|FOUR REQUIREMENTS OF TRUE WORSHIPERS
HIS GLORY REIGNS
Oct 9 2009 08:00AM
Returning to the book of Hebrews, we see the four chief requirements of the true worshiper - what God expects of His
worshipers if they are to avail themselves of what He has made available to them:
and our bodies washed with pure water." (Hebrews 10:22)
1. A True Heart
What does a "true heart" mean? I will offer my opinion. Sincerity, honesty, loyalty, total commitment, no reservations -
that is a true heart.
If I love my wife with a true heart, I love her totally. I will not in any circumstance contemplate anything that would be
disloyal to her. I think a word that we need to restore to our vocabulary is the word loyalty. Loyalty has become passé
and out-of-date among some people today. Loyalty to your family. Loyalty to your country.
What was it that made the apostle John stand in front of the cross at Mary's side when all the other disciples had fled?
Was it theology? Not for a moment. It was loyalty. What was it that got Mary Magdalene to the tomb in the early hours
of the morning? Was it doctrine? No, it was loyalty. She was going to be loyal to that man even if he was nothing but a
brutally mutilated corpse. There does not seem to be much loyalty among some believers today. We must be loyal to
Jesus and loyal to one another. That is a true heart.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and
gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine
iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me." (Psalm 51:6-10)
The word behold is dramatic. David had been religious a long while, but now he had made a discovery, "You desire
truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom." I believe truth and wisdom go
together. You don't know the hidden wisdom until you have truth in the inward parts. The revelation of hidden wisdom
is not through the mind, but through the sincere, true, and honest heart.
When sin has had its way in your heart, it can't be patched up, repaired, or modified. It takes a creative act of God to
give you a clean heart. In Psalm 139, David was talking about God's enemies and said,
them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies." (Psalm 139:21-22)
Is it right for a Christian to say that? Some people might say yes, and some would say no. David went to a different
David was asking God, "Is there something inside of me that is an enemy of God? See if there is something inside of
me that is opposed to You." Can you invite God to do that? Do not be afraid. When it comes to confession, I tell
people to remember that you are not going to confess anything to God that He does not already know. There will be no
surprises. The confession is for your sake, not His.
Before God can lead us in this everlasting way, we have to allow Him to search and try our hearts - to root out any of
God's enemies lurking there. Let God show you what is in your heart and then let Him deal with it. Lay it bare to Him.
In Isaiah, it says,
wonder; for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid."
God wants worshipers with a true heart, no hypocrisy, no religious acts. He wants sincere hearts, loyal and true. I have
heard it said that we translate faith by obedience. I would suggest that we translate faith by loyalty - loyalty to Christ at
any cost. I think you will find they work to exactly the same end.
2. Fullness of Faith
So the first requirement of the true worshiper is a true heart. The next condition is fullness of faith. Do you have
fullness of faith? Is it an effort or a struggle? Do you have to pinch yourself and say, "Am I full of faith?" No, faith is a
decision. That is why unbelief is the primary sin. What is it to have fullness of faith? Let us look at the Psalms:
Whatever God says is right. Anything that disagrees with Him is a false way. That is not a feeling or emotion; that is a
decision. I intend to agree with what God says. When I was saved and baptized in the Holy Spirit in an army barracks,
not knowing anything about New Testament doctrine, I clutched hold of one fact: the Bible was the book with answers.
It is the Book that tells me what has happened to me.
Intellectual arguments are basically an unwillingness to make a decision. If you wait until you understand the entire
Bible before you will believe it, you will be waiting a long while. If you wait to understand everything about Jesus Christ
before you accept Him, you will wait a long while. Faith is a decision in relation to Christ and the Scripture. I have made
that decision, thank God. My mind is at rest. I have perfect inward peace.
into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." (II Corinthians 10:5)
You can do what this verse describes. Inside you, there is a mind that is trained to argue with God. By nature, it is
opposed to God. "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God" (Romans 8:7). It is your responsibility to suppress
that enemy; refuse to give him liberty to speak.
tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in
all his ways." (James 1:6-8)
The double-minded, unstable, undecided person gets nowhere with God. Make up your mind from now on that what
God says is right. That is the fullness of faith.
But I must give you an additional warning the Lord gave me:
would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory." (II Thessalonians 2:11-12)
That Scripture should take your breath away if you are not familiar with it. It is very simple. If you don't believe the truth,
you will believe a lie. That was Eve's choice. God told her the truth; Satan told her a lie. She had two options. She
chose the lie - that is unbelief. What is unbelief? It is believing the lie. It does not mean believing in nothing; everybody
believes in something. The decision is always the same - Will I believe God, or will I believe Satan? God says if you do
not believe the truth, He will see to it that you believe the lie.
Do not fool around with this. Do not believe just as much as it suits you and leave the rest. Incomplete obedience is
disobedience. Incomplete belief is unbelief. You can receive the truth, or you can come under delusion. As this age
closes, those are the only two options available to God's people.
3. Hearts Sprinkled from an Evil Conscience
The next requirement of the true worshiper is a heart sprinkled from an evil conscience.
Romans tells us that we are justified by the blood of Jesus. If you know my teaching, you know my definition of justified:
"just-as-if-I'd" never sinned. That is how righteous the blood of Jesus makes us. There is no more guilt conscience for
the Spirit." (Romans 8:1)
(I John 1:9)
On the other hand, if I am condemned in any way within my heart, I have no access to God.
