The Form Of Sound Words

Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
1 Timothy 1:13

Sound words have a form, an exemplary pattern, a typification by which their nature is determined; and it is neither a literary nor auditory matter. Truly, their form is the state of the man from whence they proceed, even as a good mould brings forth a shapely moulding. Therefore the Lord said that from the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

The words of a good form are the fruit of the “faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.” And this form is not seen in a mere tone of voice or manner of presentation, but in the condition of the soul who speaks. For the heart abounding in deceit may speak well outwardly; but inwardly be full of wicked schemes. Conversely, the heart abounding in goodness may speak poorly outwardly; but inwardly be being filled with the knowledge and love of the holy.

And the words of a man, no matter the carefulness or roughness of their delivery, are yet always laced with either the presumptuous stench of self-deceit, or with the earnest aroma of Christ; and by the Spirit of wisdom, these can be known to the hearer. To this end, the man of God, in order to hold fast the form of sound words, must make himself subject to the form of Christ’s sound Life.

For the form of sound words IS the Life of Christ in a man; and the holding fast to that form of sound words is what holds a man sound in God, and God’s word sound in him.

Then Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.”
John 6:68

The Good Confession

I charge you before God, He making all things alive, and Christ Jesus, He witnessing the good confession to Pontius Pilate…
1 Timothy 6:13 (LITV)

With these words Paul exposes the folly of our trust in the understanding of the mere creeds and so-called “confessions” by which we have so often defined our faith. For what great theological oration did Christ Jesus give before Pilate? Yet it says, “He witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate.” A witness is one who has lived that of which they speak; and the life of which they speak is their confession. Christ witnessed the good confession to Pilate; Christ’s confession was the very Life of God by which He was obedient to His Father in all things.

The good confession of which He witnssed was that He was the Son of God in the flesh. Ours is likewise to be that that same Life of the Son of God is being manifested in the life of our own flesh. Just as God and man were fully present in Christ before Pilate, so also our witness to Him shall be no witness at all until the substance of our real lives is being transfigured by the substance of God’s real Life working in us through the obedience of faith.

The witness which John makes of the apostles’ confession is, “That which we have seen and heard, declare we unto you…” In God’s appointed order, there is no discrepancy, though there be a distinction, between His Word and Christ Himself. Christ is the Word of God. If then we be Christ’s, and His word dwells in us, how can we not be constrained by that Word? “Why do you call Me “Lord, Lord,” and not do the things I say?” We have taken the distinction between command and Commander as justification for the glaring discrepancy between them in our own lives. But God does not abide such hypocrisy.

The incarnation of Christ Jesus is in itself the ultimate rebuke for our rending of the Word spoken from the Word lived. For in Him the Word was born a man, true Divinity elevating true humanity in Christ to its proper place in absolute harmony with God; so that those likewise born again of His Spirit from above might become partakers in the same resurrection life TODAY.

For how does John describe those who abide not in that Life?

By this we know the Spirit of God: every spirit which confesses that Jesus Christ IS come in the flesh is from God. And every spirit which does not confess that Jesus Christ IS come in the flesh is not from God; this is the antichrist which you heard is coming, and now is already in the world.
1 John 4:2-3

Notice how John says that it is a spirit which either confesses or denies the good confession. For he who confesses is he in whom righteousness is seen in the flesh, and he is from God; but he who denies is he in whom righteousness is not found in the flesh, and that one is not from God. In the case of the first spirit, it witnesses truly of that which it has seen and heard: which is the Word of Life; and in them the Life is manifest. But in the case of the second spirit, they bear witness of no such Life in the flesh; and their words are empty, because the Life, which is the good confession, is not manifest in them. Such is the spirit of antichrist: it is contrary to Christ’s Life working in us, though we speak His Name.

And again, regarding this second spirit which confesses not: it could be a demon, or it could be the spirit of a man, and there would be no difference. For the true confession that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is a life being evidently lived in the flesh “by the faith OF the Son of God.” (Gal 2:20). Does the faith of Jesus Christ Himself ever fail? That is the faith by which we are to be living. Religion stops at faith in Christ; but the righteousness of God is “through the faith OF Jesus Christ toward all and upon all those believing…” (Rom 3:22)

John, as he does throughout his first letter, is saying that those who have the Life of Christ ought to walk even as Christ walked: who, though being God, became a man, so that we, being men, might become “the righteousness of God in Him.”

