The Psalm 23 Adventure, Part 61
October 13, 2017
We are definitely going to run long today as we wrap up this series, so bear with me.
Remember what David wrote in Psalm 118? Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the LORD: we have blessed you out of the house of the LORD.
And that’s exactly what happened in Israel, once David had established this picture of 24-hour praise and worship for the nation. Israel prospered as it had never prospered in the past. Let me quote a couple of paragraphs from the River Worship Center website to show you just how much the Key of David unlocked for the nation of Israel.
From a purely historical standpoint, Israel prospered economically and militarily, and was provided for by the Lord in a never-ending display, so long as praise and worship went forth unhampered and unhindered. During the forty years of David’s reign, Israel never lost a battle. David took territories and dominions which had been promised to Abraham, and commanded to Moses and Joshua, but never attained by any leader in Israel’s history to that time.
He subdued the last of the Hittites, and eradicated the remaining traces of other nations which had contaminated Israel with their co-habitation. The Jebusites, which had occupied Jerusalem since Shem’s death, were subdued and destroyed; and David purchased from Ornan, the Jebusite, both the hill, and the threshing floor as the site of the temple which would later be built.
He refused to take as a gift, or recognize Ornan (whose title was Araunah, or “Lord King”) as a king, or his equal, even though Ornan was the last of the Jebusite rulers.
Never before in history had a people prospered as they did with continual praise and worship going forth. Israel saw its land produce agriculturally and yield an abundance such as never had been seen. The surrounding nations turned to Israel for leadership.
Kings, who before times had been constant enemies and invaded the cities of Israel, sought after peace treaties. The Philistines, who had invaded the land with their armies for hundreds of years, were decimated militarily, and were unable to so much as raise an army against Israel (or anyone else, for that matter) for more than three hundred years.
I’ve taken a lot of time focusing on this particular element, but I wanted to set the stage for your understanding the enormous significance of the letter to the Ekklesia in Philadelphia.
Let me pass over the portion of the letter that addresses those of the synagogue of Satan (that’s a whole separate discussion) and move on to the last portion where it begins with, Behold I come quickly. Hold that fast which thou hast that no man take thy crown.
We’ll come back to this momentarily, but let’s get to the picture of the overcoming which the Lord addresses.
Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
What is the purpose of a pillar? The answer is obvious: to hold up and support the building. The implications of this statement are intriguing. The overcomer becomes a pillar in the temple. The Greek word for pillar is, stulos, and this word literally translates as “support.” The Greek word used in this instance for temple is also interesting. It is the word, naos. What I find fascinating is that the primary root of this word means “to dwell,” hence when used as a noun, we are talking about a “dwelling place.” Now, take that usage and let’s re-read this statement.
He that overcomes will I make to be a support in the dwelling place (or house) of my God, and he shall go no more out. (Revelation 3:12a, RAC Translation & Amplification)
Pretty interesting, huhh? But watch what comes next.
And I will write upon him the name of my God.
The Greek word for write is “grapho.” It literally means to engrave, or to write into. We discussed the concept of “name” a multitude of times throughout the years, and this gives us the understanding that what is being engraved into our being — what is transforming who and what we are — is the very character, nature and makeup of the Lord Himself.
Do you remember the whole breakdown of this word, onoma?
J. H. Thayer, in his Greek-English Lexicon, states that "By a usage chiefly Hebraistic, onoma [shem] is used for everything which the name covers, everything the thought or feeling which is roused in the mind brings by mentioning, hearing, remembering the name -- that is, one's rank, authority, interests, pleasure, command, excellences, deeds, etc."
Where "names" and/or "name-calling" are used in opposition, he characterizes onoma -- in contradistinction to "name-calling" -- as, "the reality of one's existence," and
in a separate summation, Thayer distinguishes the onoma of God in stating, "The Onoma of God in the N.T. is used for all those qualities which, to His worshippers, are summed up in that name, and by which God makes Himself known to men; it is therefore equivalent to His divinity, His divine majesty and perfections so far forth as these are apprehended, named, and magnified."
