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~ God Is ~
...The Lord is my strength and song, and He is my salvation...
Psalm 118:14

God Is...
God is: my Strength

Oh sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth. Sing to the LORD, bless His name; show forth His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all people. For the LORD [is] great, and greatly to be praised; He [is] to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations [are] idols; but the LORD made the heavens. Honor and majesty [are] before Him; strength and beauty [are] in His sanctuary. Give to the LORD, O families of the people; give to the LORD glory and strength. Give to the LORD the glory [due to] His name; bring an offering, and come into His courts. (Ps96:1-8)

The LORD reigns; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of islands be glad. Clouds and darkness [are] all around Him; righteousness and judgment [are] the foundation of His throne. (Ps97:1-2)

The book of the Psalms, for the most part, is a book of praise. Of praise unto God. Praise to God because of His attributes. And there are three attributes which appear to be foremost, above all others. So important are they that they are listed, specifically, in all three sections of the Old Testament; in the 1) Law, 2) Psalms and 3) Prophets (Lk24:44) These were considered, by Israel and Jesus, to be the canon of the Old Testament Scriptures.

Notice... "The LORD is my (1) strength and (2) song, and He is my (3) salvation." (Ps118:14) You will find similar statements also in Ex15:2 & Is12:2.

Notice, too, that these attributes are "attached to" man. These things that God is, He is TO -me- who believes in Him and is His child. Remember, man was made "in the image of God" (Gen1:27) So, these things that God is, He is to me.

Paul speaks of God's "power toward us" (Eph1:19) "Toward" or "into, unto, to, towards, for, among" You notice, the power the Believer has is not his own. Modern man would have us be introspective. Look within ourselves for that god-likeness. That 'goodness' within each one of us. The 'power' of the mind. The power -of- 'prayer'; praying that -we- 'do'. And if we do all these things, once we fully -realize- what's been there all along, there is no limit to what we can do, achieve or become; because we are all part of that 'christ-consciousness'.

The power the Believer has is so much greater than that! It is God's power. "Christ [is] in you" (Col1:27) through the residency of the Holy Spirit. (Rom8:9) We do not live our -own- lives, but "to me to live is Christ." (Phil1:21)

First of all, let's see briefly God's power 'out there'. For all the gods that people worship, they worship idols. (Ps96:5a) But in contrast, "Jehovah made the heavens" (5b) For all the presumed 'power' that religions claim, and that false 'christianity' pretends to have, none of them can claim "creation". They -all- hold to satan's lie of "Evolution" and support it with "uniformitarianism", claiming "for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation." (2Pt3:4) And you see, there -HAS- to be "creation". Where did the substance come from for that original, initial "big bang"? None of them have been able to answer that. But "in the beginning God created.." (Gen1:1) That's why the psalmist records, "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the expanse proclaims His handiwork. (Ps19:1) God's "eternal power and Godhead" are "clearly seen" (Rom1:20) so that people are without excuse. They merely imitate and -use- what has already been created by God... to rebel against their Creator.

Because of sin, the "whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now." (Rom8:22) A big percentage of animal life is based on the devouring of other 'lesser' animals. Big fish eat little fish. Little fish eath smaller life forms. Lions eat anything they can catch. Wolves and foxes eat rabbits and rodents. Cats eat birds and rodents. This came about after Noah's flood, (Gen9:3) since in the original creation, all living creatures were herbivores.(Gen1:29-30)

God's -POWER- is going to 'correct' this situation. The time is coming, soon, when the proclamation will be realized, " The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ. And He will reign forever and ever." (Rev11:15) As God says to The Son, "Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies Your footstool.." (Ps110:1) It will be said "among the nations, Jehovah reigns" (Ps96:10a) as He "judge[s] the peoples in uprightness."

Notice what God's creation is going to do when this day comes! "Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fullness of it. Let the field be joyful, and all that is in it; then shall all the trees of the forest rejoice before Jehovah; for He comes..to judge the earth; He shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with His truth." (96:11-13)

What will be the result of God's judgement? What will be the practical results? "The wolf shall dwell with the lamb...and a little child shall lead them...and the lion will eat straw like the ox." (Is11:6,65:25)

The world tries to achieve peace through idolatry and concensus. But the final economic, religious, military conflict/s will prove to be utterly futile, as Jesus Christ comes "as the lightning comes out of the east and shines even to the west" (Mt24:27) to judge, and set up His rule with His "rod of iron". (Ps2:9)

With such honor, majesty, strength and beauty (96:6) mankind is called to worship God in fear and joy. (vs4,9,11,12) Fear because of His awesome power. Joy because of His holy righteous judgment.

