This is a sample:Chapter 7
THE PEACE TREATY
The Tribulation begins when the Antichrist signs a peace treaty with Israel, guaranteeing its security (Dan. 9:27). Nearly all Bible prophecy centers on Israel, including the prophecies dealing with the Tribulation. Today the Middle East is a primary focus in international affairs.
Bible scholars view the reestablishment of the nation of Israel as the most important sign of the end times, because so much of Bible prophecy centers on Israel.
Many commentators regard Ezekiel 37:1-22, which prophecies about God bringing the Jews back to their land from the valley of dry bones, as a reference to the restoration that took place in 1948. Ezekiel 37 predicted Israel’s rebirth as a nation. In 1948 this prophecy saw fulfillment. The skeletons in the valley are a picture of the way many Jews appeared after the Holocaust. The bones cry, “our hope is lost.” At the moment of their great despair, God brings about this miracle, which is exactly what occurred. The passage discusses God’s bringing the Israelites from all of the nations where they lived, to their own land.
Although Israel became a nation, it does not possess all the land God promised to Abraham. Under King Solomon, Israel came to possess most of it. The land promised was Palestine, stretching from the Sinai Desert north and east to the Euphrates River. This includes present day Israel, Lebanon, and the West Bank of Jordan, plus substantial portions of Syria, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia.
Israel’s History of Conflict
Since the nation of Israel reformed in 1948 it has had a history of conflict. After the 1967 Arab/Israel war between Israel, Egypt, Jordan and Syria, the UN Security Council adopted resolution 242. It demands Israel withdrawal from “territories occupied” in the 1967 war. It also calls for Arab recognition of Israel’s “right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries.”
During the late 70’s leaders of Israel, Egypt, and the US met at Camp David and agreed on two bases for Middle East peace. They signed the Camp David Peace Treaty. In 1982, Israeli forces invaded southern Lebanon with the goal of ousting the PLO. Ronald Reagan sent Secretary of State George Shultz to the Middle East to conclude an agreement on the withdrawal of all troops from Lebanon. Israel and Lebanon signed the accord.
The Peace Process
In 1991, after the Gulf War, former President Bush sent Secretary of State James Baker on a series of trips to the region to explore compromises that would begin the Arab/Israeli peace process.
The major dispute is between Israel and the Palestinians. Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip seek autonomy over their affairs.
The Oslo Accords
In 1993, Israeli and Palestinian delegations secretly negotiated in Oslo, Norway. They signed the Oslo accords during which former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin ended decades as sworn enemies. The Israelis and Palestinians recognized each other’s mutual political rights, and agreed to strive to live in peaceful coexistence. They set up a time table for Israeli troops to withdraw from Gaza and Jericho, and for Palestinians to set up their own government. They looked to 1999 for the finalization of a permanent settlement.
The Oslo Accords did not go according to plan. Conflicts arose and the peace process reached many impasses. The US and EU sent several delegations to the area. In 2004, Yasser Arafat died and the conflict has continued.
The EU and Israel
For the Tribulation to begin, the European Union must sign a treaty with Israel, guaranteeing Israel’s peace.
For many years, the EU has followed developments in the Middle East closely, particularly the Arab-Israeli dispute. In the late 1970s, the EU took a common West European stand on the conflict. They support a peaceful solution based on the 1980 Venice declaration. It affirms the right of all states in the region, including Israel, to exist within secure frontiers, and the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.
During the 1990’s, while the US led the peace process, the EU evolved from an outside observer to one of the members of the peace process. The EU issued a statement to the New York Times in 1992, in which they affirmed that they “hoped for a full role as a cosponsor of any Middle East peace conference. EU Middle East experts say the Union can make a “positive contribution” to the peace talks through its close historical, political, and economic links with the Arab world.
The EU used political and economic pressure to persuade Israel to invite the Union to the negotiating table. Several EU ministers insisted that Union aid for Israel—and the Arab countries—depended on a heightened EU role in the Middle East.
