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WHAT KIND OF MUSIC IS TRULY CHRISTIAN MUSIC?

I am putting this 4 lesson series as one lesson for our IF YOU COULD KNOW site of Born Again Lessons.  It seems that the one thing that most new Christians don’t realize is that their music is one of the biggest things that keeps them from moving as in our original illustration from the world on the left of our illustration to the right which represents being a Christian and SOLD OUT TO GOD.  Many times Christians change in every way but the thing that brings them down is their desire for the music of the world.  It has gotten so bad that when Larry Norman wrote the song, “Why Should the Devil Have All The Good Music,” that the whole “Christian” world decided that they did not need true Christian music and a new kind of music was developed called CCM music.  This is a video of Larry Norman destroying all that is good and right in music and replacing it with a new form of music which is clearly on the side of the world.  Don’t let CCM fool you with their “Christian Words.”  When you watch this video you will see that  there is nothing “Christan” about this kind of music and this lesson on the NEW SONG of a Christian will explain it very clearly by definitions from the Bible and also from the Music World.  The four lecctures entitled THE SYMPHONY OF LIFE SEMINAR are delivered by Dr. Frank Garlock of BOB JONES UNIVERSITY.  If there is anything that a Christian needs more than anything else besides prayer and reading the Bible, it is a NEW SONG as explained in this LESSON 28 of our series.

There are four lectures listed below:

1.  You’re Putting Me On

2.  The Message Is The Music

3.  Pop Goes The Music

4.  A New Song

(From notes on the SYMPHONY OF LIFE SEMINAR by Frank Garlock of Bob Jones University)

LECTURE – 1

“YOU’RE PUTTING ME ON”

If a person is carrying water from one place to another and they have a hole in the bottom of the bucket, they will lose all the water, even if the hole is small. Proverbs 17:14 says, “The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water…” We live in a generation where we have a hole in the bottom of our spiritual buckets. Hebrews 2:1 says, “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.” Christian young people in our day have punched a hole in the bottom of the bucket and all the water is running out. Unsaved people there is no bottom to the bucket.

When you go to a Christian school, (or church for that matter) and you got little or nothing out of prayer and reading the Bible, you have a hole in the bottom of your spiritual bucket. Our spiritual lives are leaking out because something is punching holes in our bucket of faith and convictions.

We will use the Bible and draw charts and if what I say cannot be backed up by the Bible, I’ll take back what I have said. Let’s look at Ephesians 5:10 – “Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.” Please try to memorize this verse and read Ephesians 4, 5, & 6.

Ephesians 4:22 says, “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts.” In this lecture we are calling it “You’re Putting Me On.” We see three things being said here in Ephesians. 1) Put off the Old Man. 2) Be renewed, and 3) Put on the New Man.

The Bible has a lot to say about new things in our lives. In II Corinthians 5:17 it says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” When the Bible talks about all things becoming new, it is also talking about music. We as Christians need to realize that when we got saved, God wanted us to have a new kind of music in our lives. Whenever the Bible tells us what to do it also tells us how.

Ephesians 5:10 gives us the key to all that God wants to teach us because He will show us how through the word of God. “Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.” Proving means testing. God wants us to test everything in our lives by the Word of God. If it does not measure up, we need to make a change. Imagine if you will that you get on a plane to fly to a distant town. Then imagine how you would feel if you found out that the plane had never been tested. Imagine further if you found out that the pilot had never flown a plane before. How long would you stay on the plane?

It is the same thing with spiritual things. Daniel 1:8 says, “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.” In verse 12 Daniel said, “Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink.” God always tests us beyond what He requires of us. God wants to see what we are made of and how dedicated we really are to Him.

Intoeis

People always say that music is a mater of personal taste. They have the mistaken impression that there is different music for different types of people. They think that young people have young music, and old people have old music. The question is not whether we are young or old but WHAT KIND OF MUSIC DOES GOD WANT? Again we get back to Ephesians 5:10 which says, “Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.” Imagine if you will two circles. Between those two circles is a line connecting the two circles. The one circle represents being sold out completely to the world. Ephesians 6:12 says, ” 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.” When one is sold out to the world they are at the mercy of the rulers of that world and they are serving Satan. The other circle represents being completely sold out to God. Anyone who is a Christian is supposed to be sold out to God and opposed to the world. That means that we Christians are to DO WHAT GOD SAYS. Let me ask you a question. DO YOU WANT TO DO WHAT GOD WANTS YOU TO DO?

Suppose that I could take the Bible and show you in the Bible that rock music * is wrong and that it is the world’s music. Suppose that I could show you that rock music * does not belong in the life of a Christian. Would you say, “If you could show me that rock music * is wrong, I’ll have nothing to do with it.”?

Our problem is not that we do not know what to do, but that we do know what to do and we do not do what we know and it becomes a hole in the bottom of the bucket that lets all the water run out of our spiritual lives. Teenagers today love sound more than they love God, they love the sound of the world’s music more than they love God. I would hate to think that it was my love for the music of the world that made a hole in the bottom of my spiritual bucket. I would hate to think that it was my love of rock music * that kept me from the will of God for my life. I would hate to stand before God some day and have to say, “I couldn’t serve you because I love the rock music * sound.”

A young man came to Frank Garlock and asked him the question, “Why do I hate myself?” Mr. Garlock took him to the chart described above and asked him where on the line between the two circles he would place himself between being totally sold out to the world, and being totally sold out to God. He placed himself in neither circle but at some point on the line between. You who are reading this article, place yourself between the two circles that we have drawn in your mind. Where do you stand?

Now, in your mind, draw a circle around the whole area between the two circles. Revelation 3:15,16 says, “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” We as Christians need to fear the Lord. We need to fear the presence and power of God in our lives. The story is told of a girl who was playing a prank in class. She was drawing an ugly picture of the teacher on the board at the front of the class. The teacher sneaked into the room behind the piano. She kept drawing and drawing. The rest of the class was cracking up because they knew the teacher was there all that time. When the bell rang, she started to go back to her seat. As she walked by the piano, the teacher stood up, RIGHT IN FRONT OF HER. She turned every shade of red and the expression on her face was that of horror and dismay, BECAUSE OF THE PRESENCE AND POWER OF THE TEACHER.

When you become aware of the presence and power of God you will realize that you cannot hide anything from Him and you will suddenly have the fear of the Lord come into your mind. The reason that people do not fear the Lord today is that they have forgotten that God is a holy and righteous God that cannot stand the sight of sin. When you become aware of that fact, you will have the fear of God. If you don’t have this reverential fear, then you don’t know God.

The verse above in Revelation says that when we are in the middle, God wants to spew us out of His mouth. Revelation 3:17 says, “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” Do you see what happens? When you are not either sold out to God or the world, you are in the middle. That means you are lukewarm. That means that you are wretched and miserable, and poor and BLIND, and naked. God actually says that when you are neither cold nor hot, you have become blind. Let’s learn the principle of blindness.

I Corinthians 2:7,8 says, “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:” The strange thing about the wisdom of God is that the Devil is blinded by his own evil. The very place where he thought he was winning, Christ won instead. But after all these years, he still has not changed. He thinks that he will win. II Thessalonians 2:10-12 says, “And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.” Read these verses again and answer the question, who sends them the strong delusion? The answer is, God does. When you will not receive the truth that God has for you, He will send you a strong delusion to believe in, a lie. Anton Levay, minister of the Church of Satan in California a few years back, had 5,000 members of which 2,000 members came from fundamental Bible believing churches. These are all people that heard the truth but did not act upon the truth that they heard. Because of that, they are worshiping the devil.

When you study the field of rock musicians shows the same thing. Alice cooper said that his father was a preacher. Elvis Presley grew up in church. Joe Cocker and Tad Stevens have the same story. James Taylor said “Don’t give us any of the cop out, ‘The Bible tells me so,’ we don’t want that kind of thinking.” There is a group that sings “Heaven is a four-letter word.”

You may be reading this or some other things that have been said about rock music *, and you may say, “I just don’t see it.” WATCH OUT! John 3:3 says, “Except a man be born again, he CANNOT SEE the kingdom of God.” Maybe you’re thinking, “He has some good points, but I’ve got some good points too.” Then James 4:17 is true, “To him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” There is a difference between not being able to see, and seeing it and not doing it. If you can see it and still won’t do it, it is a sin.

In II Peter 1:1 the phrase “like precious faith” is talking about people that are saved. Then in verse five it says, “add to your faith.” Ephesians 4:15 says, “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.” God is teaching us in these verses that we should be growing, never standing still as a Christian. You are either getting closer to God or getting further away. Peter says in II Peter 1:9 “But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.” This is talking about a Christian that doesn’t obey the truth. This means that a person has become blind because he is lukewarm. He is neither how nor cold. He is neither sold out to the World, nor sold out to God.

Here is a statement that you should write down and remember: Character is a set of beliefs that result in consistent behavior.

The Mafia has character, but it is bad character. They are, at least, consistent. Christians should also be consistent. Have you ever heard someone that cannot carry a tune? If they cannot tell what is wrong but they say that they will sing right just for the teacher, they will sing wrong again when they leave to go home. If the teacher can get the student to hear what he hears, then the student will be like the teacher. That is what Christian Character is all about. We get close to the Lord and he teaches us through the Word of God and after awhile we begin to think like God does.

You can be born again but remain lukewarm if you never learn Christian Character. The way to get Christian Character is to say, “I want God’s best for my life, I want to be sold out for God.” The interesting thing is that people who are sold out to God know what is going on. Also people that are sold out for the world have better eye sight than those that are lukewarm. Let me show you what I mean.

Harper Valley Magazine, April 1972, in an article by Joan Pazer who writes for the Sunday New York Times and also writes for Rock magazines, rock books and is not opposed to rock music * but is in favor of it, makes some statements. She was asked to go to New York City, not some southern town in the Bible Belt. She interviewed music students who were studying to be musicians. After several weeks and thousands of students at schools like Juliard, she had a report. Of all the thousands of music students, she found only ONE student that liked rock music* named Marty. She told him that she had not found one student that had come to SERIOUS MUSIC from ROCK. He answered, “The problem with Rock is that it’s defining limits are visceral rather than cerebral.” Visceral means physical or sensual. Cerebral means intellectual or mental. He says, “It is a visceral form of self expression and volume is often used to cover up a lack of technique.” He says this and likes it. Conclusion? Real serious musicians in New York City say that rock music* is junk, not worth having. They can see better than lukewarm Christians.

