PD In Depth
Kingdom Hope in the OT
Kingdom Hope in Psalms
Kingdom Hope in Gospels
Kingdom Hope in Parables
The Abrahamic Covenant
Heaven Destiny Origin
The Mystery Revealed
Paul & the Mystery
Church in the OT - I
Church in the OT - II
Church in the OT - III
Kingdom Hope in Hebrews
Daniel's 70 Weeks
Jesus & David's Throne
Intro: Couch vs. Warner
I. Opening - Warner
I. Rebuttal - Couch
I. Response - Warner
I. Closing - Couch
II. Opening - Couch
II. Rebuttal - Warner
II. Response - Couch
II. Closing - Warner
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Doctrinal Studies > Progressive
Copyright © Tim Warner
Some progressive dispensationalists believe the Davidic Covenant is partially fulfilled by Christ's being seated in heaven at the right hand of the Father. Other progressives hold that Christ's being seated on David's throne is exclusively reserved for the Millennium, (as do traditional dispensationalists). The purpose of this article is to show that Jesus is not yet seated on the Davidic throne. This is reserved for the Millennium.
The covenant God made with King David, that from David's seed a righteous King would sit on the Throne of Israel and reign over Israel forever, was specifically applied to Jesus by Gabriel. The question is, When? In Peter's first sermon in Acts 2, he interpreted the Davidic Covenant in such a way that leads some to conclude it is fulfilled now, by Christ's being seated in heaven at the Father's right hand.
However, that is not exactly what Peter said. When we examine this passage in its historical setting, something entirely different appears. Peter's goal in this sermon was NOT to show that that Old Testament prophecies of Messiah's reigning on David's throne were presently fulfilled. Such an idea would flow counter to the Millennial hopes of the Jews to whom he was preaching, and would invoke an immediate negative reaction. They did not even believe at this point that Jesus was any more than an executed criminal. To now imply that He was already reigning in some mystical way in heaven, while the Jews fully expected an earthly reign, would certainly be greeted with scorn.
Rather, Peter intended to establish Jesus' identity as "the Christ" (Messiah - King of Israel) prophesied in the Old Testament who WILL physically reign over Israel as "King of the Jews." He was preaching to a crowd of Jews from the Diaspora who had come to Jerusalem to worship on the feast days. Most of them were not residents of Jerusalem or Israel. They had traveled to Jerusalem from foreign lands where they lived to attend Passover seven weeks earlier, and had either stayed until Pentecost, or had returned. They had heard about all the commotion surrounding the arrest, trial and crucifixion of Jesus. Some of them may even have joined in with the crowds who cried "away with Him, give us Barabas." Yet, they were not privy to His three years of teachings or witnesses of His miracles, although they no doubt heard the rumors of miraculous healings. They had also apparently heard the rumors of His resurrection, which the Temple leadership were trying to squelch.
Peter began his sermon by appealing to Joel 2, the prophecy of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Israel. He claimed that the miracle of speaking in foreign tongues they had just witnessed was the fulfillment of this prophecy. This no doubt got their attention immediately, because it showed that long awaited prophecy was being fulfilled - God was visiting His ancient people. Next, Peter connected the fulfillmet of this prophecy with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Thereby, showing that Jesus was indeed the promised Messiah, whom the Jews expected would accompany the fulfillment of Joel.
Peter then launched into a series of Davidic kingly prophecies from the Psalms to prove that Jesus was the subject of their fulfillment, not David himself.
Notice Peter did NOT say that Jesus presently occupied the throne of David. "knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne." He showed that David was not speaking of himself, but someone from "the fruit of his loins." Then he applied this principle to another Psalm, "He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses." In other words, the prophecy of his soul not being left in hell, or seeing corruption was not referring to David, but to the one prophesied who would sit on David's throne. Peter then said Jesus was presently seated at the right hand of God after being raised from the dead. He quoted another Psalm to prove that such was prophesied of Messiah PRIOR to His reigning on David's throne. "For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Until I make thy foes thy footstool." Notice that being seated on the right hand of the Father is for the purpose of WAITING until His enemies are made his footstool. In short, Peter was saying that Jesus is presently fulfilling prophecy while awaiting His position of King of Israel on David's throne. That this is what Peter meant, is clear from his second sermon.
