Acts 011 – The Beginning of the Church Age (pt. 5)Acts 2:34-35a • Dr. Andy Woods • February 15, 2023 • Acts
The Beginning of The Church Age (PT. 5)
February 15, 2023
Dr. Andy Woods
Well, let’s open our Bibles this evening to the Book of Acts chapter two. And we’re going to try to look at this evening Acts 2:34-36. And the reason we’re only going to look at three verses is we’ve just entered into probably one of the most controversial, -believe it or not, areas of God’s word. So we’re continuing on with our verse-by-verse study through Acts. We’ve seen Acts 1, where the disciples were told to wait in Jerusalem until they’re clothed on with power from on high, speaking of the Ministry of the Spirit. And then from there we went into Acts Chapter 2, where the Holy Spirit fell on the twelve, including Mathias, who was chosen to replace the deceased Judas. And what is being inaugurated here is the beginning of the church age. And God testified to it through a miracle called languages where the apostles were understood in languages that they had never studied by those that had gathered on the day of Pentecost from all over the known world. And so this crowd of people, you know, they want to know- these are Jews in the diaspora living outside the land of Israel. They came to Pentecost or to Jerusalem to celebrate Pentecost. But they want to know what is the cause of these languages. What can this be attributed to? So there are doubters in the group. And some immediately said, well, these apostles are speaking in languages because they’re drunk.
So that’s sort of how unbelief works. Unbelief always takes a spiritual reality and tries to come up with some kind of naturalistic explanation. So this, therefore, allows Peter to stand up. I mean, I’m assuming he’s standing up. Yeah, it says, “Peter taking his stand with the eleven…” verse 14. And he gives the sermon, which, to be completely honest with you, is way above his pay grade- this sermon- because he masterfully weaves together four Old Testament passages in an extremely cogent explanation as to where these miraculous occurrences were coming from. And it’s going to result in 3000 conversions. Not too bad for a guy who’s called an ignorant and untrained fisherman. So that’s what the power of the Holy Spirit can do when He has a yielded vessel. So Peter gives an introduction on his sermon, verse 14. He gives a conclusion, verse 36, which maybe we’ll get to today. But sandwiched in between is basically the refutation of the charge of drunkenness. So we’ve covered- I broke it down into nine parts.- we’ve covered one through eight really. But just by way of review and you see the verse numbers in parentheses, he says, this is not drunkenness because it’s 9:00 in the morning. It’s too early for people to start their drinking. And then from there, verses 16 through 21, he quotes the Prophet Joel, who predicted that the Spirit would be poured out on all flesh in the last days. And when we were looking at that, I tried to make the case that Peter is not saying Joel is being fulfilled in Acts 2.
He’s saying, the Holy Spirit is going to do something very similar in the Tribulation period and the Millennium. And therefore, you should recognize by way of analogy the work of the Holy Spirit right now. And then he moves into verse 22 where he says, Jesus performed miracles because his point is Jesus is now continuing to perform miracles. He’s just doing it from the Father’s right hand, but the same quality and caliber of miracles He did during His earthly ministry, verse 22, He’s doing right now. But His earthly ministry was ended, verse 23, because you crucified Him. But don’t push the panic button because He resurrected from the dead, verse 24. And when He resurrected from the dead, He fulfilled, verses 25 through 29, He fulfilled Psalm 16 which was a prophecy about the resurrection of Jesus. It’s not just a statement about David, although it was written by David. It’s essentially a prophecy given a thousand years in advance that when the Messiah comes, He’s going to rise from the dead. And then verses 30 through 32, you ought to realize who you, first century Israel, crucified. You crucified the Davidic descendant. The one who’s going to bring in an eternal throne. Eternal Dynasty in fulfillment of the Davidic covenant. And that’s why he’s quoting Psalm 132:11. And this is very critical to understand in the theological battles.
He’s not saying that Jesus is on David’s throne right now. David’s throne is on the earth. Jesus is where it’s in heaven. But He is the Davidic descendant. He is the one that will sit on David’s throne in the millennial kingdom. And that’s the guy that you crucified. And after Jesus was crucified, resurrected, He ascended. That happened in Acts 2, and once he ascended, He took his seat, not on his throne, on the earth- David’s throne- but on the Father’s throne in heaven. And as He did that, He inaugurated His high priestly ministry. He began His present session. And the last time we were together, we talked a little bit about His present session and all the things He’s doing in his present session that have nothing to do with the future Davidic reign. And that’s the great battle is people are basically taking present session and Davidic reign and they’re trying to merge them together- trying to make it sound like the church is the Davidic kingdom now. And that’s not what Peter is saying at all. He started a ministry called His present session where He is not functioning as prophet. He is not functioning as king, but He is functioning as high priest after the order of Melchizedek. So let’s pick it up here in verse 33 as Peter is masterfully weaving all of this together as an explanation as to where this gift of languages has come from.