YOU CANNOT USE ROCK MUSIC* TO REACH OUT TO THE WORLD BECAUSE IT DOES NOT COMMUNICATE TO ALL THE WORLD. Norman Nadel, when talking about “Jesus Christ, Superstar” says, “Jesus of Nazareth deserves far better.” Time Magazine said of the rock opera, “Rarely has so much conceit, commercial cynicism, bad taste, musical ignorance, and all around incompetence been within the grooves of a single LP, it has something to offend everyone.” Time Magazine of July 30, 1973 in talking about the film version of Superstar called it, “an epistle from the Philistines.” Newsweek Magazine in July 9, 1973 talking about Superstar says, “It’s one of the true fiasco’s of the modern Cinema. It has fatal foolishness everywhere. We danced and sang and Jesus was crucified and a good time was had by all, Lord forgive them, they knew not what they were doing.”

That was years ago. At that time there were stupid Christians that thought of the rock opera as a way to get the Gospel out to the lost world, while the world was saying that it was trash. They were obviously lukewarm Christians.

There was a book out a few years ago called THE GREENING OF AMERICA. In that book, it talks of a revolution in our country called, “Consciousness Three.” Charles Ryke of Yale University wrote it. He talks about two things that give away who is in the revolution. On page 251, he says, “A good place to begin is clothes, for the dress of the new generation expresses a number of the major themes of Consciousness Three in a vary vivid and immediate way. The clothes are earthly and sensual.” DO YOU KNOW HOW TO DRESS PROPERLY AS A CHRISTIAN? There are five standards that God gives us. Men should dress like men, and women should dress like women. Men ought to look like a man without any question, and a woman ought to look like a woman without any question.

I Timothy 2:9 says, “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;” Shamefacedness means being embarrassed toward men and with meekness toward God. Sobriety means having good sense. I Peter 3:3 says, “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel” (4) “But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” Here, notice the words, “meek” and “quiet spirit.” God is saying that we should dress to draw attention to our character. The reason that the world dresses like it does is that they don’t want you to see their character. What part of the body shows your character? The answer is your face. You should dress to draw attention to your face.

Continuing the quotation from the book above, “The clothes are extremely expressive of the human body. They make one conscious of the body. The new clothes make the wearer conscious of his own body. They are a declaration of sensuality.” Continuing on page 254 it says, “These costumes do not hide the real person, they show a state of mind and thus reveal him to us.” Page 257 says, “The new clothes express a new set of shared attitudes and values.” This is Charles Ryke of Yale University. He is describing the dress and attitudes of the world. IF CHRISTIANS DO NOT BELIEVE LIKE THE WORLD, THEY SHOULD NOT DRESS LIKE THEM. The world says that if you dress like them, you share their attitudes and values.

Don’t you hate a hypocrite? The worst ones are people that are born again Christians to try to look and dress and act like the world. You are trying to tell the world that you are not different from them. Dr. Jack Hyles was with two long-haired hippies that claimed to be saved. He made the statement that he could not tell by appearance. “That is the trouble with you fundamentalists, you are always judging by appearance,” they said. “How did you know I was a fundamentalist?” Dr. Hyles said, “That’s the trouble with you hippies, always judging by appearance.” About that time a Sailor came walking by. “Hello, soldier.” Dr. Hyles said. “That’s a Sailor, not a Soldier,” replied the hippies. “That’s the trouble with you hippies, always judging by appearance.”

Isaiah 3:9 says, “The shew of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! For they have rewarded evil unto themselves.” What the Bible is saying here is that their appearance is a DEAD GIVEAWAY. A mature Christian can tell who are the rebellious teens in a church by their countenance. Picture, if you will a person trying to describe joy with a frown on their face. How convincing do you think that they would be? Picture again a guy walking like a girl and claiming to be a real man. IF YOU SAY THAT YOU ARE A BORN AGAIN CHRISTIAN THEN YOU BETTER LOOK LIKE IT.

What else does Charles Ryke from Yale University say will tell who is in the revolution? Page 260 says, “When we turn to the music of consciousness Three, we come to the chief medium of expression, the chief means by which inner feelings are communicated. Music has become the deepest means of communication and expression for an entire culture. It expresses raunchy, sweaty sex.”

We live in a country that has become sensual in every aspect of their lives. The way they dress, the way that they talk, the things that they read, their music, and even their religion has become sensual. Romans 13:14 says, “…make not provision for the flesh.” The truth is that as Christians, WE SHOULD BE DIFFERENT FROM THE WORLD. I John 2:15 says, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” James 4:4 says, “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”

Matthew 7:13,14 says, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” It is not popular to dress like and have the music of a Christian. The world is going down a broad road to destruction. We should not be like them. We will be thought to be strange. But it does not matter. People can see what we are by the way we dress and the type music that we like.

In the 70’s the musicians that were influencing the teens were Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones, and Alice Cooper. Alice Cooper would take a couple of live hamsters and squeeze them in his hands unto the blood runs out through his fingers. He would take a doll and pour out what looked like blood, chopping off the arms and legs and throwing them out to the audience. He even did a simulated hanging of himself. People said, “I know that is wrong.” But they were not against the Partrige family, Bobby Sherman, Jackson five, who is now Michael Jackson. Today we have Madonna, Ozman Brothers and others.

You say that it has some elements of good along with the bad. Let me ask you a question? What if you had a steak and it was 50% steak and 50% salt. Would it be good? How about 75% steak and 25% salt? Both would be bad, wouldn’t they?

Parade magazine, in January 21, 1973 said, “Young girls are attracted to safe figures with whom they can engage in sexual fantasies.” Talking about the Ozmans, it says, “the Ozmans provide that safe, secure, non threatening image. That’s why the teeny-boppers identify with them, their music and their by-products. The basis of it all, without Michael (Jackson) and Donny (Ozman), the Jackson five, and the Ozmans would lack the Sexual catalyst to attract that breed of pre-teens, so eager to buy their own records, attend their concerts, and indulge their preconscious sexual fantasies, that basis of it all.”

Mild rock * is the Marijuana of the rock field, and the step mother to the harder stuff. Soft rock is the step to the harder stuff, and so is Christian Rock*. Even melancholy music, moody blues, has the world’s philosophies, and country music is where rock used to be.

We do not get what is going on. A man was trying out chauffeurs. He decided to test them to see who was the best. He took them to a mountain road with a steep drop off. He asked the first one how close he could get without going off the edge. He said within two feet. The second said that he could get within one foot. But when he asked the third one, he replied, “I don’t know about the other two, but I am going to stay as far away from the edge as possible.” We as Christians should not want 50%, 25%, 10%, or even 5% salt. We need to get all the way back to God’s standard. WE NEED TO STAY AS FAR AWAY FROM THE EDGE AS POSSIBLE.

II Corinthians 10:12 says, “For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” We are so stupid. We can always find someone worse than us. The problem is that if we do that we are not wise. WHAT WE NEED TO START DOING, IS TO MEASURE OURSELVES BY WHAT GOD WANTS. “Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.” Ephesians 5:10.

DO YOU WANT WHAT GOD WANTS FOR YOU? Then you need to be willing to be Sold out to God, EVEN IF IT MEANS CHANGING YOUR MUSIC AND STYLE OF DRESS.

(Written from lecture one by Frank Garlock)

(From Symphony of Life Seminar by Frank Garlock)

LECTURE TWO

THE MUSIC IS THE MESSAGE

There is nothing wonderful about having a hard heart and not being able to be moved by God or by things that move normal people. The more you let the Devil give you an emotional, synthetic experience with Rock* and that kind of thing, the less you will be able to respond to God. It is the hyper-emotional synthetic experience that will keep you from that which is real and genuine. Remember the verse that was used in the first lecture, Ephesians 5:10. “Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.”

A pastor in Birmingham turned on a Christian station that was playing hard rock. He could not believe what he was hearing. He then turned on a secular station that had good music playing on it. The Christian station was far worse than the secular station. You may say, “That was his opinion.” Let me ask you a question. What kind of music does God want us to have? Ephesians 5:11 says, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” The Bible is telling us that we are to reprove evil. Ephesians 5:6 says, “Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.” God says that we should not allow “vain words” to deceive us.

What the Devil does in rock music* is to take the words and empty them of their meaning. This means that no real communication exists. There is a book called The Treasure of Our Tongue, which says, (written by Lincoln Barnett) “The trend in all art forms has been AWAY FROM COMMON EXPERIENCE and common understanding and in the direction of the indefinable, the liking for the ambiguous and mystical. This is at the bottom of a love of confusion. The key word in our day is confusion. No one seems to understand what is going on, (and we know that God is not the author of confusion). Words do nothing if they are emptied of meaning. Words work only when men agree what their components mean….John Cage says, ‘I have nothing to say and I am saying it, and that is poetry as far as I need it.’ If you were to ask a neo-orthodox person or a neo-evangelical person about the inspiration of the Bible, they would say that Shakespeare was just as talented. If you ask them if Jesus is the Divine Son of God, they will say we are sons of God too. We even need to define Jesus and being born again.

In this lesson we will show you how this is happening with rock music*. The rock musicians* are taking away the meaning of words deliberately and they do it deliberately to trick young people. What is happening to us today is like taking a frog and placing him in a tank that is heated so gradually that the frog will not jump out and he boils to death. In the same way Christians have compared themselves with the world by staying a certain “safe” distance but they don’t realize that the world has moved and now they are where the world used to be. When we do that and fail to compare ourselves with the Bible, we make a big mistake.

John Lennon said, “It’s the same message, but now it’s sugar coated. It’s anti-religious, anti- nationalistic, anti-conventional, and anti- capitalistic, but now I understand what you have to do, PUT YOUR MESSAGE ACROSS WITH A LITTLE HONEY.” They call this sweet rock or soft rock*. It is sugar coated, with honey on it, so even Christian people will swallow it and think it is good, but don’t realize that the message is still the same and that they have changed things around so that the Christians won’t catch on. Lennon says, “People have always turned to music to express their feelings about the problems of life. Music has served as an expression and reflection of the problems of life. Music has served as an expression and reflection of the problems of our society. Music tells you what is going on. You study the music and you can realize what is happening.”

In Readers Digest Magazine, June, 1973, it says, “What sound to us like expressions of futility and despair, are to the young lyrics speaking about freedom, if freedom may be taken to mean a rejection of responsibility. It is a defiant tongue that takes pleasure in this language, primitive, vulgar, undisciplined.” What they are saying is that the language of rock music* is the language of rebellion. Language of rebellion is not something that a Christian should desire in his life, because it is also rebellion against God and the Word of God. Because of that we Christians should want nothing to do with it. We seem to think that it is bad only if the words are bad, but I would say that if rock music* is good, then prove what is right with it. We think that it is bad only if the words talk about illicit sex or drugs and then it is wrong. NO, IT IS THE MUSIC ITSELF THAT IS BAD. THE WORDS ONLY LET YOU KNOW WHAT THE MUSIC ALREADY SAYS. Even if excellent words are put with a rock beat, the music changes the meaning of the words.

