Music and the Sanctuary

By John Thiel

Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts [are] not your thoughts, neither [are] your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9 For [as] the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Music that we hear on earth that people have accustomed themselves to is not the music that is heard in heaven. In the way of music we apply that. My ways of music are much higher than your ways of music as the heavens are higher than the earth. The Spirit of Prophecy identifies the taste of music that is so different in many people’s lives especially with the youth of her time than that which is God’s taste of music.

Young persons assemble to sing and, although professed Christians, frequently dishonor God and their faith by their frivolous conversation and their choice of music. Sacred music is not congenial to their taste. I was directed to the plain teachings of God’s word, which had been passed by unnoticed. In the judgment all these words of inspiration will condemn those who have not heeded them.–“Testimonies for the Church,” Vol. 1, p. 506.

These words of inspiration will condemn those who have not heeded them. In the judgement hour, it is imperative that we understand what is written in the plain teachings in God’s word in ref to the taste of music. The taste is affected by what you hear and accumulate. We need to understand as in the judgement it will come into focus. The angelic host are acquired singers and musicians.

Psalms 148:1 Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the LORD from the heavens: praise him in the heights. 2 Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts. 3 Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light.

The angels are called upon to praise the Lord. There is an angelic host that is encouraged to sing and praise. The angelic host is praising the Lord at the birth of Christ.

Luke 2:13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Everyone knows this was a choir singing, they were praising the Lord. The angels are musicians and they sing.

Revelation 19:6 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.

The word hallelujah is always associated with joyful praise and singing and here is almighty choir of voices, a multitude of voices like many waters as they praise forth to the Lord and his wonderful reigning glory.


Lucifer was the head of the angels before he fell. Ezekiel describes what God built him for.

Ezekiel 28:13 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. 14 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.

The anointed cherub, what was he built to do? He was built to conduct the choir with the percussion instruments inside of him with more than one voice tube. Pipes multiple. I am looking forward to hearing the voice of such a person who can sing in four different notes at a time. When the angels sing, they have music within themselves as did this cherub who has musical instruments in his being. If you are musical you have music in your system. It comes natural, it is part of you, and Lucifer was just that. What is written about the earthly sanctuary in Ezekiel?

The hour for joyful, happy songs of praise to God and His dear Son had come. Satan had led the heavenly choir. He had raised the first note; then all the angelic host had united with him, and glorious strains of music had resounded through heaven in honor of God and His dear Son. {SR 25.1}

There were times in heaven where the hour of joyful happy songs of praise to God would come and Lucifer was the one who had led them into these glorious strains of music. It was expressed by the angels. The angels were around the throne in symbol.

Exodus 36:8 And every wise hearted man among them that wrought the work of the tabernacle made ten curtains [of] fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet: [with] cherubims of cunning work made he them.

The curtains in front of the ark were all with cunning work of cherubim’s woven in.

2 Chronicles 3:11 And the wings of the cherubims [were] twenty cubits long: one wing [of the one cherub was] five cubits, reaching to the wall of the house: and the other wing [was likewise] five cubits, reaching to the wing of the other cherub.

Ezekiel 41:20 From the ground unto above the door [were] cherubims and palm trees made, and [on] the wall of the temple.

Daniel 7:9 I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment [was] white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne [was like] the fiery flame, [and] his wheels [as] burning fire. 10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.

In the presence of God were the angels, thousands and thousands of them. When these heavenly choirs come to the time of praising God they would be surrounding him and singing.

The commanding angels first struck the note, and then every voice was raised in grateful, happy praise; and every hand skillfully swept over the strings of the harp, sending forth melodious music in rich and perfect strains. {AH 537.2}

This is the beautiful music in heaven. A commanding angel struck as Lucifer did. That is what happens in heaven. Our singing is joined by the heavenly choir.

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 the heavenly choirs. The proper training of the voice is an important feature in education, and should not be neglected.–“Patriarchs and Prophets,” p. 594.

Our music should be as close to heaven’s as possible. While the angels are singing in heaven, here on earth, we should approach as nearly as possible to the harmony of the heavenly choir. It is interesting that God responds to people who are correctly singing on this planet. when they sing in harmony and in unison God is there to bless. Here is an example in the dedication of Solomon’s temple.

How God Responds To Music

2 Chronicles 5:13 It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers [were] as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD; and when they lifted up [their] voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the LORD, [saying], For [he is] good; for his mercy [endureth] for ever: that [then] the house was filled with a cloud, [even] the house of the LORD; 14 So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of God.

