The 7 Ascensions of Praise
Praise & Worship
As we begin this study, please understand that Praise and Worship are not just events or experiences in a Christian's life but rather, are part of the foundational lifestyle of the Christian experience.
As such, what we are about to discuss are really the outward expressions of Praise and Worship.
Definition - Praise is extolling the virtues of God
Definition - Worship is the mutual enjoyment of God’s manifested responses to your praise
Worship is like Spiritual Intercourse between you and God
Praise is like the foreplay that prepares you for that spiritual intimacy
Praise leads to worship but they’re not the same
You pursue God with praise and when He responds... worship begins
Praise prepares you for worship and sets the atmosphere for worship
Worship brings you into a level of intimacy with God that is not possible any other way
Praise prepares our spirit for the manifest presence of God, it lubricates and expands our spirit for God to deposit His Seed within us during worship.
God's Seed when germinated can manifest in multiple ways:
Whatever our most pressing need is, worship is the fastest, most efficient way of having that need met by God.
There are 7 Steps or Ascensions of Praise
Each step takes you closer and closer to the experience of worship
They are each represented by a different Hebrew word
The 7 Steps of Praise are:
Definition of Towdah: To lift the hands in praise as a sacrifice to God
This is the very first step of praise where your body and mind need to be brought in line with your spirit.
I’m pretty sure you’ve heard the phrase, “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak”.
This is when your spirit wants to praise God but your flesh is unwilling to participate so it becomes a sacrifice to lift your hands up as a sign of surrender to God.
What we do in the natural affects the spiritual; every action in the physical realm has a counterpart in the spiritual realm.
When you don’t physically feel like praising God but you force yourself to do it, this requires faith and faith is the currency of the spirit realm.
Whenever you want something done, which originates in the spirit realm, you pay with your faith.
The simple act of lifting up your hands in praises to God releases faith and God takes that faith and uses it to accomplish His purposes in your life.
Definition of Yadah: This also means to lift the hands but no longer as a sacrifice
You’re now lifting up your hands willingly in joyful praises to the Lord.
In step one when you first start praising God and you sacrificially lift your hands, the faith this action releases strengthens your spirit so that your spirit now begins to dominate your body and mind.
Soon, the emotions of your soul begin to agree with the joy in your spirit and you begin to feel better as you continue praising God.
Consequently, it’s now a pleasure to lift up your hands and praise God because your body, soul and spirit are now in agreement and this sets the stage for the next level of praise.
Definition of Halal: This means to behave clamorously foolish
It is to jump, dance, run, etc. all in celebration of whom the Lord is and all that He has done in your life.
This is the step that most Christians balked at because it means being more concerned with how you make God feel as opposed to how you appear to others.
The average person is VERY concerned about how they appear to other people.
When you achieve Halal, this is where you become just as aware of the spirit realm as you are of the natural realm and the natural things start to lose their influence over you and spiritual things begin to impact your consciousness more and more.
You begin to sense the presence of God stronger and the Bible says, “in the presence of God there is fullness of joy.”
The joy you began experiencing at Yadah now finds fuller expression in Halal.
At this step you may break out in spontaneous laughter or tears of joy depending on your personality. You may begin to dance in the spirit or run around the church pews in victory
I believe different people respond to the manifestation of God’s presence according to their different personalities, just the way God intended it to be.
For instance, some people laugh, some cry; some dance, some sing, some people run and jump all over the church while others do not move from one spot.
Yet, all are praising and worshipping God in spirit and in truth and are equally accepted by Him.
Successful praise and worship lies in being led by the Holy Spirit and being true to yourself and your relationship with Him and not being concerned with how you appear to others.
Do this and you can’t go wrong.
Definition of Shabach: This means to shout.
In praising God with the shout it doesn’t matter so much what you say but that you are led by the Holy Spirit.
Praising God with the shout has different effects.
(1) As a weapon of warfare it may have the effect of confusing and distracting the enemy and even instilling fear in their hearts.
We see an illustration of this in Judges 7:20 when God told Gideon to surround the Midianites with three hundred men and to break pitchers, blow trumpets and shout and the enemy all turned and killed each other.
When we shout praises to God under the anointing of the Holy Spirit I believe it has a similar effect on demons, confusing and distracting them, nullifying the plans of the enemy.
In 1 Samuel 4:5-8 we see where Israel shouted when the Ark of the Covenant came into the camp and it wrought great fear in the hearts of the Philistines when they heard them shout.
The Ark represents the presence of God, so this principle teaches us that shouting praises in the manifest presence of God has the effect of instilling fear in the hearts of the enemy.
(2) As a rallying battle cry it may have the effect of stirring up the spirits of other believers to spiritual warfare.
When you shout under the unction of the Holy Ghost it releases faith and faith is contagious, faith is a fire that ignites everything it touches. It inspires others around you to release their faith too.
