Friday, March 30, 2012

Daniel's 70th Week, The Tribulation, The Day of the Lord/God's Wrath - Are They All the Same Thing?

In the matter of determining when the rapture will be (for those denominations who believe in a rapture), part of the difference in determining this event is based upon interpreting Scripture with the assumption that God's wrath, or the Day of the Lord, is a term that is interchangeable with the term Tribulation and/or Daniel's 70th Week. This article will seek to determine through Scripture if these terms all refer to the same thing.

First let us start with the easy one, Daniel's 70th week. In the book of Daniel, chapter 9 verses 24-27. “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.”

The Hebrew version of this says “seventy sevens” are determined for Israel. Based upon the further description of what those seventy sevens stand for, namely 1) to finish the transgression of Israel, 2) to make and end of their sins, 3) to make reconciliation for iniquity (or sin), 4) to bring in everlasting righteousness, 5) to seal up the vision and prophecy, and 6) to anoint the most Holy, plus the designated timeline – from the going forth of the command to restore and build the city until the Messiah comes, we can determine what these seventy sevens are. We are told that from the command to rebuild Jerusalem until the Messiah comes there will be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks, or sixty-nine weeks in all. We know from the book of Nehemiah that Artaxerxes gave the command to restore the city and walls (the previous two commands given to Ezra were more about the temple than the city, so the command given to Nehemiah to rebuild the city is considered the command spoken of by Daniel). As there is difficulty pinpointing exact dates for something this far back in history, the best people can determine was that it was the year 445 B.C., so we will use that date. It did take about 49 years to get the walls rebuilt, and they were troubled times for certain. So that accounts for the seven sevens or weeks. Then we need to count forward sixty-two more sevens or weeks. That would be a period of 434 years. One thing that must be considered in this count is the fact that Jewish prophetic years are counted by 360 days, which was how long a year originally seemed to be at creation before the Flood. By converting the 483 years to 360 day years we end up with a little over 476 - 365 day years. As there was no year zero, that brings us to A.D. 32, just about the time that Jesus would have been ending His ministry. It was during the final week that Christ was hailed as the Messiah (the Messiah comes) and was killed (he is cut off), finishing the sixty-two week period. Again these are approximates, but the fact is that we are told from the time the command went forth to rebuild the city until the Messiah came, was anointed, and cut off or killed, it would be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks, or sixty-nine weeks. At some point after the sixty-nine weeks, the city and temple would be destroyed, which happened in A.D. 70. It is because of this event that we know the 69 week period has to come between 445 B.C. and the destruction of the temple and therefore can verify that it is speaking of a seven year period as a "week" or a "seven." In considering a “week” (or “sevens” in Hebrew) to be a seven year period in the Hebrew calendar, which was a week of years as opposed to a week of days, we do indeed end up at the ministry and death of Yeshua after sixty-nine weeks or roughly 483 prophetic years. This then tells us that the “seventy weeks” is speaking of a 490 prophetic year period of time. So now we know that the first 483 of those years took us up to the crucifixion of Yeshua. Then we are told that the city and temple are destroyed before the last week is mentioned. As the temple was destroyed in A.D. 70, we know that the clock stopped ticking on these weeks, as the purpose of those seventy weeks has not been fulfilled. There is one week still left. We are told that these 490 years were for the purpose of finishing Israel's transgression and making an end of their sins, making a reconciliation for sin, bringing in everlasting righteousness, sealing up or finishing the prophecies, and anointing the most Holy. We can say that numbers 1 and 2 (as listed further above) have not happened yet. Israel's transgression against God has not come to and end, nor have their sins. Has a reconciliation been made for sin? Well, if we consider Yeshua's atonement on the cross that reconciliation, yes, that part has been finished. What about bringing in everlasting righteousness? Not from what I see in the world, no. Have all the prophecies been fulfilled? Not by a long shot. What about the anointing of the most Holy. I guess that depends on your interpretation of what that means, Yeshua, or the Holy Place in the temple. If Yeshua, yes, if the temple, no. So we can say that part of these may have been finished, but there are several yet to be fulfilled. This means that that last week has not yet occurred. Some teach that the last week was the three and half years before and after Yeshua's death. This does not line up with Scripture, as the end of the sixty-ninth week was to come at His death when He was “cut off.” Therefore the last week had not yet begun when He was killed, so the sacrifice and oblation referred to in the middle of the seventieth week is not Yeshua's death. It comes sometime after the temple is destroyed according to how the verse lays out the chronology of events. Some people say that the first sixty-nine weeks were all literal, but the last week is metaphorical and stands for the time since Yeshua died until He returns. That is nonsensical as you cannot change the clear meaning of a term in the middle of its processes. God does not do that and neither should we. So, there is one “week” or seven year period left that must be used to rid Israel of her sin and bring her around to righteousness, bring in everlasting righteousness, and finish all the prophecies. As there are still prophecies to go, and Israel has not been brought back to God, we can see that this period obviously must lie in the future. So, this is where the term “the 70th week of Daniel” comes from. It is during this week that we are told that a covenant will be confirmed with many for this seven year period, that there will be an end put to the sacrifices and oblations half-way through this seven year period, and there will be an abomination of desolation at that time. This then is the definition of Daniel's 70th week and the description of what will occur during that period. There will be a covenant of some kind (I have no intention of going into that here) confirmed with many people, three and a half years in the sacrifices and oblations will cease (which means that for there to be sacrifices and oblations, there must be a temple), and then there will be at that time an abomination that makes desolate, and a consumation will be poured out on the desolate (God's wrath on the nations). At the end of this seven year period, Israel will put an end to their sinning against God, their sins forgiven and reconciliation with God achieved, everlasting righteousness will begin, and prophecy will be fulfilled. So this then according to God's Word is what the 70th week of Daniel is.

Now let us look at the Day of the Lord. There is much written in the Old Testament about the Day of the Lord. The Day of the Lord is a phrase that is repeated over and over throughout the scriptures. In every case, it refers to the day of judgment of the world by God. It has another name in the New Testament. There it is sometimes referred to as the Day of Christ. When speaking of the Day of Christ, it is from the standpoint of the Christian’s life and how we will be kept to that day, saved on that day, etc. It is the same event, but seen from two perspectives, the unbeliever’s and the Christian’s.

We will start with the Old Testament scriptures about The Day of the Lord. When one goes through all of the prophets, it can be seen that there are other names that refer to this day. One is simply “That Day”. Others are “the day of vengeance, the day of temptation, the day of wrath, the day of evil, the day of battle, the day of indignation, the day of adversity, the day of calamity, and the day of visitation” and some others. Because trying to cover all of these references would take a very long time (basically we are talking entire books of the prophets in some cases), only some of the verses that refer to the Day of the Lord in particular, and possibly some that refer to “that day” will be used.

Isaiah 2:10-22. “Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty. The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low: And upon all the cedars of Lebanon, that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan, And upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up, And upon every high tower, and upon every fenced wall, And upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant pictures. And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. And the idols he shall utterly abolish. And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats; To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?” What exactly do these verses tell us about the Day of the Lord. What are its characteristics and description? First it is a day that will glorify God and exalt Him and Him alone. All of the prideful and haughty of mankind will be humbled. In fact they will seek to hide in the rocks and caves for fear of the Lord. Everyone will be bowed down and brought low. Nature will feel God's wrath from the huge cedars of Lebanon to the highest mountains, from the greatest defenses man has built to the seas and all pastoral lands. He will literally shake the earth terribly. He will abolish all idols. People will cast their valuable idols of silver and gold (mammon) aside to be able to hide from the wrath of God.

Isaiah 13:6-22. “ Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty. Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man's heart shall melt: And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames. Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible. I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir. Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger. And it shall be as the chased roe, and as a sheep that no man taketh up: they shall every man turn to his own people, and flee every one into his own land. Every one that is found shall be thrust through; and every one that is joined unto them shall fall by the sword. Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished. Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, which shall not regard silver; and as for gold, they shall not delight in it. Their bows also shall dash the young men to pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eye shall not spare children. And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there. But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there. And the wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their desolate houses, and dragons in their pleasant palaces: and her time is near to come, and her days shall not be prolonged.” These verses tell us that the Day of the Lord is a day of destruction and His great anger. People will be beside themselves with fear. God will desolate the land itself as well as destroy the sinners from out of it. The sun, moon, and stars will cease their shining. God will punish all the wicked and bring low all the arrogant and proud. He will destroy so many that there will be few left. He will shake the very heavens and literally move earth out of her present orbit. Everyone will be fleeing, but will still be killed. Children will be killed in front of their parents. Houses destroyed. Babylon will be destroyed permanently. It is a time when God will pour out all His anger on mankind and be exalted.

Isaiah 34:1-17. “Come near, ye nations, to hear; and hearken, ye people: let the earth hear, and all that is therein; the world, and all things that come forth of it. For the indignation of the LORD is upon all nations, and his fury upon all their armies: he hath utterly destroyed them, he hath delivered them to the slaughter. Their slain also shall be cast out, and their stink shall come up out of their carcases, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood. And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree. For my sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curse, to judgment. The sword of the LORD is filled with blood, it is made fat with fatness, and with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams: for the LORD hath a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Idumea. And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness. For it is the day of the LORD's vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion. And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch. It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up for ever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever. But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it; the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it: and he shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness. They shall call the nobles thereof to the kingdom, but none shall be there, and all her princes shall be nothing. And thorns shall come up in her palaces, nettles and brambles in the fortresses thereof: and it shall be an habitation of dragons, and a court for owls. The wild beasts of the desert shall also meet with the wild beasts of the island, and the satyr shall cry to his fellow; the screech owl also shall rest there, and find for herself a place of rest. There shall the great owl make her nest, and lay, and hatch, and gather under her shadow: there shall the vultures also be gathered, every one with her mate. Seek ye out of the book of the LORD, and read: no one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate: for my mouth it hath commanded, and his spirit it hath gathered them. And he hath cast the lot for them, and his hand hath divided it unto them by line: they shall possess it for ever, from generation to generation shall they dwell therein.” These verses tell us it is a day of great anger and wrath of God. His wrath will come down on all the nations and armies of the earth. It will be a slaughter. The heavens shall be dissolved. It will be a day of His vengeance for the cause of Zion. Streams of water will become streams of pitch and brimstone. The land will be burned up and lie waste. Only animals will inhabit it.

