Baal Worship and Instrumental Music

Baal worship and Instrumental Music throughout the Old Testament. Baal means Lord: He was always worshiped with instrumental music and it involved child sacrifice in Solomon's music grove. See how God punishes people with the "devices" they use to defeat others. If the Old Testament types mean anything, this end-time panic to get everyone involved with sentimental or even erotic "praise songs" and instrumental music may be God pouring out His wrath upon people for using every human device or invention to close the mind's eyes to the rational Words of God. If Paul commands teaching with the Word of Christ and we substitute Twila Paris you know that you are under attack.

See Baal Worship in Ezekiel

Madison Church of Christ: Musical Seed Sown, Thistles of Discord Reaped as Planned.

An E-Mail:

To whomever, While surfing through the net I came across your site. I'm not 100% sure what your criticism of "new wine" and "wineskins" is all about, but if a little praise and rejoicing in the Holy Spirit annoys you, what do you think heaven will be like? Will it be filled with a bunch of somber, cardboard suited elders who are afraid to raise their voice in love? Or will it be a place of dead, dry hymns played on a worn out piano? I firmly believe that Jesus will purge out the dross and blather from marginal churches, but friend, don't condemn someone's worship as heretical until you've gone through the fire to get there. I love you and pray that God will soften your heart from fundamentalist legalism. --a former king james only fundamentalist.

I responded by explaining my understanding of the wineskin parable and I don't remember what else but I must have revealed enough for spiritual discernment to pass judgment upon me. Then, the next letter probably responds to my comments about Bible facts about a few of the Biblical usages of instrumental music. All of these are negative or, in the case of the Monarchy, God carrying out His conditional death sentence imposed at Mount Sinai.

The Book of Revelation uses instruments consistent with the understanding of those who would read it at that time. Musical instruments, especially the harp, were symbolic of dead people with no living responsibilities but who lived in the blissful spirit realm of the dead.

Among the living, God sent an angel to "preach the gospel." You may read all about harps in heaven but you may want to resume mature responsibilities among the living where Paul's operative word was "teach" or preach. Click for the story.

We have entitled this as Baal worship because under various names, the sun was worshiped in paganism and in Israel. He is still worshiped today. People even tried to worship Paul as Hermes or Mercury (Logos), the Lord of musical instruments and father of liars and thieves. The PostModern view is that John spoke of the Greek Logos and just "baptized" him as Christ as the Word or Logos.

I am taking time on this e-mail because it represents the common view of music in the Bible as spiritual rather than as Baal worship. However, proof-texting about music is based on one without patience to "read the rest of the story" which is often hidden from those who don't love the truth (Matthew 13). Whatever you believe and practice, you have no friend in God and His Word recommending music as a way to appease Him.

Steve's comments in Red, mine in black and other quotations in blue. Sorry about that Steve, but when I get started I try to add other things which might interest readers. You may want to skip down to the red text and then read as much Biblical quotations as you need to prove that, legalistic or not, I know about the music as worship issue and there simply is no "proof text" which will overcome the overwhelming evidence that music says to God, "Get lost, right now I am into body worship." Sure, even at Mount Sinai they claimed that they were worshiping Yahweh!

It is very important to know that while music has consumed most end-time religionists, the word MUSIC is not tranlsated in the Old or New Testament in relationship to worship. The Jews used "noise" to praise or "make themselves vile" while they performed the dangerous and horrifying act of animal sacrifices. In paganism, old or new, it was not "music" but an almost universal superstition that God could be ascended to, caused to descend, appeased, coerced into gift giving (demons do that) or even seduced sexually or threatened with being deposed in favor of a better deal.

Music is not a Biblical, spiritual word related to worship any more than sexual encounters with the "gods" was a Yahweh word. It simply isn't there. In pagan religion, music was a twice-removal from reality.

Strabo Geography [10.3.9] "But I must now investigate how it comes about that so many names have been used of one and the same thing, and the theological element contained in their history. Now this is common both to the Greeks and to the barbarians,

to perform their sacred rites in connection with the relaxation of a festival,
these rites being performed sometimes with
religious frenzy, sometimes without it;
sometimes with music, sometimes not; and sometimes in secret, sometimes openly.

And it is in accordance with the dictates of nature that this should be so, for, in the

first place, the relaxation draws the mind away from human occupations and turns the real mind towards that which is divine; and,
, the religious frenzy seems to afford a kind of divine inspiration and to be very like that of the soothsayer; and,
, the secrecy with which the sacred rites are concealed induces reverence for the divine, since it imitates the nature of the divine,

which is to avoid being perceived by our human senses; and,

(The musical practices among the Levites were closely-held secrets even as musical ministers keep the profane out of their business.)

fourthly, music, which includes dancing as well as rhythm and melody,

Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing. Lu.15:25

at the same time, by the delight it affords and by its artistic beauty,

brings us in touch with the divine, and this for the following reason;
for although it has been well said that human beings then
act most like the gods when they are doing good to others,

yet one might better say, when they are happy; and such happiness consists of rejoicing, celebrating festivals, pursuing philosophy, and engaging in music;

for, if music is perverted when musicians turn their art to sensual delights at symposiums and in orchestric and scenic performances and the like, we should not lay the blame upon music itself, but should rather examine the nature of our system of education, since this is based on music.

Of Amos:

"With the wine-drinking (which is the literal meaning of the Hebrew for feasting), went music and dancing." (Heaton, E. W., Everyday Life in Old Testament times, Scribners, p. 93)

See that not even in the vilest pagan temples could the singers, musicians or speakers enter into the Holy Place. This was a carnal and empty pattern of the body or church of Christ. They could not enter into this type of the church under the penalty of death.

Dear Ken,

I hope that you don't mind me calling you by your first name. I received your reply to my initial e-mail that I read with interest. There are some issues in your letter that I would like to point out to you from scripture, in agreement with the Bereans, "who searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so" (Acts 17:11).

I disagree with your definition of legalism. Webster defines it, not yelling to get God's attention, but rather "a strict, literal or excessive conformity to the law or a religious or moral code", "that mixture of arid, and semantic pretentiousness that so often passes for statesmanship".

No problem, Steve. This sure beats being called "demon possessed" a whole lot.

I surely am a legalist in one sense: I try not to speed when my innards cry out to hurry. Legalism keeps me from jumping off my cliff or getting close to my stray dog wanting to lick me to death. I honor the law of gravity and the law of cause and effect. I even honor God's laws out of love: I do not make myself a legalist by striving NOT to obey God's commandments or crying out: "God didn't say 'don't do it'."

But, then I don't get paid, don't issue regulations for worship and don't respond to regulations not part of God's Will. So, I doubt that I could be called a legalist since I spend lots of time trying to teach the untaught about music as the most legalistic method known in history for trying to get God's attention or to appease Him so He doesn't hurt us. Spontaneous "praise" on the street corners is rare but it comes in mass-groups only after someone gets hold of your mind: music is a powerful tool to get you to worship a truly ugly, untalented boy/girl by spending your "tithes" at the CD shop.

I don't do much Bible study from Webster unless error is being taught by using Webster. I believe what I hear, and I look for the Mind of God by a thorough study of His Word. Increasingly this is defined as legalism. The overwhelming religious world is Narrative Theology based, which allows everyone to inspire their own scripture for their own time and place. Most sermons are narratives repudiating the "original" in favor of an "effective" rhetoric. And all songs presume to write better songs than the Holy Spirit.

In the Bible I believe that a legalist is someone who DOES something in the belief that they can contribute to their salvation or AID God in some way. The "musical worship teams" I read about claim that they can "lead you into the presence of God." Now, that usurps the role of Jesus Christ and I would say that was legalism.

Or, they sing silly, erotic praise songs claiming that "we gotta do anything to SAVE more souls." Isn't that legalism.

Or they don't obey the DIRECT COMMAND of Paul to TEACH or SPEAK the inspired Word or "that which is written" in Romans 15. They decide to SPEAK ON THEIR OWN. Now, Jesus said that this proves that the Jewish clergy were "sons of the Devil." Instead, they compose songs which KEEP UP WITH THE CULTURE. Isn't that DOING something for which God did not provide.

