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PMW 2023-042 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.Spirit bodies

In the universal, historic Christian faith, we have long believed in an intermediate state. That is, the state of existence that we experience immediately upon death and prior to the distant physical resurrection at the end of history. In certain forms of Hyperpreterism, as has been recently so vigorously promoted, there is no intermediate state: you die, are given a spiritual “resurrection” body, and you live in heaven forever.

Another reason many Hyperpreterists deny an intermediate estate is because this system also lacks a consummation. In this unorthodox theology’s view, history continues forever. This is necessarily so since (they believe) all biblical prophecy has been fulfilled in the first century at the destruction of the temple in AD 70.

Consequently, what we are now experiencing — prevailing sin, rebellion against God, the decay of all physical systems, and physical death in history, all which occur in the present operational universe — will continue occurring in history forever and ever and ever and ever. (We are not speaking of the cessation of the eternal, conscious torment experienced under God’s righteous judgment, which is endured by unbelieving sinners while forever constrained in and confined to hell. Hell is a place we cannot access from within the objective universe and which, therefore, cannot impact history or threaten God’s people.) Continue reading


PMW 2023-041 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr. Cross and sunrise

God’s plan of salvation brings together both glory and suffering for Christ. Through his suffering we will experience glory. And this experience of glory begins in history. Let us do a summary survey of Psalm 22 in this regard.

Psa. 22:1–31
According to its title, David wrote this psalm. It is divided into two basic parts: lamentation (vv. 1–21) and thanksgiving (vv. 22–31). It was written about some intense historical problem in David’s experience. Yet God’s Spirit lifts his poetic cry to Messianic significance and points to Jesus’s crucifixion as the ultimate Suffering One. Several details of Jesus’s passion appear within: forsakenness (v. 1), mockery (v. 8), shame (vv. 13, 17), piercing (v. 16), and dividing of his garments (v. 18). We see this in its use in the New Testament (Matt. 27:35, 39, 43, 46; John 19:23, 24, 28; Acts 2:30–31; Heb. 2:12).

Psa. 22:1–2
My God, my God, why have You forsaken me
This cry calls out of a sense of deep despair that is intensified by God’s apparent forsaking (v. 1). But even in despair it shows an abiding trust in God that leads to the psalmist’s continuing prayer (vv. 2–3).
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PMW 2023-040 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Like Isaiah 2, Psalm 2 provides powerful evidence for postmillennialism in the Old Testament. As I did with the preceding articles on several Isaiah passages, here I will present just a quick, running analysis of this glorious Psalm.

Psa. 2:1–12

This is a royal psalm, wherein David (Acts 4:25) recalls his enthronement. It is also a Messianic Psalm, which skillfully weaves together David’s human kingship with Jesus’s divine (Messianic) kingship. As such it is a counterpart to Psalm 110 (see Psa. 110:1–7 Note). It is frequently cited in the New Testament (see esp. Acts 4:25–27; cp. Matt. 3:17; 17:5; Acts 13:33; Rom. 1:4; Heb. 1:5; etc.). David the king and Jesus the Messiah are related both biologically and theologically (Matt. 1:1; 22:41–46; Rom. 1:4): David is a type of Christ. Though the psalm opens with turmoil (vv. 1–3) it promises the universal dominion of God’s Son (vv. 7–9), then ends with a gracious invitation for kings to submit to God’s rule (vv. 10a, 11, 12a) — or be destroyed (vv. 10b, 12b).

Psa. 2:1
Why are the nations in an uproar

Evidently David writes this psalm during some crisis in his kingdom (perhaps 2 Sam. 10?). Knowing that God’s covenant promises his kingdom’s permanent establishment (2 Sam. 7:8–16), David is astonished that the nations would bother to rebel against his rule. Thus, the very opening of the psalm sounds a note of confidence regarding the “vain” attempt to overthrow his rule (vv. 2–3). The word translated “devising” is the same word translated “meditate” in Psalm 1:2. While the righteous meditate on God’s word for directives for righteous living, the wicked meditate on vain actions doomed to catastrophic failure.

Psa. 2:2a
The kings of the earth take their stand

Though this undoubtedly reflects some current crisis under David’s rule (see v. 1 Note), the New Testament recognizes its deeper significance. When Peter and John were warned by the Jewish authorities not to speak about Jesus in Jerusalem, they responded by referencing this psalm to show that opposition to Christ is “futile.” They apply this psalm to Herod and Pontius Pilate’s roles in crucifying Christ and in persecuting his followers (Acts 4:25–28). The apostles (Peter and John, Acts 4:19) are confident as the march of the Christian faith throughout the world begins (Matt. 28:18; Acts 1:8; cf. John 3:17; 12:32).

Blessed Is He Who Reads: A Primer on the Book of Revelation By Larry E. Ball

A basic survey of Revelation from an orthodox, evangelical, and Reformed preterist perspective. Ball understands John to be focusing on the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in AD 70. Insightful. Easy to read.

