At the beginning of Acts, Jesus’ apostles ask him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6). Yeshua shifts focus from the kingdom to the Spirit, and alludes to a mission beyond Israel’s borders: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (1:8). Traditionally, Christian commentators have understood this response as a rebuke of the apostles’ question, and asserted that Jesus’ spiritual vision dispenses with Israel’s carnal concerns. Is this traditional interpretation correct, or will the kingdom be restored?

When John Calvin read the apostles’ inquiry—“Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6)—the Protestant reformer wrote, “There are as many errors in this question as [there are] words.” According to Calvin, the apostles “dream of an earthly kingdom” but they are “greatly deceived”; when they “limit Christ’s kingdom to the carnal Israel,” they miss Christ’s universal vision of a kingdom “spread abroad, even to the uttermost parts of the world” (Commentary on Acts, 1:6). Yet, with respect to Calvin, there are as many errors in this interpretation as there are words.

After the apostles ask about the restoration of the kingdom to Israel, Jesus replies, “It is not for you to know times (χρόνους; chrónous) or seasons (καιροὺς; kairoùs) that the Father has placed in his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:7-8). When Jesus refers to the “times” and “seasons” that God has ordained, he draws on biblical language to express the surety of the kingdom being restored to Israel in the future. According to Qohelet, “for everything there is a time (זמן; zeman/LXX: χρόνος; chrónos) and a season (עת; et/LXX: καιρὸς; kairòs) for every matter under heaven” (Eccl 3:1). In drawing on the imagery of Ecclesiastes, Yeshua affirms that there is a time and season for Israel’s restoration.

Indeed, Jesus himself speaks of this dominion when he tells his disciples, “You may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom (βασιλεία; basileía) and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Luke 22:30). It is to this eschatological kingdom that Jesus assigns a divinely authorized “time” and “season.” Therefore, the apostles were quite right to inquire about the restoration of the kingdom to Israel, but their timing of the question was off. First, the good news would need to go from Israel to the ends of the earth.

BEGIN YOUR JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY

24 COMMENTS

  1. If there could have been a debate between you and John Calvin, Daniel 2:44 would have given you the advantage. Following with Psalm 110:1, yet more. Matthew 22:41-46.
    • This is a standard problem due to people’s (and Calvin’s) erroneous belief that we go to heaven when we die. People think the kingdom of heaven means it is in heaven, but that logic likewise would mean the kingdom of God is in God.
  2. The 9 chapters of Ezekiel 40-48 describe in detail the very kingdom the disciples were asking of. Maybe Calvin missed that class in seminary... It could happen... I'm glad IBC and associates are still available in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.
  3. Certainly Prof, the Lord will restore the kingdom back to Israel. Many wrongly assume and assert that Israel has failed God’s intention for them as the Messianic nation. Those who think like that must read Rom.9:4-5. The apostles who spread the gospel to the nations were Jews!!
    • It's so certain that the the Lord will restore the kingdom back to Istreal. For the Istreal heritage has been extended to the whole family of every nation that have accepted our Lord Jesus Christ as their saviour. This is why we all have become spiritual Jew by redemption.
  4. The Kingdom God is a Universal One In Which Elohim Will Rule From The New Jerusalem Which Will Come Down From Heaven And Be Established AS HOLY. Not made by man! 1500 miles long, wide & height. SQUARE#! A Great Wall w 12 Gates&12 Angels. Rev. 21
    • Judy, the New Jerusalem comes down from heaven after 1,000 years of Yeshua reigning from Jerusalem over the united tribes of Israel. Just because the one is true, doesn't make the other false.
  5. Here's the all-important question, then. WHEN will the kingdom be restored? Because Isaiah 9:6-7 seems to imply that the throne of David will already be in existence when the LORD comes to sit on David's throne and rule from Jerusalem. The throne of David MUST be restored prior to Yeshua's return. That's why the "Gospel of the Kingdom" goes out to all the world BEFORE the end comes and Yeshua returns (Mat. 24:14).
    • The Great American Eclipse signaled the fullness of the gentiles coming in. Romans.11:25. Genesis.1:14-- "for signs". You have to choose between believing eclipses aren't for signs, or asking what they signal. If corona virus is my fault, I am sorry. The Jews get the gospel and Third Temple together.
  6. King David ben Joseph Which America Eclipse signaled the fullness of the Gentiles? 2017,2020,2023,2024? as there has been many. Are not Americans Gentiles? I choose to think none of those eclipses have a meaning. Does the bible say watch for eclipses or just signs in the skies?
  7. Prof. Q about the Kingdom. Mark 1:15, the Kingdom is at hand or has arrived. Col 1:13, the Kingdom of his Son already in place. But Dan 2:44, says in the days of those Kings (represented by the 10 toes - Europe), God will setup his Kingdom. Q Is there really a Kingdom of God existing now? Seemingly it EXISTED in the 2nd Temple period, WILL BE established in the days of those Kings. This is confusing. Please help.
    • It's both, Thandu. The kingdom is here now (see Lk 17:12) and will arrive in its fullness in the future. It's what scholars call "realized eschatology" -- the kingdom of God that arrives at the end of days is also realized in the present.
    • We are very happy that you’ve joined our discussion forum. Would you believe that these articles are only a taste of what Israel Bible Center has to offer? We also provide comprehensive teaching on a variety of biblical, historical, and cultural topics. You might begin with The Jewish Gospel of Matthew or The Hebrew Psalms: How To Worship God. You’ll be amazed at the Jewish world that awaits you. Don’t delay another minute: enroll now!
  8. Thanks Prof. At least my Protestant book “ new dictionary of theology” explained it correctly this concept of a kingdom promised in the OT (Dan 2:44)was inaugurated at the coming of Yeshua (Luke 17:21) and will arrive in its fullness in the future. In my language, thank you is ENKOSI
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