Current Projects under Development
As funds are available, GoodBirth Ministries is continuing to research, write, and publish additional theological and exegetical studies, both in book and DVD formats. Your donations will help us complete these projects.
Olivet in Context: A Commentary on Matthew 21-25
Dr. Gentry is currently working on an exegetical work titled: Olivet in Context: A Commentary on Matthew 21-25. This covers a discrete unit in Matthew’s well-structured Gospel. This is the narrative setting of the Olivet Discourse, Jesus’ climactic discourse of the five around which Matthew’s Gospel is constructed.
This literary unit is clearly marked off by Christ’s important movements (along with other editorial markers which I will present in my study): It opens with his coming (Gk.: erchomai, Matt. 21:1, 9) into Jerusalem (recorded for the only time in Matthew) to declare the judgment of the nation of Israel (Matt. 23:37–24:34). It closes with his coming (Gk.: erchomai, Matt. 25:31) to the world (in his Second Advent) to execute the judgment of all the nations (Matt. 25:31–46).
Thus, this distinct section in Matthew opens with prophecies about the conclusion of Israel’s special role in the history of the world (as the old covenant typological work ends). And it closes with the conclusion of world history itself (as the new covenant redemptive work is completed). All that is in between in Matthew 21–25 is designed to affirm his authority to do so — both over the nation of Israel and the nations of the world.
Consequently, as Matthew presents these crucial scenes: Jesus comes into Jerusalem in the presence of the Jewish crowds (Matt. 21:9) as the Messiah who will be rejected. Then at the end of this section, he comes to the world and gathers all nations before him, as the Lord who will judge all men, saving the elect and judging the non-elect. In this section, the transition from the AD 70 judgment of Israel to that which it pictures, the Second Advent at history’s end, occurs in Matt. 24:34–36.
This is a significant concern of Matthew since he is the only Gospel writing who provides Jesus’ Missionary Discourse, which limits the Disciples ministry to Israel. It is also significant in that Matt. 21–25 greatly emphasizes Jesus’ authority — and authority over Israel and the nations. This section is important to getting to Matthew’s conclusion: the Great Commission over all nations. Interestingly, Matthew intentionally ends his Gospel on an open note, with Christ on the earth giving his promise that he will be with his church “all the days” (literally). Unlike Luke, he does not mention his Ascension into heaven where he leaves the Disciples behind.
As one important feature of my commentary on Matthew 21–25, I will more fully draw out the transition occurring in Matthew 24:34–36 than in my The Olivet Discourse Made Easy. This is crucial for showing that Jesus is not simply a Jewish sage, interested only in the destiny of Israel and functioning as another John the Baptist, as it were. Rather, he is the universal Lord with all authority in heaven and on earth (Matt. 28:18–19), determining the destiny of all men while functioning as the Lord of lords and king of kings.
Eschatological DVD Sets
We are currently working on anther video project:
Olivet, Jerusalem, and the World: The Olivet Discourse in Matthew.
This five-lecture series on the Olivet Discourse will be recorded sometime in 2020 or 2021. The lectures have been developed, but the Covid crisis has prevented the public delivery of the lectures in a conference setting.
These lectures will demonstrate that the Olivet Discourse speaks of Christ’s judgment on Israel by means of his judgment-coming against her temple as the old covenant era is dramatically ended (Matt. 24:4–35). They will also show that AD 70 judgment anticipates the Final Judgment at the end of history, serving as a microcosm of that macrocosmic event, which appears in the latter portion of the Discourse (Matt. 24:36–25:46).
Provided we receive adequate funding, this set should be released sometime in 2021. Your donations will make these educational materials possible.
Nearly Completed Major Project
Introduction. In the Summer of 2017, Dr. Gentry completed the research and writing of his two-volume commentary on Revelation, The Divorce of Israel: A Redemptive-historical Interpretation of Revelation. This major project had been ongoing since 2005, when GoodBirth Ministries was first established. This commentary will be around 1800 pages in two volumes.
