True Worship and Music
One thing we may be certain of is that during the Millennium, our God and His Son will be worshipped.
Recently, our ecclesia had a public event where members gave their personal testimonies. One relatively new member, a professional musician who learned the gospel later in life, shared how she feels the closest to God in times of musical worship. Her vision of eternity deeply involves a desire to remain in this experience indefinitely, giving glory to God and our Lord Jesus, with all the saints gathered around their throne.
As I was listening, I couldn’t help thinking of Mary sitting at the feet of our Lord, in a posture of adoration and love, content to just be in his presence. This is the kind of heart our Father in Heaven desires, as His Son told the woman of Samaria:
But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. (John 4:23).1
Similarly, Paul expressed it:
This way of communing with God is consistent with many other Scriptures, where the heart (feelings) and mind (thinking) are in perfect harmony. “I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also.” (1 Cor 14:15).
While worship certainly includes music, it is not exclusive to it.
Worship and music are often used interchangeably. Many modern churches even refer to their music ministry as “worship.” A short Bible study will reveal that while worship certainly includes music, it is not exclusive to it. But for the purposes of this article, when referring to worship, I am assuming the primary use is an expression of the posture of one’s heart and mind when music is played or sung.
One thing we may be certain of is that during the Millennium, our God and His Son will be worshipped. Even during Jesus’ mortal days, when going to Jerusalem,
In immortality, just imagine the response of the redeemed, given what they will have seen then. The mortal population will have no words of rebuke to say on that day when the King ascends his throne. Even now, “[Jesus] has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.” (1 Pet 3:22).
He is now receiving the pleasure of the sweet incense of prayer. Psalm 16 speaks of his immortality, “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psa 16:11).
As with the Earth’s creation, “When the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy,” (Job 38:7), so it was at the creation of God’s only Son. For “when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, ’Let all God’s angels worship him.’” (Heb 1:6). And what form or expression of worship did this take? Praise to God!
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (Luke 2:13-14).
The pleasure of both the giver and the receiver of this kind of joyful praise is, by extension, a picture of what eternity has in store for us when we “cannot die anymore, because [we] are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.” (Luke 20:36). This same joy of praise desired by our sister, and experienced by the angels around the throne, is what all should anticipate, as we ascribe the same honor and praise to the One who saved us.
We can be sure that praise and worship are a feature of the eternal realm.
Angel Adoration for Eternity
As Bro. Peter Ribaudo used to share around the Schooley’s Mountain campfire, singing the songs of the Kingdom, “So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8). He would reflect that when we sing praise, we get a taste of what it will be like being born of the Spirit. Thankfully, the Scriptures paint us some beautiful pictures, both directly and by extension, often through the experience of the angelic host.
“Bless the LORD, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word!” (Psa 103:20). Worship is their natural response to doing His word and participating in advancing His will. We see this in praise of other immortal hosts, who seemingly never tire of this activity. The saints are here represented by the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders:
This immortal response to God’s creative power is an echo of the same creatures but styled seraphim in Isa 6:
I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” (Isa 6:1, 3).
Of this vision, the Apostle John refers to the exalted Christ when he tells us, “Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him.” (John 12:41). In this worshipful response, we can extend a picture of the praise culture we anticipate in eternity, just as we ought to do for him today.
In eternal life, there will be no end to our gratitude for redemption. Revelation stylizes more visions of this musical praise describing the redeemed:
We may perhaps even expect to be singing the songs we crafted in this age, just as
They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and amazing are your deeds, O Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations! Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.” (Rev 15:3-4).
Praise will be the response of the saints and angels together.
If this praise and worship will be given unto God and the Lamb, where might the nations gather, if not to the same place the angels come today, pouring their praises upon the King? It will be his throne room in the Temple, here on Earth.
(Isa 60:5-6, 18).
My hope for this experience is so beautifully expressed by Hymn 296.
“Oh! the rapturous, blissful story,
spoken to Emmanuel’s praise,
and the strains so full of glory,
that immortal voices raise.
While our crowns of glory casting, at His feet, in rapture lost.
We, in anthems everlasting,
mingle with the ransomed host.
Hail, Emmanuel, great Deliv’rer!
Thou art worthy of all praise.”
The question for us is, “Shall we be with Him in that Day? We make the answer now.” (Hymn 405).
Canterbury Ecclesia, VIC
- All Scriptural citations are taken from the English Standard Version, unless specifically noted.