Jan 19, '09 12:30 PM
By Regner Capener
A belated Happy New Year and Good Morning to you!
Thanks again to those of you who have been faithful readers and subscribers! Today's edition begins our fifth year of publication.
During the weeks of the Christmas and New Year holiday break, we have added somewhere between 40,000 and 50,000 new readers despite the fact that we have not published any new Coffee Breaks since just before Christmas. Guess that means these Coffee Break discussions are making a difference in the lives of some people, and that's a blessing! By the way, if you are among the newly subscribed and are wondering why you haven't been receiving any Coffee Breaks, it has been an extremely busy break period as I have been trying to archive the past four years worth of these writings in one place, as well as taking care of some needed maintenance here at River Worship Center.
Let's get started with today's discussion and pick up where we left off in talking about sound -- and specifically, the Sound of the Lord.
Before we do, make sure you've gotten the day kick-started with some good dark-roasted java. Della and I are trying a new coffee today. Our daughter, Shelley, gave us a large bag of Marques Estate Harvest coffee from Brazil. It looks good and smells good. Haven't seen this coffee before, but because Shelley is a chef she has access to coffees and sources of coffee that we don't normally see. After we've had a few days of trying this and comparing it, I'll let you know my assessment.
We have quoted Paul's statement from Ephesians 6:12 throughout these discussions on sound, and let me start there again today.
"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."
Once again I remind you that the word translated "wrestle" in the KJV ("struggle" in the NAS) is the Greek word, esti-pale (from its root, pallo: to vibrate). It is a musical term which describes two or more notes or sounds in opposition to each other which create a resulting noise or cacophony the ears cannot stand. This is a significant concept in the overall picture of spiritual warfare.
Each sound has an onoma -- a shem -- a striking personality and character that drives it.
Onoma is a Greek term (shem is the Hebrew term which has the identical picture) which most often gets translated "name" but the image and thought behind this word go far beyond the simple idea of a "name." The "name" is intended as a snapshot, if you will, of a certain character, a personality, the essence of who one is, one's makeup, their rank, power and authority, their behavior, their integrity (or lack thereof), and so forth. The "name" is a marker for a vision that encompasses all that a person is to be. It is a prophecy of their future. All of this is encompassed in "onoma."
Let me draw some illustrations for you.
We have a graphic picture in Acts 19 where the seven sons of the Jewish priest, Sceva, saw and heard the apostle Paul casting out evil spirits in the "onoma" of Jesus. They took the names of Jesus and Paul as some kind of religious formula and, thinking they could simply bandy those names without being "in the onoma" therewith, uttered the phrase, "We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth."
Because they were simply using words as a formula and not understanding either the power, the authority, or the character and essence behind the "name" of Jesus, "Jesus" became a weapon they didn't know how to use. The evil spirits came out, all right. They came out of the demonized individual and tore them to pieces.
There's another example of this in Matthew 7:20-23 where Jesus says, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."
Notice what is happening. People want to be included in the Kingdom, and say to the Lord, "We've prophesied in your name. We've cast out demons in your name. We've done lots of miracles in your name."
The essence of Jesus' response is, "No you haven't. You've used religious formulas and seen success because of the power of my name, but you've used my name as a formula. You've twisted the very essence of my onoma into something that serves your kingdom. You haven't been in my onoma!"
There are many professing Christians today who spout the name of Jesus, lay hands on the sick and prophesy. They pay tithes, they do good deeds in public, the feed the hungry and provide shelter for those who are in poverty. But here's the kicker. They are not doing it in the onoma of Jesus!
There is no abiding in Him. There is no intimate love-relationship with Him. There is no willingness on their part to meet His conditions in order to bring the Kingdom of God to realization on earth. There is no thirst for the life and presence of the Lord in their lives. There is no "Katy-bar-the-door," no-holds-barred drive in their spirits to see that Jesus Christ receives His inheritance in them. They are filled with religious doctrines which satisfy their flesh and place no requirements for the spiritual growth and maturity that Jesus is looking for in a Bride who will be His Counterpart, His Other Self.
Understand the difference?
Religion uses formulas. Religion uses nice phrases. Religion sounds good. It often says all the right things, but there is no power and authority to back up what it does. The manifestation of the life and presence of the Lord Jesus Christ is missing.
And here's the issue I'm getting at in this discussion on the Sound of the Lord. The Sound of the Lord brings with it the onoma, the very shem of the Lord Himself! His sound transmits His character. It communicates the absolute essence of Who He is!
Think about all the "church" music you've heard throughout the years. How much of it really communicated and transmitted the very life of the Lord Jesus Christ? How much of it simply communicated the flesh and carnality of the people singing and playing? How much of it was real ministry to the Lord? How much of it was dry and lifeless?
Are you beginning to see the picture? Music which comes out of the Spirit of the Living God communicates His presence. Music that just "sounds good" entertains you for a minute or two, maybe it makes you feel good, but it leaves you without any sense of the character and makeup of the Lord Himself. The reason is because of the onoma that is creating that sound. It may have all the right words. It may have a very skilled and professional sound. But it isn't the Sound of the Lord!
