Acts 010 – The Beginning of the Church Age (pt. 4)

Acts 010 – The Beginning of the Church Age (pt. 4)
Acts 2:24-33 • Dr. Andy Woods • February 8, 2023 • Acts


Acts 010

The Beginning of The Church Age (PT. 4)

Acts 2:24-33

February 8, 2023

Dr. Andy Woods

Well, good evening, everybody. Let’s take our Bibles, if we could, and open them to the Book of Acts chapter 2 in verse 24. We have completed chapter 2, which is the ascension of Jesus. And the disciples sort of tarrying in Jerusalem because that’s what the Lord told them to do until they were clothed with power from on high via the Holy Spirit. And then we got into Acts 2. We are working our way through Acts 2 where we have the coming of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles, verses 1 through 4. The Holy Spirit’s impact as God was testifying to this new move of the Spirit or the beginning of the church age through languages, and we’ve talked about that. In fact, the crowd is so interested in these languages that they make an accusation- some in the crowd do- verse 13, that these people are obviously drunk. So that verse is the basis for verses 14 through 36, which is Peter’s sermon. Peter gives an introduction verse 14, speaking to the men of Judea, primarily who had been there and seen or at least heard of the Ministry of Jesus. And then Peter gets to the heart of his sermon verses 15 through 35, where he is refuting the charge of drunkenness. So his first point, verse 15, is it’s too early in the morning to be drinking- excess anyway. His second point, verses 16 through 21, is where he says you should recognize what’s happening because the Holy Spirit predicted something similar for the days of the tribulation period and the millennial kingdom in the Book of Joel.

He handles that in verses 16 through 21. We talked our way through that last time. And he talks about how Jesus was a man of miracles, verse 22. And he’s sort of driving to the point that Jesus, who was a man of miracles, who was crucified, He resurrected from the dead and He ascended to the right hand of the Father in His Present Session where He is continuing His miracles. And so that’s where these languages are coming from. They’re coming from Jesus and His ministry at the Father’s right hand. So he’s mentioned Christ’s miracles, verse 22. He’s mentioned Christ’s crucifixion, verse 23. That’s the great verse where the crucifixion is blamed on first-century Israel. And yet it was God’s predetermined plan for the crucifixion to take place, verse 23. And so that’s where we left off last time. And so after Jesus was crucified, what happened to him? Well, he picks it up there in verse 24 where he says this same Jesus whom you crucified, first-century Israel, God raised Him from the dead. He resurrected. So not only did he resurrect, as Peter will show, but He ascended, as Peter will show, He’s at the right hand of the father now, as Peter will show. And that’s the source of these miracles.

So notice after the crucifixion, verse 23, he mentions Christ’s resurrection, verse 24, and he says, “But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.” So that’s the resurrection of Jesus, which is the one of the central doctrines of Christianity. If Jesus did not raise bodily from the grave, as Paul tells us in First Corinthians 15, then we should be pitied amongst all people because we’re really wasting our time here on a Wednesday night because there’s a lot of other better things to do. Because if He didn’t rise from the dead, then he wasn’t God. Paul in First Corinthians 15:14 says, “and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain, and your faith also is in vain.” In other words, you’ve trusted in someone that has no power to save you, because Jesus staked His whole credibility on His prediction that He would rise from the dead and then He pulled it off. And it’s at that point, verses 25 through 29, that Peter quotes another Old Testament text. And look at how he’s weaving these Old Testament passages together to convince his Jewish audience that these languages are not the result of drunkenness. He’s already used Joel two which we talked about last time. Now he’s using Psalm 16, which was written a thousand years before the sermon was preached.

And specifically he’s quoting Psalm 16:8-11 in verses 25 through 28. So notice what it says for David says of him, I saw the Lord always in my presence. For he is at my right hand so that I will not be shaken. Therefore, my heart was glad and my tongue exulted. Moreover, my flesh also will live in hope because you have not abandoned my soul to Hades. Nor allow your holy one to undergo decay. But you have made known to me the ways of life. You have made You will make me full of gladness with your presence. So that’s a citation from Psalm 16, verses eight through 11, which was written a thousand years before Jesus ever showed up. It’s one of David’s psalms. And what Peter is saying is the resurrection of Jesus was predicted in this psalm a thousand years before Jesus ever entered our world. And he gets to the point of using this psalm in verse 29. He says, “Brethren, I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.” So you’ll notice the expression, brethren. Usually when the Bible uses the word brethren, it’s talking about fellow believers. I don’t think that’s how he’s using the word brethren here, because the crowd he’s preaching to is not yet saved. The 3000 are not going to be saved until verse 41.

