Acts 012 – The Beginning of the Church Age (pt. 6)Acts 2:35b • Dr. Andy Woods • February 22, 2023 • Acts
The Beginning of The Church Age (PT. 6)
February 22, 2023
Dr. Andy Woods
Take your Bibles this evening and open them to Acts Chapter 2. And we’re going to try to take a look at this evening verses 34 and 35. You say, Why are you taking all this time just to do two verses? Really a verse and a half. Actually we might be able to tuck in verse 36 too. There’s a lot of controversy on those verses, as I’ll try to explain this evening. Acts chapter 1 is the Ascension of Jesus, where He ascended back to the Father’s right hand, told the disciples to tarry unto Jerusalem in Jerusalem and wait until they are clothed with power from on high via the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit fell upon the Apostles in Acts 2. Verses 1 through 4 is the coming of the Holy Spirit. Verses 5 through 13 is the Spirit’s impact as the Apostles were speaking in known languages that they had never heard or learned, I should say. And so that was a miracle that God was doing to affirm that He was indeed doing a new work here, starting the church. And the crowd that had been assembled from Jews in the diaspora, the dispersion, who had assembled on the day of Pentecost, many of them were intrigued and interested in what was happening. But others were saying, no, these languages are the result of drunkenness. So they were taking a miracle of God and attributing it to intoxication, which is what unbelief does.
When you don’t want to believe something is real the mind comes up with an excuse as to why it can’t be. So that forms the basis for Peter’s sermon. And he is basically refuting this charge of drunkenness. He’s explaining that this the spirit’s work. The gift of languages is a result of Jesus, who is now at the Father’s right hand performing this miracle. So his sermon, which is a masterpiece- and I’m hoping to finish it tonight, Lord willing- is in verses 14 through 36. So you have an introduction, verse 14, a conclusion, verse 36, which I hope we’ll get to this evening. And basically, here’s the points in Peter’s sermon. We’ve covered most of them. He says, number one, it’s too early for drunkenness because it’s 9:00 in the morning, verse 15. Number two, this is actually the Spirit’s work because the Holy Spirit is going to do something similar in the tribulation period and the Millennium. And that’s why Peter quotes Joel 2 in verses 16 through 21. And then number three, he says this- these manifestations are the result of the miracle-working Jesus. Jesus was in your midst for over three years performing miracles, verse 22. And He’s just continuing those miracles now at the Father’s right hand after He ascended. And that’s where these languages came from. And by the way, first century Israel, nationally you rejected Him through crucifixion, verse 23, but the grave could not hold Him.
He miraculously resurrected from the dead, verse 24. And when He resurrected from the dead, He fulfilled Psalm 16, which was written by David a thousand years before Jesus was born. And Peter, just to communicate the point as to who Israel just rejected, he says Jesus is the Davidic descendant- the one that David’s covenant points to. The one who is actually going to reign on David’s throne one day. That’s who you rejected. And that’s why number seven there, verses 30 through 32, Peter is using Psalm 132:11. But He has ascended now and He is at the Father’s right hand, verse 33, not functioning as Davidic king, but as high priest after the order of Melchizedek. And in that- what we call His present session, His first order of business was to give to the church, the newborn church, the Holy Spirit. And that’s where these manifestations are coming from. It’s got nothing to do with drunkenness. And then at the very end of the sermon, he quotes Psalm 110:1, to explain exactly where Jesus is. So picking it up there verses 34 and 35. Most of this we’ve covered already. Peter gets to the end of his sermon and he says, “For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says: ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, Until I make Your enemies Your footstool.”‘” And he’s quoting here Psalm 110, which has zero to do with the Davidic reign.
What it’s speaking of is the high priestly Ministry of Jesus. That’s why if you were to read Psalm 110, Peter, there is quoting verse 1. When you drop down to verse 4, it says. “You are a priest forever after the Order of Melchizedek.” So it’s anticipating this high priestly ministry that Jesus would inaugurate when He ascended back to the Father’s right hand. And probably the key word in the whole thing is the word until. Peter here quoting Psalm 110:1 to explain where Jesus is now. “The Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit at my right hand.'” That would be the right hand of the Father. “Until. I make Your enemies Your footstool.” So Jesus is going to continue on in that ministry at the Father’s right hand in His high priestly ministry after the order of Melchizedek. And that’s not going to change until Christ’s enemies have been made His footstool. In other words, that’s not going to change until Satan has been deposed. Because Satan, although he’s a defeated foe, although he’s a convict, he’s a con, as we would call him, he’s been convicted. The punishment hasn’t been imposed yet. So even though he’s convicted- he was convicted at the point of the cross- he’s still running the world system. That’s why the New Testament calls him the prince of this world, the god of this age.
