Saudi-Israel Agreement: Precursor To The Antichrist's Covenant With Many?

News Image By Mark Hitchcock/ Harbingers Daily August 28, 2023
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One of the key events of the End Times is a coming peace treaty between Israel and her neighbors which the coming antichrist will broker.

We read about this in Daniel 9:27, "And he, [the antichrist, referred to in the previous verse as 'the prince that shall come'] shall confirm the covenant with many for one week [one set of seven years] and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate..."

There's a lot to unpack in this verse:

The antichrist is going to make a covenant or treaty with the many in Israel for a seven-year period of time.

In the middle of that seven years, he's going to put an end to sacrifice and offerings, which can only happen in a rebuilt temple.

At the temple, he'll set up an "abomination that causes desolation." The antichrist will enter the temple, declaring that he is God, and will set up an image in the temple that people must worship in order to buy or sell (see Revelation 13).

The first part of this 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 the 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: The 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 Israel renewing its sacrifices. This event will mark the start of the seven-year tribulation.

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 with the Abraham Accords, which resulted in the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan all signing peace treaties or 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.

The "big fish" is clearly Saudi Arabia. Prime Minister Netanyahu has called the normalization of relations with Saudi Arabia and Israel "the deal of the century." 

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."

While some say there's no fixed timetable, 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 to be able to be in the middle of this deal or take credit for it.

There are several serious obstacles to all of this. One is the current turmoil in Israel. Saudi Arabia will likely wait on the sidelines until Israel can figure things out internally. The other 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?

Last Saturday, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Jordan presented his credentials to begin serving as Saudi Arabia's first-ever non-resident ambassador to Palestine. Is this simply Saudi Arabia checking a box with the Palestinians before normalizing relations with Israel?

The New York Times reported:

Saudi Arabia has appointed its first envoy to the Palestinian administration in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, a move widely seen as linked to efforts led by the United States to forge diplomatic ties between Saudi Arabia and Israel.

The announcement came amid escalating efforts by the United States to establish formal relations for the first time between Israel and Saudi Arabia.

It also followed speculation in Israel that Saudi Arabia -- which has long opposed enacting formal ties until the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been resolved -- might now be prepared to do so without Israel's providing the Palestinians with greater autonomy.

The fact that Saudi Arabia has placed this envoy in the Palestinian Authority area suggests they may be backing off of making demands that Israel give the Palestinians greater autonomy. This opens the door and paves the way for this agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia to take place.

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 this would even be a possibility? But now here we are, with this prophetic scenario lining up.

The next event on God's prophetic calendar is the rapture of the church. Sometime after the rapture, the 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 offer sacrifices. The antichrist will probably get the Nobel Peace Prize and be the Times Person of the Year. 

We're not there yet, but here on the third anniversary of these Abraham Accords, with momentum building for peace between Saudi Arabia and Israel, the stage is more set than ever before.

The rapture will move the final pieces into place. The antichrist will rise into the chaos and aftermath of the rapture to bring calm, and part of that will be 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 the rapture because all the signs are pointing to it coming very soon.

Originally published at Harbingers Daily - reposted with permission.

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