Much of the Old Testament and a large portion of the New Testament are about one man: King David. David was a man after God’s own heart who fulfilled all His will. He was an excellent leader, and he was a great builder for God. The scope of what he built is astonishing. God will reward him with an exalted position in His Kingdom.
Much of David’s history is recorded in 2 Samuel and again in 1 Chronicles. Almost everything Ezra wrote in Chronicles came from Samuel and the other books that make up the former prophets section of the Bible. So Chronicles is a prophetic work.
In the original order that God inspired, Chronicles is the last book of the Old Testament. The Ferrar Fenton translation says Chronicles is the “history … of the house of David.” If you look at it spiritually, it is a key of David message to conclude the Old Testament.
That message is also found in the last book of the New Testament. The key of David is the only message Christ gave His Church in the Philadelphia and Laodicean eras (Revelation 3:7).
Shortly before 2017, God revealed to me that the book of Chronicles is prophetic. In January 2017, He revealed that there is a new stone and a new throne of David. In 2018, I published The New Throne of David as well as an updated version of my booklet on Chronicles. I think God inspired this because these two messages go together.
1 Chronicles 10 through 29 are all about David’s reign. God prophesied in these and other chapters that the royal line that began with David would continue forever. So they teach us not only what happened 3,000 years ago, but about a throne that has continued since that time and will continue forever because it will be inherited by Jesus Christ Himself when He returns to establish the Kingdom of God on Earth!
Chronicles contains a spiritual key of David message. It illuminates the monumental reward God will give the firstfruits who yield themselves to Him and are loyal to Him: They will sit on David’s throne with Christ, ruling the world! This shows why we must be educated. We must know God deeply and what His plan is so we can help Him resolve the problems of the world.
True Christians must be educated about David and how he ruled and how he built so we can learn to build with him under Jesus Christ!
David Prepared Abundantly
David passionately wanted to build God a temple. But God told him, “Thou hast shed blood abundantly, and hast made great wars: thou shalt not build an house unto my name, because thou hast shed much blood upon the earth in my sight” (1 Chronicles 22:8). However, God did allow David to prepare for its construction.
David seized that opportunity and prepared with all his might. He loved that job and devoted himself wholly to it. Chapters 22 through 29 contain fascinating detail about how David prepared. They describe the temple furnishings, the 24 courses of priests he established, the arranging and regulating he did. David was old, and as the king, he could have delegated the tasks, but instead, he was in the action, preparing. He wanted to make certain these materials and priestly organization were ready for the construction of something magnificent for God! I’m quite sure nobody else would have done what David did.
“[T]he house that is to be builded for the Lord must be exceeding magnifical, of fame and of glory throughout all countries: I will therefore now make preparation for it,” David said. “So David prepared abundantly before his death” (1 Chronicles 22:5).
Verse 14 illustrates what “prepared abundantly” means: “Now, behold, in my trouble I have prepared for the house of the Lord an hundred thousand talents of gold, and a thousand thousand talents of silver; and of brass and iron without weight; for it is in abundance: timber also and stone have I prepared; and thou mayest add thereto.” David gave everything to God!
David mentioned that he prepared “in my trouble.” He had his trouble, his trials and difficulties in this work, but that did not hold him back. He didn’t allow that trouble to dampen his dedication. He put his whole heart and might into this Work of God. Sometimes we too suffer and have trials. But there is a tremendous lesson in David’s temple preparation. Though he was doing the work “in my trouble,” he expended himself mightily just to prepare for God to have a magnificent house!
Why did he do that? Why not delegate, or prepare less abundantly, or allow his trouble to distract him? “Let it even be established, that thy name may be magnified for ever …” (1 Chronicles 17:24). David wanted to magnify God’s name—not just in this world but forever! David’s monumental exertions were motivated by his love for God.
If he couldn’t build the temple himself, then he was happy to devote himself to organizing for it. He prepared so thoroughly that his son Solomon was able to build the greatest building ever constructed—dedicated to the great God! And God was truly thrilled with that temple!
