I started out to write this article several times, and put it aside. There are just so many events occurring today with such prophetic significance that there was no lack of writing topics. There’s another reason why I put this article off… I didn’t want any close family members or brothers or sisters in Christ to think I was calling them out specifically. I’ve learned my lesson (the hard way) that when the Lord puts something on our hearts to write or speak about, we should follow His leading, no matter if it causes hurt feelings or strife with mankind.
“For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10).
However, that said, I owe a debt of gratitude to Pastor J.D. Farag (of Kaneohe, Hawaii) whose Prophecy Update this week dealt with the very topic I kept putting aside. His message was the impetus (or kick in the hindquarters) I needed to finish this article today. (Please see link at end of the article for Pastor J.D.’s video.)
Before getting into the topic, let’s first look to scripture and notice what God’s word says about the devil regarding music.
Ezekiel 28:13-18 (KJV Bible) “Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
“Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
“Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty; thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.”
The devil was given not only a beautiful covering, but also the “pipes and tabrets;” musical ability. Although we are not specifically told that the devil was the musical worship leader of the angelic host, we can surmise from scripture that the devil did play a large role in this arena, as he was given these “pipes and tabrets” as part of his covering. Instead of using these things to bring glory to the Lord, instead, the devil desired for mankind to worship him rather than God!
We’ve likely heard many a sermon on this section of scripture about the pride of the devil and his arrogance due to his looks (his covering). The fact that God created him and that the devil was prideful in himself, rather than in what God had created, is the root of this pride.
Yet I’ve heard so few sermons about the devil’s musical abilities. Not only was he prideful in his looks, but also prideful in his abilities. The fact that he didn’t give God the glory for these musical abilities also seems to go unnoticed. We would be lax in attending to details, if we were not to also focus on what the devil has used this musical ability to do…. corrupt music of today. The world doesn’t want to hear it; they love their secular, worldly music.
Much music is devoted to (let’s say this delicately) romantic relationships. Oh, if they only had a relationship with the right person (mankind) they would be happy, right? (Wrong.) Oh, if they weren’t fettered by ‘rules’ they would be ‘free’, right? (Wrong.) Oh, if they only had lots of money, wealth, and power, they would be happy, right? (Wrong.) So many songs are devoted to those who believe they could be happy ‘if only _____’.
Angry individuals find music they can relate to as well – music (even rap, which can barely be called music) that pushes the violent tendencies to the extreme… glorifying rape, racism, physical violence, and even murder.
No matter the genre, mankind is thrilled to find a song (or many) with which they can ‘identify’.
The heartbroken teen finds music about lost love, how everything is (supposedly) their parent’s fault, or some other person who ‘kept them from’ their supposed love, and/or the sin they desire to revel in.
The drunkard finds music about how his wife has left him and how he’s going to get her back (nothing about giving up alcohol and violence; they aren’t wanting to hear about that).
Musical lyrics are written about a vast variety of subjects. 99% of secular music is written about selfish desires and sin. Sin promotion is rampant in secular music today.
As teens (many years ago) we often heard the phrase “the devil is in the music.” We laughed about it then… Oh, what a silly old wives tale that was. Right? (Wrong.) The devil truly is in the music. The hypnotic beat draws in many. Dancing (and drinking alcohol or doing drugs along with the dancing) is another part of the hypnotic draw. The lyrics which one can ‘identify with’ draw in many more, all of which takes away from God’s glory.
The entire reason music was created was to give God the glory. The reason we exist is to bring God glory and to share the gospel with the lost. Yet are we living our lives to please the Lord and bring God glory? Or to glorify and please ourselves?
Secular music laments the woes of the world, and yet gives no real hope. Mankind is not the answer for mankind’s problems. Only the Lord is! Only Jesus can wash away our sins and create in us a new heart with the desire to please Him, the desire to live more righteous lives for Him (rather than living for ourselves). THIS is where true happiness and joy is found. The peace of God that passes all understanding keeps our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. This peace, comfort, hope, and joy the world cannot give.
How few songs give God the glory today? We can expect that the unsaved world is not concerned with giving glory to God. They don’t know Him (yet many of them blame Him for their troubles nonetheless, even though they don’t know Him at all).
