THE HEAVENLY SONG

I’ll never forget the first time I heard someone singing the heavenly song. I later became friends with the young worshipper (Rick Amato who later went to Bible School with me). He was strumming his guitar, playing a spontaneous melody and singing in what I thought was Latin. I later heard others singing in different languages and was told that they were singing in their heavenly language. It was beautiful, terrifying, and had the sense of God’s glory on the singing. This was one of the signs that attracted me to the followers of Jesus, they had more than a creed, there was obviously a supernatural presence among them and that is what I was after. I needed something real and I had finally found it. This heavenly song was a big part of birthing the Pentecostal movement of the 1900’s. Here is a testimony from the Azusa Street Revival as witnessed by Frank Bartleman.

“Friday, June 15, at “Azusa,” the Spirit dropped the “heavenly chorus” into my soul. I found myself suddenly joining the rest who had received this supernatural “gift.” It was a spontaneous manifestation and rapture no earthly tongue can describe….No one could understand this “gift of song” but those who had it. It was indeed a “new song” in the Spirit. When I first heard it in the meetings, a great hunger entered my soul to receive it. I felt it would exactly express my pent-up feelings. I had not yet spoken in “tongues.” But the “new song” captured me. It was a gift from God of high order, and appeared among us soon after the “Azusa” work began. No one had preached it. The Lord had sovereignly bestowed it with the outpouring of the “residue of oil,” the “Latter Rain” baptism of the Spirit. It was exercised, as the Spirit moved the possessors either in solo fashion or by the company. It was sometimes without words, other times in “tongues.” The effect was wonderful on the people. It brought a heavenly atmosphere, as though the angels themselves were present and joining with us.”
I received this gift almost 44 years ago, since that time it has been a daily part of my life. Like Paul taught, we can sing with the Spirit and sing with our understanding. I like to go back and forth singing scriptures in English then singing in the beautiful heavenly tongue. Doing this keeps us built up in the faith and delivers us from the foolish attractions in the world.

MARY, MARY

And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed.”Luke 1:46–48

Mary is an unusual character in the gospel story. Of all human beings she had the most unusual relationship with our Lord. Think about it! Mary carried Him in her womb for nine months, probably nursed Him at her breast for three years, and raised Him as her son. She taught Him the basic essentials of being a human, she had access to our Lord no one else ever enjoyed. It is even said by some from earliest accounts that He was a dead ringer for His mom, His face was her face. At the same time Mary walked in incredible humility. She disappeared in the background as her son became a man and began His ministry. She recognized at the end of the day that she was like all the rest of us, sinners in need of a Savior. Here are some powerful thoughts from Luther on Mary.
“Mary had total confidence that God was her Savior, even though she couldn’t tell that this was true by seeing or feeling it. Mary was able to fully trust God because the Lord had placed this faith inside of her. Mary put things in the right order in this verse (today’s scripture verse). First, she called God her Lord. Next, she called him her Savior. Then she proclaimed what God had done. By doing this, she teaches us to love and praise God for who he is. She shows us the right place to start. We shouldn’t begin our prayers by selfishly asking what God can do for us. Mary’s example teaches us to love and praise God for no other reason than his goodness. We should find joy and pleasure in who he is. This is an exalted, pure, and tender way of loving and praising God. It shows us Mary’s extraordinary and tender spirit.”
Mary is a picture of any of us who are ever privileged to be used by God. He chooses us, equips us, anoints us, and opens the opportunities for us to be used by God. Yet at the end of the day we have to quietly slip into the shadows like Mary. It wasn’t about her and it is certainly not about us, it is always about Jesus. Mary, Mary did you really know who He was and the great plan He had for you?

“O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing”

MERRY MONDAY BY PARRIS:

“I heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands.” (Revelation 5:11)
Allowing the Lord to bring thankfulness into our lives to some is like yanking an old tooth out of our mouth. Learning to be “filled continually filled” is a lifetime challenge. Call it whatever you want, drinking His presence, praying in the Holy Ghost, letting it bubble up from your belly, living supernaturally is possible and is a must!

Years ago, on my search for true joy I came across this passage concerning John and Charles Wesley.

