©2012 Dr. Irene Bonney Faulkes DD
The New Testament makes it very clear as to how the Lord desires worship from His people. These are born again of the Spirit of God of the Seed of the Word of God, in a supernatural new birth, that has nothing to do with the human or natural.
We are to praise and worship God in a supernatural manner. It is to be in the Spirit. Being born again is a supernatural act. There is no natural or human activity involved in such. Ephesians 2:8-9 says “By grace are you saved through faith and that (the faith) not of yourselves. It is the gift of God lest any man should boast”. It happens within us and has initial outward expression by the confession of the mouth unto salvation. Salvation is also a continuous process as the life of Christ is controlling us.
The baptism with the Holy Ghost is a supernatural act and has initial outward expression by praying in other tongues, which is the act of God’s power. This “dunamis” is continuous as we keep on praying in other tongues under the control of the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 14:21,22 “In the law it is said, By men of other tongues and by strange lips will my words come to this people For this reason tongues are for a sign,” Paul relates this to speaking in tongues by all the congregation. God says these are “My words” to the church in Corinth. We are in Christ’s same church today.
The fruits of the Spirit produced in our lives are the result of the activity of the Holy Spirit and are thus supernatural from the grace of the gospel. The outward expression in which we are not to be passive is in our manner of life, by the Spirit.
Is it not reasonable to say that our worship must also be supernaturally inspired from the spirit or heart within? The spirit is the heart from Scripture. The soul is not the heart. If we hear there must be heart to heart worship it can never mean from our souls in music. Music is of the soul. Any musician can tell you that and I am indeed one.
The spirit is that part of man that can have communication with God who is Spirit. Those not born again cannot have communication with God because their spirits are dead. It is only when the Spirit of God through the seed of the Word of God does His creative work within them that they are born again of the Spirit. We are to worship from our born again spirits to God as Spirit in heaven.
As for us under the New Testament or Covenant, we have neither ordinances of service nor a worldly sanctuary. Our worship is Spiritual. Spiritual should always be understood to have a capital “S” because in the New Testament it always relates to the Holy Spirit.
Jesus stated it must be “in Spirit and in truth”, both of which are totally of God in heaven and not of this worldly make-up.
Here is what we have now as in Hebrews 8:1,2 that sets out the present way of worship in contrast to the Old Testament manner as stated in Hebrews 9:1.
“What I mean is that we have a high priest who sits at the right side of God's great throne in heaven.
He also serves as the priest in the most holy place inside the real tent there in heaven. This tent of worship was set up by the Lord, not by humans.”
The believer who knows the joy that is inexpressible and full of glory is to sing from his heart or spirit, with grace, unto the Lord. This is in Colossians 3:16 ”Singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord”, or as Cassirer says, “under grace”. Even in our worship, it is obvious that we are under Grace. We ourselves, of our own volition, could never dare perform worship to the King of Kings except the grace of God had come to us in the gospel. Our salvation is by grace and thus unless it is in this form, we can never really worship God. Music and dancing tend more to be under Law’s provisions than under those of Grace.
Many of the old hymns and the modern songs consist of experience or in the former, more to do with salvation. To sing these is to rejoice before God and to tell of His wondrous works. They relate more to the person’s experience. Such are in actuality addressed to people and not to God. There are some hymns and the odd modern song that is addressed directly to God. Worship is addressing God and not others.
The words in our singing must be based on the gospel itself. The songs should show there is grace that has been and is being applied to us. We are in a position of grace before Him and His Spirit is to inspire us because of the grace of God found in Jesus Christ for us. We are to sing by the assistance of the Spirit and under the (gospel) Grace of God.
It is the spirit part of man alone that has contact with the Living God, who is Spirit. This giving of glory from us in Christ Jesus is to be by the Spirit of God. Acts 17:25 “Neither is worshipped with men’s hands”. The heathen bring flowers etc. and we should not bring instruments of music as our worship. Perhaps they can accompany our worship but they do not constitute our worship. Therefore the “worship team” is wrongly named. The whole church is to worship God through Jesus Christ by worship in or by the Spirit of God, Philippians 3:3.
Jesus said the following words in relation to worship, John 4:23,24 “But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. For the Father seeks such as these to worship him. God is Spirit and those who worship him must worship in Spirit and in Truth.” The true meaning of these words can be missed if we do not look carefully at the preceding verses 21,22, that I suggest should be read in context. The point of the discourse was not just the simple word ”worship”.