Peter says in verse 33, in this sermon, “Therefore having been exalted to-” David’s throne, whoops. Doesn’t say that. “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.” That’s where these languages came from. They came from Christ’s first order of business in His high priestly ministry at the Father’s right hand in His present session. The first thing He did is He kept His promise that He would give the church the Holy Spirit. And He’s kept His promise. That’s what Peter is saying. “having received from the Father-” notice the underlining there- “the promise of the Holy Spirit.” And that’s where these tongues, languages and these kinds of things are coming from. It has nothing to do with drunkenness. It’s a miracle of God. So the big discussion between traditional dispensationalists like ourselves and a group called Progressive Dispensationalists who basically teach the Already Not Yet view of the kingdom. They basically believe that what’s happening now is phase one of the Davidic kingdom. And they actually believe that Jesus is reigning on David’s throne now in heaven. They don’t deny the fact that He’ll reign on David’s throne one day on the earth in the millennium. But the current activity of Christ is phase one of the Davidic reign. And what they all teach is Jesus is now reigning on David’s throne. He is not seated at the Father’s right hand, the way we understand it, functioning completely as high priest.
This is like phase one of the Davidic kingdom. So Charles Ryrie, a traditional dispensationalist, asks this question if what progressive Dispensationalists are saying is true. He says, quote, “If Christ inaugurated His Davidic reign at His Ascension, does it not seem incongruous that His first act as reigning Davidic king was the sending of the Holy Spirit, something not included in the promises of the Davidic Covenant?” Because when you go back to the Davidic covenant that Jesus is going to fulfill one day when He reigns on David’s throne, it does even mention the Holy Spirit. So if Jesus has taken His seat on David’s throne today, why did He do something completely out of the box as compared to what the Davidic Covenant actually promises? Zane Hodges, longtime professor of Greek at Dallas Seminary, has a wonderful critique of this Already Not Yet view of the kingdom that’s being espoused today. So Zane Hodges in this quote says, “Yet even apart from this consideration, Bock-” now, who is Bock? Bock, along with Blaising are the progenitors of this idea called progressive dispensationalism. It’s a view that’s being taught at Dallas Seminary. I would say it’s the majority opinion. Not everybody believes it, but the majority of professors there do. It was the majority view when I was a student there. And I was there a long time. I was there ten years working on my ThM and then my PhD. So I’m somewhat familiar with the conversation and with the discussion. But Bock, Darrell Bock and Craig Blaising came out with this view, progressive dispensationalism in the 1990s, roughly. And they began to say things that nobody at the school had ever taught before, that essentially what’s happening now is phase A of the Davidic kingdom. So Hodges is critiquing Bock.
Hodges says, “Yet even apart from this consideration, Bock misses the point of the quotation from Psalm 110 in Acts 2. As verse 33 makes clear, the real link is with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. It is a well-confirmed New Testament teaching that the gift of the Holy Spirit is the direct consequence of our Lord’s ascension to the Father. According to John’s Gospel,” and I talked you through some of these verses last time, dealing with the coming of the Holy Spirit, “the Lord informed [the] disciples, ‘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 depart, I will send him to you.’ (John 167). Earlier, [Jesus] had also said, ‘and I will pray to the Father and He will give you another helper, that He may abide with you forever.’ (John 14:16). Our Lord’s return to the Father and His intercession there are necessary to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Thus, in Luke-Acts the gift of the Spirit is termed ‘the promise of the Father’ for which the disciples must wait until after Jesus’ ascension to Heaven. Bock labels Psalm 110-” We’ll talk about Psalm 110 in a little bit- “a ‘resurrection proof text.’ However, it is not an explicit statement of the resurrection since the resurrection is not mentioned in the Psalm.”
Psalm 110 is coming up. Peter is quoting Psalm 110 for a totally different reason. He quotes Psalm 16 earlier to show that Jesus resurrected from the dead according to prophecy. He will quote Psalm 110 to explain to his listeners exactly where Jesus is now- at the Father’s right hand. And His first order of business was to fulfill the promises given multiple times that He had made of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. This has nothing to do with David’s reign. And yet this is the key passage they’re all going to build this doctrine that we’re in the Davidic reign now, part one of it anyway. “However, it is not an explicit statement of the resurrection since the resurrection is not mentioned in the Psalm. It DOES prophesy the enthronement at God’s right hand. 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 promised. This is precisely what Acts 2:33 states: ‘therefore, being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you see and hear.”
