“God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” ~John 4:24 (TLV)
This is a popular verse among modern Christians, but I often wonder if people truly know the depth of what our Messiah was saying when He uttered these words—now over 2,000 years ago. I want to take some time to look into the two words “spirit” and “truth” from this statement and explore how important they are to the foundation of true worship.
Before I get to that, let me share with you something that I find quite troubling. One time I attended a church service and took a seat near the front of their general assembly “sanctuary”. I noticed that they set some papers along the front row of pews. Curiosity getting the best of me, I took a look at what these slips of paper said on them. They were a series of “instructions” for those who would be so “privileged” to sit on the front pew of their “esteemed church”.
You might wonder what were these “rules” for the privileged people who got to be so honored as to sit on the front pew of the church? Well, first of all you were required to have an actual printed Bible and a notepad (apparently a smartphone with access to hundreds of Bible translations and a note-taking app doesn’t give the “right appearance”)—and you were expected to actually take notes, with a “real pen” of course. These “special people” were also told that they needed to actively engage in worship the way everyone around them was—so if people were clapping, they need to clap too, if people were standing, they need to stand too, if people were lifting their hands in worship, they needed to do the same thing. Another thing they were being told to do was shout out things like “AMEN!” and “PREACH!” while the minister was delivering his sermon. I know this sounds absurd, but I promise I am not making this up. I kept one of the slips of paper.
I shared this with several people, including some ministry colleagues that I have worked with and some friends I went to Bible College with years ago. The responses I got included such statements as: “Are you kidding me”, “That’s segregation and they are setting themselves up for a lawsuit”, and “Staged praise and worship”. It would seem, in my humble opinion of course, as though maybe people with absolutely no anointing and no real experience with God saw some other church that was on fire and said “Hey, we want our church to look like this, so let’s tell the people who sit on the front row to act like this and maybe we can look like that too.”
Charles Finney was a Presbyterian minister in the 19th century and is considered the prominent figure of what has been called The Second Great Awakening. It is said that he walked into a factory and upon his very presence in the room work came to a halt and people began crying out to God in repentance. Another account says that even a decade after leaving an area he held revival meetings in for many years—Rochester, New York—a majority of the community were still living wholly and holy for God (at least to the point of their understanding of The Bible as Presbyterians, of course).
Charles Finney also had special seating in his meetings, reserving the front pews of the assembly halls where he delivered his sermons. But these seats were not reserved for the “in crowd” and no special instructions were given to “privileged parishioners” on how to create a fake worship appearance. No! In Finney’s meetings the front rows were deemed the anxious seat and they were the place he sat wretched sinners who had come to the end of themselves and were ready in that moment, upon hearing the bold truth of the preacher’s message, to give themselves wholly and holy to their Creator. Imagine what would happen if we returned to such a discarded value of the past and instead of putting people from the “in crowd” or those who give the biggest donations to the church on the front row and faking the “appearance” of an anointing we once again put those who desperately need to meet their Creator and their Messiah on the front row, eliminating all distractions and creating an atmosphere where they could have a real encounter with the real God they have been seeking.
The Bible offers us two characteristics of a new covenant Believer—someone who really is saved—that I want you to consider in building a foundation for what it means to worship God in Spirit and in Truth. They come from Jeremiah 31:32 and are repeated in Hebrews 8:10, 10:16 where God tells us that the true new covenant Believer will have His Torah written on their heart (spirit) and put into their mind (truth). With this understanding, let’s take a look at worshiping God in both Spirit and Truth.
A Heart Of Worship
When people think of worship today they most often think of music. While it’s true that worship is found in everything we do and in every aspect of our life—everything you do is worshiping either God or someone/something else—I will build at least for a moment on the principle of worship in terms of music, as that is what most people will more easily comprehend.
All music is worship music. Think about that for a moment. Let me repeat it for you just in case you didn’t quite get is: ALL MUSIC IS WORSHIP MUSIC.
