Egypt and Saudi Arabia Pressuring the Palestinian Authority to Accept the US Peace Plan?

News was leaked last week of secret meetings between Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Israel.  Now some outlets are reporting those meetings led to further meetings with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, where Arabs are encouraging Abbas to accept the US peace plan.

An unidentified Arab diplomat supposed told Abbas:

“Wisdom requires accepting the maximum of what is available now.  The dealing should be in accordance with the logic of ‘take and negotiate’ so that we won’t be surprised after a few years that the monster of settlements has devoured the Palestinian territories.”

Abbas apparently views the proposal as the “slap of the century,” and fears he will be seen as a traitor by his people.

Meanwhile, parts of those reports also indicate that President Trump is using the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and the planned move of the US Embassy to persuade Israel to agree to concessions with the Palestinians.  Trump has supposedly said Israel will “pay a price” for those concessions made to Israel.

(See such reports by the Times of Israel and i24News.)

In other alleged news, the American plan includes a Palestinian airport and port in the Egyptian Sinai.  (See that news here.)

Please note that I have not seen verification of these stories…only published reports by several media outlets.  The US plan has yet to be released publicly, and no official news of a deal being struck has been announced yet, so the facts are yet to be confirmed.  Thus, my point is not to say these facts are true, but to say, let’s keep an eye out and continue to pray for wisdom for the Trump team, the Netanyahu administration, as well as the governments of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the Palestinian Authority and others involved in negotiations.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
~Matthew 5:9


BREAKING: Israeli F-16 Shot Down

Image result for israeli f-16 jets

Israeli F-16

Early this morning (Israel time) an Iranian drone was discovered crossing into Israel from Syria.  An Israeli Apache helicopter shot down the low-flying drone and the IDF immediately retaliated by striking Iranian targets in Syria.

In the midst of the action, an Israeli F-16 was hit by anti-aircraft fire in Syria and turned back toward Israel, where the plane crashed in the northern Jordan valley.  Thankfully, the two pilots ejected safely and are alive.

My friends, the action is heating up.  Just days ago, Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to take whatever action necessary to protect Israel.  Iran flying drones into Israel is a severe violation of Israel’s sovereignty, and such actions will simply not be tolerated.  Unfortunately, it seems Israel will once again be drawn into a war in which they never wished.

We’ve talked much about the coming War of Gog and Magog, described in Ezekiel 38-39, but I want to draw your attention to Ezekiel 38:10-13:

Thus says the Lord God, “It will come about on that day, that thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil plan, and you will say, ‘I will go up against the land of unwalled villages. I will go against those who are at rest, that live securely, all of them living without walls and having no bars or gates, to capture spoil and to seize plunder, to turn your hand against the waste places which are now inhabited, and against the people who are gathered from the nations, who have acquired cattle and goods, who live at the center of the world.’ Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish with all its villages will say to you, ‘Have you come to capture spoil? Have you assembled your company to seize plunder, to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to capture great spoil?’”

Russia and Iran are undoubtedly the key players in the northern coalition that Ezekiel 38 describes as coming against Israel.  Indeed, they “devise an evil plan.” (v10)  Israel is the most secure they have ever been in their 70 year history since rebirth.  They are strong militarily, they are prosperous economically, they live in unwalled cities. (v11)  While Iran’s intent is to wipe Israel off the map, Russia (the leader of the coalition) is after “spoils” (oil and gas).  (v12)

But get this: look who is questioning motive, as if to say, “Hey, why are you attacking Israel!” Verse 13 refers to Sheba and Dedan (and others).  Do you know who Sheba and Dedan is?  Saudi Arabia!  Only recently has Saudi Arabia warmed up to Israel.  Until recently, Saudi Arabia could not care less if someone attacked Israel!  This prophecy could not have been fulfilled until only a few short weeks or months ago!  Yet it is in place now!

