The Coming Kingdom 061

The Coming Kingdom 061
Acts 2:30-35 • Dr. Andy Woods • February 20, 2019 • The Coming Kingdom


Andy Woods

The Coming Kingdom

2-20-19                Acts 2:30-35        Lesson 61

It’s great to be with you guys again.  It’s been two weeks hasn’t it.  I want to thank Jim, of course,  for filling in and if anybody needs a handout just put your hand up and Ron will help you with that. Let’s take our Bibles this evening, if we could, and open them to Acts 2:30-34.  And if you’re here for the first time or second time we’re going through a book that I wrote called The Coming Kingdom, it has 26 chapters in it and we’re already at chapter 18.  So we’re making progress.  And   if you’re kind of new to this study I’m sorry to start you off with chapter 18 because it’s sort of one of the more technical chapters but to take down a false teaching, which is what I’m trying to do in  the book and in these studies, Kingdom Now theology requires a lot of precision.

So we’re at the point in our study where we’re looking at passages that people use to teach that the kingdom is something that we’re experiencing today.  And throughout this study what we’ve been doing is saying that the kingdom is not cancelled but postponed in the present age.  And the view that we represent here is sort of different than what you’re going to find in most places in Christendom, and it’s different than what you find throughout church history.  The majority opinion is that we are in the kingdom now.  So I’ve presented kind of the side that indicates the kingdom is postponed but what are the passages that people use, there must be some, how could you have a belief going back to the fourth century A.D., which is when all this Kingdom Now theology really took root.  There must be passages that people use to say that we’re in the kingdom now and there are many, many passages and what we’re looking at is passages from the Book of Acts and we’re looking at Acts 2 which is really the battle ground.

Now when I was with you last, a few weeks ago, I took you through Acts 2, (you guys remember that) very rapidly just to show you what Acts 2 is teaching, because you can’t really understand the false teaching coming out of Acts 2 unless you actually understand what Acts 2 is about.  And Acts 2 is about the beginning of the church.  It’s about the fulfillment of the prophecies that Jesus made in the Upper Room that when He said to the disciples, “It is to your advantage that I go,”  because when I go who will come?  The helper, the paraclete, the one who comes alongside to assist or the Holy Spirit.  [John 16:7, “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.”]  Acts 2 is a fulfillment of that prophecy.

So verses 1-4 of Acts 2, the Spirit falls.  Verses 5-8 you have the manifestation of tongues.  Verses 9-12 is a description of the people groups that have been assembled there on the day of Pentecost.  Verses 13-15 Peter begins to refute the idea that the manifestation of the Holy Spirit that was being poured out in Acts 2 was due to the drunkenness of the participants.  So Peter says it’s 9:00 o’clock in the morning and people usually don’t start their drinking this early (a pretty basic point).   And then he moves into verses 16-21 and he says you ought to recognize this you Hebrews because the Holy Spirit is going to be doing something similar in the future millennial kingdom and you should know that from the Book of Joel, Joel 2. So he quotes Joel 2 there in verses 16-21 to show them that what they’re seeing is not drunkenness, it’s a pattern of God through the manifestation of the  Holy Spirit.

And then he continues on in verses 22-35 and he says the source of these miraculous occurrences through the giving of the Holy Spirit that you’re witnessing, who’s the source of it?  It’s Jesus!  And where is Jesus at this point?  At the right hand of the Father.  And His first act of business once He ascended and went back to the Father’s right hand was to pour forth the Holy Spirit upon the new church.  So Peter says, verse 22, Jesus is a miracle worker, He worked miracles all the way through His ministry and He’s working another one right now from the Father’s right hand.  [Acts 2:22, “Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know—]

And this Jesus is something that You, Israel, rejected nationally; the leadership rejected Him as your King, verse 23.  He rose from the dead, verses 24-29, quoting Psalm 16, and he makes a point that Psalm 16 talks about my righteous one, my holy one, will not see decay.   [Psalm 16:10, “For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.”]   It’s talking about a resurrection and David wrote that Psalm a thousand years earlier and Peter’s point there in verses 24-29 is he’s quoting Psalm 16 is David is right now in Jerusalem in his tomb.  In fact, when we were in Israel we had a chance to go to David’s tomb where David’s tomb, it’s believe that David is buried. So Peter makes the point that Psalm 16 can’t be about David, it’s got to be about the Messiah that’s resurrected.  So he quotes Psalm 16; he says in verses 30-32, quoting Psalm 132:11, that this Jesus is the Davidic heir who is destined one day to sit on David’s throne.

And then is verses 33-35 he quotes Psalm 110:1 which indicates that this Jesus is where?  At the Father’s right hand.  And he quotes Psalm 110 of Christ saying “Sit at My right hand until” what? “I make your enemies  your footstool.”  Then he gets to his conclusion, verse 36, this Jesus is both Lord and Christ, and there were three thousand people that were really bugged by what Peter just said.  They were convicted, verse 37, they were cut to the core because they recognized that Peter was saying that national Israel in their rejection of their own Messiah and turning Him over to the Romans for execution had it wrong.  And they were bothered, and they said what shall we do?

