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

How to Know Jesus

MEETING JESUS

The whole purpose of life is summed up in the wonderful truth that anyone can know God personally in the person of Jesus Christ.  In order to know Him, one needs to be introduced to him and to see what it is that makes him so special.  Let me try to make a case for the intrinsic value of Jesus who is called the Christ.

“The officers answered, Never man spake like this man.”  (John 7:46)

“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.”  (Hebrews 1:1-9)

“In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled.”  (Colossians 1:14-21)

“For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.”  (Colossians 2:9)

“For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house.”  (Hebrews 3:3)

“Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.”  (Hebrews 5:10)

“So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.”  (Hebrews 5:5-6)

“Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;”  (Hebrews 5:8)

What are these verses talking about?  They are talking about Jesus!  Well, you say, what is so special about Jesus?  I have a little list in one of my sermons that goes like this:

  1. To the artist Jesus is the One Altogether Lovely.
  2. To the architect Jesus is the Chief Cornerstone.
  3. To the astronomer Jesus is the Sun of Righteousness.
  4. To the baker Jesus is the Living Bread.
  5. To the banker Jesus is the Treasure of all Treasures.
  6. To the biologist Jesus is the Life.
  7. To the builder Jesus is the Sure Foundation.
  8. To the carpenter Jesus is the Door
  9. To the doctor Jesus is the Great Physician.
  10. To the educator Jesus is the Great Teacher.
  11. To the engineer Jesus is the New and Living Way.
  12. To the farmer Jesus is the Sower and the Lord of the Harvest.
  13. To the florist Jesus is the Rose of Sharon and the Lily of the Valley.
  14. To the geologist Jesus is the Rock of Ages.
  15. To the horticulturist Jesus is the True Vine.
  16. To the judge Jesus is the Righteous Judge, the Judge of All Men.
  17. To the juror Jesus is the Faithful and True Witness.
  18. To the jeweler Jesus is the Pearl of Great Price.
  19. To the lawyer Jesus is the Counselor, the Lawgiver.
  20. To the newspaperman Jesus is the Good Tidings of Great Joy.
  21. To the oculist Jesus is the Light of the Eyes.
  22. To the philanthropist Jesus is the Gift of God.
  23. To the preacher Jesus is the Word of God.
  24. To the sculptor Jesus is the Living Stone.
  25. To the servant Jesus is the Good Master.
  26. To the student Jesus is the Incarnate Truth.
  27. To the statesman Jesus is the Desire of All Nations.
  28. To the theologian Jesus is the Author and Finisher of our Faith.
  29. To the toiler Jesus is the Giver of Rest.
  30. To the sinner Jesus is the Lamb of God Who Takes Away The Sin of The World.
  31. To the saint Jesus is the Son of the Living God, the Savior, the Redeemer, and the Lord.

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.”  (Matthew 13:44)  There is something about knowing Jesus that does this to people.  It is like the treasure in the field to know Him.

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.”  (Matthew 13:45-46)  What is it worth to you to have the Lord of the Universe actually live in your heart?  It is definitely worth selling all in order to purchase the pearl.

The point that we are making here and will continue to make as we move further in this book is that there is intrinsic value in knowing Jesus.  There is enough intrinsic value to turn from a life of selfish living to serving Jesus as a life-time servant.  Regeneration is what happens to a man when his vision of life is changed by meeting Jesus face to face.  There is a  blind song writer that put the concept into words that paint a true picture.  Her name was Fanny Crosby.  Read this poem which is also a famous hymn:

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

1. O soul, are you weary and troubled?

No light in the darkness you see?

There’s light for a look at the Savior,

And life more abundant and free!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,

Look full in His wonderful face;

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim

In the light of His glory and grace.

2. Through death into life everlasting

He passed, and we follow Him there;

Over us sin no more hath dominion

For more than conquerors we are!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,

Look full in His wonderful face;

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim

In the light of His glory and grace.

3. His Word shall not fail you-He promised;

Believe Him, and all will be well;

Then go to a world that is dying,

His perfect salvation to tell!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,

Look full in His wonderful face;

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim

In the light of His glory and grace.

