Kingdom Now – [Acts 2:29-36] 2 of 2

All Scripture quotes are from the 1901 American Standard Version unless otherwise noted.


Acts 2:29-36
29 Brethren, I may say unto you freely of the patriarch David, that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us unto this day.
30 Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins he would set one upon his throne;
31 he foreseeing this spake of the resurrection of the Christ, that neither was he left unto Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption.
32 This Jesus did God raise up, whereof we all are witnesses.
33 Being therefore by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he hath poured forth this, which ye see and hear.
34 For David ascended not into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
35 Till I make thine enemies the footstool of thy feet.
36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly, that God hath made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom ye crucified.


The discussion about the baptism in the Spirit in Part One was necessary, because a false or incomplete understanding about that, prevents one from seeing the whole picture of what occurred on the Day of Pentecost. Therefore if you haven’t already read Part One, please do so. Here’s the link:



The objective of the study before us is to discuss the words of Peter as he reveals the wider picture of that day as it relates to the Kingdom of Christ.


Before we get directly into our text, we first need to back up to the beginning of the book of Acts:


Acts 1:1-8
1 The former treatise I made, O Theophilus, concerning all that Jesus began both to do and to teach,  2 until the day in which he was received up, after that he had given commandment through the Holy Spirit unto the apostles whom he had chosen:  3 to whom he also showed himself alive after his passion by many proofs, appearing unto them by the space of forty days, and speaking the things concerning the kingdom of God:  4 and, being assembled together with them, he charged them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, said he, ye heard from me:  5 for John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized in the Holy Spirit not many days hence. 6 They therefore, when they were come together, asked him, saying, Lord, dost thou at this time restore the kingdom to Israel? 7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know times or seasons, which the Father hath set within His own authority. 8 But ye shall receive power, when the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and ye shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea and Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.


You’ll note that Luke mentions the fact that Jesus spoke to His Apostles about the kingdom of God after His resurrection. You’ll also note right before Jesus ascended back to the Father, they asked Him about the restoration of the kingdom to Israel.


Many believe that Jesus ignored the Apostles question. However, I think the evidence reveals otherwise. Notice that after each mention of the kingdom, the Holy Spirit (the promise of the Father) is also mentioned in the same context. I believe this gives us a clue about the Kingdom of God.


Before I go any further, I want to address the meaning of the Kingdom of God. I believe the Kingdom of God is a general term that refers to one of the various forms of God’s Kingdom: The spiritual Kingdom we enter into upon regeneration, the Kingdom of Heaven, the Kingdom of Christ, and the Eternal Kingdom. Context (and perhaps other passages) must determine which kingdom the speaker/writer is specifically referring to.


It’s not the purpose of this study to do a detailed study of the various forms of the Kingdom of God. Our focus is specifically on the Kingdom of Christ (Messiah), which is what the Apostles were asking Jesus about.


Now, returning to our discussion, I believe that both Jesus and Luke are giving us a clue about the Kingdom of Christ, that it’s directly related to the baptism in the Holy Spirit which occurred on the Day of Pentecost. I don’t believe Jesus was ignoring their question, I believe He was revealing the form in which His kingdom would appear.


At this point, the spiritual eyes of the Apostles were not yet fully opened. That wouldn’t happen until Pentecost. Some may object to that by pointing out what Luke said in the following passage:


Luke 24:44-49
44 And he said unto them, These are my words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must needs be fulfilled, which are written in the law of Moses, and the prophets, and the psalms, concerning me.  45 Then opened he their mind, that they might understand the scriptures;  46 and he said unto them, Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer, and rise again from the dead the third day;  47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name unto all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 Ye are witnesses of these things. 49 And behold, I send forth the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city, until ye be clothed with power from on high.


It’s true that Jesus opened their minds of understanding at this point (before His ascension), but it seems clear that their understanding was was limited to His death and resurrection, and of the salvation that He would provide for the world. Notice that in verse 49 Jesus refers to the “promise of the Father” that they were to receive, which occurred at Pentecost. It wasn’t until that day that their minds would be opened to a much wider revelation regarding spiritual matters, as Jesus Himself confirms:


John 14:25-26
25 These things have I spoken unto you, while yet abiding with you. 26 But the Comforter, even the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said unto you.


John 16:7-14
7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth: It is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I go, I will send him unto you.  8 And he, when he is come, will convict the world in respect of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:  9 of sin, because they believe not on me;  10 of righteousness, because I go to the Father, and ye behold me no more;  11 of judgment, because the prince of this world hath been judged. 12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. 13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he shall guide you into all the truth: for he shall not speak from himself; but what things soever he shall hear, these shall he speak: and he shall declare unto you the things that are to come. 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall take of mine, and shall declare it unto you.


From the words of Jesus Himself, it’s clear that His disciples would not receive the Holy Spirit until after He had ascended back to the Father. It’s also clear that the receiving of the Spirit would occur on the Day of Pentecost, for He told them to tarry in the city of Jerusalem for the “promise of the Father” (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4l; Acts 2:1-4). Therefore, it’s further clear that before Jesus ascended, and before Pentecost, the disciples understanding regarding spiritual matters was still very limited in scope.


The point is, even though Jesus spoke to His Apostles about “things concerning the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:3), they still didn’t fully understand what Jesus was teaching them about it at that time. That understanding wasn’t given until the Day of Pentecost.