You see, the only entities in all of God's creation who object to God's holy judgment are those who fall under His condemnation. As they reject His righteous declarations, they try to persuade themselves that it isn't -really- so. That they are, actually, OK. But when Christ makes an end of satan's access to the heavenlies, it is declared, "Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and those tabernacling in them" (Rev12:12) Woe is upon the earth...for a brief time.

So, let's bring God's power from "out there" to the individual's level. This God Who created the universe, and Who will judge and purge out the evil by His great power... this power is "toward us". (Eph1:19) When we cry out along with Paul, "O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" (Rom7:24) we first of all reject the modern notions of that "goodness within" which has crept into the 'church'. All of Paul's sense of 'self-worth' was out-the-window. He argues the points of introspection. The struggle between good and evil. The old nature and the spiritual desire to live holy before God. And comes to the conclusion that it is, simply, not possible in human terms. Man is simply too 'weak' to accomplish a holy life. [Ed: read the whole chapter Romans ch7]

You see, this is where "God is my strength" comes in. Paul sees his own worth-LESS-ness, and comes away rejoicing and praising, "I thank God.." And notice, he doesn't go into a mantra of a "worship song" of an empty-minded swaying back and forth. No! There is an -Object- of his worship. The 'problem' is resolved. -Therefore- worship is possible. "Worship" is an act of attributing and acknowledging "worth" to the object of that praise. That is not a mindless emotional mantra. The victory for holy living comes from "Jesus Christ our Lord!" (vs25a) He is the One Who gives the 'ability' (strength) to live for God. This is -true- "enabling". God's enable-ment through Jesus Christ.

God -is- my strength. This word "is" is key to this understanding. "Is" is a state of being. To exist. Be present, etc. It is "present tense". Now. This is not something we need to -pray-for- as many often 'lay hold' of God and "Oh, Lord, give me Your strength!" No. By virtue of the fact that a Believer -is- (already) "in Christ, he is a new creation" (2Cor5:17) as Christ is "in you the hope of glory" (Col1:27) he has been "born again not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, through the living word of God, and abiding forever" (1Pt1:23) God's strenghth is 'already' at the Believer's disposal. He has, only, to live the life. To "be mindful of things above, not on things on the earth." (Col3:2) To "set your mind to be right-minded, even as God has dealt to every man the measure of faith." (Rom12:3b)

To illustrate. A poor one. But it might help. A person has entered an elevator. The elevator is fully operational, and the power is turned on. The elevator has been designed, and is fully capable of carrying the person to the next level of the building...but they (elevator car and person) are just sitting there. Going nowhere. The person has not set his 'mind' to the fact that he must 'push the button'. When he does, the elevator does the work.

Now, the weakness of this example is the fact that God does not just 'sit there'. He is always active. He is always speaking to our hearts "push the button...push the button."

But, in closing; a Believer does not need to 'wring his hands' in despair regarding living a life pleasing to God. In Revelation chs 2-3 the term "overcome" is used. Promises of rewards and added responsibilities to those who overcome. John speaks of our "faith" being integral with overcoming. (1Jn5:4) Of overcoming the "evil one" (2:14) Paul speaks of, "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." (Rom12:21)

All this is possible, however, because God -is- "my strength". We are not alone. We have the "comforter" within. (Jn16:13,Rom8:9) You are of God, little children, and you have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. (1Jn4:4) When Jesus cried out on the cross, "It is finished!" (Jn19:30) He fulfilled His own word, "be of good cheer. I have overcome the world." (Jn16:33)


God is: my Song

"Then the sons of Moses and Israel sang this song to the LORD, and spoke, saying, I will sing to the LORD, for He has triumphed gloriously... The LORD is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will glorify Him, my father's God, and I will exalt Him." (Ex15:1-2)

"Oh sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth. Sing to the LORD, bless His name; show forth His salvation from day to day. (Ps96:1-2)

"And He has put a new song in my mouth, praise to our God; many shall see it and fear, and shall trust in the LORD." (Ps40:3)

When we praise God due to His attributes, we do so in our worship. Attributing "worth" to Him. Recognizing and proclaiming His essence. Praise is done in many ways. But the most recognized manner is 'song'. The above verses represent man expressing praise to God, doing so in song. And if we recall that man was created in God's "image" (Gen1:27), and that God -IS- our song (Ex15:2), it would behove us to understand the 'nature' of that song; And, indeed, the nature of God, since God -IS- song.

