FINAL WORLD EVENTS IN PROPHECY FORESHADOWED 2018

RECENT GENERAL REPORTS

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That prophecy is a part of God's revelation to man; that it is included in that Scripture which is profitable for instruction (2 Tim. 3:16); that it is designed for us and our children (Deut. 29:29); that so far from being enshrouded in impenetrable mystery, it is that which especially constitutes the word of God as a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. (Ps. 119:105; 2 Peter 1:19); that a blessing is pronounced upon those who study it (Rev. 1:1-3); and that, consequently, it is to be understood by the people of God sufficiently to show them their position in the world's history and the special duties required at their hands. (1914 Yearbook, p. 293)

BIBLE PROPHECY

THE SURE FULFILLMENT OF PROPHECY:

"A Message Whose Time Has Come"

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Windows Media 54kbps

Windows Media 11kbps

ESCHATOLOGICAL PROPHECIES

SPECIAL UPDATING REPORTS

CONTINUING COVERAGE OF A MENACING CRISIS AND A VERY SIGNIFICANT PROPHETIC SIGN:

FINANCIAL CRISIS

(Cf. DISTRESS OF NATIONS WITH PERPLEXITY - A Sign of the last remnant of time)

Keeping an eye on the European Union:

European Union

CONTINUING COVERAGE OF THE GEOLOGICAL AND CLIMATOLOGICAL SIGNS WHICH MULTIPLY - “the sea and the waves roaring” Luke 21:25; “Calamities, earthquakes, floods, disasters by land and by sea, will increase. . . ." - (R&H, December 11, 1900):

Natural disasters and extreme weather

Global Disaster Watch

The Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System


SPECIAL REPORTS

SUBSIDIARITY: THE PRINCIPLE AND ITS IMPLEMENTATION

THE EUROPEAN UNION

A Major Path For Rome Among Many Converging through Jerusalem to Global Domination By Satan in Person - the Ultimate Antichrist

NATURAL LAW

(The Roman Catholic Social Doctrine - Ascendancy of the Roman Catholic dogma in the body politic of the United States.)


The insight of A. T. Jones that needs to be kept in mind as Roman Catholic legislation proliferates throughout America - "The papacy is very impatient of any restraining bonds"  more . . .

Ellen G. White: "When the leading churches of the United States, uniting upon such points of doctrine as are held by them in common, shall influence the state to enforce their decrees and to sustain their institutions, then Protestant America will have formed an image of the Roman hierarchy, and the infliction of civil penalties upon dissenters will inevitably result." (GC 445.1)

"When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with Spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and Republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan, and that the end is near." (5T 451.)

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. Hosea 4:6

We do not go deep enough in our search for truth. Every soul who believes present truth will be brought where he will be required to give a reason of the hope that is in him. The people of God will be called upon to stand before kings, princes, rulers, and great men of the earth, and they must know that they do know what is truth. (Review and Herald, February 18, 1890; TM 119)

Spirit of Prophecy Policy on Family Planning  (For full context cf. Adventists and Birth Control; Adventists and Birth Control (Concluded)

A quotation to be kept in mind and applied to current events:

"What the Jesuit Order is for the left wing of the Roman Catholic Church, Opus Dei is for its right wing. (Hegelian politics at its finest, for the Roman Catholic Church cannot lose if it has strong ties with both ends of the political spectrum!)" (From Opus Dei in the USA)

RECENT GENERAL REPORTS

Certain of the popular positions mentioned approvingly in some hyperlinked reports, essays, and blogs on this web page will of necessity cause reactions of strong disagreement, or at the very least discomfort, on the part of many readers. Regrettably, these positions cannot be separated from the core issues in the reports which prove the fulfillment of major end-times prophecies, and may of themselves be fulfillment of the prophecy of the Apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 3:1-5.

LINK TO 2017

New AMERICAN DEMOCRACY UNDER SIEGE: CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION LOOMS

The great Pope (from the Roman Catholic point of view) Leo XIII was absolutely clear in his opposition to democracy. He also exhibited an intense interest in American democracy and how it could be shaped by the Church of Rome to her purpose. Over a century later the representative democracy of the United States is riddled like Swiss cheese by the inroads of Roman Catholic teachings (Social Doctrine.) A very prominent principle of the Roman Catholic Social Doctrine is Subsidiarity. It is clearly central to a constitutional convention called for by two-thirds of the State legislatures of America:-

Inside the Conservative Push for States to Amend the Constitution

Taking advantage of almost a decade of political victories in state legislatures across the country, conservative advocacy groups are quietly marshaling support for an event unprecedented in the nation’s history: a convention of the 50 states, summoned to consider amending the Constitution.

The groups are an amalgam of free-market, low-tax and small-government proponents, often funded by corporations and deeply conservative supporters like the billionaire Koch brothers and Donors Trust, whose contributors are mostly anonymous. They want an amendment to require a balanced federal budget, an idea many conservatives have embraced, many economists disdain and Congress has failed to endorse for decades.

But as the groups near their goal, critics and some skeptical constitutional scholars are warning that holding an amendment-writing meeting with no historical parallel and no written rules could open a Pandora’s box of constitutional mischief.

The process, which is playing out largely beyond public notice, rests on a clause in Article 5 of the Constitution that allows the states to sidestep Congress and draft their own constitutional amendments whenever two-thirds of their legislatures demand it.

That will by no means be easy. Even if the two-thirds threshold were reached, a convention would probably face a court battle over whether the legislatures’ calls for a convention were sufficiently similar. And as with any amendment that Congress proposes, state-written amendments would need approval by three-quarters of the states — either by their legislatures or by state conventions — to take effect.

But as Republicans have surged to control of state legislatures and moved sharply rightward during the Obama years, what was once a pet project of the party’s fringe has become a proposal with a plausible chance of success. Some of the former Republican presidential candidates, including comparative moderates like John Kasich and Jeb Bush, have endorsed a state amendment convention. . . (Underlined emphasis added)

These are extraordinary times as attested by this "event unprecedented in the nation’s history." That the groups pushing for action by the States are marshaling support quietly is consistent with the modus operandi of those who are working insidiously to dismantle the US Constitution. The "amalgam" of groups at work are predominantly, if not exclusively, the Religious Right alliance which is determined to turn the United States into a Theocracy:

Will Corporations, The Christian Right, and the Tea Party Get to Rewrite the Constitution?

Former U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC), the Tea Party icon who helped bring Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT) into the Senate, was ousted after four years as president of the Heritage Foundation in May 2017. [Ref. 1] DeMint had thought he would have more influence on policy from his perch at Heritage than he had in the Senate. But as it turned out, there was not only life after Heritage, but the possibility of greater influence still. “I feel like the Lord knows what He’s doing,” DeMint told broadcaster Glenn Beck, because now “I’m in a place where I can make a much bigger difference.”

The place where DeMint could make a bigger difference than as senator or head of the 800-pound gorilla of right-wing think tanks is Convention of States, a group mobilizing an effort to rewrite the U.S. Constitution through a set of amendments that would drastically limit the taxation, regulatory and oversight powers of the federal government and restructure our constitutional order into one focused on states’ rights. DeMint joined the group as a “senior advisor” and sees the project as a new Tea Party mission that’s “much bigger than the Tea Party.” [Ref. 2]

Convention of States is a political alliance between elements of the anti-regulatory Corporate Right and the Christian Right, organizing toward a constitutional convention that would destroy the underpinnings of Great Society projects like Medicare and food stamps, and New Deal programs like Social Security. They’re also turning their sights on the progressive gains from the turn of the 20th Century, such as the 16th Amendment, which allows the federal government to collect income taxes and which they believe started the disastrous course toward big government.

