Help for Today — Hope for Tomorrow
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[Darris McNeely] God said that David's throne would endure through the generations. It has continued to reign over Israelite peoples, and that is a testimony to what is yet to come.
[Narrator] Join our presenters from the United Church of God as we bring you help for today and hope for tomorrow directly from your Bible here on Beyond Today
[Darris McNeely] Why did millions of people around the world watch the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, a 96-year-old woman who had reigned for 70 years? Why in a modern world are people fascinated by the person who wears the crown in Great Britain? After all, aren't kings and queens out of date and out of place in our modern technological world? But could it be that there's something more than celebrity and glamour that's connected with this ancient structure called the British monarchy?
Today I'm beginning a series to show you what all of this means to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the kingdom of God. When we're finished, you will see how God guides history and how this story explains much in today's world, and when I'm done with this series you will deepen your understanding of the Bible, Bible prophecy, and as well what lies ahead in our world today.
The British monarchy is among the oldest in the world. It's traced back to the early English and Norman kings as well as to Scottish kings. Today it's a constitutional monarchy. What that means is that the sovereign, the queen or the king, does not hold absolute power. However, the British monarchy has a history, a deep history and a mystique, making it unique among all current monarchies. The attention, the fascination, and even the emotional impact of the recent passing of Queen Elizabeth points to something beyond this time, and it's when we understand the full story and we conclude that there is more to wealth, more to the fame, and to the celebrity that comes with the royal family of Great Britain.
We can conclude that there is a connection to God, to biblical history, and to future prophecy. In a column that was written just a few days after the death of the queen, British journalist Melanie Phillips reflected on the critical role of the British monarchy to the unity of the United Kingdom. As the crowds poured into the streets showing their devotion to the late Monarch, Phillips wrote this. She said, “Devotion has a religious significance, and in a largely secular godless Britain, there is a strong element of the sacred in this relationship between the people and the crown. The monarch in Britain is consecrated to a higher king," she wrote. She went on to say that “the oath that he takes is not to the people, but to God. That's why his duty to serve the people is unbreakable and that's why the monarch is a unifying force and melds the people into a united nation. The royal family," she wrote, "helps forge the country into a kind of national family."
Then Melanie Phillips went on to make a remarkable connection to a biblical teaching. She said, "Few also appreciate that the British monarchy is patterned on ancient Israel. It's why the monarch is anointed. It's why Handel's ‘Zadok the Priest,’ with its words taken from the 1 Book of Kings has been sung at coronations. Some British monarchs," she then wrote, “have even purportedly traced their line back to King David."
Now what this British-based writer says should be taken seriously. She is connecting current events, the death of Queen Elizabeth II and the coronation of King Charles her son in the future, with the elements of the long history of the British monarchy. She's connecting it ultimately to the Bible and the story of Israel and its most famous leader, King David. This connection is vital to our understanding of not just this death of the Queen of England, but it's a foundation for a biblical perspective on the world. It's what we call a biblical worldview. With the Bible as the guide, we can understand today's world and what lies behind and ahead for all the nations, particularly the English-speaking nations of Great Britain, America, Canada, and Australia.
This event and the coronation of a new monarch that follows is actually a living witness to a truth that God's promises, God's covenants with the biblical patriarchs are relevant in today's world. Those promises actually impact world events and will have an even greater impact in the future. The English-speaking nations of the world have spread the values of freedom and equal rights to the world in their history. Their wealth and their influence have helped to bring down tyrannies around the world, improve the health of the poor, and delivered unheard of prosperity to hundreds of millions. And this is not a coincidence of history, it is actually a part of the purpose God is working in all human history, and this understanding is ultimately a part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God.
Here's how it is. When we read in the Gospel of Luke in the New Testament, we see the angel’s announcement to Mary that she was going to bear a son. He would be called Jesus, and He would be called the Son of God. His destiny would be the famous throne of David, Israel's greatest king. That announcement from the angel to Mary is a part of the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God, and it encapsulates all that Israel had hoped. It was the answer to all the prophets that had gone before, and when fully understood it points to the future intervention in the business of this world at Christ's Second Coming.
