The Sound of Music (Part Two)
Will music be used as a tool of the New Order?
by Tricia Tillin
Music is called "the universal language." A communication medium that can cross almost any geographical, ideological or racial barrier, it has a unique ability to touch the soul and arrest the heart. Music is a language of the spirit, and those who know this Ianguage and can use it effectively have BEEN ENTRUSTED WITH A POTENT WEAPON IN THE BATTLE FOR THE HEARTS OF THIS GENERATION.
Part Two: Extracts 9 to 20 plus Addendum
As we witnessed during the '60s, MUSIC CAN SHAPE THE SPIRITUAL DIRECTION OF A GENERATION. The music of the Beatles, and other groups that gained prominence in that decade, both prophesied and sustained the social upheaval of that period. I believe the decade of the '90s in many ways will be a replay of the '60s-but this time, it will be music from the Lord that captures the world's attention.
Music has been one of the great spiritual battlegrounds of this century, and the Lord is raising up a host of warriors to seize this battleground from the enemy and use it for His kingdom. HE IS ANOINTING PROPHETIC MINSTRELS WHO WILL COMMUNICATE TRUTH THAT CAN HELP SET THE COURSE FOR THIS GENERATION.
Artists and musicians often foresee and foretell the social direction of civilization. Similarly, many Christian artists and musicians have the prophetic insight to see the trends and forces shaping the course of the world. Unfortunately, Christian artists with such insight are usually constrained by the pressures within the church that so inhibit creativity. When these visionary pioneers are forced to break ranks with the status quo to explore new regions, they often find themselves being shot at more by their friends than by the enemy. Even so many Christian musicians are courageously pressing beyond such constraints and hostility to prepare the way for a great advance.
Seeking breakthroughs into new spiritual regions, Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, Ricky Skaggs and others have dared to break ranks with traditional music ministry. They may make mistakes, but making mistakes is not as deadly as refusing the Lord's command to go into the promised land.
Trying to understand these Christian artists' quest to reach the secular audience, songwriter John G. Elliott began to pray for them. In response to his prayers, he says, the Lord directed him to consider the Book of Esther. This book is unique in that God is never mentioned in it-which has caused some Jewish and Christian scholars to question whether it belongs in the Bible. Even so, the story of Esther contains a remarkable revelation of God's ways.
With that in mind, we should be careful not to condemn a song as godless just because it doesn't mention God. The Book of Esther may hold an even more important lesson for the church today. It's likely that the religious conservatives of that day judged Esther severely for becoming the queen in a heathen court. But it was all a part of God's strategy to save them. He gave Esther the wisdom to remain quiet about her faith and her heritage until the proper time - and then He enabled her to secure deliverance for her people.
I believe the Lord is placing many "Esthers" in positions of authority and visibility in numerous secular fields today who will soon use those positions to initiate a mighty victory for the church. Already millions of young people- who would otherwise be looking to Madonna or Michael Jackson-look to Christian artists such as Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith as role models. If these musicians can stand the pressure they get from both the church and the world, at the proper time they may be able to use their platform to turn multitudes to the Lord. But they would never be able to do this if they had stayed within the confines dictated by the timid.
The Lord is placing chosen vessels in strategic positions of visibility from which they will prophesy and help steer this generation toward its ultimate destiny. THIS MIGHTY ARMY OF CHRISTIAN MUSICIANS WILL BE ANOINTED WITH THE PROPHETIC POWER TO CAPTURE THE ATTENTION OF A GENERATION. But they need to be recognized as true ministers, spiritually equipped and supported by the church. A great opportunity is about to present itself to those who have the foresight and courage to recognize it.
The Prophetic Power Of Music By Rick Joyner
Charisma, August 1992
ROCK music and "happy clappy" evangelical choruses should be welcome in England's cathedrals, the General Synod agreed yesterday. In a debate about church music, most speakers insisted that there was a place for on American-style "worship songs" in even the grandest Anglican settings. The Synod went on to approve a report calling for a mixture of styles in church music. The report, "In Tune with Heaven", produced by the 15-member Archbishops' Commission on Church Music, called for a commitment to excellence. The Rt Rev Michael Baughen, the evangelical Bishop of Chester, and a composer of lively hymns, said he hoped lovers of Bach would learn to appreciate modern choruses and "soft rock". "It would be marvellous if every cathedral could develop every style - not necessarily at services but at music workshops and so on. There could be orchestral praise or rave in the nave."
"Music helps us worship God. It would be wonderful if the cathedral could lead the whole diocese in music of all styles " he said. Mr Tom Sutcliffe, a former professional counter-tenor from Southwark Diocese, who recently infuriated evangelicals by attacking "happy-clappy crap" said the report was muddled.
He reminded the Synod that any changes would have to overcome the obstacle of the traditional love-hate relationship between church musicians and their clerical employers. "If we musicians are too good, we steal the limelight," he said. "The ministers want good music, but in its secondary place." Mr Sutcliffe argued for the scrapping of plans for a working party to oversee the implementation of the report, which calls on parishes to set up committees to review their music and worship. "Parishes do not need musical bureaucrats to tell them how to do these things" he said. "Whatever happened to the principle of subsidiarity?" But an amendment he tabled removing the report's references to a working party was defeated.
