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Logo of GYC 2017: Arise

1. The Song of the Spheres

William Guthrie



  • December 28, 2017
    9:15 AM
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This message was presented at the G.U.Y.Z. twenty seventeen conference arise in Phoenix Arizona for other resources like this visit us online at W W W dot. Org. Well welcome. We're excited to have you here I apologize that I am not William if you are expecting to hear William I am sorry to disappoint William had had jaw surgery a couple weeks ago and haven't quite taken out the brace yet so he's the one difficult to speak so I'm filling in for him this morning. He was the gentleman that was just passing out all the cards so he's been helping everything everything on the back end here and. You'll be hearing from from several of us here on the committee this morning and this afternoon. We we're excited be able to share with you this is something that we're often obviously passionate about we we do music for the fun of it and we're excited to be able to work with you guys I'm guessing most of you guys are musicians how many of you guys play an instrument it's pretty much everyone how many you guys sing almost everyone OK how many guys write music. I'm pretty good all right so we're going to have. We have several sessions including one I'm writing music that's the fourth one so stand stay tuned for that one. I want to encourage you to think of questions you might half we're going to have a way to for you to submit questions by text probably after this meeting we'll have that set up and you can text questions and we will have some Q. and A time after several of our sessions as well as tomorrow morning will be a panel where we will take questions from you will be addressing things several things with regards to how to deal with conflict in music and then we'll take questions from you guys as well so think of those questions write them down as we want the series to be a little different than what you might have imagined. A lot of music seminars are more focused on good and bad music and that's a good thing to understand but we also want to talk about the practical side how do we use music more effectively to finish the Lord's work to share the gospel Amen. So that's we're going to be focusing on with the series however it is important to understand that there is such a thing as bad music and understand how that that music came about and how what its effects can be if we fall into using it in our endeavors to use music for ministry. So all my life I have heard the terms you know good music bad music world music or theme music heavenly music you guys have heard these terms. But music was never meant to be bad it was created to be perfectly good in every way I can remember as a young boy I I thought music was the most amazing thing ever I would go outside and where no one could hear me and I would sing make up songs never sing the same tune or the same lyrics twice always on some new musical adventure and in my in my own mind and my parents had this. Sony stereo system had two large large speakers and I would put them on the table and put on something like Beethoven's Ninth and I turned up just loud enough that I could feel the orchestra with the speakers on either side of me and it was the closest thing I can get to that experience you get when you're in the concert hall you're like on the front row and you can feel the cellos instead of hear them it's you guys know I'm talking about this quite the amazing feeling so I would listen to all the music I could get my hands on one day I. Was digging through a box and I found a box of C.D.'s that I hadn't seen before I hadn't heard played in our home before so I you know ever curious stuck one in the CD player and what is this all about and what came out of the of the speakers was was quite exhilarating to my my young mind I I had not it was little different than what I'd heard at church or in our home before and I remember the feeling that it gave me I. I felt like I wanted to sit extremely still and jump up in excitement at the same exact time I remember that feeling to this day. And I was listening to this music my mom came into the house and she's like What are you what are you doing as I showed the C's that I found I was all excited and told her what I had found and she looked at me with a chuckle it's like Oh you found my my old pile of not the music. She had she had apparently tucked it away and forgotten about it that was the first time that I recall. Realizing or hearing the concept that music could be in some way bad or negative and it was quite jarring to my young mind to think that such a wonderful thing could be in any way bad I don't recall exactly what was what music was in that box but apparently had some elements that led my mom to set it aside because of the negative effect it had on her spiritual life and as I grew older through the gentle education of my parents and my Heavenly Father I began to understand what that experience was what it was like to have music affect my spiritual life affect my desire for spiritual things negatively and also for it to inspire and encourage my spirit of spiritual life I learned that some music could actually enhance my walk with the Lord and make me want to study the Bible more make me want to pray and I also. As I grew older I learned what it's like to not just enjoy music that inspires me to go to God but to share music that encourages someone else I remember several times early on when I would give a special music at church or something in someone's face would just light up in the audience and maybe they'd come up to me afterwards say you know that's