In Daniel 9:27 we learn about the seven year Covenant the Antichrist will make with Israel and others, and how it will be broken halfway through when he desecrates the temple and puts himself up as God. It is the proof text of the false Covenant.
He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him. ”
This is what starts the tribulation, Daniel’s 70th week. But what is so devastating that it triggers the tribulation that we need to understand now?
If we are in the last days, and I do believe we are, then the Antichrist is currently alive. He may be unaware of his true identity right now, but he’s at the heart of what’s coming. The Antichrist is revealed in the White Horseman of Revelation chapter 6 with the First Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and he confirms this covenant. The question arises that this Covenant is between two different parties. It’s been assumed it will be between the Arabs and the Jews, but we don’t know that.
Let’s look at the other proof text of this false covenant, Isaiah 28:15, where it tells us who is the other party of this Covenant.
You boast, “We have entered into a covenant with death, with the realm of the dead* we have made an agreement. When an overwhelming scourge sweeps by, it cannot touch us, for we have made a lie our refuge and falsehood our hiding place.”
In the NKJV, it says we have made a covenant with death and Sheol. Isaiah is prophesying to the leaders of Israel about the time when the false covenant is confirmed. He calls them “scornful rulers.”
In the Daniel passage, we learn some important information: it’s confirmed by the Antichrist, it’s for 7 years, and it will be broken in the middle. But this is only half the story. We go to Isaiah to get the other details. Why is Israel covenanting with them? He’s saying the other party is death and Sheol. These scornful leaders are trying to avoid some overflowing scourge perpetrated by death and Sheol, and they don’t want to be victim of it. Israel knows that the deal is done in lies and falsehood of the scornful rulers, but that it is the politically expedient thing to do for the country.
Death and Sheol
Death and Sheol show up in the Fourth Horsemen of the Apocalypse – death and Hades. Hades is the Greek word for the underworld, Sheol in the Hebrew.
When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.
Something very “beastly” is coming on the earth, and it’s not pandas and manatees. I propose that it will be real giants and monsters of genetic hybrids, but I digress. I believe the Church will be gone before the worst happens, but we will certainly see some dramatic changes in the near future.
So the situation is that we have the first three Horsemen already on the scene by this time. We talked about the first Horseman on the White Horse, the Antichrist. Then you have the fiery Red Horseman, he symbolizes great wars, and the sword is given to him. This gives rise to famines, scarcities, and pestilences – the Black Horseman, the darkest time on the earth. So some sort of global union is developing, people are urging the global government to try to reel in this horrendous world-wide problem. And here come the next Horsemen – plural – because they are Death and Hades. They are given the authority over a quarter of the earth to kill, not kill a fourth of the people. “They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague…” This seems to indicate that they have a fourth of the world in some sort of power Network that is given the authority to kill by these certain methods, along with the wild beasts, and they kill those who are dissenting from this new global power order they’re trying to implement.
Death is the departure of the soul from the body at the point of death. Hades is dealing with where that soul goes in the afterlife. For Christians, death is to be with the Lord. Paul writes we will see Him in the twinkling of an eye, so we pass from this world to the next as with a final exhale here, and we awaken taking our first breath in Heaven. Oh what a glorious day that will be!