King David said that “four thousand praised the Lord with the instruments which I made” (1 Chronicles 23:5). He was so intent on praising God that he made instruments for that purpose! Then he had the Levites and sons of Aaron praise God twice a day, morning and evening. He institutionalized national praise and thanks for God. What an impact Israel could have on the world if it had such leadership today, instead of spreading depravity.
When Christ returns and rules from David’s throne, with the resurrected David under Him, this spirit of music, dancing and praising God will be revived! David will rule the 12 tribes of Israel (Jeremiah 30:9) and will build with even greater godly passion and power!
“Now I have prepared with all my might for the house of my God …” (1 Chronicles 29:2). Because he loved God, he pushed through his challenges to do this work with all his might!
We need to be like David today and get personally involved in the Work of God. We should want to build with all our might! God is offering true Christians rulership with Christ from the throne of David in Jerusalem as His Bride—forever! What a spectacular opportunity! What is that worth to you? Is that worth doing this Work with all your might?
We all need to improve in this area. A great deal of building needs to happen before Jesus Christ returns. The closer we get to Christ’s return, the more we need to talk about and illustrate all we can about the wonderful Kingdom of God that He will establish from Jerusalem and the throne of David.
David didn’t merely say he was preparing a “house of God,” but “for the house of my God”! “Moreover, because I have set my affection to the house of my God, I have of mine own proper good, of gold and silver, which I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house” (verse 3). The temple wasn’t even built yet; he was just getting everything together so Solomon could build it—yet he set his affection on it and gave generously of his own wealth for the house of his God. He truly loved and personally knew God, and he showed it. This is my God, and I want the whole world to see what my God is like! David wanted all mankind to be awestruck by the house of his God!
Look at the wonderful results of David’s humble, passionate attitude: “Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the Lord: and David the king also rejoiced with great joy” (1 Chronicles 29:9). These people were following David, helping him build in any way they could, and that caused them to rejoice. They were thrilled to be a part of that!
The king was preparing for the construction of God’s house with all his might. The laborers were working hard. And everyone was rejoicing! David didn’t just have joy; he had “great joy” because he was so wrapped up in the Work of God!
Do you want more joy in your life? David’s example shows us how to achieve that: Do the Work of God with all your might! Yes, we have trials and tests—but this is a rejoicing kind of life. How thrilling to have the honor of doing the very Work of God and sharing His truth with the world!
David was disappointed not to see it built, but he still had a wonderful attitude. In a prayer before the people, he said, “Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name. But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee” (1 Chronicles 29:13-14).
We really ought to praise and thank God this way. Who are we to be able to contribute to God’s Work today? David marveled at such an opportunity.
Today God’s true Church has the honor of proclaiming His message to the world as a warning and of caring for the true Christians that He calls. We have also had the prestigious honor and exalted blessing of building a house for God: Armstrong Auditorium in Edmond, Oklahoma. It is the one and only house of God on Earth today.
Herbert W. Armstrong led God’s people to build a beautiful house for God in Pasadena, California, in 1974. Sadly, the vast majority of God’s people soon turned from their love for God and lost their enthusiasm for His house and His Work. They ended up selling it, splintering into many groups or forsaking religion altogether, and losing their great joy.
God’s house is something of great magnitude that we must never take for granted. We are so blessed to have God’s house today.
As much as we are able, we are striving to build the type of campus that will exist in the World Tomorrow. What is coming from this campus today is leading to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ if we do our part. And it gives you at least a taste of God’s spectacular plans and ambitions. Who are we to have the honor to be a part of such a noble endeavor?
The temple that David prepared for and that Solomon constructed was much more impressive than the house God’s people have built for God today. But spiritually, the real temple is you! True Christians are the spiritual temple, which far exceeds what Solomon built (Haggai 2:9). You are sons of God who are about to be born into the Family of God forever!
Ezra-Nehemiah & David’s Throne
Ezra authored both Chronicles and Ezra-Nehemiah. He had a powerful message about the key of David. It’s the same message that God says in the book of Revelation that He gives to this Church and the Elijah work. It is the only message God gives the last two eras of His Church.
