Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Christ Our Reigning Priest and King, Day 4

Episode Resources

Watch Nancy teach this series.

Leslie Basham: God is willing to restore you when you’re exhausted. Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth reminds you of one reason.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: We have to be filled up so we could be poured out. We are refreshed, and then we’re revived to press on until the conquest is complete.

Leslie: This is the Revive Our Hearts podcast with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth—author of Surrender—for Friday, May 26, 2017. Nancy’s in a series called Christ Our Reigning Priest and King.

Nancy: Over the past several days, during this Ascension Day week—the day we commemorate the ascension of Christ from earth to heaven, to the right hand of the Father—we’ve been looking at Psalm 110, which is an Old Testament passage full of mysteries.

I feel like I’ve seen a little bit of a glimpse of what some of those mysteries mean, and I’m still finding more—and looking for more. But we see Christ. This is a picture of Christ in the Old Testament.

We’ve seen Him as the exalted King of kings, as the eternal High Priest, and today we’re going to see Him as our Supreme Judge and Conquering Warrior. So, let me read Psalm 110, and we’ll come today to talk about the last three verses of this very important passage that is quoted so often the New Testament.

And, again, if you’ve missed the first three days, some of this may be a little . . . “What is she talking about!?” So go back to ReviveOurHearts.com. It will be worth your while to pick up those sessions from the last three days. But, hear the Word of the Lord, Psalm 110. 

A Psalm of David

The LORD [Yahweh] says to my Lord [David’s Lord, Adonai, Messiah—so the Father is speaking to the Son]: "Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.” [And then we have the Psalmist speaking to Messiah.] 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 [Christ, Messiah] are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.” [So we have the King/Priest picture of Christ the Messiah. And then, in these last three verses, the Psalmist speaks about the Messiah to the Father.]

The Lord [now it’s lower case “o-r-d,” so this is not talking about Yahweh; this is talking about Messiah] is at your right hand [whose right hand? The Father Yahweh, right?]; he [Christ, Messiah] 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.

Now, this psalm opens—as we’ve been saying over these last few days—with the exaltation and the enthronement of Messiah after His resurrection. Christ returns to heaven, God says to Him, “Welcome home, Son!”

He’s the glorified Christ. He still has a physical body, but He’s now glorified. He’s told to sit at the right hand of the Father; He is enthroned at the throne of God. That’s how this passage opens. The passage closes with the worldwide conquest of Christ—that exalted King and that eternal Priest—His worldwide conquest at the end of the age.

So we move from the ascension, when Christ is enthroned at the right hand of the Father, to how He extends His kingdom and conquers all His enemies at the consummation of redemptive history at the end of the age.

Now we read in verse 5 that the Lord will shatter kings—Messiah will shatter kings—on the day of His wrath. We read earlier, in verse 3, about the day of His power. I think these are one and the same day.

The Day of the Lord is talked about throughout the Scripture. It’s a day of great terror, of great judgment, for those who have resisted the appeal, the invitation of Christ to come and believe and be saved. They have said, “No, we will not have You to rule over us!” So, finally, Judgment Day comes.

No one in this world will ever be judged without having a chance to believe and to repent of their sin and yield to Christ. This is not something unfair or inequitable or wrong of God to do. He has given opportunity after opportunity after opportunity to hear the gospel, to believe, to repent, to obey.

“He commands all men everywhere to repent,” the book of Acts [17:30] says. And so, the day of His wrath is the day of His power—the vengeance of the Lord on His enemies but where He establishes His kingdom, His reign, and His rule throughout the earth.

So we see Messiah shattering kings, executing judgment, filling the nations with corpses, shattering chiefs over the wide earth! This is not a calm passage; this is not a calm picture! Now, we see Messiah, at the beginning of this psalm, sitting at the right hand of the Father.

So you say, “Which is it?” Well, there’s a time to sit, there’s a time to be still, and there’s a time to rise up and fight. And Jesus knows exactly when the Father’s time is and which He’s to be doing.

So, the Prince of Peace that we read about in Isaiah 9:6—Melchizedek, the King of Salem, the King of Peace, the Prince of Peace—is also a warrior. He’s a conquering King, he’s a supreme Judge.

Now, we’re not quite as fond, generally, of this image of Christ—the Conquering King and Warrior and Judge—as we are of the little baby in the manger, the kind and gentle Jesus, meek and mild. . .feeding the multitudes and healing the sick and making the lame to walk and the blind to see. We love all that!

