The Coming Kingdom
2-27-19 Acts 2:30-35 Lesson 62
On Sunday we had some people visiting from Iowa, wasn’t it, and now we’ve got another couple visiting from Indiana so Dave and Tamara Browning, just put your hand up really fast, are here visiting, they have been following us for about a year and a half on social media or internet, so that’s kind of neat.
Let’s take our Bibles tonight if we could, open them to Acts 2, verses 30-35. And as you all know we’ve been teaching through the doctrine of The Kingdom, so we’re in chapter 18 of the book that I wrote called The Coming Kingdom, and in this study we’ve sort of laid out that the kingdom is currently in a state of postponement. So we don’t think it’s been cancelled, and we don’t think it’s being fulfilled now, the Kingdom promises, so our position is that the kingdom is in a state of postponement. But what you discover within evangelicalism or Christendom is that by and large most Christians, going really all the way back to Augustine in the fourth century, believe that we are in the kingdom now. So these people that teach this obviously have verses that they use to promote this and so rather than just giving you our view on this what I’m trying to do in the latter parts of the book is give you the verses that people quote all of the time to demonstrate that we’re currently in the kingdom. And there are many, many passages from Christ’s ministry that they use, we’ve sort of explained those and now we’re into the section dealing with passages in Acts that people us to argue that we are currently in the kingdom. And no doubt the dominant chapter that’s being used today to argue that we are now in the Messianic kingdom is Acts 2.
I think we started that last week, didn’t we? So rather than sort of respond to bad teaching from Acts 2 out of the gate let’s first review what Acts 2 is about. Acts 2 is about the beginning of the church age. And so what happened in Acts 2:1-4 is the falling of the Holy Spirit. [Acts 2:1-4, “When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.  And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.  And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them.  And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.”]
And then verses 5-8 it was evidenced through the gift of tongues, which was an ability to speak in a language you have never learned. And there were many people from out of town there on Pentecost in Jerusalem and so they heard the apostles speaking in not just the dialect of the apostles but their own dialect of all of these out of towners. They were speaking in languages that they had never learned. That’s in verses 5-8. [Acts 2:5-8, “Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven.  And when this sound occurred, the crowd came together, and were bewildered because each one of them was hearing them speak in his own language.  They were amazed and astonished, saying, “Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans?  “And how is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born?”]
And then in verses 9-12 of Acts 2 there’s a description of those present on the day of Pentecost. There’s a little map in the upper right hand corner, I’ve got a better map I’ll show you later. [Acts 2:9-12, “Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,  Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes,  Cretans and Arabs—we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God.”  And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, “What does this mean?”]
But these are people from the known world assembled there on the day of Pentecost. And what happens is unbelief kicks in, you know unbelief always takes what God is doing and tries to assign a naturalistic explanation for it. So when unbelievers saw this gift of tongues… tongues, as I tried to explain in other classes we taught here, is a lousy translation. It’s better translated languages. But people that were unbelievers took this gift of languages that was being exhibited in Acts 2 and they tried to attribute the whole thing to drunkenness. So Peter stands up and he begins to give a defense, really beginning around verse 13, 14, 15, as to why what they were witnessing there in Jerusalem had nothing to do with drinking; it was a work of the Holy Spirit. And in the process he’s explaining where these miraculous occurrences were coming from. They were actually coming from heaven wrought by Jesus who was no in Acts 2 at the right hand of the Father. [Acts 2:13-15, “But others were mocking and saying, ‘They are full of sweet wine.’  But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: ‘Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give heed to my words.  ‘For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day;”]
So Peter makes a very simple point that this couldn’t be drunkenness because (verse 13) it’s nine o’clock in the morning; most people don’t start their drinking that early.
And then in verses 16-21, now in the second half of chapter 18 in my book we’re going to be dealing with verses 16-21. He quotes Joel 2 and there’s a lot of misunderstanding concerning Joel 2 but I think, and I’ll try to make the case that Joel 2 being quoted in Acts 2 is not saying that’s what’s happening in Joel 2 is a fulfillment of Joel 2. He’s using an analogy because this is “like” what’s going to happen in the future for the nation of Israel as predicted in Joel 2. More on that later. He’s reasoning, in other words, analogically. You don’t find the word “fulfilled” in Acts 2:16-21.
[Acts 2:16,“but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel:  ‘AND IT SHALL BE IN THE LAST DAYS,’ God says, ‘THAT I WILL POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT ON ALL MANKIND; AND YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY, AND YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS, AND YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM DREAMS;  EVEN ON MY BONDSLAVES, BOTH MEN AND WOMEN, I WILL IN THOSE DAYS POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT And they shall prophesy.  ‘AND I WILL GRANT WONDERS IN THE SKY ABOVE AND SIGNS ON THE EARTH BELOW, BLOOD, AND FIRE, AND VAPOR OF SMOKE.  ‘THE SUN WILL BE TURNED INTO DARKNESS AND THE MOON INTO BLOOD, BEFORE THE GREAT AND GLORIOUS DAY OF THE LORD SHALL COME.  ‘AND IT SHALL BE THAT EVERYONE WHO CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.’”]
