WHEN GOD REJECTS OUR WORSHIP
We must faithfully live the life enjoined
upon us by Jesus the Christ and His noble
ambassadors. The Spirit of Christ must
permeate the life of His professed followers.
Amongst the people of God, worship has always been of high and
solemn importance. Great emphasis has been placed on ensuring that
our worship is in accordance with the divine mandates as delivered
within the pages of the New Testament. We are thoroughly familiar
with the fact that, under the New Covenant, praise and worship is
described as the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his
name (Heb. 13:15). Further, we find admonitions given by
the Holy Spirit through Paul: And be not drunk with wine,
wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to
yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and
making melody in your heart to the Lord (Eph. 5:18-19).
In the past, contentions arose over the meaning of the Greek
term psallo that is translated making melody in
Ephesians 5:19. It was contended that the word implied the use of
an instrument other than the human voice, thereby permitting
worshippers (laboring under the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ
Jesus) to employ the melodious tones of the piano and the organ,
which find such ready and frequent acceptance in most all
denominations today. However, all reputable Greek lexicographers,
with one voice, report that by the time of Christ and His apostles,
the term psallo had come to mean simply to pluck, pull
out, to cause to vibrate by touching, to twang; in the NT, to sing
a hymn, to celebrate the praises of God in song (Thayer,
p.675, 1967). Hence, upon considering the text with this
understanding, we find that that which is to be plucked or twanged
is the human heart and that it is to be done during the singing of
praise. We find a similar reference in Colossians 3:16: Let
the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and
admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Moreover, during our worship we know that it is right and
proper to pray to our Holy Father and to commemorate
the sacrifice and death of His only Begotten Son through the
elements of the unleavened loaf and fruit of the vine (Acts 20:7).
These we teach and practice; and, we take great comfort in knowing
that we worship God in accordance to His divine standards. However,
there have been occasions throughout the history of Gods
people when, in fact, God has rejected the worship he prescribed.
Let us examine such an occasion in the book of Isaiah so that we
might find the root cause of such rejection; and, in order to guard
ourselves against a similar fate.
Through the prophet Isaiah (1:11-14), our Creator spoke
these words: To what purpose [is] the multitude of your
sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt
offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in
the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. When ye come to
appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my
courts? Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination
unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I
cannot away with; [it is] iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Your
new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a
trouble unto me; I am weary to bear [them].
An analysis of this passage reveals these findings:
1) We note that the people of God during this time were
bringing a multitude of sacrifices. Hence, we understand
from this that they were not slack in the Laws requirement of
offering sacrifice unto God on a regular and consistent basis. In
this respect, the Israelites were in total compliance with the Law.
2) We find within these offerings the image of the fat
of fed beasts. This description is indicative of the fact that
the worshippers were indeed bringing the best of the flocks to
Jehovah for offering. Once more, this placed them in harmony with
the divinely enjoined precepts of the Law.
3) We note that the priests were still faithful in their
offering of incense, and yet it was an abomination unto God. Only
the priests were permitted to offer incense upon the sacrifices,
which emphasizes the fact that even the priesthood of holy and
righteous men devoted to the pursuit of serving Jehovah in His
Temple were corrupted by the rampant wickedness that prevailed
amongst the people of God.
4) The observance of the various appointed feasts and
religious days were wearisome to God to the extent that He hated
them and considered these occasions troublesome. However, from this
description we realize once more that the Israelites were faithful
in their external observances of the requirements of the Law.
In view of these facts, we are left with the image of an
indignant God who despised and therefore rejected the worship
offered unto Him by His people. However, when viewing the actions
of the Israelites, we must concede that the sacrifices offered and
the religious days observed were all in accordance with the very
laws that had been divinely prescribed by God Himself. Therefore,
knowing that the external forms of worship were not to be faulted,
we must seek the reason behind Gods rejection elsewhere.
