Here Comes the Ark (Part 4)

         Proper sacrifice was the answer. Repentance is the first part of the equation. The circumcision of the heart is at the heart of the New Testament. The preaching of the cross is core, foundational, at the nucleus thereof, and points directly to what salvation entails. Without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. [Hebrews 9:22]

         One does not often hear about the cleansing blood of the Lord Jesus so much anymore. It is not so seeker-friendly. People are put off by it, pretty much the same way most people would rather never be reminded of over fifty million unborn American babies ripped from the womb and literally thrown in the trash.

         The crucifixion of the Lord is not pretty, but His perfect sacrifice remains the most beautiful thing anyone has ever done or will ever do. It was the greatest and best offering ever made. His death brings our life, if we so choose. In Part 3, David discovered the secret of repentance. He discovered the proper protocol. He understood that sacrifice must precede the presence of God. No one is saved without real repentance. It is impossible.

         There is no new birth without a surrendering of the life that resulted from the first birth.

         You must be born again [John 3:7]. All great movements of God over the last twenty centuries have been preceded by heart-changing individual repentance, including the Great Awakenings in America.

         In the initial event of the Church Age, the 120 real believers who gathered together at Pentecost were exactly on time and properly prepared. It had been ten days since the Lord Jesus had ascended to heaven. Ten is the Biblical number of ordinal perfection or testing. It is readily apparent that not everyone gathered at the beginning remained until the big day. For those who did, they had fully repented and prepared themselves. Such individuals had bowed the knee to the Lord and confessed His glorious Name, and this resulted in the beginning of an incredible worldwide movement that continues to the present.

         According to the Hebrew calendar, today is Erev Shavuot. Wednesday morning, June 8, is the morning of Pentecost, the official anniversary of that bright dawn when the community of the Lord Jesus burst forth on the scene in unity and power 2000 years ago. The apostle Peter then preached a message containing the very truth the 120 had obeyed and what would be required for the movement to continue. He spoke of the death and resurrection of the Messiah. Under great conviction, voices from the crowd asked, “Brethren, what shall we do?” The first thing Peter said was, “Repent.”

         There has always been much theological discussion about when the blood of the Lord Jesus is applied, but there should not be. The cleansing blood of the Lord is applied at real repentance. When David sacrificed the ox and fatling at the rebirth of the procession, he understood this. A Christianity without repentance is a faux Christianity. A Christianity without the preaching and teaching of the shed blood of our Savior is worthless and dead, regardless of any other factor. It is impossible to properly recognize, worship, and glorify God without mentioning His cleansing blood on our behalf. Those Christian bodies and groups who understand this and act accordingly are blessed with His presence, just as the city of Jerusalem was 3000 years ago. Those who don’t, aren’t.

         Then it happened as the ark of the LORD came into the city of David that Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD; and she despised him in her heart. [2 Samuel 6:16]

         Uh oh.

         As always, the previous generation resists a new move of God. Saul had grown to hate and despise David, and had acquired bad spirits as a result of his hatred and resistance. Every time the Lord does something “new” it is resisted by the previous generation of His own people. Why would Michal suddenly turn against David? She was one of his wives, and had previously promoted him. There are several possible reasons:

(1) She did not think it proper for a king to behave in such an undignified manner.

(2) She thought he was unduly grabbing the spotlight.

(3) She still resented him for his rise to power at the expense of her father.

(4) She thought dancing was only for dancehalls and weird churches.

         The predominant reason, of course, is that she despised God because she had an irreverent unrepentant heart. She opposed a life-giving move of God and was greatly offended at the actions of her husband, who seemed to violate all the laws of man’s protocol, both civil and religious. She preferred a controlled religion of decorum, dogma, and duty. The tares fight against the wheat. The goats fight against the sheep. The unreal fight against the real. Religious people killed the Lord. They killed Stephen. Millions of real believers have been killed since. Why?

         It is simple: Those who refuse to die to themselves and bring a proper sacrifice end up killing their brother instead.

         So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the LORD of the fruit of the ground. Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and for his offering; but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell. Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” Cain told Abel his brother. And it came about when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him. Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” And he said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” [Genesis 4:3-9] [1]

         When the Ark was coming into Jerusalem, however, the circumstances were such that Michal was greatly outvoted. In fact, she knew this and therefore despised David somewhat secretly in her heart, at least for the moment, though she may have been staring darts. The city as a whole was celebrating. Jerusalem had properly prepared itself. David corrected his mistakes. He discovered God’s proper protocol. He no longer resisted the move of God or tried to control it. Instead, he jumped into it joyfully with both feet—literally! So must it be for us also, if we really want the actual loving and powerful presence of God in our lives, both individually and in collective unity on this eve of Pentecost. [Part 4 of 4]

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Posted on June 7, 2011, in Teaching and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. I see the story to David’s movement of the Ark, as like our movement of our church. You, and Don and others who read, may have noticed the same thing. It is vital to our mission, to ensure, we follow David’s footsteps, so to speak.. With our repentance, cleansing blood of Jesus, we are moving home…

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  2. Thanks for your input, Ron. These are very interesting times for the Lord’s people, both as individuals and maybe more so as groups and communities. I believe the Lord is working through our national hard times to prove a point, and to make it that much more clear that all things are possible with Him, at any time, and regardless of any extraneous conditions. Reverence for the Lord Jesus and complete trust in Him are vital.

