Losing Nikki Haley at the UN

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Nikki Haley’s lone vote at the UN in support of Israel on December 18, 2017

As you likely know, US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, resigned yesterday morning.  Since then, numerous people have expressed concern about losing Israel’s most staunch supporter (other than the Israeli ambassador) at the UN.  How will this impact Israel and the way they are seen and treated by the UN?

Well, I have no “inside track” to know what will happen, but I do have thoughts regarding this critical departure.

First, I believe there are other ambassadorial candidates (Dina Powell, for one) who are also extremely committed to standing with Israel in the face of anti-Israel sentiment in the UN.  Will the new ambassador be as steadfast and eloquent as Nikki Haley?  Perhaps not, but Haley has laid a very firm foundation.

Secondly, there is more behind this move than we know.  President Trump and Nikki Haley are two of the best strategist in government today.  I can’t help but believe there is a plan in the works.  Could we see Nikki Haley in a cabinet position while being groomed for a presidential run in 2024?  Or, could she show up as Attorney General if Jeff Sessions fails to survive disdain from President Trump?  Who knows.  But I would be shocked if there is not some sort of plan in place.

Finally, losing Haley at the UN is a blow to Israel, but President Trump’s administration remains the most pro-Israel administration ever.  Most importantly, though, our great God is still in control!

I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to slip;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep.
~Psalm 121:4

Let’s rest easy, my friends!  Neither our hope, nor the hope of Israel, lies in the UN or in the Trump administration.  Our hope is in the Lord.  Thus, we keep looking for the Blessed Hope…the return of King Jesus!  (Titus 2:11-13)

President Trump’s UN Speech

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The United Nations has gathered at its headquarters in New York City for the annual General Assembly, calling together diplomats from all over the world.  Many (including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Iranian President Rouhani) are scheduled to deliver speeches (or already have).  Yesterday President Trump addressed the assembly.

While touting the US as “stronger, safer and richer,” President Trump thumped Iran and the United Nations.  While thanking North Korean leader Kim Jung-Un, he spoke of new sanctions and aggression against terrorism in cooperation with moderate Arab allies.

As usual, he pulled no punches.  However, his demeanor was calm and his words calculated.  (We can all breath a sigh of relief for that!)  The US delegation present in the assembly included Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders and National Security Adviser John Bolton.

Here are some key quotes from his speech:

  • Rest assured, the United States will respond if chemical weapons are employed by the Assad regime [in Syria].
  • Iran’s leaders sow chaos, death and destruction.  They do not respect their neighbors or borders or the sovereign rights of nations. Instead, Iran’s leaders plunder the resources to enrich themselves and spread mayhem across the Middle East and far beyond…..The Iran deal was a windfall for Iran’s leaders.
  • We cannot allow the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism to possess the planet’s most dangerous weapons.
  • Trade must be fair and reciprocal.  The United States will not be taken advantage of any longer.
  • As far as America is concerned, the ICC (International Criminal Court) has no jurisdiction, no legitimacy and no authority….We will never surrender America’s sovereignty to an unelected, unaccountable global democracy.  We reject the ideology of globalism and embrace the doctrine of patriotism.
  • Together, let us choose a future of patriotism, prosperity and pride.  Let us choose peace and freedom over domination and defeat.  ….thankful for the grace and goodness and the glory of God.

If you wish to see the President’s speech in full, here it is:

 

PS: There is a lot going on in our world right now: rising tension between Russia and Israel, the annual gathering of the UN General Assembly, and the Feast of Tabernacles.  All intertwine in unique ways.  Lord willing, I will share more with you about the Feast of Tabernacles tomorrow, so stay tuned!

 

What will the US Peace Plan Look Like?

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Hi friends!  Are you like me…anxiously awaiting the unveiling of the US peace plan?  While I believe the peace plan will offer the Palestinians unprecedented resources to better the lives of their people, I will be shocked if they ever agree to a peace plan with Israel.  Why?   Because they don’t want peace with Israel…they want to convince the world of the Jewish “occupation.” That “sells.”  It gives them a degree of legitimacy on the world stage, and garners the sympathy of those who will financially support them.

But the White House is confident they can cut the “deal of all deals” and have some degree of peace in the Middle East. If the Palestinians will not come to the table, how can that be accomplished?

As you know, President Trump made a landmark trip to the Middle East soon after his election.  During that trip, he began to build bridges with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the Emirates, while re-establishing strong ties with Egypt and Jordan.  The past week or so has been full of visits between foreign leaders of those countries and the US and Israel.  They are locking the soon-to-be-announced plan into place.  But how will it differ from the previous attempts at peace?

First, it is not just an Israeli-Palestinian deal.  Trump’s plan is to bring about peaceful coexistence between the aforementioned Arab nations and Israel. For decades, the US has tried to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians, thinking that would spawn opportunities for peace throughout the Middle East.  President Trump turned that idea on its head and is offering a new plan: peace in the broader Middle East, forcing the Palestinians to either come to the negotiating table with a sincere desire for peace, or risk losing its Arab allies in the region.  Indeed, I believe that is at stake for the Palestinians.

Will it be a political deal?  Some (including me) think not.  I believe it will be a business/economic deal, whereby relations will be normalized between those Arab countries and Israel, and they will share in initiatives such as transportation, agriculture, technology, etc.  It is believed the Palestinians will be offered the same working relationships and unprecedented aid in making life better for their people, yet they will not be given Jerusalem as their capital.  They will probably be offered land (perhaps in the Sinai Peninsula), but they will likely decline the deal.  (Currently, they are refusing to even talk to the US negotiating team, and to my knowledge, have not even allowed conversations about peace with Arab countries.)

