Episode 36-What Every Believer Should Understand About Worship

Play

The vast majority of self-professing Believers in the world are oblivious as to what constitutes true worship-worship that is Biblically supported and acceptable to Yehovah. Hilary discusses the issue of worship and answers critical questions that every believer must come to terms with in their walk with Messiah.

It’s Not As You Perceive, Episode 35-How Do I Worship God in Spirit and In Truth, Part 4

Play

Yahovah Introduces Himself

Last time in Part three, we looked at how to Worship God in Truth. In this episode, we will look at, how to worship God in Spirit. Yahovah our God was faithful to fulfill the covenant He made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; and in so doing, He INTRODUCED Himself to the children of Israel because they did not know Him. The miracles he performed to protect them in the process of delivering them paralleled His acts on the first days of creation. He created a pillar of fire to lead them on their journey by night and a pillar of cloud to lead and protect them by day. He stopped Pharaoh’s armies in their tracks when he placed the pillar of cloud to stand between the children of Israel and Pharaoh the destroyer. By so doing, He separated the holy from the unholy by placing the cloud between them. On Israel’s side of the cloud, there was light and on Pharaoh’s side of the cloud, there was the darkest night, stopping the enemy in its track. The light He called day and the darkness He called night.  These demonstrations proved to the children of Israel that their God is real, not a figment of their imagination; and that He is the creator of all things.

Fruits of the Flesh

We can study how to worship God in spirit by separating ourselves from and avoiding the things that Yahovah hates. We see this list in Proverbs 6:16-19, “These six things does the LORD hates: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked imaginations, feet that are swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaks lies, and he that sows discord among brethren”. These seven things are abominations to Yahovah. By looking closely at the list, we see that all these things are fruits of the flesh produced from the heart of man. These attitudes and behaviors comprise the game strategies of contestants on the Reality TV shows like Big Brother, and Donald Trump Apprentice to name a few. These values are commonplace in our society, at work, at school, in families and among groups. We even find them in the church congregation among brethren.

The other fruits of the flesh are listed in Galatians 5:19-21. The apostle Paul wrote this letter to the church congregation because they were not living in obedience to the commandment, “Love your neighbor as yourself”. Their disobedience was evident in the attitudes and behaviors they displayed.  Paul said, “Now, the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these:  Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envying, murders, drunkenness, reveling and such the like: of which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God”.

Worship Yahovah in Spirit and in Truth

Now that we know what is not pleasing to our God, Yahovah, what must we do? We learn from King David, In Psalm 51:6, 13, 14b – 17, what we must do to worship in spirit and in truth, “Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you. And my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.  O Lord, open my lips and my mouth will declare your praise. For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart, O God you will not despise.”

Worship Yahovah in Spirit

In Isaiah 66:1-2, Yahovah speaks to us through the prophet Isaiah. He tells us what we must do to worship in spirit: “Thus says the LORD, the heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that you built unto me? And where is the place of my rest? For all those things hath my handmade, and all those things have been says the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembles at my word.”  Here, Yahovah is telling us that we are now the place where He seeks to dwell. However, for the dwelling place to be pleasing to Him, the person must have a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart. Next, the apostle Paul admonishes us in Romans 12:1 saying, “Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, for this is your spiritual act of worship. Finally, Yahoshua taught us in Matthew 5:3, that those who are poor in spirit shall inherit the kingdom of heaven.

In the Bible, we see that Yahovah punished the children of Israel many times because they participated in worshiping idols with the gentiles. Each time, Yahovah would send prophets to rebuke them for worshiping idols. Yahovah gave them His instructions for a holy life in the Torah, which clearly forbids the worship of idols. Through their disregard for Torah, the Jews lost their position with Yahovah and He transferred their assignment to the gentiles. Today the gentiles practice disobedience to Torah, teaching it is abolished and preventing others from obeying it.

Feed My Lambs

Yahovah has always likened the children of the kingdom to sheep. He sent us His shepherd, Yahoshua to feed us with Yahovah’s word, the food of the kingdom contained in the messages He preached. Just before His departure, he had a conversation with Simon Peter after breakfast, in John 21:15, He asked Peter, “Do you love me more than these?” Peter replied, ” Yes, Lord: you know I love you” Then He commanded Peter, “Feed my lambs”. Then at His departure, He commanded us to go into all the world and make disciples of all the nations, teaching them whatsoever He taught us.  As we feed on His word and grow spiritually, we become mature sheep and are able to feed the lambs that believe on Yahoshua through our teaching. Yahoshua commanded His disciples, in Mark 16:15-18 saying, “And he said unto them, go you into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, he that believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And all these signs shall follow them that believe; in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”

Most people know they have a spirit but they do not give it much thought.  They only think of it when it comes up in the sermon at church or in a conversation. Therefore, it does not get much attention. As a result, it does not get the nutrition it needs to grow.  Yahoshua told Satan that man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of Yahovah. So here, we see there is food for the spirit. Yahovah desires to feed us His word as a hen feeds her chicks; but we must hunger for it.

To Obey Is Better Than Sacrifice

In 1 Samuel 15:2-23 we read the account of King Saul’s disobedience to Yahovah’s command to kill the Amalekites. The command was clear, “Now, go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.” Upon hearing from Yahovah that Saul disobeyed the command, the prophet Samuel confronted King Saul about his disobedience: “And the LORD sent you on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are consumed. Wherefore then did you not obey the voice of the LORD, but did fly upon the spoil, and did evil in the sight of the LORD?”