This effort, like the older, more focused drive for a convention to advance a balanced budget amendment, is promoted in part by the libertarian Koch brothers’ network—often called the “dark money ATM of the Right”—and the right-wing organizations they fund [Ref. 3,] like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) [Ref. 4.] And it draws support from Christian Right figures rooted in Reconstructionist theology that believes God reserves tasks like education or caring for the poor for churches and families, not government [Ref. 5.]

Americans who feared the election of Donald Trump and Republican majorities in Congress would undermine Obama-era victories on healthcare and LGBTQ equality were right, of course. But that’s the tip of the iceberg. These battles represent a tiny piece of the Right’s long-term political vision of dismantling the federal government.

Political Research Associates published significant work in 2013 and 2014 by Frederick Clarkson, Rachel Tabachnick and Frank Cocozzelli on right-wing approaches to limiting or eroding the power of the federal government. These included various proposals for interstate compacts and different convention proposals. Also covered were threats of secession and civil war, and arguments for nullification—the theory, repeatedly rejected by the Supreme Court, that states can ignore or defy federal laws or court rulings they deem unconstitutional. Some segregationists championed nullification as a response to Brown v. Board of Education and some on the Right still call for a nullification strategy to resist developments on immigration, abortion rights, and marriage equality. All this is part of the political and religious context in which the rise of Convention of States is happening. And it has gone profoundly underreported.

Article V outlines two approaches for altering the Constitution. Every constitutional amendment to date has followed the first: Congress proposes an amendment with a two-thirds vote of both houses; it becomes part of the Constitution if it is ratified by three-quarters of the states. The second approach requires Congress to call a “convention for proposing amendments” when two-thirds of states apply for one via their state legislatures. Any proposed amendments would also require approval by three-quarters of the states before ratification.

Organizers of a convention focused on a balanced budget amendment have 27 of the 34 states required and have identified nine targets to take them toward their goal, which they hope to reach by July 4, 2018. The broader anti-federal-government Convention of States proposal has been approved by legislatures in 12 states; in nine more, a call passed one house of the legislature. According to Convention of States, more than 20 states considered legislation in 2017. (Underlined emphasis added.)

The outlook for America's Representative Democracy is bleak. Students of Bible prophecy can see the handwriting on the wall, figuratively speaking; but even in the secular world the alarm is being sounded on every side that the US Constitution as we know it is at risk:

States Likely Could Not Control Constitutional Convention on Balanced Budget Amendment or Other Issues

In the coming months, a number of states are likely to consider resolutions that call for a convention to propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution to require a balanced federal budget, and possibly to shrink federal authority in other, often unspecified, ways. Proponents of these resolutions claim that 28 of the 34 states required to call a constitutional convention already have passed such resolutions.

State lawmakers considering such resolutions should be skeptical of claims being made by groups promoting the resolutions (such as the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC) that states could control the actions or outcomes of a constitutional convention. A convention likely would be extremely contentious and highly politicized, and its results impossible to predict.

A number of prominent jurists and legal scholars have warned that a constitutional convention could open up the Constitution to radical and harmful changes. For instance, the late Justice Antonin Scalia said in 2014, “I certainly would not want a constitutional convention. Whoa! Who knows what would come out of it?” Similarly, former Chief Justice of the United States Warren Burger wrote in 1988:

[T]here is no way to effectively limit or muzzle the actions of a Constitutional Convention. The Convention could make its own rules and set its own agenda. Congress might try to limit the Convention to one amendment or one issue, but there is no way to assure that the Convention would obey. After a Convention is convened, it will be too late to stop the Convention if we don’t like its agenda.

Such serious concerns are justified, for several reasons:

A convention could write its own rules. The Constitution provides no guidance whatsoever on the ground rules for a convention. . .

A convention could set its own agenda, possibly influenced by powerful interest groups. The only constitutional convention in U.S. history, in 1787, went far beyond its mandate. . .

A convention could choose a new ratification process. The 1787 convention ignored the ratification process under which it was established and created a new process, lowering the number of states needed to approve the new Constitution and removing Congress from the approval process. . .

No other body, including the courts, has clear authority over a convention. The Constitution provides for no authority above that of a constitutional convention, so it is not clear that the courts — or any other institution — could intervene if a convention did not limit itself to the language of the state resolutions calling for a convention. . .

Nowhere in any of the reports about the objective of the Balanced Budget Amendment is Subsidiarity specifically mentioned; but it is at the heart of the focus on the Federal government:

SUBSIDIARITY AS A PRLNCIPLE OF GOVERNANCE: BEYOND DEVOLUTION

With the ascension of George W. Bush to the presidency comes the public emergence of the subsidiarity principle, a doctrine previously familiar primarily to Catholic social theorists and observers of the European Union. Fundamentally and explicitly intertwined with Bush's "compassionate conservative" vision, subsidiarity calls for social problems to be addressed from the bottom up, rather than from the top down. Literally meaning "to 'seat' ('sid') a service down ('sub') as close to the need for that service as is feasible," subsidiarity holds that where families, neighborhoods, churches, or community groups can effectively address a given problem, they should. Where they cannot, municipal or state Governments should intervene. Only when the lower bodies prove ineffective should the federal government become involved.

Subsidiarity has assumed a decidedly conservative gloss in today's public policy debates. Clung to by those seeking to shrink federal government programs and largely ignored by those who oppose them, subsidiarity appears to have become the exclusive property of one side of the political spectrum. . .

If the following Roman Catholic analysis is correct, the ultimate application of subsidiarity to the body politic is a frightening prospect, and totally inimical to individual freedom. The following extracts are explicit:

Subsidiarity and Libertarian “Small Government”

1) Subsidiarity is a communitarian philosophy. In this doctrine the human person cannot be understood apart from his communal nature and his communal existence. Subsidiarity claims that a communal, social and political existence is imposed on the human person by human nature, by the natural law and, ultimately, by God. . .

2) Because subsidiarity claims that human nature is communal the same doctrine claims that our obligations to the community are imposed by nature, rather than by free agreement. So, for example, the authority of the government comes from God and the natural law rather than the free consent of the governed. The people must obey whether they have consented or not. . .

3) According to subsidiarity the good is to be pursued communally under the direction of and, if necessary, compulsion by the government. . .

4) The doctrine of subsidiarity holds that the common good has priority over individual freedom. . .

5) Subsidiarity understands relations between human persons, between the individual and the community, primarily in terms of moral obligations and secondarily in terms of rights. The role of government is to enforce obligations. The government must not simply restrict sins of commission (such as murder) but also present sins of omission (such as failing to contribute to the material support of the community) by compelling individuals into pertinent obligatory actions. . .

9) For subsidiarity, freedom is primarily freedom to live a Catholic and moral life, to pursue authentic cultural goods and to live in a community of life with one’s family, friends and neighbors. Economic freedom is of relatively low priority. Material wellbeing to pursue these higher goods is necessary and both this material wellbeing and the pursuit of these higher goods can necessitate placing restrictions on economic freedom. . .

