The act of praise is something that's for every living, breathing individual. Not only people. God has even given animals and birds and so on an opportunity to praise Him. He tells them to. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. I saw something happen this week that I literally did not think I would ever see happen this side of heaven. I was in the little town of London Washington. And there were people there, in fact some of the people in that church had been praying and at times talking about it for 24 years since their church was built. It was much too large for the congregation or the community that had so many churches in it. It seated about 500 people. And they prayed, "Lord would you perform a miracle, let us see this building filled." Some folk who were getting up in years when it was built were quite old, came to me with tears in their eyes and they said, "God has answered our prayer." For that church building was not only full, it was packed with people. They not only overflowed, they put a closed circuit television in the basement. They filled the platform with people. 700 people on Monday night. 700 people on Tuesday night. They came from many different areas. They came from Canada. But the thing that I saw happen was something that John heard as God let him have a visit to heaven in the book of Revelation as he was carried away by the Spirit he heard what seemed to be the voice like a great waterfall. It was a roar that picked up and it swelled and would echo and flow through the courts of heaven and reverberate. And he looked to see where all the sound came from and it was the sound of God's family praising and worshipping God. Tuesday night though there was praise during the day, there were at least 20 denominations present. There were church of Christ people there. There were Lutherans, there were Baptists, and there were Methodists. The bishop from the Anglican Church from British Columbia was there.
But following that service there seemed to be a spontaneous explosion in that congregation. And I saw people standing to their feet, not those who went on record as being full gospel or charismatic but people who have never been in a charismatic service. But that congregation started standing with hands raised towards heaven. They had caught a glimpse of what God is like. As they were praising, just normal praising in the English language suddenly it seemed as though a great river opened up in heaven and that sound started to swell as people burst forth in rivers of praise very similar to the time when God allowed me to praise with the angels, something that couldn't be stopped. It lasted for 30 minutes, just a volume of praise ascending towards heaven. One of the most expressive was a loud voice, was the bishop of the Episcopal churches of British Columbia. After the service he told me, he said, all my life I looked forward to such an expression of praise I didn't know if it were possible but he said I felt like I was literally in heaven.
Quiet Dutch reform people were standing, tears running down their face, it was literally a giant waterfall like John expressed the voice of many waters. It's going to happen soon for everyone of God's children as the saints go marching in when Jesus, that irreversible force that is set in motion that is moving close to a great event that is going to be soon, Jesus is coming. And as we crown Him Lord of all the praises of the saints are going to sound like the voice of many waters. But I believe should He tarry that we're going to see this happening more and more, and more and more as people of all different denominations recognize that what God is doing is not for one percent of the populous but it is for people everywhere. Let me here you shout a big hallelujah. Oh praise God. I know the echo is still being carried on there in the courts of heaven by the angelic hosts.
I'm going to read you 3 Psalm. Psalm 148, 149, 150. "Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord from the heavens. Praise him from the skies. Praise him all his angels. Praise him all the armies of heaven. Praise him sun, moon. Praise him all you twinkling stars. Praise him, skies above. Praise him vapors high above the clouds. Let every created thing give praise to the Lord for he issued his command and they came into being. He established them forever and forever. His orders will never be revoked. Praise the Lord from the earth, you creatures of the ocean depths, fire and hail, snow and storm, wind and weather that obey him, mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars, wild animals and all livestock, reptiles and birds, kings of the earth and all people, rulers and judges of the earth, young men and maidens, old men and children. Let them all praise the name of the Lord. For his name is very great; his glory towers over the earth and heaven. He has made his people strong, honoring his godly ones, the people of Israel who are close to him. Praise the Lord. Sing to the Lord a new song."
One of the ways that we praise Him is in song. There was a time not long ago when I wondered about the thing that people call praising in the Spirit, but I have found that as we open our hearts to God and sing the melody that's down inside it's a song that hasn't been written, it's a new song. He said, "Praise him making that melody in your hearts to the Lord." And the word tells us in this way we praise him in this way. With songs, with hymns, with spiritual songs. Songs that haven't been written yet, making melody in your hearts. Not to people, not only for your own satisfaction. That's why he said here a new song.
