Proverbs 29:18 reads, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” This proverb is relevant in many ways—to individuals, families, organizations and nations. It also applies spiritually to God’s Church and its young people.
From time to time, people leave this Church. Of those who have left since the new revelation about the new throne of David—some of the most amazing truth this Church has ever been given—I believe the main reason they left was a lack of vision. In some cases it is painful to see how little vision they have.
We all must battle to have vision! We need vision if we are to let God reveal new truth to us, and if we are to survive and thrive spiritually and even physically.
King David set a great example of building vision. Let’s study his example and draw some practical lessons.
The Vision of God’s Throne
In ancient Israel, the ark of the covenant was a replica of where God dwells, between the cherubim. How impressive!
God gave clear, detailed instructions on how to build this ark (Exodus 25:10-22). It was covered inside and out in pure gold. This is the throne of God—this is from where God spoke to Israel. The vision begins here: You must know, understand and honor God. If you do, He will help you have a gold standard in all you do.
Gold is the most precious metal on Earth. God uses gold to help us see how precious new revelation is.
We try to do everything we possibly can on the highest level because this is God’s Work! God likens the new revelation He gives us to golden oil that flows through golden pipes (Zechariah 4:11-12). He is trying to teach us how important the throne, and what emanates from it, really is. What amazing new revelation God has given us! It’s far more precious than gold!
God not only gave detailed instructions on constructing the ark, but also on moving it. He commanded the Israelites to “make staves [poles] of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold. And thou shalt put the staves into the rings by the sides of the ark, that the ark may be borne with them. The staves shall be in the rings of the ark: they shall not be taken from it” (Exodus 25:13-15). The ark was to be carried by these poles, borne on the shoulders of the sons of Kohath in the tribe of Levi (Numbers 7:1-9). God was clear that only the sons of Aaron could touch the ark, and that if anyone else did so, he would be struck dead (Numbers 4:15). God was emphasizing the care and meticulousness needed when dealing with His throne!
The Israelites lost the ark during the days of Samuel (1 Samuel 4-6). After becoming king, David determined to retrieve it and bring it to Jerusalem. This was a good desire, but he was careless in how he did it. Rather than transporting it by poles, he put it on a cart and had it pulled by oxen, led not by Levites but men from the tribe of Judah (2 Samuel 6). God’s Word is plain. The instruction is clear. Yet everything was being done incorrectly because David hadn’t consulted God’s Word. He consulted with the people (1 Chronicles 13:2-4), but not with God.
What a terrible mistake! We must consult God! This is God’s Church—we cannot do things our own way. We must do it God’s way. If we don’t follow the Bible, everything falls apart.
What David did ended in disaster. When the oxen drawing the cart stumbled, the ark shifted, and Uzzah tried to steady it by touching it. “And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God” (2 Samuel 6:7).
Thirty thousand Israelites were involved in this, and everyone knew what a horrible mistake David had made. It was a very humbling experience for him. Through this heavy correction, God was teaching David one of the most important lessons of his life.
We must receive this lesson today. God is trying to show us that we must look to His throne! To get anything right in your life, you must get this right with God. You have to understand that God has rules. Nobody can become a member of His Family who doesn’t think like He does!
In the United States, Britain and Judah—and all the other Israelite nations—you see horrible things taking place. These peoples have forsaken God, and God is going to punish them—far worse than He did David! He has to correct them to turn them around.
David learned. Almost immediately afterward, he displayed one of the most beautiful attitudes in the Bible. He then consulted God and the Bible and brought the ark back to Jerusalem the right way.
Correction Leads to Vision
Once the ark was in Jerusalem, David pondered: How is it that I live in a beautiful palace, while God’s ark is in a tent? (2 Samuel 7:1-2). He decided that the ark—which represented God’s throne in the northern heavens, from where He speaks to His people—should reside in a more appropriate structure, so people would pay proper respect to God. He decided that he wanted to build God a temple, where priests and Levites would at all times point people to God.
This showed a marvelous attitude. What respect and obedience we should give God’s throne! If we don’t earnestly want to obey God, we will never have vision.
