A barometer is an instrument that reflects both the present condition and potential change coming in the weather. I have heard spoken that music is the Spiritual Barometer of a church and that it’s manner of Godly presentation is of extreme importance. It is stated that music of assembly should contain the prayer, praise, prophesy and petitions of the people.
A thermometer we know simply measures the degree of air temperature from hot to cold. I have also heard spoken that the music offered up to God is reflective of the true Spiritual Temperature of any person in their relationship to Him. I believe these ideas can be found quite solidly based in truth. But we are going to view music from a slightly different perspective. We shall be looking at God’s use of the musical instrument of a single man’s life played before the world as a witness to His pathway to Salvation.
Being raised as a ‘Saskatchewan ‘Red-necked Hee-haw Son-of-a-Gun’ in North Western Canada I know who Johnny Cash was. Most residents of Saskatchewan still do know this drug addict, drunk, smoking, womanizing miscreant ‘man in black’ through his legendary music career. But through music precedent to his death it appears that the turmoil of his early life finally drove him to his knees crying out for the help of Jesus Christ. Was this genuine? I believe so and God knows for certain. I am bringing you this music as a witness, not as hymns meant for an offering of praise in your assembly. But rest assured the Holy Spirit can use some of these songs to usher you into the presence of God and change your life.
In listening to the country music legend Johnny Cash we will show through 12 of his songs the witness God made of him. His music displays what he was, the call God placed upon his life and what he became before his death. I am certain the Man in Black is now dressed in White Robes of Righteousness and will greet me in the Eternal Kingdom. So enjoy ‘The Johnny Cash Pathway to Salvation Set’ I have compiled for you.
Johnny Cash – Sunday Morning Coming Down Johnny Cash had an intimate knowledge of everything stated in this song, both in his life and that of others about him. From beers with bums, drugs with Elvis Presley and a heritage in country gospel lifestyle….it all served to root him to a life he genuinely desired to escape. It is also reason why millions of spiritually trapped people could relate to him so well through the music of his life, for of the demons chasing him the hardest were those howling out through his drug addictions. If you want an expose of Cash the addict then hit this link The Theology of Johnny Cash: Part 6.
Johnny Cash- Thirteen This song was written by another man, but Cash latched onto it reflective of a time of life when he was in great spiritual turmoil. It pictures his fear of what seems to be a perceived state of his own personal condition at one time. He had not yet personally come to Redemption Day in his life, and at this time it seems Satan had him thinking that he like many others was branded by and under the power of the superstition labelled number 13. (Brand 13- Posted on March 15, 2016) Listen to the song and then ask yourself: “Have I taken the spiritual branding iron from Satan’s grip and applied it to myself? Have I given myself over to his delusion and lie of Brand 13? Am I on the pathway to accepting his mark representing 666? Do not let anything, especially not FEAR hold you back from such an examination. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)
Satisfied Mind A Satisfied Mind is something Cash searched for with desperation amid the rebellion manifested in his life. By the time he recorded this song he could answer the Biblical question: “What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26) He had passed through all kinds of turmoil learning that “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” (John 15:5) Cash knew the true riches and source of a Satisfied Mind even if continued to wander in and out of alignment at times.
Johnny Cash – Spiritual With Spiritual we see Cash facing the reality of an individual being physically alone no matter who he surrounds himself with. He knows that in facing death there is only Jesus that will be there with him. Cash needs to keep turning toward Jesus for support as it appears he wobbles in his faith and trust surrounding the assurance of his salvation. For certain Cash knows “a man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24) He is poised to find out Jesus Christ is not only his creator, he is also his best friend.
Wayfaring Stranger – Johnny Cash lyrics Wayfaring Stranger shows Cash strengthening in his faith that he is going to eternal unity with Jesus Christ and his resurrected saints. He sees himself as having crossed over the River Jordan and entering the Promised Land that still needs to be taken as he faces an uphill battle with the spirits that contend against him. But his assurance that he will see victory is shown here and the day is fast approaching when he will hear God say: “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou go.” (Joshua 1:9)
HELP ME, LORD! …shows Cash truly recognizing his desperate need of God. Daily surrounded with the crisis of the world he has come to know the wisdom of man and his own thinking to be of no value on the spiritual pathway of his life. He has finally been humbled and this is the cry of his heart for help. And that cry is answered by the God that has loved him from before he came out of his mother’s womb. Johnny now realizes the truth that “my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returns not thither, but waters the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:8-11)
I Came to Believe is a clear statement of Johnny Cash truly coming to believe and live by the measure of faith God gives all men with salvation. (Romans 12:3) The man finally believed in a God greater than himself through receiving the touch of his personal presence. He traveled on still not having all doctrine correct, stumbled at times but no longer daily lost hope or the reality of God being there to direct him on the pathway of his life. Fighting through his addictions and even a suicide attempt before turning to Christ, he earned the right to declare, “Being a Christian isn’t for sissies.” And I believe the day was at hand for Johnny’s realization that “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
It was now that God placed a calling on Johnny Cash to give a message of warning to one and all and in an interview he stated: “I don’t compromise my religion. If I’m with someone who doesn’t want to talk about it, I don’t talk about it. I don’t impose myself on anybody in any way, including religion. When you’re imposing you’re offending, I feel. Although I am evangelical, and I’ll give the message to anyone that wants to hear it, or anybody that is willing to listen. But if they let me know that they don’t want to hear it, they ain’t ever going to hear it from me.” Johnny was wrong to some degree, for God made certain that the witness of his faith was poured out in public for one and all through his music.
