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Repent and Be Baptized

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Nearly all Biblical scholars agree that even the most cursory reading of the Gospels reveals a simple fact-- the subject most often spoken of by Jesus Christ was that of the Kingdom of God. The exact meaning of that term, however, seems to have been misunderstood in many Christian circles. It is the purpose of this website to put forth an understanding of the Gospel of the Kingdom, and hopefully broaden the reader's understanding of this great subject, which can be described as the central theme of not only the Gospels but the entire Bible.  READ COMPLETE INTRODUCTION...
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Site Overview

While any of the articles on this site can be read separately, each one frequently refers back to, and builds on points from, other articles. The Overviews of each section will give the reader a good overall grasp of the subject, while the articles in each section provide more in-depth coverage of the main topics. Below is an overview of the sections and how they progress, with brief descriptions of each article. The articles themselves are linked wherever a point is made that refers to something dealt with elsewhere.


The first section, What It Is Not, deals with some of the more common misconceptions about the gospel and the kingdom, which do not hold up under closer scrutiny. It includes the following articles:

  • Kingdom of Heaven or of God? - There is no distinction between these terms; they are synonymous.
  • What is the Gospel? - Many Christians miss the main theme of Jesus' Gospel, thinking it is only about his death and resurrection. Many also think the Kingdom of Heaven is a Kingdom IN Heaven, but Jesus taught otherwise.
  • Dispensationalism - This system of theology is not based on solid Biblical foundation and “wrongly divides” the Scriptures.
  • One Gospel - There is not a new message for the Church that contradicts or in any way replaces the gospel that Jesus himself preached; his followers all preached the same gospel of the Kingdom.
  • The Hebrew Origins of the Bible - The Bible must be understood in light of its Jewish background, or the very meaning of its terms will be misunderstood.


The second section, Old Testament Foundation discusses how the foundation of the Kingdom of God is unfolded throughout the Old Testament. This must be understood in order to know what Jesus was talking about. It includes the following articles:

  • In the Beginning - From creation on, God had a plan for man, and it included living and reigning on planet earth, not in some ethereal “home beyond the blue.”
  • The Promises to Abraham - After the world was messed up by man's sin, God's plan of redemption began to unfold with promises to Abraham, which included land, descendants and blessings for the whole world.
  • The Promised Land - The children of Israel possessed the land of Canaan under Joshua, and their territory expanded under David and Solomon. But this was not the complete fulfillment of the Abrahamic land promise.
  • The Lord's Anointed - God's plan was that a man anointed by Him would rule the people in the Promised Land. But He knew that they would not keep the Law and would be driven from the land. Yet He promised David that a descendant of his would sit on his throne, and of that kingdom there would be no end.
  • The Kingdom in the Prophets - Israel still did not stay faithful and received judgment and punishment for it. Yet God did not give up on them. The Prophets spoke at length of a time when Israel would be restored to the land, and God's Anointed King would reign over the whole earth.


The third section, Kingdom Come, deals with Jesus' proclamation that the Kingdom promised in the Old Testament was near, and that he was indeed the Messiah they had waited for. He called on his hearers to repent and believe the Gospel. This section includes the following articles:

  • The Kingdom is Near - Jesus declared that the Kingdom was “nigh” or “at hand.” This means it was “near,” not that it had arrived. This becomes clearer when we understand what Jesus meant by the Kingdom.
  • Mysteries of the Kingdom - Jesus taught his disciples that there would be an interim period before he would begin to rule in his Kingdom. This period and its nature and purpose were mysteries before Jesus revealed them to his disciples.
  • The New Covenant - God promised a New Covenant through His Prophets. Jesus ratified it with His blood. We are now heirs of the Kingdom, but we will inherit it in the future. Yet in the meantime we have a foretaste of what we will ultimately inherit.
  • In Anticipation - A few verses speak of the Kingdom being present in an anticipatory and preparatory sense. They must be considered and understood in light of the many clear verses about the Kingdom.
  • Kingdom Redefined - When the kingdom did not happen, many began to redefine it. Some say it's the Church; others say it's a spiritual reign in the heart of man.
  • Only For Israel? - The disciples throughout Acts preached the same Gospel Jesus did, to both Jews and Gentiles. Nowhere is there an indication that it is only for Israel, or that it is “held in abeyance” until a future time.


The fourth section, Kingdom Living, deals with how we are to live in light of the present and future aspects of God's Kingdom. It includes the following articles:

  • Righteousness - Jesus presented a new standard, involving the heart instead of outward behavior modification.
  • The New Birth - Only by being born again can we have the inner change necessary to give us the heart that Jesus spoke of.
  • The Spirit and the Word - The Holy Spirit is closely associated with God’s Word.  It is the Word and the Spirit that indwells the believer and brings about regeneration.
  • Law Or Grace? - If there is only one Gospel, do we keep the Mosaic Law? Paul talks about the difference between the Old and New Covenants, and Jesus' words are not a new set of outward laws.
  • Living By Faith - We are supposed to live by faith, but what does that mean? This word also is largely misunderstood, but it's as simple as trusting that God told you the truth, and obeying accordingly.