“Part of Sunday my brother (Charles) and I then used to spend in walking in the meadows and singing psalms. But one day, just as we were beginning to sing, he burst out into a loud laughter. I asked him, if he was distracted; and began to be very angry, and presently after to laugh as loud as he. Nor could we possibly refrain, though we were ready to tear ourselves in pieces, but we were forced to go home without singing another line.”
I was so taken back with this! To think the presence of the Lord could be so strong to overtake someone with such joy. I knew then that I had blockages as a Christian and the “cares of this world” were stealing my joy. Normal life to me was just mundane and depressing. Thank God joy came and paid me a visit! Have you allowed yourself to be touched by joy? “Digging deep into the mine and seeking out treasures of life divine” is what Charles Wesley wrote and experienced. Going down deep inside and allowing the gospel to shine in those dark areas isn’t a cake walk. But when we let Christ come and change our garments of mourning into praise, we too will find ourselves overcome with laughter. Charles Wesley spent the rest of His life overflowing with praise; His life was touched and changed by Christ. He even prayed for 1000 tongues to express this!
“Oh for a thousand tongues to sing

My great Redeemer’s praise,

The glories of my God and King,

The triumphs of His grace!

My gracious Master and my God,

Assist me to proclaim,

To spread through all the earth abroad

The honors of Thy name.”
Learning to use our mouth to continually praise him out of a “heart of thanksgiving” means we let go. We trust that He “has the ball” and as I say to myself in any given day-“He’s got this”. Walking in joy brings liberty and freedom and helps us face defeat, death and loneliness supernaturally.
“JOY BECOMES THE AFFIRMATION OF THE TRUEST THINGS IN THIS LIFE-The joy of the Lord is rooted in the now and the not-yet of the Kingdom of God.” (Sarah Bessey)

I pray you too can join in with the angels and ask for a language that will guide you through life into deeper joy and revelation. Oh God give me a thousand tongues to express my love to you!

HEART SONG

And I heard a voice from heaven like the roar of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder. The voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps, and they were singing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders.
Rev.14:3,4

I often think about this scene in heaven; as a matter of fact, it is going on right now. There are angels, seraphim, elders and the multitudes of redeemed and they are all engaged in worship at his very moment. The redeemed are singing a new song. Actually, we don’t have to wait for heaven to sing this song, this song is in us now. You heard me right, this song is in us. Reading about the outpouring of 1906 at Azusa Street, the participants spoke of a supernatural song that was a major part of the outpouring. It was said that the song was in them and was coming from deep within their chests. This song is like nothing this world offers. It is not a song that can be learned by the lost, this song is part of the new nature that is in us when we are born again. Jonathan Edwards preached about this experience in his church. Check this out.
“There must be an ability to sing. Not only the matter of the song must be learnt, but also the music of the song. But the music of this tune consists in the melody of the heart. Ephesians 5:19, “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” As in order to learn the music of other songs, the voice must be tuned, so in order to learn the music of this song, the heart must be tuned. The music of this new song consists in holy admiration, in exalting thoughts of the glory of God and the Lamb and the great things of the gospel; and in divine love, in loving God for his excellency appearing in the face of Christ, in holy rejoicing in God and in delight and complacence of the soul in Jesus, whereby we, having not seen him, do love him and “rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory”. They that are unacquainted with this spiritual melody, they can’t learn to sing that new song.”
So there it is, in order to sing the new song, your heart has to be tuned. Are you in tune with this heavenly scene? Have you experienced this incredible love? How would you know? It is quite simple, Jesus becomes irresistible. You are amazed by Him and your response is the new song. You have become part of the song. Other songs seem empty and shallow because you have tasted the real. So go ahead, sing this new song to the Lord. When you do you are never alone; you are swept into the song of the ages, the song only the redeemed can sing.

MAGNIFY OUR GOD

Psa. 34:3 Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
and let us exalt his name together!