just what it was terrible special music I wasn't that good at anything and that they'd say you know that song what you said in that song was just what I needed to hear today and they were encouraged and I was like OK I don't know I wasn't me must have been the Lord it wasn't me but that experience. That experience taught me or at least began to teach me the power that music can have for good or for bad so music in your sphere this series I hope is practical I hope you are walk away with some tools to help you with your your musical. Ministry we're going to have five sessions this first which is going to lay the groundwork Why do we saying where did music come from just some of these basic questions session to our one song and he is going to be talking about music in your local church how to use it more effectively song services that sort of a thing she's got some I've seen some of her presentation I'm can't wait to hear the rest of it myself session three singing of a better land Ariel is going to talk about music in a vandalism how can we use music more effectively to actually reach people outside of our churches outside of our sphere of influence people who would probably otherwise never be interested in a bible study or coming to church but maybe music can capture their attention session for James is going to be talking about creating heavens music how to write music. He's he's got you got to come to his session I can't wait for you to hear some of the stuff that he's got got for us and then tomorrow morning we're going to. We're going to talk about we're going have a panel and we're going to talk about how to deal with conflict in music you know if you're at how many you guys have. Been working with people in music and you don't agree and you don't know what to do with that is that is that a familiar experience Yeah a few of you are going to talk about how what some practical things we can do to address that goes to those moments of conflict when we don't agree we don't know how to come together in our music ministry and we're also going to take questions from you guys anything that we haven't answered that point we'll try to try to address in that panel very excited Amen All right let's pray together. Our Father in heaven we thank you that you give us a song to sing. We thank you that you created music for our enjoyment for our blessing we asked you would help us to learn to use it better to your glory help us to learn to use it to share your love with others and to glorify you we pray this in Jesus' name amen. Why do I sing. This question I think is. The center point of all the dilemmas we face in music. Our motivation if our motivation is not. Depending on where motivation is placed we will find ourselves with one dilemma or another this is this is true of any part of Christianity. Christ brought to light on the sermon of them out quite painfully actually does anyone have a Bible you want to reforest Matthew six verses one through four. Matthew six verses one through four. And he volunteers. Right. Who. Me. A man. When you do charitable The do not sound of trouble talk about music do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogue What is that saying. It's talking about what's your motivation if you're doing a good deed is the deed itself all that you need to do or does your motivation behind that deed need to be correct Amen. If you're singing a good song a godly song a heavenly song but you're singing it for your glory or you're singing it to be recognized of men if you're sounding a trumpet to catch people's attention what one thing is that going to be that will be your reward if that is what you're doing it for music this applies to many things including music I remember a little girl that I met once she had a beautiful voice very strong voice very beautiful and one day at church she was running around about four or five years old she was running around singing every song she could think of and yet she could think of a lot trust me. As she was singing and singing Jesus Loves Me This little light a mind Amazing Grace and then when she ran out of songs she can remember she started all over again and I was trying to get some stuff done I was being a fairy see running around trying to you know. Jesus you know these little children really necessary and were trying to get things done here that was my attitude and I I found her seeing to be a little and vicious and I I finally in an effort to divert her from her concert I asked her. Why are you why are you singing so much and she looked at me with a with a smirk. She said. Because Jesus loves me silly. And I couldn't argue with that. I had nothing to say in response. And so I left her to continue with great gusto she probably didn't fully understand the import of what she her answer was but it has stuck with me to this day why am I singing. Is there any other reason to sing other than because Jesus loves me. Amen. As far as we know music has always existed. God himself saying we find that from from Zephaniah will look at that in a bit later and if God sings then music must have always existed because God has always existed at least that's the logic that makes sense to me God must enjoy singing as well because he created for the most powerful most beautiful most talented angels beings he's ever created he created to be the chief musician of having. We He was originally created as Lucifer. And I want to say to use our imaginations here for a while were were were artists Amen our imaginations are are a tool that we hope we exercise often to the glory of God So let's let's let's try using our imaginations right now here I see we're in Phoenix this is a familiar city to us as far as a large