Introduction to Biblical Hermeneutics

  What is the meaning of “Eschatology?” (The study of the last things. “Eschatos” (Grk.) – “last things.”) Why is it important to study Eschatology? (It’s a part of God’s Revelation; it concerns us; there is much error; etc.) What are the two ways to accurately predict the future or the last things? See, or control, the future. Can man predict or control the future? Can Satan predict or control the future? Are the predictions of man or Satan reliable? Who is the only one who can reliably predict the future? Why are his predictions so reliable? What are some of the Names this God uses? Is Allah the true God, and are his prophecies reliable? Was Mohammed a prophet of the one true and living God? What about Nostradamus? (Originally Michel de Notredame. 1503-1566. French physician and astrologer who wrote Centuries (1555), a book of prophecies.) Could Jehovah reveal new prophecies today? What methods might He used to reveal those prophecies? Does Jehovah make new, major prophecies today? What does Revelation 22:18-19 say? What does Proverbs 30:5-6 say? So where is the only place to find the true prophecies of God? If the Bible is the only source of information on Eschatology, why are there so many diverse opinions? Name a subject more basic and important than Bible interpretation. What is the theological name for the study of Bible interpretation? (Hermeneutics, Grk. word for “interpreter.”) What is “exegesis”? (The explanation of the meaning scripture.) What is the relationship between Hermeneutics and Exegesis? (One is the science of interpretation and the other is the art of interpretation – L....

The Introduction to Prophesy

  The Scriptures have been given to man in several different formats, or styles; what are three of them? (History, poetry and prophecy.) What are some of the historical sections of the Bible? Poetical? Do any of the historical books contain prophesy? Do any of the prophets contain poetry? Give a reasonably good definition of Biblical prophecy: How important is prophecy to the overall significance of the Bible? What if there was no Biblical prophecy? What if Biblical prophecies were proven to be fraudulent or inaccurate? How important is clarity versus ambiguity in the area of prophecy? How important is literal accuracy to clarity? How much does prophecy have to do with God’s testimony of Himself? (Isaiah 41:5-12) How strictly does prophesy deal with the time element? (Sometimes not as strictly as we would like.) Cite a well-known prophesy which speaks of something future as though it was present. (Isa. 9:6) Cite a well-known prophesy which speaks of something future as though it was past. (Isa. 53). Cite a verse in Malachi bringing close together events widely spread apart. (Mal. 3:1). So how much care do we need to give to the time element in prophecy? Despite these things, what is the element of time that is essential to prophesy? (If the fulfilment is immediate, the prophesy loses it credibility or its value.) What is the law of double reference? (One prophecy may refer to both something immediate and future.) Cite one such (contested) example from Isaiah 7. (7:14 – Behold a virgin shall conceive, and…) Why did God use double references? (By fulfilling the prophesy near-at-hand, He strengthened...

The Scriptural Necessity for the Second Coming – Deuteronomy 29:29

  What was the first Biblical prophecy and what is its theme? Genesis 3:14-15. Where do we find the first Biblical prophecy uttered by man and what is its theme? Jude 1:14-15. What is the last Biblical prophecy and what is its theme? Rev. 22:20-21. Out of all the possible themes of Biblical prophecy which is the most abundant? Which doctrine receives more Biblical revelation: the second coming, the atonement or the fall of man? Of all the scripture which speaks of the advent of Christ, are more relating to His first coming or to His second coming? What did the angels tell the disciples just after the ascension of Christ? Acts 1:9-11. What did the Lord Jesus say that the dead would hear prior to their resurrection? John 5:17-30. What is the reason that we should interpret this allegorically rather than literally? Upon which hill to the east of Jerusalem shall Christ stand and split into two hills? Zech. l4:1-4. When did the Lord Jesus come in flaming fire taking vengeance on the wicked? II Thess. 1:8-10. When has the Lord Jesus come in the clouds of Heaven with power and glory? Matt. 24:27-3 Were the trials of the saints found unto praise and honour and glory at the firsts appearing of Jesus Christ? I Peter 1:6-9. Have the fiery trials of the saints been changed to exceeding joy because we have seen the glory of Christ? I Peter 4:12-13. Has Job yet seen with his eyes the person of Christ upon the earth? Job 19:23-27. Has the Lord Jesus returned to earth with all his saints? I...

