At LifeCoach4God, David P. Craig has posted an article originally written by Alva J. McClain (1888-1968), former President of Grace Theological Seminary, about the nature of the kingdom of God in the period of Acts and throughout the present age. McClain argued that Jesus is not now actually king, but that his kingdom was “an immediate possibility, depending on the attitude of the nation of Israel.” But I think McClain has misrepresented what the Scriptures teach on this subject.
At Post Tenebras Lux Andrew G discussed Acts 2:17, where the apostle Peter, while addressing the Jews at Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost, quoted from a prophecy of Joel, beginning his quotation using the words of Isaiah rather than those of Joel.
The apostle Peter described false teachers as “cursed children.” He wrote of them:
“But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;” [2 Pet 2:10-15]
The teachings of E. W. Bullinger, and similar doctrines of Mid-Acts Dispensationalism, (M.A.D.) (e.g., Sir Robert Anderson), were the subject of an in-depth study by H. A. Ironside, available here.
In a comment on my recent post on Jack Kelley’s supernatural insight, dispensationalist Jerry Shugart claims that the comments of James in Acts 15:15-18 about Christ rebuilding the tabernacle of David refers to events that will occur only after the second coming. That notion is incorrect. James obviously applied the prophecy of Amos 9:11 to Christ building his church in the present age, and identified the tabernacle of David with the church. He said the prophecy refers to the Gentiles who were being brought into God’s family. The meaning of the passage was explained by J. A. Alexander as follows:
The essential meaning of the passage, therefore, is that the restoration of the kingdom of David was to be connected with the spiritual conquest of the Gentiles.
Lyn Leahz posted an article on Idealists, Preterists, And Futurists written by dispensationalist Jack Kelley. In the article Kelley expressed his opinions on the comments by James in Acts 15:13-18 on a prophecy found in Amos 9:11, about the tabernacle of David. James applied the prophecy to the church.
Many preachers who support dispensationalism try to discredit the idea that Jesus Christ is reigning in the present age, upon the throne of David. But if Jesus is not the promised king who reigns on the throne of David forever, how could Peter say he is the Messiah? If he is not the king of Israel, how can he be the Christ?
In his commentary on the account of Paul’s address to the Jews of Antioch in Acts 13, Joseph Addison Alexander invited comparison between Paul’s speech, and Peter’s address to the Jews of Jerusalem in Acts 2, the subject of this post. Both apostles referred to Psalm 16, and employed similar reasoning to prove that Jesus is the promised Messiah, based upon the fact of his resurrection from the dead. The following is Alexander’s commentary on Acts 13:15-41. [J. A. Alexander, The Acts of the Apostles explained. Vol. 2. (1857) pp. 17-37.]