God, little g, the prince and power of the air, the one that the believer wrestles with, a roaring lion who roams about looking for someone to devour. The whole world lies within his power because Satan is convicted, but he hasn’t been sentenced. Sentence hasn’t been imposed, and until sentence is imposed, Jesus will continue on in His high priestly ministry at the Father’s right hand. So when is Satan’s sentence going to be imposed? When do we get to the penalty phase? It’s really numbers five, six and seven here. This list shows you Satan’s Sevenfold defeat. We’re living in between number four and number five. Satan was convicted at the cross. But it’s not until the midpoint of the tribulation that he loses permanent access to heaven because apparently he can still go into heaven. You know, not for purposes of serving and worshiping as he once did as a high ranking angel, but for purposes of communicating and accusing. This is why Satan could accuse Job in the early chapters of the Book of Job. It’s why Satan- Jesus said of Satan one time to Simon Peter, Simon, Simon, Satan has requested permission to sift you as wheat. Why these statements in the New Testament? Because Satan still has access to God’s throne for that purpose. But he loses that privilege midway through the tribulation. You’ll see that described in the 12th chapter of the Book of Revelation. And then it says at the beginning of the millennial kingdom that he’s going to be put in a place called the Abyss for a thousand years.
And you see, it’s at that point that the enemies of Christ have been made His footstool. And it’s at that point or just prior to it, that Jesus returns to planet Earth. Until that happens, until His enemies are made, His footstool, He will continue on in his present session as high priest. And then fortunately at the end of the millennial kingdom, Satan will be thrown forever into the lake of fire and the cosmos will be finished with Satan at that point completely. And I think I’ll be on the front row cheering that when that happens, because Satan has caused so much trouble over the course of time. So until we get to numbers five, six and seven basically when Peter says, Sit at my right hand and I will make Your enemies Your footstool. Don’t expect the present session of Jesus to end until the conquest of Satan takes place. So that’s why Peter is quoting Psalm 110. He’s quoting it to show where Jesus is. And Jesus, although He’s not reigning as Davidic king and is functioning as high priest is still active. He’s still active even in the Devils world, and He is the source of the Spirit that was poured out on the day of Pentecost. He is the source of these manifestation of languages.
So the same miracles that He did when he was on the earth, He’s just continuing to do them now at the Father’s right hand. So don’t attribute what you’re seeing to drunkenness is Peter’s point. Now, with all of that being said, and all of that’s kind of review, believe it or not, the big controversy today amongst groups that are non dispensational or they call themselves progressive dispensational is they want to put Jesus on David’s throne. Now, that’s the controversy. And now that this revival, alleged revival, has now broken out in Asbury, which is a Christian school in Kentucky. And they’re saying this revival is now going to different college campuses and all of these kinds of things. If you want my opinion on the whole thing, I’m more of a wait and see person. You know, I want to see the facts come in before I can say something is not a revival or is a revival. I don’t have enough information, to be honest with you. But the Bible does say, First John 4:1, to test the spirits. In fact, Jesus commends the church at Ephesus in Revelation 2:2 by taking certain men claiming to be apostles and putting them to the test. And Jesus never condemns the Ephesians for doing that. So a lot of people want you to just kind of rush to the coronation with this revival and immediately say it’s a work of God.
And if you’re not going to jump on board within the first 15 seconds of learning what’s going on, then somehow you’re quenching the Holy Spirit. The truth of the matter is the Bible tells you to test the spirits, and a test at the most basic level involves a probationary analysis before you can determine is this of God or is this not of God? So now that this- and I’m not sure if it’s a revival or not, I’ve seen arguments for it and against it, just like you’ve seen those different arguments. I’m a wait and see person. I don’t want to condemn something if God is in it, but I don’t want to promote something if God is not in it. So, all of that to say now that this alleged revival has broken out, what you can expect almost like clockwork, are people are going to go to the Book of Acts chapter 2, and they’re going to claim that this revival is somehow the in-breaking of God’s kingdom to planet Earth. I do believe in revivals. But I will say this based on my study of church history, My knowledge of church history is not my strongest suit. It’s not what I majored in, but I do know a little tiny bit about it. Most revivalists in American history- and there have been two. We’ve had the Great Awakening under Jonathan Edwards. You have the second Great Awakening under a man named Charles Finney.
Most revivalists, in American history at least, are very non-biblical. Very sloppy on the doctrine of the millennium. They have a tendency to not be premillennialists. A premillennialists, like ourselves, are people that believe you’re not going to have the kingdom until Jesus comes back first. So when you have this whole discussion of revival and revival is breaking out, supposedly on college campuses. And if that weren’t enough, the movie about the revival in the late 1960s and the early 1970s, the Jesus Revolution where the Calvary Chapel movement started. The vineyards kind of owe their origin to that as well. You know, it’s kind of interesting that commensurate with all this stuff going on in Asbury, this movie’s coming out, I think, Friday on the Jesus Revolution. You know, I, for one, am going to go try to see the movie. I don’t know how long it’s going to be in the theaters. I’m not endorsing it because I haven’t seen it yet, but I think it would be an interesting movie to watch. So you’ve got Asbury, you’ve got the Greg Laurie Jesus Revolution movie coming out the day after tomorrow. So everybody across the whole country, even Fox News, you know, they’re all talking about revival. And like revival is in the air. And that’s the big point of discussion. And so what I expect to happen is people are going to start taking passages related to the church age and making it appear as if the kingdom is here, because that’s what revivalists typically have done.
