement declaring that the British government viewed "with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people…"
On November 29, 1947 the United Nations passed a resolution calling for the establishment of a Jewish State in Israel. On May 14, 1948, on the day in which the British Mandate over Palestine expired, the Jewish People’s Council gathered at the Tel Aviv Museum and approved a proclamation declaring the establishment of the State of Israel. The new state was recognized that night at 11:00 P.M. Israel time by the United States and three days later by the USSR.
At that time Israel had already been under attack by Palestinian Arab forces, and they were immediately joined by the regular armies of Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria in an all out war to exterminate the Jewish people. By January 1949, when the last battles ended, Israel had increased its land mass by 1930 square miles. During 1949, armistice agreements were signed under U.N. auspices between Israel and Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.
Beginning on October 29, 1956, with British and French agreement, Israel seized the Sinai Peninsula and Gaza Strip. The war was halted by a U.N. resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire and withdrawal of all occupying forces from Egyptian territory. The withdrawal was completed in March 1957.
By 1967 the Arab confrontation states – Egypt, Syria and Jordan – became impatient with the status quo and border incidents increased. Believing that war was inevitable, Israel made preemptive strikes against Egyptian, Syrian, Jordanian and Iraqi airfields on June 5. King Hussein rejected an offer of neutrality and opened fire on Israeli forces in Jerusalem. As a direct result of this act Israel took the old city of Jerusalem on June 7, 1967 thus fulfilling Luke 21:24. At the end of the Six-Day War, Israel had gained control of Jerusalem, the West Bank (parts of which are referred to as the Jericho Area in current agreements), the Sinai Peninsula, Gaza and the Golan Heights. The war ended on June 10 when the U.N. negotiated cease-fire agreements on all fronts.
On November 22, 1967 the U.N. Security Council passed Resolution 242 which called for the "withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict." The resolution also called for other middle east states to recognize Israel’s right to exist.
Leading up to 1973, Arab leaders repeatedly warned that they would not accept continued Israeli occupation of the lands lost in 1967. Egypt and Syria opened a surprise attack on Israel on Yom Kippur, October 6, 1973. Israel recovered from the initial setback but failed to regain all the land lost in the first days of the war. After eighteen days of fighting, hostilities were again halted by the U.N. which passed U.N. Security Council Resolution 338 calling for an immediate cease-fire and implementation of U.N. Res. 242. In 1974-75 Henry Kissinger negotiated disengagement agreements between Israel, Egypt and Syria.
On March 26, 1979 Egypt and Israel entered into a peace treaty which involved returning the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt.
On June 6, 1982 Israel launched a full-scale invasion of Lebanon to destroy PLO bases there and to end the attacks across its borders. Fighting with Syrian forces also erupted. Through U.S. mediation, a multinational force from the U.S. and Western Europe oversaw the evacuation of Syrian and PLO forces from Beirut. Israel signed an agreement with Lebanon ending the state of war in May 1983, but, under Syrian pressure, Lebanon renounced the pact in March 1984.
On October 2, 1988 the Jerusalem Post contained the following statement by Henry Kissinger: "In the Middle East, I believe if you attempt to achieve a total solution, it must fail, because as of this moment the differences are too great. But what is achievable in the Middle East is a series of INTERIM arrangements that improve the situation for, say, FIVE TO TEN YEARS, at the end of which the situation will be discussed anew. At this moment, for example, the biggest problem on the West Bank is to get agreement in principle from Israel to withdraw from some Arab territories even if not all. If one could get some self governing structure into Gaza and parts of the West Bank governed by local arabs, supported perhaps by Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and if that group could then coexist with Israel in a concrete manner for say FIVE TO SEVEN YEARS, at the end of that period, one could consider the role of other organizations. This I believe is possible, and after the American and Israeli elections that should be attempted." (emphasis added. Source: Final Warning; Barry Smith)
While I definitely don’t credit Kissinger with being a prophet, it hardly needs to be stated that he is one man who surely knows what he is talking about when it comes to world government matters. Indeed, Kissinger’s proposal was followed to the letter. George Bush was elected president in 1988, and the current phase of the Middle East peace process began with Desert Storm. In the Gulf War the international coalition demonstrated what would happen to those who refuse to participate in the New World Order that began to be heavily promoted by both Bush and Gorbachev at that time. The planners intended to have the NWO in place by the year 2000.
