The Coming Kingdom 073

The Coming Kingdom 073
Revelation 5:5 • Dr. Andy Woods • September 11, 2019 • The Coming Kingdom


The Coming Kingdom #73

Is the Kingdom in Revelation 5:5?

Dr. Andy M Woods

Sugarland Bible Church


Open your Bibles to Rev 5:5, we are in Chapter 20 of my book, The Coming Kingdom.  I like to emphasize that my book (The Coming Kingdom) isn’t the important book; the Bible is.  My book just organizes the information. We have been studying The Coming Kingdom and we are now at the very end tonight.

We are in this section where the view of the Kingdom that we are teaching is a postponed Kingdom.  We are beyond the postponed Kingdom. We are now in the section that addresses the question of why so many people believe that we are now in the Kingdom.  We have looked at passages from the ministry of Christ that supposedly teach that we are in the Kingdom; Acts, Paul, the general letters, and now we are in passages in the book of Revelation.  These are passages that people go into repeatedly to argue that we are currently in the Kingdom.  We are looking at each passage, trying to demonstrate that these passages do not teach that we are currently in the Kingdom.  We have two passages left to cover:  Rev 5:5 and 15:3.

Notice Rev 5:5, “…and one of the elders said to me, “Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals.’”

Notice the expression, ‘has overcome;’ Jesus has overcome.  That expression is in the aorist tense, is a verb, meaning that it is something that has already happened.  Thus, many believe that because Jesus has overcome, that the Kingdom has begun.  That is the logic.

Darrell Bock promotes this idea and makes the following statement concerning Rev 5:5: “The victory, or at least the decisive act, has already occurred.  He is qualified to open the scrolls and the seals because of what he has already done as a Davidite [a descendant of David] …The timing of Revelation 5:5 is critical, since it precedes the seal judgments and the Second Coming, so the text shows Jesus has his regal victorious status before He returns in Revelation 19.  The portrait of these Revelation texts [not just this one, but the ones we looked at last week] is consistent.  Jesus now rules in spiritual-salvific terms, in a new community that is part of the kingdom program, and in a way that inaugurates [a key word, inaugurates] Davidic promises. [His conclusion]: That kingdom exists alongside the kingdoms of earth.” This is his view of the Church; that it is just another kingdom alongside any other kingdom of this world.  We are trying to communicate in this study that this is not God’s view of the Church.  The Kingdom is yet future, but Darrell Bock believes that because Rev 5:5 says that Jesus has already overcome.

The response to this:

  1. As we read Rev 5:5, did you see the word, ‘Kingdom?’ The noun ‘Kingdom’ is not there.  Did you see the verb ‘to reign?’  No, it is not there.  If John wanted to communicate that Jesus, through His first coming, had started some kind of spiritual Kingdom, he would have used the noun, ‘Kingdom’ [the Greek noun, ‘basileia’ and the verb form of that noun is basileuō, to reign].   Does John use those nouns and verbs elsewhere in the book of Revelation?  Yes, and very prominently.  You will find the noun, and I don’t know if it will do much good to read all of the verses, but Rev  1:9; 5:10; 11:15; 12:10.  In other words, John is really good at talking about the Kingdom when he wants to, but he doesn’t do it in Rev  5:5.  The verb, ‘to reign’ is found in Rev  5:10; 11:15,17; 19:6; 20:4 ( the latter verse is a big one because that is when the Kingdom begins in the 1,000-year Millennial Kingdom); Rev 20:4,6 and the kingdom continues on into the eternal state per Rev  22:5.  John is very skilled at using the verb “to reign” when he wants to, yet in Rev  5:5, he does not use that word; he simply says, ‘Jesus has overcome.’

Stan Toussaint, who I think has the correct understanding of Rev 5:5, says, “But this [Rev 5:5] does not prove a present spiritual form of the kingdom.  Christ’s death and resurrection have defeated Satan {we can all agree that satan is a defeated foe], but the kingdom is clearly future; this is especially seen in the Apocalypse.”

