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Praise and Worship and Today's Church

Holy Wars

Guru Woo Woo

Glorified in His Creation

Tags: Church Growth, Church Growth Movement, Church growth consultants, worship leader, conservative, liberal, Conservative Christian, Conservative Christian theology, Evangelical, evangelism, post modern church, modernism, praise and worship, hymns, hymn singing, New Worship, Evangelical Church, Body of Christ, Old Testament, New Age, Solomon’s Temple, Bob Sorge, Exploring Worship, Moses, Mount Sinai, Hebrews, Brazen Alatar, Korah, Moses, Aaron, Solomon, Ezekiel, River Chebar, heaven, God's glory, Apostle Paul, Constantine, Western Roman Empire, Maxentius, Milivian Bridge, Mithra, Nimrod, Edict of Milan, Satan, Joseph Smith, Angel Mornoni, Mormonism

Glorified in His Creation

Solomon's TempleTo the modern worshipper, we need to do more than daily beholding our God who is with us. We must ascend to heaven to find Him as we worship for the sake of entering into the glory of His presence. Therefore the Body of Christ today is inundated with those who preach the mystic theme ushering from the ‘60s that calls us to enter into the supernatural world through worship. And over and over again, when we hear this transcendental proposition preached, its proponents point to Old Testament Scriptures in order to support their New Age blueprint for the church.

The entire exercise is carried out in order to prove that God agrees with the notion that Christians ought to transcend into the heavens in their worship. Hence, in recalling II Chron 5:13-15 when the cloud of glory filled Solomon’s Temple, Bob Sorge declared in Exploring Worship, “This cloud of glory (the presence of God) so filled the room that the priests could not even stand to perform their service! Truly that was a very special manifestation of the presence of God, and it is the same type or manifestation that we seek today.”

As Sorge testifies, to a large number of Christians today worship is all about dramatic supernatural encounters with God such as this. New Worshippers invariably seek these experiences through mystical exercises with their eyes closed and hands lifted to the sound of repetitive choruses. However, the Old Testament Scriptures that they quote in reality do little to support their New Age claims. For example, in his disposition Sorge makes an interesting observation that actually invalidates his contentions. The glory of the Lord in the instance that he details appeared in the temple in the form of a visible cloud. It was so physically apparent to the eye that it obstructed the ministry of the priests. This was not an engagement with God that was mustered up in the imaginations of people. It was the real deal. And the truth of the matter is that the Old Testament occurrences of God’s glory that New Worshippers continue to advance in order to support their mystical views are consistently enveloped in physical manifestations rather than imaginary treks into the supernatural.

Moses receives the Ten CommandmentsWhile Moses received the Law on the mount: “Now the glory of the Lord rested on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days. And on the seventh day He called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud. The sight of the glory of the Lord was like a consuming fire on the top of the mountain in the eyes of the children of Israel.” (Ex 24:16-17 MKJV)

After Moses finished the work of the tabernacle the Glory of the Lord was visibly revealed in the form of a cloud that impeded his entrance into the worship center. (Ex 40:34-35)

While in the wilderness the glory of the Lord appeared to the Hebrews in the form of a cloud that sheltered them from the scorching heat by day and a fire that directed their path by night. (Ex 13:21-22)

During the dedication of the tabernacle after the priest performed the first sacrifice at the Brazen Altar, the glory of the Lord descended as manifested with fire. (Lev 9:6-24) “Then the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people, and fire came out from before the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the fat on the altar. When all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces.” (Lev 9:23b-24 MKJV)

When Korah lead an insurrection against Moses the Scriptures declare: “And Korah gathered all the congregation against them at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. Then the glory of the Lord appeared to all the congregation. . . the ground split apart under them, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all the men with Korah, with all their goods. . . And a fire came out from the Lord and consumed the two hundred and fifty men who were offering incense. . . Now it happened, when the congregation had gathered against Moses and Aaron, that they turned toward the tabernacle of meeting; and suddenly the cloud covered it, and the glory of the Lord appeared.” (Num 16:19, 31b-32, 35, 42 MKJV)

When Moses and Aaron sought God concerning what to do when there was no water for the congregation in the wilderness the Bible says: “So Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the door of the tabernacle of meeting, and they fell on their faces. And the glory of the Lord appeared to them.” (Num 20:6 MKJV)

After Solomon dedicated the temple the glory of the Lord appeared with fire to consume the offerings. (II Chron 7:1) “And the priests could not enter the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord had filled the Lord's house.” (II Chron 7:2 MKJV)

Ezekiel wrote: “So I arose and went out into the plain, and behold, the glory of the Lord stood there, like the glory which I saw by the River Chebar; and I fell on my face.” (Ezekiel 3:23 MKJV)

It is undeniable that these appearances of the glory of the Lord were consistently revealed within the context of the physical world. It is also true that these revelations of the glory of the Lord were those that could be actually perceived with the senses. These were not mystical experiences found while delving into another world. They were empirical events that occurred within the context of God’s creation that had a physical effect on the creation. And they were not revelations that were mustered up through frail human efforts. They were divine manifestations of God’s glory initiated by God and God alone for His purposes alone. And these revelations of God’s glory were not common historical occurrences in the Bible. They were specific wonders that transpired in order to mark significant events in history.

