by Dr. Juanita McElwain
there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon;
and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their
place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that
old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world:
he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with
him." Revelation 12:7-10.
The devil and his angels have been present in the earth ever since that time. Evidence of their presence and activity may be found throughout the entire history of the Bible, particularly during the time when Christ was on earth, where we find numerous accounts of Christ casting demons out of people. Their activity has not only continued to our day but has intensified. "Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time." Revelation 12:12.
sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion,
walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." I Peter 5:8.
Spirit Possesses You?
devil did not invent spirit possession. Jesus offers us oneness with Him.
This is the kind of possession God has planned for fulfillment and
happiness in our lives. Satan always counterfeits every good thing, and in
this case, he uses the very mechanisms to take control of man that God has
provided for us to have complete possession by Him.
is involved is the influence of some supernatural being in the lives of
people. In order for this to take place, some form of communication must
occur in the form of the transfer of thoughts and feelings. Consider the
following statement: "The brain nerves that connect with the whole
system are the medium through which heaven communicates with man and
affects the inmost life." Education, 209. God created in us a
mechanism whereby the Holy Spirit can communicate directly with each of
us. This is a Biblical concept: "Know ye not that ye are the temple
of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" 1 Corinthians
Possession and the Mind
if one submits to the suggestions of an evil spirit, possession by that
evil spirit will take place. It is reasonable to think that the mechanism,
designed by God for communication with the Holy Spirit, may be taken over
by evil spirits. William Sargant, a British psychiatrist, studied
extensively the work of witch doctors, voodoo priests, and faith healers.
He compared their methods with hypnotic trances and rock music festivals.
Specifically, attention is diverted and fatigue sets in. Eager
anticipation and high expectation of ecstasy also playa role. Individual
will power is weakened. (See William Sargent, The Mind Possessed: a
Physiology of Possession, Mysticism and Faith Healing, Harper & Row,
E. Wade examines transcendental meditation, hypnosis, glossolalia, and
spiritism in connection with possession. He concludes: "It is my
personal conviction that the normal human brain is capable of experiencing
the functional relation to the Holy Spirit by a mechanism which is misused
to achieve hypnotic trance. . . . This mechanism may be surrendered to
the control of an evil spirit as occurs in voodoo spirit possession; or a
human hypnotist may intrude into the relationship when he casts a spell
over his subject." T. E. Wade, Spirit Possession, Gazelle
Publications, Auburn, CA, 1991, 47.
White strongly opposed the use of hypnotism: "The theory of mind
controlling mind was originated by Satan. . .. It opens a door through
which Satan will enter to take possession both of the mind that is given
up to be controlled. . . and of the mind that controls." The Ministry
of Healing, 243.
Possession and Music
established that spirit possession does take place, the possibility of the
role of music in possession may be examined. Satan has always been highly
involved with music, beginning in heaven. "Satan had led the heavenly
choir." The Story of Redemption, 25. This suggests that Satan is the
most intelligent being regarding music in our world. He knows how to make
the best use of it to achieve his ends. He does things with music that
seem strange and even impossible.
search for the use of music in devil possession resulted in finding two
main avenues. One is the use of beats in music to call the spirits or
gods. The other is the altered state of consciousness.
has been said and written by many people about the harmfulness of the
beats in rock music. One of the most important reasons it is harmful is
because it calls the demons. This use of music goes way back in African
history. It is also found in Indian history. The author has, in her
possession, tapes of songs to the oldest known, original gods of India.
These come from Tamil in the southern part of India and go back to the
early time of Indian history. From these countries, and particularly
from Africa, the music and religion spread in the world because of the
dispersion of people in slavery. Even though slaves, people preserved
their loyalty to their religion through whatever means they could. There
are three main religions which are still extant which grew out of this
dispersion. In Haiti, it is called Voodoo. In Cuba, it is called Santeria,
and in Brazil, it is called Condomble. In each of these religions, as in
African and Indian religions specific rhythms are used to call specific
gods. This is the purpose of the rituals performed. Drums are played,
there is dancing. A certain rhythm is played, depending on which god is
desired, and that god comes and possesses individuals. The same exact
rhythms are used in each of the three religions named above, in African
and Indian music, in rock music and in music used in meetings of faith
healers. It seems as though the god is willing to come whenever called by
anyone. Does the god come to celebration churches when the god's rhythm is
played in Christian rock music, even though the people present do not
realize that they are calling a god? There is quite a strong consensus
that the god does come.
story is told of a family where the husband liked very much to listen to
Christian music radio stations (country gospel and contemporary
Christian). His wife, however, did not appreciate this music, so she
banned her husband with the music to a bedroom with a closed door. As time
went on, strange things occurred in their house. There were odd noises,
and things moved unexpectedly. When she learned that the beat in rock
music calls the demons, she said, "That is the answer. My husband's
music is calling the spirits into our house."
they determined to stop the music, and immediately the strange occurrences
also stopped. They did not know that they were calling gods into their
is a necessary part of the rituals, a primary purpose of which is to
accomplish a state of possession by one or more of the gods.
role of the drums is to call the gods and thus bring on spirit possession,
which is the ultimate purpose of most rituals. Drums are usually played in
a battery of three. The largest drum is played by the master drummer and
is the most important, because it is specific in spirit possession.