For more Christian studies see:

Psa. 2:2b
Against the LORD and … His Anointed

The nations’s attempt to overthrow David’s rule is “vain” (v. 1), i.e., empty or worthless. This is because they align themselves not only against the Lord’s Anointed, but the Lord God himself. The Hebrew word for “Anointed” is mashiach, the word from which we derive “Messiah.” The Greek translation of the Hebrew word is christos (“Christ”). The prophets spoke of a coming Davidic king (Isa. 9:2–7; Jer. 23:5–6; 33:14–16; Eze. 34:23–24; Hos. 3:5) who would rule the nations in righteousness (Isa. 2:2–4; 11:10; Mic. 4:1–5).

Psa. 2:4–5
He who sits in the heavens laughs

Despite the raging of the nations, the Lord scornfully mocks the opposition to his rule (cf. v. 2). The psalmist turns his attention from the earthly sphere (vv. 1–3) to the heavenly realm as he declares his confidence in God’s rule. Believers must always factor God into their daily lives and concerns (Matt. 10:28; John 14:1, 27; Rom. 8:28).

Psa. 2:6a
I have installed My King

In the Hebrew, the “I” is emphatic as God counters the bombast of the kings of the earth (vv. 1–3). As with Israel of old, we must recognize that the outcome of all issues is up to God alone (Psa. 75:6–7; Dan. 2:21; 4:17).

Psa. 2:6b
Upon Zion

“Zion” is the name of a hill in Jerusalem, the city of David (Neh. 3:15; Luke 2:4, 11). It was the location of the fortress David captured from the Jebusites (2 Sam. 5:6–7; 1 Chron. 11:4–9). The name “Zion” applies to this stronghold in Jerusalem (Isa. 40:9; Mic. 3:12). God chose it as his dwelling place (Psa. 132:13).

Psa. 2:7–9
I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD

These verses highlight the Davidic Covenant (2 Sam. 7:8–16), which promises that his descendant’s rule will be forever. The rule is not only everlasting, but here is even declared to extend to all “the nations” and to the “ends of the earth” (v. 8; cp. Psa. 67:7). This ultimately speaks of the kingdom of David’s greater son, Jesus Christ (Luke 1:32–33; Acts 2:25–36). This will be fulfilled by means of Christ’s Great Commission (Matt. 28:18–20; cp. Acts 1:8). Christ’s kingdom is divinely-ordained to conquer the world in righteousness (Isa. 2:2–4; 9:6–7; 11:1–16; cp. Psa. 22:27; 72:8–11; John 3:17; 12:32; see Gen. 12:3 Note). This hope was already embedded in the patriarchal promises (Gen. 22:17–18; 26:4; 28:14) and is confirmed by Jesus (John 3:17; 12:31–32). Believers must always trust in Christ’s victory in time and on earth.

Psa. 2:7
You are My Son

This statement by the Lord in heaven (vv. 4, 6) declares the king to be his divine Son. David is such typologically (2 Sam. 7:12–16); but Jesus is God’s Son personally (Heb. 1:5; Matt. 1:1). According to Paul, this adoption comes to full expression at Jesus’s resurrection (Acts 13:33; Rom. 1:4). However, earlier declarations at his baptism (Matt. 3:17) and transfiguration (Matt. 17:5) marked him out as God’s Son.

Charismatic GP Godawa

Charismatic Gift of Prophecy (by Kenneth Gentry)

A rebuttal to charismatic arguments for the gift of prophecy continuing in the church today. Demonstrates that all revelatory gifts have ceased as of the conclusion of the Apostolic era.

See more study materials at:

Psa. 2:9
You shall break them with a rod of iron

The Messiah (see vv. 1–12 Note) will effectively rule over the nations (v. 8), even if he has to employ destructive force. This verse appears three times in Revelation, once concerning Christians as co-rulers with Christ (Rev. 2:26–27) and twice regarding Christ himself (Rev. 12:5; 19:15). In the LXX the Hebrew word for “break” is translated “shepherd” or “rule.” Christians have a calling to engage Christ’s rule among the nations (2 Cor. 10:3–5; Rev. 20:4–6).

Psa. 2:10–12
Now therefore, O kings

The psalmist now calls on the world’s kings and judges (v. 10) to “worship the Lord” (v. 11). Serving him with “fear” would represent wisdom on their part (Psa. 111:10; Prov. 9:10; 15:33). This is a gracious call, even though it holds out a terrifying warning of his potential wrath.

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THE TWO AGES AND OLIVET (advertisement)
I am currently researching a study of the Two-Age structure of redemptive history. My starting point is based on the disciples’ questions to Jesus in Matthew 24:3. Much confusion reigns among those unacquainted with the Two-Age analysis of history, which was promoted by Jesus (Matt. 12:32; Mark 10:29-30) and by Paul (Gal. 1:4; Eph. 1:21). The Two Ages are not the old covenant and the new covenant, but world history since the fall and the consummate order following the Second Coming and the Final Judgment.

If you would like to support me in my research, I invite you to consider giving a tax-deductible contribution to my research and writing ministry: GoodBirth Ministries. Your help is much appreciated!


