David’s Tabernacle Restored, Part 1
October 26, 2018
Over the next few weeks, I’d like to take you to a vision that the Lord gave to me beginning back in the early 1970’s when I was at Long Beach Christian Center. That was only a beginning. In the years that have gone by since, this vision has grown again, and again, and again. Just when I think I’ve gotten to a full understanding of what God was doing, he peels away another layer of revelation.
I suppose it actually began much earlier during my first visit to Heaven in 1951, and the conversation I had with David. That conversation planted many seeds in my spirit but it was in 1973 that things first began to jell.
Isaiah’s prophecy regarding the re-establishment of the Tabernacle of David, followed by Amos’ prophecy, and then seeing it repeated in Acts, caused me to begin taking a serious look at what David’s Tabernacle actually was, and why God was so insistent that the day would come when He would again rebuild the Tabernacle of David. Nothing was being said about rebuilding the Temple of Solomon, so there had to be an enormous significance in God’s economy to what David accomplished. Besides, his Tabernacle was a far cry from the Tabernacle that Moses built.
In order for us to grasp the significance of these prophecies, and see what David had in his heart, we need to go back to the time when David was still a shepherd boy, sitting on the hillsides, tending his father’s sheep.
Something was birthed in his heart that began to develop concerning the heart of the Lord. It eventually consumed him. In my conversation with David during my first visit to Heaven, I asked him how it was possible for him to write such glorious prayers, praise and worship in the Psalms. His answer spelled it out pretty clearly.
“Oh, I didn’t write all of that,” he laughed, “I just sang what I heard coming out of Heaven. It wasn’t original with me, it was what the Holy Spirit was planting in my spirit. That made it easy. I just sang what I heard coming out of Heaven, and because it stayed in my spirit, I was able to write it down.”
The many hundreds of hours that David spent in the presence of the Lord during those times of praise and worship birthed in him a recognition and an insight into the desires of the Lord in a way that nothing else could have accomplished. David’s pursuit was the immediate and ongoing presence of the Lord.
He also saw what that presence did for him in terms of protection. You’ll recall that he killed both a lion and a bear when they came after his sheep, both events takin place with supernatural enablement. All David had in hand was a sling — no .357 Magnum Glock or .475 Winchester.
A day comes when David is about 17 years of age. He is brought before Samuel, the prophet, and anointed to become King over Israel. What is about to begin for David is some 13 years of testing what God has developed in him.
In those intervening years, he will face the armies of the Philistines and kill hundreds of them, face down kill the giant, Goliath, with nothing more than a single stone from his sling, be brought before King Saul who was demonically tormented and watch the demons flee as he worshiped with his harp. The crowds were going to hear of his exploits and begin to sing, Saul has killed his thousands, but David his ten-thousands. Saul was going to see and know the anointing of God over David and be extremely jealous of him, ultimately setting out to kill him. David was going to have to be on the run for his life for many of those years.
Finally, when Saul was killed in battle, along with David’s best friend Jonathan (Saul’s son), the Elders of the tribe of Judah placed a crown on David’s head and made him to be King over Judah. It would still be another three years —when David had just turned 33 years of age — that the Elders of the remaining tribes of Israel agreed that David should be King over the whole nation.
The pursuit of the presence of the Lord still consumed David — even to a greater degree after all these years. He had seen into the heart of the Lord and knew what could happen to the nation if they returned to the Lord with their whole hearts.
David’s first major act as King of Israel, therefore, was to retrieve the Ark of the Covenant, which had been captured and removed from the Tabernacle of Moses, taken by the Philistines — and then when they saw what destruction their act brought upon them, dumped back into Israel in Kirjath-jearim to the house of Abinadab.
In David’s anxiety and haste to bring the Ark back, he forgot the protocols that God had instructed concerning the transport of the Ark. The Ark was placed on a cart, pulled by oxen, to be transported to Jerusalem (see II Samuel 6). Big mistake! When the oxen stumbled and the cart looked unstable, Uzzah put forth his hand to stabilize the Ark and died on the spot. David quickly moved the ark to the house of Obed-Edom where he had to re-think the proper protocols for the Ark’s transport.
Consider the celebration that took place when the Ark of the Covenant then went forth carried by the priests as they entered Jerusalem! David was so excited about what was taking place that he literally lost his clothes in the energetic and almost furious dancing that happened. We will get into this a bit more in the weeks to come.
David’s heart was to see that Ark ensconced in public view for all Israel to see. More than that, he wanted that Ark — representing the marriage covenant between God and Israel — surrounded by that same sound of praise and worship he had experienced sitting on the hillsides as he ministered to the Lord. David knew that there was a secret in this praise and worship of which Israel did not have any grasp.
Now he selects three families out of the priesthood — Levites all of them — who have a specific anointing in the realm of praise and worship. Of course they are going to receive revelation and mentoring from David, and each family had a different anointing. Coupled together, they would minister to the Lord in shifts around the clock so that praise and worship would go forth on a 24-hour daily basis.
Nothing like this had ever happened in Israel’s history. In fact nothing like this had ever happened in history, PERIOD! David was enacting the heart of God in a way that was going to bring change to Israel, and to the surrounding nations.
Consider what took place over the next 33 years as this ministry to the Lord took place!
Israel never lost a battle against its enemies. Whenever the Philistines came against them, they were defeated and almost eradicated as a nation. The same thing happened with Syria. The same thing happened with Moab and Ammon. Egypt had been a longtime enemy. Pharaoh sued for a peace treaty.
But there was more!
The land began to produce as it had never produced. It’s a funny thing! When the sound of the Lord goes forth, it even affects the land. It affects plants and animals. Everything is affected. Agriculturally, the people began to prosper. But more than that, they began to prosper financially. Israel became a powerhouse nation.