God Is Gonna Cut You Down is a very public statement. However private he might have tried at times to be in person, for such people as seen in this video it is obvious they are getting a public warning from God through use of the Cash Man in this song and some of his other most famous tracks. God will not be mocked by the evil of man in any manner and “the face of the LORD is against evildoers, to cut off the memory of them from the earth.” (Psalms 34:16)
A Personal Jesus is exactly what the God of all creation is to those that have accepted his salvation call. And this is a Johnny Cash styled altar call to salvation, for one and all to know the same ‘personal Jesus’ that faith brought to embrace him with nail scarred hands. “Yet a little while, and the world sees me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves me: and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” (John 14:19-21)
Johnny Cash – Redemption Day (new) Redemption Day is part of the eternal buyback program of God that you do not want to miss. Also, one does not want to be too ‘weak to watch without speaking’ the truth that Jesus said “nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: And great earthquakes shall be in diverse places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draws nigh.” (Luke 21:10-11; 25-27) This Redemption Day we know to be what Christians call the Rapture of the Church.
This is a time to make certain you stay firmly seated on that ‘train headed straight for heaven’s gate’ and ‘start lifting up your heads’ as most of the things spoken to by Jesus have already come upon us. Days of testing and persecutions shall increase the closer you get to the end of this journey. “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. But there shall not a hair of your head perish. In your patience possess ye your souls.” (Luke 21:17-19)
Johnny Cash – Redemption is the action on our behalf by the Lord Jesus Christ paid for with His blood at the Cross. The song was written for Cash and became his witness to individuals, gatherings and jammed football stadiums. There are dozens of videos of this musical presentation at different locations. I have chosen one that focuses totally on the words and sound of Cash’s voice. Why? Because “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17) You may be in a place where Johnny Cash once was and I don’t want any visual distractions if “a small inner voice” whispers “you do have a choice”.
When you’ve been redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb there Ain’t No Grave can hold you down. “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-1) Johnny ultimately made the right choice as his musical legacy bears witness, but what witness shall be recorded of you? This is what Revelation tells us is soon to come as in the vision given the Apostle John. (Revelation 20:11) And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:11-15) Is this the legacy you are playing out through the instrument of your life?
Cash recorded many songs after he believed God had placed a calling upon his life to deliver a message to one and all. God spoke to Balaam through the mouth of a donkey and God can speak to us through using the Cash Man or anything else He desires; so listen up one and all for “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and for ever”. (Hebrews 13:8) I believe it has come time for all sinners to Cash-in or Cash-out at the Cross ….eh?
Just before Cash’s death he recorded a final album American IV with Rick Rubin and “by this time Cash was so weak he almost couldn’t finish the album. For some songs Rubin had Cash sing a single line and then stop to rest and catch his breath. Later Rubin spliced the lines together, building a song piece by piece.”
As spoken through scripture: “Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.” (Isaiah 28:9-10) It took some rough construction and travel through time but God built into Johnny Cash exactly the witness he wanted his life to be. And to the day he drew his last breath the man was still calling out “let everything that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.” (Psalms 150:6)
Yep! Johnny was an instrument that God played for man, just as the following three instruments continue to be played by Him for us today. The first a ten years old boy, the second a pair of teens and the third another old man freed from a disease laden body. Different instruments but the same God that played you the Cash Man tune. Perhaps you need to stop telling Him what ‘you think you think you know’ and listen to what He is whispering to you. For many reading this is the last time you shall be approached with the sound of His voice about what was done for you At The Cross, On The Cross and that the Freedom of His Healing all aspects of your life is here right now. The Bible states that in bearing witness if a man “will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.” (Matthew 18:16) I bring you three across the spectrum of age so judge yourself accordingly.
Samuel Cornell – On The Cross.mov The Lord gave this song to Samuel Cornell when he was 10 years old. I pray He will use it to minister to your heart for “even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.” (Proverbs 20:11)
This is the ‘Message of the Cross’….
At The Cross sung by Joseph and Grace Larson who are living proof that when you “train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)
This is the ‘Message of the Cross’….
There is total freedom as sung by Pastor Greg Coleman – Healing is here for every aspect of your life because “if the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” (John 8:36)
The man’s life is personal testimony of the healing power of Jesus Christ and this too is the ‘Message of the Cross’….
With this I now have to close and thank God that He even desires to speak to us in any manner of His choosing. I now echo the words of King David in a Psalm he gave to the chief Musician upon Gittith for performance.
“O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou might still the enemy and the avenger. When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visits him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou made him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passes through the paths of the seas. O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!” (Psalms 8:1-9)
And all I have presented is woven into the ‘Message from the Cross’….so we shall see you soon at the ‘Wedding Supper of the Lamb’ Johnny Cash from timing as seen in Jerusalem’s Cry by Randy Travis.