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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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

WITHSTANDING THE DEVIL

Scripture Reading: James 4:7; 1 Pet. 5:8-9; 2 Cor. 2:11

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  (James 4:7)

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. (1 Peter 5:8-9)

Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.  (2 Corinthians 2:11)

The devil is known also as Satan (Rev. 12:9- “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”). He was first a cherubim, created by God (Ezek. 28:12-14 – “Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.”) and he was an archangel (Rev. 12:7 – “And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,”; Matt. 25:41 – “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:”). Later, he rebelled against God by uplifting himself to be equal to God. Because of this, God judged him (Isa. 14:12-15 – “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” [In versions after the KJV, especially the NIV the word Lucifer is removed and replaced with “Morning Star” which is a name for Jesus.]; Ezek. 28:15-19 – “Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.”) and he became Satan, the adversary of God. In the original text the word Satan means “an opposer, an adversary.” The devil opposes everything that God does. In addition, he always sets himself against God’s children.

We want to look at the way the devil attacks God’s children and how they withstand him.

I. SATAN’S WORK

We will look at Satan’s work in four aspects.

A. Satan’s Work in the Human Mind

Second Corinthians 10:4-5 says, “(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” This shows us that Satan uses every high thing as a stronghold to surround man’s thought. In order for the Lord to gain us, He must first overthrow the strongholds of Satan. He must do this before He can charge into man’s thought and take it captive.

1. Satan’s Reasonings and Temptations

What are reasonings? This word in Greek can be translated “imagination” or “thought.” Satan often surrounds us with many imaginations. Men are foolish; they think that these thoughts are their own. Actually, they are the strongholds of Satan, and they prevent the mind from submitting to Christ. Often Satan injects a kind of imagination into our mind. If we think this imagination is from ourselves, we fall into his snare. Often thoughts develop which have no basis in fact; they are merely imaginations. Many so-called sins are imaginary in nature; they are not real. Many of the so-called problems among the brothers and sisters come from our imagination; they have no factual basis. Often Satan injects a wild thought into our mind, and we are completely oblivious to his work. When he injects a sudden thought into our mind and we accept it, we are accepting his work. If we reject this thought, we reject his work. Many thoughts are not our own; they are actually concocted by Satan. We must learn to reject these thoughts from Satan.

Most of Satan’s temptations come through the mind. Satan realizes that God’s children will rise up and withstand him vehemently if he attacks openly. This is the reason he tempts us by sneaking in stealthily and planting a thought in our mind unconsciously. Once the thought gets into us, we begin to think about it. If the more we dwell on a thought the more we feel justified and right, we have fallen into his snare. The thought that we have accepted is Satan’s temptation. If we reject Satan’s attacks in our mind, we will shut off the most vulnerable entrance of his temptations.

Many problems among God’s children are problems in the mind; they are not real problems. Sometimes when you see a brother or a sister, you may feel that he or she has a problem with you or that there is a distance between you. This may result in a barrier between you. Actually, there is nothing between you. The so-called problem is merely Satan’s attack in your mind or the mind of your brother or sister. Such problems are unnecessary problems. God’s children must reject sudden thoughts and sudden feelings. They must learn never to give in to Satan.

Here, we need to issue a warning. We should not be overly concerned about thoughts from Satan. There are people who go to one extreme of paying no attention at all to Satan’s thoughts. There are also people who go to the other extreme of paying too much attention to thoughts from Satan. A person can easily be cheated if he is not alert to thoughts from Satan. At the same time, a person can lose his mental sanity if he is obsessed about thoughts from Satan. If a person pays too much attention to Satan’s temptations, his mind will become confused, and he will easily become a prey to Satan’s snares. As soon as a person’s eyes are not focused on the Lord, he will find himself in trouble. On the one hand, we need to see that Satan does attack our mind. On the other hand, we need to realize that as soon as we reject his attacks, that is the end of them. If a person has to reject Satan day and night, something is wrong with his mind; he is heading down the wrong road. On the one hand, we must be familiar with his wiles; if we are ignorant of them we will be cheated. On the other hand, we cannot be overly concerned because that will also lead us into deception. As soon as our eyes are set on him, he has gained what he wants. This distraction will render us useless, and we will become obsessed with his thoughts day and night. Any brother or sister who is overly concerned with such thoughts has already been deceived. We must learn to maintain a proper balance. An excessive concern is wrong. If a person’s mind is constantly worried about thoughts from Satan, he is in reality giving ground to Satan to enter into him. We must never go to the extreme.

2. How to Reject Thoughts from Satan

How do we reject thoughts from Satan? It is easy to reject these thoughts. God has given us our mind; it is ours, not Satan’s. We are the only ones who have the right to use our mind; Satan has no authority over our mind. All we need to do is not allow him to think. Satan can only usurp our mind with deception. He will give us a thought, and we may think that this thought is ours. Actually, it is from Satan. As soon as we recognize that it is not ours, we have overcome.

