Dec 23, '08 8:18 PM
Part 3: WHERE THE SOUND OF OPPOSITION BEGAN
Greetings, Salutations, Solutions, Felicitations, etc., etc., etc., ad infinitum!
That ought to fire up your juices today!
Oh, and it is very, very dark-roasted Colombian in both the French Press and the Expresso Machine today. Come on by and have a cup with me.
This discussion has obviously stirred some folks -- so far not too many negatively, it appears -- and for people whose lives revolve around sound, whether it be praise, worship, intercession, teaching, preaching, or just sharing, this is an extremely important area of revelation and understanding.
We've been using this translation (mine) from the Greek text of II Corinthians 10:3-5 in each of the past two Coffee Breaks and I want to start there again today.
"For the weapons and instruments of our war and executed actions [against Satan] do not have their origins and [weak, impotent] operation in natural flesh and human abilities, but they are skillful, potent and powerful – like dynamite – through God to the demolition and extinction of all fortified and guarded places of opinions in opposition,"
"Bringing down violently and demolishing (to total extinction) all mental reasonings and thought processes, and every mental barrier or arrogant and self-elevated attitude that justifies itself in opposition to the knowledge of God; bringing into captivity and making a prisoner every perception of the intellect and every mental purpose or determination to the compliance and submission of Christ and His anointing."
Let's also review Paul's statements in his letter to Ephesus.
"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."
In order to get to the root of why Paul expresses himself like this, and why he uses a musical term (esti-pale (from its root, pallo: to vibrate) in Ephesians 6 in talking about "wrestling" we need to go back to Ezekiel's prophecy (chapter 28:12-16) where he takes up God's judgment against what he refers to as "the king of Tyre."
As Ezekiel commences his prophetic discourse it becomes very obvious that he isn't referring to the literal king of Tyre but rather Lucifer. Pay attention to the wording and the phraseology chosen here.
"Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created." This terminology is highly significant as you will see.
"Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.
"By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire."
Now let's lay some foundations and then take a look at some of these words and phrases in the original Hebrew text.
1. First Ezekiel describes him as "sealing up" (the Hebrew word for this is: chatham: to make an end, to be the ultimate in perfection) the sum, being full of wisdom and perfect (kaliyl: entirely consumed, the finished product to exacting specification) in beauty.
2. Then he notes that he was in the Garden of Eden with the Lord God. This fits well when you realize that the Garden of Eden was a copy of what exists in Heaven. Adam and Eve were originally instructed to "be fruitful, and multiply and fill the earth." Genesis 2:15 tells us that they were commanded to "dress" the Garden (the Hebrew word is 'abad: meaning: to work it like an artisan [who creates a thing of beauty] and cause it to serve you by growth and multiplication) and "keep it" (shamar: meaning: to hedge it about, to preserve and protect, to ensure its future [so it is able to produce]).
3. Next he draws this phenomenal picture of Lucifer's dazzling appearance showing him as being covered with nine precious stones and arrayed in gold. No wonder Isaiah refers to him as "Son of the Morning" for brightness! (See Isaiah 14:12)
4. But now we begin to get down to the nitty gritty. Now Ezekiel says that "the workmanship (the Hebrew word here is: mela'kah: better translated: employment, ministry, that for which one is deputized) of thy tabrets(ta.phaph: tambourines, timbrels, percussion drums, percussion) and of thy pipes (neqeb: this word has a double meaning and can be used to describe both a socket or setting for gemstones, and/or something which has been bored through, such as a flute, piccolo and the entire family of wind-instruments) was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created."
In case you haven't quite grasped the picture yet, Lucifer was created specifically as the ultimate in beauty and music. But the picture becomes even more clear in Ezekiel's next phrase.
5. Twice Ezekiel refers to Lucifer as "the anointed cherub that covereth." Three Hebrew words in this phrase draw a picture that our English language fails to capture in direct translation. (a) The first is: mimshach: which is derived from mashach: and it denotes the anointing with oil. In this application, however, mimshach is the anointing that encompasses or overspreads. (b) The second is the word kerub: which is transliterated "cherub" in English. What gets missed in our transliteration is the fact that this word -- in the Hebrew, Syriac, Chaldean and Phoenicio-Semitic languages -- describes a being who guards and ministers to the Throne of God; a powerful angelic being near to the heart of God. [The popular myth of the cherub being some kind of cute, baby angel is about as far from reality as anything can be.] (c) The third word in this phrase is sakak:to entwine, to cover over, to surround.
We have three words assembled in Ezekiel's prophecy which draw a complete picture of Lucifer's ministry to the Throne of God. All of them denote "covering," or "creating an envelope" around the Throne. But that was only part of Lucifer's assignment and employment. His principal occupation was to minister in praise and worship. He was the perfection of music and he was created specifically to surround the Throne and permeate it with the finest praise and worship in a dimension our natural perceptions and hearing are simply not equipped to understand.
Since Lucifer was created as a being who would create sound -- the sound of worship -- we begin to see the picture Paul was drawing in Ephesians 6:12 when he uses the Greek term for "vibrate" to describe the spiritual "wrestling."
We won't take time today to explore all of this prophecy other than to touch on one more descriptive phrase. Ezekiel goes on to say, "Thou hast sinned; therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God." The Hebrew word translated "profane" is chalal. Students of Hebrew will note that this word is a minute variation of the word halal, which we translate as loud, boasting, celebratory praise. The slight difference in the two words is the use of a diacritical mark which alters the meaning from "celebratory praise" to "profane sounds" or "corrupted praise" [or worship]. The Hebrew chalal also denotes an arrogance or haughtiness.
