Category Archives: Israel

“THE KINGS OF THE EARTH” IN THE NT (3)

PMW 2019-102 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

As I continue explaining who I believe the “kings of the earth” in Revelation are, I will now focus on some general background information. I will begin with the general NT atmosphere.

I will gradually build the case for identifying the “kings of the earth” with Israel’s religious authorities. The earlier components of the argument will not be conclusive, but they lay the groundwork for the conclusion. Only after we get these general observations in place may we develop more compelling insights.

As I will point out in my Revelation commentary’s Introduction, the Jewish temple’s destruction in AD 70 is a redemptive-historical event of enormous and lasting consequences. With the collapse of the temple comes the cessation of the sacrificial system, the closing of the old covenant order, and the securing of the new covenant. Such an event must naturally cast its shadow over all of the NT. And it does. Though I cannot develop it extensively ifn this Exc I can briefly highlight its impact on the NT record. I will illustrate this by focusing on the ministries of John the Baptist and Jesus as recorded in Matthew’s Gospel. This material will help us see the function of the kings of the earth in the redemptive-historical upheaval dramatically symbolized in Rev. Continue reading

“KINGS OF THE EARTH” IN REVELATION (2)

PMW 2019-101 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In my last article I began a series aimed at analyzing the identity of the recurring “kings of the earth” in Revelation. A proper identity of this set of rulers is important for understanding Revelation’s message. So now let me return to my analysis.

Rev is filled with kings. Elsewhere we read of other kings who are described differently. For instance, in 10:11 John is re-commissioned to prophesy, and the re-commissioning is expanded to include his prophesying regarding nations and “kings” (he has already prophesied about this special group known as “the kings of the earth,” 6:15). We hear also of “the kings from the east” (16:12) (which statement itself necessarily distinguishes them from other kings) and the “kings of the whole world” (16:14) who gather at the battle of Har Magedon. We read of the “seven kings” specifically tied to the beast (17:10) who are distinguished from the “ten kings” who will “hate the harlot and will make her desolate” (17:12, 16). Continue reading

THE “KINGS OF THE EARTH” IN REVELATION (1)

PMW 2019-100 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In his exalted praise of Christ John declares that he is “the ruler of the kings of the earth” (Rev. 1:5) In contrast to the rest of the NT where it only occurs twice (Mt 17:25; Ac 4:26), the phrase “the kings of the earth” (ho archōn tōn basileōn tēs gēs) appears rather frequently in Rev. It appears eight times in all, with six of those being in the last five chapters (after the drama has built and all of the characters are in place): 1:5; 6:15; 17:2, 18; 18:3, 9; 19:19; 21:24. Here at 1:5 as John continues his opening comments of Revelation, he only quickly mentions these kings while praising Christ.

But who are these “kings of the earth” that are subject to Christ? Continue reading

A POSTMILL INTERVIEW (2)

PMW 2019-095 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

I am continuing a brief synopsis of an interview on postmillennialism of which I was a participant.

7) How do we understand prophecies that speak of “the day of the Lord” are they always talking about the last day or Can it be referring to temporary Judgments?

The day of the Lord often refers to historical events that occur in the OT. The day of the Lord comes against Babylon in Isa. 13; against Idumea in Isa. 34; and against Israel in Joel 2. Interestingly, the “day” of the Lord is not one day, for it occurs many times. Yet it is “one” in the sense that each day of the Lord event is a type of and a pointer to the final, consummate day of the Lord. The AD 70 judgment was a “day of the Lord” against Jerusalem.

8) What about the devil? Isn’t he the prince of this world? What is the current status of Satan in your view?

He is the prince of the fallen world in a limited since, in that sinners are under his influence. But he is not the ultimate prince of the world, for Christ has all authority in heaven and on earth (Matt. 28:18). In the first century Satan was bound so that he could not prevent the progress of the gospel and salvation of sinners: Matt 12:28 “But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 29 Or how can anyone enter the strong man’s house and carry off his property, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.” Continue reading

JOHN’S “MANY WATERS”: ROME OR JERUSALEM? (2)

PMW 2019-076 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

This is the second and final part of a brief series arguing that the “many waters” of Rev. 17:1, 15 refer to Jerusalem’s influence over the diaspora Jews, many of whom were proselyte from the nations.

My second observation regarding the Babylonian-harlot’s sitting on many waters represents Jerusalem’s political influence exercised by means of the diaspora — particularly against Christians —- which is exerted throughout the empire and among the “peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues” (17:15).

Remembering the Jewish danger to Christians (Rev. 2:9; 3:9; cp. Acts 4:3; 5:18; 8:3; 9:2; 12:4; 18:6; 22:4; 24:27; 26:10; Rom 15:31; 2 Cor. 11:24; 1 Thess. 2:14-17; Heb. 10:33-34) and the role of the martyrs in Rev (Rev. 6:9-10; see also: Rev 1:9; 2:9-10; 3:9-10; 11:7-8, 11-13, 18; 12:10; 13:10; 14:11-13; 16:5-6; 17:6; 18:20, 24; 19:2; 20:4, 6), this is a quite significant implication of John’s image. After all, we discover “the common reflection of Jewish opposition in the NT writings” (Rick Van de Water, “Reconsidering the Beast from the Sea (Rev 13.1),” 248). Continue reading

REVELATION AND THE LENGTH OF THE JEWISH WAR

PMW 2019-073 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

A reader of this blog site wrote an insightful and important question. This question is important because preterism emphasizes the history of the Jewish War as it relates to the judgment scenes in Revelation. Rather than treat his question as a comment which would not be seen by many, I thought I would make it an article. I hope you find this helpful.

Bryan Kuranaga question

I don’t know if this question is completely relevant to this post, but I figured it’s a good place to ask it. I was wondering if you have heard/read Phil Kayser’s messages on Revelation? He is also a partial preterist postmillennial and in preaching on Revelation 11:1-7, he writes (taken from the sermon, “The Two Witnesses, Part 1” preached on January 29, 2017):

“So how long was the war? If the only thing you read was the Partial Preterist commentaries (and I am in the Partial Preterist camp that believes most of chapters 1-19 has already been fulfilled) you would get the impression that the war was only three and a half years long. But all the early and later histories of the Jewish War with the Romans refer to it as a seven year war. Josephus, Eusebius, Hegesippus, Yosippon, Seutonius, Tacitus, and other ancient historians are consistent. And modern historians like Cornfeld, Mazar, Maier, and Schurer say the same.” Continue reading

HARLOTRY AND COVENANT IN BIBLICAL IMAGERY

PMW 2019-066 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Harlot drunk 3An insightful question.
Recently one of my blog readers made the following perceptive comment regarding my statement that Rome could not be Revelation’s “harlot” because Rome was never in a covenantal relationship with God:

“You said: ‘Fourth, Rome cannot commit adultery against God, for she had never been God’s wife.’ The language of harlot/marriage is spoken of Tyre in Isaiah, and as far as I know, they weren’t in a marriage with God either. Tyre is also spoken of as committing fornication. Continue reading