Our Worship Service
Often times, visitors are offended with the worship in a Full
Gospel Church simply because they have never been taught scriptural worship. The
most common argument is that the New Testament does not substantiate expressions
of worship or praise such as: lifting hands, clapping, dancing or prophetic
songs, etc. Whilst it is true that most of the physical manifestations of praise
are found in the psalm department of the Bible; the Apostle James points
us back to the David era, and says that the Church must restore back to the
After this I will return, and
will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build
again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That the residue of men might
seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith
the Lord, who doeth all these things.
Clearly from this text, the Church must come back to the
precedence that David established for a short interim during the Old Testament.
After David had brought the Ark of the Covenant up to Mount Zion, he experienced
(in a figure) the New Testament priesthood, the rent veil, and ministry in the
presence of The Lord.
Tabernacle of David was a simple tent that David used to house the Ark of
the Covenant. This unveiled tent became a symbol of the higher worship in
Israel for about 45 years. Virtually all of the forms and expressions of
worship and praise that you find in the psalms were exercised before this
veil-less tent. David actually brought in a new era of praise to his
generation, none of which has ceased to be acceptable to the Lord.
For the next several pages, we shall try to present the
scriptural background of the way that we worship here at the Church of Mt. Zion.
Please understand that we try to stay in tune with heaven as we worship, and
these manifestations are only anointed as we are being led of the Spirit to do
Praise awaits for Thee in Sion... (Psa. 65:1)
There is a difference between praise and worship, however, I
am using the word worship to incorporate all of the expressions of
praise. (We shall differentiate on the terms later.) There are many exhibitions
of praise or laudation found in the psalms. They are expressions of the soul.
David said, "Bless the Lord O my soul and let all that is within me
bless his holy name." This does not sound like one passively sitting on the
pew with his mouth closed!
"Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my
hands in thy name" (Psa. 63:4).
"Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the
LORD" (Psa 134:2).
"Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and
the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice" (Psa 141:2).
"Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the
heavens" (Lam 3:41).
Lifting of the hands expresses many things: It can be an
expression of faith as we pray. It can symbolize surrendering your heart. It can
be an extension of worship or blessing. When Moses held up his hands the enemy
was defeated. It can symbolize reliance upon God, etc. Any of these expressions
of lifting hands when they are in accord with the Spirit of God can be powerful!
Someone had a vision once of a cloud of incense going up as the people were
lifting their hands.
"O clap your hands, all ye people…" (Psa. 47:1).
Clapping the hands is a declaration of jubilation and victory – as it was in
this psalm. It can also be a demonstration of judgement against the enemy. (See
Ezekiel 21:17.) Another shared a vision about a congregation that was clapping
triumphantly, and that clapping was actually buffeting the demonic power that
was trying to subdue them.
"Let them praise his name in the dance" (Psa.
149:3). The Lord is extolled in the dance. When the ark came into Jerusalem, the
congregation was dancing. The only one that was offended by this was smitten
with barrenness! When Jesus came into Jerusalem, (the triumphal entry) they were
dancing. When the prodigal son returned, they were dancing. When Israel is
restored in the last day, they are dancing!
Allow me to share a story about a friend of mine who attended
a bible school in the Adirondacks region (1974). As the school was terminating
for term break, the president of the school said: "I had an unusual vision
of Jesus dancing in the midst of his people." When the next term began, the
dancing began. There was such an outbreak of joy that it could not be contained.
The students danced through the whole semester, and then it ended as abruptly as
it had started. (Incidentally, the dancing is before the Lord, not with one
another.) One might ask, what did it accomplish? It brought unity, healing, and
release of spiritual gifts and a triumph over the enemy. It brought an
impartation of things most Christians never see!
"Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: let the
children of Zion be joyful in their King" (149:2). Once again, here is an
expression of the soul that has many variations. Some of them could include
leaping, and spinning about. (See 1523 in the Hebrew concordance.) There are
times when the spirit of rejoicing comes; and there are times when we must stir
ourselves to rejoice. The enemy cannot stand before those who are rejoicing in
their God! Mt. Zion is a place of rejoicing. (Incidentally, the word used at the
marriage supper for rejoice, means to leap for joy! Rev. 19:7.)
Note: Sometimes the word joyful, transliterates into
the same Hebrew word as, rejoice: [e.g.] "Rejoice greatly, O
daughter of Zion" (Zec. 9:9). "Let the children of Zion be joyful
in their King." (Psa. 149:2).
1523. giyl, gheel; or
(by perm.) ‘ guwl, gool; a prim. root; prop. to spin round (under the
influence of any violent emotion), Both words are 1523 in the Heb.
"Shout unto God with the voice of triumph" (Psa.
47:1). The expression: "Shout for joy" is used on numerous occasions
in the psalms. Shouting can also be a legitimate manifestation of praise to God.
Shouting, like any other form of exultation can bring release in the Spirit. The
walls of Jericho came down with a shout! They were in tune with heaven.
"Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me" (Psa. 50:23).
It is interesting that the word "praise" is only used seven times
until you get to the David era. The psalms record the word praise, 160 times.
The word praise basically means to extol, or glorify the Lord. It is generally
expressed by singing, shouting, or with instruments. Many people do not realize
how destitute the Church world was during the dark ages. There were no
instruments in the church. There was no song in the church of the dark ages.
Maybe a chant, or some kind of dirge.
The word sing is used at least seventy times in the
psalms. Singing is one of the most powerful forms of praise and adulation. In
fact, battles have been won by singing. For example, Jehoshaphat’s battle with
the mixed multitude (2 Chr. 20:21-22). "And when he had consulted
with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should
praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say,
Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever. And when they began to sing
and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and
mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten."