 In his self-righteousness and rebellion, Saul defended his actions and the actions of his men, in his disagreement with Yahovah’s charge against him. Then Samuel rebuked Saul, “Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice and to hearken than the fat of rams; for rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He has rejected you from being king.” Here we see disobedience to Yahovah’s word is equivalent to rejecting Yahovah.  Yahovah’s instructions are not subject to our interpretation and rationale. It is not open for debate or negotiation. The obedience and faithfulness of Abraham is the type of worship Yahovah required of Saul, but Saul did as he desired, instead of what Yahovah prescribed.  In the same way, to disobey Yahoshua is to reject Yahovah and Yahoshua, because the Son speaks what He hears from the Father who sent Him.

Where have we seen this scenario play out before? We saw it in the case of Cain and Abel. Cain disobeyed Yahovah’s instruction on how to present on offering of worship; but Abel obeyed. Thus, Abel’s worship was more acceptable than Cain’s was. Cain became jealous of Abel and instead of trying a second time to present a more acceptable offering he became stubborn and rebellious. He finally rejected Yahovah and turned to idol worship. 

Yahovah’s word is truth and in it, He prescribes what we must do and the way we must worship Him.  Abraham was the perfect role model for worship recorded in Torah. When he heard the command to sacrifice his only begotten son, Isaac in worship to Yahovah, he did not hesitate, negotiate, debate or disobey. In faith, he carried out Yahovah’s command with a heart of faith and trust in Him. He did not bring along an animal to sacrifice for “just in case”. Instead, he was willing and ready to give up His son to Yahovah to please Him. This worship is the outward and inward mindset and attitude Yahovah requires of those who worship Him in spirit.

How Do I Worship God In Spirit and In Truth, Part 3

Play

Worshiping God In Truth

Worshiping Yahovah our God in truth calls us to focus on His Word. From Yahoshua’s Prayer for us we learn that Yahovah sanctifies His children through His word. John 17:17-20 reads, “17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. 18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. 19And for their sakes, I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. 20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;”

To be sanctified, is to be separated from the world and set apart for Yahovah’s purpose. In verse 18 Yahoshua confirms that He has commissioned us to be teachers of the gospel of the kingdom, to the world. Therefore, when we are sanctified through Yahovah’s word, we are “marked” for the purpose of teaching the truth, which is His word.  Thus, when we worship in truth we instruct others in the way of Yahovah that they may walk in it.

Isaiah 30:19-22, describes life under the government of Yahoshua in His millennial kingdom when He returns as Messiah. He said, “19For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will be very gracious to you at the sound of your cry; When He hears it, He will answer you. 20 And though the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your teachers will not be moved into a corner anymore, But your eyes shall see your teachers. 21 Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” Whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left. 22 You will also defile the covering of your images of silver, and the ornament of your molded images of gold. You will throw them away as an unclean thing; you will say to them, “Get away!” This prophecy gives us hope for the future. The teachers mentioned in this prophecy are those of us whom Yahoshua prayed for on John 17, who are sanctified through the truth of Yahovah’s word; are found worthy to be included in the first resurrection; and will serve in the Kingdom government under Yahoshua, as Scribes. For more information of these Scribes or teachers of Torah, check out my blog, The Gospel Your Pastor Never Taught You, Part 5. 

The covenant that Yahovah had with Abraham was two-fold. It contained a covenant of government and a covenant of real estate. The constitution of the land is the Torah. Sometimes people do not understand the concept of Torah. They assume it is a set of law about sacrifices But Torah is a set of governing documents like the constitution of the United States. Another example I can think of to compare it to, is the CC&R’s of a planned community.  If you have ever purchased real estate in a planned community then you signed CC&R papers from that community’s Home Owners Association.  The association is the governing body over the community where you live. The CC&R’s is a thick stack of documents, which lists all the Covenants, Rules and Regulations that the Association deems important to create a healthy environment for the community. The CC&R’s are in place to maintain the integrity of the community. It is the governance document of the of the association. It provides information on the process for election of Board Officers,  the responsibilities of each homeowner to remain in good standing with the community, and the penalties associated with violating the rules.

Yahovah’s Torah will be the constitution for the government of the land and the people. Therefore, what Moses received in Torah included the covenants, rules, regulations of Yahovah’s government and the Ways of Yahovah. These documents include learning exercises the people would have to participate in, to cement their learning.  It is like teaching a science class. From my personal experience, it would be a chemistry laboratory class where my students would do lab exercises to reinforce the lecture material. With repetition of the lab exercises, students will gain a better understanding of the concept. Thus, this exercise will cause the concepts taught in lecture to stick in their long-term memory.

In the same way, the children of Israel whose culture was pagan because they lived in Egypt for 430 years, needed guidance and instruction on how to conform to the new culture they were about to experience under Torah. They had never been taught the constitution of Yahovah’s government, and there was no one to teach them’ so Yahovah had to teach them Himself.  Because Yahovah is a God of justice, He would not judge them without first teaching them His Torah, and give them ways to reinforce their learning.

Torah (the constitution of the government of Yahovah over His people and the land) is important to Yahovah, and His desires are for us to study and obey it because it teaches us how to worship Him in the way that pleases Him. Though the Torah was given to the children of Israel in the desert on their journey from Egypt to the promise land, we know Yahovah taught these instructions to the men of old and the patriarchs, because they practiced what is written in Torah for hundreds of years after the flood.