So, the first response to Rev 5:5 doesn’t actually say what Kingdom Now theologians think it says:  it doesn’t even mention Kingdom or ‘to reign.”

  1. Jesus has not yet opened the seven-sealed scroll. He has the seven-sealed scroll per Rev 5, but He doesn’t start opening it until Rev 6.  That is very significant because the opening of the seven-sealed scroll is the instrument that God uses to evict satan from this world, and that scroll is closed in Rev 5:5; it isn’t even opened yet.

You may remember from our study in Revelation, we follow something called telescoping.  See slide on Telescoping.  We believe that the book of Revelation pulls out like a telescope meaning that the seventh seal contains the trumpets.  (See slide on Ultimate Exodus, Rev 11:15). Seal seven initiates the trumpet judgments, and the seventh trumpet contains the bowls.  In other words, the seventh trumpet starts the bowls.

This is the instrument that God uses to evict satan from the earth; that is why so many judgments in the book of Revelation read like the book of Exodus? See slide on Ultimate Exodus.  So, there are sores in the sixth plague of Exodus and in the first bowl judgment in Revelation.  Rivers to blood in the first plague judgment in the book of Exodus and in the third bowl judgment in Revelation. Darkness is the ninth plague in Exodus and the fifth bowl judgment in Revelation. Frogs are the second plague in Exodus and the sixth bowl judgment in Revelation. Hail is the seventh plague in Exodus and the seventh bowl judgment in Revelation.

Does anyone recall why the paralleling?  What is God doing in the book of Exodus?  He is taking His people out of Egyptian bondage.  They have been there for 400 years.  What is going on in the book of Revelation?  God is not merely taking a nation out of political bondage; He is taking the whole planet out of the bondage that it has been in ever since the fall of man.  That is why when it looks, in Rev 5, as if no one is worthy to open the scroll, John starts to weep.  You will see that around Rev 5:4 and later, but John is weeping because no one is qualified to open the scroll.  The reason John is weeping is because if the scroll doesn’t get opened, then satan is never evicted from the earth, and the world continues under satan’s bondage.  Wouldn’t you cry at that prospect?  Then John is heartened to realize that there is someone worthy to open the scroll:  Jesus because He has overcome.

My point is that when you are in Rev 5, and it speaks of how the Lamb has overcome, you must understand that Rev 6 hasn’t even started yet, and the process of eviction hasn’t started yet since the process of eviction is initiated by the opening of the seven-sealed scroll, which has not yet transpired.  It is, therefore, impossible to argue that the Kingdom has already started in Rev 5 before the seven-sealed scroll that launches the eviction process doesn’t even begin to be opened until Rev 6.

Since my background is in law, let me give you an analogy from the legal world that might help you with this.  When someone is accused of a crime, there are basically two phases to the trial. The first is called the guilt or conviction phase where someone is tried by a jury of their peers, and they must be proven guilty of committing a certain crime beyond a reasonable doubt.  If the jury’s verdict is entered as guilty, then the person at that point becomes a convict.  They’re convicted of a crime.  Typically, what happens, at least it worked this way in the state of California, is that then the person who is no longer accused but convicted of a crime, now comes before the court for sentencing.  The judge must determine what sentence is appropriate.  So, if you can understand this, that is basically where satan is now.  He is living in between the conviction stage and the sentencing stage.  He has been convicted, that is what is being spoken of in Rev 5:4, where it says that ‘Jesus has overcome.’  Satan has become convicted; he is a defeated foe; he is going down.  It is just that the sentencing phase has not yet happened; he is still running the world system.  The sentencing phase doesn’t really start until the opening of the seven-sealed scroll.  When you understand where satan is, then you can understand why he is so desperate to take down as many people as he can.  He has been convicted but not yet sentenced.  Put yourself in that position and consider what you would do.  You would probably say, ‘I’ve got nothing left to lose so I’m going to take as many to hell with me as I can.’

