Psalm 110 Messiah’s Reign.
For this writer, this psalm and its use in the N.T., is the strongest proof for not only the postmillennial vision, but for the preterist postmill vision. This psalm is quoted in the N.T. not simply as proof of Christ’s reign, but of His reign beginning with his ascension to the right hand of the Father-precisely not something still in the future. Jesus has sat at the right hand of the Father ever since the ascension to His throne (Cf. Mt. 22:44; Mk. 12:35-37; 16:19-20; Lk. 20:42-43; Acts 2:34-35; Col. 3:1; Heb. 1:13). There is a spiritual battle with the forces of evil wherein Christ is victorious through His people, the church (Cf. Eph. 1:20-22). Its original application was probably David’s enthronement in Jerusalem, after the defeat of Jebus (NGSB, p. 879). It finds its ultimate fulfillment in Christ.
It is a reign which began with the ascension and this same reign will continue until the last enemy is defeated, that enemy being death (I Cor. 15:25-26). Therefore, after death this millennial kingdom comes to an end, when it is then handed over to the Father (I Cor. 15:24). In all of these applications there is no indication of anything but an unbroken reign from the ascension to the handing over to the Father. Any casting of the beginning of this millennial reign into the still distant future, whether premill or historical postmill is contrived. Casting this reign into the future also diminishes the reality that this kingdom comes about through the steady and progressive preaching and application of the gospel, “the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes.” (Rom. 1:16)
Of course, how the amillennialist can miss the victory that is here is quite astonishing, and is equally a denial of the powerful effect of the gospel proclaimed (Cf. Rom. 16:20). When Luke wrote Acts he said that his gospel was just the account of what Jesus “began to both do and teach, until the day He was taken up.” Acts was volume two of what Jesus continued to do through the Holy Spirit and the apostles and prophets, and finally through the church as a whole (1:8). Christ’s ascension was in fulfillment of the prophetic promise of Daniel 7:13-14, a reign which began as soon as the “Son of man’ was greeted and accepted by the “Ancient of Days”. It was on this occasion that He was “given dominion and glory and a kingdom.” He rules with a rod of iron, in every area of life (v. 2 Cf. Ps. 2:9; Rom. 11:26-27).
Even today we have the expression, “right hand man.” This refers to one entrusted to govern the affairs of another with all the authority and power necessary to that end. The symbol of a footstool, hearkens back to the idea of the Promised Seed, who would crush Satan under His feet (Cf. Gen. 3:15). Out of Zion is how He exercises His reign, which is His church, of which He is the Mediator (Heb. 12:22-24). Therefore, the church is not synonymous with the kingdom, as is commonly taught, especially in Dutch reformed circles rather, the church is the instrument through which His kingdom spreads through the whole earth. In short, Christ’s kingdom is bigger than the church, and this has far reaching implications. For one thing, it also helps explain the popularity of amillennialism in these same circles, because kingdom work is confined to the church.
Sadly this approach is not only contrary to the scriptural evidence, it also helps foster a truncated and even pagan conception of spirituality, which is divorced from the rest of life. There is also another corollary to this reign, it being Christ’s in the here and now, it can only be by one standard and one standard alone, the word of God and all of the word (Mt. 5:17-20; II Tim. 3:16-17). Therefore in the application of that word to every sphere of life, God’s law is the blueprint for the civil administration for every government on earth. This to is part and parcel of the work of the church. The sanctification of believers involves the application of the word to all of life, not just to so called “private” or “personal” issues, or just the affairs of the church.
To this end the LORD will ensure that He will have His volunteers in this the day of His power (v. 3a). One is reminded of the prophetic word and song of Deborah, a song, by the way, which was sung by Israel, addressed to the LORD, yet not a part of the Psalter (Judges 5:2)! It is the LORD alone who makes a people willing to rise to this task, though from a human perspective they are indeed “volunteers”. Such was also the case when lots were cast for those to guard the church at the time of Nehemiah (11:1-2). This they did, not coincidentally, upon the covenant being renewed and sealed (10). It is important to remember that this kingdom work is not divorced from ethics or morality. The gospel includes sanctification and living out one’s faith in all of life. Holiness is a beautiful thing (v. 3b Cf. I Chron. 16:29; Ps. 96:9).
David, in describing how this reign began with the Lord’s ascension to His throne (v. 1), speaks of the rise of His volunteers as “from the womb of the morning,” and for the Lord Himself, as the dew of His youth (v. 3b). The nature of this reign is also defined by the reality that He not only occupies the office of a king, but He simultaneously occupies the office of a priest. This was something forbidden the Aaronic priesthood. This would be another sign of the Messiah’s coming and reign. This is also another proof that this reign would come by way of sacrifice, the gospel proclamation of the once and for all finished work of Christ-His death, resurrection, and ascension to the right hand of the Father. The Father will not relent in this for He has sworn with an oath (v. 4a Cf. Nu. 23:19; Heb. 7:20-21).
“You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” (Cf. Heb. 5:6, 10; 6:20; 7:17, 21) It is inconsistent for those who suggest a break in Christ’s kingdom, or worse yet a limitation, to yet teach that there is no such break or limitation to His priestly work, for according to the scriptures, there is no such separation! Christ reigns as a the Priest-King, and has done so from the moment of His ascension and will continue until His kingdom is handed over to the Father. He alone brought peace between the two offices (Zech. 6:12-13). Yet again, His kingdom is bigger than His house, “for He shall execute kings in the day of His wrath,” from the right hand of the Father (v. 5 Cf. Pss. 2; 18:8). Messiah would execute judgment (v. 6), and according to John, that time had come (Cf. Rev. 6:17)!
The priesthood of Christ is thus unique. Part of the reason for the separation of these offices among men, was to prevent men from believing that they could be saved by law, or that they could bring in the promised kingdom by observance of the law. The law was always meant to be but the standard of civil justice. This is the religion of Statism, spawned in our present day by the ideology of secular humanism. The indoctrination of the state run education system is a perfect example of this, and the vast majority of the modern media are the mouthpieces. The Lord’s kingdom must be extended to these spheres as well, with the only standard or blueprint being the word. This is what is involved in our being His disciples in every area of life, part of our sanctification (Cf. Is. 53:12).