We love the suffering Christ, who’s dying for our sins, the Prince of Peace—the One who speaks peace to the storm. But when we see Him coming to shatter kings, to execute judgment, to fill the nations with corpses, this is vivid language. This is battle language. He’s shattering chiefs over the wide earth. 

Well, that’s not quite such a pretty picture. I mean, who loves war? Nobody does! But this is all part of God’s eternal redemptive story that began before the creation of the earth, was put into action at the fall of mankind when they ate the forbidden fruit and they declared their rebellion, their independence against God.

And from that point to this, God has been working to win friends for Himself, children for Himself, believers, followers—to redeem those who were lost because of sin. But for those who refuse, He has always said, “There will come a time when you will experience the judgment of the Lamb.” The Lamb of God becomes the Lion of the tribe of Judah.

So we need all of this whole picture to complete the redemptive story. You never have salvation in the Scripture without also having a parallel of judgment. And wherever you have judgment, you have the sweet parallel of God’s redeeming love and salvation.

These two run on parallel tracks. You can’t have salvation if there’s not something to be saved from. And what are we being saved from? We’re being saved from the wrath of a holy God against whom we have sinned.

We’re being saved, not because of deeds of righteousness we have done, but because Christ—the Priest, the Lamb, the Sacrifice—has paid the price for our sin. He invites us to come, to receive His sacrifice, to believe and to be saved. But for those who will not be saved there is the judgment and the wrath of God. You see this theme all through the Scripture.

Let me just read to you, and I can’t think of any better way to communicate this, than to read two fairly lengthy passages—one in the Old Testament and one in the New Testament—that show us how salvation and judgment are juxtaposed together.

So, in Exodus 15 (I was reading this in my quiet time within the last few days here) we have the song of Moses and the Israelites after God miraculously takes them out of Egypt (by killing the firstborn of the Egyptian families), takes them to the Red Sea, then takes them through the Red Sea safely, and then drowns the pursuing Egyptian army in the waters of the Red Sea.

And when the children of Israel are safe on the other side—safe, saved, redeemed—Moses and the children of Israel begin to sing! And here’s part of what they sing in Exodus 15: “

The Lord is a man of war; the Lord is his name. Pharaoh's chariots and his host he cast into the sea, and his chosen officers were sunk in the Red Sea . . . Your right hand, O Lord, glorious in power, your right hand, O Lord, shatters the enemy (vv. 3–4, 6). [What we were reading about in Psalm 110.]

In the greatness of your majesty you overthrow your adversaries; you send out your fury; it consumes them like stubble . . . The peoples have heard; they tremble; pangs have seized the inhabitants of Philistia (vv. 7, 14).

Now are the chiefs of Edom dismayed; trembling seizes the leaders of Moab; all the inhabitants of Canaan have melted away. Terror and dread fall upon them; because of the greatness of your arm, they are still as a stone . . .” (vv. 15–16). 

That means they are stone dead. They’re scared to death, literally! "Till your people, O Lord . . .” Remember we’ve been saying through all this psalm we have the people of God and we have the enemies of God. They’ve both been in this psalm; they’re both in this passage in Exodus 15. The enemies of God are destroyed! “Till your people, O Lord, pass by, till the people pass by whom you have purchased” (v. 16).

God’s chosen people—saved, purchased, redeemed—but those who would not believe are overwhelmed by the judgment and the wrath of God, the righteous wrath of a holy God qho is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But when they refuse to repent, He will judge.

And we have in that Old Testament Exodus scene, a picture—a foreshadowing—of the ultimate judgment, when God will cause those nations and kings and rulers and people of the earth to tremble, to be scared to death in the wake of the righteous judgment of the Lion of the Tribe of Judah!

Now, come to Revelation 19, and you see the culmination—the consummation—of this whole battle motif. The Lord is a man of war. Revelation 19 is probably my favorite chapter in all of God’s Word. I just love knowing how the story ends.

Now, I don’t love all the carnage part of it—which is the part we’re going to read here today—but I love thinking about the Man on the white horse who’s coming: the mighty King, the eternal Priest, the conquering Warrior, the great supreme Judge. We see Him in great relief here in this passage in Revelation 9, beginning at verse 11.

