Archives For Theology

God promised Abram that he would be buried at the end of his life:

Genesis 15:15 And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age.

When God made this promise, He was not following some OT Hebrew preference because Abraham was the first Hebrew so there was no long-standing or well-established Hebrew preference that had already been in place that could be or needed to be followed by God.

Because this verse is the first mention of burial in Scripture, we learn that within the limits of what is revealed in Scripture, we are to hold that God is the One who communicated to the Hebrews the importance of burying their own. He, therefore, was not following some OT Hebrew preference when He did so–He was making a divine promise that communicated the vital importance that He placed on burial!

Moreover, based on this understanding of this key promise, we learn that the numerous repeated mentions of the burials of God’s people in the OT are not instances of OT Hebrew preference of burial. Rather, they show the vital importance that God placed on burial when He promised Abram that he would be buried in a good old age.

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

Before the risen Jesus ascended to heaven, He commanded His disciples to preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15). The apostle Paul instructed the Corinthians that the gospel message that He received directly from the glorified Christ specifically states that Christ was buried:

1 Cor. 15:3 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:

God, therefore, has ordained that we are to tell every human being that Christ was buried.

Regardless of what practices for handling dead bodies may be prevalent anywhere in the world, the Christian must convey to every person everywhere that Christ was buried. In order to do so knowledgeably, we must understand biblically why Christ was and had to be buried. To that end, this article treats three reasons that Christ was and had to be buried.

God’s Command to Bury Had to Be Obeyed

First, more than at least 1300 years before the Passion of Christ, God had commanded His people that those that they had hanged on a tree had to be buried:

Deut. 21:22 And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree: 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.

Peter and the apostles declared to the Jewish council and high priest that they had slain and hanged Jesus on a tree:

Acts 5:30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.

Later in a premier evangelistic message to Gentiles, Peter preached again that the Jews had slain the anointed Jesus of Nazareth and hanged Him on a tree:

Acts 10:39 And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:

Because the Jews slew and hanged Jesus on a tree, they had to bury His body in obedience to God’s command. As righteous Jews, Joseph of Arimathaea and Nicodemus obeyed God’s command and buried His body (John 19:38-42).

Christ was and had to be buried because God’s command to bury had to be obeyed. As seen through the gospel ministry of Peter, the truth that Jesus was buried is to be proclaimed to both Jews and Gentiles—it is of worldwide importance!

Christ’s Burial Was Prophesied

Second, Christ was and had to be buried because God had prophesied that the Messiah would be buried:

Isa. 53:9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

Had Jesus of Nazareth not been buried in fulfillment of what God had prophesied, He would not and could not have been the Messiah. There would then not be any gospel of Jesus Christ to proclaim to the world.

Christ Spoke of His Body’s Being Buried

Third, before His crucifixion, Jesus of Nazareth revealed that Mary (John 11:2; 12:3) had anointed His body for His burial:

Matthew 26:12 For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial.

Mark 14:8 She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying.

John 12:7 Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this.

He added that what she had done to anoint His body for His burial would be spoken of all over the world wherever the gospel would be preached:

Matthew 26:13 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.

Mark 14:9 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.

Christ was and had to be buried in order to fulfill what He said about Mary’s having anointed Him for His burial.

Had His body not been buried after His crucifixion, He would have been shown to have been wrong in what He said. Had He erred in the truthfulness of what He said concerning what Mary had done, He would not and could not have been the Messiah. There would then not be any gospel of Jesus Christ to proclaim to the world.

Conclusion

As the Christ, Jesus of Nazareth was and had to be buried after He had been crucified. As believers, we all must understand biblically why this is true.

We all must also proclaim to all men everywhere the gospel truth that Christ was buried. The burial of Christ is of worldwide importance!

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

Some Christians today believe that cremation is justified because they hold that burial in the OT was a Jewish cultural practice. Having that viewpoint about burial in the OT, they believe that we are free to follow what is culturally acceptable in our day.

Several lines of reasoning from Scripture show that these beliefs are not right.

Job and Eliphaz Did Not Follow Jewish Cultural Practices

Job and Eliphaz were God’s people, but Scripture never speaks of them as being Hebrews or Jews. Furthermore, we do not have any basis to hold that they ever had any contact with any people who were Jewish.

As such, what they believed and practiced attests to what God’s people who were not Jews, never under the Mosaic Law, and never had received that revelation believed and practiced. Because Job and Eliphaz spoke about burial in ways that either declare or imply its propriety, we know that burial by at least certain of the people of God in the OT was not a Jewish cultural practice.

Job

Job 3:22 Which rejoice exceedingly, and are glad, when they can find the grave?

Job 10:19 I should have been as though I had not been; I should have been carried from the womb to the grave.