God loved David’s desire. Nevertheless, He told David that his son Solomon would build the temple: “And it shall come to pass, when thy days be expired that thou must go to be with thy fathers, that I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons; and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build me an house, and I will stablish his throne for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son: and I will not take my mercy away from him, as I took it from him that was before thee” (1 Chronicles 17:11-13).
David had a wonderful attitude. He had been corrected, and he accepted that. “And David the king came and sat before the Lord, and said, Who am I, O Lord God, and what is mine house, that thou hast brought me hitherto? … O Lord, for thy servant’s sake, and according to thine own heart, hast thou done all this greatness, in making known all these great things. O Lord, there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears” (verses 16, 19-20). David was awed that he could even prepare to build the temple—and he prepared with all his might!
Here is an important lesson for us today: We must accept correction and go after it with all our might as David did, or we won’t build the vision we need. We should be asking, as he did, Who am I to be part of God’s Work and God’s Church? Who am I to be at God’s summer camp? Who am I to receive this most honorable calling?
God loved David! Yet where would things have gone if God hadn’t corrected him? David needed that chastening. He saw shortly after the incident with Uzzah how badly he needed it. David saw his mistakes and was horrified by what he had done. Then he recognized that God’s ark needed to be in the most beautiful building on Earth so God would receive proper honor and respect.
I believe the Uzzah lesson was one of the greatest lessons David ever learned because after that, he really took a leap in his vision.
If you’re going to have vision, you need correction!
After repenting, David did things with all his might! When he danced, he danced with his might. When he organized or raised money or made plans, he was wholehearted for God. When God gave him correction, He accepted it and applied it with all his might!
2 Samuel 6 details the incident with Uzzah—and the very next chapter records a tremendous contrast: David wants to build the temple, and God prophesies about David’s throne! “And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever” (2 Samuel 7:12-13). This throne of David is going to be forever!
God was exalting David here because he took that correction. He realized he didn’t have the understanding about God that he needed, and he repented and changed. He was a master at repenting. God saw him repent with all his might and loved that!
2 Samuel 6 and 7 show the tremendous difference in David’s vision. He took a leap forward because he listened to God and made changes. He began to have his vision lifted far beyond what it had been before.
Realize that we all need that Uzzah correction. We all make foolish mistakes, even serious mistakes at times. But if we repent with all our might—like David did—then God loves that. And as with David, He will give us more and more of His vision. He has to correct us to get us ready to rule in the World Tomorrow over the entire universe forever!
The Family Vision
God then said this about Solomon: “I will be his father, and he shall be my son” (2 Samuel 7:14). It’s important to understand that you are God’s Family and will be in that Family forever! God looks at us as His sons and daughters, and looks after us as only a father with His love could.
The Apostle Paul quoted this passage in Hebrews 1: “For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?” (verse 5). Paul marveled at this history and this wonderful truth.
Never lose this family vision! You young people really do have a Father who loves you as no human being ever could!
In 1979, we had a real crisis in the Church, and it seemed everything was falling apart. Mr. Armstrong decided to bring every minister to a ministerial conference at headquarters.
I remember in that meeting, Mr. Armstrong kept hammering over and over and over “the good news of the coming Family of God”! He used that expression almost every time instead of “gospel”—but that is the gospel! When you think about the gospel, think about the Family of God!
Mr. Armstrong spent all that time and money bringing all those ministers in—yet sadly, almost none of them really comprehended what he was talking about! Nearly every minister in that room had lost this vision. That is a terrible example of how easily this vision can get away! It was something so simple, but in the end, Mr. Armstrong could not reach them. Ninety-nine percent of the ministers, and 95 percent of the people, turned away from God.
Listening to him talk about the Family of God over and over, I learned more deeply what that vision is about. What a blessing it is to see that vision and to be part of the Family of God!
God is preparing us for something far beyond this world. He was preparing David to rule over Israel forever.
I want to encourage you to study and really understand The New Throne of David. It will help you build vision. It will teach you about the new stone of destiny. It explains the double wonder described in Habakkuk 1:5: the new throne and Mystery of the Ages. It shows how Satan attacks David’s throne—and gives you the vision to see beyond your problems, so you can conquer them! It reveals new truth about Jeremiah’s commission, the connection between Chronicles and Ezra-Nehemiah, and the preparations that are being made right now to crown the King of kings when He assumes this throne of David! Every chapter of this book teaches a lot about vision. This is truth that ought to inspire us every day of our lives!
