Category Archives: Music

Preparing for the Music of Heaven

By John Thiel

Psalm 92:1 A Psalm [or] Song for the sabbath day. [It is a] good [thing] to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High: 2 To show forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night, 3 Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery; upon the harp with a solemn sound.

“On the banks of old Jordan here gazing I stand and earnestly longing I stretch forth my hand. Send a convoy of angels dear Jesus I pray, let me join in that sweet music.”  With all who hear this message, to see whether we really are in tune with that music to understand that if I’m going to be in that place I will be truly fitted for that music. Those who plan to be recipients of Jesus in John 14 need to understand the import of our preparation.

John 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if [it were] not [so], I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, [there] ye may be also.  Read the rest of this entry

The Sound of Music Indicative of God’s Love

By John Thiel, mp3

What does the sound of music have to do with the subject of God’s love? We hear different sounds all the time. Sounds that relate to different circumstances, moods, events and emotions. We hear the shrieks of terror, we hear blood curdling cries, and we hear soft sensational golden throated love songs. We hear the sounds of delight and hear the sounds of challenge and conflict. To discern the sound for relevant situations is very imperative. For instance I have much experience in hearing the sounds of my children with their voices such as delightful shrieks and cries and amongst them all to be able to discern the shriek of delight, terror or a fright or something serious. Once I heard my children give a shriek where they were in an area of danger and i ran out but they were happy. The discernment of being able to tell the difference was very difficult. To discern the contrast of sounds to incite to appropriate action is a subject that we need to understand. Read the rest of this entry

The Seventh-day Adventist New Hymnal

Warning: Sabbath Sermons is not affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church organisation. This article is presented for the benefit of our readers, to be perused with discretion.

Before the 1985 General Conference Session in New Orleans , much had been said about the development of the new Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal.  At that Session, it was introduced with much interest and huge sales. But this new, strange, hymnal introduces into the Seventh-day Adventist divine worship service hymns and Scripture readings containing Roman Catholic teachings not found in any earlier Adventist hymnal.


The old Church Hymnal quoted exclusively from the tried and tested Protestant King James Version of the Bible.  But the new hymnal uses a plethora of versions, the majority of which are greatly faulted versions, the translators of which have ignored the Divine anathemas:

“For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:  And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” Revelation 22:18,19

There are 225 passages of Scripture in the Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal, consisting of 135 response readings, 14 Canticles and Prayers, 36 calls to worship, 13 words of assurance, 14 offertory sentences, and 13 benedictions.  The use of the various Scripture versions is as follows:

New International Version (NIV) 69 (31%) Read the rest of this entry

The Worship of God with Music

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.

When the heart is totally yielded to God it is possible to understand his ways. We need to discover another element of being in tune with God so that we can be submissive by understanding and knowledge.

The Worship of Today

Every time I worship God and when I’m asked to lead out in worship, one question that keeps me on the alert is – is my worship acceptable to God? There are many people that worship but while they imagine that they are worshiping God they are in all reality worshipping self. They create an atmosphere in their worship time that is pleasing and entertaining to themselves. This is the reason why the churches today say – look, times have changed and the way we worship God today is different to the way people worshipped in the past. People that worship God from their own ideas will believe worship has changed but all who worship God in spirit and in truth do not ask whether we worship God in the way we enjoy it but the way in which it is pleasing to God. We need to adjust our hearts as to what is a pleasure to God. Read the rest of this entry

22. God’s Way of Music as Reflected in the Sanctuary

By John Thiel, The Sanctuary Series, study 22

Music is another one of those points of personal sensitivity which is very hard to address, to try and help people in. But I thank God for the sanctuary, because there it reveals something that helps us to be able to handle it. Music is simply a sequence of vibrations that come to our sense of hearing and to which we respond according to our hereditary and cultivated background. Read the rest of this entry

Music’s Hidden Danger

Contemporary Christian songs have crept into our churches.

Lyrics are one of the defining factors for Christian music, but it’s not the only factor. For example some songs that are labelled Christian can sound like pop songs with lyrics pertaining to Bible subjects. Eg. rock and roll has a signature beat to it. For each two notes the second is louder than the first. This is called syncopation. Syncopation has very odd affects on the human body. For example when you listen to syncopated music your heart will try to go with that beat which is opposite to the normal rhythm of the heart but it will also control emotions whether you want it to or not. This controlling nature of syncopation is also shown by the fact that once you hear the syncopated song, it is hard to get it out of your head.  Syncopation is in slow and fast songs also.