How is it possible to magnify the Lord. Stephen preached that the heavens can’t even contain Him. Was Steven exaggerating about God’s greatness? Impossible!!! The infinite qualities of God are impossible to exaggerate. As a Christian, no matter how hard we try we cannot begin to overstate or overestimate His greatness. His ways are past finding out. As a preacher that’s my job. I am called to magnify the Lord with my words. As I do, it draws others into the experience of His greatness. Oh come on!!! Magnify the Lord with me. Spurgeon speaks often about magnifying the Lord. Check this out.
“O magnify the Lord with me. Is this request addressed to the humble? If so it is most fitting. Who can make God great but those who feel themselves to be little? He bids them help him to make the Lord’s fame greater among the sons of men. Jehovah is infinite, and therefore cannot really be made greater, but his name grows in manifested glory as he is made known to his creatures, and thus he is said to be magnified. It is well when the soul feels its own inability adequately to glorify the Lord, and therefore stirs up others to the gracious work; this is good both for the man himself and for his companions. No praise can excel that which lays us prostrate under a sense of our own nothingness, while divine grace like some topless Alp rises before our eyes and sinks us lower and lower in holy awe. Let us exalt his name together. Social, congregated worship is the outgrowth of one of the natural instincts of the new life. In heaven it is enjoyed to the full, and earth is like heaven where it abounds.”
This verse typifies the life and ministry emphasis of King David. He had tasted something so special in the presence of the Lord that he longed to share it with as many people as possible. He had discovered that in magnifying the Lord with his voice that he would would be brought into the reality of that. Talking about God’s greatness to others and singing about His greatness is the sure way to taste the reality of that for ourselves. For Pentecostal Christians that brings us to the essence of our prayer language. Sometimes our human words can’t say it big enough. Our heavenly words transcend those limitations and bring us to to the sense of His magnificence. What is the outcome? Like Paul, I will sing with my natural mind and I will sing with the Spirit. I will pray with my natural mind and I will pray with the Spirit. Magnifying the Lord in this way will bring you into His magnificent glory.

CONTINUAL WORSHIP

Psa. 34:1 ¶ I will bless the Lord at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

How could anyone praise the Lord at all times? That was the uniqueness of David. From the very first time he tasted the anointing his life was set. He had been changed into another man, a man after God’s own heart. David spent his life in the pursuit of two things; to behold the manifested glory for himself and to make this continual worship available to everyone.

One of David’s first official acts as king was to prepare to bring the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem. The defining scene in his life was the image of him dancing with all his might before the ark as the levites carried it into the city. He wanted everyone to taste the incredible joy of the presence of the Lord, that’s why he sang, ‘Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together!’ Here are some thoughts from Spugeon’s ‘Treasury of David’ on this verse.

“At all times, in every situation, under every circumstance, before, in and after trials, in bright days of glee, and dark nights of fear. He would never have done praising, because never satisfied that he had done enough; always feeling that he fell short of the Lord’s deservings. Happy is he whose fingers are wedded to his harp. He who praises God for mercies shall never want (lack) a mercy for which to praise. To bless the Lord is never unseasonable. His praise shall continually be in my mouth, not in my heart merely, but in my mouth too. Our thankfulness is not to be a dumb thing; it should be one of the daughters of music. Our tongue is our glory, and it ought to reveal the glory of God. What a blessed mouthful is God’s praise! How sweet, how purifying, how perfuming! If men’s mouths were always thus filled, there would be no repining against God, or slander of neighbors. If we continually rolled this dainty morsel under our tongue, the bitterness of daily affliction would be swallowed up in joy. God deserves blessing with the heart, and extolling with the mouth—good thoughts in the closet, and good words in the world.”
So come on, magnify the Lord this morning. Sing about His greatness. Bow before His presence. Worship Him. Like Spurgeon said, ‘the bitterness of daily affliction will be swallowed up in joy’.

THE ESSENCE OF OUR FAITH

Pas. 100:4 ¶ Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!

