Acts 1:6-7 – Yeshua on the Kingdom of Israel…

I still remember distinctly the last conversation I had with my father.  It was nearly 16 years ago and, though neither of us knew it would be the last time we spoke in this life, his words have proved prophetic.Retro-cars-restoration-before-after8

While the content of that conversation is not the point, had he known it was to be our last conversation, I am confident he would have been even more pointed in his wisdom as we parted company.

Yeshua had 40 final days with His disciples and I am confident that the conversations were deeply instructive revelations from the Scripture.  (Recall, the only Scripture they had was the Tanak, misnamed, the “Old Testament!”)  He knew that He was leaving and would be gone for a while.

We are not told the content of those conversations, however, we can take a few hints from the ‘Road to Emmaus’ conversation, and several other passages.  One such passage is the very final conversation Yeshua had with His disciples.  Let’s read and consider,

So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority;

Christendom has long held that everything changed at the cross.  They believe that to one degree or another, from that point forward, Israel as a nation was no longer relevant, or of little relevance.  They often teach the replacement of the Jews by the ‘new’ ‘Israel of God.’  And, by teaching these errors, Christendom makes the disciples and Yeshua appear to be incredibly dumb and/or incompetent.

The disciples have been with Yeshua as his talmidim, disciples, learning from Him day and night for quite a while.  Estimates vary from 70 weeks to upwards of 180 weeks!  Yeshua the Messiah has been teaching and preparing them to take His message to all nations!  Now, they ask their final question:  “Adonai, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?”

This is HUGE!!

After all this time walking in the dust of the Master, breaking bread, late night chats, miles and miles of roads, etc, they expect Him to restore the the kingdom to Israel!!  Either, the disciples have monumentally missed everything He was teaching, OR Christendom has monumentally misunderstood the Messiah’s mission.

We should hold our collective breath for His answer.  Does He chastise them for misunderstanding all He has taught them?  Does He chide them for being so Israel-centric?  Or, does He simply say, ‘It is not for you to know the times or seasons…,’ implying that the question is the correct one, but they do not need the answer right now.

Churchianity likes to make the disciples out to be a group of dolts who couldn’t buy a clue, which, whether they admit it or not, reflects poorly on the One who chose and trained the disciples.  Yet, Yeshua doesn’t respond to the disciples’ question about restoring the kingdom as if they have missed a key point or step.  He makes NO insinuation that they didn’t ‘get it.’ #antisemitism #zionism #Israel

Rather, the very nature of Yeshua’s answer indicates that indeed, He plans to restore the kingdom to Israel, just ‘not at this time.’  Surely James understands, because in Acts 15 he points to a ‘restored tent of David’ that includes the grafted in Gentiles.  Peter later writes to the ‘scattered aliens’ who ‘were continually straying like sheep but have now returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of their souls.’

These dear men understood that the prophecies of a restored kingdom over which the Good Shepherd would rule would be fulfilled in a literal way!  Yeshua, even as He parts, in His last conversation affirms a restoration, not a replacement!!

Read again, slowly, this short exchange and notice what is said and what is NOT said!!

So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority;

As I read an pondered this passage again last night, something else about it stood out to me….  The phrase, ‘…times or epochs…’

Did you know there are only two verses in the new Testament that has both of these words in it?  Acts 1:7 is the first and the second is telling:  1 Thessalonians 5:1!!

Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord [a]will come just like a thief in the night. While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then [b]destruction [c]will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you [d]like a thief;

Notice a couple things:

  • ‘times and epochs’ is associated with ‘the Day of the Lord.’
  • ‘They’ (unbelieving/unaware) are juxtaposed with ‘but you’ who are in the light (metaphor for Torah).
  • Larger context dealing with the timing of the coming of Messiah points directly to the ‘moedim,’ the set times/Feasts of Yahweh!  (See Genesis 1:14, Lev. 23)

Here is the point, Yeshua, in Acts 1, not only does NOT correct their understanding of the restoration of the kingdom TO Israel, but gives a veiled pointer to WHEN this will happen.  The apostle Paul affirms his understanding and common ground with the disciple in Ephesians 2 when he speaks of the ‘strangers and aliens’ being grafted INTO the commonwealth of Israel and no longer strangers to the covenants of promise!

Beware those who teach that the church IS Israel or some how ‘replaced’ Israel.  Those who teach such are wolves who tear at the body.  Beware those who teach that the church escapes some tribulation reserved for the Jews.  Those who teach such lead you to destruction.

Rather, ponder these verses and the many, many others that point to the coming King who will restore, rebuild, replant, etc.

Shalom!

***And, after finishing the article and scheduling it to publish, I found this article by Dr. Michael Brown.  We must be reading some of the same notes or hearing from the same Ruach…  LOL!

About Pete Rambo

Details in 'About' page @ natsab.wordpress.com Basically, husband of one, father of four. Pastor x 11 years, former business and military background. Micro-farmer. Messianic believer in Yeshua haMashiach!
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6 Responses to Acts 1:6-7 – Yeshua on the Kingdom of Israel…

  1. Jack Jackson says:

    Pete, upon opening the text I noticed that in the Greek there is no word “to” found in the phrase translated “kingdom (932) to Israel (2474)”. The text has Strong’s numbers for kingdom and Israel; however, it appears the translators have added a “to”. Strong’s 600 is translated restore, but seems to be defined also as reconstitute.
    With all this said, could the disciples have been asking if Yeshua was now going to “bring back together” Israel? That is to ask “bring back together the House of Israel with the House of Judah? Connect the sticks from Ezk.? Pour “new/renewed covenant of both House of Israel and House of Judah?
    This was in fact a deep question from studied men at that time, one that so many don’t even understand today.
    Shalom!

    Like

    • Pete Rambo says:

      Jack,

      Excellent comment. Sorry I somehow missed it…

      Absence of the word ‘to’ is indeed interesting. I didn’t check the Greek… My understanding mirrors what you explain in that, for me, ‘restoring to Israel’ meant reconstitution, though is is even more compelling if they said, ‘Will You at this time restore/reconstitute the Kingdom Israel?’

      I think the disciples/apostles understood, but Rav Shaul/Paul clarified and took it a couple levels deeper with understanding the grafting in of the ‘lost sheep’/exiles…

      Good catch on the ‘to.’

      Shalom!

      Like

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