Note the context of this passage (Isa. 1:11-14):
1) First, we find Jehovah lamenting the rebellion of the
Israelite people whom He had nourished and brought up as children:
...I have nourished and brought up children, and they have
rebelled against me (Isa. 1:2). This people had become a
...sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of
evildoers, children that are corrupters... (Isa. 1:4). It
was even said of them that they had forsaken the LORD, they
have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away
backward. Be mindful that these charges were laid against
them in spite of the fact that they had remained faithful in their
observance of the worship of God as the Mosaic Law had directed.
2) The people were characterized by God in saying
your hands are full of blood (Isa. 1:15). The
rulers of the people were rebellious, and companions of
thieves (Isa. 1:23). Moreover, every one loveth
bribes, and followeth after rewards: they judge not the fatherless,
neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them.
For these transgressions and failures, the worship offered
in accordance with the dictates of the Law was decisively rejected.
Hence, the lesson is plainly understood. Although our forms of
worship may harmonize perfectly with the divine Will, there is
still that which must be done to make such acceptable. We must
faithfully live the life enjoined upon us by Jesus the Christ and
His noble ambassadors. We must not be full of love and light and
life on only one day a week. The Spirit of Christ must permeate the
life of His professed followers. Recall the inspired admonition:
But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be
that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the
Spirit of Christ, he is none of his (Rom. 8:9).
What was the divine remedy for the people of God whose
scriptural worship was so castigated? Hear the words of the prophet
once more: Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of
your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do
well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless,
plead for the widow. ... If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall
eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be
devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken
[it] (Isa. 1:16-17, 19-20).
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Belton, KY 42324
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Seek The Old Paths web site has a lot of good Bible
study material. All back issues are available and searchable. There
are dictionaries, encyclopedias, word studies, maps, atlas, Bible
puzzles, video and audio sermons, rare and/or out of print books
a wealth of information. Check it out!
Table of Contents
CHRISTIANS CAN FALL AND BE LOST
Garland M. Robinson
The subject of apostasy is so prevalent in the Scriptures that
you can take your Bible and randomly open it at any place, Old or
New Testament, and on either of those two pages you will likely
read something about falling away. Some have noted there are as
many as 2,500 verses that speak on this topic. For example, in
Hebrews 4:11, we read about the danger of falling away.
Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest
any man fall after the same example of unbelief. In 2
Peter 3:17 we are warned about falling away. Ye
therefore, beloved, seeing ye know [these things] before,
beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the
wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. In 1
Timothy 4:1-3 it is predicted that some would fall away.
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times
some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing
spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy;
having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to
marry, [and commanding] to abstain from meats, which God hath
created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and
know the truth. In 2 Timothy 2:17-18 we have an
example of some who fell away. And their word will
eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; Who
concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is
past already; and overthrow the faith of some.
If one cannot fall away and be eternally lost, why are we
exhorted so frequently to be faithful so as not to lose our reward?
...Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a
crown of life (Rev. 2:10). What if youre not faithful
unto death? Will there still be a crown of life? The obvious answer
is No. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in
white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of
life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his
angels (Rev. 3:5). What if you dont overcome the
temptations and cares of life? This text says your name will be
blotted out of Gods book of life.
Unless we add faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance,
patience, godliness, brotherly kindness and charity to our lives,
we will be barren, unfruitful, and blind; and consequently, will
have fallen from the Lord (2 Peter 1:5-10). Wherefore let
him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall (1
Cor. 10:12). An evil heart of unbelief causes us to depart from God
(Heb. 3:12-14). We must follow peace and holiness or we will never
see the Lord (Heb. 12:14). Unless we seek after the Lords
goodness, we will be cut off (Rom. 11:22). The devil
knows Christians can fall and is working diligently to that end (1
Peter 5:8). If we cant fall, he is wasting his time.
Many of the parables teach that Christians can fall away and
be lost: the ten virgins (Matt. 25:1-13), the net
(Matt. 13:47-50), the talents (Matt. 25:14-30), the
sower (Luke 8:13), the unfaithful servant (Luke
12:41-48), the vine and the branches (John 15:1-8).
