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THE Antichrist's sinister Covenant


“And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week.”

                                                                                      Dan. 9.27


    Scene 2 begins as a burning double-edged sword swoops down and across the world stage. An electrifying charismatic leader is meeting with orthodox Jews. In the background crews of workmen labor with other pious Jews to raise the new modern Temple dedicated to the name of David their great warrior king. The awesome sword of God's judgment is about to fall on a rebellious world. All nations have been edged into their respective positions by the hand of Providence. Israel is back home, Rome is a megalith of world power having her spiritual and political progeny ensconced on every continent. Russia and her powerful allies crouch in the shadows just off stage, jealous, envious, furious, ready and willing to attack Israel for no other reason than selfish gain, at the first opportunity. Egypt sits on the throne of the South, defiant to the end. The invisible nation, the Church, has a few faithful believers looking, preparing, hoping for deliverance from the impending doom and destruction. They look for the Rapture, while the rest of the Church of God is still being choked by the cares of this world, striving to make this place a better place for them and their children to have a happy life in this place where there is only grief and bitterness in store for those who have not found the escape. They will have to endure horrifying things if they are to escape with salvation for their eternal souls.

   So now, as time ticks down and all the end time characters take their places, the main question for believers, other than the timing of the Rapture, is: how do we know when the Tribulation begins? With each crisis, people of every religion, every persuasion, every ilk, speculate on whether the Tribulation has already begun or what might trigger it. Some even wonder if we are in it at this very moment. Each time a significant prophetic occurrence erupts, as in the case of the Persian Gulf Crisis, the air inevitably buzzes with the query, "Are we in the Tribulation?". The news media runs a few half baked stories entitled, "Is this Armageddon?". The predictions of Nostradamus are dusted off and paraded about polluting and obscuring the truth. The sum and substance of all the ill-informed speculation is confusion, one of Satan's best known tactics. But as believers, if we know where to look, we do not have to be ignorant of the Tribulation's beginning or the Day of Armageddon. A study of Daniel gives iron‑clad answers to the Tribulation's beginnings, its middle and its end.


Antichrist's Covenant with Israel 

Marks Beginning of Tribulation

    First off, let's get the terminology straight. There are three terms which can be used to accurately denote the seven year period of the end, (1) the Tribulation, (2) the Time of Jacob's Trouble, and (3) the 70th week of Daniel. But to understand when the Tribulation officially begins, according to God's timetable, and to determine how long it lasts, we must recognize that the designation, 70th Week of Daniel, is the term that unlocks our understanding. Jesus used the term tribulation when describing this period; Jeremiah called it the Time of Jacob's Trouble because it is Israel's most desperate hour; but Daniel, by terming it the 70th "week", defines its length as seven years. That a "week" in Daniel's context is seven years is proven beyond any doubt by the fulfillment of the length of years in the previous 69 "weeks" of the overall prophecy in chapter 9. The prophecy of the "70 weeks" offers all the clues for: when and how the Tribulation begins, what happens in the middle, and, when and how it ends. Daniel's prophecies provide us with insight into the movements and motives of the Antichrist and their orderly study give us a complete and rigid skeleton of the Tribulation on which the meat of Revelation and other end time prophecies can cling.

    A scan of the 70 weeks prophecy not only told the world of the rebuilding of Jerusalem after the Babylonian captivity and the first coming of the Messiah and that he would have to be cut off for a time, but it also clearly states that the end of the weeks would come after the redemption of Israel and the establishment of everlasting righteousness and, finally, with the anointing of the Holy One. So it is safe to assume that the end of the last week, the end of the Tribulation will be marked by the coronation of Jesus as King of Kings.

            As for the beginning of the final week? It may be that the Rapture will trigger the events that lead to the beginning of the 70th week of Daniel. It could be that Russia's attack on Israel will embolden the Antichrist to begin the chain of events that are the body of the Tribulation. It might be that the formation of the European Community and the catapult to power which it provides the Antichrist is the event that will immediately precede the Tribulation. But none of these things, all of which are likely to be simultaneous with the beginning of the final seven year period of judgment, marks the beginning of the Tribulation. While it is possible that the Antichrist may come to power before the Tribulation begins, and that some of his wars may predate the actual beginning of the 70th week, it is neither his appearance, nor his rise to power that spark the start of the final "week".  One thing, and one thing only, marks the first day of the Tribulation - when the Antichrist confirms the Holy Covenant with the Jews, formally establishing their right to be on the land and legally allowing the Jews to worship the God of their fathers according to Mosaic Law, complete with Temple, priesthood and blood sacrifices. When this momentous agreement is signed and sealed, when the Antichrist has confirmed the covenant in Israel and to the rest of the world, then the judgment described in the Book of Revelation will begin to descend.

            Unlike the scared and uncertain man on the street, we don't have to be confused about when the Tribulation will begin. The Tribulation will not begin in the manner people might think. It will not start with a crisis or war, but by a peace proposal, the confirmation of the covenant. 


