I Can Only Imagine Satanic Messages in a Christian Song

My son came home from school not long ago with something he learned in his IT class that day about using music editing software. He was excited! He found out about subliminal messages in advertising and music.

He immediately logged on to iTunes and downloaded Led Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway to Heaven’ so he could flip it back to front and play for us the subliminal message that was said to be burnt into the original recording. Try as I did, I couldn’t hear it. It wasn’t long, however, before he found the version on YouTube with the words written out so we could read them as the song played (backwards) and hear the hidden message.

I remember hearing about this as a kid and getting the stern warning from the preacher: ‘This is why you never should listen to rock music. It’s Satan’s music and he has made sure his message is always clear, even if it is only clear in your subconscious mind.’ (I recall borrowing my neighbour’s 45s and trying to wind them backwards on my record player, but with no obvious damnation forthcoming.)

Many people have tried over the decades since to show how certain songs have been ‘used by Satan’. But I would have NEVER imagined this: when you play backwards the now-classic contemporary Christian song ‘I Can Only Imagine,’ it’s actually pronouncing damnation on God and saying all sorts of blasphemous things. Imagine that!

I say this all tongue-in-cheek because I don’t believe for a minute this is intentional (as the YouTube post (Have a listen here) would lead you to believe.) But I’m sure there are a lot of Christians who are right now going through their music collections, playing every song backwards just to make sure.

The unfortunate truth is that there are some  who look for the devil behind every bush, claim that anyone speaking anything not in alignment with their viewpoint is influenced by Satan, and blaming demonic forces for anything and everything untoward in their lives.

Case in point (thanks to Jesus Needs New PR): Have a look at this Facebook conversation between an Evangelist and one of his Facebook friends:

Is Satan around every corner waiting just to trip you up, deceive you, thwart your godly deeds, play with your mind, and overturn your faith? Does he send his demons to speak into your subconscious, lead you into sin, or plant ungodly ideas in your mind–or is this just the way we as humans are wired?

Are we giving the forces of evil too much air time in our lives?

Are we perhaps diminishing our own personal responsibility by finding a scapegoat for our unlovely thoughts and actions?

Should we not rather fill our thoughts and our lives with the goodness of God and thoughts of what is true, lovely, praiseworthy, and noble so we have no room for negative, oppressive thinking that would pull us away from abiding in Jesus?

*   *   *   *   *   *

Need more proof that some well-meaning people have gone off the rails? Have a look at Christian Nightmares. It’s a combination of the bizarre and the unbelievable–all with the disclaimer ‘Only in America . . .’


15 thoughts on “I Can Only Imagine Satanic Messages in a Christian Song

  1. I know this is an old post, but I really believe that there is something fishy about this song. No, I don’t play it backwards, but about the 3 minute mark there is definately some new voice in the background. The first time I heard it was with my headphones on, thinking that someone was talking behind me. Since then, I’ve started listening very closely and can hear it but not undersand what the words are. Been playing around with Soundbooth trying to remove some of the other audio to isolate it, but to no avail.
    If you think you can hear it… and figure it out, please e-mail me with what you think it is.


    • Hi I am on this site because I am researching if someone else can hear it too because I do!!! It’s saying something over and over but I can’t make it out… Thought I was the only one

  2. I’m not sure what to think about this.. when a believer sings a song to God, they are singing it for the meaning that it holds..sung forward, not backwards.
    When one sings the song, “i can only imagine”.. does it leave them feeling confused, depressed or angry? I don’t think so.
    Granted Satan knows how to corrupt the gift of music. But this idea seems to stretch that a little far..

  3. i don’t believe this. I can understand that in other music there are satanic and sublimanal messsages, but i don’t believe it’s in Contemporary christian music.

