Tuesday, May 1, 2012

True Worship

“By faith Jacob, when he was dying…worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff” (Hebrews , partial, New American Standard Bible)
I believe the picture drawn in your imagination after reading the above Scripture verse—of Jacob dying and leaning upon his staff—is the perfect picture, expressing exactly what true worship looks like; it epitomizes the proper external posture and the correct internal condition of worship. Basically, the Lord once revealed to me that Jacob’s posture (leaning upon a staff in a dying state) was the very essence of worship.  His natural life was waning—deflating—and as he was succumbing to the downward pull of death’s onslaught, he placed all his weight upon his staff (a symbol of his God given authority).  In other words, dying is worship; and to willingly die—to become a sacrifice—is the highest form of worship.  Every knee is going to bow and every tongue is going to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, either willingly (spiritual) or by force (flesh).  Every man is appointed once to die, but how we die, and for who we die, determines our destiny and reveals exactly who or what we worship. The idea that both the fate of beasts and mankind is the same (as expressed in Ecclesiastes -21) is not written that we might better understand the fate of beasts; it is written for us, upon whom the end of the ages has come.  To speak of man and beast together—to juxtapose their parallel fates—is to demonstrate our affinity with flesh.  In other words, if our death does not transcend the significance of the death of a beast we are of all men most to be pitied.  Any fool can die (and will), but to die with and for a purpose is what worship is all about.
The word worship in Hebrew, according to James Strong is: (7812) shaw-khaw’; a prim. root; to depress, i. e. prostrate (espec. reflex. in homage to royalty or God):—bow (self) down, crouch, fall down (flat), humbly beseech, do (make) obeisance, do reverence, make to stoop, worship.  The word worship in Greek, according to James Strong is: (4352) pros-koo-neh’-o; from 4314 and a prob. der. of 2965 (mean. to kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand); to fawn or crouch to, i. e. (lit. or fig.) prostrate oneself in homage (do reverence to, adore):—worship.  4314 means forward to or toward or an intensified meaning of the word: adore; and 2965 means a dog.  Thus a dog in relationship to mankind might best personify what our worship ought to look like towards God.  The dog has little if any self-consciousness; no sense of its own worth whatsoever—whether good or bad.  It sleeps and eats around its master’s schedule; when the master arises he arises, when the master sleeps he sleeps.  His entire world is the world his master alone makes for him.  He adores his master unashamedly, expresses it incessantly, and will gladly imperil his own life to protect his master without a moment’s notice.  The dog lays everything it owns at their master’s feet.  It is, no doubt, a pitiful life—but one in which the dog knows little about—because its focus is not on itself but entirely upon his master.  This is a picture of true worship!
Looking again at the Hebrew word for worship, to depress or prostrate, an interesting—and very illuminating—point can be made by looking at a specific verse: Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression (Proverbs 12:25, partial, NKJ)” or “Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop (same verse but KJV).”  The words herein translated either as “depression” or “stoop” is one and the same EXACT word as is translated worship.  So, what is the difference?  THERE IS NONE—except heart attitude alone.  Remember, worship is dying and dying is worship; one begrudgingly stoops and the other stoops out of a sense of heartfelt adoration and love.  “All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul (Psalm ).” Thus, worship is essentially acknowledging one’s inability to keep one’s self alive—how ridiculously elemental and primary is that?  He is God and we are not.  The physical or natural phenomenon known as the law of gravity depresses every soul and body upon this globe; not being able to keep one’s self alive is an immediate and everlasting crisis.  Just living in this demon possessed valley known as earth tends towards decay and death and utter deflation, i. e., depression and prostration.  We are ever flattened out, made like pancakes, before God—either with a good attitude about it or not; hence, we either lose our souls temporarily by giving them to God or we lose them permanently by not giving them to Him.  Where else can we go?  He has the words of eternal life!  Thus we see two souls dying, their outward appearance may differ hardly a whit; one dies beautiful and gloriously in the eyes of the Lord while the other dies hideously and shamefully before Him.  One worships as he dies, while the other curses.
