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Christ Rules in the Midstof His Enemies
“The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath. He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries. He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head.”
We’ll look mainly tonight at the first four verses of that psalm. The first verse of Psalm 110 is quoted more often in the New Testament than any other passage of the Old Testament. It’s quoted in Matthew, Mark, Luke, Acts and Hebrews. Five times in the New Testament. Obviously it has something to say to New Testament believers. Jesus quotes it about himself and reveals that he is the one whom David calls “my Lord.” He said, “The Lord said unto my Lord,” that’s God the Father said to Christ the Son, “Sit thou at my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool.”
The Bible reveals that’s where Christ is at this very moment. He is at God’s right hand waiting for the Father to make his enemies his footstool. At God’s right hand he has two special ministries. The two greatest ministries available to any person. Those ministries are the ministry of a priest and the ministry of a king. They are of great practical importance for us because I will show you this evening out of the Bible that those two ministries are also made available to every believer in Christ. Every believer in Christ is appointed of God to exercise the ministry of a priest and the ministry of a king. Jesus is our pattern but we are united with him in these two ministries.
Let’s look, first of all, at the ministry of the priest. This is stated in verse 4 of Psalm 110, “The Lord has sworn [to Christ his Son], and will not repent [there is no going back on it], Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.” This is quoted in Hebrews. We need to turn to Hebrews for a moment to see what the writer of Hebrews says. We turn to the end of chapter 6 in Hebrews and the beginning of chapter 7. The last verse of chapter 6, Hebrews 6:20, speaks about that holiest place of all within the veil in the immediate presence of God that was typified by the holiest of all in the tabernacle constructed by Moses but has its real fulfillment in the actual presence of Almighty God in the temple made without hands in heaven. The scripture says:
“There [into that place in the immediate presence of God] Christ has entered as our forerunner [the one who goes before us] to prepare the way for us that we also may enter in there following after him.”
This is stated in Hebrews 6:20:
“Whither [that is within the second veil] the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.”
Then in the next verses at the beginning of chapter 7 the writer explains what it meant by the “order of Melchizedek.” Melchizedek is a Hebrew name divided into two halves. You’re probably aware all Hebrew names have a meaning. There is no such thing as a meaningless Hebrew name. Melchi is king, zedek is righteousness. So, Melchizedek means king of righteousness. This is explained here by the writer beginning at verse 1 of chapter 7.
“For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation [of his name] King of righteousness [Melchizedek], then also King of Salem...”
In Genesis 14 when he met Abraham he is portrayed as the King of Salem. Salem is the same as the modern Hebrew word shalom and it means peace. So, by the meaning of his name he’s king of righteousness. By the place where he rules he’s king of peace. And then he’s also the priest of the most high God. The priest and the king at God’s right hand, Jesus, our forerunner, our personal representative who’s entered in there to prepare the way for us that we may follow him right in where he has gone.
That’s his position as king and priest. Let us look a little further at the statements about his kingship and we’ll turn to two other psalms. Psalm 2, we’ll read the opening verses of Psalm 2. This psalm also is quoted several times in the New Testament.
“Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?”
Generally speaking, in the King James where you read “heathen” or “nations,” you should understand Gentile nations. When you read “people,” it usually refers to Israel. Even today the Jews call themselves the people. They call all other nations goyim. How many of you know what the Jews mean by goyim? It means all other nations except Israel. So, by the word of God and in the terminology of scripture the human race is divided into two categories. One very small category, the people Israel. One very large category, all other nations, the nations or the Gentiles. So, why do the Gentile nations rage and the people of Israel imagine a vain thing?
“The kings of the earth [that’s Pontius Pilate and Herod] set themselves, and the rulers [of Israel] take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his Christ.”
This is applied to this situation by the early church in Acts 4. It’s about the only time in history that the rulers of Israel have really ever agreed with the kings of the Gentile nations. Ironically enough, it was in betraying the Messiah.
Now, these say together they reject the lordship of Jesus Christ.
“Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.”
In one of his parables Jesus expressed this in the phrase, “We will not have this man to rule over us.” Here we have a deliberate rejection of the claim of Jesus Christ to be God’s anointed king and ruler over the human race. In rejecting Christ they reject also God the Father who sent him. So, we have here the rejection of the rulership of Christ portrayed.
Now we have in the verses that follow the reaction of God the Father to this rejection and then the response of God the Son to the reaction of God the Father. That sounds a little complicated but I think you can follow it. Verse 4:
“He that sitteth in the heavens [that’s God the Father] shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.”
In the sight of God the rebellion and the wickedness of man is laughable. God laughs at his enemies. In the Bible laughter is not the reaction to the comical, it’s the expression of triumph. It’s good to bear that in mind. When God makes you laugh in the spirit you’re triumphing over your enemies. I know nothing that liberates and cleanses more than Spirit given laughter. Remember, it’s not something comical, it’s an expression of supreme triumph. When you can laugh at your enemies they’re contemptible. That’s where every one of us should be in Christ, able to laugh at our enemies.
“He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh, the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.”
And this is what he says. He says you can roar and you can rage, you can refuse.
“Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.”
My king is there. You can do nothing about it. You have no power whatever to change it. He’s there at my right hand, he’s my anointed king.