What is it that is so special about Jesus?  It is His love!  Jesus has what is called  disinterested benevolence which is how we describe the love of God as well.  His love is like none other!  It is something that will change you forever:

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  (Romans 8:35-39)

“For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.”  (2 Corinthians 5:14-15)

“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:17-19)

“Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”  (Jude 1:21)

The love of God and of Jesus does something that none can explain but it certainly changes a life completely.

“But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”  (Philippians 3:7-14)

Let’s read the testimony of Charles G. Finney, revivalist

At an early hour I started for the office.  But just before I arrived at the office, something seemed to confront me with questions like these:  indeed, it seemed as if the inquiry within myself, as an inward voice said to me, “What are you waiting for?  Did you not promise to give your heart to God?  And what are you trying to do?  Are you endeavoring to work out a righteousness of your own?”

Just at this point the whole question of Gospel salvation opened to my mind in a manner most marvelous to me at the time.  I think I then saw, as clearly as I ever have in my life, the reality and fullness of the atonement of Christ.  I saw that his work was a finished work; and that instead of having, or needing, any righteousness of my own to recommend me to God, I had to submit myself to the righteousness of God through Christ.  Gospel salvation seemed to me to be an offer of something to be accepted; and that it was full and complete; and that all that was necessary on my part, was to get my own consent to give up my sins, and accept Christ.  Salvation, it seemed to me, instead of being a thing to be wrought out, by my own works, was a thing to be found entirely in the Lord Jesus Christ, who presented himself before me as my God and my Savior.

Without being distinctly aware of it, I had stopped in the street right where the inward voice seemed to arrest me.  How long I remained in that position I cannot say.  But after this distinct revelation had stood for some little time before my mind, the question seemed to be put, “Will you accept it now, to-day?”  I replied, “Yes; I will accept it to-day, or I will die in the attempt.”

North of the village, and over the hill, lay a piece of woods, in which I was in the almost daily habit of walking, more or less, when it was pleasant weather.  It was now October, and the time was past for my frequent walks there.  Nevertheless, instead of going to the office, I returned and bent my course toward the woods, feeling that I must be alone and away from all human eyes and ears, so that I could pour out my prayer to God.

But still my pride must show itself.  As I went over the hill, it occurred to me that some one might see me and suppose that I was going away to pray.  Yet probably there was not a person on earth that would have suspected such a thing, had he seen me going.  But so great was my pride, and so much was I possessed with the fear of man, that I recollect that I skulked along under the fence, till I got so far out of sight that no one from the village could see me.  I then penetrated into the woods, I should think, a quarter of a mile, went over on the other side of the hill, and found a place where some large trees had fallen across each other, leaving an open place between.  There I saw I could make a kind of closet.  I crept into this placed and knelt down for prayer.  As I turned to go up into the woods, I recollect to have said, “I will give my heart to God, or I never will come down from there.”  I recollect repeating this as I went up-“I will give my heart to God before I ever come down again.”

But when I attempted to pray I found that my heart would not pray.  I had supposed that I could only be where I could speak aloud, without being overheard, I could pray freely.  But lo!  When I came to try, I was dumb; that is, I had nothing to say to God; or at least I could say but a few words, and those without heart.  In attempting to pray I would hear a rustling in the leaves, as I thought, and would stop and look up to see if somebody were not coming.  This I did several times.

Finally I found myself verging fast to despair.  I said to myself, “I cannot pray.  My heart is dead to God, and will not pray.”  I then reproached myself for having promised to give my heart to God before I left the woods. When I came to try, I found that I could not give my heart to God.  My inward soul hung back, and there was no going out of my heart to God.  I began to feel deeply that it was too late; that it must be that I was given up of God and was past hope.

The thought was pressing me of the rashness of my promise, that I would give my heart to God that day or die in the attempt.  It seemed to me as if that was binding upon my soul; and yet I was going to break my vow.  A great sinking and discouragement came over me, and I felt almost too weak to stand upon my knees.

Just at this moment I again thought I heard some one approach me, and I opened my eyes to see whether it were so.  But right there the revelation of my pride of heart, as the great difficulty that stood in the way, was distinctly shown to me.  An overwhelming sense of my wickedness in being ashamed to have a human being see me on my knees before God, took such powerful possession of me, that I cried at the top of my voice, and exclaimed that I would not leave that place it all the men on earth and all the devils in hell surrounded me.  “What!” I said, “such a degraded sinner as I am, on my knees confessing my sins to the great and holy God; and ashamed to have any human being, and a sinner like myself, find me on my knees endeavoring to make my peace with my offended God?”  The sin appeared awful, infinite.  It broke me down before the Lord.