There is music that worships God, this is what most people think of when considering what “worship music” is. But all music leads you into worship of someone or something. Some music leads you into worshiping Satan. Some music leads you into worshiping worldliness. Some music leads you into worshiping yourself. Some music leads you into worshiping humanism. All music leads you into worship, which brings us to the question: Who/what are you or have you been worshiping?
Most music considered to be “worship music” would be genres like Praise & Worship, Gospel, Contemporary Christian, or even Christian Rock. These are all types of music where the song lyrics are primarily based on things we read in The Bible or general “Christian” beliefs and principles. There is, however, music that may otherwise be considered secular where the lyrics are about topics like life, love, and nature. Well, these are all essentially aspects of our God and His Creation, and could themselves be incorporated into true worship, though I would offer two criteria that should be met. First of all, a person needs to be at a place of spiritual maturity where such songs could be used as worship in that they would wholly worship God the Creator through them. Second, and most importantly, it would be preferred that such songs be produced by a Spirit-filled Believer and absolutely not the product of some demonized secular artist who has made such declarations as having sold their soul to the devil—as singer Katy Perry is on record as having done, despite being raised in Church—or said such things as that they are “an apostle of the devil” as other popular secular artists are said to have done.
It is simply not wise to listen to music from secular artists who have made such declarations. After all, how is it possibly honoring to God to be entertained by music that comes straight out of His enemy’s camp? This makes absolutely no sense at all, yet so many people get caught up in this stuff. But the lines are really starting to get blurred. Take for example the famous “gangster rapper” Snoop Dogg who released a “Gospel” album and went on tour. Christians bought this album up, completely forgetting that this man is famous for the most anti-Christian life he has led and promoted. Leading up to his alleged “conversion to Christianity” he was also a member of Islam and then the Rastafarian religions. What are all these “Christians” going to do if this man bows out of Christianity after making millions on the sale of his so-called “Gospel” album?
Another example of this is the famous secular artist Beyoncé, who has launched a “mass” (a term most associated with the Roman Catholic religion) that has been making its way through churches. According to the website for these events the Beyoncé Mass “is a womanist worship service that uses the music and personal life of Beyoncé as a tool to foster an empowering conversation about Black women—their lives, their bodies, and their voices”. This screams of demonic deception! The term “womanist” is a direct reference to a foundation of humanism and the focus on the life and music of Beyoncé means that these services are about her, the idol-god of the “mass”, and NOT about Yeshua. Think about that! But so-called “Christians” are buying into these kinds of things because they use religious language and hold these events in churches. It seems nobody has enough discernment or even plain common sense to oppose such unbiblical practices.
Recently many have debated about the secular rapper Kanye West who has seemingly radically given his life to Yeshua as Messiah. I hope he has! But here’s the thing about these people, whether it is Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, or MC Hammer who years ago in the 1990’s was the “secular rapper turned preacher” of the day: If they truly have given their life over to Yeshua, they will sever all ties to their secular ungodly fame and fortune. They would stop benefiting financially from the sale of music they now believe opposes their faith. They would at least attempt to have production stopped of the music they no longer endorse. They would do what The Bible says and come out from among them and be separate. But when they do not, the only message they send is that you can be a Christian and still hold onto your past. This is not the message of The Bible, it is a message that will send them, and you if you follow them, straight to hell.
When I committed my life to Yeshua as Messiah, I took all of my secular god-defying music, thousands of dollars worth of compacts discs, cassette tapes, and even posters and souvenirs autographed by popular bands of the time, and I lit them all on fire. In fact, it was rather windy where I took them and I could not get my lighter to keep a flame long enough to start the fire. So I prayed and asked God to help me burn the stuff. Then I lit a match and that single little match, not a gas lighter, stayed lit with the wind still blowing to where I could get the fire started. THAT is what you do when you come out from among them and be separate.
I have a very serious question to ask: If you are saved, if you have received Yeshua as your Messiah, if you have been filled with God’s Holy Spirit, how in the world can you possibly be attracted to Satan’s music?
