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Worship: Praising God for Power or Equipping the Saints by Edification
Why churches fall into the worship - praise frenzy and do not teach I believe you are right on the mark about the misplaced emphasis the change agents, and those who follow them, put on WORSHIP. Such folks seem to be more interested in surrendering their posts to ally with the denominations, using worship as the location for these "peace talks/surrender ceremonies", than in the mission of the church: taking the gospel to the lost--including the denominational "christians", so called.
I hope, through God's mercy and blessing, that your work continues to water the ground upon which the seed has been sown (1 Corinthians 3:5-9). Trusting that God gives the increase.
Thanks for your two mails. I thought that I needed to expand upon why I believe most churches have fallen into a "Worship-Frenzy" and some even use Corinth as a model. But Paul said that they would look mad or insane because their "assemblies did more harm than good." This was because they put the emphasis upon what modern churches now lust after. However, I don't see much in common between "distinctly American" worship and the New Testament. As for "Change Agents"
"Change Agents: The churchman . . . who accepts the injunction that he must change to mean that he must come up with something totally new, and that he must abandon everything from the religion of the past, is likely to find that he has surrounded himself with a small coterie of secular men, men who believe as religiously as he does that they are the wave of the future and that the evolutionary process assures their triumph as the most advanced and most progressive--and, yes, let's say it--the fittest of their species. Andrew M. Greeley, Unsecular Man
It is clear that within our fellowship the change emphasis (The rearranging the furniture complex) is connected to promoted revivalistic schemes and pushed by people who believe that God has ordained them to use psychological force to change the church from where it is to where they want it to be. Always connected to mind manipulation is the urge to restructure the church to be like the nations.
Dan, you must understand that according to Plato ,"change of government is always preceded by change in the music -- and at first it seems innocent." The books and methods coming out of this movement follow the leader but it isn't remotely connected to the Bible.
The "heavy" question is whether you sing three unscriptural songs interspersed with thinking time or three unscriptural songs as one song for the purely emotional impact?
Notice, how change begins:
"In segment two, the tempo of the class shifted abruptly into celebrative praise and worship, with contemporary songs projected on a screen in colorful graphics. Readings, prayers, and singing clustered around a single theme.
The worship team led directly from one song to the next without interruption,
intentionally moving the tone and content of worship in a specific direction,
gathering the congregation into the momentum of the experience.
A few songs included clapping and one or two worshipers actually 'lifted holy hands.'
The beaming expressions of the worship leaders spread to the class members.
"Several short Scripture readings moved quickly from one reader to the next, climaxing (Oh, if I understand ancient paganism, this could be Freudian.) in a congregational responsive reading.... The feeler/creative right-brainers were transported while thinker/analytical left-brainers rolled their eyes, and their body language said, 'Oh, please! Give me a break!"
Some even raised their holy hands and clapped. This to the ignorant or malicious is peddled by the hucksters as "worship."
The writer has just described mind manipulation as the new Change Agent replaces the understanding of the Word of God with intentional facilitating of an emotional experience!
Read how Rubel Shelly and John York can do this for you in "worship."
If medical science is correct, this is not spiritual worship but the impulse of fight, flight or sex.
To see how this deliberately defeats spiritual worship just to get a grin from the worship facilitator, Click Here.
From Whence Have "The Many" Come?
As you might have noted from the overwhelming evidence I have collected from the Tower of Babel down through church history, what you see is what Karen Armstrong, in A History of God, identifies as the Masculine God and His Word in mortal combat with the Effeminate focus of music and emotion. Those on their Masculine Journey protesteth too much. It comes as no surprise that they PLAY in the image of Israel at Mount Sinai.
