The Throne of David
There are those who say that David will literally be raised to sit again on his
literal throne. If so, then Jesus and David with both be literally sitting on
the SAME literal throne. Speaking of Jesus the Messiah, Isaiah wrote:
7 Of the increase of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David's throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this. NIV
You will notice that it will not be temporary, like the 1,000 years some erroneously
mix into an "end-time" scheme. When Jesus takes David's throne, it will
be forever, and the kingdom will be forever. Now, if Jesus took that throne and
kingdom in the first century, and He did, then there is not a plan to set it up
in the future for 1,000 years. It is now set up, as we will show, and the only
program left it to "deliver it up to the Father" when Jesus comes (1
Cor.15:22ff). If you don't see it and enter it now, you will miss it forever.
Is Jesus NOW Sitting on David's Throne?
Zechariah told of the king also being a priest on his throne. At whatever time
Jesus was priest, he was also king on His throne. If Jesus is priest now, then
He is also king now.
12 Tell him this is what the Lord Almighty says: 'Here is the man whose name is
the Branch, and he will branch out from his place and build the temple of the
Lord. 13 It is he who will build the temple of the Lord, and he will be clothed
with majesty and will sit and rule on his throne. And he will be a priest on his
throne. And there will be harmony between the two.' 14 The crown will be given
to Heldai, Tobijah, Jedaiah and Hen son of Zephaniah as a memorial in the temple
of the Lord. 15 Those who are far away will come and help to build the temple
of the Lord, and you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you. This
will happen if you diligently obey the Lord your God."
Jesus is "the Branch" that comes from the stem of Jesse (Isaiah 11:1).
Jesus also has built the temple of the Lord (Matt.16:18; Eph.2:19). Jesus is now
sitting and ruling on his throne. Jesus is now priest (Hebrews 7-8) on His throne.
Therefore, Jesus is ruling on his throne in His temple. Paul said it was a spiritual
temple (Eph.2:19f). Peter agreed that it was/ is a "spiritual house",
a holy temple (1 Pet.2:5-10). Jesus agreed that his kingdom was not of this world
Just before Jesus' birth it was announced:
32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God
will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house
of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end." NIV
Christ's reign in His kingdom was "at hand" during his personal ministry
(Mark 1:14-15). That kingdom would come with power during the life of some standing
there (9:1), and people had been translated into it when Paul wrote Colossians
1:13. So, the kingdom came with power on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2).
On Pentecost after Jesus' death and resurrection and ascension to heaven it was
announced that Jesus is "now both Lord and Christ (Messiah)". Acts 2:36
Peter explained by Spirit guidance that David was a prophet and spoke of JESUS,
not himself, being raised, and raised to sit on the throne.
29 "Brothers, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and
was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. 30 But he was a prophet and knew
that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on
his throne. 31 Seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ,
that he was not abandoned to the grave, nor did his body see decay. 32 God has
raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact. 33 Exalted to
the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit
and has poured out what you now see and hear. 34 For David did not ascend to heaven,
and yet he said,
"'The Lord said to my Lord:
"Sit at my right hand
35 until I make your enemies
a footstool for your feet." ' NIV
The quotation Peter refers to is David's Psalm (110). Peter makes the argument
that Jesus, not David, is the one who is exalted to sit on the right hand of God.
But, the same Psalm declares Him to be a "priest forever". Hebrew 5-7
shows that Jesus is now that priest forever on His throne. But, at the same time
that Jesus would be a priest on his throne, he would be sitting on David's throne
and ruling. It is without controversy that Jesus is NOW priest and king on His
throne. Therefore, the temple and kingdom are now in place.
Thus, Jesus is king NOW and Jesus is sitting on the throne NOW and Jesus is priest
on His throne NOW. To this the Hebrews writer adds:
8 But about the Son he says,
"Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever,
and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom.
9 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions
by anointing you with the oil of joy." NIV
The prophesy of Isaiah and Zechariah is fulfilled.
8 The point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who
sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, 2 and who serves
in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by man. NIV
2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for
the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at
the right hand of the throne of God. NIV
Right now we can "fix our eyes on Jesus" and we can presently see Jesus
sitting on His throne. We can presently see the temple Jesus built, and we can
see the kingdom Jesus is ruling over at the present time. The "eyes of our
understanding being enlightened"(Eph.1:18) we can see the "exceeding
greatness of His power toward us who believe"(Eph.1:19). We can presently
see Him as "far above all principality and power and might and dominion,
and every name that is named"(21). We presently see Him as "head over
all things to the church (the assembly)"(21-22).