So when he uses the expression brethren, he’s talking about the fact that we are fellow Jews. Paul uses the word brethren in that way in the book of Romans 9:3. For he says, “For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh.” So the word brothers or brethren is sort of tricky. Sometimes it can be used of fellow born-again Christians, but here it’s being used of fellow Jews. And so what is Peter’s point then in quoting Psalm 16:8-11? Verse 29, “Brethren, I [may] confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.” And what Peter is getting at is when David wrote Psalm 16:8-11, David was not talking about himself. And the reason he was not talking about himself is it’s talking here in the Psalm about someone coming back from the dead. You know, “You will not abandon my soul to Hades, nor allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.” That can’t be talking about David because David died. And Peter’s point is, we could go visit David’s tomb right now. David’s tomb was well known. In fact, even today, if you look at the screen there, there is an actual picture of David’s tomb.

Today you can go visit it if you were to travel over to the land of Israel right now. And we actually- my wife and myself, I think back in 1998, late 1998, had the opportunity to go and actually visit David’s tomb. So David is as dead as a doornail, in other words. That’s the point. So since David is as dead as a doornail, Psalm 16, which speaks of someone coming back from the grave- David can’t be referring to himself. So when David wrote these words, he wasn’t just talking about himself. The Holy Spirit guided him so that it actually became a prophecy about David’s greater son, genealogically Jesus Christ. Now, what’s interesting is even the rabbis themselves, historically, many of them, anyway, have treated Psalm 16 as a messianic psalm. That’s how I’m looking at Psalm 16. It’s a messianic Psalm. It’s a Psalm about the resurrection of Jesus written a thousand years in advance. Arnold Fruchtenbaum of this particular psalm says, “Either way, this type of quotation would be considered as ‘literal prophecy plus literal fulfillment,’ because in the context of Psalm 16, the psalmist was clearly speaking of the resurrection of the Messiah. Even some rabbis understood this passage to be Messianic. For example, in the Midrash-” you probably haven’t been doing your devotional time lately in the Midrash. But there’s midrash, Jewish tradition, and there’s a part of it called Tehilim. And Arnold Fruchtenbaum says that part of the midrash on this verse says, quote, “My glory rejoices over King Messiah, who shall rise up out of me (i.e., from David).”

So even the Jewish tradition itself treated in many respects Psalm 16 as not just a psalm about David, but a Psalm about a coming Messiah. And so Peter is standing in front of this Jewish audience saying Jesus fulfilled that very psalm, as He was not only crucified by unbelieving Israel, verse 23, but He rose from the dead, verse 24. So he has sort of weaved in Joel 2 in his sermon. He’s weaved in Psalm 16 in his sermon. Joel 2 was there to show that this activity, these languages, is in fact the work of the Holy Spirit, not drunkenness. And he’s showing that Jesus rose from the dead according to Messianic prophecy, not the least of which is Psalm 16:8-11. Now, here’s where it gets controversial. Because there’s all kinds of people today running around telling everybody that Jesus right now is on David’s throne in heaven. And He’s orchestrating a spiritual form of the kingdom right now on David’s throne. Uh, post-millennialists and amillennialists, these are people that deny a literal thousand-year millennium on planet Earth. They all believe that Jesus right now is orchestrating the millennium from David’s throne in heaven, just being done in a spiritual form. This is called Kingdom Now theology. Replacement theology. Because if we’re in the kingdom now, who cares about the future kingdom through Israel? And they’re all running to Psalm 132:11, for support.

One of the great controversies that happened at Dallas Seminary a few decades back is a group of people, younger scholars, arose, and they started to promote this idea of progressive dispensationalism. And they began to promote the idea of Already Not Yet. And what they mean by that is, yeah, there’s going to be a kingdom someday on the earth- not yet. But we’re already in the kingdom. It’s sort of a precursor in spiritual form to the coming earthly kingdom. So they divide the kingdom into two phases. The already phase and the not yet phase. The already phased they think we’re in now. They don’t really use the expression church age and things like that. They talk a lot about the already form of the kingdom. But they haven’t really gone over the rails with Amillennialists and Post millennialists by saying all the kingdom promises are being fulfilled today. They have a kingdom for the future. So they’re not hard-core replacement theologians. They’re basically in between traditional dispensationalists, which is where Sugar Land Bible Church is and between, let’s say, the denominational churches- many of which are replacement theology and believe we’re completely in the kingdom. So they’ve kind of staked out a middle ground position between traditional dispensationalism and total Kingdom now theology called Already Not Yet- Progressive Dispensationalism. A lot of us feel that their view is errant, as I’ll explain- Progressive dispensationalism.

