Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
September 6, 1951

Lessons From Luke's Letter, Continued

N. W. Allphin, Tahoka, Texas

Continuing our study of Luke in search of premillennial ideas concerning the kingdom of God, we next note verse 31 of chapter 18 in which Jesus said to his apostles: "Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all the things that are written through the prophets shall be accomplished unto the Son of man." Surely no one should challenge the statement that "all things means just that—all things, no less. Well, in the next verse he proceeds to identify and explain those things saying: "For he shall be delivered up unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and shamefully treated, and spit upon; and they shall scourge and kill him; and the third day he shall rise again." There should be no question whether or not these "things" have been fulfilled; they certainly were, for his life and death history abundantly proves it. What, then, is left for the pre-millennial adherents to say? Just one of two things, either these "things" did not happen to him, or that all things written through the prophets do not mean all. It isn't nice, it isn't wise, it isn't safe to thus contend with the Lord by taking either position. It is wrong, therefore, to still look into the Hebrew prophecies for "things" to yet be done to or for the Lord Jesus. And that's that! It is unfortunate that Gentile or Jew should yet have closed eyes and ears as those Jews then had.

Let us now look into chapter 19. In verse 11 Jesus "spake a parable because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was immediately to appear." It was this: "A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return." Now, what Bible student doesn't know that this nobleman represents the Lord Jesus? And has anybody been reading this wrong? Brother, does your kingdom view by any chance make this read to you, a certain nobleman went into a far country, and returned to receive and set up for himself a kingdom? If so, pause, reflect, and return, because that position is exactly on the other side from right. Let's read it right and believe it. Verse 15 confirms the fact that he received the kingdom before his return. I would like to comment upon the matter of verse 16 through 21, but must forego such digression at present. However, I suggest that the reader study verse 27, and try to identify "these mine enemies, that would not that I should reign over them," and also see if he can locate the time when they were to be slain. Could this mean his own nation that rejected him, and the generation that was put to death by Vespasian's Roman legions?

Next, let us notice verse 38. But first, in my last article I referred to verse 41 of chapter 13, and promised comment thereon when 19:38 is reached, which read thus: "Blessed is the king that cometh in the name of the Lord . . . " Back in 13:41 Jesus made to the Jews this statement: "Behold, your house is left unto you desolate; and I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." Premillennialists reckon this as among the Lord's last statements just before his death; and that the time when they shall say, "Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord" will be at his "second coming." But in this they are in error, because those things were not said at his last visit to Jerusalem before his crucifixion. Instead, they were uttered on his departure after a former visit.

And the time of fulfillment is recorded in 19:38, upon his arrival for his last visit to the city prior to his arrest and trial. Thus, we see that the supposed prediction in 13:41 of an event yet future turns out to be one that was fulfilled more than 1900 years ago.

In 20:9 through 19 we have Luke's version of the parable of the wicked husbandmen—the same one given in Mark 12:1-12. It was treated and explained in a previous article on Mark's testimony; hence, it requires but brief mention at this time. Jesus was the "beloved son," which probably none will dispute; and the apostate Jewish nation was the wicked husbandmen. There should be no question on this either, because verse 19 explains the matter fully, and verifies this interpretation. In this parable the Lord foretells his rejection by the Jews, and quotes from their scriptures to prove that Jehovah's original plan provided for his death just as it occurred, and for his victory over death, his resurrection, just as it also happened. Millennial theorists tell us that when John and Jesus began preaching "the kingdom of God is at hand" that it was then God's plan to set up the kingdom of which Daniel prophesied—Dan. 2:44 (and that part is right) but that the attitude of the Jews, in rejecting Jesus, caused him to alter his plan and defer the establishment of the kingdom until a time when Israel would possibly get a new slant, and look more favorably on the matter. But this wild story anent the postponement of the kingdom is but a figment of an abnormal imagination in the entire divine record there is not so much as the ghost of a hint at any such thing.

Next, there is an item sketched in verses 41-43 that merits attention. While it does not carry the word kingdom, yet it is relevant to the premillennial kingdom question. Note in verses 42, 43 Jesus quotes Psalm 110:1: "The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand till I make thine enemies the footstool of thy feet." What he teaches here doesn't harmonize with the premillennial estimate of things. They say the Lord is to return to this earth (very soon, some think), and deal personally with his enemies while he rules on a Jerusalem throne. But lie was exalted to sit on God's right hand soon after his resurrection—Heb. 1:3; 10:13; 1 Peter 3:22. And this text, quoted also by Peter in Acts 2:34, 35, says plainly that he is to sit "till I make thine enemies the footstool of thy feet." Well, aren't his enemies still numerous and on a continuous rampage? Certainly; hence, he is still sitting at God's right hand. And how much longer yet? Paul says, "till he hath put all enemies under his feet."-1 Cor. 15:25. And what is the last one? Verse 26 says it is death. But death is not conquered yet. So what? Why, the Lord will remain where he now sits until the resurrection, because that is the thing that conquers or does away with death — the only thing. Facts show that there is no time, no place, no opening whatever to make even a serious try to work in a future, literal kingdom of Christ on earth. Our next and last paper concerning Luke's kingdom testimony will begin with 21:5—a grossly misunderstood and woefully mistreated chapter—and on to the close of the book.