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In 1948 Israel became a nation. Is this the fulfillment of Matthew 24:32, which speaks of the fig tree blossoming? June. H

No doubt about it! When Israel became a nation————- May 14, 1948——— that’s when the fig tree blossomed! How do I know that Israel is the fig tree?  The law of first mention. When anything is mentioned the first in Scripture, it becomes that throughout God’s Word. For Instance, Joel 1:7 tells us that when the enemy armies were invading Israel, he hath laid my vine waste, and barked my fig tree (Israel). Then of course, Hosea 9:10 says, I saw your fathers as the firstripe in the fig tree. Here, again God is speaking to Jews. Thus, the fig tree is Israel.

 

All this information comes from Dr Van Impes book called Everything you always wanted to know about Prophecy but didn’t know who to ask!

Why do some people prefer not to hear teaching on prophetic events? Vicki. O

Because of worldliness, men don’t want to hear about prophetic events. First John 2:15-17 says, Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof. The message of Christ’s return is a “purifying hope”  ( see 1 John 3:2,3). This is sort of hope that makes a person holy if he really believes it. For these reasons, men don’t preach it, and many don’t even want to hear it.

 

This information comes from Dr. Van Impes book called, Everything you always wanted to know about Prophecy but didn’t know who to ask!

Why is there so little teaching today about prophetic events or what the Bible says about the future? Ken M.

Primarily because it demands so much study and research.  Many do not want to spend the time necessary to study the prophetic scriptures and dig in God’s Word as they should.  The Bible says, Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15).

Secondly, many men do not teach from the prophetic scriptures because they are afraid of being branded as “sensationalist”.  This is say, because the message of Christ’s return is a blessed hope (Titus 2:13), a purifying hope (I John 3:2, 3) and a hope that earns one a special crown (2 Timothy 4:7, 8).

But Jesus was a sensationalist?  And much of what He said was also sensational.  For instance:  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 (Matthew 24:27); 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 (Matthew 24:29).  Jesus made these shocking statements!  So we are branded as sensationalists, like Jesus, when we preach the Word of God.

The following is from Everything you always wanted to know about PROPHECY but didn’t know who to ask!  by Dr. Jack Van Impe:

What are the 5 Crowns? And could you explain each one? Barb. M

REWARDS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

One is neither saved nor kept by works (2 Timothy 1:9), but good works naturally follow salvation (Ephesians 2:10).

There is a system of balances found in the Scriptures when it comes to rewards, but not to salvation, which is a gift (Romans 6:23). These works will be weighed on God’s scales and put through judgmental fire. Thus, a system of addition and subtraction can be found at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Quality works, performed for the glory of God to win the souls of men when tested and found genuine, will earn crowns for the faithful for all eternity. They are likened to gold, silver, and precious stones (1 Corinthians 3:12-15). Eternal life is freely bestowed upon all who believe as a gift apart from works (Romans 6:23), and cannot be forfeited, but crowns can be earned and lost, accumulated and liquidated.

A Christian can accumulate rewards while he is on earth and then lose them before his death or the Rapture by foolish living. These are the consequences of a Christian living in sin (not loss of salvation, but of rewards… saved “so as by fire” (1 Corinthians 3:15; 2 John 8; Revelation 3:11; 2 Timothy 4:7, 8).

At the Judgment Seat of Christ, the Lord Jesus Christ will present a number of “crowns” for specific service:

  1. The Watcher’s Crown (a Crown of Righteousness), given to all who longingly and desiringly watch for Christ’s return (2 Timothy 4:8).
  2. The Runner’s Crown (an Incorruptible Crown), for all who strive for the mastery by keeping bodily appetites under control and being temperate in all things (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).
  3. The Shepherd’s Crown (a Crown of Glory) reserved for faithful ministers (1 Peter 5:1-4).
  4. The Soulwinner’s Crown (a Crown of Rejoicing), for those who bring others to the Saviour (1 Thessalonians 2:19; Psalm 126:5, 6; Luke 15:5, 6, 7, 10).
  1. The Sufferer’s Crown (a Crown of Life), for those who have suffered for the sake of Christ and the gospel (James 1:12; Matthew 5:10-12). It is also given to those who are faithful unto the end (Revelation 2:10).

 

This information comes from Dr Van Impes book called Your Future An A-Z Index To Prophecy.

Could you please explain to me what the Judgment Seat Of Christ is? Rob. C

JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST

The day is coming when every blood-bought believer must stand before a Holy God for a scrutinizing investigation (Romans 14:10, 11). The English term “judgment seat” has a Greek origin, bema seat. The runners’ track in Athens, Greece, contained thousands of seats. However, there was one seat differing from the rest in that it was elevated. The judge of the contest, who sat there, had no obstructions to mar his view. He could see every movement clearly. This pictures the God of holiness elevated upon His throne watching the Christian’s race of life (1 Corinthians 9:24-25; Hebrews 4:13). God is keeping records for the day when we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done (2 Corinthians 5:10). We cannot live for the flesh and self and hear Christ say in that day, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant?’ There must be a battle fought and won. Rewards must be earned and scars must be traded for crowns. Paul, who bore in his body the marks [scars] of the Lord Jesus (Galatians 6:17) was pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14). Salvation was already his as a gift, but only works of self-denial, hardship, suffering, and perhaps death could bring him the prize or crown to lay at Jesus’ feet (Revelation 4:10,11).