But it’s not JUST the unsaved world’s music that doesn’t give God the glory… much of the new “contemporary Christian music” is also ‘me-centric’… what’s in it for ME? Rather than bringing glory to God, much of the newer music is about how does God make ME feel? What can God do for ME?
Some are old enough to remember the JFK quote: “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” What if we believers were to ask THIS instead: “Ask not what the Lord can do for you, but ask what you can do for the Lord?” This is what we believers should be focusing on. If we are, we have much less time to spend lamenting our temporary woes in this world. If we are believers, then we know He has already done far more for us than we deserve.
We deserved hell; we are all sinners. Let’s be thankful for this salvation in Christ and glorify God in every deed and action we can. That includes music as well.
So little contemporary Christian music has this theme today. As I said, it’s all focused on what God can do for ME! Sadly, many churches are entirely focused around such music. The music programs take precedence over the little time spent on sermons (if there even is a sermon from scripture at all). The music segments are more akin to rock concerts than to a worship service. Many call this segment the ‘praise and worship’ team. And yet whom are they praising? Whom are they worshiping?
I do love the old hymns best. While many of the old hymns DO focus on what the Lord has done for us (such as “Amazing Grace,” “The Old Rugged Cross,” and numerous others), it’s mostly salvation these hymns are thankful for; they also give God the glory for the things He has done. The do preach salvation and our thankfulness for Christ’s precious gift!
Others (of the older hymns) give God the glory and praise totally, such as: “How Great Thou Art,” “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty,” “Great is They Faithfulness,” etc. What do we hear today of the contemporary music? Not many songs focused on giving God the glory, sadly.
Pastor J.D.’s message struck a chord with many. He spoke of how music had played a large role in his pre-Christian life, how such groups as AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, the Beatles (and many others) had been the everyday noise pounding into his brain. I could relate, having had similar music ‘tastes’ in my youth (to my shame now). But pastor J.D. was unsaved in his youth. I had no such excuse! He also spoke of how he believed he’d been possessed by demons through the drugs, alcohol, and music.
Thankfully, I was saved prior to my teen years, and I do not believe that a born-again believer can be possessed, since we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. However, I was grieving the Holy Spirit and grieving the Lord by filling my ears and head with that garbage music. Those who are not saved are opening the doorway to demon possession through the use of drugs, alcohol, and yes, even (and especially) music. Many top bands/groups/singers admitted to being under demonic influence, and were even proud of it!
Demon possession (or at minimum, demonic influence) may be why there is such a rise in violent crimes today. We also must take into account Romans 1:18-32 and 2 Tim.3:1-5 – the characteristics of those living in the perilous last days, and those who are given over to a reprobate mind.
There’s no doubt that, as God is booted out of schools and the public forum, the devil has strolled right in and taken over. Gun control is not the answer to any of these problems. Jesus is the answer! Only He can change hearts and minds.
We were all teens once, but have we grown out of those self-serving attitudes and actions as we’ve aged?
As a teen, music was my favorite pastime, those ‘take me away’ moments during teen angst. Music has the ability to uplift us or sadden our hearts. Yet so few people even recognize that secular music is centered around SELF!
We can almost expect that teenagers are typically self-centered and narcissistic (not all, but on the whole). Yet we are supposed to grow out of that phase, to mature. And if we are believers, so also are we to grow in Christ, in His word. We should be desiring first the sincere milk of His word (1 Pet.2:2) and graduate on to the harder and weightier matters in scripture, the meat of the word (Heb.5:12-13, Cor.3:2).
Sadly, there are far too many professing Christians who spend more time listening to worldly music today than they do in God’s word daily. What a shame.
Shamefully, it wasn’t just my teen years that I listened to secular music. I also listened to it for many years after. I compromised with the world. I made excuses (As many of you still do. I know; I was there also). ‘Everyone else’ was doing it also, right?
Others who were professing believers also were listening to popular (worldly) music. BUT we aren’t supposed to base our decisions on what everyone else is doing (2 Cor.10:12). If we know it’s sinful and yet we do it anyway, we are then willfully sinning, willfully grieving the Holy Spirit within us believers (Eph.4:30). Worse, we are willfully grieving the Lord. Why would we do that?