So Peter gives the exhortation, verses 38-41 where he tells them to “repent” and what does the word “repent” mean?  Change your mind, to go from being a Christ rejecting Jew, go from siding with Israel that rejected Christ to being a Christ accepting Jew. Change your mind!  And he gave that invitation and low and behold he’s got, verse 41, three thousand people, about three thousand that responded to the message.  And this is the beginning of the church.  And the chapter ends, verses 42-47 with the first church meeting. What did that early church give themselves to?  It describes exactly what they did as a church there in Jerusalem.  So what is Acts 2 about?  It’s about the fulfillment of the Lord’s promise that the Spirit would come after Christ departed and it’s the beginning of the church age.  That’s a correct, I believe, interpretation of Acts 2.

Now what is being done today is people are saying Acts 2 is not about what I just talked you through.  Acts 2 is all about the inauguration of the millennial kingdom.  In other words, the point is being made by many, many people in positions of scholarship that Acts 2 is not about the beginning of the church age, it’s about the inauguration of the kingdom age.  So when you do a critique of Kingdom Now theology you have to interact with Acts 2 pretty heavily because Acts 2 is what they’re using.

So one of my professors, a very intelligent man, you see him on T.V. a lot around Easter time, particularly he’s brought on different shows and things defending the historicity of the resurrection.  And he does a very good job on that subject but he is the progenitor of what is called progressive dispensationalism which is the big push, when I was at Dallas Seminary, and it’s the big push there now.  Probably almost every faculty member, with the exception of some older guys that they’re waiting to retire, believes this progressive dispensationalism.  And basically the way it works is the things that start in the academy it takes about ten to fifteen years before it hits the pews or the church goers because what starts to happen is the next generation of preachers is molded into this new way of thinking and eventually it’s going to come into the church.  So the fact that you’re learning about this now puts  you sort of ahead of the curve because if you haven’t heard about this yet it’s just a matter of time before you do hear about it because these are the men that are shaping the next generation of preachers and teachers and those that fill the pulpit.

So Darrell Bock is one of the progenitors of this Kingdom Now theology and  his view is already not yet, progressive dispensationalism.  And he basically believes yeah, Jesus is going to reign one day on David’s throne from Jerusalem but He’s actually reigning on David’s throne right now, so He’s already on David’s throne in heaven but then there’ll be a not yet saved when He’s on David’s throne in the millennial kingdom, already not yet.  And so Acts 2 really doesn’t have anything to do with the beginning of the church; what it is about (in his mind anyway) is it’s a sneak peek into the kingdom that’s coming.  So the church is what they will call a colony of the kingdom.

And you say well, is that that big a deal?  It’s a game changer to think that way and in part three of my book I explain why it’s a game changer.  So if you’re wondering why any of this is relevant to the life of the church I’ll get to that in part three of the book.  But he’s primarily building his case from Acts 2.  And when I wrote the book and submitted it to some people to get them to endorse the book I sent it to some people that were really a more popular level of preachers and teachers, not all [can’t understand word] but a few and they didn’t really understand why I was using all of these long quotes.  Well, the reason I  use all of these long quotes is because I don’t want to be accused of misrepresenting people.  I have a legal background and you know, you cite the transcript extensively just to demonstrate that you’re not taking people out of context and you’re not misrepresenting people.  And if your ministry is just sort of a popular level ministry you don’t really appreciate that practice.  So I do provide a lot of quotes in the book and I’ve got a lot of quotes here tonight because I want you to understand that I’m not just whipping things they’re saying out of context; this is what these men actually teach and believe.

So Darrell Bock says this, “Having mentioned the need to call…” and he’s dealing with Acts 2, and what  you have to understand is for Darrell Bock, he is an expert on Luke and Acts, this is his expertise.  He wrote a, I believe a two volume scholarly commentary on the Gospel of Luke which is a prequel to Acts and he wrote another scholarly commentary on Acts.  He claims that it was his study of Luke and Acts that opened his eyes to all this “Kingdom Now theology.”  So he is probably the world’s leading expert (from an evangelical perspective) on this subject of Luke and Acts.  And he studied in Europe under a guy named I. Howard Marshall, who was a leading expert on Luke and Acts as well.  I Howard Marshall in Europe didn’t believe in the full inerrancy of the Scripture I’ve come to understand but I. Howard Marshall is Darrell Bock’s mentor.  So that’s sort of a background on why I’m quoting this guy, Darrell Bock.

I know a lot about him because Anne and I, when we moved to the Dallas area needed to find a church and we said to ourselves well, there’s a church down the street, a bunch of Dallas Seminary professors go there, why don’t we go to that church, not understanding what we were getting into.  Darrell Bock was an elder at that particular church.  Am I the world’s expert on Darrell Bock?  No, but I know an awful lot about him just by being in his church and listening to him teach, and I was his student in the classroom.