Jeremiah 46:10. “For this is the day of the Lord GOD of hosts, a day of vengeance, that he may avenge him of his adversaries: and the sword shall devour, and it shall be satiate and made drunk with their blood: for the Lord GOD of hosts hath a sacrifice in the north country by the river Euphrates.” This tells us it will be a day of vengeance. The day God has awaited all these millennia to avenge Himself of the wicked.

Ezekiel 7:19. “They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed: their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD: they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels: because it is the stumblingblock of their iniquity.” People cast their silver and gold in the streets. It won't save them from the wrath of God.

Ezekiel 13:5. “Ye have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the LORD.” It is a day of battle.

Ezekiel 30:2-3, 7-8a “Son of man, prophesy and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Howl ye, Woe worth the day. For the day is near, even the day of the LORD is near, a cloudy day; it shall be the time of the heathen....And they shall be desolate in the midst of the countries that are desolate, and her cities shall be in the midst of the cities that are wasted. And they shall know that I am the LORD.” It is a day when men will howl in fear. It is a day of clouds, a time for the heathen to be desolate and destroyed.

Joel 1:15, 19-20 “Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come. O LORD, to thee will I cry: for the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness, and the flame hath burned all the trees of the field. The beasts of the field cry also unto thee: for the rivers of waters are dried up, and the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness.” This tells us the Day of the Lord is a day of destruction when all the pastures and fields will be burned up so that the beasts of the field cry unto God for there is no water due to its being dried up due to the fires.

Joel 2: 1-11, 28-32 “Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand; A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations. A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them. The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall they run. Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array. Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces shall gather blackness. They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks: Neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path: and when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded. They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief. The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining: And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it? And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.” These verses tell us that the Day will be a day of darkness and gloominess. It will be a day when all of nature is burned up. It is a day when some sort of strong horsemen will overrun the land. They will go through the world like a bulldozer, giving people enormous pain. It will not be possible to kill them. The sun, moon, and stars will go dark and the earth and heavens will tremble. That day will be a terrible day. Before that day comes, there will be heavenly signs to tell of its arrival. The sun will go dark, the moon turned blood read, there will be fire and pillars of smoke. These heavenly signs will let people know that the Day of the Lord is near at hand. After this, the Holy Spirit will be poured out and children will prophesy, old men will dream dreams, and young men will have visions. At that time, whoever (Jewish remnant, and possibly some Gentile remnant) calls upon the name of the Lord will be delivered in Mount Zion and Jerusalem.

Joel 3:1-16 “For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land. And they have cast lots for my people; and have given a boy for an harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they might drink. Yea, and what have ye to do with me, O Tyre, and Zidon, and all the coasts of Palestine? will ye render me a recompence? and if ye recompence me, swiftly and speedily will I return your recompence upon your own head; Because ye have taken my silver and my gold, and have carried into your temples my goodly pleasant things: The children also of Judah and the children of Jerusalem have ye sold unto the Grecians, that ye might remove them far from their border. Behold, I will raise them out of the place whither ye have sold them, and will return your recompence upon your own head: And I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the children of Judah, and they shall sell them to the Sabeans, to a people far off: for the LORD hath spoken it. Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong. Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O LORD. Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about. Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.” These verses tell us that the nations will be brought to the valley of Jehoshaphat for judgment for what they have done to Israel. It is time for the harvest (wheat and tares – rapture the righteous, put the wicked into God's winepress). The sun and moon and stars go dark and the heavens and earth shake. The Lord roars in Zion.

Amos 5:18, 20 “Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light....Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?” This asks why people desire the Day of the Lord. Many Jews look for the Messiah to come, but when He does, God's wrath will be poured out. Many Christians look for it to come, as they do not realize that they have to go through the Tribulation to get to it. Again, it is not what they think it is. It will be a day of darkness.

Amos 8:9-13 “And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord GOD, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day: And I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; and I will bring up sackcloth upon all loins, and baldness upon every head; and I will make it as the mourning of an only son, and the end thereof as a bitter day. Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it. In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst.” According to this passage, the sun will go down at noon and the earth will be darkened. People will be celebrating (the two witnesses death), but their celebrations will be short-lived. Mourning and baldness will be brought upon all heads. There will be a famine of the Word of God. All of God's people will be removed just prior to His wrath, so there will be nobody to tell them what God's Word says, even though they seek out the whole world. The Jews that are left to survive to the millennium will be believer's in God, but they won't have been Christians, so they won't know what is coming next according to the book of Revelation.

Obadiah 15 – 17 “For the day of the LORD is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head. For as ye have drunk upon my holy mountain, so shall all the heathen drink continually, yea, they shall drink, and they shall swallow down, and they shall be as though they had not been. But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.” The Day of the Lord will be upon the heathen to return their sins against God upon themselves. They will drink of God's wrath until they can drink no more. On Mount Zion will be deliverance and safety for the Jews who return. They will go into the millennium.

Zephaniah 1:1-18 “I will utterly consume all things from off the land, saith the LORD. I will consume man and beast; I will consume the fowls of the heaven, and the fishes of the sea, and the stumblingblocks with the wicked; and I will cut off man from off the land, saith the LORD. I will also stretch out mine hand upon Judah, and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and I will cut off the remnant of Baal from this place, and the name of the Chemarims with the priests; And them that worship the host of heaven upon the housetops; and them that worship and that swear by the LORD, and that swear by Malcham; And them that are turned back from the LORD; and those that have not sought the LORD, nor inquired for him. Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord GOD: for the day of the LORD is at hand: for the LORD hath prepared a sacrifice, he hath bid his guests. And it shall come to pass in the day of the LORD's sacrifice, that I will punish the princes, and the king's children, and all such as are clothed with strange apparel. In the same day also will I punish all those that leap on the threshold, which fill their masters' houses with violence and deceit. And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD, that there shall be the noise of a cry from the fish gate, and an howling from the second, and a great crashing from the hills. Howl, ye inhabitants of Maktesh, for all the merchant people are cut down; all they that bear silver are cut off. And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees: that say in their heart, The LORD will not do good, neither will he do evil. Therefore their goods shall become a booty, and their houses a desolation: they shall also build houses, but not inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, but not drink the wine thereof. The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers. And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD's wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.” In this passage we are told that God will consume both man and beast from off the land, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea. He will stretch out His hand over the land of Judah and wipe all those who worship other gods, and have turned away from Him from the land. He will clean the land of Israel from all the people who are not His. It will be a day of wrath and distress. It will be a day of desolation, darkness, gloominess. It will be a day of great distress for those who have sinned against God as their blood will be poured out on the dust and their flesh will be as refuse. Their riches and wealth will not be able to save them in that day. The whole land will be destroyed by fire as He rids the land of everyone.

Zephaniah 2: 1-3 “Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired; Before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the LORD come upon you, before the day of the LORD's anger come upon you. Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD's anger.” The Day of the Lord is a day of His fierce anger. Those who have sought righteousness and meekness (even though not believing in Yeshua) will be hidden in the Day of the Lord.

Zechariah 12:2-4 “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it. In that day, saith the LORD, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness: and I will open mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and will smite every horse of the people with blindness.” Here we are told that Jerusalem will be a place of trembling and a burdensome stone for all the world. That is what we see right now. There is much dispute about Jerusalem and to whom it belongs. The nations will come up against it, but God will smite all those who come up against it and will protect it.

Zechariah 12:8-10 “In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them. And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.” In the Day of the Lord, God will defend those who are in Jerusalem. Those who are weak and feeble will be strong as David was, and the angel of the Lord will be before them. God will destroy all the nations that come up against Jerusalem (Armageddon) in that day. He will pour out His spirit upon the Jews and they will look upon Yeshua when He appears at His Second Coming and mourn that they did not accept Him before that, realizing that He truly was their Messiah.

Zechariah 13:1-3 “In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness. And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered: and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land. And it shall come to pass, that when any shall yet prophesy, then his father and his mother that begat him shall say unto him, Thou shalt not live; for thou speakest lies in the name of the LORD: and his father and his mother that begat him shall thrust him through when he prophesieth.” When the Day of the Lord occurs the Jews will finally be cleansed of their sins. (one of the criteria for Daniel's 70th week to be finished.) God will cut off the idols from the land and they will never again come to inhabit it. He will make the prophesying to cease and unclean spirits to leave the land.

Zechariah 13:8-9 “And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.” Two thirds of the inhabitants of the land of Israel will be killed, but a third will survive to enter the millennium. They will be refined by all that they have been through and will finally believe in Yeshua and worship God alone.

Zechariah 14:1-9 “Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light. And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be. And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.” The Lord will gather all nations against Jerusalem for battle (Armageddon). Many will go into captivity and the Lord will fight on their behalf. Yeshua will stand on the Mount of Olives and it will split in half creating a valley. This will happen at the Lord's return. The people will flee through the valley while Yeshua battles the armies of the world. It will be a day unlike any other, neither day nor night. Yeshua will become King of kings on that day over all the earth.