And then beginning in verses 22-35 he begins to explain that the source of these miraculous manifestations is Jesus Christ who is at the right hand of the Father, now functioning not as Davidic King but a high priest after the order of Melchizedek. So he explains that Jesus is a worker of miracles, verse 22, that’s what He had done through His whole earthly ministry in their presence, and now He’s continuing to work miracles, it’s just now He’s working these miracles not from the earth but from the Father’s right hand in heaven. He explains very clearly that this is the very Messiah that the nation rejected. Remember Israel took Christ and turned Him over to the Romans for execution. And when the did that you’ll recall that Jesus said of Israel that they’ve committed the greater sin. The Romans committed a sin but Israel committed even a greater sin because they had Old Testament revelation that those in Rome really didn’t have, and “to whom much is given, much is required.” [Luke 12:48 “From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.”]
And then beginning in verses 24-35 he begins to put together Old Testament prophecies explaining that what has happened and what is happening is the fulfillment of God’s program prophetically. So he explains, verses 24-29, quoting Psalm 16, that Jesus has risen from the dead.
[Luke 12:22, “And He said to His disciples, “For this reason I say to you, do not worry about your life, as to what you will eat; nor for your body, as to what you will put on.  For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing.  Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds!  And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life’s span?  If then you cannot do even a very little thing, why do you worry about other matters?  Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.  But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You men of little faith!  And do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not keep worrying.  For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father knows that you need these things.  But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you.  Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.  “Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys.  “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  “Be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps lit.”]
We’ll be using Psalm 16 a little bit later but Psalm 16 David makes a statement there that my anointed one will not see decay, speaking of the resurrection of Christ. [Psalm 16:10, “For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.”] And Peter makes the point that that Psalm, written a thousand years earlier can’t be a reference to David because David’s sepulcher or tomb is right there in Jerusalem. In fact, I had a chance to actually go to David’s tomb when I was in Jerusalem a few weeks ago. So this is obviously a psalm pointing to the Messiah and His resurrection from the dead. So Peter says Jesus rose from the dead, verses 30-32, He is the Davidic heir, and there he quotes Psalm 132:11. [Psalm 132:11, “The LORD has sworn to David A truth from which He will not turn back: “Of the fruit of your body I will set upon your throne.”] In other words, he wants the nation of Israel to understand that they rejected in the first century the heir to David’s throne.
And then in verses 33-35 he uses a third psalm and he quotes Psalm 10:1 to show that Jesus is at the Father’s right hand. [Psalm 10:1, “Why do You stand afar off, O LORD? Why do You hide Yourself in times of trouble?”] Now is He at the Father’s right hand permanently? No, because He uses Psalm 110:1 to say “‘Sit at My right hand” what’s the next word? “Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.’” So He’s at the Father’s right hand until the nation of Israel gets its act together and trusts in Christ as the Messiah. Prophetically we know that will happen in the tribulation period and then the Lord will return and establish His kingdom on the earth.
And then he gets to his conclusion, verse 36, now what’s the point that he’s making as Peter is preaching? He says, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.” [Acts 2:36] So he’s making the point that Israel got it wrong in rejecting their own King. And apparently of the million or so people that were in Jerusalem at that point a minority of them started to feel very convicted at what Peter has just said, because he is exposing the guilt of first century Israel and when you look at verse 7 it says, “Now when they heard this they were pierced to the heart and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Brethren, what shall we do?’” So they’re convicted. Now why are they convicted? We’ll talk about it a little bit later.
But Jesus, prior to His crucifixion in the Upper Room said “it is to your advantage that I go away, for when I go away” who’s going to come, the Spirit or the Paraclete, or the one who comes alongside to assist. [“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.” John 16:7] John 16:8, “And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment;” so one of His ministries would be to convict people of the need to trust in Christ as Messiah, and I believe this is the first evidence of that ministry now in operation because in verse 37 it says “they were pierced to the heart.” [Acts 2:37, “Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Brethren, what shall we do?”’] That’s the Holy Spirit convicting them.
And verses 38-41 He gives an exhortation, and what’s the exhortation, it starts with an “r” it ends in epentance, [laughs] repentance. He tells them to repent, and that’s the Greek word metanoeō, which literally means change your mind, change your mind from what to what? Go from being on Israel’s side that rejected their own Messiah, go from being a Christ rejecting Jew to a Christ accepting Jew. And that’s this conviction you feel, that’s what you should do with that conviction; it’s there to show you to repent.
Then He gives this invitation and look at what happens, verse 41, you’re got about three thousand responders. [Acts 2:41, “So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls.”] That’s a heck of an altar call, isn’t it? Three thousand people are saved, and that’s the beginning of this new movement, a new dispensational chance called the age of the church. The age of the offering of the kingdom has past, the age of Israel is temporarily passed, and now God’s doing a new work through the church. And this is the beginning of it, right here.
And so what do these three thousand people do? Well, they had their church meeting and meetings so they were meeting in the temple and then they were meeting from house to house, big group meetings, small group meetings. And they were taking communion together, they were learning apostolic doctrines and there is a number of things described there in verses 42-47.
[Acts 2:42-47, “They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.  Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles.  And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common;  and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need.  Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart,  praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.”]