The woman had been asking about the whole institution of the Jews regarding worship. This included all their sacrifices, the Tabernacle and all in it, the priesthood, the prayers, the praises, the choirs, the musicians, the dancing, the Psalm singing along with the reciting of the Law of Moses. The Jews performed these in Jerusalem and the Samaritans had their Temple on a mountain in Samaria. We now have something quite different, that of the Spirit and the gospel.
Jesus responded to her question by saying worship as such would be no more and that it did not have any bearing on which particular geographical place. He was announcing not just a voicing, speaking or singing of worship words but a new institution completely. The Old Testament institution, whether in Jerusalem or in Samaria, was virtually finished. In future, the Father would not regard any such place or institution. A new one was being inaugurated. It concerned the well of water that would gush up to eternal life John 4:14. In Verse 22 Jesus said that salvation was of the Jews and He was speaking about the coming of the promised Messiah.
This new way of worship would never be of an external order or have anything to do with the Old Covenant. It would have its concerns totally with regard to the Coming One, who was Jesus Christ Himself, seated there on the top of the well. Whatever would be produced as a result of His coming would indicate the way of worship. Also, He showed it would be internal and indeed now is to be internal and not external. Jesus was relegating all outward forms, tabernacle, the furniture in it, the Ark, the Cherubim, the Sacrifices, the Feast Days and their music with reciting of Psalms – all things – into oblivion. They were the external forms. Now there had come just the internal.
The internal concerned Spirit and Truth. How could God, who is Spirit, under the New Covenant of the Spirit with its heavenly sanctuary, be involved with worship that was of mere outward and carnal form? Hebrews 9:1, “Now even the first covenant had regulations, for worship and an earthly (worldly) sanctuary”. The Old Testament order constituted earthly or worldly things and the sanctuary itself was such. Now, says Jesus, there is a new way of worship. It has a different institution. There is nothing earthly.
It is all heavenly. It has a heavenly sanctuary, with a heavenly High Priest who has offered a sacrifice in heaven He will intercede for His people there. It will not be on any mountain or in any place on this earth. This institution is heavenly. Therefore the worship of it must be heavenly. For that to happen it must be from the internal and does not have anything to do with material things. Jesus did not make provision for the use of music in His church! Music as in the Old Testament and as in our churches is with the use of material and worldly things. But we would feel lost without our music in church!
Our worship that is true worship, in whatever form, ascends to the throne of God in heaven. We should ensure that it gets beyond the ceilings of our churches! There is to be outward expression in worship and it is something in which we are not passive but active. Worship according to what Jesus said is in the form of words given by the Holy Ghost, mainly in other tongues and also in words in our native language from the Spirit. The early church did this for well over a century, according to history. Should we not do the same?
The power of the Holy Ghost is a miraculously operative one and it became so on receiving the Acts 2:4 experience, baptized with the Holy Ghost. It is for every believer in Christ. It is an awesome marvel to hear oneself praying in other tongues. It is in the knowledge that it is the Holy Ghost and that one could never produce such sounds with one’s own ability.
I would be the last to suggest it to go against popular desires in churches. I agree to non-worldly music. My earlier life and understanding, were always as musician, pianist or organist for many years and also as one conducting church choirs. We are not in church to be entertained but to fellowship, pray, worship and eat of Christ and His Word.
However, we should not be under Old Testament worship of any kind. We have a warning to believers of the dire consequences of going back to the sacrifice of animals in these following verses, Hebrews 10:29 “By how much worse punishment, do you think, will he be deemed worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, and has regarded as common the blood of the covenant, by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?”. If they go back to temple and Old Testament worship thus offending the Spirit of Grace, there would be no repentance for them.
Our worship today is to have nothing to do with anything in the Old Testament worship, with its priestly vestments, its candles, its ordinances or its sacrifices and feasts. They were under Law. We are under grace. They had the external and we have the internal. They had only the shadow and we have the reality. It is by the Holy Spirit.
Something better is now required under the New Covenant. Being internal in source means it must come from the spirit or heart, through the Holy Spirit. God is Spirit. He requires worship through the Spirit, the Holy Spirit. It must be in Spirit and in Truth. He also requires worship, whether on special occasions as honour and praise to Him or whether as a way of spiritual life before Him, to be according to Truth.