Zechariah 14:12 “And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.” At Armageddon the Lord will smite the nations that come against Jerusalem with a plague. Their bodies will be consumed as they stand there and melt away.

Malachi 4:1-6 “For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts. Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” The Day of the Lord will burn the earth as an oven. All the proud and wicked will be burned. Those who fear God will be spared and will tread down the wicked underfoot. They will literally be ashed under their feet, as we read how they will be consumed and melt with fire in Zechariah. They are to remember the Law that God gave Moses and also the blessings and curses that went with it. God will send Elijah (either the real one or a spiritual facsimile) before that day comes. We know from Revelation that there will be two witnesses that prophesy for 42 months before the Day of the Lord commences.

These are the main verses that specifically refer to the Day of the Lord in the Old Testament. There are numerous more that refer to this period of time, but not specifically by this particular name. We can see from all of this that the Day of the Lord is a day when 1) God will be exalted alone. 2) He will pour out His wrath (fire, brimstone, etc. ) on man, animals, and the land, purging the entire world of wickedness. 3) It is a day of God's anger and vengeance. 4) It is a day of darkness and gloom when the sun, moon, and stars go dark 5) people will be afraid and humbled and hide for fear of the Lord 6) the earth will be shaken so badly it will be moved out of its present orbit 7) The sun will go dark, the moon will go dark and be turned blood red, and stars (meteors?) will fall as signs heralding the near arrival of the Day of the Lord 8) Elijah or someone in the spirit of Elijah will come to prophesy (42 months according to Rev. 11) before the Day of the Lord commences 9) the nations will all come against Jerusalem and be slaughtered by Yeshua (at the end at Armageddon) 10) the righteous will be spared and saved and 11) all of Israel (that is left) will be saved and believe in Yeshua (when He returns). These are just some of the things that will happen before or during the day of the Lord.

The New Testament references to the Day of the Lord and the Day of Christ are as follows.

Acts 2:17-20 “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God,I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:” This is a repeat of the prophecy of Joel 2:28. It again says that the sign that the Day of the Lord is near and coming is that the sun will be darkened, and the moon turned blood red. This particular sign does not happen during the Day of the Lord, but is a sign that heralds the upcoming Day of the Lord. That sign becomes very important when reading Matthew 24 and Revelation 6.

1 Corinthians 1:6-8 “Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The Day of the Lord commences with Yeshua's Second Coming according to this verse. This verse tells us that we, Christians are waiting for the coming of the Lord. Not a secret pre-trib rapture, but the actual Second Coming of the Lord. We need to be faithful to the end so that we can be confirmed so that we will be blameless on the Day of the Lord.

Philippians 1:6, 10 “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:...That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ.” These verses indicate that Christians, who are sincere and without offense can expect that they may be around to see the Day of the Lord. That means that the rapture will not happen until the Day of the Lord begins, which also commences with the Lord's Second Coming.

Philippians 2:16 “Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.” Some Christians who run the race can expect to see the Day of Christ or Day of the Lord. Again, the Day of the Lord commences at the Second Coming of Yeshua.

1 Thessalonians 5:2-4, 9 “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.......For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.” This tells us that while the Day of the Lord comes unexpectedly to the rest of the world, it is not to come unexpectedly to Christians. They are to be able to see the signs and realize it is at hand. We know from the Old Testament that one of the signs is the sun going dark, the moon turning to blood red, and the stars falling from the sky. Another is Elijah's witnessing. We would not be told that the Day of the Lord would come on us unexpectedly if we were not going to be around when it will occur. It is true that we will not be here to experience God's wrath,as we are not appointed to it, but God's wrath and Daniel's 70th week do not appear to be the same thing at this point. We will shortly see whether the Great Tribulation is the same as either of these too.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” These verses tell us that the Thessalonians were all upset that they thought the Day of the Lord had begun. Paul tells them that they shouldn't be upset, as the Lord has not returned (Second Coming) yet and gathered us to him (rapture at Second Coming), with them missing the boat. Paul equates these three things as one event – the Second Coming followed by the rapture, followed by the Day of the Lord. Paul then explains that the Day of the Lord cannot come until there is a falling away or apostasy first, and the antichrist being revealed by exalting himself above God by sitting in the temple and performing miracles. He lets them know that these things must first occur before the Lord will return to destroy antichrist, so they should not think they have missed being taken. God will also send a strong delusion before Yeshua returns so that people will believe the antichrist. Now, this is telling us that the Lord destroys antichrist by His coming, therefore, the Lord does not return until the end of the 1260 days when the beast is then destroyed. It is after His return that the Day of the Lord begins, and God's wrath is poured out. It is at Yeshua's return and before the Day of the Lord begins, according to this first verse that the rapture occurs. When one looks at Revelation, one finds that the 1260 days end at the end of the sixth trumpet, just before the seventh or last trumpet is sounded and the vial judgments are poured out.

This particular passage is one that some end times theories tend to completely disregard in order to maintain their position. The theory that the entire 70th week of Daniel is the Day of the Lord is clearly refuted in this passage. It say that the Day of the Lord cannot begin until the following events occur:

1) a falling away (apostasia - the Greek definition here means defecting from or forsaking religion, or, as this refers to departing from what Paul taught, defecting from the truth). Some people, to align this scripture with the belief they espouse, erroneously think or say that the phrase falling away or apostasia means to depart from the earth. That allows them to put the rapture here. That is not what the Greek means at all in this instance. Here it means a deliberate departure, forsaking, defecting, or turning from religion or as I said in this case, Paul's teachings which were truth. It does not mean a departure from a location. Think of how we use the word apostate. It doesn't mean someone who has left the building. It means someone who has left the teachings of the church. Any use of the word in the sense of departing a location is not found until five centuries later in classical literature, which is the furthest source from the Bible as sources for this word go. Christendom and Christians will deliberately turn their itching ears to false doctrines, as the truth is a very hard thing to take. We have other scriptures that tell us that this is the way to interpret this, even without the Greek definition. The rule is, scripture interprets scripture. So before the Day of the Lord begins, Christians will be turning away from God's word and the truth to accept false beliefs and doctrines.

2) After apostasy takes over the churches (which it already has) the next event is antichrist revealing himself. How does he do this? When he opposes God, and exalts himself above God demanding worship as God when he sits in the temple (again here is the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel) pretending to be God. Paul seems a little frustrated, I think, by the fact that he had taught them this, but they hadn’t remembered it. Perhaps they weren’t paying attention like many today. So he goes over it again. Apparently because persecution was great, people thought they were in the Day of the Lord, but Paul needed to remind them that there were signs for which they should be looking. In other words, he had taught them that they should be looking for antichrist to proclaim himself God. They should be looking for a rebuilt temple in which antichrist would be able to proclaim himself God. That they should expect people to be falling away from the faith and running after doctrines of demons. That they did not have to worry that they were in the Day of the Lord, which clearly they thought they were experiencing. They were alarmed and panicked, (just as Christians will be when they find themselves undergoing antichrist's persecution) because they were undergoing terrible times. No matter how great your faith, nobody, including Christ himself (remember the garden scene?) looked or looks forward to being tortured and martyred. Of course they would be in a panic if they thought that day had arrived as they knew that it would be a terrible time and thought the Lord had returned and not taken them. Plus it appears someone had told them that Paul and some of the other apostles were saying it had arrived. They had forgotten the signs given in the Scriptures. Just as the pharisees "forgot" the signs when Jesus came the first time. A big point is made of signs in the Old and New Testament for a reason. We are to watch for them so that we will know what is going on and what to expect. God wants us to understand. We are to study (to rightly divide the word of truth, 2 Tim. 2:15) and use our wisdom and understanding (get wisdom, get understanding, Prov. 4:5, 7) to comprehend all that He has told us, so that we will not be deceived. That is His biggest concern. We have been warned many times to not be deceived. Already this group was being deceived by someone who was saying that Paul and the others were saying the Day of the Lord had come. God allowed them to be deceived for the purpose of letting Paul tell us a second time (after Christ first did in the gospels) that the Day of the Lord (God's wrath) does not come until sometime after antichrist is revealed at the abomination of desolation. Apparently God thought (correctly) that people would choose to misinterpret what Christ had told them in the gospels, so he says it here in another place to reinforce what Christ said about the signs for which we are supposed to be looking.

3) Antichrist opposes God and exalts himself above God demanding worship as God when he sits in the temple, again a literal real temple ( here is the abomination of desolation spoken of in Daniel) pretending to be God. So the Day of the Lord cannot come until after the abomination of desolation.

4) Because of their refusal to accept the truth, God sends the world a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie that antichrist spins. Only those who know the truth (Christians who have studied this subject and are prepared. Christians who have not studied the truth or have itching ears are open to being deceived.) will not be deluded. Those who believe the lie will be damned.

5) All of these things must occur before the Second Coming. The Second Coming precedes the gathering of Christians at the rapture. Both of these precede the Day of the Lord, which cannot come until antichrist has fulfilled his 1260 days as he is destroyed at Christ's Second coming.

2 Peter 3:10-13 “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” The day of the Lord will come unexpectedly to sinners as we know from a previous verse. The heavens will pass away (the sun, moon, and stars go dark - O.T. references). The elements are destroyed with intense heat. We know the earth will be purged by fire according to the O.T. We will look forward to a new heavens and new earth. First renovated by fire for the millennium, then completely new ones for eternity.

The New Testament verses confirm that the Day of Christ and Day of the Lord are the same day, and that it will be a time of punishment for the world, and redemption for the righteous when Yeshua returns and gathers the elect.