In the response to this the Son speaks. This is a dialogue in heaven. Don’t you think it’s a privilege to have a revelation of what’s being said in heaven? The Son takes up the word and says:
“I will declare the decree: the Lord [God the Father] hath said unto me [God the Son], Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.”
It’s most important that you understand which day is “this day.” It’s a specific day in history. Which day is it? What happened? Resurrection, that’s right. This is not referring to eternity, this is referring to the resurrection of Christ from the dead which is referred to consistently through the scripture as being “born or begotten from the dead.” So, on the day of the resurrection God declares a decree, he turns to the Son and says, “Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee [from the dead].”
And then he says, “You’re my ruler.”
“Ask of me, and I shall give thee the nations for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.”
Now turn to Psalm 89. This is what’s called a Messianic psalm. In other words, though it speaks about David it does not really refer to David but to David’s greater son, his Lord Jesus Christ. For instance, it says in the opening verses of this psalm, verse 3:
“I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant, thy seed will I establish forever, and build up thy throne to all generations.”
We know now that that is fulfilled in Christ and his throne. Christ the seed of David sitting on the throne of David and ruling for all generations.
Turning on to verse 26—and I cannot, you know, go through all the details because it would take several hours, but it all its into the pattern—we come to the same point in God’s dealings that’s dealt with in Psalm 2. We have another example of the exchange between Father and Son after the resurrection. Verse 26:
“He shall cry unto me [that’s the Son shall cry to the Father], Thou art my Father, my God, and the rock of my salvation.”
The rock of his salvation through the resurrection of the dead. By the resurrection of the dead God begat Jesus again, made him his firstborn from the dead, and declared him to be his chosen king. Jesus, on the other hand, acknowledged God the Father and the rock of his salvation. So, we have this picture which is out of time, it’s in eternity, it’s in the heavenly realms of what took place at the time of the resurrection of Christ.
Going on to verse 27 the Father goes on:
“And I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth.”
Firstborn from what? From the grave, that’s right. Because he’s the firstborn from the grave he’s also the ruler of the kings of the earth. The two things go together.
Now, turn for a moment to Colossians 1. I realize this is complicated and some of you are saying, “How will I ever remember all these scriptures?” But you’ll get the message. Then you can do some homework on the scriptures. Colossians 1:17–18. This is speaking about Jesus Christ. Colossians 1:16–18 set forth Jesus twice the first. The first before all creation and the first of the new creation through being begotten from the dead. Jesus has the preeminence in both creations. He was the author of creation the first time and he was the first begotten of the dead, the head of the new order the second time. So in all things he has the preeminence. Verse 17, we’ll not look at verse 16 because that goes back into eternity, we don’t have time this evening.
“And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.”
Everything is held in being by him, Jesus Christ.
“And he is the head of the body, the church [the church is his body]; who is the beginning [of the new order, the new creation], the firstborn from the dead...”
Notice what he is, he is the head of the body and the firstborn from the dead. This is taken from the pattern of natural birth. In an ordinary, natural birth, what part of the body emerges first? The head. When the head comes it’s the guarantee the body is going to follow. So, Jesus was the firstborn from the dead, the head emerging from the womb of the grave, the guarantee that his body will follow him in resurrection. He’s the firstborn from the dead, the head of the body.
Now turn to Revelation 1 and you’ll find—just buckle your seatbelt because we haven’t finished yet! Revelation 1:4–5, we have the salutation of John for the book of Revelation. This salutation comes from God the Father, the Holy Spirit, and God the Son in that order. Reading Revelation 1:4–5:
“John to the seven churches who are in Asia, Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come [that’s God the Father]; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne [that’s the Holy Spirit in sevenfold aspect]...”
And if you want to know the sevenfold aspects of the Holy Spirit they’re found in Isaiah 11:2. All right? We don’t have time to go there now but those are the sevenfold aspects of the Holy Spirit. The seven spirits which are yet one Spirit. If you want a pattern from the natural order it’s the rainbow which is one rainbow split up into seven colors. That’s nature’s parable of the Holy Spirit.
The third is from Jesus Christ. Now notice the three statements about Jesus Christ.
“...he is the faithful witness...”
While he was on earth. He witnessed a good confession before Pontius Pilate. He never swerved from the truth, he always declared the truth and he always declared who he was—though it cost him his life.
“...he’s the firstborn of the dead...”
Because he was the faithful witness God begat him again from the dead justifying his Son and overthrowing the decision of two courts that had condemned him to death. The religious court of the Jews, the secular court of the Romans. By the resurrection God revoked those two unjust decisions and vindicated the righteousness of his Son and declared him to be indeed the Son of God. Romans 1:4, declared to be the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead. So, he’s the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and:
“...the prince [or ruler] of the kings of the earth.”
That is to see who Jesus is. You want to get these three things in the right order. He’s the faithful witness in his earthly life, the firstborn of the dead in his resurrection. And, because of that he is now, right now, the ruler of the kings of the earth. That’s not going to happen, it has happened. In Revelation 19 he’s called “Lord of lords and King of kings.” That’s not just fancy language, that has a real meaning. In my book I explain it this way. He’s the ruler over rulers and the governor over governments. All rulers and all governments have one supreme governor. It’s very, very important to see this. It’s all related to a theme of what we knew about the government. Every earthly government is answerable to one supreme governor. His name is Jesus.
