Act 1:6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? (KJV)
When Jesus answered the question posed by His disciples as recorded in Acts 1:6, He did not deny or correct their faith in a literal restoration of the kingdom to Israel. Many modern commentators do deny this faith expressed by the Apostles, and fault them for asking the question. Those commentators are wrong in their interpretation of Acts 1:6.
Acts 13:34 And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David.
Just what are the “sure mercies of David”?
I have asked this of Jehovah Witnesses who have come to my door. So far, none of them have a clue. But they are not the only ones. I have asked this question of many Christians, and with very few exceptions, if any, they do not have a clue either!
I have noticed just this past week or so as I have been reading the New Living Translation day by day which places the text of the Bible in chronological order arranged in 365 daily readings, that the translators of the New Living Translation had no clue either, for they have so worded the translation in both the Old Testament (Isaiah 55:3) and the New Testament’s citation of that verse in Acts 13:34 in a manner that completely obscures the connection.
The reference is to the Davidic Covenant provisions, which contain “Sure mercies,” that is, promised and guaranteed benefits, which will come to pass when the unconditional provisions of the Davidic Covenant are ultimately fulfilled.
Now, “So what?” you might ask.
Consider one more prophetic passage taken again from the Book of Acts:
Act 15:13 And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me:
Act 15:14 Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.
Act 15:15 And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,
Act 15:16 After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:
Act 15:17 That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.
Act 15:18 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.
Note carefully the succession of ideas in this prophecy:
(1) God is now taking out a people for His name from the Gentiles (Acts 15:14).
This process is still going on in our own day.
(2) “After this” I will return. This refers to the return of our Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 15:16).
(3) Upon His return, our Lord Jesus Christ will build again, that is, restore the Kingdom of David (Acts 15:16).
Scripture elsewhere teaches us that our Lord Jesus Christ will Himself sit on the Throne of David forever (Luke 1:31, 32, 33).
(4) This will be done, as the very purpose of God, “that the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things” (Acts 15:17).
By the way, James is quoting Old Testament prophecy from Amos 9:11, 12, 13, 14, 15, which is most clear indeed in declaring what God is going to do: He will re-establish the nation of Israel in their own land permanently, never to be removed again.
This passage of Scripture in Acts 15:13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 is one of the most important prophetic passages in the New Testament. I have spent the last month studying it in great depth and detail. I began this study because of a question that was asked, which I answered, on Facebook.
Where does the New Testament ever indicate that the Jews are to literally return to their own land?
The poster thought, I believe, that there is no such verse or passage.
I posted Acts 15:13-18 as the answer, for this passage expressly declares that Israel will be back in the Land of Israel when the Messiah restores the fallen tabernacle of David, meaning the Kingdom of David.
The group where this question was raised is called “Anti-Zionist Christians for Truth,” a group to which I was invited to join by a fine Christian lady who respects my scholarship and knows I will not intentionally “rock the boat.”
But here on my own site I have now “rocked the boat.” Anyone, or any theological system, that denies Israel belongs on the land today that it occupied at the time of Christ must be wrong in terms of what the Bible teaches and predicts.
Anyone who denies that Israel today has a divinely established right to the land of Israel they occupied at the time of Christ is clearly mistaken about what Bible prophecy teaches. This is one sure way to detect teachers, preachers, and even theologians who are wrong in their understanding of Bible prophecy.