So he says, and I have the source where I’m getting all these quotes from.  He’s commenting on Acts 2. He says, “Having mentioned the need to call on the Lord, Peter turns to recent events. He recounts Jesus’ ministry in 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 (vv. 25–28).”  So far so good, right?  “The text is clearly 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 (v. 29).”  I’m reading this and saying this is good stuff.

But then you get to this second part of the quote and I start saying oh-oh. “ The crucial linking allusion appears at this point.”  So all of a sudden there’s this crucial linking illusion, which I’ll explain to you what he’s talking about in just a second, which in his mind gives him the right to come up with an interpretation of Acts 2 that Charles Ryrie never saw, John Walvoord never saw, Lewis Sperry Chafer never saw.  All the founders of Dallas Seminary never saw this but all of a sudden this European educated person under I. Howard Marshall, thinks he can see this because of a crucial linking allusion.

So he says, “The crucial linking allusion appears at this point. Peter notes that David was a prophet. Not only was David a prophet, he was the conscience beneficiary of an oath God had made to him that “one of the fruit of his [David’s] loins” (KJV) would sit on his throne (Acts 2:30).”  Now he’s quoting here verse  30; verse 30 is a citation from Psalm 132:11 which our camp has historically understood as simply pointing out that the Messiah that Israel rejected is the Davidic error who will sit on David’s throne one day.  That’s how we’ve all understood this.  And he’s going to take that verse and connect it with another verse in the form of what he calls a crucial linking illusion to prove that Jesus is on David’s throne now in an already sense.

He says, “ The term kathisai (to sit), which is reintroduced in the citation of Psalm 110 (note kathou, “sit,” in v. 34).”  So I want you to understand what he’s doing here, he’s connecting verse 30 with verse 34.  Verse 30 is a citation from Psalm 132:11 and so because he was a prophet he knew that God had sworn to him with an oath to seat one of his descendants on His throne.  We’ve always understood that in our camp to mean that’s speaking of the Davidic heir who will rule from David’s throne one day.  Then we go down to verse 34 which says , “For it was not David who ascended into heaven but He Himself says, The LORD said to my Lord” what’s the next verb there, “sit at My right hand.”  Psalm 110:1, that we’ve always taken to mean he’s on the Father’s throne at the Father’s right hand.  But he thinks because of this practice that he’s  using, called a crucial linking allusion that he can connect verse 30, Psalm 132:11 with verse 34, Psalm 110:1, he can connect those.  He thinks the verb “sit” allows him to do that and he merges the two together and he comes up with this doctrine that Jesus is reigning on David’s throne now.  That’s what he means by a crucial linking illusion.

“The allusion in verse 30 is to Psalm 132:11, a Psalm which is strongly Israelitish and national in tone [see vv. 12–18)). ” I agree that it is, but it’s not talking about the present seating of the Messiah on David’s throne, it’s talking about how he is heir to David’s throne.   The Psalm in turn is a reflection of the promise made to David in 2 Samuel 7,” he’s speaking of verse 30 there, “especially verse 12. This 2 Samuel passage is better known as the Davidic covenant.”  That’s true.  “What is crucial is that David’s awareness of this covenant promise is immediately linked” look at that now, see the word “linked”?

See, he’s doing something here that nobody in the dispensational tradition has ever done.  He’s coming up with something called a linking and he’s putting those two Scriptures together, Psalm 110:1 and Psalm 132:11 to argue that Jesus is on David’s throne now.  We’ve always said that He’s seated at the right hand of the Father.  He says no, the verb “sit” forces you to connect verse 34 back to verse 30 and wallah, Jesus is now on David’s throne.   He thinks the verb “sit” used in both Psalms allows for this crucial linking allusion to occur.

“This 2 Samuel passage is better known as the Davidic covenant.  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 text of Psalm 110 (vv. 31–35).”  I realize, it took me probably five to ten years to figure out what in the world are these guys saying.  And so I fully get it if your eyes are glazing over as I’m talking.  I’m trying to give you ten years understanding that the Lord gave to me through a lot of sweat and I’m trying to distill it for lay people that maybe have never been exposed to this before because I’m trying to protect Christen­dom from what they’re about to be hit with as people graduate from this institution and come into the Bible churches teaching this.

Being seated on David’s throne is linked” {there’s that word again, he likes that word “linked,” doesn’t he) 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,” you see what’s happening here.  Acts 2 is not about the beginning of the church.  Acts 2 is not about the fulfillment of the promise of Christ that the Spirit is going to come.  Acts 2 is about the inauguration of the Davidic Kingdom and the Davidic Covenant using a method of interpretation called a crucial linking allusion.

He goes on and he says, “just as the allusion to Joel fulfills the new covenant.” By the way it doesn’t and we’re postponing Joel 2 for another evening because I deal with that in the second part of chapter 18.  “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.”  So he thinks he is seeing something that Charles Ryrie, John Walvoord, Lewis Sperry Chafer, Dwight Pentecost, everybody else never saw because they’ve missed this crucial linking allusion.

