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Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr. —  Leave a comment
wolf and lamb

When the average American Christian is presented the preterist approach to Revelation, he usually balks due to his dispensational conditioning. The idea that God would so severely judge Israel and set her aside is written off as contrary to the biblical prophecy and the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Such a response is unfortunate. Indeed, it is tragic in that it shows a serious lack of understanding of Christ’s on teaching in the gospel record. If we would read the Scriptures without dispensational blinders on, we would quickly recognize that the New Testament as a whole and Jesus in particular speak often about Israel’s setting aside in the first century. In fact, this can be easily demonstrated by simply surveying the Gospel of Matthew.

In Matthew’s Gospel we can easily see the enormous redemptive-historical significance of Israel’ judgment in AD 70. As we read through Matthew’s record we can see that not only did Christ himself teach it, but that Matthew’s Gospel itself strong emphasizes it. Matthew does so both overtly and subtly. Let us see how this is so by a quick overview of his Gospel.

Navigating the Book of Revelation (by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.)
Technical studies on key issues in Revelation, including the seven-sealed scroll, the cast out temple,
Jewish persecution of Christianity, the Babylonian Harlot, and more.
See more study materials at:

I will deal with this important issue in two articles.

Early Indicators of Israel’s Demise

In Matt1 the apostle Matthew traces the genealogy of Christ to Abraham, the father of the Jews. But in Matt 2:3 he shows that men from the east come to worship him, while “all Jerusalem was troubled” at the news. Thus, early on in his commentary Matthew is preparing us for the Lord’s rejection by the Jews and his acceptance by the gentiles. And because of this, Matthew will begin unfolding the judgment of Jerusalem and Israel as a recurring drumbeat.

In Matt 3:9-12 John the Baptist rebukes the Jews for claiming Abraham as their father (3:9; contra Matt 1 genealogy of Christ). He then warns just before Christ’s ministry begins that “the axe is already laid at the root of the trees” (3:10) and that “He who is coming” has a “winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire” (3:12). This anticipates AD 70.

Growing Evidence for His Turning from Israel

In Matt 8:10-12 we read of the faithful gentile who exercised more faith than anyone in Israel. We hear once again of people from the east. This time they sit with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (the rightful place of the Jews), while the Jews themselves are cast out in suffering. In Matt 9:16-17 Christ teaches that the constraints of Judaism are like old wineskins that would burst, rather God will provide new wineskins (the new covenant church) to contain the wine of the kingdom. In Matt 10:5 Jesus limits his ministry to Israel, but in Matt 10:16-17 he notes that the synagogues will punish his followers. But in 10:23 he promises that he will return to judge (AD 70) before they have finished going through all of Israel. In Matt 10:34-36 he warns that he has not come to bring peace on the earth (Land), but a sword which will divide homes (because of the Jewish opposition; cp. Jn 9 blind man).

In Matt 11:14 Christ declares John the Baptist the fulfillment of the prophecy of Elijah’s return. When we read of this in Mal 3-4 we discover he will come to judge in Israel. In Matt 11:20-24 cities in Israel are rebuked and warned of judgment, being compared unfavorable to wicked OT cities. In Matt 12:39 he speaks of the Jews of his day as an “evil and adulterous generation.” In Matt 12:41-42 he once again rebukes and warns cities in Israel of coming judgment.

In Matt 12:43-45 he speaks of the seven-fold demonization of Israel in “this generation.” In Matt 13:58 he performs no miracles in Nazareth due to their lack of faith. In Matt 15:7-14 he rebukes the rabbis in Israel for neglecting God’s word and teaching falsely, according to Isaianic prophecy. In Matt 16:4 he once again speaks of Israel as an evil and adulterous generation.

To be continued.

Israel and the New Covenant” (3 CDs by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.)
These messages provide a Reformed analysis of the role of Israel in the New Covenant.
They show that racial Israel will one day turn to Christ as the gospel spreads further |
in the world and that Israel is no longer a distinctly favored people.
See more study materials at:

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Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.


Ken is a Presbyterian pastor and the author or co-author of over thirty books, most on eschatology. He has been married since 1971, and has three children and several grandchildren. He is a graduate of Tennessee Temple University (B.A., 1973), Reformed Theological Seminary (M.Div., 1977), and Whitefield Theological Seminary (Th.M., 1986; Th.D., 1988). He currently pastors Living Hope Presbyterian Church (affiliated with the RPCGA) in Greer, SC. Much of his writing is in the field of eschatology, including his 600 page book, He Shall Have Dominion: A Postmillennial Eschatology and his 400 page, Before Jerusalem Fell: Dating the Book of Revelation (his Th.D. dissertation). He contributed chapters to two Zondervan CounterPoints books on eschatological issues: Three Views on the Millennium and Beyond (edited by Darrell L. Bock) and Four Views on the Book of Revelation (edited by C. Marvin Pate). He also debated Thomas D. Ice in Kregel's The Great Tribulation: Past or Future? His books have been published by American Vision, Baker, Zondervan, Kregel, P & R, Greenhaven Press, Nordskog, Wipf & Stock, and several other publishers. He has published scores of articles in such publications as Tabletalk, Westminster Theological Journal, Evangelical Theological Society Journal, Banner of Truth, Christianity Today, Antithesis, Contra Mundum, and others. He has spoken at over 100 conferences in America, the Caribbean, and Australia. He is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society and a Church Council Committee member of Coalition on Revival.

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