 His people that die for lack of knowledge are those that think they own eternal life without having to endlessly go through death to get there (those that sadly and erroneously avoid the cross—true worship—as a necessary component of true Christianity); those that do understand, however, die daily so as to draw from the Lord’s resurrection life—the only possessor of it and therefore the only one who can give it to others—until it becomes permanently resident within.  This will only occur when we see Him as He is and He fully manifests Himself to us.  When Christ said “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:3)” He is saying that happy or joyous are the ones that do not claim anything as their own; even the upkeep of one’s own soul is not upon the individual to perform, but upon God alone to perform.  When we realize this we will cease to sorrow over something we never really had; our life or possessions are not our own—we have, indeed, been bought with a price.  We are all flattened and deflated, but some are depressed about it while others are simply worshipping.
Law of First Mention
In Scripture, there is a concept called “the rule or law of first mention;” the first time a word or phrase is mentioned in Scripture is often the seedbed of every other time it is used thereafter.  In other words, its initial usage says the most about its meaning or significance (within its initial context) and casts the mold for understanding its subsequent usage throughout the rest of Scripture.
 The first time the word worship is mentioned in Scripture is found in Genesis 22:5: Abraham said to his young men, ‘Stay here with the donkey, and I and the lad will go over there; and we will worship and return to you.’”  This is, of course, that very famous event wherein Abraham, in obedience to an incredible command, was about to sacrifice his promised son Isaac to the Lord atop a mountain in the land of Moriah.  Thus worship here, in its first and most primary usage is in line with my earlier definition: “dying is worship; and to willingly die—to become a sacrifice—is the highest form of worship.”  Thus, this highest form—clearly seen here—is also its first mention and therefore contains the essential and fullest meaning of the word.
To better understand this first mention concept let us see the above verse in context with the entire story:
Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am." He said, "Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you."  So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him and Isaac his son; and he split wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.  On the third day Abraham raised his eyes and saw the place from a distance.  Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the donkey, and I and the lad will go over there; and we will worship and return to you."  Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son, and he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together.  Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, "My father!" And he said, "Here I am, my son." And he said, "Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?"  Abraham said, "God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." So the two of them walked on together.  Then they came to the place of which God had told him; and Abraham built the altar there and arranged the wood, and bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood.  Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.  But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am."  He said, "Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me." Then Abraham raised his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him a ram caught in the thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram and offered him up for a burnt offering in the place of his son.  Abraham called the name of that place The LORD Will Provide, as it is said to this day, "In the mount of the LORD it will be provided." 

It is noteworthy that atop Mount Moriah is not specifically mentioned here, but only atop some mountain that God would reveal to Abraham as he went (I’ll speak about this more fully in the next paragraph).  We do not know whether sorrow or joy awaits us tomorrow (experientially); we only know that we have been commanded to sacrifice everything we love, Isaac (laughter) today.  Only on the third day (when Christ is resurrected and when we finally put all the pieces together about what death and life actually mean) is everything revealed; where and what we actually sacrifice is only plain under this third day’s sun and only after we have separated ourselves from others (the dissenting and carnal voices of family and friends who mean well but do not understand) and our donkey/ass (our own carnality or flesh).  It is only on the third day under the pure light of His person within the inner sanctum of the Holy of Holies that the purpose of God clarifies and we begin to see properly and where every tear is wiped away with His provision alone.  In other words, until we specifically obey we are only generally led; too many of us continue too long to miss the exactness of our mark by not allowing ourselves to be fully led by Him.
          Abraham was sent to the land of Moriah (generally led), and not Mount Moriah (specifically led) straightway; he had to perform each step of faith before a walk of faith was discerned.  He had to also leave off the assistance of others and his own carnality or flesh (represented by the two young men and the donkey respectively) before he could complete his obedience.  True worship must therefore transcend the help of others and our own vigor.  The truly spiritual ones are the ones that God is looking for to worship Him.  Mount Moriah is therefore a spiritual peak or destination achieved by maturity alone; it is historically known to be Mount Zion which represents the new covenant and those that worship only in spirit and in truth.  “But you have come to Mount Zion…and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant (Hebrews and 24, parts).” Proceeding this place is Mount Sinai and thundered law that produces only doom and gloom; the fear of God, however, must always be transcended—never eliminated or flippantly laid aside—and only through a perfecting or maturing love can this be accomplished.  David, a type of Christ, stops Ornan the Jebusite’s incessant threshing by purchasing his threshing floor; he subsequently builds an altar for holy purposes on the same ground that Ornan used to beat his common meal.  Mount Moriah also became the site for Solomon’s temple (see 2 Chronicles 3:1).  In other words, Isaac was replaced by a ram and we are replaced by Christ upon our most common ground; our only duty is to follow Him—to arrive back to this very ground upon which we were previously and unmercifully threshed—and allow Him to take our shame forever away from us by replacing us with His very self.  True worship is thus the truth about our utter poverty and our subsequent need for a Savior, about a matured realization of just how needful we really are.  A circuitous journey comes to an end only after we have scaled the heights of ecstasy (when we are first born again and are given the first fruits of the Spirit) and plumbed the depths of despair (during the intervening wilderness years where we learn about ourselves), until at last we come back to the substance of what He had long ago shown us in a dream—that He would turn back our captivity like streams in the south and place everlasting joy upon our heads (to have reached the Promised Land of maturity and the ground—that old recovered ground—upon which true worship can now ascend continuously and forevermore).
