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    Section 5

    On Dress, Music and Dance

    Apostolic instruction on dress, clean shavenness, music and dance [Oxford, England].

    On Dress

    1. The qodeshim (saints) may dress as they please provided they do so with a view to being modest, clean, tidy and to glorify and honour Elohim.

    2. Elohim looks first and foremost at the heart of the Believer and will equally respect a person in rags as one in a fine suit or dress.

    3. The qodeshim should revere Elohim and not seek to exalt themselves in their manner of dress, nor use clothes to draw attention to themselves and thereby distract the eyes from the spiritual to the carnal.

    4. If the way a person dresses causes distress to a person weaker in the faith then, following the admonition of Paul, he should do all that is reasonably possible not to cause that person to fall by adapting himself to the needs of the collective Body.

    5. Additionally, those weak in the emunah (faith) should be nurchured and brought, by non-compulsive means, to a higher understanding of the Besorah (Gospel) so that all may live according to the dictates of their conscience.

    On Cleanshavenness

    6. The custom of being cleanshaven originates in Rome but in all Semitic cultures the growth of beards is considered normal.

    7. We place no restrictions on whether a man shall shave or not -- let him be satisfied in his own mind.

    8. Only let him follow the counsel given in dressing, that he be clean and tidy.

    On Dancing and Music

    9. To be in the world but not of it is one of the greatest challenges facing the qodeshim today in our increasingly secularised society.

    10. In the realm of dancing and music this is particularly true, for Satan has manifested himself in these arts as in no previous time in history.

    11. Music and dancing are subjective arts and it is therefore very difficult to write precise instructions on the government of the same.

    12. We believe that the kind of music enjoyed by an individual is a reflection of that person's spirituality.

    13. The deeper a soul journeys into the Light of Messiah, the more refined and sensitive his or her musical tastes become.

    14. The music of the heavens is quite unlike anything this world has to offer, though occasionally the world has approached it with some of its more Ruach-directed compositions.

    On Music

    15. If a piece of music or song causes you to praise and glorify Elohim, welling up pure and virtuous thoughts and feelings within you, and if it inspires selflessdevotion to Elohim and service to your fellow man, it is of Elohim.

    16. If a piece of music or song causes you to centre in yourself, to the exclusion of Elohim and sympathetic feelings towards one's fellow man, it is either of man or of the devil.

    17. Eulogies to unchastity, greed and selfishness which inspire carnality and weaken a person's resolve to obey the mitzvot (commandments) are clearly destructive and of the Adversary.

    18. Musical lyrics usually speak for themselves but it is surprising how some saints will perversely "turn the other cheek" to satanic lyrics because they like the tune behind them.

    19. Satan will ever mix the bitter with the sweet to deceive us into feeding on that which is harmful and ruinous to the soul.

    20. I give to the qodeshim this key in judging the worthiness of the music they enjoy -- would you play such music in the presence of the Master Yah'shua the Messiah?

    21. If you are unsure then clearly you need to give prayerful consideration to your musical tastes, for music is one of the most powerful weapons Satan is using in this generation to rob the saints of the Light of Messiah, and to deflect them from their upward ascent out of materialism and into spirituality and happiness.

    22. Much damage can be done to the soul for a quick, sensual experience such as that which much modern music affords. Sensuality was never of Elohim and has been an enemy to Elohim's qodesh (set-apart, holy) purposes from the beginning of time.

    23. Matter and ruach (spirit) consist of many levels of energy and rhythm, from the coarsest matter to the most refined ruach (spirit), for all matter is but a form of ruach (spirit).

    24. In music these ranges of harmony exist too, from the coarse drum beat to the fine strains of the flute.

    25. Wholeness of body and soul is about balance and harmony which is abundantly supplied by Messiah, who died that purity might be restored and sin/disharmony supplanted.

    26. In the young especially it is important that a proper balance and harmony is maintained in their quest for the spiritual life through music and other arts.

    27. Certain beats and rhythms correspond to different energy centres in the human body.

    28. Most popular music leans heavily on rhythmic drum beats which activate the lower centres in the body associated with sexual drive, propelling the listener downwards into matter rather than upwards into ruach (spirit).

