“They that WORSHIP”
Bishop M.L. Maughmer, Jr.
SCRIPTURE:- John 4:24 “God is a spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth”.
Opening:- This morning I want to look at this scripture and I am going to ask a question that each person needs to internalize and ask themselves “Am I truly worshipping God in spirit and in truth”.
We live in a time of change, technology, demands, and stresses that if we stop and look truthfully at it our worship of God has been reduced to and equated with a Sunday morning experience.
We place great emphasis on what transpires during the service. We say things like we had a good time, the spirit was high, and people shouted that hadn’t moved in a long time, the pastor didn’t even get to preach because we had that good of a time. All of that is good, but often times we focus more on program and activities than adoration of God.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN BISHOP??????????
WATCH THIS:- church starts at 11:30 you have praise and worship for 20 minutes, offering, a solo, a dance, a poem reading, the choir, announcements, and then the preacher has to get up and not be longer than 20 minutes or else they will lose you and all of this has to be done before 1:00 because the game is coming on and you need to be at home to see it.
It is this mentality that has reduced our worship from in spirit and in truth to an hour and half in a building on Sunday morning.
So many times we can sing songs of praise with enthusiasm, but never once really think about the words. We can hear the word of God coming from the man or woman of God but have our minds actively engaged in thoughts about work, finances, family, food, or even sexual activities. We try to push these thoughts out and worship God, but find that at the core of our life we truly worship career successes, performance, productivity, wealth, adventure, and everything else that brings pleasure to our lives, instead of us being pleasing unto Him.
John 4:24 “God is a spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth”.
TO UNDERSTAND THIS:- Let’s look at the Tabernacle. The Tabernacle represents the Body – the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 6:19 “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own”.
WATCH THIS:- The Tabernacle was a movable structure where God dwelt among His people, the Temple was a permanent structure, your body is the permanent structure now.
There were three different compartments in the Tabernacle. 3 represents fullness. Past, Present, Future – Outer Court, Inner Court, Holy of Holies - Body, Soul, Spirit, Father, Son, Holy Ghost. Thanksgiving, Praise, Worship.
When people want to have an experience of God come with a thanks offering and offer it in the outer court and expect God to bless them Micah 6:6. This is what we do on Sunday Morning. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving….. Sadly many people are satisfied with just an outer court level.
Outer Court – Body - UNDERSTAND:- The offering in itself was not as important as the attitude of heart with which they bring the offering. Some brought turtle doves, some brought lambs, and some brought bullocks. The attitude of heart that God expects the worshipers of Him is to do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God Micah 6:8. It doesn’t matter if we sing from a screen or from hymns the attitude by which we do it is important. Outer Court or Body Service = Thanksgiving.
THANKSGIVING:- is our attitude of gratitude that we express towards our God, for all the things that He has done for us. He woke you up this morning – Thank You, put food on the table – Thank You, cloths on your back – Thank You your attitude of gratitude for the things he has done for you. Thanksgiving is like a offering we do when God blesses us either with an answer to our prayer or has given a promise to answer us in the future Psa50:14; Phil 4:6.
Our body is presented as an outer court thanksgiving living sacrifice and a reasonable service of our priesthood before the Lord Romans 12:1.
WATCH THIS:- in the outer court was the Burnt Altar and the Brazen Laver, there was sacrifice and baptism if you will. A lot of church folk are stuck here, they bring sacrifice of praise, the fruit of their lips and are even baptized and settle for this. There is more.
Holy Place - Inner Court – Soul – UNDERSTAND Only the priests could enter the inner court to serve the Lord continually with changing the showbread and pouring oil in the lampstand to keep it burning each day. This was because the priest had dedicated themselves to the service of the Lord and literally were placed at another level of intimacy with God if you will. They were anointed, washed , and clothed in a special manner in order to be able to operate in the realm they were to operate in.
WATCH THIS:- We have been made the priests of God to offer spiritual sacrifices and thus give praise to God by meditating on His Rhema-word and by praying to God each day for a fresh filling to keep ourselves in the attitude of thanksgiving and praise Revelation 5:10; 1 Peter 2:5 & 9.
It is here that we enter into praise. PRAISE:- is an attitude of heart that makes a positive statement of admiration, laudation, commendation and extolling done in both public and private about God, His dependable Character and his faithfulness in fulfilling His promises. Praise glorifies God for who He is rather than for what He has done for us or what He will do for us Psa 50:23. Praise is a sacrifice done because of our love towards God Heb 13:15.
IN HEBREW:- PRAISE The Hebrew word for praise is: hâlal, pronounced haw-lal’. Which means; to shine; hence to make a show, to boast; and thus to be (clamorously) foolish; to rave; to celebrate, commend, glory, [sing, be worthy of] praise, rage, renowned, shine.
Holy Place – Inner Court according to the New Testament is our soul where we constantly renew our mind by the word of God which is the spiritual shewbread and conscious prayer done without ceasing through the infilling of the Spirit which is the oil poured constantly by the priest who worked in it (Rom 12:2; 1 The 5:16-18).
In the Holy Place – Inner court there was the Lampstand, the Table of Shewbread, and the Altar of Incense (light, bread, praise & prayers).
HOLY OF HOLIES = Spirit – UNDERSTAND:- Once every year only the High Priest would enter in to the Holy of Holies where the very presence of God resided – Ark of Covenant. When Jesus died on the cross the veil to the Holy place was rent from top to bottom to allow us all access into the Holy of Holies.
