Praise God In Truth

by Dr. Ken Matto

(Psa 47:7 KJV) For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding.

I came across this verse tucked away in the Psalms and it brought to mind a very serious situation in our time. As true Christians, we know that God is the sovereign King, not only of all the earth, but of all the universe as well. One of the joyous things a Christian can do is to sing praises to God for His wonderful salvation plan toward His children. In the above verse we read that we are to sing praises with understanding. It got me to thinking about understanding. Millions of people in churches all across this world gather together and sing praises to God every Sunday morning. Some are large churches and some are small churches.

Within the numbers of the millions that sing praises to God, how many of them are really doing it with any understanding? There are many unbelievers who stand in churches and sing the hymns. Is an unbeliever really singing the praises of God with understanding? The answer is no! If an unbeliever knew that they were not only singing praises to the God of this universe, but were singing to God their judge, how many would continue to sing? The problem is that since the preaching of impending judgment has been removed from many churches, the people are singing the hymns in vain. (Psa 22:3 KJV) But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.

God inhabits the praises of His people. Does God inhabit the praises of the unbeliever when they sing? The answer is no, because the people who belong to Satan are falsely bringing glory to God. God is glorified in His people. (Psa 50:16-17 KJV) But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth? {17} Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee. Here God is chiding the unbeliever for even taking His word and declaring it. This is done every Sunday by unregenerate clergy in many churches. The reason that God does not want the unbeliever taking His word and declaring it is because they are proclaiming the very word by which they are going to be judged on the last day.

In the three verses below there is an interesting situation. There was a demon possessed man in a synagogue. The demon cried out to Jesus that they knew that He was the “Holy One of God.” They knew this because they were up in heaven with Him before the rebellion. Jesus rebuked the evil spirit and told them to be quiet. Why would Jesus stop one of His spiritual enemies from giving public acknowledgement of who He was? He did that because His praise would not come from the camp of the enemy. He would not accept praise from the devil’s army of demons. Evil cannot praise good as good cannot praise evil, they are two different kingdoms. Christ’s praise would come from His people whom He redeemed.

(Mark 1:23-25 KJV) And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, {24} Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God. {25} And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him.

Unregenerate clergy who proclaim the word will also tailor their messages to omit all the full counsel of God which includes the teaching of Hell. The unregenerate preachers who bring the word of God will skew the teachings toward a false love gospel which always includes emotionally based works. The unregenerate who proclaim God’s word will never have a true understanding of the Word of God beyond the surface teachings of the do’s and don’ts. There is much more to Christianity than the moral teachings of Scripture. The unregenerate will never have the spiritual understanding of Scripture and the ability to compare Scripture with Scripture since their approach to Scripture will be biased by their spiritual deadness.

This is why God wants those who worship Him to do so with understanding. This is not to say that we as finite human beings will ever understand the infinite God, but there are many things in Scripture which God has revealed to His children that unbelievers will not understand. An unbeliever does not have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them so they will not be subjected to a systematic understanding of Scripture. Instead, an unbeliever may teach the word in an abstract manner and only engender more confusion to their hearers. This is why the unbeliever’s gospel always comes back to the phony love gospel, because it is the easiest to teach and sounds very good.

When unbelievers stand before the Lord in churches and sing His praises, they are praising the one who will eventually judge them and cast them into Hell on the last day. They are not understanding what they are doing and that means their praises are misguided. Singing the hymns and partaking in a church service can be very comforting to the unbeliever but that comfort is a false comfort. There is no understanding of the full counsel of God and each of them are in danger of Hell’s fire at any moment. This is why in Matthew 7:21-23, Jesus says He never knew these people and to their surprise, they will claim that they are good enough to go to heaven. Israel had said the same thing. (Hosea 8:2 KJV) Israel shall cry unto me, My God, we know thee.

Israel was walking in their national and private sins, but all along they believed they had a special relationship to God and this proved they did not understand their situation. Many in the churches are doing the same thing. They believe bake sales, rummage sales, food sales, food pantries, giving money, etc., are the same thing as the Gospel. These are social works and will never factor into a person’s salvation. People are deceived into believing that just because they are raising money for the church, that somehow their works are counted as eligibility requirements for Heaven. This is what Satan wants them to believe so this way the true Gospel will have no place in these churches. This is what comes without understanding. This is why God wants those that praise Him to do it with understanding. (Dan 12:10 KJV) Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand. When it comes to salvation, the wicked will not understand but the wise, those who are saved, will understand.

Jesus said that if His disciples are silent then He can raise up stones to praise Him. Maybe this is what we are seeing. The true Christians are not praising the Lord and maybe this is why God is allowing the unbeliever to praise Him. There is nothing deader than a stone or an unbeliever. Have you sung some praises to the Lord lately or are you only doing it on Sunday morning? Maybe these dead churches should be a reminder to the true believer that our great God deserves our praises and adoration. What thinkest thou?  (3/19/04)