Clearly, Peter was placing Christ's present place beside the Father as a period of WAITING for the time when the prophecies of the earthly Kingdom will be fulfilled. Other passages support this "waiting period" concept.
Old and New Testament passages clearly connect the assumption of the Throne of David with the full restoration of Israel to their land.
The word "Christ" (Heb. - Messiah) means "anointed one," and is used elsewhere to describe the ones "anointed" as Kings of Israel. Yet, being the "anointed one" does NOT necessarily guarantee assuming the position and duties of KING immediately. David was "anointed" king of Israel by Samuel. Yet, there was a long time of Saul's pursuing David, and David's having to WAIT until his throne was established, by the removal of Saul! I believe the situation is the same with Jesus. He was "anointed" Messiah and King at His first coming, yet He must WAIT until His enemies are made His footstool before assuming His role as "King of Israel." This waiting is accomplished at the Father's right hand. There is one thing that keeps Jesus from fully exercising His place as King of Israel, and that is Israel's repentance and national salvation.
On Palm Sunday, many of the Jews were willing to accept Jesus as their King. But, the nation as a whole rejected Him as King of Israel. The last days of Jesus life speak a great deal to the question of His being the King of Israel promised to sit on David's throne.
Jesus then gave his scathing denouncement of the leadership of Israel. He followed this with this lament.
Jesus implied that His taking His seat as King of Israel as the "Son of David" was being postponed UNTIL Israel repents nationally. Paul says this will occur when the "fullness of the gentiles" come in [Rom. 11]. This in no way diminishes His being the King! It is just that Israel will NOT benefit from His being their King UNTIL they repent. Once national repentance takes place, Jesus will take His seat on the "glorious throne" [Matt. 19:28, Matt. 25:31].
Jesus is King, and His kingdom is present in the remnant of believers. But, the Davidic covenant specifically speaks of a political throne of Messiah. Jesus is the rightful king, just as David was the rightful King after Samuel anointed him. However, he had to await Saul's removal. Likewise, Jesus is now WAITING in heaven for His enemies to be made His footstool. Let's look at John's account of Jesus' trial before Pilate.
The word 'now' implies that Jesus' kingdom at present is not "of this world," but will be in the future. This is clearly what the disciples expected when they asked Jesus about when He might "restore the Kingdom to Israel."
The implication here is that the restoration of Israel's throne will be AFTER the gospel is taken to the nations.
Jesus is now seated with His Father in HIS throne. He is NOT seated on HIS throne. Upon His coming He will sit on HIS OWN throne, the place of King of Israel under the Davidic Covenant.
There is clearly a distinction made here between the present 'throne' Jesus occupies and the future 'throne.' One is said to be His Father's throne, and the other is said to be Jesus' throne.
It is clear then that Jesus' present place at the Father's side is a place of WAITING. And according to Revelation 3:21, Jesus does NOT consider being seated at the Father's side as occupying "HIS THRONE." Likewise, several passages say that He will sit on HIS own throne at His second coming, [Matt. 19:28 & Matt. 25:31].
The term "throne of David" is a synonym for "King of Israel." Other kings of Israel were said to be seated on "David's throne," [I Kings 2:12,24, Jer. 22:2,4, Jer. 36:30].
Based on this, it seems that being "seated on David's throne" strongly implies ruling over Israel in a political sense. In fact, this is exactly what Gabriel promised to Mary - "he will rule over the house of Israel forever, and of His kingdom there shall be no end."
Until Jesus returns, and actually takes his place as "King of Israel," He cannot be considered seated on David's throne in fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant. Granted, it is well established in Scripture that Jesus is that King. And even that He presently rules in the hearts of the faithful remnant. But, His kingdom now is limited to the hearts of the redeemed. As yet it is not a political Kingdom, ruling the earth with Israel as head of the nations.
There is clearly a distinction made here between Jesus' place in heaven now, and His future place as ruling the nations with a rod of iron. His ruling in this manner begins when He returns as "King of kings and Lord of lords."