I have clipped a Question-Answer from our local paper. Your comments would be appreciated. The minister says: “Scripture shows that Jesus was of the lineage of Jechoniah of the house of David. God declared that no one of the lineage of Jechoniah would sit on David’s throne and reign in Judea again (Jeremiah 22:28-30). Therefore, Christ will not come back to reign on the earth, nor in Jerusalem nor in Judea for a day or for a thousand years. Jesus Christ is now on David’s throne (Acts 2:30), and He shall reign there until the end of the world (1 Corinthians 15:23-27).”
Scripture does show Jesus was of the lineage of David. But to say that Christ will not return or reign in Jerusalem or in Judea on the basis of a single statement in the book of Jeremiah—and to disregard the dozens of very clear Scriptures that say Jesus will return and set up His kingdom on earth—is to be grossly unfair to the Scripture writers.
Nonetheless, let us examine the offending passage from Jeremiah. It reads: “Is this man Coniah a despised broken idol? A vessel in which is no pleasure? Why are they cast out, he and his descendents, And are cast into a land which they do not know?…Thus says the Lord, ‘Write this man down as childless, A man who shall not prosper in his days, For none of his descendents shall prosper, sitting on the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah” (Jer. 22:28, 30).
When Jeremiah prophesied that none of Coniah’s (Jehoiachin’s) offspring would sit on the throne of David or rule again in Jerusalem, he was prophesying the end of the present, independent monarchy. The emphasis of Jeremiah’s prophecy is local in time and place, which is perhaps more obvious in the Revised Standard Version: “Write this man down as childless, a man who shall not succeed in his days; for none of his offspring shall succeed in sitting on the throne of David, and ruling again in Judah.” We have no reason to extend the meaning of descendants or children to include anyone beyond Jeconiah’s immediate descendants, especially not to Christ.
The prophesy was fulfilled. Coniah, also known as Jehoiachin was of the line of David. He was a descendant of King Josiah and sat on the throne of Judah for a brief three months at the end of which Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon took Jehoiachin with the “costly articles from the house of the Lord” into captivity and placed Zedekiah (another descendant of Josiah) on the throne of a now captive nation. (see 2 Chron. 36, Jer 22:13-15 & Jer 37:1 for the history) None of Coniah’s descendants succeeded in sitting on the throne of Judah. He in fact, had seven sons (see 1 Chron. 3:15-18) but went down in history as heirless as prophesied, because none of his children ever sat upon the throne of Judah.
The prophet Ezekiel forecast the same end of the nation, and how long it would be in that overturned condition. He even was so specific as to say that after the kingdom was overturned, it would be “no more” until it would be given to the rightful ruler (Christ). We read (Ezek. 21:27) “Overthrown, overthrown, I will make it overthrown! It shall be no longer, Until He comes whose right it is, And I will give it to Him.”
Some prophecies have a local application, some prophecies are long term; and we have no right to take a short-term prophecy and use it to cancel other long-term predictions—especially predictions made years after the short-term prophecy was fulfilled. (refer to Ezekiel, Daniel, Zechariah, Malachi, Paul, Peter, John and Jesus Himself)
The angel told Mary explicitly, “You will…bring forth a son, and shall call his name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His kingdom there will be no end” (Luke 1:31-33). In the book of Revelation Jesus testifies to His own lineage, saying: “I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star” (Rev. 22:16); and in the same Book He reveals that He would be “King of kings and Lord of lords” (Rev. 19:16; 17:14).
As to the Second Coming, Jesus Himself told His disciples before He ascended to heaven, “I will come again” (John 14:3). Who are we to contradict Jesus? The angels who stood by when He ascended, stated explicitly: “This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as you have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11).
The above-cited minister infers that Jesus was then and is now occupying the equivalent of sitting on the throne of David up in heaven. Again, this has been done without examining the context. The minister’s position poses two problems immediately: 1) that David’s throne was never in heaven; and 2) that Jesus was predicted to be in heaven only until a pre-specified time, not forever. As to the first point, there is an abudance of evidence that David’s throne was, quite literally, in Jerusalem (such as the Jerusalem’s being referred to as “the city of David”) Furthermore it is prophesied that Christ will reign in Jerusalem (see Zech. 2:10-12; Matt. 5:34-35; Jer. 3:17). As to the second point Peter states in Acts 3:21-21 that Jesus will be in heaven “until the times of restitution of all things” (Acts 3:20-21) and until His foes are made His footstool (Acts 2:34-35). Jesus was to be in heaven only “until” the time is right for His coming to take His throne and reign on earth (Rev. 5:9-10; Ps. 110:2; Zech 14:9).
The disciples did not understand Jesus as going to heaven to sit on the throne of David, because just before Jesus ascended, they asked Him (Acts 1:6-8), “Lord, will you at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” and Jesus had answered that they would be told the “times” and “the seasons” when that would occur after they received power from on high (power which Jesus sent on the day of Pentecost—see Acts 2:33). Jesus ascended to heaven and “sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb. 1:3), and dispensed the power He had promised, but nothing is said about His being seated on the throne of David.
Lastly, the above-quoted minister cites 1 Cor. 15:23-27 as evidence that Christ would reign in heaven until “the end of the world.” But this passage says nothing whatever about the end of the world. It speaks, rather, about the completion of the work on earth, the end of the opposition, when all things will be under the control of the new authority. From this time forward there will be no more struggle, no opposition, no resistance. That is why Christ is said, figuratively speaking, to deliver His kingdom up to God a finished and perfect product. But this does not mean that Jesus will no longer reign. The Scriptures contain no suggestion whatever that the Kingdom of Christ will come to an end. Many times in Scripture His kingdom is described as lasting “forever and ever,” “as long as the sun and moon endure.” (Rev. 11:15; 22:5; Ps. 72:7, 17-19; Ps. 145:13).
We do not doubt that Jesus will come again and reign from the throne of David over His “everlasting kingdom”