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
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
PMW 2019-096 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
This is the final article summarizing my questions from a postmillennial documentary recently filmed. I hope you find these helpful.
13) In a nutshell what is the book of Revelation about?
It is about the approaching destruction of the Jewish temple in AD 70. This is why the book is so Hebraic, even breaking standard Greek grammatical rules. This is why it alludes to more OT passages than any other NT book (over 400 of them). This is why is speaks of the temple still standing (Rev. 11:1-2). This is why it has so much temple and sacrificial imagery.
Its theme verse shows this, when properly interpreted: Rev 1:7 “ BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen.” John is stating the same thing Jesus stated in Matt. 24:30: “And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory.” Then four verses later Jesus says “all these things” will occur in “this generation” (Matt. 24:34), just as John states four verses before his statement that the time is “near” (Rev. 1:3). Continue reading
PMW 2019-080 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
I have been giving a brief survey of Revelation beginning in Rev. 4. Now we must note that as the wrath of the Lamb against the Jews builds, we will witness a surprising pause in the horrifying drama. Four angels hold back the wind from “the land,” i.e., Israel (Rev. 7:1-3). This act is symbolic imagery, relating what Robert Thomas calls (at another place) “picturesque apocalyptic.” The angels are not holding back literal winds, but the winds of destruction (cp. Jer. 49:36-37; 51:1-2). The first six seals represent the early stage of the Jewish War wherein Vespasian fights his way through Galilee toward Jerusalem. But before he has an opportunity to besiege Jerusalem the action pauses as these angels seal the 144,000 from the twelve tribes of Israel (Rev. 7:3).
The number 144,000, as most commentators agree, is surely symbolic. In fact, in Revelation perfectly rounded thousands all appear to be symbolic. Ten is the number of quantitative perfection, and one thousand is the cube of ten. Frequently Scripture uses 1000 as a symbolic value, not expressing a literal enumeration (e.g., Ex. 20:6; Deut. 1:11; 7:9; 32:30; Josh. 23:10; Job 9:3; Ps. 50:10; 84:10; 90:4; 105:8; Eccl. 7:28; Isa. 7:23; 30:17; 60:22; 2 Pet. 3:8). Continue reading
PMW 2019-079 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
In Revelation 6 Christ begins opening the seals. As Robert Thomas, Marvin Pate, and other commentators note, there is a “close parallelism between Jesus’ Olivet Discourse” and the seals of Revelation. And as the preterist reminds them, the contexts of both of these prophecies relate to first century events (cp. Rev. 1:1, 3; Matt. 24:2-3, 34). Interestingly, church father Eusebius (A.D. 260-340) uses Josephus’s history of the Jewish War (A.D. 67-70) to illustrate the fulfilling of the Olivet prophecy (Eccl. Hist. 3:5-9).
The rider on the white horse “bent on conquest” (Rev. 6:2-3) represents the victorious Roman march toward Jerusalem to engage the Jewish War in the Spring of A.D. 67. The rider on the red horse (Rev. 6:4) who takes “the peace from the earth” (Rev. 6:4; cp. Matt. 24:6-7) speaks of the surprising disruption of the famous pax Romana, an enforced peace that prevails throughout the Roman Empire for many years. For example, Epictetus (A.D. 60-140) writes that “Caesar has obtained for us a profound peace. There are neither wars nor battles” (Discourses 3:13:9). The Jewish revolt against Rome temporarily interrupts this famous peace. The red horse especially highlights that civil war occurring in Jerusalem itself (where Jesus utters his prophecy, Matt. 24). Continue reading
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
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