In ALL ancient paganism, MUSIC was identified as "prophesying" and is identified as the OLDEST profession. The practitioners of that law said that they could sing you into a charismatic state and the words which came out of his psalter or old wine skin [her familiar spirit] would be interpreted as the gods speaking to you. Doesn't that sound legal.

What is LEGALISTIC about following the approved example of Jesus, the direct command of Paul and the practice for hundreds of years of just SPEAKING the inspired poetic material in order to TEACH the Words of Christ which ARE Spirit and Life (John 6:63)? Why would it be LEGALISTIC to CAST OUT musical ministrels when Jesus comes into the HOUSE in order to heal our spirits? Jesus "cast out more or less violently" the musical ministrels who just barged in to do their RELIGIOUS act for the lost spirit with singing and playing instruments. The idea of PUT OUT or CAST OUT means like one casts out dung. Was Jesus a legalist.

Jesus refused to sing the lament and dance the Dionysus choral when the clergy piped? Was He a legalist when He refused to even speak to them without using a PARABLE so that they could not understand Him.

Was Jesus a legalist when he quoted the idea of both Isaiah and Ezekiel who equated MUSIC to mouth religion? In Ezekiel 33 the MARK is universally that of perverted religionism as was the "daring to dance" they tried on Jesus.

In Revelation 18:22 was Jesus Who is identified as the SPIRIT speaking to all of the churches legalistic when He through John gave us a MARK to identify the Babylon Whore worship which will cease for the FINAL time?

If you want to sing, dance, play instruments and MARK yourself, I have said nothing which indicates that I am going to try to FORCE you to stop. Then, how could that be legalistic. If I choose to assemble with a church which obeys the total understanding for 2,000 years that MUSIC destroys the ability to SCHOOL or SYNAGOGUE with Jesus Christ the only Teacher and the Truth the only textbook then why am I legalistic when all of the attenders have the freedom of choice.

If, on the other hand, someone brags about and SETS ABOUT to infiltrate and divert my assembly from a school of the Bible into a "theater for holy entertainment" then he is FORCING me to "get with it or get out." Is that legalism or even common criminal robbery?

Since I don't depend on subjective feelings in the nerve endings to detect God's presence and approval, I may know some things about the Bible that the "spiritual" do not know--and don't need to know if they get direct messages from God.

I don't know God in that way. Perhaps, I am really a goner because He surely doesn't speak to me. Perhaps, He thinks that by personally coming into the world as Lord Jesus Christ to die and to deliver His Word directly from heaven that I might be mature enough to handle truth without being a prophet or legalistically demanding a personal visit. I just know that God can express Himself very well without a tune or harp. He is never, like most pagan gods, an instrument-playing God.

Ken, I ask you --- is God nervous? There are several places in scripture where "a loud voice" is used to praise God. Try looking at 2 Chronicles 20:19 and Luke 19:37 for a couple of examples. There most certainly is a time for reverent quietness in God's presence, but He also commands us to "Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth; make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise" (Psalm 98:4).

No, Steve, but God is not deaf. However, Baal worship with instrumental music thought so.

And the Levites, of the children of the Kohathites, and of the children of the Korhites, stood up to praise the Lord God of Israel with a loud voice on high. 2 Chron 20:19

The word "loud" (h1419 Gadowl) is most often translated as more noble or of great matter or doing a great work.

Furthermore, the "praise" was a unique form of praise "like the nation's" praise:

Halal (h1984) haw-lal'; a prim. root; to be clear (orig. of sound, but usually of color); to shine; hence to make a show, to boast; and thus to be (clamorously) foolish; to rave; causat. to celebrate; also to stultify: - (make) boast (self), celebrate, commend, (deal, make), fool (- ish, -ly), glory, give [light], be (make, feign self) mad (against), give in marriage, [sing, be worthy of] praise, rage, renowned, shine.

You see, once Israel lost contact with God in a spiritual sense, and they adopted "like the nation's" worship, they automatically accepted the still-believed superstition that God cannot punish the insane. Therefore, if a David can try to be rescued by the Philistines and he "drums" upon the door and lets "slaver" run down his beard, the belief was that he had to be protected. However, the Philistines had enough mad men or prophets.

This was part of a "like the nations" civil state by a people who rejected God and wanted to imitate the "nations" and all of the nations used music to control the little people. God permitted them to do that.

Even furthermore, the Levites were uniquely given this responsibility. Not even Jews not of the tribe of Levi could ever perform that kind of praise which went with the "like the nation's" praise which was allowed for the Temple state after God was fired in favor of a king "like the nations" so that they could "worship like the nations."

Israel fell from grace and backslid at Mount Sinai. That didn't end until Jesus came to be a "prophet like Moses" and finish the WORK Israel was forced to do because of transgression.

The Monarchy period under kings was carrying out God's sentence at Mount Sinai when Israel's "idolatry of nationhood" caused God to turn them over to worship the same Baal-like gods He had permitted in the Wilderness.

At Mount Sinai, Israel "rose up to play." This includes trying to worship Spiritual Jehovah with instruments as they had always worshiped Osiris under the golden calf in Egypt. Instrumental music is inherent in the word "play" but one dictionary notes:

"The triumphal hymn of Moses had unquestionably a religious character about it; but the employment of music in religious services, though idolatrous, is more distinctly marked in the festivities which attended the erection of the golden calf." (Smith's Bible Dictionary, Music, p. 589).

For this "transgression" Israel lost the Covenant, was given the Law, and was given the Levites and Priests to stand between the people (now called strangers) to keep them from "coming boldly before the throne of Grace." When the temple was built the Levites keep the people's "congregation" out of the temple where the music accompanying animal sacrifices was taking place.

God "turned them over" to star worship defined by the musical "praise" in Amos 5, 6 and 8, and by Stephen in Acts 7 and many other places.

Even Furthermore, furthermore, the Levites could not go into the holy place where we now meet God in a place "in spirit" which has room for only one priest and God at one time. The temple of God is now our mind or spirit.

Alfred Edersheim does a good job of summarizing the Bible practices. Only "burden bearers" were permitted in the temple worship with instruments. The people were represented by "stationary men" or representatives of each tribe. If you use the Temple as authority, you must let the women and children remain at home and send only one representive from each community or county to the "state" meeting.

There was no praise service or "ritual" in the Synagogue. Assuredly individuals praised God many times but for the Jewish or Christian people this was never a people's ritual. After Jesus died to replace animal sacrifices the Jews understood that playing instruments in some kind of ritual would be unlawful. They held that position until AD 1815. Why would we want to fall back under a system of law now that we are freed?

I don't see anywhere in scripture where it tells me to get drunk in the spirit, but Paul exhorts me to keep being filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). If He wants to make me laugh or rejoice or run in praise to God, so be it.

I am not writing about what God may want me to do. I am only concerned with trying to grasp truth which has been "taken away" by ritual even as Jesus warned during His time in the body.

Paul put the emphasis upon "teaching" with "singing" and internal melody as the result. Our spirits "sing" when we let God do the talking.

If we ignore Paul and make "singing" the operative word then we will always replace Spirit or the Word of Christ with sentimental, yea even erotic, love songs to God. At Sinai and in Israel condemned by Amos, we "take away the key to knowledge" because that is our goal.

Ephesians is often interpreted to mean that we are "drunk in the Spirit." The Vineyard movement which drives all of the modern praise songs teaches that and insist that, like in ancient paganism, "praise singing is sexual." This is consistent with what Paul warned against as people got drunk on gasses or wine or charismatic music and believed that the gods spoke to them.

"Let your songs be," Church of England scholars Conybeare and Howson observe in their commentary on this passage, "not the drinking songs of heathen feasts, but psalms and hymns; and their accompaniment, not the music of the lyre, but the melody of the heart" (Brownlow, Leroy, 1945, p. 181)

Jesus said, "My Word is Spirit and Truth" (John 6:63). And in Colossians 3:16 Paul replaces the "spirit" with "the word of Christ."

