The Exodus Pattern: When God Builds a Community

Kenneth Sublett, Hohenwald, Tennessee
Woodmont Hills: Is The Old Testament book of Exodus a pattern for building a church and for worship? Rubel Shelly's and Woodmont Hills' views are in identified tables and our comments are in black. If you wish you can scan through the claim for Exodus as God's approved pattern and look at our comments, additional comments in blue and links to other resources.

But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? Heb. 3:17

Giving Heed to the Word was the principle "act" of worship in the Christian Synagogue. "Preaching" Narrative Theology of cut-N-paste sermons was never an act of worship. Thomas Campbell and most older scholars define how the Word is the "Truth" of worship "in spirit" or in the mind which is the only kind and place God even bothers to look for. Outrageious Biblical illiteracy "among the scholars" is explained by Paul's teaching that "fools love to be fooled." Read how two people had to abandon churches built around pagan entertainment in order to discover the Word. Click and go down to where The Devil is Laughing to see how he and the watching world is not laughing WITH the new for-hire Bible Repudiators but laughing AT them and their followers just as the Israelites became a LAUGHINGSTOCK with their musical idolatry at Mount Sinai (Now the SCHOLAR'S pattern for worship and community.)

You must understand that many institutions of higher education and their product--the flood of professional preachers who do not believe the Bible as the unique document of all Christian faiths--feel a HIGHER CALLING to lead everyone into a rejection of the Bible as source for faith and practice.

Rubel Shelly believes and teaches:

Here is what God wants churches passionate about:

(1) "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,

(2) that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).

(3) "Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:36).

(4) "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: (5) While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (6) Since we have now been justified by his blood, (7) how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him!" (Rom. 5:8-9).

These are the essentials of Christian faith. It is this core message about Jesus that we share

in common with other

Bible-believing, cross-proclaiming, resurrection-confessing, born-again persons that constitutes us a church.

Outside the essence of the gospel,

there are other features that reflect our history and consensus interpretations of the larger biblical message.

When the kingdom did not come as Christ promised those who wrote the Bible went their own ways. John, for instance, hooked up with a Greek philosopher and borrowed the LOGOS concept and used it to explain Jesus Christ. However, either unknown or ignored is the fact that the LOGOS concept begins where John places it: in Genesis. Too bad that scholars miss the fact that DABAR is the Hebrew word.

Rubel Shelly: They had to strain the story of Jesus through philosophical sieves. They had to create and clarify special terms. They made entrance into their circles a matter of "enlightenment" as reflected in peculiar vocabulary and interpretations.

In the meanwhile, the core gospel has survived two millennia now in its narrative form of telling the big story through collections of little ones about Jesus.

Notice that this is not different from the anecdotes John used.

The little stories were strained through the Shelly Sifter of philosophy and the Bible writer's personal agenda: these are not TRUTH as the Gospel is TRUTH.

The Big Story or the CORE GOSPEL has survived through these little stories.

Our conclusion: The CORE is no more reliable than the sum of its parts: why should we trust Rubel Shelly's CORE GOSPEL as the TRUTH?

Shelly defines the narrative form as writers taking the literature and constructing a narrative for their own time, place, theological agenda and by sifting in Greek philosophy.

Apparently the Exodus is the new "paradigm"

LONGING FOR A HOMELAND: EXODUS (7/27/2001) Dr. Lynn Anderson will be speaking on Exodus - Longing for a Homeland, at The Cove - the Billy Graham Training Center. Registration available through the Cove.... [more]

Henry Blackaby, Experiencing God, is one of the Key Resources of Southern Baptists. His thesis is that just as Abraham, Moses and Christ got their assignment from God, you can also get your assignment if you know how to hear God speak to you. Thereafter, you might be the christ for your age.

Click for Dr. Shelly's agreement with Blackaby who claims apostolic power for today.

Agreement on Personal Indwelling This has links to other Blackaby's teachings.

Experience God by Henry Blackaby If Moses along with Jesus is one of the earlier examples then it seems logical to understand the Exodus event as an approved example rather than a warning of failure through music and self-seeking.

Exodus: When God Builds Community (Psalm 133)

It is not unusual that men would propose the Old Testament as having equal weight with the New Testament in defining faith and practice. While it is falsely claimed that Alexander and Thomas Campbell were unique and "peculiar" in using only the New Testament to define worship, it is a fact that almost every scholar of note had taught this along with the New Testament from the beginning of the church. We have collected a few examples here. Musical churches always have to resort to the Law of Moses for authority. This now includes musical worship teams which the Catholic Encyclopedia equates to Levitical musicians.

We submit this review as the Paul-ordained demand to dialog or to test the spirits. By looking beyond sermonizing we will be able to see that the "pattern" of Moses and the Law can never be a "paradigm" for Christian organization and worship.

Rather, we should not try to de-myth the story and restructure but to read the Exodus event "as it has been delivered to us." This will help us realize that the Temple worship was a "like the nations" worship by a people having forsaken God and on their way to captivity and death. We regret it if many are so soft that they see a challenge to any pattern as judgmentalism. However, the continual harping on "judgmentalism" can make the mind incapable of rationally evaluating human speech.

The thesis of this sermon seems to be:

--No one, especially churches of Christ, have found out how to be church.

--It is grossly inaccurate and horribly self-serving view of things to try to reconstruct a church according to a first century church.

But no one attempts to reconstruct Jerusalem or Corinth. The Word of Christ is the pattern.

--The Restoration Movement attempted to reconstruct the golden age of the church.

But this is not the fact.

--All denominations make the same claim.

No. The high church view now espoused by Shelly sees no need to even consult the Bible.

--By assuming to have restored the Biblical church one is terribly judgmental and divisive to the body of Christ apparently consisting of all denominations.

"The church of Christ" was held by most groups to be the name of the New Testament church. However, a denomination collects all congregations into one group with central headquarters. The church of Christ is no bigger than a local congregation. A denomination denominates itself by naming itself the Catholic church of Christ or Methodist church of Christ.

--Some imperfections of the early churches are noted.

But the goal of the church of Christ is to restore the Bible as pattern and not the Corinthian pattern. The dominant pastor makes all groups imperfect.

--In the meantime the best that God can do is to make us an authentic community of non-judgmental family members.

But if a direct operation of the Holy Spirit person can do that then why cannot He restore the church as "assembly" and teacher of the word rather than a self-seeking and legalistic "worshiping" clan?

--This community (read: commune as defined by the Bible) has hallmarks which we can identify when we see it even though we do not have the power to restore it.

Most of the senior members of the exodus "commune" were allowed to die before the tribes could enter Canaan. Consistent with this modern worship forms are quite destructive of older people.

Just about everyone before the latter-day "post modern, post biblical" people understand that there was no redemption in the Exodus. The pattern Dr. Shelly is proposing is that of a nation whome "God turned over to worship the starry host." Nevertheless, the S.U.N. can be "colored" as the S.O.N. not knowing that the S.U.N. is one of the starry hosts.

Because there is no New Testament restorable pattern, Dr. Shelly proposes to use the Exodus as God's attempt at forming community. Rather than the five facts about Jesus as the minimal gospel, the themes of the Exodus which we must restore are:

A pattern consisting of five themes of grace, pilgrimage, covenant, worship, and glory are the central elements of community for God's people in any age or setting.

But: One of the most repeated "patterns" in the Old and New Testament is the Exodus event which is universally defined as repudiation of God's Word and oral covenant, musical idolatry as a consequence, the giving of the Law of Moses "because of transgression," Israel becoming "strangers" no longer able to come into the presence of God (as repeated in most pulpits), God's conditional sentence of Israel to captivity and death, a total of 40 years wandering, hungering and thirsting, and according to Amos and Stephen the worship of the stars (parabolic of human wanderers in Jude and the book of Enoch using music), and going into Canaan as the place where God's sentence would be carried out as Israel was almost totally consumed by Canaanite Baalism.

This led to the elder's firing of God and demanding "set a king over us." The resulting Monarchy was defined by God as the kings carrying out of the death sentence on all of Israel and all of Judah except a tiny remnant. When this happened God would not respond until seventy years of discipline had been completed.

Now, look at the five essentials of Old Testament "church" in red. We will add some missed steps in blue.

Grace: Looking backward the prophets always understood the facts. God removed Israel from Egypt to fulfill His promise and to have mercy even upon unbelievers. He removed them primarily because they were polluting the name of Yahweh where Israel often lived worse than the nations around them.

Baptism: The New Testament sees the Red Sea as a type of Baptism. See Augustine's comments on Psalm 106 which refutes Dr. Shelly's thesis.

Celebration: Moses spake the song of victory but Miriam led the women out with instrumental music and dancing. This is intimately connected to "they sang His praises" but "quickly fell." Music is the universal theme that says: "We will not listen to and obey your commands, examples or even hints."

Gift of the Holy Spirit: Christ as Spirit, Rock, Manna and etc., led Israel but they rejected Him as less pleasing than Egyptian idolatry.

Pilgrimage: God led Israel to the foot of Mount Sinai to perform a test of their loyalty and they failed. This did not come as a surprise but because He had removed them from Egypt to protect His own Name and they had rejected His Word at the Red Sea, these tests to follow would make the reason their future destruction clear. It should also preclude using the Exodus as a God-ordained model for community.

Nostalgia: Israel brought their idols and musical instruments with them as parts of Egyptian worship.

Covenant: This was The Book of the Covenant consisting of ten words or commandments along with 70 elements of enabling legislation. It was essentially the Covenant made with Abraham and fulfilled by Christ according to Paul in Galatians.

The FALL with Musical Idolatry: The creation, flood, crossing the Red Sea and future "void and empty" Israel were types. As soon as Moses returned to the Mount for the written Covenant, Israel fell back into the musical worship of Apis as the agent of Osiris. Rising up to Play was singing, dancing, playing instruments and giving credit to themselves rather than Yahweh. In most paganism this was a "dramatic reinactment."

This was the "because of transgression" which caused God to give the The Book of the Law or the Second Law which "was in addition to the Covenant" now broken.

As a result, the Tabernacle as symbol of God's presence was guarded by Levites to keep everyone but the clergy away from God's symbolic presence. Only in Christ can we come boldly before the throne of grace as a "kingdom of priests."

Separation: As a result of the musical idolatry the Levites were "hired" to keep Israel which was now a nation of "strangers" away from the Tabernacle as the symbol of God's presence. They could never, until Messiah, come boldly before the throne of grace. The now-restored priests and clergy-musicians are symbolic of another fall back into the Monarchy as a "pattern" of pagan worship.

Worship: It was predicted in the Song by Moses recited to be learned, that Israel was on the path to destruction. Amos and Stephen claim that Israel did not worship Yahweh for these forty years. Rather, their worship was like that of the fallen angels or stars condemned by Peter, Jude and Enoch.

Glory: When the smoke or darkness filled the Tabernacle and Temple it prevented Moses and later the priests from "ministering" in the temple. However, the people prayed from "outside the camp" and God "heard from heaven" thereby bypassing the clergy in all ages.

The cloud was symbolic of the soothsayers or Babylonian enchanters and was more prophetic of the Temple-state than of God's abiding presence.

Idolatry: Israel did not honor God in Egypt, at Mount Sinai or for any of the 40 years of wandering. When they went into Canaan it was no longer the promised land but the "killing fields" of the nation as they joined themselves to Baal.

The Old Testament as an alternative pattern for Christian worship is common in most groups but denounced by most scholars. It was the pattern which caused the Disciples of Christ to fracture off (sectarianize) from the Restoration Movement. For instance, in DEDICATION SERMON by John Winebrenner churches are dedicated like the temple.

