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Contrasting Covenants and Confirmations – Part II

David became king of Israel in 1010 BC and ruled for 40 years until about 970 BC. He died at 70 years of age. David was a descendant from the lineage of Jacob’s son, Judas. David’s son, Solomon, became king of Israel after his father’s death. He began the temple-building project that his father had desired in the fourth year of his reign in 966 BC.


“And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel came out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which is the second month; that he began to build the house of the Lord” (1 Kings 6:1). The Exodus from Egypt occurred in 1446 BC. 480 years later (966 BC) the construction of the first temple of the Jewish nation began, and seven years later was completed. It stood for 373 years until the Babylonians destroyed it in 586 BC.


David, as King of Israel, started the tradition of marrying foreign women who were daughters of kings of the surrounding kingdoms of Canaan. This was done to make a covenant or peace treaty between the two kingdoms. Solomon perfected this practice and was emulated by many of the kings of Israel and Judea throughout the centuries, as they in turn married foreign women.

King Solomon loved many foreign women, as well as the daughter of Pharaoh: women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites - from the nations of whom the Lord had said to the children of Israel, You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you. Surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods. Solomon clung to these in love. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart. For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the Lord his God, as was the heart of his father David” (1 Kings 11:1-4).

Failure to follow the 1st commandment, “You shall have no other gods before Me,” was the number one reason that Israel and Judea ceased to exist as independent kingdoms. The reason they worshiped other gods was that they didn’t listen to Yahweh and married foreign pagan women who turned them against Yahweh. The result was exactly what the Lord had tried to warn them about, time and time again. God allowed their enemies to conquer and enslave them for their disobedience and sinfulness. He separated them from the Promised Land, but not forever.

THE FALL OF JUDEA AND JERUSALEM

424 years after David took the throne of Israel, the curses of Leviticus 26 overtook the Jewish people due to their idol worship and other sins against the Lord. In 586 BC, King Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians conquered Judea and Jerusalem and destroyed Solomon’s temple. Most of the Jews were either killed or shipped off to Babylon to become slaves. In 553 BC, Daniel had a vision of four beasts (kingdoms) coming out of the sea. Babylon was the first beast described in Daniel 7:3-4.

THE FOUR BEASTS

Babylon, the first beast in Daniel’s vision fell to the Medes and Persians in 539 BC. The Persians were the second beast described in Daniel 7:5. Cyrus II was king of Persia at this time. In 536 BC, Cyrus issued an edict that allowed the Jews to return to Palestine and rebuild their Temple. They experienced so much opposition from their neighbors that they ceased building it for 10 years, and instead concentrated on building their own homes. Under the spiritual guidance of Haggai and Zechariah, the 2nd Temple was finally finished in 516 BC. It stood for 585 years until the Romans destroyed it in AD 70.

Alexander the Great of Greece defeated the Persian forces in 331 BC. The Greeks were the third beast described in Daniel 7:6. After Alexander died in 323 BC, his four generals (four heads) divided up his kingdom. In 311 BC, Seleucus I Nicator conquered Babylon and later Palestine. This started the Seleucid Dynasty and would prove to have a major influence on Jewish history. In 167 BC, the Greek Seleucid king Antiochus IV Epiphanes desecrated the Jewish Temple and committed the first abomination of desolation. This occurred on Kislev 24 when Antiochus ordered that an altar of Zeus be built on top of the altar of burnt offering where swine’s flesh was offered to Zeus. The mad king Antiochus Epiphanes is considered to be a forerunner of the future Antichrist, who will commit his abomination of desolation in Israel’s newly built (future) Third Temple in Jerusalem.

Parts of Daniel 8 are considered to be dual reference prophecies (see The Resumption of Daniel’s 70th Week (rev310.net). Daniel 8:9-14 are referring to Antiochus’ rise to power and his abomination of desolation. Daniel 8:23-26 are referring to the Antichrist’s rise to power. Likewise, Daniel 11:21-35 are describing Antiochus IV Epiphanes’ exploits, while Daniel 11:36-45 refer to the future Antichrist.

After Antiochus Epiphanes desecrated the temple, the Jews revolted and three years later, in 164 BC, won control of Jerusalem. Judas Maccabeus cleansed and rededicated the Temple and had a celebration of eight days, known thereafter as Hanukkah (celebrated on Kislev 25). He completely routed the Syrian forces in 161 BC. This occurred 425 years after the fall of Jerusalem and the defeat of Judea by the Babylonians in 586 BC.