          In the New Testament, the word worship is first mentioned in Matthew 2:2; it reads: “Where is he that is born King of the Jews?  For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.”  Here are the Magi (magicians, conjurors, soothsayers, witchcrafters—having seen and interpreted (probably through the use of astrology) a star of greater luminosity than all the others; and they begin their journey where they are in the east (the place of deception) and travel many miles until they come—even through wicked Herod—to a common and average looking baby lying in an                    unclean and smelly manager with even more common looking and lowly beasts.  Yet they gave him precious gifts and worshipped Him because they were able to discern something more colossal and wonderful than what they saw with their natural eyes.  Indifferent flesh (represented by the stable animals) and contrite soul (represented by the Magi) must make room and bow before the born-again or renewed spirit within us (represented by Christ’s birth).  We are to live by the rule of the New Creation alone.  True worship is thus taming and stabling flesh, emptying the soul of its most precious commodities and bowing before Christ resident within our spirit.  Also, a star is classified as a lesser light—a light associated with men or angels—and Christ made himself lower than angels and of no repute with men as He emptied Himself of the true magnitude of His exceedingly great glory (and His example must be followed if we are ever to share in that incomparable glory).  Thus, even as He manifested Himself as the Son of Man, He did so as the lowest common denominator—a helpless baby!  When He further humbled Himself, first as a simple blue-collar carpenter from an obscure backwoods village, and eventually allowing Himself to be crucified as a criminal, He was ever laying down His rights and privileges to further stoke the flame of His glory and increase the magnitude of His already exceedingly bright star.   True worship is therefore unforced humility, more akin to sorrow than to joy in the beginning stages of the cross, but the very flame of joy as we mature—after we have suffered a little while—and have begun to place our eyes upon the eternal and transcendent.
Components of True Worship
“Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the LORD, and worshipped: then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before him, and he did eat (2 Samuel 12:20).”
          Note David’s reaction after having fasted and prayed for something that God was not going to do for him—saving a son born out of wedlock, made through an act of adultery and murder; it contains all the components of true worship (and the fact that these components are evident after grievous failure is very telling).   He arises from the earth (comes out of carnality or flesh) and washes (cleanses his soul by the washing of the water of the word) anoints himself (gets his own spirit refreshed and restored) then changes his clothes (placing his entire tripartite man back into Christ); then, only after having body, soul, and spirit cleansed and properly aligned in Christ does he worship.  Returning to his house (being restored to ministry or his rightful place in the eyes of men) and eating (being nourished and strengthened to carry on) is secondary to the primary purpose, e. g., to worship God in spirit and truth.  Indeed, spirit without truth and truth without spirit will never get the job done; we must have both.
          After Jesus had risen from the dead He nearly disheartened poor Peter as He pressed him about his love for Him and how that expression needed to flow towards His sheep; He then said to Peter:   “‘Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to gird yourself and walk wherever you wished; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will gird you, and bring you where you do not wish to go.’  Now this He said, signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God.  And when He had spoken this, He said to him, ‘Follow Me!’”   Both David and Peter had miserable failures in their lives, but each one knew how to worship the Lord in both spirit and truth.  The irony of Solomon being born out of David’s indiscretion and murderous way, becoming king of Israel, and being the progenitor of Christ, and Peter, made the head of the church, with the keys of the kingdom being placed into his feeble hands after he had openly denied Christ, is profound, ridiculous, and seemingly irresponsible of our Lord.  An answer to this is obvious though: He never relinquishes His control over anything!  God has so worked that men should fear Him and men should so not work as to notice.  “God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things (Acts 17:24-25).”   It was only after David and Peter had failed often and repeatedly at their own hands, however, that true worship was perfected in them; David sang sweeter songs than many and Peter was more zealous than most, but it was only after they began to deem themselves and their own works as worthless did they really worship.