A recording is played during the lecture of a famous hymn of the “Lord’s Prayer.” The music is so overpowering that the words can scarcely be distinguished. Frank Garlock has to explain that this is the “Lord’s Prayer.” He shows by demonstrating how the music cancels the words. You could demonstrate the same thing if you were to stand in front of a crowd with a big frown on your face and then say that you are happy. In the rock opera Godspell, which is played by way of illustration, (sound bites only) all are dressed like clowns, with faces white and lips and cheeks red. Steven Schwartz, who wrote it says that “Christianity is the biggest myth around, and I am going to show what a myth it is by making a joke out of it.” What he did is to take the words of Scripture and made them into a joke by putting them with a rock music* beat. (Ad this point in the lecture Frank Garlock plays parts of “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord,” “God Save the People,” and “Day by Day.” This is what is called sweet rock*. It is one of the early attempts at putting Christian words with the devil’s music and the whole purpose was always to make a joke on Christianity. The words are not bad because they are taken out of Scripture, but the music is saying the exact opposite of the words and that is what the writer intended to do. It is a clever and funny dirty joke. This is just as much blasphemy as if someone stood and cursed God to the face. This music is not a means of getting the Gospel out but of bringing God down and blaspheming Him to His face.

In a book called “Rock music*” by William J. Shaeffer, it says on page 13, “We must look at rock as one principle dialect in the language of culture.” He says that the music is a language that tells you what is going on. On page 25, he says, “There is no separation of form and content in Rock since they are fused as a continuous experience, a package of simultaneous impressions and feelings.” You cannot take sacred words and put rock music* to it because it does not work. He says, “You cannot separate the message of the rock music*.” On page 61, he says, “Rock commentators often describe the music as a sharing of consciousness, a connection of sensibilities beyond the verbal level; communication without words, without verbal conceptualization.” They view Rock as an organic nucleus of culture, a part of the basic tissue of their lives. On page 62, he says, ” Rock as a mythopied force, a tool for altering consciousness.” What he is saying is that the music is a tool to alter the consciousness, it is actually a way of thinking on its own. IF YOU WANT TO LEARN TO THINK LIKE THE WORLD, THEN LISTEN TO ROCK MUSIC*. On page 73, he says, “Regardless of what ideology is inserted into the music, rock’s effect is to concentrate the listener’s reactions on THE INSTANT, ON HIMSELF INCLOSED IN THE INSTANT, rock shows an EXISTENTIAL ATTITUDE, it is home made existentialism.” On page 75 he says, “What the music says is at a level below words.” He is saying, don’t listen to the words because the words don’t matter. “The mythology of rock has communicated itself through the music itself. They exist as powerful states of consciousness, for the young who will hear rock through their flesh and bones. Rock has acted as a catalyst, a force uniting ideas and feelings, it is a medium, rock is a cult of irrationality, a reverence for the instinctual, the visceral (sensual), and a distrust of reason and logic. This form of anti-intellectualism can be highly dangerous, and can lead to totalitarian modes of thought and action. Linked with this anti-intellectualism is an interest in the occult, magic, superstition, exotic religious thought, anything contrary to the main currents of Western thought. Also directly connected is an obsession with the unconscious mind. The force of drug culture has been its promise to reveal the hidden instinctual man, to free the individual from restrictions and limitations of his conscious mind and his gross physical body.” He is saying that rock music* is closely linked to the occult and thus the very essence of rock music* would fit in the realm of idolatry which is an abomination to the Lord.

In the book “Greening of America,” after talking about how words mean nothing, he says, “music, on the other hand says all the things they want to say or feel.” For a Christian, having rock music* with Christian words is their last link with the world. The Scripture teaches that we are dead to the world in Christ. Rebellious Christians know that drinking, drugs, smoking, and sex are bad, but won’t give up their evil music. IF YOU WANT TO REALLY BE SOLD OUT TO GOD, THEN GIVE THE MUSIC UP. THEN YOU CAN REALLY BE SOLD OUT TO GOD. Don’t put your rock music* in a closet, destroy it. The only thing that should be done with trash is to destroy it. Ephesians 5:17 says, “Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.” AS LONG AS YOU HANG ON TO THE WORLD AND IT’S MUSIC, YOU WILL NEVER KNOW GOD’S WILL FOR YOUR LIFE. YOU NEED TO MAKE A COMPLETE BREAK.

There are three ways that music affects you. We see examples over and over in the Scripture. In I Samuel 16:23, it says, “and it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.” Here we see three things:

1. Saul was refreshed – a physical response. Music affects your body. If you play a march or a college fight song you can feel your foot moving to the beat of the music. In an article, “MUSIC IS GOOD MEDICINE FOR CURING ULCERS,” the author writes, “Music is good medicine for curing ulcers and other illnesses caused by stress.” In DISTRAUGHT MUSICIANS, it says, “musicians who perform works that are too loud, they involve loud electronic sounds, can expect to suffer stomach ulcers, heart problems, and insomnia. 60% of musicians in major orchestras suffer considerable discomfort from performing such works.” Music affects your body. With an electroencephalogram they found that a musician will move every muscle in his body, just sitting in his chair listening to an orchestral work.

a. Ultrasonics – sounds above your hearing range. Newsweek Magazine says “The Virginia Electric and Power Company has come up with a novel experiment for keeping fish away from danger. The company has installed four underwater loud speakers, near the water intakes in its plant on the James River in Surrey, Virginia. The program, raucous rock music* from a local rock station and blaring twenty-four hours a day.” The fish can’t stand it. The thing that does it is Ultrasonics. Only a jet engine or an amplifier can produce ultrasonics. One can buy an amplifier strong enough to produce an earthquake, and to hear a rock band twenty miles away. Be careful about ear phones. Symphony orchestras are not that loud but the sound from an amplifier can permanently damage ear cells. Some teenagers have 65 year old ears from listening to too much rock music* and playing it too loud. b. Infrasonics – sounds that are below your hearing range. If you get the sound to 7 cycles per second it will greatly affect you, giving you a high, getting you stoned without drugs. Your body will produce some drugs of its own just from hearing the sound. “The scientists said that the test nearly cost us all our lives, luckily we were able to turn it off fast. All of us were sick for hours, everything in us was vibrating.” This is an article about a scientific experiment using Infrasonics. When the vibrations were down to 7 cycles per second, they found that they thought they could kill people up to five miles away with nothing but sound. (Read about the new technology called “EMP”)  That is what is happening to the new music with bass so loud that it shakes houses as the cars with speakers in the trunk pass by. Just watch “American Bandstand” or “Soul Train” with the sound turned off. Look at the movement that is caused by the music. MUSIC AFFECTS THE BODY. If that is the standard, then what type of motions go with your music. Is it tapping the foot, or moving like “Soul Train.” And then ask yourself if you could move your body like that “as unto the Lord” just because there were some Christian words thrown in to make it alright.

2. Saul was made well – music affected his mind. “Rock is a method for altering consciousness.” Psychotherapeutic music is played in mental hospitals as a medicine for the mind, to help mental patients. Autioanalgesia is a way of using music or sound in such a way as to limit pain during an operation. It is used by dentists instead of pain killer. With a set of ear phones and a dial in your lap, he asks you to turn the dial when he starts drilling until you cannot feel the pain. 80% of people can do this and never feel pain. One badly burned boy was able to kill his pain with this but it damages the ears. A rock station manager was asked a question one time, “How could you clean up rock music*?” He said, “Eliminate the repetition, the beat, and the volume.” They responded, “Then it wouldn’t be rock music*.” Rock music* can be defined as REPETITION, BEAT, AND VOLUME. Repetition is alright in music as long as it is in STRICT CONTROL. Frank Garlock tells about someone making chili and instead of putting 7 teaspoons of chili into the mix, they put 7 ounces. He makes the point that chili powder is ok as long as it is under STRICT CONTROL. He plays a number by “Grand Funk” where a phrase is repeated endlessly throughout the number. He mentions a number by the “Monkeys” where the number lasts 2 minutes and 15 seconds and the words “going down” are repeated 85 times.

That would be equivalent to your mother saying, “Make the bed,” over and over and over for one LOUD HOUR. What would you do? The reason that you would go crazy is the repetition. One of the key things that is used in hypnotizing people is repetition, and that is what the Devil does through the music and then he feeds you with all kinds of devilish philosophy. When someone is hypnotized you can give him subtle suggestions, and he will not remember getting the suggestion but he will do what you told him to do. Sex, drugs, and other things are fed to your mind when you don’t expect by rock music*. The Devil anesthetizes your will, your mind, and your spirit. Prayer, Sunday School, and other things cannot cancel the rock music* in your mind. The average teen listens to rock 4-6 hours a day according to Ralf Nader. Listening to rock music* is what makes you a fool. You are being brainwashed by your worst enemy. In the book, “Rock music*” on page 79 it says, “What is undeniable about rock is its hypnotic power, it has gripped millions of young people around the world and transformed their lives.” You cannot study better and listen to rock. The very root word of music is muse which means to think. Amuse means not to think. “Rock is auto- intellectual music. One either fights it and leaves, or loses oneself in it in a trance-like state.” Even those that write the music are telling us here that rock music* is hypnotic music to keep you from thinking. Let me challenge you. Try to go thirty days with ABSOLUTELY NO ROCK MUSIC*. Spend the time that you would have used with the music reading the Word of God. If you are a teenager, your grades will definitely improve.

3. THE EVIL SPIRIT DEPARTED FROM HIM. Music affects you spiritually. MUSIC HAS SPIRITUAL POWER. Donovan says, “Rock is the perfect religious vehicle.” The book “Rock Beyond Woodstock” says, “Rock became a religion, a way to God.” The Devil is out to get you spiritually. He wants you to worship him even if it means using his music with some Christian words in it. Occult music with Christian words does not mean it is Christian. We will show in the next lecture what the basic elements of music are and how Christian music differs from rock music*. Romans 12:1,2 says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” God says “present your bodies” because he knows that you cannot go anywhere without your body. When young ladies learn this they will keep their bodies properly covered, because their bodies do not belong to the men on the street, but they belong to God. We are to be a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God. As we said in Ephesians 5:10, “Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.” Are you keeping yourselves acceptable unto the Lord? “And be not conformed to this world.” Many Christians are like Jell-O. “And be ye transformed,” which means metamorphosis, “by the renewing of your mind.” God wants your mind. What if your mind had a television screen that showed what you think? Would you want people to see your thoughts?

Isaiah 26:3 says, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” Philippians 2:5 says, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 4:23,24 says, “And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

All these verses have to do with the mind. What you think about is what you will become. You can control your mind if you want to. You can live without the hypnotic influence of rock music* if you want to. “That ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” “Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.” When you give your body, mind, and spirit to God, you will then know what the will of God is for your life. The questions that you have had up to now will start to be answered.

ARE YOU WILLING TO FIX THE HOLE IN THE BOTTOM OF YOUR SPIRITUAL BUCKET?