It’s wrong. And that’s why so many of us have sort of broken ties with Dallas Seminary. Although there are many- there are some at Dallas Seminary that are not progressive dispensationalists, but progressive Dispensationalism is the dominant view there. And that’s why so many of us have broken ties with that particular institution and all of the other schools that Dallas Seminary has affected and started independent schools like Chafer Theological Seminary. We do not believe in Already Not Yet. When it comes to the kingdom we believe in Not Yet, period. And what is happening now is not to be confused with the Davidic kingdom at all. Jesus is not reigning on David’s throne today at all. David’s throne is on the earth. Jesus is at the Father’s right hand and He is not functioning as king currently, but He is functioning as high priest after the order of Melchizedek in His Present Session. And I did write a book on this topic and related topics called The Coming Kingdom, where I went into all the different arguments. And the final third of the book was Who cares? Why does it matter? Well, the reason it matters is if you believe that the church is the Davidic kingdom in any sense, it changes the whole purpose and calling of the church.

The church is no longer a peculiar people in the world, but is rather at home in the world and is here too, Yeah, we can preach the gospel some, but we’re really here to change the institutions of society. So this is why when you go to so many Kingdom Now churches, you’ll hear so much about politics, social justice, the environment, universal health care, critical race theory, structural or institutional racism in the United States. All of these kinds of subjects. And you’ll sit and listen to a lot of this stuff and you’ll say, Wow, where’s the gospel? Where’s the great commission? Where’s the missionary work? Where’s evangelism? And it relates to this idea that the church somehow is the kingdom of God, either in a complete sense or sort of in an already sense. And so Kingdom Now theologians all believe that Acts 2 supports their view, even though the word kingdom basileia in Greek doesn’t show up a single time in Acts 2. Isn’t that a little odd? I mean, if you’re going to tell me that Acts 2 says we’re already in the kingdom, I should see the word in here somewhere, shouldn’t I? Luke is really good at using it in his prequel, The Gospel of Luke, but he doesn’t use it here as well. And I’ll try to show you how Progressive Dispensationalists believe that their case is built here in Acts 2. And it starts there with verse 30, where now Peter quotes his third scripture, Psalm 132:11, and it says this,

“And so, because he was a prophet and knew that GOD HAD SWORN TO HIM AN OATH TO SEAT one OF HIS DESCENDANTS ON HIS THRONE,” First of all, why is Peter quoting Psalm 132:11? Well, he’s quoted Psalm 16, he’s quoted Joel 2. Why is he quoting Psalm 132:11? I believe he’s doing that to show Israel exactly who they rejected nationally in the first century, exactly who they turned over to Rome for execution in the first century. They rejected the Davidic descendant, Jesus Christ. Acts 2:30, “And so, because he was a prophet and knew that GOD HAD SWORN TO HIM WITH AN OATH TO SEAT one OF HIS DESCENDANTS ON HIS THRONE,” Now, if you’ve been with us in the Book of Genesis, you know that God in Genesis 15 entered into the Abrahamic Covenant with the Nation of Israel, promising them land, seed, and blessing. The land will be developed further in the land covenant, Deuteronomy 29 and 30. The blessing will be developed further in the New Covenant, Jeremiah 31:31-34. But the seed, the descendants of Abraham are developed in what’s called the Davidic Covenant, Second Samuel 7:12-16. In other words, from the seed, the descendants of Abraham through David is coming a particular seed- Jesus Christ- whose destiny will be to reign over planet Earth from David’s throne. And that’s really developed in what’s called the Davidic Covenant, Second Samuel 7:12-16.

And this is what God said to David a thousand years before the time of Christ. “When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom-” for how long?- “forever. I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me;” It goes on and it says, “Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.’ In accordance with all these words and all this vision, so Nathan [the prophet] spoke to David.” So this is why when you read Matthew’s gospel, which is designed to show that Jesus is the guy, the king. Yet the kingdom that He wanted to bring has been, not canceled- but what?- postponed. Matthew weaves together this whole argument beginning with a huge genealogy. The genealogy is in Matthew 1:1-18. And it traces Jesus back to the Babylonian captivity, His lineage. From the Babylonian captivity, back to David. From David back to Abraham. And what Matthew is basically saying is that Jesus Christ is that Davidic descendant that’s spoken of in second Samuel 7:12-16. He’s the one that will bring in the eternal forever throne. And so when the Apostle Peter quotes Psalm 132:11 in verse 30.