Worldly (unsaved) people base their choices of music on worldly attraction. They listen with their mind, not their spirit. If a song is “popular” in the surrounding culture, they like it because they want to be liked by the surrounding culture. If they like the beat, they could care less what they words are saying and what they are being led to worship. In contrast, if they don’t like the song, they wouldn’t care what the song is saying. Sadly, there are “professing Christians” today who can’t stand a lot of songs that promote biblical worship of God for these very reasons, but they will listen to music from people who defy their God and have even literally professed allegiance to Satan just because they like the beat or because the songs are culturally popular.
Truly Spirit-filled (saved) people, on the other hand, are attracted to music not through the natural mind, but through the spirit. These are people who, as I have said, have Torah written on their heart and put in their mind. They are people who have embraced Yeshua as their Messiah and are full of God’s Holy Spirit. As such, they base their choices of music not on any type of popularity or musical style, but on whether or not the song glorifies their God and leads them toward holiness. For this person there is no regard for genres or beats, they love all music that promotes the things of God and shun all music that does not. Their spirit leaps with joy when godly songs are playing.
I have all sorts of musical styles in my collection today from traditional praise to rock to tropical to rap to traditional Jewish styles and so much more. The only common denominator is that every single song gives praise and glory to Yahweh my God and Yeshua my Messiah. And I can enjoy every single song that plays because I am listening through my spirit and not my natural mind. It is unsaved “fake Christians” or spiritually immature “Believers” who hate songs that glorify their God because they don’t like the style of music or the beat or whatever fault they find with the song because they are listening with their natural mind and not their spirit.
Something else I have noticed is that Spirit-filled people tend to be drawn more strongly toward Messianic/Hebraic worship than even mainstream Christian music. This makes a lot of sense when you consider that The Bible is written by the Hebrew people chosen by God and as such Messianic/Hebraic worship really brings out the cultural aspect of Scripture in a way modern Americanized Christianity has strayed far away from. When you listen with your spirit, you will recognize songs that truly are anointed and so-called “Christian worship songs” that are subtly filled with deception like the humanist message being worked into many modern “worship songs”.
And let’s touch on that for a moment. There are a lot of popular “worship” songs being sung in churches today that sound good, and the lyrics may even be sound doctrine, technically. But we have to remember this is worship, not preaching and teaching. So the thing you are singing about is what you are worshiping. If you are singing about blessings, you are worshiping the blessing instead of the God who blesses. If you are singing about who you are, even “in Messiah”, you are singing worship to yourself. When you are engaged in songs of worship and praise, the lyrics of the song reveal what you are worshiping and praising.
Understand this too: much of the music produced in the secular world has demonic spirits attached to it. This does not mean you should cower and be afraid to go into a retail store because they play such music. We should always remember that greater is He that lives inside us than he that is in the world. But how can someone professing to be a Christian—a Spirit-filled Believer in Yahweh and follower of Yeshua—listen to music in their home or car or anywhere else they do have control over that defies the very God they claim to put their faith in and think nothing of it? Even when I am in public places where I have no control over what songs might be playing within my hearing I sense discomfort and disdain in my spirit when I hear songs that I know glorify the devil or the world. And if you are filled with God’s Spirit, you should feel this way too.
Worship Built On Truth
Make no mistake about it, the ONLY source of absolute truth on the face of the Earth is The Bible. If you do not agree with me on this then we have a foundational difference of opinion that simply cannot be resolved and the whole of my teachings are probably not for you. I would rather neither of us waste each other’s time than to go any further with this. My teachings are geared toward those who first and foremost agree that The Bible is the only source of absolute truth both now and throughout the history of the world, and on that point I will not compromise or debate.
Moving deeper, as the psalmist tells us, God’s Torah is truth. This does not eliminate the fact that all of The Bible as a whole is truth or minimize other parts of Scriptural truth as inferior to Torah. But it does help us put Torah in a certain priority as the foundation of truth. For more about this I recommend reading my study Torah: The Foundation Of All Truth, a lengthier work that goes into depth of explaining the importance of Torah as the primary source of all other biblical truth.