Those we call "change agents" have "come in out of the cold" of the mission fields, and the "threshing oxen" have moved in with your family to become boss of the field hands, and according to the words Jesus used, "loaders of the pack animals." This works only if the definition of the evangelists is changed to worship facilitators. I am constantly amazed at how the church in this country is influenced more by The Grand Ole Opry than Christ and His Word. I am reading a book on Jazz which is moving into churches about anywhere you hear wired-up worship teams or even so-called "gospel hymns" which are neither gospel nor hymns.
The Musicologists clearly identify "church music," especially since the 1950's, and after the post-WWII euphoria gave way to reality, as a blend of "Hillbilly or country, Southern secretly-coded 'black gospel' songs and a liberal dash of Voodoo." Others note that this music specificially evolved to create a "spiritual worship" feeling (as opposed to stagecoach music) probably beginning with the overpowering black slave influence in the First and Second Great Awakenings. As a paradox, Harold Bloom, in The American Religion, shows that the masters are always subverted by the slaves.
While what I have heard called a "hootenany" takes place on Sunday "worship," people from all over the world (not to say at home) are starving for anything they can learn about the Bible. However, what we call "worship in songs" and "Bible class" and "sermons" puts a thick barrier between the "audience" and the Word of God. A few true evangelists returning to this country stand amazed and shocked.
Your statement about "watering" the ground reminds me that God's Word will never work unless it, like in the water cycle described in Isaiah 55, isreturned to God but only after being recycled through someone who has never tasted that Word. However, the modern church is "uniquely an American invention" according to Bloom and I am embarassed at the childish nature of what we call worship. My doctor gave me a pill to help me survive. He said that he prescribes for a lot of "Sunday worship participants." This is in perfect agreement with the effect of the like the nations worship beginning at the Tower of Babel and used to drive Israel into captivity when they rejected God's Word.
Do you suppose that God has a juvenile court?
Because of questioning attitude of those confused by the new kids on the block, it is important to understand the purpose of the missionary-evangelists and the pastor-teachers in the local flock, as well as the purpose of the assembly which seems not to be for what we confuse as worship. For instance, rather than an "act of worship" the Lord's Supper seems to be "visual aid" or the effective teaching or "showing forth" that Jesus died, was resurrected and ascended into heaven. We are not to suppose that we supply some "needed satisfaction" to God because we have "performed the act." This would be pure, unadulterated legalism.
You must understand, however, that the new "hermeneutics" allows people to believe that they are superior to the Word of God.
First, we should note that Christ did not ordain worship leaders or preachers to "perform an act of worship." He did not tell us how to navigate the winds of change blowing like hot air from the bellies of the speakers (Elihu, in Job). Rather, we need to learn how to be adults and stay in safe harbor and away from the hot air.
Paul gave an important reason for supernaturally-gifted leaders for the first century churches and I can't find "Worship Director" among the list or what we erroneously call "worship" as one of the primary goals of the church. I do know that McClintock and Strong identify the designated musical clergy as "the first heresy largely pervading the church." However, the "restored" church understands that:
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; Ephesians 4:11
- For the perfecting of the saints,
- for the work of the ministry, for the
- edifying of the body of Christ: Ephesians 4:12
- We have also a more sure word of prophecy;
- whereunto ye do well that ye take heed (worship word),
- as unto a light that shineth in a dark place,
- until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 2 Peter 1:19
Woops! Don't let us hear that four different groups, singing four different sets of words, at four different times and with four different tunes to try to be legal but still reproduce the pipe organ (organum) to make my hair stand up on the back of our neck is edifying! No. Just the opposite.
Edification: "house building or instruction; especially moral or spiritual instruction or improvement." Webster.
Why does this Biblical edification (education) take place?
Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: Ephesians 4:13
That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness
whereby they lie in wait to deceive; Ephesians 4:14
You see, dear deluded, this edification or education is to prepare or instruct in Biblical doctrine so that our youth do not leave us and get blown about by false doctrine. Get it?
Do you really believe that singing sentimental poetry which too often is in error or even teaches false doctrine (Yea, heresy) is going to instruct your lambs to understand why we believe what we believe?
