Heavenly Overtones

Music is designed with a melody that runs throughout the whole piece.  Other parts add harmony.  The melody is the beginning, and the ending.  It is what holds the piece together.  Lose the melody or make it a monotone—the same tone over and over— and it ceases to be music.  Overpower the melody and the music loses its meaning.

Music is a sound that began in heaven with God, our Father and Creator.  It is a major means that He provided to help us worship Him—“Holy, Holy, Holy”—one for the Father, one for the Son, and one for the Holy Ghost, is sung by the angels in heaven. (Isaiah 6:3  and Revelation 4:8)

Anthems are compositions for music that include all parts —melody, harmony, and sometimes, a descant.  A descant is a part that is sung by a higher range of voices.  It is not meant to overpower but provide an extra lift to the other parts.

Together all the parts speak to the senses to lift the spirit and the heart toward God.

Some of The Psalms that we sing from the Trinity Psalter have descants.  If you have never sung The Psalms you have not only missed hearing the command of the Lord in Ephesians 5:19, but also the blessings that come with them when they are sung.

In Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs we worship with Biblical texts and heavenly music.

(For centuries The Psalms were sung in all the churches.  They are God’s Word sung in worship to Him.  But most churches for the past two hundred years have thrown them out in the same way that the true gospel has been pushed aside.)

And for the most part, all we hear is a monotone—the same thing over and over.  Melody and harmony have been replaced with the performances of one person’s voice or drowned by instruments that overpower the melody.

Hymns have been replaced by compositions that have no harmony—difficult to sing and remember—and have separated generations of families.

I picture it according to His Word—the melody was begun in heaven with Jesus, His Son—“Holy, Holy, Holy”  from the foundation of the world.  He would not only be the beginning of music, but the melody throughout the span of time here on earth, onward into eternity.

“And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes…”

He was wrapped in our humanity—the melody of heaven was here—to gather around Him those that would add the harmony to Himself, and provide the music for His family, the music that the Father wanted to hear.

“On the same night there were shepherds with flocks of sheep in the field. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them”the music and the worship were about to begin.

And the glory of the Lord shone round about them with good tidings of great joy”the prelude—the introduction to the first anthem of true worship.

To all people—unto you is born a Savior, Christ the Lord”the music begins.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly hosts praising God, and saying,  Glory to God in the highest”the descant.

“And on earth peace.”   Christ Jesus, our Lord, is the melody of heaven, the melody of life, as God has composed it, and plays it for us by His Spirit and through His Word.

“I will declare thy name (the Father) unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.” “Behold, I and the children which God hath given me.”  (Hebrews 2:12-13)— the harmony of His familyNow He has a full choir.

The Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs that we learn throughout our childhood are the anthems that are carried into heaven with us, as we join that celestial choir. Others are added along the way as He gives us a repertoire.  The only soloist is the one who carries the melody—Christ, Himself.

As we live by the Spirit, and walk by the Spirit, He opens our ears to hear the melody, and to follow Him.  Our off-keys and monotones are tuned to harmonize with other voices.  And walking humbly with our Father, in the obedience of faith, loving the Lord, our God, and our neighbor, we are surrounded by the heavenly overtones echoing His praise in heaven and earth. In our devotion to Christ He opens our hearts to hear compositions we have never heard before, especially during the difficult circumstances of life.

I pray that we know the Lord as our strength and song.”  (Exodus 15:2)

I pray that we would experience “the new song” as He fills us with His Spirit.

On the Lord’s Day we go to His House with a great expectation of hearing the melody—a strong and sure foundation for our worship—hearing the other parts, and the distant sound of the descant of the angels in affirmation that our worship is accepted.

I pray that each day we will practice our singing, individually, and in family worship, so that we are prepared for worship on the Lord’s Day—all in preparation for the great day when we see Him and praise Him in all His glory with the angels.

Our Father has composed the music and directs the choir.

Let us sing with full hearts to His glory and our joy.

“Holy,—-Holy,—-Holy,

The LORD of hosts:

The whole earth is full of His glory.”

Lord’s Day 9/23/07 (Article from Waiting Is Not  A Game~Articles and Stories of Faith.)

Echo of Good Tidings

 0681a_christmasimage_2014 This good news was announced on earth to a few shepherds by a single angel, after which a multitude of angels rejoiced, in praise “to God in the highest.” One of the greatest events on earth took place that night.