If Christians cant fall, why did Jesus teach his
disciples to pray, lead us not into temptation
(Matt. 6:13)? Why did Peter say that when we turn from the truth we
are in a worse condition than if we had never known (obeyed) the
way of righteousness (2 Peter 2:20-22)?
Its amazing how some people have a wild and vivid
imagination in attempting to make the Bible fit their manmade
doctrines! Jesus said, But in VAIN they do worship me,
teaching for doctrines the COMMANDMENTS OF MEN (Matt.
15:9). If the Bible teaches anything at all, it teaches a child of
God can fall away from Gods saving grace and be eternally
lost. Unless we strive to enter the strait gate (Luke 13:24) and
give diligence to make our calling and election sure (2 Peter
1:10), we will fall.
To those who go back to keep any part of the Old Testament,
Galatians 5:4 says, Christ is become of no effect unto
you,...ye are fallen from grace. Could any passage
be clearer? If this verse is not sufficient, what would God have to
say to make people believe Christians can fall away and be lost?
You cant fall from a place youve never been. One needs
help to misunderstand this passage. Sadly, the world is full of
false teachers who are leading men astray in helping them to
misunderstand the Bible!
Second Peter 3:9 says the Lord does not wish for any to
perish (be lost) but for all to come to repentance. The key is
REPENTANCE; without it, no one will be saved (Luke 13:3; Acts
17:30). God has provided a means of forgiveness for those who have
gone back to the old life. An example of this is shown by
considering the account of a converted sorcerer whose name was
Simon (Acts 8:12-24). After becoming a Christian, he desired to
obtain the gift of laying on of hands by offering Peter
and John money to buy it. Because of his deed, he was said to be
in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of
iniquity. His heart was not right in the sight of God and
was shown to be wickedness. Could any doubt he had not fallen away?
He was told to repent and pray in order to be restored to the
fellowship of God. This is the same way it is done today for
Gods children who have gone astray.
The way back to God is for the fallen to repent,
confess fault and pray. Confess your faults one to another,
and pray one for another. ... The effectual fervent prayer of a
righteous man availeth much (James 5:16).
Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and
one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner
from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall
hide a multitude of sins (James 5:19-20). First John 1:9
says, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to
forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all
unrighteousness. The point is, if we do not confess our
sins, he will not forgive us. Galatians 6:1 says, Brethren,
if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore
such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest
thou also be tempted. Jude 21 says, Keep
yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord
Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
If you are an unfaithful member of the Lords church,
why not come back to faithfulness by repenting of your sins and
making things right with your home congregation? The eternal
consequences of the wayward Christian is worse than if you had
never known the way of truth and obeyed it (cf. 2 Peter 2:20-21).
Can we expect to see you at church the next time the doors
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WHY I LEFT THE MORMON CHURCH #14
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter
Day Saints is a dishonest and
fallacious religion that has deceived many
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is driven
largely by a creed of thirteen Articles of Faith. To see
our examination of these Articles, go to
The thirteenth and final clause in the Mormon Articles of
We believe in being honest, true, chaste,
benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men;
indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of
Paul We believe all things, we hope all things,
we have endured many things, and hope to be able to
endure all things. If there is anything virtuous,
lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek
after these things.
The ideologies mentioned here certainly generate behavior by
which everyone should abide. In our examination of article 13, we
want to call attention to the word honesty. Honesty is
imperative in the pursuit and presentation of truth. It will also
lead to exposing error and deception. This is why it is somewhat
ironic that a religion with such a controversial history and
disregard for Bible authority would tout such an attribute at the
conclusion of its faith-based statements.
A considerable amount of the duplicity (cunning, deception)
of the teachings and works of Mormonism, as compared to the
infallible Bible, has been discussed throughout our series of 14
articles (beginning in Jan/2014). Yet there is one more compelling
piece of evidence (and perhaps the most convincing) that challenges
the honesty and integrity of the LDS Church (Latter Day Saints).
That proof comes by way of their numerous prophecies that have
utterly failed to be fulfilled.