As always, what we call "worship" is not to satisfy some need or debt: the purpose of the assembly is edification; edification is education and education comes only from the unscrambled Words of Christ.
Of the faithful elder or pastor-teacher of the local flock (the evangelist is on the road again), Paul demanded that he 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. Titus 1:9
- Isn't this what Paul also demanded of teaching?
- Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom;
- teaching and admonishing one another
- in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, (This is the Biblical text alone)
- singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. Colossians 3:16
This is a direct command from Christ through Paul: the message is "the faithful word" which is "the Word of Christ" wich must be delivered without contamination and used to teach and correct or it is not held fast as the trustworthy word. To substitute our words for Christ's Words is a direct violation of several direct commands and even the example of Jesus Christ at Passover.
The result is that our people are blown about with violent winds of false doctrine and 50 years in the same Bible class usually leaves our people where they were a half century ago.
Yet, so many still pretending to be ministers get somewhat violent at the suggestion that perhaps the Spirit Lord Jesus Christ (full Deity, Col 2:9) may have had the words all figured out as He paid the ultimate price which we try to pay with "worship" which is "worship" in the Old Testament sense and not Spirit or Word based.
Unfortunately, men like Judas probably didn't know that he was Satan's Change Agent. Psalm 41 predicted that he would not "triumph over" Jesus where triumph speaks directly to the mechanical or human "trumpets" used to panic someone while pretending to rejoice before the Lord. Did you know that the Judas Bag was the little casket hung from the flute bag to carry the "mouthpieces of wind instruments?" Of course, musician and thief at that time was almost synonymous because they took money as the result of their effeminate performance. Judas didn't know that he was naked and blind!
Dan, what you are seeing, and they are calling worship, would be identified by Jesus as children playing games trying to force people to sing and dance -- This is the Judas Principle. They even rehearse how they are going to lead the worship for you.
However, the task of the church is to speak the Word as it has been delivered. All of the sermons have been preached and all of the songs sung and the evangelists have been sent out That source is the Words of Jesus in Colossians 3 or the Spirit in Ephesians 5. He gives us no more right to compose songs and sermons than He gives us the right to die for our own sins. Such songs along with musical instruments rest upon the same misunderstanding of "Church" and, in history, self-composed poems to replace the Bible seems to have met with more resistance than instruments. Jesus is the Spirit of Truth. Therefore, if the words are composed by human change agents they are not the TRUTH!
But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: Ephesians 4:15
If that "truth" comes out of my own head then Jesus died for nothing and His Words for which He and the apostles died are utterly repudiated. Paul insisted (1 Cor. 14:6) that even inspired speakers must deliver revelation, knowledge, prophesying or doctrine. These, like Paul's songs, are supernaturally inspired to keep the arrogant "many" out of the "inspiration" business. The sit down and shut up applied to both male and female unless they were inspired.
Repudiating the Biblical Text
In about 150 A.D. the church read the Biblical text for up to three hours. The presiding elder explained any difficult passage or discussed it with the "body." Preaching had not yet arrived from the Greek theater. Songs were exclusively the Psalms or other Biblical passage. No one within the sphere of the inspired Word dared for many years to presume to write their own songs.
Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs are ignorantly interpreted to mean songs which I have composed. For instance, early Restoration leaders saw singing as "a legal act of worship. It is a command. Disobeying a command is a sin. If you sin you go to hell." Unfortunately, "singing" was the legalistic act which, like ancient paganism, had an ethos of its own and it didn't matter too much what you sang. That heresy is alive and well today.
The Theologial Dictionary of the New Testament notes that:
"In the NT there is still no precise differentiation between ode, psalmos, and humnos. e.g., in Col.3:16 or Eph.5:19, in contrast to a later time, when ode (canticum) came to be used only for biblical songs (apart from the Psalms) used in liturgy. From the NT passages we may gather the following elements in the concept or the Christian ode as also confirmed from other sources.