The Jews eventually defeated the Greek Syrians and secured independence from the Seleucid king until the Roman general Pompey conquered Palestine (Judea) in 63 BC. The Roman rule that Pompey established over Palestine would last more than seven centuries. Rome was the fourth beast that Daniel saw in his vision. It is described in Daniel 7:7. Evidently, it morphs into the end-time beast kingdom of the Antichrist, which is described in Daniel 7:8, 19-27. It is thought that the Antichrist will be a descendant of one of the people/s that were part of the old Roman Empire according to Daniel 9:26.

THE NEW COVENANT

Jesus was born during the rule of the Roman Empire. It is believed by many scholars that Jesus began his ministry in AD 29 and was crucified in AD 33. Daniel’s prophecy of 70 sevens is described in Daniel 9:24-27. It is thought that Jesus fulfilled Daniel 9:25 when he rode into Jerusalem as king of the Jews on Nisan 10, AD 33. Daniel 9:26 says, “And after the 62-sevens (62 + 7), Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself.” This occurs when Jesus is crucified four days later on Passover, Nisan 14, AD 33.

Before Jesus’s death, he ate the Passover meal with his disciples. As they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” Then he took the cup of wine and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” (Matthew 26:26-28). The new covenant came first to the Jews and then to the Gentiles. The old blood covenants only covered up sin temporarily until Jesus, the Son of God, came. He sacrificed his sinless life and shed His perfect blood for the remission of sins for all who would believe in Him as their Savior and Lord. By the grace of God, all who place their faith in Jesus’ sacrifice for their sins will be saved and have eternal life with Him.

The Jews rejected Jesus as their Messiah, so His Kingdom has been postponed. In the interim, the Church was born during Pentecost, fifty days after Jesus was resurrected on the third day after his crucifixion. It has been nearly 1990 years so far, as the world still awaits Daniel’s 70th seven to be fulfilled. Before this can happen, the Rapture must take place. As Christians, we await the Rapture and not Daniel’s 70th seven or the Tribulation. However, since we can see the world going to hell in a handbasket, we know the Tribulation is fast approaching. That means the Rapture is closer now than ever before.

Israel ceased from being a kingdom (nation) until May 14, 1948, when the Jewish state of Israel announced its Declaration of Independence to the world. This event is the number one sign from God that Daniel’s 70th seven and the end of human history is at hand. Most eschatological prophecies regarding Israel and the return of Jesus Christ must take place with the Jewish people back in the land that God promised them as an everlasting covenant.

In Daniel 9:26, Gabriel tells Daniel that the people of the prince that shall come (the Antichrist) would destroy the city and the sanctuary. The Romans fulfilled this prophecy in AD 70 by destroying Jerusalem and the temple. Therefore, the Antichrist would come out of the people that made up the Roman Empire. Many countries were part of the Roman Empire so the A.C. doesn’t have to be Italian. Many eschatologists believe he will be Greek or from Syria, as most of the Roman Legionnaires that were part of Titus’ army were made up of Syrian soldiers.

THE UNHOLY COVENANT


In verse 27, Gabriel explains to Daniel that this prince (Antichrist) would confirm a covenant with the many (Israel and others) for one week or seven years. IOW, the Antichrist will not be the originator of the covenant but will confirm or strengthen an existing one. Many students of Bible prophecy believe the Abraham Accords could be this “original” covenant between Israel and many Arab nations. The Abraham Accords Peace Agreement is a series of peace agreements between Israel and several Arab countries, the UAE being the first, followed by Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco. The United States helped broker the historic joint agreement after months of negotiation, and the leaders of Israel and the UAE formally signed the agreement on August 13, 2020.


The ultimate goal is for these countries to come together and help negotiate a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, with a two-state solution in mind. That means Israel would probably have to give up lands, such as the West Bank and Golan Heights (possibly even part of Jerusalem) in exchange for so-called “peace.” When the Antichrist gains enough authority from the 10 Kings of the “new world order,” he will strengthen or confirm the Abraham Accords by brokering more nations to join, and thus, they will guarantee Israel’s security for a period of seven years. In exchange, Israel will concede lands to the Palestinians, and the two-state arrangement will be finalized. I also believe part of the agreement will be for Israel to give up their nuclear weapons. They will no longer have the “Samson Option” available to them. In return, the Antichrist and the 10 Kings will allow Israel to build their third temple in Jerusalem. This will not be a God-ordained temple as the first two were.