They’ve confused their revival that they’re supposedly leading with an in-breaking of the kingdom. So the downside of the whole thing is there is going to be a revival in this sense. People are going to start arguing more aggressively that Jesus is actually on David’s throne right now. And we’re in some form of the kingdom. And so ideas kind of germinate in the right soil. And now that we’ve got the revival soil, I would expect a lot of people to start arguing that Jesus is on David’s throne. So they’re going to confuse more and more the Melchizedek and High priestly Ministry of Jesus with the Davidic reign. So that’s why I showed you last time First Kings 2:11-12, which clearly put David’s throne on the Earth not in heaven. It says, “The days that David reigned over Israel,” a literal place on planet Earth, “were forty years: seven years he reigned in Hebron,” a literal place on planet Earth.” “thirty-three years he reigned in Jerusalem.” A literal place on planet Earth. “And Solomon,” a literal man on planet Earth. “sat on the throne of David his father,” which must be a literal place on earth. See that? I mean, there’s no way you can take David’s throne and put it in heaven because you’d have to tear that out of context with all of the other terrestrial earthly terms that are described here in First Kings 2:11-12.
I’ve shown you this chart which shows you the impossibility of putting David’s throne in heaven. Where is David’s throne now? On the earth. Well, if you want to argue that Jesus is seated on David’s throne now, that means you have to change David’s throne from earth to heaven. Who is the Davidic throne over? It’s over the nation of Israel. Well, if you want to argue that Jesus is raining on David’s throne, you have to say, well, He’s reigning over, not Israel, but the predominantly Gentile church. David Strohm won’t come into existence until Israel is converted. Well, if you make what’s happening at the Father’s right hand the Davidic kingdom, then you have to argue that Jesus is reigning from David’s throne, even though Israel is unconverted. The realm of David’s throne is physical. Well, if you put Jesus on David’s throne now, you make it spiritual. So you have to develop a method of interpretation which allows you to change what the Davidic throne is. You have to completely change it to get it to work. And so one of the people that did this was a man named George Ladd at Fuller Seminary. I gave you a little bit of background on Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, California. They left their full inerrancy position a long time ago.
And they began to teach things like, well, the Bible is true when it comes to spiritual things, but it can have mistakes in it when it comes to history archeology, geology, geography. And essentially, if you can’t trust the Bible and the things you can see, how in the world are you supposed to trust it on the things you can’t see? Like angels, demons, Satan, sin, salvation. So here at Sugar Land Bible Church, we do not embrace partial inerrancy. We embrace what’s called plenary- full- inerrancy. But Fuller Fuller Seminary, probably around the 1960s, began a shift away from full inerrancy into partial inerrancy. And it was during that time period that a man named George Ladd, a New Testament scholar, started to develop the Already Not Yet view of the kingdom. And he began to argue that Jesus is now reigning from David’s throne in the Already phase of the kingdom. But He will return one day and rule over David’s throne on the earth. Already Not Yet. And so you’ll notice what George Ladd has to do to make this doctrine work, because he’s got to figure out a way to get the Davidic throne into heaven. Because if you don’t get the Davidic throne into heaven, you can’t confuse the current age with a spiritual form of the kingdom. That’s why what they’re doing with the Davidic throne is absolutely essential in understanding it. And the main passages that they use is right here in Acts 2.
That’s why I’m bringing it up. So Ladd wrote back in 1974, quote, “The [new] redemptive events in the course of the Heilsgeschichte,” which is German, which means salvation, history, “have compelled Peter to reinterpret the Old Testament.” And that should make you nervous when someone is saying the New Testament is reinterpreting the Old Testament. “Because of the resurrection and ascension of Jesus, 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, but no more so than the entire reinterpretation of God’s redemptive plan by the early church. In fact, it’s an essential part of this reinterpretation demanded by the events of redemptive history…Jesus is enthroned as the Messiah…He must reign until his enemies are made a stool for his feet.” So what he’s saying is that the Davidic throne is now in heaven. Because Acts 2 changes what the Davidic throne said. You can’t go from earth to heaven without changing it. And the problem with that, of course, is, well, then everything that God said in the Old Testament concerning the Davidic throne is incorrect information. Because when you read First Kings 2:11-12, it’s very clear it’s earthly. And so what George Ladd is basically saying is, Yeah, but that was basically data that’s incorrect.