Satan always tempts and attacks a person by stealthy, surreptitious, and covert ways. He does not shout loudly, “Here I come!” Instead, he deceives with lies and falsehood. He does not let us know that he is the one who is doing the work. Once we are aware of an attack from Satan and expose him and his disguise, it will be easy to withstand him. The Lord Jesus said, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32). The truth is the fact. We will be set free once we know the fact. The power of Satan is in his lies; once his lies fail, his power is gone. Therefore, as soon as we realize that Satan is attacking us and that this is the fact, we are freed. Some children of God say with their mouth that Satan is the instigator behind everything, but their spirit has no assurance that those things are actually from Satan. Although they say that they are withstanding Satan, they do not know the reality of Satan’s work. As a result, they cannot withstand him. However, as soon as they identify Satan’s work, they can withstand him, and as soon as they withstand him, he flees.

Satan attacks our mind mainly through deception. He makes us think that his thoughts are ours when in reality they are from him. Once we expose his lies, we will reject the thought from him. To withstand means to refuse. When Satan gives us a thought, we should say, “I do not want it.” This is what it means to withstand. When he injects one thought into us, we should say, “I do not take this.” When he injects another thought into us, we should repeat, “I do not accept this.” If we do this, he will not be able to do anything with us. One servant of God in the Middle Ages said, “You cannot stop birds from flying over your head, but you can at least stop them from nesting in your hair.” This is a good word. We cannot stop Satan from tempting us. However, we can stop him from nesting, from gaining a beachhead in us. This power is ours. If we ignore the thoughts that enter our mind, these thoughts will stop.

On the positive side, we need to exercise our mind. Many people have lazy minds. This makes it easy for Satan’s thoughts to lodge in them. 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.” We can take account of spiritual matters. We need to exercise our mind concerning spiritual matters. If a person always sets his mind on sinful things, Satan can easily inject his thoughts into him, because his thoughts and Satan’s thoughts are not much different. But if we always set our mind on spiritual things, Satan will not be able to inject his thoughts into us easily. Satan is able to inject his thoughts into many people because they are passive, because they have too much spare time, or because their thoughts are unclean in the first place.

There is another point that deserves attention: Our mind must not be attracted to satanic thoughts. There are many people whose minds are attracted to satanic thoughts. They have no interest in the wonderful, spiritual experiences of other brothers. Yet they become very interested when it comes to gossip. Since they love Satan’s work, they cannot reject satanic thoughts. We need to hate Satan’s work in order to reject his thoughts. All filthy thoughts that damage one’s fellowship with the Lord and love for the Lord are from Satan. These thoughts will not come to us if we are not attracted to them in the first place. But if we incline our heart toward these things, they will come to us easily. Therefore, we must learn to reject everything that comes from Satan.

We must pay special attention to rejecting all filthy thoughts. Satan always places filthy thoughts in man to induce man to sin. The starting point is one filthy thought. If we allow it to continue, it will bear the fruit of sin. Therefore, we must refuse any thought that comes from Satan.

However, there is a great problem: What should we do if the thought refuses to leave after we have rejected it? We need to realize that we only need to withstand unwanted thoughts once. Withstanding is a one-time act; we should never withstand twice. James 4:7 says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” This verse says to withstand the devil and the devil will flee. We must believe that when we withstand the devil, he will flee. It is wrong to continue withstanding for fear that the devil is still around. Whose words do we believe? The Bible says, “Resist…he will flee…” If there is a voice within that suggests that he has not fled, whose voice is it? It is Satan’s voice! Many people choose to believe Satan’s words. Therefore, they lose. We must declare after we have withstood him, “I have already withstood the devil. He is gone from me.” The feeling that he is still lurking around is a lie; it is not real, and it is not from the Lord. He must run. He has no ground to stay. We must be clear that it is right to withstand once, but wrong to withstand a second time. The first withstanding glorifies God’s name. The second withstanding questions God’s Word.

Many people make the mistake of checking with their feelings after they have withstood the devil. They ask, “Is the devil gone?” Their feeling tells them that he is not gone, and they try to withstand him again. Once there is a second withstanding, be sure there will be a third, a fourth, even a hundredth, and a thousandth. In the end we will feel as if we are completely helpless in rejecting it. But if we ignore him completely after we have withstood his temptation once, we will experience victory. We must care for the fact of God’s Word and ignore our own feelings. The fact is that as soon as we withstand the devil, he flees. If we think that he has not fled after we have withstood him, we are being deceived by our feeling. If we believe this feeling, the devil will come back. We must learn to believe God’s glorious words. Once we have withstood him once, there is no need to withstand him a second time because the matter has been settled already.

These are the issues relating to Satan’s work in man’s mind. We must realize that Satan attacks man’s mind. We should reject any thought from Satan. At the same time, we should realize that once we reject his thoughts, the matter is finished. Furthermore, we must not be overly concerned with his attacks. Otherwise, our mind will be thrown into confusion, and we will be ensnared by the devil.