So essentially what Hodges is saying is Bock has missed the point of the passage. I mean, he’s saying it in a nice way. That’s what he’s saying. By taking this and turning it into phase one of the Davidic Enthronement as is common in Kingdom Now theology. Amillennialists, post millennialists, replacement theologians say we’re in the total form of the Davidic kingdom now. Progressive Dispensationalists say already but not yet. We’re in phase one of it, but not phase two. Whichever view you hold to, and those we think are both incorrect views, they’re getting this whole thing from Acts chapter 2, and they basically think that these passages are speaking of the fulfillment of the Davidic covenant in some sense. Ryrie has pointed out that this has nothing to do with the Davidic Covenant. This has to do with the fulfillment of the promise of Jesus that the Holy Spirit would come after He ascended. That’s what’s happening. What’s happening in Acts 2 is the beginning of the church age not the beginning of Phase A of the kingdom or a complete and total fulfillment of the kingdom. And Peter is simply rehearsing this information to give an explanation as to why the tongues or languages that people are hearing have nothing to do with drunkenness. Remember what Unbelief said in Acts 2:13.
“But others were mocking and saying, ‘They are full of sweet wine.'” Peter stands up and he says, “For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it’s [only] the third hour of the day.” It’s too early in the morning to start your drinking, number one. Number two, what’s happening is the very Jesus that was performing miracles in your midst during His three year plus ministry has now ascended after He’s been crucified and resurrected. He’s now ascended. He started His high priestly ministry. He started His present session, and the first thing He did is He gave the Holy Spirit to the church. So it’s a miracle of God emanating from the present session of Christ. It has nothing to do with drunkenness and it has nothing to do with somehow the Davidic kingdom has started since the Holy Spirit is not even promised in the Davidic Covenant. Second Samuel 7:12-16. Now, here’s where it gets really controversial. The very end of the body of his sermon, verses 34 and 35, he quotes now Psalm 110:1. And keep in mind all of the scriptures Peter has weaved together. Number one he’s quoted Joel 2 just to say that you should recognize what’s happening as the Ministry of the Holy Spirit, who’s going to do something similar in the tribulation in the millennium. Number two, he’s quoted Psalm 16 to prove that Jesus resurrected from the dead right on schedule. Number three, he has quoted Psalm 132 to show the man that first century Israel rejected is indeed the Davidic heir.
The one who will reign on David’s throne. And now he quotes his fourth scripture in this sermon. He quotes Psalm 110:1 in verses 34 and 35 to explain exactly where Jesus is now. Notice verses 34 and 35. “For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says: ‘The Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit at My right hand,”” What’s the word after hand there.? “‘until-‘” you should underline that if you’re an underliner in your Bible, because that’s a big deal that word until. “‘Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.'” Now Peter is quoting Psalm 110:1 as an explanation as to where Jesus went when he ascended. He didn’t go back to David. He didn’t go to David’s throne and start the kingdom. He went to the Father’s right hand and started His present session not as prophet, not as king, but as priest after the order of Melchizedek. Now look very carefully at this word “until” because this is what the kingdom now theologians kind of jump right over. “The Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit at My right hand, UNTIL I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.'” In other words, Jesus is now at the Father’s right hand and He will stay at the Father’s right hand until something happens. And what’s the thing that’s supposed to happen? God the Father is supposed to take the enemies of Jesus and make them a footstool for His feet.
So until God the Father takes the enemies of Jesus and makes them a footstool for His feet, you can expect Jesus to continue on sitting at the right hand of God the Father. Because Psalm 110 that Peter is quoting to demonstrate where Jesus currently is clearly says He’s going to be there until His enemies are made a footstool for His feet. So what does all this business about, I’ll make Your enemies a footstool for your feet? I mean, [are] Jesus’ enemies a footstool for His feet right now? What do you think? There’s no way. Because who’s running Planet Earth? The devil. That’s why the devil- and there’s all the scriptures in parentheses you can look up on your own- that’s why the devil currently is called the prince of this world. The god, little g, of this age. The prince and power of the air. I mean, if the enemies of Christ were made a footstool for his feet currently, why are we told in the book of Ephesians to put on the full armor of God? Obviously we have to do that because Satan is running the world. Because we’re living on enemy territory. Uh, Satan is the one that roamed- these are all New Testament passages. So this is explaining currently what’s happening. Satan is roaming about like a roaring lion seeking someone to have a glass of iced tea with.
