Acts 023 – Problems with Progressive DispensationalismActs 3:19b-20 • Dr. Andy Woods • May 17, 2023 • Acts
Problems With Progressive Dispensationalism
May 17, 2023
Dr. Andy Woods
Let’s open our Bibles this evening to the Book of Acts 3:19. Believe it or not, we’ve got one more study this evening. Then we’ve got Bible study next week and then we’re off for the summer. And we don’t reconvene until September. So, we’re going to finish the whole book of Acts tonight. One of the questions that came up in the Q&A last time was about Hebrews 6:4-6. So, there’s on the- in the back table, I think it is- there’s an article that I wrote, an academic article. I wrote it some time ago, but it gets into the whole Hebrews 6 issue and why Hebrews 6 does not teach a loss of salvation. It teaches a loss of reward concept, but not a loss of salvation. So, we make you aware of that if you want to explore that issue further. We are in Acts chapter 3, where we have had a miraculous healing. A man who was lame from birth for forty years is miraculously healed by Peter and John- except it’s really not Peter and John doing the healing. It’s the Lord who is at the Father’s right hand healing this man through Peter and John. But this sort of a miracle, instantaneous miracle, as you might imagine, creates a crowd of people. And so there’s this great throng of people there in the temple area. And this gives Peter the opportunity, beginning in verse 12 through the end of the chapter, to give his second sermon as recorded in the Book of Acts.
His first sermon was in Acts 2. Now he is giving his second major recorded sermon. The sermon has two parts. The first part of it is Israel’s rejection of her Messiah. Peter makes it very clear that the nation of Israel had their own king before them, yet they turned Him down, verses 12 through 18. And this Jesus, whom they rejected is the man or the being, the entity, the God (capital G) responsible for the healing that they have just seen. But then the nice thing about Peter’s sermon is it has a part two to it, beginning in verse 19, where he explains what Israel must do in the distant future to be made right with God. So currently the nation is under divine discipline nationally, having rejected her king. But then, beginning in verse 19, Peter outlines what Israel must do in the future to come out of that divine discipline and so God’s kingdom can be restored to the earth in and through Israel. So, he’s outlining here Israel’s future responsibilities. And the first thing Israel must do in the future is she’s got to repent. And we talked all about what repentance means, I think, last time. She’s got to change her mind about Jesus. So, you have the necessity of repentance, verse 19. And then what follows that is the results of repentance.
Once Israel repents of her national sin of attributing Christ’s miracles to the devil, Matthew 12:24, something wonderful is going to happen. Actually there are four things that will happen. A, national salvation, verse 19. B, the coming of the kingdom, verse 19. C, the second coming of Christ, verse 20. And then D, you’ll see an end of Christ’s present session. Once Israel repents, Jesus will no longer be functioning as high priest at the Father’s right hand in heaven. But He will then be functioning as king, reigning over an earthly kingdom headquartered in Jerusalem, over planet Earth. So, we’ve already talked about salvation that will occur once Israel repents. There’s going to be the salvation of a whole nation. And we talked about that last time. And then continuing on verse 19, he gives a second thing that’s going to happen when Israel, yet future repents. So, look at verse 19, “Therefore repent and return-” That’s what Israel has to do as a nation to get these blessings. “Therefore, repent and return so that your sins may be wiped away-” That’s salvation. “…in order that the times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” So, what are these times of refreshing? Well, these times of refreshing is a reference to the coming kingdom. In Matthew 19:28, this is how Jesus described the coming kingdom.
It says, “And Jesus said to them, ‘Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” So you’ll notice there in Matthew 19:28, Jesus refers to the kingdom age as the regeneration. There’s a similar expression used here in verse 19, where it talks about the times of refreshing. The word regeneration is a compound word. Two Greek words making up a single word. It’s the word again- one of the words- palin. And the second word is genesia. And you hear that word genesia, and you can think about one of the books of the Bible that we have that comes from that word. Anybody know? Genesis. Genesis is typically known as the Book of Beginnings. So that’s what paliggenesia means. Palin, again. Genesia, beginning. It’s beginning again. It’s the time in history where God returns to the earth, Jesus returns to the earth and establishes His kingdom upon the earth and rolls back conditions very close to how they once existed in the Garden of Eden. Beginning again, in other words. The restoration of all things. This word paliggenesia is used only one other time in the New Testament. It’s used in Titus 3:5 of our personal salvation. Titus 3:5 says, “He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to his mercy by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit.”
So regeneration in Titus 3:5, paliggenesia is used; beginning again. Because that’s what happens when you become a Christian and you receive the grace of God. You’re made a new creature in Christ Jesus and you’re beginning again. That word is only used one other time in the Greek New Testament. And it’s used for the coming kingdom in Matthew 19:28. And in both cases, whether we’re talking about personal regeneration or the kingdom, there’s always an order. Jesus comes first and then all things become new second. So first Jesus is going to come back and then all things will be made new. The church today, very sadly, ever since Augustine has been trying to bring the kingdom to the earth before Jesus returns. And I’m here to tell you that that’s not going to happen. Just look at the headlines and you’ll see evidence of it. So, Jesus comes first, and then you have the regeneration of all things, the kingdom. It’s the same thing with salvation. You don’t have regeneration before Jesus comes into your life. You trust Christ, the Holy Spirit enters you, and it’s at that point all things become new. So, with both personal regeneration and the kingdom, there’s a definite order here. And so, this is what Peter is talking about when he talks about these times of refreshing.
So, when the nation of Israel repents in the future, what’s going to happen? There’s going to be national salvation. Every single Jew on planet Earth will be saved. Number two, there’s going to be the manifestation of the kingdom on the earth. And let’s spend just a little bit of time here on this expression, the restoration of all things. What exactly is that talking about? The restoration of all things. And even before we get to that, let me just make this point. The restoration of all things (i.e., the kingdom) will not transpire until Jesus comes back to a saved Israel. That is the prerequisite that must be met before Jesus can return and establish His kingdom on the earth. So, I think we made the point last week- or the week before, one of those weeks- and this point is not original to me. It’s something I heard Dr. Stanley Toussaint say in class. He said, you know, you can have the entire world get saved. But if tiny Israel remains in unbelief, then the kingdom of God cannot come to the earth. The opposite is true. The whole world could reject Jesus and yet if tiny Israel, nationally speaking, get saved, then the kingdom will come to the earth. And so, God’s entire kingdom program is riding upon the response of the nation of Israel to their king. This is the kingdom that Jesus wanted to bring in His first coming, but they would not have Him.
So that kingdom has been postponed. Now God is at work through another new man called the church, which is us. We are not Israel. Our task is not to bring the kingdom to the earth. It’s to reach and teach, evangelize and disciple, fulfill the great Commission. But one of these days, the age of the church will be over via the Rapture. And then God will put His hand in the final seven years of human history that we call the tribulation period before Jesus returns to the Earth in the Second Coming. He will put His hand back on Israel. Israel through that process- it’s called a time of unparalleled distress or unparalleled trouble for Jacob, Israel. Israel, nationally, as a nation, will be brought to saving faith. Then Jesus will return, rescue them from the Antichrist and then the Kingdom of God- whether you call it the regeneration of all things or the restoration of all things- will come to the earth. So, when Daniel spoke of the coming kingdom, he was very clear when it would come. He, along with Nebuchadnezzar, saw that statue in chapter 2 of the various empires that would trample down the nation of Israel in a time period called The Times of the Gentiles beginning with the Babylonian captivity. Each body part in the statue represents a different pagan empire that would trample Israel down during this time period.
We are actually still in this time period now. As Israel, even though she’s been restored nationally, is still being bullied and trampled down by various Gentile powers. I saw something recently where someone said 70% of United Nations resolutions go against the state of Israel. So, Israel is still being trampled down and bullied. So, the times of the Gentiles continue. But the head of gold would represent Babylon, which trampled Israel down from about 605 to 539. The chest and arms of silver would represent the Medo-Persian empire, which trampled Israel down from about 539 to 331. The belly and thighs of bronze would represent Greece, which trampled the nation of Israel down from about 331 to 63 BC. Keep in mind, Daniel is seeing all these things in advance way back in the sixth century. The legs of iron would represent Rome, which came into the land of Israel under General Pompey, about 63 BC, and displaced Israel from her homeland in AD 70. Most people or historians concur that Rome had two parts to it: an Eastern division and a Western division. And that may be why both Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar saw Rome as two legs of iron: one leg representing the east, another leg representing the west. And then in between the ankles and the feet is a long period of time that’s not mentioned. It’s been going on for about 2000 years, the age of the church.
