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Opening Scripture: Exodus 19:16-23

  • The congregation prepares (v. 14)
  • The smoke fills the Most Holy


  • Are SDA’s referenced in the Bible, specifically in Revelation?  Where?
  • Where does the Bible reference the Spirit of Prophecy? (Rev 12:17, Rev 19:10)
      • Note the reference to worship in v. 10.
  • What value does the SOP add to Christian experience? (Greater magnification or light)
      • Little heed is given to the Bible, and the Lord has given a lesser light to lead men and women to the greater light.--The Review and Herald, Jan. 20, 1903. (Quoted in Colporteur Ministry, p. 125.) {3SM 30.4}
      • What is this greater light? Psalms 119:105
      • Illustration: Exodus 20:14; Matthew 5:28; SD 62.2


  • No personal opinions!
  • Responses – Bible and the spirit of Prophecy
  • Isaiah 8:20; 2 Timothy 2:15




  • Worship Defined
  • Our Worship Response
  • Worship and The Great Controversy

Worship Defined


1. What is worship?

Worship — homage rendered to God which it is sinful (idolatry) to render to any created being (Ex. 34:14; Isa. 2:8). Such worship was refused by Peter (Acts 10:25, 26) and by an angel (Rev. 22:8,9).

Homage – any public show of respect to someone to whom one feels indebted.

We show God respect by keeping His commandments (Exodus 20:1-17)

In order to serve Him aright, we must be born of the divine Spirit. This will purify the heart and renew the mind, giving us a new capacity for knowing and loving God. It will give us a willing obedience to all His requirements. This is true worship. {DA 189}

Bible Examples

[Gen 24:26] Then the man bowed down his head and worshiped the Lord.

Bowing and Worship are connected by the idea of serving.

[Ex 20:5] Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

[Ex 23:24] Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images.

[Ps 29:2] Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name; Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.

[Ps 95:6] Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.

[Jo 5:14-15] And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant? 15 And the captain of the LORD’S host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.

2. What is the relation between praise and worship?

[Ps 66:4] All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name (Note: NKJV uses the praises in reference to singing unto God.)

Ps 86, 150 (See Ps 149:3 and 2 Samuel 6:14 for details about dance)

 5T 315 Praise Ye the LORD

Jesus rides into Jerusalem (John 12:13; DA 572.2)

Never before had the world seen such a triumphal procession. It was not like that of the earth’s famous conquerors. No train of mourning captives, as trophies of kingly valor, made a feature of that scene. But about the Saviour were the glorious trophies of His labors of love for sinful man. There were the captives whom He had rescued from Satan’s power, praising God for their deliverance. The blind whom He had restored to sight were leading the way. The dumb whose tongues He had loosed shouted the loudest hosannas. The cripples whom He had healed bounded with joy, and were the most active in breaking the palm branches and waving them before the Saviour. Widows and orphans were exalting the name of Jesus for His works of mercy to them. The lepers whom He had cleansed spread their untainted garments in His path, and hailed Him as the King of glory. Those whom His voice had awakened from the sleep of death were in that throng. Lazarus, whose body had seen corruption in the grave, but who now rejoiced in the strength of glorious manhood, led the beast on which the Saviour rode. {DA 572.2}

[Heb 13:15-16] (Offer continual sacrifice of praise)

Worship in the Heavenly Courts--Music forms a part of God's worship in the courts above, and we should endeavor, in our songs of praise, to approach as nearly as possible to the harmony of the heavenly choirs. The proper training of the voice is an important feature in education, and should not be neglected.--ST March 14, 1900. [VSS 431]

3.    Does location impact the worship experience?

  • God met His people in different locations. Where ever God met them was a place of worship and reverence.
      • Moses at the burning bush (Exodus 3:2-5)
      • Moses on mouth Sinai (Exodus 19:16-23)
      • Jesus reading in the temple (Luke 4:15-19)
      • The disciples in the Upper Room (Acts 1:13-14)

4.    Should culture have an impact on our worship style?

  • Culture- An integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior that depends upon the capacity for symbolic thought and social learning.
  • The word “culture” is not found in the Bible, but there were occasions when different cultures worshiped together like at Pentecost.
  • There is only one way to God.

