The return of Christ will result in the establishment of His Kingdom upon earth. When Christ rules as King of kings, the hopes of humanity will be realized. Christ has the right to rule this planet as King of kings because He is the Son of God. He has the right to sit on David's throne and to rule over Israel because He is the Son of David.

God's redemptive kingdom had its principal beginning in His promises to Abraham and his family. The nation, Israel, was God's kingdom on earth during the Old Testament era. Because of Israel's wickedness, God's kingdom was overturned and suspended until the rightful King, Jesus Christ, should come. During His earthly ministry, Jesus presented Himself to Israel as its King, but He was rejected and was crucified. God's kingdom over Israel will be reestablished when Christ returns and sits upon the throne of David. As His redemptive kingdom, Israel constituted a special sphere of God's rulership. "Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation" (Ex. 19:5, 6). David said, "He hath chosen Solomon my son to sit upon the throne of the kingdom of the Lord over Israel" (1 Chron. 28:5).

Israel became a nation and a kingdom under the leadership of Moses. The kingdom of Israel was a theocracy. God ruled as King over the nation through judges. During the days of Samuel, the last of the judges, Israel rejected the theocracy and demanded an earthly king to rule over them. (1 Sam. 8:5-22.) Saul was selected by Israel to be king. (I Sam. 10; 11:15; 12:1.) Because of Saul's disobedience, God rejected Saul as king (I Sam. 13:13, 14) and chose David as His king (1 Sam. 16:1-13; Acts 13:17-22).

1. God's Covenant with David. God, who cannot lie, promised David an eternal seed, an eternal throne, and an eternal kingdom. His seed would rule over the kingdom of Israel forever. This kingly covenant was confirmed and repeated to Solomon, David's son. (1 Chron. 22:8-10; 2 Chron. 7:17, 18.)

2 Samuel 7:12-16


Thy throne established for ever

1 Chronicles 17:7-14


Stablish his throne for ever

Psalm 89:3, 4, 27-37


David 's seed and throne

Psalm 132:11, 12


David's children sit on throne

Jeremiah 33:15-26


Covenant with David certain

Jeremiah 23:5, 6


Unto David a righteous Branch

Isaiah 11:1-12


Stem of Jesse, a Branch

God's covenant with David is eternal because God's Word is sure. "Thus saith the Lord; If ye can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season; then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne" (Jer. 33:20, 21).

2. Kingdom Temporarily Suspended. For many centuries, the dynasty of David reigned in Jerusalem over Israel. Most of the rulers who sat on David's throne, however, were wicked. They followed the nation in disobeying God and in worshiping idols. In punishment for disobedience, God permitted Babylon to carry Israel into captivity. The kingdom was temporarily suspended; David's throne was unoccupied. "And thou, profane wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end, thus saith the Lord God; Remove the diadem, and take off the crown: this shall not be the same: exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him" (Ezek. 21:25-27). The kingdom was suspended. The throne was overturned until One should come whose right it is to occupy that throne.

3. Jesus, the Seed of David. Jesus is He whose right it is to sit upon David's throne and to rule Israel for eternity. Jesus is the Son of David and the Son of God. Jesus will fulfill the eternal covenant God made with David. "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder....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" (Isa. 9:6, 7). "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).

Jesus was born to be King. (John 18:36, 37.) The wise men asked, "Where is he that is born King of the Jews?" (Matt. 2:2). During His earthly ministry, Jesus "went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God" (Luke 8:1). He revealed His kingly authority in His message and miracles. His miracles of healing and resurrection were prophetic foretastes of future conditions when He reigns as King. He offered Himself to Israel as King, but Israel rejected Him. (John 1:11; Matt. 23:37-39.) Pilate said unto the Jews, "Behold your King! But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall 1 crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar" (John 19:14, 15).

Shortly before His ascension, the disciples questioned the risen Christ, "Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?" (Acts 1:6). The kingdom was not to be restored at that time. It would not be restored until the Church Age was completed at Christ's return. Today, Christ is sitting with the Father on the Father's throne. Jesus said, "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" (Rev. 3:21). Jesus will sit on His own throne, the throne of David, when He comes again. "When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory" (Matt. 25:31).

4. The Premillennial Return of Christ. The Bible teaches that Christ's coming will precede the Millennium, that He will come personally before the Millennium and establish His Kingdom upon earth. As King of kings, He will sit upon His own throne of glory and rule the earth with Jerusalem as His capital city.

The Bible teaches that the resurrection of Christians will occur prior to the Millennium. During the Millennium, resurrected saints will reign with Christ upon earth. "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years" (Rev. 20:6). "And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth" (Rev. 5:9, 10). The first text, Revelation 20:6, depicts the duration, and the second text, Revelation 5:9, 10, explains the location of the believers' future reign with Christ. The first text tells how long; the second text tells where. Christians will reign with Christ one thousand years upon earth. Since the resurrection of Christians will occur when Jesus comes, our Lord's coming must precede the Millennium.

Christ's Kingdom will not be established until He returns. Jesus taught the parable of the nobleman to the disciples "because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear" (Luke 19:11). Jesus pictured Himself as the nobleman who goes into "a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return" (Luke 19:12). Jesus ascended to heaven to receive His Kingdom from His Father. (Luke 1:32, 33; Dan. 7:13, 14.) Christ's Kingdom will be inaugurated when He returns. (Luke 19:15.) Christ is not sitting upon His own throne today. Today, He is sitting with God on God's throne. " I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne" (Rev. 3:21). Jesus will sit upon His own throne of glory when He returns. "When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory" (Matt. 25:31). Christ's Kingdom is linked with His appearing. (2 Tim. 4:1.)

The coming of Christ will result in the smiting of the nations, which will precede the establishment of His Kingdom. (Dan. 2:34, 35, 44, 45; Rev. 19:11-21; Psa. 2:8, 9.) The smiting of the nations does not refer to a gradual conversion of humanity through the gospel today, but it refers to the future judgment of Christ when He comes. Earthly rulers will be compelled to yield their authority to Christ. His Kingdom will replace all earthly kingdoms.

Christ's Kingdom on earth and the Millennium are yet future. Blessings associated with the Kingdom are not realities today. During Christ's future Kingdom, nations will live in peace (Isa. 2:4; Micah 4:3); men will walk in righteousness; animals will be harmless (Isa. 11:6-9; 65:25) ; there will be no more sickness (Isa. 33: 24; 35:5, 6) ; and the fertility of the earth will be restored. (Isa. 35:1, 2, 6, 7; 41:18, 19; 55:12, 13; Amos 9:13, 14.) These blessings are not realities today because Christ's Kingdom has not been established.


(Adapted from Systematic Theology, by Alva Huffer, published by Church of God General Conference, Oregon, Illinois 61061, U.S.A.)

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