Over the years, I have received a lot of questions as to whether the seven-year covenant the Antichrist confirms or signs will be public knowledge and in the news for all the world or done secretly behind the scenes. And another frequent question is whether the Antichrist will be in a position of prominence before he signs this covenant.
We know from the Bible that the Antichrist will either initiate or be directly involved in an agreement—a “holy covenant,” as the Bible calls it—that will temporarily bring a measure of peace and security to the world (Daniel 9:27). The signing of this covenant will signal the start of the last seven years of man’s dominion (Revelation 11:15).When the Antichrist confirms the covenant, we know that this event will clearly mark the start of the Antichrist’s seven-year reign and the last seven years before Jesus’ Second Coming and the Rapture.
Some people speculate that the seven-year covenant could be signed secretly from behind the scenes and the public may not know when the covenant is signed; others suggest that it could be signed openly and that we’ll recognize the covenant and therefore know exactly when the last seven years begins. Will Christians be able to recognize the seven-year covenant and know when it starts?
We know that in the last seven years the Antichrist will certainly will be in power, but it seems highly unlikely that he would have enough power to get the world to sign the covenant unless he was already in some kind of prominent position in some way, and with enough power and influence to persuade them to sign the agreement.
It is unlikely that he just suddenly pops out of the woodwork, someone that nobody has ever heard of and says, “Here’s the solution to your war and the economic problems.” So it would seem the Antichrist has got to be in some position of power before that, and according to Daniel 11:21 it sounds like he rises to power peaceably: “And in his estate shall stand up a vile person (Antichrist), to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.” So it seems that the Antichrist is quite prominent even before he confirms the covenant that signals the start of the last seven years before Jesus’ Second Coming and the Rapture.
The covenant appears to be a peace accord, as well as some sort of religious pact—possibly one that tackles the thorny issue of coexistence between Jews, Muslims, and Christians in the Mideast, and by which Jerusalem could be declared an international city with free and equal access guaranteed to people of all faiths (Daniel 9:27; Daniel 11:28, 30).
This covenant could also clear the way for the Jews to finally be able to rebuild their temple on Jerusalem’s Mount Moriah and resume animal sacrifices on its altar-something that hasn’t happened since the last temple was destroyed in 70 A.D. It certainly seems that confirming the covenant would be worldwide news. It seems likely it will be public knowledget.
It would seem logical that any kind of a treaty, covenant, or pact between the governments and the religions of the world and the Antichrist, the world leader himself, that promises seven years of peace and plenty and religious freedom and internationalizes Jerusalem for the rebuilding of the temple would be world news. During the first three and a half years of the Antichrist’s seven year reign, most of the world will hail him as a great hero, a political, economic and military superman. With his brilliant peace plan, he will restore the world’s economy and settle the Mideast crisis temporarily (Daniel 11:21-31).
But halfway through his seven-year reign, the Antichrist will break the covenant (Daniel 9:27b), invade Israel from the north (Daniel 11:28-31), abolish all traditional religious worship (Revelation 13:5-8), declare that he himself is God (2 Thessalonians 2:4 Daniel 11:37-38)).
During this final three-and-a-half-year period, the Antichrist world government will enact a mandatory one-world economic system, creating a cashless society. The Antichrist government will use this new economic system to try to force everybody to submit to and worship the Antichrist, because no one will be able to buy or sell without the mark of the beast, in their right hands or foreheads (Revelation 13:16-18). But God’s children and many others will refuse to worship the Antichrist or receive his mark, and the Lord will take care of them (Revelation 12:6,14).
At the end of the Antichrist’s seven-year reign, Jesus Christ will return “in the clouds of Heaven with power and great glory”, to rescue all His saved children out of this world ( Matthew 24:29-31; Revelation 1:7 ). The bodies of all of the saved who have died will be resurrected and come bursting out of their graves! And all who are still alive will be instantly changed and receive new eternal bodies in which we’ll rise up to meet the Lord in the air, to be with Him forever!