In his address to the nation the night the war began (1/16/91) Bush said, "This is an historic moment. We have in this past year made great progress in ending the long era of conflict and cold war. We have before us the opportunity to forge for ourselves and for future generations a NEW WORLD ORDER – a world where the rule of law, not the law of the jungle, governs the conduct of nations. When we are successful – and we will be – we have a real chance at this NEW WORLD ORDER, AN ORDER IN WHICH A CREDIBLE UNITED NATIONS CAN USE ITS PEACEKEEPING ROLE TO FULFILL THE PROMISE AND VISION OF THE U.N.’S FOUNDERS." (emphasis added) Two paragraphs later, Bush said, "No nation will be permitted to brutally assault its neighbor."
The next phase in the peace process was the Madrid conference convened by the United States and the former Soviet Union on October 30 - November 1, 1991. Notice that this was just eight months after Desert Storm. American troops had still not come home from that action. In fact, according to Time magazine (July 8, 1996), "the U.S. has dramatically increased its presence in the region—indeed, the gulf is the only major theater in the world where the American military is expanding."
The Letter of Invitation to the Madrid Peace Conference is a very interesting document. Notice the location of the conference: Spain, headed by King Juan Carlos, one of two men who also holds the title King of Jerusalem. Sent to Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and the Palestinians, George Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev basically commanded these nations to appear in Madrid on October 30, 1991. Would these nations comply? Absolutely! They had just witnessed what the Coalition Forces would do to those who would stand in the way of Bush’s New World Order.
Part of the invitation read as follows: "President Bush and President Gorbachev request your acceptance of this invitation NO LATER THAN 6 P.M. Washington time, October 23, 1991…" This is not an RSVP request – this is a deadline. Participants at Madrid included: Bush, Gorbachev, the EU, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and the PLO.
The following paragraph laid out the planned result of the conference: "With respect to negotiations between Israel and Palestinians who are part of the joint Jordanian-Palestinian delegation, negotiations WILL be conducted in phases, beginning with talks on interim self-government arrangements. These talks WILL be conducted with the objective of reaching agreement within one year. Once agreed, the interim self-government arrangements WILL LAST FOR A PERIOD OF FIVE YEARS; beginning the third year of the period of interim self-government arrangements, negotiations WILL take place on PERMANENT STATUS. These permanent status negotiations, and the negotiations between Israel and the Arab states, WILL take place on the basis of RESOLUTIONS 242 AND 338." (emphasis added)
This is the exact scenario laid out by Henry Kissinger in 1988 with one exception. Kissinger spoke of an interim period of five to ten years or five to seven years. The Madrid invitation read ‘five years’. In fact, none of the agreements contain a seven year period. But keep in mind that Henry Kissinger gave five years as a beginning target.
In his speech Bush reiterated the objectives stated in the invitation and made other statements: "As we learned in the Gulf War, MODERN ARSENALS make it possible to attack urban areas and to put the lives of innocent men, women, and children at risk, to transform city streets, schools, and children’s playgrounds into battlefields. Today, we can decide to take a different path to the future and to avoid conflict." (emphasis added) It was the U.S. who used ‘modern arsenals’ in the manner described. This was a direct threat to the conference participants.
Bush also stated, "We’re prepared to extend GUARANTEES, provide TECHNOLOGY and SUPPORT, if that is what peace requires…No one should assume that the opportunity before us to make peace will remain if we fail to seize the moment. Ironically, this is an opportunity born of war – the destruction of past wars, the fear of future wars. The time has come to put an end to war – the time has come to choose peace." (emphasis added) These statements were made in the aftermath of Desert Storm.
