Worship In Spirit and in Truth

Worship in Spirit and in Truth: Jesus accepts only those who are ready to worship in the spirit or in the mind devoted to the truth of His Word. Every external worship ritual silences our spirit seeking Christ the Spirit. There are two forms of worship: external from the body which can only appeal to the body and "in spirit" worship which is thinking about the Truth which the Spirit of Christ revealed from Genesis to Revelation.

Jeff Walling Daring to Dance with God.

The Series [1][2][3][4][5]

See Thomas Campbell on Worship

Socrates notes that:

epithumia is really e epi ton thumon iousa dunamis, the power which enters into the soul; thumos (passion) is called from the rushing (thuseos) and boiling of the soul; imeros (desire) denotes the stream (rous) which most draws the soul dia ten esin tes roes- because flowing with desire (iemenos), and expresses a longing after things and violent attraction of the soul to them, and is termed imeros from possessing this power;

pothos (longing) is expressive of the desire of that which is not present but absent, and in another place (pou); this is the reason why the name pothos is applied to things absent, as imeros is to things present; eros (love) is so called because flowing in (esron) from without; the stream is not inherent, but is an influence introduced through the eyes, and from flowing in was called esros (influx) in the old time when they used o (short) for o (long), and is called eros, now that o (long) is substituted for o (short). But why do you not give me another word?

Her. What do you think of doxa (opinion), and that class of words?

Soc. Doxa is either derived from dioxis (pursuit), and expresses the march of the soul in the pursuit of knowledge,

or from the shooting of a bow (toxon); the latter is more likely, and is confirmed by oiesis (thinking), which is only oisis (moving), and implies the movement of the soul to the essential nature of each thing-
just as boule (counsel) has to do with shooting (bole);
and boulesthai (to wish) combines the notion of aiming and deliberating- all these words seem to follow doxa, and all involve the idea of shooting,
just as aboulia, absence of counsel, on the other hand, is a mishap, or missing, or mistaking of the mark, or aim, or proposal, or object.

Her. You are quickening your pace now, Socrates.

Soc. Why yes, the end I now dedicate to God, not, however, until I have explained anagke (necessity), which ought to come next, and ekousion (the voluntary). Ekousion is certainly the yielding (eikon) and unresisting- the notion implied is yielding and not opposing, yielding, as I was just now saying, to that motion which is in accordance with our will; but the necessary and resistant being contrary to our will, implies error and ignorance; the idea is taken from walking through a ravine which is impassable, and rugged, and overgrown, and impedes motion- and this is the derivation of the word anagkaion (necessary) an agke ion, going through a ravine. But while my strength lasts let us persevere, and I hope that you will persevere with your questions.

Her. Well, then, let me ask about the greatest and noblest, such as aletheia (truth) and pseudos (falsehood) and on (being), not forgetting to enquire why the word onoma (name), which is the theme of our discussion, has this name of onoma.

Soc. You know the word maiesthai (to seek)?

Her. Yes;- meaning the same as zetein (to enquire).

Soc. The word onoma seems to be a compressed sentence, signifying on ou zetema (being for which there is a search); as is still more obvious in onomaston (notable),

which states in so many words that real existence is that for which there is a seeking (on ou masma);
aletheia is also an agglomeration of theia ale (divine wandering), implying the divine motion of existence;
Aletheia (g225) al-ay'-thi-a; from 227; truth: - true, * truly, truth, verity.
Aletheuo (g226) al-ayth-yoo'-o; from 227; to be true (in doctrine and profession): - speak (tell) the truth.
Aletheis (g227) al-ay-thace'; from 1 (as a neg. particle) and 2990; true (as not concealing): - true, truly, truth.
Lanthano (g2990) lan-than'-o; a prol. form of a prim. verb, which is used only as an alt. in certain tenses; to lie hid (lit. or fig.); often used adv. unwittingly: - be hid, be ignorant of, unawares.
But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit (Mind) and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. Jn.4:23
God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. Jn.4:24
The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. John 4:25
Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he. John 4:26
pseudos (falsehood) is the opposite of motion; here is another ill name given by the legislator to stagnation and forced inaction, which he compares to sleep (eudein); but the original meaning of the word is disguised by the addition of ps; on and ousia are ion with an i broken off; this agrees with the true principle, for being (on) is also moving (ion), and the same may be said of not being, which is likewise called not going (oukion or ouki on = ouk ion).

We should not waste our time in "vain worship" because:

Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7

and he will delight in the fear of the LORD. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears Isaiah 11:3

We worship the person from whom we get the resources and we worship that or whom we think about. While worship can occur in large groups there is no evidence that Jesus commanded it, the apostles preached it or the churches practiced spiritual worship. Corinth was an exception but Paul said "your assemblies do more harm than good."

Worship can happen out loud if you tell someone about what God has revealed about Himself. This is the meaning of "praise." However, this can rarely happen when it is ritualized into 3, 5 or seven "acts" like a musical drama. The Christ prophesied about in Isaiah 11:1-3 would not take note of what He sees with His "eyes" or hears with his "ears." The "Lord, Lord, sayers" came in for a pretty good case of being ignored.

It is difficult to accept that musical or praise teams added to replace Christ as the One Mediator to lead the audience into the presence of God is anything other than deliberate attempts to silence the Words of God. Surely it must be known beforehand that the "singing" defined in Ephesians and Colossians could be done at any time and any place in a "one another" teaching effort or "to yourselves" which was understood by many to be "singing in the heart" or silent singing.

