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.