Spirit-Filled Evangelist: Our Calling to Be 'The Children of Zion'

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"Let Israel rejoice in its Maker; let the children of Zion be joyful in their King" (Ps. 149:2, MEV).

In the beginning, Zion was a ridge in southeast Jerusalem where David's tabernacle was erected for the ark of the covenant after its return from Philistine captivity (see 1 Chronicles 15-16). On top of Mount Zion, something very profound and prophetic transpired, because a grand departure from the archaic order of Moses unfolded. David, by divine revelation, instituted a fresh approach to the worship of God:

  • The ark in full view — Instead of the ark being hidden behind a veil, to be seen only one day a year by the high priest (on the Day of Atonement), apparently it was placed in the full view of all the priests who ministered daily before the Lord and the people who came to adore the God of Abraham. The Shekinah glory of God must have radiated from between the cherubim on the mercy seat, the lid of that sacred golden container in which could be found the handwriting of God on tablets of stone. We can only imagine the awe-inspiring, supernatural intensity that pervaded the atmosphere on that holy hill.
  • Spiritual worship — At its dedication, animal sacrifices were offered up, consecrating David's tabernacle but never again afterward. Instead of that morbid daily reminder of the curse of death that follows sin (the normal pattern at Moses's Tabernacle), the priests gathered 24/7 to offer "spiritual sacrifices" — sacrifices of thanksgiving, praise, joy and righteousness — shouting, singing, clapping hands, dancing before the Lord and playing the "instruments of God" (1 Pet. 2:5, 1 Chron. 16:42, KJV). Little did they know that this was all a prophetic picture of what would eventually become the "new normal" after the death, resurrection and ascension of the Messiah — with the entrance of the New Covenant in the upper room. The prophet Amos foretold this truth and the first apostolic council confirmed it (see Amos 9:11, Acts 15:16).
  • The throne of the king — David also erected a second tabernacle on Mount Zion housing his throne. Petitioners came to him there to present their cases and receive the king's just decrees. This was a prophetic picture of how sons and daughters of God, in the New Covenant, are invited to "come boldly to the throne of grace" where God provides His solutions to our dilemmas (Heb. 4:16, NKJV).

The word "Zion" means fortress, so when worshipers came to mount Zion in David's day, they came to a fortress of truth in a world full of deception, a fortress of faith in a world full of unbelief — where they witnessed the radiance of God's glory. They also came near the throne of the king to receive his righteous decrees. What a fitting symbol for the New Covenant "children of Zion." In this era, "Zion" has evolved to mean a glorious, heavenly realm; the high place of worship that all of God's people ascend to worldwide — a place where we approach the throne of the King of kings, where He provides solutions to the problems we face in this world.

In contrasting the Old and New Covenants, the writer of Hebrews alluded to this spiritual reality by comparing the visitation at Mount Sinai (where the law was given) to what happened on Mount Zion (where a heaven-on-earth celebration took place). To the believers of this New Testament era, he insisted:

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"You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and storm, and to the sound of a trumpet and to a voice speaking words, such that those who heard them begged that the word not be spoken to them anymore . . . But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels; to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, who are enrolled in heaven; to God, the Judge of all; and to the spirits of the righteous ones made perfect; and to Jesus, the Mediator of a new covenant; and to the sprinkled blood that speaks better than that of Abel" (Heb. 12:18-19, 22-24, MEV).

When we experienced the "new birth," in a spiritual sense, we became "children of Zion" on a much higher, spiritual level — citizens of a heavenly city, blessed to experience a taste of heaven while walking on earth (see Psalm 87:5-6). We did not find wholeness by coming to the Law. We found grace, forgiveness and restoration by approaching the throne of the great King, heaven's Mediator, who pardoned us and brought us into His family.

Now the children of God can live on the slopes of this spiritual mountain every day, constantly communing with Him. It's not about rules and regulations. It's not about religion. It's about relationship. It's about transformation. We are all considered "firstborn sons" basking in the glorious love of our heavenly Father, enjoying the privileges of a "better covenant . . . established on better promises" (Heb. 8:6).

We rejoice in this portion of our inheritance but we are also looking forward to the era when Zion will be the hub of the government of God universally and His kingdom will fully manifest throughout a new creation to come. In that phenomenal age, more than ever before:

"Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God will shine forth" (Ps. 50:2, NKJV).

A product of the Jesus Movement era, Mike Shreve has traveled evangelistically in the United States and overseas since 1970 with an emphasis on healing and the prophetic. His primary biblical teaching for over 35 years has been the spiritual identity of believers. This powerful insight is featured on his weekly podcast on cpnshows.com and his TV program — both titled "Discover Your Spiritual Identity." It is also the theme of his Charisma House book titled WHO AM I? Dynamic Declarations of Who You Are in Christ. The first three categories on his YouTube website expand on this amazing revelation: YouTube.com/mikeshreveministries. Subscribe to Mike Shreve's podcast called "Discover Your Spiritual Identity."

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