On the other hand chanting or "speaking" or "saying" was the external act.

Jesus identified the Jewish clergy as "children playing musical games to force God Incarnate to sing and dance to their tune." Being "children" was no excuse when the temple and institution was destroyed. Jesus wants only worship in spirit and in truth.

This does not mean that there are not reasons for the assembly of a community of people but "liturgy" is about as appropriate as at a family picnic. Churches are increasingly calling themselves "The Family of God" but increasingly usurping the congregational role of community teaching by the use of Biblical materials.

This might sound like lunacy if you do not understand secular and church history (or even the Bible in depth) but it was a common understanding of men like Philo and others. Paul was not commanding them to sing 'four part fanny" which was ok as long as they did it with en thus so mania (feeling the presence of the gods in ritual frenzy):

"The true, highest melody, however, is that which is sung without any voice. It resounds in the interior of man, is vibrating in his heart and in all his limbs. Isaac Loeb Peretz (1912). A certain number of musicians were gathered at a feast given by a great sovereign who took care to place them according to their degree of mastery of their respective arts, when a man of wretched appearance, clad in rags, entered. The master of ceremonies raised him up above all the participants, whose faces expressed their evident disapproval. Wishing to display the man's merit and calm his guest's anger, the master asked him to let them hear a sample of his art.

"He took out some pieces of wood which he had with him, set them out before him and stretched strings over them.

Then he set these strings vibrating and performed an air that made all those present burst into laughter because of the pleasure, the joy and the well-being that took possession of their souls.

Then he changed his tuning and played another air which made everyone weep for the tenderness of the melody and the sadness which settled in their hearts.

Then he changed the tuning, and played another air which plunged everyone into slumber; so doing he rose, went out and was never heard spoken of again. The Brethren of Purity of Basra

Yea, even the simple minded people understood how music is mind control. If the team attempts to create some "mood" for the Lord's Supper they are usurping (deliberately or ignorantly) your ability to "examine yourself" for yourself by yourself.


Legalism is not believing and obeying the Words of Christ. Legalism is doing something with your body, your talent, your voice, your works in the belief that you can (like David) get God's attention, feed Him, entertain Him or appease Him.

Legalism is always ceremonial legalism.

Lucian of Samosata in Alexander the Oracle Maker defined one of the early Seeke-Friendly centers: wine, women and song. Temple, theater, gymnasium, money changers: you name it. Alexander knew how to get legal religion going:

"Alexander, on the other hand, preferred his native place, urging very truly that an enterprise like theirs required congenial soil to give it a start,

in the shape of 'fat-heads' and simpletons; that was a fair description, he said, of the Paphlagonians beyond Abonutichus;

they were mostly superstitious and well-to-do;
one had only to go there with someone to
play the flute, the tambourine, or the cymbals,
set the proverbial
mantic sieve a-spinning, and there they would all be gaping as if he were a god from heaven.

Homer had earlier define the Oracle at Delphi owned ty Apollo. Apollo is the Apollyon or Abbadon in the book of Revelation.

This was the burden which Jesus came to remove which was "spiritual anxiety created by religious ceremonial." Of God's condemnation of the Israelites through Amos, we now know that their daily religious festivals were directed to themselves and included their dead ancestors. Music even in Revelation is understood by Greek resources to be symbolic of those who have finished their only responsibilities and therefore can 'take their ease.'

Speaking of the religious ritual condemned by Amos and others we note that:
---- "The marzeah had an extremely long history extending at least from the 14th century B.C. through the Roman period. In the 14th century B.C., it was prominently associated with the ancient Canaanite city of Ugarit (modern Ras Shamra), on the coast of Syria... The marzeah was a pagan ritual that took the form of a social and religious association... Some scholars regard the funerary marzeah as a feast for--and with--deceased ancestors (or Rephaim, a proper name in the Bible for the inhabitants of Sheol)." (King, Biblical Archaeological Review, Aug, 1988, p. 35, 35) ---- "These five elements are: (1) reclining or relaxing, (2) eating a meat meal, (3) singing with harp or other musical accompaniment, (4) drinking wine and (5) anointing oneself with oil." (King, p. 37).
----"With the wine-drinking (which is the literal meaning of the Hebrew for feasting), went music and dancing." (Heaton, E. W., Everyday Life in Old Testament times, Scribners, p. 93)
----"Worship was form more than substance; consequently, conduct in the marketplace was totally unaffected by worship in the holy place. Amos spoke from the conviction that social justice is an integral part of the Mosaic covenant, which regulates relations not only between God and people, but also among people." (King, p. 44).
----"In pagan traditions, musical instruments are invented by gods or demi-gods, such as titans (Satans). In the Bible, credit is assigned to antediluvian patriarchs, for example, the descendants of Cain in Genesis 4:21. There is no other biblical tradition about the invention of musical instruments." (Freedman, David Noel, Bible Review, Summer 1985, p. 51).

If you believe that Amos was just condemning a "bad mental attitude" about music then you have to accept that one can get drunk on the new wine which the women extorted from the poor, feast on luxury items while the "congregation" was also starving for the Word of God as long as one has a "good mental attitude" or "spirit" about it. Rubbish. Amos condemned the religious adoption of musical attempts to daily worship God while David added the music only for the rituals of the civil-state under the commanders of the army. Music was part of every 'like the nations" worship and this is what God permitted when they "fired" Him for a human king.