In Deuteronomy 18:21, God anticipates Moses asking a
relevant question pertaining to prophecy, ...How shall we
know the word which the Lord hath not spoken. In other
words, how will we know if what someone prophesies is true or
false? God answers, When a prophet speaketh in the name of
the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is
the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath
spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him
(Deut. 18:22) In short, when one gives an accurate prophecy, he may
be trusted. If not, then he exposes himself as fraudulent.
In 1969, a scientist named Peter Stoner wrote an article in
the magazine Science Speaks in which he examined the
validity of Bible prophecy. He first took eight prophecies as
recorded in the Old Testament and wrote,
We find that the chance that any man might have lived
down to the present time and fulfilled all eight
prophecies is 1 in 10 to the 17th power...take 10 to
the 17th power silver dollars and lay them on the
face of Texas. They will cover all of the state two
feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars and
stir the whole mass thoroughly, all over the state.
Blindfold a man and tell him that he can travel as
far as he wishes, but he must pick up one silver
dollar and say that this is the right one. What
chance would he have of getting the right one? Just
the same chance that the prophets would have had of
writing these eight prophecies and having them
all come true in any one man.
Stoner then considered 48 prophecies and writes, We find the
chance that any one man fulfilled all 48 prophecies to be 1 in 10
to the 157th power. These are certainly staggering odds. Now,
consider that there are more than 300 prophecies in the Old
Testament that were fulfilled exactly when, how, and
where the prophets said they would. Every one of them was
fulfilled (33 in one day)! No other book of religious antiquity
provides such explicit prophecies with precise results. However, it
does not take long to see how Mormon prophets have fallen short.
FAILED PROPHECY IN THE BOOK OF MORMON
The Book of Mormon states, And behold, he [Jesus]
shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem [emphasis, NF] which is
the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and
chosen vessel... (Alma 7:10) This prophecy can be immediately
dismissed as false. John writes, Hath not the scripture
said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town
of Bethlehem, where David was (John 7:42)? Matthew
writes, Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of
Judaea in the days of Herod the king... (Matt. 2:1).
Likewise, Luke describes the time and setting of the Saviors
birth as being in Bethlehem (Luke 2). Jerusalem and
Bethlehem are five miles apart. In order to try to reconcile the
book of Mormons false assertions, Mormon apologists claim the
New World knew little of Old World geography. However, Johns
account clearly refers to geographic details at the time of David.
This Mormon prophecy utterly fails.
FAILED PROPHECIES IN THE DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS
A prophecy was given regarding a Mormon temple that would
be built in Missouri. Joseph Smith writes,
Hearken, O ye elders of my church, saith the Lord
your God, who have assembled yourselves together,
according to my commandments, in this land, which is
the land of Missouri, which is the land which I have
appointed and consecrated for the gathering of the
saints. Wherefore, this is the land of promise, and
the place for the city of Zion. And thus saith the
Lord your God, if you will receive wisdom here is
wisdom. Behold, the place which is now called
Independence is the center place; and a spot for the
temple is lying westward, upon a lot which is not far
from the courthouse. (Doctrine & Covenants
This prophecy declares there would be a Mormon temple erected
in Independence, Missouri. However, to this day there has never
been one built nor is there any authorization from the government
to establish one. This Mormon prophecy fails.
There was a prophecy regarding the Civil War. Smith
Verily, thus saith the Lord concerning the wars that
will shortly come to pass, beginning at the rebellion
of South Carolina, which will eventually terminate in
the death and misery of many souls; And the time will
come that war will be poured out upon all nations,
beginning at this place. For behold, the Southern
States shall be divided against the Northern States,
and the Southern States will call on other nations,
even the nation of Great Britain, as it is called,
and they shall also call upon other nations, in order
to defend themselves against other nations; and
then war shall be poured out upon all nations
[emphasis, NF] (Doctrine & Covenants 87:1-3)
The Civil War was fought between the North and South and isolated
in the United States. It never extended beyond the border of
America, certainly not to all nations. This Mormon prophecy fails.