city goes. Imagine with me the sounds of the city or whatever city you might be most familiar with the the cars that are driving in rush hour people talking on their cell phone as they're walking along the street perhaps discussing whatever the topic of the day is this question of the day horns or honking in noisy frustration and everyone seems to be busy everyone seems to be going somewhere quickly but largely indifferent to one another. Sound familiar Can you picture this now let's imagine a better place what's glimpsed the glories of this of the city of heaven take our eyes off the asphalt to streets of gold so pure that it is clear shimmering white. We must pull our shoulders out of the jostling crowd of the breakfast lined and picture angels who. Though they may be busy they always have a moment for a smile a kind word as they pass one another. These angels are strong majestic beings they I can only imagine what heaven is like the city is warm. The soft glow of light in circles the city the entire place reflects the piece of heaven the peace that permeates every aspect of that wonderful city high above the city underneath an emerald Rainbow is a gorgeous white throne the throne of God we cannot enter the throne room but we can watch as angels go in there as they approach its door we see them. Stepping softly covering their faces. Assuming an utmost attitude of reverence mingled with love our King is in this place Amen. Now let's turn our attention to the sounds of heaven. The Angels passing us on the street talk in musical tones some are deep in resident. Others silvery with a but they have a certain richness and we can't really compare to anything we've heard here on Earth. It seems they are all the greatest of singers and judging by the intricate tunes that they are humming as they as they go on their on their duties they must indeed be incredible musicians one singer in particular seems to stand out above all the rest he is tall he is noble head and shoulders above the rest of the angels and he seems rather important we see him Hurley going from Angel to Angel and he goes to the throne room and comes back he's answering questions of other angels. We ask a passing angel and we find out that his name is Lucifer and we also find out that to our surprise a heavenly concert is about to begin. We watch as the angels take out their harps and trumpets I use these terms for lack of a better word the musical instruments of heaven are nothing like the instruments we know by these names but let's use or imaginations they take their places on platforms balconies nearby quiet chatter fills the air with soft humming and strumming of ten thousand expert musicians in all fall silent as Lucifer raises his hand standing high on a platform so that all the angels can see him he looks more noble than ever then Lucifer begins to sing. And away singing his voice is so resonant so rich the pitch and tone is so perfect and so perfectly controlled that as it reflects off the gates of the city it rings in harmony with itself and you imagine a voice that can sing in harmony with itself. I can hardly sing in harmony with someone else. He sings only a few notes though just enough to get the song started the music is exquisite unlike anything we have heard or can even imagine on this earth with a sweep of his mighty arm Lucifer brings in only half of the angel choir and the sound is spectacular so full and glorious it sends. Shivers down my spine just to imagine it this is an ant to phone or angel anthem anthem with a trump of a troop of trumpeters posing their musical question from across the way and ensemble of harps answering from somewhere across the river of life and a massive Angel choir tying it all together. With ten thousand golden voices. And above it all we hear the voice of Lucifer adding in obligato here a trill there a special note of emphasis somewhere else the theme of the song is praise to our king his goodness for his grace His Love This is what the angels love to sing about for they truly know. And love God Amen in spite of their remarkable beauty glorious voices many and many other gifts the angels appear amazingly humble. Their spectacular Windisch and of musical genius strikes its last chord and finally fades into silence our human hearts leap for a standing ovation. And we are about to raise a thunderous round of applause when we are interrupted with a thousand Angela voices saying Praise God how lujah glory to his name scanning Angel choir we see faces filled with joy of a perfect performance yet not one seems to want an ounce of praise in exchange and we look to Lucifer he's the composer he's the arranger he's the conductor of this entire spectacular affair he is bowing not toward any intended audience but to our king the king of the universe our human hearts wonder. How does Lucifer seem to take he seems to take no credit for this extraordinary performance magine yourself in Lucifer's place having just orchestrated. One of the most incredible heavenly musical orations to date and yet wanting no credit for it whatsoever this is foreign to our human selfish hearts. It would seem only fitting to take perhaps a slight bow to accept just one round of applause for a job well done. But such a concept is foreign to Lucifer and the heavenly host. Job thirty eight verse four and seven. Where were you when I lay the foundations of the earth when the morning stars sang together and all the song sons shouted for joy. Amen. Why did Lucifer saying before sin entered his heart what was his motivation. Praise the Lord he saying because Jesus loved him silly. Because this quote from patriarchs and prophets music forms a part of God's worship in the courts above and