Message Notes1). Ps 27:6 And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me; Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the LORD.
a). We had seen in our study last week that song and music within scripture are directly connected to the realization of the plans and purposes of God, whether purposes accomplished in the past or purposes that remain yet future all with regards to the coming 7th Day. And are used to give both praise and thanksgiving in response to the revelation of these purposes.
b). We saw that song then could express both praise and thanksgiving ? and that both of these are imperatives for us.
c). This is expressed with regards to praise through the Hebrew word, ?halalujah?, which literally means, ?all of you must praise God? - Ps 111:1 ? Praise the LORD![halalujah] I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, In the assembly of the upright and in the congregation.
d). And with regards to thanksgiving we see this in - 1Th 5:18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
e). And so we were able to conclude last week that songs of praise and thanksgiving are not optional for us but rather, could and should, be a part of our corporate service time on a Sunday morning.
2). The words themselves that we find translated praise and thanksgiving revealed what would be involved in the giving of praise and thanksgiving ?
i/ ?todaw? ? an extension of the hand
ii/ ?zamar? ? to strike or touch the parts of a musical instrument
iii/ ?halal? ? to be clamorously foolish
iv/ ?shabach? ? in a loud tone
v/ ?tehillah? ? a hymn of praise
vi/ ?epainos? ? praise for what God does and for who He is
vii/ ?yadah? ? to hold out the hand
viii/ ?eucharisteo? ? to express gratitude
ix/ ?towdah? ? sacrifice of praise
3). We came to see that praise, and even thanksgiving for that matter, would become a sacrifice for us just as we find in - Heb 13:14 For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come. 15 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.
a). It is a sacrifice because it is not dependent upon our circumstances, our feelings, or our mental condition, but on our faithful obedience to the commands of God as we recognize and remember all that He has done for us and made possible for us as we make the journey from spiritual immaturity to spiritual maturity.
b). Our praise and thanksgiving in a corporate setting is not about our horizontal relationship with those around us ? what is everyone else doing? ? Nor about our comfort level or talent - Rather it is about our vertical relationship with God ? what would be the scriptural way for me to respond to all, that God has done for me?
c). To praise and give thanks audibly, even loudly, accompanied by the raising of our hands will probably require the death of our flesh ? but this would really be no different to dealing with our flesh in any other area of our life.
d). And the giving of praise and thanksgiving after this fashion will inevitably engage our emotions ? and this is perfectly OK.
e). We will remember last week that we saw Jesus rejoicing in the spirit and that the sons of God shouted for joy.
4). Now this week we need to add another dimension to praise and thanksgiving.
a). As we think about our corporate gathering on a Sunday, we will remember that scripture gives us a command to gather together and a stated purpose for doing so - Heb 10:24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
b). And so we see that we are to gather together for the purpose of stirring up love and good works and for exhorting one another ? and the stirring up and exhorting should happen so much more as we see the Day approaching.
i/ Stir up = Greek ? paroxusmos ? which comes from the word ? paroxuno = to sharpen alongside.
ii/ Exhort = Greek ? parakaleo = from 3844 and 2564; to call near, i.e. invite, invoke (by imploration, hortation or consolation):--beseech, call for, (be of good) comfort, desire, (give) exhort(-ation), intreat, pray.
c). In this scripture then we can see that our corporate gathering is a time when we will encourage one another with regards to the race of the faith. We will encourage one another to continue to run, not to turn away, not to become complacent. We will encourage one another to love, according to 1 Corinthians 13, and to continue to produce good works ? works that are done through the death of the flesh. And not wanting to be redundant, this is something we do for each other.
d). And we can see clearly here that we have a corporate responsibility in this to one another. Perhaps we can see in this that our service time is not an occasion whereby we come just to be a recipient, but rather an occasion whereby we are an active participant.
5). And of course as we look at this it would be impossible to separate these actions in Hebrews 10 from our purpose to grow to maturity found in ?
Eph 4:11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head--Christ-- 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
a). V16 here gives us commentary on our Hebrews 10 scripture and vice versa.
b). Heb 6:1 ? Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3 And this we will do if God permits.
c). Now given the nature of our praise and thanksgiving with its focus on the King and His coming Kingdom and our going on to perfection we can see how both praise and thanksgiving could help us in our stirring up and exhortation of one another.
d). There is however something more that we need to add to these two.
e). And in order to do this we need to look at two interrelated scriptures.
f). The first is - Eph 5:18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,
20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
g). And the second is a companion scripture to Ephesians from ?
