Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Christ Our Reigning Priest and King, Day 2

Episode Resources

Watch Nancy teach this series.

Leslie Basham: God could use today’s Revive Our Hearts to strengthen women on the other side of the world. Here’s an email we received.

Woman: My sister and I teach English in a predominantly Muslim country. We’ve only been here a few months and are still transitioning to life in a new culture.

We’re in our twenties and have a community here, but also listen to the daily Revive Our Hearts podcast. In moving to our new country, we’ve had to say “goodbye” to several spiritual mothers. As we seek out new community, Revive Our Hearts has been a blessing to us!

It’s reassuring to hear Nancy and other women of the Lord bring a good word to us at the end of a busy and challenging day. It’s amazing to be strengthened, encouraged and challenged by women teaching women—from around the world—on Revive Our Hearts.

Since we have full-time jobs and language learning commitments, we don’t have time to formally study how to be teachers of the Word or biblical counselors, however because of Revive Our Hearts, we feel we can be instructed in these things as we go about our daily lives.

We’re excited about how the Lord will continue to use Revive Our Hearts in our lives and the lives of others. Please know that we’re listening, and benefitting from the ministry on this side of the world.

Nancy: Well, I can’t even tell you what incredible joy it brings to my heart to read these kinds of testimonies day after day and to hear how God is using this ministry in the lives of women all around the world.

When you support Revive Our Hearts with your prayers, with your financial gifts, it allows us to pour into the lives of women like these two dear sisters in the Middle East. Then, those women are training and teaching others out of the overflow of what they’ve learned, and you’re an important part of that process.

When you give a gift to Revive Our Hearts, it’s not just a transaction. You’re a part of this story of two young women across the world getting encouragement after a long day of teaching—and you’re a part of countless other stories in the lives of other listeners, as well.

But we’re facing a challenging season here at Revive Our Hearts right now that could impact our ability to reach these kinds of women in the days ahead. Our team has been putting together a budget for the next fiscal year, which starts June 1.

If donations continue the way that we’ve experienced over the past several months, we’re going to have to make some significant cuts in some of our core ministry outreaches. We have a basic commitment not to spend money that we don’t have. So over the last several months, we’ve been drawing on reserves that we usually keep in store for the summer months when income is down a bit. And obviously, we cannot continue doing that.

But I know that we have a big God who will provide all that we need to do all the He is calling us to do. In order to make up the budget gap we’ve experienced in recent months, and to meet this current month’s needs for the ministry, we’re asking the Lord to provide $830,000 in donations here in the month of May.

That means we have just one more week to see what the Lord will provide through His people. If you’re a Revive Our Hearts listener, and you—or others you know—have benefitted from this ministry, would you ask the Lord what part He would want you to have in helping to meet this need?

You can contact us here at Revive Our Hearts today by calling 1–800–569–5959, or you can visit us at ReviveOurHearts.com, where you can see how much has come in toward our $830,000 goal, and you can make your donation there at the website.

Thank you so much for considering whether the Lord might want you to make a gift—whether small or large—to help meet this current need so we continue sharing with women around the world the riches of the grace of Christ.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, author of Surrender: The Heart God Controls, for Wednesday, May 24, 2017.

Let’s keep going in a series Nancy started yesterday called "Christ Our Reigning Priest and King."

Nancy: Is it just me, or does anyone else here get really tired of politics? Oh, I see it’s not just me. Wow! We’re forever hearing about this leader, that leader—the rise and fall of world leaders. They get voted in; they get voted out; some put themselves in. There are some dictatorships that when the supreme leader dies, his son automatically accedes to the throne. Some rulers are effective, most are not. Many are incompetent by most measurements.

A few are true public servants, and we thank God for those. Far more are corrupt, or they become corrupt—because power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely when it comes to human natures and their power seeking.

And so many, many, many of them are beholden to special interests that put them where they can be easily bribed. Some are not trustworthy, etc., etc. So we get weary of that. But I think it’s important that we go to the Scripture—always—on everything that disturbs us about what’s going on here in this world and find out the big picture, the true picture, the real picture. So we see what is happening on earth from heaven’s perspective.