Just at that point this passage of Scripture seemed to drop into my mind with a flood of light:  “Then shall ye go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.  Then shall ye seek me and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”  I instantly seized hold of this with my heart.  I had intellectually believed the Bible before; but never had the truth been in my mind that faith was a voluntary trust instead of an intellectual state.  I was as conscious as I was of my existence, of trusting at that moment in God’s veracity.  Somehow I knew that that was a passage of Scripture, though I do not think I had ever read it.  I knew that it was God’s word, and God’s voice, as it were, that spoke to me.  I cried to Him, “Lord, I take thee with all my heart, and that I have come here to pray to thee; and thou has promised to hear me.”

That seemed to settle the question that I could then, that day, perform my vow.  The Spirit seemed to lay stress upon that idea in the text, “When you search for me with all your heart.”  The question of when, that is of the present time, seemed to fall heavily into my heart.  I told the Lord that I should take him at his word; that he could not lie; and that therefore I was sure that he heard my prayer, and that he would be found of me.

He then gave me many other promises, both from the Old and the New Testament, especially some most precious promises respecting our Lord Jesus Christ.  I never can, in words, make any human being understand how precious and true those promises appeared to me.  I took them one after the other as infallible truth, the assertions of God who could not lie.  They did not seem so much to fall into my intellect as into my heart, to be put within the grasp of the voluntary powers of my mind;  and I seized hold of them, appropriated them, and fastened upon them with the grasp of a drowning man.

I continued to pray, and to receive and appropriate promises for a long time, I know not how long.  I prayed till my mind became so full that, before I was aware of it, I was on my feet and tripping up the ascent toward the road.  The question of my being converted, had not so much as arisen to my thought; but as I went up, brushing through the leaves and bushes, I recollect saying with great emphasis, “If I am ever converted, I will preach the Gospel.”

I soon reached the road that led to the village, and began to reflect upon what had passed; and I found that my mind had become most wonderfully quiet and peaceful.  I said to myself, “What is this? I must have grieved the Holy Ghost entirely away.  I have lost all my conviction.  I have not a particle of concern about my soul; and it must be that the Spirit has left me.”  “Why!”  thought I, “I never was so far from being concerned about my own salvation in my life.”

Then I remembered what I had said to God while I was on my knees-that I had said I would take him at his word; and indeed I recollected a good many things that I had said, and concluded that it was no wonder that the Spirit had left me; that for such a sinner as I was to take hold of God’s word in that way, was presumption if not blasphemy.  I concluded that in my excitement I had grieved the Holy Spirit, and perhaps committed the unpardonable sin.

I walked quietly toward the village; and so perfectly quiet was my mind that it seemed as if all nature listened.  It was on the 10th of October, and a very pleasant day.  I had gone into the woods immediately after an early breakfast; and when I returned to the village I found it was dinner time.  Yet I had been wholly unconscious of the time that had passed; it appeared to me that I had been gone from the village but a short time.

But how was I to account for the quiet of my mind?  I tried to recall my convictions, to get back again the load of sin under which I had been laboring.  But all sense of sin, and all consciousness of present sin or guilt, had departed from me.  I said to myself, “What is this, that I cannot arouse any sense of guilt in my soul, as great a sinner as I am?”  I tried in vain to make myself anxious about my present state.  I was so quiet and peaceful that I tried to feel concerned about that, lest it should be a result of my having grieved the Spirit away.  But take any view of it I would, I could not be anxious at all about my soul, and about my spiritual state.  The repose of my mind was unspeakably great.  I never can describe it in words.  The thought of God was sweet to my mind, and the most profound spiritual tranquility had taken full possession of me.  This was a great mystery; but it did not distress or perplex me.