David began to take lands and territories promised to Abraham, but never taken under Joshua’s leadership, or any other leader that had led Israel in the centuries before. Israel’s borders grew.
And God prospered David in ways that, to this day, defy imagination. Consider the fact that David wanted to do more than the simple Tabernacle. He wanted to build an elegant Temple to the Lord. The Lord spoke through Nathan, the prophet, and told him that because he had been a man of blood and warfare, that God was going to give that mandate to David’s son. So David began to accumulate wealth in the form of gold, silver, precious stones, rare woods, and everything it would take to build that temple. The value of gold alone, when measured by today’s standards, exceeded $11 Billion. The value of the silver was so immense they couldn’t even calculate it, and they quit trying to calculate the rest in precious stones and rare woods.
By any standard, David was among the richest men in the world — and he didn’t save any of it for himself. From his point of view, it all belonged to God. It was all set aside for the building of that temple.
Because of his heart for the Lord, and the fact that he so desperately wanted Israel to be in tune with the Lord, God made a promise that his seed would forever sit on the throne, and that the long-promised Messiah would come from his generations.
We’ve talked about the changes and prosperity that came to Israel as a result of the 24-hour praise and worship during David’s reign, but consider what happened at the end of his reign and the subsequent reign of his son, Solomon. As he prepared to turn over the throne to Solomon, his last great act as King of Israel was to enlarge the ministry of praise and worship. He assigned the families of Asaph, Heman and Jeduthun to prophetic ministry in worship — both vocally and instrumentally. Let me pause for a minute to quote something that David wrote with understanding.
Psalm 144:1-2: Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight:
My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust; who subdueth my people under me.
David knew when he played on his harp — or whatever instrument he chose — that his fingers became the fingers of Holy Spirit to prophesy, to conduct spiritual battle, to provide safety, deliverance and bring complete victory against his enemies.
That’s is an understanding that has been largely lost in the body of Christ. I’ve met a few of today’s worship leaders who really understand what they have at their fingertips when they play. Steve Swanson comes to mind, as does Terry McAlmon.
Getting back to the topic at hand, David enlarged the ministry of praisers and worshipers to 288. That’s an interesting number. God never choses numbers without specific precision and purpose. David was able to see prophetically into the future when there would be two groups of 144,000 who would form the Bride of Christ — that chosen, called out, and overcoming people. Paul saw it too when he prophesied the following:
Romans 11:25-29: For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes. For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
Paul realized that Israel was set aside in God’s economy for a time so that the rest of the nations of the world would have the opportunity to come to know Him and enter into that same Covenant relationship. John demonstrates this when he describes two separate groups of 144,000 overcomers — one chosen from the twelve tribes of Israel (see Revelation 7:4), and the other “redeemed from the earth.” (see Revelation 14:3)
I’ve run down a rabbit trail again.
We get back to Solomon, now, taking the throne of Israel and continuing on with this enlarged group of praisers and worshipers. Solomon followed the architectural plans that David had prepared for the Temple and spent seven years building it. When it came time to dedicate the Temple, this is what we read:
II Chronicles 5:12-14: Also the Levites which were the singers, all of them of Asaph, of Heman, of Jeduthun, with their sons and their brethren, being arrayed in white linen, having cymbals and psalteries and harps, stood at the east end of the altar, and with them an hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets:)
It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the LORD; So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of God.
That presence continued to fill the temple so long as the 24-hour praise and worship went forth unhampered and unhindered.
After another forty years of this kind of presence in Israel, the nation had become the most powerful nation on earth. They had prospered during Solomon’s reign in such a way that it surpassed all they had experienced during David’s years.
Then politics took over. Solomon died and the throne went to his son, Rehoboam. After roughly three years or so of Rehoboam’s reign, self-seeking “advisors” — politicians desiring to curry favor with the most powerful throne on earth — let Rehoboam know that he was wasting money on the praisers and worshipers. After all, the throne was the source of the income and all provision for these 288 praisers and worshipers. Their pay came out of the royal treasury.
Rehoboam foolishly listed to their advice and abandoned the ministry of praise and worship. Immediately, Jeroboam came up out of Egypt and divided the land so that ten of the tribes went with him. All that remained under Rehoboam was Judah and Benjamin.
The nation was never again reunited completely. There was partial reunification under Hezekiah and Josiah temporarily while praise and worship resumed, but it didn’t last as kings came to power who again abandoned the praise and worship.
From the time that Rehoboam abandoned praise and worship, 80 years followed in which the nation saw war, famine, pestilence and constant incursions by their enemies. Jehoshaphat now becomes king after a series of failed leaders during the intervening years.
Eighteen years into his reign in which he has been trying to bring the nation back on course spiritually, they are attacked by a combined army of Moab and Ammon, outnumbering them perhaps 10:1. Jehoshaphat realizes that he is faced with an impossible predicament and calls the nation to prayer and fasting for one day. At the end of the fast, a young prophet stands up to prophesy concerning their course of action. This prophet turns out to be one of the descendants of Asaph — and it is something we see in the coming years, again and again, and again, where the descendants of Asaph, Heman and Jeduthun are constantly on the ready to resume their ministry of praise and worship.
This is where we see the first glimmering of understanding of what David had set in motion with his Tabernacle. And this is where we will pick things up next week.
In case you are missing out on real fellowship in an environment of Ekklesia, our Sunday worship gatherings are available by conference call – usually at about 10:45AM Pacific. That conference number is (712) 770-4160, and the access code is 308640#. We are now making these gatherings available by Skype. If you wish to participate by video on Skype, my Skype ID is regner.capener. If you miss the live voice call, you can dial (712) 770-4169, enter the same access code and listen in later. The video call, of course, is not recorded – not yet, anyway.
Blessings on you!
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