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The Worship War

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Matthew 4:8–11 NASB95
Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’ ” Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him.

What is Worship War

Short description
Worship War is spiritual warfare wherein the devil is trying to prevent the believer from giving worship to God.
Why this is happening
Worship is our most important duty to God. No other creation was designed to worship the Creator. Only man has the “God-consciousness”. Only man was designed to interact with God consciously.
Satan has always wanted worship for Himself. He hates it when people worship the true God. He wants to divert worship to him.
Worship not only benefits God, it also benefits the worshiper. Those who worship God truly are drawn by God to Himself. Ultimately, God is glorified in His worshipers, and the worshipers of God are glorified in Him!
What is the enemy’s ultimate objective
Stop the believer from worshiping God
Ultimately, to deprive the believer of the glory of God in His Presence
What are the enemy’s plans
prevent worshipers from going to the place appointed for worship
destroy the temple of God
turn worship to himself

How the War is Raging

How is worship war happening? How can the believer win this war?

From worshiping God to worshiping the devil

Matthew 4:8–9 NASB95
Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.”
The devil offered the world and its glory in exchange of worship.
Matthew 4.8-9
Although he is now prince of this world, he doesn’t have the one thing he wanted most - the worship of the the sons of God.
Men who are blinded by the glory of this world’s kingdoms unknowingly worship the devil.
Jesus reminded the devil to whom worship belongs.
Matthew 4:10 NASB95
Then Jesus said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’ ”
Worship belongs exclusively to God and Him alone.
Jesus was quoting a Scripture -
Going after the world’s glory has its tragic consequence.
Matthew 16:26 NASB95
“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
Jesus was quoting a Scripture -
Matthew 16.26
you cannot gain both - the world and your soul.
1 John 2:15–17 NASB95
Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.
1 John 2.15-17
What is the enemy doing?
Satan wants to divert worship from God to him.
How can the believer win this war?
To win this war - the worshiper must learn to worship God without pre-conditions.
worship God whatever the circumstance
worship God

Taking away the two important keys of worship

John 4:19–24 NASB95
The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. “Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. “You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. “But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
John 4:22–24 NASB95
“You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. “But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
John 4.18-24
John 4.
Jesus acknowledged the fact that true worship was introduced and given to the Jews
worship of the true God was given to the Jews at Mount Sinai
Then Jesus announced a new age for worship
N.T. way of worship is no longer confined to geography
The N.T. way of worship contains two important elements - spirit and truth
spirit - the worshiper’s spirit
in the O.T. worship was ritual, a tradition, a Jewish culture
your spirit connects to the Spirit of God
Philippians 3:3 NASB95
for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh,
truth - the quality of being real and actual, not superficial or make-believe
in the O.T. worship has become superficial, there was no sincerity
Isaiah 29:13 NASB95
Then the Lord said, “Because this people draw near with their words And honor Me with their lip service, But they remove their hearts far from Me, And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote,
in NKJV - …their fear toward me is taught by the commandment of men
What is the enemy doing?
Satan wants to make our worship traditional, mechanical and superficial.
by overloading our lives with so many activities and responsibilities we have no strength and time to prepare for true worship.
These “spirit” and “truth” are inseparable components of true worship:
to worship in spirit is to connect to God from your innermost part - that is real worship
in truth, but not in spirit
to worship in truth is to really worship God because He is God, without any pre-conditions
to really worship God because He is God, without any pre-conditions
to worship God without pre-conditions

Defiling the temple of God

1 Corinthians 3:16–17 NASB95
Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.
1 Corinthians 3.16-
Major difference in O.T. and N.T. way of worship
In the O.T. the worshipers go to the temple of God in Jerusalem
In the N.T. the worshipers are THE TEMPLE of God!
you” are the temple of God - means the whole congregation
Individually we are God’s temple
Corporately, we are God’s temple also - that’s why we come together for worship.
What is the enemy doing to the church?
Satan is intent on destroying God’s temple - us.
Why?
“destroy” - grk. phtheiro, to mess up, to create disorder, with the idea of ruining or making useless
a “messed up” church is useless in the kingdom of God
a “messed up” life is useless in the kingdom of God.
Satan destroying the church - how?
1 Corinthians 15:33 NASB95
Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.”
by the same people that make up the church
Paul’s warning “God will destroy him” is addressed to church members
How can the church win this war?
To win this war - the church must be one in mind and in judgment
1 Corinthians 1:10 NASB95
Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment.
To win this war - the people must recognize the church for what it really is - God’s temple!
1 Corinthians 11:28–30 NASB95
But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly. For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep.
1 Corinthians 11.
To win this war - the people in the church must contribute to the edification of the body
through their spiritual gifts
by love
1 Corinthians 14:26 NASB95
What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.
1 Corinthians 14.26
by love
Galatians 5:13 NASB95
For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

