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By Tom Ballinger

 Music is said to be the universal language. People the world over understand the basic beat to music. Hence the so-called cultural exchange of musicians between the U.S.A. and Russia. Benny Goodman was sent to Russia some years ago as a goodwill ambassador and was received in grand style by the Russian people. The jazz playing of Louis Armstrong has been a point of contact for many nations as the U.S. State Department sent him all over the world as a goodwill ambassador for this country. They understood his music. There is no language barrier when music is involved. Have you noticed that music has degenerated to where it tries to paint a picture in the mind of the hearer or it attempts to excite the unregenerate nature of man. Music that does either needs no language for it is a language itself. No one needs to be told the subject matter of a jazz-band or full orchestra playing "IN THE MOOD." People can feel it. The mood comes through Music As It Relates To The World And Public Worship.

The sale of records and radios emphasize the prominence of music in the lives of people today. Have you noticed the exaggerated emphasis on music in church affairs? It goes all the way from cantatas to gospel rock. The churches of the world now recognize that they must compete with the entertainment business in order to get a crowd. As church leaders lose respect for the Word of God they must find a substitute. They have turned to drama and music of varying degrees and tempos.

The more churches and congregations turn from the truth of the Word of God. the more prominent place the flesh is given in their services. The flesh delights in music. The more fleshy the music, the more natural the dance becomes. Music has degenerated to such an extent that it is obvious by the beat. the sound and the words that it is sex-oriented. All for the purpose of preparing the world stage for the entrance of the anti-Christ. The anti-Christ will use music; to "get it all together." It is also now quite obvious that the music will be that of African origin. which gained its impetus in the back streets of New Orleans, moved up the Mississippi River to Memphis, then to St. Louis and on to Chicago. From Chicago, New Orleans jazz (which admittedly is African) gained favor in The Big City, New York. and from there it has gained popularity the world over. It now seems that all plugs are out, no holes barred, as the world is now saying in music "let it all hang out" and "let the sunshine in." So with it all hanging out and every one trying to get everybody together, the stage is being set, the orchestra being tuned up for the entrance of the beast and it will be to the beat of African sex.music as he will get it all together.

The churches are operating under the influence of the "god of this world" as they are incorporating this African music and dance in their "worship services. We are of the opinion that it only differs in degrees from one church to another, but behind it all is the same influence. Recently an AP Wirephoto appeared in the Mobile Register (a daily newspaper) of the Rev. J. Claude Evans. the Chaplain of Perkins Chapel at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, as he did "his thing" in the aisle of the Chapel. The photo shows him doing a dance with a college girl in the aisle. The girl, of course, is wearing "hot pants" and boots. The caption reads, "REJOICE! REJOICE! The joy of Advent was celebrated by worshippers dancing in the aisles after Holy Communion . . . . The congregation was given crepe paper stoles and streamers. The dancing at the service is part of Chaplain Evans' program to relate religion to today's youth." We are sorry to say that SMU is the university from which we were graduated in 1954. The School of Theology at SMU, of which Chaplain Evans is a part, is placing young men into churches after being trained in this Methodist institution. Horrors!

Satan's Relation To Music

We said all of that to say this; let's look at some Bible facts regarding music. For the Word of God is not silent on the subject of music. Perhaps the best place to start is the beginning. You don't go to Genesis 1 to find the beginning of music, but you must go to Ezekiel 28. The student should be familiar with this chapter, and the fact, that the "prince of Tyrus" is in reality Satan because it says of Him,

"Thou (Satan) 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 vast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; . . . thou vast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou vast created, till iniquity was found in thee" (vs. 13, 14, 15).

Several things to notice: 

(1) This is the only cherub that is said to be "anointed"; anointed in Greek is CRISTOS which equals the EngIish "Christ." The cherub is Satan in his original position as the anointed cherub. 

(2) "TABRETS" are drums and "PIPES" are flutes. Do you see his connection with musical instruments?

The Original Choir Director

It can also be noted that before Genesis 1:2 Satan's job as the anointed cherub was that of being the director of the heavenly choir. If you will note in job 38 that the context is before Gen. 1:2, the Lord is saying to job, "Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?" (v. 4); "or who laid the corner stone thereof?" (v. 6) . . .