We’re looking at this week at Psalm 110 during the week when we celebrate Ascension Day, the day Jesus ascended to heaven. It gives us a picture of a different kind of kingdom altogether: a King, a Ruler who is perfectly pure, just, righteous, admirable—no corruption in Him, no tainting, He cannot be bribed. He is the Ruler of rulers, the King of all kings. When we see who this King is, it gives us perspective on what is happening down here on this earth.

What we see in this passage as well is that followers of Christ are not just spectators in the expansion of Christ’s kingdom which is going on in our world today. We don’t just stand by and watch it happen. We are glad, willing participants in what Jesus is doing in our world to expand His reign and rule.

Every knee will bow, every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord! All those despots, those tyrants, those evil rulers, corrupt kings—even good public servants, those who sincerely try to serve their people well—will all come down, and the flag of Christ’s kingdom will be raised in every heart, in every home, in every burg, in every 'burb, in every city, nation, part of the world, every continent. All of this will belong to Christ—every tribe, kindred, nation, tongue, and people will bow before Him as our supreme Leader and Lord.

So let me read the psalm—Psalm 110. We looked at the first verse yesterday, and we’re going to look at verses 2 and 3 today, but to keep us in the context, I want to look at it again. I want to encourage you to be reading this psalm several times this week.

Ask yourself, “What does this psalm teach me about God? What does it teach me about Christ?” We’ve said that this psalm, from start to finish, is a portrait of Messiah. It’s a foreshadowing of Christ the Messiah. So what does it teach us about Him?

A Psalm of David:

The LORD [that’s all capital letters—Yahweh—the Father, the Lord] says to my Lord [Adonai, Christ, Messiah . . . so God says to David’s Lord—and to our Lord—this is Jesus; God says]: "Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.” [ So we see in this first paragraph, Christ the mighty King of kings, the exalted King of kings.]

The LORD [Jehovah, Yahweh] 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” (Ps. 110:1–7). 

This is the Word of the Lord!

And, oh, Lord, when this Word speaks, You speak; when this Book is open, Your mouth is open. And so, You are here in this place today through Your Holy Spirit speaking to our hearts. We pray that You’d give understanding. This is a difficult passage, and we need Your wisdom; we need Your Holy Spirit to illumine our hearts, to show us who Jesus is. To help us love Him and obey Him and follow Him and to be His glad and willing servants. So teach us, speak to us, inspire and enflame our hearts with this truth. I pray in Jesus’ name, amen.

Verse 1, “The LORD says to my Lord . . .” We said yesterday that we’re listening in on a conversation between the Father, Yahweh, and his Son—Adonai, Christ, Messiah—when Jesus ascended to heaven forty days after the resurrection. We’ll celebrate Ascension Day this Thursday.

So Jesus is in His glorified body. He has conquered sin and death, and the Father says to Him, to welcome Him into heaven, “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.” Jesus’ sufferings have been completed.

His work on earth is done. Redemption’s price has been paid, and now he is being welcomed back into heaven. He is invited; He is told to sit at the right hand of the Father.

Now, someone reminded me on a break before this session that there’s one place in Scripture . . . We read many times about Jesus sitting at the right hand of the Father, but do you remember where we read about Jesus standing at the right hand of the Father? Acts chapter 8 when Stephen is being persecuted; he’s about to be stoned to death. We read there,

When they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him. But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing [not sitting] at the right hand of God. And [Stephen] said, "Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God” (Acts 7:54–56).

And then in the following verses they cried out, they rushed at him, they threw him out of the city—stoned him—laid their garments at the feet of a young witness named Saul, who would become Paul, the great apostle. It’s an intense scene!

Scripture doesn’t tell us why Jesus was standing in that moment. All we know is, every other New Testament passage tells us that in heaven He is seated at the right hand of the Father. But we may speculate that Jesus—having not too long previously ascended to heaven Himself—knows that this first martyr of the Christian church is following in Jesus’ train, following the One he loved and who had saved Him, was going to his death for the salvation of others, for the sake of the Sauls and those Pharisees and those others who watched.

Perhaps, Jesus—watching this scene unfolding, getting ready to happen, getting ready to welcome his servant, Stephen, into heaven stands up. “Welcome! Welcome!” Perhaps He’s just saying, “This evil will have an end, and all enemies will come under My footstool!”

