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TRUE WORSHIP, #29

"God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." (JOH 4:24)

As the truth unfolded into the heart of this woman at the well, she began to perceive, as we see in verse 19: "I perceive that thou art a prophet." She began to understand that He was a teacher sent from God, a prophet: one that was sent by the Lord. This is what we see with Nicodemus. Nicodemus began to recognize Jesus as "a teacher come from God." He recognized this by the miracles which he saw Christ perform.

"The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him." (JOH 3:2) This woman’s understanding had begun to open. She had begun to recognize that He was more than just a Jew. She see’s that He is a messenger sent from the Lord. Our Saviour used this occasion to turn Nicodemus’ attention away from the miracles unto the essential things which accompany salvation. As we begin to see a glimmer of light, we first start noticing tangible things: our eye is still not truly fixed on Christ. Nicodemus was looking at the miracles. When he said that because of these miracles, they knew He was a teacher sent from God, the Lord Jesus took his eye off from the miracles and directed it unto those things that accompany salvation.

We can have many gifts and not have salvation. We read in 1CO 13 that we can have gifts to speak with the tongues of men and angels, and if we have not charity, we have nothing. We can give our goods to feed the poor; we can give our bodies to be burned, but if we have not charity, we have nothing. The Lord Jesus was directing the attention of Nicodemus to the things that accompany salvation. We will try, with the help of the Lord, to get our eye focused on those things that accompany salvation.

What did He say to Nicodemus? There are three occasions in the Gospel of John where our Saviour used the word "must." I was brought up in an organization that had three "musts." What three things are needful to know to live and die happily? According to the Heidelberg Catechism, the teaching was, "How great my sins and miseries are, how to be delivered from them, and how to show gratitude to God for such deliverance." This is a man-made document.

See what our Saviour says. He uses the word "must" three times. These three "musts" are the essential elements. I’ve often said that King Saul probably knew a lot more about sins and miseries than I ever want to know! I see in my Bible that he falls with his face prostrate before a witch, and she reveals to him that because of his disobedience, God will bring upon him the destruction that he faces the next day. There is no salvation in it at all. We can have our sins and miseries became more important than Christ; they become the object of our salvation. Such teaching leads to thinking that depression is godliness.

In pointing out the essential elements of salvation, Jesus says, "Ye must be born again." (JOH 3:7) That is a "must."

I spoke with a man this past week, and he was telling me that he had received the Lord into his life, and he’d accepted the Lord Jesus Christ. I asked, "But are you saved?" That startled him. I said, "A man can stand in the pulpit and tell you all you have to do is accept Jesus and you’ve got salvation, but I don’t find it in my Bible."

Christ says, "Ye must be born again." If that one element is skipped over, you don’t have salvation regardless of what you have said, done, or experienced. If you have not received the new birth, you are outside of salvation.

Jesus said, "Ye must be born again." That’s the first essential element of salvation. It is a "must" that accompanies salvation.

This unconditional requirement of the new birth ( i.e., to be born of the Spirit and of Water) runs in perfect harmony with the second "must." It teaches the immediate effect of the new birth, which is to look away from self unto Christ and His atonement.

"And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up." (JOH 3:14)

In order to claim salvation, we must also meet another requirement, believing that Jesus is our Redeemer.

First, our hearts must be drawn away from the tangible gifts and miracles and drawn to the Lord Jesus Christ, our only Redeemer. Next, our perfect obedience and the perfect satisfaction for our sins is found only in Christ. We must believe.

It isn’t what I have done: it isn’t because I accepted the Lord Jesus Christ, but because Christ is lifted up, and His atonement is imputed to me. His perfect obedience becomes mine. This "must" is essential to the way of salvation (verse 15): "That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life." That believing is a "must."

It is only after these two unconditional requirements are met that we are able to please the Father with an acceptable worship. You and I cannot please the Father with a worship that is outside of the "musts" that Christ sets forth as the essential elements of salvation.

If we have not received the new birth, if we have not had our eye fixed on that blessed atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ as the only foundation of our salvation, we cannot please the Father; we do not have an acceptable worship.

"God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."