Rubel Shelly begins his sermon:

Rubel Shelly: We haven't figured out yet how to be the church.
What do we have to figure out? if we "accept the counsel of God for our lives" and are baptized for the remission of sins Christ adds us to His Body. Maybe, our views of baptism have slipped so severely that we don't understand that church has headquarters in heaven, and on earth it is simply "assembly" for study of the Word and remembering Christ's sacrifice. The "social gospel" of this idealized church did not attempt to reshape the outside world or become a benevolent society to unbelievers. Rather, its goal was to prepare the body through teaching to be a leavening influence in their own arena of life and to be able to resist the winds of false doctrine. In this, most have not figured out how to be a church.

Rubel Shelly: I know that goes against the understanding some people have of the history of the Church of Christ.

Conclusion: churches of Christ
claim to have figured out how to be the church. Well, perhaps too many individuals have, but the "church of Christ" is defined by Christ and not by mortal men whom, we hope, will be recipients of the grace extended so graciously to the denominational world whatever their beliefs.

Why are churches of Christ singled out? Isn't it a fact that Calvinists have figured out how to be church--in their own eyes? Have Baptists not claimed to be the exclusive church: the internet is squirming alive with claims to uniqueness down to the unique one of the about 146 bodies of Baptists. If churches of Christ are identified by them as a "cult" how can they figure out what is not the church unless they have figured out how to be church? Are Catholics not recipients of the "one true church?" Certainly, by definition, anyone who subscribes to a religion believes that they have found the best one. This was not invented by churches of Christs.

Most models are wrong because the first tenet of the assembly (not church) is to "teach the word" and even the edification role is not "singing for excitement" or to pay God some owed praise; it is education through the Word without trying to single out a few key "acts of invented rituals" or cutting and pasting passages.

The solution is not to borrow a secular or denominational model but to return to the Bible as the teaching curriculum rather than as the grab-bag raw materials for constructing our own songs and sermons. Christ the Spirit was competent to deliver the Word which, if understood, will bring about spiritual revival without professional help. Christ sent the evangelists to the lost and not to build ministry-supporting and centerd "communities" or communes.

The Sabbath was not a day for worship in rituals but for rest. Jesus came to give us rest from the burden of rituals. God will still come with His ten thousands of saints unless:

And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. Isaiah 58:12

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
: Is.58:13

Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. Isaiah 58:14

This sound's like Jesus' "worship in spirit" or in the mind or heart.

The rituals at the temple were the common rituals of all temple states and not a way to honor God.

Rubel Shelly: In a book Randy Harris and I did together a few years ago, we wrote about what we dubbed the Golden Age-Great Pit Theory of Church History.

On this grossly inaccurate and horribly self-serving view of things, the church described in the Book of Acts corresponds perfectly to God's ideal.

The church had a "golden age" of unity, doctrinal purity, and successful evangelism. When the apostolic era came to an end, however, the church departed from the divine plan and plunged into the "great pit" of apostasy.

"This latest philosophy of brethren Shelly and Harris demands that one abandon the "deep rut" error that the New Testament is a pattern for the church; they reject that pattern.

"They write that man seeks a "paradigm for imitation," which they will give in their book, they say (p. 5); yet, they write, "We reject a rigid 'pattern theology'" (p. 31). Anyone can see that this is double-talk. I take it that they feel that putting such self-contradictions far enough apart in their book will disguise these opposing, irreconcilable, and unbelievable statements from the readers; however, one recognizes that the word "paradigm" means pattern! Are they saying God will not/does not give a pattern but they will? How presumptuous! We are not fooled; we will not follow these blind leaders in rejecting the New Testament pattern to concoct a "paradigm" of their own." The Restoration: The Winds Of Change, Jim Laws, ed. (Pulaski, TN: Sain Publications, 1993), p. 509.

The views of men like the Campbells never looked for a human incarnation of the church or more properly Christian assembly. Their view was a common view that to enable unity of worship among people holding diverse views it was absolutely necessary to strip the church of everything which did not have a command from the Scripture. Christ and His Word was held to be the 'golden age' and certainly not the church in Corinth which was Rubel's "unity in diversity" paradigm. If the ideal church is not defined in the Word then we should all abandon the effort. See Campbell's Declaration and Address.

We are not aware that anyone in the Restoration Movement wants to restore the church to the Corinthian or Jerusalem model. Rather the goal was to speak where the Bible speaks and restore the church to the Christ-inspired model of Scripture. That model was not complete until the epistles had the Spirit of Christ defining what was wrong (judgmental?) and replacing it with the right.

We are aware of people who see the Corinthian church as a model for speaking in tongues which was speaking from their own spirit and therefore just speaking into the air. That is, they were inventing their own songs and sermons and the implications are clear that they still favored musical instruments. This is still the model for many, many churches but not for churches of Christ.

It is not truth to say that it was "grossly inaccurate and horribly self-serving" to suggest that the church rapidly fell into the pit. If it had not then Scriptural prophecy would have lied. One of the first grossly inaccurate and horribly self-serving falls into the pit was the notion of "clergy-laity" and dividing the church into territories. Later writings, such as the Didache, tried to restore the view of the self-proclaimed apostles or prophets by giving them a hearing and judging their honesty by whether they went on to the next area within a few days. The "golden age" is held by the Restoration Movement to be the visible presence of Christ and not the outward institutions:

"As a Church it is founded on Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone--it is the Body of Christ and He is the Head that in all things He may have the preeminence--He is the vine and we are the branches, and therefore we cannot afford to cut ourselves off from that golden age--those early days when He was manifested in the flesh; nor from all the days of His manifestation in the history of His Church. When the Church refuses to take note of what is behind, it is in danger of becoming something other than the Church of Christ. But the Church is called to live in the present and she must always be alive to this fact, or she is in danger of failing to show to the world the Christ whom she worships--in fact, of becoming an organisation rather than an organism. William Robinson

Rubel Shelly: At a point in time roughly equivalent to the work of Alexander Campbell, Barton W. Stone, and others in the history of the Church of Christ, the church returned to its "golden age" of unity, doctrinal purity, and successful evangelism.

We believe that this is fabricated.
At least we know of no evidence. As with most of these writings there is a total lack of understanding of the views of the Restoration Movement. No one ever suggested that it was the "golden age" of doctrinal purity in any ancient congregation. That only happened when the views of "successful evangelism" were corrupted, primarily in the 20th century when evangelists reverted to their old denominational views that they should be paid pastors (pappas) under the "High Church" or Disciples of Christ path returning to their roots in Catholicism, Church of England, Anglican, Methodist views. This essentially cut off support to the true ministers of the gospel.

We are not aware of any early defender of returning to the Bible who suggested that they were perfect or that they had restored doctrinal purity. However, that has been the quest of honest men since the time of Christ. Contrary to defining churches of Christ as legalistic for demanding Commands, examples or inferences for those things which will allow community among diverse people, the Bible and all of the historical figures held that restoration was possible and that it must be based upon stated Biblical doctrine. See our list from history.

The Restoration Movement did claim unique perfection for seeing a distinction between the "pattern" of Moses and the non-worship in the wilderness and the Christian church. Or between the Monarchy under human rulers as a paradigm for modern Worship. This, too, was a universal view held by earlier theologians.

The theory of the RM was that by stripping the denominations of these views which had been imposed without Biblical authority it would be possible for all groups to meet together to worship. It never held that all groups could be united in an organization. Organizational efforts was the sowing of discord or sectarianizing by those who introduced instruments into a generally non-musical religious world and by trying to build an organization to encompass "Christendom." That was NOT churches of Christ.

As with all of the revival of a soft theology, to debate ones views of Scripture suddenly becomes judgmental. Of course, this is a violent use of human psychology to bully-boy others into silence. This helps support the "one man ministry" where the preacher fills the priestly role of being the dispenser of truth and it helps silence those who might become "judgmental" by, in Dr. Shelly's example, questioning one of our programs.

This can be defended only by restoring the pattern under the Law of Moses.

Rubel Shelly: One problem with this view (church of Christ) of church history is that practically every denomination has its own version of it -- with only the names and dates for the return (i.e., reformation, restoration, rediscovery) of the "golden age."

The "living church paradigm" of Catholicism and all of its decendants down to the Disciples is that a church outgrows the first century patterns of the Bible and conforms to culture by inventing and improvizing in order to attract attendees -- whatever the cost. Many denominations see conforming to Paul's pattern against external melody as legalistic.

The church of Christ, by definition, is not just another denomination. A denomination is a group with headquarters, a nominal head (the disciples head is much like the pope), dues from every congregation, control of church property, the right to assign "pastors," the right to publish universal bible study materials including a creed. The church of Christ has never given up congregational autonomy and to call it a denomination is to pervert Webster and the Britannica.

Churches of Christ are congregational with no organization larger than the local congregation governed and taught by elders as the only, unpaid, pastor-teachers of the flock.

However, the theme coined by this group is that the church of Christ is a big, ugly denomination. False and a lie but it has become the mantra of the "little flock" attempting to make a denomination with world-wide meetings and dispensing the latest paradigm of music and drama sold as "worship."

Rubel Shelly: Another problem is that it is terribly judgmental and divisive to the body of Christ, allowing each group with this view of history to judge all other denominations as

(minimally) inferior attempts to recapture the church of the New Testament or

(maximally) false human systems in which people can only delude themselves into thinking they are Christian.

A Church of Christ was defined by Christ the ROCK in the wilderness.  It has a simple pattern and no ROLE and not DOLE

EXCLUSIVE of vocal or instrumentnal rejoicing or rhetoric
INCLUSIVE of Rest, Reading and Rehearsing the Word.

If you missed Synagogue-Ekklesia 101a then you should NOT be caught seeing godliness as a means of financial Gai.

Synagogue Alfred Edershein
Synagogue by John Calvin
John Calvin who understood that the LOGOS is the Regulative Principle called for A Restoration of the Church of Christ

But how are we going to
not allow others to judge denominations as unscriptural when Dr. Shelly takes the liberty of allowing himself to do the same to churches of Christ? Part of the growing ecumenical world heralded by the Catholic Jubilee and the United Nations is to construct a pattern of ethics which will prohibit one group from criticizing another. Perhaps when this comes, Dr. Shelly can be on the team to not allow each group to have their view of history.

It may be psychological manipulation to harp on the non-judgmental mantra. While this article is harshly judgmental of churches of Christ, the 'audience' will not hear that part of the message. What they hear is that they should not be judgmental of our Sunday School program or whatever I, the dominant pastor with the consent of my elders as board of directors decide to do.

Perhaps if we can restore the Mosaic golden-age pattern we can not allow each person to have their own opinion. Until then, all people have their opinions and being a member of the church of Christ dose not give one a dose of terminal judgmentalism. Several in history have noted that there are two ways for unity and certainly Machiavelli and Hitler would concur:

Have everyone convert to my views

Or kill them.

Why would it be judgmental for me to believe that the church can be restored and not judgmental for Dr. Shelly to accuse those who attempt it as being terribly judgmental and divisive? In our little mind the only way not to be divisive would be for everyone to subscribe to one universal, world-wide creed. If one cannot decide then why should Dr. Shelly's paradigm be better than other's pattern?

Dr. Shelly is delusional if he does not think that this judgmentalism flows from the denominations toward the church of Christ even as it flows in this sermon. No group other than Catholicism and Jehovah's Witnesses gets blasted on the Web more than the "cult" church of Christ. Baptists love Dr. Shelly for blasting churches of Christs as a denomination. As far as I know Jubilee has been the only movement in modern history to try to collectivize churches of Christ by having Jubilee dispense the latest fad such as "lifting holy hands" or "laying on of hands" or the use of instrumental music in worship. This is followed up by teaching methods and even the ancient Gnostic revival of Zoeism to teach the churches how to lead worship with music and drama. We have even noted what would have been called Asherah poles at Jubilee.

