I once believed the popular teaching that the biblical book of Daniel tells of an end times 7-year peace treaty between the Antichrist and Israel, after which Jesus Christ will return to establish God's kingdom on planet earth.
As the narrative goes, all living Christians will be "raptured" (caught up bodily) into heaven prior to the start of the 7-year peace treaty. The "left behind" non-Christians will incur the wrath of God because they never "invited Jesus into their hearts." The rapture will spare all living Christians from the horrible wrath He will bring upon the non-Christians of the world.
The first half of the Antichrist/Israeli 7-year peace treaty is said to be a time of peace. In contrast, the second 3 1/2 years will be a time of tribulation.
Like Hal Lindsey and Tim LaHaye—and so many other prophecy writers of a few decades ago—I even incorporated that teaching in some of my early books back in the 1970s. But I was wrong to do so. And, I'm sorry to write, most writers and teachers continue to be in the wrong. But I long ago broke away from that pack.
I began discovering multiple errors when delving deeper into the mysteries of end time Bible prophecies. Time and again I was taken back to Daniel 9. In general terms, Daniel was writing about the redemption of spiritual Israel, which, according to the Apostle Paul, are all of the God-chosen Jews and Gentiles who comprise the eternal Church, the body of Christ (Ephesians 2).
The Antichrist's Peace Treaty with Israel is not biblical
The so-called Antichrist's 7-year peace treaty with Israel is pure speculation based upon an erroneous perception of Daniel's 70th Week of years is not seven contiguous years (as were the previous 69 weeks of years in the prophecy). Rather, the time-line in Daniel 9:20-27 calls for a divided or split week, comprised of two periods of approximately 3.5 years each, with an unspecified number of years in-between (the present "Church Age"). The first half corresponds to the 3.5 years of Christ’s ministry, from His baptism to His crucifixion. The second half will commence with the appearance of the Antichrist and the "Great Tribulation" mentioned by Jesus, and will conclude with His second coming at the end of the age (Matthew 24; 2 Thessalonians 2:8; Daniel 12:10-12; Revelation 13:5).
In Daniel 9, we read that “Messiah the Prince” (Jesus Christ) will be “cut off” (crucified) at the end of His 3.5-year ministry, which coincides with the end of the Old Covenant and the advent of God's Everlasting New Covenant inaugurated by Jesus through the cross (Jeremiah 31:33,34; 32:38, 40; Ezekiel 36:26-27; 37:26). The crucifixion of Messiah the Prince “put a stop to sacrifices and grain offerings” (Daniel 9:25), as they were supplanted by the supreme sacrifice of Jesus at the cross. That is a widely taught truth. But few understand much else about God's Everlasting New Covenant, which was inaugurated by Jesus Christ at His resurrection.
Daniel 9:27 discloses: “he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week” [the 70th Week of years]. “He” is “Messiah the Prince,” the antecedent of “he” in Daniel 9:27. However, some wrongly teach that the “he” who makes a firm covenant is the people's “prince who is to come” —the Antichrist (Daniel 9:26), and that he—the Antichrist—will institute a 7-year peace treaty with the nation of Israel.
Keep in mind that the so-taught Antichrist's 7-year peace treaty with Israel is by far the most popular interpretation—and has been for generations. But it is a flawed product of eisogesis—reading one's own presuppositions into the text.
I'll briefly sort this out for you. In the phrase, "the people of the prince who will come," the subject here is “people,” not the “prince who is to come.”
“People” is a plural word which requires the plural pronoun “they,” not the singular “he” that appears in verse 27. As for “of the prince who is to come,” this is a modifying phrase that gives identity to the “people.” So, neither the Antichrist nor his "people" enter into any 7-year peace treaty or covenant with God's chosen ones.
Those “people” in verse 26 turned out to be Roman legions who occupied Jerusalem. Titus, who later became the Roman Emperor, at the time held jurisdiction over Jerusalem. When the Jewish Zealots rebelled in 70 A.D., Titus sent Josephus to negotiate a truce, but the Zealots rejected this and continued their revolt. So, there was no “firm covenant” by Titus, and there is no collaborative Scripture to see a “dual fulfillment” in which the coming prince is both Titus and the Antichrist. Therefore, an Antichrist-brokered “seven-year peace treaty” is not Scriptural but a construct of errant exegesis. In fact, Titus and his Roman soldiers did the opposite of fomenting even a fraudulent peace with Israel: they lay siege against Jerusalem, and the city and its second temple were reduced to ruins (see the rest of Daniel 9:25).
The Bible mentions the restraint of the Antichrist and his “standing in the holy place,” that, when fulfilled, will inaugurate the last 3.5 years of Daniel’s 70th Week, which will culminate in the second coming of Jesus Christ. Thus, the redemption of God's elect will be inaugurated through the first resurrection and consummated in its entirety through the second resurrection. For more on these and other related subjects, please click here. ______________
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