Thomas Campbell, Restoration Movement, Worship in Spirit and in Truth

Thomas Campbell notes that: Until an assembly without Yarn Spinning and Performed worship is restored there is no American Restoration Movement. READING THE WORD and not PREACHING is defined as personal worship by Campbell of the American Restoration Movement. Evangelists having planted and watered churches move on leaving the Reading of the Word and Singing the Biblical Text to members of the congregation.

In his Declaration and Address did not propose a church but a local society of like minded people: he did NOT intend to invite those who did not subscribe to his view of what the church should be. Therefore, it is false teaching to say that the church of Christ began as an ecumenical movement. When challenged about the Lunenberg Letters, Alexander Campbell agreed that there were believers among the sects but insisted that they "come out of Babylon."

He did not teach any of the false teaching the recent "scholars" use as their authority. These are rough notes subject to frequent correction.

See how this is Worship In Spirit and In Truth.

Another Series [1][2][3][4][5]

Campbell in this article does not include the Lord's Supper, which is clearly important, but not as a act. Rather, it is a remembering and teaching effort. In our series on Worship we have noted that Jesus said that worship is internal or "in spirit" as opposed to external and in a limited place. Internal worship has several outlets as it influences the individual worshipers. However, it is a general theme of the Bible that personal worship cannot happen with someone else's mouth open.

Any effort to "induce" worship or perform worship for the audience is as ancient as ancient paganism can get.

Thomas Campbell, one of the leaders of the American Restoration Movement away from denominational organizations, placed reading the Word as one of the most important external acts of worship and nullified "yarn spinners" in keeping with Jesus and Paul:

Thomas Campbell in blue: "who, at the same time are ignorant of, and even averse to, the religion it inculcates; and whilst others profess to embrace it as a system of religion,

without imbibing the spirit, realizing the truth, and experiencing the power of its religious institutions; but merely superstruct to themselves, rest in, and are satisfied with, a form (acts) of godliness; and that, very often, a deficient, imperfect form, or such as their own imagination has devised;

See Why Thomas Paine was a Deist.

"let us, with an open bible before us, distinguish and contemplate that religion which it enjoins and exhibits--I mean the religion of christianity, for it also exhibits the religion of Judaism;
...but with this, in the mean time,
...we christians have nothing directly to do--
...we derive our religion immediately from the New Testament. TC


Legalism -- and Jesus says idolatrous worship -- is deriving acts of worship to be performed for other people. This is not burning animals but is ceremonial legalism which is idolatry -- the worship of self-selected talent who have signed onto "The Good Ship Sacrifice" as master while the honest evangelist does the real work. Legalistic or vain or idolatrous worship was defined by Jesus as coming out of their own empty heads:
He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Mark 7:6
Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. Mark 7:7

Vain or empty worship is depraved or idolatrous worship:

Maten (g3155) mat'-ane; accus. of a der. of the base of 3145 (through the idea of tentative manipulation, i.e. unsuccessful search, or else of punishment); folly, i.e. (adv.) to no purpose: - in vain.

In Isaiah 29 God warns of people who could not or would not read or sing the words in the book True sacrifice or praise is returning God's Words back to Him because we simply are not literate enough to approach Him with the sacrifice which we have concocted out of blind minds.

Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: Isaiah 29:13


Isaiah did not define a true fast or worship as something which you do but something you do not do:

If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Isaiah 58:13
Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you; they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord. Jeremiah 23:16

These false prophets, and increasingly prophetesses, will violently attack Biblical worshipers by accusing them of being legalistic because they refuse to have their mind manipulated by "talented" song and sermon. However, as prophesied, this is turning the truth upside down: the legalistics are the performance worshipers:

These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having mens persons in admiration because of advantage. Jude 1:16

THE VERSION FROM EZEKIEL clearly identifies all performance music as belonging to the sectarian HYPOCRITES.

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. Eze 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,
        (Lord, Lord as amorousness - inordinate love),
but their heart goeth after their covetousness. Eze 33:31

Indeed, to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs (minstrel as a prostitute) with a beautiful voice and plays (make melody on) an instrument well,

for they hear your words but do not put them into practice. Eze 33:32NIVWhen all this comes true--and it surely will--then they will know that a prophet has been among them." Eze 33:33

From: Agab (h5689) aw-gab'; a prim. root; to breathe after, i. e. to love (sensually): - dote, lover.

The Spirit of Christ (1 Peter 1:11, Rev 19:10) speaking through pointed to the Hypocrites who were a SECTARIAN group of religious performers said, in effect: Musical performance is hypocritical (by definition) and is therefore JUST NOTHING at all.