The "core" of the gospel is the good news that those "doctors of the law" who took away the key to knowledge through ritual are fired and no believer is required to allow any worship team to be their mediator. Ministers are not masters any more or Christ died in vain for you.

The performing clergy under the law were really practicing paganism. All of the material things, including musical instruments, would be consulted before they would crack open the Word of God and teach the people. Therefore, God pronounced:

Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in the midst of it. Habakkuk 2:19

But the Lord is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him. Habakkuk 2:20

If God is in my spirit or heart or inner man and you make a noise pretending to help God then you are violating the law of God.

It is significant that many of the for-hire prophetesses and musicians (including those of David) named their musical teams or guilds after Canaanites or other pagans. All of the Hittite performers were "foreigners." The people of God had no direct access to God.

Loss of Personal Right To Worship In The Tabernacle

When Israel fell back into the Egyptian Worship with instruments at Mount Sinai, they lost the covenant of Grace and God gave them the Law of Moses. The Levites (later made into military musicians by David) were like flaming cherubim who stood at the door of the Tabernacle and would kill a non-clergy person who tried to enter:

Everyone not of the tribe of Levi (priests or Levites and others) was a stranger and no longer members of God's Covenant family:

To be a memorial unto the children of Israel, that no stranger, which is not of the seed of Aaron, come near to offer incense before the Lord; that he be not as Korah, and as his company: as the Lord said to him by the hand of Moses. Numbers 16:40

They were subordinate to the priests, who alone enjoyed the privilege of entering the holy place;

but they were employed in discharging many of the humbler duties which belonged to the sanctuary, as well as in various offices of great utility and importance to the religion and morals of the people. Commentary by ROBERT JAMIESON

"A stranger," that is, one, neither a priest nor a Levite, who should intrude into any departments of the sacred office, should incur the penalty of death. ROBERT JAMIESON

In-Spirit worship was always possible in the assembly which was the Synagogue and in the Septuagint version uses the word ekklesia. Therefore, the synagogue of the common people was the same as the assemby in the New Covenant often translated as "church." There was no praise service in the Tabernacle nor in the Church because both were for learning and not for worship.

Later, in the Temple worship, these same common Jews did not worship in the Temple. When the music sounded, they were put outside the gates because God always protected the common people from the horrow of animal sacrifices to which loud instruments had been added to "keep the evil noises away from the ears of the priests."

Therefore, if we want to meet Jesus we will meet Him exactly where the common people under the curse of the law met Him: outside the came or gates.

However, Paul spreads the good news that:

For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Ephesians 2:18

Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God Ephesians 2:19

And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; Ephesians 2:20

In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: Ephesians 2:21

In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. Ephesians 2:22

It is in or through the human spirit that we mediate upon God's Spirit.

The clergy whom Jesus had largely dismissed and did not really teach believed that God was in their "house" and that they could worship Him in the flesh, at a house and with things which appealed to their own human senses. However, God is pure or Holy Spirit, and to try to approach Him in worship with the "talent" of the human body or voice is essentially pagan.

The musical type of 'children' tried to seduce their Creator into the feminine or effeminate song and dance of Dionysus: like trying to seduce your own father.

However, Jesus would have to lament over them and wish that they were chicken-like children:

Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. Matthew 23:36

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children (teknon) together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. Matthew 23:37NIV

Behold, your house (temple and family) is left unto you desolate (empty) Matthew 23:38

If you ever see a baby chick trying to lead you somewhere with noise you may be following a turkey or a chicken hawk. Mother hen clucks gently and those who belong to her gather under her wings with hardly a peep. The hen leads the chicks to food and water and protects them from wolves.

In every generation disaster strikes and the chicks and lambs become food for the false shepherds because they do not understand worship in spirit and in truth:

For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. Matthew 24:5

Make no mistake; those who come to you and tell you that they can revive you with their own words or lead you into the presence of God with their talent literally claim "I am Christ -- I am the mediator" and they are out to deceive you!

They still claim authority from David and his military, Levitical bands reassigned by the commanders of the army to function for the worship of the state temple. They literally claim to be modern Levites.

And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the Lord, and that should praise the beauty of holiness,

as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the Lord; for his mercy endureth for ever. 2 Chronicles 20:21

And when they began to sing and to praise,

the Lord set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten. 2 Chronicles 20:22

For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy them:

and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, every one helped to destroy another. 2 Chronicles 20:23

And when Judah came toward the watch tower in the wilderness, they looked unto the multitude, and,

behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none escaped. 2 Chronicles 20:24

And when Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away the spoil of them, they found among them in abundance both riches with the dead bodies, and precious jewels,

which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away: and they were three days in gathering of the spoil, it was so much. 2 Chronicles 20:25

If you want to triumph over people and create mortal fear among those you are assigned to teach, then you may celebrate (prematurely) with psalteries, harps and trumpets. The "audience" or the "human material" will not understand that they are under attack and are being "taxed" to support the invaders.

The Jewish clergy would try to do this using Judas (Psalm 41) in an attempt to pollute and strip away the wealth Jesus came to give to mankind. Their attempt to triumph over (trumpets and rejoicing) failed after three days, Jesus arose and the Jews scattered themselves after a million of them had been destroyed because of their own foolish leaders.

They are trying to reconstruct an external form of worship which appeals to the body but which blinds the spirit.

The physical temple was part of a like the nations system directed to the human flesh; salvation was the preservation of life as the result of paying for sin with an animal sacrifice. People enjoyed spirit life out in the community groups who met to learn the Word and pray; there was no spirit life as a result of the like the nations rituals.