Whoops. Doesn’t say that. Seeking someone to devour. And then if all of this wasn’t clear enough, First John 5:19 says, the whole world lies in the power of the wicked one. Lewis Sperry Chafer used the analogy explaining that verse of a mom sort of rocking her little one to sleep. And that’s sort of a vivid picture of the world system right now. Satan is just rocked everybody to sleep. They’re living in his territory and they don’t even realize it because the God of this age has blinded the minds of the unbeliever. That’s why they can’t see the light of the truth. So obviously, as you look at this, there’s no possible way that the enemies of Christ are under His feet or else Satan wouldn’t be running planet Earth. So therefore, the “until” has never been fulfilled- has it? And because it hasn’t been fulfilled yet, you can expect Jesus to continue on at the Father’s right hand in that position until that condition is satisfied. Once the judgment of God hits planet Earth and Satan is dethroned, that’s when you can expect the Davidic kingdom to start. But do not expect the Davidic kingdom to start until Christ’s enemies have been made a footstool under His feet, which obviously has not happened yet. So obviously, what is happening right now cannot be the Davidic reign. I mean, if this is the Davidic reign, as my friend Tommy Ice likes to say, I must be living in the ghetto section of town.
Because God is doing a lousy job reigning over this world. I mean, if God is reigning over this world, we wouldn’t be having the drumbeats of war that we hear about in the news from China and Russia. We wouldn’t have had the memorial service for Angela Lavespere a week or so ago. Death would be a thing of the past. Cancer would be a thing of the past. All of these prayer requests that we took earlier would be unneeded because Jesus would be reigning on David’s throne. So obviously He’s not reigning on David’s throne because He can’t reign on David’s throne and He can’t end His present session until that condition at the end of that particular verse there, quoting Psalm 110:1, has been fulfilled. So the thing to understand is Satan’s defeat is mapped out in seven phases. Satan is not defeated all at once. Number one, he was initially evicted from heaven when he was Lucifer and tried to usurp God’s place. Number two, he was defeated in Eden where a prophecy was given about him that there would come one from the seed of the woman who would crush his head. He was defeated in the pre-flood world. He was sort of tampering with the genetics of the human race in the pre-flood world and those of his demons involved in that experiment are in a place of incarceration.
He was defeated at the cross. There’s multiple verses in parentheses that explain that. He will be defeated at the midpoint of the tribulation period when he will permanently lose access to God’s throne in heaven because he can still go into heaven- not to worship and serve as he once did as a high ranking angel, but to communicate and accuse. That privilege is going to be taken away from him midway through the tribulation. He will be defeated at the beginning of the millennial kingdom when he will be bound for 1000 years. And he will be defeated at the end of the millennial kingdom, finally, when he’s thrown into the lake of fire forever. So, if you look at this very carefully, numbers one, two, three and four have happened. We are waiting for numbers five, six and seven to transpire. So we are living in between defeat four and defeat five is essentially what’s happened. And coming from the legal background, an analogy that’s helped me understand this better is the difference between the guilt phase of a trial and the penalty phase of a trial. In fact, a lot of states have their completely different courts or judges that handle those two phases. So the guilt phase of a trial is where you’re tried by a jury of your peers. And if you’re found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, you become a convict at that point. You are convicted of a crime.
But you haven’t been punished yet. There’s a later point where you come before that judge or a different judge, depending on the jurisdiction, for sentencing. That is where Satan is right now. He has been convicted. He’s going down. But the punishment has not been executed yet. The punishment will not be executed until he loses access to heaven permanently halfway through the tribulation. Then he’s bound for a thousand years in a place called the Abyss during the millennial kingdom. And then he will be thrown into the lake of fire at the end of the millennial kingdom. So we’re literally living in between Satan’s conviction and Satan’s sentencing. And what Psalm 110 is saying is Jesus is going to continue on at the Father’s right hand until the sentencing phase. It’s not until the sentencing phase, not the conviction phase or the guilt phase, until the imposing of the sentence that you can finally, formally, officially say the high priestly ministry at the Father’s right hand is over and now the Davidic kingdom has started. And that’s the significance of that word “until”. That’s what Peter” is saying. Sit at my right hand, UNTIL I make Your enemies a footstool for your feet-” until the sentencing phase, until numbers five, six and seven essentially are executed. So this explains why Satan is so desperate. Why he’s going about trying to wreak as much havoc as he can, blind as many people as he can, drag as many people into hell with him one day as possible because you’re dealing with someone that’s like a caged animal.
And once you get an animal caged or walled off, that’s where they get really dangerous when they see no way out. That’s where Satan is. He’s in between conviction but penalty hasn’t been imposed yet. That’s why he’s a defeated foe. But it also explains why we’re not in the kingdom yet. We’re not in the kingdom yet because we don’t have the penalty phase yet. We just have the guilt phase. That’s the whole significance of that word “until” there in Psalm 110:1 that Peter quotes in this sermon. So when Peter quotes Psalm 110. He is not in any way, shape, or form saying that Jesus is ruling as Davidic king. That’s not the point of the psalm. So my professor, Elliot Johnson, wrote an article in Bibliotheca Sacra on this. It’s called The “Hermeneutical Principles and the Interpretation of Psalm 110.” And here’s my kind of summary of Dr. Johnson’s article. Dr. Johnson says, “Peter’s use of Psalm 110:1 in Acts 2:34-35,” which is what we’re studying right here, “is often used to justify Christ’s present Davidic enthronement. Yet of Psalm 110, Elliott Johnson observes that the Messiah’s present position, as depicted in this psalm, fails to include imagery of coronation.” In other words, you read through Psalm 110, There’s no coronating of a king, which you would expect to happen if somehow Jesus in Acts 2 inaugurated the Davidic Kingdom in spiritual form.