(Our note: Sing in Ephesians 5:19 is Ode (g5603) o-day'; from 103; a chant or "ode" the gen. term for any words sung)
"a. Odai are the cultic songs of the community. They are not sung by the individual, but by the community gathered for worship...
Of a piece with this is the anonymity or the early authors, as also the attachment to OT tradition. Only in the 2nd century are the authors sometimes mentioned. In the Didascalia, 2, p..5.29, we can still read: 'It thou desirest hymns, thou hast the Psalms of David."'
"b. The ode is inspired. This is shown by the epithet pneumatikos, though it does indicate more generally its religious character. . . . With the inspiration or hymns is linked their improvisation, e.g., in I C. 14:26 (cr. Acts 4:24); Tert. adv. Marc., 5,b; Apolog. 39,18." (Note: and condemned, we might add).
There can be no doubt that Jesus hymned the Biblical text and Paul demanded the Biblical text rather than the wine or ignorance-produced secular songs (Oh, they usually worshipped some form of god, such as the air).
There can be no debate over the fact that those who substitute loud, emotional, sentimental poetry for Scripture, worship the songsters and not God. This, too, was the meaning of singing a song in ancient Hittite ritual.
If they had any knowledge of the Word and its teaching value they could not cast it away in favor of mind-bending music -- unless they are, like Judas, Satan's Change Agents.
If you are given two choices: Fanny Crosby with complex harmony (added c. 1800) or the Words of God, and you pick "Four Part Fanny," then you have repudiated God and His Word -- It is self evident! Two things cannot occupy the same mind at the same time: you cannot sing sentiment and worship at the same time.
There can be no doubt that such songs and method create a synthetic organ (from organum meaning "after the organ") in order to have the drug-producing power of instrumental music while claiming to be legalistic pure of mechanical contamination. It is an attempt to get by with lying to God.
The more rehearsed, perfected and presented our songs using our talent the better we hallucinate and believe that it is worship. However, this repudiation of God's Word accounts for what you are seeing on the near-mad fringes as pew-filling becomes the dominant goal.
The neo-pagans trapped into a "worship-frenzy" are self-deluded (and it is contageous) and many are so self-elevated that they are the head and they are the body and they perform the worship for you. This is a direct assault upon what Paul identified as the body of Christ of which Christ is the head and the Spirit.
The church in any location becomes a denomination when it presumes to do the thinking for Christ and the work of the "body parts":
From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying (teaching) of itself in love. Ephesians 4:16
I have just answered an e-mail attack by one who sees the priest (call him preacher) as having the power by virtue of his ordination to transform the bread and wine into the literal body of Christ with the authority even to parade Him around (inside the wafer). I pointed out that when you do not love the truth -- as much "worship" clearly proves -- God speaks to you in parables such as "change agents" or "revival through worship" or some other nonesense because you have lost the right to truth -- probably beyond redemption. Click Here to hear Jesus say so.
Those who suppose that by some form of ordination they have the power to transmute the Word (Spirit) of Christ into an improved version as a "disease-specific injection" to cure some ill are clearly temporarily exercising the same priestly power Jesus died to destory. However, they are playing "tag football" with an atomic bomb and it will, always does, blow up in their face.
Therefore, if they look like pagans or bumpkin children playing games you can understand that they may have no other option open to them.
In the remainder of Ephesians 4 and the beginning of chapter 5, the sign of God pouring out his wrath upon such persons is making a fool, jester or buffoon of them. The mission of Christ and of Paul was to put away this pagan belief that "going mad" was proof that the "gods" were inside -- they knew God personally:
This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Ephesians 4:17
Remember that Jesus said that worship which comes out of our own mind or some super-ego plan to "build the church" or whatever secular purpose, is vain worship. Empty worship from empty heads because it is not mind or spirit centered.