Because satan is living between those two phases, it demonstrates why he is such a ferocious attacker on our lives and on the Body of Christ; why he works so hard to deceive.  There is something that is open to us by way of salvation that is not open to him.  He wants as few to enjoy it as possible.  That is why you are in a spiritual conflict; as a Christian it is harder for you to do things that unsaved people can do — because there is a war in you constantly since you have a built-in foe who is on his way out.  That is all Rev 5:5 is saying.  It isn’t saying that the Kingdom or the sentencing phase has started; nothing of the kind.  It is saying that Jesus, through His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension, has laid the foundation in His first coming for what will transpire in the Second Coming.  But in no way, shape, or form is it saying that the events of the Second Coming that involve the Kingdom and the sentencing of satan has already transpired.

Do you believe that satan is a defeated foe?  All these verses say that he is.

  • John 12:31
  • John 16:11
  • Colossians 2:15
  • Hebrews 2:14
  • 1 John 3:8

John 16:11 says that the prince of this world has been cast out.

Colossians 2:15 teaches that satan is a defeated foe: “When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.”

Hebrews 2:14 also says that satan is a defeated foe: “Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, …”

One of my personal favorite verses that demonstrates satan is a defeated foe is in 1 John 3:8: “…the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning.  The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.”

If you don’t have as your model that the conviction stage having already transpired, the sentencing stage yet to come, then you may read all the above passages and others will be able to convince you that the Kingdom has started.  Obviously, satan is a defeated foe; his defeat is spelled out in about seven phases in the Bible total.

See slide on Satan’s Progressive Defeat:  the fourth bullet point Cross (above references verses) is what Jesus did at His First Coming, and you will see in all the verses I just read.  Jesus laid the groundwork for what is coming at His Second Coming:  the sentencing of satan even though that sentencing hasn’t yet transpired.  But once that seven-sealed scroll is opened, then you start to see that we are no longer in the conviction stage that happened 2,000 years ago, but that we are now in the sentencing stage.

In the last three bullet points of above slide are the final three blows against satan involves not his conviction but his sentencing.  He will lose access to heaven halfway through the Tribulation period per Rev 12:9. Apparently, he still has an ability to go into heaven as a fallen angel, not to worship and serve as he once did as a high-ranking angel, but to accuse and to communicate.  If you don’t believe that can happen, talk to Job about it when you get to heaven.

Midway through the Tribulation period the privilege to go into God’s presence and accuse (by the way, he accuses us day and night, which makes me happy that I have a good defense attorney in Jesus who has transferred His righteousness to me at the point of faith).  If I didn’t have that, I wouldn’t be able to stand up under the accusations of satan.

Then when the Millennial Kingdom finally starts, he will be bound for 1,000 years in the abyss.  He is not in the abyss currently.  Many people think satan is in hell right now, and nothing is further from the truth.  He is running the world system as a convicted criminal who has not yet been sentenced.

Finally at the end of the thousand-year Kingdom, per Rev 20:10, he will be thrown into the Lake of Fire, which will be the end of him, never to torment humanity again.

The reason that it says in Rev 5:5 that Jesus has overcome is not because those final three events have transpired, but because the fourth event has transpired, which has laid the foundation for satan’s ultimate defeat.  If you don’t have this view then you have no way to harmonize the passages that teach, on the one hand, that satan is a defeated foe, and on the other hand, why he is the prince of this world; why he is still the god of this age; why he is still the prince and power of this air; why we must put on our spiritual armor?—because we wrestle against him.  Why is that he roams about like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour, and why does the whole world lie in his power?  How could that be if all the above verses tell us that he is a defeated foe?  If you don’t understand how to harmonize those verses, you will be deceived into thinking that since he has already been convicted, he has already been sentenced.  But if you have in your view that the conviction stage and a separate sentencing phase, with us living in between the two, then you have a framework to harmonize those verses that at first glance, appear to be contradictory.

So, there is no reason to interpret Rev 5:5 as saying that ‘Jesus has overcome’ and believe that the Kingdom has started.

