The rapture is neither a secret nor something mysterious, but rather a New Testament mystery that God revealed almost 2000 years ago. South African theologians such as Snyman (1940:83-87), Oosthuizen (1963) and Malan (2014:251-266) did not think that the rapture was a secret. However, if people think that the Church is Israel or some other group of Old Testament saints, then teaching about the rapture may remain, ironically, a mysterious secret to them.
Augustine, the father of amillennialism, was influenced by the philosophy of Plato. What did Plato teach? How does this Greek philosophy compare with God’s Word, specifically regarding the doctrine of the kingdom? Is the kingdom of God only spiritual?
Will believers one day float on a cloud, play the harp and basically be bored? This secular depiction of the “kingdom” is popular, but of course, it is utterly false. This is not the kingdom that Christ says we must seek first (cf. Mat 6:33). Teaching about the doctrine of the kingdom is important; it was the central theme of Christ’s ministry during his first coming (cf. Mat 4:17, 23; 9:35; 10:5-7). Jesus did not refer to an abstract, over-spiritualized kingdom. So important is the doctrine of the kingdom, that Jesus again taught his apostles ‘about the things of the kingdom of God’ during the 40 days before his ascension (Acts 1:3). How can the kingdom of God be understood, and to which kingdom did Jesus refer to in the Gospels?
In Luke’s second book, the apostles asked the Lord when He will restore the kingdom to Israel, thereby implying that the kingdom had not yet been restored to Israel at that time (cf. Acts 1:6). Jesus answered his apostles, saying it is ‘not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority’ (Acts 1:7; NASB). In Luke’s first book, the Pharisees asked Jesus something quite similar, namely when the kingdom of God was coming. Jesus answered the Pharisees, saying that the ‘kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst” (Luk 17:20-21; NASB; cf. HCSB, ESV). How can Luke 17:20-21 be understood?
During the 40 days between his resurrection and ascension, Jesus appeared to his apostles and spoke to them about the kingdom of God (Acts 1:3). On the day of ascension, the apostles asked Jesus, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6; NJKV; cf. also NASB, ESV). Jesus said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority” (Acts 1:7). What can be deduced from this question and answer?
As part of a civil trial, and in reply to the question whether he is the King of the Jews, Jesus answered Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here” (Jn 18:36; NKJV). Many replacement theologians, especially a-millennialists, use this text to argue that the kingdom is entirely spiritual, and that Jesus never meant to establish a literal kingdom on the earth. This misunderstanding must be addressed.
Matthew 21:43 does not teach that God has ripped the kingdom of God from Israel and given it to the Church. Bluntly put, I am convinced that is false teaching. In fact, Matthew 21:43 teaches the exact opposite: Jesus guarantees a future blessing for Israel in the millennium (cf. Decker 2010:43). The kingdom of God will be given to a future generation of Jewish leaders and Jewish people who will bear the fruits of it. When that kingdom is restored on the earth, all who believe in Christ will participate in it, whether of Jewish or non-Jewish ethnicity.
If Elon Musk and his SpaceX company’s website is to be believed – if ¬– their goal is to build a ‘Mars base, from which we can build a thriving city and eventually a self-sustaining civilization on Mars’. Apparently, the idea is to ‘make life multiplanetary’, because becoming ‘a multi-planet species beats the hell out of being a single planet species’ (Musk 2017:8). How do these dreams square with God’s order, and with God’s mediatorial kingdom on earth?
What will the “seventy sevens” of Daniel 9:24-27 achieve? When did this period begin, and when will the 70th seven end? What does this prophecy have to do with Christ’s first and second coming? The prophecy of the seventy sevens, or 490 years, is very important. This prophecy not only covers the time to Christ’s first coming, but it also covers the 70th seven – and immediately after this 7-year Tribulation Period, Christ will return to the earth. This time He will come as the king to establish the Messianic kingdom.
During Christ’s first coming, Satan deployed his demonic forces on earth to try to thwart God’s plan (cf. Mat 2). At the time of Christ’s second coming to the earth, the same invisible battle will again clearly manifest itself. Matthew 2 and 24 describe incidents in a way that people are accustomed to, but in Revelation 12 God unveils events from the perspective of the invisible battle in the angelic world at the time of both comings of Christ.
Was the union in Genesis 6:1–4 between the line of Seth and the line of Cain, or was it between fallen angels and the daughters of men? What really happened? Who are these ‘men of renown’? Why did God punish this intermarriage so severely?
Paul warns: ‘See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ’ (Col 2:8). Although the context of Colossians 2:8 probably has reference to a proto-gnostic type of philosophy, the implications of Paul’s exhortation to ‘beware of philosophy’ are appropriately applied to other alien systems of thought that have invaded Christianity down through the centuries since then (Geisler 1999:3). False ideologies and false systems of thought not only try to deceive people, but also to conquer nations. These days not only are more people turning away from God and his Word, but more and more nations seem to be deceived. Who is orchestrating this deception behind the scenes? Why does it appear as if more nations are breaking ties with God? What do believers hope for?
The two witnesses will prophesy for 1260 days (Rev 11:3). What is the ministry of the two witnesses? Will they prophesy during the first or second half of the Tribulation Period? Is it possible to determine who the two witnesses could be?
These days every man and his dog believe they are part of the 144 000. If it is not the Jehovah’s Witnesses who think they are the 144 000, then replacement theologians (cf. De Young 2012) teach that all believers collectively are the 144 000. When will the 144 000 evangelize, who are the 144 000 and what are the fruits of their ministry?
Paul says that nothing can separate believers from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom 8:38-39). If that is so — and it is! — how do believers know they can trust God if the unconditional promises to Israel have not yet been fulfilled? Why are so...
In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus makes the following invitation: 28Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls....