Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Christ Our Reigning Priest and King, Day 1

Episode Resources

Watch Nancy teach this series.

Woman: My husband and I have been praying through some changes that may be coming our way soon. In the midst of all of this, I was saying how I wanted to love the Lord more.

Leslie Basham: A woman wrote to Revive Our Hearts about wanting to grow closer to Jesus.

Woman: I’m a first-time mom to an eleven-month old, so I’ve been pretty busy adjusting. I feel like I’ve been in a barren wasteland for a little bit. I spent serious time in prayer, begging the Lord to show me His love for me so I might love Him more. Then Revive Our Hearts aired a series on loving Jesus more.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth (on radio): And I said, “I want women to really experience and believe that God loves them, to experience the love of Christ.

Woman: I knew this study was an answer to prayer. I spent the last weeks studying with tears streaming down my face.

Nancy (on radio): And then, having experienced it, to have a whole new capacity to love Him, to love their mate, to love others with that love.

Woman: Thank you, thank you, thank you times a million.

Nancy: Thank You, Lord. I want to say a huge thank you to every person who supports Revive Our Hearts with your prayers and your financial gifts. You’re not just praying or giving to support efforts to faceless, nameless masses. You’re part of the story that God is writing in a woman who’s studying God’s Word with tears streaming down her face, wanting more of Jesus.

I’m so grateful for each person who has supported the ministry this month and even more grateful for the spiritual fruit that God is bringing about in women’s hearts as a result.

I’m also prayerfully asking and trusting the Lord, along with our team, for His supply for Revive Our Hearts during this season. As I’ve been mentioning throughout this month, we’re closing out our fiscal year, and now, just one more week.

Donations have been considerably less than we projected for the past several months. That means we entered this final month for the fiscal year with a serious budget gap. Over the past several weeks, we’ve been making plans for our new fiscal year that begins June 1. And unless God provides in a significant way between now and then, we’re going to have to make some hard decisions about cuts to our core outreaches.

I want to say to you what I remind myself often, and that is that God is our primary Donor—that’s with a capital “D.” He owns everything. Right? And He works through His people to supply the needs of a ministry like Revive Our Hearts. So we know that whatever God gives us by the close of this month that will be His good plan. And we’re trusting Him to work through people like you to provide exactly what He knows we need.

Our prayer target for the month of May is $830,000. To find out what the Lord has provided through today, or to make your donation, visit us at ReviveOurHearts.com, or give us a call at 1–800–569–5959.

Thank you so much for partnering with us in this ministry as we continue helping women to experience the joy and the power of the resurrected, ascended Christ.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, author of Surrender: The Heart God Controls, for Tuesday, May 23, 2017.

Nancy: One of the most significant days in the Church calendar is observed this week, though I’d venture to say that most people have no idea what that day is. It’s called Ascension Day. This year it falls on May 25. That’s Thursday of this week. It’s the day when we celebrate Jesus’ ascension into heaven forty days after He rose from the grave.

Over the past few months, I’ve been meditating on Psalm 110. It’s a wonderful psalm any time of the year, but I think it’s especially meaningful in this season. It gives us an Old Testament glimpse, a foreshadowing of the resurrection, the ascension, and the exaltation of Christ, and it lets us in on a conversation that took place in heaven when Jesus returned from earth.

It also gives us an idea of what Jesus has been doing in heaven since that time, and it gives us a preview of the final battle, the consummation of the ages yet to be fought.

Now, this psalm is a varied one. It is the most quoted psalm in the New Testament. A dozen New Testament books either quote from it directly or refer to it. And verse 1 of Psalm 110 is the most quoted Old Testament verse in the New Testament. It’s quoted twenty-five or more times either directly or referred to indirectly.

So as I read Psalm 110, and I’ll invite you to turn there in your Bible if you haven’t done so already . . . But as we read this, I want you to be asking yourself: “What has this passage revealed to me about the person and the work of Jesus?”

Let me begin reading with the inscription, which is part of the inspired text here, and that becomes important as we look into this psalm. It’s called, “A Psalm of David.”

The LORD says to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool." The LORD sends forth from Zion your mighty scepter. Rule in the midst of your enemies! Your people will offer themselves freely on the day of your power, in holy garments; from the womb of the morning, the dew of your youth will be yours.