The two-state covenant is like making a deal with the devil and God will be greatly angered. He does not want His chosen people to make any kind of covenant with anybody but Him. The Lord certainly doesn’t want the Jews to give up any land, and He certainly doesn’t want them to make any kind of covenant with other nations or a group of nations. Unbeknown to the Jews, they will be making this covenant with Satan through his man the Antichrist.


The prophet Isaiah spoke of a covenant with death in Isaiah 28:15, “Because you have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves.” I believe this is a dual fulfillment prophecy with the near-term fulfillment occurring when Babylon invaded Judea and King Jehoiakim of Judea made a covenant with Egypt. As you know, this covenant did not end well for Israel or Egypt. The long-term fulfillment of this prophecy is regarding Israel making a covenant with the Antichrist and the 10 Kings.


Notice the Lord’s reply to this ill-advised covenant. “I will make justice the measuring line, and righteousness the plummet. The hail will sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters will overflow the hiding place. Your covenant with death will be annulled, and your agreement with Sheol will not stand; when the overflowing scourge passes through, then you will be trampled down by it. As often as it goes out it will take you; for morning by morning it will pass over, and by day and by night; it will be a terror just to understand the report. Now, therefore, do not be mockers, lest your bonds be made strong; for I have heard from the Lord God of hosts, a destruction determined even upon the whole earth” (Isaiah 28:17-19,22).


God had to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah after His confirmation of the covenant with Abraham. He had to cleanse the land for future generations. Only a remnant survived, three to be exact: Lot and his two daughters. The future confirmation of the covenant by the Antichrist will begin the greatest tribulation the world has ever known. With the Antichrist’s blessing, the Jews will build their third temple in Jerusalem.


There are already plans to build the third temple on Mr. Moriah in Jerusalem. The Temple Institute is a non-profit Jewish educational and religious organization located in the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City. Their ultimate goal is to bring about the construction of the Third Temple in our lifetime. The institution has begun to restore and construct the sacred vessels for the service of the Temple. Also, on September 15, 2022, five perfect unblemished Red Heifers arrived in Israel from the USA. During the time of Moses and the Exodus, an unblemished red heifer was killed and burned and its ashes were used for use in the water of cleansing, it was used for purification from sin according to Numbers 19.


In recent news, on Wednesday 9/21/2022, Yair Lapid, Prime Minister of Israel, spoke at the United Nations calling for a two-state solution for Israel and the Palestinians. He stipulated that this could only come about with a security guarantee for Israeli citizens. Of course, the November elections in Israel could bring about a new Prime Minister. Benjamin Netanyahu’s chances look good for him to once again assume that position.


THE MAN OF SIN, THE SON OF PERDITION


The Antichrist is described as the beast that arises out of the sea. The sea is often used to describe the Gentile nations. “And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast. So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?” (Revelation 13:1-10).


Revelation 13:3 tells us one of his heads will “seem” to have had a fatal wound. This word means it was like, or appeared to be, a fatal wound. If the anti-Christ was really killed, John wouldn’t have said the wound appeared to be fatal, but that it was fatal. Also, Zechariah 11:15-17 appears to be a prophecy regarding the Antichrist, in which he is wounded by a sword. He will be blinded in his right eye and one arm will be withered.


I believe this occurs at the mid-point of the Tribulation (or shortly before) when the Antichrist, the prince who is to come, comes to the Third Temple in Jerusalem and commits the abomination of desolation as described in Daniel 9:27. His true nature and intentions will then be revealed. “The man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4).


Many theologians believe this is the point in time where the events of Revelation 12:7-12 take place. Satan and his angels are cast down to the earth at the mid-point of the Tribulation. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.” After the Antichrist is wounded (perhaps mortally), Satan will indwell his body. Only one-third of the Jews (a remnant) will survive through the seven-year Tribulation. It is described in the book of Revelation and other prophetic books of the Bible.


Revelation never mentions a seven-year Tribulation. It only talks about forty and two months; or a time, and times, and half a time; or a thousand two hundred and threescore days. These are all descriptions for 3.5 years. Only in the book of Daniel does it mention a seven-year (week or seven) time frame. This is why you must read the whole Bible, both the Old and New Testaments, to get the whole picture of eschatology. Revelation is a book that collaborates with Daniel 9:24-27 and parts of Daniel 11 and 12.