B. Satan’s Work on Man’s Body

The Bible shows us clearly that many physical diseases are the result of Satan’s attack.

The fever of Peter’s mother-in-law was an attack from Satan, and the Lord Jesus rebuked the fever (Luke 4:39 – “And he stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her: and immediately she arose and ministered unto them.“). Something must have a personality before the Lord can rebuke it. We cannot rebuke a cup or a chair; we can only rebuke something that has a personality. Fever is a symptom; the Lord could not rebuke the symptom. But Satan was behind the symptom with a personality of his own. Therefore, as soon as the Lord rebuked the fever, it was gone.

In Mark 9 we see a dumb and deaf child. In man’s eyes dumbness and deafness are sicknesses. But the Lord Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, saying, “Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him.” (v. 25). The dumbness and deafness of the child were outward symptoms of his demon possession; they were not ordinary illnesses. We must realize that many sicknesses are medically defined diseases. But there are many sicknesses that are actually attacks from the devil. The Bible does not say that the Lord healed the sickness but that He rebuked it. The boils on Job’s body could not be healed by medicine; they were not medical illnesses; they were attacks from the devil. Unless one first deals with the devil, he has no way to deal with such sicknesses.

We admit that illnesses often occur through man’s negligence of natural laws. However, it can quite often be the result of Satan’s attack. In such a case one only has to ask the Lord to rebuke the sickness, and it will go away. This type of sickness often comes and goes away suddenly. It is an attack from Satan rather than an ordinary illness.

The complication lies in the fact that Satan does not want us to uncover and expose the illnesses he has inflicted. He always hides behind natural symptoms and makes us think that every sickness is the result of natural causes. If we allow him to hide behind these natural symptoms, our illness will not go away. Once we expose his work and rebuke him, the sickness will go away. One Christian had a very high fever and suffered greatly. He could not sleep and did not understand what was happening to him. Later, he was convinced that it was Satan’s work. He prayed to the Lord about it, and the next day the fever went away.

When a Christian becomes sick, he should first find the cause for his illness. He should ask: Is there any proper reason for this sickness? Is this out of natural causes or is it an attack from Satan? If there is not a proper reason for the illness and you discover that it is indeed an attack from Satan, you should withstand him and reject him.

The work of Satan on man’s body results not only in illness but also in death. Satan was a murderer from the beginning, in the same way that he was a liar from the beginning (John 8:44 – “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”). We should withstand not only Satan’s sickness but also his murdering. All thought of death is from Satan. Every notion of death as a means to escape from anything is from Satan. Satan made Job think of death. He did this not only to Job but also to every child of God. All notions of suicide, death wishes, and premature death are temptations from Satan. He tempts man to sin, and he also tempts man to die. Even thoughts of danger during one’s travels are Satan’s attacks. We must reject these thoughts whenever they come and not allow them to remain in us.

C. Satan’s Work on Man’s Conscience

Revelation 12:10 says, ” And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.” This shows us that part of Satan’s work is to accuse us. This work is carried out in man’s conscience. As soon as a person is saved, his conscience is quickened, and he begins to know sin. Satan knows this. He knows that the Holy Spirit touches the conscience of God’s children concerning sin. He knows that He guides them into confession and prayer for forgiveness before God. Consequently, Satan steps in to counterfeit the Holy Spirit’s work. He accuses man in his conscience. Such an attack is found frequently among God’s children, and it causes much havoc.

Many children of God cannot differentiate between the Holy Spirit’s reproach and Satan’s accusation. As a result, they are hesitant to withstand anything. This gives Satan further ground to exercise his accusations. Many children of God could have been very useful in the hands of God, but their conscience has been weakened to the uttermost by Satan’s attack. They are bombarded constantly with the accusation and feeling that they have sinned in this and that matter. They are unable to stand up before God or before men. As a result, they become spiritually handicapped for the rest of their lives.

It is true that we should pay attention to the reproach of the Holy Spirit once we become Christians. However, we also need to withstand Satan’s accusation. We need to pay attention to the difference between the Holy Spirit’s reproach and Satan’s accusation. Many so-called reproaches are counterfeits; they are, in fact, Satan’s accusations.

1. The Difference between Satan’s Accusation and the Holy Spirit’s Reproach

What is the difference between Satan’s accusation and the Holy Spirit’s reproach? We need to distinguish between them.

First, all reproaches from the Holy Spirit begin with a small feeling from within. This inner feeling becomes stronger and stronger and convicts us of our mistakes. Satan’s accusation, however, is a continual nagging within. The reproach of the Holy Spirit grows stronger and stronger as time goes on; the accusation of Satan is the same from beginning to end. As time passes, the inner sense of the Spirit ascends by degree; but the accusation of Satan is a constant, muddled nagging that stays the same from beginning to end.

Second, each time we yield to the rebuke of the Spirit, we find the power of sin diminishing in us. Each rebuke of the Spirit diminishes the power of sin a little. Therefore, any rebuke from the Spirit weakens the power of sin; it results in a diminishing of sin. This is not the case with Satan’s accusation. Every time he accuses us, we find the power of sin to be just as great as before.

