Category Archives: Israel

DISPENSATIONALISM, ISRAEL AND THE CHURCH

Jews rulePMW 2022-035 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Classic dispensationalism has virtually disappeared among academics. Replacing it today is “progressive dispensationalism.” But though the head has died, the body yet liveth. In the lives of untold millions of unthinking Christians. Therefore, it is important to rebut the system in order to make the case for postmillennialism. This is another installment in my critique of dispensational errors.

House and Ice (Dominion Theology, 29, cp. 166) are correct to point out that “Reconstructionists appropriate for the church (seen as the new Israel) the material blessings for obedience–and curses for disobedience–originally promised by God to defunct national Israel.” How they could possibly set this forth as a “Reconstructionist” distinctive is beyond us, however. The dispensational view is the one with the distinctive element! Continue reading

THE NT & ISRAEL’S FAILURE

PMW 2018-042 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

As John writes the Book of Revelation, Israel has been a part of the Roman regime for almost a century. As such she enjoyed special leagues of “friendship and mutual alliance” which began with Julius Caesar (Jos. Ant. 14:10:1 §185). Her love for Caesar was so great that after he was murdered, Jews wept for many nights at the site of his cremation (Suetonius, Jul. 84:5). Josephus, a priestly member of the Jewish aristocracy, praises Julius and records many of the treaties with the Jews which were established by Caesar and later Roman authorities (Ant. 14:10:2-25 §190-267). He then declares: “there are many such decrees of the senate and imperators of the Romans and those different from these before us” (Ant. 14:10:26).

Israel engages these alignments despite her OT prophets condemning unholy alliances as harlotry (e.g., Hos 7:11). As we read in Rev 13, the exercise of the Land beast’s authority is “in his [the Roman emperor’s] presence” (13:1a). Later in Rev 17 we see Israel’s alliance symbolized by a harlot engaged in a drunken sexual orgy with the sea beast. Continue reading

SATAN’S “SYNAGOGUE” IN REVELATION

Syn SatanPMW 2021-094 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In Rev 2:9 (cp. 3:9) we read Jesus saying to Pergamum: “‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.” Evangelical commentator Ramsey Michaels argues that the false Jews of “the synagogue of Satan” are actually non-Jews, just like the “false apostles” in the letter to the church at Ephesus were not actual apostles. In fact, this is the majority view among Rev commentators.

Against this position I would urge the following

First, why would anyone in the first-century Roman empire other than a racial Jew claim to be a Jew? Continue reading

REV 11:2 AND ISRAEL CAST OUT (3)

Stephen stoned 2PMW 2021-075 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.

Corporate Excommunication

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). Continue reading

REV 11:2 AND ISRAEL CAST OUT (2)

Ancient synagoguePMW 2021-074 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
In Rev 11:2 we find an important clue to the meaning of the message of Revelation. In this passage we learn that the outer court of the temple is to be cast out. The external court represents the external husk of ancient Judaism, as viewed over against the true essence of Israel. John is here reflecting on Christ’s words in Luke 21:24.

In my last blog article I began a consideration of the significance of the word “cast out” as it applies to the temple’s rejection in AD 70. This is the second installment, highlighting another concept lying behind the image. Continue reading

REV 11:2: ISRAEL CAST OUT (1)

Jesus casting outPMW 2021-073 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Rev 11:1-2 is an important passage in John’s drama about Israel’s judgment. There John receives a command to actually engage an action in his visionary experience:

“Get up and measure the temple of God and the altar, and those who worship in it. Leave out the court which is outside the temple and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months.” Continue reading

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF AD 70

Temple destroyedPMW 2021-060 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Today we are so distant from the events of AD 70, so removed from the ancient culture, so little acquainted with the first-century Jewish outlook, and so accustomed to the Christian perspective, we tend to overlook the enormous redemptive-historical significance of AD 70. Those events are not merely another sad instance in the history of “man’s inhumanity to man which makes countless thousands mourn.” They serve not as demonstration of “nature, red in tooth and claw.” Neither do they merely remind us of “the carnage of war, the blood-swollen god.”

But such is mistaken. Rather the devastating events of the Jewish War are the historical manifestations of the furious wrath of the offended God of Israel. Transcendent realities stand back of these temporal events. With Nahum we see the smoke of destruction as the dust clouds from God’s feet (Na 1). We learn that truly “it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb 10:27) for “our God is a consuming fire” (Heb 10:31). Continue reading