We recently received the following excellent question from one of our regulars. See my response below the question.
—– Original Message —–
Sent: Thursday, July 08, 2010 1:35 PM
Subject: New Gentry article and a question
Thought you might find this interesting.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010 Zechariah 14 and Prophetic Symbolism…by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., Th.D., Director, NiceneCouncil.com.
I would also like to ask a question and hope you’ll have just a few minutes to respond.I read most of your articles and want to make sure I am under standing you correctly.
Do you equate “gathering” “re-gathering ” as the same as resurrection? Or are they two different events? In a discussion with a avid opponent of covenant Eschatology he is saying they are resurrected then gathered.
PaulT “The resurrection happens at the consummation when the dead in Christ get raised back to life. However good progress, nevertheless John I must point out gather means to assembly just like a hen “gathers” with her chicks and this is a key point you are missing. “
“Resurrect means to bring back to life a dead person, you do understand the difference. If you don’t understand the difference just think about what distinguishes Good Friday from Easter. And yes, John the “gathering” that is foretold in Matthew 24 is a different “gathering” than will occur with the saints who have been resurrected from the dead. Just like the “gathering” that goes on every Sunday when the saints “gather” to worship is a different event than either of the two aforementioned.”
Here is my response:
John, please forgive the delay. Our conference is this week, and I am just swamped!
Anyway, Gentry’s article simply illustrates his desperation, so far as I am concerned. He has seemingly decided to simply ridicule preterism, instead of engaging it in serious and honorable discussion. This is really sad. Gentry’s “reasons” for not debating preterism, and he has been challenged to debate me on numerous occassions, by many people– are some of the most desperate, illogical “reasons” that one will ever read.
By the way, I would agree with a great deal of Gentry’s response on Zechariah 14. Very good stuff!
In regard to the regathering and the resurrection.
What the gentleman clearly misses is that for instance in Ezekiel 37, the regathering is the resurrection! Take note of Romans 11:15, where Paul says that the salvation of the Gentiles, not biological resucitation, would be “life from the dead.” If that were true of the Gentiles, it is likewise true of Israel!
Also, even if one were to grant him the fine (But false) line of distinction that he tries to make, it does not negate the following:
The resurrection of the dead and the “gathering” are synchronous. Thus, since the Bible unequivocally posits the resurrection at AD 70 (Daniel 12), then the re-gathering, no matter how you define it, occured the.
By the way, I would point out that Gentry himself has now adopted the true preterist view of Daniel 12! In his earlier books, Gentry applied Daniel 12 to the “end of human history as we know it.” Now, however, since true preterist have continually noted that Daniel posits that resurrection at the time of the destruction of Old Covenant Israel– not the end of human history– Gentry has adopted the true preterist view. I am sure that he is hopeful that this strips the preterists of their strongest preterist argument for the resurrection, but he is wrong. As a matter of fact, in one of my speeches for the 2010 Preterist Pilgrim Weekend (July 15-17, 201), I will be presenting what is to me one of the most convincing arguments for the AD 70 resurrection that I have ever seen or heard. Very, very powerful stuff! That material will be available on MP3 in the near future.
Also, he is very clearly missing the point that Israel, alienated from God through sin, was dead– Hosea 13:1-2– and it was this death that was the focus of the resurrection in Hosea 13:14– the source of Paul’s resurrection hope!!
He claims that the gathering of Matthew 24:31 is different from the gathering of the resurrection. Not according to Isaiah! Isaiah 26:19 foretold the resurrection– when the martyrs blood would be avenged ((v. 20f) Now, we have Jesus’ unequivocal prediction in Matthew 23 that all of the blood, of all the martyrs, all the way back to creation would be avenged in his generation. How would it be possible to divorce Isaiah 26 from that prediction?
Also, in Isaiah 27:1f we have the prediction of the destruciton of Satan (Leviathan). in the day of Israel’s salvation. Note that in Romans 16:20, Paul said that the crushing of Satan was at hand (from en tachei, which never means rapidly as opposed to soon). Interestingly, Gentry says that Romans 16:20 hearkens back to the promise of Genesis 3:15. But, that means that Paul was saying that the eschatological and soteriological consummation was near! And of course, this agrees perfectly with Daniel 12!
The salvation promised in Isaiah 27 would be when the altar would be turned to chalk, and Israel– Old Covenant Israel– would be forsaken and forgotten. This is likewise the time when the dead would be gathered at the sounding of the great trumpet. And Jesus is citing Isaiah 27:13 in Matthew 24:31!! Thus, once again, the gathering / resurrection is undeniably posited for the first century and the time of the judgment / salvation of Israel.
Mr. PaulT is guilty of ignoring the OT background and context of the salvation of Israel.
Hope this helps a bit.
For His Truth, and In His Grace,
Don K. Preston