So far we have looked at Daniel's 70th week, and the Day of the Lord. According to Scripture, are these two things the same? No. The Day of the Lord commences at the end of Daniel's 70th week. There are events that must occur before it can start. Scripture tells us that Elijah must come before the Day of the Lord. Revelation tells us that Elijah (or one in the spirit of Elijah) prophecies for 42 months during the last half of the 70th week of Daniel. The apostasy, the cessation of the sacrifices at the temple and antichrist sitting in the temple declaring himself God (the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel) must come before the Second Coming (as Christ destroys antichrist at His Coming). The gathering of the elect occurs after the Second Coming. Both occur before the Day of the Lord, which must commence sometime soon after the end of the 1260 days or 42 months reign of antichrist. God is exalted in the Day of the Lord. Satan is exalted through antichrist during the last half of the 70th week. They cannot be exalted at the same time. Christians are not appointed to wrath, which is why they are removed at the rapture at the Second Coming. The end of the 42 months or 1260 days occurs at the end of the sixth trumpet judgment, just before the seventh or last trumpet sounds. The seventh trumpet announces the commencement of the Day of the Lord and God's wrath being poured out in the vial judgments. So the rapture will occur at the last trump, just as prophesied by Paul. 1 Corinthians 15:52 “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”

Now we can see that the 70th week of Daniel runs its course before the Day of the Lord begins. So the last thing we must look at is the Great Tribulation or Tribulation for short. Is that the same as the 70th week of Daniel?

The Tribulation is spoken of in two situations. Yeshua speaks of it in His Olivet Discourse. Matthew 24: 11-31 “And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together. Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” This same discourse is found in Mark 13, and Luke 17 and 21, but the very organized chronology of events are laid out clearly in Matthew. There will be apostasy as people follow false prophets and listen to doctrines of demons. The abomination of desolation spoken of in Daniel will occur. At that time there will be great tribulation. In other words, the Great Tribulation or tribulation will begin at the abomination of desolation.

The second mention of this time is in the letter to Thyatira in Revelation 2. She is told if she does not repent, she will be thrown into great tribulation. This is the great tribulation spoken of in Matthew.

We find another name for this time in the book of Daniel. Chapter 11: 31, 36, 45; 12:1-13 “And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate....And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.....And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.... And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. Then I Daniel looked, and, behold, there stood other two, the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river. And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders? And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished. And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand. And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.” Here we are told that “the king” (antichrist) will magnify himself and exalt himself above God (abomination of desolation) and prosper until the indignation (tribulation) is accomplished. At that same time, Michael will stand up for the children of Israel (he is their angelic prince) and there will be a time of trouble such as never was (or will be). It is known as Jacob's trouble. Jeremiah 30:7 “Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.” It is at the same time as Yeshua says the Tribulation is. It begins at the abomination of desolation. At that time Jews whose name is in the book of life will be delivered. Revelation 12:14 “And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.” Then those who sleep in the dust shall awake (the resurrection, after the tribulation). Now in confirmation that the wrath of God begins at the end of the 1260 days when Yeshua returns and pours out the seventh trumpet, we find that there are an extra thirty days. Daniel 12:11 “And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.” These extra 30 days are the time in which the Day of the Lord will occur.

Getting back to Matthew, we have seen that the Tribulation only begins at the abomination of desolation at the mid-point of the 70th week of Daniel according to both the Old and New Testament Scriptures. Now we are told that for the sake of the elect it is cut short. We are the elect. Christians are the elect. For our sake, the tribulation is cut short. In other words, it does not last 1260 days until Yeshua returns. Why? Because we see that immediately after the tribulation the following happens: the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. In other words, the very signs that we are told in the Old Testament that are to herald the Second Coming and Day of the Lord are given here. We know that sometime after these signs the Day of the Lord will occur, and just immediately before that, the Second Coming. Indeed we see that the Second Coming is described after these signs in this passage. But this is not the whole story. This passage leaves much of what will happen between those heavenly signs and the Second Coming out, as we can see when we read Revelation. In Revelation we find that these very same heavenly signs can be found as the sixth seal. Following this, before the seventh seal is opened, there is a great multitude that shows up out of the tribulation. It appears that at this point the tribulation has been cut short, as in Matthew we are told that the sun, moon, and stars darken immediately after the tribulation is cut short. Considering the events that follow in the six trumpet judgments it is no wonder, but this is still not the Day of the Lord, even though the sixth seal mentions people saying that it is the Day of the Lord. This is people saying this, not heaven announcing it. Heaven does not announce God's wrath until after the two witnesses are killed and the sixth seal is finished in Revelation 11. It also announces that the time for the resurrection and rewarding of the saints has now come, along with Yeshua claiming his rightful place as King of Kings. So we can see that Yeshua does not give the disciples all of the information at the time of the Olivet Discourse. There are six trumpet judgments that occur between verses 29 and 30 in chapter 24 of Matthew. The trumpet that sounds in verse 31 is indeed the seventh trumpet judgment when God's wrath will be poured out.

Unfortunately this is a very shortened explanation of these three things, but hopefully it can be seen that the Tribulation, the 70th week of Daniel, and the Day of the Lord/God's wrath are not the same thing at all. Things begin with the 70th week of Daniel. Halfway through that time period we have the abomination of desolation and the Tribulation begins. Then the tribulation is cut short when the signs heralding the Day of the Lord occur (sixth seal), as they occur immediately after the tribulation. The first six trumpet judgments run their course for a minimum of five months (as that is how long the fifth trumpet judgment alone lasts) until the end of the 1260 days when the sixth trumpet ends and the two witnesses are killed. This is followed by the Second Coming, the resurrection and gathering of the elect, and the the Day of the Lord commences with the last trumpet being blown, and the pouring out of God's wrath through the vial judgments which cover thirty more days beyond the 1260 days.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Mike Hoggard - Anti-apostasy Teacher or the Next Harold Camping?

Lately a friend introduced me to the teachings of Pastor Mike Hoggard. She had been listening to him, and was very impressed by the stand that he took against all the apostate things that are going on in the church. To his credit, he believes that the KJV is the only accurate English translation of the Bible, which I have shown to be true in my article on the KJV Bible (see ). He teaches against contemplative prayer, which I have yet to address, (I have now written that article ), but which I agree is a real danger to Christians. He teaches against rock music in the church (see ) and a number of other things that have infiltrated, which I also agree are bad. He also teaches a lot about the Masons and other occult teachings. It is good for people to be made aware of these things. In short, a great deal of what he teaches is good for people to know. He is attracting a bigger and bigger following, especially with people who are fed up with the apostasy in the church and are looking for some good old-fashioned Bible preaching. So what is the problem? The problem is, in the midst of gathering a major audience of Christians who are looking for someone to lead them out of apostasy, and are following him because of the strong stand he takes against apostasy, he is slowly and subtly introducing to them teachings that are not Scriptural. Because they are such little things within his sermons, nobody notices or gives it much thought, or they just let it pass like a blip on the screen, but when added up, it comes to a lot of things that are not correct. I also have concerns about the way he approaches his study of the Scripture, as well as the way he teaches it. I honestly see the beginnings of another Harold Camping in the making given enough time. (For those of you who missed the Harold Camping hoopla, here is some info on that and I hope to show why I make that statement in the course of this article.

One of the first things I noticed was that he preaches about getting revelation (meaning special revealed knowledge of hidden things) from the Bible. Naturally studying the Bible is going to bring knowledge. Knowledge about God, knowledge about Christ, knowledge about how we should walk and behave, etc. He is against using man's commentaries to learn what God teaches. I agree. I believe that we should allow God to teach us by studying God's Word verse by verse, chapter by chapter, book by book, comparing passages that speak to the same subject. Pastor Hoggard however seems to believe that God teaches you by “revelation”. By that I am gathering that he means that he'll look at a passage and have some sort of epiphany that shows him some secret piece of information, as what he teaches is not stuff that can be had from a simple literal reading of the Word.

Concerning the subject of revelation Hoggard has made several statements that bother me. First he talks about the concept that the getting of “revelation” comes with a price. He says, “There's a price [for having this stuff revealed to you].” He says that it “comes with a thorn.” In other words, if you go looking to study God's Word and have Him show you what His Word says, you had better be prepared to pay a steep price for it. His statements seemed aimed more at preventing people from studying God's Word rather than encouraging them. He implies that you shouldn't do it unless you are willing to suffer some consequences. In fact he basically makes a threat against you if he finds out you are trying to study it. He says, “I pray for all of God's people who really have this thirst for knowledge and wisdom and they want these revelations from the bible and they want to study more and they want to know more. I'm going to pray that if necessary God will give you a massive thorn in your flesh.” Not just a thorn but a massive one? How nice of him. This is supposedly to prevent people from getting arrogant. So according to Hoggard, studying God's Word to learn what it says will make you arrogant. So does that mean basically you are better not studying? And if you do and he finds out, he is going to pray against you to ask God to make you suffer for learning what God wants you to know? Why on earth would anybody do that? 

I desperately pray that people will pick up their Bibles and study them. And I certainly would not want them punished for it. I want them to learn as much as possible, so that they won't be deceived by people who are misusing and manipulating it to teach error. God says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” Hosea 4:6 God says if you don't study you will be destroyed for the lack of knowledge. That is because people will not pick up on the doctrines of demons they are being taught. He commands us to study as it is the only way to know what you are being taught is right or wrong. 2 Timothy 2:15 “ Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Those who do study will be blessed. Especially if they study Revelation which contains two blessings just for reading and heeding it. (Revelation 1:3, 22:7) Why should Mike Hoggard want to curse someone for doing what God has 1) commanded us to do and 2) said we will be destroyed if we don't know what His Word says, due to lack of knowledge, and 3) will bless us for doing?
Hoggard believes that understanding God's Word comes from “revelation.” He says that he preaches by “revelation.” By revelation I have come to understand that he does not mean that you lay precept upon precept, but that you are reading along and BOOM, all of a sudden you will see something beyond the literal message given in the passage.

