By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion. Upon the willows in the midst of it we hung our harps. For there, our captors asked of us songs, and our tormentors’ mirth, saying, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion.” How can we sing the LORD’s song in a foreign land? Psalm 137:1-4.
You are a letter of Christ, . . . written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of hearts of flesh. 2 Corinthians 3:3.
Today your LORD (יהוה) God says:
Let Me write on the tablet of your heart. What will I write? A love letter. A love song. A melody of Zion. “Sing for us the songs of Zion,” the people of Babylon told the exiles from Jerusalem captive in their midst. And their answer, “How can we sing the LORD’s songs in a foreign land?” For My Kingdom is not here BUT you can manifest it when you sing My songs, the songs of Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem, the mountain of grace, for it is then the Way appears, the Highway of Holiness where nothing unclean can walk, and that Highway always takes you to Zion and its assemblies—its holy convocations with My canopy of glory over it. My prophet Isaiah, who foretold the return of the captives at the decree of Cyrus (to do what? Rebuild My dwelling place among them!), also saw a future glory when the people had been cleansed of their sins: “The LORD will create over the whole area of Mount Zion and over her assemblies (convocations) a cloud by day, even smoke, and the brightness of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory will be a canopy (bridal chamber). There will be a tabernacle (sukkah) to give shade from the heat by day, and refuge and a hiding place (a secret place) from the storm and the rain.” Isaiah 4:5-6. For you who have been cleansed in the blood of Jesus and made righteous with My own righteousness, “have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels in festal gathering, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.” Hebrews 12:22-24.
When I redeemed My people out of slavery they first went into the wilderness, and there, before anything else, I had them build a tabernacle, a dwelling place, where I could dwell among them and be their God and they would be My people, My special treasure among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; and they were to be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation set apart who honored and obeyed My Words and made covenant with Me. Exodus 19:5-6. And they were to become a light to all the nations. Isaiah 42:6, Isaiah 49:6; Isaiah 60:3.
They built a tabernacle in the wilderness and I filled it with My glory. You can do the same in the wilderness of this world. You can sing the songs of Zion (My songs of grace and My Kingdom) in a foreign land. For your citizenship is in Heaven, but you can bring it down to where you are to create a convocation of Zion, a secret place, a refuge, a tabernacle of praise filled with My glory to heal, save, and work wonders in your midst.
A dwelling place of the Most High—a house of God and a gate of Heaven in places I AM but no one knows it. Like Jacob at Beth-el until he saw the Highway, the portal, the ladder, that would open when the Messiah came, created by the bridge of Christ the anointed One he did not know I was there. Genesis 28:10-22. (“Jacob had a dream, and behold, a ladder was set on the earth with its top reaching to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it . . . Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it.” He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.”) Jesus confirmed it. John 1:51 (And He said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see the heavens opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”)
And how did they build the Tabernacle in the wilderness to lead them to the Promised Land? Each one whose heart moved him to contribute his treasure to the work of the project to build Me a dwelling among them came forward to do so. Exodus 25:2. And all the people whose hearts moved them to do the work of creating and constructing that awesome place I gave skill and knowledge of how to execute the plan I gave Moses in all its exquisite detail. And to work they went and in nine months they erected the amazing structure that stood solid and strong and yet was entirely mobile, all parts able to connect in solidarity and yet break down individually to be carried in the journey.
And what does My apostle Peter who was building My church tell you about those whose hearts have moved them to take My Son as Lord? “And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:4. And My apostle Paul was on the same building project, that is, the Church, the Body of Christ, “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:19-22.
Let us look back again to Babylon captivity, for you are seeing it again today, it was a building project—rebuilding My dwelling place, the Temple, My house, My tabernacle, in Jerusalem which was in ruins by the attack of the unbelieving Babylon—that brought My people back from captivity and made them a nation again. And they never worshipped idols again. They missed My visitation of the true Tabernacle, My Son, but they did not forsake the temple or the sacrifices till Rome came in and the Caesar whom they proclaimed their king over Me devastated My house of worship and praise and scattered them from their nation.
And starting with the Tabernacle of Moses in the Promised Land set up in Shiloh, I, for the first time introduce you to My Name as the LORD of Hosts. 1 Samuel 1:3. And the first person that ever prayed to Me as the LORD of Hosts prayed in that Tabernacle for a son. Her name? You know, it means “grace,” yes, Hannah. 1 Samuel 1:11. And I, the LORD of Hosts, gave her a champion baby named Samuel, who brought an erring nation where each was doing whatever he thought right in his heart, back to My Word. And Samuel anointed David as king and David raised up the tabernacle of praise and provided the plans for and funded My house in Jerusalem. He brough the Ark of the Covenant back and gave My presence the honor of 24/7 songs of praise.
And after My people left Me again for strange gods, it all started with Solomon, and I finally no longer had them under the cherubim wings of the Ark, My house was burned and torn down. And all looked lost, but it was not. The stump of Jesse was going to bring forth the branch of whom I, as LORD of Hosts, spoke about to Haggai, Zechariah, Zerubbabel, and Joshua, the High Priest. Zechariah 3:6-10. “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts. ‘What are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become a plain; and he will bring forth the cap stone with shouts of “Grace, grace to it! The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house, and his hands will finish it. Then you will know that the LORD of Hosts has sent me to you. For who has despised the day of small things?” Zechariah 4:6-10.
