- Worship as God gave it to Adam
- The worship of Abraham
- Worship as God gave it in the Law of Moses
- Worship as Jesus gave it to the apostles
- The believer’s empowerment for and in priesthood
- After Pentecost, the Holy Spirit presides over worship in the assembly
- A believer to judge himself
- The believer-priest exercising priesthood in worship
Worship in the church takes many different forms for various people, depending on what church a person attends. This means that worship, as God has given it, has been little understood by church people from the time of Adam and Eve, even to this day. This booklet will relate the form of worship God has instituted for His people, in every age or dispensation. Only the foundational and primary practices of worship as God gave them will be explained herein.
Much more could have been written, but the desire has been to keep this treatise as short as possible while still showing the Christian his God given place of worship for this age of grace. God has desired worshippers in every age. However, the vast majority of believers today are uninformed as to what God desires from the believer for true worship in the Church of God. This lack of knowledge of true worship has helped greatly to bring in legalism, apathy to truth, a dimmed light of testimony of the grace of God, sectarianism, Nicolaitanism, and many divisions in the Church. Needless to say there are many deceptions that have affected the Church due to the lack of God given worship.
1. Worship as God gave it to Adam
“And Jehovah Elohim made Adam and his wife coats of skin and clothed them” (Genesis 3:21 JND).
God instructed Adam not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (Genesis 2:16-17). However, Adam and his wife did eat of the fruit of the tree. Because of their disobedience (sin), as God had warned, Adam and Eve died spiritually on that day and the process of physical death began. Their fellowship with God was cut off. Jehovah made a way to restore fellowship, He killed an animal (shed it’s blood) and made coats from the skin to clothe them with a divine covering (Genesis 3:21).
God’s example of a blood sacrifice to cover Adam’s sin would be necessary from that day forward, for any person to have fellowship and worship God. This will be compulsory till the end of this world. True worship of God can only be through a blood sacrifice; a sacrifice that points to His Son (Genesis 3:15; Leviticus 17:11; John 1:29; Hebrews 9:28; 10:1-10, 12, 14; 1 John 1:9; Revelation 1:5; 5:9; 7:14; 12:11; 19:11-13).
Cain and Abel knew by Jehovah’s example and word to Adam that a blood sacrifice was necessary for true worship. Abel, in faith, came to Jehovah with a blood sacrifice from the firstborn of his flock (Genesis 4:4; Hebrews 11:4). In so doing he identified himself as a sinner, looking in faith to God for His promised Redeemer (Genesis 3:15).
Cain also brought a sacrifice to God for his worship which was an offering from the fruit of the ground, the work of his own hands (Genesis 4:3-5). Cain had rejected God’s instruction for worship. He acknowledged God as the source of all substance, but rejected God’s redemption through His revealed method of a blood sacrifice for worship (Genesis 4:5). Cain’s worship was rejected by God; He tells Cain only true worship (a sin offering) will be accepted (Genesis 4:7).
God had told Cain that the works of man are not acceptable for true worship (Genesis 4:7). Man’s works, offered to God for worship, are the basis of idolatry (Exodus 32:4-6; Romans 1:23-25). The doctrine of Cain is man forming his own ideas on how to worship God (Genesis 4:3, 5; 1 John 3:12).
Instead of yielding to practice worship as God instructed, Cain killed his brother Abel who had favor (righteousness) with God (Genesis 4:8). Cain became the first of a multitude of earth dwellers (Revelation 13:8), who refuse God’s form of worship, a blood sacrifice pointing to Jesus Christ, who gave His life and shed His blood.
Next in the line of godly seed is Seth, son of Adam. Seth, like Abel, worshipped the Lord according to truth, influencing the people to call on the name of the Lord (Genesis 4:26).
Several hundred years later, in Noah’s day, the doctrine of Cain prevailed on the earth. “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). But Noah, the eighth down from Seth, found favor in the eyes of the Lord (Genesis 6:8). “Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations, he walked with God” (Genesis 6:9).
Noah was a true worshipper of God as seen in the altar he built after coming out of the Ark. Noah offered up clean animals and clean fowl for burnt offerings to the Lord. “And Jehovah smelled a sweet odour” (Genesis 8:21 JND). God’s favor with Noah was based on Noah’s faith, seen in his practice of true worship.
