|John 4:23-24 |
23 But the time 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 those who worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."1 [True worship must be in His spirit to worship; it must be the truth of the life He produces in your heart, which life is the light, which light is the anointing, which is truth and is no lie — the inward truth; to be in truth is to be in union with Jesus who is the truth. So worship from your carnal mind, (which is enmity with God), speaking from your mind's will, praying from your mind, reciting a previous teaching, singing from your mind, reading from the Bible without direction — they are all out of a worship that is in spirit and truth, and an abomination to the Lord. The Apostle Paul and the early Quakers termed such worship, will-worship: worship according to man's will and mind, which mind is carnal and enmity with God. Worship in Spirit and Truth is worship with words supplied by the Spirit of God by someone who is also in the truth, (in Jesus, translated into the kingdom, in His presence); any other worship is idolatry and abomination, including all the so-called sacraments. From the word of the Lord within: "Christianity has no idea what I am or for what I stand. None of the chruches reflect true Christianity. Sin in believers is intolerable. When they pray, they don't pray to God; they pray to their collective conscience." In vain does Christianity worship Jesus and God because they pray to an image they have created based on which scriptures they think are valid and their opinion of what those scriptures mean; thus creating an imagined image of God according to their collective conscience.]
1 God is a Spirit, and those who worship him, must worship him in spirit and in truth. And unless you have been purified, unless your selfish, Satanic spirit has been crucified, you are unable to worship God in spirit and truth; to do so requires the Spirit of God to provide your mouth the words of prayer, praise, and worship. God is a Spirit, and those who worship him, must worship him in spirit and in truth. John 4:23-24. So worship from your carnal mind, (which is enmity with God), speaking from your mind's will, praying from your mind, reciting a previous teaching, singing from your mind, reading from the Bible without direction — they are all out of a worship that is in spirit and truth, and an abomination to the Lord, including all the so-called sacraments. The Apostle Paul and the early Quakers termed such worship, will-worship: worship according to man's will and mind, which mind is carnal and enmity with God.
God must be worshipped in spirit and truth; it must be in His spirit to worship; it must be the truth of the life He produces in your heart, which life is the light, which light is the anointing, which is truth and is no lie — the inward truth. From the Word of the Lord within: "All must worship in spirit and truth. To be in Jesus is to be in truth;" (when you are in Jesus, or in truth, you have been translated into the kingdom and are sitting with Jesus in heaven).
Isaac Penington gives us an excellent insight into true worship:
The true worship of God in the gospel is in the Spirit. "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." John 4:23. The true worship is in the spirit, and in the truth, and the true worshippers worship there; and such worshippers the Father seeks, and such worship he accepts; but all other worship is false worship, and all other worshippers are false worshippers; such worshippers as God seeks not, nor can accept their worship. Did God refuse Cain's sacrifice formerly? Can he accept any sacrifice or worship now that is offered in that same nature? Why, he that worships out of the Spirit, he worships in Cain's nature; but he that worships correctly, must have his nature changed, and must worship in that thing in which he is changed, in that faith, in that life, in that nature, in that Spirit by which and to what he is changed. For without being in this [true faith, life, and Spirit], and keeping in this, it is impossible to please God in anything. He that is the true worshipper is a believer, and in his worship he must keep to his rule, the law of faith, the law of the Spirit of Life in him, the law which he receives by faith fresh from the Spirit of Life continually. He must hear and observe the voice of the living Word in all his worship, and worship in the presence and power and guidance of that, as that moves, and as that carries on, or God is not worshipped in the Spirit. I shall instance only in prayer. "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit." Eph 6:18. Mark all prayer and supplication must be in the Spirit; yes, it must be always in the Spirit, which speaks in the heart to God, and makes the intercession, or it is no prayer. If a man speaks ever so much from his own spirit, with ever so much earnestness and affection, yet it is no prayer, no true prayer, but only so far as the Spirit moves to it, and so far as the Spirit leads and guides in it. If a man begins without the Spirit, or goes on without the Spirit, this is out of the worship; this is in his own will, and so will-worship; and according to his own understanding, and so fleshly worship; both which are to be crucified, and not to be followed in anything under the gospel. "We are the circumcision, which worship God in the Spirit," (here are the true worshippers, "the circumcision;" and here is the true worship, "in the Spirit;" and they have no bounds and limits in the flesh, in which their strength and confidence are broken), "and have no confidence in the flesh." If a man address himself to any worship of God without his Spirit, does he not have confidence in the flesh? If he begins without the moving of his Spirit, does he not begin in the flesh? If he goes on, without the Spirit's carrying on, does he not proceed in the strength and confidence of the flesh? But the worship of the Spirit is in its will, and in its time, and is carried on by its light and power, and keeps down the understanding and affectionate part of man, in which all the world worship, and offer up the unaccepted sacrifices, even the lame and the blind,* which God's soul hates.
