Riekert Botha: Noise versus Authority
Noise versus Authority
Riekert Botha’s William Shakespeare Abuses
The reason for writing this article is to show how biblical discernment is being ravaged big time in our day and age. Christians who, in obedience to Christ Jesus’ command, sincerely want to “test the spirits” and “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” are increasingly being bamboozled and marginalized by false teachers, and being accused of being argumentative, divisive, bullies and troublemakers. It reminds one of the wicked King Ahab (Jezebel’s husband) who called the prophet Elijah a troublemaker when he prophesied to Ahab the truth (1 Kings 18:17).
Quotations from documents and books by world renown authors like William Shakespeare can be very handy when you want to emphasise something you reckon may either be to your advantage or disadvantage. As such, the quotation becomes a kind of ready-made summary of what you may have on your mind and wish to throw out in the open.
In one of his most recent YouTube videos, “116 Vita Dei Word School: Authority or Noise”, Riekert Botha quotes a well-known line from William Shakespeare’s drama “Hamlet.” The quote comes from the second scene of the third act of “The Mousetrap,” a play within the play Hamlet, when she says “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”
As the title “The Mousetrap” clearly suggests, Hamlet wrote and performed it to lure his mother and her second husband, Claudius, who murdered his father, Hamlet, the King of Denmark, into a confession of their heinous sin, and to subconsciously show his mother that he already knew of the murder. Indeed, Hamlet had already known of his father’s murder when his ghost first appeared to his friend, Horatio, and subsequently also to him, and informed them of the murder. The ghost of his father demanded that his son take revenge.
It was in the aftermath of this disturbing scene that Hamlet started to devise a plan to write a play with two actors playing the roles of King Hamlet and Queen Gertrude. With the explicit purpose to expose the insincerity of his mother’s marital vows and loyalty to his slain father, Hamlet, he had the actor of the Queen solemnly vow in her script that she would never marry again. It was at this specific moment that Prince Hamlet asked, “Madam, how like you this play?” and when his mother wryly answered, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”
In Shakespeare’s time the word “protest” was not used in the sense of “to object” or “to deny” or “to sow doubt” with an intent to unmask the insincerity or hypocrisy of someone’s words. It means to solemnly pledge or make a vow. Instead, Queen Gertrude referred to the Queen in the play’s hypocritical and exaggerated, vow not to marry again, unmasking her insincerity. Queen Gertrude’s well-known phrase intended to reveal the woman’s capricious attempt to persuade the audience of her loyalty to her husband, causing her to lose her credibility. Moreover, Queen Gertrude implied with cynical conviction that solemn statements such as this were stupid, and thereby indirectly defended her marriage to Claudius after the murder of her husband, King Hamlet.
Queen Gertrude’s oration does not mean, as Riekert Botha would have wanted it, “to sow doubt” about someone’s sincerity and honest intentions. What he actually aims to do, and it certainly is the reason why he quoted this well-known passage from Hamlet, is to ridicule some Christians’ well-meaning and sincere exhortations and corrections (2 Timothy 3:16). Instead of copying Peter who in sincere humility took to heart Paul’s admonishments and corrections in Galatians 2:11-21, and repented of his wicked ways, Riekert Botha covers himself in a blanket of self-pity and accuses everyone who desires to point out his errors of noise and bullying tactics. As such he is shrouding his own admonishment to submit yourself unconditionally to the authority of God under a cloud of suspicion. We will say a bit more about this a little later.
Having Shakespeare’s Cat by the Tail
I do not know whether Shakespeare had a cat. The possibility that he may have had one is rather slim because he often referred to them in a negative way in his 37 plays. Now and then he also used cats metaphorically to describe the whims, opinions and inborn nature of the female species. Some use this, together with some of his sonnets which he dedicated to a man, as proof that he had homosexual tendencies despite him having been married to Anna Hathaway and had three children with her. Be that as it may, Riekert Botha undeniably has the cat by its tail in his usage of Queen Gertrude’s famous statement in Hamlet, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks,” to clarify the difference between “Authority and Noise.” The phrase does not, I repeat, DOES NOT mean to sow doubt about someone’s sincerity, especially when it is indeed meant to be very sincere.