Where Did It All Begin?

In the early 1960’s the songs of the charismatic movement were born.

“Any history of the Church in our time must come to terms with the charismatic renewal that began to touch the non-Pentecostal churches in the late 1960’s. During the social upheavals of the 1960’s many baby boomers – but not all – left the churches. A good number of those who stayed became part of the renewal movement which drew people together from across the Christian spectrum. For some it was initially quite daunting to find everyone from Roman Catholics to Baptists and classical Pentecostals sharing in prayer meetings, study groups, retreats and conferences.  Ecumenical prayer meetings at the University of Sydney, for example, saw evangelicals and Pentecostals learning about the life of prayer from Roman Catholic Professor Alex Reichel and the Cistercian monk, Father Gerald Hawkins, while Catholics, both Roman and Anglican, gained much from the insights of evangelical and Pentecostal leaders.  Groups like the Assemblies of God had begun a new phase of growth, and new independent Pentecostal churches sprang up in the cities. At the same time, large prayer meetings and then covenant communities developed in the Roman Catholic Church. Structured renewal fellowships emerged in most of the denominations, as well as in the Anglican Church.  However, in the Pentecostal churches since the mid 1980’s there has been a demonstrable drift away from Scripture set to music and a corresponding reversion to songs that concentrate on how I am feeling!   Most Anglican parishes and traditions – including those that were openly hostile to or dismissive of the [Pentecostal] renewal in the 1960’s and ’70’s – have been influenced by its music.”  NEW DIRECTIONS MAGAZINE – April 2002 Letter From Australia by Father David Chislett SSC. 

“Beginning officially in 1960, Dennis Bennett, priest over an Episcopalian congregation in Van Nuys, California announced that he had spoken in tongues. This movement soon spread into a network of independent charismatic churches and organizations which included Baptists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Methodists and Catholics, which all came to enjoy this outburst of speaking in tongues. The Charismatic Renewal was similar to classical Pentecostalism in its emphasis on the exercise of certain gifts (particularly tongues and prophecy) but the other important qualities of this movement made it distinctly different. Even more recent than the Charismatic Renewal of the 1960s, America witnessed the emergence of another phenomenon with Pentecostal/Charismatic qualities in the 1990s with what was known as the Toronto Blessing.” Religious Movements Virginia

“The Pentecostal movement that was suddenly born by an act of God at the turn of the last century quickly became a sweeping evangelical movement the world over. By 1960 it was being hailed as the third force of the church world. For sixty years the Pentecostals were known as a dynamic evangelistic movement having established missions in every quarter of the globe. In the fifties and sixties the Assemblies of God alone were starting a new church every day and two on Sundays. In approximately 1960 there started to be a growing interest by denominational people of the historical churches in the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit. Many in the historical churches began to have the tongues experience. Preachers and people alike in both the historical and modernist churches as well as the evangelical churches were losing their people to the fast growing and zealous Charismatic. Here is another contrast seen early in the Charismatic history that distinguished it from the Pentecostal churches; the Charismatic movement had its beginnings 60 years after the Pentecostal movement was suddenly born by a great latter rain outpouring of the Holy Spirit. (Joel 2;23-29) The Pentecostals had been evangelizing the world 60 years before the word Charismatic was heard.”

“After about 1820 there was a Second Great Awakening which resulted (for our purposes) in even more hymn singing activity, particularly the hymns of Charles Wesley. [Also see, The Second Great Awakening.] It was during this period of time (1820 and following) that the first shaped-note tune books were published and distributed throughout what was then the frontier of America. The gospel song is the first truly American hymnic development and has these origins: (1) Sunday School songs, (2) Camp Meeting songs, (3) popular American secular vocal and instrumental music, particularly parlor songs (like those of Steven Foster), (4) Concert Band music (like that of John Philip Sousa and his predecessors), and (5) the aesthetic of mid-19th century American Romanticism, particularly of the more sentimental variety.  Early contemporary-Christian(CCM) gospel music (late 1960 – 1980). After about 1980, these three streams came together and continue to intermingle and influence each other.  The immediate ancestors of current (late 20th century) praise and worship music were:

– the popular folk and rock music of the 1960’s, 70’s, and 80’s

– popular choruses used by church youth groups

– popular youth musicals of the 1970’s and 1980’s

– most importantly, the contemporary Christian music (CCM) of the 1970’s and 1980’s