Because their performance effort is divisive their actions and Jude define them as the true sectarians.

Hupokrin reply, make answer
2. expound, interpret, explain [outlawed by Peter as private interpretation] II. Att., speak in dialogue, hence play a part on the stage, be an actor, kmidian, of orators and rhetoricians, represent dramatically, use histrionic arts, exaggerate, deliver a speech, declaim, of orators and rhetoricians, represent dramatically

rhtor-ikos , , on, oratorical, h rhtorik (sc. techn). These are the craftsmen lumped with the singers, musicians and "grinder" doing merchandise in the house of prayer. Rev. 18:22

Hupo-kritikos , , on, belonging to hupokrisis 2. suited for speaking or delivery, lexis -ktat ib. 1413b9, cf. Demetr.Eloc.193: h -k (sc. techn) the art of delivery

Techne is defines LEGALISTC III. an art or craft, i.e. a set of rules, system or method of making or doing, whether of the useful arts, or of the fine arts, rhetoric, poetry, A.Ag.249 Sorcery.

"Worship" performane which has to be REHEARSED is the definition of LEGALISM.

One of the roles was as canto I. Neutr., to produce melodious sounds (by the voice or an instrument), to sound, sing, play (class. in prose and poetry; to sing and play while the actor accompanies the song with gestures or dancing, C. Transf., of instruments, to sound, resound: a Orator.

And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman [TECHNE], of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee; Rev 18:22

Hupo-kritēs , ou
A. one who answers:
I. interpreter or expounder, tēs di' ainigmōn phēmēs Pl.Ti. 72b; oneirōn Luc.Somn.17, etc.
II. in Att., one who plays a part on the stage, actor, Ar.V.1279, Pl.R.373b, Chrm. 162d, Smp.194b, X. Mem.2.2.9, etc.
2. of an orator, poikilos hu. kai perittos (of Dem.) Phld.Rh.1.197 S.; one who delivers, recites, declaimer, epōn Tim.Lex. s.v. rhapsōdoi; rhapsodist, D.S.14.109, 15.7; this sense or sense 11.1 is possible in PCair.Zen.4.44 (iii B. C.).
3. metaph., pretender, dissembler, hypocrite, LXX Jb.34.30, 36.13, Ev.Matt.23.13,
Poikilos  drakōn Pi.P.8.46
2. of Art, p. humnos a song of changeful strain or full of diverse art, Pi.O.6.87; poikilon kitharizōn Id.N.4.14; dedaidalmenoi pseudesi poikilois muthoi Id.O.1.29; of style, lexis poiētikōtera kai p. Isoc.15.47 (Comp.); skhēmatismoi
4. changeable, unstable, ho eudaimōn ou p. kai eumetabolos

To believe that the "audience" must have a Scholar-Mediator to stand between it and the Mind or Spirit of Christ is a denial of the power God put into His words which He said "are Spirit and Life" (John 6:63)

Campbell continues: "The author and ultimate object of our holy religion, is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, by his Spirit, speaking in Christ and his holy apostles.

"The principle of this holy religion within us, is faith, a correspondent faith; that is, a belief, or inwrought persuasion by, and according to, the word of truth,

in all points corresponding to the revelation which God has made of himself through Jesus Christ by the Spirit. Hence, being rooted and grounded in the truth of this revelation, by faith in the divine testimony,

we contemplate and worship God inwardly;
that is, adore and reverence him
in our souls, according to the characters and attributes under which he has revealed himself to us.

Thus we worship the Father, through the Son, by the Spirit, relying upon his teachings in and by the word, to lead us into all the truth which he has testified for our edification and salvation;

and also upon his internal influence to excite, instruct, and comfort us, by the truth; to help our infirmities, and to enable us to think and pray as we ought, both as to the matter and manner of our prayers. See Rom. viii. 26, and Jude 22, 21, with a multitude of other scriptures.

Thus we have the internal religion, the habitual worship of the real believer, the sincere bible-taught christian with its principle; which is the faith above described. See Rom. x. 12-15.

The word we are prone to translate as "preaching" is often the word "dialog." There is no "office" of the preacher to stand before the audience and make minced-meat pie out of the inspired Word:

"But that this may be the case, the next immediate ordinance of the christian religion, namely,

the reading, I mean the musing upon, or studying the Holy Scriptures;
taking them up in their connexion, and
meditating upon the subjects they propose to our consideration, with a fixed contemplation of the various and important objects which they present.