Components of False Worship
“I have sinned: yet honor me now, I pray thee, before the elders of my people, and before Israel, and turn again with me, that I may worship the LORD thy God (2 Samuel ).”
          Saul was head and shoulders above his people in outward appearance; he was made King of Israel by God’s concession or permissive will (if you like) and not His overt desire or perfect will (if you might still bear with me).  God, of course, is never wrong, and so He used the people’s poor choice of a King to teach them some remedial lessons.  God, who knows the heart of every man, later chose David as a counterpoint or antithesis to idiotic choices, e.g., any choice that is not His.  Anyways, let us break down Saul’s words in the above verse.  If “I have sinned” did not immediately proceed “yet honor me” we might be able to believe this is an expression of real repentance; real repentance, however, is changing the mind and the attitude.  His focus on his own despoiled honor, and not the disgrace and dishonor He had brought upon God, proves he never changed His mind or attitude.  He was still careless about God’s honor and obtuse towards the inerrancy of His words.  He still regarded his own mind and thoughts above the declared word of God and was blind to spiritual authority.  His concern lay primarily in what people thought of him, not what God thought of him.  He was, of course, speaking with Samuel the Prophet, and even when he asked him to go with him to worship, he did not declare God to be his God, but rather said to Samuel: “thy God.”  Saul did not know God.  His god was his own stature; he was his own god!  And he needed the people’s worship and adoration to keep his perpetually inflated ego alive.  Because God was not his real breath (of course He really is, but not acknowledged by him) he needed the breath of many to stay fully-orbed or erect enough before the people. While the fact of the matter is that everyone lives and moves and has their being through God alone, some, such as Saul, attribute this fullness of inflation to the vapid breaths of mere mortals.  Saul would have done well to have heard Isaiah say:  “Stop regarding man, whose breath of life is in his nostrils; for why should he be esteemed?”
          It is noteworthy that Saul clung to Samuel, a true prophet, and only lived life vicariously through him; there are many today that cling to the prophetic and their delightful Rhema words (prophetic utterances), but hardly cling to Christ and Logos words (His written word, the Bible).  Too often today, people are worshipping someone else’s God.  They, like Saul, do not really know God and care too much for their own persons and reputations.  True worshippers do not bow to themselves or anyone else but Christ; there is no leader except Him and no fivefold minister that is not attached to His outstretched arm.  This, of course, is no license to throw off all restraint and to lead oneself; God surely places those in authority upstream from us to assist us along the way.  Saul, however, failed to see beyond the illusory and human Samuel into the real and divine God; when he bowed it was only the weight of remorse that made him bow.  True worship is therefore never superficial or aimed in the wrong direction.  “But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men (Matthew 15:9).”  Vain worship is, of course, empty worship, because it is filled with man.  It was not hyperbole when God says: “Men of low degree are only vanity and men of rank are a lie; in the balances they go up; they are together lighter than breath (Psalm 62:9).  “Surely every man walks about as a phantom (Psalm 39:6, partial).”   It is also not hyperbole to continue to hammer away at such utter foolishness and blindness rife within our midst these days in Christendom.  Only a fool would try to purify purity (interpret and systemize Scripture into manmade theological constructions) and only a blind disciple of humanism would attempt to synthesize reality (make God into man’s image).  God’s holy and inerrant Word is handled entirely too much with unwashed hands.  Empty (vain) worship is simply worship filled with mankind’s phantom breath.  Entirely too many philosophies and psychological babblings have been preached from the pulpits of too many churches.  A doctrine is more about the life of Christ holding sway over us than about how strongly we feel about our own ideas or interpretations of Scripture.  The commandments of men are even more insidious and restrictively dogmatic; we were set free for freedom’s sake, and we are to be ruled by our new creation nature, not by the artificial overlay of rules and regulations.  Worshipping in spirit and in truth goes way beyond the dying aspect of worship I have accentuated in this article thus far.  If our dying does not produce life than our death has never lost its sting and we are dying (worshipping) in vain.