OTHER FAILED PROPHECIES
In Smiths History of the Church, he gives a prophecy
pertaining to Lyman E. Johnson, one of their modern day
apostles at that time. Smith writes, ...he [Lyman E. Johnson]
shall live until the gathering is accomplished, according to the
holy prophets; and he shall be like unto Enoch; and his faith shall
be like unto his...and he shall see the Saviour come and stand upon
the earth with power and great glory (Smith). Smith
claims Johnson would be alive to see the Lord return. This was
written in February, 1835. However, Johnson was excommunicated in
1837 and drowned in 1856. This Mormon prophecy fails.
Also in History of the Church, Smith prophesied about
William E. McLellin, another modern day apostle. Smith
writes, ...his life shall be spared in the midst of pestilence
and destruction, and in the midst of his enemies. He shall be a
prince and savior to Gods people. The tempter shall not
overcome him...and his days may be prolonged until the coming of
the Son of Man. This was also written in 1835. However,
McLellin was excommunicated that same year and died on April 24,
1883. This Mormon prophecy fails.
The LDS Church claims that the reference to two sticks in
Ezekiel 37:15-22 was a prediction of the uniting of the Book of
Mormon and the Bible. However, an examination of the text
clearly explains that the two sticks refer to Judah and Israel. The
two would become one. It is a prophecy relating to the spiritual
restoration of Israel in Christ and His church (vs.23-28; Luke
1:30-33; John 10:11-16; Heb. 13:20). This Mormon prophecy fails.
There is a rather humorous prophecy regarding inhabitants
on the moon. In the Journal of Oliver B. Huntington, Joseph
Smith is quoted as saying that there are inhabitants on the moon.
He expands by saying these moon men stood nine feet tall
and were dressed in Quaker-style clothing. They also lived to be
one hundred years old. Remember at that time, space exploration was
still science fiction, which is precisely what Smiths
prediction was. This Mormon prophecy fails.
Another prophecy centered around Smith trying to sell the
copyright of the Book of Mormon. At that time, Canada was known
to purchase religious material and Smith wanted a part of it.
In An Address to All Believers in Christ, David
Joseph looked into the hat in which he placed the
stone, and received a revelation that some of the
brethren should go to Toronto, Canada, and that they
would sell the copyright of the Book of
Mormon...Well, we were all in great trouble; and we
asked Joseph how it was that he had received a
revelation from the Lord for some brethren to go to
Toronto and sell the copyright, and the brethren had
utterly failed in their undertaking. Joseph did not
know how it was, so he enquired of the Lord about it,
and behold the following revelation came through the
stone: Some revelations are of God: some
revelations are of men: and some revelations are of
the devil. (Whitmer)
Consider how absurd this reasoning is. It implies that any false
revelation could be explained away by simply saying it was of the
devil or from man. No prophecy in the Bible reasoned its
authenticity in this manner, yet many in defense of Mormon
scripture fall for this nonsensical logic. Remember Deuteronomy
18:22, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that [is]
the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, [but] the prophet hath
spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.
This Mormon prophecy fails.
Brigham Young, the second leader of the LDS Church wrote,
I will tell you who the real fanatics are: they are
they who adopt false principles and ideas as facts,
and try to establish a superstructure upon a false
foundation. They are the fanatics; and however ardent
and zealous they may be, they may reason or argue on
false premises till doomsday, and the result will be
false. If our religion is of this character we want
to know it; we would like to find a philosopher who
can prove it to us. (Young)
Perhaps if Mr. Young was alive long enough to see this bold
proclamation backfire, he would have recanted his confident
remarks. Many more failed prophecies can be found with timely
research, but it only takes one to correctly expose a false
prophet. Several are listed for the sake of identifying the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints as being
a dishonest and fallacious religion that has deceived many good
One should not merely accept something just because he believes
it to be accurate. Christianity is based on evidence. Paul writes
of the Bereans, These were more noble than those in
Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of
mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things
were so [emph., NF] (Acts 17:11).