Specific rhythms correspond to specific gods.
is the rhythm identified with each god that is a primary instrument in
summoning him and no worship of the gods is possible without the rhythms
that call and speak for the god. (See Harold Courlander, A Treasury of
Afro-American Folklore, Crown Publishers, Inc., NY, 1976.)
drums have the primary religious function of calling the gods, and thus of
bringing on spirit possession. (See G. Behague, "Patterns of
Candomble Music Performance: an Afro- Brazilian Religious Setting,"
Performance Practice Ethno-musicological Perspectives, Greenwood Press,
CT, 1984, 231.)
all of these religions we find a spirit possession, which is echoed,
primarily through the beat of the music, in rock music, in faith healing,
and in churches of all persuasions through Christian rock music,
contemporary Christian music, and country gospel. The devil has done a
good job of infiltrating our culture, including our Christian culture,
with spirit possession, which may be very real, even though people do not
realize that it is happening to them.
State of Consciousness
other main stream technique, in which the devil uses music to bring about
spirit possession, is that of the altered state of consciousness.
"Thoughts naturally flit across the mind, and considering an idea
generally brings up related thoughts.
teach that, by visualization and concentration, this natural flow of
thoughts can be interrupted. As this occurs, subjects slip into an altered
state of consciousness which we have identified as the corridor of the
mind." Wade, op. cit., 74,75. This is called by various names such as
illumination, enlightenment, trance, tuning in, and hypnotism. Wade
further states: "Any type of concentration on sensual stimulation may
alter consciousness. Music with a strong rhythm, or concentration on the
relaxation of different parts of the body, can induce it. The apparently
innocent concentration on a mental image of Jesus standing in your
favorite spot can bring the same effect." Ibid.
proceeding, it is important to understand the ways in which music
facilitates an altered state of consciousness. One important element of
the process is called entrainment. In 1665, the Dutch scientist Huygens
noticed that if two clocks were placed next to each other, they would soon
begin ticking synchronously and so was discovered the Law of Entrainment.
Rhythms in close proximity will entrain. Because of entrainment, music is
often used beneficially to control heart rate and other rhythms in the
body. Since this is true, it is also possible to use the rhythm of sound
to control the rhythm of brainwaves. Neuro-chemical cortical brain
activity may be measured. A set of descriptors has been developed and
identified as Beta, Alpha, Theta and Delta.
is predominantly present when the individual is attending to a task,
particularly such a task as mathematics. This is also the state of the
brain during critical thinking. When Alpha is predominant, the individual
is in a relaxed state. There are some claims that hypnotism takes place
in higher levels of Alpha. One description is alert relaxation. The Theta
condition is extremely relaxed. Meditation conditions could take place
here. Lower levels might include approaching sleep. Delta is the sleep
condition. It is an extremely low level of brain activity.
are constantly firing at various rates all over the brain, but one of
these levels may be predominant at any given time under given
circumstances. Brain waves are vibrations measured in Hertz (Hz), or
cycles per second.
is also vibration, which is measured in cycles per second or Hertz, which
determines frequency or pitch.
element, which the devil employs in his arsenal, is that of difference
tones. This is a phenomena commonly explained in psychology of music
texts whereby a phantom tone is heard. Under certain conditions, when
two tones are sounded simultaneously, a tone equal to the difference in Hz
(cycles per seconds) between the two tones may be heard even though it is
not being played. If tones of 100 Hz and 106 Hz were sounded, a phantom
tone of 6 Hz might be heard. Or if a C and a G above it were played
simultaneously, the C an octave lower might be heard.
combine these three (entrainment, difference tones and brainwaves),
consider the following: notes producing difference tones of very low or
small frequency could be played and embedded just below the audible sound
of the music. When the listener hears the music the embedded difference
tones (although inaudible to him) will entrain with the listener's
brainwaves, thus controlling them or causing them to match the difference
tones. Without realizing what is happening to him, the listener's brain
waves may be led to an Alpha, Theta, or Delta state according to the whim
of the controller. Some believe that the devil has been using techniques
such as these since the beginning of the world and is still using them.
has been suggested that control by the use of musical effects was used by
the Sumerians: "The Sumerians ruled that land [Babylon] from about
3500 BC to 2000 BC when hegemony [leadership] then passed to the Semitic
Babylonians who took over their culture. . . . That culture included
cuneiform writing, a sexagesimal system of mathematics (based on 60
instead of 10), a pantheon of deities, a considerable literature, and a
fund of musical instruments important enough to be classed among the
divine principles. . . . And it is the Babylonian development of the
greatest system of musical ritual in any ancient religion which makes it
imperative that we not neglect possible associations between her
mathematics, her music, and her religion." Ernest McClain, The Myth
of lnvariance, the Origin if the Gods, Mathematics and Music From the Rg
Veda to Plata, Nicholas-Hays, Inc., York Beach, MA, 1984, 130, 131.
ancient Babylon, there is the example of instruments used to signal the
people to worship the golden image. "That at what time ye hear the
sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all
kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the golden image that
Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up." Daniel 3:5. It seems reasonable
to think that the instruments served more of a purpose than just a signal.
