In a recent online discussion, someone asked me the question, “Can a prophet be murdered outside Jerusalem?” As support for holding that a prophet could not be murdered outside Jerusalem, one person cited Jesus’ words about the slaying of prophets:

Luke 13:33 Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem.

In response, I showed how that view is wrong by bringing to bear on the question what Jezebel did when she slew many prophets:

Yes, Jezebel slew the prophets of the Lord, and there is no basis in Scripture to show that she murdered them in Jerusalem; she was the queen in the northern kingdom and had the authority to do so there, but she did not have the authority to do so in the southern kingdom, including in Jerusalem.

1 Kings 18:13 Was it not told my lord what I did when Jezebel slew the prophets of the LORD, how I hid an hundred men of the LORD’S prophets by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water?

First Kings 18:13 illumines Luke 13:33 by teaching us that it was not true that no prophet could be murdered outside Jerusalem

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

The plural Hebrew command (‎הַ֥לְלוּ יָ֙הּ [“praise ye the LORD”]) that has been transliterated as “Hallelujah” occurs 25 times in the OT, and all but one of these is in the Psalms:

Ps. 104:35  Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more. Bless thou the LORD, O my soul. Praise ye the LORD.

Ps. 105:45  That they might observe his statutes, and keep his laws. Praise ye the LORD.

Ps. 106:48  Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting: and let all the people say, Amen. Praise ye the LORD.

Ps. 111:1  Praise ye the LORD. I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.

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

Ps. 113:1  Praise ye the LORD. Praise, O ye servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD.

Ps. 113:9  He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LORD.

Ps. 115:18  But we will bless the LORD from this time forth and for evermore. Praise the LORD.1

Ps. 116:19  In the courts of the LORD’S house, in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem. Praise ye the LORD.

Ps. 117:2  For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the LORD endureth for ever. Praise ye the LORD.

Ps. 135:1  Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the name of the LORD; praise him, O ye servants of the LORD.

Ps. 135:3  Praise the LORD; for the LORD is good: sing praises unto his name; for it is pleasant.

Ps. 135:21  Blessed be the LORD out of Zion, which dwelleth at Jerusalem. Praise ye the LORD.

Ps. 146:1  Praise ye the LORD. Praise the LORD, O my soul.

Ps. 146:10  The LORD shall reign for ever, even thy God, O Zion, unto all generations. Praise ye the LORD.

Ps. 147:1  Praise ye the LORD: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely.

Ps. 147:20  He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for his judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the LORD.

Ps. 148:1  Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the LORD from the heavens: praise him in the heights.

Ps. 148:14  He also exalteth the horn of his people, the praise of all his saints; even of the children of Israel, a people near unto him. Praise ye the LORD.

Ps. 149:1  Praise ye the LORD. Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints.

Ps. 149:9  To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD.

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

Ps. 150:6  Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.

Jer. 20:13  Sing unto the LORD, praise ye the LORD: for he hath delivered the soul of the poor from the hand of evildoers.

On two other occasions, an equivalent expression is found that has the full form of the Hebrew word for “Lord” as its direct object instead of the shortened form “Jah” (‎הַֽלְל֣וּ אֶת־יְ֭הוָה [“praise the LORD”]):

Ps. 117:1  O praise the LORD, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people.

Ps. 148:7  Praise the LORD from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps:

These 27 occurrences of the plural command to praise the Lord show just how profoundly God has stressed the importance of praising Him as the Lord!


1Even though the command has been rendered in this verse as “praise the LORD” instead of “praise ye the LORD,” the Hebrew is the same:הַֽלְלוּ־יָֽהּ.

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

In my previous post, I treated the many ways that Psalms teaches us about the hallowing of God’s name. This post compiles the verses in the Psalms that explicitly concern the profaning of God’s name in various ways.

Ps. 44:20  If we have forgotten the name of our God, or stretched out our hands to a strange god;

 

Ps. 74:7  They have cast fire into thy sanctuary, they have defiled by casting down the dwelling place of thy name to the ground.

 

Ps. 74:10  O God, how long shall the adversary reproach? shall the enemy blaspheme thy name for ever?

Ps. 74:18  Remember this, that the enemy hath reproached, O LORD, and that the foolish people have blasphemed thy name.

 

Ps. 79:6  Pour out thy wrath upon the heathen that have not known thee, and upon the kingdoms that have not called upon thy name.

 

Ps. 139:20  For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain.