(JOH 4:24)

If that "must" is not met, we don’t have salvation. It isn’t a matter of how great my sins and miseries are. The three essential elements of salvation are whether or not I have the new birth, the work of regeneration, the washing of the water of the Word. Has my soul been cleansed by the regenerating power in the washing of the Holy Spirit? The second thing we need to know is whether or not Christ has become the one and only foundation of our salvation. The third thing we need is to worship Him "in spirit and in truth." Those are the three "musts" that, according to Christ, accompany salvation.

This order cannot be altered. This third "must" respects God the Father, for He is the object of our worship. We were created for that purpose. The Lord has created man for the purpose of His honor and for His worship, "for the Father seeketh such to worship Him." (JOH 4:23) There is the purpose and the object of our salvation: that the Father must be worshipped.

We become so selfish. By nature man wants salvation for one purpose: for his fulfillment. We want to escape hell; we want to go to heaven; we want our fulfillment. Have you learned to understand the principle of love? Do you love God? Do you know what true love is? It is our desire to fulfill the other person.

Have you ever thought about a true marriage relationship? The marriage relationship is used to illustrate the relationship between the church and Christ. If a man is selfish and all he’s looking for is to fulfill himself, he has a wife that’s very depressed. If a man’s desire is to fulfill his wife out of love for her, then he’s not going to try to use her as a slave to fulfill himself. On the other side of the principle, if the wife’s desire is to fulfill her husband, you have a beautiful harmony as a result.

This is the illustration that we have of the love relationship between Christ and His church. Not that I am primarily seeking my own fulfillment, that I may have the wonderful fulness of the Spirit of God, but my desire is to worship God, that the Father may be worshipped because He "seeketh such" to worship Him. If your desire is that His name be glorified, then the love of the Father fulfills you. When we understand that relationship, we see what it is to worship the Father in spirit and in truth: the true desire of our hearts is that we might magnify the glory of the Father so that the purpose of His creation might be fulfilled in glorifying His precious name by our way of life, our attitudes, our spirit of love.

If we have selfish motives, then all we’re concerned about is that we can walk on streets of gold. I hear people talk about heaven and say, "Oh, won’t that be something that we can walk on pure gold." These are such vain imaginations of what constitutes heaven. Heaven is where we may perfectly fulfill the purpose of our creation in glorifying God. That becomes the fulfillment of our desires.

"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." (JOH 4:23)

The Father is seeking those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth.

There is perfect harmony between these three "musts", (being born again, believing Jesus as our only Redeemer, and worshipping the Father) and the order in which they are brought forth. In the work of regeneration of the new birth, our attitude is adjusted. We are renewed in the spirit of our mind. Our rebellion is broken. Our selfishness is taken away, is removed. Our attitudes are adjusted. We are being cleansed from all filthiness by the washing of regeneration of the Holy Spirit.

It is only those who have been renewed in the spirit of their minds through the washing of regeneration by the Spirit, and who have Christ formed in them as the hope of glory, who can worship the Father acceptably. When we have wrong attitudes, we are not able to render acceptable worship.

"The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight. The way of the wicked is an abomination unto the LORD: but he loveth him that followeth after righteousness." (PRO 15:8-9)

Do you get a clear picture of what it means to worship the Father in spirit? It requires a right attitude. "The prayer of the upright…he loveth him that followeth after righteousness."

When our values have been renewed, and we follow after righteousness (righteousness is a right attitude towards our neighbor), this renders glory to God. The Lord is pleased with this.

Whereas all acceptable worship must be in "spirit and in truth," we need to have a right understanding of these words! Sometimes we find that by searching the real meaning of some of the most common words, we unfold the blessed depths of the truth.

The word spirit is used in verses 23 and 24. Both come from the same Greek word pneuma, but the Greek, like the English, many times will have more than one meaning. It depends on where and how it’s used as to what it means. We need to notice the distinction between the two: one is capitalized and the other not.

Do you know what that teaches us? The one is speaking of the Spirit of God, and the other is speaking of the spirit of man. That’s quite an important distinction. We have to worship God in the right attitude. Can you worship God with a heart filled with bitterness against your neighbor? No, that’s not acceptable worship. When it says you must worship the Father in spirit and in truth, it’s the lower-case "s". You can’t say that you love God while you hate your brother. There are beautiful truths embedded in this. When you and I come before the Father to worship Him, we must have a right attitude towards our neighbor. The law of love has to reveal itself not only in our attitudes, but in the thoughts and intents of our hearts.

