6 Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.
The word “therefore” connects verse 6 to verse 5.
when they had come together,
Jesus and the apostles apparently moved from Jerusalem to the Mount of Olives (Acts 1:12). In Zechariah 14:4, the prophet indicated that the Messiah would set up His kingdom when He descended to the Mount of Olives. At that event, a tremendous topographical event will take place at His coming.
they asked Him, saying,
Jesus said in the previous verse that the apostles would be baptized with the Holy Spirit “not many days from now.” This statement led them to ask another question, thinking that the Messiah was about to set up His Millennial kingdom within a few days.
“Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”
The apostles did not have any idea that the Lord was about to launch the church instead of the kingdom. The Old Testament did not reveal the interval between the two comings of Christ. They still functioned on the idea that the promised material kingdom would come in their day. They visioned a day of Messianic political power and splendor. Maybe they thought that the Messiah would conquer the Roman Empire. Instead, Jesus had an entirely different economy in mind, the dispensation of the church, where the Holy Spirit would indwell the body of Christ. He would institute the church and then later establish His kingdom on earth.
And He said to them,
The Lord’s reply was not that He would totally negate the kingdom but that He would delay its launch until millennia later. The restoration of the kingdom was still a future event.
Verses 7 and 8 are some of the last words Jesus spoke while on earth.
“It is not for you to know times [duration of time] or seasons [kind of time]
Instead of denying that the kingdom would come, He said that its timing was not for them to know.
which the Father has put in His own authority.
Date setting is completely in the hands of the Father’s authority, not men’s.
The attempt to set dates in prophecy is not biblical.
Jesus made a conclusive statement about the error of date setting—that is something for us not to know. Our Lord did not deny that He would eventually establish His kingdom on earth; however, He wanted His followers to know that He has a new program called the church, which is not the same as His kingdom. Thus, we can count anyone who sets a date in prophecy as a fraud.
Jesus commanded the original apostles to present their message to the nation Israel (Mt 10:5-6). It was not a challenge to establish the church. However, when Jesus came Israel rejected Him as their Messiah: “He came unto His own things [neuter] and His own people [masculine] did not receive Him” (Jn 1:11). Israel rejected her Messiah, so He turned to establish a new entity, which was not a nation but an organism.