It is currently being completed by Tolle Lege Press. Unfortunately, due to a downsizing at the Press, this large project had been delayed for over a year. In May of 2020, however, TLP entered into a publishing relationship with American Vision. They have committed to jointly finish the proofing, layout, and printing of the commentary before the end of 2020. Please pray that this will be accomplished.
The massive amount of in-depth research necessary for this Revelation Commentary Project could not have been accomplished without God’s blessing. And God employed as a means to that end, the raising up a number of donors who provided financial contributions both large and small. May God richly bless all of you who have helped!
Given Dr. Gentry’s preterist understanding of Revelation, he not only dug deeply into Revelation’s text itself, but into much ancient literature. He has read widely in ancient history, using the works of Tacitus, Suetonius, Dio Cassius, the Ante-Nicene Fathers, Eusebius, and others. He also has engaged Hebrew literature, researching in the Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha, Sibylline Oracles, Philo, Josephus, Mishnah, Tosefta, Talmud, The Fathers According to Rabbi Nathan, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and more.
He has completed laborious spade-work in tracing out historical confirmations of his approach and to develop some helpful new insights into John’s forensic drama. This has resulted in many valuable new insights into John’s dramatic message.
This commentary provides a fully orthodox, evangelical, and conservative approach to a first-century fulfillment of Revelation. This redemptive-historical perspective is known as “preterism” (which is based on the Latin word meaning “passed by”). It takes note of and emphasizes the near-term indicators that recur throughout Revelation (e.g., Rev. 1:1, 3; 3:10; 6:11; 10:6; 12:12; 22:6, 10, 12, 22). It also affirms the inspired character of the prophecy, maintains a future visible, personal Second Advent of Christ, a physical general resurrection, and the end of temporal history, which results in the consummate new heavens and new earth. Thus, it avoids heretical excesses that are plaguing some preterist circles.
Distinctives. Dr. Gentry’s commentary highlights Revelation’s special relevance to John’s original audience (which is so often overlooked). As it does so, it emphasizes the long-term implications for the on-going Christian faith (which is generally thought to be lost in a preterist exposition). The evangelical preterist view balances Revelation’s near-term relevance for John’s original audience with the long-term significance for his continuing audience.
The Divorce of Israel traces the unified flow of Revelation that is rooted in John’s judgment theme as stated in Revelation 1:7. This theme verse warns that Christ will soon come (metaphorically-providentially, not literally-visibly) in judgment against “those who pierced him,” the first-century Jews (see: Lk 24:20; Acts 2:22–23; 3:13-15a; 5:28, 30; 7:52; 10:39; 1 Thess. 2:14–15). It also will give full significance to the unmistakably Jewish flavor of the prophecies, the Hebrew character of John’s unusual grammar, and his heavy use of the Old Testament passages and imagery.
The commentary establishes a direct and irrefutable relationship between Revelation and Christ’s Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24–25 and parallels). In that famous Discourse Christ prophesies the first-century (Matt. 23:36; 24:34) destruction of the Jewish temple (Matt. 23:37–24:2), which dramatically, forcefully, and permanently concludes the old covenant (Matt. 8:11-12; 21:40-43; John 4:20–23). (The Epistle to the Hebrews also speaks of the removal of the temple and the ending of the old covenant, Heb. 8:13; 9:8–11; 12:22–28; cp. Matt. 8:11-12; 12:40–45.)
As the temple economy winds down in the first century, Christ sends the messengers of the new covenant to take the gospel into the broader world to gather his church from all nations (Matt. 24:31; cp. Matt 28:18–20; John 3:17; 11:51–52; 12:31–32; Acts 1:8).
The commentary provides a remarkable co-ordination of Revelation with the wider New Testament expectation of Christ’s first-century judgment upon the Temple and Israel. This recurring New Testament concern appears, for instance, in Matthew 21:40–45; 22:1–7; Acts 2:36–40; 1 Thess. 2:15–16; and Hebrews 8:13, to name but a few passages. Though this message appears time and again in the New Testament, it is too often either overlooked or misinterpreted by the contemporary Christian.