THE magnificent Gothic nave of Winchester Cathedral will become a giant disco dance hall with its first "Rave in the Nave" next month. In an attempt to win young people, the diocese of Winchester is hiring a sound and light system for what is said to be "a milestone in 900 years of cathedral life". In the longest nave in the Western world, the Christian rock bands Cross Reference, Azimuth Brainstorm and Fresh Claim will mount a four-hour "rave" on April 24.
"It is not going to be anything like one of those acid parties. No drugs will be passed," said the Very Rev Trevor Beeson, Dean of Winchester. There will be no alcohol but a soft drinks-only cafe will raise funds for a "dry" bar in the city centre. The event will begin with disco fun led by the Rev Roly Bain, "a Clown Priest". The Y-sing Youth Choir from Bournemouth and Winchester's Roundabout Theatre will perform, and the evening will end with fireworks.. "I hope I will enjoy it, though I may not" said the Dean. "But that doesn't matter. The main thing is that the young people have a good time."
THIS year  Winchester Cathedral is celebrating nine centuries since it was first used on Maundy Thursday in 1093 as a place of worship. The church was founded in Winchester in 648 by King Kenwalh of Wessex. It became known as the Old Minister and was the seat of the bishops of Winchester. Under Bishop Aethelwold it was improved and in its scriptorium the monks produced Winchester's famed illuminated manuscripts. King Alfred founded the Royal Mint in the city and in 1079 Bishop Walkelin started the building of Winchester Cathedral which has the longest Gothic nave in Europe. Fourteen years later the building was dedicated to the glory of God.
This was the setting for the April 1993 event for the glory of man. The lead singer of Azimuth Brainstorm snatched a microphone from a stand in the nave and screamed, 'Let's party.' In the words of Paul Harris of the Daily Mail, 'They duly did. Several hundred teenagers jumped relentlessly up and down to the music, occasionally slam dancing -taking to the stage and diving back into a sea of arms. The searchlights carved white arcs across the architecture in a style not normally associated with Gothic. In the aisle they danced on the gravestones."
Apparently this was an attempt by part of the Church of England to show that Christianity need not be dull and that there was nothing wrong with inviting young people (at £5 each) into a place of worship for what was called a 'rave in the nave'. During the four-hour rave, when the words of the so-called Christian rock bands were nearly inaudible above the cacophony of noise called music, the east end of the cathedral was planned to be set aside for quiet prayer and reflection, with incense, candles and icons at the shrine of St Swithun, led by a monk.
It would appear that the naiveté of the dean and his clergy outweigh their doctrinal aberrations. It would be interesting to enquire in a year's time, how many of those present can remember any Christian message that may have been delivered during the event.
- SYNOD GIVES THE NOD TO ROCK MUSIC IN CATHEDRALS By Damian Thompson, Religious Affairs Correspondent, Daily Telegraph
- CATHEDRAL HOLDS RAVE IN NAVE by Damian Thompson, Daily Telegraph
- WINCHESTER CATHEDRAL CELEBRATES 900 YEARS WITH A RAVE
A report from The "Evangelical Times", June 1993
Impact International uses African tribal heritage to spawn new forms of worship. The thump of goat-skin drums pulses through the Jefferson Junior High School cafeteria as eight dancers dressed in multi-colored batik robes and headdresses and brandishing short swords jump, sway, and sashay to an African beat.
"Drums are part of the African tradition to send messages. They are like the bells in the church to call people to pray," says Alex Mukulu, 39-year-old director of the Ugandan dance troupe Impact International. "They are drums of praise," he tells students, "drums of worship."
Impact International's 11-city tour of the U.S. last year aimed at reaching both churched and unchurched people with their message of praise, cultural change, and redemption, using African musical forms laced with Western influences.
Much of the music and dance attempts to show and to affirm the values of African customs and traditions, says Mukulu... "Our role is to emphasize and point to those values in every form of culture that are not sinful, so our people may not lose their traditions but rather perfect them."
Much of Mukulu's music, and even his coming to faith, stems from a DESIRE FOR PEACE in his war-torn country.
"THERE ARE TWO WAYS TO PULL THE CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY TOGETHER: ONE IS THROUGH SUFFERING, THE OTHER IS THROUGH THE ARTS," says Jerry Eisley, director of the Washington Arts Group, a network of Christian artists in the D.C. area that sponsored Mukulu's group for 17 performances around the nation's capital.
Arts: Dancing To The Drums Of Praise By Piper Lowell
Christianity Today Magazine 1995
The sort of "social" evangelism illustrated above in which the focus is on changing attitudes in society, healing the environment and ultimately saving the planet is also the motivating force behind the hugely popular UK Christian Arts Festival, Greenbelt.
Greenbelt's origins are in the charismatic/evangelical wing of the Church, but what began as a youth meeting for Christians has become after 22 years of existence a slick, left-wing, liberal, new-agey production that offends many bible-believing Christians.