During Ezra’s lifetime, the throne of David was no longer in Jerusalem. In 585 b.c., Babylon conquered the kingdom of Judah, killed King Zedekiah’s sons, and took Zedekiah captive. Many people believe that David’s royal dynasty ended there and have lost their faith in God and in the Bible. Even the Prophet Jeremiah did not understand at first. Yet years later, Ezra was writing what would become the last book of the Old Testament, and he still talked about and pointed back to the throne of David. Why would he do that if it had been destroyed and God had broken His promise?
Ezra knew exactly what had happened to David’s throne and that God never broke His promise to King David. If you’d like to learn more about that, read The New Throne of David and The Book of Chronicles. Look through Ezra-Nehemiah and study what those books say about David. Ezra and the Jews didn’t doubt God’s promise at all! They talk about the throne of David as if they had it with them! They knew that God kept His promise and that David’s throne still existed. God miraculously preserved it then, has miraculously preserved it since, and has now placed it in His one true Church.
Genesis 49 describes what would befall the descendants of Israel “in the last days” (verse 1). This end-time prophecy is recorded in the first book of the Bible. Verse 10 says, “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.” God promised that there would always be a man sitting on that throne and that Jesus Christ would then take over and, at His Father’s direction, bring salvation to mankind.
This verse also indicates that right before Christ’s return there will be something new: a new throne and a new stone! The scepter and the law are combined in God’s Church. Unlike any other Church era, we now have both the law and the throne of David. And this leads right into the Second Coming.
God wants the new throne and new stone brought into the spiritual and physical building process and ruin-raising His true Church is doing now. God says that with the law and the scepter together, now we can really build!
Building Like David
In Ezra and Nehemiah’s day, the Jews who returned to Jerusalem from exile “gathered themselves together as one man” (Ezra 3:1). They had beautiful unity in mind and purpose. That is how to do God’s Work effectively. God’s ministers today must work to draw the people of God together as one man.
In reconstructing Jerusalem, they first built the altar, which symbolizes the priesthood and ministry: “And they set the altar upon his bases; for fear was upon them because of the people of those countries: and they offered burnt offerings thereon unto the Lord, even burnt offerings morning and evening” (verse 3). They positioned the altar right where it had been within the temple that David had prepared and Solomon had built.
Spiritually today, we build the same way: right on the base, the foundation, of what Mr. Armstrong built. He is God’s signet and our example in building (Haggai 2:23). Zerubbabel, the builder in Ezra-Nehemiah, was a forerunner of Mr. Armstrong. Zerubbabel was a real builder, and so was Mr. Armstrong.
“And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, they set the priests in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites the sons of Asaph with cymbals, to praise the Lord, after the ordinance of David king of Israel” (Ezra 3:10). They deeply praised God, and it all was done “after the ordinance of David king of Israel.” King David wasn’t there, nor was his throne. Yet they were abiding by his directives. You can read this “ordinance” regarding institutionalized praise in 2 Chronicles 29:25. These Jews treated it not just as a suggestion but as a commandment! They thought very highly of David and God. They knew that God’s promise to David was still being fulfilled.
“And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the Lord; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid” (Ezra 3:11). These are two of the most inspiring verses in the book of Ezra. After merely laying the foundation of this much humbler temple, the people celebrated mightily. They were thrilled to be a part of this construction project! They were honored to be raising the ruins of Jerusalem!
God’s Church is building today. We have raised the ruins, we are following the pattern God established through Mr. Armstrong, and we are adding to the spiritual house he built. When something is accomplished in God’s Work today, do you love God so much that you feel like celebrating?
One of the main jobs of God’s ministry today is to build a temple of spiritual praise and joy, of happiness and love. There is authority, but this is God’s Family. God is full of happiness, joy and love, and He wants us all to be that way! If you have the attitude, Who am I to be called and to be part of this? then you will really rejoice in this Work.
