Jesus is Not on David’s Throne

Lion Lamb CompositeThe Davidic Covenant is comprised of promises made by God to David, making it unconditional.  The information most pertinent to understanding the Millennium is first found in 2 Samuel 7:10-13:

And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may dwell in their own place and be disturbed no more.  And violent men shall afflict them no more, as formerly, from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel.  And I will give you rest from all your enemies.  Moreover, the LORD declares to you that the LORD will make you a house.  When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom.  He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.

The first promise is a reaffirmation that the land of Israel would be for the Hebrew people (vv. 10-11).  It is to be a land where they will be disturbed no more.  Even if the Jews possessed all of the Promised Land, it would be absurd to say they are not disturbed or given rest from their enemies.

David is next promised a house (v. 11).  David was denied his desire to build the temple, but God blessed him in a greater way by building from him a royal dynasty.  This promise was recognition of the kingly line belonging to the tribe of Judah that was to bring about the Lion Messiah (Gen. 49:9-10; Rev. 5:5).  The dynasty would begin with David’s son Solomon (v. 12).  God promises that Solomon will be the one to build the first temple and that the throne of his kingdom will be established forever (v. 13).  Solomon did indeed have the temple built (1 Kgs. 6).  God kept the first part of His promise regarding Solomon in a real and literal way.  Why should anyone expect God to break His Word on the second part?  The kingdom ruled from the Davidic throne will be established and continue forever.

JESUS IS NOT CURRENTLY ON THE DAVIDIC THRONE

It is common for those who fight against Premillennialism to claim that Jesus is currently sitting on David’s throne.  This is primarily done by arguing that Jesus’ exaltation at the right hand of God (Acts 2:33) somehow equals Him currently occupying the Davidic throne.  The claim itself is entirely without contextual Scriptural basis.  Indeed, it is clear that this exaltation results in Jesus currently residing at the right hand of God’s throne (Heb. 12:2).  The event was a fulfillment of Psalm 110, which itself makes no mention of David’s throne.  The very fact that verse 1 teaches that the Messiah will sit on this throne for a limited period means that it cannot possibly be about the Davidic rule, which is eternal.  This Psalm describes just what the premillennialist should expect.  Jesus is to sit beside His Father until it is time to crush the governments of man and inaugurate the Davidic Kingdom (Ps. 110:1-2, 5-6; Matt. 22:44).   In quoting Amos 9:11-12, James said that the tabernacle of David was yet to be rebuilt from the ruins (Acts 15:15-16).  It is clear that James did not believe that Jesus’ earlier ascension had restored the tabernacle of David (i.e. the rule of the Davidic line).

Even more damaging to the non-millennialist is that God’s Word makes it perfectly clear that the Davidic throne or reign of David’s heir simply must be on Earth in Jerusalem.  There are many verses that prove this.  One of the most useful places is Psalm 132:11-14:

The LORD swore to David a sure oath from which he will not turn back: “One of the sons of your body I will set on your throne.  If your sons keep my covenant and my testimonies that I shall teach them, their sons also forever shall sit on your throne.”  For the LORD has chosen Zion; he has desired it for his dwelling place:  This is my resting place forever; here I will dwell, for I have desired it.

The student of Scripture does not have to be especially perspicacious to notice that God is serious about fulfilling His promise to David.  David’s descendants occupied his throne in Jerusalem (Zion).  God desired Jerusalem as His dwelling place not just for a particular period of time.  Notice that God equates the throne being occupied forever with Him dwelling in Jerusalem forever.  The final descendant is He who obeyed the statutes perfectly (Matt. 5:17), the horn of David[1] (Ps. 132:17), the God-man Jesus.  God will most certainly be dwelling in Jerusalem as it will be He (Jesus) who sits on David’s throne.

Further evidence of an earthly location includes the need to enter through the gates of Jerusalem to access the throne of David (Jer. 17:25).  The throne is said to be in Jerusalem in Judah (Jer. 22:30), not a vague heavenly location.  The reign of the Messiah on David’s throne is for the purpose of ruling over all of the earth and executing judgment therein (Jer. 23:5-6; Zech. 14:9).  Because the Messiah’s rule from David’s throne is from Jerusalem on Earth, the reign cannot currently be taking place.  Jesus even indicated that man is not in a position to know when the Kingdom would be restored to Israel (Acts 1:6-7).

This evidence should more than suffice to prove that Jesus is yet to sit on the Davidic Throne.  However, there is yet another proof that is quite overwhelming: Revelation 3:21:

The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.

Jesus was clearly speaking of two distinct thrones.  Jesus refers to the throne that those who conquer are to share with Him in the future as, my throne.  This is in contrast to the Father’s throne that Jesus sat down on after He conquered.  Surely the later throne is to be associated with the exaltation of Christ (Acts 2:33; Heb. 12:2) and not the former.  Finally, consider that if the two thrones being spoken of are one in the same then that would mean that the Davidic Throne was established before David was even created.  This cannot be the case as God promised David that the throne would be (future tense) established (2 Sam. 7:16).

The described earthly throne in the promise to David currently has no occupant.  As such, it can be asserted that there is one yet to come.  The King who is to rule forever is Jesus Christ.  After Gabriel informs Mary that she will bear a son to be named Jesus, she is told the following in Luke 1:32-33:

He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.  And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

Notice that the proper Biblical concept of the Kingdom is that it necessarily includes Jesus reigning from David’s throne.  In fact, David being referred to as Jesus’ father is especially telling.  Son of David was a popular title for Messiah and Jesus is referred to as such on numerous occasions (e.g. Matt. 1:1).  Many people gladly called Jesus the Son of David out of recognition that He was the Messiah (e.g. Matt. 15:22; 20:30; Mark 10:47).  When the Pharisees heard Jesus being honored with this title they became indignant (Matt. 21:15). What they all understood was that the title Son of David referred to the one who would establish David’s throne forever (2 Sam. 7:16).  Indeed, Jesus Himself identifies this title as describing the Messiah (Mark 12:35-37).

All true Christians by definition admit that Jesus is the Messiah in reference to Him being God and Savior (Rom. 10:9).  Surely then other definitions regarding the Messiah’s nature should also be accepted.  Jesus is the Son of David and therefore must fulfill the prophecies that are inherent to that title.  Messiah the Lamb fulfilled the prophecies regarding the first coming and Messiah the Lion will fulfill the prophecies regarding the Second Coming.  Jesus will literally reign on David’s throne in Jerusalem during the Millennium and will continue to do so forevermore in the Eternal State.

 

[1] The horn (Ps. 132:17; Ezek. 29:21; Luke 1:69) or its synonym the branch (Jer. 23:5; 33:15; Zech. 3:8; 6:12) are kingly messianic titles.

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