A solemn vow not to marry again after the death of your spouse, has absolutely nothing to do with authority or noise – ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! Indeed, one can doubt someone’s vow never to marry again after their spouse’s murder or natural death, when they sill get married a short time later. That is the apex of insincerity. As sincere as Riekert Botha’s Shakespeare quote may sound, his own insincerity and dishonesty shines forth like a blinding light when he labels those who sincerely want to correct and exhort him as “little verse casters,: “bullies,” and “noisemakers.” If he really and truly means from the bottom of his heart that “. . . anyone who agrees with God and only speaks what God speaks, has authority, even when they whisper” he would certainly not have despised the words of God which his despicable “little verse casters” quoted to him.
Paul surely does not bully anyone when he writes, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4). Neither is God bullying anyone when He solemnly warns the “little verse caster” haters, “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 . . . (Hosea 4:6)
In addition to his efforts to use a Shakespeare quote as the basis for his “Authority or Noise” YouTube Video, he denigrates God’s Word in very subtle ways. A single example can show this in the meantime.
And Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 2, “And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.” Paul says, can’t you understand that authority comes from God, and not from men who can bully and slander everyone and throw a little verse at you. That is not authority. It is NOISE. ” . . . my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,” and the only way this could take place was for Paul to unconditionally bow his knees under the authority of the Son.
It boggles the mind how Riekert Botha can be so emotionally charged about the authority of God and at the same time derisively refer to someone who quotes the authoritative Word of God to him word for word as bullies and little verse casters, and on top of that states that “little verse casting” is nothing more than noise. And yet he assumes for himself the authority to use God’s authoritative Word to stone so-called “little verse casters.” Please grant me the boldness to also quote from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.” Or, shall we rather say, “Something is rotten in the state of the Vita Dei Word School.”
To submit yourself unconditionally under the authority of God just like Paul of Tarsus, requires of us not only to do it in terms of the soteriology but also the eschatology. The passage Riekert Botha quoted from 1 Corinthians 2 primarily deals with Jesus Christ as our only Redeemer (2:2). Henceforth, Paul’s words in verse 5, “That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” Why Riekert Botha omitted this extremely important “little verse” no one knows. Did he purposefully do so to give the “little verse noise casters” an opportunity to bully him?
Christians in general usually say that a correct and full understanding of the end times has nothing to do with our salvation, and rightly so because faith alone in Christ’s finished work on the cross is the only prerequisite for salvation. The one man who was crucified next to Jesus to whom He said, “Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise” probably knew nothing about the Rapture, the Second Coming, the Millennium of peace on earth, etc. Nevertheless, it does not give us on whom the end times have come so much the closer, and who has the complete Canon of Scripture at our disposal, the right to twist eschatological truths, something which Riekert Botha regularly does unashamedly.
We have an immensely greater responsibility to interpret eschatology with equal finesse and accuracy, as we ought the doctrine of salvation. Indeed, the cross of Christ and the doctrine of the Millennium go hand in hand because both John the Baptist and Jesus Christ affirmed that no one could enter his Kingdom without repentance and faith. Henceforth, their cry, “Repent ye for the Kingdom of God is at hand.” Paul articulated it as follows,
“And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more. Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them”. (Acts 20:25-30)
Jesus said it thus,
“I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” (John 16:12-13).
The things to come are primarily revealed in 1 Thessalonians 4, 1 Corinthians 15 and the Book of Revelation. Anyone who disregards or twists these eschatological truths by adding to or taking away from it is playing with fire (Revelation 22:18-19).
A Huge Leap from Shakespeare to Matthew 20
Riekert Botha says,
Authority is something God gives, and a person who walks in authority is someone who agrees with God. It has nothing to do with noise; it has nothing to do with a facial expression; it has nothing to do with pounding on a table, with ranks, medals and a deep voice, and it has nothing to do with how much you know. Authority has to do with being in full agreement with God because He is the Authority. God is the One who determines what is right and wrong. This is the Authority. Anyone who agrees with Him and speaks the words God speaks, has authority, even when they whisper.
Perhaps Botha does not know or does not want to know that God’s authority is not something that drops out of the blue like a cloud column from heaven upon you. His observation that “an elderly aunty who cannot read or write has much more, much more, much more authority in her softness of spirit as a guy who has six degrees in theology and titles from here to uncle Dan in the calf shed,” is rather unfortunate. Her old age and softness of spirit may foster feelings of awe and subservience to her authority, but her authority to render teaching, exhortation, correction, and doctrine from the Word of God, is zero because she cannot read or write.
