Thursday, June 27, 2013

What does the Lord "standing" in Acts 7 really mean?

Mid Acts teaches that the Lord was seen by Stephen as "standing on the right hand of God," which according to Mid Acts teachers is a position of impending judgment, meaning the wrath of God was about to fall on Israel and the world.  Is this the correct interpretation?

Brian Kelson answers:

First up, lets nail the Gospels and Acts period as to time. It was the end of the ages, not the beginning of anything. This humungous list might seem over the top, but how can we understand Acts 7 without setting the time context. Here are some verses written of events during that time, before and AFTER Acts 7;
Mat 10:23  But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.
Mat 16:28  Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.
Mat 19:21  Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
(Because Trumpets also signaled the Jubilee when all property was re-distributed, that's why they sold everything and laid it at the apostles; feet in Acts, including up until Acts 7)
Mat 24:34  Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
Joh 21:22  Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.
Act 3:19  Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;
Act 3:20  And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:
Rom 13:12  The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
1Co 1:7  So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:
1Co 1:8  Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1Co 7:29  But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none;
1Co 7:30  And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not;
1Co 7:31  And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.
1Co 10:11  Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
Co 15:51  Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, (not THEY, in the future)
1Th 1:9  For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;
1Th 1:10  And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.
1Th 3:13  To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
1Th 4:15  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
1Th 4:16  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
1Th 4:17  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
1Th 5:3  For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
1Th 5:4  But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
2Th 1:7  And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
2Th 1:8  In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:                  
Heb 9:26  For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
Heb 10:37  For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.
Heb 10:38  Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
Jas 5:7  Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. .....
Jas 5:8  Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
1Pe 1:13  Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
1Pe 4:7  But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
2Pe 3:9  The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
2Pe 3:10  But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night;
1Jn 2:17  And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever (literally, (UNTO THE AGE).
1Jn 2:18  Little children, it is the last time (hour): and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time (hour). Jud 1:18  How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.                   
Rev 1:1  The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:
Rev 1:2  Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.
Rev 1:3  Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

How exciting these passages become when we read them as they read them way back then, in the last days, at the ends of the ages. That following Christ obediently meant they would live forever, that is UNTO the age. Paul said we, that is them back then including Paul, would not all die, but would be alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord. Paul wrote these things after Stephen's vision so Stephen's vision could not possible imply Christ had judged Israel and put them aside, for the Trumpet coming was one of Israel's Feasts about to be fulfilled in their lifetime, after the vision. Paul wasn't even converted at Stephen's vision and many years afterwards Paul wrote of the coming of the Lord TO Israel.
The fact that Christ was raised and at the Father's right was well known, but only UNTIL the times of restoration. the Vision must be understood in this context, that the Lord was only in heaven briefly, until repentance and thus all Israel was to be saved at the (imminent) return.
Act 3:21  Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
It was also recorded of the Lord back in the gospel times that He would return almost immediately;
Mat 24:29  Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
Mat 24:30  And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Mat 24:31  And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Mat 24:33  So likewise YE (not THEM in 2000 years), when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
Mat 26:64  Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.

The Lord told the 12 they would see these things and thus His words to them were understood, even the prayer He taught them was for the ends of the ages upon them.
Stephen saw what the entire nation of Israel was about to see. Stephen's vision was a vision of the Lord's coming. He saw Christ at the Father's right hand, the sign of Matt.24.
Does James also create problems when he wrote of Christ standing;
Jas 5:9  Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.
Let us place the verse in its context again;
Jas 5:8  Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
Jas 5:9  Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.
The coming of the Lord in James has Christ standing. In Revelations, which is about the coming of the Lord, this word translated standeth appears many times, but see 3:20, 5:6, 14:1.
The fact that the Lord was standing can't mean anything other than Stephen saw Him standing in relation to His coming.
If those who think it meant the opening of the 1st seal, they might be correct but how does this concern us as Acts 28ers, it only establishes our position, and certainly destroys the God has put Israel aside at Acts 7 position. Especially since it is only tradition which puts the book of Revelation 150 years after the NT era. If John wrote it was the last hour, then very likely the events of Revelation were beginning to happen, especially since Revelation contains reference to the church at Ephesus and Laodicea. Now how can Revelation be written after the post Acts letters of Paul? Did the Ephesians hear the kingdom message by Paul during Acts, then the above heavenly kingdom after Acts, then go back to the earthly kingdom message when Revelation was written, supposedly 150 years after Acts? it's a nonsense, the events of Revelation were well known by all, including Paul who spoke of such things in 2Cor.12.
Thus the Scriptures clarify this for us my dear friend. Stephen saw a vision of the imminent return of the Lord. Stephen saw what all were about to see. His eye anticipated the every eye of Ex.19:11 and here
Rev 1:7  Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds (tribes) of the earth (land) shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. Matt.24:30
Every miracle and vision of the Acts period relates to the Acts period which was the Kingdom imminent, Israel not nationally cast aside.
Oh, and YES, Christ was coming in wrath to those who had rejected Him but not in wrath to those who had believed into Him. They were saved from the wrath to come, but this doesn't mean any pre-trib rapture right?
Christ prayed, Father forgive them, but Stephen prayed, lay not this sin to their charge. But even so, this does not mean Israel were not cast aside because of Christ's prayer or Stephen's because Passover was the BEGINNING of Israel's national deliverance, not the point where they were to be cut off. Passover was in Egypt when they were taken out, not judged, only the enemy and false god's were judged at Passover, not Israel, they were preserved by the blood. Thus the nonsense that God gave Israel an extra year because of the parable of Lk.13 is ridiculous. Israel was never to be cut off at Passover, no extra year was needed.

This Mid Acts belief about Acts 7 is a problem created by ideas about it which are baseless. MA have created a heap of ideas about it which fit their position, but not the facts, IMHO.

The fact that Stephen saw Christ standing at the right of the Father doesn't indicate anything other than it was consistent with the visions and supernatural of the Acts period.

There is no position of Daniel's 70 weeks at that point, and if Christ was standing to come back in judgment, HE DID NOT. Standing is not the literal return of Christ. If it did mean that, it meant no more than He was ready to dos so, BUT HE DID NOT. He will return as per Paul's Acts period epistles. He will return to destroy the lawless one with the brightness of His coming and that did not take place. 1Thess and 2 Thess are very clear as to what needed to take place before His return and they were not in position when Stephen had his vision. Neither was much of the book of Revelation. So Christ was not going to return Acts 7, no image in the holy place, no anti-messiah armies, do you see?


GEF said...

A curiosity that I find with all so called CHRISTIAN BLOGS is that they make a statement in accordance with their own beliefs and then ask others to refute or defend those beliefs. No room is left to discuss the validity of the belief system, thus shutting out all true discussion. A nontruth can neither be validated or denied.

Deborah Collins said...

Please, GEF, by all means, discuss it here right in this comment thread. If I didn't keep my mind open to different ideas, this blog wouldn't even exist.

God bless you brother or sister in Christ,