A third response to this idea that Rev 5:5 teaches that the kingdom has started is that the entire book of Revelation was originally written to the seven churches of Asia Minor.  John is on Patmos at the end of the first century having been marooned there by Domitian, and the whole book is written to those seven churches in Asia Minor.  We have studied those churches.   Five of the seven churches are in a backslidden apostate condition.  The only two churches who aren’t apostate are Smyrna and Philadelphia; to every other church, Jesus said that He had something against them, and He names their sins.   What the churches of Philadelphia and Smyrna have in common is that they’re both under persecution.  A persecuted church tends to be a pure church.  When are you most serious about your walk with the Lord?  During times of prosperity or adversity?  On the mountaintop experiences or in the valleys?  When we are in the valleys, then we the tendency to pray and trust God more because we need Him.  When things are rolling along fine, my mindset tends to be, ‘God, I’ll check in with you; I have things under control.’

Since two of the churches are persecuted, they are in fellowship with Christ, and five of the seven, for the most part, are not in fellowship with Him.  The worst of the worst is the last church, Laodicea, where Jesus is portrayed as standing outside the door of the church, knocking, and wanting to enter.  The very name Laodicea, per the commentary of William Newell’s Commentary on the book of Revelation, “The name comes from ˆlaos, people, and dikao, to rule:  the rule of the people: ‘democracy,’ in other words.”  In other words, what is going on in Laodicea, is that they’re having Christianity without Christ.  It is a frightening explanation of what can happen to a church when it gets out of fellowship with Christ.  The kind of maneuver that some pull is to make Laodicea ‘all unbelievers.’  I see commentary after commentary explain it that way; it comes from some kind of Calvinistic lens — if they aren’t persevering in good works, then they were never saved.

I have a big problem with that view since in Rev 3:20, Jesus says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.”  When Jesus makes that statement in 3:20, note that it is preceded by 3:19, “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore, be zealous and repent.”  Some fail to look at 3:19,20 together; they chop off 3:20 from 3:19 and say that everyone in Laodicea was unsaved.  Looking at 3:19, Jesus says to Laodicea, the very worst church, “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; …”  What does the Bible teach about the disciplinary hand of God?  The disciplinary hand of God is for the believer!  Hebrews 12:6, “…for whom the Lord loves He chastens…”  The unsaved world is not under the disciplinary hand of God.  They’re under the judgment of God, a totally different concept.  One day experiencing His wrath is totally different than how He deals with us as His children, where He introduces momentary pain in our lives when we step out of line so that the next time to step out of line, we associate the momentary pain with that transgression, and we are less likely to step out of line.  If we are less likely to step out of line, then we are less likely to destroy ourselves through sin.  That is why the Lord brings chastisement upon us.  It is like a kid who runs across the street without looking.  Any parent worth their salt would discipline their child so the next time the child thinks about running across the street without looking, they will associate the pain of discipline with running across the street, and they won’t do it.  Then they aren’t hit by the truck coming that doesn’t see them.

That’s how the Lord works with us; He doesn’t work with unbelievers that way.  So, those whom the Lord loves, the Lord disciplines.  That is why there is so much in the book of Proverbs about how if you hate your children, you won’t discipline them.  Today, it is considered being a loving parent not to discipline their children.  Just let the kids express themselves any way they choose.  The book of Proverbs says to discipline your children.  I’m not talking about child abuse or any such thing; I don’t even know if I’m talking about spanking.  We in our family, have used it before, but as a last resort only.  If you won’t do that for your kids, you’re basically communicating to them to go ahead and sin and self-destruct; I don’t love you enough to correct you.

I’ve never disciplined my neighbor’s kids, by the way; I have thought about it a couple of times.  But I haven’t done it because they don’t belong to me.  Likewise, if you don’t belong to the Lord, He won’t discipline you. But because these people did belong to the Lord even in their rebellious state, He mentions discipline.  The concept of discipline does not apply to an unsaved person.  It is too convenient to take everybody in Laodicea and to say that they aren’t saved; that totally ignores Rev 3:19.