It’s now been upgraded. You know, we’re now at the Davidic throne 2.0 version. And boy, I guess I would be kind of disappointed as a Jew living in that Old Testament age, being told the Davidic throne is earthly over and over again, only to have the apostles come along and say are just fooling. It’s really up in heaven. And so that’s the problem with this language that George Ladd is using. This radical reinterpretation language. Now, Darrell Bock- who, along with Craig Blasing, is one of the progenitors of what’s called progressive dispensationalism- is also arguing at Dallas Seminary that Jesus is now reigning from David’s throne. But he is far more skillful at it then George Ladd was. George Ladd is just basically saying there’s been a transfer. Bock has a much more skillful approach. It’s a hermeneutic that I think he invented. Because it’s a hermeneutic that Lewis Sperry Chafer never saw in the Bible, the founder of Dallas Seminary. Hermeneutic is a method of interpretation. It’s a hermeneutic that Stan Toussaint never saw. It’s a hermeneutic that Dwight Pentecost never saw. It’s a hermeneutic that John Walvoord never saw but all of a sudden Darrell Bock- after having been educated in Europe, by the way. And when you sit under European schooling basically what you’re doing is you’re sitting under unbelievers with unbelieving presuppositions. And so when you come back to teach in an evangelical school, you know, you may not be a full blown liberal, but it’s hard for me to believe someone sitting under liberals in Europe is unaffected by that.
And you might bring back, I don’t know, 1% of liberal doctrine, 5% of liberal doctrine, 10% of liberal doctrine. And as the apostle Paul says in the book of Galatians 5:9, if memory serves, a little bit of leaven leavens the whole lump. So this is one of the reasons why a lot of us have sort of thrown up our hands with Dallas Seminary and decided to start something separate from it to get back to what Dallas Seminary was originally founded on. And that’s why we started Chafer Theological Seminary, because Darrell Bock is completely wrapped up in this Already Not Yet view of the kingdom. He just uses a more sophisticated way of expressing himself than does George Ladd. By the way- and I have this on some pretty good sources- when George Lad figured out what Darrell Bock had done, he called him at his personally, you know, and basically congratulated him, you know, on how how well he has done bringing the Already Not Yet view of the kingdom into Dallas Seminary. And I’m not saying that every single person at Dallas Seminary believes this, but it certainly was the majority view when I was there. If you wanted to- and I was there for nine years. If you wanted to find a professor that did not believe in the Already Not Yet view of the kingdom, you had to really pick very carefully.
And it was usually someone in their 70s or 80s or beyond. I’m not even sure how I got out of that place. Everybody on my doctoral dissertation committee, with the exception of one man, is either dead or retired. And I’m wondering if what I was trying to argue in my doctoral dissertation, if I had some of these more younger faculty members on there, I probably still be there working on the thing. But- and this happens to all institutions, I’m sad to say. It’s just a matter of looking at your East Coast Ivy League. You know, Yale, Princeton, Harvard. I mean, every single one of those schools was founded for the purpose of training pastors. And today those schools are about as far away as you could get from anything biblical. So very, very sadly, it takes about three generations for things to sort of unravel at an institution. But, Darrell Bock- and I personally like the guy. I don’t have any animosity towards him. I just was there quietly taking notes and studying what he was doing. And he writes concerning this Already Not Yet view of the kingdom.
He says, “…the New Testament does introduce change and advance; it does not merely repeat Old Testament revelation. In making complimentary additions, however, it does not jettison Old Testament promises. The enhancement is not at the expense of the original promise.”
So what he’s saying is the New Testament comes along with the Davidic covenant and it adds a heavenly layer that wasn’t there originally. But the New Testament adds this layer. So, yeah, the Davidic throne is on the earth. That’s true. But the New Testament just came along and added a layer of meaning that’s not found in Second Samuel chapter 7. So that means they believe that Jesus is actually fulfilling, in part, the Davidic covenant now. But he’s very skillful because he says, but don’t worry, unlike George Ladd, who basically says the New Testament jettisons the Old, The New Testament does not jettison the Old. The New Testament expands the old. But don’t worry, the Davidic Covenant will still be fulfilled literally in the future. And this is called complementary hermeneutics, meaning that the New Testament just took the meaning and didn’t erase it, but expanded it. But don’t worry, the Old Testament- part of it- meaning is going to be fulfilled one day. So this is a- and I asked Darrell Bock this when I was a student there. I go, Can can I be a progressive dispensationalist if I reject complementary hermeneutics? And he said, absolutely not. You have to believe in complementary hermeneutics to be a progressive dispensationalist. Then I said to myself, Well, I guess I’m not a progressive dispensationalist because I don’t see this complimentary hermeneutic.