“And so, because he was a prophet and knew that GOD HAD SWORN TO HIM WITH AN OATH TO SEAT one OF HIS DESCENDANTS ON HIS THRONE,” what he’s saying is Jesus is the Davidic descendant. That’s who you all rejected. You rejected the one that came through David’s line and would have set up an eternal kingdom right there on the earth had the nation received Him. And that’s why he mentions David’s throne here. Jesus is the rightful heir to David’s throne. He is not saying that He- Jesus is now on David’s throne. You see the difference? He’s the heir to it, which is completely different than saying He’s now seated on it. All of these Kingdom Now theologians, post-millennialists, amillennialists, progressive dispensationalists, whatever they’re calling themselves, they’re all seeking to argue that Jesus is now on David’s throne. And they think verse 30 communicates that. And that’s not what Peter is saying at all. Peter is saying he’s not on David’s throne now. He’s saying he would have sat on David’s throne had the nation embraced him. It’s very similar to what John the Baptist says of Jesus in John 1:29. “The next day he-” that’s John the Baptist- “saw Jesus coming to him and said, ‘Behold the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!'” Now, when John the Baptist said that Jesus had not yet died on the cross.

He had not yet taken away the sin of the world. That factually hadn’t even transpired yet. In fact, that wouldn’t transpire for another three-plus years. But John the Baptist identifies Jesus based on His destiny. He’s the guy that will take away the sin of the world, albeit through His sacrificial death, which hadn’t even happened yet. That’s how Psalm 1:32 is being used here. Peter is not saying he’s on David’s throne now, but His role is to reign on David’s throne one day. Just like John the Baptist could say, Jesus is the lamb that takes away the sins of the world or sin of the world before He had even died on the cross. And so this is very important to understand in this discussion between traditional dispensationalists like ourselves and groups that are outside our doctrinal understanding. He continues on in verse 31. And he says, “he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of Christ, that HE WAS NEITHER ABANDONED TO HADES, NOR DID His flesh SUFFER DECAY.” So he is repeating what’s in verse 27, which is Psalm 16:10. So he’s kind of dialing back to Psalm 16 again, repeating what he said a little earlier, showing that Jesus is the fulfillment of Psalm 16. So Jesus is the fulfillment of Psalm 16 and He’s the fulfillment of Psalm 132, and He’s not a fulfillment of Psalm 132 in the sense that he is now reigning on David’s throne.

He is a fulfillment of Psalm 132 in the sense that His destiny as the Davidic descendant, as the inheritor of the Davidic Covenant, He will one day sit on David’s throne. So where did Jesus go after He resurrected? Verse 31. Well, according to verse 32. Actually, verse 33, He entered into His Present Session. But before He entered into His Present Session, He rose from the dead. And that’s in verse 32. “This Jesus God raised up again, so that we are all witnesses.” So Jesus rose from the dead and he’s sort of repeating what he said earlier about the resurrection of Jesus going back to verse 24. Why does Peter keep talking about the resurrection? Because if there is no bodily resurrection, then Jesus made a false prophecy about himself and he was never the Messiah. See, it’s one thing to say, Hey, I’m going to die and rise from the dead. I mean, any lunatic can say that. It’s a totally different matter to actually pull it off in harmony with prophecies that are written about you- in the case of Psalm 16, a thousand years in advance. That’s why Christianity hinges on the historicity of the empty tomb. If there is no empty tomb, then there is no Christianity. And we are most to be pitied among men because we’re wasting our time on a Wednesday night studying a Bible that really isn’t true anyway.

And all the people that have sacrificed their lives for the cause of Christ over the last 2000 years, they wasted their time also. Again, First Corinthians 15:14. “and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain, your faith also is [in] vain.” From there, he begins to get into the subject now, verse 33, of Christ’s high priestly ministry. So Jesus is a miracle worker. He was crucified. He rose from the dead. And then he ascended, Acts chapter 1. And after He ascended, what is He doing? He must be just sitting on His hands kind of bored, right? No. He’s entered into His Present Session. A high priestly session at the right hand of the Father after the order of Melchizedek. So notice, if you will, verse 33. “Therefore having been exalted-” to David’s throne. Oops. Doesn’t say that. “Therefore, having been exalted to the right hand of God.” Where’s Jesus right now? He’s at the right hand of God. He is not on David’s throne. And you automatically know that if He went to heaven, He couldn’t be on David’s throne because David’s throne is in Jerusalem on planet Earth. Jesus right now is not on planet Earth. He is in heaven at the Father’s right hand. And verse after verse after verse after verse says this. This is what Jesus prayed in the upper room in what really is the Lord’s Prayer. The other prayer in Matthew 6 is more of a prayer for the disciples.

