The Study of Worship


Traditionalchurch

STUDY OF WORSHIP

Pastor A. J. Watkins M. Div.

Strong’s Concordance, James Moffet, Greek Lexicon

King James Translation & Bibliography Included

Simonton Genesis Ministries Inc. © 2014

WORSHIP. The act of paying honor to a deity; religious reverence and homage. The rendering of the following Heb. and Gk. words:

1. Heb. shaha (to “bow down”), to prostrate oneself before another in order to do him honor and reverence (Gen 22:5; etc.). This mode of salutation consisted in falling upon the knees and then touching the forehead to the ground (19:1; 42:6; 48:12; 1 Sam 25:41; etc., often rendered “bowed”). It is, however, used specifically to bow down before God; spoken of worship rendered to God, and also to false gods (Gen 22:5; Ex 24:1; 33:10; Judges 7:15; Job 1:20; Ps 22:27; 86:9).

2. Aram. segid (to “fall down”), spoken of in connection with idol worship; to fall down in adoration of idols (Dan 3:5-6,10-12,14-15,28); in honor of a man, as of Daniel (Dan 2:46).

3. Heb. `asab (to “carve, labor”), to serve an idol, as in Jer 44:19; or according to others, to fashion her, i.e., the image (see Orelli, Com., ad loc.).

4. The Gk. words thus rendered are: proskuneo, properly to “kiss the hand to (toward) one,” in token of reverence; also by kneeling or prostration to do homage-the word most frequently used in the NT; sebomai, to “revere” a deity (Matt 15:9; Mark 7:7; Acts 18:13; 19:27). Proselytes of the gate are called worshipers of God (sebomene ton theon, 16:14; 18:7), or simply “devout persons” (tois sebomenois, 17:17, “God-fearing”). latreuo (to “serve”) in the NT means to render religious service or honor and in the strict sense to perform sacred services, to offer gifts, to worship God in the observance of the rites instituted for His worship (Heb 10:2; 9:9). Ethelothreskeia (“voluntary worship”), i.e., worship that one devises and prescribes for himself, contrary to the contents and nature of the faith that ought to be directed to Christ; used for the misdirected zeal and practices of ascetics (Col 2:23). Therapeuo to “do service,” as in Acts 17:25.

General Observations. It is as natural to worship as it is to live. The feeling and expression of high adoration, reverence, trust, love, loyalty, and dependence upon a higher power, human or divine, is a necessity to man. These sentiments, toward Country Pond  something or somebody, and whether real or imaginary, appeal to a greater or less degree to every man. And that something determines his worship. “Worship is as old as humanity. It has its root in a necessity of the human soul as native to it as the consciousness of God itself, which impels it to testify by word and act its love and gratitude to the Author of life and the Giver of all good” (Keil, Bib. Arch., p. 55).

Primitive Worship. We are not informed as to the nature of the worship rendered by our first parents. But we learn from earliest records that their sons were moved to present a portion of the product of their labor in sacrifice to God. Men as early as Enosh, the grandson of Adam (Gen 4:26), called upon the name of the Lord. In other words, the regular and solemn worship of God as Jehovah (i.e., as the God of salvation) was celebrated in word and act-with prayer and sacrifice. Max Muller says: “That feeling of sonship which distinguishes man from every other creature, and not only exalts him above the brute, but completely secures him against sinking into a purely physical state of being, that original intuition of God, and that consciousness of his being dependent upon a higher power, can only be the result of a primitive revelation in the most literal sense of the word.” This view is held by Schelling. The other view is that worship cannot be traced to a divine source; that the original condition of the human family was of an extremely rude and imperfect character; and that fetishism, being the lowest form of religion, was also the earliest and that for this Rio Christreason we ought to regard religion, even in its most advanced forms, as springing originally from a barbarous fetishism. But the grounds upon which this opinion is based are weak in the extreme. “It would be nearer the truth to say that they are as divine as they are human in their origin, seeing that they are based upon the relation of man to God involved in his creation, and are evoked by a sense of the divine training and guidance under which he finds himself after his creation” (Keil, Bib. Arch., p. 56).

In primitive times the form of worship that Enoch introduced was still maintained, for Enoch “walked with God” (Gen 5:24). Noah was righteous before Him, expressing his gratitude by presenting burnt offerings (6:9; 8:20-21).