This is after God has sent many judgments to the earth, as He did in Egypt, with the hopes that people would repent. But again and again you read in Revelation (as you do in Exodus: “Pharaoh hardened his heart; he refused to repent”) . . . You read it in Revelation that the people hardened their hearts and refused to repent. So what is a righteous God to do? Exactly what He does here.

Revelation 19, verse 11:

Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war . . . He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. (vv. 11, 13).

From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords (vv. 15–16).

And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army. And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image.

These two [the beast and the false prophet] were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse, and all the birds were gorged with their flesh (vv. 19–21).

That’s the fulfillment of the picture we see in Psalm 110. “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” (vv. 5–6).

Now, until then—in this season—the kingdom of Christ advances by means of gospel witness. (We talked about this in an earlier session.) All people are called to submit to Christ as Lord, not by coercion, but by choice.

But one day, the One whose priestly robe is stained with the blood of His sacrifice will appear as the King of kings—the Priest/King, the King/Priest—to consummate His conquest. And then every knee and every enemy will bow before Him as Lord.

So Psalm 110 reveals our Messiah, the Lord Jesus, as the exalted King of kings, the great eternal High Priest after the order of Melchizedek and the conquering Warrior and Judge.

Now, there’s one verse left in this psalm, and on first reading it doesn’t even seem to fit. But, oh, does it fit! I love this verse. Verse 7: After all this carnage, all this warfare, all this conquest, “He [Messiah] will drink from the brook by the way; therefore he will lift up his head.”

So here we have Messiah, the great warrior King who’s been engaged in intense battle—difficult work, hard labor, fierce exhausting battle—and in the middle of the battle, He pauses by a brook to drink. He pauses long enough to replenish His strength at the brook.

And then, His head is lifted up; His eyes brightened. He presses on with confidence, boldness, and strength—energized to continue in the battle and able to overcome every enemy that would oppose Him.

Now, I don’t want to suggest that Jesus the Lord gets tired, but Jesus as a man knew what it was to be tired, to be weak, to need food, to need refreshing, food and drink. This whole scene brings to mind a picture in Judges 15, a scene after Samson (who was a questionable figure, at best) . . . But remember after he killed a thousand men with a donkey’s jawbone?

What a battle that must have been! Then it says in Judges 15, verse 18: “And he was very thirsty . . .” He was thirsty from the vigor, the exertion of the battle. “And he called upon the Lord and said, ‘You have granted this great salvation by the hand of your servant, and shall I now die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?’”

[Samson, paraphrased]: “I’m not gonna make it! I’m gonna die! I just had this great victory, but I’m gonna die of thirst!" So he calls out to the Lord in verse 19, “And God split open the hollow place that is at Lehi, and water came out from it.”

God split open this hollow place and water comes gushing out. “And when he drank, his spirit returned, and he revived.” (This is Samson this is speaking of.) “Therefore the name of it was called En-hakkore." Or, the spring of him who called.

I read that passage and I read this one in Psalm 110, “He will drink from the brook by the way . . .”—this great conquering King Jesus. Samson—not at all like Jesus in most respects—but, again, he was thirsty and needy in the wake of the battle.

I think of how often my weakness, my weariness, my thirst presses me to call upon the Lord—out of desperation. I was doing that this morning. It was a long night. It’s been a long week. There’s a lot going on in my life right now and my extended family. There’s been a lot happening.

It was a late night, and I’m feeling weak and needy, but when I call upon the Lord, what does He do? The same thing He does when you call upon Him in your weakness and your weariness and your need. He is the One who alone miraculously can provide for our needs to be met.

And so, He gives us a spring of water gushing up. He strikes the Rock—Christ Jesus—and causes that water to spring up for us. He strengthens us with water from the rock; He refreshes us and He sends us back into the battle with renewed vigor and strength.

How often has my own heart been strengthened in the middle of the labor, in the middle of the battle, by meditating on this passage in Psalm 110, “He will drink from the brook by the way; therefore he will lift up his head”—and from that passage in Judges about Samson.

Here’s the thing: we have to be filled up so we could be poured out. We drink from the brook, we are refreshed and then we’re revived to press on until the conquest is complete. And all through Scripture, we see how God provided desperately needed refreshing for desperately weary warriors! Brooks by the way. . .