Now, just to put a little icing on the cake we’ll look at one other Old Testament scripture which portrays Jesus in his double ministry of king and priest. It’s in a little book called Zechariah. When you read the minor prophets bear in mind they’re minor in length, not in content. They’re just as important as any other part of the word of God. Zechariah 6:12–13. Part of the message of Zechariah is contained in types. In other words, things which are natural but are pictures of things which are spiritual. In Zechariah 4 we have Zerubbabel who was the governor of Judah at that time. But, Zerubbabel is a type of Jesus Christ, the builder of the temple. In Zechariah 6 we have Joshua the son of Josadek who was the high priest in the day of Zechariah. But he is a type of Jesus Christ, God’s eternal high priest. So, what is said about Joshua and Zerubbabel is not so much important about then, it’s important when we apply it to Jesus Christ. This is the principle and type and antitype. Like the Passover lamb is the type. Jesus the Lamb of God is the antitype. Zerubbabel the builder of the temple is the type. Jesus the builder of the temple of the Lord is the antitype. Joshua the high priest is the type. Jesus the eternal high priest is the antitype. This is a principle that goes all through scripture and it’s applied by the writers of the New Testament many times over, it has complete foundation in scripture.
So, now we’re going to talk about Joshua as the type of Jesus the high priest. Verse 12:
“Speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Behold the man...”
Who else said that? Pontius Pilate, didn’t he? Of whom? Jesus. “Behold the man.” That’s a subject for a sermon in itself. The only man who ever was what every man should have been, behold the man, Jesus Christ.
We are told seven things about him. Do you remember the seven statements in Daniel? Here we have seven similar statements.
“Behold the man...”
Let me stop for a moment and remind you that Jesus is still a man. You agree? All right. Now, he is God, he always was God, he always will be God. But, when through incarnation he became man he didn’t become man just for thirty-three and a half years. He became man forever. A new order came into being, the God/man race. Emmanuel, God with us. That’s the new race that God is interested in.
Just to give you two scriptures so you don’t call me a heretic, 1Corinthians 15:47.
“The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven.
“There is one God and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus.”
That was written long after the resurrection. Jesus is the mediator, the man at God’s right hand. It really is overwhelming. I mean, it’s impossible to take it in that there’s a representative of the human race at the right hand of Almighty God at the seat of all authority and power in the entire universe. That’s something to meditate on.
Now then, are you with me? We’re in Zechariah 6:12.
“Behold the man whose name is the Branch...”
That’s one of the titles of Messiah. It’s used in Isaiah, in Jeremiah and in Zechariah. He’s the branch, he’s the rod out of the stem of Jesse, the root and the offspring of David. It’s used of him in the New Testament. So, he’s the branch.
“...he shall grow up out of his place...”
And this has got a lesson for all of us. There’s only one place you can grow spiritually and that’s your place. You have to find your place and then you can grow. A person out of his place, the Bible says, “As a bird that wandereth from her nest, so is a man out of his place.” Have you ever seen anything more pathetic and helpless than a bird that’s wandered from its nest? A believer out of his place is just like that. If you want to grow you’ve got to grow out of your place.
It points out also the humility of Jesus. He didn’t start at the top and work down like some of us would like to do, he started at the bottom and grew up. Isaiah 53 says, “He shall grow like a root out of a dry ground.” There’s a tremendous lesson. If you want spiritual progress, find your place. “He shall grow up out of his place.” That’s the second statement.
The third statement is:
“...he shall build the temple of the Lord...”
That’s so important it’s repeated.
“...even he shall build the temple of the Lord...”
What is the temple of the Lord? The body of Christ or the church. That is so important that it’s stated twice. Who’s the builder of the church? Jesus Christ. Who’s church is it? I hope it is, don’t you? I heard Kenneth Hagin say once that he’d been teaching on the gifts of the Holy Spirit and at the end a lady came up to him and said, “Brother Hagin, we don’t have those gifts in our church.” He answered, “Well, sister, they have them in the church of Jesus Christ, which is yours?” That’s a pretty far reaching question. Which is yours? Jesus said in Matthew 16, “I will build my church.” The only church that belongs to him is the one that he’s building. If you don’t allow him to build it it isn’t his. He is the builder of the church. All right?
The next statement:
“...he shall bear the glory...”
In Hebrew the word glory is directly related to the word for weight. Paul plays on this in 2 Corinthians 4 when he talks about a far more eternal and exceeding weight of glory. Glory is a weight. Do you think you could bear the glory? Brother, you’d crumple under it. There’s only one man who can bear the glory and that’s Jesus. He bears it all. Hallelujah! But he bears it with us. You remember he prayed for his disciples that they might be with him with the glory that he had with the Father before the foundation of the world. He is now bearing the glory, he’s glorified at the Father’s right hand.
He shall bear the glory and the next statement:
“...he shall sit and rule upon his throne...”
What kind of a person rules on a throne? A king, that’s right. So, he’s the king at God’s right hand.
And, the next statement:
“...he shall be a priest upon his throne...”
See the revelation? The king priest or the priest king. Ruling and ministering as a priest.
And, the last statement which is fantastic is:
“...the counsel of peace shall be between them both.”