For instance, it came to him that there is a connection between the story of Ehud and King Eglon of Moab and the key given to Satan in Revelation to open the pit. The story of Ehud is found in Judges 3. Israel had done evil in the sight of the Lord yet again, so he sent King Eglon of Moab to conquer them. They served him eighteen years, then the people cried out to the Lord and he raised up Ehud who went and killed King Eglon as he was alone in his summer parlor. In sneaking away from the premises, to prevent anyone from finding out what had happened right away so that he had time to escape, he locked the parlor doors as he left. Because the door was locked, the servants when they returned figured the King wanted to be left alone for privacy purposes, so didn't do anything for a while. In time they realized something was wrong, so got a key and opened the door only to find Eglon dead. In a flash of revelation, Hoggard somehow made the leap that this key was a parallel to the key in Revelation, because it kept an evil man locked up. Okay. So.....what? Where does he go with this? He goes nowhere with this. It is just a story that he points to and says that we should see how wonderful the Word of God is to show us that the word “key” is important and that it shows us that the key is important in Revelation. And so what have we learned about the passage in Revelation because of this? That the key keeps evil entities locked up. Okay, I got that from a literal reading of the passage in Revelation, I didn't need some secret “revelation” about Ehud to tell me that. And in fact, Hoggard never does discuss (at least in the sermon I heard) about the key in Revelation or what is locked up. So you've learned an interesting story about an Old Testament event that you probably didn't know before, which is good, but this “revelation” doesn't seem to have much point to it in terms of significance. This seems to be a common thread among his revelations. He takes a story and draws a parallel to no purpose.

In another story he talks at great length about the story of Absalom and that he was evil and had long hair. That he was a long-haired hippie. The long hair seems to be the key clue in this story. Then he vaguely refers to the hordes in the book of Revelation that have long hair. I guess one is supposed to draw from this “revelation” that the hordes are evil because Absalom was, and had long hair and so do they? One does not need to know that. One need only read what the Scriptures say about them and it is quite clear that they are diabolically evil, even more than Absalom. This seems to be the problem. He spends all his time showing these “parallels” that he has received from “revelation”, but never really teaches the Scriptures themselves.

Pastor Hoggard does the same thing with numbers that he does with these “word” revelations. He draws conclusions about things by adding, or dividing, or doing other mathematical exercises with them, if required. In fact he stated that when he studies the Bible, he keeps the Bible in one hand and a calculator in the other, as numbers are so important. Really? I have never had to sit with a calculator in hand tallying up numbers to understand the Word of God. There are times when I see parallels between numbers, such as the twelve tribes, and the twelve disciples, or forty year wandering in the desert and forty days of the temptation of Christ, but I don't see the need to add, subtract, multiply, or divide them to reveal some secret hidden message or code in God's Word. I'm not saying there might not be some interesting things to learn, but the obsessive way in which he uses numbers to show him what passages mean is where I start seeing a problem. Harold Camping got off on this same tangent. Numbers became more important than simply reading what the Word said. Look where it led him.
Hoggard seems to be taking this same route. In fact I question that he is using numbers in a proper way.

For instance, he points out that the numbers 13 and 3 are both important numbers in the occult. (Three is also an important number to God, as the Trinity is three in one. But Hoggard says it is the number of sin.) He will take multiples of these numbers and draw conclusions from them. According to Hoggard, the number 33 is very important. (It is two threes. I guess that is double the sin.) The Masons 33rd level is the highest level. He says that 33 is the number of the beast and that this is why the phrase "the beast" is found 33 times in the Bible. He says it is also the age of Christ when He died, as He was showing the destruction of His enemies when on the cross. (Somehow this dual and opposite use of the number both representing the beast and the destruction of the beast (and other antichrists) confuses me, and confusion is not from God). Now, finding the phrase "the beast" 33 times in the New Testament sounds really good as evidence to back up his assertion, except for one little problem. It isn't exactly correct. Oh, yes, if you google the phrase "the beast" in a New Testament search engine, you will find the phrase "the beast" 33 times in the KJV. However it is not as Hoggard represents it. The first time it is used, it is used to refer to a snake that bit Paul on the hand. The other 32 times, it is found in Revelation and it does refer to the beast known as the antichrist. But then if one looks a little more closely one finds that the word "beast" (without the "the") as referring to the antichrist is mentioned 37 times in Revelation and each time it refers to the antichrist. So the number of the beast is not 33 as Hoggard is saying to make his numeric point. He is deliberately manipulating data for his own purposes. And in fact, he leaves out the times that the antichrist is called the beast in the Old Testament. Would not that also be important? Should we not add those number of times mentioned to the sum? The beast is mentioned in Daniel 6 times. Add that to the 37 and you get 43 times. So should not the number of the beast be 43? No, actually God tells us the number of the beast, it is 666.

Hoggard selectively chooses those things which work for him, just as all who start playing with these secret numbers, words, etc. do when they try to convince people that what they are teaching is hidden knowledge that has been revealed to them (and usually to them alone). Another such mathematical “revelation” that he received was about the word “compass.” Now, as the compass is an important symbol for the Masons, he decided that there must also be a clue in the Bible to guide us as to the importance of the word “compass” as being used by Satan. So he counted up the number of times the word “compass” was used in the Bible. It turns out that the word “compass” is used 39 times. And wonder of wonders, that is 3 x 13. The problem is, if you look you will notice that every time it is used in the New Testament, it is a different Greek word each time. And for the many times it is used in the Old Testament, there are a dozen or so different Hebrew words that have been translated “compass” in English. And most of them are not the word “compass” referring to the tool we all used in math class, as the Masons picture it, but a word that means “to surround.” As in “they were compassed about on all sides.” In the original languages, this word holds no special meaning in relation to the Masons, or occult or anything else. But then again, Hoggard does not believe in using the original Hebrew and Greek when studying the Bible. He says and I quote “There's no revelation there.”

He believes that only the KJV should be used to study the Bible. I agree that it is the only truly accurate word for word English version, but to dismiss the originals from which it is translated as being incapable of giving understanding seems simply ridiculous. He however does not endorse using them and in fact tells you to avoid anyone who does, as you can't trust them. The same could be said of anyone using the KJV, if they use it inappropriately. People never seem to check on their preachers. As already stated, Hoggard says there is no revelation to be had from the originals. I don't know if he was misspeaking at the time, but I heard him quote a verse, then point out the verb tense, then say that it was not in in the original manuscript. I don't know if he meant something other than what actually came out of his mouth, but what came out of his mouth was completely erroneous. The translators of the KJV were very careful to translate it as accurately as possible.

Hoggard's demoting the original manuscripts makes no sense. There is no KJV without them. The reason there is no revelation in them for him is that he 1) apparently doesn't understand Hebrew or Greek, and 2) he can't find all those lovely words and especially numbers that he loves so much to manipulate. You see, the original manuscripts do not have all the chapter and verse numbers that he finds so very important. For instance he says the number “22” stands for “revelation” because the book of Revelation has 22 chapters. Unfortunately for Hoggard, the original book of Revelation had no chapters. None of the books did. The epistles were merely letters just as we write emails. Chapters and verses were added by editors, not put in by God for some hidden meanings. Hoggard finds all this symbolism in the fact that some word or number falls in a verse of a particular number in one chapter or book, and the same word or number may occur in a chapter or verse of the same number in another book. This is not Bible study. This is playing games. We are supposed to be studying the Word and by that I mean the actual words. Not playing math games with verse and chapter numbers. Just as Camping assigned meanings to all sorts of numbers, Hoggard seems to have done the same thing. I do not deny that some numbers are obvious, such as the number “7” being God's number, the number of perfection. But to spend all one's time looking for numbers and multiples of numbers gets a little obsessive. When one spends so much time doing this, one starts seeing things that do not exist. Sometimes a two is just a two and an apple is just an apple.

While on occasion, God will show us something deeper in a passage than what is understood at the literal level, our first method of study should be to simply read and study and understand a passage at the literal level. What I have noticed is that Pastor Hoggard is prone to spiritualizing Scripture all the time. Whenever he goes to a passage (more often than not an Old Testament passage), he is using the passage to discuss the numerology of it, or make some comparison to another Scripture, often with no seeming point in sight other than to say something about how great God is to have a hidden connection between the two. In fact he seems obsessed with all these hidden connections between Scriptures, as though these connections are far more important than anything it says at the literal level. For all the hours I have listened to him, I rarely hear him preach any Scriptural passage at any literal level. Many times the passage he is supposed to be preaching on isn't really even addressed, as he gets off onto all sorts of spiritual connections that are supposed to give us some sort of revelation, or off on another tangent entirely. At the end of his sermons I feel like I haven't learned anything at all about the passage or topic on which he is supposed to be preaching. Apparently I am not the only one, as he said that one of his listeners complained that he does not stick to topic. Hoggard's response was that he did not feel that the person had any understanding of how Scripture needed to be studied.

A further concern is that he seems to spend an inordinate amount of time preaching about the occult, the Masons, and all Satanic things about the end times. While a passing knowledge of these things is important for all Christians, it seems that everything he preaches comes back to this information. He seems as obsessed with this subject and everything related to Satan as he is about numbers. He takes occult legends and information and interprets the Bible from these sources rather than the other way around, even though he emphatically states that you should not bring anything to the Bible to interpret it other than the Bible itself.

