Archives For Interpretation

God intends that biblical revelation about angels transform the way that believers live. Because of the angels who observe what we as believers do, we must live our lives not only with the awareness that we are in the sight of God but also with the awareness that we are in the sight of angels.

2Ki 6:16 And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. 17 And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.

Mat 18:10 Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.

1Co 4:9 For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.

1Co 11:10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.

Eph 3:10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

1Ti 5:21 I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.

Heb 1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

We must live godly because of the angels!

Numbers 10:1-10 reveals that God directed His people to make two silver trumpets and then assigned specific meanings to various uses of those musical instruments. For example, blowing the trumpets signaled that the entire assembly gather at the door of the tabernacle (Num. 10:3) whereas blowing only one trumpet signaled to the princes to gather to Moses (Num. 10:4).

This passage shows that certain humans have been supernaturally directed concerning assigned musical meanings communicated by specific uses of certain musical instruments. Paul’s instruction to the Corinthians concerning an apparently well-understood response to a trumpet being used in a specific way (1 Cor. 14:7-8) may attest to something similar or may in fact refer back ultimately to God’s revelation to Moses that Numbers 10 records.

Scripture also reveals that demonic spirits have influenced human beings to do many things without those human beings having any knowledge about such influence directing them to do so (1 Chron. 21:1; 2 Chron. 18:21; Acts 5:3).

Just as God directed His people to do specific things with musical instruments that would convey specific assigned meanings, it is entirely possible that demonic spirits have influenced human beings to do things with musical instruments that communicate specific assigned meanings in the heavenly realm, meanings which are entirely unknown by humans and unknowable by them apart from supernatural revelation (either divine or demonic) about those meanings.

To hold that demonically assigned musical meanings to human use of musical instruments in specific ways is impossible has no biblical basis and goes against specific divine revelation about supernatural influences on humans that have directed them to do things that the humans had no knowledge were their actually doing what the supernatural beings wanted the humans to do. We must consider also that various rock musicians have testified of demonic influence upon them in their producing and playing their music.

Aside from the corrupting influences of rock music on its human hearers, we must consider the possibility that rock music has a demonically assigned meaning to it such that anyone who plays music in that style communicates anti-God sentiments to supernatural beings, sentiments which are humanly unknowable. Such a possibility provides one more valid reason for Christians not to listen to, play, or use rock music in any other way.

Paul informed the Corinthians that his prayers for them included prayer about a vital matter: “I pray to God that ye do no evil” (2 Cor. 13:7). We need to learn from this Scripture that praying for ourselves and for others that we would do no evil is a vital matter of prayer for all believers!

Let us pray frequently about this vital matter of prayer!

A person who desires to abide in the presence of God has to be an upright person who lives all his life according to what God has revealed. God revealed to David a challenging aspect of being such a person:

Psa 15:4 In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.

This revelation teaches that when a righteous person makes a promise to someone, he is to keep his word even though it may cost him personally to do so.

Joshua 9 provides an excellent illustration of such uprightness. Because they had failed to ask counsel from God (Josh. 9:14), the Israelites were deceived by the people of Gibeon into making a league with them (Josh. 9:6) and making peace with them so that they would allow them to live (Josh. 9:15).

Although they had been deceived into doing so, the Israelites had to honor the commitment that they swore to them by the Lord:

Jos 9:19 But all the princes said unto all the congregation, We have sworn unto them by the LORD God of Israel: now therefore we may not touch them. 20 This we will do to them; we will even let them live, lest wrath be upon us, because of the oath which we sware unto them.

We should learn from this account that we must be very careful what promises we make to people and that we must keep our word when we do so in spite of how it may hurt us to do so.

Joshua 9 thus provides us with a sobering, excellent illustration of the necessity of keeping our word.

