When David wanted to build a house for the ark, which was housed in tents in those days, God gave a vision to Nathan the prophet, that he should tell David that he should not build the temple in Jerusalem, but instead, God promised to build him a house, and that "thy throne shall be established for ever." [2 Samuel 7:16] God said he would build up David's house, and establish his throne forever. It was the promise of a Messiah, and of a king whose throne would endure forever.
This is the promise that Psalm 89 describes.
I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations. For I have said, Mercy shall be built up for ever: thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens. I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant, Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations. Selah.
This promise was connected with the continuity of the sun's rising
and setting. What
is more certain than the sun rising in the morning?
My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David. His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me. It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven. Selah.
Although during the days of Solomon the kingdom of Israel
flourished, it was split
into two kingdoms when Solomon died. The line of David continued to
rule over the tribe
of Judah at Jerusalem for several centuries, and the throne of David
ceased to exist
during the Babylonian captivity. One of the last kings of David's line
2 Kings 25:7
And they slew the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him with fetters of brass, and carried him to Babylon.
During the captivity in Babylon, the Gentile king Nebuchadnezzar had
a dream from God.
He saw a great image, with head of gold, breast and arms of silver,
belly and thighs of
brass, legs of iron, and feet part iron and part clay, that was struck
on the feet by a
stone cut without hands, and the image became like chaff that was
carried away in the
wind, while the stone became a mountain that filled the entire earth.
The prophet Daniel
interpreted the dream. He explained that the stone that became a
mountain was a kingdom
that God would set up, that would last forever.
And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.
No kingdom was established in Jerusalem when the exiles returned after the captivity. But the prophets encouraged the people to build the temple of God, and foretold the future redemption of Israel.
Jesus was born a king, of the royal line of David. When he was born, the wise men, the Magi from the east, brought gifts, acknowledging he was a king. And the news made Herod afraid, so he had all the children under 2 years old in the area of Bethlehem murdered.
Jesus was the promised Messiah from the line of David, and his
message, the gospel,
was about the kingdom of God. It was this message that the prophet
Isaiah referred to as
a "great light:"
The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
They crowned Jesus with a crown of thorns, fastened a label to the cross that declared him to be "the king of the Jews" when he was crucified.
When Jesus was raised from the grave, he obtained immortality, and a
The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.
The author of Hebrews explained that this prophecy refers to Christ,
who when he was
raised from the grave, ascended to heaven, and sat down on the right
hand of God.
But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.
His throne is called the throne of David, as it is an everlasting
throne, and he is
reigns in the holy city, which he called "the city of the great King" [Matthew 5:35],
which is the city
of the saints. It is this city of "many mansions" that he is preparing
now [John 14:3],
and all things work out
for this purpose. Paul explained,
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
The New Testament writers make it plain that the prophecies about
the "throne of
David" refer to Christ ruling his saints, those who believe the gospel.
The apostle Peter
said to the Jews,
Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and 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 seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
Peter applied this prophecy about the throne of David to the resurrection of Jesus from the grave. Since he was of David's line and was born a king, Jesus is king on David's throne. That is why the wise men gave him gifts at his birth, and called him a king. [Matthew 2:2]
God rules the entire universe, including the heathen, those who are
Church. Jesus said that God's throne is heaven, and earth his
Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.
Jesus reigns as king over the "Jerusalem that is above", which
includes all of his
saints, and the prophets, and the apostles. It is this heavenly
Jerusalem, the city of
the living God, which is the Church, that has Christ as king. The
author of Hebrews says:
But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. See that ye refuse not him that speaketh.
But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ... And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
Jesus said, "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth." [Matthew 28:18]
So Jesus not only
rules those in the Church, but all nations, including the Jews, whether
they know it or
not! That is why Peter said believers should submit to those who rule
Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evil doers, and for the praise of them that do well.
Paul even called the civil authorities of the world "ministers of
God" twice in the
following 3 verses:
For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
When the apostles and elders came together at Jerusalem to discuss
the application of
the Jewish laws to the Gentiles who believed, James said:
Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.
Jesus is the king of the house of David, which James identified with the Church.
The "Jews" of his kingdom are those who are Jews inwardly, whose
circumcision is of
the heart, not of the flesh. Paul said:
But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
Jesus rules until all his enemies are subdued. Paul said "God our
Saviour ... will
have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth."
2:4] Paul showed
Christ will rule in heaven until all things are made subject to him. He
For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
Paul said: "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death." [1 Corinthians 15:26] When death is destroyed, who will remain dead?
In Revelation 12:1, John describes a great sign that appeared in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet. In this chapter, sun, moon, heaven, earth, and the stars are all symbolic. For their interpretation, we can refer to other scriptures. The heaven is God's throne; the woman is in heaven, and she represents those who are in Christ.
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
The woman is "clothed with the sun" because the sun represents the gospel, which is the "great light" that Jesus brought to those who "dwell in the land of the shadow of death", or in other words, all humanity. The sun's continuity pictures God's faithfulness, although other prophecies say the sun turns to blackness, which pictures the truth and light of the gospel being obscured and darkened by false teachings.
The earth in this prophecy represents the world, as the earth is associated with God's footstool, and his enemies. The stars which fall from heaven to the earth [vs. 4] are saints who return to the world, drawn by the tail of the dragon.
I suggest the moon at the woman's feet represents the Israel of old,
the people of the
scriptures who received the promises, and whose story is a reflection,
or type, of the
gospel, which was written for the benefit of the Church, which is the
holy city of the
saints. Paul said:
Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
Christ said to the Church at Philadelphia:
And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.
What is the key of David? This is quoted from Isaiah 22:22.
It is the key to
David's house, and shows that Jesus has authority. He is the promised
king of the line of
David. The Church is the "tabernacle of David" that Jesus is building.
It is built upon
the rock which was the declaration of Peter:
Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
Copyright © 2010, 2011, 2013 by Douglas E. Cox
All Rights Reserved.