Third, the reproach of the Holy Spirit brings us to the Lord, whereas Satan’s accusation brings us disappointment. The more we are reproved by the Holy Spirit, the more we are strengthened within to deal with our problem before the Lord. But Satan’s accusation brings about despair and resignation. The reproach of the Holy Spirit causes us to come before the Lord and to rely on Him; Satan’s accusation causes us to turn back to ourselves and to be disappointed.

Fourth, if it is the reproach of the Holy Spirit, confession before the Lord will follow. This confession will result in at least peace, if not joy. There may or may not be joy, but there is always peace. Satan’s accusation, however, is totally different. There is no joy and no peace, even after one confesses his sins. This is like coming out of a major illness or going through a theatrical performance—nothing remains after the act is over. The reproach of the Holy Spirit has a result—peace, if not joy. However, Satan’s accusation leads us nowhere.

Fifth, the reproach of the Holy Spirit reminds us of the blood of the Lord. With Satan’s accusation, there is always the Satan-injected thought: “There is not much use. Perhaps the Lord will not forgive you.” This thought will be there even when we know that we have the blood. In other words, the reproach of the Holy Spirit leads to faith in the Lord’s blood, while Satan’s accusation causes us to lose our faith in the Lord’s blood. When a certain feeling comes, simply check whether we are reminded of the blood as a result of this feeling or whether we have been distanced from the blood. This will tell us whether the feeling is a reproach of the Holy Spirit or an accusation from Satan.

Sixth, the result of the reproach of the Holy Spirit is power from God; one will rise up on his feet and run faster. He will go on with renewed zeal, cast aside his trust in himself, and have more faith in God. However, the result of Satan’s accusation is the debilitation of the conscience. The conscience of such ones is smitten before God. They have no faith in themselves, and they have no faith in God either. It is true that the reproach of the Holy Spirit takes away our strength and our trust in ourselves. But at the same time it causes us to have more faith in the Lord. Satan’s accusation is not like this. It takes away our confidence in ourselves as well as our faith in the Lord. The result is that we become a debilitated person.

2. How to Overcome Satan’s Accusation

Revelation 12:11 says, “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” Him here refers to Satan, who accused the brothers. How do we overcome him?

First, we overcome by the blood of the Lamb. On the one hand, when we sin before the Lord, we must confess our sins. On the other hand, we must say to Satan, “There is no need for you to accuse me! I come before the Lord today by the blood of the Lord!” To overcome Satan, we must show him that we are forgiven through the blood of the Lamb. All our sins, major or minor, have been forgiven through the blood of the Lamb. This is the Word of God: “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7).

We must realize that the blood of the Lamb is the basis of our forgiveness before God as well as the basis of our acceptance in Him. We should not be so presumptuous as to think that we are good. Neither should we be so foolish as to condemn ourselves from morning to evening. It is foolish to be proud, and it is also foolish to keep looking at oneself. Those who consider themselves to be good are foolish, and those who are blind to the saving power of the Lord are foolish as well. Those who believe in their own power are foolish, and those who do not believe in the Lord’s power are foolish as well. We must see that the blood of the Lamb has already fulfilled all the demands of God. It has also overcome all the accusations of Satan.

Second, we overcome because of the word of our testimony. This word of our testimony declares the spiritual facts; it declares the victory of the Lord. We must tell Satan, “There is no need for you to trouble me! My sins have been forgiven through the Lord’s blood!” We need to exercise our faith to declare that Jesus is Lord and that He has won the victory. We need to speak out the word of our testimony and let Satan hear this word. We must not only believe in our hearts but also declare it to Satan with our mouth. This is the word of our testimony.

Third, we must not love our soul-life even unto death. “The blood of the Lamb” and “the word of their testimony” spoken of previously are two conditions for victory over Satan. The refusal to love one’s soul-life even unto death is an attitude. No matter what Satan is doing, even if he is putting us to death, our attitude should be such that we still trust in the blood of the Lamb and still declare His victory. Satan’s accusation will stop if we stand fast in this way. He cannot overcome us. Instead, we will surely overcome him!

Some brothers and sisters receive so much accusation from Satan that they can no longer discern whether it is an accusation from Satan or a reproach of the Holy Spirit. They should stop confessing their sins for a while; the Lord does not want us to do things foolishly. Instead, they should pray to the Lord and say, “If I have sinned, I will confess my sins and ask for Your forgiveness. But now I am under Satan’s accusation. I pray that You cover all my sins. From this point on, everything is under Your blood, and I will not be bothered by anything anymore, whether it be sin or otherwise!” Those who are in such a condition must forget about everything for a while before they can differentiate clearly between Satan’s accusation and the Holy Spirit’s reproach.

