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1 Corinthians 12 by Robert Dean
Series:1st Corinthians (2002)
Duration:1 hr 1 mins 12 secs

Accomplishments of the Ascension; 1Co 12 Intro



1)  Why did Jesus need to ascend? We have noted that when He came at the first advent it was not clear from Old Testament prophecy that there would be two advents, there was just the promise of a Messiah. The Old Testament taught that there were glorious aspects to the messianic appearance and suffering aspects but it did not distinguish between the suffering Messiah at one advent and the glorious Messiah as another advent.

2)  Jews misunderstood the prophecies about the glories and the sufferings of the Messiah and they wanted the crown before the cross, the glorious Messiah before the suffering Messiah. Because they had their priorities wrong and they were focused on the wrong things they were not responsive to the message of John the Baptist, Jesus and the disciples when they came.

3)  John the Baptist, Jesus and the disciples all proclaimed the same message, a message of repentance that was directed to Israel and not the Gentiles. That message was simply, Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Repent has to do with a change of thinking, and the Jews had to think differently and were to reject the legalistic religious facade that the Pharisees and the Sadducees had put upon them, and they were to go back to the grace principle that was outlined in the Old Testament. The issue for the Jews was a thought change in order to bring in the kingdom. It was a true, legitimate offer of the kingdom by Jesus Christ.

4)  Unfortunately they rejected that offer so that at the midpoint of His public ministry the Jewish religious leaders accused Jesus of performing His miracles by Satan instead of the Holy Spirit. This was the official rejection of Jesus by the nation Israel itself, even though there were hundreds, perhaps thousands of Jews who responded to the messianic proclamation. The nation as a whole rejected Him, the nation as represented by its leaders rejected Him, and that led to the postponement of the kingdom.

5)  As a result of that Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected. The people of the kingdom rejected the King, so the King had to expand His base. This sets the stage for bringing in the church. The ascension is necessary for the next stage in God's plan, which is to create a new people which goes beyond Israel. We have to have a warning here that we are not talking about replacing Israel with the church. Replacement theology is the idea that Israel is replaced by the church, that when the Jews rejected Christ as messiah God then rejected Israel and the promises and prophecies of the Old Testament which related to a literal, physical kingdom for Israel were no longer going to be applied to Israel but instead would be applied to the church in a spiritual sense. It is only in dispensational theology where there is an understanding that there is a distinct plan for Israel as God's plan for earthly people and a distinct plan for the church as God's heavenly people. They have distinct purposes in the plan of God, distinct destinies and distinct spiritual lives. When this is not understood, as in replacement theology, then they try to take the Mosaic law and the morality of the Old Testament and make that the basis for the spiritual life of the church. That completely misses the importance of God the Holy Spirit. John 17:6, Jesus had to ascend before He could send the Holy Spirit. So the ascension is connected to the giving of the Holy Spirit who becomes the foundation of the church. All of this becomes connected. The warning is that we are not talking about a replacement of Israel by the church but that God goes to, in effect, a plan B that applies the strategic victory of the cross to a new application in relationship to the angelic conflict. We have seen that when Jesus ascended He ascends through the heavens and is seated at the right hand of God as is given authority over all the angels, principalities, powers and authorities, which is a reference to the angels and the demons, in His humanity. This sets the stage, then, for a new element in the angelic conflict because there is now a human being seated at the right hand of God the Father who is in charge of the universe. So what happens as a result of the cross and Christ's strategic victory at the cross is there will be a new tactical application in the life of believers, and this relates to both the indwelling of God the Holy Spirit and the indwelling presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. So it is not simply a matter of understanding the ascension in terms of the fact that Jesus has gone to heaven, which is how most people understand it, and that's fine, but we are going to probe this doctrine and we will discover that it is connected to an entire web of doctrines and Scriptures that are rarely understood.

6)  Since His people rejected Him the next stage in the plan was to bring in a new people to fulfil certain objectives related to the angelic conflict. This is going to be a unique people based on a spiritual heritage, not a racial heritage.

7)  To bring this about Jesus ascended to heaven. This was in order to send the Holy Spirit to give birth to the church on the day of Pentecost.