Let's notice what that prophecy says back in Luke chapter one. "The angel Gabriel was sent by God," it says, "to a city of Galilee named Nazareth to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. The angel said, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus." It says, "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 forever and of His kingdom there will be no end." In this announcement we have the heart of the Gospel message. Jesus born of a virgin to be called the Son of the Highest, and in fulfillment of many prophecies given authority forever through His kingdom. Here is the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ as King of kings. Yes, that's what the Messiah Jesus Christ of Nazareth is. He's the prophesied King of Israel who will reign over all the nations, and as part of the assurance of those promises, those prophecies, God said that David's throne would endure through the generations, that it would never cease.
It has continued to reign over Israelite peoples, and that is a testimony to what is yet to come in the kingdom of God. You see, the Kingdom of God is a literal realm that Christ will establish over all nations at His return, His Second Coming, and the announcement to Mary by the angel Gabriel was a prophecy as well. And we should recognize that the throne of the Kingdom on which Jesus Christ will reign will be a continuation of the throne of King David who ruled over the nation of Israel described in the Old Testament in your Bible. To David God made an unbreakable promise of an unbreakable dynasty declaring that it will be built up to all generations until the Messiah comes. Jesus must return to a throne that still exists in the end time.
And so I ask for our consideration, is that throne the one on which the House of Windsor sets today? Well, let's notice a few prophecies that connect this throne of David to the one Jesus will set on at his return. The story in the Bible begins with the promises that were made to the biblical patriarch Abraham in the book of Genesis. God promised to Abraham, saying this, "I will make you a great nation. I will bless you and make your name great, and you shall be a blessing." That's in Genesis chapter 12. This promise of national greatness is a prominent theme in scripture. It's also the promise that from Abraham would come a royal line. Notice in a repetition of this promise. A few chapters later in chapter 17 of Genesis, it says this, that, "Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying, I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you, and I will bless her," meaning Abram's wife Sarah. "I will bless her and I will give you a son by her, and I will bless her and she shall be a mother of nations. Kings of peoples shall be from her." It's a remarkable promise that is made there in detail that is given, and God promised that, and God carries out His promises. He is faithful. The promise is repeated to Abraham's grandson Jacob later where He said this. God said to Jacob, "I am God Almighty. Be fruitful. Multiply. A nation and a company of nations shall proceed from you, and kings shall come from your body." That's found in Genesis chapter 35.
So here in the early chapters of the Bible in Genesis we see how God shows how He placed this royal promise into the line of the tribe of Judah descended from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In a remarkable statement, the patriarch Jacob called together his sons as he was dying and he said, "Gather together, that I may tell you what is going to befall you in the last days," meaning the time days before the Messiah. He said, "The scepter shall not depart from Judah." The scepter is a symbol of rulership and of royalty. "Nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh comes, and to him she'll be the obedience of the people." That's found In Genesis chapter 49. This was fulfilled in the line established by King David and continuing to his most famous descendant, Jesus of Nazareth.
Now let's look at a few places where God also established this monarchy in the nation of Israel that came years later and the promise that He made to David, King David, the first king of a united monarchy, of a perpetual dynasty. We find in 2 Samuel chapter seven a very interesting promise and prophecy, that David was to have an enduring house. It says, "The Lord tells you, David, that He will make you a house. I will set up your seat after you and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of this kingdom forever. And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever." It's a remarkable promise to King David from God.
In another reference this covenant promise is called a covenant of salt. Now, salt is a symbol of permanence. This covenant has permanence. In Psalm 89, it's repeated this way. "I have made a covenant with my chosen," God says. "I have sworn to my servant David, ‘Your seed I will establish forever and build up your throne to all generations. My covenant I will not break, nor alter the word that has gone out of my lips. Once I have sworn by My Holiness, I will not lie to David. His seed shall endure forever. His throne is the sun before me. It shall be established forever like the moon, forever like the moon, like the faithful witness in the sky." It's a remarkable thing to attach this promise to celestial bodies.