Col 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
6). Now we have noted in past studies that being filled with the Spirit and letting the word of Christ dwell in us richly in all wisdom are one and the same thing.
a). So we are therefore looking at the word of the Kingdom, that surrounding the Christ, the Son of the living God, and His purposes for the 7th Day.
b). This is the ?all truth? that the Holy Spirit alone guides us into and is only ever brought forth from above as a result of our proper engagement with the written word ? this is the only process by which we are continually filled with the Spirit.
c). In our Ephesians 5 scripture we see that as a consequence of being continually filled with the Spirit we are to speak to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.
i/ Psalms ? Greek ? psalmos = from 5567; a set piece of music, i.e. a sacred ode (accompanied with the voice, harp or other instrument; a "psalm"); collectively, the book of the Psalms:--psalm. Compare 5603.
ii/ Hymns = Greek ? humnos = apparently from a simpler (obsolete) form of hudeo (to celebrate; probably akin to 103; compare 5667); a "hymn" or religious ode (one of the Psalms):--hymn.
iii/ The spiritual part of ?spiritual songs? probably needs little explanation ? we are obviously dealing with things apart from the carnal and given the context of being continually filled with the Spirit, the spiritual song would have to be that directly connected to the word of Christ ? it would be a song in direct alignment with the scriptures, or the singing of the scriptures themselves, which are themselves Spirit ? Joh 6:63 "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.
iv/ Song = Greek ? ode = from 103; a chant or "ode" (the general term for any words sung; while 5215 denotes especially a religious metrical composition, and 5568 still more specially, a Hebrew cantillation):--song.
v/ All three of these words are interrelated, and all have to do with singing accompanied by music.
7). Our Colossians scripture then adds something more to that found in Ephesians - teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
a). We have here teaching and admonishing.
i/ Teaching = Greek ? didasko = a prolonged (causative) form of a primary verb dao (to learn); to teach (in the same broad application):--teach.
ii/ Admonishing = Greek - noutheteo = from the same as 3559; to put in mind, i.e. (by implication) to caution or reprove gently:--admonish, warn.
b). And so as a result of being continually filled with the Spirit we are to sing to one another within our corporate setting in order that teaching can take place and also to sing to one another so as to gently reprove, to warn one another. And all of course with a view to the Kingdom. And both of these, as with praise and thanksgiving are imperatives for us.
c). And inevitably in order to teach or to warn one another whatever we sing must be in correct alignment with scripture.
d). Just as our praise and thanksgiving have their focus on the outworking of God?s plans and purposes for the Millennial Kingdom, so must our songs of teaching and admonition ? and both these aspects of song are in accord with the stated purpose for our gathering ourselves together as seen in Hebrews 10.
8). We can then see from a scriptural standpoint that our time of song on a Sunday morning will of necessity have to have two dimensions ? one whereby we can offer our praise and thanksgiving and the other involving teaching and admonition. Both dimensions will though have as their focus the coming Kingdom of Christ and the promises with regards to ourselves with respect to that Kingdom.
a). And within the second of these two our songs must be able to teach, probably by reinforcement, the truth we presently posses or is presently being taught and to challenge us to continue in a life of faithful obedience ?
Ec 7:5 It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise Than for a man to hear the song of fools.
b). Then as we accomplish the praise and thanksgiving and the teaching and admonition in faithful obedience to what scripture teaches about them, then our time of song does indeed become an act of worship. And we would be worshiping in spirit and truth. Which is exactly what God is looking for - Joh 4:23 "But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.
9). I think we will also begin to realize that our service on a Sunday morning should not to be divided into separate, seemingly individual parts ? this is the prayer, this is the singing, this is the message, but is rather to be an holistic experience with all we do working together in unity of purpose and spirit. It may well be that the songs we sing will need to directly reflect that which is being taught so that the whole fits together. And it may be that the songs could be interspersed within the message, certainly those that deal with teaching and admonishing, rather than being separate from it. These are all things for us to think about and pray about.
a). Not only this, but also that our Sunday service is not something we attend as an observer, but something we attend as an active participant with each of us having a significant role to play ? in this sense we should not see our attendance at our corporate gathering as optional, or of little consequence but of paramount importance for the sake of our brothers and sisters. It does matter for their sakes whether we are here or not ? Joh 15:13 "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.
