One of the key events of the end-times is a coming peace treaty between Israel and her neighbors which, according to this verse, will be brokered by Antichrist.
Antichrist is going to make a covenant or treaty many nations along with the Palestinians and Israel for a seven-year period of time.
In the middle of that seven years [3.5 years], he will invade Israel [Zech. 14:1-3] and put an end to sacrifices and offerings by capturing Israel’s newly rebuilt temple and killing God’s special Two-Witnesses [Rev. 11].
Confirm A Covenant
The first part of the above
passage tells us that he will “confirm” a covenant with Israel for seven years. Bible translations differ, saying he will “make a covenant,” “compel a covenant,” or “make a strong covenant.” Some take it as a covenant that already exists, while others suggest Antichrist will compel this covenant, bringing the parties to the table and giving them a take-it-or-leave-it deal.
Whatever the exact meaning, there’s one thing that’s clear: Antichrist is going to forge a sweeping peace agreement between Israel and her neighbors that’s going to have to do with the Temple Mount area and allowing Israel to renew their sacrificial system. The signing of this covenant will mark the start of the seven-year Tribulation.
Is Peace Possible
Recent events strikingly foreshadow this coming peace compact. August 13th was the third anniversary of the announcement of the Abraham Accords, which were ratified the following month. These arrangements heralded a new beginning of peace in the Middle East as several Arab nations agreed to normalize relations with Israel.
The previous five American presidents tried everything they could with Palestinian leaders and failed. Finally, that streak was broken by President Trump with the Abraham Accords, which resulted in the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan all signing peace treaties and normalized relations with Israel. That added to Israel’s peace treaty with Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994, bringing the current total to six neighboring nations.
But the biggest prize of the Middle East is clearly Saudi Arabia. Prime Minister Netanyahu has called the normalization of relations with Saudi Arabia one of the primary reasons he sought to return to power in Israel.
Last week, a top Israeli diplomat said that a normalization agreement would be “a historic opportunity for a peace process that will change the face of the Middle East and the whole world.” That’s a dramatic statement in light of Bible prophecy.
A lot of headlines about this are very striking to me:
Times of Israel — “Foreign Minister Cohen to Arabic outlet: Israel will make gestures to Palestinians for Saudi deal.” Israel is willing to make some concessions to the Palestinians to make this deal happen.
Times of Israel — “Any deal must be done before Biden leaves office, Israel reportedly tells Saudis.” They believe this is going to have to happen before President Biden leaves office, which obviously, doesn’t give a lot of time.
Times of Israel — “Leading Saudi columnist says it’s ‘highly likely’ peace with Israel is possible.”
Wall Street Journal — “Saudis Agree with U.S. on Path to Normalize Kingdom’s Ties With Israel” subtitle, “Officials are negotiating details of agreement they hope to cement within nine-to-12 months, though obstacles remain.”
Before March 2024
Some say the US wants to wrap all of this up by next March. You can imagine the political reasons. This would be a huge feather in the cap for President Biden during his run for reelection to be able to be in the middle of this deal or take credit for it.
Of course the major obstacle, as always, is the Palestinian question. What’s going to happen with the Palestinians? What’s Israel going to have to give up? What’s Saudi Arabia going to demand to have normalized relations?
Jordan Move Aside
Last Saturday, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Jordan presented his credentials to begin serving as Saudi Arabia’s first-ever non-resident ambassador to the State of Palestine.
This unprecedented power move is a signal to Jordan that Saudi Arabia, who now controls Islam’s two holiest sites of Mecca and Medina, feels it’s time they take control of Islam’s third most holy site also which is the al-Aqsa
Mosque on the Temple Mount.
Peace With the Palestinians
In addition to signaling that the Saudi’s want control of the Temple Mount to Jordan, Saudi Arabia also appointed its first envoy to the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.
This is the second bombshell, a move seen as a signal to Israel and the United States that if Saudi Arabia and Israel are to normalize relations it will take a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians to get it accomplished. Therefore, Saudi Arabia has now taken the lead to establish a legal channel in helping negotiate peace between the Palestinian’s and Israel.
Saudi Arabia, Head of Islam
Keep in mind that Saudi Arabia is the head of Islam and the highest Muslim authority on earth and the caretaker of the Quran and the Islamic holy sites. It’s also fair to say the Quran is not kind to the Jewish people… that’s an understatement. So the very notion of Saudi Arabia making peace with Israel is stunning in itself. But add to that, these two announcements and we can begin to see a path for how Israel would be allowed to build their temple on the Temple Mount. If Israel and Saudi Arabia establish formal and friendly relations and Saudi Arabia controls the Temple Mount, then for the first time a mutual negotiation can be made for Israel’s Temple to share the Temple Mount with the Muslim holy sites.
Sharing the Temple Mount
A sharing relationship for Israel’s temple on the Temple Mount is exactly what the Apostle John suggests will happen in Revelation 11:1-2. John describes Israel’s new temple site as not having enough room for the outer courts causing them to share it with the Gentiles [pagans].
The fact that Saudi Arabia has placed an envoy in the Palestinian Authority and has signaled to Jordan they want control of the Temple Mount opens the door to a peace agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia and a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians and provides a way for Israel to build their Temple on the Temple Mount.
There are a lot of moving parts to this agreement. The US additionally wants Saudi Arabia to roll back some of its growing ties with China, which of course, would help the United States.
This peace process may be complicated and fraught with difficulties, but the fact that it is even being discussed is astounding. Who would have believed a few years ago that the head of Islam would want peace with the Jewish State? This was never even a possibility! But now here we are, with this prophetic scenario lining up.
Next Event, the Rapture
The next event on God’s prophetic calendar is the rapture of the church. Sometime after the rapture, and after the emergence of the ten-king empire, Antichrist is going to catapult onto the world scene, and his major breakthrough will be to broker this comprehensive peace deal for Israel that allows the Jews to rebuild the temple and begin offering sacrifices. That path is now getting much closer which means the Tribulation is getting closer!
The rapture will move the final pieces into place. Antichrist will rise into the chaos and aftermath of the rapture to bring this Middle East peace deal. We are witnessing the setup for that coming treaty right before our eyes.
I don’t know about you, but I consider it a great privilege to live in these times. It’s incredible to see the things that are prophesied so clearly in the Bible. My prayer for myself and all of us is that we will live faithfully in light of our Lord’s imminent return!