Read through Psalm 110 yourself. There is no coronation language. What there is in Psalm 110 is priestly language. “Such coronation imagery would certainly have been mentioned if, in fact, the psalm were intended to describe Christ’s enthronement as Davidic King.” So you might want to just take your Bible and go back to Psalm 110 just for a moment and look at Psalm 110. Look at verse 4. Psalm 110 doesn’t talk about the Davidic coronation of a king. What it does talk about is the beginning of a priesthood. And look at Psalm 110:4. What does it say? “The LORD has sworn and will not change His mind, “You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek.” This is a priestly psalm. Psalm 110 is, if you understand it, it’s a prediction of the high priestly ministry that Jesus would start. So why is Jesus a priest after the Order of Melchizedek? I mean, who in the world is Melchizedek? Melchizedek is this strange kind of puzzling figure that shows up in Genesis 14 that Abraham interacts with, Abraham tithes to, if I remember right and things of that nature. Melchizedek blesses Abraham and then the guy disappears from the whole Bible. And it’s not until you get to Psalm 110 that you learn that the psalmist is using Melchizedek, who was a real person. He was a ruler of Salem, which later became- anybody know?- JeruSALEM. Right?
He’s using this historical character to develop typology of the high priestly Ministry of Jesus. In other words, when Jesus launched His high priestly ministry, it was not after the order of Aaron. The whole Levitical system that we read about in the Old Testament. Jesus brought in a priesthood that’s better than Aaron’s. It’s higher than Aaron’s. I mean, Jesus, first of all, He couldn’t have been an Aaronic priest because the Aaronic priests had to be born from which tribe? Levi. Jesus was born from which tribe? Judah. So if Jesus was an Aaronic priest, first of all, he’s in the wrong tribe. So he obviously started a priesthood that’s higher than Aaron’s. And this is the whole point of the book of Hebrews, where the audience is leaving what they have in Christ and shrinking backward to Aaron’s system. They’re defecting from the full revelation of Christ and going back to what we would call Old Testament Judaism. And the whole book of Hebrews is why would you ever do that? Since what you have in Christ is higher and better. In fact, the word better in the book of Hebrews, I think is used about thirteen times, if memory serves. So why would you leave that and go back to Aaron’s? Why would you leave the Melchizedek priesthood and go back to the Aaronic system? The Aaronic system is earthly. Jesus’ high priestly ministry at the Father’s right hand is heavenly. So you can read Psalm 110 all you want, and there’s absolutely zero in that psalm, absolutely zero in that psalm about the Davidic reign.
And yet this is the psalm that they’re all trying to use to argue that Jesus is not in His Melchizedekian priesthood. He started some kind of spiritual form of the Davidic kingdom. If you want to understand where Jesus is now, the best typology that you have on this in the whole Bible is David and Saul. If you understand where Jesus is now, read First Samuel 16 through the end of First Samuel and you’ll understand the whole thing. So let me talk through that real fast. David is anointed as king over the whole nation in First Samuel 16:13. At that point there’s no doubt David is the anointed king. But, did David at that moment start to rule as king? He did not, because there was a usurper on the throne named Saul. David is not going to rule as king until Saul is dead. Second Samuel 2 and then Second Samuel 5 is when really when David conquers Jerusalem and he reigns over the whole empire. So do you see there’s a gap there of time between David’s anointing and David’s ruling? That’s what’s happening to Jesus right now. He’s been anointed. But He’s not ruling as king. He’s doing a lot of stuff, but He’s not ruling as king because there is a usurper on the throne named the devil. Saul was an illegitimate ruler because Saul was born from the tribe of Benjamin.
And the Kings had to come from which tribe? Judah. So Saul was an illegitimate ruler, just like Satan right now is an illegitimate ruler. So if you were living on the earth during the time period when David was anointed, but before he started to rule, and you wanted to follow David, the only way you could do it is you had to walk by faith. You had to completely trust the promises of God because David was anointed, but he certainly wasn’t ruling. In fact, most of First Samuel 16 through the end of the book he’s not ruling, but he’s what? He’s running. David did have a group of people, though, that followed him. It certainly wasn’t the majority. It’s the minority. There’s a group of people called David’s Mighty Men. I have the scripture there in parenthesis where you can study them. And they you know, they kind of rallied behind David’s cause because they just believed that one day he would be king, because that’s what God said would happen. So they had to completely walk by faith. The majority of the nation was not following David. But they were following who? Saul. Because that’s who people could see. To follow Saul doesn’t require any faith. I mean, he’s the king. And that’s why there’s so much in the Samuel books about Saul’s handsome appearance. Now, why does it keep- why does- why do I have to keep knowing about why Saul was such a good looking guy?