"When the morning stars [i.e. angels] sang together, and all the sons of God [i.e. angels also shouted for joy?" (v. 7)

Therefore, music originates with Satan as the anointed cherub. The original function of music was to praise God. However, Satan was not satisfied with the position which God had given him. He wanted to be like the Most High God, for he said in his heart that he would ascend above the heights of the clouds, that he would exalt his throne above the stars of God. As a result of his rebellion against his Divinely appointed place, he was "cut down to the ground," (see Isa. 14:12-15) and with him came his music and instruments. In the point of time, notice where music shows up next in Scripture.

Jubal, The Music Man Before The Flood

In Genesis 4:21 we see fallen man and fallen music. It says that Jubal, a descendant of Cain, was the father of all such that handle the HARP and the ORGAN. Music begins to play a big part in the lives of men before the flood.

"They send forth their little ones like a flock, and their children dance. They take the timbrel and harp and rejoice at the sound of the organ. They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment go down to the grave. Therefore they say unto God, DEPART FROM US; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways. " (Job 21:12-14)

Job 22:15-17 shows that the context of Job 21 has reference to the time before the flood. We should be aware that the DANCE is connected in this as well as, (1) the TIMBREL is-a tamborine, (2) the HARP is a stringed instrument, and (3) the ORGAN is any wind instrument. It is easy to imagine how the harp can be corrupted and altered. Take all the strings off it except 5. turn it sideways and stick it under your arm, and you have a guitar. From what is seen so far in Scripture, if the Devil was going to form a combo I know what instruments he would select:

1. a Drum 

2. a Tamborine 

3. a Guitar 

4. a Clarinet

Put those together and get the heat just right and it is like saying to God. ART FROM US, for we have no desire for the knowledge of thy ways."

Music After The Flood

Music takes an up-turn after Moses leads Israel out of Egypt for the women of Israel dance with timbrels rejoicing about their deliverance from Pharaoh (Ex. 15:20). Not many days after this however we see the pitiful spectacle that takes place during Moses' absence. In Ex. 32 we read the record of the redeemed nation of Israel making idols, rising up early in the morning to offer burnt offerings to a Golden Calf, and "the people sat down to eat, and to drink, and rose up to play" (Ex. 32:6). The playing turns out to be the DANCE. Not only do the men dance with women but they dance naked (Ex. 32:25). This shows that dancing is going to be a part of the last day religion; it points out how music is to be used in "worship services" in the days which precede the anti-christ. A religion of the flesh knows no restraint, for the flesh is never satisfied. There is no extreme too far for the flesh to go.

So we notice in Exodus 32 how the Devil intervenes and uses the dance for his purposes. David restores the DANCE to its original purpose of glorifying God. David brings the ark of God from the house of Obededom into the City of David.

"And David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was girded With a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting, and with the sound of a trumpet. " (2 Sam. 6:14-15)

Here we learn that there was nothing wrong with dancing. It depends on (1) How you danced, (2) What you danced to, and (3) What you danced for. In I Chr. 16:1-7 it is observed that music returns to its original function. The ark of God is placed in the tent David prepared, and he appointed certain Levite priests to minister before the ark of the Lord, "and to record, arid thank and praise the Lord God of Israel." Psalms were written and set to music. Harps were used as well as cymbals and trumpets. In verse 6 we learn that this was to be done continually before the ark of the Lord.

Music Mentioned In NT

We see dancing and music in the NT where the prodigal son returns. Of course. this is the picture of Israel returning to the Lord. It could be a devotional picture of someone getting saved, or a backslidden Christian being granted repentance. For the joy of it, there is music and dancing. (See Lu. 15:24-25).

The Lord Jesus Christ sings in Mk. 14:26. "And when they had sung a hymn (riot a gospel song) they went out into the mount of Olives." This hymn was sung after the Lord had announced that He would be betrayed as the twelve had the last supper with Him.

Present Truth And Music

This brings us to the place in Scripture where eve should determine Present Truth regarding music. What place does music have in the Dispensation of the Mystery? The Word of God "rightly divided" instructs the member of the Church of the One Body to,

"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;" (Eph. 5:18-19)

We are not told to sing a solo or make a noise with our throats to an audience, but rather we, as a part of the Body over which Christ Jesus is the Head, are to allow "the word of Christ to dwell in (us) richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. singing with grace in [our] hearts (not our throats) to the Lord." (Col. 3:16)

It is noted that Present Truth on music is a far cry from orthodoxy or fundamentalism on the subject. That which ministers to the flesh [i.e. the old nature] finds no place in the Dispensation of the Mystery.