Millennialism – Deuteronomy 29:29

  Have we sufficiently proven that the Lord Jesus MUST return to earth to fulfill Biblical prophesy? Are Biblical scholars agreed as to WHEN the Lord shall return? Does the Bible predict a SPECIFIC date for the Lord’s return? How much respect should we have towards the Bible teacher who predicts a specific date? Who declared: “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power”? What prompted that statement? (“Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?”) What has been prophesied as necessary for the re-establishment of Israel? (Return of Christ). What is the parable of the fig tree (Mark 13:28-37)? Does the Bible teach that we should NOT expect the Lord to return to earth SOON? Does the Bible teach that we should put aside other Christian responsibilities in the light of the soon return of the Lord? How should we handle the fact that the Lord will soon return to earth? What are some of the things that will take place at the return of the Lord? What does Zechariah 14:1-4 tell us will take place when Christ returns? (He will set his feet on the Mount of Olives and divide it). What does Zechariah 14:16 say will take place? (The nations will come to worship Christ at Jerusalem). What does II Thessalonians 1:8-10 say will take place at the Second Coming? (Vengeance). What does II Thessalonians 2:8 say will take place at Jesus’ Second Coming? (Antichrist destroyed). What does Matthew 25:31-33 say will take place at His Coming? (Nations will...

The History of Millennialism – II Peter 3:3-4

  What are the three major differing positions about the Millennium? (Pre-, post-, and a-millennialism) Generally speaking, what do each of those positions teach? What position did the New Testament Sadducees hold in regard to the millennium? (Amillennial). What position did the New Testament Pharisees hold in regard to the millennium? (Premillennial ). What was the reason for this difference? (Differences in hermeneutics). What did the Lord’s disciples and the early church believe about the millennium? (Premillennial). What did Clement of Rome, Barnabas, and Polycarp and Papias, (two students of the Apostle John) believe about the millennium? (These first century Christians believed that it would follow the literal return of Christ). What did second century Christians Pothinus, Justin Martyr, Melito, Tatian, Irenaeus, Tertullian and Hippolytus believe about the millennium? What did the third century Christians Cyprian, Commodian, Nepos, Victorinus, and Lactantius believe about the millennium? Who wrote these words in his Dialogue with Trypho: “I and whatsoever Christians are orthodox in all things, do know that there will be a resurrection of the flesh, and a thousand years in the city of Jerusalem, built, adorned and enlarged, according as Ezekiel, Isaiah and other prophets have promised… Moreover, a certain man among us, whose name is John, being one of the twelve apostles of Christ, in that revelation which was shown to him prophesied, that those who believe in our Christ shall fulfill a thousand years at Jerusalem.” (Justin Martyr, born about 100 AD.) Why did Theologian Lewis Sperry Chaffer say, “The whole Bible is harmonized only by the chiliastic interpretation?” What did amillennialist Oswald Allis say that the early...

The Doctrine of Resurrection – Revelation 20:12-15

  To what group of people does the Millennium primarily relate? (Israel). What will be capitol city of the Millennial Kingdom? (Jerusalem – Jere. 3:16-18). From whose throne will the Messiah reign? (David’s – Isaiah 9:6-7). Does the Millennial Kingdom affect any other nations or races besides Israel? (Matthew 25:31-34). To what extent will the Millennial Kingdom rule over creation? (100% – Romans 8:19-22). Will the Millennial Kingdom be enjoyed ONLY by those who are alive at the time of its establishment? Did the church in Thessalonica believe in the imminent return of the Lord Jesus and the establishment of His earthly kingdom? Apparently, what did they think would be the relationship of their deceased brethren to that kingdom? What did Paul teach them to correct this misunderstanding? (I Thess. 4:13-18). How closely related are the doctrines of the Millennial Kingdom and resurrection? Is the idea of resurrection Biblical or just the hopeful wish of dying men? What did the Sadducees believe about the resurrection? (Denial). What did the Pharisees believe about the resurrection? (Acts 23:8). What was the reason that they believed differently? (Hermeneutics). How many times in the New Testament do we find the word “resurrection” – 10, 20, 30, 40? (40). How many of those references are speaking of a literal resurrection of the dead? (100%). Is resurrection a doctrine confined to the New Testament? (Heb. 11:17-19; Job 19:25-26; Ps. 16:10; 49:15; Isa. 26:19; Hosea 13:14; Dan. 12:1-2, etc). According to John 5:28-29, what are the two different kinds of resurrections? (Unto life or damnation). According to Hebrews 11:35, there is one resurrection which is worse...