He did it for Samson; He did it for His servant Elijah in the time of drought. He did it for His people in the wilderness, when there was no water and no food. And He will do the same for you! “He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.” [Psalm 23:3-4] But I’m reminded that when you’re in the midst of the battle, you can’t drink that from the brook on the run.

You’ve gotta stop and drink from the water in the brook He supplies. . .which may mean, for a short period of time—or even a longer period of time on occasion—that you have to pull away from the battle.

You can’t be—whether it’s with your kids or with your job or with your schooling, or with whatever it is God has called you to do—we can’t be “on” 24/7, pressing in, in the battle, if we’re not stepping back, taking time to get our own souls fed and replenished.

Christ in us is the source of the strengthening and the refreshing that we need. That’s why we need to take time to drink from the brook—Christ the Living Water—each day, to seek Him for fresh springs in our lives, in our ministry, in our calling . . . whatever your calling.

I’m not just talking about people who teach the Bible to others. We all need those “times of refreshing that come from the presence of the Lord,” Acts chapter 3:20 says. We need to stop, drink of Christ, and then believe by faith that He will lift up our heads—even as He does for this King/Priest/Warrior, Jesus, in Psalm 110.

Then, remember that the rest He provides is not for its own sake. It’s not just so we can live a battle-free life. We don’t stop by the brook to stay by the brook. The goal is to get revived and refreshed from the inside-out, so we can get back in the battle and join our Lord Jesus—that great conquering King and Judge and Warrior—join Him in bringing this entire world into subjection to His rule and His reign!

Is anyone tired here? Is anyone tired in the battle that you’re in these days? I see some widows here. I see some older women, younger women, women who have been through a lot of physical afflictions. Some are going through family afflictions. I don’t know what the battle is you’re in right now.

We’re all in a battle to extend the reign and rule of Christ into this world, but let’s make sure we stop and drink from the brook by the way, and then trust that Jehovah will lift up our head so that we can get back into the battle and be strengthened to press on.

So, Lord, we offer up our thanks, our praise, our prayers to You. We can’t even begin to imagine what that throne room must look like or what it’s like there today, but we praise you that we have a great High Priest, a great King, exalted eternal, who sits at Your right hand adn who pleads our case, who advocates for us, who prays for us, who sends His Holy Spirit to fill us, who is extending His scepter through us this day into this world. We eagerly long for that day when all unbelief will be stopped. Every rebel sigh and thought and word will be put down, and You will reign forever, without a rival.

And so, thank You for Your salvation that has freed us from Your judgment. We pray for salvation to come to the hearts of those around us that we know and love, whom we long to see spared from Your judgment.

So we give You thanks, Lord. We worship You, Lord Jesus. Thank You for Your Word that You’ve given to us to be the brook that quenches our thirst, that supports and sustains us by the way. And thank You that You are the lifter of our heads. For all of this we give You thanks in Jesus’ name, amen.

Leslie: That’s Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth in the series "Christ Our Reigning Priest and King." She’ll be right back.

If you’ve missed any of the series, you can still hear all of it by visiting ReviveOurHearts.com. Once you’re at our site, you can listen to the audio, read the transcripts, or watch the series on video.

Those web resources and this program are all made possible thanks to listeners who give and make the ministry possible. When you give to Revive Our Hearts, it has a huge effect on women who are hearing the truth and being changed by it. Nancy’s here with an example. 

Nancy: Yes, Leslie. A woman in Mexico wrote to tell us that she listens to the Spanish version of Revive Our Hearts on the air every day. Not long ago we aired the radio series "Seeking Him" in Spanish. God used it to convict this listener.

Woman from Mexico: God began touching my heart about a forgiveness issue from the first week of the "Seeking Him" series. He reminded me of the person I offended, and I knew He wanted me to call and ask for forgiveness. Two more weeks passed, and God kept insisting and reminding me. 

Nancy: After a couple of weeks, we got to the part of the "Seeking Him" study that was specifically about repentance.

Woman: I couldn’t resist any longer! I picked up the telephone and called this person. I can’t describe the peace God brought to my life after years of keeping this issue unresolved. He freed me!

Nancy: I love hearing those kinds of stories. If you’ve supported Revive Our Hearts, your gift has helped result in freedom for a woman who could still be, today, in bondage to a guilty conscience.

You know, the only reason we’re able to continue to provide Revive Our Hearts in both English and Spanish—online and on the air—is thanks to listeners like you who believe in God’s power to change lives and who want to join Him and us in that work.