In review from Part One, Pentecost was about more than simply receiving power to witness. It was about receiving the Holy Spirit Himself. Jesus told His disciples that He would come to them, and He did so in the Person of the Holy Spirit. At that point, they were also baptized into Christ and into the Church. The Church came into existence at that time. The disciples were given power to witness (through both their words and life) because they now had the Holy Spirit dwelling within them and were united with Christ spiritually. Christ’s kingdom could now be expanded throughout the world in the power of the Holy Spirit.


I believe the establishment of the Kingdom of Christ in the New Covenant should be understood as a series of events, rather than a single event. I believe those events are as follows: the baptism of Jesus; ministry of Jesus; death and resurrection and ascension of Christ; the tearing of the temple curtain; the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost; the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple in AD 70. However, the Church itself began on Pentecost, and is the Kingdom of Christ. Yet the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple would be the final outward sign to Israel that His kingdom had come. So then, while limited in their understanding regarding the Kingdom of Christ before His ascension and before Pentecost, Peter gives evidence that their eyes of understanding about it was now fully opened.


As a side note, I believe in the following passages, Jesus was referring to the coming destruction of Jerusalem and its temple in AD 70, as the final event of the coming of Christ’s kingdom. It would be the final sign that His kingdom had come:


Matthew 16:28
28 Verily I say unto you, There are some of them that stand here, who shall in no wise taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.


Mark 9:1
1 Verily I say unto you, There are some here of them that stand by, who shall in no wise taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God come with power.


Luke 9:27
27 But I tell you of a truth, There are some of them that stand here, who shall in no wise taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.


Returning to our text, what we’re seeing at Pentecost is the beginning of the Church, which is the Kingdom of Christ, as Peter himself indicates in our text, which I will repeat for you:


Acts 2:29-36
29 Brethren, I may say unto you freely of the patriarch David, that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us unto this day.
30 Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins he would set one upon his throne;
31 he foreseeing this spake of the resurrection of the Christ, that neither was he left unto Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption.
32 This Jesus did God raise up, whereof we all are witnesses.
33 Being therefore by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he hath poured forth this, which ye see and hear.
34 For David ascended not into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
35 Till I make thine enemies the footstool of thy feet.
36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly, that God hath made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom ye crucified.


While Peter didn’t have complete understanding of the Kingdom of Christ before Pentecost, he most certainly understood it now, having received the Holy Spirit. We’ll go through this passage verse by verse. However, I would encourage you to read all of Acts 1 and 2 so you’ll see the context in which this part of Peter’s sermon is given:


30 Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins he would set one upon his throne;


The Jews were looking for a their Messiah (and still are today) to come and set up His kingdom, where He would reign on the throne of David as King. He’s addressing that very thing here. He begins to reveal at this point that Jesus is, in fact, upon that throne now.


32 This Jesus did God raise up, whereof we all are witnesses.
33 Being therefore by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he hath poured forth this, which ye see and hear.


Peter continues and declares to all the Jews present that Jesus is at the right hand of God now, referring to the throne that Jesus sits upon. Notice that again, for the third time, that the kingdom is associated with the “promise of the Holy Spirit” (we already discussed the first two times). In other words, having received the Holy Spirit, and having been baptized into Christ and into the body of Christ, which is the Church, Jesus now sits upon His throne, in His kingdom. With careful consideration of Peter’s words, I believe that is the proper interpretation. Further confirmation follows:


34 For David ascended not into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
35 Till I make thine enemies the footstool of thy feet.


This statement by Peter is huge, as it’s a parallel passage with the first text that we studied in this series, which is 1 Corinthians 15. Compare what Peter says here in Acts with what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:


21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; then they that are Christ’s, at his coming.  24 Then cometh the end, when he shall deliver up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have abolished all rule and all authority and power.  25 For he must reign, till he hath put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy that shall be abolished is death.


If you haven’t read my post on this passage of Scripture yet, I encourage you to do so, as both Peter and Paul confirm that the Kingdom of Christ is now, that Jesus is reigning as King now:


Colossians 1:13
“who delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love;”


Here’s the link:



A close examination of both of these texts reveals that the Church of Christ and the Kingdom of Christ, are one and the same – which is a spiritual kingdom that includes Heaven.


The Jews were looking for an earthly kingdom where their Messiah would rule from the throne of David. Peter, now having an accurate understanding of that kingdom, is revealing to them what was revealed to him:


36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly, that God hath made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom ye crucified.


Peter wants the whole house if Israel to know that “God has made him both Lord and Christ.” In other words, as properly interpreted within the context, Christ is King….and He’s ruling now.


The Apostle John, who provided most of the foundation for this study, confirms what Peter revealed in this passage, and I’ll end with that:


Revelation 1:4-6
4 John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from him who is and who was and who is to come; and from the seven Spirits that are before his throne; 5 and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loveth us, and loosed us from our sins by his blood; 6 and he made us to be a kingdom, to be priests unto his God and Father; to him be the glory and the dominion for ever and ever. Amen.


Conclusion

Taken alone, this passage in Acts may not be convincing enough for some, but when you compare it with our study of 1 Corinthians 15, the combination of the two provides a very strong case for the Kingdom Now position. As we continue to add other passages as we go along, that position will become even stronger, and difficult to refute.