WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR VOICE?

MERRY MONDAY BY PARRIS-

“And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps; And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders; and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.”—Revelation 14:1-3.

WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO YOUR VOICE? Has anyone asked you that question? Maybe you were getting over a cold, or like me mumble or reach for words? But the real question to ask is “where is your spiritual voice?” I believe throughout our lives our prophetic voice has been taken away or attempted to be taken. Like a fresh horse out of the gate running for the finish line our legs begin to give way. Our voice fades, loses its strength and grows silent, dreams fade and our echo is no longer heard.

At our last women retreat while another speaker was sharing I was brought back to a very painful time in my life. It was the day I gave up my baby at 15 years old. But this time In the open vision I saw a hand reaching over my throat and attempting to strangle me. Then it seemed I was transported to one shameful moment to the next with the same hand over my throat. Next I saw scriptures began to wrap around each of those times I was being suffocated. In 1974 Dick Mills spoke over me as a young wife at Gods Army with the verse “songs in the night”. Then “for such a time as this” came the day at the kitchen sink as a young mother of 3 boys when the voice of suicide and despair came. “Breakthrough-enlarge the place of your tent came at yet another crossroad. Our voice is taken through depression, despair and offenses as we grow silent in our praise, silent in our intercession, silent in our prophecy. We are to become bearers of the voice of joy uniting with the voice of the bridegroom in us. The god of this world wants our silence! I also saw that when I get angry with people my voice of intercession was taken.

Jonathan Edwards said, “The work of the saints in heaven doth very much consist in praising God. The saints in heaven are employed; they are not idle; they have there much to do: they have a work before them that will fill up eternity.”

Want your voice back? Labor to praise, labor to prophecy and labor to join the voice of others in prayer! The sound of many waters is about us! The sound of heaven wants to give vent through us!

I want my voice to be heard here and in heaven. Our voice is our song.

HEAVEN’S WORSHIP

Rev. 14:2,3 – And I heard a voice from heaven like the roar of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder. The voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps, and they were singing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders.

It’s hard for us to fathom what heaven will be like. How will our experience differ from what we know now? I think one of the obvious differences will be our perception of the Lord. Paul said we now see through a glass darkly, then face to face. The ‘then’ Paul is speaking of is heaven, the ‘face to face’ is Jesus Himself. Our view of Him and His work will be crystal clear, we will be stunned at what He has done for us and we will be awestruck by Him and His attributes. We will see His sovereignty, His power, His wisdom, His goodness and His love for us in new light. What will be our response? That is what heaven is all about, our response to His glory. We will be transformed into amazing worshippers by the sight of His glory. Here is Jonathan Edwards talking about our worship in heaven.

“They have another sense how great a gift the gift of God’s only begotten Son is. They have another sense of the greatness and dignity of the person of Christ, and how great a thing it was for him to become man, and how great a thing it was for him to lay down his life, and to endure the shameful and accursed death of the cross. They have another sense how great the benefits are that Christ has purchased for me, how great a mercy it is to have sin pardoned, and to be delivered from the misery of hell. They have another sense how dreadful that misery is, for the damned are tormented in the presence of the holy angels and saints, and they see the smoke of their torment; and have another sense what eternity is, and so are proportionably more sensible how great a mercy it is to be delivered from that torment.”
The things we have barely glimpsed in this fallen world will be unveiled in heaven. We will find ourselves consumed by the atmosphere, joining together with the angels and the redeemed from every generation singing heaven’s song. It seems as we get closer the power from that other side is breaking in on us. How does that effect us? It makes us want to worship Him more.

WHAT MAKES HEAVEN HEAVEN ?

