True Worship: Spirit and Truth

“But the time is coming – indeed, it’s here now – when true worshippers will worship the Father in the Spirit (Ruach Hakodesh) and in Truth (Emet), for these are the kind of people the Father wants worshipping him.  God is Spirit (Ruach); and worshippers must worship in Spirit (Ruach) and in Truth (Emes)” (John 4:4).

Yeshua tells the woman at the well that ‘a time is coming’ when true worshippers will worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth.  ‘True worshippers’ in Hebrew is avodas kodesh or ‘holy workers.’  From Yeshua’s own words, it appears that the Spirit and the Truth are different from one another yet both are necessary to worship the Father as He desires, to be ‘holy workers’ of His Kingdom.

The Truth

Yeshua says “I tell you the truth” 78 times throughout the apostolic teachings.  For him, the ‘truth’ is very important.   As the Living Word, he is also the Living Truth.  Accordingly, no one can come to the Father except  through him.

“I AM the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

The Hebrew word for ‘truth’ is emet.  This word means ‘right and faithful’.  These are words that describe Yeshua when he returns on his white horse in Revelation: the faithful and true witness.  According to Yeshua’s words to the woman at the well in John 4, the Father wants people who will worship Him truthfully, rightly and faithfully just like His Son.

The word ‘truth’ is translated into the Greek in this passage as aletheia.  It signifies ‘the reality lying at the basis of an appearance, the manifested veritable essence of the matter’.  This type of truth is not a moral principle,  but ‘truth’  as embodied in Messiah.  It could be compared to the  ‘reality in the shadow’ or ‘the substance of things hoped for.’

Yeshua is perfectly expresses the Truth in what he reveals to the woman at the well.  True worshippers will worship the I AM,  Messiah because “salvation comes from the Jews” (John 4:22).

“So Yeshua said to the Jews who put their faith in him, ‘If you obey what I say, then you really are my disciples, you will know the truth and the truth will set you free ….  I tell you that everyone who practices sin is a slave of sin …. So if the Son frees you, you will really be free”  (John 8:31-36).

For centuries it has been taught that the Jews rejected Jesus, but this is not the case.  MANY Jews put their faith in Yeshua and we can read about them in the new testament that was written by believing Jewish men.   Through their faith in Yeshua,  they were set free.  Set free from what?  From obeying the teachings and commandments of the Father?  No.   Yeshua explains their freedom as being free from the slavery of sin, of being disobedient to God’s commands.

Yeshua had come to set them free from sin and its bondage in their lives.  Without him, they would be powerless over sin and continue to live separated from the One who had chosen them for His treasured possession.   Paul concurs as he teaches we are ‘free from the law of sin that leads to death’ to be a ‘slave to righteousness’ (Romans 6:18).

“Set them apart for holiness by means of the truth – your word is truth” (John 17:17).

Through the Word written in the Scriptures, which Yeshua calls ‘Truth’, we become holy to God. We are sanctified; set apart from ways of the world to living according to the ways of the Kingdom.  We become saints as we put our faith in Yeshua and obey his Father’s commandments and follow/learn from him as his disciples.

Spirit

“God is Spirit and his worshippers must worship him in Spirit and in Truth” (John 4:24).

Yahweh promised that His Spirit which ‘hovered over the deep’ at the beginning of creation would be put inside of mankind.  This promise was called the ‘new covenant’ and would change the hearts of men from stone into flesh.  On this new heart, God (Yahweh) would write His Torah, forgive sins and no longer remember them (Jer. 31:31).

And I shall put My Ruach in you, and ye shall live ….”  (Ezekiel 37:14).

Without Yahweh’s Spirit, we are walking dead people.  It is only through His Spirit that we receive life – now and forever.   It doesn’t matter if someone has all the Truth in the world (i.e. Torah), without the Spirit of God, they are dead in their sins.  It doesn’t matter who you are – male or female, Jew or Greek.  All sin and fall short of God’s glory.  We are all unable to circumcise our own hearts as commanded in the Torah, therefore our Father circumcises them for us through His Spirit.

Yeshua instituted the new covenant at the last Passover seder he celebrated with his disciples.   He revealed that this promised new covenant would come through his blood.  Of course, the promise involved the Spirit of which they did not completely understand.

“In fact, according to the Torah … without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins” (Hebrews 9:22).

Yeshua explains how the Spirit would arrive in order to be received.  Receiving the Comforter had two conditions, however.  They are same two signs of a saint found in Revelation 14:12.  A saint must have a testimony of Yeshua (Truth)  and obey the commandments (Spirit).   Only if these conditions, love and obedience, were met,  then he would ask his Father to send the Counselor, the Spirit of Truth.