Contemporary Christian music (CCM) as it has become known after about 1980 is synonymous with gospel music.”  Smith Creek Music Hymnology 

“The writing and singing of hymns and spiritual songs have been a major part of the worship of the church since the days of ancient Israel. In fact, singing as an expression of worship and adoration of the LORD has also been a spiritual weapon in the life of the Christian Church and a source of inspiration and encouragement to thousands of saints throughout the ages of time. No doubt ever since our ancient Israelite forefathers engaged in the act of worship toward the true and living God, singing of hymns has been an expression of the human soul, for who God is and for what He has done. This is clearly seen in the experience of Moses and the children of Israel after the crossing of the Red Sea in their deliverance from Egypt see – Exodus 15:1-21.

Exodus 15:1 Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.

15:21 And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.

It is very evident in God’s dealing with His people that He has always had special chosen servants whom He has anointed in writing hymns and spiritual songs that have been long-lasting significant tokens of God’s grace to His people.” Truth in History, Isaac Watts.

“Hymns are praises to God in which we extol His character, love, greatness, majesty, might, power, and glory. They are definitely God-centred. Consider as examples Holy, Holy, Holy,  Come, Thou Almighty King, and Jesus Shall Reign. Spiritual songs are musical testimonies of the interaction of the Deity upon the heart and life of the believer. Pass Me Not, 0 Gentle Saviour, In the Garden, and What a Friend We Have in Jesus are examples. Because these songs describe a relationship between a person and Christ. Singing is as much an act of worship as is prayer. Just as we pray to Him, we sing to Him. In both of these activities God is the primary audience. Therefore, our attitude in singing should be as reverent as it is in prayer. Alas, that is not always so.”

Ephesians 5:9 (For the fruit of the Spirit [is] in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)

5:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

“God imparts to us the kinds of music we should render to Him: psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Psalms are passages of Scripture, especially from the book of Psalms, that are set to simple melodies. Examples are God So Loved the World, I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes Unto the Hills, The Lord Is My Light, etc.  Alma Montgomery Blackman, Mus.D”  

“Many of the most popular praise songs today were composed by men and women involved with the Oneness Pentecostal movement, which denies the Trinity and which baptizes only in the name of Jesus. A recent article in Charisma magazine (June 1997) noted that most popular praise anthems sung in charismatic and evangelical churches today were composed by Oneness believers. DOTTIE RAMBO, who was raised in a Oneness church, wrote Behold the Lamb and other songs. Since the early 1970s, many churches have traded in their traditional hymn books for praise songs. Consider the following overview:

Shortly after it began to emerge in 1901, Pentecostalism sensed through some strange form of intuition that success would come through emotionally-charged music. It was generally not the conventional church-hymn singing of that era. Entirely unpretentious, there appeared to be neither poetry nor musicianship in the composition. (Ibid. pp. 207,208).

We do not believe God is the author of the charismatic movement, with its ecumenical goals, its false doctrine, and its strange unscriptural phenomenon. The Bible tells us He is not the author of confusion. We believe there are saved people within the movement, but the movement itself is unscriptural. We believe, in fact, that this is part of a movement prophesied in Scripture as the end-times apostasy which will result in a one-world harlot church. This is described in many New Testament passages (i.e., Matt. 24:3-4,11,24; 1 Timothy 4:1-4; 2 Timothy 3:1-13; 4:4-6; Jude 3-16; 1 John 2:18-19; 1 John 4:1; etc.), culminating in the description given in Revelation 17-18. That there are genuinely saved people in this movement is implied in Revelation 18:4, which says: And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. God calls His people out of the end-time apostasy.”

Matthew 24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what [shall be] the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? 4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.

Matthew 24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

Matthew 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if [it were] possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

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; 2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

2 Timothy 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 4 And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

Jude 1:11 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.

Jude 1:16 These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling [words], having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.