When considering worshiping in truth we must realize that worship must be built on Torah, since Torah is the foundation upon which all other truth must be established. Thus, if a “worship song”—to continue with the use of music to illustrate true worship—is not in harmony with what is said in God’s Torah, it is not worship at all but part of the same demonic deception as alluded to above.
Why is this important? Because there are worship songs and doctrines being developed today that are anti-Torah. Humanist and hyper-grace versions of Christianity are leading people to believe they are worshiping the God of The Bible in ways that are void of Torah-obedience. This is exceptionally concerning since Yeshua said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15) and the Apostle John continued this thought in his first epistle saying, “For this is the love of God—that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3).
To put all this in perspective, worshiping God is found in obeying Torah. There are a lot of people today who sing songs with powerful emotion, they lift their hands, they clap, they dance, and all of it is meaningless to the God they believe they are worshiping because they eat pork bacon for breakfast and ham sandwiches for lunch, work on The Sabbath, and/or celebrate Christmas and Easter instead of (or even in addition to) Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles. Do you want to know what God thinks of people who “worship” with all sorts of emotion but don’t keep Torah? These statements, as rendered by The Message Bible English paraphrase, are quite fitting:
Quit your worship charades. I can’t stand your trivial religious games: Monthly conferences, weekly Sabbaths, special meetings— meetings, meetings, meetings—I can’t stand one more! Meetings for this, meetings for that. I hate them! You’ve worn me out! I’m sick of your religion, religion, religion, while you go right on sinning. When you put on your next prayer-performance, I’ll be looking the other way. No matter how long or loud or often you pray, I’ll not be listening. ~Isaiah 1:13-15 (The Message, emphasis added)
I can’t stand your religious meetings. I’m fed up with your conferences and conventions. I want nothing to do with your religion projects, your pretentious slogans and goals. I’m sick of your fund-raising schemes, your public relations and image making. I’ve had all I can take of your noisy ego-music. When was the last time you sang to me? Do you know what I want? I want justice—oceans of it. I want fairness—rivers of it. That’s what I want. That’s all I want. ~Amos 5:21-24 (The Message)
Notice in the Isaiah passage the phrase: while you go right on sinning. 1 John 3:4 (CJB) says: “Everyone who keeps sinning is violating Torah — indeed, sin is violation of Torah.” So we could say that these passages express God’s complaint against people “worshiping” while they go right on violating His Torah.
You cannot engage in true Spirit-filled worship unless you marry your worship with obedience to truth, and Torah is the foundation of all scriptural truth. Your worship is an offense to God if you do not follow Torah. Your worship makes God “sick to his stomach”, to use a modern slang that you can comprehend, if you do not follow the Leviticus 11 food laws, and do not keep the biblically defined Sabbath of the seventh day (sunset Friday to sunset Saturday), do not keep His Holy Mo’edim (the Spring and Fall Feasts), and especially if your worship of God blends biblical truth with paganism (Deuteronomy 12:29-31) as Christmas and Easter—among many other things—do. God is not pleased with your worship and will not listen to your prayers if you willfully defy His Torah by wearing wool and linen together or mark your body with tattoos.
Proverbs 28:9 (CJB) says: “If a person will not listen to Torah, even his prayer is an abomination.” If a person’s prayer is an abomination, what do you think their worship is when they constantly reject and break the commandments of Torah?
Now, notice what I said: willfully defy His Torah. You DO need to know what you are doing is a commandment of Torah and then intentionally choose to disregard the commandment in open rebellion. Sinning in ignorance is something God will always show mercy and forgiveness toward. But in both the Torah and the Apostolic Writings we can find statements that tell us there is no sacrifice that covers openly defiant willful acts of sin—and that includes the sacrificed blood of Yeshua the Lamb of God, the contextual sacrifice referenced in Hebrews 10:26.