You can see Ezra’s respect for David all through the book of Ezra-Nehemiah, as well as Chronicles.
‘A Great King of Israel’
Ezra 5 describes Zerubbabel and Joshua building the house of God along with several helpers. These men knew that they were building in the grand tradition of King David, and this fortified their efforts.
As is always the case in doing God’s Work, enemies came to hinder them. “At the same time came to them Tatnai, governor on this side the river, and Shetharboznai and their companions, and said thus unto them, Who hath commanded you to build this house, and to make up this wall?” (verse 3). These men were trying to intimidate the builders and halt their construction. They wanted to blot it out!
Zerubbabel knew he had God’s backing and refused to be intimidated. These evil men left and took the matter all the way up to King Darius. As they reported it to the king, here is how Zerubbabel boldly answered their challenge: “We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and build the house that was builded these many years ago, which a great king of Israel builded and set up” (verse 11). These men saw themselves as raising up the ruins of the noble work of David! The great King David had prepared that house, and his son had built it. The memory of that royal history glowed within Zerubbabel and Joshua. They served the same God that those ancient kings did—and so do we!
A Ready Scribe in the Law
Ezra 8:2 lists a son who descended from David’s royal line. Ezra 7:2 shows that Ezra himself was literally a son of Zadok, the warrior and priest who stayed loyal to David from beginning to end. I don’t think that is coincidental. Ezra respected David the same way that Zadok did. We too are sons of Zadok if we are loyal to David’s throne as Zadok was.
Ezra had the same attitude toward God’s law that King David had. “This Ezra went up from Babylon; and he was a ready scribe in the law of Moses, which the Lord God of Israel had given …” (verse 6). Ezra was skilled in the law of God. He really kept that law! Before going into captivity, the Jews had broken the law and failed to keep the Sabbath day. Under Ezra, God was making them learn what they had forgotten. And they were very eager to do so.
Here is the point God is getting across: If you want God’s throne, you also must have God’s law. That requires the government of God. If you don’t have the government, you don’t have the law. If you’re going to be associated with David’s throne, you must keep the law!
We have to learn to love the law the way David did. “The law of the Lord is perfect,” he wrote (Psalm 19:7). It is a perfect law! Oh, how I love thy law! David used expressions like that continually.
Ezra’s respect for God’s law deeply impressed the Gentile King Artaxerxes. This king commissioned him thus: “And thou, Ezra, after the wisdom of thy God, that is in thine hand, set magistrates and judges, which may judge all the people that are beyond the river, all such as know the laws of thy God; and teach ye them that know them not. And whosoever will not do the law of thy God, and the law of the king, let judgment be executed speedily upon him, whether it be unto death, or to banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment” (Ezra 7:25-26).
Could you judge according to God’s law as Ezra could? God will reward all of us according to our keeping of the law, and He will punish us if we forsake it.
Ezra 8 goes on to list the men who returned to Jerusalem with Ezra from Babylonian captivity. Verse 20 mentions, “Also of the Nethinims, whom David and the princes had appointed for the service of the Levites, two hundred and twenty Nethinims: all of them were expressed by name.” Yet another mention of how they were restoring the details of the temple service just as David had established them.
When I originally wrote my booklet on Ezra-Nehemiah, I didn’t include a lot of these scriptures because I didn’t recognize how important they are. I can now see how much we need to emphasize the way they talked about David in this book when they didn’t even have the throne. They knew David’s throne was still active, and they knew where it was!
Nehemiah Also Exalts David
Nehemiah 3:15-16 talk about the City of David and show that the people at that time knew where the “sepulchres of David” were: apparently connected to David’s palace. We assisted in archaeological excavations at that exact location. Perhaps the tombs of the kings are going to be discovered right there at King David’s palace.
Who are we to be involved in archaeology projects in Jerusalem? Who are we to build a house for God? Who are we to have this honor and this opportunity to be involved in this awesome Work of God? We must keep growing in the attitude David had: Who am I to be able to give offerings, to give money to God’s Work? That is a wonderful attitude, and it is the way God wants us to think.