My point is that if Jesus is standing outside the door of His church knocking and wanting to get inside the door, and many evangelists will use this as an altar call type of appeal by quoting  Rev 3:20 to the unsaved world, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come into him and will dine with him, and he with Me.”  Billy Graham and so many others use that verse in that way, and a lot of people actually get saved via that verse, but that isn’t really what that verse is saying, it is not an evangelistic passage.  If you want to preach evangelism, there are many other passages that are more appropriate:  John 3:16.  This is an invitation for fellowship to be restored through utilizing 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us of all unrighteousness.”  Do this not to get saved but apply John 3:16 to get saved.  Exercise 1 John 1:9 to restore broken fellowship, and what Jesus says to them here is ‘I want to come in and dine with you.’  Now here in America we have lost the art of dining.  Dining in the ancient Near East and in the Grego-Roman world was all about intimacy.  If you sat down to a meal with someone, it wasn’t as though you are going through the drive-through, etc.  You ate with someone because you wanted intimate fellowship with them.  In the upper room, Jesus had the last supper with His disciples because He wanted intimate fellowship with them.  So, Jesus is saying here that He wants fellowship with them because they’ve fallen out of fellowship with them.  He isn’t calling into question their salvation.

My point is that if five of these seven churches are in an apostate condition and in the worst of the worst churches, Jesus is standing outside the door, does that sound like He is reigning in His Kingdom in those churches?  To argue that He is reigning in His Kingdom through the church, based on Rev 5:5 is to totally and 100% ignore the context here.  The entire context is a backslidden, apostate state.  When the kingdom comes, this won’t happen anymore because sin will be judged immediately.  See that in Zech 14:16-18; Rev 20:7-9.  This passage is talking about a totally different scenario where Christ is out of fellowship with His own people.  That doesn’t fit Kingdom conditions at all.

My problem with what they’re doing in Rev 5:5, the overcoming; He overcame; therefore, the Kingdom has started.  First, it doesn’t say ‘Kingdom’ there; it doesn’t even say ‘to reign’ there.  Secondly, the eviction process beginning with the opening of the seven-sealed scroll hasn’t even occurred yet.  Third, a present reigning church in no way fits the context of Rev 2,3.  Those are points that are totally ignored by ‘kingdom now’ theologians.

Let’s go now to Rev 15 and look at the final text that we will examine in this class to disprove a present Kingdom.  This verse is an easy one, and we have done these previously on Sunday mornings.  Revelation 15:3 — “And they sang the song of Moses, the bondservant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, ‘Great and marvelous are Your works, O Lord God, the Almighty; Righteous and true are Your ways, King of the nations!’”  So, he is the King of the nations.  If He is King of the nations, He must be ruling in His kingdom now, right?  In response to that, I would say that 15:3 is followed by 15:4.  See how important context is when studying the Bible?  Observe not only what He says in 15:4 but also in which tense these verbs are.  “Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Your name?  For You alone are holy; For all the nations will come [future tense—hēkō] and worship [in Greek, this is also future tense for proskyneō] before You, For Your righteous Acts have been revealed.”   Yes, He is king of the nations, but He isn’t ruling in the kingdom sense right now because the verbs of Him and the nations coming and worshiping Him are both put into the future tense.

So that ends that major section where we have gone through every single passage, and if you didn’t catch it all, this is all archived all the way back to the life of Christ that some use that we are currently in the Kingdom.  The conclusion is of ER Craven in 1874, who wrote a wonderful Excursus on the Basileia.  An excursus is an extended part of a commentary; there is a wonderful treatment there of the Kingdom.  I have drawn many of his quotes, as you may have noticed, as we have gone through this, and he says, “…the passages which have been referred to as proving the doctrine of a present establishment” and “those passages which, it is alleged, logically imply a present establishment of the Basileia” [Kingdom] … “There is no critically undisputed passage in the Scriptures which declares, or necessarily implies, even a partial establishment [of the Basileia] in New Testament times.”  When people argue that we are in the Kingdom, they say ‘we are in the Kingdom’ and then they will string together a bunch of verses with their addresses in parentheses.  When you look at each verse individually, you discover is that the devil is in the details; none of the verses specifically communicate what they think that the verses say.

