“Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate” (Daniel 9:27).
In 1993, a newly elected President Clinton hosted the Oslo Peace Accords in the White House Rose Garden. This was hailed to be the end of a six-year violent Palestinian uprising known as the First Intifada. However, seven years later, the Oslo Peace Accords were in tatters as violence began again. Not only did it bring about a bloody and violent second intifada, it also splintered the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) into a second faction, Hamas, which would come to take control of the Gaza Strip. The Second Intifada signaled the end of this utopic hallucination of Middle East peace, as well as much speculation by prophecy watchers about whether Oslo was Daniel 9:27 in the making.
Fast forward through time for the next 20 years: 9/11, U.S. military wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, global economic mortgage and bank crisis, the Arab Spring, ISIS, Libyan and Syrian Civil War; peace in the Middle East seemed as dead a prospect as bell-bottoms, disco, and mullets.
Not only did the most unlikely candidate win the most seemingly unwinnable election, but Donald Trump had an ace up his sleeve… God’s timing.
It would seem that 1993 was not the right time or the right place, nor Clinton, Rabin, or Arafat the right players. Even before running for office, Donald J. Trump had a decades-long personal friendship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. His son-in-law Jared Kushner, along with his daughter Ivanka Trump, practice Orthodox Judaism.
Then-candidate Trump campaigned on the promise to not only recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s undivided capital, but he also promised to move our embassy there.
Then he did.
Then President (Art of the Deal) Trump had the audacity to declare the coming “Deal of the Century” between Israel and the Arab world on January 28, 2020. Then the Chinese Corona-virus swept the globe. Democrats and globalists were slow to abandon their failed impeachment attempt and recognize the breadth and scope of just how far-reaching the virus would spread, but they were quick to politicize it once they did. It seemed as if the whole forces of the world were stacked against this peace process from moving forward. Then the details and news of the “Deal of the Century” went silent. Prophecy watchers waited in anticipation for any new news of this coming peace deal. After a summer of protests, riots, statue desecrations, and anarchy wore on, and the threat of the virus began to wane, the news broke in early August that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) would sign a normalization agreement with Israel.
What makes the recent (August 2020) Jared Kushner/Trump deal (dubbed the Abraham Accord) with the United Arab Emirates, and now Bahrain as well, unique is that it offers not just peace but also full normalization. That means shared airspace. Shared technologies. Opening economies. Tourism. Everything. Quoting Daymond Duck:
“Kushner believes another Arab nation will make peace with Israel in a matter of months, and all 22 Arab nations will eventually recognize the existence of Israel (Note: On Sept. 3, 2020, it was reported that Bahrain will likely normalize relations before Rosh Hashanah, Sept. 18, and as many as 20 Muslim nations could do it in the next two months).
On Sept. 5, 2020, it was reported that Israel and the UAE anticipate signing their agreement in Washington, D.C. during the week of Sept. 14, and they will call their agreement a “treaty of peace.” (Source)
But what is a peace treaty? Is it just a declaration that two nations will officially decide not to march their troops into each other’s cities or stop shooting missiles at each other? Yes and no. Yes, it is an official end of hostilities, for whatever that is worth, but it is not a guarantee of the desired end-state normalization.
Normalization speaks to the improved relations in all sectors of public and private life and governance. It is diplomatic, it is economic, it is technological, and it is improved relations from the street-level all the way up to the heads of state.
For example, even though Jordan and Egypt have peace treaties with Israel, Jews would not step foot in their countries for fear of death. Thus, peace did not bring normalization. Sure, Jordan and Egypt were not firing rockets and attacking Israel anymore, but Jews were not lining up to go there for vacations. Egyptians were not lining up to buy Jewish goods. The importance of normalization is the removal of the stigma of each other’s existence as nations and peoples. For the Jews, this is paramount.
The agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates promises to establish normal relations between the two countries. These include business relations, tourism, direct flights, scientific cooperation, and, in time, full diplomatic ties at the ambassadorial level. The Emirates are unlikely, however, to locate their embassy in Jerusalem. An important component of the Abraham Accord, though not specifically spelled out, is enhanced security cooperation against regional threats, especially from Iran and its proxies. It is important to note that Israel and the UAE reportedly already have security ties, but the agreement brings them into the open. (Source)
The Abraham Accord, aptly named for its importance to the three major monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), is a reverse approach to the Oslo Peace Accords. Instead of trying to get the Palestinians to abandon their impossible demands (e.g., 1967 boundaries, right of return, division of Jerusalem), the Abraham Accord works from the outside in. Setting aside any division of land or halting of Jewish expansion by way of settlements, its aims are to build a coalition of Arab nations who, through normalization, put pressure on the Palestinians to get on board the ‘peace train.’ Israel, in return, gets normalization from upwards of 22 of her Arab neighbors. Aside from Egypt and Jordan, who already have peace deals with Israel, the two nations of UAE and Bahrain have joined the Abraham Accord. Presumably, many others will follow suit, especially when Trump wins reelection.
Most important is to establish a new regional alliance, based on the Arab Peace Initiative first proposed by Saudi Arabia in 2002 that is still valid until today. It would actually be a defense treaty between Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Israel. Its strategic goal would be building a military and technological shield against Iran. It would develop and produce a Star Wars-like project much like President Ronald Reagan’s to forestall and pre-empt the Iranian ballistic nuclear arsenal; this would be the result of scientific and financial cooperation among the member states. This new alliance will have additional defensive tasks in thwarting terrorism and subversion in the Middle East. (Source)
Of course, the number one factor driving all of this for Israel is peace. The number factor from the Arab perspective is security. In other words, for the first time in history, the two sides (Jews and Arabs) have a valid reason to unite.
“For when they say, ‘Peace and safety!’ then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape” (1st Thess. 5:3).
UAE, and presumably the rest of the Gulf States due to their proximity, fear Iran more than they hate Israel. Nevertheless, the Palestinians are not having any of this. With President Trump moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and his halting of financial aid to them, there is no love lost between this administration and the divided Palestinian political factions (PLO and Hamas). Still, with normalization efforts ongoing with the Arab world, the Palestinians’ days may be numbered.
Within the region, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, and Oman publicly welcomed the Abraham Accord. Saudi Arabia has remained silent, though there is significant speculation among analysts that this nonreaction is a sign that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman supports the agreement but is constrained because his father, the king, opposes normalization with Israel. Iran, Qatar, and Turkey have all criticized the Accord, with the latter threatening to withdraw its ambassador from Abu Dhabi. Civil society organizations throughout the region remain steadfast in their opposition to normalizing relations with Israel. These include groups in the Gulf, which have spoken out specifically against the Israeli-Emirati agreement. (Source)
Gog, Magog, and the Axis of Resistance
In 2006, in the midst of a fierce war between Israel and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice famously stated that the world was witnessing the “birth pangs of a new Middle East.” She was right—but not in the sense she had hoped. Instead of disempowering Hezbollah and its sponsor, Iran, the war only augmented the strength and prestige of what is known as the “axis of resistance,” a power bloc that includes Iran, Iraq, Syria, Hezbollah, and Hamas in Palestine. (Source) (2017)
In 1979, two significant revolutions took place in the Middle East. Most remember the dramatic Iranian revolution with the overthrow of the Shah and taking over the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. However, the other revolution was in Saudi Arabia. This was the same year that the Wahhabis took their Islamic conservativism to extremes in what had been a moderate Sunni Muslim nation. Forty-years, fracking, and a technologically advanced world later, the Saudis have had to come to terms with their own demons. They realized after 9/11 how toxic they had become as well as realizing that their oil wealth would not last forever. They had to find new streams of revenue to finance their otherwise resource strapped-nation. Nevertheless, this attempt at reform did not sway the Wahhabi purists in Saudi Arabia who wanted to fund their endless Jihad.
The Iranian Regime, on the other hand, has not yet come to terms with their extremism. Granted, it is more the regime (leadership) than the people themselves who still maintain its suicidal and homicidal ideations, but the government still has the keys to the kingdom. Their “Twelver” eschatology is driving them to bring chaos to the world in order to unleash their Mahdi, and ultimately, the end of days.