It was a mystery. The prophets of old could not see that time period. But that time period is going to be followed by the feet of clay. Ten toes representing the Antichrist’s Empire, which will- I think is being built now as we speak- but will reach its zenith in the coming Tribulation period. That empire will be in place for at least for three and a half years. And then at the end of that time period, both Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar saw a stone cut without human hands, striking the feet of the statue causing the whole statue to crumble. And then that stone cut without human hands, they both saw and the vision, grew and grew and grew till it filled the whole earth. And that’s the instantaneous coming of the Kingdom of God subsequent to Israel’s conversion to Christ in the tribulation period itself. And so, it’s very, very clear here that the kingdom is not going to come to the earth until the Antichrist kingdom runs its course. You cannot have the Kingdom of God coming until the feet mixed with iron and clay, ten toes- some kind of ten-king-ten-nation Confederacy covering the whole earth. The Book of Daniel 7:23 tells us that. It’s going to cover the whole earth somehow. Until that final new World order, as many call it, comes into existence and runs its course, then and only then, at the conclusion of that time period will the Kingdom of God, as represented by the stone cut without human hands, come to the earth.
So, all of that to say, we are not interested, today, in building the kingdom. Because if you’re in a church that’s always talking about how we’re bringing in the kingdom and we’re building the kingdom and we’re kingdom builders, and all the emails are signed “for the kingdom,” as is typical in modern day Christianity, I would simply say that you’re building the wrong kingdom. Because the Bible is very clear chronologically that the next kingdom on the horizon is not God’s kingdom. The kingdom that’s being built right now in the world- The New World Order- is not God’s kingdom. It’s a counterfeit satanic kingdom which must arise and run its course and only after it runs its course, then it will be instantaneously- not gradually- but instantaneously destroyed by the stone cut without human hands. So, Daniel chapter 2, where you find this particular vision- and it’s narrated also in Daniel 7, same content. But it’s narrated with different beasts instead of different parts of the statue- is very helpful because it gives you a chronology concerning when God’s kingdom is going to come. Do not expect God’s kingdom to come to the earth until the Antichrist kingdom, arising out of the cultural inheritance of ancient Rome, comes to full bloom, full fruition, has its day in the sun and then, and only then will it be destroyed by that stone cut without human hands.
Now, why am I going into all of this? Because this is the area that is being confused today through what is called the “Already, Not Yet” view of the kingdom. What is happening is people are taking Acts 3:19- and this is why I’m bringing this up now, because that’s the verse we’re in in our verse-by-verse study- and they’re taking this expression times of refreshing. And they’re trying to argue that the Already form of the kingdom, which they call the spiritual form of the kingdom, is being fulfilled in verse 19. The Not Yet part of the kingdom, verse 21. The final earthly form of the kingdom will not be fulfilled until verse 21. So, verse 19, the times of refreshing is the Already form of the kingdom in spiritual form. Verse 21, Supposedly when it talks about the period of the restoration of all things is the Not Yet form of the kingdom, which is the earthly kingdom. This, unfortunately, is the big theological issue that has come out of my alma mater, Dallas Seminary, over the last several decades. The majority of faculty, not not all, but the majority there believe in this “Already, Not Yet” form of the kingdom. Well, first of all, such a view would violate the chronology of Daniel’s statue.
Because Daniel is very clear in chapter 2 that you’re not going to see the kingdom in any sense, whether you want to divide it between the Already and the Not Yet, you’re not going to see the kingdom in any sense until the Antichrist kingdom runs its course and is cataclysmically overthrown by God’s kingdom. So, Daniel chapter 2 knows absolutely nothing about some kind of spiritual form of the kingdom in existence now supposedly set up by Jesus in His first coming before the final form of the kingdom comes. We are not in the kingdom. We are not in a mystery kingdom. We are not in some kind of Already spiritual form of the kingdom. The kingdom, when it comes, is a package deal. It will come all at once. Man will not bring in God’s kingdom. God will bring in His own kingdom. Thank you very much. And until that happens- and it can’t happen until the Antichrist kingdom runs its course. When that happens, then you’re going to have the kingdom in totality. It’s not going to come in stages. You’re going to get the stage A first and stage B second. Daniel chapter 2 knows absolutely nothing about that. It says, Do not look for the kingdom in any sense until the Antichrist kingdom has completely and totally run its course. So, when people come up with these interpretations that the times of refreshing, verse 19, is the Already form of the kingdom and the restoration of all things is the Not Yet form of the kingdom, they’re going directly against what Daniel chapter 2 already established.