Paul and Silas sang praises from the inner prison at
midnight. Talk about bringing release… Their chains fell off, their stocks
fell off, and the prison doors were opened. They actually released a revival in
the prison by singing praises. (See Acts 16:24-30.)
"Enter into his gates with thanksgiving…" (Psa.
100:4). This psalm gives us the correct format to approach our God. Thanksgiving
is one of the essentials of the worship service. (The word thanksgiving is
mentioned about 30 times in the psalms.) Giving thanks actually releases faith.
Paul said to make your supplications known to God, with thanksgiving. We are
thanking him in advance! (See Phil. 4:6.)
David appointed courses of Levites to give thanks; it was
part of the service. (See 1Chr. 16:4, 35, 23:30, 25:3.) Testimony services are
always nice. However, it is also pleasant when the thanksgiving comes
spontaneously. Perhaps, during an interlude in the song service. I have noticed
at times, even a prophetic impulse as people gave thanks for things yet to be!
Thanksgiving can create an atmosphere for the Spirit of God to move.
"Then was our mouth filled with laughter…" (Psa.
126:2). Here is another expression of victory or triumph. The scripture says:
"He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh." (This is actually
referring to the Christ – Psalm 2:4). However, David penned this psalm as he
sat upon Mt. Zion, and as the Lord gave him the dominion over his enemies. I
believe David experienced sitting (as it were) in heavenly places, far above his
enemies. David experienced the holy laugh of triumph.
I was once in a country where the Church had experienced a
real breakthrough in the Spirit. This Church, at times would experience waves of
laughter, which brought physical healing to many. "A merry heart
doeth good like a medicine" (Prov. 17:22). Laughing can be a witness
of the Spirit of God!
"And four thousand praised the LORD with the instruments
which I made, said David, to praise therewith" (1 Chr. 23:5). All of
the later revivals came back to the Davidic instruments and worship. Some
of the instruments you will find associated with David:
- Varied pitched harps
- Varied stringed instruments
- Varied pitched cymbals
- Organs [wind-reed instruments]
There is definitely an emphasis on the instruments of David.
I believe this is because there are problems associated with instruments. The
percussion section can be a problem. The wrong beat or rhythm can taint the
worship and in some cases bring in the wrong spirit. Often, this is a concern on
the mission field; getting the paganistic mixture out of the worship. I was once
in one of these primitive village churches, where the drummer was beating on a
barrel. There was no anointing upon their worship!
Drums can be legitimate in the right setting. The Salvation
Army band playing militant or marching type of anthems can actually be quite
inspiring. Snare drums building up to a crescendo in certain exultation’s can
be very anointed.
Obviously, there are many more instruments around in the
20-21 centuries, but our main concern is that they are producing the same
anointed affects as the David instruments. Some instruments are designed to the
minor key. The minor key can also drag the service down, perhaps cause a
depressing mood. (Not always the case.)
* We need to divide soul from spirit in our music
The Musical Scale
Pastor James Shaffer wrote a book on "Bible Numerics,
and Music." In his book, he explains some of the numerical vibrations on
the piano. He also shows how that the musical scale reveals the seven
- C-major The creation.
- D-minor The fall of Adam.
- E-minor The Flood.
- F-major The birth and ministry of Christ.
- G-major The birth of the Church. (Pentecost)
- A-minor The antichrist reign.
- B-diminished The Millennial reign. (There is still sin in the Millennium.)
- C-major The new heaven, and the new earth. (The eighth note is the same as
the first note, only a complete octave higher. The new heaven and earth is
greater than the Eden creation!]
What this scale shows us, is that we do not want to major in
Note: Many of
the psalm headings are set with Hebrew terms, which are in effect musical
terminology. They give the mood, and the instruments to which the psalm
was to be put to music.
"Exalt ye the LORD our God, and worship at his
footstool; for he is holy. O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel
before the LORD our maker" (Psa. 99:5-6). There is a procedure to come into
his presence. The outer court represents thanksgiving and praise. However,
worship (in its truest form) is what takes place before his throne. When the
Lord is coming down the street there is jubilation, rejoicing, and dancing. Yet,
when the Lord is on his throne, the order changes to worship. Worship has the
sense of falling upon your face.
In many of our fellowship churches, it is common to see
people, bowing, or kneeling, or even lying prostrate. True worship is absolute
surrender. In the garden of Gethsemane, unregenerate man had to fall backward in
the presence of the "I Am." However, after Christ was resurrected, His
disciples fell at his feet in worship. (Compare John 18:6 & Matt. 28:9.) It
is in the true expression of worship where we are changed. We are changed into
His image as we behold him (11 Cor. 3:18). We are changed from glory to glory in
this place of worship. The psalmist said that we become like the object of our
affection. (See Psalm 135:18.)
In conclusion, let us consider several verses in 2 Chr.
1:3-4: "And all the congregation with him, went to the high place that was
at Gibeon; for there was the tabernacle of the congregation of God, which Moses
the servant of the LORD had made in the wilderness. But the ark of God had David
brought up from Kirjathjearim to the place which David had prepared for it: for
he had pitched a tent for it at Jerusalem." The ark was in the Tabernacle
The Golden Altar Moves Within The Veil
The Apostle Paul, in his explanation of "Moses
Tabernacle" takes the liberty of moving the golden altar into the holy of
holies (Heb 9:3-4). "And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is
called the Holiest of all; Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the
covenant overlaid round about with gold…" Paul actually moves the golden
altar within the veil, by the Spirit. (The altar was always on this side of the
veil.) The golden altar speaks of prayer, and praise. Do you see the
significance? The New Testament calling is to minister within the veil!
The worshippers at Gibeon were going through the legitimate
forms of worship in the outer court; but the object of their worship (symbolized
in the ark) was in the Tabernacle of David upon the holy hill.