While this form of worship will drive the spiritual people mad and then away, others will love to have ignorance compounded upon ignorance. I believe that it was Clement of Alexander who complained that these people were "drunk on ignorance." Paul agrees:
Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Ephesians 4:18
They see themselves as spiritual because they usually equate loud and enthusiastic to spiritual. Little do they know that Philo created the word enthusiasm and it meant "filled with the gods or demons of madness." Paul spoke of them in 1 Corinthians 14 as mad or insane. They cannot see the evil being done and therefore confuse the world's worship with spirit (in the mind) worship because:
Who being past feeling (apathetic) have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. Ephesians 4:19
They are working out their own impurity or demonic impulses purely because they see "godliness as a means of financial gain." This is just as destructive to the sincere minister as it is to the church as a whole.
Paul and Peter identified them as professional "ministers become masters" or (huper) super-apostles.
But I do not think I am in the least inferior to those "super-apostles." 2 Corinthians 11:5
I may not be a trained speaker, but I do have knowledge. We have made this perfectly clear to you in every way. 2 Corinthians 11:6
Paul refused to be supported to kick the legs out from under their stool when they refused to go out and suffer:
For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness: 1 Thessalonians 2:5
Those who do are anti-Christ:
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
Some of these people sell books and even claim that if you find yourself picking up their book not to think that you have free will: God sent you to the store to buy the book which claims to do exactly what Scripture claims for itself. And fools love to be fooled.
When Jesus said, "Call no man Father or Rabbi or Doctor of the Law" He understood that they "took away the key to knowledge" (Luke 11:52). The Jewish clergy was so far gone through rejecting the light they had that Jesus deliberately spoke parables when the multitudes and clergy (mass meetings) were around. He did this to keep the gospel out of their hands because they were beyond His urge to redeem them.
How horrible to have God Incarnate refuse to even speak to you because you might repent!
Now we must get something straight: when Paul said "if they will not work neither should they eat" he was not giving the many preachers something to beat the heads of the Thessalonians with; He was telling the preachers that if they prowled around while others were working they should get a job or get out.
In the same way, in Ephesians 4 he is not warning about those who plagued the professional clergy: he was waring the believers against the professional preachers who saw "preacher" as we might see 'plumber." They sold themselves as experts of the Law but knew nothing about it and just made themselves look like fools. But, not to worry, there are always enough fools loving to be fooled.
Paul warns of the same people who could not understand the Word and were in a near-insane frenzy trying to find some scheme which would work without using Christ's Word in song and sermon:
Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more. Ephesians 4:19NIV
They don't care anymore about right and wrong and have given themselves over to impure ways. They stop at nothing, being driven by their evil minds and reckless lusts (Greediness KJV). Ephesians 4:19LIV
Sensuality may just mean attempting to convert or revive or grow a dead church through attacks upon the emotion or senses of sight, sound or motion. Sensuality and "seeing godliness as a means of financial gain" go hand in hand:
For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. 2 Peter 2:18
These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having mens persons in admiration because of advantage. Jude 1:16
Trying to suck you into their schemes by human talent (real or imagined) such as pompous speech, musical worship teams or any other sense-appeal is attacking you upon the basis of the lust of the flesh and don't forget it. And they are not just "misinformed!"
This automatically means that the Words of Christ will be tokenized or ignored while sensual leaders "bulge over" with what appeals to the ears and eyes. They are not ministers of God but are leading those who have been cleansed and escaped from paganism right back into the muck. While they may not think of themsevles as evil, any of these actions will betray the person lurking in the thinly-disguised, paper-like mask -- peels away so easily.
Worship in Spirit in Truth
Spirit does not mean enspirited or enthusiastic. Our spirit is our God-created and eternal nature or disposition of our physical brain. God's Spirit is just God Who is pure or Holy Spiri or it is God's Mental Disposition. God's name is not Father; not Son; not Holy Spirit. God's singular name (Acts 2:38) is Jesus Christ (Jehovah-Saves).