It’s demonstrating that people were, that were following Saul, were visually oriented- what they could see. If you were walking by sight, there’s no way you’d follow David. David’s appearance member was ready, we’re told. He was anointed as king, but he certainly wasn’t reigning as king. And so the majority of the people during that time period were following David rather than Saul. So if you can put that- if you can lock that into your in your mind, that’s exactly what’s happening with Christ now. David was anointed king. Jesus has been anointed king. He was probably anointed as king- and there’s a couple of Psalms in parentheses where you can study this out- at His resurrection or perhaps His ascension. But even though David was anointed as king, he was not yet ruling as king. And that’s exactly what’s happening with Jesus. He’s anointed as king, but He’s not yet ruling as king. David didn’t start to rule until Second Samuel 5. Jesus will not start to rule with a rod of iron until the millennial kingdom. Revelation 20:1-10. So why wasn’t David ruling? Because there was a usurper ruling named Saul. And today there is a usurper ruling named Satan. Saul is like a type, if you will of Satan. Saul was illegitimate. He came from the wrong tribe. Satan’s current authority over this earth is illegitimate. This earth was never given to Satan by God.
This earth was given to who? The first Adam who took that authority when he sinned and handed it over to Satan. So just as Saul had no right to rule, Satan currently has no right to rule. So there’s- you see how the topology continues to build? So if you wanted to follow David, during that time period, you had to completely walk by faith. I mean, that’s why when- Who was it?- Samuel came to anoint the next king- Remember? David’s father- was it Jesse?- Brought out all the kids. And Samuel kept saying, Well, there’s got to be somebody else here. Oh, you mean that little runt in the back? Yeah. Bring him out. And that was David. And he was going to be the next king. And Samuel at that point said, That’s the guy. That’s why in First Samuel 16:7 it says, “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance.’ See, Saul had the great appearance, not David. “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” So if you wanted to follow David during this time period, you had to completely walk by faith. That’s what’s happening right now. In between Jesus anointing and ruling. In order to follow Jesus, you have to completely walk by faith.
That’s why the Book of Hebrews 11:6 says, Without- what?- faith it’s impossible to please God. So God is putting the whole human race right now through a test. Are they going to walk by faith or are they going to walk by sight? If they’re going to walk by sight, they’re going to follow the devil and his cosmos, his world system. If you’re going to walk by- if you’re going to follow Jesus, you’ve got to walk by faith. Because basically what you’re doing is you’re are believing that this man who’s been anointed is one day going to rule this planet. He’s not ruling this planet right now, but He will. And so to have that kind of walk requires faith. David had a minority of people following him. They’re called David’s Mighty Men. Second Samuel 23:8-39. Jesus has a minority of people following Him today also. That’s why He said in Matthew 7:13-14, Broad is the road that leads to destruction. Many there are that go that way. Narrow is the road that leads to life. Few are they which find it. The majority of people on planet Earth are not following Jesus because to follow Jesus requires faith. And most people don’t want to do that. They want to walk by what they can see. What do you mean Jesus? I don’t care about Jesus. I mean-
I care about this world system. People that followed Saul are walking by sight. People that are following Satan and his world system are walking by sight as well. The majority within the nation of Israel followed Saul rather than David, because that’s what they could see. David reigning as king. And the majority of people on planet Earth today are following Satan’s system rather than Jesus, because they’re not walking by faith. They’re walking by sight. They’re on that broad road leading to destruction. So I think this is one of the most- and I didn’t make this up on my own. This comes from Alva J. McClain’s book, The Greatness of the Kingdom. I just kind of flesh it out a little bit and put a graphic together. But if you can understand what was happening in the land of Israel between the anointing of David and when David actually became king, you can understand exactly what’s happening right now. So, if all of this is true, in no way, shape or form can this age in any sense be confused with the Davidic kingdom any more than David, being anointed before he began to rule, could be confused with David’s kingdom. For David’s kingdom to come into existence, Saul had to be removed from power. He had to be killed. He committed suicide, as you know. In order for Christ’s Davidic throne to come into existence, the usurper, the illegitimate usurper, the devil himself must be taken out of the way.
