David’s Tabernacle Restored, Part 12
January 11, 2019
We are talking about the core of the opposition that has faced those who are committed to real praise and worship, and where that opposition and persecution began. When you understand Satan’s original place in Heaven as Lucifer, the Archangel who surrounded the Throne with praise and worship, and how he was cast out of Heaven after his arrogance and rebellion and effort to overthrow the Throne of God, then you begin to understand why he so hates those who have replaced him with their love, their praise and their worship.
Let’s get back to the beginning place of all opposition to worship. We’ve already explored some of this before, but I’d like to give you the full picture.
Isaiah 14:4-23: ...Thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased! The LORD hath broken the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of the rulers. He who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted, and none hindereth.
The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet: they break forth into singing. Yea, the fir trees rejoice at thee, and the cedars of Lebanon, saying, Since thou art laid down, no feller is come up against us. Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations.
All they shall speak and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? art thou become like unto us? Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee.
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?
All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house. But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet. Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, and slain thy people: the seed of evildoers shall never be renowned.
Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers; that they do not rise, nor possess the land, nor fill the face of the world with cities. For I will rise up against them, saith the LORD of hosts, and cut off from Babylon the name, and remnant, and son, and nephew, saith the LORD. I will also make it a possession for the bittern, and pools of water: and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, saith the LORD of hosts.
Isaiah’s prophecy is only half of the picture (and we’ll get to the rest of it momentarily) but he lays things out in methodical fashion.
Isaiah is making it clear that the “king of Babylon” was none other than the former Lucifer. Notice that the hallmark of Lucifer as the fallen angel is “He who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke.” We’ve already talked about the fact that Lucifer lost his place as worship leader in Heaven (and Isaiah spells out clearly just why he lost that place) and he was replaced in God’s economy by this family of people created in the image and likeness of God.
The Hebrew word that Isaiah uses to describe this “continual stroke” that Lucifer / Satan uses is Makkah. This is a word which has specific intent attached — the intent of striking so viciously that one is killed, murdered. Satan wants no one around who will worship the Lord, no one who will take that hallowed place he once knew.
And that is still his tactic today. More often than not, he uses people whose words are designed to kill their effectiveness at worship or praise. He demeans and belittles everything that they do. And more often than not, Holy Spirit will put someone in the place of worship leadership who can scarcely carry a tune in a bucket. Why? Because the Lord uses the foolish to confound the wise.
Sonny (Gunvaldson) was telling us about a time when he and Joanne were at a meeting — perhaps a conference — in Kelowna, BC. This couple came up to lead worship. Sonny and Joanne knew that these folks had a reputation for not being able to sing very well, and they wondered why this couple was called. Sure enough, when they started to sing, they were off-key and certainly not harmonious.
What happened next was not what anyone expected. As they got lost in worship, the glory of the Lord flooded that meeting. God didn’t care that they couldn’t carry much of a tune. He cared that they knew how to worship, and brother, did they ever know how to worship! The presence of the Lord filled the place and everyone got lost in that presence. Nobody focused on their singing or things being out of tune musically. They may have been out of tune as far as the music was concerned but they were certainly in tune as far as Holy Spirit was concerned.
We skip forward to one more part of Isaiah’s prophecy to where he says, The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet: they break forth into singing. That’s because the persecutor, the accuser of the brethren, the murderer himself has been stopped. The word for “singing” is rinnah, a word for rejoicing, joy, shouting, triumphal praise.
When God’s people truly worship, when they praise, they bring down the efforts of the Enemy. Nothing he says or does succeeds. Those people under his influence fail at their efforts. The glory of the Lord is put on display and the world gets to see the winning hand of praise and worship.
There is so much I could go into in Isaiah’s prophecy, but I want to go on to Ezekiel’s prophecy, which completes the word that Isaiah delivered.
Ezekiel 28:11-19: Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD;
Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.
Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.
By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.
Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffic; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.
All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.
All of the pieces of these combined prophecies come together to give us a picture of Satan’s arrogance, the unbelievable hard-headedness he has in believing that he could unseat the Lord from His Throne, and the fact that everything he touched (and touches today) becomes discordant and contaminated.