After telling the Roman once Orphic, vegetarian, musical worshipers how to get along with the Dionysic meat-eating, wine-drinking, musical worshipers, Paul actually commanded:

WE then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Romans 15:1

Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. Romans 15: 2

For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me. Romans 15: 3

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Romans 15: 4

Edification means LEARNING. Using music you shut down the learning centers and appeal directly to the emotional, pleasure centers. That is why music and sexuality have always been TWINS.

Aedificatio, I. Abstr., the act of building, a building or constructing. II. Concr., a building, a structure, edifice,

III. Figurative, building up, instructing, edification. Absolute: loquitur ad Aedificationem Ecclesiae, Vulg. 1 Cor. 14, 12 ; ib. Eph. 4, 12.

Loquor a. [Sanscr. lap-, to talk, whisper; Gr. lak-, elakon, laskô], to speak, talk, say (in the language of common life, in the tone of conversation; cf. Quint. 9, 4, 10; 11, 3, 45).

B. Act. 1. To speak out, to say, tell, talk about, mention, utter, name, declare, show, indicate or express clearly

MESSENIO By my troth, young man, prithee, tell me your name, unless it's disagreable.

Ecclesia ekklêsia, an assembly of the (Greek) people.

The ekklesia in a legal sense was like a county court. They heard evidence and made legal decisions. If a flute player tried to PERFORM they would cast him out as an ignorant pervert.

Similar Greek to Loquor

Agoreuô ( [agora] ) speak in the assembly, who wishes to address the house?

2. generally, speak, say,
3. proclaim, to have it
proclaimed that . . , a. the law declares,
4. Pass.,
to be delivered

Did you hear Paul? Did Paul say that "that which was written yesterday was written for our MUSIC?" Why of course not. Wouldn't it be an insult to God in Christ to make music out of my silly songs when we have that body of poetic literature which the Spirit of Christ composed (1 Pet 1:11) for our LEARNING. We can LEARN about bashing out the heads of little babies to the beat of a harp. However, we cannot SING it as a direct command.

Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: Romans 15: 5

That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 15: 6

David tells me in Psalm 150:4 to "praise Him (God) with stringed instruments. He also tells us to "clap your hands, all ye peoples; shout unto God with the voice of triumph " (Psalm 47:1). David also tells me "to lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD" (Psalm 134:2). Ken, these aren't "artificial stimulations" as you call them, but rather the commands of God.

You have my permission. You can even offer animal sacrifices, play instruments and strip off naked and have lots of food as an imitation of the "rising up to play" in musical idolatry at Mount Sinai. That is what David did because He was estranged from God.

David was not a priest and not remotely a religious leader. He was not inspired and did not prescribe religious ritual for Israel. You remember that when they tried to move the Ark of the Covenant the first time, no one had any remote idea of what the Law said. David had estranged himself from God so that he was so full of fear that he could never go to Gibeon again in order to inquire of God on God's term. God gave him permission to move the ark based on a concession according to Stephen in Acts 7. You should remember that God permitted the trumpets for calling camp moves or for panicking the enemy, but they were outlawed for the congregation (in the word "alarm.") Numbers 10:7.

When instruments were ordained for the Temple-state during David's lifetime, the musicians were under the king and the "commanders of the army." Thereafter, there is always a distinction between the trumpets of God in the hands of the priests, and the "instruments of David" in the hands of the Levites for the civil part of rituals. Again, the common people never "sang with instrumental accompaniment" under the Law or under the synagogue system or in the church.

Next, this psalm mentions instruments not allowed in the Temple and, again, the temple ritual was for the civil state and not for the non-military aged men and never for women. Because this is true and because David said that everything "with breath" should praise God many scholars see the instruments as allegorical something like "let the trees clap their hands or praise God." The "organ" was considered an obscene thing (several pipes or flutes collected). I have some other short notes on Psalm 150 here.

In the Intertestament Period witnessed by the Dead Sea Scrolls we have musical instruments reserved for the civil state in connection with warfare and instruments were allegorized by the lips and hearts for personal praise to God. The people had very clear signals attached to "instruments" and you had better not be caught blowing on your little trumpet in the middle of warfare.

I have posted a table here. This shows that the usual practice for singing psalms used the first instrument of choice: the human voice. Other uses of instruments are not for collective "worship services."

As far as Elijah "being under attack" from the false prophets of Jezebel, where is this in scripture? In 1 Kings 18:20-29, the false prophets are crying to false gods that can't answer them. Your reference to this just isn't there.

If you look up the meaning of various words you will discover that they were performing the usual musical dance to Baal. Because Baal never seemed to come, as God doesn't answer the commands of praise songs, they got so frantic (as did David) that they did the "cow-throwing calf" dance and even wounded themselves to shed blood.

Remember that Stephen warned the Jews of what the Old Testament made clear: when they rose up to "play" at Mount Sinai this was the worship of the starry host.  The Jewish Encyclopedia affirms that Jerusalem--a Jebusite High Place already devoted to Sabazianism--was the center of Star worship.

The Egyptian trinity was represented by the golden Calf and the real Apis bull was birthed as a cow gives birth to a calf.

The round or circle dance--like most dances--was miming something in nature which the wordshipped. The circle dance was also imitation of the circling but wandering nature of the Sun, Moon and known planets.

Secondly, the Psalms were often warrior chants used to intimidate the enemy.

Psalm 149:3Let them praiseH1984 his nameH8034 in the danceH4234: let them singH2167 praises unto him with the timbrelH8596 and harpH3658.

Psalm 149:6Let the highH7319 praises of GodH410 be in their mouthH1627, and a twoedgedH6374 swordH2719 in their handH3027;
7To executeH6213 vengeanceH5360 upon the heathenH1471, and punishmentsH5771 upon the peopleH3816;
H4234 mâchôl maw-khole' From H2342 ; a (round) dance:—dance (-cing).

H2342 chûl chı̂yl khool, kheel A primitive root; properly to twist or whirl (in a circular or spiral manner), that is, (specifically) to dance, to writhe in pain (especially of parturition) or fear; figuratively to wait, to pervert:—bear, (make to) bring forth, (make to) calve, dance, drive away, fall grievously (with pain), fear, form, great, grieve, (be) grievous, hope, look, make, be in pain, be much (sore) pained, rest, shake, shapen, (be) sorrow (-ful), stay, tarry, travail (with pain), tremble, trust, wait carefully (patiently), be wounded.

1Kings 4:30 And Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt.
1Kings 4:31 For he was wiser than all men; than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, and Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol: and his fame was in all nations round about.
H4235 mâchôl maw-khole' The same as H4234 ; dancing; Machol, an Israelite:—Mahol.

[31] et erat sapientior cunctis hominibus sapientior Aethan Ezraita et Heman et Chalcal et Dorda filiis Maol et erat nominatus in universis gentibus per circuitum

Of David's Dance:
saltātor , ōris, m. salto,
I. a dancer (generally among the Romans with an accessory contemptuous signif.), Cic. Off. 1, 42, 150; id. Mur. 6, 13; id. Deiot. 10, 28; id. Fin. 3, 7, 24; Quint. 1, 12, 14; 11, 3, 89; Suet. Calig. 54; id. Ner. 6; Macr. S. 2, 10 al.

> "From (the Uraritic text) come references to a class of Temple personnel designated by the term serim, who exercised functions similar to those of the Hebrew singers during the monarchy and later times. Some of the servants of David who were designated in 1 Kings 4:31 by (a) term meaning 'aboriginal' or 'native sons,' and who possessed Canaanite names such as Heman, Chalcol, and Darda, were engaged in various forms of musical activity. As such they were described by the phrase 'sons of Mahol,' a Hebrew term closely related to (melpō )

[also] used of a semi-circular area in which the Greek chorus danced, and meaning 'members of the orchestral guild.' A further reflection of this musical interest became apparent when Megiddo was excavated and the treasure room of the royal palace was uncovered. From this area was recovered a plaque inlaid with ivory, depicting a royal personage seated on a throne. He was drinking from a small bowl, and was being entertained by a court musician who stood before him plucking the strings of a lyre." (Harrison, R. K., Introduction to the Old Testament, Eerdmans, p. 335, see p. 411).