2. The worship of Abraham
“And Abraham said to his young men, stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you. So Abraham took the wood of the brunt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together” (Genesis 22:5-6).
Abram, a man from the land of Ur of the Chaldeans was called by God into fellowship with Himself (Genesis 12:1-3). Abram, after responding to God’s word to him, left his country and went to Shechem in Canaan (present day Israel) where God spoke to him; there he built an altar for worship. Abram, like every man of faith before him, understood that to call on the name of the Lord, a blood sacrifice was necessary. Afterwards, he moved to Bethel and Ai where he built an altar to the Lord for worship (Genesis 12:7-8). After that, Abram went down into Egypt (a type of the world) and got into a most difficult problem. After God delivered him from it, he left Egypt and came back to the altar at Bethel and called on the name of the Lord (Genesis 13:4).
Later, upon hearing his nephew Lot was taken captive by 4 kings, Abram set out with 318 men to get him back. He defeated those 4 kings and brought back all the people and goods they had taken (Genesis 14:15-16); Abram’s victory became known and upon returning, Melchizedek, king of Salem (Jerusalem) and a priest of God most high, brought out bread and wine for Abram. Abram partook of the bread and wine which were symbols of the death of the Christ who was yet to come (Genesis 14:18). Scripture shows us that Melchizedek was a type of Christ (Psalms 110:4). The bread and wine were representative of the remembrance worship Jesus would institute to and through His apostles for His Church (Luke 22:19-20).
Later, God spoke a promise to Abram; he believed God and God reckoned (accounted it) to Abram as righteousness (Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:3). God tells Abram He is going to show him what the future will be but he must first bring a blood sacrifice (Genesis 15:9-11, 17). The promise and the future shown to Abram (exalted father) was that God would increase his offspring as the stars of heaven, but not without difficulty. God then changes Abram’s name to Abraham (father of multitude) (Genesis 17:4-5; Romans 4:16-18).
Many years later, Abraham is told by God to go to mount Moriah and sacrifice his son Isaac on an altar (Genesis 22:1-18). Upon arriving at mount Moriah, Abraham tells his servants that his son and he are going some distance off to worship; Abraham took fire and wood for a burnt offering, verses 5-6. Because Abraham carried out this worship, up to the point where God stopped him from killing Isaac, God guaranteed that the promised seed, Christ (Genesis 3:15), would come out of his loins through his progeny (Genesis 22:18). Abraham, in obeying God to offer up Isaac on the altar, was a type which represented God’s true sacrifice offered up at Calvary. It was Jesus Christ the Son of God (Matthew 3:17; Mark 1:1).
3. Worship as God gave it in the Law of Moses
“For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for your souls” (Leviticus 17:11).
The High Priest
Israel’s worship functioned around the high priest. God appointed him to be the head and the center over all physical and spiritual worship in the tabernacle, (later the temple), and in all things pertaining to God (Exodus 28:1-2, 30, 36-38). The high priest was anointed with the anointing oil, a type of the Holy Spirit (Leviticus 8:10-12).
The most important aspect of his work was that once a year he was required to worship with a blood sacrifice on the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 23:26-32). He was required to kill a young bull for a sin offering and a ram as a burnt offering. He then was to take the blood and sprinkle it on the mercy seat for himself (Leviticus 16:11-16). Only then could he enter into the holy of holies behind the veil in the tabernacle (Leviticus 16:2-3). Also, he was to kill a goat and take its blood and sprinkle it on the mercy seat in the holy of holies for the sins of the children of Israel (Leviticus 16:15-19; Hebrews 9:1-7).
When the high priest went into the holy of holies, he was to put on the “breastplate of judgment,” the Urim (light) and the Thummin (perfection). This breastplate was worn over his heart. “So Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel over his heart before the Lord continually” (Exodus 28:29-30). This is the present day function in heaven of the Christian’s High Priest, Jesus Christ (1 John 2:1). He has offered His blood for our sins once for all time (Hebrews 9:11-15, 26; 10:10, 12, 14).
God commanded Israel to keep the Feast of Passover (worship) once a year, on the 14th day of Abib (March-April) (Exodus 12:1-14; Leviticus 23:4-5). God gave this command while the Israelites were in Egypt. They were to kill a lamb, eat it and put its blood over the doorposts of their house. God told them that a death angel would go through the land of Egypt and kill all the firstborn in every house where the blood was not on the doorposts (Exodus 12:12-13). All Egyptians, who were not worshippers of Jehovah, lost the firstborn in their homes that night (Exodus 12:29-30). This Passover lamb was a type of God’s Passover Lamb, the eternal Lamb of God (Revelation 5:6.13), who was to come and die for the sins of the world (John 1:29).