Now attracting upwards of 30 thousand visitors each year, Greenbelt is a Limited Company with a chain of shops selling its own books, videos and trinkets. As well as mainstage performances from such bands as heavy metal group, Rez Band and the now notorious group the Nine O'Clock Service, there are seminars and workshops on subjects such as racism, the environment, children's rights, homosexuality and evangelical spirituality. (You will not be surprised to hear that Graham Cray was a speaker in 1994 - see his article below!).
One of the biggest stirs caused by Greenbelt was its promotion of the Nine O'Clock Service in 1992. Their use of gyrating girl dancers clad only in leather bikinis, and flashing lights with symbols on screen that many identified as occult and new-age, caused a ripple of discontent throughout the Church. NoS was a youth group and later a fully fledged Anglican church led by Chris Brain, who recently hit the Press and TV bigtime with the exposure of his sexual impropriety with several of his young nubile church workers. Though the Press focused on the sexual abuses of this "church", its new-age doctrines, its Planetary Mass, and its promotion of the "creation spirituality" of Matthew Fox had long been a cause for concern amongst evangelical Christians.
Once again, rock music was at the fore. Chris Brain, the group's guru and authoritarian head, was a rock musician in the '70's. Thus the services at the NoS Ponds Forge meeting place used music to inculcate his strange beliefs into the thousand or so members of his group. Visitors to the meeting place were met by a wall of sound, flashing disco lights and images projected onto screens all around the room. During communion (using a Big Mac) the sounds of Pink Floyd and the Beatle's Magical Mystery Tour swelled to ear-splitting dimensions. "It is designed to be a place where beat, meditation, dance and light can reconnect people with God, transforming their vision of the world" claimed their literature.
While busy transforming their vision, the music was also releasing their inhibitions and the result is now a national scandal. So it always goes with rock music, which is designed to arouse the passions.
Yet, the Anglican church - out of which Chris Brain came, and who rushed to ORDAIN HIM AS AN ANGLICAN PRIEST so that the establishment could claim a victory in "bringing young people back into the Church" - heeded no warning given to them that this man was an evil imposter who was ruining the lives and morals of countless of his flock. The Church, as you will see, is so eager to cash in on the power of rock music that it will overlook any amount of dodgy doctrine.
Before we leave Greenbelt, here is a taste of its 1995 Sunday morning worship service. It begins with the projection of a picture of the earth as seen from distant space, and eerie music in the background.
"Greenbelt is a festival which celebrates the presence of God in culture. It is not an otherworldly event, but an exciting connection between flesh and spirit in the way that God was in Jesus. This morning about four hundred of us join in the service of awakening, dedicating the day to the search for God in all our lives, and listening to the voice of God in the experience of others.
We start the service with our approach to God in the form of this imagination journey, so let's focus our hearts and minds as we come to worship."
[Background music starts]
"I'm out in space, seeing things clearer than ever before, watching the earth, listening to its endless stream of noise, searching for the heartbeat of the planet. From here there are no countries, it's not like a map or a globe, no lines for territories, no colours to mark out historical separations. From here there are only movements and currents, massive forces and lesser ones, caught up in a drama of creation. I am looking for clues of permanence, something eternal behind the bits and pieces of death and birth, beginnings and endings.... and I look for a sense of the ancient, for the wisdom that informs generation after generation, that creates continuity, develops perspective, saves the people, but I can't find it. Something has been lost, and something has been rejected.... Who will search for the ancient, the different, the timeless? ...Who will love the planet, love the people, love the discarded? I am in outer space and I am in inner space. I am god and I am human. I am skin and I am bone but I am dry bones waiting for life, waiting to move and waiting to dance."
[Congregation respond together]
"Blessed are you, high God, holy God, the origin and destiny of our lives. You have not left us to live in darkness, but have gathered all that is good in humanity and in yourself and visited us in Jesus Christ. Touch us, and all who worship with us this morning, with your special Holy Spirit. Gather us into the life of the universe, returning to the beauty of its original blessing. Free us from the death of the universe, caught up in the decay of original sin."
[Song follows, then another speaker, who leads in congregational responses, with a musical/drum beat background]
"Are we ready to reshape the way we think about making relationships, to see that God knows us as part of one great spiritual economy?"
"We are ready to move, we are ready to be free."
"Are we ready to respond to the inner voice of God, slowly moving us in new directions as we start this new day?"
"We are ready to move, we are ready to be free."
[Leader (Pace of questions and response increases)]
"Are we ready to accept that what looks like a complete way of life in the UK might be a smokescreen, that we might be like dry bones waiting for the breath of God?"
"We are ready to move, we are ready to be free."
"Are we ready to commit ourselves to a renewal of our communities built around the renewing power of God's Spirit?"
"We are ready to move, we are ready to be free."
"Are we ready to move, love, breathe, live and rejoice in the ever emerging presence of God in the spirit of humankind? Hold onto the wisdom of the past, and repent of the follies?"
"We are ready to move, we are ready to be free."
[Leader (increasing intensity)]
"What are we ready for?"
"We are ready to move, we are ready to be free."
"An Enlightenment-educated mind turns the richness of scripture...into a tight rational system of doctrines and moral values. Songs, or more accurately lyrics, are then tested against this absolute standard of this inadequate concept of Christian truth. But God has given the Arts, including music, as ways of knowing, experiencing and discovering truth in the world...much evangelicalism has a terrible tendency of being of the world but not in it, and shares post-Enlightenment culture's unease about the Arts...there is still too much emphasis on the opportunity to "get the gospel across". (fine though that is when done appropriately and sensitively) and too little grasp of the wide-ranging roles of art in God's creative and redemptive purposes.
MADONNA takes traditional Christian imagery in a way which fundamentally denies its original meaning. As John Fiske has written, "Combining the crucifix with the signs of pornography is a carnivalesque profanity, but the new combination does not mean anything specific, all it signifies is her power, her ability to use the already written signifiers of patriarchal Christianity and to tear them away from their signified, in the moment of empowerment." To interpret the jargon: to pick and mix using Christian images is nothing but my act of power to use what I like to build my truth. Artists struggling in this world need our support and prayer not our ongoing suspicion. Such artistry I believe REQUIRES AND IS PROMISED THE ANOINTING OF THE SPIRIT.
U2 AND THE VOICE OF THE SPIRIT
The Spirit comes as the foretaste of the coming Kingdom, the powers and visions of the age to come breaking through. The Spirit brings the church into being but continually challenges the church to be true to Christ's Kingdom - his rule over all life. I believe the work of Christian artists on the frontiers of cultural change and who are ill at ease with institutional forms of Christianity can indeed be 'the voice of the Spirit' to the church and a voice we need to hear. Perhaps when we prove more open to listen we will find our sister and brother musicians set free to hear our sincere questions and uncertainties about their work.
Much of the present questioning is focused around U2 and their recent album 'Achtung Baby' Throughout the me-decade of the 80s U2 held out a vision of a world of justice and non-violence in which sexuality had its place and spirituality was essential. The massive success of 'The Joshua Tree' shows that this struck a chord with many people for whom materialism was not enough At the start of the 90s politicians began to speak the language of a NEW WORLD ORDER as the Eastern bloc collapsed. The great symbol of that new order was the pulling down of the Berlin Wall. At that time U2 were in Berlin and have produced an album that warns that new world orders are not established by the mere collapse of one ideology.
In other words, the world has meaning but its meaning is not found in the apparent triumph of the West. As their raw material they took not only their observation of the world. but the experience of THEIR OWN INNER LIVES AND SEXUALITY. including the breakdown of The Edge's marriage.
The album is full of personal honesty: 'I must be an acrobat to talk like this and live like that', it is also full of the hope of redemption though set in the context of a darker album that focuses more on the reality of human sinfulness than did its predecessors. 'The Fly' speaks of the fall but also has its 'gospel voice' pointing to redemption. 'One' affirms the possibility and importance of human love, despite the distortions of sin.
Musically U2 have found a new music for a new decade taking the more cluttered rhythms of dance music rather than the expansive rock style of their previous hits, and the form is entirely appropriate to the message. The Zoo TV tour brings the whole album alive and puts it in context with their previous music. In particular the visual and phrases which accompany 'The Fly' as the second song of the set portrays our post-modern culture with its loss of truth and reliance on images. 'Everything you know is wrong', flashes the screen, soon followed by 'Believe everything', that followed by 'Enjoy the surface', while the final chords are accompanied by an ironic 'Watch more TV.' U2 understand the culture in which they stand far better than most of their FELLOW CHRISTIANS. They continue to offer a CHRISTIAN VISION to their audience for those who have eyes to see. Sadly there seems to be more understanding outside the church than in it. Adam Sweeting wrote in The Guardian (newspaper): 'Maybe the young U2 thought they had to get a message across, but a little more age has brought a great deal more irony. In becoming less serious, they have grown more profound.' Oh that more in the church could recognize the same!
Why Must I Always Explain? by Rev Graham Cray,
Principal of Ridley Hall Theological College
in THIRD WAY magazine, July/August (no year given - possibly 1993?)
The gospel of Jesus is the most dynamic word in the world today. It is God's power in action - His creative word. It carries the same force with which He created this amazing universe. And that creative word, as the bible says, was accompanied by angelic music and song.
God uses PROPHETIC MUSIC to stir our hearts, inspire our spirits and COMMUNICATE CREATIVE PRESENCE. Music and song bring holy power to spiritual warfare. The battle cry of praise devastates the enemy...the Psalmist calls for the whole of creation to praise the Lord - sun, moon, stars, earth, sea, snow, wind, mountains, trees, breasts, birds and all peoples. Little wonder then that music and song is essential in our life together as worshipping churches.
And in this Jesus Revolution decade, music identifies with people, calls them to Him and communicates creative gospel power. All types of music are included: rock-dance, ambient, ballad, acapella, white metal, black gospel, contemporary and traditional hymn tunes. All will praise the Lord and communicate the gospel. The music of the Jesus Revolution is growing fast...it will reach the gut feelings of multitudes.
Music Of The Jesus Revolution
In "Blood, Fire and Covenant", the magazine of
The "Jesus Army" - Jesus Fellowship of Noel Stanton
RUSSIAN CHRISTIANS RESIST ROCK MUSIC
In an "Urgent Message from Peter Peters and Vasilij Ryzhuk of the Unregistered Church in Russia" reported in Prophetic Alert, November 1992, Russian believers plead that the import of American "Christian" rock music would stop.
