ZECHARIAH 14 IN POSTMILLENNIALISM (2)

Mount Olives split 2PMW 2021-038 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In my last article I began a two-part study on Zechariah 14. Having presented the dispensational view, I will now present a postmillennial interpretation of this famous passage.

The Siege of Jerusalem

The siege of Jerusalem described in Zechariah 14:1–2 points to the AD 70 judgment upon Jerusalem. J. Dwight Pentecost admits that the disciples who hear the Olivet Discourse would naturally apply Zechariah 14 to that event. But then, he says, such requires the confusing of God’s program for the church with that for Israel. So, he and other dispen-sationalists interpret the passage literalistically, with all the topographical and redemptive historical absurdities this creates. As they do this they totally omit any reference to the destruction of the very city and temple being rebuilt in Zechariah’s day. Yet this literal temple (the second temple) is destroyed in AD 70, as all agree. Continue reading

POSTMILLENNIALISM & ZECHARIAH 14 (1)

Mount Olives splitPMW 2021-037 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In Zechariah’s great prophecy we read one verse that is used by dispensational literalists to overthrow the prophet’s postmillennial hope. That verse reads:

“And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, from east to west, making a very large valley; half of the mountain shall move toward the north and half of it toward the south.” (Zech 14:14) Continue reading

REVELATION’S DIFFICULTY

What me worryPMW 2021-036 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Evangelical laymen love to hear about the book of Revelation. Unfortunately, they tend to approach it as if it were a child’s toy. Many of contemporary dispensationalism’s best-sellers focus on Revelation. In a childish, shallow way.

We must recognize that even the trained, diligent scholar must approach Revelation with extreme caution, humbly recognizing that he is opening a book that has perplexed the finest minds and confounded the most godly saints throughout Christian history.

Gaius of Rome (d. 296) laments that “having formed an idea of it as a composition exceeding my capacity of understanding, I regard it as containing a kind of hidden and wonderful intelligence on the several subjects which come under it. For though I cannot comprehend it, I still suspect that there is some deeper sense underlying the words. And I do not measure and judge its expressions by the standard of my own reason, but, making more allowance for faith, I have simply regarded them as too lofty for my comprehension; and I do not forthwith reject what I do not understand, but I am only the more filled with wonder at it, in that I have not been able to discern its import” (Dion., Works 1:1:3). Continue reading

LITERALISM AND POSTMILLENNIALISM

LiteralPMW 2021-116 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

From time-to-time, I am try to answer questions that readers send in. Here is one that I have received in a few different forms. I thought PMW readers might appreciate this brief Question and Answer.

Reader question:

I have a question for you. I recently heard a postmill/amill debate. The amill gave a criticism against postmill that I am really stuck on. Maybe you can help.

He said that postmills apply the restoration Psalms and prophecies like dispensationalists do, in a literalistic, types and shadows fashion. For example, regarding Psalm 2:8 the amill said that postmills apply the terms “nations” and “earth” in a way that Jesus and the apostles never intended (political entities, etc.). From his perspective, the NT teaches that for Christ to make the nations and earth His footstool refers to the salvation of the Gentiles from every tribe tongue and nation, not Christ’s influence on political structures, etc. Continue reading

REVELATION AND DOUBLE FULFILLMENT

PMW 2021-108 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.Double image

I frequently have folks respond to my presentation of the preterist argument for Revelation in an unusual way. They see the strength of the preterist analysis of Revelation. They recognize that it is difficult to get around Revelation’s opening and closely comments regarding the temporal nearness of its prophecies. After all, Revelation 1:1 states rather clearly:

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place.

And Revelation 22:6 closes the book on the same note:

These words are faithful and true”; and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent His angel to show to His bond-servants the things which must soon take place.

Since these statements are so clear and compelling, some believers attempt an end-run around them. Continue reading

AMILLENNIAL PESSIMISM

FearfulPMW 2021-033 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Amillennialists often complain that postmillennialists wrongly categorize them as “pessimistic.” They generally reject this evaluation for two reasons: (1) It is negative sounding in itself. And (2) it overlooks the fact that they believe that ultimately Christ and his people win the victory at the end of history. Still other amillennialists deny this designation because they call themselves “optimistic amillennialists.”

What do postmillennialists mean by categorizing amillennialism as “pessimistic”? Is the charge legitimate. I believe it is.

Obviously all evangelical eschatological perspectives are ultimately optimistic — even dispensationalists who make a very nice living from books on cultural decline, despair, and doom. After all, Christ does lead his people to victory in saving them from their sins in history, resurrecting them from the dead at the end of history, and establishing them in righteousness in eternity. Continue reading

THE GRADUALISM PRINCIPLE

slow down 1PMW 2021-032 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

The principle of gradualism has long been the method of God and the experience of God’s people in Scripture. I will be showing below that if we are to properly understand Scripture’s eschatological victory, we must recognize this important redemptive-historical means of divine operation. In short, this principle expects the kingdom’s developmental unfolding and incremental expansion to grow slowly over time in the historical long run.

Contrary to postmillennialism, though, the dispensational and premillennial views operate on the basis of the principle of catastrophism. Continue reading