Worship without sacrifice

Romans 12:1 NASB95
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
O.T. worshipers did not come empty-handed
Exodus 34:14–16 NASB95
—for you shall not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God— otherwise you might make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land and they would play the harlot with their gods and sacrifice to their gods, and someone might invite you to eat of his sacrifice, and you might take some of his daughters for your sons, and his daughters might play the harlot with their gods and cause your sons also to play the harlot with their gods.
Exodus 23:14–16 NASB95
“Three times a year you shall celebrate a feast to Me. “You shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread; for seven days you are to eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you, at the appointed time in the month Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt. And none shall appear before Me empty-handed. “Also you shall observe the Feast of the Harvest of the first fruits of your labors from what you sow in the field; also the Feast of the Ingathering at the end of the year when you gather in the fruit of your labors from the field.
Exodus 34.14-1
they went to Jerusalem 3 times in a year
they did not worship with empty hands
Deuteronomy 16:16–17 NASB95
“Three times in a year all your males shall appear before the Lord your God in the place which He chooses, at the Feast of Unleavened Bread and at the Feast of Weeks and at the Feast of Booths, and they shall not appear before the Lord empty-handed. “Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God which He has given you.
What is the enemy doing?
Satan is destroying our sources of sacrifice so that we will worship empty-handed.
Deuteronomy 16.1
Worship without repentance
the altar of burnt offering signified the cross
Worship without death to sin
Worship without light
the lampstand signified fellowship in the light
1 John 1:7 NASB95
but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.
.
Worship without “bread”
the table of showbread signified the Word of God
Worship without sweet-smelling aroma
incense signified our prayers and good works before God
O.T. sacrifices were essential to their worship
the sacrifice made the fire of God to come down
the sacrifice kept the holy place in order
The sacrifice keeps the fire of God burning
the blood was sprinkled on the golden altar
the oil from olive fruits kept the lamps burning
the incense on the golden altar produced a sweet smell before God
the unleavened bread provided food for the priests while they ministered inside
N.T. sacrifices are essential to true worship
Christ’s sacrifice on the cross
Hebrews 9:26 NASB95
Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.
Hebrews 9.25
3 essential components of our church life
Philippians 4.18
light
sustenance or food
aroma
1 Peter 2.4
1 Peter 2:4 NASB95
And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God,
1 Peter 2:5 NASB95
you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
Philippians 4:18 NASB95
But I have received everything in full and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God.
Ephesians 5:1–2 NASB95
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.
Ephesians 5.2
Hebrews 13:15–16 NASB95
Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name. And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
Hebrews 13.15-16
Hebrews 13:15 NASB95
Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.
Romans 12:1 NASB95
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
Hebrews 13.
What is the enemy doing?
Satan is destroying our sources of sacrifice so that we will worship empty-handed.
Worship without repentance
the altar of burnt offering signified the cross
Worship without death to sin
Worship without light
the lampstand signified fellowship in the light
1 John 1:7 NASB95
but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.
Worship without “bread”
the table of showbread signified the Word of God
Worship without sweet-smelling aroma
incense signified our prayers and good works before God
How can the believer win this war?
To win this war - the worshiper must secure the sources of his sacrifice
Stay crucified with Christ
Hebrews 12:1 NASB95
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
Galatians 2.20
Hebrews 12:2 NASB95
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Galatians 2:20 NASB95
“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
Be a living sacrifice
Romans 12:1 NASB95
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
Ultimately, everything we offer to God comes from Him, through Christ who died for us and now lives in us, and we by Him!

Conclusion

What’s your battle plan? Are you determined to win this war?
if you are - be ready to bring your sacrifice with you.
What are the benefits?
worship is for God, without pre-conditions
Those who worship in spirit and in truth, God GLORIFIES WITH HIM!
Romans 8:18 NASB95
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
Colossians 3:1–4 NASB95
Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.
Colossians 3.1-
2 Corinthians 4:16–18 NASB95
Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
2 Corinthians 4.
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