Worshipping Religious ImageBro. Kale Neely
9/24/2009 6:00 PM
Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
The Samaritans weren’t looked on very favorably because they tried to worship God and idols at the same time. They didn’t have the understanding that the Jews should have had. Some Jews were doing the same kinds of worship. The devil wants us to be something we aren’t spiritually and get hung up on self.
Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21
Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are; for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to the Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
Moreover when ye fast, be not as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
The religious leaders were seeking after people’s attention. They sought to portray an image. They thought highly of themselves and didn’t want anything to destroy their standing socially. Many people try to project a spiritual image.
1 Samuel 15:30-31
Then he said, I have sinned: yet honour me now, I pray thee, before the elders of my people, and before Israel, and turn again with me, that I may worship the Lord thy God. So Samuel turned again after Saul; and Saul worshipped the Lord.
Saul wanted to be honored. He was short on repentance, but long on begging for honor. He just wanted it behind him so that he could move on. He needed repentance. There are still people like him today. We want to project the true image.
Acts 8:9-13, 17-24
But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God. And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries. But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.
Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money. Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity. Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me.
Simon didn’t want to receive the Holy Spirit. He was after power and projecting an image. It was the attitude, "What great thing can God make out of me?" It’s a proud attitude that lacks humility.
Simon had a chance to work for God and be in the exalted position of being a king and priest for God with all his people.
Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? Bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
Martha probably had a good image of herself. If you’re depending on a work ethic of helping others to get you to heaven, you won’t make it. If you don’t take time to commune with God, you’ll fall short of God’s standards. It’s not being slothful to take time to be holy. Take time out for God. Don’t neglect your time with God. Take time to get established and settled. Take time for the fundamentals. Take time to get to know God. Live your whole life for God.
Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
We can’t establish our own righteousness and hope to make heaven. When we put on Christ, he comes out in our actions. Get hold of God’s righteousness. Project the image of Christ. Become more and more like Christ. Become a spiritual adult. Get all the tools you need to obtain spiritual rest. Salvation and sanctification are the tools.
1 Corinthians 8:1-3
Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. But if any man love God, the same is known of him.
Knowledge can be used, but it’s nothing to glory in. We glory in knowing God and the power of his resurrection. Bible knowledge without conversion is worse than worthless because it projects an image you don’t have. "If ye love me, keep my commandments." (John 14:15) Obedience proves love and faithfulness.
Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
Many claim to know God, but the question is whether God knows them. Make your calling sure. We’re glad God knows what’s going on. We want to walk worthy of him.
Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
The enemy knows us, too. If the enemy speaks well of you, something’s wrong. Your life will bring conviction on souls. We have power over the enemy. (See 2 Kings 17) Take time to meditate on God’s word. We’re all still ultimately responsible for our own souls. A refuge of lies won’t save you and should be swept away. (See 2 Peter 2) You can’t excuse sin.
And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS, AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration. And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.
Babylon has a lot of busy-ness and programs. The angel explained the mystery of iniquity. God is faithful to show us ourselves as we are. Our own goodness gets us nowhere. Lay it aside and get something real. Wreck and ruin image worship. Meet with God and get the real thing.