Understanding Psalm 2 and Psalm 110 is critical to understanding all of the new testament and the genuine spiritual authority of a new covenant priesthood. These two Psalms are the scriptural base the apostles used to “justify” the existence of a new order of priesthood based on resurrection life! It is not an exaggeration to say, that the apostle’s interpretation and application of these two Psalms is the doctrinal foundation of the entire new testament, as they tried to explain the “Christ-event” to their generation.
On the day of Pentecost, Peter quotes Joel 2, but he also quotes Psalm 2 and Psalm 110 (and others) in association with the resurrection of Christ and the outpouring of the Spirit. He uses those two Psalms to explain who Jesus is, what has happened “cosmically,” and what has just happened to them subjectively at the feast of Pentecost: the “end” has begun and the new creation race of prophetic royal priests has been born.
Joel 2 covers the prophetic aspect of what was happening to them, in fulfillment of Numbers 11:29 when Moses desired and prayed that all of God’s people would prophesy. Psalm 2 and Psalm 110 cover the kingly and priestly aspect of what was happening to them at Pentecost.
In Acts 2:33, Peter describes the heavenly activity on the day of Pentecost as something being “shed forth.” The meaning is an outpouring, a pouring forth of a substance, a literal transference of “substance.” Something in one place has been transferred to another. We saw earlier in Psalm 2 that when Jesus was “set” as king, that this referred to a literal anointing. The literal anointing of Jesus as king-priest in Psalm 2 is “transferred” out of the heavenlies, into time and space, into, and upon, His followers. What glory!
In Acts 2:36, Peter says, “God has made” Jesus both Lord and Messiah, quoting Psalm 2 again. The phrase “has made” means to endow a person with a certain quality, to appoint, or constitute. Jesus was always Lord and Christ, but in His ascension and glorification, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on High, and He received investiture to the office and ministry of king and priest, after the order of Melchizedek.
In Acts 13:32, Paul quotes Psalm 2 in the context of fulfillment of all the promises made to the fathers. The begetting of the Son in Psalm 2 is the resurrection from the dead, and His investiture as king, not His generation or creation as a being from Mary. His is the first begotten from the dead, in fulfillment of the promise made to the fathers.
In Acts 2:30, Peter quotes Psalm 2 again relating to the resurrection, and in verses 34-36 he quotes Psalm 110 in reference to the resurrection.
Here’s the kicker . . . in verse 33 he ties it all together. Peter contextualizes the Spirit outpouring and indwelling on the Day of Pentecost with Jesus’ coronation in the heavenlies by quoting Psalm 2 and Psalm 110!
The things they were seeing and hearing on the day of Pentecost, the Spirit outpouring, is the result of Jesus’ investiture as king and priest after the order of Melchizedek, in the power of endless life.
His resurrection, ascension, and glorification in the heavenlies, is the means by which Christ has received investiture upon David’s throne as king-priest, resulting in the outpouring of the Spirit being witnessed and experienced by them all on the day of Pentecost.
In the Pentecostal outpouring, God accomplished a magnificent act of recovery to His eternal purpose for humanity: the indwelling of deity and the means of filling the universe with His self-expression, specifically, a prophetic nation of royal priests, in the power of resurrection. For the believer, baptism in the Spirit is the empowerment for priestly ministry after the order of endless, resurrection life. For Father, it is the fulfillment of the Psalm 2 promise made to the Son.
What was the promise?
The Son was promised He would inherit something: the rebellious nations. How does the Son get the rebellious nations? By transforming them! By making alienated rebels and enemies into beloved sons! By putting the Spirit of the resurrected God-Man in glory into humanity! The Messiah gets the nations as His inheritance! His eternal “setting” in as King, preemptively interdicts the rebellion of the nations. The rebellious nations become Messiah’s. They belong to Him. The rebellion is overcome by making the nations His own. It’s too late! It’s over! Won before it started!
Out of every tribe, kindred, nation, and tongue, a new race is created, not defined by bloodline or geography, but defined by royal priesthood in resurrection life! Yahweh fools the nations and their princes! By eternally setting His King on Zion, and by putting the Spirit of this King into humanity, he doesn’t conquer the nations by force. He wins them by love and transformation! He makes them His! He makes all the nations, one-new nation, the royal priest nation. And in doing so doing He has the last laugh!
The essence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit is much more than speaking in tongues. The Spirit of the God-Man in resurrection was loosed into the earth for the first time in history. The eschatological age was initiated: the powers of the age to come were made available for the first time to all humanity. The disciples were empowered as participants in the eschatological age with a quality and degree of anointing for ministry and witness, not previously available to humanity, and this quality is yours and mine . . . as surely, and as genuinely, as it was for them.
The outpouring of the Holy Spirit is the overflow of the “set” and “shed forth” investiture in the heavenlies. What Jesus received on His literal head as king-priest after the order of Melchizedek, literally splashes over into time and space into, upon, and in the gathered disciples for the first time, and upon every believer since.