In the O.T. we are given examples of people praising. In the Psalms mention is made of using various instruments. In the N.T. specifics are given. The 'how to' of Godly music. Yes, as in the O.T. there is to be "teaching, admonishing...with grace..giving thanks." (Col3:16-17) That we are to "rejoice..give thanks" (1Th5:16,18) But notice a specific -technical- exhortation:, "..singing and making MELODY..." (Eph5:19)

In the past we have addressed some of the issues about the spiritual and emotional parameters of music. But music is also "sound". Sound is a measurable, quantifiable movement of molecules, ultimately stimulating nerve endings, sending impulses to the brain. If Scripture tells us that part of God's 'essence' is "song" (music), can we quantify WHAT KIND of sound is Godly, and what is not? This lesson will be a nutshell look at music 'theory' and just a hint of the 'physics' of sound. You who are musicians will easily recognize what is presented as I 'connect the dots' (as was done for me recently) based on what we have already learned in music school. For you non-musicians, hopefully this can be presented in a simple enough form to at least give you a 'hint' of understanding. Some things will be impossible to illustrate, because this is 'printed' media...and some things need actual 'sound clips' to demonstrate. But let's do the best we can here.

Paul says, "..making MELODY.." At the very root core of music is melody. A 'linear' -movement- of notes/pitches. This is so universal a concept that little children at play, before they ever have music lessons, will 'sing' to themselves. This is so, no matter the culture or part of the world. In music school we were taught theory. Harmony. Chord progressions. However, a more advanced class was "counterpoint". It was not required for 'education' majors, but was for performance majors. And when I took that class, I 'understood' some of the rules we had learned in harmonic theory more clearly. And had I had it first, harmony would have been much easier. "Counterpoint" is the study of relationships between -melodic- lines. Melody is actually what makes harmony 'move'.

Let's illustrate. If a solo person sings a song, they sing the 'melody'. If two people sing, each on their own part, they are individually singing 'melodies'. If you have 4 people singing the 'chords' out of the hymnal, each of their parts (S-A-T-B) are 'melodic lines'. You can separate them out, individually, and sing them. But when they are sung together, these 4 melodies form a harmonic progression. But the foundation is 'melody'. Melody results in harmony. But harmony does not create melody. e.g. If a person merely strums chords on a guitar, that is not necessarily a 'song'. But if a person is singing a song, it is easy to come along and join in, and support the song with chords. 'Make sense? Good.

Something else that musicologists tell us is globally universal is the "pentatonic scale". Eastern, western cultures...those in remote tribal villages...universal to all. This is the 5-note scale most easily recognized as what results by playing only the black keys on the piano, starting with G-flat. Most of the beloved, well-known songs are based on this scale; from the children's "Peter Peter pun'kin eater" to "Amazing Grace". [Ed: Try this... start on D-flat and play "Amazing Grace" with nothing but black keys]

Why is this so? Why is this 'universal scale' which humanity seems to be born with, built-into him innately? As though it came from One "Source"? Because it did. Remember? God is "..my song." God -IS- this. If man was made in God's "image" this innate melodic form is part of God. Part of His 'essence'.

Now... as we saw how several melodies together form harmony, let's look at a related matter. Sound. Sound is 'vibration' of molecules. Typically something causes air to move, the 'waves' travel through the air, reaching the ear, where the nerves translate the vibrations into electrical impulses which the brain perceives as "sound". Pianos, guitars, violins vibrate strings. Organs, flutes, etc vibrate air, itself. Brass, reeds, etc. have a membrane/lips that vibrate with air.