That Truth is the truth and Word of Christ of the Gospel. It must be according to that which is set out in this Word of Truth. This means a following of all that is written in the Gospels and in the Epistles as well as in the book of Acts, commencing with Acts 1 & 2. Those chapters form the base and foundation for the three lines of the gospel of Grace – Truth, Word and Power. These things are all important Christian issues. The Christian is said to be Christ’s one.
From Ephesians 3:20, again Paul is overwhelmed with the revelation of the Spirit, an experience that is not new to him, but that is revitalised within him. He does not say a mere "Praise the Lord" or "Hallelujah". By the Spirit He exclaims from the depths of his spirit the Spirit inspired knowledge that God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, can do something in and for us the church of Jesus Christ and for us personally.
We should pray, intercede and worship through the Holy Spirit often in a similar fashion. His power, “dunamis”, is to be working within us, now and by that power already there. He is able. He is able to do something within that is so great we cannot begin to imagine it or wonder what it is. Paul's faith caught on to that. Our faith should catch on to the same thing. It can only work for us if by faith we have the knowledge and vision of it and if we seek God for it to happen. It can and should happen.
From his spirit, by the Holy Spirit, Paul offered inspired worship and praise. He says, "To Him (the) glory". In the church, let us recognize and pronounce “unto Him the glory” from our spirits in Spirit-ual worship. This is more than formal every Sunday "Praise and Worship", with loud electric guitars or drums, soloists and dancing.
The music should not be of this world’s fragmentation in family, church and society that has given us the present fragmented kind of music that is used world-wide in a multitude of church services. It is the result of a drug ridden, rebellious and self exalting generation. Also, it is without the kind of cadence in ending that shows a peaceful and satisfactory solution.
It is to be for His glory and not to please ourselves or our taste in music. The current rock music with the rock concert style presentation sweeping the church shows a neglect of the fact that this is the “ecclesia”, “the church”, meaning “the called out ones”. We have been called out from the world. We are in the world but not of it, Jesus said. We cannot be in both the world and the church. The world must not be brought into the ecclesia those called out. We should not have Rock concert scenes or New Age in our churches.
The believers are to be deposits of the Holy Spirit and full of the manifestations and actions of the Holy Spirit in His power. We are not to be influenced by the evil Rock Music Festival scene or the present New Age beliefs. Is jumping up and down a relic from former worldly ways, a means of self enjoyment or a Holy Ghost way of worship? It certainly is not the Holy Spirit. In fact, music is not conveyed to heaven as it is soulish, natural and worldly. One’s ability in performing music will never enter along with us through heaven’s gates.
It is a fact in the music world that the modern guitar is a symbol of copulation. One cannot doubt this when viewing the body movements of the guitarists. Why should this style of music have a place in supposed worship in the church? It is acceptable to modern youth and many others but is it acceptable to God? Worship to God is not to be soulish or from the emotions but from the spirit in the Holy Spirit. Watchman Nee was correct at least in this statement, that whatever springs from the soul in religion is demonic. This is in line with what Jesus said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan. Whatever is of man is of Satan”.
We should not have Rock concert scenes or New Age in our churches. There are many Pentecostal, A.O.G. churches in Australia that have concert strobe lights on their platforms, even blackened windows and sometimes smoke, all simulating the air, the atmosphere and the emotional thrust of a Rock concert. The loudness of the music is atrocious. This surely is an abomination and out of the pit of hell.
Our songs or hymns should have Spirit given content in accordance with the Word of the Gospel. It should never be for the elevation of musicians, or their sound or indeed any vocalist. The object here is "to the Lord", who is the Lord Jesus Christ. It is to the glory of His person and grace. The Alexandrian copy (MS), and the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Ethiopic versions read, "to God". If so, God, in the three divine Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit and in all His perfections and works, is the object of praise. We are to exalt God in three Persons but always it is through the Lord Jesus Christ as Mediator and by the Holy Spirit.
