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Recently, I learned of a believer who holds that Christians should not support the death penalty but rather should support the showing of mercy to those who deserve death for the crimes that they have done. He bases his belief on what he says is a “command” in 1 Timothy 1:15-16 for Christians to follow the example of Christ’s showing mercy to Paul:

1 Timothy 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. 16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

I do not believe that there is any such “command” in this passage. This passage is not teaching anything about Christians following Christ’s example in showing mercy on those who deserve the death penalty.

It does not say that the example was given for other believers to follow what Jesus did. The passage is saying rather that Paul is a pattern of how Jesus will bestow similar mercy unto salvation for all who will believe, just as Paul did.

Consider also what the apostle Paul said concerning himself:

Acts 25:11 For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar.

Paul affirmed that he would not have refused to die had he actually been guilty of having “committed any thing worthy of death.” If the right interpretation of 1 Tim. 1:15-16 were what this believer said it is, Paul would not have said what he said in Acts 25:11.

Instead, he would have said that regardless of whether I have or have not done something worthy of death, I do not deserve to die because no one deserves the death penalty, etc. But that is not what Paul said because Paul believed that the death penalty was a righteous punishment for those who deserve it.

Furthermore, Christians who resist or seek to undermine the government’s divinely ordained righteous exaction of the death penalty oppose God and will reap the consequences.

Romans 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.

The sword is an instrument of inflicting death on people; government authorities bear the sword as the ministers of God and must use the sword righteously when it is warranted to execute God’s wrath on those who do evil.

Of all people, Christians should be the foremost to uphold and support their government when they righteously do what God has appointed them to do when they execute His wrath on those who do evil.

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

 

I recently finished reading “Drumming at the Edge of Magic: A Journey into the Spirit of Percussion” by Mickey Hart with Jay Stevens (1990). This book is a key resource about occult music that consecrated Christians need to profit from so that their beliefs and practices about music are what God wants them to be.

Based on my reading of this book and much other research that I have done over the past eleven years, I believe that the following 15 observations are warranted.

  1. This book is essential reading for any mature believer who is in a leadership position and wants to understand what he needs to understand about the battle that we are in for godly music in Christian worship.
  2. The mature, responsible, and consecrated believer who is in a leadership position who has not read this book does not have vital information that is available to us that conclusively provides us with more than enough information about occult music so that we can factually demand that all our people reject all occult music categorically.
  3. In this book, there is only one very brief section that has some objectionable content in it.
  4. For various reasons, I would not recommend that this book be read by immature believers or even those who may be mature but just have a passing interest in music issues.
  5. This book (as well other sources) provides us with sufficient evidence about occult percussive techniques in 6 of the 7 continents of the world. Such evidence is very important for us to address properly the music issues that we face concerning Christian music.
  6. I highly recommend this book because it provides extensive insight and information about the use of percussion in occult music. It also provides a vast amount of information that by way of implication underscores the vital necessity for Christian leaders to speak out against the use of occult music in our churches.
  7. The book is not a Christian book at all, and it is not written to oppose any kind of music. The author of the book was the drummer of a rock band who spent many years very extensively compiling information about occult drumming practices from all over the world. He personally experienced and played the occult music himself from a large number of those countries.
  8. The author never says that he is writing as a Christian, and he is not writing to say that all (or even any) drumming is evil, etc.
  9. Without knowing what he has done, this author has provided God’s people with crucial, factual information about occult musical practices from all over the world.
  10. Any music, whether “Christian” or not, that uses any of those occult drumming practices from anywhere in the world is occult music that God’s people all over the world must reject.
  11. It is vital that we not get specific at all in what we say; rather, we must oppose any Christian use of any occult music anywhere in the world.
  12. From this book (and other sources), we have more than enough evidence that we must not use any rock, rock-based, rock-influenced, or rock-like music in any aspect of our lives.
  13. We must reject any CCM that uses any kind of rock, rock-based, rock-influenced, or rock-like music.
  14. So much of the church all over the world has been greatly deceived about rock music. This book provides vital information and understanding that the leaders of consecrated believers must have.
  15. God warns us not to be deceived, and we need to help as many people as we can to come to know the truth.

