Category Archives: History

TEMPLE DESTRUCTION AND FINAL JUDGMENT (1)

PMW 2018-080 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

The destruction of the temple in AD 70 not only points to the judgment of God on Israel, but also pictures the judgment of God on the world at the Last Day. We can see this in many ways, one of which is by understanding the temple structure itself — and how it’s meaning pictures the future end of the world.

As noted in previous articles on this site, I am currently working on a commentary on Matt. 21–25 (see conclusion of article below). This section forms a discrete literary unit in Matthew’s Gospel in which we find the Olivet Discourse as its climax. In this commentary I will be demonstrating that the Discourse opens with a prophecy of judgment against the Temple in AD 70, which ends the old covenant era, but then shifts to the Final Judgment of the world, which ends the new covenant era (and history itself). Those who limit all prophecy-fulfillment to AD 70 effectively promote a Jesus who is a Jewish sage, not realizing the fullness of his ministry and the significance of the Olivet Discourse. [1]

In this three-article series I will very briefly offer an interesting insight into the fact that the temple’s judgment not only serves as a judgment on Israel, but also pictures the final judgment upon all nations. But before I do that, I must note the biblical structure of redemptive-history. Continue reading

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MATTHEW 24:28 “EAGLES” OR “VULTURES”?

PMW 2018-073 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In the opening section of the Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24–25), Jesus deals initially and significantly with the approaching AD 70 destruction of Jerusalem by Roman imperial forces (vv. 4–34). We may easily surmise this from the local context. After all, the Discourse is introduced by Jesus’ prophesying the destruction of the temple (Matt. 24:2), then linking his prophecy to the temple locale (“the holy place,” v. 15), warning the local residents to flee from the area (Jerusalem is in Judea, v. 16), and informing them generally when it will occur (in “this generation,” v. 34). [1]

The Roman eagle

Matt. 24:28 is an interesting verse embedded in this context. But its frequent mistranslation dulls the cutting edge of Jesus’ warning about the Roman invasion. Continue reading

RESURRECTION VICTORY AND THE WORLD

PMT 2017-097 by the Chalcedon Foundation

“In the world of sin and death, problems and troubles concern men most. In the world of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, it is opportunities, duties, service, faith, and obedience which concern Christ’s people above all else, not death and troubles.” (R. J. Rushdoony)

To look at the news headlines, one can see that the nation is being rocked by scandal, abuse, strife, disaster, protest, criminality, and the like. The changes are happening much faster than in times past, and with everyone plugged into social media channels, the national mood can shift within minutes. A weak nation is reeling from the constant blows. Continue reading

NEW HISTORICAL EVIDENCE FOR PRETERISM

PMT 2017-091 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Evangelical preterism is virtually the opposite of dispensational futurism. Because of this, dispensationalists are alarmed at the spread of orthodox preterism among some of its claimants. One means by which they try to dissuade their followers from adopting preterism is by charging that it was a late creation by a Jesuit priest named Luis Alcázar around 1600. Continue reading

THE MILLENNIAL MAZE

MazePMT 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

CHRISTIANITY: AUSTRALIA’S GREATEST SHAPER

PMT 2016-035 by Robert Ward

Should the influence of Christian values be consigned to the history books? This was the question posed to former Prime Minister John Howard by Eternity recently.

In a wide-ranging response, Howard stood firm on his credentials as a person of faith himself, while recognising that arguments today had to be made that appealed to the whole community, not just to those who shared a Christian worldview.

Identifying Judaeo-Christian values as the “greatest shaper, morally and ethically, of today’s Australia”, Howard argued that while we owe much to such institutions as the United Nations and documents like our constitution, we can trace much of what we value back to the teachings of Jesus. For instance, the appropriate separation of church and state, where he made it clear: “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.” Continue reading

POSTMILLENNIAL BEGINNINGS

Ancient writerPMT 2016-006 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

This is my second installment on the question about the origins of postmillennialism. Many dispensationalists dismiss postmillennialism as a modern novelty. In my last article I pointed out that all eschatological development is only gradually understood over time. In this article I will show the seed beginnings of postmillennialism in antiquity.

As far as our preserved writings go, premillennialism finds slightly earlier development (especially in Irenaeus, A.D. 130-202). Yet theologian Donald G. Bloesch notes that “postmillennialism was already anticipated in the church father Eusebius of Caesarea” (A.D. 260-340) (Bloesch, Essentials of Evangelical Theology [San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1979], 2:192). Continue reading