I know of at least one preacher who was a pillar for holiness and revival several decades ago. Among the many standards he preached, he used to speak openly and boldly against getting tattoos, because The Bible plainly commands against the practice. At some point, some demon spirit apparently convinced this preacher that it’s “not wrong” to do and he started getting tattoos. Today his Church is completely backslidden and worldly beyond recognition of what it once was (and only has a fraction of the pews filled too—lots of empty seats, so I guess they could “socially distance” the congregants during a modern pandemic). I can only pray that such a person find his way back to the truth one day and return to the values of the past that he has long discarded—there would be much for him to gain by it.
No matter what such a system tries to do, they have tied the hands of God when they follow this model. I’m not saying it’s completely impossible for the Holy Spirit to move and the place be filled with the anointing in such a setting. But I will say that it’s very unlikely.
Yes, rehearsed worship can spark emotion, and often it does. Especially when people are not mature in spirituality. But the true anointing is something that doesn’t rely on the perfection of a “worship team” and their ability to perform. And that’s what most “worship” is today, a performance. (Notice I said the anointing and not an anointing. There are not many anointings, there is either God’s anointing or Satan’s deception—and most of what people think is anointed today is in fact part of Satan’s deception.)
Could you imagine what would happen in a setting where truly anointed worshipers came together and just began to worship? No rehearsals. No performances. Just worship.
Have you ever been in a setting where this has happened? I have. And I can tell you that when human planning is not in the way God will move powerfully. But you have to be able to wholly submit to true worship.
It doesn’t have to involve music either. Years ago I was spending time with a friend late one evening. We got out a Bible and took turns randomly reading Psalms. We would flip to a page and read whatever Psalm we came to. The power of God fell in a mighty way. Why? Because it was not planned, it was not rehearsed, it was not a performance, and it was not emotionalism. It was nothing but the Spirit of God and the Word of God—Spirit and Truth.
Now what would happen if I tried to recreate that? If I got together with other friends and said, “Hey, the other night we figured out a way to bring the anointing”? Chances are good nothing would happen because at that point I would be trying to create an atmosphere based on a previous experience. Such experiences are not meant to become a formula, they are meant to prepare you for the next unplanned, unrehearsed experience.
When I was serving in the United States Navy I was able to witness this with the exact same Book of The Bible. I reported onto my second ship and quickly gained a reputation as a solid Christian (that doesn’t take long when you truly live The Word of God). I was being asked to assist with the Protestant Worship Service, so I told them I would attend and see where they were at. I went that first Sunday morning and there were two guys reading Psalms to each other—it was a dead and lifeless meeting. This just goes to show that what caused the Spirit of God to move one time might not another time.
As soon as they gave me approval to lead services onboard the ship, it didn’t take long and we had standing room only, added a mid-week Bible study with the room packed and a Friday evening prayer gathering also with the room packed. We literally had a genuine move of God on a Naval warship in the middle of the Caribbean Sea. I find it no coincidence that our ship was able in that time to obtain the largest seizure of illegal cocaine by the Navy up to that point (it is my understanding there has been larger drug busts since that time). The Navy received a blessing because we allowed God to move! And I believe that.
Have you ever wondered why so often nothing happens when people read books about a past movement or revival and try to recreate in their own church or ministry what they read about? I have watched a particular church many times try to plan and create revival and it has never worked. Every time they try it, it fails. In another church one time they planned an “anointing service” where the pastor was to pray over everyone. In that service an associate pastor was going ahead of the lead pastor and literally coaching people on how to receive prayer and fall out in the Spirit. I promise you the Spirit was not there that night and anyone who “fell out” did so under their own power and with their own intent to appear spiritual. This is a problem that happens in many churches that believe in this type of moving of the Spirit but do not know how to get the real thing.
True worship is not something you can rehearse for. I’m not saying it’s necessarily wrong to develop a talent that God gave you, but as you will see in a moment there is a right way and a wrong way to go about doing that. I would, however, like to see those who feel called to “lead worship” get to a point where they realize there is no such thing as “leading worship”. Nobody is called to “lead worship”. You may have been given a gifting and a talent that God can use to inspire worship, but every time a person has made the mistake of thinking they are to “lead worship” is the moment that they assume the job of the Holy Spirit, and once you have done that the anointing will not be present in the room.