Can we imagine what was going on in heaven? Could it be that after thousands of years of planning and waiting for this day heaven was quiet? 

Joseph’s purpose and greatness in this life was to serve as Jesus’ earthly father.  He attended the birth and accepted Jesus as his own son. But God, His heavenly Father begat Him for an even greater purpose. His physical birth was the result of the heavenly Father’s desiring, and siring, to fulfill all His promises of redemption for His people of every race and nation.

Would not He and all of heaven been in a holy expectancy in anticipation of this event with its celebration and proclamation?

While the people of Bethlehem may have been sleeping and the world clueless to God’s plans during this historical event, can we not think that God, Jesus’ heavenly Father was present, with the attendance of the angels, for the delivery of His own Son? Would not Gabriel who had announced the conception to Mary been present? And might Michael have been there to keep the enemy at bay? This is only speculation, but surely there was much going on that was not recorded for us.

If “the angels in heaven rejoice over one sinner that repents,” imagine what all the heavenly hosts were doing that night when the Redeemer, who has brought that means of repentance, was born.

A few were privileged to experience the reverberation that night—from the heavenly Father came the proclamation of new life here on earth, as promised from the beginning, and prophesied through the ages. The shepherds heard, believed, and came to see “that which had come to pass,” and glorified and praised God for all they had heard and seen.

“And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.”
Luke 2:17

The echo continues, as it has for thousands of years. God, the Father is still proclaiming the majesty of His Son over all things, and His love for all His children. For those who hear, Christ is conceived in the heart, bringing faith and repentance. The heavenly hosts are still rejoicing as God, the Father, through Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit give true life ~eternal life ~ to new sons and daughters.

We do not know what happened the night of Jesus’ birth other than what has been recorded in His Word, and passed down through the centuries. We celebrate the season of this birth in many different ways according to our culture and traditions. There are many reverberations heard and experienced throughout the world that have nothing to do with the purpose and truth of the birth of the Son of God. But, in a few, from the hearts of those to whom this truth has been revealed there is an echo resounding, not from speculation or imagination, but from the Father, and Christ, Himself.

He is present, and the heavenly hosts rejoice with each new birth. He has made us His children, His family, His people, His church, His echo here on earth, heard not just for one season or another, but for all time and eternity.

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace with whom he is pleased.”
Luke 2:14

“Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, to whom be glory forever and ever, Amen.”
Hebrews 13:21

Dear heavenly Father, as you planned that your only begotten Son would be the first of many brethren, bringing many sons to glory, let us gratefully echo the good tidings that the angels announced that holy night.  Fill us with the Spirit of the life of Christ, so that forever He will be glorified in you and us.  In His name we pray. Amen.

Related Article: Angels From the Realms of Glory
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Why Should God Spare America?

This article “Why Should God Spare America” was patterned after a sermon “Things That God Did Not Spare preached by a young minister, Andrew Stewart, in Northern Ireland August 7, 2016.  It included the main question: “Why should God spare you?” I strongly urge you to listen to this sermon, for your own personal blessing and hope.

The Angels in Heaven

“God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment.” 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6

In Isaiah 6 we see the angels who veiled their faces, showing reverence and respect, humble before the Creator. But because of pride, in a moment of time, the devil and his angels were cast out of heaven. Ezekiel 28:13

God did not spare them. Why should God spare a nation that lives in pride and gives no respect to His authority and rule over us? Are we better than the angels?

The Ancient World

“And God saw the wickedness of the earth” and the evil hearts of men. Genesis 6:5

“He did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly. 2 Peter 2:5

They had a preacher.

They also had the blessing of God’s patience, of His long-suffering toward a wicked and rebellious world.

God did not spare them. Why should God spare a nation that pays no heed to the word of God, but lives independently of Him? Are we better than the old world?

The Cities of the Plains

He did not spare Sodom and Gomorrah. Genesis 13:10

They knew what it was to enjoy the natural and temporal blessings of God.   They had a godly man in their midst. They had an intercessor. Abraham prayed for God to save them. (Genesis 18:22)

“By turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly;” 2 Peter 2:6

God did not spare them. Why should God spare a nation that openly and defiantly approves and practices the things that are an abomination to Him? Are we better than Sodom and Gomorrah?