The great prophet Jeremiah then mentions this promise in Jeremiah chapter 33. He says this way. "David should never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel." And it says, "If you can break my covenant with the day and my covenant with the night, so that there will not be day and night in their season, then my covenant may also be broken with David my servant, so that he shall not have a son to reign on his throne." Think about this. God is saying this dynasty established in David is something that He is invested in. It's not casual language that we can just dismiss or spiritualize away. It's a straightforward reading of even the prophet of the stature of Jeremiah tells us there's something going on here.
Now, the prophet Jeremiah lived in a very interesting period of history. It was a very large moment of history when it's properly understood. It was a time when nations were being overthrown, including his own, that of the nation of Judah. The foundations were being laid at that time for generations to come that even impact the modern world. Now some will say as they look at these promises that they were all fulfilled by Jesus Christ at his first coming. That's not true. When Christ came in the flesh and lived and died Christ did not assume any throne, much less the throne of David, even though it was prophesied that He would. But He compared Himself in one parable to a nobleman who "went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return." It's in Luke chapter 19, a very important parable.
You see the Jews at His days and His own disciples thought they wanted the Kingdom to be restored in their lifetime, but it was not to be at that point. It is for a time in the future yet ahead of us now. And as we've seen, there are prophecies regarding Israel that were to be fulfilled in the last days. Now we're going to cover this in more detail in an upcoming program as part of this series. So what happened then to the dynasty of David? What we see from the scripture is that the promise of a covenant was forever. And that story is told through prophecies that were given to Jeremiah and even to the prophet Ezekiel, and they're part of a connected trail of biblical events, prophecy, and promises that form very firm links to God's enduring faithfulness to Abraham, to Abraham's descendants, and to all nations of the earth and to all people. And when they're viewed from the biblical perspective, they give insights into the Gospel of God to fulfill His purpose through Christ.
The God who's bringing together all things in Christ has guided history through all its twists and turns to keep intact the key components of His promises and His word. So let's summarize here what we have covered thus far. Here's what we have from the Word of God. To David God said, "I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever with a covenant of salt." Permanence. God says, "My loving kindness I will not utterly take from him nor allow my faithfulness to fail." And then he also said, "I will not lie to David. His seed shall endure forever. His throne is the sun before it. It shall be established forever like the moon, even like the faithful witness in the sky." Now, based on these biblical passages, we can conclude this. That someone somewhere who can trace a lineage back to David will be setting or eligible to sit on the Davidic throne until Christ returns to claim it for Himself. It's evident from the Gospel of Luke that we read at the beginning that Christ is the ultimate claimant. It's His. In fact, He gave it to David, but it is His.
Scripture says that, "He shall be great and He shall be called the Son of the Highest, and the Lord God will give Him the throne of his father David." But the prophecies suggest very strongly they cannot be filled with Christ as the only claimant. The throne of David must exist somewhere today. Christ will come. His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. He will rule on that throne of his father David from the city of Jerusalem in His Kingdom that He will bring, and God has bound Himself by the rotation of the Earth on its axis to fulfill these promises. You know the fact that some British monarchs in the past, including the late Queen Victoria, have believed that the British monarchy has descended from King David. That's a compelling story.
You know, inherent in the Gospel of God is His promise to bring spiritual salvation to all peoples and nations through His Son Jesus Christ. And all of His promises regarding His servants, the prophets, and to His Son are sure and faithful. He fulfills them to the utmost detail, even if our human histories and records do not chronicle every event with the accuracy of the modern method of history and the criteria required by that method. We must take the truth as truth. God's promises to David. They're either true or they're not true.
