One of the most important and prominent prophetic types of Christ is King David. Every kingdom must have a king. David is the most notable type prophesying Christ as King.
The concept of the king goes back to the original Dominion Mandate given to Adam in Gen. 1:26,
26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.
This was reinforced in Gen. 1:28,
28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; and fill the earth and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Many years later, after David subdued Goliath, he wrote Psalm 8, where he wrote in verses 4-8:
4 What is man that You take thought of him, and the son of man that You care for him? 5 Yet you have made him a little lower than God, and You crown him with glory and majesty! 6 You make him to rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet.
The Apostle Paul interpreted this as a reference to Christ when he wrote in 1 Cor. 15:27, 28,
27 For He has put all things in subjection under His feet… 28 But when all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.
Again, Paul wrote in Eph. 1:20-23,
20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And He put all things in subjection under His feet and gave Him as head over all things to the church, 24 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
Psalm 8 is quoted again in Heb. 2:6-8, ending with the clear statement: “For in subjecting all things to him, He left nothing that is not subject to him.”
Man in general was given dominion over the earth, but certain men were given greater dominion over other men. When Adam died, the highest earthly dominion passed to his son, Seth. Each generation afterward was given the Dominion Mandate as part of the Birthright.
The Birthright consisted of two main Mandates: the Dominion Mandate and the Fruitfulness Mandate. Later, we learn that the Dominion Mandate itself was the authority to rule in both the civil (king) and spiritual (priest) realms. The Fruitfulness Mandate was the authority to bring forth the sons of God, which we saw in our study of Joshua.
The Birthright Divided
The Birthright remained united from Adam to Jacob-Israel. But before Jacob died, he divided various provisions of the Birthright among his sons. Most of the sons received some of the blessings inherent in the Birthright, but three of them were given prominent leadership positions.
Judah received the civil portion of the Dominion Mandate (Gen. 49:10). Joseph received the Fruitfulness Mandate (Gen. 49:22). Two centuries later, when God brought Israel out of Egypt, He separated the priesthood from the king and entrusted it to Levi, making Aaron the first high priest of that order (Lev. 8). So then there were three main divisions in the Birthright, all of which were to be reunited under the Messiah.
The United Kingdom of Israel
The division and distribution of the Birthright portions did not adversely affect anyone as long as they remained in unity. Unity means that people benefit from each other’s callings, as long as each fulfills the responsibility that he has been given to be a blessing to others.
The calling of Judah to provide the kings of Israel was delayed for ten generations because Judah’s heir, Pharez, was an illegitimate child through Tamar (Genesis 38; Deut. 23:2). David was the tenth generation and therefore eligible to receive the Dominion Mandate in the calling of Judah. Those ten generations are listed in Ruth 4:18-22.
The people grew impatient, however, and wanted a king before the tenth generation had arrived. So God gave them a temporary king from the tribe of Benjamin. His name was Saul (1 Sam. 9:1, 2). Although he was a legitimate king, anointed by Samuel, he did not possess the Dominion Mandate which belonged to the tribe of Judah.
It was not possible for Benjamin to replace Judah, so Saul was unable to establish a permanent dynasty either. His reign was only a temporary convenience to satisfy the impatience of the Israelites. Even so, God waited until Saul had fully disqualified himself before telling Samuel to anoint a new king (David).
David was just eight years old when he was anointed the first time. Saul would reign another 22 years, and David was then anointed the second time and came to the throne at the age of 30. He ruled seven years and six months over one tribe (Judah), and then finally was anointed king over all Israel. Only then did David fully walk in his calling.
After David died, his son Solomon took the throne. He was the final king to rule over the United Kingdom of Israel. After the death of Solomon, ten tribes revolted over the issue of high taxes without representation, and this divided Judah from Israel. In fact, the term Israel was then redefined to exclude Judah, for both Judah and Israel became national terms. Thereafter, the prophets always distinguished them.
Repairing the Breach
With Judah and Israel divided, the Dominion Mandate was also divided from the Fruitfulness Mandate (which now defined the “Birthright,” 1 Chron. 5:1, 2). This meant that the Israelites no longer had the benefit of kings who held the Dominion Mandate. Conversely, the Judahites (“Jews”) no longer had the benefit of the Birthright, nor did they have the (national) right to bring forth the sons of God.
To make matters worse, Israel was exiled to Assyria, and Judah later exiled to Babylon. Israel’s departure was the fall of the Birthright; Judah’s departure was the end of the kings. It appeared that all was lost. However, this failure was divinely engineered in order to bring an end to the Old Covenant and to start fresh with a New Covenant, as prophesied in Jer. 31:31-34.