Now, the throne of David was a position, not a literal chair, and it was a position
through which God could rule the people. Jesus, the Son of David (Matt.1:1), is
now sitting on the throne of David, the position of rule in behalf of God the
Father over His people. This is like the Pharisees were "sitting in Moses'
seat"(Matt.23:3). Moses did not have a literal seat that they sat in, but
he occupied a position and the Pharisees stepped into that position of leadership.
So, they were "sitting in Moses' seat". Likewise, Jesus is sitting on
the throne of David, a position of rule in behalf of God. That position comes
from the right hand of God in heaven.
Jesus is now sitting on the only throne that had been prophesied. He is now both
Lord and Christ.
13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and
on the sea, and all that is in them, singing:
"To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be praise and honor and glory and power,
for ever and ever!" NIV
The only program left is for the final conquering of the last enemy, death. The
reign of Christ is going on now, the kingdom is now in operation. Jesus will reign
till the last enemy is destroyed. That will happen at Jesus' coming.
1 Cor 15:20-28
20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those
who have fallen asleep. 21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection
of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.
23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who
are Christ's at His coming. 24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom
to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power.
25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy
that will be destroyed is death. 27 For "He has put all things under His
feet." But when He says "all things are put under Him," it is evident
that He who put all things under Him is excepted. 28 Now when all things are made
subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things
under Him, that God may be all in all. NKJV
The coming of the Lord will be the end of earth-life and of physical and spiritual
death. The kingdom now in operation under the rule of Christ will not be set up,
but "delivered up". Those who are in the kingdom now will be taken back
to the Father with Jesus. There is no program for setting up an earthly kingdom.
The nature of this kingdom is spiritual and only those who are "born of the
Spirit" can now see it and enter it (John 3:1-5). Jesus told Nicodemus that
unless he was born again he would not see it. Nicodemus was like many other Jews
who were looking for an earthly king and kingdom and because of such blindness
would not see or enter the kingdom of God. On Pentecost (Acts 2) Peter opened
3,000 Jew's eyes with the truth of the gospel, and they saw Jesus in a different
light. They saw Jesus as "now both LORD and CHRIST (Messiah)". They
were born of the water and the Spirit and entered that great spiritual kingdom
that very day.(Acts 2:37-41,47).
Those 3,000 were a small remnant of Israelites who had their eyes opened and saw
the kingdom and entered it. Thousands more were added, and so all true Israelites
will be saved in the same manner. Those who are only Israelites in the flesh but
not children of faithful Abraham in faith, will not see it or enter it.
In Acts 13:34 Paul argued that the "sure mercies of David" were fulfilled
Adam Clarke says:
...which sure mercies of David Paul considers as being fulfilled in the resurrection
of Christ. From this application of the words, it is evident that the apostle
considered the word David as signifying the Messiah; and then the sure or faithful
mercies, being such as relate to the new covenant, and the various blessings promised
in it, are evidently those which are sealed and confirmed to mankind by the resurrection
of Christ; and it is in this way that the apostle applies them. Had there not
been the fullest proof of the resurrection of Christ, not one of the promises
of the new covenant could have been considered as sure or faithful. If he did
not rise from the dead, then, as said the apostle, your faith and our preaching
are vain, 1 Cor 15:14.
(from Adam Clarke's Commentary)
Now, since Jesus is now on David's throne and the sure mercies of David have been
realized in Jesus Christ, there is not another program for literal David. But,
let us consider the scriptures that are often appealed to. One writer wrote this
Quote: "David being brought back
as co-regent under Christ since reading these verses: Ezekial
34:20-24, Ezekial 37:25-28 and Jeremiah 30:8-10.
Yes. He will be co-Regent with Jesus Christ upon the "Throne of
David". He will Rule over Millennial Israel. Christ, of course, will
Rule and Reign over the entire world." -Unquote.
