Nehemiah and Worship

Worshipping God is the most important aspect of coming together to worship Him. In the Old Testament Nehemiah describes a type of worship that many of the Christian church today could not tolerate.

Did you catch it? Nehemiah read aloud from day break till noon. I hope he has some cough drops handy. And the people listenened attentively for that full-time. Could you listen attentively for 6 hours? That’s one fourth of the day. But that is not they did. For the longest time of the Roman Catholic Church the priest would speak their homilies in Latin. 1st Corinthians 14:11 would apply here. If I don’t know the meaning of the language spoken how am I edified? The priest would be a barbarian to me and I to the priest. What’s the purpose of speaking a message if no one understands it? That was not so in Nehemiah’s day.

Do you see the difference in worship here? Those of Nehemiah’s day understood what was being read as they gave the sense of the reading and helped them to understand it. The Roman Catholics are simply Lost in Space.

The Proper Perspective to Prayer

The prophet Habakkuk teaches much about prayer. Prayer is easy in times of plenty but how do we function in prayer during bad times? Yes, many of us pray in bad times hoping to get out of them. But do we offer praise and thanksgiving at those times as well? Habakkuk teaches us that despite whatever negatives are weighing us down YET we can still praise God and thank him for breath of life, good friends, and that he is always there for us even in the worst of times. For when I am weak, then am I strong. Prayer should be made at all times but sometimes in times of plenty we forget to thank God for his many daily blessings. It seems that most often we only turn to God in bad times when we need him most. The proper perspective to prayer is that it needs to be done daily weather in good times or bad. Prayer shall be made to him continually and daily he shall be praised. Amen!

What of the Christmas Tree?

Do you

u know what Evergreen means? Everlasting life and that brings up the contrast between that definition and the one given in Jeremiah 10. Jeremiah is speaking of an idol that is strikingly close to that of a Christmas tree. But it is not a Christmas tree but that of an idol. In Isaiah 44 a man cuts a tree and with half of it he uses to cook his meal and warm himself. Once done he uses the other half to make an idol of which he then Falls behind it to worship it. That was his intent from the beginning. If you go out and buy yourself a Christmas tree with the intent to worship it then you have yourself an idol. If your intent is to place Christmas presents under it, it is just a Christmas tree. But when will you be doing this because most authorities believe that Christ was born in September. Shepherd’s would not be keeping watch over their flock by night in December. Their flock would be indoors with them. What is your intent for the season and the tree? Don’t worship the tree, you worship a free gift wrapped in swaddling clothes under the tree which is Christ the Lord. There was no room for him in the inn. Is there room for him in your heart?

The Social Gospel Church

The Social Gospel Church is a smorgasbord of everything that society enjoys. The church becomes the community center for everything. Well not quite everything because sometimes the Gospel of Jesus Christ gets squeezed out. The Core Essence of the church is asked to go elsewhere. I recall once in a Baptist Church where they cancelled Wednesday night service for the championship softball game. I’ve seen church canceled with 2 inches of snow on the ground. In my father’s childhood they drove a team of horses 10 miles to get to church every Sunday which was almost an all day affair. And they did it in Michigan with a lot more than two inches of snow on the ground. Church in those days meant for worship. Fellowship continued in other people’s homes for Sunday supper. What if some people today don’t mind traveling in two inches of snow to worship God? Maybe they had better find a church that was serious about worshiping? The church today is tepid or lukewarm and that is the body that God will spew out of His mouth.

Worship God with Music, Let it Fill the Air

Do you know that a music Ministry is part of worship? What would happen, though, if the song was played with the choir singing One Melody and the orchestra or Organ played a different Melody? It would be chaos. God is not a god of confusion. schantz1_004The trumpeter’s and singers were as one, to make one sound praising and worshiping the Lord. One sound and a blended Melody. That is a good definition of worship. God is not the author of confusion. Those who worship God must worship Him in spirit and in truth for the father is seeking such to worship Him. And we are to make a Joyful Noise before the Lord. In our heart, we are all accomplished singers. But as the sound comes out of our mouths it may sound like a noise, albeit A Joyful Noise. Break Forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises!

Worship- To the Beat of the World

Bill Johnson and Bethel church already are known for bizarre teaching and now we learn how they are getting so many young people into their church. They play their spiritual music with a rock band and full scale light show. They play to the beat of the world and the music is so loud it digs into your brain.

Then preachers like Heidi Baker are digging demons out of your children’s heads by having them wiggling on the floor and screaming. There is no scripture to support such a view even though they are part of the Acts 29 movement that literally makes anything goes possible.

This group believes that the apostolic gifts were restored to the church in 2002 despite no scriptural evidence for what they are doing. Stay far away from the occultist teaching and music of Bethel Church.