3. How to Help Those Who Are under Satan’s Accusation

We must never add to the burden of the conscience of those under Satan’s accusation. First, we should help them to do only what is within their ability to handle. If we ask them to do what is beyond their ability, they will fall easily into condemnation. We must be sure that they have enough strength before the Lord to go on before we give them stronger advice or urge them to move ahead. Second, where there is the clear work of the Holy Spirit, we should raise the standard a little, for with the clear operation of the Spirit of the Lord and the spirit of revival, the Lord’s word has the ability to uplift the capacity of a person. If we raise the standard very high when the Spirit of the Lord has not done anything, we are not helping these accused ones to go on; rather, we are giving Satan opportunities to accuse them even more.

We must not be careless in pointing out the failures of others. Suppose a brother has failed in certain areas, yet he can still pray, read the Bible, and attend the meetings. As long as you have the assurance within that you can help him, a little push may be all that is necessary to bring him through his trouble. But if you do not have the assurance within and you do not have the power to uplift him, your exposure of his failures will only quench his prayers, his reading of the Bible, and his meeting life. The smoking flax must be rekindled; it must not be smothered. The bruised reed must be supported; it must not be broken. We should not make ourselves the standard and put the conscience of others under condemnation. We must learn not to do things that would offend the conscience of others.

We must point out Hebrews 10:22 to those who are under Satan’s accusation: “Having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience.” With such a sprinkling, our conscience should no longer feel guilty. The principle of the Christian life is a life free from any condemnation in the conscience. When a Christian is condemned in his conscience, he will be weak before God and will be debilitated in all spiritual matters. Satan’s goal is to derail us from this principle. This is the reason he accuses us unceasingly. We need to lay hold of this principle by applying the blood. The more Satan tries to make us feel guilty, the more we should apply the blood to all of our sins. The brothers overcame him not by their own strength, but by the blood of the Lamb. We can declare, “Satan, I admit that I have sinned. But I have been redeemed by the Lord! I have never denied that I am a debtor. I am in debt, but the Lord has paid my debt!” We do not need to deal with Satan’s accusation by denying that we are debtors. We can deal with him by declaring that our debt has been paid.

D. Satan’s Work in the Environment

All circumstances are arranged by God. However, there are many things in our environment which, though permitted by God, are the result of Satan’s direct and active work.

Take Job’s experience as an example. His oxen and donkeys were taken away, his house collapsed, and his children were killed. These were all things in the environment. Though they were permitted by God, Satan was the one directly instigating the attacks.

Peter’s failure was another example. The cause of his fall was partly due to himself, but partly due to Satan’s attack in the environment. The Lord said, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:” (Luke 22:31). Peter’s fall was the direct result of Satan’s work. Yet it was something permitted by God.

Paul’s thorn was clearly the work of Satan. Paul said, “…there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.” (2 Cor. 12:7). This is the work of Satan. It is Satan who attacks God’s children in the environment.

An even clearer example can be seen in Matthew 8, when the Lord Jesus ordered the disciples to depart to the other side of the sea. He knew that powerful demons had to be cast out on the other side of the sea. After He and the disciples stepped into the boat, suddenly a great tempest arose in the sea so that the boat was covered by the waves. The Lord was asleep. The disciples came near and roused Him, saying, “Lord, save us: we perish.” (v. 25). A few of the disciples were fishermen; they were very experienced sailors. However, they realized that the waves were more than they could handle. The Lord Jesus rebuked their little faith; then He rose and rebuked the winds and the sea. The winds and the sea have no personality of their own, yet the Lord rebuked them because the devil was behind them. Satan had stirred up the winds and the waves.

In conclusion, Satan not only attacks our body, our conscience, and our mind, but also attacks us through our environment.

How should we react to Satan’s attack in the environment?

First, we must humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God. Both James 4 and 1 Peter 5 tell us to withstand Satan. These two portions also tell us to humble ourselves before God. When Satan attacks us in the environment, our first reaction should be to submit to God. We cannot withstand the devil if we do not submit to God. Our conscience will condemn us if we withstand the devil without submitting to God. Therefore, our first reaction should be to submit to God.

Second, we should withstand the devil. When God’s children encounter unreasonable and inexplicable things in the environment and have the clear sense within that these are attacks from Satan, they should withstand him. Once they withstand, the attacks will be behind them. On the one hand, they need to humble themselves under the hand of God. On the other hand, they must withstand Satan’s work in the environment. When they humble themselves, and their attitude before God is firm, God will show them that it is not Him but Satan who is doing the work. Thus, they will be able to differentiate God’s arrangement from Satan’s attack. Once they are clear and once they withstand the devil, the attacks will go away.

Third, we must reject all forms of fear. Satan has to find a lodging ground before he can work on God’s children. He cannot work where he has no ground to work. Therefore, his first attack is to gain a beachhead. He then attacks us from this beachhead. We should not give any ground to him. This is the way to victory. There is one area which can become Satan’s greatest stronghold—fear. When Satan tries to put us through trials, the first thing he does is to put fear into us. An experienced sister once said, “Fear is Satan’s calling card.” Once you accept fear, Satan steps in. If you reject fear, he will not be able to come in.

