Mini-Messages taken directly from the Scriptures
As I talk with more and more people every day regarding music in their lives, whether it be in the privacy of their own personal home, headphones, car, workplace or within their own church, I am coming to realize that the scriptures are not being considered as their "final authority in all matters of faith and practice," as Dr. Sam Gipp has so truthfully stated. People will certainly discuss other "issues" and will be quick to quote scripture to prove their position. But when the subject of 'music' comes up, most of the responses are "I like it"; "my pastor approves it"; my pastor listens to it, too"; "It is a Romans 14 issue"; "Don't be so divisive!"; and the most popular comment, "The scriptures leave music in a gray area".
Those personal statements carry nothing but man's own final authority and that last statement dealing with music being a gray area is most definitely not true.
When I was called to a large church & school in upstate New York 14 years ago, I was assigned to teach a music education class to JH and HS students. I distinctly remember praying, "Lord, I don't want to teach the normal 'music info'. This is a christian school and I want to teach what your words say about music - so please show me!" Honestly, from that moment on, the Bible came alive with scriptures that dealt with music in such a manner, that today I believe that when someone says the Bible leaves music as a gray area, that is proof that this person has not read their Bible searching for music answers. The answers are in those scriptures - verse by verse.
Evangelist Rex Harrison preached about music in the Bible at a Bible conference in Toledo, Ohio, the same year that I had asked the Lord to show me what He has to say about music. Brother Rex showed me that even the book of Chronicles is alive with music references. No longer should Chronicles be assigned to insomniacs like I have heard so many preachers say.
The Bible is alive with music references and so I dedicate this portion of our music pages to specific references in the KJV1611 that can be applied directly to music. With a little more study, anyone can search these scriptures and ask the Lord to expound on these references. The answers to all problems lie within these scriptures - and so we must also consider the same scriptures regarding the most divisive "issue" today - "music".
These mini messages would make a good foundation for a complete sermon on many specific music issues.
Word of Christ
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom;
teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
This single verse is rich with music application. The most important point to be made here, and one that is highly skipped over by most, is the obvious statement that we are to Let the word of Christ dwell is the emphasis. It is not the psalms, hymns or spiritual songs that teach and admonish - it is the word of Christ. The music is a means, not the power in teaching and admonishing.
The contemporary christian music (CCM) world most definitely has a total disregard to the word of Christ in their music. If anyone were to study the texts of the contemporary songs of today, one would find false doctrine abounding. That study would be so involved, that it will not even be attempted here. If there is to be a 'best reason' to dump today's CCM, Contemporary Christian Music, it is this one - FALSE DOCTRINE in the music!
Unfortunately, that problem is showing up more and more in the good ole' KJV churches all over the country. Many years ago, I heard a well known pastor of a large church pray and address his prayer to God, the "Father of Heavenly Lights". Readers, that is a blasphemous prayer - nowhere in that KJV1611 Bible is God called the "Father of Heavenly Lights". In that year, Steve Green sang a 'hit' song where he called God the "Father of Heavenly Lights", taking his reference from James 1:17 (Father of lights - KJV 1611) where the NIV calls God the "Father of Heavenly Lights". Well, hopefully, most people reading this page realize that the NIV is the voice of Satan, so that song contains false gospel - which is accursed in Gal 1:8. Satan is the angel of light in II Cor 11:14, and preacher could go a long way with that situation.
That is only one of thousands of examples one would find
if they ever cared enough to check their music 'textually' with their Bible.
With that simple conclusion, that song, that 'artist' and that music should
have been trashed. If that song would have been publicly exposed
as false gospel and the 'artist' as a false teacher at that time, that
church today would not be caught up in the contemporary music scene that
it is now caught up into.
Sing unto God,
sing praises to his name:
extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH,
and rejoice before him.
We have here the verse that tells us how we are sing unto God. Naturally, as it states in I Cor. 10:31, we are to give God glory in all that we do. And in this case, music is to be for God.
Sing praises to his name- In the world of music these last few years, more and more songs regarding "God" are being written and are being very successful in the market. Some praise songs make the top 10 in popularity. It appears that everyone is getting on the bandwagon regarding 'praise music'. Unfortunately, as is common today, people have not realized that there is a stipulation attached here. Anybody can sing praises - and just about anybody and everybody does today; but these praises must be sung to his name. His name identifies exactly which God these praises are to be sung to - The God of the Bible - the God of the universe - the God that created you and me - the God that will send fire and judgment to this earth - the God of my salvation according to His word. Etc. Etc. Etc. With all the denominations describing their own God; with all the bible versions describing a different God; with all the religions in the world having their own god, it is only obvious that the one and true God would have to have those praises sung specifically to his name. He would know which praises are being directed to Him and which are not. If the praises being sung do not follow God's description of what He expects of us and of our music, then He certainly would not hear that praise, as it says in Amos 5:23: Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols. There comes a time when God will not hear the praises sung and if those praises are such that cannot be sung to his name, they are not His praises. Those songs would have to fit under the description of "music that is against the scriptures."
