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GENDER CONFUSION & POSTMILLENNIALISM

collapsing-buildingPMW 2022-069 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., Th.D.

The postmillennial hope is rooted in God’s word, not man’s world. Postmillennialism expects ups-and-downs as history unfolds. Though eventually the advances will far outweigh the declines. However, currently we are witnessing a downward trend in our cultural situation.

Our culture is now in such a state of rebellion against God that it cannot even tell the difference between male and female, such is the blindness of unbelief. The postmillennial hope involves a deep and abiding commitment to God’s word and his law to shine a light on our path forward. Unfortunately, so many Christian churches have become so invested in fun and entertainment instead of worship and study that Christians are confused in how to respond to our collapsing culture. Continue reading

REVELATION & THE EARTH DWELLERS (2)

dead-seaPMW 2022-066 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

This is the second article in a four-part series on an important recurring phrase in Revelation, generally translated “those who dwell on the earth.” I am arguing that it should be translated “those who dwell in the Land,” i.e., of Israel. For brevity I translate the whole phrase as “Land-dwellers.” In this article I will begin with:

“The Land” in Revelation

Before discussing the Land in Rev I would remind the reader of Rev’s strongly Judaic character. As I argue in the Introduction (as per most commentators) Rev is wholly saturated with OT allusions, strongly expressed in terms of Hebraic syntactical peculiarities, and brightly colored by Judaic images. John also presents his work as a forensic drama wherein he is presenting a covenant lawsuit from God. All of this prepares us for recognizing the possible use of the Land as an important image in this remarkable work and the Land-dwellers as the recipients of most of its judgments. Continue reading

REVELATION’S “MANY WATERS” AND JERUSALEM (1)

PMW 2022-059  by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

The “many waters” mentioned in Revelation 17 is often used to counter the Jewish-harlot interpretation of Revelation.

Rev. 17:1 and 15 read:

Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters” (v. 1).

And he said to me, “The waters which you saw where the harlot sits, are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues” (v. 15).

This is a frequent challenge brought against the Babylon=Jerusalem interpretation. And it certainly offers a reasonable interpretation. In fact, it is a key argument in favor of the identity of the harlot as Rome among standard preterists (as opposed to my Redemptive-historical preterism, which sees the bulk of Revelation as directed against Jerusalem and Israel). Thus, it deserves a response. I will provide a two part response, beginning in this posting and continuing in the next. Continue reading

UNDERSTANDING THE OLIVET DISCOURSE

PMW 2022-058 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

On this site, my most popular postings deal with either the Book of Revelation or the Olivet Discourse. The main focus of my site is obviously the postmillennial hope and its affirmation of the glorious progress of the gospel to victory in history. However, the judgment issues emphasized in both Olivet and Revelation are necessary to understand if one is going to defend gospel victory.

I recently spoke at a conference where I gave five lectures on Matthew’s version of the Olivet Discourse. This was videotaped and is now in available as a DVD set titled “Understanding the Olivet Discourse.” The lectures were well received and the DVDs are doing well, for which I am thankful and encouraged.

The five lectures I presented covered all the major issues in Matthew 24–25, providing a helpful study on this noteworthy teaching by Christ. In the present article I will provide a brief introduction to the lectures, hoping to whet your appetite. This DVD set should be a helpful means for presenting the orthodox preterist view of the Lord’s great discourse. I highly recommend your buying it for that purpose — as does my wife, two of my three children, and two of my six grandchildren (the others were in bed asleep when I asked them if they would recommend viewing the lectures, due to elementary school starting the next day).

Continue reading

REVELATION’S PARAENETIC IRRELEVANCE?

PMW 2022-058 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Many opponents of the preterist analysis complain that it removes any practical usefulness and continuing relevance of Revelation today. This is a rather common complaint. It arises from the evangelical conviction that “all Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness” (2 Tim 3:16). Thus, if it renders Revelation irrelevant, it must not be a proper hermeneutic approach.

Continue reading

IS THE SECOND ADVENT “IMMINENT”? (2)

PMW 2022- by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In my last article I opened a brief analysis of the doctrine of the imminent return of Christ. I began setting up the matter and also showing its problems for dispensationalism. In this article I will conclude the study.

Often dispensationalists try to distinguish between Christ’s return being imminent and its being soon. This strives to protect them against charges of date-setting. This does not protect them from the charge, however, because it is inconsistently held.
In a letter to me dated June 1, 1994, from Thomas D. Ice, Executive Director of the Pre-Trib Research Center, Ice writes: “We distinguish between imminent and soon in the sense that soon would require a near coming, while imminent would allow, but not require a soon coming.” Bundled in that very letter was his first newsletter entitled: “The Pre-Trib Research Center: A New Beginning.” The first sentence of the newsletter (once past the headings) was: “Our purpose is to awaken in the Body of Christ a new awareness of the soon coming of Jesus.” The system giveth and taketh away. In fact, in a book edited by Ice, Tim LaHaye speaks of “the soon coming of Christ.” Continue reading

THE STRENGTH OF PRETERISM IN REVELATION

PMW 2022-034 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

I am an exegetical preterist. By that I mean that I come to the text of Scripture and am led by the textual indicators in many biblical passages to adopt a preterist analysis of those passages. I am not a theological preterist. A theological preterist is one who comes to Scripture with the pre-commitment that all prophecy has been fulfilled and preterism controls all of biblical eschatology.