Gorbachev’s comments included several references to "new world politics" and an "entirely new age, an age of peace". He also said, "Cooperation between the two powers and other members of the U.N. Security Council was indispensable in order to stop the aggression against Kuwait and to reaffirm the viability of our NEW CRITERIA IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS. Directly after that, just as was agreed between President Bush and myself in September 1990 at our Helsinki meeting on the subject of the Gulf War, vigorous joint efforts began, aimed at achieving a MIDDLE EAST SETTLEMENT. All that we and the Americans have undertaken to that end signifies the RIGHT CONCLUSIONS HAVE BEEN DRAWN FROM THE GULF WAR." (emphasis added)
And what might those conclusions be? We are going to have peace in the Middle East! Those who refuse to go along with the program need only look at Iraq (Desert Storm and the 2003 war) to see what will happen to those who persist in their belligerence.
Was the message received? Initially we saw progress exactly on the stated course on the part of all parties except Syria and Lebanon. Eventually the negotiations broke down and "Oslo" was declared dead, but the groundwork has been laid.
On September 9, 1993 letters were exchanged between Arafat and Rabin, each recognizing the other’s right to exist.
On September 13, 1993 the whole world watched as Arafat and Rabin signed the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements (also called Oslo I) in Washington DC which provided for direct, free and general political elections for the Palestinian people in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip for a "transitional period not exceeding five years, leading to a permanent settlement based on Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338." Still no seven years stated, but look at the next paragraph.
"It is understood that THE INTERIM ARRANGEMENTS ARE AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE WHOLE PEACE PROCESS and that the negotiations on the permanent status will lead to the implementation of Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338." (emphasis added) In other words, this interim arrangement is only part of a greater entity. It should not escape our notice that Oslo I was signed in 1993, SEVEN years before the year 2000 – again, the target date for the institution of the New World Order. 1993 was another big year for unusual weather. We saw record cold and record heat, and that was the year for record-breaking floods in the American mid-west and in Bangladesh, China, Nepal, India and South Africa.
On May 4, 1994 in Cairo, Rabin and Arafat signed the Agreement on the Gaza Strip and Jericho Area. This was a very important agreement because it provided for negotiations toward a final settlement which was to be reached by May 4, 1999. This agreement also marked the beginning of the five years stipulated in the Madrid Invitation and was to have resulted in settling the permanent status of Jerusalem by May 4, 1999.
On July 25, 1994 Rabin and King Hussein signed the Washington Declaration, which marked the end of the state of war between Israel and Jordan. On October 26 Jordan and Israel signed the full peace treaty.
In 1994 and 1995 Israel reached various agreements with Tunisia, Morocco and Oman.
Beginning on July 16, 1994 we saw a major sign in the heavens that could be viewed through backyard telescopes: over a period of seven days Jupiter was bombarded with twenty one pieces of a disintegrated comet. If this isn’t a picture of the tribulation, I don’t know what is! The beginning date was Av 9 on the Jewish calendar, the anniversary of the destruction of both of Israel’s temples as well as many other terrible things experienced by the Jewish people.
This brings us to the Israeli-Palestinian Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, also called Oslo II. The agreement was dated September 24, 1995, but was publicly signed at a White House ceremony on September 28, 1995. Tishri 1 fell on September 25.
In its entirety Oslo II is about four hundred pages long with a main agreement of seventeen pages plus the addition of six maps and seven Annexes detailing the agreement. The main agreement does not contain any stated seven year period, but it reaffirms the Gaza-Jericho provision stating that a final settlement would be reached by May of 1999 – three and one-half years after the latest signing. So we saw a groundwork covering a stated period of three and one-half years until the permanent status agreement is reached, which agreement will include a final settlement regarding Jerusalem. In light of that, Rev. 11:2 states that Jerusalem would be trod under foot by the Gentiles for a period of forty-two months (the last half of the tribulation). While not specifically stated in the agreement, we can clearly see the outline of Daniel’s senentieth week.