11) Finally, subsidiarity sees human relations primarily as cooperative. Part of the communal nature of the human person is to live in charity, benevolence and mutual cooperation with others. This is not to deny that the effects of original sin often lead us to fail to live up to our nature in this regard. . .

Shades of the Image to the Beast!!

If even it were possible to limit a States' Constitutional Convention to the proposed Balanced Budget Amendment, it would still spell disaster for the United States:

Constitutional Balanced Budget Amendment Poses Serious Risks

Would Likely Make Recessions Longer and Deeper, Could Harm Social Security and Military and Civil Service Retirement

A balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution would be a highly ill-advised way to address the nation’s long-term fiscal problems. It would threaten significant economic harm while raising a host of problems for the operation of Social Security and other vital federal programs.

The economic problems are the most serious. By requiring a balanced budget every year, no matter the state of the economy, such an amendment would raise serious risks of tipping weak economies into recession and making recessions longer and deeper, causing very large job losses. That’s because the amendment would force policymakers to cut spending, raise taxes, or both just when the economy is weak or already in recession — the exact opposite of what good economic policy would advise. . .

A constitutional convention would be a Brexit-scale crisis for the U.S.

. . . Even if a balanced-budget amendment were the only item on a convention’s agenda, that would be a disaster. Locking the world’s largest economy into a fiscal straightjacket would preclude any effective response to economic recession, forcing deep cuts in unemployment benefits and other aid at the very moment they are most needed. Suggested provisions that would allow supermajorities in both houses to waive the balance requirement would provide little relief. Consider that this year, neither chamber of Congress could muster a simple majority to pass a budget. If Congress fails to agree upon a balanced budget, who decides on the cuts? The president, acting unilaterally? The courts?

The bigger threat is that a constitutional convention, once unleashed on the nation, would be free to rewrite or scrap any parts of the U.S. Constitution. Do we really want to open up our nation’s core defining values to debate at a time when a serious candidate for the White House brags about his enthusiasm for torture and the surveillance state, wants to "open up" reporters to lawsuits, scoffs at the separation of powers and holds ideas about freedom of religion that are selective at best? . . .

The present presidential administration is already a huge disaster for the nation. Greater disaster looms in the future, and it is all due to alliance with the first Beast of Rev. 13 - more on this subject in the near future.


 

CARRIED OVER FROM 2017

DONALD TRUMP'S JERUSALEM POLICY: AN EXERCISE IN APOCALYPTICISM

INTRODUCTION
RECOGNITION OF JERUSALEM AS THE CAPITAL OF ISRAEL
UNIVERSAL CONDEMNATION
INEVITABLE NEGATIVE REACTION OF THE PAPACY
VATICAN POLICY ALIGNS WITH DANIEL 11:45

DELUSIONAL AND DANGEROUS EVANGELICAL THEOLOGY
TRUMP STIRRING UP THE MIDDLE EAST
BIBLE PROPHECIES POINTING TO WAR IN THE MIDDLE EAST
INTERPLAY OF SEEMINGLY CONTRADICTORY ROMAN CATHOLIC ACTIONS
ROME TAKES UP THE CHALLENGE

INTRODUCTION

In His prophecies of the end times Jesus repeatedly warned His followers to "Watch." As we watch, it is evident that the unfolding scenes are complex - so complex that eyes may glaze over from trying to understand them; but we cannot afford to fall asleep on watch. As we "wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Eph. 6:12,) it is particularly evident that Rev. 16:13-14 is being fulfilled. By deception Satan would gather all of humanity into the Battle of the Great Day of God Almighty on his side if it were possible. His power to deceive is very great; but the power of the Spirit of Almighty God is greater yet. It is He Who will give us an understanding that is impregnable against Satan's deceptions. We can understand the unfolding of the end-time prophecies with prayer and perseverance in time to be protected against the final overwhelming deception, which is closely connected to the fulfillment of Dan. 11:45. We have seen in the meteoric rise of Donald Trump to the US presidency how swiftly events that are stranger than fiction can overrun the nation and the world. To the majority of inhabitants of the earth what is predicted in prophecy might also seem stranger than fiction; but it will come to pass.

Everywhere that Trump turns his attention, the results are disruption of the norms that have prevailed in the nation and the world, and an intensified danger of conflict where the threat has always existed. While North Korea is one area of danger, there is another in the Middle East, and this is also the area where the final dramatic events of earth's history are to take place. Trump has been stirring up trouble between Saudi Arabia and Iran, with war threatened. It can be stated with
confidence that this would not fit the prophecies of Dan. 11:40-44. However, it does stir up conflict in this volatile area which is involved in these prophecies. What is very clear is that the Trump administration is engaged in dangerous meddling in Palestine, the geographical area which is central to the final great prophecy signaling the imminent close of probation for all humanity (Dan. 12:1.) Here we are confronted by a very complicated situation which is difficult to read:-

RECOGNITION OF JERUSALEM AS THE CAPITAL OF ISRAEL

From [D]@gmail.com:

Trump Recognizes Jerusalem as Israeli Capital in U.S. Shift

U.S. isn’t taking position on ‘final status’ for city, he says

World leaders balk at U.S. plan, which includes moving embassy

President Donald Trump on Wednesday recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and announced he would begin moving the U.S. embassy there, despite warnings from leaders across the globe that the move would undermine peace efforts and spark violence.

“It is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” the president said in a statement from the Diplomatic Room at the White House. “This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do.”

Vice President Mike Pence stood behind Trump as he spoke, and Pence will travel to the region later in the month. . .

Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is provocative because the eastern sector of the city -- home to some of the holiest ancient sites in Judaism, Christianity and Islam -- is also claimed by Palestinians as the capital of a future state.

Trump recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital, reversing longtime U.S. policy

President Donald Trump on Wednesday reversed decades of U.S. policy and recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, imperiling Middle East peace efforts and upsetting the Arab world and Western allies alike.

Trump announced his administration would begin a process of moving the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a step expected to take years and one that his predecessors opted not to take to avoid inflaming tensions.

The status of Jerusalem - home to sites holy to the Muslim, Jewish and Christian religions - is one of the biggest obstacles to reaching a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed Trump’s announcement as a “historic landmark,” but other close Western allies of Washington such as Britain and France were critical.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the United States abdicated its role as a mediator in peace efforts, and Palestinian secular and Islamist factions called for a general strike and rallies on Thursday to protest.

The international community does not recognize Israeli sovereignty over the entire city, believing its status should be resolved in negotiations. No other country has its embassy in Jerusalem.

Trump’s decision fulfills a campaign promise and will please Republican conservatives and evangelicals who make up a sizeable portion of his domestic support. . .

Trump’s decision risks further inflaming a region already grappling with conflict in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. . .

The United States is asking Israel to temper its response to Trump’s announcement because Washington expects a backlash and is weighing the potential threat to U.S. facilities and people, according to a State Department document seen by Reuters.

Israel considers Jerusalem its eternal and indivisible capital and wants all embassies based there. Palestinians want the capital of an independent state of theirs to be in the city’s eastern sector, which Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed in a move never recognized internationally.

Netanyahu said any peace deal with Palestinians must include Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. That would be a non-starter for Palestinians in any negotiations if it meant the entire city would be under Israeli control. . .