You know, to me, it’s very suspicious for someone to come along and say, I get to write the rules of what interpretation is because if you give me that power, I could justify any theology I want. And so what he did is he came up with- he feels he sees it in the text, but he came up with complementary hermeneutics. Charles Ryrie, who wrote the book on Dispensationalism, never saw that methodology. Neither did J. Dwight Pentecost. Neither did Dr. Toussaint or any of the older greats that I had a chance to study under. So consequently, Darrell Bock says. “The Davidic throne and the heavenly throne of Jesus at the right hand of the Father-” that we’re studying right now- “are one and the same.” So what they’ve done is they’ve taken present session where Jesus is functioning as high priest and they’ve merged it with phase A of the Davidic kingdom. Robert Lightner, who is now with the Lord, who was one of the lone voices speaking out against this as it was happening in the 90s, has it completely correct, in my opinion. Lightner says, “Complementary hermeneutics’ must not be confused with the historic [orthodox] doctrine of progressive revelation. The latter truth means that God revealed His truth gradually, sometimes over a long period of time. What was revealed later never changed the original revelation, however. The meaning [and] the recipients of the original promise always remain the same.”
It’s very important to understand the difference between progressive revelation, which is a valid concept and complementary hermeneutics. Progressive revelation is the idea that the Bible, when you go back to the first messianic prophecy in the Bible, Genesis 3:15. There’s coming one from the seed of the woman Eve, who is going to crush Satan or the serpent’s head. Now you keep traveling through the Bible and what the Holy Spirit does is He adds greater specificity to that original promise. But He never changes. The Holy Spirit never changes what was originally said. So you’re moving through the Bible and you learn, Micah 5:2, Oh, He’s going to be born in Bethlehem. Now, that didn’t change the original promise of Genesis 3:15. It just added another more detail. You’re traveling through the Bible and you get to Isaiah 53 and oh, my goodness, His hands and His feet are going to be crucified. He’s going to be pierced. Isaiah 53:5, Hands and feet pierced. Psalm 22:16-18. Oh, He’s going to resurrect from the dead. Psalm 16:8-11. Oh, He’s going to be Jewish. He’s going to be from the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Numbers 24:17. So you see what’s happened here. Oh God is going to use the virgin womb of Mary to bring this prophecy into existence. Early Luke. So you see, what’s happened here is as more Scripture is given greater detail, greater specificity, greater clarity is being unleashed.
But never does latter Scripture change what was originally said. I mean, if the Holy Spirit came along and said, Ah, you know what? I was just fooling. He’s really not going to be born of the seed of a woman. And gave you some other understanding of it. That would be a change. That’s not how the Holy Spirit works. That would contradict the doctrine of progressive revelation. Muslims, In their interpretation of the Quran and the Hadith, basically believe in a doctrine where one set of texts can replace another set of texts. So when Muslims are in the minority, they preach all of the love texts in the Quran. And they try to give you the impression that Islam is this loving religion. But once they get the majority, everything changes in a country, where they start preaching all of the warlike passages. And this is a tactic that Muhammad himself used when he was in the minority. It was all love when he got the majority and the power. Then he began to preach submission to authority. Death by the sword for people that don’t submit. And then you say you raise your hand and you say, Excuse me, Mr. Muhammad, what happened to all the love passages? And the term that they use is abrogated. The war passages just abrogated the peace passages. That is not how the Holy Spirit works in the Bible.
He does not abrogate. He does not come along with a latter text and say that erases the former text. What the Holy Spirit does is He adds clarity or detail to an original generic passage, but He never changes it. And if He ever were to change it, that means what He said initially was Say what? Lie. And we know from Hebrews 6:18, that it’s impossible for God to lie. So when theologians are coming along and saying the New Testament is changing the old- which is what’s found in Darryl Bach’s terminology here; change, enhancement. You’ve just moved outside of progressive revelation into foreign territory. Because a lot of people hear this discussion amongst theologians and they’re kind of mystified what everybody’s all upset about this. This is the kind of thing that’s causing the division. It’s an alteration in the doctrine of progressive revelation. Robert Lightner, who again, I think has it completely right says of progressive dispensationalists, “So, they have not only changed,” and that’s the key- that’s the key phrase. “They have not only changed the people to include the Church,” In other words, as they’ve taken David’s throne and put it into heaven. “They have not only changed the people to include the Church, but they also [have] changed the place where the covenant is to be fulfilled. Now it’s not only on earth, but it’s also in heaven. The people have changed and the place has changed.”
