PMT 2016-016 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
In this blog I continue the thought introduced in my last one. That is, I am continuing to show that Israel was excommunicated by God in AD 70. This is the third in a series on Rev 11:2, and the second in this two-part installment on excommunication. You will need to read the other installments for context.
The symbolic impact of the temple’s destruction should reinforce the theological reality of her corporate excommunication, for the loss of the temple indicates the removal of the favorable presence of God (2Ch 7:20; Jer 7:14–15). At the end of Rev we learn regarding “the [new] city” of God that “outside [exō] are the dogs” (22:15; cp. Php 3:2). After the vision of the temple’s call for destruction, John hears the seventh angel declare: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever” (11:15b).
The fact that the temple system and the Jews are symbolized by the “outer court” is significant. Jesus applies the terms ekballe and exōthen (11:2) to the Jews who will be cast outside of God’s kingdom blessings. They will be cast out to where Gentiles dwell: “the sons of the kingdom shall be cast out [ekblēthēsontai] into the outer [exōteron based on exō and related to exōthen ] darkness” (Mt 8:12a; cp. Mt 18:17). Later the Lord uses these two words in his parable regarding Israel’s unworthiness to enter the wedding feast of God’s Son as a sign of judgment. Israel appears in the parable as an improperly dressed intruder: “Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and cast [exbalete] him into the outer [exōteron] darkness” (Mt 22:13).
Thus, 11:1–2 prophesies God’s excommunicating (casting out, ekballein) Israel (cf. Mt 8:12; Gal 4:30) by removing the shadow-copy (external temple structure) — which has become a “den of robbers” (Mt 21:13; cp. Jer 7:11) and was declared “desolate” by Christ (Mt 23:38; cp. Jer 22:5) — so that the essential-real may remain, i.e., the true worshipers and worship, “the remnant according to God’s gracious choice” (Ro 11:5). While the measuring of the inner essence of the temple (11:1) signifies God’s protection of Christianity. Those who believe in Christ will not be “cast out,” for “all that the Father gives Me shall come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out” (ekbalō exō , Jn 6:37).
He Shall Have Dominion
(paperback by Kenneth Gentry)
A classic, thorough explanation and defense of postmillennialism (600+ pages). Complete with several chapters answering specific objections.
See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com
In the NT record the Jews are constantly “casting out” Christians either from their synagogues or their cities. And oftentimes for purposes of physical persecution. In his Beatitudes Jesus comforts his followers regarding “when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn [ekbalōsin] your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man” (Lk 6:22). Stephen is “cast out” [ekballō] from Jerusalem before being stoned by the Jews (Ac 7:58). The Jews “drove out” (exebalon) Paul and Barnabas from the city on their first missionary journey (Ac 13:50). The disciples of Christ are constantly having to flee from the Jews (Ac 14:1–6, 19–20; 17:5–9, 13–14; 18:6, 12–17). Before his conversion Paul zealously persecutes believers in Christ in the synagogues and elsewhere (Ac 7:58; 8:1–3; 9:1-9, 21; 22:4–5; 1Co 15:9; Gal 1:13, 23; Php 3:6). John’s Gospel records the fear of the Jews among Christ’s followers during his ministry (Jn 7:13; 19:38; 20:19; cp. 3:1).
Thus, after the Jews spend forty years in efforts to “cast out” believers in Christ, at AD 70 they themselves shall be cast out from God’s presence (Milligan 1903, 180–81). John’s court drama is here implementing the lex talionis. In Dt 19:18–19 God’s law requires that those who press false charges under oath will receive the punishment that would have been due the alleged criminal (cp. Mt 26:60–61). As Rev expresses this irony elsewhere: “Pay her back even as [hōs] she has paid . . . according to her deeds” (18:6). Thus comes the command: “they poured out the blood of saints and prophets, and You have given them blood to drink. They deserve it” (16:6).
Indefensible (by Sam Kastensmidt)
Sub-title: 10 Ways the ACLU is Destroying America. An Important work in our day of cultural collapse and Christian persecution.
See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com
An irony exists in the measuring imagery in 11:1–2. Jesus warns the Jews during him ministry: “Do not judge lest you be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured [hō metrō metreite metrēthēsetai] to you” (Mt 7:1–2). Later he informs the chief priests and the Pharisees: “Therefore [dia touto] I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you, and be given to a nation producing the fruit of it” (Mt 21:43).
It ain’t over, til it’s over. Please catch my next blog for the conclusion to this series.
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