I realize merely suggesting this may be very unsettling for some of you. Let me explain. Over the years I have followed the history of the Middle East conflict, and the ensuing Peace Process, meticulously. I have always taught "the last seven years" of Bible prophecy from the starting point of Daniel 9:27, with all the various corresponding time scriptures outlined in a diagram, perfectly joined together leaving no room for doubt as to when/how the End would begin, with the Antichrist either making, or in some way playing a major role in a 7 year peace agreement (confirming the covenant with many) between the Arab Muslim world and Israel, with the city of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount being central to this agreement, enabling the Jews to rebuild the Third Temple and resume their sacrificial blood offering of animals, once again for the sins of the Jewish nation. But after the first three and a half years the Antichrist would break this "covenant - peace agreement", cause the daily sacrifice of animals to cease, stand in the Temple at Jerusalem and declare himself to be God, which would then begin the last three and a half years known as "The Great Tribulation." David our founder also taught the above scenario, which is where most of us learned the same. David was taught this interpretation, and other doctrines from his former church denominations, some of which he would later change. (See "Leave Yourself Open", ML# 1934:5-7) Over the years, however, David in his writings would often interject other "alternative interpretations" and scenarios of how the scriptures might play out differently with regard to our interpretation of Daniel 9:27. Because there are obviously some things in the scriptures that are very much subject to interpretation David would present these various interpretations, for our consideration, so that we might be prepared, forewarned, and not taken by surprise, if such a possibility should occur. "And if there's anything you don't want to do, it's to get as dogmatic as they are, even in what you & I believe, to where the Lord can't change your mind & can't show you something a little clearer than you saw it before, even show you that you were wrong.
Mostly the things on which we have changed positions ourselves as a Family & as a Group--largely due to my leadership--have been on things which I was set in before by previous teachers & doctrinaires & preachers, the generally accepted theories of my particular denomination or my kind of denominations & what they generally believed in, what I had been taught, what I'd always heard. Like any little child I just accepted it, that that's the fact, that's the God's honest Truth, that's the Gospel, that's gotta be it!
Well, if I had not been open to change & revelation directly from God, you wouldn't be here this morning! So you'd better thank God that He was able to change my mind, & thank the Lord that He was able to turn me around in some cases & start me in exactly the opposite direction!" ("Leave Yourself Open", ML# 1934:5-7) It could be said that the Benchmark, or point of reference in our interpretation of Endtime Bible prophecy, in large part, is "hinged" on our interpretation of this one verse (Daniel 9:27) as conveyed in the above scenario. (Which is also the dominant interpretation among fundamentalist evangelical Christian denominations today, with the addition of a "secret rapture".) Over the years while contemplating the various alternative interpretations David put forth in his writings, I decided about 4 years ago to do some research and investigate what the "early church" in the first century AD, and the subsequent future generations that followed, what the various church fathers of the Christian Faith taught and believed, specifically with regard to their interpretation of the "70 weeks prophecy", and who confirms the covenant of Daniel 9:27. David taught us by example to "search the scriptures", and not to blindly accept what was being taught. That we should be open and willing to change our position, if we discover that some of the teachings being promulgated about the Endtime in this "modern" church age are found to be "in error", and not those things originally taught by the Lord's first century disciples, nor the overwhelming majority of the founding fathers of the Christian faith throughout the succeeding 1800 years A.D.
"No prophecy (should be) of any private interpretation." (2Pet.1:20)--The very thing on which the Scofield Bible & a lot of other Bible Prophecy students have based their interpretations: Perfectly private revelations, only theirs & nobody else's, different from the prophetic interpretations of Christians for hundreds of years previously!"