Under the Christian system, the temple of God is the heart of each believer. When these are assembled they constitute the temple in that area. However,

the temple is within the human heart
and flows to the collective.
This means that the temple does not originate in the institution and
then flow to the individual members.

This is why we can affirm that any attempt to worship for the people or divert their minds and claim to be "leading" their worship while they are trying to worship for themselves is the essential mark of the pagan "beast."

As "priests of God" we can come boldly before the throne of God in a spiritual temple. Because no one else can get into my spirit they cannot perform worship in spirit and in truth for me. Any distraction, especially musical distraction, fulfills one role of God's only command about music -- to panic the enemy.

After Christ replaced all of those mortal priests, those who try to be your priests literally take over your bodies and sell the carnal excitement and exhilaration as spiritual worship. This is the essential mark of the "spiritual adultery" beast.

The Holy Spirit which would rest on Messiah was not a little 1/3 God but:

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; Isaiah 1:2

This is the same "spirit" which Christ would bring to the world and inspire for all future generations. A little man is not going to get into you and cause you to do effeminate things.

Within ourselves as God's temple we worship in spirit and in truth. Christ has given us the knowledge of deep mysteries of the Spirit world.

And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness. 1 John 5:19

And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. 1 John 5:20

The Knowledge the Son of God came to give is defined by the Greek Word:

Dianoia (g1271) dee-an'-oy-ah; from 1223 and 3563; deep thought,the faculty (mind or its disposition), by impl. its exercise: - imagination, mind, understanding.

This word is made up of dia (the application of) and nous (the intellect, mind, feeling, understanding.) Therefore, to be Christ-like is not related to performance skills which can be seen or heard. Christ applied supernatural knowledge and gave it to us. This Word is so great that Jesus called His Words "Spirit and Life."

In an external sense, Paul did not command the ceremonial legalism of a "rejoicing" ceremony but told the Philippians:

Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. 4:4
Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Philippians 4:5

Next, we are not to suppose that "being careful for nothing" is a collective act of worship and therefore the prayer and supplication is not something a "prayer or praise team" can do for me:

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. Philippians 4:6

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

I believe that lunacy is to cause people to believe that "God will be here with us tonight so you must be here." Do we miss Him if we don't come to hear another fill in the blanks turkey soup sermon? No. Paul was not talking about constructing an act with a theatrical performance team to do the act. Worship, if we follow Jesus, will be in private and away from the mad and maddening crowds.

No team can meditate for you. For instance, the Lord's Supper was the place to "silently search for leaven in your own heart" as the Jew observed Passover. You cannot think about anything else while a "worship team" is trying to force you to think what they are saying. This is not gentleness but spiritual violence.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8

Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. Philippians 4:9

If the preacher feeds you sentimental turkey soup or, as often the case, really talks about himself, tells jokes, does his little air-lifted hand waving and tells you "don't look to me look to God" you know that he is violating Philippians 4:9.

No one ever heard from Paul anything about liturgy or ceremonial legalism. All of this is the individual response to God.

God does not live in the skin to cause goose bumps. Nor does He live in the back to cause chills created by sight or sound. Rather, God lives deep in the mind, spirit or intellect. Scripture calls it "the innermost being" which becomes conscious only when our "body" with its senses is quiet enough to "hear the whisper of a silent breeze." This is what God told Elijah: not in the big earth shaking events but in a voice so gentle that you almost have to stop breathing to hear it.

Those depending upon body emotion will try to silence you by condemning you for doing exactly what Jesus demanded as the greatest Spiritual gift: make your decisions based upon the rational (spiritual) knowledge given to you by the One God of the universe. Don't go soft-headed when the enemy is gaining on you!

With this power to apply our God-given intellect we are able to get "into" the Spirit of God which is the Mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2) where worship in spirit and in truth takes place.

But, what is this "Spirit"? The spirit which would rest upon Jesus was a spirit of understanding about God:

AND there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: Isaiah 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; Isaiah 11:2

And shall make him of quick understanding 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: Isaiah 11:3

Therefore, if we want to worship God we must do it with our understanding. It simply is not possible to worship God, in the Christian sense, without submitting our minds to Him and be consumed with His thoughts, Mind or Spirit. This can never happen while the body is still "alive" and concentrated upon external sense of sight or sound because

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 discerned. 1 Corinthians 2:14 (figuratively or parabolically)

Remember that when Jesus prayed, He did not call an assembly so that a 'quorum' was present. Rather, he demonstrated and commanded that our prayer be in the closet or secret places. Even today, the Jews have a cloth or little "tent." When they cover their head they are in their "prayer closet" which is the only place to find God.

Remember also that Paul warned about "uncovered" prophesying in Corinth. This was directed to the women who, just out of paganism, thought that everyone had to get into the public act where worship was directed to the human senses. Paul denounced both men or women unless they had some new, inspired truth to deliver. The exception was the grizzled old elder who, perhaps unable to work, was mature and understood the Word.

He had no human beauty of sex appeal. He was like the father who was commanded to "deliver the Word as it has been delivered to you." This would preclude any sexual attraction which is always the result of young women standing over or presiding over the flock and getting by with violating the laws of Christ because she preaches "with a tune."

When Jesus "worshiped" He did not offer animal sacrifices, sing or do anything with His external body:

In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit,

and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight. Luke 10:21

All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him. Luke 10:22

And he turned him unto his disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see: Luke 10:23

The temple-bound clergy did not hear and could not hear, not because of a bad mental attitude, but because they were still temple bound when the "spirit" left the temple before the Captivity and never returned.

