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Most of the articles on these WebPages have been written by godly men with a central belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. However as with most of us, they may have different beliefs concerning some particular doctrines. These articles have been made available for the purpose of “gleaning the good” where good can be found. I do not necessarily endorse all that is written by others, anymore than I expect others to endorse all that I write.

   Morning Thoughts by Elder Philip Conley

Psalm 45:5-7, "God is gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet. Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises. For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding."

This morning, we see from Scriptures that different things are done in different times (called dispensations). During a dispensation, a certain thing may look different than another dispensation. So, the Old Testament sacrifices and offerings were the suitable form of worship for that time, but during our dispensation (gospel age), our form of worship is contained in two principles: spirit and truth. Yet, even in one dispensation, we get glimpses of things coming in another. During the Old Testament times, the offerings and sacrifices pointed to the ultimate Sacrifice that ushered in a new dispensation. During our present dispensation, we get glimpses of the time when time shall be no more that ushers in that final period of never-ending bliss and joy where we see the Lord perfect and complete and know Him as He knows us. Therefore, let us look at this Psalm, which speaks, in prophecy, of what would come in the gospel dispensation.

The Psalmist repeatedly tells us to sing praises unto the Lord. We are to sing unto Him of His greatness and majesty, and our singing should be of the wonders of His beauty and grace. The New Testament church comes under scrutiny, from time to time, for having such a simple service. The idea that singing could be done simply with the voice and heart is void to certain people's way of thinking. To them, that is insufficient to sing to God. Yet, what is used by a cappella singing is simply what God has given (which is always sufficient) to sing unto Him. Our hearts are tendered by His grace, and our voices are seasoned with the water of His fountain. Therefore, the utilization in singing, without man-made accompaniment, is exactly what God has given. Invariably, the use of musical instruments in Judaic worship in the Law Dispensation is brought out in argument to the contrary. But, consider what the Psalmist says here about accompaniment.
Nothing! Yet, other Psalms have the use of musical instruments; what is the difference?

Notice what precedes the multiplied command to sing praises to our King. The Lord has gone into heaven. With a shout He entered into the gates of glory. Surely, this is nothing short of prophecy to that awesome scene of our Lord and Saviour leaving the earth and ascending back into heaven's pure world with a cloud receiving Him out of their sight. (Acts 1) When He left, there was a shout with heaven receiving her conquering King. The reason there was a shout when He left is because the angels declared His return in the same manner as His departure. Therefore, if He is returning with a shout, He left with a shout. (I Thessalonians 4) If a cloud received Him from view, the clouds will part so that nothing keeps Him from view. As the heaven's are rolled back as a scroll, all will see the King of kings and Lord of lords. Every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus is the Lord. So, what follows the ascension? The Psalmist
declares that singing follows His ascension. What about instruments of man? Completely absent. What happens when the Lord returns the second time without sin unto salvation? Singing will commence such as never been heard that will make the very fibers of heaven's substance redound with the glory and majesty that Jesus is the King forevermore.

A parallel scene to this is found in II Chronicles 29. Notice that the transition of worship is shown in the burnt offering. Prior to the offering of the burnt sacrifice, you see much music that is accompanied by instruments of man. After the burnt offering is finished, the only mention of worship is the bowing of heads and singing with the voices. Likewise, our Offering has been made, accepted by God, and entered back into heaven. Therefore, worship is found in the bowing of heads and singing of songs unto our King. Consider also that worship during the old dispensation is found in the outward appearance. During the Old Testament, certain places were designated as the place to worship, whether it be the tabernacle or temple where the Lord's priests were. Outward offerings were made of literal blood of animals. Music was sounded by man-made instruments. The priesthood came through a predictable line of father-son, father-son. Today, worship is made by faith (spirit and truth), as opposed to things that are seen. Therefore, the priesthood of the ministry does not come through predictable lines (even though some think so). Offerings are made from the lips and heart, and the singing is done with instruments that God has put in and not that man made out.

Finally, the singing that we do unto God Almighty needs to be with understanding, as the Psalmist declares. Paul re-echoes the sentiment in I Corinthians 14. It has always been befuddling to me that folks would sing something in church that they would never allow me to preach. If our preaching needs to be according to "Thus saith the Lord," likewise so should our singing. If our prayers need to be offered up in fervent spirit coupled with truth, so should our songs. Therefore, let our understanding never be clouded with the emotion brought out by the song. If the understanding of the spirit is there and the song pleasing to our King, the Spirit will be greater than any emotion we could have. That is not to say, however, that singing cannot be emotional. Tears of joy and sorrow sometimes deeply flow during singing as one realizes through song how undone we were by nature and how magnanimous the sacrifice of Christ really is. But, for that to be found, understanding must accompany the singing.

Therefore, let us sing with our heart, soul, mind, and might. The repetition of the command strikes to the importance of singing unto our King, and I am always saddened when people fail to see the wonderful privilege that we have to do so. The privilege of singing before an earthly magistrate is one that any artist revels in, but our privilege is so much higher to be singing not to a king but THE KING! So, I will take the singing in the old church any day over the "best" of the gospel choirs, musicians of men, and any other form that might be contrived. Indeed, I do listen to some of them from time to time, but they are not worthy to be compared to the singing in Zion that feels like the breeze of the oasis in a desert land. And yet, my heart longs for the day that the old body of corruption does not keep me from singing as I should unto our King. When voices play out and bodies get tired, we must rest to be able to renew the natural energies, but dear friends at that second coming of Christ, there will be no weakness of the flesh. At that day, even the finest singing in Zion will not compare to the singing of heaven. As the Psalmist had glimpses of the new dispensation, I believe we, in Zion, get glimpses in song of that eternal portal. As our Husband and Bridegroom comes with His voice skipping along the mountains and showing Himself through the lattice, we get a glimpse of what the banks of glory are like. But, dear friends, that song of the Lamb of God who is worthy will be "when imagination's utmost stretch in wonder dies away." Oh redeeming love how great the theme!

In Hope,

Bro Philip