So that’s how the church started. That’s when the baptizing ministry of the Holy Spirit began and the Holy Spirit began to take men and women and as they came to faith in Christ identify them with the body of Christ. So what I just gave there in kind of a bird’s eye view is basically a traditional understanding of Acts 2. And what I’ve been trying to explain last week and this week is what we’re being told today by kingdom now theologians is that’s not what Acts 2 is about at all; Acts 2 is about the inauguration of the kingdom. And so I’ve talked to you a little bit about the movement at Dallas Seminary called Progressive Dispensationalism where they’re not quite amillennial, meaning they don’t believe we’re in the total kingdom now because your amillennialists will tell you the whole kingdom started in Acts 2.
That’s not what we believe; we believe the kingdom is postponed for reasons we’ve articulated in this study, and God, beginning in Acts 2 started something totally different, that had nothing to do with the kingdom. It’s called the age of the church and we’re still in the age of the church right now, for two thousand years, and the kingdom program has been put on abeyance or postponement or suspension until God has completed the body of Christ. But people say no, that’s not what Acts 2 is about, it’s about the inauguration of the kingdom. And progressive dispensationalists say the kingdom started in an already sense, oh yeah, there’s going to be a future kingdom too but it’s already started. So they look at what’s going on in what we call the church and what they’ll do is they’ll call it a sneak peek of the kingdom, they’ll start using all this language where a colony of the kingdom.
It’s interesting that if you look at ministry marquees today and vision statements and these kind of things you see this language all the time. People say they’re building the kingdom, we’re kingdom builders. One popular man wrote a book called The Kingdom Man, and someone else wrote a book called The Kingdom Woman. And people say this a lot, “we’re doing kingdom work today,” and people sign their e-mails “for the kingdom,” they’ll put that kind of thing in an e-mail. And this is all an outworking of this kingdom now theology which is basically confusing the church with the kingdom. And that’s what you have with progressive dispensationalism.
One of the leading progenitors of progressive dispensationalism, my professor, Darrell Bock, writes, and I’ve given you this quote before, and he’s getting this from Acts 2 and he is the world’s leading expert, I believe, in the subject of Luke who wrote Luke and Acts. He’s written two scholarly commentaries on the Gospel of Luke, another scholarly commentary on Acts, and he believes that Luke is all about how Jesus and then the apostles in Acts 2 started the kingdom, which is obviously very different than the interpretation I just gave earlier. Right?
So Darrell Bock 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, quoting Psalm 132 verse 11. Now how have we understood Acts 2:30 quoting Psalm 132:11? That’s just saying Jesus is the Davidic heir. Darrell Bock is saying no, that’s not what that verse is saying, it’s saying that Jesus is now seated on David’s throne in heaven. He’s not functioning as high priest only, He’s functioning as what? As king over this colony of the kingdom called the church.
And so he says, “ The term kathisai (to sit), which is reintroduced in the citation of Psalm 110 (note kathou, “sit,” in v. 34). The allusion in verse 30 is to Psalm 132:11, a Psalm which is strongly Israelitish and national in tone (see vv. 12–18). The Psalm in turn is a reflection of the promise made to David in 2 Samuel 7, especially verse 12. This 2 Samuel passage is better known as the Davidic covenant.” And then Bock says, “What is crucial is that David’s awareness of this covenant promise is immediately linked” now that’s a very important word to understand to figure out where these guys are coming from. “…it’s 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’ll decipher this in a second, don’t panic if you’re not understanding everything that he’s saying. And if you’re not understanding everything that he’s saying I say praise the Lord because I don’t think what he’s teaching is very healthy.
“Being seated on David’s throne is linked” see how he keeps using those words, “to being seated at God’s right hand. In other words, Jesus’ resurrection-ascension to God’s right hand is put forward by Peter as a fulfillment of the Davidic covenant, just as the allusion to Joel fulfills the new covenant. To say that Peter is only interested to argue that the Messiah must be raised misses the point of the connection in these verses and ignores entirely the allusion to Psalm 132 in the Davidic covenant.
This passage and Luke 1:68–79 also counter the claim that no New Testament text asserts the present work of Jesus’ as a reigning Davidite sitting on David’s Throne. 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. 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.” And here’s the key point, “As the Davidic heir, Jesus sits in and rules 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.]
So what in the world is he saying? He’s saying you have to connect verse 30 with verse 34. I don’t think you connect those verses at all; I think they are separate points in Peter’s presentation but he thinks those verses are connected, verse 30 and verse 34 and he thinks the verb sit connects those texts. So he thinks that what is connected is Psalm 132:11, Jesus one day sitting on David’s throne, with Psalm 110:1, Jesus sitting at the Father’s right hand. And rather than take those as separate events one happening now, one happening in the future, he thinks the verb “sit” allows you to take both psalms and combine them together to teach this doctrine that Jesus is now reigning on David’s throne and that’s how he’s gotten all of these people to believe that Jesus is now reigning on David’s throne and that we’re in the Davidic kingdom even though Acts 2 doesn’t even mention the word kingdom. See that?
