By: Nelson Walters
Author: Are We Ready For Jesus? (May 2015)
The recent election in Israel had many concerned that the near future might see a new peace treaty between Israel and the Palestinians; one that divides the land and launches the Tribulation. Christians are concerned this could still happen if the leadership of Israel changes.
Daniel 9:27 states that the 70th Week of Daniel (the Tribulation Period) will begin with the Antichrist signing a “covenant with the many” that may be a false peace treaty. Will a new Israeli-Palestinian agreement signal that the Tribulation has begun?
Netanyaho has won the election in March 2015 and vowed that he will not negotiate away the land. Christians however wonder what the future holds. We needn’t wonder, God’s Word is clear that a peace treaty will be signed. In fact, two of them will be signed!
And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate. (Dan. 9:27 NASB)
The key to understanding the concept that we are to look for two peace treaties is the word translated “make” in the above verse. In both Hebrew and Greek this word means “strengthen” not “make.” In other words, the Antichrist will strengthen an existing peace treaty. In order to strengthen it, one must already be in place. This is part of the deception that is to come. When the first peace treaty comes, many will believe the Tribulation is here. Most likely it won’t be; yet. Christians realize that the Antichrist is the signer of the in infamous “covenant with the many” but probably is not the signer of the original treaty. Christians should be watchful and careful not to misidentify the signer of the first treaty as the Antichrist. It will be tempting.
TOO SOON FOR THE ANTICHRIST
The following steps must be fulfilled prior to the Antichrist coming on the scene:
- Iran must invade the Middle East (see ARE WE ABOUT TO SEE IRAN FULFILL DAN. 8?)
- Turkey must counterattack and defeat Iran.
- The new Turkish Kingdom formed from this victory will be broken into four segments
- The Antichrist will then arise as a “little horn,” (a minor political or military figure) in one of these four divisions.
Click on the above article link to to see the details of these events. As you can see we shouldn’t be looking for the Antichrist in the immediate future. Several events need to occur first. Only when that original treaty is “strengthened” will the Tribulation start. So we can most likely add “an initial peace treaty is signed” to the list of what is to occur prior to the Tribulation.
It is interesting how even major prophetic teachers get this wrong. I read this article yesterday about Turkey looking forward to the possibility of Erdogan being named Caliph or even Mahdi. He may be. In fact, I am expecting him to be after the Great Sunni/Shia War. This will not make him the Antichrist as this prophetic teacher questioned. It is highly likely we may see several Caliphs and wannabe Mahdi’s before the true Antichrist steps forward. Erdogan may even be the signer of the first covenant that the true Antichrist will “strengthen.” This still won’t make him Antichrist. He is NOT a “little horn” (a minor political leader.) Although it is “exciting” to look for an Antichrist now, it is too soon. Satan is hiding him at this point. He will be revealed AFTER the great Sunni/Shia War that is coming. We all must be watchful according to the signs given us in God’s Word.
WHAT DOES “STRENGTHENS” MEAN?
Exactly what that strengthening of the covenant may be is explained in what follows in this same verse. We see that the Antichrist stops the offerings and sacrifices at the midpoint of the week. Based on the wording of the verse, those offerings are part of the treaty that is interrupted midweek.
The Strengthening therefore, most likely has to do with permitting a Jewish Temple and Sacrificial System to function once again. At least the Antichrist will permit it for 3 1/2 years.
Although we see through as through a glass darkly, we have enough detail to not be deceived. We might be surprised by the speed of events or how they unfold, but we should be able to avoid deception if we remain “watchful”.