  4. How about if we download and play some of these sermons backwards and see if there are any “satanic messages” in them

  5. If your a true christian you will reject music that is not Biblical. The title of this song is ”I could only Imagine”. The Bible does not call us to imagine but to ”make our calling and election sure” (Pet. 2 Pet 1:10). In other words make sure that you are truly ”born again” and there is ever-growing fruit of evidence in your life that you are truly saved. We are not be be ”imaging” that were going to heave, but rather we are called to repent, turn form our sins, trust Jesus and call upon God to create the new birth in our lives.
    In regards to the Back masking, yes!!, this is real and it could easily be done with or without the artist consent. Mercy Me, the group that sings this song, is under Columbia Records. Do your own research and you will find that this record label is owned by Sony Records, responsible for distributing worldly satanic music.Why will you listen to music by a group that claims to be christian but is under company that pledge allegiance to satan and the NWO?
    This has been going on for many years with christian and is very active Latin worship music. It is creepy when you listen to these songs backwards, in Spanish they are calling upon ”The price of Demons” to come and receive worship. (I am bi-lingual).This is also going on with English music. Do your research and Listen closely to the Lyrics of these songs, then compare them with the Bible, If they are not part or Scripture or do not expose on a Biblical doctrine of truth, then you should reject the music, even if it is so-called Christian.
    Him that has ears, let him hear, what the Spirit (through the Word of God) says to the churches… Rev. 2:29

    • Carlos, I approve all comments that are not blatantly spam, even if I don’t necessarily agree with them. You are entitled to your opinion even if it closes you off to using the incredible gift of imagination that God gave you. Personally, I don’t like the song ‘I Can Only Imagine’ because I believe there are other theological inaccuracies in it. Whatever the song was, it makes no difference. The post was not about the theological content of the song.

      About rejecting what is not Biblical, I could go on and on here but I shan’t bore you. The fact is there are many “Biblical” things we don’t do today relating to dress, diet, worship, music, and relationships. Beware of the wide brush you use when you declare something must be “Biblical” in order to be accepted. Remember, the theory of gravity is not “Biblical” nor is a round earth.

      • Jon says:
        10 October, 2013 at 11:15 am
        Remember, the theory of gravity is not “Biblical” nor is a round earth.

        Jon you are wrong here: In the Old Testament it says that God hangs the earth upon the ETHER (nothingness, or empty space). You cannot do that without gravity. In the Old Testament it says that God rules over the circle of the earth. The Word translated by old king Jamesians here is GLOBE or BALL. It is used outside of the Bible to describe the general shape of a grape, pomegranate, and other GLOBULAR OBJECTS!!! The Old Testament also gives the scientifically accurate Water Cycle of vapor off the worlds oceans, to clouds, to wind blown, to rain upon the land in the book of Job if I recall correctly. All of this at a time when people that the earth was flat, held up by turtles, and the ‘gods’ crying was rain!!! THINK again Jon.

      • Hi Robert. Reading modern Science into the Bible does not make the Bible scientific. Sure gravity existed. But the theory of gravity is nowhere expounded in Scripture. To say that ‘God hangs the earth on nothingness’ is not a statement of the theory of gravity but a demonstration of what God can do. The ‘globe’ of the earth could possibly mean the earth is a ball, but the spherical nature of the earth is not taught in Scripture.
        By the way, I am wrong only by the standard of your interpretation of things. Categorically, I am in line with a great number of scholars, scientists and theologians over the centuries. To say I am ‘wrong’ is to say that you have some special knowledge that is objectively superior to my understanding of things and that your version of being human is in some way of a higher standard to my version of being human. We are not God, nor even gods, nor even superhumans. So let us put away phrases like ‘You are wrong’ and use, instead, ‘In my understanding of things, I see things differently to you. You may wish to consider this:…’

  6. I have made comments on Bart Millards youtube page just to generate an opportunity to witness to his followers. I must say some of the people are very rude with a bad spirit. I have had good conversations with a few on the site. I try to show them what is Biblical music. What I am finding out is that people are having a hard time separating the fleshly from the spiritual. If the music makes them feel good and if the lyrics appear to be christian they think it is ok. Remember, the music and the lyrics are separate. Remember Paul said “In my flesh dwelleth no good thing”. So, you can’t mix music that moves the flesh with lyrics that move the spirit. (regardless of your intentions) it can still be wrong. Remember one must come to God in God’s ways. Through His methods. Thank you.

