The Throne of the LORD

We know from many New Testament ref­erences that after his resurrection, Jesus “sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool”. As the table of NT references from Psalm 110:1 below shows, this theme is constantly repeated all through the NT and forms an integral part of the apostles’ teaching.

Direct ReferencesLess Direct References
Matt 22:44Matt 26:64
Mark 12:36Mark 16:19
Luke 20:42-43Acts 7:55-56
Acts 2:34-35Rom 8:34
Acts 5:311 Cor 15:25
Heb 1:13Eph 1:20-22
Col 3:1
Heb 1:3
Heb 8:1
Heb 10:12-13
Heb 12:2
1 Pet 3:22

The throne that Jesus now sits upon is his Father’s throne in heaven. The fact that Jesus is now sitting upon God’s throne means that God has invested him with all power and authority.

1 Peter 3:22 says: “[Jesus] who is gone into heaven and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.” (see also Matt 28:18) This is not to be confused with King David’s throne. We know that Jesus was specifically promised David’s throne, and that one day he will sit upon it as a king.

We read in Luke 1:32: “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”. Compare this with Acts 2:30-31: (context – speaking of King David) “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”. And again in Revelation 3:21: “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne”.

It is important to correctly understand the way the concept of a ‘throne’ is used in the Scriptures. The throne represents the seat of power and author­ity. David’s throne was located in the midst of Israel in the city of Jerusalem (Psa 132:11-18) from where he ruled over Israel. Importantly, David’s throne was also known as “the throne of the kingdom of the LORD” (1 Chron 28:5), “the throne of the LORD” (1 Chron 29:23), and “his throne” (ie the LORD’S throne – 2 Chron 9:8) because David and his sons ruled over Israel on behalf of God.

Yet we know from other places that God’s throne is in heaven and it is to be distinguished from David’s throne (Psa 11:4; Isa 66:1; Matt 5:34; 23:22). God is high above man (2 Chron 6:18). Although David’s throne was called God’s throne, God’s throne in heaven was never called David’s throne. It is essential to note this distinc­tion between the two thrones – otherwise we may draw incorrect conclusions. Although God later removed the sons of David from the throne when He overturned the kingdom (Ezek 21:25-27), God has promised that His throne will one day again be re-established in Jerusalem under the promised Christ, the son of David (Jer 3:17; 23:5-6; 33:15­ 26; Isa 9:7; Ezek 36:20-28; 37:21-22). The NT tells us that Jesus is the rightful heir to David’s throne (Luke 1:32; Acts 2:30-31).

The message of the NT is that Jesus will one day return that he might fulfil all that has been promised to David (Luke 1:32; 22:29-30). On that day Jesus will sit upon David’s throne, which will be restored to a status greater than its former glory, but that will not be until the day appointed of the Father (Acts 1:6-7). To accomplish this promise Jesus must return to the earth, but God only knows the exact timing of his return. No man or angel knows the day (Mark 13:32-37). On that day David’s throne will again be located in Jerusalem, which is also called the city of David and the city of the great King (Psa 48:2; Mat 5:35). This throne and dominion will only be established after Jesus Christ returns to the earth. On that day, all that was purposed in Genesis 1:26-28 will be on the way towards its final completion.

On that day, Christ will reign over all the earth. He will continue to sit upon the throne of the LORD, which will be united again with the newly restored throne of David. In other words, Jesus will bring from heaven to the earth the throne and dominion of God (Rev 7:15; 22:3; Dan 7:13-14; 26-27). Some think that Jesus ceases to sit upon the throne of the LORD when he leaves heaven. This is not so. Rather, he brings God’s throne to the earth and will rule on behalf of God over all the earth.

We know that this is what the apostles taught. The following reference is quite clear and is based upon Psalm 110:1. It tells us that he must continue to reign until all enemies are under his feet; the last enemy is death: “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. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death” (1 Cor 15:24-26).

The things spoken of here will not be completed until the end of the 1,000 years of his reign (Rev 20). The following words repeatedly emphasise this point so that we do not misunderstand it. The Lord Jesus Christ continues to reign until all things are under his feet. The whole creation will be subject to him. As he clearly shows, this excludes God who is greater than all and has put all things under him. Paul says: “For he hath put all things under his feet.

But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all” (1 Cor 15:27-28).

So when we think of Jesus as being ‘Lord’, we should not Only think of him as our personal Lord who we acknowledge and obey as the Lord now sitting on God’s throne in heaven, but also as the future Lord of all of God’s creation in fulfilment of all that was declared in the beginning. All things are not yet put under his feet – that is under his do­minion (Heb 2:8). But the day appointed of the Father is coming when all things will eventually be subject to him (Heb 10:12-13).