we should endeavor in our songs of praise to approach as nearly as possible to the harmony of heaven heavenly choir the proper training of the voice is an important feature feature in education and should not be neglected singing it as a part a religious service is as much an act of worship as is prayer the heartless feel the spirit of the song and give it right expression. And there's another one from from testimonies Volume one page one twenty three I saw the beauty of heaven and I heard the angel sing there are rapturous songs. And ascribing praise on her and glory to Jesus I could then realize something of the wondrous love of the Son of God. When she saw this in vision when they saying. She could then realize just something of the love of God. The more I think about that the more it itches blows my mind. Sadly though we know that from biblical history that Lucifer eventually did begin to crave applause he craved. His heart was lifted up for his beauty and perhaps his extraordinary musical talent was something of this just a few highlights from this quote. Through all the always glory was from God This mighty angel came to regard it as pertaining to himself we sing we have talent but do we think it is ours or do we think it is from God It's always got to remember that instead of seeking to make God supreme in the affections. And allegiance of all the created beings it was his endeavor to secure their service and loyalty to himself his motivation changed. Whatever the source. The mightiest Angel watered a little seed of pride and tell it grew into a mighty tree of selfishness. His exclamations of praise God glory to his name were gradually placed by a self satisfied smile perhaps he started by giving a slight bow to the angel audience after a particularly spectacular solo then. Perhaps just using your imagination as a you know we we can relate to this perhaps he started to give a encore. Or maybe and then later on he began to add more on course after more applause. He did not openly at first the pride in his heart was concealed he did not openly express his feelings and desire for personal exaltation it was concealed but he did eventually strike a note of discord among the angel choir as if as if to say. I can imagine that the the. Sound of sin if you will was so foreign to the streets of happen it seemed to the faithful angels of it as if a thousand honking horns had suddenly entered the streets of heaven. In a destructive chorus angels passing the each other on the street now we're discussing the argument of the day is God's music really the only good music what about other music that may seem right to an angel in his mercy God allowed the note of discord to reverberate for quite some time in the streets of heaven he loved Lucifer he wanted to win him back look at this from patriarchs and prophets James is going to expand on this later but this is just this is so incorrect treating to look at the angels joyfully had knowledge of the supremacy of Christ and prostrate themselves before him poured out their love and adoration Lucifer bowed with them but in his heart there was a strange fierce conflict truth justice and loyalty were struggling against envy and jealousy the influence of the holy angels seemed for a time to carry him with them as Songs of Praise ascended in the melodious strains swelled by a thousand glad voices the spirit of evil seemed vanquished an utter of all love thrilled his entire being his soul went out in harmony with sinless worshippers in love to the Father in the Son but again he was filled with pride in his own glory and he desired for supremacy his desire for supremacy returned and envy of Christ was once more indulged when the choir's of heaven saying he was almost convinced turned back from the course he had taken to me that shows the power to things it shows the power of music and half. It almost convinced Lucifer but the second thing the power of indulged pride as we cherish this in our hearts as we desire for recognition that is a power that we should not. Diminish it's dangerous and very dangerous. The Lord love loosed her he wanted to win him back but it was not to be because Lucifer refused to change his mind despite the gentle pleading of the Father in the Son or worse yet Lucifer set all his energy to persuading a third of the angels to join him in this new band shall we say. And they had a new form of music they wanted to do so to speak this was I'm sure a big blow to the angel choir to see their friends the faithful angels to see their friends deceived by pride and self centeredness Lucifer Lucifer at first never intended to lose heaven in fact at first he had no desire to overthrow God. He only wanted to be equal with God He only wanted for more recognition for himself and it almost seemed like a humble request first in his own mind. I work so hard is it wrong to ask for one small recognition. But as his pride was met with resistance as his effort for for recognition did not come to what he wanted it resulted in him resenting God resenting what to him seemed like the obstacle to his goal God Himself and that grew and grew and grew this is this is important because we can does we can think we desire something good when in fact we are on a path to destruction. We don't have to be deceived God is more powerful than the deceiver but let's not deceive ourselves Amen we don't have time to fully unpack this right now. But I can imagine Satan in his music. Artfully weaving in aspects. Of praise praise for the father but also praise for himself maybe in the way that he's saying maybe in the certain way that he phrased certain things so deceivingly that the angels didn't actually realize what he was saying at first