Let us carefully heed the revelation in Psalms about both the hallowing of God’s name and the profaning of His name so that we will give Him the glory that is due His name in every way that we must do so.

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

Jesus taught us to pray foremost about the hallowing of God’s name: “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name” (Matt. 6:9).

Unlike any other book of the Bible, Psalms teaches us in numerous ways about the hallowing of God’s Name. Every believer should feast on this glorious revelation from God!

Know/Remember/Trust in/Wait on/Love/Fear/Declare/Rejoice in/Glory in/Seek/Lift Up My Hands in/Call Upon

Know

Ps. 9:10 And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.

Remember

Ps. 20:7  Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.

Ps. 45:17 I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations: therefore shall the people praise thee for ever and ever.

Ps. 119:55 I have remembered thy name, O LORD, in the night, and have kept thy law.

Trust in

Ps. 33:21  For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name.

Wait on

Ps. 52:9 I will praise thee for ever, because thou hast done it: and I will wait on thy name; for it is good before thy saints.

Love

Ps. 5:11 But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.

Ps. 69:36  The seed also of his servants shall inherit it: and they that love his name shall dwell therein.

Ps. 119:132 Look thou upon me, and be merciful unto me, as thou usest to do unto those that love thy name.

Fear

Ps. 61:5 For thou, O God, hast heard my vows: thou hast given me the heritage of those that fear thy name.

Ps. 102:15  So the heathen shall fear the name of the LORD, and all the kings of the earth thy glory.

Ps. 86:11 Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.

Declare

Ps. 22:22 I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.

Ps. 102:21  To declare the name of the LORD in Zion, and his praise in Jerusalem;

Rejoice in

Ps. 89:12 The north and the south thou hast created them: Tabor and Hermon shall rejoice in thy name.

Ps. 89:16 In thy name shall they rejoice all the day: and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted.

Glory in

Ps. 105:3  Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD.

Seek

Ps. 83:16 Fill their faces with shame; that they may seek thy name, O LORD.

Lift Up My Hands in

Ps. 63:4 Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name.

Call on

Ps. 79:6 Pour out thy wrath upon the heathen that have not known thee, and upon the kingdoms that have not called upon thy name.

Ps. 80:18 So will not we go back from thee: quicken us, and we will call upon thy name.

Ps. 99:6  Moses and Aaron among his priests, and Samuel among them that call upon his name; they called upon the LORD, and he answered them.

Ps. 105:1  O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people.

Ps. 116:4  Then called I upon the name of the LORD; O LORD, I beseech thee, deliver my soul.

Ps. 116:13  I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD.

Ps. 116:17  I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD.

 

Give Glory to/Exalt/Glorify

Ps. 29:2  Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.

(Ps. 79:9 Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy name’s sake.)

Ps. 96:8  Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts.

Ps. 115:1 Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake.

 

Ps. 34:3  O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.

 

Ps. 86:9 All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name.

Ps. 86:12 I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore.

 

Give Thanks to

Ps. 106:47  Save us, O LORD our God, and gather us from among the heathen, to give thanks unto thy holy name, and to triumph in thy praise.

Ps. 122:4  Whither the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, unto the testimony of Israel, to give thanks unto the name of the LORD.

Ps. 140:13 Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name: the upright shall dwell in thy presence.

 

Bless

Ps. 96:2  Sing unto the LORD, bless his name; shew forth his salvation from day to day.

Ps. 100:4  Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

(Ps. 113:2  Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and for evermore.)

Ps. 145:1 <David’s Psalm of praise.> I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever.

Ps. 145:21  My mouth shall speak the praise of the LORD: and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.

 

Praise

Ps. 44:8 In God we boast all the day long, and praise thy name for ever. Selah.

(Ps. 48:10 According to thy name, O God, so is thy praise unto the ends of the earth: thy right hand is full of righteousness.)

Ps. 54:6 I will freely sacrifice unto thee: I will praise thy name, O LORD; for it is good.

Ps. 69:30  I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.

Ps. 74:21 O let not the oppressed return ashamed: let the poor and needy praise thy name.

Ps. 113:1  Praise ye the LORD. Praise, O ye servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD.

Ps. 135:1  Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the name of the LORD; praise him, O ye servants of the LORD.

Ps. 138:2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

Ps. 142:7 Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me.

Ps. 145:2 Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever.

Ps. 148:5  Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created.

Ps. 148:13  Let them praise the name of the LORD: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven.

Ps. 149:3  Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp.