He goes on and he says, “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.”  Now that’s our position.  Our position as we study this in this series is there is no passage, there is absolutely no passage that puts Jesus on David’s throne now.  However,  Bock is coming along and saying it is a present doctrine if you follow this crucial linking illusion linking the two verses through the verb “sit.”

He goes on and he says, “The throne on which Jesus is said to sit is the one promised to David’s descendent through the Davidic promise of 2 Samuel, which was initially passed on through Solomon.”  Now we believe that that promise is going to be fulfilled when?  In the what?  The millennial kingdom.  We’ve never taken Acts 2 as the beginning of the kingdom, it’s the beginning of the church.  He saying no, it stage A of the kingdom.  The Davidic Covenant is being fulfilled right now in an already sense.  Now your amillennialist will come along and say the whole thing is being fulfilled right now.  That’s not what Darrell Bock is saying; he’s saying it’s being fulfilled now in part.

He goes on and he says, “Jesus sits here as David’s promised Son on David’s promised Throne. This fits Old Testament imagery as well. The idea of sitting describes the idea of rule, as the parallelism of Jeremiah 22:30 shows.”  Here’s the conclusion.  “As the Davidic heir, Jesus sits in and rules from” where? “from heaven.”  [Darrell Bock, “The Reign of the Lord Christ,” in Dispensationalism, Israel and the Church, ed. Craig A. Blaising and Darrell L. Bock (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1992), 49–50.]

The traditional position is as a Davidic heir Jesus will rule from where?  Jerusalem in the millennial kingdom.  He’s saying no, He is ruling already from heaven.  Why are they pushing this?  It has a lot to do with progressive politics, to be completely frank with you.  I don’t mean to get into political things but when you… I don’t know if you recall when Obama was running for President in 2008, the Reverend Wright situation came up.  Remember that?  And it was being used to discredit Obama and do you know who rushed to the defense of Obama and told everybody he was going to vote for Obama?  Darrell Bock!  When you get into progressive politics there’s a mindset that wants to take the church and turn it into a social institution, to fix the environment, to raise the minimum wage, universal health care, and when you Google Darrell Bock and President Obama you’ll see that he’s one of the first evangelicals that came out and endorsed the Presidency of Obama at a time when evangelicals were very divided on it, given the Reverend Wright situation.

So I believe what is motivating a lot of this stuff that they’re pushing is a progressive political agenda.  In fact, they had a meeting at Wheaton, Darrell Bock was part of this meeting, and we covered it on Pastor’s Point of View, and it had to do with the fact that 78% of evangelicals voted for Donald Trump in the last election cycle.  And a bunch of them are very upset about that so they had this special meeting in Wheaton to come up with a strategy, it was an invitation only meeting, I was waiting with baited breath for my invitation, I never got one, my feelings are very hurt….  They didn’t invite Wayne Grudem; Wayne Grudem has written a book that’s big enough to choke a mule on the Bible and politics.  [According to the Bible: A Comprehensive Resource for Understanding Modern Political Issues in Light of Scripture – Kindle edition by Wayne A. Grudem.]

And he comes from a conservative angle, not a progressive liberal angle.  He wasn’t invited.  And it was a secret meeting.  And by the way, one of the guys at the meeting was Jim Wallace, I don’t know if you know much about Jim Wallace, he’s a big liberation theology proponent.  So the point of the meeting, and you didn’t know about it until Jim Wallace started blogging about it, the point of the meeting is how are we going to rescue evangelicalism and divorce evangelicalism from Donald Trump.  See, it’s politics.  And part of the strategy is to get the church to think that they’re the kingdom because if the church thinks it’s the kingdom suddenly it gets interested in all these social causes that these guys want to bring to the earth.  Do you follow that?  So you might be listening to me talk about crucial linking allusions and you might just be bored out of your mind saying what does this have to do with anything?  It has to do with the shifting of the world view of evangelicalism is what’s happening.

And these guys hold all the positions of authority in academia.  They control the publishing. I submitted an article to Bib Sac; Dallas Seminary’s Journal, when Roy Zuck, a conservative, was in charge.  I’ve been published in Bib Sac, my dissertation was published in Bib Sac and so I submitted another article and Roy Zuck told me it was going to be published, they had even advertised it in the, what do you call it in the magazine, like a leaf jacket, is that what  you call it?  [Someone says something] What’s it called.  Fly Jacket, whatever.  It was promoted in there and then Roy Zuck died and within a week and a half to two weeks I got a note saying sorry, your article is just really the direction we want to go.  So I know a little bit about publishing and what happens when publishing entities fall into the wrong hands and the worldview starts to shift.