This dutiful and religious use of the bible, (that most precious, sacred record of the wonderful works of God,

the only authentic source of all religious information,) is inseparably connected with, and indispensably necessary to, the blissful and all-important exercises of prayer and praise.

That would seem to exclude the "hymns" composed by sentimental poets which are often erotic and teach false doctrine.

Nor does singing need a Composer-Mediator (often claimed to be inspired) to chew and digest the Word of God to make it go down with a little bit of sugar:

"And again, 'Be you filled with the Spirit; speaking to yourselves, in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always to God and the Father, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Eph. v. 18-20.

"Hence it is evident, that if we would be spiritually minded, spiritually exercised in this delightful and heavenly employment,

we must be filled with the Spirit;
and if we would be filled with the Spirit,
we must be filled with the word;
the word of Christ must dwell in us richly;
for we have no access to the Spirit but in and by the word.

The Spirit is the Mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2) and "the Word of Christ is Spirit and Life (John 6:63). Therefore, we are not to look for a "person" to move into our body, take over our mind and cause us to try to get "spirit" out of our own compositions.

While modern Seeker forms of commercial evangelism feel the need for a worship facilitator (manipulator) to "bring the worshipers into the presence of God," Campbell believes that the worshiper comes into God's presence in the heart or mind as our spirits meet His Spirit (John 6:63) in His words.

"Therefore, "he that has ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." To take up the Word, then, in this manner, that we may thus come to God by it, learn his glorious character, be taught by him, enjoy the blissful communications of his Spirit, be made wise to salvation, thoroughly furnished to all good works,

is to make the proper and religious use of it;

is to worship God by it; and to enrich our souls with all spiritual and heavenly blessings that can be enjoyed in this life.

Thus says the Lord, "Hearken diligently to me, and eat you that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.Incline your ear and come to me; hear, and your soul shall live." Isaiah lv.2, 3.

This agrees with the Synagogue worship which was essentially dialoge: God speaks to us through His Word; we speak to Him in prayer. Furthermore, the revealed Scripture is the medium of learning and comfort of the Spirit of truth:

Again, "Blessed is he that reads, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein." Rev. i. 3. "Moreover, we have more sure the prophetic word, to which you do well to take heed, [This is a "worship word"] as to a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts; for the holy men of God, spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." 2d Pet. i. 19-21.

"This second epistle, beloved, I now write to you, that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandments of us, the apostles of the Lord and Saviour." 2d Pet. iii. 1, 2. "For whatsoever things were written aforetime, were written for our learning, that we, through patience and comfort of the scriptures, might have hope." Rom. xv. 4.

Acts 15:21 For Moses of old time hath in every city
        them that preach him,
        being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.

"Spirit" is not exhilaration or enthusiasm. Enthusiasm was coined by Philo to speak of those who were put into a charismatic fit of madness through mind manipulation by "talented" but idolatrous speakers and performing musicians. However, Jesus said that His Words were Spirit and Life and Paul (1 Cor. 2) said that the Mind of Jesus is the Holy Spirit of God. Therefore, those who compose their own songs and sermons are deliberate idolaters because they can no longer speak the Words of Christ:

Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. 1 Peter 1:11
And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. Revelation 19:10

The Restoration leaders understood this and, for a sacred moment, followed the absolute command of Jesus not to be called Rabbi or Father or Preacher -- there is only One of those.

We have noted in several articles on instrumental music, that the prophets and prophetesses in the "musical prophesying sense," actually held workshops or seminars to get new "sermon outlines" as they stole their new chants and music from one another. Unfortunately, this, like modern education, amounts to intellectual incest.

A second mark of those out of whose mouth the Word of God would not come in song and sermon was using women prophetesses or performers who were more Seeker-Friendly than men:

"Alas! alas! for its corruptors! Thus says the Lord of Hosts, Hearken not to the words of the prophets (sermons) that prophesy (songsters) to you: they make you vain. They speak a vision of their own heart, not out of the mouth of the Lord.

They say still to them that despise me, The Lord has said you shall have peace:
and they say to every one that walks after the imagination his own heart, No evil shall come to you.

For who has stood in the counsel of the Lord, and has perceived and heard his word? Who has marked his word and heard it?--I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.

But if they had stood in my counsel, and caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.

"Therefore, behold I am against the prophets, says the Lord, that steal my words every one from his neighbor. Behold I am against the prophets, says the Lord, that use their tongues, and say, He says. Behold I am against them that prophesy false dreams, says the Lord, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness. The prophet that has a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that has my word, let him speak my word faithfully; what is the chaff to the wheat? says the Lord. Is not my word like as a fire, says the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces? Jer. xxiii. 16-32.