And so all of this typology is completely lost, it gets lost when people start to say we’re in the kingdom now. No, we’re not in the kingdom now. We’re living in a transitional time period between Satan’s sentencing and punishment. We’re living in a transitional time period between Jesus Christ’s anointing and rulership, just like the land of Israel, was living in a transitional time period between David’s anointing and eventual rulership. If you were to read first Samuel 16 through the end of the book, Chapter 31, you’d have a perfect description of the current age that God is deliberately- It’s a test God is deliberately putting the human race through to determine who is walking by faith and who is walking by sight. Very, very sadly, what people are doing, though, is they’re saying, Jesus at the Father’s right hand is reigning on David’s throne. That’s a problem. Because David’s throne is always on the earth. I mean, it’s an actual throne in Jerusalem. It’s not in heaven. It is a terrestrial throne, but not a celestial throne. The celestial throne is the Father’s throne. That’s where Jesus is seated on now. The terrestrial throne is the Davidic throne that will exist again one day in Jerusalem that currently is unoccupied. And to make the throne that Christ is on now into the Davidic throne is to completely change what the Davidic throne is all about. You have to completely change the whole concept of the Davidic throne.
Every single example that you run into in the Old Testament of the Davidic throne always puts the Davidic throne on planet Earth. Here’s one example. First Kings 2:11-12. It says, “The days that David reigned over Israel were forty years: seven [years] he reigned in Hebron and thirty-three [years] he reigned in Jerusalem. And Solomon sat on the throne of David his father, and his kingdom was firmly established.” So Solomon sat on the very throne of David that David occupied. And it’s just a matter of looking at the surrounding information in those verses to figure out, is this an earthly throne or a heavenly throne? Well, it mentions Israel. Is Israel in heaven or on the earth? What do you think? On the earth. It mentions Hebron. Is Hebron in heaven or on the earth? On the earth. It mentions the city of Jerusalem. And currently is the city of Jerusalem in heaven or on the earth? It’s on the earth. How about Solomon? We read about the life of Solomon. Where did that happen? In heaven or on the earth? On the Earth. So it’s obvious that all of this is terrestrial. All of this is earthly. So David’s throne is earthly. You can’t just grab that and make it a heavenly concept without changing what the Davidic throne says. And that’s what you have to do. This is the kind of gimmicks you have to resort to, to move into Kingdom Now theology, where the current age is somehow some kind of spiritual form of the Davidic kingdom.
Look at the changes you have to do to David’s throne to put it in heaven. David’s throne, its place is on the Earth. Kingdom Now theology says no, it’s in heaven. David’s throne is over the nation of Israel on the earth. No Kingdom Now theology says David’s throne is over the predominantly Gentile church in heaven. The Old Testament says David’s throne will come into existence when Israel is converted. Kingdom Now theology says no, it’s in existence, even though Israel is unconverted. What’s the realm of David’s throne? Its physical. And then when Jesus reigns on David’s throne, you’re actually going to be able to see Him face to face. Faith won’t even be needed because you will see Him face to face. If He allows it, He’ll probably let you walk right up to Him and shake His hand. You don’t even have to give a campaign contribution to do that. So it’s all physical, physical, physical, physical, physical. Kingdom Now theology says, no, it’s all up in heaven. It’s all spiritual. So what they’re, in essence, what they’re doing is they’re changing the whole concept of the Davidic throne to get this Kingdom Now theology to work. So the progenitor, even before Bock and Blasing at Dallas Seminary of this Already Not Yet view of the kingdom, was orchestrated by a man named George Eldon Ladd of Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, California, which eventually became full blown liberal.
In fact, I grew up in Southern California, and when I was thinking about going to seminary, I thought about Fuller Seminary until I figured out that the professors there do not have to believe in the full inerrancy of the Bible to teach there. And what their belief was, you can believe the Bible is true for spiritual matters. But it can have scientific inaccuracies in it. It can have historical inaccuracies in it. It can have archeological inaccuracies in it. Although don’t worry, we believe it’s true when it comes to spiritual things. Well, we have a little problem there, guys, because if you cannot trust the Bible on the things you can see like history, science, archeology. How in the world are you supposed to trust it on things you can’t see? Heaven, hell, angels, demons, sin, all of these kinds of things. And so when I figured out that they did not believe in full inerrancy, I decided that probably was not the place for me. Not every single professor rejected full inerrancy, but one guy rejected it, but the other guy down the hall accepted it. And you have to play this little game of picking what professor you’re going to have. Am I going to take the inerrantist for this class or not? So you can see why doctrinal statements are a big deal. Why we have people at Sugar Land Bible Church that teach here, they have to believe in full inerrancy.