False, and near-blasphemous, worship has sunk into worshipping God as three Beings.
Baptism declares our body with its senses dead (dead, dead, dead). If it still dances and jerks in an attempt to worship God it is just the death dance like the chickens when the head is removed.
We have had our spirit nature transformed into heavenly places (mental realm) where Jesus dwells. True worship, then, is spirit to Spirit:
Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. John 4:21
Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship; for salvation is of the Jews. John 4:22
But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. John 4:23
- God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him
- in spirit and in truth. John 4:24
But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: Ephesians 4:15
Jesus explained this by putting prayer in the closet and alms for the poor in secret.
When God is really in His Holy Temple (me) the urge for silence will be overwhelming. If I still jerk and shout, Habakkuk would say that I am still trying to find the pagan gods.
God is not "body" or flesh and blood and bones. Therefore, to attempt to worship Him with the body's senses of sight and sound will be totally ignored by One Who is pure or Holy Spirit. In Judaism this was spiritual adultery.
We "get hold" of the Spirit of Christ only through His Words -- our words are absolutely vain unless they return God's Words to Him after recycling them through others:
It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. John 6:63
Worship in Ephesus
Paul never hinted that acceptable worship was self-composed songs and sermons. Rather, obeying Jesus' definition of Spirit, he told the Ephesians:
And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Ephesians 5:18
Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Ephesians 5:19
These are all part of the inspired text: the Book of Psalms consisted of Psalms, hymns (prayers) and spiritual songs. If you were not inspired then Paul insisted that you sit down and shut up (male or female).
The pattern is clear: to be filled with the Spirit you must be filled with the Words of Christ. This is the "water of the Word" which you must recycle through the minds of those who need to be taught that which is pure Biblical revelation: there is no room for you to write God's words for him. The result is that the effort is directed back to God Who gave you the words to speak to one another.
To substitute sentimental poetry whose Biblical content for the whole "worship" service could be put on a 1 X 2 card is to spit in the face of God Incarnate Whose Words are the only Spirit and Life which will "fill the pews."
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
As we noted above, these are all the inspired Biblical text; there is not any room in Paul's letters for self composed songs. In fact, in 1 Corinthians 14, unless you were inspired you had no right to sing self-composed songs- NONE! Many of these worship teams speak by the waving of the hand, the tilting of the head, the winking of the eye, the shuffling of the foot or even dancing. Because I don't have a clue to their secret language, they are treating me like a barbarian as the speak in tongues.
Then why do we do it? We do it because we cannot tolerate the Words of Christ in our lives. After all, the change agent's Second Incarnation strives for a church and a "ministry" more powerful than the First Incarnation in Christ. The "cultivated and enhanced worship rituals" are a product of the New Wine or Vineyard movement.
In Romans 12, Paul said:
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present (deliver up) your bodies a living sacrifice (make it a victim), holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. Romans 12:1KJV
I appeal to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Romans 12:1RSV
No, Paul did not say that we should leave our "body" alive and therefore worship God with our body which, of course, involves the mouth.
The body life must be put to death or sacrificed.
Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. Romans 6:6
Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:11
Get the point? If we are dead to the old body we cannot do what even Jesus could not do: He did not speak His own words.
Jesus the man did not just get "general principles" from the Spirit Father within Him. God gave Him the words (Oh yes, we know about translation.) to speak and even returned on Pentecost as Spirit (John 14:16-18) to keep telling them words to speak and record.
Jesus answered, "My teaching is not my own. It comes from him who sent me. John 7:16
Now, look at those who make up their own words out of their own head:
He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him. John 7:18
When men begin to invent, compose and improvize for Christ, unrighteousness will begin to pour like blood out of his pores and he will find himself in trouble with little boys or doing counseling in the motel.
Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep (guard with a wall) my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. John 14:23
He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Fathers which sent me. John 14:24
Oh, they whine: "You know that we cannot see eye-to-eye but we can walk hand-in-hand!" But the "paradigm" is all screwed up! You want to allow others to follow their self-invented forms of worship while you follow your self-invented forms of worship so that we can all fit in that great, expanding wineskin in the sky! You have missed the point. Christ wanted you to speak His words to one another without allowing your body and mind and composing and choreographical and body-language talent to get between Christ and the worshipper.
If the external body has been offered up as a sacrifice, it cannot serve God in rituals directed to the external body. On the other hand, spiritual worship is from:
Logikos (g3050) log-ik-os'; from 3056; rational ("logical"): - reasonable, of the word.
Jesus is called the Logos who, in the Greek world, was the Word or messenger of God. A reasonable or spiritual sacrifice, therefore, is related to the rational mind or human spirit. We cannot worship with our sacrificed bodies if they are dead!
Rational is: "LOGIKOS, pertaining to the reasoning faculty, reasonable, rational, is used in Rom. 12:1, of the service (latreia) to be rendered by believers in presenting their bodies..
"in contrast to those offered by ritual and compulsion; the presentation is to be in accordance with the spiritual intelligence of those who are new creatures in Christ." (Vine, p. 935).
Renewing the Mind with the Word
Everyone understood the nature of "worship" of this world. It involved rituals and inflicted "burdens" upon the "worshiper" which Jesus defined as "anxiety created by religious ritual." However, Spiritual worship is defined by Jesus as "in the closet" or "not letting one hand (you) know what the other hand (me) is giving." We approach Jesus like a Shepherd: by still waters. Can you imagine the impact of what we call "worship" upon a flock of sheep? Well, the same thing happens to human "sheep." Sooner or later, they flee to another sheepfold looking for silence so that they can Worship God in His Holy Temple -- our spirit.
Sheep, you must understand, cannot feed or drink in the presence of noise! If you impose your body between me and God then I cannot worship.
In keeping with what Jesus called Spiritual worship, Paul wrote:
And be not conformed (patterened after) to this world: but ye transformed (repent and metamorphose) by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2
The perfect will of God is not part of the modern "worship" songs and sermons.
Rather than "worship," Paul speaks of edification or "house building." Edification does not mean to be hyped up with "drugs" because of sight or sound. Edification always means education. Therefore, Paul insisted that we rebuild our mind or renew our own holy spirit through the teachings of Christ. Sorry, but however talented you believe yourself to be, you cannot manufacture "mind food."
Using different words, Paul told Titus that the renewal of the Holy Spirit was by renewing of the knowledge of Christ which is the Spirit promised in Isaiah 11:
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us,
- by the washing of regeneration,
- and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Titus 3:5
Or as Peter said:
Then Peter said unto them, Repent,
and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins,
and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Acts 2:38
Metamorphose happens when the ugly, meaty, grub worm suddenly turns into a beautiful butterfly able to leave its old "shell" or house and fly away to sip the nectar of life. We must "reckon" our body to be dead before we can metamorphose into a spiritual being which can only worship in spirit or in the mind. If you find yourself enjoying body worship then you need to be converted. Please go to Acts 2.
To prevent "exercising" the human spirit by thinking about deep, Spirit words is to reject God's method for spirit renewal. While physical events may dazzle our external senses and impress the payers that the payee is in a panic trying to prove his worth, the renewal of the spirit of the mind takes place by understanding the Mind of Christ which is the Holy Spirit. Paul told the Colossians how to turn from an ugly worm into a "butterfly"-
Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; Colossians 3:9
And have put on the new man,
which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Colossians 3:10
If the trained "worship facilitator" gets in the way then we are likely to be renewed in sentimental music and mind-altering noise but not in the image of Jesus Christ. We usually look like, believe like and act like our teacher: I want that to be Jesus.
