Archives For Discipleship

We must solemnly consider that Scripture reveals the horrific extent to which demons can corrupt humans in a passage that makes several key revelations about an ancient sorcerer:

Acts 13:6 And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Barjesus: 7 Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God. 8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith. 9 Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him, 10 And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?

This profound revelation is noteworthy for many reasons because of what it reveals about the fearful malignity of a professional occultist.

First, it says that he was a professional occultist (who was also a false prophet) who sought to turn away from the faith an unbeliever who wanted to hear God’s truth. Such people thus are profoundly dangerous to unbelievers.

Second, it infallibly reveals key truths about the sorcerer by infallibly recording what the leader of the apostolic company being filled with the Spirit said to the sorcerer. This shows that the statements that Paul made about the sorcerer were exactly what the Spirit directed him to say about the sorcerer. None of Paul’s statements about him were in any way just his own thinking, perspectives, or even possible biases against a particular kind of person because of that person’s ethnicity or any other important aspects of his person.

Third, it shows how consummately this human being was a corrupted human being.

Elymas was “full of all subtilty and all mischief.” He was a profoundly crafty and fraudulent person who used deceit to accomplish his objectives.

He was an “enemy of all righteousness.” He actively opposed everything that was an aspect of righteousness before God. He thus openly fought against the doing of anything that was righteous in the sight of God.

He also would “not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord.” This man continually did whatever he could to corrupt the doing of something in a way that was right before God.

Fourth, and most disturbingly, he was a “child of the devil.” Through his involvement and participation in the occult, this man whom God made in His image had become so corrupted that he was now a child of the most evil being in the universe. In effect, the image of God in him had been completely overcome so that he effectively was a human being who was at least in some respects in the image of the devil!

This passage thus shockingly reveals that there are occultists (at the very least those who are sorcerers) who actively and passionately seek to promote demonic interests in every possible way!

Application

As believers, we must soberly and solemnly heed what God has revealed to us about the fearful malignity of this professional occultist. May God grant all of us grace to have nothing to do with such people and to have no fellowship with their unfruitful works of darkness (Eph. 5:11).


In this post, I have used much of the same material about Elymas that I presented in this earlier post: Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians: The Importance of Daniel 1:20 and 2:2 for Interpreting Daniel 3

Copyright © 2011-2023 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

God inerrantly, infallibly, and indisputably attests to us repeatedly in Scripture of the fully authentic existence and practices of many professional occultists (for example, magicians, wizards, people with familiar spirits, and sorcerers). Scripture speaks of these people in many passages from Genesis 41 to Revelation 22.

Based on this indisputably true divine revelation, we must understand all of the following truths as being indisputable realities about spiritual warfare and professional occultists:

Professional occultists have existed throughout most of human history, exist in our day, and will continue to exist throughout all the future times of human existence.

Professional occultists have had fully authentic knowledge of fully authentic occult practices. They continue to have that fully authentic knowledge.

Professional occultists have fully authentically engaged in those fully authentic occult practices and continue to do so.

Professional occultists have had and continue to have fully authentic sources for their obtaining fully authentic information about fully authentic occult practices and for their learning how to fully authentically engage in those fully authentic occult practices.

Professional occultists have had and continue to have fully authentic capabilities of transmitting fully authentic knowledge of how to engage in fully authentic occult practices.

Professional occultists have been and will continue to be among the chief enemies of God, His people, and unbelievers who are seeking to hear God’s Word and learn of the faith (cf. Exod. 7-9; Acts 13:6-8).

Application

Because of all of these indisputably true realities about fully authentic professional occultists, we can say with absolute certainty that unbelievers have provided and can provide fully authentic information about fully authentic occult practices. They have done so, can do so, and continue to do so without any need for any biblical information from any source.

God’s people, therefore, must not hold to the exceedingly dangerously wrong notion that information about the occult that is not from the Bible is inherently false, inauthentic, unreliable, and untrustworthy. Rather, they must properly heed such information and profit fully from it so that they fully obey God’s command for us to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness” (Eph. 5:11).

Copyright © 2011-2023 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

In order to determine more carefully what “blessed” means in Psalm 1:1, I did a BibleWorks 10 search on the Hebrew lemma for that word. In addition, I identified some additional verses that pertain directly to this study.

By studying this list of all those verses, I hope to understand for myself more accurately what that opening word of the Psalms means.

Gen. 30:13 And Leah said, Happy am I, for the daughters will call me blessed: and she called his name Asher.

Deut. 33:29 Happy art thou, O Israel: who is like unto thee, O people saved by the LORD, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency! and thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee; and thou shalt tread upon their high places.

1 Ki. 10:8 Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and that hear thy wisdom.

2 Chr. 9:7 Happy are thy men, and happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and hear thy wisdom.

Job 5:17 Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty:

Job 29:11 When the ear heard me, then it blessed me; and when the eye saw me, it gave witness to me:

Ps. 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

Ps. 2:12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

Ps. 32:1 <A Psalm of David, Maschil.> Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.

