Few believers understand that Scripture provides us with an inspired record of demonically influenced music!
To understand where and how it does so, see my posts in this thread: We Must Heed the Vital Message of 1 Corinthians 10:18-20.
Few believers understand that Scripture provides us with an inspired record of demonically influenced music!
To understand where and how it does so, see my posts in this thread: We Must Heed the Vital Message of 1 Corinthians 10:18-20.
Genesis 4:21 provides the earliest recorded information about human musical activity. Consequently, I have been studying it extensively to probe what it reveals to us about music.
Recently, God has provided me with much additional illumination related to interpreting this revelation properly. Therefore, I would like to invite you to profit from this ongoing discussion: What Does Genesis 4:21 Teach Us about Music?
The Spirit has spoken about what took place in the Golden Calf Incident (GCI) in at least six passages in six different books of the Bible (57 total verses in Exod. 32, Deut. 9, Neh. 9, Ps. 106, Acts 7, and 1 Cor. 10). God has thus highlighted what took place in the GCI in a way that demands our careful attention to what He has revealed about that event.
Exodus 32, the longest record of that event, reveals that singing was a part of what took place on that occasion:
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. 19 And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses’ anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount.
Because the Spirit has given this revelation to us about their singing, we know that He intends for us to profit from it. Does He want us to understand that their singing on this occasion was ungodly singing?
To answer this question, we note that the passage does not provide any record of an explicitly negative evaluation of the singing. The record, however, shows that from a distance the sound of the singing was not of such a nature that it would have led everyone who heard it to know definitively that it was the sound of singing.
We know that this is true because Joshua did not accurately interpret that sound that he was hearing as the sound of singing. For him, the sound was of such a character that he thought that the people were engaged in fighting a war (Exod. 32:17).
Moses, however, discerned correctly that the sound that they were hearing from a distance was the sound of singing (Exod. 32:18). Because the passage does not record any evaluative statements by Moses of the singing, we cannot determine its character from any direct statement by him.
In order to evaluate further the nature of the sound of the singing that Moses heard, we have to examine the passage more broadly. When we do so, we find that this singing did not take place until the people had first engaged in eating sacrifices that had been offered to the golden calf:
Exodus 32:6 And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.
Because the Spirit says that the people “rose up to play” after they had consumed the sacrifices and then He reveals to us specifically that what the people did was to sing (Exod. 32:18) and dance (Exod. 32:19), we learn that their playing on this occasion consisted at least of their singing and dancing.
Based on Moses’ anger waxing hot when he saw the dancing (and the calf; Exod. 32:19), we know that their dancing was ungodly dancing. Was their singing also ungodly?
The NT answers that question by revealing the divine evaluation of their playing on this 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.
It is crucial to note that Paul writes that their idolatry included not just their eating and drinking those sacrifices but also their subsequent playing. This revelation tells us that their playing on that occasion was of a wicked, idolatrous nature and that God commands us through this revelation not to be idolatrous in that way.
Based on this NT revelation, we know that both their singing and dancing were of a wicked, idolatrous nature that God commands us not to engage in.
The sound that Joshua and Moses heard from a distance was the sound of people engaging in singing idolatrously—Exodus 32 is the record of an event featuring the sound of ungodly singing!
First Kings 8 and 2 Chronicles 5 both record one of the most important events in world history. A close comparison of those two inspired records of that event provides a profound insight about the importance of music.
The following table provides a verse-by-verse comparison of the passages. It is clear from that comparison that the author of 2 Chronicles provides information about musical ministry that took place on this occasion about which the author of 1 Kings 8 makes no mention.