Alexander Campbell noted that no human can lead you any closer to God than they themselves are. For others to pretend to have the power to lead you into God's presence is a claim of spiritual superiority based upon their body talent.

No man knoweth the Son and therefore no man or woman can reveal God to spiritual people who have cut off and crucified any reliance upon the human body.

Jesus, the Spirit God, cannot speak to you with your mouth open!

Later, when the teaching situation arose to speak Christian truth about time and place and rituals of worship,

Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 4:21

Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship; for salvation is of the Jews. John 4:22

In the Jewish and Samaritan experience, worship was not personal. It was performed primarily by the priestly class at certain places and at certain times.. However, when the Temple was destroyed and people were commanded to leave Jerusalem they knew that worship "place" had to go with them. When they were forced out of Jerusalem they knew that no sacrifices and therefore no music could be performed.

Worship, in this passage, was to prostrate the body as a form of body-sacrifice just as a dog denounces his own worth to love its master.

To worship in spirit cannot be restricted to a time and place. It cannot be "facilitated" or "manipulated" by another person to be the intercessor, pray-er or singer or speaker:

But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers (an adorer) shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. John 4:23

God is Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. John 4:24

God IS Spirit, therefore Jesus is not speaking of worshiping WITH AN EXCITED MENTAL ATTITUDE.

Now note: Jesus has excluded the two known places and times of Jewish sacrificial worship. Then He said that worship must be "in spirit." Because that is not in a given locality He meant that we worship The Spirit God in our own spirit which He created to make Spirit-to-spirit communication possible.

Did Jesus just imply that there are false worshipers? Yes, and He said that if mankind makes up the ritual it is vain worship.

God is worshiped in the spirit which is "the rational soul, vital principle or mental disposition." There is no connection between this spirit and the body.

One could worship as a Jew in time, place and ritual. However, a Christian cannot, but must worship in spirit because God never lived in "houses" and now lives within the human heart.

There is no external ritual which when performed for you or to lead you into worship which does not focus attention on the preacher or singer or team -- that is the goal. It is a proven fact that you cannot think about God when your eyes and ears are overloaded with ritual performers.

I notice that the preaching and singing just goes dead when I get into the Word.

Paul restates this Christian principle. Worship under the Law was related to the body but could not make the inside clean. All of the righteousness demanded by the law suddenly becomes ours when we escape the carnal nature or body and worship in the spirit:

For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: Romans 8:3

That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh,

but after the Spirit. Romans 8:4

That means that worship cannot be external but must be internal.

Giving attention to the human words, pitch, harmony, parts, pointing with the finger and winking with the eye is walking after or giving attention to the flesh. This is inescapable.

The only way to give attention to God's Spirit is to steal away to our "closet" and meet Jesus beside still waters. That meeting place is in the heart, mind or spirit.

Rather than worship being performed with our bodies doing some physical acts, Paul insisted that the body must be crucified, consumed on the altar or buried:

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable (logical of the Word) service. Romans 12:1

That does not mean "help old ladies across the street." Rather, Paul meant that symbolically our body must be offered up on the altar and burned up or consumed. Only when the body gets out of the way is it possible for God the "Father of spirits" to commune with our spirit.

Reasonable is "spiritual" in the RSV, NIV and the NAS. Paul insists that the body be "put to death" as the Christian's "sacrifice" of their life. This then frees the person to perform spiritual worship in the mind or spirit:

FINALLY, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe. Ph 3:1

Chairo (g5463) khah'ee-ro; a prim. verb; to be "cheer"ful, i.e. calmly happy or well-off; impers. espec. as salutation (on meeting or parting), be well: - farewell, be glad, God speed, greeting, hail, joy (-fully), rejoice.

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. Col 3:16

Grace is Charis (g5485) khar'-ece; from 5463; graciousness (as gratifying), of manner or act (abstr. or concr.; lit., fig. or spiritual; espec. the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; including gratitude): - acceptable, benefit, favour, gift, grace (- ious), joy liberality, pleasure, thank (-s, -worthy).

Speaking one to another WITHOUT music was a spiritual form of CHARIS. The Pagan goddess Chara and the word Charis points to CHARISMATIC which was always homosexual.

Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. Ph 3:2

For we are the circumcision, which
worship God in the spirit,
and rejoice in Christ Jesus,
and have no confidence in the flesh. Philippians 3:3

No, this is not a new act of worship to be performed by another for us!

Paul explain what it means to be "the circumcision"--

For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: Romans 2:28

But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God. Romans 2:29

And the Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live. Deuteronomy 30:6

Letter and flesh are outward worship; spirit, heart or mental worship is inward worship. This is what Jesus demanded: "worship in spirit and in truth."

Paul had a lot to boast of in the "flesh" or external body. However, he said:

Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, Philippians 3:8

However, he had nothing of value related to his external body: all that he had of value was what he knew about Christ Jesus. And what he knew was what he preached.