During the seventy-week ministry of Yahoshua, He stressed the importance of it. It was His love and obedience to the Word of   for Yahovah and His obedience to Torah why He gave His life for us. Thus, Yahoshua obeyed Torah so we could be at peace with Yahovah and inherit the blessings Yahovah has written in Torah for us. Today, Christianity is claiming the blessings of Torah without understanding the key to the blessings. We must read and understand Torah to find the key to the blessing. Torah contains as it were, the “combination to the lock” or key to obtain the blessings.   It is not possible to receive the blessing when we disregard the giver of the blessing and His instructions (Torah).

Both Yahovah and Yahoshua have made it clear that without reciprocating love to them, we will not see the kingdom of heaven and we will have no part with Yahoshua.  We read the conversation between Yahoshua and the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4:22-25, and Yahoshua said to her. “22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25 The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming. When he comes, he will tell us all things.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.”

Our attitude toward worship is very important. It is just as important as knowing the law of Yahovah because our attitude speaks of our understanding of the word, our love for the word, our love for Yahovah and our motivation for worshiping in the first place.  Yahoshua told the apostles, “If you love me, keep my commandments”. He also commanded us to Love Yahovah with all our heart, with all our soul and with all our strength; and loves our neighbor as ourselves. We would never know how to obey any of the two commandments to love God and neighbor, if we do not study Torah, where Yahovah explains the details of the two commandments. If we decide to obey these two commandments according to our own discretion and understanding, we will please neither Yahovah nor Yahoshua.

Worship in Spirit

Who were the first people in the Bible who worshipped Yahovah in spirit and in truth? Before the event of the children of Israel leaving Egypt under the leadership of Moses, we did not read about any stone tablets or books with the Ten Commandments written on them. In fact, we knew nothing of a Bible. Yet, the worshipers of Yahovah all followed a prescribed method for worshiping Him. Since they all worshipped in the same manner and their worship was acceptable to Yahovah, then I believe that they received formal instructions on this process from Yahovah, which they taught their children and passed down this information through generations. In Genesis 18:17-19, Yahovah made the following statement about Abraham: “17 And the Lord said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do; 18 Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? 19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him”.

Thus, we see that these previous generations before the children of Israel, received instructions on “the “way of the LORD” so that they knew how to walk in His way. “They shall keep the way of the LORD (Yahovah), to do justice and judgment”.  Again, in Genesis 22:2-12, we also see that 1) Yahovah called out to Abraham, and Abraham answers immediately.  2) Yahovah gave Abraham an order to carry out, and Abraham obeyed the order even though it would result in a great loss for Abraham, which he could not replace considering his and Sarah’s old age. 3) Abraham did not negotiate with Yahovah and he did not obey grudgingly, or unwillingly. 4) Abraham had faith that Yahovah knew what was best, whether or not it made sense or seemed reasonable to him. 5) Abraham did not question Yahovah’s judgment because he knew Yahovah’s heart towards him. This act of faith, love, honor and obedience both in heart, attitude and actions, is a demonstration of loving Yahovah will all his heart, all his soul and all his might. This was Abraham’s act of worship in spirit and in truth.

Thus, worshipping God in spirit and in truth does require intense love for Yahovah, in order to unreservedly obey a command to sacrifice your only son, which was born to Abraham and Sarah in their old age. Abraham was 100 years old, and Sarah was 90 years old; and they had waited 50 years to have this son. Abraham knew he could not reproduce another child, yet he was willing to offer him as a sacrificial burnt offering on the altar to Yahovah. Do you have an area of your life (an attitude, a belief, a habit, fruit of the flesh, an addiction, a relationship, a possession), that Yahovah is telling you to place on the altar of sacrifice? Have you acknowledged the voice of Yahovah and agree to obey His instruction without reservation? When was the last time you acted in faith and obedience to his command? Have you been obeying but doing so grudgingly?  Abraham’s action of obedience and condition of his heart towards Yahovah is what worship in spirit and in truth looks like.

Here are the names of some of the earliest worshippers of Yahovah, other men of old whose names are recorded in the Old Testament and were true worshipers of Yahovah before the time of the Exodus of the children of Israel from Egypt. They are Abel, Seth, Enos, Job, Noah, Methuselah, Enoch, Noah, Shem, Abraham, Lot, Isaac, Jacob, Jethro.  These men died before Yahovah gave the Torah to Moses but they followed the way of the Lord as the Torah prescribes and taught their households the way of Yahovah, which is the same way we must follow today. They knew the instructions for worshiping Yahovah in spirit and in truth.

Because Yahovah taught Adam and Eve while they lived in the Garden of Eden, we can only assume that they taught their children the way of Yahovah. We see that Adam and Eve had two sons, Cain and Abel. We are told in Genesis that Cain killed Abel out of jealousy, because the offering of worship that Abel offered to Yahovah was acceptable to Yahovah, while Cain’s worship was not acceptable.  So you see that both boys were taught how to worship Yahovah, which suggests that their teaching must have come from Adam and Eve.  If not their parents, then it would be from Yahovah. Regardless of where they learned to worship Yahovah, one boy offered worship that was acceptable and the other offered unacceptable worship.

So if the way of Yahovah was already known, then why was it necessary for Yahovah to write the Torah with His own fingers and give it to Moses in the wilderness? The answer is, because both Moses and this generation of the children of Israel had never lived under Yahovah’s government before so they did not know His ways. The customs and culture of Egypt is a very different from a culture living under the government of Yahovah in holiness. Now that Yahovah was bringing them back to His land, which He promised them to be their home; He needed to teach them “spiritual manners or etiquette” in order to protect the land from them and to protect them from Him. By having the rules to live by under His government, they could be safe. In this land, Yahovah would rule them through His servants who were the Judges and Prophets that He appointed. They would be living under a theocratic government.