|1Ki 7:51 ¶ So was ended all the work that king Solomon made for the house of the LORD. And Solomon brought in the things which David his father had dedicated; even the silver, and the gold, and the vessels, did he put among the treasures of the house of the LORD.||2Ch 5:1 ¶ Thus all the work that Solomon made for the house of the LORD was finished: and Solomon brought in all the things that David his father had dedicated; and the silver, and the gold, and all the instruments, put he among the treasures of the house of God.|
|1Ki 8:1 ¶ Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the chief of the fathers of the children of Israel, unto king Solomon in Jerusalem, that they might bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of the city of David, which is Zion.||2 ¶ Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the chief of the fathers of the children of Israel, unto Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of the city of David, which is Zion.|
|2 And all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto king Solomon at the feast in the month Ethanim, which is the seventh month.||3 Wherefore all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto the king in the feast which was in the seventh month.|
|3 And all the elders of Israel came, and the priests took up the ark.||4 And all the elders of Israel came; and the Levites took up the ark.|
|4 And they brought up the ark of the LORD, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and all the holy vessels that were in the tabernacle, even those did the priests and the Levites bring up.||5 And they brought up the ark, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and all the holy vessels that were in the tabernacle, these did the priests and the Levites bring up.|
|5 And king Solomon, and all the congregation of Israel, that were assembled unto him, were with him before the ark, sacrificing sheep and oxen, that could not be told nor numbered for multitude.||6 Also king Solomon, and all the congregation of Israel that were assembled unto him before the ark, sacrificed sheep and oxen, which could not be told nor numbered for multitude.|
|6 And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the LORD unto his place, into the oracle of the house, to the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubims.||7 And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the LORD unto his place, to the oracle of the house, into the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubims:|
|7 For the cherubims spread forth their two wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubims covered the ark and the staves thereof above.||8 For the cherubims spread forth their wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubims covered the ark and the staves thereof above.|
|8 And they drew out the staves, that the ends of the staves were seen out in the holy place before the oracle, and they were not seen without: and there they are unto this day.||9 And they drew out the staves of the ark, that the ends of the staves were seen from the ark before the oracle; but they were not seen without. And there it is unto this day.|
|9 There was nothing in the ark save the two tables of stone, which Moses put there at Horeb, when the LORD made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt.||10 There was nothing in the ark save the two tables which Moses put therein at Horeb, when the LORD made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of Egypt.|
|10 And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place,
that the cloud filled the house of the LORD,
|11 And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place:
(for all the priests that were present were sanctified, and did not then wait by course:
12 Also the Levites which were the singers, all of them of Asaph, of Heman, of Jeduthun, with their sons and their brethren, being arrayed in white linen, having cymbals and psalteries and harps, stood at the east end of the altar, and with them an hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets:)
13 It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of musick, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever:
that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the LORD;
|11 So that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of the LORD.||14 So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of God.|
|12 ¶ Then spake Solomon, The LORD said that he would dwell in the thick darkness.||2Ch 6:1 ¶ Then said Solomon, The LORD hath said that he would dwell in the thick darkness.|
|13 I have surely built thee an house to dwell in, a settled place for thee to abide in for ever.||2 But I have built an house of habitation for thee, and a place for thy dwelling for ever.|
I’m confident that probing why this information is provided in the one account and not in the other will provide valuable insights about what the Bible teaches about music. I’m going to save my thoughts on the significance of this comparison for a later post.
Scripture speaks of burial in at least 140 verses. An analysis of these verses reveals the profound importance of a proper burial.
The following listing is not in the order of the importance of each point.
Deu 21:23 His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.
God commanded that a criminal who was hanged had to be buried. He did not authorize cremation of the criminal’s body—the criminal had to be buried.
Mat 8:22 But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.
Luk 9:60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.
Jesus commanded that the people of whom He spoke about in this statement must bury their dead.
Deu 34:6 And he [God] buried him [Moses] in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day.
God did not bury the body of Moses to fulfill the cultural expectations that were prevalent at that time. God could have dematerialized Moses’ body in an instant, but He chose to bury him instead in a sepulcher.
1Ki 14:13 And all Israel shall mourn for him, and bury him: for he only of Jeroboam shall come to the grave, because in him there is found some good thing toward the LORD God of Israel in the house of Jeroboam.
Of all of Jeroboam’s children, only one would be buried because God judged him to be someone in whom there was found some good thing toward God. No one else of Jeroboam would be favored with the privilege of being buried.
2Ki 9:10 And the dogs shall eat Jezebel in the portion of Jezreel, and there shall be none to bury her. And he opened the door, and fled.
As part of God’s fierce judgment on Jezebel, dogs would eat her and no one would bury her.
Jer 14:16 And the people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword; and they shall have none to bury them, them, their wives, nor their sons, nor their daughters: for I will pour their wickedness upon them.
God’s judgment on these wicked people would resulting in their being denied a burial.