UNIVERSAL CONDEMNATION

The arrogance and folly of Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is evidenced by the universal condemnation it has provoked throughout the world:-

The UN Security Council, which raises issues of legality as well as the incitement to conflict:

14 Security Council member criticize US action on Jerusalem

One by one, 14 members of the U.N. Security Council spoke out against President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel at an emergency meeting on Friday, some with regret and some with anger at the 15th member, the United States.

It wasn’t the first time that the U.S. stood alone in defending its close ally, Israel, in the U.N.’s most powerful body. Over decades, it has vetoed many council resolutions it viewed as harmful to Israel.

But this was a rare rebuke for an action the United States took that in the eyes of the rest of the council and most of the world clearly violates U.N. resolutions and decisions that Jerusalem is an issue to be resolved by Israel and the Palestinians in peace negotiations on a two-state solution. . .

The European Union [not surprisingly, given its fundamental identification with the Vatican]:

Jerusalem latest: All 28 EU foreign ministers warned Trump administration not to move US embassy

All 28 EU foreign ministers warned Donald Trump’s chief diplomat against moving the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem in a face-to-face meeting the day before the president made the announcement, the European Commission has said.

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday in Brussels Federica Mogherini, the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs, said Mr. Trump’s announcement had “the potential to send us backwards to even darker times than the ones we are already living in”.

“I discussed this with Secretary Tillerson during his visit to Brussels on Tuesday. I’ve made clear our disagreement with this decision as did all the foreign ministers of the 28 member states of the European Union that met him with me the same day,” she said. . .

Ms Mogherini urged “all relevant actors” in the Israel-Palestine conflict to “avoid to further escalate tensions on the ground”

“The worst thing that could happen now is an escalation of tensions around the holy places because what happens in Jerusalem matters to the whole region and the entire world,” she added.

The issue of the embassy’s location is a fragile one in the Middle East conflict. Israel unilaterally claims Jerusalem as its capital, despite it being partly located in Palestinian territories illegally occupied by Israel.

World leaders across the globe [with emphasis on Middle East regional leaders]:

World leaders respond to US embassy move to Jerusalem [TRTWORLD is a Turkish news channel]

Here is how leaders and senior officials from the region and around the world reacted to the move.

Palestinian Authority's president

"President Abbas spoke after his call with President Trump with the presidents of Russia and France, with the Pope and with King Abdullah of Jordan. He told them such a move was rejected and he urged them to intervene to prevent it from happening," the Palestinian president's spokesman said.

Hamas' chief

"The American administration's recognition of occupied Jerusalem as the occupation's capital and moving its embassy to Jerusalem crosses every red line" said Hamas chief Ismail Haniya in a letter to world leaders. . .

UN's secretary-general

"We have always regarded Jerusalem as a final status issue that must be resolved through direct negotiations between the two parties based on relevant Security Council resolutions," UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said, adding that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has “consistently warned against any unilateral action that would have the potential to undermine the two-state solution."

Turkey's president

"Mr. Trump, Jerusalem is the red line of Muslims," Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said. Ankara has threatened to cut diplomatic ties with Israel if Trump recognises Jerusalem.

Iran's supreme leader

"That they claim they want to announce Quds as the capital of occupied Palestine is because of their incompetence and failure," Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Khamenei said, using the Arabic name for Jerusalem.

Pope Francis

The Catholic pontiff said "recognising the rights of all people" in the Holy Land is a primary condition for dialogue. . .

Jordan's king, foreign minister

The Jordanian monarch King Abdullah, whose dynasty is the custodian of the Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem, told Trump that moving the embassy there would have "dangerous repercussions" for the region and would obstruct US efforts to promote Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. . .

Saudi Arabia's king

King Salman stressed to Trump that any US announcement on the status of Jerusalem "will hurt peace talks and increase tension in the region” and said it would "inflame Muslim feelings all over the world,” the Saudi Press Agency said.

Morocco's king

Morocco's King Mohammed VI warned US President Donald Trump against moving the American embassy to the contested holy city of Jerusalem.

In an open letter to the American president, the Moroccan king expressed his "deep personal concern" and "the great concern felt by Arab and Muslim states and peoples" over moves to recognise the city as Israel's capital and transfer the US embassy there. . .

The king urged Trump to avoid anything that could "exacerbate feelings of frustration and disappointment, which are the basis of extremism and terrorism."

Egypt's president

Egypt's Abdel Fattah el Sisi cautioned Trump against "taking measures that would undermine the chances of peace" and complicate matters in the Middle East, a presidential statement released in Cairo said.

Russia's president

Russia's Vladimir Putin told Palestinian President Abbas in a phone call that Russia supports resumption of talks between Israel and Palestinian authorities, including on the status of Jerusalem, the Kremlin said.

France's president

French President Emmanuel Macron earlier said he reminded Trump in a phone call that the fate of Jerusalem should be determined in negotiations on setting up a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

Germany's foreign minister

"Recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel does not calm a conflict, rather it fuels it even more," Germany's foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel said, adding such a move "would be a very dangerous development."

China's foreign ministry

"We are concerned about the possible escalation of tensions," foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said.

"All relevant parties should bear regional peace and tranquility in mind, be cautious in words and deeds, avoid impacting the foundation for the settlement of the issue of Palestine, and avoid causing new confrontation in the region." (Cf. World reacts to Trump's Jerusalem decision.)

INEVITABLE NEGATIVE REACTION OF THE PAPACY

The reaction of the Pope and the Vatican to the Trump Administration action on Jerusalem is negative, and this was to be expected:

Pope Francis challenged Trump on his Jerusalem decision at the Vatican and on Instagram

Pope Francis called on President Donald Trump to respect the "status quo" and not move the US embassy to Jerusalem.

He also doubled down on his message in an Instagram post, in which he called Jerusalem a sacred city to "Jews, Christians and Muslims."

The Vatican backs a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, with both sides agreeing on the status of Jerusalem as part of the peace process.

The Pope also said Trump's move could inflame the Muslim world.

Pope Francis, speaking hours before U.S. President Donald Trump's announcement on Jerusalem, called on Wednesday for the city's "status quo" to be respected, saying new tension in the Middle East would further inflame world conflicts.

The pope delivered a similar message in an Instagram post following his statements, in which he the sacredness of the city to all three Abrahamic religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam and said "it has a special vocation for peace." . . .

More on the Pope's reaction to the Trump Administration's Jerusalem action:

Update: Pope concerned by U.S. move to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital

Following reports that U.S. President Donald Trump planned to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Pope Francis expressed his concern that such a move would further destabilize the Middle East.

Pope Francis said he could not "keep silent about my deep concern" for Jerusalem and urged respect for "the status quo of the city in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations." . . .

According to Vatican Radio, the pope received a telephone call from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Dec. 5 regarding Trump's plan to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.

The conversation was "part of a series of contacts made by the president of the Palestinian National Authority after his conversation with Donald Trump during which -- according to Abbas' spokesman -- the U.S. president announced his intention to move the American embassy," Greg Burke, Vatican spokesman, told Vatican Radio.

The Vatican supports a "two-state solution" for the Holy Land with independence, recognition and secure borders for both Israel and Palestine.