An individual, single note has 'harmony'. The technical term is its "harmonics" or "overtones". Best illustrated by a vibrating string. A string can be plucked or hit and caused to vibrate...as a whole. A person can lightly place an object at the string's mid-point, and induce it to vibrate as two sections (nodes). Guitarists and violinists do this for special effects. When singers do this with their vocal cords, it's called yodeling. Highly trained male singers who do this are called "countertenors". In years before women were allowed to perform in public, countertenors would sing what women do today. If this 'string' is continually subdivided into smaller and smaller sections, the pitch continually goes up and up...in a mathematical fashion. (We won't go into those details here)

Now... an interesting thing is that most all musical sounds -naturally- tend to subdivide themselves into these 'nodes', and these upper 'harmonics' become included into the base pitch, the "fundamental". This can be illustrated with a well-tuned piano by holding the damper pedal down, hitting a low note, and then physically stopping the sound of that note just hit, with one's finger...and the upper harmonics of that note will be sounding, having been induced into the upper strings of the piano. This is the quality which gives music its 'richness'. A reason I miss my 'real' piano I sold, and now only have the electronic piano. The Roland does not "sing" like the real thing. If you have hi-fi speakers with a woofer and a tweeter, these are the sounds typically produced by the tweeter.

[Ed: If you decide to try this experiment, if you do it with a particularly high quality piano that has pristine strings, be sure to use a cloth or handkerchief between your finger and the string you dampen. Body oils can tarnish the strings.]

The reason this discussion is so significant is because, right smack dab in the middle of this 'overtone series', in the third octave, is a "major triad". I'm sure even non-musicians know that 'major' is usually consider to be a "happy sound" and 'minor' is a "sad" sound. The Scriptures do not exhort us to sing a "sad song" but we are to be "joyful". You see, "joy" is -built-in- to the very 'sound' of the notes.

Furthermore, this major triad is so 'connected' to itself harmonically, if music is performed, and one can discern what "key" the song is in, these three notes -ARE- the "key". They are the key's very essence. If you know the key, and have one of the notes...you also know the other two. They are inseparable. Another beautiful picture of God's "three-in-one" nature. Or of man's (made in God's image) three-in-one being of spirit-soul-body. You can't have one without the other two.

Ok...let's back up and review. We are exhorted to sing with 'melody'. We understand that different melodies put together create harmony. The very 'indivdual' notes -contain- harmony...which is "major". This major "triad" (1-3-5) is the basis for all discussions and studies of music harmonic theory. Music students study Palestrina for melody and counterpoint, and J.S.Bach for the 'foundations' of harmony. It was Bach who devised the "equal tempered" tuning system.

This major ('happy') harmonic scheme is found 'naturally'. It is -in- nature. And Who created it all that way? God. (Gen1:1) And when He had finished His creation, He called it "very good".(Gen1:31) And this nature, He placed within humanity innately; since man was made in God's "image".

This is a very "orderly" scheme of things. By design. It is "purity" in its most basic form. We are exhorted to dwell on things which are "pure" and "lovely". (Phil4:8)

While there is reference to cymbals, tambourines, etc., there is no real emphasis given in Scripture to "rhythm". Obviously, God made us with an instrument of rhythm. Our hearts continually pulse. God designed the universe to be cyclical for days, nights, years, seasons. (Gen1:14) But there is nothing to indicate an emphasis on 'driving' rhythms. The exhortation is to "sing" and to "make melody". Doing "spiritual" songs. God is "spirit" and our worship of Him is to be done "in spirit and in truth". (Jn4:24) "..my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices; and with my song I will praise Him." (Ps28:7) Notice, the 'heart' is what praises God, and the 'song' is what results. Our song/praise come -out-of- the heart. "I will praise you, O Lord, with my whole heart." (Ps9:1)

So, if we understand God, His 'musical essence', and the 'spiritual' nature of Godly music; is there anything quantifiable to distinguish music that is -NOT- "Godly"? Can we latch onto empirical data, evidence, and...yes..."nature"...to define what is contrary to God's nature?

OK...you knew this was coming, didn't you...

There are certain forms of music which are -not- predominantly 'melodic' in nature. Typically, rock-n-roll, jazz, country fit into this catagory. In a typical modern-day stage performance, the most number of mics and pieces of equipment are devoted to the -drum- set. Rhythm. Then, the next-massive component is the bass. While it may provide a harmonic 'foundation' to chord structures, the way it is typically performed, it is a 'rhythmic' instrument, often in sync with the kick-drum. Then, you've got the 'rhythm guitar'. So far in this line-up we haven't seen anything for "melody" have we. There might be some lone-guitar for a few inter-phrase 'licks' ...but typically, the 'band' consists of RHYTHM, and a little bit of harmony. When a typical singer gets up to sing in these groups, there is very little real melodic content there, either.