By an equal-but-opposite judgmentalism, Dr. Shelly defines all other denominations as "the body of Christ." No difference: it is the same judgmentalism for which Dr. Shelly has no authority. If churches of Christ hold the Biblical view that baptism is Christ's operative means of Saving, and Dr. Shelly holds the Baptist view that baptism is a sign of salvation by faith then both views cannot be right.

Dr. Shelly never misses an opportunity to be judgmental against churches of Christ when the Bible and all of church history supports our view against "performing" music of any kind. Therefore, it seems to most churches of Christ that it is Woodmont Hills judgmentally clearly defining churches of Christ as:

(minimally) inferior attempts to recapture the church of the New Testament or

(maximally) false human systems in which people can only delude themselves into thinking they are Christian.

Dr. Shelly has already judged as "grossly inaccurate and horribly self-serving view of things" that the church fell into a pit from which everyone should try to restore it. The view of the Restoration Movement is that the golden age as held by the Spirit of Christ which is His Word and was not that Jerusalem was the ideal. Jerusalem in equated to Sodom (Rev 11:8; Isaiah 1:10) and part of God's mission was to have the temple destroyed for the third and final time.

Rubel Shelly: But the fundamental problem with the Golden Age-Great Pit Theory is simply that it is historical fiction.

This is certainly a fact.
However, this theory came out of the head of Rubel Shelly and not from the Bible or any church history we are aware of. It is a view which can never arise from churches organized Biblically with elders overseeing and teaching the flock and the "evangelists" without an office but on the go to preach to those who have never heard the Word. This view arises in most groups organized around the "pastor" who has to eternally fight for his turf.

These views were all hatched by book writers (paper popes) and "pastors" bundling together in world-wide meetings for "spiritual revival." Those hated "rurals" never hatch such cockatrice eggs.

Matt. 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Matt. 28:19 Go ye therefore, and TEACH all nations,
        baptizing them in the name [singular] of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Matt. 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:
        and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

If you cannot read BLACK text on BROWN paper you may be the strongly deluded. Lying Wonders. Jesus said there is no statute of limitations and there is no more pieces to the PATTERN.  Evanglists are commande to go AND pay as you GO.

Rubel Shelly: For one thing, the church in its concrete existence has never fully embodied the ideal of God.

But how can one tell with such judgmental certainty?

Jesus warned us not to go looking for the kingdom of God with our eyes and ears because the "kingdom of God is within you." So it is unclear that 2000 years of history has been examined to make such a claim. Maybe the church is fully embodied when 30 people meet to learn and honor Christ Who can be seen without trying to look through performing speakers and musicians. Maybe the church is fully concrete when the elders as pastor-teachers equip each member to do their own worship and be able to resist rather than "navigate" the "winds of change." Perhaps, the eunuch embodied the body of Christ when he returned to Ethiopia.

Spiritual maturity is not the "fruit of the local embodiment" but of Christ the Spirit who lives in the human heart or spirit and not in buildings made by human hands.

And, too, Jesus defined "worship" as in spirit which means in the mind. He proved this both by His direct commands and his examples. It might be that the church was fully embodied when John worshiped "in spirit" on the Lord's Day as Jesus commanded him. Perhaps it was only the solitude of "in spirit" worship which allowed John to hear the voice of Jesus. It is manifestly a fact that one cannot spiritually observe the Lord's Supper when we sing some sentimental and at times unscriptural song to "prepare our minds."

When Jesus stood up to read the Word He had the common decency to sit down so the focus was upon the Word. Dr. Shelly's problem is that he is looking for love in all the wrong places and cannot grasp the fact that the Christian religion freed us from institutions which, contrary to the rest of this sermon, is the temple of ultimate selfishness because we can hire some trained people practicing "the idolatry of talent" to perform our worship so that it leaves no energy or motivation for individual acts of worship out in the marketplace. And the "ministries" relieves us of individual responsibility as a restoration of the Midianite structure which God predicted would destroy Israel when they demanded a king.

Rubel Shelly: The church of the apostolic age was beset by every type of sin still current among believers. Social, moral, doctrinal, and familial failures were all there.

Perhaps it was
individuals and not "the church" who failed. Even if the correct church is reincarnated won't it still have "tares" and "suckers" to disturb the wheat and catfish? No one ever suggested that any first century assembly was Christ's perfect model. In fact most people can grasp that they were negative models so that Christ could add His remedial. Didn't Paul write to correct problems which, if successful, would have met with his approval?

Rubel Shelly: Leaders were sometimes beset by greed or lust for power, and a lamentable lack of commitment to Christ marked any number of those early congregations.

It is hard for this reviewer to believe that the church is
still not beset by greed and lust for power. Vocational ministry was the norm even for the priests and Levites under the Law. It was the norm for Paul and all clergy roles were required to have a secular job. Not even the priests and Levites were fed, clothed and housed when not on duty in the temple. If they needed a new "chariot" they made shoes or tents. How can we stand as theatrical performers speaking our own words and claim that we are committed to Christ? We have noted that some shout and wave their hands and plead: "Don't look at me, look at Christ." Really?

Rubel Shelly: I repeat for emphasis: There has never been a single perfect congregation nor has there ever been a period during which the collective church of that time accomplished God's will with absolute fidelity. There is no such church today. There will be no such church ever until Jesus returns and consummates his redemptive work by presenting his bride to God for her glorification in his presence.

We got it! Failure and "grace" is almost always used to validate our "doing wrong but God will forgive us." However, the failures of the initial, forming churches will not excuse us. Furthermore, grace is the power of God to be conformed to the Mind of Christ. That comes through "giving heed" to the Words of Christ and not a 2,000 year removed pattern extractor from "the flawed Bible."

Christ as "the Spirit says" spoke to some of these congregations and corrected some errors. With these corrected they would be a fully embodied church of Christ even though not everyone was perfect. If perfection is the desired pattern then Dr. Shelly should give up. Does he suggest that while churches of Christ have not made it (under his preaching) Woodmont Hills can do it (under his preaching)?

A mechanic broke my daughter's automobile air conditioner. He said that he would fix it for $300.00. Hm!

Again, Dr. Shelly misunderstands the epistles which he writes off as the divided view of the apostles. This is the reason for writing off all things as authority but the five facts about Jesus. The fact is that the New Testament shows the churches making mistakes and then having an Apostle guided directly by "Jesus of Nazareth" as pure or Holy Spirit to write out the problems and define a cure. Peter said that he was "providing the memory" of what had been revealed rather than holding some first century church up as an ideal.

If we cut pieces of wood from pieces of wood or judge ourselves by our ourselves perhaps it would be better to "return to the pattern" rather than give up because we cannot find a stick which meets our perfect standards.

One problem was super apostles or theatrically trained speakers demanding wages of the church without fulfilling their missions. Paul corrected that and put evangelists on the par with the oxen who gets fed while it is threshing. Others he defines as robbers unless they were evangelizing.

In our youth agents were "evangelists" of terracing land and growing cover crops. When the "family" understood the skills, the evangelist went on to his next job. The threshing mules didn't try to find a stall in the barn.

Another problem was the mistaken view of Jewish worship which he corrects by clear reference in the Corinthians and Romans to the musical idolatry at Mount Sinai and the women's role in revealing in paganism. He silenced women in the assembly and preaching with a tune does not abrogate Paul's absolute prohibition.

Dr. Shelly is beginning a discussion of Exodus by defining certain chapters as a pattern for "worship." He does not grasp that the prescribed worship was for the "clergy" while the people were now defined as "strangers" not able to come into God's presence because of their musical idolatry.

Rubel Shelly: In the meanwhile, the most God can do with us and the best we can have with one another is an authentic experience of community as the body of Christ in the world. And that is no small thing.

I just wish God had more power!

The goal of the Greeks, like that of Willow Creek and Woodmont Hills, was achieved by the same process:

"Tribal groups (congregations?) had been brought together in a political community (denomination?)
legal rights to individuals, and the authority of the dike, established custom, had been transformed into diakaiosyne, the ideal justice that must be interpreted and implemented by human intelligence.

By a parallel process, the worship of Dionysus ceased to consist merely of the traditional group songs and dances, developing into dramatic performances portraying specific individuals and presenting new interpretations of the meaning of life." (Parkes, Henry Bamford, Gods and Men The Origins of Western Culture, p. 207, Knopf)

I just love that word "authentic" it seems about as popular these days as "exactly." By his definition I clearly hear him saying that the view of the church of Christ is not authentic but defending a grossly inaccurate and horribly self-serving view.

Those are not Biblical words. Community was already established in the local communities. The "assembly" was designed to be, like the synagogue, a school of the Bible and not a makes work project of the social gospel. Again, Paul corrected certain things like wine-drinking in the assembly while Dr. Shelly defines the Lord supper as "bread and wine." Corinth was not even eating the Lord's supper because people were destroying the existing community through the "cult of personalities." If you look at most "ministries" systems and examine the Monarchy where the elders demanded "set a king over us" you will see that it will "burn out" the faithful and fail because it attempts, like Nimrod, to "create spiritual regeneration through external means."

All of the Restoration Movement leaders knew as well as Dr. Shelly that the church is filled with false prophets. Our solution is not to look for a direct operation of the Spirit to build up what we are so good at destroying. To understand Peter's warning against looking at external affairs we need to understand that Jesus is the Spirit and therefore we need to restore a "spiritual" understanding by looking at the correctives taught by Christ as Spirit. The "golden age" could be restored by putting Christ at the "o-center" rather than being a performer-o-centric assembly.

Peter states that:

For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. 2 Peter 1:21

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

Paul always equates the "Holy Spirit" to Christ or the Spirit of Christ. For instance those moved by the Holy Ghost were moved by Christ as the Word:

Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: 1 Cor 1:6

So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ 1 Cor 1:7

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. Rev 19:10

Again, Paul identifies the primary gift as the Words or Mind of Christ:

But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 1 Cor 2:10

For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 1 Cor 2:11

Our spirit is not "another person" operating without our body and God's Spirit is God's mind or the Mind of Christ.

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 1 Cor 2: 12

Which things also we speak, not in the words which mans wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 1 Cor 2: 13

Christ ordained and trained these men to accomplish that very purpose. Therefore, it is not possible to claim such spiritual power that what the Holy Spirit has already taught can be modified to make it more usable to the paying audience.

If Christ the Spirit is incompetent to put His will in writing then how much more powerful would He have to be to "infuse" spiritual life into us today?

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they (words) are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Cor 2: 14

But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 1 Cor 2: 15

For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him?

But we have the mind of Christ. 1 Cor 2: 16

A false prophet ignores the inspired words of the epistles and the cause of error then and now is explained:

BUT there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2 Peter 2:1

And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. 2 Peter 2:2

And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. 2 Peter 2:3

For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; 2 Peter 2:4

And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; 2 Peter 2:5

Therefore, if we are going to get a picture of the "authentic community" we should not wait for a latter-day direct operation of the Holy Spirit as a "person." To do so denies that Christ is the Spirit and has already defined the assembly and defined-away the outward flaws so earnestly restored by those who deny the finished work of Christ.

When you do find "the church" you will find that it is a very simple, quiet meeting of a group to learn the Word, honor Christ in the supper and care for one another. It if has a gifted student it can also send him out into the world to preach.