It’s also worthy of note that the speeches given that day by Clinton, Mubarak, Rabin and Arafat ALL contained references to Syria getting on board the peace process. As of this writing we see absolutely no real progress toward that goal. It is expected that at some point Syria will attack Israel. When this happens, it will be a perfect opportunity for antichrist to confirm the covenant mentioned in Dan. 9:27, thus revealing himself to the world by destroying Syria and fulfilling the prophecy of Isa. 17. As has been previously stated, the antichrist will be revealed when he CONFIRMS the covenant (Dan. 9:27) and this cannot occur until the withholder, the body of Christ, is removed from the earth.
Oslo II was formally witnessed by the United States, the Russian Federation, the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Kingdom of Norway, and the European Union. Also present on the dais that day were representatives from Spain and Japan. This was truly an international event. There is going to peace in the middle east.
In terms of weather, 1995 saw the hottest hurricane season in sixty-two years.
Dan. 11:21 begins a passage that (probably) describes the rise of antichrist. "And in his estates shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries." Even though there is no publicly outstanding individual related to any of the agreements, this COULD be descriptive of the current peace process.
Verse 22 (with Strong’s definitions of key words included) says, "And with the arms of a flood (deluge, unstoppable) shall they be overflown (root of flood: gushed, inundated, cleansed, CONQUORED) from before him, and shall be broken; yea, also the prince (commander, as occupying the front; civil, military or religious) of the covenant." It’s possible that the ‘breaking’ is of their power which they gave to him in verse 21.
Verse 23: "And after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully: for he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people." There were about two hundred people involved in the negotiations, at least some of whom were members of the Council on Foreign Relations. Another small (but powerful) group represented on the dais was the Trilateral Commission.
Due to the passage of time I do not positively state that any of these agreements were Daniel’s covenant, still there is enough circumstantial evidence to cause us to very carefully consider the possibilities, particularly that Oslo may be resurrected.
Following the assassination of Rabin, Shimon Peres filled in as Prime Minister of Israel. On May 5-6, 1996 the permanent status negotiation talks were begun in Taba, Egypt. On May 29, 1996 Israel turned Peres and the Labor Party out of office and elected Benjamin Netanyahu of the Likud Party as Prime Minister of Israel.
Netanyahu had stated that he would not meet with Arafat and would not open negotiations regarding Jerusalem. Yet on September 4, 1996, under American pressure, Netanyahu and Arafat met and have held a press conference.
As was stated previously in this paper, Dan. 9:27 tells us that antichrist will be revealed when he confirms the seven year covenant made with Israel and others. It is important to note that Daniel specifically used the word CONFIRM, not negotiate, sign, finalize, or any other word relating to the drafting or signing of this covenant. The Hebrew word that is translated confirm is a primitive root defined as: to be strong, to prevail, act insolently. In common usage, we confirm something that has already occurred or has been planned previously. For example, one can make a hotel reservation and then call back later to confirm the reservation, or one can call an airline to confirm whether or not a scheduled flight has arrived on time.
Notice the above definition of the word confirm. I am expecting a forced peace agreement that will be broken then confirmed by the antichrist acting insolently against the peace partners when he prevails in a strong manner to enforce the peace. I think there could very well be a period of time between the initiation of this agreement (before the rapture) and its enforcement or confirmation (after the rapture). Antichrist will be revealed at the confirmation, not necessarily the signing.
I am watching with interest the activities of the Quartet (U.S., U.N., Russia and EU), one representative of each group assisted by Spain’s Javier Solana (take notice: this is a name to watch carefully). As can be confirmed by watching the TV news, natural disasters are now regular occurrences and are increasing in frequency and intensity.
There is a schedule and it WILL be followed. If the schedule laid out in this paper is correct, a Jewish temple needs to be standing on Mt. Moriah by April 20, 2008.
As has been stated previously, the antichrist will be revealed when he CONFIRMS a (preexisting) covenant with many, and the withholder, the body of Christ, must be taken out of the way before that can happen. As for me, I am watching the sky and listening for a trumpet blast.