Talk about a mouthful! It is safe to say, therefore, that onoma represents the very essence of one's being. For that reason, I will use the word, onoma, throughout this study instead of "name," since the word, "name," brings such a totally different concept to mind than that which I believe the Holy Spirit is communicating.
Names were never given idly. To help understand the basis under which onoma – and its Hebrew counterpart, shem, – was used, names were given at birth (or creation, in the case of Adam and Eve) as a prophecy of what children would become. In most cases those names represented either blessing, or the fulfillment of some promise of the Lord, or the prophesying of some blessing to come. In other cases, the names represented the judgment of the Lord. In a few cases, they epitomized a curse which was to come. In every case, the child grew to become the living example – a prophetic picture of that name which was given at birth.
Integrated into this system of giving names (which God ordained at Creation), we also have the several recorded instances (e.g., “Abram” into “Abraham;” “Jacob” into “Israel;” “Shem” into “Melchizedek;” “Saul of Tarsus” into “Paul,” etc.) in which names were changed by the Lord to represent the change of nature, character and makeup he brought about (or was bringing about) in them.
The promise of the Lord to the overcomer, therefore, is for much more than a "new name." It is the molding, the changing, the transformation, the re-shaping of the very essence of our existence, our makeup, our personality, the way we live and breathe and operate, so that we live and exhibit His onoma.
Now, He takes it the next step.
And I will write upon him … the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God.
Bear with me. There is a transformative process that has been taking place from the moment we entered into this Covenant with the Lord.
Why does this continuing prophecy describe the engraving process to include the “city of my God, which is new Jerusalem…”
We’ve talked about this before, but let’s revisit something that John sees as this revelation unfolds.
Revelation 21:2-3: And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
The “New Jerusalem,” therefore, is a metaphor for the Bride of Christ. The New Jerusalem is not Heaven — as John makes very clear in this statement. What he sees is a picture of a glorious Bride whom the Lord has been preparing for Himself throughout the ages.
You see the finish of this don’t you? The Lord is making very clear that this finished Bride is us! Those who have been through the fire, those who have overcome all obstacles, all trials, those who have been the literal picture of worship and adoration and total, uncompromised commitment are the Bride with whom He will dwell forever! He has been preparing us so that He can dwell with us forever — so that His house is our house!
Take a look at John’s description:
Revelation 21:9-27: And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.
And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:
On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.
And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.
And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel. And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones.
The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.
And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.
And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.
And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
The study of this city is a study in the makeup of the Bride. There are so many metaphors in John’s description that it would take us away from the focus of this study — and perhaps I will have the chance to deal with that in a later series. But let me just make note of all of the twelve’s used in this description and remind you that the number, twelve, is a picture of Ekklesia. It is the picture of the preparation process that has been going on throughout our lives. It is the preparation for the ruling and reigning throughout eternity — OK, the eternities of the eternities — with the Lord, and being seated on the Throne with Him.
We’ve talked about this number, twelve, before, the mathematical precision of God, and the preciseness of these processes in each of our lives. We won’t revisit that today. I just want to remind you that everything that God has done in your life, my life — all of us — is for His Glory. All of these events that have unfolded in our lives have been so that we can dwell in the House of the Lord forever! Everything has been designed by Him so that He can dwell with us forever!
I’ve probably shared this with you before, but I’m reminded of the time many years ago when I stood in front of the mirror, realizing just how far I was away from the promises God had made to me as a youngster, and how much remained to be accomplished in order for me to see the fulfillment of those promises. I said — almost out loud, “Lord, you mean you could stand to live with me forever?”
I could hear His laughter as He responded, “By the time you get here, you’ll be so changed!”
That was more than 40 years ago. The changes that have taken place in my life are staggering when I look back. Change takes place almost daily. All I have to do is to look back even a year to see the change that has taken place. Looking back at things I taught and shared 20 or 30 years ago makes me laugh at times. What the Lord has revealed in those years makes some of what I thought was so important pale into insignificance.
Thirty years ago, I wrote, published and distributed an article titled, A Vision For Praise and Worship. It was OK, insofar as it went. The problem was that it was seriously incomplete! What the Lord has unfolded in the intervening years has multiplied my understanding of praise and worship. There are dimensions that God has for us that weren’t even touched in that article.