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

By the time the Spirit inspired the apostle John to write the book of Revelation, Balaam had likely been dead for somewhere around 1500 years, and Jezebel, for more than 900 years. In spite of the vast spans of time involved, the glorified Christ confronted Christian churches late in the first century AD about their allowing Balaam and Jezebel to corrupt their churches!

Because the Spirit ended His letters to two churches with commands to all churches of all time to hear these warnings, we know that we too must beware allowing Balaam and Jezebel to corrupt our churches!

Allowing Balaam to Corrupt the Church at Pergamos

The glorified Christ confronted the church at Pergamos by saying to them,

Revelation 2:14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.

More than 1000 years earlier, the Spirit had revealed just how corrupt and dangerous an occultist Balaam was:

Numbers 24:1 And when Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, he went not, as at other times, to seek for enchantments, but he set his face toward the wilderness.

Numbers 31:16 Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.

Joshua 13:22 Balaam also the son of Beor, the soothsayer, did the children of Israel slay with the sword among them that were slain by them.

These passages show that Balaam was an occultist who wickedly taught people to corrupt others through the eating of things sacrificed unto idols and through immorality.

Incredibly, many, many centuries later, somehow there were people in the church at Pergamos who held the wicked doctrine of Balaam and thereby corrupted that church. Even the passage of more than 1000 years did not make the occult and immoral doctrine and practices of Balaam any less of a problem for God’s people!

Allowing Jezebel to Corrupt the Church at Thyatira

After confronting the church in Pergamos, the glorified Christ confronted God’s people in another church about their having very similarly allowed an occultist to corrupt their church:

Revelation 2:20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. 21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. 22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. 23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

24 But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.

As He had done with Balaam, so the Spirit had also revealed many centuries earlier to God’s people that Jezebel was a wicked and immoral occultist:

2 Kings 9:22 And it came to pass, when Joram saw Jehu, that he said, Is it peace, Jehu? And he answered, What peace, so long as the whoredoms of thy mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts are so many?

Horrifically, similar to what was true in the church at Pergamos through the lasting influences of the ancient occultist Balaam, somehow there was in the church at Thyatira great corruption through the lasting influences of another ancient occultist, Jezebel, that defiled the church through the wickedness of another woman with the same name. This modern-day Jezebel had so corrupted some people in the church that there was fornication, the eating of things offered to idols, and the knowledge of the depths of Satan among the people of the church!

Commonalities between Balaam and Jezebel and Their Ongoing Corrupting Influences

Both Balaam and Jezebel corrupted God’s people with fornication and eating things offered to idols. Both were wicked practitioners of the occult.

Shockingly, their occult and immoral wickedness manifested its horrific corrupting affects in Christian churches many centuries later in spite of vast amounts of time having elapsed since these two prominent occultists had died.

Application

Christian churches must not have anything to do with wicked people or things having to do with immorality, idolatry, or the occult. Christian churches must purge themselves of all such corruption due to any influences of Balaam, Jezebel, or any other occultists in their churches!

Especially in our day, we must not be deceived into thinking that things that were corrupt and immoral things of the occult in the past, such as rock music, are no longer a problem for God’s people today because of the passage of considerable time. The passage of many decades has not at all changed the necessity of God’s people rejecting from their churches rock music as corrupt occult and immoral music in our day.

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

For various reasons, some people believe that the singing in church must only be a cappella. This position is not biblical for several reasons.

1. The singing in heavenly worship is not only a cappella singing (Rev. 5:8-10; 14:2-3; 15:2-5). Heaven’s worship is the pattern for ours (Matt. 6:10).

Our singing in worship is not to be only a cappella.

2. It is not true that only the Israelites were to use musical instruments to accompany their singing in temple worship and to do so only as long as the burnt offerings were being made.