God will also investigate the motives behind one’s works. If there is an iota of self-glorification behind any act of service, the rewards will be sparse . . . if any (Matthew 6:1-6, 16-19; 1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 4:5).

Scriptural facts concerning the Bema Seat:

  1. This judgment is only for the people of God . . . those who have erected service or works upon the foundation of the Lord Jesus Christ.
  2. All of God’s people present some form of “works” to Christ at the Bema Seat.
  3. Though all worked to some degree, a difference in quantity and quality is observed … gold, silver, and precious stones versus wood, hay, and stubble.
  4. The difference is tested by purging fires.
  5. The disintegrated ashes of wood, hay, and stubble bring sorrow and loss (1 Corinthians 3:15). While eternal life is freely bestowed upon all who believe as a gift apart from works (Romans 6:23) and cannot be forfeited, rewards and crowns can be earned and lost, accumulated and liquidated. A day of addition and subtraction is coming at the Rapture.
  6. Quality works, performed for the glory of God to win the souls of men — gold, silver, precious stones —will earn crowns for all eternity. These crowns will then be placed at the feet of Christ as an eternal memorial of one’s lifetime of service (Revelation 4:10, 11).

Some will be ashamed before Him at His coming (1 John 2:28; 2 Peter 1:11). They will have nothing but ashes to lay at Christ’s feet. Thank God one can confess failure, rededicate his life, and make a new start immediately. Then such will hear Him say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”

Please explain what Eschatology is? David. H

ESCHATOLOGY
Eschatology is the study of “last things” or prophecy. It has been observed that approximately 25 percent of the Bible deals with prophetic truth. That means that at the time of its writing, one-fourth of scripture was pre-written history. Many prophecies have come to pass, but much of God’s Word is yet to be fulfilled.
Biblical Eschatology is the capstone of systematic theology. More than any other major field of theology, it has suffered much at the hands of its interpreters. Even among those whose confidence in the inspired Word of God is unquestioned there exists widely divergent schools of interpretation (Dr. J. D. Pentecost).

Hello could you please explain to me what a Covenant is? Robert M.

COVENANT

A divinely initiated contract which God makes with man in which God obligates himself to the parties named in the contract. A covenant may be unconditional (God says, “I will. . .”), or conditional (God says, “I will, if you will …”). It is important to note the difference. J. Dwight Pentecost says, “The covenants contained in the scriptures are of primary importance to the interpreter of the Word and to the student of Eschatology. God’s eschatological program is determined and prescribed by these covenants and one’s eschatological system is determined and limited by the interpretation of them. These covenants must be studied diligently as the basis of Biblical Eschatology.” His book, Things to Come, covers the covenants in depth and I encourage you to study it for detailed information.

The following is an outline of the major covenants having to do with prophetic truth:

ABRAHAMIC COVENANT

This is the foundation of all the succeeding covenants to Israel in which God promises unconditionally to raise up a seed unto Abraham and to give him and his seed an everlasting possession (Genesis 12:1-3; 13:14-18; 15:121; 17:1-22). In this covenant, God promises:

  1. To make of Abraham a great nation, to multiply his seed exceedingly and to make him a father of many nations
  2. To bless Abraham and make him great
  3. To make Abraham a blessing to all the families of the earth
  4. To bless those who bless him and curse those who curse him
  5. To give Abraham and his seed forever all the land which he could see, later specified with definite boundaries
  6. To give him a sign of the covenant (circumcision)

This covenant is partially fulfilled and will not be fully realized until Israel enters into the millennial kingdom.

 

MOSAIC COVENANT

This covenant with Israel was conditioned upon their obedience to God’s commands (Exodus 19:4-6).

In this covenant, God promises:

  1. To make Israel His special possession among the people of the land
  2. To make Israel a kingdom of priests and a holy nation

God followed it up with requirements and laws.

Although Israel said, “All that the Lord hath spoken we will do;’ they soon forgot their promise. This covenant did not supersede the Abrahamic Covenant (Galatians 3:17, 18) and even though Israel failed to heed God’s commands, the promises of the unconditional, eternal covenant to Abraham were still in force.

 

PALESTINIAN COVENANT

An unconditional covenant enlarging upon the Abrahamic Covenant promising the seed of Abraham eternal possession in the land (Deuteronomy 30:1-10).