Will Botha allow a judge who cannot read or write and, therefore, has no knowledge of the content of our country’s laws and legal system, to judge him? God never willy-nilly gives authority to someone who does not know how to handle God’s Word, the Magna Carte of his authority. Indeed, God is the essence of authority. There is no other authority above Him. His rulings of authority (doctrines) are sovereign and final. He always has the final say. Nothing and no one can replace or dispute his authority. Notwithstanding, Botha resents everyone who wants to correct, exhort, and rebuke him in the light of God’s everlasting rulings of authority and disrespectfully calls them “noise making little verse casters.” Is Botha unconditionally bowing himself under God’s authority when he treats God’s rulings of authority with so much contempt?
You may mildly and meekly think and declare that you are in agreement with God and only speak what God speaks, while you speak the most unbiblical stuff under the sun, such as –
- there is no Rapture.
- nothing more happens on the earth after the Second Coming of Christ.
- the rider on a white horse in Revelation 6 is Jesus Christ and not the Antichrist.
- and the 144 000 (12 000 from the 12 tribes of Israel) in Revelation 6 is symbolic of the great multitude of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues in Revelation 7.
Can Riekert Botha testify with an absolute pure conscience that these are things he heard from God and that he only speaks what God speaks, and thus has the authority of God? It is merely the same old that lies Stephan Joubert speaks. From whence do they get their nonsense? The following paragraph reveals their source.
Roman Catholic and Middle Age Fables
Augustine (A.D. 354-430), the Bishop of Hippo Regius in Numidia, North Africa, was known for his contributions to the doctrines of Predestination (Election), original sin and grace which, according to Augustine, could only be granted through the Romish sacraments and the Eucharist. There is enough evidence that John Calvin did not institutionalize the theological system (Calvinism) that carries his name. B.B. Warfield wrote,
“The system of doctrine taught by Calvin is just the Augustinianism common to the whole body of the Reformers.”Benjamin B. Warfield, Calvin and Augustine, ed. Samuel G. Craig (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 1956), 22.
The staunch Roman Catholic website, “New Advent,” wrote in the article, “Teaching of St. Augustine of Hippo” the following.
“It is first of all a remarkable fact that the great critics, Protestant as well as Catholic, are almost unanimous in placing St. Augustine in the foremost rank of Doctors and proclaiming him to be the greatest of the Fathers.”
“Luther and Calvin were content to treat Augustine with a little less irreverence than they did the other Fathers, but their descendants do him full justice, although recognizing him as the Father of Roman Catholicism.”
Augustine, like Riekert Botha and many others, had a premillennialist view earlier in his life, but latter abandoned it in favour of the Donatist and lay preacher, Tyconius’ symbolic or spiritualized interpretation of the Apocalypse. Augustine, the father of the Roman Catholic Church, endorsed an amillennial view in which he saw no prospect of a future Thousand-Year Peace on earth.
Although Augustine spiritualized the Millennium Kingdom of Christ, he believed that the thousand years in Revelation 20 is the literal period between Christ’s First and Second Advents, i.e. the Church period. It sounds familiar, doesn’t it? However, when the year 1000 had come and gone, without Christ having returned, Augustine’s chronological calculation was not questioned. The amillennianists devised a cunning ploy and swiftly symbolized the duration and the meaning of the Millennium Kingdom. Stephan Joubert loves to apply this sort of trickery to those who in the past have affixed specific dates to the Rapture to ridicule this doctrine. He pokes fun at Rapture date affixments, saying that when these dates had come and gone the date-fixers quickly changed their tactics to some later dates and then, when that did not happen, they extended the Rapture to a later date. This is precisely what the Bishop of Hippo’s honouring disciples have been doing for hundreds of years with the doctrine of the Millennium. But that’s OK because it fits in perfectly with his and Riekert Botha’s symbolic Millennium Kingdom on earth, here and now. It is called Dominionism, or is it “Dumbinionism.”
The 1000 years promptly became an indefinite time frame between Jesus Christ’s First and Second Advents. With this and other modifications, Augustine’s allegorical interpretation of Bible prophecy dominated the Middle Ages. It also very quickly resonated favourably with the Roman Catholic Church and some leaders of the Reformation.
Augustine’s eschatology is to this very day acclaimed and supported in a large segment of the church. These people are merely retracing their steps back to Mother Rome and the Middle Ages. Yet Riekert Botha has the hutzpah to tell us that he, as an authoritative representor of God, only speaks what God speaks, whilst he and his dominianist buddy, Stephan Joubert, only speak what their amillennial guru and Father of the Roman Catholic Church, Augustine had spoken.
