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What is true worship?
Jesus said, “God is Spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). What is true worship? What does your Bible say?
A helpful way to understand the meaning of a word or phrase is to understand it’s opposite. Jesus does this for us, in Mark 7:7 by opening our eyes to what false worship is; Speaking of the Pharisees who were introducing manmade traditions into their worship Jesus said “They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.’ 8 You have let go of the comands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.”
Did you read that? Did you know that it is possible for people to worship Christ, yet, your worship is in vain? Christ is here saying, irrespective of how sincere or morally upright one is, even though one attends church regularly, pray and fast daily, if you worship Him with MAN-MADE TRADITIONS in place of God’s commandments your worship is in vain!
What are some man-made traditions being used to worship God today?
Among them is the observance of the pagan manmade traditions of Sunday, Easter and Christmas instead of God’s Sabbath, Passover and Feast of Tabernacles.
In the Bible, contending for the traditions of God is a high requirement for believers. The Apostle Paul instructs the Thesalonicans to “Hold to the Traditions that you have learned, whether by word or by letter of ours”( 2Thess 2:15). He also exemplified these traditions when he told them “Imitate me as I imitate Christ”. Paul could have said this because Jesus himself said to His disciples in John 15:10 “If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love”.
Hence, Paul could have said to the Church follow our example (2 Thess 3:7), and those coming into the Church were instructed to put into practice whatever they have learned or received or heard, or see in us (Phil 4:9)
The tradition of keeping God’s command was an important part of the Christian faith and Jude urged them “to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints”.
Who are the saints? The saints are “Those who keep the Commandments of God and have the Spirit of Jesus Christ” (Rev 12:17).
• The Gospel came down to us through, Commandment, Sabbath and Feasts keeping teachers – the prophets of God. (Romans 1:2)
• Jesus gave the great commission to 12 Commandment keeping, Sabbath keeping feast keeping men to preach the Gospel.
• Christ called and sanctified a Commandment keeping, Sabbath keeping feast keeping man in the person of the Apostle Paul to take the Gospel to the gentiles. (Rom 1:1)
• The HS was poured out on 120 Commandment keeping, Sabbath keeping Feast keeping believers on the day of Pentecost to empower them to preach the Gospel (Acts 2)
• The New Testament Apostolic Church of the first century was a Commandment keeping, Sabbath keeping feast keeping Church (Col 2:16)
• It is a Commandment keeping, Sabbath keeping Feast keeping people that bears the Gospel to the end of the world until Christ comes “The dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring-those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus”. (Revelation 12:17)
For the Pharisees the traditions of the elders violated God’s commandments. For Christians today the traditions of man violate God’s commandments.
Every Christian observes special days. The vast majority of churches observe Sunday, Christmas Day, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, 40 days in Lent.
The issue therefore is not whether Christians observe special days, but whether the days they observe are man-made or God-made.
What are the days of worship prescribed by God?
The scriptures reveal that God has made holy and set aside special days of worship that commemorate important events in the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. These holy days and festivals are spelt out in detail in the Bible, yet very few are aware of them.
In Lev 23: 2 God said: ‘These are MY appointed feasts, the appointed feasts of the LORD, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies. Notice! The feasts belong to the Lord. They are not Israel’s feasts. God is commanding Israel to observe them to bring them into a relationship with him. The feasts are times of worship. God commands His people to assemble before Him for worship at the time of these fests.
God goes on to name the festivals and holy days: the weekly Sabbath, the Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks, the Feast of Trumpets, the Feast of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles.
An understanding of these holy days andFeasts helps you to appreciate more fully Christ’s redemptive ministry from beginning to end. Think of this: God used the Old Testament feast of Pentecost to send the Holy Spirit on Christians. If God were abandoning this feast why would he use it so powerfully in the life of the Christian?
If God did not want you to observe this feast why would he use it so powerfully in your life? The Bible says if you hath not the Spirit of Christ you are none of His. The Feast of Pentecost celebrates the gift of the Holy Spirit and the planting of God’s law on your heart. Pentecost celebrates the birthday of the Church. Acts 2:1-2 tells us that: when the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. Many years after the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2, we see in Acts 20:16 the apostle Paul hurrying to to keep the Day of Pentecost. Why would any Christian refuse to celebrate the wonderful gift of the Holy Spirit?
Christ was crucified at the time of the Feast of the Passover, The Holy Spirit was sent at the time of the Feast of Pentecost, Christ was born at the time of the Feast of tabernacles. How can Christians say these feasts have nothing to do with them? Yet they find it possible to observe the relics of old pagan festivals like Christmas and Easter.
Why aren’t more preachers talking about these festivals? Why so few Christians know about them? Each one speaks to important aspects of the work of Jesus Christ in the life of the Christian.
If God commands specific days of worship for His people shouldn’t you as a Christian be willing to observe them? Would you abandon God’s traditions for man-made traditions? Yet, men have abandoned them for their own traditions! These feasts are more than mere ceremonies. They are a divinely designed prefiguration of the unfolding of God’s plan of salvation.
• The Prophets of old observed them
• Jesus Christ the author and finisher of our faith observed them
• The Apostles who established the Church observed them
• All nations will observe them after Jesus returns Zech 14
• What about you? Should you observe them?