The EU is Israel’s leading trading partner; the EU is Israel’s biggest market for exports and its second largest source of imports after the US. EU ministers promised Israel a closer economic relationship with the EU. They offered it on the condition that Israel recognize the Union’s hopes of playing a “special role” in the Middle East.
According to former Italian Prime Minister Gianni de Michelis:
The EU insisted on being among the countries promoting the conference, on equal footing with the United States and the Soviet Union… We would find it difficult, if not unfathomable, to accept a lesser role…However, vital its tie to the United States may be; the one to Europe is perhaps even more so in the long term. Israel is the daughter of Europe’s history, and not only of the holocaust that was a tragedy not only for the Jews, but also for Europe.…Anchoring Israel to Europe means eliminating one of Israel’s motives for insecurity, that of having to rely on an ally that is geographically distant.
The EU believes it can play an important role in the peace process by providing Israelis and Arabs with economic incentives to reach a diplomatic solution. The EU finances 75 percent of aid to the Palestinian territories and took a lead role by pledging more aid to Gaza and the West Bank than the US.
The Conference on Security and Cooperation in the Middle East
The EU bases its Middle East proposals on the Conference on Security and Cooperation in the Middle East. This proposal, issued in 1990 by the foreign ministries of Italy and Spain, is a regional arrangement for the Middle East. It takes in the Arab world, Israel, and Iran. The CSCE’s global approach promotes peace in the Middle East. It acts as a multilateral forum covering the entire region on a variety of key issues affecting the area such as water, and economic development.
The EU’s position on the Middle East peace process is that of a “promoter of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace and of prosperity for the region.” This is the very covenant described in the Bible that begins the Tribulation.
The EU also acts as a “facilitator in the peace process.” It holds regular meetings with the main actors involved. The EU Troika (present and incoming Presidency, the High Representative for CFSP, and the Commission) make routine visits to the Near East. The activities of the EU Special Envoy for the Peace Process, the political talks with all parties, aimed at promoting the EU’s positions, contribute to strengthen the role of the Union in the negotiations for the final settlement of the Israeli-Arab conflict.
The EU stated in their Declaration on the Middle East Peace Process that their aim is to reach a comprehensive settlement. The EU lends a good deal of economic support to the Middle East region. They are the largest donor of non-military aid to the peace process. The EU is the first donor of financial and technical assistance to the Palestinian authority. They are the primary trading partner and a major economic, scientific and research partner of Israel, and are also a chief partner of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt.
In the Laeken Declaration, which resulted from the European Council’s meeting in Laeken on December 14 and 15, 2001, EU leaders issued a “Declaration on the Situation in the Middle East,” stating that “it is imperative to put an end to violence.” The EU reaffirms Israel’s right to live in peace and security, and supports the establishment of a Palestinian State. A key statement of interest to students of prophecy reads: “The European Union remains convinced that setting up a third party monitoring mechanism would serve the interests of both parties. It is prepared to play an active role in such a mechanism.”
In the July 2002 issue of The Federalist, Guido Montani, the Secretary-General of the UEF in Italy, suggested that “the European Council declare a State of Emergency, and grant the European Commission all the military and budgetary powers for solving the crisis in the Middle East.”
He called for a “The European Peace Plan,” which must demand “the immediate creation of a Palestinian State.” Mr. Montani also adds that “the European Union, unlike the USA and Russia, has an interest in proposing to all the Middle East countries (and not just to Palestine) a Marshall plan for development and peace.” Thus, the groundwork for the treaty spoken of in Scriptures exists and has been in place for some years now and only awaits the arrival of the Antichrist to formalize and sign it, yet the events still continue to evolve.
The Resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict is now a strategic priority for Europe. They believe that without this peace, there will be little chance of dealing with other problems in the Middle East.