I went to my dinner, and found I had no appetite to eat.  I then went to the office, and found that Squire W-had gone to dinner.  I took down my bass-viol, and, as I was accustomed to do, began to plan and sing some pieces of sacred music.  But as soon as I began to sing those sacred words, I began to weep.  It seemed as if my heart was all liquid; and my feelings were in such a state that I could not hear my own voice in singing without causing my sensibility to overflow.  I wondered at this, and tried to suppress my tears, but could not.  After trying in vain to suppress my tears, I put up my instrument and stopped singing.

After dinner we were engaged in removing our books and furniture to another office.  We were very busy in this, and had but little conversation all the afternoon.  My mind, however, remained in that profoundly tranquil state.  There was a great sweetness and tenderness in my thoughts and feelings.  Everything appeared to be going right, and nothing seemed to ruffle or disturb me in the least.

Just before evening the thought took possession of my mind, that as soon as I was left alone in the new office, I would try to pray again-that I was not going to abandon the subject of religion and give it up, at any rate; and therefore, although I no longer had any concern about my soul, still I would continue to pray.

By evening we got books and furniture adjusted; and I made up, in an open fire-place, a good fire, hoping to spend the evening alone.  Just at dark Squire W–, seeing that everything was adjusted, bade me good-night and went to his home.  I had accompanied him to the door; and as I closed the door and turned around, my heart seemed to be liquid within me.  All my feelings seemed to rise and flow out; and the utterance of my heart was, “I want to pour my whole soul out to God.”  The rising of my soul was so great that I rushed into the room back of the front office, to pray.

There was no fire, and no light, in the room; nevertheless it appeared to me as if it were perfectly light.  As I went in and shut the door after me, it seemed as if I met the Lord Jesus Christ face to face.  It did not occur to me then, nor did it for some time afterward, that it was wholly a mental state.  On the contrary it seemed to me that I saw him as I would see any other man.  He said nothing, but looked at me in such a manner as to break me right down at his feet.  I have always since regarded this as a most remarkable state of mind; for it seemed to me a reality, that he stood before me, and I fell down at his feet and poured out my soul to him.  I wept aloud like a child, and made such confessions as I could with my choked utterance.  It seemed to me that I bathed his feet with my tears; and yet I had no distinct impression that I touched him, that I recollect.

I must have continued in this state for a good while; but my mind was too much absorbed with the interview to recollect anything that I said.  But I know, as soon as my mind became calm enough to break off from the interview, I returned to the front office, and found that the fire that I had made of large wood was nearly burned out.  But as I turned and was about to take a seat by the fire, I received a mighty baptism of the Holy Ghost.  Without any expectation of it, without ever having the thought in my mind that there was any such thing for me, without any recollection that I had ever heard the thing mentioned by any person in the world, the Holy Spirit descended upon me in a manner that seemed to go through me, body and soul.  I could feel the impression, like a wave of electricity, going through and through me.  Indeed it seemed to come in waves and waves of liquid love; for I could not express it in any other way.  It seemed like the very breath of God.  I can recollect distinctly that it seemed to fan me, like immense wings.

No words can express the wonderful love that was shed abroad in my heart.  I wept aloud with joy and love; and I do not know but I should say, I literally bellowed out the unutterable gushings of my heart.  These waves came over me, and over me, and over me, one after the other, until I recollect I cried out, “I shall die if these waves continue to pass over me.”  I said, “Lord, I cannot bear any more;”  yet I had no fear of death.

How long I continued in this state, with this baptism continuing to roll over me and go through me, I do not know.  But I know it was late in the evening when a member of my choir-for I was the leader of the choir-came into the office to see me.  He was a member of the church.  He found me in this state of loud weeping, and said to me, “Mr. Finney, what ails you?”  I could make him no answer for some time.  He then said, “Are you in pain?”  I gathered myself up as best I could, and replied, “No, but so happy that I cannot live.”

We could go on with the narrative, but shortly after the above mentioned meeting, a serious man from the church came in and began to laugh with a holy laughter and then a young man who had used Charles Finney as his reason to remain an unbeliever came in only to hear the testimony of Charles and his change of life.  He was immediately convicted and on His knees gave his own heart to God.  You can read it all in the book Charles G. Finney, An Autobiography. The life of Charles Finney was drastically changed from that day to the day of his death.  He became one of the greatest revivalists history has ever known and profoundly influenced the early years of our country in having many Senators, Congressmen, Lawyers, and Judges converted to Jesus Christ.  The reason is that regeneration, as we are discussing here, made a remarkable change.  Charles G. Finney was truly “born again.”

