Month: June 2017

Daniel’s 70th Week, One of the Keys to Unlocking the End Times

By Steven J. Hogan

~ A Saturday Morning Post #24 ~

For the past five months we’ve looked extensively at the end times, but there’s one thing you need to understand, and that’s Daniel’s 70th week, a prophecy packed 7-year timetable. Once this 70th week makes sense to you, then you’ll be able to clearly see how, when and where specific events fit in with regard to the end of this age, the return of Christ, and the rapture of the church.

About 2600 years ago, the prophet Daniel wrote about 70 weeks, a 490-year time period. “Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city…” (Daniel 9:24). This timeframe began in 445BC, but in 30AD, after 69 weeks, after 483 years, Jesus Christ was “cut off”, was crucified, was buried and raised from the dead, and then He ascended into heaven. Since that time Christ has been building His church. But in 70AD, 40 years after the church age began, the Jews were defeated by the Romans and were then scattered all over the world. But since the 1880’s, the Jews have miraculously regathered back to their land, this being the sign that this final and climactic 70th week is soon to begin.

The event taking place at the very start of this 70th week is the Jews signing a peace treaty, and it is the Antichrist to come (probably unknown to us at that time) who will be a key player in making this deal. It’s debatable whether we will even know when this signing is actually taking place. But it is at this point that God’s end time prophetic work will be in full swing for both the Jews and the church, and for the entire world.

The birth pains, that is, wars, earthquakes, famines and plagues, will be growing in intensity. People, desperate for a strong leader, will be desiring peace. Nations will be forging new alliances. Jews will be sacrificing at their temple in Jerusalem. Unbelievers will be getting more wicked. Jews and Christians will increasingly be hated. And the coming Antichrist will be increasing in power.

Then the Antichrist is revealed to the world, a huge earth changing event occurring at the midpoint of this 70th week. Unbelievers will love this devilish man, actually worshiping him like he’s God. But Christians and discerning Jews will know he’s really the Beast, the man of lawlessness, the Antichrist. Then persecution will break out against Jews and Christians, but there’s “peace” for the non-Christians. The Antichrist lovers will gladly be taking his mark and worshiping his image. They are so happy, for life is now “normal” – they are eating and drinking, buying and selling, but are totally oblivious that God’s wrath is soon to be poured out on the world.

What about the rapture of the church? 2 Thessalonians 2 and Matthew 24 make it clear that Christ’s coming is after Antichrist’s coming. Since the Antichrist is revealed at the midpoint of Daniel’s 70th week, then we know that the rapture of the church is after the midpoint, but at a time completely unknown to us, for we don’t know the day or the hour. Sometime then during the 2nd half of this 70th week, Christ will return to rapture the church, redeem us from our bodies, and rescue us from this coming wrath.

The great Day of the Lord, the wrath of God, will take place after the rapture, during the last part of Daniel’s 70th week. Then at the very end of this week, at exactly the 7-year mark, a great remnant of Jews will be saved, at which time “the kingdom of the world becomes the Kingdom of our Lord and His Christ, and He will reign forever.” (Revelation 11:15). Let me sum it up this way – Christ was cut off at the end of 69 weeks to be our Savior, but will be crowned at the end of the 70th week to be our King.

For you to truly make sense of end times prophecy, you need to understand Daniel’s 70th week inside and out. You have to look at it like a divine time frame, for it will help you to see when key events will occur. My sincere desire for each of you is to be able to read prophecy passages (Matthew 24, Luke 21, 1 Thessalonians 4-5, 2 Thessalonians 1-2, Revelation, etc.), and then using Daniel’s 70th week, be able to figure out where everything fits. And if you happen to be living during Daniel’s 70th week, then you’ll be seeing all kinds of prophesied events taking place, but you won’t be surprised – you’ll know God is carrying out His plans – and by God’s grace, you’ll be enduring, and looking forward to seeing Christ come in the clouds to take you home to heaven.

P.S. I’ve just posted my second article on the error of replacement theology: Replacement Theology – It’s Not True – Part 2.

The Divine Timetable, Daniel’s 70 Weeks

By Steven J. Hogan

~ A Saturday Morning Post #23 ~

Image result for daniel 70 weeks

What really amazes and encourages me is how much God has told us in His Word about the return of Jesus Christ to this earth. I’ve recently written about an enormous number of Old Testament prophecies that’s particularly relevant to those of us living in the end times. It’s necessary that we rightly interpret these prophecies so we can have the understanding God wants us to have about His plans for both the Jews and the church.