So what I was doing with you last time is I was giving a seven point response to what Darrell Bock is saying. So here is point one: To believe that would be to interpret David’s throne out of harmony with how that throne is always described earlier in Luke. Now remember Luke and Acts are meant to be understood together. Luke is the prequel, Acts is the sequel, both written by the same author. In fact, if you go back to Acts 1 just for a second, Luke writes, “In the first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach,” Now what is the “first account” that he’s referring to? The Gospel of Luke. So Luke is the prequel, Acts is the sequel. And what you discover as you go back into Luke’s Gospel, same writer, is that David’s throne is always manifested where? In heaven? No, it’s always on earth. We saw Luke 1:32-33, over a repentant Israel. [Luke 1:32-33, “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 reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.”]
That’s how Alva J. McLain quoting Geode. I gave you that quote last time, it explains that reality. [“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 that should immediately make you suspicious of Darrell Bock’s interpretation because he’s coming up with an interpretation of David’s throne that contradicts what early Luke presents about David’s throne. And this is a way to recognize false teaching; the interpretation they’re giving doesn’t fit with earlier revelation, it contradicts it. God’s Word doesn’t contradict itself, does it? I mean latter Scripture can clarify and amplify former Scripture but it can never do what? Change former Scripture, and we made that point last time.
Point number two is in Acts 2:30, 34, which Darrell Bock wants you to combine; he wants you to believe that those two psalms taken together that Jesus is seated on David’s throne now. [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.].  “For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says: ‘THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD, ‘SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND.”]
And he wants to connect those psalms through the verb “sit.” The second problem… and so because he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn with an oath to seat one of his descendants on David’s throne. Darrell Bock wants you to look at that verb “to seat” and he wants you to combine it with verb “sit” given in another Psalm a little later and he thinks those two psalms together, that verb in those two different Psalms unite the Psalms creating the doctrine that Jesus is seated on David’s throne now. The problem is those are different verbs; yeah, they’re translated sit or to seat in English but when you actually look at the verb in Acts 2:30, quoting Psalm 132:11 the verb is kathizo.
Compare that to verse 34 quoting Psalm 110:1, the verb is kathomai, and those two verbs function differently; one is transitive, one is intransitive (those are fancy names). Transitive means takes a direct object; intransitive means does not take a direct object and that’s why they’re translated “to seat” or to place in verse 30, but the other verb is to sit. And his whole argument rests on combining the two psalms via the verb sit, and what he’s not telling his audience is those are different verbs in Greek. I mean, wouldn’t Peter or Luke have used the same verb if the whole point is to connect those two Psalms. Do you follow where I’m going here?
Number three, and I think that this is the last point we got to last week, if I’m not mistaken. Number three, the mere act of sitting is not enough to equate thrones. Why is that? Because what else does one do on a throne other than what? Sit! So Zane Hodges, who wrote a wonderful response to Darrell Bock that I’m using here in this presentation, and I gave you the source where you can look this up on your own and read it, write…. Zane Hodges was a longtime professor of Greek at Dallas Seminary and was leaving the school via retirement just as this progressive dispensationalism stuff started to take root in the 80’s.
Zane Hodges writes: ““Technical considerations aside, the use of a verb for sitting proves nothing about whether or not the two thrones are to be identified. What else does one do on a throne? Suppose 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? 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.] If someone sits in the Governor’s chair and then sits also in the Chief Justice’s chair is it logical or rational to conclude that the Governor’s char equals the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court’s chair. And so Zane Hodges is pointing out this sort of logical fallacy that Darrell Bock is using.
And then we pick it up here with number four, the fourth problem that I think Darrell Bock, and he’s not the first to do this, the amillennialists have been using this approach for a long time, it’s just Darrell Bock is the first to use it in a new theology called progressive dispensationalism. “But those who use these verses this way fail to factor in Peter’s Jewish audience.” Who in the world was Peter talking to in Acts 2? Jew or Gentile? They’re all Jewish. How do we know that? We know that because there’s not a Gentile conversion in the early church until Cornelius, a man in Acts 10. I think the Ethiopian Eunuch was what we would call a proselyte so there’s a little ethnic progress there but you don’t have any full-fledged Gentile converted until Acts 10. So the whole early church is Jewish.
And the ethnic complexion of the church doesn’t really even change until Paul’s first missionary journey into Southern Galatia. Once he goes outside the borders of Israel the folks that start getting saved by crazy are the Gentiles. And if he keeps going to the synagogue and getting thrown out of the synagogue… so when I taught at the Bible College I told the students if I ever ask you what did Paul do in such and such a city just say this and you’ve got a 95% chance of getting the question right. He went into the synagogue, He reasoned with the Jews for a certain period of time, they threw Him out of the synagogue, and He went to the Gentiles and reaped a great harvest. So the answer to that question, no matter where it happened you’re probably going to get the answer right, because that’s the pattern that goes on over and over and over again in the Book of Acts.
