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North Korea, Microchips and the Solar Eclipse

By Steven J. Hogan

~ A Saturday Morning Post #31 ~

In recent weeks you may have heard about North Korea, microchips, and a solar eclipse. But what amazes and saddens me is when I hear people getting so worried about these things, wondering if the end of the world is right around the corner. It’s reminds me of fearful “Chicken Little” crying out, “The sky is falling!” As Christians, we shouldn’t be afraid or confused, for God has already told us what’s going to happen, and has even given us a 7 year time frame so we can see where these things fit in with His end time plans.

First, let’s talk about North Korea. Matthew 24:6-7 tells us, “You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end.” Jesus goes on to say, “these things are merely the beginning of birth pains.” Let me explain: these birth pains are wars, earthquakes, famines and plagues taking place before the end of this age and Christ’s coming, and this includes this North Korean conflict. But it’s just the “beginning of birth pains”, meaning a lot more things, and yes more wars, need to take place before the rapture of the church.

Second, we read about small rice-sized microchips that for years have been implanted in animals as identification and tracking devices. And now they’re putting them in people – but why is this potentially such a big deal? Because Revelation 13:16-17 tells us that “he (another beast) causes all… to be given a mark on their right hand or forehead.” Now we don’t know exactly what this “mark” is, but I believe it relates to these microchips that are presently being developed and increasingly being perfected. This beast, together with the devilish Antichrist, will be using this kind of technology, and “no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark…” This “mark” will be one of the main ways the Antichrist will control people, run the economy, and rule the world during his short dictatorship.

When will this take place? I’ve previously taught about a 7 year time period called Daniel’s 70th week, and right after the midpoint of this week this mark will be implemented by the Antichrist and this other beast. Now Daniel’s 70th week hasn’t even started yet, for we’re still at the beginning of birth pains. But this mark, this chip will be ready to use on a global scale, and accepted by society at large when the Antichrist steps out on the world stage. Now Christians will still be on earth at this time, what Matthew 24:21 calls the great tribulation. But be assured, that if you’re a true, born again Christian, then you will not and cannot take this mark of the beast. Only unbelievers can take the mark.

Third, there’s this coming solar eclipse. Some well-known Christians have actually said this is a sign that judgment is coming on America. And yes, the Bible tells us about “wonders in the sky” (Joel 2:31), and that the “the sun will be darkened… ” (Matthew 24:29) before the Day of the Lord, but this particular solar eclipse is not part of these end of the age cosmic disturbances. Why do we know that? Because the Bible tells us that these heavenly signs will not take place until after the Antichrist has been revealed, after the mark of the beast is implemented, immediately after the great tribulation, and right before the rapture of the church. Matthew 24:29-31, Revelation 6:12-7:14

Let me sum it up: As a world, we’re now experiencing beginning birth pains, and part of that are these wars and rumors of wars. Then in the near future there’ll be a peace treaty between the coming Antichrist and Israel, and this begins Daniel’s 70th week. At the 3½ year point of that week, the Antichrist will be revealed, and he’ll make non-Christians take the mark of the beast, and also begin great tribulation against both Jews and Christians. Immediately after this great tribulation is cut short, there’ll be these warning signs in the heavens, marking the end of this age, the return of Christ, and the rapture of the church. And then God’s wrath will be poured out on all the unbelievers living on this earth.

God has told us ahead of time what’s going to take place before the return of His Son. And why? Because He wants us to know He’s in control, that He’s doing exactly what He has planned to do; and He doesn’t want us to worry – He wants us to have peace in our hearts. We need to know that Jesus Christ is coming soon, but I say “soon” in terms of all of human history. The truth is, the Bible tells us a number of things that need to take place before Christ’s coming. In the weeks ahead we will be looking closely at many of these things. Hebrews 10:23-25

P.S.  Please feel free to check out the many articles and charts here on this blog.  They are here to help ones understand more fully what the Bible teaches about the return of Christ the King.  Also, here is a post about the Good News ~ how a person can know Jesus Christ now and forever!