Today, I want to focus on one prophetic passage. It’s Daniel 9:24-27, and it speaks of a divine schedule, a timeframe that’s absolutely essential to help you see the sequence of events in the end times. This timeframe is the 70 weeks of Daniel, where 1 week equals 7 years, and 70 weeks equals 490 years.

Biblical scholars believe these 70 weeks started in 445BC. Now Daniel 9:26 predicted that the Messiah would be cut off after the first 69 weeks, or 483 years. What’s so amazing is that mathematicians have calculated that God’s timetable was perfect, for these 483 years take us right up to 30BC, the exact time when Christ was crucified. Again we see that God’s prophetic Word is to be taken literally, and is completely, 100% accurate.

But what about the 70th week? Has it started yet? No, it hasn’t. Daniel 9:27, Matthew 24:9-26, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12, and Revelation 13 all tell us of specific events that need to take place during this 7 year timeframe, but they’ve not yet occurred, meaning the 70th week is still future. It’s obvious that this church age has now been going on for close to 2000 years, meaning there’s a long gap between the 69th and 70th weeks.

Yet, over the past 130 years, the Jews have miraculously regathered back to their land, and this is a clear sign from God that we now live in the end times, and that the start-up of the 70th week is not far away. In fact, Daniel 12:4 first used the phrase, “the end time”, which is the time period when these 70 weeks will come to an end. The fact that God is again actively working with the Jews means He’s wrapping up His work with the church, and it won’t be long before Christ’s return. Of course only God knows when the 70th week will start. But when it does, then we’ll see a great deal of prophetic activity, and the glorious fulfillment of many of God’s promises to both the Jews and the church.

Here are some of the major prophesied events that will take place during Daniel’s 70th week:
1. At the very start of Daniel’s 70th week, there’ll be the confirmation of a covenant (or peace treaty) between Israel, the Antichrist and other nations (Daniel 9:27). Obviously, for many years now, the United States and other nations have been trying to get a peace treaty signed. Even this week we have been seeing the pursuit of a peace treaty over in Israel.
2. At the midpoint of the 70th week of Daniel, the 3½ year mark, the Antichrist will be revealed, and he will desolate the Jewish temple in Jerusalem. (Daniel 9:27). True Christians and many Jews will discern that this is the Antichrist, this most wicked man who will then begin greatly persecuting them all over the world. (Revelation 12:13-17)
3. At the very end of Daniel’s 70th week, the 7 year mark, a great many Jews will be saved (Daniel 9:24, Romans 11:25-27). At this time the kingdom of the world becomes the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ (Revelation 11:15).
4. Christ’s coming and the rapture of the church will take place sometime during the last half of this 70th week, but no one knows exactly when (Matthew 24:31-36). The day of the Lord, God’s judgment of unbelievers still alive on earth, will begin right after the rapture.

Only as you understand this 70th week timeframe will you be able to clearly figure out “what happens when” in the end times. I can’t stress enough the importance of knowing this divine schedule, for then you’ll be able to know how to put the prophecy pieces in their proper place. Otherwise you’ll be blind, and you won’t be able to see what God wants you to see about the future God has for you, your family, and for your church.

After Daniel wrote these prophesies, he was instructed to “seal up the book until the end time.” (Daniel 12:4, 9). Well, about 2450 years later, with the regathering of the Jews back to their land, this book was unsealed. How exciting and encouraging to be living in the end times that Daniel predicted. I’m sure he would’ve loved to be alive now, but God meant it for us. This is our time! It won’t be long now before the start of Daniel’s 70th week, and not many years later, the wonderful rapture of the church, the devastating wrath of God on earth, the promised redemption of the Jews, and then the glorious reign of Jesus Christ on earth. Psalm 72:18-19

P.S. I have just posted an important new article explaining why replacement theology, which believes God’s promises for the Jews are no longer valid, is wrong: Replacement Theology: It’s Not True – Part 1.

