Receiving the Promise-Part V
Do you have respect for the authority of our rulers? (President, Senators, even police)
If yes, why and if no why?
Decline of the respect of authority has infected the church.
We are continuing our study of the book of Acts. We are now in Acts 2 on the day of Pentecost which is a day of celebration for the Israelites and there are thousands of Israelites gathered in Jerusalem at this time for the festival. While there God has chosen this day to be the day in which He will fulfill Scripture by pouring out His Holy Spirit on all mankind. This begins with the 120 who are gathered in a house praying and waiting on the coming of the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit is poured out on all those who are gathered in the house it is not a silent event, it doesn’t go without notice but is noticed by all who are in Jerusalem. God is calling His people back to Him, prompting them back and demonstrating His power the this unique gift of tongues which was to draw people to God and was for the purpose of revealing His message with clarity to those who were from many different nation and spoke different languages.
Those was an amazing event and those who were drawn to the house where this took place recognized God was doing something and some wanted to dismiss it but the Holy Spirit moved Peter to explain to those there exactly what it is that God is doing. God is fulfilling the promise He has made to bring about His Holy Spirit. This is a fulfillment of the prophecy spoken through Joel and it was brought about through Jesus’ life death and resurrection and man can have hope in this truth. Now Peter is going to continue to preach this incredible message and points to a present day reality for those gathered before him and a present day reality for ourselves today, God has lifted Jesus to sit on high at His right hand. There is a King and this King is the King of the universe and He is our King.
God Seats Jesus with Ultimate Authority
God Seats Jesus with Ultimate Authority
Let’s take a look at God’s exaltation of Jesus in Acts 2:29-36
“Brethren, I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. “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, he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that He was neither abandoned to Hades, nor did His flesh suffer decay. “This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. “Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear. “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.” ’ “Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.”
Peter opens this third point of his with another address to his audience. He says ‘brethren’ which is a common designation for the Jewish community. Christians today call themselves brothers and sisters in Christ. If we have placed out trust in Christ as Lord and Savior then we are a part of a family. We are a part of a family unit with our common bond being our adoption as sons and daughters of God through the blood of Jesus Christ. When Peter calls these men brethren he doesn’t mean this at all. He is looking at them as brothers as the covenant people of God in the line of Israel the patriarch. He is associating himself with them and also with the promises which were made to his forefathers were also made to those who witnessed this grand event.
Now he continues, “I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.” So now Peter is calling attention to the passage he has just quoted from Psalm 16 which was David pointing to Jesus being the Holy One who would not suffer decay. David by the power of the Holy Spirit saw the hope of his being in the presence of God through God raising Jesus from the dead. Peter is making his point that David could not be speaking of himself in this passage because David is dead and he is not only dead but is buried and in fact they are able to go and visit his tomb. According to Josephus a 1st century historian has written in about David’s tomb being broken into and robbed in about 135 b.c. as well as Herod attempting to rob David’s tomb places his tomb in history as being still occupied with a body. So as Peter puts it when David had said this in Psalm 16 he wasn’t talking about himself but was pointing to another who was the Holy One, which Peter makes clear here is Jesus of Nazareth.
God Established The Royal Line
God Established The Royal Line
Peter goes from here to pointing out David’s faith and David’s place as a spokesperson of God. In verse 30 Peter calls David ‘a prophet’. David was a King, how is it that Peter here calls him a prophet. Especially when the prophecy Peter quotes was actually given by Nathan not David himself. Simple, David was acting as a spokesman for God. He trusted in God and trusted in God’s promise even though he himself would never see the promise come to fruition he still trusted. In this way David is seen as the recipient of the prophecy and the projector of the prophecy and so seen as a prophet. Peter calling David a prophet and also calling him a patriarch places him in line with who was to come, the Holy One who was chosen by God to be the King who would come from David’s lineage and be God’s chosen Lord over all.
So as we continue we see Peter explains David’s prophecy and David’s understanding of the prophecy. Peter quotes the prophecy in the end of verse 30. He says ‘and knew God had sworn to him with an oath to seat one of his descendants on his throne.’ This is in reference to the fact David wanting to build God a permanent home for Him to dwell on earth. David looked out the window of His enormous and lavish home and saw the tabernacle, God’s temporary dwelling place here on earth and David wanted to build a lavish place for God to dwell. This wasn’t God’s plan for David. He tells David he is a man of war and God’s house will not be built by a man of war. Still so David we be assured of a future inheritance for his people God told him David’s son will build a house for Him and from David’s line there will be an everlasting throne for all eternity. That is the point of this quote which is repeated through out the Hebrew Scriptures.
This prophecy is first established in 2 Samuel 7:12-16
2 Samuel 7:12-16
“When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. “He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. “I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men, but My lovingkindness shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. “Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.” ’ ”
So God will establish His kingdom and it will be an eternal kingdom. David understood this and even writes about it in Psalm 2.
He who sits in the heavens laughs, The Lord scoffs at them. Then He will speak to them in His anger And terrify them in His fury, saying, “But as for Me, I have installed My King Upon Zion, My holy mountain.” “I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord: He said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. ‘Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, And the very ends of the earth as Your possession. ‘You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware.’ ” Now therefore, O kings, show discernment; Take warning, O judges of the earth. Worship the Lord with reverence And rejoice with trembling. Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, For His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!
