Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Christ Our Reigning Priest and King, Day 3

Episode Resources

Watch Nancy teach this series.

Woman: God has used the “Seeking Him” series to bring revival to my personal life and to my marriage.

Leslie Basham: A Revive Our Hearts’ Spanish listener heard a series called “Seeking Him” on the radio. It aired at a time when this listener had been going through a lot of conflict with her husband.

Woman: We got to the point where we were the worst enemies in our constant battle. The love had evaporated. I was a team leader at church and tried to put on my best face to serve God while fighting inside the home.

During the “Seeking Him” series, God brought a strong conviction within me that I was guilty of the sin of being bossy. This was destroying my marriage. Because I’d try to take charge of every detail in the home, my husband was discouraged and we’d become enemies.

I confessed to God with many tears and conviction and asked God to help me change my attitude. I confessed my sins to my husband and asked him to forgive me. I continued praying that God would help me every day and that He’d make our marriage extraordinary.

On January 1, my husband asked me to pray with him for the New Year. He prayed as never before. He confessed the sin of being rough with me and not treating me with love. He asked for forgiveness.

My husband began a prayer meeting in our home every Thursday night. We ran out of space and had to open a room in a church.

God allowed me, in His grace, to coordinate a prayer chain with more than 100 women to pray for the men of our community. The Lord allowed a men’s conference in January. This brought such brokenness in the men, including my husband. I’m astonished, marveling at the miraculous work God has done in my own heart.

Thank you, Nancy, and whole team of Aviva Nuestros Corazones for being obedient and sharing the truth of the Word of God. I’m excited to pass it on to other women.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: Wow! Thank You, Lord.

Stories like that are multiplying all over Latin America as Aviva Nuestros Corazones, the Spanish version of Revive Our Hearts continues to grow and to have increased impact.

I can see the day coming in the not too distant future when the audience for the Spanish version of Revive Our Hearts would be even greater than that for the English version. But this Spanish-language ministry is still relatively young, and Revive Our Hearts is still supporting the Spanish outreach financially. At the same time, donations to Revive Our Hearts have been lower than we projected over the past several months.

This is the most stretching financial season we have had over the past several years, and our leadership team is meeting even as we speak to make some tough decisions on what changes we need to make in our core outreaches.

But I know it doesn’t have to be that way. If the Lord wants us to continue and grow the outreaches of Revive Our Hearts, we know that He is totally able to provide. That’s what we’re asking Him to do especially over this next week as we’ve been trusting Him for $830,000 here during the month of May. Now, that’s a huge amount for us, but it’s not too much for God.

So if you believe what God is doing through Revive Our Hearts, and you want to see these outreaches to continue to flourish and to reach women around the world, this would be a great time for you to get involved in the ministry. You can give us a call to make a donation at 1–800–569–5959, or visit us online at ReviveOurHearts.com.

Thank you so much for your part in helping Revive Our Hearts calling women to greater freedom, fullness, and fruitfulness in Christ.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, author of Surrender: The Heart God Controls, for Thursday, May 25, 2017.

Nancy: Well, today is the day on the Christian calendar that we celebrate Ascension Day, the day forty days after Jesus’ resurrection when He was bodily ascended into heaven, where He was then enthroned, exalted, and established forever as King. As we’re seeing in Psalm 110, told to sit down at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.

Are you growing to love Psalm 110 yet? We’re on day three of this series. Are you feeling a little confused? Both could be true. And I have felt more than a little confused as I have studied this psalm over and over again over the last several months.

So if you’re hearing this for the first time, some of you may be very new to Scripture, and you’re diving in at a very really complex place in the Scripture. In fact, the portion of Psalm 110 we’re going to look at today is particularly complex. So fasten your seatbelts. We’re in for a ride here.

And if you don’t get all this, that’s okay. Don’t decide you don’t want to study the Bible because you’re saying, “Some of this is going over my head.” Some of it’s going over my head, too. And we’re just going to keep pressing, keep searching, keep growing, and keep letting the Lord teach us what He wants us to know.