We don’t know exactly what He was doing, but I think it’s a beautiful and poignant moment when Jesus stands to welcome His servant. But, other than that, we’re told in Scripture that Jesus is seated at the right hand of God. He’s enthroned at the right hand of God. This is an exalted place of authority for our triumphant Savior.

He is Lord over everything in heaven and in earth. That’s all embodied in this concept that the Father said to the Son, “Sit at My right hand.” And in that place every creature in heaven—all the saints of heaven, those who have gone before us, the Old Testament saints, Stephen, the New Testament saints, those we know and love who have gone before us—they all worship Jesus as Lord.

They love Him, they obey Him, they listen to Him, they long to be near Him, they worship Him. “Holy, Holy, Holy,” they cry out. But here on earth, it’s a different matter. There are those, for sure, who worship Jesus, who bow at His feet, who long for the day when they will see Him face-to-face, but right now that is a very tiny remnant—not many.

Most on earth still contest His right to rule. They don’t worship Him; they are His enemies. Some have never even heard of Him, but God has given them enough light that they could know about Him. They have refused the light they have, and so they are the ones this psalm will talk about as the enemies of Christ.

Those who rejected Him and opposed Him while He was here on earth are among those enemies, and those who reject and oppose Him still today are among those enemies who one day will be made His footstool.

All rebellion will one day be crushed, but the battle is still being waged. It’s a battle for the throne, and it’s a battle in which God is giving His enemies time to repent. (“Wait until I make your enemies Your footstool.”)

And let me say, if you’re listening to the sound of my voice today (however you happened to tune into this broadcast or this podcast) and you are one of those enemies who have not bowed the knee to Christ as Lord, God is waiting to give you time to repent and believe the gospel.

It’s not too late! One day it will be too late! So my plea with you is, bow the knee. Believe, receive Christ as Your Savior and Your Lord.

Now, this battle for the throne—this battle to extend the kingdom and reign and rule of Christ throughout all the earth is the theme of the next two verses. In verse 1, which we’ve looked at already, the Father is speaking to the Son: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.”

Now, in verses 2 and 3, the Psalmist is speaking to the Son (or to the Messiah): “The LORD [capital LORD—that’s Yahweh, the Psalmist says] sends forth from Zion your mighty scepter.” Who is the “Your?” It’s Messiah. It’s Christ. So the Psalmist is speaking to the Messiah.

“Jehovah is sending forth His mighty scepter. Rule in the midst of your enemies!”—the Psalmist is saying to his Lord Christ. Now, the word “scepter” (“the Lord sends forth from Zion your mighty scepter”), that scepter’s a symbol of power and authority.

Psalm 23 talks about a shepherd’s rod and staff. The rod, the staff, was used for protection; it was also used for punishment. But it was a symbol of authority that the shepherd had over his sheep. That word "scepter" (those words “rod and staff” are sometimes translated as “scepter”) came from the concept of a ruler being a shepherd of his people.

The scepter—it’s a symbol of power and authority. And so, the Lord, Yahweh, “sends forth from Zion your mighty scepter.” So what we see here is that Jesus Christ rules from His throne in heaven at the right hand of the Father.

He’s been exalted; He’s been enthroned. He is high above all angels and earthly and heavenly powers, and His kingdom is being extended throughout the world: “The Lord sends forth . . . your mighty scepter [Your right to reign and rule].”

But where does the Lord send it forth from? “From Zion,” speaking of the church, the people of God, the place where God dwells among His people. His kingdom is being extended in this world through His people, through His Church, through our lives, through our witness, through our work here in this world.

“The Lord sends forth from Zion [the Psalmist says to Christ] your mighty scepter. Rule in the midst of your enemies!” God is wanting to extend the reign of Christ through us, His people, in this world.

“Rule in the midst of your enemies,” he says to Messiah. That word “rule” is a very strong word. It means “to dominate.” It something that is sure, it is certain, it is not in doubt. It promises the ultimate dominion of Christ over heaven and earth.

We’ve got to say this over and over again, because we live in a battle. The outcome of the battle is not in doubt. Jesus rules in the midst of His enemies. Yes, He has enemies. Yes, they are powerful. Yes, we see them exploding all around us today.

