When and Where Does Christ Sit
Upon the Throne of David?
"What Saith the Scriptures?" (Romans 4:3)
Please note: Progressive Dispensationalists teach that when Christ ascended to the right hand of God, He sat down on the throne of David. Thus they teach that 1) Christ is now sitting on David's throne, the David kingdom having been already inaugurated; 2) David's throne is now located in the third heaven. For a full discussion of Progressive Dispensationalism Click Here. Let us now search the Scriptures to see what God says about David's throne, where it is located and when the Messiah will sit on it.
1) "The LORD hath sworn in truth unto DAVID; he will not turn from it; Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon THY (DAVID'S) THRONE. If thy children will keep My covenant and My testimony that I shall teach them, their children shall also sit upon THY THRONE for evermore" (Psalm 132:11-12).
The passage above speaks of David's throne. Where will David's throne be located?
"For the LORD hath chosen Zion; He hath desired it for His habitation....There will I make the HORN OF DAVID to bud: I have ordained a lamp for Mine anointed (Psalm 132:13,17).
David's throne will be located in Zion (Jerusalem), not in the third heaven. It is there in Zion that God will cause the horn of David to spring up.
2) "Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the THRONE OF DAVID, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this" (Isaiah 9:7).
What will conditions be like when the Messiah sits on the throne of David? At that time the earth's government will be upon His shoulders (Isaiah 9:6) and the earth will enjoy peace as the Prince of Peace sits upon David's throne. Such conditions are certainly not found during this present church age.
3) "Then shall there enter into the gates of this city kings and princes sitting upon the THRONE OF DAVID, riding in chariots and on horses, they, and their princes, the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of JERUSALEM: and this city shall remain for ever" (Jeremiah 17:25).
The only way to get to David's throne is by way of the gates of the city of Jerusalem (see also verses 19-24).
4) "And say, Hear the word of the LORD, O king of Judah, that sittest upon the THRONE OF DAVID, thou, and thy servants, and thy people that enter in by these gates: For if ye do this thing indeed, then shall there enter in by the gates of this house kings sitting upon the THRONE OF DAVID, riding in chariots and on horses, he, and his servants, and his people" (Jeremiah 22:2,4).
"Thus saith the LORD, Write ye this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, SITTING UPON THE THRONE OF DAVID, and ruling any more in Judah" (Jeremiah 22:30).
David's throne is in Jerusalem of Judah, on earth, not in heaven.
5) "Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto DAVID a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice IN THE EARTH. In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is His Name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS" (Jeremiah 23:5-6).
When will the Messiah be upon David's throne? This will take place when Messiah the King reigns and executes justice IN THE EARTH. At this time Israel will dwell safely. This can only mean that Christ will sit on David's throne during His millennial reign and not before.
6) "In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up UNTO DAVID; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness IN THE LAND" (Jeremiah 33:15).
"In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness" (Jeremiah 33:16).
The TIME when the Messiah will assume the throne of David is here pinpointed, as well as the PLACE. The TIME: the millennial reign of Christ when righteousness will characterize the earth and when peace and safety will characterize Jerusalem. The PLACE: "in the land," that is ON THE EARTH, in the city of Jerusalem.
7) "Neither shall the priests the Levites want a man before Me to offer burnt offerings, and to kindle meat offerings, and to do sacrifice continually....Then may also My covenant be broken with DAVID My servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon HIS THRONE; and WITH THE LEVITES the priests, My ministers (Jeremiah 33:18,21).
The throne of David is here associated with Levitical priests. Christ cannot be upon the throne of David apart from an association with Levitical priests. During this present age there are no functioning Levitical priests. During the millennium Levitical/Zadokian priests will be associated with Christ and serving in the millennial temple (Ezekiel 40:46; 43:19; 44:15; 48:11).
8) "And DAVID My servant shall be KING over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in My judgments, and observe My statutes, and do them. And they shall dwell IN THE LAND that I have given unto Jacob My servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children's children for ever: and My servant DAVID shall be their PRINCE for ever" (Ezekiel 37:24-25).
The resurrected David, who is called both KING and PRINCE, will be directly involved in the millennial government, serving under Christ: "Directly under Christ, having authority over all Israel, will be the resurrected David, who is given both titles of king and prince. He will be king because he will rule over Israel, but he will be a prince in that he will be under the authority of Christ" (Arnold Fruchtenbaum, The Footprints of the Messiah, page 282). See Jeremiah 30:9; Ezekiel 34:23-24 and Hosea 3:5.