Where it says “both,” the Hebrew uses the word “two.” The two of them. This is pretty deep theology. Who are the two? The Father and the Son. So, there is plurality in the godhead, see? Never get away from that. The counsel of peace shall be between the two of them.
In John 17 which is very closely related to this passage, we won’t turn there. Jesus prayed that all believers might be one even as the Father and he are one. How are the Father and he one? Through what? The Holy Spirit. I heard Kevin Ranaghan say this—I don’t think he meant it as a conclusive definition because it’s inadequate. But, as an illuminating statement it’s very helpful. “The Holy Spirit is the love relationship between the Father and the Son.” So, by the Holy Spirit all we believers in Christ can be just as much one as the Father and Son are one. Through the Holy Spirit the counsel of peace can be between them and us. We can think the thoughts of God, will the will of God, and declare the purpose of God just as surely as Christ the Son did.
Do you want to go over those statements? First of all, he’s the man. Then we have, I think, seven statements. His name is the branch, he’s the Messiah, the root of the stem of David. He grows up out of his place, a root out of a dry ground. Isaiah 53, “He has no form nor comeliness. When we shall see him there is no beauty that we should desire him.” He grows up out of his place out of the dry ground. He’s the builder of the temple of the Lord, the church. He’s the only one who bears the glory. He rules as a king upon his throne. He’s also a priest at God’s right hand. And the counsel of peace is between the Father and the Son on the throne.
Now, I believe by the grace of God, by the Holy Spirit, by the word of God we have been granted a revelation of Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “When he, the Spirit of truth is some, he shall glorify me, for he shall receive of mine, and make it over unto you.” Out of the word of God tonight the Holy Spirit has made over to us the truth about Jesus Christ. If there’s any truth we need to know it’s this, in this state of chaos and disorder and rebellion and lawlessness on earth we need to know who Jesus is and where he is. He’s king and priest and builder of the temple of the Lord. He’s bearing the glory, he’s at the Father’s right hand. He’s ruling in the midst of his enemies and the counsel of peace is between Father and Son.
When you really get that into your spirit you can sit back and relax. There isn’t anything to worry about. God is in control. Jesus is Lord of lords and King of kings. See? If we go around worried and perplexed and fearful it’s because we haven’t received the revelation which the Holy Spirit offers us through the scriptures revealing Jesus. Once you really know about Jesus you don’t worry. One thing about the early church is very obvious. They were a tiny, despicable little minority in the midst of an alien, hostile, cruel, despotic world. They were never frightened of the world. The world was scared of them. Right from the beginning the world was afraid of the church. That’s how we have to be at the close of the age.
Now, we’ve dealt with Jesus at the Father’s right hand as king and priest. Now let’s see that you and I are there with him. This is the next revelation. Hallelujah, glory to God. We’ll go back to Revelation 1 first of all. Revelation 1. We read verse 4, now we’ll read verse 5. Revelation 1:5:
“And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father.”
So, every one who has been washed in the blood of Jesus has been made—not is going to be made but has been made—a king and a priest to God the Father. Or, more literally, a kingdom and priests. Or, a kingdom of priests. The only people in this kingdom are priests. No one else has any right in this kingdom but priests. It’s a kingdom of priests.
Just to illustrate this let me take a couple of phrases. If I talk about a race of giants, the only people in that race are giants. Nobody else belongs. Or, if I talk about a society of botanists, then the only people in that society are botanists. So, a kingdom of priests, the only people in that kingdom are priests. To be in the kingdom you have to be a priest. But, through the blood of Jesus we have been made both kings and priests unto God the Father. That’s tremendous—unto God the Father—when you think about it.
Revelation 5:9–10 contains the same truth again. Revelation 5:9–10. We won’t go into the background, we’ll just get the principle.
“And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou was slain, and has redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us kings and priests unto our God.”
Notice again it’s not in the future. The moment you have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus you have been made a king and a priest. It’s redemption by blood that makes you both king and priest. Never in the New Testament is it placed in the future. Always in the past. It’s not something that’s going to happen, it’s something that has happened. Some people don’t recognize themselves.
I was preaching this in Amarillo and Brother Shelby was telling us the next day that he was in the restaurant getting a meal and he asked where he was to pay his bill. The waitress said, “You pay to the man behind the desk there. He’s the manager, he doesn’t look like the manager but he is the manager.” So Shelby said to the waitress, “Well, that’s remarkable because people don’t always look like what they are. I’m a king. I might not look like it but I’m a king.” The waitress said, “You are?” He said, “And I’m a priest, too.” She said, “Oh?” He said, “I may not look like it but I am.” Bear that in mind as you go around. You may not look like it but you are.
Now we’ll turn to 1Peter 2. We’re pursuing this theme of kings and priests. The next thing we need to know is this. Most of us know what the primary job of a king is. What is it to do in one word? It is to rule or reign. What is the one word that describes the distinctive ministry of the priest, the one thing a priest does that nobody else can do? Sacrifice, that’s right. That’s the key word. So you go back into the Old Testament. We didn’t look at this but when the law of Moses came, priesthood and kingship were separated by law. The priesthood went to the tribe of Levi, the kingship went just once to the tribe of Benjamin and then to the tribe of Judah. It was forbidden for them to mingle. You’ll bear in mind that this is very clearly illustrated by King Saul who broke the rule and did what only a priest should do which was what? Offer sacrifice, and lost his kingdom because he did it. Here you see the distinctive ministry of the king, to rule. The priest, to offer sacrifice.