8)  Immediately after the ascension Jesus was honoured by God the Father in heaven and given the highest position in the universe. He is seated at the right hand of the throne of God above all powers and authorities, angelic and human. This seating of Jesus is called the session. So what is going on now? Why didn't the kingdom come in? What is it that God is doing in history that must be accomplished before Jesus can establish the messianic kingdom? What we will see is that this current church age has a vital role to play ion God's plan and purposes with relationship to the angelic conflict.

9)  During the session Jesus is not passive but is involved in calling out a new people which will play a unique role in establishing a testimony to God's grace and power in the angelic conflict. These are the ones who are being prepared to rule and reign with Him in a future kingdom. What we are going to see is that spiritual gifts go far beyond what God has done for us, it is the training program that God has for each individual to prepare them for future responsibilities in the Millennial kingdom.

10)  Once the church is complete and has completed her mission, then and only then will the Messiah return in victory and establish the Jewish kingdom. So the kingdom has been postponed because God is doing something unique with the church age believer.

To understand the realities of the ascension and the session New Testament authors went back to the Old Testament imagery in order to flush out the full implications of the truths that were not clear or explicit in Old Testament contexts. Once the ascension had taken place and Jesus passes out of the sight of the disciples they don't know empirically what is going on. Where did He go? How do we know He is at the right hand of God? How do we know what is happening? In order answer that question they had to go back to Old Testament passages and contexts where these images were presented in order to flush this out. The church is not found in the Old Testament but what is happening right now is found in some senses in the Old Testament but in a way that was not clear to the original readers of the Old Testament. But once we get into the New Testament then these things become clear.

There is another warning here and that is that as we go into this study it is not a study for the weak. If you are a new believer this may challenge you a little bit. We are going to see once again that you can't understand New Testament doctrine and realities of the spiritual life if you don't have a firm grounding in the Old Testament. Everything in the New Testament is grounded in an Old Testament understanding. As we get into this there is a web of verses that are quoted in the New Testament from the Old Testament, mostly the Psalms, that are quoted again and again and again. In order to understand why they are quoted in the New Testament and the impact we have to go back and understand them in their original context.

Hebrews 4:14 NASB "Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession." What we are going to see is that in the New Testament this doctrine of ascension is going to bring together some key ideas, key doctrines. These related to the deity of Christ and His titles of the Son of God, the Son of Man, and relates to three or four key psalms.

Hebrews 1:3 NASB "And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature [full deity], and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high." That last phrase is a quote from Psalm 110. 

Hebrew 1:13 NASB "But to which of the angels has He ever said, 'SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND, UNTIL I MAKE YOUR ENEMIES A FOOTSTOOL FOR YOUR FEET'?" That, too, is from Psalm 110, the most quoted psalm in the New Testament.

Hebrews 1:5 NASB "For to which of the angels did He ever say, 'YOU ARE MY SON, TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU'? And again, 'I WILL BE A FATHER TO HIM AND HE SHALL BE A SON TO ME'?" A quote from Psalm 2.


What we are trying to tie together from Hebrews 4:14 is the idea that Jesus is our great high priest but He is not an Aaronic priest, He is a priest according the order of Melchizedek. That comes from Psalm 110.

Acts 5:31 NASB "He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins." This is a quote from Psalm 110 and ties it to God's ultimate plan for Israel.

Hebrews 10:12, 13 NASB "but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD, waiting from that time onward UNTIL HIS ENEMIES BE MADE A FOOTSTOOL FOR HIS FEET." This is an interlude that something is happening. This is, again, from Psalm 110.

Acts 2:30 NASB "And so, because he was a prophet and knew that GOD HAD SWORN TO HIM WITH AN OATH TO SEAT {one} OF HIS DESCENDANTS ON HIS THRONE." Peter referenced that to Psalm 132. Then, four verses later he says, [34] "For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says: 'THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD, "SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND, [35] UNTIL I MAKE YOUR ENEMIES A FOOTSTOOL FOR YOUR FEET'."

Acts 3:20, 21 NASB "and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, whom heaven must receive until {the} period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time." The term "period of restoration" is a reference to the future Millennial kingdom.