More on the Glory of God, The Most Important Thing of All!

By Steven J. Hogan

~ A Saturday Morning Post #30 ~

The glory of God! What a great and glorious subject! Might we desire to glorify God, to give Him all the glory! Before we were saved, we were sinners, and we weren’t giving glory to God. We “exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man…” (Romans 1:23). But thanks be to God that He saved us so we’d give Him glory. And then we are told that we are to “exult in hope of the glory of God” (Romans 5:2). One of the main reasons we are saved is so that at Christ’s coming we’ll be glorified, and then we’ll glorify God all the time, and with all our heart and soul. This is what we should truly be excited about and looking forward to!

But now we’re on earth, and the flesh oftentimes wants to be seen, recognized, applauded, famous, popular and promoted. And it’s Psalm 115:1 that again tells us our primary reason for being here: “Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your name give glory, because of your love and because of your truth.” We’re to give God glory, and why? Because His love and His truth have wonderfully and eternally transformed us. What was David’s desire? “I will give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, and will glorify Your name forever. For your love toward me is great” (Psalm 86:12-13).

How do we give glory to God? Psalm 63:1-5 tells us that we are to seek God, and then we will see God, and specifically His power and His glory. And then we will be satisfied by His love, and then we will glorify Him. Again, as we seek God, we will see Him, we will know Him, we will be in love with Him – and then we will glorify Him by blessing Him, by praising Him, by singing to Him. And by the way, it’s better than a million sunsets, or anything else on this earth.

How else do we give glory to God? 1 Corinthians 10:31 says that our entire life is to give God glory. “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” We glorify God by eating, by our jobs, by using our gifts, by serving in church, by our relationships, our family time, our work outs, our vacations, by “whatever you do.” We also glorify God by being strong in faith (Romans 4:20), by doing the work God gives us to do (John 17:4), by being thankful (Psalm 69:30), and by being holy (Isaiah 6:3).

Then there are the “glory” verses. 1 Timothy 1:15-17 says God is glorified because He saves us. Philippians 4:19-20 says God is glorified when our needs are met. 2 Peter 3:18 says God is glorified as we grow in knowing Christ. 2 Timothy 4:18 says God is glorified because He rescues us from evil attacks. Jude 24-25 says God is glorified by taking us from earth to heaven. Hebrews 13:20-21 says God is glorified because He equips us to do His will. Romans 11:36 says God is glorified because He saves a remnant of Jews. “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.” Do you see this? By far, our supreme goal, our greatest joy, our most satisfying endeavor, is giving glory to God, now and forever!

But back to the coming of Christ: I have to tell you, I get real excited when I think about Christ coming in His awesome glory, splendor, power and majesty (Luke 21:27). For then I’ll be glorified, I’ll be fully saved, and I’ll finally be able to do what God chose me for, created me for, and saved me for – to fully and always glorify God and Jesus Christ. And it’s not just me glorifying God, but all the saints together glorifying God.Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God” (Revelation 19:1).

But one of my favorite glory verses is contained in Jesus’ prayer for us: “Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory…” (John 17:24). Can you imagine actually being with Jesus, seeing Him and seeing His amazing, magnificent and spectacular glory, and then giving Him glory? There is nothing better than this, and this is what we will be doing forever and ever and ever!

I pray that you’ll give glory to God as you live on this earth. But I also pray that you’re excited about seeing Christ return in glory, for then you’ll be glorified, and then you’ll appear with Christ in glory, and then you’ll give Him glory like never before – and you will be most encouraged, most satisfied, and filled with joy. “All the earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord” (Numbers 14:21). “From the ends of the earth we hear singing: ‘Glory to the Righteous One’” (Isaiah 24:16). “For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen” (Matthew 6:13).

