Saturday, 20 November 2021
Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, Acts 2:30
Note: You can listen to today’s commentary courtesy of our friends at “Bible in Ten” podcast. (Click Here to listen)
You can also read this commentary, with music, courtesy of our friends at “Discern the Bible” on YouTube. (Click Here to listen), or at Rumble (Click Here to listen).
Peter began his explanation of why he cited the 16th Psalm in the previous verse. He now continues with that, saying, “Therefore.”
Peter cited the psalm. The psalm said that the Holy One of the Lord would not see corruption. But Peter explained that David’s tomb was right there in Jerusalem for all to see. He had corrupted back into the dust he was made from. As such, more words necessarily follow (Therefore) to explain what David was writing about while the Holy Spirit directed him. This is evident from the next words, “being a prophet.”
It is clear that David was guided by the Spirit of God when he did certain things in his life. A good example of it was receiving the instructions for the building of the temple –
“Then David gave his son Solomon the plans for the vestibule, its houses, its treasuries, its upper chambers, its inner chambers, and the place of the mercy seat; 12 and the plans for all that he had by the Spirit, of the courts of the house of the Lord, of all the chambers all around, of the treasuries of the house of God, and of the treasuries for the dedicated things; 13 also for the division of the priests and the Levites, for all the work of the service of the house of the Lord, and for all the articles of service in the house of the Lord. … “All this,” said David, “the Lord made me understand in writing, by His hand upon me, all the works of these plans.” 1 Chronicles 28:11-13 & 1 Chronicles 28:19
It is also understood that David’s Psalms were inspired by the Lord. As such, they were included in Scripture to testify to that fact. As David was a prophet, it means his words were to be considered from that light. Thus, in referring to One who would come who would not see corruption, Peter continues, “and knowing that God had sworn with an oath.”
David clearly understood that when God (the Lord) spoke to him, it was as an oath in and of itself. This is because God cannot lie. What He speaks forth will come to pass. At times, the Lord will confirm His words by vowing an oath, but even without this, what the Lord speaks is considered as if He has sworn. It is as if He has raised His right hand and committed Himself to the words He speaks forth. Understanding this, that which God had sworn was that “to him that of the fruit of his body.”
The “fruit of his body” can mean the direct issue of a child, such as Solomon being born to him. And indeed, such an occurrence fulfills an immediate aspect of the promise that is made, but it does not fulfill the entire promise. The fruit of the body can also refer to anyone who later issues from him as a descendant. David would be considered the fruit of Abraham’s body, even many centuries later. All humans can be considered the fruit of Adam’s body. As this is a truth conveyed in Scripture, the “fruit of his body” can be referring to anyone that issues from David henceforth. And this fruit is next noted as “according to the flesh.”
This clearly defines this One who is coming to be a literal, physical human being. Further, He will be one that directly descends from David, inheriting a direct human connection to him with all that this entails from a human aspect, such as DNA. This truth dispels several heresies that have arisen within the church over the years. This seed of David (see Romans 1:3 and 2 Timothy 2:8), meaning the fruit of his body, will be a literal, physical descendant of his. Of this Person, it next says, “He [God] would raise up the Christ.”
This is a promise that began in Genesis 3, and which was the hope and anticipation of God’s people ever since –
“And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel.”
The line of the promised Messiah is carefully noted all the way throughout Scripture so that those who are in this line, and who can typologically be used to reveal redemptive truths, are carefully noted in stories which often otherwise seem to have no relevance at all.
For example, the story of Lot and his two daughters is introduced and seems like a curiosity, but it doesn’t seem to have any purpose other than to show that he and his two daughters did something immoral. That has nothing to do with why the account is recorded. Rather, all three of them are ancestors of Jesus Christ. The account is to demonstrate the faith of the daughters and how it is rewarded by bringing them into His genealogy. Such is true with many other similar stories, like the account of Judah and Tamar in Genesis 38.