Let me give an example or two. He stated in one sermon that the ten horns of Daniel chapter seven were the ten kings of Atlantis. Say what? Atlantis? Yes, he said they were the ten kings of Atlantis and that this is what the Scriptures teach. This could only have been a “revelation” that he received for two reasons. First, he has stated that the book of Daniel is still sealed. He has said that if you buy any books, tapes, etc. about the book of Daniel you have thrown away your money, as they are sealed until the end and have not been opened yet. In spite of that declaration, he says that the Scriptures (specifically in Daniel, which is supposedly still sealed) teach that the ten horns were ten kings of Atlantis. So this must have come by “special revelation” since he says the book is sealed. Second, the Scriptures never teach about Atlantis, they never mention Atlantis, so anything about that must have been learned by supernatural revelation (or occult sources). And what was Atlantis? I believe he says it was the antediluvian world. Now, I would have to say that I suspect that it most probably is true that the legend of Atlantis is a corrupted version of the story of the antediluvian world. It makes a lot of sense that it would be, given the description. I also know that occult history as related down through the ages in the Babylonian mysteries teaches that Atlantis had ten kings. I think this is the true source of his “revelation.” I, however, do not accept occult history as being on a par with Scripture. And I certainly do not think we are to interpret Scripture with the occult as our guide. All we know about the antediluvian world is found in the first six chapters of Genesis, and nothing is mentioned of ten kings there.

I also disagree that the book of Daniel is still sealed. (See my Bible study on Daniel at my endtimes blog here - more articles on Daniel found at the column to the right of page All Christians know that we are in the last days. Israel has been a nation for over sixty years. The Lord's return cannot be too many more years away, as the state of the world cannot continue as it is and survive for much longer than that. The only way to understand the end times and what will be happening as described in the gospels and Revelation is to understand what Daniel 2, 7, 9, and 12 are talking about. It is the key to understanding there is a seven year period that will wrap up this age. The knowledge of the abomination of desolation, the beast, the ten horns, the 1260 and 1290 days, the forty-two months, and all the rest are not sealed anymore. They are quite understandable with the knowledge from the New Testament to help. Hoggard says he doesn't understand Daniel. At least he doesn't understand what has not been given as a “revelation.” Possibly if he quit studying numbers and spiritualizing everything and just read the word literally the way God intended, laying precept upon precept, he would start to understand what Daniel is teaching. 
Another of his teachings that he got from the Masons is about DNA. Hoggard has said, “I know pretty much what Albert Pike is trying to conceal in this book (Morals and Dogma – the Masonic bible). And how do I know it? Did I go to the meetings? No. Did I read the secret document? No. I know that because the “revelation” came to me by the apostles and the prophets. That's how I know what is in here. (M & D) You want things revealed? Go right here. (the Holy Bible)” So Hoggard is using the Bible, or rather getting “revelations” from the Bible via clue words, numbers, etc. through the apostles and prophets that teach him what the Masonic book Morals and Dogma is hiding. Really? Instead of spending time studying the Bible, he's using the Bible as a codebreaker via “revelation” to figure out Albert Pike's big secret? And this bothers nobody? It bothers me. And what is the big secret Albert Pike is hiding? According to Hoggard, the secret is that the mark that the antichrist is going to make people take is a third DNA helix strand. 

Hoggard explains that in Genesis 6 the angels procreated with mankind creating hybrids, giants, men of renown. According to Hoggard this gave man a third helix strand of DNA. Now, I am not sure exactly how far he takes this, but he did reference the verse where Jesus calls the Pharisees a generation of serpents/vipers and says that Satan has a physical seed that these Jewish religious leaders had, as Jesus used both the word “generation” indicating that this was a bloodline, and “serpent” or “vipers” indicating that they were of Satan's seed. Again, I have not heard him preach further on this idea of a seedline, so I do not know how far he takes it. As to the third helix strand, Hoggard teaches that this is the secret the Masons have been keeping. That the fallen angels or nephilim are coming back, and that they want to turn us into them. And this is what the mark will be. That there will be hand held scanners (they are working on developing these for Homeland Security) that they will use on you to decide if you are one of them or one of us. This will be what allows you to buy and sell. 
There are several things about this last teaching that need to be addressed. First, the mark of the beast is supposed to be something that is given in your hand or forehead. It does not say it is a mark that is made in your genes, which cannot be seen. A mark in your genes would not just be in your hand or forehead, so to teach this definitely is the mark, based upon what he feels he has discovered through “revelation” via the Bible, about the secret in the Masonic book Morals and Dogma is simply not acceptable. Second, the whole idea of the angels having procreated with man before and after the Flood, and most probably continuing to do so, need not be discovered through “revelations” about a Satanic book. It is taught straight out in the Bible without having to go through all this hoopla. If he was simply studying the Bible he would have discovered it without all the numerology and special “revelations.” I did and so have others. [Read my article on fallen angels here

God has told us in Genesis 6 that the angels married the human women and had hybrid children that were giants and men of renown. We are told that they (the giants) were also after the Flood, and indeed when Israel finally went into the land of Canaan, they had to fight numerous tribes of giants. We are also told that they did not kill them all off. We are further told in the gospels that as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be again before the Lord's return. We know then that we should expect that nephilim, giants, hybrids, and other things will make a return. We need only look to the stories and accounts of the natives and explorers of the Americas, as well as the Greeks, Romans, and Norse mythologies, as well as the descriptions that people are giving of “aliens” and their obsession with making hybrid babies, to see that there is quite a bit of evidence to lead us to believe they are still around and very active. To believe they are going to return does not require decoding the Masonic bible. The evidence is all over the place. Whether or not hybrids have a third helix strand is not something we can verify by any means or even need to know to understand Scripture. 

That the occult has been tinkering with crossing man and angels, man and beast, angels and beast, and beast and beast can be seen in the hieroglyphics of all the ancient cultures. That archaeologists do not see in these hieroglyphics what actually happened and may still be happening does not mean that we have to ignore it. It is clear that there have been hybrid nephilim in the past and will be again. Look at the Minotaur – a bull-headed god, Anubis – the jackal headed god, Horus – the falcon-headed god just as some examples. The Sphinx is a lion with a man's head. Everyone assumes these things are just imaginary, but they were not. They were probably nephilim or fallen angels. Not all angels are human looking. The cherubim have the faces of an ox, and eagle, and a lion, as well as a man. These creatures existed and may still exist and will probably show up again, given that Scripture tells us things will be as they were in Noah's day. However, stating as a fact that the mark of the beast is an infusion of a third helix strand of DNA (which there is no proof that they even have a third strand of DNA anyhow) is really going well beyond Scripture. 
That brings up another thing that disturbed me. Hoggard in many of his sermons has talked about Christ returning in the clouds. He makes a big point of the clouds and that if there are no clouds it isn't Christ. He expects the antichrist to make the same sort of appearance as Christ will make in the air, as it seems he believes the antichrist will be either a fallen angel or nephilim. I cannot say one way or the other if this is true or not, as the Bible does not tell us how the antichrist will make his appearance. Hoggard however is preparing his followers to expect this and, moreover, he is telling them that they will know it is the antichrist, because there will be no clouds. If it were really Christ there would be clouds, and that is how they will know, but not with antichrist. With him it will be a clear day. He is stating this as if it is a fact taught by Scripture, when in fact nothing of the sort is taught in Scripture. The problem with this is, what if the antichrist does make an appearance like this, only there are lots of clouds? The Scriptures do not say that this could not be a possibility, as it does not say anything at all. To teach that it will happen in this way, and that the give away is no clouds is simply setting people up to be deceived. He is saying if there are clouds, it is Christ, if not it isn't. 

He is not teaching people what the signs we are supposed to know that come before Christ's appearance are. The way we are supposed to know it is Christ is to study Revelation to know all the signs and events that will occur before Christ's return. By knowing all these things, we will not be deceived. (Again, God warned that His people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.) How many times did Christ repeat “do not be deceived” in the Olivet Discourse? Answer: lots of times. Hoggard is simply not teaching the Bible and what it says. He is finding his information from occultic sources and passing them on to his audience as truths. This is seriously wrong. We should not be interpreting the Bible by revelations or occult sources. We should take God's Word literally and learn what it teaches. Hoggard is adding all sorts of things to the Scriptures, yet will preach against others who do so. He does not seem to see that he is as guilty of this as are others. If his followers are not careful and discerning, they will find themselves in the same place as Camping's people did.

Just a couple more things that I have heard him say that are major red flags, are that in the millennium there will be a temple and sacrifices, but the sacrifices will not be little animals the way it was before. The people will be sacrificing demons. Yes, that is what he said. People will be sacrificing demons. Do not ask me where on earth he got this from, because I cannot even imagine, as there is nothing remotely in the Bible that would lead to this conclusion. In fact the Bible teaches otherwise. The book of Ezekiel the last ten chapters or so teach all about the temple during the millennium. There will be sacrifices again, and unlike what Hoggard teaches, they will be animals.

Ezekiel 45:15-16, 21-23 “And one lamb out of the flock, out of two hundred, out of the fat pastures of Israel; for a meat offering, and for a burnt offering, and for peace offerings, to make reconciliation for them, saith the Lord GOD. All the people of the land shall give this oblation for the prince in Israel......In the first month, in the fourteenth day of the month, ye shall have the passover, a feast of seven days; unleavened bread shall be eaten. And upon that day shall the prince prepare for himself and for all the people of the land a bullock for a sin offering. And seven days of the feast he shall prepare a burnt offering to the LORD, seven bullocks and seven rams without blemish daily the seven days; and a kid of the goats daily for a sin offering.” 