    • Grace, Jeremy. You do what you believe is right but, in the end, do it with grace. Grace is God’s gift to us despite anything–even if we are (as you state) empty of goodness. God can redeem anything to be for God’s glory including you and me, those on Bart Millard’s page, and even the stuff he posts. It’s easy to bash the music, criticise the people. It’s difficult to admit they are, like us, recipients of God’s grace despite their–our–intentions. Yet we must be grace givers, not law enforcers.
      And peace.

      • Hey Jon, I don’t think I said anyone was “empty of goodness”. In Paul’s FLESH dwelleth no good thing is what the bible says. That being said, we (christians) meaning born again believers, must be cautious of what we do and how we do it. You cannot mix the clean and unclean and expect it to become clean. It doesn’t work in the bible and it doesn’t work in life. Remember, in the bible, when the philistines had the ark? David sent for it, and a man with good intentions, touched it, and God killed him.” 1 ch 13:9,10 And when they came unto the threshingfloor of Chidon, Uzza put forth his hand to hold the ark; for the oxen stumbled. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzza, and he smote him, because he put his hand to the ark: and there he died before God.” Or how about Cain and Abel? Cain had good intentions but his offering was rejected because it was not God’s way.
        Now Paul makes it very clear that we(christians) are no longer under the law, but under grace. So does that mean that we can just do what we want and it’s ok? I think not! Look what Paul says in Rom 6:1,2 ” What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” In the New testament we are held to a standard. We do not lose salvation, but we can forfeit rewards in heaven. Look what Paul says about the Judgment seat of Christ: 2Co 5:10, For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” So it is clear that we can do things wrong and we can do things right.
        I hope this is a blessing to you as it is for me, not to judge but to encourage people to please God and not man.

  7. There is a lot of ignorance posted here. Let’s see IF we can correct some.

    1. MercyMe did NOT put the backwards masking in there, Satan did. I can only imagine is NOT Scriptural and violates God’s Word. If you have not been in God’s Presence ALREADY, if you have not been to Pentecost ALREADY, if you have not personally experienced the 2nd Chapter of Acts ALREADY, then I feel very sad for you. You are missing out on an incredible part of your Christian Life. Since the words in the song are a lie, Satan was able to use that song.

    2. Science Fact: Your human brain can take backwards things in and turn them around and absorb them. Things you normally would reject if they were being given to you forwards. Everything that you see is upside-down. Your brain turns those images right side up. In experiments they have made it so a person was seeing everything upside-down and after a while the brain turned them right-side up again, and then again when the apparatus was removed after a period of time. Science: Your brain CAN take in text, speech, and vocals that are backwards, right it, and store it in your mind. These things CAN and DO affect your thinking and your life. There are laws regarding this stuff so that advertisers are not allowed to do this stuff to you on purpose. There are laws about subliminal advertising because it works.

    3. YES, there IS backwards stuff in some Christian Songs. In one of them the guest speaker at a church played a few backwards for us and they were PRAISING GOD. One of them when played backwards not only Praised God, but sounded like angels singing!!! Yes, in one of the times that I was in God’s Presence at church, I heard the angel’s sing. So did my wife who was with me. So did others who were there. There is a song exactly about this called ‘You Can Hear the Angels Sing’ by Chuck Girard.

    4. My wife, my friend, a friend who is now a Pastor, myself and many others have all ALREADY stood in the Presence of God on more than one occasion. I have been in His Presence several times and once He even showed me the ‘waves’ of His Joy Unspeakable and Full of Glory and Peace that Passes Understanding that we will enjoy in Eternity. WOW!!!

    • Oh my, you do know how to take the mickey out of having a little fun! I’m really not that interested in who put what in which direction on a song, or whether it is Christian or Secular, or whether it is intentional or just a coincidence. I do know advertising works and so does hypnotism, and that there are more ways to mask a message than embedding it backwards into the recording. IO also know the human brain is an amazing thing and can trick us into thinking we are seeing, hearing, and feeling things that we in fact are not. Personally, I believe we live and move and have our being in God’s Presence and to say that we can BE closer to God than we are right now (God lives IN ME) is not the same as FEELING closer to God in a particular place or hearing particular things.
      Thanks for your comment.

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