There were no instruments in the early Church. This was the case for many centuries until around the nineteenth, as an investigation into the comments of all the godly preachers and men in Britain and the United States would show. They considered music belonged to the Old Testament childhood state. We have left that behind according to the apostle because we are in Christ and under the New Testament order, not the Old. We should have left the area of emotion behind in worship to go into the area of spirit and the Holy Spirit in the gospel age. The soul that is material element has contact with the element of humanity and somewhat with the spirit. It is the spirit part of man alone that has contact with the Living God, who is Spirit
The point should be made that worship in church is not the epitome of the Christian believer’s life. “Man’s chief aim is to glorify God” as the Westminster confession states. This means that it is in daily and ordinary living at home and at work as well as in church life that one is to glorify God. The whole life is to be one of glorifying God. This can only be done by the supernatural help of the Holy Spirit and the Truth, the Word of Christ’s gospel of Grace.
Bible worship is also explained in Romans 12:1, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, your spiritual service. – that is worship (divine service). And be not fashioned according to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, and ye may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God”. Both these verses set out the essence of worship for the believer. Worship involves more than what we consider worship in a church meeting. It is a way of life.
Jesus set the standard for worship when He said in John 4:24 "They who worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth", as says the ASV, with a capital “S” in Spirit. We have ministered to churches to worship like this. It is not with the spirit of man. Worship previously had been merely carnal, external and worldly, Hebrews 10:1. Now it is to be Spiritual, meaning of the Spirit of the heavenly and not of the carnal or worldly.
They did not have Spirit worship under the Old Testament even though there was prophesying in David’s order that he introduced in his Tabernacle that was not the Temple. Some prophesied because the Holy Spirit came upon them for such. We are to be filled with the Holy spirit. David had much music, choirs, orchestras and dancers that were of the material and thus carnal or worldly. His worship was still under the Old Covenant. That Old Testament worship is worldly, of the material, is clearly shown in Hebrews 9:1, “It had, indeed, then (even the first tabernacle) ordinances of service, also a worldly sanctuary.”
The Jews had the carnal. Spiritual Jews have worship of the Spirit, or the Holy Spirit. It was Kenyon, Hagin and Copeland who said it was from man’s spirit. Kenyon studied in a Christian Science Seminary and is not to be followed. The other two copied his teachings in his books, word for word.
Philippians 3:3 shows “for we are the circumcision, who worship by (in) the Spirit of God, and glory in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.” Jesus was speaking about worship not in the spirit of man but in or by the Spirit of God.
That is how we are to worship Him “in spirit and in truth KJV”, in the Holy Ghost that is by the Spirit of God and in Spirit and in truth.
There has been an aberrance in relation to so-called “Praise and Worship”, in present understanding of the restoration of the Tabernacle or Tent of David. James in Acts 15 tells us what it means. It does not have a connection with music, choirs, orchestras, dancing or worship but is all to do with Christ coming to be the One in the restoration of David’s lineage or kingship. He, the son of David, brings the fulfilment of all the promises of God’s covenant to David. Jesus is the heir of that line, the Royal King and Priest on the throne of David. James said what the restoration of David’s Tabernacle, or Hut is in Acts 15:15-18 -
“This agrees with what the prophets wrote,
‘I, the Lord, will return and rebuild David's fallen house. I will build it from its ruins and set it up again.
Then other nations will turn to me and be my chosen ones. I, the Lord, say this. I promised it long ago’."
As James said, this is verified by the bringing in of the Gentiles. That means that we are included in those brought in. The Tabernacle of David is restored in this manner.
Worship is not summed up in the New Testament as “Praise and Worship” in church by music, with particularly ear deafening loud music over loud speakers as the general idea is. World-wide, the current form is to have musicians and singers/dancers on the platform and the whole congregation either not singing, singing quietly, unable to sing or out of tune to the roaring electric guitar music with booming drums. The Psalms that were used in Old Testament worship, say to “Make a loud noise”. They did not have sound systems in those days.
This is deterrent to Spirit inspired worship and where there is such it should never to be the most important part of the service as it is today. It should not outdo the importance of worship in the Spirit, prayer in the Spirit and the bringing of “a psalm, a word, a prophecy, other gifts of the Spirit” on one hand and on the other the all important preaching/teaching of the Truths of the Word of Christ in particular from the New Testament, backed up by the Old.
From his spirit, by the Holy Spirit, Paul offered inspired worship and praise. He says, "To Him (the) glory". In the church, let us recognize and pronounce “unto Him the glory” from our spirits in Spirit-ual worship and in worship in other tongues which the early church did for one hundred and fifty yeas.