The lengthy historical record of David is no different. God would raise up the Christ from the line of David, thus fulfilling His promises to David –
“When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men. 15 But My mercy shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16 And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever.” 2 Samuel 7:12-16
“I have made a covenant with My chosen,
I have sworn to My servant David:
4 ‘Your seed I will establish forever,
And build up your throne to all generations.’” Selah Psalm 89:3, 4
These and other such references are given in Scripture as a confirmation that David would continue the line through which the Messiah would come. His throne would be the throne of the glory that lay ahead, as Peter explicitly states when he finishes the verse with, “to sit on his throne.” This promise was stated and confirmed to a young virgin of Israel many generations later –
“And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” Luke 1:31-33
Of these words concerning the throne, Ruckman incorrectly evaluates what is going on in Scripture, saying, “Here is another place in Acts 2 where the Protestants, Catholics, and Orthodox stumble. They teach that this expression, “his throne,” is God’s throne. This was done by tying this verse to verses 33-34. But in verse 33-34, Jesus Christ doesn’t sit on any throne. He is seated at the “right hand” of God’s throne (Heb. 1:3). “His throne” in this verse is a reference to the throne of “the patriarch David” in verse 29…”
The utterly ridiculous nature of this comment is almost beyond belief. It shows a complete lack of understanding concerning the nature of God. To him, it is as if God is sitting on a literal throne somewhere ruling the universe. God does not have parts. God is Spirit. If God had physical parts, He wouldn’t be God. The “right hand” of God signifies the position of authority. Jesus Christ sitting at the “right hand” of God does not mean that He is sitting next to God on another throne. It means that He is seated on the throne of God with all of the authority of God, symbolized by the right hand.
Hebrews 1:3, that is cited by Ruckman, (“the right hand of the Majesty on high”) is explained in Hebrews 1:8, 9 –
“But to the Son He says:
‘Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
9 You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.’”
David was promised that one of His descendants would reign on His throne forever. It is this throne that is referred to in Isaiah 9:7 –
“Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”
The words of Peter do not negate that Christ will literally rule from Jerusalem during the millennium. But the throne of Christ is the throne of David. The throne does not simply speak of a physical throne where someone sits down. Instead, it is emblematic of the authority of the throne. That is why it can be said that Christ reigns from David’s throne even though the physical throne of David was destroyed eons before. It is a position of rule.
Unfortunately, in order to divide the church and put forth heretical doctrine, hyperdispensationalists destroy any meaning of the symbolism provided in Scripture, such as “right hand,” “throne,” “fruit,” “seed,” and so on.
Life application: The verse set before us is one that will dispel several heresies when properly considered. One of them is a heresy, known as Valentinianism. It teaches that Jesus was created by God in Mary’s womb. Thus, it denies he took his human nature from Mary. A modern proponent of this is Jacob Prasch. He teaches, “Adam and Yeshua were both created by Ha’Shem, by God, directly and personally.”
Jesus is not a created being. That is the error of many cults, such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses. However, Jesus, in His humanity, is a part of the creation. There is a world of difference between the two, and it is what defines the distinction between orthodoxy and heresy.
To state that God created Jesus directly and personally as He did with Adam, is to then deny the entire body of Scripture which points to the begetting of human beings, one to another, from Adam to Christ.
God created all things, it is true, but the body of Christ is an incidental part of creation, not a direct act of creation. Rather, God prepared a body out of that creation for the incarnation. This is evidenced by Hebrews 10:5 –
“Therefore, when He came into the world, He said:
‘Sacrifice and offering You did not desire,
But a body You have prepared for Me.’” Hebrews 10:5
Scripture, given by God, carefully – even meticulously – details the preparation of the body of Christ through seventy-five direct generations of fallen human beings, as is recorded in Luke 3, and with the introduction of even more fallen souls who are found in the pages of Scripture, and who likewise enter into His genealogy.
To say that Jesus was created by God, directly and personally, and to have that mean what is being conveyed by Prasch, would be exactly the same thing as saying that Charlie Garrett was created by God, directly and personally.
It is at best a category mistake, but such a category mistake results in the formulation of a heretical doctrine. The body of Christ, despite having come through these innumerable fallen souls, was prepared perfectly by God, not suddenly created. Jesus is the seventy-seventh name noted in Luke’s genealogy, and God is the first.
The record is given, and the details are provided, to ensure that the error of assuming that Jesus was a being created directly and personally by God, would not be made. The statement that Jesus was created is incorrect. Despite being human, however, He was born without sin because He was born of Mary, but with no human father.
As such, the line of sin that is transmitted from father to child since Adam was cut. Christ is fully human, of the seed of David, and He is fully God – having been begotten of God. Let us carefully consider the word and never make the mistake that Jesus is a being created directly and personally by God. Be it the Jehovah’s Witnesses or some other heretical denomination or teacher, let us take the time to understand the nature of the God/Man who came to dwell among us and to die for our sins, redeeming us as the people of God.
Lord God, thank You for the many blessings that are found in Christ our Lord. Thank You for what You did through Him, coming to unite with humanity in order to do what we could never do by fulfilling the law that stood against us. And in fulfilling it, Christ took all of the sin of the world upon Himself. Thank You for what You have done through Christ our Lord! Amen.