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Bush: Hopeful for Mideast peace deal; Syria: Peace negotiations only after Bush era

Hundreds of thousands of Israelis took to the streets to celebrate Israel's 60th anniversary.  Through the battles and wars, homicide and missile attacks, and continuous international biases, God has kept Israel strong.  This anniversary serves as a testament to God's faithfulness to His people Israel and reminds us that prophecy is 100% true.  Nowhere in the history of the world has a nation been brought back from near extinction to become a world force in so little time.  This is nothing short of a miracle from God.

President Bush will be making his second trip to the Middle East in hopes of bringing the two sides closer to an eventual peace accord by the end of his term in early 2009.  According to the Jerusalem Post, this will be his agenda and purpose:

The primary purpose of the president's five-day trip to Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, a follow-up to his trip to the same three countries and others in the region in January, is ceremonial. He is marking the 60th anniversary of Israel's creation and 75 years of US relations with Saudi Arabia.

Bush also has plenty of official business on his plate.

He will deliver speeches before the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, and at the World Economic Forum in the Middle East, a gathering of hundreds of global policymakers and business leaders being held in Sharm el-Sheik, Egypt. Also while in the Red Sea resort for two days, Bush is to meet with a string of leaders key to US goals in the region: Abbas and Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad, as well as Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Jordan's King Abdullah II, Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora and Iraqi leaders.

"It's both symbolic and substantive," Hadley said of Bush's trip, which starts Tuesday. Jerusalem Post

Evidently, peace negotiations between Israel and Syria have fallen through and likely will not be revived until after President Bush leaves office according to a Syrian source.  Turkey has been working secretly with the two sides trying to arrange a meeting in hopes of securing a peace accord.  For now, the hopes of reviving negotiations look to be all but lost.

Quartet envoy to the Middle East Tony Blair said Thursday that the ME peace process must start moving much quicker if there is to be any hope of an agreement by the end of 2008.  He stated that the next few weeks will be extremely critical if this goal is to be met.  "There are a whole set of proposals that we've put to the Israelis and actually the next few weeks will be critical on delivering those and yes, removing one is not enough. But what is necessary is for Palestinians to be able to move relatively freely around their own territory. That is what they cannot do now," the former British prime minister said.

It's unlikely that peace will be established during the Bush administration for the simple fact that the Bible does not support that the man (Antichrist) who will sign the peace treaty with Israel will immediately leave office.  Whoever signs the peace treaty with Israel must be in power 3 1/2 years later to break it (Daniel 9:27).  Certainly, this could turn out to be a separate peace agreement totally different from the one that will eventually be signed with the Antichrist but that's unlikely given its magnitude.

Will Tony Blair be the one who will turn out to be the Antichrist?  At this point, I wouldn't rule him out, but it could be anyone.  Many would say that his recent assertion that he possibly might be a Christian would immediately disqualify him.  But if you think about it, Judas was also a follower of Christ up until the hour he betrayed Him.  Certainly, those around him considered him to be a disciple of Christ's and there is no mention to the contrary outside of the revelations from Jesus Himself.

Personally, I believe many today are looking for a man to rise who fits the ready-made characteristics of the Antichrist that are described in the Bible.  That might not be the case.  He may be a normal political figure who may or may not be religious. Is it possible that he could have outward religious or Christian beliefs as Judas did?  That's certainly possible on the surface but that will all change the minute he becomes the Antichrist.  He will go from being a mere mortal to achieving godlike status. What he was and what he accomplished prior to that day will pale in comparison to his future stature from that day forward.  From that time on, he will not regard the God of his fathers nor any god for that matter (Daniel 11:37).

Does this mean that Satan is grooming his Antichrist at this very moment?  That's entirely possible if it's within God's timing, but I don't believe he knows that the rapture and the tribulation period are about to commence.  That is, unless God has revealed this truth to him.  Just as he did not know the purpose of Christ's first coming, he will not know the purpose of his second coming.  If he would have known Christ's first purpose he would never have allowed Judas to have betrayed him to the death and resurrection that would bring salvation to all of mankind (John 3:16-17).  The fact is, Jesus spoke about His purpose many times in the presence of His disciples (Judas) and Satan (John 3:16-17; Matthew 17:22-23), yet, it did not alter his (Satan) plan. 

As for Christians, God has not kept us in darkness but has revealed His perfect plan and purpose (I Thessalonians 5:1-6).  Soon and very soon, we will see that day come.  Come now Lord Jesus.

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

Terry Malone

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