By Jim Stockstill
February 24, 2020
Throughout 2019 and early 2020, the Lord has been speaking to me about true worship in home groups and small churches, and the tendency in larger assemblies and megachurches to move toward “entertainment.” While the Lord is not against large assemblies or the so-called megachurches, He is a jealous God (Exodus 20:5) when His children bow down and worship other “gods.” This truth is likely to be more prevalent in “Christian” concerts. But first, what does scripture have to say about “worship?”
Holy Spirit was clear in John 4:23-24: “23 But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. 24 For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.” And earlier in Luke, Yeshua clearly states in Luke 4:8: And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’”
Although not a musician, I have enjoyed the singing in traditional churches as well as the prophetic worship of nondenominational assemblies. As a prophet, I know there is a divine connection between anointed worship and the portal that is opened for the prophetic. As a seer, I have also witnessed the struggle of true worship trying to emerge or breakthrough against the resistance of carnality and/or from powers of darkness. Once true worship is unencumbered, and a spiritual atmosphere is created, Holy Spirit moves in with His gentle but powerful presence. Not only is the prophetic released but the miraculous of the Lord is poured out like honey over the assembly. The peace and agape of Yeshua is like descending rain that feels palpable.
To quote Emily Bernardi, “…music creates an atmosphere. God dwells in (inhabits) the atmosphere of praise. He actually inhabits our praise. The presence of God is in the praises; He is in the music. Our praise brings Him on the scene. Praise manifests His presence. If you need the reality of God in your life, begin to praise Him from the depths of your heart. He will fill your praises and manifest Himself to you.” In Psalms 49:3-4, King David states, “My mouth will speak wisdom, and the meditation of my heard will give understanding. I will incline my ears to a proverb; and will express my riddle on the harp. I will draw out or loosen my speech, hard questions or dark sayings on the harp.” Bernardi goes on to say, “David was singing with harp accompaniment, and it was bringing forth the wisdom of God from his heart. Music will many times inspire and loose the wisdom of God within me, from my heart into my mind.”1
While the Lord inhabits the praise of His people, there is also a clear warning Holy Spirit has given me regarding assemblies and formalized concerts. First the structured church or nondenominational assemblies.
There is a hearty and sincere effort to create an atmosphere of true worship with talented singers and musicians along with the addition of large screens, multicolored lighting and other creative expressions. With the multiple aspects of worship harmonized to create the proper atmosphere, when does the freewill of Holy Spirit give way to the preplanned choreographed time in the service? Or, with a talented singer, musician, dancer, or other forms of express, is it a time for the individual(s) to showcase their God-given talents? Too often I have witnessed the anointed atmosphere broken and left with the word “Ichabod” (the Glory has departed) over the stage or platform due to “what was previously rehearsed” without flexibility or an individual drawing attention to themselves (Proverbs 27:21). As with all that serve the Lord, we must learn (and sometimes painfully) that worship or the prophetic is not about us – it is always about Him, the Lord Jesus Christ. When the Lord is the focal point of worship, then the love, joy and peace of Holy Spirit is welcome and the miraculous falls like rain.
As witnessed today, there are “famous” musicians that no longer want to be labeled as “Christian” singers. Some of these gifted musicians originated in church settings and went on to record popular songs and were blessed to receive invitations from larger assemblies across the country. Eventually, with growing numbers of followers, many of these artists and their bands were able to attract thousands to concerts. Thankfully, some have remained true to their call and acknowledge their gift and popularity are from the Lord while others have turned to the way of Balaam (2 Peter 2:15). Balaam’s “way” is a choice to promote falsehood for financial reasons. According to Jude 1:11, Balaam’s “error” was his willingness to accommodate pagan beliefs out of greed. Jude 1:4 also refers to the sin of those “who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality.”2
Those that have chosen the way of Balaam have turned from true worship to “entertainment” for the “praise of men” and the mammon that comes with selling tickets, CD’s and albums. Quoting Patrick Ortiz, “…There is always a suspicion, especially against metal musicians or music that sounds satanic. Highly fueled rumors even go so far as to suggest that some inexplicably and innately gifted musicians have signed a contract with the devil himself. Most of these coveted deals involve the selling of one’s soul in exchange for boundless talent and proficiency on their instrument or fruitful success throughout their career…”3
It is not my intention to pass judgement on traditional churches, nondenominational assemblies or artists that have gone on to fame and fortune from “Christian” roots. I believe that in an effort to draw crowds or differentiate themselves, some have moved from true worship of Jesus Christ to an atmosphere of “entertainment.” Too often I have seen this happen in the middle of an amazing time of worship. Either the structure and choreography of the worship service does not allow for the freedom and flexibility of Holy Spirit or an individual(s) chooses to break the anointing by showcasing their gift. Again, the result is “Ichabod.” It is no different from the prophetic not being properly aligned by the Spirit during a gathering in Christ name. See cover for documents on the warning Holy Spirit gave for prophets and prophetesses in this hour.
Thank you for your encouragement and for passing along to your networks. I pray for each of you, our honorable veterans, this amazing nation, and the President of the United States of America.
Joseph “Jim” Stockstill
The Unknown Prophet in Texas
“National War Council” – Chairman, Formation Committee
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God…”
II Corinthians 10:4
Emily Bernardi, “Music and Prophecy,” Adventures in God, December 11, 2018. https://adventuresingod.com/music-prophecy/
Got Questions, “What is the doctrine of Balaam?,” Got Questions, retrieved February 24, 2020. https://www.gotquestions.org/doctrine-of-Balaam.html
Scott Macaluso, “Notable Musicians Who Sold Their Soul to the Devil,” Joe Bonamassa, retrieved February 24, 2020. https://jbonamassa.com/musicians-who-sold-their-soul-to-the-devil/