Hohenwald Christian Research -  Worship in Spirit I

Isaiah said that "The Lord of hosts shall be exalted (lifted up) in judgment, and God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness. Isaiah 5:16.

Paul in First Corinthians 2 draws the following analogy:

The Holy Spirit
Is to God
What our spirit
Is to us.
But WE have the MIND of Christ.

In most respects the MIND, HEART and SPIRIT are equated to one another. Click to see the message.

The carnal temple and grounds were a type. The court where the music (raw sound) was made was where the innocent animals were slaughtered and burned. In the court the priest and the sacrifices were washed. The High Place was a type of the body of church of Christ. The furniture was typical of the church as a SYNAGOGUE. The Most Holy Place was the HEAD of the temple and the place where the high priest met God. His Word was under the mercy seat and guarded by cherubim. One had to accept the sacrifice of Christ, be baptized and enter into the Holy Place for INSTRUCTION AND PRAYER ONLY. Each individual as a baptized believer can come boldly before the throne of Grace. There they worship ALONE in darkness and silence. Jesus said that prayer was in the CLOSET or innermost room of the house: quiet and dark.

Thererefore, a Christian DOES NOT and CANNOT worship with prescribed rituals. Paul called those who assembled or gathered the "synagogue" in various forms. At the assembly they ate the Lord's Supper to show forth or PREACH the death of Christ. The heard the Word of God READ. This was very important because Jesus said MY words are Spirit and they are Life (John 6:63). As the "son" Jesus the Word spoke only what He heard from the "father" whom he said was WITHIN. The father was the thought and the son was the spoken Word in most of the "trinity" formulations. The spirit is the "breath" of the invisible God which conveys real spiritual power. When you READ the Word you are acting as an ORACLE of God. If and only if you do what Paul told the elders--"teach that which has been taught"--and can say "thus saith the Lord" then you are a "prophet" or forth teller. God intended that the message be READ so that there would be no careless "proof texting." This is why Paul commanded Timothy to "give attendance to the [public] reading of the Word." Then he exhorted and endoctrinated THAT WHICH WAS READ. Only then does one's actions BECOME worship.

In describing the worship in Corinth which "did more harm than good" (1 Corinthians 11:17) and the outrageous antics in chapter 14, Paul agreed with our view that to attempt to "break through" to ascend to God or call Him into our physical presence is madness. God is pure or Holy Spirit or Mind (1 Cor 2) and we must go into our mind or spirit to meet Him.

What is true worship? Let us begin with a true story:

We thought that my dad was in a coma and would never respond again. However, when my sister gave him a "drop of cold water" he whispered, "Oh, boy! Oh, boy!" -- his last words. Only by "standing still" could she hear the "whispered silence" of his final words. I don't believe he ever sang a song in his life, but he will never thirst again.

When the Samaritan woman met Jesus at the well, He said:

"But whosoever drinketh (take into the mind) of the water (Word) that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing (gushing) up into everlasting life. John 4:14

The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. John 4:15

The only true Shepherd feeds us in quiet pastures and waters beside quiet streams at rest. He never produced the "anxiety from religious rituals" which He came to bring as He outlawed those who took (take) away the key to knowledge.

The woman wanted to debate "houses" but Jesus said "not in your house and not in mine. Worship is in spirit (mind) and devoted to truth." Later, the loud, mocking Jews drove Jesus "to the brink" trying to change or triumph over Him (Psalm 41:11). Then He saw his mother for the last time and said, "I thirst."

Why did Jesus and my father die thirsty? The answer must be found in the choice of loud ritual over God's Word as water (Ephesians 5:26), Spirit and Life (John 6:63). We can only look at a few of many examples:

Water From The Rock

When God rescued Israel from Egypt, they experienced hunger and thirst in the wilderness. God told Moses to strike the Rock, symbolic of Jesus, and living water would flow. Moses obeyed,

And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding (noisy assembly) of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the Lord, saying, Is the Lord among us (in our midst), or not? Exodus 17:7

As people lost confidence in God and needed visible proof, great assemblies were called to "lead them into the presence of the lost god." The Israelites lost confidence because they couldn't feel or hear God already in their midst. Later, God told Moses to speak words to the "Rock." Moses struck the Rock and for his sin could not go into the promised land. When we strike (triumph over) the Rock and His "lambs" rather than speak softly we are in mortal and immanent danger.