By definition, such a production is not "Godly" according to Scriptural definition.

Let's look at -nature-. Remember those -pure- "harmonics" we talked about earlier? Has anybody heard a pure tone, something where the natural harmonics can 'sing' out from the instrument, in these modern groups? Typically, they have special devices to -deliberately- ADD "distortion" to the sound. The sound man and/or studios also manipulate the sound, AWAY FROM -nature- with EQ, reverb, etc. Deliberately totally obliterating any 'purity' of sound. They call it "professional". Many rock musicians are well-trained, and -can- play beautifully; but PURPOSELY go against all proper technique to produce the hideous sounds they do. Even the scant little bit of 'melody' there is from the lead guitar consists of overdrive distortions and fuzziness. If there is no possibility of -pure- overtones, there is no harmonic 'triad'...the sonic representation of God's -three-in-one- essence.

You skeptics who whine at my "harsh-judgmental" words against rock music, do you begin to understand past statements to the effect that rock music is -intrinsically- "Evil"? By its very nature and essence, rock music is "bad". Blaspheming God and His essence. It cannot be -made- good. Its very make-up, its core, at the -sonic- level, is -anti- God. Against God's nature. It cannot be 'fixed' and made "better". The only thing to be done with it is get rid of it!

Where our praise/song to God comes from our heart, the driving rhythms and dischord of rock 'music' does not come out of us. It cannot. Remember, man was made in God's "image". Our nature, in our natural state, cannot 'produce' rock music. Rock music is something which comes from the -OUTSIDE- and infuses us via the -BODY-. The 'physical' senses. And this is something the rock musicians and psycho-musicologists understand plainly. They regularly manipulate their music to enter people's minds, consciousness and spirits...VIA the BODY, through the rhythms and loud volume. It is only the deluded pretend "christians" and wolves in sheep's clothing who either don't recognize it, or deliberately lie about it.

This is why we proclaim that there is NO SUCH THING as "Christian" Rock. By definition, it is impossible. Rock music is of and for the "flesh". And "..they who are in the flesh cannot please God." (Rom8:8) And so, the wolves who want to infiltrate and deceive people away from God, lie their way into churches, to deliberately corrupt a people who want none of God. They want their titillations of the flesh. They might say things like, "The Bible doesn't specifically tell us not to use rock music." Well, of course not! Rock music is of the flesh through predominantly, rhythm. It is satan's perversion. Scripture is -God's- Word. Part of -His- essence. "The Word was God." (Jn1:1) It's purpose is to tell us of God. So why would God spend a lot of space in the Holy Scriptures describing satan's perversion of God's essence? All this drumming came from the pagan 'jungles' with their witch doctors and demon worship, and drumming in those settings is used to call-up the spirits. And so it is in our 'civilized' cultures wherever rock music exists.. Scripture does not tell us to "worship with rhythm." But rather, "the Lord is my SONG--melody".

Thus, rock music does not belong in the "Church". And conversely, any production-performance that is a rock music presentation is NOT "Christian". Any "decisions" that are claimed at such gatherings of the "flesh" are highly suspect at best, and utterly cursed at worst.

While I understand that, for the musically uneducated, some of the 'theory' offered here may be 'over-your-head' a bit; you with music degrees will recognize that we have barely scratched the surface. But the Godly understanding of this, to both camps, is of a 'spiritual' nature. If your heart in rebellion is -refusing- to believe and accept what is being offered, and you are insisting in your heart that rock music is "OK" for "Christians", it is likely that you are reading this with your "natural" mind; because "the natural man does not receive (or recognize as true) the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; NEITHER CAN HE KNOW them, because they are spiritually discerned." (1Cor2:14) And I do not 'judge' you for that. You simply don't have the ability to understand. And won't, until you repent and come to Faith in Jesus Christ. You are not condemned because you listen to rock music; you are "condemned already, because [you have] not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God." (Jn3:18b) But you listen to, and -enjoy- rock music [and can't 'exist' without it...being addicted to your 'walkmans'] because that is the 'nature' you are of.