All thoughts of fear are attacks from Satan. Whatever you are afraid of, you will surely experience. Job said, “For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.” (Job 3:25). Job experienced everything that he feared. Satan’s attack in the environment comes mostly in the form of fear. If you withstand the fear, the things that you fear will not come. But if you allow the fear to remain, you will give Satan the opportunity to do the very things that you fear.

Therefore, in order for God’s children to withstand the work of Satan, the first thing they have to reject is fear. When Satan puts a fear in you for this or that thing, you must not give in to this fear. You should say, “I will never accept what the Lord has not measured to me!” Once a person is delivered from fear, he is delivered from Satan’s realm. This is what Paul meant when he said, “Neither give place to the devil” (Eph. 4:27).

Why do we not need to fear? We do not fear “because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” (1 John 4:4). If we are fearful, it is because we are ignorant of this fact.

II. WITHSTANDING SATAN BY FAITH

First Peter 5:8-9 says, ” Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” God’s Word shows us clearly that the way to withstand Satan is by faith. There is no other way to withstand him. What should our faith rest on? How should we exercise our faith to withstand him? Let us consider what the Word of God says concerning this.

A. Believing That the Lord’s Manifestation Is to Destroy the Works of the Devil

First, we must believe that the Lord was manifested for the purpose of destroying the works of the devil (1 John 3:8 – “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.”). The Son of God has come to the earth; He was manifested. When He was on earth, He destroyed the work of the devil wherever He went. Often Satan’s work was not obvious; he hid behind natural phenomena. However, the Lord rebuked him every time. It is clear that He was rebuking Satan when He rebuked Peter’s speaking (Matt. 16:22-23 – “Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.”), when He rebuked the fever of Peter’s mother-in-law (Luke 4:39-“ And he stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her: and immediately she arose and ministered unto them.”), and when He rebuked the winds and the waves. Although the devil hid behind many natural phenomena, the Lord Jesus rebuked him. Wherever the Lord went, the power of the devil was shattered. This is why He said, ” And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges.” (Matt. 12:28). In other words, wherever the Lord went, Satan was cast out, and the kingdom of God was manifested. Satan could not remain where the Lord was. This is why He said that He was manifested to destroy the works of the devil.

We should also believe that in manifesting Himself on the earth, the Lord not only destroyed the works of the devil, but also gave authority to His disciples to cast out demons in His name. The Lord said, “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” (Luke 10:19). He gave His name to the church so that His church might continue His work on earth after His ascension. The Lord used His authority on earth to cast out demons. He also gave this authority to the church.

We must distinguish between what the devil has and what we have. What the devil has is power. What we have is authority. All that Satan has is power. But the Lord Jesus has given us authority, which can overcome all the power of Satan. Power cannot prevail over authority. God has given us authority, and Satan will surely fail.

Consider an illustration of how authority overcomes power: A traffic light on a road controls traffic. When a policeman turns on the red light, all pedestrians and cars have to stop. No one is allowed to dash through a red light. The pedestrians and cars are much more powerful than the red light in terms of power. However, no pedestrian or driver will dare dash through the red light because of the presence of authority. This is an example of authority prevailing over power.

Authority prevails over power; this is God’s established policy in this universe. No matter how strong Satan’s power is, one fact remains sure—the Lord Jesus has given His name to the church. This name stands for authority. The church can cast out demons in the name of the Lord. We can invoke the Lord’s name to deal with Satan’s power. Thank God that no matter how great Satan’s power is, the Lord’s name is immeasurably greater. The authority behind the Lord’s name is strong enough to overcome all the power of Satan.

The disciples went out in the name of the Lord. They were surprised when they returned. They told the Lord, “Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.” (10:17). The Lord’s name spells authority. His giving of His name to us means that He has given His authority to us. The Lord said, “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” (v. 19). Whoever desires to withstand Satan must learn to know the difference between the Lord’s authority and Satan’s power. No matter how great Satan’s power is, the Lord’s authority is able to overcome him. We must believe that God has given this authority to the church. The church can cast out demons and withstand the devil in the name of the Lord Jesus.

B. Believing That the Lord’s Death Has Destroyed Satan

Second, we must believe that through death the Lord Jesus has destroyed him who has the might of death, the devil (Heb. 2:14 – “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;”). The manifestation of the Lord Jesus destroyed the works of the devil, and the death of the Lord Jesus destroyed the devil himself.

The Lord’s death pronounces the greatest defeat for the devil because the Lord’s death is not only a punishment but also a way of salvation. In Genesis 2:17 God spoke of death: “… for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” This death is surely a punishment. Satan was delighted at this word. Since man would die if he ate the fruit, Satan tried his best to seduce man to eat it, so that death would reign in man and he could claim the victory. However, the Lord’s death constitutes the greatest way of salvation. It is true that God said, “For in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” This death is punishment. But the Lord has another death. The second death is a way of salvation. Death can punish those who sin. Death can also save and deliver those who are in sin. Satan thought that death could only punish the sinner. He seized upon this fact and reigned through man’s death. However, God saves and delivers man from sin through the death of the Lord Jesus. This is the most profound aspect of the gospel.