Since Yahovah is a God of justice, He made the decision to teach them about Himself before they entered the land, otherwise, they would defile the land. They needed to know Him because they would be living under His government of rules and regulations. These governing documents states clearly, how the government of Yahovah works and operates, and what rules the inhabitants must obey. Therefore, Yahovah told Moses to tell the people that in three days He would meet with all of them as one large group, at the base of Mount Sinai. He also gave Moses specific instructions to give to the people on how they must prepare themselves for the meeting. It was important to follow those instructions as prescribed.

He also gave them specific instructions on how they must conduct themselves once they get to the base of the mountain so they would not die. Once the group arrived at the base of Mount Sinai, observing the instructions carefully, they had an unforgettable experience being in the presence of Yahovah. Each person heard the voice of Yahovah in his own language. He identified Himself to them and told them His name. He began to speak His commandments to them, and was not able to complete His commandments because the people were afraid and thought they would die if they continued to hear the voice of Yahovah. Therefore, they asked Moses to tell Yahovah their wish to receive His instruction to them through Moses.  By the time, they asked Moses to be God’s voice to them; they had only received ten of the many commandments Yahovah had for them. Therefore, Yahovah had to give the rest of the commandment to Moses to deliver to the people.

In the wisdom of Yahovah He has given us the free will to choose. As a result, He will not force anything upon us. Therefore, in bringing these people out of Egypt, it was important for them to know who He is; that He is truly the creator and ruler of the Universe, unlike the lifeless and powerless gods and idols of Egypt and the other pagan nations. He lives as they could tell from hearing His voice; He is intelligent with wisdom, understanding, authority and power, just to name a few of His attributes.  In fact, the creation bore witness to the evidence that He is the creator and is the one who has full control of the workings of the universe. They witnessed all the miracles He performed on their behalf!

Consequently, true worshipers who worship in spirit will examine their hearts before they approach the altar of Yahovah with reverence, bringing to mind their faith in Him, their motivation for worshiping Him to see if they are approaching the altar of Yahovah willingly or are they being forced or just doing it for show. It is important to be authentic before Him because He knows our heart and if we have any hidden agendas. Without faith, it is impossible to please God so those who come to Him must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

When we honor our God, Yahovah we give him the recognition He deserves by acknowledging His worthiness, sovereignty over all His creation, His wisdom, power and understanding that is without measure and comparison. We honor Him with our love, obedience, respect, strength, reverence, devotion, fear, adoration, faith, and exclusivity in our preparation to approach His altar for worship.

The true worshippers are the children of the kingdom study, understand the importance of His instructions, and obey them as prescribed. They are motivated intrinsically to honor and please Him in their worship of Him because of their love for Him. Yahovah sees our heart and everything that is hidden in our heart, both good and bad. He measures our motives and intentions that lead us to do what we do. Thus, He knows our priorities, and the reasons why we do what we do. We cannot deceive Him because He knows more about us than we know about ourselves. Therefore, when we put on a show of love for Him and do the things that seem right in the eyes of man, He knows that we are deceiving ourselves to think that our deeds would be acceptable to Him. The way of the Lord, Yahovah is a prescribed way. He leaves nothing to our imagination because we cannot read Him but He can read us.

The prescription does not only tell what to do but also how to perform. This is similar to a prescription that is written by a medical doctor. The doctor will write: the name of the medication, how much to take, when to take it, how often to take it, whether to take it with food or just water, or on an empty stomach, and for how long the medication program will last by putting an expiration date and number of refills. Then the pharmacist can explain to the patient, the plan of the regimen, what it is to accomplish, the side effects if any (based on the doctor’s orders). In this case, the consultation with the pharmacist (“teacher of the way”), will clarify any questions and dispel any misunderstandings to avoid accidents and misuse of the medication.  

Cain did not follow the prescription so the offering of worship he place on the altar to Yahovah was not acceptable to Yahovah. However, Abel followed the prescription and His offering of worship on the altar of Yahovah was accepted. What did Cain do differently from Abel? First, Cain offered what He wanted to give, not what was required of Him, so he missed the mark. Second, Cain’s heart was one of pleasing self not pleasing Yahovah. Third, Cain disobedience is rebellion against Yahovah. Fourth, Cain did not show fear of Yahovah to please and honor Him. Therefore, Cain was not a true worshiper. The type of worshiper that Yahovah is seeking is one like Abel. Now, Abel did not have any children before Cain murdered him out of jealousy, so he had no descendants to carry on his name. Yet Yahovah has testified on behalf of Abel to tell us of his righteousness.

Therefore, it is important to know the difference between genuine and counterfeit because we will become victims caught in the web of deception the enemy has set for us, due to ignorance. We are made in the image of Yahovah for the sole purpose of being the light of the world. Therefore, as children of Yahovah and disciples of Yahoshua, we must be the watchmen and stay alert so we can warn the people of danger; we cannot go to sleep and expect others to think for us. We are responsible to keep up with the signs of the times and tune into what is happening so we do not fall in the trap set by the enemy. It is not enough to just wake up our neighbor, but also to give them instructions on how to save themselves! Thus, we must take stock and see which category of worshiper we fall into, because it is the worshipers who are called to be watchmen for Yahovah.