Such is the good confession. To truly confess His name is to have His Life at work even in our life in the flesh, just as He was always about His Father in His own flesh.

If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; because this is the witness of God which He has witnessed about His Son:
The one believing in the Son of God has the witness in himself.
The one not believing God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the witness which God has witnessed concerning His Son.
And this is the witness: that God gave us everlasting life, and this life is in His Son.
1 John 5:9-11 (LITV)

Indeed, I tell you truly: he that believes in Me, the works which I do, that one shall do also, and greater than these he will do, because I go to My Father.
John 14:12 (LITV)

Music: To Worship, Uplift, Distract, Or Subvert

A comparison of four classical composers, with observations on how their music either helps uplift the soul to God, or draws the mind down to wallow in the things below.


1 – Johann Sebastian Bach: The Harmony Of Logos


Examples of Bach:

Brandenberg Concerto No.3:

Bach’s beautiful choral arrangement of the Lutheran hymn “By The Rivers Of Babylon” (“An Wasserflüssen Babylon”):

Toccata & Fugue:

Bach’s music describes in vivid sonic detail the reality of God’s divine order and eternal truth. There is seemingly no phrase or note in his music not written to this one end; all has distinct purpose. There is no waste; and everything is addressed in a most dignified manner. In Bach’s music, the Light is spoken of with awe and reverence; and the darkness is spoken of within the context of God’s mastery over all. There is pure joy in the Lord, with nothing trite or frivolous. There is pure fear of the Lord, with no hint of despair. There is no glorying in man’s thoughts or strength; but much rather in God’s wisdom and power.

Bach is (among other things) the great exegete of the keyboard, and his extensive repertoire lays out for us, as it were, the divinely appointed boundaries of every note’s potential use in relation to another, with every measure of his many compositions effortlessly reflecting his own remark that “harmony is close to Godliness”. There is no flirtation with musical subversion or mindless dissonance; and the occasional unusual sound is employed only to serve the well-being of the hearer as far as it reflects the realities of God’s truth within the created order of the music.

“The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.”
– Johann Sebastian Bach

How well indeed did his music fulfill that saying!
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2 – George Frideric Handel: The Sound Of Majesty


Examples of Handel:

Overture, from Messiah:

Comfort Ye My People, from Messiah:

Overture, from Alexander’s Feast of the Power of Music:

A contemporary and fellow countryman of Bach (though they never met), Handel’s music is hewn from the same substance, with an ever-present consciousness of honoring God’s glory. There is always a sense of divine majesty in his compositions, by which the sensitive hearer is at times made to feel that they tread on holy ground – and this without either pretension or any sense of overbearing forcefulness on the part of the music: it simply speaks for itself when played, as truth always does when uttered.

The instrumentation alone in his famous work “Messiah” can easily take one into the very holy of holies if the soul is prepared to heed its call; and the accompaniment of prophetic scriptures borne upon its heavenly melodies carries an anointing unparalleled in most hymnody. There is often a hush of awe which falls upon even the most secular of audiences when these pieces are performed in succession. That particular work was reported to have been written by Handel in the course of approximately 30 days (in its base form, without many of the large choral parts – still an astounding feat).
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3 – Ludwig Van Beethoven: The Self-Interest Of Man


Examples of Beethoven:

Piano Concerto No.1 – Allegro Con Brio:

Cello Sonata No.3 in A Major:

Beethoven’s music still lives within the world of reality and truth, but it often does very little to consciously acknowledge such. There is still an adherence to the orderliness and natural beauty of things; but the element of divine authority is replaced with a largely unanswered search for meaning. Vast portions of his compositions are dedicated to meander through the deep woods of a lonesomely reasoning mind; and their occasional discoveries, though useful, are usually not revelatory. There is natural light, but always the bright sun is hidden behind a blanket of cloud; and the divine is so distant that it need not be directly spoken of.

In Beethoven the transcendent is lost to long rabbit trails of thought, and, at times, impulsive little adventures in melody. Not that anything is ever objectionable to the hearing – there is still a clear appreciation for beauty – yet it is limited to created beauty, and seemingly not the Creator Himself. Beethoven does eventually come to an appropriately resolved end in his compositions; but we are usually left wondering what ultimate reason there was for much of the journey. There is a distinct sense of spiritual unfulfullment despite the typical excellency of his musical form.