Sacrifices and offerings
God kept Israel centered on true worship through blood sacrifices. All of these sacrifices were pointing to a different aspect of the Messiah to come. Israel started the first month of their year with the Feast of Passover. In Leviticus chapter 23, God gave Israel 7 different feasts to perform throughout the year. These were accomplished using sacrifices and offerings.
Other primary worship offerings they were to practice are: the burnt offering (Leviticus chapter 1), the peace offering (Leviticus 3), a sin offering (Leviticus chapter 4), and a trespass offering (Leviticus chapter 5). All of these offerings reveal a type of the work that Christ’s sacrifice would fulfill for eternity.
God appointed priests unto Himself
God appointed the tribe of Levi, from which the priests were to be taken for service and worship to Himself (Exodus 28:1, 4; 29:1, 8-9). Those in the priesthood were consecrated to God (Leviticus 8:1-6). Every worship function performed in the tabernacle was accomplished by the priests. Only Israelites of the tribe of Levi were allowed to perform this service.
The altar of incense
God gave instruction on how to build the altar of incense as well as the precise ingredients for worship (Exodus 30:1.10). This incense gave a sweet aroma to the Lord, which spoke of the sweet aroma of Christ on the cross which is the eternal altar of God (Exodus 30:34-38; Ephesians 5:2).
The tabernacle, the dwelling place of God
The building of the tabernacle was built to God’s exact specifications. It was God’s ordained location for worship. The priests performed all the service of worship in connection with the tabernacle. It was the dwelling place of God (Numbers 9:15-23), Who later, dwelt in the temple (1 Kings 8:10-11). Likewise, the assembling of saints unto Jesus in this present day, is now the dwelling place of Christ, the temple of God (Matthew 18:20; 1 Corinthians 3:16; Ephesians 2:20; Revelation 1:12-13).
These duties were God’s form of worship for Israel to accomplish before Him. Their form of worship was only a shadow or type (Colossians 2:17) to come of the real worship, which has only Christ as the object (Colossians 1:15-20).
4. Worship as Jesus gave it to the apostles
“But the hour is coming and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:23-24).
Jesus, after choosing 12 apostles, began to teach them the truths of God concerning Himself, the Church and the future. Peter received revelation from God as to who Jesus is. He said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). The Holy Spirit would build the Church on Peter’s declaration. The Church which Jesus would build was not an extension of Judaism, nor was it built on spiritualizing Judaism (Romans 10:4). Christians are the Church, they are not spiritualized Jews nor spiritual Israel, but a whole new temple of the living God (1 Corinthians 3:16; 12:12-13; Ephesians 2:11-22). The Church is an entirely new revelation and dispensation of the grace of God, totally set apart from Judaism (Ephesians 3:1-6, 9; Colossians 1:26-27). The Church Jesus is building does not have earthly hierarchy or the clergy/laity system. His Church is built on Himself as the Head and eternal High Priest, with His saints as an equal brotherhood of priests (Matthew 23:8-12; Revelation 1:5-6).
Jesus also established to His apostles where the meeting place of His Church would be, “For where two or three are gathered together unto My name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20 JND).
Jesus, in speaking to the woman at the well, tells her what the Father is seeking. It is worshippers, who will worship God in spirit and in truth. She no doubt thought the way she and her people worshipped was as good as any other way (John 4:20). Jesus told her, the worship that God gave to Israel is the only worship acceptable to God, and that she worships, she does not know what (John 4:22). Nevertheless, Jesus proclaims that a new hour and dispensation has come, when true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth (John 5:23). Jesus taught this spirit and truth worship to His apostles; they practiced it and taught it to His church (Ephesians 2:20-22).