In other words, they’ve come up with an understanding to support this Already Not Yet view of the kingdom, which contradicts the doctrine of progressive revelation. And it gets worse. One of the things Bock does to get this doctrine to work, that Jesus is now reigning from David’s throne, is he tries to do something called linking. Where he’s linking verse 30 with- what is it?- verse 34. In other words, rather than allowing the two citations from different parts of the Psalms to have their distinctive input, he wants you to draw a line connecting those two psalms. And he’s doing it with the verb “to seat.” So back up just for a minute to Acts 2:30. In Peter’s sermon, it says, “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.” That’s a citation from Psalm 132:11. It is an explanation as to who Israel just rejected nationally. They rejected the one who one day will occupy David’s throne. That’s Peter’s point in quoting Psalm 132:11 in verse 30. And when he says to see one of his descendants on his throne, he’s not saying he’s on David’s throne now. It’s not what Peter is saying. Peter is saying something similar to what John the Baptist said. “The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, ‘Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!'”
Now had Jesus taken away the sin of the world at the moment John the Baptist said that? No. This statement occurs very early on in the Ministry of Jesus. John the Baptist is just revealing what Jesus is going to do. That’s how Peter is using Psalm 132:11. He’s not saying Jesus is now on David’s throne. What he’s saying is you just rejected the one who is the Davidic descendant who will reign on David’s throne yet future. So what progressive Dispensationalists do, though, is they say, No, that’s not true. I want you to underline the word “seat” in verse 30. Draw a circle around it, and I want you to underline or draw a circle around the word “sit” in verse 34, and I want you to draw a line connecting those two circles. So he’s taking two Psalms and merging them together. In other words, when you read verse 30, he wants you to connect it with verse 34 on the basis of the verb said. So you already know verse 30. “And so, he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath to seat one of his descendants on his throne.” Later on, Peter quotes Psalm 110:1, which has nothing to do with David’s reign, as we’ve talked about. It’s Christ’s high priestly ministry.
And it says, “For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says: ‘The Lord…’Sit at My right hand.'” SIT At My right hand until I make Your enemies Your footstool. So if you connect, “sit” in verse 34 back with “seat” in verse 30, the obvious implication, according to progressive dispensationalists, is Jesus is sitting on David’s throne now. you see how- what they’re doing? They’re taking two distinct ideas and merging them together when those two distinct ideas are meant to be kept separate. So here is what Darrell Bock is saying as he’s describing this, “Having mentioned the need to call on the Lord, Peter turns to recent events. He recounts Jesus’ ministry and death but notes the death is not able to hold him (vv. 22-24).” So far, so good. “Peter goes on to note that such impotency for death was predicted in Psalm 16, the second Old Testament citation in Acts 2. The text clearly is presented as having been fulfilled in Jesus’ resurrection. The Psalm 16 citation leads to the mention of David and a defense of the fact that a resurrection understanding of the text cannot refer to David, since he is buried.” So far so good. I mean, if I was the Amen chorus, I would be saying Amen through this whole thing. Until you get to that last sentence. “…The crucial linking illusion appears at this point.” What do you mean, linking illusion?
Linking means you have to link Psalm 132 with Psalm 110. You’re not going to see this new doctrine of Jesus reigning on David’s throne by looking at the Psalms separately. You’ve got to link them together. “Peter notes that David was a prophet. Not only was David a prophet, he was the conscience beneficiary of an oath God made to him that ‘one of the fruit of his[David’s] loins’ would sit on his throne (Acts 2:30). The [term] kathisai (to sit), which is reintroduced in the citation of Psalm 110 (note kathou, “sit,”) The allusion in verse 30 is to Psalm 132:11, a Psalm, which is strongly Israelitish and national in tone. The Psalm in turn is a reflection of the promise made to David in Second Samuel 7, especially verse 12. This Second Samuel passage is better known as the Davidic Covenant. What is crucial is that David’s awareness of this covenant promise is immediately linked-” Linked to what? Linked back to Psalm 132, which also mentions sitting. That’s why he keeps talking about linking. His doctrine doesn’t work when you look at the Psalms separately. But he wants you to kind of use the ram jam and cram method, pull them all together, and you’ll be able to see what he sees that Charles Ryrie never saw. Dwight Pentecost never saw. Dr. Stanley Toussaint never saw. But he sees it because he’s linking two Psalms together.
That’s why he keeps saying, you’ve got to watch the linkage. “What is crucial,” Meaning here’s the main point you have to get to understand his doctrine. And you would not believe the amount of people that believe this because of these words I’m reading to you from his own writings. I mean, person after person after person has fallen headlong into this trap because this sounds so good. What does the Bible say there? There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof is death or destruction. I mean, these guys really have the gift of gab. “What is crucial is that David’s awareness of this covenant promise is immediately linked to his understanding of the resurrection in Psalm 16, which in turn is immediately tied to the resurrection proof texts of Psalm 110…Being seated on David’s throne-” which is in Psalm 132. It’s just going to happen later- “is linked to being seated at God’s right hand. In other words, Jesus’ resurrection-ascension to God’s right hand is put forward by Peter as a fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant just as the allusion to Joel  fulfills the new covenant-” No, it doesn’t. We’ve gone through Joel 2. That’s an analogy, not a fulfillment. “To say that Peter is only interested to argue that the Messiah must be raised misses the point of the connection in these verses and ignores entirely the allusion to Psalm 132 in the Davidic Covenant.”