"The only kind of interpretations you can pretty well count on are those which have been generally accepted for hundreds of years by a fairly large school of prophetic interpreters, Bible students & people who really know the Bible!" ("Leave Yourself Open", ML# 1934:3-4) The dominant Endtimes prophetic theme being taught today by the overwhelming majority of fundamentalist evangelical Christian denominations is twofold. Popularized by Hal Lindsey's "Late Great Planet Earth" in the 70's, and now today in 2014 we have the Hollywood Premier of "Left Behind", staring Nicholas Cage. The theme, First a "secret pre-trib rapture of Christians", followed with "the Antichrist confirming a seven year covenant" with Israel. But is that what the Lord taught His disciples? And what about the succeeding generations since, what did the historic church fathers believe and teach over the following centuries since the days of the early church? When doing research relating to the scriptures, if our hearts are right with the Lord the goal is not to find information to merely support our personal theories, but to seek after the truth, even if it causes us to re-evaluate and change any of our former beliefs. Learning and change are signs of growth. The research I have done over the past 4 years has brought me face to face with something that was very difficult to accept and change, as it would pretty much upset my whole applecart in the things I have always taught and believed about key points of Bible prophecy. But the more I prayed, wrestling with this, asking the Lord for His answers, the more difficult it was for me to ignore. In the letter "Breakdown", David describes an experience he had which seems to best explain the quandary I found myself in which came to a head about two months ago. The last section in the letter "Breakdown" was the Lord's answer for me. "God answers the desperate honest cry, and, making decisions by spiritual conviction rather than natural reasoning". (See "Breakdown", ML# 66)
"Well, I'd certainly lots rather change when God shows me something & be right, than through pride & arrogance & inflated ego & fear of embarrassment refuse to change & refuse to be changed by God himself in the matter of some point of doctrine or some point of prophetic interpretation or some point of theological affirmation of some kind or other. I would rather suffer the blow to my ego & the embarrassment of my pride & be right, than stiffen my resistance against anything new & close my mind like most Christians & churches who say, "My mind is made up, don't confuse me with the facts!" I would rather suffer the embarrassment & the blow to my pride & my ego & be right, than to insist & go on in the way I've always thought & always told & always taught to try to save my reputation & my ego & my pride to try to get out from the embarrassment of being accused of always changing my mind! I would rather change my mind & suffer the consequences & be right, than to refuse to change my mind & be wrong!" ("Leave Yourself Open", ML# 1934:8) What I learned from my research about Church history is that for 1800 years the overwhelming majority of Christians from the first century "Early Church" throughout the time of the Reformation believed that the covenant of Daniel 9:27 was confirmed by Jesus in 26 AD when He was baptized by John, at the beginning of the 70th week, with Jesus being cut off, crucified in the midst of the week. And that the dominant interpretation of "the going forth of the commandment" in Daniel 9:25 was in 457 BC, with no "gap" of time between the 69th and 70th week.
Over the centuries, the great commentators have agreed that Christ is the One who confirmed the covenant with many (see Matthew Henry, Matthew Poole, Adam Clarke, Jamieson Fausset and Brown, Edward Young, John Calvin, John Wesley, Geneva Study Bible, etc). The Church Fathers such as Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Athanasius, Augustine and Eusebius regarded the 70th week of Daniel as having already been fulfilled by Christ’s earthly ministry, as did the Venerable Bede, John Wycliffe, Luther, Melancthon, John Gill, etc.
