Rapper J. Cole continued the trend in pop culture of using satanic and occult imagery for his new album entitled “Born Sinner.” Cole, a protégé of Jay-Z, one of the biggest promoters of occult imagery and anti-Christian lyrics in entertainment today, is part of a growing number of entertainers who seek to normalize mocking Biblical themes while promoting sinful rebellion to society.
The New Album
“It’s not necessarily a church theme and it’s not really about church. I like my album themes to be metaphors because it gives me the freedom to speak about something else that’s going on in my life, so the Born Sinner thing is not about church, it’s not even about religion. It’s using that as canvas to get other messages across and that’s what the album will be.” – J. Cole. (source).
The artwork for Cole’s album employs symbolism that belies his own statements about the album. In the artwork above a man (J. Cole? Satan?) with devil horns has a crown resting over his head. Here is more artwork used for Born Sinner.
The “Born Sinner” logo is the shape of the Devil’s head. Cole is also holding a skull, an occult symbol, along with wearing what rappers call a “Jesus piece” – a necklace with a pendant of a distorted image of what is supposed to be the head of Jesus, on it, is somehow supposed to convey J. Cole’s being both good and evil. Scripture provides one of the reasons the symbol of the skull is so revered in the occult:
And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst. – John 19:17-18.
The “place of the skull” is the name of the location where Jesus was crucified, what Satan and his fallen angelic army thought was their greatest victory (not knowing that Christ would rise from the dead three days later, winning salvation for all people who believe in Him).
In the occult the skull is often explained as a symbol of passing from death to life or from ignorance to “enlightenment.” 33rd degree Freemason, Albert Pike, considered one of the greatest and most influential Freemasons of all time, wrote:
“The Skull and cross bones are a continual reminder that the spiritual nature obtains liberation only after the philosophical death of man’s sensuous personality.” —Albert Pike (1809 – 1891),
Ascending the various degrees and occult rites in Freemasonry other esoteric societies is how the initiate moves from “mere mortal” to godhood. And the skull symbolizes this. In the Skull and Bones secret society at Yale University, it is their main emblem:
Here is a shirt from Jay-Z’s Rocawear clothing line with the same symbol:
Cole started his career by specifically targeting rap mogul Jay-Z and pressing him for a record deal. And his chance soon came. And with his entry into rap stardom under Jay-Z’s mentorship, his music soon took on a spiritual tone.
From the song Shook Ones:
Yeah, I think about heaven sometimes, can’t wait to go
If it’s real; will I even get in? – I ain’t fo’ sho’.
Cause I’ve been sinning,
Gettin’ bent it’s been a minute since I been
Up in a church,
Only time is when my friend up in a hearse!
Cause boy I might pray but ain’t no preying on me!
I’m hot like Satan, just laying on me!
So when you get to hell you can say you know me!
I said I might pray but ain’t no preying on me!
So when you get to hell, you can say you know me! (source).
The only purpose of church is to attend funerals ( as opposed to actually worshiping God) but Satan is held up as a standard of comparison (“I’m hot like Satan..”). And Cole then brags that his reputation is so great he is even known in hell. Again, how can one say this music has no spiritual message?
Here are lyrics from the song The Badness:
Ay, believe in God like the sun up in the sky!
Science can tell us how how but they can’t tell us why
I seen a baby cry then seconds later she laughed, the beauty of life-
Girl you what I desire, yearning, yearning
You cay I’m easily distracted I think the problem is I’m easily attracted by the darkside
The temptation got me questioning where my heart lies
I’m trynna separate myself like apartheid
But ay the liquor keep swallowing I swear I walk with God but the devil keep following
I say the devil keep following, following
I say the devil keep following, following
I say the devil keep following, following (source).