Shabaching literally transforms the atmosphere around you and invites the presence of God and the Holy Angels while repelling the presence of demonic spirits.
(3) It encourages the Holy Angels of God to intensify their ministry on your behalf. When Paul and Silas were in prison after just being beaten, they sang praises to God and the Angels of God showed up big time and delivered them from bondage.
We know that Paul and Silas were very loud with their praises; probably shouting because the bible clearly says that the other prisoners heard them praising God.
It always amazes me that the same people who would scream at the top of their lungs during a sports event to praise their team would find it offensive to shout praises to the God who gave them life and keeps them alive by the power of His word.
The true power in Shabaching is in being led by the Holy Ghost.
I have tried shouting on my own without the anointing power of God and it only served to wreck my vocal cords.
However, one time I was home praising God with Shabaching and my wife and kids who were returning home from a trip heard me from a ¼ mile away. (It helped that we lived on a hill)
This level of volume, however, was created with zero stress or strain on my vocal cords but 100% through the manifestation of the Holy Spirit.
Be led by the Spirit of God and you cannot go wrong.
Definition of Zamar: To play on the musical instruments
It is interesting that Zamar is the 5th ascension of praise.
After we’ve already been running and shouting, then God says we can bring in the instruments.
It tells me that we shouldn’t rely on music to praise God but rather that the music is to be used as another form of praising God entirely.
When I’m in a church service I make it a point NOT to be led by the music or by the singing of the choir but to be led by the Holy Ghost.
So, the musicians and the choir might be going at it with full force and I’ll be standing in one spot just quietly reflecting on the goodness of God and communing with the Holy Spirit.
I may stay that way for just a few minutes or much longer but I simply refuse to manufacture some outward expression of emotion that originates in the flesh.
When my spirit and soul are lined up together and I tap into the flow of the Spirit of God I simply allow myself to go with the flow and praise God however He wants me to praise Him; this more than anything else guarantees that Jesus and I will have a wonderful time together.
It’s like a dance where He takes the lead and I follow.
I allow Him to lead me because I trust Him, and this is the reason why many Christians don’t experience that euphoric praise where you cast off all your cares in wild abandonment and enjoy the sweet intimate worship that follows.
They don’t trust God enough.
Trust is the Key to Intimacy
Trust is the most vital component in our fellowship with The Father.
Someone may say that obedience is the most important thing but if we don’t trust Him we won’t obey Him.
Would you follow the instructions of someone whom you don’t truly believe ALWAYS has your best interest at heart. No, you won’t, I won’t either!
Trust is the foundation of obedience!
So, whether it’s to allow Him to lead you in praise and worship or to obey one of His Commandments, the principle is the same; you won’t obey whom you don’t trust.
But I promise you, if you step out in faith and begin to cultivate trust in God He will take you into places in the spirit realm you have not even dreamt of going and show you things that will amaze you.
Now, let’s get back to the instruments.
All Sound is Vibration
All sound is eventually reduced to vibrations so whether we’re speaking our praise or playing our praise with an instrument we’re still communicating with God.
That’s why it’s possible to praise God with just the instruments... it's the vibrations that really make the difference.
Take opera for instance, they usually sing in Italian and you can’t understand a word but it still has the power to move you to tears.
The vibration of the musical and vocal notes interacts with the vibration of your soul and stimulates your thoughts and emotions one way or the other.
Music can move you to happiness or sorrow.
Everything in nature vibrates to a certain frequency, which is why music or speech can affect environments.
The thoughts you think and the emotions you allow yourself to feel determine what level of frequency your soul vibrates to.
Just as an illustration, let’s say that your soul is vibrating to a frequency of 10 and I play a piece of music that vibrates to the higher frequency of 20, as you listen to the music, the higher frequency of the sounds interacts with your soul’s frequency lifting it higher, the result is that your thoughts and emotions will improve and you begin to feel better.
So, when we sing or play music in praises to God we transform the atmosphere around us by releasing higher vibrations and creating an environment that pleases Him and invites His presence.
Natural Vibration vs. Spiritual Vibration
The thing to understand is that since God is a Spirit, what determines whether or not we please Him is not just the beauty of the notes played or sung but rather the condition of the spirit and soul of the person who is playing or singing.
Every note played or sung is filtered through that person’s spirit and soul before it reaches God’s throne.
The skill of the person playing or singing determines the natural frequency of the notes but it is the spiritual condition of the person that determines the spiritual frequency.
Natural frequency affects the body and soul and spiritual frequency affects the spirit.
That’s why sometimes the musicians might be playing at full force and the choir singing their hearts out but anyone who is really in the spirit will not be moved because for all their volume and zeal they’re only affecting the soulish realm and not that of the spirit.
In the same way the spiritual frequency determines whether the musical notes are harmonious or discordant to God and whether He’s pleased or not.