However, some prophecy teachers in recent times have come up with an alternative interpretation that places the fulfillment of Daniel’s 70th week into the future. The doctrines being taught today of a "secret pre-trib rapture", the miss-application of a "gap of time" between the 69th and 70th week of Daniel's prophecy, with the Antichrist "confirming a seven-year covenant" in the distant future, were unheard of during the days of the Early Church and throughout most of the succeeding 1800 years of Church History. After learning these things from many who researched Church History my thoughts were turned again to the scriptures themselves looking for answers as to how this could be. Surely if the history I've researched and read is correct the scriptures must somehow bare witness of this. We must then ask, did Jesus ever teach His disciples about "a last seven year" timeframe, with the Antichrist "confirming a covenant", the covenant mentioned in Daniel 9:27? When the disciples asked the Lord what shall be the sign of His coming, Jesus went into great detail explaining the signs of His return, but not a word about the last seven years, and nothing about the Antichrist confirming any covenant. It's nowhere to be found in any of the four Gospels. Which to me seems rather strange if that were true, after all, the disciples were expecting the Lord to return in their lifetime and they would need to know this and able to teach others the same. Jesus did however very clearly tell His disciples of an event, spoken of by Daniel the prophet that would trigger the last three and a half years before His return, but nothing about a covenant. If the covenant had already been confirmed by Jesus, as Church history reveals, it would answer why the Lord did not refer to a future Antichrist covenant as a "sign" of His return to watch for. But for the benefit of a doubt lets suppose the authors of the four Gospels somehow forgot to mention this one (major) detail. But again, if it were true, surely it would show up in some of the many other New Testament books, or at least in one of them, right? But nothing! Not a single word. Not even in the most detailed prophetic book in the entire Bible, "The Revelation of Jesus Christ", which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass. But still the above rationale alone is not enough to win me over to the side of Church history. So my next inquiry to search in the scriptures, with the apparent absence of any "seven-year covenant" being confirmed by the Antichrist, was to ask, what does the New Testament say about "a covenant", possibly even referring to "the covenant" of Daniel 9:27, as the Church fathers taught for century's since the days of the Early Church. There's an old saying, I'm not sure where it originated, when something is "Hidden in plain sight". It basically means it's so obvious that you don't see it, or pay any attention to it, or it doesn't even cross your mind. From my research it appears this "modern" church age has been so heavily indoctrinated over the past 100 years, about this one verse (Daniel 9:27), that we would not dare consider it being applied to the one we love above all others in this life. It has been so drummed into the psyche of every evangelical Christian denomination for the past century that whoever it is that confirms this covenant is not good, but is a deceiver, an anti-christ. Hence, we would not dare equate this scripture with the one we know to be the embodiment of all that is good. When I started reading again what has been recorded in the books of the New Testament about "the covenant, the new covenant, the new testament", it was like the lights "all of a sudden" came on. It was right there in front of me the whole time, numerous scriptures I've read repeatedly over the past 40 years, but never did I equate them with the covenant of Daniel 9:27 that our Lord and savior "confirmed with many" almost 2,000 years ago. Jesus did not make a seven-year covenant with His disciples. But Jesus and His disciples did confirm the covenant during the 70th week, during the last the seven years of the 490 year prophecy of Daniel chapter 9. The scripture says, "He shall confirm the covenant", (which means to "authenticate, ratify, endorse, put into effect, etc") which the apostle Paul established in saying, "Jesus Christ was a minister....to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:" (Romans 15:8). What promises? Luke says, "To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; The oath which he sware to our father Abraham." (Luke 1:72-73) "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ,......till the seed should come .......was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator." (Galatians 3:16,17 &19) The prophet Isaiah also spoke of this covenant saying, "and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David." (Isaiah 55:3) Again Paul said, that it was Jesus, "through the blood of the everlasting covenant," (Hebrews 13:20). The "seven years" of the 70th week was the allotted time, given for the Jews, to accept their Messiah, as a nation. Which we know from history and the scriptures the house of Israel failed to do. Daniel had just finished reading the book of "Jeremiah", when praying desperately, confessing the sins of his people, and beseeching the Lord