(From notes on the Symphony of Life Seminar by Frank Garlock)

(Notes from the Symphony of Life Seminar, by Frank Garlock)

Lecture 3

POP GOES THE MUSIC

I am going to give you something that you can use that will be a tremendous help to you. We as Christians should have songs of testimony that are filled with God and what He has done. Even songs of testimony should be directed to God and not centered in me. We should have songs that are not primarily about our feelings. This lecture is called “Pop goes the Music.” Galatians 5:16 says, “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.”

THE REASON THAT SO MANY PEOPLE LIKE ROCK MUSIC* IS THAT IT APPEALS TO THE FLESH. Rock music* appeals to the ADAM or carnal nature. There is a story told by an old Indian man that talks of the two natures within each of us. When asked which one wins the battle, the old Indian said it was the one that is fed the most. That is true, but what God wants us to do is not to feed the old man but to crucify him. Galatians 5:24 says, “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” When we do that, we will not like or listen to the wrong kind of music.

WHAT ARE THE PRINCIPLES OF GOOD MUSIC? This is what we are going to talk about. The one word that symbolizes all good music is VARIETY or BALANCE, not necessarily equal proportions. The two main elements of music are:

TENSION

RELAXATION

Symphony music has a mixture of tension and relaxation. As one listens to any major symphonic masterpiece, they can hear the balance between tension and relaxation. There are times when the music builds to a climax and then there are other times that it gets soft and relaxed. All good music is like that in balancing tension and relaxation. The elements of tension are always under strict control. Remember the illustration that we used about something being 50% salt. That would be too much. In the same way, music with too much tension is out of balance. It needs to be under strict control.

EVEN THOUGH THERE ARE MANY KINDS OF ROCK MUSIC*, THEY ARE ALL BAD BECAUSE THEY ARE ALL SENSUAL. Rock music* is like taking a basket of bad apples and putting one good one into the basket with the bad ones. The good one will never make the bad ones good, but the bad ones will make the one good one bad. Rock music*ians have even taken classical music and put a rock beat to it to make it more appealing. I heard “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” with a rock beat. It completely destroyed the music. They have done the same with Bach, the New World Symphony, Gospel music, Master the Tempest is Raging, and even children’s Sunday School songs.

Galatians 5:17 that we read earlier says that the flesh and the spirit are contrary one to another. Good music has the elements under strict control. Here are the elements of tension and the elements of relaxation:

TENSION

1. Rhythm 2. Repetition 3. High tones 4. Dissidence 5. Volume

RELAXATION

1. Melody 2. Variety 3. Low notes 4. Consonance 5. Softness

THE TROUBLE WITH ROCK MUSIC* IS THAT IT IS MADE UP ALMOST ENTIRELY OF TENSION (99%). Rock music* has taken the elements of tension from several previous popular styles:

1. Blues 2 Rag Time 3. Dixie Land 4. Bee Bop 5. Jazz

Rock music* takes the elements of tension out of these styles and combines them all into one style which is 99% tension. One musician spent one whole week listening to 1000 rock record long-play albums and found only three songs with a legitimate modulation in them. Most never even changed keys.

An article on rock music* says, “Rock is so loud that you can’t disturb it, it creates its own environment, creating its own surroundings, it’s over powering, and it’s primitive ritualism. One either fights it and leaves, or immerses oneself in it in a trance like state. Rock is more than just music, it is connected with a number of political, sociological, aesthetic and other questions.” They are saying that rock is built almost completely on tension, it overpowers those who listen to it. NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO TO IT, IT WILL STILL AFFECT YOU. IT IS GARBAGE. It is deliberately written to be sensual, it is calculated by the Devil and the world to trap you.

We have seen what the Bible said in I Samuel 16:23 about the effects of music upon King Saul when David played for him. Every human is made up of three parts and they are placed here in the order of importance in spiritual life:

1. Spirit – the most important part of a man. 2. Soul – the nest in importance. 3. Body – the least important

When these are in the proper perspective a man will have freedom and walk in the Spirit. The spirit of a man is where the Holy Spirit dwells. The Soul and Body are to be in subjection to the spirit and ultimately the Holy Spirit. True freedom in Christ comes from following the laws of the spirit and submitting to the authority that is over us. What would it be like if all the motorists on the freeways were allowed to travel at any speed that they wanted? Would that be freedom? No, it would be disaster. What would happen in our lives if the body was in authority with the soul and spirit being second and third in the line of authority? The Bible calls it Sensuality. Ephesians 4:17-19 says, “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart.”

The result of walking in the flesh is 1) having the understanding darkened, 2) being alienated from the life of God, and 3) having the heart blinded. Romans 1:24 describes the state of those that walk in the flesh and away from God, “Wherefore God also gave them up unto uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:” The end result will be that God will give a person up to uncleanness in defiling their body, and to vile affections in craving things that are wrong. God is not looking for talent as much as He is for faithfulness. Anyone can be good and faithful. Romans 1:28 says that God gave them over to a reprobate mind. Because they lived sensual lives, they polluted their mind and their spirit.

THE TYPE OF MUSIC YOU RESPOND TO SHOWS WHAT IS INSIDE YOU AND WHAT PART OF YOU IS IN CONTROL IN YOUR LIFE. Ephesians 5:18,19 says, “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” We are to be filled with the Spirit. We are to be singing and making MELODY. The melody is the part in music to which your spirit responds. The word MELODY comes from two Greek words that means a singer of praises, or odes to God. Even the word melody means to praise God. This means that our MELODY should be as accurate as the Christianity that it portrays.

What are some perversions that are used even in the singing of a melody in Christian music? 1) Using the technique of a jazz musician to scoop into the notes rather than hit them dead on. This also goes along with a tenant of the rock culture that there are no absolutes. 2) Singing Christian music with a breathy voice. One can picture a woman singing with a breathy voice singing into the mike in almost a whisper, and slurring the notes as she sings. This is a sensual form of music. It makes the listener too close to the singer. One is in the intimate zone of a person that has to whisper. The melody should be as accurate as the music it portrays.

The MIND responds to the HARMONY, just as the spirit responds to the MELODY. The Soul is the joining place between the spirit and the body. If you know what a scale is in music, try to imagine a scale being played up to the seventh note, and never arrive at the final, or eighth, note or the root. The result is that you cringe at the sound. The human ear requires the harmonic sound to conclude with the tonic note or the eighth note of the scale.

The RHYTHM is the part that appeals to the BODY. Any music that is worth listening to has rhythm that is no different than the pulse in the body. When the pulse becomes either dead or over worked it becomes out of balance. Christian music should be that which has the pulse under strict control. When you have wild Christian music where the beat is out of control, then it ceases to be Christian music no matter what words are placed with the music. At that point it becomes sensual. The beat or sensuality completely cancels out any message that the words are trying to portray and it literally becomes blasphemy. Real Christian music is FIRST MELODY, THEN HARMONY, and THEN RHYTHM and all of these under strict control.

A rock song that illustrates how the basic premise of rock music* is sensual because of the beat is as follows:

“Give me the beat boys and fill my soul. I want to get lost in your rock and roll, And drift away. Don’t want no melody, don’t want no harmony, But give me the beat boys and fill my soul I want to get lost in your rock and roll And drift away.”

THEY GAVE IT AWAY!!!! They don’t want any melody, THAT IS THE SPIRITUAL PART. They don’t want any harmony, THAT IS THE INTELLECTUAL PART.

ROCK MUSIC* IS ANTI-SPIRITUAL and ANTI- INTELLECTUAL music. THEY WANT THE BEAT. They want the FLESH that they can get lost in. THEY WANT TO GET LOST IN SENSUALITY. A Christian should not want this if he is a new creature in Christ as the Bible says. We should be new creatures with new desires and that means that we should want a NEW SONG. A Christian should only want God’s best, that which makes him be what God wants him to be. It makes all the difference in the world. The question is, “WHAT DOES GOD WANT ME TO HAVE?” What we need to do is to ask God to change our desires. Do as it says in Ephesians 5:10 – “Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.”

(Written from notes taken from the Symphony of Live Seminar by Frank Garlock)

LECTURE 4

A NEW SONG

We want to call what we are talking about in this section learning to use the “principle of replacement.” Ephesians 4:22-25 says, “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another.” God is telling us here to put off the old man, the old ways, the old clothes, the old ideas, the old principles, and the old music. God wants our lives to be different.

We are also told to redeem the time because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:16 says, “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Life is short and we have a huge battle to fight. We cannot fight that battle with no armor. Ephesians 6 talks about how we are to stand because we are in the evil days. Ephesians 5:10 says, “Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.” In the day that we live and with the battle on our hand on every side, we need to have a new song in our hearts unto the Lord. God told us to put off some things, and He also told us to put on some things. God wants us to put a NEW SONG into our hearts.

Ephesians 2:1 says, “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; (2) Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:” God says that the old man is dead and we have been given new life. That new life is to be different. Galatians 2:20 says, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” When we are crucified with Christ the old man dies. We put off the old man with his desires and ways. We put off the old man with his music as well. God does not want us to be like the world. Ephesians 2:2,3 says, “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” God wants us to not have the spirit of the world, but be filled with the Spirit of the Lord.

Ephesians 2:4,5 says, “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)” God has done a wonderful thing to those of us who were dead in sins. He has made us alive in Christ. There is a story of a man who was rich. When he died, he was buried in his Cadillac sitting behind the wheel. As the Cadillac was being lowered into the grave someone said, “Boy, that’s really living.” As ridiculous as that sounds, we as Christians are doing the same thing. We look at the world and what it has to offer. We can see that it is dead and has nothing to offer us, and yet we say, “That is really living.” Two drunks will come out of a bar, be fortunate to make it home without being killed on the highway, wake up the next morning with a hang over and say, “That is really living.”

Christians are the only ones that really experience life as God wants us to experience it. But since we have been saved and the old man has died, we need to learn the principle of replacement. That means, whenever you take something away from yourself, never leave yourself with a vacuum, always replace it with something better. When young people give rock music*, they go back to it because they do not replace it. If you were to come to a table with steak and baloney on it, would you drool over the baloney or the steak? The reason that you drool over the Devil’s baloney is because you have never developed a taste for steak. If you take away the sensual from most people and give them that which is wholesome, they would not appreciate it because they have never developed a taste for that which is wholesome.

Hebrews 5:13 says, “For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.” If all you as a Christian can digest is milk, you are still a baby. Many people get saved but only live on pre-chewed milk. They get nothing for themselves, and they never grow to where they can eat steak. Do you ever get tired of the saliva?

Hebrews 5:14 says, “But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” Strong meat is for those who are mature. You cannot eat good meat without chewing it, which takes work. The Devil tries to make his junk slide down easy, but that doesn’t mean it is good.

I Timothy 6:11 says, “But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.” There are some things that we should flee and forsake as Christians, but there are other things that we should follow and acquire. God is showing us that we give up some things and we begin some things.