Give thanks to him; bless his name!
There is nothing worse than lukewarm praise. If you think about it, the Lord put up with all sorts of sin when He was here on earth. He had former tax collectors, prostitutes, religious zealots, and all sorts of scoundrels following Him. He was patient and always brought mercy and love. His love changed their lives. Then there was the way He treated the religious crowd. He was furious at their lukewarm worship. How could someone be apathetic about this majestic God. It seems that that is the one sin that stands out above all others on God’s radar. He doesn’t allow apathy. That’s why David was a man after God’s heart. David was passionate and demonstrative in his worship. David appreciated the presence of God. Today, we have all been given access into God’s very presence. How do we draw near? Through faith in the blood of Jesus and worship that comes from a pure heart. Check out Spurgeon’s thoughts on today’s verse.
“In all our public service the rendering of thanks must abound; it is like the incense of the temple, which filled the whole house with smoke. Expiatory sacrifices are ended, but those of gratitude will never be out of date. So long as we are receivers of mercy we must be givers of thanks. Mercy permits us to enter his gates; let us praise that mercy. What better subject for our thoughts in God’s own house than the Lord of the house. And into his courts with praise. Into whatever court of the Lord you may enter, let your admission be the subject of praise: thanks be to God, the innermost court is now open to believers, and we enter into that which is within the veil; it is incumbent upon us that we acknowledge the high privilege by our songs. Be thankful unto him. Let the praise be in your heart as well as on your tongue, and let it all be for him to whom it all belongs. And bless his name. He blessed you, bless him in return; bless his name, his character, his person.”
So it’s time to worship God. Put off all of your excuses, draw near with a full heart. Let’s enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. This is the new and living way that Paul spoke about in Hebrews. Let’s draw near today.

LOVELY

Psa. 84:1 ¶ How lovely is your dwelling place,

O LORD of hosts!
What was David talking about? What made the tabernacle lovely? This tattered, left over tent from the days of Moses was anything but lovely. The building had nothing about it on the outside that was attractive to anyone. The beauty was all inside. It was the beauty of the Lord that was resident inside the tabernacle that made the difference. Years later, when Solomon dedicated his magnificent temple, nothing had really changed. Solomon’s temple was known for its opulence. It was filled with gold and silver but that had changed nothing. The beauty of the tattered tabernacle was just as magnificent as the masterpiece of Solomon. What made the temple special also was seen in the tabernacle, it was the shining beauty of the shekinah glory of God. Here are some thoughts from John Gill on this beautiful place.
“What made the tabernacle of Moses lovely was not the outside but what was within, having many golden vessels in it, and those typical of things much more precious; moreover, here the priests were to be seen in their robes, doing their duty and service, and, at certain times, the high priest in his rich apparel; here were seen the sacrifices slain and offered, by which the people were taught the nature of sin, the strictness of justice, and the necessity and efficacy of the sacrifice of Christ: here the Levites were heard singing their songs, and blowing their trumpets: but much more amiable are the Church of God and its ordinances in Gospel times, where Christ, the Great High Priest, is seen in the glories of his person, and the fulness of his grace; where Zion’s priests, or the ministers of the gospel, stand clothed, being full fraught with salvation, and the tidings of it; where Christ is evidently set forth, as crucified and slain, in the ministry of the word, and the administration of ordinances; here the gospel trumpet is blown, and its joyful sound echoed forth, and songs of love and grace are sung by all believers; besides, what makes these tabernacles still more lovely are, the presence of God here, so that they are no other than the house of God, the gate of heaven; the provisions that are here made, and the company that is here enjoyed”.
The key to the beauty of these places of worship is what they pointed to. Every piece of furniture, every article of priestly clothing, every act of worship all pointed to one thing. It was all pointing to Christ. Christ is altogether lovely and it is His presence that is beautiful.

TIME TO GET YOUR PRAISE ON

MERRY MONDAY BY PARRIS BAILEY-

“Awake, my soul!

Awake, harp and lyre!

I will awaken the dawn.” Ps. 57:8

“The morning shall not awake me to praise; but in my songs I will anticipate the dawn.” – R. T. Society’s Notes.

There is nothing better than staying thankful and I am talking about having serious praise! Over twenty years ago, I had forgotten that. Everyday bled into another day of excuses, being upset, and battling anger. People, circumstances and my own short comings all overwhelmed me. David, while hiding in the cave from his many adversaries, learned about awakening the dawn. In other words he got his praise on!