But I hope you’re getting the main idea about the power of the resurrected Christ and what He is doing to extend His reign and rule in the earth.

Let me read the psalm in its entirety, just seven verses, and then we’re going to focus today just on verse 4.

Psalm 110: A Psalm of David

The LORD [Yahweh—all caps there. When you see that, you know that’s the Father Yahweh] says to my Lord [David’s Lord, Adonai. This is speaking of Messiah, of Christ. The Father says to the Son]: "Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.”

The LORD [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.

This is the Word of the Lord. And, oh Lord, would You open our eyes, open our minds, open our hearts, open our understanding. And may we say, “Yes, Lord,” to everything that You show us to be true about Yourself, Your kingdom, and Your ways this day. I pray in Jesus’ name, amen.

Now, in verses 1–3, which we’ve looked at over the last couple of days. And if you’ve missed those, let me encourage you to go to ReviveOurHearts.com and pick up those two days because some of what we’re going to say today won’t make quite as much sense if you haven’t heard those two days. So I want to encourage you to get the series in its entirety.

But in the first three verses, Messiah has been portrayed, foreshadowed as the mighty King of kings, the one who reigns and rules, the exalted one. He is the King of kings.

Now, in verse 4, He is seen to be the eternal Priest. The exalted King, and now the eternal Priest.

We also have in verse 4 the second oracle, or divine announcement in this passage. As in verse 1, the Father is speaking to the Messiah or to His Son. In verse 1, the Father said to the Son, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.”

Now in verse 4, there’s another divine pronouncement. “The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, ‘You [Christ, You Messiah, You My Son, You this exalted King] are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.’”

Now, if you are new to Scripture study, and even if you’ve been involved in Bible study for quite a while, you are probably wondering: “What in the world is that all about?”

I want to just encourage you, when you get into God’s Word, don’t just read with glazed eyes. Stop and ask: “What in the world does this mean? Melchizedek—who is he? Does he appear anywhere else in Scripture?” Well, I’m glad you asked because yes, he does, and we’re going to talk about that today, but just a few introductory comments here.

First of all, the King of verses 1–3 is also a Priest. In my notes, I have capital “K” King and capital “P” Priest. Now, this whole idea would have been utterly shocking to Old Testament Jews because, according to the law of Moses, the kings of Israel could not be priests, and priests could not be kings. And when they tried to mingle those roles, they got in serious trouble.

For example, in 2 Chronicles, chapter 26, King Uzziah ended up being stricken with leprosy for daring to enter the temple to burn incense, something only a priest was allowed to do.

You remember King Saul, the first king of Israel, how he lost his crown and his kingdom because he tried to offer sacrifices, something that was reserved for priests.

So this was a huge no-no. Yet we see here that the promised Messiah was to be both a King and a Priest. And that should make us perk up, if you know your Old Testament, which you’re knowing better as we’re studying this. When you see He’s a King and He’s a Priest, that should make you say, “Whoa! What’s going on here? How can this be?”

Well, it relates to His being a Priest, not after the order of the Levitical priesthood, but “after the order of Melchizedek,” who came on the scene 500 years before the establishment of the Levitical law and the Levitical priesthood. Now I know some of these big words are way confusing. That’s okay. You’re going to get the idea before we’re said and done here.

Melchizedek came on the scene 500 years before the sons of Aaron, the priests of the sons of Levi, were named to be priests. Melchizedek is an obscure Old Testament figure. He appears only three places in the Bible—in the book of Genesis, here in Psalm 110, and in the book of Hebrews—yet he is extremely important to the Christian faith because he is a symbol who points us to Christ, the Messiah.

Now, much, much, much could be said, and much has been said and written about Melchizedek. But in the moments we have here today, I’m just going to skim the surface and give us a bit of an overview of this Melchizedek figure and why he matters to us and how Messiah is like him.