They admit that the music attracts people to churches, but NOT TO GODLY LIVING. They say "we were in prison for fifteen years, and eleven years respectively, for Christ's sake. We were not allowed Christian music, but rock music was used as a weapon against us day and night to destroy our souls. We could only resist with much prayer and fasting. Now we have a time of more openness, and we are no longer taken to prison. However, now it is Christians from America who damage our souls. We do not allow this music in our church, but they rent big stadiums and infect teenagers and adults with their rock music".
On the subject of "prophetic music" which seems a contradiction in terms to me, I have a set of five tapes distributed by Vineyard on the subject, by Kevin Prosch. The idea seems to be that certain "anointed" individuals use music as their medium of prophecy.
I am sure Alice Bailey would understand what this means! After all, she also was a channel for new revelations. Yoko Ono Lennon testifies that the Beatles were "mediums" in that "they weren't conscious of all they were saying but it was coming through them". John Lennon agrees: "When the real music comes to me - the music of the spheres, the music that surpasseth understanding - that had nothing to do with me, 'cause I'm just the CHANNEL. The only joy for me is for it to be given to me, and to transcribe it like a medium - those moments are what I live for".
Remember (see part one) that this "new sound" we have been promised will come in some cases by direct revelation: (quote) "Many of the Lord's minstrels will have experiences of being caught up into the heavens to hear the music of heaven. Others will be given music and spiritual songs in dreams and visions." The quality of this new song, therefore, may depend of exactly where these people go in their supernatural travels, and whom they meet on the way!
EXTRACT NUMBER NINETEEN: The return of the OT Priestly Ministry of Music.
Music and worship have played an integral role in the church throughout history. With every person whom God has used to bring forth FRESH REVELATIONAL TRUTH ~ He has raised up minstrels and songwriters with them to put to music the message of the hour.
Along with every move of God have come expressions of praise and worship different from those of the past move. The church of this anointed decade has seen a tremendous growth in the emphasis of praise and worship. More tapes, books, seminars and manuals have been produced on the subject of praise and worship in the last decade than in the whole history of the church.
The reason for this rapid interest in praise and worship is that we are living in the day foretold by Amos: "In that day," the Lord declared, "I will restore David's fallen tent [tabernacle]" (Amos 9:11, NIV). David's tabernacle was place of continual praise and worship. Amos prophesied of the day WHEN THE PRIESTLY MINISTRY OF MUSIC WOULD BE RESTORED as it used to be. We are living in that day.
God has a purpose for this restoration. This purpose is clearly revealed in the next verse: "so that they may possess" (v. 12, italics mine). Possess means "to cast out, consume, destroy disinherit and occupy, driving out the previous tenants." Amos' prophecy brings the understanding that God is raising up the ministry of praise and worship for the purpose of doing spiritual warfare against the devil.
The psalmist David spoke of this same purpose: "You have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger" (Ps. 8:2,). God never ordained praise because He needed it. God is not insecure, nor does He have an ego problem. God commands us to praise Him because we need it. We are the ones that benefit through praise, as great damage is done to the kingdoms of darkness.
We must realize that praise does more than honor God. It dishonors the devil It literally paralyzes him when we praise God.. Psalm 149 declares that OUR PRAISE EXECUTES GOD VENGEANCE AND WRITTEN JUDGMENTS. It also binds kings and nobles (principalities and powers) with chains and fetters. God has placed a mighty weapon our hands. It is the weapon of praise.
A scriptural example of this truth that our praise executes God's vengeance-is revealed in Matthew 21. Jesus triumphantly rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, a huge crowd of people began to shout praises and cry out for deliverance: "Hosanna to the Son of David!" In the midst of this celebration Jesus revealed a side of His nature that many people had never seen. He went into the temple and proceeded to drive out all those who were buying and selling, angrily overturning their tables and wares. "It is written," He told them, 'My house shall be called a house prayer,' but you have made it a den of thieves" (Matt. 21:13).
Isaiah 42:13 declares, "The Lord will march out like a mighty man, like a warrior He will stir up His zeal; with a shout He will raise the battle cry and will triumph over His enemies" . Jesus' zeal was stirred like a warrior in the midst of shouting, and he triumphed over those making mockery of the temple. Today a fresh sound is coming forth in praise and worship. God is raising up men and women who are writing songs to bring the church to attention. These songs are teaching and admonishing us with the truths concerning spiritual warfare. As I read the Psalms, I have come to the conclusion that David would be branded a heretic by much of the religious community if he were alive today THE WARFARE SONGS WRITTEN TODAY ARE MILD COMPARED TO WHAT DAVID WROTE.