That, my friends, takes us back to understanding the Key of David.
When John began writing the letter to the Ekklesia in Philadelphia, it began with, “These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;”
Everyone knows that the primary purpose of a key is to open a door, or to lock a door, to open a gate, or to lock a gate. The essence of what John sees and writes is that to those who understand, have been given the Key of David — or more accurately, to those to whom the Lord utilizes the Key of David available — the door to the House of the Lord has been opened.
And, as John saw and wrote in Revelation 21, And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
Thus, when the Lord shuts, and no man opens, the permanent dwelling in House of the Lord is ONLY for the overcomer. It is not for the compromiser. It is not for those who pray “the sinner’s prayer,” and never advance in their spiritual growth.
Let me pause here, for a second, to point out that there is a distinct difference between “the House of the Lord” and Heaven. Heaven is a promise to all who repent of their sin and acknowledge that Jesus Christ’s death on the Cross for their sin, and His subsequent resurrection from the dead are their ONLY means to Salvation. And that Salvation is a spiritual step. Their spirits are saved, but there is a whole lot more to be accomplished in their lives if they are to manifest the presence of the Lord.
For many years, the Pentecostal movement labeled the “baptism in the Spirit” as the final step in our Salvation. In fact, 50 years ago or more I heard Pentecostal preachers actually say that “once you’ve been baptized in the Holy Spirit, you’ve arrived.”
Baloney! Once you’ve been baptized in the Holy Spirit, you finally have access to a dimension where Holy Spirit can work the changes in you that are necessary to begin manifesting what Salvation is all about. Holy Spirit can finally deal with aspects of your life that you’ve not been willing to yield and submit to His processing that you’ve been blind to previously. For the first time in your life, you are really at the beginning of your walk in God.
Sounds crazy, I know, and it sure doesn’t fit the doctrines and dogma of many churches and denominations and organizations, but it’s the truth. Take a look at where we’ve been in this adventure.
The Lord is my Shepherd: that’s our first commitment to His Lordship.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: that’s the beginning period of time for our soul to get to know and meditate on and in His Word. That’s our first taste of this place where the Lord is taking us.
He leadeth me beside the still waters: that’s the appointed time for us to yield ourselves our whole bodies, our tongues (which are so “unruly”)— He doesn’t make us drink because He’s not after robotic believers. His objective is to have a people who overcome their flesh.
NOW, He begins to lead us in the Paths of Righteousness — and those paths are going to lead us right to the door of the House of the Lord. If we’ve responded (instead of reacting) throughout the years of His dealings, if we’ve overcome our Enemies, if we’ve overcome all obstacles, if we’ve overcome all of the families of fear who’ve attempted to stop us in our trek towards the House of the Lord, if we’ve moved out in the anointing and commissioning that God has given us, if we’ve lived a life of worship, THEN we have arrived at the door of the House of the Lord.
Here is where ”He that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth” now opens the door before. NOW we can say with confidence and finality, “And I shall dwell in the House of the Lord forever!”
Anyone who thinks this hasn’t been an adventure from beginning to end simply doesn’t understand the nature of adventure. There have been moments of real difficulty. There have been moments when we soared with the eagles. It has been fun and it hasn’t been fun! But, Brother, Sister, it has been an adventure! We’ve lived a prophetic life from beginning to end! We prophesied our life when we began with the commitment to this Covenant and declared and decreed that The LORD is MY SHEPHERD!
For those of you who’ve been participating in our Monday night Healing Prayer Conference Call, we just want to let you know that beginning with the month of July and continuing until the first Monday night in October, we will be taking a break for the summer. We’ve found during the past three years of doing this call that participation during the summer months drops significantly because of folks taking their vacations, and being involved in other activities. That said, we will resume our prayer calls on Monday night, October 2nd.
At the same time, 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!
Regner A. Capener
RIVER WORSHIP CENTER
Temple, Texas 76504
Email Contact: CapenerMinistries@protonmail.com
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