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9-16-2016 A Capella Music

Why, for hundreds of years after the Apostles, no Christians used mechanical instruments of music in their worship?  Their song worship found them “speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:19 NKJV).  The “melody” was to come from their heart, through their singing, not an external instrument!  Before the Catholic Church justified external instruments, the music of Christians in worship was known as “a capella,” a phrase meaning “according to the church,” and referring to singing without any additional instrumental accompaniment!  Worship in the churches of Christ involves heart-felt music that teaches “one another,” not heavy, overwhelming instrumentation that entertains!  Corruption of worship caused God to say: “Take away from Me the noise of your songs, For I will not hear the melody of your stringed instruments” (Amos 5:23 NKJV).

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#instruments, #music, #sing

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Psalm 98

Vs. 1-3 point to Whom we should give praise;

Vs. 4-6 mention how thoroughly we should give praise;

Vs. 7-9 show how widespread this praise should be shared.

There is no indication of time, place, or author for this Psalm, although it easily matches some of David’s Psalms of praise to God. For those who desire positive messages, this is THE Psalm! There is no description of enemies, destruction, death, sorrows, punishments, or afflictions. It speaks of salvation, which only completely comes through Jesus Christ. All animal sacrifices before Jesus Christ were reminders that the worshipers were not completely forgiven. “But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins” (Hebrews 10:3-4). “And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified” (Hebrews 10:11-14). Psalm 98 emphasizes a “salvation” so complete and universal that it could only be describing that found in Jesus Christ.

Verses 1-3: “Sing to the LORD,” (verse 1) says how, “a new song” is what, and is the same song before God’s throne in Heaven about the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Revelation 5:6-10). This Psalm is pointing to the future forgiveness through Jesus’ blood (Hebrews 9:15). God’s “marvelous things” are all He did to deliver Israel from Egypt (Acts 7:35-36), and ultimately through Jesus Christ (Matthew 8:23-27; 9:1-8, 32-33). “From His right hand Came a fiery law for them” (Deuteronomy 33:2), “and His holy arm” redeemed Israel from Assyria so that they might offer animal sacrifices under Moses’ Law (Isaiah 52:9-10). God’s plan of salvation (verse 2), “now has been made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures has been made known to all nations” (Romans 16:25-27). God’s “faithfulness to the house of Israel” (verse 3) was to offer salvation through Jesus to “the ends of the earth.”

Verses 4-6: Those who understand and accept this wonderful salvation cannot contain it. They will: “Shout joyfully to the LORD” (verse 4), “Break forth in song,” “Sing to the LORD” (verse 5a). Interestingly, the instruments are listed in addition to, and not included in the “singing” (verse 5b-6): “with the harp,” “With trumpets,” and to “Shout joyfully.” As they were introduced into Mosaic worship as “instruments of David” (2 Chronicles 29:26), this Psalm may well have been written in his time.

Verses 7-9: The universal extent in God’s plan of salvation (verses 7-8) is seen by the use of terms beyond the Jewish “Promised Land:” “the sea” “and all its fullness,” “world and those who dwell in it,” “rivers,” “the hills.”  The universal responsibility to obey is worded in Jesus’ Second Coming: “With righteousness He shall judge the world” (verse 9). This latter thought is found in Acts 17:30-31: “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:30-31). Truly, complete salvation is now offered “to every creature,” for Jesus said, “”He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #daily-bible-reading, #gospel, #jesus-christ, #salvation, #sing

Daily Bible Reading — Revelation 14: They’ve Overcome

The theme of the book of Revelation can be summed in one word: overcome.

In the first three chapters of the book of Revelation, Jesus continually encourages his people and hs churches to overcome the hardships imposed by Rome. While Christians most assuredly wanted vindication and relief from Rome, Christ encourages them to overcome.

In Revelation 14, the 144,000 of chapter 7 make another appearance. They’ve paid a high price, but they’ve overcome and obtained the victory. They sing a new song, a song only the redeemed know. Only the redeemed know the song, because only they are redeemed.

Isn’t it sad there are so many people on this earth afflicted by the influence of religions that have their own idea of how to be redeemed? They act so happy because they think they know redemption, but because their teachings conflict with the word of God, they keep getting the tune wrong.

Are the dead in Christ to be pitied? No. They’re blessed, verse 13 says. That means they’re happy. They’ve overcome the world. They have fought the good fight, finished their course and kept the faith (2 Timothy 4:7).

God’s undiluted wrath is ready to be poured out against Rome. The time of harvest is come. Three angels make the announcement. But even in the pronouncement of Babylon’s fall, there is a contrast. The people of verse five, the people who have been on God’s side, are far different from the people in verse eight, aren’t they?

There’s another contrast. Just as the joy of the redeemed continues eternally, for the lost “the smoke of their torment goes up forever,” (Revelation 14:11).

Which side are you on?

#daily-bible-study, #sing, #something-new

Announcement Procedure

At the Montana Street congregation, one of our elders presents the announcements right before the last song of the service is sung.

The announcements consists of the following:

1) A prayer list of those members who are ill, in the hospital, or homebound.
2) An announcement regarding our monthly luncheon on the first Sunday of every month.
3) The Bible Question Of The Week.
4) A list of the members who have birthdays or anniversaries during the month.
5) Any area-wide congregational singing.
6) Any area-wide gospel meeting.
7) Needed grocery items for the food pantry.

#anniversary, #announcements, #birthday, #congregation, #gospel-meeting, #luncheon, #prayer, #service, #sick, #sing

What are my talents? Well, I can do a li…

What are my talents? Well, I can do a little preaching, lead singing, lead in prayer, conduct an adult Bible class, present a Bible lesson at the Veteran’s Home every 3rd Saturday morning, write a few Bible-related articles. And anything else that the elders need me to do.

#article, #lesson, #prayer, #preach, #sing, #talent