David’s Tabernacle Restored, Part 4
November 16, 2018
As you can see from our sharing thus far, things have turned into a real adventure for us. But this has only been a drop in the bucket for what is about to unfold. For the first time in my life, the time I spent with David on my first trip to heaven began to really make sense. I understood the passion he had for worship. I understood the drive in him to establish this simple Tabernacle in order to put the presence of the Lord on display for all of Israel. I understood the real consequences of having that kind of worship and praise as the CenterPoint for a nation.
Let’s continue from where we left off last week, talking about our initial drive to gather together for worship and praise.
Eventually, our schedules began to lessen so that we could get together in the evenings after dinner. I got my flamenco guitar out (Della wasn’t playing her keyboards yet, but she would sing, harmonize and occasionally play the tambourine), Earle got his trombone and Marcia her cello. It was a strange beginning, to say the least.
One does not think of the guitar, trombone and cello as necessarily a compatible group of instruments. Earle, however, had been a “big band” jazz trombonist, and he had an unmatched flexibility, not to mention an anointing on the trombone I’ve never seen the equal of. Marcia had been principal cellist with the Detroit Symphony, and then the Spokane Symphony. Her forté was classical music. She had never played spontaneously without any music in front of her so this was totally new!
Because we were not getting together with an entertainment mentality, we left the “perfecting” of the sound to the Lord. When I say that it worked, that’s an understatement! As our evenings of worship grew, both in intensity and length of time, other friends began to join in with us.
One night a representative from one of the transmitter companies I dealt with came to our home for dinner and stayed on for the worship. He shook his head in awe at what he witnessed and as the evening concluded, he said, “Why aren’t you recording this worship? There is nothing like this out there for folks to hear — anywhere!”
Della had been urging me to set up my recording equipment (I have had a huge investment in some of the finest of recording equipment, having pioneered in the field of digital recording in the 1970’s.) That began an experiment for all of us. Folks tgend to become self-conscious in the presence of microphones, and it took some getting used to for all of us so that we could come to the place that, for all practical purposes, the microphones were invisible. They played no role whatever in our focus on the presence of the Lord.
That started a process and created a library of spontaneous worship that easily exceeded 400 hours over the next few years. Ahh, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
Earle and Marcia were the owners of Trails’ End in Post Falls, Idaho, a 160-acre “ranch” that was more of an agricultural preserve than anything else. The young lady who had been taking care of the place had gotten engaged and wanted to move on.
Earle recommended that — because of the unusual commands of the Lord to us to “Simplify, Get out of Debt, Consolidate and Become Mobile” that we consider taking over the care of the ranch and moving there to use it as a base of ministry operations instead of trying to find another place in Anchorage.
It was the Word of the Lord to us, and we both witnessed it in our spirits. It took no time at all for us to finish our packing and make the move. It isn’t necessary to get into a lot of extra detail, but the move happened quickly, and we were settled in. Other friends who had heard about the ongoing worship, and were, themselves, worshipers decided to begin getting together with us.
It started with Robert and Sandy, both of whom were involved in the ministry at Eastgate in Spokane. Robert added light percussion to the music and Sandy bounced between the guitar and the English recorder. The more that Robert and Sandy participated, the more they began to spread the word about the unusual nature of the spontaneous worship going forth.
Robert’s brother-in-law and sister — Bob & Charlotte Bartow — joined in with us. That added more instruments. Bob is a spectacular keyboardist. His training was classical organ, so again this was a big shift for him in the same way it had been for Marcia.
Charlotte had been playing the autoharp, but she wanted to launch into the actual harp, so Bob bought her one. She literally learned to play that harp in the midst of spontaneous worship.
Bob and Charlotte’s daughter, Amy, was becoming a pretty decent violinist, and she joined in.
I could go on and on, but you get the picture. Before it was over, we had brass, strings, percussion, harp and percussion strings like guitars and bass. It was a motley crew to look at, but the music that grew out of it was nothing less than phenomenal.