Oh, the glory of sonship, the glory of a new covenant nation of sons, relating to Father just as closely and dearly as Jesus himself. Oh, the glory of Jesus not being the only priest, but the first of a new, worldwide, multi-nation, multi-ethnic royal priesthood! God’s glory and power resting upon human flesh, in new covenant priesthood, after Melchizedek, is the foundational revelation of the incarnation and the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
Earlier in this book, Don mentioned a significant limitation. The New Testament is careful to never describe believers as kings in the sense of an office, position, or rank. Kings rule. We are called to carry kingly authority and dignity, but we are called to rule over no one in a carnal sense of coercion or force. We serve everyone. There is only One King, one kingdom. But this kingdom of Jesus is made up of priests who carry themselves regally, with the dignity and the delegated authority of Him who is King of kings. Our “rule” is the same order of “rule” that He manifested in His mortality: ruling by laying down one’s life.
How do we realize this practically? God forbid that after reading this anyone would believe it is now up to us to go out and to start trying to act in a priestly way. No, priesthood is not just another hyper-spiritual item on our Christian to-do list.
Priesthood is our inheritance. It is who we are by birth. It is not about trying to do, or produce anything. It’s about an awakening to what has been given. It’s about awakening to an identity. You and I have been born a royal priesthood. It is our identity in Christ. It is our calling. It is our function. It is our mission. It is everything that we are, or will be.
Our job is to believe it. Receive it. Appropriate it, and within the unique spheres, assignments and specific endowments that each of us carries . . . live like it. Just get on being who you are, starting with those closest to you: your family, your spouse, your children and grandchildren.
From there, let the same empowering Spirit increase your circle of priesthood into the world. If everyone is faithful in his or her sphere, the world will be filled with God’s dream: the nations filled with a royal priesthood, representing God to humanity, and carrying humanity’s burdens and cares before God, releasing the power of His endless life in prophetic dimensions that the world is longing to see.
If I could shout on paper, or run the aisles . . . I would!
Perhaps some of what I have shared has sounded strange or difficult to you. I would like to end with some quotes from respected leaders from the past, sharing their perspectives on resurrection, Spirit-baptism, indwelling, and resurrection. What I have shared herein is not some new or strange doctrine. It is basic Christianity. It is an understanding of the riches of our faith shared among a broad spectrum of Christian traditions. That these things might be considered strange or difficult, is to me an indication of how far we have fallen.
May God awaken us anew to how richly endowed we are, how fully inherited we are, and what it means to live our mortal days on this planet as royal priesthood.
Andrew Murray said:
In the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the work of Christ culminates. The very life of the Son of God in heaven has been released on earth.
The indwelling must be accepted and treasured until it becomes part of the consciousness of the new man: the Holy Spirit possesses me.
Let us plead with God to show His people what it means that they are Christ’s representatives, just as He was the Father’s.
The glorifying of Jesus and the streaming forth of His spirit are intimately connected; in vital organic union, the two are inseparably linked.
His Spirit came forth as the spirit of His human life, glorified into union with the divine, to make us partakers of all that He had personally wrought out and acquired of Himself, and His glorified life.
William Law said:
Who could be a greater enemy of the Gospel than those leaders and shepherds of the flock, who write and preach against the manifest power of the Holy Spirit as it were as much to be avoided in our day as Paul said it was vital in his own.
G. Campbell Morgan said:
“. . . this exalted man is our God.”
Gordon Fee said:
The Spirit is the sine qua non of Christian experience.
A. B. Simpson said:
He has left to us the same power He possessed. This [spirit baptism/indwelling] is the mighty gift of our ascended Lord. This is the supreme need of the church today.
The mystery of the incarnation is repeated every time a soul is created anew in Christ Jesus.
Edward Irving said:
It is an act of Christ’s whereby he doth give to his church the Holy Ghost [Spirit], to dwell in them, and to work in them all the joy and consolation, all the word and power, which resides in himself; to the end that in obeying, the motions of the Holy Ghost within us, we may shew forth in the world, and to the world, the goodness of God, and the power and glory of the son of Man, who sitteth in God’s throne, and exerciseth all the power of the Father in his presence.
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 An end time, (eschatological) verse.
 Not gender specific. Eph. 2:12-13, Col. 1:21.
 The promise in Revelation to the overcomers regarding ruling the nations with a rod of iron is perhaps a future fulfillment, but I can’t digress into alternate interpretations here of what it might mean to rule with a rod of iron.
 Andrew Murray, The Spirit of Christ. Fort Washington: Christian Literature Crusade, 100.
 Ibid., 9.
 Ibid., 98.
 Ibid, 40.
 Ibid., 39.
 William Law, The Power of the Spirit, Fort Washington, PA: Christian Literature crusade, 1993. 65.
 G. Campbell Morgan, The Crises of the Christ. Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1989, 283.
 Gordon Fee, God’s Empowering Presence; Peabody: Hendrickson, 1994, 368.
 A. B. Simpson, The Holy Spirit, Vol. II. Harrisburg: Christian Publications, n.d., 20.
 Ibid., 14.
 Edward Irving, The Day of Pentecost, or the Baptism with the Holy Ghost, 1831; quoted by Gordon Strachan, Pentecostal Theology of Edward Irving. Peabody: Hendrickson, 1988, 132.