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AND THE FLESH
EMOTION AND THE FLESH
Subtitle: At What Point Does True Worship End And Fleshly Emotion Begin?
During this time of the year (the Christmas season) Matthew chapter two is often read because it contains details about the birth of Jesus Christ. And in the first two verses we learn that "wise men" from the East came to Jerusalem seeking the One who was to be born "King of the Jews" so they could worship Him. But due to an almost universal ignorance of the occult among Christians today, very few understand the astounding truth expressed in these words! According to Strong's Concordance, these "wise men" were Babylonian magos, mag'-os; of foreign origin [Hebrew 7248 (Rab-Mag)]; a Magian, i.e. Oriental scientist; by implication a magician :- sorcerer, wise man.
My friends, these men were Zoroastrians and worshipped Ormazd--the Gnostic concept of the universal struggle between the forces of light and darkness. They were saturated in occult mysticism and ungodly to say the very least! Yet millions of ignorant Christians continue to view them as being spiritual because they "worshipped" the baby Jesus. When in actual point of fact, they merely did homage to Him--an act of respect they would likely have offered any human king of that era. The Greek word translated "worship" in Matt.2:2 is proskuneo and has a connotation of showing reverance for either man or God. So it is most unfortunate Roman Catholic tradition afforded these men a position of respect they certainly do not deserve. And the tremendous irony of what actually took place is lost on those who do not understand the facts. By His Sovereign hand God led the elite from among the world's foremost occult organization of that day to make a very difficult journey, offer gifts and pay homage to His Son! And those very gifts financed Mary and Joseph's flight to Egypt in order to escape King Herod's wrath.
Then to show another example of where the context of "worship" is clearly not that of a believer toward His Lord, we offer the following:
"But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him" Mark 5:6 (KJV)
This was the action of the "maniac of Gedara" prior to being delivered from demon possession. The demons were compelled to show obeisance to Christ, but did not worship Him by acknowledging His intrinsic worth--the sense in which Christians are supposed to use the term--because, "Worthy is the Lamb" (Rev.5:12).
Since there are two different aspects to worship, let us move on to the point I want to make. And that is, do you truly honor the Lord or merely pay obesiance/homage to Him? Going to church, bowing the knee and going through the motions of formal worship are meaningless nonsense if not prompted by the Holy Spirit. So ask yourself this vitally important question and be completely honest: What is my motivation for going to church--Is it to give or to receive? If you are like most people today (and will admit it), the worship service is a total bust if the music does not thrill your soul and/or a "positive" message by the pastor does not lift your spirits. Right? Remember we are being honest here! Unfortunately, most show by their actions they do not grasp the concept that the purpose of a worship service is to give, not receive. We are supposed to freely offer to God our praise, prayers, and purse strings--thereby honoring Him for Who He is-- not behaving like greedy children expecting goodies in return. The apostle Paul reminds us of this in Acts 20:35, where he quotes the Lord as saying it is more blessed to give than receive. But because we are selfish by nature, keeping our priorities straight is a constant problem.
Are your spiritual priorities in proper order? To find out, please allow me to propose a test you can take to reveal what actually motivates you where worship is concerned.
(1) How would it affect you if your church restricted its music program to congregational singing from an old fashioned hymnal and refused to allow "Contemporary Christian Music" with all its theatrics, Broadway orchestrations, and emotional appeal? Could you survive without thrilling performances by soloists emulating the stars of popular music?
(2) What would be your reaction if the pastor poured out his heart and insisted upon preaching doctrinal sermons lasting from 45 minutes to an hour (or more)--thereby making you very uncomfortable about sin in your life? What if he truly heeded Paul's admonition in 2 Timothy:
"Preach the word; be instant in season, out
of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine"
2 Tim.4:2 (KJV, emphasis mine).
(3) Could you grow spiritually without a steady diet of psychological self-help advice from the pulpit?