Our Worship Response

5.    How should we behave in God's presence?

  • 5T 491

[Lk 18:9-14] The parable of the Pharisee and the publican

6.    Are there forbidden forms of worship (strange fire)?

Leviticus 10:1-3 (Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron…strange fire)

Genesis 3:3-8 (Cain’s offering was not accepted)

John 4:19-24 (Worship in truth and spirit)

  • Worship in different locations (v. 19)
  • Samaritans worship in error (v. 22)
  • Must worship in spirit and truth (v. 23)

In spirit and in truth. That is, in all sincerity, with the highest faculties of the mind and emotions, applying the principles of truth to the heart (see on Matt. 5:3, 48; 7:21–27; Mark 7:6–9). This is genuine worship, Jesus says; all else is false. The same distinction here made between true worship and the forms of worship is clearly stated by the prophet Micah (ch. 6:7, 8).

Matt 15:8, 9 (Worship is lip service and they teach doctrines of men)

When a church depends on parade, ceremonies, and display, be sure that inward holiness is wanting. To make up for the absence of the Spirit of God, to conceal spiritual poverty and apostasy, the outside is made attractive. Thus the Protestant churches are following in the footsteps of Rome, depending not on Christ, the divine Teacher, but upon their ornaments and shrines. Embroidered altars and magnificent architecture attract and hold 221 the senses. Thus men become entrapped by the enemy. So the great golden image, impressive and attractive, with beautiful music to charm the senses, did honor to the prince of darkness.--Letter 90, 1897, pp. 5-8. (To Brother and Sister Lindsay, August 18, 1897). {12MR 220.3}

Satan’s Sophistry Turns Men Into Hard-spirited Religious Zealots-- Every soul that believes is to connect with Christ and angels in saying, Come, whosoever will may partake of the water of life freely. But we look around us, and what do we see? Many churches erected, and worship going on in them formal and insincere. The heart is going after its idols. In the place of heart devotion, the Lord beholds apparent solemnity and formality. The attitudes and signs of devotion are performed. He hears men confessing their sins, but not repenting or forsaking them. He discerns an array of spiritual idols which engage the attention and in which men trust, supplanting God. He sees a system of maxims, customs, and false theories, which they tenaciously cherish, robbing Him of the honor due His name. {12MR 221.1}

The idols of the heathen stood between them and their God, obscuring God from their vision. Thus it is today. By the cunning deception of Satan false theories are made a power to rob God. Man’s spiritual understanding is darkened by Satan’s sophistry. Instead of religion’s making men meek and lowly in heart, it works to make them religious zealots, exacting and hard-spirited because their ideas are not met. Their religious ideas do not lead the soul to humble, fervent trust in God. False theories, wholly human, stand between them and their God. Their souls are wrapped up in their own preconceived opinions, separating them from all who differ with them, engrossing the soul in self. {12MR 221.2}

222 Shall not Seventh-day Adventists have a record differing entirely from this? The Lord declares that He will have the whole heart; for God is a Spirit, and all who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth and in the beauty of holiness. My brother, you need so much to have enlarged views. Then your light will shine. You will not try to shine; you cannot help shining.--Letter 29, 1898, pp. 4-5. (To Brother Sisley, January 11, 1898.)

