Pastor Don – Bible Study – Sept. 6, 2006 – ORDER IN PRAISE AND WORSHIP
Before we begin our Bible study we have praise and worship and then we pray for people. Our Pastor told us that Pastor Abraham – in India, is asking for prayer. Apparently pastors and people are being pulled out of their homes, their places of worship and being beaten and put into prison. We are praying a shield of protection for those Christians in India and other places where there is persecution – that they can be protected and spread God’s word.
Besides being a great pastor, Pastor Don is also a musician. As part of last night’s Bible study he sang five new songs that he has written. We are blessed. I am hoping he puts them on CD. There is a praise and worship conference in Albany, NY this weekend, if you go there you might hear them.
1 Chronicles 13:1-4 Then David consulted with the captains of thousands and hundreds, and with every leader. And David said to all the assembly of Israel, “If it seems good to you, and if it is of the LORD our God, let us send out to our brethren everywhere who are left in all the land of Israel, and with them to the priests and Levites who are in their cities and their common lands, that they may gather together to us; and let us bring the ark of our God back to us, for we have not inquired of it since the days of Saul. Then all the assembly said that they would do so, for the thing was right in the eyes of all the people.
David started out in the correct way – stating that if it seemed good to the people and is of the LORD (Key words – is of the LORD) then move the ark. But by verse four the assembly said “THE THING WAS RIGHT IN THE EYES OF ALL THE PEOPLE.” No mention was made about whether it was right in God’s eyes. David did not take what FELT good to him and bring to it the CONFIRMING WORD OF GOD. So often today in our churches we do the same thing in our ministries – it seems good to do something, but there is no confirmation from God that it is what He wants us to do. So we are out of order.
First a few Bible verses:
Then, verse 7-14 So they carried the ark of God on a new cart from the house of Abinadab, and Uzza and Ahio drove the cart. Then David and all Israel played music before God with all their might, with singing on harps, on stringed instruments, on tambourines, on cymbals, and with trumpets. And when they came to Cidon’s threshing floor, Uzza put out his hand to hold the ark, for the oxen stumbled. Then the anger of the LORD was aroused against Uzza, and He struck him because he put his hand to the ark; and he died there before God. And David became angry because of the LORD’s outbreak against Uzza; therefore that place is called Perez Uzza to this day. David was afraid of God that day, saying, “How can I bring the ark of God to me?” So David would not move the ark with him into the City of David, but took it aside into the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite. The ark of God remained with the family of Obed-Edom in his house three months. And the LORD blessed the house of Obed-Edom and all that he had.
This was not how the ark was to be carried.
1 Chronicles 14:14 Therefore David inquired again of God, and God said to him, “You shall not go up after them; circle around them, and come upon them in front of the mulberry trees.”
Here, David did not make his own plan, but he INQUIRED of God, and God blessed David’s actions with victory.
Then David did his research, 1 Chronicles 15:2 Then David said, “No one may carry the ark of God but the Levites, for the LORD has chosen them to carry the ark of God and to minister before Him forever. 1 Chronicles 15:12-13 He said to them, “You are the heads of the fathers’ houses of the Levites; sanctify yourselves, you and your brethren, that you may bring up the ark of the LORD God of Israel to the place I have prepared for it. For because you did not do it the first time, the LORD our God broke out against us, because we did not consult Him about the proper order.
The most important thing we can do is follow God’s proper order in doing anything. God has a prescribed order for every thing – the movement of the planets, the days of the week, church, worship, marriage, relationships, finances, kids.
If we violate God’s order we die – there are different kinds of death, maybe not always physical death, but certainly a spiritual death or death of relationships, etc.
God is sovereign, but often times He will not say anything to us unless asked. He could have told Uzza not to touch the Ark or you will die, but God wanted to make sure that people realized the seriousness of following His order. (Heather’s note – the kings of those days were instructed to write out the first five books of the Bible – the laws by hand, so David knew the laws of God which included how to transport the ark). The Levites should have moved the ark correctly the first time – and then Uzza would not have died. The ark was meant to be carried on special poles on the shoulders of the Levites. An animal is not to be trusted with something as sacred as the Ark – where God met His people. And a cart, as we saw, was too unstable. God wanted the Ark to be carried on men’s shoulders – men who have intelligence and revere Him would carry the Ark carefully. The musicians were good, but not sufficient, and a man died because of disobedience to God’s order.
After the powerful lesson, David started at the right place to move the Ark, to sanctify themselves. When you are sanctified you are set apart, you see yourself a certain way, speak a certain way. Then after you are sanctified, then you do the things in the proper order. Sometimes in our conscious mind what God ordains as proper order seems like confusion to man. But if it is God’s order, it comes out to be perfect order. Even if it seems stupid to us, if God is telling us to do something we need to obey and do it. There is a greater order – His order.
Then Pastor Don sang his five wonderful songs. Between songs he said something that cracked me up. He said that if you are a monkey’s uncle – created from the slime that is ok, but I WAS CREATED BY THE LORD.
Another song line that hit home to me said in effect that if you keep doing what you are doing, you will keep getting what you are getting.
After the Israelites lost the ark in battle, it was in the hands of the Philistines. The Philistines concocted this plan around the ark:
1 Samuel 6:7-9 Now therefore make a new cart, take two milk cows which have never been yoked, and hitch the cows to the cart; and take their calves home away from them. Then take the ark of the LORD and set it on the cart; and put the articles of gold which you are returning to Him as a trespass offering in a chest by its side. Then send it away, and let it go. And watch: if it goes up the road to its own territory, to Beth Shemesh, then He has done us this great evil. But if not, then we shall know that it is not His hand that struck us; it happened to us by chance.