A Jewish Reading Lesson

By Steven J. Hogan

~ A Saturday Morning Post #22 ~

It was about seven years ago, that by God’s grace, I finally figured out how to read the Old Testament. I was so excited! For the first time in my life, I could see the whole big scheme of things, how everything in the Bible fits in with God’s future plans. My prayer and desire is to help you know how to read the Old Testament, so you too can more clearly understand God’s plans for the Jews, the church, and the ages to come.

First, here are some basic, Biblical ground rules that you need to know:
1. The Old Testament is true, and it needs to be taken literally. For example, Israel means Israel; Jerusalem means Jerusalem; and forever means forever.
2. God’s promises to the Jews regarding their land, salvation and King have not been changed or nullified. They are still true, and God will most definitely carry them out.
3. Israel has not been replaced by the church with regard to God’s plans. Promises made to Israel are not figuratively being fulfilled by the church, but will literally be fulfilled by the Jews.
4. You can’t understand the future of the church if you don’t understand the future of the Jews, for God’s work with the Jews in the end times is in conjunction with His work for the church. Daniel’s 70th week is a key time frame for both Jews and Christians.
5. Old Testament prophecies can usually be placed in one of four time periods: (1) The prophecy relates to the writer’s time period, and shortly thereafter. (2) The prophecy relates to Christ’s 1st coming. (3) The prophecy relates to Christ’s 2nd coming. (4) The prophecy relates to Christ’s kingdom age. (A prophecy may have both a near and far fulfillment.)

Here are some examples of how Old Testament prophecies fit in one of these four time periods – (1), (2), (3) or (4). Psalm 22:1-21 speaks about Christ’s suffering on the cross, and this refers to Christ’s 1st coming (2). Then Psalm 22:28 says, “The kingdom is the Lord’s and He rules over the nations” and this refers to Christ’s coming kingdom age (4).

Psalm 37:29 says, “The righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it forever.” This Psalm tells us about the fulfillment of God’s promise to the Jews that they will inherit some land, and this too is speaking about the coming kingdom age (4).

Psalm 98:2-3 tells us, “The Lord has made known His salvation… He has remembered His lovingkindness and His faithfulness to the house of Israel.” This verse is talking about the house of Israel, and so this is not referring to the salvation of people during the church age, but to the salvation of the Jews at the 2nd coming of Christ (3).

Isaiah 9:6 is a classic, for the first part of the verse, “A child will be born to us, a son will be given us” is referring to Christ’s 1st coming (2), and the very next part of the verse, “and the government will rest on His shoulders” talks about the kingdom age (4).

Ezekiel 37:21-23 is one of my favorite prophetic passages, for right here in these three verses we read about the fulfillment of God’s promises to the Jews with regard to their land (verse 21), their King (verse 22), and their salvation (verse 23). These prophecies are clearly referring to Christ’s 2nd coming (3), and His kingdom age (4).

Micah 5:2-5 tells us two different things, that the coming Messiah will be born in Bethlehem which takes place at Christ’s 1st coming (2), and that “He will be great to the ends of the earth”, and this no doubt is speaking about the kingdom age (4).

Christians living in the end times of this church age have a distinct advantage. We can look at a particular prophecy, and then look back in history, and see if it has taken place or not, if it is a past or future event. We can see where everything fits, in time periods (1), (2), (3) or (4). It’s essential to learn how to rightly read the Old Testament, to properly interpret God’s prophetic word, and then you can understand His future plans for both the Jews and the church. I believe you’ll be thrilled as God gives you understanding, and then enables you to Biblically visualize the future God has for you, and for all His people on this earth.

There are 100’s and 100’s of verses in the Old Testament that predict God’s plans for the Jews. Here are some others I’d encourage you to check out in your spare time: Psalm 47, Psalm 67, Psalm 102:12-28, Psalm 105:5-8, Psalm 130, Isaiah 2:1-5, Isaiah 60, Isaiah 61:1-2, Jeremiah 32:6-44, Ezekiel 37:24-28, Daniel 12:1-13, Hosea 1:10-11 (the triple play), Joel 2:27-32 (Jews and church), Haggai 2:4-9, Zechariah 2:10-12, and Zechariah 14:9.

P.S. I encourage you to look at the charts (links) which we have in the above post, for they will help you to understand this lesson.

P.P.S. We have also just published a new article that I believe will help you understand our heavenly Father’s great love for us: The Father’s Love for His Children.