At the same time, the Vatican consistently has called for a special status for Jerusalem, particularly its Old City, in order to protect and guarantee access to the holy sites of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. . .

There is continuing reaction by the Pope which underscores the concern of the papacy about Trump's action on Jerusalem:

From [D]@gmail.com:

Pope to meet Jordan’s King Abdullah amid Jerusalem tensions

Francis and Jordanian monarch set to discuss aftermath of US recognition of Israel's capital

Pope Francis will meet Jordan’s King Abdullah II at the Vatican next week, the Holy See announced Friday, as Palestinians continued to clash with Israeli forces over US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The pope and King Abdullah, who is the custodian of the Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem’s Old City, are likely to discuss the ongoing tensions, though the Vatican never indicates topics of discussion for such meetings in advance. . .

On Sunday, the pope called for “respect of the status quo” in Jerusalem and warned against “a new spiral of violence.”

Abdullah has denounced the Jerusalem announcement as “a violation of international rights.”

Jordan controlled East Jerusalem, which includes the Old City, from 1948 until 1967, when it was captured by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War. Jordan’s status as the custodian of the holy sites was reaffirmed by the country’s 1994 peace treaty with Israel.

Jerusalem, which contains sites considered sacred by Jews, Christians and Muslims, is of huge importance to both Israel and the Palestinians.

Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, and his plans to move the US embassy there from Tel Aviv, has sparked anger in the Arab and Muslim world and let to protests in countries throughout the region.

The move has been welcomed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli politicians on both left and right.

It is interesting to note that Trump's action has united Israeli politicians at both ends of the political spectrum; but that is the way of politics. It would probably be folly for the left to adopt a position in opposition to what must be a popular move in Israel.

The Pope's upcoming meeting with King Abdullah is an indication of the Vatican's strong reaction against an obstacle placed in the way of a longstanding objective of the Church of Rome.

Donald Trump may not be aware of it (his Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, declared in an interview on Sunday, December 10, that "Jerusalem is now off the table,") but his decision to recognize the City as the capital of Israel was not only likely to stir up a hornet's nest of unrest in the Middle East, but is also a direct challenge to the longstanding policy of Rome on Jerusalem; a policy which has aligned perfectly with the prophecy of Dan. 11:45:

VATICAN POLICY ALIGNS WITH DANIEL 11:45

Vatican voices concern over Trump's Jerusalem move

Following U.S. President Donald Trump’s Dec. 6 notice that he will be moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, the Holy See has expressed its concern for recent violent outbreaks and urged leaders to promote peace and security.

A Vatican communique Dec. 10 pointed to concerns for peace and security in Jerusalem and reiterated its belief that “only a negotiated solution between Israelis and Palestinians can bring a stable and lasting peace,” as well as “guarantee the peaceful co-existence of two states within internationally recognized borders.”

The brief statement was published just days after the news broke that President Trump would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem – a widely controversial decision that has provoked a mixed reaction from the international community. The Vatican said it is watching the development of the situation closely, especially in Jerusalem, which is a “Sacred city for Christians, Jews and Muslims from all over the world.”

The statement also reiterated the Holy See’s position on the importance of maintaining the status quo in Jerusalem, as per the repeated requests of the international community, and the hierarchies of the Catholic and Christian communities of the Holy Land. . .

The Vatican has long supported a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, and on a diplomatic level recognizes and refers to both “the State of Israel” and “the State of Palestine.”

Donald Trump has bumbled into the middle of a long historical process that was inching step by step towards the papacy's goal of establishing a presence in Jerusalem. The lengthy quotations from the following article illustrate the delicate dance of decades into which Trump has barged like a bull in a china shop:

The Vatican Joins the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Prior to the creation of the State of Israel in May 1948, the Holy See refrained from taking sides in the Arab-Jewish conflict, preferring to adhere to its foundational principle of "remaining [a] stranger to all merely temporal conflicts" as provided in the 1929 Lateran treaty. Thus, when the United Nations General Assembly convened on November 29, 1947, to vote on Resolution 181, partitioning Palestine into Jewish and Arab states, the Holy See (as a "permanent observer" at the United Nations) did not participate.

Of course, the Vatican did not remain aloof to developments in the Holy Land and their possible effects on the future of the Christian holy sites there. When, in the summer of 1937, a British royal commission proposed internationalizing the cities of Jerusalem and Bethlehem as a means of "ensuring free and safe access to them for all the world," the Holy See registered its desire to protect Jerusalem's holy sites (while also seeking an additional international enclave near the Sea of Galilee), underscoring its enthusiastic support for territorial internationalization—what eventually became known as the corpus separatum. Likewise, despite abstaining during the vote on Resolution 181, the Vatican endorsed its recommended internationalization of Jerusalem; and while this corpus separatum was never implemented due to the ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict and political infighting between interested states, the Holy See remained committed to the idea as the foremost means to safeguarding Christianity's holy sites.

Thus, for example, in October 1948, the Holy See published an encyclical, In Multiplicibus curis, proposing to "Give Jerusalem and its outskirts ... an international character which, in the present circumstances, seems to offer a better guarantee for the protection of the sanctuaries." On Easter 1949, amidst ceasefire negotiations between Israel and its Arab invaders, the pope published another encyclical, Redemptoris Nostri Cruciatus, "the passion of our Redeemer," focusing on the torments of the Holy Land, and stating that "Jerusalem and its vicinity ... should be accorded and legally guaranteed an 'international status,'" thereby further entrenching the Holy See's support for corpus separatum.

In subsequent decades, the Vatican made few official statements regarding Jerusalem's status, seemingly waiting for more opportune moments to raise the issue. In December 1963, Pope Paul VI announced his decision to go on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and pray for the success of the Second Vatican Council and for peace and Christian unity. Despite the Holy See having no official diplomatic relations with either Israel or Jordan, the latter of which at the time occupied the West Bank including east Jerusalem, this historic visit followed strict protocols reserved for visits of heads of states. In Israel, President Zalman Shazar held a reception at the historical site of Megiddo for the papal delegation and accompanied him to the Mandelbaum crossing in Jerusalem. In the city, the pope also met with Greek Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras. The international media followed the pope's every step, describing the visit as "a great act of sacred theatre."

Israeli scholars sometimes argue that the Catholic Church's policy toward Israel "was fundamentally hostile," but doing so ignores or downplays the deep transformation in the Holy See's attitude that took place toward the Jewish people in the course of the twentieth century. Vatican II fundamentally changed the Holy See's policies toward the Jews and ultimately its policies toward the (Christian and non-Christian) population of the Holy Land. The Nostra Aetate (In Our Times) was one of the Second Vatican Council's (October 28, 1965) final declarations dealing with the relation of the church to non-Christian religions. Regarding the Jews, the document offered new teaching whereby "the Jews should not be presented as rejected or accursed by God." Most significantly, it freed the Jews from the charge of deicide because "what happened [to Christ] in His passion cannot be charged against all the Jews, without distinction, then alive, nor against the Jews of today." The Nostra Aetate served as an important declaration that opened up the possibility for eventual relations with the Jewish state, particularly in recognizing the Jewish people's right to exist and the role of the Vatican in upholding religious freedom.

