As we continue in lesson 7, our next topic is that of dress. “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).
There are 2 paths mentioned, the narrow way and the broad way. The lesson refers to them as the disciplined way and the undisciplined way respectively. We must choose between the narrow way (self denial) and the broad way (self-indulgence).
The parties that travel the different roads are opposite in character, in life, in dress, and in conversation.
“Those who travel in the narrow way are talking of the joy and happiness they will have at the end of the journey. Their countenances are often sad, yet often beam with holy sacred joy. They do not dress like the company in the broad road, nor talk like them, nor act like them. A pattern has been given them.”
Those on the broad way are occupied with (1) their persons, (2) their dress, (3) and the pleasures in the way. “They indulge freely in hilarity and glee, and think not of their journey’s end, of the certain destruction at the end of the path. Every day they approach nearer their destruction: yet they madly rush on faster and faster. Oh, how dreadful this looked to me!”
“I saw that the words, dress, and actions should tell for God.” “I saw that the outside appearance is an index to the heart. When the exterior is hung with…needless things, it plainly shows that the love for all this is in the heart…”
“I was shown the conformity of some professed Sabbathkeepers to the world. Oh, I saw that it is a disgrace to their profession, a disgrace to the cause of God. They give the lie to their profession. They think they are not like the world, but they are so near like them in dress, in conversation and actions, that there is not distinction.”
“Parents should be exemplary. They should exert a holy influence in their families. They should let their dress be modest, different from the world around them. As they value the eternal interest of their children, they should rebuke pride in them, faithfully rebuke it, and encourage it not in word or deed.”
The Purpose of Music
“Music was given to man by God as a language of the soul. It is through music that the soul can find utterance in a way that words alone are too feeble to express. When the soul is engaged in song, God understands, and communion is established with Him. Music is how all can participate in the language of heaven, that sweet communion with God, in unison together.” (Ten Principles)
“As a part of religious service, singing is as much an act of worship as is prayer. If the child is taught to realize this, he will think more of the meaning of the words he sings and will be more susceptible to their power.” (Education 168)
Christ used song as an aid to temptation-“When Christ was a child like these children here, He was tempted to sin, but He did not yield to temptation. As He grew older He was tempted, but the songs His mother had taught Him to sing came into His mind, and He would life His voice in praise. And before His companions were aware of it, they would be singing with Him. God wants us to use every facility which Heaven has provided for resisting the enemy.” (Evangelism 498)
“Music prepares the listeners for the word of God and deepens the impression made by the word.
Satan Has a counterfeit-“Satan can pervert music so that it accomplishes the opposite of what God intended, which is communion with Satan, leading to the destruction of the soul.”
There is a wonderful chart on page 6 of the lesson that compares God’s Music to Satan’s Music.
Why Should We Study Music?
“The subject of music is mentioned more than 800 times in the Bible. Music affects us mentally, physically and spiritually and has this power without us doing anything. “Music enters the body through the ears and the sense of touch and goes directly to the hypothalamus. This route complete bypasses the higher brain’s reasoning center. Music is not just heard, but the whole body absorbs it.” “We have a responsibility to know and understand what harmonious singing and music are so we can participate in them and glorify God.”
The Character of Music
Music is made up of three main elements: the melody, the harmony and the rhythm. “The character of a musical piece is the result of all the elements combined to make a whole, to make it balanced. If some elements, even one, are not in accordance with godly principles, then the whole character of the musical piece is faulty. A little leaven leaveneth the whole…(Galatians 5:9)
“Melody is a musical thought made by a series of tones. It identifies the song or makes it recognizable. It is like a profile.”
“Harmony occurs when two or more compatible tones are sounded at the same time. Harmony adds depth, perspective mood, atmosphere and color to a melody.”
“Rhythm is the orderly movement of music through time. It is because of rhythm that we can discern a song at all, for without rhythm the music is dead.” “Rhythm should never be dominant in a musical piece but should be balanced with the melody and harmony; just as our physical natures should be balanced with our spiritual and mental natures.”
When listening to the words of music we should watch out for:
- Humanistic philosophy
- Worldly association
- Reverence or familiarity
- Partial truth
- Personal Focus
Each of these is discussed in more detail in the lesson.
Principles for Evaluating Text:
- Does the text present an accurate view of His creation and how he designed everything to fulfill His purposes?
- Does the text present an accurate view of the plan of salvation and the sanctification process?
- Does the text incite submission to God and His laws?
- Does the text portray an accurate account of God’s love and the love the children of God have for Him and for one another?
- Is the text reverent and sacred? And does is promote this type of thought in the listener?
- Is the text Biblically accurate? Does it uphold God’s word and present an accurate view of what He has done and is doing now for us?
“Music is the language of the soul. It can either be a language that God and the soul can understand or communicate with together, or a language that Satan and the soul can understand and communicate with together. Whatever the language is, remember that music is eternally important to help form our character for good or for evil.”
Principles of Good Music
(Quick Reference to Good Music)
- Clear and Correct Intonation
- Correct Pronunciation
- Distinct Utterance
- Sweet and Simple
- Clear, Soft Tones, and Not Loud
- Synchronized Rhythm