The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, "You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek." The Lord is at your right hand; he will shatter kings on the day of his wrath. He will execute judgment among the nations, filling them with corpses; he will shatter chiefs over the wide earth. He will drink from the brook by the way; therefore he will lift up his head. This is the Word of the Lord.

Now, I will be the first to admit that this is a difficult psalm to understand. It’s probably not one you find yourself quoting every day, although I have found myself quoting it many, many days over the last several months. But it requires patient, diligent, hard work, study, and meditation.

I have to say that I feel like I am still skimming the surface of what is to be found in this psalm, but I want us to take the next several days during this Ascension Week to walk through it together, phrase by phrase, verse by verse.

I want to encourage you over these days to be reading it yourself, to take the psalm, maybe just read it several times a day. It’s seven verses. You can read it in a short period of time. You can be meditating on it, turning it over and over again in your mind, as I have been over these months. The first verse I’ve probably quoted, oh, I don’t know, maybe thousands of times, certainly hundreds of times over these last months, just meditating on: “What does this mean? What does it say?” You do that, and the Holy Spirit will give you insight as well.

So, Lord, I pray, as we open this passage of Scripture that You thought was so important to inspire that it was quoted many times in the New Testament, that through it and in these days You would give to us a new, sweet, fresh, true vision of Christ. I pray that we would—seeing Him, knowing Him, loving Him—know what all that means for us today, and how to take this home and make it personal in our hearts and in our walk with You.

So help us, oh Lord. Anoint and enable and enlighten and illumine us by Your Holy Spirit. Personalize Christ to us, our Savior and our King, our Priest, our Judge. I pray in Jesus’ name, amen.

So we start with the inscription at the top: A Psalm of David.

Now, in some psalms, we’re not told who wrote them, and in many of them we are told. It doesn’t really matter a lot who wrote it, but in this case, it matters a lot. It’s a part of the actual text, as I’ve said.

The reason that’s important is there are some modern commentators who think that this psalm was written about David or about another earthly king but not by David. But the New Testament clearly, and Jesus Himself clearly affirms, that this psalm was written by David, the king of Israel. That’s important because if this was just written about David or another earthly king, it has a whole different meaning.

But we believe it was written by David about a greater King, capital “K,” to come. This King is seen in heaven. He’s seated at the right hand of God. His rule is currently being extended throughout the earth.

This King, the King we read about in Psalm 110, is also a priest, and we’ll see why that is really significant. This King is a priest, and He’s a judge. At the end of time, He will judge all the nations of the earth. And the King exalted in this psalm is not a mere mortal. He’s not a mere man. He is divine. He is both human and God. So you know, it could not be about anyone else other than Christ Himself.

From start to finish, this is a psalm about Jesus, what we call in the Old Testament,a Messianic Psalm. Now, some Messianic Psalms have just a part that hints about Jesus. It’s a foreshadowing about Jesus. But this entire Psalm, from start to finish, is about Jesus.

Today we want to look at verse 1, and then we’ll pick up with the other verses through the rest of this week. 

Verse 1, Psalm 110: “The LORD says to my Lord: ‘Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.’”

Now, for starters, the grammar of this whole thing can be very confusing. Sometimes you read something like this, and you just let it pass over. I’ve read this. I’ve read through Psalms many times. “The LORD says to my Lord: ‘Sit at my right hand.’” Stop.

Who is this talking about? What does it mean? Who is speaking to whom about whom?

“The LORD says.”

Now, in this psalm, this is the first of two oracles from God. An oracle is a divine announcement, a special divine revelation. So, “The LORD says,” in verse 1 and in verse 4. We have two of these divine pronouncements, two things that God says clearly, “The LORD says.”

One translation says, “This is the declaration of the LORD to my Lord—The LORD says to my Lord.”

Now, we’ve got the word "Lord" in there twice. So who is the LORD and who is the Lord? Who is the LORD talking? And who is the Lord He’s talking about?

Well, you’ll notice in almost any translation you might possibly have, that the first LORD is all caps. You see that in your Bible? “The LORD”—capital “L,” capital “O,” capital “R,” capital “D.” Whenever you see that in our modern English translations, that is a translation of the Hebrew YHWH, Jehovah, the LORD Jehovah, the self-existent one, the God of the universe, the God of heaven and earth.

God, Jehovah, the LORD is the one speaking. He says, “The LORD says.”

When you go through this psalm, the word "Lord" appears several times. And each time, you have to look and say: “Which Lord is this?” When it’s all caps, it’s Jehovah, God the Father.