This is more than formal every Sunday "Praise and Worship", with loud electric guitars or drums, soloists and dancing. This giving of glory from us in Christ Jesus is to be by the Spirit of God. Acts 17:25 “Neither is He worshipped with men’s hands”. The heathen bring flowers etc. and we should not bring instruments of music as our worship. Perhaps they can accompany our worship but they do not constitute our worship. Therefore the “worship team” is wrongly named. The whole church is to worship God through Jesus Christ by worship in or by the Spirit of God, Philippians 3:3.
John 4:24 "They who worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth", as says the ASV, with a capital “S” in Spirit. We have ministered to churches to worship like this. It is not with the spirit of man. Worship previously had been merely carnal, external and worldly, Hebrews 10:1. Now it is to be Spiritual, meaning of the Spirit of the heavenly and not of the carnal or worldly.
Jesus was not saying that our spirits worship him or that it is heart to heart. We in ourselves are incapable of worshipping God. This is disclosed in the following verses about the natural, carnal man. Worship to the Lord can only be from our spirits, wherein is the new creation of God but only by the Holy Spirit or in the Holy Spirit.
This is what the Bible says about the natural man -
Romans 1:21 “Because, having the knowledge of God, they did not give glory to God as God, and did not give praise, but their minds were full of foolish things, and their hearts, being without sense, were made dark. Seeming to be wise, they were in fact foolish,
And by them the glory of the eternal God was changed and made into the image of man who is not eternal, and of birds and beasts and things which go on the earth.
About the make-up of man and his worship, I am quoting the Message Bible to show how wrong that translation is, certainly in regard to worship.”
John 4:24 (The Message)
23-24"It's who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That's the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration."
This is a distortion of the original Greek. It places an effort of works on “worship out of their very being”. It calls the spirit, one’s true self. That is not true. We are spirit, soul and body. In actuality, the soul is our true self, which is sinful, carnal and rebelling against God. This true self leads to the death of the body . The translation smells of New Age and not the truths of the Bible. This is what probably leads to the expression “we worship God heart to heart”, that is not the Bible way.
Philippians 3:3 shows “for we are the circumcision, who worship by (in) the Spirit of God, and glory in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.” Jesus was speaking about worship not in the spirit of man but in or by the Spirit of God.
That is how we are to worship Him “in spirit and in truth KJV”, in the Holy Ghost that is by the Spirit of God and in Spirit and in truth. .
Mention must be made of Hillsong and its rock music with rock singers. This kind of music primarily affects the soul. Do not some girls swoon at rock concerts? Does not the whole audience get into a vibrant display of the emotions that have been stirred? This is what Hillsong, with its world-wide influence on Television and DVDs (a multi million dollar industry) is doing. Mention must be made of this because it has greatly affected the direction in which all the Charismatic and so-called churches of Australia have taken. Effect should never be considered without taking the cause into effect. This is one of the causes so needs to be addressed if any of us are to repent of our position in this regard.
To me, it shows something fundamental and alarming. A child of parents in God’s work, such as Brian Houston was, will keep on much of what his parents believed and taught. It happened in my own life. Brian has stated publicly at a Seminar on Television that “We honour our parents but we are not to follow them”. He was speaking of the demonstration and face of Christianity and some of his parents’ doctrines and beliefs, only. What he was saying to the whole world was that he had made a great change to what had occurred in churches previously and was justifying that change. It centres on the emotion and sight and not the Holy Spirit. The eternal is something not visible and has nothing to do with the emotions that are natural. Joy as a fruit of the Spirit is produced within the spirit by the Holy Spirit.
I heard Frank Houston many years ago, quote the verses that Mary said when she visited Elizabeth, “My soul is magnifying the Lord and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Saviour”. He used this as explanation that soul also is involved in our worship today. The son would have heard that often. It would have been a major influence in his life. He was wrong in his understanding of soul, as explained here.
Luke 1:47 “And Mary said, ‘My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit was glad on God my Saviour.“
This was in the time before she was baptized with the Holy Ghost on the Day of Pentecost when she began to declare the works of the Lord from her spirit in the Holy Spirit. When she said her soul magnified the Lord, She used the language of the Old Testament. She was not yet under the New Testament or Covenant. Another point to make is that she used the present tense to describe her exaltation of God. This was under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. It was all about what would happen to the material element of her being, her body as declared then. She had just learnt that the Holy Ghost would overshadow her being, including body, so that there would be conceived in her womb, material element, the Christ child. In relation to her past, she says “My spirit was glad”. She shows that she always had a gladness placed upon God her Saviour.