 

Sing to/Sing Praise to/Sing Forth the Honor of

Ps. 7:17  I will praise the LORD according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the LORD most high.

Ps. 9:2 I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High.

Ps. 18:49 Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name.

Ps. 61:8 So will I sing praise unto thy name for ever, that I may daily perform my vows.

Ps. 66:2  Sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious.

Ps. 66:4 All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name. Selah.

Ps. 68:4  Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him.

(Ps. 69:30  I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.)

Ps. 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:

Ps. 135:3  Praise the LORD; for the LORD is good: sing praises unto his name; for it is pleasant.


I expect to be adding to this list and revising it from time to time as I continue to study the Psalms, Lord willing.

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

I have spent many years online discussing and debating issues with supporters of contemporary worship concerning what music Christians should and should not use in worship. I have had these discussions and debates on two Christian discussion forums, on Facebook, on my blog, and through email. Many of these interactions have involved daily conversations for extended periods.

Over the past 10 years or so, there have been quite a few occasions on which I have encountered notions from some supporters of contemporary worship that I knew to be false, but I did not know then how to answer them fully and specifically with Scripture. Through specifically praying and studying, God has granted me illumination of Scripture from more than nine key passages that specifically and decisively have answered these false notions!

In my praying to God about these matters, I have used several passages as the models for how I have prayed. I have not kept track, but I would not be surprised to learn that I have probably prayed along the lines of the following passages and sample prayers (some of these are not verbatim but only representative) many hundreds of times over the years:

2 Corinthians 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ

Heavenly Father, please grant me specific and clear insight into Thy Word that I would be mighty through Thee to the pulling down of strongholds, casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God in all my hearers, and please bring their every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.

1 Kings 3:9 Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? . . . 12 Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart.

Gracious God, please give to me a wise and understanding heart that I may discern between the good and the bad.

James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

Heavenly Father, I lack wisdom to know how to answer this wrong teaching. You have said that if any man lacks wisdom, he must ask of You Who gives liberally to all men and does not upbraid; and it will be given him. Do as You have said and grant me the wisdom that I need to answer this wrong teaching.

Proverbs 26:4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him. 5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.

Father, please grant that I would not answer these people according to their folly, lest I would become like them and please grant that I would answer them according to their folly so that they would not be wise in their own conceits.

Titus 1:9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

Holy Spirit, please fill me now and grant me all manner of skillfulness in every skillful aspect of answering these supporters of contemporary worship music so that I would be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince these gainsayers.

2 Timothy 2:7 Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.

Lord, as I carefully consider what Thou hast said in this passage, please grant me understanding in all things that Thou hast said in Thy Word.

Psalm 119:18 Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.

O God, I know and believe that the answers to every important question about what music is acceptable to Thee in worship are in Thy Word. Open thou mine eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy Law.

I praise, extol, and thank our Heavenly Father, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit for answering my prayers richly and specifically for illumination and wisdom about these matters repeatedly over the years! To God be the glory, great things He hath done!

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

Through the Bible for 2021!

November 6, 2021

This morning, I finished reading the Bible through for 2021! I praise God that He has seen fit to allow me another year of life in a country where I had the freedom to read the entire Bible one more time.

Lord willing, I hope to finish reading the Psalms at least one more time this year and read Revelation one more time by the end of the year.

Psalm 138:2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

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

2 Chronicles 33:18 Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh, and his prayer unto his God, and the words of the seers that spake to him in the name of the LORD God of Israel, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel. 19 His prayer also, and how God was intreated of him, and all his sin, and his trespass, and the places wherein he built high places, and set up groves and graven images, before he was humbled: behold, they are written among the sayings of the seers.

I have been studying the accounts about king Manasseh in 2 Kings 21 and 2 Chronicles 33 for some time now. Second Chronicles 33:19 has especially caught my attention because of what it reveals and where it says that information is revealed:

1. Exhaustive (?) information about Manasseh’s sinfulness

2. Specific details about his sinfulness that are explicitly stated: “the places wherein he built high places, and set up groves and graven images”

3. The revelation that this information was “written among the sayings of the seers,” who were prophets of God

Why has the Spirit inscripturated this information and thereby called our attention to the existence and recording of such detailed information about Manasseh’s sinfulness that is not provided in Scripture?

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

Scripture infallibly and inerrantly reveals that king Manasseh was a very wicked unbeliever who authentically had contact with multiple demons:

2 Kings 21:6 And he made his son pass through the fire, and observed times, and used enchantments, and dealt with familiar spirits and wizards: he wrought much wickedness in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.