The reason for going through these verses in such a superficial manner is to impress upon us how many times (and this is just a sample) New Testament writers go to Psalm 2, Psalm 110 and Psalm 132 and pull these things together in order to substantiate what they are saying about what Jesus Christ is doing in heaven now and laying a foundation for the unique spiritual life of the church age. They are not passages that are teaching about the church but they are passages which clearly prophesy the current session of Christ in heaven, the fact that there is a waiting period before the kingdom will be established, and that something profound is being accomplished by God during this time period that takes the whole plan of God beyond the nation Israel. What we will end up seeing is that we are going to see two issues of kingship. The first is that Jesus is the King of Israel and this relates to His title son of David. This is going to be emphasized in passages such as Psalms 2, 89, 132. Then in a couple of other passages the emphasis goes much broader. He is taking a people, he will be the King of all peoples and tribes and nations. This takes Him to another level where He is represented as King of all mankind, and this relates to the title King of kings and Lord of lords. This is going to be developed out of Psalm 110.

What the ascension does is bring together this interconnection of all these things from the Old Testament. First of all we have four messianic psalms that are brought together: 2, 89, 132, 110 plus Daniel 7. That means to really understand the ascension is something more than Jesus going to heaven, you have to control some crucial passage in the Old Testament and referred to again and again in the New Testament. Secondly, we see that the terms Son of Man and Son of God, son of David and King of kings and Lord of lords, will be more fully understood. Third, we will see that the Davidic covenant is the foundation for understanding all of this. Fourth, it is going to bring in the doctrine of the Melchizedekian priesthood from the Old Testament and its fulfilment in Jesus Christ. So all these elements come together and they lay the foundation for what Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are doing in the believer's life today.

Ephesians 4:8 NASB "Therefore it says, 'WHEN HE ASCENDED ON HIGH, HE LED CAPTIVE A HOST OF CAPTIVES, AND HE GAVE GIFTS TO MEN.'" This is a quote from Psalm 68:18 but there are some notable differences between the two passages, the most significant of which is that in Ps. 68:18 the psalmist says, "You have received gifts from among men," and Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit changes that from receiving gifts to giving gifts. If we are going to understand the significance of this Old Testament quote we have to go back to Psalm 68. Remember that in Ephesians 4 Paul is dealing with the very practical problem of disunity in the local congregation. He begins by saying there is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, we are all one in Christ, and then he is going to develop that into a discussion on the leadership spiritual gifts and their role in developing that practical unity in the congregation. So here he is dealing with a very practical problem which is a lack of unity and division in a local congregation, and what does he do? He goes back to the doctrine of the ascension.

This goes completely counter to modern thinking. What do we want to do? We want to use some kind of psychological procedure and get the people together in a room and say, What is the problem? Why do you react to this person? Why do you react to that person? And we want to use some sort of psychological approach to problem solving. What Paul does again and again is he goes to what we think, in the "greatness" of modern man's thought, is some esoteric doctrine, some theoretical principle that doesn't seem to relate. The reality is that we have to change the way we think about problems-solving. If we don't have the theoretical framework down, and by theoretical we mean our abstract rationale, then we are nothing better than a pragmatist running around using Christianity to solve our problems instead of understanding what God is really doing in our life. The result is that we have a lot of Christians who think that God is nothing more than some genie in a book and if we rub it the right way, say the right words, or repeat the prayer of Jabez enough times, then God is going to give us everything that we want. We have to learn to think in terms of God's ultimate structure of the universe and what he is doing in human history.

Psalm 68:16 NASB "Why do you look with envy, O mountains with {many} peaks, At the mountain which God has desired for His abode? Surely the LORD will dwell {there} forever." Here is the point. What is the mountain that God has designed for His abode? Mount Zion, the location of the temple in Jerusalem; it is not some metaphorical allusion to heaven. [17] "The chariots of God are myriads, thousands upon thousands; The Lord is among them {as at} Sinai, in holiness." This brings in the idea of a military picture, the picture of God at the head of an army and that He is involved in a military campaign. In point of fact what David is doing is going back to Sinai, the exodus, to show that God began a military campaign on behalf of Israel in the exodus which culminates in an event that took place in David's life. [18] "You have ascended on high, You have led captive {Your} captives; You have received gifts among men, Even {among} the rebellious also, that the LORD God may dwell {there.}" So what is happening in verse 18? "You have ascended on high" is a picture of military victory in taking the high ground. This is a picture of the Lord, who is frequently called the Lord of the armies, ascending victoriously on Mount Zion. So the historical image starts with the campaign that God begins on behalf of the Jews in bringing them out of Egypt. It is pictured as culminating once David brings the ark of the covenant into Jerusalem and establishes the presence of God on Mount Zion. That is taking the high ground. In verse 24 David says: NASB "They have seen Your procession, O God, The procession of my God, my King, into the sanctuary." That gives us the historical context for Psalm 68. 

