Archives For Theology

God ordained that there would be consecrated singers who would minister to Him *day* and *night* with singing accompanied with stringed instruments.

1 Chronicles 9:33 And these are the singers, chief of the fathers of the Levites, who remaining in the chambers were free: for they were employed in that work day and night.

Especially on His uniquely consecrated day, it was a good thing to sing praises to His name upon stringed musical instruments *in the morning* and *every night.*

Psalm 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.

O that there were many more consecrated followers of Christ in our day who would supremely value the honor and privilege of being in God’s house both *in the morning* and *in the night* on the Lord’s Day to glorify God with singing His praises accompanied by stringed instruments.

Copyright © 2011-2024 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

Today, I added a new forum post for discussion on Sharper Iron, “How Biblical Is Your Demonology?

In the opening post, I said the following:

Pastor Mark Minnick preached a very helpful message this morning from Mark 1:21-24 that treats the subject of demonology in considerable detail:

A Powerful, Indwelling Demon Reacts to Jesus Christ

I heartily recommend the careful consideration of this treatment of the subject of demonology and examining your own beliefs in light of it to see how biblical is your demonology.

Copyright © 2011-2024 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

In a remarkable passage, God instructs us through an astonishing comparison between two groups of people—certain specially gifted servants of God and certain practitioners of the occult.

Daniel 1:17 As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. 18 Now at the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in, then the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. 19 And the king communed with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king. 20 And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king enquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.

To understand what God wants us to learn from this vital revelation, we must compare and contrast these two groups carefully.

From Scripture, we know that both groups were image bearers and recipients of common grace. It might seem to some believers that each group therefore should have had some people in that group who were better in some areas of wisdom and understanding than those in the other group were.

In “all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king enquired of them [emphasis added to the original],” Daniel and his three friends, however, were found to be “ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.” Through this astounding revelation by the Spirit, we learn that it is wrong to expect that the image of God in man and common grace ensure that all groups of people will have among them at least some who excel in some areas of wisdom and understanding above those who are in other groups of people.

Contrary to this expectation that might seem to us to be what ought to be true, we must hold that specially gifted servants of God excel far above all practitioners of the occult in all areas of wisdom and understanding!

Moreover, we must understand plainly that occult wisdom is not the all-excelling wisdom of God in any matter of wisdom and understanding. What’s more, neither this passage nor any other passage of Scripture provides any biblical basis to hold that there has ever been or will ever be any area of wisdom and understanding in which occultists have excelled above specially gifted servants of God.


Consecrated believers must not hold to the faulty notion that all groups of people will have some among them who excel in some areas of wisdom and understanding such that they are better in those areas than are the best people in every other group of people. In particular, the Bible does not provide any basis for Christians to hold that practitioners of the occult have ever produced through their wisdom anything that is distinctively of the occult such that God’s people should make any use of it in any facet of their living a life that is pleasing to God.

God’s people must categorically reject all occult wisdom and all things that are distinctively of the occult!

Copyright © 2011-2024 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

After Samuel had anointed Saul, he uttered a striking prophetic declaration of what would shortly happen to Saul:

1 Samuel 10:5 After that thou shalt come to the hill of God, where is the garrison of the Philistines: and it shall come to pass, when thou art come thither to the city, that thou shalt meet a company of prophets coming down from the high place with a psaltery, and a tabret, and a pipe, and a harp, before them; and they shall prophesy: 6 And the Spirit of the LORD will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man.

Concerning what it reveals about music, this passage is significant for several reasons.

First, it shows that more than two years (cf. 1 Sam. 13:1) before David came to the forefront as a uniquely skilled musician in Israel (1 Sam. 16:14-23), God already had a group of prophets among His people who were sacred musicians who ministered with music for Him! As prophets, these men were specially chosen, anointed, and empowered servants of God on whom He had put His Spirit; these musicians undeniably therefore knew fully how to play sacred music that pleased God.