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And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion.Revelation 14:1

Beyond the grave will happen again tonight, can you even believe it?! We have had several hundred performances, 18 different casts, many thousands of conversions, and it still goes on 18 years later. Have you ever stopped to think about why Beyond the Grave is so successful? No professional actors, no professional script writers, no budget for costumes or professional sets; what is the secret? It has to come down to two things. First, man is desperately searching for eternity, it is part of the way we are wired. The Bible teaches that eternity is in our hearts and we can’t be satisfied until certain questions are answered. Secondly, the divine influence or anointing rests upon this play. The Lord chooses to use certain vessels for His purposes, He doesn’t always choose what we would consider the best. Why? He wants the glory for Himself. Here are some thoughts on heaven from Charles Spurgeon.
“Rejoice, then. In a little while, when thine eyes shall have been wiped from tears, thou wilt see the same Lamb exalted on his throne. It is the joy of thy heart to hold daily fellowship with Jesus; thou shalt have the same joy to a higher degree in heaven; thou shalt enjoy the constant vision of his presence; thou shalt dwell with him for ever. I looked, and, lo, a Lamb! Why, that Lamb is heaven itself; for as good Rutherford says, Heaven and Christ are the same thing; to be with Christ is to be in heaven, and to be in heaven is to be with Christ. That prisoner of the Lord very sweetly writes in one of his glowing letters-O my Lord Jesus Christ, if I could be in heaven without thee, it would be a hell; and if I could be in hell, and have thee still, it would be a heaven to me, for thou art all the heaven I want. It is true, is it not, Christian? Does not thy soul say so?”
Heaven is real and life is precious and short. Have you made preparations for what really matters in life? Have you focused only on your earthly provisions and needs and neglected what really matters? Heaven is closer than we think, its time for all of us to make peace with God. Hope to see you tonight at Beyond the Grave.

THANKSGIVING SONG

Rev. 14:3 They sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures, and the elders; and no one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth.

I love Thanksgiving. To me, its the perfect holiday. Its about reflection, rest, giving thanks; and of course, our family. Thanksgiving is also part of our national conscience (you know, the one we have been running from for a generation). We are reminded during this special season of our national identity and calling. The United States is not an accident. We are part of the Lord’s sovereign plans. Actually, our country is the culmination of the protestant reformation. Our founders came to this land on boats in search of religious freedom. We were birthed as a nation and became one nation under God through the Great Awakening from 1740 – 1775. Much of the modern spread of Christianity in the nations of the world is the harvest of seeds American missionaries have sown over the last 250 years. One of my favorite sermons is a Thanksgiving day sermon called “They Sing a New Song” preached by Jonathan Edwards in 1740.This short snippet of that sermon is from his concluding thoughts on their Thanksgiving day In Northampton, Massachusetts.
“In order to learn the new song, you must hear the melody of the voice of Christ in the gospel. You have heard that the glorious gospel is that out of which this song is to be learned, and that ’tis Christ that must teach it. And this is the way that he teaches it: by causing the soul to hear the melody of his own voice in the gospel.
‘Tis Christ that speaks to us in the gospel. Many hear his words, but they perceive no sweetness in them. They perceive no pleasantness in his voice, in the doctrines and invitations and promises of the gospel. ‘Tis all an insipid thing and dead letter to them. But to the godly, Christ’s mouth is found to be most sweet. You must perceive the sweetness of the voice. You must see the glory of those doctrines, and the sweetness of those invitations, and the exceeding preciousness of those promises.”
This message is permeated with thanksgiving, the air in Northampton that Thanksgiving Day was charged with revival fire. Edwards related giving of thanks to singing a new song or in other words songs birthed by the Spirit in revival. He said they were connected to the sweetness of the Savior’s voice. Personal contact with The Lord is at the center of spiritual awakening. You begin “to hear The Lord’s voice” and you are drawn into this new life characterized by the new song. Edwards said that you would also see the glory of those doctrines. The doctrines of our faith become precious to us. We love the doctrine of salvation by grace through faith, we are humbled that we have been accepted into this beautiful new life. We love His invitations as He calls us near. Our life is secure, secure in the promises of God.