Even those from the Bible who had visions of heaven saw physical beings, various objects and even Jesus glorified with nail holes still in His hands. At times they even touched and felt that which they beheld. All that they experienced was described in empirical terms for us to read. (Isa 6, I Kings 22:19, Ezekiel 1, 8-11, Rev 4-5)

Heaven is a physical creation of God and He will make a new one that we will inhabit with new physical bodies. 1 It is not an ethereal aura that we leap up to in mystical experiences as conjured up by our imaginations. It is not some metaphysical place that people are called to discover through supernatural encounters. It is not some realm that can only be attained as one transcends from reality and distractions to find another world with eyes closed and hands lifted high enough to touch God. Neither is it something that comes down to us to wander to-and-fro from place-to-place as we desire. Heaven is a real place created by God, filled with real physical things and beings where we will live as physical people forever. It does not respond to our beckon call.

The biblical examples of visions of heaven assure us that God will reveal what He wants to reveal. And he will do so exactly when He desires to do so. But these heavenly encounters were isolated incidents that occurred as the result of His initiative and for specific biblical purposes to the edification of believers worldwide rather than just for the ones receiving the visions. It does not seem to be appropriate, therefore, to conclude that these experiences were intended to be a model for us so that we would expect heavenly visions every time we gather together in church. Hence, since they have no empirical evidence to support their claims of coming face to face to God at His throne through New Worship, it should be suspected that those who seek the presence of God in this way are simply imagining the experience.

But Paul admonished: “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” (II Cor 10:5 KJV) This verse refers to spiritual warfare. And this warfare is not about making things up.

Constantine's vision for the cross at the Milivian Bridgeytes)But even seeing is not necessarily believing. In ancient Roman history Constantine was exalted as ruler of Western Rome in 312 when he defeated Maxentius at the Milivian Bridge. Prior to that war the emperor worshipped Mithra the sun god who was also called the mediator. This god was actually an ancient depiction of Nimrod the warrior. During his successful campaign Constantine supposedly received a vision of the cross in the sky. Along with the vision he heard the words “in this sign, conquer,” which led him to put that sacred sign on his standards. Believing that God had given him victory in one of the most decisive battles in world history, Constantine was converted to Christianity and issued the Edict of Milan granting tolerance to Christianity. But the church’s new elevated status in the Roman Empire came at a cost as the church now bowed before Constantine who consequently introduced paganism in the church for the first time. When one considers the fact that the emperor’s sign in the sky set the church on the course that eventually culminated in the paganism of the Dark Ages, one has to wonder if the source of the heavenly visitation was in actuality that of an impersonation of Nimrod the warrior. The content of the message that Constantine received would suggest exactly that.

Joseph Smith's vision of the Angel MoroniIn recent history we have Joseph Smith’s vision of the Angel Mornoni that saw the birth of the heresy of Mormonism. This serves as a dramatic example that the words that one receives in any so-called vision must concur within the context of the truth of Scripture. No new revelations will suffice. “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.” (Gal 1:8 MKJV) “For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.” (II Cor 11:14b) Whether we live our lives in the ordinary world or wander about seeking heavenly visions, the bottom line of our understating of truth must come from the words of Scripture and Scripture alone.

There is a consistent agreement in Scripture that the Lord reveals His glory through His creation. (Ps 19:1, Rom 1: 20-21) ’”. . .but truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord’” (Num 14:21 MKJV) Invariably the glory of the Lord is a manifestation of God that can be beheld in this world and in this age and not through a mystical experience as modern gurus suggest.

1. See: Gen 1:1, I Chron 16:26, II Chron 2:12, Neh 9:6, Ps 33:6; 89:11, Isa 42:5; 45:18; 51:6, 13; 65:17; Jer 10:12, 32:17; 51:15; Rom 8:11; Rev 21:1) BACK

 

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Wigtune Company offers free mp3 Jesus based praise music and song along with traditional Christian hymns performed in a contemporary fashion in order to encourage the body of Christ to blend the old with the new in a scriptural fashion.  An on-line Bible study is offered that goes into the biblical and historical foundation of worship for music ministries, the music minister, praise leader, pastor and serious Bible student.  The study is presented in outline form with relevant scripture references and questions.  Download this helpful work for free! was formed as a service to the body of Christ to encourage scriptural worship. To accomplish this goal Wigtune Company offers free praise words, worship music, free hymn downloads, Christian mp3, Christian rock, contemporary praise music and hymn mp3 and chart material along with a free on-line worship study book for personal devotions, Bible study groups, Sunday schools, pastors, music ministers and ministry training.  In order to bridge the gap between the old and the new the worship study book gives solid theological and historical support to the use of traditional Christian hymn-singing in conjunction with praise chorus singing.

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Wigtune Company offers free mp3 praise music in the form of tradtional Christian hymn performed in a contemporary manner and modern praise song and choruses mp3s.  Chord charts to many of these song mp3's are available for non-commercial ministry use.  Free Praise and Worship Music Mp3s and Charts   Wigtune Company offers free mp3 praise music in the form of tradtional Christian hymn performed in a contemporary manner and modern praise song and choruses mp3s.  Chord charts to many of these song mp3's are available for non-commercial ministry use.

Wigtune Company offers free mp3 praise music in the form of tradtional Christian hymn performed in a contemporary manner and modern praise song and choruses mp3s.  Chord charts to many of these song mp3's are available for non-commercial ministry use. Wiggy's Top Ten Praise MP3s Wigtune Company offers free mp3 praise music in the form of tradtional Christian hymn performed in a contemporary manner and modern praise song and choruses mp3s.  Chord charts to many of these song mp3's are available for non-commercial ministry use.

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