The Program of the Resurrection – I Corinthians 15:20

  On a scale of 1 to 10 how well did we prove that there is a resurrection of the dead? Out of these scriptures: John 5:28-29; 11:24-25; Rom. 6:5; I Thess. 4:13-18 and Rev. 20:5-6: Which scripture teaches that baptism refers to resurrection? (Romans 6:5). Which scripture teaches that there are two distinct resurrections? (Revelation 20:5-6). Which scripture teaches that the resurrected saints will go to be with the Lord? (I Thess. 4:13-18). Which scripture teaches that Christ will raise the dead? (John 5:28-29). Which scripture teaches that Christ IS the resurrection? (John 11:24-25). According to Romans what is the great proof that Jesus Christ is the Son of God with power? (Rom.1:4). According to verses like these, how important is the doctrine of the resurrection? Other than Biblical declarations what is the greatest evidence that we will be raised from the dead? (Jesus’ resurrection). What group of Jews did not believe in resurrections? (Sadducees). Were there any others who doubted the reality of resurrections? Who? (Certain heathen groups). Were there any professing Christians who had doubts about future resurrections? Did they have those doubts because the New Testament didn’t teach a resurrection? What are some possible explanations for their unbelief? (Ignorance, mis-interpretation, false teachers). What is the great resurrection chapter in the New Testament? (I Cor. 15 – read in its entirety). With what subject does the chapter begin? (The Gospel). What does Paul suggest is the key ingredient and proof of the gospel? (Jesus’s resurrection). What proof is there of Jesus’ resurrection? (Witnesses). What would be our eternal situation if Christ had not arisen from the...

The Doctrine of the Rapture – I Thessalonians 4:16-17

  What is the doctrine of the “rapture”? (That the saints alive on the earth at the return of Christ will be caught up together with resurrected saints to meet the Lord). Is the rapture synonymous with the return of Christ? (No, but they are synchronized). Is the rapture synonymous with the resurrection of the saints? (Not exactly). Is it common to associate the return of Christ with the rapture and the resurrection of the saints? Where in our Bibles do we find the word “rapture”? What does the word “rapture” in this case mean? (The word “rapture” is from “rapere;” the word translated “caught up” [I Thess. 4:17] in the Latin Bible). Does the book of I Thessalonians teach the soon coming of Christ, the resurrection or the rapture? I Thess. 1:6-10. Were the Thessalonians waiting for the physical return of Jesus Christ? (Yes, v.10). Did they believe that Christ had delivered them from the wrath to come? To what does the word “wrath” refer? (The Tribulation). Why do we believe that this doesn’t refer to the torments of Hell? (The context, I Thess. 5; John 3:36; etc.). Should I Thess. 4:16-17 be taken figuratively or literally? Should the word “we” be taken figuratively (editorially) or literally? What did Paul and the people of that church believe about the time of the rapture? (Imminent) What is the definition of the word “imminent”? (Something is about to occur, or it could occur at any moment). Is the word “imminent” found in the Bible? (No, although the principle is Biblical). Doesn’t I Thess. 5:1-4 teach that the church in Thessalonica...

The Tribulation – Daniel 12:1

  What does the word “tribulation” mean? (Affliction or trouble). How many different kinds of “tribulation” might there be? Do verses like Acts 14:22 and John 16:33 teach that the New Testament saints will go through the Tribulation? Daniel 12:1: Who are “the children of thy people”? (Israel). Does this verse tell us, that whatever this is, will take place at a specific moment in time, or is this speaking of problems general to all mankind or to Israel throughout their history? Does this verse say that this “trouble” will last a specific length of time? Who will be delivered from this trouble? (The elect of Israel). Jeremiah 30:7-9: The same Hebrew word “trouble” (Daniel 12:1) is here more specifically called what? (Jacob’s trouble). Will the time of this “trouble” be just unspecified periods of human problems, such as World War II? What are some of the things that will result from this “trouble?” (Saved, freed, Messiah, universal worship). Matthew 24:21, 29-30: Does anything in the context show that this is speaking of a time period different from Daniel or Jeremiah? What adjective is used with the word “trouble” in this case? (“Great”). What do the words “of those days” suggest? (Specific period of time). What are some of the things that this scripture declares will take place during this “trouble”? Is Mark 13:24-27 talking about the same thing as Matthew 24:29-30? (Apparently). Does the phrase “but in those days, after that tribulation” suggest an indefinite period of time? (No). What does this scripture teach will take place at the close of those days? What do the words “that...

