Kingdom Uprising

Reclaiming Jesus' Hope, Gospel, and Way

Author: Bethany Reise

History in the Making (Psalm 110)

Time for a little trivia! What Old Testament scripture is the most frequently quoted scripture in the New Testament?

In case you hadn’t already figured it out from the subject of the article, Psalm 110 is the most quoted scripture in the New Testament, and it can be found a total of 33 times! That sure says something about the importance that the New Testament writers placed on this biblical passage!

Let’s take a look at this popular text:

Psalm 110 [NASB]
 1 The LORD says to my Lord: “Sit at My right hand
Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”

2 The LORD will stretch forth
Your strong scepter from Zion, saying,
“Rule in the midst of Your enemies.”
3 Your people will volunteer freely in the day of Your power;
In holy array, from the womb of the dawn,
Your youth are to You as the dew.

4 The LORD has sworn and will not change His mind,
“You are a priest forever
According to the order of Melchizedek.”

5 The Lord is at Your right hand;
He will shatter kings in the day of His wrath.
6 He will judge among the nations,
He will fill them with corpses,
He will shatter the chief men over a broad country.
7 He will drink from the brook by the wayside;
Therefore He will lift up His head.

In the New Testament, the first verse of this psalm is regularly applied to Jesus. In this way, the writers of the New Testament are identifying Jesus as the Davidic ruler to whom this psalm ultimately points, the one who is currently seated at the right hand of God in heaven and waiting for Yahweh, the LORD, to subdue his enemies before him.

The psalm goes on to say that Yahweh will extend the power of this Davidic ruler out from Zion, Jerusalem, and give him the authority to reign “in the midst of his enemies” and to crush opposing rulers and nations of the earth “in the day of his wrath.” Sure sounds like this Davidic ruler will be reigning over (and on) the earth, doesn’t it?

Well, that’s because he will be. In fact, that’s the good news that Jesus went around proclaiming: namely, that God, through his appointed agent Jesus, would establish God’s kingdom on the earth, and with it bring the justice and peace of God’s government into the created realm once again.

So, as you have probably figured out, we have yet to see this psalm brought to complete fulfillment because we are waiting on Yahweh to send back his son from heaven. When he returns, he will destroy those who oppose God and establish God’s just government.

Come, Lord Jesus!

 

 

 

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Pray for Renewal, not Removal (Matthew 6:9-10)

Time and again, Jesus proclaimed in words and actions the reality that one day, “God is going to make everything wrong in the world right.”

That in itself, the message and enactment of the coming kingdom of God, is incredible.

But what is even more amazing is that God allows us to join him in the process!

Consider Matthew 6:9-10 (NASB):

“Therefore, you should pray like this:

Our Father in heaven,
Your name be honored as holy.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.”

Through prayer, we can participate in what God is now doing, and will do, here on the earth.

Let’s break down what Jesus is saying.

First, he is telling us to petition our Father in heaven to make his name, all that he is and stands for, be set apart, holy. How do we do that? Well, when we pray that God would be honored as holy, he changes hearts and our perspectives to help us to live in a way that glorifies him.

Second, Jesus is telling us to petition God establish his kingdom and enact his will here on planet earth. This prayer has both a present and future component: when we pray the Lord’s Prayer, we are praying for God’s reign, his will, to manifest in our lives today, and we are also praying for the establishment of the physical, earthly kingdom which shall come to fruition at the return of King Jesus, which he himself so often spoke of and demonstrated.

There is one thing that I would really like you to notice here: namely that God is concerned about the present and future state of the earth, and that his desire is to transform the misery and corruption that is our current experience. His plan is for the renewal of the earth, through you and I (and ultimately Jesus), not our removal from the earth after death.

That’s some great news, right?

So let’s make an earnest effort to follow in the teachings of Jesus and to participate, through prayer and action, in the restoration of all things!

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Jesus Destined to Rule on David’s Throne (Psalm 2)

Psalm 2 is a short, but powerful psalm which effectively dispels the common notion of many believers today that “heaven is our home.” Let’s take a look and see what it says.

Psalm 2

1 Why are the nations in an uproar,
And the peoples devising a vain thing?
2 The kings of the earth take their stand
And the rulers take counsel together
Against Yahweh* and against His Anointed, saying,
3 “Let us tear their fetters apart
And cast away their cords from us!”

4 He who sits in the heavens laughs,
The Lord scoffs at them.
5 Then He will speak to them in His anger
And terrify them in His fury, saying,
6 “But as for Me, I have installed My King
Upon Zion, My holy mountain.”

7 “I will surely tell of the decree of Yahweh:
He said to Me, ‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.
8 ‘Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance,
And the very ends of the earth as Your possession.
9 ‘You shall break them with a rod of iron,
You shall shatter them like earthenware.'”

10 Now therefore, O kings, show discernment;
Take warning, O judges of the earth.
11 Worship Yahweh with reverence
And rejoice with trembling.
12 Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry,
and you perish in the way,
For His wrath may soon be kindled.
How blessed are all who take refuge in Him.

[quotation from NASB]
*Note:“Yahweh” substituted for “the LORD”  throughout psalm for clarity

In verses 1-3, the psalmist begins by rhetorically questioning the foolish behavior of the nations and the kings of the earth. Together they plot, seeking to free themselves of the dominion of the sovereign God and his messiah, (an anointed, earthly representative of God), the king.

The second section, verses 4-6, contains God’s response to the uprisings of the nations and the kings of the earth: derisive laughter. (It’s never a good thing when the God of the universe laughs at you with contempt!) Did the nations of the earth seriously think that their rebellion against the exalted Lord, the one enthroned in heaven, would succeed?

Yahweh’s mocking laughter leads to action, and God utters a decisive statement in his anger, in which he affirms the authority of his messiah: “But as for Me, I have installed My King upon Zion, My holy mountain.”

In this statement, he not only affirms the authority of this king, but he gives us the locality from which he will reign: Zion, God’s holy mountain. Zion is another name for Jerusalem, the city of David (1 Kings 8:1).

According to God’s decree, this anointed king will reign on the earth, from Jerusalem.

In verses 7-9, the third section, Yahweh’s anointed declares the decree of the Lord, which further enforces the legitimacy and locality of his reign.

In verse 7, we read that the anointed king is considered to be “God’s Son.” This language of sonship recalls the covenant that God made with King David, in which God promised to raise up a descendant after him, the throne of whose kingdom, centered in Jerusalem, would be established forever:

 “When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men, but My lovingkindness shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.” (2 Samuel 7:12-16 NASB)

Though David had many descendants, the fulfillment of this promise ultimately came to pass in Jesus (See Paul’s sermon in Acts 13:20-33). Thus, Jesus is the anointed king who will reign from Jerusalem, of whom this psalm speaks.

Verse 8 further confirms the reality of Jesus’ earthly reign, for in it, God announces that upon the request of his anointed, he will give to him the nations and the ends of the earth as his inheritance and possession!

Jesus is promised by God to reign over an earthly kingdom, centered in Jerusalem!

Typically, believers today are promised eternal life in Heaven, God’s abode, by their well-meaning pastors.

However, according to Jesus (and Psalm 2), this is simply not the case.

John records the promise of Jesus to believers in Revelation 2:26-28 [NASB]:

 “He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of the potter are broken to pieces, as I also have received authority from My Father; and I will give him the morning star.”

According to Jesus, his followers who overcome will share in his authority and earthly rule! (Notice where this verse is coming from: Psalm 2:9!)

He also writes in Revelation 3:21 [NASB]:

 “He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.”

Believers will reign with Christ. Where will Christ be reigning? Earth.

Heaven is not our home.

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