 "The Covenant": Gateway to the Tribulation

            What, therefore, is meant when Daniel uses the phrase the covenant - this covenant so vital in the Antichrist's end time strategy, this covenant which is the gateway to the Tribulation? Daniel refers to the covenant in seven separate instances. Once while praying and thanking God for keeping the covenant with those who obey his commands, but the rest of the references are about the Antichrist and his disposition toward the covenant. Three times Daniel refers to it as the holy covenant. The covenant - this holy covenant - must certainly refer to nothing other than the ancient and holy covenant that God made with Abraham and it seems appropriate that Daniel should thank God for making the covenant with his people before referring to it in later end time prophecies.

             God pledged to give Abraham and his seed the Promised Land for their everlasting possession and promised to be their God forever. God confirmed this same covenant in Isaac and Jacob, and again in the law which he gave to the children of Israel through the prophet Moses. But God's covenant with Israel is not a promise sealed in words alone. God's covenant with the Jew is inexorably connected with the land and with the land comes hope for the greatest promise, the promise of righteousness and holiness. The promise of the land and the hope that is connected with it is handed down to the people as God's covenant with them.

    The covenant made to Abraham - and all of Israel - is this:


      “And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.

      And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and I will multiply thee exceedingly.

      And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying,

      As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.

      Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham, for a father of many nations have I made thee.

      And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.

      And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.

      And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.” Gen. 17.1‑8


            This covenant, reconfirmed in the Law of Moses and to King David, the man after God's own heart, is the holy covenant. This promise to Abraham is unflappable, unmovable, unshakable, and - holy. Not surprisingly, all three instances where Daniel refers to the covenant as the Holy Covenant the reference concerns the Antichrist and his mood toward it: "...And his heart shall be against the holy covenant" (Dan. 11.28); "...therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant" (Dan. 11.30); and " shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant" (also, Dan. 11.30). The Antichrist's disposition toward the covenant may be the reason God calls it the "holy covenant", because in all other cases in Scripture - except one - God always refers to his covenant with Israel as simply "the covenant".

    The one other spot in Scripture where the Holy Ghost refers to the covenant as "holy" is in Luke 1:72 when Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, prophesies after his son's birth. This prophecy offers further confirmation that the holy covenant is the covenant made with Abraham four thousand years ago concerning the land and the hope of righteousness and holiness given to his seed.


      “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people,

      And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;

      As he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began:

      That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us;

      To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant;

      The oath which he sware to our father Abraham,

      That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear,

      In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.”Luke 1.68‑75


    It is obvious and indisputable that the oath to Abraham and the chance to serve God in righteousness and holiness is "the holy covenant". This must be the covenant which the Antichrist first confirms for one "week" and then after championing its cause turns his heart against it, has indignation against it, and conspires with faithless Jews to forsake. Those who betray the holy covenant made between the seed of Abraham and God, will win the favor of the Antichrist and be greatly rewarded for their betrayal. "And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits." Dan. 11.32 The partition of the Tribulation into two distinct halves also revolves around the covenant and the Antichrist's maneuvering concerning it. But the apparent reconfirmation of the covenant by the Antichrist, this false messiah, saying that Israel has a right to the land and to perform its religion uninhibited in its Temple on the Mount is the very day that Jacob's Trouble begins.


The Covenant also Begins Antichrist's Rise as False Messiah

      Connected in some way to this confirmation of the covenant will be the Temple and the re‑institution of Judaism as a functioning religion, complete with the law of Moses and the daily sacrifices. When the covenant is confirmed, the Temple may have been built already, or it may be under construction, or it may be that the confirmation of the covenant could take place at the ground breaking of the new Temple. The moment will probably take place during one of the great Jewish feast days, like the Passover, because it will definitely look as though a complete revival of Israel and Judaism has come. To the Jews it will seem as though their chances to live "in holiness and righteousness before [God], all the days of their lives" is finally made possible because of the heroic efforts of this man, this "friend of Israel". What a sad delusion. The Antichrist will be the false messiah. In every way he will look like the great and marvelous savior; the one Israel has longed for since the days of the Babylonian captivity. At the outset he will be their champion, and as the 70th week of Daniel progresses he will be confirmed repeatedly and strongly by lying wonders and miracles as Israel's Messiah. He will be raised up from a mortal head wound. He will have the power to make an image of himself speak and even kill those who do not worship him. He will have power to kill those who hold the testimony of Jesus. He will have power to win every war. He will be given power to kill the two witnesses which God sends to preach to the world. He will be given all power on earth. And God will allow this delusion as part of his judgment on the world. To those without faith, this man will look like, seem like, feel like, act like, God. There will be no reason for those who believe in this world to think the Antichrist is not God. The deception will be so great, that it is impossible for us to adequately compare him with any previous charismatic leader no matter how effectively he has conquered the heart of history. The Antichrist will have Satan's unrestrained power behind him working the deceit and lies planned by the Devil for six thousand years. This guy will have it all: intelligence, charisma, power, charm, strength, daring, genius ‑ everything. He will inspire hope in all who attach themselves to his coattails. And he will have millions upon millions of disciples, quiet housewives, professional people, teachers, scholars, clergymen, ballplayers, young adults, the rich, the poor, mechanics and doctors, the entire world will rush madly after him.

On to Act 6 scene 3 Abomination of Desolation