Post and Partial Tribulationalism – I Thessalonians 4:16-17

  What do “Millennium?” (The 1,000 year reign of Christ on earth). Should we expect the Millennium to begin tomorrow? What must take place prior to the beginning of the Millennium? (Return of Christ, Tribulation, rapture). What term describes people who believe these things? (Premillennialists). What do we mean by “the Tribulation?” (The seven years of God’s wrath on earth). Does the Bible teach a literal or figurative Tribulation? Are we now in the Tribulation? How can we be sure? Has the Tribulation already taken place? How can we be sure? What is the rapture? (The catching away of God’s saints – I Thess. 4:17). There are the five opinions about the relationship of the rapture to the Tribulation: what are they? (Pre-Trib., Post-Trib., Mid-Trib, Mixed-Trib {Partial Rapture} and Pre-wrath). What do those who are Partial Rapturists believe? (Some saints will endure some or all of the Tribulation). What do Luke 21:36; Phil. 3:20, II Tim. 4:8 and Phil. 3:20 have in common? (Waiting for Christ). What is the theme of Luke 21:5-38? (Israel in the Tribulation). Partial Rapturists uses these verses to teach that certain people will be raptured before the Tribulation: Who do they say will be raptured? (Those faithfully awaiting the return of Christ). About whom does Matthew 24:41-42 speak? (Israel). Should God’s people be faithful to the Lord and watchful for His coming? (Yes). Do these verses teach that the rapture is dependent upon our faithfulness or watchfulness? (No.) If they are consistent in applying their doctrine, how many of the dead in Christ do Partial Rapturists teach will be resurrected at the rapture? According...

The Post Tribulational Rapture – Matthew 24:42

  What do we mean by “the Tribulation?” (The seven years period of God’s wrath poured out on earth). What group of people does the Tribulation primarily concern? (Israel). What is the primary purpose of the Tribulation? (To prepare Israel for the Messiah). Isn’t the Tribulation also designed to purify God’s churches? (No). What New Testament book most clearly speaks about the Tribulation? (Revelation). At what point in that book do we begin to read about the Tribulation (Chapter 6 and the opening of the seals). Where in that book do we find reference to God’s churches? (Chapters 1-3 and 22:16). Does that book give us any reason to think that God’s churches will be in the Tribulation? (No.) What is the primary reason that some theologians have the church going through the Tribulation? (Confusion of Israel and the Lord’s Church). What are the five major areas of thought in regard to the relationship of the rapture to the Tribulation? (Pre-Trib., Post-Trib., Mid-Trib., Mixed-Trib [Partial Rapture] and the Pre-wrath Rapture). What is the primary tenant of the Post-trib’er in regard to the saints of God? (The saints will be caught up at the end of the Tribulation). Do all Post-trib’ers agree on the details of the rapture? (No). How many major branches of Post-Tribulationalism are there? (3, some say 4). What are they? (Classic, Semi-classic, Future). What does the Classic Post-Trib’er believe about the Tribulation? (That it started in Acts and concluded with the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.) What is his primary method of Hermeneutics? (Spiritualizing/allegorizing the statements about the Tribulation). Could this man believe in the...

The Mid-Tribulational and Pre-wrath Rapture – Matthew 24:42

  What do we mean by “the Tribulation?” (The seven years period of God’s wrath poured out on earth). What group of people does the Tribulation primarily concern? (Israel). What is the primary purpose of the Tribulation? (To prepare Israel for the Messiah). Isn’t the Tribulation also designed to purify God’s churches? (No). What New Testament book most clearly speaks about the Tribulation? (Revelation). At what point in that book do we begin to read about the Tribulation (Chapter 6 and the opening of the seals). Where in that book do we find reference to God’s churches? (Chapters 1-3 and 22:16). Does that book give us any reason to think that God’s churches will be in the Tribulation? (No.) What are the five major areas of thought in regard to the relationship of the rapture to the Tribulation? (Pre-Trib., Post-Trib., Mid-Trib., Mixed-Trib [Partial Rapture] and the Pre-wrath Rapture). What is the primary tenant of the Mid-trib’er in regard to the saints of God? (The saints will be caught up in the middle of the Tribulation). Do Post-trib’ers and Mid-trib’ers share any of the same opinions about the rapture? (Many). How do Mid-trib’ers and others use Peter (John 21:15-19) to argue against the Pre-trib rapture? (Peter was told that he would die a martyr’s death, indicating that the rapture couldn’t take place during his life). How do Mid-trib’ers and others use Paul (Acts 22:21) to argue against the Pre-trib rapture? (Paul was told that he would have an extensive preaching ministry, meaning that the rapture couldn’t happen immediately). Does “imminency” mean the same thing as “momentarily”? Does the Bible teach...