It’s Not As You Perceive-Episode 33-How Do I Worship God in Spirit and in Truth, Part 2

Play

 

How Do I Worship God in Spirit and in Truth, Part 2 (Hilary)

In Part 1, we looked at John 4:23-24 and saw that without faith it is impossible to please our God, Yahovah. We also learned that He (the Father), is seeking true worshippers to worship Him, and in this episode, we will investigate what worshiping God in Spirit and in Truth looks like.

Now, the fact that Yahovah is looking for true worshipers, leads us to conclude that there are people worshiping who are not true worshipers. In the Christian community there is a special part of the church service that is called “worship service”. I used to be a member of the praise and worship team and later became a worship leader in the church so I understand the sincerity that goes into the  “worship” service.

Worship leaders know that the song selection is crucial to the success of the worship service. There are certain songs and certain tempo of songs that are used at certain parts of the worship service to invoke and peak the “atmosphere of worship”. Thus, worship becomes a euphoric experience where we forgetting self consciousness, and direct our focus on God in the music and words of the song, while trying to “touch” Him. I imagine that this is what people want when they are seeking to be “high” on drugs because the serotonin level in the brain increases during this time and the joy is sometimes expressed in tears. At the end of the worship service, we feel much better as our burdens are lifted, we feel closer to God, our heart rate is calmer and we are more willing to give a bigger offering, because we have put all our cares on hold and we have a new surge of faith to move mountains.

Who Will Worship Yahovah?

The dictionary defines worship as the reverence, honor and devotion that we give to a deity. But because deity can refer to pagan gods and manmade idols, which Yahovah has forbidden us to worship, we cannot use this definition for our worship of Yahovah. Also sometimes people give reverence, honor and devotion to the pastor of a church, a parent, or an aged man or woman of God. The manmade gods that are lifeless, powerless and imaginary cannot determine how they want to be worshipped. Instead, man determines how to show reverence, honor and devotion to the things he has made.

Nonetheless, there is one exception and that is Satan, the god of this world, who has designed a counterfeit method of worship for himself based on his knowledge of the worship that Yahovah requires from us. Satan’s plot and determination is to corrupt Yahovah’s creation to make them unclean and unfit to worship Yahovah. But the love of Yahovah and His grace is greater than all our sins; therefore, anyone who has found himself trapped in the claws of Satan worship can be set free by the spirit of Yahovah. That person just needs to call out with a sincere heart to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to come and rescue him, and Yahovah will dispatch angels to you immediately. There is no problem too big or small in your life that Yahovah will not fix because His heart is filled with compassion towards us.

The Bible contains Yahovah’s requirements for worship. We read in Hebrews 11:6, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Thus, we understand from Hebrews 11: 6 that the pre-requisites for coming to seek God are 1) believe that He is, 2) believe that He will reward those who diligently seek Him. Once those two criteria have been met, then we can come to Him, and learn how to worship Him.

Considering these pre-requisites, some people would not be able to worship Yahovah because they must first overcome the obstacle of unbelief and skepticism. Thus, the atheist, agnostic, Universalist, pagan, and anyone who questions the authority and power of the creator, and fails to ascribe the works of the creation to Him, cannot worship Him. Still, Yahovah has open arms to receive those who can meet the pre-requisites. Otherwise, their condition of unbelief acts as a barrier between them and Yahovah.

Once the pre-requisites are met, we can move forward into learning how to worship Yahovah in Spirit and in Truth. By taking action on our faith, we come to Him, get to know his Word and get to know His Way. It is important to know His word first because knowing His way depends on us knowing His word. Worshiping is like a two sided coin. In order for the coin to be valid, both sides of the coin must have the correct imprint. If the head has the correct imprint, but the tail does not have an imprint then the whole coin is invalid, or counterfeit. Both sides of the coin must have a complete and correct imprint for the coin to be valuable and authentic. In the same way, we have both aspects, knowledge of His word and knowledge of His Ways that are integral parts of worshiping in spirit and in truth.

Know His Word

Now, knowing about Him is not the same as knowing Him.  Also, to know His way is equally important to knowing His word. His way tells us about His likes, dislikes, what is important to Him, and His preferences. We cannot truly say we know someone if we don’t even know what they would do in certain situations, what they like to eat and the things they like to do. Otherwise, we are just minimally acquainted with the person. Our friends know us very well, but other people know about us. If we are asked to provide a character reference for ourselves, then we would give the name of a friend; not the name of a stranger or acquaintance. Thus, it is easier for your friend to please you than for a person who does not know you, to please you.  Because it was well known that Abraham was Yahovah’s friend, we read in 2Chronicles 20:7 where King Jehoshaphat, in his prayer to Yahovah said, “7Did you not, O our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it to the descendants of Abraham your friend forever?”

Knowing the way is equivalent to having the relationship with Him that provides understanding of His ways. For example, if a musician who knows how to play the piano and knows how to read the sheet music sits at the piano and plays the tune to a song you know, but pays no attention to the time signature of the music, you would not be able to enjoy the music, you would not be able to tap you feet to the beat, and you might just wonder what on earth is wrong with that musician! Other people may use this opportunity to get out of the room and take a break. The conclusion would be that, this is not music that is pleasing. In the same way, we must synchronize our knowledge of the word with our understanding of the way of Yahovah. Thus, understanding how Yahovah has prescribed His worship and following that prescription is extremely important in order to worship Him in spirit and in truth.