P.S. My latest article was just published a few days ago: Replacement Theology: It’s Not True – Part 5 (Why People Have Believed This Error.) This will help you to more clearly understand the history of this error. Next week we’ll be looking at North Korea, microchips, and the solar eclipse, and how all this relates to the end times.

The Glory of God – The Most Important Thing of All!!!

By Steven J. Hogan

~ A Saturday Morning Post #29 ~ 

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God is all glorious! That’s because of who He is – God is God, and He is the Creator of the world, the Lord of lords, the King of kings, and the Savior of sinners. “O Lord God of hosts, who is like You, O mighty God?” Psalm 89:8. God is glorious because of what He’s like – He’s supreme, holy, just, wise, loving, powerful, truthful, sovereign, forgiving, good, faithful, patient, omniscient, omnipresent, immutable and eternal. “His name alone is exalted; His glory is above heaven and earth.” Psalm 148:13. And God is glorious because of what He does, because of His awesome works. “On the glorious splendor of Your majesty and on Your wonderful works, I will meditate.” Psalm 145:5

God is always glorified! There’s never a time when He is not glorified. Every single thing that God has ever done or ever will do gives Him glory. Not only that, but as Revelation 4 tells us, the four living creatures are continually and eternally giving glory to God. “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty… Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things…” But there’s been a big problem.

Man is made to glorify God. But as Romans 1:18-32 says, man is worshiping the creation instead of God, His Creator, and this is his main sin, his root problem, resulting in all kinds of other sins. Yet, in His kindness, God sent His own Son, Jesus Christ, to save man from his sin, to redeem those who believe He died and paid for their sins and then rose again. And why did God do this? For man’s eternal good, and so he would glorify God. The Westminster Confession sums it up, “The chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.” 

As a Christian you are to glorify God – to worship, to extol, to exalt, to praise, to bless, to honor, to thank, to fear, to love Him. This is your main purpose, your primary duty during your life on this earth, and forever and ever. “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31. “To Him who loves us… to Him be the glory and dominion forever and ever.” Revelation 1:5-6. O might you see this! O might your heart, soul and life be filled with praise to God, for He is worthy!!!

God made the heavens and the earth, the angels, plants and animals, mountains and hills, and men and women, to praise and glorify God. But as was said, man sinned and didn’t give Him glory. But God has reconciled people to Himself, and the Bible and all of history tells us stories of selected men and women giving glory to God. The Jews, for example, were a chosen people, and many of them worshiped God. As David said, “I will give thanks to You, O Lord my God… and will glorify Your name forever.” Psalm 86:11. But overall, the Jews did not honor God, and so He punished them, for “they worshiped a molten image. They exchanged their glory for an image of an ox.” Psalm 106:19-20. Yet God never gave up on the Jews, for though He exiled them and later scattered them all over the world, He promised to gather them back to their land (and now they are there), so they would give Him glory. “I will be glorified in the midst of Thee.” Ezekiel 28:22. “The earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord.” Habakkuk 2:14

But now we’re in the church age, and the time for the revival of a remnant of Jews, and for these promises to be fulfilled, is still to come. This then is our opportunity and time to serve the Lord and give Him glory. Many verses tell us this – Romans 16:25-27, Galatians 1:4-5, Philippians 4:19-20, 2 Peter 3:18, Jude 24-25, Revelation 1:5-6, Ephesians 3:21 – “To Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.”

Since we live in the end times, then we know it won’t be long before Christians on earth “will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory” (Luke 21:27), and before we will be “raised in glory” (1 Corinthians 15:42), and before all believers “will be revealed with Christ in glory” (Colossians 2:3). Do you realize what’s going to happen? And do you see that our primary message is God’s glory, and that our main purpose is to glorify Him, and to “tell of His glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among the peoples… to ascribe to the Lord the glory of His name?” Psalm 96:3, 7

It’s so joyful, exhilarating and fulfilling to glorify God with the saints during this church age, but I’m looking forward to glorifying Him in the next age with all the believers from the Old Testament and church ages, and from the millennial kingdom age. It won’t be long before “every knee will bow… and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father,” and before we’re saying, and I believe singing, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory.” Philippians 2:10-11, Isaiah 6:3

P.S.  I plan to have my new article posted early next week: “Replacement Theology :  It’s Not True – Part 5.”  Look for it then!

