Category Archives: Old Testament

JOHN’S USE OF EZEKIEL

EzekielPMT 2015-072 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Though John saw his visions, we do not. Consequently, he has to relate them to us through verbal communication. And John is so absorbed with the Old Testament Scriptures that he presents his visions in Old Testament language. John intentionally takes up the prophetic mantle, even mimicking the Old Testament grammar, as well as alluding to their writings.

H. Charles observes that “our author makes most use of the prophetical books.” Colin Hemer agrees: “the influence of the prophets on John’s mind is especially strong.” More precisely, H. B. Swete argues that John’s favorite OT books are in the following order: Daniel, Isaiah, Ezekiel, and the Psalms. I would qualify this by noting regarding the Psalms that John is especially interested in the prophetic and Messianic psalms. Charles Hill adds Zechariah to the list. G. K. Beale and D. A . Carson disagree with Swete’s ranking, pointing out that “Ezekiel exerts greater influence in Revelation than does Daniel.” Continue reading

CALVIN, ISAIAH 19, AND POSTMILLENNIALISM (4)

Priestly blessingPMT 2015-004 by John Calvin

In that day shall Israel. Isaiah concludes the promise which he had briefly glanced at, that the Egyptians and Assyrians, as well as Israel, shall be blessed (Isa 19:24).

Isaiah concludes the promise which he had briefly glanced at, that the Egyptians and Assyrians, as well as Israel, shall be blessed (Isa 19:24).

Formerly the grace of God was in some measure confined to Israel, because with that nation only had the Lord entered into covenant. The Lord had stretched out a cord over Jacob (Deut 32:9,) as Moses speaks; and David says, “He hath not done so to any nation, and hath not made known to them his judgments.” (Psa 147:20).

In a word, the blessing of God dwelt solely in Judea, but he says that it will be shared with the Egyptians and Assyrians, under whose name he includes also the rest of the nations. He does not mention them for the purpose of shewing respect, but because they were the constant enemies of God, and appeared to be more estranged from him and farther removed from the hope of favor than all others. Accordingly, though he had formerly adopted none but the children of Abraham, he now wished to be called, without distinction,” father of all nations.” (Gen 17:7; Exo 19:5; Deu 7:6). Continue reading

CALVIN, ISAIAH 19, AND POSTMILLENNIALISM (3)

bowingPMT 2015-003 by John Calvin

Isaiah 19:18ff is an encouraging prophecy that relates the postmillennial hope of the gospel conquering the world. It shows the gospel will even overwhelm the historic enemies of God. Calvin’s exposition of this passage is extremely helpful for encouraging the postmillennial outlook. I am continuing citing Calvin’s material, beginning now with Isa 19:21.

And the Lord shall be known by the Egyptians (Isa 19:21).

Isaiah now adds what was most important; for we cannot worship the Lord, or call upon him, till we have first acknowledged him to be our Father. “ How” says Paul, “ can they call on him whom they know not?” (Rom 10:14.) We cannot be partakers of the gifts of God for our salvation without previously having true knowledge, which is by faith. He therefore properly adds, the knowledge of God, as the foundation of all religion, or the key that opens to us the gate of the heavenly kingdom. Now, there cannot be knowledge without doctrine; and hence infer, that God disapproves of all kinds of false worship; for he cannot approve of anything that is not guided by knowledge, which springs from hearing true and pure doctrine. Whatever contrivance therefore men may make out of their own minds, they will never attain by it the true worship of God. We ought carefully to observe passages like this, in which the Spirit of God shews what is the true worship and calling of God, that, having abandoned the inventions to which men are too obstinately attached, we may allow ourselves to be taught by the pure word of God, and, relying on his authority, may freely and boldly condemn all that the world applauds and admires. Continue reading

CALVIN, ISAIAH 19, AND POSTMILLENNIALISM (2)

Golden altarPMT 2015-002 by John Calvin

I am continuing my citation of John Calvin’s postmillennial-like exposition of Isaiah 19:18ff. Calvin does not excellent job on these important verses.

