Saturday, February 18, 2012
“For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape” (1 Thessalonians 5:3 KJV).
For millennia, religious and political leaders have unsuccessfully attempted to achieve world peace, especially in the Middle East (the focus of Arab, Palestinian, and Israeli conflict). One day, two men will establish world peace: first, the antichrist, and then, Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, the world will be deceived into thinking the antichrist’s peace is that which Jesus Christ will establish years later.
Daniel 9:27 explains, “he [the antichrist] will confirm the covenant with many for one week.” The book of Revelation tells us this “one week” is a week of years—that is, seven years (two periods of 1,260 days each; Revelation 11:3; Revelation 12:6). The seven years begin once Satan uses the antichrist to sign a Middle Eastern peace treaty, causing Israel and her enemies to cease hostility.
Israel, wrongly believing that the antichrist is Jesus Christ, will relax, led to conclude that she is living in the peaceful earthly kingdom prophesied in the Old Testament. Jeremiah 23:5,6 says that when Israel’s Messiah-King comes, “Israel shall dwell safely.” Israel will apply this to the antichrist (when it was actually speaking of Jesus!). Remember what Jesus said to Israel? “I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive” (John 5:43). Jesus was speaking of the antichrist!
Halfway into the seven years, the antichrist’s flattery will vanish. His true motives now exposed by his breaking that covenant and desecrating Israel’s rebuilt temple (Daniel 9:27), and persecuting God’s people (believing Israel) by instituting capital punishment (2 Thessalonians 2:3-12; Revelation 13:1-18). Israel will then realize (Isaiah 28:15), “We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement!”
As Paul wrote in today’s Scripture, “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” Notice the pronoun “they”—we, the Body of Christ, are not in the Tribulation.