“This passage and Luke 1:68-79 also counter the claim that no New Testament [text] asserts the present work of Jesus’ as a reigning Davidite sitting on David’s Throne.” See, and that’s- that’s the point is you say there is no passage that puts Jesus on David’s throne categorically. Psalm 132 doesn’t because that’s speaking of His future role on David’s throne. Psalm 110 doesn’t, because that’s speaking of the Ministry of Jesus as high priest after the order of Melchizedek at the Father’s right hand. And he says, Aha. But what you haven’t considered is how those two Psalms link, connect via the verb “to sit.” I hope you understand that language matters millions. And I don’t mean to Hyperbolize. But millions and millions of unborn children were killed between 1973 And 2022 because the United States Supreme Court saw something in the Constitution that no one ever saw before. Like they had sophisticated language, too. They called it a penumbra or a shadow. Yeah, there’s no right to have an abortion in the Constitution, but it’s in the shadows. And it seems like just such an innocent stroke of the pen. But millions and millions of unborn children lost their lives because of that innocent stroke of the pen. Innocent strokes of the pen matter. And maybe this issue is not as severe as the abortion issue. Maybe it is. Maybe it isn’t. But ideas have consequences.” The throne on which Jesus is said to sit is the one promised to David’s descendants through the Davidic promise of Second Samuel, which was initially passed on through Solomon. Jesus sits here as David’s promised son on David’s promised throne. This fits the Old Testament imagery as well. The idea of sitting describes the idea of rule, as the parallelism of Jeremiah 22:30 shows. As the Davidic heir,”
Here’s the BLT, bottom line time- “Jesus sits in and rules from heaven.” Why does he think that? Number one, complementary hermeneutics, which we’ve tried to explain earlier. Number two, he says you’ll never see this truth by looking at Peter’s presentation, Psalm 132 for one point and Psalm 110 for another point. But it will become clear when you take those two psalms and you link them together through the verb said. Zane Hodges wrote a wonderful critique against what Darrell Bock is doing here. Hodges says, “The precise point- the ascension- is in view in Acts 2:34: ‘For David did not send into heavens, but he says himself…’ It is simply incorrect to treat Psalm 16 as linked with Psalm 110 by asserting that both are resurrection proof texts. Psalm 16 is, but Psalm 110 is not.” Now he’s saying there you can’t you can’t link Psalm 110 and Psalm 132 any more than you can link Psalm 16 and Psalm 110. Psalm 16 Resurrection, Psalm 110 present session. You can’t take those two psalms and put them together. They’re teaching two different things in the career of Jesus.
And if you can’t do it with Psalm 16 and Psalm 110, you certainly can’t do it with Psalm 132 and Psalm 110. Hodges says, and here’s the salient point, “Rather, Peter quoted each psalm with its own quite distinct emphasis in support of two different elements in his presentation.” See, Peter is a preacher. He’s giving a sermon. A sermon has points to it. And he’s quoting a different psalm for each point. He does not anticipate that people would take the two or three points and merge them all together to make a different point. So Peter has quoted Joel 2 in this sermon to show this is how the Holy Spirit works, these languages. Holy Spirit is going to do something similar in the Tribulation and the millennium. Now he moves to the next part of his sermon where he quotes Psalm 16. Why does he quote Psalm 16? Because he’s saying Jesus resurrected from the dead. Now he moves to part three of his sermon where he explains that, oh, by the way, you people, Jewish nation killed Jesus, who is the Davidic descendant. And he quotes Psalm 132 to get that point across. And then at the end of the sermon, he says, By the way, Jesus is now at the Father’s right hand. This is the source of the miracles that you are seeing. And he’s quoting Psalm 110 to get that point across.
You see what’s happening here? Every time he makes a different point he has a different Old Testament text to communicate the point. And if you’re going to take points, I don’t know, two and five and jam them together, you’re doing something with Peter’s sermon that Peter never intended. You know, it’d be like me preaching a sermon at this church. And I say, okay, I’ve got three points I’m going to make. Now you guys are laughing because that would be a short sermon. But we got three points. We’re going to make A, B and C. So point A one scripture, point B another scripture, point C a third scripture. And then on the way out, you know, as you’re greeting the preacher on the way out, Howard Hendrix called that the glorifying of the worm. Everybody says, Oh, what a great sermon, Pastor. I really appreciated points one, two and three. But you know, really what I’m going to do is I’m going to create my own point. I’m going to take point two and three and merge them together and make those two points communicate something that you never intended. In which case I would say to you, well, have a blessed life and that’s wonderful. But I never said that at all. That, in essence, is what Bock and these guys are doing by playing this linkage game that they’re playing. Hodges goes on and I think I’ll have to conclude with this quote here.
