Trinity Presberterian Church, Northern Kentucky, 9/3/17 PM
As I said last Sunday, I love to do a serious study through a book, and then teach through that book as opportunity permits. Those studies are posted at biblicalexaminer.org. The notes from last Sunday and tonight are posted there. There is an update button which will take you to the notes.
My message last Sunday was from my series of messages through the book of Ephesians.
From the time computers became available in the late 80s, I have saved all my messages. I have also put most of my hand-written notes into word processing files. This message is one of the messages from the 10 Commandment series I put together for Lloyd Sprinkle, the pastor of a sound, Orthodox, Reformed church in Harrisonburg VA.
Exodus 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
We have seen the average Worship Service become little more than an entertainment service where people come to experience God. It seems that the people attend looking for a close to God feeling. When the Worship Service provides that feeling, they will flock after the false shepherds, and support them handsomely.
The local Methodist church down the street from us in Linden Indiana started having two services. The early service was traditional to keep the older people coming, for they were the ones who financed the church, and they financed it well. Then they had their contemporary service, where they hoped to attract new young families.
Before they built their new church and moved their parsonage, their pastor lived behind us. The pastors wife at that time said the reason her husband was in the ministry was because it was better than selling vacuum cleaners.
Time prohibits telling of the churches we know of that have two worship services: one for the old people who will pay the bills, and another to draw in the young people.
In our text, we see that God alone defines worship, and how He must be worshiped. Is worship defined as simply a meeting of a group of believers? Does God define worship in terms of Worship Service, Worship Songs, Worship Leaders and Worship Teams?
Does worship consist of getting a mystical look on ones face, raising the hands, doing the holy wave, and singing a few nice words over and over? (7-11 songs) Does worship consist of a set of drums and other instruments beating out a religious rhythm that at times sounds more like a jungle beat than something that belongs in a Christian church, particularly when the beat overwhelms the words?
(Scripture encourages raising ones hands toward heaven in worship and even prayer, though it is not my style.)
Psalms 150 speaks of several instruments used to praise God, but you cannot read into the passage that the music used in that praise sounded like the pagans music, nor that the music was used to draw in the pagans to the house of God. Moreover, I can find no drums in Scripture.
According to Psalms 95:6, worship means to bow down. The three Hebrew Children were commanded to bow down and worship the image. (Psalms 95:6 O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker. Daniel 3:15)
But if we restrict worship to bowing down or lifting our voices in praise, then we are no better than the Muhammadans who bow down three times a day to worship their false god?
The Word defines Worship:
FIRST, Psalms 89:9, worship must glorify His name:
All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name.
In Jeremiah 7:10, the Lord rebuked His people for entering His gates to worship Him, yet they continued to follow the desires of their heart. They were worshiping the Lord, yet ignoring the ways in which He had commanded them to walk. Thus their worship was no worship; rather, their worship was sin that brought judgment upon them. In Isaiah 30:1, 2, Isaiah also issued the same condemnation.
Jeremiah 7:10 And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations? (Also Isa 30:1, 2)
Jeremiah prophesied Gods harsh judgment against those who professed His name, yet their heart was far from Him. They performed ceremonies of worship. They were confident that their worship delivered them from Gods justice against their disobedient living the rest of the time.
Over my 50 years in the ministry, I can not count the people I have met who felt that church attendance three times a week appeased God for their ungodly living the rest of the time. Time prohibits telling of the famous bible believing preachers who have led their people to believe that their good works for the cause of Christ, or rather for the cause of the church and their faithfulness in every church service influence God to overlook their daily actions.
Biblical worship glorifies God in every thought and action, not just in the public assembly, or around the preacher or around other Christians;
Hallowed by thy name in Luke 11:2. True Worship hallows the Holy name of Jesus. Hallow means we are to sanctify or sets apart the Holly name of Jesus. Thus, worship sets the Christian apart in holiness from the world.