This is really the Lord’s Prayer, what He Himself prayed. And He’s praying for Himself just prior to His death in chapter 17 verse H. And he says, “Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with you before the world was.” In other words, Lord, I want to be- when all of this is over with- My death, burial, resurrection and ascension- what I want is to be reunited with You in a position of glory, which is a position I had with You for eternity prior to the incarnation. And so when He ascended, that’s where He that’s what He went back to do. He went back to assume that position of glory, not on David’s throne, but at the Father’s right hand. The Book of Revelation 12:5 says of Israel, “she gave birth to a son-” that’s Jesus- “a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron-” Notice He’s not ruling all of the nations with a rod of iron now, but that’s His destiny. “and her child-” that is Jesus- “was caught up,” I think that’s the same word harpazó in Greek, if I remember right, which is the same word for rapture. Because we are going to be caught up one day. Jesus has already been caught up. When was He caught up? He was caught up in Acts 1.

The Ascension. “Her child was caught up to-” David’s throne. Oops. Doesn’t say that. “Her child was caught up to God and-” what?- “His throne.” Revelation 3:21. This is what Jesus spoke, I believe, to the church at Laodicea. And as I read this, tell me how many thrones you see. “He who overcomes,” Jesus speaking, “I will grant-” future tense, didómi in Greek. “I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as also I overcame and sat down-” aorist tense, past in other words- “and sat down with My Father on His throne.” Now, this is A.D. 95. That would be a good sixty five years after the ascension. It tells you exactly where Jesus is. He’s on, not throne A, but throne b. See the difference? How many thrones do you see there? There’s two. There’s a throne, future tense. His throne on the earth. David’s throne in Jerusalem. He’s not occupying that throne right now. So where is He? He is now seated on a throne, a different throne, not His throne, but the Father’s throne in heaven. Now I think even a child could look at this and understand this. It would take a theologian to muddy the waters. Because it’s very clear that there’s two thrones here. One is on the earth, one’s in heaven. One is His throne, one is the Father’s throne. The throne on the earth is yet future.

He hasn’t occupied it yet. The throne in heaven is the one He’s seated on. And so what we have in the Ministry of Jesus Christ is prophet, priest and king. Prophet, first coming. Because He functioned largely as a prophet calling wayward Israel back to the covenant, which is what all the prophets of the Old Testament did. Jesus was in that role when He said to Israel, Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. They could have had the kingdom. He was offering them the kingdom. He was functioning as prophet in that sense. That’s office number one. Office number two is His office as priest, which He is occupying and conducting now. But then there’ll be a third office; the office of King. His regal authority. And He’ll occupy that when He comes back to the Earth. Prophet. Priest. King. Prophet, first coming. Priest, currently. King, Second Coming. And just because He’s coming back one day as king doesn’t mean He’s functioning as king now. He is not functioning as king now. He’s functioning as high priest after the order of Melchizedek. In other words, the role that Jesus is playing now is not called the Davidic reign of Christ. That’s the major distinction here between a church like Sugar Land Bible Church and any other denominational church. They basically will tell you that what Jesus is doing now is He’s reigning as king. And we do not believe that.

We believe he’s functioning as High Priest. Gee Pastor, do you have a good book on the subject we could read about this high priest stuff? Yeah, let me recommend one. The Book of Hebrews. That’s what the whole book is about. Great book. And if you’re a woman married to a man and you want him to make coffee in the morning, say the Bible says He-brews, not She-brews. So it’s a double-edged sword, right? I have to throw stuff in like that or you guys will fall asleep on me. So the whole book of Hebrews is about what Jesus is doing now as High Priest. Well, I want to know what He’s going to be like one day when He’s reigning as king. Oh, I’ve got some good books for you to study that. There’s Zechariah, Isaiah, Ezekiel. They’re filled with predictions of what He’s going to do as king. Well, I like a good book to read about what He was like when He was prophet. Hey, I’ve got four great books for you. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. That will tell you what He did as prophet. Hebrews will tell you what He’s doing now as priest. These Old Testament prophets will tell you what He’s doing yet future as king. So the ministry that Jesus has right now is not the Davidic reign. It is what’s called the Present Session of Christ. Now notice what Lewis Sperry Chafer wrote about the Present Session of Christ.