 

 

Psalm 106 ends by making known something that God desired that all His people would say:

Psalm 106:48 Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting: and let all the people say, Amen. Praise ye the LORD. {Praise…: Heb. Hallelujah}

Psa 106:48 בָּר֤וּךְ־יְהוָ֙ה אֱלֹהֵ֪י יִשְׂרָאֵ֡ל מִן־הָ֤עוֹלָ֙ם׀ וְעַ֬ד הָעוֹלָ֗ם וְאָמַ֖ר כָּל־הָעָ֥ם אָמֵ֗ן הַֽלְלוּ־יָֽהּ׃

Psalm 150:1 shows us that the same Hebrew expression  that ends Psalm 106:48 (הַֽלְלוּ־יָֽהּ) and is translated as “Praise ye the LORD” in both Psalms is transliterated as αλληλουια in the LXX rendering of Psalm 150:1:

Psa 150:1 Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.

Psa 150:1 הַ֥לְלוּ יָ֙הּ׀ הַֽלְלוּ־אֵ֥ל בְּקָדְשׁ֑וֹ הַֽ֜לְל֗וּהוּ בִּרְקִ֥יעַ עֻזּֽוֹ׃

Psa 150:1 αλληλουια αἰνεῖτε τὸν θεὸν ἐν τοῖς ἁγίοις αὐτοῦ αἰνεῖτε αὐτὸν ἐν στερεώματι δυνάμεως αὐτοῦ

Revelation 19 illumines the OT directives from God that are found in both Psalm 106:48 and in Psalm 150:1 by teaching us that heavenly angelic beings say exactly what God directed His people of old to say at the end of Psalm 106:

Rev 19:4 And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.

Rev 19:4 καὶ ἔπεσαν οἱ πρεσβύτεροι οἱ εἴκοσι τέσσαρες καὶ τὰ τέσσαρα ζῷα καὶ προσεκύνησαν τῷ θεῷ τῷ καθημένῳ ἐπὶ τῷ θρόνῳ λέγοντες· ἀμὴν ἁλληλουϊά,

Notice that Revelation 19:4 ends with a transliteration of אָמֵ֗ן הַֽלְלוּ־יָֽהּ that is found at the end of Psalm 106:48 and teaches us that saying “Amen; Alleluia” is what heavenly beings say when they worship God!

By comparing Psalm 106:48 with Revelation 19:4, we learn that the directive at the end of Psalm 106:48 was a directive about how God wanted His people to worship Him—they were to say, “Amen, Praise ye the Lord.” We should learn from this comparison that God wants both angelic beings and humans to worship Him by saying these two expressions!

The only authentic information that we have about the worship in heaven is what God provides us with in Scripture. Every reference to singing in the worship of heaven is directly connected to the use of musical instruments:

Rev 5:8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.

9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; 10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

Rev 14:2 And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:

3 And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.

Rev 15:2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.

3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. 4 Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.

We know that the worship of heaven is perfect in every way. We should learn from the music used in heavenly corporate worship that we should use instruments to accompany our singing when we worship God corporately.

Through the prophet Zechariah, God has provided vital revelation about the future of the nation Israel and of the world. Reading the book today, I was struck by a statement that appears to reveal a profound truth about God Himself:

Zechariah 9:14 And the LORD shall be seen over them, and his arrow shall go forth as the lightning: and the Lord GOD shall blow the trumpet, and shall go with whirlwinds of the south.

This statement informs us that God Himself will blow the trumpet on this future occasion!

God certainly did not learn to do this from any human beings; this verse, therefore, seems to reveal the stunning truth that God Himself will play this musical instrument! If this is the right understanding of this text, it puts a new light on many related texts:

Exo 19:16 And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled.

19 And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice.

Isa 18:3 All ye inhabitants of the world, and dwellers on the earth, see ye, when he lifteth up an ensign on the mountains; and when he bloweth a trumpet, hear ye.

Isa 27:13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the LORD in the holy mount at Jerusalem.

1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

Is God the divine Instrumentalist?

God has revealed what He wants all His people to do on His day:

Psa 92:1 <A Psalm or Song for the sabbath day.> It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High:

2 To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night,

3 Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery; upon the harp with a solemn sound.

4 For thou, LORD, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands.

Under inspiration, the Psalmist exclaims that it is good to sing praises to God’s name using stringed instruments both in the morning and in the night on the Sabbath Day. This is one of the clearest passages that teaches the importance of corporate worship both in the morning and in the evening on the one day of the week that God specifically set aside to be uniquely His.