Job 17:1 My breath is corrupt, my days are extinct, the graves are ready for me.

Job 21:32 Yet shall he be brought to the grave, and shall remain in the tomb.

Job 27:15 Those that remain of him shall be buried in death: and his widows shall not weep.

Eliphaz

Job 5:26 Thou shalt come to thy grave in a full age, like as a shock of corn cometh in in his season.

Moreover, there are no passages in which Job or Eliphaz speak of the propriety of cremation.

Many Other Peoples Did Not Follow Jewish Cultural Practices

Scripture reveals that many other peoples that also were never Jews practiced burial. When they did so, they certainly were not following Jewish cultural practices of burying dead people.

Cananites

Gen. 23:6  Hear us, my lord: thou art a mighty prince among us: in the choice of our sepulchres bury thy dead; none of us shall withhold from thee his sepulchre, but that thou mayest bury thy dead.

Egyptians

Num. 33:4  For the Egyptians buried all their firstborn, which the LORD had smitten among them: upon their gods also the LORD executed judgments.

Babylonians

Isa. 14:19  But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet.

Asshurites

Ezek. 32:22  Asshur is there and all her company: his graves are about him: all of them slain, fallen by the sword:

Elamites

Ezek. 32:24  There is Elam and all her multitude round about her grave, all of them slain, fallen by the sword, which are gone down uncircumcised into the nether parts of the earth, which caused their terror in the land of the living; yet have they borne their shame with them that go down to the pit.

People of Meshech and Tubal

Ezek. 32:26  There is Meshech, Tubal, and all her multitude: her graves are round about him: all of them uncircumcised, slain by the sword, though they caused their terror in the land of the living.

Furthermore, Scripture never speaks of any of these peoples practicing cremation.

God Did Not Follow Jewish Cultural Practices

Scripture reveals in multiple ways that God did not follow Jewish cultural practices when He dealt with either His people or other peoples.

First, God commanded the Israelites that those who were hung had to be buried.

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.

He was not following a Jewish cultural practice when He issued that command.

Second, when God buried Moses, He did not do so because He was under any obligation to follow any so-called Jewish cultural practice.

Deuteronomy 34:6 And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day.

His choosing to bury Moses and to reveal that He did so shows that burial was not a Jewish cultural practice in the OT.

Third, God fiercely judged the Moabites for burning the bones of the king of Edom to powder. God was not judging the Moabites for their failure to follow a Jewish cultural practice.

Amos 2:1 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Moab, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because he burned the bones of the king of Edom into lime: 2 But I will send a fire upon Moab, and it shall devour the palaces of Kerioth: and Moab shall die with tumult, with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet: 3 And I will cut off the judge from the midst thereof, and will slay all the princes thereof with him, saith the LORD.

These passages show that divine actions pertaining to burial in the OT were not instances of God’s following Jewish cultural practices.

In addition, God never authorized or approved of cremation in the OT.

Conclusion

Scripture makes plain that burial in the OT was not a Jewish cultural practice. It also never speaks of the propriety of cremation.

Christians who support the use of cremation instead of burial cannot appeal to burial in the OT as being merely a Jewish cultural practice that can be set aside in favor of the cultural practices of their own time. They also do not have any passages in the OT that they can cite as support for cremation.

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

I have been studying Psalm 1:1 intensively for many days now:

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.

Tonight, I compiled 57 verses that help illumine our understanding of what God wants us to understand about “the counsel of the ungodly” that is spoken about in Psalm 1:1.

 

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

 

2 Sam. 15:34  But if thou return to the city, and say unto Absalom, I will be thy servant, O king; as I have been thy father’s servant hitherto, so will I now also be thy servant: then mayest thou for me defeat the counsel of Ahithophel.

 

2 Sam. 17:21  And it came to pass, after they were departed, that they came up out of the well, and went and told king David, and said unto David, Arise, and pass quickly over the water: for thus hath Ahithophel counselled against you.

 

1 Ki. 12:14  And spake to them after the counsel of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke: my father also chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.

 

1 Ki. 12:28  Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

 

2 Ki. 6:8  Then the king of Syria warred against Israel, and took counsel with his servants, saying, In such and such a place shall be my camp.

 

1 Chr. 10:13  So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, even against the word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to enquire of it;

 

2 Chr. 22:3  He also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab: for his mother was his counsellor to do wickedly.

 

2 Chr. 22:4  Wherefore he did evil in the sight of the LORD like the house of Ahab: for they were his counsellors after the death of his father to his destruction.

 

2 Chr. 22:5  He walked also after their counsel, and went with Jehoram the son of Ahab king of Israel to war against Hazael king of Syria at Ramothgilead: and the Syrians smote Joram.

 

Ezr. 4:5  And hired counsellors against them, to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia.

