WHY WILL SATAN BE LOOSED?

Broken chainsPMW 2021-053 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

I continue to receive this question on a regular basis. So I thought it a good idea to re-visit it.

In Rev 20 John focuses briefly on ultimate eschatological events that look well beyond the short time frame of the book. This is anticipated in his referring to the thousand years (Rev 20:2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7), which by definition must extend beyond the “near” / “at hand” time frame. “Now, although the closing part of the Revelation relates beyond all doubt to a distant period, and some of it to a future eternity, yet the portion of the book which contains this is so small, and that part of the book which was speedily fulfilled is so large, that no reasonable difficulty can be made concerning” the book’s claim to focus on near-term events” (Moses Stuart, Apocalypse, 2:5).

But you may ask why Satan will be loosed. You will have to ask John, not me — for he does not say. Just as God surprisingly allows Satan to enter Eden and tempt Adam and Eve, so does he allow Satan’s re-release to tempt the nations live for a long time under Christ’s rule (cf. G. R. Beasley-Murray, Revelation, 291). Continue reading

THE TEMPLE IN REVELATION 11

Temple 2PMW 2021-052 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
Revelation is an important book in eschatological discussions. The most vigorous Revelation debate in ecclesiastical circles today revolves around the dispute between preterism and futurism. Preterism holds that Revelation was largely fulfilled not long after John wrote it. Futurism holds that it deals largely with events yet to come.

Because of this debate, the identity of the temple in Rev 11 arises as a serious matter. In Revelation 11:1, 2 we read:

And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.

Here we find a Temple standing in a city called “the holy city.” Continue reading

THE NT AND POSTMILLENNIALISM

New Testament postmillPMW 2021-051 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

As we enter the New Testament record Christ’s birth immediately confronts us. The birth of “the Son of David, the Son of Abraham” (Mt 1:1) gloriously echoes the Old Testament victory theme, showing that his first coming begins the fruition of the promises (Lk 1:46–55, 68–79). The fullness of time comes in the first century through Christ’s incarnation (Gal 4:4; Eph 1:10; Tit 1:2–3).

Christ’s covenanted kingdom comes near in his early ministry because the “time was fulfilled” for it to come (Mk 1:14–15; Mt 3:2). Thus, John Baptist is something of a marker separating the fading Old Testament era from the dawning kingdom era (Mt 11:11–14; Mk 1:14–15; Jn 3:26–30). Continue reading

HISTORICAL EVIDENCE FOR PRETERISM

PMW 2021-050 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

GOSPEL CONFUSION (2)

PMW 2021-049 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

This is the second in a two-part series on the proper presentation of the gospel. This is an important consideration for the truly biblical postmillennial hope. If the gospel is not understood, the method of presentation will be deficient, and the results of preaching will be skewed.

The Nature of Salvation

As A. W. Pink rightly stated: “Salvation is a supernatural work which produces supernatural effects.” [1] The dog returns to his vomit and the swine to the mud, but the believer stands in a new relationship to God (2 Peter 2:22; 2 Corinthians 5:17). Of the believer the Scriptures teach that he is chosen to be holy (Ephesians 1:4), obedient (1 Peter 1:2), and to bear fruit (John 15:16). He is ordained to do good works (Ephesians 2:10). He follows Christ (John 10:27). Christ died for him in order to redeem him from iniquity (Titus 2:14), to move him to live in righteousness (1 Peter 2:24), and to cause him to serve without fear in holiness and righteousness (Luke 1:74-75). He is predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29). This begins with the new birth and is ultimately and perfectly realized in heaven. He is described as a called, chosen, and faithful person (Revelation 17:14). Continue reading

GOSPEL CONFUSION (1)

PMW 2021-048 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Despite confused objections to postmillennialism by many, especially dispensationalists, the postmillennial hope is not rooted in politics. Rather it is rooted in the gospel, which we believe very deeply to be “the power of God unto salvation” (Rom. 1:16). A leading deficiency of the church in modern America is due to its commitment to method over message. And to make matters worse, it does not even understand the message properly. Before we can correct the method, we must understand the message.

The presentation of Christ in modern evangelism leaves much to be desired. Because of this Christian leaders are too often mired down with fruitless, professing Christians. And very often these merely professing Christians end up in leadership positions in the church. Were this not the case, Non-Lordship advocates would not have to respond to Lordship arguments with a pitiful “where is there room for carnal Christians.” [1] As MacArthur complains: “the cheap grace and easy faith of a distorted gospel are ruining the purity of the church. The softening of the New Testament message has brought with it a putrefying inclusivism that in effect sees almost any kind of positive response to Jesus as tantamount to saving faith.” [2] Continue reading

MATTHEW 23:39, DISPENSATIONALISM & PRETERISM

PMW 2021-047 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Matt. 23:39 is a favorite statement by Jesus that dispensationalism cling to as evidence of the future conversion of Israel. Read through their lens, it seems to state that Israel will one day be converted, and only then will the great tribulation begin (according to the order of verses following Matt 23:39). They hold that this would confirm dispensationalism and undermine preterism and postmillennialism.

Matthew 23:39 read:

“For I say to you, from now on you shall not see Me until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’”

Continue reading