I have opened a new category here to cover the subject of the holiness of music, it’s sanctity, sourcing and application. It’s a bigger subject than many realise, as God’s mind on music in His Church is everywhere in the Bible; I am still finding scriptures that speak out to me to illustrate something the Holy Spirit had shown me either weeks, months or even years before, and had always wondered about it until a scripture suddenly sheds light on it. Some of the details are small but important. A nut and bolt in your engine can go unnoticed for years, but if it works loose all sorts of things start to happen. Getting the details right about music is rather akin to that.

I have touched on the issue of secular and non-Holy Spirit-birthed music elsewhere in these blogs. To enlighten you on my phraseology, by “secular” I mean music originated outside the Church and birthed (inspired by) other spirits other than the Holy Spirit. It’s this avenue I’ll talk about the most, here. “Non-Holy Spirit-birthed” means music that quite apart from being created by people outside of Christ’s Kingdom, could also be made by Christians but not necessarily unctioned by the Spirit of God. It is very possible to write or compose something which intellectually measures up, but is not necessarily genuinely inspired by the Holy Spirit. I know this from personal experience and I dare say even the best writers and composers have produced the odd “turkey” now and then!

Another very important thing before we look at the first gem of scripture: Do NOT accept the lie that the Holy Spirit inspires ALL music everywhere, regardless of whether the composer is in covenant with Jesus or not. I have heard this put about and even taught by people who should know better. Jesus Himself said in response to accusations that he was casting out satan using the authority of satan’s own name, “…a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand”. I urge you to understand that the Holy Spirit will not inspire music to be composed where He knew the results would lead people astray and away from Him and even preach a demonic gospel. The very idea reduces the Holy Spirit to nothing more than a common electricity supply or slot machine, where every Tom Dick and Harry can access the Spirit for their own designs instead of God’s purpose.

Rule 1: Everything that the Holy Spirit does is for the building up of His kingdom and for bringing Glory to God. Rule 2: The only music acceptable to God is music genuinely borne out of His Holy Spirit because the only music that is acceptable as an offering of sacrificial worship must be birthed in Spirit and in Truth.

If our worship is in “Spirit and in Truth” (we even sing it), the music has to fall into the same domain. How can you worship in Spirit and in Truth when you know the music was composed by someone who was not in covenant with God and was intended to promote something unholy? Look at “Does My Altar Look Good?” – a previous blog which touches on this issue. This leads us nicely into our first “Levitical Principle” scripture. I have coined this phrase some years ago to describe the way scripture has thrown light onto the whole business of music in the Church for me personally. Here is the first example of the Levitical Principle.

Exodus ch37:16 “Next, using pure gold, he (Bezalel) made the plates, dishes, bowls and pitchers to be placed on the table. These utensils were to be used in pouring out drink offerings”.

It’s just a single verse and has nothing to do with music. But there is a Levitical Principle here which can be traced to other parts of scripture that concerns the construction of these items. Let’s see what it reveals…

The plates, pitchers and other associated utensils that were used by the priests in the Tabernacle were made of pure gold. They were bespoke (original, purpose-made) items made according to God’s instructions revealed to Moses and constructed by Bezalel (Oholiab was the second craftsman mentioned. See Exodus ch35:30-35). The Gold was sacrificially given by the Israelites so that it could be melted down and used to construct the implements. The items constructed were not used for any other purpose before or during this time.

A word about the gold. I’m not claiming this to be divine revelation, just a personal hypothesis. A great deal of gold was given to the Israelites as they left Egypt. So it wasn’t really their gold in the first instance. So why was it given “sacrificially”? I would suggest that having no land and no means of farming, the gold could have been used to buy grain, food and other provisions as they travelled through the wilderness. That made the gold a precious commodity; they were hardly in a position to mine the gold, after all. So in fact, it was a sacrifice to hand over the very thing they had that meant the difference between buying up grain and starving to death in the desert.

The utensils: Moses could have wandered around the camps, looking for suitable utensils, could he not? Pitchers and plates of a suitably grand appearance should do the same job, surely? After all, they no doubt had some wonderful utensils thrust upon them by the relieved Egyptians as they embarked upon their exodus. Why not use those? Interesting thought, yes? We are getting closer to the “Levitical Principle” becoming apparent…

Firstly, the gold was sacrificially given – it cost a lot. Secondly, the utensils (there were quite a few other things but we are focusing on the utensils of the table for now) were made to specific instructions, by anointed men, and not used for anything else. Nor were they copies of anything that existed before. There you have the Levitical Principle revealed! Apply these points  to your music, your composing or writing…

Made to specific instruction under the Holy Spirit’s Guidance.

Made by men anointed of God.

Set apart to be used in no other way and for nothing else.

Not copies of something that had existed before.

Can you see it? The music has to be birthed out of the Holy Spirit, by anointed men and women and the fruit of their labour cannot and should not have been used for anything else except for ministry before a holy God. Just the same requirements for the utensils of gold on the table. This is the Levitical Principle.

May the music we make be holy, unique and set apart for God. May it carry the wine of the Word of God.