Friday, September 08, 2006


Jesus told the woman at the well that in the near future the true worshippers would worship God in Spirit and in Truth. He did not explain what He meant by that statement, so we must rely on the correlation of Scriptures to find out just what He meant by the statement.
Every person believes that he or she is worshipping in Truth, because they feel they have the Truth. However, Truth means more than a doctrine or a belief about God. Real Truth (or the Reality of God) is found only in the person of Jesus Christ. There are many forms of worship in the world which do not embody Jesus Christ, and they cannot be called Truth.
Recently my attention has been drawn to the brazen altar which was before the door of the Tabernacle of Moses. The Tabernacle ceremonies, by the way, are the pattern, in symbolic form, of worshipping in Spirit and in Truth. If we can manage to avoid getting tangled in the symbols, we can get a fair idea of what it is they were pointing toward.
First, it must be noted that after Moses had prepared the Tabernacle, and everything pertaining to the ceremonies of worship, God started the fire on the Brazen Altar.
Leviticus 9:24 And there came a fire out from before the LORD, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: [which] when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces.
The fire which came from God was Eternal Fire. It came from God's dwelling place-- Eternity.
Though it was Eternal Fire, it would go out when it had consumed all available fuel. Hence, God gave the command--:
Leviticus 6:13 The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out. The families of the Gibeonites were given the task of bringing in the wood for the fire. Joshua ch.9
Under penalty of instant death (Lev 10:1), only fire from off the altar was to be used in Tabernacle Worship.
Leviticus 16:12 And he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from off the altar before the LORD, and his hands full of sweet incense beaten small, and bring [it] within the veil: And he shall put the incense upon the fire before the LORD, that the cloud of the incense may cover the mercy seat that [is] upon the testimony, that he die not:
Two sons of Aaron found out the hard way that it was unacceptable to use man-made fire in Tabernacle Worship.
Leviticus 10:1 And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not.
Leviticus 10:2 And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.
Numbers 26:61 And Nadab and Abihu died, when they offered strange fire before the LORD.
This has me wondering. Wondering, that is, what God's attitude is toward some manners of worship which are taking place today. Let me explain.
Although I am now 77 years old, I am still too young to know how the Church arrived at its present methodology. There has been considerable change since I was a boy on the farm, and the Church family was comparatively small.
Tom Ward pointed out to me one day that he had noticed the way in which the mannerisms of the world of entertainment had been absorbed by the churches, and incorporated into their "way of life." It seems to be only a matter of time before the "inventions" of the entertainers have been absorbed into the Church community.
Is this what God has wanted? Is He pleased? Will He accept us when we offer to Him that which was created by men (ungodly men at that) for the entertainment and pleasure of the human soul and body, which we have borrowed from them?
If the basic ingredient of the True Tabernacle worship (Fire from off the Altar) had to be what had been started by God Himself, how do we hope to be accepted of Him while we grind out the admixture of human entertainment encased in an outer shell of what is hopefully pure in His eyes?
It has been my observation, in my own life, that what is truly Spiritual is seldom pleasurable and entertaining to my fleshly self. It seems to me that fleshly fun in a worship service is similar to a jewel in the snout of a pig-- out of place. Is it acceptable to the Lord? Or have we wasted our time, and maybe put our souls in jeopardy in the process?
Numbers 16:46 And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a censer, and put fire therein from off the altar, and put on incense, and go quickly unto the congregation, and make an atonement for them: for there is wrath gone out from the LORD; the plague is begun.
In the vision of Isaiah (ch 6), it was a coal from off the Altar that caused his lips to be cleansed, and able to speak what God wanted spoken.
Fire from off the Altar.

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