Second, the verse speaks about the prophetic use of three different kinds of instruments: stringed (psaltery, harp); percussion (tabret); and wind (pipe). The verse, therefore, shows the legitimacy of using each of these kinds of instruments for sacred uses.

Third, the verse mentions two stringed instruments but only one each of the other two kinds of instruments. The greater number and variety of stringed instruments versus percussion or wind instruments points to the greater importance of stringed instruments in sacred activities.

Fourth, the verse does not make any mention of singing. Although the lack of mention of singing does not definitively show that there was no singing by those in this prophetic company, the explicit mention of multiple musical instruments and no mention of singing stresses the importance of the use of musical instruments in sacred ministry.

See also A Prophet, A Minstrel, and Resolving Today’s Worship Wars

Copyright © 2011-2024 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

Gathered church worship is our offering up together to God the Spiritual, devotional responses of which He alone is worthy.

—Pastor Mark Minnick

Copyright © 2011-2024 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

Scripture reveals a vast number of comparative statements and superlatives that instruct us in various ways to hold that there are things that are superior to other things in their same categories. Meditating on such statements has provided me with several important insights that I hope to present in at least one future post.

I encourage very careful examination and contemplation of the following compilation of such statements.

Gen. 43:11 And their father Israel said unto them, If it must be so now, do this; take of the best fruits in the land in your vessels, and carry down the man a present, a little balm, and a little honey, spices, and myrrh, nuts, and almonds:

Num. 18:12 All the best of the oil, and all the best of the wine, and of the wheat, the firstfruits of them which they shall offer unto the LORD, them have I given thee.

Jdg. 8:2 And he said unto them, What have I done now in comparison of you? Is not the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim better than the vintage of Abiezer?

Ps. 81:16 He should have fed them also with the finest of the wheat: and with honey out of the rock should I have satisfied thee.

Ps. 147:14 He maketh peace in thy borders, and filleth thee with the finest of the wheat.

Exodus 30:23 Take thou also unto thee principal spices, of pure myrrh five hundred shekels, and of sweet cinnamon half so much, even two hundred and fifty shekels, and of sweet calamus two hundred and fifty shekels

Cant. 4:14 Spikenard and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices:

Cant. 7:9 And the roof of thy mouth like the best wine for my beloved, that goeth down sweetly, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak.

Ezek. 27:22 The merchants of Sheba and Raamah, they were thy merchants: they occupied in thy fairs with chief of all spices, and with all precious stones, and gold.

Gen. 47:6 The land of Egypt is before thee; in the best of the land make thy father and brethren to dwell; in the land of Goshen let them dwell: and if thou knowest any men of activity among them, then make them rulers over my cattle.

Gen. 47:11 And Joseph placed his father and his brethren, and gave them a possession in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land, in the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had commanded.

Exod. 22:5 If a man shall cause a field or vineyard to be eaten, and shall put in his beast, and shall feed in another man’s field; of the best of his own field, and of the best of his own vineyard, shall he make restitution.

1 Sam. 8:14 And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants.

1 Ki. 21:2 And Ahab spake unto Naboth, saying, Give me thy vineyard, that I may have it for a garden of herbs, because it is near unto my house: and I will give thee for it a better vineyard than it; or, if it seem good to thee, I will give thee the worth of it in money.

Ezekiel 20:6 In the day that I lifted up mine hand unto them, to bring them forth of the land of Egypt into a land that I had espied for them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands:


Num. 18:29 Out of all your gifts ye shall offer every heave offering of the LORD, of all the best thereof, even the hallowed part thereof out of it.

Num. 18:30 Therefore thou shalt say unto them, When ye have heaved the best thereof from it, then it shall be counted unto the Levites as the increase of the threshingfloor, and as the increase of the winepress.

Num. 18:32 And ye shall bear no sin by reason of it, when ye have heaved from it the best of it: neither shall ye pollute the holy things of the children of Israel, lest ye die.