Praises are best sung from the Psalms themselves. Psalms means "The Book of Praises" in Hebrew. The English word is from Col 3:16 and would be translated "The Book of Songs" and are poems sung to musical accompaniment.
...extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH - The word 'extol' means "to raise in words or eulogy; to praise; to exalt in commendation; to magnify." Extol is a deeper form of worship. The word 'extol' includes words. The references in the Bible to "extol" all involve words. Ps:30:1; Ps:66:17; Ps:145:1; Isa:52:13; Dan:4:37. We also know by reading this verse who specifically we are extoling. Ps 68:33 leaves no doubt to whom we are referring. Unfortunately, there could be doubt in our extoling for as we know not only Jesus Christ / God is going to be riding upon the heavens in Rev 19, also in Rev 6, there also is an appearance of someone who will claim to be Jesus Christ. So we must be sure to whom we are extoling. Without going into to the titles and definitions of Jehovah, etc. we should know JAH is referring to here. That means our praises and worship is for God - Jesus Christ - and no one else.
Worship music is more often sung through hymns. More on hymns later.
...and rejoice before him. - Along the same lines as the explanation of singing praises to his name, we also must realize that our rejoicing is because of HIM - nor of our music. So naturally, we must rejoice before HIM. The excitement, happiness, joy, etc. that comes from knowing Jesus Christ personally is why we can rejoice. We do not get our excitement, happiness, joy, etc. anywhere except from Him and through Him. Music is not our source of happiness, joy, etc. so naturally, music should not be reason for our rejoicing - not matter how great the "arrangement" of the music is. Col 3:16 states that we are Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly - not the 'music' about Christ. Music is the tool, the method of rejoicing.
A good summary of this verse goes
sing praises to his name:
My praises are directed - At Others / From Me / To Him
extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH,
My worship/extolling is directed - To Him / From Me
and rejoice before him.
My rejoicings are directed - From Me / From Him
That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp,
sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick,
ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up:
And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour
be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.
Therefore at that time,
when all the people heard the sound of the cornet, flute, harp,
sackbut, psaltery, and all kinds of musick,
all the people, the nations, and the languages,
fell down and worshipped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.
Most people are not even aware of the role that music played in the well known story of Shadrach, Mesach and Abednego? In fact, music played such an important role, that verse 5 is repeated in verse 7, 10. When the action gets thicker, the same command is repeated one more time in verse 15.
Note the list of instruments in those four verses. All those instruments were in their early stages of development with the possible exceptions of the psaltery and dulcimer. These stringed instrument have been around for 'a long time' and have not changed much since their early years of use. The cornet mentioned here can not be the type of cornet or trumpet that we think of today as the valves that are used today had not been invented yet. The sackbut is the early creation of today's trombone.
Note also in verse 7, that all the people, the nations, and the languages, fell down and worshipped the golden image. That is a great illustration of the power of music as the universal language. All nations and all peoples respond more to the language of music than any other language. There may be different symbols from different parts of the world used in music notation today, but the power of that music is the same for everyone everywhere and in any language.
Also note, that in the verses 5, 7, 10 & 15, the phrase "all kinds of musick" was used as the description as to what 'kind' of music would be heard to begin this process of bowing down to the golden image.
Today, there rages the issue of 'good' and 'bad' music. Is there music that could be considered 'good'? Is there music that could be considered 'bad'? Is there 'good' music and 'bad' music as far as God is concerned - or is it just thoughts and the wisdom of man and his own preferences?
Further Bible study will show that there truly is 'good' and 'bad' music and there is music that God will hear and will not hear. Many people think music is a gray area, but a complete review of the study, "Music Verses in the Bible - from Genesis to Revelation" located in this web site, would show anyone quickly that God mentions the use of good music and the use of bad music - for the people and for Him. But typical of today's scholarly approach to Christianity, we have ignored the 'simplicity that is in Christ"! II Cor 11:3
As you again consider the phrase, "all kinds of musick", it appears that there is the possibility that people could even bow down to Baal, Satan, etc. while they 'hear' 'good music'. It is obvious today that there is music that is wicked, sick, gross, deadly, unnatural and is of the world. A Bible believing, born again, washed in the blood, redeemed Christian would not listen to that kind of music. It does not honor God - It does effect the physical health of that individual - It leads to murders and crime, etc. etc. etc. That kind of music would definitely signify worship to the false gods of the world. Amen? or Amen! Again, a Christian would not think of listening to THAT KIND of music!