What is being born again as Finney describes?  I have studied the Bible on this subject and have found that much that is preached and taught seems to miss some of that the Bible teaches regarding the subject.  Before a person accepts Christ, or believes, repents of their sins, commits their life to God or any number of other things that are described in the Bible, they are unsaved, or lost.  They have a selfish end in view for their motive for living. Charles Finney said he had selfish pride that kept him from believing the promises of God.   At that time they own their own life, follow their own will, and are spiritually dead in sin.  The day a person accepts Christ, as seen in the testimony of Charles G. Finney, he does more than to mentally believe, as Mr. Finney describes in his testimony, that the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ are facts, but he exercises a heart faith and confidence which in effect passes ownership of his life over to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  The Bible says in John 3:16 that “…whosoever believeth in him…” and when we look at the Greek for that phrase, the word in is a Greek word eis which actually means into. The Greek prepositions are placed on a chart to show just how they affect the subject in a sentence.  The diagram for eis appears as presented below:

As one can see, there is movement from one side to the other.  No one that believes in Jesus Christ stays where they were prior to salvation and no one loves the same things.  The meaning of believing in Jesus actually is more accurately said believing into Jesus Christ.  It is being immersed in the love of God as Finney told in his conversion experience.  It is definitely life changing.  It is not mental acknowledgement but life changing waves of the love of God.  The after effect is a new outlook on all that you had once held dear in life.  Nothing looks the same and peace floods your soul.  You are definitely born again, born into a new world and dead to the old one once and for all.  The old man is crucified and the resurrection life of Jesus Christ comes to dwell in the new believer, he is now a new creation in Christ Jesus.

What I found in studying this further is an astounding fact.  The Dana and Mantey Greek Grammar of the New Testament had an interesting footnote in the definition of the word.  It said, essentially, that to believe into or to be baptized into the name of Jesus Christ was to renounce ones self, selfishness and self-gratification, and consider ones self a life-time servant of Jesus Christ.  Nothing is clearer by way of illustration than the testimony of Charles G. Finney in this respect.  The circle on the right, in the illustration above, represents all that Christ stands for.  When a person is regenerated, they pass from the left-hand to the right-hand circle.  They are placing themselves in the hands of God, Jesus Christ specifically, by faith.  When you view the chart you can picture in your mind all the things that we have been saying in this lesson, the attributes of selfishness on the left, and all the things that relate to disinterested benevolence (Love of God) are on the right.  The left circle is the world of the unsaved; all things are viewed from a self-centered viewpoint.  The right circle is a new world of knowing God through Jesus Christ.  As Charles Finney indicated, there are baptisms of love that no one can describe that come over a new Christian.  He can never be the same.  His position has changed.  He has moved from the left, sometimes without even realizing it, over to the right.  The left feels most uncomfortable now and the right seems most peaceful and tranquil.  On the left a person feels that his life is owned by himself; on the right the person feels that his life is owned now by God.  On the left the person has self as lord; on the right, Christ is now Lord with no problem.  Some seem to cringe at the term “Lordship Salvation” but that is precisely what happens whether there is conscious thought of it or not.  A new Christian is slain by the Love of God and He is Lord of the heart by that same love. He is Lord of love.  The truth is that regeneration is a drastic change, it is being born again.  The position has changed, as far as the perspective that one has concerning his place in the world and in his place in his relationship to God.  That is just a fact of regeneration that cannot be denied, it is a fact that cannot be otherwise if a person comes to know God.  Is it any wonder that the moral law has this, knowing God, as the number one goal of every human being and of every being in the universe?  There is nothing that can substitute for the thrill and yet the peace and contentment that comes from having a personal relationship with the God of love, the lover of our souls.  So as we have said above, there is a part that the sinner plays, as Charles Finney testifies in his book, and there is a part that God plays as well.  It has happened to all that have come to know God, their perspective is altered in such a way that they can never return to the old life.  Truly old things have passed away and all things have become new.   The following outline is how you, too can have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and know the Love of God.  Read each word with a prayerful spirit:

 

“This is Life Eternal ….that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”  John 17:3

  • Is God the end & scope of your life? Who owns your heart?  If you died right now, do you know 100% sure that you will be with Jesus in Heaven?
  • Do all your friends and family know you as a life-time servant of Jesus Christ?
  • Is there any part of your life that you would say does not belong completely to God?
  • What would it profit you to gain the world and lost your soul or what would you give in exchange for your soul?
  • God’s Wonderful Plan of Salvation is right here in four simple but powerful truths.  Read them carefully and cry out  to God with your mouth and with all your heart!