When you interpret the Bible and you come up with an interpretation of the Bible that contradicts prior revelation, then your interpretation is off. You’re not free as a Bible interpreter to come up with an interpretation of the Bible which contradicts something God already said earlier. You interpret the New Testament in light of what God has already disclosed in the Old Testament, or else what you’re going to make God do at the end of the day is to tell a fib or to tell a lie, which cannot happen because it’s impossible for God to- what? It’s impossible for God to lie. So, if you take verse 19 as: Oh, times of refreshing, that’s a spiritual manifestation of the kingdom. Verse 21 is the final form of the kingdom. And you have it coming in phases. Spiritual form, they say when Jesus was here. Not Yet form when He comes back the second time. Two phases. “Already, Not Yet.” You’re coming up with an interpretation that goes against the chronology of Daniel’s statue in Daniel chapter 2. So, here’s sort of the game that’s being played. You have people that are reformed, theologians that believe that we are in the kingdom now in totality. They say don’t look for a future earthly kingdom. Jesus is ruling now. You have other people that are more traditional dispensationalists like myself, based on the teaching that I’m giving here, indicating that the kingdom will not come until Jesus comes back at the end of the tribulation period.
So, one group says the kingdom is now. Another group says the kingdom is future. And isn’t it tempting to try to bridge the divide? I’ll come up with an interpretation that makes everybody happy. How does that saying go? One guy put on the colors of the north so the North wouldn’t shoot at them during the Civil War. And he also put on the colors of the south so the South wouldn’t shoot at him during the Civil War. And he ended up getting shot at by both sides. You’ve heard that saying before. That’s what is happening here with this “Already, Not Yet” thing. They’re trying to make both sides happy. You know, let’s go down the middle and let’s come up with an interpretation that satisfies everybody. We’ll call it Already- it’s here in spiritual form. Not Yet- there’s still a future form of the kingdom. “Already, Not Yet.” So sometimes this is called progressive dispensationalism. Well, here at Sugar Land Bible Church, we do not believe in an Already form of the kingdom in any sense because Daniel chapter 2 indicated that the kingdom is not going to come in phases. It’s not going to come in stages. You’re not going to get a spiritual part of it first and a physical part of it later. It’s all coming at once.
It’s coming as a package deal. The stone cut without human hands, which will instantaneously, not gradually, overthrow the kingdom of the Antichrist. And it will not come until the Antichrist kingdom completely runs its course in the seven-year tribulation period. So, if I’m going to say that part of it is here already, I’m contradicting the clear chronology that God has already laid down in Daniel chapter 2. So, Acts chapter 3 cannot contradict Daniel chapter 2. Amen? So, if I’ve got an interpretation of Acts 3 that goes against Daniel 2, I’m misreading Acts chapter 3. That’s my point. And the reason I’m bringing it up is they’re convinced that “Already, Not Yet,” verse 19, times of refreshing, is the Already form of the kingdom. Verse 21, the period of the restoration of all things is the Not Yet form of the kingdom. Here’s the way it reads in Greek. Times of refreshing: times is kairos. They think that’s the spiritual kingdom that Jesus set up in the first century. And then the period of the restoration of all things. Period there is chronos. They think that’s the Not Yet form of the kingdom. Kairos, already, verse 19. Chronos, a physical form of the kingdom that’s not yet that’s coming at the end of the seven year tribulation period. And I’m trying to argue that Kairos and Chronos are talking about the same kingdom. Kairos and chronos are both going to be filled simultaneously.
They’re both going to be fulfilled parallel concurrently. When? Well, according to Daniel chapter 2, after the Antichrist’s Empire in the tribulation period runs its full course. Until that happens, don’t expect Chronos. Don’t expect Kairos. Because those things are- Chronos and Kairos is contingent upon Israel’s conversion. Israel’s conversion won’t happen until the seven-year tribulation period is over. So, Daniel chapter 2 is a very important prophetic piece of information because it gives you the chronology of when the kingdom will come. And once you understand the chronology of when the kingdom will come, you won’t be confused by all these schemes that people are trying to pull off today about an “Alread, Not Yet” form of the kingdom. When the whole motivation for the “Already, Not Yet” form of the kingdom is to satisfy two competing beliefs. Because in postmodern thought, what is happening is- what they think is neither side has the truth. So, the truth must be in the middle somewhere. And where two opposite sides overlap, there’s the truth. And that becomes the new truth. So, the truth, according to postmodern progressive dispensational thought, is basically: The reform people don’t have it completely right and traditional dispensationalism doesn’t have it completely right. The truth must be in the middle. “Already, Not Yet.” The problem is all you’ve done at the end of the day is acted like a politician and tried to make everybody happy. And you’ve gotten further and further away from God’s truth and what He actually says.
