In building the temple of God, king Solomon employed a skillful craftsman from Tyre whose father was not an Israelite:

1 Kings 7:13 And king Solomon sent and fetched Hiram out of Tyre. 14 He was a widow’s son of the tribe of Naphtali, and his father was a man of Tyre, a worker in brass: and he was filled with wisdom, and understanding, and cunning to work all works in brass. And he came to king Solomon, and wrought all his work.

Because Solomon used such a man to build the very house of God, some might try to argue from that fact to say that we should also use all kinds of instrumental music of unbelievers to worship God in our churches.

Would you agree or disagree with using such reasoning from what Scripture reveals about what Solomon did in building the temple?

Copyright © 2011-2022 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

Over the years of my being a Christian, I have heard some people say that they think the account of how Jesus evangelized the Samaritan woman is a good passage for us to learn how we are to evangelize people. To examine that perspective, I would encourage those who hold that view to think carefully about three aspects of what Jesus did when He evangelized her.

First, He explicitly made it an issue that something about how she was living was not what it should have been:

John 4:16 Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. 17 The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: 18 For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.

Second, He made it an issue that her worship was not what it should have been:

John 4:21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 23 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. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Third, after the woman’s encounter with Jesus, she testified to His dealing with her in a remarkable way:

John 4:29 Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?

A later statement about people that she evangelized shows that this was a key point in His evangelistic ministry to her:

John 4:39 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did.

If you think that the account of His evangelizing the Samaritan woman is an excellent example of how we should evangelize people, are you prepared to do what He did when He evangelized her by directly confronting them about what is wrong in both their lives and their worship? Moreover, are you able to tell them all that they have ever done?


See also Evangelize Jesus and the Resurrection!

Copyright © 2011-2022 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

Tonight, I read a quote that I find very interesting:

4.) Rock music is a neutral force. It can be either good or bad, depending on how you use it.

This is an occult concept, not a Christian one. The witchcraft doctrine of “The Force” says that there is a neutral power within all of nature which can be directed by the person controlling it. For example, witchcraft can be either good or evil, depending on whether it’s white or black. Actually, both powers come from the same source — Satan. What does the Bible say? In Genesis 1:31, when God looked on all of His creation, He said, “Behold, it was very GOOD.” No neutral ground with God! According to “The Force” theory, good or evil is in the eye of the beholder. Thus, the concept of Christian Rock cannot be scripturally sound. C-Rockers are so desperate to defend their music, they have even resorted to the use of occultic principles in their vain attempts to do so.

–Jeff Godwin, Dancing with Demons: The Music’s Real Master, 233-234

Thoughts?

Copyright © 2011-2022 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

It seems to me that many believers today hold that we should regard rock music as being like things that people offer to idols. I would like to appeal to the brethren who hold such views to consider carefully the following line of reasoning.

Crucial Teaching about Certain Things Offered to Idols

Through the apostle Paul, God provides the most extensive treatment of issues concerning certain things offered to idols (1 Cor. 8:1-11:1). Specifically, concerning meat offered to idols, Paul says,

1 Corinthians 8:8 But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.

We must note carefully what exactly Paul teaches here. Paul says that meat does not commend us to God (1 Cor. 8:8a).

He explains that teaching to mean that those who eat meat offered to idols are not better (off) than those who do not (1 Cor. 8:8b). He also explains that those who do not eat meat offered to idols are not worse (off) than those who do eat meat offered to idols (1 Cor. 8:8c).

Applying Paul’s Teaching to Rock Music

If it is legitimate to hold that rock music is like meat offered to idols, applying Paul’s teaching here to rock music would teach us that rock music does not commend us to God.

Specifically, if we were to play or listen to rock music, we would not be better (off) than those who do not play or listen to rock music. Moreover, if we were not to play or listen to rock music, we would not be worse (off) than those who play or listen to rock music.

If these views are correct, anyone who holds that rock music is like things offered to idols must hold that playing or listening to rock music does not make a believer better (off) than not playing or listening to rock music.

In addition, he would then have to hold that churches that use rock music in worship are not better (off) than churches that do not. He would also have to hold that churches that do not use rock music in worship are not worse (off) than those who do use rock music in worship.

Conclusion

If you hold that rock music is like things offered to idols, do you also hold to the points that are the necessary consequences of holding that rock music is like things offered to idols? If you do not also hold to these points that are the necessary consequences of holding that view, I urge you to reconsider your belief that rock music is like things offered to idols.

Copyright © 2011-2022 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

Have there been any physical objects, whether manmade or not, that have been used as musical instruments that have been and are unacceptable for use in corporate worship?