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  3. Once again you’re correct, our nation’s hard times are a chance for our return to God’s grace. A little study of “Minor” OT Prophets proves this point nicely. However there is no such thing as a minor prophet, God’s words to us all are vital to our lives. I do worry some about small groups, the failing is mine, not God’s. For as long as your stated steps are followed, all will be OK, and God will lead us. Many in the secular world see all “Christians” the same way. I fear for those who may be led in wrong direction. Real fool in California, who keeps guessing world’s end date, or worse find themselves in a rattle snake church! Like I said, God is in control, and failure is mine.

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  4. It would be difficult for me to express how much I have appreciated these 4 articles on the Ark. They have fed my spirit and refreshed my soul. Thank you for the speaking the unadulterated truth of the Gospel.

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  5. The Biblical subject matter is truly multi-layered and quite timely. There is simply a ton of stuff here to deal with. It is incredible how the Lord can use a historical account 3,000 years old that can so easily be applied to the present. As one uncovers this layer and that, and turns over a rock or two, and digs and dusts off, one discovers clear applications in general, but specific applications as well, in my view. The series was meant to show what God is doing now, both in the country overall, and in many locations where real Christians are getting it right by paying attention and obeying their Father. Fields of Dreams are being built and the Lord Jesus is arriving on the scene. We must go the distance, and we will. Thank you for reading and for your comments.

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  6. Very interesting series of articles on the Ark, RJ. I try not to become overly consumed by symbolism, and its accompanying hosts of shadows, types, and pictures, but in the case of the Tabernacle and its furnishings, the Hebrews author associated them with Christ. He of course, was making it known that Jesus is better, but on several occasions refers to Him as ‘the better article’. I only mention this because of its significance in our rightly coming before God today. As you’ve proven by the Word, our God is Holy and a certain (nth) degree of reverence is not only anticipated, but demanded. Our Mercy Seat (Jesus) indeed has torn down the veil of separation, but His holiness was in no way diminished! We come boldly in Christ and only in Christ… but we still come with a reverent fear. Thanks for posting this. Informative work. Looking forward to spending more time over your way. (also, spent some time with ‘Real Christianity’ the book. I look forward to reading it in its entirety.) Blessings, friend.

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  7. Thank you, brother. It is honor to have such comments, and I am glad the Lord has blessed you. I appreciate your efforts regarding my book.

    I think many Christians all want the same thing, but this series of articles reflect what the Lord is telling us in His Word about the process of getting there. There are times when God’s people grow cold, time passes, and then the move of God He so lovingly tries to bring appears suspicious and strange, and first reactions are often opposing. The Lord then has quite a job on His hands to convince His own people of His necessary and honorable intent. Thanks again for reading.

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  8. “All that can be shaken will be shaken so that what cannot be shaken will remain. . . and it begins in MY house.” This is the word I heard at the beginning of 2014 and it is happening in my little community. Playing church is no longer an option. The Father is looking for those who are serious about Him, those who desire to worship Him in Spirit and Truth. Confession comes first – acknowledging my lack of desire for Him and His ways. Repentance is next – it is two sided and requires turning away from my way and returning to His way. Then and only then is the end product of forgiveness in sight. Forgiveness cannot be granted without leaving off the sin that required it in the first place. Sometimes, separation must happen. Come out from among them and be separate. Ezekiel 34 talks about separating the sheep from the sheep. Is this where we are?

    Thank you for the repost. Perfect timing.

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    • Thank you for the comment. The timing is the Lord’s, of course, but obedience is a factor.

      The Lord Jesus can do much with willing hearts. He revealed what is required of His disciples in His teachings and commanded them to obey Him. The evidence of such obedience was very clear, in that they got the same results of Him working through them as He did in His ministry.

      Much of Christianity has become cold to this since His time, however, and has created alternative Christian forms. The story of David bringing back the Ark of the Covenant is representative of our current task in working with the Lord to allow for His majestic presence and the coming Great Awakening.

      As it was then, we must also work to get it right. We must repent, we must worship in Spirit and in Truth, and we must obey.

      Blessings to you.

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