O1i Understanding the Sabbath

A look at the sabbath, it’s meanings in the Old Testament, corrections in understanding by Jesus, and its relevance for families today and contemporary worship.  Does it apply to Israel only?  Is it of universal scope in application for all of humanity?  Saturday?  Sunday? Is the sabbath mainly for devotion to God or is it intended for us too?

33 slides. Downloadable PowerPoint with full formatting. See square icon.

Supplement for the book, People in the Presence of God.

New! 01E Holiness in OT/NT Worship

The words holy/holiness appear frequently in our Christian worship choruses/songs. But seldom is their biblical meaning ever explained or developed. The need for holiness is merely stated repeatedly. No content.

This PowerPoint seeks to reveal the ways holiness is used/applied in scripture. Wholeness is one of the primary meanings of holiness.

To download with proper formatting, see download sign is bottom-left corner. 69 frames.

NEW! 1G Discontinuity vs Continuity

Revised, Sept 15, 2014

Why is the question “To what extent is the Old Testament discontinuous or continuous with the New Testament” so important for Christian worship?  Well, it affects how seriously we take OT worship.  It affects the extent to which OT practice might apply or be suggestive for worship now. Though the OT devotes more than 10 times the amount of space to worship than the NT, many evangelicals tend to “blow it off.”  Yet isn’t all scripture “profitable” (II Tim 3:16)?

This PowerPoint supplements People in the Presence of God. 55 frames.

To find the file, go to search box (upper right hand corner) and write in Discontinuity or simply click the download sign below on the lower left corner.

New! 1F Underlying OT Worship Theology Identical to NT?

Revised Sept 15, 2014. This is the PowerPoint I use for my first class in teaching Worship Foundations at Biola University. I try to deal with some of the negativity often associated with the Old Testament.

This PowerPoint argues that OT and NT worship is essentially identical in its underlying theology.  But you ask,”Isn’t OT worship primarily about sacrifices and external worship? How could they be identical?”

PowerPoint supplementing People in the Presence of God. 34 frames.

PowerPoint is available for “download” and for proper appearance and formatting. Click on square box, then “file.”

16A Temple Festivals PowerPoint Revised

Revised October 2, 2014

The three major Hebrew festivals are discussed in detail (Passover, Feast of Weeks, Feast of Tabernacles), and their Christian counterparts (Easter, Pentecost, Thanksgiving). A crucial discussion emerges regarding the relative importance of celebrating secular versus sacred holidays/events in churches. 48 frames.

This PowerPoint supplements People in the Presence of God.

For proper formatting, download the whole file (click on square box)

01E Holiness in OT Worship PP PP

Holiness is the central concept for Old Testament Worship.  Moreover, the concept is pervasive from the Pentateuch right through to the book of Revelation.  Holiness is a many-spendored prism through which God’s character is communicated.  Holiness helps us get close to the feeling of Old Testament worship in all it’s diversity.  It both attractive and at the same time it repels us.  Discover.

Updated 7.2014.  69 frames.

To download, go to “download” at bottom-left corner.



16B Musicians as Prophets PIP PP

Old Testament musicians (including Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun) were viewed as prophets (seers), as prophesying; were writers of some of the 150 psalms. Almost half of scripture is in poetic form, yet pastors often view poetic form as a hindrance to meaning.

People in the Presence of God (paperback)



You are not obligated to purchase the book! Use the PowerPoints as you wish. But to get more value out of them, you may want to get your copy of the paperback through Zondervan or Amazon (new or used).  Below see a brief description of the book & its table of contents.

People in the Presence of God:  Models and Directions for Worship by Barry Liesch. Zondervan Publishing House, 1988, 352 pages.

Though written in 1988, its content hasn’t dated much. It attempts to get at the richness of worship in the Scriptures, to get really close to what is actually going on—especially from a musician-worship leader perspective. It has a big section on worship in the book of Revelation. It emphasizes the active use of the arts, cites a lot of Scripture, and intersperses contemporary applications throughout.  Popular in style with scholarly endnotes, a dozen colleges and seminaries have used it as a text. Nominated for a gold medallion award.

Contents of People in The Presence of God

I. Principles of Worship

1. Old Testament Principles

2. New Testament Principles

II. Family Worship

3. Learning from the Patriarchs

III. Worship in the Synagogue and Pauline Church

4. Pauline Worship: Balance or Chaos

5. Extraordinary Variety!

6. Back to the Fountainhead

7. Synagogue Worship: Patterns for Protestants

8. The Legacy: Corinth, Synagogue, Church Fathers, Puritans

IV. Worship in the Tabernacle and Temple

9. Tabernacle Worship: Drama

10.Tabernacle Worship:  Symbolism

11. Tabernacle Worship: Fine Arts

12. Temple Worship:  What is Davidic Praise

13. The Organization of Davidic Praise

14. Musical Style

15. Movement in Worship

16.Celebrating Festivals

V. Revelation Worship

17. Our Heaven on Earth

18. The Ultimate Drama

19. Symbolism: Old But New

20. Worship with Mystery

21. Product of God, Creator-Artist