Let’s look at this and you’ll see it very clearly in 1 Peter 2. We’ll take verse 9, then we’ll go back and take verse 5. 1 Peter 2:9, speaking to all New Testament believers:
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood...”
What is a royal priesthood? It’s a kingly priesthood. So, a kingdom of priests or a royal priesthood. It doesn’t matter whichever way you put it, we’re kings and priests. This is stated three times of all believers in the New Testament. Every time it’s stated as something already done. Never is it stated as something that’s going to happen later on.
Now, going back to verse 5 we get the key to priesthood.
“Ye also as living stones are built up a spiritual house...”
What is the spiritual house? The church.
“...an holy priesthood...”
Being priests what do we have to do?
“...to offer up spiritual sacrifices.”
Why does Peter say spiritual? Because the Levitical priesthood offered up physical sacrifices. They offered up the bodies of bullocks and sheep and pigeons and so on.
Now, we’re going to take the class into the lesson. We’ve got to offer spiritual sacrifices. I want one word, only one, that describes all the various kinds of spiritual sacrifices that we can offer. Prayer, you said it right. That includes worship, praise, intercession, giving of thanks, supplication, all the various forms. But the one general word is prayer. So, as priests we offer prayer. As kings we rule. But remember, it’s a kingdom of priests. So, if you don’t know how to behave as a priest you can’t rule as a king. In other words, only those who know how to pray can rule. That’s the essence of ruling, it’s a kingdom of priests. Until the church learns to pray it will never rule.
Now we go to Ephesians 2, glory to God, bless the Lord. Amen. Ephesians 2, and we start at verse 4 because we don’t have time to go further back. The first three verses describe us in our lost condition. Children of wrath, children of disobedience, under the influence of Satan, cut off from God, dead in trespasses and sins. I’m so happy for the opening words of verse 4 because it says “but God.” When we couldn’t do anything God did something about it. What did God do? In the next few verses we see.
“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places...”
God has done—and it’s all in the past—three things because of our relationship to him through Christ. First of all, he has quickened us. What’s that in modern English? Made us alive. Number two, he has raised us up or resurrected us from the tomb. Number three, he has made us to sit together in heavenly places. What are we sitting on? A throne. What kind of person sits on a throne? A king. All right. What else are we on the throne besides kings? Priests. Just like Jesus. At the Father’s right hand we sit and rule upon the throne and we are a priest upon the throne and the counsel of peace is between God and us. Again, the Bible does not put this in the future. We have been made alive with Christ. How many of you have been made alive with Christ? All right. You’ve been resurrected with Christ. How many of you believe you’ve been made to sit in the heavenlies? What I love is the New English Bible here because it says, “He hath enthroned us with Christ.” That’s the word. We have been enthroned.
Furthermore, the writer of Hebrews and other parts of the New Testament emphasize one other fact. Jesus is sitting. It’s very important. The Old Testament priests never sat down. Did you know that? There’s not a record of a single priest who ever sat down. Why? Because their job was never finished. They always had to go back and offer the same sacrifices again. But Jesus, having offered one sacrifice for sin forever did what? Sat down. He’s never going to have to do it again. And he’s not anxious. He hasn’t got white knuckles on the balusters of heaven wondering what’s going on. He’s relaxed. There’s only one time it’s recorded he stood up and that wasn’t because he was concerned about his enemies. It was to welcome his friend Stephen the first martyr.
See, if we could only see this we’d see that God is in total control. He isn’t anxious, he isn’t flustered. There are no emergencies in heaven. It’s all right, friend. Praise God.
Now then, why don’t we know who we are and where we are if we don’t? Why are we still toiling like slaves when we could be reigning as kings? Because we haven’t received the revelation of God. Let’s look in 1Corinthians for a moment. I can’t spend too long on this but it’s too good to pass it by altogether. 1Corinthians 2, Paul says:
“When I came to you [in Corinth], I did not come with excellency of speech or of wisdom...”
I didn’t put on a big preaching display. My appeal was not to your intellect. But my speech and my preaching was with the demonstration of the Spirit and of power. He said I demonstrated the supernatural power of God:
“That your faith should not be reposed in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”
People always talk and think as if Paul was a great pulpit personality. But he wasn’t. His enemies said about him in 2Corinthians “his bodily presence is weak, his speech contemptible.” How did he get his results? By supernatural power. Get it right, friends. He was a very learned man, undoubtedly the most learned of the apostles. But he didn’t rely on theology, he didn’t rely on eloquence; he relied on the demonstrated supernatural power of the Holy Spirit. God does not desire that your faith be built on the wisdom or oratory or intelligence or education of men. The only secure foundation for faith is the power of God in your personal experience.
Somebody said the man with an experience is not at the mercy of a man with an argument. That’s true.
Now then, Paul says we renounce the wisdom of this world. But he says there’s another kind of wisdom that we’re very interested in. This is what I’m coming to. Verse 6 of 1Corinthians 2:
“Howbeit [nevertheless] we speak wisdom among them that are perfect [mature, grown up]: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to naught: but we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory.”