Tailormade Eschatological Errors
Riekert Botha has a rather cute technique to say things and to quote from books with a well-reserved intent to present his listeners and viewers with tailormade sermons that seem to fit in with Scripture, more or less like a gasket on a car’s engine as he himself once quipped. Henceforth, his huge leap (“A Radical Leap” as Stephen Joubert would call it) from a quote from Shakespeare’s drama, Hamlet, to Matthew 20 to verify his take on the difference between noise and authority. Eish! How desperate does he need to get to mislead God’s flock? Unfortunately, we must for the umpteenth time mention that Botha has the cat by the tail, also here in his Scriptural eisegesis of Matthew 20.
The first thing to be emphasized is that Matthew 20:25-28 is not about authority in the sense of an authoritative declaration of Scriptural doctrines but about the position or place of authority, and more specific about the divinely appointed places of authority the twelve apostles will occupy during the Messianic Millennial of peace on earth. Riekert Botha will probably find this exceedingly difficult to digest because he single-mindedly maintains that nothing more is going to take place on earth subsequent to Christ’s Second Advent to the earth. Nonetheless, if he vows to speak only what God speaks, which is the only true litmus test for genuine authority, then he should admit that I am not making a noise but speaking the truth. To affirm this, we need to turn to Matthew 19:27-30.
“Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.” (Matthew 19:27-30).
This scene takes place shortly after a very rich man went away sorrowful when Jesus asked him to sell everything he had and to give it to the poor, so that he may have a treasure in heaven. Jesus’ statement that a rich man shall hardly enter the Kingdom of heaven dumbfounded the disciples because their earlier contact with the Pharisees’ prosperity doctrines led them to think that God blessed his beloved with great riches and that poverty was a sign of God’s displeasure and curses.
Consequently, the disciples asked Him, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus’ response that all things were possible with God, apparently did not satisfy Peter all that much and asked, “Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?” Then came the wonderful dynamic answer from Jesus, “Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”
As I have explained in one of my previous articles, the word “regeneration” in Matthew 19:27-30 does not refer to the salvation of a lost soul but to the restoration or renewal of the present creation when Christ Jesus shall sit as the King of kings on the throne of his father David in Jerusalem and his twelve disciples shall sit on twelve thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel. The mother of James and John was a bit more ambitious. She wanted her two sons to occupy special places alongside Jesus in his thousand years reign of peace on earth, one on his left and the other on his right hand.
And when the other ten disciples heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren. The word for indignation is “aganakteō” and as every good dictionary defines it, it means “anger or annoyance provoked by what is perceived as unfair treatment.” Like a bunch of naughty little boys who were vying for a position of importance, the one did not esteem the other better than himself and just about stomped their feet in annoyance and crying, “That’s not fair; it’s not fair; it is unfair.” Their attitude was radically at variance with Philippians 2:6-8, “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” It was then that Jesus called them unto Him and said,
“But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. (Matthew 20:25-28).“
As mentioned earlier, Matthew 20 has absolutely nothing to do with the difference between noise and authority, or verse bullying and Scriptural oppression. It exclusively deals with the preparing of a throne for each of Christ’s apostles during Christ Jesus’ rule with an iron rod in his Millennial of peace on earth when they shall judge the twelve tribes of Israel. Their preparation included lessons in how to judge righteously, similar to how the Judges judged the Israelite in the time after Joshua’s death, and not like the princes and oppressors of the world. God the Father alone has the right and authority to choose whom He wants to sit on either side of his Son, as Jesus Himself explained, “to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.” (verse 23).
Riekert Botha tries too hard (“doth protest too much”) to make his Shakespeare quote fit like a gasket onto his rendition of Matthew 20, and fails dismally. He has no other alternative to interpret Matthew 20 apart from it being a passage describing the difference between authority and noise, and consequently uses it as a whip to lash out at the well-meant exhortations and corrections of others by calling them “bullies” and “little verse casters.” Why? – Because he believes that nothing more will transpire on earth following Jesus Christ’s Second Advent to the earth. His “dumb absurdity,” a term he himself uses in one of his videos, blinds his eyes so that he cannot see that Matthew 19 and 20 are references to the thousand years of peace on earth subsequent to Jesus Christ’s Second Advent to the earth and the position his disciples will occupy in this Kingdom.
