Music and Worship

I started playing the violin when I was six, the guitar when I was seven, and the drums when I was eight. By the early 80's, I listened to more guitar-oriented bands and I really enjoyed listening to many progressive blues and Jazz-Fusion bands. My guitar playing was most influenced by Angus Young, Van Halen, Steve Vai, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jeff Beck, BB King, Billy Gibbons, Jean Luc Ponty, Al Dimeola; the list goes on.

I played the Tuba and the String Bass in bands and orchestras in junior and senior high schools. The Tuba fascinated me with its power, and I was moved by the soft sound made when an upright bass is plucked and the deep rich sound it produced when bowed. High school bands and chamber orchestras introduced me to many fine composers & musicians of their day.

I now play for God's glory alone, no compromises. Before knowing Jesus, I'd even resorted to mind altering drugs in search of inspiration. I no longer need to search for inspiration for music because when I see and experience His love and compassion, music flows with a passion that I'd never thought possible. There is never a stale moment or a used up melody, it is always fresh and appropriate. Nothing the world offers can compare with that.

Music has crossed over from the natural to the spiritual completely. One of the very early examples of what the Lord has worked in my life was in 1999. I had always wanted to play the harmonica, but never could figure it out. One night, while spending time with the Lord, I asked the Holy Spirit to show me how to play. Instantly, my mind opened up to the instrument. I just knew where the notes were, and I started playing immediately.

This has been the case not just with new instruments but with songs during worship; new tunes, lyrics, tones...  Right now, without the Holy Spirit, there is no music, just syncopated noise.

It is a blessing to adore and serve my Heavenly Father through music. I've never been happier as a musician and as a human being.

Backward Masking: A personal experience

Throughout the ages, wise men have noted music's profound impact on its listeners. For example, over 2,000 years before the birth of Christ, the musical systems of China were both highly developed and central to its society. It was to this that the philosophers directed much of their attention. Understanding its intrinsic power, they carefully checked their music to make sure that it conveyed eternal truths and could thus influence man's character for the better

To this end, tradition states that one emperor, by the name of Shun, would monitor the health of each of the provinces of this vast kingdom by simply examining the music they produced. Course and sensual sounds indicated a sick society, one in need of his intervention and assistance.

Two thousand years later the Greek philosopher, Plato, echoed the sentiments of Emperor Shun when he said, "When modes of music change the fundamental laws of the state change with them." David Tame, The Secret Power of Music (Destiny Books, 1984) p.34

  • Plato - " Through foolishness, they deceived themselves into thinking that there was no right or wrong in music, that it was to be judged good or bad by the pleasure it gave"
  • Aristotle - Music has the power to form character
  • Lenin - One quick way to destroy a society is through its music
  • Bach _ The end of all music should be the glory of God and the refreshment of the human spirit

Two years before I met Jesus, a friend and I recorded a professional secular album in 1995.  We called ourselves "The Happening Jam" and had a really good time recording. Everyone who heard the album said it sounded great. The whole experience was really all that I thought it would be.

However, our record deal folded & we were left in the cold. The album was in English and the English division of the music company we had a deal with had shut down. They offered to release it if we rerecorded the vocals in Hindi, in fact many encouraged us to do so. We decided to stick with English and turned down the offer. We were happy with what we had achieved, and were sure that we would get a deal because the music was good.

My friend and I went on with our lives, and in Dec 1997, I met Jesus. Soon after that, I was given a video called "Hells Bells" which pointed out the deception in Rock n Roll, especially highlighting something known as backmasking or backward masking.

Backmasking is a recording technique in which a sound or message is recorded backward onto a track that is meant to be played forward. In this deliberate process, the song or a message is recorded forward first and then pasted backwards into the intended song. To hear the "masked" message, the listener will have to play the song backwards. The presence and the location of this type of back masking can easily be heard and identified by the listener because these words will not make sense backwards and will stand out and be obvious.

However, there is a phenomenon commonly known as "unintentional backmasking" where a message is found through phonetic reversal.  No intentional effort is made to hide or mask, but somehow when the song is played backwards, we hear a message.