The Natural Branches

He did not spare His chosen people, but many times brought judgment upon them because of their disobedience.

Because of their unbelief, they were left to wander in the wilderness.

They had the blessings of prayer, and of the word from the prophets .

Jerusalem was burned, and the people were taken into exile for seventy years; an equivalence of the number of years that they had profaned the Sabbath.

National Israel in A.D. 70 was scattered to the end of the world.

They had all the privileges. They had God’s blessings, His power, His precepts, the oracles, the types, the shadows of the Messiah, yet they rejected Him when He came.

God did not spare them. Why should God spare a nation that rejects the message of His Son? Are we better than the Israelites?

Why should God spare America? Why are we any different from those who fell under His wrath and judgment? We have the word of God that He has preserved all these years, translated in our language, which men have lived and died for. We have ministers who preach the Word of God; intercessors who pray for the salvation of this country.

In comparison to those whom God did not spare, we stand condemned before Him.   We can but wonder why He has been so patient with us; in mercy and long-suffering with us.

How can God spare us? Where is our hope? The answers are found in His Word.

“He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”
Romans 8:32

Jesus Christ, God’s Son

God did not spare His own Son but He poured out His wrath upon Him so that we may be spared.

As God’s children, we must examine our own hearts and our confession of faith.

“For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” 1 Peter 4:17

God’s patience is on our behalf, as His people, that we might be turned to Him. Persecution may be the only means to prove who belongs to Him. It is in these times that we turn to His Word and call out for the Holy Spirit’s power in our own hearts and lives, and proclaim this hope to others.

“Be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. And count the patience of our Lord as salvation,”
2 Peter 3:15
count-patience-jpg

Dear Father,  as we wait and hope, in the mercy and grace of our Lord, whom you did not spare for our sake, let us continue to pray, proclaim your kingdom, and “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity.” In whose name we pray, praise, and thank you. Amen.  2 Peter 3:18
Audio: Things That God Did Not Spare

Photography: Mike Roberts

Heavenly Overtones

images

Music is designed with a melody that runs throughout the whole piece.  Other parts add harmony.  The melody is the beginning, and the ending.  It is what holds the piece together.  Lose the melody or make it a monotone—the same tone over and over— and it ceases to be music.  Overpower the melody and the music loses its meaning.

Music is a sound that began in heaven with God, our Father and Creator.  It is a major means that He provided to help us worship Him—“Holy, Holy, Holy”—one for the Father, one for the Son, and one for the Holy Ghost, is sung by the angels in heaven. (Isaiah 6:3  and Revelation 4:8)

Anthems are compositions for music that include all parts —melody, harmony, and sometimes, what is called a descant.  A descant is a part that is sung by a higher range of voices.  It is not meant to overpower but provide an extra lift to the other parts.

Together all the parts speak to the senses to lift the spirit and the heart toward God.

Some of The Psalms that we sing from the Trinity Psalter have descants.  If you have never sung The Psalms you have not only missed hearing the command of the Lord in Ephesians 5:19, but also the blessings that come with them when they are sung.

In Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs we worship with Biblical texts and heavenly music.

(For centuries The Psalms were sung in all the churches.  They are God’s Word sung in worship to Him.  But most churches for the past two hundred years have thrown them out in the same way that the true gospel has been pushed aside.)

And for the most part, all we hear is a monotone—the same thing over and over.  Melody and harmony have been replaced with the performances of one person’s voice or drowned by instruments that overpower the melody.

Hymns have been replaced by compositions that have no harmony—difficult to sing and remember—and have separated generations of families.

I picture it according to His Word—the melody was begun in heaven with Jesus, His Son—“Holy, Holy, Holy”  from the foundation of the world.  He would not only be the beginning of music, but the melody throughout the span of time here on earth, onward into eternity.

“And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes…”

He was wrapped in our humanity—the melody of heaven was here—to gather around Him those that would add the harmony to Himself, and provide the music for His family, the music that the Father wanted to hear.

images

“On the same night there were shepherds with flocks of sheep in the fieldAnd lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them”the music and the worship were about to begin.

And the glory of the Lord shone round about them with good tidings of great joy”the prelude—the introduction to the first anthem of true worship.