Galatians 5:19 says, “Now the works of the flesh are manifest….” and verse 22 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is……” As Christians we are to take away the works of the flesh and replace them with the works of the Spirit.

Colossians 3:8-15 says, “But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. Put on therefore, as the elect of God holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.” God is saying to put off fleshy things and put on Spiritual things. But it never fails that Christians argue against what the Bible says. They always have an excuse for that they are doing and what they like.

James 4:15 says, “This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.” You can argue against mature Christians all you want to, and you can argue against the fact that rock music* is wrong even with Christian words, but your wisdom is not from above. What we need to do is apply the principle of replacement to music. CHRISTIANS NEED TO DECIDE THAT THEY WILL COMPLETELY FORSAKE ROCK MUSIC* AND REPLACE IT WITH GOD’S MUSIC.

Psalms 40:3 says, “And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.” WE NEED TO PUT A NEW SONG INTO OUR HEARTS. What is a new song? PRAISE TO GOD. Our problem is that we base everything on subjectivism; we say “I” or “me” which means our lives are centered on ourselves. We don’t realize that the Devil is a counterfeiter and he is trying to give us what is not real in our lives. Bank tellers are trained to detect counterfeit money. The way that they do it is by handling real money all the time. That way, when they get the counterfeit, they know the difference. We should be that way with the Word of God. We should study and memorize it so much that when we hear something that is the Devil’s counterfeit, we will know that it is wrong and why from knowledge of the Word of God. When you argue against some of the principles that we have discussed in these lectures you are revealing your own lack of knowledge of the Word of God. You may say that your experience does not match the word of God, but it is always dangerous to base what we believe on experience. IF YOUR EXPERIENCE DOES NOT MATCH THE WORD OF GOD, YOUR EXPERIENCE IS WRONG, NOT THE BIBLE. Objectivism is putting our faith in the Bible and in the Lord Jesus, and in God himself no matter what the experience says. One of the problems with modern music is that it is based on experience, not on the Word of God. Let’s find out in the Bible what God says.

Exodus 15:1 says, “Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the Lord, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.” Here we find Moses and the children of Israel strike up a song and the song that they sing is sung UNTO THE LORD. They told what God had done, and what He is. They sang unto the Lord, not unto a crowd.

I Samuel 2:1 says, “And Hannah prayed, and said My heart rejoiceth in the Lord, mine horn is exalted in the Lord: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation…” Here we find Hannah singing to the Lord and praising Him for what He is and what He has done.

II Chronicles 5:13 says, “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.” This is the occasion of the dedication of the Temple in the Old Testament for the nation of Israel. They had musicians, 288 teachers of music, an orchestra of 4000 instruments. There were 200,000 musicians and 123 trumpet players. They were as one praising and thanking the Lord. They sang how good the Lord is and His mercy endureth forever. THEN THE GLORY OF THE LORD FILLED THE HOUSE. THE MUSIC WAS SO GREAT IN PRAISING GOD THAT THE PRIEST COULD NOT PREACH HIS SERMON AND MINISTER TO THE PEOPLE BECAUSE OF THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD.

When we do what God says, then God honors us with his presence, His power, and His glory.

Ephesians 5:19 says, “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” Here we have the New Testament Church singing to the Lord. Colossians 3:16 says, “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” Here again we have songs that are sung TO THE LORD. What this verse shows us it that when we are filled with the Word of God, we will sing songs unto the Lord.

Acts 16:25 says, “And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.” Here their singing to the Lord was heard by the prisoners. GOD JOINED IN TO SING BASS AND IT SHOOK THE JAIL WHICH RESULTED IN THE SALVATION OF THE JAILER AND HIS HOUSE.

What kind of song do you sing? A girl who had listened to rock music* for years stopped listening to it because she felt she should stop. She wrote a letter from a mental hospital to a preacher saying that though she had not listened to it in six years, she could still hear the music in her mind and could not get rid of it from her head. She continued to have this problem until she learned to replace the old songs with praised unto the Lord. As we read in Psalm 40:3 above, she put a new song in her heart. When she did that, she was cured.

You should get some good Hymns of the faith and memorize them. When you are alone, you should sing them unto the Lord. Here are some examples of songs to the Lord you could memorize and sing:

1. Great is Thy Faithfulness. 2. How Great Thou Art 3. To God be the Glory 4. God of Our Fathers (for examples of this kind of music played on the violin, visit DAVID WILLIAMS VIOLINIST.)

Sit down right now and make a list of songs that you can sing unto the Lord. God wants you to have the best in your life. Quit listening to rock music* and when the old songs try to come back into your mind, SING A NEW SONG UNTO THE LORD. Then when you get the new song, you will be able to be a soul-winner. Psalms 40:3 says, “And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.” IT SAYS THAT WHEN YOU SING THE NEW SONG THAT GOD WANTS YOU TO SING PEOPLE WILL COME TO JESUS AND TRUST IN HIM.

Learn God’s new song and how to meditate on the Word of God and you can solve some of the emotional problems that destroy your life. Give yourself to God and let Him give you that NEW SONG SO MANY SHALL SEE IT, AND FEAR, AND SHALL TRUST IN THE LORD.

(This is the last lecture on the Symphony of Life Seminar by Frank Garlock, from notes based on the tape series.)

 * Since CCM is a derivitave of the movement started by Larry Norman and others, we include that in every refere to “Rock” or “Rock and Roll.”

New Article posted here 7/28/2015

 

The Trojan Horse at the door of your Baptist Church

The charismatic infection of a Baptist church rarely occurs as a frontal assault. Usually charismatics are able to infiltrate a church one by one, and often hide their true beliefs, or at least some of them, until they are established within the congregation.

Sometimes, charismatics, and their principles, are hidden within a “Trojan Horse.” One of the most effective charismatic Trojan Horses is that of Christian contemporary music.

We should pause here to say that we are not against all Christian contemporary music. The term “contemporary music” refers to any music that is being written today. Some Christian contemporary music is well-composed, with words that are doctrinally correct and that lift the soul to a better understanding of God and Scriptural principles. Such music is quite suitable for worship.

However, much of what is called Christian contemporary music, while being quite contemporary, is not quite Christian, either in music or words, or if Christian in words, so trite as to be both useless in promoting Christian principles and annoying to the ear accustomed to good music. Much of Christian contemporary music is not suitable for worship in a Baptist church that honors the Lord and desires to do His will.

The problem many Baptist churches face is that some members, who either have no understanding of the place of music in our church services or who are simply carnal, want the wrong kind of contemporary music to be used in the church services. The music they favor lends itself to doctrinal laxness, an ecumenical spirit, and opens the door for charismatics, who thrive in such an atmosphere. Too many Baptists pastors, having little or no background in music, do not appreciate the dangers of the wrong kind of music in the church services.

While the author is primarily a theologian, he also has more training in music than the average pastor. In fact, for the first three years of his college experience he majored in music, currently plays four instruments, and has been involved in both symphony orchestras and bands. Further, he was music director of two churches of good size, so he feels qualified to write briefly on this subject.

 

The Definition and Composition of Music

 

The best definition this author has ever seen of music is this: Music is the tonal expression of emotion.

Through music, we express our many moods and feelings. Music can therefore be used to inspire patriotism, express love of God, build loyalty to the church, and express the true love between a man and a woman. It can also be used to inspire rebellion in youth, instill a desire for illicit drugs, incite to sexual promiscuity, and entice to a favorable view of false religions.

What a piece of music accomplishes depends on its composition. The composition of a piece of music shows the intent of the composer, for the elements of the composition are all designed to produce an emotional response in the listener. The elements of music composition are:

  1. Melody – the personality of the piece by which it is identified.
  2. Harmony – that which provides artistic interest by supporting the melody.
  3. Rhythm – a servant to both melody and harmony, it enables the music to flow smoothly from one measure to another, and gives pulse to the music. Good rhythm is largely unnoticed and essentially regular.
  4. Dynamics – the loudness and softness of the piece.
  5. Resolution – this gives a sense of finality to the phrases and to the piece as a whole.

Some may ask, “What forms of music are legitimate forms of music?” We would have to answer: All forms, for all forms of music express emotion through the elements of their composition. Therefore, there is no form of music that is not legitimate music.

This does not mean, however, that all music is suitable for either Christian worship or even Christian consumption, for there is some music has a purpose that is contrary to Biblical truth.

“Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages, 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.” – Daniel 3:4-5. Here we have music whose expressed purpose was to promote idolatry.

Take note of this: There is no such thing as “neutral” music. Music can express love, loyalty, compassion, mercy, faith, adoration, anger, jealousy, malice, lust, hatred, carelessness, and any other of the full range of human emotions. Further, music can be used to manipulate the emotions and express morality, or the lack thereof.

Let us spend a moment on what we said above about music being able to manipulate the emotions. Some people say, “Music doesn’t affect me.” However, such people are only self-deceived. Ever notice how that in finer restaurants the music is soft, slow, and relaxing? Such restaurants try to promote the relaxed enjoyment of the meal. On the other hand, in fast food restaurants the music is usually loud, fast, and jumpy. The whole idea of the music in those restaurants is for you to “gobble and go.” The Nazi soldiers of World War II Germany were single-minded in the dedication to their nation and formidable on the battlefield. Why was this? If you ever listened to a German march you would know.

 

Music in the Bible

 

In the Old Testament, God commanded His people to worship Him with both vocal and instrumental music, “Sing praises to the LORD.” – Psalm 9:11. “Praise the LORD with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings.” – Psalm 33:2.

In the New Testament, the churches were instructed to use music as part of their teaching ministry. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” – Colossians 3:16.

The God who instructed us to use music in our churches also told us what kind of music is suitable. Both in the passage above and in Ephesians we have three types of music that are approved of God. “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” – Ephesians 5:19. Let us examine briefly the types of music God approves:

  1. Psalms – these are Scriptures set to music. An example of this is the song, “Seek Ye First,” which is in the hymnal In Spirit and In Truth, published by the American Baptist Association:

Seek ye first the kingdom of God,

And His righteousness,

And all these things shall be added unto you!

Alleluia, alleluia!

  1. Hymns – these are songs of praise and adoration. Songs like, “Holy, Holy, Holy,” “The Spacious Firmament,” “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty,” and “Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise.” By the way, hymns are excellent vehicles for teaching doctrine, especially those in the above-mentioned hymnal, and children who are raised on them love to sing them when they are teenagers.
  2. Spiritual Songs – these are gospel songs and songs of testimony and exhortation. “There is Power in the Blood,” “My Faith Has Found a Resting Place,” “Since Jesus Came Into My Heart,” and “Stand Up, Stand Up For Jesus,” are examples of spiritual songs.

 

Forms of Music Not Suitable for Worship

 

Any of the forms of rock music are not suitable for worship in the churches of the Lord Jesus Christ. We say they are not suitable because of origin, composition, and effect on the listener.

