The Roaring Twenties of the Previous Century
The player piano enjoyed a rapid distribution and successful, popular market share for one decade. It came in with a bang and died as suddenly as it was born. It went from essential to obsolete in one decade – the Roaring Twenties.
The player piano died in 1929 at the same time the markets crashed. Although invented in 1895 and improved upon during the first twenty years of the century, it became popular from 1901 through the Roaring Twenties.
During a recent time of worship-intercession at the CityGate in Atlanta, I saw an open vision of the scrolls that made a player piano play. I knew I was seeing something of spiritual significance for the Roaring Twenties of this century.
As we enter the greatest decade of history, a new sound will become available, pervasive, and essential. It will make the roar of God wherever “the scrolls” that make authentic worship function has been released.
We are in pause mode. We are anticipating a new sound.
At first, I thought that the new sound would be so unique we would be able to recognize it as “like nothing we’ve ever heard before.” Then, in the vision, I realized that those with the sound within them had played this sound, but the Roaring Twenties will supply scrolls for this sound to become pervasive.
At a time in history when the phonograph was still a future invention, the player piano did what no other mechanism could do. It made a sound available at exclusive clubs available anywhere someone installed a player piano scroll that made the piano released that sound. Rock stars were not required.
During that decade radio and 78 RPM recording were improved to the point that the market crash left player piano manufacturers in a fragile position. Nearly all of them went out of business when the market crashed. The sound of the Roaring Twenties died as well.
Everything about the Roaring Twenties of this century and the Roaring Twenties of the previous stand in stark spiritual contrast: in one sense, the difference between the world and the kingdom will be as distinctive. In another sense, the distinction between spirit and natural will be more defining.
The roar of this Roaring Twenties will be the Roar of the Lion of Judah. It will be the roar of Overshadowing Glory. It will be a sound that anyone with the scrolls can release through the mechanisms of sound production already at work in them. It will diminish the need for worship leader rock stars.
I need to say that it will also alter the recruiting systems in place for most mini-movements since they use music and the delusions of becoming rock stars to attract young people into their subcultures. The strength of their finances, marketing, assimilation, and even leadership dynamics is event planning more than discipling.
The Installed Sound Released by Scrolls
An entire generation has grown up with earbuds. Learning to stroke a guitar or chord a piano, they seek a microphone for their voices. They watch, study, and dream about the moment of rock star status their worship set perfections will afford them.
While they love Jesus, they also love an idea that has so little to do with authentic spiritual worship that it should receive only a brief mention in the endnotes of a discussion of worship. Yet, it is the poster child photo so large that most chapters of a book on worship, crowded out with an analysis of technique and clips of which T-shirts and yoga pants to wear so you look like you don’t care about convention.
Few of them have a clue about the scrolls that activate a sound that comes from Heaven. So few of them make rock star status that it is uncomfortable to discuss their wandering souls without that experience of fame. They maintain a steady march toward that distant mountain. They think God will drop something into their hearts at any moment…
In the Roaring Twenties, God will indeed install the scrolls of a heavenly sound. He will install that sound in those authentic worshipers who will never allow their sound to drown out the roar. So, the scrolls are coming to ordinary people who have not dreamed of being rocks stars. They have been on their faces. They have blended intercession groaning with worship moaning. When they worship, they drop out of the frame because the camera can only take photos of the One they adore. They are face down.
God punched holes in the scrolls. The pianos play by feeling the punch of God. They are perforated. The point of contact is gentle, but the keyboard responds with a firm stroke to the strings. The sound releases a roar so distinct that it will be recognized as the sound of the Roaring Twenties.
In other words, the scrolls play nothing. They instruct the piano what to strike, how hard to pluck, and how long to sustain. This is not spiritual mechanization. This is a divine influence at the spiritual gate. To play with the scrolls, you need sensitivity to the reality of spirit that years of surrender and sacrifice have installed. To play this sound, this sound must play within you.