 

Neh. 4:15  And it came to pass, when our enemies heard that it was known unto us, and God had brought their counsel to nought, that we returned all of us to the wall, every one unto his work.

 

Neh. 6:7  And thou hast also appointed prophets to preach of thee at Jerusalem, saying, There is a king in Judah: and now shall it be reported to the king according to these words. Come now therefore, and let us take counsel together.

 

Job 5:13  He taketh the wise in their own craftiness: and the counsel of the froward is carried headlong.

 

Job 10:3  Is it good unto thee that thou shouldest oppress, that thou shouldest despise the work of thine hands, and shine upon the counsel of the wicked?

 

Job 18:7  The steps of his strength shall be straitened, and his own counsel shall cast him down.

 

Job 21:16  Lo, their good is not in their hand: the counsel of the wicked is far from me.

 

Job 22:18  Yet he filled their houses with good things: but the counsel of the wicked is far from me.

 

Job 38:2  Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?

 

Job 42:3  Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.

 

Ps. 2:2  The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying,

 

Ps. 5:10  Destroy thou them, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against thee.

 

Ps. 31:13  For I have heard the slander of many: fear was on every side: while they took counsel together against me, they devised to take away my life.

 

Ps. 33:10  The LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect.

 

Ps. 64:2  Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked; from the insurrection of the workers of iniquity:

 

Ps. 71:10  For mine enemies speak against me; and they that lay wait for my soul take counsel together,

 

Ps. 81:12  So I gave them up unto their own hearts’ lust: and they walked in their own counsels.

 

Ps. 83:3  They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones.

 

Ps. 106:43  Many times did he deliver them; but they provoked him with their counsel, and were brought low for their iniquity.

 

Prov. 12:5  The thoughts of the righteous are right: but the counsels of the wicked are deceit.

 

Isa. 7:5  Because Syria, Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah, have taken evil counsel against thee, saying,

 

Isa. 8:10  Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for God is with us.

 

Isa. 19:3  And the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the midst thereof; and I will destroy the counsel thereof: and they shall seek to the idols, and to the charmers, and to them that have familiar spirits, and to the wizards.

 

Isa. 29:15  Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the LORD, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us?

 

Isa. 30:1  Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin:

 

Isa. 47:13  Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee.

 

Jer. 7:24  But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.

 

Jer. 18:23  Yet, LORD, thou knowest all their counsel against me to slay me: forgive not their iniquity, neither blot out their sin from thy sight, but let them be overthrown before thee; deal thus with them in the time of thine anger.

 

Jer. 19:7  And I will make void the counsel of Judah and Jerusalem in this place; and I will cause them to fall by the sword before their enemies, and by the hands of them that seek their lives: and their carcases will I give to be meat for the fowls of the heaven, and for the beasts of the earth.

 

Jer. 49:30  Flee, get you far off, dwell deep, O ye inhabitants of Hazor, saith the LORD; for Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon hath taken counsel against you, and hath conceived a purpose against you.

 

Ezek. 11:2  Then said he unto me, Son of man, these are the men that devise mischief, and give wicked counsel in this city:

 

Dan. 6:7 All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions.

 

Hos. 4:12  My people ask counsel at their stocks, and their staff declareth unto them: for the spirit of whoredoms hath caused them to err, and they have gone a whoring from under their God.

 

Hos. 10:6  It shall be also carried unto Assyria for a present to king Jareb: Ephraim shall receive shame, and Israel shall be ashamed of his own counsel.

 

Hos. 11:6  And the sword shall abide on his cities, and shall consume his branches, and devour them, because of their own counsels.

 

Mic. 6:16  For the statutes of Omri are kept, and all the works of the house of Ahab, and ye walk in their counsels; that I should make thee a desolation, and the inhabitants thereof an hissing: therefore ye shall bear the reproach of my people.

 

Nah. 1:11  There is one come out of thee, that imagineth evil against the LORD, a wicked counsellor.

 

Matt. 22:15  Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk.

 

Matt. 27:1  When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death:

 

Matt. 28:12  And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers,

 

Mk. 3:6  And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him.

 

Lk. 23:51  (The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them;) he was of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God.

 

Jn. 11:53  Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.

 

Acts 5:33  When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them.

 

Acts 5:38  And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought:

 

Acts 9:23  And after that many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him:

 

1 Cor. 4:5  Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.

 

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

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

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

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

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

Consider also what the apostle Paul said concerning himself:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Allowing Balaam to Corrupt the Church at Pergamos

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Allowing Jezebel to Corrupt the Church at Thyatira

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

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

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

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

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

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

Commonalities between Balaam and Jezebel and Their Ongoing Corrupting Influences

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

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

Application

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Clarification

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We must take heed to the testimonies of former occultists!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Daniel 3:4 Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages, 5 That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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