God responded to a powerful song of praising of the people of the earth as they were dedicating the temple. He came and acknowledged by entering into the sanctuary. There was such unison of singing that God came and responded. This is a connection with the sanctuary of the cherubim singing, and as the sanctuary was being dedicated there was singing. To appreciate that way of music that God appreciates as depicted in the sanctuary on earth and in heaven, the contrast of angelic music and heavenly music we want to understand so we can acknowledge what is the music that God appreciates in contrast to the music that we appreciate here on earth.

Angels of God are in tears as they write in the roll the words and acts of professed Christians. Angels are hovering around yonder dwelling. The young are there assembled; there is the sound of vocal and instrumental music. Christians are gathered there, but what is that you hear? It is a song, a frivolous ditty, fit for the dance hall. Behold the pure angels gather their light closer around them, and darkness envelops those in that dwelling. The angels are moving from the scene. Sadness is upon their countenances. Behold, they are weeping. This I saw repeated a number of times all through the ranks of Sabbathkeepers, and especially in —–. Music has occupied the hours which should have been devoted to prayer. Music is the idol which many professed Sabbathkeeping Christians worship. Satan has no objection to music if he can make that a channel through which to gain access to the minds of the youth. Anything will suit his purpose that will divert the mind from God and engage the time which should be devoted to His service. He works through the means which will exert the strongest influence to hold the largest numbers in a pleasing infatuation, while they are paralyzed by his power. {1T 505.2}

What music were they playing? Frivolous ditty fit for the dance hall. What sort of music causes the angels to weep about and withdraw their light from? When was this written? Volume 1 was written in the early years in about 1850. What was the style of music then termed as the frivolous ditty for the dance floor? The country and western style music. The American country and western style. How did the angels respond to it? Here is a guide to the music that is in terrible contrast to eh music of heaven. It was attractive to the people of that time. It is a dance floor music of that time. That kind of music is not the music that heaven appreciates. They weep and withdraw from it.

Where Did It Begin?

Where did this music that is not of a heavenly nature originate? Music can deviate from heavenly music here on earth. The music that was very much part of Lucifer so that it was something that came from his being, we observe what actually happened to that music.

Ezekiel 28:14 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. 15 Thou [wast] perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. 16 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. 17 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. 18 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.

Profaned, Corrupted and Defiled

All those goods things he had were profaned, corrupted and defiled. Does that apply to his music? Obviously. How did this heavenly music end up like this? We need to be sensitive to this profaning, corrupting and defiling. Here is something that God gives and how it can be profaned.

The Lord bestowed upon these men whom the world admires, priceless intellectual gifts; He endowed them with master minds; but they did not use their powers to the glory of God. They separated themselves from Him, as did Satan; but while they separated themselves from Him, they still retained many of the precious gems of thought which He had given them. These they have placed in a framework of error, to give luster to their own human sentiments, to make attractive the utterances inspired by the prince of evil. {CT 26.1}

The beautiful gifts are a placed in a framework of error. The good things that God has given are put in a connection so that it makes attractive corruption.

It is true that in the writings of pagans and infidels there are found thoughts of an elevated character, which are attractive to the mind. But there is a reason for this. Was not Satan the light bearer, the sharer of God’s glory in heaven, and next to Jesus in power and majesty? In the words of Inspiration he is described as one who sealeth up the sum, “full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.” The prophet declares, “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.” Ezekiel 28:12, 14, 15. . . . {CT 26.2}

The greatness and power with which the Creator endowed Lucifer, he has perverted; yet when it suits his purpose, he can impart to men sentiments that are enchanting. Satan can inspire his agents with thoughts that appear elevating and noble. Did he not come to Christ with quotations of Scripture when he designed to overthrow Him with specious temptations? It is thus that he comes to men, disguising his temptations under an appearance of goodness and making them believe him to be the friend rather than the enemy of humanity. In this way he has deceived and seduced the race, beguiling them with subtle temptations, bewildering them with specious deceptions. {CT 27.1}

How best can you seduce but with music? Beautiful sounding music that is put in a frame work of corruption. This detail is for us to tune into very wisely. God and his wonderful gifts given to man when they are perverted they still have some lovely sounds to it but those sentiments are carefully geared to seduce and sway from God and music is a great agency of doing that. After man had fallen, he was able to exercise music in his fallen condition.

Cain’s Line

Genesis 4:21 And his brother’s name [was] Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ.

Here were these fallen men that would handle music. Pagans with both good sentiments and music, they set that music for their own glory and not for the glory of God. Satan wants our allegiance so he is going to use these arts, these enchantments.