Some would call this- if you’ve heard of the Hegelian dialect- you heard of that? It’s like if I want to introduce a really bad idea, I think what I’ll do is I’ll introduce a less bad idea. An idea that’s still bad, but it’s less bad from where I really want to go. And then once I get everybody to accept a less bad idea, then I could move them over eventually into the bad idea I wanted originally. Do some research on this Hegelian dialect. It’s how you introduce paradigm shifts really into any civilization, any country, any school of thought. And what’s happening here with this “Already, Not Yet” thing is, it’s simply moving us more and more in the direction of replacement theology, reform theology, kingdom now theology. Although the progressive dispensationalists would deny that because they say that Chronos is future, although the Kairos is present now. Okay, so you haven’t taken us over the cliff at 75 miles an hour. You’ve taken us over the cliff at 35 miles an hour, but we’re still going over the cliff. That’s the problem. So, you guys need to be aware of this because when churches pick leaders, you need to ask, what do you believe about the kingdom? We have people from our missions committee here. Some of our missionaries could slip into this. They need to be questioned on this.
You could at some point get a new pastor. I’m not planning on going anywhere, but I could get hit by a car on the way home. You might be in the market for a new pastor. Hey, let’s get our pastor from Dallas Seminary. Great place. Okay, well, you better be very careful about that. Do they believe in the “Already, Not Yet” form of the kingdom? Now, let me explain to you why this “Already, Not Yet” form of the kingdom cannot be exegetically substantiated from these verses. Here’s something I say in my book, The Coming Kingdom Pages 256 to 257. Progressive Dispensationalists interpret the times of refreshing in verse 19 to refer to the Already stage of the kingdom and the restoration of all things in verse 21 to refer to the Not Yet stage of the kingdom. That’s the theology. The issue isn’t how good a theology sounds. Can it be substantiated exegetically from these verses? So I say, however, because the two clauses- What two clauses? The Kairos clause, verse 19, and the Chronos clause, verse 21. However, because the two clauses follow hopós. Hopós means there “in order that.” In other words, in Greek both clauses follow “in order that.” If both clauses follow “in order that,” you cannot separate the two clauses into two comings of the kingdom. It’s exegetically impossible. However, because the two clauses follow “in order that,” and the two clauses are connected by Kai- which is a Greek conjunction.
It means and. And both clauses contain subjunctive verbs. What’s a subjunctive verb? It’s the mood of possibility. So, when it says there “…in order that the times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; that He may send-” That’s a subjunctive mood of possibility. “He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things.” You’ll notice that he says, “the times of refreshing MAY come.” That’s erchomai, subjunctive. That’s in verse 19. “He may send Jesus,” apostellō, that’s subjunctive as well. So, what I’m trying to show you is how those two clauses parallel each other. They both flow out of “in order that.” They are both joined by the conjunctive Kai. And both clauses contain subjunctive verbs. So, since they’re so parallel, you can’t separate the two. You can’t say, well verse 19 was fulfilled 2000 years ago in a spiritual form of the kingdom. And verse 21 is not going to be fulfilled till the end of the tribulation period. Exegetically, you can’t do that. Now, your theology may call for you to do that because you’ve bought into the presupposition of the “Already, Not Yet” form of the kingdom. But the issue is not what does your theology teach, but is it supported from the text? A theology is only as good as the text it comes from. If you believe something theologically that’s not supported from the Greek or Hebrew text, then get rid of your theology because your theology is wrong.
And what is happening is you’re allowing your theology to gobble up what the text actually says. So “in order that,” and from that come two clauses. You have kairos, times of refreshing. Kai, and that He may send. You have two clauses following Kai, meaning the two clauses are joined. And both clauses contain subjunctive verbs. And if that weren’t enough, it says, however, because the two clauses follow hopós, “in order that,” are connected by kai and both contain subjunctive verbs, nothing separates the two clauses. Thus they- verse 19 and verse 21- the Kairos and the Chronos. Thus, they are speaking of the same event rather than two unrelated events. You can’t separate this into an “Already, Not Yet” theology because both clauses are talking about the same event. What same event is it? The immediate manifestation of the Kingdom of God on the earth after the Antichrist’s Empire runs its course and Jesus comes back at the end of the seven-year tribulation period and cataclysmically and instantaneously overthrows the Antichrist empire. That’s what both clauses are speaking of. Viewing both clauses is referring to the same event is strengthened upon recognizing the plural- Kairos, times, plural noun- is parallel to the plural noun chronos, seasons or times in verse 21. So can you separate verse 19 and verse 21? Absolutely not.