“Jehovah says to my Lord”—you’ve got a capital “L,” but lowercase o-r-d. It looks different in your Bible. Right? (Nod your heads so I know.) Yes. It looks different. Who is my Lord?

Well, the word there is not YHWH. It’s not Jehovah. It’s Adonai—Adonai. “The LORD Jehovah says to my Lord, Adonai.”

Now, who’s Lord? Who is my Lord? Who’s writing this? This is a Psalm of David. So, “Jehovah says to my, David’s Lord, Adonai—David’s Lord.” It’s talking about the Messiah, Adonai, the Christ, Jesus, who’s known in the New Testament as the Son of David, is also David’s Lord. This could not be anyone other than Messiah, anyone other than Jesus.

“The LORD Jehovah says to my Lord," yes, He will be my Son, as far as the genealogy goes, but He is my Lord.”

One translator says: “The Master I serve.” That word Adonai has to do with a master, a ruler. My Lord, my magnificent Lord, the Lord I serve, the Master I serve.

Jesus is the Lord of all—period. So we either bow before Him now as His glad, willing servants as David did, “my Lord,” and we acknowledge Him as our Lord. Or we are another group of people that this psalm will talk about, and that is the enemies of the Lord. We are His enemies, and His enemies will one day be forced to bow before Him as their Conqueror.

So He is the Lord. It’s not a matter of: Do we make Him Lord? We don’t make Him Lord. God has made Him Lord. Acts tells us: “He is Lord of all.”

And so David says “Jehovah says to my Master, my Lord, my Messiah, I worship Him.” I start out by saying, “He is my Lord.”

“Every knee will bow . . . every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” (Phil. 2:10–11).

So we’re going to see in this psalm, we have a group of people who are followers of Christ. They are His people. They bow before Him. They acknowledge His lordship. But then there are those who are His enemies. They do not call Him Lord. One day they will.

So, now, by divine, prophetic revelation, “The LORD says . . .” This oracle David is allowed to hear, this intimate conversation between the Father (Jehovah) and His Son (David’s Lord, the Messiah, the Christ). Are you following this? There’s a conversation. The LORD Jehovah says to my Lord, Messiah, the Christ, and David hears this conversation. He hears what God the Father is telling God the Son. This happens by divine revelation.

When does this conversation take place? It’s a conversation that took place upon Jesus’ ascension, His return to heaven, as He was exalted and enthroned at the right hand of God the Father.

So Jesus died on the cross. Three days later He was raised from the dead. He walked on this earth for forty days, teaching His disciples, making appearances, teaching them about the kingdom of God—Acts 1 tells us this. Then on the fortieth day, after the resurrection, the day we celebrate in our Church calendar as Ascension Day, He gathered some of His disciples together. He gave them some parting instructions. He was taken up in a cloud.

What happened to Him? He went up in this bodily form to heaven. When He got to heaven, wherever that is, whatever that looked like, God exalted Him. He was always exalted in eternity past, but He humbled Himself to come to this earth, to become a human. When He went back to heaven, He didn’t lose His humanity, but He went back in His glorified body.

As He was exalted to the right hand in the throne of the Father, “The LORD YHWH says to my Lord, Messiah Christ: ‘Sit at my right hand.’”

I almost get goose bumps thinking about this. “Sit at my right hand.”

Now, picture the scene—of course, we can’t picture it, but think about it, ponder it, meditate on it. 

  • Jesus’ sufferings on earth are now finished.
  • His work on earth is now finished.
  • He has paid the price.
  • He has fought the battle.
  • He has done all that God sent Him here to the earth to do.
  • He has made the ultimate sacrifice of His life.
  • He bears still those wounds on His hands.

Now He has ascended back to heaven. And God says to Him . . . The Father who sent Him down to this earth receives Him into heaven and says, “Sit at My right hand. It’s time to rest. It’s time to sit down. It’s time to rest from Your labors.”

I’ve been meditating on this over and over and over again over the last months. One of the most obvious takeaways to me from this is the obedience of the Son. When the Father said to the Son, “I want you to go to earth,” the Son obeyed the Father. He did exactly what the Father told Him to do.

We know this from the book of John where Jesus says over and over again, “The Father has sent Me” to do this or to do that or to say this or to say that. “The Father has sent Me.” God sent Me here.