Clearly this is speaking of the same animals that were being sacrificed before in the previous temples. Nothing is said about demons. How would a human go about wrestling a non-corporeal entity, taking it to the temple, and offering it as a sacrifice. And why would God, who demands perfect unblemished sacrifices accept anything as vile as a demon? God simply throws them in the pit of hell until judgment day. If this is one of Hoggard's “revelations”, it is quite unscriptural and shows that his “revelations” are not to be trusted. In fact this particular teaching is an abomination when one considers the rules God has given regarding sacrifices. (See my full article on millennial temple sacrifices here

The next teaching that I will mention here is the one about there not being a physical temple in Jerusalem. He is teaching that the temple referred to in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God,” is speaking about the human heart. He comes to this conclusion on the following basis. The word temple is used as many times in the Bible as the human body has bones. According to what I learned in science, the human body has 206 bones. Now I have counted this twice, and the word temple is used 203 times in the Bible. There are three different Hebrew words that are translated “temple”, and two different Greek words that are translated “temple.” Further the plural “temples” is used nine times – two different Hebrew words, and one Greek word. So what is the first conclusion I can make? That Hoggard has lied and manipulated information to try to make his point. 

Next he says that the heart has four chambers, and there are four cherubim around the throne of God. The two lungs stand for the O.T. and N.T. Your breath stands for the Holy Spirit. The seven vascular bundles in the lungs called nodes stand for the seven spirits which is the seven branched candlestick in Revelation. The twenty-four ribs are the twenty-four elders around the throne. Thus, instead of taking God's Word literally and believing that He meant a real temple, we are supposed to understand from Hoggard's “revelation” that these things correspond to the temple, thus our body is the temple spoken of in Matthew and Thessalonians. I will not deny that God uses patterns over and over in His creation. The largest thing, the universe, and the smallest thing, the atom have the same form or pattern. God reuses His patterns in a multitude of ways, so as He designed our bodies to house His spirit when we accept Him, it is not hard to imagine that He did use the same template. HOWEVER, Hoggard comes to this conclusion without taking into consideration what the Scriptures blatantly tell us. 

In Matthew 24:15 Christ told us “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand.)” What exactly is the reader to understand? That what the abomination of desolation is can be found in the book of Daniel. But of course Hoggard does not believe we can understand Daniel. It's really not that hard. Daniel tells us of the event of Antiochus Epiphanes when he desecrated the temple by slaughtering a pig on the altar and setting up a statue of Zeus. This event is not completely detailed in the Scriptures, it is only mentioned as the abomination, but there are historical records of this event that give us the details. It is the abomination about which Christ was referring, and to which every Jew could immediately relate, as it is event that created the situation that was the basis for their holiday of Hanukkah. It is mentioned in Daniel 11:31 “ And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.” Daniel mentions another abomination that will make desolate, only this time it has to do with the end times. Daniel 9:27 “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” Daniel 12:11 “And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.” Both of these verses talk about sacrifices being stopped (they can't begin unless there is a temple) and that an abomination will be set up. This is the same abomination spoken of in 2 Thessalonians. 

Further in Revelation 11:1-2 it tells us that John is handed a measuring stick and told to measure the temple and altar, but not the courtyard, for the courtyard and Jerusalem will be trodden underfoot by the Gentiles for forty-two months. “And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.” Now how exactly is John supposed to measure our bodies? And what is the altar in our body? And how is the courtyard (whatever that might be in our body) trodden by the Gentiles for forty-two months? It is simply ridiculous given these Scriptures to say that there will not be a physical temple during the 70th week of Daniel, and furthermore to say that the temple spoken of is our body. Daniel never spoke of our body as being the temple. People were not indwelt as a regular course of events in the Old Testament. The only temple Daniel knew was the physical temple on the Temple Mount. Christ specifically refers us back to Daniel to avoid this very problem of the misinterpretation of making our body the temple in this case, because He knew that the Scriptures that Paul would write would refer to our body as a temple. He wanted to make sure that the reader understand, (which is why He referenced Daniel), that He was not talking about our bodies. He was talking about the temple mentioned in Daniel, which was the one on the Temple Mount. 

Just as an exercise in logic, let us consider that 2 Thessalonians is talking about the temple as being our body. So what then would that verse be saying with that interpretation. Well, as only Christians are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, (unbelievers aren't) for antichrist to sit in the temple of God declaring himself God, it would mean that Christians will accept Him in their hearts in place of God. And only Christians would do this, as unbelievers are not the temple of God. That would mean that all Christians are condemned to take the mark of the beast. Is that really what people believe when they teach this? No. But isn't it exactly what they are teaching? Yes. Have they thought this through to its logical conclusion? Obviously not or they would see the fallacy of their interpretation. 
I will grant that Hoggard is teaching many good things that are true. There is great apostasy in the church. The Masons are occultic and have many secrets about what they plan on doing to mankind. But one can find this information all over the place. One does not need special “revelation” from the apostles and prophets to find out this information. It is out there all over the place. One only has to google it up. Hoggard's time would be better spent studying the Scriptures in a literal way and learning what they teach rather than spending all his time with looking for “revelations” of words, numbers, hidden codes, as well as studying the occult. He is doing his followers a disservice by not teaching them what God's Word really says rather than spending so much time on the occult and Satan.
One thing that came to mind after first posting this article, is the irony in the fact that Hoggard constantly preaches that Satan is the author of secret hidden knowledge, (which is what the Babylonian Mysteries, the Masons, and all these secret societies are about), and he also states that God is the opposite in that His Word is an open book, yet what is it that Hoggard constantly is doing to understand the Bible? He is seeking hidden knowledge by "revelation." How ironic for someone, who is against hidden knowledge, to be a person who does nothing but seek it out, not only in the occultic books, but also in the Bible. He is not looking to read what the Scriptures say at face value, but is continually looking for the hidden secrets. If God does have hidden secrets, what does God say about that? Deuteronomy 29:29 "The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law." The things which are revealed, God's Word understood at the literal level, belong to us. Even those things which He revealed to the prophets belong to us, as they were revealed to the prophets, not kept secret from them. Amos 3:7 "Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets." Even Daniel's prophecies (the only ones closed until the end) are now an open book. But God is clear that if there are hidden things buried in His Word, they belong to Him, not us. We are not supposed to be looking for hidden things the way the occult does. All this Bible code stuff is not what God wants us doing. God tells us straight out what He wants us to know, yet Hoggard spends his time doing what the occult does, looking for hidden secrets, the very thing God has said belong to Him, not us. This should tell us something.

As I keep hearing Hoggard say things, I think I will continue to add to this article, as it is important that people see how he is straying from sticking solely with the Scriptures. One of the latest things I heard him talk about when discussing UFO's was that they come from a fourth dimension. I think we all are aware that the spiritual dimension is a fourth dimension, and that there is every indication that many (but possibly not all) of these UFO's are actually spiritual beings (evil) who are posing as extra-terrestrials. This is not something that is new information or secretly hidden in the Scriptures. It is pretty obvious to most intelligent Christians that this is what is going on. However Hoggard is obsessed with this whole genre of "aliens" and such (and has been since his youth) so had to find hidden messages about this in the Bible. One verse that he says proves that the number "four" represents the spiritual is the verse Ephesians 3:18. Here is the context of that verse. 3:17-19 "That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God."

According to Hoggard, this verse shows us four dimensions, breadth, length, depth, and height. Oddly enough although we always refer to three dimensions as width (breadth) length, and height, Hoggard accepts the word depth in place of height and says that height refers to the fourth dimension where God is. Yes, in Scripture the heavens are referred to as the heights, but that is because they are high above us. In fact, the word which is not part of the three dimensions here is depth. And why is that? It is because, when you look at the Greek (which Hoggard eschews as being unable to tell you anything) the word for height means altitude, the third dimension in our space. The word depth however means "profundity" or "mystery." It is speaking of depth not as a fourth dimension, but as we say our love for someone is so deep, it means it is beyond measuring it is so profound. The love of Christ is being spoken of here. It encompasses our three dimensions to their fullest degree and is so profound it is a mystery to us. Again, had Hoggard not been against looking to see what the original language was conveying, he might not have mistaken what this verse is implying. He again manipulates a verse of Scripture to lay a foundation for something he wants to be in Scripture. The sad thing is, he is not necessarily wrong about some things, such as the fact that UFO's are coming from a spiritual source (as well as many governmental ones I am sure), but his inaccurate use of the Scriptures to back this up, distorting their true meanings is, if you'll pardon the expression, not kosher. Adopting a habit of using Scriptures in this way will always lead one further and further from the truth. It is a dangerous habit.

In continuing to listen to some of Mike Hoggards sermons, I logged onto the Hog Blog and saw he had a couple of sermons on giants from the past couple weeks. In clicking on them to listen to them, the first thing that I saw and heard was an ad for Disney World. Given that Walt Disney was a high ranking mason, and that Disney's children's movies reek of sexual subliminal messages, as well as Masonic and Satanic overtones in many cases, I find it ironic (or maybe hypocritical is a better word) that he let's them advertise on his site while he preaches against what they stand for and do in their movies. One has to question how serious he is about these things he is preaching when he allows this for the purpose of making money, for that is why the ads are there. Doesn't that fly in the face of what he is preaching?

In his sermons on giants here are some things that he said with which I have a problem. These are quotes taken right from this sermon, which can be accessed on the Hogblog.

