By Francis Frangipane
Within the boundaries of the physical universe, there is perhaps nothing so accessible to the spiritual realms as music. It is a bridge media, capable of transporting the human soul through the invisible gateways of time and space. Indeed, who among us has not heard the words of an old, but special song without suddenly finding our hearts flooded by the sadness or joy of a past event? Or, listen to Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" or Handel's "Messiah," and the wings of music loft one's soul ever upward into the very threshold of heaven.
Conversely, it was the music of the 1960s that, like the Trojan horse, smuggled into Western culture a diabolical and hidden army: we sang, while demons of rebellion, sorcery, drug abuse and illicit sex covertly slipped into our thought-life and laid siege upon our moral standards. Today, this sinister music has secured such a major grip upon the West, that major rock musicians brazenly embrace the worship of Satan himself, filling stadiums with young people intoxicated by the music of hell.
In the Last Days
The prophetic scriptures reveal that, as we near the end times, music will increasingly become an expression of worship. Mankind will polarize into two groups: those who follow the Lamb as worshipers of God and those who are demonized and worship Satan (Rev 9:20; 13:8, etc.).
Even now, this polarization is occurring. As stated, hard rock concerts have become so utterly demonic, so intrinsically vile, that they have functionally become expressions of satanic worship. At the same time, Christian music has actually become the fastest growing genre in the music industry. Today, it is not unusual in America to see secular television commercials offering worship CDs, complete with video footage of stadiums full of people pouring their hearts out in songs to God.
Not only does the Lord reveal the priority of worship in the last days, to help focus us, He tells us what themes will fill the songs of the redeemed! Indeed, by looking at the songs that fill our hearts we can discern if we are aligned spiritually with the pattern of those portrayed in the Scriptures. Thus, let's look at Rev 5:9-10 and see how our song compares with those who follow the Lamb.
And they sang a new song, saying,
"Worthy art Thou to take the book, and to break its seals; for Thou wast slain, and didst purchase for God with Thy blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. And Thou hast made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth" (Rev 5:9-10).
First, the redeemed sing "a new song." There is nothing stale or old about true worship; it is always fresh, always alive, always a consequence of God's miraculous love as it unfolds in our lives. Next, their song is focused upon the exaltation of the Lamb of God (see also vs. 11-14). They know they only have obtained access to God because they were purchased by the blood of the Lamb. They are overwhelmed with spontaneous worship and deep thanksgiving to God's Son.
To most Christians the themes in this song are familiar, even if we do not fully walk in them. In varying degrees, we have this song of praise to Christ in our hearts. Yet, amazingly, according to this scripture, the world vision of the end time redeemed is markedly different from what most of us believe today. Speaking as one of the redeemed, John tells us that their goal is not to dwell forever in heaven, but to "reign [with Christ] upon the earth." How contrary this is to what many Christians are taught. We pray, "Take us to heaven, Lord." But the redeemed, the 24 elders and the angelic hosts are singing, "Bring heaven to earth, Lord! Thy kingdom come here, as it is in heaven." Consider prayerfully: the focus of the redeemed is to "reign upon the earth."
Consider also: John identifies these last days saints as "priests to our God." The primary ministry of this "kingdom priesthood," as the model of the Old Testament priesthood forecasts, is that of intercession. Those who reign with Christ are intercessors. They offer sacrifices to God for mankind's sins and lift praise offerings for the Almighty's mercy. As priests, their lives are bound together with those peoples and nations for whom they pray. Yet, though bound with those in need, kingdom priests are not bound by blind nationalism and the bias of one's cultural or ethnicity. They see clearly the need of their people, yet instead of justifying it or simply finding fault, they intercede. They have ascended from mere critics to become a "kingdom and priests."
Additionally, they come "from every tribe and tongue and people and nation." Thus, we are offered another view into their heart's song: these are men and women united in Christ, committed to unity and reconciliation. They are a new creation people that, in the world, were at times enemies, but in the kingdom have become one.
A Unique Song
There is more that fills the music and worship of the redeemed. In Rev. 14:3 we read,
"And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one could learn the song . . ."
Although this verse refers to the elect of God, by application it tells us that there is a personal song that we each sing, a song that "no one" else can learn. It is a hymn that comes uniquely from our hearts, one that tells our personal story of redemption. Beloved, there is a song that you alone must learn and you alone can sing. Its stanzas are filled with the litany of God's miracles. This worship is our testimony of the Father's wonderful, rescuing, empowering grace, and it rises fragrant-like incense from the core of our God-experience. Have you been singing this song? This is your reason for living and only you can sing it.
All Nations Will Come
Yet, there is still one more theme we must study and Rev. 15:3-4 carries its message:
"And they sang the song of Moses the bond-servant of God and the song of the Lamb, saying, 'Great and marvelous are Thy works, O Lord God, the Almighty; righteous and true are Thy ways, Thou King of the nations. Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Thy name? For Thou alone art holy; for all the nations will come and worship before Thee, for Thy righteous acts have been revealed.' "
Beloved there is so much in these words and time limits us to speak of them all. But among the elect is the accompanying work of God. These are the "great and marvelous displays of power; the awesome "righteous acts [that] have been revealed." For those who see only a whimpering, weak end time church, I say to you: these works shall touch and shake nations, and shall cause "nations" to "come and worship."
We must obtain the vision of nations coming to God if our worship will attain that which fills the end time redeemed. Behold, these who follow Christ, not only sing songs about Moses and the Lord; they sing the very song that filled Moses' heart, which the Lamb Himself is singing. It is the song of nations coming to God.
Miriam sang, "horse and rider is cast into the sea." But Moses was singing a different song. It is right we should sing about Jesus, but the Lamb, God's sacrifice for mankind's sin, sings a different song. Behold the vision that filled both Moses and Jesus' heart: "all the nations will come and worship before Thee."
Beloved, to become like Christ is to have transferred to our hearts the values and standards of His heart; it is to possess His song. In everything Jesus did, the joy set before Him was the great harvest of the nations. In all the Moses accomplished, his eyes were always looking beyond the Promised Land into a "Promised Earth" fully restored to God. Thus, let us also possess this same worldwide vision. Yes, and let us ask ourselves, "Is the music that fills our hearts being conformed to God's pattern for His redeemed?" Are we singing the song of Moses and of the Lamb?