And Jesus said, “It is written in the Book of the Law: I have come, oh God, to do Your will.”

We see the obedience, the submission of the Son to the will of the Father.

Then when the Son returned to heaven, the Father said “Sit at my right hand.” And what did Jesus do? He sat at the right hand of the Father. You say, “That’s such a simple thing. God said, 'Sit,' and the Son said, 'Okay, I will sit down.'”

Well, isn’t that our pattern? Isn’t that intended how we live as obedient sons and daughters of the Father? Jesus did what the Father told Him to do.

“Sit at my right hand.” The right hand indicates a place of privilege, a place of honor. For example, at a dinner, you might have the guest of honor seated at the right hand of the host. That would be symbolic of honor. To sit at a king’s right hand means to share in his rule, to share in his reign.

We talk about this in the Apostles’ Creed, one of the creeds of the early church that many of us grew up quoting in church—some still do. It says at one point that Jesus Christ "ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.” I can remember saying that week after week as a child in church. “He sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.”

Now, we read about this in Psalm 110, “Sit at my right hand,” said the Father to the Son. But the New Testament gives us some more insight into that whole scene.

Hebrews 1 tells us that, “After making purification for sins”—where did He do that? Here on earth on the cross. Right? After the cross, “after making purification for sins.” And then what is not said here but assumed, after the ascension, “Jesus sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” Hebrews 1, verse 3 tells us that.

The “right hand of the Majesty on high” is the highest, most exalted place in all the universe.

The writer to Hebrews goes on to say in verse 13 of chapter 1: “And to which of the angels has God ever said, ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet’?” Where did that quote come from? Psalm 110.

“And to which of the angels did God ever say, ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet’?”

Jesus is superior to the angels. He’s higher than the angels. We don’t worship angels. We worship Jesus. He’s the one who is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.

Hebrews 10 goes on to tell us that, “Every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins” (Heb. 10:11).

The Old Testament priests, that whole Levitical priestly system—we’ll talk more about that in this series on Psalm 110—those priests stand daily at their service. They’re not sitting down. Why? Because their work is never done. They have to keep offering sacrifices day after day after day after day after day, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sin. What a job is theirs!

And so here comes now our Perfect Priest. Verse 12 of Hebrews chapter 10, “When Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God.”

The priests stand up day after day, offering those sacrifices. Jesus sat down. Why? Because His redeeming work is complete. It’s finished! It’s done!

And so, today, Jesus is not in a manger. Jesus is not on the cross. Jesus is in heaven. He is seated at the right hand of God, an exalted place, a place of honor, a place of majesty, a place of authority.

And what is He doing there? Well, we could do a whole series on that topic, and maybe someday we will. But continuing in Hebrews chapter 10 where we’ve just been reading: “Every priest stands daily,” but Jesus offered one sacrifice. He sat down at the right hand. What is He doing? Verse 13—again, He’s quoting Psalm 110 here: “He is waiting until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet.”

Jesus is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, waiting. Waiting. Waiting. It’s been, so far, over 2,000 years. That seems like a long time to me. It is a long time to us, but to the Lord, a thousand years is as a day. He’s waiting.

What’s He waiting for? “He is waiting until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet.”

That “footstool for his feet” signifies His enemies being vanquished, being conquered, being subservient, coming in to complete subjection. There’s an Old Testament picture of this in Joshua chapter 10, when Joshua conquers five Amorite kings who had been fighting against Israel.

And in Joshua 10, Joshua says to "the chiefs of the men of war who had gone with him into battle, 'Come near; put your feet on the necks of these kings'” (Josh. 10:24).

What does that mean? That’s a symbol: We have conquered these kings. They have been subjugated. They are now under our rule.

For Jesus’ enemies to be made “a footstool for his feet,” is symbolically saying, “He has conquered every enemy.” Jesus is waiting for this.

And so the Father says to the Son in Psalm 110, “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.”

Who are these enemies? Well, these are the ones who oppose Jesus’ reign and rule. God is making Jesus’ enemies to become His footstool. God is doing this. God is doing it today. He’s active. He’s at work. He’s conquering the hearts of men and women everywhere, bringing them into subjection to Jesus Christ.

And those who will not be conquered while there is time to repent will, still, nonetheless be conquered, and every enemy will become a footstool of Jesus Christ. Every last one of His enemies will be defeated, will be brought into complete subjection. It will happen. Jesus is not waiting as if, “Oh, I wonder if this will happen.” There is no doubt as to the outcome.