At Mount Sinai

After Moses spoke The Book of the Covenant at Mount Sinai and Israel had accepted it verbally, He went back to get the 70 elements of the Covenant in writing. However, the people grew impatient and decided to call their old "god" into their midst from "across the seas" with a great noise.

And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play. Exodus 32:6

Joshua thought he heard the noise of war: victory or defeat. Moses knew that it was the noise of them that sing. This singing was "looking down or browbeating." It was to alter people's mind by affliction or striking to feel the god's presence.

The shouting which Joshua heard was an attempt to call another god to their rescue. God then refused to live in their midst and gave the two silver trumpets to produce panic in war or to signal marches. This was to produce an Alarm which is:

Ruwa (h7321) roo-ah'; mar (espec. by breaking); figurative: to split the ears with sound) i. e. shout for alarm or joy - blow an alarm, cry aloud, destroy, make a joyful noise, triumph over

When the team including Judas tried this on Jesus they were trying to triumph over Him. If that didn't work they would just murder Him

In the Book of the Law, God outlawed this for the congregation assembled for instruction:

But when the congregation is to be gathered together, ye shall blow, but ye shall not sound an alarm. Numbers 10:7 (See R. L. Dabney, Presbyterian, on music)

The people never valued God and His Word already theirs for the asking, free of charge (Isaiah 55:1f). Their loud musical rejoicing was the ancient pagan (Babylonian, Egyptian, Canaanite and then Israelite) effort to resurrect the dead god figure and cause him to sing, dance, smell the incense and play the flute with the women singing lament songs (See Ezekiel 8). However, Moses spoke for God and warned (And Paul repeated it in 1 Corinthians 10 and Romans 10):

For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. Deuteronomy 30:11

It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? Deuteronomy 30:12

But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) Romans 10:6

Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? Deuteronomy 30:13

Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) Romans10:7

But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it. Deuteronomy 30:14

But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; Romans10:8

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. John 6:63

The Effect of the Law

We make a fatal mistake when we believe that worship under the Law was God's "first" plan which failed. The Law of Moses regulated a people who rejected God's Word and insisted upon worshipping "like the nations." However, Jesus came as "Prince of Peace" to lead His lambs beside still waters. You know, lambs cannot feed beside noisy, rushing streams.

The nature of the Tabernacle was changed and the Levites were deprived of an inheritance in Canaan and, often as warriors, stood between the people and the symbol of God's presence:

Neither must the children of Israel henceforth come nigh the tabernacle of the congregation, lest they bear sin, and die. Numbers 18:22

Rejecting God with Noise in Canaan

If Joshua (Jesus in Heb 4:8KJV) could have given Israel "rest" God would not have had to come personally as Jesus (Jehovah-Saves) or His "own right Arm." Noisy, loud "worship" (meaning works) at the Canaanite High Places stood between the Israelites and rest. Therefore, when they rejected God's direct rule, He sent the sign of a "prophesying" band or "team" from the Philistine "worship center." Loud enthusiasm was thought to be spiritual:

"This is the first mention in the OT of a band of prophets. These were men who went about in companies and were able

by means of music and dancing to work themselves up into a convulsive and ecstatic frenzy (2 Ki. 3:1-10).

"Their abnormality was believed to be caused by the invasive influence of the spirit of god. The word prophesied here does not mean either foretelling the future or preaching after the manner of the later prophets, but engaging in the ritual dance of the prophetic guild (19:18-24). Their behavior was commonly regarded as a form of madness (2 Ki. 9:11; Jer. 29:26)" (The Int. Bible Ency., I Sam. p. 932).

