I believe President Donald Trump is planning a Christmas present that will shock the world. In keeping with his love for show biz, he will announce the successful conclusion of a history-making round of negotiations leading to the signing of a Palestinian Peace Accord at the White House, just prior to Christmas.
Those attending will be the Jewish prime minister, the Hamas leader and leaders from the Sunni strongholds of Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan (half Sunni, half Shiite Jordan is playing a Swiss-like intermediary role).
Why has President Trump succeeded where all other American presidents failed?
Three factors: 1) The split between Persians and Arabs goes back to the time of Abraham. Jews and Arabs are cousins ... the racial blood ties are acknowledged by both sides. The cousins are facing off against their Persian conquerors one more time. The smoldering cinders of this armed tension have cooled from time to time, but never gone out.
2) The Sunni-Shiite schism infesting Islam is an often-violent conflict going back over 1,300 years, with Sunni believers in the vast majority (including Indonesia, the largest Muslim country in the world), but Shiites are in control of the economic and military powerhouses of Iran, Syria (just recently), Bahrain, Azerbaijan and Yemen. These tensions of simmering religious civil war have never cooled nor relaxed.
3) Recent mid-east warfare has unsettled historical alignments severely. And the ISIS uprising finds its motivation primarily in attempts to re-assert remnants of the most-recent Islamic Caliphate centered in Turkey (Ottoman Empire): An armed conflict ending in roughly 1922, though some offshoots survived until 1953.
The incendiary actions of Russia and the United States in the Mideast have carried the problem beyond a mere racial/religious context. Iran and Syria have brought Lebanon and (increasingly) Turkey into their 'Shia" camp. Iraq is more aligned with forces backed by the U.S., though it is shattered and defanged by, first, its recent eight-year war with Iran and, second, its non-stop civil war and battles with the U.S. Desert Storm coalition starting in 2007. So, Iraq's a non-player in the most recent theater, though it is predominantly Shia.
Summing up: The Palestinian/Jewish conflict is repeating history (a lot of history, by again demonstrating that the best way to resolve an armed conflict is to mutually recognize they have an even greater common enemy. The Mideast atmosphere is more than electrically charged—it's nuclear-charged, and fear of a Russian-backed Persian empire flaunting its fangs to an American-backed Arab/Jewish force is a hellish nightmare of global consequence.
Given all these factors, Mr. Trump hasn't been smarter or wiser than the other presidents; he simply finds himself in office at a time when history's current dispensation nears its end. The contemporary Mideast alignment was prophesied centuries ago and is now a reality. There are only three major apocalyptic biblical prophecies yet to be fulfilled: The destruction of Damascus (foretelling the defeat and degradation of Syria, which lies at the geographic center of the coming war), the signing of a treaty ending the division of Israel and the launching of the world's third and final war at Armageddon.
For us who believe, if events turn out as presented above, we know there will be three and a half years of peace under this Israeli/Arab treaty. Then there will be three and a half years of hell on earth, ending at Armageddon, when God himself puts an end to mankind's thousands of years of nonstop slaughter of brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, cousins, neighbors and so on. The end-game troubles will start in mid-2021, wrapping up in profound, earth-shaking violence in late 2025 and early 2026. Are we paying attention to this closing window? Time is short, and the struggle for peace on earth has never been more unlikely.
Only one question remains: Who is the Antichrist? Certainly not Trump; he won't even be in office at the time. Russia? The Wild Card, in collusion with an interfering Roman Empire (again becoming an enemy of the Jews as anti-Semitism rebounds, especially in Eastern Europe)?
With top-level talks going on daily between the two communist nuclear powers, Russia and China, both intensely concerned not only about the Mideastern (read "oil") threat but the North Korean threat, a likely candidate for the ungodly title should arise quickly and easily. It will have to be someone pretty savvy, because the pretense for taking the temple from the Jews will swing on the hinge of animal rights. That certainly leaves out North Korea's little rocket man, Kim Jong-un. Stay tuned; I don't yet know who or whom. Who does? But the answer will come swiftly as God's timeline draws near its end.
Knowing all this, what are we enlightened few supposed to do about it? The Scriptures are clear, as Israeli history has demonstrated repeatedly: Repent, rid ourselves of our preoccupation with false gods, accumulating riches, material things, worries and selfism of all varieties—returning to our first love of the Creator and salvaging as many souls as we can in the remaining walk of our life.
Ronald D. Mallett is a Depression-era Colorado farm boy born into poverty. A high school dropout, he later busied himself working at a variety of jobs involving manual labor. After a stint in the Air Force, he co-founded a heating and plumbing company, which he later sold to his partner. Since retirement 18 years ago, he has directed two Christian ministry outreaches and served in various capacities as a chaplain, group leader and prayer warrior ... activities he carries on to this day. He is a senior member of Resurrection Fellowship of Loveland, Colorado, and has worked with that church for the past few years as a volunteer press relations writer and adviser.