He says, “The present Ministry of Christ in heaven, known as His session, is far reaching both in consequence and import.” This is 1947 he said this, by the way. “It too, has not been even treated with a passing consideration by Covenant theologians,” Why don’t they talk about it? Because they don’t believe He’s doing a present session. They believe He’s reigning as king. “doubtless due to their inability- because of being confronted with their one covenant theory- to introduce features and ministries which indicate a new divine purpose in the Church and by so much tend to disrupt the unity of a supposed immutable purpose and covenant of God’s.” In other words, they want to look at the Bible through a lens of Let’s Jam It All Together. The ram jam and cram method of interpretation. So we don’t like these distinctions. Kingdom versus church. We don’t like that. We don’t like law versus grace. We don’t like that. And we don’t like the distinction between priest and king. We don’t like that either. So let’s jam it all together. And so these distinctions, which are obvious in the Bible, once they’re pointed out to you, they’ll never talk about. “Since-” picking up with the quote- “as will be seen, certain vital ministries of Christ in heaven provide completely for the believers security, the Present Session of Christ has been eschewed by Armenians in a manner equally unpardonable.”

“This neglect accounts very well for the emphasis of their pulpit ministrations. The Christian public,” Now, this is 1947. And it’s only gotten worse since then. “The Christian public, because deprived of the knowledge of Christ’s present ministry, are unaware. Of its vast realities, though they are able from childhood itself to relate the mere. Historical facts and activities of Christ during his three and one-half years of service on earth. That Christ is doing anything now is not recognized by Christians generally and for this part-truth kind of preaching is wholly responsible. It yet remains true, whether neglected by one or the other kind of theologian, that Christ is now engaged in ministry which determines the service and destiny of all those who have put their trust in [Christ].” Close quote. In other words, Christians know a ton about what He did in His first coming. I mean, you learn that very early as a Christian from your Sunday school teacher. And because of an interest in eschatology, they know a ton about what He’s going to do when He comes back. You know, they know about the beast and the mark of the beast and. The harlot named Babylon and the Millennial kingdom. And they know all of these things about the future and they know all these things about what He did. And here’s what they don’t know what Lewis Sperry Chafer said in 1947. They hardly know anything about what he’s doing currently.

Because I haven’t had a lot of teaching on the Present Session of Christ. That’s what he’s saying. And different theological systems because of their biases- one group telling you you can lose your salvation all the time. So you’re threatened with hell. So you don’t really get any real teaching on the things that Pastor Jim was talking about during prayer time, about restoration of broken fellowship. You don’t get any real teaching on that, but that’s something that Christ does in His Present Session. So, you know, I taught at the Bible College here locally for seven years. And when I got to this subject for seven years and I taught the same class. My goodness, what was it, three or four semesters? Maybe it was three, maybe it was four. It’s been a little while. I can’t remember. But I taught it over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again for seven years. By the way, seven years is the same length as the Great Tribulation. And I asked this question in every class when I taught my class on this. I said, Can you name the last time in church you heard a sermon on the Present Session of Christ? And for seven years nobody raised their hand. Because people aren’t taught it. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s theological bias, but they just have almost no understanding of it.

And yet that’s the ministry that Jesus is doing right now that directly affects your life. Your gifting. Your service. Restoration of broken fellowship when it’s needed. The indwelling Ministry of the Holy Spirit. Internal conviction for sin. I mean, what is all of that related to? It has nothing to do with the Davidic reign- that will come. What it’s dealing with is the Present Session of Christ. And so what people do who have embraced this idea that Jesus is reigning on David’s throne- Progressive Dispensationalists, for example- is they say, well, if you don’t believe Jesus is reigning on David’s throne right now, what you believe is He’s sitting on His hands and He’s doing nothing. So here’s Dave Anderson, a progressive dispensationalist. I think he’s local here in Houston. He has a school. He’s a free grace guy, but he’s also a Jesus is reigning on David’s throne guy. And this is his doctoral dissertation in 2001. The King Priest of Psalm 110. See what he’s saying about Psalm 110 is Jesus is not just priest, but He’s king. Progressive Dispensationalism. He’s not destined to be king. He’s reigning as king. Already Not Yet. And if you don’t believe He’s reigning as king, then you believe He’s doing nothing. So here’s what he says.