God is raising up anointed prophetic songwriters to bring forth THE WAR SONGS OF ZION IN ORDER THAT THE CHURCH MAY BECOME THE FIGHTING ARMY THAT HE HAS CALLED IT TO BE. These songs are also bringing NEW ILLUMINATION of God's character and nature. God declared 244 times in the Bible that He is the Lord of Hosts. This name is used five times more than any other descriptive or redemptive name of God. Lord of Hosts means "Lord of a mass of people organized for war." HE IS THE LORD OF A WARRING PEOPLE! The Bible declares we war not with flesh and blood, but we war against demonic principalities. Let us take up our weapon of praise and begin to use it against the enemy. Lift up your voice in exaltation, knowing that your praise will silence the enemy!
Robert Gay is the worship leader for Bill Hamon 's Christian International in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. He writes songs for Integrity Music, which featured him as the worship leader on Victor's Crown in 1989.
Silencing The Enemy By Robert Gay
Charisma Magazine October 1992
Our praise is one of the most valuable gifts can give to our heavenly Father. Most every believer today realizes that. And yet, despite the renaissance of praise that has swept through the Church in recent years not one of us has truly grasped just how much impact our praises can actually have-both in heaven and on earth As this prophecy delivered through Kenneth Copeland and at the International Believers' Convention reveals, we've hardly even begun to experience the supernatural power of praise:
"In all these years, the body of Christ has never really plumbed the depth of what is available through the ministry of praise and worship and the ministry of ministering unto the Lord, saith the Spirit of Grace. For in the midst of that atmosphere is great strength and great power....
"For you are a royal priesthood, a royal priesthood, a royalty chosen from the rejected and given a royal diadem out of the scepter of righteousness which has been pointed unto you. You have been given the glorious crown of a priestly praiser and worshipper....
"And in these last days, that praise and worship will come as a great restoration to the church. IT WILL, IN FACT, GO OUT EVEN FURTHER THAN A RESTORED TRUTH INTO THE REALM OF TRUTH THAT HAS NOT YET BEEN REVEALED. For there is a depth of praise and worship that the Church doesn't even know and has not walked in yet....
The Power Of Praise, A prophecy by Kenneth Copeland
Published in Voice of Victory magazine, (?) Summer 1989
At our bi-weekly renewal meeting tonight, several of us heard (and a couple "sensed") the heavenly choir.
It was the final song of our set--'we will dance' by David Ruis-- suddenly I heard what sounded like a group of very rich and well intoned voices echoing "Holy, Holy, Holy" on a single note in rhythm with the music.
It sounded pretty cool...but I couldn't figure out who was singing it. So I joined in at the mic., singing what I was hearing. When I stopped after about four measures, I continued to hear it. I said, quietly, into the mic. "who's singing that part...it's really neat?" No one answered...and it was then that the hair stood up on my arms and the back of my neck, and I realized, to my amazement, that it wasn't anyone in the sanctuary...I was left only concluding that it was an angelic choir. I looked at our acoustic guitarist and said "do you hear that?" He shook his head "no"...but I was still hearing it.
Throughout this time (perhaps two minutes?), the atmosphere in the sanctuary became charged. People began dancing and celebrating and cheering...and I could still hear the voices...rich, not too deep (at first) echoing, over and over, holy, holy, holy.
When we were done, I couldn't get over my amazement...and I asked the gathered congregation "did anyone else hear that?" Several raised their hands...including our electric guitarist who said he had heard the singing...had looked out over the congregation...and realized no one was singing, it had to be angels.
The Heavenly Choir
Circulated by : "A news bulletin service bearing upon the current worldwide awakening."
RICK JOYNER'S NOTES ON THE 1996 'HEART OF DAVID' CONFERENCE
Old Beatles Song brings the Glory Cloud!
On April 18, 1996 we began our Spring Conference on the theme of "The Heart of David: Worship and Warfare." Weeks before it began we started to sense that this was going to be a major encounter with the Lord. We were not disappointed.
It has seemed that each one of our conferences over the last four years has begun at the level that the previous one left off, and then gone higher. This one certainly continued the trend. When "the smoke had cleared" it had exceeded all of our hopes and expectations.
In the first meeting there was a holy electricity that charged the air. The worship immediately hit a level that was as strong as we have ever experienced, and immediately started pushing back the limits. It continued for over two and a half hours. There was no time left for a message or ministry, but it was right. We did not just want to talk about worship and warfare, we came to do it! Experience is a much better teacher than words.
The intensity continued to grow in each meeting through Friday afternoon. It was during that meeting that the gulf between heaven and earth had somehow been bridged in a powerful way. After the musicians had stopped, the people continued, with the volume rising dramatically. Then it was if "the sound of many waters" filled the Grand Assembly Hall. It was deafening. We seemed to be vibrating as if a tidal wave was sweeping over us. It continued for several minutes until I did not think we could take much more. When it stopped a great sense of awe filled the room.
Ray Hughes, one of our speakers and a man who has studied and led worship for many years, later told me that it was impossible for human voices to make the sound that we heard in that meeting. He said that it seemed to cover the entire sound spectrum at one time, and that he had only heard such a thing in dreams and visions that he had had about ten years before.
I do not understand the technicalities of what we heard, but I have been in many concerts and rock festivals with hundreds of thousands of people, and I have never heard anything like it. Members of our worship band who have played in such huge concerts said they have never seen or heard anything like it either. We only had three thousand at the entire conference, and one thousand of them were in an overflow room. There had to have been heavenly help.
