THE PROMISED LAND FOREVER?

PMW 2019-056 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In Gen. 13:14–15 God promises that he will give the land to Abraham’s descendants “forever” (cp. Gen. 12:7). This will soon be confirmed by solemn covenant (cp. Gen. 15:7, 18) and is noted elsewhere in Scripture (Exo. 32:13; Josh. 14:9; 2 Chron. 20:7; Isa. 60:21).

Since “the earth is the LORD’s, and all it contains, / The world, and those who dwell in it” (Psa. 24:1), as Moses well knows (Exo. 9:29; Deut. 10:14), the land is God’s to give to whomever he pleases. Besides this, the evil Canaanite culture would eventually (Gen. 15:16) justify God’s expelling them from the land (Lev. 18:2–3, 24–28 and “Deuteronomy Introduction” at “Special Issues”).

The “forever” nature of this promise must be understood in terms of both the lexical significance of the Hebrew “forever,” the moral sanctions involved in God’s covenant, and the typological function of Old Testament redemptive history. Continue reading

Advertisements

PROHIBITING BLOOD EATING?

PMW 2019-055 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Genesis 9:4 reads: “You shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.” This command is not a ritual directive confined to old covenant symbolism, but a moral one constraining mankind’s conduct. We may see this and its fundamental meaning from the following lines of evidence, which will incrementally build the case step-by-step.

(1) This is a Noahic commandment for the entire world (Gen. 9:9–11). It is not a command given to Israel as a distinctive people, for she will not exist until several hundred years later (after Abraham, Gen. 12), as we can see from the genealogy connecting Noah to Abram (Gen. 11:10–26). Continue reading

WHAT IS THE IMAGE OF GOD?

PMW 2019-054 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

The postmillennial hope involves a holistic worldview, not a piecemeal approach to life. Hence, the title to this blog: PostmillennialWorldview. One of the most important worldview questions today regards the identity and meaning of man. Unfortunately, evolutionary science and philosophy prevail in modern culture, teaching that man is ultimately a random, chance collection of molecules that has developed from fish through apes to modern man.

But here in the very foundational book of all of Scripture we learn that man has from the very beginning existed as a high and noble creature. He was created as the very “image of God” (Gen. 1:26–27; 5:1), being distinguished from and exalted over the animal kingdom over which he reigns (Gen. 1:28). Continue reading

POSTMILLENNIALISM’S THEOLOGICAL FOUNDATIONS

PMW 2019-053 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Postmillennialism expects the vast majority of the world’s population to convert to Christ as a consequence of the Spirit-blessed proclamation of the gospel. In light of present world conditions, though, many Christians are surprised at the resilience of the postmillennial hope. In this article I will briefly show that though the hope of gospel victory sounds strange to the modern evangelical, the basic theology of Scripture is quite congenial to it. Indeed, these factors suggest the prima facie plausibility of postmillennialism. Continue reading

HOW DID JOHN MEASURE THE TEMPLE?

PMW 2019-052 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In my last article I noted that John measure the temple in Rev. 11:1–2. There we read of John’smeasuring the temple in the holy city.

11:1 Then there was given me a measuring rod like a staff; and someone said, “Get up and measure the temple of God and the altar, and those who worship in it. 2 Leave out the court which is outside the temple and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months.”

In the last article we saw the significance of this. But now we should ask, “How could he do this?” Continue reading

WHY DID JOHN MEASURE THE TEMPLE?

PMW 2019-051 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

The measuring of the temple in Rev. 11:1–2 is an important episode in Revelation. Here we clearly see Revelation’s focus on Israel: this “holy city” with a “temple” must be Jerusalem (Neh. 11:1; Isa. 48:2; 52:1; 64:10; Matt. 4:5; 27:53). In verse 8 John unmasks this “holy city” for what she becomes: an Egypt, a Sodom, the slayer of Christ: “Their bodies will lie in the street of the great city, which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified.” Indeed, second century Christians call Jews “Christ-killers” and “murderers of the Lord” (e.g., Ignatius, Magnesians 11; Justin Martyr, First Apology 35; Irenaeus, i 3:12:2)

Significantly this passage strongly reflects Jesus’s prophecy in the Olivet Discourse (compare the italicized words):

Luke 21:24b: “Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.”

Revelation 11:2: “But exclude the outer court; do not measure it, because it has been given to the Gentiles. They will trample on the holy city for 42 months.”

Continue reading

JESUS’ VICTORY AND FALSE PROPHETS

PMW 2019-050 by Chris Hume (The Reformed Hope)

We may be surprised by many things when we reach heaven. I dare not contend with J.C. Ryle who said that the thing which will surprise us most is how much more we ought to have loved Christ while on earth. But I think there is another reality which will also greatly surprise us when we reach heaven. And that is this: the depths of the spiritual battle that was waged for the souls of men and women during our lifetime. Take any saint—whether in the first century under the persecution of Nero, or suffering under Rome during the Inquisition in the 13th century, or faced with oppression by the secular government in China today—and behind the scenes in his life, the spiritual battle is of the intensest kind. Continue reading