Heb 6:10 For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
b). This may be a large jump for us to make in our thinking at this moment, but let?s at least allow for the possibility that your presence here on a Sunday morning is no less important than mine - Ro 15:14 ? Now I myself am confident concerning you, my brethren, that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.
10). Now having realized the necessity for our songs to be in alignment with scripture we will also realize that this places a responsibility on those who choose the songs for Sunday morning to make sure that each song is scripturally correct.
a). If we would not accept a message that was not scripturally correct then we should not accept a song either. And we should realize that as most contemporary songs come out of the Laodecian church at the end of this dispensation, songs which are the consequence of the leaven placed in the three measures of meal, corrupting the prophetic word, we would need to give these songs close scrutiny.
b). We can no longer sing songs just because we like them, they have to fit within scriptural criteria and if we can?t find songs to do that then we have to write them.
c). You know, it would be better not to sing at all than to sing that which is not truth.
11). For years I have loved the song, ?These Are the Days of Elijah? ? it?s great to sing and I really enjoy the drum part ? but the reality is, this song is just plain wrong scripturally.
a). The scripture says - Mal 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: 6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
b). And the truth of what is stated in Malachi is confirmed by the Lord as recorded in - Mt 17:11 Jesus answered and said to them, "Indeed, Elijah is coming first and will restore all things.
c). Both of our scriptures speak prophetically of an event that is to be witnessed exclusively by Israel in connection with events during the Time of Jacob?s Trouble.
d). These are not those days, nor is the church or anyone in the church to be seen in any way connected with this prophecy. Christians are not the voice in the desert crying, ?prepare ye the way of the Lord?. Most have a complete misunderstanding of the way of the Lord anyway.
e). Nor are these the days of Ezekiel - Eze 37:4 Again He said to me, "Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, 'O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD!
f). Again we are dealing with events that involve Israel alone in relation to the nation?s restoration at the conclusion of the tribulation ? the dry bones did not start coming together in 1948, nor are they coming together even now ? nor can this scripture be used in respect of the church, even though most of the church, with regards to its engagement with the word of the Kingdom is dead and dry.
g). Nor are these the days of David - Am 9:11 ? "On that day I will raise up The tabernacle of David, which has fallen down, And repair its damages; I will raise up its ruins, And rebuild it as in the days of old;
h). On what ?day? will this happen? And who does the scripture relate to?
i). The church is not and cannot rebuild the tabernacle of David ? such a notion is scripturally ridiculous.
j). As for the days of Moses with righteousness being restored, I have not been able to locate where that has come from ? but two things we can know for certain ? these are not the days of Moses and righteousness, faithful obedience with regards to receiving an inheritance in the land of promise is not being restored ? neither with regards to Israel and the earthly portion of the Kingdom, or with regards to the church at large and the heavenly portion of the Kingdom.
k). Mr 13:26 "Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.
l). Although it is a scriptural fact that we shall at the resurrection/rapture meet Him in the clouds, this is something we shall neither see or be aware of until it happens.
m). And the year of Jubilee is again something that pertains to Israel alone ? there is no year of Jubilee for the church.
n). As sad as it is for those of us who like this song, it is pretty obvious that we cannot ever sing that song again.
o). If we were to rewrite the words or write different words to the same music that would be OK ? but we wouldn?t be singing the days of Elijah any more.
12). Do we need to be this careful in the scrutiny of the songs we sing? Yes, we do as songs seem to stick in our heads so easily and we can?t have the incorrect words of a song filling our thinking in the place of the truth of scripture.
a). ?When we all get to heaven??..? I am sure we don?t need to go there, but you get the idea.
13). And so then as we conclude this message for this morning it should be clear to us what the purpose of music and singing is within our context here on a Sunday morning.
a). We need to sing songs of praise and thanksgiving as giving praise and thanks is an imperative within scripture, and we need to sing songs that give praise and thanks rather than songs that talk about giving it.
b). We need to sing songs that will continue to teach us the truth of scripture and songs that will challenge us through rebuke and warning as these also are an imperative within scripture.
c). And the singing of songs after this fashion is a significant part of the ministry we have to one another for the edifying of the body.
d). We will have to search the hymn books of old as well as the contemporary song books in search of scriptural truth, and we will I think of necessity have to write our own songs from the scriptures to address most particularly where we are in our journey.
e). The style of the music and the catchiness of the tune really are secondary to the words.
f). All that we have looked at in the last two weeks will no doubt be a challenge to us, but we might rejoice that this is the time when we can, with the right heart and mind, embrace those challenges with an air of excitement.