to forgive them. In answer to Daniel's prayers the angel Gabriel told him that God was going to send his people the Messiah, to forgive their sins. The timeframe of when the Messiah would arrive was foretold in the 70 weeks prophecy, which ended 490 years after "the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince". The commandment was given in 457 BC. (Ezra 7) The end of the 70th week was in 33 AD, and the beginning of the 70th week, the last seven years of Daniel's 490 year prophecy would commence in 26 AD with the Baptism of John, when our Lord began His public ministry and ended seven years later with the stoning of Stephen. Up until that time Gospel was almost exclusively preached to the Jews. (Matthew 10:5-6, Matthew 15:24) "To the Jew first". (Romans 1:16) "Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles." (Acts 13:46) In Daniel 9:26 it says, the Messiah would be cut off after 69 weeks, which means He would be cut off during the 70th week! The 69th week ended in 26 AD. Then in Daniel 9:27, the scripture reverts back to the Messiah who is the focal point of the entire 70 weeks prophecy, not a future Antichrist. It says, "And he (the messiah) shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: (i.e. during the 70th week, this last seven year period, Jesus and His disciples would confirm the covenant, that the "promised seed" of the Messiah had arrived) ,and in the midst of the week he (the Messiah) shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, (God would no longer accept another sacrifice for sins). The scripture says, "because they received not the love of the truth...... for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:" Although this scripture has a future application, the doctrine of the Antichrist who would confirm a seven-year covenant, the covenant of Daniel 9:27, which has been attributed to Christ for over 1800 years, appears to be a very "strong delusion", which I see as being akin to the false "secret pre-trib rapture" doctrine. How very much like the Devil to usurp the place of Christ, in the mind of believers, in claiming this covenant as his own, and for his son. The scriptures refer to a coming "flood of lies" that the serpent will cast out of his mouth to deceive. And the Lord issued a warning saying, "insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." (Rev 12:15-16, Mat 24:24) Someone said, "It is knowing and believing that we are vulnerable that keeps us vigilant. Satan is seeking to deceive even the very elect if possible. And it is possible if we are careless, and assume things without careful study of all the sides, and ample proof from the Scriptures. We must be continually on our guard, never trusting any man." The first utterance the Lord gave His disciples questioning the signs of His return was, "Take heed that no man deceive you." (Mat 24:4) Paul repeats the same warning saying, "Let no man deceive you by any means:" (2 Thes 2:3) The New Testament scriptures enumerate of a deception unfolding on a grand scale, immediately preceding the second coming of Christ. By all accounts it appears "a time of trouble this world has never known", will be unleashed upon this earth, almost without warning, catching most Christians by surprise. Which seems to be why the Lord would say such things to His disciples, "Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh." (Matt 24:44) "For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth." (Luke 21:35) The Lord was speaking to His disciples not the multitudes. A "snare" has no warning, such as the Antichrist confirming a seven-year peace covenant with Israel, allowing us three and a half years to prepare before the Great Tribulation begins. Truthfully that would seem almost impossible for anyone not to believe if such a major sign as this were to occur. That would not deceive anyone. Which is why it's not heard of in any of the New Testament books. If this interpretation is correct, that the covenant of Daniel 9:27 has already been confirmed by Jesus, and the 70th week completed, (and I'm very much inclined to believe it is) it appears the overwhelming majority of Christians are going to be deceived and taken by surprise. There's an old saying, "if the right one don't get you, the left one will". And that appears to be the enemy's strategy to deceive the followers of Christ in this "last generation" as we approach the second coming of our Lord. The "pre-tribers" we've always known were already in the enemy's "bag". And now it also appears those of us who are expecting the Antichrist to arrive on the scene with a "seven-year covenant" are also going to be caught by surprise and unawares. With this realization it begins to make more sense why there's not a single reference in the entire New Testament saying the Antichrist would confirm a seven-year covenant. And with the Daniel 9:27 covenant having already been confirmed and fulfilled by the Lord and His disciples, there's not a single scripture in the Old Testament either, nor anywhere in the entire Bible. The prophecy says "70 weeks are determined upon thy people (the Jews) and upon thy holy city." The four Gospels all tell the same story. "He came unto his own, and his own received him not." (John 1:11) "Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof." (Matt 21:43) "Behold, your