1) EU Parliament insists on EU Military Union "without delay"
2) 666: European Defense Fund
In this post, we will be discussing the Antichrist's 7-year treaty with Israel. We will also be discussing 7-year initiatives the EU has, especially one's that relate to Israel or military security.
7-Year Covenant: What Does the Bible Say?
Daniel 9:27 ESV
"And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.”
Here's a quick run down of the nature of this covenant:
- A "week" is indisputably a week of years (7 years), since in the context of the entire prophecy, a week is always 7 years.
- Since the entire prophecy is decreed for the Jews and Jerusalem, end time Israel is one of the parties to this covenant. (Other prophecies support this idea).
- The creator and/or enforcer of the covenant is of "Roman" descent, since Daniel 9:26 states that he is of the same ethnic group of those who destroyed the temple in 70 A.D.
- Though not specifically stated in verse 27, many other Old Testament texts support the notion that this covenant will guarantee Israel's security in some way. (Isaiah 28:15-19; Zechariah 11:15-17; Ezekiel 38:8)
This is why many commentators, theologians, and end time movies portray the Antichrist making a 7 year "peace treaty" with Israel.
The Abomination of Desolation
He then apparently violates it in the middle, ending the temple sacrifices. In this way, he betrays Israel, whom he was supposed to protect. This event seems to coincide with the Antichrist's invasion of Israel (Daniel 11:41; cf. Zechariah 12).
Most importantly, halfway through this 7 year covenant, "one who makes desolate" comes on the "wing of abominations." This is one of the only three times the abomination of desolation is referenced in the Old Testament, all of which are in the book of Daniel (9:27; 11:31; 12:11). The 11:31 abomination of desolation refers to a prophecy that was fulfilled in 168 B.C., where Antiochus IV Epiphanes invaded Jerusalem and placed an idol of Zeus on the temple altar. This sets the precedent for the meaning of the term abomination of desolation, as an idol placed in the temple.
Daniel 12:11 refers to an end time abomination of desolation, around the time of the general resurrection of the dead. This leaves Daniel 9:27, where an abomination of desolation event happens halfway through a covenant created by the "Roman" Antichrist, described above. However, 9:27 is unique in that the more literal translations speak of the abomination as if it is a person, and not an object as was the case with the idol of Zeus. Here, it is implied that a person is the idol in the temple, as opposed to a mere object. This is consistent with in the Olivet Discourse in Mark 13, where Jesus describes the abomination of desolation using a masculine pronoun.
“But when you see the abomination of desolation standing where he ought not to be (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. (Mark 13:14 ESV).Paul is more explicit, when he describes the man of lawlessness who sits in God's temple, proclaiming himself as if he is God. This mans arrival is accompanied by counterfeit signs and miracles that deceive the unbelievers. This is consistent with Revelation 13, where everyone is forced to worship a talking image of the Antichrist, whose authority is vetted by the false prophet. The false prophet also performs miraculous signs on the Antichrist's behalf via demonic means.
The Final Sign of Christ's Return
In both Paul and Jesus teaching, this event immediately precedes Christ's second coming. In both Matthew 24 and 2 Thessalonians 2, it is the final singular sign of Christ's return, which happens on an undisclosed day and hour. Nevertheless, Paul and Jesus both emphasize an element of surprise regarding the Second Coming, at least for those who aren't paying attention. This is why I believe the Second Coming/Rapture event is initiated within days, weeks or a few months of the abomination of desolation. (You can see my reasoning for this controversial claim here.)
Regardless, all this is to show that the 7 year covenant in Daniel 9:27 is extremely important in determining the timing of end time events. It is the only prophecy that tells, in advance, when the final singular sign of Christ's return will be. This is very significant, because Jesus describes his return with great immediacy.
“From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates." Matthew 24:32-33
What 7-Year Programs Does the EU Have?The pieces to this covenant are already falling into place in a dramatic way, with a possible launch of the 7-year covenant as early as January 2021. Here is a brief timeline of different 7-year initiatives the EU has had or is proposing:
ENP Member Countries in Dark Green
2004: European Neighborhood Policy Launched
EU sets up its relationship with it's "neighbors" using the European Neighborhood Policy. It was an idea that the then foreign policy chief Javier Solana and the Commission came up with. In this program, the EU essentially paid participant countries for good behavior. The EU would set up an "Action Plan" for each country, that would be tailor made to that nation. For example, some goals in the action plan might be reducing corruption, or having fair elections, etc. Interestingly, a map of the ENP members looks conspicuously similar to a map of the Roman Empire at it's greatest extent.
The European Neighborhood Policy was funded through a variety of financial mechanisms. However, they wanted to consolidate it into one finance mechanism that worked on the same time frame as the EU's budget. As a result, they confirmed the ENP for 7-years using the European Neighborhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI). Israel was a member country, along with several other Mediterranean and Eastern European nations.