Rock music has its origin in African tribal music designed to promote fertility rites and idol worship. When brought to America, it was mingled with jazz, blues, and swing music to produce what we now have as modern rock music. With such evil influences and evil associations, you would think that no Christian would want anything to do with it. Still, there are many who see nothing wrong with using rock music in church, especially to attract young people. What they don’t realize is that they are using the same music form that Satan uses to promote pre-marital sex, rebellion, and drug use among teens and pre-teens. And let us say something about using worldly music to attract young people to our churches. This author is old enough to remember when hippies were in style, and when their counter-culture was somewhat popular. Some Baptist churches, in order to reach the young people of their day, resorted to aping the hippie movement. It was thought that if we approached hippies using their language (“God can take care of your hang-ups”), music, and fashions, that we could reach them with the gospel and make good Baptist young people out of them. Christian coffee houses became numerous, and some churches even substituted “right on” for “amen” in their services. However, the results were, sadly, not what many wanted. Instead of winning the hippies to Christ, the hippies won many of the Baptist young people over to their philosophies and lifestyle. And why not? They were already half-way to the counter culture in their own churches. Have we learned anything from that experience of 40 years ago?

The composition of rock music is easy to spot. Rock music consists of a driving beat with the accent on the upbeat (backbeat) wedded with repetitive chord patterns in the harmony.

Remember that, earlier in this chapter, we said that the beat or rhythm is largely unnoticed in good music. Not so with rock music. The beat is upfront and in your face. It is designed to get people up and dancing, to move faster, drive faster, and eat faster. It produces a hyped-up, aggressive feeling in the listener. Good music has its accent on the downbeat. By accenting the upbeat, or backbeat, the effects of the driving beat are enhanced. Add to that the repetitive chord patterns, and you have a form of music that is both hypnotic and that jangles the nervous system. Rock music produces sensual feelings and an attitude of rebellion against authority.

When rock music is wedded to Christian words, the music contradicts the message. Having said that, much of the contemporary Christian rock music contains words that are contrary to sound doctrine and promote a self-centered, experience-oriented view. Because of its origin, composition, and effect, rock music is not suitable for Christian worship.

You will find that people who are regular listeners of contemporary Christian rock music are shallow in doctrine, rebellious to church authority, and interdenominational in view. These are not things we want to encourage in our churches. Yet these are exactly the characteristics of most charismatics. Contemporary Christian rock music prepares Baptist people to accept a charismatic mind-set, and sets the stage for charismatic infiltration into our churches.

Other forms of music that are not suitable for worship include jazz, blues, and swing, all of which promote a sensual mood. In our churches we want music that appeals, not to man’s base nature, but to the new nature that Christ provides.

 

Forms of Music Suitable for Worship

 

For the spiritual health of our churches we must have the following:

  1. Music that is well-written, using all of its elements to create a suitable frame for the worship og God.
  2. Music that matches, and bears out the mood of words that are theologically sound and spiritually uplifting.
  3. Music that enhances the preaching ministry. Church music that does not prepare the people for the preaching of the Word of God is a waste of time. Music that prepares people for the ministry of the Word is most profitable, [NOTE: Too often I have heard this from Baptists: “The music service was so powerful, that we just kept on with the music and didn’t even get to the preaching.” What a tragedy! The Bible does not say “So then faith cometh by music,” but, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” – Romans 10:17. I would have a hard time believing that the Holy Ghost, who was the active agent in the inspiration of the Word of God, would lead us to leave off its preaching. God’s pastors need to strongly stand against anything that would downgrade the importance of the preaching of the Bible to God’s people and to those who are lost.]

Forms of music that accomplish the three items above are suitable for worship. Such music will promote doctrinal fidelity and spirituality in our churches.

 

The above: “The Trojan Horse at the door of your Baptist Church,” is chapter V of the book: “Wildfire, Tongues, Healings and the Charismatic Movement,” written by David E. Gonnella, (Pensacola: West Florida Baptist Institute Press, 2009).

Written on May 12th, 2013 , Christian Music Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

THE CHASTENING OF GOD

Scripture Reading: Heb. 12:4-13

Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.  (Hebrews 12:4-13)

 

I. THE PROPER ATTITUDE OF THOSE UNDER CHASTENING

A. Struggling against Sin, Having Not Yet Resisted unto Blood

Let us consider Hebrews 12:4-13, point by point.

Verse 4 says, “Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.” In this verse the apostle said that the Hebrew believers had struggled against sin. But even though they had suffered much, gone through great trials, encountered various problems, and met with much persecution, they had not yet resisted unto blood. If we compare these sufferings with that of our Lord, they are quite light! Verse 2 tells us that the Lord Jesus despised the shame and endured the suffering of the cross. What a believer goes through is far less severe than what the Lord went through! The Lord Jesus despised the shame and endured the suffering of the cross unto the shedding of blood. Although the Hebrew believers also suffered some shame and endured the cross, they had not yet resisted unto blood.

B. Finding the Reasons for Our Sufferings

What should a person expect after he becomes a Christian? We should never put a false hope before the brothers. We should show them that we will encounter many problems. However, God’s purpose and meaning are behind all of them. We can expect many trials and tribulations, but what is the purpose and meaning behind all these trials and tribulations? Unless the Lord grants us the privilege of becoming martyrs, we will probably not have the chance to resist and struggle against sin “unto blood.” But even though it is not a resistance unto blood, we are nevertheless resisting! Why do these things happen to us?

C. Not Fainting nor Regarding Lightly

Verses 5 and 6 say, ” And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.”

The apostle quoted Proverbs in the Old Testament in this portion of the Word. He said that if the Lord chastens us, we must not regard it lightly; and if the Lord reproves us, we must not faint. A believer should adopt these two attitudes. Some regard difficulties, sufferings, and God’s chastening as insignificant matters. They do not think much of them and easily allow God’s chastening to slip by. There are also some who faint when they go through the Lord’s reproach and fall into His hand. As Christians they feel that they have suffered too much hardship in their environment and that it is too hard to live the Christian life. They expect their way to be smooth. Their thought is on entering the pearly gates and walking on a golden street wearing fine, white linen garments. It never occurred to them that Christians would experience all kinds of difficulties. They are not prepared to be Christians under such circumstances. They faint and waver at the difficulties along the way. Proverbs shows us that both of these attitudes are wrong.

D. Not Regarding Lightly the Chastening of the Lord

God’s children should not regard lightly the chastening of the Lord. If the Lord chastens us, we have to pay attention to it. Everything the Lord measures to us has a purpose and meaning to it. He wants to build us up through our experiences and environment. All of His chastening is for the purpose of perfecting us and making us holy. All of His chastening works His nature into our nature. As a result, we become chastened in our character. This is the purpose of the Lord’s chastening. He does not chastening us without reason. He chastens us for the purpose of making us vessels. The Lord does not allow suffering to come to His children without a cause. We do not suffer for the purpose of suffering. He does not give us tribulation simply to make us suffer. The purpose in all our suffering is that we would partake of God’s holiness and nature. This is the goal of chastening.

Many children of God have been Christians for eight or ten years, yet they have never given serious consideration to God’s chastening. They never say, “The Lord is disciplining me. He is dealing with me, chastising me, and molding me into a vessel.” They do not see the purpose of God’s chastisement, dealing, and carving work. They go through their experiences capriciously. They are not bothered by what they see today; they let it slip by. They are not bothered by what they see the next day; they are not concerned about what the Lord’s will is, and they disregard it time after time. To them it is as if God purposelessly allows people to suffer. Please bear in mind that the first reaction of God’s children should be to respect and honor God’s chastening. The first thing we should do when we experience something is to find the meaning of our experience: Why have things happened this way? We must learn to respect and honor God’s chastening. We should not regard it lightly. To regard it lightly is to be careless about it. It is to say that God can do whatever He wants to do and that we must simply go through these experiences mindlessly and aimlessly.

On the one hand, we should not regard the chastening lightly. On the other hand, we should not make too much of it. If the Christian life became nothing but a story of suffering and frustration, it would be too much of a discouragement to us. This is to make too much of our chastening. We must learn to accept the chastening of the Lord and to see that His chastening and reproach are always meaningful. At the same time, we must not be discouraged by chastening.

II. WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE CHASTENS

Verse 6 says, “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth ” This is a quotation from Proverbs. It reveals the purpose of the Lord’s chastening.

A. Chastening Being the Arrangement of Love

God does not have the spare time to deal with all the people of the world. He chastens only those whom He loves. He chastens us because He loves us. He chastens us because He wants to make us vessels. God has no time to chastening everyone in the world, but He chastens His own children because He loves them. Therefore, chastening is God’s provision of love. Love arranges the environment that we should be in. We call this arrangement His chastening. Love measures everything that comes our way. It orders the things that we encounter in our daily life. This measurement is His chastening. Chastening is for our greatest profit and for bringing us to the loftiest goal in God’s creation.

” …and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.” All those who are chastened have the ground to say that they are received by God. Scourging is not a sign of God’s rejection; it is a proof of His acceptance. I say again, God does not have the time to deal with everyone; He wants to spend His time on the sons whom He loves and receives.

B. Chastening Being the Father’s Education

Once you become a Christian, you should be prepared to accept chastening from God’s hand. If you are not His child, God will let you go. He will allow you to live an unchastened life and walk your own way. But once you have accepted the Lord Jesus as your Savior, once you are born of God and have become His child, you have to prepare yourself for His chastening. No father has the time to chasten another man’s child. Whether his neighbor’s son is good or bad is not of his concern. A good father, however, will always chasten his own son in a definite way. He will deal with his son strictly according to guidelines that he has set in his mind. He will not chasten his son in a mindless and haphazard way. He will train his son according to a few objectives, namely, honesty, diligence, long-suffering, and noble aspirations. The father puts together a certain curriculum to chasten his son. He molds his son into a certain character. In the same way, since the day we were saved, God has been arranging a curriculum for us. He wants us to learn certain lessons so that we will be conformed to His nature. He wants us to be like Him in many things. This is why He arranges, chastens, and scourges. His goal is to make us a certain kind of person.

At the very beginning of his Christian life, a child of God must realize that God has prepared many lessons for him. He has made many provisions in the environment and has ordered many things, experiences, and sufferings for the purpose of producing a certain kind of character and disposition. This is what God is doing today. He wants to build up a certain kind of character in us, and He does it by ordering all kinds of circumstances to come our way.

The minute we become Christians, we have to realize that God’s hand is guiding us in all things. The ordained circumstances will come, and the scourgings will come. As soon as we get off the right way, His scourges will be upon us and will goad us back to the way. Every child of God should be prepared to accept God’s disciplinary hand. God chastens us because we are sons. God does not waste His time on others. He has no time to chasten those who are not His beloved sons. God has no time to reprove those who are not yet accepted as sons. Scourging and chastening are expressions of God’s love and acceptance. Only Christians can have a share in God’s scourging and chastening.