In a marvellous way, the Holy Spirit had come upon her in her youth, silently and without announcement. He had placed within her an understanding of the various Scriptures in the Old Testament that pointed to God being Saviour, who would redeem His people. As a girl, she would not have been taught as were the boys but she was in the royal line of David and doubtless her father and mother would have taught her certain things.
Another thing was that Frank Houston, a paedophile, introduced girls dancing on the platform in the Sunday morning meeting, as we ourselves witnessed. I must say a Malaysian Chinese man was with us and we were all horrified at the spectacle. That again would have influenced Brian. Now the influence has reached to world-wide proportions to the detriment of the Church of Jesus Christ.
Together with his wife they had been Salvation Army officers. A reporter on T.V. who interviewed Brian, has said both Brian and his wife also had been officers, which I am unable to verify. That organization commenced with saving souls, as we mentioned in a Salvation Army Temple in India, but had come to being socially involved in a huge way. We in Australia have very great honour for the Salvos, who have done a magnificent work in all the wars amongst our soldiers. They also do an amazing work, with the sacrifice of their officers, in helping the destitute, children, old people, the needy and the outcasts. However, as we said in India to them, “Where has ‘the salvation’ gone?” They said that no one had ever said this before and accepted it.
Some time later, in Madurai, a Salvation Army vehicle full of fourteen male officers dressed in their beautiful white uniforms arrived where Peter and I were. They took us to preach the gospel in two villages that had never heard about Jesus. They sang, danced to their music, testified and then gave me the blessed opportunity to preach Christ, when some did open their hearts to Him. I also am indebted to the Marachele, daughter of General Booth. She married becoming a Booth-Clibborn, and was in charge of the Army in India. Their son, William Booth-Clibborn who spoke prolifically in other tongues, founded Covenant Christian Church, Barry Parade, Brisbane (renamed Glad Tidings Tabernacle). I have memories of both of them preaching when I was about six years of age or more.
All this is to give credence to the prosperity side of Hillsong and its preaching now as having some connection with Brian Houston’s background because they are involved in taking in the millions of dollars and dispensing an abundance over in Africa, for instance. This is a Salvation Army fundamental even today. Other churches in Australia are doing similar things, especially after following Rick Warren’s “The Purpose Driven Church”. This might be good from a human point of view but is it from a Divine and Scriptural point of view? Jesus’ last command was to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to everyone”. The issue for Charismatics and Pentecostals is this. Do we follow the Bible pattern or popular and often worldly views? Are we followers of Paul as he is of Christ?
The preaching of the gospel is the focus of Jesus' command that included nothing regarding money. I know helping these poor is commendable but it should be the last on the list of the church’s activities and not the second or first. Believers and churches are to minister to the poorer ones in their midst and poor ones overseas if they can. We are to “visit the widow in her distress” and show love to those in need. History records charity like this was given by the church to aid their struggling members. It is even a ministry of Helps as recorded in Romans 12. Christians do show love and help to believers in need as they were in Jerusalem, (2 Cor.8 and 9).
That the Pentecostals left the Spirit in the spirit area to go into the soul area with their music, programmes, denominational ways and teachings, has been very obvious to a discerning person for many years. The church has had the teaching of the Restoration of David’s Teaching. This particularly spread from New Zealand. Then there was the “Toronto Blessing” that eventually fell through, Latter Rain teachings of Canada and New Zealand with those from Vineyard and the Kansas Prophets. It is all of these peculiar and ungodly waves that give us a full background of the scene that was set for carnal, worldly, secular, Old Testament and non New Testament so-called “Praise and Worship” with the presence of Rock Music, singers and dancing and Rock concert scene to come into churches. The stage has been set and that is all it is.