To all people—unto you is born a Savior, Christ the Lord”the music begins.
images

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly hosts praising God, and saying,  Glory to God in the highest”—the descant.

“And on earth peace.”   Christ Jesus, our Lord, is the melody of heaven, the melody of life, as God has composed it, and plays it for us by His Spirit and through His Word.

“I will declare thy name (the Father) unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.” “Behold, I and the children which God hath given me.”  (Hebrews 2:12-13)—the harmony of His family.  Now He has a full choir.

The Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs that we learn throughout our childhood are the anthems that are carried into heaven with us, as we join that celestial choir. Others are added along the way as He gives us a repertoire.  The only soloist is the one who carries the melody—Christ, Himself.

As we live by the Spirit, and walk by the Spirit, He opens our ears to hear the melody, and to follow Him.  Our off-keys and monotones are tuned to harmonize with other voices.  And walking humbly with our Father, in the obedience of faith, loving the Lord, our God, and our neighbor, we are surrounded by the heavenly overtones echoing His praise in heaven and earth. In our devotion to Christ He opens our hearts to hear compositions we have never heard before, especially during the difficult circumstances of life.

I pray that we know the Lord as our strength and song.”  (Exodus 15:2)

I pray that we would experience “the new song” as He fills us with His Spirit.

On this Lord’s Day I go to His House with a great expectation of hearing the melody—a strong and sure foundation for our worship—hearing the other parts, and the distant sound of the descant of the angels in affirmation that our worship is accepted.

I pray that each day we will practice our singing, individually, and in family worship, so that we are prepared for worship on the Lord’s Day—all in preparation for the great day when we see Him and praise Him in all His glory with the angels.

Our Father has composed the music and directs the choir.

Let us sing with full hearts to His glory and our joy.

“Holy,—-Holy,—-Holy,

The LORD of hosts:

        The whole earth is full of His glory.”

Lord’s Day 9/23/07 (From 50 Days of Prayer and Praise~Articles and Stories of Faith.)

Angels from the Realms of Glory

Where are God’s angels today?

3_angels_flying_over_earth_-_x350“Angels from the realms of  glory,
Wing your flight o’er all the earth;
Ye, who sang creation’s story,
Now proclaim Messiah’s birth.”

The angels that were present at the creation, have been present throughout all of history, waiting the time when God’s word would be fulfilled in the incarnation of His Son, Jesus.

Without doing a whole series on angels, we want to look at  one segment of the record of angels from God’s word, to compare the angel’s announcement of Mary’s conception,  to Jesus’ proclamation of our new birth.

The Angels Proclamation:
“And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”  Luke 1:35

 Jesus’ Proclamation:  
“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God…except a man is born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit…The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”   John 3:3,5-6

The same Holy Ghost (Sprit) that came upon Mary is the same Spirit that comes upon us to reveal Jesus Christ in us. The power of the Highest that overshadowed Mary is the same power that overshadows His people today; by which we conceive in our hearts the image and Spirit of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

He told His disciples that He would not leave them helpless, but would come to them, by His Spirit. When Jesus comes He does not just come unto us, but into us, by His Spirit.

Mary could not conceive a child of her own.  It was God’s gift to her and to us.
We cannot conceive a child on our own.  Whether flesh or Spirit, it is God’s gift to us.
We cannot will this gift to ourselves.  We cannot birth Christ in our own hearts.
We cannot decide to believe in Christ.  Only He can send His Spirit to be born in us.

Was Mary’s conception a phenomenon?  So is our faith in Jesus Christ.
Was the birth of Jesus Christ through a virgin a supernatural event?  So is our new birth.

Apart from Jesus Christ, we can do nothing.  As He continually sends His Spirit to do His work in and through us we can do all things that He wills for us, no less and no more ~ all miraculously!

“CHRIST IN YOU, THE HOPE OF GLORY
Colossians 1:27

What are the angels doing, now that Christ has accomplished His work on earth and “It is finished?” They are still winging their flight o’er all the earth; and in heaven rejoicing over every sinner that repents! images

The work of the Spirit of Christ keeps the angels singing. “Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?” Hebrews 1:14

   Angels We Have Heard on High
Sweetly singing o’er the plains
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their joyous strains.
Gloria, in excelsis Deo!
Glory to God in the Highest!