And these are the guys training the next generation of scholars and leaders in evangelicalism. So that’s why this stuff eventually will hit the pulpits if it hasn’t already; it has to do with progressive politics, in my humble opinion.  I’ll talk more about that when we get to part 3.  In fact, they wanted to hire me at Dallas Seminary and I was told well, you’ve got a PhD in Bible but you’re going to have to have another PhD because we don’t think you’re really broadminded enough.  So people like myself that what I would call fundamental, fundamentalist types are basically persona non grata because we like it the way it used to be.  I mean, I think Charles Ryrie and Lewis Sperry Chafer had it right.  But these guys see people like myself as standing in the way because they have a progressive agenda.  Anyway…. I’m just trying to explain why I’m going through all of this so meticulously.

So is his interpretation correct?  I mean, is Acts 2:30-34 with this crucial linking allusion that he’s coming up with teaching that Jesus is now reigning on David’s throne?  [Acts 2:30-34, “30, “And so, because he was a prophet and knew that GOD HAD SWORN TO HIM WITH AN OATH TO SEAT one OF HIS DESCENDANTS ON HIS THRONE,  [31] “he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that HE WAS NEITHER ABANDONED TO HADES, NOR DID His flesh SUFFER DECAY.  [32] This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses.  [33] “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.  [34] “For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says: ‘THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD, ‘SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND”  [35] 35, UNTIL I MAKE YOUR ENEMIES A FOOTSTOOL FOR YOUR FEET.”]

By the way, you go through Acts 2, did you find one single reference to the word “kingdom” in Acts 2?  The word basileia, did you see it anywhere?  It’s not in there!  Now you find it in early Luke which is connected to Acts as a prequel, as the kingdom is being offered, it’s used heavily in early Luke.  It’s not used in Acts 2.  Doesn’t that bother you a little bit?  I mean, they’re using Acts 2 almost exclusively to teach that the Davidic Kingdom has been inaugurated  and the word “kingdom” is not even found in Acts 2.  So that’s why he’s got to come up with this crucial linking allusion where he’s linking two Psalms together.

So I have here seven reasons why I don’t think what he’s doing in Acts 2 is legitimate.  And where am I getting this from?  I’m getting it from an article written by the late Zane Hodges, longtime Greek professor at Dallas Seminary, retired around the 1980’s and as you go through the notes you can see the source where you can find that particular article.  And most people don’t even know this article exists it’s gotten such little attention.  But I believe that Zane Hodges does the best job refuting what Darrell Bock is doing in Acts 2.  So that’s where I’m getting these seven points from.

I’m not sure how far we’re going to get on this tonight but maybe get through some of these points.  What is the first problem with what the progressive dispensationalists  are doing in Acts 2?   Number one, their interpretation lacks harmony with earlier information in Luke about the Davidic throne.  Remember, Acts is the sequel; what is the prequel?  Luke, they go together, Luke/Acts.  And what you discover is there’s only two references to the Davidic throne prior to Acts 2:30 where they think it is.  In fact, you go earlier than Acts 2:30 there’s only one other reference in Luke to the Davidic throne.

And what I want to show you is how they’re interpreting Acts 2:30 to argue that the Davidic throne is in place right now is completely out of harmony… completely out of harmony with how earlier Luke defines the Davidic throne.  Remember the doctrine of progressive revelation.  Latter revelation can amplify or clarify former revelation but it can never do what with former revelation?  Change it!  Because if you’re saying it’s a change then God I guess was dishonest initially.  See that?

So you have a lack of harmony with earlier information in Luke about the Davidic throne.  So when you go back to the only other reference prior to Acts 2 concerning the Davidic throne it’s right here in Luke 1:32 and 33. This is Gabriel speaking, not our youth pastor, the angel Gabriel, I think he’s speaking to Mary concerning the birth of Jesus, and he says, “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David [and He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David;] [33] and He will reign over the” church, it doesn’t say that does it?  It’s very clear here, “He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.”

Earlier in Luke when you study the Davidic throne, which is what these guys are saying is happening now, it always links the Davidic throne to the nation of Israel and it holds out that Davidic throne as the salvation of Israel.  In fact, Alva J. McLain quotes Godet, a French commentator to that effect.  He says, “The ‘throne of David’ here is not God’s throne in heaven, nor is the ‘house of Jacob’ a reference to the Christian church. As Godet rightly observed: ‘These expressions in the mouth of the angel, Luke 1, keep their natural and literal sense. It is, indeed, the theocratic royalty and the Israelitish people, neither more nor less, that are in question here; Mary could have understood these expressions in no other way.’”  [Alva J. McClain, The Greatness of the Kingdom: An Inductive Study of the Kingdom of God as Set Forth in the Scriptures (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1959), 282.]

So it is very strange that now we have people coming up with interpretations using a crucial linking allusion idea to contradict what earlier Luke/Acts, particularly the Gospel of Luke, said about the Davidic throne when the Davidic throne is always connected to Israel, never the church.  And it’s always held out as the hope of Israel and the salvation of Israel.  And it’s always described as something on this earth, never in heaven.