Jesus presides over the Lord’s Supper
Jesus gives the instruction and example for worship for the Church Age. On the night before Jesus was betrayed and crucified, He partook of the Passover Meal with His apostles. After the Passover Meal, Jesus gave instructions and example on the New Covenant form of corporate worship. Spirit and truth worship, centered on remembering the Lord Jesus Christ in giving His life for the Church, would be God’s form of spiritual worship (Matthew 26:26-30; Mark 14:17-26; Luke 22:14-20; Ephesians 5:25). Jesus took bread and said, “take eat; this is My body.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, drink from it, all of you. “For this is My blood of the New Covenant, which is shed for many for remission of sins” (Matthew 26:26-28 — Mark 14:17-26; Luke 22:14-20).
Jesus’ command, to remember Him in His death by partaking of the bread and the cup, is the only form of worship He initiated for His Church (Luke 22:19). This worship will be enlarged upon in later chapters.
Jesus presides over the breaking of bread on the Resurrection Day meal
The day Jesus rose from the dead (Sunday), is the same day He traveled to Emmaus with two of His disciples, but they did not know Him. As they were traveling He opened the Scriptures to them. Upon arriving at Emmaus, Jesus sat with them at the table. He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them (Luke 24:30).
Jesus, in the breaking of the bread, revealed Himself. The disciples, in partaking of the bread, received revelation of God; their eyes were opened and they knew Him. The act of Jesus breaking the bread, transformed the home of the two disciples into the House of God (Luke 24:30-35). In 1 Timothy 3:15, the house of God is defined as “the assembly of the living God, the pillar and base of the truth.” Jesus, on this Resurrection Day, again presided over the breaking of bread with them and then vanished (verse 31).
5. The believer’s empowerment for and in priesthood
“And I will pray the Father and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever – the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you” (John 14:16-17).
The promise of the Holy Spirit given
Before Jesus departed to be with the Father, He commanded His apostles to stay in Jerusalem to wait for the promise of the Father (Acts 1:4). On Sunday, the day of the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) (Leviticus 23:15-22; Acts 2:1), the Holy Spirit came from heaven like a mighty wind and baptized (indwelt) all the disciples of Jesus (Acts 2:3). They were filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4). On that very day, the Holy Spirit formed the Church of God on the earth. From that day on, every believer born of God (John 1:12-13), has been indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9).
The Holy Spirit has baptized every believer into the body of Christ – the Church (1 Corinthians 12:13). Jesus prophesied of this event (believers being indwelt by the Holy Spirit) in John 7:37-39, as did the apostles (Philippians 2:13; Colossians 1:27). The Church formed and built by the Holy Spirit, will continue until it is caught up to be forever with the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4:17). The Apostle Peter, on the day of Pentecost, made clear that this promise and gift of the Holy Spirit is unto all that, “the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:38-39). This promise was first to the Jews (Romans 1:16), then to all other people on the earth, as seen in Acts 2:4; 8:15-17; 10:44-48; 19:1-7.
The priesthood of the believer
Faith in God through believing His word has always brought a believer, in every age, into being a priest unto God. The believer in this Church Age, by being indwelt by the Holy Spirit, has been given the resurrected life of Jesus to allow him to function in his priesthood. The believer has been made a kingdom — priest (Revelation 1:5-6 JND). It may be said that Christians are a kingdom of priests. A kingdom, meaning the believer is made a part of Christ’s kingdom (Colossians 1:13; Hebrews 12:28) and a priest, meaning the believer’s privileged responsibility to worship to God. This nearness to God though worship brings him directly into the Holiest (Hebrews (10:19), to the very throne of God (Hebrews 4:16).
The believer is a living stone (a rock of God); he is being built up a spiritual house, a part of a holy priesthood (separated unto God). He has been given these things to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable unto God, through Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2:5). The believer is also part of a chosen generation (a heavenly race of people), and made to be one in a royal priesthood (he has direct access to God) (1 Peter 2:9). He has been given the position of proclaiming the praises of God, which has brought him out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9).
A believer has been chosen by God’s divine grace, to occupy in the kingdom of Christ, as an exhibitor of His divine grace (Colossians 1:13). The believer’s priesthood is of royal lineage; his life is of heavenly origin; his pursuit in faith is toward Christ above (Colossians 3:1-2). Worship is the primary exercise of his priesthood.
6. After Pentecost, the Holy Spirit presides over worship in the assembly
“However, when He the Spirit of truth has come He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you all things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take what is Mine and declare it to you” (John 16:13-14).