This was the Greek form of "uncovered prophesying" which Paul outlawed in Corinth (11:5) even outside of the assembly. When the assembly came together the women were to remain quiet and sedentary along with the non-inspired males.

When Saul, the choice to replace God, was "turned into another man" he changed from a humble lad into a "like the nations" king. "Spirit" is the influence of God -- good or bad. It does not mean that Saul became a spiritual person. It meant that his warrior nature would rule over his shepherd's feeding instincts because by God's permissive will the acquired the spirit of the "sons of the prophets":

And the Spirit of the Lord will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man. 1 Samuel 10:6

The word "prophesy" and "to make music" to bring on a form of madness is the same in many languages.

The normal word for "another" means an associate, brother or companion. However, Saul turned strange. As another, he would hinder Israel's spiritual life just as God warned. Another is from the Hebrew:

Achar (h309) aw-khar'; from: to loiter, be behind; by implication: to procrastinate, defer, delay, hinder, be slack

Saul's friends composed a little "ditty" to make fun of him because "to prophesy" meant that Saul's worst traits would dominate. "Turned" means:

Haphak (h2015) haw-fak'; turn about or over; by implication: to pervert... It is often used as "to overthrow, perverse, retire, tumble, turn aside, to the contrary " (Note: many of the "motels" of that day were houses of prostitution. To turn aside meant literal and spiritual prostitution)

Hophek (2017) from 2015 upset, perversity, turn things upside down.

David fulfilled this when he and the captains of the army organized musical, prophesying bands.

These musical guilds, named after pagan teams, did not serve in "congregational worship" but forced the people into hard labor and to fall to the ground during animal sacrifices. These dedication or purification animal sacrifices with the Levites did not involve true music; it was always called "noise" to warn and control the people. The common people usually worshipped "outside the gates" without noise.

Saul, like most kings, was tall, dark and handsome and he could sing "under the influence." However, his troups "despised, scorned, and thought that he was a vile person" because he "prophesied." (1 Samuel 10:27). Because they did not believe Saul could lead, God sent His Spirit or influence into him to stir him up for war:

And the Spirit of God came upon Saul when he heard those tidings, and his anger (snorting nostrils) was kindled (a blazing fire) greatly. 1 Samuel 11:6

In this anger, Saul took two oxen, slashed them into pieces and sent them to the tribes as a warning that he would kill them if they didn't come and fight. A mortal fear fell upon them as Saul turned violent. He even errected a memorial in his own honor.

David's Rule Over the People

When Saul ignored the Word and was lost without hope of redemption, God sent David to bring on an evil spirit to force him into the loud prophesying to discredit him. Yet, he was still a threat to David. (Note, a spirit is not a person but a mental disposition)

In David's escape from Saul, he sought safety behind the walls of the enemy. When he scrabbled or drummed (LXX) upon the door and pretended insanity, the king accused him of playing the mad man or "prophesying" and he despised him (1 Samuel 21:15).

After he became king, David took a census and could never return to Gibeon "to inquire of the Lord." Therefore, he brought the ark to Jerusalem under the primary control of the loud Levite "teams." As David brought the Ark to Jerusalem, he joined with the slave girls in the noisy play identical to that at Mount Sinai. David's "seeking the lost God" praise was:

Halal (h1984) haw-lal'; to be clear (originally of sound, but usually of color); to shine; hence to make a show, to boast; be clamorously foolish; to rave; to celebrate; feign self mad against (often against God), give in marriage, sing, be worthy of praise, rage, renowned, shine.

This word can be used in a good sense often in a sense of promise to those who triumph over their enemies. In the New Testament, there is no hint of this kind of boasting praise in the Greek words. In fact, Corinth is a negative imae of those still trying to praise God with their own body and own words.

The "might" with which he danced is defined as "bold, loud and impudent."