Most who defend Mormon doctrine are genuinely sincere.
However, sincerity does not automatically initiate truth. One who
is honest with their research will unveil the facts. That is not to
say those who do it will ultimately accept it, but the hope remains
that all will come to Christ.
Smith, Joseph. History of the Church. Vol. 2. Salt
Lake City: The Deseret Book Company, 1978. 7 vols.
. History of the Church. Vol. 2. Salt Lake City:
The Deseret Book Company, 1978. 7 vols.
Whitmer, David. An Address to All Believers in
Christ. Richmond: David Whitmer, 1887.
Young, Brigham. The Gospel - The One-Man Power.
Journal of Discourses 13 (1870): 271.
921 W Vine St.
Kissimmee, FL 34741
This completes the series.
The entire 14 part series of lessons on Mormonism have been put into one document.
Table of Contents
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see
your good works, and glorify your Father which is in
heaven (Matt. 5:16). To glorify means to adore,
to honor, to esteem or to magnify. God is certainly worthy
to receive glory and honor and power (Rev. 4:14).
In 1 Corinthians 10:31, Paul wrote that we are to do all to
the glory of God. How should we glorify God?
In Our Works. To please and to glorify God demands we
be involved in good works, that is, works authorized by God (Col.
3:17; Eph. 2:10; Matt. 5:16; Heb. 10:24). We must be
zealous of good works (Titus 2:14) and be
careful to maintain good works (Titus 3:8).
In Our Worship. Who shall not fear thee, O
Lord, and glorify thy name? For thou only art holy; for all nations
shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made
manifest (Rev. 15:4). If we are to glorify God in worship,
then our worship must be as He has authorized in His word. The
guidelines for acceptable worship are stated in John 4:24, where
Jesus said, God is a spirit; and they that worship him must
worship him in spirit and in truth. For worship to glorify
God it must be directed to God must worship him with
the right disposition of heart in spirit, being
guided by divine truth in truth. Therefore, when we
change any one of these three essential elements in worship, our
worship will be in vain. Some in the church today are pushing for
change in how we worship. We must not allow mechanical instruments
of music, solos, choruses and choirs, handclapping, women preaching
or leading in other areas in our worship services. Such matters are
not authorized by Jehovah God. When we follow our own way
rather than Gods way in worship, God cannot be
In Our Way of Life. When we bring our lives in
harmony with Gods word, God is glorified (1 Cor. 6:19,20; Rom.
12:1,2). How can we do this? We must walk in the light (1
John 1:7), walk in newness of life (Rom. 6:4), walk
in the Spirit (Gal. 5:16), walk not after the flesh
(Rom. 8:1) and walk in love (Eph. 5:2). We must put away
the works of the flesh and produce the fruit of the
Spirit (Gal. 5:19-23). Even when we suffer for doing right,
God must be glorified (1 Peter 4:16).
By Our Words. It is true that when we teach and
preach, we must only teach and preach the truth (2 Tim.
4:2; 1 Peter 4:11; 2 John 9-11). Therefore, if we teach false
doctrine, no matter how sincere we may be, God is not glorified. Do
we gossip, take Gods name in vain, or curse? God is not
glorified by such. Let no corrupt communication proceed out
of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that
it may minister grace unto the hearers (Eph. 4:29). What
we say does make a difference because we will be judged by our
words (Matt. 12:36,37).
Let us make sure that we are careful in what we do and say
so that we can glorify God in our works, worship, way of life, and
by our words.
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St. Peters, MO 63376
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A LITTLE ORDER IN WORSHIP, PLEASE
In previous articles we have called for: 1) A Little Common
Sense (Nov/14, Is There A Pattern For New Testament
Worship?) recognizing and following the pattern God has
set out for worship. 2) A Little Reverence (Dec/14,
Reverence Please) recognizing the meaning of worship,
and trying to humbly give to the Lord the glory due his name. In
this article, we want to call for A Little Order, Please.
