INAYP37-Why Should We Celebrate Passover

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 Gregorian Calendar (Christian calendar)

 Today we use a calendar and clock to organize our appointments and plan our schedule. The calendar we use is the Gregorian calendar and the time clock we use is based on a 24 hr day that starts one second after midnight and ends at midnight. Our week starts with the first day of the week, Sunday and ends on the seventh day of the week, Saturday. The first day of the year according to the Gregorian calendar begins on the first day of January and ends on the thirty-first day of December. All these calculations are based on the cycle of the sun. As a result, these calculations are projected and published decades at a time. For a more information about the Gregorian calendar, click the following link: http://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/julian-gregorian-switch.html

In contrast, Yahovah our creator, bases His calendar on the cycle of the moon to determine the first day of the month, and the beginning and end of the year; and on His weekly calendar, each day starts at sunset and ends the next day just before sunset. So based on the difference between man’s time keeping and scheduling, and Yahovah’s time keeping and scheduling, can you see how we could easily miss the appointments He has set on His calendar for us to meet with Him throughout the year? That is why it is so important to have a calendar that is synchronized with the creator’s calendar.

Did You Miss Your Divine Appointment?

Consider this: When we set an appointment with the dentist, the contractor, or the employer we take the time to input the date and time and place for the meeting on our calendar. We have calendars on the wall, on our phone, on our computer, in our Daily Planner, because of the consequence of what a missed appointment could cost us. Therefore, we do our best to keep our appointments because we deem them important for our health, safety, independence and financial well being. When we establish our priorities we tend to reschedule and move less important obligations and commitments towards the bottom of our priority list and move more important items towards the top of our priority list. The importance of each priority is usually weighed based on value and flexibility. In this way we are able to honor our responsibilities and maintain a balanced life.

Yahovah’s Calendar

On the fourth day of creation Yahovah created the sun, moon and stars. Their purpose is outlined in Genesis 1:14-19, “14 Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; 15 and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. 16 Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. 17 God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.”

Here, we see that Yahovah’s calendar is written in the sky. When we look at man’s calendar, we see calculated moon data projected for decades at  a time, holidays, Christian holy days, days of the week, and months of the year. However, when we look at Yahovah’s calendar, we see the events that are important to Him like sunset, sunrise, Sabbath Day, phases of the moon, appointed times, beginning of the month, beginning of the year, number of days in each month, and we also see data on the stars. this is the data that the prophet Daniel and the Chaldean astronomers were skilled at reading. Based on that data they knew that the Messiah was born.

So whereas man’s calendar has some basic information and our clocks have three hands: hour, minute and seconds, it differs greatly from the creator’s calendar, which is too vast and intricate to be captured in one computer file. Now, because I am focusing this blog on “why we celebrate the passover”, I will now call your attention to the second part of verse 14, “and let them be for signs and seasons and for days and for years.

Appointed Times or Seasons (Hebrew- Mow-ed)
The word “seasons” found in verse 14, is the Hebrew word, mow-ed, which means, an appointment. Specifically, this word means festival or feast; and by application it means an assembly for a definite purpose.

In Leviticus 23, Yahovah lists all His feasts to Moses and instructed him to speak to th children of Israel concerning the feasts of Yahovah. He told Moses, “proclaim them to be holy convocations.
Feast #1 – Sabbath Day (7th day of the week)
The following Spring Feasts have been fulfilled by Yahoshua. Nonetheless, Yahovah has commanded us to keep them perpetually. He said in Leviticus 23:14, “It shall be a statute forever, throughout your generations in your dwellings”. Again in Leviticus 23:21 Yahovah commands us that these feasts shall be a statute forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.
Feast #2 – Passover (14th of Aviv)
Feast #3 – Unleavened Bread (15th of Aviv)
Feast #4 – First Fruits
Feast #5- Feast of Weeks (Pentecost)

The Fall Feasts are not yet fulfilled, so we continue to rehears them.
Feast #6 – Trumpets
Feast #7 – Atonement
Feast #8 – Tabernacles

Torah commands us in Exodus 12:21 that in preparation for the Feast of Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread, we must remove all leaven from our homes. And we are commanded in Leviticus 23:6 to not eat any foods with leaven in it for these feasts. Instead, we must eat unleavened bread every day.