But when we consider what kind of music is being played in supermarkets, stores, elevators, street corners from cars & boom boxes, telephone answering systems, restaurants, malls, office waiting rooms, etc. we must accept the obvious fact that we hear that wicked & ungodly kind of music everywhere we go. Ten - Twenty years ago, if people would have said that awful rock and roll would be common music in America, we would have not believed them. If we would stop and listen to the music in most of these places today, we would be shocked at what was actually being sung. In fact, in those very same places, if you started to talk to the clerks or other customers with that same language telling those same stories that are being portrayed and sang about, you would be asked to be quiet or to leave the store. So, as Christians, we must remind ourselves that we are subjected to this wicked music daily.
Then there is the other side of 'all kinds of musick" - the 'good' music of today. The many different kinds of music that is considered by many to be clean and good musick. A person can get so involved in that 'good' music that is also becomes a god to them. A person who lives and breathes symphony music and concerts, band programs, choir programs, performances of the professionals in all reality is living their life for music as a career and ignores God, etc. is bowing down to a false god just as much as the person who bows down to wicked music. A false god is a false god no matter how bad or good the tool of worship is. Music becomes the false god. It stands between God and themselves that music has become an idol.
As music becomes more and more spread out with styles and variations of styles, orchestrations and instrumentations, there gets to be more and more music that is caught 'crossing the bridge' between the obviously 'good' music and the obviously 'bad' music of our daily lives. One could even call that music 'lukewarm' as it is 'sorta' bad and 'sorta' good. It doesn't lead the person towards wickedness, but it also does not lead the person toward the God of the Bible! Seems to be a fitting description of Revelation 3:14-19, doesn't it? Laodicean church age with it's own Laodicean music.
Then we have the Bible believing Christian who even believes the KJV as the perfect and preserved words of God, but who spends all their time or most of their time listening to music - good music - good 'Christian' music. But they never read their Bible. They wake up in the morning and turn on their good 'christian' music. It gives them their charge and start for the day. They play the radio or CD player all through the day - no possible chance for meditating of God's words. They get into their car, turn on the music - another chance for meditating 'out the window'. The Holy Ghost can't get a thing into the mind of this person because they constantly have their music playing - good 'Christian' music.
So as one becomes more and more aware of the power of music, we must realize that the issue is far more than 'good' or 'bad' music. All kinds of musick can make anyone bow down to the golden image - even today!
And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock,
and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock?
And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice:
and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also.
And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron,
Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel,
therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.
A very simple but extremely important illustration here. Moses knew what he was supposed to do this second time with the rock. Instead, he chose to do it his own way. Moses was able to get the results he wanted. There was 'success' here. But Moses still disobeyed God in the manner that he went about doing his ministry.
1Sam:15:22b ...Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice...
As pastors, we must learn a great lesson from Moses. I am convinced that there are two things I could do to increase membership at Touchet Baptist Church - in other words, 'draw water out of a rock' - even in this small community. First, I could back off the King James Bible "issue" - which would be literally kicking out the 'voice' of God - which I would never do, but would sure please this community. The second thing I could do would be to 'loosen' our music standard and 'bring in the beat'. We could get away from singing only the old-fashioned hymns. I could quit looking for out-of-print hymns from the 'good-ole-days'. I could replace the accordion with a tape machine that plays all kinds of music in all different styles. I could get rid of the little organ and old fashioned piano and put in a digital keyboard with all sorts of new fangled stops and rhythms. We could order all new music books that have more praise songs and choruses. I could put in a good speaker system that pounds out all the new music - we could even sing along and pretend we are in a big church.
But just because that would give me good results, I would be using music that would not please God. I would be disobeying his orders. Moses got the results that he wanted - but he had to pay a big price. I am more concerned about 'doing right' and letting God be concerned about the results. That can be difficult at times. We often think we know how to do the work. In fact, we are such an educated Christianity, we can make things happen with such good results, we wouldn't know if God was in it or not.
So the best way to go about God's work is not to judge the work by the results but whether or not it is in obedience to the Scriptures.
In a war, sometimes the best place to be would be inside the enemy lines. As you would discover what the enemy was planning, you could then make the proper plans yourself to stay ahead in the war.