And then you flip over to Luke 1:54-55, this is what’s called Mary’s Magnificat, and what is she talking about?  He has given hope to who?  The church… it doesn’t say that!  “He has given hope to Israel, In remembrance of His mercy, [55] As He spoke to our fathers, To Abraham and his descendants forever.”  I mean what early Luke is dealing with is the salvation of the nation of Israel through the Davidic throne one day.

And then you flip over to Luke 1:67-79 which is called Zachariah’s Benedictus, how do you like all these fancy names?  This is just songs people were singing around the birth of Christ.  And you take a look at Luke 1:67-79 and look at how it keeps mentioning Israel, Israel, Israel, Israel, Israel all over the place.  [Luke 1:67, “And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying:]

Notice, if you will, Luke 1:68, “And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying: [68] “Blessed be the Lord God of “ the United States of America, no, “Israel, [For He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people,”]  Verse 69, “[And has raised up a horn of salvation for us] In the house of David His servant—“  Verse 72, To show mercy toward our fathers, and to remember His holy covenant,” see how Jewish all of this is?  Verse 73, “The oath which He swore to” who? “Abraham our father,” the patriot of Judaism.  See the Israelitish tone here?  [74 “To grant us that we, being rescued from the hand of our enemies, Might serve Him without fear,  [75] In holiness and righteousness before Him all our days. [76] “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; For you will go on BEFORE THE LORD TO PREPARE HIS WAYS; [77] To give to His people the knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins,       [78] Because of the tender mercy of our God, with which the Sunrise from on high will visit us,    [79] TO SHINE UPON THOSE WHO SIT IN DARKNESS AND THE SHADOW OF DEATH,  To guide our feet into the way of peace.”]

Look back at Luke 1:27, “to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David;” I mean this is all Jewish stuff, this Davidic throne.

Look over at Luke 1:69, it talks there about the house of David.  [Luke 1:69, “And has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of David His servant—“

Look over at the Gospel of John just for a minute, chapter 7 and verse 42.  The church isn’t even on the horizon when  these statements are made; in fact, the church is a mystery. The Davidic throne belongs to the nation of Israel, not the church.  That’s the point I’m making.  So if you’re going to use Acts 2 to say that Jesus is reigning on David’s throne now over the church you’re basically contradicting what early Luke is talking about.

John 7:42, “Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the descendants of David, and from Bethlehem, the village where David was?”  See how it’s David, David, David, Bethlehem, Bethlehem, Bethlehem, Israel, Israel, Israel, tribe of Judah, tribe of Judah, tribe of Judah, etc. etc. etc.

So what’s my point?  Jesus reigning on David’s throne now is held despite the fact that national Israel has not experienced salvation.  Today as I speak the nation of Israel, when you look at the bulk of the nation, I was just there, is an unbelieving nation.  If the Davidic throne were in existence Israel would be in faith because that throne is held out as salvation for Israel.  So for someone to say the Davidic throne is happening now while Israel is still in unbelief is a total alteration of the Davidic throne idea.  And you say well gee, Andy,  you’re really smart, you came up with all of that.  I didn’t come up with any of it, I’m quoting here the late Zane Hodges.  He says everything I just said.  You say well why can’t you just make your point without quoting all these scholars?  Because I want people to understand that I’m not up here making things up.  The view that I’m representing was at one time a majority opinion in the dispensational camp.  And I use these as a quote from the guys in the past to demonstrate that.

Zane Hodges says, “All should acknowledge that the throne of David is inseparably wed to Israel’s kingdom,” that’s what we just covered, “which we have been discussing. From the very beginning of his two-volume work, Luke makes this concept plain. Thus, when the angel Gabriel made his thrilling declaration to Mary, he states of Jesus, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end” (Luke 1:30-33)” which we just read.  Hodges says, “This is the only explicit reference to David’s throne in Luke or Acts until we reach Acts 2:30.” Which is the passage Darrell Bock is using, misusing I might say.  “Together, the two texts constitute Luke’s only direct mention of a “throne” associated with King David.”  [Zane C. Hodges, “A Dispensational Understanding of Acts 2,” in Issues in Dispensationalism, ed. John R. Master Wesley R. Willis, Charles C. Ryrie (Chicago: Moody, 1994), 173–74.]

Hodges says, “One should specifically note here that in recording what Gabriel said Luke cites words that completely ignore any suggestion of universality of dominion of that throne.” What is being argued today is that Jesus is reigning over David’s throne worldwide over the church.  And Hodges’ simple point is that contradicts early Luke which connects the whole thing to Israel and her salvation history.  “Gabriel does not say that Jesus will rule all mankind from David’s throne but simply “the house of Jacob.” Luke does not make the slightest intimation that by sitting on this throne Mary’s son will gain universal dominion. Of course, he will have such dominion from David’s throne, as various Old Testament passages make clear.