He says, “But clearly Jesus did not set up a natural theocratic kingdom with himself as the king ruling from Jerusalem on Earth before his resurrection. So, what happened to the kingdom He promised? It was postponed, many New Testament interpreters suggest…” Like me, I suggest that. “But if the premillennial view just espoused is true, that leaves the question concerning the present ministry of Christ. What is He doing right now?” Boy, if he’s not reigning on David’s throne right now, you must believe He’s up there doing nothing. David Anderson goes on and he says, “But classical or revised dispensationalists-” like ourselves- “should also recognize the already eschatology of Hebrews.” See the Already Not Yet sneaking in here? “Christ is not passive on the throne.” Well, whoever said He was? I never said He was passive. But David Anderson says if you’re not willing to accept that Jesus is reigning with regal Davidic authority as king right now, you must believe He’s passive and doing nothing. “He is reigning.” Okay, Then why did my friend Angela Lavespere just die of cancer if He’s doing such a good job reigning? It doesn’t make any sense to me. “He is reigning. He has subjects. And because He is the forerunner, there are many present blessings which belong to the eschatological age which can be enjoyed now because the Davidic Covenant was some of its blessings has been inaugurated.” Well, if you don’t accept this view, you must believe He’s passive. And once you become a progressive dispensationalist, then you’ll really enter into the light and you’ll understand that Jesus is active.

Well, how about this, Dave, For an option. How about He’s not reigning on David’s throne now? But He’s active in ways that you’re not considering. Maybe He’s active as priest, not as king. And so I think what these progressive dispensationalists have done is they’ve created a logical fallacy called the straw man fallacy. And you watch people in politics, they do it to each other all the time. You completely misrepresent what your opponent says. If you vote for so-and-so, they’re going to take your Social Security away. And the poor guy saying, I never said that. Well, it doesn’t matter what you said. I’ve got more advertising money and a budget than you do. I’ll just tell everybody you say it, said it, and then I’ll spend the whole political campaign tearing down something that you never said. So that’s called straw man fallacy. When you mischaracterize what your opponent is saying and you interact with your mischaracterization and not what your opponent actually believes. That’s what these progressive dispensationalists have done to us by saying, Well, if you don’t believe Jesus is reigning on David’s throne now, you must believe He’s doing nothing. Quite the contrary. Here’s a list of at least 12 things, and I ran out of room, so I had to stop. Here’s things Jesus is doing right now as priest. It’s obvious He’s not passive. And you don’t have to believe He’s reigning on David’s throne to believe He’s active.

He’s doing a ton of stuff. Like what? He’s sustaining creation. Colossians 1:16-17. The solar system, the planets revolving around the sun. I mean, who’s the one that’s keeping them from crashing into each other? Jesus is doing that right now at the Father’s right hand. He’s the head over the church. Ephesians 1:22-23. He’s the groom of the church. Ephesians 5:22-23. These are all things He’s doing now at the Father’s right hand, which have nothing to do with the Davidic reign. He’s building the church. I will build My kingdom. Whoops. Doesn’t say that. I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. In fact, you’re going to see evidence of that right here in Acts 2, where 3000 people are going to be saved. I mean- I mean, are you telling me He’s doing nothing just because He’s not on David’s throne? He’s bestowing upon the church spiritual gifts Ephesians 4:7-12, which are spirit-empowered abilities to serve God in a special way. He is functioning in his Melchizedekian high priestly role. Hebrews 6:20. He’s keeping the Saints. John 10. First Peter 1:5. I mean, who is preventing my sinful soul from slipping into hell as I speak? Which is where it deserves to be. But who’s keeping me through the promises of eternal security? Who’s keeping me in His hand and the Father’s hand? Jesus is doing that.

By the way, did you know that Jesus right now is praying for you? Aren’t you glad about that? I mean, we take so much comfort in fellow Christians praying for us when we go through a trial. Someone says, Yeah, I’m praying for you in the midst of that, and we’re so relieved, which is wonderful for fellow Christians to pray for each other. But we forget that Jesus is praying for us around the clock. Romans 8:34. Hebrews 7:25. He is your advocate. First John 2:1. He’s like a defense attorney. He’s even better than Johnnie Cochran. He’s an advocate for the Saints. He restores Broken fellowship, which is why we pray before we begin Bible study to do private business with the Lord so that fellowship can be restored so that we can receive fully from God. He disciplines His children. Hebrews 12:5-13. Whom the Lord loves the Lord chastens. Now, do you think an Arminian will want to talk about that? That God disciplines His children in His high priestly ministry? No, because the Arminian wants to say over and over again that if you sin, you’re going to lose your salvation. So they, as Lewis Sperry Chafer said, kind of have a tendency to skip over this Present Session of Christ. He indwells His people. John 14:23. So when David Anderson and these other progressive dispensationalists make this accusation that, oh, if you don’t believe He’s reigning on David’s throne now you believe He’s doing nothing, That is such a misrepresentation of the Bible.