Friends, we don’t know when Jesus will come to take us (believers in Jesus Christ) out of here.  (That is known as the rapture.  See 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18)  Nor do we know if it will be before or after the War of Gog and Magog.  Regardless, it COULD be any time, and we need to live our lives in anticipation of our soon coming King!  (See Welcome the King Home)  Damascus could soon fall (Isaiah 17:1), and Russia and Iran (along with Turkey, Sudan and Libya) could soon filter right through Syria to Israel’s border (Ezekiel 38-39).  Once that happens, God’s fury will mount and He will take matters into His own hands!  (Ezekiel 38:18-23)

But fear not, Christian brothers and sisters!  We know how it ends, and we know our final destination!  This world is not our home, and we will be called to our eternal home some day.  Maranatha…Lord come quickly!

Happy New Year 2018!

Image result for happy new year

Happy New Year!  2017 is behind us and we have a fresh new year ahead of us.  I know many of you faced challenges in 2017 and are happy to see it end, while others of you celebrated tremendous victories or milestones which will forever be cherished in your memories.  Whatever the case, we are thankful the Lord has sustained us another year, and I’m confident He will give us “everything pertaining to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3) in the new year.

As I look back on 2017, here are a few interesting tidbits regarding Looking for the Blessed Hope:

While the fullness of God’s plan for Looking for the Blessed Hope is not yet revealed, it is my heart to be found faithful in being about the Father’s business, and for Him to direct that business in whatever direction He intends.  In doing so, I try to bring sound teaching regarding Israel, rightly understanding our Jewish-Christian heritage, and readiness for Jesus’ return.  My desire is also to view current events through the lens of Scripture so we might move deeper in understanding God’s plan in these last days.

I hope you are blessed as you follow along.  Moreover, I pray you are better equipped to adhere to the Lord’s mandates to pray for Israel and our Jewish friends, and to pray even for Israel’s enemies.  Will you join me this year in committing more deeply to prayer?

For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent,
And for Jerusalem’s sake I will not keep quiet,
Until her righteousness goes forth like brightness,
And her salvation like a torch that is burning….
On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen;
All day and all night they will never keep silent.
You who remind the Lord, take no rest for yourselves;
And give Him no rest until He establishes
And makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.
~Isaiah 62:1, 6-7

The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer.
~1 Peter 4:7

Arab Reactions to Palestinian Failures

The Palestinian Authority has taken a hit following their ineffectiveness to sway world sentiment in favor of the Palestinian agenda.  Following President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, widespread protest and rioting was expected.  The Middle East was expected to become inflamed.

Much to the chegrine of the Palestinian Authority and their president, Mahmoud Abbas, that did not occur.

As a result, the Arab League, led by Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, met to devise a new plan for the Palestinian plight.  In fact, an Arab League spokesman said:

“The decision to establish this committee was, in effect, imposed on the Palestinian Authority by  Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan in a move that was backed by the Arab League.  This is a super committee that is headed by the secretary general of the Arab League, and it effectively puts the Arab League in charge of the policy on Jerusalem, taking it away from the Palestinians.

“The Palestinians’ efforts to sway public opinion have been a complete failure, and as a result, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has created a rift between us [the Arab world] and Trump. We are once again left with the demagogic, hollow and inflammatory rhetoric of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.”

In weeks and months to come, it will be interesting to see how the Arab League handles the situation.  The Saudis have already hinted that perhaps the Palestinians should consider a different capital: Abu Dis.  This site was planned as the Palestinian Legislative Council, which the PA started to build in 1995.

Other interesting developments have occurred recently.  In one case, an Arab historian declared that there are no Palestinian people.

The real issue, though, is who will get the upper hand in ruling the Arab world.  It is no secret that Saudi Arabia (Sunni) and Iran (Shi’ite) are mortal enemies, each declaring the other to be infidels.  However, even within the world of Sunni Islam there is competition.  Saudi Arabia and Turkey (both Sunni) are vying for control, and Turkey’s President Erdogan has spoken out boldly about his ambition to become leader of the Sunni Arab world.  Saudi leaders have deemed Erdogan’s rhetoric as “hollow and inflammatory.”

Keep your eye on these developments.  It will be interesting to see whether or not the alliance President Trump has forged with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan remains intact, and if the Arab League’s leadership will lead toward peaceful relations with Israel.