Here are some possible considerations that we must think through biblically:

1. A drum that has multiple horns on it that signify that it is dedicated to demons and used to interact with them

2. A drum that has a humanly indecipherable inscription on it that in actuality expresses praises to Satan

3. A drum that has been used in human sacrifices and has been consecrated for that use by the application of sacrificial human blood to one or more parts of the instrument

4. A drum intentionally shaped in some manner so that one or more parts of it are like human private parts

5. A drum “decorated” with one or more engraved images of “one-finger salutes” or some other vulgar symbol, graphic, etc.

6. A drum that has occult symbols engraved on it

7. A drum that is a real human skull or is shaped like a human skull


See also: Are All Musical Styles Inherently Moral?

On Singing, Dancing, and Playing Instruments in Scripture

Assigned Musical Meanings and Christian Use of Rock Music

We Must Reject a Man-Centered Understanding and Practice of Music

Copyright © 2011-2022 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

Jeff Godwin on Rock Music

October 24, 2022

There is one rule we should never forget. Rock is Rock is Rock is Rock. Whether it’s called “Soft” Rock, “Acid” Rock, “Punk” Rock or “Christian” Rock, we are still dealing with music more ancient than the classics. Rooted in the Druid demon worship of Celtic England, and baptized in voodoo ceremonies of Africa and the Caribbean, Satan’s rock rules the world.

–Jeff Godwin, Dancing with Demons: The Music’s Real Master, 8

Please Note: My sharing of this quoted material does not mean that I endorse all the content of this work, all the views of the author of this work or all the content and views that he expresses in this or in any of his other works. It does not mean that I agree with everything that he says and holds in this work or anywhere else.

Copyright © 2011-2022 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

Scripture makes clear that God required that those who ministered music to Him in His temple be skillful in playing and singing music to Him:

Psalm 33:3 Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise.

1 Chronicles 15:22 And Chenaniah, chief of the Levites, was for song: he instructed about the song, because he was skilful.

Of course, those who ministered such music to Him had to do so with a right heart toward God for it to be acceptable to Him (Josh. 22:5; 1 Sam. 12:20, 24; Isa. 29:13; Matt. 15:8).

Why, then, do some or perhaps even many believers today hold that skillfulness in ministering music to God no longer matters and that all that God requires from His people today is that they have a right heart when ministering music to Him?

Copyright © 2011-2022 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

Bible Reading Order 2022

October 8, 2022

It has been many years now since I have read the Bible through in its canonical order from Genesis to Revelation. Instead, I have kept track of what I have read each year to make sure I read all the books by the end of the year in whatever order I end up reading them.

This morning, I decided to chart my reading order for 2022. Beginning on January 1, I finished the Bible on August 26 and finished reading the books in the following order:

Year 2022
Book No. Name Chapters Date Completed Book No. Name Chapters Date Completed
19 Psalms 150 108 56 Tit 3 719
1 Gen 50 127 57 Philem 1 719
20 Prov 31 131 58 Heb 13 721
9 1 Sam 31 211 24 Jer 52 722
2 Exod 40 225 59 Jam 5 722
23 Isa 66 307 25 Lam 5 723
10 2 Sam 24 314 60 1 Pet 5 724
44 Acts 28 320 61 2 Pet 3 724
13 1 Chron 29 407 62 1 John 5 726
45 Rom 16 412 63 2 John 1 726
3 Lev 27 417 64 3 John 1 726
66 Rev 22 418 65 Jude 1 726
11 1 Kings 22 420 6 Josh 24 729
46 1 Cor 16 503 43 John 21 802
47 2 Cor 13 514 7 Judg 21 805
12 2 Kings 25 523 8 Ruth 4 805
14 2 Chron 36 524 26 Ezek 48 810
4 Num 36 602 27 Dan 12 810
40 Matt 28 607 28 Hos 14 811
18 Job 42 612 29 Joel 3 812
48 Gal 6 612 30 Amos 9 813
49 Eph 6 620 31 Obad 1 814
21 Eccl 12 623 32 Jonah 4 814
41 Mark 16 623 33 Mic 7 815
5 Deut 34 626 34 Nah 3 815
50 Phil 4 630 35 Hab 3 816
22 Song 8 701 36 Zeph 3 816
42 Luke 24 715 37 Hag 2 817
51 Col 4 715 38 Zec 14 820
52 1 Thess 5 715 17 Esth 10 821
53 2 Thess 3 715 15 Ezra 10 823
54 1 Tim 6 718 16 Neh 13 826
55 2 Tim 4 718 39 Mal 4 826

NOTES:

1. I have been reading the Bible through each year for many years now in a similar fashion and approach reading it through in whatever order I want to read the books instead of reading them through in consecutive canonical order.