In the commentary Dr. Gentry presents an unparalleled and fascinating interaction of Revelation’s text with Josephus’ writings. Josephus inadvertently provides historical evidence for the first-century fulfillment of John’s prophecies. The Greek text of Josephus will be engaged, showing how it presents the historical events which John symbolizes in his forensic drama.
It offers offer an in-depth, verse-by-verse exegetical analysis of Revelation. But it will transliterate the Greek characters into English.
It also provides an abundant use of side-bar studies designed to clear the confusion and allay the fears of modern evangelicals regarding preterism. These excursuses will amplify important elements of the text that would otherwise encumber the verse-by-verse exposition.
Completed Spin-off Revelation Projects
To demonstrate that your gifts have been bearing fruit, we would like to mention five spin-offs from this GoodBirth-funded Revelation research that are currently available. We have produced two books and four video lecture series. In addition, we will show other projects not connected to our Revelation research which were funded by your generous giving.
The Book of Revelation Made Easy. The first small project arising from the GoodBirth-funded research is The Book of Revelation Made Easy. This 140 page book was first published by American Vision in 2008 and was updated in 2011. It was written with a lay audience in mind and introduces several basic issues necessary for understanding Revelation. It has been well-received and is currently our biggest seller.
Navigating the Book of Revelation. The second work generated out of GoodBirth research funding is Navigating the Book of Revelation. This 195 page (small print!) book was published directly by GoodBirth Ministries. It was designed for serious students of Revelation who are interested in the preterist distinctives and implications of John’s great prophetic work. It covers several major questions debated by scholars and crucial for filling out what Dr. Gentry calls “redemptive-historical preterism.” In this work you will see how John put on the mantle of the Old Testament prophet to confront Israel in her rebellion. You will understand his anger with Israel, paralleling John the Baptist, Jeremiah, Isaiah, and Ezekiel.
Keys to the Book of Revelation. The third item that GoodBirth funding has encouraged is a video-taped DVD series titled Keys to the Book of Revelation. This four-lecture set provides the necessary keys for opening Revelation to a deeper and clearer understanding. Filmed at a Revelation seminar in Greenville, South Carolina, these lectures cover the basics necessary for understanding this challenging book. Covers Revelation’s setting and expectation of revelation, theme and focus, characters and flow, as well as the millennium and new creation material. A note-taking syllabus is provided with this lecture set.
Survey of the Book of Revelation. The fourth item encouraged by donations to the ministry is a series of video-taped lectures by Dr. Gentry titled A Survey of the Book of Revelation. This video set was designed for use in Sunday school, small group, and personal Bible studies. The lectures cover the whole of Revelation in twenty-four lectures of thirty-five minutes each and were produced by joint co-operation between Victorious Hope Publishing and Whitefield Media. A note-taking syllabus is provided with this lecture set.
The Climax of the Book of Revelation. The fifth project flowing from Revelation research funded by GoodBirth Ministries donations is the DVD lecture series titled: The Climax of the Book of Revelation. This set of video lectures on six DVDs provide important introductory material on Revelation as a whole, then focus primarily on the final four chapters of Revelation. These messages present even more detailed information on this section of Revelation than Dr. Gentry’s lectures on the whole book of Revelation (titled: Survey of the Book of Revelation). These lectures show that God’s enemies are defeated so that his people might receive the victory. Much of modern exposition of these chapters miss the main themes and ultimate point. This set of lectures was filmed at a Revelation conference in Oregon. A note-taking syllabus is provided with this lecture set.
Additional Completed Projects
Understanding the Creation Account. In late 2018, Dr. Gentry completed the research and presentation of an in-depth series titled Understanding the Creation Account. In this five-DVD series, powerful exegetical evidence for a literal Six-day Creation is presented. This is followed by an in-depth examination and refutation of the Framework Hypothesis, which is so popular in Reformed circles. This DVD set has been produced by GoodBirth Ministries. A note-taking syllabus is provided with this lecture set.