The Quest for Community
Rubel Shelly:The concern of modern man has been self-discovery, individuation, and -- to use the term of Robert Bellah -- "radical individualism." I will allow no infringements on my personal goals and desires. Nobody will tell me what to do. I've gotta be me! Frank, Elvis, and I are each gonna do it "my way" --

even if it destroys us, our families, and takes all of us straight to hell!

And the most scandalous thing about all this is that it describes not just the plight of the world but also the broken, fragmented, and divided state of the church.

The communist or community mind just hates for the "human material" to have their own ideas.
Some views from the ZOE movement and Look to the Hills:

"It is Noll's thesis that Carl Jung created a select, elite group of spiritual initiates that would lead the rest of society to redemption [Jubilee was always connected to redemption and atonement]. Jung was influenced by Eugen Diederichs who "called for just such a spiritual aristocracy to lead" post-war Germany. (p. 87)

Diederichs also, believed that "being truly religious means being irrational" and that his calling as a publisher was to "push the irrationalist character of religion into the foreground" and assist in creating "a new mythos" or "mystique" (paradigm) for the spiritual reawakening of the Germanic peoples."

"Jung was also influenced by Count Hermann Keyserling and was a prominent lecturer at Keyserling's Schule der Weisheit (School of Wisdom) which taught yoga and other esoteric doctrines.

"Keyserling trained his metaphysically superior elite to lead the spiritual reawakening of the world.

His goal was "to develop sages from fragments of men" and to develop "the true leader of the future"...the metaphysically "chosen" agents of cultural change in the modern world. (Noll. p. 94)

"Was Jung a utopian? According to Noll, Jung hoped that through his methods of psychoanalysis that his "patients would not only heroically suffer psychological crucifixions and heal themselves, but afterwards they could redeem society as well by becoming initiates of this new secret wisdom of the ages...

In a section on "Individuation and Collectivity"... Jung proposes linking individual spiritual development with the fate of humankind, using such statements as,

"The individual is obliged by the collective demands to purchase his individuation at the cost of equivalent work for the benefit of society." (p. 232)

"Through the techniques Jung taught his patients, which he expected them to practice well after therapy was over,
they could access the religious wisdom of the ages. If they survived the initial ordeal without permanent damage,
they could announce these insights from the ancestors and apply them to the rest of society,
redeeming humanity by leading it to a spiritual awakening.
As these initiates, the elite corps of the individuated, can receive information directly from the collective unconscious (the land of the ancestors or the dead), they have the advantage and, indeed, the obligation, to proselytize this new doctrine for the benefit of society. (The Jung Cult: Origins of a Charismatic Movement by Richard Noll (Princeton University Press, 1994, p. 232-233)

Shelly - Harris quote Hans Kung's view of the "now but not yet" kingdom. It is significant that others feel the need for Christ when He said that He would return as the "another Comforter" (John 14:16-18) as head of His Church, His Kingdom which is spiritual and not discerned by human seekers. Others agree and say:

"The Second Coming of Christ, therefore, is through the Church, not Jesus returning in the flesh; we should not wait for Him to return in order to set the world in order,

but we are to take His authority over the world and the spiritual realm now. This concept reduces Jesus to just one part of a greater whole. (Dager, p. 148)

A "Spirit of Jesus" view would be to decide to try to live like Him and not try to worship in ways which He not only did not teach but repudiated. For instance? Instrumental music, for instance. It was prophesied that the clergy would try to 'triumph' over Him even as Lucifer tried to triumph over God. How? By playing their music and trying to get Him to sing and dance.

The sacrificial view is to forego instruments so that we can hear Jesus even if the world's religion ridicules us even as Dr. Shelly does. We could cut out all of the persecution and attract the seekers just by adding musical worship teams and instruments. That would be the easy "I gotta be me" approach.

To claim that not using instruments is a me-focused view is truly strange!

Divisive and judgmental? Let all be aware that it was the addition of choirs and instruments into an otherwise united church (Baptists, Presbyterians, churches of Christ: all) which divided it in order to please me. The process was the creation of a sect which adopted music in "making a choice" to reject the universal view that music is destructive to spiritual worship. Yes, even the Catholic Encyclopedia.

That view can just as easily be embodied in a "church" or para-religious organization. We say, "I don't care what momma don't low, I'll play my music any how." Others are "decadent and deleterious" and we will, spite of hell, sow discord among brethren by teaching and modeling instrumental music in worship, "raising holy hands" or "laying on of hands" or any number of efforts at prayerful brinkmanship in an attempt to restructure the whole group in my image.

What follows will seem to contradict this statement by demanding that no member of the "community" has a right to question any other member. It must endorse or affirm them. Isn't this "radical individualism." Does it perhaps not mean that no one will tell the pastor what to do while the pastor tells others what to do and what not to do? Not critiquing another seems almost like a law.

Perhaps this mind control explains why Woodmont members get so upset when the authorities are questioned.

Rubel Shelly: Yet there is something deep inside us that cries out for community. We created the League of Nations and later the United Nations to pursue political community among nations. We lament the need for someone to show us how to create social community among people divided by race, culture, and geography. We are so lonely for community that we try to find meaningful relationships through bridge, football, or literature.

No, we created these institutions as
police agencies to help control men like Hitler, Stalin and beyond. One might suggest that we are so lonely for mass meetings or playing inane games because we are hungering and thirsting for the Word and cannot, as Amos warned, find it because the leadership has turned to wine, women, instrumental music and too-frequent tithing and control over the people.

Most people I know are still working and long for a day of rest on Saturday in order to build up strength for Sunday as the most stressful day of the week. They long to get into the country and walk with Jesus beside the gently flowing Piney creek and just hate it when the phone rings. Perhaps, after all, Jesus was correct in putting down ritualism and mass meetings as mind control over the superstitious.

Rubel Shelly: What the world needs and what the church is supposed to offer as counter-culture to the world is community. Call it fellowship or simply a place to belong. But it is a place where the walls get torn down and people are permitted to embrace one another as kindred in the family of God.

All of the congregations I have attended living around the country seemed like home and family the first day I attended. I suggest that what Dr. is longing for is to a world-wide religious community so that whatever one's views they can be embraced as kindred in the family of God. Well, if Scripture makes any sense, the overwhelming majority are not God's family. However, it is quite easy for individuals to be totally in fellowship with all kinds of people for 168 hours a week. What is lusted after is a 'one hour' assembly where no statement of right or wrong is permitted.

True, the church is supposed to be counter-cultural but then how can we do that and try to become more like the world in order to attract those who are seeking nothing spiritual? The religious world of the time of Christ and Paul was heavily involved with women prophetesses, wine, instrumental music and other mind-control devices to "move the worshiper into the presence of God." To be counter-cultural, the church could just sit down, remove the pressure of anxiety-merchants, and just listen to Christ speak through His Word. After all, the sermons have already been preached and the songs composed. No person from any group would be offended by that. However, when you begin to add rituals dedicated to the senses you have decided beforehand that you will alienate and divide the family members who cannot tolerate the anxiety.

People love diversion but they do not need to have their waking moments organized and monitored.

Rubel Shelly: Long before the church was created, this longing was already being expressed by a writer in Israel. He wanted the nation to be a genuine community. He longed for the benefits that would come from such a fellowship among the children of Israel.

How very good and pleasant it is
when kindred live together in unity!
It is like the precious oil on the head,
running down upon the beard,
on the beard of Aaron,
running down over the collar of his robes.
It is like the dew of
which falls on the mountains of Zion.
For there the
Lord ordained his blessing,
life forevermore (Psalm 133).

Dwell means to sit down quietly as if in ambush or "at home." The word is not "praise the Lord but whisper.

Kindred are family related.

Families don't do rituals: they come together, kick off their shoes, argue politics with "father" and find sanctuary from the world. Historically, the "assembly" and especially the Lord's Supper was a "family" affair where the world was excluded.

It is not possible to have a Family of God and have to organize it to the last jot and tittle.

However, David wrote:

Surely I will not come into the tabernacle of my house, nor go up into my bed; Psalm 132:3

I will not give sleep to mine eyes, or slumber to mine eyelids, Psalm 132:4

Until I find out a place for the Lord, an habitation (residence) for the mighty God of Jacob. Psalm 132:5

God doesn't fit in houses or boxes (arks).

The Hallmarks of Community
Rubel Shelly: Such a community is safe for everyone in it. That is, nobody has to be defensive with the others there. Nobody tries to fix you or change you. You are allowed to become your free and redeemed self by the power of the Holy Spirit living in you. Any change in you is his doing -- not yours to please the rest nor theirs as manipulation of you.

Church is not "community" but as ekklesia is "community meeting." See the difference? The neighborhood meetings at the local church just down the valley is the community assemblying as an ekklesia. However, the monthly meetings do not take up collections to hire staff to plan the INDIVUATED lives of individual families.


Isaiah 4:1 AND in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel; only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.

The Spirit OF Christ is describing the evil condition which existed at the First and Last Advent.

mŭlĭer ,I. Transf., as a term of reproach, a woman, i. e. a coward, poltroon: “non me arbitratur militem, sed mulierem,Plaut. Bacch. 4, 8, 4.

Isaiah 4: 2 In that day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious, 
        and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely 
        for them that are escaped [remnant] of Israel.

germen , ĭnis, n. Sanscr. root grabh-, grah-, to conceive; garbh-as, child; whence, brephos (for grephos), germanus, perh. gremium, I. [select] a sprig, offshoot, sprout, bud
B. Transf.: “cara maris, i. e. precious stones,:frontis,” i. e. a horn,

Isaiah 4: 3 And it shall come to pass, 
        that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, 
        shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem:

6918.  qadowsh, kaw-doshe´; or qadosh, kaw-doshe´; from 6942; sacred (ceremonially or morally); (as noun) God (by eminence), an angel, a saint, a sanctuary:—holy (One), saint.

6942. qadash, kaw-dash´; a primitive root; to be (causatively, make, pronounce or observe as) clean (ceremonially or morally):—appoint, bid, consecrate, dedicate, defile, hallow, (be, keep) holy(-er, place), keep, prepare, proclaim, purify, sanctify(-ied one, self), x wholly.

Isaiah 4: 4 When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.Isaiah 4: 6 And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat,  and for a place of refuge [covert], and for a covert from storm and from rain.

, i, n. umbra 
I. any thing that furnishes shade).
Lit., a shady place, bower, arbor, Varr. R. R. 1, 51, 2; Cic. Fragm. ap. Macr. S. 6, 4; Verg. E. 9, 42.—
II. A sunshade, parasol, umbrella, Ov. F. 2, 311; id. A. A. 2, 209; Mart. 14, 28, 1;
        ē-rŭdĭo . to free from roughness, brought to perfection polish, educate, instruct, teach (freq. and class.; cf.: doceo, edoceo, praecipio, instituo).
        En en paidotribou, en kitharistou, at the school of Ar.Nu.973,

Eph. 5:26WEB That he might sanctify and cleanse it
        with the washing of water
        [INTO] the word,   (In Verbo, En, Eis) into the Word or School of Christ
        Into Converto , epistles of a writer, to be occupied in,  Into —In eccl. Lat., to convert to Christianity, etc.: “
        aliquem ad fidem Christi,

Plat. Theaet. 206a Socrates But would you not rather accept the opposite belief, judging by your own experience when you were learning to read?
 In learning, you were merely constantly trying to distinguish between the letters both by sight and by hearing, keeping each of them distinct from the rest, that you might not be disturbed by their sequence when they were spoken or written.
Theaetetus That is very true.
Socrates And in the music school was not perfect attainment
sunoida , pf. with pres. sense, 1pl.Isoc.3.59, LXX Jb.27.6, 1 Ep.Cor.4.4; suneidotes hautois with full consciousness
2. conscience, “hupo suneidotos eparrēsiazeto agathouPaus.7.10.10
II. share the knowledge of something with somebody, to be implicated in or privy to it,
1Peter 3:21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer [request for]  of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
suneidēsis , eōs, , A.knowledge shared with another, tōn algēmatōn 2. communication, information, heurēseis s.
4. consciousness, awareness
Sēcūrĭtas , ātis, f. securus,
I.  freedom from care, unconcern, composure.
vacandum omni est animi perturbatione,
securitas inaffectatae orationis,quietness
văcātĭo , ōnis, f. vaco,
I.a being free from a duty, service, etc.; freedom, exemption, immunity; a freeing, exempting, dispensation
(b). With ab: “a causis vacatio,Cic. Leg. 1, 4, 11: “ab belli administratione,Liv. 23, 32, 15: “ab opere,Col. 6, 14, 3: “a sacerdotio, [priestly observations] Gell. 1, 12, 7.—
(g). With quominus: “vacationem augures, quominus judiciis operam darent, non habere,Cic. Brut. 31, 117.