house is left unto you desolate,....because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation." (Luke 13:35, 19:44) In chapter 9 Daniel's prayer, and in the book of Jeremiah which Daniel was reading at the time, it says because the Jews had broken the Mosaic "covenant", (the first covenant) and had forsaken the "covenant" and worshipped other gods and served them, God told Jeremiah that He would make a "new covenant" with the house of Israel and Judah, the Jews. In the New Testament books this new covenant, also called the second covenant, replaces the old covenant, also called the first covenant. This New covenant was promised to Abraham, of which Christ would be the mediator of a better covenant. Isaiah 55:3 tell us it's an everlasting covenant. This is the covenant of (Daniel 9:27) that God revealed unto Daniel in the 70 weeks prophecy, that Jesus "confirmed with many" of His disciples during the 70th week. The 70 weeks of Daniel 9 is all about Jesus Christ, it has absolutely nothing to do with a future Antichrist. The prophet Malachi also foretold of John the Baptist who would prepare the way, the messenger of the covenant. John baptized Jesus in 26 AD, which began the 70th week, the last seven years, of the 490 year prophecy. (see Jeremiah 31:31 and Malachi 3:1) Without any further explanation I'll let the scriptures speak for themselves, please read prayerfully with an open mind and heart. Below are some of the references "defining" the first and second covenant, the old and the new covenant, the mediator of a better covenant, till the seed should come, to thy seed which is Christ, confirmed before of God in Christ, it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator, the mediator of the new testament, the first testament and the new testament, a testament and the testator, the blood of the covenant, the mediator of the new covenant, the blood of the everlasting covenant, the new testament in my blood. (Jeremiah 31:31) "Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:" (Isaiah 55:3) "Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David."
(Malachi 3:1) "Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the LORD, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts." (Luke 1:72-73) "To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; The oath which he sware to our father Abraham." (Romans 15:8) "Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:
(Galatians 3:16) "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ."
(Galatians 3:17) "And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect."
(Galatians 3:19) "Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator."
(Hebrews 8:6) "But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises."
(Hebrews 8:7) "For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second."
(Hebrews 8:13) "In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away."
(Colossians 2:14) "Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us (the first covenant), which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;"
(Hebrews 9:15) "And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance."
(Hebrews 9:16) "For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator."
(Hebrews 9:17) "For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth."
(Hebrews 10:9) "Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second."
(Hebrews 12:24) "And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant,"
(Hebrews 13:20) "Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,"
(Matthew 26:28) "For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins."
(Mark 14:24) "And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many."
(Luke 22:20) "Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you."
If the above interpretation is true, which is not a new revelation but the original interpretation of Daniel 9:27, passed down through history from the days of the Early Church. So where and when did these new "modern" revelations begin to appear that speak of a "secret pre-trib rapture", a "seven year tribulation", a "gap" theory between the 69th and 70th week, and the Antichrist confirming a "seven year peace agreement" with Israel? The details are much more complex than this, but in a nut-shell, these "new doctrines" began to emerge during the mid 1800's and were firmly established as "gospel truth" at the turn of the 20th century. Then with the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, and Jerusalem captured in the six-day war of 1967, it was then the dominant view of nearly all fundamentalist evangelical Christian denominations. Three of the principal proponents formulating these "new doctrines", interpretations and revelations were John Nelson Darby, Cyrus Ingerson Scofield and Sir Robert Anderson. John Nelson Darby (1800-1882) is credited with originating the "secret rapture" theory wherein Christ will suddenly remove the church from this world before the judgments of the tribulation begin spoken of in the Bible's book of Revelation. Darby greatly influenced Cyrus Ingerson Scofield (1843-1921) who also incorporated this false doctrine into the notes of his Scofield Reference Bible, first published by Oxford University Press in 1909. One million copies were printed by 1930, firmly establishing his theory into different denominations and Bible schools