So, let us look at each of these verses and see if they imply a co-regency of
Jesus and literal David. As we have already observed, Jesus is NOW reigning over
all the world and the last enemy will be death. Jesus must reign until he conquers
death, and at that point all will be raised from the dead, the kingdom taken back
with Him to the Father, and that will be the end. The devil and those deceived
by Him will be cast into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
So, what are the above verse talking about? Let us examine them one by one.
"My Servant David" is either literal David implied to have been raised
from the dead, or, it is the anti-type of David, Jesus Christ. Jesus claimed to
be "the Good Shepherd"(John 10:11,14). So, Jesus is the David. He is
the Son of David, and He is the Greater antitype of David. Therefore, Ezekiel
is speaking of Jesus, not a literal resurrected David. Jesus is also the one Who
established the "covenant of peace" (Eph.2:11-21).
Now, if we must take every thing literally, then the "sheep" have to
be literal sheep, not figurative sheep. Secondly, the "wild beasts that cease
from the land" will have to be literal wild beasts and not the kind of beasts
that Paul fought at Ephesus (1 Cor.15:32). Further, we have to have literal sheep
dwelling in the literal wilderness and sleeping in the literal woods. No, this
is simply a figure of speech, and the sheep represent God's PEOPLE, not literal
sheep, and the beasts represent those who seek to destroy God's people, and the
"David" is the antitype of David, Jesus Christ.
Albert Barnes comments:
[My servant David] David was a fit type of the True King because he was a true
and faithful servant of Yahweh. That which David was partially and imperfectly,
Christ is in full perfection (compare Matt 12:18; John 5:30; Heb 10:7.)
(from Barnes' Notes)
Once again, this passage is speaking of Jesus the antitype of David. Notice that
He will be "prince forever". This is not a temporary resurrection of
literal David to reign over an unbelieving people. They won't be defiled and they
will be a cleansed-by-God people. (v.23). It seems that Terry James thinks literal
David will reign over a "Tribulation temple" of unbelievers. No, David
will reign over a cleansed and accepted people who have a covenant of peace with
God. Terry James cannot have it both ways. He speaks of two temples, one over
which Jesus rules the world, and one over which literal David rules, but Ezekiel
does not allow this viewpoint. Terry James has David reigning over a rejected
"Tribulation temple", but Ezekiel has David (typifying Jesus) reigning
over cleansed and repentant people with whom he made a covenant of peace.
When one tries to be literal on everything and force a passage into a literal
meaning he will get into trouble. When one recognizes that the writer or prophet
"spoke in times past IN DIFFERENT WAYS" (Heb.1:1) and not always in
a literal way, he will learn how to discern a figurative intent from a literal
intent. For example John the Baptist was "Elijah", but that was not
literally so. Also, it was prophesied of John that his work would level mountains
and fill valleys. Yet, John did not literally work as an earth mover and road
worker (Luke 3:3-6; Matt.3:2 and notice the Old Testament prophesies that were
quoted and applied to John). So, we can see that a prophecy does not have to be
literally fulfilled in order to ACTUALLY be fulfilled. John can actually fulfill
those prophesies without literally leveling mountains and literally filling valleys.
Isaiah said that Christ would be a "root", a "shoot" and a
"stock" of Jesse. But, was He a literal "root"? No. So, a
prophecy does not have to be literal and literally fulfilled in order for it to
be "actually" fulfilled. Figures of speech are common in prophecy. It
can have an "actual" meaning without it having to be a "literal"
Peter said "Let all the house of Israel KNOW ASSUREDLY that God HAS MADE
this Jesus whom you crucified both LORD and CHRIST (anointed messiah or KING)"
(Acts 2:36). It is not the case that he WILL BE MADE Lord and Christ in the future.
He HAS BEEN MADE Lord and Christ and all Israel needs to know that assuredly.
Whether or not they are willing to know that is immaterial. It is still a fact
that they need to assuredly recognize NOW.
Jesus is the "David" of typological prophecy. Jesus is now on the throne
of David. He has established a covenant of peace with the believing people of
God. Jeremiah had described Jesus in these words:
5 "The days are coming," declares the Lord,
"when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch,
a King who will reign wisely
and do what is just and right in the land.
6 In his days Judah will be saved
and Israel will live in safety.
This is the name by which he will be called:
The Lord Our Righteousness. NIV
Notice that Jesus was to be raised up "to David". That is, to the position
David had occupied. Thus, Jeremiah is speaking of Jesus as that Branch. He is
now both Lord and Christ. He IS the David that was raised up to David's honorable
name and position.