Most of our recordings were done in living room environments — and tiny ones at that. We were crammed together like sardines at times.
What began to emerge in the midst of this spontaneous worship was prophetic music, intimate music, boisterous praise. Sometimes there was vocalizing, but much of the time, it was just the instruments orchestrated together by Holy Spirit as though we were all being conducted with sheet music in front of us. It spanned the gamut of musical expression. Some of it came forth as very melodic, peaceful, pastoral type music. Some of it came forth sound more like jazz than anything else. Some of it sounded Russian, or Chinese, or Latin, or Irish – take your pick! Some of it really offended those with religious mindsets who didn’t believe that Holy Spirit would express Himself like that. Too bad! You’ve no idea the enormous variety of praise and worship that came forth and how it ministered to so many different types of people.
The fact was that what came forth was totally spontaneous. We played exactly what we all heard at the same time. No one had any music in front of them, and none of us had ever heard the music before we began to play.
What followed were experiences that are sometimes hard to describe adequately. One evening as we were worshiping, the Captain of the Hosts of Heaven appeared in our midst and knelt on one knee in front of Della with spear in hand.
“Command me,” he said.
If I said it took Della by surprise, that would be a masterpiece of understatement. She looked around for a minute trying to figure out what she would say, and finally, she said, “Go and retrieve the children!” It was a reference to the fact that several of us had children who were running from God. The angel straightened up, nodded his head and vanished.
It wasn’t long thereafter that our daughter, Rebekah, who was in her early teens, decided she’d had enough of this constant praise and worship. She went out the back door during one of our evening sessions and headed down the driveway toward Stateline Road. The driveway was perhaps a quarter-mile long. As she reached Stateline Road, three angels appeared — two on each side of her and one in front.
It scared the living daylights out of her.
She turned to walk back toward the house. The angels formed around her and guided her back to the house. Her description was that they floated just above the ground beside her. When she reached the house, she saw it lit up on the outside with angels surrounding the place and joining in with the ongoing worship inside. She was speechless — and that’s an understatement! She ran in the house, ran upstairs, closed the door to her bedroom and wouldn’t come out until morning. She finally gained enough courage the next day to tell us about it.
In the summer of 1994, there was a fairly large group of us gathered together. We were engaged in worship that I would be more inclined to call spiritual warfare. There was an intensity that was unlike anything we’d ever known. All of a sudden, the building began to shake. There was a rumbling noise, almost like an earthquake.
We stopped what we were doing and ran outside. What we heard was the thundering a thousands of horses galloping in unison. It was a audible display of the host of heaven going forth to battle.
Now, I know what some of you are thinking. The problem is that you cannot have an army of horsemen galloping together throughout heavily forested property with densely populated trees. It was nothing less than awe-inspiring. We returned to our instruments and resumed the prophetic worship/warfare.
These events grew almost into everyday experiences. At times we were picked up corporately into the heavenlies. Other times, we saw the hosts of Heaven arrayed around us. More times than I can count, we audibly heard the angels singing with us and even playing instruments that were not there.
Earlier, I talked about the fellowship in Spokane known as Eastgate. The senior pastor was a prophetic leader by the name of Royal Cronquist. His wife called one day (memory says it was late 1992 or early 1993) to ask us to pray for him because he was in bad shape, and for all practical purposes, on his death bed. Earle and Marcia had come down from Anchorage, so we gathered up our instruments and headed over to their home.
We somehow squeezed ourselves into Royal’s bedroom with our instruments and surrounded his bed. He wasn’t comatose, but not far from it. We launched into spontaneous worship. It was some of the most intimate of worship, and a call to the very intimate presence of the Lord. I don’t remember how long we worshiped — perhaps a half-hour or 45 minutes. All of a sudden, he sits up in bed, calls his wife and says, “I’m getting up! I want my clothes.”
