Category Archives: Revelation

REV 17 AND THE BEAST THAT “WAS, IS, AND IS NOT”

PMW 2018-007 Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In previous studies I presented evidence that the sixth head of the seven-headed beast of Revelation was Nero Caesar, the sixth emperor of Rome. Thus, in Revelation the sixth head of the beast represents the then reigning sixth head/king of Rome. But now we must deal with a passage that seems to contradict this identification. In Revelation 17 the interpreting angel states that:

“The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and go to destruction. . . . The beast which was and is not, is himself also an eighth and is one of the seven, and he goes to destruction.” (Rev. 17:8, 11)

As we focus on these statements, two important questions arise: (1) What is the significance of the beast being the one who “was and is not, and is about to come”? Is this one of the many instances of the beast’s divine pretensions, wherein he parodies divine eternality, which is the view of most commentators? And (2) does this description undercut the early-date position and preterist approach by declaring the beast (Nero) is already dead when John writes? After all, the angel states that he “was and is not [ouk estin].” Continue reading

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PRINCIPLES FOR RECOGNIZING THE BEAST

PMW 2018-005 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

The beast of Revelation is a favorite theme of “prophecy experts.” Unfortunately, they generally do not allow John to establish the principles for the beast’s interpretation in Revelation, preferring instead the news media and radio evangelists. In this article I will mention four key principles that must be kept in mind to reduce the field to biblical proportions, you might say. As is evident from the history of the interpretation of 666, we certainly need something to confine our thinking to the realm of the reasonable.

The necessary limiting principles for analyzing the identity of John’s beast are: Continue reading

NEW HISTORICAL EVIDENCE FOR PRETERISM

PMT 2017-091 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Evangelical preterism is virtually the opposite of dispensational futurism. Because of this, dispensationalists are alarmed at the spread of orthodox preterism among some of its claimants. One means by which they try to dissuade their followers from adopting preterism is by charging that it was a late creation by a Jesuit priest named Luis Alcázar around 1600. Continue reading

THE TWO WITNESSES OF REVELATION (2)

PMW 2017-072 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

This is the second and concluding article on the identity of the two witnesses in Revelation. In this installment, I present my own view and a portion of my evidence for it.

The first view is that the two witnesses may represent the whole Old Testament order (religious and civil) or content (law and prophecy). The second view is that the two witnesses may represent first century Christianity as a whole.

Third, more probably, the two witnesses may represent Continue reading

THE TWO WITNESSES OF REVELATION (1)

PMW 2017-072 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

The two witnesses in Rev. 11 have generated much discussion among Revelation enthusiasts. Though they only appear here in John’s forensic drama, they play an important role regarding the temple’s destruction. But debate continues over their identity. In this and my next blog posting, I will present the three leading options on their identity. Continue reading

REVELATION AND ORIGINAL INTENT

PMW 2017-070 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

I am concluding a brief series presenting interpretive issues necessary for understanding Revelation rightly, i.e., from the preterist perspective. Many evangelicals deem Revelation’s judgment passages to be counter-indicative to postmillennialism’s long term hope. In this article I will focus on John’s original intent which shows he was not speaking past his audience to an audience thousands of years in the future.

Today we are so distant from the events of A.D. 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 A.D. 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.” Continue reading

HELP FROM JOHN’S AUDIENCE

PMT 2017-069 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In my last article I noted the significance of John’s opening time-indicators for interpreting Revelation. These powerfully demonstrate the preterist (past tense) approach to Revelation. That is, that the vast majority of Revelation’s event lie in our distant past and in John’s approaching future.

If you want to explain Revelation to a friend, the first thing you need to do is have them read the first three verses. Then point out to them the near-term indicators (as per my last article). Then you need to point out to them the fact that he is writing to a real, historical audience who would not be inclined to overlook those indicators. Continue reading