2 Chronicles 33:6 And he caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.

We are not told what the nature of those dealings were or what he did so that he had those authentic encounters with demons.

We know with certainty that he did not get any information from any Scripture or from any godly prophet, priest, or other servant of God about how specifically to have those dealings with familiar spirits.

Considering in this way what has been revealed about Manasseh, we learn with certainty that without any need for any biblical information at all, unbelievers can and have had authentic encounters with demons and have known all that they needed to know and all that they needed to do to have such authentic encounters.

Conclusion

Because no biblical information is necessary for any unbeliever to know to have such authentic contact with demons, we do not have any basis to hold that they cannot have or have not had such authentic contact with demons in our day.

Because unbelievers can and have known all that they have needed to know and all that they have needed to do to have such contact, we have no basis to deny a priori the authenticity of such testimonies about contact with demons in our day.

Our not having specific biblical information about such occult practices does not mean in any way that we cannot know whether wicked people have had authentic encounters with demons in our day.

 

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

In God’s providence, He has directed me to spend a decade or more studying each of four different subjects. These subjects have been quite diverse.

Stewardship of the Physical Body

Prior to becoming a Christian, I earned a bachelor’s degree in Fitness Instruction and a master’s degree in Human Performance. After I was saved, God used that background to open up a graduate assistant position while I worked on a Masters in Bible.

After finishing that degree, He led me to serve on full-time staff for many years in helping believers be good stewards of their physical bodies.

During those years of coursework and ministry, I studied intensely everything that the Bible teaches about health, exercise, nutrition, and stewardship of the body. God gave me numerous opportunities over that time to speak to believers on these subjects.

Evangelism and Discipleship

Soon after I was saved, I became very active in evangelistic ministries successively in the two local churches that I have been a member of during my lifetime as a believer. All through those years, I studied intensely all that Scripture reveals about evangelism and discipleship ministries.

God gave me many opportunities to preach and teach on these subjects for a number of years, but it has been quite some time since I have had such opportunities. It’s puzzling to me that I have not had more opportunities to edify God’s people in this area.

Christ as God’s Judicial Agent

After having served for many years in ministering to believers about stewardship of their bodies and about evangelism and discipleship, God dramatically redirected me to return for seminary work in a doctoral program. During those very hard years of working on that degree, God directed me to study with a passion everything that He has revealed in Scripture about Christ as His judicial agent.

During the years of working on that degree and for about a year afterwards, God gave me many opportunities to preach and teach on passages concerning the topic of my dissertation. Remarkably, however, I have had very few opportunities to do so in the past decade.

Acceptable Music for Corporate Worship

For at least the last decade, God has dramatically shifted the focus of my studies and ministry opportunities to an exhaustive study of everything in the Bible about music and worship. He has directed me to immerse myself profoundly in the book of Psalms during these years, beginning in 2012.

God has led me to write numerous articles about what Scripture reveals about music and worship and has given me several opportunities to speak multiple times on these subjects in a few churches. I am also writing a book about what God has given me in this area of study over this past decade.

Conclusion

Reflecting on how God has directed me during my Christian lifetime, I find it striking that God has led me to so intensively study these four different subjects during that time. Seeing how God has dramatically changed the focus of my studies and ministries more than once in my life makes me wonder what God may have in store for me in whatever years He has left for me to serve Him in this life.

God has been faithful in all these things in spite of much unfaithfulness on my part throughout these years. To God be the glory for all that He has done for and through me!

 

 

 

 

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

Psalms is my favorite book of the Bible. From 1990 to 2011, I read the Psalms 25 times.

In the past decade, God has directed me to read the Psalms many more times than I had read in all my previous years.

Year Times That I Read the Psalms
2012 25
2013 1
2014 1
2015 1
2016 3
2017 4
2018 6
2019 4
2020 5
2021 41 2 3
Total (2012-2021) 541 2 3

Having now read the book 79 times in my life, I hope to make it to 80 by the end of 2021 and to 100 by the end of 2025, Lord willing.

I praise God for giving me a special decade of reading the Psalms from 2012-2021!


1Update on 11/28/21: I have now read the book through 6 times this year, 56 times from 2012 to 2021, and 81 times in my life!

2Update on 12/11/21: I have now read the book through 7 times this year, 57 times from 2012 to 2021, and 82 times in my life!

3Update on 12/24/21: I have now read the book through 8 times this year, 58 times from 2012 to 2021, and 83 times in my life!

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