Individually a Christian is told to, “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16). The same is true in an assembly of believers; the Holy Spirit must be in charge. Jesus said, He would be in the midst of an assembly gathered together unto His name (Matthew 18:20). Jesus dwells in such an assembly (1 Corinthians 3:16), and is seen in the midst of the 7 assemblies (Revelation chapters 1-3).
Jesus lived with and presided over His apostles before Pentecost. After Pentecost, the Holy Spirit leads, presides over and dwells in the midst of His assembly (Matthew 18:20). This is shown to us in the address to the 7 churches in Revelation chapters 1-3.
What is worship in spirit and truth?
The night before Jesus was crucified, He instructed His apostles as to what it meant to worship in spirit and truth. Jesus presided over the breaking of the bread and the drinking of cup. He said, “do this in remembrance of Me” (Luke 22:19; 1 Corinthians 11:24). Jesus, in giving this instruction and command to His apostles, set forth what true (spirit and truth) worship is for His own, in the Church Age.
On the day (Pentecost) the Holy Spirit came and formed the Church, worship in spirit and truth began. It was on the first day of the Church that the remembrance of Jesus in His death through the breaking of the bread and the partaking of the cup was practiced (Acts 2:42).
This exercise of spirit and truth worship is one of the four pillars that the Church is built on; the other three are the apostles doctrine, prayers, and fellowship (Acts 2:42). Thereafter, all assemblies of believers (the Church) came together for the primary purpose of worship, remembering Jesus in His death as seen in Acts 20:7; “Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread …” Spirit and truth worship is what the Christian has been appointed of God to exercise (Philippians 3:3).
Who may not worship in Remembrance of Jesus
Scripture gives us clear instruction regarding those not qualified to enter into worship. It is seen in 1 Corinthians 5:2, 5, 11. In these verses, those who are releasing themselves to the flesh, without repentance, are not allowed into spirit and truth worship in the assembly.
Next, are those practicing idolatry, individually or with a cult or a heresy (1 Corinthians 10:16-22; Titus 3:10-11). Those who deny that Jesus is the Son of God (John 1:18) or God the Son (John 1:1, 14) also fall into that category (John 8:58; 10:33; 1 John 4:14-15; 5:5).
Scripture shows that the brethren are responsible to the Lord to not allow false brethren to creep into the assembly (Galatians 2:4; Jude 4).
7. A believer to judge himself
“But let a man examine (prove JND) himself and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup” (1 Corinthians 11:28).
Instruction as to how believers exercise worship in the assembly is like all other revelation of God. The believer’s portion is to respond to God according to the truth He has been shown. The seriousness of adding to or taking away from God’s word is seen throughout Scripture. For example, the sons of Aaron, Nadab and Abihu offered profane fire in worship to the Lord, (worship according to the flesh or their own ideas) (Leviticus 10:1). Fire went out from the Lord and devoured them (Leviticus 10:2). God told Moses this happened because those (worshippers) who come near Him must regard Him as holy; and before all the people He must be glorified (Leviticus 10:3).
When Moses was on the mountain receiving the Law of God, the children of Israel worshipped the Lord according to their own idea of worship. In so doing they made a golden calf to worship the Lord (Exodus 32:16). Verse 5 shows us this worship to the Lord was according to their own hearts. These actions of Israel brought the judgment of the Lord upon them and the death of 3000 people (Exodus 32:28). Scripture instructs us that these are admonishments and examples for us to learn by, that we may know the mind of God concerning worship (1 Corinthians 10:6, 11). Ananias and Sapphira, at the beginning of the Church, were struck dead by God’s power. They did not regard the Holy Spirit’s sovereignty (holiness) over His Church (Acts 5:1-11). This event caused great fear to fall upon the Church. When a believer or an assembly does not respect God’s word or truth, the Apostle Peter reveals the result, “For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and it begins with us first…” (1 Peter 4:17).
For the Christian partaking in the breaking of the bread (worship), self judgment is required of God (1 Corinthians 11:28). Israel suffered judgment, and so the believer will suffer chastisement of the lord if he offers worship without first judging himself (1 Corinthians 11:27.29). A believer who suffers chastisement or judgment of the Lord, brings suffering on the whole assembly (1 Corinthians 11:27-29). If the whole assembly receives judgment of the Lord, many suffer (1 Corinthians 11:30).
