Worship in Spirit And Truth - Lifting up the Lord
Worship in Spirit and in Truth: Isaish said that "The Lord of hosts shall be exalted (lifted up) in judgment, and God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness. Isaiah 5:16. However, he also said that the hypocrite or actor, mighty and self-exalted shall be disgraced. Often flying in the face of clear Biblical statements, the religious world, addicted to acts of the outward body, seems dedicated to trying to literally come to God's rescue. This was the goal of ancient, Babylonian religion which is refuted beginning in Genesis 1:1.
Worship in SPIRIT means the same as worship in the MIND. It makes no difference how "exciting" or sincere you perform worship, it if is EXTERNAL to the mind or spirit is is NOT worship in spirit.
Worship in TRUTH means--always in Paul's writings--to give heed to "that which is written" in Romans 15, the "Spirit" in Ephesians 5 and John 6:63 and the WORD of Christ in Colossians 3. It makes no difference how TRUTHFULLY you sing the words of a human composer they are NONE OF THE ABOVE.
Paul told Timothy to "give attendance to the public READING of the Word, to exhortaition (of the read portion) and to doctrine (included in that read portion). That was identical to the synagogue and there was no PREACHING in our sense of the word in the synagogue.
The elders are the pastor-teachers of a local assembly or synagogue. Paul insisted that they "teach that which HAS been taught."
Both Peter and Paul insist on it because if you open the process to performers you invite in the "dogs" or homosexual performers in Paul's warning, or to false prophets in the words of Peter.
Worship in Mount Girazim or in Mount Zion was in PLACES and HOUSES.
Worship in SPIRIT is worship in the new PLACE of the human spirit.
ANYTHING humans do to FACILITATE the worship of another person can do nothing but PREVENT worship in spirit and in truth. As Paul would tell the Corinthians in 11:17: "Your ASSEMBLIES do more harm than good."
Assemblies is a form of the word SYNAGOGUE: the synagogue was a school of the Bible and "the synagogue had NO PRAISE service" as indeed minimal knowledge tells us that you cannot HOLD CLASS and listen to performing preachers and musicians at the same time.
Most "congregational" or non-denominational churches are never left in peace to follow their own convictions and Biblical understanding about worship. Rather, denominational movements seek to impose uniform practices on churches under local autonomy so that they do not clash with anyone else in the religious world. This effort at imposing new patterns is driven by "change agents" at mass gatherings where new forms can be "patterned" or "experentially practiced" to break down opposition by "taking people to the brink" of catastrophe and then yanking them back. This is defined as "Prayerful Brinkmanship."
To keep from being a hypocrite, this writer has no goal of defining worship practices for anyone else. The goal is to compare the claims of Biblical authority for the new, uniform worship schemes with our understanding of the Bible.
Worship will be vain and destructive until self-appointed clergy grasps a first Christian principle stated by Jesus Who said: Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28
The Jewish clergy loaded the people down like pack animals and wouldn't lift a finger to reduce the load. To lade them is from the Hebrew:
Phortizo (g5412) for-tid'-zo; to load up (prop. as a vessel or animal), i.e. (fig.) to overburden with ceremony or spiritual anxiety: - lade, be heavy laden
This is exactly what the keynoter of Jubilee 99, boasts of in his theology of Prayerful Brinkmanship. Of course, if you deprive people of think-time by an uninterrupted sequence of "exciting" songs you should expect a form of mental breakdown. All mind manipulators of marketing schemes understand what is going on. We suggest, therefore, that the winds which need to be navigated are often blown by the navigators.
Jesus outlawed the professional clergy because they had taken away the key to knowledge. In agreement, Eliphaz Said:
- Would a wise man answer with empty notions
- or fill his belly with the hot east wind? Job 15:2
- Would he argue with useless words,
- with speeches that have no value?
- But you even undermine piety
- and hinder devotion to God.
- Your sin prompts your mouth;
- you adopt the tongue of the crafty.
- Your own mouth condemns you, not mine;
- your own lips testify against you.
- Are you the first man ever born?
- Were you brought forth before the hills?
- Do you listen in on God's council?
- Do you limit wisdom to yourself?
- What do you know that we do not know?
- What insights do you have that we do not have?
- The gray-haired and the aged are on our side,
- men even older than your father.
- Are God's consolations not enough for you,
- words spoken gently to you?
- Why has your heart carried you away,
- and why do your eyes flash,
- so that you vent your rage against God
- and pour out such words from your mouth?
- What is man, that he could be pure,
- or one born of woman, that he could be righteous?
- If God places no trust in his holy ones,
- if even the heavens are not pure in his eyes,
- how much less man, who is vile and corrupt,
- who drinks up evil like water! Job 15:2-16 (Read the entire chapter)
On the other hand, Elihu said:
- For I am full of matter,
- The spirit within me constraineth me.
- Behold, my belly is as wine which hath no vent;
- it is ready to burst like new wineskins.
- I will speak, that I may be refreshed:
- I will open my lips and answer.
- Let me not, I pray you, accept any mans person,
- neither let me give flattering titles unto man.
- For I know not to give flattering titles;
- in so doing my maker would soon take me away. Job 32:18-22
The God of the universe came to eleminate respect of persons (keynoters) and the ceremonial legalism of Mosaic and pagan law. The rest Jesus brought to displace ceremonial legalism is:
Anapauo (g373) an-up-ow'-o; from 303 and 3973; (reflex.) to repose (lit. or fig. [be exempt], remain); by impl. to refresh: - take ease, refresh, (give, take) rest
Sacrifices and offerings (the only legitimate place for music under the law as changed by David) gave God no pleasure (Hebrews 10:6). When Christ came, God allowed His physical Self to suffer so that, onced purged, we would not be conscience of the burden of sin. And without this burden of guilt there is no place for mind-altering ceremonies peddled as means of revivalism, church growth or "moving into the presence of God."