In our country, in our world, we see the enemies of Christ being powerful, exerting their say, exerting their will, exerting their authority. But the Psalmist says to Messiah, “You rule! You dominate in the midst of Your enemies,” promising that—without a doubt—those enemies will be vanquished.

Martin Luther wrote a one-hundred-twenty-page commentary on Psalm 110, on these seven verses. So don’t think these four days are all that long! In that commentary he said, “We must live in the midst of Christ’s enemies; however, it is not the meaning of this verse that we physically resist our enemies. In His kingdom, Christ has nothing to do with secular power and government [That doesn’t mean He doesn’t have anything to do with it, but it means that His means of exercising reign and rule is not through secular power and government] nor are we Christians able to defeat and subdue the devil and the world by means of physical power or weapons.”

As Paul said to the Corinthians, the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, they are not natural, they are not fleshly weapons. They are spiritual weapons. Unlike some other religions, we do not coerce people to become followers of Christ.

We do not overcome our opponents with the sword, with force, with hatred. Rather, we overcome the enemies of Christ by faith, with holy lives, with the willingness to suffer. They overcame them by the blood of the lamb and the Word of their testimony.

We overcome those enemies by proclamation of God’s Word and by the power of the truth. We overcome those enemies of Christ through prayer and an utter dependence on the power of the Holy Spirit to change the hearts of God’s most ferocious enemies. That’s how we fight. That’s how we wage the battle!

So he says, “Rule in the midst of your enemies! Jehovah is sending forth Your scepter, Your symbol of reign and rule and authority—sending it into the world from Zion, from the people of God.”

Listen, God has not just kept us down here to hold our breath and hold on 'til the rapture—just hope that God will rescue us out of all this mess. I’ve seen people say it when things get really crazy in the world. They’ll say, “O Jesus, come!”

Well, we do long for Jesus to come, but not just so we can be rescued. God has left us here to be rescuers, to be the ones who extend the reign and rule of Christ in the world—not by force, not by violence, but by the power of a saved life, by the power of a gospel witness, by the power of the truth.

This gives us a sense of purpose and meaning as we go out into this world and we’re talking with people in our workplace and in our neighborhoods and in our communities and people who don’t know Jesus and sons and daughters and people who need the gospel and people who are resisting Him—people who are His enemies.

We are part of what God is doing to win over their hearts to follow Jesus Christ.

Now, we’ve talked about the enemies of God: “Rule in the midst of your enemies” (v.  2). Now, verse 3 talks about another category of people—Your people. “Your people will offer themselves freely on the day of your power, in holy garments.”

There are basically two kinds of people in this world: there are God’s people and His enemies. There are those who acknowledge Him and His right to reign in their lives and those who resist Him and oppose His right to rule in their lives and in this world. You are in one or the other of those camps.

I had a friend tell me recently about a young man that he and his wife have been sharing Christ with and trying to win to Christ. This young man grew up in a Christian home, grew up in the church. He thinks he’s a Christian. But, by his own admission, he has no interest in spiritual things, no appetite for spiritual things.

To the contrary, he is drawn to sinful, unholy practices and things, and addictions that are keeping him in bondage. So my friend was speaking with him and was saying, “Your life gives no evidence that you are one of God’s people.”

Now, that may come as a surprise to some who are listening me say that, but if your life gives no evidence of loving holiness, of loving the things of God, of wanting to please God and obey Him—it doesn’t mean you do it perfectly—but if your life gives no evidence of that being your inclination, your bent, your desire, then you have no basis for assurance that you are a child of God.

Are you one of God’s friends? Are you one of His people? You say, “Oh no, I wouldn’t go that far.” Well, then that makes you an enemy of God. And what’s going to happen to His enemies? They will be conquered. They will become His footstool!

Now we have here this sweet verse, verse 3: “Your people will offer themselves freely on the day of your power, in holy garments.” This is a contrast between the enemies of God—who will one day be forced to obey God—and God’s people here in verse 3 who gladly volunteer to serve Him.

It reminds me of the song that Deborah and Barak sang after their victory against Sisera’s army. Judges 5:2 says in that song, “The people offered themselves willingly, bless the Lord!” This is a description of God’s people. They don’t have to be coerced to serve Him. They don’t have to be coerced to obey Him. They don’t have to be coerced to join His army. 