But the Believer should have no problem understanding something like this about God's 'essence' because "God has revealed them to us by His Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, yea, the deep things of God." (1Cor2:10)

Dear Believer: you have the Holy Spirit residing within you (Rom8:9) and He "bears witness with [your] spirit" (Rom8:16) regarding these things. You have that "anointing" (1Jn2:27) from the One Who "guide[s] you into all truth.." (Jn16:13) With this indwelling Holy Spirit, do you understand how "the LORD is my song"? When John looks ahead to the time when we will "be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is" he concludes the thought, "and everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, even as that One is pure." (1Jn3:2-3) When we consider God's "image" by which we are made and exist, Paul writes, "And may the God of peace Himself sanctify you, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." (1Th5:23) This should be our hearts desire regarding music.

So... what are some of the purposes of "song"?

"He brought me up also out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet on a rock, and gave sureness to my steps. And He has put a new song in my mouth, praise to our God; many shall see it and fear, and shall trust in the LORD." (Ps40:2-3)

We have noted in the past that "song" is for praise. In addition to praising God regarding His essence and attributes, we also praise Him because of our salvation. Notice that salvation does not leave a person in the quagmire of sin. God pulls me up -out-of- all that filth and rottenness. As a result, the song I sing is a "new song". I do not remain in the sounds of the flesh, of satan's essence. I take on God's purity. You do not pull somebody out of the muddy muck, and clean him up by plastering more mud on him. No. You get rid of the muck.

Notice the result... "many shall see it (the change) and fear, and shall trust in the Lord" They will get -truly- saved. True evangelism occurs when music -unlike- the world's is used. When a "new song" is used. Do you see how mucking around in rock music directly violates Scripture passages like this one? ...and leaves the arguments of those who promote it ("we want to draw them it...they won't listen to anything else...give them something they're -used- to") without any basis, Scripturally. Rock music leaves, and entices people 'into' that "horrible pit" out of which God saves us. Notice God's "blessing" to the one "who trusts in the LORD", and doesn't follow those "who turn aside to a lie". (vs4)

Not only is "song" useful for evangelism, it is beneficial for exhortation and doctrine. "..teaching and admonishing one another.." (Col3:16) In other words, the words must be doctrinally correct. And also... -UNDERSTANDABLE-. As Paul discusses charismatic gibberish, he uses 'sound' as an illustration. "Yet lifeless things giving a sound, whether flute or harp, if they do not give a distinction in the sound, how will it be know what is being piped or harped? ..so also you, if you do not give a clear word through the language, how will it be know what is being said?" (1Cor14:7,9) The charismatics babble, bark and growl their gibberish; rock music distorts pure sound, and is so loud so as to cover up any lyrics there might be, which are usually doctrinally erroneous anyway. Is it any surprise, then, that rock music was infused into the "church" through the charismatic movement back in the 60s & 70s? They are both 'sounds' of -CONFUSION-. The words are gibberish, the sounds are purposeful distortion. "God is not the author of confusion, but of peace.." (14:33) And these two movements merged together through the agency of the "christian" hippy "Jesus People" type movements, who had their -spiritual- training originally from TM and Yoga. A -different- 'spirit'.

Remember, John wrote, "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but try [test] the spirits to see if they are of God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world." (1Jn4:1)

"Let all things be done decently and in order." (1Cor14:40) "proving what is acceptable to the Lord." (Eph5:10) Finally, my brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are right, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there is any virtue and if there is any praise, think on these things." (Phil4:8)

"O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name [and essence] together." (Ps34:3)

Q/A on this topic... "melody" vs "music"
Q/A -David's "Worship Bands"?
Christians and Dance?
Q/A -Dance Music?
Q/A -Are -all- drums evil?


God is: my Salvation

"Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; He also has become my salvation." (Is12:2)

"The LORD has bared His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God...Surely He has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was on Him; and with His stripes we ourselves are healed... And He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor. Therefore His own arm brought salvation to Him; and His righteousness sustained Him." (Is52:10,53:4-5,59:16)

While some of these passages speak of Israel's deliverance, we also know that "all Israel shall be saved.." (Rom11:26) ..they speak of God's redemptive work through Jesus Christ.