Jubilee 99 and similar efforts all over the world will meet in a mighty effort to say: " Lord, I Lift Your Name on High." Lynn Anderson, will be the announced Keynoter. In Navigating the Winds of Change, Anderson boasts of new-found schemes from the business world to force unwanted changes. In this scheme, one lifts up the name of the Lord and forces changes by doing exactly what Jesus came to outlaw! That is, by a machine-gun sequence of "praise" songs the body is loaded with the burden of "anxiety from religious ceremony." When the equilibrium is totally upset and the people are "on the brink" of catastrophe, they are jerked back by the collar by doing some of the old fashioned forms of singing or teaching. Not to worry! We will try it again and again (praxis) until we recycle them to our form of worship where they will reach a new equilibrium.
Nothing is clearer in history than the adoption by successful rebels of the methods they were accustomed to condemn in the forces they deposed. --Will and Ariel Durant
Rather than using Biblical themes and Biblical means, the most popular "buzz words" are lifted and reincarnated into a saleable product. Therefore, what seems to be the keynote theme for Jubilee 99 comes from a song which floods the music scene even if the theology isn't too profound:
Lord, I Lift Your Name on High
- Lord, I lift your name on high.
- Lord, I love to sing your praises.
- I'm so glad you're in my life.
- I'm so glad you came to save us.
- You came from Heaven to Earth to show the way.
- From the Earth to the cross my debt to pay.
- From the cross to the grave,
- from the grave to the sky,
- Lord, I lift Your name on high.
© 1989 & 1990 by Marantha! Music by Rick Founds
It is virtually impossible to look at worship defined by Christ without having to look through forms defined by human ambition. Christ didn't define worship in concrete terms but He put the stress on private and inward worship. He said that to worship Him we must worship in spirit which means the inward being uninfluenced by either place or propaganda from without. Worship defined by "acts" of men using commercial marketing schemes is defined by Jesus as "vain worship."
As we reject efforts to appease God and produce revival or spiritual regeneration by external means, to be consistent we must reject external means as a way to worship God as pure or Holy Spirit living in our human spirit. These articles attempt to direct the Bible student or disciple of Christ to inward worship and away from body worship or hero worship or talent worship.
Jesus didn't care much for "Lord, Lord sayers" but for those "who do my will." "Worship" is a dialog unchanged from the ancient synagogue: God speaks to us through His Word; we speak to Him through prayer.
The only blood He accepts is His blood; the only words He wants returned are His own. As we cannot improvize our own methods of earning our way into His approval (justification) we cannot worm our way into His presence by improvizing our own words as ceremonial legalism
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
For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Isaiah 55:12
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
When the people cease their noisy improvizing trying to find the lost gods, even the cedars will rejoice that the "fellers" have quit destroying them and the lands will prosper because the tillers are planting the seed of God.
God wil be worshipped when those trying to break down the walls to celebrative "worship" are replaced by those who lay the old foundation and repair the walls broken down to paganism:
And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach (walls), The restorer of paths to dwell in. Isaiah 58:12
Our "one of the sabbath" begins just one second after the "seven of the sabbath" ends. Therefore, if we set aside the Lord's Day (first of the sabbath} to Him we are regulated by the same spiritual principle which demands that a true fast or worship works only:
If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Isaiah 58:13
"One of the Sabbath" is set aside to God to acknowledge that He created all things by speaking His own Words by blowing them out through his lips (double-edged sword) by the use of His breath or Spirit. If we acknowledge that He created our new spirit life but deny Him the right to speak His own Words, we fall back into rank legalism!
By assuming the Role of Christ-the-Spirit in our presence, modern "god manipulators" use prayerful brinksmanship to drive the "audience" into "anxiety from religious ritual." This is exactly the burden God as Jesus Christ came to remove from us. This allows you to tell the difference between a Christ and an antichrist.
However, the people had "broken down the walls" to pagan religious festivals which, according to Amos, had become a daily affair as the leaders took the money from the people to conduct their own sacrifices where they ate the meat and drank the wine (supposed to be poured out). As a result, God broke down the walls totally and, as in Amos, said:
Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine (from wineskins) inflame them Isaiah 5:11
And the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and pipe, and wine, are in their feasts: but they regard not the work of the Lord, neither consider the operation of his hands. Isaiah 5:12
Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge: and their honourable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst. Isaiah 5:13
Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it. Isaiah 5:14
And the mean man (different kind of blushing Adam species?) shall be brought down, and the mighty man shall be humbled, and the eyes of the lofty shall be humbled: Isaiah 5:15
To capitalize on popular songs and charismatic, imported human flesh to attract the multitude for their own glory with pomp, Jubilee 99 will probably use a talented musical worship teams to "lead the multitude into the presence of God"--
- From the Earth to the cross my debt to pay.
- From the cross to the grave,
- from the grave to the sky,
- Lord, I lift Your name on high.
But those hungering and thirsting for the Words of God whose keys have been taken away by the clergy will never know that God -- as always -- says BUT:
The Lord of hosts shall be exalted (lifted up) in judgment, and God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness. Isaiah 5:16.
Jesus' (that is God's family name) Water of the Word will be turned to sand blown into the face of the people while they hunger and thirst for the word and wander from sea to sea, but will not find it at Jubilee.