The Six-Day War of June 1967, in which Israel captured Jerusalem and the West Bank, marked the next significant milestone for the Holy See. During the war, Pope Paul VI pressured Israel to declare Jerusalem an open city under international control, but Israel had already celebrated what it termed the city's reunification. However, Israel immediately provided legal protection for free worship and access to sanctuaries, promised to safeguard the holy sites, and offered to establish official diplomatic relations with the Holy See. The Vatican, however, while effectively discarding its demand for the territorial internationalization of the holy sites and instead focusing on ensuring their internationally guaranteed statute, stuck to its old principle that a formal agreement would not be tenable in the absence of peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors. It was only after the September 1993 signing of the Declaration of Principles (DOP) by Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) that the Holy See moved ahead and entered into agreements first with Israel and Jordan, and then with the Palestinians. . .

The Holy See has an important goal to provide clear protections for important status quo and other key holy sites as well as members of the church. Thus, it felt compelled to engage Israel and the Palestinians, walking a fine line trying to appease both sides while protecting key interests. This is even more troubling since it constantly shifts as both Israelis and Palestinians jockey for international position, legitimacy, and control.

One of the three sections of the 1929 Lateran pacts was the Treaty of Conciliation that established Vatican City as an independent entity (as well as restoring the sovereignty of the pope as a monarch, removed in 1870 following the Franco-Prussian war). Article 24 of the Treaty of Conciliation provides that:

In regard to the sovereignty appertaining to it also in international matters, the Holy See declares that it desires to take, and shall take, no part in any temporal rivalries between other States, nor in any international congresses called to settle such matters, save and except in the event of such parties making a mutual appeal to the pacific mission of the Holy See, the latter reserving in any event the right of exercising its moral and spiritual power.

Thus Article 24 calls for a balance between the Holy See not involving itself in any temporal rivalries but allowing it to exercise moral and spiritual power, especially when working in the framework of a pacific mission. Indeed, this is reflected in the perception of the Holy See as possessing an international legal personality from its spiritual power and position, rather than from the more traditional elements of statehood, such as its small territory.

The Holy See has the ability to serve as a broker for peace, understood as encompassing key values of life: economic rights, freedom of conscience, a need to harmonize ideals with national interests, and the pursuit of justice (and not warfare) through dialogue and mutual respect.

Article 24 is also coupled with the Holy See's desire to secure the church's material position to pursue its spiritual mission. Its international relations are not solely pragmatic but a form of theology combined with fundamental human rights norms, a focus on developmental concerns, a striving for neutrality, with an overlay of monarchial maneuvers.

But different interests are at work when accounting for the Holy See and its relations with Israel and the PA, particularly with respect to Christian holy sites. There seems to be a desire by the Vatican to wrest Christian holy sites from the control of Muslim and Jewish governing authorities with a view toward internationalization and human rights ideals that protect and preserve the Catholic faithful in the area (be they under Israeli or Palestinian control).

The shift in the Holy See's policy bends the framework devised by the Lateran pact in terms of involving the Holy See in local conflicts as evidenced, among other things, by its recognition of Palestine as a state and including language in all three agreements that affects in different ways the status of the post-1967 territories.

DELUSIONAL AND DANGEROUS EVANGELICAL THEOLOGY

One does not have to favor the aims of Rome to recognize that Donald Trump's action on Jerusalem constitutes a grave threat to peace in the world. The surreal fact is that the action was a deliberate act of delusional fantasy with the crazy intention of provoking world war. This delusional madness is probably inspired by the spirits of Rev. 16:13-14. The imponderable question is what are they up to, seemingly directing a movement in opposition to the objective of both the papacy and Satan himself?

The following headline in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz states the motivation of Donald Trump's action in stark terms:

Armageddon? Bring It On: The Evangelical Force Behind Trump's Jerusalem Speech

The U.S. evangelical community is in raptures over Trump's decision to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel, believing it moves the world closer to Armageddon. . .

The text of the article cannot be accessed without a Haaretz subscription, but the following are concurring reports:

The real reason Trump declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel was because he feared losing his evangelical voter base

There are those evangelicals who believe in the prophecy of the ‘End of Days’ foretelling Jewish control of all Jerusalem, a war of civilisations, and a choice of Jews to either embrace Christianity or die in the wrath of God.

I have got my latest Prayergram post. It is, quite aptly, on the topic of the day: the “Jerusalem Prayer”.

One passage reads “God bless Donald J Trump! He understands the real principles behind success. It is not being good at what you do or understanding theory and practice. It is being on the right side of the blessing of God. Whoever blesses Israel shall be blessed: whoever curses Israel shall be cursed.”

And, lest there be any misunderstanding: “If we bless Israel, regardless of its faults, lack of faith, both personally and organisationally, God bless us. While the world cries out, Donald J Trump who learned about the blessing on his mother’s knee, masters the simple, plodding art of doing the right thing regardless of consequences.”

Prayergram send their posts not just to the believers, but others, like journalists who have written negatively about the Christian right or Donald Trump. This is intended to show us the error of our ways and also, if possible, save our souls.

The “Jerusalem Prayer” was, the evangelists stress, of great importance, something that needed to be widely disseminated after Trump had announced that the US embassy would be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

There are no fewer than 50 million evangelicals in America who, according to research, are convinced of the literal truth of Biblical prophecy. A recent survey found that 82 per cent of white evangelicals believe that God gave Israel to the Jewish people; a conviction shared by just 40 per cent of American Jews. Among these evangelicals there are those who believe in the prophecy of the “End of Days” foretelling Jewish control of all Jerusalem, a war of civilisations, and a choice of Jews to either embrace Christianity or die in the wrath of God.

The decision to move the embassy does not actually have much popular support across the US population as a whole. A Brookings Institution survey found that it has the backing of only 31 per cent. Polls have also repeatedly found that a large majority of American Jews, who tend on average to have a better standard of education than the rest of US population, and are liberal by tradition, oppose the move.

But Trump’s Jerusalem declaration has been widely and enthusiastically welcomed by his religious base. Johnnie Moore, who acts as a spokesperson for the Trump’s evangelical advisers stated: “The issue was second only to concerns about the judiciary among the evangelical supporters. President Trump has yet again demonstrated to his evangelical supporters that he will do what he says he will do.”

For Paula White, a “megachurch” pastor from Florida who is close to Trump: “once again, President Trump has shown the world what I have always known, he is a leader who is willing to do what is right however loud are the voices of the sceptics and the critics. Evangelicals are ecstatic, for Israel is to us a sacred place and the Jewish people are our dearest friends.”. . .

Trump is not the only senior member of the administration to cultivate the Christian right. Vice President Mike Pence, who could be seen on TV standing behind Trump as the embassy announcement was made, with a reverent glow to his face, had pressed for a move to Jerusalem. And backing also came from Nikki Haley, the ambassador to the UN who tries her best to match Trump on hawkish rhetoric about smiting America’s enemies. She avidly courted the evangelical vote while Governor of South Carolina. . .

The evangelists could always site God on their side. For Indiana pastor Paul Begley the embassy move is the beginning of “End of Days”: “The Jewish People – I’ve been there, I’m telling you – they believe when the Temple’s built, the Messiah will be revealed to them. Jesus will be revealed to the Jewish people, and they will embrace him.”