Note: In Isaiah 13 where the self-composed sermons of the men and the songs of the women was empty or vanity by having a "worship committee" to try to worship for the people by the use of the violence of words: it was and is idolatry:

Shav (h7723) shawv; or 7775 shav; from the same as 7722 in the sense of desolating; evil (as destructive), lit. (ruin) or mor. (espec. guile); fig. idolatry (as false, subj.), uselessness (as deceptive, obj.; also adv. in vain): - false (-ly), lie, lying, vain, vanity.

The word "lightness" Campbell used is the Hebrew:

Qowl (h6963) kole; from an unused root mean. to call aloud; a voice or sound: - / aloud, bleating, crackling, cry (/ out), fame, lightness, lowing, noise, / hold peace, [pro-] claim, proclamation, / sing, sound, / spark, thundering, voice, / yell

"In consequence of such teaching as this, how is the third great and fundamental ordinance of our holy religion,

the religious use of the Divine Word, obscured and perverted.

With what uninteresting formality, and coldrife indifference, do many read it; even of those who place some part of their religious worship in daily reading a portion of Holy Scripture, as if the mere reading of it were to save them.

Under what a cloud of errors and prejudices are the generality introduced to this sacred book! Some calling it a sealed book; others, a book hard to be understood, nay,
...almost unintelligible, except to the learned or inspired; and others again, a dead letter.

Jesus absolutely outlawed (fired, dismissed, scattered or destroyed) professional "doctors of the law" and His reasoning was this:

Woe unto you, lawyers for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered. Luke 11:52

Thomas Campbell understands all too well that worship in spirit and in truth is destroyed by yarn spinning:

"The great majority of our modern teachers, like the false prophets of old, countenance and promote these errors and prejudices by their pretendedly learned or whimsical interpretations,

"spinning out lengthy discourses from a single sentence or clause of a sentence,
thus teaching the hearers to believe that nobody can understand it
but themselves.

In this manner they steal the word from the people,

feeding them with their own dreams and notions, instead of causing them to hear, and attend to the word of the Lord. TC

Woe unto you, lawyers for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered. Lu 11:52

Paul told Timothy how to conduct public worship in spirit and in truth:

Till I come, give attendance to (public) reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 1 Tim 4:13

Prosecho (g4337) pros-ekh'-o; from 4314 and 2192; (fig.) to hold the mind (3563 impl.) towards, i.e. pay attention to, be cautious about, apply oneself to, adhere to: - (give) attend (-ance, - ance at, -ance to, unto), beware, be given to, give (take) heed (to, unto) have regard.

Thomas Campbell already understood and Alexander Campbell allowed the professional clergy who refused to go out just what Scripture allowed them to be paid: How much was that? Not a pittance--

"From this brief scriptural view of the private and personal religion of every intelligent bible-taught christian, both internally and externally considered;

and this briefly contrasted with the popular religion of our day, we may clearly perceive an essential difference,

and be hereby enabled both to examine ourselves, and admonish others. [Thomas Campbell,The Christian Baptist, October 4, 1824, pp. 98-101.]

If we look for the introduction of error we will follow the blood trail to those who study in denominational schools or major in philosophy and then presume upon the grace and mercy of Christ by selling sick lambs to the easily-duped, poor customers.

Dr. Rubel Shelly appeals to Machiavelli to help people understand why those who have the law on their side refused to be "blown around by every wind of doctrine." However, the rest of the story is that Machiavelli goes on to show these people that their prayers will not work and they will (do) have to resort to force. Unfortunately, the rest of the story shows that Hitler followed the same plan.

Those who have made fools of the fools (Paul's warning) "pile on" by insisting that more and more of his "tribe" be added to the payroll. People are even hiring "Musical Worship Facilitators" (read "manipulators") to lead the worshipers into the presence of God. This is rank idolatry and would have faced the wrath of those who planned that restoring lost Christianity practices would exclude professionals not evangelists.

According to Thomas Campbell, the Restoration of the Ancient Order of Worship in spirit (mind) and in truth is a private and sacred duty consisting primarily of listening to God through His Word and responding to Him from our prayer closet -- not letting you know how much and to whom I give alms. The public assembly was not a place for others to perform the worship for the people who "paid their dues" in order to be in fellowship.

Until this is restored in your local congregation there is no American Restoration Movement and there is no worship inspirit and in truth.

Kenneth Sublett

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