1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

Music is a powerful seductive activity. it’s very seductive. The seduction that he would exercise would be that he would deceive the very elect. How can you seduce the very elect? They love to sing and raise their heart and sentiments to God. Those sentiments that Lucifer he himself knows he can seduce them with a twist to start to feel through music something that aggrandises their personal sentiments and feelings instead of their sentiments to God.

I feel alarmed as I witness everywhere the frivolity of young men and young women who profess to believe the truth. God does not seem to be in their thoughts. {AH 407.3}

They profess the truth yet God is not in their thoughts. why?

Their minds are filled with nonsense. Their conversation is only empty, vain talk. They have a keen ear for music, and Satan knows what organs to excite to animate, engross, and charm the mind so that Christ is not desired. {AH 407.3}

He can so train the sensory organs to send messages to the brain so the meaning of the sound of the music is not associated with the meaning of God. Satan excites the sensory organs so the brain gets confused.

The spiritual longings of the soul for divine knowledge, for a growth in grace, are wanting. {AH 407.3}

Music becomes an idol.

I was shown that the youth must take a higher stand and make the word of God the man of their counsel and their guide. Solemn responsibilities rest upon the young, which they lightly regard. The introduction of music into their homes, instead of inciting to holiness and spirituality, has been the means of diverting their minds from the truth. Frivolous songs and the popular sheet music of the day seem congenial to their taste. The instruments of music have taken time which should have been devoted to prayer. Music, when not abused, is a great blessing; but when put to a wrong use, it is a terrible curse. It excites, but does not impart that strength and courage which the Christian can find only at the throne of grace while humbly making known his wants and, with strong cries and tears, pleading for heavenly strength to be fortified against the powerful temptations of the evil one. Satan is leading the young captive. Oh, what can I say to lead them to break his power of infatuation! He is a skillful charmer luring them on to perdition. {AH 407.4}

I never forget the words of a brother who told me of his youth when he listened to music in the home of pop music and when he went to church on Sabbath he couldn’t sing the hymns. He is a great musician and as i look back to Ellen Whites time there was just mild country and western style music and now we have come down through the ages and we see it’s gone from the frivolous country and western style to the blues, jazz, rock and heavy metal. That is how he has charmed them down the line. Right back then the angel s fled that so called happy music and now it’s worse than before. They won’t even come close. God is appealing in the sanctuary message, in the judgement hour message. In the judgement that which has not been heeded will stand against Gods people. In the investigative sanctuary as the investigation is taking place, the music of Gods people is coming into research. We have seen that Satan has come in and marred by his pollutions of music and seductions, he has marred the life of Gods people.

The Sanctuary Message Is Appealing to Us

Music has to do with your feelings.

God’s law reaches the feelings and motives, as well as the outward acts. It reveals the secrets of the heart, flashing light upon things before buried in darkness. God knows every thought, every purpose, every plan, every motive. The books of heaven record the sins that would have been committed had there been opportunity. God will bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing. By His law He measures the character of every man. As the artist transfers to the canvas the features of the face, so the features of each individual character are transferred to the books of heaven. God has a perfect photograph of every man’s character, and this photograph He compares with His law. He reveals to man the defects that mar his life, and calls upon him to repent and turn from sin (ST July 31, 1901). {5BC 1085.4}

Seducing music that has captivated the senses is marring Gods people. That he reveals what it is. As he reveals it in ref to music, that is marring. We need to repent and return to that which is pure. This is part of the whole transaction. There is needed conversion even in music. Conversion of a change of mind of how Satan has bewildered the mind and music. If the mind has been infatuated with his perversion;

Romans 2:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Obviously God has a will in reference to music. We are not to be conformed to this world but be transformed in the mind that my mind will govern my feelings and emotions which have been seduced by Satan down through the decades down to our time. it was the country and western style. How have Adventists adopted this? [THE HERITAGE SNGERS]. Is this not a call upon Adventists who believe the judgment hour message that they must repent and be transformed from that? the whole man is to be renewed..

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 18 And all things [are] of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

As you read that In reference to a conversion of music in the mind, a new creature. Old things are passed away, the old ways of music pass away. All things become new. All things are of God. Music that comes from God not from Satan. There is a call to be baptised into a new life, to be transformed.

Christ made baptism the entrance to His spiritual kingdom. He made this a positive condition with which all must comply who wish to be acknowledged as under the authority of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Those who receive the ordinance of baptism thereby make a public declaration that they have renounced the world, and have become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King. Those who do this are to make all worldly considerations secondary to their new relations. {6BC 1075.2}

Publicly they have declared that they will no longer live in pride and self-indulgence. {6BC 1075.2}

That is what music is all about. Pleasing my own sentiments and emotional rocking’s. Satan knows how to arouse those organs.