These passages are often explained in a non-literal way as referring not to David himself, but to David's greater Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, though the literal interpretation is to be preferred. But regardless of this, during this present church age we are never told that David is reigning as King or as Prince. David the future king/prince is only mentioned in a millennial, earthly, Jewish context.
9) "For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim: Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and DAVID their king; and shall fear the LORD and His goodness in the latter days" (Hosea 3:4-5).
Today Israel is without a king and Christ is not ruling on the throne of David. In the future Israel will return and seek the Lord. At that time they will not be without a King. Their King will be on David's throne in Jerusalem.
10) "In that day will I raise up the TABERNACLE OF DAVID that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old: That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by My Name, saith the LORD that doeth this. Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt. And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God" (Amos 9:11-15).
The raising up of the fallen booth of David is associated with the restoration of Israel (v.14) when God will "plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land" (v.15). This implies that prior to the millennium the tabernacle of David was in a fallen condition. Christ, therefore, did not restore the throne and tabernacle of David when He sat down at the right hand of the Father. The tabernacle of David has not yet been restored, but it will be in the future when Christ assumes His millennial throne.
11) "He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of his father David: and He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end" (Luke 1:32-33).
Notice that His sitting on the throne of David is clearly linked with His reign over the house of Jacob (Israel). Today Christ is Head over the Church which is His body. It is not until the future millennium that Christ will rule over the house of Jacob. It is then that the kingdom will be restored again to Israel.
12) "When they therefore were come together, they asked of Him, saying, Lord, wilt Thou at this time RESTORE AGAIN THE KINGDOM TO ISRAEL? And He said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in His own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth" (Acts 1:6-8).
Please observe what the Lord did not say. He did not say this: "In not many days I will sit down on David's throne and the kingdom will be re-established!" No, the kingdom would be restored to Israel, but not yet. God's new program, the church, was about to begin. When God restores the kingdom to Israel, Jerusalem will be the CENTER POINT. In God's new program, the church, Jersalem is merely the STARTING POINT as Christ's witnesses go forth to the uttermost part of the earth.
13) "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. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, He hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. 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. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:29-36).
This passage is used by Progressive Dispensationalists in their attempt to prove that Christ sat down on the throne of David when He sat at the right hand of God. However, the passage does not say that Christ is now seated upon the throne of David. It does say (v.30) that God raised up Christ to sit on David's throne. It is obvious that the resurrection was a prerequisite for Christ to sit on David's throne. How could a dead Messiah sit on David's throne? Compare John 12:32-34 where the Jews were perplexed by the problem of how a dead Messiah could reign forever and ever.
The kingdom promised to David does not begin with Christ's exaltation and session in heaven. It begins with Christ's return to earth. This is made clear in Acts 2:34-35. The key word is "UNTIL." Christ will not return to earth and will not sit upon David's throne until His enemies are made His footstool.
14) "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And He shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive UNTIL the times of restitution [restoration] of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began" (Acts 3:19-21).
In the early chapters of the book of Acts the nation Israel was given opportunity to REPENT. Had they repented, the Lord Jesus would have left His heavenly throne and would have come to His earthly throne, thus restoring the kingdom to Israel. Notice again our key word, "UNTIL." Christ sits at the right hand of the Father and heaven receives Him UNTIL the right time comes to SEND JESUS back to the earth. It is only then that the restitution/restoration of all things will take place and the kingdom will be restored to Israel. It is then and only then that Christ will sit on the throne of David, on earth, in Jerusalem.
For a fascinating study of God's offer of the kingdom to the Jews in the book of Acts, see The Strategic Grasp of the Bible by J. Sidlow Baxter (Zondervan).
15) "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" (Acts 15:14-17).
This passage so very clearly sets forth God's time schedule as it relates to His present program (the Church which is His body) and His future program (the kingdom as promised to Israel). First we have God's present program which involves God visiting the nations (the Gentiles), taking out of them a people for His Name. The Church is God's called-out assembly, made up of saved Jews and saved Gentiles united together in one body, sharing a common LIFE and LORD. "AFTER THIS" (after God's "church" program has been completed) Christ will return and the tabernacle of David will be built again and set up. The kingdom will be restored to Israel as Christ sits upon the throne of David, all in fulfillment of the Davidic covenant.