An assembly following what man has established
An assembly that changes worship into something God did not establish, will bring humanist understanding of divine truth and a limited blessing of the grace of God at the very least. Believers, not following God’s revelation or truth for worship, are led by man or Satan into sectarianism (1 Corinthians 1:12-13), independence (1 Corinthians 3:1.4), and the flesh ruling in worship (1 Corinthians 11:20-22). Worship according to a person’s own will (Colossians 2:23), leads away from the grace of God, and into the deceptions of man’s religion (Romans 16:18).
8. The believer-priest exercising priesthood in worship
“And the first day of the week, we being assembled to break bread” (Acts 20:7).
Jesus told the woman at the well that the Father is seeking true worshippers to worship Him (John 4:23). Only those who are indwelt by the Spirit of God have been made priests; they alone have the capacity to be true worshippers. Those who are not indwelt by the Holy Spirit cannot be led by the Spirit or worship in the Spirit (Romans 8:14). Instructions for worship
The instructions the Church received for worship are found in 1 Corinthians 10:16 through chapter 14:40. In chapter 13, the love of Christ is shown to be the foundation of all things for the Christian, and the assembly. Without the love of Christ prevailing in the assembly, all faith, truth, gifts, prophesies, ministry, and a right form of worship have little value (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).
However, the Holy Spirit has given the Church full knowledge of true spiritual worship and how it is to be carried out. Even though individuals are spoken to in their exercise, the assembled Church is specifically addressed in these practices of worship (1 Corinthians 10:16-22; 11:16.20, 33-34; 14:12, 19, 23, 26, 34-35). An assembly, following what the Holy Spirit has given in these chapters, will enter into spirit and truth worship.
True worship for an assembly of believers is only what God has revealed and established. What God has spoken, given by prophets, by His Son, His apostles or in written form as to what worship is, must not to be disregarded. This has been true from Adam and will be till the end of this world. The Christian’s path of faith is to follow truth in God ordained worship, and as in all the rest of the revelation of God, to not go beyond what is written (1 Corinthians 4:6).
For the Christian, true worship is centered on the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is God’s sacrificial Lamb (John 1:29), given for the sins of the world (1 John 2:2). The believer has been redeemed out of the darkness of this world’s kingdom, into the kingdom of Light in Christ (Colossians 1:13-14). When the assembly is gathered in worship, Jesus is remembered in fulfilling prophetic Scriptures through His suffering and His death, represented in the bread and the cup. The meeting together of the assembly to remember Jesus in His death, in the bread and the cup, is God’s eternal truth of spiritual worship for the saints.
A believer-priest in assembly worship
When the assembly is gathered together for its primary purpose (worship), the Holy Spirit is to be in leadership and preside. The liberty of the Spirit gives every brother in the assembly authority to lead. This leading by any brother may be in giving a Psalm, a hymn, a praise, a prayer of thanksgiving, a Scripture, a prophesy, recounting fulfilled prophecies, and recounting the finished work of Jesus and His ways. Each of these acts, point to remembering Jesus in His death (1 Corinthians 14:26).
The settled rest and joy of Christ in the believer, exercised through his faith, brings forth spiritual worship unto God. In this joy, the fruit of his lips speak forth the glories and grace of Christ (Hebrews 13:15-16).
Needless to say, where the Holy Spirit is in charge, there is no place for Israel’s practices, structure and pattern of worship as found in the Law of Moses. These include worship leaders, pastors leading, clergymen directing or other hierarchical leaders presiding over worship. Spirit and truth worship has been given of God to His children, the Church. It can neither be controlled by man nor directed by man. It is the manifestation of the grace of God, through the liberty of the Holy Spirit to His saints. It is a Christian’s gift and spiritual heritage from the Lord.
In this time of refreshing and rejoicing in the completed work that Jesus accomplished, the world is shut out. The love of God, and the grace and glory of heaven is symbolically seen in the bread and cup. When all the brothers who have been led to speak are finished recounting, speaking and giving forth worship of the Saviour in the eternal redemption He accomplished, the bread and the cup are passed one to another (Luke 22:19-20; 1 Corinthians 11:24-25).
The joy of the believer’s salvation and the fellowship of Christ in His suffering (Philippians 3:10), are seen and expressed in God ordained spirit and truth worship (Philippians 3:3). This time is a time of giving thanks to the Father for all that Jesus has done (Ephesians 5:19-20).
D. Neely 1-20-07
“And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:18-19).