My friends, it is obvious from the amount of email I receive that God's people are waking up to reality! More and more are expressing dissatisfaction with their churches because they realize little or no genuine worship is taking place there. Preachers have become so obsessed with church growth that they have succumbed to a "whatever works" mentality in filling the pews with bodies. And that is a recipe for spiritual disaster! The ends do not justify the means.
The New Testament Greek word ekklesia,translated as "church" in our English Bibles, is a gathering of genuine believers for the purpose of Bible study, prayer, praise and worship--as we see defined in Strong's Concordance:
ekklesia, ek-klay-see'-ah; from a compound of Greek 1537 (ek) and a derivative of Greek 2564 (kaleo); a calling out, i.e. (concretely) a popular meeting, especially a religious congregation (Jewish synagogue, or Christian community of members on earth or saints in heaven or both) :- assembly, church.
A building is not a church. The church is comprised of born-again believers who meet within the building and when they leave, that particular church is dispersed. Then if two or three (or more) of them come together around someone's kitchen table for the purpose of worship, that too meets the definition for a church! During the first 200-300 years of the Church Age, small groups of believers met in homes for worship and if the present trend continues, it may once again be the norm. A hunger and thirst for spiritual food is gradually separating wheat from the tares as God's people gravitate toward the truth of His Word.
So as a plea to those who have stopped going to church, I beg you to seek out others who will agree to meet with you in your home for worship. This is certainly not a new problem as evidenced by the following exhortation:
"Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching" Hebrews 10:25 (KJV, emphasis mine)
We need one another. The various spiritual gifts bestowed upon us by the Holy Spirit (all believers have at least one, but no one individual possesses all of them) are for the purpose of providing help to the brethren. God intends that we stick together and those supernatural abilities provide the necessary "glue" to accomplish that. And note from the verse above that staying together is even more important as we "see the day approaching." What day is meant by that statement? It is the day of the Lord which begins with the Tribulation Period and revealing of "the man of sin"--the Antichrist. Believers around the world are now sounding the alarm, so to speak, by calling attention to current events which clearly point to the nearness of that hour. And as apostasy continues to squeeze God's people to separate, we must not remain isolated and marginalized.
But what about the differences of doctrinal position that divide us into so many "denominations"? Doctrine is vitally important and must not be ignored, but if someone clearly exhibits the fruit of the Spirit in their daily life--we must accept them as being genuine and, if necessary, "agree to disagree" on certain issues. Please bear in mind that heresy can and does exist with true belief--so we must lovingly make allowances for such things and try to resolve them if possible. As a rule compromise is something to be avoided, but mature believers should be able to agree on the bare essentials--the bedrock fundamentals of the faith--and tolerate differences of opinion. For instance, the centuries-old dispute between Arminians and Calvinists is not an obstacle to worship that cannot be overcome by the right kind of tolerance. As long as all concerned focus upon honoring Jesus Christ and doing our best to live for Him, such differences of opinion must be secondary to that goal. Family members often do not see eye-to-eye on certain matters, but love holds them together.
So if you find it necessary to "come out from among them and be ye separate" (2 Cor.6:17), seek out others who love the Lord and want to offer themselves to Him in worship.
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God" Romans 12:1-2 (KJV)
The Holy Spirit will lead you to them if you are willing to be led.
If you have been born again and received Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, but have been very lukewarm in your spiritual walk with Him, you need to immediately ask Him for forgiveness and for renewal. He will instantly forgive you, and fill your heart with the joy of the Holy Spirit. Then, you need to begin a daily walk of prayer and personal Bible Study.
If you have never placed your trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior, but have come to sense His reality and the approaching End of the Age, and want to receive His FREE Gift of Eternal Life, you can do so now, in the privacy of your home. Once you truly believe in Him as Lord and Savior, you are spiritually Born Again, and are as assured of Heaven as if you were already there. Then, you can rest assured that the Kingdom of Antichrist will not touch you spiritually. If you would like to become Born Again, turn to our Salvation Page now.
We hope you have been blessed by this ministry, which seeks to educate and warn people, so that they can see the coming New World Order—Kingdom of Antichrist—in their daily news.
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