Set Your Affection
Though David wasn’t allowed to build the temple, he was able to prepare all the materials needed for Solomon to build it. So he went about that job with all his might!
“Now I have prepared with all my might for the house of my God,” David said, “the gold for things to be made of gold, and the silver for things of silver, and the brass for things of brass, the iron for things of iron, and wood for things of wood; onyx stones, and stones to be set, glistering stones, and of divers colours, and all manner of precious stones, and marble stones in abundance” (1 Chronicles 29:2).
That is what it takes to achieve the way David did. If we’re going to do this Work with God, let’s do it with all our might!
“Moreover, because I have set my affection to the house of my God, I have of mine own proper good [personal treasures], of gold and silver, which I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house” (verse 3). David really set his affection on God. Do what David did here before God, and you will have all kinds of treasures. It will give you joy and happiness and excitement! It will fill your life with the right kind of thinking and abundance of all kinds.
“Then the chief of the fathers and princes of the tribes of Israel and the captains of thousands and of hundreds, with the rulers of the king’s work, offered willingly” (verse 6). They were giving offerings and bringing substantial wealth to David for Solomon to use in building God’s temple. It was a building for the ark of God, and these people followed David’s example and eagerly gave the way David did.
We were able to participate in a similar project in building Armstrong Auditorium. That edifice is God’s house. It was built for God from the generous offerings of God’s people. That is so beautiful and precious.
“Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the Lord: and David the king also rejoiced with great joy. Wherefore David blessed the Lord before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed be thou, Lord God of Israel our father, for ever and ever. Thine, O Lord is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all” (verses 9-11).
Though David wasn’t permitted to build the temple, he had a spectacular attitude. He thought, This is what God wants, and this is what I want. That is an example of beauty of holiness that is hard to even understand in one study session.
David continued, “Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all” (verse 12). God will give us strength. He wants you to develop your talents and do great things! And you will, if you stick with God and cling to His wonderful truth.
David then concluded: “But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee” (verse 14). He was deeply thankful that he could give to and be part of God’s Work! After all, what he gave already belonged to God.
To ask such a question—“Who am I that I can give offerings to this wonderful Work?”—takes tremendous vision! David had a sweeping perspective on the opportunity God had given him!
Who are we to be in God’s Church and learn these wonderful truths?
Jesus Christ is about to take over His throne—the very throne God has given this Church today—and offer salvation to all men who have ever lived. Then the plan of God will expand even further from there.
Herbert W. Armstrong used the Scriptures to explain it in the conclusion of Mystery of the Ages—how God the Father is going to come to Earth, the throne will be handed over to Him, and then His throne will rule over the whole universe. Read it—it is likely the most powerful conclusion you will ever read!
After talking about this vision, Mr. Armstrong wrote: “Praise, honor and glory be to God and to Jesus Christ forever and forever. With God’s great master plan of seven thousand years finally completed—the mystery of the ages finally revealed, and with the re-creating of the vast universe and eternity lying ahead, we come finally to … the beginning.”
We are about to go out and begin to repair the damage Satan inflicted on the universe, and then make it blossom like a rose. We will be re-creating the vast universe! That plan is only possible with the Family of God. That’s what Paul was talking about in Hebrews 1:5. That plan wouldn’t work with the angels because they couldn’t do it. But we can and we should! We will re-create and build and beautify the universe the way God wants it to be. What a vision! That is the vision we must have! And it’s all about God’s throne.
We need to understand that double wonder. You need to master The New Throne of David and Mystery of the Ages. Both of those books are filled with vision.
To have vision, you have to start by understanding who and what God is. That is where Mr. Armstrong started. God is a Family! He is not a trinity. Only a family will take on this breathtaking vision God has given us about what we are going to be doing.
If you master The New Throne of David and Mystery of the Ages and go about it with all your might the way David did, you will have vision like you’ve never had before! And always remember: Where there is no vision, the people perish.