C. Chastening Not Being a Punishment but a Glory

What we are receiving is chastening; it is not punishment. Punishment is for the retribution of one’s mistakes, while chastening is for the purpose of education. Punishment comes because we have done something wrong; it responds to the past. Chastening is also related to our mistakes, but it is something for the future. Chastening bears an element of the future; it has a purpose. We have been called into the name of the Lord today; we belong to Him. Now we must be prepared to allow God to make us vessels of glory to Him. I can say with much confidence that God wants every one of His children to glorify Him in certain areas. Every child of God should glorify Him. However, each one does it in a different way. Some will glorify Him in one way, some in another way. We glorify God through different circumstances. As a consequence, God is glorified in a full way. Everyone has his own part and his own specialty. God wants to create a certain kind of character in us for the purpose of glorifying Him. No one is exempt from God’s disciplinary hand. Such a hand works to accomplish the things of God. We have never seen a child of God who was exempt from His disciplinary hand.

D. Ignorance of Chastening Being a Great Loss

It is indeed a great loss if God’s children do not understand His chastening. Many people live a foolish life in the eyes of God for many years. They have no way to go on. They do not know what the Lord wants to do in them. They walk according to their own will and wander in a wild, unrestrained, and aimless way through the wilderness. God does not operate this way. He is a God of purpose. He does things for the purpose of molding a specific character in us so that we may glorify His name. All chastening is for the purpose of bringing us on in this way.

III. ENDURING FOR GOD’S CHASTENING

The apostle quoted Proverbs when he wrote to the Hebrew believers. In verse 7 the apostle explains the quotation from Proverbs in verses 5 and 6, saying, ” If ye endure chastening,.” This is the first New Testament explanation of the subject; it is a crucial word. Here the apostle shows us that endurance, suffering, and chastening are the same thing. God is disciplining us. The apostle shows us that this disciplining is the same as our endurance. It is for chastening that we endure.

A. Suffering Being God’s Chastening

Perhaps some will ask, “What is God’s chastening? Why is He disciplining us?” Verses 2 through 4 speak of enduring the cross, despising the shame, and resisting sin, whereas verses 5 and 6 speak of chastening and scourging. What is the relation between these two things? What are the chastening and scourging in verses 5 and 6, and what are the shame, affliction, and resistance against sin in verses 2 through 4? Verse 7 is a conclusion of verses 2 through 6. It shows us that what we endure is God’s chastening. Thus, suffering, shame, and affliction are God’s chastening. Although our resistance against sin is not unto blood, the pain and tribulation are nevertheless part of God’s chastening.

How does God chasten us? His chastening has to do with whatever He is bringing us through and whatever He is charging us to endure. Do not consider God’s chastening as anything else. God’s chastening is what we endure every day, things such as harsh words, an unkind face, a sharp tongue, an impolite retort, an unreasonable criticism, unexpected troubles, various kinds of shame, irresponsibility, infractions, and other more serious problems arising in the family. Sometimes it may be sickness, poverty, affliction, or difficulty. We encounter many things and endure many things. The apostle said that all these are God’s chastening! It is for chastening that we endure.

B. No Experience Coming to Us by Accident

The question today is: What kind of response do we have when others give us an ugly look? If their look is God’s chastening, how should we react? If our business fails because others have forgotten to do something for us, how should we react? If the poor memory of another person is God’s chastening to us, what should we do? If we become sick through another’s infection, how should we deal with it? If things turn sour through various misfortunes, what do we say? If things do not go our way because God’s chastening is behind them, what should we say? Brothers and sisters, the response to all these things makes a great difference in us! We can consider everything in our environment as being a mere encounter; this is one kind of attitude. We can also consider it to be God’s chastening; this is another kind of attitude. The words of the apostle here are very clear. He says that it is for chastening that we endure. Please do not consider all these things to be unendurable. They are God’s chastening. Do not conclude foolishly that they are mere coincidence. We must realize that God daily arranges these things and measures them for our chastening and learning.

C. Chastening Being God’s Dealing with Us as with Sons

Verse 7 continues, “God deals with you as with sons.”God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?” What we experience is God’s chastening. Today all chastening comes to us because He deals with us as with sons. Please bear in mind that chastening is God’s way of honoring us, not afflicting us. Many hold the wrong concept that they are chastened by God because God wants to torture them. No! We are chastened by God because God is honoring us. He deals with us as with sons. For what son is there whom the father does not chasten? Chastening is God’s honoring of us! We have become God’s sons; therefore, we must be chastened. God chastens us in order to bring us to the place of blessing and glory. We should never think that we are tormented by God. For what son is there whom the father does not chasten?

D. Seeing the Father’s Hand

We see a big contrast when a person understands that what is happening to him is of God; he will have a different view toward his experience. If someone hits me with a cane today, I may argue with him or snatch the cane from him. I may break it and throw it back in his face. I have not done him any injustice in doing this. However, if my Father chastises me with the cane, can I snatch the cane, break it, and throw it back? I cannot do this. On the contrary, we feel somewhat privileged that our Father would chasten us. Madam Guyon said, “I will kiss the whip that chastises me! I will kiss the hand that buffets me!” Please remember that this is the Father’s hand and the Father’s rod. This is different. If it were some ordinary experience, we would not miss anything by rejecting it. But this is no ordinary encounter; this is God’s hand and God’s chastisement, the goal of which is to make us a partaker of His nature and character. Once we see this, we will not murmur and complain. As soon as a person realizes that his Father is the one who is dealing with him, his feelings change. Our God is dealing with us as with sons. It is a glory that He chastens us today.

E. Chastening Being the Proof That We Are Sons

Verse 8 says, “But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.” Remember that chastening is the proof that one is a son. God’s sons are those who are chastened by Him, and those who are without chastening are not His sons. A person has no proof that he is a son of God if he is not chastened by God. The proof that one is a son is the chastening he receives.

All sons have become partakers of chastening. Every child of God needs to be chastened, and you are no exception. Unless you are illegitimate, one who is adopted or bought, you must accept the same chastening! The apostle’s word here is strong. All sons have become partakers of chastening. Do not expect to be treated differently if you are a son of God. All sons have become partakers of chastening. Everyone is treated the same way. Everyone who lived in Paul’s time or Peter’s time experienced this. Today this is true for everyone in every nation throughout the world. No one is exempted. You cannot take a way which no other child of God has ever walked. No child of God has ever taken a way that is free from chastening. If any child of God is foolish enough to think that there can be smooth sailing in his living and work and that he can be spared God’s chastening, he is saying that he is illegitimate, that is, one who is adopted. We must see that chastening is the sign and proof that we are God’s children. Those who are without chastening are illegitimate; they belong to other families and are not members of the household of God. If God does not chastening us, it means that we do not belong to His family.

Let me mention something that I once saw. It may not be that profound, yet it serves as a good illustration. Five or six children were playing rambunctiously together; their bodies were covered in mud. When the mother of three of the children came, she spanked her children on their hands and forbade them to dirty themselves again. After she spanked them, one asked, “Why did you not spank the others?” The mother answered, “They are not my children.” No mother wants to chasten other people’s children. It would be terrible if God did not chastening us! Those who are without chastening are illegitimate, not sons! We have truly believed in the Lord. Since the first day of our Christian life, chastisement has been coming our way. We cannot remain a child of God yet be spared chastening. We cannot receive the sonship of God without receiving chastisement. These two things go together. We cannot receive the sonship without accepting the chastening! All sons must be chastened, and we are no exception.

IV. BEING SUBJECT TO THE CHASTENING OF THE FATHER OF SPIRITS

Verse 9 says, ” Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?” The apostle pointed out that the fathers of our flesh chastening us and we respect them. We acknowledge that their chastening is right, and we accept it. Shall we not much more be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live?

This shows us that the matter of sonship leads to the matter of chastening, and chastening issues in submission. Because we are sons, there is chastening; since there is chastening, there must also be submission on our part. God orders everything in our environment for the purpose of teaching us. It walls us in so that we have no choice but to take His way.

A. Being Subject to God in Two Matters

We must obey God in two matters: One is to obey God’s commandments, and the other is to obey His chastening. On the one hand, we have to obey God’s word, that is, His commandments. We have to obey all of God’s ordinances written in the Bible. On the other hand, we must subject ourselves to God’s arrangement in the environment. We must obey His chastening. Often, obedience to God’s word is enough. But there are times when we have to subject ourselves to God’s chastening as well. God has ordered many things in our environment, and we must gain profit and learn lessons from these things. This is the profit God has ordained for us. He wants to lead us to the straight path. We must learn to obey not only His commandments but also His chastening. Obedience to God’s chastening may involve a price, but it puts us on the straight path.

Obedience is not an empty word. Quite a number of the brothers ask, “What should I obey?” The answer to this question is simple. We may think that we have nothing to obey, but when God chastens us a little, we immediately think of ways of escape. It is strange that many people seem to have no commandment to obey! Please bear in mind that when God’s hand of chastening is upon us, that is the very time we have to obey. Some may ask, “Why do you not call God’s hand the hand of guidance? Why do you call it the hand of chastening? Why do you not say that God is guiding us all the way, rather than God is disciplining us?” God knows how terrible our temper is, and we also know. There are many people to whom obedience will never come without proper chastening.

B. Learning Obedience through Chastening

We should know the kind of person we are in the eyes of God. We are rebellious and stubborn by nature. We are like naughty children who will not obey unless their father has a rod in his hand. Every one of us is the same. Some sons will never obey unless they are rebuked or scourged. They have to be spanked before they will pay attention. Please bear in mind that this is the kind of person we are! We pay attention only when we are spanked. If we are not spanked, we turn our face the other way. This is why chastening is absolutely necessary. We should know ourselves. We are not that simple. Even a spanking may not change us that much. The apostle showed us that chastisement is for the purpose of humbling us and making us obedient. He said, “Be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live.” Submission and obedience are indispensable virtues. We must learn to obey God and say, “God, I am willing to subject myself to Your chastening! Whatever You do is right!”

V. CHASTENING BEING FOR OUR BENEFIT

Verse 10 says, “For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.” Often parents chastening their children in a poor way, because they act and chastening according to their own whims. Not much benefit will come out of this chastening.

“… but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.” This is not a chastening driven by temper nor a chastening that is merely a punishment. No chastening or reproach of God is merely a punishment; it is educational in nature, and it is there for our profit. The purpose of chastening is not just to hurt us. The hurt produces something; it is there for a purpose. He does not punish us simply because we have done something wrong. Whoever thinks this way is altogether in the realm of the law and the courtroom.