We exited the bedroom. That was a Saturday afternoon. Before we left the home, he asked us to please bring our instruments and share that kind of worship at Eastgate on Sunday.
There were thirteen of us who gathered at Eastgate the following Sunday morning. After introductions, we dived into the same flow of worship we’d experienced in Royal’s home. Most of us just closed our eyes and began flowing with the worship. The body of sound around us kept increasing.
I didn’t open my eyes to look, but my first impression was that some of the folks in the fellowship had joined us on the platform. We began hearing additional instruments as well. We lost track of time. When we finished and opened our eyes, people were pointing. They told us that angels had appeared all around us visibly while we were worshiping. It was the first of many experiences with the angelic chorus and orchestra joining us.
If I seem to be over-emphasizing this, our objective wasn’t the angels or the unusual and supernatural experiences that were happening: it was the fact that we were experiencing the very intimate presence of the Lord. That, all by itself, brings the supernatural events that follow. I’ve lost track of the number of people who were healed of various diseases or set free from evil spirits — all while we were worshiping. No one laid hands on them. No one specifically prayed for them. It just happened because of the presence of the Lord.
Think of Peter, for example, simply walking through a town and people being healed as his shadow touched them. It wasn’t his shadow that healed them: it was the presence of the Lord that so permeated him.
I’ve been talking about a few of our experiences in this realm, but let’s take a break here and take a look at the prophecies that surround the restoration of the Tabernacle of David.
Amos 4:4 (NASB): Enter Bethel and transgress; In Gilgal multiply transgression! Bring your sacrifices every morning, Your tithes every three days. Offer a thank offering also from that which is leavened, And proclaim freewill offerings, make them known. For so you love to do, you sons of Israel, Declares the Lord GOD.
I’m indebted to the Hebrew scholar, Chaim Bentorah, for the revelation he brings on this passage. His explanation makes clear just why Amos later prophesies the restoration of the Tabernacle of David. Let me quote him directly.
Bethel means house of God. Gilgal means rolling together or uniting with God. Both words express the idea of a place of worship and praise. Indeed, these two cities were places people went to experience the presence of God. Indeed, historically, these were equivalent to our present day convention centers or retreats. People would travel from miles around to go to Bethel and/or Gilgal to worship God. This was a gathering place for lots of good teaching, prophecies and “miracle services.” Literally, thousands of people would gather at Bethel and Gilgal to worship God and enjoy the fun and fellowship.
So what can be so wrong with Bethel and Gilgal? Actually nothing. So what does the prophet mean: “Come to Bethel and transgress, come to Gilgal and multiply your transgressions?” The word transgress is pasha which means to rebel or offend. This transgression is an offense in the speaking of divine power and spiritual insight. Then the prophet says to go to Gilgal and multiply your transgressions. The word multiply is ravah which has the idea of increasing or making great, but in its Semitic root it has the idea of wearing something around your neck as a necklace as a symbol of pride.
What was happening was that Bethel and Gilgal became a spiritual amusement park or a spiritual county fair. It became a gathering place for all the teachers and prophets and teacher and prophet wanna-be’s to show off their spiritual dynamic. It was a place where someone could out-rabbi a rabbi. It was a place to display your spiritual charm, and your spiritual maturity, a place to impress your fellow believer with amazing testimonies. It became a place where all your spiritual achievements become an offense to God.
Gilgal became a place where you could wear your spiritual achievements around your neck for all to see and admire. A place where you could offer your sacrifices every morning or pay your tithes for all to notice.
Note that it is not Bethel and Gilgal that is being condemned. It was the abuses that took place. It was about people who spent so much time and energy trying to have a new thrill or experience or new revelation that they devoted little to no time in discovery of the heart of God. For Bethel and Gilgal was a place you could go to seek God’s heart. However, in Amos’s time people were making the pilgrimage to Bethel and Gilgal with a personal motive, to promote one’s own agenda and to do a little showboating. – Chaim BenTorah
More 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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