Putting it all Together
In practice, dying (or worship) is emptying ourselves before God and preferring others above ourselves.  Just as Paul the Apostle kept a clear conscience before God and men, so we too must relate correctly to both God and men; true worship therefore is complete prostration before God and humbly esteeming others better than ourselves in the open daylight.  It is pouring out our most precious giftings, laying down our most prized revelations and doctrines, and turning off the incessant recalling of even our best and most vivid moments and memories of times past with God; it is humbly sacrificing our agenda or pleasure and habitually deferring to others—especially social misfits, the blind and the lame, and utterly weak and debased individuals—honestly preferring them over against our selves.  Since no one can keep themselves alive—and everything is dying and decaying anyways—to worship Him is to realize this futility about ourselves and others  and to submit to an altogether different paradigm, e.g., God’s new way of life—which is life from the dead (or resurrection power).  If the flesh profits nothing than the spirit must profit everything.   As Romans 12:1 says: Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.”  Indeed, worship is spiritual or it is not worship; this death dirge I have been singing is not some morbid refrain.  It is the removal of a false animation of flesh and a placing behind all matter and matters a true and everlasting life.  It is to exercise our authority or position solely as a steward of power and never the originator of it.  We are—at our very best—a lie or a shadow; we cease to exist the moment we attempt to live outside the only life that is not dying in the universe.  “Christ is our life” is not just a pretty saying or some theological construction—it is a fact about spiritual nature (of which we are composed)!
 In John 4:20-26, Jesus is speaking to the woman at the well, and His Almighty and Sovereign Words ought to forever indelibly imprint our minds and hearts with a deep understanding of just what true worship is all about.  Here they are:
Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.  Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.  Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.  But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.  God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.  The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.  Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.
In Real Estate circles the talk of “location, location and location” is an answer to the question: “What are the three most important things to consider when buying real estate?”  The single answer “location” repeated three times is done to emphasize what cannot be overemphasized: that the location of any real estate is its most important factor or trait.  Location, in fact, tends to dominate all other considerations; all other considerations are therefore directly affected by this one lone consideration.  Well, this Samaritan woman held a similar presupposition about worship and how she thought that true worship was somehow linked to a real estate location.  Jesus corrected her however, not by dispelling the suggestion that one could not worship atop her mountain or within the confines of Jerusalem per se, but rather, that worship is altogether unrelated to location.  Yes, he says “neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem,” but not in the sense that one could not worship there, but that no one need be confined to there or anywhere (as far as location) to worship God.
          I believe the key to true worship is found in the Samaritan woman’s own words, “when he is come, he will tell us all things;” and the lock that fitted her key is found in Jesus Christ’s divine answer: “I that speak to thee am he.”  In other words, the law that came by Moses is interpreted by the grace and truth that came by Christ; likewise the natural location regulations and ritual adherences of the old covenant are now being interpreted by the new covenant as a spiritual internal kingdom and a holy freedom of expression.  True worship therefore supersedes even the physical prostrations of the ascetic and becomes true humility of the heart rather than a simple humility of circumstance or location.  Hearing and seeing God and obeying exactly what either the sound or sight of God suggests is now the only acceptable and true worship.
Some Parting Thoughts about Music and Worship
          Surely, a message about worship must have something to say about music, right?  Surprisingly, worship music is not a Scriptural formation.  Though praise and worship and falling down and all kinds of music often run together, and are, indeed, closely related to one another in function and purpose throughout Scripture, worship itself has absolutely nothing to do with music.  The sound of praise and the shouting and clamor of His people are often a prerequisite or precursor to a quiet time within the Most Holy place where real or true worship is devoid of all sound except His voice alone.  Worship, therefore, occurs only after one has shouted from the rooftops, prophesied a blue streak, sang wild and wonderful songs with dance and timbrel, repented of all sin, and emptied and exhausted one’s self to the maximum extent.  Only then, in sheer poverty of soul, having exhausted even the flesh, and now lying prostrate before an Almighty and Holy God, does true worship really begin.  Of course, one can remain worshipping perpetually—even amidst the noise of soul and the clamor of flesh—but one does this with or without music by hearing and obeying the still small voice of God spoken within the depths of their spirit.