One of the best reasons for knowing what the many bible versions say about particular verses is that we quickly see exactly what Satan is going after by noting what he has changed or taken out. For example, Col 1;14 has the word "blood" missing. Well, we then know Satan took the word "blood" out of the Bible so people today would forget the importance of the blood of Jesus Christ. Obviously, most people have forgotten the importance of the blood. In fact, one famous 'dog' preaches and teaches that it is the death of Jesus Christ that saves us. See - it worked!
The same thing can be done with the subject of music. Where has Satan 'messed' with the Bible so that contemporary musicians and followers could turn in to their Bible and find a verse that would support their actions and beliefs about music.
Amos 6:5 is a good place. We will note that God is addressing chapter 6:1-6 to the person who is lazy and spoiled with the world, etc. In your own studies, obviously this is the Old Testament application historically. But as all the Scriptures are to us, but just not all for us, we can then apply these verses spiritually in a most surprising way.
Many newer bible versions will rewrite
Amos 6:5 this
way: ...invent to themselves instruments of music, like David
did; Here is a killer:
You sing foolish songs to the
music of harps, and you make up new tunes, just as David used to do...;
Then there is this: ...croon to the sound of the lute; who like David invent for themselves instruments of song...
Do you see Satan's plan in this verse after he changes it?
This is a great verse of warning to those people who are lazy Christians (today) who lay around and listen for themselves (invent to themselves) Christian music (like David). BUT NOT LIKE DAVID DID! Do you see that? David did NOT invent his instruments nor play music for HIMSELF! I Chron 23:5 says, ...that four thousand praised the LORD with the instruments which I made, said David, to praise therewith. David's music and his instruments were for God's praises - not for himself.
But if a person would look at that verse in a new version, he would see that David did it for himself. So if David can do it, why can't I?
Adding one word and a comma can justify the contemporary, ungodly, false teaching and putrid music that so many Christians today call Christian music.
No, David did not play his music for himself - and neither should we!
"What does God think of the
music," is the question we should ask ourselves; not what we
think of the music.
Praises to God after Crossing the Red Sea - Ex.
A Holy Convocation of Trumpets - Lev. 23:24
A Cunning Musician Ministers - I Sam. 16:14-23
David's Song of Thanks After "Personal Difficulties" - II Sam. 22
When a Minstrel Plays, the Hand of the Lord Shows Up - II Kings 3:15
Musicians Appointed to Minister Until Solomon Builds the Temple - I Chron. 6:31,32
A Huge Worship Service in the Desert - II Chron. 13:1-7
The Roster of Names and Instruments in David's Band of Traveling Musicians - I Chron. 15
Applications for Musical Praises - I Chron. 16 & II Chron. 23:18
David's Own Reasons for His Instruments & Music - I Chron. 23:5
4000 Instrumentalists Praise God - I Chron. 23:5
248 Cunning Musicians - I Chron. 25:7
David Appoints Instruments to Musicians - I Chron. 25:1-7
Following Music, Glory Fills the Temple - II Chron. 5:12:13
Singing Praises Won a Victory - II Chron. 20:21,22
Music Prepared an Offering Time - II Chron. 29:27-30
Singers Were In Their Place - II Chron. 35:15
124 Singers - Ezra 2:41
200 Singers - Ezra 2:65
Music Played During Building Project - Ezra 3:10-13
148 Singers - Neh. 7:44
245 Singers - Neh. 7:67
Paid Singers - Neh. 11:23 & 12:46,47
Music at Dedication of the Wall - Neh. 12
Howling Music - Amos 8:3
Lip Service from a Musician - Ez. 33:32
God Stops the Music - Ez. 26:13;
Satan, A Musician - Ez. 28:13
Blessed are People Who Know the Joyful Sound - Ps. 89:15
No Trumpet in Egypt for War, etc. - Jer. 42:14
Jubal - Father of all that such Handle the Harp & Organ - Gen. 4:21
Listening Daily to 'Worldly Music' Woe - Is. 5:11,12
You Will Have a Song - Is. 30:27-32
In the Wilderness, There Can Be A Song - Is. 35:2,6,10
The Ransomed of the Lord Return with Singing - Is. 35:10 / Is. 51:11
Because I Am Saved, I Should Sing in Church - Is. 38:20
Sing Praises from Wilderness to Top of the Mountain - Is. 42:10,11
Singing Trees of God's Praise - Is. 44:23; Is 5:12
Music Teaches - Is. 48:20
Earth Rents - I Kings 1:40
Solomon's 1005 Songs - I Kings 4:32
Joshua's Battles - Josh. 6
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