Prophetic voices all across the world agree that we are in the last days before the coming of the Lord Jesus. In Acts Peter is recorded as saying, For he (Messiah, Jesus) must remain in heaven until the time of the final restoration of all things, as God promised long ago through his prophets. (Acts 3: 21 NLT) In other words Jesus is literally held hostage in heaven until all things are restored. So, in these last days, God is about the business of restoration. I believe he is revealing and restoring the biblical concepts of worship, evangelism and the Kingdom of God to a temple of people whose one desire is to see his will done on earth as it is in heaven.
Amos was one of those prophets Peter referred to as prophesying about God’s restoration process. In Amos 9:11-12 he wrote, On that day I will raise up the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down, and repair its damages; I will raise up its ruins, and rebuild it as in the days of old; That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and all the Gentiles who are called by my name, Says the Lord who does this thing.
Why, in this restoration process, does God choose to restore the tabernacle of David? Why not the tabernacle of Moses? God gave specific instructions to Moses on how his tabernacle was to be built. He strictly warned Moses to build it exactly has it was prescribed. David’s tabernacle was a simple tent of which no instructions were given. Why didn’t God say he would restore Solomon’s temple? Solomon’s temple was enormous and extravagant. Its splendor far exceeded that of David’s little tent.
When David brought the ark or the covenant to Jerusalem from the house of Obed-Edom he placed it in a tent on Mount Zion. The ark represented God’s manifest presence. It was above the mercy seat on top of the ark where God met with the priest in the Holy of Holies of Moses’ tabernacle. In Moses’ tabernacle the Holy of Holies was enclosed and off limits to everyone except the priests. David’s tabernacle was an open tent and all could see the ark and have access to God’s glory.
After placing the ark in the tent, David established an order of worship that continued through his reign. Singers and musicians were employed to praise, give thanks and prophesy before the ark of God. Twenty-four hours a day worship could be heard from Mount Zion. That was the reason God said, This is my resting place forever; here I will dwell, for I have desired it. (Psalm 132:13-14)
Notice the prophecy given by Amos. He said the reason for the restoration of David’s tabernacle was that the remnant of Edom and the Gentiles called by his name would be possessed. Edom was the name given to Esau and his descendants. Esau was Isaac’s son who sold his birthright to Jacob. God is interested in saving or possessing all those who have sold their birthright, which all of mankind did in Adam. It is God’s will that none should perish but that all should come to repentance.
The apostles must have believed that this prophecy was fulfilled at least in part with the salvation of the Gentiles. When the council at Jerusalem convened to discuss what to do about the reports of converted Gentiles, James quotes the passage from Amos. Here is his interpretation of what Amos said: After this I will return and will rebuild the tabernacle of David which has fallen down; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will set it up; So that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, even all the Gentiles who are called by my name, says the Lord who does all these things. (Acts 15:16-18)
God has a plan to make his name known throughout the world. Psalm 76:1 says that in Judah God is known. Judah means praise. In praise God is known. In Psalm 40:3 David wrote, He has put a new song in my mouth — praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord. The Hebrew word used for praise in this verse is tehillah. Tehillah is a hymn, a new song, one that has not been recorded. God has chosen to use the new song, tehillah, as a tool to bring the lost into his kingdom.
Twice in the Revelation of Jesus Christ John records hearing a new song. In chapter 14 he shares his revelation of Jesus standing on Mount Zion with the 144,000 servants of God. Mount Zion as we have established was the resting place of the ark of God in David’s tabernacle and the resting place of God himself. Jesus is standing in the midst of the praises of his people represented by the 144,000.
The 144,000 were singing a new song that only they could learn because they had been redeemed from the earth. Immediately after he hears the new song, John sees another angel flying through the heavens carrying the everlasting Good News to preach to the people who belong to this world-to every nation, tribe, language and people (Revelation 14:6). This seems to connect the singing of the new song to the preaching of the gospel. It also sounds very similar to the first time John records hearing the new song in heaven.
In chapter 5 John witnesses the slain lamb take a scroll out of the hand of him who sits on the throne. This action moves the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders to fall down before the lamb and sing a new song. They sang; You are worthy to take the scroll and break its seals and open it. For you were slaughtered, and your blood has ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. (Revelation 5:9 NLT) Again the new song of praise has a direct connection with the salvation of mankind.
God’s desire is to restore the same spirit of worship that typified David’s tabernacle. He not only desires to find his resting place in the worship of his people, but that his people worship and exalt him in such a way that his name is known, his glory is manifest and all men are drawn to him. The psalmist wrote; Sing a new song to the Lord! Let the whole earth sing to the Lord! Sing to the Lord; bless his name. Each day proclaim the good news that he saves. (Psalm 96:1-2 NLT)
Signifying the type of death he would die, Jesus said, And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to myself. (John 12:32) By his death Jesus reconciled the world to God. Though he died once, never to suffer death again, we can, by our praise and worship lift him up or magnify him for all to see.