But obviously this fact is not part of Luke’s theme here. Gabriel’s announcement focuses very narrowly” NARROWLY “on” who? “the Jewish nature of David’s throne. Nor is such an emphasis accidental in this context. Mary’s Magnificat” which is just a fancy name for her song of praise when she got news that her womb was going to be used by the Holy Spirit to bring forth the Messiah.  “. Mary’s Magnificat relates God’s mercy to her with His mercy to Israel (Luke 1:46–55; see esp. vv. 54–55). Similarly, Zacharias’ Benedictus is totally focused on what God is doing for Israel through the advent of His Son (vv. 67–79).”  [Zane C. Hodges, “A Dispensational Understanding of Acts 2,” in Issues in Dispensationalism, ed. John R. Master Wesley R. Willis, Charles C. Ryrie (Chicago: Moody, 1994), 173–74.]

Accordingly, when we read Luke 1 we are inhaling the very atmosphere of Old Testament Jewish expectation. We hear from the lips of Mary and Zacharias those grand hopes for national deliverance that were so inextricably bound up with the expectation of the divine king who would rule “Jacob” from David’s throne. This is what we have here—and nothing more. Despite this fact, progressive dispensationalists assert that the Lord Jesus even now is reigning from David’s throne, although national Israel has experienced none of the deliverance of which Mary and Zacharias spoke so glowingly in this context.” And this next line is so good I had to underling it.  “Were it not for the fact that serious men have proposed this view” i.e. Jesus reigning on David’s throne, “it might well be dismissed out of hand.”  [Zane C. Hodges, “A Dispensational Understanding of Acts 2,” in Issues in Dispensationalism, ed. John R. Master Wesley R. Willis, Charles C. Ryrie (Chicago: Moody, 1994), 173–74.]

You see if you’re the average Joe stood up and promoted this stuff it would have no traction.  But if you see these guys on television, these guys write two volume commentaries.  These guys have Ph.D. after their names.  These guys studied in Europe.  And because it’s coming from them the idea has traction in the academy because that’s the kind of thing that impresses young gullible seminary students coming out of churches that teach almost nothing, because the whole concept of a Bible church is dying, so they get in the classroom and these guys all have the gift of gab and they speak in very glib terms and they’ve done a lot of academic work, and they’ve got a lot of degrees after their name and so when you throw crucial linking allusion at a twenty something oh my goodness, they take it serious.  And through this process of indoctrination evangelism starts to change over time into more of a progressive direction.

“According to the understanding of the Old Testament saints, who Mary and Zacharias represent so effectively, the throne of David could mean only one thing—the earthly throne that began with the reign of David himself and was passed down to his physical descendants who sat on it.”  [Zane C. Hodges, “A Dispensational Understanding of Acts 2,” in Issues in Dispensationalism, ed. John R. Master Wesley R. Willis, Charles C. Ryrie (Chicago: Moody, 1994), 173–74.]

“No one was entitled to sit on that throne unless he was, in fact, of Davidic lineage. Thus, Luke tells us carefully that Gabriel was sent to “a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David” (v. 27). So also Zacharias confirms that God “has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of . . . David” (v. 69). It was common Jewish belief that is expressed in the question of John 7:42:” which we’ve looked at,  “Has not the Scripture said the Christ comes from the seed of David and from the town of Bethlehem, where David was?” There is not the slightest shred of evidence that the throne of David has ever been conceived as anything other than the earthly seat of authority where David reigned and where only his physical descendants could legitimately reign. The term “throne of David” simply refers to this—nothing else. . . .”  [Zane C. Hodges, “A Dispensational Understanding of Acts 2,” in Issues in Dispensationalism, ed. John R. Master Wesley R. Willis, Charles C. Ryrie (Chicago: Moody, 1994), 173–74.]

In other words, the salvation of Israel on the earth after Israel is converted. That’s what the Davidic throne means.  That was offered to Israel in the first century which was rejected.

“However, progressive dispensationalists, in spite of consistent usage of the Bible, are not deterred from declaring that, even today, Christ is reigning from the throne of David. But this means that they must apply the term throne of David to what is actually the throne of God!’”  You see, we believe that Jesus is on whose throne now?  The Father’s throne, He’s not yet on His throne.  He will be on His throne in the millennial kingdom but what is being argued through this crucial linking allusion is that the throne of God is now the throne of David in an already sense, and we’re already in part A of the Davidic kingdom.

“But this means that they must apply the term throne of David to what is actually the throne of God! And they feel the freedom to do this even in the absence of a single text that explicitly makes this identification.”  And here’s another good line that I underlined.  “The result is a view that would have shocked any biblically literate Old Testament Jew—and should shock New Testament exegetes today.”  [Zane C. Hodges, “A Dispensational Understanding of Acts 2,” in Issues in Dispensationalism, ed. John R. Master Wesley R. Willis, Charles C. Ryrie (Chicago: Moody, 1994), 173–74.]

I mean, there is no way on God’s green earth that Mary, when she received the original message from Gabriel concerning David’s throne would interpret David’s throne as anything other than an earthly throne in Jerusalem.  She would have never said well, I know what you said Gabriel but I know what you really mean, it’s up in heaven somewhere over the church.  And that’s what Hodges means that that interpretation would have shocked any literate Jew.