 “All creation, join in praising God, the Father, Spirit, Son,
Evermore your voices raising to the eternal Three in One.”

Heavenly Overtones

Music is designed with a melody that runs throughout the whole piece.  Other parts add harmony.  The melody is the beginning, and the ending.  It is what holds the piece together.  Lose the melody or make it a monotone—the same tone over and over— and it ceases to be music.  Overpower the melody and the music loses its meaning.

Music is a sound that began in heaven with God, our Father and Creator.  It is a major means that He provided to help us worship Him—“Holy, Holy, Holy”—one for the Father, one for the Son, and one for the Holy Ghost, is sung by the angels in heaven. (Isaiah 6:3  and Revelation 4:8)

Anthems are compositions for music that include all parts —melody, harmony, and sometimes, what is called a descant.  A descant is a part that is sung by a higher range of voices.  It is not meant to overpower but provide an extra lift to the other parts.

Together all the parts speak to the senses to lift the spirit and the heart toward God.

Some of The Psalms that we sing from the Trinity Psalter have descants.  If you have never sung The Psalms you have not only missed hearing the command of the Lord in Ephesians 5:19, but also the blessings that come with them when they are sung.

In Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs we worship with Biblical texts and heavenly music.

(For centuries The Psalms were sung in all the churches.  They are God’s Word sung in worship to Him.  But most churches for the past two hundred years have thrown them out in the same way that the true gospel has been pushed aside.)

And for the most part, all we hear is a monotone—the same thing over and over.  Melody and harmony have been replaced with the performances of one person’s voice or drowned by instruments that overpower the melody.

Hymns have been replaced by compositions that have no harmony—difficult to sing and remember—and have separated generations of families.

I picture it according to His Word—the melody was begun in heaven with Jesus, His Son—“Holy, Holy, Holy”  from the foundation of the world.  He would not only be the beginning of music, but the melody throughout the span of time here on earth, onward into eternity.

“And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes…”

He was wrapped in our humanity—the melody of heaven was here—to gather around Him those that would add the harmony to Himself, and provide the music for His family, the music that the Father wanted to hear.

“On the same night there were shepherds with flocks of sheep in the field. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them”the music and the worship were about to begin.

And the glory of the Lord shone round about them with good tidings of great joy”the prelude—the introduction to the first anthem of true worship.

To all people—unto you is born a Savior, Christ the Lord”the music begins.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly hosts praising God, and saying,  Glory to God in the highest”the descant.

“And on earth peace.”   Christ Jesus, our Lord, is the melody of heaven, the melody of life, as God has composed it, and plays it for us by His Spirit and through His Word.

“I will declare thy name (the Father) unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.” “Behold, I and the children which God hath given me.”  (Hebrews 2:12-13)— the harmony of His familyNow He has a full choir.

The Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs that we learn throughout our childhood are the anthems that are carried into heaven with us, as we join that celestial choir. Others are added along the way as He gives us a repertoire.  The only soloist is the one who carries the melody—Christ, Himself.

As we live by the Spirit, and walk by the Spirit, He opens our ears to hear the melody, and to follow Him.  Our off-keys and monotones are tuned to harmonize with other voices.  And walking humbly with our Father, in the obedience of faith, loving the Lord, our God, and our neighbor, we are surrounded by the heavenly overtones echoing His praise in heaven and earth. In our devotion to Christ He opens our hearts to hear compositions we have never heard before, especially during the difficult circumstances of life.

I pray that we know the Lord as our strength and song.”  (Exodus 15:2)

I pray that we would experience “the new song” as He fills us with His Spirit.

On this Lord’s Day I go to His House with a great expectation of hearing the melody—a strong and sure foundation for our worship—hearing the other parts, and the distant sound of the descant of the angels in affirmation that our worship is accepted.

I pray that each day we will practice our singing, individually, and in family worship, so that we are prepared for worship on the Lord’s Day—all in preparation for the great day when we see Him and praise Him in all His glory with the angels.

Our Father has composed the music and directs the choir.

Let us sing with full hearts to His glory and our joy.

“Holy,—-Holy,—-Holy,

The LORD of hosts:

The whole earth is full of His glory.”

O Holy NIght 

Lord’s Day 9/23/07 (Article from 50 Days of Prayer and Praise~Articles and Stories of Faith.)