2. Instead of using the traditional date notation, I came up with the idea of multiplying the number of the month by 100 and then adding to it the number of the day of the month.

For example, 701 means July 1 because July 1 is the first day of the 7th month (7*100 + 1 = 701). I devised and used this system because it makes working with and sorting the dates easier in Excel.

3. Because I often have been reading multiple books at the same time, the completion dates for the various books do not necessarily signify that I read the entirety of a book before beginning the next book that I have listed as completed after it.

For example, here’s what I read during the first ten days of the year:

101 Gen. 1-3

102 Gen. 4-11; Ps. 1-12

103 Ps. 13-29; 30-36; 37-40; 41-50

104 Ps. 51-67; 68-76

105 Ps. 77-84

106 Ps. 85-101

107 Ps. 102-110

108 Ps. 116-150

109 Ps. 135-150; Prov. 1

110 Gen. 12-14; Prov. 2-9; etc.

Copyright © 2011-2022 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

Scripture speaks explicitly about “strange” gods in at least 17 verses:

Gen. 35:2  Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments:

Gen. 35:4  And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem.

Deut. 32:12  So the LORD alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him.

Deut. 32:16  They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger.

Jos. 24:20  If ye forsake the LORD, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he hath done you good.

Jos. 24:23  Now therefore put away, said he, the strange gods which are among you, and incline your heart unto the LORD God of Israel.

Jdg. 10:16  And they put away the strange gods from among them, and served the LORD: and his soul was grieved for the misery of Israel.

1 Sam. 7:3  And Samuel spake unto all the house of Israel, saying, If ye do return unto the LORD with all your hearts, then put away the strange gods and Ashtaroth from among you, and prepare your hearts unto the LORD, and serve him only: and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.

2 Chr. 14:3  For he took away the altars of the strange gods, and the high places, and brake down the images, and cut down the groves:

2 Chr. 33:15  And he took away the strange gods, and the idol out of the house of the LORD, and all the altars that he had built in the mount of the house of the LORD, and in Jerusalem, and cast them out of the city.

Ps. 44:20  If we have forgotten the name of our God, or stretched out our hands to a strange god;

Ps. 81:9  There shall no strange god be in thee; neither shalt thou worship any strange god.

Isa. 43:12  I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, that I am God.

Jer. 5:19  And it shall come to pass, when ye shall say, Wherefore doeth the LORD our God all these things unto us? then shalt thou answer them, Like as ye have forsaken me, and served strange gods in your land, so shall ye serve strangers in a land that is not yours.

Dan. 11:39  Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain.

Mal. 2:11  Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of the LORD which he loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange god.

Acts 17:18  Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection.

These verses reveal several facts about divine revelation concerning strange gods:

Both Testaments speak about strange gods.

Both God’s people and pagans speak about strange gods.

Scripture speaks about strange gods repeatedly being a problem among God’s people.

Scripture seems to connect earrings with strange gods in one passage (Gen. 35:4) and speaks explicitly of altars for strange gods in another passage (2 Chr. 14:3).

Scripture speaks about the daughter of a strange god (Mal. 2:11).

Copyright © 2011-2022 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

Revelation 19 provides for us a striking record of a future time when there will be repeated heavenly exclamations of joyful praise to God:

Revelation 19:1 And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: 2 For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. 3 And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever. 4 And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia. 5 And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. 6 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.

Suppose that various groups of people on the earth would hear these composite sounds (produced by these heavenly beings) successively emanating from heaven but would not be able to hear distinctly the words being spoken. Suppose further that among these groups of people, some groups in certain cultures would regard the composite sounds as joyful, but other groups in other cultures would not regard them as being joyful sounds.

Would the differing characterizations of these sounds by differing groups in differing cultures show that what joyful praises sound like is culturally determined and does not have any objective, fixed character to it?

Because these sounds will be the composite sounds of righteous heavenly beings and because the Spirit has revealed them to us objectively to be the sounds of joyful praise to God, those cultures on earth that would regard these composite sounds not to be joyful sounds would be wrong in their assessments. It is not true, therefore, that what the sounds of joyful exclamations of praise sound like is culturally determined.

Rather, Revelation 19:1-6 establishes that the composite sounds of such joyful praise and therefore the composite sounds of such joyful music do have an objectively joyful character to them that is not culturally determined.

Furthermore, because all these exclamations of praise will be produced by godly heavenly beings, we know that all these composite sounds will be the sounds of godly praise. These facts, therefore, establish for us that the composite sounds of godly joyful music have an objectively joyful character to them that is not culturally determined.

Copyright © 2011-2022 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.