Spirit And Truth At Pentecost
But what is this “Day of Pentecost” or “Feast of Shavuot”? It is at this point that very few Christians know what this day was. It’s as if Christians think that the day of Pentecost is just a name some “New Testament” Christians gave to the day that God poured out His Spirit. They do not realize that it is one of the biblical Feasts of Yahweh established in Torah.
Shavuot is the Feast that celebrated first—before the second part of the celebration recorded in the Book of Acts—the giving of Torah to Moses on Sinai. Passover had taken place when the Israelites were to flee Egyptian slavery. Then the Feast of Unleavened Bread was initiated the day after Passover and remembers the pursuit of the Egyptian army until God closed the sea on them, leaving His people safe on the other side. Then they made their way to Sinai where Moses went up the mountain and received the tablets of stone with God’s Torah on them on the day that is known as Pentecost, or Shavuot.
If you recall, I noted earlier from Psalm 119 how Torah is truth. So The Feast of Shavuot is really the celebration of worshiping God in Spirit and Truth (Torah). Is it any wonder that Shavuot is the middle Feast, with the three Spring Feasts (The Passover, the seven days of Unleavened Bread, and the Day of First Fruits) on one side and the Fall Feasts (The Day of Shofars, The Day of Atonement, and The Feast of Tabernacles—also called Sukkot) on the other side. This is illustrated in the menorah, the seven-branched candlestick used in the Tabernacle/Temple in Israelite worship with three branches on each side and the center branch, the fire of worshiping in Spirit and Truth, in the middle.
While Pentecost/Shavuot is a Feast Day where we offer thanks to our Creator with the provision of Creation, and while we eat traditional Shavuot foods like cheesecake (yes, it’s a Jewish tradition, but any excuse to have a piece of cheesecake is one I’ll not argue against), it is also the day that celebrates Torah and God’s Spirit both poured out on His people. Many churches, especially those of Pentecostal Christian denominations, have manipulated this date, calling it the “birthday” of the unbiblical church model (the true birth of the modern church occurred under Constantine hundreds of years later).
During Shavuot there is a commandment to “bring out of your houses two loaves of bread for a wave offering” (Leviticus 23:17). Some have contended that this represents the “Old Testament” and “New Testament”, but I find this pretty ridiculous since it is clear that The Bible was never intended to be divided like this and the entire concept of the “Two Testaments” is built to support Replacement Theology. I think it would be more appropriate to view to two loaves as representing what Shavuot represents—The giving of Torah and Holy Spirit, Spirit and Truth.
I have even heard at least one modern preacher go as far as taking the traditional offering of two loaves of leavened bread at Pentecost and tell people to “put two fifty-dollar bills in their hands to offer to God” (and by offer to God, he meant give it to his ministry). Look, I have no problem with people asking for financial support for their ministry if their ministry is teaching the truth, but this man was straight up twisting Scripture and manipulating people. And I would not even have much of an issue if he were leading his church in full BIBLICAL celebration of The Feasts and then said “You know, at Pentecost we celebrate with the offering of two loaves, and if you want to support the ministry financially you may think about applying the two loaves principle by putting a financial offering in each hand”. But that’s not what is happening.
We must worship in Spirit and Truth. And there may be no better way to learn this through the celebration of the biblical Feast of Shavuot!
Worship The King
But there is a gate open to the Body of Messiah this hour which is a very small gate. Through that gate only men who are worshipers will go. These men will lay talents before their God. These men will say “God, we will be worshipers.” Through that small gate they will come. And as they come through that narrow place—hear again the Word of the Lord—they will arise again on the other side, not to minister to men, but to minister unto their God.
