Contending for the faith | Making Disciples | Equipping the Saints for Ministry

    by Jeannette Haley

What, (other than hallucinatory drugs), has the power to alter your brain waves, cause an addiction, give you a “high,” send you on a “trip,” affect your blood pressure, heighten creativity, influence your mood and inspire you toward good or evil? The answer is MUSIC.

Few of us give a second thought as to the source or nature of music. We tend to ignore the power it exerts in our lives. Tragically, multitudes of clueless believers are being swept off their feet by the “new song” tidal wave and carried out to a sea of deception.

Where did music originate? Obviously it originated with God. In the oldest book of the Bible we read, “When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (Job 38:7). Of course Satan is referred to as the “anointed cherub that covered” who “was upon the holy mountain of God” and who “walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire” (Ezekiel 18:14). It is also written of him in verse 13b, ” . . . the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou was created.” In other words, Satan is a master musician. When he rebelled and fell his music became warped, perverted, seductive and rebellious as well.

Satan has not changed his goals or his tactics. His goal is to receive worship that rightfully belongs to God. His tactics consist of seducing, perverting, slandering, deceiving, devouring and deluding and music has the capability of doing all of these. Why? Because music is known as the universal language–it is the language of the soul. All music has a spirit behind it, a spirit that Christians must learn to discern (see 1 John 4:1).

For example, what is the spirit behind New Age music? Have you ever stopped to consider how hypnotic it is or that it is deliberately designed to bring you into an altered state of consciousness? What is the spirit behind the rhythmic drumbeat of the American Indians? What about the spirit behind the newly popularized ancient chants and religious songs that contain the power to completely open you up to another spirit? What effect does Western music or love songs have on you? Do they edify you or cause you to experience lust, depression or discontentment?

Then there is the touchy subject of “Rock n’ Roll,” “rap” and other modern assaults to the human ear that incite illicit sex, drugs, perversion, lawlessness, masochism, pride, violence and even murder. I don’t think it would take a rocket scientist to figure out what spirit is behind this stuff! When it comes to Rock n’ Roll in the church, the defense for it always is, “The lyrics are Christian.” In other words, it’s okay to take something pagan, something out of the pit of hell, inspired by the devil and tack “Christian lyrics” to it and that somehow sanctifies it and makes it okay! WRONG! That which originates with demons and is unholy, profane and unclean cannot be made holy by bringing it into the church and dressing it in a white robe called “Christian.”

But what is even more disturbing concerning the music in the church is the Manifest Sons of God-Revivalist movement. Because music is such a powerful vehicle to alter minds, the “New Thing” sweeping through the church has wasted no time in appropriating it. Usually there are prolonged, intense periods of ear-splitting music, singing, jumping, swaying, clapping and sometimes flag waving. These practices are well known in the world of the cults because it is a part of the conditioning to open people up to another spirit.

Does this scare you? It should! Allow me to quote from “The Sound of Seduction” by Tricia Tillin of Banner Ministries (concerning Lucifer):

“All humans and many animals have been created with a musical instrument in their bodies (vocal cords) but Lucifer was created, according to the scriptures, with timbrels and pipes (Ezek. 28:13-15). When he is consigned to the pit, his music is also brought down (Isa. 14:11). Lucifer is apparently intimately concerned with the spiritual power of music. This tells us that music is connected in some mysterious way to the spiritual realm. We know that there is music and singing in Heaven, and we know that praise can bring the presence of the Holy Spirit (2 Ki. 3:14-15) and even drive out evil spirits, as when David played to soothe Saul (1 Sam. 16:14-16 /1 Sam. 16:23). Since the fall of Lucifer from his original created perfection, his music has also fallen and become a power for evil. All cults, pagans, and false religions make use of music to influence their victims and invoke the presence of their gods. The difference is not so much in the technique as the INTENTION, or spirit behind the worship.”

What is real music? How is a person able to tell the difference between real music and what I call “noise”? Tricia Tillin put it best:

“Music can be defined as an arrangement of notes into a melodious and/or harmonious structure having a defined construction and phrasing which is pleasing to the ear. A lot of rock and popular music today however, has no structure, is discordant, has no melody line and consists from start to finish of one repeated phrase. Thus it is really not music but a chant.

