Music Reform 

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 Three years ago I quit my worldly job because the music was so bad it played through my head all the time. I would wake up in the middle of the night with satanic lyrics playing through my head.  My wife began to notice that I had no relish for the things of God.  Five days at work, 2 at home, I was only partially recovering by the time I had to go back. I tried everything, combining ear plugs and shooting earmuffs but I couldn’t block all the sound.  I talked to my boss about making those who wanted to listen to that noise wear head phones, but to no avail. Finally, I knew, I must decide between physical survival and spiritual survival. For it is written, “Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils.” 1Cor. 10:21  

God does not say that man will not or should not eat from both tables or drink from both cups but that he CANNOT. The interests of God and the interests of Satan have no union or sympathy.  They cannot coexist.  I would challenge you, once you begin on the journey of music reform - Don’t look back.  Remember Lot's wife.” Luke 17:32 

The following are some of the texts, acted parable stories, quotes and health studies we have gathered on our music reform journey.

Measured Music

Music is a universal language.  This concept is evidenced by the fact that when movies are translated into other languages, the music in them remains the same.  Music speaks to the emotions.  One of the most distinctive places that this is portrayed in the Biblical record is in the story of King Saul.  Apparently Saul had some problems with an evil spirit. From the Biblical narrative we know that sometimes this involved anger and sometimes depression.  His men counseled him to seek out a man, who is a cunning player on an harp: and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit… is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well.” 1 Sam. 16:16 This method is recorded to have been quite successful, for the story continues And it came to pass, when the evil spirit...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. (1 Sam. 16:23) 

Singing is as much a part of worship as is prayer.  In fact, although in modern society we try to separate them, worship and singing are linked together in the Bible.  Psalm 66:4 says, All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name. Selah.  Psalm 69:30 reiterates,“ I will praise the name of God with a song…”

It is evident that God is pleased with the harmonious use of the voice and instruments of music for 2 Chronicles 5:13  states that 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;”

However, Christ warned Take heed what ye hear…” (Mark 4:24) and Luke 8:18 records him saying“Take heed therefore how ye hear…”

 Music, when not abused, is a great blessing; but when put to a wrong use, it is a terrible curse. The Bible also records the use of music in the false worship of Babylon . “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:  And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.” (Daniel 3:4-6)

The Word of God challenges us to be Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” (Eph. 5:10,11) 

There are at least five principles of music that we can establish from the Bible.

1.       Music Should Be Sung With Understanding

Psalm 47:7   For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding.

It is clear from the scriptures that we are to understand what we sing. Specifically, the words of the songs we sing should glorify God.  Confused, unintelligible talk or language, and gibberish is inappropriate in the singing and worship of God.  For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. (1 Cor. 14:33)  Paul reiterates, What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.  (1 Corinthians 14:15) 

 2. Music Is To Have a Practical Use

Colossians 3:16   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.”

Music may be used for teaching and admonishing others with the Words of God.  Foolish, purposeless music should be avoided.  “It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools.” (Eccl. 7:5) 

 3.       Music Should Give a Certain Sound

1 Cor. 14:7,8  “And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?   For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?”

Notes combine to make music just like letters combine to form words. The resulting creation can be either good or evil.  Good music is made up of melody, harmony and rhythm.   Melody absolutely is essential to good music.  Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord(Ephesians 5:19) 

Unfortunately, Satan wants to make music a snare by the way in which it is conducted.  But God's work is ever characterized by calmness and dignity. Let all things be done decently and in order.” (1 Cor. 14:40) 

 4.       Beware the Voice Of A Harlot

Isaiah 23:15  And it shall come to pass in that day, that Tyre shall be forgotten seventy years, according to the days of one king: after the end of seventy years shall Tyre sing as an harlot.

The false church is portrayed in the Scriptures as a harlot, and according to this verse, there is a special way that a harlot sings.  This is often called the whisper or airy vocal.  According to a vocal book by Musicians Institute Press, singing in this way will “…give it [the song] a sensual quality, making it more intimate.” (pg. 27)  No wonder Solomon warned Pro 5:3 “For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a twoedged sword.  Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.” (Prov. 5:3-5)

  5.       God’s Music Sounds Different from Heathen Music

Exodus 32:17-19 And when Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said unto Moses, There is a noise of war in the camp.   And he said, It is not the voice of them that shout for mastery, neither is it the voice of them that cry for being overcome: but the noise of them that sing do I hear.   And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses' anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount.