"Sing praises in the assembly of the faithful. O Israel, rejoice in your Maker. O people of Jerusalem exult in your King. Praise his name with dancing accompanied by tambourine and harp. For the Lord delights in his people; [When you praise Him it makes Him happy, He takes pleasure in you.] he crowns the humble with salvation. Let the faithful rejoice in this honor. Let them sing for joy as they lie on their beds. Let the praises of God be in their mouths, and a sharp sword in their hands to execute vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples, to bind their kings with shackles and their leaders with iron chains, to execute the judgment written against them. [Anything that's against God can be held back, any attempt, any attack against God when you have that power and that sword of God in your hand that comes through praise.] This is the glory of his faithful ones. Praise the Lord. Praise God in his heavenly dwelling; praise him in his mighty heaven. Praise him for his mighty works; praise his unequaled greatness. Praise him with a blast of the trumpet; praise him with the lyre and harp. Praise Him with the tambourine and dancing; praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes. Praise Him with a clash of cymbals; praise Him with loud clanging cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord."
Doesn't that somehow just get inside of you? God said this, told David to write it down. He tells us now a beautiful key to unlocking, using praise to unlock God's power, to push back the attacks of satan, to break the bondages that come to many of His believers. There is a key; there is a certain quality, a certain ingredient in praise that is present every time that the key is turned. It's a golden key that God has put in our hands. You read it in 2 Chronicles 5:13 when the temple was going to be dedicated. The release of God's power came, a key was pushed into the lock in heaven and the word tells us that the singers and the musicians were all as one to make one sound in the praising and the magnifying God. And they were to say praise the Lord for His goodness and his mercy endures forever.
God is telling the world today what he is like. That he is a God of loving-kindness. That He is a God of mercy, not only a God of truth. He's been presented as a God of truth for years and years and people have been in fear of the God of truth because the truth has shown them their lost condition, shown them their inability, shown them that they have not met the conditions that truth demanded. But God is a God of mercy and truth. We find that where He mentions truth in the Word, mercy comes along. They're twins. Mercy is God saying that person does not deserve this. They haven't met those conditions but they need help so badly and I can and I will help them. So everyone who recognizes that what you've received from God didn't come because you did everything right, because you said all the right words. When you realize that what we have from God came from His big heart of love then we can say, "Oh God your mercy endures forever, you're good God."
But this ingredient has been present every time the key has been turned. And as they praised the Lord the word tells us God took that key, opened the door, and the glory cloud from heaven came down and filled the place and people were overcome by the great cloud of the glory of His presence. I feel that that's what we've experienced so often in this service, the glory cloud of heaven. When we praised the Lord, God did it. When Israel was being attacked God said, "You won't need to fight in this battle because I'm going to create a different kind of an army for you, an army of praise. And when this army of praise began to praise the Lord what did they say? Exactly the same thing. They said, "For He is good and His mercy endures forever." The same notes of praise. Not the fact that they were able to keep all of God's laws. It was the fact that God's mercy and kindness was extended to them and they were recognizing this and God said, "I like it." He told Michael to get a big bunch of warring angels and said, "Get down there." And he hid them behind every bush. And as this attacking army came they jumped out at them, they scared the daylights out of them. Those people, I don't know if they saw them or not but they started sticking each other with swords. Israel was saved but they were saved when they turned the key of praise. Not just a certain group of people that are a little off centered. Everybody praise the Lord.
What about the apostle Paul when he was in prison there. Remember when he was in prison with Silas? They could have complained. When we get into trouble we complain, we say I don't have anything to praise God for. You can't guess how many people tell me that when they get in prison so to speak. They seem like they're restricted in their movements spiritually and otherwise because circumstances, situations are all against them, why praise the Lord when everything like that is gone wrong? But at midnight Paul and Silas sang praises to God. I can't think about this without thinking of the great trio that sounded. Silas sang tenor and you know what they were singing? They were singing for he is good, his mercy endures forever. And as they were singing God said somebody is praising down there I can feel the key turning. And God came down and He sang bass. Really had a trio.
And those old foundations began to shake when He sang and the rocks fell off and the cuffs fell off their hands. They were liberated through praise. Men and women are liberated when they praise the Lord. Sing unto Him a new song from your heart, one that's never been written. Lift your voices right now and sing.