WATCH THIS:- Once in to the Holy of Holies, this is the place true worship begins through the spirit-man, our praise becomes a prayer of praise and adoration for God's presence. This prayer of praise is intimate talk to God from our Spirit. Deep calleth unto deep Psalm 42:7.
WATCH THIS:- This is where true worship takes place.
WORSHIP:- adoration toward God for who He is, His character, His faithfulness, His omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence. Worship is telling God that truly He is worthy of all our thanksgiving, praise and adoration.
According to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia says, "Worship is an act of religious devotion usually directed towards a deity. The word is derived from the Old English worth-ship, meaning worthiness or worth-ship — to give, at its simplest, worth to something".
IN HEBREW:- WORSHIP is the word shâchâh, pronounced (shaw-khaw’) which means, to depress, prostrate - to cast oneself face downward on the ground in humility or adoration, lying horizontally. In homage -homage means; a formal expression of loyalty to a ruler to royalty or God. Bow (self) down, crouch, fall down (flat), humbly beseech, do make obeisance -(obeisance means a deep bow or curtsy, do reverence, make stoop.
Spirit and Truth worship is unlike anything else. Other religions may just perform an act of devotion, they commit to a routine performance and display but true worship goes beyond the intellect in to the spiritual realm of God who causes the worshiper to worship Him through his spirit over which he has no control over.
The Spirit of God will start to control us and will make us to go beyond our intellect in to the mystical experience of God's Presence. Here we do not do anything for God, but God will start to create a beautiful embodiment of praise and worship towards Him through us. (Mystical meaning not making sense to the mind of man – something about the Holy Ghost I don’t understand it but I got it.)
It is here that the cute little dance that you practice becomes impossible to do, but you just react to the presence of God. You fall out, lay prostrate, cry seemingly uncontrollably. It is not motivated by the music nor is it pumped up by a praise leader but is a result of being in the presence of the omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent God.
That which the Lord does through us is the true worship that He accepts. The movement of joy, dance, music, clap and every word that comes out of us in that state of worship will please the Lord.
WATCH THIS:- True worship is something that we cannot produce by our own ability, but by our availability to God. God produces the true worship in us through His Spirit and enjoys it when it comes towards Him. This is worshipping Him in spirit and in truth. One song writer understood this concept and said “I am available to you”.
True worship is done in this place of empowerment where truth of who we are before God and who He is - is being revealed to us in our spirit-man inside us.
WATCH THIS:- Once in to the Holy of Holies there is be no light like in the inner court. Only the Ark of the Covenant was in the Holy of Holies. In the Holy of Holies – in the Spirit, we move by the revelation of the light of God which we see from our spirit-man and cannot walk by our human natural feelings or ability at all.
The Bible clearly says, "Give to the LORD the glory due His name; Bring an offering, and come before Him. Oh, worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness!" 1 Chronicles 16:29”. The beauty of holiness is the magnificence, glory, excellency, majesty, honor and what the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 2:9 “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him”.
This is the reason, spiritually when we give thanks to God it takes us from the outer court – bodily experiences to the inner court – soulish experiences, and finally into the Holy of Holies – the spirit, where we are in a spiritually heavenly atmosphere which is the very Presence of God, where the throne of God is in place in the Holy of Holies.
Once in to the Holy of Holies our thanksgiving and praise has become worship. Only when we worship God in our spirit, we can really worship God in the beauty of His Holiness. His holiness is the beautiful character of God that will be revealed to us and in us as we continue to bow in humility before Him and worship Him Exodus 34:6-8.
When we are here it is then that we join with the angels and cry Holy Holy Holy Revelation 4:8.
CLOSING:- They that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. There is a word that we often overlook in this scripture and that is the word “must”. Must means to be obliged or bound to a requirement. We are required to move from the outer court – bodily expressions of thanksgiving and praise into the realm of spiritual and true worship.
In the beginning I asked the question “Am I truly worshipping God in spirit and in truth”. Now that we know what it truly means to worship in a way that God wants us to, are you or are you going be thinking: if I worship like that, what will the people think? Sure there will be some spectators who will think what is going on, this is not what we are used to, but you must ask the question “am I here to worship God, or to worry about what people think?”
Some people will think you are strange, but do their thoughts enhance your relationship with God? Or does worshipping God “in” the beauty of holiness in spirit and in truth enhance our relationship with God? Worship God the way He says we must in spirit and in truth and while in this atmosphere His presence causes you to lay prostrate, crouch, fall down, bow down, then humble yourselves before Him and worship Him in the beauty of Holiness.
This is not an act but an action from our heart in reverence to our Lord'
Thanksgiving leads to Praise - Praise leads to Worship, Worship leads to the revelation and manifestation of the Holy Spirit
Therefore thank the Lord for all the blessings always. Then unusually praise Him; to shine; hence to make a show, to boast; and thus to be (clamorously) foolish; to rave; to celebrate, commend, glory.
Then draw near to God entering into His presence by faith through your heart of worship in your spirit-man and surely God will draw near to you. He will commune with you intimately and will fill your life with His peace, joy and righteousness James 4:8; Rom 14:17. You will be pleasing unto him for this is worshipping Him in spirit and in truth.
Bishop M.L. Maughmer, Jr.