    29. Not infrequently such music contributes towards a rejection of the spiritual in favour of the sensual which in turn leads to immorality and a fall.

    30. True music integrates all the energy centres of a man or woman, from the more physical manifestations to the purely spiritual, with the spiritual presiding over the physical.

    31. In the secular world there is no doubt that the physical presides over the spiritual, and that its music is written by those in such a fallen condition.

    32. Therefore such music can be exceedingly dangerous because it can cause a recentering of energies in the believer and lead him into coarse materialism.

    33. The same principles apply to the other senses of the body too. Too much energy from the lower, coarser centres has the effect of numbing or paralysing the higher centres which will lead to a decline in prayer life and in desires to serve Elohim and His kingdom.

    34. Much modern music is not unlike chemical drug addiction which destroys a proper perspective of the world and of inner needs and priorities.

    35. In order to discern the many different types of music and song the set-apart person [fn004] must develop the spirit of discernment, but this he can only do as he sacrificies the desires of his lower nature for that of his higher which ever prompts him upward into closer communion with the Lord.

    36. The discernment of spirits in the world is one of the most important gifts there is.

    37. For if a man cannot discern between good and bad he will not know to what he is cleaving to and may thus become subject to the evil one and his many cunning devices.

    Rhythms and Heavenly Glories

    38. There are three main degrees or glories in the heavens and each is governed by its own rhythms and qualities of spiritual energy.

    39. A terrestrial2 spirit will listen to terrestrial-type music, for example, like attracting like.

    40. Equally there are many composites or mixtures of music corresponding to many degrees which are more difficult to discern to which man will be attracted on account of his fallen nature which is itself a composite of good and bad.

    On Dance

    41. Whereas music is mind and heart language, dance is body language expr- essing thoughts, desires, and attitudes contained in the mind, spirit, and body.

    42. When a saint dances to the Lord he expresses the unification of all his energy centres in holiness and purity.

    43. This is a recognised form of worship in the New Covenant Church of God and dancing or body movement is permitted in its praise meetings.

    44. Such dancing expresses the unification of all things -- the total man or woman -- which is the goal of a person centred in Christ.

    45. Christ died that man might be redeemed from the Fall and achieve wholeness centred in Him.

    46. Dancing in the world today is as varied and mixed as the music which drives it.

    47. Most of it is so sensual and spiritually impure in nature, and so deadening to the higher nature of man, that it is a snare to the soul, and has thus be- come another of Satan's favourite tools in his attempts to destroy the Christ-centre in man.

    48. We ought to apply the same tests to dancing as we apply to music. Is God glorified? Is sensuality or spirituality enhanced? To what does the dance lead(for all things have a conscious or unconscious end)?

    49. Without a doubt discotheques (discos), for example, are the reflection of the carnal and sensual desires of fallen man which operate on a man's spirit so as to lead him into materiality and into intimate situations which are devoid of proper responsibility and are counter to God's laws.

    50. Would you take Christ to a disco? We may say with confidence that disco- theques have nothing to offer the spiritually aspiring saint but will in all likelihood lead to spiritual damage.

    51. What shall we say of ball-room dancing or barn dancing? The same principles apply here and though the dangers are not necessarily as great as in disco dancing, there are dangers none- theless.

    52. Let each saint apply common sense and the keys which have been given him for the discernment of light and darkness.

    53. The New Covenant Church of God does not itself promote such dancing for reasons which are self-evident.

    54. Even ballet dancing has great dangers despite the music of classic ballet being of a more refined nature, for such encourages homosexuality and effeminacy in male artists.

    55. Nevertheless it is true to say that ballet dancing is less dangerous than disco dancing, for example, though in respect of damaging men's natures it may be worse.

    56. And in the case of some classical ballet it is evident that the story-line is less than edifying to the spiritual seeker after truth.

    57. Let all judge righteous judgment and be satisfied in their own minds thatthe arts they espouse are according to the will of the Father.