The RSV says, “We speak a secret, hidden wisdom of God.” That excites me. If there is a secret, hidden wisdom of God I want to know it. You may not but I do. All my life I’ve pursued wisdom. For about I don’t know how many years I was a professional philosopher in pursuit of wisdom. But, I was pursuing the kind of wisdom which Paul says doesn’t get you there. I’ll add my testimony to his, it doesn’t get you there. I never found what I was looking for. But you can find my testimony, 1Corinthians 1:21:
“After that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God through the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”
And when I’d come to the end of human wisdom I listened to a singularly foolish preacher who actually fell off the bench on the platform while he was preaching. And through that foolishness God saved me because I believed. So, I am interested in the secret, hidden wisdom of God. Paul says we can know it.
“But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory.”
Did you ever stop and think about that? Why is it unto our glory? Well, I think the RSV says, “For our glorification.” And the meaning is this secret, hidden wisdom shows us that we share Christ’s glory with him. And God ordained it before the world for our glory. Christ always had glory. When he came down and suffered and rose from the dead it wasn’t for his sake, it was for our sakes that we might become partakers of his glory.
So, this secret, hidden wisdom of God shows us where we are. Where are we? We’re in our body, we’re in Roswell, New Mexico. And the seats may get a bit hard after awhile. But, in our spirit where are we? On the throne at God’s right hand. Let’s be realistic, there’s a difference. I mean, I realize that. I don’t discount the reality of my physical body, it’s very real. But my spirit is equally real, my relationship in Christ and my place in Christ is just as real as my position on this platform here tonight. But I’ll never know it, I’ll never enjoy it, I’ll never experience it, I’ll never live it out until I receive the revelation which is the secret, hidden wisdom of God. It comes by the Holy Spirit through the scriptures.
Friend, stay away from people that want a revelation that goes beyond the Bible. We haven’t discovered 1/1000 part of what’s in the Bible yet. So, anybody who talks about being beyond the Bible is conceited and foolish.
Now then, verse 8:
“Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”
Why would they not have crucified the Lord of glory if they had the secret, hidden wisdom? Because they would have known who he was. But because they didn’t have the secret, hidden wisdom they just saw Jesus the carpenter’s son, a troublemaker, an agitator, a kind of open air preacher. So they said, “Let’s do away with him. He gets in the way of the political and religious machinery. He’s upsetting the status quo.” They didn’t recognize him because their eyes were not open by the Holy Spirit to see who he really is.
“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”
Where are these things? At God’s right hand in the glory. But you can’t see them with the eye, you can’t hear them with the ear, your natural reason and imagination cannot show them to you. There’s another way to know them. This is stated in verse 10:
“But God hath revealed them unto us...”
Notice he’s not going to reveal them, he has revealed them.
“...by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.”
The only revelator of these things is the Spirit of God. The revelation comes through the book the Holy Spirit wrote which is the Bible. Verse 12:
“We have received, not the spirit of the world [which shows us the things of the world], but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.”
Why have we received the Holy Spirit? That we might know what is ours in Christ. And friend, it doesn’t say believe, it says know. I want to tell you tonight I know. I don’t merely believe, I know. What I’m telling you tonight for me is so certain that I cannot doubt it. I trust it will be so for you if it is not already.
“Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Spirit teacheth, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”
Remember, this secret, hidden wisdom of God is not to be imparted in the language of human theology, psychology, psychiatry or philosophy. Anytime you hear a preacher using the jargon of psychiatry or psychology to teach spiritual truth, be on your guard because it is not the correct presentation of truth. The only language that will do it is the language the Holy Spirit has given in scripture. I don’t say you have to use the King James Version but you have to use the language, the pictures, the figures of scripture to present scriptural truth. The Bible talks about actual realities: physical and spiritual. And the spiritual are more real than the physical.
Going back to Psalm 110. We’re going to go into the future, the close of the age. We’re getting there. We’ve taken a little while but we’re on the way.
“The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.”
That’s where he is right now, king and priest at God’s right hand.
“The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion...”
Leave that statement for a moment and notice this:
“...rule now in the midst of thine enemies.”
This is what Jesus is doing now. Most Christians see the enemies but they don’t see Jesus and they get all upset and worried and flustered. It’s true, Christ’s enemies are rampant on every hand. They’ve never been so active as they are now. But, it’s no less true that Christ is ruling over them all.
Now, he exercises authority in the way described in the first part of verse 2, “The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion...” We’ve got to interpret these figures of the scriptures and there’s a legitimate way to do it. Zion—and I wish I could take time to demonstrate this but I can’t—Zion is God’s people assembled in divine order. In Hebrews 12:22 it says of all believers in Christ:
“Ye are come [modern English have come] unto Mount Zion, and the heavenly Jerusalem, and the general assembly and church of the firstborn, who are enrolled in heaven.”
Notice again it’s not in the future. Physically I’m in Roswell. Spiritually I’m in Mount Zion amongst the general assembly and church of the firstborn because my name is enrolled in the Lamb’s book of life in heaven. Every person whose name is enrolled in that book has got membership in that assembly. This is not future, it’s present. We’re there now. But, the assembly has got order, it’s not a mass meeting of disorganized, undisciplined people. Zion is a very disciplined place. The rock Zion speaks about God’s foundation on which alone we can build. That’s the sovereignty and authority of God. To be on that rock you must be under the authority of Almighty God, the scripture, the Holy Spirit and God’s appointed authorities in state and in church. That’s the condition to be on Mount Zion.