What is the context of Psalm 68 itself? We have to go back to the first verse. We learn that it is a psalm of David. Whenever we read that a psalm is a psalm of David we ought to be asking is: how does this fit into the flow of history in the Old Testament. Is this before or after the exile? It is before the exile. We learn by looking at the time of David that it is a time in Israel's history when the monarchy and the kingdom is being established. In fact, under David and his son Solomon Israel reaches their highest point of development and culture in terms of application of the Mosaic law. Verse 1 begins: NASB "Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered, And let those who hate Him flee before Him." So again, it is a picture of conflict. But there is another element ot this that is often overlooked and that is that the verb "arise" is the Hebrew verb qum which in the Psalms is almost always used for God rising in judgment. Again and a gain there are verses where the psalmist calls upon God to rise up and pay attention to a particularly unjust situation, unfair treatment. The concept of arising refers to coming to the aid of the needy and the afflicted. Psalm 12:5 NASB "'Because of the devastation of the afflicted, because of the groaning of the needy, Now I will arise,' says the LORD; 'I will set him in the safety for which he longs.'" Psalm 17:13 NASB "Arise, O LORD, confront him, bring him low; Deliver my soul from the wicked with Your sword." So the idea of qum, rising up, is a cry to God, to the Supreme Court of heaven, to interfere in human history in some way through the execution of justice and righteousness. So what we are going to see in this study is the central role that God's integrity plays.

This integrity is not understood as something that is just abstract. The justice and righteousness of God for a Jew is not just appealing to an abstract principle of God's justice and righteousness. This is the God Yahweh who has entered into a covenant or contract with Israel. So there is a legal relationship between God and Israel which was established by the Mosaic covenant, and God bound Himself to certain procedures in the Mosaic law. One of those was that he would look out for the welfare of the nation. So when the psalmist cries many, many times to rise up and to protect the widow or the orphan or the needy, or to execute judgment in some situations where there has been a personal injustice the foundation for understanding this is that God has contractually obligated Himself to Israel as their protector. So they cry to God to fulfil and to bring about what He has promised in the Mosaic law.

So that means that to understand Psalm 68 we really have to go back to those foundational episodes in the history of Israel. We find this same terminology back in Numbers 10, a situation where the Jews are engaged in warfare against the inhabitants of the land. Numbers 10:35 NASB "Then it came about when the ark set out that Moses said, 'Rise up, O LORD! And let Your enemies be scattered, And let those who hate You flee before You.'" So when we come to Psalm 68 and we see the terminology, "Rise up, O LORD," and we see this terminology of the Lord ascending up on Mount Zion, it is not just terminology that operates in a vacuum but it is terminology that is rooted in God's covenant relationship with Israel and with what God did back at the exodus. So it relates to God bringing victory over the enemy from His people, and it is specifically related to the function of the ark which is the physical representation of the indwelling presence of God with His people. The background for Psalm 68 is seen in 2 Samuel 6, when David brings the ark into Jerusalem. 2 Samuel 6:12 NASB "Now it was told King David, saying, 'The LORD has blessed the house of Obed-edom and all that belongs to him, on account of the ark of God.' David went and brought up [the idea of ascension] the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom into the city of David with gladness. [13] And so it was, that when the bearers of the ark of the LORD had gone six paces, he sacrificed an ox and a fatling." Here is where we are brining in another concept. This doctrine of understanding the ascension, of understanding all of these allusions in Scripture (Ps. 2; 110) is going to challenge and stress your understanding of the Old Testament. Here we see this picture in Psalm 110 where we have the statement: "The LORD has sworn and will not change His mind, 'You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek.'" So we are going to have to understand the whole concept of the Melchizedekian priesthood.