In a subsequent age God chose for Himself a faithful servant in the person of Abraham. He made him the depository of His revelation and the father and founder of His chosen people, who were destined to preserve the knowledge and worship of His name until the time when the Savior would come from their midst. While other nations multiplied their modes of worship according to the political constitution that they adopted and to suit the number and variety of their duties, they devised a corresponding variety of ritual, with a large priesthood and a multitude of sacred observances. But Abraham and the posterity born to him preserved a simple form of worship, as became shepherds and in keeping with the revelation imparted to them. Wherever they pitched their tents for any length of time they built altars in order that, in compliance with ancient usage, they might call upon the name of the Lord (12:7-8; 13:4,18; etc.). Those altars were, doubtless, simple mounds (Heb. bamot)
composed of earth and stone, and the animals sacrificed upon them consisted of those that were edible (i.e., clean), taken from the fold.

We have no information regarding the particular ceremonies observed in connection with these sacrifices. But it is probable that prayer was offered by the patriarchs in person, who were in the habit of discharging the priestly functions. The offerings were for the most part burnt offerings, i.e., offerings that were entirely consumed upon the altar, although instances are given of a portion of the sacrifice being reserved for use in the sacrificial feasts. In the selection of animals for sacrifices the patriarchs were probably guided by the directions given to Abraham (15:9); the way in which the sacrifice of Isaac terminated (22:12-13) must have shown that the animal sacrificed was to be regarded merely as a symbol of the heart’s devotion to God. Whether these sacrifices were offered at regular intervals or on special occasions (see Job 1:5), we cannot say.

Besides altars, memorial stones (Heb. massebot) were erected by the patriarchs on spots where God had favored them with special revelations. Drink offerings were poured upon them (Gen 28:18,22; 35:14). The narrative of Jacob’s vow (2:20-22) tells of his promise that, if God would watch over him, supply his wants, and bring him back in safety, he would acknowledge Jehovah as his God, consecrate the pillar he had set up and make it a house of God, and render to Jehovah a tenth of all his income. He excluded strange gods from his house (35:1-4). After due preparation on the part of his household, he built an altar at Bethel.

To the above-mentioned forms of worship, the rite of circumcision was added. In obedience to a divine order, and as a token of the covenant that Jehovah made with him, Abraham performed this rite upon himself and the male members of his household, commanding his posterity that it was an inviolable obligation (Gen 17:1-14,23-27). Nothing further is known regarding the forms of worship that prevailed among the patriarchs.

Mosaic. When Israel became a nation with an organized civil government, in order to fulfill its divine mission it was necessary that its religious affairs should also be remodeled and that the character and style of its worship should be fixed and regulated by positive divine enactments. This did not necessitate an entirely new system of worship, since they were to serve and honor the God of their fathers. Therefore the worship introduced by Moses was grafted on that of Israel’s ancestors. It was improved and perfected only as the circumstances of the Israelites as a confederacy of tribes or a monarchy seemed to require, with such forms and ceremonies as would further Israel’s divinely appointed mission. This object was further secured by the Mosaic ritual, inasmuch as it embraced all the essential elements of a complete system of worship. It gave precise directions as to the place of worship, with its structure and arrangements, instituting a distinct order of sacred functions, prescribing the religious ceremonies, fixing the sacred seasons and the manner in which they were to be observed.

This system bore the stamp of genuine worship. It was framed by Moses in accordance with revelation and recognized Jehovah as the true God. Nor is it a vital objection to its being true worship on the grounds that it had a material and Bible Pulpitsensuous character and that many of its forms and ceremonies were similar to the rituals of pagan religions. These facts have been variously misconstrued and have been taken advantage of for the purpose of disparaging the origin and character of the Mosaic worship. It is true that the Mosaic worship embodies itself, for the most part, in outward forms and ceremonies, for one can only give expression to his relation to his Creator through corporeal media. Religious thought and feeling can express themselves only in word and act, and therefore forms are necessary in every kind of worship. And being copies or impressions of religious ideas, they must have an allegorical or symbolical character.