But they shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise
up unto them.
[But they shall serve the Lord their God, and David their King] This must refer
to the times of the Messiah; and hence the Chaldee has: "They shall obey
the Lord their God,
wyishta me°uwn limshiychah bar Dawid
, and they shall obey the Messiah, the Son of David." This is a very remarkable
version; and shows that it was a version, not according to the letter, but according
to their doctrine and their expectation. David was long since dead; and none of
his descendants ever reigned over them after the Babylonian captivity, nor have
they since been a regal nation. Zerubbabel, under the Persians, and the Asmoneans,
can be no exception to this. They have been no nation since; they are no nation
now; and it is only in the latter days that they can expect to be a nation, and
that must be a Christian nation.
Christ is promised under the name of his progenitor, David, Isa 55:3-4; Ezek 34:23-24;
37:24-25; Hos 3:5.
(from Adam Clarke's Commentary).
The Son of David, Messiah, must therefore be meant; so the Targum (cf. Isa 55:3-4;
Ezek 34:23-24; 37:24; Hos 3:5; Rom 11:25-32). He was appointed to the throne
of David (Isa 9:9; Luke 1:32). He is here joined with Yahweh as claiming equal
allegiance. God is our "King" only when we are subject to Christ;
God rules us not immediately, but through His Son (John 5:22-23,27).
Whom I will raise up - applied to the judges whom God raised up as deliverers
of Israel out of the hand of its oppressors (Judg 2:16; 3:9). So Christ was
raised up as the antitypical Deliverer (Ps 2:6; Luke 1:69; Acts 2:30; 13:23).
(from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary)
Now, to help us see how the Holy Spirit had the early Christians to understand
David and his tabernacle, all we have to do is look at the discussion in Acts
15:13-19. The discussion is about Gentile inclusion in the church without being
circumcised. James presents evidence that Gentiles were to be included when
the tabernacle of David was rebuilt. Listen in:
13 And after they had become silent, James answered, saying, "Men and brethren,
listen to me: 14 Simon has declared how God at the first visited the Gentiles
to take out of them a people for His name. 15 And with this the words of the
prophets agree, just as it is written:
16 'After! this I will return
And will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down;
I will rebuild its ruins,
And I will set it up;
17 So that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord,
Even all the Gentiles who are called by My name,
Says the Lord who does all these things.'
18 "Known to God from eternity are all His works. 19 Therefore I judge
that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to
This destroys Premillenial theory. If the tabernacle of David has not been rebuilt,
then Gentiles cannot now be included in salvation. Why? Because AFTER the Lord
returns, rebuilds the tabernacle of David, it would be done SO THAT "the
rest of mankind may seek the Lord, even the Gentiles". But, if the Gentiles
were turning to God (v.19) then they were doing so because the tabernacle of
David had been rebuilt. So, was the tabernacle of David rebuilt? Yes! Jesus,
the Son of David, and the antitype of David rebuilt the tabernacle of David.
It was/is a spiritual tabernacle (Heb.3:6; 9:11). Because it has been rebuilt
the Gentiles may now seek the Lord and turn to God and have salvation in David
(the type that is fulfilled in JESUS).
If the tabernacle of David has not been rebuilt, then Gentiles may not now seek
the Lord, and James had no valid point in Acts 15. So, all the Davidic prophesies
are completely fulfilled in Jesus Christ. There is no future program except
to put down the final enemy, death, and return the kingdom to the Father (1
Cor.15:22ff). That will be the final end for the program involving life on this
earth. You should be able to see with the eyes of your understanding the temple,
tabernacle, and kingdom are all spiritual, and all that they represented are
fulfilled in and by Jesus Christ, and that Jesus is now the King over his kingdom,
the builder of the temple, the builder of the tabernacle of David, the perfect
David, sitting on the perfect throne of David and inviting you into His great
Terry W. Benton
Return to the General
Home / Bible
studies / Bible Survey / Special Studies / General
Articles / Non-Bible Articles /
Sermons / Sermon
Outlines / Links / Questions and Answers / What Saith
The Scriptures /Daily Devotional / Correspondence
Courses / What is the Church of Christ /
Book: Christian Growth / Website Policy / E-mail / About Me