Millenarianism, or “end of days” messianic speculation, is thriving and evolving — and being weaponized by both Sunni and Shia radical movements – as evidenced by the Islamic State on one side, and Hezbollah and other Iranian proxies on the other. While still limited and contained, the potential of such visions to metastasize and explode into conflict is considerable. In both the Sunni and Shia domains, millenarianism is gaining in relevance, substance, and structure. This essay considers the origins and dynamics of this movement and concludes with a brief suggestion about how best to counter it. (Source)
The Sunnis attempted to match the Twelver’s devotion to the end-time by unleashing the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) but ultimately ran into a brick wall called the last Trump. Donald Trump, that is. With ISIS defeated in Trump’s first year of office, and the Muslim Brotherhood on the outs pretty much everywhere, the Saudis had secretly turned to Trump and Israel as means of last resorts. An undercurrent of secret communications/discussions/agreements finally became known this year with the evolution of the Abraham Accord.
This turn of events has given new life to Iran’s extremism. With the Iranian people largely on the outs with their own government (see Green Revolution), Iran (formerly Persia) has had to outsource much of their violence to disenfranchised Middle Easterners and North Africans to rebuild their Shiite Caliphate. However, Turkey’s Prime Minister/Autocrat, Tayyip Erdogan, would not, could not let Iran run away with the monopoly on caliphate building. Erdogan was determined to restore the might and greatness of the Ottoman Empire.
Efraim Inbar, the president of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security, noted that Erdoğan is not only a leader with an Islamist ideology, but a realpolitik player. Turkey is in Iraq and Syria and has a military base in Qatar and Somalia. Erdoğan tried to build a base in Sudan, and now he is busy in Libya. As part of this new Turkish nationalism, he is challenging the border with Greece, essentially seeking to reverse the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne, which officially ended the Ottoman Empire.
“There is a fusion here of nationalism and Islamism between Turkish nationalism with its roots in Islam, the Caliphate and the Ottoman Empire,” said Inbar. “There is a clear alliance between Turkey and Qatar, which both support the Muslim Brotherhood.” (Source)
Just as the Jews and Arabs are finding common ground, primarily over common enemies, the same holds true for this growing Axis of Resistance. For the first time in history, both Turkey and Iran (who formerly held major empires over the Middle East) now find themselves with their aligned interests. While this is a bit of speculation on my part, the Ayatollah and Erdogan may want to split their Caliphate down the middle, much the same way the Roman Empire eventually split between eastern and western halves. What they also have in common is a neutral ally by the name of Russia who is helping arm and manage their forces throughout the region.
MOSCOW – The leaders of Russia, Turkey and Iran on Wednesday discussed efforts to stabilize Syria in a video call, emphasizing the need to promote a political settlement for the nine-year conflict. Russia and Iran have staunchly supported Syrian President Bashar Assad throughout the country’s war, while Turkey has backed his foes. However, the three countries have pooled their efforts to help end hostilities. [July 1st, 2020] (Source)
At present, Russia, Turkey, and Iran are at odds over the dumpster fire that is Syria. However, they are now working together to end this division. Both Russia and Turkey are presently at odds over the future of Libya. At some point in the very near past, Russia, Turkey, and Iran decided to align their interests in regards to Syria and Libya and begin to solidify their stranglehold over the Middle East. In fact, I would venture to say that this alliance will solidify as we move into Trump’s fifth year in office. The reason I believe this will happen sooner, rather than later, is that all three are watching this Trump-led alliance fall in line with the Abraham Accord, and they will use this as the motivation to set their differences aside and work together. It is also very possible that we could also see the formation of a new Syria very soon with Bashar Assad stepping aside and Damascus being rebuilt (or at least getting the rubble out of the way). Damascus (as well as the rest of Syria) presents real, geopolitical interests to all three nations, and I expect that given the present prophetic winds, they will move in quickly. Might this new Axis of Resistance be the Gog-Magog coalition that Ezekiel prophesied about some 2,600 years ago?
Cyrus, Trump, and the Third Temple
In conclusion, let me sum up a few things about where I believe things are headed by way of a bulletined summary. [Disclaimer, I could be wildly wrong-this is just my theory].
