Category Archives: Old Testament

PSALM 2, LITERALISM, AND POSTMILLENNIALISM

VictoryPMT 2015-147 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

An important postmillennial text is Psalm 2. Psalm 2:8 states:

Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, / And the very ends of the earth as Your possession.

An Amillennial Objection

Amillennialists often object to postmillennialism’s use of this verse. They complain that postmillennialists apply the terms ‘nations’ and ‘earth’ in a way that Jesus and the apostles never intended: as political entities. The amillennialist argues that the NT teaches that Christ’s making the nations and the earth his footstool simply refers to the salvation of scattered Gentiles from every tribe tongue and nation, not Christ’s influence on political structures, etc. Continue reading

OT SUMMARY OF POSTMILLENNIALISM

Old Testament scrollsPMT 2015-140 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

We can adequately understand God’s sovereign plan for the world only when we approach it in light of its historical inception. In the Bible’s account of universal origins we discover the very purpose of history. God creates man in his own image (Ge 1:26) as a materio-spiritual being (Ge 2:7). Man’s God-ordained purpose is to bring honor and glory to God by exercising godly dominion in the earth (Ge 1:26–30). Protology leads to eschatology for eschatology is rooted in creation.

Because God possesses almighty power (Job 40:1–42:6); Isa 40:12 –28), and governs by inscrutable wisdom (Isa 55:8–9; Ro 11:32–35), the Christian actually should be predisposed to the historical victory postmil-lennialism expects. The postmillennial system best balances the material and spiritual aspects of Scripture and gives full significance to both the temporal and eternal features of God’s plan and man’s obligation to him. The Lord creates man and history for his glory; therefore, man and history will bring glory to him. “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created” (Rev 4:11). “For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen” (Ro 11:36). Continue reading

ZECHARIAH 14 IN POSTMILLENNIALISM (2)

Mount Olives split 2PMT 2015-139 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

EZEKIEL’S TEMPLE MEASURING

Measure rodPMT 2015-121 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

I appreciate the questions readers send to me. I regret that I am not able to answer them quickly, due to my schedule. However, here is one that is a favorite among dispensationalists. And it is an intriguing one.

Reader’s question:

You argue that John must be measuring an actual, historical temple in Rev 11:1-2. Yet Ezekiel measures a temple, even though it does not exist in history. This suggests that the temple does not need to exist for John to measure it. How do you explain this problem for your view?

My response:

Thanks for your perceptive question. Please consider the following response. Continue reading

JOHN’S USE OF EZEKIEL

EzekielPMT 2015-072 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Though John saw his visions, we do not. Consequently, he has to relate them to us through verbal communication. And John is so absorbed with the Old Testament Scriptures that he presents his visions in Old Testament language. John intentionally takes up the prophetic mantle, even mimicking the Old Testament grammar, as well as alluding to their writings.

H. Charles observes that “our author makes most use of the prophetical books.” Colin Hemer agrees: “the influence of the prophets on John’s mind is especially strong.” More precisely, H. B. Swete argues that John’s favorite OT books are in the following order: Daniel, Isaiah, Ezekiel, and the Psalms. I would qualify this by noting regarding the Psalms that John is especially interested in the prophetic and Messianic psalms. Charles Hill adds Zechariah to the list. G. K. Beale and D. A . Carson disagree with Swete’s ranking, pointing out that “Ezekiel exerts greater influence in Revelation than does Daniel.” Continue reading

CALVIN, ISAIAH 19, AND POSTMILLENNIALISM (4)

Priestly blessingPMT 2015-004 by John Calvin

In that day shall Israel. Isaiah concludes the promise which he had briefly glanced at, that the Egyptians and Assyrians, as well as Israel, shall be blessed (Isa 19:24).

Isaiah concludes the promise which he had briefly glanced at, that the Egyptians and Assyrians, as well as Israel, shall be blessed (Isa 19:24).

Formerly the grace of God was in some measure confined to Israel, because with that nation only had the Lord entered into covenant. The Lord had stretched out a cord over Jacob (Deut 32:9,) as Moses speaks; and David says, “He hath not done so to any nation, and hath not made known to them his judgments.” (Psa 147:20).

In a word, the blessing of God dwelt solely in Judea, but he says that it will be shared with the Egyptians and Assyrians, under whose name he includes also the rest of the nations. He does not mention them for the purpose of shewing respect, but because they were the constant enemies of God, and appeared to be more estranged from him and farther removed from the hope of favor than all others. Accordingly, though he had formerly adopted none but the children of Abraham, he now wished to be called, without distinction,” father of all nations.” (Gen 17:7; Exo 19:5; Deu 7:6). Continue reading

CALVIN, ISAIAH 19, AND POSTMILLENNIALISM (3)

bowingPMT 2015-003 by John Calvin

Isaiah 19:18ff is an encouraging prophecy that relates the postmillennial hope of the gospel conquering the world. It shows the gospel will even overwhelm the historic enemies of God. Calvin’s exposition of this passage is extremely helpful for encouraging the postmillennial outlook. I am continuing citing Calvin’s material, beginning now with Isa 19:21.

And the Lord shall be known by the Egyptians (Isa 19:21).

Isaiah now adds what was most important; for we cannot worship the Lord, or call upon him, till we have first acknowledged him to be our Father. “ How” says Paul, “ can they call on him whom they know not?” (Rom 10:14.) We cannot be partakers of the gifts of God for our salvation without previously having true knowledge, which is by faith. He therefore properly adds, the knowledge of God, as the foundation of all religion, or the key that opens to us the gate of the heavenly kingdom. Now, there cannot be knowledge without doctrine; and hence infer, that God disapproves of all kinds of false worship; for he cannot approve of anything that is not guided by knowledge, which springs from hearing true and pure doctrine. Whatever contrivance therefore men may make out of their own minds, they will never attain by it the true worship of God. We ought carefully to observe passages like this, in which the Spirit of God shews what is the true worship and calling of God, that, having abandoned the inventions to which men are too obstinately attached, we may allow ourselves to be taught by the pure word of God, and, relying on his authority, may freely and boldly condemn all that the world applauds and admires. Continue reading