Many theological preterists (aka Hyper-preterists) began as partial preterists but in their excitement they took a bridge too far. This is like an enthusiastic Calvinist who becomes a Hyper-Calvinist. He refuses to do personal evangelism and invest in missions because God is absolutely sovereign and will see that all the elect are saved. The Hyper-Calvinist is certainly Calvinistic, but he has abused the Cavinistic system. Sadly, the Hyper-preterist has a heavy-duty HP hammer and every Bible verse he sees looks like a nail to be driven into his system. Thankfully more and more of those who shot beyond the bounds of historical preterism to become Hyper-preterists are beginning to make their way back to a full evangelical faith.

Unfortunately, like a squeaky wheel those who abuse a system tend to get much attention for the grating noise they make. And even more sadly, it is easy to write-off a system because of some proponents who have taken it too far.

But the orthodox preterist must answer serious objections to the preterist system. And in the book of Revelation there are many issues that can raise serious objections. One objection that I often hear is: Since Revelation is almost wholly fulfilled it is irrelevant to use today. There seems to be no point in our having it in the Bible.

The problem with this complaint is that we could do away with much of the Bible on that basis. For instance, Paul’s letter to the Corinthian church is very personal and deals with several local issues troubling that church 2000 years ago. Yet, what Christian would declare 1 and 2 Corinthians to be irrelevant to us today?

Properly considered, Revelation is somewhat like 1 Corinthians in that it deals with ancient issues, but in a way that establishes abiding principles for us today. I will have more to say on this in a later PostmillennialWorldview article. But for now, we need to press the point that: When Revelation was written, it was much needed in the era of the establishing of the new covenant church in the world.

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The Book of Revelation Made Easy

This book introduces the reader to the reasons for the preterist analysis of Revelation. Very helpful for those who are not acquainted with the strengths of preterism in Revelation.

This book is available at : http://www.KennethGentry.com

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Three of the leading strengths of preterism are due to its original relevance:

First, preterism’s relevance. Preterism retains and emphasizes the relevance of Revelation for John’s first-century audience (the seven churches in Asia Minor and apostolic Christianity more broadly, Rev. 2–3). The nascent faith was enduring a worsening period of persecution and oppression (1:9; 6:9–11; 14:13; 17:6) that would require Christians to strive to “overcome” (2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21).

John writes to a particular people at a particular time, and those people are urged to carefully “hear” (1:3) what Revelation presents. As Isbon Beckwith (319) well notes: “Like ‘every scripture inspired of God’ the Apocalypse was certainly meant to be to those to whom it first came ‘profitable for teaching’ (2 Tim. 3:16), and so the writer must have counted on its being understood in its chief lessons.” This differs radically from futurism which must argue that “the full meaning of the Apocalypse shall only be understood ‘when all has come to pass’ (Abraham Kuyper, p. v). John Walvoord (8) admits that “as history unfolds and as prophecy is fulfilled in the future, much will be understood that could be only dimly comprehended by the first readers of the book.”

Second, preterism recognizes John’s time-frame. Preterism takes seriously Revelation’s time-frame indicators: “the things which must shortly take place” (1:1, 22:6) in that “the time is near” (1:3; 22:10). These temporal qualifiers appear in the introduction and the conclusion of Revelation, so that any unprejudiced original reader should expect that what he will hear and what he should understand is a prophecy about fast-approaching events. Not only so but these temporal delimiters appear well before and immediately after the perplexing symbolic visions. Consequently, they appear in the more didactic and less dramatic sections.

Third, deals with a fundamental redemptive-historical issue. Preterism dramatically presents major redemptive-historical matters: the demise of Judaism and the temple system (after 2000 years of Jewish focus and 1500 years of tabernacle/temple worship) and the universalizing of the Christian faith as it permanently breaks free of its maternal bonds to temple-based Israel. We must understand that “the patriarchal family was only a stage in the development of the people of God, so national and territorial Israel in the Old Testament period was a stage toward the development of an international and global people of God. This is not just a ‘Christian idea’ but intrinsic to the Old Testament itself” (N. T. Wright 1994: 2). Wright notes the OT evidence, citing especially Zech. 2:11a: “And many nations will join themselves to the Lord in that day and will become My people.” See also: Gen. 12:3; Psa. 22:27; 47:8ff; 72:17; 86:9; 87:1ff; 102:13–22; Isa 11:1–9, 10, 12; 19:19–25; 25:1ff; 42:6; 44:5; 45:22ff; 49:6; Jer. 16:19; Amos 9:12; Hag. 2:6ff; Zech. 8:20—23; Mal. 1:11.

During its earliest years Christianity gravitates to the temple (e.g., Acts 2:46; 3:1; 5:20, 42; 21:26; 22:17; 24:11) and Jerusalem (e.g., Acts 1:4; 6:7; 8:1; 15:2; 19:21). Thus, this covenantal transition is a major, recurring theme in the NT. We see this especially in Hebrews which has this as its central, controlling point: John “depicts the replacement of the Old Covenant by Christianity in language reminiscent of the epistle to the Hebrews” (Martin Hopkins, 44). But we also witness numerous allusions to AD 70 in many texts in the Gospels (e.g., Matt. 8:11–12; 21:43; 22:1–7; 23:35–38; 24:1–34) as well as elsewhere (Acts 2:16–21, 37–40; 7:48–53; 1Thess. 2:14–16).

Fourth, preterism establishes an example for all ages of the church. By enduring such catastrophes as appearing in Revelation, the first-century church serves as an example of Christ’s providential protection of his people — giving hope for not only that day but all ages. If Christ can deliver the church in its infancy during its weakest stage of development from two ubiquitous enemies, then the future looks bright with hope.

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The Book of Revelation and the Postmillennial Hope (DVD lectures)

These three 50-minute lectures explain how Revelation does not contradict the postmillennial hope, as many assume.

This DVD set is available at : http://www.KennethGentry.com