Laurie Cardoza-Moore, “founder/president of Proclaiming Justice to The Nations” wrote in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz: “Christians recognise the Jews’ biblical connection through King David’s establishment of Jerusalem as the capital of ancient Israel and the location for both the first and second Temples. According to the prophets, Ezekiel, Isaiah and the Apostle John, all Israel awaits the rebuilding of the Third Temple. President Donald Trump may implement one of the most biblically historic initiatives of his presidency by allowing the first step of the Jerusalem Embassy Act to go into effect. “

Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem excites apocalyptic fervor

During the election campaign last year many conservative evangelical Christians saw then-candidate Donald Trump as a man of strength who would make the world ready for a final battle between good and evil.

As the historian Matthew Avery Sutton wrote at the time, they expected him to lead America in “a real-world battle against evangelicals’ enemies and a spiritual battle against the Antichrist.”

His prediction is beginning to come true — with Jerusalem playing a critical role in that apocalyptic drama.

On Dec. 6, President Trump formally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Met with concern by almost all corners of the diplomatic world, it was greeted with excitement by a large segment of conservative Christians, especially white evangelicals who are among his staunchest supporters.

As Trump “spiritual adviser” Paula White said, “Evangelicals are ecstatic, for Israel is to us a sacred place and the Jewish people are our dearest friends.” John Hagee, the founder of Christians United for Israel, responded to Trump’s announcement by noting its precise “biblical timing” set out in Leviticus. Michael Evans said that America is “in the middle of prophecy right now” and compared Trump to King Cyrus, a pagan king who nonetheless was an instrument of God and helped Israel. At a rally for the president in Florida, state Sen. Doug Broxson excited the crowd by declaring: “When I heard about Jerusalem — where the King of Kings (applause) where our soon coming King is coming back to Jerusalem, it is because President Trump declared Jerusalem to be capital of Israel.”

Such statements are important because they shift the frame with which listeners are asked to consider what happened. They position Trump’s statement within sacred, rather than secular time. In other words, they show that they think the Jerusalem decision was part of God’s plan for the world, a step on the way to the reunification of the holy city (still considered occupied under international law) and the restoration of the ancient Israelite Temple. In other words, a step on the way towards the apocalypse.

And apocalyptic beliefs are particularly strong in America among white evangelical Christians. In a 2010 Pew Survey, 58 percent said they believed Jesus would return to earth in the next 40 years.

The immediate roots of end-times thinking in the American context can be traced to Hal Lindsey’s 1970 book “The Late, Great Planet Earth,” which repackaged and reformulated much older Christian ideas. For Lindsey, the formation of the modern state of Israel was critical because it signaled a step towards the rebuilding of the Temple. These ideas were reintroduced to a new generation by the immensely popular “Left Behind” books (and movies), in which Jerusalem is at the center of a conflict between the Antichrist and the believers, and between Satan and Jesus.

Theologian explains how Trump’s Jerusalem move is right-wing evangelicals’ dream come true

President Donald Trump’s decision to announce that the United States would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s official capital drew effusive praise from many American evangelical Christians — largely because they believe it will bring about the apocalypse.

Christian theologian Diana Butler Bass explains on Twitter that having the state of Israel take full control of Jerusalem is part of many right-wing evangelicals’ mythology for what they believe will bring about the resurrection [?] of Jesus Christ.

“For decades, conservative evangelicals have been longing for this recognition,” Bass writes. “They believe it is necessary in order to regain control of the Temple mount. That is important because rebuilding the Temple is the event that will spark the events of the Book of Revelation and the End Times.”

Bass makes it clear that she does not believe Trump himself is looking to bring about the end of the world, but she thinks that many of the evangelicals who have lobbied him on this issue absolutely are.

“You can’t discount those evangelical advisers… almost all of whom take these End Times prophecies literally,” she writes. “Of all the possible theological dog-whistles to his evangelical base, this is the biggest. Trump is reminding them that he is carrying out God’s will to these Last Days.”

To this end, says Bass, these evangelicals are actually praying that Trump’s move destabilizes the Middle East and causes chaos and suffering.

“They want war in the Middle East,” she writes. “The Battle of Armageddon, at which time Jesus Christ will return to the Earth and vanquish all God’s enemies.”

Diana Butler Bass may be correct in not believing that "Trump himself is looking to bring about the end of the world;" but he is playing a dangerous game which could lead to the Middle East going up in flames. However, the nations of earth are so afraid of a world war, which could lead to the use of thermonuclear weapons, that an Evangelical theology which plays into the hands of the Israeli Zionist government may be of greater significance. Both are intransigent in their opposition to the internationalization of Jerusalem, which is the policy of the papacy. Opposition to this policy delays but cannot prevent the ultimate realization of Satan's objective and the final conflict between him and Jesus Christ. This must not be overlooked in watching the developing events in connection with Jerusalem.

It is plain to see that Donald Trump is stirring up the threat of conflict between the United States and North Korea. While this is not inconsistent with the Evangelicals' lust for world war, their false theology is really centered on Israel and the Middle East. In this context Trump's dangerous actions are not confined to Palestine and Jerusalem:

TRUMP STIRRING UP THE MIDDLE EAST

How Trump Is Inflaming the Middle East’s Proxy Wars

He has emboldened a recklessly aggressive Saudi government, which is now destroying Yemen, imposing a blockade on Qatar—and could even stumble into war with Iran.

On May 23, as President Donald Trump flew from Tel Aviv to Rome, one of his advisers boasted to reporters accompanying Trump on Air Force One of the success of his visit to Saudi Arabia. “Donald Trump united the entire Muslim world in a way that it really hasn’t been in many years,” the adviser said, with no hint of irony at such a grandiose claim. Trump was basking in the glow of the grand reception he got in the kingdom—and he used his visit to firmly side with Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Arab states in their conflict against Iran.

Less than two weeks later, the Trump aide’s bombastic claim had unraveled. In the early hours of June 5, Saudi Arabia and four of its Arab allies suddenly cut off all diplomatic and economic relations with Qatar, a tiny emirate in the Persian Gulf that is rich in natural gas. The Saudis and their allies accused Qatar of financing terrorism; supporting Islamist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas; and undermining Arab efforts to isolate Iran. They also imposed a partial blockade, sealing off Qatar’s only land border (with Saudi Arabia) and restricting air and sea travel to and from the peninsula.

The Saudis, along with allies Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, were clearly emboldened by Trump’s unequivocal support. Instead of uniting the Muslim world, or even the smaller realm of Sunni Arab monarchies, his visit has thrown regional alliances into disarray. The Saudis’ dream of a united front against their rival Iran is in jeopardy, as even some of their allies worry about a Saudi-fomented coup or war to bring Qatar to heel.

In Riyadh Trump didn’t mention Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, which has killed thousands and left millions near famine.

In a speech before dozens of leaders from across the Muslim world who had gathered in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, on May 21, Trump condemned Iran for stoking “the fires of sectarian conflict and terror,” and he urged fellow Muslim states to isolate Tehran. “Until the Iranian regime is willing to be a partner for peace,” Trump said, “all nations of conscience must work together to isolate Iran, deny it funding for terrorism, and pray for the day when the Iranian people have the just and righteous government they deserve.”

Trump made no mention of Saudi Arabia’s destabilizing actions in the Middle East, especially its war in Yemen, which has killed nearly 10,000 Yemenis and left 6.8 million people—a quarter of Yemen’s population—on the brink of famine. By blatantly taking sides and singling out Iran for supporting terrorism and instigating sectarianism, Trump will only exacerbate the proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia and worsen sectarian conflict in the region. It’s clear that Trump has waded into complex religious and political dynamics he doesn’t grasp. . .