“The Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity!”
~Abba Eban, The Jerusalem Post, 11/18/2002

The plan will force the hand of the Palestinians, who will be left out and without an ally in the region, other than Iran and Turkey.  Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the Emirates, Jordan and Egypt will all enjoy the benefits of collaborative efforts with Israel.

Interestingly, when Ezekiel describes the War of Gog and Magog (Ezekiel 38), those nations are NOT described as part of the coalition that comes against Israel!  Thus, we again see the stage being set for the Northern Invasion.

Now…one last thing before we call it a day.  Some are saying, “Well, if President Trump is bringing peace to the Middle East, couldn’t he be the Antichrist?”  No.  While he may be successful in closing a deal, it will not be as Scripture describes.  In our English translations, Daniel 9:27 indicates the Antichrist will “make” or “confirm” a treaty with Israel.  However, in Hebrew, the word means “to intensify, to make spectacular.”  Thus, a peace plan could be in place when the Antichrist comes on the scene, and he will intensify it.  “How,” you ask?  By allowing the Jews to rebuild their temple!  THAT is what will win the Jews over!

Finally, the Bible also says the Antichrist will come from the same region as the empire that destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD.  The United States was not around in 70 AD!  The Antichrist will not come from America!  However, if you read this morning’s post entitled Rise of “Mystery Babylon,” you know exactly from what region the Antichrist will come!  So if you missed it, go back and read it!

We live in very exciting times, don’t we!  We are seeing the Lord bring about the culmination of His plan for the Gentiles, and SOON, we could hear the trumpet sound and be out of here!  Keep your eyes on Israel…God’s time piece.  The final moments are ticking away!

Why the Calm? Why the Storm?

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What faithful students you are!  Welcome back!

Today we’ll finish the summary of the live class I’m teaching at 11:00 am each Sunday morning at Calvary PHX in Phoenix AZ.  If you like what you’re reading and are in the Phoenix area, come join the live class.  We’re in Room 209 at the Central campus and there is a seat ready for you!

We are living in the calm before the storm.  Indeed, Israel is as calm and peaceful as she has ever been since rebirth in 1948.  (If you are wondering how I can say that when rockets fired from Gaza recently, see yesterday’s post.)  We know, also, that there is a huge storm on the horizon.  Ezekiel 38 describes that storm and we’ll spend some more time talking about it in the next live lesson.

So, why the calm…and why the storm?  Does God really have a purpose in all this?  Absolutely!

First, let’s talk about what happened in America.  Understand, though, that America is NOT God’s timepiece.  Israel is.  But something significant happened in America over the past few years.  From a spiritual perspective, many believe we were teetering on the brink of the abyss.  For years, our country has been spiraling out of control morally.  We have thrown God out of schools, government buildings and city parks.  Abortions are killing over 600,000 babies a year.  Religious freedom has been trampled while gay rights have sky rocketed to levels unimaginable.  Marriage has taken on new definitions and the dignity of aging adults has been striped away.

But someone (LOTS of someones!) took 2 Chronicles 7:14 to heart:

…[if] My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Christians began to pray and began to stand up for what is right…and miracles happened.  (If you prayed, you had a part in the miracles!)  One miracle (there were many) was the election of Donald Trump as President.  Many (including myself) were skeptical that a man with such a sordid background would actually stand for things such as the sanctity of life, religious freedom…and Israel.  Furthermore, he was not supposed to win!  Behind in all the polls and lambasted by the liberal media, it took a miracle of God (despite skepticism!) to put Donald Trump in the White House.  Praise God for that!

Our nation is far from perfect and still has the same issues it had before.  But I truly believe God heard the faithful, effective prayers of the righteous (James 5:16), He honored them, and He gave America a short reprieve.  American friends, this is our season!  Time is short and the reprieve won’t last forever.  We must NOT be complacent.

Now the whys.

Why the calm?

  1. God honored the prayers of the righteous!
  2. God is preparing the region for what comes next.  Ezekiel 38 says Israel MUST be living in safety, security and prosperity.  Meanwhile, Russia, Iran and Turkey are all struggling economically.  That will bring about motivation for attack.
  3. God is establishing Jerusalem’s status.  Jerusalem is to be the heavy stone that others will try to lift, only to be injured.  Establishing Jerusalem as the capital, moving embassies there and destroying Iran’s presence on the Israeli border helps establish Jerusalem’s status!

Those things are happening right before our very eyes, and this is the calm before the storm!  Also, as a side note: talk among Jews in Israel is turning to “days of Messiah!”  They are looking for that someone who will bring lasting peace and allow them to rebuild the third temple!  Interesting!

Why the coming storm?

  1. To expose the intentions of man’s heart, and that of the nations.  Jeremiah 17:9 tells us that our hearts are desperately wicked, and 2 Timothy 3:1-5 provides a laundry list of wickedness that will characterize the last days.  Joel 3:2 warns the nations that God will judge them according to how they treat Israel!
  2. To glorify God and destroy Satan’s plans.  (Read Ezekiel 38.  That’s your homework for next week!)
  3. Set the stage for the hour of trial.  Though believers will be saved from it (Revelation 3:10 and many places in 1 Thessalonians), the Jews will face the hour of trial after God defeats the enemies of Ezekiel 38-39.  They will look for their Messiah, only to find he is the Antichrist.

Despite their own blindness, Israel is the flagship that leads the world to salvation.  So, why does Israel matter?  Because Israel is our insurance policy!  If God is not faithful to the Jewish people, why would we expect Him to be faithful to us?

As we close out this week, why not pray for the eyes of Jewish people to be open to see and recognize the One True Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ.  Some are seeing…let’s pray for a larger harvest!

Thanks for following this week, and I look forward to sharing more in Week 2, as we get into Signs of the Times: Storm Clouds Rising.