REST or Freedom from:
săcerdōtĭum , ii, n. 1. sacerdos, rĕlĭgĭo,
I.the priesthood, the office or dignity of priests, the sacerdotal office
Isaiah 4: 5 And the Lord will create upon 
        every dwelling place of mount Zion,
        and upon her assemblies [Invoco called]], a cloud and smoke by day,
        and the shining of a flaming fire by night:
        for upon all the glory shall be a defence.

Dwelling: 168. ohel, o´-hel; from 166; a tent (as clearly conspicuous from a distance):—covering, (dwelling)(place), home, tabernacle, tent.

Assembly: 4744. miqra, mik-raw´; from 7121; something called out, i.e. a public meeting (the act, the persons, or the place); also a rehearsal:  assembly, calling, convocation, reading.


The church is more often a form of the word for "synagogue." Now, synagogue is not "pagan worship center" or communistic commune but it is school When we attend "school" we do not have to give up our INDIVUATED personal lives: when class is over, we leave and the teacher does not get adopted as the "ruler" of the individual families.

Jesus came to save people one by one.

If the claim of Holy Spirit Only correction or "education" was believed then the preacher would step down, the teachers would remain at home, the singers would be silent and the building would become a dance hall. Advertizers and commercial seeker forms of religion live to attempt to change the world. If you don't need a praise team to mediate between you and God then you must be changed through 'praxis' until the walls are broken down and you accept that which once repulsed. The entire Jubilee movement is an attempt to change you. The Zoe Group and Look to the Hills wants to mold you into a spectator while the "idolatry of talent" in song, drama and dance is performed for you.

If one is steeped in the "Navigating the Winds of Change" paradigm then you have to be defensive because you know that someone is always trying to change you without you knowing that you are being changed or the preacher doesn't get fired.

The church was for working people. They met perhaps once a week to learn the Word, pray and take the Lord's Supper. In addition, they looked out for one another's need. However, people were not "slaves of the watch tower" but the assembly prepared them to run their own affairs.

Go back up to the Quest for Community and begin again and learn about individuation which is condemned. Now, everyone must demand to "let me be me."

The Holy Spirit does not live in you as a separated "person" or one-third of the Godhead. He does not automatically change you.

Community is like, well, communism which is operative in many tithing churches and institutions with a Midianite pyramidal structure:

And all that believed were together, and had all things common; Ac.2:44

And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. Ac.4:32

Community is a common Old Testament word when speaking of the Common wealth of Israel. It had a "king set over us" and everyone and everything belonged to the temple-state and therefore the king:

Festus said: "King Agrippa, and all who are present with us, you see this man! The whole Jewish community has petitioned me about him in Jerusalem and here in Caesarea, shouting that he ought not to live any longer. Ac.25:24

Perhaps the occasional, ideally once per week in Scripture, assembly to learn the Word and take the Lord's Supper was not a community. However, there is an advantage to restructuring the church along the Exodus model because God said:

"Don't forget to share your inheritance (the land) with the Levites in your community, for they have no (free) property or crops as you do. De.14:27

Peter apparently thought that the "fruit of the Spirit" was consciously added as a result of Christ's definition:

And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; 2 Pet 1:5

We would not wait for a direct operation of the Holy Spirit to make you into your "free and redeemed self." All of those pyramidal ministry systems apparently have some hope of changing someone!

Rubel Shelly: Community is a connected place. That is, everyone is affirmed and included rather than ignored, tolerated, or resented. You don't have to be like everyone else, for one of the things most appreciated about each person connected to the group is his or her distinctiveness.

Why couldn't this expansive charity extend to decadent and deleterious churches of Christ?

God's order for the elders was not to be flexible and bow to the larger body but he must be:

Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers (anti-Word). Titus 1:9

For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Titus 1:10

The command was not to sing but teach or preach:

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. Colossians 3:16

How can one admonish or warn the unruly if everyone must be "affirmed"? How can elders function when they are proscribed from making decisions which do not agree with the masses which may have been attracted more by show than conviction?

Rubel Shelly: Nobody needs to be a "rugged individualist" for the simple reason that your peculiarities are known, appreciated, and -- to whatever degree necessary for your spiritual health -- moderated and corrected by your presence in the community.

This is powerful stuff for the body of Christ which is defined as a mutual-toleration society. Didn't Jesus say that "when you pray be a rugged individualist" rather than an exhibitionists?

What if "WE" decide that YOU need some minimal education about trying to impose effeminate music and musicians as your "communal" effort to destroy individuation and Leave the Singing to Us. Perhaps, we have to confront people's sensibilities and tell them: not in my community meeting will you attempt to do what in the Greek Ekklesia or Jewish Synagogue would get you laughed out and probably turned over to the local Gender Identification Society.

The "community" has the Christ-ordained role to make His Word manifest in the world. He prescribed no community rituals which have the power simply by your presence to make you more spiritual. However, all ancient praise singing was believed by the superstitious to have a life-altering power.

Rubel Shelly:Community is a developmental environment and experience. Children need safe and connected places -- called families -- in which to develop. They are allowed to find and nurture their gifts and passions.

They are encouraged to experiment both with new ways of doing old things and new types of behavior.

Community Webster
: "A group of people living together as a smaller social unit within a larger one, and having interests, work, etc. in common."

See a review of the Community Church Denomination and John Mark Hicks

The church is not such an island community: it is in the world but not of the world. It is described as the mystical body of Christ but in its human incarnation it is call an assembly. A group might assemble without being a commune but a commune cannot tolerate any dialog: not even questioning another person's living with his father's wife apparently.

Rubel Shelly: In either families or churches (which are supposed to be the family of God) where development is stymied by an authoritarian father, mother, or leader who bullies everyone else, people feel threatened, grow resentful, and refuse to trust. They eventually do one of two equally disastrous things: conform or run away.

Oh, how so many carry childhood trauma. I didn't feel stymied when my father exercised authority and I don't resent it that my mother tried to keep me out of flooded creeks for a free ride. Father's develop only by the use of some authority.

I thought that psychology might, in this time, concede that most children are stymied by too many permissive or non-caring fathers and mothers. Isn't it possible to bully people by suggesting that to question "our" Sunday school program is an attack? Doesn't a bully train people not to question or tolerate the leader's views? Doesn't the "non-judgmental" mantra bully people into submission? How about not being a bully and allowing dialog or question from the "children" about father's authoratative preachments?

Rubel Shelly: In a developmentally productive environment, people experiment first with trivial things such as musical tastes

or organizational forms and eventually with truly significant things like love and trust.

Oh, yes! They experiment with
wine and end up drunkards. They experiment with Marijuana and end up with crack.

Thought that God wanted us to train up children in the way they should go.

CHILDREN, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Ep.6:1

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Ep.6:4

I remember a preacher who said: "It is a lie that practice makes perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect."

Doesn't this sermon give the youth the right or demand to experiment to make their own discoveries?

Well, music as worship is somewhat like the law of gravity: it has already been defined by God. We don't have to jump off tall buildings to know that the body is not made of rubber, and we don't have to experiment with music to know that it is universally defined as destructive to spiritual health. Because Jesus repudiated the Jewish clergy as children playing musical games why would we have to play the flute in church or beat the drum to understand that Jesus cannot speak while we are playing and that this was the means of mocking Jesus trying to triumph over Him as the Judas-grasp for power.

One of the oldest stories alluded to by Jude quoting Enoch is that when the children experiment with musical worship they tend to go from one extreme to another. And like experimenting with crack it is often never possible to "get up again."

I cannot trust anyone who violates clear commands of God and it brings no joy to see grown men acting like the musical children Jesus condemned or the "musical mourning team" Jesus "put out more or less violently." It is hard to have joy when the teaching role of the synagogue is replaced with a "worship" ritual of paganism-like praise. It is hard to be happy to get grown up and know that 18 years of bible study left you Biblically ignorant or worse -- just so confused that you can believe that the Exodus event is a pattern for Christian worship. Nothing destroys the "joy" and creates more "spiritual anxiety" than loud singing and preaching and learning nothing.

Rubel Shelly: And, yes, there is joy in community. You can't keep it out! It is so contagious that others are drawn into that community by the deep-seated happiness and contentment they see among its members.
This man's experience that the act of "joy" or "happiness" can be put on for Sunday and fall off into a fit of depression before "next appointed hour." We cannot see joy but only masks. Perhaps the scowling lady shutting off her hearing aid is the most joyful person in the assembly even if she looks like a pickle trying to navigate the blowing winds of silly songs.

The one true church always repelled the overwhelming majority of people. If we would live godly, rather, we will suffer persecution and be "despised and rejected by men." The joy of artificially-stimulated "worship ritual" is endorphin induced (morphine-like) and I notice that it wears off before we can get to the steak house and recover.

The Fallacy of the Exodus Pattern. We have posted some of the common understandings that the Exodus event is the motif of utter failure because Israel rejected the Covenant, fell into musical idolatry, were given the Law of Moses (second law) because of that transgression, had the Levites imposed to keep the people away from the Tabernacle and wandered for 40 years while involved in this same musical idolatry.

Understanding What Has Been Written and the Nature of its "Pattern."

May We Have Such an Experience?
Rubel Shelly: So how do we create such a community? We cannot create it. We can only consent to be in the process of community-formation in God's hands -- as Israel was put in that process 3,500 years ago.

The Old Testament book of Exodus recounts the story of Yahweh attempting to build community among the sons and daughters of Israel.

We think not.
We think that God removed the Israelites from Egypt to vindicate His own four-hundred year old promise and to show mercy to the ungrateful and to protect the Egyptians from the Israelites. Furthermore, He removed them to keep His own Name from being blasphemed by the Egyptians who lived on a higher plane than those who took the name of Yahweh in vain.

Rubel Shelly: And those experiences can teach us: "For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope" (Rom.15:4).

Paul had something else to complete his thought:

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Romans 15:4

Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: Romans 15:5

That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 15:6

That does not mean "solo" singing but all voices merged, according to history, that it sounded like one voice: unison.

This is equivalent to the "singing" passages which are really speaking or preaching passages:

Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Eph 5:19

"For whatsoever was written" now becomes the golden-age as our pattern. However, we noted that much or most of the Bible is corrective: they made the mistakes and we can learn from their error and NOT that we are authorized to repeat their failures.

And also Thou didst have mercy on those, whose lives had been made food for dead idols. For the one calf which they made in the desert, [Exod. xxxii. 4.] pastured on their lives as on grass in the desert.

For that idolatry which they had stolen and brought out in their hearts from Egypt,

when it was made manifest, slew openly those in whom it was dwelling secretly.

