June 1, 1986 Issue
by Bennie T. Cryer
"THE LORD SAID UNTO MY LORD, SIT THOU AT MY RIGHT HAND..."
David is the recorder of this prophecy made by Jehovah God to Jesus Christ about his then coming kingship and kingdom. In Acts 2:34-36 it is more than suggested by The Holy Spirit that this prophecy was fulfilled when Jesus had arisen from the grave and all power in heaven and in earth was given to him. Mt 28:18. He was crowned King of Kings when he ascended into heaven (Acts 1:9-11), Daniel 7:13-14) where he was then given his kingdom. This kingdom was given him not in prospect but in actual fact.
One of the most popular (but false) doctrines being widely taught and accepted today has to do with the kingdom of Christ. It is said that the kingdom is yet future. That we are now in the church age. But when Jesus comes again the church age will be finished and Jesus will sit on David's throne in Jerusalem and will reign for 1000 years. To substantiate this theory prophecies from The Old Testament are quoted and, it is stated, these prophecies must have a literal fulfillment. And, they say, it is folly to think their fulfillment could be spiritual. Thus David's throne must be the literal throne of David. Jerusalem must be the literal city of Jerusalem. And, since these were on earth in the glory days of the kingdom of Israel so they must be on earth in the 1000 year reign of Christ. Here is a line up of scripture used by some to try to prove this false theory: 1. Earthly kingdom promised. 2 Samuel 7:15-17. Isa 9:6-7, Jer 23:5-6,Acts 2:29-30. 2. Where the throne is to be established. Joel 3:16-17, Rev 2:25-26. 3. Will rule over nations of the earth, not heaven: Rev 11:15, Zech 14:9, 11, Rev 5:10. 4. Nature of the kingdom: Isa 11:3-9 65:19-25. Mic 4:3-4, Rev 20:6, Isa 2:4. The serious student of the scriptures will study these verses deeply and harmonize them with plain scriptures and will then see they do not teach a literal thousand year reign from literal Jerusalem with Jesus literally sitting on David's literal throne on this literal earth.
One of the most ungodly doctrines that goes hand in hand with the problems stated above is that Christ came to this earth to establish his kingdom but the Jews, instead of letting him rule over them, rejected him. Jesus then postponed the kingdom to his second coming. As proof of this some suggest that in Matthew's account Jesus sought to set up the kingdom in the first 15 chapters. Then, in 16:18-19 he set in motion the substitute for the kingdom, the church, after the rejection by the Jews. This belittles the church and its work that was in God's eternal purpose. Eph 3:10-11. In 1 Peter 2:5,9 God's people are referred to as a "spiritual house." In 1 Tim 3:15 we find this house of God is the church of the living God. Now, this church of the living God is also said to be "an holy nation." 1 Pet 2:9. A nation must have a government. There are 3 kinds of government nations may choose to exercise their rule: 1. Republic with its President. 2. Empire with its Emperor, and 3. Kingdom with its King. God's people are ruled by the last mentioned.
It is sometimes misunderstood why at times in the Bible God's people are referred to by different names. So far as His people are concerned they are called out of sin and are therefore the church of Christ. They are organized in such way that they are called the body of Christ. They are governed in such way that they are called the kingdom of Christ. So the kingdom and the church are used interchangeably in the Bible and refer to the same thing. It is much like a man might be called a son, a brother, a father, uncle or cousin if he possesses all the necessary characteristics. That does not mean he is 5 different men just because he is called by 5 different names. They all describe the same man. So it is with the church and the kingdom of Christ. They are one and the same thing. One name views God's people from the fact they have been called out of something. The other name from the fact they are governed in a particular way. Here in Mt 16:18-19 Jesus could say, "I will build my church..." and "I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom..." because they were the same thing. He simply used the terms "church" and "kingdom" interchangeably.
SIT THOU AT MY RIGHT HAND
This is quoted by Peter in Acts 2:30 as being fulfilled. The word "sit" means "to make to sit down, to set, appoint...to confer the kingdom upon one, Acts 2:30." Thayer, pp313-314. The actual drama of the coronation of Jesus is unfolded beginning in Acts 1:9-10 where Jesus ascended into heaven and a cloud received him out of the disciple's sight. In Daniel 7:13-14 the prophet begins Scene 2 on the other side of the cloud beyond the view of the disciples standing on the Mount of Olives. The clouds of heaven were no doubt made up of myriads of heavenly angels and not clouds as we literally know them. Here you must read Ps 24:7-10 where angels challenged and then welcomed the Lord through the gates and everlasting doors of heaven as the King of glory. Now, Scene 3 begins. We must return to Daniel 7 where they brought him before the Ancient of days, i.e., God. At this point in the drama God must have said to Jesus the words of Psalms 110, among them the words "sit thou at my right hand." In saying this, the Ancient of days bestowed upon him "dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations and languages, should serve him..." Then, briefly, the nature of the kingdom and his rule is described in these words:" his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed." Scene 4 is then found in Heb 12:28. Jesus had promised his disciples in Luke 22:29 "And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed me." Now, In Hebrews, the writer affirms the receiving of that kingdom. "Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved..." Scene 5 begins with Peter using the keys to this kingdom promised in Mt 16:19 to open it to those willing to be the subjects of the King of glory, Jesus Christ. Their entrance is described as a "translation" into the kingdom of his dear son. Col 1:13. This translation occurs when a person is baptized into "the name of the Father and the Son and The Holy Spirit. It was for this reason Peter answered the people with the words of Acts 2:38, "Repent, and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins..." In this way the kingdom of heaven began and increases under the rule of The King of Kings.
How dangerous it is to advocate a future reign of Jesus on this earth and delude people into thinking they are not in the kingdom now. I repeat again, this doctrine belittles the church, and, since many believe the church to be merely a temporary substitute for the kingdom, they begin new kinds of churches with hardly a thought about the church of the New Testament being a part of God*s great and eternal plan. Eph 3:10-11.
We will continue with some more thoughts on Psalms 110 in a later issue.
Other OPA Article Links:
Psalm 110, Part 2
Bennie T. Cryer 1986 OPA Main Page Home