The meetings that night and the next morning were intense, but it seemed as if things had leveled off a bit. That afternoon the momentum was gathering again. I gave my brief message before the worship because I knew that once it got started there would be no stopping it. When Don Potter led the first song, basically the only song we sang for over three hours, we began to feel as if maybe something had started that would not end.
Singing one song may sound like one of the most boring things you have ever done, but it kept going because no one wanted it to stop, and it kept climbing, crescendo after crescendo. When I thought it was impossible for it to rise to a new level, or become any more intense, it would. In my early years as a Christian I had thought that heaven would be a very boring place if all we did was sing and worship. In meetings like this you come to understand that worship will truly be one of the best parts of heaven.
When that one song finally ended, some of the musicians were lying on the floor. To my astonishment, the people were not ready to quit. I asked for one more song. Don led, We Shall Overcome, a song he has written that imparts a powerful spiritual militancy. Then, on a "Holy Ghost whim," I asked Leonard Jones to lead an old Beatles' song, I Want To Hold Your Hand, in which he had changed some of the words to make it like a message from the Lord. As soon as he started, it seemed like the roof would come off of the building. When he finished, "the sound of many waters" again filled the hall, but it was even louder than before. A holy fear began to fill the place.
There was a presence of the Lord like I had never felt in a meeting before. I looked at Christine Potter and Susy Wills, who were dancing near the center of the stage, and I have never seen such a look of terror on the faces of anyone. An intense burning, like a nuclear fire that burns from the inside out, seemed to be on the stage. Christine started pulling at her clothes as if she were on fire, and Susy dove behind the drums. THEN A CLOUD APPEARED IN THE CENTER OF THE STAGE, VISIBLE TO EVERYONE, AND A SWEET SMELL LIKE FLOWERS FILLED THE AREA.
When the cloud had moved away (it seemed to move to the rear of the stage as it disappeared), some of the children who had been dancing at the front began to pull up tiles from the floor to see if there was a fire under it. Some asked if we had a smoke machine. We did not, and we did not do anything to cause that cloud of smoke. As Ray Hughes explained later, when the Lord received an offering He would often consume it with fire, and then it would go up in smoke. We believe that this was just a token of encouragement from the Lord that the offering of worship had been received.
I have been in many great meetings in the twenty five years that I have been a Christian. I have witnessed extraordinary demonstrations of power, and even the visible glory of the Lord appearing in a service. Even so, I think that somehow this conference surpassed anything I have ever personally experienced in a meeting before. We had some of the world's greatest musicians, who played their hearts out for the Lord, but what we experienced was much more than any musicians could produce.
I confess that I love the kind of supernatural manifestations that we have been having. I often pray that we will see His glory visibly manifested in our meetings. Even so, what made these probably the best that I have been in was the manifest presence of the Lord. He was there! I know that He came the way that He did because of three thousand of the greatest worshipers of God I have ever seen together in one place. From the very beginning it was obvious that they had come to bless Him more than to get blessed.
There was a reason that I requested Leonard to play the Beatles' song. The Beatles were prophets of the world whose music helped set the course of a generation. The music of the sixties and seventies grabbed you, turned your head and sowed seeds for a harvest of lawlessness. But the domain of music belongs to the church. It will be recaptured, transformed, and used to powerfully sow seeds in hearts for a harvest of righteousness. We must seize this domain from the enemy, and use it once again for the chief end for which it was created worship of God, not ourselves, and not the enemy and his ways.
There is a music that is now coming to the church with the power to arrest men's hearts more than has ever been found in secular music. It does possibly have unprecedented commercial value, and we will be given every temptation to prostitute the treasures that we are entrusted with. We must resist these temptations. If we do it will be used to prophesy and set the course of a generation that will turn to the Lord. This gift is for the Lord. It is so that He will receive the reward of His sacrifice, not so that we can get rich or famous.
Worship is also a form of spiritual warfare. As Wade Taylor related in his brief address at the conference, Ezekiel described Satan as kind of the worship leader in heaven. He fell when he used the gift of God for his own purposes. When he fell he took that domain and has used it as a powerful force for corrupting men with self worship. We cast out demons but we wrestle with principalities (see Ephesians 6:12). Therefore, we cannot just cast out Satan, or principalities, but we wrestle with them. Wrestling is the closest form of combat. It is also one in which you seek to displace your opponent. That is why worship really is such a form of spiritual warfare. As we take ground in worship we are retaking the place that Satan had in the heavenly places, and we are therefore helping to displace him. We will only displace him if we remain faithful to the purpose of true worship, and refuse to use what we have been entrusted with for selfish means.
Where Do We Go From Here?
We must go higher. Until we look like Jesus and do the works He did, we still have not arrived. We must keep going for more, much more.... If you are planning to come to our fall conference(s), please do come with an absolute determination to go higher, and do not wait for the conference to start. At all of our conferences now many are starting to see angels, and dreams and visions and prophecy are being released to people. This is all wonderful, and we are asking for more of it. We expect to see more and greater miracles. However, let us come with the primary goal of seeing more of the Lord, and learning to better minister to Him. Join with us in asking to see His glory just as Moses did.