and that's that's important I think. Any an aerial and James are going to speak about some of that a little bit more so. We won't go any further on that right now but the story goes on. You know the story Lucifer grew to hate Heaven's music so much we're told that as he heard Adam and Eve singing in the garden he did not like it they were perhaps seeing some of the same songs that Lucifer himself had written I'm guessing but it's possible he was the music chief musician of the universe he had probably written an enormous amount of music perhaps out of need for singing it. And he set his mind to stopping Heaven's music by deceiving Adam and Eve when the news of the fall of Adam and Eve reached the streets of heaven we are told that the angels ceased their singing all heaven fell silent perhaps the only sound that was heard was the weeping of the Father above the city gates just as David wept for Absalom Oh Adam my son Adam Eve my daughter Eve Oh that I could die in your place. And of course that was the plan this had been laid out since the foundation of the earth a plan for salvation in case. Someone decided to go their own way the son approaches the father. And offers his life in place of the fallen race the angels watch in stunned amazement this had not crossed their minds as a possibility the idea it was difficult for them to accept even for the father act even though this was an agreed upon plan. The sacrifice the enormity of the sacrifice that the father and son would go through a so enormous that the father. Perhaps hesitated for a moment. The angels that first struggled to understand the form a new tune of what this meant they realized Jesus would be going at great risk to himself they love Jesus they didn't want to lose him they offered to go and die themselves but the life of an angel could not pay the price of sin only Jesus could save the last sinner as they grasped this new perspective on the depth of God's love they were inspired to sing again Amen and they didn't just sing any send him from the hymnal they had a new song to sing their love for God Now more than ever before they understood not just his love but how far he would go to save his own. A new a noble Angel had been selected to lead the angel choir blessed with abundant talent he assembled the heavenly harps singers trumpets for the first performance after the fall of man perhaps he penned a new song for the occasion and distributed among among the angels right then and there as sinless angels they would never know the depths of joy that we humans feel when polled from the pit of sin but they could share in the joy they could sing of that joy. And now in a tribute to the wonderful and now saving power of God The musicians of heaven filled heaven once again with music this infuriated Satan he had wanted to stop the music of heaven all he got was an intermission an intermission where the glory of God was more powerful review more powerfully revealed than ever before. He didn't know how long this conflict would just go on but it was all out war at this point and he goes back to his shop to drop his next set of plans he had Earth has as his battlefield and man as his sinful subjects he wanted to control this race control us he's already attacked on the point of appetite. And he sought to control on this point and to endeavor in to induce us to worship anything but God. And yes the greatest musician of the universe would extend this battle to the realm of music as would be easy for him he know he knew the recipe for heavenly music by heart. All he needed to do was to add a little ingredients. I can imagine just. Using your imagination he puts out. Various pots of good music in the nose and wondering what the evil engines are wondering what the world is doing he puts a demon by each pot he boils the pot of good music to the right temperature or the right tempo if you will and he gives some diabolical. Whole ingredients to each angel and when. The music is ready they add their ingredients some pots get a ton of bad some parts perhaps only a teaspoon of bad seed doesn't care as long as there is something evil in each part of music he then stows us away to be used in the coming centuries he would perhaps tweak the Westby again later but for now it was already a powerful weapon. It's almost as if sense that since that time till now it's almost as if there has been an end to full competition going on you guys know what antiphonal music is. And to fiddle Yes. It is where you have to choirs or two. Sets of musicians answering each other from one side to the other their musical questions posed and and answered on the other side and it's as if the choirs of heaven have been singing the songs of heaven and what has been responding from Earth has been a dreadful sound in response. But above that clash of sound. We hear in today's music there is one voice that can be heard above it all it's not the voice of a man or an angel it's the voice of God Himself. Is often I three seventeen the Lord your God is in your midst the mighty one will save you will rejoice over you with gladness he will quiet over you with his love he will rejoice over you with singing Amen God rejoices over us with singing why because he loves us silly. This may seem like a basic point to us as Christians maybe even cliche we've heard it so much I have personally struggled to grasp the significance of God's love and sacrifice for me his motivation to sing over me with joy it doesn't it doesn't make any sense to me but I have sought to understand this I have sought to. To understand God's love why would he love me and I have been challenged many of times to ask the question why am I singing Why am I sharing this song. I first