Uh, people at Shafer Seminary to teach there, you have to believe in full inerrancy. So George Ladd in that environment came up with this Already Not Yet concept. And I believe that a lot, not all, but a big chunk of what Bock and Blasing are doing comes from George Ladd. And they’ll come back and they’ll say, well, wait a minute. We disagree with Ladd on this and we disagree with Ladd on that. Okay. You brought in 50% of Ladd, 75% of Ladd. So this is what George Ladd says in his theology of the New Testament. In fact, Elliott Johnson told me that George Ladd, once progressive Dispensationalism came into existence, called Darrell Box House and basically congratulated him on how he finally got this Already Not Yet thing to work at Dallas Seminary. Because there was a big debate on this going back into the 1950s, 1960s between John Walvoord of Dallas Seminary and George Ladd. Walvoord was teaching it like we teach it that we’re not in the Davidic kingdom now. We reject Already Not Yet. Ladd was battling with Walvoord mostly in print on we are in the Already Not Yet form of the kingdom now. And what’s interesting is, a lot of people thought Walvoord won the debate except with the Dallas seminary faculty. As this debate started to unfold, more and more of the faculty kind of behind the scenes were becoming sympathetic to Ladd’s viewpoint. They did not adapt all of Ladd, but they brought in a big chunk of it.
And so this is where this whole Already Not Yet thing comes from. You can trace a lot of it back to George Ladd. And look what George Ladd says. Look at look at the lengths he has to go through to put David’s throne in heaven based on Acts 2. Which is why I’m bringing all this stuff up, because we’re in Acts 2, which is the battleground of all of this. Ladd writes, and I’ll close with this, “The new redemptive events in the course of the Heilsgeschichte-” Boy, that’s impressive. That’s German. That just means salvation history. These guys, they love to do this- throw these German words in to intimidate you like, ooh Heilsgeschicte. “The new redemptive events in the course of the Heilsgeschichte have compelled Peter,” the preacher, Acts 2, watch, “to reinterpret the Old Testament.” See that he’s saying Peter took the Davidic kingdom and just reinterpreted it and made it heavenly rather than earthly. “Because of the resurrection and ascension of Jesus, Peter transfers-” Boy, Peter has a lot of power. I don’t know he could transfer a throne from earth to heaven. “Peter transfers the messianic Davidic throne from Jerusalem to God’s right hand in heaven. Jesus has now been enthroned as the Davidic Messiah on the throne of David, and is awaiting the final consummation of his messianic reign…This involves a rather radical reinterpretation of Old Testament prophecies.”
You think? “but no more so than the entire reinterpretation of God’s redemptive plan by the early church.” I mean, the early church came along and they had this higher knowledge and they just kissed the Old Testament off and rewrote it. That’s what he’s saying. We have a little problem here. God says that He can’t- What?- He can’t lie. So if the New Testament just rewrote the Old Testament, that means the things in the Old Testament are lies. Now, Bock is a little bit more skillful at this, and I don’t have time to get into it tonight. He’s not going exactly the direction of Ladd. He’s got a more sophisticated model called complementary hermeneutics. See, I paid a lot of tuition money to learn all this stuff. And no one will listen to me talk about it other than my wife. And so you guys are stuck with me here talking about it. This involves a rather radical reinterpretation of Old Testament prophecies, but no more so than the entire reinterpretation of God’s redemptive plan by the early church. In fact, it is an essential part of this reinterpretation demanded by the events of redemptive history. That’s the Heilsgeschichte. Jesus is enthroned as the Messiah. He must reign until His enemies are made a footstool under His feet. I mean, he’s basically arguing that Jesus is making His enemies, putting them under the footstool of His feet currently. How in the world does that work with Satan running the world? So to move into Kingdom Now theology, whether it’s replacement theology, Already Not Yet, progressive dispensationalism, you have to believe that the New Testament has rewritten the Old Testament.
Now, Bock has not gone that direction completely, as I’ll show you next time. He’s a little bit more sophisticated about it. But Ladd has gone that direction which basically means that the things spoken of in the Old Testament about Jesus ruling from Jerusalem, from David’s throne, literally on earth, were lies. So, how is Bock pulling this off? Well, I’m out of time, so we’ll talk about it next week. Um, it’s kind of a lot to think about, isn’t it, on a Wednesday night? Let’s pray. Father, we’re grateful for Your word. Help us to be rightful handlers of Your word in these last days. Help us to understand the arguments that are given to change what You have said so that we can refute those by speaking truth in love. Help us to understand, Lord, that Your kingdom has not been canceled. It has not been altered. It has not been changed. It has not been reinterpreted. It has simply been postponed. And everything You say will come into existence one day and help us to be numbered among those who are walking by faith, living in anticipation of Your coming kingdom and not changing what that kingdom is. We’ll be careful to give You all the praise and the glory. We ask these things in Jesus’ name. God’s people said Amen. All right. Now’s a good time to take-