Have We Missed the Second Coming? Also produced in 2018 is a book titled Have We Missed the Second Coming? It’s sub-title is A Critique of the Hyper-preterist Error. The Hyper-preterist movement teaches that Jesus’ second coming occurred in the first century when the Jewish temple was destroyed in AD 70. And that the great resurrection and judgment occurred at the same time. It also teaches that the resurrection body is spiritual rather than physical. And that the present, temporal order will never end. This book provides many helpful insights into the Hyper-preterist errors. A note-taking syllabus is provided with this lecture set.
Your Hope in God’s World. This five-part series of lectures presents the theological and exegetical argument for the postmillennial hope in our fallen world. The last lecture in Your Hope in God’s World answers the major practical, theological, and exegetical objections to postmillennialism. An excellent series for both introducing and refreshing one’s understanding of postmillennialism. When used with the pdf syllabus, it becomes a helpful teaching tool for personal or group Bible study.
Political Issues Made Easy. The Made Easy Series provides substantial studies on significant issues in a succinct and accessible format from an evangelical and Reformed perspective. Political Issues Made Easy is a helpful manual for establishing a soundly biblical approach to socio-political issues. This highly readable (made easy!) book covers a number of important issues impacting politics in the modern world. It works from political presuppositions and biblical principles of government to specific practical political issues. Issues such as national defense, borders and immigration, economics, limited government, gay rights, and more. It even provides important insight into the pesky “lesser-of-two-evils” voting dilemma (confirming the Christian’s voting for the lesser-of-evils). This book is a reformulation of Gentry’s earlier book, Political Christianity.
The Truth About Series
The Truth About Series™ offers succinct, biblically-based, and carefully-structured studies specifically designed for either personal or small group Bible studies. Not only do the chapters breakdown the material in logical chunks, but at the end of each chapter we present two types of study questions:
• Review Questions that assist the reader in better comprehending the core issues dealt with in the chapter.
• Discussion Questions that promote further group reflection on the topic beyond that which is presented.
The Truth about Postmillennialism: A Study Guide for Individual or Group Bible Study. The Truth about Postmillennialism is a study guide for personal or small group Bible study. It explains the optimistic prophetic hope for this world to be accomplished before Christ’s Second Coming. It establishes the postmillennial system in both the Old and New Testaments. This study series touches on key eschatological issues, such as creation, covenant, interpretive methodology, the great tribulation, the Book of Revelation, the Jewish Temple, and more. It presents and answers the leading objections to postmillennialism. Its twelve chapters are ideal for one quarter of Sunday School lessons.
The Truth about Salvation: A Study Guide for Individual or Group Bible Study. The Truth about Salvation is a study guide for personal or small group Bible study. This book deals with the Christian doctrine of salvation from a Reformed theological perspective. It opens with a study of God as loving Creator, the shows how the first man fell into sin. Shows God’s righteousness requires that sin be dealt with. Presents Jesus as both God and man so that he can be man’s Savior. Includes review questions and questions for further study. Its twelve chapters are ideal for one quarter of Sunday School lessons, as well as for personal Bible study.
GoodBirth is also continuing to maintain the (newly re-titled!) blog site: “PostmillennialWorldview.” This site presents various articles on topics of interest for Christian worldview thinking, with a special significance for promoting the biblical worldview from a hope-filled, postmillennial perspective.
Continuing Funding Needed
The Lord has blessed us with faithful giving from interested Christians—and we are thankful for his blessing and their assistance. However, we still need additional funds to continue our research and production of important Christian educational materials.
You may give a tax-deductible gift on-line to support this research by clicking on the DONATE button on the top left of this screen. Or if you prefer, you may send a tax-deductible gift to our ministry by writing a check to “GoodBirth Ministries” and sending it to:
P.O. Box 285
Chesnee, SC 29323
Another way you can support our work is to use Amazon’s Amazon Smile program. You can support us by donating a portion of the cost of any purchase you make on Amazon.com (at no cost to you!)by designating your Amazon Smile donation to GoodBirth Ministries at http://smile.amazon.com/ch/86-1159389