Further, the religion of the OT is monotheism, in contradiction to the polytheism of heathen nations. Jehovah is represented not only as the only true God, not merely as the almighty Creator, Preserver, and Governor of the world and every creature; not simply as the eternal, absolute Spirit, the good and merciful One who has destined man to enjoy the felicity of life that springs from personal fellowship with Himself. But He is also pictured as the omnipresent and near One watching over all His creatures, to keep the weak and distressed. He seeks to conduct those who have wandered from Him back to the fountain of life. He selected for Himself, from degenerate humanity, a race to be in a special sense His people and to whom He, in a special sense, would be God, with the purpose of saving the world. This is accompanied with such directions for the regulations of their life, that, if accepted and complied with, Israel would become to Jehovah “My own possession among all the peoples” (Ex 19:5-6), “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”

Christian. The church of Christ is not only His representative body on earth, it is also the temple of divine service continuing and perfecting the worship of the past. This service includes offerings presented to God and blessings received from Him. The former embraces the entire ordinance of worship, with its nature, reasons, and observances; the latter embraces the means of grace, common prayer, the Word, and the sacraments. These, however, are really one, and their relations to each other as one are of great importance. Both require for their realization the institution of the evangelical ministry. The worship of the The doorChristian church may be regarded in its divine principles and in its human arrangements. As to the former, its object is the revealed Trinity; its form is mediatorial, through the incarnate Son, by the Holy Spirit; its attributes are spirituality, simplicity, purity, and reverent decorum; its seasons are preeminently the Lord’s Day and all times of holy assembly. As to the latter, it is left to the congregation itself to determine the minor details, according to the pattern shown in the Scripture.

As an institute of worship the church of Christ has its ordinary channels for the communication of the influences of the Holy Spirit to the souls of men, namely, the means of grace; the supreme means are the Word and prayer. Special attention is also called to the sacraments (which see) of baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: W. D. Maxwell, A History of Christian Worship (1936); O. Cullmann, Early Christian Worship (1953); R. P. Martin, Worship in the Early Church (1974); R. B. Allen, Praise! A Matter of Life and Breath (1980); R. G. Rayburn, O Come Let Us Worship (1980); R. B. Allen and G. L. Borror, Worship: Rediscovering the Missing Jewel (1982).

A. J.  “therightrevrhino” Watkins M.Div.

And You Call Yourself a Christian.

This message is penned and spoken to remind us of what being a Christian really is all about. It is about more than just going to a church service, saying a few prayers, playing music, singing songs, listening to the minister, and donating money.  Listen in and be enlightened for Father’s Day.

Click here:  And You Call Yourself A Christian

Close Encounters of the Worst Kind

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE WORST KIND

ACTS 19:10-17

CHARLES EARDMAN & MATTHEW HENRY COMMENTARIES UTILIZED

COPYRIGHT FEBRUARY 2009

The great movie director Steven Spielberg made a major impact on the Hollywood scene over thirty-two years ago with a movie entitled “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.”  He produced this film in 1977.  It consisted of a five note musical motif.  This movie was a portrayal of mankind being accepted into the scheme of life by other life forces.  The main character, Roy, was so caught up in the encounter that he lost his family and his friends thought he was “off of his rocker”.  After Laughlin recognizes a signal from outer space as a set of geographical coordinates pointing to Devils Tower, all parties begin to converge on Wyoming. The United States Army evacuates the area, using false reports that a train wreck has spilled highly dangerous nerve gas, all the while preparing a landing zone for the first human contact with the UFOs and their occupants. While the other humans drawn to the site are unable to reach Devils Tower (one of them who escaped with Roy and Gillian was hit by a sleeping drug), Roy and Gillian persist and make it to the site as dozens of UFOs appear. The enormous mother ship lands at the sight returning people who had been abducted over the years, including Barry. With an understanding of peace between the two civilizations, Roy is taken onboard the ship as an ambassador from Earth, and one of the UFO occupants comes out to greet the humans. Lacombe communicates with it by using the hand signs (using the Kodály Method) that are used to create the five tones in the human contact. The UFO occupant does the same and smiles before it boards back on the ship, which then lifts off.