This distinction must draw our attention to the various meanings of the word pneuma. According to the Greek dictionary, in the first instance, when it’s speaking of "the human spirit, the rational soul, a vital principle, or mental disposition," it’s dealing with your attitude. In the second, it’s speaking of a Divine Spirit. Where the capital "S" is, it’s speaking of the Divine Spirit, the Spirit of Christ, the Holy Spirit, but even where it speaks of the Holy Spirit, the dictionary says at the end, "or to be spiritually minded." Can you be spiritually minded with a wrong attitude? The answer is no.

We must worship God "in spirit and in truth." It means in the Spirit of Christ. Our love must be love that we see reflected in Christ. What did He do? How did He reveal His love? Was it in coming down for His own reward? He gave up His throne. He condescended and to be conceived in the womb born of a sinner. He condescended to eat with publicans and sinners. He condescended to die. He humbled Himself to fulfill our needs. That’s the Spirit of Christ.

What is it to love one another? Our desire is not "How can it fulfill me?" but "How can I fulfill that person’s needs?" The true spirit of love, to worship the Father in spirit and in truth, is to worship the Father with a spirit of love, with a heart filled with love for our fellow man and a desire to supply his needs. My primary interest is not what you can do for me, but what I can do for you.

Wouldn’t it be something if every citizen of the United States had that spirit and every person in the whole world would say, "What can I do for my government? What can I do for my neighbor? What can I do?" instead of "What can the government do for me?" and "I’m going to vote for a man because of what he promises to do for me"? Do you see the spirit of selfishness?

We need what the Father is seeking those who worship Him in a spirit of sacrificial love.

The first work of the Holy Spirit in the new birth is the renewing of the spirit of our minds. Do you understand what that is? It is the Spirit of Christ being instilled in us: that Spirit of sacrificial love. It is the washing of regeneration by the Word of God.

Jesus’ first words to this Samaritan sinner in Verse 7, "give me to drink," revealed her lack of love. It was a revelation of the sin of her heart and a wrong attitude. What was He doing? He asked for a drink, which revealed her wrong attitude towards her neighbor. She said, "How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria?" (JOH 4:9)

In the attitude of this Samaritan sinner, we see such an accurate reflection of our own hearts by nature.

Our Saviour’s remedy for a wrong attitude toward our neighbor was the same with this Samaritan as it was with the Pharisees. That same remedy is also effective for you and me; it is the gospel.

The Pharisees brought a woman who was taken in adultery. They saw sin in her but not in themselves. When you hear a person speaking evil of another, ask him if he knows the teaching of Christ to the Pharisees and the woman taken in adultery. You are a Pharisee if you can speak evil of another man. Do you know why? It is your self-righteousness that puts you in that station.

I had a person tell me, "You’re a tyrant."

"Oh," I said, "I’m much more than that. My blessed Saviour was called a devil, and I’m not greater than my Saviour. So I’m going to confess I’m much more than a tyrant: I am a felon. I have been sentenced to death. I deserve to die. I’m just waiting for the day of execution, and I know not when it will be."

It makes no difference what accusation is brought against me; I don’t have to plead innocent: plead guilty because if the Lord shows me what’s in my heart, then I might be guilty of the greatest crimes.

What the Saviour did with the woman of Samaria was identical to what He did with the Pharisees.

"So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst." (JOH 8:7-9)

These were Pharisees: as touching the law they were blameless. The accusation was being brought against a woman guilty of a capital crime: according to the law she must die; she must be stoned to death. When their hearts were opened and they had a glimpse of their own hearts, they didn’t have one stone to throw.

The Samaritan woman was talking of the separation between the Jews and the Samaritans, and Jesus showed her what was in her own heart. He said, "Go, call thy husband."

When she said that she didn’t have a husband, He said that she was right, she’d had five, and the one she now had wasn’t her husband. This brought her conscience naked before God, which is exactly what He did with those Pharisees.

This is a lesson that you and I are going to learn: we will see that we don’t have to be so busy noticing the sins of another. We see our own sin, and we learn to understand our own hearts.