While paying lip service to ‘God’ (the God of the Bible? The Sun God? Sirius?) Cole then elaborates on his sinful desires and Satan following behind him as he pursues a life of money, drugs, alcohol and women. On this mix tape he also used a symbol to represent this duality:
The symbol is the devil figure with the halo over its head. The concept of duality, or an equal balance good and evil in every person, is a New Age idea. It is a means to remove any guilt about sin and accept rebellion against Godly principles as a normal part of human life. Madame H.P. Blavatsky, one of the founding figures of the New Age Movement, and an open Luciferian, emphasized this in her book The Secret Doctrine (a book which she claimed to have written via “automatic writing”, a process where a person writes under direct possession of a demonic spirit). In it she writes:
“Esoteric philosophy shows that man is truly the manifested deity in both its aspects – good and evil.” (H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, p. 515)
The concept of duality runs contrary to the Bible. While mankind is indeed described as being sinners and not seeking God, this was not how humanity was intended to live. God from the beginning “divided the light from the darkness.”(Genesis 1:4).
In the Garden of Eden, Adam, made in God’s image, was meant to live in paradise for eternity with God, with no sin, no curse and no death. But it was Satan’s deceptive temptation of Eve to disobey God that changed. God had given Adam authority over the Earth and all its creatures. He had free access to all of the trees in the Garden, except for one: the Tree of The Knowledge of Good and Evil. So the first sin had its root in this same “balance” that the New Age loves. Having duality is the one thing God warned mankind to stay away from:
“And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” – Genesis 2:15-17.
God’s Word was clear – the tree that could introduce “good and evil” into one’s life would lead to certain death. And this is precisely what Satan used to lure humanity into sin and damnation. Satan had already chosen to sin, by leading an angelic rebellion against God. Now in his evil state, he sought to corrupt God’s newest creation through lies and attacking their faith in The Lord:
“Now the serpent was more [subtle] than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” – Genesis 3:1-5.
The exact thing that God said would bring death is what the Devil used to tempt Eve by saying it would actually make her “as a god.” In Satan’s deception being both good and evil was a way to enlightenment and deification. This was the “secret doctrine” and Eve fell right into the trap. Thousands of years later Satan uses the same deception on humanity, fooling society into thinking that though they have obvious sin and know it, the “good” in them can balance it out and thus they have no reason to worry about their eternal fate or God’s judgment.
Blavatsky fully embraced this concept writing:
“[E]soteric philosophy shows that man is truly the manifested deity in both its aspects – good and evil.” Since mankind is god, it follows through the “law of spiritual development” that “mankind will become freed from its false gods, and find itself finally – SELF-REDEEMED.” (The Secret Doctrine, p. 420).
According to Blavatsky, once man realize the good and evil in him, he can ascend to godhood and be “self-redeemed.” This is Satan’s agenda- to get people to not worry or have concern about their sin or the need for a Savior. The New Age continually preaches the message that a person has to only look to themselves for redemption or “spiritual awakening.” But the Bible says we are to repent and look to Jesus Christ.
Following her corrupted line of reasoning, Blavatsky also concluded that rather than being truly evil, Satan was the “savior of humanity”:
“Satan and his rebellious host would thus prove, when the meaning of the allegory is explained, to have refused to create physical man, only to become the direct Saviours and the Creators of ‘divine Man.’.. Satan will now be shown, in the teaching of the Secret Doctrine, allegorized as Good, and Sacrifice, a God of Wisdom, under different names.” Blavatsky added, “In this case it is but natural – even from the dead letter standpoint – to view Satan, the Serpent of Genesis, as the real creator and benefactor, the Father of Spiritual mankind. For it is he who was the ‘Harbinger of Light,’ bright radiant Lucifer, who opened the eyes of the automaton created by Jehovah, as alleged; and he who was the first to whisper: ‘in the day ye eat thereof ye shall be as Elohim, knowing good and evil’ – can only be regarded in the light of a Saviour. “ (The Secret Doctrine, p. 243).
Blavatsky took Satan’s deception of Eve directly from the Bible and praised it as a good moment in history. J. Cole in his new album also references this exact same account from Scripture. Here are some of the lyrics from his song “Forbidden Fruit”:
Me and my b—-, took a little trip
Down to the garden, took a little dip (oh noo)
Apple juice falling from her lips took a little sip (boom)
Took a little sip, took a little sip
T-T-Took a little, took a little, took a little sip (uh)
Uh huh (source).