One always remembers the feeling of Beethoven’s music; but only a few of his pieces leave a definite impression – and even where they do, all of his music is strongly laced with the sighing melancholy of humanism’s emptiness. Even where he breaks through his troubles into a happy theme, it is always with a certain dullness of heart. Even if the light is brilliant without, it is as though the eyesight remains dim from within. Any soul not lulled to a certain numbness by much of his music is left wanting for a warmth and wholeness that was not granted; and who now shall sing to that soul of the brighter Day?
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4 – Richard Wagner: The Madness Of Devils


Examples of Wagner:

Prelude of “Tristan und Isolde” – which has been cited by some as an early inspiration to Nietzsche’s trajectory of thought.* It is a daunting and tiresome listen:

The Ride of the Valkyries – known to often evoke in men a heightened desire for war and pointless worldly conquest:

Much of Wagner’s music (particularly as heard above) is the expression of the subversive amoral philosophy of will-to-power. There is no reality or truth there except whatever the soul desires to conquer and call its own. As an excellent example of this Satanic mindset, the starting notes of “The Ride Of The Valkyries” sound perfectly like the arousal of jealousy; and the ensuing journey is one of a constant blowing about in the swirling winds of the growing lust for power, which is the only meaning in this nihilistic worldview.

Therefore, its end is wanting of any real wholesome resolve; and throughout, the key signature changes frequently, but not often to a wholly related key. Its sense of mounting triumph has no source outside of what it has accomplished in itself by sheer will: the transcendent is drowned out completely by self-glory. At last, it crashes to an end after a swift tumble into darkness, having left the listener’s heart in great alarm. And after its echoes die off in the ears, one is left with no new thing to contemplate, no melody by which the soul is given a path toward the Logos of God. The divine is utterly cut off; the soul (if it has trusted the music) is left open to the first thought or spirit that may seek to lead it astray.

It is also worth noting that this Wagner, the composer, was a great personal influence upon Nietzsche, the philosopher; and a hefty portion of Wagner’s music certainly does seem to subvert divine order, just as the philosophy of that madman, leaving in its wake the chaotic void into which he himself no doubt gazed.
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There hasn’t been a time since the fall of man when music was not a battleground for men’s souls.
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Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises!

Sing praises to the LORD with the lyre, with the lyre and the sound of melody!

With trumpets and the sound of the horn make a joyful noise before the King, the LORD!

Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; the world and those who dwell in it!
Let the rivers clap their hands; let the hills sing for joy together before the LORD, for He comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity.

Psalm 98:4-9

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*For some additional interesting information on this subject matter, listen to this interview which I came across recently. He lays out the history of the subversion of music in the late classical era quite well, and particularly touches upon the relationship between Wagner and Nietzsche.
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** I do not own any of the music or audio used in this post; it is herein used for reviewing purposes only. **

It Needs To Be Said, And Said Again

Here is an unusual post for this site.

I wondered why I felt the need to copy and save this conversation which I had on a public blog a few days ago – something I almost never do. It conveys quite well the spirit of the age, and its growing infection within the body of Christ.

As nations are awakening of late to the clutches of global power that have consolidated their respective seats of authority, the spirit of deception has seduced the more observant eyes within the church into a new consolidation of political and cultural entanglement. Whether or not these nations succeed in their seperation to any degree, we shall see; but the people of God have another city to be concerned with, and they are abandoning it to change the world rather than saving men out of it.

The entire thread in which I responded to this blogger was later deleted without notice or explanation – which is entirely his right to do; but I will post the exchange here as I find it quite illustrative of the deception by which we find ourselves surrounded. I post this neither for spite nor to feel as though I have won an argument, and not in the least for the sake of controversy (I have no ill will toward the man); but I post it so that those who encounter this common deception elsewhere might not be ignorant.

Tony (whose blog this is from) has seen many good and true things over the years, and has been bold to share them publicly even when they are truths not pleasant to the ear. It is because of that reputation that I would be remiss not to hold the line on this matter.

Take note that my first comment is not an objection, but is a biblical framing of what Tony saw. But it appears that what I said was precise enough to draw out something nefarious in his understanding, and the rest is self-explanatory.