*[In the Old Testament, God would not allow the lame and blind to approach the altar; the restriction is an allegory to God's repulsion of being worshipped by those who cannot see by his light and walk by his spirit; the spiritually lame and blind who pray and worship from their carnal minds in will-worship are an abomination.]
Now this worship, as it is out of man's will and time, and in what continues, so it is continual. There is a continual praying unto God [in the Spirit]. There is a continual blessing and praising of his name, in eating, or drinking, or whatever else is done. There is a continual bowing to the majesty of the Lord in every thought, in every word, in every action, though it be in worldly things and occasions; yet the Spirit of the Lord is seen there, and the tongue confesses him there, and the knee bows to him there. This is the true worship, and this is the rest or sabbath in which the true worshippers worship. When the creation of God is finished; when the child is formed in the light, and the life breathed into him; then God brings him forth into his holy land, where he keeps his sabbath. They who are in the faith, which is the substance of the things hoped for under the law, are come from all the shadows and types of the law, and from all the heathenish observations of days and times in the spirit of this world, where the spirit of man is hard at work, into the true sabbath, into the true rest, where they have no more to work, but God works all in them in his own time, according to his own pleasure. "We which have believed, do enter into rest." Heb 4:3. "And he that is entered into his rest, has ceased from his works, as God from his." verse 10. He that has the least taste of faith, knows a measure of rest, finding the life working in him, and his soul daily led further and further into life by the working of the life, and the heavy yoke of his own laboring after life taken off from his shoulders. Now here is the truth, here is the life, here is the sabbath, here is the worship of the soul, that is led into the truth, and preserved in the truth.
Penington in Babylon is Here and Now further shows us that any worship out of Spirit and Truth is idolatry:
Idolatry is the worshipping of God without his spirit, (that is the plain, naked truth of the thing). To invent things from the carnal mind, or to imitate things, which others, who had the spirit, did in the spirit, by the command of the spirit, for you to imitate and practice these without the spirit, is idolatry. An invented church, an invented ministry, an invented worship; an imitated church, an imitated ministry, an imitated worship, without the life, without the spirit, all these are the work of men's hands, and are idols, and all that is performed within is idolatry. Rev 9:20. This is a religion without life, a worship without life, a fabric for idolatry; and the whole course of worship and service in it, is idolatry. For the living God, the Lord God of endless life and power, is alone worshipped by his spirit, and in the truth of that life which he begets in the heart; and all other worship, though ever so seemingly spiritual, is idolatrous. Ah! believers, believers! If you knew how many idol prayers and services you have loaded the Lord with, and how you have been whoring from him, while you have seemed to be drawing near to him, you would hang down your heads and mourn! For whatever you have done in the worship of God without the leading and presence of his spirit, it has been idolatry. For the worship of God, under the gospel, "is in the spirit and in the truth," and required of them who are in the spirit and in the truth, and not of others. John 4:23. For them alone the Lord seeks to worship; and the Lord will admit of none to his worship, but such as he seeks. And if any else will thrust themselves into his worship, it is not accepted; nor do they worship the true God, but they "worship they know not what;" and their whole state and course here is a state and course of idolatry.
No worship is in the Spirit, unless the Holy Spirit is controlling the sequence of events and the words, be it talk, singing, or prayer. Worship according to the will of God is a worship led, controlled, prompted, and supplied by the Spirit of God — a worship in Spirit and Truth. Look at scriptural description of a worship meeting: 1 Cor 14:26-33
26 What then, brothers? When you assemble together, may everyone of you have a psalm, a doctrine, a tongue, a revelation, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. (But not brought already prepared; rather all was received in the meeting from the Spirit.)
