On the back page of the Feb. 8, 2002 edition of the Jerusalem Post a map showing a plan of attack against Israel was published. The map was designated "The Phased Plan as adopted by the Palestine National Council." "The following quotation from the PLO was printed across the bottom of the map: "Once it is established, the Palestinian National Authority will strive to achieve a union of the confrontation countries, with the aim of completing the liberation of all Palestinian territory, and as a step along the road to comprehensive Arab unity."
The most notable thing about this map to the student of Bible prophecy are the countries presented as the "confrontation countries" figured to join together in the assault against Israel. Black arrows used to illustrate the origin and destination of the anticipated attack against Israel reveal the following peoples are expected to participate: the Egyptians, the Jordanians, the Syrians, the Iraqis, the Lebanese, the Saudis and the Palestinians.
Psalm 83 has prophesied of just such an invasion of Israel in these last days and the ancient names of the modern peoples listed in this fearful prophecy are precisely the same peoples depicted in the PLO invasion map. The prophet of Psa. 83 concludes with these words, "Oh my God, make them like the whirling dust, like the chaff before the wind! As the fire burns the woods, And as the flame sets the mountains on fire, So pursue them with Your tempest, And frighten them with Your storm. Fill their faces with shame, That they may seek Your name, O Lord. Let them be confounded and dismayed forever; Yes, let them be put to shame and perish, That men may know that You, whose name alone is the Lord, Are the Most High over all the earth." The god of Islam will not prevail and the day when mens eyes will once again begin to look with wonder to the God of Israel will begin.
In this war God singles out Iraq for special chastisement in chapters 50 & 51 of Jeremiah. Horrendous punishment is reserved for Babylon, Iraq because of her ancient role in desecrating the Temple of God. We are told in Jeremiah 51:11, " for His plan is against Babylon to destroy it, because it is the vengeance of the Lord, the vengeance for His temple."
In Jer. 50:41 we are told that counted among the nations to be gathered against the people of Iraq will be "a great nation," while in Jer. 51:25-26 God prophesies against Babylon, " I will stretch out My Hand against you, roll you down from the rocks, and make you a burnt mountain. They shall not take from you a stone for a corner nor a stone for a foundation, but you shall be desolate forever."
As if on cue for the perilous times the world is about to enter the headline of the Feb. 13, 02 Colorado Springs Gazette read, "U.S. will move against Iraq, officials say." The distressing article stated that, "The presidents decision has launched the United States on a course that will have major ramifications for the U.S. military, the Middle Easts future political alignment, international oil flows and Bushs own war on terrorism."
In a related Feb. 10, 02 Denver Post article U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, long the most cautious voice among the principals crafting policy on Iraq, stated that President Bush is exploring "the most serious set of options that one might imagine" that will leave "no stone unturned."
After this war which will alter "the Middle Easts future political alignment" and will bring staggering defeat to Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the Palestinians and also Kuwait (Kedar) by the hands of the Iraqis, according to Jer. 49 we believe the strengthened 7-year covenant of the Anti-Christ prophesied of in Daniel 9:27 will be established in the region.
According to Dan. 9:26 the people that the princely Anti-Christ will come forth from in these last days is the same people that will have destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple. We know by history it was the Roman Empire which fulfilled this prophecy in 70 AD. There are few prophecy students who doubt that the modern form of the Roman Empire has been revived in the European Union.
Over the years the European Union has attempted to take the lead in the efforts to secure a comprehensive peace treaty in the Middle East, but has never been able to rise above the monetary and military might of the United States. As of Jan. 1, 02 the E.U. has achieved one of its most coveted goals, the establishment of a single currency among 12 of its 15 member nations. It is rumored that Britain will soon join the ranks of those adopting the Euro as its common currency. This will then bring the number of the staunch core of committed European Union members to 13.
An additional item of interest is that Vatican City has also adopted the Euro while Rome itself is defying greater E.U. control. With this new financially strengthened bloc of nations, the E.U. has once again presented itself as the empire which can best serve the interests of peace in the Middle East.