Musical worship promoted by David was "under the Law" and was not commanded but permitted for the civil-kingdom after Israel rejected the rule of God and demanded to worship like the nations. Those who promote performance worship (preaching, singing, music) always do so with no higher authority than themselves or when pressed have to appeal to the Law of Moses which was given to Israel as a curse after they rejected God's Covenant of Grace at Mount Sinai. Law worship had value only for the body but had no value for the spirit or soul or inner man:

Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. Romans 7:4

For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. Romans 7:5

The pagan (and then Jewish) worship was like the nations and was often a fertility ritual. The clergy actually "married" the performing priestesses or prophetesses. This ritual adultery brought fertility. This, too, is often the modern goal: "we need to produce more people to pay the bills." However, Christ did not die just so we can have a relationship with the clergy:

But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. Romans 7:6

Paul has told us that the battle is between his flesh and his spirit. As long as he attempted to serve God with his body his spirit was dead. However, being in Christ allowed him to worship in the spirit or mind or thoughts. Later in the chapter Paul said:

For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: Romans 7:22 (Delight means: to rejoice in with oneself, i.e. feel satisfaction concerning: - delight)

But I see another law in my members,
warring against the
law of my mind,

and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. Romans 7:23

The common theme of the classical writers and the "church fathers" is that musical worship or any form of attempts to worship "with the body" or "in my members" excites the carnal or fleshly nature but has absolutely no effect upon the mind or spirit. In fact, such worship can easily lead to misbehavior in the "team."

The solution is to give up on "body worship" or legal worship using acts which can appeal only to the body. It is utterly impossible to think of anything else but the words of the "team" or see anything but the "team." Therefore, performance worship is carnal worship and is legal worship. In chapter 8 of Romans Paul says nothing about the Holy Spirit "person" literally living inside of your carnal body. Rather, Paul has found the secret: give up worship with the body and worship God in the spirit where the Spirit of Christ lives by faith:

That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Romans 8:4

For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit, (do mind or think about) the things of the Spirit. Romans 8:5

For to be carnally minded is death: but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Romans 8:6

Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. Romans 8:7

People who want to perform the worship for you or lead your minds into worship will always sing their own words or words of some human composer. This is because they are appealing to the carnal nature and not the spirit. The effect is that they are not subject to God. Furthermore, they cannot be subject to God. The modern cry is "we are Post Modern" and we get out "assignment" directly from God and therefore care not a bit for Scripture which was the work producte ot the assignment of Jesus -- now outmoded.

The Jews who tried to "seduce" Jesus with market-place worship music never heard Jesus as the Messiah speak a word. Why? It was because they had repudiated the "old" words of Christ in the Spirit. As a result, He spoke to them in parables to deliberately keep the secrets from them. Paul understood this:

So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. Romans 8:8

But ye are not in the flesh,
but in the Spirit (mind),

if so be that the Spirit (mental disposition) of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. Romans 8:9

And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. Romans 8:10

Please observe that the term "The Holy Spirit" does not occur in Romans 8.

Peter understood the only way to "win Christ" in the heart:

For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 1 Peter 1:17

And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. 1 Peter 1:18

We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed (worship), as unto a light that shineth in a dark place,

until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 1 Peter 1:19

The Jews got pleasure out of not touching certain things; the pagans believed that worship was sensual pleasure which proved tha the gods had entered their bodies:

Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments (principles) of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, Colossians 2:20

(Touch not; taste not; handle not; Colossians 2:21
Which all are to
perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Colossians 2:22

Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh (filling up, gratification). Colossians 2:23

IF ye then be risen with Christ, seek (worship) those things which are above, where Christ sitteth (the work is finished) on the right hand of God. Colossians 3:1

Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. Colossians 3:2

For ye are dead, and your life is hid (sealed and concealed) with Christ in God. Colossians 3:3

How can dead people give spiritual life to spiritual people? They cannot. They are trying to take your attention off of the things above by making you alive to your sense of sight and sound: "Isn't she sexy in that angelic dress? Love that voice, makes me... Well, you know." Isn't that hand-waving guy... well, you know." Sure made my goose-bump quotient rise to a ten!

No, I am not demon possessed! I am just telling you what you are inducing into the minds of your more-amused-than-educated audience. Is it unlovely to tell you the truth?

Christianity is not a religion and worship of the flesh: Christian worship is in the mind as you give attention to the Spirit or Mind of Christ. When your body gets into action it will be burned up on the altar by giving its time, money and energy rather than by giving Jesus a cup of cold water by teaching someone His uncontaminated Words.

Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? Galatians 3:3
This I say then,
Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. Galatians 5:16
If we
live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Galatians 5:25

In Ephesians, there are at least two examples of what we call "singing" as an act performed by singing sentimental poetry with four-part harmony which often means:

Four different groups
Singing four different sets of words
At four different times
To four different times.
And "did you hear that alto: too slow, she gotta go."

However, Paul demanded just the opposite of singing as a mind-control act:

That ye put off concerning the former conversation (being busy about) the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts (longing after); Ephesians 4:22

Worship in spirit:

And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; Ephesians 4:23
And that ye
put on the new man, which after God
is created in righteousness and
true holiness. Ephesians 4:24

Worship in Truth:

Wherefore putting away lying,
speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Ephesians 4:25

In assembly or out of assembly each member is related to others in the same way. There is no clergy person to speak for you when you are at the coffee shop, why should they speak for you when you are at the assembly. If one cannot be delegated to be our mouthpiece in private conversation, they cannot be our mouthpiece when assembled in the presence of Christ.

The exception Paul allowed in the established church are the elders who are "apt to teach." This means that they can read the word from the document or from memory and explain only those things the audience doesn't already know better.