John Gill: "let thy name be hallowed," or "sanctified by us," O Lord our God, before the eyes of all living.
Biblical worship is 27/7, as it continually represents the name Christian to the world with pure words, honest actions, modest apparel, and with a godly attitude.
How many go to church looking for and having a wonderful worshipful experience, yet their lives are vain? How many leave an exciting and uplifting worship service, and then continue in their service to the world, flesh and the devil on Monday?
Godly worship produces holy living and daily service in the Kingdom of God. All of the Worship Services, Worship Songs, Worship Teams and Worship Leaders in the world mean nothing to the Holy Lord God unless it produces a holy witness before the world.
1 Cor 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
SECOND, worship is connected with service,
Jeremiah 13:10 condemns those who refuse to hear the words of God, so they can continue to serve the gods after their imagination.
This evil people, which refuse to hear my words, which walk in the imagination of their heart, and walk after other gods, to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be as this girdle, which is good for nothing.
Scripture never identifies Godly worship with a mystical feeling that will cause people to respond to an invitation.
In the Christian circles with which I identified until 1982, the greatest thing that could happen to a pastor or evangelist was to have his name mentioned in the Sword of the Lord as having a great number of people come forward in a year or in a series of meeting: such as, 100 came forward that week for rededication, and 50 for salvation. Of course, they dont mention that 49 of those for salvation had been forward many times before, and most of them were under 10 from the bus routes they ran for the special services.
Nor do they mention that they had to sing 100 verses of Just as I am because the speaker knew that the Lord was speaking to someone. They didnt mention that the final invitation was, If you dont want Gods wrath against you or your family, then come down now and let the preacher pray for you. Foolishness non-sense reigns in those meetings.
Worship includes not only humbling ones self before the one being worshiped, but it includes serving, or obeying the one being worshiped, even service in obedience unto the death. (Dan. 3:28, Matt. 4:10, Lk. 4:8.)
Matthew 4:10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
Worship involves Service --- obedience, labour and work for the Kingdom. Acts 14:22 tells us that it is through much tribulation that one enters the Kingdom.
1) Worship involves obedience.
Worship is firmly identified with obedience, particularly with teaching the commandments and judgments of God to our children. In the context of Deuteronomy 6:13-16, failure to teach the Gods law and judgments to the next generation is to tempt the Lord our God.
Deuteronomy 6:13-16 Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name. 14 Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you; 15 (For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth. 16 Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, as ye tempted him in Massah.
Proverbs 22:6 & Ephesians 6:4 tells us that among many other things, obedience requires education for our children in terms of the word of God. Anything other than a Biblically grounded education for our children is an act of apostasy for a believer. It involves worshipping other gods and bowing down before them to learn from those other god. It turns the future over to the pagans.
Whoever controls the education of the young, will control the future.
The great Presbyterian pastor and Confederate Army Chaplin Robert Louis Dabney (1820-1898) said, A non-Christian training is therefor an anti-Christian training.
(Discussions, vol IV, Secular, p, 196ff. Reprint by Sprinkle Publications. It is a profitable read for homeschoolers, particularly his section on The State Free School System. Writing in 1870, he foresaw every aspect of the destruction of society by the enforced Northern government education system. It reads as though he were writing it today.
(By the way, Confederate SoldiersAmerican Veterans by Act of Congress. 1898, 1901, 1906, 1929, 1958. The attacks on Confederate monuments are officially attacks against every American serviceman. https://www.veteranstoday.com/2013/04/03/confederate-soldiers-american-veterans-by-act-of-congress/rs)
He also quotes Dr. Griffin, to educate the mind without purifying the heart is but to place a sharp sword in the hand of a madman. We are now in the hands of madmen. There can be no true moral culture without Christianity. The Chalcedon Report, 8/03 had this quote by Dabney:
The education of children for God is the most important business done on earth. It is the one business for which the earth exists. To it all politics, all war, all literature, all money-making, ought to be subordinated; and every parent especially ought to feel every hour of the day, that, next to making his own calling and election sure, this is the end for which he is kept alive by God? This is his task on earth.