David was looking to the promise God had made and he trusted in His promise for a future everlasting Kingdom with a righteous and perfect judge and king.
The Israelites would have known this and would have been looking forward to this chosen king God would be sending through David’s line. They also would have been looking for the sign of His coming and the kind of Kingdom would would have as Isaiah prophesied.
Isaiah points to a Davidic King
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.
Also Jeremiah points to Jesus and calls Him a righteous Branch;
‘Behold, days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will fulfill the good word which I have spoken concerning the house of Israel and the house of Judah. ‘In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch of David to spring forth; and He shall execute justice and righteousness on the earth. ‘In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will dwell in safety; and this is the name by which she will be called: the Lord is our righteousness.’ “For thus says the Lord, ‘David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel; and the Levitical priests shall never lack a man before Me to offer burnt offerings, to burn grain offerings and to prepare sacrifices continually.’ ”
David had faith in God and this faith was in God's promise, the promise of an everlasting King on an everlasting throne for all eternity. David knew he himself was not this king but God said One would come from him who would be the King. This King is God's chosen One who God rose from the dead and has seated on His throne. Jesus died but God didn't abandon Him to the grave and He didn't allow His flesh to suffer decay He was raised from the dead, never to decay, glorified and exalted for all eternity. David understood resurrection and knew he would one day stand in God's presence with a resurrected body but by the power of the Holy Spirit who works in and through him David's understanding of it pointed to the One who first had to undergo the true resurrection so David could receive the true resurrection as well.
Peter also makes it clear Jesus' death, burial and resurrection has been witnessed by all those who are standing there with him. The all in this passage doesn't mean everyone Peter is talking to but everyone who is with him who the crowd has just witnessed speaking in other tongues. The twelve have witnessed the risen Lord and so have the other 120. In fact in the letter to the Corinthian church Paul mentions over 500 disciples witnessed Jesus in His resurrected form. There are many witnesses to the fact of Jesus' resurrection. Peter by saying this is pointing out they have witnessed this truth and not only this by saying David is buried and they can visit his tomb he compares David to Jesus, David is buried Jesus is not, David has a tomb you can visit, you can't visit Jesus' tomb. It is a well known fact by this time Jesus is not buried anywhere. Still David is.
God Bestows the Throne on Jesus
God Bestows the Throne on Jesus
We find this in verse 33, Peter says, ‘Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having recieved from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear.”
This is Peter's point, David is pointing to Jesus as the exalted King over all the earth, and in His exaltation He is now at the right hand of God the Father and the Father was able to send the promise which was made to Israel through Joel.
The Holy Spirit is doing one incredible work through Peter in this one sentence. The trinity is on display. God exalted Jesus and recieved Jesus. The phrase ‘to the right hand of God’ is deeper then you think. This phrase means Jesus has been placed or seated at God’s right hand. It is a place of prominence and He is on the same level as God. This is a big deal to a monotheistic religion that teaches One God. Jesus is God and Jesus sits on the throne of Grace alongside God the Father and all the power God has Jesus has and all the authority God wields Jesus’ wields.
John Calvin says it beautifully in his “Institutes of the Christian Religion”
This is as if it were said that Christ was invested with lordship over heaven and earth, and solemnly entered into possession of the government committed to him—and that he not only entered into possession once for all, but continues in it, until he shall come down on Judgment Day.
Institutes of the Christian Religion & 2, ed. John T. McNeill, trans. Ford Lewis Battles, vol. 1, The Library of Christian Classics (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2011), 524.
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
Jesus has taken possession of all that is His, the heavens the earth and all that has been made. Jesus has taken His seat which means His work that He came to the earth to accomplish is not completed. He sits in victory taking His rightful please as King, Judge and Mediator. This is a powerful statement. Jesus has been exalted by God to God’s right hand and as the verse continues, “and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit.” This just goes to show Jesus is exalted seated at the right hand of the Father and now that He is seated and He has received the same authority and power as God the Father He now is the One who distributes the Holy Spirit. All three working together in our Salvation. This is a glorious statement.
Jesus is Savior and High Priest
The former priests, on the one hand, existed in greater numbers because they were prevented by death from continuing, but Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently. Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens; who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. For the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak, but the word of the oath, which came after the Law, appoints a Son, made perfect forever.
Jesus bestows the Holy Spirit and Spiritual Gifts
Therefore it says, “When He ascended on high, He led captive a host of captives, And He gave gifts to men.” (Now this expression, “He ascended,” what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.) And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.
Jesus seated as King over all the earth is the reason why this event they have witnessed has taken place. The crowd is witness to God's promise and plan. There is a glorious fulfillment of Hebrew Scripture that has happened. It was manifested in the pouring out of the Holy Spirit on the believers but it was only because God has fulfilled the promise He has made to David to place a descendant of His on His throne for all eternity.
God Bestows Victory over His Enemies
God Bestows Victory over His Enemies
1 Corinthians 15:21-28
For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death. For He has put all things in subjection under His feet. But when He says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.
What man means for evil God means it for Good
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
Have you submitted to Jesus’ ultimate authority if yes how do you serve your King if not why not?