Ecc 6:3 If a man beget an hundred children, and live many years, so that the days of his years be many, and his soul be not filled with good, and also that he have no burial; I say, that an untimely birth is better than he.
Without a life of goodness that fills one’s soul and is consummated with a burial as the proper ending of a long life where one has begotten many children, it would be better to be miscarried than to ever have been born and lived.
Eze 39:13 Yea, all the people of the land shall bury them; and it shall be to them a renown the day that I shall be glorified, saith the Lord GOD. 14 And they shall sever out men of continual employment, passing through the land to bury with the passengers those that remain upon the face of the earth, to cleanse it: after the end of seven months shall they search. 15 And the passengers that pass through the land, when any seeth a man’s bone, then shall he set up a sign by it, till the buriers have buried it in the valley of Hamongog.
God specified that His people who would bury the vast hordes that He would slay would do so to their renown in the day that He would be glorified.
Mat 26:12 For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial. 13 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.
Jesus promised that Mary would be commended all over the world for what she did in preparing His body for burial.
1Co 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
The burial of Jesus Christ is a divinely ordained part of the gospel message that we are commanded to proclaim to the whole world. We must be faithful to proclaim the gospel that God has commissioned us to preach and testify.
Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
When we are baptized, we are identified with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. Those who have been buried with Him are the ones whom the Father raises to walk in newness of life.
In keeping with the spiritual realities of what God does when He saves us, we should be buried at the end of our physical lives in entrusting ourselves to be raised from the dead by our Father who judges righteously, even as Christ did.
As these many biblical considerations show, a proper burial is a profoundly important teaching of Scripture. Christians should not have anything to do with the pagan practice of cremation. As much as it is possible, they should honor God by being buried and by burying their own.
In a NT passage that speaks directly about an actual service in a local church, Paul declares the following:
1Co 14:23 If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?
24 But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all:
25 And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.
This text speaks of an unbeliever who comes into the midst of a whole church that has gathered together into one place and everyone prophesies with the result that the unbeliever comes under genuine conviction and is brought to worship God openly in their midst.
Because this divine revelation plainly speaks of God’s using the combined ministry of an assembled local church to bring an unbeliever to worship Him, we have biblical warrant for inviting people to come to church with us so that they are put in the position of having God work in their hearts in the manner spoken of in this passage.
Whether God chooses to work in such a manner in any given service is not our responsibility—our part is to put them in the position for Him to do so, should He see fit to do so.
Christians should invite unbelievers to come to church with them.
I believe that abortion is an act of horrific cruelty that puts to death an innocent unborn human being. More importantly, key passages point to a proper understanding of what abortion is in the eyes of Jesus.
Jesus taught that the greatest commandment is to love God with all one’s being (Matt. 22:37-38). Putting to death an innocent unborn child is an egregious failure to love God with all one’s being because to do so is to attack unjustly a helpless human being made in the image of God (cf. James 3:9).
Jesus taught that loving one’s neighbor as oneself is the second greatest commandment (Matt. 22:39). No one is a closer neighbor to another human being than an unborn baby is to his mother.
A mother who arranges to put to death her innocent unborn baby through abortion profoundly fails to obey God’s commandment that she love her neighbor as herself.
Jesus confirmed the sixth commandment that God gave to man when He said, “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment (Matt. 5:21). Those who put to death an innocent unborn child who has done no wrong to anyone are guilty of breaking God’s commandment not to murder.
Jesus taught that we are to do to others whatever we would want done to us (Matt. 7:12). Those who abort unborn children break the Golden Rule that Jesus gave because none of us would want to be put to death in the merciless manner that helpless children are killed when they are aborted.
The Father sent His Son Jesus into the world to be the Savior of the world (1 John 4:15). Jesus laid down His life to save sinners from their sins (Matt. 1:21; 1 John 3:16).
Jesus offers forgiveness to all those who repent of their breaking the two greatest commandments, the sixth commandment, and the Golden Rule through the sin of abortion. Anyone who repents toward God and believes in Jesus Christ will receive forgiveness of this sin (and all his other sins).
God raised Jesus from the dead and gave Him glory that the faith and hope of people might be in God (1 Pet. 1:21). God has appointed Jesus to be the Judge of the living and the dead (Acts 10:42).