Hosea prophesied of Israel’s demise but also foretold of the coming Messiah, who would reunite the tribes under the true King. Hosea 1:11 says,
11 And the sons of Judah and the sons of Israel will be gathered together, and they will appoint for themselves one leader [Christ], and they will go up from the land, for great will be the day of Jezreel.
This repair of the breach can come only by uniting the two nations under Christ Himself. Both must declare Him to be their King. Just as important, however, is the fact that this reunification was ultimately to include the entire world, because the original Birthright given to Adam included the whole world.
In other words, the rule of Christ is not limited to any single portion of land on earth. It is not limited in scope to any particular ethnic groups. God has certainly started out by calling a few, but the few were called to bless the many without partiality. The Abrahamic calling stated: “in you all the families of the earth will be blessed” (Gen. 12:3).
This calling has been partially fulfilled in virtually every generation. However, the full plan of God has yet to be realized—or even understood by more than a few. Very few can even accept the fact that all men will be saved (1 Tim. 4:10), or that even as in Adam all die, so also will all be made alive (1 Cor. 15:22), or that all will be justified in the end (Rom. 5:18).
Without understanding the scope of the divine plan and how the original purpose for the earth will be fulfilled, the mind of God has remained hidden from most of the world, including the church! Nonetheless, the divine plan does not succeed or fail according to the will of man. If it appears to fail, it is because God intended the partial forms to fail in order to make way for a greater manifestation to come.
Reuniting the King and Priest
When Jesus came to earth, He came with the authority of both the King and the High Priest. This effectively began the reunification of the Birthright, beginning with the breach between Judah’s Scepter and Levi’s Priesthood.
To lay claim to Judah’s Scepter, He came of the tribe of Judah and of the line of David, for He was genealogically the heir of the throne. Secondly, He was the heir of John the Baptist, the last legitimate high priest of the Levitical Order. Neither Jesus nor John were recognized by men, of course, but nonetheless, they were called of God.
John’s death brought about the transition from Levi to Melchizedek, because as a man of Judah, Jesus could not lawfully inherit the High Priesthood as long as that calling was given only to descendants of Aaron, who was of Levi.
But there was an older order of priesthood that preceded Levi by many generations. Melchizedek (i.e., Shem) was the Birthright holder in his day, having received it from his father, Noah. Gen. 14:18 tells us that he was “king of Salem” and also “he was a priest of God Most High,” for at that time the scepter and priesthood were still united under one head.
According to Jewish writings, Shem was the builder of Jerusalem and was therefore its king. Jerusalem means “City of Salem” or “City of Peace.” He outlived Abraham, for he lived to be 600 years old (Gen. 10:10, 11).
Yet in the biblical record, when he surfaces as the king of Salem under the title of Melchizedek (or Adonizedek), he comes into the narrative without pausing to identify him by genealogy. Hence, Heb. 7:6 says of him, “one whose genealogy is not traced” (i.e., not written in the biblical record in Gen. 14).
The “divine silence” made him a type of Christ, who had no earthly father. Likewise, this shows that no particular genealogy is required to be of the Melchizedek Order. This differs from the Aaronic Order, where the requirement is to be of Levi and specifically of Aaron to be a qualified priest.
For this reason, Heb. 7:13, 14 says,
13 For the one concerning whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe, from which no one has officiated at the altar. 14 For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, a tribe with reference to which Moses spoke nothing concerning priests.
Those of the tribe of Judah were not qualified to minister as Aaronic priests. Judah’s calling was to supply kings, not priests. At the same time, Levi could never supply a high priest who was able to minister to God in heaven. This calling was reserved for the Order of Melchizedek, which demanded no genealogical requirements.
David himself was of the Melchizedek Order, as Psalm 110:4 tells us,
4 The Lord has sworn and will not change His mind, “You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”
Christ, too, was of this Order, for David was a prophetic type of Christ (Heb. 7:21, 22). To be of that Order, one must be both a king and a priest, reuniting those two portions of the original Birthright.
This was one of the big changes in the priesthood that the book of Hebrews sets forth. The priesthood of Levi was imperfect; the priesthood of Melchizedek is perfect. So Heb. 7:11 says,
11 Now if perfection was through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the people received the Law), what further need was there for another priest to arise according to the order of Melchizedek and not be designated according to the order of Aaron?
Many Christians today claim that the Age to come will be one in which priests of Levi will again be called to minister in a physical temple in the earthly Jerusalem and offer animal sacrifices to God. Such people testify that they are of Hagar (Gal. 4:25) and are not true inheritors of the Kingdom.