It takes no great rocket science to see and understand that with his arrogance in thinking he could be seated "upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north," (Isaiah 14:13) (more on this in a minute) Lucifer's very arrogance corrupted the sound that came forth from him. It instantly became the sound of opposition to the Throne of God. It became a sound which opposed the anointing and the presence of the Lord. Thus, he was cast out of the mountain of God (a descriptive phrase often used to describe the Throne and the presence of the Lord) with his corrupted sound.
The phrase that Isaiah uses, "the sides of the north," is one which he borrows from Psalm 48:1-2 where the Psalmist describes "the mountain of His holiness" and "Mount Zion, on the sides of the north."
I have shared this picture before, but very quickly let me say that as part of a triumvirate of archangels (Michael and Gabriel being the other two named in Scripture), he was privy to the counsels of God. When the Godhead engaged in the plan to create a species of being who would be like God, imbued with His creative abilities, have the capability of free choice, be given the power of authority and dominion, and be specifically created and designed for fellowship and communion with Him, Lucifer -- as the one created being closest to the Throne -- became jealous and arrogant in pride.
Lucifer had one ability and created purpose that the other archangels did not have: the ability to create in the realm of music. His whole purpose had been the sound of Heaven. He existed for sound. That God would overlook him and not choose him for this special place of intimacy and communion -- and dominion -- angered him. He became rebellious against God.
Ezekiel describes what happened to him like this: "Thou wast perfect (tamiym: sound, complete and undefiled) in all thy ways (derek: course of life, manners, mode of action or activity) from the day thou wast created, till iniquity(evel: : to distort, to twist, to become perverse) was found in thee." And Ezekiel continues.
"By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffic; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee."
This is a picture too lengthy for me to describe in any detail in this Coffee Break, but let me quickly define a few of the key Hebrew words used in Ezekiel's prophetic discourse.
He says that because of the "multitude of thy merchandise" (rekullah: trade [in music]) Lucifer was filled "with violence" (chamas: to maltreat, to shake off, to imagine wrongfully) [Note: the Palestinian terror organization, Hamas, gets its name from this word) and that he would, therefore, be cast "as profane" (we've already noted this word, chalal, represents "corrupted praise") out of the mountain of God.
By now, you will easily see the pattern in the kind of sound that now began to come forth from the former Lucifer. His trade (or merchandise) was the sound of praise and worship. He twisted it, made it become violent and shaking and filled with vain and wrongful imaginations. And now you begin to see the significance of Paul's statements in II Corinthians 10:3-5.
That his name was changed from Lucifer (the illuminated one, the morning star) to Satan (the accuser, the one who wrongfully imagines evil against God's people, the one who attacks) becomes very clear.
Once more we come back to I Corinthians 14:10-11. "There are [and seem to be] so many generated and varied sounds in the world, and none of them is without articulated and tonal purpose. If, therefore, I do not know or perceive the power of the sound, I shall be a moral and mental ignoramus to the one giving forth that sound; and he that utters or creates the sound a rude and unlearned foreigner."
No sound "is without articulated and tonal purpose." No sound is without power. It is the source of that sound that determines its tonal purpose. It takes no genius to realize that so much of the music (or that which passes for music) in today's society is the sound of Satan. It is filled with violence. It is filled with hate. It is filled with sexual innuendo, lust and enticement. It is filled with fear, doubt and unbelief -- all of which are Satan's. Today's music is the sound of Satan's opposition to all that represents the Lord Jesus Christ and His message of redemption.
This next statement is not meant to offend, and I apologize in advance for those who take it that way. I have personally marveled at folks who -- in ignorance of the purpose and power of the sounds Satan generates -- seem to think it is OK to take the sound (or sounds) of Satan -- add words which speak of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and think they are doing a good thing by "reaching the younger generation."
It is sheer deception to think one can use the sound that Satan originates to preach the Gospel. It compromises the Word and mixes the holy with the profane. It treats the Gospel as "common" and ordinary -- not life-changing, not the source of salvation, deliverance, healing, health, prosperity and wholeness in every area. It justifies using the sound of hate and the "noise of thy viols" (as Isaiah describes it: 14:11) simply because "that's what the world listens to, and if you want to reach them you have to give them the kind of music they will hear."
Will someone please tell me how you use the sound of opposition to the Gospel to preach the Gospel? The Gospel of Jesus Christ isn't just words you can put to any old sound! There is an onoma to the sound (and that's where we will go with our next Coffee Break). No wonder Paul refers to this as "wrestling!"
That's not how Jesus did things, folks! He came with a different sound. He came with the sound of life. He came with the sound of Heaven. Angels announced His coming with a sound that filled the skies.
When Jesus entered the sanctuary of the Temple and heard the sound of commerce and the selling of redemption, it stirred Him to anger. He drove those who thought they could cheapen His covenant by selling it for money out of the Temple. They were doing exactly what Lucifer thought to do in Heaven: defile the sanctuary(ies) "by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffic." There was no compromise in anything Jesus ever said or did.
In our next Coffee Break, we will address THE ONOMA OF SOUND.
I'd expected to break before this for the Christmas season, but wanted to bring this discussion to this point before recessing. This will be our last Coffee Break for 2008, and it will be the final Coffee Break posted on any MSN discussion boards. We will resume publication in mid-January.
MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE! AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Things are not what they seem to be: they're what God says they are. The sound of His Word going forth is what determines the difference between light and darkness, life and death, health or sickness and disease, poverty or prosperity.
The Blessing of the Lord: it makes rich and He adds no painful toil and sorrow! (Proverbs 10:22) Be blessed!
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