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CHURCH, MUSIC AND WORSHIP

World Transformation
in the light of the Word of God

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CHURCH, MUSIC AND WORSHIP:

A BRIEF ANALYSIS AND GENEALOGICAL CONTEXTUALIZATION OF THE CHRISTIAN MUSIC


Frederick de Jesus Carrilho

"Church, Music and Worship: a brief genealogical analysis and contextualization of Christian Music",   is the title of the book that Fred is writing, which started in June 2022.

The book will contain a genealogy, a timeline of Christian Music from Genesis to the present day.
The mater structure on which the ecclesiological line of thought, historical and musical surveys, chronological organization, liturgical origins, transformations, commutations and interpolations of musical phenomenology, throughout we will be builting, is THE BIBLE.   

The texts will begin to be made available here and on the web networks and media, topic by topic, chapter by chapter, according to the author's bookkeeping finalization. By making these texts available, the author intends that the elaborated content is disseminated and absorbed by the Church (the Members of the Body of Christ), by the Musicians (including, of course, all the teams connected to the Ministry of Praise and Worship) and by all people involved in serving the Work of the Kingdom of God.
The objective of this ministerial work, to propose to compile, write, analyze and reflect on Music in the Church is a difficult task and of absolute importance when it comes to musical expression/invention being a Gift of God, created and granted to Man to Your praise. Thus, we must pray that the Lord God enables us to think, study and conceive, in the Light of His Word, the sublime wisdom to understand what is the center of the Lord's will. 

Music, as the Lord God tells us, through His Word, was created for His Praise and Glory.
The Bible presents us with this supreme realization. 
Music has been in Heaven since Eternity. The angels praise the Creator, the Eternal, with Music from eternity and for eternity. The vision of John, in his rapture, from what he wrote in the Book of Revelation, affirms that in the Eternity of the Lord, in Heaven, Music is present forever and ever (Revelation 5:13).

Preamble

Music, as the Lord God tells us, was created for His Praise and Glory. Through His Word and the move of His Holy Spirit who dwells in us and is among us (John 14:16-18), we receive and believe in this supreme realization. 
The following compilation contains some biblical references on how Music is present throughout Man's existence and, above all, how it is used for the worship, praise and glory of God.

Exodus 25:9
Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you.

Exodus 35:31-35
And the Spirit of God filled him with wisdom, understanding, knowledge, and in all manner of work,
And to create inventions, to work in gold, and in silver, and in copper, and in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, and in working in all the painstaking work.
He also set his heart to teach others; him and Oholiab the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan.
He filled them with wisdom of heart, to do all the work of a master, even the most ingenious, and that of the engraver, in blue, and in purple, in scarlet, and in fine linen, and in the weaver; doing all the work, and creating inventions.

Leviticus 22:29
And when you offer sacrifices of praise to the Lord, you will offer it of your own accord. 

1 Kings 19:11,12
And God said to him, Go forth, and stand on this mountain before the Lord. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and mighty wind, splitting the mountains, and breaking the rocks before the LORD; but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake; also the Lord was not in the earthquake;
And after the earthquake a fire; but also the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.

II Kings 3:15
Well then, bring me a musician. And it came to pass, as the musician played, that the hand of the Lord came upon him.

1 Chronicles 13:8
David and all the Israelites danced and sang with all their might before God, to the sound of harps, lyres, tambourines, cymbals, and trumpets.

1 Chronicles 16:9
Sing to him, praise him; count all your wonderful deeds.

2 Chronicles 7:6
And the priests, served in their offices; and the Levites with the musical instruments of the Lord, which King David had made, to praise the Lord, for his mercy endures forever, when David praised him for their ministry; and the priests blew the trumpets before them, and all Israel stood.

Psalms 19
The heavens narrate the glory of God, the firmament proclaims the work of his hands (...), without speeches and without words, without a sound being heard. And yet His voice spreads throughout the earth, to the ends of the world His Word.

Psalms 33:3
Sing him a new song; play well, and with joy.

Psalms 40:3
He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see this and fear, and trust in the Lord.

Psalms 68:4
Sing to God, sing praises to his name; praise him who rides on the heavens, for his name is the Lord, and rejoice before him.

Psalms 90:2
Before the mountains were born, or you formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, you are God.

Isaiah 42:8
"I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another nor my praise to images.

Ezekiel 1:24-25
Then, behold, I heard the noise made by their wings as they flew. They reminded me of the roar of the sea, it sounded like the voice of the Almighty. It was a thunderous noise, like a great army on the move. As soon as they landed, they folded their wings. A voice was then heard that echoed over the vault, which was above their heads, while those beings stood with their wings closed.