The Authority of God
Riekert Botha says:
Authority is a theme that is presented in a rather interesting and precious way in Scripture. And authority is something God gives, and a person who walks in authority is someone who agrees with God. It has nothing to do with noise; it has nothing to do with a facial expression; it has nothing to do with pounding on a table, with ranks, medals and a deep voice, and it has nothing to do with how much you know. Authority has to do with being in full agreement with God because He is the Authority. God is the One who determines what is right and wrong. This is the Authority. Anyone who agrees with Him and speaks the words God speaks, has authority, even when they whisper.
Some of Riekert Botha’s assumptions are a little more than little naivetés, or shall we say, little verse twisters. His notion that even a whisper can exert authority may be true, but he forgets that a “loud voice” can bear an exceedingly greater authority. The phrase “megas phōnē” (loud voice) from which our word “megaphone” comes from, is used several times in the New Testament. It means exceedingly, great (-est), high, large, loud, mighty, strong. (Acts 7:60; 14:10; 16:28; Revelation 5:2; 5:12; 6:10; 10:3). Imagine having to replace “loud voice” with Botha’s “whisper” in some of these verses, what it will sound like.
“Said with a whisper, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked.” (Acts 14:10).
“And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a whisper, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!” (Revelation 8:13).
“And I heard a whisper saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.” (Revelation 12:10).
This is sufficient to prove the point. One of Riekert Botha’s other silly authoritative whispers is that “authority has nothing to do with how much you know.” Eish! Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God who is the essence of authority must have been wrong when He said,
“You are wrong because you know neither the Scriptures nor God’s power” (Matthew 22:29).
Ignorance and a lack of knowledge lead people into error and astray, and eventual destruction, as we see from (Hosea 4:6).
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).
Does Riekert Botha speak with authority because he agrees with God and only speak the words that God speaks? Not at all; definitely not. He says exactly the opposite of what Jesus Christ, the essence of authority, says in Matthew 22:29. According to the greatest, the most magnificent, the purest and the highest AUTHORITY in the entire cosmos, ignorance is, and especially in respect of the Word of God, the main reason why people are so easily led astray into all kinds of heresies. Yet, Riekert Botha has the authoritative audacity to stigmatize those who use Scripture to expose false doctrines in the light of Scripture as bullies, little verse casters and noise makers. His sneering remarks are nothing else than a rejection of that which has the sole right on true knowledge, the eternal Word of God.
Hence Paul’s serious warning,
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
If the whole of Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for DOCTRINE, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness, it is extremely dangerous to disparage those who quote little verses (a derogatory way to refer to God’s Word) as bullies, little verse throwers and noise makers.
Do you really want to know what divine authority is, Mr. Rekert Botha? Here it is.
As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge (command) some that they teach no other doctrine, (1 Timothy 1:3).
This includes the full counsel of God – Christ’s crucifixion, resurrection and Ascension, the forgiveness of sins, and the resurrection of the flesh, including the Rapture, the seven year tribulation, Christ’s Second Advent to the earth, the Millennium of peace on earth, and ultimately new heavens and a new earth.
“You don’t have to win the argument, kapish?
How do you discourage people to question the teaching of the Vita Dei Word School? What manoeuvres do you devise to make people feel guilty when they evaluate your teachings in the light of God’s Word? Oh! That’s very easy. You tell them,
You don’t have to win the argument, kapish? You do not have to win the argument to stand in the truth. Do not think that truth is determined by whomsoever wins the argument. This is where the world is now. The guy who shouts the loudest has the greatest authority, and the guy who wins the argument is right. That’s just not true. Do not go on with making a noise and to win arguments. Make sure that you bow under the authority of Jesus, and stay there, and then your life will automatically have authority, even when you whisper.
Oddly enough, Riekert Botha applies the same tactic Paul of Tarsus used centuries ago to discourage a bunch of unbelievers when they refused to bluntly accept his teachings. We read of this in Acts 17,
“As soon as night came, the believers sent Paul and Silas to Berea. When they arrived, they went to the synagogue. The people there were more open-minded than the people in Thessalonica. They listened to the message with great eagerness, and every day they studied the Scriptures to see if what Paul said was really true.” (Acts 17:10-11).
This did not eagerly fall on Paul’s ears and he immediately objected.