I don’t have any stones to throw at a person accused of murder. Do you know why? If he is convicted as a murderer, I have to confess the seeds of crime are in my heart as well. If I have spoken one evil thing about one brother, I’m as guilty before God as he is of being a murderer. Now there is no stones left to throw. The only thing I would have to say is that if God, by His restraining grace, has spared me, so that I have not fallen to the depth that he has fallen, it isn’t because I was better, it’s because of God’s preserving grace. Now I am in a better frame of mind to speak with a man who has been taken in sin.

When He stooped again, they were convicted in their own consciences. This is what takes place when the Holy Spirit works grace in your heart: you become convicted in your own conscience. There are no stones left to throw. If we see somebody that’s taken in a fall, we want to restore such a one. We don’t want to destroy him and stone him. We want to restore him: we want to bring up those weak hands and strengthen those feeble knees.

Now that the Samaritan woman had become "convicted by [her] own conscience," her heart became filled with riddles. As the light began to increase, she saw the riddles in her heart. She had perceived that Jesus was a Prophet, or as Nicodemus said, "thou art a teacher come from God." (JOH 3:2) She became concerned about the acceptable place and form of worship.

"Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship." (JOH 4:20)

Where to worship was one of the leading points of contention between the Jews and the Samaritans. The question is if they were able to render acceptable worship. Do you know what takes place? So often we are concerned about, "Should I go to this church or this church? Should I be a part of this denomination or that denomination?" We get ourselves so busy about doctrine that it becomes a smokescreen that stands between Christ and us. Where we should worship becomes too important sometimes.

See how this confusion began. See the origin of this confusion about whether they should worship in Jerusalem or at this mountain or whether they should worship in Samaria.

"And Jeroboam said in his heart, Now shall the kingdom return to the house of David: If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again unto their lord, even unto Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam king of Judah. Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt." (1KI 12:26-28)

The Samaritans were brought into idol worship because Jeroboam didn’t trust the Lord. Jeroboam had been anointed king. The Lord had sent Ahijah the prophet to anoint him as king, but he didn’t trust the Lord, so he brought about this division, and it was a sword of contention between the Samaritans and the Jews from that day forward.

Now that the Samaritan woman’s heart was wounded with the arrow of conviction, her mind became occupied with the acceptable place of worship. She wanted to have this resolved, this contention between generations of Jews and Samaritans. There can be so many contentions about tangible things ("should we do this or should we do this?") but the problem is we’re not looking to Christ. Christ is not the center of focus. She was receiving enough light to see that acceptable worship is necessary, but she was still justifying her attitude toward the Jews. She acknowledged that this was what brought about the separation between them and the Jews, but how to resolve it? Her heart became filled with riddles.

When we become aware of wrong attitudes, our first reaction is to turn to our own sense of repentance. We turn to our own faith. We turn to worship, attempting to please God in our own strength. When the Lord gives the arrow of conviction, our first reaction is to set out to please the Lord in our own way. We must understand that when Christ is lifted up, we must look to His perfect satisfaction of the law. That second element is now her stumbling block.

Our Saviour pointed out that it was her ignorance that kept her from the "gift of God," but there were still two things she did not know: "the gift of God," and who it was that talked with her. She’s still concerning herself with the form of worship.

Where to worship, what denomination or fellowship, often occupies our hearts, but if we become joined to a church before we become joined to Christ, then we may think of the church as an acceptable umbrella under which to hide. That’s a dangerous place to be. This thought of coming into church membership so that we have a sense of security, of being in the fold: if that takes place before we have been joined to Christ, then we have a false security. A false sense of security hinders many from becoming joined unto Christ.

Jesus did not avoid her question, but He did not dwell upon it. He answered it concisely and proceeded to the essential element.

"Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. [He’s pointing out to her that the issue of where you’re going to worship is not important, it’s how you worship.] Ye worship ye know not what [He’s saying, you are worshipping the mountain; you’re worshipping Mt. Gerazim rather than Christ.]: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews." (JOH 4:21-22)

The word salvation points to heaven, but Jesus was also using it to direct the woman at the wells attention to "the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink." (JOH 4:10)

As with Nicodemus, Jesus was drawing her thoughts away from all human reasoning, which stands between us and this salvation as the central point of our worship.