The Nature of the Tribulation – II Peter 3:10

  What do we mean by “the Tribulation?” (The seven years period of God’s wrath poured out on earth). According to Daniel how long will the Tribulation last? (One week). Name two other Biblical titles given to this period of time? (“Jacob’s Trouble” – Jere. 29:1-10 and the “Day of the Lord”). What is the length of the usual Biblical “day?” (24 hours). Does the Day of the Lord last this long? (No). How many times is “the day of the Lord” found in the Bible (4, 14, 24, 34)? (24 times). How many times is “the day of the Lord’s wrath/vengeance/etc.” found in the Bible? (Many). How many times is “the day of Christ” found in the Bible? (3 times). Will the Day of the Lord begin suddenly or after God-given warnings? (I Thess. 4:13-5:5; II Pet. 2:9-13). So will the Day of the Lord begin with the Millennium? Based on II Peter 2 and related verses when will the Day of the Lord end? (At the end of the Millennium). How long will the Day of the Lord last? (Apparently about 1007 years). What will be the primary characteristic of the Day of the Lord? (Judgment) Isaiah 2:12 – 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: Isaiah 13:6 – Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty. Isaiah 13:9 – Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with...

Today’s Saints in the Tribulation – Revelation 4:1-11

  What do we mean by “the Tribulation?” (The seven year period when God’s wrath is poured out on the earth). What do we mean by “the Great Tribulation?” (The last half of the Tribulation – Matt. 24:21). Upon what group of people does the Tribulation primarily focus? (Israel). Which New Testament book most vividly describes the Tribulation? (Revelation). In which chapter of this book do we begin to learn about the Tribulation? (Revelation 6). What happens in that chapter? (The opening of the seals on the book of God’s wrath). In what chapters of this book do we the word “church”? (Rev. 2 & 3). Where else in this book do we have references to the church or churches of Jesus Christ? (Rev. 1 & 22). Is there any mention of the Lord’s churches in any of the descriptions of the Tribulation? (No). Can we dogmatically say from this that God’s churches are not found in the Tribulation? (Arguments from silence are not conclusive). According to Revelation 1:19, the Book of Revelation is divided into what three sections? (“Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter.”) What had John already seen? (Chapter one). What were among the things that were then going on? (Chapters 2 & 3). What part of the Book of Revelation was yet to come? What word in Revelation 4:1 directly ties that chapter to Revelation 1:19? (“Hereafter”). Can we justly say that Revelation 4 was future to John? Is Revelation 4 still future to us? (Yes). What is the central object of Revelation...

Israel in the Tribulation – Daniel 9:25

  What do we mean by “the Tribulation?” (The seven year period when God’s wrath is poured out on the earth). Upon what group of people does the Tribulation primarily focus? (Israel.) Will there be a nation called “Israel” during the Tribulation? (Yes.) Will Israel, as a nation, be converted or follow Christ before the Tribulation? (No.) Will Israel, as a nation, be converted to Christ early in the Tribulation? (No.) Will the people of Israel be aware or stirred up by the translation of the saints? (Probably.) By whose influence and power will Israel enjoy peace with her neighbors during the first part of the Tribulation? (Antichrist – Daniel 9:26-27). Do Ezek. 36:24-28 and similar scriptures teach that Israel will be restored to her land as unconverted people or as redeemed? (She will be restored unconverted, and later God will cleanse her.) Will there be no true believers in Israel during the Tribulation? (There will be a remnant of believers.) When will these people come to believe on Jesus Christ? (After the rapture.) Who are the two witnesses of Rev. 11:1-12? Of what will they witness? Are the 144,000 of Rev. 7, Russellites as the Jehovah’s Witnesses cult claims? (No. Rev. 7:4ff.) Are the 144,000 servants of God? In what period of time will they serve the Lord? (The Tribulation.) Will Israel rebuild her temple? (Yes. Rev. 11:1-2, etc.) If so, where will it be located? (On the original site.) What is it that many believe Dan. 9:27 teaches about the temple? (Antichrist will defile it.) What does II Thess. 2:3-4 teach about the temple? (Antichrist will defile...