Nehemiah 8 describes Ezra teaching the law to the whole congregation on the Feast of Trumpets (“the first day of the seventh month,” verse 2). That holy day is about the coming of David’s throne, upon which Jesus Christ will sit. So even there, it is indirectly talking about David.
Nehemiah 12 lists the priests and Levites involved in the work in Jerusalem. Verse 23 says, “The sons of Levi, the chief of the fathers, were written in the book of the chronicles, even until the days of Johanan the son of Eliashib.” Ezra had written this book years before writing Chronicles, but he later added this reference to show the link between Ezra-Nehemiah and Chronicles. Bible scholars pass over this and don’t give it any credence. Yet God gives numerous signs to show what the truth is; we just need to have the right attitude and be determined to find it.
Verse 24 mentions “the chief of the Levites” who were there “to praise and to give thanks, according to the commandment of David the man of God, ward over against ward.” Again and again, Ezra brought David into the picture. He wanted everybody to see how David commanded certain things and that they were doing the same thing David ordered from his throne. That throne was alive in Ezra’s mind. He was following what David did and continually discussed that throne.
If you have David’s throne, there is a law. A “commandment of David” was really a commandment from God! David learned to submit to government and to then enact it.
Ezra said, We praise and give thanks just as David commanded! Praising and thanking God is the core of being God-centered and a man after God’s own heart. Each of us needs to prioritize this personally and institutionalize praise and thanks in our own lives! We need to seek to fulfill every detail of what God wants of us. That is an attitude of wanting not only to obey the Father, but to please Him as Christ did.
This passage goes on to describe the dedication of the wall around Jerusalem. This celebration was filled with music. Verse 36 mentions the people who used “the musical instruments of David the man of God.” They had the instruments of David! That’s the level to which they looked to this man, a man after God’s own heart. They were praising God with those instruments, just as we do in God’s Church today.
“And at the fountain gate, which was over against them, they went up by the stairs of the city of David, at the going up of the wall, above the house of David …” (verse 37). They knew where the house of David was.
“And both the singers and the porters kept the ward of their God, and the ward of the purification, according to the commandment of David, and of Solomon his son. For in the days of David and Asaph of old there were chief of the singers, and songs of praise and thanksgiving unto God” (verses 45-46). This was a commandment inspired by God!
Remember, they did all this even though they did not have the throne of David with them!
God’s credibility is at stake with the promise made to David. Those who thought the throne had ended should have kept their minds on Jeremiah. He was imprisoned and nearly died in the mire there. Don’t you think God had a purpose in saving Jeremiah? He had a job for him to finish! Even after being taken captive by the Babylonians, Jeremiah was released again and given money and provisions. Nebuchadnezzar was aware of his warning to Judah and recognized that he was a prophet of God. Jeremiah took Tea-Tephi—Zedekiah’s daughter and the heir to David’s dynasty—to Ireland, along with the pillar stone. Jeremiah had suffered so much and wondered about how God could keep His promise to David—yet God used him to help continue that promise and that throne!
How to Have Joy
Ezra and Nehemiah told the people, “[T]he joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). Ezra was showing them how to have real joy. There is cause and effect. A law is in motion whether you know it or not. Disobeying it causes injury and curses. Obeying it brings joy into your life! If you’re really joyful and have the joy of God, that is your strength! We all want joy, and God wants to give it to us in abundance.
“Also that day they offered great sacrifices, and rejoiced: for God had made them rejoice with great joy: the wives also and the children rejoiced: so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard even afar off” (Nehemiah 12:43). The whole family was rejoicing. That’s the way it is with God’s law. It’s not just for the adults; even the young people can truly rejoice! Those in Ezra’s day were so happy and so full of joy because they were all obeying the law of God, as we do in God’s Church today.