Now, when God’s people meet in divine order in Mount Zion then the scripture says the Lord—not God the Father, not God the Son but God the Holy Spirit—shall send the rod of thy strength out of the assembly of thy people. The rod is the emblem of the ruler’s authority all through scripture. Aaron as the high priest of Israel and the head of the tribe of Levi had a rod on which his name was engraved. God bore testimony to Aaron’s rod, passed over the rod of the other eleven tribes and bore testimony to Aaron’s rod because it was laid up before the ark and the next day it had brought forth blossoms, buds and almonds in 24 hours. God bore supernatural testimony to the man whose rod he acknowledged. And his name was on the rod. The rod was the emblem of his authority.
God, by the resurrection, bore supernatural testimony to the man whom he acknowledged, who he begat again from the dead, Jesus Christ. And his name is on his rod. In other words, the authority of Jesus is in the name of Jesus. That rod, the name of Jesus, is stretched forth out of the assembly of God’s people exercising the authority of Jesus over his enemies, demonstrating that he rules now in the midst of his enemies.
The other great Old Testament example of the rod is the rod of Moses. When God wanted to discipline Pharaoh in Egypt he didn’t come down from the throne and do it. He said, “Moses, what have you got in your hand?” Moses said a rod. God said after various experiments with the rod that we won’t describe tonight, “Now you stretch your rod out over Egypt.” God’s judgments came on that Gentile king, his court, his people, and his land. When Israel came to the waters of then Red Sea God said to Moses, “Just stretch out your rod.” What happened? The waters parted hither and thither. Israel went over on dry land. When the Egyptians sought to follow Moses turned around. He didn’t get all worked up, he just stretched out his rod. The waters came again and covered the enemies of God’s people and every one of them was drowned in the water. So, the stretched out rod is the authority of Christ in his name, stretched out by God’s people as kings and priests, exercising their kingly authority in their ministry of prayer. Now you’ve got the picture, have you? It took us awhile to get there, I agree, but we didn’t waste any time on the way.
Can you see how Jesus is now ruling in the midst of his enemies? He’s ruling through the assembly of his people met in divine order, extending his name like a rod of authority over the nations and their rulers. Wherever that rod is extended God’s purposes are accomplished, the forces of Satan are driven back and the human forces are brought into subjection to the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the end time picture. This is what the church is created to do. This is what the church is going to do before it finally takes off.
Now, one more scripture, one more passage from Psalm 110 and we are there. Verse 3. You’ve got to get this in the Prince version because the King James is a little confused. You can look at about ten different versions and amongst them you’ll find everything I’m telling you. Put them together and you get the right result.
“Thy people shall be willing...”
But the Hebrew says “freewill offerings.”
“...in the day of thy army.”
The qualification for being in that army is to be a freewill offering. In other words, you give yourself without reservation to God. You don’t give God something, you give God yourself.
I remember hearing a little story about the Indian in the gospel service. He really wanted to do the right thing. He brought his bow and his arrow and said, “Indian bring bow and arrow.” But he didn’t get peace. So then he came back a little later and said, “Indian bring blanket.” But still he didn’t get peace. Then he got the thing that he treasured most, his horse. He led the horse up to the altar and said, “Indian bring horse.” Still no peace. Then he got the message. He came back the next time and said, “Indian bring Indian.” That’s what God is waiting for, see? He doesn’t want your bow, he doesn’t want your blanket, he doesn’t want your horse; he just wants you. That’s all he asking for but it’s everything.
“Thy people shall be freewill offerings in the day of thy army...”
That’s the condition for enrollment in God’s army. It’s to be a freewill offering, given without reservation to the Lord Jesus Christ as captain of the army to use as he will.
“Thy people shall be freewill offerings in the day of thy army, in the beauties of holiness...”
You know, holiness comes through setting yourself apart to God. Holiness is not a lot of rules about don’t do this and don’t go here and don’t be that. Holiness is being totally given to God through Jesus Christ. Your body placed on God’s altar as a living sacrifice which God will then fill with the holiness of his presence. Holiness is the presence of Almighty God, that’s what it is. It’s not a set of rules, it’s not a denomination, it’s the very presence of God in his people. When God’s people become willing offerings in the day of his army, then the beauty of holiness comes upon them.
Now, this last bit is a little difficult.
“...from the womb of the morning...”
Now, morning tells us that night went before. So there’s been a long, dark night but now the morning is springing up. Womb speaks about a birth. So there’s a birth taking place of an army that’s being brought out of the night of darkness into the light of day. This is the army of God. Then it says:
“...they shall come forth unto thee thy youth like the dew.”
That is the right version. As Bob Mumford says, “How can I help it if I’m right?”
“Thy people shall be willing offerings in the day of thy power, in the beauty of holiness out of the womb of the morning; there shall come forth unto thee like the dew thy youth.”