This year, the first day of the Spring Feast began at sunset on Monday evening April 14th 2014 and continues to sunset next Monday evening April 21st, 2014. This physical exercise is a command from Yahovah for us to keep perpetually. This celebration reinforces our spiritual commitment and teaches us lessons about leaven we would not consider outside of the exercise. At this appointed time, the teaching about Leaven and the different forms of leaven we partake of spiritually opens our physical and spiritual eyes to what it means to guard our hearts and minds and how to wrestle with the enemy and win. I encourage you to do a more in depth study on this topic for yourself”. Thus, we learn to sanctify ourselves unto Yahovah.

Let Us Keep the Feast

So you can see from the following New Testament Bible passages, Matthew 26:17, Acts 20:6 and 1Corinthians 5:6-8 that Yahoshua, and His disciples all kept the feasts; and the apostle Paul encourages us to keep the Feast in 1 Corinthians 5:6-8, “Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”.

Yahoshua had His last supper with His disciples on the evening of Aviv 13 before sunset, before the day of Passover because He knew He was the Passover Lamb of Yahovah and would be the sacrifice for the Passover. He had studied the prophetic messianic scriptures and knew what gruesome pain and torture awaited him the next day on Passover. He knew He would be busy all day being tried in the gentile courts, and tortured by the Roman soldiers, breaking His flesh with their lashing whip made especially for shredding the flesh of a man while he was still alive. Yahoshua bore 39 lashes creating stripes of shredded flesh on His body. We benefit from those stripes today because By His stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:5).

During His last supper with His disciples, Yahoshua, in anticipation of His suffering the next day, broke the leavened bread and gave it to His disciples, and told them in a symbolic gesture, “take, eat, this is my body, broken for you, eat this in remembrance of me. The fact that Yahoshua did NOT use unleavened bread, in His last supper with His disciples tells us that this meal with His disciples was not the Passover meal. It was only His last supper with them before the Feast of Passover when He would be killed. Yahoshua was crucified and buried on Passover; and He resurrected on the third day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. In 1 Corinthians 5:6-8 the apostle Paul, many years after the resurrection of Yahoshua, joined the ranks of the apostles and taught the gentiles to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread. He said, “Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore, purge out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed, Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”

Reward for Obedience

Yahovah does nothing without a purpose. He keeps His appointments whether or not we show up. He uses these appointed times to fulfill His prophesies and carry out His plan in the earth. On His calendar He displays for us the schedule of the seasons when He will accomplish His prophecies that are not yet fulfilled. He commands us to celebrate these feasts and when we do, He honors our obedience, and rewards us with increased knowledge, wisdom, understanding, power and abilities to convey these lessons to the world. In these lessons we learn more about Yahoshua and how we fit into His government and purpose in the earth. As He educates us about how to prepare to fill our role in the new Kingdom we are endowed with power and anointing to be effective disciples and true worshipers. His agenda is to bless us, and unveil our purpose He has designed for us today, and the plan He has for us in His coming Kingdom. In these appointed times meetings we learn about the constitution of the coming Kingdom of Heaven on earth, and how the government of Yahovah will operate.   For more in depth teachings about Yahovah’s calendar, click the following link: http://michaelrood.tv/teachings/the-creators-calendar

So in answer to the question of “Why we celebrate the Feasts of Passover and Unleavened Bread, it is 1) because Yahovah commanded us to keep these feasts 2) we benefit from the lessons He teaches us at these Holy convocations, 3) we gain information on how to  prepare our mind and heart to do our part to make ourselves ready to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. To learn more about spiritual Leaven, see what Yahoshua had to say in His Parable of the Leaven. Click the link below and read my blog post – The Gospel Your Pastor Never Taught You, Part 3, and scroll down to the section on Parable of the Leaven http://itsnotasyouperceive.com/the-gospel-your-pastor-never-taught-you-part-3/ 

If you have benefited from this blog then please leave a comment and share it using the social media links below so others can benefit too. Thank you for helping us to spread the word.  If you like, you can also send me an email using the email link below.

May Yahovah richly bless you and draw you close to Himself.

Have a blessed day!

 

 

Episode 36-What Every Believer Should Understand About Worship

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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

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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

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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

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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.