Notice that when Moses and Joshua heard and saw the apostasy of Israel at the golden calf, Joshua did not recognize the “music” of the heathen worship, evidencing the fact that this was different from what was regularly used in the worship of God.  On the other hand, Moses, who had grown up in the Egyptian court, recognized it immediately.  “By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.” (Hebrews 11:24-26)  We should be aware that just because we find something pleasurable does not mean it isn’t sin.

On the other hand, Moses, who had grown up in the Egyptian court, recognized it immediately.  “By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.” (Hebrews 11:24-26)  We should be aware that just because we find something pleasurable does not mean it isn’t sin.

Notice also that this music sounded like war, and was connected to lewd dancing involving nakedness.  The Bible records that “…Moses saw that the people were naked...” (Exodus 32:25) Still today, this music is played in clubs and bars to remove the natural inhibitions of people.  The origin of the term rock 'n' roll is worth noting. In the early 1950s, a disk-jockey named Alan Freed had been receiving reports concerning kids' strange reactions to this "new" music, so he decided to name it after a ghetto term used for fornication in the back seat of a car, hence the vividly descriptive term "rock 'n' roll" was coined.

The connection of counterfeit music styles to ancient heathen worship is evident.  “The actual genealogy or lineage of rock 'n' roll music goes all the way back to Satanic voodoo, which in turn led to jazz, then blues and finally rock 'n' roll.” [David Tame, The Secret Power of Music, pp. 187-204]

Jazz is characterized by its eccentric noises [uncertain sounds], while rock may be recognized by its overpowering rhythm element, syncopated beat and polyrhythms.  If you have a small untrained (and unperverted) child clap their hands to a song, the correct rhythm is what they would naturally clap. Another way for an amateur to recognize syncopation, is by noticing—does it make you want to swing your hips or make you want to march forward.  March style rhythms help to maintain order and thus are used in military training.    Syncopated rhythms—those that make you want to swing your hips-- are inverted from the natural rhythm and they contribute to the lustful behavior before mentioned.

Even if the rhythm is very light, if it is on the “off-beat”, many have found this statement to be true. "Soft rock" is like soft liquor, it leads to the harder stuff as the addiction increases. (Raymond Obomsawin)  Cymbals and other percussion instruments may be rightly used to emphasize certain points in music without the repetitive polyrhythms. 

There is another counterfeit method of music to be addressed that is almost entirely the opposite of rock. It has no real rhythm and is often termed “New Age”.  The Bible says, But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.” (Matt. 6:7) Many pagan religions use repetitions to create a hypnotic trance.  This may also be achieved by music that contains no rhythm and is very repetitive.  This extreme of music should also be avoided for God commanded in Jer.10:2 Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen…” and Deut. 18:9 reiterates, “…thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations”.   Let us desire instead the music of heaven.

Consider this testimony of someone who learned and implemented these principles of musicI always knew there was something that wasn’t right with our ‘Christian’ music. …I was convicted and it took me about two weeks to give up 80% of my music library.  Fast forward a few months: I am just blown away by the effect it has had on me, giving that music up. I no longer have the “urge” to sin.  There is temptation now and then, but not like the constant beating of the drum as before...” (Shepherd’s Call Newsletter)

Paul challenged Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Rom. 12:21) It would be well to try replacing corrupt music with scripture songs and hymns.  Many have found this to be the  best way to erase worldly music from the mind. This may be hard at first, but one day we with David will say “... 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.”  (Psalm 40:3) 

Note:This above study, Measured Music, is available to be printed as literature on our BOOKLETS page

 Music and Health

Studies on plants--In the book Stop, Look and Listen the authors tell this story. 

“”Mrs. Retallack, aided by Prof. Francis Broman, conducted scientifically controlled experiments with music and plants.  She placed several groups of five assorted potted plants in closed portable cabinets in which light, temperature, and air could all be regulated automatically.  Each cabinet had a sound speaker secured to one side. 

“”One group was exposed to Denver’s rock music station (KIMN) and another to a semi-classical station (KLIR).  “The petunias ‘listening’ to rock refused to bloom.  Those on KLIR developed six beautiful blooms.” After two weeks, the KIMN flowers were all leaning away from the speaker and showed erratic growth.  They were all dead in a month.  The KLIR flowers in two weeks were all leaning toward their speaker. 