found myself asking this question. Not long after I found that box of C.D.'s I chose to listen to some of them and I found myself. Well at first I told myself that you know my mother was being a little strait laced and it wasn't it wasn't that big a deal but over time I found myself affected by the music my spirituality was drained from my young mind. And I had to I had to come to that question of asking myself why am I listening to this music is because I like it or is it because my father likes it my Heavenly Father and because it draws me to him I I knew the answer to that question I knew what I wanted to be but I also knew what the true answer of my heart was I knew that I just liked it and I knew that it was it was what I wanted to do not what God wanted me to do. So this was a gradual thing for me it didn't happen overnight but little by little the Lord worked in my heart and he asked me to surrender it and I did not right away not completely it was gradual but I wanted to surrender it and so I tried to and the first thing he asked me to do was to completely get rid of that music and of course I didn't want to do that I I even at one point argued with God I told you that I thought he was being a little straight laced. And God didn't say anything in response to that he knew it he knew that I knew what I needed to do and I knew it I needed to do he didn't argue with me he just lovingly let me make my decision I meant he's not here to make us feel guilty or to. To make us feel as if we have gone too far he's here to lovingly invite us to join the heavenly choir Amen. He comes with open arms. And with the power to give us victory over music our desire for wrong music and to teach us to sing and to share music more powerfully than we can imagine a man. As I began to surrender the music and to think about my motivation behind why I was singing what I was singing what I was listening to it became easier and easier to answer the dilemmas that I faced in music if I had a style of music I wanted to listen to if I asked myself why am I listening to it is it because I like it or because of my father likes it or because it brings me in a deeper relationship with God the answer that question made it much clearer whether or not I should listen to that style of music or not if it was something that brought me closer to God then the style is probably a good style this of course needs to be answered and this these questions need to be sought with prayer with Bible study our own imaginations can deceive us more often than we realize. How should I sing this particular song what style should I use well what am I trying to do with that song Why am I singing a song in my trying to catch the attention of the audience or am I trying to convey the message of the song so that when people go home they actually remember the song the message of the song more than they remember me can you imagine that I don't know who that guy was but the song he say I can remember the words you know conversation over lunch on Saturday afternoon that's if that's the motivation in the way I sing the song becomes very clear the style is clear do I sing it in a way that brings attention to me or do I sing it in a way that brings attention to the words of the song. How should I conduct this song service again very simple am I trying to rouse the Saints sometimes we do need to be roused I'll admit but are we trying to make a show or are we trying to bring. The car a Geisha and into the presence of God into the mindset of worship are we trying to approach the throne of God through our song service the answer to that question makes it much easier to figure out how to lead that song service and he's going to talk more about that next everything becomes simpler when you ask those questions that make sense you see what I'm getting at. In conclusion. If our motivation for singing is truly and I underline the word truly if it is truly to share the love of God with those lost in darkness then our music will draw closer and closer to have and perfect harmony Amen. This quote. She's talking about. Music and doctrine in this section she says but the itching desire to originate something new or results in strange doctrines and largely destroys the influence of those who would be a powerful to be a would be able to be would be a power for good if they held firm to the beginning from the beginning of their confidence in the truth the Lord had given them I hope that our desire for something new that's that's a strong desire as a musician you always want to come up with a new. Piece of something whether it be a new lyric a new melody a new a new chord progression new sound to catch people's attention that desire though care and if not rightly guided by the principles God has given us can result in strange doctrine in our music. So why should we sing we sing for man's applause. Or do we sing because JESUS LOVES ME SILLY Let's pray. Our father. We ask that you would help us to remember this as we seek to better understand how to use music help us to remember why we want to use music to help us to remember what this is for for Your glory we thank you that you love us we thank you that you have died to save us and we ask that you would help us to understand how to share that. With others through music. Praise Jesus. This message was recorded at the G Y C twenty seventeen conference arrives in Phoenix Arizona. G Y C A supporting Ministry of the Seventh Day Adventist Church seeks to inspire young people to be bible based Christ centered and so winning Christians to download or purchase other resources like this visit us online at W.W.W. dot Gyi see Web dot org.


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