We want to hear more of these stories, not fewer. That’s why we’ve been letting you know that donations to the ministry have been less than anticipated over the past several months and that without reversing this trend, we’re going to have to be cutting back on some of our most core, crucial outreaches.

But we have a powerful God, and we are trusting Him to provide all that He knows this ministry needs. We’ve been asking the Lord to provide $830,000 in donations here during the month of May to make up the shortfall we’ve experienced over the past several months—to cover our normal May expenses and to keep the outreaches of Revive Our Hearts going strong.

Now, the Lord is the owner of all of this. This is His ministry, and we’re just trying to be good stewards, good managers, of what He owns. So whatever He puts into our hands—whatever resources He provides—that’s going to be good, and we know that’s going to be just what is needed.

If you believe in what God is doing through Revive Our Hearts, and you want to see these outreaches continue to be fruitful, would you be willing to partner with us at this time? Now, I know that many of you have already done that this month, and if you’re one of those people, I want to say to you, "Thank you so much!"

I’m so grateful for each person who has had a part in helping to get us to where we are today. But if you haven’t had a chance to make a gift yet, and if you’d like to be part of God’s provision for us this month, you can give us a call to make your donation at 1–800–569–5959, or you can visit us at ReviveOurHearts.com.

When you go to that website, you’ll be able to see a chart there, or graph, that shows where we are in relation to the total amount that we’re trusting the Lord for. Thank you so much for helping Revive Our Hearts continue calling women to freedom, fullness, and fruitfulness in Christ.

This listener we heard from was so excited to discover Revive Our Hearts was going to bring a conference to Mexico: Mujer Verdadera ’17. She, along with a group from her church, attended that conference.

On Monday we’ll hear some of how that conference came about. It started when one woman began to disciple a younger woman. Together, they had a big idea. You can hear that story on Monday, here on Revive Our Hearts.                 

Now, all week we’ve focused on Jesus as our reigning Priest and King, from Psalm 110. As we wrap up that series today, I want to leave you with a clip from Dr. D. A. Carson. Some years ago I heard a wonderful message from Dr. Carson on the character of Melchizedek.

Dr. Carson walked through Psalm 110 in the final moments of that sermon. I thought it beautifully tied together the ideas we’ve been considering all this week. Let’s listen . . .

Dr. D. A. Carson: We have a Savior who is not only the King, the promised King, who rules over our lives, who confronts the enemies of God. He is the King. He is the Conqueror, and we are to bow in submission to His kingship. But He’s also the Priest.

If He’s just the King, we live in terror! That’s it. But He’s also the Priest. He’s the perfect mediator between God and human beings, because He is God, and He is a human being. He exactly takes up all the functions and purposes of the Old Testament priests, but He outstrips them in one huge particular—He never sinned.

The author goes on to talk about that here. That’s why He’s an even better High Priest than they were because they had to offer sacrifices for their own sins. Moreover, the sacrifices that they offered . . . does the blood of a bull and a goat actually have some sort of intrinsic moral value? Does that make sense?

The bullock is not saying, “Here’s my throat. Go ahead and slit it. I’m dying for you.” In that sense, it’s a morally useless sacrifice. And what does it mean to take the blood of a goat and substitute it for the blood of a human being? It doesn’t make sense. It’s pointing forward to something else.

But this One—this One—the Lamb of God, this “wonderful, beautiful Savior, precious Redeemer and Friend, who would have thought that a Lamb could ransom the souls of men . . .” What a Lamb this One is!

He’s Priest, and He turns out to be the sacrifice. He’s the temple. He’s the place where human beings meet the Holy God. He’s the temple. He’s the Priest. He’s the Lamb. His body is the veil. Again and again and again He takes all of these strands unto Himself.

And we come to the New Testament text, and our eyes see how the Old Testament patterns, in God’s perfect wisdom, have anticipated all of this.We come before the fulfillment, and we bow, and we worship.

Yes, God knows that I need a King to subdue me and to bring in the consummation. I need a Priest to offer up Himself as the supreme sacrifice, or I am undone. A Perfect Priest, one of our kind—a human being—who is nevertheless One with God and who is ultimately without mother, without father, in the most ultimate sense. 

This is the Jesus of the gospel we proclaim!

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

All Scripture is taken from the ESV.

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