THE TRUE WORSHIP OF GOD
As we should already know, only The Father is God and He created the universe and everything in it. Of all His wonderful creations, He created man for a very special purpose – to worship Him! But do we know how it is to worship God? After all, different religions and church groups teach different ways on how to worship God. However, these are just programs of worship pointed by The Savior as vain worship as they teach ‘man-made’ teachings (Mat. 15:9).
For our worship be meaningful to God, we have to ensure that our worship of Him is not just a practice that is based on man-made rituals and programs. Since The Lord Yeshua-Christos taught us who the only true God to recognize and worship, can we also learn from Him about the true worship to God? Of course, we can and we shall.
THE TRUE WORSHIPERS
In the time of The Christ, there is a group of people sought by God to worship Him. Who are they and what makes their worship important to God? This is what The Lord Yeshua says about them:
19 The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.”
21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
The Lord mentions about the time when the TRUE WORSHIPPERS will worship God. This is the kind of worshippers whose worship God seeks. How does The Christ classify them as true worshippers? They worship in SPIRIT AND TRUTH. In fact, The Lord Yeshua emphasizes its importance. He says that “those who worship Him (or God) MUST worship in Spirit and Truth”!
Majority of those who practice ‘Christianity’ misconstrue the term worship as only that which is commonly done inside a church or temple complete with rituals and programs that vary from one sect to another. After all, present day Christianity is patterned by the Catholic Church after Judaism, the religion of the Jews, who performs worship only in certain locations that were commanded to them by the prophets of old. This was especially true in the time of The Lord Yeshua. However, He guaranteed the end of such practice when He told the woman that the hour is coming when God will no longer be worshiped on their mountain, nor in Jerusalem – two assigned places where early Israelites and Jews worshiped God. This statement of Christ signals the time when location is no longer a factor in worshiping God. This truth was echoed by the disciple Stephen, the first recorded martyred saint during the apostles’ time, as he quoted the prophet Isaiah (in Isaiah 66:1-2) who prophesied about the future insignificance of any structure or edifice to be used in worshiping God:
48 “However, the Most High does not dwell in temples made with hands, as the prophet says:
49 ‘Heaven is My throne,
And earth is My footstool.
What house will you build for Me? says the Lord,
Or what is the place of My rest?
50 Has My hand not made all these things?
In the era of The Christ, anyone can worship God at any place and time, regardless of whether he is alone or in fellowship with other believers. After all, the only requirement from The Lord Yeshua for those who worship God is that they MUST worship Him in spirit and truth.
THE WORSHIP IN SPIRIT AND TRUTH
The life of man is the very Spirit of God that He breathed unto man for him to become a living soul:
7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
4 The Spirit of God has made me,
And the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
The scriptural fact that God's Word or Spirit is indeed life was echoed by The Christ (Jn. 6:63). Therefore, to worship God in Spirit refers to a reuniting of man's Spirit or life with his life source, The Creator.
On the other hand, how is it to be 'in Truth'? Who is the Truth upon whom true worshipers MUST be found?
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
The Lord Yeshua-Christos is the Truth of God. To be in Truth means that we have to be in Him, for our union with Him is our union with God.
MAN'S REUNION WITH THE CREATOR
How did The Savior portray the reunion of man with The Creator each time he worships Him? How did He present the glorious status attained when one worships God in Spirit and Truth?
21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.
To worship God in ‘Spirit and Truth’ points to our reconnection with God The Father through His Son, The Lord Yeshua-Christos. This glorious union can be experienced by anyone even while he or she is still on earth. It is also during this Sacred Union that we will receive enlightenment from The Christ himself being the God's Truth. We can also receive the same glory that He received from God (Jn. 17:5). In this spiritual state, all of our praises and exaltations towards God The Father will become very much acceptable and welcomed by Him!
Are there truly people who are fully enlightened? Who are they? Let us learn from These evangelical truths:
(1 John 2:20)
20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things.
31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.
There are people addressed by Apostle John who know all things as they have received an anointing from the Holy One – The Christ Himself. The same people are the ones recognized by The Christ as His disciples for they abide in His Word. Not only do they know the truth, more importantly, they are made free by it! And as disciples who know everything about the sacred union with God and His Son, as true worshipers sought by God who receive the same glory of The Christ, they are called friends by their Master for they are not slaves to anything, not even to pain and illness and neither to ignorance.
HOW CAN ONE WORSHIP GOD
As taught by The Lord Yeshua, to be in Spirit and Truth is to be one with God - only through this DIVINE UNION can one commune and be able to worship God! How can we do this? Is this attainable by any form of ritual as observed by all churches? Of course, not. The Savior Yeshua has taught us when and how to worship God:
5 “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 6 But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. 7 And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.
8 “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. 9 In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
13 And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
14 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
As taught by The Christ, one's worship unto God is performed in a very simplistic manner - it is done when one prays unto God. What gives us the understanding that our prayer is the very act of worshiping The Creator? He taught us that when we pray we HALLOW or WORSHIP God's name! What is His instruction, as well as His prohibition when we worship God? He instructed us to be in private - to be in our own rooms with doors shut, and to not be like the hypocrites whose ritualistic worship of God is seen by others. He prohibited us to be seen while praying and communing with God as such is considered HYPOCRITICAL by The Christ. There is no required rite, sacrament or program involved in the process. Is this not the exact opposite of Christianity's paradigm on worship?
HOW CHURCHES ALTERED THE PARADIGM
Why then is the worship advertised by all of today's churches different from The Lord's instructions? How could their perceived worship be that of hypocrites as described by The Christ? Their perceived worship is a full-on show of emotions filled with all kinds of rites and rituals, the exact opposite of The Savior's instruction concerning privacy in praying and worshiping God The Father. Even The Savior observed His privacy whenever He prayed unto God as very well documented in the Gospel books. And never did He lead a supposed 'congregational prayer' among the crowd who has followed Him! Has anyone ever thought about this?
Another fact is that many churches even promote their congregational gathering as 'worship services'. This gives the impression to their congregants that attending their gathering is already worshiping and serving God. What they fail to understand is that true service unto God is by serving those who are in need. This does not usually happen during their gatherings but in the streets, in the neighborhood, in the hospitals and even in our home. Apostle James put this in the right perspective:
27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, andto keep oneself unspotted from the world.