PMW 2019-066 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
An 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
PMW 2019-064 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
Some readers of Revelation are perplexed as to why 12 squared times 1000 is significant to the original readers in the 144,000? What is at about that number that would lead the original readers to think, ‘Oh that’s a number signifying a perfect amount of Jewish converts?’”
1. The Nature of Revelation
In the first place, no one would suggest Revelation is an easy book whose images leap out at you. John himself is left wondering about things within it from time to time (Rev 7:13, 14; 17:6-7). Continue reading
PMW 2019-019 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
I received this question from a reader. I think it might be helpful to other blog readers for me to answer it. Here is the question:
“As I’ve been reading your whole series on Revelation, I have come realize more and more how much we A-Mill Folks agree with you Post Mill Guys. But how does the loosing of Satan coincide with your postmillennial preterist hermeneutic? This seems to be the only area where I have a problem from the Preterist Viewpoint. Please advise where this fits.”
This is a good question that touches on an issue that seems to confront both preterism (Satan’s loosing occurs after 1000 years in a book set to transpire shortly) and to undermine the idea of the universal conquest of the gospel expected by postmillennialism. Postmillennialism is a theological construct whereas preterism is a methodology, rather than a theology. Both merge well in my understanding of postmillennialism. Let me explain. Continue reading
PMW 2019-061 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
A significant issue debated by Revelation scholars revolves around the “seven spirits” first mentioned in Rev. 1:4 (see also Rev. 3:1; 4:5; and 5:6). That initial text (with a portion of its context) reads:
John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. (Rev. 1:4–5)
Despite the debate, the evidence strongly suggests that John is speaking of the Holy Spirit when he mentions the seven spirits. Here is some of the evidence. Continue reading
PMW 2019-035 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
This is the final installment in a three-part study of seven “letters” to the seven churches in Revelation. I have been arguing that they are not really letters at all. Rather they are judgment oracles. This fits perfectly with the preterist understanding of Rev as a covenant lawsuit against Israel. In the previous article I offered the first two arguments for the oracular nature of these seven messages. In this article I will complete my argument by presenting my final three points.
Third, the oracles are a part of the crucial, introductory vision of the Son of Man and even flesh out this visionary unit that extends from 1:9 all the way through to 3:22. The oracles are not separate, free-standing material. Unfortunately, this is obscured by the modern chapter divisions imposed upon the text. But we can see the unified nature of this larger section from several lines of evidence: Continue reading
PMW 2019-034 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
In the preceding article in this three-part series, I introduced the concept that the seven messages that appear early in Rev are not really letters. Rather they should be understood as prophetic oracles built on the covenant lawsuit model of the Old Testament. These seven oracles are important for several reasons. I will highlight two of those in this article, and the remaining ones in my next article.
First, a major reason John writes Rev is to encourage faithfulness through the storm of persecution befalling John’s original Christian recipients. Throughout Rev he urges perseverance through the coming trials (1:3, 9; 12:11; 13:10; 14:4–5; 16:16; 17:14; 21:7). For instance, John opens with: “I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus” (Rev 1:9). So at the very beginning of his book John declares that he and his recipients are “in the tribulation” and that they must also engage in “perseverance.” The several other verses I list above also testify to the urgent call to hold on through the storm. Continue reading
PMW 2019-033 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
The literary genre of Revelation is one of the key issues in its proper interpretation. The question of genre even affects our understanding of the seven letters in Rev. 2 and 3. The “Seven Letters of Revelation” are a familiar and popular section of John’s Revelation. Unfortunately, these popularly-designated “letters” to the seven churches are not actually letters at all.
Rather the so-called Seven Letters are actually more adapted to Revelation’s overarching literary genre and judgment message. They are prophetic oracles or royal proclamations. And as such they perfectly fit in with the theme and flow of Revelation. Continue reading