of the United States in the 20th Century. Then a famous Christian author named Sir Robert Anderson (1841-1918) wrote a book entitled "The Coming Prince". This book is considered the "backbone" on the subject of "Daniel's 70 weeks" among modern evangelical fundamentalist Christians today (Dan. 9:24-27) that popularized "a gap theory" between the 69th and 70th week of Daniel. This "new" theory places an undetermined amount of time between the 69th and 70th week (almost 2,000 years now and counting) with Daniel's 70th week believed to be "the last seven years" before Christ returns to earth. Again with a "secret rapture" happening before the 70th week begins. Sir Robert Anderson was especially close to Cyrus Scofield and preached with John Nelson Darby. "Dispensationalists" as they came to be known, typically hold that a 'hiatus', which some refer to as a 'biblical parenthesis', occurred between the 69th and 70th week of the prophecy, into which the "church age" is inserted (also known as the "gap theory" of Daniel 9). The seventieth week of the prophecy is expected to commence after the rapture of the church. In the mid 1800's these more modern, "new doctrines" began to evolve among the evangelical denominations for decades before coming into fruition with the establishment of the Jewish state in 1948. Since that time the current forecast and doctrines being promoted today constitute a "seven year Middle East peace agreement" between Israel and her Arab neighbors, but before that 7 year peace agreement, the rapture of the church will occur. John Nelson Darby (1800-1882) visited America several times where this false rapture theology starting gaining a large acceptance in the 1850s and 1860s. The "seven-year tribulation" theory has its roots in dispensationalism, which in turn originated, not in historic Protestantism, but in the 1800's with Darby.
Darby claimed that all the events from the sixth to the nineteenth chapters of Revelation occur during a "seven-year tribulation." However, nothing in the book of Revelation say or even hints that the seven seals are loosed, the seven trumpets sounded and the seven plagues are poured out during a seven-year period. A seven-year period is not even mentioned in the book Revelation.
The historic position of Protestantism for 300 years since the Reformation has been that the 70th week immediately followed the 69 weeks with the death of Christ "in the midst" (middle) of the 70th week. In the 19th century, dispensationalists came along and said, "Not so, there is a parenthesis between the 69 weeks and the 70th week. This gap is the period between the first advent and the rapture. Then, they say, "The 70th week, seven years, begins to count when the anti-christ confirms a seven year covenant, and the seven years of the 70th week is the 'seven-year tribulation' during which Chapters 6-19 of the book of Revelation are fulfilled." The mere fact that this gap is purely an assumption, not founded on Scripture, seems to matter little to the seven-year dispensationalists.
The futurist view of Daniel's 70th week passed through certain refinements and additions, including the seven-year tribulation and the snatching away of the saints. For the first time, it was espoused by Protestant teachers through the influence and writings of John Nelson Darby of the Plymouth Brethren Church in England, the new doctrine spread to the United States. During the middle and latter nineteenth century, it received its biggest boost from Cyrus Scofield, who incorporated it into the notes of his Scofield Reference Bible published in 1909.
*************************************************************************************** At the end of the day it all comes down to faith. No amount of documentation and research, historical dates, graphs and statistics, or any manipulation of the scriptures should convince you one way or the other. There's so much very persuasive but contrary information available today from Biblical scholars on both sides of the aisle. But we can't judge matters of faith with our carnal minds. Jesus said to Peter "flesh and blood has not revealed this unto you but my father." My personal faith in the scriptures alone tells me that Jesus confirmed the covenant of Daniel 9:27, which is the "everlasting covenant" of the New Testament. To those who want to believe Daniel 9:27 refers to the Antichrist confirming "a seven year" Middle East peace agreement, in a way I wish that were true. It would sure seem to make things easier, knowing we just need to wait till this covenant is made, and then we have another three and a half years to get ready. But what if you're wrong and there isn't going to be a seven-year covenant made with the Antichrist? You could be in for a big surprise, which is what the Lord seems to refer to repeatedly in the Gospels always telling His disciples to be ready. On the other hand, if you believe the interpretation presented herein that the covenant of Daniel 9:27 is history, His-story, confirmed and fulfilled, by Christ and His disciples as the Early Church believed, and it turns out to be "wrong", you will have lost nothing. Why? Because you will be vigilant, ready, waiting and watching "as ye see the day approaching." "Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready." (To be continued in "Part 2")