BIBLE PROPHECIES POINTING TO WAR IN THE MIDDLE EAST

The targeting of Iran by the Trump Administration, coupled with the apocalypse delusions, invites attention to the prophecies of Dan. 11:40-44, which point to a course of events constituting a departure from Rome's persistent pursuit of a peaceful settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Which comes first? Iran is located in the geographical area of the Seleucid Empire, as is Syria. The Seleucid Empire was the territory of the King of the North, identified as a participant in the conflicts mentioned in Dan. 11:40-44. "The King" involved in these conflicts is the Papacy, which had its own army and waged wars until the latter part of the 19th century. The papacy is perfectly capable of waging war. Thus we see a very long history of the papacy seeking to achieve her objectives in Palestine by peaceful negotiations, while there are Bible prophecies pointing to her involvement in war(s) at the very end of time either before or after "the King" has planted "the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain" (Dan. 11:45,) identified as Jerusalem in Dan. 9:16.

INTERPLAY OF SEEMINGLY CONTRADICTORY ROMAN CATHOLIC ACTIONS

Donald Trump's action on Jerusalem, applauded by Israel and clearly opposed to the ultimate goal of Rome, is a paradox in the complex interplay of actions by the Roman Catholic hierarchy. Rome has deliberately fostered an activist militancy in the United States with the declared objective of establishing a "Christian" nation. This moved into high gear in 1975 with the USCCB's "Pastoral Plan." Donald Trump's election to the presidency of the United States and the powerful influence
exerted on him by the Apocalypse fanatics is the product of the Pastoral Plan, which was formulated by the Right Wing of the Roman Catholic Church. The influence of right-wing Catholics over the Trump Administration is described in DONALD TRUMP'S ROMAN CATHOLIC HANDLER AND HIS COHORTS. However, the Catholic Bishops have soured on his administration:

The Catholic bishops’ honeymoon with Trump is over

Although many evangelical ministers warmly embraced Donald Trump as the Republican Party presidential candidate, the U.S. Catholic bishops never publicly endorsed him. They did express strong support for some of his positions — for example, his opposition to abortion and his support for religious freedom. That, together with their negative response to the views of Hillary Clinton, made many observers believe that although the bishops did not publicly endorse him, they were happy to see him elected.

Their happiness was evident with the reinstatement of the “Mexico City policy,” a U.S. government policy that bans international organizations from receiving federal funds if they sponsor abortions. Likewise, the bishops supported Trump’s efforts to deny taxpayer funding to Planned Parenthood. They also approved his executive order instructing federal agencies to respect the religious freedom of believers and their organizations. Most importantly, they were delighted with his appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court because of their expectation that he will be a pro-life justice.

But the relationship between Trump and the Catholic bishops appears to be a marriage of convenience rather than the love affair he has with evangelical ministers. Already there have been some public spats. . .

At the beginning of February, the bishops found it “troubling and disappointing” that he did not roll back the Obama executive order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating on the bases of sexual orientation and gender identity. Here Trump was more liberal than the Catholic bishops. Nor has he yet dealt with their concerns about the contraceptive mandate in the Affordable Care Act.

But what really bothers the bishops is the president’s actions on immigration and refugee policy. During the first seven months of the Trump administration, the bishops issued over 20 statements on the treatment of immigrants and refugees, all of them very critical of the Trump administration.

Nor did they mince their words.

The bishops said they were “disheartened,” “deeply troubled,” “deeply concerned” and “disappointed” by the president’s actions on immigration and refugees. They worried about “bigotry,” “fear and intolerance.” The president’s actions were “alarming,” “devastating” and “injurious.” He was putting people “in harm’s way” and making “migrants, especially vulnerable women and children, more susceptible to traffickers and smugglers.” They protested the president’s executive order that “virtually shuts down the refugee admissions program,” which affected resettlement programs run by the church.

The president’s policies, they complained, “needlessly separate families, upend peaceful communities, endanger the lives and safety of the most vulnerable among us, break down the trust that currently exists between many police departments and immigrant communities, and sow great fear in those communities.”

These are not love notes. They are the shrill cries of a spouse who feels her children are being neglected and abused.

Likewise, the Catholic bishops, who had not supported Obamacare because of their concerns about abortion and birth control, failed to come to Trump’s assistance in its repeal. During the first seven months of this year, they strongly argued in 11 statements against repeal of Obamacare unless something better for the poor were enacted. They especially fought any rollback in the expansion of Medicaid or subsidies to low-income people buying insurance, which were at the heart of the Republican plans. . ."

ROME TAKES UP THE CHALLENGE

Disagreements between the papacy and the Evangelicals have flared into the open at the instigation of the Vatican:

Trump's evangelical advisers request papal meeting

President Donald Trump's evangelical Christian advisers are requesting a meeting with Pope Francis after a Vatican-approved magazine published a piece condemning the way some American evangelicals and Roman Catholics mix religion and politics.

That request came in an Aug. 3 letter to the pontiff from Johnnie Moore, an evangelical author, activist and public relations consultant. Moore asked Francis for a meeting of Catholic and evangelical leaders — and quickly.

"It’s in this moment of ongoing persecution, political division and global conflict that we have also witnessed efforts to divide Catholics and Evangelicals," Moore wrote.

"We think it would be of great benefit to sit together and to discuss these things. Then, when we disagree we can do it within the context of friendship. Though, I’m sure we will find once again that we agree far more than we disagree, and we can work together with diligence on those areas of agreement."

Moore told RNS he was writing on behalf of evangelicals informally advising the Trump administration. He was a member of Trump's evangelical advisory board during the 2016 presidential campaign and is one of several dozen prominent conservative evangelicals who have attended meetings organized by White House staff, prayed for the president in the Oval Office and voiced support for some of his policies.

Moore said he reached out to the pope because of his reputation as a "bridge builder" and assumes Francis would be willing to build bridges to those who disagree with the piece published in La Civiltà Cattolica in July. The article was authored by Fr. Antonio Spadaro, an adviser to Francis, and the Rev. Marcelo Figueroa, a Presbyterian pastor.

Evangelicals and Catholics have united on a number of issues, including opposition to abortion and support for religious liberty, Moore wrote. He expressed hope that evangelical leaders could meet with Vatican officials to discuss other "matters of great concern to us all, especially as it relates to refugees, the poor and the persecuted."

La Civiltà Cattolica's article had called out Trump's conservative religious supporters for promoting what Spadaro and Figueroa called a “xenophobic and Islamophobic vision that wants walls and purifying deportations.”

The fact that the magazine piece condemned Catholics as well as Evangelicals is confirmation of a continuing alliance between right-wing Catholics and Evangelicals.

Now, as a result of Donald Trump's action on Jerusalem with the enthusiastic support of the Evangelicals, the divisions between them and Rome are exacerbated. As reported in the previous article cited above, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops is also soured on the Trump Administration. The issues are joined, and Jerusalem probably ranks as the top priority. The Vatican's policy on Jerusalem is not subject to compromise. Dan. 11:45 predicts that Rome will achieve her objective. How will the present impasse be ended?