In our text, we find the great Apostle Paul working diligently in Athens, Greece.  He is preaching and teaching that Jesus saves.  He is beginning to climb toward the pinnacle of his ministry.  He is freshly converted on the Damascus road and running full speed ahead for Jesus, instead of against Jesus.  He was encountering quite a bit of resistance from various philosophers at the time.  However, he continued to teach about Jesus.  Even though they were disputing him in the school of Tyrannus, Paul taught lessons on Jesus in spite of their divisions in the school.  Some in that school were with the traditional Jews and the laws and others sided with the Apostles.

Nevertheless, we see that Paul continued the Lord’s work.  His work was blessed by God.  All of his encounters with various diseases and debates were wrought out as Miracles by God through Paul.  The book reads that handkerchiefs and aprons were brought to him from those in need and upon his touching them, the sickness and evil spirits from those that the articles belonged to were dispersed and they were healed.

Paul worked regardless of the “haters” in the city.  A group of “vagabond” Jews saw this work and wanted a part of the recognition that Paul was receiving from the people.  The text tells us that they went and attempted to command an evil spirit to relinquish the control it had on upon an unnamed individual.  They did not say in the name of Jesus we command you to come out.  They stated by Jesus whom Paul preached about we adjure you to come out.  They were addressed by that spirit in such a way, that it showed that they did not believe in God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.  So the spirit stated that it knew Paul and Jesus but it did not recognize them and it jumped on them and wounded them and whooped them into the street naked.

They had a close encounter of the worst kind.  They encountered something that was truly stronger than their “so-called” faith.  They encountered a demoniac. They encountered embarrassment.  They encountered a debilitating situation that ruined their reputation in the Jewish and Greek community.  They could never recover from the shame and injury to their egos, body, and mind.  They were whipped and left in that dilemma and seven sons went away possessed and lost in their own thoughts.

My brothers and sisters we need to be careful of our encounters with various churches, church folk, individuals, fellow employees, and just general day to day people as we go through our daily lives.  We need to be careful of our encounters because they can be deceiving.  We need to be mindful of our encounters because they can be demonic.  We need to be aware of our encounters when they transpire because they can be debilitating.

In our first point, we must be careful how we allow various acquaintances, business partners, and others to enter into our sacred refuge of innermost thoughts.  People will act as if they are concerned about you when you have an immediate problem.  You find that they only wanted to get your trust for something they want from you.  That is deception.  People tell you their issues that they have with another person cross-town and when you give your insight, they take it back to the person that they were talking to you about.  You find that they were conspiring to get you caught up in gossip.  That is deception.  You go and lie about your income tax knowing that you don’t have any more dependents.  That is deception.  You get up in church and tell people about a situation that you heard someone else go through, but you place yourself in the situation so that you can get sympathy.  That is deception.  You have done some good things in the community and you utilize those things in the past to get what you want out of people.  That is deception.  You have been blessed abundantly, but you want unmerited recognition for your efforts like the vagabond Jews.  That is deception.  You walk around town with your head held a little too high because you feel that you are the only spiritual advisor that can tell people how to conduct church business at a church you don’t even pastor while yours is slowly going down because of your unscrupulous behavior in the community.  That is deception.  Be careful of those that are running games brothers and sisters because they are out to deceive you into supporting their hidden agendas.

We must be aware of deceptive people because they have a demonic attitude that arises from time to time.  Mostly in the presence of God’s people is where this attitude arises.  A preacher enters into the church and is known for being able to deliver God’s word in a concise and timely manner.  You see the individual come in and your entire countenance and demeanor change.  That is demonic because you are jealous.  A singer stands to minister in song and you barely sing up in the choir stand because you do not like their voice.  That is demonic because you are selfish.  A deacon prays a soul stirring prayer and you keep your eyes on them while they’re praying and cussing under your breath about how long the prayer has taken to be prayed.  That is demonic because you are spiritually lifeless.  People attack you in your home church because you do not attend because you are growing in God.  That is demonic because they are blind.  Your friend attempts to get with your husband or wife after getting to know you both.  That is demonic because they are lustful.  You are practicing homosexuality and lesbianism (experimenting) under cover hoping that the folks in church do not find out.  That is demonic because you are confused.  You get mad at the pastor because he will not let you run wild in the church.  That is demonic because you are one-sided.  You are tipping around the county dating four other individuals besides your spouse.  That is demonic because you are a nymphomaniac.  No one can say anything to you because you are “always right” and if they say something you cuss them out in the church yard.  That is demonic because you are egotistical.  A person stands before you to address the congregation with well wishes and you sit with a dirty look on your face because they have not come to you for your limited advice and you have embarrassed yourself by volunteering information that they did not ask to receive.  Your people see you and question your ministry.  That is demonic because you are seeking self-aggrandizement.  You fail to get to know people for who they are and not what they possess.  Be careful of your encounters with demonic spirits because they will remain calm until you get them all stirred up and you may find yourself fighting for your dignity, reputation, and your life.