Yeah, but I believe in this really cool theology called “Already, Not Yet” theology. I learned it at Dallas Seminary. All the young professors are into this. And my answer is: Who cares? I mean, you may have said under the most articulate, glib professors on planet Earth and filled your head- as Rush Limbaugh called the minds of college students- skulls of mush. You know, he may have filled your skull of mush with a very fine sounding theology already. Not yet. And you might think that you’re really cool because you’re bridging two camps. You’re bridging two opposites. And you might get up in your first sermon and teach it and you might sound really good, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter because what you just taught contradicts what God is exegetically saying in His word. It contradicts the order of Daniel 2 and it contradicts the basic exegesis of verses 19 through 21. Why is that? Because both clauses follow “in order that.” both are connected by the conjunction, kai. Both clauses contain subjunctive verbs and both clauses use plural nouns. And so absolutely nothing separates these two clauses into an “Already, Not Yet” sequence. Now, I know a lot of you- what you’re thinking. You’re looking at me and you’re saying Andy has just lost it. I have no idea what he’s talking about. So let me quote some people that know this issue a lot better than I do to show you that I’m not here making stuff up.
This is Dr. Stanley Toussaint who- his specialty was Greek New Testament. He says, “The two clauses in Acts 3:19-21 follow ὅπως go together. In other words, the clause ‘that the times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord’ must be taken with the words ‘and that He may send Jesus.’ As Henchen puts it” He’s quoting here an exegetical scholar. “‘The two promises are complementary statements about one and the same event.’ Nothing grammatically separates the promises; in fact, they are joined together by the connective καί. The noun ἀναψύξεως, translated ‘refreshing’ is a New Testament hapax legomenon.” That just means a word that’s used only once in the New Testament. “It is used in Greek literature in various forms to refer to ‘cooling by blowing, refreshing, relieving, resting.’ It occurs in the Septuagint only in Exodus, where it refers to relief from the plague of frogs. Schweizer correctly observes, ‘The context makes sense only if the ‘times of refreshing’ are the definitive age of salvation. The expression is undoubtedly apocalyptic in origin…The reference, then, is to the eschatological redemption which is promised to Israel if it repents.’ Furthermore, the plural καιροὶ. ‘times’ in Acts 3:19 parallels the plural noun χρόνων, ‘seasons’ or ‘times’ in verse 21. The two terms refer to the same era, and the plural form simply emphasized duration. The context makes it clear that the synonyms refer to the-”
Can anybody see the next word in the sentence I’m in there? Third from the top- “future kingdom,” Not one clause goes with an Already kingdom started 2000 years ago, allegedly, and another clause goes with the future part of the kingdom. They’re both referring to the same kingdom, which does not come in phases. It will come all at once, only after the Antichrist’s Empire runs its course and is overthrown by Jesus. “The context makes it clear that the synonyms refer to the future kingdom, with καιροὶ(kairos) emphasizing the quality of the time and χρόνων(chronos) emphasizing the duration of the time.” I mean, those two terms, kairos and chronos are describing different facets of the same elephant. John A. McLean writes, “Bock-” Now, that’s Darrell Bock who was promoting all this stuff. He’s been promoting all this stuff since the early 1990s. Probably the most famous professor now over at Dallas Seminary. He’s been teaching this stuff for decades and decades and decades. And student after student after student has fallen under the influence of this “already, not yet” view of the kingdom. “Bock argues for two separate time periods for these events in support of his ‘already, not yet’ view of the Davidic kingdom.” See, Bock thinks Jesus is reigning from David’s throne now in heaven. That’s the already stage. But then he will also reign from David’s throne on Earth in Jerusalem. That’s the not yet stage.