          Just as the Holy Place is an intermediate place situated between the tabernacle’s court outside, and the Most Holy Place further inside, so music is the soul’s medium or portal through which we press or pass from the outer court of flesh into the fullness of Christ and the sabbath rest of true and mature spirituality.  As is the normal aging experience of many in the natural—to become more and more sensitive to sound, noise, and music—so it is in the spiritual.  Deeper and more sensitive spirituality equates to a more discerning and discriminating ear; what was once melodious becomes cacophonous, and yesterday’s crescendos become today’s clanging cymbals.  Just as Gideon’s army had to be whittled down before they could be used to bring God His fullest measure of glory, so a Christian must be whittled down as he passes through three specific testings or levels of maturity until God receives His fullest measure of glory from him.  First he must in haste come to the clamorous and harried Passover Feast (salvation/saving flesh) and then to the noisiness of crackling fires and the many and varied voices of Pentecost (the baptism of the Holy Spirit/restoring soul) and finally to the quiet and lone perching atop one’s own roof under the expanse of heaven at the Feast of Tabernacles (where we continuously abide in Christ/spiritual maturity).  Thus, the cacophony of flesh is to evolve into a symphony of soul and climax or peak into an epiphany of spirit.
          The intimacy that God is ever after with us is often aborted by our own incessant internal movement; we would do well to quiet our soul as David did, comparing the process to weaning a child and causing that child to rest against his mother (see Psalm 131:2).  Sound is vibration which creates either music or noise; all matter in the universe vibrates and was designed to vibrate within its own range of motion and create its own unique sound.  A child lying against his mother is symbolic of us lying against God and seeking our own unique sound by synchronizing ourselves after the rhythm of His heartbeat alone.  Just as John placed the sound and vibration of Christ’s heart into his head by leaning against His breast, so we too must become intimate enough with God to understand our part in His grand scheme of motion and orchestration of sound throughout His universe.  E. W. Bullinger, in his book Number in Scripture (p.16-17) said “Each [natural] ear has within it a minute organ, like a little harp, with about ten thousand strings…When a sound is made, the corresponding string of this little harp vibrates in sympathy, and conveys the impression to the brain.  The immense number of these little strings provides for the conveyance of every conceivable sound within certain limits.”  He went on to say that there are “depths of sound which are totally inaudible to the ear” but could still be known through the observation of the eye.  He further talked of those who had “an ear for music” and how God had “planted the ear (Psalm 94:9, partial),” and how a “spiritual ear is the direct gift and planting of God.”
          Therefore, using our spiritual ear, let us look at an intriguing and enlightening aspect of music, sound, colors and chemistry.  The number eleven is “the number which marks disorder, disorganization, imperfection, and disintegration (p.251).  Its number is stamped upon music, sound, colors and chemistry and supposedly upon all of His created matter temporarily in a state of chaos until the groaning ceases and the sons of God become manifest.  In music, “the number of vibrations in a second, for each note, is a multiple of eleven, and the difference in the number of vibrations between each note is also a multiple of eleven (p. 16).”  Whereas ten means “divine order or law and responsibility” and corresponds to ruling all flesh, and twelve means “governmental perfection” and corresponds to being fully governed by the Holy Spirit in our spirit, eleven means being yet misaligned and out-of-tune in the vibrations of our soul.  Thus music, which is known to tame the wild beast and to drive away demonic activity, is needed only when our soul is out of whack, vibrating out of tune or rhythm with spiritual reality.        
          Now the end of the matter is simply this: natural music excites and venerates the soul of man and soul expression only mimics the proper expression of true spirituality.  To die sacrificially in silence is the purest form of worship and was the masterpiece of our Master.  If we must—through weakness or immaturity—use music to tame ourselves and to drive away demonic oppression, then so be it for a time or season.  Let us never forget what lies behind it though: our own misshapen, disordered and disharmonious soul along with the cacophonous music of the spheres.  Even a Stradivarius cannot capture the rapturous sound our humble and silent Lamb makes upon the spiritual ear.  Therefore, let us press on to know Him beyond all the external merriment; let us, indeed, come to that internal climax at the apex of our being within our spirit.  Even our greatest musical instruments cannot compare to His work: the human voice and the rightly aligned human soul.  Instruments made by our hands and music of our own making are only melodious after much reformation and reconstruction by Him.  When music begins to arise from our spirit, and not directly from our soul, and begins to lower and fade out when He nears, only then will music again be beautiful in His house.