No! Wait, wait, wait a wee bit. Whoa! You just want to return to your homes to check out your Bibles and come back to pick an argument with me about the things I told you. Listen carefully, you really don’t have to win the argument. Only bullies, little verse casters and noisemakers always want to win an argument. You do not have to win an argument to stand in the truth. Do not think that truth is determined by whomsoever wins the argument. Listen carefully, everything I told you is purely the truth and nothing I said needs to be scrutinised with a magnifying glass. Even my confirmation in 1 Thessalonians 4 that there is no such thing as a Rapture, is purely the truth. So, why then do you want to search the Scriptures to make sure that I am really telling you the truth? Stop your nit picking. Everything I told you is true, so truly true that you may as well ignore Jesus’ warning “Take heed that no one deceives you.” The only thing you need to do is to bow under the authority of Jesus Christ and you will automatically walk in authority.
Somewhat of an exaggeration, some of you and even Riekert Botha may think, but it is precisely what he does. He unequivocally declares that his Vita Dei Word School always speaks the truth and anyone who dares to question him always just wants to win the argument, and, therefore, does not walk in submission to Christ’s authority.
What do the Scriptures say?
Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. (Jude 1:3).
Riekert Botha doesn’t have a clue what it means to earnestly contend for the faith which was ONCE (and in its finality) delivered unto the saints. To contend earnestly for the faith is no where nearly akin to an argument. If you really wish to submit to Jesus Christ’s authority and daily walk in his authority, contending for the faith is one of the very first things you must do, lest you lead many precious souls astray. This seems to be of no value to Riekert Botha.
The common salvation to which Jude refers is a reference to the basic truths regarding redemption and how lost souls may acquire eternal life. Jude deemed it necessary not to write about it as he originally planned because false teachers and apostles were overturning the faith of some believers with their heresies.
Therefore, the faith believers ought to earnestly contend for must be something other than the common faith of salvation. Authority is not something that automatically falls into your lap when you place yourself under God’s authority with lip service. It requires a struggle, a hard struggle to maintain the purity of the faith so “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;” (Ephesians 4:14).
This is why Christ, under whose authority Riekert Botha has submitted himself unconditionally, warns, “TAKE HEED THAT NO ONE DECEIVES YOU.” In other words, it is not something that is given to you automatically. The onus rests on you to make sure you are not deceived. God is not going to do it for you, and He will hold you responsible for not watching and praying, and glibly allowed yourself to be deceived. You personally must guard against the deception of wolves in sheep’s clothing whose main agenda it is to draw you away from Christ and his truth. Let us now throw another litttle verse at Riekert Botha.
“And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.” (2 Peter 3:15-16).
What encompasses this faith which, as Jude says, does not only deal with our common salvation and needs to be earnestly contended for? Firstly, believers must not only identify false teachers by name but vigorously expose their false teachings and particularly their scoffing (2 Peter 3:3). It is not enough to merely identify them by name. Their false teachings must be exposed at all cost in the light of Scripture (1 John 4:1) for the sake of those who have been entrapped by their cunning deceptions. And this, Mr Botha, is the authority God has given every true believer, i.e. to identify and expose false teachers in public and to warn them of God’s righteous judgments if they remain unrepentant and persist in their false teachings.
To stress the need for urgency in this matter, Jude reminds his readers what the apostles and our Lord Jesus Christ had said about false apostles and prophets throughout their ministry (verses 17-19). Paul warned against “ravenous wolves” who would come from among themselves to twist the truth and destroy the flock (Acts 20:29-30). He voiced similar warnings against apostasy to Timothy (1 Timothy 4:1; 2 Timothy 3:1-5; 4:3-4). Timothy never regarded Paul’s warnings as noise, little verse castings and bullying. Peter addressed the very same problem of apostasy. (2 Peter 2:1-3; 3-4).
As part of the faith which Jude dealt with separately from the common faith of salvation, is his exhortation to diligently wait for the blessed hope (“prosdechomenoi,” means to anxiously wait for the blessed hope), the promise of his return at the Rapture for his bride. The Rapture is the final consummation of his mercy in terms of his bride (20-21; Hebrews 7:25). Notwithstanding this magnanimous promise Riekert Botha scoffs at and ridicules the Rapture and Christ’s Millennium reign of peace on earth. He thinks it is not OK to argue because it’s just a lot of noise but thinks it’s OK to be a last day’s scoffer (2 Peter 3:3; Jude 1:18).