THE “KINGS OF THE EARTH” IN REVELATION (1)

PMW 2019-100 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In his exalted praise of Christ John declares that he is “the ruler of the kings of the earth” (Rev. 1:5) In contrast to the rest of the NT where it only occurs twice (Mt 17:25; Ac 4:26), the phrase “the kings of the earth” (ho archōn tōn basileōn tēs gēs) appears rather frequently in Rev. It appears eight times in all, with six of those being in the last five chapters (after the drama has built and all of the characters are in place): 1:5; 6:15; 17:2, 18; 18:3, 9; 19:19; 21:24. Here at 1:5 as John continues his opening comments of Revelation, he only quickly mentions these kings while praising Christ.

But who are these “kings of the earth” that are subject to Christ? Continue reading

IRAN HAS WORLD’S FASTEST-GROWING CHURCH

PMW 2019-099 by Caleb Parke (Fox News)

A new film tells the story of the “fastest-growing church” in the world, an underground, persecuted Christian movement in a country known for exporting radical Islamic terrorism — Iran.

People in Iran, a Muslim-majority nation, are fleeing Islam in droves as believers bow their knee to Jesus and become aggressively pro-Israel, according to the documentary “Sheep Among Wolves Volume II.”

“What if I told you Islam is dead?” one unidentified Iranian church leader says in the film, which was directed by Dalton Thomas and produced by Frontier Alliance International Studios.

“What if I told you the mosques are empty inside Iran?” he continues. Continue reading

REFORMATION POSTMILLENNIALISM

PMW 2019-098 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

As Theologian Donald Bloesch notes, “postmillennialism experienced an upsurge in the middle ages,” as illustrated in the writings of Joachim of Fiore (A.D. 1145-1202) and others. But a more fully developed postmillennialism enjoys its greatest growth and influence in the seventeenth through nineteenth centuries, especially under Puritan and reformed influence in England and America.

Rodney Peterson writes that “this perspective had undergone changes, particularly since Thomas Brightman (1562-1607).” Brightman, who died in 1607, is one of the fathers of Presbyterianism in England. His postmillennial views are set forth in detail in his book A Revelation of the Revelation, which was published posthumously in 1609 and quickly established itself as one of the most widely translated works of the day. In fact, some church historians consider this work the “most important and influential English revision of the Reformed, Augustinian concept of the millennium.” Thus, Brightman stands as the modern systematizer (not creator) of postmillennialism. Continue reading

ANCIENT POSTMILLENNIAL BEGINNINGS

PMW 2019-097 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

The early creedal formulations of Christianity provide only the most rudimentary elements of eschatology. For instance, the Apostle’s Creed simply affirms:

“He ascended into heaven; and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead,” and a belief “in the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting.” The eschatology of the Nicene Creed makes only very slight advances, asserting that he “ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father; and he shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.” Continue reading

A POSTMILL INTERVIEW (3)

PMW 2019-096 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

This is the final article summarizing my questions from a postmillennial documentary recently filmed. I hope you find these helpful.

13) In a nutshell what is the book of Revelation about?

It is about the approaching destruction of the Jewish temple in AD 70. This is why the book is so Hebraic, even breaking standard Greek grammatical rules. This is why it alludes to more OT passages than any other NT book (over 400 of them). This is why is speaks of the temple still standing (Rev. 11:1-2). This is why it has so much temple and sacrificial imagery.

Its theme verse shows this, when properly interpreted: Rev 1:7 “ BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen.” John is stating the same thing Jesus stated in Matt. 24:30: “And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory.” Then four verses later Jesus says “all these things” will occur in “this generation” (Matt. 24:34), just as John states four verses before his statement that the time is “near” (Rev. 1:3). Continue reading

A POSTMILL INTERVIEW (2)

PMW 2019-095 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

I am continuing a brief synopsis of an interview on postmillennialism of which I was a participant.

7) How do we understand prophecies that speak of “the day of the Lord” are they always talking about the last day or Can it be referring to temporary Judgments?

The day of the Lord often refers to historical events that occur in the OT. The day of the Lord comes against Babylon in Isa. 13; against Idumea in Isa. 34; and against Israel in Joel 2. Interestingly, the “day” of the Lord is not one day, for it occurs many times. Yet it is “one” in the sense that each day of the Lord event is a type of and a pointer to the final, consummate day of the Lord. The AD 70 judgment was a “day of the Lord” against Jerusalem.

8) What about the devil? Isn’t he the prince of this world? What is the current status of Satan in your view?

He is the prince of the fallen world in a limited since, in that sinners are under his influence. But he is not the ultimate prince of the world, for Christ has all authority in heaven and on earth (Matt. 28:18). In the first century Satan was bound so that he could not prevent the progress of the gospel and salvation of sinners: Matt 12:28 “But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 29 Or how can anyone enter the strong man’s house and carry off his property, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.” Continue reading

A POSTMILL INTERVIEW (1)

PMW 2019-094 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

I was recently interviewed for a documentary on postmillennialism. Here are a few of the questions and a summary of my answers. Hopefully these succinct statements will prove helpful to you!

1) How would you define Postmillennialism

Postmillennialism is the view of biblical eschatology that understands that Christ established the prophesied Messianic kingdom when he came to the earth in the first century. He established his kingdom then commissioned his disciples to promote it through evangelism and discipleship. Since the gospel is the power of God unto salvation, we expect his kingdom to gradually grow as history unfolds in the long run. There will be many ups-and-downs (just as in our own personal sanctification). But eventually the vast majority of men and nations will become Christians and will promote a biblical worldview that will apply all the Bible to all of life. This era of the dominance of the Christian faith will last a long period of time, after which Christ will return to end history and establish the consummate state. Continue reading