The speaking is still the primary act in assembly and out of assembly - I hardly ever hear amped-up teams interceding for me at the steak house as we discuss the Word with "singing" in the heart. The only resource is the truth, spirit or Word of Christ. The results are unity among members and singing in our heart to God. The speaking is external, the singing and melody is internal:

Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will (Christ's choice or decree or law) of the Lord is. Ephesians 5:17

And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Ephesians 5:18

Worship in Truth:

Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,

Worship in spirit:

singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Ephesians 5:19

While the "yourselves" or "one another" does not exclude group reciting of the Words of Christ in assembly, the word is primarily used of literally speaking in our mind to our own self which is the meaning of hymning or praying -- Jesus prayed in the spirit. Some examples of this word are:

And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. Matthew 3:9

And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth. Matthew 9:3

For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. Matthew 9:21

For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; Matthew 5:26

Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. John 11:38

This is why Paul was pretty harsh against external speaking in the assembly by either male or female

unless they had some inspired truth to reveal or were speaking or reading the already-preached sermons and the already-composed songs. Nevertheless, their "in spirit" prayers often broke out into the open and often made no sense so that others could agree or disagree.

The worst possible comparison was unlearned musical signals in the midst of battle: while you were supposed to panic the enemy you sounded retreat and the enemy took over your 'church house."

Praying always with all prayer and supplication

in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; Ephesians 6:18

This is not praying "in the Holy Spirit" but praying in your own spirit or mind. This is silent and directed to God and not to the audience.

Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.

The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak. Mark 14:38

In the Colossian version, Spirit is the Word of Christ:

Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. Colossians 3:13

And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. Colossians 3:14

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Colossians 3:15

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

And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. Colossians 3:17

Paul defined the meaning of what the unspiritual mind sees as theatrical performance music:

Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil (furnish) the word of God; Colossians 1:25 (or supply the Spirit)

Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: Colossians 1:26

To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Colossians 1:27

Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect (complete morally and intellectually) in Christ Jesus: Colossians 1:28

Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily. Colossians 1:29

FOR I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; Colossians 2:1

That their hearts might be comforted (admonished), being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; Colossians 2:2

In whom are hid all the treasures (God's thesaurus) of wisdom and knowledge. Colossians 2:3

We again notice that the "spirit" of Christian worship is not enthusiasm or "madness" according to Philo and Paul to the corinthians. Rather, worship is in spirit or in the mind and is devoted to truth. And the only source of spirit truth has been delivered to us and we will never get any revelation superior to that of Christ:

AND there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: Isaiah 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; Isaiah 11:2

And shall make him of quick understanding 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: Isaiah 11:3

God revealed none of His mysteries in performance preaching or worship teams to be the intercessor and bring you into His presence -- you obviously are incompetent and God is incompetent!

Ministers go out! Ministers never try theatrical performance which can never penetrate any further than the carnal senses and does a slight of hand to keep your mind dead:

Understanding the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit as the Mind of Christ, Paul warned the Corinthians about trying to speak to God with their own songs and sermons. Earlier, he made it clear to the spiritual mind not already dead to spiritual truth:

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

This is because Jesus demanded that:

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

Why do people speak their own songs and sermons and try to revive you or lead you into the presence of God? They simply "see godliness as a means of occupation" and God does not speak to the external senses but to the mind or spirit:

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 discerned. 1 Corinthians 2:14

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

Therefore, the Spirit of God is to us the Mind of Christ.

Paul described private worship and public conduct to the Philippians:

Be careful (related to solitude, separate to disunite) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. Philippians 4:6

This is what Jesus taught him to teach:

That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. Matthew 6:4

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. Matthew .6:6

That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly Matthew 6:18

For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world. John 7:4

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding,

shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise,

think on these things. Philippians 4:8

Paul told Timothy that his resources were restricted:

Till I come, give attendance to (the public) reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 1 Timothy 4:13

Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy (teaching), with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. 1 Timothy 4:14

Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. 1 Timothy 4:15

Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee. 1 Timothy 4:16

Meditate means to care for, to revolve around in the mind, imagine). This internal worship would reflect itself in his external teaching: He would be filled with the Mind or Spirit Christ that it would be obvious in his life and his unaltered teaching of the Word.

When Jesus absolutely insisted that the only place to meet Him in worship was in the spirit or mind, He insisted that the only resource which we must take into the "temple" with us into the spirit is truth.

What is worship in truth?

Truth in Greek is:

Alethinos (g228) al-ay-thee-nos'; from 227; truthful: - true.

If therefore ye have not been faithful in the (external) unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the (internal) true riches? Lu.16:11

That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. Jn.1:9

Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. Jn.6:32

And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. Jn.17:3

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

Paul often wrote about the deep mysteries of God hidden in ways we cannot know unless He reveals Himself to us. He cried out to the Romans:

O the depth (bathos) of the riches both of the wisdom (Sophia) and knowledge of God how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! Romans 11:33

For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor (companion adviser) ? Romans 11:34

For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen. Romans 11:36

Those who demand the right to be mediators between you and your God whom they will materialize in the flesh, refuse to use the Mind or Spirit of Christ by simply reciting His Words. Because they insist on selling theatrical performance they will compose their own sermons, their own songs, their own performance and deliver the most works-intensive effort to replace God.

Paul insisted that the Corinthian performers were attempting to speak to God with their own mouth out of their own spirit and it was, therefore, just speaking in tongues to the air (a goddess to the Greek mind).

However, Paul insisted that you cannot worship God until you get your physical, external senses out of the way:

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. Romans 12:1 (I.e. crucify the flesh, burn it up on the altr.)