First, to know about the background of Melchizedek, we turn to Genesis 14. You may want to do that in your Bible. There in Genesis, chapter 14, let me give you the background because we won’t read the whole passage.

There’s a powerful confederation of five kings who come together. Now these kings are not like kings of massive empires or nations. These are like city/state kings of small, walled cities that each have their own king. Five of these city/state kings had come together and were pillaging every city and village in their wake. They were just moving like a hurricane through the land, and everything in their wake was being destroyed.

In this passage they take possession of Sodom and Gomorrah, two of these little city/states. Well, who do we know who at this time was living in Sodom? Lot. Abram’s nephew Lot. He had moved, first, to be in the outskirts of Sodom. By this time, he was living in Sodom. His heart and his home had been established in Sodom. He had put roots down there in what was a wicked, wicked city. So he and his family and his possessions are taken captive by these five confederate kings.

So Abram receives this news. He hears what’s going on, and he pulls together a band of 300-some servants who pursue these five powerful kings. Now, Abram is an old man at this point. He’s not a warrior, but he goes in the power that God gives him. He pursues these kings, who have been victorious over everything. No one has been able to withstand them.

He pursues them for approximately 160 miles . . . on foot . . . during the night . . . with his 300-some—it says they were trained servants of his household. I mean, how trained could they have been? They were not warriors.

He confronts these five powerful kings, defeats them, and successfully rescues Lot and all his possessions. Something he certainly didn’t have to do for his errant nephew, but they were family, and he’s going to rescue him.

Now, when Abram returns from this massive battle, he is met by two kings. We pick up in verse 17 where we’re told the king of Sodom went out to meet Abram. Now you think the king of Sodom was grateful that Abram had come and now only rescued Lot but had rescued the people who had been taken captive? The king of Sodom had not been able to defend Sodom, but Abram had come to Sodom’s defense.

The king of Sodom in this passage I think represents the wickedness of that region and of this whole fallen world. This king tries to reward Abram with the spoils of the battle, but Abram says, “No way.” He refuses to keep anything for himself. He doesn’t want to be allied with this wicked king. He doesn’t want to be in any way beholden to the king of Sodom, so he says, “Keep your stuff. Just let me have Lot and his family. You keep it all. I don’t need it. I don’t want it. I’m not going to take it.”

Now, in the midst of Abram’s exchange with this king of Sodom, and, literally, in the midst, because verse 17 is about the king of Sodom and then verses 18–20 are about this second king, and then it picks up with the king of Sodom again. So, literally, in the middle of this story—and when you’re reading this, you’re going, like, “What’s going on here? Why is this whole account of the king of Sodom interrupted?”

Well, these two kings are the total polar opposite of each other in what they symbolize. In the midst of this exchange, another king comes out to meet Abram, and you read about him in verse 18 of Genesis 14, “And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine.”

So we have the king of Sodom who comes offering the spoils of the battle. And then we have Melchizedek, who we’d never heard of before until this very moment. He’s the king of Salem, and he brought out bread and wine.

“He was priest of God Most High” (Gen. 14:18). He’s a king, and he’s a priest. We don’t know anything else about him until this point. We’re going to talk about what all this means in just a moment, but let me read the text. Verse 19:

And he blessed Abram and said, "Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!" And Abram gave him a tenth of everything.

This is an incredible passage. We’ve done a whole series on this before in Revive Our Hearts. You can go to the archives at ReviveOurHearts.com and you can find the message on “The Battle After the Battle.” We take this whole passage and deal with it, but I want to just touch on it here as it relates to Melchizedek.

So what do we know about Melchizedek?

Well, first, the name Melchizedek means “king of righteousness.” 

Then we’re told that he is the “king of Salem,” which many commentators believe refers to Jeru-Salem. Jerusalem, where David would one day rule as king. That word Salem is related to the Hebrew word shalom—shalom, which means peace, well-being, flourishing. And so Melchizedek is the king of righteousness, and he is king of peace.