“But unless Bock is reading the Greek texts in the form found in the Majority Text (not likely, to be sure,) there appears to be a translational gaffe here that slightly overstates the similarities between verses 30 and 34. As you read modern editions of the Greek New Testament, the verb kathisai in verse 30 is not to be read as an intransitive (‘to sit’) but as transitive (‘to seat’) In verse 34, however, the intransitive (‘to sit’) is correct, even though a slightly different Greek verb is involved. But, in view of the difference in verbs, Bock is not technically accurate when he states that the former verb is ‘reintroduced’ in the quotation from Psalm 110. Clearly this would be quibbling were it not for the fact that Bock is trying to make these verses parallel by appealing to the use of a single verb in the same sense in both verses.” Translation: How is he arguing that you can link Psalm 132 and Psalm 11? I’m sorry, Psalm 132 and Psalm 110. Why are you linking those together? Even though they are different parts of Peter’s sermon. Why are you merging them together? He says the verb ‘to seat’ allows you to do that. Houston, we have a problem. The problem is, in those two passages, it’s a different verb. Acts 2:30, quoting Psalm 132:11. The verb is kathizo. Acts 2:34. Psalm 110. The verb is kathemai.
One is a transitive verb, one is an intransitive verb. One means to seat or place. One means to sit. Well, Andy, you’re really nitpicking here. But I want you to follow me. Follow me on this. I know it’s late on a Wednesday night. You probably didn’t come in here to receive this kind of teaching. But if Peter was intentionally trying to link both psalms, don’t you think he would have used the same verb in both verses? Why would he use a completely different verb? That’s a problem for me. I mean, I think if he wanted us to merge Psalm 132 in Peter’s presentation with Psalm 110 in Peter’s presentation to communicate this idea that Jesus is reigning on David’s throne, certainly he would have used the identical Greek verb, which he does not. Dr. Toussaint, I think puts the dagger into the heart here. He says, “The word kingdom does not occur in Acts 2.” Acts 2 is where they’re all going to say Jesus inaugurated the Already form of the kingdom. Well, I don’t see the word kingdom in Acts 2. I mean, if Peter- if that was Peter’s point, wouldn’t he use the word kingdom somewhere? The word kingdom does not occur in Acts 2. Dr. Toussaint says. “It is difficult to explain why Luke [does] not use the term kingdom if the kingdom is being inaugurated.” Dr. Luke, because he wrote Luke and Act, employs the word kingdom forty five times in the Gospels.
Why does he use it forty five times in Luke’s gospel? Because the kingdom was in play then. The kingdom could have been accepted. Because it was being offered. “He employs it forty-five times in the Gospels and uses it two more times in Acts 1. One would expect Luke to use the word if such a startling thing as the inauguration of the kingdom had taken place. The fact that Luke uses kingdom only eight times in Acts after such heavy usage in his gospel-” excuse me- “implies that the kingdom had not begun but was in fact, postponed.” What do you have to believe to be a progressive dispensationalist and believe that Jesus is now reigning on David’s throne in an Already sense? Number one, you have to believe in complementary hermeneutics, which violates the doctrine of progressive revelation. Number two, you have to believe that Peter wants us to read his sermon by taking two distinct points in his presentation and merging them together. Not allowing each point to have its own distinctive contribution. Merge them together. Number three, you have to believe that Peter is linking Psalm 110:1 and Psalm 132:11 based on the word “sit” or “to seat”, even though in Koine Greek, the verbs are different. Number four, you have to believe that Acts Chapter 2 is communicating, not the inauguration of the church age, but the inauguration of the Kingdom of God.
Even though the Greek term basileia, translated kingdom, does not show up in the entire chapter. Well, gee, Pastor, you’ve talked about the people from the left. What about the people from the right? What about people that believe that the church didn’t start here at all in Acts 2 but started with Paul? That’s called Hyper-dispensationalism. Ultra-dispensationalism. See, once you got the left figured out, then all of a sudden you get hit by the right. And that’s what’s happened to me. I came out of Dallas Seminary all armed against the left. Then I discovered this whole movement to the right that blindsided me. People that are saying this isn’t the beginning of the church age at all because the church started with Paul. What are you going to do with those people on the right? Well, what we’re going to do with the people on the right is we’re going to have you come back next week where we’re going to study it. So let’s pray. Father, we just thank You, for these folks that sacrificed a Wednesday evening to sit under teaching that’s sort of abnormal, pretty heavy stuff. But we need to understand what’s happening in the big bad world of theology, because ideas have consequences. Help us to rightfully divide your word in these last days. 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.