And Luke is showing us that in the Book of Acts to show us how this church started off so Jewish and ended up as a predominantly Gentile institution. So the church for the past 2,00 years is predominantly Gentile. There are saved Jews periodically but they’re not in the majority. And by the way, don’t get arrogant about that, you Gentiles, because Paul talks about that in Romans 11. Right? He’s saying you are the wild branches that have been brought in. [Romans 11:17, “But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree.”] And if God can bring in the wild branches how hard do you think it is for Him to reach out and take the natural branches and reassert them into their own tree, which He will do one day. Right? All Israel will be saved. So everybody that’s listening to Peter in Acts 2 is Jewish. How do we know that? Because they’re assembled on the Day of Pentecost, a Jewish holiday. That’s why they’re all there. ——————————————————————————————————————-
Levitical Feasts (Leviticus 23)
Feast Season Purpose Type
Passover Spring Redemption 1 Corinthians 5:7
1st fruits Spring Separation John 6:35
Pentecost Spring Praise Acts 2:1-4
Trumpets Fall New Year Matthew 24:31
Atonement Fall Leviticus 16 Zechariah 12:10
Booths Fall Wilderness Provision Zechariah 14:16-18
And Leviticus 23 lists seven feasts of Israel and the Day of Pentecost, unlike a couple of other feasts, if I remember right, was mandatory. You had to show up at the central sanctuary to celebrate it. And in this case the central sanctuary was Jerusalem and that’s why there was probably over a million people in Jerusalem.
This map is very helpful because it shows you where all these Jews came from. They came from their own areas. So what is the point that I’m trying to make. The point I’m trying to make is if Peter is talking to a Jewish audience in Acts 2 there is no possible way a Jewish audience steeped in the Old Testament, steeped in Hebrew Bible, understood any manifestation of the Davidic throne other than an earthly throne. If you start telling this crowd that David’s throne is in heaven they would have thought you were crazy. So if Peter were actually making the point that Jesus is now reigning on David’s throne, which is not on the earth, it’s in heaven, he’d have a lot more… as Ricky said to Lucy, “a lot more splainin’ to do.” Didn’t Ricky say to Lucy, “Lucy, you’ve got some splainin’ to do.”
I mean, if Peter is basically saying that Jesus is now reigning on David’s throne which, by the way, is not on the earth, all you Jews you got it wrong and everything in the Old Testament is wrong. It’s actually in heaven. He wouldn’t have made the point this way. He would have explained it in depth.
So Zane Hodges says this: “It’s perfectly safe to say that no one in Peter’s day could have expected to glean from His words in Acts 2 that somehow the throne of David and God’s extraterrestrial throne were to be identified. For that idea to be clear it would have to be stated directly but Peter does not do that here, nor does any writer anywhere else in the New Testament. What is truly relevant is Bock’s observation that the quotation found in verse 30 comes from a Psalm (132) “which is strongly Israeliteish in tone.” This, of course, is precisely what we saw in connection with Luke’s first reference to the throne of David in Luke 1:28–33. The true character of the Davidic throne is that it is indeed Israeliteish in tone, and hence “earthly.” Nothing indicates that such characteristics can be applied to the celestial throne of God.” [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.] Now this is a Gentile audience, maybe the case could be clear because he’s talking to Jews and doesn’t really explain what a celestial David’s throne looks like. It’s very unlikely that that’s Peter’s point there. And that’s the fourth problem with Bock’s argument.
The fifth problem with the kingdom now argument here is linking is not the same thing as equality. And this is a very important principle to understand when you interpret the Bible. Similarity is not equality; because two things are similar doesn’t make those two things equal. For example, I have two cars in my garage, because I’m an American we’re supposed to have two cars, right? Both cars have a steering column, an emergency break, four tires, an engine at the front, I mean there’s a lot of similarities between the two cars. But obviously just because the cars are similar doesn’t mean both cars are the same. A bush looks like a tree to some extent and a tree looks like a bush, I mean, both of them have leaves that are green and are planted in the ground, but it’s an illogical fallacy to say the bush equals a tree.
So is there similarities between the throne in heaven and the throne on the earth? You can draw some similarities; Jesus in heaven is seated on His Father’s throne, one day He will be seated on His throne in the millennial kingdom. He’s in the seated position in both. The Messiah is on both, one now (the Father’s throne at the Father’s right hand) in heaven, the other on the earth. But that doesn’t mean the two thrones are equal. Why do I say they’re not equal? Because the differences outweigh the similarities. The two thrones are different, one’s in heaven, one’s on the earth. One’s involving Christ’s role as priest today, the other one yet future involves His role as King. One is happening now, one is happening in the future. One is happening in heaven, one is happening on the earth. So yeah, I can link two thrones together but that doesn’t mean the two thrones are the same because similarity is not the same thing as equality. Do you follow that?