"Today, this music and dance festival is understood as the one remnant of the old Canaanite fertility rituals, which, in the monotheistic pseudomorphosis of the temple ceremonies, was to ensure an abundant crop of plants, animals, and even human beings." (Interpreters Dictionary of the Bible, p. 463

"The instruments were used as worship to God and to give glory and elat to the earthly kingdom. They were tolerated by God as were many other things during this period, that he did not approve. The establishment of the kingdom itself was an act of rebellion against God" (David Lipscomb, Queries and Answers, pp. 226, 227, and Gospel Advocate, 1899, pp. 376, 377).

None of the Levites who had been given the role of executingn 3,000 of their brethren for engaging in musical idolatry  could enter the Holy Place somewhat typical of the Church without getting executed. God through Moses then commanded that they "stand in ranks" during animal sacrifices to make certain that a non-Levi person could even come near the animal slaughter which Christ says in the prophets that God did not command. Any Levite singer or instrument player who went NEAR any holy thing or INTO any holy place was to be executed. When they prophesied with musical instruments the were SOOTHSAYERS with instrumental accompaniment. John in Revelation 18 calls them Sorcerers.

All pagan practices seemed to have originated in Babylon. Therefore, Enki or Ea, was patron god of music. Enlil was "the holy spirit" of Babylon and:

At that time, Enlil rebuilt his great sanctuaries into small reed (?) sanctuaries and from east to west he reduced their storehouses. The old women who survived those days, the old men who survived those days

and the chief lamentation singer who survived those years set up seven balaj drums, as if they stood at the horizon, and together with ub , meze, and lilis (some mss. have instead: cem, and lilis) (1 ms. has instead: and bronze cem) drums made them resound to Enlil like Ickur (god of storms) for seven days and seven nights.

The old women did not restrain the cry "Alas for my city!". The old men did not restrain the cry "Alas for its people!". The lamentation singer did not restrain the cry "Alas for the E-kur !".

Its young women did not restrain from tearing their hair.
........Its young men did not restrain from sharpening their knives.

Their laments were as if Enlil's ancestors were performing a lament
........ in the awe-inspiring Holy Mound
........ by the holy knees of Enlil .
........ ........ Because of this, Enlil entered his holy bedchamber and lay down fasting.

"Among these pupils is found to much greater extent than among the teachers a certain ecstatic feature. They arouse their feelings through music and induce a frantic condition which also affects others in the same way, in which state they 'prophesy' and, throwing off their garments, fall to the ground. In later times too we find traces of such ecstatic phenomena. Thus e.g. in Zech 13:6; 1 Ki. 20:37-38, the 'wounds' on the breast or on the forehead recall the self-mutilation of the priests of Baal (1 Ki. 18:28). The deeds, suggestive of what the dervishes of our own day do, probably were phenomena quite similar to the action of the prophets of the surrounding tribes" (Int Std Bible Ency., Prophecy, p. 2462)

"This is how Apuleius describes the cortege of the Syrian goddess '...they began to howl all out of tune and hurl themselves hither and thither, as though they were mad. They made a thousand gestures with their feet and their heads; they would bend down their necks and spin round so that their hair flew out in a circle; they would bite their own flesh; finally, every one took his two-edged weapon and wounded his arms in divers places." (de Vaux, p. 242)

For instance, In the Hymn in Praise of Enki's Temple Esira at Eridu:

When one bends the knee in his holy temple
may the harp, algar, drum, algarsurra,
har-har, sabitum, miritum,
instruments of sweet entreaty and humble imploring
which fill the temple,
accompany the entreaty in its splendor.
Enki's holy algar has [always] sung to him in splendor.
The seven musical instruments indeed
[always] accompanied [the temple's] entreaty!

Again, these words occur:

"In reverence commanded in the forecourt the seven musical instruments are played and the ceremonies of exorcism are undertaken. (Quasten, Johannes, Music and Worship in Pagan and Christian Antiquity, p. 17-18)

Martin Luther (1483-1546), founder of Lutheran Church: "The organ in public worship services is a sign of Baal." Realencyklopadie fur Protestamtische Thelogie and Kirche, Bd.14. S. 433. As furnished James B. Bales a native German, and cited by Bales, (Instrumental Music and New Testament Worship [1973], p.130.) NOTE: others have translated as "ensign" where Reichel has "Sign," but each word is sometimes used equivalent of the other.) Baal worship with instrumental music was continued but under different names.

Topheth in connection with instrumental music in worship occurs in two places in a striking comparison. In verse 32 it is tambourines or tabrets in the King James Version. In verse 33 it is Topheth. The tabrets with which Satan came equipped are a symbol of punishment and the almost identical word, topheth, is the place which came to stand for hell. He would go into the same place and his viols would go with him. Baal worship with instruments even while burning children was always to get a better revelation that Jehovah had given.

"The Hebrew words are nearly identical; and Tophet was probably the king's 'music grove' or garden, denoting originally nothing evil or hateful. Afterwards it was defiled by idols, and polluted by the sacrifices of Baal and the fires of Molech. Then it became the place of abomination, the very gate or pit of hell." (Smith, p. 960)

"Once the music-grove, where Solomon's singers, with voice and instrument, regaled the king, the court and the city; then the temple of Baal, the high place of Moloch, resounding with the cries of burning infants; then (in symbol) the place where is the wailing and gnashing of teeth." (p. 3313-14, four-volume Smith).

"Sometimes he was represented as a horrible idol with fire burning inside so that what was placed in his arms was consumed. In the above illustration, a heathen priest has taken a baby from its mother to be offered to Molech.

Lest the parents should relent, a loud noise was to hide the screams The word for drums is tophim from which the word 'Tophet,' the place mentioned in verses such as Jeremiah 7:31:

''They have built the high place of Tophet... to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire. While drums sounded, bands played, and priests chanted, human sacrifices were devoured in the flames." (Woodrow, Ralph, Babylon Mystery Religion, p. 72-73).

If you want to know all of the ugly details about Baal worship and musical instrument among the prophets of Asherah and Baal under Jezebel the Phoenician (Tyrian), you have to read the material and see the inscriptions. The worship of Baal was demonstrated in Amos where they held the "marzeah" which was a feast with and for the dead:

such as should never women see, a goblet
such as/which should never `
Athirat set her eye on; a thousand
he takes of (new autumn) wine,
ten thousand he mixes in - his the mixing bowl to be mixed in ten thousand portions.
........ While he is mixing it,
........ One does rise, one chants and sings,
........ cymbals in the hands of the minstrel;
........ ........ sings the youngster with a sweet voice
........ ........ over Baal in the Heights

Athirat is "Asherah, the Tree of Life.  It is clear that Paul knew more about Eve than modern feminist theologians. Jesus warned that truth had been hidden in parables from the foundation of the world. This would veil the truth from the "generation of vipers" who would use the mysteries to help defeat Jesus Christ and the true source of life.

Even from birth the wicked go astray (adulterers, profane); from the womb they are wayward and speak lies. Psa 58:3
venom is like the venom of a snake, like that of a cobra that has stopped its ears Psa 58:4

(Venom in the second instance is the plural of Chauwah, life-giver or Eve, the first woman. She is ZOE, the female instructing principle.)Chauwowth yaiyr (h2334) khav-vothe' yaw-eer'; from the plur. of 2332 and a modification of 3265; hamlets of Jair, a region of Pal.: - [Bashan-] Havoth-jair. [Jaare-oregim'

veneficusa poisoner, sorcerer, wizard; sorceress, witch,

"She is called Dat ba'thani, Lady of the Serpent. Another name of ´Asherah in the first millennium BCE is Chawat, which is Hawah in Hebrew and Eve in English. Her full title is Rabat Chawat ´Elat, Great Lady Eve the Goddess, and is associated with the serpent. Thus, Chawa/ Eve (ZOE) is probably a form of´Asherah as a Serpent Goddess. As a snake goddess, She was also represented by bronze serpent forms, examples of which have been found in archaeological excavations in the Levant. In fact the Nehush-tan, literally the Bronze Serpent which is associated with Moses, is much more likely an emblem of Asherah. It too was removed from the Jerusalem temple the same time as the asherah objects.

