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The Scriptures make it plain that the prophecies concerning the reign of David's Son were to be fulfilled by His death and resurrection. (See Acts 2:29, 32; 13:22-24, 32-34; Rom. 1:4; 2 Tim. 2:8.) Paul preached the kingdom of God and of Christ as' a then reality, into which every believer of the gospel was, and is, instantly translated. (Col. 1:12, 13; 1 Cor. 15:11; Acts 20:24, 25, etc.) God has "raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus" (Acts 13:22, 23; Luke 2:10, 11, 30-32, 68-70; Acts 5:30, 31). By the work of the Holy Spirit in Messiah's spiritual kingdom of grace, Christ is now saving, redeeming Israel out of "all people" (Luke 2:30-32, etc.). That salvation is "in Zion" (Joel 2:32; Rom. 11:26; 9:33; 1 Pet. 2:4-7), the church, where Jesus reigns.

When the disciples, who were still thinking of the immediate literal fulfillment of the Old Testament kingdom prophecies, asked "Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel". He said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in His own power. BUT ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you" (Acts 1:6-8). The literal kingdom will be set up after the gospel age is finished at the second advent, and the time for that event is hidden from man, BUT the fulfillment of the prophecies concerning the Messiah's kingdom are now being fulfilled through the power of the Holy Ghost. "For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power" (1 Cor. 4:20).

Jesus is now reigning! The prophecies concerning the Messiah's kingdom are now being fulfilled! This was the thrilling burden of the apostles' preaching after the descent of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost! it was this recognition of the fulfillment of the kingdom prophecies in relation to the church that gave power to their preaching, and which also aroused the anger of the Jews against them. That which the Jews regarded as being wholly future, and to be fulfilled literally in connection with national Israel, the apostles preached as being fulfilled in the work of preaching the gospel. A study of the New Testament - of sermons recorded therein, or of epistles, etc., written after Pentecost - will clearly reveal this fact.

On the day of Pentecost, the inspired Peter declared that Jesus was raised to sit upon a throne; that He was "both Lord and Christ." (See Acts 2:30-36.) Peter's sermon was very largely made up of quotations from the Old Testament. The first of these is from Joel (2:28-32), and Peter quotes these verses addressed to ancient Israel and applies them to all those who would believe in Jesus as "both Lord and Christ": "all flesh," "whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved." In His commission to the Disciples, Jesus said: "All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore and teach all nations" (Matt. 28:18). Thus the risen Lord spoke as a king who is about to receive His kingdom, and to take His place at the right hand of the Majesty on high. Peter in Acts 2:33 describes the outpouring of the Spirit predicted by Joel as a demonstration of the fact that He has already received and is now exercising that royal authority. This can only mean that Jesus had entered into His kingdom, and that this great inaugural event of the church age is to be regarded as the fulfillment of Messianic prophecy. The King is now exercising His sovereign power. Note this significance in such verses as Acts 3:16; 4:10, 30; 5:31, etc.

Peter quoted from Ps. 110:1:"The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit Thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies Thy footstool. The Lord shall send the rod of Thy strength out of Zion: rule Thou in the midst of Thine enemies." Jesus is now reigning "in the midst" of His "enemies." Peter's quotation from Joel 2:32 (see Acts 2:21 and compare with Joel 2:32) also shows that from the time of Pentecost Old Testament prophecies concerning Zion, Jerusalem, the land of Israel, etc. were interpreted as being fulfilled in connection with the word of Christ in the gospel. As Jesus reigns in the church, His spiritual Zion or Jerusalem, those who are pictured in Joel's prophecy (see Joel 3) as being gathered outside in the valley of Jehoshaphat to make war upon God's people within Jerusalem must refer to those who oppose the work of the gospel. This interpretation placed the Jews not as those favored of God within Jerusalem, but among those on the outside among the enemies of God. Such an interpretation aroused the anger of the Jews, who believed those prophecies would be fulfilled literally in connection with the literal nation of the Jews.

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