A. Partakers of His Holiness

What is the benefit of such chastening? It is to make us partakers of His holiness. This is glorious! Holiness is God’s nature. We may say that holiness is also God’s character. It is for this that God uses many ways to chasten His children. From the time we believed in the Lord, God has been disciplining us. He chastens us with the view that we may partake of His holiness, His nature, and His character. The Bible speaks of a few kinds of holiness. The holiness in Hebrews specifically refers to God’s character. For Christ to become our holiness is one thing. For us to be sanctified in Christ is another thing. The holiness spoken of here is something wrought into us; it is not a gift. It has to do with our constitution. This is something we have been emphasizing for years. This means that God works something into us in a gradual way. The holiness here is a holiness that is constituted through His chastening, something constituted through His scourging and daily, inner working. His chastening and operation are for the purpose of making us partakers of His holiness.

After we suffer a little chastisement, we partake of His holiness. After we suffer more chastisement, we learn more holiness. If we remain under God’s chastening, we will gradually realize what holiness is. If we continue under God’s chastening, there will be a gradual constitution of holiness into our character. If we stay under God’s chastening all the way to the end, we will become holy in our character. Nothing is more crucial than this! We must realize that the result of chastening is the constitution of God’s character into our being. All chastening has results, and we should reap the fruit from all of them. May the Lord be merciful to us so that His chastening, whenever it is upon us, may produce a little more holiness. May it result in more holiness, in more lessons learned, and in more constitution of God. Holiness must continually increase in us!

B. The Constitution of a Holy Character

After we accept the Lord and become God’s children, He daily arranges many things in our environment to chasten and chastise us. All these things are lessons to us. Time after time these lessons come to us for the purpose of adding His holiness to us. We need much chastening before God can work out a holy character in us! In the eyes of God we have only a limited number of years to live our Christian life. If we neglect God’s chastening, and if it does not produce the needed effect in us, our loss will be an eternal loss indeed!

C. Holiness as a Gift and Holiness as a Constitution

God not only gives us His holiness as a gift, but He also wants us to partake of His holiness through His chastening. He wants us to be constituted with His holiness; He wants to wrought holiness into our being little by little. Carnal persons like us require years of chastening from God before His holy character and nature can become ours. We need all kinds of blows, situations, guidance, frustrations, urgings, and chastisement before we can partake of God’s holy character. This is a great matter! God does not merely give us holiness as a gift. This holiness must be wrought into us. God has to constitute us with His holiness!

This is one distinctive feature of salvation in the New Testament. God first gives us something, and then He works the same thing into us. He constitutes us with the same thing little by little. When we have both aspects, we have full salvation. One is a gift from Christ, and the other is a constitution of the Holy Spirit. This is a distinctive feature of the New Testament. One is a gift, and the other is a constitution. Among all the crucial things in the New Testament, there is this clear statement: God is making us partakers of His holiness through His chastening.

VI. THE PEACEABLE FRUIT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS YIELDED THROUGH CHASTENING

Verse 11 says, “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”

Here the apostle draws special attention to the words at the present time and afterward. It is a fact that one does not feel happy at the time of chastening, but grievous. Do not think that suffering is wrong when you experience God’s chastening. Chastening is surely a suffering. The Bible does not say that the cross is a joy. It says rather that the cross is affliction. The cross brings us suffering. The Lord despised the shame for the joy set before Him. This is a fact. The Bible does not say that the cross is a joy; the cross is not a joy. It is always a suffering. It is not wrong to grieve and feel afflicted when we are chastened.

But we must learn obedience. Only through obedience can we partake of God’s holiness. Chastening indeed is not a matter of joy “at the present time.” Instead, it is grief to us. This is not surprising; it is in fact quite normal for us to feel this way. Our Lord did not consider the trials a matter of joy when He passed through them. Of course, we can make it a matter of joy. Peter said that we can exult in various trials (1 Pet. 1:6). On the one hand, they are a suffering. On the other hand, we can reckon them to be a joy. How we feel is one thing, and how we reckon is another thing. We can feel grieved, but at the same time, we can reckon it to be a joy.

A. Yielding the Peaceable Fruit

A child of God should fix his eyes not on the present but on the future. Pay attention to this sentence: “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” Do not look at the suffering you are going through now. Instead, look at the resulting peaceable fruit of righteousness.

B. Moab Being at Ease from His Youth and Settling on His Lees

Jeremiah 48:11 says, “Moab hath been at ease from his youth, and he hath settled on his lees, and hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel, neither hath he gone into captivity: therefore his taste remained in him, and his scent is not changed.” Are you clear what this is saying?

This is the problem with many who have not passed through trials. The passage describes those who have never suffered any chastisement or sufferings before the Lord. The Moabites had been at ease from their youth. They experienced no suffering or pain. What did such ease produce? They became like wine settled on its lees. If a person brews liquor from grapes or other kinds of fruit, the wine surfaces to the top, while the lees settle to the bottom. The wine floats, while the lees sink. In order to clear the wine, it has to be poured from vessel to vessel. If the lees remain at the bottom, sooner or later they will spoil the taste of the liquor. In making wine, a man must first allow the grapes to ferment. After the grapes ferment, he transfers the wine from one vessel to another. If he is not careful, he will pour the lees out as well. This is why he has to pour carefully. But one pouring is not enough; some lees are bound to escape into the other vessel. This is why he has to do this again. A second time may still not clear the lees, and he has to pour the wine into a third vessel. He has to keep pouring until no lees are left in the wine. God said that Moab had been at ease from his youth and had settled on his lees. He had not been emptied from vessel to vessel, and his lees always followed him. One must be emptied from vessel to vessel if he wants to do away with the lees. He has to be poured out again and again until one day the lees at the bottom are gone. Moab was full of lees; although he was clear at the top, he was not emptied at the bottom. Those who have never gone through trials and chastisement have never been emptied from vessel to vessel. (Note – we must state that we don’t believe in drinking wine, only grape juice.  This illustration is only because of the word lees in scripture.)

Often it seems as if God is digging a person from his roots. A brother may experience God’s uprooting through his consecration; everything that he owns may be completely uprooted. A brother may experience God’s uprooting through his sufferings and trials; he may be stripped of everything he has. This is to be emptied from vessel to vessel. God’s hand will crush us thoroughly. He does this in order to clear away our lees!

To be at ease is not a good thing. Brothers and sisters, God wants to purify us. This is why He chastens and scourges us. Never consider ease and comfort to be something good. Moab’s ease caused him to remain Moab forever!

C. Taste Remaining, Scent Not Changing

Here are some sobering words: “…therefore his taste remained in him, and his scent is not changed.” Because Moab was not emptied from vat to vat, from pot to pot, and from vessel to vessel, and because he was never chastened and dealt with by God, his taste remained in him and his scent never changed!

Brothers, this is why God has to work on you. He wants to take away your taste and change your scent. God does not want your own taste and scent. I once said that many people are “raw” because they are still in their original state. They have never changed. You had a certain kind of taste before you believed in the Lord. Today you may have been a believer for ten years, yet your taste is still the same. Your scent remains the same as it was before you believed in the Lord. The word scent in Hebrew means “smell,” which is the flavor of something in its original state. You had a certain smell before you were saved. Today you have the same smell; there is no change in you at all. In other words, you have not experienced any of God’s constitution and carving.

God’s chastening is indeed precious! He wants to uproot us and to empty us from vessel to vessel. God chastens us and deals with us in many ways so that we may lose our original smell and yield the peaceable fruit. The peaceable fruit of righteousness can be translated as “the peaceable fruit, which is the fruit of righteousness.”

D. The Peaceable Fruit Being the Fruit of Righteousness

Please remember that the fruit is peaceable. A man must be at peace with God in order to obtain this fruit. The worst thing one can do is to murmur, to lose his peace, and to rebel during times of chastening. One can be grieved by the chastening, but he should not murmur or rebel. The problem with many people is that they have no peace. This is why we need the peaceable fruit when we are under chastening. If you want the peaceable fruit, you must first learn to accept the chastening. You must learn not to fight with God or argue with Him. The peaceable fruit is the fruit of righteousness. Once you have the fruit of peace, you have the fruit of righteousness. This is why the apostle said, “The peaceable fruit, which is the fruit of righteousness.” Peace is righteousness. If the inward fruit is peace, the outward expression is righteousness. If you have the fruit of peace within, you will spontaneously partake of God’s holiness.

I hope that none of us would be like Moab, who was at ease from his youth and who had settled on his lees. He had not been emptied from vessel to vessel and had never gone into captivity. Therefore, his taste remained in him and his scent was not changed. Some have been Christians for ten or twenty years and have remained the same throughout this time. They have not accepted any of God’s dealings and have not subjected themselves to them. Thus, their taste remains the same. If our scent remains the same for ten or twenty years, it means that we have never yielded any peaceable fruit before God and have never been constituted with a holy character. Our hope is that God would constitute us with something, something called a holy character.

VII. CONCLUSION

Hebrews 12:12-13 says, “Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.” Sometimes it seems that chastening makes the hands hang down and the knees paralyzed. But the apostle told us not to be disheartened. The hands may hang down and the knees may be paralyzed, but there is the fruit of peace and the fruit of righteousness.

A. Setting Straight the Hands and the Knees

Do not think that after a person suffers much hardship and chastening, there is nothing more to be done. After we are chastened and scourged, we need to set straight the hands which hang down and the paralyzed knees. Chastening and scourging will yield the fruit of peace. This fruit of peace is the fruit of righteousness. If a person is at peace with God, he will have righteousness. As soon as we calm ourselves down and submit to God, everything becomes right and proper. As soon as we humble ourselves, we become constituted with a holy character. The fruit of peace is the fruit of righteousness. Do not set your eyes on righteousness. Just consider whether or not you are at peace, and whether or not you are obedient and pliable. If you are pliable and obedient, and if you are at peace, you will surely be constituted with holiness. Please bear in mind that even though you may have endured many trials and experienced many hardships in the past, there is still the need for you to set straight your hands which hang down and your paralyzed knees.

B. Making Straight the Paths

At the same time, you need to “make straight paths for your feet.” Today we can say that we have somewhat passed through this way. We are presenting this way clearly before you. “… lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed ” Those who are falling behind do not need to be put out of joint any longer; they can be healed and join the others who have passed the same straight course. If a person goes through trials and humbles himself under God’s mighty hand, he will find his character constituted with holiness. He will also lead many to this straight course; they will no longer be put out of joint but will be healed.

If a brother is before us and he veers off, his deviation may discourage others from finding the right course. This is why we must be obedient ourselves. We must bear the fruit of peace ourselves. This will not only ensure that we are on the right course, but also will open up the right course for others to follow. All the lame ones can take this way; they can all be healed. I recall the lame man in Acts 3. When his feet were made strong and he began to walk, he stood up, walked, leaped, and praised God. A lame man was healed, but there are many lame ones in this world today. They can all be healed by the straight course we take. We must open a way for all the brothers to follow.

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(Written originally by Watchman Nee in China during the Chinese revolution and died in a prison camp but these lessons have been the foundation of my life for 38 years.  David Williams – site Admin.)

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