The beat has taken over. And it is the beat that excites and stirs the human nature. Rhythm in itself stirs us, making the flesh keep time, and perhaps raising the heartbeat, causing arousal. I am sure that a certain beat can also alter the brain’s natural patterns. Some rhythm and beat is innocuous, even in Christian music. Nonetheless it is interesting to note that truly spiritual music, while being harmonic and melodic, rarely has a beat. If it does, the beat is not so insistent and pounding as to alter the normal state of the flesh and mind.

However, even when the beat is eradicated, we are left with another and more insidious form of music, a hypnotic trance-inducing sound (usually New Age music) that packs a powerful punch while appearing to be merely bland and soothing. Both beat music and New Age music are designed (if truth be told) to open the human mind to demonic suggestions. So, it is not so much the form and technique of music, but the spiritual intention behind it that we have to discern. This is not an easy task.”

Literature from MSOG/revivalists reveals that praise and worship is used to produce different manifestations that are supposedly going to bring down the “Glory.” Prolonged periods of singing and worshipping are for the purpose of becoming permanently inhabited by some kind of visible and tangible Presence. In many of these meetings around the world pagan songs written by liberals and unsaved people are being used in the so-called worship services.

As Tricia Tillin writes, “Chanting ‘God is great’ for three hours is not something that pleases God, but it deadens the mind and brings demonic manifestations.” Jesus warned in Matt. 6:7, “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.”

The discerning Christian must also tune in to the words being sung. Quite a few years ago the Lord warned me to beware of many of the popular choruses that are repetitiously sung in a certain denomination because the words are doctrinally unscriptural. In fact, singing choruses and songs that are heretical open a person up to delusion and confusion. As with preaching, teaching, prophecies, literature etc., if songs do not line up with scripture, they must be rejected and avoided. After all, they certainly do not glorify God!

Speaking of glorifying God, that is the true purpose of worship. Jesus told the woman at the well in John 4:24, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” What does it mean to worship in spirit and in truth?

First of all, the word worship in this passage (proskuneo) means, “to kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand; to fawn or crouch to, i.e. prostrate oneself in homage (do reverence to, adore).” This paints a picture of total submission, humility, awe, reverence, holy fear and adoration. If you compare this to the fleshly gymnastics that take place in many churches today, it is obvious that their so-called “worship service” is NOT godly worship. Rather, it is carnal entertainment, self-exalting and self-fulfilling. It does not lift the soul to heaven, but rather exalts the flesh on earth. It has nothing to do with the holiness of Almighty God.

To worship God in “Spirit” excludes the fleshly, carnal mind of man that cannot comprehend that which is of the spirit. We must get beyond ourselves, our overruling feelings, worldly thoughts, mental dependencies and earthbound expectations and focus. Our spirit must enter into the realm of God’s Spirit and we can only do that when we are truly born again and indwelt by the Holy Spirit. In other words, we cannot come into God’s presence with an offering of praise if we are in the wrong spirit!

Finally, in order to offer up to God true worship, there must be truth. Our hearts must be praising God in verity. According to Webster, verity means, “the quality or state of being true or real; honesty.” We must worship God according to all that He is, as revealed in the written Word–not according to our perceptions and perspectives. In other words, we need to worship God according to the Word of God instead of trying to adjust the Word of God to fit into our so-called worship.

When you begin to research all of the One-World movements today in the area of music, you will discover an eerie similarity between the church, the New Age and the Occult. Christians must beware of this trend towards a “new sound” and ask the Lord to show them how to discern what spirit is behind it.

In summary, Christians need to obey Jesus’ words to shun idle repetitions in praying and singing. We need to remember there is a spiritual power in music and guard our minds, souls and spirits from anything that could affect us adversely. We need to be cautious about letting our emotions run away with the music and remember that spiritual truth and emotions are two different things. Christians should avoid meetings where there are long periods of hypnotic repetitious chanting, clapping, dancing, jumping up and down to an insistent beat. We need to pay attention to the words of every song to see if they are Kingdom Dominion, unscriptural, self-exalting or revival propaganda instead of true worship to God, and this goes for recorded music as well.

“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you” (2 Cor. 6:17). “Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness” (Psalm 19:2).

May our praises to God be a sweet smelling sacrifice that brings glory and honor to His Name. Amen!