Music in the New Testament Church

2. The Tabernacle of David and church music

The development of liturgies

During the Dark Ages an absence of a vital experience of the Holy Spirit led men to write down liturgies that would prescribe the form of worship. Many of these were Word of God based and appear quite sound doctrinally. Their weakness is the restriction on the Holy Spirit in not allowing Him to move in and through a body of believers, who in their rightly related ministry, need His inspiration to be expressed through them. There is no place in liturgy for the individual expression of heartfelt praise and worship unto God. Constant repetition of a form will not maintain the life that initiated it. The church in this day looks towards a new and invigorated form of worship which was exemplified in the Tabernacle of David.

Rebuilding the Tabernacle of David

When the early church leaders met in Jerusalem to settle matters concerning the Jews (Acts14) many had different opinions. Finally James, being inspired by the Spirit turned to the prophecy of Amos and by revelation settled the matter. The prophecy of Amos was recalled and applied to the church. The New Testament Church becomes the rebuilt Tabernacle of David.

(Acts 15:15-17 NIV) The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written: [16] “‘After this I will return and rebuild David’s fallen tent. Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will restore it, [17] that the remnant of men may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who bear my name, says the Lord, who does these things’
(Amos 9:11-12 NIV) “In that day I will restore David’s fallen tent. I will repair its broken places, restore its ruins, and build it as it used to be, [12] so that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations that bear my name, ” declares the LORD, who will do these things.

A change in the manner of worship

As the restored Tabernacle (tent) the Church may draw many guidelines from the original forms of worship set up by David. The original tent was dedicated by the offering up of animal sacrifices but from then on only spiritual sacrifices were offered.

Similarly the Church also is founded on the once-for-all sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ.

After his sacrifice the church may offer up only spiritual sacrifices.

In the church all believers, as priests unto God are able to enter into God’s presence and make spiritual offerings. As with the Tabernacle of David there is no veil over the Ark and no “priesthood” between believer and God..

We are not called to Mt Sinai, the place of the Tabernacle of Moses, but to Mt. Zion where David’s Tabernacle was erected.

Here the people worshipped the Lord in a new and more joyous way.

  1. Singers with singing (1 Chron 15:16)
  2. Instruments and Music. ( 1Chron. 23:5)
  3. Recording (1 Chron 16:4)
  4. Sacrifice of thanksgiving (1 Chron 16:4)
  5. Sacrifice of Praise. (1 Chron 16:4,36)
  6. Clap Offering. (Psalm 47:1)
  7. Shouts of Praise. (1 Chron. 15:28)
  8. Lifting of Hands (Psalm 134)
  9. Rejoicing and joy (1 Chron 16:10,27)
  10. Dancing before the Lord. (1 Chron. 16:29)
  11. Psalm Singing (1 Chron 16:7)
  12. Amen in blessing (1 Chron 16:36)
  13. All were as priests

(Heb 12:22 NIV) But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly,

For those who are called to enter into the ministry of music a careful reading of all that pertains to the Tabernacle of David is a basic study. To have King David as a mentor in music is to choose a sound pathway and an inspired source for guidance.