So he’s building his whole case here through similarities. Zane Hodges says, “And even if it is, “linking” is not equivalent to “identification.” Bock’s argument contains a logical fallacy. Bock has rested much on the idea of “linking” without acknowledging that two things can be linked without any necessity that they be equated. Certainly there are various senses which the throne of David can be linked with God’s celestial one. After all (as Paul teaches us in Romans 13) all earthly power proceeds from God in heaven. If anyone is entitled to occupy David’s throne in a future day, it would certainly be David’s descendant who now occupies the right hand of the throne of God.” Indeed, the writer of Hebrews presents our Lord as seated “at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb. 1:3) where He is “waiting till his enemies are made his footstool” (Heb. 10:12–13). It is most certainly not while He is on the heavenly throne that He achieves the victories associated with the Davidic throne in Luke 1 (see earlier discussion). On the heavenly throne He simply waits for that. But His presence on God’s throne is a guarantee that someday He also will sit on David’s throne as Victor over all of Israel’s enemies. This is the true link between the heavenly and earthly sessions of Christ. But the idea that the two thrones can in any sense to be equated is illusory. It is not supported by any hard data at all.” The fact that He is on the heavenly throne now is a guarantee that He will one day be on the earthly throne later, but that doesn’t mean the two thrones are the same. So Hodges says “But the idea that the two thrones can in any sense to be equated is illusory.” What does that word illusory mean? An illusion. Bock is appealing to an allusion, a-l-l-u-s–i-o-n but Hodges is saying that allusion, a-l-l-u-s-i-o-n is a what? Illusion, i-l-l-u-s-i-o-n. Right… did I get the spelling right. “But the idea that the two thrones can in any sense be equated is illusory. It is not supported by any hard data at all.” [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), 176-77.]
Number six of my list of seven here. Progressive dispensationalists have missed the whole point of Peter’s sermon. What I’m trying to say is that Acts 2 is about the inauguration of the Davidic kingdom; that is not the point Peter is making! The point that Peter is making is to teach NOT a fulfillment or a partial fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant. Darrell Bock and his group want you to believe that Peter’s point is that Jesus is now somehow fulfilling or partially fulfilling the Davidic Covenant. In fact, that’s not even Peter’s point. What is Peter’s point? Peter’s point is to teach that what is happening in Acts 2 is the fulfillment of the Father’s promise to send the Holy Spirit.
Why does Peter want to make that point? Because unbelievers were saying, of this manifestation of tongues, they are full of sweet wine. ‘”They are full of sweet wine.’” [Acts 2:13] They are drunken in other words and Peter’s point is they are not drunk, what is happening before you is a manifestation of the gift of tongues, or languages, which is a gift of the Holy Spirit which Jesus promised over and over would come when He ascended. That’s Peter’s point.
So here’s a nice little chart, I like how Jim fixed it up for us, maybe you guys don’t know this, Jim takes my slides and resuscitates them greatly, he makes them look presentable, so thank you Brother Jim, that looks much better than the chart I normally use. But this is a chart sort of explaining the difference between the Upper Room Discourse and the Olivet Discourse, two different discourses.
A Comparison of the Olivet and Upper Room Discourses
Discourse Olivet Upper Room
Scripture Matthew 24-25 John 13-17
Location Mount of Olives Upper Room
Passion week Third day Sixth day
General focus Farewell: Israel Hello: Church
Specific focus Israel’s future Divine provisions
Prompting Temple’s destruction Christ’s imminent departure
Explanations Written Old Testament Written New Testament
Apostles Israel (Matthew 19:28) Church (Ephesians 2:20) ————————————————————————————————————-
I don’t have time to work through that whole chart but what prompted the Upper Room Discourse? By the way, why do we call it the Upper Room Discourse? Because it was given in the Upper Room. What prompted the Upper Room Discourse? The announcement by Christ to His disciples that He was departing. You’ve got to keep in mind that He had been with them for close to three years, three and a half years. Everything they knew about the truth was from Him, their one on one relationship with Him. So He starts to tell them late in His ministry that He’s departing, referring to His crucifixion, resurrection and ascension. That disturbed them quite a bit.
So consequently He gives them the Upper Room Discourse explaining to them that it’s actually to your advantage that I am going because when I’m going who’s coming? The Spirit. In the Upper Room He says I will ask the Father and He will give you another helper, another relative to who? You don’t need Me anymore, you’re going to have something better because the Lord really could only be intimate with twelve people and actually He was really intimate with three. Do you know who the inner three were? Peter, James and John.
The Lord really had the ability in His flesh to be intimate with three people. When the Spirit comes the Lord, through the Spirit, can be intimate with who? Every single child of God. And it’s not going to be the type of situation where He’s on the outside and you when you’re talking to Him where is He going to be living? Inside of you!!! That’s a huge privilege that he’s talking about. It’s something that was unknown in the Old Testament. You go through the Old Testament and it talks about how the Spirit came upon people for certain tasks, Saul, David, Sampson, and then the Spirit would depart. So the Spirit came upon people in the Old Testament temporarily.
You see how different the promise is that He’s giving in the Upper Room, to His disciples, after His departure? “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you” for how long, the end of verse 16, “forever.” [John 14:16] “that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.” [John 14:17] That’s radical, that’s a privilege that prior ages could have never dreamed of.
We’re living in an age, because of the presence of the Spirit in each of us, that David and everybody else in the Old Testament would be just floored if they could see it… I guess they can see it now from heaven and understand it. And if you had said something like this in the Old Testament dispensation it was a privilege so powerful they wouldn’t have even comprehended it. And yet that’s the privilege that we have as members of the church.