Who was Melchizedek? He was the prist-king of Salem, later known as Jerusalem. He is a Gentile, not a Jew. In Genesis 15 after Abraham defeats the armies of the five kings, he pays tithes. He gives a certain amount of the booty that he had recovered from these invading five kings from Mesopotamia to Melchizedek. That imagery of giving the spoils of the victory is the image that we have in Psalm 68 of God receiving gifts, and it is the image of Ephesians 4 that because of the ascension and the strategic victory of Christ on the cross he is now able to distribute spoils and booty in terms of spiritual gifts and blessing to the church age believer that no other believer in history has ever been able to have. So we have seen certain themes weave themselves in and out of all of these passages.

The Melchizedekian priesthood was a Gentile priesthood, and not only that but it joined together the function of church and state in one individual. The Melchizedekian priesthood preceded the Abrahamic covenant, because God doesn't begin to give the covenant to Abraham until Genesis chapter 12. But Melchizedek is already alive and functioning as a prist-king before God begins to call out the Jews, so it is a distinct priesthood and it becomes the foundation for understanding the priesthood of Jesus Christ because He is a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek. This is what David is doing in 2 Samuel chapter 6. As he is bringing the ark of the Lord into Jerusalem every six paces he would sacrifice an ox and a faltling. What kind of function is this? This is not the function of a king, it is the function of a priest. But David can't function as a priest because he is of the tribe of Judah, he is not a Levite. So what is David doing here? David understands a broader priesthood, and that is the Melchizedekian priesthood which was a Gentile priesthood where there was the role of priest and king united in one individual. So under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit David understands that his role as king foreshadows and pictures and even greater concept of kingship which will be fulfilled in the Messiah. This is why we have to go through these important passages such as Psalm 2 & 110 which ties all of these concepts together.

Then in 2 Samuel 6:14 NASB "And David was dancing before the LORD with all {his} might, and David was wearing a linen ephod." This seems to us a particularly bizarre situation. Every once of his being is thrown into this dancing and he is wearing a linen ephod. An ephod is the garment of a priest. So we see David is functioning here as a priest. [15] "So David and all the house of Israel were bringing up the ark of the LORD with shouting and the sound of the trumpet." It is a tremendous celebration. [16] "Then it happened {as} the ark of the LORD came into the city of David that Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD; and she despised him in her heart." This challenges our concepts of protocol and being prim and proper. David is so excited about what is going on. He is not out of line here, he is clearly under the control of the Holy Spirit. This is why it challenges us. The problem is that you have people come along and want to make this normative for the Christian life. It wasn't even normative for David in this situation. This is a picture and a foreshadowing of the enthusiasm and joy that will be present when Jesus Christ finally comes to Jerusalem in victory at the end of the Tribulation period. Michal loses all respect for David. [17] "So they brought in the ark of the LORD and set it in its place inside the tent which David had pitched for it; and David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD. [18] When David had finished offering the burnt offering and the peace offering, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD of hosts. [19] Further, he distributed to all the people, to all the multitude of Israel, both to men and women, a cake of bread and one of dates and one of raisins to each one. Then all the people departed each to his house."

What has happened? Abraham goes and defeats the five kings, and he comes back and distributes booty. The ark ascends to Mount Zion and David distributes gifts to the people. This is all background for understanding what is happening in Ephesians 4 and the giving of spiritual gifts and why there is the giving of spiritual gifts. Then when David goes home Michal the daughter of Saul goes out to meet him and she just despises him. She has been seething all day because of this improper demeanour that he has had, dancing and leaping before the Lord, and she said: "How the king of Israel distinguished himself today! He uncovered himself today in the eyes of his servants' maids as one of the foolish ones shamelessly uncovers himself!" What she is saying is that while he is out there dancing with this ephod on he doesn't have anything on underneath and it hasn't been the most modest of events, and she is ridiculing him for that. The reason for throwing that in there is because so often we have such rigid little ideas of how we are to conduct ourselves in terms of worship that this really blows our preconceived notions, because there is nothing in this that indicates that David was ever out of line.