Lastly, you want to watch the close encounters because they are worse when they snatch you into the middle of things. The text states in verse 16, “And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.”  Your encounters can be debilitating as stated before.  You are in the process of getting into affairs of others without an invitation and you find yourself trying to explain your way out.  That is debilitating.  People want to take over your ministry and have no vision.  They get into the position, but do nothing because of lack of training.  That is debilitating.  You feel you can do better than those that have been around for a little while.  You approach people the same way that those in position do only to find that you are not respected but laughed at.  That is debilitating to your ego.  A spouse finds out that he or she is not the only one, but one of many.  That is debilitating.  The child is on the streets hustling because they want fast money.  That is debilitating.  Teenage daughters are sleeping with the step father or with mom’s man.  That is debilitating.  Men are getting young teenage girls pregnant.  That is debilitating.  Husbands and wives are swapping partners at various functions.  That is debilitating.  Churches have teenage pregnancies, gang violence, and drug addicts in the neighborhood and ignore the problem.  That is debilitating.  Mothers and Fathers are allowing the children and the system to tell them how to run the house.  That is debilitating.  Churches allow anyone living any old type of way to be placed in leadership positions in the ministry.  That is debilitating.  A man or a woman is charged with a felony and America will not forgive them even after serving their time.  They judge them in the job market.  They judge them in the real estate market.  They get frustrated and return to what got them locked up in the first place.  That is debilitating.

Debilitating encounters can make you look good on the outside and in mental and spiritual anguish on the inside.  Encounters such as these tear families apart.  Encounters such as these rip a church to pieces.  Encounters such as these will impair the progression of God’s Kingdom because the leader is faithless and the demon has deceived and now attacked the faithless believer and you are in a debilitating situation that only God can fix.  Encounters such as these leave you feeling empty after service.  You feel empty at home.  You feel empty at work.  Encounters such as these will cause you to question your own integrity.  You will question your own faith in God.  You will even question God about things that God has already brought you through.

However, we serve a mighty God.  An encounter with God like the one Paul had on the road to Damascus will change your attitude.  The scripture states, “And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on the m all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.”  You see Paul had Jesus and Jesus had Paul.  Through the aid of the Holy Ghost, that evil spirit taught a lesson to all of them and to us.  If you encounter anyone or anything and you are not sincere and prayed up, you will have an unpleasant experience.  Yet God, in his magnificent wisdom knows how to make all of your encounters pleasant and in most cases a lot less painful.  When you get to know God and have a sincere encounter with God, your life will not and cannot be the same.  The closer the encounter with God, the sweeter your life will become.  Your blessings will never cease.  Your confidence will remain strong.  Your humility will overshadow your talents.

An encounter with God will allow you to overcome obstacles that you encounter that are there to slow you down.  You will realize and you will begin to tell the world, like Paul did, that Jesus lived, died and rose, ascended, and is interceding for us every day.  You will tell people that you encounter that…

When I fall, He lifts me up.  When I fail, He forgives me.  When I am weak, He strengthens me.  When I am lost, He shows me the way.  When I am afraid, He is my courage.  When I stumble, He steadies me.  When I am broken, He mends me.  When I am hurt, He heals me.  When I am blind, He leads me.  When I face trials, He is with me.  When I face persecution, He shields me.  When I face loss, He provides for me.  When I face death, He will carry me on home.  Jesus is a close encounter of the worst kind for the devil and his demons. The reason is because that encounter counteracts all that you used to do.  All you used to say.  That encounter requires effort on your part to meet the Lord and say I give up it is in your hands.  That encounter causes you growing pains.  That encounter causes you to become submissive, prayerful, and poised for your next level of success.