“Remember Jesus Christ of the seed of David raised from the dead according to my gospel” (2 Timothy 2:8).
“Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham.” It is thus that our Lord is introduced to us in the first verse of the New Testament, but this was after God had made great promises of royal blessing and glory in the Old Testament. These could only be righteously secured in Jesus Christ, but He must be of the royal seed and of the royal line legally, and both these are found in Him.
The “ONE KING” who is soon to reign over Israel and over all the earth is clearly marked out to be the Lord, “JEHOVAH”; but it is equally clear that He is the Messiah, the Christ, “THE SEED OF DAVID” (John 1:41, 7:42). The line of divine kingship is traced in Psalm 2:7 and 45:6, and other Scriptures, while that of David is found in Matthew 1:1, and many other verses; but the “Seed Royal” came in the chosen line of Luke 3:23-38, and the rights were secured through sacrifice, blood-shedding and death, while it is in resurrection Christ upholds all for glory and blessing; so Timothy is told to remember “Jesus Christ raised from among the dead, of the seed of David” (2 Tim. 2:8). This wonderful King is designated as God, as Jehovah (Zech. 14:9), and as Son of David. The Holy Spirit thus glorifies Him in the inspired Writings.
When the apostle of the Gentiles speaks of God’s gospel (which is being preached before the King reigns publicly), he connects it with Christ as David’s Seed, as well as with that of Abraham. It is true that He is God the King, Jehovah the King, and God’s King, begotten and anointed, but the sure mercies of David are found in his Seed as was promised. Therefore the gospel of God’s grace is preached in His name at the present time, while He is rejected, before He returns and sits upon the throne of His father David. This gives a peculiar distinction to the proclamation today, for before the divine King is publicly enthroned, while He is now honoured in heaven, having been refused His rights on earth, the glad tidings are heralded in His name.
The gospel consequently calls those who believe out from world-associations (which have no place for Christ) into assembly-associations where He is owned as Lord, and known as Head. To be in these new associations happily, it was necessary that eternal forgiveness and justification should be given to all who accept the Saviour, and God’s gospel offers this to all, for all have sinned, new life is also given to those who are thus brought into the assembly, which is the body of Christ; for although many belong to the mere lifeless profession of this, it was necessary, before any could be living members of Christ’s body, that this gift should be theirs, along with the Spirit also to unite them vitally to the Head in heaven. Therefore the offer of the gospel is made through Christ, the Seed of David, who died for sinners and was raised again for our justification. In this way Paul heralded the glad tidings, as Acts 13:23-39 and 2 Timothy 2:8, make known to us; and the foundation of this gospel is shown in Romans 1:3, for it is based upon the truth concerning Jesus Christ our Lord, who according to the flesh came of “DAVID’S SEED,” marked out by resurrection as “SON OF GOD.”
The many promises recorded of old in the inspired Book, pointing on to enduring mercies and the filling of the earth with glory, made it necessary that David’s Son and Lord should come, and Himself secure all through His own death and resurrection He must also be the woman’s Seed in contrast to the serpent’s seed, as Genesis 3:15 foretold; and the defeat of the deceiver of man, the devil, has been secured through Christ, the Seed of the woman. Again, Genesis 4 speaks of “another seed” on Seth’s line in contrast to Cain’s; Christ came of the former, and His precious blood speaks of blessing in contrast to Abel’s that cried for vengeance. When world-wide blessing as promised, Abraham’s Seed is pointed to, and Genesis 22:17-18, Galatians 3:16, Hebrews 2:16, with other Scriptures, speak of this. The Lord took hold of the seed of Abraham and not angels, to bring this about. The Seed, moreover, is not only David’s and Abraham’s, but He is the Virgin’s Son (promised in Isaiah 7:14), as we see in Matthew 1:21, 23. His name is JESUS, Jehovah the Saviour; He is called EMMANUEL, God with us.
The blessing and glory that God counselled rest immovably in Christ, “the Seed.” Nought can overthrow this, for all the promises are “YEA” and “AMEN” in Him, for the glory of God by those who are His. The fruitfulness of this Seed will be abundant for His honour. The Psalmist said in regard to this world even, “The earth is full of His riches!” He made the grass, the herb, and the fruit-trees yielding after their kind, the seed of which is in them (Gen. 1:11; 2:5), on the third day, the day which points us to resurrection; the seed is thus used to illustrate this truth by the Spirit in 1 Corinthians 15:35-44. The Seed of promise is CHRIST, as we have seen so fully proved by God’s Word, and He has come in the ordered line, divinely appointed, and all in that line are “after their kind”; but death, quickening and resurrection, were necessary if abiding fruitfulness was to result. He Himself said, “Except THE GRAIN of wheat falling into the ground and die, it abides alone, but if it die, it bears MUCH FRUIT” (John 12:24, N.Tr.). The one Grain of singular and exceptional quality, “the Grain” as the Spirit speaks of Him, bears fruit abundantly for the pleasure and glory of God, according to divine purpose.
The “resurrection of life” must take place for this. Even in apostolic days some questioned the fact of actual, bodily resurrection; but the raising of Christ from among the dead is the proof and pledge that our bodies will be raised “Christ the first-fruits, afterward they that are Christ’s at His coming!” even as it is said, “In Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Cor. 15:22). Already the Word of Truth has taken effect in those who believe in view of their being “a kind of firstfruits of Has creatures.” Such are “born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible,” and being begotten of God, they are preserved from the lawlessness of the disobedient and loveless, “for His seed” remaineth in them (1 John 3:9). If the woman’s Seed has bruised the serpent’s head by His work on the cross, it is also said of those who are His, “The God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.” That will take place when all the redeemed are glorified with Christ, when they are in bodies like unto his own, for
“The Lord Himself shall come and shout a quickening word,
Thousands shall answer from the tomb, ‘FOR EVER WITH THE LORD!’
Then, as we upward fly, that resurrection word
Shall be our shout of victory, ‘FOR EVER WITH THE LORD!’”
The apostle said to one who questioned the raising of the body, “Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened except it die, and that which thou sowest is not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: but God giveth it a body as it pleaseth Him, and to every seed his own body” (1 Cor. 15:36-38). Then he makes known something of the vastness and variety of the resurrection splendours and beauties, for as differences of celestial distinctions deck the heavens, so is the resurrection: incorruption, immortality, honour, glory and power will adorn the quickened and raised bodies of the redeemed, the natural will be superseded by the spiritual, the earthly by the heavenly, and the victory over death and the grave shall result in thanksgiving and glory to God. The “much fruit,” borne in triumph and grace by “THE SEED” of God’s providing, shall bring order, gladness, and peace to the kingdom and dominion of the Son of Man, also pleasure, satisfaction, and glory to the everlasting rest of God; and Christ shall rejoice over the results of His soul’s travail. “He shall see His seed!” His co-heirs, His brethren, all like Himself having been predestinated to be conformed to the image of God’s Son, shall surround Him in scenes of holiness, love and gladness, where He shall be pre-eminent, “THE FIRSTBORN AMONG MANY BRETHREN.”