Unfinished Business

By Steven J. Hogan

~ A Saturday Morning Post #21 ~

God has a lot of unfinished business left to do with regard to the Jews. But many Christians don’t understand His plans, or are uninformed, confused, or in error. In fact, there are some who actually believe God’s work with the Jews is done, is over, is finished. Yes, they say the Jews were the ancestors of the Messiah and the writers of God’s Word, but they say they blew it when they killed the Messiah – they had their chance, and they took themselves out of the picture. Now they readily admit that the Jews have reoccupied Israel,  but they still adamantly say there’s no Biblically prophesied future for ethnic Jews, for those who are Jews physically speaking. They say that we’re now in the church age, and that all God’s future plans relate directly and only to the church. Let me explain why their thinking is wrong:

God’s Word is true – it was true when it was written, it is true today, and it is true forever. God is not a man that He should lie or that He should change His mind, and therefore, every single word of God will be fulfilled, which includes His promises to the Jews. “The word of the Lord is right and true; He is faithful in all He does… The Lord’s counsel stands forever, the plans of His heart from generation to generation. Blessed is the nation (Israel) whose God is the Lord, the people whom He has chosen for His own possession.” Psalm 33:4, 11-12

God’s character is at stake. Do you think God would give all these promises to the Jews, and then not keep His Word? If God has changed His mind, then He has deceived many people, even Jesus’ own mother (Luke 1:28-35). If God doesn’t keep His promises, then He is a liar. But God is not a liar – He will always be faithful to His Word. “Do you think I came to abolish the Law or the prophets? I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.” Matthew 5:17-19

God’s promises are not based on law but on grace, and therefore are unconditional. They depend on God’s Word, and on God’s power, mercy and faithfulness, and therefore can’t be annulled because of Israel’s sin and unfaithfulness. God’s promises to the Jews that they’d inherit some land (Genesis 13:14-17), that Messiah would be King over the entire world (2 Samuel 7:12-13), and that a Jewish remnant would be saved (Jeremiah 31:31-34), will, without question, be fulfilled! “God has remembered His covenant forever.” Psalm 105:8

God’s promises are literal. They are not to be spiritualized. You can’t take some of God’s promises literally, and others figuratively. The promises of Christ’s 1st coming were fulfilled in every detail, and the promises of His 2nd coming will be fulfilled in every detail. How can a person say Jesus was literally born as a baby but won’t literally come back as a King? How can a person say that Old Testament promises for the Jews are not to be taken literally, but are now true for the church? You can’t say these things. Listen to what God says: “Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned it and I will do it.” Isaiah 46:9-11

God’s promises to the Jews are eternal promises. “All the land which you see, I will give it to you and your descendants forever.” Genesis 13:15. How can anyone say God’s promises are not eternal when God says they are eternal? God is not going back on His Word, is He? His promises cannot in any way, shape or form be taken back, be rescinded – they will come true, and they will be true forever. “Thus says the Lord…” Jeremiah 31:35

God never said His promises were changed. Neither God, Christ or any New Testament writer ever actually denied these promises to the Jews, or said they were altered or reneged, and then given to the church. In fact, they were affirmed to be true. Luke 1:54-55, 1:68-79; Romans 15:4

Most of God’s Word is about the Jews. Nearly 70% of the Bible is about the Jews, and close to 23% is about the church. And then you have way over 1000 Old Testament verses that restate and amplify God’s promises to the Jews. How can anyone say that the Jews are irrelevant, and that God’s promises to them are null and void? Anyone who thinks God’s future plans for the Jews have been nullified and invalidated are terribly mistaken. Don’t believe those who say there’s no future for the Jews. Believe what God says: “Judah will be inhabited forever and Jerusalem for all generations.” Joel 3:20. “I will make a covenant of peace… an everlasting covenant with them. I will multiply them and set my sanctuary in their midst forever.” Ezekiel 37:26

This is a very important post. I write this for there are many who question God’s promises to the Jews – but we should never question God and His Word. With regards to His future working with the Jews, read the Old Testament, particularly the Law, the Psalms and the Prophets. Take them literally, and believe them, and see how God’s plans for His people, for both the Jews and the church, are now coming true at this time in history. And stay tuned, for there’s much more to be said on this subject in future posts and articles.