So, if Sister Choir Member or Brother Musician is not walking in the love of God they may sing or play like a master but their praises may not excite God because spiritually speaking it may just sound like so much clanging noise and not beautiful to His ears at all.
The Bible says, "If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal." 1 Cor 13:1
But when we walk in love and release that sweet aroma of godliness about us, we may not be the best singer or musician but still take God to rapturous places with our singing and music.
The condition of your spirit and soul determines the quality of the spiritual vibrations released through your vocal amd musical praises.
Definition of Barak: To bow in silent reverence to God.
This is more an attitude of the spirit and soul than a physical act, although sometimes we may actually prostrate ourselves before God by bowing or lying face down on the floor.
To experience Barak is really to come into a place of stillness; a place where you hardly want to move or even breathe, where the presence of God is so real and tangible that you don’t want ANYTHING to disturb it.
It has been my experience that it is in this environment that God usually shows up with a prophetic word.
He may speak to you personally or He may release a word for the entire congregation through the operation of the Gifts of the Spirit.
This ascension of praise is like the calm before the storm, the moment of quiet stillness before all heaven breaks loose!
It is the point in spiritual intercourse where your spirit begins to open up in desperate anticipation for the moment of God's penetration.
It’s just before the entrance of the Lord into your personal space, just before He manifests His glorious presence.
It is the calm before the divine storm. This is Barak – The 6th Ascension of Praise!
Definition of Tehillah: To sing praise - To Glory. Tehillah is described as the song of the spirit.
It’s interesting that when the Bible says, God inhabits the praises of His people, the word translated praise in that verse is Tehillah.
Ps 22:3 But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.
This shows us that the first six steps of praise actually prepare us to experience the manifest presence or glory of God, which is what Tehillah is.
Tehillah is the culmination of the 7-step process of praise.
From Towdah to Barak we are giving to God, we are reminding Him of the magnificence of His person, power and presence.
We are ministering to Him by praising Him with all our being.
Tehillah is when He begins to respond to our ministrations with ministrations of His own.
It’s when He finally enters our personal space and makes His person, presence and power intimately felt.
For instance, when we praise His greatness we’re really inviting Him to manifest His greatness in our midst.
When we praise His omnipotence we’re inviting Him to manifest His limitless power in our midst.
When we remind Him of how He healed and resurrected Lazarus we’re inviting Him to release that same resurrection and healing power in our midst again.
This is what we do during those 6 steps of praising Him and Tehillah, the 7th step is when He begins to respond to us with who and what He is in our lives.
Tehillah: The Doorway to Worship
Tehillah is the doorway to worship.
This is why when the glory of God comes in to a church service spontaneous healing takes place, spontaneous deliverance takes place; people begin to receive answers to prayers they’ve been praying for, for years.
This is the key to Pastor Benny Hinn’s dynamic healing and miracle Ministry.
He has become an Adept in leading the congregation into corporate Tehillah then just stepping back and allowing the glory of God to come in and manifest miracles in the midst of His people.
It’s marvelous and wonderful to behold.
One of the major benefits of worship is revelation.
When you enter into the glory of God in worship He gives you intimate access to Himself.
During worship God exposes Himself to you in ways He doesn’t expose Himself during any other activity.
This is why worship is likened to sex.
During worship you strip yourself of everything that would hinder you and lay yourself naked and bare before your Husband, Jesus.
He beholds you offering your exposed self to Him and responds by taking you in His loving arms and opening Himself to you intimately in return.
In this intimate sharing of Himself with you, you’re able to see and discern aspects of God and His Kingdom you couldn’t understand before and His revelation knowledge is imparted to you.
This is why King David of Israel was able to write so many prophetic Psalms with revelation knowledge of the coming Messiah.
David, above everything else was a worshipper of God.
The foundation of his fellowship with God was spending countless hours in the meadows with the sheep just playing on his Harp and singing praises to God.
This is what he was... a worshipper.
Out of his profound worship experience, God could then make him into an excellent Warrior, a King, a Psalmist, a Prophet.
The foundation of your success in life is to become the best worshipper you can be.
When your worship game is on point you will begin to experience excellence in every other area of your life.
“But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.” (John 4:23)
God doesn't seek for Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, Evangelists or Teachers... He seeks for Worshipers!
If He finds that you are a true Worshiper He can then make you into anything else He wants.
Worship is not something you do in church Sunday morning before the sermon.
Worship is the very essence of your relationship and fellowship with God.
It is primarily an attitude of spirit and mind that finds expression in your habitual thoughts, words and actions.
True worship is a lifestyle.
What we do Sunday morning is simply the outward expression of an inner life of worship.
These are the 7 Ascensions of Praise - The 7 steps from Towdah to Tehillah, from lifting your hands as a sacrifice to entering the manifest presence of God in worship.