PMT 2014-101 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
In that I am reading the works of Reformed scholar, Westminster Divine, and rabbinic authority John Lightfoot (1602–75), I will present some of his insightful materials. Though he is an historicist (see PMT 2014-100), his historicism focuses much on the first stage of the historicist movement in AD 70.
And in that I believe the gift of tongues was an eschatological phenomenon providing a sign that the last days had begun with the final establishing of the new covenant in AD 70, I will present his interesting notes on Revelation 22. These are found in vol. 3 of The Whole Works of the Rev. John Lightfoot (vol 3, pp. 368–71).
Be aware: in the seventeenth century they used a lot of commas and semi-colons, so much so that I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the punctuation pauses used by these people. I will break down some of his paragraphs into smaller paragraphs so that they might not break you down in despair. Out of the goodness of my hear, I will also break up the material with advertisement for some of my materials, which you should purchase to find rest for your souls.
Let us get started!
Lightfoot writes regarding Revelation 22:
From Ezekiel, chap. xlvii, and from several passages of Scripture besides, John doth still magnify the glory, happiness, and holiness, of the new Jerusalem: lively waters of clear doctrine, teaching Christ, and life by him flowing through it continually. The tree of life lost to Adam, and paradise shut up against him, to keep him from it, here restored. Then a curse, — here ‘there shall be curse no more,’ ver. 3. Hrm l’ yhwh ʿwd “Anathema non erit amplius,” &c. He concludeth, “These sayings are faithful and true;” so he had. said before, at the marriage of the Lamb; and again at his beginning of the story of the new Jerusalem; referring to the several prophecies that had been of these things; and now all those sayings and prophecies were come home, in truth and faithfulness.
Tongues-Speaking: Meaning, Purpose, and Cessation
A careful study of the biblical material defining the gift of tongues.
Shows they were known languages that served to endorse the apostolic witness
and point to the coming destruction of Jerusalem, after which they ceased.
See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com
He is commanded not to seal his book, as Daniel was; because the time of these things was instantly beginning; and Christ’s coming to reveal his glory in avengement upon the Jewish nation, and casting them off, and to take in the Gentiles in their. stead, was now at the door, within three and a half, or thereabout, to come, — if we have conjectured the writing of this book to its proper year. There are two years more of Nero, and one of confusion in the Roman empire, in the wars of Otho, Vitellius, and Vespasian; and, the next year after, Jerusalem falls.
And thus, if this book of the Revelation were written last of the books of the New Testament, as, by the consent of all, it was, — then may we say, Now was the whole will of God revealed and committed to writing, and from henceforth must vision, and prophecy, and inspiration, cease for ever. These had been used and imparted all along, for the drawing up of the mind of God into writing, — as also the appearing of angels had been used, for the farther and farther still, revealing of his will; and when the full revelation of that was completed, their appearing and revelations to men, must be no more. So that. this Revelation to John, was the topping up and finishing of all revelations.
The Lord had promised, that “in the last days” of Jerusalem “he would pour down of his Spirit upon all flesh;” and Christ promised to his apostles that he would lead them into all truth. To look for, therefore, the giving of those extraordinary gifts of the Spirit beyond the fall of Jerusalem there is no warrant; and there is no need; since, when the inspired penmen had written all that the Holy Ghost directed to write, ‘all truth’ was written.
It is not to be denied, indeed, that those, that had these extraordinary gifts before the fall of Jerusalem, if they lived after, had them after for the promoting of these ends for which they were given; but there is neither ground nor reason, whereupon to believe, that they were restored to the next generation, or were, or are to be, imparted to any generation for ever. For as it was in Israel, at the first settling of their church, — so was it in this case, in the first settling of the gospel. The first fathers of the Sanhedrim in the wilderness, were endued with divine gifts, — such as we are speaking of; but when that generation was expired, those that were to succeed in that function and employment, were such, as were qualified for it by education, study, and parts acquired. So was it with this first age of the gospel, and the ages succeeding.
(To be continued.)