"It shall apply from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2013." Regulation Establishing an ENPI2011 - First ENP Review
The "Arab Spring" prompts EU officials to review and update the ENP. In this review, they added a "conditionality" component, in which more cooperative nations would receive more funding than those who did not.2014 - Confirmed for Another 7 Years
The European Union replaces the 7-year ENPI with the 7-year "European Neighborhood Instrument. It reconfirms the ENP with new funds for the next 7-years.
"It shall apply from 1 January 2014 until 31 December 2020." - Regulation Establishing an ENI2015 - European Neighborhood Policy Reboot
Many policy thinkers and analysts began to point out the ineffectiveness of the ENP. The Syrian civil war, Russian intervention in Ukraine, and instability in Libya, among other things, contributed to this view. Instead of the ENP causing the EU to have a "ring of friends" around it, instead it now had a "ring of fire." This caused the EU to revise the ENP, focusing more on stabilizing the surrounding neighborhood. This is in contrast to its previously overly idealistic approach where the EU hoped that democracy and human rights would prevail in the neighboring countries.NOV. 2016 - Proposal for EU Military Union For Next 7-Year Budget
EU Parliament endorses a plan to create a military union, with a view to its establishment for the next 7-year budget. This "European Defence Union" could be used, among other things, to intervene in crisis situations in neighboring countries.
"encourages the European Council to lead the progressive framing of a common Union defence policy and to provide additional financial resources to ensure its implementation, with a view to its establishment under the next multiannual political and financial framework of the EU (MFF);"DEC. 2016 - EU Launches 7-Year Military Research Program
In December, the EU proposed a "defence fund" with two parts. The first part is a military research fund, providing up to 500 million euros annually for the 7-year period 2021-2027. The second part (which is financed through other means) proposes giving group discounts to member countries who want to buy military equipment together.Visual Summary of Timeline
(Click to Enlarge)
One component that has been lacking from the EU's 7-year relationship to Israel is the promise of protection. Though Daniel 9:27 doesn't explicitly mention this, other passages imply it. Nevertheless, voices from EU politicians have been intensifying in this general "protection" direction:
"This vision takes into account calls for a recalibration of EU defence efforts and, consequently, the Union’s resilience and reputation as an autonomous security provider in its neighbourhood and beyond. We brand this new framework the ‘European Defence Union’ (EDU)." -Javier Solana, March 2015
"The Council welcomes the new proposals to strengthen the security dimension of the ENP, and reiterates its calls for greater coherence of the ENP with the security and foreign policy dimensions of the EU's other actions abroad." Council Conclusions on ENP Review, Dec. 2015
– to include, based on those resolutions’ recommendations and orientations, provisions in a future Union treaty that:
– establish the European Armed Forces, capable of deploying combat forces for high intensity conflicts, stabilisation forces which secure cease-fires or peace agreements[...] (EU Parliament, March 16, 2017)
"We need an European defense union to protect our neighborhood" - @GuyVerhofstadt #BrusselsForum March, 2017 (from Twitter)
Convergence of Themes
With everything above, we see here a convergence of themes. We do not yet have the "covenant with death" for 7 years. However, all of the pieces and parts are falling into place, which will ultimately converge into that. We have:
- 7-year contract between EU & Israel
- 7-year military research and development fund for the EU
- Proposal to set up an EU military union over the next 7 year period
- Increasing desire (by some) to use the new EU military union to stabilize and "protect" neighboring regions
It's easy to see how all of this could ultimately converge in a future ENP* (or other) agreement, in which Israel is guaranteed protection in exchange for a final status agreement with the Palestinians. Europe has an incentive to stabilize and even "protect" it's neighborhood, so as to stem irregular migration flows and deter terrorist attacks from unstable regions.
In view of the converging themes, a logical step could be to make the next 7-year budget/ENP a covenant of protection for Israel. This would inaugurate the final 7 years prior to Christ's establishment of his kingdom. This would place the abomination of desolation, and the revealing of the Antichrist, in summer of 2024.
(Click to Enlarge)
That's all for now. As always, I enjoy hearing from you all and the insights that you have. One thing is for sure, this prophecy road is an adventure. What makes this adventure so cool is that God is driving. I remember in 2014-2015 I was racking my brain, trying to make the theory "fit." You all wisely stated that God would be the one to put it all together. And indeed, that has turned out to be the case. We did not make any theory "better." But God, in his wisdom, continues to surprise us with new prophecy news every few months, to his glory.
Come Lord Jesus!
*Weirdly enough, leading Antichrist candidate, Javier Solana, was quoted on Twitter as saying that the ENP is "over." However, Solana obviously does not think the "Union for the Mediterranean" program is dead, since he was recently video taped at a UfM event discussing the importance of such a program. This is a sub-program of the 7-year ENP, and is financed by it. The UfM is important because it is tied to the 7-year ENP and is very "Romanesque," in that all the member countries (+Israel) look like a map of the old Roman Empire. One can easily see that Solana doesn't want to abolish the EU's relationship to Israel, considering he endorses the UfM. In addition, he is one of the main proponents of stabilizing the neighborhood using military force. Though this is speculative, perhaps he disagrees with the current ENP framework, where neighbors are paid for good behavior.