For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body–and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
(1 Corinthians 12:13)
The trumpeters and singers joined in unison, as with one voice, to give praise and thanks to the Lord. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, they raised their voices in praise to the Lord and sang: He is good; his love endures forever. Then the temple of the Lord was filled with a cloud.
(2 Chronicles 5:13)
Recently I was thinking about worship and the phrase ‘with one voice’. Immediately the above two verses came to mind. Since we all are baptized by one Spirit into one body and are given one Spirit to ‘drink’ – wouldn’t it be wonderful to worship together under one Spirit with one voice. Each heart lifted up, focused on the Lord Jesus Christ in unity. This kind of worship would provide a wonderful testimony – the testimony of Jesus.
I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
The testimony of Jesus magnifies Jesus as the Lamb, the blood sacrifice for our sins. This phrase ‘the testimony of Jesus’ leads to the following verse.
At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
We see here that ‘the testimony of Jesus’ is not just a message about Jesus (the word of God), it is also a message from Jesus the risen Lord. Jesus is the one voice behind the many prophetic and angelic voices echoing through the pages of Revelation and the rest of the Bible. So the testimony of Jesus is the spirit or essence of Christian prophecy. An interesting side note: The testimony of Jesus could also be the spirit of the prophecy – referring to the book of Revelation itself (it does have the definite article in Greek).
Our worship should contain this testimony of Jesus – a message about Jesus (the word of God). It also appears that worship can be used to open our hearts and minds to receive a message from the risen Lord. This is not a new idea. David set aside some of his musicians for prophesying.
David, together with the commanders of the army, set apart some of the sons of Asaph, Heman and Jeduthun for the ministry of prophesying, accompanied by harps, lyres and cymbals.
(1 Chronicles 25:1)
Barnabas and Saul received a call from the Lord during this type of worship.
In the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them. So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.
Paul made it clear that appropriate times for the prophetic word need to be available in a meeting of the church (1 Corinthians 14:26). Prophecy was probably found in the context of praise and singing. Worship and focus on the Lord sensitizes us to His voice and His presence among us. An appropriate time to bring a prophetic message might be immediately following a time of singing and praise. Another time might be during a time of public sharing of answers to prayer and needs. A third time might be following a teaching. Paul makes it clear that prophecy should not interrupt another person (1 Corinthians 14:30-33), but he is equally clear that the prophetic gift should not be despised (1 Thessalonians 5:20). The times mentioned above are also good times for any individual to hear from the Lord – you do not need the gift of prophecy to hear His voice.
The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.
It seems coming together under one Spirit, as part of one body, with one voice, proclaiming one testimony – the testimony of Jesus, is a wonderful way to ‘seek His face’, to hear His voice. This also is not a new idea take a good look at 1 Chronicles 16!
Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.
(1 Chronicles 16:8-11)