Month: October 2017

The Persecution of the Jews: From Pharaoh to the Antichrist

By Steven J. Hogan

~ A Saturday Morning Post #40 ~

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One condition that must be met before Christ’s 2nd coming is increasing Jewish persecution. This anti-Semitism has been taking place since the beginning days of Israel’s existence when they were growing up in Egypt, and 3600 years later it still goes on, and will continue right up until Christ’s return. Revelation 12 best summarizes this hellish opposition against the Jews, this persecution driven and directed by the devil himself. The imagery is given of a seven headed, ten horned dragon, depicting eight different devilish empires opposing the Jews. Seven of these are now in the past, but one more, the Antichrist’s 10 nation kingdom, is still to come.

Revelation 12:1-5 takes us from the birth of Israel to the birth of Christ. And the pregnant woman with 12 stars is the nation of Israel, and she was in painful labor during this time. That’s because Satan was using six different kingdoms to persecute the Jews and prevent the Savior from being born – they were Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome. These God hating kingdoms wanted to wipe out the Jews and Jesus, but none were successful, for verse 5 tells us about the birth of Jesus Christ, the future Ruler, and that He ascended into heaven. And that’s all it says, for the main point of this verse isn’t about Christ being the Savior, but that Christ will be the King over the world.

Revelation 12 isn’t about the church age, it’s about the “woman”, the Jews, being persecuted by the devil. And now looking back we see that there’s about a 2000 year gap between verses 5 and 6, taking us from Christ’s 1st coming to the last half of Daniel’s 70th week and Christ’s 2nd coming. But where were the Jews during this entire time? When Jesus was on earth, He repeatedly predicted that wrath was coming upon the Jews (Luke 19:41-44, 20:16, 21:20-24, 23:28-31), and this tragically took place around 70AD. Historians tell us that close to 1 million Jews were killed by the Romans, and Luke 21:24 says the rest would then “be led captive into all the nations, and will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles”. And God’s word has come true for there’s been great persecution against the Jews over the course of all those years, but by God’s mercy, they were never completely destroyed – a remnant of Jews has always survived.

The Diaspora, this worldwide Jewish displacement, lasted a long time, a little over 1800 years, but by the promises of God and for the purposes of God, the Jews have miraculously been returning to their land. And the persecution has continued, their darkest days occurring when this devilish Hitler led a holocaust resulting in the mass murder of close to 6 million Jews. But God was sovereign in that their deaths led to the rebirth of their nation in 1948. But the anti-Semitic attacks kept coming – there was the Sinai War of 1956, the Six Day War of 1967, the Yom Kippur War of 1973, the Lebanon War of 1982, and in addition, a great deal of global opposition.

Now it’s 2017, and it’s obvious to those who watch world affairs that there’s a major effort underway to get a peace treaty between the Jews and Palestinians. And what’s amazing is that over 2500 years ago God predicted that a covenant between the Jews and the Antichrist would be confirmed, and it would take place right at the beginning of Daniel’s 70th week, that end times’ prophecy packed 7 year time frame (Daniel 9:24-27).

I don’t believe it will be too long before this covenant is signed, and life may then be a bit better for the Jews, but this “peace” will be short lived. That’s because the Antichrist is a liar. We then come to the midpoint of Daniels’ 70th week, and 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 tells us that this “son of destruction… takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.” And all discerning Jews and Christians will know that this is the Antichrist. This most evil man will begin persecuting the Jews, and then the Christians. Starting in Jerusalem, this great persecution will spread to the whole world. “There will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now” (Matthew 24:15-21).

The good news is that a sizable Jewish remnant will escape (Matthew 24:16-26, Revelation 12:13-16). But not all will get away from the Antichrist and his forces of evil, and the killing fields will once again be red with the blood of the Jews. Even the United States will abandon the Jews and be against them. In fact, “All nations of the earth will be gathered against it” (Zechariah 12:3). This Jewish persecution will continue “until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled” (Luke 21:24). And then God will fulfill His promise of salvation for the Jews. “And thus all Israel will be saved… This is my covenant with them, when I take away their sins (Romans 11:25-26).  Then begin the glory years, the millennial kingdom age, and all believers from all time, you and me included, will join the Jews in worshiping and serving the Lord Jesus Christ. “Blessed be His glorious name forever; and may the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen, and Amen.” Psalm 72:19

P.S. I’ve just posted another article about your future: Prophecy Psalms for the Jews and for You – Part 2.

