The Millennial Kingdom: The Promised Throne

The Occupation of the Throne

According to Newberry’s dates, it was about the year 758 B.C. The nation of Israel was divided and the spiritual state of the people was at an all-time low. In the northern kingdom, wicked Pekah had usurped the throne by murdering king Pekahiah within his own palace in Samaria (2Ki 15:23-31); Hosea prophesied during that time. In Judah, king Uzziah had died, a tragic tale of a man who had accomplished such good only to fall at the end of his life to the sin of pride. God had determined that there would be one Man who would be a king-priest. But this king had put his hand to the priestly office and had been struck by the dreaded disease of leprosy.

In these conditions, remarkably, Isaiah (the prophet in Judah) received the greatest vision of his life, a veiled sight of the triune God (Isa 6). “Holy, holy, holy” (v3) was no triple superlative but a direct reference to the trinity of persons in the Godhead. This was Jehovah, with John informing us it was the Lord Jesus (Joh 12:41), and Paul stating it was the Holy Spirit (Act 28:25ff.). While this vision was undoubtedly literal and present, we, with the Scriptures in hand, observe a millennial scene. The Sovereign Lord (Adonay) was seated in exaltation upon the throne of His glory, His glorious majesty filling the temple, angelic beings ready to do His bidding (Joh 1:51), and the whole earth full of His glory. What wisdom of God to give His servant a vision of the future kingdom as He commissioned him to a lifetime of service unto a people who would ultimately reject his message, but from whom a remnant would be saved (Isa 53).

This and other Scriptures (Psa 132:11; Isa 16:5; Luk 1:32; Act 2:30) make it abundantly clear that Christ Himself, not David, will occupy the millennial throne as ultimate King over this world. Note that when the “throne of David” is referenced in Scripture, it’s not so much that the throne belongs to David, or that David is even seated upon that throne, but rather a testimony to the Davidic covenant is being made by God (1Ki 2:24,45; Jer 13:13; 17:25; 22:2). There seems to be some conflict with this when we read Ezekiel 37:24, as it makes mention of David as king over the nation in millennial days. This is quickly ironed out when we read verse 22 of the same chapter; in those days Israel will have one king over them all. David and Christ cannot both reign as king over Israel. Likewise, in 34:23, there shall be one shepherd over the nation. I suggest that the four times we find David mentioned in Ezekiel (34:23-24; 37:24-25), they are direct references to Christ in the Millennial Kingdom. Likewise, I suggest Isaiah 55:3-4 is a reference to Christ as Leader and Commander of Israel in that future day. “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” (Luk 1:32).1

The Location of the Throne

It was a thrilling day in Israel’s history when, finally, David’s throne was established in Jerusalem over all Israel. The enemy had been relentless and the pathway long and arduous, but at last he found himself at the helm of the entire kingdom (2Sa 5). What would take place in the ensuing one thousand years is unspeakably sad, beginning with a calamitous conclusion to the reign of Solomon and a horrendous division that alienated ten tribes. Thirty-eight kings and one queen would follow, thirty-three of them recorded at their death as being wicked. This shattered nation was taken in its entirety into Assyrian and Babylonian captivity. The Word of the Lord came through Hosea, “The children of Israel shall abide many days without a king” (Hos 3:4).

After four hundred silent years, Israel’s Messiah King was born in Bethlehem; thirty-three short years later the people cried out, “Let him be crucified … we have no king but Caesar” (Mat 27:22; Joh 19:15). Understandably, our Lord sobbed as He beheld that city (Luk 19:41). We, too, solemnly reflect upon His heart-rending lament in Matthew 23, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord” (vv37-39). O the mercy of God!

Two thousand further years have demonstrated Israel’s blind hostility, yet He will come again. Eclipsing the horizon of this world, Christ will appear to rescue them at their darkest hour. His throne will be established in Jerusalem and for one thousand years He will reign in that capital city. Scripture leaves us with no doubt – upon Mount Zion in Jerusalem He will be established.2

Incredibly, we find the Lord singing a hymn before going out to endure the anguish of Gethsemane and sufferings of Calvary (Mat 26:30), but in that day He’ll not cease to rejoice over Israel with singing (Zep 3:15-17). He shall dwell amidst Jerusalem and it “shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the LORD of hosts the holy mountain” (Zec 8:3). Year by year for one thousand years the nations of this world shall ascend to Jerusalem to “worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles” (14:16). “And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be. And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one” (vv8-9).

The Continuation of the Throne

The first mention of the word “kingdom” in the Bible is in reference to the kingdom of Babylon (Gen 10:10), and the last time we read of that evil system the triumphant cry goes up, “Babylon the great is fallen” (Rev 18:2). As we anticipate the glorious millennial kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, we read, “Of his kingdom there shall be no end” (Luk 1:33). The Prince of Peace shall reign, and “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 9:7).

Lord willing, we will next consider “Israel and the Promised Temple.”

1 Bible quotations in this article are from the KJV.

2 Psa 2:6; 48:2; 128:5; Isa 2:2; 4:2-6; 24:23; 31:9-32:1; 40:9-11; Jer 3:17; Joe 3:17-21; Mic 4:1-7; Zep 3:14ff.; Zec 8:3,20-23; 9:9; 14:8,16.