A Typical Worship Service

I remember an usher stopping by me as an organ prelude was playing. He asked me if there was anything wrong with the music. I supposed that he was not used to an open Bible during the prelude at that church.i told the usher that the music was glorious which aided in the scriptures I was reading to put me into the frame of worship that morning.

What did I think that particular service? I was surprised at the congregational only singing of the three hymns which I would recommend all churches do without the choirs. Make a joyful noise before the Lord!   The processional hymn ushered in the choir and participants in worship.

The church Pastor did everything besides the welcome. And, like most denominational pastors, he read the prayers verbatim. Where was the Spirits leading in prayer? There was no reading in either testament leading up to the sermon. But then the pastor also read his sermon. The Holy Spirit was missing in action at that service. Also missing was congregational participation.

What did you think about this worship service?

An Open Letter to Bobby Schuller

Bobby, when I first heard You Preach at the Crystal Cathedral about the sins of omission and commission I was very impressed with your biblical approach. You mentioned in your sermon that your grandfather would not preach on that subject and you are right. You appear so comfortable as a pastor then without a robe as you were designing your own Ministry on what you believe. You have also mentioned that you disagreed with your grandfather theologically. I also believe your initial approach caused your father to shed his robe. Now you look so uncomfortable in that robe and so unnatural. Please do not conform to The Hour of Power standards for Ministry. Your approach to scripture is fresh and encouraging and you don’t need a robe to accomplish that. If you disagreed with your grandfather theologically why are you wearing his robe? Become your own pastor. Your grandfather may have been famous but he did not stand on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Your father when he became pastor changed the direction of the cathedral for the better. He began to use more scripture than your grandfather ever did. You have an excellent choir director who is very scriptural. You need to take charge of your ministry and do as you were doing before your grandfather’s robe. The one you are intent on pleasing is not your grandfather but instead Jesus Christ. Theologically your grandfather was dead wrong so as Paul said, imitate me as I imitate the Lord Jesus Christ. As the prophet Haggai said, CONSIDER YOUR WAYS.

True Worship

I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the peace offerings of your fattened animals, I will not look upon them. Take away from me the noise of. your songs; to the melody of your harps I will not listen.

Israel’s lifestyle is not right with God and despite all the externals that the people were doing, He wanted their lifestyle to reflect their worship. And he was not the only prophet that felt this way. I am reminded of a friend who was going to church with me. I stopped by his house to pick him up but he left early for choir practice. His wife said she was not going to church that morning while wearing sunglasses. She took them off and I observed two black eyes. My ex-friend gave her two black eyes before going to church to worship God in songs of praise. That is why it said, Take away from me the noise of your songs. What happened here was not true worship. My friend thought he could put on a choir robe and everything would be alright for worship. Jeremiah said in essence that you can’t live like Hell 6 days a week and then come to church on Sunday as if nothing were wrong. This point is interesting as God does not dwell in buildings made with hands. Bonanza star, Lorne Greene once sang. Oh the place where I worship are the wide open spaces built by the hand of the Lord. Worship comes from the heart not the place you’re in. Worship God in spirit and in truth for the father is seeking such to worship Him. Is that how you are worshipping God?

Praise Dancing in Worship

My church when I was growing up had little children dancing ballet during processional hymns in front of the choir. Their only appearance was in leading the choir and as soon as the choir headed for the loft the children ceased dancing. Dancers are always found in the Old Testament as both a means of praise and also of decadence. Pentecostal churches use dance often as a means of praise. When Jesus gave instruction on prayer could also apply to dance. If the dance is to praise the performer then it should not be allowed. It should also be a short duration. The focus is on worship and not performance. Applause should not be allowed. Prayer and praise are to God and not individual performances.

Dancing can get out of hand and if that should happen it should be eliminated from worshipf. Will it stimulate young men? Rick Warren introduced hula dancers into worship at his church and caused all sorts of problems with young people. Eliminating the lust of the eye is crucial especially involving an element of worship. Even today I would find no argument in having young ballerinas leading the choir in a professional hymn and then disappearing from sight. It would be a worshipful experience and limited. Remember that the dancing in the Old Testament was in Israel’s program and not the body of Christ. God is not the author of confusion so let everything be done decently and in order.

Triune Truth – 4

From the onset, Jesus is known as the truth in both texts. He is the conduit to the Father. He is the PERSON OF JESUS CHRIST. God seeks people who worship Him in spirit and in truth. For God is a Spirit and those that worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth. WORSHIP GOD, for He testifies of Jesus Christ, the Spirit of prophecy. HE IS THE PERSON OF GOD.Jesus said He would send us another Comforter. He would guide us into all truth. HE IS THE PERSON OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. 

Why do we need all this truth?1st John 1:7- There are three that bear witness in heaven, THE FATHER, THE WORD, AND THE HOLY SPIRIT and these three are ONE.

In Part 5 the conclusion to this series. Until next time ponder this equation in the light of the Fruit of the Spirit. 9& 3=