Why? Because there's no rhema of the Holy Spirit in it. It's just not what the Lord is saying to or through His people at the moment. If it isn't what He is saying to His people NOW, it lacks the power and authority.
Extrapolate that to the words you listen to. What are you hearing on radio or TV? What are you hearing in the pulpit?
Let's take this concept to another dimension.
There is a unique aspect to the Sound of the Lord and His onoma that most folks are not aware of. Uri Harel discovered that there is a musical sound or tone to each letter of the Hebrew alphabet corresponding to its numerical value. (For those of you who don't know Uri, he was born in Haifa, Israel. Uri attended college in Buffalo, New York, where he graduated with a degree in education. After moving to Phoenix, Arizona in 1977, he began what would become a life-long passion to explore and share with others the unique beauty of the Hebrew language. I commend his work to you which you can find at www.c-bh.com, and www.musicfromgod.com)
Each word of the Old Testament has a sound that goes with it. That sound is a part of the Sound of the Lord. Quoting from Uri's website, "According to an old Hebrew tradition about the creation of the world, God used the Torah as a blueprint for the work of creating the universe. The 22 Hebrew letters in pre-determined combinations were used to accomplish this task. Those letters therefore represent the physical forces used in the Creation process. All of creation reflects the Divine order, which in turn is represented by the Divine language and its symbols - the Hebrew alphabet."
Those forces are manifested in sound. That sound, as we all know, is the sound that went forth when God spoke the worlds into existence. That is the same sound that came forth with the very first words, "Light BE!"
Now, let's take this picture to the onoma of the sound of opposition.
Think about all the sounds that fill our daily lives. How about TV commercials? What about sound tracks for TV programs or movies? What about the music you listen to?
We've already talked about Lucifer, his function in Heaven prior to his rebellion as the preeminent orchestrator of the sound of praise, worship and adoration; followed by his removal from his archangelic office. His name was changed from Lucifer to Satan. In the same way that the name of the Lord incorporates His shem, His onoma, so also does Satan's name draw a graphic picture of his character, his essence, his makeup and his behavior.
We've already discussed the fact that Paul's use of the representative term "vibrating" in opposition draws a graphic picture of sounds in opposition. Opposition is part of the onoma of Satan. The Hebrew word, satan, (pronounced saw. tan) is a primitive root in the Hebrew language. It draws a picture of opposition, of (false) accusation; to take an adversarial stance, to resist. It denotes one who lies in wait to ambush, an enticer, a layer of snares or traps.
The Greek satanas parallels the Hebrew satan, drawing its origin from the same Chaldean definitions. J. H. Thayer, in his Greek-English Lexicon, adds that satanas is "the prince of evil," and "an inciter to apostasy." Thayer defines the onoma of satanas as "the source of affliction, infirmity, disease and sickness."
Consider, therefore, the sound of his onoma! Is it any wonder that people who spend their days and nights listening to hard rock music, acid rock and rap, just to draw a few examples, are among the most sickly, the most diseased, the most afflicted and tormented people on the face of the earth? Is it any wonder that the overwhelming majority of them rarely even make the allotted 70-year sin lifespan because ("our days are passed away in thy wrath")? (See Psalm 90:9-10) [Note: Despite God's promise that man's "days shall be an hundred and twenty years" (Genesis 6:3) Moses makes note of the fact that sin and iniquity cut it back for most folks to seventy years, or eighty "by reason of strength."]
Pretty drastic cut, don't you think? It's no wonder that Jesus made clear that "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy." (John 10:10a) That is precisely what the sound of Satan's onoma does: it steals, it kills, and it destroys! What a rip-off! And some folks even enjoy it while they're being systematically deprived of their health, their long life, and their welfare. Satan has so effectively programmed the masses with his mind-control that they see nothing harmful in listening to his sound. They don't even see it as the sound of Satan.
What's even worse, we have folks who come out of this scene into the body of Christ; they accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior and Redeemer and yet they think they need to hang onto that sound. They try to put the message of the Gospel into the onomatopoeia (sorry for the pun, but it's accurate) of Satan, and then wonder why there is so little change of lifestyle, character, makeup and personality in those they seek to "minister" to with that sound.
God's people really need to get a hold of this understanding!
I've said this before and I'll say it again! 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! 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 healing and deliverance! He came with the sound of Salvation! He came with the sound of prosperity and wholeness in every part of life. He came with the sound of Heaven.
You just can't have it both ways. Trying to mix the holy and the profane, the Godly and the Satanic is folly! Pretending that it is "just sound" and that "it makes no difference" is akin to the ostrich hiding it's head in the sand.
We're almost done with this series, but I want to touch on one more aspect of sound before we move on. We've dealt thus far primarily with the sound itself, and we have touched briefly on the message or the words that come with the sound, but we need to take another look at the words themselves and how they cooperate with (or oppose, as the case may be) the sound of the Lord.
Our next Coffee Break discussion will deal with THE SPIRIT OF THE SOUND. See you again in a few days.
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)
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