That’s a question each of us needs to deal with individually. You can pretend it’s not a problem. You can pretend that compromising with the world isn’t hurting anyone. But it’s grieving the Lord. Why do that willfully?
Pastor J.D. brought up the song “Highway to Hell” (an old AC/DC song popular in my teen years). I can remember how many of my friends back then would joke about the song. They really believe it’s going to be some big party there. They don’t know that hell is a place of eternal torment, of fire and brimstone raining over them for eternity (Matt.13:42, 13:50, 25:41, 25:46; 2 Thes.1:9; Jude 1:7; Rev.19:20, 21:8, and many others).
They don’t know that the devil doesn’t ‘run hell’. He doesn’t even get to pick his own spot out there. God will cast him into the lake of fire for eternity as well (Rev.20:11-15). There he will be clinging to the sides of the pit as well (Isaiah 14:12-16). Yet those misguided youths (and even many adults today) either have no clue about hell or (more commonly) they refuse to give even one moment’s thought to what hell actually is.
Unfortunately, the secular world predominantly believes that if they are ‘good’ they will go to heaven, and if they are ‘bad’ they will go to hell. As we just covered, they don’t realize what hell is; and as for ‘good’, they don’t want to recognize that they are NOT good at all. NONE of us are. We are all sinners (Rom.3:10, 3:23, 6:23, et al). They need the gospel!
God is righteous. He will deal with sin. He MUST deal with sin. Heaven wouldn’t be perfect if sin were to enter there, so all sin must be removed before anyone can enter (Rom.6:23). There is only ONE way to have our sins removed. Jesus shed His innocent blood on the cross to pay for our sins; it washed our sins away when we believe on Him for salvation (1 John 1:7-9, Rev.1:5).
God sent His only begotten Son for this very reason. Jesus is the One and Only acceptable payment (propitiation) for our sins (Rom.3:25, 1 John 4:10). Only ONE way of salvation (John 14:6, Acts 4:12). Jesus alone! Not of our own good works (Eph.2:8-9).
1 Cor.15:1-4 – the gospel: Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose the third day.
How do you respond to the gospel? Admit you are a sinner in need of the Savior. We are ALL sinners (Rom.3:23, Rom.3:10). Believe that Christ died for your sins. Confess with your mouth that you are a sinner in need of salvation in Christ, and that you believe on Jesus for salvation. ALL who call on the name of the Lord will be saved! (Rom.10:9-13, John 3:16-18.)
I didn’t write this article to bash YOUR music choice. After all, it’s none of my business what you are listening to. That’s between you and the Lord. That’s the point exactly! We will each be accountable at the throne. Some of us (those who are believers who have trusted in Jesus for salvation) will appear before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Cor.5:10, Rom.14:10, 1 Cor.3:11-15). The rest (all the unsaved) will appear at the great white throne judgment (Rev.20:11-15).
Regardless, we will each give account of every idle word that came out of our mouths… whether we spoke them or sang them (Matt.12:36).
Don’t shoot the messenger (Gal.4:16). Why would I take the time to write this? To sneer down on others who are still entangled in the devil’s deceits? No (although I’m sure some may take it that way). We are admonished to tell other believers when we see them entangled in sin, to try to help them. After all it’s not ME who will benefit by telling anyone this, but rather the person who heeds God’s word who benefits (Matt.18:15-17; 2 Tim.2:25-26; Gal.6:1-8; Eph.4:14-24, et al).
It’s up to the individual whether (or not) they want to recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, or whether they even want to hear or consider that secular music IS a snare of the devil.
Many may prefer sowing to the flesh rather than sowing to the Spirit. Some may not even want to recognize sin as sin. All we can do is warn them. It’s not our responsibility to police them… just warn them, and let them (individually) make their own choices, hoping that they recognize that grieving the Holy Spirit and grieving the Lord Himself is not a light thing.
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting” (Gal.6:7-8).
“And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh” (Jude 1:22-23).
J.D. Farag’s Prophecy Update (Feb.18, 2018)