HEART SONG

And I heard a voice from heaven like the roar of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder. The voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps, and they were singing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders.
Rev.14:3,4

I often think about this scene in heaven; as a matter of fact, it is going on right now. There are angels, seraphim, elders and the multitudes of redeemed and they are all engaged in worship at his very moment. The redeemed are singing a new song. Actually, we don’t have to wait for heaven to sing this song, this song is in us now. You heard me right, this song is in us. Reading about the outpouring of 1906 at Azusa Street, the participants spoke of a supernatural song that was a major part of the outpouring. It was said that the song was in them and was coming from deep within their chests. This song is like nothing this world offers. It is not a song that can be learned by the lost, this song is part of the new nature that is in us when we are born again. Jonathan Edwards preached about this experience in his church. Check this out.
“There must be an ability to sing. Not only the matter of the song must be learnt, but also the music of the song. But the music of this tune consists in the melody of the heart. Ephesians 5:19, “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” As in order to learn the music of other songs, the voice must be tuned, so in order to learn the music of this song, the heart must be tuned. The music of this new song consists in holy admiration, in exalting thoughts of the glory of God and the Lamb and the great things of the gospel; and in divine love, in loving God for his excellency appearing in the face of Christ, in holy rejoicing in God and in delight and complacence of the soul in Jesus, whereby we, having not seen him, do love him and “rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory”. They that are unacquainted with this spiritual melody, they can’t learn to sing that new song.”
So there it is, in order to sing the new song, your heart has to be tuned. Are you in tune with this heavenly scene? Have you experienced this incredible love? How would you know? It is quite simple, Jesus becomes irresistible. You are amazed by Him and your response is the new song. You have become part of the song. Other songs seem empty and shallow because you have tasted the real. So go ahead, sing this new song to the Lord. When you do you are never alone; you are swept into the song of the ages, the song only the redeemed can sing.

HEAVEN’S SONG

Rev. 14:3 They sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures, and the elders; and no one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth.

We live in a world of songs and melodies. From country to rock, from classical to rap music; we live in a musical world. We sing about love gone wrong and love gone right. There are songs about cars, surf boards, drug use, politics, and social issues. Everybody is singing about something. If you really think about it, song is the expression of what we feel strongly about or what we love. It is the natural vent created by God to express our feelings. With that it mind, maybe the Lord intended our best and most passionate songs to have a heavenly theme. He does say He is a jealous God. I wonder if that means He wants to be the subject of our strongest feelings? If that is true, Maybe He wants to be the subject of our songs. Heaven is filled with songs. It may be that the very atmosphere is melodic. If that’s the case, when we taste heaven through the infilling of the Holy Spirit our heart is filled with heaven’s song. The melody and the lyrics become part of our makeup, we have no choice, we just have to sing. Here are some thoughts by Jonathan Edwards on singing heaven’s song on earth.

“The melody of this song is most acceptable to God. The great God is delighted with it. ‘Tis acceptable to Jesus Christ. He accepts of such praise, and never rejects it. If we sing this new song in our hearts when we are alone and retired from the world, to spend some time in secret between God and our own souls, Christ will come to us and will as it were listen to the melodious notes, and will reward us with some token of his favor. If we sing this new song in our public assemblies, it will be to worship God in the beauty of holiness, and will be the way to have God delighting to be in the midst of us. In singing this new song to God and the Lamb, our thanksgiving days will be acceptable to God. This song is more pleasing to God than the offering up of thousands of rams and ten thousands of rivers of oil.”
Maybe there is a song welling up in you today. Don’t hold it in, let it out. You won’t be singing alone, you will be joining in with the angels and the redeemed singing heaven’s song.