Rather, God has commanded all the world to worship Him with singing accompanied by musical instruments (Ps. 98:4-6). NT Christians are among all the people of the world that God has commanded to worship Him with singing accompanied by musical instruments.

Our singing in worship is not to be only a cappella.

3. The NT does not show that all singing in Christian churches was only a cappella. In the corporate worship in the church at Corinth, Paul revealed that when they came together, every one of them had a psalm (1 Cor. 14:26). There is no legitimate lexical, grammatical, or contextual basis to insist that what Paul meant was only either the speaking of the words of a psalm or the singing of it a cappella. There is no basis to hold that this statement excludes the singing of the psalm with musical accompaniment.

Our singing in worship is not to be only a cappella.

Clarification

By making these statements, however, I am not saying that we can never sing a cappella in our churches when we worship. What I am saying is that it is not biblical to insist that all our singing in corporate worship must only be a cappella.

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

Book Update 3.30.22

March 30, 2022

I have been working on writing my book “The Battle for Kingdom Music: A Call to Worldwide Consecration” since January 2020. It’s hard to believe that it’s already been more than two years since I started.

January 2022

I took the first full week of 2022 off from work so that I could devote much concentrated time to writing my book. Because of illness at the beginning of the week, I was not able to do as much work on it as I had wanted to do.

I made major revisions and expansions to a key section in Part I of the book. Parts I and II are near completion now!

I praise God for the tremendous progress that He granted me on my book that week!

Total Pages: 67 (as of 1/7/22)

Time Spent 1/3/22 to 1/7/22: 23.5 hours

Notes

1. I discovered that you can remove all the hyperlinks in a Word document by selecting all the text and then hitting “Ctrl” + “Shift” + “F9.” This discovery saved me a lot of time going through certain sections and removing the links one at a time.

2. I read the book of Psalms as part of my work on my book but did not count that reading time as time spent working on the book.

March 2022

I took three days off from work last week (March 23-36) so that I could have some concentrated time to work on my book.

I was able to make extensive revisions on several sections in the book, and I fixed a key formatting problem.

God be praised for the substantial progress that He gave me last week!

Total Pages: 86 (as of 3/30/22)

Time Spent 3/23/22 to 3/26/22: > 24 hours

July 2022 (tentatively)

I hope to have a whole week off from work in July. Lord willing, I would like to be close to finishing the first draft of the book that week.

Ongoing Prayers Requested

Thanks to any who have prayed with me about this book! I would appreciate ongoing prayers for consistent, Spirit-filled progress on the book and for the timely completion of it.

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

1. God saves us by turning us from darkness to light, and from the power of the devil to Himself:

Acts 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

2. He does so by delivering us from the power of darkness and translating us into His Son’s kingdom:

Col. 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

3. Even after He has saved us, we wrestle against the demonic rulers of the darkness of this world and their spiritual wickedness:

Eph. 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

4. To do God’s will as believers, we must not have anything to do with the powers of darkness and their evil works:

Rom. 13:12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

Eph. 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

5. In order for us to obey these directives to cast off the works of darkness and not to have any fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, we must take heed to testimonies from former occultists because they are able to provide us with valid, first-hand information about the evil works of darkness that Scripture does not specify for us.

We err greatly if we reject their testimonies by arguing that any valid information about the evil things of the occult must come explicitly and directly by name from Scripture itself.

We must take heed to the testimonies of former occultists!

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

Five points to consider about the excellence of Solomon’s temple, its musicians, and their music

1. In all of Scripture, there is no revelation about any more glorious physical structure over which God had more direct involvement in its design, construction, and operation than He did for Solomon’s temple.

2. In all of Scripture, there is no revelation about a historical physical structure that is extolled in any greater terms than Solomon’s temple is. In fact, there is no such physical structure spoken of in Scripture concerning its excellence that even remotely compares to Solomon’s temple concerning its explicitly-stated-in-Scripture worldwide excellence.