For it was like fire concealed in wood, which when it is gendered from within it, burns it. For Moses ground to powder the calf and caused them to drink it in the water of ordeal; [Exod. xxxii. 20.] that by drinking of the calf all those who were living for its worship might die. Ephraim Syrus On Our Lord

Romans 15:4 is equivalent to 1 Corinthians 10 which defines the musical idolatry which destroyed Israel at Mount Sinai:

Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. 1 Cor 10:6
Neither be ye
idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play 1 Cor 10:7

Play is pagan revelry or musical idolatry.

"The triumphal hymn of Moses had unquestionably a religious character about it; but the employment of music in religious services, though idolatrous, is more distinctly marked in the festivities which attended the erection of the golden calf." (Smith's Bible Dictionary, Music, p. 589).

Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. 1 Cor 10:8

Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. 1 Cor 10:9

Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. 1 Cor 10:10

Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. 1 Cor 10:11

Paul doesn't describe a Christian pattern, but describes the common Egyptian or Babylonian form of musical worship. "Sending across the sea" or from afar for someone to teach us the free Word (Isaiah 55) is a repudiation of God's Word which Moses had delivered to them.

Dr. Shelly's "don't question anyone" is: They are encouraged to experiment both with new ways of doing old things and new types of behavior. However, Paul said as clear as daylight:

Don't experiment with the Old Exodus And Wilderness Wandering as a Pattern!

We deny that Paul ever said that the Exodus event was a positive model for worship:

Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. 1 Cor 10:12

Paul also spoke to this pagan idolatry in Romans:

For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them. Romans 10:5

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

Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) Romans 10:7

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; Romans 10:8

Paul quoted Moses who condemned the musical idolatry at Mount Sinai. In the ancient religions "going west" or "sending across the sea" to get a guru or dead god to teach you was repeated by the Israelites as they had worshiped in Egypt.

After Israel lost the Covenant and were given The Book of The Law Moses warned: "Don't experiment again."

If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul. Deut 30:10

For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. Deut 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? Deut 30: 12

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? Deut 30: 13

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

This paganism believed that music could jack you up into the presence of God. It was written so that we don't experiment agan by "jumping off tall buildings."

The Exodus as Legalistic Pattern for the Community Church

Rubel Shelly: As we work through Exodus over the next dozen or so weeks, here are five things we will learn.

First, the beginning of true community is almost always in crisis. Have you ever been a member of a family in a hospital's ICU waiting room? People in the pain of anguish for someone they love form a community of support naturally and easily -- rich and poor, black and white, Catholic and Protestant, believer and atheist. These communities seldom last long after the crisis subsides. The experience that made a nation of slaves into a community was oppression by Pharaoh countered by grace from God. So the first movement of Exodus is a movement of grace, when the community was rescued through Moses (1:1--12:28).

This experience that made a nation of slaves made a nation of slaves with virtually no interruption.

Ephraim Syrius on The Lord grasped that the Exodus was NOT a pattern for Christian worship and community. However, IT IS THE PATTERN of the New Wineskins and baptizing the S.U.N. god in place of the S.O.N. god. Ephraim notes that God OVERLOADED THEM WITH GRACE as a test. He, Chriysostom, the Bible and many other scholalrs note that the MUSIC MARKED the people:

As for this Moses who brought us up, we know not what has become of him. 16 For they ceased to regard the mighty works that had been surrounding them.

They perceived that Moses was not near them; so that for this cause that had come near,

they drew [near] to the heathenism of Egypt.

For Moses was for a little removed from before them,

that the calf that was before them might appear, that they might worship it openly also; for they had been secretly worshipping it in their hearts.

18. But when their heathenism from being inward became open, then Moses also from being hidden openly appeared; that he might openly punish those whose heathenism had revelled beneath the holy cloud which had overshadowed them.

But God removed the Shepherd of the flock from it for forty days,

that the flock might show that its trust was fixed upon the calf.

And he was there in the wilderness forty days tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him. Mark 1:13

Then said the Lord unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no. Ex.16:4

And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove (tempt) thee,

to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. Deut 8:2

And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know;

that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only,

but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live. Deut 8:3

19. But when Moses came down, he saw their heathenism revelling in the wide plain with drums and cymbals.

Speedily, he put their madness to shame by means of the Levites and drawn swords.

So likewise here, our Lord concealed His knowledge for a little when the sinful woman approached Him, that the Pharisee might form into shape his thought,

as his fathers had shaped the pernicious calf.

20. God gave room to Israel to enlarge its heathenism in the wide desert;

whom God cut short with whetted sword, that their idolatry might not be spread abroad among the Gentiles.

So our Lord allowed the Pharisee to imagine perverse things, that He might in turn duly reprove his pride.

John Chrysostom notes of the musical idolatry.

What wonder that ye know not Christ, seeing ye knew not Moses, and God Who was manifested by such wonders? But they not only knew Him not:

they also insulted in another way, by their idol making.

"Then God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of heaven" (v. 42.)

Hence these same "customs" date their origin, hence the sacrifices:

they were themselves the first that made sacrifices to their idols! For that is why it is marked,

The AGAPE was similar to the Hebrew MARZEAH condemned by Amos in chapters 5 and 6. Early Christians were tempted to merge the Lord's Supper with the Agape and therefore Paul told the people to eat in their own homes because the Lord's Supper was to honor Him. The Agape has pagan roots in many societies and involved instrumental music and animal sacrifices. The modern Agape is an adaptation of the Catholic Eucharist which is the Sacrifice of Christ.

Nevertheless, Dr. Shelly actively promotes the Agape as part of the Lord's Super.

It is easy to show that a nation of slaves were rescued in order to
protect the Name of Yahweh who was blasphemed because of the Israelites who were "worse than other nations." Sometimes it is an act of grace to rescue a criminal from his crime and put him into a remote prison.

But I wrought for my names sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen, among whom they were, in whose sight I made myself known unto them, in bringing them forth out of the land of Egypt. Ezekiel 20: 9

Wherefore I caused them to go forth out of the land of Egypt, and brought them into the wilderness. Ezekiel 20:10

It is also easy to show that God reaffirmed the Covenant made with Abraham, Israel fell into musical idolatry and they fell back into slavery to the tribe of Levi who became the clergy to absolutely keep the common people away from the symbol of God's presence. They were now strangers to a "like the nations" worship which would carry out God's ultimate sentence of captivity, slavery and destruction.

No one but the Nashville Crew see the Exodus as a God-blessed, baptized with the Holy Spirit experience:

Ecclesiasticus 48
1. Then the prophet Elijah arose like a fire, and his word burned like a torch.
2. He brought a famine upon them, and by his zeal he made them few in number.
3. By the word of the Lord he shut up the heavens, and also three times brought down fire.
4. How glorious you were, O Elijah, in your wondrous deeds! And who has the right to boast which you have?
5. You who raised a corpse from death and from Hades, by the word of the Most High;
6. who brought kings down to destruction, and famous men from their beds;
7. who heard rebuke at Sinai and judgments of vengeance at Horeb;
8. who anointed kings to inflict retribution,
and prophets to succeed you.
O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help. Hosea 13:9

I will be thy king: where is any other that may save thee in all thy cities? and thy judges of whom thou saidst, Give me a king and princes? Hosea 13:10

I gave thee a king in mine anger, and took him away in my wrath. Hosea 13:11

Rubel Shelly: Second, the rescued community immediately began a pilgrimage and followed their prophet-redeemer into a strange new place called "wilderness" to be disciplined and formed as God's people (12:29--18:27).

Well, there are some intermissions in this Spirit led jaunt through the wilderness!

We thought that they wandered 37 more years for a total of 40 to destroy the older generation which had turned back to Egyptian, musical idolatry at Mount Sinai. The "prophet-redeemer" led them into 40 years of "prison life" until the criminals all died out. Why was this? It was because God issued just one simple command: march into Canaan but, as consumate and never-ending cowards, the people refused because they still hadn't learned to trust God.

When they went into Canaan they took their Egyptian worship along with them and failed in the total conquest.

They decided not to pass judgment and formed a ecumenical movement with the Canaanites and continued almost without pause right on through to Assyria and Babylon. There is no redemption in the Exodus. God turned them over to worship the starry host and that is what they did including under the Monarchy.

Third point should be the example refuting "faith only" at the Red Sea, the Baptism unto Moses, and the "gift of the Spirit" of Christ.

Rubel Shelly: Third, the community was given a covenant to instruct them in the ways of God and to frame the life they were to live as God's chosen and beloved people (18:28--24:18).

Even within Exodus and Deuteronomy it is easy to see that the "new" covenant consisted of two parts:

The Abrahamic Covenant enabled by a few laws was broken beyond repair.

To this was appended the "second law" which was in addition to the Covenant.
This new law was for external purity only and to keep the Israelites
from dying for their own sins.

Furthermore, this is not true if Amos, Stephen, the Psalmist and Ezekiel understood the story:

Then said I unto them, Cast ye away every man the abominations of his eyes, and defile not yourselves with the idols of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. Ezekiel 20: 7

But they rebelled against me, and would not hearken unto me: they did not every man cast away the abominations of their eyes, neither did they forsake the idols of Egypt:

then I said, I will pour out my fury upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt. Ezekiel 20: 8

See how Miriam helped fulfill part of this.

But I wrought for my names sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen, among whom they were, in whose sight I made myself known unto them, in bringing them forth out of the land of Egypt. Ezekiel 20: 9

Wherefore I caused them to go forth out of the land of Egypt, and brought them into the wilderness. Ezekiel 20:10

God still made His covenant conditional:

Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people; for all the earth is mine: Exodus 19:5

And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. Exodus 19:6

God then gave the ten words or commandments which, after the musical idolatry, were never restated in the same way. Rather the second tablets instructed Israel how to live among Canaanite Baalism. The Book of the Covenant was not the Law of Moses; it was 70 tenets or enabling legislation for the ten commandments.

Moses told the people that this covenant was God's test of them. Moses then went back into the mountain even as God knew that as soon as they had taken the "marriage vow" they would commit spiritual adultery.

Moses said to the people, "Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning." Ex.20:20

No experimenting with sin here!

Rubel Shelly: Fourth, Israel was instructed carefully and extensively in the matter of worship. They would discern over time that worship not only reminded them of God's redemptive work in the past, his sustaining work in the present, and his promises for the future but actually served to form them as his people (25:1--40:33).

Let's See:

In chapter 25 the instructions for the Tabernacle were given.

Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering. Exodus 25:2

The sanctuary was so that God could dwell with them whereever they went. This would repudiate a central sanctuary "like the nations."

Aaron and his sons were to minister and sacrifices were purely voluntary. "If you offer" this is the way to do it.

The breastplate was a repudiation of the breastplate of Lucifer in the garden of Eden:

And thou shalt set in it settings of stones, even four rows of stones: the first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: this shall be the first row. Exodus 28:17

And the second row shall be an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond. Exodus 28: 18

And the third row a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst. Exodus 28: 19

And the fourth row a beryl, and an onyx, and a jasper: they shall be set in gold in their inclosings. Exodus 28: 20

Of the king of Tyre as the "change agent of Satan," his breastplate had some substitutions

Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle,

and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Eze.28:13

Tambourines and wind instruments were held sacred to Satan or Lucifer. Of the king of Babylon as a type of Lucifer, it would be his viols or harps which would go into hell with him.