As the God-appointed Judge, Jesus will forgive all who repent of the sin of abortion and believe in Him (Acts 10:43). He is the Judge who will condemn eternally all who refuse to repent of their sins and believe (2 Thess. 1:7-9).
God does not want anyone to perish—He wants all to come to repentance (2 Pet. 3:9). Believe in God and believe in Jesus and you will be saved and find rest for your soul (Matt. 11:28-30), no matter what sins you have committed!
Jesus does not want anyone to go on being heavy laden with the burden of the sin of abortion. If you are guilty before God in this way, acknowledge what abortion is in the eyes of Jesus.
Confess your sinfulness before God and forsake it and you will receive mercy from God (Prov. 28:13). Believe that Jesus died for that sin and all your other sins (1 Cor. 15:3), believe that God raised Him from the dead (Rom. 10:9-10), and call on His name as Lord (Rom. 10:13), and He will give you rest for your soul that no one else can or ever will (Matt. 11:28-30).
Scripture presents Paul the apostle as “the pattern believer” for all Christians (1 Cor. 11:1; Phil. 3:17). Had Paul been a US citizen today, which candidate would he have voted for in this year’s presidential elections?
Paul was a natural-born citizen of the nation of Rome (Acts 22:28). The Roman government was not a Christian government by any stretch of the imagination.
In his latter years, Paul spent much time as a prisoner of the Roman government (Acts 21-28; etc). He had several encounters with top Roman leaders in his lifetime (Acts 23-26).
From the Scriptural record of one of Paul’s encounters with a key civil official, we learn vital information about what Paul believed concerning what kind of person such a political leader needed to be.
While he was imprisoned, Paul had a noteworthy evangelistic encounter with the Roman governor Felix:
Act 24:24 And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ.
25 And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.
Stanley D. Toussaint’s comments in the Bible Knowledge Commentary help bring out what Paul displayed was important to address on this occasion:
Felix must have taken a brief trip with his wife, Drusilla. When they returned, Felix sent for Paul who spoke about faith in Christ Jesus. Felix was brought under conviction when Paul discoursed on righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come. Well he should, for his marriage to Drusilla was his third and he had to break up another marriage to secure her. His regime was marked by injustices that contrasted with the righteousness of God. And he was a man grossly lacking in self-control (BKC: NT, 422; words in italics are in bold in the original).
Paul challenged this secular civil leader in a non-Christian government about his sinful lack of self-control. The Greek word that Luke used for “temperance” (egkrateia) in his inspired summary record of this encounter highlights that Paul confronted him about his sexual immorality.
In this encounter, Paul showed that he held that the lack of moral character of a civil official in a non-Christian government was a vital matter that he had to address in his dealings with that official.
Based on what we learn from Acts 24:24-25, we can be certain that the apostle Paul would have scrutinized thoroughly all the candidates in this year’s presidential elections concerning their lack of moral character. Of the candidates that he would have had to choose from, there would have been one who would have most closely and conspicuously resembled Felix in this key respect.
Had Paul had the opportunity to vote in this year’s presidential elections, he would never have voted for a man who was like Felix because Paul would have heeded what God demands of all civil leaders: “The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God” (2 Sam. 23:3). Because God commands us to be followers of the apostle Paul (1 Cor. 11:1), we must hold that the moral character of a prospective President of the US is an essential consideration upon which we must base all our decisions about the candidate (or candidates) for whom we vote.
I recently engaged in an online discussion with some believers who assert that it is a fairly common view among believers today to hold that Boaz and Ruth fornicated on the night before they were married. In all my readings of the Book of Ruth, I do not remember ever thinking that the language of the passage shows that they engaged in sexual immorality on that occasion.
Several considerations lead me to reject this apparently widespread contemporary view categorically.
Ruth was a virtuous woman whose excellent character was known to all the people and attested to by them (Ruth 3:11). She went to the threshing floor where Boaz was sleeping that night because Naomi her mother-in-law instructed her to do so (Ruth 3:1-5).
Ruth uncovered Boaz’s feet and lay down at his feet because Naomi told her to do so (Ruth 3:4). To hold that Ruth and Boaz fornicated that night because Ruth put herself in that situation would mean that she would have gone along with an immoral scheme that her mother-in-law had devised.
Because Ruth was a virtuous woman, she would not have knowingly gone along with such an immoral scheme. The importance of this observation is heightened by a second key consideration about this encounter between Ruth and Boaz.