They too put it on a cart and tried to keep the ark. Milk cows separated from their calves would ordinarily return to the calves, but in this case, instead of doing that, the cows returned the ark to the Israelites. Why were the Philistines so concerned about the ark – they blamed God for the evil that came on them – brought on by their holding the Ark.
1 Samuel 6:5 Therefore you shall make images of your tumors and images of your rats that ravage the land, and you shall give glory to the God of Israel; perhaps He will lighten His hand from you, from your gods, and from you land.
And if you look backwards you will see 1 Samuel 6:2 And the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners, saying, “What shall we do with the ark of the LORD? Tell us how we should send it to it’s place.
The Philistines were not meant to have the Ark, they certainly did not know how to handle the Ark. They were given tumors and rats in the land until they finally realized that they had best give the Ark back.
We cannot let the world tell us how to act, speak, talk or have church. We cannot change the order of the service to make it more accommodating to the world. Can’t have Jesus Lite. Today the world wants us to have a non-offensive, non-anointing, non-offending version of Jesus, but that is not God’s order.
Even today we have to be careful which seminaries we send people to – many of the teachers do not teach the Word of God, they alter God’s word to fit the world’s standards. Unfortunately, at times it takes persecution to bring the church back to order. For example, the disciples of Jesus stayed in Jerusalem instead of spreading His word throughout the world as instructed. God sent Paul/Saul to persecute them, and then they scattered. Then Paul was brought to God. Without the persecution it is quite possible that they would have stayed near Jerusalem.
When Paul was beaten for speaking the Gospel and put into jail, the people started asking questions about why this happened, the whole city came to see why. Paul insisted on a public apology, which also got tongues wagging. Same thing when the Phillipian jailer got saved and his family and started having house church – people started talking.
1 Chronicles 15:15-16 And the children of the Levites bore the ark of God on their shoulders, by its poles, as Moses had commanded according to the word of the LORD. Then David spoke to the leaders of the Levites to appoint their brethren to be the singers accompanied by instruments of music, stringed instrument,s harps, and cymbals, by raising the voice with resounding joy.
Now there is real joy and worship because David restored God’s order in this move.
1 Chronicles 15:22 Chenaniah, leader of the Levites, was instructor in charge of the music, because he was skillful. Now the musicians could use their skill to worship.
1 Chronicles 15:24 Shebaniah, Joshaphat, Nethanel, Amasai, Zechariah, Benaiah, and Eliezer, the priests, were to blow the trumpets before the ark of the God; and Obed-Edom and Jehiah, doorkeepers for the ark.
Remember Obed-Edom – he still remained with the ark and the blessing of God.
1 Chronicles 15:25 So David, the elders of Israel, and the captains over thousands went to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD from the house of Obed-Edom with Joy.
Joy comes as a response to God’s order. The proper order is established: sanctification and a sacrifice of praise. Organization comes before sacrifice.
Verse 27: David was clothed with a robe of fine linen, as were all the Levites who bore the ark, the singers and Chenaniah the music master with the singers, David also wore a linen ephod. God chooses the clothes you wear. Pastor Don said that when he comes to minister to God, he always puts on clean clothes – not coming in the clothes that he wears during the day, but clean clothes. For him that is an important way to honor God.
Verse 28: Thus all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the LORD with shouting and with the sound of the horn, with trumpets and with cymbals, making music with stringed instruments and harps.
Verse 29: And it happened, as the ark of the covenant of the LORD came to the City of David, that Michal, Saul’s daughter, looked through a window and saw King David whirling and playing music; and she despised him in her heart.
Many come to churches and do not like the worship and free expression of praise. They end up barren. God closed up Michal’s womb, and many spiritual wombs are also closed by not honoring God according to His order of worship.
1 Chronicles 16:4 And he appointed some of the Levites to minister before the ark of the LORD, to commemorate, to thank, and to praise the LORD God of Israel:
These are the three things worship contains: 1. to commemorate, 2. to thank, and 3. to praise and worship God.
Many ministers/pastors minister to the people attending the service instead of ministering to God. History is important to the church. If nothing else, if we know what happened in history, we can avoid making the same mistakes.
Pastor Don talked about the circular nature of the five fold gifts in the history of the church.
Martin Luther was a teacher, bringing light to darkness. We had a faith era (evangelists) with people like Smith Wigglesworth. In the 50’s and 60’s was the era of the pastors. Now teachers are coming forward to bring forth the Word of God in a big way, and apostles are emerging to take what the teachers are teaching and do something with it.
In a previous teaching, Pastor Don suggested that each church should have people in the five fold ministry – and if they don’t have a particular office represented, they can bring in guest speakers to complete the ministry.
What is happening today is that people are trying to oppress the apostles and prophets to keep church non-threatening to the established systems.
What worked for David and Israel will work for us today. We need to take time and ask God for the proper order of worship.
Interesting note: Lafayette Scales will be speaking at our church Monday and Tuesday September 25 and 26. If you live near us, feel free to come and hear him – you can click on the Living Word Chapel link to find directions to our church. If you click on the link to In His Name ministries, you can find a few recorded sermons of Pastor Don if you want to hear him “live”.
Have a blessed day!
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