The Antichrist will make a seven-year covenant with Israel and many nations, and for 3 ½ years he’ll honor the agreement. Although the Antichrist won’t invade Israel during this time frame, that doesn’t mean it will be peaceful. Jesus described this period in detail in Matthew 24:4-8, Mark 13:5-8 and Luke 21:8-11 and called it the beginning of birth pangs. To summarize, it’s a time of deception, wars and rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes and plagues, along with terrifying sights from heaven.
The first three seals of Revelation, depicted in Revelation 6:1-6, also describe this same period. The horsemen depict the Antichrist in different stages of his career. The white horse represents his arrival. In Matthew 24:4-5, Jesus warned us not to be deceived. Well, the Antichrist is the ultimate deceiver. After winning the Daniel 11:22 War in Syria, he will make a deal. The covenant of Daniel 9:27 and Daniel 11:23 won’t just recognize Israel’s right to exist. It will also be a peace agreement that officially secures the Antichrist’s position in Syria. This is the crown that is given to him, described in Revelation 6:2. Emboldened by his deal, he will go out to conquer more.
The red horse represents destruction and Jesus warned us that there would be wars, rumors of wars and violent uprisings in Luke 21:9. Daniel 11:24 says that “he will devise his schemes against strongholds.” Putting Revelation 6:3-4 and Luke 21:9 together, it’s clear the Antichrist will promote revolutions around the world and engage in wars. For example, Daniel 11:25 prophesies that he’ll attack the ruler of Egypt, also called the King of the South. Daniel 11:25-26 tells us that Egypt’s leader will be defeated. The Antichrist and the King of the South will sit down and talk with one another. Daniel 11:27-28 says that these rulers will be plotting to overthrow “the holy covenant” together, but their evil schemes will fail because the desolation of the Temple won’t happen until the appointed time.
After this meeting, Daniel 11:28 tells us that the Antichrist will go back to Syria with a lot of plunder. Incidentally, according to Daniel 11:24, the Antichrist will invade the richer parts of Syria. He will steal from the rich and distribute plunder and goods to his followers. Apparently, food shortages will play a role in some of the violent rebellions he is going to promote around the world. Jesus said there would be famines during this time in Matthew 24:7, and the third seal in Revelation 6:5-6 depicts economic distress. The black horse represents depression and the scales represent rationing. By conquering land and taking plunder, the Antichrist will become very wealthy and have a large food supply. It’s going to come in handy.
Finally, Daniel 11:28 says that on his way back from defeating Egypt, the Antichrist will take action against “the holy covenant.” At this point he will encourage the Jewish people to stop making sacrifices. Eventually, he’ll put a stop to Temple sacrifices completely. We’ll look at that a little bit later.