    The Laws of Spiritual Dancing

    58. We believe that there are intricate spiritual laws behind true and acceptable dancing -- dancing that leads to unity of the human soul and to the glorification of the Father and His Christ. Many of these principles are taught in the School of the Prophets.

    59. A dance may be generated by receiving a spiritual flow of energy as the saint comes to comprehend, by personal revelation, the movement of the Holy Spirit in his or her body.

    60. Dancing also results when a man is filled with the Spirit moving him to praise and worship, or when filled with an unspeakable joy that is communicated by the entire body instead of by words alone.

    61. Through realising and expressing this joy in dance, New Covenant Christians know that they are built up in the Holy Spirit and strengthened. "The JOY of the Lord is your strength", the Psalmist says (Ps.21.1).

    62. In joy/strength we are able to perform dances to the Lord. And from where does this joy come?

    63. Joy is the product of partaking of the Bread of Life, which is Christ Jesus, and from studying the Scriptures with understanding to the making glad of a man's heart.

    64. In praising the name of the Lord we lift up spiritual sacrifices of thanksgiving from our lips as our mind and heart agree to generate shouts of praise.

    65. Dancing is also a sacrifice as the entire state of man is transformed.

    66. As the sacrifices on the altar of our heart are changed from earthly to spiritual forms, so also is a man changed fromearthly (carnal) to spiritual as he arises in sacred dance.

    67. The sacrifices dance off the altar in smoke and ascend to God through the energy centres of the body.

    68. The physical body becomes elevated through the heat of the fire, which is the activity of the Holy Spirit as your mind, spirit, and body are surrendered on the wood/teachings of the altar/heart.

    69. What is achieved in dancing? In dancing we joyously unite physical and spiritual dimensions.

    70. With Miryam {Miriam, sister of Moses} we dance life's progression (Ex. 15:20-21) and success as the children of New Israel go through the sea/world.

    71. Dancing also accompanies deliver- ance. When we have been afflicted or been engaged in a spiritual battle, danc- ing accompanied by praise facilitates our recovery and means to finalise the defeat of those unseen powers or forces with whom we wage war in this life.

    Sensual Escape Routes

    72. People try to drown their troubles in many ways -- through alcohol, drugs, sexual immorality, disco dancing, etc.

    73. However, when they awake, their troubles remain and may be worse.

    74. In dancing and praising Jesus, the enemy (Satan) is drowned in the sea like Pharaoh's army to arise no more.

    75. Sickness and spiritual battles are overcome through spiritual dancing root- ed in praise and in the Word even as covenants of mind, heart and spirit in Christ defeat conflicts.

    76. Sometimes spiritual dancing can be a means of healing sickness in mind and heart and is but another gift of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    77. What of dancing to the wrong kind of music and for the wrong motives? We unite unawares our physical bodies withthe spiritual dimensions of the Enemy, and because these dimensions are carnal and sensual, such dancing becomes addictive like a drug so that if it is pursued long enough will eventually wipe out much of human free agency.

    78. Let the saints therefore beware and teach their children to adopt the true forms of spiritual dancing wherein the God of Creation is glorified.

    79. Sacred dancing in the New Covenant Church of God assists in the achievement of enlightenment of mind as is symbolically depicted in the Old Testament by the return of the Ark of the Covenant (2 Sam.6).

    80. Dancing accompanied and aided the Levitical procession of the Ark (the mind of men) which was lifted/brought up by shouting (praising).

    81. The sound of the trumpet depicts sounding forth understanding and revel- ation (2 Sam.6.15).

    82. As the saints shout praises and dance, thereby unifying all parts of man in worship to the Lord the gates of His House/Temple (which means the inner Temple) are opened.

    83. Dancing facilitates the priests to sound forth the wonder of the Word and in so doing the saints receive back the mind of Christ which was lost because of sin.

    84. David danced with all his might as the Ark (head) was lifted up on the shoulders of the Levites (men of unity) and the glory of the Lord returned to His people.