“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you” [John 14:18] through the what? The Holy Spirit who’s going to be where? Inside of you! For how long? Forever! That’s why it’s actually advantageous that I’m leaving, He says also in the Upper Room, John 16:5-11, “But now I am going to Him who sent Me; and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’  “But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart.” They’re freaking out, Jesus is leaving.  “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.” [8, “And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment;  concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me;  and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.”]
That’s a powerful promise. And then what did Jesus say in the prequel? What’s the prequel to Acts? Luke? What did He say in the prequel? “ So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened.  Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he?  Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he?  “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly” who by the way is not tainted by the same sin nature we’re tainted with, “how much more will your heavenly Father give the” what? “Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?’”
I mean, even as sinful people we know how to bless our children, don’t we? Well, if we know how to bless our children how much more does our heavenly Father know how to bless us? And what’s the ultimate gift He can give you? The “Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.” And so right then and there, early in Christ’s ministry people were asking for the Holy Spirit.
Now today I’ve been in groups and Bible studies where they’re still asking for the Holy Spirit. Why would I ask for the Holy Spirit today when this is a prayer request that has already been answered… in which chapter of the Bible? Acts 2. Peter is explaining that Acts 2 is the answer to the prayer request that they had all been praying to Acts 2. That’s why I think…. I can’t find the exact verse, I’ll try to find it for you next time but it says that they were praying, in Greek, THE prayer. There’s a definite article in front of prayer. Now what prayer do you think they were praying? I think they were praying this prayer right here in Luke 11, “the prayer.” They were asking for the Holy Spirit and God answered that prayer request in Acts 2.
Later on in Luke’s Gospel Jesus says, “And behold I am sending forth the promise of My Father,” what promise would that be? The Holy Spirit. Where was it promised? Luke 11. “And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” [Luke 2:49] Now are you still hanging out in the city until you are “clothed with power from on high”? No, because the prayer request has already been answered, in which chapter of the Bible? Acts 2. Just prior to Jesus ascending He says, Acts 1:4, “Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised,” where did the Father promise this? Luke 11. Luke is the prequel to Acts. “Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, ‘Which,’ He said, ‘you heard of from Me;’  for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’” “Not many days from now” was said in Acts 1; when would that promise be fulfilled? Acts 2, “Not many days from now,” one chapter later.
So in Acts 2 this is Peter’s point because if you look at Acts 2:33 it says, “Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the” what? “the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear.” What you’re seeing with the tongues is not drunkenness, it’s a fulfillment of what the Father had promised.
Why in the world would we need the Holy Spirit inside of us? Because we’re living in the devil’s world, right? John 15:18-19, in this same Upper Room Discourse Jesus says, ““If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. “If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.” We’re on hostile territory. Why are we on hostile territory? Because we’re not in the kingdom. If we were in the kingdom this Scripture here would be unneeded, Jesus would be ruling from Jerusalem.
So while the kingdom is in abeyance, while the kingdom is in postponement, what do we desperately need as God’s people? We need Jesus living inside of us through the Holy Spirit. That’s the point of Acts 2. Peter, all he’s saying is the promise is being fulfilled now, and to argue that what Peter is really saying is the kingdom has started is a complete and total perversion of Acts 2. It misses the whole point of Acts 2. It misses the whole point of the promise that Peter spoke of in Acts 2:33.
Zane Hodges writes, “Yet even apart from this consideration, Bock misses the point of the quotation from Psalm 110 in Acts 2. As verse 33 makes clear, the real link is with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. It is a well-confirmed New Testament teaching that the gift of the Holy Spirit is the direct consequence of our Lord’s ascension to the Father. According to John’s Gospel, the Lord informed the disciples, “it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send him to you” (16:7). Earlier He had also said, “and I will pray to the Father, and He will give you another helper, that He may abide with you forever” (14:16).” Our Lord’s return to the Father and His intercession there are necessary to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Thus, in Luke-Acts the gift of the Spirit is termed “the promise of the Father” for which the disciples must wait until after Jesus’ ascension to Heaven (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4). Bock labels Psalm 110 a “resurrection proof text.” However, it is not an explicit statement of the resurrection since the resurrection is not mentioned in the Psalm. It does prophesy enthronement at God’s right hand. The point of Peter quoting Psalm 110 is simply this: the seated Christ is the source of the Spirit’s outpouring.” The miracle that Jesus was doing in His earthly ministry He’s still doing now at the Father’s right hand and the first miracle He just performed was a giving of the Holy Spirit, making good on the promise. The point of Peter quoting Psalm 110 is simply this: the seated Christ is the source of the Spirit’s outpouring. By His intercession He has secured what God the Father promised. This is precisely what Acts 2:33 states: “therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you see and hear.” [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), 177.]
The seventh and final problem with Darrell Bock’s Kingdom Now argument is its linkage. He’s trying to get people to link in their minds two independent psalms. Linkage like that fails to allow each psalm to have its own distinctive input. There’s a reason why Peter quoted two different psalms. Peter quoted two different psalms, not to get people to link two different points together. He quoted two different psalms because he’s trying to use them to make different points in his presentation.