“If you love me, you will keep my commands; and I will ask the Father, and he will give you another comforting Counselor, like me, the Spirit of Truth to be with you forever” (John 14:15).

Yeshua tells his  his disciples that the Spirit would convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment.

When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned (John 16:8-11).

He then went on to explain that Spirit would guide them into all Truth.  This means that they would need the Spirit of God to know Yeshua more deeply since he is the Truth. The Spirit would guide them into understanding Truth and would always glorify Yeshua.

“When the Spirit of Truth comes, he will guide you into all truth; for he will not speak on his own initiative but will say only what he hears.  …He will glorify me, because he will receive from what is mine and announce it to you” (John 16:13).

After Yeshua’s resurrection, He told his disciples how they would know when the Spirit had come for they would receive power to be witnesses to the world.   Until the Spirit came, they had no power nor did they have a testimony to the power of God.    They had the Truth, the Torah in their lives, but they were missing power.  They needed the Spirit to bring alive the Torah in their lives.   They needed the gifts of the Spirit that would enable them to teach, prophesy, exhort, discern spirits and bear the spiritual fruit of love, joy, and peace to the world.

“But you will receive power when the Ruach HaKodesh comes upon you; you will be my witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth!” (Acts 1:8).

Witness of Two

“…  ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses’ (Matthew 18:16).

According to this Scripture from the Torah and quoted by Yeshua, every matter is established by at least two witnesses.  If there is only one witness, the matter cannot be established as Truth.   This concept is found in multiple places in Scripture.  The heavens and earth testify to the Yahweh (Deuteronomy 30:19-20).  Without the heavens or the earth, there is no evidence of a Creator.  The Torah and the Prophets testify to Yeshua (Luke 24:27).  Remove the Torah as a witness of Yeshua’s teaching and a false savior will be embraced.    The Jew and Gentile worshipping Yahweh together is a witness of of the Body of Messiah (Galatians 3:28).  Without the nations joining together with the Jew in the Olive Tree of Israel, there is no Body of Messiah; only a Jewish faith and a non-Jewish one.  The foundation of our faith is the Apostles and Prophets (Ephesians 2:20).  Without the Prophets, there is a wobbly foundation.

The same witness holds truth with worship.  We cannot worship in Spirit only without the Truth; nor can we worship in Truth without the Spirit.  One without the other is not true worship of the Creator of the Universe, Yahweh Elohim. We need both Truth and Spirit.

If the Truth was all that a worshipper needed, salvation would come through Torah and it doesn’t.  It becomes legalism without redemption. Yahweh needed to pour out his Spirit on all flesh because for millennia God’s word was embraced by His chosen people without a change of heart.   If the Spirit was all that was needed to worship Yahweh,  then there would be no need to ‘test the spirits’  to confirm that Yeshua has come in the flesh and is from God (1 John 4:1).

“Suddenly there came a sound from the sky like the roar of a violent wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.  Then they saw what looked like tongues of fire, which separated and came to rest on each one of them.  They were all filled with the Ruach HaKodesh and began to talk in different languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak” (Acts 12:1-4).

Overcoming the Stumbling Blocks

Some people have recently begun teaching that Torah is the Spirit and the Spirit is the Torah.    Even though Romans 7:14 states that the Torah is spiritual,  there is nothing in Scripture that suggests that the Torah and the Spirit are one and the same.   If this were the case, then there would be no need for a spiritual rebirth to enter the Kingdom of God.   The fruit of this teaching will ultimately negate Truth or Spirit or at least make or or the other less important and ignored.   This effectively removes the witness of two for true worship and enables a false worship with false spirits and false messiahs.  This effectively makes worship look foolish in the eyes of the lost and dying world.

One person may say, “I worship in Spirit” (and many do worship a spirit); while another may say, “I have the Truth” (and they have their own set of truths).  One person may focus their worship on the new testament because it teaches spiritual truth while another may focus on the Torah because it teaches daily living truth.   However, neither are worshipping God in the way that He outlined in His Word and was explained by His Son to the woman at the well.   Neither are using the Spirit as a Counsellor to guide them into all Truth.  Neither convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgement.  Neither show forth a powerful witness of salvation coming to the world from the Jewish Messiah, Yeshua.

True worshippers must worship their Father  in Spirt and in Truth.  True worshippers need both the Torah of God’s Word  and the indwelling Spirit of God to rightly worship the God of Israel.   True worshippers who know the Spirit and the Truth will  be able to worship whereever they live whether in the Land of Israel or in the wilderness of the world.

©2012 Tentstake Ministries

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