When we magnify Jesus we make him bigger much in the same way we use a telescope. The planets and stars are very large objects, yet they are difficult to see because they are so far away. The telescope brings those objects closer to the viewer so they can see the enormity of the objects. David’s tabernacle was erected in a conspicuous place; Mount Zion. All who entered the city could see the glory of God and hear the praises of God. That is what our praise and worship accomplishes; it takes a huge God that seems so far away to some folks and brings him nearer for them to see. We do the magnifying, he does the drawing.
After his first attempt to bring the ark of God to Jerusalem ended in the tragic death of Uzzah, King David sought for the proper way to transport God’s glory. After months of research David was once again ready to bring God’s glory back to Israel. A host of singers and musicians accompanied David as the Levites transported the ark. The procession culminated with the Levites placing the ark in a tent David had erected on Mount Zion. David then established an order of worship around the ark that continued years after his death.
The new order of worship completed the establishment of the kingdom. All ears were privy to the continuous sound of singers and musicians worshiping God around David’s tabernacle. David could never have imagined the establishment of Israel’s kingdom without the accompanying of the manifest presence of God. Mount Zion had become the worship capital of Israel.
In addition to being the worship capital of Israel, Mount Zion was also the governmental capital. David ran the affairs of the kingdom from Zion. He made laws and passed judgment concerning disputes from Mount Zion. Decisions on whether or not to go to war were made from Mount Zion. All things concerning the kingdom were set in motion from Mount Zion.
Many biblical scholars believe that the raising up of David’s tabernacle is synonymous with the restoration of worship in the church today. With the restoration of worship comes the restoration of the kingdom; the fullness of the rule and reign of Christ. I believe the establishment of God’s kingdom on earth is incomplete without the restoration and establishment of the proper order of worship.
When Jesus came to earth he came with a mission of restoration. His mission statement is found in Luke 4:18-19. He said, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. In his conversation with the woman at the well in Sychar, Jesus gave the proper order of kingdom worship by saying that those who worship the Father must worship in spirit and truth. Jesus did three things to restore kingdom order; he proclaimed the word of the kingdom, demonstrated the works of the kingdom and restored the worship of the kingdom.
Both Isaiah and Jeremiah prophesied that a descendant of David, a king, would arise to sit on the throne of David forever. The words of these prophets were fulfilled with the coming of Jesus. Remember that David’s throne was in Zion where the Ark of the Covenant (God’s manifest glory) rested in the tent David prepared for it. Zion was once a stronghold occupied by the Jebusites. David captured the stronghold and set up the kingdom. You can bet that the readers of John’s revelation understood the significance of the Lamb standing on Mount Zion. (Revelation 14) It meant that kingdom order had been restored.
In Amos’ prophesy God says that the remnant of Edom would be possessed. The Hebrew word for possess used in Amos 9:12 is yarash (yaw-rash’). Yaresh means to occupy by driving out previous tenants, and possessing in their place; to seize, to rob, to inherit; also to expel, to impoverish, to ruin. God said in Psalm 60:8, Moab is my wash pot; over Edom I will cast my shoe; Philistia, shout in triumph because of me. The phrase over Edom I will cast my shoe refers to an ancient Hebrew custom. It was believed that the right to tread on property belonged to the person who owned it. When a property was sold the owner would take off his sandal and give it to the purchaser. This represented the transfer of the property to the new owner.
God had given Adam the responsibility of subduing the earth and filling it with the glory or likeness of God. Adam failed when he sinned so God sent his Son to do what Adam could not. Though God never gave up ownership of earth’s dominion, Adam’s failure had allowed squatters (demonic forces) to build strongholds. Jesus’ mission was to capture the strongholds, remove the squatters and restore kingdom order; which he did just as David had done years earlier in Zion. God’s own words help to establish this truth. He spoke through the psalmist, Yet I have set my king on my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to me You are my son, today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will give you the nations for your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for your possession. (Psalm 2:6-8)
Did Jesus completely restore the kingdom to the Father? Well, yes and no. Yes in the sense that he finished the work given to him by the Father. Yes in the sense that he crushed the head of the enemy on the cross and led captivity captive. Yes in the sense that he established proper order in the kingdom. No in the sense that we don’t yet see all things under his feet. The church has been given the mandate to continue the restoration process in and by the power of Jesus’ name.
Peter received a revelation that Jesus was the Christ, the son of the living God. Jesus said that upon that revelation he would build his church and the gates of hell would not prevail against it. The gates of a city are used for defensive purposes not offensive. Just as the Jebusites could not keep David out of Zion, just as Satan could not keep the Son of God from taking the keys of death, hell and the grave, the gates of hell will not stop God’s worshiping church from razing it to its very foundations.
The restoration of David’s tabernacle is the restoration of kingdom worship and authority. As the church learns and flows in the proper order of kingdom worship and authority we will see the fall of Babylon (this world’s system). We will see the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our God and of his Christ. So when Christ returns to deliver the kingdom to the Father, he will have found us faithful. Then we will hear those words, Well done my good and faithful servants.