Their supposedly fornicating on the night before they were married does not fit the flow of thought at all. There was a kinsman who was closer to Ruth than Boaz was (Ruth 3:12). Neither Boaz nor Ruth knew, therefore, at that time whether they would ever be married because they did not know what that person would choose to do about his right of redemption (Ruth 3:13; 4:4).
To hold that Ruth and Boaz slept together on the night before they were married means that they would have to have given in to their fleshly lusts in spite of their not having any surety whether there would be any future for them to be together. Their having done so would thus have been a far different matter than the situation of engaged couples who succumb to their fleshly desires before their upcoming planned weddings.
Moreover, Naomi also would have been responsible for putting Ruth in that compromising situation because she was the one who directed Ruth to do what she did. She then would have shared responsibility for the defiling of Ruth without having any certainty that Boaz would even be able to marry Ruth the next day.
We must give Ruth and Boaz every reasonable benefit of the doubt. As discussed above, Scripture does not provide any compelling evidence that shows that they engaged in premarital intimacy.
In fact, the inspired record strongly precludes their having been immoral together on that night. It would be unrighteous, therefore, for believers to assert that Boaz and Ruth were immoral on that occasion.
Boaz and Ruth are alive today in the presence of God. We who are believers in Jesus Christ will spend all eternity with them.
Because we do not have irrefutable evidence to show that they fornicated on the night before they were married, we should not dishonor them by suggesting that they fornicated when they met that night. If we do so, and they testify to us someday in heaven to the purity of their dealings on that occasion, we will owe them an apology in that day.
Moreover, the biblical account of the threshold encounter of Boaz and Ruth does not provide any support for holding that premarital sex is somehow legitimate or not such a big deal because supposedly Ruth and Boaz slept together on the night before they were married. Using this account to try to excuse such immoral behavior is to misuse Scripture.
Muchas personas creen que los líderes civiles no son responsables cuando ellos permiten a las personas que gobiernan tener la libertad de elegir hacer lo que es malvado. La Escritura proporciona información definitiva que demuestra que este punto de vista es falso.
Pilato era un gobernador secular que fracasó liberar a Jesús a pesar de saber y declaró repetidamente que Jesús era inocente (Lucas 23: 4, 14, 15, 22; Juan 19: 4, 6). En su lugar, Pilato dio a las autoridades judías y los judíos la elección de quién querían Pilato para liberar: Barrabás o Jesús (Mat. 27:15-23; Lucas 23:17-20; Juan 18:37-40).
Así Pilato dio a estas personas la opción de optar hacer algo que era pecaminoso (liberar Barrabás y condenar a Jesús) o hacer lo correcto (liberar Jesús y condenar a Barrabás). Las autoridades judías y la gente (Mat. 27:20) optaron por hacer lo que era pecaminoso, solicitando la liberación de Barrabás y la condenación de Jesús (Mat. 27:21; Juan 18:40).
En vano, Pilato lavó sus manos y dijo que él era inocente de la sangre de Jesús (Mat. 27:24). La gente dijo que su sangre sería sobre ellos y sus hijos (Mat. 27:25). Fue Pilato absuelto de hacer maldades porque él dio a la gente la opción de hacer lo que estaba bien o hacer lo que estaba mal y la gente optó hacer lo que estaba mal?
A través de los apóstoles, Dios no sólo acusó a las autoridades judías y los judíos de la muerte de Jesús, sino también a las autoridades romanas (Hechos 3:13-15; 4:27; 13:28). Así, Dios sostuvo a Pilato también responsable de la injusticia que se llevó a cabo a pesar de que la gente y no Pilato fue quien hizo la libre elección de tener a Jesús crucificado (Mat. 27:22-23).
Cuando una autoridad gubernamental da a la gente la libertad por la ley de hacer una elección pecaminosa, Dios sostiene tanto a la autoridad gubernamental como a las personas que hacen la elección pecaminosa responsables. Esta verdad tiene un profundo significado para lo que las autoridades gubernamentales opten hacer en cuanto a su promulgación y aplicación de la legislación que le da a la gente que gobiernan la libertad de elegir para hacer lo que es pecaminoso.
(Trasladado con la ayuda de Google Translate y Daniela Medina.)