The Lord’s death on the cross takes away not only our sins but also the whole old creation. Our old man has been crucified with him. Although Satan reigns through death, the more he reigns through death, the worse his lot becomes, because his reign stops at death. Since we are already dead, death can no longer sting us. He has no further reign over us.

“For in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” God said this so that man would not eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But man ate it and sinned. What then should be done? The result of sin is death; there is no way to change this. However, there is a way to salvation, a salvation which goes through death. When the Lord Jesus was crucified on the cross for us, the old creation and the old man were both crucified with Him. This means that Satan’s authority can only go as far as death. The Scripture says, “…that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;” (Heb. 2:14).

Thank and praise the Lord. We are those who are already dead. If Satan attacks us, we can say to him, “I am already dead!” He has no authority over us because we are already dead. His authority extends only to the point of death.

(Note – When I learned this truth years ago, God gave me this song:

Thank God I am dead, I’m freed from sin.

The Lord Jesus Saved Me and He cleansed me within,

He searched ‘til he found me and He gave me life anew,

And the life that He gave me, He’ll give to you.

 

So go tell your brothers and sisters alike.

Tell them of Jesus and this wonderful life.

Tell them of heaven and glory to come,

Of Christ dead and risen God’s only Son.)

Our crucifixion with Christ is an accomplished fact; it is God’s doing. The Bible does not say that our death with the Lord is something that belongs to the future. It is not some experience that we hope to attain one day. The Bible does not tell us to pursue death. It shows us that we are already dead. A person is not dead if he is still pursuing death. However, our death with Christ is a gift from God in the same way that His death for us is a gift. If a man is still pursuing crucifixion, he is standing on fleshly ground, and Satan has full control over those who stand on fleshly ground. We must believe in the Lord’s death. We must also believe in our own death. Just as we believed in the Lord’s death for us, so also we should believe in our death in Him. Both are acts of faith, and neither has anything to do with human pursuits. As soon as we strive to realize these facts, we expose ourselves to Satan’s attack. We have to lay hold of the accomplished facts and declare: “Praise and thank the Lord; I am already dead.”

We must see that, in the eyes of God, our death with Christ is an accomplished fact. Once we see this, Satan can no longer do anything with us. Satan can deal only with those who are not dead. He can rule over only those who are facing death and who are on their way to death. But we are no longer facing death; we have already died. Satan can do nothing about us.

In order to withstand Satan, we must realize that the Lord’s manifestation was a manifestation of authority, and the work of His cross has released all those who are under Satan’s hand. Satan no longer has any authority over us anymore. We are above him. We are those who are already dead. Satan’s way is terminated by death, and there is nothing more that he can do.

C. Believing That the Lord’s Resurrection Has Put Satan to Shame

Third, we must believe that the Lord’s resurrection has put Satan to shame. Satan no longer has any way to attack us.

Colossians 2:12 says, “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.” This verse speaks of death as well as resurrection. Verse 13 tells us how we died and resurrected; verse 14 tells us what the Lord did at the time of His death; and verse 15 says that the Lord Jesus stripped off the rulers and the authorities and “….having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” Verse 20 says, “Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ….” and 3:1 says, “If ye then be risen with Christ,” These verses begin with resurrection and end with resurrection, and the verses in between speak of triumphing in the cross. We stand in the position of resurrection, and we triumph in the cross.

Why can we do this? The statement we made earlier explains this: The Lord has died, and we also are dead in Him. Satan, who has dominion over the old man, can follow us only as far as the cross. Resurrection is beyond him. Just as Satan had nothing in the Lord Jesus while He was on earth (John 14:30), so also he has nothing in Him in resurrection. Satan has no place at all in the new life. He has no authority at all in the new life and cannot touch our new life!

When the Lord was hung on the cross, it seemed as if myriads of demons were surrounding it. They thought that they could destroy the Son of God. It was to have been their greatest victory. Little did they realize that the Lord Jesus would go into death, come out of death, and overcome the authority of death! Here is the glorious fact: The Lord has come out of death! Therefore, we have the boldness and the confidence to say that the life of God is well able to cast away death!

What is the resurrection life? The resurrection life is a life that cannot be touched by death. It is a life that transcends death, that is beyond the boundary of death, that comes out of death, and that death cannot hold. Satan’s power extends only as far as death. The Lord Jesus proved how great the power of His life is through His resurrection. He dismantled the power of Satan. The Bible calls this power the “the power of His resurrection” (Phil. 3:10). When this resurrection power is expressed through us, everything of Satan is cast down!

