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US to jumpstart peace talks, but Israeli FM says it's impossible; Lieberman says peace is not possible in next decade

The Obama Administration is preparing a major relaunch of peace efforts between Israel and the Palestinians, but Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said they are doomed to fail.

A senior Arab diplomat told the AFP in Cairo on Monday that "US special envoy George Mitchell will present two draft letters of guarantee, one for Israel and one to the Palestinian Authority during his next visit to the region."

He said Washington hopes the two letters will serve as the basis for renewed peace talks, though the diplomat himself doubted it would work since the letter to the Palestinians does not include the demanded full cessation of Jewish construction in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.

A day earlier, Lieberman said it is increasingly clear that a real peace agreement cannot be concluded in the next 10 to 20 years.

"We think that if we make more concessions everything will work out," the Jerusalem Post quoted Lieberman as telling a gathering of Israel's 140 ambassadors in Jerusalem. "Even if we return the last grain of sand, and divide Jerusalem, and agree to all the demands, nothing will change and we will be in the same situation."  Israel Today

US President Barack Obama is in the process of re- starting a new round of Middle East peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.  Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman says that "they are doomed to fail" and "that a real peace agreement cannot be concluded in the next 10 to 20 years."  He could be correct in his estimation and Bible prophecy does not necessarily disagree. 

A few days ago, in answer to a question, I said I believed that we were living in the lasts days and the rapture would be soon.  I still hold to that view.  Certainly, the signs that are all around us point to the soon coming of the Lord.  I project that both the rapture and the start of the tribulation period will be sooner than later, but it's not out of the question for the start of the tribulation period to be years away. 

As many of you know, I believe there will be a gap of time between the rapture of the church and the start of the tribulation period.  How long is anyone's guess, if indeed, this theory is even correct. 

The Bible says that there will be 75 days (Daniel 12:11-13) between the Second Coming of Christ and the beginning of the Millennial Reign of Christ.  I would think that Satan would at least need that much time to figure out he is now unopposed and choose his Antichrist and false prophet.  But truthfully, it could be years between the rapture and the tribulation period.  If Jesus will take 75 days between one transition to another you can bet it will take more time for Satan to set up his kingdom.   

Personally, I don't believe Satan knows the day he is living in (see Question# 53), but that's not to say God has not put in the mind of Satan to ready his two future world leaders.  Satan could very well be planning to take over the world at this very moment not knowing that the rapture is about to take place.  When the rapture does take place, I believe he will be caught by surprise, possibly not even knowing what the rapture is.  Many people believe that just because it (rapture, tribulation period) is in the Word of God Satan must know about it.  But that may not be true.  Satan only understands what God allows him to understand, even if we humans consider it common knowledge.  Remember, it is only through the Holy Spirit that Christians can understand the Bible as well as we do.  Satan does not have that luxury and is subject to God's filtering.  Angels desire to know more about salvation but do not have that privilege afforded them by God (I Peter 1:10-12).  This tells me that God has hidden some spiritual matters from angels and Satan.  Of course, what has been hidden will only be revealed after we see the Lord. 

Getting back to the headline, the rapture could take place at any moment, and according to what I see, Middle East peace could also be around the corner.  Certainly, the opinion of Mr. Lieberman does not take into consideration the power of God nor the power Satan will be granted during this time period.  When Satan's Antichrist presents his plan the whole world will fall prey to it and what previously looked impossible will become a reality.

In conclusion, it is unlikely that the rapture of the church is decades away, but it is possible (but not probable) that the start of the tribulation period could be.  Satan will certainly need time to setup and build his earthly kingdom as he will when he is released at the end of the Millennium.  If you remember, when Satan is freed for a season at the end of the Millennium (Revelation 20:2-3, 7-9), he will again go to the earth and deceive the nations.  This passage brings two things to light.  One, the Millennium will last longer than one thousand years (Revelation 20:7-8), and two, how much longer it will be (a season) is unknown.  Many would say that a season is simply the length of one of our present seasons (winter, spring, summer or fall).  Personally, I do not know the answer to this question, but it could take years

Keep an eye on this new push toward achieving Middle East peace.  Eventually, it will come to pass!

Are you ready to meet the Lord?  If not, your time is running out!

Terry Malone

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