Of the King of the World:

He put on righteousness as his breastplate, and the helmet of salvation on his head; he put on the garments of vengeance and wrapped himself in zeal as in a cloak. Is.59:17

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, Ep.6:14

But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. 1Th.5:8

Then in chapter 32 when Moses refused to come down when the people wanted him to, they fell into the musical idolatry of Egypt. The word "play" was later used of Samson when he was being "abraded" to death. Then still later is was used by David as he separated the Ark of the Covenant from the Tabernacle because he was too fearful of God to ever go to the tabernacle. Of this "play"--

"And the people celebrated this feast with burnt-offerings and thank-offerings, with eating and drinking, i.e. with sacrificial meals and sports, or with loud rejoicing, shouting, antiphonal songs, and dances, in the same manner in which the Egyptians celebrated their feast of Apis (Herod. 2, 60, and 3, 27)." (Keil and Delitzsch, Vol. II, p. 222).

The people were conditionally sentenced to captivity and death:

Therefore now go, lead the people unto the place of which I have spoken unto thee: behold, mine Angel shall go before thee: nevertheless in the day when I visit I will visit their sin upon them. Exodus 32:34

AND the Lord said unto Moses, Depart, and go up hence, thou and the people which thou hast brought up out of the land of Egypt, unto the land which I sware unto Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, Unto thy seed will I give it: Exodus 33:1

And I will send an angel before thee; and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite: Exodus 33:2

Unto a land flowing with milk and honey: for I will not go up in the midst of thee; for thou art a stiffnecked people: lest I consume thee in the way. Exodus 33:3

And the Lord plagued the people, because they made the calf, which Aaron made. Exodus 32:35

The people put off their ornaments or idols and God spared them.

Some model of a Christian community (commune)!

For the Lord had said unto Moses, Say unto the children of Israel, Ye are a stiffnecked people: I will come up into the midst of thee in a moment, and consume thee: therefore now put off thy ornaments from thee, that I may know what to do unto thee. Exodus 33:5

All of the people stood by their tents until Moses came out of the Tabernacle. After much pleading God agreed to send His "presence" or "unseeable face" with them. This was based upon God's grace to Moses personally but not for the people:

And the Lord said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name. Exodus 33:17

God then gave the altered commandments and Moses worshiped as worship is always defined:

And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped. Exodus 34:8

After their musical idolatry God had Ezekiel write:

I lifted up mine hand unto them also in the wilderness, that I would scatter them among the heathen, and disperse them through the countries; Ezekiel 20: 23

Because they had not executed my judgments, but had despised my statutes, and had polluted my sabbaths, and their eyes were after their fathers idols. Ezekiel 20: 24

Wherefore I gave them also statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live; Ezekiel 20: 25

And I polluted them in their own gifts, in that they caused to pass through the fire all that openeth the womb, that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I am the Lord. Ezekiel 20: 26

Pollute is from the Hebrew:

Chalal (h2490) khaw-lal'; a prim. root [comp. 2470]; prop. to bore, i. e. (by impl.) to wound, to dissolve; fig. to profane (a person, place or thing), to break (one's word), to begin (as if by an "opening wedge"); denom. (from 2485) to play (the flute): - begin (* men began), defile, * break, defile, * eat (as common things), * first, * gather the grape thereof, * take inheritance, pipe, player on instruments, pollute, (cast as) profane (self), prostitute, slay (slain), sorrow, stain, wound.

Passing through the fire was in Topheth (hell) which had once been "the king's music grove" where Israel tried to get into the god's presence with music while their children were consumed in the experimental process. See how God will pollute these people.

The fact was brought to Israel's attention many times but they were always in denial that their worship was no longer based upon a covenant but a judgmental law:

Stephen got himself murdered in part for denying Dr. Shelly's thesis:

"But our fathers refused to obey him. Instead, they rejected him and in their hearts turned back to Egypt. They told Aaron, 'Make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who led us out of Egypt--we don't know what has happened to him!' -- Acts 7:37-40

That was the time they made an idol in the form of a calf. They brought sacrifices to it and held a celebration (ie Played in song, music and dance) in honor of what their hands had made. -- Acts 7:41

The Book of the Law was to judge them:

"But God turned away and gave them over to the worship of the heavenly bodies. This agrees with what is written in the book of the prophets: "'Did you bring me sacrifices and offerings forty years in the desert, O house of Israel? -- Acts 7:42

Amos also said that they failed:

"You have lifted up the shrine of Molech and the star of your god Rephan, the idols you made to worship. Therefore I will send you into exile' beyond Babylon. -- Acts 7:43

Amos didn't condemn a "bad mental attitude" but:

The sacrifices of the ungodly are abomination to the Lord, for they offer them unlawfully." Prov. 21:27 LXX

The sacrificial system was for males of fighting age: women and children were not obligated to muster at the three annual events. The common people never worshiped in the sacrificial system as we understand the word worship.

Some of the Rules for Dr. Shelly's Idealized Community:

If the whole Israelite community sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the LORD's commands, even though the community is unaware of the matter, they are guilty. Leviticus 4:13

When they become aware of the sin they committed, the assembly must bring a young bull as a sin offering and present it before the Tent of Meeting. Leviticus 4:14

The elders of the community are to lay their hands on the bull's head before the LORD, and the bull shall be slaughtered before the LORD. Leviticus 4:15

Then the anointed priest is to take some of the bull's blood into the Tent of Meeting. Leviticus 4:16

He shall dip his finger into the blood and sprinkle it before the LORD seven times in front of the curtain. Leviticus 4:17

Take the blasphemer outside the camp. All those who heard him are to lay their hands on his head, and the entire assembly is to stone him. Lev 24:14

Do you still believe Dr. Shelly that in this pattern of community no one is to be question or judged but must be allowed to develop by being incarnated with the Spirit just like Jesus:

Say to the Israelites: 'If anyone curses his God, he will be held responsible; Leviticus 24:15

anyone who blasphemes the name of the LORD must be put to death. The entire community must stone him. Whether an alien or native-born, when he blasphemes the Name, he must be put to death. Leviticus 24:16

Now if you unintentionally fail to keep any of these commands the LORD gave Moses-- Num 15:22

any of the LORD's commands to you through him, from the day the LORD gave them and continuing through the generations to come-- Num 15:23

and if this is done unintentionally without the community being aware of it, then the whole community is to offer a young bull for a burnt offering as an aroma pleasing to the LORD, along with its prescribed grain offering and drink offering, and a male goat for a sin offering. Num 15:24

No one who has been emasculated by crushing or cutting may enter the community of the LORD. Deut. 23:1

No one born of a forbidden marriage nor any of his descendants may enter the assembly of the LORD, even down to the tenth generation. Deut 23:2

No Ammonite or Moabite or any of his descendants may enter the assembly of the LORD, even down to the tenth generation. Deut 23:3

Rubel Shelly: Fifth, the book closes with Yahweh's glory coming into the midst of the community and abiding among the people (40:34-38).
Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory (weight) of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Exodus 40:34

The nimbus cloud is derived from:

Anan (h6049) aw-nan'; a prim. root; to cover; used only as denom. from 6051, to cloud over; fig. to act covertly, i. e. practice magic: - * bring, enchanter, Meonemin, observe (-r of) times, soothsayer, sorcerer.

Was this God's approving and affirming presence or was it a prophecy?

Me'onem "means to emit a hoarse nasal sound such as was customary in reciting the prescribed formula" or charm.

"The Greek and Roman mantis worked himself up to the necessary ecstatic state by music, drugs (intoxicants, etc), sacrificial smoke and the like. Sometimes it has been thought a sufficient means of divination to swallow the vital portions of birds and beasts of omen. It was believed that by eating the hearts of crows, or moles, or of hawks, men took into their bodies the presaging soul of the creature... The Mantis practised his art as a renumerative occupation, charging high fees and refusing in most cases to ply his calling without adequate remuneration. The local oracle shrines (Delphi, Clavis, etc.) were worked for personal and political ends." (Int. Std. Bible Ency., Divination, p. 863).

See Apollo's Oracle at Delphi just up the coast from Corinth

See Lucian's Alexander The Oracle Monger to see a Seeker Community.

See how the Worship Teams of Israel were Oracle Mongers

"We even have a mention at a later date of a similar custom in connection with the cult in Jerusalem, where certain Levites, called me'oreim, 'arousers,' sang every morning this verse from Ps 44: 'Awake, Lord, awake! Do not abandon us for ever.' The Talmud tells us that John Hyrcanus suppressed the practice because it recalled too readily a pagan custom.

"A similar practice is attested in connection with the cult of Herakles-Melkart. According to Menander, as he is quoted by Josephus, the king Hiram, who was a contemporary of Solomon, rebuilt the temples of Tyre and, 'he was the first to celebrate the awakening of Heracles in the month of Peritius.'" (de Vaux, Roland, The Bible and the Ancient Near East, Doubleday, p. 247)

And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Exodus 40: 35

In the future, the common people could not enter this tent because it had become the symbol of God's wrath.

This also happened when Solomon dedicated the temple into which God could not dwell. The temple was filled with smoke or utter darkness and the priests could not minister. This happened when the Levites (also added because of transgression) made a great crashing noise with musical instruments.

However, the population "outside the gates" or "outside the camps" prayed directly to God and He answered from Heaven. You see, God was not inside of the tabernacle or temple and the priests disabled by music had no part in the eternal method of a personal Yahweh honoring individual righteousness and justice.

And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys: Exodus 40:36

But if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed not till the day that it was taken up. Exodus 40:37

For the cloud of the Lord was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys. 40:38

Rubel Shelly: These five themes of grace, pilgrimage, covenant, worship, and glory are the central elements of community for God's people in any age or setting.

They define our identity as a church -- so far removed in time and circumstance from Pharaoh, Moses, and Miriam. Their story has become our story!

I truly do not doubt it. The Exodus event IS prophetic. When Stephen condemned the Jewish Clergy and the temple "the Exodus story had become their story." And they murdered Stephen.

That glory was unique along with The Book of the Covenant which God gave through Moses. However, if this is the plan of God for the Christian dispensation then it is prophetic of failure. Again hear Stephen speak the truth which always gets you killed rather than honored:

This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear. Acts 7:37

This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us: Acts 7:38

To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt, Acts 7:39

If you want to understand what turning back to Egypt in musical play or worship Click Here.

The Jewish clergy in fulfillment of this thrust Christ from them and attempted to pollute or prostitute or triumph over Him exactly as the children playing musical games and trying to get God or Jesus to sing and dance.

The result was legalism: the Law of Moses had no value except for purification of the body to prevent their destruction at the hand of a holy God. The central worship of the clergy was not Christian worship; it was to remind the people of the horrible nature of their musical idolatry at Mount Sinai. In the end, it would destroy them for their sins from which they never repented.

Rubel Shelly: Grace has redeemed us from the crisis of our personal bondage to sin. But there are no private, secret deals for redemption; the same process that has saved us has put us into the family of God, the church.

We already noted that God removed Israel to
protect His own name even as Israel brought their own musical instruments and idols with them.

Grace is not "grace" as unlimited forgiveness for unlimited sins because Paul said:

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Titus 2:11

Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Titus 2:12

The grace of God taught them the Covenant as Moses said, for a test. Grace taught them but they had already rejected grace and turned to new wine and musical worship.

Jesus said that the "deal" was His grace bestowed at the time and place of baptism. Peter confirmed it and Paul compared crossing the Red Sea to baptism:

MOREOVER, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 1 Cor 10:1

And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 1 Cor 10:2

Not only were the Israelites NOT saved prior to their typical baptism unto Moses in the Red Sea and the Cloud (Christ) but after their baptism and being saved on the other side, and after their drinking of the Spirit, the ultimate test would be how they would treat God after their salvation. God would give them a test to convince them of what He already knew:

And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 1 Cor 10:3

And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. 1 Cor 10:4

But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. 1 Cor 10:5

They did not worship Yahweh in the wilderness!