Number 2, let me squeeze this in here, I’ve got seven minutes left, I’ve got to be careful, I might start preaching up here… [laughter]  Number 2, you’ve got different verbs in Acts 2:30 and Acts 2:34.  [Acts 2:30, “And so, because he was a prophet and knew that GOD HAD SWORN TO HIM WITH AN OATH TO SEAT one OF HIS DESCENDANTS ON HIS THRONE.”  Acts 2:34, “ “For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says: ‘THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD, SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND.”]

The progressive dispensational argument is you can link the two; you can link Psalm 110, Jesus at the Father’s right hand with the Davidic throne, Psalm 132:11 because the verb “sit” is used in both passages.  And that’s what Bock is using to do all of this, this crucial linking illusion.  So you’ll notice in Acts 2:30, quoting Psalm 132:11, ““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,” we’ve always understood that as He’s going to sit on David’s throne one day.  Darell Bock says oh, no, no, no, no, no.  Keep reading.

Go down to verse 34 which quotes Psalm 110:1 which we’ve always understood as Jesus seated where?  At the right hand of the Father.  He says you’ve got to connect the verb sit.  [34 “For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says: ‘The LORD says to My lord, “Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”

So they made a lot about the verb “sit” connecting verse 34 with verse 30.  See what’s going on here?  It’s like trying to grab an eel slippery when wet, you grab it and it just slips away.  They’re very slippery, these guys.  This is how they’re getting this whole thing to work.

Houston, we have a little problem with what they’re doing, not the least of which is the verb “sit” is a different verb in verse 30 than it is in verse 34.  I realize that the English says “sit” in both verses but when you study it in Greek they’re different words; related words, yes, but different! This little chart may help.


Verse                          Acts 2:30                      Acts 2:34

Psalm                         132:11                          110:1

Verb                           Kathizō                         Kathēmai                                                                      

Kind of verb              Transitive                      Intransitive

Translation                 To seat or place            To sit


Acts 2:30 quotes Psalm 132:11, the verb is Kathizō, which means to seat or to place; if you’re into Greek you might recognize this as a transitive verb meaning it takes a direct object.  Well let’s compare that to  Acts 2:34 which is quoting Psalm 110:1 and notice that the verb is different, it’s not Kathizō, it’s Kathēmai  which is a verb meaning to sit, not to seat but to sit and that is an intransitive verb which simply means it does not take a direct object.  Now if you’re going to build a whole case about a crucial linking allusion revolving sit in two verses shouldn’t those two words be identical?

Zane Hodges says this, “But unless Bock is reading the Greek text 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 similarity between verses 30 and 34. As you read the modern editions of the Greek New Testament, the verb kathisai in verse 30 is not to be read as intransitive (“to sit”) but as transitive (“to seat”; cf. the NIV here). In verse 34, however, the intransitive sense “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.”  Now if you’re just studying this in English it looks like the exact same verb; if you’re studying in Greek those are two different verbs there.  “Clearly this would be quibbling” I mean, to bring up something so minor 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.”  [Zane C. Hodges, “A Dispensational Understanding of Acts 2,” in Issues in Dispensationalism, ed. John R. Master Wesley R. Willis, Charles C. Ryrie (Chicago: Moody, 1994), 173–74.]

And he’s bringing up, I think, a pretty important point.  The point is if you’re going to build  your house on this crucial linking allusion between those two verses and those two psalms it’s a bit odd that the two verbs are not identical.  That’s a little strange.

Number three, the mere act of sitting is not enough to equate the thrones.  Hodges says “Technical considerations aside,” he just gave us the technical considerations, “the use of a verb for sitting proves nothing about whether or not the two thrones are to be identified” or equated.  “What else does one do on a throne?” other than sit, right?  And I love this analogy, and you can tell he’s a Texan, he’s with the Lord now, but he says, “Suppose that one states, ‘Mr. Smith is destined to sit in the governor’s chair in Austin and currently is sitting in the chair of the Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court.’ Would anyone ever conclude from this that the words “sit” and “sitting” intimate that the two chairs in question are identical?”  I mean, does that… you sit in the Governor’s chair, you sit in the Chief Justice Supreme Court chair, would anybody interpret that to mean that the Governor’s chair and the Chief Justice’s chair of the Supreme court are the same throne?  That’s Hodges point.  He says, “Obviously not.”  [Zane C. Hodges, “A Dispensational Understanding of Acts 2,” in Issues in Dispensationalism, ed. John R. Master Wesley R. Willis, Charles C. Ryrie (Chicago: Moody, 1994), 176.

So you can kind of see the direction that we’re moving in here as I’m trying to dispel Kingdom Now theology.  What they’re doing in Acts 2 is out of harmony with early information in Luke about the Davidic throne.  That’s red flag number one.  Red flag number two is the two verbs translated “sit” or “seat” are actually different verbs.  And then the third problem is sitting is not enough to equate two thrones.

So we’ll stop here and we’ll do numbers 4, 5, 6 and 7 next time.