This is what God is doing today. This is exactly where we’re at. Out of the long night of misery, degradation and frustration, when the church has been stripped of its power and its glory and its faith, God is now bringing forth by a spiritual birth an army made up of willing offerings. A large part of that army will be the young people who are being swept into the kingdom of God by the thousands and they’re going to be like the dew when the sun rises after the darkness of the light. What’s the first thing you see in the dawn when the sun rises? It’s the dew. Praise God. This is where we’re at.
It tells us two main practical things. First of all, it speaks of the ministry of prayer, God’s people assembled in divine order under the headship of Christ in submission to one another and to their God given leaders. When they pray the rod of divine authority is stretched forth over the rulers and the nations bringing them into subjection to Christ and his will and his purposes.
The second thing it tells us it there’s going to be an army of young people who will go forth to finish the task of the church which is to bring the gospel of the kingdom to every tribe, and people, and nation, and tongue. That’s where we’re at tonight. It’s very, very near to its fulfillment.
I’ve dwelt in this psalm and meditated on its truth and it’s become so real to me. It’s far more real than what I read in the newspaper or see on the television. I haven’t any doubt in myself that this is where we are at in God’s program. That’s it. Praise the Lord. So, what God is looking for for American Christians is that they will forget their differences and their squabbles and their divisions, and come together in divine order, pray for their government and their nation, stretch out the rod of divine authority. Dethrone witchcraft and divination and sorcery from Washington, D.C. and from the large cities of America and uplift and exalt the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, promote his kingdom.
Secondly, God is going to bring forth out of this movement that we are in a dedicated army of young people Spirit baptized, supernaturally empowered and equipped with the gifts of the Spirit to go forth and reap the last great harvest of the age. Bless the Lord, glory to God.
You know the best about it, it’s true. Hallelujah. Glory to God.
Now then, I like to be practical, we’re going to close the meeting and there are some of you here tonight who have not heard a message exactly along that line before. Some of these truths have never been opened up to you. But you’re willing to be a willing offering. All right? You don’t want to hold anything back. Tonight it’s “Indian bring Indian.” You’ve brought your horse, you’ve brought your blanket, you’ve brought your bow and arrow but somehow you don’t really have deep settled inward peace. So, those of you that want to bring yourself as a willing offering to God for fulfillment of his purposes in this age, I want to pray for you. Tonight I have the anointing of the Holy Spirit upon me as I ministered the word. I can pray a prayer that will mean something. I want you to consider for a moment whether you’re willing to meet the very, very simple condition. There’s not a lot of problems, it’s just a question of are you willing to offer yourself without reservation to God for his purposes? You don’t have to bother about your money or you talent. Because once God’s got you he’s got all those automatically. Without you God is not interested in your money or your talent—not the least bit. He can do without it. It’s your privilege to offer them.
So, those of you that wish to do this—this is a solemn act. God is going to hold you accountable for what you do. Don’t do it because your neighbor does it. Don’t do it lightly or carelessly, do it only in sincerity, if you really mean it. If you do and you want to be a willing offering and you make that offering of yourself tonight, I want you to just stand to your feet where you are. Please don’t look around, don’t get absorbed with other people. God is going to hold you accountable so don’t make a decision that you’re not willing to stand by. That doesn’t mean you’ll be faultless, you won’t make mistakes and have your problems. You may have many. But you’ve made a commitment. Once you make a commitment to God he accepts responsibility for you with all your weakness, with all your failures, with all your ignorance; he’ll see you through.
When I think what God accepted when he got me I just marvel at it. You know, the remarkable thing is because I had a certain measure of education for quite a number of years I thought God was rather lucky to get me. One day I saw how wrong I’d been. If I’d been God I’d have never taken on the liabilities that went with Derek Prince, believe me. But he did and he’s been faithful. I praise him for it. He’ll take you on with all your weaknesses, failings, liabilities and he’ll see you through if you’ll just stay still in the hand of the potter.
“Hallelujah. Father, we thank you tonight for the glorious truths of your word. We thank you for the Holy Spirit sent from heaven to take the things of Christ and make them over unto us. Lord, I thank you tonight that by your Spirit you’ve opened our eyes to see who Jesus is and where he is and where we are in him and what your purposes are. I thank you for every one whom the Spirit of God has moved to present himself or herself as a freewill offering to God for the army of the Lord and for the work of your kingdom. I pray for every one that stood. Lord Jesus, that you’ll begin to show them in a much fuller way what it means to be a priest, what it means to offer the sacrifice of prayer, worship, praise, intercession, supplication. Lord, pour out upon these people the spirit of grace and of supplications that your people may become a people of prayer. That by being priests of prayer we may qualify to be kings and rule. Then Lord, I just pray that you’ll take each individual life that’s offered here to you tonight and you’ll make out of that life what you want it to be. You’ll fit and fashion each one of us into that soldier in your army that you want us to be. I pray especially for the young people, Lord. Those that are here tonight and the young people of America generally tonight. Lord, I claim them for God. In the name of Jesus. Collectively we stretch out the rod of heaven’s authority in the name of Jesus. We bind all the Satanic forces that are deceiving and captivating the young peoples. We liberate them in the name of Jesus and we claim them for the army of the Lord. We thank thee for them and we pray that the Christians of the United States will be awakened to see God’s destiny for their nation and to fulfill it, Lord, for thy glory. In Jesus’ name.” And all God’s people said: Amen.
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