"Baal is the god most actively worshipped in Canaan and Phoenicia, the Storm God, source of the winter rain storms, spring mist, and summer dew which nourish the crops. Therefore He is considered responsible for fecundity, particularly of the Earth, for the growth of vegetation, and for the maintenance of life. None the less, He is NOT a god of vegetation. While the word "ba`al" means simply "master" or "owner," He is considered a prince. Among His other epithets are Rider of the Clouds, Prince, Master of the Earth ( c.f. the Qabalistic phrase Melek ha´Aretz, King of the Earth). Ba`al is an executive force, dynamic, and able to accomplish what He sets out to do. Ba`al is often depicted striding forward, wearing a horned helmet and short wrap kilt, carrying a mace and spear or lightning-bolt staff. Another of His names is Re`ammin, meaning Thunderer. He is also called ´Aleyin, meaning "Most High," "Mightiest," "Most Powerful," or "Supreme," which some scholars have misinterpreted as the name of a son of Ba`al. As a weather god, His home is in the Heights of Tsaphon, Mount of the North. Remnants of His worship survive in the Jewish prayerbook in late spring prayers for dew and late fall prayers for rain."

Baal is the son of Dagan/Dagnu and Samson was forced to "rise up and play" in the same form which judged Israel at Mount Sinai.

Another song reads in part:

What foe does rise against Baal, enemy
........against the Rider on the Clouds?

Did I not demolish the darling
........ of `El, Yam the Sea?

Did I not make an end of Nahar the River
........ the great god divine Rabim

Did I not snare the Dragon,
........ vanquish/envelope him?

I did demolish the Twisting Tortuous Serpent,
........ the Tyrant with Seven Heads;

I did demolish the Darling of the gods, `Arsh, Desire (C),

I did silence / annihilate the Calf divine
........ of `El, ´Atik, the Quarrelsome, the Rebellious One

I did destroy the Bitch of the gods, `Ishat, the Firey,

A non-inspired "prophet" was a wannabe. They banded together in destructive "schools" and played instruments in order to work themselves up into prophesying which was singing with instruments in the pagan sense. Then they sold this "speaking in tongues" to the unwitting. Remember that when Israel repudiated God, He sent the prophets from the Philistine high place as a sign and to turn Saul into another man which means "to pervert him." You remember that Saul's soldiers held him in contempt when he prophesied. God also destroyed the wheat corp as a sign of judgment.

We know about the musical prophesiers from many resources contemporary with Elijah. When they "cried and bent their knees to Baal they were doing the song and dance the Jewish clergy tried to force Jesus into.

Baal Worship and Instrumental Music among the Canaanites: "We know that Canaanite prophets were organized in guilds centered on the larger sanctuaries, as, for example, 'the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the Asherah four hundred,' with whom Elijah had memorable dealings on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18). Similarly, Israelite cultic prophets were to be found in and around the sanctuaries, roving about in rowdy troops, working themselves up into frenzies by dancing and music,

and uttering semi-coherent oracles
........ which the credulous accepted as divinely inspired."
........... (Heaton, E. W., Everyday Life in the Old Testament, p. 221, Scribners)

"We have evidence of ritual dances in the context of other Syrian cults. One of the Ras Shamra poems, in a passage...mentions mrqdm 'dancers' apparently in connection with a sacrifice. Herodian depicts Heliogabalus at a sacrifice to his god of Emesa,

'dancing round the altars to the sound of every kind of musical instrument;
........ with him certain women of his country performed a sprightly round,
........ with cymbals and tambourines in their hands.

At Dair ee-Qala'a, near Beirut, there was a sanctuary dedicated to Baal-Marqod, 'Baal of the Dance' whose cult evidently involved dancing.

An inscription relating to the sanctuary mentions a deuterostates, a technical word for one who stands in the back row of the choir." (de Vaux, p. 241).

"... the violent dance which, as it went on, induced a frenzy... in Hebrew it generally means 'to limp,' which is... to 'bend the knee or the ankle.' A passage from the Greek novelist Heliodorus tells us more about these actions. He describes a feast at which Tyrian sailors made celebrations for their god Herakles: after the banquet they danced to music in the Syrian fashion, 'Now they leap spiritedly into the air, now they bend their knees to the ground and revolve on them like persons possessed.'"

"Now compare with the passage in 1 K 19:18 where God promises Elijah that he will spare 'those who have not bent the knew before Baal.'... This also explains Elijah's reproach in 1 K 18:21 where he accuses those who would serve both Baal and Yahweh at the same time of 'hobbling first on one leg, then on the other." (de Vaux, p. 241). (de Vaux, Roland, The Bible and the Ancient Near East, Doubleday)

The king of Babylon and of Tyre were agents of Lucifer under Herakles or Melkart.

At that time Tyre will be forgotten for seventy years, the span of a king's life. But at the end of these seventy years, it will happen to Tyre as in the song of the prostitute: Is.23:15

This is the song of the prostitute:

"Take up a harp, walk through the city, O prostitute forgotten; play the harp well, sing many a song, so that you will be remembered (as a male)." Is.23:16

At the end of seventy years, the LORD will deal with Tyre. She will return to her hire as a prostitute and will ply her trade with all the kingdoms on the face of the earth. Is.23:17

Your reference to Habakkuk in 2:20 is true, but read verses 18 & 19 in context with verse 20. In verse 19 God says "Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise; it shall teach! Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all within it". Ken, in light of man making these statements over an idol, God is warning them that He is God --- in His throne --- and that they should be silent from these dangerous babblings. If all the earth is to keep silent, as you allude to; why did Jesus say "the stones would immediately cry out" (Luke 19:40).

David was not a priest but often a lost soul crying out to God. It was not uncommon for David to try to arouse or awaken his lyre. If David could awaken his lyre then he would awaken the dawn. The "familiar spirit" of the witch of Endor was a "hollow, empty water or wineskin." When she mumbled into it she got a message from the gods or demons and sold it to seekers. Of course, she was a ventriloquist but she got fooled in order to totally discredit Saul with what was another musical instrument. The familiar spirit has the identical meaning of the nebel or harp which was the home of the spirits or spoke for them in the magic of strings twanging. The resounding instrument of 1 Cor 13 was a hi-tek echo chamber or a musical instrument. One who spoke without love often spoke prophetically for a profit and the echo chamber fooled lots of fools.

Lucian of Samosata wrote of Alexander the Oracle Monger to show how you could spin a "sifter" and make it "sing" or speak into it (like a microphone) and claim that what came out was the gods inside probably saying: "You need to up your contribution or the gods will get you."

"Alexander, on the other hand, preferred his native place, urging very truly that an enterprise like theirs required congenial soil to give it a start,

in the shape of 'fat-heads' and simpletons; that was a fair description, he said, of the Paphlagonians beyond Abonutichus;

they were mostly superstitious and well-to-do; one had only to go there with someone to play the flute, the tambourine, or the cymbals, set the proverbial mantic sieve a-spinning, and there they would all be gaping as if he were a god from heaven.

All over the ancient world it seems that people believed that musical instruments were homes of and mouthpieces of the gods or demons. I have collected some of these here.

Now, I understand that no one is obligated to believe the inherent "parable" revelation of Scripture or of all ancient scholarship. However, before picking music as a way to worship in Spirit and in Truth we should understand that there is no evidence that God ever commanded it or accepted it. Furthermore, we have numerous Old Testament associations between instruments and telling God they were not interested in the discipline of a Godly walk.

Psalm 41:9 is the fore-runner of John 13:18,19 which prophesies the betrayal of Jesus by Judas Iscariot. I don't see Judas trying to get Jesus to dance as you pointed out in your letter. The reference to "piping" means that Jesus wasn't going to be led around or dictated to by the fickle whims of man. That's all.

I don't know that Jesus tried this. However, it was prophesied that Judas would try to "triumph over" Jesus in Psalm 41. Triumph means to blow the pipes or flutes to try to break down the mind in a kind of schizophrenia so that they would lose their mind and sing and dance.