I have known many people who tell about the wonderful worshipful experiences they have at church; they quickly tell others how much they enjoy worshipping the Lord, yet on Monday morning, they have their children in the pagan schools to be trained in antichristian Humanism.
There is a childrens book, Hermes, God of sports, by Julie Anne Wight. Both Christians and antichristians who build their lives around sports are clearly serving another god. It seems the government education system is built around that god, Hermes. They know how to get public support.
Speaking to a, he bragged about how well their granddaughter was doing in sports. Not a word about how well she was learning to read, write or calculate. Their concern was how well Hermes was being served.
Sunday worship is hypocrisy if the Lord God is not served throughout the week.
Exodus 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
That visitation by the Lord our God is upon us as he promised.
According to 1 Corinthians 10:9 and Hebrews 3:8, 9, willing failure to serve the Lord as commanded by Christ in Luke 10:27, is to tempt the Lord just as sure as Israel tempted God at Massah as recorded in Exodus 17.
1 Corinthians 10:9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.
Hebrews 3:8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: 9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.
We tempt Christ by serving other gods, and still expect his blessings and protection.
2) Worship involves teaching and applying the law-word of God very unpopular areas such as Titus 2:3-5
Titus 2:3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
We know ladies who remain home to be a homemaker, yet even pastors wives condemn them for wanting to stay at home and train up their children in the ways of the Lord. The church today, by in large, is at war against the Christian family, particularly large families.
Obviously, sin, such as state sponsored inflation, has forced many women out of the homes against their will. Sin has forced many godly young women into the work force, because the young men have followed the world, flesh and the devil.
(Report: Majority of Today's Youth Won't Be Fit for Military
Nearly a quarter of military recruits are rejected because they're too fat and a majority of today's youngsters aren't fit to serve because they're overweight, use drugs, or have criminal records or educational deficits, a new report found .
In Mark 7:7-10, Christ referred to the Ten Commandments as he soundly rebuked those who were faithful to their religious rites, rituals and ceremonies of worship while rejecting the Commandments. They rejected the Commandments so they could continue in their own ideas of what was right and wrong.
Mark 7:7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. 8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. 9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. 10 For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death:
3) Worship that pleases the Kings is defined by the King in John 14:15, If ye love me, keep my commandments.
According to passages such as 1 John 5:3, Matthew 11:29, 30 and Ps 119, the true worshipers of the King rejoice in his commandments, and find them not grievous.
THIRD, worship is connected with fear, 2 Kings 17:36:
But the LORD, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt with great power and a stretched out arm, him shall ye fear, and him shall ye worship, and to him shall ye do sacrifice.
In Genesis 21:12, Abraham proved his fear of God by sacrificing his only son.
Job 28:28, Pro 3:7, 14:27, 16:6 makes it clear that true worship of the Lord must be united with fear of the Lord. Genuine worship and fear of the Lord is defined by departing from evil.
Job 28:28. And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.
Pro. 3:7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.
Pro. 14:27 The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.
Pro. 16:6 By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.
That is to say that true worship of the Lord will produce holiness of life. We saw in Jeremiah 7:10 that the Lord pronounces serious judgment upon empty worship that does not promote holiness of heart. Isaiah 29:13, 14 says the same thing.
Isaiah 29:13, 14 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.
FORTH, worship is connected with sacrifice, 2 Kings 17:36, which we just read above:
Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
The sacrifice of Romans 12:1 is illustrated by
Daniel 3:28 Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.
How many saint of God throughout the ages, including the Old Testament saints, have yielded their bodies in order to be faithful to the One whom they worshiped?
Many hundreds of Christians are suffering daily the most horrendous torture and death at the hands of the Muslims for their testimony of Christ.