And what did I tell them to do when they came back from exile, to build My tabernacle! “Who is left among you who saw this temple in its former glory? And how do you see it now? Does it not seem to you like nothing in comparison? But now take courage, Zerubbabel,’ declares the LORD, ‘take courage also, Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and all you people of the land take courage,’ declares the LORD, ‘and work; for I am with you,’ declares the LORD of Hosts. ‘As for the promise which I made you when you came out of Egypt, My Spirit is abiding in your midst; do not fear!’ For thus says the LORD of Hosts, ‘Once more in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land. I will shake all the nations; and they will come with the wealth of all nations, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the LORD of Hosts. ‘The silver is Mine and the gold is Mine,’ declares the LORD of Hosts. ‘The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former,’ says the LORD of Hosts, ‘and in this place I will give peace,’ declares the LORD of Hosts.” Haggai 2:3-9. When I come as LORD of Hosts guess who I am sending to provide all you need? Yes, the angelic hosts. The same that I sent ahead of Joshua when he entered the Promised Land to take down the enemy and give the kingdom territory. Joshua 5:13-15. And they did a good job, beginning with the walls of Jericho.
But back to the captives coming out of Babylon. How did they get back to Jerusalem? By a building project that was in My heart always, to tabernacle with My people, and I, as the LORD of Hosts, turned the hearts of their captors to Zion. And My Host brought the funds and turned the hearts of the people to rebuild My house in Jerusalem, even pagan kings who had held them captive decreed to pay for the rebuilding of My house. And the later glory, I told them, would be greater than the former, because I the LORD of Hosts would shake the nations and all the contributions would come again, the gold and the silver, from willing hearts and nations as it did when I first had Moses raise an offering from the hearts who were willing to share with Me the riches I had freely given them when they left Egypt.
But I am jumping ahead. Look again, what was it that freed them from the captivity of Babylon? This is important for you to know today because the spirit of Babylon, of harlotry and lust, riches and ill-gotten gain, has taken hold again in the nations. How can you release My people? How can they shake off the chains and rise up from the dust of the devil?
Do you remember Cyrus? Before the Persians took over Babylon, before anyone had even heard of a Cyrus, I told My prophet Isaiah, “It is I who says of Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd! and he will perform all My desire and he declares of Jerusalem, ‘She will be built,’ and of the temple, ‘you will be founded.’” Isaiah 44:28. And so it came to pass, after seventy years of singing the songs of Zion in a foreign land, this is what happened, and I want you to note, nothing is too wonderful for Me, you may be captive in the ruins of your life but take heart and listen, “Those who had escaped from the sword Nebuchadnezzar carried away to Babylon; and they were servants to him and to his sons until the rule of the kingdom of Persia, to fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed its sabbaths. All the days of its desolation it kept sabbath until seventy years were complete. Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia—in order to fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah—the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he sent a proclamation throughout his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying, “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, ‘The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and He has appointed me to build Him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever there is among you of all His people, may the LORD his God be with him, and let him go up!’” 2 Chronicles 36:20-23. Thus the building project began. And it went through a few pagan kings but they all kept finding that decree and funding the project to build Me a house in Jerusalem so that the sacrifice of the burnt offering morning and evening of the unblemished lamb could again be offered on the bronze altar.
And if you read the book of Ezra, you will find the first thing they did when the exiles returned was offer the burnt offering on a temporary altar every day, morning and evening, Ezra 3:2-3, 6, celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles, Ezra 2:4, and institute again the instruments and continual praise prescribed by David. Ezra 3:10-11. And they shouted so loud the shout was heard miles away. Ezra 3:13.
And this is what released the people from the captivity of Babylon. But not everyone went. Cyrus made it clear if you preferred to remain in Babylon you did not have to go. So only those went whose hearts were moved to join in the work. Ezra 1:5 “Then the heads of fathers’ households of Judah and Benjamin and the priests and the Levites arose, even everyone whose spirit God had stirred to go up and rebuild the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem. All those about them encouraged them with articles of silver, with gold, with goods, with cattle and with valuables, aside from all that was given as a freewill offering.” Ezra 1:5-6. Sound familiar? I had a building project to fund and My people, having been captive as slaves did not have the funds. But I made sure they did. And later they started using them to build their own houses instead of Mine, but My Holy Spirit and the angelic Host stirred up Haggai to set them back on course. Don’t lose focus when I fund the project.
So, the first redemption of My people from slavery was for a building project, the Tabernacle of Moses in the Wilderness, the second redemption of My people from slavery was for a building project, the rebuilding of My fallen Tabernacle in Jerusalem, and the third one will again be to redeem those whose hearts are willing from slavery to sin and death to be reborn again in Jesus by My Word, from the slavery of Babylon to the freedom of the children of Zion on high. And that Tabernacle is the one you build neither in Jerusalem or any particular city, it is the rebuilding of the fallen tabernacle of David, the Tabernacle of worship in Spirit and in truth of the worshippers I seek, it is the convocations (assemblies) of the heavenly Zion throughout the world wherever believers join in the songs of Zion. And you, if your heart is moved to join by My Spirit in you and among you, can join in the building project. And I am shaking the nations to fund it. And it is to that tabernacle, His glorious Church, that Christ will come back for in His second coming.
I love you. Are you beginning to see how to bring the people of your day out of captivity to the system of Babylon? It is time for a building project, it is time to rebuild the fallen hut (sukkah, tabernacle, tent) of David and raise the Tabernacle of Praise. And the first feast to celebrate? My Presence among you, the Feast of Tabernacles. For I am the LORD of Hosts and I am shaking the nations, and the later glory of the Church will be greater than the former. “And in this place I will give shalom peace” declares the LORD of Hosts.” Haggai 2:3-9. Won’t you call a holy convocation of Zion? Let the knowledge of My glory cover the earth as the waters cover the sea.
It always goes back to the Tabernacle and that is the way it will end time too. Revelation 21:2-5.
And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost.” Revelation 21:2-6.