The Most Important Thing for You!

By Steven J. Hogan

~ A Saturday Morning Post #28 ~

Our primary subject in this blog is the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ. But you need to know the importance of His 1st coming before you can see the significance of His 2nd coming. You’re not going to be excited about Christ coming again if you don’t know why He came the first time, and if you don’t know Him as your personal Lord and Savior.

In this world there are a multitude of problems, but by far, the biggest problem is sin, and it’s in the heart and life of every single person. And what is this sin? Sin is not loving God – it’s worshiping the creation instead of the Creator, glorifying man instead of glorifying God. Sin is rebelling against God, breaking God’s laws, and disobeying His commands. It’s ignoring Him and just doing your own thing. Jesus gave a list of specific sins“evil thoughts, fornication, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness.” Mark 7:21-22. And your evil thoughts, words and deeds are a lot more than you realize – it’s not just a couple of crimes you’ve committed against God, but millions of them.

And this sin is really bad. It’s a spiritual cancer that kills, that will totally ruin your life. It results in sorrow, fear, worry, loneliness, conflict, emptiness, depression, hopelessness, physical sickness and death, and much more than that, in spiritual death and eternal death. It means you’re completely cut off from God. “The wages of sin is death.” Romans 6:23. “Your sins have made a separation between you and your God.” Isaiah 59:2

Because you’ve sinned, then you’re guilty before God. And because you’re guilty, then you must be punished by God. And this punishment is altogether just. “These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.” 2 Thessalonians 1:9-10. “Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire.” Matthew 25:41. You’re spiritually dead, spiritually lost, and spiritually helpless. This sin and death is your worst problem, a most desperate situation, but what can you do about it?

Here’s the answer: about 2000 years ago God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to this earth; and when He was on earth, He did everything right and nothing wrong. Then, as a perfect sacrifice, He died on the cross for sinners, taking their sins upon Himself. Christ became a substitute, being punished by His Father for people’s sins, thereby paying the penalty they deserved. “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8. “God made Christ who knew no sin to be sin that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

What must you do to be saved? You must see that only Jesus Christ can save you. You must see that you’re a sinner, and deserve to be punished for your sins. You must repent of your sins, being sorry that you’ve sinned against God, and you must believe that Christ died for you, and then rose again, and that God was fully satisfied by what Christ did for you. Turn from your sin and trust in Christ, and then you’ll be born again, and become a child of God. You’ll be forgiven of all your sins, and be given everlasting life, an eternal and personal relationship with God Himself. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16. “By grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no man may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

Do you know what will happen if you don’t turn to Christ? One of two things – either you’ll physically die and go to hell, or you’ll be here when Christ comes back to earth. And if you are here and aren’t right with God, then Christ will be your Judge, and it will be “hell” on earth – and then you’ll be in hell forever. You do not want that. I strongly exhort you – tell God you’re sorry that you’ve sinned against Him, and believe that “Christ died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God.” 1 Peter 3:18. “Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13

Now I’ve talked about the bad news, the sin and death and hell. But I want you to remember the good news of Jesus Christ, the greatest demonstration of love this world has ever seen, that God is offering you a complete pardon of all your sins. More than you know, God wants you to get saved, and wants you to know Him and His love. He wants you to live a life that has meaning, and is pleasing and glorifying to Him. God wants to be your Father, and wants you to be with Him forever. “I came that you might have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10. “If anyone is thirsty, let Him come to Me and drink.” John 7:37.

If you believe the truth about Jesus Christ at His 1st coming, then you will be looking forward to seeing Him come back as your King at His 2nd coming!