When Heb. 7:21 quotes Psalm 110:4 (above), the author uses the term aionian (usually translated “forever”). It should read literally, “You are a priest for The Age,” that is, the Messianic Age that is to come. Dr. Bullinger confirms this in his notes, saying,
“for ever. i.e., for the (coming) age, the Messianic reign.”
So there are Christians today who submit to the Levitical priesthood, and there are overcomers who submit to the Melchizedek Order. The overcomers are those who “will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him” (Rev. 20:6. In other words, they will be both kings and priests, holding the full Dominion Mandate of Judah that includes the spiritual authority that has been removed from Levi.
These hold the full Dominion Mandate of Judah and are therefore the real “Jews” that Paul defined in Rom. 2:28, 29,
28 For he is NOT a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. 29 But he IS a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.
Because the Dominion Mandate of Judah originally included the spiritual dominion before it came to Levi, it is clear that a true “Jew” is one who rules as both king and priest—in other words, he is of the Melchizedek Order.
But since this greater Order is not genealogy dependent, anyone can be a “Jew,” regardless of his ethnicity. That is why Scripture presents Melchizedek himself without recording his genealogy. Our name does not have to be Cohen in order to qualify for this greater priesthood.
Likewise, to be of the tribe of Judah (“praise”), one only needs to have the praise of God, rather than the praise of men. To receive such praise (official recognition as a member of the tribe of Judah), one must be in unity with Jesus Christ, the Son of David, King of Judah.
Judah’s Temporary Calling
Judah’s calling originated in Gen. 49:10, which says,
10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until Shiloh comes, and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.
Most people miss the plainly stated fact that Judah’s calling (“the scepter”) was temporary “until Shiloh comes.” When “Shiloh” comes, the scepter will be transferred to Him, along with the people’s obedience (or allegiance).
This is because the entire Birthright must be reunited in Christ, who is the “Shiloh” prophesied here. The separation between the scepter and the rest of the Birthright (sonship) must be reunited in order to manifest the full Kingdom of God in earth. What Jacob did must be reversed in the end.
Joseph’s Birthright takes precedence over the scepter, because the scepter is just one portion of the Birthright. When the scepter, priesthood, and sonship provisions are united, the final form will be known as the Birthright, not the Scepter, nor the Priesthood. The most important element is the authority of sons, which, after Jacob’s division, remained with Joseph.
Further, Joseph’s dreams, in which he saw his brothers bowing down to him, prophesied of the day when both Levi and Judah would give way to Joseph. In other words, both the scepter and the priesthood would return to Joseph as elements of the Birthright.
The Greater Work
Jesus’ first manifestation was through Judah, and His mission was to reunite the scepter and the priesthood. This was what He accomplished on the cross in what is often called “the finished work of Christ.”
When He died on the cross, Jesus did indeed finish His first mission, which was to lay the foundation guaranteeing the success of the second work. We do not minimize the importance of His death work. But the law prophesies two comings of Christ in the two doves (Lev. 14) and the two goats (Lev. 16). It takes two doves to bring immortality, and it takes two goats to bring incorruption. These prophesied of Jesus in both of His missions.
When Jesus died on the cross, His overall work was not yet “finished.” It takes two comings of Christ, each with a distinct mission, to complete this reunification. His second coming as “Joseph” will unite the Scepter of Judah and priesthood of Levi with the Birthright of Joseph.
Even then, the work of Christ will not be “finished” until all of creation is restored. The united Birthright will see the manifestation of the sons of God, complete with both spiritual and earthly authority, but God will have many more sons before His work is truly “finished.”
The sons of God, matured and manifested at His second coming, will be the first-fruits of creation. Their job will be to bless all the families of the earth by providing them with personal examples to give everyone a vision of what they too will be when their time comes.
The Grand Design, regardless of what men think, is to set all of Creation free, so that it too will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God (Rom. 8:21).
Until this plan is complete, the work is not finished.
So there is still much work to be done, both now and in the future. Meanwhile, God has given us time to prepare. Those whom He has called in the present age He will train as well, so that they may put on the mind of Christ and exercise authority as He would.
David was not perfect, but his heart was in the right place. When he sinned, he repented sincerely. Perfection is not required, but one must be correctable. In that sense, David was the forerunner of all who are of the Melchizedek Order and who are destined to reign with Christ. None of the remnant of grace have been perfect, but they know how to apply the blood of Jesus to the altar of their hearts, and their eyes have been opened to receive truth with humility.