Does Christ Occupy David’s Throne Now? -- By: Frederic R. Howe

Journal: Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society
Volume: JOTGES 19:36 (Spring 2006)
Article: Does Christ Occupy David’s Throne Now?
Author: Frederic R. Howe


Does Christ Occupy David’s Throne Now?

Frederic R. Howe

Professor of Systematic Theology, Emeritus
Dallas Theological Seminary
Dallas, TX

I. Introduction

The Lord Jesus told the church of the Laodiceans, “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with my Father on His throne (Rev 3:21, italics added). Clearly Jesus is currently seated on a throne.

A controversy exists among Dispensationalists today concerning the throne on which Jesus is seated. Classic Dispensationalists say this is the Father’s throne, and that Jesus’ seating on His own throne (“My throne,” Rev 3:21) is yet future. The Davidic rule of the Son of God is not yet.

Progressive Dispensationalists (PDs), however, suggest that Jesus is already seated on the Davidic throne. In fact, PDs say that Jesus is currently ruling as the Davidic King.

In this paper we will consider the claims of both positions.

II. A Future-Only Realization

The reality of the biblical promise of 2 Sam 7:14–16 is confirmed in the announcement by the angel Gabriel to Mary, recorded in Luke 1:31–33. In that affirmation, the angel assured Mary that Jesus would receive the throne of David, and that He would rule. As the incarnate ministry of Jesus Christ unfolded, the nearness of the kingdom was demonstrated, and yet sadly so too was its rejection by Israel. Matthew 19:28 is a focal passage, for it states: “And Jesus said to them, “Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on the twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” The implication of this text seems obvious; it will be in the regeneration (palingenesis, new world) that Christ will sit on His glorious throne, and this does not refer in any sense

to a present occupancy by the Lord Jesus Christ of the Davidic throne.1 Possibly one of the most concise defenses of this “future only” realization is found in H. C. Thiessen’s book Lectures in Systematic Theology:

Under the figure of the nobleman, Christ is represented as going “to a distant country to receive a kingdom for Himself” (Luke ...

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