Longtime lead singer and founder of Disciple, Kevin Young, recently was joined by several new experienced band members: Josiah Prince (Philmont) and Andrew Stanton (I Am Empire) on guitars and Joey West (After Edmund) on drums. The result was their critically acclaimed and Dove Award nominated album Attack, released in 2014.
I've been a fan of Disciple's brand of inspirational Christian rock for more than a decade, having seen the band live several times and having spoken with Kevin about "Dear X, You Don't Own Me" and "Draw the Line." Disciple most recently released last year's Vultures EP, which contained six songs initially written for Attack that didn't fit thematically with the other songs that made the record. They are also currently finishing the recording process for upcoming album Long Live the Rebels. I had the chance to speak with the band in-person about "Bring the Dead to Life."
Please tell me the personal story behind this song.
Kevin: This song was written by our bass player at the time, Jason Wilkes. He was in the band High Flight Society, and the drummer of that band, Scotty, passed away mysteriously. Nobody knew what happened. The song is based on a dream where a friend saw Scotty before he died in a cemetery. That was the original title of the song, but that wasn't a very uplifting title.
In her dream, she saw Scott in a cemetery telling her to come out. That's where the line "lead me out of the cemetery" comes from. From a devotional context, that's really where we all are before we come to Christ. We are all in a dead place, and what Jesus does is lead us to a place of life.
Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?
Romans 8:11(VOICE): "If the Spirit of the One who resurrected Jesus from the dead lives inside of you, then you can be sure that He who raised Him will cast the light of life into your mortal bodies through the life-giving power of the Spirit residing in you."
Ephesians 2:1(NKJV): "And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins."
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV): "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new."
What is the takeaway message?
Kevin: When we talk about Attack, it is really an empowering record with very positive messages. Most of those songs came from a place of being an independent band after being signed to a record label for ten years, saying what we wanted to say with overtly Christian messages, without sounding cheesy. That's really who we are deep down. Attack is a really bold, in your face Christian album with songs like "Radical" and "The Name," and worshipful songs like "Scarlet" and "Angels and Demons."
This song is one of the songs that didn't fit on that album as rather than being an uplifting song, it's from more of a dark, seeking place. "Breaking Down" is even darker, where a moment of shame has brought them to the place where God is the only place to turn. We loved these songs and wanted them to come out, and that's how Vultures happened.
We really want to reach people where they are. Sometimes we feel empowered and we are ready to take on the world. Other times, we really need the hand of God and need His help, and we feel weak and helpless. Knowing God is anything but that is a wonderful part of the Gospel.
Our new album Long Live the Rebels coming out is by far the best thing we've ever done. We know people will like it because we believe in it so much. This is the first album we've written together as a band, and we're excited for people to hear it.
Lyrics: I wandered my way in the darkness
I feel lonely, deserted
And I can't get out
Been pushing the blame where I wanted
But I'm blinded, I'm guilty
But I know it now
I need Your love
I need You, Jesus
So let the grave burst open wide
Cause I'm desperate to breathe tonight
Lead me out (of this cemetery)
Let the dead man start to rise
To a place where we will never die
Lead me on to Your sanctuary
I know in my heart where I'm headed
Straight to ruin, till I am an early grave
I'm telling myself that I'm okay
But I'm not and I won't last much longer this way
I'm buried in this darkness
Breathe in me, let this dead man come alive
I'm buried in this darkness
Bring the dead to life
Bring the dead to life
God's resurrection power from The Holy Spirit, that same power that defeated death and raised Jesus from the grave, is available to followers of Jesus. I love the translation of Romans 8:11 (Voice): "If the Spirit of the One who resurrected Jesus from the dead lives inside of you, then you can be sure that He who raised Him will cast the light of life into your mortal bodies through the life-giving power of the Spirit residing in you."
Christians are new creations on the inside. The Holy Spirit gives us new life, and we don't have to live anymore with our guilt, fears or worries. We are born again and we need to live as children of God. Too often we get wrapped up in our circumstances and get down on ourselves with negative thoughts and allow the Enemy to define self-worth. Jesus died on the Cross to set us free from the battle of our minds, from sin and death, and He wants us to have abundant life in Him. We are new creations, and we need to live under God's authority. Are you excited about God's hope inside of you? Have you humbled yourself and asked Jesus to make you a new creation?
We can all make the choice to ask The Holy Spirit to indwell us with His supernatural ability to overcome what the Enemy wants us to think about ourselves. That's what this song is all about. Disciple's hope is to pass on the life-giving message of Jesus Christ. As Kevin so powerfully urges in this song, "Let the dead man start to rise, to a place where we will never die. Lead me on to Your sanctuary."
This song encourages me and has an inspirational message. It is an exciting thought that all suffering and hurt will be left behind and one day glory will be revealed in us through Christ. The message behind the song is a great reminder that one day "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." Allow The Holy Spirit to "cast the light of life into your mortal bodies." If you are struggling with depression, please know with certainty these life-giving words: "But I know it now: I need Your love, I need You, Jesus." Amen to that!
Listen to the song below.
NRT Lead Contributor Kevin Davis is a longtime fan of Christian music, an avid music collector and credits the message of Christian music for leading him to Christ. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and three daughters.
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