Amos 6:5
Who sing to the sound of the viola, and invent musical instruments for themselves, as did David;

Luke 1:8,9
And it came to pass, as he was exercising the priesthood before God, in the order of his division, according to the priestly custom, it fell to him by lot to enter the temple of the Lord to offer incense.

Acts 16:25
Around midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God; the other prisoners listened to them.

Romans 14:11
- For it is written: " 'By myself I have sworn,' says the Lord, 'every knee shall bow before me, and every tongue shall confess that I am God.'

Ephesians 5:19,20
Speaking among themselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and praising the Lord from the heart, giving thanks constantly to God the Father for all things, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, amen.

Hebrews 13:15
Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise, which is the fruit of lips that confess his name.

Colossians 3:16
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and counsel one another in all wisdom, and sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude to God in your hearts.

Revelation 1:10
I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet,

Revelation 5:12-13
And they sang with a loud voice: "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, wealth, wisdom, strength, honor, glory and praise!" Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, forever and ever!”

Revelation 14:2-3
I heard a sound from the sky, like the roar of a thunderstorm and the rumble of great thunder. The sound I heard was like harpists playing their harps. They sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and none could learn the song but the one hundred and forty-four thousand that had been bought from the land.

Revelation 19:5
Then came a voice from the throne, calling out, "Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, both small and great!"

Preface
 

The Lord God Created Music.
Music is in Heaven from Eternity (Psalm 90:2).
Angels praise the Creator, the Eternal, with Music from eternity and for all eternity.  

The vision of John - one of the 12 disciples chosen by Christ Jesus - in his rapture (Rev. 1:10), through what recorded the Book of Revelation (Revelation), testifies in an absolute way, that in the Eternity of the Lord, in the Heavens , Music and Praise are sung - sung and said to God (Rev. 5:12 and 14:2-3). When Jesus appears to John on the Isle of Patmos (Rev.1:1), he reveals to him all the events and details that happened, that would and will happen (Rev. 1:19). The theme of the book, like the entire Bible, converges on Jesus, is about Jesus the Christ, the Messiah sent by God the Father.                      Nevertheless, let us consider the content of the timeless book, given its scope, which is extremely broad in terms of dealing with the past, present and future. Music, as we will see, is and will be present in all events, from the phenomenon manifested by the action of God, and also for all eternity.

Then came a voice from the throne, calling:

"Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, both small and great!" [Revelation 19:5]

 

And they sang aloud:

 

"Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, wealth, wisdom, strength, honor, glory and praise!" Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, forever and ever!”  [Revelation 5:12-13]

 

The Bible will always be the solid foundation upon which we will establish our thinking and our conscience before God. From this, we will obtain the perfect direction for everything we need on any subject, in our lives as Human Beings, created in the image and likeness of the Lord. From the beginning the Creator provided Man with capabilities of absolute uniqueness (Gen. 1:26-30). Among all these miracles, these supernatural gifts which were poured out through the Grace of God, Music is one of the most sublime phenomena and manifestation of praise that we can experience and also express ourselves to Him.

To the Human Being were given the ability to invent and create musical instruments (Ex. 35:35). Men were also granted the ability to invent and play Music:

 

So David played music with his hand, as at other times;

[1 Samuel 18:10(b)]

 

For the Human Being have been granted the heavenly privilege of Praising God through Music (1 Chr. 13:8). To the redeemed, saved by Jesus, the Messiah sent from God, our Good Shepherd, will be granted the indescribable and Everlasting Joy (Is.35:10) of being in the perfect presence of the Lord, in eternal glory and praise with “him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb” (Rev. 5:13), for all Eternity.

        In the book written by John, in chapter 17, Jesus' prayer sublimely testifies to the sovereignty of the Father (v. 1-7), His plan of salvation for Man (v.8-20), His eternity (v.24). -26); he also intensely and humbly asks God to grant the conditions to him (Jesus) and also to all his children by adoption.

        In the light that comes from the Word of the Lord, through his only begotten Son (John 8:12), we receive the Grace that has been bestowed on us as Sons and Daughters, to honor Him, obey Him and glorify Him.

