Category Archives: New Testament

ISRAEL & TIMES OF REFRESHING (2)

Sunrise on wheatPMT 2014-045 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In this article I am concluding a two-part study of Acts 3:21. Please consult PMT 2014-043 for previous material.

As we continue, perhaps the Jews would lament their having destroyed the only One who could bring them divine consolation — a fear much like Peter had encountered before (Acts 2:37). In order to circumvent such, the Apostles sets a promise before them. That promise is that Christ will yet come to them in salvation: ‟and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you” (Acts 3:20 NASV). It is true that He is in heaven physically away from them; in fact, ‟heaven must receive [Him] until the times of restoration of all things” (3:21). Still, there is the promise that God will send Him to them in salvation. Though He is in heaven He is not beyond their reach, for He comes to dwell in those who have faith in Him (John 14:23). As the gospel is preached, the hearers discern the voice of the living Christ (Eph. 2:17).

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ISRAEL & TIMES OF REFRESHING (1)

PMT 2014-044 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.refreshing

Acts 3:19-21, a favorite passage for the dispensational search for a special future for Israel in the New Testament record, is thought to establish the premillennial expectation against all others. This passage reads:

Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; 20 and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, 21 whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time.

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THE RESTRAINER AND THE MAN OF LAWLESSNESS

PMT 2013-044 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

ChainsThis is my fourth and final installment (for the time being!) on Paul’s Man of Lawlessness. Though it is a difficult passage, it serves as a foundation stone to peculiar dispensational beliefs involving the rebuilt temple and the re-institution of animal sacrifices. I have been showing, however, that this passage is dealing with first century concerns, not last century ones. We will see this further in today’s installment.

The Restrainer at Work

In 2Th. 2:7 we read: “for the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way.” When Paul writes 2 Thessalonians 2, he is under the reign of Claudius Caesar. In this statement he even seems to employ a word play on Claudius’ name. Let’s see how this is so. Continue reading

IDENTIFYING THE MAN OF LAWLESSNESS

PMT 2013-043 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Nero persecutesIn this blog article I will provide my third installment of my study on Paul’s Man of Lawlessness. In this study I will show the case for the Man of Lawlessness being . . . Nero Caesar.

Paul shows a deep concern regarding the deception (2Th 2:3a). To avoid the deception and to clarify the true beginning of the Day of the Lord upon Jerusalem, Paul informs them that “that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition” (2:3). Before they can say the Day of the Lord “is come,” then, they must witness first (see RSV) the falling away and the revelation of the man of lawlessness, who is also called “the son of perdition.” (These do not necessarily occur in the chronological order presented, as even dispensationalists admit.1 Verse nine is clearly out of order and should occur in the midst of verse eight, if strict chronology were important.) Continue reading

MAN OF LAWLESSNESS IN HISTORICAL CONTEXT

PMT 2013-042 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Paul at athensIn my previous blog I began a brief analysis of one of Paul’s most difficult passage. I noted widespread statements by church fathers and contemporary scholars confessing its difficulty. Then I noted that despite this, dispensationalism employs this passage as one of its foundations for its distinctive temple-theology. A theology built on difficult passages is not a stable system. Continue reading

PAUL, VICTORY, AND EXPECTATION

PMT 2013-040 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

EarthThis is my third and final article given in response to a reader’s question as to whether the NT envisions Christ’s kingdom as gradually advancing in history. This is an important question for the postmillennialist, hence my lengthy response.

Paul and the kingdom’s glory

When we look into the 1 Corinthians passage we do not discover Paul making a passing, on-the-side statement about the kingdom’s growth. Rather he gives a good deal of attention to the matter. I will not fully develop the passage, but I will present Paul’s sizeable statement in full and make a few comments on the significance of its various elements. Continue reading

WARFIELD ON POSTMILLENNIALISM

PMT 2013-022 by Benjamin B. Warfield

WarfieldJesus Christ the Propitiation for the Whole World

Note: Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield (1851-1921) was perhaps the leading Reformed scholar of his era. He was Professor of Didactic and Polemic Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary (1887-1921). He was a strong proponent of postmillenialism. This is an edited form of his article by the same name.

The search for John’s meaning naturally begins with an attempt to ascertain what he intends by “the world.” He sets it in contrast with an “our” by which primarily his readers and himself are designated: “And he is himself a propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but for the whole world.” John’s readers apparently are certain Christian communities in Asia Minor; and it is possible to confine the “our” strictly to them. In that case it is not impossible to interpret “the whole world,” which is brought into contrast with the Christians specifically of Asia Minor, as referring to the whole body of Christians extended throughout the world. Continue reading