The Downfall of The United States Before the Return of Christ

By Steven J. Hogan

~ A Saturday Morning Post #39 ~

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Jesus Christ cannot come back until the United States declines in power. That’s the truth, and on one hand I hate to say the U.S. is going down, for I like living in this country that’s been greatly blessed by God. But it’s going to happen, sooner or later – it has to. That’s because the Antichrist needs to be in power right before the coming of Christ. Therefore, the United States can’t be number one in the world at the same time the Antichrist and his 10 nation kingdom is ruling the world. The U.S. has to go down before the return of Christ and the rapture of the church.

The Bible tells us in great detail what happens when nations reject God. “The nations have sunk down in the pit in which they have made… Let the nations be judged before You.” (Psalm 9:15-20). “Ephraim is joined to idols; let him alone” (Hosea 4:17). “I have cut off nations, their strongholds are demolished” (Zephaniah 3:6). “In the generations gone by God permitted all the nations to go their own ways” (Acts 14:6). But it’s Romans 1 that outlines the downward moral progression of a person or a country that rejects God and His truth. Three times it says, “God gave them over.” When people abandon God, then God abandons them and lets them alone in their sin. Their sin is the reason why they are judged, and more sin is the result, the actual judgment of their sin.

The first visible sign of God abandoning the United States to her sin was seen in the open sexual immorality that began in the 1960’s. The second sign was when homosexuality was accepted, lawful and promoted in society, which has been taking place in the past 10-15 years. The third sign of a country’s decline is when God gives the people over to a depraved mind “to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil, envy, murder, strife… haters of God… disobedient to parents… unloving” (Romans 1:28-32). It’s sad to say, but this list of sins increasingly describes our country. More and more people are totally disregarding the truth of God’s Word, consciences aren’t functioning rightly, there’s open rebellion against authority, and lawlessness is becoming more rampant. “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil.” Isaiah 5:20, Ezekiel 16:48-50

For many years this moral and spiritual decay has been affecting the character of our country, and like a cancer it has been spreading, resulting in the educational, political, economic and entertainment sectors of our nation becoming terribly sick. Not only that, but we’re gradually becoming more anti-Semitic – “the one who curses you (Israel), I will curse” (Genesis 12:3). Then there’s the severe financial indebtedness of this country, which may result in a nationwide economic collapse. Add to that the significant societal and political division we see in this nation (which I believe is irreversible) – “any kingdom divided against itself cannot stand” (Mark 3:24). Yes, it is true that there is some good in the United States, that she is still being used by God for His purposes, but the fact remains that she is now in decline, paving the way for other world powers to arise, unless the Antichrist and his kingdom are the next in line to take over, and if so, then they will rule the world.

Most countries gradually go down in power; the decline doesn’t usually happen in a day, a month or a year – it takes place over decades and sometimes centuries. And so when will the United States no longer be the number one power in the world? No one but God knows, but her downturn, along with all the other events signaling Christ’s return, indicate to me that it will be sometime in the near future. There could even be catastrophic events accelerating the downfall of this nation – terrorist attacks, a great California earthquake, a super-volcano, electromagnetic pulse weapons, etc. This country is in serious decay, and any major cataclysmic event could be “the straw that breaks the camel’s back,” that which quickly weakens her beyond repair.

For a number of years this world has been trending towards globalism, which needs to take place before the Antichrist can come to power. As you know, this country recently elected a nationalistic and populist President. But this is only a temporary shift, for it won’t be long before globalism becomes the great desire and cry of this and most every country. People will be desperate for a world leader to solve global problems, like war, famine, plagues, earthquakes, the economy, and yes, Christianity too.

The main point in all this is that the United States will lose her first place status in the world, and become subservient to the power structures raised up in Europe and the Middle East, and eventually to the Antichrist himself. Daniel 2:31-45, 7:15-28, 9:24-27 and Revelation 13 explain this more fully. But as Christians we must not be overly concerned with the politics and policies of this country. Our real goal is not to have a moral majority, or get dominion over this country, or to make America great – it is to preach Christ crucified, to make disciples of all the nations until the end of this age and the return of Christ, and to pray – “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:9-10

P.S. It’s important that we understand the prophetic Psalms, and therefore I’ve just published a new article which explains how many of the Psalms speak about the future: Prophecy Psalms for the Jews and for You – Part 1.