In that day shall there be an altar in the midst of the land of Egypt (Isa 19:19).

Isaiah continues what he had said in the former verse, and states more clearly that the aspect of Egypt will be renewed, because there true religion will flourish, the pure worship of God will be set up, and all superstitions will fall to the ground. He employs the word altar to denote, as by a sign, the worship of God; for sacrifices and oblations were the outward acts of piety. By the midst of Egypt he means the chief part of the whole kingdom, as if he had said, “the very metropolis,”or, “the very heart of the kingdom.” Continue reading

CALVIN, ISAIAH 19, AND POSTMILLENNIALISM (1)

5 out of 6PMT 2014-001 by John Calvin

In this and the following ones, I will be citing John Calvin’s commentary on Isaiah 19:18–25. We find in his exposition a strong encouragement to the postmillennial hope. Before I begin citing Calvin, I will cite Isaiah since he is almost as good as Calvin! 😉 Be aware, I am citing the NASB which Calvin refused to use.

“In that day five cities in the land of Egypt will be speaking the language of Canaan and swearing allegiance to the LORD of hosts; one will be called the City of Destruction. In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the LORD near its border. It will become a sign and a witness to the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt; for they will cry to the LORD because of oppressors, and He will send them a Savior and a Champion, and He will deliver them. Thus the LORD will make Himself known to Egypt, and the Egyptians will know the LORD in that day. They will even worship with sacrifice and offering, and will make a vow to the LORD and perform it. The LORD will strike Egypt, striking but healing; so they will return to the LORD, and He will respond to them and will heal them. In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrians will come into Egypt and the Egyptians into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians. In that day Israel will be the third party with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, whom the LORD of hosts has blessed, saying, ‘Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance.’” (Isaiah 19:18-25 NASB).

Now let us hear Calvin. Continue reading

JAMES WHITE’S AND 2 TIMOTHY 3 (4)

PMT 2014-151 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.White James Ken EDIT

This is my fourth article in my reply to Dr. James White of Alpha & Omega Ministries. On his October 16 webcast, he challenged my analysis of 2 Timothy 3 in my PostmillennialismToday article titled: “Perilous Times.” Please see my preceding articles in this series by way of introduction. Unless you are weary. And if you are weary, try “a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest” (Prov 6:10), for this is biblical.

White countered my observation that 2 Tim 3 is written to Timothy and was speaking only of his own day. I pointed out in my original article that we should note the occasional nature of most of the NT epistles. That is, we must understand that they were written to deal with specific occasions within in the first century. I illustrated this by pointing to 1 Cor 5:1. But White rejects my paralleling 1 Cor 5:1 to Paul’s statement to Timothy. Nevertheless: Continue reading

WHAT IS THE GOAL OF DANIEL 9:24?

PMT 2013-027 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

SealIn studying Daniel’s Seventy Weeks prophecy, it is important that we carefully consider Daniel 9:24. This verse provides the ultimate goal of the prophecy: “Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy.” Let me briefly sketch the events in verse 24 within the context of the whole prophecy.

The Significance of Verse 24

The six infinitival phrases of verse 24 form three couplets, which serve as the main point of the prophecy and as the heading to the explication that follows. “Know therefore and understand” (9:25) introduces that explication. Correspondences should exist, then, between the events of verse 24 and the prophecy of verses 25-27.

Among non-dispensational evangelicals the general view of Daniel 9:24 holds that these six elements are the goal of the whole prophecy and that they occurred during the first advent 2000 years ago. Contrary to this view, Culver puts the matter into bold dispensational relief: these events are “not to be found in any event near the earthly lifetime of our Lord.” Ryrie points to this verse and applies it to our future: “God will once again turn His attention in a special way to His people the Jews and to His holy city Jerusalem, as outlined in Daniel 9:24.” Clearly then, the dispensationalist adopts a decidedly futurist approach to the prophecy — when he gets past the first sixty-nine weeks. Continue reading