But notice that it doesn’t happen immediately. There is that little word, “Until.” “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.” How long is that going to be? A day? A week? A month? A year? A century? A thousand years? How long? How long will that be? How long is that “until all the enemies of Christ become His footstool?” We don’t know.

And you know what? We don’t have to know. We, like Jesus, can wait in confidence that the outcome has been determined. It will happen. It will happen. And so we wait until it happens.

First Corinthians 15, verse 25 says that “Jesus must reign until”—there’s that word again—“until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.”

The final enemy.

  • No more death.
  • No more tears.
  • No more sorrow.
  • No more sickness.
  • No more pain.
  • No more sin.
  • No more desire to sin.

Can I hear a hallelujah? Every enemy will come under the feet of Jesus.

And so, a little take-it-home here: “The Father Jehovah, YHWH, says to the Son, says to my Lord, ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.'”

That says to me that Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father. It’s a place of supreme power.

Jesus said it to His disciples just before His ascension into heaven in Matthew 28. He said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”

Who gave Him that authority? God the Father, YHWH. “The LORD said to my Lord, ‘Sit at my right hand,’” the place of authority.

Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” Jesus is seated at the place of supreme power over all of the universe.

And Jesus is sitting. He’s waiting patiently, but He is not passive. He is actively ministering today on our behalf.

Romans 8 tells us that Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is “interceding for us.” He’s interceding for us. He’s praying for us.

We don’t know how to pray, but His Spirit tells us how to pray, and He prays for us. He goes before the Father on our behalf, and He pleads our case. He is our advocate. When the devil comes to attack us or to accuse us or to malign us, Jesus pleads our case, not because we are holy or righteous, but because He is righteous, and He has paid the price. He has paid the sacrifice for our sins. Love’s redeeming work is done, and now He intercedes for us. Today, that’s what Jesus is doing for you and for me in heaven.

So He’s waiting patiently, but He’s not waiting passively. He’s actively ministering on our behalf.

And then I’d like to make this observation: There is no panic in heaven while Jesus waits for the Father to vanquish His enemies. There are enemies—and we’re going to read more about those enemies in this psalm—but there’s no panic around the throne. Jesus is not scurrying around trying to get things under control, trying to help God get this all figured out.

You say, “That’s ludicrous!” Of course! But there’s a lot of scurrying around going on down here on earth as we’re trying to get things under control.

Jesus is sitting. He’s sitting. He’s trusting. He knows God’s got it all under control. He’s waiting for God’s time for the final victory. And so, for us down here, living among those enemies, there’s no need for us to panic in the midst of the battle. What are we to do?

Well, what Jesus did. Draw near to God. Sit in His presence, and wait for Him to act. Wait for Him to do what needs to be done in our world, in our nation, in your home, in your marriage, in your church, with that prodigal son or daughter.

Now, that doesn’t mean that you don’t care. It doesn’t mean that you aren’t intensely, earnestly, fervently crying out to the Lord on their behalf. Jesus is interceding. He does it earnestly, but there’s no panic. We can sit and wait quietly and trust the Lord.

  • We don’t have to take matters into our own hands.
  • We don’t have to manipulate.
  • We don’t have to control everything and everyone around us.

We can do what Psalm 37 says:

Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act. . . . Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil. For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land. In just a little while, the wicked will be no more . . . But the meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace (vv. 5, 8

So the battle is not over. We still have enemies. But don’t take up the battle yourself. The battle is the Lord’s, and the outcome is certain. So you can sit close to Him. In our position in Christ, we are seated at His right hand, looking down on this mess of this earth, and “the LORD Jehovah says to my Lord, ‘Sit.’” And He says to us, “Sit at My right hand (because we are in Christ) until I make your enemies your footstool.” 

Leslie: That’s Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, preparing our hearts to mark the day Jesus ascended to His Father. Ascension Day is this Thursday.

If you missed any of that message from Nancy, you can hear it at ReviveOurHearts.com. You can also watch the teaching segments this week on video. The videos are at ReviveOurHearts.com as well.

We’re told Jesus is sitting at the right hand of God, but Scripture records one moment when Jesus stands at the right hand of God. Tomorrow, Nancy will help us see why that is such a powerful moment. Please be back for Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth wants you to be in awe of your Savior. It’s an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

All Scripture is taken from the ESV.

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