"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. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." (JOH 4:23-24)

See how interrelated are our attitude and acceptable worship. This is what’s important for you and me to understand: our attitude.

"The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit." (PSA 34:18)

Do you see where attitude and true acceptable worship meet? It is where there is a contrite spirit (that word "spirit" again is with a small "s"), a contrite attitude towards the Lord, a heart that is in unconditional surrender to the will of God.

"For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise." (PSA 51:16-17)

Notice the attitude (in other words, the heart): in submission, in unconditional surrender to the will of God, is acceptable worship. "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise."

To worship the Father in spirit is to have the mind of Christ.

See how we worship God in a right attitude. Worshipping God is not something that’s confined to sitting in an assembly, in a worship service, or in a singing service; the worship of the Father includes our daily walk of life. You cannot spend six days a week serving the world and one day a week serving the Father and have an acceptable worship. Worship is a seven-day-a-week process.

PHI 2:1-5 says, "If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded [Do you have any consolation in Christ? Do you have divisions among you? Do you have a divided heart?], having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus."

This is to have the Spirit of Christ and the mind of the Lord Jesus Christ. Worshipping in spirit is not found in our emotions. I had a man tell me "The Spirit of the Lord was there." How did he know?

I can become emotional – anybody can become emotional – and not have anything to do with the Spirit of God. It’s not found in emotions. There may be many tears as the result of a touching message, and there may be many emotions excited by a choir’s beautiful harmony. I’ve heard choirs that can actually bring tears to your eyes. There’s such beautiful harmony in music. It can be emotional, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a manifestation of the Spirit of God, just that it is pleasing to the ear.

For singing worship to be acceptable to the Lord, it must come from the heart. See how God is worshipped in singing: "Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord." (EPH 5:19)

Do you see where it lies? It is a harmony in your heart: a harmony of purpose, a oneness of mind-having the same love, being of one accord and one mind. There’s the harmony that is spiritual worship.

Verses 20-21 say, "Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God."

There’s acceptable spiritual worship. Acceptable worship is the activity of the redeemed. What we do speaks louder than what we say. Our actions worship God. We worship God when our way of life speaks rather than our mouths.

"For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God." (1PE 2:20)

When you do something right, and you’re buffeted for that, then taking it patiently (patiently means cheerfully enduring), that is acceptable worship; that is acceptable to God.

Patiently enduring while suffering wrongfully is a type of "Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God." Did you ever stop and think about that? That’s what we see in EPH 5:21 when it talks about "melody in your heart." in other words, harmony in the heart. It is "Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God." Patiently suffering wrongfully is a type of this, whereby we worship the Father in spirit: that is, in the Spirit of Christ.

See how the Scriptures bear me out on this: that we are worshipping in the Spirit of Christ when we patiently, cheerfully, endure wrongful suffering. Look at the very next verse in 1PE 2:21, "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps."

That’s worshipping in the Spirit of Christ because "hereunto were ye called: "to follow Christ’s" example.

To worship in spirit is to worship in the mind of Christ, but to worship in truth is to worship with a holy awe for the authority of God’s Word and truth.

We not only have to worship in spirit but also in truth. The Pharisees were worshipping God (as far as anybody could see) in the right spirit, but not in truth. See the essential element.

"This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." (MAT 15:8-9)

They were not worshipping in truth. They were worshipping God, but their heart was far from Him, and they were placing the human, carnal reasoning of their teaching above the authority of the Word of God.

Modern worship is designed to please the flesh more than God. It is so important that you and I understand that when we worship God, it is not only in spirit but also in truth.

ROM 1:25 is such a beautiful illustration of modern worship. "Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen."

When we worship Him in the Spirit of Christ, it also has to be in truth: His Word is truth. That worship has to be in unconditional surrender to the authority of His Word. If we desire to love God with our hearts, our souls, and our minds, the first element of this love is a holy awe and reverence for the authority of His Word. When we start teaching for doctrines the commandments of men (based on human reasoning and not founded upon the Word), we’re not worshipping in an acceptable way. We are not worshipping in truth. Notice that word "must" as we see it in our text: we "must worship him in spirit and in truth." It has to be according to His Word.