2 Samuel 6:21 NASB "So David said to Michal, '{It was} before the LORD, who chose me above your father and above all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the LORD, over Israel; therefore I will celebrate before the LORD'." In other words, remember that God chose me and rejected your father. Just because your father did not do what I have done don't have disrespect for me for that. Remember, God has chosen me and I will celebrate before the Lord as I see fit. [22] "I will be more lightly esteemed than this and will be humble in my own eyes, but with the maids of whom you have spoken, with them I will be distinguished." In other words, you've completely misinterpreted the situation. [23] "Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death." In Old Testament theology barrenness was a sign of a curse from God, so the writer inserts this last verse to point out that in terms of God's view of Michal's criticism of David she was completely unjust and she then comes under divine discipline for the rest of her life. David is the one who is blessed.

Back to Psalm 68. In verse 1 we have the cry for God to rise up, and in vv. 3 & 4 we have a continued praise to God because of His victory. "But let the righteous be glad; let them exult before God; Yes, let them rejoice with gladness. [4] Sing to God, sing praises to His name; Lift up {a song} for Him who rides through the deserts, Whose name is the LORD [Yahweh], and exult before Him." He goes back to praising God for all the victories that he has given Israel from the time that they were in Egypt through the present time.

So Ephesians 4:8-10 looks at the ascent of Jesus Christ and visualizes it in terms of Psalm 68:18. The other interesting to be noted is that in Psalm 68 it is the Lord who ascends and in Ephesians chapter four Paul applies Psalm 68 to Jesus Christ. That is, in the mind of Paul Jesus Christ is equal to Yahweh in the Old Testament as the God of Israel. Psalm 68 goes on to express the whole image of victorious ascent and conquest. This, then, is applied to the ascent of Christ who because of the strategic victory of the cross is then honoured by God, He ascends to heaven, and is seated at the position of honour and respect at the right hand of God the Father.

In Daniel chapter seven there arises an individual who is known as the Son of Man. So the fifth and final kingdom in human history is the kingdom of the Son of Man. It is represented as true humanity and what man was designed to be. In the first few verses of Daniel seven there is recitation of the four kingdoms in history, and then Daniel says as he has this vision: NASB "I kept looking Until thrones were set up, And the Ancient of Days took {His} seat…." This is a picture of God the Father taking His seat in His judicial role on His throne. "…His vesture {was} like white snow And the hair of His head like pure wool. His throne {was} ablaze with flames, Its wheels {were} a burning fire. [10] A river of fire was flowing And coming out from before Him; Thousands upon thousands were attending Him, And myriads upon myriads were standing before Him; The court sat, And the books were opened." So this has, again, this legal aspect. It is a call for God to rise up, it is a call to the Supreme Court of heaven. [13] "kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him. [14] And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, That all the peoples, nations and {men of every} language Might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one Which will not be destroyed."

One of the things we have to note here is that this is going to be a kingdom that is truly multicultural. Notice how Satan always wants to counterfeit everything. Now we have Satan's counterfeit trying to, on the basis of human techniques, develop multiculturalism and multi-nationalism, but it is based on pure relativism and it is an enemy of the truth. It is only when you have the establishment of the kingdom on the basis of the justice of God hat there will be a truly multicultural and multi-national kingdom. So this kingdom is set up, it has a broader perspective than simply King of Israel. This isn't simply Jesus as the son of David but He is going to have a kingdom that goes beyond that that relates to being the King of all mankind, developing a people from every tribe and every nation. So that is something distinct from Israel. Even though it is not talking about the church we clearly see that when we unpack that in terms of New Testament revelation what is implicit here is the church. The second thing that is implicit here is that there is a time when He doesn't have the kingdom. That implies a waiting period. There is a specific point in time when He is given the kingdom, and then he establishes the kingdom.

Daniel 7:18 NASB "But the saints of the Highest One will receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, for all ages to come." There is a point in time when this kingdom is given. Before that it is not given and there is no kingdom. That sets the stage for the session. What is going on now is a precursor to Jesus Christ being given the kingdom. So what God is doing in history right now is developing a unique people, the church, which includes people from every nation, and this is going to be the foundation, then, for the rulership of that kingdom when it comes. But we are not there yet.