We don’t interpret Kingdom material like this. We don’t see the kingdom coming in phases. We are not in the kingdom now in any sense. We are in the church age which is not to be confused with the kingdom. The kingdom will come when Israel repents in the tribulation period, and then the stone cut without human hands will destroy the Antichrist’s Empire after it runs its course. And then you’re going to get the Kingdom, kairos and chronos as a package deal. God’s not saying, okay, I’m going to bring in Phase B now. You guys have enjoyed phase A for 2000 years. Here comes phase B. That’s not what Daniel 2 says will happen. “Bock argues for two separate time periods for these events in support of his ‘already, not yet’ view on the Davidic the kingdom. He says the ‘periods of refreshing’ refer to the present time when sins can be wiped away through repentance, and that the ‘times of restoration of all thing-‘” on the other hand- “refers to the millennium. ‘Among the points in support of this distinction is that in the LXX translation-‘” He goes into a lot of scholarly sort of gobbledygook, that I’ll let you read on your own, in support of this two stage restoration in Acts 3:19-21. Mclean goes on and he says, “The main weakness in dividing these two events into separate time periods is that the text connects the events with the coordinating καὶ.” Which we covered- right? – in Acts 3:20.
“The syntactical structure coordinates the two verbs ἔλθωσιν (‘come’ v. 19) and ἀποστείλῃ (‘send’) of the subordinate clause ὅπως ἂν in verse 20 with the two main verbs μετανοήσατε (repent) and ἐπιστρέψατε (return) in verse 19. Repentance and turning to God result in the coming of the times of refreshing and the sending of Jesus Christ at the restoration of all things God spoke about in the prophets. The sending of Jesus Christ will provide the personal presence that will result in the times of refreshing. These results are NOT events separated by time. They are mutual benefits that will come when the Father sends the Son so that believers may be refreshed in His presence.” He goes on and he cites a few other scriptures to that effect. What McLean and Toussaint are saying in these two extended quotes is that what Darrell Bock and company have done is they have allowed their theology, their prior commitment to “already, not yet” theology to gobble up what Acts 3:19-21 is saying. And what they should have done- Darrell Bock a New Testament scholar- What they should have done is looked at the grammatical structure of Acts 3:19-21 and said: you know what? My “already, not yet” view of the kingdom is not supported by Acts 3:19-21. So, what I need to do is I need to change my theology because the text doesn’t support my theological presuppositions.
That’s what you do when you study the Bible. We all come to the Bible with weird ideas. I mean, when I first got saved, I had weird ideas about things. And some ideas I still have that are kind of weird, but I daily come to the text with an attitude of submission and humility, saying to the Lord, Lord, I’m not here to correct You- Right? I’m here to let You correct me. And if people would do this with this “already, not yet” view of the kingdom and let the text say what it wants to say, they would see very clearly that verse 19 and verse 21 cannot be separated by 2000 years. And they’re both speaking concurrently and simultaneously of the manifestation of the exact same kingdom on planet Earth, which doesn’t come, albeit Daniel 2, until the Antichrist Empire has totally run its course. Well, why are there different words used? Well, there are different descriptors of the same kingdom. It’s like four people are feeling or three people are feeling an elephant with blinders on. Blindfolds. One guy is touching the elephant’s side and saying it feels like a giant wall. One man is touching the elephant’s foot or toes and he says, I feel five lumps. And one guy is holding the elephant’s trunk and he says it feels like a giant tube. And at first glance they all seem to be contradicting each other until you take the blindfold off and you realize they’re all touching the same elephant.
Kairos is touching one side of the kingdom. Chronos is talking about a different element within the same kingdom. But they’re both speaking of the exact same kingdom, which must happen chronologically at a specific point in time, which is the conversion of Israel through the seven-year tribulation period after the Antichrist kingdom has completely and totally run its course. So, when the nation of Israel repents in the future, what is going to happen? Four things. Number one, you’ll have national salvation. “So that your sins may be wiped out.” The whole nation is saved. After they do what? First part of verse 19- “repent and return.” They must change their mind about what Israel did to Jesus 2000 years ago, attributing His miracles to the devil. The necessity of repentance, verse 19a. What’s going to happen? Salvation. “So that your sins may be wiped away.” Number two, the manifestation of the kingdom “in order that the times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,” which is exegetically parallel with the restoration of all things in verse 21. And then what else is going to happen? In this series of events Jesus is going to return to the Earth, verse 20. So, we’ve now left verse 19 and we’re on to verse 20. So, we’re really just making great strides through this.