World History and International Studies

By Steven J. Hogan

~ A Saturday Morning Post #38 ~

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As people living in the 21st century we need to know  how God has been working in the world with regards to the nations, and I’m not talking from a geopolitical perspective. I’m not talking about what the United Nations says, that weak body of leaders that will never bring unity or peace to this world. I’m not talking about what Presidents, prime ministers or politicians say, and surely not what the news media says. I’m talking about a Biblical perspective, a Biblical framing of the nations, past, present and future. What does God’s word say about the nations? Where in the world are things headed?

Genesis 10-11 tells us that the nations of the world are divided into two main groups – the Gentile nations, from Noah’s sons, Ham and Japheth, and the nation of Israel, from Shem, Noah’s other  son. The promise we must never forget is what God said to Abram in Genesis 12:1-3, “I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you… and in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” Do you see this, that all true blessing in this world, both spiritual and physical, comes through Abram and his descendants, through Israel?

The main theme of most of the Old Testament, specifically Genesis 12 – Malachi 4, centers on the nation of Israel. You can only understand the Old Testament as you understand God’s sovereign and special working with Israel and how that affects the rest of the world. God’s dealings with all the other nations relate directly to their relationship with Israel.

Psalms 1-2 says that God works through individual people and nations. Psalm 1 tells us about individuals, the righteous who will be forever blessed (remember that God wants to use your life for His purposes), and the unrighteous who will perish, and be eternally punished. Psalm 2 talks about Gentile nations taking their stand against God. In their defiant pride they fail to see that Christ is King, and that He will inherit the nations and then begin His reign from Zion, from Israel. And if nations, kings and people don’t worship and serve the Lord and King, then they will be utterly destroyed.

Revelation 12:1-3 says that Satan has been strongly opposing the nation of Israel from the beginning. His devilish work has especially been seen in these “beast” nations – Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome I and Rome II. The Bible tells us how God has continually rescued and preserved this nation of Israel and, in the future, will enable them to help fulfill His plans. Psalms 33:10-12, Isaiah 40-66, Esther

God’s judgment of the nations for their sin is a major theme in the Bible, and is described in great detail, particularly in the prophets. Yet, God shows extreme patience with sinful nations, and for over 1500 years we see this with Israel, but His patience has a limit. In Isaiah 1:4, 26, God promises to judge Judah, “Ah, sinful nation, a people loaded with guilt… I will turn my hand against you.” Isaiah goes on to declare God’s wrath against Moab, Babylon, Ethiopia and Egypt. In Hosea 9:7, God says to Israel, “The days of punishment have come”. Obadiah tells us about God’s judgment against Edom.

Every nation has been judged or will be judged by God. The Bible and world history make this very clear. And since we’re now in the end times then it won’t be long before God’s wrath will be poured out on both people and nations. God’s global judgment is most sobering, a divine, devastating wrath that takes place right after the rapture of the church, but right before Christ’s reign over the world. Joel 3:2 tells us, “I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat.” Psalm 9:5 informs us, “You have rebuked the nations, You have destroyed the wicked.” Revelation 8-9, 16

In these days before Christ’s return, God must realign the nations of this earth. (Ezekiel 36-38:1-6, Daniel 2:31-45). God has brought the Jews back to Israel, and He’s getting other nations ready as well. Yes, this world is rapidly changing, but you look at countries like Israel, Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Russia and the United States, and it’s obvious that we’re not there yet. And Antichrist’s 10 nation kingdom hasn’t even come to power, but it will. Yes, Christ is coming soon, but many more things still need to take place before we see Him return in power and great glory. Matthew 24:27-41

God is holy, but He is also merciful. During the Old Testament days Israel was to be a light to the nations. In Psalm 96:2-3 the Jews were told, “Proclaim good tidings of His salvation… Tell of His glory among the nations.” But in these days the church is to let her light shine, and is to “make disciples of all the nations… even to the end of the age,” and then Christ will return to reign over the entire world. Matthew 28:19-20, Revelation 11:15

After the church age, the great glory of God will be seen in the nations during the millennial kingdom. Psalm 47:8 – “God reigns over the nations.” Psalm 67:2,4,5 – “Your salvation among the nations… let the nations be glad… You will guide the nations on the earth.” Psalm 86:9-10 – “All the nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord, and they shall glorify Your name. You are great and do wondrous deeds.”

P.S. Next week I will be sharing about the present and continuing decline of the United States, and how in the near future, she will no longer be the leading world power. She must go down, and then sooner or later, God will raise up the Antichrist’s kingdom.

 

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