Now, it’s interesting: You can’t have peace without righteousness. So he is both. He is the king of righteousness, and he is the king of peace. King of Salem, Jerusalem.

We’re told he is the “priest of God Most High.” That’s an important name for God in the Hebrew—El Elyon, God Most High. There is none higher than God. It stresses, this name for God stresses His strength and His sovereignty.

And so Melchizedek is both a king, and he is a priest. He’s the king of righteousness, the king of peace, and he is the priest of El Elyon, God Most High.

Now, some believe that Melchizedek was a pre-incarnate appearance of Christ, an appearance of Christ here in the flesh before he was born to this earth as a baby in Bethlehem. I’ve heard some arguments that convince me of that. I heard one just recently that made me think that’s maybe not the case. It doesn’t really matter.

What we do know is that, for sure, Melchizedek points us to Christ, who is the ultimate reality and the fulfillment of what Melchizedek represents.

So what does Melchizedek do? Well, he provides nourishment for Abram. He brings him bread and wine. He blesses Abram, and he blesses God. He reminds Abram who God is. Who is God? “Possessor of heaven and earth”—God Most High, the Possessor of heaven and earth.

And, by the way, when Abram says in the following verses, “No,” to the king of Sodom, “You can keep your stuff,” what do you think gave him the courage to say, “I don’t need your stuff”? Because he had been acquainted with God, who is the Possessor of heaven and earth. Abram’s going, “If God is mine, I have everything I need. I don’t need this world’s stuff, this world’s loot. I’ve got the Possessor of heaven and earth.”

Melchizedek reminds Abram who God is, and he reminds him that God Most High, the Possessor of heaven and earth, is the one who had given Abram the victory over the five kings. “Blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand.”

In response, Abram gives Melchizedek a tenth of everything he owns. Now, that is a sweet thing because the king of Sodom has said, “Here, you can have all this stuff,” and Abram goes, “No. I’m not going to be a taker.” The king of Salem comes, and Abram goes, “I’m going to give you a tenth of everything I have,” acknowledging that everything he has belongs to God.

When you belong to God the Possessor of heaven and earth, God Most High, you don’t have to be a taker. You can say, “No,” to the world’s stuff, ill-gotten gain. You don’t need it. But you can also be a giver, and you can be blessing the Lord, who has given you everything you have, and acknowledging, as you give that tenth, or whatever percentage it is, that it all belongs to God. It’s all the Lord’s.

Now, in giving Melchizedek that tenth of everything he owned, Abram is acknowledging that Melchizedek is his superior. And this is going to become important in the book of Hebrews when he comes back. We’ll see that in just a moment, and we realize that Melchizedek points to Christ, who is the King/Priest, who is superior over every other king and priest.

Are you starting to get this? Okay. Just one more interesting fact about Melchizedek, and then we’ll look at Hebrews.

The Old Testament is silent regarding when Melchizedek was born and when he died. It’s silent about who his parents were. Unlike virtually all other important characters in the Old Testament, and many unimportant characters, Melchizedek does not appear in any genealogy in the Old Testament. These genealogies are very important. They show who was connected to whom, but Melchizedek doesn’t appear in any of those genealogies.

As far as the biblical record goes, he had no father, no mother. He seems to appear out of nowhere. And in this, too, Melchizedek points us to Christ, as we learn in Hebrews 7. So if you’d like to turn there, let me encourage you to do that. Hebrews 7, verse 1.

So we see Melchizedek in Genesis 14. We see him in Hebrews 7. And then we’re going to come back in just a moment to Psalm 110, the three places where this King/Priest appears.

Hebrews 7, verse 1. Now that you’ve just heard what you’ve heard in Genesis and Psalms, this passage will turn on some lights for you.

For this Melchizedek [king of righteousness, this name means], king of Salem [king of peace], priest of the Most High God, met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, and to him Abraham apportioned a tenth part of everything. He is [Melchizedek] first, by translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then he is also king of Salem, that is, king of peace. He is without father or mother or genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life.