In the Divided Kingdom

As the poor were crying, "I thirst," the leaders held meetings devoted to noise and clang. Their "melody" literally meant "to prune the vine" or "to take ones inheritance" as they took the food and drink from the poor. However, God said of the loud festivals:

And I will turn your feasts (religious festivals) into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; and I will bring up sackcloth upon all loins, and baldness upon every head; and I will make it as the mourning of an only son, and the end thereof as a bitter day. Amos 8:10

Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord: Amos 8:11

Throughout the Old Testament, the decision was for noisy, exciting "worship" but the lambs would scatter as lambs always do. This is why Jesus had to suffer amid the triumphal shouts of the Jewish leaders who refused to hear His quiet words, "I thirst!"

Another critical decision was the contest between Jezebel's loud, even violent, worship and the "whispered silence" of God's voice through Elijah.

The prophets of Baal performed a noisy form of "prophesying" but they could not "bring their gods into their presence." This "prophesying" was not pretty; it involved singing, music, naked dancing and even wounding themselves. The emotional "high" proved, to their mad mind, that the god was in them.

However, when Elijah spoke his quiet prayer without any loud shouts, the fire fell and the sacrifice was consumed. This was his greatest moment of triumph. However, Jezebel (the effeminate principle is in many males) threatened him and he fled to the mountains of Sinai. While he was living in a cave, the Word of the Lord came to him without any ritual and asked: "What are you doing here, Elijah?" Elijah made the excuse that he was the only person left who refused to dance with Baal. However,

"We know that Canaanite prophets were organized in guilds centered on the larger sanctuaries, as, for example, 'the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the Asherah four hundred,' with whom Elijah had memorable dealings on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18). Similarly,

Israelite cultic prophets were to be found in and around the sanctuaries, roving about in rowdy troops, working themselves up into frenzies by dancing and music, and uttering semi-coherent oracles (speaking in tongues or sermons?) which the credulous accepted as divinely inspired." (Heaton, E. W., Everyday Life in the Old Testament, p. 221, Scribners)

However, on the mountain of Revelation, God had shown earlier that He was present in the peaceful Covenant and not in the loud drama or dance of Baal. He performed a sign to show the difference between shouting at the gods and listening to the God:

And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great (loud and insolent) and

strong wind (spirit) rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord;
but the Lord was not in the wind:
and after the wind an earthquake;
but the Lord was not in the earthquake: 1 Kings 19:11
And after the earthquake a fire;
but the Lord was not in the fire:

and after the fire a still (quiet) small voice (whisper). 1 Kings 19:12

At Mount Sinai, God had long ago defeated Apis the Egyptian bull and perhaps Hathor the desert, cow-eared woman. This same god or goddess had different names in different countries. The loud "arousers" of Jezebel were particularly devoted to Melkart, the god of Tyre. The king of Tyre and most other kings like the nations often served in this arousal role.

Biblical enthusiasm means inner fire or devotion. On the other hand, Philo invented the word enthusiasm or en-theos-mania which was the violent ecstasy produced by these prophesiers who depended totally upon noise and giddiness.

However, God said that He was not in any of the often-brutal forces of nature detected only by the purely human senses such as sight, sound or smell:

Unlike the pagan deities, Yahweh was not in any of the forces of nature but in a real apart. He is experienced in the scarcely perceptible timbre of a tiny breeze in the paradox of a voiced silence." (Armstrong, Karen, A History of God, p. 27) (I love that.)

The earthquake was symbolic of what happened when Jezebel's prophets called their assembly:

Raash (h7494) rah'-ash; vibration, bounding, commotion, confused noise, earthquake, fierceness, quaking, rattling, rushing, shaking. (Greek: a gale, to twist from side to side).

God Sings To Israel

God sang a taunt song to the people in Isaiah 5. He had planted them like a vineyard on the fruitful hills. He cleared His "vineyard" of stones and briers, planted the choicest vines, built walls around it and a watchtower in the middle to guard against pagan influences. This is where Israel's watchmen slept as the enemy approached and the people celebrated with God-ignoring music.

