President Trump left his mark in Saudi Arabia and in Israel, setting what seems to be a friendly, but straight-forward tone. Praise God for that.
Hopes are high in some camps that President Trump will accomplish what no other US President has been able to do: strike a workable, lasting peace plan between Israel and the Palestinians.
While I believe the Bible is true when it says, “Blessed are the peacemakers” (Matthew 5:9), and that God’s Word is clear that we are to strive for peace with all (Romans 12:18, Hebrews 12:14), and that God commands (not suggests) that we pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122), neither the world, nor the Middle East, will know peace until the Prince of Peace comes to rule and reign here on the earth! Yes, we should be peacemakers, we should strive for peace and we should pray for peace…all of which invites the Prince of Peace to return!
Thus, my faith in what the best negotiators in the world are able to do is very limited without entering our Lord Jesus Christ into the equation! I do not believe there will be man-made peace in the Middle East.
First, don’t think for a moment that any Jew will willingly give up the most holy city in the Jewish faith. Yet, that is a condition of the Palestinians in order to have peace. Secondly, don’t think for a moment that President Trump will strike the ultimate deal. The Bible says that “peace” will come when a leader rises up out of the revived Roman empire to sign a peace treaty with Israel. That will not be Donald Trump…it will be the antichrist. The revived Roman empire, I believe, will be Europe, and we’re seeing Europe “ripen” for the rise of the antichrist.
However, if you are looking for the antichrist, you are a bit early! Several things must happen before he is revealed. First, believers must be taken out of here! Raptured! In 2 Thessalonians 2, we are taught that the “man of lawlessness” (antichrist) will be revealed once the “one who restrains” (Holy Spirit living in believers) is taken out of here. As believers, we should not waste our time looking for the antichrist because we won’t be here!
But, that is all tribulational talk. Still other things must happen before that. For example, a czar will rise out of Russia to lead the great coalition described in Ezekiel 38-39. Israel must be in her land in order for them to have a Jewish target to attack! Thus, just as prophesied in Ezekiel 36-37, Israel was re-born in 1948 and reunified in 1967! For the Jews to give up Jerusalem would render those prophesies untrue. No prophecy in the Bible has ever been rendered untrue! (Some may not yet be fulfilled, but all that have been are rendered absolutely true!) So, don’t look for a miraculous peace deal to be struck until the antichrist is revealed.
Frankly, I believe there is yet something more that will happen prior to the Ezekiel 38-39 invasion and prior to the rise of the antichrist, and that is the fall of Damascus. Syria has been embroiled in a civil war since 2011. Rebels are fighting the Assad regime, the Kurds are desperately trying to retain their land, Russia has entered the picture and is working hand-in-glove with Iran (their partner in the Ezekiel 38-39 invasion) to prop up Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (a ruthless tyrant who has killed hundreds of thousands of his own people).
Damascus is known to have one of the largest (if not the largest) stockpiles of WMD’s on planet earth. Radicals such as ISIS and Hezbollah (backed by Iran) are salivating to get their hands on them. The destruction of Damascus, as prophesied in Isaiah 17:1, could happen at any time. Might we wake up one morning to the news that chemical and/or nuclear weapons were detonated in the struggle over Damascus, and that the city no longer stands? Might Israel have to take action in Damascus because WMD’s are being transferred to Hezbollah to be used against Israel, or to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard which is set up right on Israel’s border?
Indeed, the fall of Damascus will open up clear “lanes” for the Russian-Iranian coalition to come out of the north, just as predicted in Ezekiel 38-39, to attack Israel…who will STILL be in the land and in control of the land. (ie – there will be no Israeli-Palestinian “peace plan.”)
Once the invaders are defeated , the antichrist, itching to be the hero, will be revealed and will initiate a “peace plan” that will fool them all! The tribulation will swing into full action, but we (Christ followers) will be out of here!
So, will Trump negotiate the mother of all peace deals? Heavens no! He is not the antichrist…and no peace deal (including that one) will stand. Only when the Prince of Peace Himself STANDS (literally and in bodily form) on the Mount of Olives at His Second Coming will there be true, lasting peace!
So, pray for our President and other world leaders. Should they strive for peace? Yes, the Bible teaches that. But let’s send up “laser-pointed” prayers by joining the Holy Spirit in asking the Prince of Peace to come!
The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.”