The ideas that “the glory” has to fall, or the prayers and singing of “Pour out Your Spirit”, “Send the Fire”, or of the “Cloud” over us, that “the Cloud of Great Glory” has to come which songs all of us have even enjoyed, does tend to leave out the idea that the Presence of God is in heaven but that the Holy Spirit is already here, abiding in us, His temple. When we think that God’s presence is all around us, that it is in the atmosphere around us, above us, or in the meetings it can be quite misleading. It was only under the Old Testament that God was in “a place”, meaning a natural position in the material world. It is in Deuteronomy 31:11 “When all Israel has come before the Lord your God in the place named by him, let a reading be given of this law in the hearing of all Israel.” There is no mention of any place in the New Testament. The Lord our God is in heaven.
That we enter the presence of God by music is another concept that we do well to reconsider. The glory is within us, that we see in the face of Jesus Christ. Jesus poured out the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. He cannot be poured out again. Sending the fire would be asking for judgment because fire stands for judgment in the Bible. Then again, fire in the Old Testament for the Israelites was a materially created fire they could see. New Testament times do not deal with visible or material creations. They are all to do with Spiritual things that cannot be seen for “what is seen is temporal but that which is not seen, is eternal”, (2 Cor.4:18). To address these matters calls for an adherence to the truths of the New Testament of the Word of Christ. Then we need to be continually filled with the Holy Ghost that is based on prayer in other tongues, according to Paul. This is meant to be our privilege and blessing today as there is no verse of Scripture suggesting a cessation.
We are in contact with the eternal Spirit of God who is not around us but in us and not material things He might but never would, send down on us. The Children of Israel had a cloud of the Presence of God, again material. We are in the church of Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit, who is invisible but who is present, not in the building but in the temple of the Lord (2 Cor. 6:16;1 Pet.)2:5. It consists of the living stones of believers. This is particularly so if the power of the Spirit is manifested from those who are filled with the Holy Ghost. This will be through His gifts. It is Spiritual power, the Spirit’s manifestations and not anything of the material, mystic or New Age.
To think the presence of God is in the atmosphere is a very dangerous supposition. Satan is the prince of the power of the air and it is in that area that he and his spirits work. He is not at work within the believer and not even whispering to us. He is unlike God, and is not omnipresent. He stalks the earth to see whom he can devour. This is the reason Pentecostals but mostly Charismatics get into serious trouble with apparitions, angels, physical manifestations of demons, non Holy Ghost worship and experiences, gold dust, diamond dust, oil and feathers. These are demonic appearances. It is the reason the Toronto Blessing and its follow-up Moves, brought multitudes into the area of the demonic at the same time that many of them were enjoy Holy Spirit blessings, but in grace alone.
We recently watched a video on line from certain apostles of U.S.A. They listened to the sound of the planets and of the stars as recorded by Hubble and that is on the Internet. We have seen those very heavenly bodies and it is awesome. Where this congregation went wrong was that they considered it as such praise to God that it had to be answered – by them. The verse regarding the heavens answering to the earth and the earth to the heavens was used. They listened to these musical sounds from the heavenly bodies. Then some in the congregation blew on Shofars. A woman in weird apparel danced. Someone sang over the microphone an apparent song from the Spirit. The whole scene was a parallel of idolatrous and heathen worship. This was supposed to be in the Holy Ghost, with God involved in this. These kinds of things are happening in the U.S. but as to Australia I have no knowledge of such a thing if indeed it is occurring.
It is a shame the KJV uses the word 'belly' in relation to the flow of the Holy Ghost from within the believer who gets the infilling of the Spirit. The suggestion that something originates and comes out of the belly, which is material, often leads us up the garden pah. The original word in the Greek really means “innermost being” or “spirit” and is the same word as that used in the Septuagint to describe the place in the rock out of which water came for the Children of Israel to drink.
When we speak in other tongues it is directly out of our spirits within us as the Holy Spirit performs the miracle of producing those tongues we could never copy, make up, imagine or produce of ourselves. It is because we are filled with the Spirit, a Scriptural term. Every believer has the Holy Spirit within and only a minority are filled with the Spirit, speaking often in other tongues, which is the only indication the Bible declares. Sanctification or holiness of life should be the experience of every believer because of the Holy Spirit within to produce His fruits. This is necessary as an on-going experience because all of us still have our carnal natures within. The result is always 'the flesh (carnal nature) lusts against the Spirit'. As well as being the cause of our sin (it not being the devil) through the soul we receive wrong experiences, teachings of heresy from others and even 'Jewish myths' as Peter correctly wrote. James shows the contrast between the soulish in the believer wherein can be received that which is demonic. At the same time, there may be the outflow of that from the Spirit, through the area of the recreated spirit.
