Saturday, June 30, 2012


I've been reading Preston Eby's Bible study on the book of Revelation, called "From the Candlestick to the Throne." In part 124 (and yes...years into it...he is still only at Rev. 11:1) where it talks about measuring the temple... Anyhow, I wanted to keep this writing on WORSHIP, so I decided to clip and paste this chunk from the middle of his paper...and post it just as P.E. has written it. I have often thought of writing a song based on Isaiah 29:13 "... this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me..." This is fairly long I guess...but in a nutshell...worship is not just singing a little song or saying nice things about God... Worship is about spiritual prostration... subordination...about living and moving and having our being in God our Father. I hope this can stand alone....without having read the previous 123 parts of the study...I think it does...but I've read the rest...Anyhow...begin quote now:
In this hour the glory of the Lord is filling HIS TEMPLE! In sons there is coming expression of the true ministry of priesthood before God and unto God. God is raising up within His chosen ones an establishment of worship in the Spirit and by the Spirit. Men have done all sorts of things and called it worship! Rituals, ceremonies, liturgies, singing, lifting up the hands, loud praises, shouting, and dancing have all been accepted as worship unto the Lord. I do not mean to say that those things are not of God. But God is doing a new thing! The command has gone forth, “Rise, and measure the altar!” God would have us examine all our religious concepts of worship, lay the plum-line upon them, take the reed like unto a rod and assess the very essence of them, and learn by the Spirit what true worship is! No longer shall it be contingent upon a gathering of people, no longer shall it be an outward show, a response to the command of men to stand, sing, raise the hands, clap, dance, speak in tongues, and praise the Lord, but it shall be worship that springs and flows from the inner sanctum of our inner son, ignited and energized by the fire of God upon the altars of our own hearts. It shall never draw attention to the worshipper, or to worship itself, or be dictated by man, for if man must coax and coach and manipulate then it is not true worship, not in the spirit and not by the spirit. Oh, yes, there is a worship that glorifies the Lord in the heavenly places of the Spirit. How our hearts yearn for this! Many have found themselves cut off and devoid of everything they once thought was worship, and this has led to some questionings about what their spiritual status is, but fear not, my beloved. What you thought was worship probably was not true worship at all; do not lust after the leeks and garlic of Egypt! They are pleasant and taste good, but they are the food of the house of bondage. The Lord is cutting off all former realms, everything we thought to be worship, and leaving us void that we might finally recognize by the “measure of the altar” the true worship that is born of the very spirit of sonship! All the former heavens we have dwelt in are rolling up as a scroll, and we are even now being ushered into a new heaven with a brand new atmosphere of HIS presence and glory. Aren’t you glad! Well did Ray Prinzing set forth some of the principles of this “measuring of the altar” when he wrote, “For sure, the church realm moves on a soulish level, be it a charismatic realm, or more fundamental. All their worship appeals to the ascetic sense of the soul, stimulating the intellect, or stirring up the emotions, enhanced by the will of the leader manipulating the will of the congregation to sing, shout, dance, or whatever they propose for them to do. This does not necessarily mean that the soul realm is sinful or wrong, but it does signify that we need to be FULLY JOINED TO THE HOLY SPIRIT, if we are to bring forth fruit to His honor and praise. “True discernment can keep us from becoming involved with just a ‘form of godliness’ which is devoid of the power of God. If it is only a soulish emotion that is stirred, there will be no power in it. For example, the repeated singing of a chorus — does it sing its way into your spirit, until you become lost in adoration and worship to God? Or, does it only stir your emotions to become a soulish song and dance which satisfies the flesh? We do not criticize soulish manifestations, if they are used to lead on into a deeper realm, but they must not be substituted for the pure moving of the holy Spirit. There is no good substitute for the anointing! An understanding heart is also vitally needed to discern between what is ‘will worship’ and that which is truly the outflow of the spirit within. Colossians 2:23 speaks of ‘a show of wisdom in will worship.’ Far too many of our religious expressions are only a form of WILL WORSHIP. By that we mean, either someone else willed you to do it, or else you set your own will in that direction as a means of obtaining favor with God, hoping to become more spiritual, or for some other reason. “Whenever a form, ritual, or ceremony is devoid of His life, will-worship takes over — a manipulative control with rigid regulations. We become a performer, according to the will of man, rather than a worshipper of God. Thus, as one man well stated, ‘Much of our worship time is nothing more than a ‘happy hour’ in which the participants can enjoy a good time.’ A contrived plan is brought out, who will lead, what songs will be sung, how the tempo will be increased, and we are on our way — programmed according to the will of man! We can sing all our favorite songs or choruses, clap our hands, dance, shout, and have an emotional spree that is carefully orchestrated by the will of the leader, so that we laugh or weep or worship according to their psychological design, and the flow of the music. But where, in all of this will-worship have we really worshipped in spirit and in truth Him who is King of kings and Lord of Lords? The will of man must be surrendered to the will of God! “It has been well stated that you can praise the Lord from your memory circuits, as you recall His wonderful works, but you can only worship Him when you are conscious of His presence. Worship demands the presence of the one being worshipped! And there is that recognizing that He is with us in every hour of our day, so that at any given moment there might rise from our spirit a flow of adoration and worship to Him. ‘In Him we live and move and have our being.’ Therefore we can worship Him right where we are! It does not require a formal arrangement, cathedral, stained glass windows, padded pews, soft organ music so that we begin to create an atmosphere which we think lends itself to a form of worship” — end quote. To sit at His feet means to be a worshipper. It is much more than drawing nigh to God with our mouth and pouring forth beautiful expressions of praise or impassioned petitions. “The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him” (Jn. 4:23). The emphasis in this passage is not on worship, but on TRUE WORSHIPPERS. I do not hesitate to tell you that much of the so-called spiritual worship in this hour is in fact idolatrous, for many have made an idol of worship, they worship the beauty and glory and thrill of worship, rather than worshipping the Father. But true worshippers are true worshippers because they do not worship for the ecstasy that comes to them, but in spirit and in truth it is all directed UNTO HIM ALONE. To worship “in spirit and in truth” means to worship out of our spirit in reality. What we do or say is not of prime importance. What we ARE is the thing that matters, for out of a state of being comes our doing. The Holy Spirit cried through the prophet, “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth and honoreth me with their lips: but their heart is far from me. But in vain do they worship me…” It is not sufficient to worship God as an act. If you are not in your state of being a true worshipper, your worship is vanity, matters not one whit how beautiful or spiritual it may appear or sound; it is not in spirit and in truth because it is not originating out of your spirit and is not proceeding out of a state of being. “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, hypocrites” (Mat. 15:7). A hypocrite cannot worship God, matters not how high he raises his hands, how loudly he claps, or how expressive the words, it takes a worshipper to worship God! God is looking for those who have become true worshippers. “This people shall be unto me for a praise, a name, and a glory.” The man born blind whom Jesus healed, with wisdom and understanding declared, “If any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth His will, him He heareth” (Jn. 9:31). He did not say, “If any man worships God,” but, “If any man be a worshipper.” What a word that is! God heareth not sinners, he said, but if any man BE A WORSHIPPER OF GOD AND DOETH HIS WILL, HE HEARETH HIM. Multitudes of people daily “worship” God, but only a few ARE WORSHIPPERS! The simple truth is, it is impossible to worship God externally! Oh, yes, one may go through the physical motions of singing, shouting, prostrating the body, and many other physical actions, but that does not mean he is worshipping. God is a spirit, Jesus said, and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. Those are the only two “places” where the Father may be worshipped! Abraham is a classic example of a true worshipper. There arrived for the faithful patriarch that most solemn of days in which the voice of the Almighty fell upon his attentive ear, commanding, “Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt-offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of” (Gen. 22:2). Though this command filled Abraham’s heart with pain, yet he would not be as surprised to receive it as a father would in our day; for such offerings were very common among all those people in the land where Abraham sojourned. Abraham, being strong in faith, never for one moment doubted or disobeyed God’s word. He knew that Isaac was the child whom God had promised, and that God had promised, too, that Isaac should have children, and that those coming from Isaac should become a great nation and a company of nations. He did not see how God could fulfill His promise with regard to Isaac, if Isaac should be slain as an offering: unless, indeed, God should raise him up from the dead afterward, a thought which Abraham’s unwavering faith did not discount. But Abraham undertook at once to obey God’s command! He took two young men with him and an ass laden with wood for the fire; and he went toward the mountain in the north, little Isaac his son walking by his side. For two days they journeyed, sleeping under the trees at night in the open country. And on the third day, Abraham saw the mountain far away. As they drew near to the mountain, Abraham said to the young men, “Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you” (Gen. 22:5). Ah! He did not say, “I and the lad will go yonder and offer up a sacrifice,” but “we will go yonder and WORSHIP.” So great was His faith in God’s promise that Abraham declared, “and WE (Isaac and I) will come again to you.” He took the wood from the ass and placed it on Isaac, and the two walked up the mountain together. As they were walking, Isaac said, “Father, here is the wood, but where is the lamb for the offering?” And Abraham replied, “My son, God will provide Himself a lamb.” And they came to the place on top of the mountain. There Abraham built an altar of stones and earth heaped up, and on it he placed the wood. Then he took Isaac and tied his hands and feet, and laid him on the wood on the altar. And Abraham lifted up his hand, holding a knife to kill his son. A moment longer, and Isaac would be slain by his own father’s hand. But just at that moment the angel of the Lord out of heaven called to Abraham, and said, “Abraham! Abraham!” And Abraham answered, “Here I am, Lord.” Then the angel of the Lord said, “Do not lay your hand upon your son. Now I know that you love God more than you love your only son, since you are ready to give up your son, your only son, to God.” The message is clear — Abraham WORSHIPPED GOD in the offering up of Isaac! The “measuring rod” applied to Abraham’s action reveals that he was indeed a true worshipper! When called on to offer up his son, he did it as an act of worship. He prostrated himself, not physically, but in his spirit he bowed low before the will of the Lord. He worshipped! He never raised his hands, sang, clapped, shouted praises, or danced, but his offering up of Isaac was an act of true worship in the presence of God! Worship is from the Hebrew word shahah meaning “to bow down, to prostrate,” and from the Greek proskyneo meaning “to prostrate, do obeisance to.” Worship is the honor, reverence, and homage paid to superior beings and powers, and to God. It is not words at all, but an attitude, a state of being, a reverent and submissive bending to God’s will. It is not what you are doing that matters most, but the spirit behind your action. You can pray for something and it can be just a selfish, proud, egotistical thing. Or it can be an act of worship to God. It is worship when it is GOD’S WILL you seek, that His kingdom might be brought to pass in the earth! When David brought the ark to Jerusalem according to the word of the Lord, he worshipped the Lord in the beauty of holiness (I Chron. 16:29). Why did David have to go back for the ark twice? Because the first time it was not an act of worship. It was an act of triumph: he was somewhat arrogant because they were conquering their enemies! If it was worship they would have brought the ark according to God’s way, but they thought, If the Philistines can haul it on a cart, we can do the same. They were carelessly and thoughtlessly doing it their way, and so God smote them. But later David worshipped the Lord in the beauty of holiness, because he reverently brought the ark back according to the Lord’s command: on the shoulders of the Levites and rejoicing in the presence of the Lord! When Job, that mighty man of the East, received the evil tidings that his sons and daughters were dead, and all his possessions lost, “Then Job arose and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped” (Job 1:20). I’m sure this wasn’t that beautiful, melodious high-sounding worshipful praise we hear in church meetings today, which we call worship! But Job bowed submissively and reverently before the will of God — and he worshipped. If Job had been a complainer, he would have complained. If Job had been a backbiter, he would have backbitten. If Job had been a curser, he would have cursed. If Job was rebellious, he would have rebelled. But Job was a worshipper, therefore he worshipped! He was a man, perfect and upright, one that feared (reverenced) God, and hated evil. That was the testimony of his state of being, which was a state of worship. We may be very congenial and lovable people, with an aura of spirituality surrounding our every movement, when you catch us in the right mood and under the proper circumstances; but when things start to happen as they did to Job, then whatever your state of being is, it will come out! Job fell on his face, and what he was was manifested: he was a worshipper, so he worshipped God! Ah, what would have been our first expression had we been in Job’s place? May God make us true worshippers! Anyone can draw nigh with their mouth and praise God, but it is vanity, a religious pretense if it is not proceeding from a state of being. God wants worship to be in spirit and in truth, which comes out of a worshipful nature: true worshippers worshipping the Father! Truly God is “measuring the altar” of worship this very hour in the life of every man and woman who has received the call to sonship! If there is no complete committal to God, then the offering up of our possessions will not be worship. “Though I give my body to be burnt,” says Paul, “if it is not an expression of my state of being as a worshipper, filled with divine love, it profits me nothing.” Our Father wants what comes out of every one of His sons to be an expression of what He is doing and of what He has wrought in us. True worship is an expression of our relationship with God, where everything within us is done for the glory and praise and honor of God. That is why it made no difference to God whether Jesus did carpentry work for a number of years, or healed the sick for three and a half years. Jesus was a worshipper! He came only to do the will of His Father whether