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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Jordan’s king delivers pointed remarks to Pence on Jerusalem

By Jenna Johnson and Loveday Morris, Washington Post, January 21, 2018

AMMAN–In pointed public remarks, Jordan’s King Abdullah II told Vice President Pence on Sunday that he had repeatedly warned Washington about the risks of recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and that he hoped the United States would now “reach out” and find the right way to move forward.

At a meeting at his palace in the Jordanian capital, Amman, Abdullah said that he had been encouraged by President Trump’s commitment to bringing a solution to decades of conflict between Israelis and Palestinians–but that Jerusalem is key to achieving peace.

“I had continuously voiced over the past year, in my meetings with Washington, my concerns regarding the U.S. decision on Jerusalem that does not come as a result of a comprehensive settlement to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict,” he said, addressing Pence and his delegation from across a dining table laid out for lunch. “Today we have a major challenge to overcome, especially with some of the rising frustrations.”

He added that it is “very important” to find a way to move forward with a two-state solution, with East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state formed on pre-1967 borders, living side by side with a “secure and recognized” Israel. “Your visit here, I am sure, is to rebuild the trust and confidence,” he said.

Pence described the conversation as “candid but cordial” and said that “friends occasionally have disagreements.”

Pence’s regional tour is aimed partly at smoothing over relations with U.S. allies in the wake of Trump’s controversial decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Before he left Washington for Egypt, the first stop on the trip, the vice president said that he hoped the U.S. decision on Jerusalem would help rather than hinder a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians. He reiterated Sunday that he hoped that the Palestinians “will soon reengage.” But the Palestinian leadership has reacted with anger to the decision and has refused to meet with Pence, and other regional allies have spoken out against the move.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has said that Trump’s decision marks the end to the United States being a sole broker for the peace process. Israeli Arab members of Israel’s parliament said they would boycott Pence’s visit to the country this week.

Speaking to Abdullah on Sunday, Pence said that the Jerusalem decision was “historic.” He said that the United States is committed to continuing to respect Jordan’s role as the custodian of the city’s holy sites and that Washington has made no decision on boundaries or the final status of the city, which are subject to negotiations.

Trump, however, said in a tweet earlier this month that Jerusalem was “off the table” for negotiations, drawing further ire from Palestinians.

Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner and Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt are expected to present a peace plan this year, although the Jerusalem announcement has complicated the process.

Last week, Abbas expressed anger that the Palestinians were offered the suburb of Abu Dis as their capital instead of East Jerusalem, and he slammed the U.S. decision to cut aid to the Palestinians. Abbas said he would escalate efforts to have a Palestinian state recognized internationally while holding Israel accountable at the International Criminal Court. He is due to meet European Union foreign ministers Monday.

The U.S. decision on Jerusalem was seen in part as a political move to satisfy Trump’s base of white evangelical voters. Pence has gone further than Trump in his own declarations on Jerusalem, describing it as “the eternal undivided capital of the Jewish people and the Jewish state.”

Pence’s stay in Israel, where he landed Sunday night, will include visits to the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City and Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust museum.

“We welcome him with warmth and pride,” Netanyahu said, adding that he had a message for Abbas: “There is no alternative for American leadership in the diplomatic process.”

Dennis Edwards: 

The problem in the Middle East between Israel and the Palestinian just won't go away. Whether the USA is in a position to offer a viable solution is questionable. Recent news articles have suggested that Trump's announcement of moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem has nullified the possibility of America being the coordinator of peace between Israel and the Palestinians. 

How does the situation fit in with Bible prophecy? Some Bible scholars believe that in the last days an evil world leader will arise on the scene as a shrewd political leader. He will come in peaceably and manage to gain popularity worldwide. This leader will be responsible for a "Holy Covenant." The covenant will be confirmed by many nations. It will be a seven year agreement and will permit the reestablishment of sacrificial worship in Jerusalem. 

In order to have sacrificial worship, a place of sacrifice must be established. For many years the Temple Institute in Jerusalem has been coordinating efforts towards the rebuilding of a Third Jewish Temple on the Temple mount. Plans for construction have been made and there are some who believe stones have been selected and are in storage somewhere in Jerusalem or close by. The Institute has also been involved in recreating all the sacrificial garb and ornaments, tools etc., needed by the priests for the sacrifice. They are preparing specially trained rabbis in the ceremonial rituals which accompany the sacrifice. 

Many American Christians have been helpful in donating toward the rebuilding of the Temple and the efforts of the Temple Institute. But prophecy reveals that it will not be America who initiates the peace process and the Holy Covenant, but the Antichrist himself. Other prophecies seem to indicate that he will be a personality from the Middle East or from, or connected to, a strong northern nation in the Scriptures referred to as Gog or Magog. Many prophecy analyst believe Russia could be the present day fulfillment of Gog and Magog. 

It remains to be seen if we are seeing the rise of the Antichrist to power by the way Russia's Putin is gaining in world influence and popularity through his recent successful military operation in Syria. Whether Putin could be the Antichrist, we do not know. Many believe his leadership in Moscow has been a good thing for world peace. He's openly promoted faith and Christian values. Perhaps, the Antichrist figure is still in waiting and will arise sometime after Putin's term of leadership.

That's what we learn from Bible prophecy. But we could have it all wrong. Maybe we are not seeing things correctly and or understanding the Scripture properly. Maybe we are interpreting in all wrong, as some believe. In truth, we are speculating on much of these events. But if our speculations, our interpretations are correct, we should see a peace agreement sometime in the future allowing Israel to rebuild a Third Temple someplace near or on the Temple mount.

So, if we are right, watch for the Holy Covenant, a seven year agreement on the Middle East situation involving Israel and the Palestinians. Remember, the placing of the abomination of desolation in the Temple is the sign Jesus gave us for the beginning of the Great Tribulation. Bible prophecy puts the placing of the abomination of desolation together with the breaking of the seven year Holy Covenant by the Antichrist. This includes some sort of invasion of Israel. 

Together from prophecies in both Daniel and Ezekiel we learn that the ultimate invasion force of Israel will involve both Turkey and Iran. Both these nations are presently strongly allied with Russia. Turkey's alliance to Russia is a relatively new fact. Just a few years ago Turkey was a full member of the NATO force under America's control. However, recent developments during the Syrian war, and the Kurdish situation in Syria has pushed Turkey towards Russia and away from the Israeli and American position.

These are all interesting developments and things we should keep our eyes on if we want to understand what's happening and why in the Middle East. Christ will return. The world will march toward Armageddon and Armageddon will occur. If we don't want it to happen in our life time then we need a sudden repentance, which means change or revolution. We need a return to Godly values, and Godly lifestyles. We need to return to an more agrarian society. But this is not going to happen. 

So prepare for the worse. But most importantly, open your life to Christ. He is our only hope in time of trouble. He has promised to be with us and keep us in His care. He is pleading with us as individuals and as the world to receive Him personally in our hearts today. His love is still the answer. Won't you take His love right now and then share it with others? Do it! You need it and the world needs it. Together we can still make a difference.


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