White Estate Washington, D. C. January 6, 1983 {12MR 222.1}

7.    Can I worship God if I am not converted?

DA 189

He desired to lift the thoughts of His hearer above matters of form and ceremony, and questions of controversy. "The hour cometh," He said, "and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth." Here is declared the same truth that Jesus had revealed to Nicodemus when He said, "Except a man be born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God." Jn 3:3, margin. Not by seeking a holy mountain or a sacred temple are men brought into communion with heaven. Religion is not to be confined to external forms and ceremonies. The religion that comes from God is the only religion that will lead to God. In order to serve Him aright, we must be born of the divine Spirit. This will purify the heart and renew the mind, giving us a new capacity for knowing and loving God. It will give us a willing obedience to all His requirements. This is true worship. It is the fruit of the working of the Holy Spirit. By the Spirit every sincere prayer is indited, and such prayer is acceptable to God. Wherever a soul reaches out after God, there the Spirit's working is manifest, and God will reveal Himself to that soul. For such worshipers He is seeking. He waits to receive them, and to make them His sons and daughters. As the woman talked with Jesus, she was impressed with His words. Never had she heard such sentiments from the priests of her own people or from the Jews. As the past of her life had been spread out before her, she had been made sensible of her great want. She realized her soul thirst, which the waters of the well of Sychar could never satisfy. Nothing that had hitherto come in contact with her had so awakened her to a higher need. Jesus had convinced her that He read the secrets of her life; yet she felt that He was her friend, pitying and loving her. While the very purity of His presence condemned her sin, He had spoken no word of denunciation, but had told her of His grace, that could renew the soul. She began to have some conviction of His character. The question arose in her mind, Might not this be the long-looked-for Messiah? She said to Him, "I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when He is come, He will tell us all things." Jesus answered, "I that speak unto thee am He."

Faithful work is more acceptable to God than the most zealous and thought-to-be holiest worship. It is working together with Christ that is true worship. Prayers, exhortation, and talk are cheap fruits, which are frequently tied on; but fruits that are manifested in good works, in caring for the needy, the fatherless, and widows, are genuine fruits, and grow naturally upon a good tree.--Testimonies, vol. 2, p. 24.

Worship and The Great Controversy

8.    How important is worship in relationship to the great controversy?

  • Revelation 13:4, 8, 15, 14:7, 9, 11 (The controversy is over worship)
  • Vatican II documents

Roman to regain power (The sea beast of Revelation 13:1-10)

But Romanism as a system is no more in harmony with the gospel of Christ now than at any former period in her history. The Protestant churches are in great darkness, or they would discern the signs of the times. The Roman Church is far-reaching in her plans and modes of operation. She is employing every device to extend her influence and increase her power in preparation for a fierce and determined conflict to [1] regain control of the world, [2] to re-establish persecution, and to [3] undo all that Protestantism has done. Catholicism is gaining ground upon every side. See the increasing number of her churches and chapels in Protestant countries. Look at the popularity of her colleges and seminaries in America, so widely patronized by Protestants. Look at the growth of ritualism in England and the frequent defections to the ranks of the Catholics. These things should awaken the anxiety of all who prize the pure principles of the gospel. {GC 565.4}

With Brother Trefz's permission we will quote a few paragraphs from his interpretive analysis. But first let us make this comment, namely, that in retrospect it becomes clear that the principal purpose of Vatican II was to facilitate the merging of all Christendom, which would include Seventh-day Adventists with the Roman church. We begin our study by listing the following eight points from Trefz's summary analysis:

Liturgical Reform and Promotion the Chief Instrument for Reclamation of The Churches

  1. Get the churches accustomed to Celebration terminology and the Celebration concept. Every function of the church becomes a Celebration, from communion to funerals.
  2. Get the churches accustomed to a revitalized style of Celebration service. This involves reduction of inhibition, vastly increased congregational participation verbally, and, considered a must, lots of physical gestures, bodily attitudes and movement.
  3. Promote, in the Celebration service, dialogue between the celebrant (pastor or priest) and people as "external signs of Celebration in common" and to "engender and foster union between celebrant and people. "
  4. Use as much variation as possible in the Celebration services to encourage active, willing participation.
  5. Set forth Song or musical Celebration services as the most effective Celebrations, utilizing popular religious songs [quite revolutionary 25 years ago] and relating the music to the various cultures and temperaments of the people.
  6. Narrow the gap between the Eucharistic Celebration and the Lord's Supper [soon to be called Communion Celebration in the other churches]; educating the people that this service forms the basis of all Christian unity and fellowship.
  7. Demonstrate the inextricable tie-in between the Eucharistic Celebration as the foundation of all unity and the Lord's Day [Sunday] Celebration.
  8. Perform any endeavor necessary to promote Sunday observance, involving rest from work.