In Matthew 13 Jesus said that the truth had been spoken in parables from the foundation of the world. This was to hide the truth from those in Isaiah 48 who would use prophecy for their own gain. Therefore, He never really spoke to the Jewish clergy.

Psalm 41 prophesies that Judas will not triumph over Jesus:

I know that you are pleased with me, for my enemy does not triumph over me. Ps.41:11

Triumph is:

Ruwa (h7321) roo-ah'; a prim. root; to mar (espec. by breaking); fig. to split the ears (with sound), i. e. shout (for alarm or joy): - blow an alarm, cry (alarm, aloud, out), destroy, make a joyful noise, smart, shout (for joy), sound an alarm, triumph.

The trumpets had specific signals and to ignore them would be dangerous. This is why Paul warned Corinth by explaining the trumpet calls which could mean life or death. For this reason, God outlawed "Ruwa" in a religious sense. In trying to triumph over Jesus they were trying to panic Him. The loud joyful noise would panic the enemy or triumph over them in defeat: this is the meaning of "mocking" Jesus.

When the music and speech patterns get you to "break down" and do something you would not do by yourself walking down the streets then you have been "triumphed over" by a mind manipulator who gets paid on the basis of performing this "Word Replacement Therapy."

This is exactly how the translation of Psalm 41 understands the attempted defeat of Messiah. We have linked this above but here it is again. Of Messiah it is said:

They have overtaken me in a narrow pass (gap) without escape
........ And there is no rest for me in my trial.

They sound my censure upon a harp
........ and their murmuring and storming upon a zither." Ps.41:11

Nevertheless, In Victory: 18

I will groan with the zither of lamentation
........ in all grief-stricken mourning and bitter complaint

until iniquity and wickedness are consumed
........ and the disease-bringing scourge is no more.

Then will I play on the zither of deliverance
........ and harp of joy,

on the tabors of prayer and the pipe of praise
........ without end.

The bag of Judas, the thief, was for collecting stolen money. You can see the "triumph over" team here. The bag is attached to the spotted flute case on the right. The Greek word means: "a bag for carrying the mouthpieces of wind instruments." It is made up of "speaking in tongues" and "of the world." We have lots of description and images from the Classical period which shows how the bag is always attached to a flute case. Furthermore, Jesus hand fed him the "sop" and sop is related to external "melody" which is related to "grinding you into a fine powder." Painters who understood the text portray the betrayal of Jesus in connection with the clergy piping and trying to pervert Jesus to the effeminate Dionysus mourning and choral dance. Click for the scene.

> Judas was the "son of His Father the devil who is the father of liars."

> Jesus was the true Logos or Spokesman for the One True God.

> The prevailing view was that Mercury or Hermes was the Logos. And Logos was the "father" of musical instruments, the father of thiefs and the father of liars.

When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, "The gods have come down to us in human form!" Acts 14:11

Barnabas they called Zeus (Baal: the loud thunderer), and Paul they called Hermes because he was the chief speaker. Acts 14:12

The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought bulls and wreaths to the city gates because he and the crowd wanted to offer sacrifices to them. Acts 14:13

> Therefore, usually under teaching by Dionysus or Bacchus, the way to prove your "god" superior would be to try to force them into the song and dance with instruments.

> The enemies of Christ tried to do that to Him.

> If you fall into that you will do something which made Israel at Mount Sinai "into a laughingstock." Children playing musical games always believe that they are real. But when you get "back within yourself" you may be embarassed that you have been tried in the balances and found wanting.

The Komo or "of the world" dance teams are often pictured semi-drunk, naked and perverted. This is the meaning of the mourning song and the choral dance. They finally stripped Jesus at the cross.

God does desire those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth. But Ken, this worship can't come from our mind, along with our will and emotions is the make-up of our fallen soul. I believe rather, as Jesus said "He that believes on Me, as the scripture has said; out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water" (John 7:38). And didn't God promise that He would create a "new man" out of anyone who was truly born again (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well that worship would not be at her temple or His temple. These are specific places and not mental attitudes or enthusiasm. Then He said that worship would be "in spirit and in truth." This is a place using His truth as "the water of the Word." He said that His Word gave "spirit and life" (John 6:63). Remember that John was in the Spirit on the Lord's day and as far as we know He didn't have a church on Patmos.

Peter promised those in Acts 2:38 salvation or remission of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit. Now, our spirit is our mental disposition or our spiritual self, as God' Spirit is the Mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2). Peter in 3:21 promised a clear conscience which can also mean consciousness. The word doesn't mean "free from a guilty feeling here" but means "co-perception." That gift of A holy spirit is our spirit made holy by Christ, the Spirit, dwelling in our hearts. Therefore, I believe that when one turns to Christ, the "veil is lifted" and we can understand His Word fully (2 Cor. 3).

When the Apostles were visited by "tongues" this was a sign of speaking and out of their hearts flowed the Word of reconciliation on the day of Pentecost. This is an outflowing and not an inflowing of a third member of the Godhead. By purifying our heart as His Temple then we can "come boldly before the throne of Grace" when prior to turning to Him in Baptism we could not. This is why God is really not seeking those who cannot or will not hold Him in their "temple" every waking hour and not try to "come into his presence" by musical worship teams who now claim to be priests or "mediators between man and God."

I don't see anywhere in scripture where "God isn't found in organized temples". If this is true, then was Jesus lying when He said "where two or more are gathered together, there am I in the midst of them"? To go "outside the camp, bearing his reproach" means in context that we shouldn't hold on to any earthly city as our home. Rather, we have an eternal one, "made without hands" (2 Cor 5:1).

Jesus could meet with two or three and not mean "in the temple" without being a liar. Don't you think? Or shant we give Him that liberty? Why, two or three can meet over coffee on Monday morning and no one would call General Cafe a temple. How about at home where most Christians met?

When the loud instruments sounded in the temple this signaled the beginning of sacrificing animals. This meant that the gates were shut and the people put "outside the camps." You remember that when Solomon dedicated the temple, the Levites sounded the instruments and the temple was so filled with smoke or darkness that the priests "could not minister." This was not a problem because the people were "outside the gates" and God was "in heaven." They prayed from outside the camp and God heard from heaven. God isn't worshiped in houses and the best He could promise Solomon was that people could "pray toward" the temple. Stephen got himself killed for saying that.

Jesus told us not to look for earthly "kingdoms" or "church" but "the kingdom of God is within you." Consistent with the Synagogue the church came together for edification or education and not worship in the temple sense. Even the Lord's Supper was a "showing forth" or teaching and remembering activity.

The holy places in the temple was the "naos." The holy place for God's temple is "nous" or our Mind.

The blood was shed "inside the camp" where the priests and Musical (noise making) Levites carried on a national and not a "congregational" animal sacrifice. Jesus shed His blood outside the gates or camps as a spiritual antitype of the physical temple.

The reproached parts from the temple were burned outside the camp:

Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Hebrews 13:12

Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. Hebrews 13:13
For here
have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. Hebrews 13:14

By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to his name. Hebrews 13:15

But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. Hebrews 13:16

That can happen with two or three but I just don't know whether true worship can take place when 2,000 assemble. But, if the church assembles as "school" or "synagogue" then we have 167 hours each week to praise God "continually."

Therefore, your views that we are pilgrims and not residents of the world's temples is true.

Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. Heb 4:14

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Heb 4:15

Paul never said anything about the clergy being fired. We can come boldly before the throne of grace by the Blood of Jesus and nothing else (Hebrews 4:16).

And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death: Heb 7:23
........ But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Heb 7:24
........ ........ Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him,
........ ........ seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. Heb 7:25

You see, if you depend upon a human priest you have to reject coming to God through Christ the One and only Mediator between God and man.

Musical praise teams who claim to be priests and mediators between man and God are in deep spiritual crisis and it will lead to their spiritual destruction for claiming to replace Jesus as we always replace His Words.

The Levites presumed to act like clergy and were fired in God's "Idealized Temple" in Ezekiel 40f. Josephus notes that the Levites wanted to don the linen garment and become singers of sacred hymns again. Josephus warned that the Levites had led to the destruction of the nation once and would do it again as he spoke historically.