Because Israel ignored God's plan for His vineyard, it went dry while they held loud religious rituals. As a sign that the end had come, God broke down the walls so the vineyard could be trodden down by wild beasts or loud, pagan influences.

He made the vineyard for judgment and righteousness but the leaders supplied oppression and a cry. (Isaiah 5:7)

Jesus (Jehovah-Saves) would be our visible God and it was prophesied that He would not oppress or cry out:

Ca'aq (h6817) tsaw-ak'; to shriek; to proclaim an assembly: call together, cry out, gather selves together.

These assemblies produced "deep depression" and ruled over the people with worship which seemed, for the moment, like entertainment but were burdensome oppression from deliberately caused anxiety over which modern Change Agents rejoice!

God's "vineyard" would just "go dry" as they tried to get the tiny drops of "new wine" to ferment. The more meetings they held the more spiritual they felt but the emptier they became. They had wonderful, even daily, festivals seeking the Lord's presence:

But they regard not the work of the Lord, neither consider the operation of his hands." Isaiah 5:12b

Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge: and their honorable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst. Isaiah 5:13

The joy which brought depression because it silenced God's Word, is defined as, "to jump for joy, rejoice, triumph over." Isaiah continued:

Therefore Sheol hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it. Isaiah 5:14

Pomp is an ostentatious show, musical pageant by exaggerated self-important men waving their girlish pompons. (In the case of the King of Tyre, it was trying to say, "I am, too, really a male." Of the king of Babylon, and Israel Isaiah wrote:

Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm (the maggots whose offspring still live and die not) is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee. Isaiah 14:11

Take thou away from me the noise (much like alarm or rejoicing forbidden in Numbers 10:7) of thy songs (musical performance); for I will not hear the melody (from pruning your vine to take your inheritance) of thy viols. Amos 5:23

Pomp in Hebrew means, "an uproar, horrible noise, rushing about." This great sound created with shouting and the alarm of the trumpets would accompany the destruction of Moab by fire (Amos 2:2).

And the mean man (hypocrite or actor) shall be brought down (humiliated), and the mighty man shall be humbled, and the eyes of the lofty shall be humbled: Isaiah 5:15

Mighty or lofty means, "powerful, arrogant, to mount up, be proud, haughty or elevated." You cannot "lift up the name of the Lord" with noise trying to lift up the audience undergoing emotional change. How then can God be lifted up?

But the Lord of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, and God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness. Isaiah 5:16

Then shall the lambs feed (be pastored) after their manner, and the waste places of the fat ones shall strangers eat. Isaiah 5:17

How are lambs fed and watered after their manner?

Lambs don't eat raw meat still bloody from the pagan worshiper's sacrifice or symbolically dancing over the performance stage on Sunday morning. God is a "rural" Shepherd and not an "urban" Rapper or Rocker because:

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. Psalm 23:2

Still means, "peaceful, take ease, quiet, rest, repose and consoled." It also means, "a settled spot or a place like home where we rest." This is the rest Jesus brought from "the burden of spiritual anxiety from religious ceremony."

A common thirst, then and now, caused them to try to "bring the worshipers into the presence of God." However, His presence will be felt in giving a cup or drop of cold water to those dying thirsty.

God pronounced woes upon those using musical pomp as chief change agent which is Ceremonial Legalism:

That say, Let him make speed, and hasten his work, that we may see it: and let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw nigh and come, that we may know (feel) it. Isaiah 5:19

To "hasten" means "to be eager with excitement or enjoyment." This may be what causes anxiety which is so destructive to confident believers. The superiority of their worship was based upon the exhilaration felt by those seeking the lost God they could not hear or feel. However, as the prophets of Asherah "earned" their way to death with worship:

Has not the LORD Almighty determined that the people's labor (to earn) is only fuel for the fire, that the nations exhaust themselves for nothing? Habakkuk 2:13

For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. Habakkuk 2:14

God then warned against a worship which broke down the walls to paganism. They could never sense Him already in their presence because of the noise. But, He was always saying on behalf of His people, "I thirst!"

Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach (point or aim the finger at) Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath (spirit) at all in the midst of it. Habakkuk 2:19

But the Lord is in his holy temple (me): let all the earth keep silence (hush, hold your tongue) before him. Habakkuk 2:20

Many of the people went out seeking entertainment but Jesus recommended sitting and listening. If you have sexual urges satisfied by sitting in the presence of those singing love songs with a beautiful voice and skillfully playing musical instruments then go to the temple in Jerusalem. However, Jesus said that if your authority to move comes from hearing His Words then:

He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. Matthew 11:15

However, the people just couldn't sit down and listen:

This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoreth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. Matthew 15:8

But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. Matthew 15:9

The events in the life of Jesus would fulfill all that was written about Him in the Law and Prophets. The Jews singing, dancing and piping to Him fulfilled exactly what Ezekiel prophesied.

Modern Change Agents write books claiming superiority over the Word of God. They even speak against Christ by saying, along with Hans Kung, that we are living in a "now but not yet kingdom" of God. In this new wineskin model, the Words of Christ which Paul limited as the "agents" of singing to the Romans, Ephesians and Colossians cannot be understood unless they are enabled by pseudo-prophets and pseudo-apostles. Standing under the shadow of Asherah poles will help fill the Arena. They feel God-called to break down the walls to every pseudo-religion in specific fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah to Israel. God warned against men who refused to "stand on the walls" and warn with the trumpet against the rejoicing enemy gathered just outside that wall ready to eat the lambs you refused to warn.

The watchmen of Israel, like the children who taunted Jesus with music and dance, were gathered around the soon-to-be broken down walls. They were incompetent watchmen because they treated God and Ezekiel like musical prostitutes even as they were often "called into their presence" by the musical performance of dance and drama:

Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the Lord. Ezekiel 33:30

And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness. Ezekiel 33:31

And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not. Ezekiel 33:32

The One God of the universe said that singing lovely (amorous) songs by talented women or effeminate men and playing skillfully with musical instruments is defacto proof that people are looking for sexually-ambivalent, entertaining performers as a sign of lostness-beyond-redemption because they don't really care what God has said. Remember that they tried to engage Jesus in the effeminate dance of the Dionysus women and hoped that John was soft.

The old rituals devoted to the external senses were hard to resist because "feel good" seemed so "spiritual." However, Paul said:

Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments (principles) of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, Colossians 2:20

(Touch not; taste not; handle not; Colossians 2:21

Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Colossians 2:22

Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh. Colossians 2:23

Paul knew that people were "falling for" the Huper or super-apostles who claimed superiority over the revealed Words of Christ delivered through Paul who, they lied, "took no salary because his sermons were not worthy of pay like ours." Like modern entertainers, they were lovely and lovable by both men and women because they were confused. As a result, when the lover sings or plays the people just naturally listen even if it is outrageous and harmful.

However, worship of Christ is "in spirit and in truth" and no created being or invented method can be used to worship the Spirit Deity. If our citizenship is in Nashville then by all means worship at the foot of the old rugged Asherah poles. However, if our citizenship has been transferred into the heavenly or Spirit realm then:

IF ye then be risen with Christ, seek (worship) those things which are above, where Christ sitteth (the work is finished) on the right hand of God. Colossians 3:1

Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. Colossians 3:2

For ye are dead, and your life is hid (sealed and concealed) with Christ in God. Colossians 3:3

Most preaching, singing, playing and dancing is labor-intensive. It is the work of man's hands or other body parts -- God doesn't need it and cannot use it. Melody, in the Greek, denotes work or labor added to simple singing of the Words of Christ.

Indeed, worship must be "in spirit" and in truth and not in body and self-composed songs and sermons.

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Kenneth Sublett


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