Why does this matter? It matters because Christ is going to return to this earth and He's going to sit on the throne of his father David. That throne exists in the throne of Great Britain. We have a living witness to God's purpose in today's world. Today Christ is at the right hand of the Father in heaven waiting for the time to return and to establish a Kingdom of righteousness, a Kingdom not left to other people, a Kingdom different from any kingdom today. That gives us confidence in God's promises and His ability to fulfill all of His promises to all of His peoples.
To go back to that article that I quoted at the beginning from the British journalist Melanie Phillips, she wrote this. "Some British monarchs in the past have purportedly traced their line back to King David." There's a reason they did. Could it be that that throne links to the throne of Israel's King David and foreshadows the throne on which Christ will reign in the coming Kingdom of God? There is more understanding in biblical truth here than most people realize. That's why the study guide that we have prepared and are offering for this program and frankly will be very helpful for all the series that we're doing on this topic. "The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy" is going to be so helpful. It will take you through this fascinating story from the Bible about how these two nations rose to the power that they have held for more than three centuries.
The United States and Britain. Never in history have two nations held such power, wealth, and influence among the nations than these two. Would the Bible mention the ancient powers of Egypt, Greece, Babylon, and Rome, and neglect to tell us where the great nations at the end of the age, our present time, where they are, and what will happen to them? The study guide tells that story. It's the biblical story of how God has fulfilled promises to the patriarch Abraham through his descendants and it provides a dimension to the gospel of the Kingdom that helps us to make sense of this modern world and why it is the way that it is.
Now this understanding, frankly, has been known for many years, but it's rejected by mainstream history and theology. But if you want to know what the Bible says about America and Great Britain and all the English-speaking nations, I encourage you to study the topic for yourself. This booklet, "The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy" will take you through the passages to show why these two nations have played such a large role in history and this little understood key to history, it can be understood. We're living right now in a very important moment in history and prophecy. God has not left us without living witnesses to show us His purpose and His guiding hand in all of it. So I encourage you to get our free booklet, study it with your Bible, and then decide for yourself whether this topic is true as you look at it in the pages of your Bible.
You can receive a free copy by writing to the number on your screen or going online to beyondtoday.tv. This free study guide can be used for other programs that we're going to be doing in this series. So call now to get your free copy.
Now in the next part of this series, we're going to look at the amazing story of a stone of destiny. It is called the Coronation Stone and its connection to the story that we've talked about today of the Throne of David. It's a story that you're going to want to understand not only again with the pages of your Bible and the study guide to show what God's purpose and God's enduring promises mean to Abraham, to the modern world. God's purpose is ultimately to bring spiritual salvation to all nations, and God is faithful to his promise to do that. We're looking at living witnesses in our world today to help us understand and to have confidence and faith in the fullness of all of God's promises, both to the physical degree and most importantly to the spiritual degree through Jesus Christ, that coming King. How all this happens is a part of the Gospel of God.
[Narrator] Call now to receive the free booklet offered on today's program, "The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy." There are biblical reasons behind the dramatic events playing out in our times. Order now. Call toll-free 1-888-886-8632 or write to the address shown on your screen. You'll learn that the so-called Lost 10 Tribes of Israel are not at all lost. When you order this free study aid we'll also send you a complimentary one-year subscription to Beyond Today Magazine. Beyond Today brings you understanding of today's world and hope for the future. Six times a year you'll read about current world events in the light of Bible prophecy, as well as practical knowledge to improve your marriage and family, and godly principles to guide you toward a life that leads to peace. Call today to receive your free booklet, "The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy" and your free one-year subscription to Beyond Today Magazine. Call 1-888-886-8632 or go online to beyondtoday.tv.
[Gary Petty] Hi, I'm Gary Petty, a pastor with the United Church of God. If you're looking for a church that encourages living what the Word of God really teaches, you've found the right place. Visit ucg.org to find a church near you. We're looking forward to meeting you soon.