Syrian Borders with Israel and Jordan Open Again After 4 Years

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Israeli and UN soldiers at the Quneitra border crossing between Israel and Syria

For the first time in 4 years, the border crossings between Syria and Israel (Quneitra crossing), and Syria and Jordan (Nasir crossing), are open.  Both are used primarily by UN peacekeeping forces.

Until earlier this year, that region of Syria was controlled by the Assad regime as he pushed rebels all the way to the border.  Russia intervened and is now patrolling the area.  The border openings, however, are being touted as “victories” by the Assad regime, and Syria’s Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem claimed on Monday “We are now reaping the fruits of the beginnings of victory.”

Meanwhile, from a Biblical perspective, one has to wonder if opening the gates with Russian forces patrolling the border plays into the prophetic future Ezekiel 38-39 describes as the War of Gog and Magog…an invasion of Israel from the north, led by Russia.  Practically speaking, though open, the border will still be guarded.  However, the more permissive Israel and the UN are toward Russia’s presence on an open border, the easier it will be for the Russian leader to storm in from the north just as Scripture says he will!

Certainly, the Lord could change the circumstances and delay the onset of the northern invasion.  However, short of that, one more prop has appeared on the stage of end time events.

Look up, my friends!  Our redemption draws near!

But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.
~Luke 21:28

A Deeper Look at Psalm 122: Verses 2-3

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A song of ascent, Psalm 122 was recited (or sung) by the Jewish people as they made the trek to Jerusalem three times a year for the feasts.  They were anxious to go “up to Jerusalem” for those special times of fellowship with God.

We’re studying Psalm 122 this week and focus on verses 2-3 today:

Our feet are standing
Within your gates, O Jerusalem,
Jerusalem, that is built
As a city that is compact together

“…a city that is compact together” is an interesting phrase, translated many different ways: “joined together,” “bound together,” “knitted together,” “compact together,” and “solidly joined.” But a literal translation is: “joined to itself together.”  The Hebrew word “חֻבְּרָה” appears only once in the entire Bible – here.

It is a word that means “friend,” and has the connotation of joining together.  Just as Exodus 26:11 indicates the curtains in the tabernacle were joined together as a single unit, so Jerusalem is joined together.  Not to something else, but to itself!

If Jerusalem is joined or compacted together, there must be two parts! Jerusalem must have a “friend” or “companion!”  Might that companion be another Jerusalem in heaven?

There is basis for that in the Hebrew language.  Transliterated, YerushalAYIM = Jerusalem.  Notice the suffix “AYIM.”  It is plural!  There is a Jerusalem here on earth, but also a new Jerusalem to come (Revelation 21:2).  Two Jerusalems…”friends/companions!”

But here is another interesting tidbit regarding the joining together of Jerusalem to itself.  The UN designated Jerusalem an international city in 1947.  Yet, the war of 1948 resulted in Jordan taking control of East Jerusalem, leaving only West Jerusalem to the Jews.  In 1967, however, Jerusalem was reunited when Israel won the Six Day War!  Once again joining Jerusalem to itself!

Today, the battle continues to rage over Jerusalem.  There is a constant “tearing” of the city, yet it is God’s Holy City and will ultimately not only be joined to itself on earth, but will be joined together spiritually with the new Jerusalem!

Pray for that city, dear friends!

See you tomorrow when we look at the next portion of Psalm 122!

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!

Did Netanyahu Meet Secretly with the Saudi Crown Prince?

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (L) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (L) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

A few sources, including a Facebook post by Behold Israel, are reporting that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met secretly with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on the sidelines of a meeting in Amman Jordan between White House special adviser Jared Kushner, US Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt and Jordan’s King Abdullah.

There to discuss the US peace plan, the US delegation met with all parties to lay the groundwork for upcoming Middle East peace negotiations.  Though Israel and Saudi Arabia have no official diplomatic relations, it is widely believed that the nations have communicated via liaisons to help further the prospects of a broad peace plan in the region.

We are living in exciting times that are following a Biblical pattern leading up to end time events.  Never in the history of the world have Arab nations been so open to diplomatic relations with Israel.  While not all Arab countries are warming to the Jewish state, primary end time players, such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan are beginning to view Israel as more of an ally than an enemy.

Once more, I’m asking you to pray.  May wisdom abound to the US peace delegation as they spearhead the efforts, and may the Arab nations be blessed as they consider the prospects of peace with Israel.