1 John 2:18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would [no doubt] have continued with us: but [they went out], that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

We, therefore, reject the charismatic movement AND ITS MUSIC.” Way of Life Music

“As I have constantly read the Book of Acts for information on the early church, I have begun to notice that there is not a lot of scripture that deals with singing and music. As a long time member of Pentecostal experiences and being raised in a conservative church, music has seemed almost as important as the preaching of the Word. Sadly, I believe I have witnessed cases in which the music outshone the Word and was loved more than the Word. Many times, I have noticed that those who would shout and praise God during music would not even flinch when The Book was opened. This has caused some concern. Music is one of our ways to worship and praise God. Good, clean living is our foremost way to give honor to the One who redeemed us. Purity brings about Power. Praise can be deceptive if it does not include purity! Music often gets caught in between these ideas, so be aware of the hidden danger that is there. Music affects the soul more easily than the spirit. Emotions are moved to weep, even if the heart is not moved to change. The Word affects the spirit of man first. The mind is affected and the will is moved by the Word. Take care! ” Terence Chambers. Paw Creek Entimes

Pentecostal Music and the Pastor

“As we prepare to reap the last-day harvest, it would serve us well to gain greater insights into the dynamics and role of music in the Pentecostal church.  It would be difficult to overstate the importance of music in the life of the church. By its nature, music impacts the soul. It carries an inherent, powerful influence for good or evil.  MUSIC CONVEYS BOTH VERBAL AND NONVERBAL MESSAGES  The words of a song are vital because people memorize them over a period of time. They will not only continue to be repeated, but will continue to influence spiritual life as long as the song is sung. Great theology and marvelous truth can be taught through inspired hymns and choruses. But false doctrine and compromise can also be communicated through bad religious music.” By Charles T. Crabtree, Enrichment Journal.

“I believe that many people are deceived into thinking they are spiritually OK because during the anointed singing at our churches, their emotions and feelings are affected in a positive way. The ensuing good feelings cause them to feel better and they tell their own heart that they are OK. Saul was getting more evil, yet worshipful music made him feel better. This modern church needs so desperately to repent of spiritual laziness and of loving this world, yet the gospel music industry (sic) is growing many times over every year! Many new artists in the liberal AND conservative churches churn out many albums, yet the signs and wonders similar to the Book of Acts are few and far between.”  Ibid

“Worship music should be solid in its content. Many songs currently used are theologically superficial and lyrically weak. Music that does not challenge worshippers is nothing more than sacred brain candy, giving the participants a nice case of the warm fuzzies at the time the song is sung, but leaving a feeling of emptiness when finished. In a time when Christians are lazy and hazy about their faith, it is especially important that leaders be vigilant in identifying and eliminating shallow worship music. As Leonard Sweet has written, worship should not be dumbed down, but smartened up.  Depth—We should avoid songs that are shallow, simplistic, or sentimental. Breadth— Pentecostal hymnody is fundamentally imbalanced; it is topically narrow, failing to give proper weight and emphasis to the broad sweep of biblical doctrines in song. While songs whose lyrics are ambiguous and highly personal might be useful for private enjoyment and devotion, such songs are hardly appropriate for congregational worship. For instance, the vague words of Find Me In The River render the song unsuitable for corporate worship.”  Summit Pacific CA, Enough of the Fluff.

“A manifestation of Pentecostal tendencies is the use of certain types of music in a church. As a matter of fact, music is often the means of introducing Pentecostalism into a church in the first place. Besides being effeminate, this song wrongly centers attention in the Holy Spirit rather than in Christ. Pentecostals use music whose message and music centers in man’s feelings and experiences rather than God and His glory.” PB Ministries.

“Over the past thirty years, more and more people, both musicians and non-musicians alike, have come to believe that what constitutes sacred music is simply a matter of taste or enculturation, or worse, has become a moot point. Many claim that there is no distinction, and should not be any, between sacred and secular forms of music. (It is true that in centuries past the distinction between sacred and secular forms was less discernible, but the distinction has been widening for hundreds of years). In the United States, publishers of hymnals and worship booklets no longer use the word sacred in connection with music for the Liturgy. Musical form supports and lends its own expressive quality to the text and is not simply a matter of preference of one musical style over another, or of enculturation. Secular music cannot be wedded to sacred realities any more than sacred music can be wedded to secular realities.” Adoremus Sacred Music.

‘Singing With Understanding’ is a book commentary on each hymn and tune in the Adventist 1941 Church Hymnal, the official hymn-book of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. However, it is much more than that; in this human document writers and composers come alive; they are people and not merely names. the author’s scholarship in literature and music has enabled him to comment in a learned way on the hymns themselves, including the more interesting aspects of musical composition.” Teach Services.

Are many of the songs creeping into our churches and even in of our church hymnals written by anointed servants of God or by those who have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof?

Further reading;