THE UNIVERSITY OF HOLINESS

THESE ARE THE ONES WHO FOLLOW THE LAMB WHEREVER HE GOES: REV.14:4

MERRY MONDAY BY PARRIS BAILEY-

Frank has been teaching on the book of Revelation for the mid-week service for a few weeks now. You cannot but think about the future and what’s in store. I got stuck on this scripture and decided to do some further study. Christianity is a constant journey of following the LAMB OF GOD. Have I put him in my quest? Is He my aim and ultimate goal in life or is He just an after thought? Like the genie that I rub to come and then go back into bottle. The Revival Bible says “we are to be moved through the Spirit of God not to set for Him limits of goal, time, or measure, but in all things to diligently pay attention to His IMPULSE and INSPIRATION. (CONRAD GREBEL) Have I felt HIS PRESENCE LATELY? Learning to get quiet enough to follow the Lamb as in the Song of Solomon when she asks- “Can you tell me where he feeds at Noonday?”
This reminds me of of the scripture that says to “drink thou waters out of thine own cistern, and be thou always ravished with his love.” Who is our Lord, thy husband, thy hope, thy joy, thine all!
As today is LUNDI GRAS we cannot help to think about what Spurgeon says when he says,
“Are you afraid to hear the midnight cry? Happy are those souls who live habitually with Jesus, who have given themselves up completely to the power of his indwelling Spirit – who follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. “They shall walk with him in white for they are worthy.” Wise are they who live habitually beneath the influence of the Second Advent, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the Son of God. We would have our window opened towards Jerusalem; we would sit as upon our watch-tower whole nights; we would be ready girt to go out of this Egypt at a moment’s warning. We would be of that host of God who shall go out harnessed, in the time appointed, when the signal is given. God grant us grace to be found in that number in the day of his appearing; but, “Let us not sleep, as do others.” I might say, let us not sleep as we have done ourselves. God forgive us and arouse us from this good hour.”
My encouragement to you is that the LORD IS OUR SHEPHERD and he goes before us! He leads us to drink of Him always and out of our thirst WE WILL FOLLOW HIM ALL OUR DAYS! I close with this Spurgeon comment- “The education which the Lord provides is complete in all its branches, mind, and life, and heart are all under the divine tuition. This is no pauper school, or merely preparatory seminary: the text describes a high school of holiness, a grammar school of grace, a University of holiness. In this place of sacred instruction you may take high degrees if you will, and become teachers of others also. He who forgave you provides for you everything that you can need to make you a disciple indeed, a learner who in the ages to come shall make known to angels and principalities and powers the manifold wisdom of God. Who would not be a scholar in such a University as this?”
LORD KEEP ME AS THE APPLE OF YOUR EYE!

WHY IS HEAVEN HEAVEN?

WHY HEAVEN IS HEAVEN?

And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion.
Revelation 14:1

Everybody says they want to go to heaven but I am not so sure many people even know why heaven is actually heaven. Life after death is never talked about or even considered in most of our day to day conversations. Actually, the only time people even bring it up is as some kind of after thought after the unthinkable happens. You know the drill, “they are in a better place”. Oh really, exactly why is it a better place? For many, it is just better than the alternative. For others, heaven is kind of a glorified family reunion (if folks were honest, that could be more like hell). Well really, why is heaven heaven? Heaven is actually the place of eternal, ever increasing joy, for those who know Christ in a real way. It’s not some kind of after life insurance policy, it is a continuation of the joy that comes from having your sins forgiven, the joy that flows out of a loving relationship with our Savior. Here is how Charles Spurgeon spoke of what makes heaven heaven.

“It is the joy of thy heart to hold daily fellowship with Jesus; thou shalt have the same joy to a higher degree in heaven; thou shalt enjoy the constant vision of his presence; thou shalt dwell with him for ever. I looked, and, lo, a Lamb! Why, that Lamb is heaven itself; for as good Rutherford says, Heaven and Christ are the same thing; to be with Christ is to be in heaven, and to be in heaven is to be with Christ. That prisoner of the Lord very sweetly writes in one of his glowing letters-O my Lord Jesus Christ, if I could be in heaven without thee, it would be a hell; and if I could be in hell, and have thee still, it would be a heaven to me, for thou art all the heaven I want. It is true, is it not, Christian? Does not thy soul say so?

Not all the harps above

Can make a heavenly place,

If God his residence remove,

Or but conceal his face.

All thou needest to make thee blessed, supremely blessed, is to be with Christ.”

So think again, why do you want to go to heaven? It may not be very attractive to those who have not tasted His amazing grace in this life. So now is the time to make spiritual preparations. Draw near to God, open up the Bible and begin to drink in His love. Read the gospels again and fall in love with the very focus of heaven, The Lord Jesus Christ. Open the book of Revelation, and like John, behold the Lamb of God in His glory. As you drink in His word, your heart will surely be stirred with a joyful anticipation. Heaven is real, our encounter with eternity is certain.

TUNING YOUR HEART

TUNING YOUR HEART

Rev. 14:3 They sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures, and the elders; and no one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth.