 

In the biblical context of obedience and glorification to the Lord, we understand, with absolute clarity, the function of Music as an instrument of praise and worship to God. Therefore, what we must observe, with the utmost depth, is how we must understand the scope of the liturgical context in which the music is inserted. Conceptually understanding (1) the music of praise and worship in evangelical worship is of paramount importance. In the light of the Bible, we will initially certify the process (liturgy) presented and defined by God. The liturgical process, as told to Moses and written in the book of Numbers, Chapter 10 and also as described in the book of I Chronicles, Chapters 15 and 16 by the ritual/worship of the Tabernacle of David, provides the Church with unique and permanent directions on worship. and also about music.

        The years between Moses and David are about 1,700 years.

        Thus, we will analyze the Tabernacle from everything that was recorded biblically, situated in each respective period. An accurate analysis can only be achieved by using the Bible and understanding it in its smallest detail. This analysis will also provide us with dozens of essential elements to build the foundations on which we will establish the definition of music in the Bible. We will also study in detail the way in which the people of Israel expressed themselves before the Lord, under His Statutes and Ordinances and Promises. By defining the elements contained in the ceremonials and rituals (Lev. 9:16), as the Israelite people worshiped and praised God, we can characterize the ordering of all the elements that guide the Music they created.

        In this Book, we will study in detail the historical-musical genealogy and, above all, the pillars that underlie Christian Music, in the light of the Word of God. What we seek to achieve is to establish a chronological ordering of music in the Bible and also of Christian music (2): a musical genealogy organized by the liturgy and musical expression of Man described in the Bible. The set of elements that make up the process of worship can be called Liturgy. Likewise, we will bring to light the historical-musical chronology in which, spontaneously, sincerely, lucidly and rationally, Man expresses himself through music towards his Creator, throughout his existence.

 

(1) We define the concept of music for praise and worship through technical and aesthetic parameterization, which guide the guidelines of evangelical musical invention and expression. We emphasize that within the scope of these parameters and guidelines, all elements present in different ecclesiastical musical cultures are included, that is, in the songs sung in churches throughout history, also in the last 2000 years, in different parts of the world.

(2) We mention music in the Bible and Christian music under the premise of the parallel that exists between the historical-musical references recorded in the Word of God and the music that develops and evolves through centuries and millennia. It emphasizes the sublime fact that this creative and inventive autonomy, which is offered by the Church as a form of worship and praise, is granted by God to Man.
 

From the heart of this Man, through the Holy Spirit of God, comes sublime praise and worship:

“I will praise the LORD at all times; his praise shall be continually in my mouth” (Ps.34:1).

 

Thinking and reflecting on the music of worship, which we see happening and developing from the primordial periods (Gn.4:21) to the present day (21st Century), is one of the most important tasks and subjects, which must be studied. in the Church of Christ: “And he is the head of the body, of the church” (Col. 1:18(a)) and “The churches of Christ greet you” (Rom. 16:16(b)).
        In evangelical worship, we can enumerate, hierarchically, the liturgical components determined by the texts of the Holy Scriptures. Among the Books of Acts to James, in the light of the Bible, we have: 

  1. Announcing the Word, the Gospel of Christ Jesus

  2. Study the Word of the Lord

  3. Preach/Explain the Word of the Lord

  4. Pray to God

  5. Praise: Sing and Play

 

About the process of the Early Church, we will study in chapter IV. Christian Music – Primitive/Primordial Church.

In the worship of God in the contemporary church we must understand the musical language used as a result of all the orthodox and ecclesiastical elements, parameters and guidelines which in essence underlie Christian Music.

Under this premise of supreme aesthetic diversity, where temporality in the course of the evolutionary process is really a notable factor, let us consider the immutable guiding line which is established by the central pillar of the entire musical structure, namely: sovereignty, direction and inspiration given by God. This pillar is composed by the sum of several other pillars, which are composed by the elements contained in the human musical expression, under the wonderful blessing and determination of the Lord God (Ex.25:9,40 and 26:30).

        Above all, we understand that throughout human existence, its nature of authentic similarity to the Creator is manifest: “And God said, Let us make man in our image” (Gen. 1:26 (a) and “And God created man in his own image” (Gen. image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” This similarity to the Creator makes, through the Gift of God granted to Man, the musical expressions of praise and worship, as well as the development of their structures and innumerable elaborations, the fusion of musical genres and styles over the centuries and millennia.

Building a timeline of Christian music, where information and, above all, musical manifestations are recorded chronologically, requires an in-depth study that establishes with full veracity what the sublime characteristics of Christian Music are. It is a really complex task and one of deep responsibility. When we analyze music under biblical guidelines, which define the reason for the existence of Music, we are immersed in a sensitive area, governed by a tenuous layer sedimented throughout Biblical History and Musical History.