And be not conformed to this world:

but ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2

This is "renewing of the spirit."

What does being in the Spirit Mean?

When John was in the Spirit, he was not inside of the literal Holy Spirit person; he was in his mind to such an extent that the external world could not reach him. That is, he was one of the few people truly worshiping on that Lord's Day. Only in that state could Christ reach him to speak (not face to face like Moses) to him in visions. John wrote:

I was in the Spirit on the Lords day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, Revelation 1:10

The Living Bible understands that being in the spirit or mind is the rare instance of worshiping which perhaps can happen only on a desert island in our noise-producing society:

It was the Lord's Day and I was worshiping, when suddenly I heard a loud voice behind me, a voice that sounded like a trumpet blast, Revelation 1:10LIV

In this mind opened up to the Mind or Spirit Christ, the songs and instrument are symbolized where, to the Greek mind, giving the dead an instrument by carving it on the stone or literally burying it with them was symbolic that the dead no longer had any earthly responsibility.

God told Miriam that He does not speak "face to face" with most people. Rather, He comes to them in the mind in the form of dreams or visions. Ezekiel confirms that being "in the spirit" means to have a vision from God:

NOW it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God. Ezekiel 1:1

The word of the Lord came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of the Lord was there upon him. Ezekiel 1:3

And he put forth the form of an hand, and took me by a lock of mine head; and the spirit lifted me up between the earth and the heaven,

and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the door of the inner gate that toward the north; where was the seat of the image of jealousy, which provoketh to jealousy. Ezekiel 8:3

It was here that Ezekiel (v 14) saw the women worshipping Tammuz and Ishtar which was always with the magical flute or harp to bring Tammuz into their presence so he could smell the incense and play the flute with them.

A vision is "seeing through a glass darkly-

Mar'ah (h4759) mar-aw'; fem. of 4758; a vision; also (causat.) a mirror: - looking glass, vision.

If it seems that spiritual worship excludes all of your favorite parts it may be true. Our favorites should be Christ's favorites.

We know from the Bible and early church history that the church members in each local community met in homes or rented quarters which, deliberate or not, eliminated all of the "ministries."

Paul informed the Corinthians that they missed the principle reason for eating together as a way to memorialize and "show forth" or to preach their faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christ or Full Deity (Col 2:9) doesn't need to be fed or entertained but we need to tell others about the principle part of our faith.

When the early Greek ekklesias or "churches" met it was primarily a "brother's keepers" program. It looked out for the needs of others in their community and, purely as a free-will effort, help other areas in need. They didn't collect huge sums of money.

Paul repudiated the "many" out of the Greek theater who were "trained speakers" and could easily suck up the food of the widows and orphans.

They could, but were not required, to all pray at the same time. Each person prayed and there was no leader. If one prayed out loud for the others then it was important that they understood the prayers and cound affirm them with the Amen.

They read the word, up to three hours according to Justin, and dialoged its meaning.

Their "singing," like that of Jesus at Passover, was simply reciting the poetic forms of the Word as a way to teach one another. Little Jewish and Muslim children still follow the rule.

That which could be called "worship" obeyed the demand of Jesus that it be "in the spirit" and focused upon the once-revealed truth of Christ.

By its very nature, in the spirit worship could never happen when one assumed that they were a prophetess and wanted to sing their newly-composed revelation out loud.

Worship did not exclude joint projects but it certainly did not include hired menials to plan and perform the worship for the congregation. To do so now repudiates the finished work of Christ.

Words like "giving heed to" are worship words: whatever we give heed to is what we worship. If we are forced to give heed to theatrical performers then we are, by definition, worshiping the performers. It is not humanly possible to think about two things at the same time. It is not possible for me to praise God by thinking about His words when others insist upon leading me into praise with their words.

If I rush home to get into the Word, self-selected leaders will see it as "hobby riding." However, if we begin to see the expanding body of spirit knowledge made available only to those who turn away from their body and turn toward Christ, we know that our worship is "in spirit" and "in truth" and not in human works of ceremonial legalism.

Don't look for authority in the Bible. Josephus warned of the past, present and future:

"Now as many of the Levites, which is a tribe of ours, as were singers of hymns,
persuaded the king to
assemble a sanhedrim,
and to give them leave to
wear linen garments, as well as the priests for they said

that this would be a work worthy the times of his government,
that he might have a memorial of such a novelty, as being his doing.

"Nor did they fail of obtaining their desire; for the king, with the suffrages of those that came into the sanhedrim, granted the singers of hymns this privilege, that they might lay aside their former garments, and wear such a linen one as they desired;

and as a part of this tribe ministered in the temple, he also permitted them to learn those hymns as they had besought him for.

Now all this was contrary to the laws of our country, which, whenever they have been transgressed,

we have never been able to avoid the punishment of such transgressions. (Antiq. XX.ix.6). Click Here for more details.

Habakkuk warned that we should not try to arouse idols (real and even musical instruments) to try to get a message from God. Rather, God is in His Holy temple (me), let all the earth keep silence before Him.

Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in the midst of it. Habakkuk 2:19

But the Lord is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him. Habakkuk 2:20

Surely we must worship in spirit and in truth because God doesn't judge by outward appearance, and Messiah will not take note of what He hears and sees. This excludes the body which in baptism must be account as dead, must be presented as a living sacrifice and worship must be in spirit (mind) and in truth (the Word of Christ) or it is vain worship.

Kenneth Sublett

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