    85. In dancing our heads are lifted up, and the King of Glory comes in.

    86. Our feet are the instruments of dancing and the means by which we implement movements.

    87. The means to elevation in the light and to fulfil one's calling are related to one's spiritual walk.

    88. When the feet are yielded to performing one's assigned roles in the Body (Church), the Spirit directs the feet in many avenues and forms of service and expressions of worship.

    89. People sometimes forget that the Body of Christ has "feet" along with hands and a head -- and the feet are not just for walking!

    90. Dancing to the Lord is coupled with walking in His will and doing His service.

    91. To dance to God the feet must be yielded and guided by the Holy Spirit.

    92. Normally, in temple dancing the shoes are removed. There is provision for Temple Dancing in the Church of the Firstborn (Holy Order) as there is in the praise meetings in the local Colonies.

    93. New Covenant Christians should not seek dance patterns from folk, culture and popular styles of this world for spirit-directed dancing forms, for these must come through personal and indivual revelation.

    94. We should keep in mind that many types of ideas are conveyed in dancing. The forms of body language of each dance correspond to the music and ideas being conveyed.

    95. Nor should one try to imitate another's dance always and just restrict one's own expression of worship.

    96. It is important to remember the smoke ascending on the altar (Rev.8.4). The smoke has many patterns and form- ions.

    97. Individual dancing is unique and spontaneous in the Spirit which does not draw attention to itself but to the One to whom the dance is being performed.

    98. There are also uniform expressions for congregational dancing. There are times when the Spirit directs collective dances such as those performed by angels (malakim) in circles or other formations with uniform movements.

    99. The birds in the sky, the sheep in the hills, the elephants on the plain, etc., are examples of collective dance forms (Ps.114.4).

    100. Angelic ministries include instruction in dancing.

    101. In a sense, life itself is a dance, and we either "dance" to our Creator, to our own egos, or to the Adversary. Each plays his own tune.

    102. The essential quality of the Holy Spirit is upward movement, for move- ment and life are inseparable.

    103. Regardless of the form, all spiritual dances are to be BEFORE HIM -- to Yahweh {Jehovah}, the face of Unity (2 Sam.6.14) and not for our own enter- tainment.

    104. Dancing not performed to God achieves little spiritual transformation and becomes, instead, an act of self- indulgence3.

    105. In our dancing we should always keep Christ and His Shekinah [Presence] before our eyes, performing movements towards His Unity and Wholeness.

    106. Sacred dancing is thus one of the concepts of spiritual RESTORATION.

    107. There are some, because of cultural upbringing, or simply pride, who would look down on such things.

    108. Such people ought perhaps to remember that this was the reaction of Michal who, in scorning her husband's sacred dance, disgraced herself in the eyes of God (2 Sam.6.20-23) and suffered the consequences by having no further children {spiritual increase}.

    109. If we deny ourselves the oppor- tunity to further penetrate the veil through sacred dance, we deny in part the gift of God and become spiritual losers.

    110. Music and dance are a vital part of the Godly life, possessing great trans-forming or destructive power that can either lift up the soul to great heights of religious beauty and wonder, or lead to carnal bondage and darkness.

    Sensitivity vs. Coarseness

    111. It is no accident that in our modern world sensitivity to fine music and dance that characterised earlier generations has given way to coarse, debasing and carnal music and dancing to such an extent that the spiritual ears of the rising generation are no longer able to appreciate the wonders and beauties of the classical masters.

    112. The present generation exalts the mediocre and vulgar, and scorns and riddicules true musical masters as "old and stuffy".

    113. In many ways we have a formidable task educating the youth of the kingdom to hear with spiritual and not carnal ears.

    114. Our senses have become so dulled by modern popular music that the other spiritual senses have become dulled too.

    115. Satan has effectively killed off our spiritual senses by deadening them with coarse and sensual music, literature, dancing, and so on.

    116. He has won a great victory, enslaving a whole generation not only with chemical drugs but with auditory and visual drugs also.

    117. Part of our stewardship as New Covenant Christians must be to reawaken these crucified senses which, when properly attuned, have the power to bring us closer to a fuller experience of salvation in Christ through communion with the living God. Amen.

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    This page was first created on 20 March 1998
    Last updated on 16 September 2013

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