You have to make a faith stand: "All my sins are forgiven. I have confessed them all. God has forgiven them all. The
blood of Jesus Christ cleanses me from all unrighteousness. I am justified - just-as-if-I'd never sinned." Do you believe
that? I do. I really believe it. I do not allow my mind to insinuate any religious doubt. I believe that God is faithful and
just. I believe He has forgiven me all my sins and cleansed me from all unrighteousness. I do not have to cringe in the
presence of God. I do not have to whimper. I can walk upright. "I have...made you walk upright" (Leviticus 26:13).
Hebrews goes one better than that:
God does not have a bad memory; He is a great forgetter! There is a big difference. God remembers everything that
He does not decide to forget. If He decides to forget it, He does not remember it anymore.
4. Bodies Washed with Pure Water
Did you know that the condition of your body affects your access to God?
and our bodies washed with pure water." (Hebrews 10:22)
What does it mean to have your body washed with pure water? What is the pure water? The pure water is the Word of
God. How does God's Word purify us?
God's word purifies us through the Spirit. The Word, ministered by the Spirit and obeyed, purifies you.
Obey the Word ministered to you through the Spirit, and you purify yourself. How pure must we be? Even as He is
pure. There is only one standard that God has - Jesus.
should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour..." (I Thessalonians 4:3-4)
Your body is the vessel, and the Bible says it is the will of God that you should know how to keep that vessel unsoiled -
pure and holy.
blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." (I Thessalonians 5:23)
Scripture says your body should be preserved blameless unto the coming of the Lord. That is complete holiness. If
your body is not preserved blameless, whatever that may mean, it is not total holiness. The will of God is that you
should know how to possess this vessel in sanctification and honor.
In I Corinthians 6, the main theme is the importance of the body. Most Christians grow up with the attitude that the body
is not really that important. The Bible does not say that. Please note, it is not scriptural to belittle your body.
under the power of any." (I Corinthians 6:12)
It is all right for me to eat three ice cream sundaes, but it does not do me any good. Ice cream, cigarettes, and coffee
should not be dictating to me. As Lester Sumrall once said, "The morning I wake up and feel I cannot do without a cup
of coffee is the morning I will not drink it." That is a pretty good decision to make. When you become dependent on
anything, you become enslaved by it.
Food for the stomach, and the stomach for food. But neither of them is permanent. Enjoy them while you have them; it
will not be for long.
Most Christians would say "amen" to the first part of that verse, but what does it mean that your body is for the Lord,
and the Lord for your body?
are the members of Christ?" (I Corinthians 6:14-15)
Christ's members on earth are our physical members. That is all He has to work with.
ye not that he which is jointed to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined
unto the Lord is one spirit." (I Corinthians 6:15-17).
Earlier we talked about the union of man's spirit with the Spirit of God in worship. Here again, we see the direct parallel
between the relation of the prostitute and the spiritual relation to the Lord. He who is united in the love relationship with
the Lord is one in spirit with Him.
against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which
ye have of God, and ye are not your own? for ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and
in your spirit, which are God's." (I Corinthians 6:18-20)
Sexual sins defile the body. You do not belong to yourself, and that includes your body. You are the property of God.
The supreme purpose of your body is to serve as a temple for the Holy Spirit. "Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in
temples made with hands; as saith the prophet." You can build Him the nicest church or cathedral and He may come
there when His people are there, but His dwelling place is the physical body of the redeemed believer.
ghost." (Matthew 28:19)
After you commit your life to Christ, you are baptized - submersed in a cleansing, sanctifying application of water.
Everything that was offered to God on the altar of blood must be washed in the water. It is not to make you physically
clean but to make you holy in the true sense of being set apart to God. Peter said, "Repent, and be baptized every one
of you in the name of Jesus Christ..." (Acts 2:38). How many? All of you. Once you have done that, you are to
present your body as a "living sacrifice." Paul wrote,
acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." (Romans 12:1)
Your body is sanctified when it is placed on God's altar. That is how to preserve your body in sanctification and honor.
Keep it on the altar. Jesus said to the Pharisees, in effect, "You fools! It is not the gift that sanctifies the altar; it is the
altar that sanctifies the gift." (See Matthew 23:18-19). If you place your body on God's altar, as long as it is in contact
with the altar, it is sanctified. But if you break the contact, you have lost your sanctification.
Your body does not belong to you; it belong to God.
members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from
the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God." (Romans 6:12-13)
To summarize, you have your heart sprinkled from an evil conscience, you know your sins are forgiven, you know your
heart is cleansed, and then you have your body washed with pure water - the pure water of the Word of God. You
purify yourself by obeying the truth ministered to you by the Holy Spirit. The first purifying act after believing is being
immersed, passing through the water, being set apart to God. After that, you lay your body, sanctified by blood and
water, on the altar of God's service. You present every individual member to God as an instrument. And your body
thereafter is a vessel for Him. It is the only instrument that Jesus Christ has on this earth by which to do His will at this
time. Our members are the members of Christ.
ENTERING THE PRESENCE OF GOD, by Derek Prince, Copyright 2007, Whitaker House.
|LIFE IN JESUS-MINISTRIES