For NT believers, the Lord’s Day is that day. Based on the teaching of this passage, believers all over the world need to accept the truth that worshiping God corporately both in the morning and in the evening on the Lord’s Day with the use of singing accompanied by musical instruments is a good thing that God wants us to do every week.

I think it is very disturbing and concerning that churches are discontinuing corporate worship services on the Lord’s Day, especially in the evenings. We should use passages such as this one to disciple believers all over the world about what God wants His people to do on His day.

We should also strongly encourage our brethren that developing skillfulness in instrumental musical ministry is an essential aspect of giving God the glory due His name.

Scripture records that two kings did not learn humility from God’s dealings with their predecessors and how their predecessors responded to God’s humbling them for their sinfulness:

2Ch 33:23 And humbled not himself before the LORD, as Manasseh his father had humbled himself; but Amon trespassed more and more.

Dan 5:20 But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he [Nebuchadnezzar] was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him:

 21 And he was driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses: they fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven; till he knew that the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that he appointeth over it whomsoever he will.

 22 And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this;

These biblical accounts show us that God notes when people fail to learn humility from how he has dealt with their predecessors. They also show that He holds people responsible for not learning from how He has dealt with others whom they know.

We must learn humility from the godly examples of those whom we have seen humble themselves under God’s mighty hand on their lives, especially from those who were our predecessors.

Scripture surprisingly speaks about dung in more than two dozen verses. As far as we can tell from Scripture, God created human bodies to excrete solid waste as a natural process, and we know that process is essential for maintaining life.

A close examination of the following passage concerning human dung, however, teaches us some truths about God that we might not otherwise think would be true.

Deu 23:13 And thou shalt have a paddle upon thy weapon; and it shall be, when thou wilt ease thyself abroad, thou shalt dig therewith, and shalt turn back and cover that which cometh from thee:

 14 For the LORD thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy: that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee.

Through this divine revelation given to Israel, God commanded them to cover their excrement when they would go to relieve themselves (Deut. 23:13). The explanation of this command in the following verse makes clear that the reason for this directive was not concerning potential health ramifications of leaving human excrement strewn about uncovered in the field.

Rather, God revealed that they were to do this because He walked in the midst of their camp and therefore their camp had to be holy, including that there would not be seen in the midst of the camp any unclean thing that God would see and therefore turn away from them. Even though God created the bodies of the Israelites to function as they did, nonetheless, the excrement that their bodies expelled was an unclean thing in the sight of God and something that was unfitting to be seen openly because of His holiness.

Furthermore, Scripture says that God sees everything and nothing is hid from His eyes, which therefore would include dung whether it is in a human body or on the ground or covered under something. Yet, God informs us in Deuteronomy 23:13-14 that human dung uncovered on the ground is something that is unclean in His sight and something that He does not want to see among His people.

Beyond the obvious relevance of this passage for what should be done when humans defecate, this revelation has other important ramifications.

God’s Holiness and His Separateness from Something that is Not Sinful

First, many conceive of God’s holiness as His separateness from sin and sinful things. This passage, however, shows us that God’s holiness also includes His separateness from something that is not sinful and yet it is something that is indecent in His sight. Our understanding of God’s holiness must include this important truth that He has revealed to us.

Talking Unnecessarily about or Joking about Human Excrement

Second, this passage applies to what believers talk about and joke about. Because God indwells us, we are to be holy as He is holy. Because God considers uncovered human excrement to be something that is unclean and unfitting to be seen openly, we rightly infer that God also does not want us to talk unnecessarily about human dung.

Although some people try to support joking about human excrement by saying that it is just the product of a natural process that God made to take place in our bodies, Deuteronomy 23:13-14 shows us that such reasoning is invalid. Yes, it is the product of a natural process, but no, that reality does not change the fact that God views seeing it uncovered as an indecent thing.

Because uncovered human excrement is something that God says is indecent in His sight, we can be confident that talking unnecessarily about or joking about human excrement has no place in the life of a consecrated believer who desires to please God with speech that is edifying, as God commands that it should be.

Conclusion

Let us profit fully from this important revelation that God has given to us in Deuteronomy 23:13-14!