I now present before thee a choice. Thou canst minister unto men, and I will cause thee to sway only the hearts of men with thy talent. Or thou canst humble thyself as one passing through a very low gate and become a worshiper of God. Then thou shalt minister unto the King.” –Jonathan Settel, “Eye Of The Needle” (adapted from the prophetic parable by Charlotte Baker)
That is the last paragraphs of a prophetic word given by a Pentecostal woman in 1981, to which Jonathan Settel, who records music to worship the King, set to music. There are transcripts of Baker’s original prophecy available, though they differ slightly from Settel’s version (for example, where you read “Body of Messiah” above, the original refers to “The Church”).
I was inclined to transcribe the entire piece as it is an amazing message, but what really stuck out to me was these last few paragraphs. So many today are of the delusion that we are to serve people. The biblical model is that we serve God and as a result the people will be blessed by God. The more ministry focuses on people the more humanistic and worldly it becomes and the more displeased God is with the whole thing—this He will not bless.
A ministry that is people-focused is a ministry that caters to worldliness. I have seen this so many times. This is why you see many churches offering fairs, picnics, carnivals, Christmas programs, and a host of other worldly activities. They are focused on people and not on God. They believe that they need to draw the people and they can “get them saved”. But The Bible says “If I be lifted up, I will draw all men to Me”, Yeshua speaking of Himself of course. The churches have it backwards. According to Scripture if we will put the focus back on worshiping God biblically, in Spirit and Truth that includes full adherence to Torah, then God will send the people. The reason, it seems, why this is not done today is because modern Christianity doesn’t really believe that if they will do this the people will come. Thus they come up with all sorts of “methods”, pretty much all of them totally unbiblical, to try attracting the people through their own efforts.
There was a movie produced in 1989 starring actor Kevin Costner titled Field of Dreams. I do not recommend the movie, as the theme of it, looking back, seems rather demonic. But the plot of the movie was in a phrase: If you build it, he will come. The idea was that the main character, Ray (played by Costner), had to build a baseball field on his farm. When he did that, the ghosts of deceased baseball players began to come out of the corn and play baseball on the field he built—see, I told you it has a demonic theme. As the story plays out, in the end people are coming from all over the nation and filling the seats to watch these baseball players.
While this may not be a movie I feel best suited for a member of Messiah’s Body to be entertained by (I saw it long before I committed my life to serving God), it does illustrate to some degree the correct posture of worship that you can see from the above cited prophetic parable. Just like Ray built a baseball field for the players and the people came, if “the church” will ever learn to truly worship God biblically, in Spirit and in Truth, the people will come.
John 12:32 says that if we lift up Yeshua then He will draw the people to Himself. This whole thing is about putting the focus on Yahweh, the Creator, and Yeshua, the Son, who are one. In John 14:15, 21 Yeshua equates loving Him with obeying the commandments—Torah, truth. John 6:63 says: “The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and are life!” Psalm 119:153-154 tells us that Torah is life. The Word of God, the Torah, is Spirit and life and truth. Worshiping in Spirit and Truth must be worship that is built on Torah. Religion tells you that the very thing that defines loving Yeshua is legalism that we are delivered from. Please, DO NOT chase religion and the demonic doctrines of men. Chase after God and His Word.
Matthew 7:13-14 tells us that the gate leading to life is narrow and only a few find it, while the way to destruction is broad and the masses go hopping and skipping down it not having a clue that they are heading straight to hell with the rest of the lawless ones. Currently those who call themselves “Christians” make up about one third of the entire world’s population. If they are going to heaven, The Bible is not true. Christianity at its core might hold a majority of truth, but it’s the lie that is almost true that is most believable. The tainting of Christianity by the majority has created a religious system that has many bound for an eternity without God.