The martyrs for the cause of Christ cannot be numbered.
* Psalms 51:17. Worship involves a broken and contrite spirit. That is, humility before God.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
Humility is humility before God, and it does not mean we are to be mice before men.
* Worship is a spiritual sacrifice, offered because of our love for the one who first loved us. It is an attitude of mind that works its way out in our actions.
James gives several actions involved in worship. His list is by no means complete:
James 1:25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. 26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this mans religion is vain. 27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
FIFTH, in Psalms 138:2 worship is connected with praise:
Psalms 138:2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.
Who can worship and praise the holy Name of God enough for his loving kindness? In his grace and lovingkindness, He gave fallen man His word so man could know his Creator, and know how to glorify God and could enjoy him forever?
The Lord requires of His people the sacrifice of praise continually (Jer. 33:11, Heb. 13:15). However, there can be no sacrifice of praise without the living sacrifice of ones self as required in Romans 12:1.
Romans 13:11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. 14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
SIXTH, James 2:19 tells us that even the devils know who God is. Mark 5:6 tells of a devil who ran to Jesus to worship him. Thus, not all worship of Jesus is of God.
James 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
Mark 5:6 But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him, 7 And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not.
Worship here is pictured in a dog licking his masters hand. It refers to prostrating ones self before the one worshiped.
Worship does not necessarily mean one is serving or is a servant of Christ. Here we see that this demon ran and bowed down before Christ, rendering Him homage: he acknowledged Christs superiority, power, authority and control over even the fallen spirits. (See Ps. 72:9, 1 Tim. 5:21, Jude 1:6.)
In Luke 4:7, Satan offered Christ the wealth of the world if only Christ would worship him. St John tells us that there are many deceivers entered into the world. (2 Jn 1:7) With their worshipful experiences, these deceivers offer a Prosperity Gospel. Does their gospel result in holiness of heart and life?
(The prosperity gospel draws people and money. The smiling preacher, Joel Osteens church is the largest and fasting growing church in America. He lives in a $10 million mansion.)
SEVENTH. Scriptural worship produces active obedience, holy living, glory to God and service to the God of the Christian Bible and service to our fellow man.
Worship glorifies His name with our daily actions and words.
Worship obeys the Lords commandments, and labors in the word and work of God.
Worship fears God, and departs from evil.
Worship sacrifices ones self to the Lord to do whatsoever He desires.
Worship demands far more action than words.
A far better description of worship would be the following:
Worship Services studying scripture to equip the saints for the work of the ministry.
Worship Songs songs that conform to Scripture, both in rhythm, beat and words. There were groups of Levites in the house of the Lord whose job it was to produce music and sing praises to the Lord, e.g., 2 Chronicles 29:25.
Worship Leaders leaders of work groups that might meet together to lean how to apply the word of God into everyday activity.
Worship Teams work groups that are active in the community, e.g., evangelism, community help activities, activists groups that work to bring about godly morality in the community (library, civil service, text book examinations as is now being done in Florida, &c.), and care for the needy in the community.
All politics is local. Worship teams members should not only let their voice for honest government be heard at local county government meetings, but if the opportunity presents itself, run for local offices. (I learned in WV, that the county commissioners are the judges, or final authority of their county; they control the money in the county. I read of a county that rejected federal money, so they could tell the feds get out of the county.)
I am afraid that much of what is called worship today is little more than pagan programs designed to appeal to the lower nature; it is designed to attract and hold a crowd, so larger monuments can be built to men, so the debt payments can be made and so the leaders can live the worldly life.
Godly worship produces a godly lifestyle throughout the week, a lifestyle that seeks to glorify God in whatsoever we do; a lifestyle that works to seek first the Kingdon of God and His righteousness (that is, expand the Kingdon); a lifestyle that sets the holy name of Christ apart from the unholy clamor that is taking place in the world around us.
Amen and Amen