I could really wax political at this moment, but won’t for the sake of these notes other than to say that we see the influence of Satan in all of the opposition against the president and the desire of goats on the left to smear the sheep on the right. There! How’s that for a commentary!
Let me wrap up todays discussion with a look at the families of Asaph, Heman and Jeduthun and the opposition they ran into. Remember how they were chosen by David, appointed and anointed by the Lord to minister to Him on a 24-hour daily basis? Remember how David, at the end of his reign as King of Israel, strengthened their hand, increased their numbers and appointed them to prophesy over Israel with their instruments, as well as the Psalms of praise and worship that they sang?
Good! Then you will also remember how, three years into the reign of Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, the Enemy comes in the person of Rehoboam’s advisors — self-seeking politicians. They wanted Rehoboam to save money from the Royal Treasury that he was paying to support the 288 praisers and worshipers. Sounded logical to Rehoboam.
He fired all 288 of them and sent them packing to their homes and fields. Now they would have to support themselves at various trades at which none of them had needed to work for better than 40 years, and in some cases over 80 years. Satan was purposed to rob Israel of the presence of the Lord, and the authority that had ruled in Israel for eight decades. How better than to attack the families of those who brought that authority and presence of the Lord to the nation.
Eighty years would pass before that praise and worship resumed, but it came during the reign of Jehoshaphat. It would happen eighteen years into his reign that the Moabites and Ammonites gathered together with a combined army that outnumbered the armies of Judah by a factor of perhaps 10:1. Jahaziel, a descendant of Asaph, stands and prophesies to Jehoshaphat and Judah following a day of fasting.
II Chronicles 20:15-17: Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.
To morrow go ye down against them: behold, they come up by the cliff of Ziz; and ye shall find them at the end of the brook, before the wilderness of Jeruel.
Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you.
Ever notice how specific the Lord is in His prophecies? Brother! Not only is He telling them that they need not be afraid, He tells them exactly where the Enemy will be. He instructs them that they will not need to fight at all, but rather to stand still when they get there because the Lord is going to put a show for them!
Jehoshaphat remembers all of a sudden what his great, great, great grandfather had done in appointing the families of Asaph, Heman and Jeduthun to the ministry of praise and worship. The reminder had come in the form of Jahaziel, a great descendant of Asaph. So he stands up after Jahaziel’s prophecy and issues the following command.
II Chronicles 20:20-21: And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.
And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever.
The rest of the story you know. With the families of Asaph, Heman and Jeduthun going out before the army and praising God and worshiping Him, all of a sudden the enemies turned on each other and killed each other off.
During the next seven years of Jehoshaphat’s reign, the three praising and worshiping families were restored to their places and Jehoshaphat prospered like you can’t even imagine.
When Jehoshaphat dies, however, and his son takes the throne, he repeats the scandals of the previous kings and abandons the ministry of praise and worship. The families once again have to fend for themselves as their place in the temple is removed. This cycle repeats itself over and over again for the next two centuries as kings come to power who reinstate them, and then kings who succeed those kings kick them out again.
Finally, Judah is carried away into captivity. Israel (the remaining tribes) had been taken into captivity many years prior. Not until Esther is raised up to become Queen with Xerxes I (Ahasuerus, in Scripture) do we see the re-emergence of the families of Asaph, Heman and Jeduthun.
Esther and Xerxes have a son who is called Artaxerxes. He comes to the throne at the age of 14 years after his father is assassinated. Esther becomes Queen Mother and guides Artaxerxes behind the scenes. Nehemiah is appointed to become his cup-bearer and is ultimately appointed governor over the (now)-province of Judah. Not long thereafter, Ezra is given permission to return and rebuild the temple in Jerusalem.
Who do you think accompanies Ezra? Yup. You’ve got it! The three families of praisers and worshipers. We are told that “they kept the dedication of this house of God with joy.” (see Ezra 6:16) It matters not how much persecution the praisers and worshipers suffered. They were always ready to return to their real calling. So must it be for us today!
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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Temple, Texas 76504
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