They want to gladly, willingly volunteer, because they love Him. They want to serve Him. They offered themselves willingly. So Psalm 110:3 says, “Your people will offer themselves freely on the day of your power.” The NASB says there, “Your people will volunteer freely in the day of Your power.” Another translation says, “Your troops will be willing on your day of battle.”

This is this day of the consummation—the day when Jesus exercises His right to reign and rule over the entire earth. It’s His day of power. It’s the day of battle, and as we’ll say later in this psalm—in the next passage—it’s also the day of His wrath, His wrath against His enemies.

He redeems those who are His from this broken, fallen, messed-up world. He puts His enemies under His footstool. His people volunteer to be part of His troops in that day of battle. One translator says it this way: “Your people will be freewill offerings.”

That reminds me of what Paul said in 2 Timothy 4:6, toward the end of his life, when he says, “I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come.” Listen, being a child of God in this era—in this world—is not easy.

Serving the Lord means we go against the flow. Being part of His army volunteers means we’re a tiny, tiny, tiny remnant in a whole flood stage world of God’s enemies. That’s hard! It means being misunderstood. It means being falsely accused. It means not being cherished and valued and treasured by this world.

His people volunteer freely. They are willing to offer themselves as a drink offering, to be freewill offerings. We have not been forced to enlist in King Jesus’ army; our service is not coerced.

Oh yes, at one time we were not willing, but His power and His grace has intervened in our lives and has made us willing servants of Christ. Now, we gladly volunteer to serve Him. We willingly offer ourselves as a sacrifice, even if it means our lives for His kingdom. 

We know that He who lays down his life will get it back. He who holds on to his life will lose it. We willingly lay down our lives. “Your people will offer themselves freely on the day of your power, in holy garments.” We are clothed in His holiness, and we go forth and we conquer in His strength and in His power and with His weapons, not our own!

And then, just the end of that verse 3: “From the womb of the morning, the dew of your youth will be yours.” My ESV translation, in the margin it says, “The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.” And, in fact, many translations—virtually every translation—translates this part of this verse differently.

But the ESV says, “From the womb of the morning . . .” What’s the womb of the morning? The starting place, the dawn, the earliest part of the day . . . “The dew of your youth will be yours.” This suggests to me that the king at the head of this army is strong and vigorous in the battle!

From the beginning –“the womb of the morning”—to the end of the battle, He remains vital and fresh and strong and vigorous. King Jesus will always be fresh and vital and alive! He never runs out of energy; He never gets tired; He never gets weary in the battle.

He infuses His people with fresh mercies and grace—and with stamina—as we follow His cross and follow Him. We see this theme in the Scripture. “Your youth is renewed like the eagle's,” Psalm 103:5 tells us.

“[We] shall run and not be weary; [we] shall walk and not faint” (Isa. 40:31). Hebrews 7:16, speaking about Christ our Priest/King (we’ll come to this passage tomorrow) says, “[He has] the power of an [endless] life.” The power of an endless life. “The dew of your youth will be yours.”

His endless life in us, coursing through our veins—His Spirit in us—is the source and the supply and the guarantee of our staying fresh and vigorous, no matter how long or intense the battle may be. So, do you feel weak in the battle some days? Do you feel weary in the battle some days?

“From the womb of the morning,” O Christ, our conquering King, “the dew of your youth will be yours”—and because You are in us, it will be ours, as well!

Leslie: That’s Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth in a new series called "Christ Our Reigning Priest and King." If you’ve missed any of the program, you can hear it again at ReviveOurHearts.com. That’s also where you can see this teaching on video.

Maybe you know someone who could use this teaching. Why not send a link of the video to them? Again, you can see it at ReviveOurHearts.com.

The Old Testament kings were not allowed to be priests, and priests couldn’t serve as king. But there were two people called by God to serve as both king and priest. Do you know who they were? Nancy will tell you tomorrow. Please be back for Revive Our Hearts.

 Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth wants you to help you get to know your heavenly King even more. It’s an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

All Scripture is taken from the ESV unless otherwise noted.

*Offers available only during the broadcast of the podcast season.

Join the Discussion