I like to be generous, to bring everybody in and say that they’re all believers, but you know something? I have to use the Word of God as my gauge. I can be so generous, that I’m starting to teach the doctrines of men. I have to be very careful that when I talk about worshipping the Father, it means not only in spirit but also in truth.

See what God has done: He has revealed His reward for the kind of worship He spoke of in ROM 1:25, that they have "worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator." They view some person in a theological seminary as a great authority, and they don’t go back to what the Word of God says. We’re seeing it rampant in our country today.

"For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet." (ROM 1:26-27)

I want you to see something that is happening in our nation today: they have now put women in the pulpits. I have a newspaper, The Washington Times, which tells of a meeting. Twenty-two hundred women pastors held a meeting, and they had a communion service called the "Communion of Milk and Honey." Do you know what it was? It was referring to homosexuality, and they called that the "Communion of Milk and Honey." The conclusion of the piece said that these pastors were getting away from the teaching of the sacrifice of Christ because that was too much like teaching bondage, since they thought this sacrilege was a "wonderful experience."

See how far they’ve gone – and these are mainline denominations that are doing this: Presbyterians, Methodists, Lutherans, and even many of the Baptists were joining in this "worship service." They were worshipping a female god they called "Sofia." Do you know how they arrived at that name? They seize upon MAT 11:19b that says, "But wisdom is justified of her children." Therefore they assent that speaks of a female God by the name "Sofia". The word wisdom in the Greek is "Sofia." That’s how they established it. So now they’re teaching the commandments of men, worshipping "Sofia" and saying, "Sofia, thou art our creator." I’m just telling you this to show you how far the Lord allows us to fall away. They’re still worshipping, but they’re worshipping under the damnable judgment that God speaks about here in ROM 1:26-27. I want you to see how important it is. I’ve given you an illustration that is far out, but it’s happening today in this nation, in this Christian nation, to warn you that God will send the Judgement He spoke of in Romans 1 to those who do not worship Him in truth.

"Thus sayeth the Lord." Do you know what the Lord says in His Word? It says if a woman has anything that she wants to know, she can ask her husband at home, and she must keep silence in church. It doesn’t say they put women in the pulpit. When they put women in the pulpit, twenty-two hundred of them come together and have a meeting like this – all in a "worship service." The Lord gave them over unto themselves because they worship the creature more than the Creator, because they’re not willing to submit to the truth of the Word. What a horrible reality.

In that same newspaper an article points out how a city in California has spent $500,000 making a pagan god, and in the worship of that pagan god, they cut the heart out of a living human being to sacrifice unto that pagan god. They’re spending $500,000 of United States taxpayer’s money, in California, to build that god. That is an "acceptable worship" – paganism – absolute paganism! They say that the pagan religion is more ancient than the Christian religion and therefore should be resurrected, and they should start serving pagan gods!

Do you see how far we go when we begin to stray? We leave the truth when the Word of God is no longer the authority. See how important it is that we worship Him not only in spirit but in truth. Acceptable worship takes place where the authority of God’s Word is held in reverence. "God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him." (PSA 89:7)

"God is greatly to be feared." He is to be held in holy reverence, "to be had in reverence of all them that are about him." The saints’ worship in heaven, as revealed in REV 15:3-4, teaches the perfect harmony of thinking and oneness of mind which glorifies our blessed Father who is in heaven.

"And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest." (REV 15:2-4)

Do you see that blessed harmony in the holy reverence that there is for God? That is how He shall be worshipped in perfection in glory.

The song of redemption in the song of Moses is found in EXO 15:1-4. It was sung when they were redeemed from the power of Egypt, from the armies of Egypt at the Red Sea. That song of Moses is what shall be sung in heaven.

"Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father's God, and I will exalt him. The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name. Pharaoh's chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea: his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red sea."

See the song of redemption. See how they are praising the Lord in word and song, as well as in their heart.

The song of the Lamb is that which we find in REV 5:9-12. "And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands [A thousand thousands is a million. Thousands times ten thousands. Millions and millions of angels all in perfect harmony, with one voice.]; Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing."

That’s the song of the redeemed. That’s the song that will be sung in perfect harmony, in perfect worship of God in spirit and in truth. Amen.


These on-line sermons are a ministry of Gospel Chapel located in Conrad, Montana. We also have a  daily devotion. See also our sermon notes.

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