Levites helped the priests in making sacrifices but the priest had to slaughter the animal. The priests acting through Rome did it to Jesus while they mocked Him.

The Levite who presumed to take an instrument into the holy place would have been put to death. Not even the common priests could come into God's symbolic presence.

However, because we are all priests of God and virtual high priests (by virtue of being in Christ) we can come boldly before the throne where only ONE priest and God would fit at one time. I believe that excludes a priestly class.

You said that the common people never engaged in "praise worship" (your quote) with instruments at the temple. What about Psalm 66:1? Or Psalm 81:1-4, where in verse 3 God says "Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed". And in verse 4 of the same, the God of Jacob made this kind of worship a law. And finally, in Psalm 98:4-6 we as the people of God (in Christ we are all as one, none is better than another) are commanded to "Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth; make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. Sing unto the LORD with the harp; with the harp and the voice of a psalm. With trumpets and the sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the LORD, the King".

Unless you have the literal blood of the literal Levi flowing in your body you could never presume to be a Levite. And these songs were not, as far as we know, sung in the temple. And assuredly the "congregation" did not sing with "instrumental accompaniment." The loud rejoicing sound is often called "noise" and not "music."

You remember that the Psalms are songs. They are not "laws of worship" but of one man's sentiment. Songs by their nature use symbolic language.

MAKE a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands:
........ Sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious. Psalm 66:2

Say unto God, How terrible art thou in thy works through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee. Psalm 66:3
........ All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name. Selah. Psalm 66:4

Consistent with the meaning of praise, this Psalm tells us to go out and tell people what God has done. It continues to tell the story.

Trumpets were blown for many things but we no longer keep new moons. These have nothing to do with congregational worship. I suppose that we are all free, like David who didn't blow trumpets in the temple worship, to go out and sing and play instruments or do anything we wish. However, it would lose its value if we took our personal praise and tried to organize a praise service "in my own image." Sacrifice was one thing but personal worship was something else even under the law.

Jesus is the Master Teacher, but in 1 Corinthians 12:28 and Ephesians 4:11 teachers are given to the body of Christ "for the perfecting of the saints for the work of the ministry for the edifying of the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:12).

Jesus made it clear that He spoke only what He heard from the Father. And Jesus commanded the Apostles to teach what He taught and would reveal as Spirit. Paul obeyed this command and taught. He commanded that the elders (Pastor-Teachers) teach what they had been taught. He told the "one another" congregation to speak or teach the Word of God and did not command a "sing" ritual. The singing like the melody was in the heart while they spoke or chanted the revealed Word.

The only way Christ can be our Teacher is for vocational Pastor-Teachers to teach the revealed Word. They are not teachers in the Pharisee sense where they made up their own commandments just in order to ignore God's commands and they did it professionally. Paul severely restricts support to evangelists who teach the untaught.

Ken, where in the New Testament does Paul forbid singing with musical instruments? Is it in Romans 15:9, where Paul says "For this cause I will confess to thee among the nations and sing unto Thy name"? Or is it in 1 Corinthians 14:15 where Paul says that he will sing with the spirit and sing with the understanding? When a person is truly saved and led of the Spirit of God, they can't help but sing to God for all that He has done for them. Look also at Colossians 3:16.

Paul does not command "singing" as a praise ritual. And "music" is related to secular feasts with dancing, or with the end-time Babylonian system musicians and instrumentalists (Rev. 18). Internal "melody" and "singing" are not truly musical terms: singing would be cantillation or speaking as it was performed in the synagogue.

> Therefore, since there is no "music" associated with this teaching command it would have been silly for Paul to make a law: "Thou shalt not use a harp when thou lectureth about God."

> The Greek "psalmos" means:

A song which may be accompanied by
........ The human voice [the first instrument of choice in "song"]
........ The harp
........ or other instruments.

> Paul picked the first "instrument of choice": the human voice. He was not obligated to exclude the several dozens of mechanical instruments. It would be legalistic to demand that God make a law excluding all of the things we should not do.

> If Paul had commanded: "thou shalt not use a piano" legalists would call in the "doctors of the law" and look for a loophole. They would charge you $500 an hour and come back with:

Paul did not command: "thou shalt not use a pipe organ. We conclude that you are not hampered by God's law."

The method is singing but the motive is teaching:

O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon his name:
........ make known his deeds among the people. Psalm 105:1

Sing (no instruments) unto him, sing psalms unto him:
........ talk ye of all his wondrous works Psalm 105:2 .

This singing is related to the ancient "minstrel." He was a herald or a Paul Revere. He was newspaper, internet and TV. He traveled around and delivered the news or gossip. He used a metrical style for the same reason children are taught the books of the Bible with a tune. Ministrels who didn't "deliver the word as it had been delivered to them" were often minstrels in the prostitute sense.

In 1 Corinthians 13 Paul spoke against instruments by equating them to the magical devices of the Jews and especially the "oracles" in and around Corinth. They were like the "familiar spirit" of the Witch or the harp in Hebrew. In chapter 14 he equated speaking in tongues to instruments of warfare and does not identify these as "instruments of praise." He even calls them "lifeless instruments." Paul meant that he would not sing charismatically which in the area of Corinth was induced by drugs or musical instruments and had no love attached but the lust for money. He would make sure that any thing that went on in his spirit would would come out as understandable teaching material. That is, even a Paul would deliver a direct revelation in rational speech in contrast to the female oracles who got drunk on wine or drugs and "spoke in tongues." They learned that practice from a "goat which fell into a fissure in the ground." Some sly fellow began selling the goat's speech as a revelation from the gods. Then they replaced the goat with virgins but virgins were always getting raped so they replaced the virgins with "old wives" who told "old wive's tales."

Ephesians 5 uses "spirit" and Colossians 3:16 uses "the Word of Christ." They were to fill up with the Spirit of Christ by being full of His word. Then, the command is to teach or preach and not to sing. The result of such teaching will be singing and melody in the heart. This is quite identical to Psalm 105 above.

If superstitious praise songs are used to perform the legal act of singing, we can be sure that there will be no teaching.

Jesus is the Son of God, not the Holy Spirit. Both are divine persons in the trinity, unique as scripture teaches; but they are not one and the same.

When Jesus promised "another Comforter" in John 14:16 in verse 18 He said: "I will come to you." When He appeared in Spirit to Paul He said, "I am Jesus of Nazareth." Thomas confessed Him as "My Lord and My God." And Peter said:

Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. 1 Peter 1:11

And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. Rev 19:10

For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. Col 2:9
And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that
spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. 1Co.10:4
Nevertheless, when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. 2 Cor 3:16

Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 2 Cor 3:17

Praise as a ritual is legalistic (Webster's definition). That's why I believe it has to come from our own spirit where God dwells.

Again, praise is not singing, "Lord, Lord." Rather, to praise Joe Jones you don't have a meeting, tune up the banjo and sing: "Praise Joe Jones, praise Joe Jones, praise Joe Jones." Joe Jones will run screaming from the called community meeting.

However, if you say: "We have come here to tell you that Joe Jones has done something great for this community" then you won't embarrass Joe Jones.

I don't believe your charge that "music was a cause and symptom of people who did not love God because they didn't love His word". Read Exodus 15, the song of the redeemed out of Egypt.

You must remember that God's Righteousness would have left every single Israelite in Egypt to self destruct because they were all devoted to the worship of Osiris under Apis the bull or Hathor the cow. I don't know that Moses was an exception. Therefore, none of them were spiritual leaders and you remember that Miriam shortly believed that as a princess and prophetess in Egypt she should be able to speak for God along with Moses:

"In the first place, it will be noticed from the account of the triumphant rejoicing on the shore of the Red Sea that the men sang only: 'Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the Lord, and spake saying.'" (Girardeau, George, p. 33)

"In the second place, it was Miriam and the women who used instruments of music on the occasion: 'And Miriam, the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went after her with timbrels and with dances." (Girardeau, p. 33).

Indeed, after Eve, Miriam may be the prototypical insubordinate female.