[Originally from tpuccio(dot)wordpress(dot)com]

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“Brexit Must NOT Be Allowed To Fail”
By Tony

This is what I read today in the news concerning Brexit. “Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement was voted down 432-202, the largest defeat for a prime minister in thehistory of the House of Commons” As I was reading this I saw a vision of grappling hooks being shot over from Europe to England to pull the country back into the E.U. . Britain must be totally free from the E.U, or, I feel, that it will share in the judgement that is coming to Europe. Additionally I saw in this vision Theresa May standing at her podium looking out. As I saw her looking out I saw a very large snake slithering up and down the rows of the House of Commons. I feel in my spirit that this snake is fear and deception and I do believe that this has to do with the rise of the antichrist and an independent England would greatly hinder his plans. So I would say to the people of Great Britain, fast and pray. There is more at stake than you realize. Pray, Pray, Pray!!!! It is imperative that you pray!

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Comments:
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Me:
The church is God’s unity.
Babel is man’s unity.
Genesis 11
Deuteronomy 32:8-9
God divided the nations purposefully.
His only intended place for an integrated unity of the nations is within His kingdom – this is why all other such unions inevitably fail, and the last and greatest of them shall also be crushed at His coming.

Tony:
Not so in this case . The Word also says come out from among them and be separate. England is/was called by God to separate from the European Union

Me:
Of course they were, as were all nations instructed not to build Babel. That is precisely my point.
But here is the distinction I am making:
Deut 32:8-9
All nations are called to seperate from one another (“When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when He divided mankind, He fixed the borders of the peoples…”), but it is the church’s calling to seperate from the nations, in the midst of the nations, unto God (“But the LORD’s portion is His people, Jacob His allotted heritage.”)

Tony:
Again, not the case here

Me:
Let scripture be the judge of that.

Tony:
Again God has spoken through many prophets concerning Brexit. Read what the Lord showed them

Me:
I may be no cessationist, but regarding all things in which God has not yet ceased, I yet remain a scripturalist. I have read and heard many such utterances; and where scripture (such as that which I have already provided) finds no warrant in them, I need not heed their every assertion.

Tony:
The Pharisees and Saducees were scriptualists. They missed Jesus and the giving of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost

Me:
They were also sacralists – a rather relevant subject to this conversation, I deem.

Tony:
They missed Jesus, The Word speaking to them did they not?

Me:
Of course. And as He pointed out multiple times, they were the ones in contradiction with scripture regarding Him – particularly because they thought that His kingdom ought to be of this present world.
And that is where I find your own words to be leading you.

Tony:
No my words are what God has shown me regarding Brexit. There are others whom the Lord has shown the same. The Word says to test all things and to hold fast to that which is true. It sounds like you have a problem believing in the prophetic.

Me:
Not in the least, Tony. I simply have a problem when the prophetic contradicts scripture, as did the prophets. For it was not the Pharisees who said, “To the Law and the testimony!”

Tony:
Then I would suggest that you follow what I wrote. Test all things hold fast to that which is good. If scripture is being contradicted, or rather your understanding of scripture, then what those in the prophetic are saying will not come to pass. On the other hand if there is alignment then it will come to pass

Me:
Coming to pass is not the test of true or false prophecy. That is the very power of the strong delusion.

Tony:
Deu 13:1 — Deu 13:4 (NKJV Strong’s)
Punishment of Apostates
“If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods’—which you have not known—‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the Lord your God is testing you to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice; you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him.

Me:
“And the sign or wonder comes to pass…” – Exactly my point: things may come to pass which lead men to follow after the prophets and their own gods. And who are their gods? Those principalities which the god of this age has used to infatuate the prophets with earthly glories.
For the sake of earthly glories they even prophesy of the true prophets, saying, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.”

Tony:
No you miss the point entirely. If you’d been reading the many prophecies concerning Brexit from godly men and women who seek the Lord and would not dare to speak a false word you would not have come to that conclusion. Your understanding of the prophetic is deeply flawed.

Me:
My understanding of the prophetic is deeply flawed, because my standard is something higher than the mere sincerity of these men of whom you speak?
I rest my case.

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My final response was never approved, and the entire thread has been deleted.

Interestingly, I was already writing a long article that touches upon these very things. This encounter has only sharpened that sword. It will be posted in the very near future.

“Earnestly contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.”