“”In another experiment she had beans, squash, corn, morning glories, coleus “listening” to rock.  In three weeks the plants were dying.  The squash had almost fallen over. The morning glory, instead of crawling up, had stretched out over four pots away from the music.  The corn was bent in the middle, and the beans were dwarfed and tilted away from the speaker.  All but the coleus had browning leaves.  Roots were also stunted.  Plants that “listened” to nothing were all growing normally.  Those that “heard” calm sacred music grew two inches higher that those in “silence.” More than that, they leaned toward the speaker or source of sound.”” (pg. 346)

Later, I met the authors of this book.  They regularly played classical/sacred music to their own garden and assured me that the plants did indeed grow toward the speaker. 

Studies on Animals—“The Bulletin” from the New Jersey Academy of Science reported on a study designed to evaluate the neurological reaction of mice to different musical rhythms for 8 weeks.  They exposed each of 3 groups of mice to different music settings.  One group heard rock-like disharmonic drum beats playing softly, a second heard classical-style music while the third heard no music whatsoever.  All the mice were put in a maze test (with food at the end).  On the first day the 3 groups did equally well.  By the end of the 8 weeks however, it was noted that the second and third groups had learned the direct path to the food.  The “rock group” however, was still groping for it, taking much longer to find it. After a 3 week break without the music, they retested, with the same result.  Guilt-free Gourmet pg. 379,380

Studies in Humans—A study conducted at the University of California confirmed that soothing sonatas and similar complex, highly structured music seemed to stimulate cognitive and neural pathways resulting in IQ scores as much as 10 points higher in test subjects.  Conversely, the harsh rhythms of rock and jazz interfere with abstract reasoning and can actually destroy delicate brain nerves.  Guilt-free Gourmet pg. 379,380

 Music and Baal-Peor- an Acted Parable

We read in Numbers the story of how God would not allow Balaam to curse the Israelites as Balak had requested.  So Balaam came up with another plan to be their downfall. “He[Balaam] counseled Balak to proclaim an idolatrous feast in honor of their idol gods, and he would persuade the Israelites to attend, that they might be delighted with the music; and then the most beautiful Midianitish women should entice the Israelites to transgress the law of God, and corrupt themselves, and also influence them to offer sacrifice to idols. This satanic counsel succeeded too well. Many of the Israelites were persuaded by Balaam, because they regarded him as a prophet of God, to join him, and mix with that idolatrous people, and engage with him in idolatry and fornication.” {1SP 326.2}

In fact, Israelite men began bringing the Midiantish women into the camp. 

Numbers 25:1-5  And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab.  And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods.  And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel.   And the LORD said unto Moses, Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the LORD against the sun, that the fierce anger of the LORD may be turned away from Israel.  And Moses said unto the judges of Israel, Slay ye every one his men that were joined unto Baalpeor.


But there is more to this story than what is on the surface.

Numbers 25:6-13  And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who were weeping before the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.  And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand; And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel.  And those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand.

 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,  Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, hath turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, while he was zealous for my sake among them, that I consumed not the children of Israel in my jealousy.  Wherefore say, Behold, I give unto him my covenant of peace:  And he shall have it, and his seed after him, even the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was zealous for his God, and made an atonement for the children of Israel. Now the name of the Israelite that was slain, even that was slain with the Midianitish woman, was Zimri, the son of Salu, a prince of a chief house among the Simeonites.

Now comes the really interesting part. Look at the meanings of these namesNum 25:14  Now the name of the Israelite that was slain, even that was slain with the Midianitish woman, was Zimri,[musical] the son of Salu[weighed, also Hitchcock-an exaltation, a basket], a prince of a chief house among the Simeonites. Num 25:15  And the name of the Midianitish woman that was slain was Cozbi[false], the daughter of Zur[rock]; he was head over a people, and of a chief house in Midian.

Zimri, meaning musical, commits fornication connecting him to Cozbi, the daughter of Zur meaning false, the daughter of rock.  Deut 32:31 says, For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges. Deut. 32:37 continues, And he shall say, Where are their gods, their rock in whom they trusted. 

It seems today, on the borders of the promised land, the story is being repeated.  False worship, the offspring of rock is being connected with music in the camp of spiritual Israel today.  The question is, who, like Phineas, will stand up against it to save others from being beguiled?                                                            Numbers 25:16-18 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Vex the Midianites, and smite them:  For they vex you with their wiles, wherewith they have beguiled you in the matter of Peor, and in the matter of Cozbi, the daughter of a prince of Midian, their sister, which was slain in the day of the plague for Peor's sake.

Who will put forth effort to destroy the apostasy before it is too late?

 Quotes about Music

Jimmy Hendrix said, “You can hypnotize people with music and when they get at their weakest point, you can preach into their subconscious minds what you want to say.” Jimmy Hendrix, Life Magazine, October 3, 1969