3. In all of Scripture, there is no record of God’s supernaturally manifesting His approval and acceptance of the sacred musical ministry of a group of musicians that even remotely matches the record of His response to the musical ministry of the group of musicians who played and sang to the glory of God at the dedication of the temple.

4. In all of Scripture, there is no record of any group of sacred musicians whose musical activities were more directly and exhaustively specified by God than were those of the sacred musicians in Solomon’s temple.

5. In all of Scripture, there is no record of any group of sacred musicians whose musical activities were more influenced by the role of supernaturally empowered and gifted leading servants of God than were the Solomonic temple musicians. Six prophets of God were directly involved in determining their musical activities: David, Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun, Nathan, and Gad. At least four of these prophets were leading musicians themselves (David, Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun; we do not know if Nathan and Gad were musicians or not).

Moreover, Solomon, the wisest man ever (other than Christ), exercised vital leadership over the temple musicians. Solomon was himself a supernaturally gifted songwriter extraordinaire who wrote the only song that inspired Scripture speaks of as “The Song of Songs.”

In total, there were at least 7 supernaturally empowered and gifted leading servants of God who were directly involved in determining and directing the musical activities of the Solomonic temple musicians.

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

Daniel 3 records a worship setting in which idolatrous worship was compelled from a vast, noteworthy group of people by their hearing the statements revealed in these verses:

Daniel 3:4 Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages, 5 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:

6 And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.

Based on the information that was given to them to elicit their idolatrous worship, we learn the following points about the nature of the worship and the instrumental music that was used to elicit it:

1. This was idolatrous worship that was compelled from people who were under the threat of dying a horrific death for any who would refuse to comply.

2. Such an idolatrous worship setting was anything but a setting of acceptable worship that was characterized by love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.

3. Such compelled idolatrous worship was not acceptable worship from the heart and in spirit and in truth.

4. The instrumental music used to elicit this idolatrous worship would reflect all these realities. Ominous, intimidating, and overpowering music that aggressively and assertively communicated the urgency and necessity of complying with the demand and also communicated the danger of failure to comply was the most fitting music to use for the use of music to elicit such compelled idolatrous worship.

These considerations definitively support the conclusion that the instrumental music used to elicit the idolatrous worship that is recorded in Daniel 3 was not good music that would ever be acceptable to God for use in worship.

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

Scripture speaks of God’s judging His own people to deprive them of the voice or sound of various things:

Jeremiah 7:34 Then will I cause to cease from the cities of Judah, and from the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride: for the land shall be desolate.

Jeremiah 16:9 For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will cause to cease out of this place in your eyes, and in your days, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride.

Jeremiah 25:10 Moreover I will take from them the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones, and the light of the candle.

Scripture also speaks of God’s restoring those voices and sounds to His people:

Jeremiah 33:10 Thus saith the LORD; Again there shall be heard in this place, which ye say shall be desolate without man and without beast, even in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, that are desolate, without man, and without inhabitant, and without beast, 11 The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the LORD of hosts: for the LORD is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land, as at the first, saith the LORD.

In the final such passage, Scripture, however, strikingly highlights something different that it did not specify in any of the previous passages of divine judgment—God’s depriving Babylon of the voices and sounds of her instrumental music and of her musicians:

Revelation 18:22 And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee; 23 And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.

Why does God specify His future judgment on these sounds of Babylon’s music?

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

In a NT epistle, the Spirit confronts us as Christians with an authoritative prohibition that we must not be idolaters.

1 Corinthians 10:7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.

Notice that in this verse, He specifies that such unholy worship includes playing that is idolatrous.

Knowing correctly, therefore, what that idolatrous playing in worship is and rejecting it completely is mandatory for all believers–it is not something that is optional for any of us.