Yahovah’s Word is Torah, which is comprised of His law, testimonies, precepts, statutes, commandments, judgments, ordinances, and decrees.   King David talked about them throughout Psalm 119. Yahoshua was Yahovah’s Torah in the flesh. Yahovah’s word became flesh and dwelt among us. There is no way we can serve Yahoshua effectively without knowing Torah because he requires us to teach Torah!!

Know His Ways

Many people have head knowledge but they do not know how to put that knowledge into practical use. To know Yahovah’s Way is to know how to approach Him, to do what He expects of us and how to obey to His commands in the way that pleases Him. In James 1:22, James tells us that we must not be hearers of the word only, we must be doers also; otherwise we will deceive ourselves.  The way of Yahovah is like the relationship side of the coin, while the word of Yahovah is the legal side of the coin. But for the worship to take place both sides must become one, even though they are not the same.

The believer who wants to worship Yahovah must diligently seek Him.  This person will expend time and energy in bible study and soul searching, fasting and prayer to quiet the voice of the opposing flesh, research and study Yahovah’s instructions, be teachable, and reverently approach the word of Yahovah with a prayerful heart that is hungry for understanding of Yahovah’s ways. The ultimate goal of seeking Yahovah is to grow in obedience to Him and become one with Yahoshua. This is important to know because without Yahoshua we cannot know Yahovah. It is Yahoshua who introduces us to Yahovah and enlightens us on how to apply the instructions we have learned to establish a relationship with Yahovah that is pleasing to Him i.e. a relationship that Yahovah enjoys.

It is Yahoshua who baptizes us with the Holy Spirit to give us the power to subdue our flesh to the authority of our spirit. The Holy Spirit also directs us to the teachings of Yahoshua, teachers or disciples of Yahoshua who teach Yahovah’s truth, and gives us the discernment to recognize whether a message or teaching we hear is in alignment with Yahovah’s ways or not.

By obeying the instructions of Yahovah, we get to know His Word; and find ourselves desiring to fellowship with teachers of His word to support the work of His Kingdom and to increase in understanding how to overcome the obstacles the flesh and the enemy bombards us with. Through this process we are encouraged, motivated, equipped and enlightened to share the good news of the kingdom with others. The apostle John tells us in John 4:23-24, “23 But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”

The people who are intrinsically motivated or drawn to worship Yahovah in spirit and in truth are the joint heirs with Yahoshua. John said the hour has come, meaning that we are at the season appointed for the sons of Yahovah to be revealed. The true worshipers are the sons of Yahovah also known as the children of the kingdom. Yahovah knew them before they were conceived in their mother’s womb, and declared their purpose before they were born (Romans 8:29-30). Yahoshua said, I go to prepare a place for you and I will come again and receive you unto myself. The place is prepared only for the children of the kingdom.

They are called children of the kingdom because they received the light of the Spirit of Yahoshua that shines through them. John the Baptist declared in Matthew 3:11 “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” Yahoshua obeyed Yahovah’s commandment, which He gave Moses to teach the children of Israel. When He was asked by the Pharisees what is the greatest commandment, Yahoshua recited Deuteronomy 6:5 from Torah, “Love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength.” This is very important because without love for Yahovah, you are not motivated to worship Him, because worship goes against the desires of the flesh. Yahovah commands us to have His commandment in our heart. To do that we must meditate on it day and night, and we must also study, learn and understand the fine details of how to demonstrate this to Yahovah in the way that is pleasing to Him.

Too often we think we understand a method or instruction and we perform it and end up either having to start over or having our results rejected because it did not meet the required specification. As a chemistry instructor I have had students who would begin an experiment and follow the procedure according to their understanding, and end up with the wrong results. Many times they would be the first to complete the experiment, just to find that they have to go back to step one and start all over again. The second time around, they are more willing to take it slow, ask questions and read the instructions more carefully. In some experiments they are required to be very careful with the observation as the end point for the result could flash by very quickly without them noticing. If they miss it then they will end up with the wrong results the second time. The time wasted is sometimes very painful, especially when you are the only one left behind, still trying to figure out where you went wrong, and the “slow” students are done with the experiment, cleaned up their stations and gone home. The lesson is to never assume you understand, but to be teachable and be willing to ask questions of those who are more spiritually mature for clarification and teaching.

Today we see this problem in the Christian church where they read the epistles of Paul and assume they understand what Paul is saying about various topics pertaining to the law. As a result, they have wondered away from Yahoshua and will find themselves in the same predicament as the five foolish virgins. It is never a good idea to jump to conclusions thinking you know what a passage is saying without checking with those who know more than you, but most of all, pray and wait for the Holy Spirit to enlighten you or direct you on where to find the teaching on the subject.

As the children of the kingdom who worship Yahovah in spirit and in truth, we are also responsible for teaching the word of Yahovah and the way of Yahovah to our children. Yahovah tells us in Deuteronomy 6:7-9 to impress these commandments upon our children. We must hold conversations with our children throughout the day, when we go for a walk, and even at bedtime, about these commands because each day brings new opportunities and examples of everyday practical occurrences in behavior and conversations we can use to expound and enlighten them on the application of these commands,. We are to be so attached to the commands that we should learn to recite them and make visuals around the house to remind us of them. When we are aware of what the commands are then we can detect when something has gone wrong. But when we are unaware, many things could be going wrong and we are oblivious to the fact. That is why it is important to post it around the house and have visuals around the house to teach our children.

