Last week, I posted an article showing how decisions made by the Trump Administration are inadvertently leading to the fulfillment of prophesied events. I listed seven areas where this is happening, including the growing rift between Europe and the US; pressure on Germany to rearm; recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel; tearing up the Iran nuclear deal; and the imposition of tariffs that will harm global trade. Additionally, attacking Syria adds to the growing Shia-Sunni conflict and pulling out of the climate change treaty is separating the US from the rest of the world.
Since I wrote, there have been two other developments.
Number 8 took place on Monday, with the opening of the new US Embassy in Jerusalem. Sixty residents of Gaza were killed that day by Israeli troops. The responsibility for their deaths cannot be blamed on Israel, which is what the world’s press is doing. The blame goes to Hamas, the militant Palestinian group that runs Gaza. They stirred up the mob and sent people, including young people, to their deaths.
But what happened makes it next to impossible for the US to broker a peace deal between Palestinians and Israelis, as Washington is clearly not even-handed.
The peace process started over forty years ago. Since 2003, all efforts toward a “deal” have been based on the “two-state solution.” The American goal has been the eventual establishment of two nations, side by side, living in peace.
This almost happened in 1993 when leaders of Israel and the Palestinians talked peace in Oslo. The Israelis offered generous terms to the Palestinians, but the process stalled, as it always does, when it became clear that the Palestinians would not recognize Israel, as a political entity. They want to take over Israel, giving third generation Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, the “right to return” to the lands they occupied prior to the establishment of the nation of Israel. The “Right of Return” has been a constant stumbling block.
Now that the US cannot be an honest broker in trying to resolve these issues, somebody else will have to do it – and fairly quickly as the situation is deteriorating.
Bible students are aware that there is to be a final revival of the Roman Empire, prior to Christ’s Second Coming. This may sound incredible, but it’s important to understand that a revival of the Roman Empire has been a constant theme throughout European history. Rome fell in 476. Less than a century later, Justinian, the Emperor in the East, tried to restore the Empire. In 800, the Emperor Charlemagne established the Holy Roman Empire, which lasted over a thousand years. It was Napoleon who abolished the H.R.E., but then he himself wanted to revive the Empire, crowning himself a new Caesar and naming his son “King of Rome.”
More recently, Italy’s leader, Benito Mussolini, proclaimed the restoration of the Roman Empire in 1922, while Hitler, a little over a decade later, declared that his Third Reich would last a thousand years, just like the First Reich of the Holy Roman Empire.
Even after these violent attempts to restore the Roman Empire, the dream never died. Twelve years after the collapse of the Third Reich, the Treaty of Rome brought six European nations together to form what is now the 28-member European Union. A final union of European nations is prophesied to come together, perhaps out of the rubble of the present EU. It’s also possible there could be a peaceful transformation from the present conglomeration to something else.
Bible prophecy shows this union will get involved in the Middle East peace process. This is prophesied in Daniel 9:27, at the end of the Seventy Weeks Prophecy, a prophecy about the future of the Jewish people, written by the prophet Daniel in the sixth century B.C. The last few verses deal with the coming of the Messiah. It is a remarkably accurate prophecy about His first coming, even down to the year His ministry would begin and the day on which He would be put to death. As many Bible commentaries explain, “seventy weeks” equals 490 years (70 x 7 days in a week; each day representing one year). This period of time began with Persian King Artaxerxes’ decree, authorizing the Jews to rebuild the Temple.
- The fourth decree was also by Artaxerxes Longimanus, issued on March 5, 444 b.c. (Neh. 2:1-8). On that occasion Artaxerxes granted the Jews specific authorization to rebuild Jerusalem’s city walls. This decree is the one referred to in Daniel 9:25. (Old Testament prophecy, Royal decree).
“After the sixty-nine weeks (the 63 + 7), the Messiah would be “killed” (Dan 9:26), an apparent reference to his crucifixion, and “the city and the Temple” of Jerusalem would be destroyed. The “armies” (9:26) were the Roman people, who destroyed Jerusalem and the temple in AD 70. There is evidence of a gap between the 69th and 70th week, for what is predicted in 9:27 has not yet taken place. The “ruler” (9:26) is the Antichrist, who will rise out of what may possibly be a revived type of the Roman Empire (7:8, 24-26)”. (Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary, Daniel 9:27, page 319. Published in 1990.)
Note the following from the Expositor’s Bible Commentary, page 1389 (1994):
“If it was a ruler of the Roman people who was to destroy Jerusalem (in AD 70), then it would be a ruler of the Roman Empire – in its final phase, i.e. the ten-toes phase of chapter 2 and the ten-horned beast phase of ch. 7 – who will conclude this covenant.” “ . . . the latter day ruler over the “Roman” people will “confirm” a “covenant” with the believing Jews for a stipulated period of seven years, permitting them to carry on their religious practices.” (page 1390)
The next paragraph adds: “After about three and one-half years, the world dictator will break his agreement with the Jews. Possibly he will feel secure enough in his autocratic position to carry out his original, secret plan to impose an absolute dictatorship on all the peoples of his empire, especially the Jews. All pretense of religious toleration will be dropped as he aspires to display himself as the incarnation of all divine authority on earth.” (II Thess 2:4)
Tyndale adds: “ In the middle of the “one set of seven” (9:27), or “week,” he will take control of the Jewish temple and put a stop to worship, demanding that he be worshipped (cf. Matt 24:15; II Thess 2:4). But he will be destroyed at Christ’s second coming.” (Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary, Daniel 9:27, page 319, 1990).
Again, it should be noted that this revived Roman system will broker an agreement between the Jews and the Palestinians, solving what has seemed like an insoluble problem. Of course, it won’t really be resolved, as it only lasts three and a half years. Clearly, America’s role as honest broker is about to be replaced by active European involvement.
“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.” (I Thess 5:3)
Unger’s Bible Handbook (1966) says this about this time period: “The final week of seven years constitutes the climax of Jewish history prior to the establishment of the messianic kingdom, 27. It is divided into two half periods (three and a half years each). During the first half the “prince” (world ruler, “little horn” of 7:8, 24-25) will make a covenant with the Jews, who are restored in Palestine with a resumption of temple worship. In the middle of the week the covenant is broken, worship for the Jews ceases (II Thess 2:3-4), and the time of Great Tribulation ensues. The advent of Christ the Messiah consummates this period of desolation, bringing everlasting righteousness for Israel, 24, and judgment upon the “desolator,” the prince, and his hosts (Rev 19:20).” (page 392)
US recognition of Jerusalem as the “eternal capital of Israel” was the catalyst for this. Expect more violence, perhaps even threatening the very existence of Israel. This will then force the Europeans to get involved, leading to “peace” which won’t last.
Another development, on Thursday, may also be a significant development.
EU leaders, meeting in Sofia, Bulgaria, agreed that EU based companies will be prosecuted if they go along with the Trump Administration’s sanctions on Iran. These sanctions follow Mr. Trump’s decision to tear up the Iran nuclear treaty that was agreed between the US, EU, Germany, France, the UK, Russia and China in 2015.
The 28-nation European Union is sending a clear signal that it will no longer be dictated to by the United States.