From this brief analysis we have seen that the title ‘Christ’ is specifically related to the Jewish people, as the promised Christ was to be the Son of David and King over Israel. The title ‘Lord’ has a much broader meaning which echoes from Genesis 1:26-28. It specifically refers to Jesus who will be Lord over all of God’s creation. This is the point of Jesus’ question to the Pharisees in Matthew 22:41-46, for even though David was called the Lord’s anointed or Christ

(1 Sam 16:1,12-13) yet in Psalm 110:1 he called this future Christ by the extraordinary appellation of Lord, thereby recognising his superior position. The question about sonship is also relevant, for Jesus, like Adam before him, was the Son of God (Luke 3:22,38). The concept of Divine sonship is also found in the promises to David (2 Sam 7:14). This question of sonship is the reason for the two genealogies of Jesus, found in Matthew 1 and Luke 3. Matthew’s genealogy goes back to Abraham and David, and Luke’s genealogy goes back to God.

Although Jesus now sits on God’s throne at God’s right hand (Acts 2:34-36; Heb 1:13), having been given all power and with the angels of God subject to him (Matt 28:18; Heb 1:3; 1 Pet 3:22), he is and always remains subject to God, his Father (1 Cor 15:27-28). Although Jesus has this authority, it is plainly said that not all things are yet under his feet. God has promised that in the future all things are to be put under his feet (Gen 1:26-28; Heb 2:7- 9; 10:12-13). This will not be fully realised until he returns and rules the world for 1,000 years. During this time, all will be subdued and God’s dominion established. At the end of his reign the last enemy will be destroyed, that is death (1 Cor 15:25; Rev 5:10; 20:4,14).

After his re­turn he will sit on David’s (restored) throne in Jerusalem, which will be the visible manifestation of God’s throne on earth, as it was in the past (1 Chron 28:5; 29:23 with Jer 3:17; Zech 14:8-9). At that time Jesus will first rule in Jerusalem in the midst of his enemies, for the nations will not accept his rule and will make war against him (Psa 110:2-6; 2:6- 12). They will be defeated and eventually a universal peace will be established with Jesus reigning as King over all, on God’s behalf, as His representative on earth (Isa 2:1-5; Zech 14:7-21). His reign will transform the whole world and bring to comple­tion God’s purpose, as declared in Genesis 1:26-28. This promise in Psalm 110:1 will be completed only when the last enemy, even death itself, is destroyed forever. Then there will be no more death (1 Cor 15:24-27; Rev 20:14; 21:4). It is clear, then, that he must return to the earth to take up this promised future position as King of the Jews and Lord over all the earth.

We read in Ephesians 1:17, 20-23 “… that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revela­tion in the knowledge of him … which he worked in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in that which is to come: And he put all things under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things to the ecclesia, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all”.

We are further told that Jesus qualifies to be called ‘the Lord’ mainly because of two distinct, yet related reasons: firstly, because he was obedient unto death (Phil 2:8­ 11); and secondly, because he was uniquely God’s Son and therefore heir of all things (Heb 1:1-4).

Jesus as the Christ

As the subject of the Davidic promise is gener­ally well known to us, we will not spend any time reviewing it in detail. The table following this article lists all the main aspects of the promise. In it we can clearly see how the different aspects of the promise had some fulfilment in David’s sons, but the clear mes­sage is that these sons were types and patterns of one special Son whose glory would outshine them all. In this regard, the promise to David is to be understood in a similar way as the promises to Abraham, where there was both a multitudinous application and a primary singular one. This seems to be the point behind the language found in Jeremiah 33:20-22.

Also of note is the evident fact that the Kingdom of Israel was a cameo of the future Kingdom to come, whose King would reign on behalf of God. The Kingdom of Israel was to be a typical fulfilment of the purpose of God declared in Genesis 1:26-28.

The main points of the promise to David (2 Sam 7:10-16; 1 Chron 17:9-14)It applied to Solomon and the seed of DavidIt specifically applied to Jesus as the primary son of David
Israel would dwell in peace, not afflicted by their enemies anymore1 Chron 22:9Luke 1:32; Jer 23:5-8; 30:9-24; Ezek 37:22
This promise would be fulfilled after David’s deathDavid’s sons and heirs – 1 Kings 11:13; 2 Kings 8:19Acts 2:29; Matt 1:1; Rom 1:3
The coming King would be David’s physical descendant, his future heir1 Chron 28:9Matt 1:1; Luke 1:69; Acts 2:30; Rom 1:3; Ps 132:11; Jer 33:14-17
He would build God’s house1 Chron 22:6,10; 28:10Heb 3:6; 1 Pet 2:5-9; Zech 6:12-13
Established on David’s throne by God1 Kings 2:12,24Luke 1:32; Isaiah 9:7
The throne would be established by God forever1 Kings 2:45; Ps 89:36-37; 1 Chron 28:7-8Luke 1:33; Rev 11:15; 22:5
God would be his Father, he would be God’s Son1 Chron 22:10; 28:6; Psa 89:26Luke 1:32,35; Rom 1:4; 2 Tim 2:8; Heb 1:5
If he sinned he would be punished, yet forgiven1 Kings 11:12-13,34; 2 Kings 8:19; Ps 89:30-34This has no application to Jesus
All would be established before David’s face (implying David’s resurrection)David near death, but alive 1 Kings 1:46-48Acts 2:25-28; 2 Sam 23:5