P.S. Please check out my newest article about the character of God, which I just published today: I Still Say My ABC’s, The ABC’s of God’s Character.

How Do We Know We are Living in the End Times?

By Steven J. Hogan

~ A Saturday Morning Post #27 ~

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Everything I’ve talked about so far isn’t that relevant if we can’t clearly and convincingly answer this one question: “How do we know we’re living in the end times?” God’s Word tells us that the Jews would return to Israel, and that’s exactly what has taken place in the past 130 years. The fact that the Jews are back in their own land is the main reason we know we’re in the end times, that time period leading up to the 2nd coming of Christ, the rapture of the church and the redemption of the Jews. Let me explain more fully:

From 750BC-490 BC, many Old Testament prophets predicted that the Jews would be gathered back to their land. Isaiah 11:11 – “In that day the Lord will reach out His hand a second time to reclaim the surviving remnant of His people…” (Note this is the second time – the first gathering took place between 530BC-440BC). Jeremiah 32:37-38 – “I will surely gather them from all the lands where I banish them in My furious anger and great wrath. I will bring them back to this place and let them live in safety. They will be My people and I will be their God.” Zechariah 8:7-8 – “I will save My people from the countries of the east and the west and bring them back to Jerusalem, and I will be faithful and righteous to them as their God.” Ezekiel 36:26 – “I will gather you from all the countries, and bring you into your own land… I will give you a new heart and spirit.” Hosea 1:11, Amos 9:14-15, Micah 4:6-7 and Zephaniah 3:14-20 also speak of this great gathering.

It was around 1880 that all these predictions started coming true, for that was the beginning of this gathering of Jews back to Israel. First there were thousands, then tens of thousands, then hundreds of thousands, then millions, and finally 6.5 million strong in May 2017 (Jewish Virtual Library). This is an amazing miracle of God! For a people group to be gone from their land for so long, and then to return with their same identity, same language, same culture, and same religion is absolutely phenomenal. Nothing like this has ever happened before! God’s promise about the Jews has been coming true, just like He said, and no one can deny it. Indeed, we are seeing a miraculous and glorious work of God!

But you say, “This is about the Jews, but what about the church?” Let me make the connection. Matthew 24:9-26, Mark 13:9-23, Luke 21:12-24, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-10 and Revelation 7:1-17 are all prophecy passages, and in each of them there’s a section about the Jews adjacent to a section about the church. By examining these passages, it’s obvious that God’s work with the Jews in the end times is coinciding with and in conjunction with His work with the church. Therefore, we know that God will not do His prophetic work with the Jews apart from His prophetic work with the church. And since the Jews are back in their land, then we know this age is coming to an end – it won’t be long before Christ returns to carry out this work, fulfilling God’s promises for the church and the Jews.

Do you see this? Over 2500 years ago, God predicted that the Jews would come back to their land. The fact that God has gathered them back to Israel is a clear and obvious sign that we are now living in the end times. (Daniel 12:4 – “Seal up the book until the end time.” The book has now been unsealed, for the Jews are back in their land). “Behold, I will take the sons of Israel from among the nations where they have gone, and I will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; and I will make them one nation in the land… and one King will be king for all them… and they will be my people and I will be their God.” Ezekiel 37:21-22 (Emphasis mine). The first part of this verse has come true for the Jews, and now the last part about God’s three promises for them, will also come true. They will be saved from their sins, will have Jesus as their King, and will then be blessed in their land.

But now that we’re in the end times, then all the other prophecies with regards to Christ’s 2nd coming will soon be taking place – there will be birth pains, a peace treaty, a new Jewish temple, the Antichrist, the mark of the beast, the great persecution, the rapture of the church, the Day of the Lord, the salvation of the Jews, and then Christ will begin His reign over the earth. Hallelujah!!!