This covenant says:

  1. Israel will be dispersed among the nations
  2. Israel will repent and turn to the Lord
  3. Israel will be regathered from its dispersion

In this covenant, God promises:

  1. To bring them to the land which their fathers possessed
  2. To prosper them above their fathers
  3. To restore them spiritually so that Israel will love the Lord with all their heart and soul
  4. To put all the curses upon their enemies

Pentecost maintains: “It should be observed that the only conditional element here is the time element. The program is certain; the time when this program will be fulfilled depends upon the conversion of the nation. Conditional time elements do not make the whole program conditional, however.”

 

DAVIDIC COVENANT

An unconditional covenant which God made with David reaffirming the Abrahamic Covenant and adding that the blessings would be attached to the lineage of David (2 Samuel 7:1-16; 23:1-5; Psalm 89:34-37).

In this covenant, God promises:

  1. To make David’s name great
  2. To provide a permanent, undisturbed home for Israel
  3. To establish an eternal kingdom with David and his offspring

 

NEW COVENANT

An unconditional covenant God made with Israel to replace the Mosaic Covenant which the people had failed to obey. He promises Israel a spiritual restoration (Jeremiah 31:31-40).

In this covenant, God promises:

  1. To put His law in their hearts and minds
  2. To be their God and make them His people
  3. To forgive their wickedness and not remember their sins any more

The moral problem posed by the failure of the Mosaic Covenant will, under the new covenant, be met by God’s own sovereign grace and power. It is in the gracious spirit of the earlier Abrahamic Covenant, rather than in the legalistic spirit of the Mosaic Covenant which it replaces.

Could you please explain to me what Dispensations are? Pat F

DISPENSATIONS

Divisions of time in which mankind responds to a specific revelation of the will of God. I believe in a literal, dispensational interpretation of God’s Word “rightly dividing” it (2 Timothy 2:15). There are seven dispensations:

  1. Innocence — Creation to the fall (Genesis 1:27; 3:24)
  2. Conscience — Beginning of civilization to the Flood (Genesis 4:1; 8:14)
  3. Human Government — Exit from the Ark to the Tower of Babel (Genesis 8:15; 11:32)
  4. Promise — Call of Abraham to Egyptian bondage (Genesis 12:1; Exodus 19:2)
  5. Law — Ten Commandments to the end of the Gospels (Exodus 19:3; Acts 1)
  6. Grace — Pentecost to end of the Tribulation (Acts 2; Revelation 19:21)
  7. Millennium (Kingdom) — Imprisonment of Satan to the Great White Throne (Revelation 20:1; 22:7)

What is Dispensationalism? Ken M.

DISPENSATIONALISM

A system of theology that, among other things, recognizes three basic tenets:

  1. There is a theological distinction between Israel and the Church
  2. Scripture is to be interpreted consistently by the literal method unless the text itself mentions a figurative or symbolic interpretation.
  3. The underlying purpose of God in the world is His glory

One can be a Dispensationalist and hold differing views concerning the number of dispensations, but the following tenets are believed by all Dispensationalists.

All this information comes from Dr Van Impes book called Your Future An A-Z Index to Prophecy. And also is one of the study tools that is included in The Jack Van Impe Prophecy Bible.

Could you give me your explanation of the Trinity? I have no problem in believing in the Trinity, but its very hard for me to explain to others. What’s a simple explanation of it ? Greg G.

The definition of the Trinity is that there is only one God, but in the unity of the Godhead there are three eternal and coequal Persons, the same in substance but distinct in subsistence.

The Old Testament reveals the Trinity. This includes passages which use the plural word Elohim and plural pronouns referring to God (Genesis 1:1, 26; Isaiah 6:8).In the New Testament there is clear revelation that the Father, Son, and Spirit are God, thus a Triunity or Trinity (neither is a Biblical word).  The Father is God (John 6:27; Ephesians 4:6).  Jesus Christ is God (Hebrews 1:8).  The Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4).  The three Persons are equal and one (Matthew 28:19; II Corinthians 13:14).  “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one” (I John 5:7).

Since we believe in a Pre-Tribulation Rapture, will Christian’s who Believe in mid or post-tribulation go up in the Rapture. George M.

All Christians, whether they believe in a pre-Tribulation, mid-Tribulation, or post-Tribulation rapture will be raptured with the rest of the Body of Christ at the Lord’s coming.  Immediately following the Rapture, the Judgment Seat of Christ occurs in Heaven for all believers to determine loss or gain of rewards for works done in the body.  Simultaneously, the Tribulation will occur on the earth.

When Jesus was crucified did he die spiritually as well as physically ? If so what scripture reference confirms this ?Thank you Ron F.

Nowhere in the Bible does it say that Jesus died spiritually:

  • Jesus was in the beginning (John 1:1).
  • He became flesh (John 1:14).
  • He died physically but His spirit lived on (Luke 23:46).