The Fruit From The Conference
Conferences are a part of God's strategy to gather His people together and impart a common vision to them. That is why He required all of His people to go up three times a year to Jerusalem to celebrate His feasts. There is a dynamic in such gatherings that I have never witnessed in a local church, but I believe it is supposed to be there. A main reason for the conferences is to take back to our local congregations our experiences and visions of higher ground in order to impart more zeal for the Lord. If these meetings do not impact our personal lives, and our local churches, we must acknowledge that we have a serious problem.
We cannot stop until every one of our meetings is much more exciting than any sporting event or other entertainment that the world can produce. The apostle Paul made it clear that it is supposed to be that way.
But if the ministry of death, in letters engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the sons of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face, fading as it was, how shall the ministry of the Spirit fail to be even more with glory? For if the ministry of condemnation has glory, much more does the ministry of righteousness abound in glory (II Corinthians 3:7-9).
Here Paul was saying that those who walk in the New Covenant should be experiencing more glory than Moses, and he had to put a veil over his face because of the glory that he reflected. We must keep going until we have drawn so close to Him that we, too, reflect His glory. The way that this will happen is by pursuing the Lord, not by criticizing others, which is one of the ultimate forms of pride, and can cause us to be disqualified from the very things we are seeking. There is nothing in the world more contagious than a person who is getting closer to the Lord. If we pursue Him with the zeal that we saw in you at the conference, we will find Him. As Paul Cain once said, and as the Scriptures confirm, "We are all as close to the Lord as we want to be." The veil has been removed. You can be as close to the Lord as anyone alive today, or anyone in the Scriptures. You will determine if you will or not.
Thanks to Don and Christine Potter, who gave birth to the idea of having this conference, and whose tireless labors helped provide the setting for all that took place. Thanks to Leonard Jones, Matthew Donovan, and all of the members of the MorningStar Worship Team and Staff who labored so much before, during and after the conference. Thanks to Gary Lunn, Terry McMillan, Charles Barnett, Mike Maples, John Elliott, and The Foundry Guys for sharing your incredible talents, and for your tireless playing during the conference, so that the Lord might receive the worship He so deserves. Thanks to Ray Hughes, Paul Cain, Bob Jones, Bobby Conner, Steve Thompson, Mike Littlejohn and all who served as leaders or on prophetic ministry teams. Thanks to John Hamrick, and Ricky and Sharon Skaggs, for dropping by, and being willing to jump right in to help. Thanks to Mike and Dixie Dean, and the many helpers who served the ministry and worship team members at The Manor.
From:The Heart of David: Worship & Warfare
April 1996 Conference Report
All these extracts show that there is a particular power and presence in music (especially rock music) that will manifest itself, given enough encouragement. While it is true that worship and praise can bring the presence of the Lord, that is rarely the case today, simply because of the sinful, backslidden, wilful, arrogant and disobedient nature of the Church as a whole. In addition, where false teachers preach, false doctrines flourish and false manifestations are encouraged, is it likely that true manifestations of the HOLY Spirit of God will occur?
Leaders like Rick Joyner believe that music is neutral. Whatever power it contains or summons is available to us all, regardless of the consequences. That I believe is a very naive and dangerous assumption. The world is a fallen place. Satan is the god of this world, and mankind is in bondage to him. To take the musical productions of this fallen world and somehow try to "redeem them" is fantasy and foolishness!
Man's soul is wedded to the fallen world, and what it produces is equally tainted by sin. Even for a born-again Christian, the emotions are a minefield of sinful urges and powerful destructive forces. We do not always will to do good, but our nature can lead us towards wrongdoing and rebellion if not kept in check. The Lord intended for His Spirit to be the Lord of our souls, but that is not always the case. If we court the soul, inflame the emotions and let down the barriers that God has erected to safeguard our walk in Him, then we cannot assume that we will be protected from the consequences.
But in discussing the new music and its use in churches today, we are not necessarily even talking about born-again Christians because all too many who attend such meetings are unregenerate and impressionable younger people. Even those who have a basic desire to follow Christ are untaught, untrained in the ways of God, and caught up in the world. How can we expect such people to withstand the emotive, fleshy, seductive forces that exist in the music played today?
The dangers are not only to the flesh - although the scandal of such groups as 'Nine-o-Clock Service' where full-blown sexual immorality took over shows the path we are treading. But the more subtle danger is to the spirit, as powerful, deceptive and unstoppable forces manifest themselves as a result of the chanting, dancing, shouting, jumping, clapping, tongues-speaking and loud beat of the music. If things go on as they are, instead of "angelic" singing there will be lying signs and wonders on a much grander scale. May God deliver all who are in thrall to the new music!
© 1995-2013 Tricia Tillin of Banner Ministries. All rights reserved. Cross+Word Website: http://www.banner.org.uk/ This document is the property of its author and is not to be displayed on other websites, redistributed, sold, reprinted, or reproduced in printed in any other format without permission. Websites may link to this article, if they provide proper title and author information. One copy may be downloaded, stored and/or printed for personal research. All spelling and phraseology is UK English.