P.S.  Here is another important article about what the Old Testament teaches us about the Kingdom Age on this earth: Hidden Treasure in the Old Testament.

Old Testament + New Testament = The Word of God

By Steven J. Hogan

~ A Saturday Morning Post #20 ~

Image result for isaiah 53

The Old Testament is the truth of God. It is a set of 39 books, that together with 27 books in the New Testament, make up the Bible, the word of God. And just like you need to read all the chapters in a book to get the whole story, so too you need to read the whole Bible, both Old and New Testaments, to get the whole story, to understand God’s past, present and future working with His people, and with this entire earth.

What is the Old Testament about? It is about Jesus Christ, who He is, what He’s like, and what He’s doing – His office, character and purpose. There are many verses, types and illustrations of Christ in the Old Testament, giving us a very good picture of our Lord, Savior and King. Jesus Himself used the Law, the Prophets and the Psalms from the Old Testament to help His disciples understand who He was (Luke 24:25-27, 44-45).

The Old Testament is about the Jews. Their purpose was to write God’s word, to be recipients of God’s Laws and covenants, to carry out the temple service, and to be the “Woman” who’d give birth to the Messiah, to Jesus Christ. We also read stories about the Jews, their lives and service for God, which give us many good examples of faith, hope, love and perseverance. There’s Adam, Abraham, Moses, Deborah, Ruth, David, Isaiah, Esther, Nehemiah and many others. But these are not just saints with godly character that make for nice Sunday School lessons. The Old Testament is more than just a lot of stories with no larger context, but it’s part of the entire Bible, and therefore a necessary part of the whole story. Consider the following:

First, there were the promises, the covenants from God. Abraham knew that from his lineage would come a great multitude of descendants (Genesis 12:1-3). David knew that the Messiah would be one of his descendants, the future King of the entire world (2 Samuel 7:12-16). Jeremiah knew that a great number of Jews would be saved in the future. (Jeremiah 31:31-34). These three promises are extremely important, for they not only speak of God’s plans for the Jews, but they also relate to the church and to our future.

Second, there were the predictions of the prophets. They “predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow.” 1 Peter 1:11. For example, Isaiah, Micah, Zechariah and Daniel all spoke of the coming Christ (Isaiah 9:6-7, 53; Micah 5:2-4; Zechariah 14:9; and Daniel 7:13-14). As we now know, some of their predictions literally came true at Christ’s 1st coming, but others will literally be fulfilled at Christ’s 2nd coming, and in the kingdom age to follow. For example, Jesus was literally born as a Baby on this earth, and  in the near future He will literally appear and be the King over this earth.

Third, there were the parts played by godly Israelites. There was Moses, and if it weren’t for him, the Jews would never have made it to the promised land. There was Ruth, a key player in the big scheme of things, for she was the great grandmother of David. There was Esther, whom God used to preserve the Jewish race, and without her, Jesus would not have been born. And then there was Ezra, and he helped bring the Jews back to Israel, and so Jesus could be born in Bethlehem. These stories, seen on earth, were all part of God’s plans. But behind all this has been the invisible spiritual war between God and Satan. Revelation 12 tells us that Satan has been fighting like the devil to stop the work of God as it relates to both Jews and Christians, but God has defeated him again and again.

You can’t disregard the Old Testament. When you read it, you need to realize that it’s not just isolated events that took place in the past with no connection to the future. You have to see the Old Testament promises and predictions of God, all pointing to and leading to New Testament events, Christ’s 1st coming, His 2nd coming, and His kingdom age. You have to see that God’s people played key roles in the past, but were also necessary for God’s future plans. You need to see God sovereignly directing people and events in accordance with His eternal purposes and plans. “The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart from generation to generation.” Psalm 33:11

At this time in history, we are in the last part of the church age, for the Jews are back in their land. God’s working with both Jews and Christians is now in high gear, and it won’t be long before His end time plans for them will be fulfilled. Then in the next age, we will all be worshiping and serving the Lord together. Hebrews 11:13, 39 is instructive – “All these (Old Testament saints), having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, because God had something better for us (New Testament saints), so that apart from us they would not be made perfect.” 

P.S. I have an important new article for you to read – “Why Do Believers Die?” ~ A Memorial Service Message.   Also, just as a reminder, we have been continuing to post new Español posts every week!

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