Some groups seem to promote disorder and chaos in worship.
They allow people to talk and shout while others are talking, to
interrupt, and to engage in various attention-getting behaviors. I
have visited assemblies of denominational groups and observed some
very disturbing things.
In some assemblies, any person moved by the song lyrics is
likely to stand up. This happens also when the preacher is making
an important point. No big deal, right? The problem is that this
behavior focuses those in the assembly on the person who jumps up
rather than on God or on the truth being set forth in song or
sermon. In other assemblies, Ive seen people shouting,
supposedly jabbering in tongues while songs are being
sung or even while the preacher is preaching. I even heard one
woman barking like a dog.
The claim is that this chaos is the result of the Holy
Spirit overcoming people, slaying them in the Spirit, and
other similar nonsense. One older preacher from the past noted that
when someone gets the Spirit it takes five brethren to
hold him. He then went on to ask, Why would God have a wild
Spirit? The fact is, its not the Holy Spirit that prompts
men to be disorderly in worship.
We admit that the New Testament pattern does not give us a
specific order of worship. It does not tell us what comes first,
second, last, etc. However, while this is true, it does call for
orderly worship. First Corinthians 14:40 says, Let
all things be done decently and in order.
The reason for this command is that the church at Corinth
had a problem with disorderly behavior in worship. In chapter 14,
they were reminded of these things:
The very things that are practiced and promoted by modern
day Pentecostalism are clearly condemned in 1 Corinthians 14. God
calls us to order, not to disorder, disarray and chaos.
- 1. They should not all try to be leaders in the
- 2. They ought to take turns when they spoke in
tongues, and then only 2 or 3 at a time (v.27).
- 3. It was wrong for them to speak in foreign
languages in the assembly unless an interpreter was present (v.28).
(In New Testament times some men were given the ability to speak in
tongues. This was not some unintelligible gibberish that only God
could understand, these tongues were languages that the person
could speak miraculously without having learned them (cf. Acts
2:1-11). First Corinthians 13:8-13 teaches conclusively that
speaking in tongues, receiving direct revelations from God,
miraculous healing, and prophesying, have long since passed
- 4. Those prophesying should not speak over one
another, but should take turns speaking (vs.29-31).
- 5. The spirits of the prophets were subject to the
prophets (v.32). This means they were not out of control
due to the influence of the Spirit.
- 6. Paul also reminded them that God is not the
author of confusion, but of peace (v.33).
Sadly, as some in the church imitate the denominations
around us, we see some worship assemblies becoming less formal,
more casual, and more disorderly.
This trend is in the wrong direction. It is toward more
disorder, not toward more order.
- 1. We see preachers asking questions from the
pulpit and encouraging people (even women) to answer out loud as if
there is no distinction between a worship service and a Bible
class. This violates 1 Corinthians 14:34-35.
- 2. We see people encouraging a sporting event
atmosphere high-fiving each other as they come out
of the pulpit, encouraging applause, and adding clapping to
a capella singing. While worship can be considered a
celebration of sorts, there is a formality demanded by the words
decently and in order that we must not abandon.
EDIFICATION OF OTHERS
First Corinthians 14:26 commands us to do all things unto
edifying. Disorder and chaos can not and do not edify. Always
seeking to be the center of attention does not demonstrate a
concern for others. When we care about others, we will make sure
our worship is orderly so it can edify and teach.
Modern Americans love entertainment. We detest anything that
is boring. We shout for that which excites the senses and shocks
the sensibilities. But as spiritual people, we need to outgrow our
childish urges for excitement and heed Gods call for order.
Remembering our purpose in worship will help us with this.
We worship to praise God, not to call attention to self. We
worship to give Him the glory due to his high and holy name (Psa.
29:2). This desire should keep us from jumping up and down and
trying to attract attention to ourselves. It should also call on us
to do things as God has ordered them so that He will be praised and
honored. The Glory belongs to God.
A Little Order Please...
1495 E Empire Ave.
Benton Harbor, MI 49022
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