Stay Clean

Deuteronomy 6: 13-18 provides instructions on how to stay clean in the sight of Yahovah so you can enter into His presence for worship: “13Fear the Lord your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name. 14Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; 15for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land. 16Do not put the Lord your God to the test as you did at Massah. 17Be sure to keep the commands of the Lord your God and the stipulations and decrees he has given you. 18Do what is right and good in the Lord’s sight, so that it may go well with you and you may go in and take over the good land the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors,”.

Usually, when a Christian hears the word law or Torah, they think about the sacrifice of sheep, rams and bullocks in the temple. As a result, they turn off their ears and close their mind and are not prepared to listen or learn. Their pre-conceived notions of the meaning of these words control their attitude towards the application of the word. They have been taught by the Christian pastors that the law has been done away with and no longer applies to us today because Jesus nailed it to the cross. A lady told me that we no long have to keep the law because Jesus kept it for us. Unfortunately, she didn’t have a scripture in the Bible to back up her statement and I thought that was very sad because she was spouting the talking points she received from her church about the law of Yahovah. This is scary business because we will be judged by the law; so we are responsible to learn them so we do not break them.

Again, Yahovah’s Word is Torah, which is comprised of His law, testimonies, precepts, statutes, commandments, judgments, ordinances, and decrees.   King David talked about them throughout Psalm 119. Yahoshua was Yahovah’s Torah in the flesh. Yahovah’s word became flesh and dwelt among us. There is no way we can serve Yahoshua effectively without knowing Torah because he requires us to teach Torah!! Yahoshua said to His disciples, “If you love me keep my commandments”. How can we say we love Him when we do not keep His commandments and how can we please Him when we disobey His commands?

This teaching will continue in Part 3.

Episode 31-Lent: the Legacy of Tammuz & Christianity’s Worship of a False God, Part 1

Play

12 Then said he unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen what the elders of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in his chambers of imagery? for they say, Jehovah seeth us not; Jehovah hath forsaken the land. 13 He said also unto me, Thou shalt again see yet other great abominations which they do. 14 Then he brought me to the door of the gate of Jehovah’s house which was toward the north; and behold, there sat the women weeping for Tammuz. 15 Then said he unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? thou shalt again see yet greater abominations than these. 16 And he brought me into the inner court of Jehovah’s house; and behold, at the door of the temple of Jehovah, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of Jehovah, and their faces toward the east; and they were worshipping the sun toward the east. 17 Then he said unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have turned again to provoke me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose. 18 Therefore will I also deal in wrath; mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity; and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them. (Eze 8:12-17 ASV)

The other day at work, a small group of us found ourselves engaged in a conversation about what we wanted to have for lunch. One of the individuals participating in our conversation declined to participate in the group lunch because she said that she had given up the specific food item of the group’s interest for Lent. The mention of Lent in this conversation led to my telling a silly story to the group of another co-worker who told me that he gives up the same food item each year for Lent; that being watermelon. The group broke out in laughter as it was apparent to all that watermelon was always out of season during Lent. Consequently, the group laid off further discussion about Lent when one member of the group reminded us that Lent must be respectfully treated as a personal commitment by participants and thus should not be discussed openly with such frivolity. Me, a Messianic Torah Observer, continued to snicker about the watermelon story and went about my business.

AshWednesdayAltar
Jonathunder / Foter / GNU Free Documentation License

This story, although funny in certain aspects, has tremendous implications for the truth seeking Believer in Messiah and even the born again Christian. The first being, Lent remains a highly honored mainly Catholic observance despite a worldwide decline of faithful Catholic adherents. Secondly, those who honor the Lent season, although genuinely well-meaning are genuinely ignorant of the history and paganism associated with the observance of Lent.

I have mentioned in the past that my chosen profession is that of a Coroner Investigator. My duty is, without bias, to determine the cause and manner of death of those individuals who die in our county. Thus my staff goes about investigating these deaths, most of the time uncontested and unchallenged; other times they must endure significant badgering by highly biased family members, law enforcement and government officials, and even personal prejudices about specific cases. In other words, many times these challengers draw either personal or professional conclusions about the death in question and therefore they attempt to influence my investigators to see things their way. I, without fail, demand from my investigators findings that are based upon facts and that are devoid of any personal biases or agendas. The best of the best reports come replete with sound documentation to support the conclusions of the investigation.

This is my purpose here today: to share with you the fascinating yet disturbing story of one of the major religious celebrations on the planet that is taking place at the time of these postings. Much of the information that I wish to share with you, you may already know but some of the information may be new to you and thus provide you with one more piece of knowledge to aid you in your walk with Jesus Christ (i.e., Yeshua HaMashiah). I encourage you to listen to these podcasts or read these blog postings a couple times in order to assimilate the data, as there is a lot of information to absorb.