God continues to put a “new song” in our mouth and it starts supernaturally. Reading his word and praying in the Spirit helps correct the wrong thinking that goes on. It’s time to awaken your slumbering morn! Awake soul thou sleeps! The question is, are we still hung up with the old song? Years ago, I remember having lunch with a church member explaining how much injustice was done to me. While I was talking I literally felt like I saw “the Lord” standing by me and imitating verbatim my little drama story! In fact, the Lord had a shovel in his hand implying the hole was just getting deeper!  No, I wasn’t awaking the dawn with my praises! I thank God he had me see my little pity party I was having and it shook me to the core. Paul and Silas had quite a few injustices done to them, but at midnight they got their praise on and it set them free. Do you find yourself in a cave being chased by all your issues? Go ahead and put on a song, listen to psalms or do a dance-it’s time to awaken the dawn and get your praise on!

Treasury of David puts it this way, “He first teaches my fingers to fight, and then to play the epinikion, or song of triumph. Sound, then my Psaltery and harp, emulous of those that are around the throne above; your melody can soften my cares, lay my fears, and turn my cave into a choir.” You have to get up early and turn off all the garbage and learn to get violent with yourself. Yes, you have to get physical with yourself and get your heart fixed or prepared on God. David learned to awaken his tongue,  to awaken his heart and his cave became a choir. I believe one has to get a grip on their belief system for your life. Are people, weather, circumstances in charge of your joy or do you drink from the well within? Look again, maybe the Lord has more to say than meets the eye. The Lord is tired of hearing your old sorry song, it’s time to get your praise on and awaken the dawn!

GOTTA GET, GOTTA GET, GOTTA GET MY PRAISE ON! GOTTA GET MY SERIOUS PRAISE ON! HE’S WORTHY, HE’S MIGHTY, HE’S WONDERFUL, HE’S MARVELOUS, HE’S AWESOME, HE’S RIGHTEOUS, HE’S HOLY, HOLY, HOLY!” Ellen Hayes

THE PROMISE LAND

special guest – Chandler Veasey

A couple months before taking this class, God had given me a word from Joshua 1.  It was about worship at our church and how he is bringing restoration and healing to our church and also doing something very new and fresh in my own heart.  God was speaking to me about leading the congregation to the river, and many things from class jumped out at me.  But one major thing God has done in me recently is opened up for me what I am calling a “river of music”.  This is something new that a death to self in music in the natural realm has opened up a river in the spiritual realm.   God is taking me to a brand new place personally, a place I have tasted of small here and there.  God is teaching me how to make music in the spirit realm.  This is true music!  What a joy to throw off earthly and fleshly strivings and talents and embrace the sweetest death to self and humble myself to hear Jesus singing over me.  We talk about it all the time, but how often do we just take a moment to let jesus sing over us?  I remember practicing my instrument years ago for hours upon hours each day.  What song is Jesus singing?  It is the song of heaven.  Heaven comes and makes its home inside of us, it becomes part of our DNA.  The spirit of God is my music, he is my song, and the prayer language has become my way of making music.  My heart comes alive and I feel the breath of God blow through my soul.  There is a harp in my heart, and only God can play it.  When I pray in the spirit, there is something awesome happening in my heart, God is singing and making music over me and I am receiving it all and he is becoming more and more a part of who I am, until this song is a part of my very being and overtakes me.    God is beginning to teach me how to truly make music with my heart.  The main difference is that making music in the spirit realm is all about the presence of God and delighting in his manifest glory with our heart.  No instruments, but the instrument of my heart.  The presence of God is the music of heaven, and I want to have an open heart to allow this music to be a part of me.   This love, his presence wrapping around me, its like a symphony or a beautiful melody.  The sounds of heaven , the rhythms of heaven, the pulse of heaven is living inside of me.  This is my promised land; Jesus is my worship leader, and he is leading me in a beautiful song.  When I hear it, it brings healing, I am being tuned to the song of heaven.  The song of heaven, this eternal worship is my inheritance, my promised land, the precious holy spirit.    The music of heaven, this eternal worship, is more and more making its home inside of me.  There is only one song, the presence of God.  There is only one worship leader, only one minister of the house, Jesus, and he is ministering and leading me in worship, he is my worship leader.  I opening up my heart to receive his river, this is how I make music now, I am delighting myself in this river of music flowing from heaven.