1 Sam. 2:29 Wherefore kick ye at my sacrifice and at mine offering, which I have commanded in my habitation; and honourest thy sons above me, to make yourselves fat with the chiefest of all the offerings of Israel my people?

1 Sam. 15:9 But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly.

1 Sam. 15:15 And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed.

1 Ki. 10:18 Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with the best gold.

2 Ki. 5:12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage.


1 Sam. 21:9 And the priest said, The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom thou slewest in the valley of Elah, behold, it is here wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod: if thou wilt take that, take it: for there is no other save that here. And David said, There is none like that; give it me.

2 Chr. 9:11 And the king made of the algum trees terraces to the house of the LORD, and to the king’s palace, and harps and psalteries for singers: and there were none such seen before in the land of Judah.

Lk. 15:22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:

2 Kings 20:13 And Hezekiah hearkened unto them, and shewed them all the house of his precious things, the silver, and the gold, and the spices, and the precious ointment, and all the house of his armour, and all that was found in his treasures: there was nothing in his house, nor in all his dominion, that Hezekiah shewed them not.

Amos 6:6 That drink wine in bowls, and anoint themselves with the chief ointments: but they are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph.

Est. 2:9 And the maiden pleased him, and she obtained kindness of him; and he speedily gave her her things for purification, with such things as belonged to her, and seven maidens, which were meet to be given her, out of the king’s house: and he preferred her and her maids unto the best place of the house of the women.


1 Cor. 12:31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

Heb. 7:19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.

Heb. 7:22 By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.

Heb. 8:6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.

Heb. 9:23 It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.

Heb. 10:34 For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.

Heb. 11:16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

Heb. 11:35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:

Copyright © 2011-2024 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

A friend recently called my attention to a blog post by Pastor Brian Fuller, “A Familiar Fundamentalist Dog Whistle.”1 In the post, he assails certain fundamentalists whom he has judged to be in sin because of their efforts to direct people’s attention to certain highly disputed theological and practical issues.

Having read his piece several times, I am compelled to make what I believe is a necessary response to his post. I am going to limit my response to him in this post to the one point that I believe most needs to be made prior to my possibly addressing in the future other issues with his post.

Unhelpful and Unedifying Use of Inflammatory Rhetoric

Choosing to title his piece, “A Familiar Fundamentalist Dog Whistle,” and speaking of believers as using their “dog whistles” to “screech” plainly shows that Pastor Fuller was not properly mindful of how his words would come across to the very people to whom he apparently thinks that he has made a substantive and gracious (?) appeal.

Immediately upon encountering this title, it was clear to me that this post was not the edifying offering of an obedient servant of the Lord who had given much careful thought to vital divine instruction about how to engage in such ministry:

Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

2 Timothy 2:24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, 25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

I urge Pastor Fuller to give serious attention to his unhelpful and unedifying use of such inflammatory rhetoric in his post and to take whatever public steps are needed to make right this unrighteous public conduct by a minister of Christ.

1A Familiar Fundamentalist Dog Whistle (

Copyright © 2011-2024 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

As a Christian, I passionately hate the practice of cremating human bodies. God’s people should hate and reject cremation for many reasons, including the following:

—Cremation is a horrifically unnatural and unfitting approach to the final disposition of the bodies (especially the bones) of our dead loved ones.

—Christian acceptance of cremation is teaching God’s people to devalue the sanctity of the bones of their dead loved ones.

The proper disposition of human bones is not to burn and smash them in the horrifically gruesome and dishonoring practice of cremation.

God’s people should not cremate their loved ones!

See also Ezekiel 39: A Test Case for Certain Notions about Cremation versus Burial | A People for His Name

Burial Was Not a Jewish Cultural Practice in the OT

Copyright © 2011-2024 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

Acronyms are useful tools for conveniently and repeatedly referring to longer expressions. Through my intense biblical and theological studies over the past 12 or so years, I am convinced that we can only come to greater unity and work toward ending the so-called worship wars by rigorously examining what Scripture says that pertains to what we should believe about two key realities that apply to all human beings: the image of God in man and common grace.