that meant working or waiting, or winning or losing, or living or dying. The Father said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,” when all He had done was carpentry work for about thirty years! When the Father said that He was well pleased with His firstborn Son that Son had never preached a sermon, never taught a multitude, never performed a miracle, never healed a sick person, never raised any dead. Think of it! Can we not see by this that it is only in the spirit of worship that one can sit at the feet of the Father and receive from His great mind and heart the instruction and counsel of His will. May God make us such true worshippers that our walk will be worship! Take the shoes from off your feet, O saint of God, for the ground on which we stand is holy. The spiritual “temple mount” is the holy mount of God! The temple of God is a people. We miss so much vital truth by our careless thinking about the scriptures. Every stone in that temple is a living person, a son of God. We will understand a great mystery when we understand that every item in the temple of God is composed of people. The Holy of holies is a people. The ark of the covenant is a people. The holy place is a people. And now I want to say that the altar is a people! God has an altar people. The altar is the place of worship, and worship is not merely something we do, it is something we are. God is making us true worshippers. These true worshippers are the altar! And now God is measuring the altar. By His Spirit He is examining, investigating, inspecting, and assessing the spiritual condition and quality of His altar people. He is not measuring how melodiously, harmoniously, and sweet-soundingly we can “sing in the Spirit,” or how loud we can shout praises, or how long or articulately we can pray. We can go through all the forms of what we consider worship and never touch the essence of worship. So the Lord says, “Measure the altar, the altar is a people, it is not what they do, but what they are that must be measured!” Oh, yes! Now, my beloved, this brings us to an important thought. If you would measure the altar, don’t attempt to do so in a church meeting on Sunday morning! I don’t think anyone would deny that should you measure the altar in a meeting on Sunday morning you might get a false reading. A better time to measure the altar would be after the meeting, on the way home, when the kids are screaming in the car, the spouse is nagging, and the radiator overheats on the congested freeway. Don’t you think that would be a good time to measure the altar? You see, I find that even many “kingdom people” still go into a meeting and turn God on and turn God off. When the meeting starts they put on what Lynn Hiles has called their “precious Jesus face” and pour forth praises and worship, sing, speak in tongues, prophesy, exhort, and appear so very spiritual, but the moment the last “Amen” is said it is all promptly turned off and they become as another person. A church magazine contained a beautiful picture of a congregation at worship. The children wore smiles. All the mothers and fathers were singing as if they had been made for nothing else. All the grandfathers looked like saints. All the grandmothers beamed, as if it was Mother’s Day. Meanwhile, all the young women looked as if they never had a worldly thought or care. All the young men looked as if they had just made a vow to enter seminary. The choir members wore robes and angelic expressions. The picture, sad to say, was posed. No congregation looks like that! Even so, none of us should have to be told to smile because we are on God’s candid camera. The truth is, however, that oft times the way we appear among the Lord’s people is but a facade. God is measuring His altar, and He is tearing away all our masks; but, thank God, He is also bringing forth in us the true image of His Son. There is light appearing in the face of God’s Christ! You see, dear saint of God, the true character of any person is revealed by the opposing character of another person or circumstance. Not one of us knows what is in us, until someone comes and says or does something to us, that will bring out that hidden characteristic within. It makes no difference what people say about themselves or how spiritual they appear to be. It matters not how loudly they may affirm that natural things do not bother them; if there is carnality or evil lurking within their nature, an opposing character will immediately bring it to the surface. So we can never know the real, true nature of any man until something comes along to oppose him. When everything goes according to ones desire or will, then everyone around that person sees only their “better side.” Nothing ever ruffles them or disturbs them, because they are constantly having their own way, getting what they want. But just let something cross them and the trouble begins! When you see the brother or sister in the church service, you see only the best part of them. Everyone is only sweetness and goodness. The ministers are so gracious and kind, the husbands and wives are so nice to each other and to the children. But just walk unexpectedly into the home on Monday morning, or come into the breakfast circle and you will find out how things are going. Or let someone abuse them, swindle them, cheat them, sell them a car that is a lemon, take advantage of them, steal from them, insult them, falsely accuse them, misuse them — ah, it is time to measure the altar! END QUOTE

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