When Israel was delivered from Egypt, they broke out into song. (Ex15:1) When God saves us "out of the horrible pit" and places us "on a rock", we break out into song. This song is -God's- song which He "put a new song in my mouth, praise to our God." (Ps40:2-3) This song is -God's- song, because the salvation is -God's- salvation.

There was "no man" who could bring about salvation. (Is59:16) We could not save ourselves. We don't have the ability. (Rom5:6) Salvation comes -from- God. It is a "gift" to us. (Eph2:8) Even that "faith" by which we are justified (Rom5:1) is not our own. "..and that [faith] not of yourselves.." (Eph2:8)

This faith by which we are saved is the "faith -of- God" and/or "faith -of- Jesus Christ." (Mk11:22, Rom3:3,3:22,3:26, Gal3:22, Phil3:9, Jas2:1, Rev14:12 -mkjv/litv) This little word "of" is crucial to this understanding. In this, most translations use the word "in". (Even NKJV and KJV mess up on a couple of them.) But, to use the word "in" indicates that it's somehow -my- faith, if I manage to summon 'enough' faith, is what saves me. But when Rom5:6 proclaims that Christ died when we were "without strength", we didn't even have enough faith. As the man cried out, "Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief." (Mk9:24) That's why God "bared His -own- arm" (rolled up His sleeves), got to work in a mighty way, to save us.

What is the nature of salvation which He gives? Let us compare. All the grandeur and splendor of the universe... required His "fingers" to create. (Ps8:3) Like a person, sitting watching TV or visiting company, doing 'busy-work' with the knitting needles.

But for salvation, He rolled up His sleeves, got into the muck of the "horrible pit...and miry clay" (Ps40:2) to pull us out, with the death of His Own beloved Son. So traumatic was this event that the One Who proclaimed "I always do those things which please Him [the Father]" (Jn8:29), and, again, "I and the Father are One!" (Jn10:30), on that horrific-blessed day cried out in anguish and despair, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken me, and are far from my deliverance, and from the words of my groaning?" (Ps22:1,Mt27:46)

But you see, God is my Strength. God had/has power over death. He did not allow His "Holy One to see corruption [physical decay]". (Ps16:10) He conquered death. (1Cor15:54) which is what sin results in. (Rom6:23) "..Christ has risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who slept [died]" (1Cor15:20) "Firstfruits" means that there's more to follow. The Believer in Christ will join in the "likeness of His resurrection." (Rom6:5) When we "see Him as He is" and are "like Him" (1Jn3:2) we will have been "adopted/redeemed" out of this body. (Rom8:23)

Furthermore, where we were helpless because we were "ungodly" and "sinners" (Rom5:6,8) Jesus -is- our righteousness. We become the "righteousness of God in Him [Jesus]" (2Cor5:21) because "in Him is no sin." (1Jn3:5) Thus, He is 'qualified' to -be- our Salvation. The righteousness we receive is -His- "righteousness". Because Christ dwells within us (Col1:27) through the agency of the Holy Spirit. (Rom8:9)

Our salvation is both spiritual and physical. God -is- them, both, to us. He gives us -His- faith to believe that this is so...that "what God has promised, He [is] also able also to perform." (Rom4:21)

Christians claim to believe in "eternal life" in the "ever-after". But we often balk when it comes to trusting in God for the "here-and-now". But Jesus promised "Your heavenly Father knows...[what your needs are]" (Mt6:32) Jesus said to Thomas, "because you have seen Me you have believed. Blessed are they who have not seen and have believed." (Jn20:29) We claim to believe in that future appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ (Jn14:3,Tit2:13) but we doubt Him for the earthly things we can see. And we become worrisome and depressed. How can we claim to believe in God's Salvation, if we do not trust in His daily provisions for us? How can He be "strong enough" to save us, if His abilities don't reach to our earthly lives? If He is strong enough to "save" us, He is also strong enough to "sustain" us. How do we demonstrate, testimonially, our faith in His Salvation? By trusting Him for these earthly lives and bodies.

If we truly believe [God is my "Strength"], then, "whom having not seen, you love; in whom not yet seeing, but believing in Him you exult with unspeakable joy [He is my "Song"], and having been glorified, obtaining the end of your faith, the salvation of your souls. [He is my "Salvation"] (1Pt1:8-9)



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