There are several interesting stories in the news today:
"Gunmen kill 7 outside Egyptian church at Christmas"
2. More missiles fired into Israel:
"10 mortar shells fired from Gaza"
3. Continual push for "1967 borders" as part of "peace deal". It appears that the international community is actually considering the unilateral (Israel not involved) mandate to force Israel back to the so-called "pre-1967 borders". This seems to be the main reason that Abbas is stalling: He seems to believe that such a mandate will be implemented:
"Candidly Speaking: Obama and Israel: difficult days ahead". Interesting quotes from this article in the Jerusalem Post:
"In fact, new pressures are looming. European hostility is exemplified by the new EU representative for foreign affairs, Catherine Ashton, who in her maiden speech bitterly criticized the "Israeli occupation," described the temporary freeze as merely "the first step," referred to east Jerusalem as occupied territory, called for a lifting of the blockade of Gaza and expressed renewed opposition to the security fence. Her speech contained no condemnations of Hamas or calls on the Palestinians to cease their incitement. The Europeans are clearly maneuvering to force Israel to return to 1967 borders and negotiate directly with Hamas."
"CURRENTLY, ABBAS appears intent on doing nothing, relying on the international community to continue beating up Israel and extracting unilateral concessions. He even proclaimed that he would not resume negotiations until the international community affirmed that the Palestinian state would adhere to the 1967 borders."
"WE SHOULD have no illusions. The situation is grave. Tough days lie ahead, and we are probably more isolated today than at any time since the birth of the state. Netanyahu has offered the Palestinians an independent demilitarized state and a settlement freeze - far more than Yitzhak Rabin was willing to concede. Yet he is rebuffed by the Palestinians and accused of being intransigent by the global community, while the Americans, at best, sit on the sidelines. In fact, Obama went so far as to relate to the neighborhood of Gilo in Jewish Jerusalem as an area of contention, complaining that construction in the area "embitters the Palestinians in a way that could end up being very dangerous."
"We must prepare ourselves."
In a related article, we see a renewed effort by the U.S.:
"US readies new push on Middle East process". Again we see the push for "pre-1967 borders". Quotes from this article:
"In a flurry of meetings in Washington and in European capitals this week and next, senior administration officials will explore new approaches to bringing the two sides together."
"The letters are likely to contain gestures to both sides. For the Palestinians, that would include criticism of settlements and the belief that the borders that existed before the 1967 Arab-Israeli War be the basis of a future peace deal. For the Israelis, they would acknowledge that post-1967 demographic changes on the ground must be taken into account, meaning that Israel would be able to keep some settlements."
The push for peace in the Middle East is more intense now than I can ever recall. Appropriately described above as a "flurry of meetings", we watch the international community attempt to force Israel into accepting conditions that would essentially place Israel in a defenseless position against attack.
I can't help but think the stage is almost perfectly set for a strong figure to arise - a figure who has the charisma and clout to finalize a peace deal. The current players are obviously unable to finalize anything, but they have put the process and the framework in place.
So we see two looming events which we know will inevitably take place, and the question becomes what will come first?
We know that Ezekiel 38-39 (aka "Gog-MaGog) will take place - that massive invasion of Israel which God will directly intervene and end Himself. And we have the peace plan - which will be finalized or "confirmed" by the antichrist.
Which comes first?
The peace plan, which could set the stage for the invasion of Israel (as we know this invasion will occur in an unsuspecting Israeli population - living in perceived peace: a potential set-up for the invasion).
The Gog-MaGog invasion takes place first, and this presents an opportunity for the antichrist to arrive on the scene, and confirm his peace deal in the aftermath of this massive invasion.
It is impossible to know at this point, but either scenario seems to be looming - just waiting for the precise moment to occur.
I believe the world will have the answer soon enough. I also believe that the Church will have already left the earth for far far better things prior to either scenario. We shall see!