We can withstand Satan because our life is a life of resurrection. This life has nothing to do with Satan. Our life issues from the life of God; it is a life that comes out of death. Satan’s power only goes as far as death. Whatever it does to us is limited to this side of death. But our life has come out of death. We have a life which he cannot touch. We are standing on resurrection ground, and we look back in triumph through the cross. Colossians 2 speaks of triumphing in resurrection. It is a chapter on resurrection, not death. We do not triumph in death through resurrection; rather we triumph in resurrection through death.

In order to withstand Satan, every child of God must declare with a strong faith, “Thank God, I have resurrected! Satan, what can you do? What you can do goes only so far as death. But the life that I have today has nothing to do with you! This life has been tested by you already. What else can you do? You are powerless! This life has transcended over you! Satan, get away from me!”

We cannot deal with Satan on the ground of hope. We can only stand on the ground of resurrection, the ground of the Lord. This is a very basic principle. Colossians 2:12 tells us that we must believe in “faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.”

We need to take the same position before Satan as that which we take before God. The Bible tells us to put on the robe of righteousness when we come before God (Isa. 61:10; Zech. 3:4-5). Our robe of righteousness is Christ. We need to put on Christ to come before God. In the same way, we need to put on Christ to come before Satan. God cannot find our sins when we put on Christ. Likewise, Satan cannot find our sins when we are in Christ. When we take this stand, Satan can no longer attack us. We are perfect before God and perfect also before Satan. What a glorious fact!

We must not be afraid of Satan. If we are afraid of Satan, he will laugh at us. He will say, “What a fool there is on earth. How can this one be so foolish?” Anyone who is afraid of Satan is foolish, because he has forgotten his position in Christ. We have no reason to fear him. We have transcended over his power. We can stand before him and say, “You cannot touch me! No matter how strong and resourceful you are, you are still one step behind!” On the day of the Lord’s resurrection, He led the enemy captive and openly shamed him. Today we are standing on the ground of resurrection, and we triumph through the cross!

D. Believing That the Ascension of the Lord Is Far above the Power of Satan

Fourth, we must believe that the ascension of the Lord has put Him far above the power of Satan. Ephesians 1:20-22 says, “And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.” This means that the Lord Jesus is already seated in the heavenlies and is far above all the power of Satan.

Ephesians 2:6 says, “And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:” This is our position, the position of a Christian. The Lord Jesus is resurrected; He is seated in the heavenlies far above all the power of Satan. We are raised up together with Christ and are seated together with Him in the heavenlies, far above all the power of Satan.

Ephesians 6:11 to 13 says, ” Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 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. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Chapter two shows us that we are seated together with the Lord in the heavenlies. Chapter six shows us that we need to stand firm. Chapter two says that we need to sit, while chapter six says that we need to stand. What does it mean to sit? To sit means to rest. It means that the Lord has overcome and that we can now rest in His victory. This is what it means to depend on the Lord’s victory. What does it mean to stand? To stand means that spiritual warfare is not a matter of assault but of defense. To stand does not mean to attack; it means to defend. Because the Lord has overcome completely, we have no need to attack again. The victory of the cross is complete, and there is no further need to attack. Here we see two attitudes: One is to sit, and the other is to stand. To sit is to rest in the Lord’s victory, while to stand is to withstand Satan and to stop him from taking away our victory.

Christian warfare is a matter of warding off defeat; it is not a matter of fighting for victory. We have already overcome. We fight from the position of victory, and we fight to maintain our victory. We are not fighting to win a victory. We fight from victory; victory is something that is in our hands. The warfare spoken of in Ephesians is the warfare of the overcomers. We do not become overcomers through fighting. We need to distinguish between these two things.

How does Satan tempt us? He causes us to forget our own position and our victory. He blinds our eyes to our own victory. If we give in to his tactics, we will feel that victory is far away and beyond our reach. We must remember that the victory of the Lord is complete. It is so complete that our whole life is included in this victory! Once we believe, we overcome. Satan is defeated and we have overcome in Christ. Satan wants to steal away the victory which we have gained. His work is to taunt us to secretly find out if we still have the faith. If we do not know that victory is already ours, we will fail. But if we know our victory, his work will fail.

Therefore, we counter the work of Satan with the work of the Lord Jesus. We withstand Satan through the Lord’s manifestation, death, resurrection, and ascension. We are standing today upon the accomplished work of the Lord. We do not need to try to overcome in any way when Satan attacks us. Once we have the slightest thought of trying to overcome, we have failed, because our position is wrong. How great is the difference between a person who tries to overcome and one who withstands by knowing that he has already overcome. To withstand the devil means that we withstand him by the victory of Christ.

This matter indeed needs revelation. We need to see the manifestation of the Lord. We need to see His death, resurrection, and ascension. We need to know all these things.

As Christians we must learn to withstand the devil. We must say to Satan under all circumstances, “Get away from me!” May God be gracious to us so that we may all have such a faith. May we have faith toward the four things the Lord has accomplished for us, and may we exercise strong faith to withstand Satan and reject his work upon us.

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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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