Once again, as is the case with his mentors Jay-Z and Kanye West, a rapper makes blatant disrespectful references to the Bible in his lyrics. Here Cole puts himself in the place of Satan in the Garden of Eden, tempting Eve to eat from the “forbidden fruit.” What spirit is leading his music? If someone is supposedly a believer in God, why would they so blasphemously make a song playing the role of Satan in the story from Scripture that is the start of all the evil and sin in the world? It is not the Spirit of the God of the Bible. The Lord calls His believers to be “holy” which means separate, from the sinful world. Rather than promote duality, the Bible commands true Christians to have no part with the glorification of evil, demonic forces or the occult:
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.” – 2 Corinthians 6:13-17.
The fact of the matter is that Satan’s “promise” was a lie. Adam and Eve never became “gods.” Instead, they were shamed, caught by the true God of the Bible and banished from the Garden of Eden. They suffered spiritual death by losing their direct fellowship and interaction with God. And in their exile, separated from the Tree of Life (which they were permitted to eat from and live forever) they introduced pain, suffering and death into the world. The Bible says: “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned..”(Romans 5:12). Because of Adam’s sin, humanity’s nature was corrupted and the curse of death passed onto to all people as we are all Adam’s descendants. And the only way to escape this certain death and punishment for our sins is not “self-redemption” or “secret knowledge”, it’s through Jesus Christ. It is through faith in Christ, who took the punishment for sin on the cross, as a sacrifice for the world, that a person can receive free forgiveness for their sins and eternal life.
This is the message that Satan does not want the world to hear. The Apostle Paul wrote:
“But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” – 2 Corinthians 4:2-3.
Rather than use trickery with God’s Word, the Apostles of Jesus Christ, preach it openly and honestly. And Paul continues by saying that if the Gospel is hidden to anyone, it is only because they have been blinded by Satan, the present “god of this world”(referring to Satan’s temporary authority in this corrupted era of humanity) who has blinded unsaved people from seeing the truth of the Bible. And even from a “conscious rapper” like J. Cole, he has no problem extolling his lustful desires for women and money, using foul language and promoting sin. But for an artist like J. Cole who is supposedly both “good and evil” where is any promotion of the Gospel? Where are positive statements about Jesus Christ and praising faith in God? Where are the lyrics that say we have all sinned and need God’s forgiveness? Or pointing people to the Bible? None are ever stated – but this subtle deception goes completely unnoticed by the millions of fans who accept the image and message promoted by the artists with no questioning.
Satan will literally use “any means” to corrupt and deceive people. And certainly wealth, fame and sinful pleasure has seduced many well-meaning aspiring artists to become tools of the music industry spreading a message of sinful rebellion in exchange for a record deal. And their unwitting fans pay for music that pumps that music into their hearts and minds, blinding themselves in the process with a false Gospel of “live for yourself!”, “make money” or “you are god.”
Cole makes this message clear later in the song Forbidden Fruit:
Don’t s— last, and you know that
Went to hell, got hot didn’t melt
The only man above me is God himself
All these other niggas is below me
Word to Phife, Q-Tip, Ali, and Jarobi
Here Cole again brags about his credentials in Hell as he went and “didn’t melt.” And while it might appear that he is praising God in the next verse, he subtly acknowledges which “God” following that. He concludes this section by saying “Word to Phife, Q-tip, Ali and Jarobi” the four members of rap group A Tribe Called Quest. Tribe Called Quest got their start in the 1980s as part of a collective called Native Tongues. These artists all embraced Afrocentric spiritual beliefs known as Five Percenter Theology, Nation of Gods And Earth and Nuwaubianism. According to Wikipedia:
“The Nation of Gods and Earths teaches that black people are the original people of the planet Earth, and therefore they are the fathers (Gods) and mothers (Earths) of civilization. The Nation teaches that the science of Supreme Mathematics is the key to understanding humankind’s relationship to the universe. The Nation does not believe in a traditional God but instead teaches that the Asiatic Blackman is God [sic] and his proper name is Allah, an acronym for Arm, Leg, Leg, Arm, Head.” (source).