Verse 20, so “that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you.” What’s the third result of repentance in addition to these other things? Salvation of the nation. If I was putting these in proper order, I’m not sure- Peters, well, I won’t go down that road. But these are all things that are happening concurrently. Jesus is coming back; the kingdom is established and He’s setting it up through a believing Israel. Salvation verse 19, kingdom verse 19, and thrown into the mix as the second advent of Jesus. So, this is why we always put up our prophecy panorama chart, which gives you the proper order. After the rapture, at the end of the church age, you have Israel in the tribulation period getting saved nationally. That’s a process that takes seven years, probably. But then Jesus, Second Advent returns to rescue Israel from the wrath of the Antichrist. And then Jesus sets up the kingdom, which will last a thousand years. What’s the kingdom going to be like? Chronos, a thousand years, time, where we get the word chronology. What else is it going to be like? Kairos. It is the restoration of all things. It’s what God originally wanted to do in Eden. Eden, to a very large extent, is restored during the kingdom age. Notice the last two words of verse 20 as Peter is speaking to the Jews who watched this lame man being healed. “That he may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you.”
In other words, Jesus is coming back to rescue Israel from the Antichrist during the tribulation period. That’s exactly what Jesus said in Matthew 23:37-39. Jesus there said, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem.” So, he’s obviously not speaking to the First Baptist Church of Houston there. Right? Speaking to the Jewish people. “Who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.” I came the first time wanting to gather you and establish My kingdom through you. But the problem wasn’t Me. The problem was you. You didn’t want Me. You rejected Me. You rushed Me through your judicial system. You broke every rule in the book doing it. And you got Me turned over to the Romans to be executed. “Behold, your house-” that’s their temple- “is being left to you desolate!” He typically called the temple My Father’s house shall be a house of prayer. Now he says it’s your house because you threw Me out. “For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me.” I’m leaving. I’m going back to the Father’s right hand. And you’re not going to see Me as a nation- if I could just add a little parenthetical expression- for at least 2000 years. So, there’s a lot of distance in between the “Me” there at verse 39 and the “until.” There’s at least 2000 years between those two words.
“For I say to you, from now on you-” Who’s the “you”? Verse 37: Jerusalem, Jerusalem. “For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me,” And then the verse doesn’t end there, thank God, “until you-” Who’s the “you”? Jerusalem, Jerusalem. “Say-” proclamation- “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” Which is Psalm- you notice it’s in quotes there- Psalm 118:26, which is a messianic psalm. Until you acknowledge me as the Messiah, publicly, I will not come back for this nation. But once you do that- and the whole nation must do it. That’s evidence of the fact that you’re saved. And then I’ll come back and gather you together the way I wanted to gather you together in my first coming. Interestingly, the word gather there is episynagō, where we get the Jewish word synagogue, a Jewish gathering. I wanted to have synagogue with you, but you didn’t want Me. So, you’re on your own. Andy’s insertion: for at least 2000 years. You’re on your own. See you later. But to see you later is not forever. Because the day is going to come where you’re going to go into the 70th week of Daniel, the time of Jacob’s trouble, the empire of the Antichrist will be in full bloom through that process of oppression under the rod of the Antichrist you will be converted.
And then at the end of that seven-year time period, I’m coming back to gather you together just like I wanted to gather you together the first time, but you wouldn’t have Me. Well, when is that regathering going to take place, Pastor? Can you tell us that? Well, I can’t tell you anything, but the Bible can tell you an awful lot. Because Matthew 23 is followed by Matthew 24. And if you just look at Matthew 24:31, “And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet-” Don’t throw the rapture in here. Doesn’t belong in here. This is Jewish teaching. “He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will-” What’s the next word? – “gather together His elect-” Who’s the elect here? Israel- “from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.” Now that word gather, guess what the word is. It’s episynagō, the same one used in verse 37. I wanted to have synagogue with you in My first coming, but you wouldn’t have me. So, there’s going to be a 2000 year hiatus in between the Me and the word until. But once you go into the tribulation period and suffer under the oppression of the Antichrist and are converted during a time of Jacob’s trouble, then you’ll all be converted, and you will call me back to the earth and I will come back.
Matthew 24:31, and gather you together, have synagogue with you like I wanted to do in My first coming, but you wouldn’t have me. But the second time around, you want Me. And then My kingdom will be established through you. See, this is what Peter is talking about at the temple area when this crowd gathers and are interested in how this man got healed. He’s laying out- Peter is- the eschatology for the nation of Israel. He’s not just telling them they got it all wrong 2000 years ago. He’s telling them what they have to do to make the whole thing right. And in the process, he’s giving tremendous, tremendous prophecy.