Most places labeled as “houses of worship” today are really the stomping ground of devils. There are more demon spirits inside of a local Church than anywhere else in society. The problem is most Christian don’t see them because they have never learned to operate in the spiritual gift of discerning of spirits (1 Corinthians 12:10). Most Christians think of demon spirits only in terms of what fits in their mental picture of evil. As such, they fail to recognize the demons that shake their hand when they walk into the Church, or the demons that help them find a seat, or the demons that minister music from the platform, or the demons that give the sermon, or the demons that offer to pray for them at the conclusion of the service, or (perhaps most terrifying of all) the demons that watched their children during the service. There are demon spirits filling all of these positions and so many others in local Churches. And if you are not grounded in your faith, filled with the Word and the Spirit, and living a life of prayer then these demon spirits will latch onto you too and soon you will be another one of the demons filling these spots of “service” and passing on those same evil spirits to the next undiscerning bunch to walk into the Church.
I can only imagine how many devils I have encountered at Church, and how many I have cast out too. Not with some big production of screaming “COME OUT”, but often with just a simple quiet prayer commanding the devil to go. One of the things devils do in Church is create distractions, so while there are times for the more dramatic shouting “COME OUT” to devils, if you live by faith it is just as effective to cast the devil out in a way nobody but you and God will ever know about it.
One instance of this I can recall because I saw the literal physical manifestation of it. There was a man I always saw raising his hand and shaking it in a peculiar way throughout the service—every week. I knew something seemed off and I felt the Spirit of God tell me that it was a demon spirit causing that. So I looked over at him when he was doing it and told the demon spirit to go. It was quiet, and nobody heard me say it. But immediately his hand stopped shaking and he put it down to his side. I watched him over a course of time after that and so long as I saw him in services at that Church I never once saw him start shaking his hand like that again.
These are the type of things you can and will do when you learn to worship in Spirit and in Truth. You have to have both. You have to come to the end of yourself and allow both the Spirit of God’s holiness and the truth of God’s Torah to be the driving force of your faith and worship. If you don’t, then you really are not worshiping God in the first place.
If you worship God in Spirit and in Truth, He will come to you. The rest will take care of itself. Churches are always worried about attendance, budgets, and other such meaningless things. If they would ever learn to set everything else aside and focus on both Spirit and Truth, together as one, these other things would all take care of themselves. Look at what Yeshua tells us:
“So I say to you, do not worry about your life—what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing?
Look at the birds of the air. They do not sow or reap or gather into barns; yet your Father in heaven feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They neither toil nor spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. Now if in this way God clothes the grass—which is here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow—will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For the pagans eagerly pursue all these things; yet your Father in heaven knows that you need all these. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” ~Matthew 6:25-34 (TLV)
Worship is not an emotional response to “good music”. Such is a tool of the devil. True worship is found on the solid rock of truth, and that truth according to Psalm 119 is Father’s Torah. It is no coincidence that it is on the same day of God’s calendar year, the Feast of Shavuot (Pentecost), that both the Torah and the Holy Spirit were given to all of humanity. This Feast sits right in the middle of the other six major Feasts—Passover, Unleavened Bread, and First Fruits on one side and Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles on the other. This is because God’s desire is for you to be centered in His Kingdom and His Ways, throwing out the heresies of both Christianity and Judaism as they are practiced in most places today and become completely sold out to Him and His Word.
A lot of people today honestly believe that if they died right now they will go to heaven, because they have allowed religion to sell them a lie. The truth of the matter is that if most of the Christians I know personally right now were to die, I believe they would be met with the words: Depart from me, worker of LAWLESSNESS, I [God] never knew you. I’m not judging or condemning anyone, I am just openly and publicly acknowledging the fact that from my perspective all indications are that this will happen because I see what they do and I know what The Bible says. Please, don’t be one of them. Sell out to God. Throw away religion. Just like in the above cited prophetic word, lay aside even what you think Father has given you up to this point and come before Him with nothing and just worship Him. You must worship Him in both Spirit and in Truth. There is only one way to do that. You must cast off religion and go to His Word and His Torah.
Those who worship God must worship him in Spirit and Truth. You cannot worship God in Spirit if you do not also worship Him in truth. Truth is built on obedience to Torah. So the real question I have for the masses of Christianity today is this: Are you ready to obey God biblically by obeying His Torah?
~Blessings and Shalom~
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