How can Christ's Word Carry Spirit Power
The spirit prophesied about in the Old Testament was to be written on the heart and it was not a 1/3 God living in your literal body:
Isaiah prophesied of Christ as having a seven-fold spirit:
AND there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: Isa 11:1
And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; Isa 11:2
And shall make him of quick understanding (sensitive or spiritual) in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: Isa 11:3
If it isn't the Words of Christ it isn't Spirit!
Later, Isaiah warned about buying the free Word from a God Manipulator:
HO, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Isaiah 55:1
For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither,
but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: Isaiah 55:10
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void,
but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. Isaiah 55:11
If you have to buy it, it isn't the Water of the Word!
The meaning of the death of Christ is that we can have access to His Mind which is the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 2) and we can come boldly before the throne of Grace. To find a "mediator" standing between us and God means that someone is prowling around seeking someone to devour.
AND I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. 1 Corinthians 2:1
For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 1 Corinthians 2: 2 (This means that he taught what Christ taught and, as Spirit, revealed to Him.)
And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. 1 Corinthians 2: 3
And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of mans wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: 1 Corinthians 2: 4
That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. 1 Corinthians 2: 5
If you see this man doing "exciting worship stuff" then you will know that he is not imitating Paul as Paul imitated Christ. Seen any trembling people on the worship team? Seen any "worship-prone" leaders sweating from fear because of the sacred Words he held in his hands? Only when the Words of Christ is preached will the Spirit of Christ be put to work.
Remember, that Jesus spoke parables to the imperfect: those who were not God-Fearers based upon God's natural witness to them.
Paul, like Jesus, only spoke to those who were looking for the Spirit of Truth:
Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: 1 Corinthians 2: 6
But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: 1 Corinthians 2: 7
Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 1 Corinthians 2: 8
The multitudes in Jerusalem were so far gone that Jesus refused to deliver the mysteries to them and therefore spoke to them in parables.
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 1 Corinthians 2: 9
But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 1 Corinthians 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 Corinthians 2: 11
Mankind was made in the image of God. Therefore, our spirit is to the us, as God's Spirit is to Him. Our spirit is the rational disposition of our mind: God's Spirit is defined as the rational disposition of His mind.
Those with a spirit of the world will automatically construct "worship" which is like the world just as Israel worshipped "like the nations" when they once rejected the direct rulership of God:
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 Corinthians 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 Corinthians 2: 13
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually (figuratively) discerned. 1 Corinthians 2: 14
But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 1 Corinthians 2: 15
Paul condemned the Corinthians because they were reversing the direction of information flow. They were speaking out of their own spirit or mind and were, in effect, trying to instruct God. Those who compose their own songs and sermons to "fit the needs of the world" are really speaking in tongues and cutting off the Water of Life or the Spirit of God or the Mind of Christ or the Words of Christ. How, O arrogant man, can you spread the Mind of Christ by showering Him with what occurs to you as more powerful?
For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2: 16
The Mind of God, the Holy Spirit is revealed through the Mind of Christ. He put Spirit into His words just as He put life in the rain water. If our worship is made up of our own words or often-silly, sentimental poetry speaking an unknown message then we have become the restrainers of the Waters which flowed out from Jerusalem.
Well, this is off the top of my head in response. My other comments on "worship" are in a series of worship articles with some views of what I do not believe to be spiritual worship as well as what I believe worship to be. If I understand the example and teaching of Jesus, you will not (cannot) find it in a large, unrully crowd.
P.S. Did you notice that Jesus as the Incarnate God of the Universe read from the revealed Word (His Words) and then sat down in the synagogue to explain the message? Is there some "pattern" here or what?
Trying to return our words to instruct God may be dangerous for several reasons:
It violates the command and example of Jesus to just be the conduit of God's words.
It violates the explicit commands of Paul about speaking to one another in or outside of the assembly.
By substituting our own opinions about God it deprives the listeners of hearing directly fro God through the Holy Spirt, the Mind of God through His Words.
Hope this helps: it is free.
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