It’s a misrepresentation of what we believe. It’s a misrepresentation or misrepresentation of what God says. The Present Session of Christ, although not His Davidic reign, is a very active session. And Christian, you better learn about it because it’s the part of His ministry that affects you right now as we’re talking. I mean, I love to talk about the cross, but He did that already. I love to talk about the millennial reign of Christ, but He’s going to do that. I need to know in the nasty now and now what He’s doing for me right here and now. That’s the area of theology that most Christians have no understanding of. And yet it’s bold, it’s vital. It’s right there in your Bible. It’s called the Present Session of Jesus Christ. Live it, know it, learn it. Can I get an amen on that? Or know it, Learn it, live it, live it, whatever the order is. Boy, I didn’t know I was going to do any preaching tonight. So what is the first order of business that Jesus engaged in when He ascended to the Father’s right hand and entered into this High Priestly Ministry in His Present Session? The first thing He did is he dropped the Holy Spirit onto the church. That’s the source of the languages, not drunkenness.

That’s Peter’s point in rehearsing all of this information. “Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear.” You mean Jesus made good on His promises? Yep. Because that’s what He said He would do. John 14:16-18, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” Well, when did Jesus make good on that promise? First act He engaged in in His Present Session. John 16:5-7, “But now I’m going to Him who sent Me; and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.'” Well, when did He make good on that promise? Present Session. First thing He did. Luke 11:9-13 basically tells us to seek, ask, knock.

If your son asks for a fish, you’re not going to give him a snake, are you? If you then even though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children how much more will your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him? When did He keep that promise? First promise He fulfilled once He entered His session. I think we sort of believe that people just don’t keep their word and a lot of times they don’t. Politicians say, vote for me and I’ll do this or that. I mean, we just don’t expect them to come through in their promises. Jesus made these promises about the Spirit and immediately kept them when He entered His present session. Luke (prequel to Acts) 24:49. “behold, I am sending forth the promise of My father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” Acts 1:4-5, “Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, ‘Which,’ He said, ‘you heard from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.'” When did Jesus keep that promise? That’s the first thing He did in His present session. That’s why when you look at verse 33 it says, “and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear.”

And to come to the biblical text and say, no, what this really means is He fulfilled the Davidic reign. That’s the promise He kept. He fulfilled the Davidic reign. He started the Davidic reign. That’s not what He promised at all. The Davidic reign will start when Israel converts at the end of the tribulation period. But the promise He said He would keep, once He ascended to the Father’s right hand was the giving of the Holy Spirit. And so Progressive Dispensationalists have missed the point of the whole passage. They’ve not connected the dots between the promise that’s spoken of here in fulfillment and what is promised in the prequel, early Luke. Zane Hodges, critiquing progressive dispensationalists, points that out. He says, “The point of [Peter] quoting Psalm 110 is simply this: the seated Christ is the source of the Spirit’s outpouring. By his intercession He has secured what [God] the Father has promised.” Zane Hodges says Bock- I haven’t introduced his name to you yet, but he is like Dave Anderson, one of the progenitors of progressive Dispensationalism. Zane Hodges, a long time Greek teacher/scholar at Dallas Seminary, now with the Lord, says. “Bock misses the point of the quotation from Psalm 110 in Acts 2.”

By going to these texts and saying this is a fulfillment of the Davidic reign, Zane Hodges is saying Bock has missed the whole point of the passage. The point of the passage is- that?- Jesus kept all of these promises concerning the coming of the Holy Spirit, not the Davidic reign. And that’s the first thing He poured out when He ascended to the Father’s right hand. And why is Peter going into all this detail? He’s going into all of this detail to show and to explain that these manifestations called languages/tongues has nothing to do with drunkenness. But it has everything to do with Jesus keeping His promise. And so that becomes a key point in the passage. Acts 2:13, “But others were mocking and saying, ‘They are full of sweet wine’…Peter said, ‘For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it’s only the third hour.'” And beyond that, it’s just a question of Jesus or an issue of Jesus keeping His promises. And then the last Psalm that he’ll quote, which we can’t get into tonight, will be Psalm 110:1, which will explain what Jesus is doing now. He is not functioning as king. He is functioning as high priest, not from the order of Aaron, but after the order of Melchizedek. So it’s a higher priesthood that we are now benefiting from. Whoo. A lot of stuff for a Wednesday night, isn’t it? Well, if this time you got to take off or collect your young ones, that would be a good time for that. And others want to stick around for Q and A, we can do that also.