It was only 150 years ago that the Jews weren’t in their land, but now they are. The prophetic alarm clock is now ringing, and God is telling us to wake up, for Christ’s coming is right around the corner. Be encouraged, be excited, learn what you need to learn, do what you need to do, and look forward to seeing your Lord, Savior and King!

P.S.  I have just published a new article: Replacement Theology: It’s Not True – Part 4.  This is a very helpful supplement to today’s post.  Please check it out and especially note point #3 which talks about the gathering of the Jews to Israel.

 

 

Clear New Testament Confirmation of God’s Plans for the Jews

By Steven J. Hogan

~ A Saturday Morning Post #26 ~

Does God say anything in the New Testament about the future of the Jews? Of course He does, and that’s because He wants us to know for certain that His promises to the Jews are still true. Here are some key verses:

Luke 24:45 – “All things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Jesus needed to remind His disciples, and us, that all the things written in the Old Testament about Him would come true, which would include reigning as King over the world, and carrying out His promises to the Jews.

Romans 11:25-26 – “A partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved.” These are the most crystal clear verses in the entire New Testament about the salvation of the Jews in the end times. It’s going to happen, and it’s after this church age is over, after the salvation of a great number of Gentiles.

Hebrews 11:10,13,16“He (Abraham) was looking for the city which has foundations… All these died in faith without receiving the promises.” These verses once again prove that God’s promise to the Jews about their land will be fulfilled, and this will take place after the end of this church age.

Luke 1:54-55“He (God) has given help to Israel His servant, in remembrance of His mercy, as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and His descendants forever.” All the Jews knew about God’s promise to Abraham, and now through Mary, God lets us know that He’s not going back on His word – He will most definitely keep His promise!

Acts 3:20-21“that He (God) may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets.” Here’s another verse validating the truth of God’s Old Testament promises to the Jews, that they would be blessed with land, and with a Kingdom that would be ruled by Christ Himself.

Revelation 11:15“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.” God made this promise to David that one of His descendants would be King over Israel, and over the entire world, and it will finally be realized at the 7th trumpet, at the very end of Daniel’s 70th week.

Luke 1:31-33“You will conceive and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High… He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.” This is another confirmation of God’s promise about His Son being the eternal King over this earth. And it was Mary’s first born son Jesus who would be the Son of God, in fulfillment of His promise to His people.

These verses were placed in the New Testament because God wants Christians living during this church age to know and be convinced of His future plans for the Jews. All these verses are clear confirmation that God has not nullified His plans for the Jews, but will faithfully carry them out. And there is nothing in the New Testament that negates God’s promises to the Jews. Those who say there’s no future for national, ethnic Israel are in error, for God never says that the church replaces Israel when it comes to the Old Testament promises. And in fact, here are some other New Testament verses that specifically relate to this subject of the Jews and their future: Matthew 23:37-39. Matthew 24:15-27. Mark 13:14-23. Luke 21:20-24. Luke 22:29-30. Luke 24:25. Acts 1:6-11. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-9. Revelation 7:1-8. Revelation 11:1-13. Revelation 12:5-17. As we look at the world around us, and as we closely examine the above passages, it’s obvious that God’s end time work with the Jews will soon be moving full speed ahead.

At this time Christians should focus on the church. But we are to also have our eyes open to what God is doing around us, and to know that the future of the church relates directly to the future of the Jews. God will not do His prophetic work with the Jews apart from His prophetic work with the church. Old Testament believers had promises for their land, their King, and their salvation, but they wouldn’t see them realized apart from the New Testament saints. Hebrews 11:39-40 says it well, “All these (Old Testament believers), having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, because God had provided something better for us (New Testament believers), so that apart from us (New Testament believers) they (Old Testament believers) would not be made perfect.”

Let me conclude by giving you the big picture perspective: Christ’s 1st coming was transitioning God’s work from the Jews to the church, and Christ’s 2nd coming will be transitioning God’s work from the church to both Old Testament believers and New Testament saints. That takes us into the next age, the millennial kingdom age.