If you are a Believer in Messiah or even a “born-again Christian” who does not observe Lent, you may wonder why you should even care about Lent. Well, I believe we must care because Catholic-centric religious observances such as Lent are examples of a consistent thread of paganism that appears throughout the historical tapestry of Christendom. When we as adherents of a faith follow a tradition-be it Catholic or Protestant-more times than not the origins of that tradition is not as one would naturally perceive it to be–that is innocent and inspired by God (i.e., Yehovah). That pagan thread or that recurring pagan theme that is found in much of modern-day Christianity and Catholicism is nothing short of satan-worship and the rejection of the One True God, maker and supreme ruler of heaven and earth-Yehovah. This recurring theme has been at times overt (i.e., satan worshipers of the 20th and 21st centuries who openly and pridefully worship satan) and at other times not as obvious to the masses (as seen in the observance of Lent). Certainly, fasting is a noble endeavor as it serves to deny the flesh that which it wants and thus turns the well-meaning soul towards a more focused relationship with the Creator. Fasting is indeed a Biblical principle that was practiced by the Apostolic Fathers and the Old Testament patriarchs. Yet, unless such a noble undertaking is sanctioned by the Eternal and is documented in His Word, the chances that such church sanctioned doctrines possess satanic undertones is indeed likely. In the case of Lent, the fasting that is practiced is typically an abstention of a food one favors for a period of 40-days. No such fasting command is found in the Christian Bible. Granted, the Master fasted for 40-days while being tempted of satan in the wilderness. Yet the Master’s fasting was a total fast, unlike the modified fasting that is characteristic of Lent. The Master’s fasting and associated testing in the wilderness resulted in Him qualifying to take possession of the title-deed to this world that was lost to satan by Adam in the Garden.

Time and time again, the origin of many of our religious traditions and practices is hidden beneath centuries of lost instruction and documentation; changes in the names of pagan deities; cultural and nationality changes over the centuries due to changes in the world’s power structures; outright efforts by church leaders over the centuries to cover-up and hide from its adherents the origins of certain traditions; and the lack of interest of church adherents to learn about their chosen faith and understand what God really expects from His chosen ones. Nevertheless, today, knowledge of one’s faith/religion is readily and freely available to most peoples of the earth. No longer will men have the excuse that they didn’t know any better or that they were deceived. If we enter in to the Faith—the true Faith once delivered—with a clean heart and a mind set on serving the Master, we are compelled to learn and acknowledge the truths about our Faith, regardless how it may conflict with our previous perceptions and understandings and personal desires. Furthermore, we are compelled to warn the nations of this world about the repercussions that will befall them if they refuse to follow the Laws and Commandments of the Almighty.

This is indeed a wake-up call to the nations and to the Christian denominations of the world: to turn from their evil ways and cease from observing their pagan-based traditions. There are traditions that the Father has passed on to His people and they are His appointed Feasts and times that He as said we must observe until the time that heaven and earth passes away:

Yes indeed! I tell you that until heaven and earth pass away, not so much as a yud or a stroke will pass from the Torah- not until everything that must happen has happened. (Mat 5:18 CJB)

Traditions such as Lent hold no spiritual nutrition for the would be Christian. If anything, traditions such as Lent that hide within its dark and troubling past the outright structured worship of satan will only lead to the utter destruction and eternal damnation of those who follow these observances. Do NOT dear friend, turn a deaf ear to the content of these postings. Instead, do your own research and satisfy your own mind and soul as to the sacredness or better, the lack of sacredness, of Lent.

Where to Start

So what must the Christian realize about the religious celebration or observance of Lent? Or for that matter, how must the seeker of truth, the true disciple of Jesus Christ (i.e., Yeshua HaMashiach), view and react to this very popular religious observance? Millions of people around the world observe Lent with genuine reverence. Year after year these faithful adherents enter into a period of fasting that traditionally last for 40-days. Most embark upon this personal journey without the slightest understanding of the significance or even the origin of this observance. Generally, the greatest proportion of adherents obey the traditions of the Christian Church (i.e., the Holy Roman Catholic Church and some of her offspring) or the teachings/instructions of her leaders, teachers, priests, and popes.

Still millions more around the world look upon Lent as mainly a Catholic observance that bears little to no relevance to their personal lives or even their religious lives. Some will respect the sanctity of Lent and simply see it as a beautiful or curious tradition. Some will see the observance of Lent as simply another Catholic invention that goes beyond the boundaries of grace and the doctrines of their denominations.

Then there are the remaining thousands upon thousands who understand or have a modicum of understanding as to what Lent is truly about and a precious few have insight into the eternal dangers associated with the observance of Lent.

What I want to do with this series is to have a frank discussion with you about Lent and then finish off with a discussion about Easter. I will share with you my research in to this religious observance; share with you my perspectives; share with you what thus saith the Lord of Host about Lent and Easter. My aim is that when all is said and done with this series, that someone out there will question this whole Lent thing and seek out better options for their personal relationship with God and even their eternal life.

Bottom line dear friends, God (i.e., Yehovah) has serious problems with Lent; so much so that there may be extreme consequences associated with continued practice of Lent by those who profess to know Jesus Christ as their savior. If God has a problem with Lent, then we as His redeemed and chosen, must also have a problem with Lent. My purpose is to not cast judgment upon individuals who practice or observe Lent, but to cast an all revealing light upon Lent and Easter and thus expose their direct ties to paganism and satanism.

Out next episode will focus on the Catholic worldview of Lent. Please join me and prepare to have your perceptions about Lent properly adjusted.

We trust that you have been blessed as I have been blessed by this It’s Not As You Perceive episode. I would now ask you to subscribe/register to this podcast and website simply by filling in the three boxes to the right of this post that is titled “subscribe to this website and podcast.” In doing so, you show your support for this ministry as well as provide for yourself updates on the happenings of this ministry. We’d love to have you and rest assured that we will never share your information with any person or organization. We thank you in advance dear friend.

Until next time dear friend, may you be most blessed.

This It’s Not As You Perceive episode was brought to you by Qumran Family Church, encouraging you to live righteous lives in Messiah while providing you with resources to help you contend for the true faith once delivered.