The Bible tells us that the Antichrist confirms the covenant with Israel, and guarantees Israel’s peace. In 1993, the Federalist Trust, a European think-tank organization that aids in formulating EU policy, and is ahead of its time usually suggesting policy that the EU adopts a few decades later, published a report on the Middle East. They wrote up a proposed treaty that guarantees Israel’s peace.
The proposal provides the security that the US initiative fails to offer. The report proposes the establishment of a “regional security community” as the basis for the Arab-Israeli peace settlement. The proposed treaty states that the guarantor states would protect the community against external attacks. The Union would secure Israel’s peace with its army. The Scriptures state that the Antichrist confirms the covenant with many. The proposed treaty includes the world’s great powers and reads:
Moreover, the incorporation of the great powers into the security package as both the guarantors and supervisors of this arrangement raises the costs of violation dramatically. Should a certain state decide to defy the superpowers (and the other co-signatories to the agreement) and to embark on a belligerent/irredentist course, it will clearly identify itself as an aggressor and will run the risk of losing the political goodwill as well as the economic and military support of the international community, thereby dooming such a move. Hence, a security community consisting of a militarily constrained Palestinian state and a demilitarized Golan, guaranteed and strictly supervised by the great powers may satisfy Israel’s security concerns and ally its apprehensions of the adverse implications of loosening of the US-Israeli strategic relationship, caused by such a proposed arrangement.
It is likely that this proposed treaty is “the covenant of death” spoken of in Scripture. When the Antichrist signs the peace treaty with Israel, this covenant assures Israel total peace. The EU will guarantee Israel’s peace in the region and will act as her protector. The world will view it as one more event in history, no cause for concern.
This covenant marks the beginning of the Tribulation and the start of the plagues of the Revelation Prophecy and ends the dispensation of grace.
In Israel’s ancient past the nation became part of the empire that took it over. Thus, Israel was Assyria, Babylon, Persia and Rome. Israel will also be part of the EU. Coincidentally, Israel voiced a desire to join the European Union and the Union considers Israel a possible candidate country. If the country joined it will have the security of the EU and its territory will belong to the empire. According to Michael Sctender-Auerbach from the think-tank, the Century Foundation: “ For Israel to gain entry into the EU it will need to negotiate a peace settlement with the Palestinians consistent with Security Council resolution 242 and to settle itsborder disputes with Syria and the Golen. He added that “as an EU member at peace with its neighbors, Israel would bolster Europe’s status as a world leader and international power broker. This will also provide Israel with the security and membership in a community of nations that accept and protect them.”
He added that “the EU can currently guarantee peace without Israel becoming a member of the EU, but Israel as a member will no doubt solidify any peace agreed by providing the same protection as it would for the rest of the Member States.” For the first time in history, geopolitical speak now matches what the Scriptures predicted.
Back in the late 1990’s former Commission President Jacques Santer went on a weeklong tour of the Middle East to promote Europe’s political role in the region. Santer actually spoke of guaranteeing Israel’s peace. According to Reuters, “European Commission President Jacques Santer said on Saturday that the Middle East peace process could best move forward if Israel’s security was guaranteed, and the Palestinians were able to develop their economy.”
Santer stated: “It is very important that the people of Israel live in security. Santer campaigned for Europe’s political involvement and stated, “that’s why I’m here.” It does not get any closer than this, as the future EU leader will be the Antichrist, and he will mirror Santer’s words.
Despite some of the Union’s favoring Palestinian positions, Santer stated: “We are as pro-Palestinian as we are pro-Israel.” As if already holding a preeminent place in the peace conference, Santer added: “We have to see how we can have a real balance to make a breakthrough in the involvement and that’s why I’m here.”
Santer’s visit was the first by a European Union president in the region. Despite having a Commissioner who is responsible for the Middle East region, Santer took it upon himself to act alone. During Santer’s visit, he met with the Israeli leader.
Only since the end of the Cold War has the European Union made such inroads into the peace process. The Union evolved from desiring a role to achieving one.