P.S.  I’ve just published a short article about the importance of the Word of God with a long list of some of my favorite verses:  The Instructive, Commanding, Comforting and Encouraging Word of God!!!

Why the Jews Are Important for You and the Church

By Steven J. Hogan

~ A Saturday Morning Post #25 ~

Why? Why is this the 7th week in a row that I’m doing a blog post related to the Jews? Because all that you read in the Bible about the Jews is God’s Word and is true. Because the Bible talks about their past but it also talks about their future. Because hundreds of promises for the Jews are still unfulfilled – they haven’t been cancelled, only suspended. Because you can’t understand God’s future plans for the church if you can’t understand God’s future plans for the Jews. Because error is being taught about the Jews that needs to be corrected. Why? Because it relates to the purposes of God, the work of God, and the glory of God. The truth about the Jews is very important!!

Many Christians haven’t learned everything they need to know about the Jews, and are therefore confused, in error, or uncertain of God’s overall purposes for the world. Because they don’t understand God’s past, present and future working with the Jews, then their knowledge of His plans for the Jews and the church is incomplete and incorrect.

Since we live in the church age, then it’s necessary that we focus on the church, but it’s also important, especially at this time in history, to back up and see the big picture. We need to go back to the past, and then come back to the future, so that we can see where we’ve come from, and where we’re going. A big picture Biblical perspective of God’s work with the Jews is essential for the spiritual growth and health of the church.

Let me share my experience. About five years ago I was teaching the book of Revelation at our Wednesday Bible study. We came to Revelation 20 which is about the kingdom age, but there weren’t many details given, and so I felt stuck. I couldn’t just zoom past 1000 years of our lives, a glorious time when we’ll be reigning with Christ on earth. I had to figure out what this millennial kingdom age was all about. Then I realized God didn’t say anything about it in Revelation 20 because all He needed to say had already been said in the Old Testament, and He expected me to read what He had already written. Why should He repeat Himself? I knew I needed to go back to the Old Testament and learn some things about the Jews that I should’ve learned a long time ago.

For the next year our Bible study examined the Old Testament to see what it said about the Jews’ future (and the church’s future). I have to tell you, that was one of the most enlightening and encouraging studies I’ve ever done – WOW! It was revolutionary – it changed my view of my life, my view of the church, my view of prophecy, and my view of the future! I have to admit, the Bible made a lot more sense. Like never before God gave me a glimpse of the plans He had for the Jews and for the church. But more than that, my enlarged view of God and of Christ, of their purposes and character, and of their greatness and glory, transformed my heart like never before. I was really humbled.

My desire is to pass on to you what I’ve learned, to keep sharing with you what I know; but I want to encourage you to read the Old Testament yourself. By God’s grace, might you begin to more clearly see God’s promises and plans for the Jews, and how that fits in with your future, the future of the church, and the future of our world.

And since the Jews are back in their land, then we know that God is moving full steam ahead in carrying out His prophetic plans. Now is the time to understand how His end time work with the Jews fits in with His end time work with the church. In this last part of this church age it’s all coming together for God’s elect, and you need to see this, and know that Christ is coming soon for the church, and for the Jews.

Well, I have 2-3 more blog posts about the Jews and then I’ll again be focusing on the end of this age. I have a lot more I want to tell you. We need to learn from Daniel, Luke 21,1-2 Thessalonians and Revelation. We need to learn about all the things the Bible says will be taking place before Christ’s coming. We need to learn about Israel, realigning nations, the United State’s decline, the Antichrist, great tribulation, the gospel, hope, suffering, perseverance, the rapture, the Day of the Lord, the salvation of the Jews, and the millennial kingdom. And we also need to learn how to live in these days leading up to Christ’s return. Most importantly we need to learn more about Jesus Christ.

P.S.  I have just posted another important article which I believe will be very helpful to deepen your understanding of this subject:  Replacement Theology: It’s Not True – Part 3.

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.

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