- I believe the Abraham Accord IS THE covenant that will be confirmed in Daniel 9:27, albeit with modifications. The last Middle East ‘peace plan’ was in 1993, almost forty years ago, and it was dead on arrival.
- Prince Mohammed bin Salman is currently second in line to the Saudi throne. He is on board with the Abraham Accord, but his father is not. This is, in part, why I believe his father (the king) will die at some point in Trump’s second term. This is, in part, why I believe Trump wins a second term because the Democrats would all but dismantle this the second they took over. More importantly, Saudi’s entrance into the Accord will be the pièce de résistance that causes the domino effect for others to join
- As the Abraham Accord shores up its Sunni-Israeli alliance, the Axis of Resistance (Gog-Magog, et al.) will also form along aligned interests merging in both Libya and Syria.
- The Rapture event becomes the trigger for the Gog-Magog invasion of Israel. The Rapture will throw the U.S. into disarray, which means it will throw much of the Western world (Europe, Australia, Japan, etc.) into economic disarray as well. The opportunity to attack Israel will be too enticing for the Gog-Magog coalition to resist because they know (or think) no one will come to their aid.
- The Sunni-Abraham Accord participants will lodge their protests at what is taking place, but will not lift a finger to help. They want no part of what is about to happen to tiny Israel.
- God supernaturally (or naturally for Him, I suppose) destroys Damascus (Isaiah 17) and this coalition, so much so that Israel becomes the new powerhouse in the Middle East. “Last man standing” syndrome.
- Not only will this divine victory expand their national borders by absorbing parts of Syria and Lebanon, but it will also give them the confidence to build their Third Temple on the Temple Mount. I assume that the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock are either severely damaged or destroyed during this event.
- At some point, either before or after Ezekiel 38, the Two Witnesses come on the scene, and the Ark of the Covenant is found. These Two are hailed as heroes at first, but will quickly become a thorn in everyone’s side as Israel enters into this newly packaged Abraham Accord.
- After the Rapture and the Gog-Magog War, there will be a brief bout of global anarchy and chaos as power struggles ensue to fill the void of the USA, Russia, Turkey, and Iran. At this point, the United Nations decides to divide the world into ten regions to better manage the recent turn of events. One of the regions will be the Mediterranean Union.
- The new Abraham Accord will not just be Israeli/Sunni anymore but will include a newly energized Mediterranean Union led by the lawless one himself, the rider on the white horse, Mr. Antichrist.
All of these events will take place roughly over the course of 3-4 years. Many in Israel have equated Donald Trump as being synonymous with the Medo-Persian King Cyrus for all of his seemingly impossible yet achieved political efforts. What I mean to say is Trump is instrumental to Bible prophecy at this point for him to lose to someone like Biden-Harris. It begins with Donald Trump’s reelection in 2020, and then followed by the death of King Salman. After his death, his son Mohammed bin Salman brings Saudi Arabia into the Accord, and a subsequent domino effect of Sunni nations follow suit. This allows Israel to let her guard down, which is followed by the Rapture of the Church. The Rapture becomes the catalyst for the Gog-Magog War, which, after being destroyed, allows Israel to rebuild her third temple.
At some point in this time frame, the Two Witnesses arrive as the world divides back into ten regions. One of those regions is the Mediterranean Union (see UfM). Islam, as a major world religion, is neutered (Shia-Turkic-Balkan), leaving only a weakened version of Sunni. Meanwhile, the European Union (E.U.) begins consolidating her power; one-man rises to the top of their hierarchy by election (see EU Super-President). He is the one who renegotiates the Abraham Accord with Israel (and the many) to be included in this new regional power structure.
Again, I could be wrong on my understanding of how things shake out; therefore, I am not wedded to these thoughts, nor are they hills upon which I want to plant my battle flag. Ultimately, things will happen according to God’s will and timing, but it is fun to see what we think will happen in the months and years ahead. Nevertheless, preach the Gospel, and be ready in season and out. Keep praying for the peace of Jerusalem, and keep looking up because our redemption draws near.