Therefore, it is dangerous to use Miriam's "breaking out" or "escaping" the "speaking" assembly to lead the women out with singing, dancing and the sistrums. Apparently, all they did was to repeat one phrase.

Theodoret wrote:

"The Jews sang in the type of the Egyptian threnodies (elegies for the dead): [Repeated in Israel and condemned by Amos]

"Thus they made a golden bull (the golden calf), the image of an animal that was held to be the most sacred in that land; they offered unholy sacrifices, performed impious dances and sang hymns which differed in no way from the pagan mourning songs. Philo, De specialibus legibus [Like the Dionysus song and dance which would have triumphed over Jesus.]

"This reference probably indicates the use of songs from the cult of Osiris... it can hardly be denied that Egyptian influence on Jewish musical practices was quite significant. This would stand to reason because of the high quality of Egyptian cultic music. The tambourine or timbrel, a hoop of bells over which a white skin was stretched, came from Egypt. Miriam used this instrument (sistrum) to accompany the singing and dancing on the shores of the Red Sea (Ex. 15).

"The trumpet... was the signaling instrument of the Egyptian army. The name of the Sistrum (2 Sam 6:5) was mena'ane'im. It was the Egyptian kemken used in the cult of Isis.
........ The music during the transferring the Ark to Sion (David rose up to play)
........ and the dances of the women at the Shiloh (Judges 21:21),
were similar to the
Egyptian liturgy and parades.

"As Herodotus reports, women sang the praises of Osiris while likenesses of the gods were born about and, during the festival of Diana at Bubastis.

Take a look at Ezekiel's version:

Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the Lord. Ezekiel 33:30

And they come unto thee as the people cometh,
........ and they sit before thee as my people,
........ and they hear thy words,
........ ........ but they will not do them:
........ for with their mouth they shew much love,
........ ........ but their heart goeth after their covetousness. Ezekiel 33: 31

And, lo, thou art unto them
........ as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice,
........ and can play well on an instrument:

........ for they hear thy words,
........ ........ but they do them not. Ezekiel 33: 32

And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them. Ezekiel 33: 33

The Thanksgiving Hymns (1QH) sees this as prophetic of Jesus:

They come to inquire of Thee
........ from the mouth of lying prophets deceived by error

Who speak with strange lips to Thy people,
........ and an alien tongue,

That they may cunningly turn
........ all their work to folly.

They have overtaken me in a narrow pass without escape (the gap)
........ And there is no rest for me in my trial.

They sound my censure upon a harp
........ and their murmuring and storming upon a zither."
........ Ps.41:11 of Judas whose "bag" carried the "mouthpieces of wind instruments."

There are lots of other parallel passages but this should do for now.

Ken, you finally said that you used to be a singer and that you have turned to the Lord, and that you "love His word so much that you teach it just as Jesus did and commanded, and just as Paul did and commanded" (your quote). Dear friend, I see two things here in your letter you never said once that you love God at all, and second; your words don't agree with the word of God as Jesus and Paul taught it. A person can get hung up on Bible reading without ever knowing personally the One who wrote the Bible.

Oh, Steve, you sound so, so spiritual. So, so, superior.

I quit singing because my doctor offered me surgery because he claimed that we were not designed to sing in that high, anxiety-creating style of the church without vocal training. So, I quit "bearing the burden" and let Jesus carry it.

I speak to God in private and don't try to be spiritual. I tell God I love Him by first knowing and then teaching His word just as Jesus and Paul did. If I didn't love the Lord I would find myself a "calling" and preach little nothing sermons and get paid for it. I couldn't prove that Jesus every said: "God, I love you, I stretch out my hands and adore you. I long to 'dance in your arms' and let you enfold me." So, what does that say: He died for you.

If I wasn't a believer what I have told you is exactly what the Bible teaches. You see, God is competent to deliver truth without having to depend upon one having to pass a human test of how many times I say "I love you."

You don't grasp it because you don't know the Writer. And, if you try to worship Him by what comes out of your own mind or feelings stimulated by musical rituals you are really engaged in self-worship. In the end, all idolatry is self-worship and music is identified in the Bible as idolatry.

It is easy to get hung up on words but I never knew God personally. I know my wife personally because I see her and touch her, but I don't know George Bush personally because I have never met him nor seen him. I know George Bush only by faith and I know God only by faith. The "knowing God personally" in theological gibberish usually implies knowing God in a sexual way.

It sounds like you have an axe to grind Ken, one that I feel you should give to God. Are you born again? Have you really believed in the Lord Jesus, and accepted His free gift of salvation for eternal life? I ask you this only because your "fruit" doesn't line up with scripture.

Steve, this is the eternal battle: to teach the Word is legalistic and is somehow in competition with being born again by faithful obedience in Baptism. One who has been baptized has the gift of A holy spirit and this means a love for the Word of God.

On the other side has always been ritualistic, musical practices as the only "spiritual substitute" for seeing Religion as education about the Mind of God and not about the stroking of our human nerve endings.

No, I don't use axes anymore: I use a sword and I grind it daily in my own heart although it needs no grinding in fact:

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Ep.6:17

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Heb.4:12

The truth of God is not remotely related to my spiritual condition.

However, I get some confidence that I love the truth and have not, yet, been sent a spirit of delusion that I believe a lie and be damned. What I have told you is clear Biblical teaching and is supported by scholars more informed than I. What you have told me thinking to "trounce me" shows no in-depth grasp of the Word of God beyond the little proof-texts.

And, again, I envy your spirituality and humility. I just come short of the glory of God but I am working on moving into perfection. I have lots of "fruits" so you will have to point out the "grapes of Sodom" you have in mind.

I don't want to tear you apart or belittle you, and I hope I haven't done so, but if you aren't saved; your blood will be on my head.

So far, Steve, I don't feel remotely challenged or 'torn apart' by anything you have said. For every proof-text trying to prove that a Spirit God is worshiped by lifeless instruments (same as carnal weapons) I can stack up a short book using Bible to refute it. You are scurrying through the Bible trying to find proof texts but believe me, every proof-text has a context and there is no context showing God's need for or love for music and lots of "pattern" events to show that it is a device to keep people's focus off God by keeping the focus off the Word. Enoch, quoted by Jude, and all of the literature surrounding the time of Christ universally attribute musical Instruments to Satan. That is the story of the king of Tyre and of Babylon.

Unfortunately, when you pull those proof-texts as a way to overcome the mass of Biblical condemnation of music you do one of two things: 1) You don't really believe in the Word and that is consistent with most church's experiences with sermonizing and versifying, or 2) you do believe it and you are walking in the foot steps of every Old Testament failure by deliberately fighting against God by fighting against His Word.

Isn't trying too hard to move into God's presence just the works of human hands? Music is the works of human hands and is the most labor-intensive effort one could make to try to "ascend into heaven to bring Christ down."

Ken, don't judge me by something God hasn't shown you yet. I'm not yet at the final resting place, but I'm not where I started from either.

Steve, I am not a Gnostic: God doesn't show me anything not revealed in the Word although baptism and the love for the truth does permit grasping Scripture which was hidden from the Jews from Mount Sinai until they turn to the Lord. I just don't expect that God has time to show me any "me" revelations when the world will double while the singing-dancing "rising up to play" churches fiddle while Rome burns.

Steve, I don't know you and I have not tried to judge you. This is the fallacy of charismatic religion: to use Scripture is to judge "me." Musical worship is "me" worship and the moment it quits stroking every (every) nerve ending in the body it will quit being used. Spiritual worship is quiet worship which is embarrassed at the notion of demonstrating it to the watching world. That would kinda be like making love to your wife on the church pew to prove how much you love her. I march to another tune. My God doesn't sing, dance or play instruments. In all of the ancient traditions and the Biblical examples of the king of Tyre and of Babylon and the end-time Babylonian woman, Satan does love music because all science knows that it shuts down the rational mind so that one cannot hear rationally and does not want to hear rationally.

When I get to heaven my greatest praise will not be to try to instruct God by strutting around in a tutu, but to beg: "Please tell me about black holes and how you make something out of nothing." I will prove worthy by just shutting my mouth in His presence.

In Jesus' love to you,


Ken Sublett

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