So that is the conclusion of this whole thing, and I could’ve told you that at the beginning, but I’m more interested in teaching you not what to think but how to think.  The day will come when you will be off somewhere else in another ministry, another country, etc., and you won’t have me around.  How will you stand on your own two feet?  I must get you to a point where you can analyze this on your own.

We are finished looking at the biblical text indicating that the Kingdom started, and what we move into here, and we will just introduce this — this takes us to chapter 21 in my book, The Coming Kingdom, Miscellaneous Arguments.  These are three, and we don’t have time to go through all of them.  They aren’t specifically text-based; they’re more generic arguments that ‘Kingdom Now’ theologians use.  Once we finish this, then we will be ready to get into the final part of the study, which I think will end at the end of this quarter, where we get into ‘Who Cares?’  Why does it really matter whether you believe if the church really is or isn’t the Kingdom?  Is this practical?

What are the three miscellaneous arguments advanced by ‘Kingdom Now’ theologians?  See slide on Three Miscellaneous Arguments Advanced by “Kingdom Now’ Theology”

  1. Alleged New Testament silence on a future kingdom
  2. That the New Testament does not focus on the Millennial Kingdom but on the eternal state; therefore, they think that the New Testament changed the Old Testament and what it reveals about the Millennial Kingdom.
  3. Some say that if you don’t believe that Jesus is ruling in a kingdom over the Church, then He isn’t doing anything. That is a failure to understand the present session of Christ which is a very active session.  At the right hand of the Father, He is doing by my count, and you might be able to find even more than this, at least eleven things minimum.  They have nothing to do with the Davidic Kingdom that is coming, so this idea that if we aren’t now in the Kingdom, then Jesus isn’t doing anything, is a fallacious idea.  What some don’t understand is that Jesus is Prophet, Priest and King.  Prophet at the first coming, Priest presently after the order of Melchizedek; He is very active in that role; King second coming.  Prophet, Priest, King.  They are not keeping the three offices of Christ straight.


  1. Let’s start with number 1 above: Alleged New Testament silence on a future kingdom.  Tell me what kind of logical fallacy this is.  Logical fallacy is fascinating to study—errors in thinking logically.  Bruce Waltke who had to leave Dallas Seminary, a brilliant Hebrew scholar, because he became a ‘Kingdom Now’ amillenialist, writes: “Not one clear New Testament passage [hmmm, I guess we can’t look at the Old Testament] mentions the restoration of Israel as a political nation or predicts an earthly reign of Christ before His final appearing.  None depicts the consummate glory of Christ as an earthly king ruling over the restored nation of Israel.  The silence is deafening.”  ‘So, this Millennial Kingdom that you keep talking about, he can’t find it in the New Testament, therefore, it must have been cancelled.’

Another one by Gary DeMar, another ‘Kingdom Now’ theologian is essentially post-millennial, meaning that he believes that He is setting up the Kingdom now and then Jesus will come back later.  So, Jesus is coming back to a world in apple pie order.  He doesn’t like all the talk about a future kingdom because he believes that we are in it.  Nor does he like any talk about the nation of Israel, the restoration of the Jewish nation in the Millennial Kingdom because the Church is the new Israel.  He says, “Where is this ‘super sign’ found in the Bible?  Not in the New Testament [these guys are totally focused on the New Testament].  There is not a single verse in the entire New Testament that says anything about Israel becoming a nation again.  Nothing prophetic in the New Testament depends on Israel becoming a nation again.  If Israel becoming a nation again…” [which is how we look at the reborn state of Israel; we see it as a precursor for God to get ready to fulfill His long-awaited Kingdom promises through the Jews primarily after the rapture] …” is such ‘a significant sign,’ then why doesn’t the New Testament specifically mention it?”