“Rappers like Busta Rhymes, Wu Tang Clan, Rakim, Nas and a Tribe Called Quest have all proscribed to the teachings and spread the message in their music and songs.” (Seth Ferranti, Street Legends, Vol. 1).
So in very subtle reference, Cole gives a nod to five percenter theology, which teaches that man, and specifically the Black man, is god, going back to the same deception from the Garden of Eden. Jay-Z, Cole’s mentor has also been connected to five percenter theology. Five percenters often address one another with the greeting “Peace god”, a phrase Jay-Z used in the verse of his song “Run This Town.” As e detailed in our article on Kanye West, Jay-Z has also taken on the name of God, Jehovah, as his own nickname, calling himself “Jay-Hova.” And here is a shirt he made for his Rocawear line:
Additionally Kanye West, also a protégé of Jay-Z, called his newest albumYeezus, a nickname he created for himself and appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine made up to resemble Jesus Christ on the cross. The consistent spiritual message is man’s ability to become god. So it should be no surprise that Cole has now embraced the concept as well. More occult spiritual messages are given in J. Cole’s song Villuminati, (the rapper’s “response” to rumors about him being a member of a secret society):
Did a deal with the Devil but now I’m pleading with him
Like give me my soul
I ain’t ever letting you go again
I ain’t ever letting go
I ain’t ever letting you go again
Please give me my soul
I ain’t ever letting go
I ain’t ever letting you go again
Please give me my soul
I ain’t ever letting go
But the Devil don’t play fair
Crashing burning, the thing that I mostly fear
Was on track for the first two years
Then I let the Devil steer, and now we’re halfway here
Now I got to mask my tears, but I.. (source).
A person does not have to openly acknowledge Satan to have him “steering” the wheel of their life. Living in sinful rebellion, denying God and refusing to believe in His Gospel are all it takes to die in your own sin and spend eternity in Hell and the Lake of Fire. The same delusion occurs when one sees themselves as a “god” or “balanced with good and evil.” In both cases, the individual does not see the need to repent of their sin and thus they are still guilty before God. And this is precisely what the Devil has wanted since the first two people were created. Do not be deceived.
Are We Really Born Sinners?
“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one..” – Romans 3:10.
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” – Romans 3:23.
“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” – Isaiah 1:18.
J. Cole does make a valid point – because of the sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden, all people are born with a sin nature, inherited because of the fall of humanity. And all people sin throughout their lives and have thus earned God’s wrath and rightful judgment against them. That is the bad news, but it is not the end of the story. The good news is that God, in His love and His mercy, made a plan to redeem humanity and have our sins pardoned. And it was through Jesus Christ, who not a “born sinner.” He became human to be the one person “born sinless” and lived a sinless life. All to be a willing, perfect sacrifice to atone for the sins of humanity.
Romans chapter 5 says: “For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.”
Just as Adam brought sin into the world, Jesus Christ, the Last Adam, brought forgiveness and redemption into the world through His death on the cross and resurrection. Just as Adam passed on sin, Jesus passes on His perfect, sinless life to those who believe in Him. And that is received through the new Spirit that God puts in everyone who believes, hence the term being “born again.” In this spiritual rebirth, a person goes from being a born sinner to being “born sinless.” In God’s eyes, a born again believer is now innocent, with their sins justly forgiven, and receives a new spirit, born of God, that seeks to please God rather than disobey. 2 Corinthians 5 says: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
Rather than send humanity on a quest for secret knowledge, God sent His Son, to do all the work to make peace between humanity and The Lord. Jesus Christ said: “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”(John 3:17). All sins, past, present and future can be forgiven when a person puts their faith and trust in Jesus Christ. If someone is both good and evil, they are all evil in God’s eyes. But thanks to Jesus Christ, a person can be born again, declared sinless before God and have eternal life.