One wonders how Christendom can be so blind as to not appreciate the greatness and importance of God’s promises to David. Christendom, so idolising the birth of our Lord with its Christmas superstitions, has completely concealed from its followers the true scriptural import of the birth of Jesus as a step in the fulfilment of those great promises that Yahweh made to David, his father. Being totally ignorant of these promises and their true meaning they foolishly look for a kingdom in heaven as their future reward. How thankful we are that we have been delivered from such darkness and can live in the hope that very soon now our Lord shall return to “sit on the throne of his father David”.

Lecture 12

The Overall Objective

 To show that the covenant God made with David sets forth the principles upon which God will establish His kingdom upon the earth through the work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Introducing this lecture Brother Roberts wrote: “We have seen that ‘the promises made unto the fathers’ in remote Old Testament times, form the groundwork of the scheme which God is developing through Christ. Of these, orthodox religion takes no cognisance… ”. Our aim is to have a clear perspective of all that these promises entail.

God’s Covenant with David

  • The passage in which we have the details upon which God’s covenant to David is based is recorded in 2 Samuel 7:1–16.
  • The covenant God made with David undoubtedly refers to Christ (Acts 2:30).
  • Jesus Christ is the subject of this everlasting covenant entered into by Yahweh with David (Psalm 132:11; Luke 1:69).
  • The covenant was not totally established in Solomon’s reign, which was doubtless the meridian of Israel’s glory, although aspects of it were fulfilled. David recognised its fulfilment to be yet future, of a morning without clouds, and involving “one whose name should endure for ever”.
  • Another feature relating to the history of Christ in reference to the covenant, which Solomon in no way fulfils, is the chastening with the rod of men in his suffering for iniquity. Note the similarities with Isaiah 53:4,6.
  • There are aspects which Jesus has not yet fulfilled, namely sitting upon David’s ruined throne. Note also Ezekiel 21:25–27.
  • The fulfilment of this promise of a perpetual continuance of David’s throne awaits Jesus’ return (Isaiah 9:6–7; Micah 4:6–7; Acts 3:20–21).
  • David’s perpetual throne will be established in his presence on earth, not in heaven (Acts 2:34)

A House for “My Name”

 The promise to David states that the subject of this promise, Messiah, will “build an house for my name”. This alludes to the Temple to be established (Zech 6:12) where worship will be conducted from year to year (Zech 14:16). For this to occur “the necessity of the case requires that there should exist a machinery of worship adequate to the grandeur of the dispensation, in which Jerusalem is the religious metropolis of the whole world”.

A large section of this lecture provides reasons to believe that the Temple of Ezekiel’s prophecy is indeed the Temple to be established by the Branch (Zech. 6:12). The following evidence is cited to prove the case set out.

  • The Temple rebuilt by the two tribes after the Babylonian captivity was far inferior to that mentioned in Ezekiel and can therefore not provide the fulfilment of the prophet’s words.
  • Ezekiel’s temple is to be contemporary with the division of the land to the twelve tribes, of whom ten remain in dispersion.
  • At the time foreseen by Ezekiel a portion of the land at least forty miles by forty miles is to be set aside for divine purposes as “a holy oblation”. In this tract of land stands the Temple, holy city and the habitation of the priests.
  • Following the recording of the intricate detail of measurements of the Temple, Ezekiel witnessed the entering in of the glory of the God of Israel from the way of the east. This has never occurred in the history of the world since the times of Ezekiel (Ezek 43:2–4).
  • Ezekiel then enters the Temple and is told by Yahweh, that this is “the place of the soles of my feet, where I dwell in the midst of the children of Israel”—an event yet to occur.
  • In the areas to the south of the Temple are allotments for the “sons of Zadok”, for the Levites (for the menial and laborious duties relating to the Temple worship), and then further to the south an area designated for the city. This city is to cover eighty square miles and is to be known by the name Yahweh Shammah.

“These details leave no doubt as to the reality of the temple to be erected when the fallen tabernacle of David is upreared by the son of David. The reason that orthodox interpreters are unable to see this, is that they are ignorant of the kingdom of which the temple and its service form a part.”

Worship in the Kingdom Age

 The re-established kingdom will involve a priestly service with the institution again of the animal sacrifices that were superseded by the death of Christ. The sacrifices of the law of Moses that were prospective in pointing forward to Christ will become retrospective for those living under the law of Christ, and will commemorate that which has been. What, you might say, is the point of reintroducing ritual observances of animal sacrifices when the whole world will know of the glorious administration of power and righteousness. The general populous of humanity in the mortal state will need, just like Israel of old, to be exercised in things spiritual to develop faith. It will be just as necessary for them to have their obedience tested by a constitution of laws which, when broken, require the recognition of the King’s righteousness and their own unrighteousness. What better way than for them to be obedient to laws and offerings which are “unreasonable enough to have no hold over the mind, except such as arises from a recognition of divine authority; while at the same time their intellects will be enlightened by the lessons taught by the allegory”.

It will be the peculiar honour of Jesus to bring all nations to worship before God: and this he will do in virtue of the covenant made with David. It will be the position of Jesus Christ as king upon David’s throne forever to break into the intellectual slavery of all those imprisoned by orthodox Christianity who know nothing of the covenants of promise. Then, and not till then, will mankind see their folly, and “come from the ends of the earth, and say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit”. There is no hope till then. He will judge the people righteously and govern the nations upon earth, and in that day there shall be one Lord, and his name one.