Another one:  Colin Chapman from his book, Whose Promised Land?  He says, “When the New Testament writers like John had seen the significance of the land and the nation in the context of the Kingdom of God which had come into being in Jesus of Nazareth, they [the New Testament writers, that is] ceased to look forward to a literal fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies of a return to the land and a restoration of a Jewish state.  The one and only fulfillment of all promises and prophecies was already there before their eyes in the person of Jesus.  The way they interpreted the Old Testament should be the norm for the Christian interpretation of the Old Testament today.”  In other words, all the promises of the Old Testament concerning an earthly kingdom suddenly got thrown out because they had Jesus right in front of them.  That is why, in his mind, the New Testament really doesn’t mention the Millennial Kingdom.

Here is an excerpt from The Knox Seminary Letter to Evangelicals. D James Kennedy, a well-known Presbyterian television pastor who has some wonderful teachings on the culture war and pro-life, etc., to his core, his church, and the school he started, are basically ‘Kingdom Now’ theologians.  He may have some good things to say on the culture war, but eschatologically, we here at Sugarland Bible Church have a big difference of opinion with him.  Interestingly, when the camera pans the audience of his tv program, I’ve observed several times, how many people who are seated there have Bibles open.  Thousands of people, and I keep watching this beautiful choir with the camera spanning it all, and when they focus on the actual people in the pews, I can’t find anyone with an open Bible.  He is up there talking about the culture war and pro-life and take America back.  I’m not saying there aren’t some good things in that, but he comes from a Replacement Theology, ‘Kingdom Now’ orientation, and he is a five-point Calvinist.  This is what his school said on their website a few years back [of course, now he is dead,

D James Kennedy, and as we like to say, he is with the Lord, so now he knows better]… “Instructively, this same Simon Peter, the Apostle to the Circumcision…” [in other words, New Testament writer], says nothing about the restoration of the Kingdom to Israel in the land of Palestine” …[woops, I can’t find Palestine in my Bible; he is calling it Palestine now.  The term Palestine is an anti-Semitic slur because it was Hadrian after the time of Christ, after the Jews had been evicted from the land in AD 70, Hadrian, a Roman emperor in the second century, went into the land of Israel and cleaned up the whole place, trying to make it look as though the Jews were never there.  It is identical to what the Muslims have done and still want to do to that land.  They want to pretend as though there was never a Jewish civilization or population.  That is why the Muslims are always getting upset with all these archaeological finds indicating that there was a David and other things indicating that there was indeed a Jewish civilization in that land going back to Abraham and Joshua, etc.  So, when Hadrian went in there, he named the land Palestine and he was trying to humiliate the Jewish people in the second century AD by naming Palestine after one of their ancient enemies, the Philistines.  The Philistines, in the Bible, hated the Jewish people.  That is where Palestine originates.  Even many study bibles, such as the MacArthur Study Bible, and to some extent the Ryrie Study Bible, will use the term Palestine.  Realistically though, going through the Bible from stem to stern, as they say, and Palestine will never be found because it is a term of an anti-Semitic nature that came into existence after the Bible was written.  So, if you want to call that part of the world something, don’t call it Palestine any more than you would call Judea and Samaria the West Bank.  The West Bank is an invented term.  The biblical designation of those areas they call the West Bank is Judea and Samaria.  By the way, that bank is west of Jordan.  Where is it relative to Israel?  East.  When you use the expression West Bank, you are using a term that is loaded from the Jordanian point of view.  When you use the word Palestine, you are using a loaded term from an anti-Semitic point of view.  Words mean things, so it is sad when evangelicals are not properly taught on this, and this vocabulary is thrown around without thinking anything of it.  So, if you want to all that land something, don’t call it Palestine; call it what the Lord Jesus calls it or what Matt 2:21 calls it, “Then he [Joseph] arose, took the young Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel.”  That is the designation for that territory, not Palestine.  The fact that he uses Palestine shows you where he is coming from.] …  “Instructively, this same Simon Peter, the Apostle to the Circumcision, says nothing about the restoration of the kingdom to Israel in the land of Palestine…No New Testament writer foresees a regathering of ethnic Israel in the land, as did the prophets of the Old Testament after the destruction of the first Temple in 586 B.C.”