“New Testament doctrine, the doctrine of the salvation of the Gentiles, and the fact that God took Israel and said, 'I'm done with you for a while,' that whole doctrine, you know what it's based on? It's based upon the fact that these were giants. (He's referring to the passage in Numbers where the spies came back with reports of giants in the land.) Now, if you say, 'I don't believe the Bible, and I don't believe this word giants, I don't believe they were that big, I think the Bible's stretching it, I think that you know, the testimony got out of whack over the years, I think men, yada.'...If you think all of that, then tell Paul's he's a liar because Paul based an entire doctrine upon these giants. Hebrews chapter 3 verse 10, 'wherefore' this is what Paul said, Hebrews 'Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest. Take heed, brethren,' Look at this, look at this, 'Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.' He says in verse 15 of Hebrews 3 'While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.' Paul is basing the entire doctrine of salvation based upon faith, based upon belief on what God said, he's basing that entire doctrine upon a story that most theologians and scholars say probably didn't happen that way. What does that make our foundation stand on then? …....Paul based the entire doctrine on whether or not you can go to heaven, enter into your rest, he based his entire doctrine upon this story right here. It's called the provocation...... This is how important this (believing in giants) is............All these wonderful Bible doctrines, we've been missing it for years. They're all based on these stories of giants. That's how real these characters were. God spends a majority of the Bible dealing with doctrines that are based upon the stories of the giants. The giants were pivotal and crucial in our understanding of New Testament doctrines. Including the New Testament doctrine of hell.

I understand that Mike is trying to convey that we should believe what the Bible says and take every story as truth, but he is completely twisting what Paul is meaning here. Paul is not basing the doctrine of salvation upon the fact that there were giants in the land. That is a silly statement to make, and I can't believe he meant it as he said it. We are not entering heaven based upon the story of giants. Paul was using this story merely as one of the many, many examples of the fact that Israel was constantly not having faith in God, and he was warning believers in Christ (or Yeshua, as in this case as he was addressing Hebrew believers) to not fall into the same sin. The first two chapters of Hebrews are all about Christ (not the story of giants) being the source of our salvation. How He was made a man and took upon Himself our sins and then took His place at the right hand of God to intercede for us. The Hebrews are being warned that they must hold fast the confidence of their faith in Yeshua to the end, so that they can enter into their heavenly rest, or eternal salvation. The book of Hebrews is all about enduring to the end and remaining faithful to the belief in Christ's sacrifice. There are several warnings about falling away (Hebrews 6 and 10) and ending up being burned by God's wrath. Paul is teaching that the doctrine of salvation is based upon a continuing faith in Yeshua and that continuing in that faith is how we enter into heaven.

The book of Hebrews is all about faith. He is not teaching that believing in giants is how we gain salvation, nor is he making it a pivotal happenstance. Nor are all the New Testament doctrines based upon the existence of giants. Yes, giants existed. Yes, they were the offspring of angels and mankind. Yes, they were/are evil. But the doctrines of the Bible are based upon Yeshua redeeming us from the sin of Adam and Eve. That we have to battle Satan and evil spirits is a given, and a part of reality for a Christian, but our redemption and our doctrines of salvation are not based upon what the fallen angels did, but what man (Adam) did and how God is redeeming us from our own sin, not Satan or the fallen angels' sins. Hoggard is simply getting obsessed with these creatures. That they will probably return in the end is quite possible and most likely probable, but they still have no effect on our salvation. Our salvation is based upon our acceptance of and abiding with Yeshua as our Savior. Everything else is secondary to that. The majority of the Bible is not based upon giants and doctrines about them. The Bible is the plan of redemption of mankind. The Old Testament is the story of God bringing salvation through a rebellious, unbelieving people by having a Messiah born through their line in fulfillment of a promise to Abraham. The story of Israel's interactions with giants are just examples of their lack of faith, in some cases, or when they were obedient, showing God's power by having them defeat the giants. The story's focus is about Israel's unbelief/belief and disobedience/obedience, not about the giants. They are almost what Alfred Hitchcock, the famous movie director, would call the McGuffin. A McGuffin in a movie is merely the object used to drive the story, but what it actually is, is not all that important. Had it not been giants that caused unbelief and rebellion among the Israelites, it would have been something else, and often it was something else. Their biggest problem was unbelief and worshipping other gods (and yes those gods were often fallen angels, but anything that replaces God is an idol and false god, even if it is just money). The real issue is Israel's belief or lack thereof, and obedience or disobedience, and the consequences of each. It is not the fact that giants existed. Hoggard is making giants the center of importance in the entire Bible rather than Yeshua and His redemption of us by faith.

Some people have asked Hoggard about the fact that the promised land is supposed to be a picture of heaven, but they then say that it doesn't seem right as there were wars in Canaan, and there aren't wars in heaven. Hoggard corrects them by saying that there was a war in heaven when Satan and 1/3 of the angels were cast out of heaven. In this he is absolutely correct. Scripture bears this out in Revelation 12. He says that the real country that Abraham was seeking was not just the territory between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, but the kingdom of heaven. This too is true – Hebrews 11. Hoggard then explains that the Israelites having to fight wars to get the giants out of the land was a picture of heaven. The problem comes with his next statement. “There's a war to cast them out of heaven. Who gets to take their place? Israel. All of those born of the faith of Abraham get to take the place of the angels that God has cast down from the promised land.” Now I take issue with this. God did not choose Israel (both the nation and spiritual Israel) to take the place of angels. Angels and humans are two completely different creations for two completely different purposes.

Nobody is reassigned to take the place of any angels. This is a statement that comes from who knows where, for I cannot imagine how he came to this conclusion. It certainly isn't something Scripture teaches. Israel was the promised descendants of Abraham through whom the Lord was going to send the Messiah. They were to be a people of God on earth, for God had no other people. Yet, they chose most of the time to not be a people of God, but to follow pagan gods. God always had a remnant, but Israel was very unfaithful as a whole. Their purpose was never to replace the fallen angels. We do not die and become angels. Nowhere is this taught in Scripture. Angels were created at the beginning of creation as a separate and unique creation for various purposes, everything from overseeing nature to watching over us. Now to show that the phrase “Sons of God” in Genesis is speaking of angels, to show why these offspring are truly giants, he shows that all the Old Testament references to the Sons of God refer to angels. This is true. Then he goes to the New Testament and where the phrase is used to refer to Christians, he makes the leap from the passage that says that in the resurrection we will not marry but be like the angels in heaven who do not marry, to - we will become angels upon death. So the phrase Sons of God still refers to angels, it is just that we have not yet manifested as angels and won't until we die.

 Following this train of thought, as angels are shown to be stars throughout the Scriptures (this is true), this then means that we will become actual stars in the resurrection. The upshot of following this line of thought are the following quotes: “A third of the stars God cast out of heaven and He's going to use us to replace them.....When we shed off this flesh we are going to be as the angels of heaven..... Let's actually quote the Scripture. The Scripture says that when we are resurrected we become stars, we become as angels, okay? which are in heaven. The angels which are in heaven do not marry nor are given in marriage. Okay. They're not allowed to. It's not right, they're actually prohibited. It's in the law, okay?” So based on the statement that angels do not marry, and in the resurrection we will not marry, Hoggard makes the erroneous leap that we become angels. No. Yeshua did not become an angel. He is still Yeshua. And we will still be whom we are - resurrected humans, not angels. We do not marry in heaven, as procreation is not necessary. That was the purpose of marriage, to create families. It wasn't good for man to be alone, but in heaven we won't be alone. We will be with Yeshua and everyone else who loves Him. Marriage is a mortal institution, not a spiritual one. It is necessary because man dies and there needs to be progeny. Angels do not die, so they do not need progeny and therefore do not need to marry. Hoggard says, “let's actually quote the Scripture.” Okay, where is the Scripture that says in the resurrection we become stars? It's not in my Bible, and I use the King James Bible too. Scripture says in the resurrection we will not marry. There is a big difference between that and becoming a literal star. We are the Sons of God, because we have been adopted by God into His family through Christ Jesus, or Yeshua. This did not turn us into a different creation known as angels. Sometimes Hoggard takes these lines of thoughts of his simply too far.

One last thing that I caught in this sermon was his using a “word” to define something again. This time the word is “folly.” To continue to prove his point that the Sons of God were angels, he speaks about the passage in Jude that talks about the angels leaving their estate and are presently being held in chains. Now he says that God charges them with the crime of “folly” (Job 4:18) meaning sexual crimes. Now he admits that the word “folly” means “foolishness,” but as always, trying to over prove his point, he takes things beyond that which is correct. “Folly” does mean foolishness, it doesn't mean sexual sins. Hoggard says that he will let the Bible define the word “folly,” so he goes to several Scriptures that talk about events when sexual crimes took place that God called folly. For instance when someone raped Jacob's daughter it was called folly, and when a damsel played the whore, it was called folly. And when the Benjamites raped the concubine of the traveler it was folly. So according to Hoggard, in the mouths' of two witnesses (in this case he lists more than two) that means that this is the definition of the word. So in 2 Corinthians 11:1 when Paul asks them to bear with him in his folly his is speaking of his sexual crimes and is asking them to overlook them? Or when we are told in Proverbs to either answer or not answer a fool according to his folly, it's referring to sexual crimes? No. Here are two witnesses (by Hoggard's standards) that say it means something quite different. Folly means “foolishness” just as Hoggard admits right at the beginning. Trying to manipulate a word's definition to justify your point, when it is unnecessary, as the literal reading of the passage teaches the truth without needing this type of defense, is dishonest. When checked out, as I have done, it shows him to be deceitful as to the whole truth. Folly does not mean sexual crimes, it means “foolishness” and “stupidity”. Anyone who commits the acts of sexual crimes listed above are foolish and stupid in the extreme. But that does not change the definition of folly and it does not justify changing that definition to try to back up your viewpoint. Hoggard is correct in that the Sons of God who married the daughters of men were angels. The Scriptures bear that out by themselves. But to manipulate Scripture in this way to try to prove it just makes him look deceitful.

7/18/2012 - I just heard part of a sermon Mike preached against wine.  His exegesis is, as usual, very faulty.  Read what the Bible really has to say about alcohol here.

Parts 2 and 3 in this Hoggard series are located here.

2/10/13 Mike is now preaching against the Hebrew Roots/Sacred Name Movement.  In this I agree that they are a serious problem.  Here is my link to my article on this.