To that end, I think that a good way to speak about the combined force of these two realities is to speak about all people as being “commonly graced image bearers.” Instead of using this long phrase repeatedly, I am going to start using the acronym “CGIB” in my writing and speaking.


Copyright © 2011-2024 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

I have actively participated in many discussions on Sharper Iron since November of 2018. In this post, I have compiled nearly all my discussion posts on music and worship as well as on other topics.

In addition, I have also listed other discussions that I did not start, but I did participate in them. The numbered listing for my posts on music and worship are in chronological order; those in the second listing are grouped by topic.

Posts on Music and Worship

  1. How does God want Christians to profit concerning worship from Exodus 32:17-20?
  2. Is Exodus 32:17-18 divine revelation about worship music? | SHARPER IRON
  3. Does Job 41:11b apply to all musical styles/genres?
  4. Bible passages that guide us about secular/unbelieving criticisms of Christian worship music/ministry?
  5. What does Scripture teach about all music without words?
  6. Are there any Bible passages that specifically support the use of music to evangelize unbelievers?
  7. Little interest in discussing what the Bible says about music
  8. Does Scripture record that musical instruments were used in pagan worship?
  9. Best books that support the use of CCM, CWM, etc?
  10. Adding Regular Corporate Shouting of Praise in Our Worship
  11. What does Genesis 4:21 teach us about music?
  12. What does Genesis 31:27 teach us about music?
  13. We Must Heed the Vital Message of 1 Corinthians 10:18-20
  14. Did OT Israel create anything new in terms of music?
  15. Who do you think is the most important musician in human history?
  16. “Why a Series on Psalms?” | SHARPER IRON
  17. Does God accept worship from some unbelievers?
  18. What Is the Greatest/Best Sacred Song of All Time?
  19. What Does 1 Samuel 16:14-23 teach about music?
  20. Who do you believe is the greatest songwriter of all time?
  21. How many classes of *living* beings exist that produce music?
  22. What Does 1 Corinthians 2:14 Teach about What Unbelievers Cannot Know?
  23. Does Romans 8:19-22 apply to music without words?
  24. What Do Daniel 3:5, 7, 10, and 15 Reveal about Worship Music?
  25. Wrong Views, Disunity, and “The Worship Wars”
  26. Does God love all kinds of music because He invented it all?
  27. The Bible and Music: What Does God Want Us to Know, Believe, and Do?
  28. Was Jesus of Nazareth the Greatest Singer and Musician of All Time?
  29. Divine Selectivity in Worship: What Should We Believe?
  30. Shamanism, Percussion, and First Corinthians 6:12
  31. Did the Israelites Use Drum-Like Instruments in The Worship in the Solomonic Temple?
  32. Are Some Kinds of Instrumental Music Objectively Better Than Others?

Posts on Other Topics or Other Discussions That I Did Not Start

Steve Pettit and the Skillman Family

Public worship and Exodus 28:42: “from hips to the thighs”

Golden Calf in Psalm 106

How Acts 7:39-41 Illumines A Proper Understanding of the Golden Calf Incident (GCI)

Is food good but amoral? | SHARPER IRON

Why is 1 Timothy 5:23 in the Bible?

Does Scripture teach that cremation is an acceptable practice for believers?

“Is Cremation Christian”?

How does God want Christians to profit concerning evangelism from Acts 22:14-15?

Toward a More Accurate Theology of Evangelism

Ezekiel 40-48: National Israel, the Church, or something else?

How are you going to keep yourself unspotted from the world?


Does *the Bible Itself* “Use” Guilt by Association (GBA)?

Two Important Insights from the Biblical Record about Manasseh

What perspicuity of the Scripture does not mean

What Is Sound Doctrine concerning the Doctrinal Importance of Narratives in Scripture?

Was Solomon a true believer who “lost his salvation”?

Copyright © 2011-2024 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.