Quoting from the Den. Post article of Feb. 10, 02 which headlined, "EU leaders back Palestinian state - U.S. Mideast policy criticized as ineffective" we read, "European Union foreign ministers criticized the United States Mideast policies Saturday and offered a blueprint for reviving peace talks that envisions the creation of a Palestinian state that would be recognized by Israel and admitted to the United Nations. The United States has balked at the broad EU ideas put forward so far, saying the emphasis should be on moving toward a cease-fire and pressing the Palestinians to crack down further on anti-Israel militants. There was no immediate reaction from Israel or the Palestinians to the EUs guidelines. But they appeared likely to be rejected by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who has demanded a period of calm in Mideast violence before any negotiations resume. Israel and the United States have long resisted European attempts at mediation in the Mideast conflict. But the EU comments showed new divisions with Washington over the Middle East. Foreign ministers from the 15-member European Union said a new political initiative was needed because the U.S. and Israeli emphasis on first reaching a cease-fire had not been successful. The differences over the Mideast came as European leaders have increasingly expressed concern over U.S. foreign policy - particularly what they worry is a simplistic, go-it-alone approach in the war on terrorism. The creation of a Palestinian state must be the "starting point of a negotiating process," French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine said as he gave outlines of a French initiative to his colleagues. Under the blueprint, the Palestinians would hold elections, then a state would be declared, recognized by Israel and given membership in the United Nations. Negotiations for a final settlement would follow. The broad ideas do not address some of the most fundamental and contentious issues, such as the borders of the Palestinian state. Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Pique, the meetings chairman, said the proposal would be developed in a Feb. 18 meeting and a mid-March European summit in Barcelona [Spain]."
With the Middle East destined to explode into disastrous warfare as declared by Bible prophecy and the U.S. increasingly being put at military risk, the EU initiative may someday very soon be considered the avenue of choice. It is interesting to note that the EU proposal requires that recognition and peace be established first, then the major issues are to be dealt with over an unspecified time of negotiations. Perhaps the length of time envisioned by the EU for these complex negotiations is 7 years.
With problems facing negotiators such as control of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, a 7-year interim covenant would appear most necessary. We know from Dan. 9:27 that the Anti-Christ himself will break the covenant after only 3 ½ years.
Let us look at the total picture being presented. A major unified attack against Israel is anticipated by the Palestinians. Psa. 83 prophesies that the nations expected by the Palestinians to join in the confrontation will precisely fulfill their expectations. President Bush of the United States is determined to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq by whatever means necessary. Major ramifications from this action are expected for the U.S. military, the Middle Easts future political alignment and the flow of international oil.
Bible prophecy tells us in Jer. 50:44-46 that for a brief moment Iraq will be granted the upper hand against her attackers, but then so terrible of a judgement will be poured out upon her that the earth will tremble and a cry will be heard among the nations at her downfall. A beckoning void will suddenly appear in the Middle East when all of these anti-Israeli countries have been crushed. A desperate cry for sanity and peace will echo around the world. It is then that we believe the Anti-Christ will be sent forth from among the people which make up the European Union with the 7-year covenant. He will strengthen the terms of this treaty with the power at his command. The EU presently has a treaty involving a yet to be announced time element unfolding in 2002.
Because we are told that the Anti-Christ strengthens (or confirms) the 7 year covenant we know that the draft treaty must already be drawn up before he pledges his allegiance to the agreement.
Before the Anti-Christ can make his appearance Bible prophecy reveals that the believing Church will be removed to Heaven by Jesus Christ at the glorious event commonly referred to as the Rapture (I Thess. 4:15-18). Only those who have had their sins forgiven by putting their faith in the Risen Lord Jesus, who shed His own precious blood as an atoning sacrifice, will be leaving on this blessed flight of eternal freedom.
How close might we be to the Rapture? Looking at the world picture presented in the daily news one needs to thoughtfully decide for themselves. It could take place anytime between this fleeting second and the moment the Lord reveals the Anti-Christ (see Rev. 6:1-2 & II Thess. 2:9-12).
The worst of history is then yet to come. With the heralding of peace and safety the world will steadily be plunged into ever-greater depths of suffering and despair. At the midpoint of the 7-year covenant the Anti-Christ will claim himself to be God and will demand to be worshipped. A mark will be put upon peoples right hand or forehead in order for them to be able to buy or sell. Those who refuse the mark will be put to death by beheading. After the final 3 ½ years which will witness the pouring out of Gods wrath, Jesus Christ will return with all of His saints which He had Raptured to Heaven 7 years earlier.
This moment you can secure your place with God forever by believing in His only begotten Son Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Dont put it off, the day is at hand. Let us close with verses 12-15 of Jude, " clouds without water carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever. Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, "Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and all of the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him."