God always uses two or more witnesses to establish His truth. “But if he will not hear you, then take with you one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established” (Matthew 18:16).


THE RIGHTEOUS AND UNRIGHTEOUS COVENANT


The covenants, both past (Abrahamic - described in Genesis) and future (Antichrist -described in Daniel), have a few things in common:

  1. They both are agreements between two parties.

  2. The two parties agree on who is to possess/occupy the land of Canaan/Israel.

  3. Both parties agree on a time limit.

  4. There is an original covenant, and then there is a confirmation of the covenant.

During Daniel’s 70th seven, the Antichrist will try to take the place of God, just as his father Satan did a long time ago. Anti doesn’t just mean “the opposite of” or “against,” but rather “in place of.” In this piece, we will call God’s covenant with His chosen people the “righteous covenant” and will call the Antichrist’s covenant the “unrighteous covenant.” There are stark differences between the two:


1. The righteous covenant was between God and Israel. The unrighteous covenant will be between the Antichrist (and the 10 Kings) and Israel.


2. The righteous covenant was an everlasting one The unrighteous covenant will be for a time limit of seven years.


3. The righteous covenant will be honored forever. The unrighteous covenant will not be honored, but broken midway through the seven years.


4. The righteous covenant required circumcision as a physical sign of acceptance. The unrighteous covenant will require the mark of the beast as a sign of acceptance. (Revelation 13:16-17).


5. The righteous covenant gave land to Abraham and his descendants. The unrighteous covenant will take land away from Abraham’s descendants.


6. During the righteous covenant, God (Holy Spirit) was there in the form of a smoking furnace and a burning lamp as He passed between the parts of the animals. During the unrighteous covenant (midway), Satan will indwell the antichrist after he apparently dies of a head wound (Revelation 13:14). The antichrist’s false prophet will then require every human on earth to place an image of the ‘beast’ in their home or city. This could be some sort of 3D image that is transmitted through a computer, smartphone app., television, etc. This image of the Antichrist can talk and record a person’s activities to see if a person is worshipping the Antichrist or not. If a person is found to be not in compliance with the required regulation concerning worship, he or she will be killed (Revelation 13:15).


7. After the confirmation of the righteous covenant, God changed Abram, Sarai, and Jacob’s names. In Greek isopsephy and Hebrew gematria, every letter has a numeric value. Summing these numbers gives a numeric value to a name. The Antichrist’s numeric value is 666 (Revelation 13:18). When worshipers of the Antichrist take the mark of the beast (666), they are essentially changing or adding to their names.


God was serious when He gave the land to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and his twelve sons (and their descendants) for an everlasting possession. He did not wish for the land to be occupied by Ishmael or Esau and their descendants or any son of Ham. God’s will and his plan for mankind will be accomplished according to His word. The ancient promised land of Canaan, now known as Israel, will forever be occupied by the Jewish people; and they will once again become the “favorite son” of the nations.


ISRAEL’S NEW COVENANT


God’s word, spoken through his chosen prophets, proclaims that He will make one final covenant with the Jews after the horrendous seven-year period known as Jacob’s Trouble. Jesus the Messiah will return to save the remnant of his people (and Tribulation believers) and then set up his Millennium Kingdom. God’s final covenant with Israel will begin at this time.


“But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; after those days, says the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, says the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.


Thus says the Lord, which gives the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and the stars for a light by night, which divides the sea when the waves thereof roar; The Lord of hosts is his name: If those ordinances depart from before me, says the Lord, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me forever. Thus says the Lord; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, says the Lord” (Jeremiah 31:33-37).


“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. In that he says, a new covenant, He has made the first old, now that which decays and waxes old is ready to vanish away” (Hebrews 8:10-13).


The Messiah, whom the Jews have always been looking for, will finally be found and accepted as such. “And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn” (Zechariah 12:10).


The new covenant will be confirmed when Jesus is anointed as king of Israel and all the nations of the earth. The prophecy of Daniel 9:24 determines that when God’s last seven years are complete, all the sins of Israel will be eradicated and prophecy will no longer be necessary, as the Word will be living amongst us. “Seventy sevens are determined upon your people, and upon your holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.”

The end will then become a new beginning in the history of mankind, as Jesus will rule and reign from the holy city of Jerusalem for a thousand years. “And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD and his name one” (Zechariah 14:9).

Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.


Randy Nettles

rgeanie55@gmail.com

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