Now, that doesn’t mean necessarily that he didn’t have a father or a mother or he wasn’t born at a certain time or didn’t die at a certain time, but I think it means that, as far as the biblical record is concerned, he had no father, mother, genealogy, beginning of days or end of life. And so, he points us to Christ—that’s what the last phrase says here—“resembling the Son of God he continues a priest forever.” This Melchizedek points us to Christ.

Psalm 110 tells us, verse 4, the verse we’ve been looking at: “The Lord [Yahweh] has sworn and will not change his mind, ‘You [Christ, You Messiah, You My Son, You this exalted King] are a priest forever [an eternal priest] after the order of Melchizedek.’”

Like Melchizedek. Not like the Levitical priesthood. Way different than that priesthood. But like the order of Melchizedek, who was established as a priest 500 years before the Levitical priesthood.

So David anticipated in this passage, Psalm 110, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the coming of a Priest/King who would not be according to the Levitical line of priests, because they could not also be kings, but after the order of Melchizedek, who was vastly superior to the Levitical priesthood—the King of righteousness (capital “K”), the King of peace, the Priest of God Most High.

Who is this we’re talking about? We’re talking about Christ, the Lord Jesus, the one who is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.

And what does the priesthood of Christ mean for us? We’ve talked about what His kingship means. What does His priesthood mean for us? Well, there’s much we could say about that, but let me just make these couple of observations.

The Old Testament priests . . . their job was to offer sacrifices on behalf of the people. Their job was to pray for the people, to intercede on their behalf. And their job was to bless the people in the name of Yahweh. Isn’t that what Christ does for us?

He’s offered a sacrifice for us on behalf of His people so that we could be free to approach the throne of God, to be accepted by God, to have our sins atoned for, paid for.

He not only has offered the sacrifice, He Himself IS the sacrifice. And He is the Priest who offers the sacrifice.

What does our great High Priest do? He lives in heaven to make intercession for us. He prays for us before the throne of God. He blesses us in the name of the Father.

And then this psalm tells us: “The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind, You are a priest forever.” Forever.

Unlike the Old Testament priests, this Priest, Christ Jesus, the Messiah, will never, ever die, so He will never have to be replaced. He will never have a successor. The Old Testament priests would die, and then their son would take over. Then he would die, and his son would take over. Not so with Christ our heavenly priest. “You are a priest forever.”

This is the basis for our assurance of our salvation, that we will not lose our salvation. Because Christ is our Priest forever, no matter how we may sin, no matter how we may fail, if we have been redeemed by His sacrifice, if we have been clothed in His righteousness, if we have become subjects of the King of Righteousness and the King of Peace, and we have been ministered by our great High Priest, if He is our great High Priest, then we will always be accepted by God.

He will never reject us. He will never turn us away because we have a great High Priest. His name is Jesus. So . . .

Before the throne of God above I have a strong, a perfect plea;
Great High Priest, whose name is Love, who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on his hands, my name is written on his heart;
I know that while in heaven he stands, [while in heaven He sits] no tongue can bid me thence depart.1

No power of earth, no power of hell, no power of heaven can tell us, “You don’t belong to God anymore.” While He stands to make intercession, while He is seated at the right hand of God, nobody, nothing can separate us from the love of God forever and ever and ever and ever. And all God’s people said . . . amen!

Leslie: That’s Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth in the series called “Christ Our Reigning Priest and King.”

You can see that same teaching on video. Maybe you know someone you’d like to share that message with. Why not get together and watch the teaching on video? You can find it at ReviveOurHearts.com.

There’s a Scripture that says the Messiah will drink from a brook. What’s the big deal about that? Nancy will explain it tomorrow. Please join us again for Revive Our Hearts.

At Revive Our Hearts we love promoting our reigning Priest and King. This program is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

All Scripture is taken from the ESV.

1 Charitie Lees Bancroft, 1863.

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