Worship In Spirit And Truth

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Sun 7th February 2016 – Kobus Swart

Heb. 9:8-9 (Amplified); (2 Sam. 6:1-11); Ps. 137:1-4;
John 4:21-23; Col. 3:16; 2 Sam. 23:1-2; 
(Ps. 109:4);
14:23; Isa. 66:1-2; Rev. 19:1-6

In Hebrews 9 the Tabernacle of Moses is described with one or two significant differences from the Old Testament. The tabernacle of Moses had three courts: the outer court where all the sin sacrifices took place; the Holy Place with the lamp stand, the table of shew bread and the altar of incense and in the Holy of Holies, the Ark of the Covenant and what it means. Our personal history and journey with God as we migrate or advance from the outer court to spiritual maturity. In Hebrews 9 there is no mention of the outer court; the reason is very simple: Jesus came as the once for all sacrifice. There is no need to dwell in the outer court with sin consciousness. The other significant difference is that the altar of incense in no longer in the inner court, it is found in the Holy of Holies which simply means that the entrance into the Holy of Holies is made possible by worship and prayer.

However what God is restoring today is the fallen Tabernacle of David. In other words what we find in Hebrews 9 that the altar of incense is now in the Holy of Holies, that court actually becomes the Tabernacle of David.   By this the Holy Spirit signifies that the way into the Holy Place [the true Holy of Holies and the presence of God] has not yet been disclosed as long as the first or outer tabernacle is still standing as a recognized institution (Heb.9:8-9-Amp).

The Tabernacle of Moses was on Mount Gibeon which was not too far from Mount Zion but there was a valley between the two. So the Tabernacle of Moses was still functioning and the rituals were continuing while the Tabernacle of David was functioning as well. The Tabernacle of Moses without the Ark of God’s presence was extremely limited and there was something seriously lacking, and that was the presence of God. The Ark was now found in the tent, in the Tabernacle of David which had no courts. You can see the major difference between the old way of religion and God’s living way of walking with Him in this present time. These two tabernacles co-existed for quite for a long time. There is a difference between religion wherever it is practised and a living walk with God, a living relationship with God from which come real, genuine, authentic worship. What a major difference!

With every authentic revival, where God broke into the history of man, something happened, there was a particular breakthrough in worship and a new song was born. There was a new sound, a song of the Lord! An example is what happened in 1948 in Canada when a revival broke out when a group of students in a Bible college were praying. They were praying and fasting and seeking God for quite an extensive period when God broke into history, and a revival broke out. Out of that revival came many things. God interrupted history in response to serious prayer. Through that event God restored a better understanding of the five-fold ministry, personal ministry to people, plus worship in a whole new expression, and corporate worship which was then called ‘the heavenly choir’.

Sadly, it was found that the repetition of a mere form cannot bring life. The repetition of the form that used to work in a particular revival cannot necessarily bring new life. Often Babylonian confusion found its way into the Christian world and people were trapped. This is what happened to Israel while in Babylonian captivity: By the rivers of Babylon, There we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion. Upon the willows in the midst of it. We hung our harps. For there our captors demanded of us songs, And our tormentors mirth, saying, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion.” How can we sing the Lord’s song In a foreign land? (Ps. 137:1-4). It is a very sad picture which is being repeated often even in modern history.

This is what Jesus had to say about worship. “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers”  (John 4:21-23). He was breaking them out of old mind-sets. The ultimate desire of Jesus is that we no longer worship Him on a Baptist or Pentecostal or Catholic or a Charismatic “mountain” but rather in Spirit and in Truth.

Paul said: Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God (Col. 3:16). He said with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. What is a spiritual song? A spiritual song is a song that you never practiced or heard before and but at that moment you sing in the spirit the song of the Lord. We must break out of our ruts. How about some fresh sounds in the spirit of God? I want to encourage this household. It may include laughing, weeping, dancing, raising your hands or falling on your knees. Freedom of the spirit, free worship! Even in modern history we have seen history repeating itself, people getting stuck in patterns and the cloud of God moves on.

Onto a practical issue: do we have to choose between the professionalism of former times (robed choirs, processions, pipe organs), or professionalism of modern times (experts managing sounds systems, lighting, overhead projectors, computers)? Do we have to choose between the two? Not really, if the presence/glory of God is there, you do not have to choose. Older styles of worship are not necessarily less spiritual. True worship is a lifestyle.

 What does it mean to sing ‘the song of the Lord’ in a foreign land? (Ps.137:1-4). Here is the migration history of worship styles. Using the pattern of the Tabernacle of Moses – 1st level you are singing about God; 2nd level you are singing to God, 3rd level you are singing with God.   It is the incarnation principle.

WorshipMigrating through the different seasons is more than singing about God, or singing to God, it is singing with God.

There is a picture in the heavens of the final chapter of history. After these things I heard something like a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God; because His judgments are true and righteous; for He has judged the great harlot who was corrupting the earth with her immorality, and He has avenged the blood of His bond-servants on her.” And a second time they said, “Hallelujah! Her smoke rises up forever and ever.” And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sits on the throne saying, “Amen. Hallelujah!” And a voice came from the throne, saying, “Give praise to our God, all you His bond-servants, you who fear Him, the small and the great.” Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns” (Rev. 19:1-6). The corporate becomes one voice. This is one of many such Scriptures of what awaits us as we break out of this time space bubble into the heavenly realms which await us.