Vatican and Arab League sign agreement on Middle East peace

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Israel
Written by Chris Perver  
Sunday, 26 April 2009 15:05
The Arab League and the Vatican have announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the intention of promoting "peace and justice in the world". The announcement was made following a meeting of the Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa and Pope Ratzinger last Friday. The memorandum appears to be the fruit of an interfaith dialogue first proposed by senior Islamic clerics and later reciprocated by the Roman Catholic Church. Islamic clerics had urged the leaders of the Christian world to unite with Muslims around common essentials of religion, chiefly that they worship only one God and that they ascribe no partner to Him. Catholic leaders responded with a similar letter, calling for increased dialogue with the Islamic world based on the shared values of the love of God and the love of our neighbours. Leaders from both religions held their first ever interfaith summit last year. The details of this latest agreement have not been disclosed, but the Holy See have announced that it includes 'intercultural and interreligious dialogue' and focuses on achieving Middle East peace. 

Quote: ""During the cordial meetings, emphasis was placed on the importance of the agreement, which is intended to foster increased cooperation between the parties with a view to promoting peace and justice in the world. Particular importance was given to the role of intercultural and interreligious dialogue," the Vatican statement said. The meetings allowed for an "exchange of view on the international situation, especially in the Middle East, and on the need to find a just solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to the other conflicts which afflict the region," the Holy See said.

The timing of this agreement is ominous, for it comes just a few weeks prior to a scheduled visit by the Roman Pontiff to the Middle East. Last Thursday the Vatican and the Israeli government also announced that progress is being made in talks which will see the Catholic Church gain sovereignty over certain holy sites in Jerusalem. There is no doubt the Pope's visit to the Holy Land will place further pressure on Israel to recommence negotiations on the fate of Jerusalem. As Professor Hillel Weiss of Bar Ilan University states, now that the Pope is cosying up to the Muslim world in regards to Middle East peace, the Vatican will essentially become an interested party in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It seems that the motivation behind the Vatican agreement with the Muslim world is less to do with peace and justice, and more to do with what they can get their hands on in the event of Arab Muslims taking control of east Jerusalem.

Quote: "Rabbi Mordechai Goldstein, who founded and still runs the Diaspora Yeshiva, officially known as Yeshiva Toras Yisrael, told Arutz-7 in the past that "according to their bible, the Land is to return to the Christians, and 144,000 Jews are to return to Mt. Zion. Their plan is for them to take control of the site, and then to announce that they are holding a mass reenactment of the Last Supper, with [all types of religious rituals], and to invite millions of Christians to come to Jerusalem and celebrate." Rabbi Goldstein said that this means much tourism money for Israel, and that someone in the Israeli government is apparently very interested in making this happen. 

That 'someone' is of course Shimon Peres, who was educated in a Jesuit school in Poland, and is reported to have made an agreement with the Vatican in 1994 guaranteeing it official status in Jerusalem. In 2006 I wondered whether Shimon Peres, who's name means one who 'hearkens to division', would have anything to do with the dividing of the land as described in the book of Daniel. Today Shimon Peres is the president of the state of Israel. It certainly is interesting days we are living in.

Rabbi Goldstein's understanding of end time events seems to be slightly skewed though. The Bible does not say the land of Israel will return to the Christians. The land never belonged to us in the past, and it was never promised to us for an inheritance. Those who are saved belong to a heavenly kingdom (Hebrews 12:22). The land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people. God promised to give it to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob for an everlasting possession (Genesis 17:8). And God keeps His promises. During the tribulation period many of the Jews will come to recognize their own Messiah, Jesus Christ, as their Lord and Saviour. But before that, a false prophet will arise who will attempt to unite world religions under his authority and command all people to worship the Beast, a world leader who will set himself up in the rebuilt Jewish Temple as God (Revelation 13, 2nd Thessalonians 2:4). Satan knows he can't destroy God or His Son Jesus Christ. But throughout history he has attempted to get back at God through His creation. He tricked the first woman into disobeying God, knowing full well that it would result in the severing of man's fellowship with God. He has often tried to destroy God's chosen people, and in doing so, prevent the Lord Jesus Christ from ever being born. And when he failed to do that, he sought to have the Lord Jesus destroyed on several occasions. He had Hitler attempt to wipe out the Jewish people, in order to prevent the establishment of the modern state of Israel. And he is trying to get men like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to do the same. He tried to destroy the state of Israel as soon as it was born, and now that the Jewish people are in possession of Jerusalem, he is trying through subtle means to remove them from that. And when he manages to accomplish this feat, he will set up his king in the Jewish Temple with a goal to preventing Jesus Christ returning to Jerusalem to set up His Millennial Kingdom. And even as Christ is returning in the skies, he directs the armies of Earth to make war against God's Anointed (Psalm 2, Revelation 19).

It's hard to believe that more people can't see what is going on. I mean, why all this talk about the need for peace in a land that is barely 200 miles long, and is surrounded by millions of square miles of Arab lands? It's not about religion for the Muslims, because Jerusalem isn't even mentioned once in the Qur'an. Jerusalem should not be a holy site for Islam. How many Islamic leaders have you seen making pilgrimage to Jerusalem? And it's not about politics for the Arabs, because the Palestinians never were a sovereign nation. The conflict in this tiny part of the world is spiritual in nature. That is why the Middle East conflict is detrimental to world peace. And that is why it can't be solved by political means. The fact that men are fighting over who controls Jerusalem shows us just how close we are to the return of Christ to this Earth. Praise God that Jesus Christ is returning soon. But are you ready to meet Him? As you saw earlier, your sins have separated between you and your God (Isaiah 59:2). But God has provided a way whereby you might be reconciled to Himself (2nd Corinthians 5:19). He sent His Son Jesus Christ into the world to bear the punishment for your sins, and all who believe on Him can have everlasting life (John 3:16). As my friend Maurice states, salvation is not in a religion. It's not in the religion of the Muslims. It's not in the religion of the Jews. It's not even in the religion of the Christians. Salvation is found in a relationship with Jesus Christ. The Bible says in John 1:12, "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name". And again, 1st John 1:15-16 says, "And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life". Do you have everlasting life? Have you trusted in the Son for salvation? Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved (Acts 16:31).

Source SF Gate, Arutz 7

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