Regarding numbers 2) and 5) above, we find that even the hand waving and body swaying in unison with the music, as is done in Celebration churches, was planned in Vatican II. On page 84 of the Vatican II documents, the Vatican stressed that Celebration, besides being an "internal participation" should also be "external"; that is, it should include bodily activities as well as vocal exercises in song. (Adventist Carnivals, 62)

A liturgy is the customary public worship done by a specific religious group, according to its particular traditions. The word, which especially among Protestants is sometimes rendered by its English translation "service"…

II. The Promotion of Liturgical Instruction and Active Participation

14. Mother Church [CATHOLIC CHURCH] earnestly desires that all the faithful should be led to that fully conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations which is demanded by the very nature of the liturgy. Such participation by the Christian people as "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a redeemed people (1 Pet. 2:9; cf. 2:4-5), is their right and duty by reason of their baptism.

In the restoration and promotion of the sacred liturgy, this full and active participation by all the people is the aim to be considered before all else; for it is the primary and indispensable source from which the faithful are to derive the true Christian spirit; and therefore pastors of souls must zealously strive to achieve it, by means of the necessary instruction, in all their pastoral work. (CONSTITUTION ON THE SACRED LITURGY, page 4)

19. With zeal and patience, pastors of souls must promote the liturgical instruction of the faithful, and also their active participation in the liturgy both internally and externally, taking into account their age and condition, their way of life, and standard of religious culture. By so doing, pastors will be fulfilling one of the chief duties of a faithful dispenser of the mysteries of God; and in this matter they must lead their flock not only in word but also by example. (CONSTITUTION ON THE SACRED LITURGY, page 5)

 30. To promote active participation, the people should be encouraged to take part by means of acclamations, responses, psalmody, antiphons, and songs, as well as by actions, gestures, and bodily attitudes. And at the proper times all should observe a reverent silence. (CONSTITUTION ON THE SACRED LITURGY, page 7)

Worship With a Bedlam of Noise 2SM 36.3

It is impossible to estimate too largely the work that the Lord will accomplish through His proposed vessels in carrying out His mind and purpose. The things you have described as taking place in Indiana, the Lord has shown me would take place just before the close of probation. Every uncouth thing will be demonstrated. There will be shouting, with drums, music, and dancing. The senses of rational beings will become so confused that they cannot be trusted to make right decisions. And this is called the moving of the Holy Spirit. {2SM 36.2}

The Holy Spirit never reveals itself in such methods, in such a bedlam of noise. This is an invention of Satan to cover up his ingenious methods for making of none effect the pure, sincere, elevating, ennobling, sanctifying truth for this time. Better never have the worship of God blended with music than to use musical instruments to do the work which last January was represented to me would be brought into our camp meetings. The truth for this time needs nothing of this kind in its work of converting souls. A bedlam of noise shocks the senses and perverts that which if conducted aright might be a blessing. The powers of satanic agencies blend with the din and noise, to have a carnival, and this is termed the Holy Spirit’s working. [BEGIN P.37] {2SM 36.3}

When the camp meeting is ended, the good which ought to have been done and which might have been done by the presentation of sacred truth is not accomplished. Those participating in the supposed revival receive impressions which lead them adrift. They cannot tell what they formerly knew regarding Bible principles. {2SM 37.1}

No encouragement should be given to this kind of worship. The same kind of influence came in after the passing of the time in 1844. The same kind of representations were made. Men became excited, and were worked by a power thought to be the power of God.... {2SM 37.2}



1.    Worship is

a.    God expects true worship from us.

b.    Worship in spirit and truth

c.    Purified hears, renewed mines and in obedience

2.    Satan has offered a counterfeit form of worship

3.    Choices (Light or Darkness)

 End of the 2300 Days - EW 54

What will we do with the light? DA 232.2

Will we be in the heavenly precession that will someday be bound for glory?

On each side of the cloudy chariot are wings, and beneath it are living wheels; and as the chariot rolls upward, the wheels cry, "Holy," and the wings, as they move, cry, "Holy," and the retinue of angels cry, "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty." And the redeemed shout, "Alleluia!" as the chariot moves onward toward the New Jerusalem. {GC 645.2}



Other NT Definitions

[Phil 3:3] For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh,

 [Rev 4:10] the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying:

[Rev 19:10] And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

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