Mrs. White says, "The appointed day came, and at the sound of
entrancing music the vast company 'fell down and worshiped the golden
image.'" Christ Triumphant, 177- Speaking further of this, she
says, "Force is the last resort of every false religion. At first it
tries attraction, as the king of Babylon tried the power of music and outward
show." "Ellen G. White Comments," Seventh-day Adventist
Bible Commentary, vol. 7,976.
ancients knew how to use music to elicit a mystical experience. . ..
Everything remains on the level of the emotions and the nervous system.
Even today, thanks to the media, we can witness the effect of music on the
masses. Singers and musicians exercise tremendous power over crowds of
adoring fans. We no longer need lyrics or a coherent message to convince
others. The phenomenon has even invaded religious communities. In
reaction to the cerebral frigidity of traditional services, certain
denominations have fallen into the other extreme. They spoon-feed and wash
down the message by the continuous purring of background music. Believers,
transported by the spirit, shout and cry out in delirious enthusiasm.
an approach considers reflection unnecessary and outdated. It only
smiles at absolute judgments. This episode in the book of Daniel warns us
against a strictly emotional religion. Emotions can be a part of the
religious experience only when united with reflection and thought.
Adoration must involve the whole being, and to neglect one aspect could
lead to bowing before an idol. Likewise, in the plain of Dura, the
preachers of Babel do not waste time in dry demonstrations or arguments.
Music suffices to trigger adoration, and its adherents live strictly in
the present. Several times the passage explicitly stresses the dimension
of the present." Jaccques B. Doukhan, Secrets of Daniel, Review and
Herald Publishing, Hagerstown, MD, 2000, 48, 49.
large part of goddess worship was the use of the hand drum to call the
spirits. Tibetan bells, or Tin-Ssha's, have been used in Buddhist
meditation practice for many centuries. The two bells, which are rung
together, are slightly out of tune with each other. The difference tones
between them lie somewhere between four and eight cycles per second.
This is exactly in the range of the brain waves created during meditation
and helps shift the brain to these frequencies. Tibetan bells are
experiencing popularity in western culture at the present time. (See Don
Campbell, Music Physician for Times to Come, Quest Books, Wheaton, IL,
1991, 228, 229.)
this leads to the present. Twentieth-century people discovered an ancient
usage of difference tones and entrainment and successfully used them to
produce an altered state of consciousness.
man named Monroe first discovered the use of specific frequencies to
entrain the brain. He discovered that certain frequencies, which were in
the same spectrum as brain waves, could produce entrainment of brain
waves. These are too low for the human ear to hear, but by using higher
sounds he could produce difference tones. "If the frequencies of two
sound sources are applied separately, one to each ear, an Abinaural beat
frequency is created. As explained above this is not an actual sound, but
only a frequency difference between two actual sounds. The sound is heard
within the brain itself, the binaural beat frequency is created by both
brain hemispheres working simultaneously. The entrainment or frequency
following response did not take place only in the area of the brain
responsible for hearing, or only in the left or right hemispheres: the
entire brain resonated, the waveforms of both hemispheres becoming
identical in frequency, . . ." thus achieving an altered state of consciousness.
Campbell, op. cit.
is a phenomenon in meditation techniques. The music on meditation tapes
use two technologies: sound phasing and subliminal programming.
subliminals use such messages as: I am one. I am love. I am peace. I am
the source of my experience. I am existence. . . consciousness. . .
ecstasy. . . peace. These are mantras that have come down through the
centuries, which make up a very holistic program of non -dual, I
phasing is defined as "a vibrate sound, a tone that contains two
tones, the top and bottom of the vibration. Phasing is the interval
between the tones. The sound we call the interval is heard only in the
brain. Your brain creates that sound from the two tones." Patrick
Harbula, Sounds of Transformation: A talk with Brother Charles,
Meditation, 2(4),1987,20-29. This, of course, is difference tones.
wave generators have been built which can insert any difference tones in
desired musical carriers. They are called binaural tone generators. They
are available for anybody to purchase and are very easy to use. This means
that this technique which can open the mind to demon possession is readily
available to any that choose to use it. It is to be found in videotapes,
cassette tapes, etc., which are being used.
only protection available to counteract these wiles of Satan is found in
Isaiah 26:20, which speaks about the present days: "Come, my people,
enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide
thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast."
darkest hour of the church's struggle with the powers of evil is that
which immediately precedes the day of her final deliverance. But none who
trust in God need fear. . . ." Prophets and Kings, 725.