What does Peter do? He quotes Psalm 16:8-11 in Acts 2:25-28. [Acts 2:25-28, “Acts 2:25-28, For David says of Him, ‘I saw the Lord always in my presence; For He is at my right hand, so that I will not be shaken.  ‘Therefore my heart was glad and my tongue exulted; Moreover my flesh also will live in hope;  Because You will not abandon my soul to Hades, Nor allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.  ‘You have made known to me the ways of life; You will make me full of gladness with Your presence.’”]
Why does he do that? To show that Jesus rose from the dead. Psalm 16 says, as you know, my holy One will not “undergo decay,” [Psalm 16:10, “For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.”] Peter’s point is that David wrote this a thousand years ago but he couldn’t be speaking of himself because we can go to his grave right now and see David in there. It’s got to be a Messianic Psalm, speaking of the resurrected Christ.
Then Peter quotes a second Psalm in Acts 2:30 he quotes Psalm 132:11 to show that Israel got it wrong in rejecting their own king. [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.” Psalm 132:11, “The LORD has sworn to David A truth from which He will not turn back: “Of the fruit of your body I will set upon your throne.”’
That point is so clear when you look at verse 23. What does Peter say to these assembled Jews? “This Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.” [Acts 2:23] Look at verse 36, “Therefore” Peter still speaking, “let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ– this Jesus whom you crucified.” Who’s the “you”? Israel. The only hearers he had at this point were Jews. That’s why he quotes Psalm 132:11 and Acts 2:30, he’s trying to get his audience to understand the guilt of first century Israel, so that they’ll do what? Repent or what? Change their minds about who Messiah, who Jesus is. So he quotes Psalm 16 for one purpose, the resurrection, he quotes Psalm 132 for another purpose, to understand that Israel rejected their own Davidic king who will reign on David’s throne one day.
And then he quotes a third psalm, he quotes Psalm 110:1 and then he quotes Acts 2:34-35 to show that this Jesus is now seated where? At the right hand of the Father, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies” your footstool. [Psalm 110:1, “A Psalm of David. The LORD says to my Lord: ‘Sit at My right hand Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”’ Acts 2:34-35, “For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says: “THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD, ‘SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND,  UNTIL I MAKE YOUR ENEMIES A FOOTSTOOL FOR YOUR FEET.”’]
You see how good this sermon is? I mean, he’s got point A and a Scripture to back it up; point B, another Scripture to back it up, point C, another Scripture to back it up. I mean, literally it’s a beautiful tapestry that he’s weaved here. He’s got three separate points and in no way shape or form does he want you to take two of those points and what? Chain them together, which is what kingdom now theology is doing.
Zane Hodges again says, “This precise point—the ascension—is in view in Acts 2:34: “For David did not send into heavens, but he himself says, Hodges says, “ It is simply incorrect to treat Psalm 16 as linked with Psalm 110 by asserting that both are resurrection proof texts. Psalm 16 is, but Psalm 110 is not. Rather,” watch this, “Rather Peter quoted each Psalm with its own quite distinct emphasis in support of two different elements in his presentation.” [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), 178.
So what’s wrong with saying the Davidic Covenant kingdom started in Acts 2? Number one, that would be out of harmony with earlier information in Luke about the Davidic throne. Number 2, verse 30 and verse 34 are different verbs. Number 3, The mere activity of sitting is not enough to equate the thrones. Number 4, A failure to factor in Peter’s Jewish audience there would have to be a lot more explanation if Jesus actually was seated on David’s throne now in heaven. Number 5, linking is not the same thing as equating. Number 6, The point of the Acts 2 sermon relates to the source of the Spirit, the fulfillment of the promise that the Spirit, not the manifestation of the Davidic Throne. And finally, Linkage fails to allow each Psalm to have its own distinctive input.”
Two very fast quotes from Zane Hodges and then we’ll stop. “The kingdom” this is his conclusion, “The kingdom was not restored, and it is quite wrong to identify the throne of David with God’s extraterrestrial throne. . . . A contemporary movement within dispensationalism that calls itself “progressive dispensationalism” has taken a novel tact in regard to Israel’s kingdom. Their analysis, however, remains inchoate,” I had to look up that word, what does inchoate mean? It’s like saying an illusion, no support. “… their efforts to elucidate notwithstanding. . . . We conclude, then, that Bock’s linkage between the two quotations breaks down under scrutiny.” [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), 172. 178.] The devil is always in the details, right?
And his next statement is an enormous leap into thin air:” This is one scholar critiquing another, quoting Bock, “In other words, Jesus’ resurrection-ascension to God’s right hand is put forward by Peter as a fulfillment of the Davidic covenant, just as the allusion to Joel fulfills the new covenant.” Hodges says this is an enormous leap into thin air. The argumentation that has led up to this conclusion proves (as we have seen) absolutely nothing that even impinges on the identification Bock wishes to make. . . . Acts 2 will remain a focal point in dispensational discussion, as well it should. But classic dispensationalism” that’s us, “can treat this text straightforwardly and with a minimum of complexity. Progressive dispensationalism, on the other hand, is forced to rely on intricate, subtle, and ultimately invalid arguments.” [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), 172. 178.]
We’re going to finish chapter 18 of the book next week and I’ll show you Joel 2, how they’re abusing Joel 2 in Acts 2. And then I think the following is a week off for spring break, and the Chafer Seminary conference. So I’m finished talking.