This commentary is written as the Trump administration’s long-awaited peace plan in the Middle East apparently is on its way. As a result, tensions on Mt. Moriah—the Temple Mount—are building.
President Trump said Thursday, January 23, 2020, that he will likely announce the plan before Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White leader Benny Gantz’s visit to the US on Tuesday, January 28.
He told reporters while on a flight to Florida that the announcement would come “sometime prior to that…probably, we’ll release it a little bit prior to [the Israelis’ visit].”
He later walked back the statement, tweeting that the timeline was purely speculative at this point.
If those plans are ultimately carried through, however, it will be not only a significant event for what’s going on politically in America, but, more importantly in terms of heaven’s considerations, something that will rivet the attention of those who watch for prophetic stage-setting.
The Muslim world in particular is already up in arms, emotionally at least. Israel, of course, is at the center of rage and volatility.
Tensions were high on the Temple Mount amid calls for mass attendance at Friday prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque and reports that the Trump Administration’s Deal of the Century peace plan would be released within the week.
Israeli security forces arrested multiple Palestinian activists in Jerusalem and dispersed worshipers at Al-Aqsa Mosque, as Palestinians continued to call for mass attendance at Friday dawn prayers at holy sites throughout the West Bank and Gaza. At least two people were injured on the Temple Mount as police used stun grenades and rubber bullets, according to the Palestinian Quds news. One worshiper was arrested. (“Tensions High on Temple Mount Amid Peace Plan Reports,” Jerusalem Post, Rapture Ready News, January 24, 2020)
The Deal of the Century, as it has become known, has long been on the Trump administration’s agenda. The Israel-hating Muslim world and the overwhelmingly anti-Israel forces prevalent in the UN know that this president follows up on promises. This has doubly ratcheted up tensions surrounding Trump’s comment to reporters.
Indications are strong that something is indeed in the making, because actions to prepare for probable troubles began well in advance of the president’s remark.
Preparations for possible clashes began even before initial reports about the possible imminent release of the Deal of the Century. Israel Police signed orders to keep Palestinian activists from the site due to fears that clashes could break out similarly to last week, when similar calls were made for mass attendance for Friday prayers at the mosque. Police have been instructed to disperse any disturbances by force. (Ibid.)
Hamas called for the world of Islam to come to alert. In a press release, the organization declared:
The Israeli occupation’s attempts to judaize Jerusalem and holy sites are an alarming sign that must prompt our Arab and Islamic Ummah (community), along with the free people of the world to intervene immediately. We call for similar Fajr prayers to be organized in all Arab and Islamic capitals for the sake of Al-Aqsa and holy places in Palestine.
As any Middle East observer knows, when it comes to the Muslim world, the actions taken rarely stay within the boundaries of “prayers.” Any action by the president in conjunction with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli government will be met with elevated hostility. In the matter of laying out the areas surrounding the Temple Mount, there is a potential for war, bringing the millions of the Muslim world into the fray.
This is the fear of UN diplomats and the geopoliticians. However, it is not the fear of students of Bible prophecy. All-out war will not occur—at least, not in the sense of world-rending calamity.
A peace of sorts will be made, the “false peace” of Daniel 9:26–27. It will indeed bring on all-out war, the war called Armageddon.
And this is what we who are prophecy students and observers of world issues and events must caution: That “false peace” will initiate man’s greatest of all wars.
Joel, the prophet, gave the lethal formula that will produce this final war of the age. We’ve looked at it many times:
I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land. (Joel 3:2)
We who observe end-times issues and events in light of God’s Word must urge President Trump about the deadly folly of “parting” God’s chosen land to try to make peace in the region. We hope the president listens to voices like Dr. Robert Jefress, pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas. These, we hope, will inform the president in explicit terms. Don’t be complicit in setting the stage for producing the deadly “peace” predicted by Daniel the prophet.