PMT 2016-052 by Keith Mathison (Ligonier)
I once heard someone define the millennium as a thousand-year period of time during which Christians fight over the proper interpretation of the book of Revelation. While amusing, that definition is obviously incorrect. Christians have been fighting over the proper interpretation of the book of Revelation for two thousand years. In all seriousness, however, all of the fighting has led some Christians to adopt despairingly a position they call panmillennialism (we don’t know which view of the millennium is correct, but we know it will all pan out in the end).
The word millennium refers to the “thousand years” mentioned in Revelation 20. Because this chapter is found in one of the most difficult books of the New Testament, its proper interpretation is disputed. As a result, there are four main views of the millennium held within the church today: historic premillennialism, dispensational premillennialism, amillennialism, and postmillennialism. Continue reading
PMT 2016-037 by R. Scott Clark
[Note: This is a helpful article by R. Scott Clark that responds to dispensational confusion regarding covenant theology.]
Recently I had a question asking whether “covenant theology” is so-called “replacement theology.” Those dispensational critics of Reformed covenant theology who accuse it of teaching that the New Covenant church has “replaced” Israel do not understand historic Reformed covenant theology. They are imputing to Reformed theology a way of thinking about redemptive history that has more in common with dispensationalism than it does with Reformed theology. Continue reading
PMT 2015-139 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
In my last article I began a two-part study on Zechariah 14. Having presented the dispensational view, I will now present a postmillennial interpretation of this famous passage.
The Siege of Jerusalem
The siege of Jerusalem described in Zechariah 14:1–2 points to the AD 70 judgment upon Jerusalem. J. Dwight Pentecost admits that the disciples who hear the Olivet Discourse would naturally apply Zechariah 14 to that event. But then, he says, such requires the confusing of God’s program for the church with that for Israel. So, he and other dispen-sationalists interpret the passage literalistically, with all the topographical and redemptive historical absurdities this creates. As they do this they totally omit any reference to the destruction of the very city and temple being rebuilt in Zechariah’s day. Yet this literal temple (the second temple) is destroyed in AD 70, as all agree. Continue reading
PMT 2015-138 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
In Zechariah’s great prophecy we read one verse that is used by dispensational literalists to overthrow the prophet’s postmillennial hope. That verse reads:
“And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, from east to west, making a very large valley; half of the mountain shall move toward the north and half of it toward the south.” (Zech 14:14) Continue reading
PMT 2015-132 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
In Rev 3:10 we read of Christ’s statement the church at Philadelphia (not the church in Cleveland or Detroit!): Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth (3:10).
Because they are enduring for Christ—against all opposition, but especially from the Jews (3:9a)—he promises: “I also will keep you from the hour of testing” (3:10b). Since they kept (eteresas) his word, he will keep (tereso ) them becaus he blesses those who honor him. He will keep them from an hour of testing. Continue reading
PMT 2015-121 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
I appreciate the questions readers send to me. I regret that I am not able to answer them quickly, due to my schedule. However, here is one that is a favorite among dispensationalists. And it is an intriguing one.
You argue that John must be measuring an actual, historical temple in Rev 11:1-2. Yet Ezekiel measures a temple, even though it does not exist in history. This suggests that the temple does not need to exist for John to measure it. How do you explain this problem for your view?
Thanks for your perceptive question. Please consider the following response. Continue reading
PMT 2015-119 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
As I continue catching up on correspondence, I am answering another question sent to me from a reader.
I have two questions on how you might respond to some Dispensational explanations of Ezekiel 40-48. (1) Some dispensationalists argue that the dimensions of Ezekiel’s temple are not a problem because the topography of the land will be radically changed in the millennium. They cite Zechariah 14 in defense of this topographical reconfiguration. They also cite the following passages to argue that Jerusalem will be much larger than what it is today: Jer. 31:38-40; Ezk. 48:30-35; Zech. 14;10-11. (2) The other thing relates to Ezekiel’s sacrificial system. They state that since the apostles did not have a problem with sacrifice in the New Testament, then why should we see it as problematic in the millennium? They cite Acts 21:17-26 in support of the idea that the apostles did not have a problem with sacrifice as a memorial and that Ezekiel’s sacrifices will have some efficacy for the unregenerate who are present in the millennium.
I have noticed that recently many Dispensationalists have felt the pressure of Covenant Theologians and have started an attempt to go on the offensive with their system via the internet and find ways to get around Covenant objections. Continue reading