PMW 2023-039 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Isaiah’s prophecy regarding “Lucifer” (Isa. 14:12) is a fairly well-known passage in the Old Testament. Unfortunately, among most Christians and in much of popular culture it is widely misunderstood. In this article I will give a brief survey of the relevant verses in Isaiah 14, which should re-direct your thinking if you understand Lucifer to be Satan.

Isa. 14:1–4: When the LORD will have compassion on Jacob.
These four prose verses show that the preceding poetic movement has ended (see 13:1–14:23 Note). The next movement begins in v. 4b. Both movements are directed against Babylon (vv. 1, 17, 19; 14:4, 22). Though Israel will be banished from her land by Babylon (see Isa. 6:12 Note), God will bring her back (vv. 1–3). Her future return from exile echoes the original exodus from Egypt and serves as a new hope-filled beginning for her. And this even looks further into the future to her ultimate “exodus” from the bondage of sin under Jesus as he calls out a new “Israel of God,” which is a being formed as a “new creation” (Gal. 6:15–16; cp. 2 Cor. 5:17). Jesus speaks of this with Moses at the transfiguration (Luke 9:31; “departure” is the translation of the Greek exodos).

Isa. 14:1: strangers will join them and attach themselves to the house of Jacob.
This is not simply a return of Jews to their original land (though it does speak of the return from Babylonian exile; see vv. 1–4 Note). More distantly and fully, however, the “strangers” here are Gentiles who will become a part of the future “Israel of God” in which circumcision does not matter (Gal. 6:15). this will begin fulfilling the promise of salvation and the inclusion of Gentiles among God’s people (see 11:12 Note; cp. Matt. 28:18–20; John 10:16; Acts 11:18; 13:46–48; Eph. 2:11–12).

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PMW 2023-038 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

wolf and lambIn my last posting I gave a brief survey of Isaiah’s glorious postmillennial hope as found in Isaiah 2. In this one I will quickly summarize this hope as it is found in Isaiah 11, another great chapter embodying the postmillennial hope.

Isa. 11:1–2: a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse.
Along with Assyria, Israel has been chopped down to a stump (10:18–19, 33–34). Yet the Messiah, the true Davidic king, will arise from the lineage of Jesse (vv. 1, 10; David’s father, 1 Sam. 16:10–31). Christ is the greater David who was typified in David (see 9:7b Note). He will be endowed with “the Spirit of the LORD” (v. 2), thereby exercising wisdom, understanding, counsel, strength, knowledge, and the fear of the LORD (v. 2). Continue reading


PMW 2023-037 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Isaiah is an important book in Scripture and an invaluable witness to the postmillennial hope. We may see the importance of Isaiah in the following.

Isaiah has been widely used. The book of Isaiah has long been important to God’s people. We see this in several ways. Among the Jews at Qumran, the second most cited book in the Dead Sea Scrolls is Isaiah, exceeded only by Deuteronomy. Not only do we find among these Scrolls a complete, well–preserved Isaiah scroll, but twenty partially-preserved copies. The New Testament alludes to Isaiah 411 times, directly quoting it over fifty times (e.g., Matt. 13:14–15; Luke 8:10; John 12:40; Acts 28:26–27; Rom. 9:29; Heb. 2:13; 1 Pet. 2:9).

The next three observations explain why Isaiah was so popular to New Testament writers.

Isaiah presents us with an exalted view of God. It especially emphasizes his sovereignty (6:1ff; 24:1–3; 37:15–20; 43:8–11) and his holiness (1:4; 5:16; 30:9–16; 37:23; 43:8–11). And in light of these glorious doctrines, it especially condemns human pride (2:11–18; 14:12–15; 37:23–25; 66:1–3).

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PMW 2023-036 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

The physical resurrection of the dead is under attack in modern Christianity. Again. However, this time it is not just the liberals. Rather, some evangelical Christians themselves are denying the physical nature of the resurrection body. They often begin their denial by citing 1 Corinthians 15:44, which speaks of the resurrection body thus: “it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual [pneumatikos] body. If there is a natural [pseuchikos] body, there is also a spiritual body [pneumatikos].” By misunderstanding this passage, the remainder of the Bible, and the power of God, opponents of the future, physical resurrection are, like Hymenaeus and Alexander: their faith is suffering shipwreck (1 Tim. 1:19–20; 2 Tim. 2:16–18).

This denial of the physical resurrection based on this famous passage is remarkable in that 1 Corinthians 15:44 has been in the NT for 2000 years. And during that time the universal, historic, orthodox Christian faith has held to a future physical resurrection. It even creedalized this great truth, which is “of first importance” regarding the gospel (1 Cor. 15:1–3). For instance, toward the end of the Apostles’ Creed we declare with the universal, historic, corporate Christian church that we believe “in the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting.” In the original language versions of the Creed, the resurrection of the “body” is more exactly declared to be the resurrection of the “flesh.” For in Latin the word carnis was used and in Greek sarx.

But there is abundant evidence in Scripture that the resurrection will be future, physical, and corporate. That is, it is not occurring now (for it is future). Nor is it a spiritual transaction (for it is physical). Nor does it transpire at the moment of each believer’s death, as they occur one-by-one (for it is corporate).

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