All the varied capabilities that men possess–of mind and soul and body–are given them by God, to be so employed as to reach the highest possible degree of excellence. But this cannot be a selfish and exclusive culture; for the character of God, whose likeness we are to receive, is benevolence and love. Every faculty, every attribute, with which the Creator has endowed us is to be employed for His glory and for the uplifting of our fellow men. And in this employment is found its purest, noblest, and happiest exercise. {PP 595.3}

Music is a very precious thing. It can be used to glorify God but Satan has put a twist to it and we have to let that God. Conversion and thereafter attention to music is spoken of very clearly. Having been converted, music plays an important role.

The Harmony of the Heavenly Choirs

Music was made to serve a holy purpose, to lift the thoughts to that which is pure, noble, and elevating, and to awaken in the soul devotion and gratitude to God. What a contrast between the ancient custom and the uses to which music is now too often devoted! How many employ this gift to exalt self, instead of using it to Glorify God! A love for music leads the unwary to unite with world lovers in pleasure gatherings where God has forbidden His children to go. Thus that which is a great blessing when rightly used, becomes one of the most successful agencies by which Satan allures the mind from duty and from the contemplation of eternal things. {PP 594.2}

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 the heavenly choirs. The proper training of the voice is an important feature in education and should not be neglected. Singing, as a part of religious service, is as much an act of worship as is prayer. The heart must feel the spirit of the song to give it right expression. {PP 594.3}

As we sing we should learn to appreciate how to exercise our voice box. This is something we need to perfect so our singing will be like heavens music.

The singing should not be done by a few only. All present should be encouraged to join in the song service.–Letter 157, 1902. {Ev 507.4}

I have often been pained to hear untrained voices, pitched to the highest key, literally shrieking the sacred words of some hymn of praise. How inappropriate those sharp, rasping voices for the solemn, joyous worship of God. I long to stop my ears, or flee from the place, and I rejoice when the painful exercise is ended. {Ev 507.5}

There is actually a modulating of our voice that should be in relation to the deep sentiments that God is instilling into us. This is where there is a sound of music that expresses a correct deep experience with the Lord so that the voice is modulated in deep appreciation of God. It doesn’t praise the Lord if we are just timidly singing. These are things to appreciate. The voice need to be modulated so we don’t send the angels out.

The songs in which every word is uttered clearly, in a musical tone, are the songs that they join us in singing. They take up the refrain that is sung from the heart with the spirit and the understanding.–Manuscript 91, 1903. {Ev 510.5}

What songs do the angels join us in singing? They delight to hear the simple songs of praise sung in a natural tone. “

They delight to hear the simple songs of praise sung in a natural tone. The songs in which every word is uttered clearly, in a musical tone, are the songs that they join us in singing. They take up the refrain that is sung from the heart with the spirit and the understanding.–Manuscript 91, 1903.

The spirit must be behind your voice. As you express that from the depth of your heart the angels delight to join in. The heavenly sanctuary rings with the singing here on earth if we sing with this unconverted appreciation. Until we are able to join these heavenly choirs, here on earth now we want to learn so we can join them.

I saw a very great number of angels bring from the city glorious crowns–a crown for every saint, with his name written thereon. As Jesus called for the crowns, angels presented them to Him, and with His own right hand the lovely Jesus placed the crowns on the heads of the saints. In the same manner the angels brought the harps, and Jesus presented them also to the saints. The commanding angels first struck the note, and then every voice was raised in grateful, happy praise; and every hand skillfully swept over the strings of the harp, sending forth melodious music in rich and perfect strains. {AH 537.2}

All the saints have harps, have they learnt how to play harps? No. You don’t have to learn here to play there. You don’t have to practise when you reach that band. You will skillfully play those notes. Just like God created music into Lucifer, in our new creation he will put music in our being and we will be able to play those harps. Let us learn here the kind of music we will play and sing there.

I want to praise Him; I want to honor Him that sitteth on the throne. I want my voice to echo and re-echo through the courts of heaven. Will you be there? Then you must educate your voice to praise Him on earth, and then you can join the heavenly choir and sing the song of Moses and the Lamb. Manuscript 8, 1888. {1888 128.5}

This is a good subject to pursue in prep for heaven. The heavenly sanctuary has music. The earthly sanctuary had music when it was dedicated and the music that heavenly sanctuary is happy with, it will identify by God revealing himself as he did in the earthly sanctuary. The angels will come and join us. while we learn the heaven music here, we will ultimately be introduced and approach the throne of God and sing with the angels?


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Posted on 31/10/2010, in Divine Service Sermons. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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