Sadly, it had taken 70 years of captivity to get these people into this attitude. Over and over through this book, God called them “the children of the captivity” to keep reminding them that their kingdom had been destroyed and their people had been conquered (e.g. Ezra 6:16-21; 10:7, 16; Nehemiah 7:6; 8:17). God had allowed it because they had broken the Sabbath, the holy days and His other laws, and they didn’t listen to what David or Jeremiah had taught them! So they were really working to repent of those sins.
That nightmarish captivity was just a type of the coming Great Tribulation. True Christians who have turned against God today will be the children of that captivity, the worst affliction ever on this planet! Fifty percent of the Laodiceans will repent and sacrifice their lives for God. Consider the punishment it takes before they learn that lesson! It shouldn’t be, but that is the only way they can still be the Bride of Christ, and even still they will lose their headquarters reward.
We want to help all of them, whom we should love deeply and dearly. We want to get God’s warning message out to them.
The Vision of God’s House
Ezra blessed the people with a positive message because of their 70-year captivity. He wanted to encourage and inspire them. So in the book of Chronicles, he gave them the positive aspects of their history.
Solomon had multiplied wives and concubines to himself, honored other gods, trusted in his military, and failed to lead the people as his father told him to. David had warned him that if he forsook God, God would cast him off forever (1 Chronicles 28:9). The fact that Ezra included him means that Solomon must have repented and made it into God’s Kingdom. (You can read about Solomon’s repentance in my free booklet The Song of Songs—God’s Greatest Love Song.)
“Thus all the work that Solomon made for the house of the Lord was finished …” (2 Chronicles 5:1). The temple was the house of God! We have a house of God today on our headquarters campus in Edmond. This is where God’s presence is.
“Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the chief of the fathers of the children of Israel, unto Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord out of the city of David, which is Zion” (verse 2). From Solomon until Jerusalem’s destruction, the ark of the covenant was housed in the temple.
In chapter 6, Solomon began his dedication prayer. It takes two pages in the King James Bible to explain how Solomon prayed to God about this temple, the glory of God that filled the house, and how the fire came down from heaven and consumed the sacrifices! The priests couldn’t even enter the temple for a while because the overwhelming glory of God was manifested there! The people fell on their faces and cried out to God. They wanted to glorify God.
Mr. Armstrong evoked this history when he gave his dedication prayer for Ambassador Auditorium in 1974, saying: “[N]ow we come to the time that I want to dedicate this in the name of the living Jesus Christ to the honor and the glory of the great God. Almighty God, please grant that we will always use this building to your honor and glory; that nothing will happen here that will be displeasing to you. I ask you, Almighty God, to honor prayers that go up to you from this building. I ask you to bless those who come into it. I ask you to bless everyone who will speak in sermons or in Bible studies from this platform. I ask you to bless all the people as they come and to open their ears and their minds to do what will be preached to them in this building. I ask you, Almighty God, to bless it and protect it in every way—to preserve it, because you are the great Creator, and you’re the Creator who preserves that which you create. So we ask you to preserve this immaculate and clean and beautiful, and keep it clean to represent clean and honest, forthright character. May it be an inspiration to all who come in. And we ask every blessing, Father, to people that come, and we give you thanks, as far as we humbly can, for allowing us to have such a beautiful place at your headquarters church to honor you. Thank you, in Jesus’s name. Amen.”
We remind our members of that prayer every six months. Mr. Armstrong said that building was a tangible, wonderful vision for people in this world to see and that it illustrated the beautiful, exquisite character of God! He said that by looking at that house you can begin to see how God lives and thinks. You see a reflection of the very character of God, what pleases Him, and what He enjoys in this life.
We aimed for that same standard in building Armstrong Auditorium. Our auditorium is of less quality than what Mr. Armstrong was able to build through God’s blessings, but it is still very impressive. Just being in it is a truly uplifting and inspiring experience.
We want to bring David’s building attitude and his approach into God’s Work today. David labored fervently “in my trouble.” Though he was tried and tested, he still gave everything he had to God’s Work to lead those people to build a house for “my God.”
If He really is my God and your God, individually, then we are going to complete this Work, and we will be ready to sit on David’s throne and rule with Jesus Christ forever!