Singing the new song of The Lord takes more than just learning the words and the tune of this song, it must become part of the fabric of your soul. Actually, that’s the way music is. Music is the expression of our heart. It is not only the words of a song that are important, the melody and the rhythms actually communicate the condition and affections of our heart. Secular music is often sensual, it is not only the words of sensuality but actually the very sounds of the music itself that are communicating the feelings of our soul. That is why the song of The Lord cannot be learned, it flows out of who we are. Here is something Edwards said about this song in his Thanksgiving Day message in 1740.

“There must be an ability to sing. Not only the matter of the song must be learnt, but also the music of the song. But the music of this tune consists in the melody of the heart. Ephesians 5:19, “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” As in order to learn the music of other songs, the voice must be tuned, so in order to learn the music of this song, the heart must be tuned. The music of this new song consists in holy admiration, in exalting thoughts of the glory of God and the Lamb and the great things of the gospel; and in divine love, in loving God for his excellency appearing in the face of Christ, in holy rejoicing in God and in delight and complacence of the soul in Jesus, whereby we, having not seen him, do love him and “rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory” [1 Peter 1:8]. They that are unacquainted with this spiritual melody, they can’t learn to sing that new song.”

Edwards said that in order to sing this song that “our hearts must be tuned”. He said our hearts are tuned by “holy admiration” which comes from seeing the great work of our God seen in the life of Jesus Christ. We think about the miracle of His incarnation as a man and our hearts swell with gratitude. We remember the power of His earthly ministry and we are amazed at the power of His word. Considering His death, His song begins to capture our love. Amazing grace, the song of the ages, begins to beat deep inside of our souls. And then it happens, the love of God generously pours over us in the person of the Holy Spirit. We are done: His song is on us, His song is all around us, His song is beating in every cell of our bodies. We have joined the happy throng in heaven, the new song has become our song.

THANKSGIVING SONG

THANKSGIVING SONG

Rev. 14:3 They sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures, and the elders; and no one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth.

I love Thanksgiving. To me, its the perfect holiday. Its about reflection, rest, giving thanks; and of course, our family. Thanksgiving is also part of our national conscience (you know, the one we have been running from for a generation). We are reminded during this special season of our national identity and calling. The United States is not an accident. We are part of the Lord’s sovereign plans. Actually, our country is the culmination of the protestant reformation. Our founders came to this land on boats in search of religious freedom. We were birthed as a nation and became one nation under God through the Great Awakening from 1740 – 1775. Much of the modern spread of Christianity in the nations of the world is the harvest of seeds American missionaries have sown over the last 250 years. One of my favorite sermons is a Thanksgiving day sermon called “They Sing a New Song” preached by Jonathan Edwards in 1740.This short snippet of that sermon is from his concluding thoughts on their Thanksgiving day In Northampton, Massachusetts.

“In order to learn the new song, you must hear the melody of the voice of Christ in the gospel. You have heard that the glorious gospel is that out of which this song is to be learned, and that ’tis Christ that must teach it. And this is the way that he teaches it: by causing the soul to hear the melody of his own voice in the gospel.

‘Tis Christ that speaks to us in the gospel. Many hear his words, but they perceive no sweetness in them. They perceive no pleasantness in his voice, in the doctrines and invitations and promises of the gospel. ‘Tis all an insipid thing and dead letter to them. But to the godly, Christ’s mouth is found to be most sweet. You must perceive the sweetness of the voice. You must see the glory of those doctrines, and the sweetness of those invitations, and the exceeding preciousness of those promises.”

This message is permeated with thanksgiving, the air in Northampton that Thanksgiving Day was charged with revival fire. Edwards related giving of thanks to singing a new song or in other words songs birthed by the Spirit in revival. He said they were connected to the sweetness of the Savior’s voice. Personal contact with The Lord is at the center of spiritual awakening. You begin “to hear The Lord’s voice” and you are drawn into this new life characterized by the new song. Edwards said that you would also see the glory of those doctrines. The doctrines of our faith become precious to us. We love the doctrine of salvation by grace through faith, we are humbled that we have been accepted into this beautiful new life. We love His invitations as He calls us near. Our life is secure, secure in the promises of God.