27 If any men speaks in a tongue [language], let it be limited to two, or at the most to three, and that by taking turns; and let one interpret.
28 But if there is no interpreter, let them keep silent in the church; and let them speak to themselves and to God.
29 Let two to three prophets [those inspired by the Spirit to teach or preach — at that moment] speak, and let the others judge what they hear.
30 If anything is revealed to another who sits by, let the first stop talking [so that the second may declare his or her revelation].
31 In this way you may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be encouraged.
32 For the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.
33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of order and peace, as in all churches of the saints.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another [with words from Christ in your heart] in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. Col 3:16
Think about it. How can the Holy Spirit lead a service unless everyone is subject to the Spirit's direction by being simultaneously quiet to listen for the Spirit's teachings and promptings? Unless a person is prompted (at that moment) by the Holy Spirit to preach or prophesy, sing, or pray, the service is without the Spirit's control. If someone is preaching, singing, reading, and praying from a planned agenda, therefore from their carnal mind, etc., the Spirit can not be heard or lead — “Be silent, all flesh, before the Lord.” Zech 2:13. Paul said, so all can prophesy one by one. Note: there is no single preacher!! Every man and woman, as prompted by the Spirit, is to speak; and there will not be multiple people speaking because the spirit is in control. If one man is speaking, and another has something to say; the first is to yield to the second. This is the orderly service described in the Bible, but missed by almost all, due to preconceived notions of what a worship meeting must be.
The Word of the Lord within has described the programmed worship of the sects as "theater!" Think about it, and you can see the will-worship of man is nothing but a staged performance — planned, rehearsed, accompanied by extensive music, often even guided with a printed program — just like a stage play. The only thing missing is an intermission to sell snacks and drinks.
Edward Burrough wrote what gives us further insight into the true worship of God:
First, the worship of God is in itself this: It is a walking with God and a living with him in converse and fellowship, in Spirit and Truth; for he is only worshipped therein, and to do the Truth, and speak the Truth. This is the true worship of God, where the mind is guided with the Spirit of Truth, and the presence of the Lord felt at all times, and His fear felt in the hearts of people, and his counsel stood in, and his covenant felt, which unites to the Lord in Spirit; this is the true worship of God; and it is without respect of times or things.
Now none upon earth can thus worship God, but who are changed and renewed in heart and mind, and born of the Spirit, and led thereby, where the body of sin and death is put off, such as are redeemed out of the world, and out of all its ways and nature; such only can worship God in the Spirit and in the Truth, and such is the Father seeking to worship him now in this present age. And there is never a one upon Earth, that can worship God as herequires, who remain unchanged, and are in the transgression, unrenewed and unconverted; such cannot worship the True and Living God, but what they perform and practice as the pretence of his worship is idolatry and abomination, and the Lord has not required it at their hands; for none can walk with God, nor have unity with him, but who are renewed and changed; nor none can do the truth, and speak the Truth in all things, but such who are led by the Spirit of Truth, and such are in the covenant of God, and true worshippers of Him; and all that is contrary, is not the worship of God, but idolatry, as I have said.
Now as concerning this worship practiced in England, in these steeplehouses, so-called churches: it is not the worship of the living God, but superstition and idolatry; for people have not learned it by the teachings of the Spirit, neither does the Spirit lead them therein; but it stands in form without power, and in the inventions and traditions of the fathers, and there is not in it the manifest presence of God, neither do you worshippers meet with the Lord, nor enjoy his pure Life and presence in your practices; — and the substance of your worship, (as it is now practiced), is made up of inventions, some part of your own, and some part brought along from the church of Rome.
The early Quakers assembled to wait in humble silence for the Lord, and in that fleshly silence those mature enough in Spirit worshiped God with his Spirit leading their silent words and praise. The only audible words spoken were those commanded by the Lord; the only audible singing was commanded by the Lord. The only interaction of the members was not in fleshly, audible words, but was in the Spirit where the members came to know one another without words — instead through silent, unspoken communication in the Spirit. These meetings were often attended with the visible presence of the Lord, (seen and heard with the eyes and ears of the heart), ministering to them all; and that presence left the members greatly refreshed.