David's Seed upon David's Throne
David was "the ideal king of Israel, the standard and model" by which all her succeeding monarchs were measured. In selecting him to be king, the Lord said: "I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after my heart, who shall do all my will" (Acts 13:22). David ascended to the throne when he "was thirty years old ... and he reigned forty years" (2 Sam. 5:4). "He died in a good old age, full of days, riches, and honor: and Solomon his son reigned in his stead" (1 Chron. 29:28). Contrasting Solomon's reign with David's, God said: "Solomon (lid that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah, and went not fully after Jehovah, as did David his father" (I Kings 11:6). Following the death of Solomon, Rehoboam his son became king. He inherited from his father a kingdom ,which was rife with discontent. A rebellion soon broke out with the result that ten tribes severed themselves from Rehoboam leaving only the tribes of Judah and Benjamin loyal to him. These two tribes became known as the "Kingdom of Judah" over which David's descendants. reigned for nearly five-hundred years. But his dynasty ended with Zedekiah who was deposed by Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon and carried into captivity. This ended the political and national rule of the seed of David.
But God had made certain promises to David, through the Holy Spirit, which reached much farther into the future. 1,et us note some of them here. Through Nathan the prophet. He said: "Thy house and thy kingdom shall be made sure forever before thee: thy throne shall be established forever" (2 Sam. 7: 16). The psalmist spake similarly in these words: "I have sworn unto David my servant: Thy seed will I establish forever, and build up thy throne to all generations" (Ps. 89:3,4). Again: "My covenant will I not break, . . . I will not lie unto David: His seed shall endure forever, and his throne as the sun before me" (Ps. 89:35,36).
Turning to the book of Isaiah we read a most outstanding prophecy of the forthcoming Messiah: "Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, , Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to establish it with justice and with righteousness from henceforth even for ever" (Isa 9: 6,7).
That this prophecy was fulfilled in Jesus Christ, there can be no reasonable doubt, when we consider the message of the angel Gabriel when he appeared to Mary. He said, "Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God., And behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no, end" (Lk. 1:30-33).
That Jesus Christ is the promised seed of David is taught in several passages of the New Testament. Paul makes this quite clear in Acts 13:123, where he said: "Of this man's (David's) seed hath God according to promise brought unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus." Again, to the church at Rome: "His Son, . . . . was born of the seed of David according to the flesh" (Rom. 1:3). To quote further on this point would be needless.
We now come to certain points of controversy concerning our subject. While most agree that Jesus Christ is the promised seed of David and that He is the heir of David's throne, they do not agree as to when God's promise was fulfilled nor about the nature of Christ's kingdom. Involved in this controversy are the following questions: (1) Is Christ sitting upon David's throne now? (2) Is His kingdom of which "there shall be no end" in existence now? (3) Is His kingdom political or moral. temporal or spiritual? We believe that all of these questions are satisfactorily answered by studying a few passages from the New Testament.
That Jesus Christ is a king now with universal authority invested in Him is set forth in the following words which were spoken by Him after His resurrection: "All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth" (Matt. 28:18). This is authority without limit. Surely He could have no more than this. The Apostle Paul, speaking in this vein declares: "He (God) raised him (Christ) from the dead, and made him to sit at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule, and authority, and power, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: and he put all things in subjection under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all" (Eph. 1:20-23).
No proposition could be more effectively emphasized than is the kingship and authority of Jesus emphasized by Paul here. And, those who contend for a future kingdom in which Jesus will have greater authority than he now has should ponder this passage well. And furthermore, while thinking about it please note that Paul speaks throughout it in the past tense. He is now at God's right hand; He is now reigning over the church -- the kingdom of God.
Is the throne upon which Jesus is now reigning the throne of David? Let us see. Turning to the second chapter of Acts we hear Peter as he preaches to the people under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. He declares that the resurrection of Jesus was in fulfilment of a prophecy made by David in the 6th Psalm. He says that David, being a prophet, "and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins he would set one upon his throne; he foreseeing this spake of the resurrection of the Christ. . . . Being therefore by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he hath poured forth this, which ye see and bear" (Acts 2:30-33).
Surely language cannot be plainer! God's promise to David that he would give him an heir to sit upon his throne was fulfilled when Jesus arose from the dead, ascended into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God. We cannot see how anything but speculative theories and preconceived notions could blind one to this simple truth.
Neither does Jesus have another kingdom to be assumed in the future. The authority which He now has and the throne upon which He now sits, He will retain to the consummation of all things -- till His enemies become "the footstool of His feet" (Acts 2:35). "The last enemy that shall be abolished is death" (1 Cor. 15:26). Death will be defeated and annihilated at the resurrection, including the just and the unjust,-"when this corruptible will have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality" (1 Cor. 15:53).
As Jesus was the focal-point of every Messianic type and prophecy of the Old Testament, He is the promised seed of David and is now reigning upon David's throne at the right hand of God. His authority reaches to all nations, kindreds and tongues. His reign will never cease till His last enemy is fallen. "Then cometh the end, when be shall deliver up the kingdom to God, even the Father" (1 Cor. 15:24). When these things will take place we do not know. But one thing is needful for us-that we surrender now to the "King of kings" and spend our lives in subjection to Him. There will be no future kingdom-there will be no second chance.
Truth Magazine I:5, pp. 4-5, 19