In a recent online conversation, someone commented that the meaning of “play” in 1 Corinthians 10:7 should be understood to refer to immorality because of what the next verse says:

1 Corinthians 10:8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.

Because, however, 1 Corinthians 10:7 cites Exodus 32:6 but 10:8 refers to Numbers 25, we know that the Spirit has directed us to two different accounts to understand what He wants us to know about those directives. Because He has done so, we need to compare Exodus 32 and Numbers 25 to understand properly what God wants us to know about the two negative directives that He has given us in 1 Corinthians 10:7 and 8.

A Comparison of Exodus 32 and Numbers 25

The following table presents an analysis of Exodus 32 compared with Numbers 25 concerning key aspects of both accounts of idolatry:

Exodus 32 Numbers 25
Idol(s) Explicit Implicit
Altar Explicit Implicit
Bowing down Implicit Explicit
Sacrifices Explicit Explicit
Eating Explicit Explicit
Drinking Explicit Implicit
Singing Explicit Not mentioned
Dancing Explicit Not mentioned
Instrumental music Implicit Not mentioned
Immorality Not mentioned Explicit
Divine judgment Explicit Explicit

Looking closely at the differences between the two accounts, we see clearly that the Spirit has focused His attention on differing activities in the two accounts. In Exodus 32, He explicitly speaks about the people’s singing and dancing, but He does not say anything about such activities in Numbers 25.

By contrast, He speaks explicitly about fornication in Numbers 25 but not in Exodus 32.

This comparison instructs that we should not take the word “play” in 1 Corinthians 10:7 to mean that the people were fornicating. Rather, the word “play” refers to the people’s singing and dancing in their idolatrous worship.

Additional Biblical Support for This Interpretation

In a previous post, I have provided some additional biblical considerations that support this interpretation:

Undeniably, Exodus 32:17-18 is divine revelation that has been given by inspiration of the Spirit:

Exodus 32:17 And when Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said unto Moses, There is a noise of war in the camp. 18 And he said, It is not the voice of them that shout for mastery, neither is it the voice of them that cry for being overcome: but the noise of them that sing do I hear.

Because verse 18 mentions singing explicitly, these verses are undeniably divine revelation about music. The only question that remains is whether these verses are divine revelation about worship music.

Exodus 32:5 shows that what took place in the Golden Calf Incident (GCI) took place on an occasion that was supposed to have been a feast to the Lord, which would have been a divinely ordained occasion of corporate worship (cf. John 12:20). In addition, apostolic citation of Exodus 32:6 in 1 Corinthians 10:7 decisively shows that the GCI was an occasion of worship because it says that they were idolaters on that occasion:

1 Corinthians 10:7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.

1 Corinthians 10:7 μηδὲ εἰδωλολάτραι γίνεσθε, καθώς τινες αὐτῶν· ὡς γέγραπται, Ἐκάθισεν ὁ λαὸς φαγεῖν καὶ πιεῖν, καὶ ἀνέστησαν παίζειν.

Furthermore, Paul specifies that their idolatrous worship extended to their eating and drinking what had been offered to the idol and to their subsequent playing. The Greek verb παίζειν that is rendered “to play” in this statement is used in the LXX to signify singing and playing of musical instruments:

1 Chr. 13:8 And David and all Israel played before God with all their might, and with singing, and with harps, and with psalteries, and with timbrels, and with cymbals, and with trumpets.

1 Chr. 13:8 καὶ Δαυιδ καὶ πᾶς Ισραηλ παίζοντες ἐναντίον τοῦ θεοῦ ἐν πάσῃ δυνάμει καὶ ἐν ψαλτῳδοῖς καὶ ἐν κινύραις καὶ ἐν νάβλαις ἐν τυμπάνοις καὶ ἐν κυμβάλοις καὶ ἐν σάλπιγξιν

This biblical data justifies holding that the idolatrous worship in the GCI included their singing.

Conclusion

A careful comparison of the accounts of idolatry in Exodus 32 and Numbers 25 teaches us that the Spirit intends for us to understand the verb “play” in 1 Corinthians 10:7 as referring to the people’s idolatrous singing and dancing in the Golden Calf Incident. We must accept that God has forbidden us from engaging in any such idolatrous playing!

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