Rubel Shelly: Now we are part of a pilgrimage with Jesus and with one another. You influence me to make my journey easier or harder, and I affect your travel toward the Promised Land. So we must receive covenant instruction, encourage one another in understanding, and support one another in obedience.
The march into the promised land is a lonely march. Remember, that only God and the high priest could come into the Most Holy Place symbolic of God enthroned. As virtual high priests there is only room in the throne room for each of us and God: no animal burners or instrument players are allowed to come with us.

Don't forget that the Israelites were delayed on their pilgrimage because of their musical idolatry at Mount Sinai and refusal to obey God even after Mount Sinai and all of those miracles. Their journey was in the desert and the promised land had now been lost and it became the place where they would ultimately play out their old Egyptian paganism by adopting Canaanite Baalism which would destroy all but a tiny remnant. Those who "rose up to play" did not assist Israel on their journey. Rather, they brought on a sin from which Israel would never be redeemed.

The "pattern" of Exodus is a pattern of legalism and failure.

Thereafter Israel lived by the law which was added because of transgression at Mount Sinai. When they later saw their rituals and sacrifices as "worship" God said that He hated sacrifices because they were to remind Israel of their mortal sin and He did not, like the pagan gods and their oracles, need to be fed.

Rubel Shelly: Worship is one of the primary things that stimulates our desire for and forms us into a community of safety and connectedness, development and joy.

And we experience the Spirit-presence of God through one another as a prelude to the fullness of his presence when we reach our final destination.

The Israelites
did not "worship" Yahweh for forty years in the wilderness. Rather, they continued to worship the stars as warned Amos and by Jude quoting Enoch.

The later "people" did not worship at the temple. When the noise or "music" began, the doors were shut and the people worshiped (fell on their face) outside the camp or gates. The common people never worshiped in ceremonial singing with instrumental music or choirs.

What we identify as New Covenant worship was like the Synagogue which was school and not worship center. To that Jesus added the Lord's Supper. "There was no praise service in the Synagogue."

Even a casual notice of the teaching of Jesus will reveal that He did not define any outward rituals as worship. In fact, it was prophesied that He would not "call assemblies."

He will not quarrel or cry out; no one will hear his voice in the streets. Mt.12:19

He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets. Isaiah 42:2

Caaq (h6817) tsaw-ak'; a prim. root; to shriek; (by impl.) to proclaim (an assembly): - * at all, call together, cry (out), gather (selves) (together).

Is this why Jesus placed His emphasis upon two or threes rather than two or three thousand?

Jesus personally practiced prayer in the closet or private place because you cannot talk to God for me. He also commanded that prayer is private. He denounced "tithing" by paying the temple tax because "the sons of the king are free." He commanded that our alms be from our hand to the hand of the needy. Paul affirmed this when he commanded that we "lay by ourselves" and then give it to an honest broker who would take it to the poor. Finally, He excluded worship from time and place and declared that He was looking for those who could worship Him in spirit or in the heart and in truth.

On the other hand, ceremonial worship which creates "spiritual anxiety" was the burden laded upon the people by the clergy. Jesus came to give us rest which is quiet feeding beside still waters. Paul declared that the only person who might have worshiped in Corinth would have fallen on his face (worship) if everyone was found teaching the Word one to another rather than speaking or singing their own sentiments.

As a remedy to the Ephesians and Colossians Paul prescribed the revealed songs of the Bible and insisted that they be spoken or 'preached' one to another.

Keeping worship as the key to the kingdom keeps the institutions going when Jesus died to tear them down. This, like the Monarchy, demands that to offer our own spiritual sacrifices we must come to the "temple." This was never the fact even under the law for the congregation of common people.

Rubel Shelly: Allow me to end this sermon of invitation into Exodus with a story. A myth. But not a lie. It is an old and often-told tale. It is called "The Rabbi's Gift" and is told by Scott Peck in the prologue to a book he wrote several years ago on community-making.[2]

During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, a wave of antimonastic sentiment in Europe caused a monastery to fall upon hard times. Eventually there were only five monks left in the decaying place, all over age 70. Deep in the woods surrounding the monastery was a residence where an old rabbi occasionally went for solitude. Once when he was there, the abbot in charge of the monastery sought him out and asked if he could offer any advice that might save his dying group.

Monasteries began as more school than worship center. As such, they would be located primarily in the populated land in order to instruct the noble men's sons.
Rubel Shelly: The two men commiserated with one another, with the rabbi admitting that things were little different in his synagogue. The young had lost interest, and hardly anyone came to Sabbath gatherings anymore. "No, I am sorry," the rabbi told him. "I have no advice to give. The only thing I can tell you is that the Messiah is one of you."

When the abbot returned to his little group, he reported on his visit. "He couldn't help," said the abbot. "We just wept and read the Torah together. The only thing he did say, just as I was leaving -- it was something cryptic -- was that the Messiah is one of us. I don't know what he meant."

In the days and weeks that followed, the old men pondered the words and puzzled over what they could mean. The Messiah is here among us? How could that be? They had known each other for years, for decades. Could this person or that one be Messiah in our midst? As they thought about such a possibility, the old men began treating one another with extraordinary respect on the off chance that one of their number just might be the Messiah. And on the off, off chance that each one might himself be the Messiah, they began to treat themselves with extraordinary respect.

Because the forest and grounds around the monastery were beautiful and peaceful, people still came occasionally to visit -- though typically with no higher intent than to picnic in a serene place. They would walk the narrow paths. A few would even wander into the dilapidated chapel. As they did so, without really being conscious of it, they sensed the aura of extraordinary respect that had begun to surround the five old men of the place. Something seemed to radiate from them and permeated the atmosphere. Something was strangely attractive -- even compelling -- about it. Hardly knowing why, they came back more frequently to picnic, to play, to pray. They began to bring their friends to this special place. And their friends brought their friends.

Finally it happened that some of the younger men who came to visit started talking more and more with the old men of the place. One asked to join them. Then another. And another. With a few years, the monastery once again became a thriving order and, thanks to the rabbi's gift, a vibrant center of light and spirituality in the realm.

Sometimes myths are lies. Listen to Erasmus describe why the monks may have fallen into disrepute along with all of the clergy.

Rubel Shelly: When God builds community, a similar thing happens. For people who have never experienced it, it cannot be described in words. But you know it when you experience it. And that community becomes

a vibrant center of light and spirituality.

We really thought that Jesus Christ was the
Light and that only He can bestow spirituality.

Shouldn't Christ have been able to describe it? What about Paul? Is this better felt than told? Too often we leave the "experience" open-ended so that whatever meets the needs of our outward nature can be defined as "Experiencing God" as Blackaby teaches.

"According to the system which Nimrod was the grand instrument in introducing, men were led to believe

that a real spiritual change of heart was unnecessary, and that so far as change was needful,

they could be regenerated by mere external means.

"Looking at the subject in the light of the Bacchanalian orgies (Read Ephesus and Corinth), which, as the reader has seen, commemorated the history of Nimrod, it is evident that he led mankind to seek their chief good in sensual enjoyment,

and showed them how they might enjoy the pleasures of sin, without any fear of the wrath of a holy God. (Voodoo, Rock, Boogie Woogie becomes Contemporary Christian Music)

"In his various expeditions he was always accompanied by troops of women; and by music and song, and games (play or ritual drama) and revelries, and everything that could please the natural hearts,

he commended himself to the good graces of mankind." (Hislop, Alexander, The Two Babylons, p. 55, Loizeaux Brothers)

Rubel Shelly: Is Christ among us? Does a stranger in our midst sense his presence? Do we treat one another with the "extraordinary respect" that flows from the belief that this is truly and authentically the body of Christ? If not, how are we different from the world? If not, can we call ourselves a community of faith? If so, who would not want to be part of the experience?

Perhaps if we became a synagogue or school people would not attend to "look at me" and use me as the pattern of the authentic body of Christ. I tend to "sense" Christ when I see see the older generation suffering and bearing a huge cross caused by the "spiritual anxiety created by religious ceremonial" with music and loud pseudo-praise songs.

Jesus said that He would return as "another Comforter" and therefore is God in Spirit throughout the universe. (John 14:16-18). He said that where two or three are gathered in MY name I will be in their midst. It will not be someone else who has a remote chance of being Christ personally. If Christ is in the midst of two believers then it seems clear that neither of them can be the mediator or musical worship team to bring them into His presence.

If Jesus came into our midst I believe that He would just write us off if the performance preacher is still standing while He had the decency to sit. We suspect that if the true Christ came into our midst some few would fall on their face but most of use trying to exhibit Christ would toss Him out or give Him a bath.

Or what if the evangelist has actually taken roots and blossoms out into book reviews and not very deep Bible Teaching. What if He comes into our midst and the women are "preaching with a tune" when His chosen apostle, Paul, said don't do it. What if the huge "staff" is all clustered and not going into all the world.

What if mystical brother is actually our model of Christ? Wouldn't His model be out searching for food and even, in the Words of Amos, searching for the Word of God and thirsting to death because he couldn't find it.

Dostoevsky describes how Jesus might come and not be recognized by the performing preacher or musical worship team involved in the "idolatry of talent." We might just burn Him as the stake of judgmentalism.

Christ Rejected the Ministry of Bread Offered by the Inquisition

Christ Rejected the Ministry of Miracles by the Inquisition

Christ Rejected the Ministry of Mysteries by the Inquisition

Pal wrote:

Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you. 1 Thess 3:11

And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: 1 Thess 3:12

To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints. 1 Thess 3:13

As God is Himself or pure Spirit, Father, and Jesus Christ we will see the visible manifestation of God in the form of Lord Jesus Christ. We have noted that Jude quotes Enoch to prophesy God's coming with ten thousands of His saints to execute judgment as well and to receive the saints.

Enoch and Jude directly connect the reason for this judgment as the seduction of mankind by Satan through musical instruments and mixed-sex choirs. Believe it or not, this is a close quotation of Enoch. This judgment can often be chased back to the sin of Israel at Mount Sinai:

And he said, The Lord came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran,

and he came with ten thousands of saints:

from his right hand went a fiery law for them. Deut 33:2

Yea, he loved the people; all his saints are in thy hand: and they sat down at thy feet; every one shall receive of thy words. Deut 33:3

That right hand was the Messiah as God in visible form:

Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey. And the Lord saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment. Isaiah 59:15

And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him. Isaiah .59:16

For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak. Isaiah 59:17

According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompense to his enemies; to the islands he will repay recompense. Isaiah 59:18

So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him. Isaiah 59:19

And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord. Isaiah 59:20

This does not suggest that God is going to judge us on our "experimental" status but upon whether we listen to His words and not ours.

Again: We submit these notes as the Paul-ordained demand to dialog or to test the spirits. By looking beyond sermonizing we need to see that the "pattern" of Moses and the Law can never be a "paradigm" for Christian organization and worship.

If the church is family then "father" should also listen to "son." If church is a community then no view should be accepted without reading "the rest of the story."

We should not try to de-myth the story and restructure but to read the Exodus event "as it has been delivered to us." This will help us realize that the Temple worship was a "like the nations" worship by a people having forsaken God and on their way to captivity and death.

We would anticipate that one to two thousand will read these notes. We don't need to be cursed but if you have any further insight I will appreciate this as we concurrently take the liberty of looking at the Exodus as an approved pattern for Christian worship and the church.

This will also provide some dialog which Paul demanded even if there might be one inspired person in Corinth.

[1] Rubel Shelly and Randall J. Harris, The Second Incarnation (West Monroe, LA: Howard Publishing Co., 1992).
[2] Scott Peck,
The Different Drum (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1987), pp.1- 3.


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