Ps. 32:2 Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.

Ps. 33:12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.

Ps. 34:8 O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

Ps. 40:4 Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.

Ps. 41:1 <To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.> Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.

Ps. 41:2 The LORD will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies.

Ps. 65:4 Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple.

Ps. 72:17 His name shall endure for ever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed.

Ps. 84:4 Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah.

Ps. 84:5 Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them.

Ps. 84:12 O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.

Ps. 89:15 Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance.

Ps. 94:12 Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O LORD, and teachest him out of thy law;

Ps. 106:3 Blessed are they that keep judgment, and he that doeth righteousness at all times.

Ps. 112:1 Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.

Ps. 119:1 ALEPH. Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.

Ps. 119:2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.

Ps. 127:5 Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.

Ps. 128:1 <A Song of degrees.> Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways.

Ps. 128:2 For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.

Ps. 137:8 O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us.

Ps. 137:9 Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.

Ps. 144:15 Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD.

Ps. 146:5 Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God:

Prov. 3:13 Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.

Prov. 8:32 Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways.

Prov. 8:34 Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.

Prov. 14:21 He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.

Prov. 16:20 He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he.

Prov. 20:7 The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.

Prov. 28:14 Happy is the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief.

Prov. 29:18 Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

Prov. 31:28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.

Eccl. 10:17 Blessed art thou, O land, when thy king is the son of nobles, and thy princes eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness!

Cant. 6:9 My dove, my undefiled is but one; she is the only one of her mother, she is the choice one of her that bare her. The daughters saw her, and blessed her; yea, the queens and the concubines, and they praised her.

Isa. 30:18 And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him.

Isa. 32:20 Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters, that send forth thither the feet of the ox and the ass.

Isa. 56:2 Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil.

Dan. 12:12 Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.

Mal. 3:12 And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.

Copyright © 2011-2023 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

2 Peter 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.

I praise God that He allowed me to read through the Bible in 2022, read the New Testament twice, and read Psalms, Jude, and Revelation five times.

I have now made it through the Psalms 88 times. Lord willing, I would like to read the Psalms twelve times in 2023 to get to 100 times through this incomparable book!


Photo by Marion Shires. Used by permission.

Copyright © 2011-2023 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

Book Update 12.31.22

December 31, 2022 — Leave a comment

I have been studying what the Bible teaches about music for more than 11 years now. I have also been working for several years on writing my book The Battle for Kingdom Music: A Call to Worldwide Consecration.

On December 23, I began an extended time off from work. My goals for this time were to do at least 30 hours of work on my book and read the Psalms through twice while doing so to saturate my mind with God’s own thoughts about music.

This morning, I finished my second time going through the Psalms since December 22!

This afternoon, I finished working 30 hours on my book since December 23! God has given me tremendous progress on my book during this time!

It seems that I am getting close to having the rough draft of the book done. Lord willing, I hope to complete the book and have it published by September 2023.

Praise God for His faithfulness!

Copyright © 2011-2023 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

Does God accept for use in corporate worship all kinds of instrumental music or are there some kinds of instrumental worship that He accepts and some that He does not? How many kinds of instrumental music does God accept for use in corporate worship?

To answer these questions properly, we must carefully consider five key requirements for a kind of instrumental music to be acceptable to God for use in corporate worship.

Not Sinful

For any kind of instrumental music to be acceptable to God for use in corporate worship, it must not be sinful. Most Christians hold that there are no kinds of instrumental music that are themselves sinful.

Not Prohibited

To be acceptable for use in corporate worship, a kind of instrumental music must also not be prohibited by God. Most Christians hold that there are no kinds of instrumental music that God has prohibited for use in corporate worship.

Lawful

It is not enough that a kind of instrumental music not be sinful and not be prohibited. It must also be lawful for use in corporate worship. Many Christians in effect seem to believe that all kinds of instrumental music are lawful for use in corporate worship.

Expedient

Just because a kind of music is not sinful, not prohibited, and is lawful does not mean that it is expedient (cf. 1 Cor. 10:23a). For a kind of instrumental music to be acceptable to God for use in corporate worship it must be both lawful and expedient.

Edifying

In order for any kind of instrumental music to be acceptable to God for use in corporate worship, it must not just be lawful and expedient. It must also be edifying (cf. 1 Cor. 10:23b).

Conclusion

Scripture plainly teaches that not all things that are lawful are expedient. It also teaches plainly that not all things that are lawful are edifying.

Applying these truths to the realm of kinds of instrumental music, we learn that even if it were true that all kinds of instrumental music are lawful, it still would not be true that all kinds of instrumental music are acceptable to God for use in corporate worship.

Because only the kinds of instrumental music that are not sinful, not prohibited, lawful, expedient, and edifying are acceptable to God for use in worship, we can be certain that it is not true that all kinds of instrumental music are acceptable to God for use in corporate worship.

Copyright © 2011-2023 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

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 © 2011-2023 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 © 2011-2023 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 © 2011-2023 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 © 2011-2023 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.