The amazing thing about this is that the sentence/message makes sense forward as well as backward. Having run a studio for over a decade, as far I know, this is technically impossible to recreate in a studio. This has also been found in recordings taken from live shows!

Wherever these messages are found in music which is not consecrated to Jesus, the messages always seem to stand against Jesus and the Gospel by either glorifying Satan or promoting independence from God and advocating sin.

I was curious to see if I could find any unintentional backmasking in our recordings. I really did not have to look far. I found it in our very first song!

This is a sample from the Happening Jam album taken from the first song called "Why?". In it, I discovered a segment which when played backwards, I heard a message praising Satan.

You can listen to it here. The lyrics for the part played are as follows: "but the minute that I think of getting close to you, I see you slowly walk away."




Listen for "Oh he is the way, Satan lives for ever and ever". Obviously this was not intentionally recorded by us.

How does this happen?

I don't think anyone knows the exact technical or a 'natural' answer to this question. However, the bible does clearly reveal through Ephesians 6:12 that there are forces of evil working in the spiritual realm; meaning there is more to everything than what we physically see or hear, and that it has an effect on us even if we don't hear what is really being played backwards.

Finding unintentional backward masking in my own album opened my eyes to see deceptions in secular music. I made a commitment then only to play for the glory of my Heavenly Father. I decided to get rid of all my secular music and burned all my records, cassettes and compact disks. I decided to use the musical talents I have only to serve the Lord from that day onwards.

About a week after this discovery of satanic message embedded in our recording, my friend, who was unaware of this,  called to let me know that a couple (yes, two) of major international labels were interested in the album. We did not have to sing in Hindi or Sanskrit or what have you. He told me that they loved it, and requires us to rerecord. All I had to do was sign the papers.

One of the most painful decisions I had to make was to turn the Happening Jam down. I knew that this album could make it big, but it was never made for Jesus and therefore I could no longer be a part of it. It was purely the Lord's grace that allowed me to turn it down.

I share what I have learned about Backward masking in this page not to to offend anyone, especially my friend Junaid. I love Junaid with the love of Christ, but I am writing this because I have an obligation to my Jesus to expose Satan's lies and deceptions that are revealed to me.

We leave our traces and fingerprints everywhere. What is expressed through our mouth is rooted in our heart. If the source of the music or anything for that matter is not Jesus, then it is either the fallen nature of man or spiritual forces of darkness in the heavenly realms as mentioned by the apostle Paul in Ephesians 6:10-20.

In other words, if Jesus is not Lord, then in one way or the other Satan or his principalities take that place. Matthew 6:26 tells us that "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money".

I believe this phonetic reversal messages or unintentional backward masking is the fingerprint of embedding of what the musician is plugged into. We know that there is a spiritual language that affects us. When we pray in tongues or groan in the Spirit, we are operating on a spiritual level because the Holy Spirit 'Himself makes intercession for us with groaning which cannot be uttered.' (Romans 8:26). So I think that we bear fruit of whoever is influencing us. If that influence it is not from Jesus, it is from Satan. Therefore that content of back masking in songs with satanic influence will naturally go against Jesus and the Gospel.

What if the writer and the musicians have committed their lives to Jesus Christ? Should there be any unintentional backward masking on their music? If there is, then should it not glorify Jesus?

Well, I do not think God needs to do anything in reverse or backwards, but I asked the Lord to show me from my Christian music collection a song which I could find some evidence of Unintentional Backward Masking.

I found something in the song called "Spirit of the Sovereign Lord". In it there is a reading from Isaiah 61. It is in this reading that I found the example. Andy Park sings this and the song is from the Winds of Worship album.



Listen for "Our God has risen and in the end He will go to receive God's people"

I still do not think God needs to do anything in reverse or backwards, but I see this as a fingerprint or a watermark. We bear fruit of whoever is influencing us or whatever we are plugged into.

Again I say that my aim is only to share what the Lord has done in my life. I hope this was as enlightening for you as it was for me. I am still learning about this and I'll keep updating as and when I find out more.

If you have comments or questions, please contact me. If you had personal experience with this or if you have a revelation from the Word that I could learn from, I'd like to hear from you. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

2 Corinthians 2:11 (NKJV)  lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.