        In the scope of Christian/evangelical music, the purity, the knowledge, the intelligence, the common sense and the wisdom are concering the absolute importance in understanding and also in the direction that guides the original essence. Thus, let us understand the urgency and the deepest seriousness with which we must dedicate ourselves to this very laborious task, of great complexity and content, but of divine beauty.

        Understanding and, finally, conceiving the genuine and pure concept that will lead us to Christian musical perfection, requires full mastery in all areas related to the creation of music and, above all, the awareness of its use to offer praise to God. The aim is to provide the Church of Christ with accurate information that contributes to a clear understanding of music in evangelical/Christian worship. We seek, from this structure, to provide and establish clear and objective criteria, in order to obtain full lucidity and also certainty of how it is, in the Light of the Word and the Will of God: the sublime Music of Worship.

 

Music is a Gift from God.

 

The Human Being, endowed with free choice and autonomy, under the Sovereignty of the Lord (Eph. 2:8-10), has a sublime ability to create, invent and produce works that glorify the Creator (Ps. 40:3). In this way, from this immense range of possibilities, we come to understand that Music is an invention where Man can gather elements and sound structures with creative freedom, organizing them with full awareness of the responsibility of his function. These musical inventions reside in their minds and hearts, in their creative hands and voices, whose divine function is to praise and worship God.

In the Book of Exodus, all the details contained in the Tabernacle are minutely recorded: the presentation and determination of how God wants the children of Israel to perform the praises, the sacrifices, the offerings (for atonement/forgiveness of sins/praise and worship). In chapters 29 and 30, entitled “The Sacrifice and Ceremonies of Consecration”, “The Altar of Incense” and “The Rescue of the Soul”, respectively, God sets out the liturgical (ceremonial) and spiritual process to be carried out.

        From the obedience and righteousness of the people (Israel) the blessings and presence of the Lord become perpetual. Below, we mention, from what we read throughout the Book of Exodus, what people should do, proceed and ultimately obtain:

 

1-) Sanctification (Ex 29:1)

2-) Devotion: offering to the Lord (Ex.29:18, 25)

3-) Consecration (Ex. 29:32)

4-) Purification (Ex.30:1-10)

5-) Anointing (Ex. 30:26)

 

       We will study these guidelines, given by God through Moses, in Part II. Israeli Music - a. Tabernacle [2. Tradition (Perpetual Status)].

Subsequently, inferring the narrative throughout the Book of Exodus, we clearly detect, from the notes that Moses makes, through the voice of God spoken to him (V. Liturgy), all the meticulous detailing for the model of the tabernacle as well as its procedural /ritual (Ex. 25:9(a)).

        From the description contained in Chapters 24 to 31 and 36 to 40, we obtain the guidelines which are the pillars that guide our liturgical and, therefore, musical model. With the advent of the Levitical ministry (1 Chr. 6:31-32) and the determination of David (priesthood), by the Lord's election (1 Chr. 15:2), we observe the established innovation in the worship and worship in the Tabernacle. This singular fact provides us with the idea that God allows and is also pleased with what the Israelite people offered him. The tribe chosen by God for the ministry was the sons of Levi:

 

And their brethren, the Levites, were appointed for all the ministry of the tabernacle of the house of God.

And Aaron and his sons offered on the altar of burnt offering and on the altar of incense, for all the service of the most holy place, and to make atonement for Israel, according to all that Moses the servant of God had commanded.

(1 Chronicles 6:48-49)

 

The Bible, written and inspired by God, is the absolute and eternal truth of what has been fulfilled and what will be fulfilled (Luke 1:45 and Joshua 23:14). In the light of the Holy Scriptures and the wisdom that comes from the Most High, let us believe and obey with heart, soul and spirit the sound doctrine, the Word of God. The Words contained in this Book (Jn.5:39),  these are the ones that “bring to our remembrance that which gives us hope” (Lamentations of Jeremiah 3:21).

May the Lord continually grant us His ineffable grace, wisdom, intelligence and sublime sensitivity to be at the center of God's will. Music will always reach and transform our intellects, our minds and souls and also our spirits. These miracles of God over our lives: the wonder and the spirit of adoration, remain whole and perfect within each Son and servant, as well as in the moment of worship, towards the Lord as a means of praising Him, magnifying Him and glorify Him. These are the aims and functions of Church Music. May the Lord grant us empowerment for the craft of producing/creating/inventing music and for this ministry, presenting to the Lord the praise, in His glory, through Music in the Church.

Frederick de Jesus Carrilho
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