These are two separate matters as we approach worship with a Bible view. We approach God who is in heaven on His throne, through Jesus Christ and His shed blood. We have our Intercessor in heaven there, the Lord Jesus Christ. In Spirit we make that approach. Our minds, thoughts, words and the Holy Spirit are all involved. Otherwise God does not hear us if we do not go through these doors. We may approach Him using music but it would be the words of the music and never with the music itself. God is not listening for our music but for the words of our prayer, praise and worship. If we use wrong words as most of our present day choruses do, He pays no attention. Maybe He listens to what the heart is really saying. His grace is boundless, thank God. Music is not any avenue of approach to God. That is only through Christ by the Spirit.
Again, we do come to the heavenly Jerusalem, the heavenly city of our God, Mount Zion and never to Mount Sinai of the Old Testament. We are in the New Testament so our worship must accord with its directions and precedents. Mount Sinai was the place of the giving of the Law. If we go back to Old Testament worship, we are going back to worse than being under the Law. The Law has finished. There indeed was a form or institution of worship for them but it involved the sacrifice of a multitude of animals. It was but a shadow of the things that have come to us under the New Covenant. When we go back to doing what they did under the Law, we are not even in the shadow. We are in a big zero, nothing, because the shadow finished at the cross.
Yet multitudes of hundreds of thousands, even millions of people are doing this. It is then nothing to be marvelled at that the Holy Spirit does not work very much in those services. If people get saved, it is because someone has told them the gospel, which is the power of God unto salvation. If the occasional person does get a healing during the time spent in that particular order of service it is because that one has been touched by the Holy Spirit in healing, because the Holy Spirit is operating in that person in faith. Sometimes there are servants of the Lord who exercise gifts of the Holy Ghost.
What is the result of all this for us who are in those places? Deadness in relation to the things of the Holy Spirit. Excitement, gusto, revelling, jumping, soulish singing and music, New Age, a carnal and carnival environment, worldliness and a terribly loud noise. That is all there is and it is not pleasing to God if we read the Scriptures correctly. We are in a situation of the imposition of self-will and deception instead of God’s will and truth in our churches. In doing this, we are following the world’s carnality, humanism, secularism, psychology and entertainment, and all in the name of worship to the One and Only True God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The churches are filled with many antichrists, even as the apostle John said would be and indeed was already happening in those days. This probably comes as a surprise to us all but it is in the Bible. Anti Christ means this; anti is instead of and Christ the Anointed One. Any teaching, any ministry, any office, any gift or any person that is being upheld instead of Christ is an antichrist spirit. We fail to recognize all this but should do so. We are to follow the gospel as taught by Jesus Christ and then by all of the apostles and follow those teachings alone. We are not to follow the spirit of error. There is according to 1 John 4:6 “the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.“
We read, 1 John 2:18,24,27 “It is the last hour; and as you were given word that the Antichrist would come, so now a number of Antichrists have come to you; keep in your hearts the things which were made clear to you from the first. If you keep these things in your hearts you will be kept in the Father and the Son; this Anointing (of Christ within) teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.”
The present condition in our churches calls for repentance above all, as Jesus directed the churches in the book of Revelation to perform. In relation to the musical scene. May I point out that it is recorded by scholars that the present Rock scene was introduced in the fifties, first in London and then in Paris for the set purpose of provoking a great moral down-slide in youth. This suited the purposes of the oligarchy controlling world finances and was instigated by them. We have allowed our Christian youth to retain that evil influence in our churches. It is the beat and the rhythm from the jungles of Africa that has the intent of stirring the emotions and inherent carnal lusts. As an old person, I have let it happen. The youth have set the pace and we have been forced to follow. We are doing wrong and so are they. The consequence is that there is a lack of the anointing and moving of the Holy Ghost in our midst, because of our false fire. Is it like the book of Judges where the next generation came along and did not follow the true ways of the Lord? Surely I myself should repent. We have supplanted the operation and worship through the Spirit with our musical scene even to the extent in some places of provided a worldly rock concert environment with darkness, flashing lights, colours and smoke. My God, how this must affront Your Majesty, Glory and Holiness!