If you could know that Jesus loves you,

If you could only understand

That Jesus thought of you when dying,

And paid the price that guilt demands.

I know your heart would then adore Him;

I know His voice you would obey.

He calls you now with tender pleading!

Obey His voice and follow Him today.”

(Continued below)

FIRST, You Are A Sinner!

  • Romans 3:10,11 says, “As it is written, there is none righteous, no not one.  There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.”
  • When the Bible talks about sin it means to miss the mark of the end and scope of life which is God. Could you say that the goal of your life is the glory of God?
  • Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
  • There is one thing that separates between man and God and that is sin.
  • Romans 7:19-20 says, “For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.  Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.”
  • We find that we are in bondage to sin, unable to break it’s power.  Anyone that is in bondage to sin does not glorify God.
  • Do you admit that you have sinned?  If so, move to the next point.

SECOND, The Price on Sin Is Death!

  • Romans 5:12 says, “Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”
  • The first people in the world were Adam and Eve.  Their sin was that they decided to make “self” their goal rather than God. Does that sound familiar?
  • Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
  • Serving Self makes us all the enemies of God.  The bondage of our flesh to lust and sin has made what we thought was pleasure into a mirage of doom, physical death and separation from God in hell.
  • Revelation 20:14 says, “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire.  This is the second death.  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”
  • Do you admit that you are headed for hell if you don’t break the bondage to sin?  If so, go on to the next point.

THIRD, Jesus Paid the Price for your sins!

  • Romans 5:8 says, “But God commendeth his love towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
  • The greatest story ever told is of Jesus, come to earth, born in a lowly manger of the virgin Mary, living a life without sin, and then dying on a cross to pay the penalty for all mankind.
  • He did more than that, He took us with Him, thereby breaking our bondage to sin by His death and resurrection. Glory to God!  When you give up your life to Him, you get His resurrection power!
  • Do you believe enough that He died and rose again for you, that you would be willing to trust your life and future to the One that can raise the dead?  Go on to the next point!

If you could know the joy of pardon;

If you could know the peace it brings.

When Jesus speaks, “DIVINE FORGIVENESS,”

The saddest heart with rapture sings.

I know your heart would then adore Him;

I know His voice you would obey.

He calls you now with tender pleading;

Obey His voice and follow Him today.”

LAST, Ask Jesus To Come Into Your Heart! Give Him ALL YOUR LIFE!

Romans 10: 9,10 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. . . . .For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

  • It almost seems too simple, yet the Bible says we must be like little children to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
  • Do you see what the verses say? To believe is to give up your life to Him because He gave His life for you.  He only wants the best for you.  Being His servant is to be free from the bondage of sin. You will have a new  yoke, a bondage of love to Jesus.
  • Wouldn’t you be willing to just tell Jesus that you will surrender your life to him today and let Him come into your heart to take control?
  • Great!  If Jesus would take you just like you are, would you take Him? You will do it won’t you?  He will make the changes but you must give him all!  Don’t hold back!  It’s all or nothing!
  • So, simply bow your head and say a prayer something like this, as you picture placing your life in God’s hands now and forever:

Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and deserve hell for my sins.  I believe that you died for me and rose from the dead the third day and am willing to surrender all my life to you right now.  Take away all my sins!  Take me to heaven when I die?  I now receive you as my Lord and Savior.  Thank-you for saving me!  In Jesus Name I pray, Amen!”

If you pray that prayer while viewing the pages on this site, please write to us and let us know about your new life in Jesus Christ and then follow all the lessons from Lesson #1 to Lesson #27 so that you can be the best Christian one can possibly be and invite all your friends and family as well as many others that cross your path to find the same Savior that you have found.

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