Bruce Scott of Israel My Glory magazine correctly responds to Chapman and Gary Burge of Wheaton College who teaches ‘Kingdom Now’ theology. Understand that when you send your kids to Wheaton College, the same college that Billy Graham graduated from, they will be taught aggressively Replacement Theology from people such as Gary Burge.  Bruce Scott responds to Gary Burge: “[They] (referring to this argument that the New Testament never mentions the Millennial Kingdom or Israel’s future, which is an error as I will show you, but let’s pretend that the New Testament never does say anything about a future Millennial Kingdom or a future restored Israel.  What kind of argument or logical fallacy is that?  It is an argument from silence where you pretend like silence on something is the same as a negation. Bruce Scott calls out Gary Burge on this by saying): “[They] use a fallacious argument from silence to prove their point.  They falsely assume their position on the holy land is true simply because the New Testament writers spoke so infrequently of God’s land promises to Israel and Israel’s restoration to its land.  On one occasion, when confronted about his argument from silence, Gary Burge [the Replacement Theology, ‘Kingdom Now’ theologian] countered, “‘It is such a loud silence.’”  I don’t think their handling of the New Testament is right; there are references to Israel’s future in the New Testament, but let’s pretend that the New Testament never says a single word about the restored Israel.  That is what you call an argument from silence; a logical fallacy, where it is assumed that silence on something is the same thing as the negation.  That is what is happening in all these quotes by Waltke, Damar, Chapman, and Knox.

To communicate what an argument from silence is, I was a professor at a local Bible college for seven years, and I would hand out a syllabus at the beginning of class which would tell the students when the final exam would be.  It gave the date for when they’d be responsible for taking the final exam.  Now, let’s pretend that I handed out that syllabus and then fifteen weeks of a semester elapsed, and I never mentioned the final.  Then it comes time to take the final exam, and there are students who don’t show up for the test and consequently receive a lower grade.  Their response to me was, ‘Yeah but during the semester you never mentioned the final and since you never mentioned it, I didn’t think I had to take it.’  Wait a minute, ‘Did I ever at any point say that you didn’t have to take the final?’  No, we never heard that.  ‘So, you are assuming that my silence on it somehow negated what the syllabus said.’  That is basically called an argument from silence.  What all the above referenced quotes do not have, assuming that they’re right on silence, which I don’t believe they are, they have nowhere in the New Testament that calls off the Millennial Kingdom.  It says that everything you have studied in the Millennial Kingdom has been called off.

Arnold Fruchtenbaum says “Furthermore, the New Testament does not have to mention something specific from the Old Testament to maintain that the Old Testament promise is ongoing.  What the author [Replacement theologian] needs is a clear statement that says all the Land Promises have been fulfilled in at least a spiritual way, but this does not exist in the New Testament.”  Because it does not exist, they have to appeal to alleged silence.

Paul Feinberg says, “Why should something that is clearly a matter of Old Testament revelation have to be repeated in the New Testament for it to have continuing validity?  Should not the very opposite be the case?  Should not the promises of the Old Testament be regarded as still in effect unless the New Testament states otherwise?” 

These guys are coming up with their own set of rules and here are the rules that they have arbitrarily come up with:  You can’t just appeal to the Old Testament to develop a future Kingdom coming to the world through Israel.  You can’t just have it there; you have to have it in the New Testament.  If you don’t have it twice, then it is not valid.  That is akin to Adam and Eve standing before God as the human race was plunged into sin since they ate from the forbidden tree, telling God, ‘Well, you only told us one time not to eat from the tree of knowledge; if you had told us twice, we would have taken it seriously.’

Even before we get into the New Testament data, I want you to see the fallacious thinking that is going on here.

We will continue next time.