The fifth section, Future Events, examines the prophecies dealing with the events which lead up to the Lord's return to set up the Kingdom. It includes the following articles:

  • Foundations of Prophecy - There are certain principles that must be observed when studying Biblical Prophecy. One of them is having a knowledge of the Hebrew Prophets. Finding references in the New Testament to things prophesied in the Old helps to put together the puzzle.
  • Three Schools of Thought - There are three basic schools of thought regarding the interpretation of prophecy, especially regarding the words of Jesus in the Olivet Discourse. Jesus told his followers what to watch for; we should be watching too.
  • This Generation - One of the more difficult puzzles any viewpoint must handle is dealing with Jesus' statement that “this generation” shall not pass before all these things are fulfilled.
  • A Secret Rapture? - Will the Lord return “in secret” before the Great Tribulation and take his Church somewhere else? The Bible doesn't support this view.
  • The Destruction of the Wicked - The Bible speaks of the ultimate destruction of the unrepenting wicked, not of endless, conscious torture.
  • The Age To Come - After all the prophesied events are complete, God will have what He always wanted: a perfect world full of people who love Him and worship Him forever more.

In addition to the above outline, there are a number of subjects which are expanded on and handled in more detail in separate articles. Each of these may have links to them from a number of places on the main pages. Below is a list of all the Closer Look articles on this site:

  • The Gap Theory - Was there a gap of millions of years between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2?
  • The State Of The Dead - Are the dead conscious in heaven, or are they “asleep” as the Bible describes them?
  • Who Is Messiah? - The mission of Jesus the Messiah involved him being a man, the only begotten Son of God, who perfectly communicated His Father to mankind.
  • Baptism - Is water baptism obsolete, or is there a purpose for it in the Church today?
  • Once Saved Always Saved? - Is a person “saved” if he believes for a moment but later turns away from God and stops believing?
  • The “More Abundant Life” - A rethinking of the “abundant life” or “prosperity and health” gospel.
  • Gathering Data - All the New Testament uses of Kingdom of God / Kingdom of Heaven.
  • The Kingdom in the Early Church Fathers - An examination of the references to the Kingdom of God in the writings of the Early Church Fathers, showing the development of various doctrines.
  • The Johannine Comma - An examination of the textual evidence for and against I John 5:7-8, referring to the “three witnesses.” 
  • The Last Days - What and when are the Last Days according to the Bible?  Are they only the time just prior to the return of Christ?
  • Speaking in Tongues - A thorough examination of this controversial subject.  Is the modern Pentecostal and Charismatic phenomenon a genuine revival of the Biblical gift of languages?   
  • New Covenant Commandments - The New Testament includes admonitions to obey the commandments of God.  Does that mean the Ten Commandments of the Law of Moses?  Or are the commandments of Jesus our standard?
  • The Three Parts of Man Fallacy - Does man consist of three parts – spirit, soul, and body?  What is the difference between created, formed, and made; between soul and spirit; or between the spirit of God and the spirit of man?
  • This Old Earth - The theory of evolution is thought by many Christians to be anti-God. But what if evolution were a tool God used in His creation?  An introduction to Old Earth Creationism.
  • Dual Fulfillment of Prophecy - Many prophecies have a dual fulfillment.  There is an ultimate fulfillment and also a more immediate fulfillment that functions as a type of the ultimate.  
  • The Holy Spirit of God - Expanded background dealing with what the Holy Spirit is and is not.

Another section, called Etcetera, is a place for various other writings. They include:

  • What Day Did Jesus Die? [FURTHER REVISED AND EXPANDED] - Did Jesus die on Friday or Wednesday? And why does it matter?
  • Jesus and the Passover [NEWLY REVISED AND EXPANDED] - A Followup article to “What Day Did Jesus Die?” dealing with several arguments that have been put forth regarding the day Jesus died and its relation to Passover.
  • Seeking The Truth - A description of some of my search for truth, and why I believe what I do.
  • Feedback - Some email comments I received about this site shortly after putting it up.
  • Textual Evidence and the Great Commission - Extracted from Repent and Be Baptized, this study examines the claims that Matthew 28:19 and Mark 16:15 are of doubtful validity, especially in light of Jesus' command to baptize in the “Great Commission.”
  • Is Christmas Pagan? - Some well-meaning Christians insist that Christmas is derived from Pagan festivals and to observe it is to embrace Paganism. This article examines the origin of that claim, and the origins of Christmas celebrations.
  • Refuting Preterism - Preterism is the belief that all or nearly all of the end time prophecies were fulfilled in the past.  The main arguments for this belief are those verses that seem to indicate timing.  This article presents a list of them with responses and explanations


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Mark Clarke